Monday, April 30, 2012

Back Seat Pilot

I'm not a great flyer. I use ‘great’ because I’m not totally crazy like “I see a colonial woman on the wing churning butter” kind of girl. I tend to keep my hallucinations to myself. You wouldn’t even notice how crazy I am if you were sitting around me. Now if you were sitting next to me and you happen to be my husband then you’d probably notice.

On flights that aren’t turbulent I can forget my fears and act completely normal, carry on conversations even. If it’s bumpy, hold on to your seats. I immediately go into survival mode. I start reading the safety pamphlet, eyeing the nearest exits and making plans on which passengers I need to elbow out of my way should I have to make a hasty exit.

Mark tries to tell me the scientific details of flight that, he feels, should calm me down. What he doesn’t realize however, is that it’s very hard to digest physics when my mind is fully engaged with keeping the plane in the air (obviously and your welcome fellow passengers). It can’t do two things at the same time. You try listening to why the engines propel the plane forward even when it’s windy WHILE you’re keeping an Embraer Jet at 36,000 feet. It can’t be done, y’all.

Unfortunately, we had to travel this weekend and thankfully my husband came along this time. Here are a few snippets of our conversation:

I’m pretty sure the wings shouldn’t be wobbling like that. Actually, I’m 100% sure. Maybe we should call the flight attendant.

I’m 100% sure you’re wrong. Do not call the flight attendant.

Isn’t Columbus on our left? I don’t think we should be banking to the right. Oh, wait…that is our left.

<<blank stare>>

Do you hear that? It’s a buzzing sound…OMG…the wheel door didn’t shut all the way. WE CAN’T LAND WITH ONE WHEEL. Maybe we should alert the flight attendant.

I’m sure the wheel door shut. Stop digging your nails into my hand, please.

I’m just going to call the flight…


He is going way too fast to land. Shouldn’t he be slowing down now? I don’t want my parents to have to identify my body. My hair looks like crap today and my mom will totally hate that I didn’t brush it.

You need to go fast in order to make sure there is sufficient wind going over the wings in order to blah blah science blah.

WHAT? So you think my hair looks gross, uh? I bet you think I’m fat too. That is just awesome. Thanks a lot, Mark.


It’s tough being my husband… and my pilot.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Happy 3/4 Birthday Love Bug

Today marks Ella's 7th month as our baby girl. 7 whole months filled with doubt, joy, fear, laughter, and love. Lots & lots of love.

She started out in nugget form.

This post was supposed to be a 6th month thing ( Happy Half Birthday is so much catchier than Happy 3/4 Birthday or whatever 7 months is. I'm not very math-y) but time got away from me.

Our first family photo

I get so frustrated with myself for not getting these milestones down. I know I'll forget these seemingly innocuous things that make me weak in the knees - like the way her hair will never lay flat ( just like her daddy's), the way her two little teeth just barely appear through her gum, the way her feelings get hurt if you don't catch her before her wobbling becomes a tumble. I feel time slip away faster and faster and it makes me sad. She barely even wobbles any more.
I so got this, Mom

Where has the time gone? I guess we've been busy laughing at the dogs & wrinkling our noses when they get too close, enjoying our bath time & loving all this new food (Go squash & green beans!). We've gone on long walks & gone to church, visited family, taken airplane rides.

Waiting patiently for the next bite.

We've cried when the tooth fairy said it was time to get started on those teeth & when we have to go into the carseat. But we've laughed more than cried.

Daddy knows the right place to tickle & Mommy how to fake hiccup (and is really good at it).

Sometimes just looking at Daddy can insight giggles.

The dogs are comedic geniuses & are responsible for many peaceful grownup dinners (Thanks Duke & Oscar). She loves wet paper towels and tasting said towels with her little tongue.

More paper towel, please!

Having a child is so much more - more love, more joy, more light & more laughter- than I could ever dream of. Sounds very cliche, I know, but cliches are cliches for a reason.

It's too early for a photo shoot, momma.


Love You Forever (Ella)

By Robert Munsch

I'll love you forever

I'll like you for always

As long as I'm living

My baby you'll be.














Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Deadlines, Schedules & Babies...Oh My!

I’m a planner. I relish planning to the extent that when I think about getting to make lists my mouth waters. (I KNOW! So weird, right?!) For example, I’m planning Ella’s first birthday, which is in SEPTEMBER.

Planning inevitably leads to having a schedule and if I’m on schedule then all is right with the world. My schedule though can, more often than not, be arbitrary and may not always be communicated to the others in my life. This leads to problems. There have been on occasion (once or twice or 14 million…) where I have blown up, seemingly out of nowhere, because we did not adhere to the “in my head” timeline.

