Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Open letter

My sweet little guy,

I'm sorry that your mommy is so stubborn. And I'm sorry that you seemed to get a double dose of stubbornness from mommy and from daddy. I was bound and determined not to give in to your bedtime antics and so I put you to bed crying. "Let him cry himself to sleep for a change," I told your daddy. After all, you were perfectly asleep until I put you in bed. And you were certainly tired enough to drift right back off. Except you were bound and determined to have mommy hold you until you drifted off to dreamland. And so you cried and cried and cried until daddy decided to go rescue you. But you would have none of it. You knew just exactly how to get me to come back for you. And in less that 10 min, you were soundly asleep and in your bed. If only we hadn't been so stubborn, you would have been in dreamland far earlier.next time, I will try not to let our stubborn streaks get the best of us.

Love, Mommy

Wednesday, October 31, 2012


This is a stickup - mommy wants my candy! Happy Halloween, everybody!!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

The Night Bus

It was a dark morning, before the time change, and I had arrived early at the train station for a change. It's always nice not to have to run from the parking lot to the train platform.

This particular morning I decided to back into a parking space rather than pulling forward. I had grown tired of returning to my car each evening to find a windshield covered in tree sap and bird poo. So I thought that by facing the opposite direction that I could perhaps avoid the 5-minute window washing that ensued each afternoon before I could leave.

The parking lot is narrow so there isn't much maneuvering room for pulling into parking spaces. Knowing this, I opted to shoot for a spot by itself, several cars away from the nearest parked vehicle. So imagine my complete and total surprise when I felt and heard a crash!

I am a very safe driver. I can count on one hand, no joke, the number of times I've been in a fender bender and this is the only one that is solidly my fault. I swear to you that there is NO possible way that I could have hit that car unless one of our vehicles pulled a move like the Night Bus in Harry Potter!!! I still contend that that car jumped over and in my path because I can't figure out how I managed it!

Even more surprising was the fact that my parking assist alert did not sound like it usually does when I'm near an object.it usually starts squawking before I'm anywhere near hitting something! And yes, I do have a backup camera and a large display in the dash, but I find it very disorienting so I don't often use it. Needless to say, I will force myself to use it henceforth!!

On the upside, damage was superficial to both cars and I have not had to make an insurance claim for repairs to either vehicle. So all's well that ends well, I guess.

Days Like This

Because M's school is a major sponsor of the Chihuly exhibit, we were able to enjoy the beauty of the Arboretum for FREE! Awesome! If you haven't been to see the Chihuly exhibit, it is worth braving the crowds! Pictures definitely do NOT do it justice ... nor does a mere one or two hour visit. Make a day of it - you won't be sorry!

Knowing that attendance has been very heavy the last week, we opted to be there when the gardens opened. And man, are we ever glad we did! The line to get in to park was impressive for 850am and the lot was already quite full. Once inside, the crowd dispersed quickly but it was still quite obvious that there were lots of people milling about just by noticing how many stray people wandered into "the perfect shot" all morning.

We stayed about an hour and half and things were really ramping up as we were leaving as people were pouring in by the busloads. The weather was lovely for us - warm but not too warm with just enough breeze to keep things comfortable. It was definitely heating up and by the time we got home the wind was gusty.

Mom went with us so we were able to get a few good family photos. Not as splendid as I'd hoped, but the little guy was tired because, naturally, he had decided to take a nap just before we left for the Arboretum. So we had to wake him up to go. Boo! All in all, though, he did quite well. Makes me think we might need a membership so we can enjoy each season at the gardens.


Thursday, October 11, 2012

Open Letter

Dear Juror Services Genius:

Thank you for allowing me to excuse myself from jury duty because I have a child under the age of 15. Serving on a jury really would be a little dicey at this point, what with the need for a "parlor" and all. Then throw in the potential for a crazy schedule for some interesting capital murder case and you have the recipe for a juror going AWOL. Glad someone recognizes that!

A Thankful Citizen

Tuesday, October 09, 2012

'Cause I'm Free

Once returning to work, it was only a matter of time before I had a wardrobe malfunction. I just can't seem to go without those. I think I must have them for everyone who's never had one. You're welcome. So I was walking to my office from the train station and things felt a little ... free, shall we say. I was wearing a silk blouse, so I just attributed it to the thin, flowy material and thought very little else of it. After all, everything was covered. I checked. When it came time for my first "parlor session," I discovered just exactly why I felt so free on my walk in. I clearly forgot to fasten the snaps on my accoutrement in my rush to get out the door on time that morning. Nice. At least this time I wasn't baring it all for the world to see! Le sigh

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Inevitable but Really??!

