31 March 2010

Auntie Carin

Dear Friends,

I feel comfortable letting the world know "I am going to be an AUNTIE!!!" I am thrilled to announce that my brother-in-law Matt and his lovely and beautiful wife Carol are expecting their first child. I am beyond excited. I have never been an auntie before, and as much as I like to claim Jennifer's boys as my own, they aren't technically related until Adam marries Lexy... or Todd marries Lexy (after all, the heir and the spare, right? Now she gets a choice... sorry, Adam), so, now I get to be an AUNTIE. I also feel comfortable letting everyone know that I was pregnant in this picture and the dress that was supposed to have been altered when I bought it totally didn't need to be and my face is totally "pregnant pudgy". But, enough about me and my self-concious weight issues.

I have one Aunt. She lives in Michigan and I don't really know her very well. Due to the distance I can't say that I'm very close with my family there, but I love her and my family and it's more than some can say to say that I have an aunt and an uncle. But, Matt and Carol and little baby matt/carol live in North Carolina and I plan on being as active as I possibly can considering we are approximately 10 hours by car. I'm hoping that we can bridge that gap with letters and emails and calls. I am hoping that this will bring Carol and myself closer together as sisters.

Carol is going to be an amazing mother. She is a kind and gentle soul and so intelligent, not to mention a true Southern Belle. I mean, the girl was in the Peace Corps for goodness sakes. In Africa. She's awesome. Totally needs to write a book. She's had life experiences that most people only dream about. I remember a bridal shower that was thrown in her honor where she asked me "am I doing okay, am I talking enough?". The sweetie didn't want to be the center of attention and was SO nervous and was checking with me, Mrs. Stage Fright, to see how she was "doing". Of course, she was doing outstanding and I told her so. Carol, you rock. I can't wait to see you as a Mommy. No offense to Matt, but Carol is growing a human and from now on she officially wins any arguements and gets full credit for anything she does.

I have no idea how to be an Auntie, so if anyone has any advice please let me know. I know that there are grandmothers and aunts reading this, so I expect more than 1 suggestion. I want to be the kind of Aunt that gets phone calls for advice and that the kids want to run away from home to see. I cannot wait!!!

Oh, and the due date? 3 days before my birthday. Sorry, Carol, but I would love to share my birthday with my little niece/nephew... so aim for the 10th. It's the best day in the world other than Jesus' birthday. And yes, that is a "Carin-ism".

30 March 2010

Palm Sunday

Dear Friends,

Sunday was a big day in my life. I had a life altering event. Okay, not really life altering, but it was significant to me and that's all that really matters, right? Sunday was, as most of you know, Palm Sunday. And I haven't been to church in a really really really long time. Way too long. I know no one has asked about my religion and that maybe this makes some people uncomfortable, but, it's me.

There's more than one reason that I haven't been to church. One is that I hate going alone. Josh doesn't like my church, and while he claims to be catholic he never goes to mass, so I'm not sure that he can use it as an excuse. I've been going to the same church since I was 2, but I still hate going by myself. And I totally know that's not the point of church. I just don't like to sit there in the pews by myself.

Two, I haven't been too happy that there isn't more bible based sermons lately. It seems like the old testament reading has been dropped and that the sermon doesn't really revolve around the new testament reading. None of which really sits well with me. I prefer to sit and read the bible while the sermon is going on as opposed to listening, I feel like I learn more that way. And, that's not really a good thing.

Three, Lexy wasn't allowed to be in any daycare setting for the first 2 years of her life. Because she was premature with no risk factors for RSV (the virus that causes the common cold but causes pneumonia and all kinds of fun things in babies and toddlers), she didn't get the vaccine and the doctor told me that she shouldn't be exposed to any large groups of children or be in any daycare setting until she was 2 years old. Well, she's 2 and 3 months and I just do not like the idea of leaving her in the care of someone I don't really know, even if it's for an hour. This may be the main reason for my absence. I hate the idea of missing another hour of her life when I already feel like I'm missing half of it because I have to work. And believe me, there was just no keeping her quiet enough to sit through a service for the first 2 years of her life. And the people at my church did not look pleased to see us when she was an infant and we were in the sanctuary.

So, this brings us to Palm Sunday. I got Lexy dressed in what is possibly the cutest outfit ever put on a 2 year old. And, of course, I have visual proof of this.

I decided that it was time to do it. I got her ready, got myself ready and with the moral support of the parents took her to the nursery at the church. Now, thankfully, the attendant that Sunday was one of the few ladies at church that I actually know a little. She has a little girl and all the children in the nursery were about the same age and all girls. I was a little more comfortable leaving her with Eryn, but still pretty darn nervous. And I knew it was all me and not Lexy. I knew she would have a great time and I shouldn't be worried.

I only had my mother go and check on her once. Not bad for an hours service. I am tooting my own horn. I made it through the service (although when I picked Lexy up from the nursery she had a toy in her mouth, which I have to say is one of those kid things that TOTALLY grosses me out) and Lexy was happy to see me and she was happy to stay and play with the toys some more, too. So, it all worked out. But, I still don't want to leave her in the nursery. I'd rather she be with me. That one I'll have to work on.

28 March 2010

Marrying the Mob

Dear Friends,

Spring is here. With it comes Easter, warm weather, baby bunnies, the birds return and wedding season is almost upon us. Josh and I got married in April. Hard to believe it's been almost 7 years. But what I didn't know when we got married was that I was marrying into the mafia. No, not really. But, sometimes it seems that way.

