Friday, December 31, 2010

What's cookin' good lookin'?

So, I cooked. And when I cook dinner, it takes Dennis, Echo, and Connor all by surprise. It's not something that I like to do or that I do often. But, I figured one last time in 2010 wasn't too bad.

I took Connor to the grocery store with me this morning after I scoured the internet for recipes last night. I came up with "Healthified Smothered Pork Chops" and "Butter Glazed Asparagus". And yes, I do realize that eating anything that is "healthified" is negated when you are also eating something the begins with "butter". So anyway, pork chops and asparagus. Not too complicated of recipes, but I ran into some problems.

After asking the guy at Kroger - an employee, don't worry, I didn't just ask a random person who looked like they knew how to cook THIS TIME - where the thyme is, I was directed to this plant. Apparently all of the regular dried stuff was out of stock. WTF? So I got a plant. He said I can trim off what I need for the recipe and then it would be wonderful because I could just water it and it would grow back. That is AWESOME because I had a life-time supply of thyme on my Christmas list and didn't get it.

So, I come home with a plant, among other things. Dennis says that I bring home weird things when I go to the grocery store and he isn't completely making that up. I very often do bring home unusual things or at least a lot of icing.

So, OK. We have the plant. And then I realized that Canola oil was next on the list. If a recipe calls for Canola oil, can you substitute another oil (I'm talking vegetable oil, olive oil, etc.) in it's place? What is the difference between the different types of oils? I sent my mom an email, to answer this very important question at a later thyme.

Besides having a question about cooking oil, I also was a little bit weary of the brown-fin-like-things from the underside of the sliced mushrooms that I purchased. So, I trimmed all of those off. The brown stuff looked gross so I got rid of it. Am I supposed to eat that part of the mushroom (and yes, I'm really asking for help here!)?

ONE of the ironic parts of my cooking adventure is that I have this plant. And I only need 1/4 tsp on dried thyme. One-fourth of a friggin' teaspoon.

I know the suspense is building here, so I'll fill you in on the end result: we loved the meal. Dennis even rated it an 8 on a scale of 1-10 so I'm pretty impressed with myself.

And, while I'm asking for advice, I have another to throw out there. How do you handle an 18 month old that likes to hit his parents, throw fits, and will do anything to avoid having his clothes put on in the mornings? Just being hypothetical here, because we are obviously perfect parents without any problems. I mean, you should see our house. Never a toy or anything on the floor. PERfect.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Hammin' it Up

Riding the Pink Pig at Macy's for the first time is a marvelous event. The combination of the pink stars on the tent, lights, happy atmosphere, pink choo-choo train ride and seeing Priscilla decked out in her pearls made a perfect afternoon that will be remembered forever.

Oh yeah, and since it was also Connor's first time riding the Pink Pig, I'm sure he enjoyed it, too.




{{Dennis just reminded me that sarcasm is hard to detect in blog posts. So, I will clarify by stating that it was a fun afternoon with Connor and Dennis at the mall but the Pink Pig ride wasn't the most exciting thing that I've ever spent my money on. Plus, Connor screamed when Priscilla approached us. And I don't entirely blame him.}}

Sunday, December 26, 2010

And we're back....almost.

Dennis commented this morning that it didn't feel like Christmas this year. I couldn't agree more. Everything came and went way too fast. And we didn't get to do a lot of the things we would have liked to have done (i.e. take Connor to see Santa Claus, go to a few Christmas party's, etc.).

As you know from my previous post, Connor has been sick. VERY SICK. And Dennis and I have been struggling, as well. Not as bad as Connor, but still bad. And Dennis doesn't get sick. EVER. Somehow Echo seems to have avoided the nasty bug or virus or whatever it was (and still is). Our Little Man had a stomach bug (projectile vomiting) turned ear infection turned bronchitis. He's slept more in the past few weeks (since being sick) than he has in his entire life. I mean, I'm talking 3.5 hour naps. Even I can't beat that record and I'm a champion sleeper!

After a round of antibiotics, prednisone, and continuing to use his nebulizer, he seems to be on the mend. He missed a week of school and Dennis and I probably should've missed as much work. Luckily Connor's Grandma, BAM, saved the day TWICE last week by taking care of Connor during the day for us.

We still aren't 100% by any stretch. Seventy-five percent might even be pushing it. But we're all a little bit better every day, which is awesome.

December had all of the makings for a perfect Christmas this year: too many awesome gifts for Connor from his grandparents, a very active Elf on the Shelf (who I miss, by the way), a white Christmas (flurries are still falling), and a fun Christmas Day celebration at the Martins that was spoiled only by a little bit of throw up in their dining room. This time it wasn't Dennis, or Echo. It was Connor. His stomach is just still so sensitive that we are now officially back on the BRAT (bread-rice-apples-toast) diet for a few more days. Let me clarify that, HE is on that diet, not us. I had some leftover ham, pineapple delight, and pecan pie for lunch and it was deeelish.

