28 March 2008

Nutso

I've gone crafty crazy this week...I had been suckered into some great remnant fabric when I was getting some for another project a few weeks ago. I finally got the sewing machine out this week and actally turned the pile of fabric goodness into something. Natalie now has a new seersucker two-piece short outfit for summer (just need to pick up some ribbon trim to give it that extra something), a purple plaid school girl jumper (if girls schools made their uniforms out of purple plaid) with a pleated skirt that will (hopefully) fit next fall/winter, I sewed a button and button hole on the back pocket of a new pair of Jim's pants (not that exciting), and today I take the last swatch of fabric, and I think I'll have enough to make a sundress for Natalie and a tunic for myself. It's this gorgeous brown abstract floral and for Natalie's dress I found this tan and brown polka-dot grosgrain ribbon that will have to be incorporated into it somehow. I should take some pics of all this when I'm totally done.

But now, off to get new eyeballs as Natalie calls them. Or new contacts if you're me. It's been a year and a half since I had my prescription updated, and I know I'm more blind now that I was a year and a half ago. Can't wait to see better this afternoon!

25 March 2008

Interesting

Since we're on the topic of work, the company I've done some freelance work for called yesterday to say they have another project. I said "get me the rest of the money from the project I completed for you in October and I'm in." Problem being I work with one girl, who didn't know her boss still owed me money. So I think that money will be coming in soon.

Funny, I finally caught up on our tithing this past week. I grew up in a house that firmly believes that when you give your 10% to God, he will provide for your needs. My parents could have been on welfare when I was little we were so poor, but somehow, things always worked out, even though they gave 10% of their meager salaries away each week. Having seen that faithfullness pay off (for lack of a better term - that sounds so heathen) first hand, I know how important that part of being a Christian is. Well, this year money has been tough. I was owed money, the gutters had to be replaced, and I'm a nerd who pays off the credit card bill every month, which included paying for my 30th birthday party and the Tiffany earings Jim got me as a gift. So somehow tithing got behind. It had been eating at me, especially as we've been scraping bottom lately. But when some back money came in, I immediately wrote out a tithe check for january and february and mailed it to church even, rather than wait till sunday by which time I might have used it to pay bills early or something.

Not five days later a new job project comes in. It would probably pay for all the upgrades to our kitchen we want to do this summer. Not to mention be a nice chunk of change to help restock that savings account that was depleated between buying a money pit and having a baby within a year of each other. But I can't help but think God was saying "see? put me first and I'll take care of you." Thanks. I'm reminded of this commitment I've made to God, church, my family. Now to take a step of faith and write out that march tithe check before paying the mortgage due on april 1st. Eek. Being faithful definately has its scary moments.

Psyched

Every February, we have to do self-appraisals, submit updated versions of our resumes, etc. and are supposed to talk about them with our supervisors, and from there any pay increase is to be determined. I think this happened exactly as it was supposed to once in my entire 6+ years with this company. So when this year's self-appraisal time came around, I pretty much copied last year's answers into this years. Which included a request to get my hands on some form of Adobe Creative Suite so I could start doing some of our publication creation myself (and learn the software since this is where I see working from home and being self employed going next - i.e. saving up for a snazzy mac laptop with the serious version of this software on it). Last year this request fell on deaf ears, this year? I just got a call this morning (while we were at the park which is always fun) to discuss what I wanted to use it for and what type of computer I have etc. Suh-weet! My company has a liscense so with that they are going to try and just get an upgrade to the latest suite that best suits me for PC (stupid Jim had to buy a dell 3 years ago - and my ibook toilet seat mac laptop is not going to have the power to support this kind of software - it's mostly just a glorified word processor these days). In a week or so I could be up and running! Actually excited about work now. For like the first time ever I think. I and also think I use too many parenthesis. Sorry.