I grew up with a VERY small family. I have 1 brother, and scattered cousins in the "tristate" area. Okay, for those of you who know me I am blatantly avoiding any discussion of where exactly I live because I know there are some wackos who will come and steal my husband, child and one of the 12 cars that he owns. Well, right now it's only 3 but he's out looking at another one so by the time I'm done writing this is could be 4. I've seen my only living grandparents, and only aunt and uncle a handful of times as they live really really really far away and for some reason they don't want to head down south almost as much as we never headed up north.

I never felt like I was missing anything, even without the large family gatherings all my friends had. It wasn't anything I thought about or noticed, even though I know my mother cared. And then I met Josh. And his MASSIVE family. And I thought, wow, it must be such fun to have such a big family. And then I realized (while planning the wedding that I wanted to be extremely small but extremely fancy), there are TONS of problems associated with a big family, as in how to fit 150 guests on just one side into a 150 guest wedding when all I really wanted there was 50 or so. Stories of wedding planning aside (although some of the stories might make for good posts so come anniversary time there may be a few) events with Josh's family are just nerve racking for me. I've come to realize not only do I not like large crowds I do NOT like to be forced into community events just because "everyone else in the family is going to be there". I keep having flashbacks to my mother telling me "don't do what everyone else is doing just to fit in" and "if all your friends jumped off the Brooklyn bridge would you do it too?" and various other after school special quotes.

I am just NOT comfortable with that many people with so many activities and that many family obligations. Insert picture of the family reunion where I was forced to wear a mu-mu. Is that even how you spell mu-mu? Okay, no one looks skinny in a mu-mu. And, yes, they tried to get me to put one on Lexy. That got a definite "uh, no". No one looks attractive in a mu-mu, and if you show me a picture of Heidi Klum in one when she was pregnant I will hunt you down and make you wear one!

Yes, that's me on the right with Lexy, and just for clarifications sake, the wind was coming off the water from BEHIND us. I am so NOT 200 pounds.

Why all this talk about the size of family and marrying into the mafia style family? Josh's beautiful, talented, nicest person you would ever want to meet, homecoming queen, tall, willowy, amazing sense of style, blonde cousin is getting married to Mr. I Stepped Right Out of GQ Magazine in May. I love weddings. I am so excited to see her get married. She is one of Josh's family that I truly love seeing and look forward to talking to at any family event. I would do anything for this event if they asked because I adore her and I think her mother, Josh's aunt is one of God's angels. So, my reaction when I was asked to host the family shower was of course yes. Where I come from I was taught that it was poor manners to host a family shower, that showers were hosted by friends and if you had a shower hosted by family it meant you were desperate to receive gifts or in a very bad financial situation. Yes, I know I was raised by Miss Manner's cousin. And, again, I must reiterate, I love Tall Willowy Blonde and I am SO SO SO happy to do this for her because I think she is an AMAZING person. So, I have been looking at invitations, trying to nail down guest lists and menus (any menu advice? Please please please let me know) and think of shower games that won't embarrass the heck out of the honoree. Come May we'll see how I've done.

The point of this whole long and crazy story? As I said, I married into the mob. I was asked in the following manner:

"Carin, I think it would be really nice if you would host The Family shower for Tall Willowy Blonde. I think The Family would appreciate it."

Again, I didn't know I had married into the mob.

Love to you all,


p.s. After writing this and thinking I had the numbers for a guest list finally in the completion stage, I got a second list... with an additional 5 names on it. I'm waiting for the other shoe to drop with the 4th list and another 5 or more.

26 March 2010


Dear Friends,

Yesterday was Thursday. Thursday's in my household typically mean grocery store, chores, errands of various sorts. Lexy and I got up, had breakfast, walked the dog and headed out to the grocery store. Quick stop to get gas for the SUV (by the way, who raised the price to $3.00 a gallon again? $60.00 in gas? Come on!?!) and we were headed into the grocery store.

We headed back to the refrigerated section to pick up some milk and while I was checking all the cases for the organic half and half a woman came up with a double stroller the size of a limo, 2 car seats back to back and 2 sleeping babies back to back. Lexy saw her coming.

"Mommy, babies. See them".
"You would like to see the babies, Lexy?"
"Yes, Mommy. See the babies."
"Okay, Lexy. See the babies, there are 2. Their mommy is a rock star".
"Have them."
"Have them?"
"Have them."
"You want to have the babies?"
"You want a baby?"


"Talk to your father."

25 March 2010

The Pickiest of the Picky

Picky eaters of the world, UNITE! I have found your leader and you may come and worship at his feet. Yes, I said "his feet". Ladies and Gentlemen, people of all ages. I would like to introduce you to.... drum roll please,my husband, Josh. No, this is not a post about my wonderful, eats almost everything, daughter Lexy. It's about Josh and the fact that the man drives me CRAZY when it comes to food.

I enjoy cooking. I may not be the most creative (thanks in part to picky eater numero uno), or the most talented, but I do tend to enjoy the process. I would love to try new things and spices and techniques... and then there is Josh. Josh doesn't eat anything. At all. Ever. Okay, that may be a bit of a stretch. He'll eat McDonald's for breakfast (almost everyday). And Pop-tarts. He loves Pop-tarts. And pizza. But only cheese. Pasta is good, but really only with tomato sauce. Bread. White bread, not wheat. Just white. And last night I was told snowflake rolls aren't that great because they have flour on top and isn't that annoying? What else does he actually eat? Golden Grahams. Chicken. Mostly chicken. I should be an expert on cooking chicken in 365 different ways by now, but I'm not.

