Only 10 posts for February? I'm slacking.

I've been thinking about the difference between a blog and an online diary. More specifically, I've been wondering if there really is a difference. I was never a diary writer when I was a kid, although I did keep a journal in my later teenage yers as a way to keep track of lots of things - lessons I learned, a new shortcut to school, how much money I was spending... that's kind of when I relized that, for me, if it's not in writing.... it never happened.

I want to be a blogger. I want to be a GOOD blogger. However, my writing skills are far inferior to those of other, more experienced writers. I have a long way to go and I want the shortest way of getting there. I want followers! I want comments! I want people to like what I write. I want it now.

One way that I know that I can improve my writing skills is to read. UGH!! When will I have time to do that?! And why do I dislike reading so much?? Is there someone out there that can help me?? I want to be a reader, too!! Anyone?

In fact, now that I'm thinking about it, I DO read.... quite often, actually. Our average is two books a night. Tonight I read "Noah's Ark" and "Trains!" for JJ, who really loves being read to.

Sigh. Today was an okay day. I slept quite a bit today, although not very soundly, while the baby slept and while Jerry kept an eye on him for me. I can't tell if this cold is really kicking me that hard or the sleep deprivation is finally catching up with me. I really wanted to get out of the house to go do something, thinking that maybe we need a little fun to help lighten my mood. No avail - I snoozed off and on until about 4 p.m. until JJ took a nap on my chest and we decided to go out to dinner. Maybe we'll go do something tomorrow afternoon.

Signing off and going to bed. Perhaps tonight will be the night that good sleep will find me.


Brand New Day

Is it blogging time again? Already?


Today was.... well... I'm going to just pretend today didn't happen. Tomorrow is a new one. It's bound to be better.

Jerry and I both have the sinus crud. JJ had it last week and it cleared up very quickly after I shoved saline up his nostrils five times a day and forced him to drink massive amounts of apple juice and pedilyte. I was NOT having a repeat of January. So far so good.

I'm trying to avoid an ear infection so I've been trying to use the Neti Pot more. It's very scary because I feel like I'm drowning. You know that feeling you get when you suck water up your nose in the pool? It's exactly like that. It's apparently supposed to prevent sinus and ear infections, so we shall see.

I'm tired. And cold. And hungry. I'm going to take care of all that... tomorrow is a new day.


Will My Bags Fly Free?

Only with Southwest. Sad, isn't it?

Mine, however, fly free with me every day. Believe me, I would love to pay someone to neatly tuck them away for a while.

I tend to blog more when I’m having a bit of a rough patch. I also blog more when Jerry gets into playing the XBOX more... so now you can label me as “more predictable than you originally thought.”

I’m going to come out with it. I’m currently struggling with post partum…. crap. I’m nearly convinced that I’m not having depression issues. I haven’t figured it out yet but please know that we are working on it. We will find a solution. We will get through this. In the mean time, this is a very interesting article I ran across the other day that raised an eyebrow... Her story sounds strangely familiar.

On to more normal things: today at the gas pump, I could feel how cold it was outside when I stuck my tongue out at JJ through the window in the car. The wind hit my mouth and I felt like I took a big gulp of a fresh, Chester Milkshake. Ew. JJ was laughing so hard while I was making faces, his whole body was shaking. He was in hysterics. It was awesome and I’m sure the other gas customers thought I was a crazy-face-making-laughing-at-nothing-just-escaped-from-the-mental-instution kind of woman. Close... but not quite there. Yet.

THAT. That is what gets me looking in a good direction. That is my life therapy. Kids have an incredible ability to make you pick yourself up off the floor and instantly feel good. Charlotte Reynolds ( made me feel this way. My niece and nephews make me feel this way. Most of all, JJ makes me feel this way. His wonderfulness is wrapped in a very tiny package, but it far exceeds its physical boundaries.

I’ve been putting JJ in the baby wrap more in the evenings and although he’s only in it for a short time, it offers more together time than we had before. It is painfully true that working moms struggle finding quality time to spend with their kids. I’m still trying to figure it out and it’s been three months. I think we’re getting close to maximum possible time together, which makes me very satisfied.

