Ghosts of Friends Past

My friend C and I were absolutely inseperable for about two years in college. We had more fun together than I will ever admit to (because not all of that fun was exactly *ahem* legal), and did pretty much everything together. After two years of shenanigans, we both needed to get our heads on straight and each of us headed home for a semester at community college, her to her hometown, me to mine. Though we were still close, we started to grow apart. She was still having a lot of fun of the sort we typically got into together, and I was having a different sort of fun with Aaron, who I had just started to date, and who was encouraging me to be more serious about life.

The next year we were both back at school, and C was still spending a lot of time having fun. I was working and had finally gotten serious about my studying. C ended up dropping out of school to move across the country with her boyfriend, and in the process seemed to push her friends away. I understand how that goes. My past seems to be littered with friends who I spent a year or two with and then who dropped off the face of the earth. I seem to befriend intense drifters, those that give you all their attention for a brief time and then fade away, onto to other adventures. My feelings weren't hurt. I figure it is just the natural process of things and that I'll either find these friends again sometime or be satisfied with some great memories of all of the time we spent together.

The time when C and I were inseperable is about ten years in the past. I heard from her about six years ago, and then nothing. I've searched for her on Facebook and elsewhere on the internet a couple of times a year, but I've never been able to find her. There have been times I've been convinced she actually did drop off the face of the earth.

I'm sure you can sense where this is going. Out of the blue last week, C popped up on Facebook.  She just joined and one of the first things she did was find my profile and send me a message. She's back in the state and wants to catch up. I'm a little in disbelief that she has come out of the woodwork, but it sounds like she's doing well (we haven't gotten a chance to talk yet, as we both have crazy busy lives) and I couldn't be happier that she contacted me. I can't wait to get to know her again. And while I'm sure we've both adapted our idea of fun from the fun we used to have, I can't wait to have fun with her again.

Rock-a-By Baby

This year is the same as every other; as it gets warmer I find myself wishing that time will pass more quickly, that summer will get here, that it will finally be warm for days on end. At the same time, Gabbie is growing up way too fast for my liking and I want the days to slow down so I can spend more time soaking in her toddlerness, that like her babyness, is speeding by.

Thursday night was the last night I rocked her to sleep. I was expecting a fight, tantrums, crying until she threw up (her modus operandi, which I'm obviously thrilled about), but after just a few protests on Friday night she just laid down and went to sleep. There were no protests on Saturday at all. Last night, she rolled around in her crib for about 15 minutes before succumbing to dreamland, and we didn't even have to stay in her room while she was falling asleep. She was obviously ready for this development, while once again I was the one holding her back from growing up as fast as she likes.

I can only hope potty training and binky weaning go this well.

No Excuses

I just typed up a list of things that have been going on lately, but then one wrong touch on my iPhone and Poof! Gone.

I hope there's a better way to do this on my new iPad that arrives in just over a week. Apparently an iPad is what you get when you request for my husband to buy a portable DVD player for an upcoming long-ass road trip (26 hours round trip) with a toddler.

It will also be useful for our plane ride to Florida to visit my inlaws in May. That $8000 first time homebuyer credit is obviously going to good use.

Gabbie at 21 Months

It amazes me how many words Gabbie busts out with lately. She's talking up a storm, although we still can't understand many of the things she's saying. She still narrates our mornings, but now she also talks from approximately the time we get home until she's ready for bed. The last thing she says on a typical evening is, "Lights!" while looking at me with an exasperated glare because, duh mom! Turn out the light so I can go to sleep!

She is also a little bashful at times, especially if she's asking for something and thinks she's going to be denied. We're trying to get her to express exactly what she wants so we can give it to her - something that I want to make sure she can do so she's never afraid to ask for what she wants as she grows up. For now, those wants center mostly around food. Last night we were sitting at the dinner table, and though she had refused to eat what I had made (a delicious pasta dish that I couldn't eat enough of), I could tell she was still hungry. We asked her what she wanted, but couldn't understand at first what she was saying. With a little concentration, she said, clear as day, "Cereal!"

"No problem," we answered and got her a bowl of cheerios with milk. She ate the whole fairly large bowl of cereal, handling her spoon like a pro. ("She can use a spoon better than I can!" notes Aaron.) She still seemed hungry, so we asked her again what she wanted. Since we had just cut into a fresh loaf of hot bread, that one came out quickly. "Bread! Butter!" We obliged, and even after that her appetite remained strong. I pulled out a dish of her favorite food - blueberries, and she scarfed them down in no time flat. Then she started mumbling.

Even though we swore we'd never say this, we've had to start using the phrase, "Use your words" quite frequently lately. So, she mumbled on and we kept asking her to speak up. Speak loud. Tell us exactly what you want. It's okay to tell us what you want. Finally, the concentration evident on her face, she said as clear as day, "More blueberries please!"

Unfortunately she had eaten the last of the blueberries, so the answer was no, but after such cuteness we asked if a bowl of ice cream would be okay, and she busted out with another of those withering, duh mom looks and said, with a sigh, "YES! Ice cream!"

She started talking a lot later than any of my friends' kids, but now it's our turn to sigh - with relief. She's using new words on a nearly daily basis, and has even started using two to three word sentences. My baby is definitely growing up, and she's growing up into a little Miss Smartypants. I couldn't be more proud.

