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Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Project Smile - May

Another month has come and gone and while I found many reasons to grumble, it was also a very smile-worthy month!

This month, instead of listing something for each day, I'm going to share just the highlights and lots of photos.

May 1 - A beautiful day for baseball, Dodger dogs, cold beer and catching up with old friends.
May 4 - A delightful afternoon with the Dalai Lama.

May 6 - Beach day!
May 8 - Mother's Day. How did I get so lucky to be this boy's mommy? May 13 - Spending a perfect day with Lucas.May 14 - Birthday celebrations, margaritas and good friends.May 15 - Lucas meets Mickey Mouse for the first time!May 17 - Date night = a movie in the theater. Thanks, Leah!

May 18 - Pancake day.
May 20 - A trip to see grandma and grandpa.May 22 - Cousin love.May 24 - Eight years ago today, Todd and I went on our first date.

May 26 - A mommies only dinner.

May 29 - It's Memorial Day weekend and we're happy Daddy's got the day off.
May 30 - I found a bathing suit.

May 31 - Signed Lucas up for more swim lessons, enrolled him in a summer school program, scanned photos, made calls, ran errands, lunched with a friend, sent three overdue e-mails, wrote three blog posts and played a lot of cars and choo choos. It was a very productive day!

What made you happy this month?

To see what had me smiling in April, click here and to link up and share your own month of joy, please visit Kristi of Live and Love out Loud
.

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SAHM

The other day, I read (and re-tweeted) two lists: 10 Things Never to Say to a Stay-at-Home Mom and 10 Things Never to Say to a Working Mom and both lists got me thinking about my SAHM role.

It's been almost two years since I became a stay-at-home mom and honestly, I'm still getting used to it.

Sure, I have somewhat of a schedule: music class on Mondays, tumble class on Wednesdays, nanny help for a few hours on Tuesdays and Thursdays and a free-for-all Friday. No matter what, we get out of the house. For my sanity, just as much as Lucas'.

I like to say I'm a stay-at-home mom, that does anything but stay at home.

Apart from the classes, we have passes to Legoland, Disneyland and the zoo. There are also weekly visits to parks, libraries, toy stores, pet stores, book stores and Daddy's office. When we're not out and about, we've got a host of in-door activities, but if given the option, I'd rather be out! At home, there's the Internet, TV, laundry and other chores. Plus, some days it feels like the walls are coming in on us.

If I was stuck inside all day every day, I would certainly lose my mind. So while I don't have meetings to attend or a closet full of suits to wear anymore, I plan, I schedule, I organize, I manage, I orchestrate, I clean, I cook (sort of), I live for nap time, me time and date nights all while staying at home. Whatever that means...

Slowly but surely, I'm learning to embrace being a SAHM, but I'd be lying if I said that didn't spend a lot of time day dreaming about returning to work full time.

On one hand, I can't imagine having anyone else spend as much time with Lucas as I get to or allowing them to be such an active participate in his growth and development. I do realize how lucky I am that I am his primary care giver, but on the other hand, there are days that I would give my right arm to have a 7:30 meeting and drop him off somewhere along the way.

It's an age-old argument, but as I see it, being a mom, stay at home or not, is hard work. No matter where you do it from.

For some, returning to work is a financial necessity and not a choice. I get that. And when I think about being a SAHM in those terms, I know I'm one of the fortunate ones.

Are you at stay-at-home mom? If so, is it by choice? Do you miss working?

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Monday, May 30, 2011

I've Earned This Pouch

Memorial Day weekend is the official/non-official kick off to summer.

Summer means lots of time spent outdoors, which translates to shorts, tank tops, flip flops and [insert shutter here] bathing suits.

Like most women, I hate shopping for a new bathing suit, but with an ever changing body, Lucas' swimming lessons and an upcoming trip to Hawaii (!), it was time to bite the bullet...

It was also time to face the fact that I can no longer pull off a string bikini. Not that I ever could very well, but thanks to my post pregnancy body, (now almost two years old) it'll never happen.

Sigh.