Mr. Wonderful is currently sound asleep in his crib after I dusted off my swaddling skills and wrapped him tight (picture from a few nights ago.) He just learned to roll over, and the rolling and flailing is keeping him awake. For the past FIVE weeks, he has not slept more than four or so hours at a time. Tonight, I haven’t heard a peep out of him for at least that long. I think tonight might be the magic moment. It’s also moments like this which make me feel quite satisfied, knowing that I can figure out what my baby needs before anyone else, sometimes before even he figures it out. I know the hungry whimper and the sleepy nuzzle and the bored chatter. I’ll be totally honest when I say that we have very little crying (at least from JJ) in our house (except the time he whacked his elbow in the bathtub, and a few other choice moments.) He doesn’t need to cry to tell me. I know.

All of these amazing superpowers still have me in awe, and now Jerry is getting them, too! This shock and awe sometimes leaves me in a daze: are we... raising a child? Are we really doing this scary thing we only dreamed about a year ago? This little human depends on us for everything and are we doing an absolutely fantastic job??

Yep. We sure are. And although I don’t feel blessed/thrilled/excited/satisfied all of the time, I know that he is here because we wanted him so much. We loved him even before he was conceived, and even more now that he is in our arms. He makes us more complete than we ever would have been without him, regardless of whatever emotional post partum baggage that I continue to lug around.

Dilemma, Indeed

I suddenly and without warning, had an epiphany so great that I immediately scrambled to my blog. Do you want to know what it was?

I need to take more pictures.

More importantly than that, I need to find my camera. Dilemma, indeed.

Even more importantly than that, I need to POST more pictures. JJ is quite the character, often falling asleep in random places and more often than that, in his new car seat. Here he played himself out at daycare:

Yep, my little guy likes to fall asleep except when I want him to. Sigh. Next on the "I-haven't-taken-enough-recent-pictures-of-my-really-cute-kid" list, an area favorite.

I'm going home tonight to find my camera and start snapping and taking video. You'll see a transformation on this blog soon and maybe I can organize my life in the written blog with some visual aids.


A Day in The Life...

I read a delightful blog the other day about the day in the life of a stay at home mom. I thought it was hilarious, and I wondered what my day would sound like on paper/blog. Being a mom is hard, whether you stay at home or work. Each type of "mom" is quite equally challenging. All of the moms out there can relate to this schedule, but the non-moms should read carefully and be afraid... Here is my typical day, although every day is different:

4:30 a.m. Drag self out of bed/off sofa when baby wakes to eat, make bottle, change baby, feed baby, rock baby back to sleep, go back to bed/sofa: 45 minutes.

6:00 a.m. Try to wake up for the day: 30 minutes.

6:30 a.m. Drag self out of bed/off sofa when Jerry calls me for the fifteenth time. Trip over cat in the dark. Change baby’s diaper and clothes: 15 minutes.

7:00 a.m. Shower, dress, brush teeth, comb hair quickly because now we’re behind schedule. Dig through clean clothes pile for matching socks, look for other shoe: 30 minutes.

7:30 a.m. Bundle baby to go out in the elements. Get baby in car, run back into house to get pacifier, run back again to get Thumbie, look for pacifier that fell on ground, lick the germs off pacifier, calm baby down, and pull out of the driveway: 20 minutes.

7:50 a.m. Turn around and go back to house to get forgotten computer: 10 minutes.

8:00 a.m. Scheduled to arrive at work. Pull out of driveway again and off to daycare. Realize that I will never make it to work by 8 a.m. ever again during drive to daycare: 15 minutes.

8:15 a.m. Arrive at daycare. Take baby out of car, take him inside, and tearfully say goodbye. Explain to daycare provider everything she needs to know for the day, and go back out to car to get Thumbie/pacifier/other sock: 20 minutes.

8:35 a.m. Writhe with anxiety because I’m going to be really late for work as I pull out of driveway of daycare and arrive to work 45 minutes late: 10 minutes.

