Sunday, December 31, 2006

Behind Closed Doors

So what is it that you enjoy when no one is around?

I will admit - I grew up listening to country music. I really couldn't help it; being trapped in the car for hours on end with my parents sort of forced me to adhere to their taste in music, whether I liked it or not. It somehow bored into my brain, filling tiny crevices with lyrics and melodies, and when Time Life comes out with a "Country Classics" collection, I automatically begin to salivate.

Anyhoo - when we visit the inlaws, I often have the opportunity to go see a friend or two, which puts me in the car by myself for good chunks of time. This city has a radio station that plays only "classic country" - songs from the 50's, 60's and 70's and for some embarrassingly unknown reason, it is my weakness. I tune in as soon as I get in the car and sing the songs word for word as if I had just heard them yesterday. It's shower singing at it's finest; loud and strong and so totally embarrassing!

In light of the fact I was able to hear some good tunes yesterday, I thought I'd share with you!
Enjoy!

Rosanne Cash - Seven Year Ache

Don Williams - I Believe in You (please ignore the pictures; it was the only whole version of the song I could find.)

Saturday, December 30, 2006

The Guy at Tortuga's

Who the heck are you? You were sitting at the table across from us with your wife and 2 children and you looked soooooo familiar. Your wife looked familiar too (congrats on the soon to be new baby by the way) but not in the same way. You, you I know from somewhere. Your eyes are very familiar. Was it high school? College? Somewhere in between? Man, this is going to drive me nuts. I want to say your name is Tommy? That could be wrong. I searched myspace but didn't find you.

If by some chance you remembered me too and find this - leave me a note, ok? It is going to drive me insane until I figure out who you are. My year books are all at home and I won't be able to look in them until some time next week.

I hate it when this happens. I am never brave enough to just walk up and say, "do I know you?" 'cause I don't want to make a fool of myself. Unfortunately I end up torturing myself instead until I figure out who the person is, and then end up missing the opportunity to reconnect with old friends/acquaintances.

Oh well.
D :)

Friday, December 29, 2006

Poor Puppy, We Know Not Your Name

Before you all read this, I want to just warn you this is not my usual post. Hopefully it will not be offensive to anyone (just funny).

We are currently staying at the in laws house. One of Hubby's cousins is getting married today and we came in for the wedding. Grammy and Happy have a beautiful house in the suburbs of a major city, and we enjoy going to see them on occasion. They also have a sweet little Jack Russell Terrier named Phoenix. Phoenix is a cutie - high energy (as most terriers are) and loves to play with Kiddo. He in turn will run and chase her for hours on end; screaming with glee at every turn and absolutely wear himself out doing so. He loves that dog. She is the perfect size, temperament and personality for a two year old kid. There is only one problem. Like most 2 year olds, some words are still hard to pronounce. Kiddo still calls a diaper a "bopper" and milk, "nok". Sometimes Lightening McQueen comes out "nighmin mcKeen" and so on. Last night when we arrived at G&H's house, Kiddo emerged from the car and ran to his Happy. When Phoenix came out he shouted at the top of his little 2 year old lungs "PENIS!!!, Penis!".

I couldn't hear him as I still had my head in the car, but Happy was rolling on the ground in a fit of laughter. As I approached the house, I heard it too - and tried miserably to contain my giggles. For the rest of the night the family thought it was fun to get Kiddo to call out for the dog, evoking roaring laughter from anyone within earshot. "Penis, where are you?!? Where did Penis go? Penis want a ball?"

ugh.
D :)

Monday, December 25, 2006

Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas

Have yourself a merry little Christmas.
Let your heart be light,
From now on our troubles
Will be out of sight.
Have yourself a merry little Christmas,
Make the Yule-tide gay,
From now on our troubles
Will be miles away.

Here we are as in olden days,
Happy golden days of yore,
Faithful friends who are dear to us
Gather near to us once more.

Through the years
We all will be together
If the Fates allow,
Hang a shining star
Upon the highest bough,
And have yourself
A merry little Christmas now


Kiddo is still sleeping and Hubby and I are just waiting for him to wake up. We tried to explain that Santa was coming but I'm not quite sure he got it. Next year will be more exciting for him I think.

Here's to you and yours. May you have a glorious day!
D :)

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Go Tell it On The Mountain

I totally forgot to tell you - Thursday night Kiddo WENT TEE TEE IN THE POTTY!!!!!!

First time ever. Probably a total fluke - but I feel, as Luigi would say, "I must scream it to the world, my excitement, from the top of someplace, very high!" :)

Ok, go back to celebrating with your families.
Later,
D

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Sweet Little Jesus Boy

Sweet little Jesus Boy
They made You be born in a manger
Sweet little Holy chil'
Didn't know who You was
Didn't know You'd come to save us Lord
To take our sins away
Our eyes was blind
We couldn't see
We didn't know who You was
Long time ago You was born
Born in a manger low
Sweet little Jesus Boy
The world treat You mean, Lord
Treat me mean too
But please, Sir, forgive us Lord
We didn't know 'twas You
Sweet little Jesus Boy
Born long time ago
Sweet little Holy chil'
An' we didn't know who You was

I love old spirituals. Such soulful, powerful melodies. If sung properly, one can hear the moans and cries of the abused, tortured souls that made them. One can hear the heartache and pain in their hearts. Lovely, lovely, sad music.

My sweet little boy is still sleeping. He is in his new big boy bed that Grammy and Happy brought (actually it's a circa 1970 trundle bed - minus the trundle). It sits up way high off the floor (yikes for mommy!) and has new Cars sheets on it. He was so excited to be able to bounce in the bed and look at Mater and Lightning McQueen. He was exhausted yesterday - after a wild kids Christmas party at the neighbors and then visiting with G and H as well as his Aunt and Uncle all day - he had a quick 5 minute nap and at 11pm just rolled over while I was reading him a story (for the millionth time) and closed his eyes and went to sleep. So sweet and peaceful. I was up all night with every bump and squeak, afraid he was going to fall out of the bed and crack open his little round melon. He kind of freaked when we put the guard rail up, but was fine with it this morning. Though he slept for a solid 9+ hours, I was up every 30 minutes or so when I *thought* I heard him fuss or cry. ugh.

We had lots of fun at the party yesterday. Kiddo handled the large crowd of kids and moms pretty well; hanging out on the fringes for about an hour before feeling comfortable enough to go and play. The food supply was unlimited - cupcakes and brownies and chips and dips; oh yes also a veggie tray ;). Everything was so yummy! I feel for my friend and the mess we made on her carpet. It is nearly impossible to invite 20 kids to one's house and serve them sticky treats without some of it getting ground into the carpet! Santa made an appearance (the hostesses' dad rented a Santa suit and was AMAZING with the kids!) and Kiddo actually did really well. I've been talking up Santa Clause this year, because as soon as I pulled out the decorations Kiddo kinda freaked at the sight of the jolly guy in the red suit. We've been reading "'Twas the Night Before Christmas" several times a day and I've been telling him how cool Santa is. So when St. Nick came in the door with a sack full of goodies, Kiddo again retreated to the fringes, but remained intrigued. Each child was called one by one, to sit upon Santa's knee and tell him what they wanted for Christmas. Kiddo inched closer and closer throughout and then saw an opening and ran straight to Santa. Santa put Kiddo on his knee, and though he looked a bit uneasy, he didn't fuss or cry! YEA!! I got a cute pic of them checking each other out...

It was a really fun time. I am so glad we were able to make it.
More later,
D :)





Wednesday, December 20, 2006

O' Christmas Tree

O' Memas Tweeeee!!

Ok, who's bright idea was it to think a 2 year old would have fun making cookies?!?! Wait, let me rephrase that -why on earth did I think it would be fun to have Kiddo help me make cookies? I mean, I see people all the time, posting pictures on line of their kiddos happily shaping, rolling and "baking" and people talk about it like it is some good fun, but I guess my Kiddo is just not very "craft friendly". I set everything up all neat and such and he was really into it, but he just drive me nuts because he wanted to do ALL of it. He was not happy cutting out the shapes, no matter how big a fuss I made. He wanted to roll out the dough and stick his hand in the flour bag and spread flour. His little circles around the table and the mess and his haphazard cutting technique drove me batty. Maybe I am not craft friendly. Ah well. Here's a couple of pics of him anyway...



Rollin out dough...
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Cuttin out a Memas Twee...
The finished product was laughable - but they eat ok. :) I'm pretty sure I have red and green crystallized sugar embedded forever in my carpet.
Until,
D :)

Mele Kalikimaka

Sing it with me now!

Mele Kalikimaka is the thing to say,

On a bright Hawaiian Christmas Day,

That's the island greeting that we send to you

From the land where palm trees sway,

Here we know that Christmas will be green and bright,

The sun to shine by day and all the stars at night,

Mele Kalikimaka is Hawaii's way

To say "Merry Christmas to you."