Two hours and 19 suits in a variety of colors and styles later, (I am NOT exaggerating, I actually counted!) I came home with not one, but two suits.

Go me!

I went with a demure one piece tank with perfectly positioned ruching and a practical tankini halter, just like my mother used to wear.

Oh well. I've earned this pouch, I made a baby for God's sake!

A big special thank you to Maggie at Everything But Water. Her patience and honesty were very much appreciated.

And before anyone asks, there will be no photos.

I hope everyone had a fun and safe Memorial Day!

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Saturday, May 28, 2011

Left Behind

It's not an exclusive club.

Anyone can join and often do when they least expect it.

Dues are paid in tears.

The moment you lose someone close to you, the very instant you learn of their deaths, you immediately become a lifetime member of a group you never wanted to be associated with.

You are one of the ones left behind.

You now have a kinship and a bond with fellow suffers of grief and loss whether you like it or not.

It doesn't matter if you lose and an aunt, grandmother, best friend or father, you now "get" it. Or, at least have the ability to understand a little better what other "members" of this grief stricken club are going through. You can empathize in a way few can.

When you lose someone, other people's losses are harder on you. In part because it conjures up your own loss and because you know what they are going through. You know that kind of pain.

I learned yesterday that my cousin's son, Zach died.

He shot himself for reasons that are still unclear to me, as well as the rest of our family.

I never met Zach. I regret that, not because he's gone now, but because he was family.

I know two things about death: it's final and a parent should never outlive their child.

My heart aches for Zach's mother and father.

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Friday, May 27, 2011

More

This was absolutely the last time was going to do this. The final time she would ever put herself at risk. She'd been lucky up until now. Very lucky.

But, there were so many things she wanted. How could she give it up when merely entering the department store made her heart beat faster and her forehead perspire.

She did it for the rush.

She did it for the goods.

The racks and racks of beautiful designer clothing were too tempting. All her life she'd worn hand-me-downs. Not anymore.

She dreamed of owning a rainbow of make-up and perfume that smelled like money and now she did.

Which section should she hit today?

The shoe department was bustling and shoes were easy. All you had to do was keep walking.... straight out the front door.

The allure of the jewelry counter was as sparkly and shiny as ever. If that dizzy blond was working today, that would be a cinch too.

Keep your cool. You've done this dozens of times.

She gotten away with it before, in fact nothing she was wearing was paid for. She was slowly filling her closets with cashmere and silk and her ears, wrists and neck donned diamonds and other precious gems.

She wanted more.

"Sir, do you have these in red in 7 1/2?"

"Right away, miss."

And there was nothing standing in her way today.

As soon as the salesman walked away, she let out a deep breath and thought, You've got to be kidding, $715 for a pair of shoes?! It would take me 10 shifts to make that much dough.

"Here you go, I brought them in gray too."

"Wonderful, thank you. I'll just take them for a little stroll."

"Very well, I'll be here when you get back."

As soon as she slipped them on her feet and made sure that the sales clerk was a "safe" distance away, she casually picked up her over sized handbag and turned on her heel.

Keep your cool. You've done this a million times.

She walked right past the handbags and scarves and finally saw sunlight through the large glass door.

You're almost there. This will be the last time. Just keep walking, you're scot-free.

Heavy footsteps.

"Excuse me, Miss? Miss? Excuse me, do you have something you'd like to pay for?"

She was wrong.

This post is fiction and was written for The Red Dress Club's writing assignment, Red Writing Hood. This week's prompt: Write a short piece that begins with the words, “This was absolutely the last time” and ends with “She was wrong." Constructive criticism is welcome.

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Thursday, May 26, 2011

I Was A Senior Hottie

With graduation season upon us, Liz of a belle, a bean & a chicago dog came up with the most awesome idea of revisiting our past by digging up our favorite Senior moments. :)

Or, in my case... Senior Sourpuss:
This photo went out with my graduation announcement. Really! What was I thinking/doing?
Love the cheesy cityscape background. By the way, I actually wore the same exact dress to my BFF's rockin' 40th birthday party this past February. For more on that (lots of fun 80's photos), go here).
Graduation day. No cap or gown. I attended a small boarding school in northern Arizona and the tradition was for the girls to wear white dresses and guys wore suits and ties.