8:45 a.m. Stumble into work, take off my coat, and run to the coffee pot. Work like a dog for the next 8 hours. Drink two more cups of coffee before lunch. Eat lunch at my desk. Call daycare to check on JJ. Drive home inebriated from frontal brain hyper stimulation: 8 hours, 15 minutes.

5:40 p.m. Arrive at daycare. Put on JJ’s coat, talk about his day, say hello to all the kids, get baby outside, get baby in car seat, calm him down: 25 minutes.

6:05 p.m. Arrive home, carefully take sleeping baby out of car seat, and put him in crib. Figure out what I’m going to fix for dinner. Let dog out. Start fixing dinner, fix a bottle, go soothe, change and feed baby. Go back to dinner and put in oven/on stove: 60 minutes.

7:05 p.m. Finally put baby in jumperoo. Pull dinner out of oven/off stove. Take off coat and shoes and toss them in the general direction of coat rack. Pick up bottles off floor from the night before, pick up toys and baby things and put them away. Put clean dishes away from dishwasher and put dirty dishes in dishwasher: 30 minutes.

7:35 p.m. Get baby in bath and dressed for bed. Sing songs in rocker and read two books: 35 minutes.

8:10 p.m. Eat dinner: 5 minutes.

8:15 p.m. Clean up living room floor, put jumperoo away, put rest of dirty dishes in dishwasher. Empty out Roomba for the next day. Feed dog, feed cat. Clean up random messes and clean up kitchen. Maybe run a load of laundry or put away laundry in basket that has been sitting there for a week, or accomplish other random chore that’s been waiting too long, or think “Screw it all” and spend some time with Jerry: 90 minutes.

9:45 p.m. Make bottles for nighttime and early morning feeding, clean up spilled formula, and run dishwasher: 20 minutes.

10:10 p.m. Fall down on sofa: 10 minutes.

10:20 p.m. Change and soothe baby. Feed baby. Rock him back to sleep on sofa, carefully move him to crib, calm him in crib: 25 minutes.

10:45 p.m. Put on pajamas and refill humidifier in baby’s room. Soothe baby back to sleep after accidentally waking him up by replacing water tank into humidifier: 20 minutes.

11:05 p.m. Lay down on sofa. Either get on the computer for a few minutes or fall asleep immediately. Depends on the day. Potential computer time: 20 minutes.

11:30 p.m. Either I’ve been asleep since 11, or I am going to sleep now. Yay.

2:15 a.m. Get up and soothe baby back to sleep, and go back to bed/sofa: 15 - 25 minutes.

4:30 a.m. Start all over...


The Ultimate Status Update

How we are:

JJ rolled over yesterday and it was awesome. Until I realized how fast he's growing!! I can't believe that little line on the pee stick will be five months old next week. It really seems like yesterday. Really.

Jerry and I are doing okay. We're both sleep deprived (JJ hasn't been sleeping well lately) but we're surviving. We now have a new storm door on the back door, a new light fixture over the stairs, and new storm windows on the front windows. Jerry's been busy.

My wretched cold sore is finally going away. Darn thing.

The snow is finally almost gone, only to remind us of all the mud hiding beneath. I've been trying to get my car stuck in the mud like I did in the snow. It's more challenging than I thought.

Sherlock is still outside and it's 8 p.m. I'll let him in eventually.

I think that chicken nachos are the best crock pot recipie that I've ever made. I made it last night and it's even better today. Amazing, and great for parties.

I am still wishing right this very moment that weekends were three days long. Maybe one day... I sure could have used one more day to sleep some.

JJ has a new jumperoo, courtesy of our good friend, Venessa! It has at least 25 toys on it and he gets so over stimulated when he's in it, that he forgets to jump. He just looks around and plays with the toys!

Clover is hungry.

House is a rerun. Darn.

I think I'm going to bed. It's 8 p.m.


Making A Comeback - Thanks, TLC

It's official: I can never watch "A Baby Story" ever again. I don't know if I should be sad or relieved.