Ahh, the holidays! I just love Holiday music. It is by far my favorite and if I didn't risk banishment from the community I would play it all year long! There are a few "hits" that I can live without though - maybe hear them once a year and be done with it, you know. The above tune is one such song I can live without. Feliz Navidad is another. I like to hear it once, but man, they play it every hour here! It drives me insane!!! You too? (oh come on, admit you sing along, especially on the "ah HA!" part! ;) )

Anyway, I was thinking today I would let you in on Kiddo's food of the month. Last month it was by far, frozen red seedless grapes. Kiddo ate them by the handful daily. (oy vey the diapers!) About a week or two ago he tired of them and wondered aimlessly through the land of food, searching for his next favorite treat. I am happy to say we have found a winner, Clementine Oranges!! If you have never sampled these little beauties, run out and get you a box. Easy to peel, very little stringiness and fuss, nutritious snack that they are, Kiddo has about 3 or 4 a day. My hands have a permanent orange smell to them now - ahh fresh!

For some reason, every time I peel one of these little nectar nuggets, the song Mele Kalikimaka plays in my head. *sigh* Hopefully that faze will pass soon!

I still haven't decided on a PMS treat of the month. I am baking something new every day so there really is no leader in the midst. Yesterday I made a wonderful Apple Banana Bread that I am hoping will defer my attention from the never ending supply of chocolate goodies we have lying around the house. And though I have not made the first thing from them yet, I simply cannot resist buying a $3.50 bag of mint-chocolate chip morsels every time I go to the grocery store. $3.50?!?!?! geeze!

Ahh well, that's what New Year's weight loss resolutions are for, right?
Until,
D

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Silent Night

Ok, after much debate, and in response to Thordora's contest, I am going to try to write out Kiddo's birth story. I have been thinking about it for a couple of days now, and it still brings up so many emotions for me, I don't know if I can do it.

Warning: This is LONG. I just can't describe his birth without recounting the events before and after. It may not be the best or the most well written story, but I can pretty much guarantee it will be the longest!

My first pregnancy. Such an exciting time. Finding out on Christmas day was the best gift anyone could ask for. Of course, my "present" was presented in the form of heaving over the toilet all morning, and a very unstable 4 hour car ride to my parents house. Though it was joked about by my loving family, I never truly thought I was pregnant until a test confirmed it several days after Christmas. Hubby and I were in shock, and I must admit, my reaction was not the best. We hadn't been trying; this was truly God's plan for us, and we were not prepared. Hubby took it all in stride, switching into survival mode and started making plans. I just tried to not throw up every day and conceal my exhaustion and nausea from my coworkers.

Over the next few months we were able to save a bit of money, buy a house, move into it, and get prepared for this amazing life I carried. Despite being fired from my job a few days before my 30th birthday (after my employer found out I was pregnant I was labeled "not a team player") we knew we would be alright financially.

At my 20 week appointment, my ob noticed some swelling in my ankles and feet. Summer was fast approaching and he wrote it off as a side effect of the climbing temperatures and the fact that if something wasn't swimming in salt, I wouldn't eat it! At the next appointment he told me to lay off the salt because my legs were swollen all the way to my hips. By then, my salt cravings had pretty much passed, but I trusted he knew what he was talking about. At 32 weeks, I began to have vision problems. A kaleidoscope pattern would begin developing on one side of my focal range and wash over my eyes until I could see nothing but the geometric shapes it created. A couple of times it caught me as I was driving and though I managed to get off the road before I was blinded, it scared the crap out of me. On one such occasion, I was with my pregnant friend at her ob's office. As my friend guided me down the hallway (because I couldn't see) she asked her nurse what could be wrong with me and she said it was probably seasonal allergies! My ob told me what I was having was a form of migraine headache, and that it was common for pregnant women to have them and not to worry. Again, I trusted his logic.

The amount of swelling I experienced left me looking much like the Michelin Man and by the 40 week mark I no longer had definition in my toes or joints. Because I was pregnant in the Texas heat of August, no one thought it might be anything serious; my blood pressure was always fine and urine samples tested clean. A couple of days before my due date, I began having contractions. Suddenly my dreams of having a natural birth were approaching reality. I had a normal pregnancy and there was really no reason why I shouldn't be able to deliver drug free. At my weekly Wednesday appointment, I told the nurse practitioner I had been having contractions regularly for a couple of days. She kind of blew me off; in that "oh you're a first time mom, you don't know anything" sort of way, but she was concerned that my blood pressure was a bit elevated so she sent me off for 2 hours to walk and see if I could get myself to progress any. My wonderful, pregnant friend was with me as I was afraid to drive while having contractions. We decided to go to the mall together to have lunch and let me walk. Did I mention she was 7 months pregnant with twins? Oh, well maybe I should add that in.

So there we were, my gigantically pregnant friend and my gigantically swollen self, eating Chick-fil-a at the mall. I freaked out the cashier when I had to stoop over for a moment and breathe through a contraction, assuring all the surrounding customers I was not about to give birth right there in the food court. My friend and I joked that we should rent a wheelchair and I could push her around the mall (she was supposed to be on bed rest!). She opted to sit in the book store instead and I did laps around each floor; receiving knowing looks from female sales clerks when I stopped for the contractions.

Two hours later I returned, no progress was made, my blood pressure was elevated but not serious so they sent me home. The np told me that if the contractions (that were every 3 minutes now) began to last for a minute or longer to call the ob on call (my regular ob conveniently went on vacation the day before). I reluctantly went home and began cleaning house; swaying through the contractions as I loaded and unloaded the dishwasher. I could do this. The contractions were not bad at all, and as long as I focused everything went smoothly. That evening they had progressed to every 3 minutes and lasting for over a minute so I called the on-call ob. Again, I was treated like the brainless first time mom and she told me I was probably in pre labor or false labor and that if I absolutely thought it was necessary I could go to L&D to be checked and she would write me a prescription for a sleeping pill. Hubby and I hadn't had dinner yet, so we decided to swing by the hospital on the way to eat.

As I'm sure you can guess, I did not go home that night. The nurse took my blood pressure and ordered me to sit down. Then she tested my urine and after reading the results yelled at me to lie down. I had full on pre-eclampsia and she was not letting me go anywhere! We were shocked, of course, and as I watched the staff hook me up to the monitors and the magnesium drip my visions of a drug free labor were fading. They wouldn't let me walk because of the magnesium. They wanted to monitor the baby for signs of distress. My blood pressure was off the charts. I was soooo hungry and they wouldn't let me eat. I thought for sure they were going to tell me they wanted to take him asap. Thankfully, the ob listened to my pleas and allowed me to rest through the night before any decisions were made. My contractions were still tolerable, I was staying calm and relaxed and trying not to panic. The night afforded me very little sleep. The nurses seemed to come every 30 minutes or so, drawing blood, putting in a catheter, hooking me up to all kinds of things, and the dreaded blood pressure machine put the squeeze on my arm every five minutes. The nurses tried to be quiet but really only one succeeded. I called her Stealth because she managed to draw blood without waking me up! Only 2 or 3 contractions were painful enough to wake me - they induced the flight response; making me wake up as I was trying to crab-crawl backwards, away from the pain and out of the bed. By morning I had only progressed to about 3cm and the ob discussed starting pitocin. I resisted, begging her to wait as long as possible, and she tried to oblige me until Kiddo's heart rate started dropping with the contractions. We agreed that breaking my water would be a good compromise and she left to get the dreaded hook.

In that moment, I panicked. I suddenly remembered my friends warning me that once your water breaks the contractions become unbearable. Several weeks before I had made a deal with myself that if I ever felt I couldn't take it anymore I would ask for the epi; and there would be no shame in that. At that moment though, I really wanted to go without, but my fear was taking over. I asked Hubby if I should get the epi, hoping he had listened to me in the past and would talk me out of it. Unfortunately, he was trying to be sweet and told me to do what I thought was best. Even though I was already dilated to a 7, I got the epidural.

When the drugs kicked in, I finally realized just how much pain I had been in. A strange euphoria set in, causing me to giggle and laugh and talk much more than usual. I experienced tremendous relief; I finally felt like I could breathe and all was good with the world. I called my parents, already in route, and told them something (I don't really remember what it was exactly) that made them laugh hysterically at me. Things seemed to be going well. They broke my water, Pitocin was administered and the contractions came faster and stronger. Before I knew it, and without warning the doctor came in and started putting me in the stirrups. The baby was showing signs of distress, my water had merconium in it and they wanted him to come out NOW. I remember saying something to Hubby like - "I guess we're pushing now" and he seemed as startled as I was.

I pushed for about 35 minutes before his head crowned. The ob asked me if I wanted to feel his head, so they took off my oxygen mask and let me reach down. I will never forget the soft, squishiness of his head, and trying desperately to envision exactly what it was I was feeling. A couple more rounds of pushing and 45 minutes after I started he emerged. Silent....Purple.... And all I heard was the doctor say "uh oh", and they whisked him away.

