31 January 2008

I'm nuts

$3.99 for a set of two dishtowels from Target
$4.88 for two packages of chocolate brown bias tape
some embroidery floss I had
a little mod podge I had
some leftover egg crate foam from when I made her crib bumpers


If you were two and getting this for your birthday, would you flip out as much as I'm expecting Natalie to? Cannot wait to give it to her! Can't believe my baby is going to be TWO, too.

30 January 2008

Fingers Crossed

I sit here "working" while Natalie sings and reads herself to sleep in her crib, listening to the workman who are installing our NEW GUTTERS. Nothing says adult like being excited about new drainspouts. But, like so many projects in this house, I sit her with eager anticipation for when they knock on the door to say they are done. Why? Because it's happened too often to count that a workman comes to do one project and discovers 3 more that are in dire need of repair. Like the plumber who came to snake the bathroom sink only to have the u-joint fall out. Fun times. I'm worried sick that the rot under the old gutters is going to be so bad we're going to need a contractor to come and replace part of our roof. So far so good, and this gutter company came highly recommended (always nice when the owner is good friends with your neighbors) so I think if they had discovered something truly awful, they would have told us by now. Still, it makes me nervous. That and the fact that I'm sure something will not be done up to Jim's expectations and I'll have to listen to him rant tonight about it while I sit here surrendering to my ignorance that I didn't know, which is true. So, in the meantime, fingers are crossed.

29 January 2008

Busy day

This morning we visited the nursery school Natalie will be attending in the fall. It's a co-op, she'll be there 2 days a week for 2 hours, totally low key, with an emphasis on learning through play. It seems like a really great community of parents and teachers and kids, and she had a blast being with the other kids for an hour with new toys and a train table and everything. But without coordinating it, two of my mom friends from play group were also visiting this morning. Kind of funny, but not surprising since we all live in the same general area as the school and are intersted in it. Syliva is 100% in on sending her son there and we've requested that they be in the same class if possible. Deb is on the fence about it since she's trying to get her daughter into the local Waldorf school. For one morning a week. And Deb would be with her the whole time. And it's about 4x the cost of the co-op. You know what my decision would be if I was in her position.

Anyway, I got to thinking as I was telling this all to Jim over the phone. His coworkers, a fun, young bunch, were popping in to see what his lunch plans were as they all wanted to go out some place. I never had that at my office. I worked with mostly older (my parents age) and mostly male coworkers. The few young girls there were just not my type. We would occasionally go together to get lunch, but then we were dorks and would eat at our desks. We never went out afterwork, as some were parents and of those who weren't, we all lived in different directions so it got complicated with catching public transit or carpools and such. A place I temped at (a theatre in DC) for a month a while ago was pretty cool - young, hip, artsy. I felt I fit in there pretty well, but then as I remember back, there was also a pretty big contigent of those young, hip, artsy types who were gay and partied hard at gay clubs, or just partied hard. Little wanna be hip artsy me went to church every Sunday and can only party so much if you get my drift. Kind of made we wish I had had an office experience with a gang of people I really felt I fit in with.

Then the warm fuzzies came: I have that RIGHT NOW. My job is "mom" and my coworkers are other mommies as we brave the world of babies and toddlers together. Being with Deb and Sylvia this morning, meeting other parents at drop-off who seemed like people I could be friends with, going for coffee and discussing pros and cons of nursery school afterwards, checking in with Deb whose daughter was having an uncharaceristically early in the day melt down - these are my coworkers. This is the gang of people I fit in most with, and I love these ladies. We share our triumphs (he finally eats vegetables!) and our frustrations (she runs away from her father when he comes home from work), and help each other work these things out.

To Deb, and Sylvia, Chanin, Sarah, Alice, and all the rest, we rock!

25 January 2008

Who you gonna call?