I caught an episode of the TLC show this afternoon and like many other women, was siphoned in against my own free will. The woman and man were a very average couple, the birth was completely uncomplicated. She was totally comfortable, medicated, and only concentrating on one thing: holding her baby in her arms. And loving on him for the first time. And looking him in the eyes and welcoming him into the world.

The birth went as planned without a single hiccup. The new mom and dad were both crying with the kind of joy only a new baby can bring. They were a perfect little family.

And there I was- bawling on the sofa. WTF?! My baby was sleeping very quietly (a rarity these days) in his swing, and I was crying my eyes out at the television.

Why, you ask?

Because THAT was supposed to be MY son's birth. How dare this other perfect woman be afforded the perfect birth when I couldn't have the same. The nerve of some people...

Just kidding, folks. Really.

I was crying because the show reminded me about the kind of work involved in having a baby and the kind of joy you feel when you hold that slimy, screaming tiny human on your chest, exhausted and tearfully thrilled. I didn't have that. I had the work - and the work and the work and the work. Until a few moments before JJ was born, I did have a glimpse of the perfect birth. I did have my plan in order and I was doing what I was put on the planet to do - bring life to our JJ. When we learned we had a problem and needed the C-Section, I knew we were in for an unanticipated challenge.

I can't say that I took it with the courage of a thousand soldiers. I can't even say I took it with any courage at all. I suddenly shifted from ecstatic about our baby's arrival to terrified for his life. Not exactly what I had pictured for the big D-Day. Or the several days after that.

So there is this woman on my television, talking about how her birth experience was so wonderful that she might have ten more kids. I suddenly became jealous and quickly turned the TV off. I was acting ridiculous. I still am.

No. I have not "let it go." Not yet. When you work for something your WHOLE life, and it's suddenly snatched away and balled up and thrown on the floor, it can be a little stressful even months later.

I often look at him and think to myself about how lucky the three of us are. I often tell him that I'm going to do better for him now, because I couldn't be there for him when he was born, when he needed me the most. I tell him that I'm going to make up for those 14 precious first hours that he and I lost. And of course, I tell him that we're all in this together, no matter what. He just looks at me and grins, every time, as if he's saying "Oh Mom, stop being so silly!"

No I haven't let it go. I've tried - it's like a persistent boomerang. It keeps coming back to hang over my head like a dark cloud dropping daggers. I'm reminded every day how if this was 100 years ago, JJ and I would have both died. I'm reminded of how thankful my mom-in-law was that many years ago, someone had the courage to perform the first C-section and how thankful she was for the skill of my doctor. I'm reminded of the impact on my husband and family. I'm reminded of a horrible birth, when I should be reminded of a wonderful one - the one I had carefully planned... the one shown on my tv today.


Is that sn- - OMG!!

I can be plausibly sure that today’s morning commute was the worst ever. EVER. I find amazement in the fact that our road was completely clear of snow at 6 a.m. when I poked my head full of wet hair out the front door to check the conditions. No problem.

By 7:10, the snow was pounding so furiously, I should have retreated back into the house and plopped back down on my sofa. Nope! Not me! I was determined to get myself to work because the mountain of mishmash on my desk has been growing like a hungry monster for the past few days. The road was okay when I arrived at JJ’s daycare and after dropping him off, I felt reassured that he was safe in case something bad happened while driving on the slick road.

Traffic came to a complete halt as I slowly approached Iron Bridge Road, which was completely covered in snow. I was a sitting duck with no option other than to quietly observe another Snow-pocalypse crash down on the poor chumps of Virginia. Poor chumps, indeed. It really is too bad that DMV can’t simulate a snowy road to train people how to drive on them. Here is my account of all of the idiots I encountered today during my 1 hour commute of 6 slippery miles:

-Man in capped Pickup Truck: Got annoyed at the traffic sitting still and tried to turn around. Ended up gracefully sliding into the ditch beside the road instead.
-Woman in Pontiac Sunfire: driving way too fast. All windows (except small peep-hole on windshield) covered in snow. Later saw her in a ditch about a mile from where she passed me.
-Old guy in large white suburban: three inches from my back bumper. If he had hit me, I’m pretty sure I could have killed him with my bare hands.
-Woman in red eclipse: two cars in front of me, passed a car and a sand truck on Harrowgate Road. Later found herself in ditch.
-UPS truck: Started to proceed at stoplight by punching the gas. Turned himself sideways and blocked the opposite lane from mine.

