Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Kiddy currency

Spa baby
Hello, my name is Cort and I'm a sugarholic.

You all know that.

While, I'm not ubernazi on the amounts of sugar Babygirl gets, I am still very conscious of it.  Yes, she had a real chocolate cupcake with chocolate frosting on her birthday.  And yes, she gave herself a facial and hardly consumed any of it.

Way to go, Babygirl.

I've tried to get creative in the treats I have in the house to offer her.  One, because I want to keep the good stuff for myself, and B. she's a stubborn and observant so throwing a saltine cracker at her and calling it a "treat" won't fly.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry flippin Christmas

[To the tune of Christmas Song (Chestnuts over an open fire)]

A one...A two...A one two three four....

Dog puke foaming by the closed front door
Placed there for me to schmear around.
Dog looking at me...she's just about to blow...
Merry Christmas to you.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Week 4 Weigh-in


It's been 4 weeks now that I've been training with How Does She Do It Mom, and boy am I seeing changes.

So what if I still suck it in for our biweekly pictures?
I appreciate posture.  Plus, I can suck it in further than I could 4 weeks ago!

I'm losing weight - thankfully.  Although the program considers weightloss as less of a goal and more of a side effect of proper diet and training - it is still nice when the needle moves in the right direction.

But beyond a number on the scale, I'm losing the momma belly roll (good riddance), the love handles (sayonara), back bra rolls (adios) and overall jiggle generally (buh-bye).

Monday, December 20, 2010

The week of Christmas

I'm finally into it.  The Christmas spirit has spread throughout the MSM household.

We're playing Christmas songs, the tree is up, the stockings are hung.  We made Christmas cookies!

This is a fun year because Babygirl is much more interactive than last year.  Last year was spit up and fussy and nap and pumping and fussing and breastfeeding and blankets and spit up and shit up your back diapers.  This year may contain some of that, but also words and running and smiles and pure unadulterated joy.  Even cutting a molar this week, she's managed to boogie her little butt to any Christmas song with a beat.  What a trooper!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Again with the picture slideshow put to music...

Babygirl's first Christmas program was tonight.

She's 14 months old, so we weren't expecting an Away in a Manger solo or anything.  Her teachers were excited, and we've never had an opportunity to go to anything to see her.

So we were excited.

And apprehensive...since the program started at 7 and she is ALWAYS nestled safely in her bed at 8.  The final hour has the most nuclear potential.

She loves her teacher.  LOVES her.  She will leap out of my arms into her teacher's every morning.  With a quick glance and wave in my face...even if we adults are still talking...she send me on my way.

This is the only reason I am as OK with daycare as I am.  She loves it there.

I returned to the sanctuary of the church in which the daycare is held (apparently, the holy water is refrigerated for nights like tonight).  They had a slide show of the babies playing with Christmas music.

Kryptonite to Superman...again.  (Attributed to 24% PMS, 76% sentimental schmuckness)

I hardly made it into my seat after dropping Babygirl off in her classroom before I started bawling.  Like unable to speak crying.

I gathered my shit in time to see Babygirl's favorite teacher carry her to stage.

Tears: Round two.


They sang a song. Our camera short circuited on the dim lighting, so I was able to focus my attention on the blurry imaged camera (and not yelling "FUCKING CAMERA" at the top of my lungs) and the tears subsided.


Then as the baby/toddler section was over, Babygirl's teacher thanked us for allowing her to watch our children every day.  Even on bad days.  Because she loves them.

That's why it's ok to leave my heart in the hands of another 5 days a week.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Secret of life

The last few months I've been trying to simplify my life.

In the last 2 weeks I'm doing it.

I'm clearing out the cobwebs, trimming the fat, scraping clean the corrosion of time.

It has not been easy. I'm running low on energy - quite literally. I'm moving past the hump of acclimation into a new diet - the lack of caffeine has made my eyes threaten to jump from my skull.

I am striving to have truer relationships. Quality not quantity.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Florida - on business

So you've heard about the drama flying down to Florida and the drama heading back home...

That was most of the story.  I had to go to Florida for business - and took hubs and the kids along with me.  Why? Because we had a free room and, hell, it's Florida in December!!

We had sunny, warm (by Indiana standards) weather.  Daddy and Babygirl walked on the beach while Momma sat in meetings.  They collected shells during my annual review. 

That's ok, I got to go surf-fishing on the clock!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

You're just a housewife

Yesterday, I posted about our flight down to Florida last week.

Our flight home was slightly less eventful.  Much less running at least.

We flew in to Atlanta without a single issue/delay.  Our two hour layover was just that.

Every. minute. of. it.

We boarded our plane back to Indy. No ice on the wings (I checked). We were fueled and ready to go.

Taxi out to the runway.  Then it happened.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Ready for take-off

Airplane schedules and I do not get along.

First, and most horribly, I scheduled our family to arrive in Florida at 11 PM instead of 11 AM last Tuesday.

Yes, I was in Florida. Yes, I took my family. Yes, I love my readers. No, I didn't post it on here...or Facebook...or Twitter.  Yes, I'm paranoid that someone would have come and rifled through my underwear drawer.

Anywho... Luckily, my 12 hour mis-hap was discovered by a coworker organizing flight schedules so our family's collective ass wasn't stuck shopping for overpriced Colts gear all day.

Our departure flight from Indy was delayed by 30 minutes because of nuts-o weather down south. No biggie, that's why our lay-over was 90 minutes - just for such occasions.  Then our plane had to be de-iced (=45 minute wait) and THEN we had to park on the runway because of a backup in Atlanta (=45 minutes).

Friday, December 3, 2010

First babysitter

Tonight - for the first night ever - we left our child, my life, in the hands of a teenager.

One that we hadn't met before.


Yes, she came highly recommended by others. Straight A's, cheerleader, loves kids - especially under the age of 2, experienced babysitter, and known in the town as "the perfect kid". 

We needed a night out.

This was a great experiment in momma loosening the first of many threads on her apron (not a string...just a thread).

We introduced ourselves to her.  Babygirl pointed, Babysitter responded.

They clicked.

We left.

I worried.

About an hour in...I texted for an update. Hoping that Babygirl hadn't gone nuclear.

My response..."She's an angel!"

Release of 14 months of tension....one long slow outward breath.

We had a great time.  And returned home to a sleeping baby and groggy teen.  (It was, afterall, a school night).

All is well.  We're all better for it.

Tomorrow, my Babygirl is going to be that teen...tonight, she's the bundled, slumbering puddle of love. 

Safe and sound.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

So busy

My worklife is so cyclical...feast or famine...

My posting regularity follows this wave.

Sorry I haven't posted in a while.  Don't forget me inter-world!!

I'm working on sticking to my meat+veggies diet.

By "working" I mean that I backslid a bit yesterday, but I'm avoiding a bag of chocolates that is regularly passed around our meeting table -- so I AM being good.  No pop, no coffee (because I require all the goodies that make coffee not taste like coffee).  Just water.

I did a workout on Tuesday morning and my back disagreed with me.  Well my legs and my back.

And my neck and my abs and my arms.

Ok, the workout totally killed me, but in a good way.

If by "in a good way" means that I groan obscenely if I have to crouch to get the water jug off the bottom shelf of the fridge.

So I'm here - I'm sore, but surviving my first week of my health crazed, no-carb diet.

I haven't bitten anyone yet, so I'm still counting it as a win.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Tomorrow is the first day of the rest of your life

How many times has there been a "tomorrow" for me?


When I graduate from college, then it'll all be better.

When I get into grad school, then it'll all be better.

When I finish my thesis it will all be better.

When I get my first professional job it will all be better.

When I get married it will all be better.

Yada yada yada.

I've always lived for the next landmark.

Today is one of those landmarks.

I turned thirty.  All day. Thirty thirty thirty. Instead of thinking about how cold it was, how the trees were bare and they'll stay that way for too many months.  Instead of staring at the mirror at the wrinkles that don't bounce back.  Instead of eating myself into oblivion....

I grabbed life by the giblets and started an 8 week program.

Hi, my name is Cort and I don't make time to be me. I get tired and depressed and eat to feed my soul.

Today, I put my health, my life, my being on the list.

No sugar. No carbs. No dairy.

Yes, you read that right.

I, who just cleared a pan of coffee cake BY MYSELF, managed to be good.

I will work hard.  I will be strong.  I will be healthy.

While today I was originally going to be posting an "after" picture... this is my new "before" picture.

Yay for me.

That said, I could totally go for a stack of waffles drenched in maple syrup.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Safe in the hands of generations past

On Thursday evening, I spent the night at my grandparents house.

In the room where I have slept one hundred times - the same creaks and pops, the same soft linens and pillows, the same trains whistling.

But with my child nestled beside me.

I lay watching the car lights chase across the wall feeling as safe as I did as a child.  The walls - three bricks deep - built with my grandfather's and great grandfather's hands over 50 years ago. Blanketed under quilts hand-stitched by generations of my grandmothers and aunts.