24 March 2008

Happy Easter

I was so proud of Natalie. Not just for totally getting into the easter egg hunt my sister-in-law set up, but for filling up her empty eggs with cherry tomatos and olives from the veggie platter. However, she did dive like a maniac for an egg that got dropped on the living room floor and spilled out it's contents of jelly beans. That was a little scary. But once I took them out of sight in a ziploc bag for daddy to take to work, she forgot the sweets existed. Which reminds me, next year I'll suck it up and do the egg hunt, only so I can fill the eggs with raisins and granola bites and pretzel sticks and craisins. Nerd.

22 March 2008

Weird

I can't justify spending $44 on a really nice new shirt to wear for Easter Sunday, but yesterday I dropped $25 on tulips no problem.

I am so messed up. But I love having a giant massive vase overflowing with spring tulips on my dining room table. They will probably get more use than a really nice new shirt. Because I'm a mom, and I work at home. I wear t-shirts. And jeans. And clogs or flip flops depending on the season. Still, the pretty shirt is calling my name all the way from the mall. Which reminds me that tomorrow, as Easter, is usually my un-official first outing of the toes for the season, so perhaps a pedicure is a better way to spend my money today.

(This whole thing started because it seemed weird to wear all black to Easter Sunday service. Black pants, black dress sandals, and a black silky shirt, which happens to have little white polka dots. Perhaps if I dress it up with a bright beaded necklace...just thinking out loud here...)

20 March 2008

Blessed

Funny, I'm sitting her doing work, finishing taxes, etc., and up on my ipod comes "Mother's Little Helper." My mother's little helper is currently reading stories to Natalie. And before that I don't know what they were doing, but there were squeals of laughter coming from the living room. She's just 14 and I have to take her home in a half hour, but she's so sweet and FULL OF ENERGY, a requirement for watching the ever in motion Natalie.

I feel like I did my good deed for the year. I gathered up some of Natalie's larger baby items and donated them to a local pregnancy center. Her highchair, exersauser, and activity table were all picked up by me or my mom at yard sales, and while they are in perfectly good condition, they show their age a bit. Rather than sell on craigslist something I purchased for $5 at a yard sale, I'd rather give it to someone who could truly use it. I was almost to the point of putting these items on the curb with a "FREE to a good home" sign on them because so many thrift stores and such don't take large items for donation due to space limitations. This pregnancy center advocates birth or adoption (which I'm all for even though I'm also pro-choice, but we won't get into politics here) and works their darndest to help women who make the choice to keep their babies, to be able to make it in this world. And they will take anything and everything. They were so genuinely pleased with my donation, I felt so warm and fuzzy inside when I left.

So to that scared shitless new mom-to-be out there, I hope the good vibes of a happy Natalie fill your home as you feed your baby in your new high chair that was at the pregnancy center right when you really needed it. And I hope that baby is happy playing with toys that gave Natalie hours of joy and excitement in her little baby life. And allowed a harried mamma to take a shower because that exersauser was so dang mesmerizing.

18 March 2008

Not sure

New hair. Highlights are rocking, cut is good, but I'm not sure about the back. Too "mom"? Too boring? Maybe it just needs a little gel or something. Regardless, not bad for hair cuttery.
I am so a mom. I get my hair cut at the generic strip mall shop instead of the salon. And I buy my bras and underwear at target. And I vacuum more than I have sex. What a sad sad life it is at times. But then I have this amazing little creature to spend my days with, and while she can drive me up a wall, she also makes me swell up with pride when she does things like COUNT TO 10. ON HER OWN. I swear I didn't teach her that, I was just proud of the fact that I got her to switch from 2-3-1 to 1-2-3. Blew my socks off tonight when she pulls that little skill out of her diaper. We were counting the ten piggies at the end of the piggie book and she did it herself. I totally give the credit for this one to Sesame Street. Those people at CTW really know their shit when it comes to early childhood education. Last week she learned the sign for bird and has been showing it to me everytime we see one outside.