Another plus to us being house-ridden the past few weeks is that Dennis and I have almost completely memorized every line of The Polar Express. We can sing the girl-boy part in the middle of the movie, "when Christmas comes to town" very well. We're quite impressive, really. Connor is amazed and sits quite contently (even permitting nebulizer treatments) when the movie is playing, so as you can imagine, I have watched it, oh, let's go with a minimum of 89 billion times since we purchased it earlier this month.

Connor is finally on the mend and has shown signs of his regular self the last few days: eating a little bit, playing, talking non-stop, and allowing his mother out of his sight for a moment or two. So, we're getting there. And, I must say that the best gift we received for Christmas this year is seeing our son get better and fight off this nasty virus or bug.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Exciting times

This weekend proved to be way more exciting than I anticipated. And not in a good way. Not entirely, anyway.

On Saturday I seemed to have a mean stomach bug that didn't want me to eat anything. I'm talking nothing. Not even toast. Well, wait. I was able to keep a piece of toast down by Saturday night.

Then, on Sunday, Connor had the same thing. I've never seen someone projectile vomit before (and that word, vomit, is just a horrible, vial word in itself so I will use puke in future references). After Sunday's experienceS (and yes, there is an 's' on that word, signifying that we were able to experience this event more than one time), I can safely say that I am no longer a projectile puke virgin. Ahh... what a relief. And a badge of honor.

The second experience is the one that I will elaborate on for your reading pleasure. Dennis was getting ready to take Echo out on a walk as I was laying Connor down for a mid-morning nap. As I did so, soy milk was regurgitated everywhere. Soy milk was recommended by our pediatrician until the running stopped from the other end... I won't elaborate on that (you are welcome). Strangely, soy milk has a sweet smell when it comes back up. Anyway, Dennis heard what sounded like a sewer gurgling, ready to explode, and timidly asked, "is everything OK up there?"

"Yes. I mean, BARF. EVERYWHERE", I answered.

Dennis decided to postpone walking Echo and instead helped me to bathe our child, throw Connor's sheets, Connors clothes, my clothes, and a few blankets into the wash. When Dennis walked into the bathroom he said, "I've never seen so much puke. It's everywhere. Even on his back."

"And look, honey. He has a puke moustache. Have you ever seen one of those before?" I responded.

It's always important to be mature when dealing with situations like this. And Dennis and I are obviously good at that.

The second adventure is best depicted in the photos below. And let me just say that trainer potty's are so friggin' cool. They play music when you make a deposit, sing songs, hold toilet paper and even pretend flush. I mean, seriously. Awesome.



Thursday, December 2, 2010

Happy 18 months

Dear Connor,


Happy 18 months. We now have to round up and say that you are closer to being two years old than you are to being one. Did you hear that: TWO YEARS OLD. And I am pretty nervous about what the terrible two's will bring.

While I was pregnant, I signed up on babycenter.com to get weekly email alerts about how you were growing, changing, and developing. I STILL get those emails and one of the most recent email updates was titled, "How to get your toddler to cooperate". And that email is still saved in my inbox. Haven't had a chance to read it yet but I will. Several times.


Maybe it's not that you don't cooperate so much as you just do what you want to do. And you do it when YOU want to do it. For some reason, putting on your pajamas every night is a battle. Getting you up in the mornings and changing your diaper isn't on your personal agenda, either. Eating vegetables has been thrown out the window, too. Carseats? Nope, not for you.

Relocating items to a more ideal - in your mind - spot is another one of your favorite passtimes. When we were in Missouri for Thanksgiving visiting your Nana & Papa, your Papa found a can of green beans in the warming drawer under the stove. While your Nana & Papa may put things in strange places from time to time, I am pretty confident that they don't store canned goods in the warming drawer. Just guessing here, but I'm pretty sure I'm right. As you'll learn, Mama is always right.

While I was just going on about how you like to avoid cooperating at all costs, I do have to applaud you for how well you behaved on the 11 hour trip (ONE WAY) to Columbia. We split the trip up and stayed in Nashville each way. You were very happy, for the most part, watching your Mickey Mouse Clubhouse video. Over. And over. And over. I can't quote lines from many (ok, ANY) movies but I may be able to quote a few from that movie. I could probably do the Donald Duck voice best.