My baby breathed heavily as I recognized my Thanksgiving was coming to a sleepy end with my grandparents just feet away.  Thankful for the health of both sets of my grandparents still living and healthy. My parents, my brother and sister-in-law, my nephews, my aunts and uncles, cousins...

Safe and warm with the next generation sleeping soundly wrapped in the same hand-crafted love.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

So Thankful

I have a wonderful life.

While we still have our challenges, I am thankful for my sweet, handsome, compassionate husband; my well-rounded, intelligent step-son; and my spunky, sweet Babygirl.

I am also thankful for the network of close (physical and virtual) friends and family.

Other, less sappy things I am thankful for this Thanksgiving:

Polar fleece
Sprinkle doughnuts
Fluffy blankets
Elastic waistbands
Fuzzy socks
Wireless internet
Flavored vodka
Lip gloss
Baby giggles
Full gas tanks
Chocolate frosting
Big hugs
Crunchy leaves
Indian buffet
Good hair days
Washed pocket money
Starry nights

...and of course my readers!

One special reader - Deanna - is the winner of yesterday's $50 Hallmark gift card giveaway!  She's going to use her $50 plus 20% off to announce the arrival of their first baby (a girl!) in March!! Congratulations, Deanna! Please email me your mailing address so we can get that gift card to you!

And everyone - don't forget to use the code BABY20 on Hallmark.com to get 20% off your personalized card order!

Happy Thanksgiving to all!!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

$50 Gift Certificate Giveaway!!

I was contacted by Hallmark.com to review their personalized card service. They offer cards for baby showers, birth announcements, wedding events, graduations, holidays, thank yous and MORE!

They were generous to offer me a $50 gift card to use for my review.  My beloved cousin was due to have her first child, so I decided to use that occasion to send photo cards.

The card selection is great! Many options, colors, and layouts.  My favorite is that you can zoom, shift, and recolor the pictures on the website! I've played with having to crop my pictures and RE-upload on other sites to get the pictures to meet my ever-so-anal-retentive standards.  Also, not only can you change the text but the FONT and add a picture on the back of the card! I was VERY excited!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Flaming cheese

I grew up in an area that is such a crazy melting pot of cultures...in Indiana. Yes, Indiana.

I cherish the diversity I was exposed to at a young age.  Hell, by the time I was in third grade I could cuss like a sailor in four languages! That's worth something, right!?!?

One thing that I love (and should be no surprise to any of you) is the food that comes with rich cultural diversity. Since I moved from home and then away from my college town, I've lived in predominantly white towns with predominantly white food.  By white, I mean..."wanna go eat at KFC or Applebees" kind of white.

Monday, November 22, 2010

I made the list

I made the commitment - and luckily made the list for How Does She Do It's '8 Weeks To A Brand New You' makeover. I'm thankful that she's given me this opportunity.

But more importantly...I've also made my own list.

Starting on my 30th birthday when I officially start my makeover...I make rank on my list of priorities.

My world still revolves around Babygirl, hubs, job, house, finances, dogs, etc... but now I'm recognizing that before I can be ANYTHING of VALUE to any of those commitments - I need to be whole.

You've heard it all before...

Friday, November 19, 2010

A day in the life

I'm sorry I haven't written.

As my hubs says, "It's deer season - everyone's got to make sacrifices."

That used to mean that he was going to be in a tree stand and staying at a buddy's house, and I'd have to find something else to do on the weekends.

Now, it means I'm elbow deep in guts and fur.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010


Today's word is "Simplify"

Say it with me - SIM - PLI - FY.


It's been a rough couple of weeks. While I managed to stay on top of my primary and secondary duties, I came to realize that I had pulled more onto my plate than I need.

More commitments.

More duties.

More stuff with less me to go around.

Today, I stripped down.

Bare bones.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Reflecting pool

Here I sit in my recliner.

The house is silent but for Babygirl's white noise classical music cd that plays continuously through the night. The same one that I have threatened to throw out the window four dozen times - especially on nights where I mispress the button and repeat the first song instead of the entire cd. I swear it makes my eyes turn to spirals as it plays through the baby monitor.

The rest of the house is silent.

Breathing after a long day.

A long day at work.

A long day sitting in my office chair wishing the memory foam so brilliantly touted on the tag would have forgotten just a smidge and given a little more cushion.  A long day of twitching - endless, precise, calculated procedures.  Nervously drinking through 20 ounces of Diet Mountain Dew in the first hour, incessant vibrating of my left leg through the next few hours, then nervously snacking through the afternoon. Twitch, twitch, twitch.  Still no bald patches on my head, so it counts as a win.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Bet you've never had this happen to you in a parking lot!

So there I was...

At the doctor's office for Babygirl's pink eye...AGAIN...when the feeling washed over me.

I'm gonna puke.

I had already revisited my breakfast of water, pepto and a single saltine cracker.  Hours ago.  I had managed to get some canned chicken soup down before the greasy after taste made me stop - kicking myself for not having homemade soup on hand.

Fight it! Fight it!  You won't puke in your own toilet at home let alone in the one at a doctor's office.

I handed Babygirl off to Hubs.  I had asked him to come in case my flight mechanism was triggered.

Monday, November 8, 2010


I mentioned yesterday that I was motivated to do better for myself because I deserve it - as a mom and as a person.  This was why I started this blog nine months ago - because I struggle with the challenges with which I am posed in motherhood, wifery, homeowner, full-time employee, and woman.

Work has got me in a half nelson, and home life is tickling me with huge peacock feathers.

Rather than throw a pity party with confetti and horns...I'm just going to keep this post short and sweet.

I hope everyone out there is going great, and I hope to rejoin you in the upbeat world of blogging.  I can't remember the last time I read more than one blog post in a day. 

I'll be back, but right now I'm going to workout and take a bubble bath.

Kendra and I are like *this*

We're buds.

We've experienced the same things...minus the playboy bunny status, marrying a pro football player, and overall celebrity - we're practically the same person.

She struggled with losing baby weight and I struggled with losing baby weight.

I didn't watch too much of her show prior to the baby, but now I'm hooked.

On the season premiere last night, Kendra's confidence was blown by Mancow.

I have had an acute and persistent dislike of this radio personality douche since my high school days within his Chicagoland listening area.

Sidebar: One of my friends served him a hamberger once, and I'm confident that it wasn't lacking a special sauce. Hey, if you're on the air blowing shit daily, you've already resigned yourself to eating loogie burgers.  But I digress.

Mancow told Kendra that she's a mom and doesn't have to be sexy anymore.

Unfortunately, I can relate to that, too.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Boys will be boys

I grew up in the city.

When I was a teen - all the boys drove mid- to late 80s Camaros, Firebirds, and Mustangs in varying degrees of disintegration. They ran loud, but within the limits of a catalytic converter - for emission regulation purposes.  They expressed their blossoming testosterone raging manpower via their stereos. 

I recall one particular car that had a speaker behind each seat (in lieu of a back seat) that would make my eyelashes vibrate.  What fun... 

Subwoofers the size of papasan chairs ripped through the ear drums of a generation.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Boo! It's really scary when I go unplugged at home!

Since my internet decided to SUCK this weekend, I had to find other things to do...

With a thrown back (oh the pain!).

I did the Halloween thing...

With the Trick-or-Treat thing...

Monday, November 1, 2010

The one where satellite internet ruined my cyber-social life

Shoot me.

I'm sitting in a cafe with a $4 coffee that I can't afford so that I can access my world.  My work, my hobbies, my social interactions all happen on the internet.

And apparently, I went over my satellite usage limit.  Which means my internet is down until my 30 day usage drops below a certain nebulous level.

I called to explore the options of having DSL turned on, and tomorrow is supposed to be the day. 

I'm skeptical.

The big city closest to my house is BFE, and we've been down this road before. BFE's zip code and phone number match my house's, so the service system shows that we can receive the service.  Then, when they flip the switch - nothing happens.

and I'm relegated to satellite internet and it's obnoxious limitations forever.

In honesty, it's a reluctant monopoly that the satellite companies have over the rural US.  They know that the internet is sub-par, interrupted, unreliable, and slow. 

They advertise that they're connecting rural residents to the rest of the cyber-world...but only sorta.

I'm in the sidecar of technology.  Riding along getting where I need to go, but not comfortably or in control.

The fact that I am paying $70/month and unable to do my WORK that PAYS for the INTERNET is what burns my ass.

Yes, I understand the limit.  They want to keep the "signal" available fairly for all users according to their Fair Access Policy.  Unless I want to pay to upgrade.  Then I get a bigger piece of the "fair" pie.

Of course, I can't afford to throw more money at bills - even if I will get reimbursed for it.

So, for now, you'll find me overly caffeinated, twitching at the interrupted public wifi, and watching people walk and talk in the cafe.  Yes, I'm supposed to be working...but it's distracting.