So, what brings on this explanation of my husbands eating habits? Last night, after I worked for 7 hours, took care of Lexy before and after said work, I made dinner. Steak with mashed potatoes and peas. With snowflake rolls. Pretty yummy, if I do say so myself. Traditional meat and potatoes. How did Josh react? Well, it wasn't chicken so strike number one. Strike 2? Snowflake rolls have flour on top. White bread though they may be. Strike 3? "Why are we having another slab of meat with potatoes and a vegetable for dinner?". Yes, apparently I make slabs of meat with vegetables for the family to eat. And, it's apparently quite often. Now, you have to understand. Josh doesn't eat vegetables, save 2. Broccoli and iceberg lettuce. So, I knew the peas were a stretch, but Lexy had broccoli with her mac and cheese for lunch that day, so I thought "peas" with dinner. Slab of meat. Slab of meat. I'm not sure what he expected, but I was always taught that protein was an important concept for a meal. And, God forbid I feed his daughter vegetables! I'm not sure if people get scurvy anymore, but I don't know how he's avoided it to this point. One day I would love to make asparagus.

I've told Josh before, "you know you're lucky to have a wife that cooks for you". His response, "I could do pizza every night". Gee, thanks honey. It's not like I get to make things that include green peppers or mushrooms (such exotic ingredients). Things that have any type of spice. And how does this work with a 2 year old in the house? I am incredibly lucky. Lexy loves Chinese food, Mexican food, veggies, fruits... she tries most everything and tends to eat most everything. She isn't too into chicken or steak, but I think it's more a texture thing than anything else. I've asked Josh to eat at least 2 or 3 bites of everything I make just so she sees that he eats all his food, too, and for the time being this seems to be working (and getting more vitamins into Josh, too).

So, anyone out there with new recipes for BASIC chicken with something other than potatoes, rice, or veggies, then please please please email me. Oh, and make sure the sauces are very light in flavor and there is practically NO seasoning included. And the veggies aren't green, in fact make them almost nonexistent, and the bread should be just white. No flour. And make sure the recipe doesn't include that the chicken be presented in "slab" form. Thanks. I really appreciate it.

Love to you all,


24 March 2010

Video Monitor

Dear Friends,

Josh and I are having an ongoing conversation (argument) about the video monitor that I have for Lexy. During the "pregnancy days" my girlfriend Jennifer sent me the best book I have ever gotten "Baby Bargains". Highly highly recommend it. I bought so many of the things I needed for her (Lexy, not Jennifer. I don't think Jennifer needs someone to watch her on a baby monitor) based on it, and a few things I didn't, but it was a true saving grace. It recommended a Sony audio monitor. I never considered having a video one, it didn't even occur to me that I would want one.

And then Lexy spent 13 days in the NICU. And then she came home. None of this led to the video monitor, she spent the first few months in a bassinet next to our bed so I wouldn't have to get up 3 times a night to breastfeed. There was no need for a monitor at all. What led to the purchase of the video monitor was a terrifying event one morning at about 6:15. Lexy had been fed, burped, and put back to bed. Josh was in the shower getting ready for work and I was attempting to get a little more sleep. Lexy choked. And then had a seizure. At least, it looked like a seizure. Her head jerked back, she made gurgling noises, she spasmed and her eyes rolled back in her head. Her whole face turned red. It was absolutely terrifying. I had no idea what to do. Sheer panic. Gut wrenching body numbing can't get your hands or head to function at the same time panic. I picked her up and thinking of the gurgling noise, put her to my shoulder and whacked her on the back. Thankfully she coughed and the spasming stopped.

I have never had such a frightening experience. It truly felt like 20 minutes, but it was really about 5. Josh stayed home from work until the pediatricians office opened and I could get her in for an appointment. I love our doctor. He was my doctor when I was little. He's the kind of doctor that gives you his home number when you go out of town, just in case you might need it. For this reason I'm not sharing his name. It's hard enough to get in to see him, and we already wait for at least an hour for every appointment. But, he's worth it. He told me that what happened sounded a lot like something called Sandifer's Syndrome. It's something that happens to some preemie's. Some babies outgrow it, some don't.

I remember sitting in the exam room thinking, "Dear God, please let me be sick and keep her healthy. Lexy's already had enough sickness in her short life, let it be enough". My mother was with me, again, thank goodness for a nurse in the family. It always helps with the translation. Basically, as I understand it, Sandifer's happens with a short circuit in the brain. Something along the lines of "I've eaten and need to spit up, but now I'll choke a little and that will turn on something in my brain that makes my body think I should have a seizure-like event". Okay, so that sounded better than actual seizures. But, off we went to the pediatric neurologist for an EEG. Again, thank you mom for going with me. It was terrifying seeing such a little infant with wires and tape and machines all over her head.

The good news is that she doesn't have epilepsy or any other seizure disorder. She was diagnosed with Sandifers and we were told to keep her "elevated while she slept", trying to keep the spit-up/choking combo to a minimum, So, Josh rigged up her bassinet to our bed on a platform and bungee corded it down so it wouldn't move and Lexy slept on an incline for the next 2 months or so. She had 4 or 5 more episodes while her neurological system caught up with her body. Eventually it all evened out. Eventually I was comfortable moving her into her crib in her own room. Eventually happened sooner than it would have because of the invention of the video monitor.

A few of the episodes had very little noise. Just enough to wake me up and make me look at her. And once I grabbed her up and patted her on the back, the episode passed. My parents bought the video monitor so I would be more comfortable moving her into her own room. Thankfully Josh understood the whole situation and was patient while Lexy was in the room with us. But, I have come to LOVE my video monitor. I can watch her sleep, I know when she wakes up from her nap, when she's rolling and not really awake and that I have 10 more minutes to lounge in bed in the morning or sit and relax before getting her up from her nap. I think it is amazing.

Josh wants to know how much longer I want the monitor. I don't plan on getting rid of it anytime soon. Way too many pros. And Lexy still doesn't wake up at a specific time every morning and her nap times vary. I prefer to see what the noises coming from her room are on the monitor instead of peeking in her room and waking her up early. I think I win this one, since he's at work for most of her sleeping times. It should be up to me, right? Still, I do wonder what the right time to give it up will be. When she's 20? That way I can catch her trying to sneak out of house when she's in high school.