When you said we you needed to drop off the dry cleaning I took that to mean we’d have to eat lunch first and then drop off the dry cleaning because I ate breakfast at 9:15 and you know I can’t go more than 2 hours without food and if we eat lunch then that means we have to leave the house by 10:30 or else we can’t drive to Corelli’s (b/c that is where I planned on going IN MY MIND) and be done by Noon in order to get to the dry cleaners. AND it is very clearly 10:45 and we are OFF THE FREAKIN’ SCHEDULE!

Those conversations never goes well.

So now, enter Baby. She also likes schedules (thank you, Jesus!). She enjoys sleep (again, thank you, Jesus!). But there isn’t enough time in the evening to get everything we need to get done for ourselves (for instance, pick up a few quick groceries, go workout, pick up prescriptions etc.) and feed her, bathe her and put her to bed before she blows up like a little firecracker out of sheer exhaustion.

What happens when we fail as parents!

The hubs feels that her going to bed later is not a big deal. I feel tremendous guilt – she’s not getting enough sleep, her pattern is going to be all messed up, she won’t nap properly for her caregivers tomorrow, then her eating schedule will be all messed up. The hamster wheel in my brain never stops spinning on the What Ifs.

I’m not sure if this schedule thing is just in my head or if we really need to be strict getting her to bed on time. Screw working out (which is not too hard to give up)! I know everyone with kids goes through this and everyone without kids has time management issues. So please tell me if I’m being crazy or not. And please give me some suggestions!

And you have a deadline but it’s in my head and I won’t tell you until you miss it at which point you’ll see me explode with rage.

You’re welcome.


Monday, April 23, 2012

You're So Silly, Momma!

How can you have a manic Monday with those smiles??!!

Friday, April 20, 2012

High Five For Friday

It's Friday, folks!

Woke up today on the wrong side of the bed but after I remembered a short snippet from a Joel Osteen sermon I got myself together! He said that while we may be going through a rough patch - the job isn't going so well or our relationship isn't what it once was - we need to continue giving it our all. When God blessed us with the job when we were unemployed or brought this wonderful man into our lives we were happy & felt blessed. We gave 110%. Just because the newness has worn off doesn't mean we should stop being thankful or quit working hard. Redoubling my efforts today :)

Here are my top 5 things from this week:

I have the coolest baby on the planet!

I have been laughing out loud since I downloaded this book. The author of the super popular blog The Bloggess, Jenny Lawson, has come out with her first memoir. You will definietly ask yourself if the stories are true because they are weird, hilarious and vaguely terrifying. Go buy it now!

I had a horrifying hair failure this week but it made me giggle. I'm having fun trying out different styles. You should too!

It was a rough Thursday, y'all but a nice California cab & brownies from scratch made it bearable!

The two loves of my life sacked out together! Looking forward to a weekend with these two :)

I'd love to hear the the highlights of your week! Post it in the comments!


Wednesday, April 18, 2012

It's Only An Irrational Fear If It's Not YOUR Irrational Fear

I have a paralyzing, white-hot fear of birds. 

And before you ask All birds? Really? And start in on a “what if” situation: What about a fluffy, talking parrot that poops Hershey kisses and sings the Alphabet?  YES.  All birds, all the time.  No exceptions (ok…I might make a teeny-tiny exception for those teeny-tiny baby ducklings with pastel yellow fluff who fit in your palm but as soon as they start bobbing their heads like all their ugly bird cousins then it's dead to me.)  

I’ve been known to scream, duck, hiss,  go out of my way to avoid, and kick at them (only AT them, folks.  They are way too quick for me to actually connect.)

I believe this crazy, heightened fear developed in high school during my tour of France with my high school French Club.  Its 1998, I just graduated, and was heading to college, so I was clearly one of the cooler kids in the crowd. (Pssst… I wasn’t.)  I was wearing my super cool, oversize Reebok sweatshirt (and frankly it was the only thing I wore the entire 3 weeks.  My stink fit right in) and my super classy fake nails with the French manicure (because everyone has French manicures in France, right? No?  Just me, then? Ok, moving on…) 

As we’re walking underneath the Eiffel Tower this enormous swarm of birds (probably pigeons because those a-holes are EVERYWHERE in Paris)  flies directly at my head. 

Let me clarify because my husband (who wasn’t even there, thankyouverymuch) insists this isn’t real.