Again, shoot me.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Being brave...and failing.

When my husband and I first started dating, we camped A LOT.

No electricity, no running water (aside from a half-dry creek with carp the size of my thigh trapped in its pools).

It was early enough in our relationship that my entire existence revolved around being fantastic at everything he saw me do (and being undeniably attractive while doing it).

This is a high hurdle to jump when you’re trying to be a camping hardass and have a paralyzing fear of the dark (especially outside).

One particular night comes to mind…

We were alone in the summer night.  Darkness had fallen on the valley.  I, trying to be cute – yet woodsy, had worn a pair of overalls and a tank top.  I was very skinny back then (weren't we all). The pants hung loosely around my hips, the tank was snug.

(Shut up, it was the style back then…or 5 years prior to then…whatever)

I looked hot. I remember like it was yesterday.

At one point during the evening – my love took a walk down the creek while I tended the fire.

Be strong! You know there are no bears or wolves or big cats in a 200 mile radius of here. Nothing is going to come out of the darkness and eat you.

I squinted in the direction that he’d walked. My face stoic in case he could see me in the light of the campfire.

It’s quiet enough that nothing will surprise me. Be brave! Don’t let him see you freak out this early on. Don’t let him see the dark side…yet.

I poked the fire. I stepped back to admire the stars, the quiet - still holding onto the poking stick. I grew up playing Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, I could totally bust a move if necessary.

See, you’re fine.

And then out of the flames – as if from the mouth of hell itself – flew the most obnoxiously gigantic insect I had ever seen in person!

I swung in the darkness blinded by the fire. Miss!

Then, it happened.



I girl screamed, folks.

I don’t DO that. Especially when I’m actively trying to play it cool.

I dropped trou as if I had rehearsed the scene a hundred times.

He came out of the shadows to see the woman he’d been courting doing the heebie jeebie dance beside the fire in her tank top and undies.

I explained my situation, emotionally scarred by the experience.

The culprit emerged from my pant leg.

It was a Dobsonfly.

They look like this…

Yeah, that’s what I thought! Thankyouverymuch!!

He thought all of this was simply adorable.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

People like to tell me stuff...and I feel obligated to be nice...until they lift their shirt

I thought I'd give you a follow-up to my dentist visit...

Let me just say that I didn't know the hygienist prior to yesterday.

I now know that she has two biological children and one stepson.  She's been married 2 years, and with hubby number 2 for 4 years total.

(She is apparently unable to talk and work on my mouth at the same time. I appreciate a hygienist that pulls her hands out of my mouth to get a response from me...but I can hear just fine while you're picking at my teeth.)

Up and Down, Side to Side

My gums are bleeding.


Well, because I have an appointment with the dentist today.

I can completely undo my floss-when-I-think-about-it ways with vigorous last minute action.  He might be a professional, but I'm that good.

I am six years old.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

A Haunted Anniversary

All I knew was...
  1. that we'd be inside or walking (rather than hiking and camping - for packing purposes), 
  2. the room wouldn't have a TV or radio, and 
  3. roughly what part of the state we'd be in. 

A weekend away!

My mom came down to stay with Babygirl.  We left Saturday after lunch.

After driving for hours into the hills of south central Indiana...we stopped in Story, Indiana.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Not quite on the same page

When I was a freshman, I was asked by a senior to the homecoming dance.

This was something like two weeks into my freshman year.  The only reason I even knew a senior was because we'd spent all summer doing marching band drills and the week before school started we were at band camp.

*Insert flute joke here* --pun entirely intended.

The guy was nice. Super nice. Friend nice.

And gentlemen, what does that mean???

Not a snowflake's chance in hell of anything happening.  Ever.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Weight Check Wednesday

In less than 6 weeks, I turn 30.

For some, that milestone has passed. For others it has yet to come.

In all honesty, turning the big Three-O doesn't carry too much weight for me. Except that I'm carrying too much weight to turn the big Three-O.

(See what I did there? Literary genius... Please hold your autograph requests until the end of the post.)

No - seriously! - *sits on hands*

I set this goal back in August, made the commitment in front of all of you, had an utter breakdown, followed by a hell week at work (which involved almost a strict diet of Reese's cups and root beer - shoot me!).

Let's just say that I started out on August 6 needing to lose 16 lbs to meet my goal weight...and now I need to lose 21 lbs.

In 5 1/2 weeks I'll be posting a follow-up picture of myself.  I've promised - I've committed. It's pushing me.

It isn't about the weight - so much as the shape of my body.  I used to not care what my body looked like - mainly because I didn't have to work at maintaining a weight.  Then I gained...and gained...and felt horrible. Not because I was heavier, I just FELT horrible. 

The last time I felt good about my body was when I was about 7 months pregnant.  I loved my pregnant body, curvy and lovely.  (No one loves their body in the last few weeks of pregnancy - it's really a freakish, stretched-beyond-recognition situation.)  I simply want to love my body again - and for me that means the jigglies have got to go!

Warning: If anyone else tells me - you look good for being a mom - I'll throat punch them. Period.

I've dropped the weight a couple times before - so I can do it now.  Emotionally, I'm better.  My head is clear and my goals are focused.  No time like the present, people!! No excuses!!

I have started Week 1 of P90X's Lean program.  I'm eating smarter, working harder, and sleeping more.  All for the sake of ditching my fat pants.

I have two work trips in December and don't need to repeat the breakdown again.

I'm not going to continually blog about my progress. That's boring, and I've worked hard to get all of you readers to come and visit me...no sense in turning you all away now that you're comfy!

Each day, I do post my workout activities on Twitter. Follow the hash #weightcheck and add your progress if you wish! :) I won't try to sell you shakes or anything - PROMISE!

Monday, October 18, 2010

This is where I admit that I can't save the world

Last week, I decided that I was going to save the world.

With cloth diapers.

I was going to be more world-conscious, add a bit of crunch to my footprint.  Keep them diapers outta the landfill.

(I was also severely sleep deprived)

Luckily, I have a friend close by that offered me a few trial cloth diaper setups.  In fact, if I liked the ones she gave to me - I could keep them! SCORE!

Saving the world AND saving money!  Fantastic!!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Ugly laughing causes people to stare, but because its miraculous healing powers are that evident

Last week sucked.

If you follow me on Twitter, you already know that. If you unfollowed me on Twitter because I was being whiny posting "pity me" tweets at 4:30 in the morning after being up all night - it's over. Come back!

Don't get me wrong. I don't mind working - I'd rather work hard than be twiddling my thumbs (yeah, I'm an over-achiever...I know it's obnoxious. I can also wake up smiling and bubbly - but only if I know it destroys someone to wake up to morning sunshine shitters - an obnoxious, over-achieving, asshole I am).

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Afraid of the dark

I have always had a issue with being in the dark.  It was never the darkness that scared me, but the not seeing that goes along with it.

I am a believer in ghosts/spirits lurking among us.

That is as far as I've developed the theory. I don't know who or what or why or how but I believe they're there.  Except when I'm sleeping or having sex because - uh - ew!

When we were kids, my brother and I would "camp" in our family room.  Meaning we'd pull out our sleeping bags, raid the couch for cushions, and end up fighting after bedtime.  The tv in said family room had a blue speck in the middle that never quite turned off. It used to freak me the hell out.

Now, I live out in the woods in darkness.  No light from any neighbor can be seen from our house - even on the darkest of nights.

I am surprisingly comfortable with the dark here.

Every sound has a name: cricket, frog, opossum, raccoon, coyote, deer, squirrel, bird, wind, trees, leaves, katydid, truck on the highway.

A bump in the night (even if I'm not sure) is often attributed to a nocturnal creature foraging for food.

When the winter darkness blankets my morning drive, things get a little funny around here.

We have a resident owl that claims our home inside its territory.  It's a barred owl.  He or she (I'm not sure who the prankster is) will sit in the large maple that leans over our driveway.  It is likely using the light gravel of our driveway as a contrast for the voles, moles, and mice that might dare to scamper across.

It never fails.

I'll be clambering for my keys - in darkness as we have no light that shines on our driveway and cars.  The light driveway is enough for my eyes to adjust and keep me from crashing into my car as I approach.

Just about the time I'm nearing arms' distance from my car...


The barred owl will call.  I will either (a) nearly shit myself, (b) drop or nearly drop my keys/purse/child, (c) shreik, (d) jump and nearly fall if snow/ice is present.

I swear you can hear it snickering in delight. Owl 213, Cort 0.

There are mornings that I have it together enough to remember that prankster, and those mornings he will either not do it or will wait until I think I'm in the clear - release my breath...and then he does it!

It's a funny quirk of living in the woods.  Even with the twitchy fear of the dark, I can find humor in a bird getting his jollies from scarying a jumpy woman in the morning.

In the next week or so, I have a feeling my winter friend will start keeping score again.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Wordless Wednesday

Work blows goat ass this week, so I don't have time to write.