Wait a minute...

Could it be... is that a smile?

As a side note: I loved every minute of high school, especially my senior year. I was full of hope and promise, had a great boyfriend, tons of friends and was on my way to college. The world was all mine. So, even if it didn't show on my face, it was a happy, happy time.

Also? I'm still trying to find my Glamour Shots.

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Wednesday, May 25, 2011

The Trouble With Trash

I don't recall having that many chores as a child, other than keeping my room clean; making sure my bed was made each morning and toys and things were off the floor and put away at the end of each day.

When I got to high school, it was all about keeping my grades above average and being home by curfew, a rule I consistently broke.

I do recall getting in trouble a lot, especially this one time I was on
trash duty.

I loathed this task.

Don't let anyone tell you different, trash is nasty, stinky, smelly and gross and trash duty sucks!

My job was to gather the trash from all rooms in our home and take it to the dumpster, usually just outside our house, but when I was sever years old, we lived in a cul-du-sac and the dumpster was (for some strange reason) several houses away. Maybe it was a communal bin or something?

I dreaded making the trek every single time I was faced with it.

Instead of making the complete walk, I found a short cut in the form of a neighbor's storage shed half way between our house and the actual place the garbage was to go.

As you can imagine, it wasn't long before my parents were notified of my dirty deed.

And not long after that, there was yelling and tears and then there was me on my hands and knees picking up every last take out container with food remnants, balled up piece of paper, yogurt container, banana peel, cans with liquid still inside, nail clippings, used Kleenex, Q-Tips and other unmentionables, chewed gum, egg shells, packaging, yuck, muck and every other disgusting item you can think of that we discard.

You see, while everything was bagged, it wasn't tied shut. This was in the days before drawstring.

I threw up twice and I'm quite sure I wasn't allowed sugar cereal or able watch The Donnie & Marie Show for at least a month.

I still hate dealing with trash.

This post is for Mama Kat's Writer's Workshop, Prompt #1.) Write about a time you got in BIG trouble as a kid.

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I'm A New Recruit!

Today I'm proud to be at Sluiter Nation and tickled to be Kate's latest recruit!

Come read about a store I loathe just a little more now due to a recent visit. It's a good one.

I cried.

I'll give you a hint, it's NOT Target, but they do have a popular baby registry.

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Tuesday, May 24, 2011

My Three Favorite Magazines


This post is for Jessica (My Time As Mom), Kate (Mommy Monologues) and Elena's (Mommy is in a Timeout) meme, Vlog Talk. The prompt I chose was #1: Show us your 3 favorite magazines and tell us what you like about them.

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There Will Be Tears

I have been watching since 1991.

I have laughed, cried, jumped for joy, believed, been inspired, yelled at the television, fast forwarded, re-watched, rewound, discussed with friends, read the books, bought the products, lusted after, learned, wondered, rolled my eyes and felt better about myself all thanks to a guest I welcomed with open arms into my home every day.

Relatable, smart, funny, and an excellent interviewer, Oprah is more than just a talk show host, face of a magazine, cable network and radio mogul, philanthropist, or one of Forbes' most powerful and not to mention wealthiest people, she is an institution.

She makes me believe that if we ever do meet in real life, we could be friends. Her public struggles make her human and her giving heart makes her a saint.

Tomorrow, after 25 years, the final Oprah Winfrey Show will air.

You better believe there will be tears.

I will miss her daily visits.

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Monday, May 23, 2011

There's A Time & Place

In Target the other day I overheard an interesting (for lack of a better word) side of a conversation.

A woman on her phone was saying very loudly from the next aisle, to presumably her mother or best friend the following:

"...we don't even sleep in the same bedroom anymore."

"...we don't talk, we don't touch, we don't do anything."

Then she laughed hysterically. Presumably to keep from crying?

"...I just hope to walk away as friends, if that's even possible at this point."