23 March 2010

7 Melancholy Dwarves

Dear Friends,

Yesterday was a bit discouraging. I posted an entry about my father and his birthday. I sent him a link, hoping that he would appreciate the gesture... backfire. I received an email saying "blah". And then I received one from my mother telling me that I had better not put her age or photo up for the blog, and a few other things. And that I needed to be careful about what I post, that Lexy might not appreciate it when she's 13.

Well, part of why I decided to write this blog was so that I could, if I decide I like what I write, I can print everything and make it into a book for Lexy. I'm terrible at scrapbooking, although I love buying all the stuff for it. I have her baby book, but have trouble sitting down and writing in it. I have tons of photos printed, but not put into photo albums. So, I'm feeling a bit of a failure in the "chronicling of my child's life" department. And then, after reading my friend's blog, followed by an almost immediate comment from another friend along the same topic, I felt like this was a great place for me to do something for me. And then, backfire. My mom said she didn't mean anything negative by the email, that because it was written and not spoken, it was misread. Which I believe and can understand. But it was still interpreted in a negative manner and it's hard to change your initial reaction to something. First impressions and all that.

I'm feeling discouraged instead of supported by my parents, although I can understand their misgivings. I'm trying not to post anything crazy or disgusting. Nothing that tells people where I live in case they are random visitors bent on kidnapping Josh or Lexy, or stealing our cars. I'm trying to put on entries about what it's like being a part-time working mom and how that works into being a full-time mom and a full-time wife (and full-time maid). Things for my friends to hear about how Lexy is growing and the things she's learning. I don't want to write anything that would make her cringe or be embarrassed by.

So, I guess I'm feeling blue, and mopey, and discouraged, and 4 other melancholy dwarves. The funny thing is that my lovely Shelley put a comment on one of my posts today saying that she "thought I was doing something special" with my blog. Incredibly timed. I'm not really sure how she knew that I was driving home from work and stewing over the exact topic that she commented on. To be honest, it's not like I have a lot of readers (I've decided that "readers" is a better term than "followers"), but I love the ability to be doing something for myself and express myself "out loud". Somedays I feel like I have no adult conversations, and some days that I do have adult conversations I feel like they're not "meaningful" conversations, and this has been a blessing for me. Not that this is actual conversation, but I've never been one for actual journaling, either, so if I feel like someone is reading what I write it gives incentive to continue the chronicling and writing. I guess I should let it settle and stew on it a little while longer. Let me know if you have any opinions on the matter.

Love to you all,


p.s. Can I also just tell you that Dancing with the Stars started last night, and thank you to Tivo I can watch Chuck and DWTS which makes Carin a very happy camper. So, I warn you now, if the blog continues beyond the week there maybe a few posts devoted to Evan Lysacek and the jive.

22 March 2010

Life Lessons According to Lexy

Dear Friends,

I hope you had a great weekend. Mine was spent on the recovery from a lovely combo of bronchitis, sinus infection and allergy symptoms. Oh, so much fun. It was a beautiful 60-70 degrees with pale blue skies and puffy white cloud, so of course we spent the majority of it outside. In the pollen. Walking. A lot. I think I may have set the antibiotics back a week or so, but it was worth it. Lexy had a blast. And I learned a few things from her over the weekend. Enjoy.

1. No matter what basketball game is on, it's always Mason. "Go, Mason". This rule also applies to any hockey or football game. It may also apply to baseball, but Lexy doesn't remember watching any Orioles games, so we'll have to wait and see for this one.

2. Going for walks with your Cabbage Patch Kids in the stroller is fun, especially when you get to the top of a hill. At this point, feel free to turn around and push the stroller as hard as you can back DOWN the hill. Proceed with laughing hysterically as the stroller careens downhill. It's also fun to run after it so that when it stops you can push it downhill again.

3. Mommy's (and probably Daddy's) are very good for walking/jumping/stomping/laying on. I blame Dr. Seuss for this. Thank you "Hop on Pop", which Lexy has memorized.

4. Mommy's bottle of water is always better than your own. Even if mommy is sick and has been coughing up a lung in your presence for the last 5 days and keeps saying "No, Lexy. Don't touch that. DON'T TOUCH THAT. Do NOT put that in your mouth, STOP IT!!!"

5. No one should ever sleep later than 7. (this has been pushed back from 6 in the last few months, and for this I am grateful). 7 is a good time to get up EVERYDAY, although it is acceptable to remain in bed until 7:30. But 7:30 is the absolute latest.

6. Pandas eat bamboo and tigers eat people. Thank you, Aunt Brittney. Also, Mommy says "No" and Daddy says "Hee Haw" (insert picture of donkey here). Again, thank you Aunt Brittney.

7. Hershey kisses commercials, Empire Today commercials, and the GEICO commercial with Charlie Daniels (AKA. Santa Claus) are all worth watching. Especially the one with Santa in it.

8. If you put on sunscreen it means you're going to the beach. It doesn't matter that you had sunscreen put on everyday during the summer and only spent one week at the beach, sunscreen still means you're going to the beach. I wish.

9. Sidewalk chalk is a lot of fun. Especially when it's smeared all over your hand, shirt, and pants. And it's also good to use on grass, just in case you didn't know.

10. When taking the dog for a walk it's fun to look for "crocus, croci, and jonquil" flowers. because every two year old knows that the plural of crocus is croci.

18 March 2010

Small Achievements

Dear Friends,

I have to let you know, I am constantly learning from Lexy. I know it's supposed to be the other way around, and I like to think that I do my fair share of teaching. But, it's true, she is always showing me something or reminding me of something from my past that I had long forgotten.