Well, just two full weeks into part-time daycare and the inevitable has befallen us  - MT's first cold. Boo! Early Saturday morning he woke for a feeding all congested. It seemed to do okay for a day or so but then he ran a low grade fever for several days so I opted to stay home/keep him home. He was never terribly fussy, thankfully, but he was extra clingy and only mommy would do! None of this daddy business, crazy lady!

The icing on the cake though? I got sick too! I woke up with a wicked sore throat on Saturday morning. It would dissipate throughout the day, so I thought it was from allergy drainage since I'm still off my regular allergy meds for the time being. But then Tuesday, the sore throat returned with a vengeance and didn't let up. Swallowing ANYthing was painful. So I called the doc to rule out strep, which seemed a real long shot given that I hadn't run any fever. Still, now with a little one at home, one can't be too careful! Quick test came back negative. Doc took one look at my throat and exclaimed, "oh my....now that's impressive!" while not strep, theres no question it was some type of throat infection. So three scripts and a day later, I feel tons better!

As my mom said, being sick is inevitable but it's grossly unfair for mom and baby to be sick at the same time! Indeed, mom, indeed! But we're all now on the mend and returning to work and school tomorrow.

Monday, August 13, 2012

CHM #345617930

I was cleaning out and rearranging MT's closet after getting some new outfits the other day. I've been buying ahead as I find great steals. Anywho, I had a big batch of 9-12 mo goodies. As I filed through to the correct section, I found only one thing hanging there. One quick glance and I did a double take. Rather than saying 9-12 mo on the tag, it said 9-12 lbs. MT now weighs between 13-14. Ooops!! Clearly I put that outfit up that last week before he arrived - when I wasn't sleeping all that well. It was too darn cute not to give it a whirl, so I put him in it last night. Ha! Poor little guy looked like he was in a straight jacket. Oh well. Worth a try. Into the box of "I'm too little" it goes.

Today's Cutie Head Moment brought to you by the letter D, the number 9, and Are You Smarter Than a 5 Year Old!

Friday, August 10, 2012

Things: Installment 64

So. Some of you who haven't seen me in a long while may be wondering: what made you change your mind about kids? To which I now reply, "never say never." Shoulda listened to my Granny when she told me that! So this issue is dedicated to throwing out some baby-related info.

Things about the Path to Parenthood

  • Derek and I approached the subject of starting a family after a gathering of friends where a new baby came for a visit. Strange as it may seem and sound, we both knew that our path was changing.
  • Derek always wanted kids. I was the holdout.
  • It took us 3 years, a bout of cancer, and a medical miracle to give us our sweet MT.
  • Pregnancy was relatively easy and, dare I say, enjoyable.
  • My blood pressure did not pose any problems for us. Actually, it remained normal throughout pregnancy.
  • Because of my hypertension, we saw a parinatologist, in addition to my OB, throughout pregnancy.
  • I continued singing up until the last three weeks before MT was born.
  • I was one of the unlucky (and least likely in a lineup) who developed gestational diabetes.
  • I only gained 25 pounds - 8 of which I gained the last several days.
  • MT measured very large on sono from the get-go and was dubbed a linebacker by the nurse practioner but was actually a pretty little guy when he was born.
  • Because of the additional complication (diabetes), my OB elected to induce at 38.5 weeks.
  • After laboring for 12 hours, MT arrived by emergency c-section.
  • I didn't have any weird cravings during pregnancy. Unless you count a doubled looooooove for avocados and Dr Pepper. In which case I had them regularly. As in several times a week. Well, not the DP...darn diabetes!
  • I will never forget the time the nurse at the perinatologist's office "zapped" MT during a monitoring session. We both jumped sky high!
  • Epidurals are awesome! Except when they fall out. True story.
  • The birthing class was helpful. The video wasn't too bad. The part about the placenta, however, scarred us both for life!!
  • Spinal blocks are weird. And everything waking up once removed is a doozy.
  • My belly button never became an "outie;" mine was more of a "flattie." (and it was a direct way to make baby move if I wanted his attention.)
  • The nurses at the hospital were awesome!
  • Much to my delight, my feet remain the same size they were pre-pregnancy and I added a new pair of heels to the closet just this week. Derek had many nightmares & cold sweats about me replacing my entire collection!
  • Leaving the hospital with this new, tiny human is both surreal and terrifying!
  • Somehow, some way, first children, while always the experiment, all manage to turn out alright. So far, so good!