When she had pulled him up he was facing me. I saw his face; all cheeks and forehead. I remember thinking he looked huge and chubby; though he only weighed in at 8 lbs 14 oz. I was expecting much heavier. They took him over to the warming box to clean him and try to get him to breathe. I kept listening for his cry. The moment seemed endless. The doctor is shouting to nurses to go and get something because I was bleeding too much. It was chaos. I tried desperately to see my baby across the room. Hubby didn't know what to do and I finally sent him over to be with the baby. I stopped bleeding on my own, delivered the placenta and a small tear was sewn. Doctor after doctor came in and looked at my child. I heard them say things like "I don't know what that is. " and "I've never seen anything like that." and I began to think I had birthed something unreal. Then, after what seemed like hours, he cried. So sweet and pure and LOUD! He was mad and letting us know! I kept asking the doctor if I could see him - it was as if in a dream when you are trying to shout and all that comes out is a whisper. They weren't listening to me, ignoring me really, and all I could see was this endless trail of doctors coming in and out to see the baby I still couldn't see. I was on the other side of the room, all by myself. Hello? Um hello? Can I see my baby? What's wrong?

Finally, they wrapped him up and brought him to me. He was beautiful, perfect, alert, and as I thought, all cheeks! And the cause of all the questions - he was covered in what looked like abrasions all over his face. And people pondered...could the merconium have burned his skin? What would cause something like that? Was it a rash? a birthmark? Every one had a different theory. I was able to breathe him in and gaze at him for only a few minutes when the doctor came back in. The results of his blood tests came back - his blood platelet counts were critical, his liver was inflamed and his sugars were all off. He would have to go to NICU for monitoring. The nurse came to get my baby. I could tell it was the worst part of her job; taking babies from loving arms and breaking a new mother's heart. She looked at me with the most sincere look of sympathy, and hesitated to take him. I didn't want to give him up - I had just gotten him. We still needed to get to know each other... but I knew he was better off in NICU and so I reluctantly handed him over. I saw the nurses eyes welling. I knew she was hurting too - he was full term, alert; it seemed so unfair. They took him away from me.


The nurses were sympathetic, but they wanted me to stay in my room. I couldn't see him. Maybe at 11pm they said. Then maybe at midnight. Then, we don't know when, we'll let you know. I lost it. The door closed behind the nurse and I broke down, wailing and sobbing and crying so much I couldn't breathe. All I could think about was my poor baby, all alone, without me in that room. He must have been hooked up to monitors and IVs., he must have been scared. I was terrified. We didn't know what was wrong with him, no one else knew either, and they couldn't even tell us if he was going to make it because his platelets were so low. I felt like such a failure. My Hubby didn't deserve this. He deserved to have a perfectly healthy child, a perfectly healthy wife, and it was all my fault he was having to go through this. Between sobs I apologized to my husband. Bless his heart, he didn't know what to do. I thought my heart had been ripped out of my chest. I was hollow, empty, sad and so guilty. Maybe it was because I used blemish cream while I was pregnant. Maybe it was because I insisted on my daily Dr. Pepper fix. Maybe because I broke that mirror all of this was happening. I was lost.

I cried for so long there was nothing left. Totally dehydrated and exhausted, I collapsed into a traumatic, fitful sleep. The nurses had heard my cries. At 1am they came to get me to see my son. They wheeled me in the wheelchair up to NICU and placed me in front of his station. Just as I'd suspected - wires, needles, IVs - it was all there; invading my poor little one's body to the extent that he could only lie there. They wouldn't let me hold him. They were giving him massive amounts of antibiotics, sugar water and fluids. He could have an infection, he could be contagious, too much stimulation could hurt him; please don't touch him. I ignored them and held his little arm in my fingers. He was so calm, so peaceful - I just couldn't comprehend how anything could be wrong with him.

2 days and about 15 "specialists" later, they still didn't know what was wrong. My friend called me at the hospital. She had been researching on the Internet and wanted to know if I had Lupus. No, I don't think so, but my grandmother does... She had found a reference to a rare disorder called Neonatal Lupus and the symptoms were almost exactly what my boy had. That day the pediatrician came to see him. He suggested they test me for Lupus. We had found our answer. Thankfully, the disease is carried in the mother's antibodies. The rash on his face would heal and in 6 months he would be completely free of it. Completely normal. Healthy.

He stayed in NICU for 4 days. We finally convinced the doctors his platelets would dramatically improve if he was allowed to be with me. We were right. As soon as he was released to my care, his count more than doubled every day. My boy needed his momma as much as I needed him, and we have been practically inseparable ever since.Here he is one month later. Still all cheeks and forehead!

If you made it this far, thanks for reading.

Until,

D :)

Thursday, December 14, 2006

God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen

I am at a loss today. There are a couple of things I want to write about, but the words just aren't coming. Perhaps I should marinate on the topics a bit longer before I try to pour it out on here.

I think we are all starting to feel the stresses of the holidays. Seems like everyone I know has a grievance of some sort, many have more than their fare share. I wonder why all of this happens this time of year. Why does it seem like everything breaks and people get sick and "stuff" gets in the way of our holiday merriment? Add to that the holiday "merriment" itself - I mean who among us has a perfect holiday every year? I can't count how many people I know have suffered some disappointment on behalf of family, themselves and/or friends. All that planning and dodging and making believe things are a certain way; the holding up appearances and stifling hurt feelings and embarrassment and just trying to make it through without anyone noticing you are struggling. It's exhausting. I feel for all of my friends that are having these issues and wish I could do something about them, knowing full well that my sympathy is about all I can afford. Heck, I have my own appearances to upkeep and let me tell you, we don't even attempt to make ourselves look that great. The minimal we do is sometimes a struggle.

I realize I am being a bit cryptic about all of this. Perhaps it is just that life is normal for us all, but because of the "holidays" and everything that simple word implies is upon us that we more painfully feel the strain. Perhaps we spread ourselves too thin; thinking we have all the time in the world, gosh, a whole month at least, only to realize there are only about 3 short weekends that everything falls on. Every year I make all these plans in my head - the gatherings, the gifts, and my goodness the baking! Every year I make one batch of cookies and forget everything else! :) I guess I am a bit ahead this year; I have made 2 apple pies so far (though if I was being honest, they were not the best looking things - but they tasted good anyway) and a batch of cookies or two. But the gatherings and all the rest of it probably aren't going to happen.

We seem to be at a point in our lives when our friends are taking different paths. I guess you could call it adulthood; you choose your partner and family and career and set forth and it leads you where it will, and if your friends take similar paths all is well. When I was growing up, it seems like most of my parent's friends worked at the same company, (or something similar) they all had kids about the same age and they all had very similar incomes and interests. (and if the incomes were different, it balanced out some how) That doesn't seem the case with us. Maybe it just takes time, but our friends are those we've had since high school or earlier. We all do different things, our incomes are VASTLY different and our lifestyles could not be any more diverse. It is hard to get things together; there is always someone who feels uncomfortable or who doesn't want to be there, someone who desperately wants to hang but can't because financially it isn't reasonable, and still others who just don't find value or interest in keeping up with the latest ____ (fill in the blank - fashion, sports, technology, whatever). I struggle with the knowledge that hubby and I really don't have friends that are just like us.

Now, I know. I hear you. Some of you are saying if we would just go ahead already and join a church/community/etc. we would be able to find new friends with similar interest and situations. But honestly, I don't really believe it. Hubby and I are both painfully socially awkward, loner types and I just don't see us making new, life long friends anytime in our future. I guess that's why we have several dear, old friends. They know us, they love us, and there is very minimal effort involved in keeping them. And I love our old friends; truly. And I am so appreciative of them; but as I am sure I have mentioned before most of them live far away, or as stated above, have very different paths to follow, and daily I grow more weary of trying to keep up.

Sometimes we try so hard to identify and "fit" this mold that we want to run far, far away from, just to keep ties with these old friends. And daily I find the urge to run away growing stronger and stronger. Ideally I could move out to the country somewhere that no one knows us and happily live far away from the nearest mall or Starbucks. I would drive a beat up old pick-up and lay in the back watching the stars for nights on end. I would let my hair grow to my waist and forget what kind of make up I wear because it's been so long since I even opened the make up bag. And I could enjoy the crows feet and laugh lines on my face because they are symbols of basking in the warm sunshine and the laughter my beautiful family has provided. But, in our slice of the real world, that country dream will probably never become reality.

Ahh, I guess this is one of my random, epically long posts. I am feeling drained and stressed and so very, very tired. Perhaps if Kiddo would allow me 6-8 straight hours of sleep I would not feel so blue. Perhaps tomorrow will be better.

Perhaps it is time for another PMS treat of the month.... ;)
Until,
D :)

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Sweet, Sweet Baby

My sweet baby. He has always been a cuddler. From day one his favorite place was in my arms and after almost 2 and a half years nothing has changed. I love when he gets in one of his moods and needs a cuddle. He'll usually ask for some milk, "nok", and then either lead me by the hand to the couch or ask me to sit down so he can crawl in my lap. His favorite and only real "lovey" has always been my hair. He twirls it in his fingers, rubs it on the side of his cheek and sometimes pokes the ends in his mouth. Sometimes it is annoying. If he is having a particularly rough night, he is not the most gentle when messing with my hair. Inevitably there are times when he runs his sticky hands through it right after I've had a shower, leaving me with a clumpy, tangled mess to deal with. Sometimes when he is mad he will lash out at my locks. But most of the time, he treats my hair like his own personal comforter and even when he is occupied with other things will often run his fingers through it mindlessly. When I have been away from him I often return to his sweet "Mommyyyyy" and a big hug, wherein he automatically goes for a handful of hair.