The swarm looked like something God used to tick off Pharaohs.  It was massive.  Probably a good 50-100 birds.  And it wasn’t that they were flying high in the sky.  That would have been acceptable.  They flew directly at chest level.  Imagine if you will, a huge swarm of large, trash grubbing birds, each the size of a loaf of bread aimed directly at your chest, flying at the speed of light and you’d probably have a huge, crazy fear too.  My palms are a little sweaty just thinking about it.  

All I remember is seeing them coming at me and screaming as I flung myself to the ground. After I was sure I had all my bits and pieces in tact, I jumped up to find my group gaping at me with wide-eyed bewilderment. No one else seemed to have feared a bird beak lodged in his/her chest.  In fact, I was the only one flicking off pieces of discarded crepes from my sweatshirt and dabbing at the blood sprouting at my knee caps.  Apparently, they did not value their lives as much as I did.  

I feel like I dodged a bullet on that trip.

Monday, April 16, 2012

No Light Sockets Were Harmed In This Hair Experiment

Medusa Circa 2012

I always thought I had unmanageable hair. It's kinda wavy, kind of straight,  medium length-ish, and layered. It turns out, I just didn't try to manage it.

The Internet, however,  is my saving grace.  Apparently, people who know how to do stuff post videos on the Internet of them doing stuff.  It's a revelation. Hair tutorials are the cat's meow.  Sometimes they don't always work out (see above) but most often they look amazing and you're a stunner.    

Here are a couple of my favorite hair blogs.

Christina over at Hair Romance, her 30 hairstyles in 30 days provides looks that are so pretty, some look intricate and hard to do but in reality are very easy.  

Kate from The Small Things Blog has inspired so many new lovely hairstyles for me.  Her tutorials are easy to follow and follow them I do! She's in our bathroom practically every morning (thanks to my IPAD).  

Maegan at Love Maegan, is where I got the idea for the experiment above.  Her Carrie Bradshaw curls looked so lovely on her that I just had to try it out.  Turns out I'm probably more of a Miranda but that won't stop me from trying out her other lovely hairstyles in the future.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Design Porn

I just found your new addiction, y’all., or as I like to call it Design Porn.   If you have 7,458 pins on your “Home Decor” board over at Pinterest, you will love this site.   Between Pinterest and Houzz you could feasibly never see the sun again.  You’re welcome.  
Do you want to day dream about your ideal powder room, which OMG has to be tropical?  Or do you have to use Preparation H after you sit on your organic bamboo couch because you are soooo modern and hip?  You’re in luck.  There are exactly 8 bajillion pictures submitted by professional designers, architects, and contractors to scroll through for every conceivable aesthetic (god awful to just brilliant).   And the best part – you can digitally scrapbook all of your finds in Ideabooks.  You know, for when you want the billiard room turned into a gift wrapping station. 
The site is very user friendly and incredibly simple to get started.  Don’t feel like pigeonholing yourself into a design aesthetic?  Just scroll through all the lovely pictures.  Or if you need ideas on how to decorate the stairwell, hop on over to the stairwell section (seriously. A stairwell section! Love! ).  Personally, I love scrolling through pictures that follow my design aesthetic (What up Traditional!). But I also enjoy perusing (some might call it judging) other submissions that make me want to vomit up my lunch (I’m looking at you, Tropical).  Who buys wallpaper with coconuts on it? Seriously?!
The ideabook is a great way to write what you like most about a particular picture and then email those obsessively to your husband at work prompting him to reply “We don’t even have a beach house.  Stop sending these.” WE WILL SOMEDAY, DREAM KILLER. 
Also, if you’re in the market for a new decorator or contractor (who isn’t these days, dahling?) the site lists professionals, their contact info, photos of their creations and recommendations.   You can also have discussions with other users and professionals.  You can upload photos of your fugally fireplace and get all kinds of opinions on what you should do with it.   Another nifty idea they have is a section on just products, everything from rolling storage carts to armories, that list price and where to find the item, plus you can add those to your ideabooks as well.
From apartment dweller to homeowner to home-someday-buyer, Houzz allows you to splurge on that new slate floor or that oak barrel lined wine cellar…just, you know, in your dreams!  It’s like window shopping for your home IN your home (on the Internet in your pajamas).   
Have fun!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Easter x2

I hope you had a lovely Easter weekend!  We certainly did. 
For Ella and I, it was Round 2 of the Easter Circuit.  The weekend before was Ohio Easter with my side and this weekend was Texas Easter with the Hubs' side.  It was jam packed with family, eating, family and more eating... mainly eating.  