Thoughts from a sleepless night

As I tweeted this morning, I have, so far, seen every hour of this day. To say it was a long night is a bit of an understatement. It doesn't help, of course, that on top of my child repeatedly waking me up I managed to keep myself awake too. I present, thoughts from a long, sleepless night:

12:38 am: I should get up and attend to the child, since Aaron took her on last night.

12:38.5 am: Hot damn my hips hurt. Stupid running on a treadmill. Note to self, don't do that again. It's beautiful outside, run there!

1:10 am: Seriously, kid! Fall asleep already!

1:12 am: She's asleep, but for some reason I'm still awake. Hey, you know what would make a good name for our next kid if it's a boy (Ed. note: no, not pregnant, just planning ahead)? Paul Alan - names from all grandpas incorporated. Score!

1:13 am: Now, how to get Aaron to agree to that or Violet if it's a girl. Violet goes well with Gabrielle, I feel. He thinks it's a silly name though. Must find a way to convince him otherwise.

1:15 am: Zzzzz

2:38 am: Hey! Look at that! She woke up exactly two hours apart.

2:45 am: Thank goodness that was a shorter time awake. Hey, the DVR is making a weird noise. It kind of sounds like the aliens from Signs.

3:20 am: That was smart, freaking yourself out imagining one of the aliens from Signs was on the deck. Way to go, self!

4:45 am: Where is that damn binky? Why does she still need a binky? Note to self: Google methods to get rid of the binky.

5:10 am: *still thinking of tactics to get rid of the binky, since dropping it woke her up again* Note to self: maybe not until after the road trip to Kansas City in April, since it's still a surefire way to get her to be quiet for a few minutes or get her to fall asleep quickly in the car.

5:11 am: *freaking out over 26 hours (total - 13 hours each way) in the car with an almost 2-year-old* What the hell am I thinking?

5:25 am: I should really mix up a batch of bread to go with dinner tonight.

6:30 am: Why did I decide to wake up early to mix up a batch of bread again? Well, no reason to try to go back to sleep now.

6:45 am: I need to make a list of items to help entertain Gabbie on the road trip: portable dvd player, Magnadoodle, stickers, threading cards, jelly beans, goldfish crackers....? I should write about this on my blog to see if anyone else has any ideas!

Goals for the New Year Revisited

Back at the end of December, I set the following goals (now with added progress notes):

1. Eat vegetarian for a month (we're going to attempt this in January)

Check! We didn't eat meat for more than a month, and we're continuing pretty strong at this. We do eat meat out, but haven't been cooking much meat at home. One great (for my waistline and cholesterol) bi-product of this is that I have only eaten at McDonalds (or really any fast food establishment) once this year so far. I had gotten into a bad habit of eating fast food far to frequently, and it had to stop. And it pretty much has! I could still do better, of course, but it's much improved.

2. Read 50 books this year.

I'm making progress on this definitely. We're approximatly nine weeks into year, and of last night I've completed eight books. (Check out the list on my sidebar - I've been trying to update it once a week, since recent weeks have found me reading more than one book a week.) My favorites so far have been The Hunger Games and Catching Fire. Once I started each of these I couldn't put them down! There have been a couple of books that I've started and not finished, because I just wasn't enjoying them enough to power through to the end. This isn't something I normally do, but I decided that if I'm going to make it through this goal this year I need to read only books I enjoy, save for those for my two book clubs (which are helping with this goal, because that's two books a month right there!)

Next on my nightstand: The Red Tent, Love the One You're With, American Gods, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, and Steamed: A Steampunk Romance.

And after that I'm out of ideas. Any recommendations out there?

3. Train for and run a 5K

I haven't started this one yet, but I plan to soon, I promise! I have a Couch to 5k program downloaded to my iPhone, and I just need to get my butt to a treadmill. Hopefully soon the weather will be nice enough to start running through my neighborhood in the evenings. I can't wait for that to happen.

4. Decorate my house (it still has that just moved-in feeling with nothing on the walls)

We haven't gotten very far on this. We picked out paint colors (tentatively, I'm sure). We did order a new garage door and opener (one of my top priorities when we moved in), and the door has windows which will add some curb appeal to the house. I also have some ideas swirling around in my mind for some art projects, and they're just about bursting to get out, so we may have some new art to hang on the wall soon.

5. Get a babysitter at least once a month so Aaron and I can have date nights

We haven't done exactly this. We've been setting aside movies, shows, and activities (like board games), and having an "After Gabbie Goes to Bed" date night about once a week. We tried to watch one of the movies (The Invention of Lying - meh, which was disappointing because we love Ricky Gervais) when Gabbie was still awake the other night, because we were too tired to ensure we'd be able to watch it all the way through after she went to bed. We weren't very successful because she didn't stop talking THE ENTIRE TIME. Seriously, she talked and babbled and screeched and got all up in our faces for 90 plus minutes of annoyingness. That was the last time we'll try that.

I'm also trying to convince Aaron to take me out to dinner this weekend when my family is scheduled to be in town. We definitely need the alone time, and that will be at least one out of twelve for this goal!


Inspired by Maggie's Mighty Life List, I've been working on mine. It's not very long yet because I'm putting quite a bit of thought into it and there have been a ton of edits. This month she has her list sponsored again (lucky!) and has challenged her readers to put up three items from their list to work on during March. So, for this month I will have three additional goals. I've only chosen one so far, but it's a fun, cheap, and easy one, perfect for a short timeline:

1. Make cheese at home - this could be something as simple as ricotta, but I'm thinking I'd really like to try to make fresh mozzerella.

I'll post the other two when I decide. This is going to be so much fun!
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