Strangely enough, he is not a kisser. Daddy gets more kisses than I, and sometimes it makes me sad. But I know his affection for me is strong - just sometimes I miss those no teeth, open mouth slobbers that were so adorable when he was really little. The other day though, he made my week/month/year when I came home from the rigors of holiday shopping to my sweet boy. He ran to me with that adorable cry of "Mommy", arms outstretched, and I scooped him up for a big, hair holding hug. I squished him tight, asked if he missed me, and then the most unusual thing happened. He looked me right in the eye, leaned back a bit and then planted a big puckered-lip kiss right on my mouth. I was so shocked, and thrilled at the same time. It was the sweetest thing! Then, as if that wasn't enough, he proceeded to give me 5 more beautifully sweet baby kisses and loved me until I was literally crying. My sweet boy. May you always reserve your kisses for just when I need them the most!

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Holly Jolly Christmas

Oh you just gotta love company holiday parties. I never worked for anyone that did them (except for one, but they only invited management) so I have to experience them through Hubby's work. - ok, I take that back, I worked for a company one year that had a holiday party. One of the employees invited all of his loser friends and they spent the entire evening stealing stuff and getting high in the back rooms. It was not a pleasant experience, so I have tried to erase it from memory -

So anyway, about every other year Hubby's office puts on a pretty good shindig; nice location, good food, free drink tickets for all the employees (pretty $$$ overall); and we go, mainly so Hubby can be seen by the higher-ups and so we can sit in the back and watch everyone get stupid. This year was no exception. We were hosted at an old Mansion turned hotel downtown, served stuffed chicken and rosemary beef tenderloin medallions with a yummy red wine and mushroom sauce and there were two bars, one on each end of the room, actively serving the guests. This year the company hired a local photographer to do portraits of the guests - ok, just a hopefully helpful note here: if you are ever in charge of securing a photographer to do portraits for an event, please, please don't hire an architectural photographer, even if he's cheap. He may want to break into event photography, but most likely all you'll get is a bunch of pictures of the building mixed in with way over lit, harsh photos of the guests. End of Rant. No, actually the photos turned out pretty good (shh, I think he used a warming filter in his post processing). I'm not quite sure why the location shots are not of the actual location of the party, but whatever.

So we sat in the back at one of the many overly squished tables (why, why, why do party planners think it is ok to put 10 people at an 8 top table??? I know the chairs fit when they are empty, but when you put bodies in them, knees are going to be knocking, glasses will be toppled and people will NOT be able to walk between the tables. Either insist on booking less people or put only 8 chairs!!!) Ok, so I used to be an event planner too. Forgive me. We sat in the back with Hubby's best co-worker friend and his beautiful wife. Co-worker Friend (CWF) is notorious for his joking nature and picking fun at all things politically incorrect. So I got to endure the discussions about the alternative lifestyles and the races and all things that would potentially get a rise out of someone. Then came the discussions about who they didn't like and all the office gossip and poking fun at what people were wearing and who was flirting with who and how annoying they were. I swear, for a moment or two I thought I was sitting with 2 catty women, picking apart everyone else in the room. But it was all in good fun I guess. Hubby and I had a decent conversation about the photographer and the equipment he was using. It is fun for me to try to figure out how and why photogs do things, since we all seem to do things differently; and it was great having a decent conversation with hubby about it - until he forgot who I was and started making bad jokes and talking to me like he talks to CWF. It kind of shut me down and suddenly the event was not much fun. People were starting to feel the alcohol and get silly, the food portion was over and since this particular company doesn't do any announcements or anything there wasn't much left to the evening. So after staring blankly around the room for about 30 minutes, I told Hubby I was ready to go. No doubt Kiddo was by now giving his generous care givers a run for their money; as he did not nap that afternoon. I was pretty sure by then they were all in need of rescue.

I tipped the valet way too much money and we left (it was bitterly cold - I bet those guys were making a fortune!). Kiddo, who had been surprisingly wonderful, was exhausted when we picked him up and easily went to bed. Unfortunately, all he needed was about 2 hours of solid sleep and then proceeded to keep me up the rest of the night while he flailed and whined and annoyed me in his half asleep state. *sigh*

I guess it was a nice night. I got to dress up and look nice and not have to worry about food or snot on my clothes; got to pretend to be an adult with all the other pretend adults and got to see a beautiful, famous venue that I would not otherwise have the opportunity to see. The only expense was gas to get there and a valet tip - so yah, it was worth it. :)

Thankfully we only do that once a year though...
More later,
D :)

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Jingle Bell Rock

Ok, so I didn't try the fire eating thing, but Hubby suggested training him to walk on a bed of nails.....hmmm....nah. Maybe when he's older! ;)

I do, however feel like hammering a nail in my own head this morning, especially if I have to hear the shrill, whiney voice of some nasal problem inflicted preteen woman singing (only the first verse - ack!) Jingle Bell Rock one more time. The atrocious sound comes from the (imagine me saying this through gritted teeth) all too cute dancing Rudolf that my loving, wonderful parents gave Kiddo last year. (Hi Mom, THANKS!;) ) This is by far Kiddo's favorite thing right now. He pulled it out of the box of Christmas decorations before I had a chance to hide it and his gloomy world suddenly turned into a joyous, dancing, singing place. He walks around with it squirming in his little paws, trying to sing the song, pushing the dang play button over and over until his father and I are ready to stab our eyeballs with toothpicks.

Here's a pic of the little bugger in case anyone decides he might be cute...

He is NOT cute! Ok, maybe the first time or two, but then it just gets annoying. Please, take my word for it.
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Now here's something cute, but he's not for sale...



That's correct, he's wearing my shoes.

Oh, and it has been confirmed that he actually ate glass the other day. His diaper last night had lovely sparkles of blue...ugh.

More later,
D :)

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

We are Training Him for the Circus

How else would you respond to the question of why your child would eat glass?

Yes, I know it probably wasn't the smartest move in the world to put glass ornaments on the lower half of the tree, but Kiddo thought they were "pwetty cooool" and he thoroughly enjoyed helping me put them on. He is not usually the kind of guy that puts things in his mouth, but I guess crushed glass makes for a wonderful afternoon snack. After a joke of a call to poison control (did they really not think eating glass shards was a problem?) where they told me he was probably fine, I called the pediatrician and of course was ordered to come in immediately. Honestly, I wasn't really worried. I don't think he ate hardly any and what he really was doing was popping the glass in his front teeth. If he swallowed some it was minimal and well crushed. So off to the ped we went; we didn't even have to wait when we got there, which of course fueled Kiddo's already mounting anxiety. As soon as we pulled into the parking lot he started fussing; didn't want to get out of the car seat; he KNEW something was up! We got into the exam room, and the nurse looks all panicked. I explained the situation and she sends in the ped. Of course he asked me what happened and I have to tell the story all over again (why do they do that? He was right outside the door the whole time - don't make me tell it twice!!). So he checked him out - no cuts or scratches in his throat or mouth. The doc told me to watch for anything unusual, but he really didn't think he swallowed much if any at all and he sent us home. As soon as the exam was over and the doc left the room, Kiddo was up and saying "open the door? bye, bye? Aaaaahhlllll DONE!" He wanted out of there. He totally snubbed the toy chest on the way out and headed straight for the door!

So it was a semi exciting day. When we got home I moved all the glass ornaments to the top of our now stupid looking tree. Kiddo is greatly displeased that he can't touch the "bahwoons" anymore and has now taken to yanking the lights out of the branches.

Maybe today I'll teach him the fine art of fire eating...
Until,
D :)

Monday, December 04, 2006

Baby It's Cold Outside

Kat got that song stuck in my head this morning - it's cool though 'cuz it is true and I like it! :)

My poor Kiddo - he is totally fighting diaper changes these days. I thought it might be because he is starting to show signs of wanting to potty train and he just needs control. I ask him if he is wet/poopy and he always says NO very emphatically (even when I know it's not true). He runs away from me and tries to keep me from picking him up to change him. He fights me on the changing table; kicking and yelling and clinging to his pants for dear life so I can't take them off. It has truly been frustrating the past week or two and a couple of times we have both ended up in tears.

But I think I have figured out the problem. I have bitterly, frighteningly cold hands. It has always been a problem of mine, but in the winter it is terminal. Especially when I have been on the computer a lot, my mouse hand could chill your favorite beverage in a matter or seconds. Poor guy, I wouldn't want anyone touching me with ice fingers either. So, I have to make a game out of changing the diaper, trying to do things quickly and without any skin on skin contact. I keep telling him if he would just potty train we wouldn't have this problem, but I don't think he is listening! :)

We started putting up holiday decor last night. Kiddo calls the big green thing in the living room a "Memas Tree", and the ornaments are "bahwoons" (balloons). He helped me place the blooo lights and hang the bahwoons and was very disappointed when they were all gone. (of course they are all on the bottom branches this year, completely opposite from last year when I put everything on the top half of the tree!) According to him the whole thing is "pwetty coooool". Man, I love his little voice. Yesterday he looked up through the skylights in our kitchen and said "Look, the cwouds are pwetty cooool". I just about melted! How can so much cuteness be bottled in such a small package?