Thursday, August 09, 2012

Hijacked by Execs

Ack! I just stumbled over to my personal Facebook page only to realize that the "powers that be" have chosen to convert my profile to the new Timeline format. I've not mentioned it here but I have voiced loudly my disdain for said format to many of my friends. I really HATE the timeline format and have reneged on converting my profile for as long as I can remember. FB has been shoving the option in my face for quite some time. Clearly, I can no longer opt out. Le sigh...now I feel compelled to fill the rotten thing in. B/c I'm OCD like that. Thankfully, today though, the Sandman calleth louder than the FB Timeline I didn't want.

Friday, August 03, 2012


As we customarily do, we planned a trip for our anniversary. As a last hurrah as a family of two, Derek thought a beach vacation would be fun. We cleared the trip through my OB, who gave the nod but raised a few "food for thought" scenarios. At the mention of malaria, Derek was out and quickly shifted gears in search of another destination.

After asking a few friends about some places to visit, we decided to head northeast to Hot Springs. The trees would be in the midst of changing colors and the weather would be a little cooler in the mountains. (Remember, we were in the midst of one of the worst 100-degree streaks on record and dodging wildfires right & left.)

We booked into the neatest little bed & breakfast called The Wildwood. The proprietors knew the entire history of the house and the family who built it. And the daily four-course, gourmet breakfast was absolutely to die for (and, yes, they can accomodate special dietary restrictions like the need for gluten free)!! Luckily, morning sickness passed right before we left on our trip, so food was once again on my list of favorite things.

We did the usual touristy things while we were there. Like visit the bath house museum, drive the nature trails, tour the botanical gardens, and eat. Man, did we eat. There were several really neat restaurants downtown. But I think our absolute favorite (and one we frequented a number of times) was the Cuban joint and following behind at a very close second would be the Italian place on the lake. (Oddly enough, the owner of the Italian place is a transplant from the DFW area. He considers Hot Springs retirement. I'm not sure I would consider running a restaurant retiring, but he loves it.)

All in all, it was a very relaxing long weekend and one we may soon repeat, particularly our visit to the B&B!

Wednesday, August 01, 2012

And So It Begins...

Today, I dropped off my sweet boy for his first day of school. I didn't anticipate such a wide range of emotions with this milestone. Then again, there are lots of feelings I hadn't anticipated on this journey and, yet, there they are. MT is such a joy to be around now that he's smiling and cooing and giggling at us. His little personality is really beginning to show, and I must admit that it's hard to leave him any day - let alone on work days.

We've been blessed to have very active grandparents. Both Derek and I had special relationships with our grandparents when we were growing up, and we're so tickled that MT will get to make these special memories, as well. Derek's mom got us through a lot of those tough days in the first few months and my mom allowed us to keep the squirt at home for an additional 4 weeks after I returned to work part-time.

Today I've turned him over to a new group of special caretakers. His teachers are all very sweet ladies and have made every effort to make the transition a smooth one. Everyone at the school has gushed over him, which does a lot to put a new parent at ease when even the administrators take such an active roll in each child's day. So already, he has quite the reputation for being a cutie. (Of course, they haven't seen one of his famous fits yet either. LOL!)

I'm sure it comes as no surprise to most of you that I made a manual to give to his teachers so they know all of his little quirks and how to calm and soothe him. Oh yes, yes, I did. (And it was darn cute, if I do say so myself!) I dropped it off, along with his basic supplies and a few momentos from home to hang in his crib (like scrapbook pages with pictures of us and a nametag for his bed since he won't have one yet), on Monday. The teachers said they appreciated it. Was that true? Fairly likely. Because funny thing, this morning, the desk attendant went on & on about how neat that manual is. Apparently, everyone has seen it. "I've been in this business 20 years, and I've never seen anything like it! Did you get the idea from somewhere or come up with it on your own? ... You should patent it!" So, yeah, my OCDness is already showing/making an impression but at least it's being met with enthusiasm.

I'll certainly miss getting photos like this one with cute little "Hi, Mom" messages throughout the work day. The school encourages you to call if you want to check in. Maybe I can keep it to just one call today.

Earning Its Keep

We hosted our first big family gathering in the new space on the weekend of my birthday. It was a combination birthday soiree and "we're having a ...." reveal party. It was great fun, and everyone enjoyed being outside in the new space. And, of course, Derek enjoyed showing off his new domain. Mostly, we enjoyed time together as a family - visiting and celebrating our newest family member.

Ben & Nana
David & Papa
I had a great time decorating for our little party. I mixed pink and blue and girl and boy things everywhere. We also played a fun "game" where everyone got to put in their two cents on names - both girl and boy and serious and fun. Then we read them out loud during dinner. Too fun! Everyone tried to get us to slip up and tell them the news before the "big reveal," but we were wise to their trickery.