Yesterday Lexy learned how to blow bubbles for the first time. I know that's nothing big and kids have been blowing bubbles for years. But Lexy has been trying and trying and doing nothing but spitting and spitting for a few weeks. Since the weather has been so nice the last week or so, she and I have been spending a lot of time in our driveway or going for walks around the neighborhood. Well, I walk, she runs. But one of her favorite things to do outside is chase bubbles, and, lately, try to make them herself. Now, being the crazy anal ocd person that I am, I don't actually let her hold the bubble wand. Not yet. I am just not ready to go through 3 outfits a day or buy that much soap. So I hold the wand and she blows. And spits. And blows and spits and spits. And laughs hysterically and runs up and down the driveway. I've realized, she doesn't care so much about getting the bubbles as she does getting the chance to do something that she sees me doing. She just wants to try. And in the last day or two she has even gotten a few bubbles. Which, to her, has been one of the most amazing things anyone has ever done. She jumps up and down, squeals, says "YOU DID IT " (we're working on the difference between you and I) and runs up and down the driveway. She is so proud and it is so cute. She's reminding me that sometimes it's not the actual completion of a task that's important, but the attempt. Just because you can't do something doesn't mean that it's not fun to try.

Love to you all,


Little Obsessions

Dear Friends,

I made a comment recently that I was concerned I might be making Lexy OCD. Don't get me wrong, she's a typical 2 year old. She would prefer to pull all her toys out at once and dump them on the floor than put any of them away... but she does have a few things that she finds annoying. She doesn't like it when Josh leaves his shoes in the living room. That is a constant source of "Mommy, put it away".

She absolutely loves to help me put the dishes away. She "helps" by taking everything out of the dishwasher and placing it on the floor. She will hand me things one by one if I ask for them, but typically she finds a sippy cup, then the top, puts them together and wanders off to chew on the straw. This leaves me to bend over 50 times to pick things up. And then wonder exactly how sanitary that is, because no matter how many times I've mopped the floor in the last month, there is always dirt (Thanks, Josh), dog food, crumbs, or other unidentifiable things on the hard wood. I will attempt to remind myself that the bending is extra exercise and is good for my waistline and the dirt is fiber.

Lexy is also obsessed with the "If you give a mouse a..." books at the moment. Kohl's came out with 4 of them this Christmas and we have all of those plus 2 others that I ordered off of eBay. We can read these books 50 times a day. Each. This is not an exaggeration. She will get one, give it to me to read, then get another. We'll read all 6 that we have, then start over. I believe I have them all memorized, along with every Dr. Seuss book ever written. And do you have any idea how prolific Dr. Seuss was? There are not enough hours in the day, but if you're interested, give me a call and I'll be happy to recite "Hop on Pop" or "The Eye Book" for you. Just in case you've forgotten how great they are.

Josh is getting ready to start up with his obsession. Baseball. I believe that I heard him mention "fantasy league" again this year. This means: Orioles games on constantly for what seems like every night for the next 150 nights. Don't get me wrong, I love baseball. For those of you who know me, I love all sports. But I am not the kind of woman that can watch baseball on TV more than once a week. It just goes too slow. And to add the fantasy to it. Ugh. It means MORE computer time for Josh, which, if you know my husband was already outrageously high. And more baseball games on the TV, just so he can watch his "players". Is it too much if I make a little prayer "Dear Lord, I know that the players having a strike in the 90's was bad for the MLB players and workers, but if it's not too much to ask, could they all have the flu (at the same time) maybe once or twice a month... just for a little downtime? Thank you, God. Love, Carin, aka soon to be a fantasy baseball widow".

My obsession? I don't think I have time for one. Although, come to think of it, in the last week this blog has become an obsession. And facebook. I am seriously getting hopeless with facebook. I'll check my page every 30 minutes to see if anyone has written or updated their status, added pictures, anything. But, I suppose, as long as it doesn't interfere with work or with Lexy that that's an okay obsession. Although, it is starting to make me feel seriously needy. And since it hasn't stopped me from having to pick up the shoes from the floor or all the Dr. Seuss books I guess I'll stick with it. Everyone should have an obsession, right? Oh, goodness, and did I mention that I get my emails on my phone. So I can check on everything the second it comes in? Okay. Officially obsession. And I don't even get that many emails!!!

So, thank you to Dr. Seuss, Laura Numeroff (If You Give A Mouse A...),MLB, and facebook for making my household somewhere that I am considering putting up padded walls in each room, just so I can survive the day.

16 March 2010

Holding Hands

Dear Friends,

I have written and rewritten the beginning of this post about 4 times already. It's not that I have nothing to write, but I have so many things bouncing around in my head that it's hard to choose. I have to say that that's kind of disturbing. I feel slightly schizophrenic.

There have been some big revelations in my life the last few weeks. One is that I'm not as good a friend as I thought I was. I missed a major event in the life of a girlfriend, which makes me cringe. This friend (who shall remain nameless because I'm not sure that she'd want to be the subject of a post or not), had her life turned upside down. Her husband walked out leaving her with their one year old to raise alone. I missed all of this. And what makes me feel the worst about it is that because her husband is friends with Josh, she thought that I had chosen her ex over her. I hate that she ever thought that, even for a minute. This event was actually an impetus for this blog. To keep better in touch with my friends and hope that they'll want to keep better in touch with me. Yes, this blog is giving me time to center and breathe, to come back to myself and to be something other than wife and mother... but what I'm really hoping to accomplish is to grow with my friends and have them grow with each other. This friend is one of the strongest women that I know and has risen to the occasion in a graceful and beautiful manner. I resolve to be a better friend, to stay in touch with friends far away, and to update this blog and to try and stick with it.