Maybe it's official that I've seen too many Law and Order re-runs. It's about the only thing that's on in the early afternoon when Natalie is down for her nap and I've gone about my business and am settling down with my lunch and for a few precious minutes of mindless channel flipping. There was this guy out front in a sketchy beat up pick-up truck, who pulls this ginormous ladder off a roof rack and procedes to climb up the ladder to the top of the utility pole and then mess around with the stuff up there. Was he hooking up illegal cable? Patching into the FiOS line? We just got FiOs a few weeks ago, so I know those guys don't use laders to get up the pole, they shimmy up with waist belts, hard hats and carabiners using the spokes that are already in the pole. I would think the cable guys would do the same thing. Not to mention they'd all come in trucks labeled with their company. So who do you call? "Um, hi, I think a guy was messing with your wiring and whatever else is on top of the utility pole out in front of my house." The too much Law and Order came in when I speedily dug out Jim's mondo camera and started snapping pictures from inside the house. Got a great shot of him halfway down the ladder, not to mention his crappy-assed truck with license plate. Bam!

22 January 2008

I don't mean to come off like a complaining diva...

You know how sometimes you are going, going, going, anxious and hyped and full of anticipation for an event, news, a certain date, whatever, and then that moment in time comes and goes and then you just crash? That's where I am. I feel like I'm in the deepest funk of recent weeks (months?), and can't get my shit together enough to do anything but hide out in the office pretending to read the post online. I had lofty goals for the evening, making a really nice dinner for Jim and I, but instead the chicken sits cooked, but completely cooled on the stove and nothing else for the meal has been done. Natalie is running like a crazy person which means she's over tired, but it's still a little early to put her to bed, unless we want her up at 5am. Probably doesn't help that we have a leak in one of our pipes - good news is that we can see it as it's in the ceiling of our laundry room - bad news is Jim decided that in order to remedy the situation for the night we should turn the water competely off. No flushing toilets, no bath for the babe, no turning on the dishwasher which is on the verge of overflowing with dirty dishes. It also means tomorrow I'm going to be stuck home with cabin fever waiting for the plumber to come and repair the leak. You know, sitting around because they'll be here between 11:00 and 1:00. Which of course means they won't arrive till 2:30.

Sometimes I feel like I can't get a break. Just when the hecticness of the holidays was over and I was settling into the new year, we have Thyroid Scare 2008. Now that that's over, we have a plumbing disaster to contend with. I don't have the money in our account to write them a check tomorrow. Fingers crossed that they take credit cards. And toes crossed that the gutter guys don't come this week to replace our gutters since I can't pay two repair men this month.

Relief

It's just a nodule. Thank God. Literally. We're not out of the woods, I have to go back at least every 6 months to have it checked to see if it grows or changes, but for now, this is a diagnosis I can more than live with. We're going to switch up my thyroid meds, so that should get me some relief as well. It's like a weight has been lifted. I can barely think straight right now. The toddler trying to climb all over me at the moment isn't helping, either.

20 January 2008

drunk post

it's my birthday! i just got home from a post-party night out with some of the girls, who kept buying me drinks (not sure why...hahahaha). oh man, i need to drink about a gallon more water before going to bed. so obvious i went to college, and for a history at that, as i can type pretty damn well when i'm hammered. it was a good day, nice to spend part of the afternoon at a little party jim planned with some close friends and family. i think i would have rather had a whole day to myself in a quiet house with a personal masseure, a fancy esspresso machine and a stack of good books. but that's just me, the introvert.

counting down till tuesday's endo appt. as fun as the day was, i still have these fucking test results hanging over my head and it's driving me nuts. and thanks to my two loyal readers - i appreaciate your thoughts and prayers as i await the news.

19 January 2008

No news...

...is good news? I don't know, but I didn't hear anything from my doctor before the weekend. Then I wake up this morning and the side of my neck where the lump is is sore. Freaking me out. I see the endo on tuesday afternoon. Maybe she's waiting to tell me the worst in person.

16 January 2008

Could she get any cuter?

Two! TWO PONY TAILS!! We've been counting a LOT lately...

Before and After

I'm seriously in love with my dining room table. It works so much better in our little dining room. And we can actually have more than 2 people over for dinner AND have room to actually put the food ON THE TABLE! Sweet.

15 January 2008

I (heart) technology!