Oh yes, and now that NoBloPoMo is over, someone has started Holidailies. Should we all jump on the bandwagon?

More later,
D

Friday, December 01, 2006

Things I am Thankful For

I light if the past few days events (see post below) I think I need to make a statement about 10 things that I am thankful for. I have been blessed in so many ways and it helps to remember that when I am feeling low.

1. This morning I am thankful that my Kiddo is still asleep and I have a moment's peace (though he is in MY bed and will probably leave me a nice, warm, wet spot! :P blech )
2. I am thankful for the one car we have that is running ok - even though it needs work
3. I am thankful the car that broke down on Tuesday waited until after our 600+mile trip last week
4. I am thankful for the amazing clients I had this season and that my little business seems to be doing pretty well. (now if I could stop buying equipment I might actually make a profit)
5. I am thankful for my amazing family and their generosity
6. I am thankful for my neighbor and her ability to "spread the word"
7. I am thankful for the roof over my head, the money in the bank that will cover our bills and the food on the table
8. I am thankful for my sweet baby boy and the joy he brings me every day (and the headaches as well)
9. I am thankful for my Hubby, who's patience is astounding and who's sacrifice is appreciated more than he will ever know.
10. I am thankful for God's Grace, that He might allow me such a blessed and comfortable life

Those are my 10 for today. I think I may try to make this a monthly thing; just to keep me focused on what is important.

What are you thankful for today?

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Bah Humbug

So I was really getting in the mood for Christmas this year, really getting excited, etc., and then WHAM! Hubby calls to tell me the reason our car is in the driveway and not at the office with him today is because the transmission went out this morning. :( Why, why, why do things like this keep happening to us? Why now, when we already have scraped together money for presents and started spending it does this have to occur? Why can we never have a month or two without something breaking down, wrecking or frying? What did we do? Who in the world did we tick off that is now controlling our destiny and our finances? Are we destined to never have a spare dime, never have anything nice because we can't afford it? Are we always going to have to rely on the generosity of friends and family to give us their slightly used stuff so we can fix it up and get as much life out of it as humanly possible?

Does everyone experience this, or are we just the lucky ones? There is always something; the car, the truck, the computer, the dishwasher, the toaster oven, the clock, the air conditioner, the lawn mower....we never catch a break it seems. I feel like if everything could just hold on without breaking for about 6 months, we just might be able to get on top of things. I hate this.

Sorry, I just need to vent.

Turkey Travels part 3

Ok, so I left off in Dallas...after pictures in the square we headed back to the apartment for lunch. Kiddo was none too happy when his Happy got in a different car for the ride back. That boy LOVES his Happy. (probably because he is a constant source of laughter and rough-housing!) Anyway, Thanksgiving lunch was a yummy brisket with green bean casserole and salad, all prepared by the lovely Miss A. She is the hostess with the mostess! Grammy prepared two wonderful desserts and once we were stuffed to the point of impending explosion we jumped in the car to head to lew-si-anna. The 3 hour drive to my parents house was pretty uneventful (just how I like it) and we managed to make it in time for dinner.

We stayed with my parents for a few days, enjoying a wonderful, traditional Thanksgiving lunch on Thursday (turkey, dressing, all the fixin's - YUM!), and a failed attempt at shopping in an outdoor "mall" with Kiddo on Friday (note to self - BRING A STROLLER next time!). Kiddo so enjoyed torturing my mom's geriatric cats (sorry Miss. Kitty) and feeding bones to the neighbor's dog, Thor. After passing around my mom's traditional Thanksgiving cold and a couple of sleepless nights with Kiddo kicking us and wailing all night,we decided to head home Saturday. This is where I have to interject; portable DVD players are the most wonderful invention in my life right now! 7 hours in the car with a Kiddo that hates riding in the car would surely kill us all had we not had the DVD player.

We made it home without much fuss and spent Sunday doing absolutely nothing - pure bliss!

Overall I think it was a great holiday!
Later,
D :)

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Turkey Travels part 2

Ok, so as I was saying, we went outside to take some pics. The main goal was to get a good shot of Hubby's sister and her hubby, a good family pic, and for someone, anyone to take a good shot of Hubby, Kiddo and I for our holiday cards. I have been pestering my beautiful sister-in-law (it seems weird to say the in-law part - she's like a sister to me) for months now to let me take some pictures of her, and since it is near impossible to organize our family for anything in a short amount of time, I was able to do a mini session with her while Kiddo ran off some steam with Happy, Hubby and his sis' hubby took photos of the buildings and Grammy watched all of us do our thing.

So here is a shot of my super model sister, A...

See why I've been after her to do some pictures?

I also got a good one of Grammy with A. Grammy usually dodges my camera every time I come near her...

While I was shooting A, Hubby took a shot of me! No one ever takes pics of me!

Ha ha! I bet you were thinking you'd finally get to see my face! Oh well, at least you can see me; even though I am wearing my frumpy Carefree Conference Resort jacket (I worked there briefly when we lived in Phoenix). It was cold people!

Super Model Cover Shot - :D


We got some great family shots as well, but I need to work on them a bit before I post them. I just had to share my beautiful family first!

Until,

D :)

Turkey Travels part 1

We had a great week last week traveling too and fro visiting family on the holiday. Our first stop was the Dallas/Ft. Worth area. We went there to see Hubby's sister and her husband. The inlaws met us there and we all camped out in the apartment that night. The next morning we ventured into downtown Dallas. Hubby's sister, A, wanted to introduce us to Thanksgiving Square, a wonderful spot in the heart of downtown that is host to a lovely little park and a most unusual chapel. After taking a gander at the amazing stained glass in the tiny chapel, I headed outside to take some pictures of A and her hubby. Before we got ourselves organized, I was able to snap a few of my little Cutie playing around with his granddad whom he calls Happy.


They are like two peas in a pod, yes?












"No Happy, don't toss me in the water!"

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There's Mommy, she'll save me!

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Since Blogger doesn't like it when I upload more than 3 or 4 pics, I have to continue this later! Stay tuned for more from the park; super model A makes an appearance, and a never-before-seen photo of yours truly will be featured!

Until,

D ;)

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Three Things Meme

I was tagged for this meme by Karrie
1. 3 Things that scare me: flying, some heights or unsafe drop-offs, success
2. 3 People who make me laugh: my Kiddo, my friend Kelley and very often Miss Karrie!
3. 3 Things I love: My family, coffee, the ocean (I couldn't change a thing there!).
4. 3 Things I hate: cooked carrots, cleaning toilets, exercise
5. 3 Things I don’t understand: coveting the latest PlayStation(or other soon-to-be-obsolete gadget), contestants on Fear factor (do you really fear eating intestines?), my Kiddo's latest favorite phrase (it sounds like he's saying "Mommy, don't die" and it freaks me out)
6. 3 Things on my desk: a box of tissues, a client print order and cookies.
7. 3 Things I’m doing right now: Blogging, drinking tea, eating leftover potato casserole
8. 3 Things I want to do before I die: Publish, own a brand new car, take a cruise
9. 3 Things I can do: sing opera, drive a motorcycle, play pool (billiards) well
10. 3 Things I can’t do: burp (no, really, I can't), touch my toes, eat watermelon
11. 3 Things I think you should listen to: a child's laugh, your instinct, God
12. 3 Things you should never listen to: Tom Cruise, total strangers, celebrity politics.
13. 3 Things I’d like to learn: to really play the guitar, to cook gourmet, how to write
14. 3 Favorite foods: crab legs, chocolate and mom's fried chicken
15. 3 Beverages I drink regularly: Coffee, water and Dr. Pepper
16. 3 Shows I watched as a kid: Looney Toons, The Cosby Show, The Beverly Hillbillies
17. 3 People I’m tagging (to do this meme): Genie (because she must need double tagging), Karen, and Lane.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Turkey for you and Turkey for me...

Happy Thanksgiving!
Perhaps I should take a moment and reflect on what I am thankful for today - hmm...well...I guess I am thankful for a lot of things, but I am too tired to think right now. We had the fam over for lunch and between the old family and the new family and the screaming 2 year old and the upset 80 something year old I am just drained. We are still cleaning up, still recuperating and it's not even dinner time yet. I suppose I will have more to say when we get home this weekend.

But I didn't want you all to think I dropped off the planet or something - so I am checking in. (ok, it took me 3 minutes to type that last sentence, so I am giving up!)

I hope everyone is well and has a wonderful weekend!
Until,
D :)

Monday, November 20, 2006

Holidays and Photoshoots and OpLove

Oh my. Today I should be cleaning and doing laundry and packing but as usual I am so unmotivated. I am really excited about this week; getting to see our family and especially visiting my parents. We only get out to their house once a year and it is just not enough. I am excited about all the pictures I hope to take and all the yummy food I get to eat!!

I am proofing the session I had on Saturday - such a cute couple! They won a free package from me for the opening of Round Rock Premium Outlets and decided to have me do some portraits of them for their holiday cards. I really enjoy shooting adults - especially men because they hate having their picture taken! ;) I try to make it as painless as possible, and this time, as we were leaving, my subject said he actually had fun! :) Such a great feeling. I am really liking how the pics turned out as well. Check out my photo blog - I should have some sneak peeks up soon!