Revelation #2: Okay, so this isn't really a revelation. I've known this one for a while, but in light of yesterday's events I want to mention it. I am so incredibly blessed to have my girlfriend Jennifer in my life. She is one of the most supportive women that I have ever met. She is always available to listen, talk, vent to, and laugh with. She is strong, intelligent and beautiful. Not to mention, a total rock star. This amazing woman gave birth to her second child yesterday, a healthy and I'm sure, gorgeous baby boy. She amazes me because not only did she call me to let me know she was in labor, she called me after the baby was born.

She said "Carin, the epidural didn't work".
I of course replied, "What do you mean, it didn't work?" epidurals always work, don't they?
"I mean it didn't work. But I only had to push 3 times before the baby was out. And once the baby was out the pain stopped. You didn't have that when Lexy was born. I don't know how you did it."

There she was, in the hospital, just having given birth, no medication and she was telling ME that I'm amazing. She totally has it the other way around. She is the kind of person that is always putting others first and being supportive and loving in the most Christian manner. She is what I aspire to be. I am so proud that she is willing to hold my hand when I need it. Congratulations, Jennifer. Welcome to the world Baby Todd. I can't wait to meet you, I'm sure you'll be as amazing as your mother and your big brother, Adam (and your daddy John, we love him, too).

Revelation #3: Enlightenment comes from the smallest of sources and sometimes the most profound things do too. I was walking with Lexy up our stairs to brush her teeth before bedtime last night. She reached out to take my hand, asking for my help. When I took it and we stepped up I said "There, isn't that better when someone helps?" Okay, typically I'm not a deep and profound person, although sitting down to write lately is making me think in a more profound way (which is a tad scary). But, I have to say that that statement actually made me stop. It is so true. And how many of us actually take the time to ask for help instead of powering through and trying to figure things out on our own or having things be so much harder because we're afraid to ask for someone to hold our hand or ask God to hold our hand or to carry us. Do we feel ashamed because there are things we can't do for ourselves? I have to admit that I hate asking for help, I am the first to think I can handle most anything. I am too proud to admit when I need help, at work or at home. I hope that I'm not too proud to ask God for these things, if I can't bring myself to ask anyone else. I'm attempting to grow in this manner.

I love this poem, and I know everyone has read it. But, it just seems to fit this so perfectly I have to include it.

Footprints in the Sand

One night I dreamed I was walking along the beach with the Lord.
Many scenes from my life flashed across the sky.
In each scene I noticed footprints in the sand.
Sometimes there were two sets of footprints,
other times there were one set of footprints.

This bothered me because I noticed
that during the low periods of my life,
when I was suffering from
anguish, sorrow or defeat,
I could see only one set of footprints.

So I said to the Lord,
"You promised me Lord,
that if I followed you,
you would walk with me always.
But I have noticed that during
the most trying periods of my life
there have only been one
set of footprints in the sand.
Why, when I needed you most,
you have not been there for me?"

The Lord replied,
"The times when you have
seen only one set of footprints in the sand,
is when I carried you."
Mary Stevenson

I would love to know if anyone else has any thoughts on any of the above. I hope I'm not musing and rambling to myself. I hope you all have a blessed day and have many revelations.

Love to you all,


15 March 2010


I am sitting at the kitchen table, glass of wine on the right. It has been one of those days. Okay, I may post this in the am, so NO, it's not 6 in the morning and I'm sitting down with a glass of wine. I've started writing at 7:43 p.m. and Josh and I have just put Lexy to bed and I'm attempting to unwind after a day of "2".

For those of you without a 2 year old, and/or haven't watched tv lately to see any commercial with a 2 year old, or live under a rock, it means this: lots of "poopious", "mommy mommy mommy mommy", "mommy read it", playing with butter knives (yes, I took it away from her), climbing up to the kitchen table to grab said butter knife, whining when she was removed from the table and the knife was removed from her, feet on the table during dinner/kicking her high chair because it's funny... what else? Just being typically 2. Some days it's just too much. I want time to decompress and sit down, have a glass of wine, breathe, read a book that has more than 100 words, and the major one in this household for the moment, have a conversation that doesn't revolve around diapers or "poo poo or pee pee". Thank you mothers the world over the for the collective "Amen, Sister".

Josh found it hilarious when I relayed the "poopious" coffee coffee coffee incidient from the morning. This brought along many of the poopious comments for the evening. I do think, however, that I have discovered a new term that will clearly define many events of my life to come. I may even copyright it.

What I'm meaning to say is that I'm thinking that most mom's don't give themselves the opportunity for downtime, me time, quiet time, whatever you want to call it. I should have just told Josh "take her, it's your turn" and locked myself in the bathroom with a good book and a ton of bubbles (which, by the way, is where I'm going when I'm done writing this). I'm not sure why I didn't, but I should make myself the promise to do it more often. Not that Josh doesn't do a lot, and it's not like the 4 days of the week I get to be a stay-at-home mom I have the opportunity to be too frustrated, but it does happen. I think all my friends that are moms and one-day-to-be moms and even women who just take care of there family without kids need to make the committment to themselves to have some down time. It ensures sanity, so I've been told.

I have the opinion that part of this revolves around the low-self esteem, body issues, depression, and general insanity that a lot of women have. We don't take time to celebrate ourselves in a meaningful way. And to me, this differs for every woman. Whether it be a phone call to a friend, a slumber party, a glass of wine and a good book, or just a good book, I think women don't take enough time to think of themselves instead of others. I'm not promoting self-centeredness. But, I do think that in general, most women are caregivers and not care takers. Sometimes it best to let someone take care of you or to take a few minutes to take care of yourself.