After I saw my endo last week, she emailed me requesting any information (surgery reports, lab results, etc.) I could get my hands on in regards to the other women in my family who have had thyroid cancer. Nothing like preparing for the worst, ya know? But I applaud her pro-activeness. So mom just happened to have a check-up with her endo up in NJ today, and he was happy to oblige another doctor and sent her home with 9 photocopied pages from her files - each of her surgery and scan reports starting back in 1970. Dad scanned them into a PDF, emailed them to me, mom emailed me additional information about my grandmother* and other relatives, and I combined it all into a nice concise email with attachment and set it off to my doctor, who will have a bevy of information at her fingertips, which I imagine will only help her as she looks at my sonogram results from this morning. How cool is that?! My mom thought it was so cool they could do a sonogram of my throat since back in ye olde 1970 they didn't have anything like that. Huzzah for technology!

Now we just have to pray the radiologist is quick like a bunny to get those results to the endo, and that the endo decides to call or email me ASAP with her thoughts on them rather than wait till my next appointment which is next tuesday. SEVEN DAYS AWAY. I may drink my liver into cancer between now and then with the waiting and anxiousness. Either that or eat my body weight in ice cream, which would be quite a feat.

*things I didn't know before: Grandma had her thyroid cancer surgery right before my mom (an only child) turned two. How's that for a creepy coincidence?

Seriously?

I have to wait 2-3 days before my scan results are at my endocrinologists office before I can find out of the lumb in my throat is thyroid cancer or just an inflamed thyroid. This is after friday's blood work that took 20min for 3 little vials and three different needles jabbed into me three times ON MY HAND to find out if my thyroid had gone bad or not (and how f'ed up my blood sugar levels were). Cocky lab tech was all "You don't need to tell me to use a pediatric needle! I been doing this for 23 years now! I have so much experience you won't even feel a thing." He wasn't so cocky 20 minutes later when my hand was all scared up and he had a bit of sweat on his brow. Radiology tech today couldn't say anything, except she did let me see the pic of my ovaries - nice pretty chain of cysts. Duh, knew they were there. Endo just wanted a pretty picture for her files. As for my neck, she did take more pictures of the right side which is where even I can see a lump, especially when I swallow as it pops out a little. Nice.

Endo is treating this like cancer since my family history includes at least 6 people on mom's side (including mom and her mom) who have all had thyroid cancer. Sure, it's a very treatable cancer with one of the best cure rates out there. SNIP! they cut it out and ZAP! they radiate it just to be sure and BAM! you're in remission with a wicked slim chance it will ever come back. Still, it sucks. And the timing? Sucks more. Happy 30th Birthday! You have cancer! Yay!

13 January 2008

Another list

Here's 30 things you probably don't know about me in honor of my birthday, which is ONE WEEK FROM TODAY!!!

  1. I have 2 holes in one ear and 4 holes in the other
  2. I want a crazy huge artful tattoo but am too chicken to get one
  3. I have a girl crush on Carrie Bradshaw
  4. I want to work for Vogue
  5. I want to be on the cover of Vogue (if that ever happens - ha! - it would prove that us shorter chubbier girls have made it in the fashion world)
  6. I sew better than my mom, who taught me
  7. I worked in a theatre costume shop in college
  8. I have horrible stage fright
  9. I am freaked out by the thought of wearing a costume so much so that a veil at my wedding was out of the question
  10. I was that kid who never dressed up for Halloween and didn't give a shit about it
  11. I lust for Christian Louboutin
  12. I lust for anything by Zac Posen
  13. I have a thing for dark haired punk rock boys who wear eyeliner
  14. I only ever dated one guy who was sort of one of those boys
  15. I worked at a church camp
  16. I kissed boys for the first time at said church camp
  17. I went skinny dipping for the first time at said church camp
  18. I speak French and Russian passibly
  19. I'd study to become fluent in both if I had the time
  20. I'd run away to Paris in an instant if I had the money and lack of obligations (who wouldn't?)
  21. I love to travel but hate to fly
  22. I've never done drugs
  23. I grew up Baptist
  24. I swear like a sailor and drink, probably because of said upbringing
  25. I wasn't a virgin when I got married (may not seem like a big deal but see #23)
  26. I cook better than my mom, who taught me
  27. I should have gone to art school
  28. I can't run to save my life
  29. I was on the varsity swim team in high school
  30. I might have cancer (more on this to come after my scans on tuesday)