I decided to post a picture - you write the caption!!

Monday, October 11, 2010

Fall is in the air

Autumn is my favorite season.

Hands down.

The maple, basswood, and dogwood reds. The poplar yellow. The oaky browns.

The senses are filled with the last glimpse of summer - the reservation of energy - daring winter to give us its worst.

Squirrels thunder through the leaf litter - scrambling for each acorn.  Deer lurk silently - peering through the brush.  Chipmunks call incessantly.  The last of the migrant birds head south and the locals fatten up on the remaining seeds from the growing season.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

A new era in social drinking

If you would have told me a year ago that I would be spending my Friday nights alone in my bedroom drinking...I would have said that I have gone down "that" road - cut me off.

Oh, but I can still claim that I am a social drinker - even when I'm alone.

Thank you internet.  Thank you Twitter.  Thank you @TheBlogess of http://thebloggess.com/ for hosting #wineparty.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Happy ONE to my little one

Some people look absolutely stunning after they have a child - they glow.  I. Didn't.  I looked like the victim of a hate crime.  But, I digress.  It isn't about me today.

It's about the little one who turns ONE today.

She was perfect in every way from the first time I laid eyes on her.  I was terrified.

This was the moment I first saw her face.
Since that day, we've dealt with many things...jaundice, learning to breastfeed, illness, colic, teething, tummy issues, weaning from breastfeeding, more teething...

Thursday, October 7, 2010

October 7, 2009: Today, a year ago

I won't do these posts continuously...but today - one year ago - is VERY important to me.

I was 13.5 months pregnant (actually, it was the day before my due date). I was miserable. I couldn't breathe.  I couldn't eat.

Her feet were in my ribs.  Her head was scrubbing against my pelvic bone.  She could kick like a donkey.

She had hiccups.

I could grab a hand or foot if it pressed hard enough on my belly.

I knew she was ticklish.

I was 99.9% sure of the name we'd call her - but until now, we just called her "Sprout."

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Avoiding tears in a crowd

We play music as white noise in Babygirl's room.  Our walls are paper thin, our dogs are large and bark-happy, and occasionally we enjoy having conversations in the living room (adjacent to her bedroom).

At first, I thought it would be sweet and meaningful to have her dream to the sounds of her Daddy's cd - the music that he played the day I met him, while he courted me, and that he performed on our wedding day. After 3 weeks straight of rocking my newborn to sleep - grinding my teeth to the songs I had once adored...I changed the cd out.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Bump in the inspiration road

Hi everyone,

I'm sorry I haven't posted as frequently these last few days.  Our family has suffered a loss.  In theory, I could blog on the topic of death and loss and sadness or life and love and happiness. 

In reality, I just don't want to do much of anything but be there for the ones that I love.

Coming topics include:
  • Oddly-timed tears at conferences,
  • Drinking in bed
  • The baby we were told we could not likely conceive turning ONE,
  • ...and much more!
Don't forget me you fickle inter-world you!  I'll be back in a flash - with more to say than ever!!

My love,
Cort (Modern Super Momma)

Saturday, October 2, 2010

I just lived a nightmare

I have a few recurring nightmares.

One of which involves a large warehouse in which I am shopping.  The prices are marked on the items, but I am told by a shady, faceless character that the prices on the items are incorrect.  The prices are listed on the wall.

Fine, great.

Then I select a few items based on the price on the wall - and a second person tells me that the lists on the wall are incorrect.

Customer service is huge on my list, but this is not the "mare" part of the nightmare.

It is when I'm having a mental and ethical wrestling match with the store clerks to get a fair price for my selected items that the ceiling begins to collapse.

Sometimes I make it through the door.

Sometimes I don't.


Thursday, September 30, 2010

Sept 30, 2010 - today a year ago

I just reviewed my pregnancy/baby blog from one year ago today.  I was 38 weeks pregnant, and was being asked when I wanted to be induced...

Induction Junction - What's Your Function
...I was told I could go in anytime after Oct 1 to be induced.  Although I'm very interested in having the baby, I'm also interested in having her fully cooked.  I only take my steaks medium rare.  I would like to have the opportunity for her to choose to come when she's ready - and to be at home for as long as possible - and to be a little surprised so I'm not counting down the very seconds.    I'm hard to please, I know.  During the doctor's appointment two weeks ago, he asked which doctor I would prefer to do the induction - I said that I didn't care.  I was rushed and sort of put on the spot.  I wasn't interested in saying that I'd like a doctor other than him - but if I had the choice...  I did say that I wanted to give her the chance to make the move on her own, and that I was not going to have an induction before my due date.  He scheduled me for Oct 9.  On the way home, I realized that I did know the date, but not the doctor.  I called - and they didn't know.  What?  I told them that I would prefer the midwife.  She does extra monitoring to minimize the amount of pitocin (the contraction-inducing drug that, if overdone, can make a body do things that it just plain shouldn't).  Her method of monitoring is more work for her, and why the other two probably don't do it, but if I had a choice between the three options, I wanted the midwife.  Then at the doctor's appointment last week - when I was examined while a woman was waiting for him to come "catch a baby" - I was even more strongly swayed to want the midwife.  It is still a crap shoot if the baby comes on her own, but if I'm going to be induced I want her there...

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Conference Mania: Mirror Image

The next few posts are going to be conference related... brace yourself.

I am hard on myself.  You all know that.

Mirrors are my enemy, and there are no fewer than four in my hotel room.

The bathroom has the standard mirror over the sink - in an overly lit sterile bathroom.  It makes my should-be raspberry chocolate hair color look black, my skin look pasty, and my teeth yellow.

Add to that the side-kick mirror that has 100 time magnification so that each and every pore is the size of a quarter.  It made tweezing both easy and endless.  Also it made me feel sorry for anyone who has seen me at very close range in the last five years (husband, baby, dentist, doctor...).

Monday, September 27, 2010

Who you gonna call?

Day 2 of my conference, so I have Nicole from By Word of Mouth - give a warm MSM welcome!!  (By the way, I am coming up with some great content to share (at my own expense) in future posts!) ~ Modern Super Momma!

Huge thanx to Modern (so cute and hip) Super (yes, she is juggling her life so stupendously) Momma (her favorite role of all) for the invite to write over on her blog for her and amuse y'all in her absence.

I write a blog, just like y'all do and some days its fulfilling, some days I even amuse myself and some days I wonder why ... but  I write anyway.  I have so many roles to play in my day, Mom role: Wife to one Incredible Guy, Mommy to two Wonderful Girls, Homeschooler, Zookeeper, Office Manager, Mediator, Creative Director, Travel Agent, Chauffeur and sometimes Master Chef ... it all boils down to the World's Best Job but if I didn't write about it, it may just all boil over!

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Grams say the weirdest things

 I'm out on business.  No, really, I AM!  Anyway, I've got a few guest bloggers to fill the void I know you have when I'm not posting.

Everyone, meet Ella!  *all together now...HI ELLA!*

This is the part where I tell you a bit about me...  right? Well, My name is Ella and I am SUPER excited to be writing for Modern Super Momma today! Let's see, I'm in the process of building a new and WAY better website but for now check me out at pourintotheglass.blogspot.com where I write about the weird things that happen to me on a regular basis and all the awesome conversations I have with people, like the one below with my 80 year old grandmother.. Enjoy!

Friday, September 24, 2010

I'm not paid to be a people watcher

I'm a people watcher.  I can sit for hours watching people try to walk out a wedgie, suck in their guts, nonchalantly flex muscles, adjust bras, play with hair and all other aspects of peacockery.  And then there are those that don't give a shit.  Totally state fair, right?

Well, I missed this year's state fair because it was ahundredytrillion degrees and the munchkin wouldn't go for sitting still sweating in a stroller so that I can watch a parade of tube tops and cut off jeans.  Damn the man.

I can deal with crowds if I can feel that I'm on the sidelines - observer as opposed to observee.

This is not the case next week.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Anyone got hemorrhoid cream? For my eyes - not my ass - sicko...

This is the second night in a row that I've karate chopped myself awake.

*peaceful dream about baby*

Oh no, she's falling over! Hurry jump out of bed!

*leg twitching dream about nothing*

Sonofabitch do I smell a poopy diaper!!!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

The technology mafia doesn't want me to work

I don't consider myself a tech-head.  Far from it.  I resist changes in technology for the most part.  Not voluntarily, but lack of expendable income tends to limit which technological trends our family follows.

We got our first dvd player somewhere around 2003.  I got my first mp3 player in 2006 - and didn't use it because I had to rip all of my cds, and that took time.  Way too much time.  I've probably only ever bought about 5 songs on iTunes.  I got my first laptop 3 months ago.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Rhino piss bath and so many lies

After a busy day of postal line-standing and soccer game-missing this weekend, I went to a friend's to hang out.  It was a lovely, crazy, kid-filled day.