I hereby allow myself to have "me time". I will get pedicures without feeling guilty for leaving Lexy with Josh. It's good time for them to bond. And I won't worry about the mess I'll have to clean up when I get home. If I need to go shopping, I won't feel guilty about spending money on new jeans for myself and not spending that money on Lexy or the house. I want all my friends to do the same for themselves. We are important. If we don't take care of ourselves, who will take of others when we can't? I will take time to breathe.

Oh, and yes, Lexy peed on the floor tonight.

14 March 2010

Coffee coffee coffee

Dear Friends,

I have 3 followers! Woo Hoo! That is 3 more than I thought I would have. Thank you to each of you, and to anyone else who has happened to pop in just to see. I hope I haven't bored you yet. I am having a lot more fun writing than I thought I would and I have a lot of things bouncing around inside my little head. Scary, I know.

Right now life seems hectic and I'm wondering how other women handle their tasks? Anyone wanna chime in? I just realized I'm sitting here by myself. Josh is outside attempting to shore up our eroding front porch. Lexy is napping (naps, glorious naps). Even the dog is upstairs sleeping. I am actually 100% alone. This does not happen very often. I have a roast in the crock pot (I even remembered to plug it in AND turn it on this time). I washed and folded 2 loads of laundry (and even put it away), took care of one of those 25 stacks of paper that lounge around my house on a daily basis, and mopped some of the mud off the floor.

Now? Now I am taking a little "me time" to just sit down, breathe, and focus myself. With Daylight Savings Time in affect, today has been an interesting one from the mommy stand-point. I hate wondering how things like this will effect Lexy's schedule. I woke Lexy up at her regular time. Which, to her, was an hour early. Poor baby. I really think that this is the best way to go. It will keep her relatively on schedule, with just that one hour loss of sleep and we all know that little ones will recover faster than the rest of us, right? I figured nap time might come late but we would mke adjustments. I have a friend that refers to herself as the "Nap Nazi". I think I follow along with that, as much as I can. The kid just does better with a schedule.

When I was bringing Lexy downstairs this morning I told her I would need "copious amounts of coffee" to make it through the day. I don't do well on an hour less of sleep. Copious is a good word for a 2 year old. She already knows delicious and ridiculous, and orca... and probably a few others. Her lovely 2 year old response? "Poopious coffee". Poop. In my coffee. How appetizing. "Poopious, poopious poopious". I heard that new word about 50 times this morning.

Do I really have to mention that I drank all 8 cups that I had made? Yes, all 8 cups. And it tasted AMAZING.

Daylight Savings Time

Okay, so who came up with this brilliant idea anyways? I know, I know. Benjamin Franklin. Someone should have shot Benjamin Franklin. I know, I know. He created beer as we know it... or something like that. And there was that whole kite with a key thing. And that whole Declaration of Independence and Revolution thing and American Independence thing. But really, Daylight Savings Time? Please. Someone should have shot Benjamin Franklin. Benjamin Franklin obviously did not have a toddler on a sleep schedule. I realize 2 becomes 3 and 3 becomes 4. But, when Lexy gets up at 7, do I really let her sleep until what is actually 8 and then not get her nap schedule on track. Put her down for a nap at 3 because to her that's really 2? Okay, that whole number thing is making my head hurt. Grrrrr... I stand by my initial statement. Benjamin Franklin. Good thing he's already dead.

12 March 2010

This One's Personal

Just a small aside. This isn't meant as a "feel sorry for me" thing, or a "wow, I can't believe this happened" thing. It's meant to be a "God smacked me in the face with an astonishing event" thing. Let me know what you think...

Dear Friends,

Yesterday I posted a few random things that I love about my little kid-let. Today I would like to tell you a few things about how she came into the world. For this, I have to make a confession. I didn't want to be pregnant. Don't get me wrong. I wanted to have a baby. The only thing in this world I have ever been 100% certain of is that I wanted to be a mother (oh, yeah, and marry Josh. That was a 100% certainty, too. Can't leave that one out). I just didn't want to be pregnant. The idea of giving up my body to someone else for 9 months, give or take, just did not and still does not appeal to me. It was a means to an end. And I feel, and still do, guilty about it. I love Lexy more than anything in the entire world, she is my light and my breath. I know that my calling from God was to be a mother and I was given the blessing of Lexy to recognize it.

My pregnancy was decidedly average. I have come to the conclusion over the last few years watching friends have their own babies, that there are no "normal" pregnancies. So I say mine was average. Seeing the initial ultrasound and hearing her heartbeat at my checkups are really what kept me going through the months. I had zero cravings. Nothing. I had one episode of morning sickness, to which I say "Thank you Jesus". To all the mom's reading this that suffere with that, I will gladly come and watch your children so you can curl up in a ball and disappear if you ever need it. I had swollen ankles and was generally uncomfortable, but nothing out of the ordinary.

Further along in the pregnancy I had an ultrasound that the doctors told me might show that I had placenta previa, or a low lying placenta. Translation, I might have needed a c-section if it was an actual diagnosis. I received an additional ultrasound about 2 weeks before Lexy was born, and it ruled out anything abnormal. 2 days before she was born, the doctor told me that everything was fine and I would have no issues if I went into labor early. Wow, was he wrong.

The morning of December 30, 2007 I woke up at 5:00 a.m., went into the bathroom and proceeded to tell Josh that I thought my water had broken. According to the doctor on call, I was right. I was 6 weeks ahead of schedule. I had just had my baby shower and just finished my shopping. I had a crib but no dresser, things weren't washed and put away. That baby just didn't care. The doctor at the hospital told me that they were going to try and keep me in the hospital for at least a week. Again, boy, was he wrong.