Your vocabulary is about to explode. I can just feel it. You babble in what I can only assume are sentences in your world. Long, important, and thoughtful sentences. We're going to be in trouble once you go live with your vocabulary. We did laugh when we asked you what you want to name your Elf on the Shelf. Your response wasn't exactly in English. You made a smacking noise with your lips - almost like you were trying to kiss the air in a really loud fashion. So, we'll probably wait til next year to pick an official name because I'm not sure how to spell that noise. And we have to be able to spell it because we have to record the name in your book.

We decorated the Christmas tree last night while you were in bed. So, you were incredibly excited this morning when you saw it. You marveled at it and looked at each eye-level (and strategically non-breakable) ornament individually for several minutes. The excitement in your eyes and thrill with the tree made Christmas magical for me all over again.

Your Nana & Papa sent Christmas gifts home with us and we have them displayed under the tree. Your fascination with the bows (and how they resemble stars) tonight made me nervous that I may have put them out too soon. It might be a long 23 days until you get to open them up.

I love you, Connor. As much as I jokingly complain about your growing independence, I wouldn't have you any other way.

Love,
Mom

Monday, November 29, 2010

You Know You've Made It Big...

...when you make the class photo.



Several of Connor's classmates weren't in the picture. But NuNu was.

And to think, we only pay tuition for one child...

Saturday, November 27, 2010

...

((Crickets.)) ((Crickets.))


I know what you are thinking. I've been lazy and haven't had time to post on Margaritas. Rather than telling you that are you 50% incorrect, I will tell you that you are 50% correct. With a 17-almost-18-month-old, there is no way to be lazy.


So, please stay posted. I promise I'll re-start the blogging engine soon. Just not today.


Sunday, October 31, 2010

Life Lessons (Part Deux)

After driving one hour in each direction, we walked around the pumpkin patch at Burt's Farm for about 40 minutes. Forty might be pushing it, but we'll go with it.

We had fun on this day trip and even learned that it is perfectly acceptable to drive two hours to spend 40 minutes in a pumpkin patch if you have an adorable little boy and can steal a few sweet photos of him. Our adorable little boy was still recovering from a double ear infection when we took these photos so he wasn't 100% but he was still enjoying himself. And therefore, so were we.


I've also learned that it isn't a good idea to be in so much pain that it hurts to sleep. Dennis talked me in to joining CrossFit with him and man-oh-man am I sore. I thought that I had experienced muscle soreness before but, uh, no way. This pain is so bad that even if I'm sleeping in an uncomfortable position, it might be worth staying in that position if moving requires using my arm, shoulder, chest, back, or leg muscles. Yup, it's that bad. The crazy part is that I'm paying for this.

Lastly, and this parlay's nicely into the second lesson mentioned in this post, peach tea vodka is absolutely delish when mixed with Crystal Light Pink Lemonade. And I mean DELISH. Take that, CrossFit.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Life Lesson #123,223,240

I guess you keep learning, no matter how old you get. Not that I'm old, of course, but the learning-thing seems like it should be contained in our school-attending years, yet it isn't. And Connor is here to prove it.

Connor love, love, LOVES airplanes. So, being the Mom of the Year that I am, I researched to find the nearest - and soonest - airshow. It just so happened that one was scheduled to take place at Dobbins, which is approximately 10 miles from us.

We planned our trip to accomodate for naps, eating, Echo's walk, play time, and everything else that goes on during a typical Saturday morning at the Martin household. Again, being MOTY, I wanted to make sure that we avoided the crowds in case we had a meltdown and needed to make a fast escape. So we went to a parking deck where a friend suggested we go to avoid the huge crowds. Well, let's just say that we went to the parking deck and no one was there. For good reason. Back on the road again. We followed the airplanes to a closer location.

We found a spot in a parking lot near the airshow. We pulled up and saw 100 other people had the same idea. Now I'm not one for crowds but this was a much better indication that we had chosen a good location than what we saw at the vacant parking deck 10 minutes earlier.

After unloading Connor from the car, we pointed up to the sky and showed Connor the awesome airplanes doing tricks and stunts right about us. He was amazed. Well, he was entertained. For about one minute. We were there long enough for Mom and Dad to enjoy the cold beer (in plastic cups, of course) that Mom packed for the adventure.

Our learnings about airplanes are three-fold.

One: don't take your child to an airshow unless he/she is more than 16 months of age if you want them to appreciate it.

Two: you know how I mentioned we live 10 miles from Dobbins? I should have also mentioned that we live 15 (?) miles from the Atlanta airport. And airplanes fly over our neighborhood ALL OF THE TIME. I never realized this until I was outside with Connor and he put his hands in the air, pointing to the sky, every few minutes to make sure that I saw the planes flying overhead.

And Three: airplanes and airshows are worthy of at least 10 conversations. It amazed me how many times the airshow came up in conversations the week before the event. We'd see other families walking in the neighborhood and after a few minutes of small talk, someone would bring up weekend plans.