There are some real smart cookies out there.

I got to work just fine, an hour late. No worry, I was only the second one there. I had a wildly productive day and felt quite proud of myself as I walked out of the office promptly at 5 p.m. The ground, road, and cars appeared completely devoid of snow – almost like the two hour blizzard never happened. Amazing and annoying.

Was it a bad dream, or just another typical Virginia snow? Hmmmmmmmm....


Status Update: Wired for Social Addiction

I've been fishing around for some ideas for my (fantasy) book. I got a fantistically horrible idea the other day to write about the Facebook craze. There is so much to write about Facebook, I would finish a novel on one topic!

Then I thought to myself... would I get sued for writing about a syndicated free web application? I don't know. Would anyone actually read my book about something that they do for copious amounts of time each day? Only if it was incredibly inticing. I don't know that I can pull that off.

This analysis led me to "nay" the idea of a book on Facebook. Back to the drawing board, I guess.

However (you knew this was coming), I did learn a few things about Facebook that I would love to share. One of the topics I thought about for my book was Facebook addiction. It's a real disorder, classified by the American Psychiatric Association. It's a serious addiction, and several Facebook Addiction Support Groups exist.

In fact, one exists on.... you guessed it.... Facebook. I read through the page for Facebook Addicts and was amazed. I might be naive here, but I'm thinking that maybe Facebook isn't the proper place to hold a Facebook Addiction Support Group. That's like having an AA meeting in a bar, or a Sex Addicts Support Group in a strip club. It just doesn't seem right to me.

So, how do you know if you have an addiction? The DSM-IV (a fancy psychology book that I'm sure I have a copy of laying around here somewhere...) says that an addiction is any act that interferes with the functionality of daily living. For example, if you spend so much time on Facebook instead of working/sleeping/showering/cleaning/taking care of your kids/spending time with your family... you might have a problem. An obsession is the systematic repetition of a single act that interferes with daily living. If you check Facebook, say, fifteen times a day... I would call that a little bit of an obsession. Obsession is a little tricky, though, because I can change my baby's diaper 12 times a day, and it's repetition, and it kind of interferes with our daily lives... but it's certianly not an obsession.

Why do people get addicted to Facebook? Facebook is a magical place where you can get lost in other people's lives and forget your own. You can solicit attention with status updates, meddle in other people's business, and collect friends like a lifelong hobby. These pleasurable events are difficult to obtain in real life, so we are desperate for some "feel good" vibes from social networking.

I think I'll go update my status and see who is online...


One of my Personal Favorites

I tripped and fell into Myspace this afternoon, and I realized that this blog was still there. It's one of my favorites...

Putting Your Make-Up On While Driving and Other Things Women Love To Do But Shouldn’t

Category: Fashion, Style, Shopping

Personally, I think its fun to be a woman. We get to have much more fun than any male could possibly know. We think about and see the world in a different way than anyone can ever explain (I know, I've researched.)

However. There are a few things I've witnessed lately that bother me. Some women out there (sit down, this is a shocker) give the rest of us pink-wielding, pedi and polished, studded divas a bad rap. I'm here to set the record straight.

Rant 1: Micro-Minis. If you consider yourself a lady, please don't wear tights with a micro mini that could pass as panties. It looks trashy and no matter how little you are, you look trashy in it. I've seen this a lot, and I know you might love to do it, but we don't. Leave the micro mini to wear over dark skinny jeans and Ugs, please.

Rant 2: Texting. Yes, you know it. Texting EVERYWHERE. In a restaurant. While getting a pedicure. In the elevator on your way down to lunch. In the bathroom. At the movies. My favorite – while driving. Give me a break, girls. Texting constantly is rude and makes you look a little desperate for attention. I understand a few texts here and there, but attached to the Blackberry? Yes, we loved it - last year.