When I returned home, I need a break.

The kids were in bed, I decided to take some "me" time.

The considerable amount of exercise this week has taken a told on my gymnastically abused joints, and an increased work load in my job has taken its mental toll.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Laziness 3,000 miles away cost my cute kid quota

Saturday was a nut-so day for us...in a crazy-good sort of way.  The hubs was at work, so I had both kiddos to entertain.

I had a shower gift to ship across the nation, so we first headed to the post office.  Apparently, the couple in front of us were moving their son's belongings via USPS to his college in Washington state.  EV-ER-Y-THING.  The guy behind the desk was working his ass off to maintain composure as the large, sweaty man hefted box after sweaty box onto the desk.

Friday, September 17, 2010

I'm playing hooky!

Please forgive my delinquency in not posting anything new today.

For those who may have missed something this week:

What a week!  See why I need a breather?

Are you following me on Twitter and tweeted to everyone how much you love me?  Have you shared a link to my Facebook page?  Have you checked my Review Blog?

See, I can still keep you from doing what you were supposed to be doing today!

Have a fabulous weekend everyone!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

When one line can mean so many different things

I've promised to not make this blog about politics, so I'll make my comment open-ended and general: "UGH!!!" That is all.

I've also promised to not go into a religion debate on here. It's not my thing. To each his own.

That said...My sister in blogging crime, Stay At Home Babe, inspired this entry.

I grew up with my grandma singing "This little light of mine" to me. A lot. I loved the song, knew all of the hand gestures, when to yell "NO" when Satan interfered, etc.

Years later, my boyfriend (husband now) got me tickets to see my all-time favorite real life celebrity.

I'm not talking about cartoon versus non-cartoon when I say "real life." I'm talking about non-Hollywood, real people with real experiences, that have nothing to do with the drama of their own self-promoted fame.

Dance like everyone is watching

Yesterday, I posted about playing peek-a-boo in public with my daughter while I pump gasoline.

Today, I was just doing my thing, and Yahoo posted this ad.

It made my day!!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Swallowing my pride and doing a jig

I used to say I didn't care what people thought.

A big "screw you" to anyone who questioned my hair, my clothes, whatever.

Of course, I cared. You all know that I always care about what others think.

Standing beside my car, shaking my head, playing peek-a-boo and dancing while I put gas in the car is a standard for me now.

People may talk.

I may care that they talk.

But every last one of them would stop to play peek-a-boo with the toddler munching on goldfish (yes, a bribe to be good) if they only saw her for a second.

So screw them for talking.

And not joining us.

That is all.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Food show leftovers - better 30 years later

The cooking channel is airing old school shows now. I LOVE them!

Julia Child is a part of my memory of random tv shows. Her voice still cracks me up.

Sidebar: I loved "Julie and Julia" and will make my own version of "Cort and Ree" when I cook my way through the Pioneer Woman cookbook. That is, once she gives the secret of how she looks so great when she cooks with all. that. butter!

I digress.

Today's cooking show include zoom shots of knives cutting herbs with carefully practiced finger positions. High definition cooking includes brightly colored backdrops, perfect lighting, and take after take after take to ensure a flawless delivery.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Winter means schlepping my ass up big hills

We have a huge hill of a driveway.

Occasionally, things roll down that hill.

During the winter, when the snow gets compacted, the only way to ensure that I can leave my house is to park my car by the road and walk the length of a football field (downhill, carrying kid plus groceries plus laptop, etc) to the house - to carry them all back up in the morning.

Four winters ago BLEW. We had just purchased the house, and our driveway was a muddy, mushy mess. Even when the snow/ice melted, the mud kept us from getting up and down the hill reliably.

Three winters ago SUCKED. I was commuting and people were depending on me to show up, but I was in shape so the hill really wasn't too much of a challenge. I still hated it.

Two winters ago was HARD. I was still commuting, wrapping up a physically intense job, and dealing with early pregnancy narcolepsy. Getting home to deal with a super-slick driveway was not the "welcome home" I needed.

Last year was FUCKING STUPID. I was working from home, but still had to go to the store, doctor's appointments, etc. Not only was I hauling my "new mom" ass up the hill, but I was carrying baby in bucket seat. Sonofabitch.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Between a rock and a UTI

I drive. A lot.

I used to commute 2.5 hours to and from work each day for 6 months a year.

I love to zen out on the highway (interstates are a little different) and go.

I knew that when I had my baby that I'd have to find a way to drive, mainly to visit family, with her. Driving during nap times, taking pit stops at favorite haunts along the way, not pushing it, staying overnight rather than drive round trips (whenever possible).

I had it all figured out.

Until I actually had my kid.

We were fine - most of the time - with trips. If she'd fuss, we'd stop. Got out. Nurse. Walk. Regroup.

I hadn't figured on the extra time it would take to do this regrouping.

The majority of my family is about a 2 hour drive from my home - no stops. With stops, it's more like 3 or 3 1/2 hours.

So what? What's different??

Momma's gotta pee! That's what!!

More than once, I've raced into my destination baby under one arm - running back style - racing into the the bathroom. No "hi" no nothing.

State. Of. Emergency.

I've never been able to deal with the gross factor of gas station bathrooms. I had the hover down pat. Until, I was huge preggo and couldn't counter balance. And then I stayed at home with new baby without the need to hover. I lost my hover muscles!

The fact that my travels are usually just baby and momma means that baby has to come with me into the bathroom if I go.

One day, when Babygirl was about 5 months old, we had to do it.

I was on my way to a wedding, 4 hours from home. And I had to pee.

I invoked the powers of the hover gods - held on tight to the little one - and hovered.

With strategic paper towel placement and copious amounts of hand sanitizer, we accomplished the task without infection (bladder or otherwise).

That was a rare moment that I said to myself - "I've got this."

I was able to improvise well enough to use restroom and NOT drop the kid off at the pool!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Gummy bears have failed me

I had tonsillitis a lot when I was a little kid.

A lot.

When I'd stay home from nursery school, they'd send a "Get Well" package that included a plastic cup with gummy bears inside.

I'd eat the gummy bears, and my sore throat would go away.

The magic of gummy bears!

So, I have a monster sore throat right now, and a huge shin-dig coming up this weekend. I cannot, will not be sick.

I bought gummy bears yesterday - they even have added Vitamin C! I downed 4 servings to ensure that my throat would get better.

I woke up this morning...

And my throat still hurts.


Tuesday, September 7, 2010

I've never been so proud of a fake tan

The last three days have been full of hard work.

Once a year, the hubs and I plan something at our house that forces us to actually do the things we've been saying we should the rest of the year.

This year, the major project was to get our 10+ year old deck stained. It has seen better days. MUCH better days, I think. It was in sorry condition when we bought the place and subjected it to two 80 pound dog nails, salt/ice/rain, the fact that it takes me at least 4 trips in and out of the door before I can actually leave to go anywhere.

As with any project, this one had to be done in pieces. During naps, after bedtime, but not when it was too hot (or the stain would dry before it was absorbed) or too dark.

With the assistance of an extra set of hands (my best friend came and stayed with us), we got the damn thing finished last night!!

Between my fingers, my toes. Like I was drunk fake-tan-lotioning.

I have stain where stain should never be, and although it is latex and allegedly water-based...it is still sticking around.

But I'll happily wear my stain because I worked hard - and finished a big project.


Monday, September 6, 2010

Labor Day - Not just a day to mark the end of white shoe weather

Happy Labor Day!

Originally created to celebrate trade and labor organizations in the late 1800s, Labor Day today commemorates the last long weekend until Thanksgiving.

To most, it is the day that marks the ending of summer, the beginning of fall. The return to school. The weekend to winterize the summer cabin and to get the boat pulled from the water. The last weekend to get a good tan. The last reason to eat too many brats and potato salad.

Yes, the labor organizations paved the way into 5 day, 40 hour work weeks. Compensation for long hours. Safety regulations. Workman's compensation.

For those of you that work much longer hours than you are paid - I salute you. I salute all of you out there that get up in the morning, and decide that - no matter what is handed to them in a day - they are going to face it head on. Chin up. Chest out.

I want to use this day to honor those women in my life that go above and beyond. Not only in their jobs, but in their lives. Several women very close to me are coming out of a rough couple of years. Those who know me personally know who they (or you) are.

In the face of adversity - when all they wanted to do was curl up and disappear - they made the choice. The decision to continue for their families. For others. They work their hours, they carry the burden of their children, their friends. They care when, at times, caring is the last thing that they want to do.

Keep on keepin' on, ladies. The world needs us. Every last one of us.

Now, go get you one last brat!!

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Marked for life

I was leaving my counselor's office the other day, and as I turned to walk through her office door - she said, "Oh, you have a birthmark on the back of your neck. I've always found those [uncomfortable pause] interesting."