09 January 2008

23 Months

Holy shit, my baby is turning two in just one month! How did this happen? It's crazy!
Sweet Natalie, you are such a doll, but also such a toddler these days. I think hanging out with your cousins at Christmas made you think you were a big kid because you've all of a sudden turned into a Kid. You are opinionated, willfull, and determined. Man, are you determined. Sometimes you are screeching because you can't get your socks off, but if mamma helps, well, you turn into a banshee of discontent. Yikes. Sometimes, I do crazy things like put on my pants which you feel is outlandish and unnecessary and will scream untill I take them off or I manage to distract you, which ever comes first. I'm getting better at distracting you and redirecting your attention, which I've been told is the way to go. But there's definitely a learning curve for both of us.
And you can be such a crankopotomus to the point where I'm ready to hang you out the window by your ankles, when you pull some major cuteness out of your ass and make me crumble into a blubbery pile of mamma love. You've started to pretend more. One day you found a box lid, laid an old cloth diaper in it, put your baby doll on it and covered her up, then proceded to "shhhhh" and sing soft little lullabyes to her. And your baby doll is a girl, but her name is Jimmy. I wonder if you picked that up from your grandmother over christmas who still calls your dad Jimmy sometimes. Today we had our first winter semester music class and it was such a joy seeing you interact with the other kids and Miss Liz your teacher (who you told me you were going to give a hug, but then you got all shy when we got to class). It's amazing how over the past 6 weeks since the last fall semester class, what you learned has had time to soak in and stew in that little brain of yours. You were so much more into the class, picking up on what we were doing and the motions Miss Liz was showing you. I'm so excited as it feels like you are learning so much every single day.
Natalie, I love you more and more to the point where I wonder how full my heart is going to be when I'm writing about your 18th birthday, and how am I supposed to have any room in there for anyone but you. You are so precious and such a gift, we love you and cherish you can look forward to helping you grow up into a really awesome big kid and beyond.

07 January 2008

Re-cap

Back in July when I realized it was my half birthday, I made a list of 30 resolutions, 30 things to do before I turned 30. So far I'm batting about 40%. Oh well, better than nothing, right?

  1. get Natalie's name added to the little tattoo on my back nope, still breastfeeding, but i'm going out the week after we're done
  2. do more things with other moms yup, can't live without those girls
  3. while losing 50lbs would rock, that may be a bit ambitious for 6 months time - 25lbs sounds a bit more reasonable ha! not even close!!
  4. actually fit into some of my pre-pregnancy clothes instead of feeling like a stuffed sausage in them hahahahahahaha...
  5. look fabulous at my 30th birthday party must do some shopping to make this happen
  6. look fabulous at Kim's wedding looked as fab as i could given what i have to work with, but the hair, little black dress and 4" red patent peep toed pumps kicked ass
  7. get a good haircut and keep it up gustavo my stylist is my new best friend
  8. get some funky highlights in my hair no, but i did dye it back to the blond of my youth
  9. get snookered like I'm still in college at least once, preferably with the girls for Kim's bachelorette party wasn't invited to the drink fest, but did enjoy a dinner out with the girls
  10. potty train Natalie (she'll turn 2 a a few weeks after I turn 30, so how cool would that be?) not there yet, but she has pooped in the potty, once!
  11. stop eating sugar once and for all ha! it's a slow process...
  12. get my makeup done and actually purchase beauty and pampering products (shocker, yes, I've never had a professional tell me what and how to wear makeup - explains why I don't wear any almost ever). didn't get it done, but did spend $60 one day at ulta buying goodies for myself
  13. take time to pamper myself, even if it's just a monthly manicure not a monthly manicure, but i am better about taking time for myself
  14. give up diet coke with lime never going to happen. what the hell was i thinking?
  15. start my shop at etsy.com unfortunately, not yet. but i'm dying to get my crafty on
  16. redcorate our bedroom done! and if you ignore the piles of laundry, it rocks
  17. paint the kitchen yup! pretty light yellow
  18. save enough money to get the kitchen cabinets and counters replaced still working on it...the saving, that is
  19. replace my car with one that is not 14 years old have i shown you my new, 2004 corolla? it's sweet. it has POWER LOCKS.
  20. deal with my depression better thank God for the new doctor
  21. read more books when?
  22. organize my office and shread things that don't need to be kept it was organized and things were shreadded, but now it looks like a tornado passed through again
  23. finish sewing project with my cousin in Oregon done! so cute!
  24. get a mother's helper who can come once a week or so after school so I don't have to start taking that other mother's little helper in order to stay sane yes! lara rocks!
  25. cook more still working on this one, went to trader joe's tonight with just such a plan in mind
  26. define what is garden and what is grass in the back yard nope
  27. reclaim more of the over growth for grass nope
  28. rent a dumpster and empty out the shed, which came with the house and 50 years of crap in it no dumpster, but we did haul 5 pickup truck loads to the dump - still have at least 3 more loads to go
  29. cut down the bamboo in the far reaches of the yard and use it to cover the rusty old grape arbor are you kidding? i think there are panda's living back there it's so thick
  30. save enough to fly Jim's family (3 adults, 3 kids) here for Christmas so I don't have to get on a friggin plane with a toddler (I've been dreading this since she was born). nope, but at least i survived the flight myself.