I also have to direct you to an up-and-coming volunteer organization I am proud to be a member of, Operation Love Reunited. We just got a fabulous new website donated by BluDomain and it is up and running. OpLove is going to be incredible and I am so excited about it I want everyone to know. If any of you know someone in the military, please direct them to our site!

I hope to keep posting while we are on the road as I am taking my laptop with me. We'll see if I actually accomplish it! ;)

If I don't talk to you before then, have a wonderful Thanksgiving! I am so thankful for all of you! :) :)
Until,
D :)

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Quiet and Stinky

Sitting here in the wee hours of the morning, by myself, just me and my coffee. I got up early because I have a photo shoot this morning and it is at a location about 30 minutes from my house. Kiddo and Hubby are still snoozing, though I have heard Hubby off and on now, so it seems as though he wants to sleep, but can't. I love these quiet mornings; no one to bother me, no demands to meet or hoops to jump through. They are so rare.

Got a chuckle this morning watching a video on Karrie's blog. Poor Momma - I certainly hope my Kiddo is not so enthusiastic about his poop! Right now I can't even get him to pay attention to it, much less get excited about it - though he has waved bye bye to it a couple of times. Ahh, the joys of pre-potty training. Awareness is such a blessed curse. Sure, you want them to be comfortable with their bodies and functions, but answering the "does Mommy tee tee in the potty?" question 400 times a day gets a bit agonizing. Also the "Kiddo, do you have a poopy diaper?" "NO!!!" routine gets old fast too. I am tired of chasing down a stinky toddler just so I can keep his bottom fresh. Occasionally he will come to me and tell me he needs a diaper, and then run to the changing table to be changed. It blows me away! But most of the time he tries to hide it and tells me he doesn't need a change when it is fragrantly obvious that he does.

Oh yes, I also wanted to say that I really enjoy everyone's comments. Please, if you stop by - say hi! I love knowing that people are reading. :) :)

Well, I didn't intend for this post to be about poop or diapers, but I guess that is what's on my mind this morning. Have a great weekend everyone!
Until,
D :)

Friday, November 17, 2006

Twilight Zone?

I guess writing every other day is going to be better for me. I just can't seem to make myself do it every day. But that's ok, cause then I don't feel so pressured to make every entry interesting. Odds are something worth talking about should happen every other day or so.... I guess... hmm... well?

I was cleaning up the house this afternoon and came across an envelope I had written something on (common practice in my house - we just never seem to have a decent paper supply). It was a reminder of something I had witnessed and wanted to blog. So here goes.

I was at the bank a while back and sitting in the teller line waiting my turn to make a deposit. There are about 6 lanes at this bank, usually only about 4 of them are open at peak hours and I had been waiting along with about 8 other cars. After going through the routine of examining odd things in the car, finding all the trash and gathering it up, inspecting my nails and making a mental note to find my clippers when I got home, confirming with Kiddo the proper color of every car sitting around us - you know, things we do when we wait - I had run out of repertoire and actually started observing my surroundings. Sitting in the next lane over was a white, extended cab Ford pickup. It had a Husky metal tool box in the back and had a business name (3 words)and phone number in blue letters on the tailgate. Nothing special. Until I look over into the lane next to that. Sitting there was the exact same model and year white, extended cab Ford pickup. It had the same Husky tool box in back, and it also had the owner's business name and phone number in the same blue lettering on the back. Same font, same # of words, same size, same arrangement; everything.

Except they weren't the same company; and the phone numbers weren't even close.

Now, I know you are asking, "So? What's so funny about that?".

The names of the businesses were...

The Roof Lady
and
The Pool Man

:D

I don't know, I just found it interesting. And a bit creepy. I wish I had my camera at the time.
Later,
Dawn

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Through Wind, Rocks, Traffic and Idiots...

Well, the opening of IKEA was today....wow! Let me just say I will not be attending opening day of ANYTHING for quite a while. The place was a total madhouse! That many people should not be allowed in/on the store/parking lot/roads leading to the store at one time. On a normal day, the drive should take me about 15 minutes. Today, I drove 10 minutes then stopped still on the road for 30+ minutes sitting in traffic. Once I got to the freeway (IKEA is right next to it) it took another 20 minutes to get across the over pass and into the parking lot. Needless to say, Kiddo was NOT happy. :( We finally get on the grounds and are directed to a parking area (overflow) that seriously required a vehicle with off road capability to access. They dumped what looked like a couple of truck loads of rocks in the entry drive that were, at the smallest, 8 inches in diameter and everything else was crushed, gritty rock. (ok, everyone hold up your hands and make a circle that you think is 8 inches in diameter - yup. Wanna drive your Mercedes over that?) Thankfully I was in the Trooper so it was no big deal for us; but I saw plenty that should have been directed elsewhere. Anyway, turns out today we have a front coming in that is giving us wonderful 20-30 mph winds. Joy. Every walked through a gravel/dirt parking lot with winds kicking it at 30 mph?

We stagger our way in to a sea of shopping carts and kids and parents and stupid people and completely oblivious folk and I suddenly feel like I am at a Wal-Mart expo - but we shove our way through and start the twisted walk through the show rooms. Poor Kiddo is stuck at ground level in his umbrella stroller; the darn thing is giving my 6 foot frame a run for it's money as I have to bend over to reach the ridiculously low handles. People of course are shoving and "politely" bumping me in the back side; I guess thinking that if they bump me I'll go faster, and others are trying to cut in front of me and several practically step on poor Kiddo because he is so under the radar screen. Several times I had to thrust my hand out into some stranger's gut because they were about to step on my baby. Half way through we picked up a regular size shopping cart for Kiddo so he could stop fearing for his life!

An hour later we emerge from the circus that is the display area and I pick up an item in self serve and head for the check out. Holy Moly! It's yet another sea of bodies, all fighting for a "lane" and switching around thinking one is moving faster than the other; some got halfway through only to discover they had parked themselves in the self check out and had no way of scanning the four ton box that the sales associate has mistakenly placed upside down in their flatbed trolley. Kids are screaming, mine included; labeled the "true victims" by the nice lady in front of us. Lots of people were giving each other the "my God, could this take any longer" look and some people abandoned their carts all together and just left the store - it was chaos. We stood in line for about 45 minutes I guess. You know, you get to the point where you think, "I've come this far, sat in traffic for so long, stood in line for so long, fought the crowds, there's no way I'm leaving now" but man I wanted to leave. Kiddo was inconsolable. I tried everything; even pulled out my trusty M&M Minis and they only held him for about 5 minutes. Finally I picked him up out of the cart just in time for him to relieve himself and I guess I was mashing the diaper just right because it ran all down his leg. Ugh. This was NOT what he or I needed. So he goes back into the cart (standing up in the back so not to make a mess - the leak really wasn't that bad) which really ticked him off; and by that time I had made it to the cashier. We paid for our items and made haste out the door, weaving through all the poor souls trying to get their items loaded into SUVs backed up to the store. About halfway down the walkway it occurs to me that I have to figure out a way to carry my son, his stroller, my purse, a diaper bag, 2 shopping bags and a box that literally weighs 40 lbs back to the car in hurricane force winds over the 4 wheel drive parking lot. The shopping cart certainly wasn't leaving the pavement, especially because in order to get it to go forward I had to push it at a 45 degree angle (brand new and already jacked up! Go figure) and the wind and flying debris was only fueling the crying and sobbing of my so sad two year old. So I strapped him into the stroller, hung the bags on the handles (I know, bad, bad mommy), tucked the 40 lb monstrosity under my arm the best I could and abandoned the cart. Saying the prayer of "please God get us to the car in one piece", I ventured forth into the driving wind.

We made it. Barely. And now my fingers and hip are bruised, my back is killing me, I ended up yelling at poor Kiddo out of frustration when we finally got in the car and we almost got blown off the road a dozen times on the way home.

But - I got some cool stuff at IKEA! :) :) Maybe tomorrow I'll think it was worth it....

Until,
D

Monday, November 13, 2006

Jewel, Spice and Things Not So Nice

I forgot to post yesterday. oops! This writing every day thing is hard. And what's weird is I think of things to talk about several times a day but when I sit down at the computer to write; all those great ideas hide some where in the folds of my feeble brain. Ahh well, maybe I can just sit with you quietly for a while. You'll tell me about your life and I'll quietly sip my Dr. Pepper. What do you think?

I broke down and put in the xmas CD. I just love Jewel. I know she's not really up there on the "cool" list, but I sing (I think) almost exactly like her and she inspires me to sing the way I am supposed to - full voiced and wall shaking awesome! It is a rare thing to hear; not much out there can inspire me so.