"Doing anything fun this weekend?"

"Yeah, actually, I mean, sort-of. Did you hear about the airshow?"

AIRSHOWS ARE AWESOME WHEN YOU HAVE CHILDREN THAT ARE OLDER THAN 16 MONTHS. Put that in your book of important things to remember. I put it in mine.

Not only have we been busy learning about the unbelievable coolness of airshows, but we've also learned about painting. Finger painting, to be specific. All kids love it, right?

How was I supposed to know that there is probably a more age-appropriate activity for a 16 month old? Maybe I didn't have to know in advance of the activity because Connor let me know.

He made it, um, very clear.

UPDATE

I'm alive. PROMISE. Will post again soon.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Happy 16 months, 3 weeks...

Connor,

The easiest way to describe your lifestyle these days is to use one simple word: busy. You walk, you run, you bump your head, you keep going, you chase Echo, you babble and point, and you absolutely LOVE to be outside. Your dad and I only get a select few minutes to chat about what is on our minds from the time we pick you up from school to the time we put you into bed. Our evening walks with Echo on her leash and you in your wagon are one of those occasions.

Another favorite of yours these days is reading. If we ask you to please go get a book, you quickly (and I mean QUICKLY) run into your plaly room and grab one. The Barnyard Dance, given to you by Nana, is one of your favorites. I am pretty sure that it is a favorite of yours not only because it is a sweet book but because your parents read it to you in such a fun fashion. We bounce around, make animal noises, and dance to the words in that book. And you, I must admit, are one heck of a dancer. Unfortunately for you, I think you are taking after your parents in that department. But there's still hope. I think.

Please forgive me for the shortness of this letter but I have to run... it sounds like you are waking up from your afternoon nap just a little bit early... and after a deep breath, I am ready to go again.

I love you.

Love,

Mom

Friday, September 24, 2010

Happy, um, 15 months and 3 weeks?!





Connor,

You are quite the little man these days. Aside from pulling out your classmate's (and girlfriend's) pacifier so that you can more easily plant a kiss on her lips and her returning the peck a few minutes later, you are pretty much the running-around-and-getting-into-everything-child that I thought you would be.

I love it, definitely. It wears me out, definitely. And I'm tired of re-stocking the toilet paper in the upstairs guest bathroom, definitely.

Several nights ago, you did what I suspected was only a matter of time. You dug your hand deep into the container of dog food in our pantry and shoved as much of it into your mouth as you possibly could. Thank goodness for clumbsiness and small hands, I guess, because we think that only one - or two - of those scrumptious bites of Eukanuba dog food made it into your digestive system. As you pointed out, it's OK because Echo eats your food...so it's only fair to return the favor. Right? I tried to talk your dad into taste testing Echo's food last night but he wasn't having it. Not unless I tried the food first. And THAT, obviously, was not in the cards for us.

Besides eating PLENTY of food, what else are you into? Well, you love the toilet. You love to almost throw things into it (luckily we catch you just in time). You love communicating with us in sign language that your dad started teaching you six (or more) months ago. "Please", "thank you", "more", and "milk" are all signs that we communicate with on a daily basis. Obviously, your dad and I mistake this for nothing less than your budding genius skills.

You love to run. And fall. And tumble. Today we received a call with an "incident report" from your school. I no longer panic when I receive these calls because they are fairly regular - - at least one a week. Well, today was the most serious: you fell in the indoor gym and had a knot the size of a golfball on your forehead to prove it. You didn't seem to mind, and the teachers were not in a panic, so we were OK after we got that call. We love you and always want you to be safe, but we've also learned that you are 200% B-O-Y. You fall, you tumble, you trip and you just keep on going. Unless, of course, someone is looking. If they see you, then the tears come rushing down those super sweet and squeezable cheeks.

Connor, you make us smile every day. Probably 100 times a day. I have been known to walk really really fast (almost run) in my work heels when I pick you up at school because I cannot wait to hug you. And hold you. And, of course, I always look forward to seeing Mr. Bunny (or Nu Nu, as you call him), too.

I love you, Connor.

Love,

Mom

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Is it still today?

Today could quite possibly be the longest day of my life. It just went on and on and on... but never fear because the votes are in, all hanging chads have been accounted for, and we have a final result.

As one might expect, after being told to "wait by the phone from 8am until noon" for a phone call from my boss, I was anything but calm. When he called, I am pretty sure that I answered the phone before it actually rang. Not that I was impatient or waiting for his call or anything.

Fortunately, after only a minute or two of small talk, he said the words that everyone longs to hear: "you've been placed".