Rant 3: Getting trashed. It's true: we women LOVE having too much wine, forgetting our purses, losing our keys, falling into a cab, and waking up the next morning next to some guy with a stiletto missing. Or, do we? There's a reason why they call it TRASHed, girls. Be a lady: moderate.

Rant 4: Secret keeping. I think there's nothing classier than a lady who can keep a secret. I know it's hard, but when you know something juicy, or something that you don't think other people would enjoy hearing, keep it to yourself. Whoever told you the secret will appreciate it, even if they didn't tell you it was a secret in the first place.

I'm not going to keep ranting on things you shouldn't do, so I'm going to tell you a few things that I think are great about being a woman that you shouldn't stop doing.

Joy 1: Crying whenever you want: I don't know why women love this, but we just do. Just a thought: don't ever hold back, but please cry QUIETLY. When there is a scene in a movie that makes you cry for no reason at all (like the scene in Legally Blonde when Elle helps Paulette get her dog back – gets me every time), let your tears sneak around the corner. Keep a tissue in your purse at all times so you can dab without making your mascara run and your eyes puffy. Sobbing loudly? Keep it in your pocket unless your man is breaking up with you in public.

Joy 2: Putting on Make up while driving: It's your fave. It's mine, too. It's dangerous. It should be right up there with eating spaghetti and texting while driving. Here are a few tips if you just can't get up five minutes earlier to put it on: Exhibit A - The stoplight. If you pull up to a stoplight, put on a little. By the time you get to work, you'll be done. Exhibit B – it's winter and you should let your car warm up a few minutes. While it's warming, put on your face. By the time you're done, car is warm!

Seriously, ladies. The Insurance information Institute estimates that 80% of all crashes are caused by a distraction. Putting on makeup counts. I'd rather have an unpolished face than a bloody one. Be safe about make up application and operating a motor vehicle.

Joy 3: Wearing contrasting shoes. I have this great pair of red patent leather pumps that get widely complimented on, even by some men, every time I wear them. Invest in a pair of red, purple, yellow, or other brightly colored shoes. Only wear them once every two weeks or so, and with whatever you want. Don't match. They're cool enough on their own.

Yes, it's great to be a woman.

Praying for a Miracle

I was quite saddened to learn yesterday of the discovery of Morgan Harrington's body last week on a farm in Albemarle county. I was secretly hoping that maybe this girl was going to be a lucky one, like Elizabeth Smart. I thought that maybe Virginia Tech could call this one a victory after such hardship. I spent a good deal of time praying for a miracle. Perhaps the death of Taylor Behl a few years ago prompted me to pray harder for this one. I haven't figured it out yet.

Backing up here - my New Year's Resolution is to do more good. My goal for this resolution is to do one charitable thing per month. January, as most of you know, was a total wash as far as our lives are concerned, and I just didn't have a single second to spare to devote to any charity. I'll do better by February.

So, for January, I'm thinking that continually praying for an array of folks would satisfy as "doing more good," and I'll share with you some folks that you can mention to the Big Man upstairs, too.

-Of course, the family of Morgan Harrington. I can only imagine what they are/have been going through.
-A few friends I knew from high school:
*Stephanie: Her daughter was born last month very premature at 1 pound, 11 oz. Mom and baby are doing well, just waiting for baby to come home.
*Kelley and Tawny: Newly Pregnant.
*Alison: had surgery recently to remove cancer
-Total Strangers:
*Allie Goerolds and her family: this little girl has cancer and is participating in a research study and her family is having trouble finding transportation from Colorado to Maryland.
*The Duggar Family: Their little girl is still in NICU after being born 15 weeks premature. At the very least - pray for that baby and the sanity of her parents - whether you like their show or not.
*Jay Rigney: this is a gentleman that our company employs overseas... I've never met him, but he was recently diagnosed with esophageal cancer.

We've all been dealt a miracle every now and then. I know for sure that Jerry and I have received a few this past year... Count your miracles. Be thankful. Go on - ask whatever higher power/entity/God/Allah you believe in to deal one to these good people who not only need a hand, but also deserve one. We can only hope that a stranger would do the same for any of us.


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