Round 1 - Easter Weekend in Ohio

Grandma getting her squeezes in.

Grandma and Grandpa getting E ready for Easter pictures.

Grandpa and Ella having fun. 

Getting ready for our Easter pictures.  I was going to say "Easter Pictorial" but didn't want it to sound too Playboy Bunny, definitely not to be confused with the Easter bunny. 

She loved the teenage Wal-Mart employee dressed as the Easter Bunny.  What can I say? The girl's social.

Round 2 - Easter Weekend Texas

This is how the weekend started out.

Look at what the Easter Bunny brought you!

Awesome! You gave me yellow stuff for which to choke on! How thoughtful.  

Southern Belle

 I'm pooped just reliving it! 


Nana & Papa in from Ohio.

My little family. 

Diva Bunny

And this is how the weekend ended. 

Tuesday, April 10, 2012


It’s not often that the hubs and I have an issue that festers.  I’m a talker and a feeler.  I NEED to discuss things until they've been dissected into teeny-tiny fragments. 
Notice I did not say communicator.  To be a communicator, apparently, you need to relay your thoughts  in an intelligible and straightforward way and then engage in a dialogue with the other person.  Or so I’m told.  Instead of, I don’t know, mumbling incoherent phrases in between crying jags.  Again, I’m a feeler, people.   I have big emotions.   The hubs, let’s just say, is not so much a feeler or a talker.   
Whewww....all that to say we like to solve things differently. 
So the point of religion has never really been an issue for us. (Woa…It just got real up in here, folks!)   He was raised Catholic.  I was raised Baptist (Northern Baptist.  Is that a thing? I mean, they have Southern Baptists so if you go to a baptist church in Ohio that would be Northern Baptist, right???).  So basically on the same page, except for a few Hail Marys and a sprinkling of holy water or too. 
However, once we had Ella the tides seem to have shifted a bit.  He would like to raise her Catholic.  I would like to find a church where we can blend our familial traditions and beliefs and raise her in the Christian faith.   But we’re stuck.  It's festering.  We talk about it, I cry, we walk on the fringes, I mumble,  but we haven’t settled it.  I know people go through this all the time and there is a way to do the right thing so that each of us, Ella included, will be fulfilled in our faith.  I just don’t know what it is yet. 
There is certainly give or take on both of our parts.  I attended Easter services on Sunday at the Catholic Church.  He has attended my church back home.  We compromise and can see each other’s points of view but this is the one issue that vexes us.  So we’re stuck at that spot in the conversation where you can’t find any new points to bring up so you just kind of settle into this d├ętente.  Inertia can kill us if we let it so we need to write the conclusion of this chapter sooner rather than later. 
And as long as we're talking about this religious stuff, I have another confession... I eat the little heads off all of the animal shaped Easter candy and throw away the bodies.  I felt I needed to get that off my chest.  

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Body After Baby, Part II: The Clothes

A while ago I did a post on body after baby.  My point was that I was content with my size and shape after ballooning up for pregnancy.  It was worth it, and all that jazz.  I still have a sizable caboose and a soft round belly that protrudes when I sit and some bat-wing arms that jiggle when I wave.  I don’t want that to stop me from living my life and it shouldn’t stop you either. 
I noticed that I could look past my “flaws” if I felt confident and sexy in what I was wearing.  And all of a sudden it didn’t matter what the scale said, I felt good.  When you look your best, you feel your best.  So I went on a mission recently to find some crush worthy clothes.  These are a few of my favs:
Land’s End Boat Neck Dress – The boat neckline is so in right now.  It flatters all shapes.  Throw on heels and a nice necklace for the office or cute sandals for the weekend.  The comfy poly/rayon/spandex blend fabric has enough heft so it hugs in just the right places but doesn’t suction.  Both sides have ruching, which minimize the pooch.  And at 69.97 (on sale) it’s a steal – I will wear this for years to come.

 Ellen Tracy Peplum Blouse- Macy's calls this shirt a peasant shirt but I think it falls into the peplum category so that's what I'll be calling it.  I so loved this shirt that I bought it in yellow as well.  This is a silky, machine washable (Yah!) blouse.  It’s light enough to wear in Houston’s miserably muggy weather.  It has cute detailing at the neck and sits at the waist.  I love this because you don’t have to tuck it in but you still look polished. 