Depressing, right?

That's not even the worst part.

When she turned the corner to come down the aisle I was on, I discovered she was pushing not one, but two children in her cart.

Both looked to be a lot older than Lucas.

Children are so impressionable. I wonder what their home life is like?

How could she be to cavalier about her relationship with presumably her husband? How could she subject these children, whether her own or not, to such intimate details of her relationship?

It made me sad.

I have been through a divorce and it's no fun. I thank my lucky stars every day that my ex and I did not have children together. I can't even imagine putting them through something like that. I know couples break up every day and make it work for the best of all involved, but children often don't really have a say, do they?

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Friday, May 20, 2011

Celebrating Taming Insanity

Please join me in wishing Kristin (AKA KLZ) of Taming Insanity a very happy five year anniversary!

Today I'm over at her place sharing one of my favorite things about being a mother... milestones.

Comments are off so there's no pressure, just stop by and read and if you don't know already know Kristin, (are you living under a rock?) this is your chance.

Happy weekend, everyone!

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Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Top 10 Reasons I'd Rather Work Out At Home

10. Even though by virtue of the name alone, my gym is suppose to be open 24 hours a day, it turns out, it actually isn't. Who knew?

9. The clocks on the walls are usually wrong, which just pisses me off.

8. There is no soap in the soap dispensers in the women's locker room or at least never at the sink or shower I choose.

7. There is often a wait to use a machine and then once I get on one...

6. There is a 20 minute limit (when staff is trolling the floors).

5. The competition factor. The person on the machine next to me always seems to want to turn our workout into a race. I see you looking over at my incline level and raise yours.

4. Flying sweat. Bring a towel, people!

3. It's hot, sticky and stinky. Especially on a Tuesday at 1:05 PM.

2. Loud talkers. I've had to practically blow out my eardrums by turning my iPod up so loud just to drown out the conversations going on around me. It's not homecoming, it's a gym! Exchange numbers and call each other later.

And the #1 reason I'd rather work out at home than go to the gym...

It is swarming with too many beautifully toned, physically fit bodies. I mean, really? Why are you here?

Meet my home gym...

...I promise not to stray again anytime soon.

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Bedtime

Another recovered post from last week. Yay!

This little booger was up until after 10:00 last night!
Here he is watching TV with Mom, while Daddy works on his computer.


Hoping NOT to have a repeat tonight.


This post is for Wordless Wednesdays and if you want to link up, or see some really beautiful photographs, please visit Alicia at Project Alicia. This week, she is sharing photos of her beautiful daughter.

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Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Put On A Little Make-Up

This is a lot harder than it looks! Not going from no make-up to make-up but vlogging. Go easy on me....


This post is for Jessica's (My Time As Mom) new meme, Vlog Talk. The prompt I chose was #2: What is your makeup routine? Show us (inspired by Daily Dose of Sugar Mama)

If you missed my first vlog, it has been restored and can be found here: The Next Generation In Blogging?

I lost all my comments last week, so leave some love and please tell me that I've gotten a little bit better this week.

Thanks for your help, Leah!

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The Next Generation In Blogging?

This post was actually created and published last week BEFORE the blogapocalypse, where Blogger went dark for more than 24 hours.

Here goes nothing!
My very first attempt at vlogging...

This post is for Jessica's (My Time As Mom) new meme, Vlog Talk. The prompt was: Introduce yourself, what is your blog about, how long have you been doing it, have you ever vlogged before, if so – what has your experience been with vlogging.

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Monday, May 16, 2011

What Does Being A Mother Mean?

What does being a mother mean?

Sometimes it's...

...going weeks without shaving your legs.

...staying up half the night to nurse a little one's fever.

...exercising at 10 o'clock at night.

...showering at 11 o'clock at night.

...worrying about absolutely everything, yet somehow knowing that you're doing okay.

...making a batch of mac 'n' cheese because you know that's what your tot will eat.

...sitting through another episode of Yo Gabba Gabba, The Backyardigans, Thomas & Friends and/or Cars.