I made my monthly PMS treat a bit early this month. I have been craving something with pumpkin and spice cake; and happened upon a recipe for such a creature in the last Kraft Food Mag. I couldn't put it off any longer and made the cake last night. It is so yummy and moist - I just polished off a piece! Yesterday was a horrible cooking day for me though. I never have claimed to be a chef or anything, but I think I know my way around a kitchen. Yesterday was just one of those days; the moon was full or some planet was in align with something it shouldn't have been - I don't know. I made the cake, put it in the oven and started dinner. We had chili and cornbread. I made the cornbread the same way I always do, put it in the same pan I always do, popped it in the oven the same way I always do and it promptly boiled over and spilled out all over the bottom of the oven. There was no way to effectively clean up the mess while the oven was on so I had to just put a pan in there to catch the rest of the drippings and enjoy the aroma of burnt cornbread as it infused itself into everything in the house (including my cake!). Then later on I went to frost/ice the cake with a cream cheese/sugar/coolwhip type frosting and I could not for the life of me get the dang cream cheese to blend. It was totally lumpy and I eventually gave up and just put it on the cake anyway (and before you ask, yes, it was room temperature; as was the cool whip). Oh well, it all tastes good so I guess it's ok. The poor cornbread came out flat and uncooked on the bottom though (I assume because of the drip catching pan).

I have been thinking a lot lately about friends and things that happened long ago - it is amazing how seemingly simple happenings can impact your life. People change you. You never know how an encounter with someone, be it 2 seconds or 20 years, will mold you; shape you into the person you see in the mirror.

I have about decided I am completely anti-social in person. I am great on line, email, IMing, whatever. I am relaxed and open in these "anonymous" venues; and I love them and hang out frequently. I am in person, however, very, painfully shy and practically mute - with the exception of when I am working; be it photographing people or event planning or whatnot. For some reason I don't have too much trouble talking with someone when I am working. It is a strange phenomenon. Today I took Kiddo to the park to meet up with one of the mom's groups I am in. We have a nice group of ladies. I am pretty sure I could be friends with just about any of them, but for some reason those meet ups are painfully awkward for me. I don't know what it is. Sometimes Kiddo is very embarrassing. If he is the least bit tired or hungry he will pitch the biggest fit when he doesn't get his way. He also is in love with anything with fur or feathers and today I was constantly turning him away from the little creek that ran through the park. He only wanted to jump in the water with the ducks and geese, so what was the big deal anyway? ;) Anyway, I spent the entire time pretty much miserable because I was chasing Kiddo everywhere and I really just wanted to sit and talk to someone. But, because I don't get to go to many functions no one really knows me and so no one wanted to approach me. I know in those situations I should make the first move, and sometimes I try, but it is difficult when I know full well I may have to run off after Kiddo at any moment. I am thinking I should just drop out of the group - but honestly, it is about the only way I can motivate myself to take poor little Kiddo out of the house once a week and do something other than run errands. He LOVES going to the park and pitches a holy fit every time I scoop him up to leave. Today was no exception. He started wailing as soon as I picked him up and grabbed his bag. He wailed all the way to the car, fought me when I tried to fasten his car seat, screamed all the way to the grocery store, was actually ok in the store but started wailing again as we were leaving because he saw a Mater truck toy he wanted, wailed all through the parking lot and into the car again, and screamed for 5 minutes in the car until he passed out cold, sound asleep. Poor guy. And a weird thing that happened - when I was loading the bags in the car and Kiddo was sitting in the cart screaming, this complete stranger walks up to me and says "I am just waiting here for my kid, but do you think your son would like a sucker?" >:-O Are you kidding me?!?! He was having a fit - he wasn't hurt or upset, and so what if he was; did she really think I would try to placate him by giving him candy?!? And better yet, take it from a total stranger leaning up against her crappy car in the "mother-with-child" parking of a grocery store while she is smoking a cigarette and blaring her stupid music out of the rolled down windows and popped trunk? Seriously!

Shew! It felt good to get that out. :) My goodness I have written a novel today. Maybe I should stop now.
Until,
D ;)

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Joy to the World

I love the holidays; the sounds, the smells, the warm fuzzies people get, the cooking (especially desserts!), the shopping, and most importantly, The Reason. Every year starting with the first really cold day, I start to get in the mood. I attempt to stifle the urge to pull out all of my Christmas cds in October and try my best to not bake every cake, pie and cookie recipe I see in the magazines.

I made the mistake of going to Garden Ridge Pottery the day after Halloween. Big, BIG mistake! Garden Ridge cleaned out all of their regular stuff and basically Threw Up Christmas! I have never seen so much Holiday stuff in one place - I mean, they usually have a great variety, but this year really takes the cake. It was overwhelming to say the least. BUT - what it did do was totally get me in the mood for the holidays. It sucks because, even though I love the holidays, if I get in the mood too early, by the time Christmas rolls around I am sick of it. I am so ready for my Jewel cd (I have 2 copies!!) and my Neiman Marcus Cookies; I am ready for the cinnamon and apple candles and the twinkley lights; I am ready for the wrapping paper and the ribbon - aaaaahhhh! It's too early!!! :)

My goal tomorrow is to sit down and budget what we can spend on gifts this year. It is going to be so hard not spending everything on Kiddo. He is finally at that age where I think he will be excited about things this time around. We can talk to him about Santa Clause; leave out cookies and milk and introduce him to all the great holiday songs and carols. It is going to be hard to not go nuts doing things. Restraint, restraint my friends - pray for me!

Oh I have much more to say on this topic, but I am distracted by the TV at the moment. I just wanted to check in and start putting some thoughts down.

Have a lovely evening!
D :)

Friday, November 10, 2006

What's That Bug

Just an update for some of you. I did some searching on a fabulous site, What's That Bug, and found the identity of our little friend below. Turns out, he/she was a Tiger Swallowtail Catepillar, in the life stage just before it's time to pupate! When it comes out of the cocoon, it will look like this...

Mystery solved! I still don't get the whole rocking thing it was doing though...

Until,
D

Memory Loss

I forgot to blog yesterday. I guess I was busy. Spent most of the day editing photos for a client; had to completely remove a tree from the background and replace the other half of another tree, some water and grassy areas. Photoshop is so cool!

I felt bad for not having taken Kiddo anywhere this week so when we went to check the mail I decided to walk with him around the block. He absolutely loved it (it's a looong block) and when we turned the corner that leads back to our street he immediately began fussing and yelling "walk again!!?!". I practically had to drag him back to the house. We played out front for another hour or so before I coaxed him back in (and that only succeeded because I intrigued him with a Looney Toons DVD). He thankfully fell asleep shortly thereafter (on the floor in the walkway between the dining room and the kitchen!) and took a nice long nap.

We got our dying lap top back from the repair center yesterday. $275 and 3+ weeks of waiting and it worked for almost 2 hours before dying completely. Now what? There is a 90 day warranty on the work, but it is doing something totally different than before. I am pretty sure it's going to cost more money. I hate computers.

Well, maybe after my coffee kicks in I can come up with something more interesting to say. I just needed to get a little gripe out before I officially start my day.

Oh yes, only 5 more days till IKEA opens!!!!!! :D :D :D

Until,
D

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Could it Be?

It may be possible that I take too many pictures. I try to take some of Kiddo every day - some times I go for a few days without doing it. It's not like it's an obsession or anything, he's just cute! Who wouldn't want to capture that?!? This morning I was working on some client photos and Kiddo was watching Winnie the Poo. He was laying on the floor like this...


and I thought it was cute, so I took out my camera. I snapped the pic and Kiddo arches his back and twisted his little head around and says "oh, Mommy!". It had that "geeze, you are always taking pictures" tone and it cracked me up!

Later on, we were out in the front yard when we spotted this guy/girl...

Anyone care to take a guess? He/she was rocking back and forth at us all menacingly, like he/she was ready to project his/her little inch long body at us and tear us up good! Then he/she crawled up the wall of the house and promptly fell off! oops! He/she was ok and took off again shortly thereafter at the speed of a turtle... ;)

Workin, workin, workin - more later, I promise!
Until,
D

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Funny Memories

It amazes me what I remember sometimes. Just random thoughts from childhood; locked deep in the recesses of the mind only to be brought forth at odd moments. My Hubby has his alarm clock set to play music from a local radio station to wake him. In the early mornings the station plays a combo of classical and "elevator" type music, but by mid morning it transitions over to less classical and more cheesy, adult contemporary/borderline elevator music. Anyway, often when I am in the shower Kiddo will come into our room and turn on the radio on the clock. He enjoys turning it off and on, doing a little boogie if he is so inclined and playing in the drawers full of no-no's that is my Hubby's night stand. Today was no exception and when I emerged from the shower I heard the familiar hum of the radio in the next room. Kiddo was playing on the floor with his cars, and I guess the music was suitable enough for him to leave the radio on while he played.

While I was getting dressed an old Kenny Rogers song came on the radio..."Take my hand, let's walk through love's doors, and be free from the world once more..." (the song was featured in Urban Cowboy) Of course, I knew the song - after all I grew up listening to that genre of music, and so I began to sing along. Suddenly I was transported back to somewhere around 1980; and I was standing in the living room of my parents trailer. Often when singing to the radio, I would stand over the floor vents and let the breeze from the air conditioner blow my hair. I would imagine I was on stage, wearing some sort of sparkley get up, with the fan blowing my hair around very dramatically, singing my little heart out. One particular occasion I remember singing that very KR song, and at the end I was taking a big breath for the long note "we can looooove the world, A-WAAAAAAAAAAAY" and I managed to hit the note and hold it strong all the way to the end! I was truly impressed with what my little 6 year old lungs could do!