The Wrap Dress – Oh my gosh, do I love the wrap dress.  It’s sexy, elegant, and easy and always makes you look sophisticated and fashionable.  I own 5 wrap dresses – different colors, different prints etc.  These dresses play up your assets (Hello Ms. Boobalicious) and can camouflage that little round belly.  The best part of this dress is you can find these in every price range.   And for those nursing mothers out there it’s easy enough to pull over so you can nurse.
You can go high end, a la Diane Von Furstenberg, who I love.  Too bad I didn't hit that super jackpot last weekend!

For those not with the wallet to support a DVF collection - Christin Michael's on Zappos has amazingly cute wrap dress for terrific prices and a wide range of sizes.    

Old Navy T's:  For the weekend, I'm all about comfort but yet I want to look pulled together.  I've recently stocked up on Old Navy T-shirts in a myriad of colors -blue, black, white, red, striped and different styles - ballet neck, v neck, side ruching etc.  For $10-$15 a pop you can't go wrong.  Since I'm tall I ordered the tall version so they are long enough to camouflage my tummy area and skim my hips.  Pull on a pair of white jeans and sandals and you're ready to rock the weekend!

These are some of my favorite body after baby clothes.  I'd love to hear your favorites!

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Karmic Retribution

I’d heard the stories of traveling with babies.  I’ve been on planes where there were screaming children and I’m sure I’ve given a stink eye (or two or three) to those parents of unruly children.  So I’m here to tell you… karma is real. 
Ella and I traveled to Ohio to visit with Grandma and Grandpa over the weekend.  One of us almost didn’t come back.  She’s lucky she’s cute.
Getting to Ohio was easy-peze. She slept the whole way.  I admit it, I got cocky.  And that is when karma put the kibosh on my attitude.
It started when we arrived at the airport.  I thought I heard the check-in-lady say “Gate 18 B”.  So I go through the security at the B Gates.   What she said and what I heard were two different things.  My seat was 18B, my gate was A6.  So I went through security TWICE. WITH A BABY.  I’m going to let that sink in. 
Are you finished imaging that nightmare? Good. 
So with that debacle, I had just enough time to feed her at the gate but not enough time to feed myself.  But I figured I’d just pay the exorbitant amount of money for a meal on the plane.
They call us to board; I pick her up only to find her seat is completely soaked in brown poo.  Did I tell you she developed an ear infection while in Ohio for 3 days and had to be put on antibiotic that affects her system? I run to the nearest bathroom with a diaper and wipes and a change of clothes.  We were the last ones to board the plane.  If you’ve ever encountered 50 people staring you down while walking on board a plane with an infant you’ll know the kind of stares I encountered.  Withering, glaring, villainous stares.  At this point, I could feel the cold fear creeping up my back for what lay ahead. 
After she ate her bottle she fell asleep for all of 20 minutes.  That was the only nap she had all day.  Every toy I brought she threw it down. I spit on your toys, Mother.  Every position I tried was the wrong one.  Ha, you think swinging me upside down will work?! Pish-Posh, my friend.  If I didn’t care whether I had hair or not by the end of the trip I would have just let her pull it all out.   That was the only thing she found amusing. 
It was at this point that the stewardess finally made her way back to my seat with drinks.  I asked her which meal option she had left.  She said she’d sold out 3 rows back.  Of course, she did.  Me + rumbling tummy = Grumpy x 70 bazillion.
After an hour or so of Ella crying/squealing/wailing, I took her to the bathroom to change her again.    20 minutes after that, she proceeds to poop her pants so thoroughly that it goes up her back and out her pants.   With her sitting on my lap facing out her poop squashed out on to me.  I’m fairly certain the old man beside me smelled it first because I noticed he scooted as close to the window as possible. 
I had no extra clothes for myself and after the first fiasco none for her either.  So much for traveling light.   I washed her down as best I could and did the same for me.  All the while she was screaming.  Maybe she didn’t want to wear poopy clothes for the remainder of the flight or thought my looks of terror were too frightening.   Either way, she didn’t stop crying until we landed.
By some small miracle, we arrived early.  Early enough that the gate wasn’t ready yet and my husband was not there to pick us up.  So we had to sit on the plane with the air conditioning off (in Houston, do I need to remind you?) for an additional 20 minutes.   Needless to say, Ella was not amused by this turn of events.
When I found out my hubs was still 30 minutes away, I broke down and went to McDonald's.  I may have lost my mind when the girl told me they “don’t got supersizes” anymore.  WHAT THE WHAT?  After trying to wrap my brain around this fact I finally told her to give me the largest fry she had and throw another scoop of fries in the bag and we’d call it even. 
I got a total of 6 bag fries.  Karma’s a real B - - - -.