Monday, September 13, 2010

The Waiting Game

It’s this weird, hard-to-describe uneasiness. For better or for worse, I will not have any question about the outcome after tomorrow. The uneasiness will give way to change. At least the change will be definite, though. None of this worry that it may be this way or it may be the other way.

After I get that phone call, I will at least know what is going on. And how to proceed. Until then, it’s almost as if I’m in this in-between place. Its a strange, weird, and unstable place. I'm not really motivated but not unmotivated, either.

I am supposed to get a voicemail today indicating a specific time for tomorrow (Tuesday) when I need to be sitting by my phone to find out if my position has been eliminated. The company announced several months ago that layoffs would take place “this Fall”. And now, we’re here. My boss has given me little reason to be worried, pointing to my recent promotion and strong sales performance. But, there is always that chance. No matter how small it is, there is that chance that I will no longer have a job after tomorrow.

I go back and forth about whether or not I think that it is beneficial to know in advance of the layoffs. Since the announcement, motivation for the majority of the sales reps has been lack-luster at best. That’s negative for the company’s desired sales results and negative for the few motivated sales reps that are still out there. Most everyone in the sales force has at least updated their resume, posted it on the appropriate websites, and let friends and family members know that they are interested in learning about any new opportunities that they hear about. Others have taken new jobs or at least started interviewing with other employers. That’s the good thing about advance notice: those with the desire to work elsewhere take this opportunity to do so.

So, today I learn what time this particular uneasiness will end. Even when I find out that I keep my job (being positive here!), it’ll be sad and hard because some of my friends and co-workers may not be as fortunate. We will potentially be aligned to different managers, will definitely have a new territory, will not have counterparts in our new geography, and there will be new customers to learn and friends to help find new jobs. So, today things are the same. Tomorrow they will be very different.

Please keep your fingers crossed for me. Maybe cross your toes, too.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

We did it.

Dennis and I decided that we'd try something outside of our comfort zone: we would go on a parents-only vacation and we would even enjoy it. Maybe we'd laugh. Sleep in. Eat lunch at a random time. We could even get really really crazy and have adult conversations for several hours on end. And then take a nap just because we could.

Well, we did it. (And, I cannot escape being a mother too much this weekend because as I typed "we did it", Dora the Explorer's song came into my head. I've been totally changed, there is no denying that. Plus, that song DOES have a good ring to it.)

Hilton Head is our beach destination of choice because we've been there numerous times and consider ourselves to be in the small elite crowd of beach experts in the area. Our skill level far surpasses others as we watch them struggle to put an umbrella in the sand WITHOUT AN ANCHOR. Or, they come out to the beach with only two towels and nothing else. And, what about the people who spend hours trying to put up a funeral tent only to have it collapse or blow over in the wind?

It's hard being perfect. It really is. We try to hide it, but we just can't. I mean, when you look at the photos below, you can tell that there is NO WAY for us to hide who we are.






















Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Newest Member of the Martin Household

Please join me in welcoming the newest member of the Martin Household.



And yes, we did need one more margarita machine at our house.



Monday, August 23, 2010

Putting First Things First

I am always amazed at how things occur at the right time in life... just when it seems like they are supposed to happen. Or when they are needed most. If you think about something and focus your energy on what you want, what you need, where you want to be, you seem to almost cause some type of cosmic force to pull whatever it is you are looking for towards you. You are transformed into a magnet for what it is you are thinking about most. (And, as "The Secret" teaches, it's important that you focus on what you do want, not what you don't want. Your thoughts become a self-fulfilling prophecy so watch out!)

My magnetism drew a book and a very meaningful church service into my world. The book, "First Things First", is an explanation of what I've been thinking about and going through lately. Usually when I change or grow, I don't realize it. It just happens without my permission. I am definitely different than I was in college but I didn't notice the gradual changes that took place along the way. That's why this change is so important to me: I am fully aware of my changing mindset and views and I have so many new questions for which I need to find answers.

Breaking news flash: life isn't about me. My weekends aren't only "good" if I get to do whatever is most pressing on my personal agenda. It's not whether or not I was able to sleep in or whether I was able to relax and watch a movie. Those things are important and sometimes are exactly what I need to do to achieve my mission in life (and yes, I'm working on my personal mission statement right now!). I am most fulfilled and happy when I do for others, when I spend time on what is most important to me (family, friends, success at work, personal development, leading a balanced life) because I can now confidently make a decision to not focus on what seems urgent but to first spend time doing things that are important. As I've done so many times in the past, when I focus on what appears to be urgent, I do nothing but race around all day and don't have anything meaningful to show for it at the end of the day. One more day has come and gone without any progress on my goals of being a good friend, a good listener, a good wife and mother...