15 March 2008

Thoughts

Now that we're done breastfeeding, I realized that I can go get a tattoo. Or rather another one, like a cross on the inside of my left ankle/lower shin. Or maybe add on to the little one I already have on my back.

Am seriously considering getting "Natalie was here" tattoo'ed across my c-section scar, but (a) I don't want to gross out the tat artist, and (b) it would be a shame (and a waste of money) if it got messed up in case fictional child #2 has to come out the same way.

14 March 2008

Frustrated

Do you ever find yourself having a hard time concentrating? I'm there right now. It took me forever last night to sit down and write out a list of all the things on my mind, mostly things I feel I have to/need to do. Like our taxes. Then there are the chores that I'm dreading, like cleaning out the fridge to find out what is making that nasty smell. Then there are the things I want to do (like sewing projects) that I don't feel I should start until I get some of these other more time pressing things out of the way. Yet I can't seem to get started on anything because I feel like I walk around in circles all day. It takes us at least an hour to even get out the door a lot of the time. And that's getting out the door to go to the Y, so no showering, blowdrying or any type of careful primping required.

And on top of it, my diet sucks. I'm a champ at cooking healthy meals, but it's the treats. I have a problem where I feel I deserve something special so I eat it to make myself feel good. I decided today would be a good day to make cookies for my brother's birthday (which isn't for another 2 weeks) just so I could enjoy the sweetness of the oatmeal raisin cookie dough. I had to cook them up immediately just so I'd stop sticking a spoon in the bowl. Good thing once they are cooked they aren't as appealing to me. Last night I would have given my left foot for a chocolate milkshake. I haven't been journaling like I'm supposed to be doing, and I see the new doc in a few weeks for a meds checkup. I think the meds are still working, especially in concert with the thyroid switch-up I've been on for about 6 weeks now (I see the endo the same week). New doc is going to get on my case for my eating.

I'm so fat right now, it's disgusting. I need to go get something springy and perky to wear for easter. I have black pants, but a fresh new top would be ideal. Yet that requires shopping and dressing rooms and all that depressing stuff. My other option is to wear the black pants with my one nice white shirt and look like a waitress, or with a black shirt and look morbid at a church holiday celebrating that Jesus rose from the dead, instead of staying dead. Sometimes I wonder why I bother because everyone is going to be watching Natalie in her handmedown pink dress with the petticoats that just oozes over the top cuteness from every seam.

So back to my lack of concentration. Part of what is keeping me from getting anything done is the fact that food is on my mind so much of the time. The cravings, the desires, the wanting to feel good like I deserve something special that manifests itself in a need for food. The good side to all this, I do find myself craving things like burgers or french fries more often that I find myself going for sweets. I even treated myself to some uber dark chocolate the other week and it lasted more than two days, which is a record if it lasts more than two hours in my house. I wish I could find the focus to get some of these things on my list done, so that the focus could be on accomplishment, a sense of relief, a sense of confidence in my abilities. Then maybe I wouldn't be thinking of food so often.

Of course all this is easier said than done, especially with a todder underfoot and a not-always-that-helpful-or-even-understanding husband around.

10 March 2008

2 years 1 month

Natalie, you turned 2 years old and one month yesterday. I guess that means you are 25 months old, but that seems silly to still count your age in months since you are most decidedly Two with a capital T. We spent the weekend visiting your new baby cousin (2nd cousin to you actually) Meg and you thought she was pretty cool. You also thought her two dogs were pretty cool, and spent most of your time trying to get them to chase you. Being Beagle mixes, they looked at you like you were crazy and went out back to bark some more. You didn't seem to mind me holding Meg either, which I take as a good sign that maybe someday if there is another child in this house, it'll be relatively accepted by you, child #1. Not that that's going to happen anytime soon.