Yes, I have a birthmark on the back of my neck. It's about the size of a finger nail or license plate or somewhere in between - depending on my age, hair style, mood, and sense of self-worth.

It is so strategically placed on my body, that I cannot physically see it unless two mirrors are involved. When I was a kid, I would try to turn my head fast enough to catch a glimpse in the mirror - like I could out run my image or something. I ended up like I was trying to bite my ear. Der!

In high school, people would tease me by saying that I had a hickey on my neck. (It actually looks more in the bruise strain rather than hickey-esque, but high schoolers are assholes. All of them.) I hated that I had something that stuck out. A target. The one good thing that came of it (shitting rainbow alert:) I was cautious to NOT get a hickey because I knew people would blow me shit over it.

My strapless dress and funky up-do at my wedding exposed the birthmark for all to see. I didn't care. Just like the prairie grass, mums, Teva sandals, and the intentional lack of veil or word "obey" in the vows, the wedding was very personalized. Exposed. And I dared anyone to question my decision to show my neck.

Now, there are weeks - even months - when I go without even thinking about my birthmark. I have gone through phases where I care to cover it up with a bob haircut, but I inevitably get hot (read: lazy) and throw my hair in a ponytail. My hair is very short in back now - and I don't care who sees it. To the point that I NEVER think about it, unless I'm double-mirroring to see if I fucked up my haircut or something.

So there I was - leaving a productive, yet tear-free session (fuckin' A!) and she kicks me in the Achilles heel.

She continued, "My cousin had one like that on his neck. It was interesting too."

Interesting? Would it sprout a head and recite Shakespeare? Could it name the state capitals in alphabetical order?

Mine is the source of my superpowers. All 23 of them.

So there.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Riding on E

Have you ever driven home trying to estimate how empty "E" really is on your gas tank?

Looking at where the pin is compared to the "E" line - and saying "well, it's at the top of "E" so I'm definitely not going to get stranded and have my dismembered body tossed into the corn to not be found until the vultures are picking at my bones.

(If no, you've probably judged me on my lack of foresight in previous posts. Turn on your judgey cap, because you'll need it!)

Yea, I was doing that today.

I also had an argument with Last Night Me. It was kind of like having a magic mailbox but without Keanu's squintiness, less romance, and more profanity.

Last Night Me
(time: last night as I pass the final station before delving into rural nowhere toward my home)
Sorry, Morning Me, I know I'm being an ass by not getting gas. The tank is close to empty, but the gas light hasn't turned on yet, so you'll be able to make it into town tomorrow.

Morning Me
(time: as I turn on the car and the gas light turns on)
Fuck. You're a dick, Last Night Me! Come on, I need to get the baby to daycare because you KNOW how much I hate doing the gas station thing getting her all riled up in the car and then try to leave her at daycare. Go to HELL, Last Night Me!

Minutes Later Morning Me:
(time: as I approach the gas station nearest to my house - which requires me to GO IN and pay because the pumps are older than sin, and I live in the country, and that's how things are)
GODDAMMIT, Morning Me! You left our fucking purse in the house! How about you pull your head out of your ass and grab the purse you KNEW you needed today. Shitfuckshitfuckshitfuck.

Returning From Daycare Drop-off Me:
(time: passing the gas station nearest my house after driving the 10 miles round trip to daycare, on the way back home with my tail between my legs)
Ok, so I don't have my cell phone, my wallet, the credit card I had in my back pocket that I put back in my purse because if I left it IN the pocket it would get lost - except that I have those pants on again today (thanks, Last Night Me, for your infinite wisdom). At least the baby is safe at daycare for when I'm stranded and get dismembered and tossed into the corn. But the pin is ONLY on the top of "E" maybe I'll be ok...

I made it home. The hubs is taking the car to town next.

Yes, I believe in full gas tank disclosure and told him how fumy the situation is.

He'll probably need to use lawn mower gas to make it out of our driveway.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Rollin' rollin' rollin' - a window into a very dark, dank self image

Over the weekend I caught myself saying the following phrases...
"When did this happen?" "I hate my body" "GAWD, I used to be hot"

I am NOT a superficial person (mostly), but when I had tried on ALL 5 pairs of jeans that I own, and cannot BUTTON any of them...My self esteem had almost completely vanished.

I dove into a pit of self-pity, went to Walmart specifically to purchase elastic waisted pants - and drank myself silly (hence the discovery of two yummy drink options reviewed here and here).

Sunday, I decided to start anew. I have three months until I turn 30. What better reason to motivate myself than the turning of the page on a decade?

So, I woke up this morning late. I'd eaten an entire Hershey's bar in bed...and, well, watched 27 Dresses (love that movie) instead of sleeping. Whatever. I'd start anew Monday afternoon.

I woke up, brushed teeth, fed baby and ran out the door. I managed to make the conscious effort of wearing jeans today. Non-elastic waist band. I've let myself go by wearing pants that allow me to expand.

After work, while baby napped, I engaged myself.

I took a set of "before" pictures.

Of course, I don't want to show the actual before pictures until progress has been made. Subway's Jared wasn't all showing off his size 65 jeans before he lost the weight - I'm not going to either.

The picture to the left is close though.

Muffin' spillage. Thigh wedgie.

Hot hot hot.

This is an exaggeration - to some extent. For example, I don't have a lobster claw hand, wonky shaped feet, and my red highlights have faded out. The rest is real.

With the added motivation of seeing those...I whipped my own ass doing the P90X Ab ripper dvd.


Then went on a hike wearing my 20 lb baby on my back.

Managed to hike all the way down to the river, listened to the serene gurgle of the flow, peed my pants a little (oh so literally), and then had to hike up hill all the way back to the car.

I was proud of the activity, not so much about the wet pants.

Man, I feel like a woman...duh duh dada duh - duh duh!!

I'm pushing myself to do this. It is a real push.

I have 15 1/2lbs to lose, an ass to perk, thighs to dwindle, and a muffin top to dissolve. 12 weeks to go!

Kick my ass, readers!! I need you to push me!!

I'll post my (real) before and after on my 30th (Nov 29 - hold me to it!!).

Sunday, August 29, 2010

In Bed

This weekend was a long, fun-filled weekend. Although I managed to not awaken with a pink lemonade and spiced apple hangover (score!), I didn't feel like Suzi Homemaker today.

We had Chinese take out tonight for dinner.

Bloated with General Tso's and eggrolls - the following was the fortune I pulled from an incredibly stale cookie: "Win as if you are used to it, lose as if you enjoyed it for a change."

...in bed.

I don't know when I started the habit of adding "in bed" to the end of a fortune. Sometimes, they really juice up the interpretation - other times, like tonight, not so much.

My husband's was "You are an outgoing and fun loving person"... in bed.

Yep. That one worked....and isn't a lie.

Both are less fortune and more generalities than I'd prefer.

Stale like the cookies.

At least they aren't poor English. Those are bad - the American-made happy meal toy end of the meal prize heads somewhere else to be written, then poorly translated, and then folded into cookies.

Anyway, it looks like tonight I will enjoy time with my outgoing and fun husband - and either win or be excited about not winning.


Saturday, August 28, 2010

What's black and blue and red all over?

Has officially abandoned Angel Believes’ 30 Day Challenge.

It was a nice go of it, and it got me back into writing daily. The topics listed are a bit trite for my writing style, and to be honest, I was getting sick of trying to make topics I came up with on my own fit the day's challenge.

I don't need that sort of pressure!


Something you might (probably) not know about me is that we are an archery family.

Who, what?

Bows and arrows. Sticks and strings.

We have an archery range on our property. My husband spends many a night shooting at targets as small as ping pong balls from 20 or even 30 yards away.

He's good, damn good.

My step-son is a great shot, too. Although the 10 year old that he is doesn't bode well for being committed to anything for more than 2 days.

I love to shoot. Correct and shoot. Correct and shoot. I love the mechanics of archery. Straight lines, aim...fire.

Of course, I don't shoot as often as I'd like. I could blame Babygirl, but that's really a cop out.

I hate the bugs this time of year. The only thing I hate more than bugs is bug spray.

I spend an entire summer in grad school drenched in Deep Woods Off. I literally melted finger shapes into my plastic click pencils and plastic clip board with the stuff.

...and *twitch* I've never *twitch, twitch* been quite the *twitch* same *twitch*

So I don't DO bug spray.

Deet can crawl in a hole and die.

I'll do the natural-based stuff if I have to be outside, but I'd just rather pass.

So I'm a pussy, and that's why I don't shoot as much as I should.

The other reason I don't shoot often is because I bruise easily. I wear an arm guard on my left arm (the one holding the bow and - for whatever reason - the one that gets slapped by my string), but no matter where it is positioned I end up with a huge, puffy, ugly bruise on my arm.

Currently, I'm sporting a blueish, purplish, reddish beauty that makes all the boys swoon.