I'm only half way through this book and I can honestly say that I am excited to sit down and read it at every opportunity. I highlight, mark the pages, and take notes on a nearby notepad on ideas of what I want to be included in my personal mission statement. I am thinking about what I would want someone to say about me at my funeral and I will incorporate all of those traits into my personal statement. It's probably going to be a long one, but that's OK.

Dennis and I went to the Buckhead Church this past Sunday and we are both looking forward to going again next week. The series that is being presented is based on how you spend your time and aligns perfectly with my personal crisis right now.

I'm going to continue to ratchet up my magnetism and focus on these questions and changes that I am going through. So if you see books or people or random items flying towards me, don't panic too much. It's that crazy magnetism and my need to learn and grow.

Friday, August 20, 2010

2012

I. LOVE. THIS.



Here is a great alternative for America for 2012.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Deep Thoughts


"If life gives you melons, you are probably dyslexic."


Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Too Much Cleavage

Shoe shopping is one of the things that I despise most in this world. It's not like I'm asking for that much, either. I want basic black shoes. Heels. Nothing fancy, no frills. But I cannot find a pair of shoes that meet my criteria.

You know that I'm desperate if you see me in DSW. That place makes my heart skip a beat and I have to tell myself over and over that everything will be OK. Take a deep breath and just take it one row at a time and don't look at anything except for the shoes in my row. DO NOT GAZE INTO THE NEXT AISLE.

DSW was calling my name today as I looked down at my sad, black shoes. They've taken me a lot of places, put up with a ton of crap and, all-in-all, they have had a good life. It's just time for me to say goodbye. It was actually time for me to say goodbye several months ago. How old are said shoes? Let's just say that I purchased my wonderful black wedges while I was pregnant. And, yes, Connor is now 14 months old. I TOLD YOU THAT I HATE SHOPPING FOR SHOES!!

I tried on a few different pairs of plain black heels (does anyone still use the term 'pumps' anymore?) but nothing worked. Apparently I have sausage toes or fat feet or something because the shoes that I tried on were all too revealing. I mean, what are girls wearing these days? The worst part about shoe shopping (and there are a lot of items on this list) is finding the perfect shoe ... but after trying it on, realizing that it's too revealing. If it shows a lot of toe cleavage, I can't bring myself to purchase it. Don't get me wrong: I have shown a little toe cleavage in my day but I prefer not to show much. Or any.

And, have Keds been back in style for a while? I saw them for the first time in a L-O-N-G time today.

One of my friends - and co-workers - taught me that you don't wear navy shoes to work even if you are wearing a navy suit. And yes, I learned this just last year. I guess I should have gotten the clue when it was SO HARD to find navy shoes that I liked. Hard to find = not so stylish. Sadly, though, I managed to find them. And wear them. See, I told you that I am a horrendous shoe-shopper. I must be stopped. Please, stop me.

And, another thing (last one, I promise). I think that my feet are smaller after being pregnant. Has anyone else noticed that? More cleavage on my toes and less up top. Pregnancy: the gift that keeps on giving.

This is reason #458,762,125.23 that I need to be rich: I need a personal shopper because I obviously have issues when it comes to shopping for shoes. Or maybe I need to get a special trainer to help me exercise my toes better.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Happy 14 Months (Part Deux)

Connor,
Today went well. Very well. At least that is what Erika, one of your teachers, said.

The morning started off slow because you didn't want to eat your breakfast nor did you want to put on those awful things called "shoes". Once Dennis had them on your feet, you attempted to walk around (looking like you just finished riding a horse) and kept picking up your feet as if you had stepped in glue or gum or something. You were not very happy to have shoes on your feet this morning as we left the house, but you seemed to at least manage to walk in a some-what normal fashion by the time we arrived at your school.

We went in to your school and you seemed to sort-of recognize the place (which you should, because we've gone by there at least 5 times in an attempt to get you acclimated to the new surroundings). Then, I saw one of your classmates, Daniel, and everything seemed like it would be OK. I knew instantly (call it motherly ESP or whatever you want to call it) that the two of you would be friends because you had something very important in common: a mutual dislike of shoes. He had a sock and shoe on his right foot and his left shoe and left sock were thrown randomly across the room.

You didn't cry when we left because you were too busy gazing at yourself in the mirror and following Daniel as he walked around the room.

When we picked you up, Miss Erika said that you had a wonderful day.

"Really? I mean, he did well and took a nap and everything for you?"

She smiled and said, "Well, he didn't really take a nap. At all. We finally got all of the kids to lay down on their mats or in their cribs and had the lights off... but Connor kept running around. He would lay down for a minute and then jump back up and pull Daniel's hair. Then he reached his arm through Sydney's crib and pulled her hair, too. He was the 'King' of the classroom, for sure."