Lately you've been a sponge for all things. Vocabulary? It's through the roof. And bizarre at times. Once, last week, the first thing out of your mouth in the morning was "shake booty" and you proceeded to dance for me. Your Aunt Anne likes to teach you silly elementery school cheers like "Crank up the old jalopy, kick it down the street. We've got a team that can't be beat!" One night, not any night recently after a visit from Anne, and you were in your crib doing your usual oration to your animals and I heard "Kick! It! Down! Streeeeeet!!" repeated over and over. I almost fell out of my chair laughing. The craziest thing you did by far was one night when Jim came home, you gave him a huge hug, then said "D! Daddy!" and ran to your alphabet puzzle, picked out the D and gave it to him. Our jaws had to be scraped off the floor after that one.

Now that you are two, you seem to think that naps are for sissies. We're working on that. If I keep you awake and engaged till around 2:00, you'll fall fast asleep and I get two hours to myself. If I don't manage till at least 1:30, you play in your crib for an hour and decide that's enough. On those days we want to drop you out the window by bedtime because you are such a crab. And this is why mommy learned her lesson and now tries to come up with things to keep you busy as late as possible. Like going to a DIFFERENT groccery store. Or a new park, or just out and about someplace where you can run. Run, run, run, maybe you'll get a track scholarship someday. Last week you ran from the tigers all the way up hill to the pandas. I was chugging along next to you pushing the stroller, but you kept running. You even ran on your tip toes. And you were wearing mardi gras beads that you refused to take off, so I'm sure we were quite a site. It's that independant spirit in you, Natalie, that I see taking off full force, that I love so much. You are your own person already, and I hope you grow up to have the confidence and self esteem to stay that way. You are such an awesome kid, Natalie.

09 March 2008

Relief

Nothing like coming home from a weekend away to find the house at 49 degrees. Somehow the heat was turned off (of course I immediately got blamed). When we turned it back on, it didn't immediately work and we were starting to panic. Thank God literally that is started working. Jim basically went down and kicked it a few times, so we're still not sure if this was just a furnace that needed a while to warm itself up or if something is going to happen worse down the road because it isn't really ok. Fingers crossed all is well. At least till spring when it's warm outside.

Other than that, it was a good weekend away visiting family and a new cousin (2nd cousin to Natalie, actually).

07 March 2008

Awesome

We had the best time at the zoo yesterday. It was 50 degrees out and sunny, so all the animals were out and about. We saw the tigers pacing, the lions playing together, and best of all, we saw the orangutan's out on their rope thing...it's this series of towers linking two great ape play areas with ropes between the towers 50ft up or so, and the orangutan's cross the ropes to go from one area to another. There were three of them up there at one point, and Natalie and I had a great vantage point from the picnic area we were in, eating our lunch and watching the orangutan's watching us. She wasn't sure what to think of them, but they fascinated her.

06 March 2008

Excitement

I booked plane tickets today for a trip to California in May. One of my closest friends from college is getting married in LA. It is going to be the best long weekend ever, mostly because I'm going BY MYSELF. I love Natalie dearly, but leaving a 2 year old home with daddy for 3 whole days isn't quite the traumatic experience for a mama that leaving an infant home would be. Plus, two whole nights in a giant hotel bed all to myself? Where I can sprawl out and fall asleep and not be woken at 2am by the man snoring next to me? It's going to be tempting not to leave the hotel! Throw in lots of good friends I haven't seen in a while, a wedding, open bar, sunshine, palm trees, dancing the night away and it's going to be awesome. Here we are at an alumni weekend over 2 years ago - that's a maternity shirt I'm wearing if you get my drift...


  • Friday - leave for the airport at the ass crack of dawn for an 8am EST flight, arrive at LAX around 10:30am PST. Rent a car, drive to hotel, have lunch, nap, meet up with friends for dinner and drinks.

  • Saturday - get up early since I'll still be on east coast time, drive to Santa Monica, see the pacific, wander, shop, sit and people watch over a nice lunch by myself, maybe not even bother to bring a book. Drive back to hotel, nap, get ready for wedding. Wedding at 4:30, dinner reception, fall into bed afterwards.