Identity Crisis

I turn 30 in 13 days. Feeling wierd about it. Maybe more so because Natalie is about to turn two, which is Officially Not A Baby Anymore. I don't know. I want to feel vibrant and put together and stylish in my own way as I enter this next decade. The problem is, I just feel blah, like my usual lumpy self who can barely keep it together. My sweet mother offered to come visit for a saturday and help me clean. She said while I take care of putting stuff away, she'll clean up behind me, scrubbing floors and countertops and wiping windows and everything. This would be the awesomest gift ever, it's like she *knows* me or something, knows that between toddler chasing, husband arguing, and work, I struggle to find time to myself which is what helps keep me sane (gotta love being an introvert), thus the house looks like a train wreck most of the time.

I'm still struggling with the new year and how it came up so fast and seemingly out of the blue. I had so much I wanted done by now that isn't done. I had projects I wanted to be working on for fun, instead I find myself moving back down to two naps a day. Nothing like falling asleep on the couch at 9am (AFTER a diet coke or two) and being woken up 20 minutes later by your toddler poking you in the face with a bristle block. This is Not Good. Thank God I have found this new doctor who is really pro-active so I can deal a little better with the time between appointments and treatment tweaks. Still, it can get a girl down. Oh right. I suffer from depression. It can get a depressed girl even down-er.

I need to focus on the good, otherwise I'm going to have a major meltdown by the time my birthday rolls around, and I don't want to damper the plans and work Jim has put into my party. The one that was a surprise until my brother blurted it out because he didn't realize I was already turning 30 and wanted to insult me for being old.

06 January 2008

Deb

My heart aches today for Deb, my neighbor with the daughter three weeks older than Natalie, who has become so much more than a neighbor in the past 2 years. She's a friend, an ear, a sarcastic sense of humor. We always offer to pick things up for the other - I don't know how many times I've come home from the groccery with a vegetable or box of tea that's not for me and vice versa - and I know in a pinch I can count on her for help with Natalie. And Natalie loves her too. It's been such a healthy and supportive relationship that I'm so thankful for.

Things weren't happening naturally for baby #2, so she sought counsel from a fertility specialist - best in the DC area. After her first round of fertility treatments and intra-uterine insemination (I think this is the correct term, we've just been refering to it as the turkey baster incident), she found out today that she's not pregnant. I know she's struggling with how far do we go to make baby #2, and it's especially hard since baby #1 came easy-peasy on the first month off the pill. She's going to be 42 this spring, so that clock is ticking. I just ache for her and the decisions and thoughts whirling around in her head. Perhaps we'll just have to have margarita's this week at playgroup, since her new ability to consume alcohol again is about the only good thing in her life right now.