"And...you said he had a 'good' day? I mean, isn't that 'bad' that he did that? I am sorry."

"Oh, don't worry about it. He was very funny with (insert other new kids' name here). He would go up to him, pull out his pacifier, and walk away with it. Then, when (insert the name you chose a second ago here) started to cry, Connor would go back over to him and put his pacifier back in his mouth."

I was trying to think of how any of this could be construed as 'good' behavior. "So, you mean, at least he was 'good' and didn't put the pacifier in his own mouth?" Ah-hah. I finally caught on.

'Good' is in the eye of the beholder. No matter what you did - or didn't do - you were going to get a positive report card for the day.

I'm glad that you did well but what matters most to me is that you really seemed to have fun today. Thank you for putting my mind at ease knowing that you are going to enjoy your new school and that I don't need to worry about you. Well, at least I don't need to worry about you EVERY SINGLE SECOND while you are at school. Every other second should suffice.


I love you.

Mom

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Happy 14 Months

Connor,
So much has happened in the two short months since you had your first birthday party. You literally walked into your second year of life with lots of energy and the excitement to explore everything. You took your first independent steps a few weeks before your birthday and by the time you hit the 13 month mark, you were no longer taking steps. You were taking leaps and jumps and sprinting back and forth. And so were your dad and I.

I don't make it to the gym nearly as often as I should but I tell myself that it's OK because I do spend the day chasing you up and down the front hallway as you wobble back and forth, following you as you climb the stairs, shutting doors to the bathrooms, putting up Echo's water bowl, and making sure that nothing too dangerous is within your sweet little (chubby) arm's reach. It's a full-time job that we enjoy. But, we also enjoy the few minutes that you spend in our laps watching "Blues Clues" or "The Wonder Pets" on Nick Jr. Those two of three minutes of calmness are much appreciated.

What we appreciate even more are the kisses that you so frequently give us. You prefer to kiss Echo and she will usually give you one when you ask for one by saying, "mom... mom.... mom..." and puckering your lips, ready for her to plant a sloppy one on your face. And, the "sloppy" part is no joke. You really love Echo and I think she might be starting to like you back. Maybe a little.

Tomorrow is your first day of school and I am so nervous! I'm not sure if the flip-flops that my stomach is doing are from my fear of the unknown or my anticipation of what you will think of all your new friends and your teachers. You LOVE Faye, the babysitter, and your friend Kahn. Your Dad and I signed you up for this school because it has a great reputation and we felt like you'd learn a lot more in a structured environment where you can also play and make more friends. You'll probably do great and make change look so easy. I hope so. I really do. I don't want to see those huge tears come down your cheeks when we leave because that just breaks my heart. I am a wuss, yes, I know. You have me wrapped around your little finger.

Your smile and laugh will charm all of your classmates and your teachers in no time. I hope that you will continue to be as happy as you are now for the rest of your life because your smile brightens the room and makes my day. Everyday.

What makes my night is sitting down with you to read "The Napping House". Several months ago, it would take us 30 minutes to read the book because you would point to every animal on EVERY page and I would tell you that "the dog goes rrrufff" and "the cat goes mee-owww". You would look at me, laugh, and try to repeat the noises that the animals make. Now, though, you prefer to skip to the end. I haven't been able to read the first few pages for quite some time (but don't worry, I still have them memorized). Your favorite part is when the wakeful flea wakes up the cat.. and the dog... and the rest of the household.

I love you, Connor, and I hope everything goes perfectly tomorrow!


Love,

Mom

Saturday, July 24, 2010

The Simple Things in Life

We could buy Connor all of the most expensive toys.

OR, we could let him play in the diaper box we just brought home. Diapers out, Connor in.








And I could put him to work in the yard.




Big surprise here, but I prefer the second option.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Well, folks, it's a WIP

Not sure if it was purely an attempt to be politically correct towards unsuspecting children or what but one of my elementary school teachers would scribble either a "+" or "WIP" on the top of our assignments. I did misbehave quite a bit in elementary school but never was I whipped (maybe I should've been, that might have made things turn out differently...) SO ANYWAY, I either went home with a big smile on my face because I received the esteemed plus sign on my paper or I went home and showed my parents my "WIP".

WORK IN PROGRESS. That's what it meant. It obviously scarred me because I still remember that Mrs. Fales (what a name!) graded our papers that way.

Now to the burning question: What does this irrelevant story have to do with anything?

Nothing, really.

Please forgive the changes that are going on with the background, sidebar, etc., on the blog. I'm not sure how it'll end up but I'm in the process of updating it. There will surely be quite a few snafoo's along the way so brace yourself. Don't you like that white blurry building on the left? That's my barn. In my pretend world, where I have a barn. Or maybe it should be a billboard.