I actually build into my decision to shoot the time it would take for a bruise to dissipate before I have to be seen in public (family gathering, work conference, etc - not Walmart because bruises are a bit more standard there...).

Anyway, I like to shoot - I don't like to get mosquito bites and bruise.

I'm considering full body armor.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Magazine - it's for your shitter

I just read a "neener, neener" one page pseduo-ad in Rolling Stone about the fact that magazines have not diminished in popularity as predicted when the Internet took hold of media train.

It touts:
Young people do everything online. Like order millions of magazines.... Contrary to popular misconception, the phenominal popularity of the Internet has not come at the expense of magazines.... What's changed isn't people's affinity for magazines but the means by which they acquire them. Last year, nearly 22 percent of all new paid subscriptions were ordered online...
(Rolling Stone - Issue 1110, p7)
Why are magazines not falling by the wayside? Because you need to read in the shitter!

I'm not hauling my laptop into the bathroom. I'm not leaving a Kindle beside the john to pick up during a twosie. I'm going to flip through a magazine. Light, disposable reading.

Rolling Stone, I congratulate you on your survival skills in a world where the medium upon which you present your information is more important than your content. I am disappointed that you've reduced your size and turned from a music base to almost solely politics and pop culture.

In my opinion, there is no reason why the True Blood stars should be on your cover -- sizzlin' hot as they may be.

Call me a prude, but that cover is not going in the bathroom where my 10 year old stepson is spending his time - nor where my Grandmother will be if she drops by.

It is HOT AS SIN and going in MY bathroom!

(I don't even have HBO, so I can't watch the show)

Picture courtesy of Rolling Stone.com (http://www.rollingstone.com/music/photos/28431/191807)

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Like nailing jello to a wall

I am failing to comply with Angel Believes’ 30 Day Challenge.

Day 07 → Someone who has made your life worth living for.

I'm not feeling it. So I'm not writing about it.

It is 2:42 in the morning. My mind is whirring at top speed. It is stupid humid - (think fog cloud wrapped in rain forest). I am on an air conditioning strike. It is not hot outside, just humid.

I'm awake because I'm an ass and drank a Diet Coke at 10:30.

I went to my new counselor today. This is my second week with her.

Last week, she started my first visit with a big, long scantron test.

Yesterday, I got some of my results.

Apparently, I am passive aggressive (no, you are), expect perfection of myself (but I'll never get it), seek approval of others (please leave a comment), and I have an attachment disorder (don't unfriend me on Facebook or Twitter or I'll be so, so sad).

This evaluation didn't tell me anything I didn't already know, but it was interesting to have a booklet list my personality quirks without so much more than me answering a hundred true/false questions that I thought were fairly mundane.

I enjoy tests like this that give me an outside perspective.

The Myers Briggs test is one that really has me pegged. Prior to taking that test, I thought I was unique in the way I saw the world. That I had my own shade of rose colored glasses through which I gained perspective. Then I took the test and found that about 17% of the world's population have the same take on things.

I was also 22 years old when I took the test...so that explains a lot right there.

If you are interested in having your personality pegged to gain a little perspective on how you react to things, I suggest finding a certified Myers Briggs test (you'll pay a couple bucks - the free ones don't use the full design).

Moreover, I suggest you ask your better half to take the test. Compare and contrast your personality descriptions to learn more about how each other views the world, how they tend to form opinions and make decisions.

It's a growing experience that I highly recommend.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Lesson Learned - Listen to Your Coach

I am hokey pokeying my way through Angel Believes’ 30 Day Challenge

Day 06 → Something you hope you never have to do.



I am 29 and 5/6ths, going on 64. My bones and joints are bad. Not arthritic bad - nothing that anyone has diagnosed bad - just bad.

Like - Woah, we need to stop sex for a second because my hip just dislocated. Bad.

Or - Yep, I hiked 3 days ago, so maybe I'll be able to move my knees tomorrow. Bad.

Or - I had to hold Babygirl extra long last night so I'm not able to clasp my bra this morning. Bad.

I blame gymnastics. I was in gymnastics - and was half-way decent. Like anything, I dug the mechanics of it. Flip, turn, step, run, flip, stick the landing, hands up.

No flare. No expression.

I didn't get that part of it. I remember my mom talking about my fingers when I stuck a landing. Something about making them pretty. They weren't doing anything, so they were flat as paddles, and I didn't understand the flow. The beauty. I thought that was in the flip. I didn't see the arched back, the flared fingers, the curves. I tried, but no frill.

Beam was my favorite part of gymnastics - until I graduated to the beam that was high enough to fall off. Like straddle. I would skin the insides of my thighs on that bastard. Or do a back flip with my hands too far apart and bust my head. It quickly became my least favorite. I feared the beam. Still do. I will do anything to not have to cross a creek on a log - no matter the size of the creek (or the log).

I digress.

Anyway, against my coaches warning - I did back flips in my backyard. All. the. time.

The hard as concrete clay soil didn't give like the spring loaded mat in the gym. That didn't stop me.

Flip. Flip. Flip. Flip. Flip.

I don't remember how long I was in gymnastics. It was years and years. I remember quitting so that I could do Pop Warner cheer leading. I was in that for a year, and then didn't make the school team the following year.

(It probably was my obvious lack of spirit in my fingers.)

I never looked back. By then, I was developing breasts - and the mere thought of hefting myself onto the uneven bars made my booblettes sore.

Now, years later, I hurt. A lot. Before it rains, when it's cold, when it's hot, when the moon is out...

So, unless someone has a gun to my head AND I feel like breaking my neck AND my back AND have a hip dislocate AND fracture my skull AND break a boob AND skin my thighs AND stress fracture my radius AND jamb a finger....

I really hope to never have to do gymnastics ever again.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

She turns me into a cheesy pile of goo...

I am fumblefucking my way through Angel Believes’ 30 Day Challenge

Day 05 → Something you hope to do in your life.

Bungee jump. Skydive. Climb mountains. Raft rivers. Make millions.

That's what I'm supposed to say, right?

My day today has been ok. Normal, by most people's standards. I accomplished goals for work, and got a little blog side job started. Sweet. Hubs took Babygirl and I out to dinner tonight. We visited a fountain afterword. Babygirl and I crawled around on the floor and read The Lorax (one of my all time favs). We tickled. We laughed.

She's my dream. She is what I want to do for the rest of my life.

Does this sound corny? Yes? Fuck off.

I read a sweet blog this morning about a woman who is having a difficult time getting pregnant. As I read it, I teared up. That was me 2 years ago. Body all fucked up on Clomid and hormones. Pissing on a stick, praying for 2 lines and only getting one. Being told that IVF is the next step. Ever living hell.

Now, I'm working on cutting out construction paper for Babygirl's first birthday.

(And one hell of a job I did - *pats self on back*)

She is my gravity.

Before her, I flitted around - not knowing what I wanted, who I was.

I met my husband, and fell for him. HARD. I love him more than words can say - but this baby is why my heart beats. I don't make a single decision in a day without thinking how she could be impacted.

Yes, over time, I will recenter and have gravity of other people pull stronger on my will.

But right now, it's all about her.

And that's fine.

Now I need to go hover over her in her crib...

Monday, August 23, 2010

Forgiveness - the greatest gift you can give yourself

I am hoola-dancing through Angel Believes' 30 day challenge ...

Day 04 → Something you have to forgive someone for.

(again with the preposition?? yikes...)

Forgiveness is a special thing. It takes a big person, a helluva lot of time, and several perfectly-timed events after the offense to really forgive someone all-the-way.

Especially in matters of the heart.

If you've never had your heart broken - you were the breaker of hearts (for shame!). This post might help you realize why someone 10 years out still wants your head on a stick.

I was the heart breaker through high school and part of college. I was a bitch, frankly. I am very sorry to those who I hurt - and only fully understood what I had done when it happened to me.

Without going into major detail - I fell head over heals over head over heals for this guy. And him me. It was crazy. It was real. We were 20.

Dating...blah blah blah...Love...blah blah blah...Engagement...blah blah blah.

Then cheating. Then DEVASTATION. Then 6 months. Then man on knees asking for forgiveness. Then edgy-love. Then cheating.

Then done. The end.

Burn me twice, I'm the ass.

The way everything happened - the fact that I was left with a job and no home for the summer - the fact that I was left no option but to hang out with work people - the fact that my future husband was working at the desk beside me through it all --- got me where I am today.

And I was grateful.

7 years after the end of my previous relationship - I held onto the hate. The pain. I had suffered - and to some extent, still did.

I was 13 months pregnant and preparing to go to the wedding of a mutual friend of my ex and I. It was going to be the first encounter after all of these years. Of course, I was a sow and my self-esteem was in the negative numbers. I went anyway, and my husband stayed behind.

His wife stayed behind.

Neither of us knew anyone else at the wedding, so we were forced together in that manner. After so many years, we talked.

My being secure in my life (happy marriage, expecting a child, own my home, etc etc etc) made this encounter MUCH easier.