...fighting off the guilt of wanting to spend a few moments alone.

...realizing that you're responsible for this keeping this little boy happy, healthy, safe and entertained.

...cleaning up mess after mess after mess all. day. long.

...tender kisses, hugs, cuddles and story time!

...getting hit in the face with a toy because your toddler is still learning to control his anger.

...listening to incessant whining, crying and carrying on because that same toddler isn't getting what they want.

...trying to stay present for every single moment you have with this incredible little person because you know in the blink of an eye he won't need you like he does today.

...looking through photos of your son, long after he's gone to bed and kind of wishing he'd wake up.

...teaching right from wrong, manners, morals and how to be a good person.

...spending a lot of time cross-legged on the floor playing with cars, puzzles, blocks and stuffed animals.

...giggling at the funny words and phrases that come out of not only your son's mouth ("mommy poos too?") but also your own ("please don't lick the floor").

...sacrificing who you once were and allowing yourself to become someone you were always meant to be.

...loving someone like you've never loved anyone.

What does being a mother mean?

I never thought motherhood was so many little things rolled into one big enormous wonderful role.

It's everything.

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Sunday, May 15, 2011

In Blogapocalypse Recovery Mode

While I am still trying to recover from last week's blogapocalypse, where Blogger went dark for more than 24 hours and I lost not one, but TWO posts and two drafts (I AM SO MOVING TO WORDPRESS!!), please visit me at Jessica's place.

Jessica's blog, My Time as Mom as become one of my favorites and I am so grateful that we connected on Twitter. I don't even mind that she kicks my ass in almost every. single. Scrabble game we play.

Okay, so, it's getting a little annoying.

Nevertheless, I'm thrilled that she asked me to guest post for her today about Lucas' big 2nd birthday, so please stop by and say hello and be sure to wish her little monster a very happy 2nd birthday too!

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Friday, May 13, 2011

Pinterest

First it was MySpace, then Facebook, followed by Twitter and now, my new latest obsession is ~ drum roll, please.... Pinterest.

What is Pinterest you ask?

Think of Pinterest as a virtual pinboard — a place where you can create collections of things you love and "follow" collections created by people with great taste.

People use Pinterest to collect and share all sorts of things — wedding inspiration, favorite T-shirts, DJ equipment. You name it, people are pinning it.

We know you have great taste in something. Our mission is to make Pinterest the best place for you to share your taste with the world.

Over the last week I have spent HOURS on this site pinning favorites faces, places, products, pretty things, quotes, gift ideas, and items on my lust after list.

Things like:

Anything goes and the best part is that every image links back to original source/site for more information.

What an awesome idea and a HUGE wonderful waste of time. If you pin, come find me!

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An Adorable Dinner

I don't cook.

Not even a little bit.

I burned rice the other night.

Who does that?!

Me apparently.

I make the same New Year's resolution every year to make at least one dinner a month. So far so good....

Although, I think I owe my family four dinners.

I've said it before (here and here), if it weren't for my husband I'd be living on cereal, turkey sandwiches, PB&Js, pasta, bag salad and cottage cheese. In other words, I can do kid food.

Sort of.

Lucas has been on a bit of a hunger strike lately and wanting only macaroni and cheese and cookies. Which honestly doesn't sound too bad too me, however, in an effort to expand his (and my) horizons (and because my husband was out for dinner with a friend), I made him a turkey and cheese quesadilla last night, rolled it and cut it so that it resembled a pin wheel. The bite sized pieces were so adorable I should have taken a photo. I thought for sure I had a hit on my hands.

He took one bite, promptly spit it out and asked for cookies. When I said no and tried again and again and again, he ran down the hall to his bedroom slammed the door and had a fit.

And here I thought that was 15 year old girl behavior?

About 17 minutes later, in other words, the length of time it takes to make a box of Annie's Homegrown mac & cheese, he returned to the kitchen, sat down and had three bowls!

Geez, so much for an adorable dinner, huh?

I did throw in peas.

What did I have for dinner you wonder?
And a Coors Light.

What do you feed your picky eater?

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