To give the big reveal, we hired my friend Chrissy to make a special batch Cakezies. They served as the centerpiece on the table but were covered until dessert time. It just about killed the grandparents to have to wait. They all wanted to have dessert first. LOL!

But it was well worth the wait, as you can see here.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Derek's Last Hurrah

2011 wasa particularly good year for Derek's business. His company ran some promotional sales incentives on big ticket sales, and Derek was fortunate enough to make MANY during the year which mean he took home some sizable bonuses.

I'm fairly certain that I've talked a lot about the time that we've spent outside entertaining friends. If theres one thing Derek absolutely LOVES to do, it's grilland especially for other people. On average, i would say that we grill out at least 3 times a week yearround. One thing he's always dreamed about doing is building an outdoor kitchen/entertaining space. So when his bonuses began coming in, we did some serious talking and planning and decided that, given the current economy, reinvesting in the house seemed like a wise idea.

And then the pipe dreaming began. He started sending me photos of his dream kitchen elements. Naturally, it had to have a top of the line built-in grill. There had to be a sink and fridge. And I insisted on a fireplace, both for warmth and as a design element. And no doubt the whole shibang had to be covered so that there could be a big screen to keep the boys entertained.

And so with ideas and rough budget firmly in hand, we set about finding a contractor. And then Derek's dream became a reality. We had all of our wish list items and added a few more along the way - an ice maker for those bigger parties, a built-in tap for the beer aficionados, drawers for storage, a cutting board for the prep area, a warming drawer to keep items warm as they finished cooking, and an extended high top bar for extra seating (and to keep people out of the prep area while cookie did his thang). Yep, this was going to be perfect. With all of the elements chosen, we selected building materials - granite countertops, Omlahoma limestone, exposed cedar, salted concrete - and then the real work began.

It took roughly four weeks to go from this

to this

Naturally, we had a party (or three) to christen the new space. The biggest reason to celebrate though....we would be welcoming a new family member! And that's why we call this project Derek's Last Hurrah.

Monday, July 30, 2012

The Bahamas

Almost a year ago (shudder), I promised to tell you all about our last-minute R&R cruise to the Bahamas. It may be long overdue, but here it is. Because I know you've been waiting with bated breath and everything. Ha!

I think I've mentioned many times before how much we love cruising. Nothing beats a floating hotel with 24 hour food service! We did a little something different his time - a) we booked a 5 day and b) we went whole hog and booked a suite. We were pleased with both decisions. 5 days was perfect for putting the pep back in our step - not so long that we got tired of each other and not so short that it wasn't worth the suitcase full of dirty clothes! We sailed roundtrip from Miami and stopped in Freeport, Great Stirrup Cay (NCL's private island), and Nassau.

Freeport was our first stop and we opted to go reef fishing. It wasn't my first choice, but in the end, I had a great time and I know Derek was glad to have me along.

Next stop - the ships's private island, Great Stirrup Cay (pronounced "key"). This was going to be a lazy beach day, however, the weather was uncooperative, and given Derek's penchant for getting a little green around the gills on tender ships, we opted not to leave the shop. Instead, we relaxed aboard ship. I read a book on the balcony all day and Derek, well, truth be told, the crazy boy worked. Yep, you heard that right. He spent the day in the Internet cafe talking to his associate.

Last stop was Nassau and, by far, our favorite of the trip. We spent the day at Atlantis, an impressive resort property complete with water park, aquariums, dolphin experience, and beaches galore. We spent half the day at the water park and the other half swimming with dolphins.

We enjoyed this cruise so much that we've talked about repeating it! It really was exactly what we'd hoped and then some!

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Time Really Flies

Today, our little guy is FOUR months old! I can't tell you how hard it is to believe that. I feel like the last four months have been on fast forward. Oh sure, we've had our low moments, where getting through the night felt like an endurance run combined with 10 Iron Mans, but it's true that those moments are fleeting and quickly overshadowed by the good nights and the great days. Nothing melts your heart like a coo and a wide, toothless grin - no matter what time of the day or night that he gives it. Little MT has totally stolen our hearts and we wouldn't have it any other way!

Saturday, July 28, 2012

That's Gonna Leave a Mark

Who can tell me what movie that line is from? *insert Jeopardy theme while you think about it* Why, it's only one of my all-time favorite movies EVAH! (And rather than telling you, you're just gonna have to Google it. *snicker*)

And said movie quote is actually germaine to today's topic of conversation: waxing. What?! Yep, that's right. We're actually gonna go there. Not up for it? Well, you should just mosey on along now.