That night, I released that pain. I let it die.

I wanted for so long to be so much better than hate - and on that night, I was. I knew that no matter how shitty the events were that unfolded, they had given me so much more than I would have had otherwise.

I am happy not being followed by the specter of negativity and self-loathing.

I had forgiven. Wholly and completely. Finally.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Anyone got a fingernail scrub brush?

I am shimmying through Angel Believes' 30 day challenge ...

Day 03: Something you have to forgive yourself for.

...Aside from being the asshole that will point out the ending of that line with a preposition.

I'm a dick. I know.

I am on a continual journey to forgive myself for not being perfect.

Over 6 months ago, I started this blog to sort out my feelings about being stretched in 700 directions at once - jack of all trades, master of none. I've used this as my therapy, and then evaluate my journey through real-life therapy.

I take time off work to recharge - and then end up working because I feel like I'm letting people down (even though they would never say that). I feel bad that Babygirl had to be at day care an extra half hour yesterday because of a therapy appointment. The house is a mess, and the last few times it has been really CLEAN is when my husband has done it. (Don't get my wrong, I'm grateful, but still feel bad.)

I exist in a pool of tarry, sticky guilt.

Sometimes, I can crawl out - wash myself off - and appear to be untarred. I still lingers under my finger nails, between my toes, and behind my ears.

I'm getting better. I am now aware that I don't HAVE to be everyone's everything. I'm also learning that I can be doing a magnificent job at being a mom, a wife, a daughter, an employee, a friend, A BLOGGER - and I don't need to be told this every 4 1/2 seconds.

I'm getting there.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Lovin' the ladies

I am working through Angel Believes' 30 day challenge to get my blogging juices pumping...

Day 02: Something you love about yourself.

Of course, you know this is going to be difficult for me because I'm an over-thinker...

But something I love about myself - are my boobs.

I've got great ta-tas. I'll admit it.

Sure, they're a bit saggier than they were 10 years ago, but nothing that a good bra can't fix.

Although they've gotten in the way a time or two...they have served their purpose, and are now retired from service.

They still make me move up one shirt size than I'd prefer, but my current muffin top thanks them for the extra wiggle-jiggle room.

They're good to me, even though they tend to steal the lime-light when I'm at conferences (usually male-dominated in my field of work).

And we've got an agreement where as long as I keep them harnessed comfortably and securely, they promise to not smack my knees when I walk or my face when I run.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Hate is such a strong word

I am running a little low on topics here lately, and came across Angel Believes 30 day challenge to revamp my juices.

Day 01: Something you hate about yourself.



Well, I, uh

*stall stall stall*

When I read this topic as Day 01, I thought -- "hell, where do I begin?" But now that I have a blank page and have to REALLY think about it...

I'd have to go with...

...well... if I say...no no no...

*scratches head*

*looks around*


I'm an over-thinker. I seriously over-think everything.

Example from this morning:

I pick up the pants I laid out yesterday to put on.

My ass looks terrible in these pants
. Puts on said pants.

I need a shirt to cover my ass. Selects shirt from closet.

This shirt always wrinkles when I sit in the car.
Puts on said shirt.

My bra is going to show when I'm holding Babygirl.
Tugs at shirt.

Should I wear a tank underneath?
Scans closet.

Screw it.
Walks out of closet.

What colors are in Babygirl's outfit? I don't want to match her.
Peers around corner at crawling baby.

Well, her leg warmers are pink, but I think it'll be ok.
Picks up Babygirl and heads out door.

~~~~~ end daydream sequence ~~~~~~~~~

Can you relate? Have you thought these things? Maybe for a business meeting or family gathering? Yes?

What about for the 2 minutes it takes to drop Babygirl off at daycare and then return home to work?


Thursday, August 19, 2010

Redefining "good food"

I can eat nearly anything - if I'm in the right mood. Yes, I crave White Castles, Burger King french fries, fair elephant ears... Crappity crap I really shouldn't ingest. Fast, fried crappity crap.


Last weekend's trip to Michigan was one to bust my waistline. Whew, doggie!

We had pizza. We had biscuits and gravy. We had hand dipped onion rings. We had perch. It was all luscious and filling and caloric nightmares. But real, honest to goodness food.


Best of all.

Of everything.

Of anything I've eaten in the last several years.

Were our CREPES!

Crepes from Pierre Anne in New Buffalo, Michigan. A little house-turned restaruant that you miss (4 or 5 times over) if you don't know what you're looking for (aim for the 5/3 bank parking lot). We sat on the veranda - and couldn't believe our eyes, noses, or tongues when these were delivered to our table.

Savory....(beef stroganoff crepe)

and sweet...(crepe a la Pierre Anne)

Holy groaning, moaning, throw your head back and say "AMEN" goodness.


Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Get the Bug

This story is from a few years ago... it's a classic and had to be reincarnated here for you all to enjoy!

...in the bathroom getting ready to go to bed last night. It was dark in the rest of the upper level of the house. Just the bathroom light casting shadows into our bedroom across the hall.

Out of the corner of my eye, I saw a shadow move in the bedroom.

At first, I dismissed it as our 80lb boxer/lab, Maya, but I realized that she had not budged from her resting place when I came up the stairs.

And there it was again - a shadow at eye level moving in my room. I leaned out of the light of the bathroom to get a better view, and it went by again...


Keep in mind that I had spent the last 2 summers working on a bat program to get the public to accept the little creatures as a part of nature...

but not in my BEDROOM!

I screamed to the hubs, "There's a bat up here!" He came darting up the stairs.

(I later found out that he thought that I said "there's a MAN up here!" and came to learn that with his previous experience with indoor bats that he would have taken much longer than he did to come up the stairs.) :)

He and Maya came up the stairs slowly as the bat zipped in large circles in the room, making a pass in front of the door about once every 5 or 10 seconds.

At first reaction, we decided to lock Maya in the second bedroom to keep her out of the way. Hubs stood with the door cracked to get the pattern of the bat, but it was moving too fast. We then decided to allow Maya to do her thing.

For those of you that don't know, Maya holds her own in the house by catching the bugs that sneak in because we have to let her out to go potty. The command is "get the bug" and she glazes her eyes, and, for the most part, succeeds in catching and eating or slobbering up the insect. Well, we thought that this would be an awesome bug for her to catch - I don't think she was about to correct us on the proper classification of the zooming animal.

By this time, we had the bedroom light on (which also turns on the ceiling fan). Maya was released...she chased it around a little. This disoriented the bat enough to cause it to bump into the ceiling fan, but it was hardly phased. Maya quickly lost interest and decided that she wanted to wrestle with Hubs instead (still quite the puppy). Maya's shift in the bedroom was over.

Again locked in the other bedroom, she whined as Hubs ventured into the room to trap a resting bat - to no avail. One of the wings of this bat was the length from the tip of my pinky finger to the tip of my thumb. A freaked out bat who just wants out and is being chased in instant sunlight was quite confused and a close encounter was not desired by either of us. (I already had plans to sleep in the other bedroom or living room if we couldn't get it.) He hurried back out of the bedroom, slamming the door behind him.

Back to the original stance, Hubs had the door open trying to catch the bat's pattern, and all of the sudden there was no bat!

SHIT! Where is it?

Hubs said that it flew past the door toward the wall and never came back into the middle of the room. Hubs, armed with a butterfly net, and I, with a towel over my head, began to carefully search slightly cracked drawers, behind the dresser, under the table...NO BAT!

So we called in the dog..."get the bug!" Because the bat was no longer flying, she began to pursue a fly - good dog?

Well anyway, Hubs and I spread to the rest of the room searching under the bed, inside lampshades, and behind the blinds.

Still, no bat.

Maya had now become enthrawled with her bed. It was way past her bedtime and with less-than-hinting sighs before this event - she had announced this downstairs.

She began to fluff her pillow - something that my other dogs have done, but not her - strange.

She began to sniff beneath it, and I picked the pillow up to see - nothing - stupid dog.

I continued my search...maybe it is behind the tv. Maya was still messing with the pillow. I looked closer, and along the wall (right where my hand had grabbed the pillow seconds before) a bat "thumb" was reaching up and tucking back just as Maya would strike!

Good Dog, Smart Dog, "GET THE BUG!"

The bat, thoroughly exhausted ended up in the middle of the floor. Maya, a kind and playful dog, nudged the bat, but did not attack. Hubs, on the other hand, pushed Maya out of the way and trapped it.

It was safely released outside, and it flew away.

As always, there is a happy ending, Maya got a cookie for getting her bug, I got to sleep in my bed, Hubs got to get me to stop screaming like a chick in a horror flick, the bat flew away!!

Oh, what a night!


Follow-up: Today is my beloved Maya's 8th birthday (she was 2 or 3 when the above story occurred). She's been by my side through thick and thin. Now, she lays passed out beneath my feet in the cool breeze of the air conditioner.