05 January 2008

Furniture

I'm buying a dining room table off some friends (got married, moved in, bought furniture, her dad surprised them by making a dining room table as a wedding present, leaving them and their teeny apartment with two, hence the need to sell one). Sure, we don't need a dining room table, but we didn't need the gigantic TV Jim bought a while back*, and we didn't need the bad-ass digital camera he bought a few months ago either**. And the table is going to be a LOT cheaper than either of those purchases, not to mention I've already been shoping around and our friends are asking about 2/3 what they paid for it and about half or more what it would cost at various stores that I've seen similar tables at.

Our current table (which was a hand-me-down someone gave Jim years ago) is round and takes up most of the space in our wee dining room because it's round and therefore quite wide. Plus, you can only squeeze 5 people around it provided one of those people is Natalie. The new table will live up against the wall and still have room for four people + a toddler at it, and when we have company we just pull it out and add a few more chairs. And it has a leaf or two so holiday meals will be served around a table instead of buffet style and we are all stuck in the living room eating from plates on our laps. I'm terrified, though, because I haven't told Jim about it. Why? Because I don't feel like arguing. And when my friends arrive with their truck and start unloading a table? Well, I'll point out to Jim that this is what it feels like when your spouse spends money you don't agree on. Except multiply it by aout 6 to know what I felt like.

Isn't marriage fun?

*he had good reasons for this purchase, but I still didn't agree with it and then it just showed up in our driveway with him and a borrowed pick-up truck. I locked the door and wouldn't let him in till he explained himself. But the box has served an even better purpose as an awesome playhouse for Natalie once I cut a door and a few windows in it.

**this purchase was made because he was going to start an event photography business on the side. I told him I'd be OK with the camera once he earned enough money with it to cover it's cost. So far he's spent additional money on lenses and now wants to buy a new flash to go with it, and I'm still the one who takes better pictures.

03 January 2008

A mile a minute

I'm finding Natalie's language development amazing lately. All of a sudden (I'd like to think a week with the cousin's had something to do with it) she's putting more and more words together, as well as some old words becoming clearer and more enunciated so that people other than me can understand them. She picked up 'Santa Claus' and 'booger' while we were in Texas. The 6 year old cousin owns up to teaching her Santa, but no one will claim to have taught her booger. We discovered her knowledge of it when one day she wipped her nose and announced "Booger. Trash." Ok, as long as she knows where the boogers belong I guess that's OK. One of my favorite new words is 'Tessa do-do.' Testudo is the mascot for the University of Maryland where Jim went, but I think he'll forever be known as Tessa do-do in our house. She surpsed us the other morning when in the middle of a nursing session she heard Jim in the fridge and quickly popped off and annouced "Juice? Orange? Nanee*?" and we were like, um, I gues she wants orange juice. That one was pretty damn clear. I'm waiting with anticipation for the morning she wakes up and talks in clear coherant paragraphs. I feel like it's just around the corner.


*She calls herself Nanee. Once I heard Nananee, but for now it's Nanee. Her best friend calls her Na, which means I am now known as NaMa in their house. Which makes Jim NaDa, and that's just hysterical.

01 January 2008

Happy frickin' new year

I totally feel like I have a hangover. Funny, I had about 2 sips of champagne at midnight and that was it. Maybe it was Natalie's 5:30am wakeup and cajoling back to sleep. I did get to climb back into bed for an hour and a half later in the morning while Jim laid on the couch in his boxers "watcing" her. She's so pooped she's already down for another nap. I'm supposed to be doing work, but I can barely hold my head up, my neck and arms feel like they are made of jelly. Maybe it was the staying out late last night? I can't tell you the last time I got home at 12:30am...a late night for us is like, 9pm. We hung out with some friends while Natalie slept upstairs in her pack'n'play, we ate fondue and played a really rowdy game of trivial persuit 80's edition.

Anyway, this is not how I anticipated starting the new year. Maybe tomorrow when Jim is back at work and we can get into a routine and such I'll feel more philosophical about it. But for now, I can't even get past the piles of laundry that need to be put away, the stacks of papers and mail that need to be filed, and the 1200 words I have to write by tomorrow (this will be my third article written in as many days - hooray for procrastination!).