  • Sunday - drive an hour to my brother's house, hang out, go see the base, go out to lunch, take a nap at his house, drive to LAX for the red eye home.

  • Monday - arrive in DC at the god awful hour of 6:30am EST, drive home, see Natalie, fall into bed.

So I'm looking at the map last night my friend put together for her wedding with all the locatins marked out (including coffee shops and trader joe's b/c she's a dork like that which is why I love her), and I'm checking out the route from LAX to the hotel. I'll drive past studio city and burbank and that cemetery where all the hollywood people are buried. I realize I need to look up where the hollywood sign is up on the hill and make sure I swing by there even if just to get a picture out the car window. I'm starting to get giddy with excitement, and can't imagine getting to go to LA, me, a movie lover, finally see California, get to go to the famous Santa Monica pier, and all that.


Then it hits me. Today we have to go downtown to my office. I'll be a block away from half a dozen Smithsonian museums, including the famous Smithsonian Castle. After a short visit to the office (my boss and I decided cleaning out a filing cabinet together in person would be a lot less painful than trying to do it over the phone, plus I haven't made an appearance in the office in months), I promised Natalie a trip to the zoo afterwards. She requested seeing the tigers and the pandas. We're going to take metro, but if we were driving (which I first planned on doing), our route would take us past Arlington Cemetary, the Lincoln memorial, Independance Ave., the Kennedy Center, the infamous Watergate building, up Beach drive through Rock Creek Park, to the zoo on Connecticut Ave. Would be easy peasy and only a few blocks out of the way (especially if you know which lights have left turn signals and all those other good tricks) to swing by the White House or the Capital.


All these massively American institutions and monuments and semi-famous places that people around the country hear about but no longer cause me to bat an eye. It is pretty cool that they are all in my backyard. I gotta wonder if there isn't some frumpy mom type in California coming east for a friend's wedding, looking forward to being on her own for a change and getting to check out some of these landmarks. I totally know what she's feeling right now.

04 March 2008

Pixie

I cut Natalie's hair again this weekend. The back has grown like a week since we first trimmed off the mullet a month ago, which means she has her mamma's good hair genes. The top is still not growing near as fast and has yet to catch up. While watching her run around on saturday I noticed that her hair was looking rather mullet-esque again. Out came the scissors and I lobbed off a good inch. Now you can see her slender little neck (making me remember those baby days when she didn't have one yet). She was running around barefoot later in some leggings and a too-big shirt and she looked like a cross between Audrey Hepburn and Mia Farrow circa the mid '60s. She's just a little waif of a thing, so skinny and teeny but so incredibl full of energy. She eats like a pig, so she must just burn every single extra calorie off. No fair.

03 March 2008

Funny

Natalie just shuffled by the office in my clogs, and informed me that she was walking like a penguin. Yesterday we were at Eddie Bauer because daddy needed some new jeans, and she kept looking at the shirts on the clearance rack with me and saying "Holy cow!" in a decidedly mid-western accent, prompting us to want to teach her to now say things like "Dontcha know" and such. She's in a new sunday school "class" now as a 2 year old and yesterday had her first ever bible lesson. We're glad that he's now called "Jesus" because over christmas, there was much talk of the "baby cheese." Her friend from accross the street was over last week with her mamma (like that's some special event, we're at each other's houses pretty much every day) and was having a tough time about something when Natalie goes over to her, pats her on the head and says "Cutie pie." Last week we were at Border's and she proceeded to crawl through the entire store panting because she was a puppy dog. A few people even barked knowingly at her after I explained what was going on when they looked up at me with that face that says "she's adorable, but what the hell is she doing on the floor?" You could tell who was a parent because they totally understood.

Seriously, this is the age where they occasionally cease to be toddlers and become pure entertainment for us grown ups.