Up until about a year ago, I had not waxed anything. Ever. I gave the EpiLady (remember those??) a whirl once when I was in college and all but died from the ridiculous pain of said medieval torture device ripping each hair follicle from its happy, deeply-rooted home. Smooth legs be damned, I wasn't finishing that job! Razor it is and will always be, amen!

But ... I decided to get brave last summer before we embarked on our cruise to the Bahamas. I polled my girlfriends about waxing. How many did it, how many liked it, how many could endure the pain, etc. and the general conclusion pointed me in the direction of the good ol' college try. (pun only partially intended.) Let's face it. No one hates shaving more than I do, and I come from a long line of hairy Scot-Irish-Germans (dang those Germans!) so when you want to sport shorts and a swimsuit for a week....well, something must be done to prevent the hostile takeover.

So I took the recommendation of a friend and booked an appointment with her esthetician. Her what? You know, the person who takes care of people's skin (waxing, facials, etc.). I was as a nervous as a cat in a roomful of rocking chairs, but I was determined not to wuss out. Going to a spa to have it done was a good idea...with the zen-like decor and soft music playing throughout the whole place. It also didn't hurt that my wax girl was as nice as could be and chatted away during the whole thing. Strange? Not really. It was a great distraction.

I was pleasantly surprised to find that it didn't hurt nearly as much as I had imagined it might. Granted, my only point of comparison was that dreadful encounter with The Ripper back in college. So anything else was bound to be a step up. Seriously though, if you can stand the twinge you feel when plucking your eyebrows, then you too can handle waxing. To me, it was the same.

So when all was said and done, I was beach ready and none too worse for the wear. In fact, it was such a non-traumatic experience that I've been going regularly ever since, even throughout my entire pregnancy. So I guess it's true what they say - once you wax, you never go back. Hahaha!

Back in the Saddle

I really had no intention of letting the blog sit fallow this long. Somehow, time just got away from me. What with a new baby and all. But now that we're settling into a routine here on the homefront, it's high time to get caught up here. Besides, I can't think of a better way to pass the time in the middle of the night, can you? *wink* So I'll start writing and scheduling posts to fill in the gaps. And you can once again enjoy laughs at my expense. Until the next post, stay cool, my friends! Lord knows it's hot!!!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

A Few More Recent CHMs

It seems that my CHMs (Cutie Head Moments) have occurred a bit more frequently in the last six months or so. Some might call it Baby Brain. Whatever you call them, I've managed to embarrass myself a number of times, particularly recently.

Exhibit A:  I get notification from my bank that my overdraft protection has kicked in. My first reaction? "WHA? I had plenty of money in there!" The week prior, I had moved a big chunk of money over to savings thinking I had left plenty in checking for the next two weeks. So I hop online and start reconciling my checkbook and realize that, at the first of the month, I forgot to include my mortgage in the list of deductions from my account. DOH! Naturally, the bank did not forget this, particularly since it autodrafts. So while I'm swiping away for groceries and other necessities, I actually have no money to do so. I guess this is one of the reasons why it's nice to have overdraft protection!

Exhibit B:  Yesterday, at work, I was preparing a travel folder for one of my bosses. When making said travel folder, I include printed confirmations for all reservations, like flight, hotel, car, etc. This is so that she has proof in the event she has any issues when checking in for any one of these, and the folder also provides a convenient place for her to place receipts and conference materials. Anywho, I was preparing a folder for a conference next week when I realized that I didn't have email confirmation of her hotel reservation. *gulp* I check with the business admin, who sometimes makes reservations in my absence or at the boss' request. "I don't seem to have an email confirmation for Boss' hotel next week. Did you happen to make that reservation?" "No." Ruh-roh. So I scramble to get that done. Naturally, the conference rate is long gone (or the hotel simply won't honor it) so we have to go with the "best available" rate, which was astronomical but what can you do when you're down to the wire? With reservations now made, the folder is finished and I go to the boss and admit my mistake. Naturally, she's more than a little panicked about this "best available rate." After all, times are tough and we're counting pennies even more than usual. So we begin trying to find a way to either get the hotel to honor the conference rate or find a better rate somewhere else. Luckily, we were able to get a rate even cheaper than the conference rate and later, after securing the reservation with this great rate, had a really good laugh about how the baby is "stealing my brain cells." Let's just say that this has never happened to me before and I suspect will never happen to me again!

In both cases, all's well that ends well! Here ends the streak of CHMs ... I hope!