Please pardon the mess while we (I) work to improve your blog-viewing experience. Thanks, Management.

It's a WIP, people. Take a chill pill and call me later.

Wish Someone Told Me This Earlier



And, yes, this is one of Connor's favorite TV shows. I swear.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

You should be scared. Very scared.

It is understandable that you may have missed the important news earlier in the month that affects your healthcare and the healthcare of the ones that you love. I mean, Lindsay Lohan and LeBron James were the focus on most of the major networks, instead of this little-broadcast-but-very-important update to Obama's healthcare agenda. What is this change, you ask? Dr. Donald Beswick was appointed by Obama as the head of Medicare & Medicaid without going through the normal process of appointment. Hmmm... sounds very similar to the way that the Healthcare Deform Bill was passed. Just forced upon us.
When Linda O’Boyle was diagnosed with bowel cancer, her doctors told her she could boost her chances of survival by adding the drug cetuximab to her regimen. But the rationing body for Britain’s National Health Service, the National Institute of Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE), had previously ruled that the drug was not cost-effective and therefore would not be paid for by the government. So O’Boyle liquidated her savings and paid for the drug herself. But this is not allowed under NHS rules. When government bureaucrats found out that O’Boyle had purchased the drug with her own money, she was denied NHS treatment and died within months.
As Americans, we have overlooked and dismissed the notion that such an atrocity could take place on our soil. After all, we have the best healthcare in the world. People pay out of pocket to travel here and receive services that they cannot get in their own country. It is not without flaws, but it is far superior to any other option that is available out there. And, lucky for us, Donald Beswick is out to change that for us.

Again, we see evidence of the promised "change" we heard so much about during Obama's campaign. Hopefully people are starting to realize that "change" isn't always for the better; the "change" we will see in our healthcare is far from being beneficial. It's down-right dangerous.

OK, so why is Beswick so bad for our health? He has - on numerous occasions - talked about his love for the British healthcare system. He said, “NICE is extremely effective and a conscientious and valuable knowledge-building system. … The decision is not whether or not we will ration care – the decision is whether we will ration with our eyes open.”

You are probably thinking, well, that sucks. But it won't affect me because I have insurance through my employer and I won't need to be on the government plan. I'm young and won't be on Medicare for a long time, either. Plus, Obama said OVER AND OVER that if I like my current insurance, I can keep it. Unfortunately, you are wrong. Dead wrong (pun intended).

Without getting lost in the murky details, up to 69% of employers - up to 80% of small businesses - will lose their "grandfathered status" by 2013 and therefore be forced to drop the insurance they once provided for their employees. If you had to take a wild guess on what percentage of American work for a "small business", what number would that be? 20%? 50%? No, try 80%. So, 8 out of 10 of us work for what is referred to as a "small company" and 8 out of 10 of those companies are going to be forced to drop insurance for their employees because of Obamacare. Looks like a lot of us will not, in fact, be able to keep the health care that we currently have - - even if we like it. Looks like another broken promise. But, he has kept his promise that we will see "change"...

Yes, my point is to scare you. And to make you aware of the changes that you are going to see - or your family members on Medicare or Medicaid will be realizing - in the very near future. Sitting around and thinking about it or hoping that others will do something is not enough. You need to be involved and know who you are voting for. We need to elect strong conservative candidates to replace the Democrats (or Republicans, in some cases) that ignored the American people's cry to stop Obamacare. Email your representatives and do you research, which includes more than listening to the main media news outlets. Unless, of course, you'd rather focus your attention on what Lindsay Lohan did in court or what is going to happen now that LeBron James went to Miami. And if that's your focus, then I guess you deserve what you'll get healthcare-wise. Please pay attention and let's get politics out of healthcare.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

The Power of a Sale

It's really amazing what the word "sale" does to me. It has this crazy, uncontrollable effect on me that makes me BUY BUY BUY. Who cares if I need it? It's on sale and therefore I. must. purchase. I don't recommend that you stand in between me and a sale sign.

Poor Dennis was an unsuspecting victim of the most recent sale purchase that I made on Groupon. Coming in at less than half price, I purchased two tickets to the North Georgia Canopy Tour. And the tickets were purchased for two people who are scared of heights: Dennis and me. Ziplining. Yes, you read that correctly: ziplining.



Three hours, 12 ziplines and 4 hikes later, we received our certificate of completion. We enjoyed our day outside, in the canopies, swinging like monkeys from tree to tree.

When you are strapped in by about 30 different ropes and gadgets, I guess the fear of heights dissipates because we had no trouble on our "tour". Or maybe our ferocious sale activist side pulled us through and helped us to navigate through this adventure ... we can - and will - do anything if it's on sale.