Well, it was interesting to me that a song could bring back such a vivid memory. Kiddo was, as usual, amused at my vocal skills and would turn off the radio for a moment and then turn it back on, I guess to see if I was still in time with the music.

I was.

Until,
D :)

Monday, November 06, 2006

The Power of the Toot

My son has discovered the power of the toot. Yes, my friends, I am sorry to tell you - he is ALL boy! The really sad part is, though my Hubby tried his best to do his fatherly duty, I think I was the one that actually taught him to use the force. Now, before you start thinking awful thoughts about me passing gas - let me explain. I was changing his diaper and he tooted. I jumped and laughed (because after all, it was directed at my face) which in turn made him laugh that amazing, special laugh he only does when he is truly tickled about something. That made me laugh harder, which made him try to do it again; he succeeded and well, you can just imagine how the next 10 minutes went!

I was hoping he had forgotten about our exchange when about an hour later Hubby starts laughing in the next room. Apparently Kiddo had walked in with a gigantic grin on his face, looked at Hubby, turned around, bent over, and promptly fumigated the room. Mr. Cutie Patootie ran off giggling hysterically and left my dear Hubby in the ...ah....clouds! :0

Ah the joys of boys!
Until,
D :)

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Cookies and Candy

Well, because I committed to writing every day in November, I am trying to do just that. So, I apologize if some of my posts are not very interesting! ;)

Since I told you about last months PMS Cake, I will tell you what was the treat this month. Cookies!! I started out with your basic, time tested, oatmeal raisin. Oh, how yummy they were - until Kiddo discovered them - then it was all day long, "mommy, cookie? Mommy COOKIE?!?" and before I knew it, they were gone. :( A few days later, my wonderful, blogging, bbc Momma friend posted a recipe for Chocolate Gingerbread Cookies. My friends, if you have a chance to try this recipe - please do! I love gingerbread cookies anyway, but adding chocolate?!?! Come on! I couldn't resist! Much to my advantage, Hubby was not too fond of them (too much ginger for his taste) and Kiddo could only eat about half of one before he got sweeted out. Woo Hoo! :)

Anyway, after the cookies came the Halloween candy and, well...I guess my diet is pretty much ruined till the holidays are over. I guess I should start praying for will power! :)

Have a good night!
D

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Friends and Compassion

I have a friend (shocking, I know ;) ). Though we have never met in person, she seems to be a very sweet, loving, kind hearted and smart individual and I have grown to care a great deal about her over the past couple of years. We talk on line on a regular basis, and have shared a couple of phone conversations.

As of late I am very worried about her. I fear for her overall safety, her mental health and her children. I am afraid of what private hell she must be going through. It hurts to know she has no one to talk to and is monitored for everything she says and does and thinks. No one deserves to live like that, and for such a wonderful, sweet, giving person it must be just awful. Based on what she has said in the past, she really has little or no support from friends and no one she can really talk to.

I have always been a rescuer. That is, I hate to see anything or anyone injured or in bad situations. As a child I rescued animals; big or small, domestic or wild, bug or beast - and tried to "fix" them before sending them on their way. I actually felt physical pain when witnessing an injured animal, and for many years my parents thought for sure I would grow up to be a veterinarian. My mom used to have tomato plants and very often I would find broken or split branches. Physically feeling the pain the plant must have "felt", I would do my best to fix it. I had a system of taking a wet paper towel and wrapping the split up and tying it off in the hopes that it would grow back together and not die. Often times it worked, but when it didn't - I would be heart-broken. In high school we took on friends of mine that for whatever reason needed a place to stay. We must have housed 10 different kids over the course of four years for anywhere from a couple of days to a couple of months. Our house during my senior year of high school was a revolving door for kicked out or runaway teenagers!

I think what troubles me the most about all of these situations though, is the knowledge that there is really nothing I can do. Especially in adult life; people have to recognize their own issues and decide whether or not to change their lives. I can only provide support, encouragement or a shoulder to cry on. I cannot make things better; I cannot fix them or their problems. If I were independently wealthy, maybe I could help someone get on their feet - help them with the monetary stuff and relieve that burden for them. I hope someday I will be able to do those kind of things; but right now I can only give what I have; which isn't much, and it often depresses me.

I am fighting every urge I have to hop a flight to the afore mentioned friend's house and swoop down and scoop her up and whisk her away. In my mind that would make everything better, but in reality I know the problems she faces would follow her. I know she cannot escape what she is in without a major life changing decision. I want to tell her that situations like that don't normally magically change for the better; but I do hope in her case she receives a miracle. I hope God answers her prayers before any permanent scaring occurs to her or her children. There are so many things I want to say; but it is not my place and I have to grit my teeth and vent to my husband about it behind closed doors (sorry dear). I hate that I care for someone and knowing full well their are many of us out there willing to help in any way we can, this friend keeps us all at arm's length and is trying to do it on her own.

But I know - we never really know someone. We know nothing of what actually goes on behind closed doors. Our personal realities are far, far more complex and intense than we let on to the outside world - even our closest friends and family haven't a clue. I often wonder how much better our lives could be if we could be more open and honest with each other. I know I've mentioned this in previous posts - but we are here to help each other, people! We are put here to support one another and fellowship and care - why else would we be given the gifts of compassion and kindness?

And I also am aware that if she reads this, she may never speak to me again. I really hope that is not the case, and that she sees this as my way of venting and trying to reach her in a way I haven't been able to before. I honestly don't know what good it will do though.

My train of thought keeps getting derailed by a whining toddler that can't figure out what he wants. I sit here typing my heart out about compassion and caring, all the while trying desperately to ignore the melt down happening right beside me. I want to give in to his cries and screams of "NO!" to every question I ask and just give him what he ultimately wants. But I know that doing that will only make things worse next time - so here I sit, holding back my own tears, trying to be strong and "teach" my child to say "yes, please" - or frankly, anything besides "no". He screams in that high pitched, whiney voice "watch the turtle show?" and I ask him if that is what he wants and his response is "NO!" (insert smiley of confused look here)

I guess I have written enough for now. I love you all!
Until,
D

Friday, November 03, 2006

NaBloPoMo '06 and Photo Confidence

Yesterday was day 2 of NaBloPoMo and I forgot to blog. Boy, I am off to a good start! ;) I guess I'll have to submit 2 entries today.

Yesterday I had a photo shoot in the early afternoon. I was a little nervous about it, but no more than usual. Since I got my new camera I have had some great shoots and some not so great. Learning the nuances of this camera have been frustrating and disheartening. I had such a good photography experience with Kiddo on Monday at the farm, I thought for sure I would be successful with this shoot and for the first time with a paying client I was going to shoot in full Manual Mode! Normally I shoot in Aperture Priority, as little kids are hard to chase while one is attempting to turn camera dials. But this family consisted of mom, dad and 3 month old baby, so I figured there wouldn't be much chasing to do! So I did the shoot, they were lovely, kind people, but I felt like I was adjusting my camera the whole time. I thought for sure nothing came out. I was in tears the whole way home; and after I got home was afraid to even upload the pics for fear of what I would see.

I know, I know. I hear you. "You should have more confidence in yourself!" You are right, I should. Because the pictures turned out GREAT! I am so excited! I will never, never, never fully trust what I see on the LCD screen again!

Ahhhhh, I feel better. I don't know why I get myself so worked up over these things.
Later,
D :)

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Creatures and Kisses

Pantry Moths. Vial, vial little creatures. Once you have them you swear you will never do that again. It is a disgusting, time consuming, money wasting infestation that will infuriate one to the point of wanting to fling oneself off a bridge. You see, they are sneaky little devils; once you see them - it is already too late. And they have nothing to do with how clean your house is or how meticulously clean and organized you keep your pantry; they come in bags of dog or cat food or boxes and bags of grains. They crawl around under cover of night and lay their slimy young in every nook and cranny and small hole there is. Then, when you least expect it, you start to see these mysterious little moths in odd places.

I have been battling these vomit inducing creatures all week. I suspect they rode in on cat vittles and have since cost me mucho $$ in lost food, cleaning supplies and new, air tight containers. Stupidly, I thought they were isolated in the cat food (which, by the way, was in an air tight container) so I removed that bucket and moved on. A few days later, new moths appeared and I have discovered them in the dog food and various other places - like the corrugated box that contains our ice cream maker and a couple of cake boards. Everything has to go - all the crackers and grains and cereal, all the boxes and even stuff that is unopened. The pantry has to be soaked down with bleach and cleaned almost to the point of gutting and starting over. It makes me sooooo mad!!!

I should have known better. We were infested once before, years ago, and had to throw out basically everything in the kitchen and start over. I had to throw out all of my spices - hundreds of dollars worth, food, various kitchen things, and the free standing cabinet we were using as a pantry. It took forever to get rid of them completely.

That is one of the reasons I loved living in Arizona. No BUGS! It was amazing.

Thank goodness I have these to keep me sane.

Until,
D

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