Josh and I spent the day in the hospital with no fetal monitor, no internal check-up... nothing. Just bed rest. Around 7 p.m. I sent Josh home to get some rest. We had a stressful day and he was pretty beat. From there, things spiraled downwards. I kept telling the nurse that I didn't feel right and was feeling sick. Note to self, if there is a next time, sick means contraction. Eventually, I convinced the doctor and nurses that I was in labor. I got the lovely shot of terbutaline that did nothing but make me shake. Then, the resident finally checked everything out and the nurses made the immediate suggestion that I get Josh back immediately.

By the time Josh made it back to the hospital I was down in labor and delivery and ready to push. I still get to hold it over his head that he missed the entire labor process. Lexy came screaming into the world at 2:50 a.m. December 31. A New Years Eve baby. Completely unexpected. I could barely hold her, I was so tired, and the NICU team that was standing by took her and Josh straight downstairs. The only good thing about that was that I got to tell my father that he middle name is Marjorie, his mother's name. My middle name. Our family tradition. It was nice to have that private moment with my father.

From that point on things went downhill. Lexy was in the NICU on a breathing tube, a feeding tube, and all kinds of monitors. I didn't even get a chance to think about her because I was too busy focusing on the 3 hours contraction that I was experiencing. The resident that couldn't diagnosis my labor was busy (okay, this is gross) pulling out clot after clot of blood. 500cc, 250cc. All of these numbers that seemed really large. I blacked out once or twice, but I think I could still hear everything that was going on. I heard my mother, gosh it's good to have a nurse in the family, and the nurse (Ebony. She was AMAZING) conferring about what to do. Eventually that stalked out of the room and tracked down the attending physician. I think if my doctor hadn't had been in surgery, I wouldn't have had all the problems I had. Instead, when the attending checked me out I had lost so much blood and was so weak that when she told me I could close my eyes and rest, that things would be okay now, I actually asked her "If I close my eyes, will I wake up again?". I will never forget the look on her face. Shock at my understanding of the situation. I was bleeding to death.

I managed to make it through this whole process with no pain medication. I know, it amazes me too. I always said I would try, but never thought I could do it. I did it. And, somehow, I never cursed either. I didn't even cry until I was wheeled into surgery and the anesthesiologist asked me to pull my knees to my chest for an epidural. I couldn't move anything, I was so exhausted and sick. I started to cry. Did he seriously think I could voluntarily move anything? I mean, really. When was the last time this guy had gone through labor and a 3 hour contraction. Loser. And then I passed out.

When I came to, I learned the cause of all the drama. A second placenta. My body had arranged for twins or something strange and I couldn't be left to my own devices to take care of it. I had to go and try to bleed to death. I didn't get to see Lexy until later that evening. I didn't get to hold her until the next day. I got 15 minute intervals for days. I'll write about the NICU days at some other time.

The one good thing about the whole situation was that I knew the second I saw Lexy in the NICU, lying in that incubator with all those tubes and wires, that I was completely connected to that little girl. I had no fears, no feeling of doubt about being a mother, nothing at all. My only concern was getting her better and taking her home.

I still have those feelings of guilt about not wanting to be pregnant. So many women want children and are desperate for pregnancy and there I was ambivilent about the whole arrangement. I know God brought me through those 13 days of Lexy being in the NICU with strength, and hopefully some dignity, to be Lexy's mom. I am so proud that I'm her mother.

Bits of Lexy

Dear Friends,

I would like to introduce those of you who haven't had the pleasure of meeting her to my beautiful daughter, Lexy. The story of her birth is a tad dramatic and a bit traumatic (at least it was for my family and for me), but today I want to give you some insights into the brilliant mind of my 2 year old.

Peanut butter and jelly tastes really good dipped in Campbell's Chunky Sirloin burger soup. Yes, it sounds extremely disgusting to me, too. But, she tried it and apparently liked it because she proceeded to eat more than half of her sandwich in this manner. I am still slightly grossed out by this, but, again, she ate the majority of her sandwich Who am I to judge? Also, french fries taste amazing with honey and apples are scrumptious with ketchup. And ketchup tastes great by itself (Shelley, you should like that one). Oh, and once I came downstairs to find Josh feeding Lexy straight ketchup when it was on the plate for to dip her hot dog into. So, I blame him for her food eccentricities.

Earthworms are distressing. Due to all the snow we've had this year, Lexy and I have been enjoying the last few days of weather in the 60s and being able to be outside. With today's rain I made the decision that we should put on coats and go out in the mist and get some energy out. This decision was a poor one. With the warmer weather and the rain come the earthworms. I picked one up to show Lexy, who had never seen one before, and she had a major meltdown. The next 15 minutes were a combination of checking out sticks to make sure they weren't worms and whining (oh, the whining) "no earthworms, no earthworms". We came inside and watched Elmo.

At least once a day, you should take every book you own off the shelf, out of the bins and dump them on the floor. This will not only give you a chance to inventory everything you own, but make sure that you've read them all them all at least 5 times that day. Lexy's favorite things are books. We have approximately 300 books that are solely for her. I am a sucker for buying her books, because books are the gateway to the world, no? I always say she has enough for this age range, but then I always get her more when she sees one she wants. Like today, we bought 2 while we were at Walgreen's. I mean, does she really need Hans Brinker and the Silver Skates or Thumpers New Friend? Absolutely! And I can put away Hans Brinker for when she's older. You should really try taking out all your books at least once.

Lexy has a stuffed rabbit that sat on the shelf in her room for almost exactly a year. Last week she asked to see it. We took it downstairs to play with and when I asked her what the bunnies name was, she replied "Dr. Seuss". This is the same child who has a giraffe (her favorite softy) named "Giraffe", and a brown dog named "Puppy". Oh, and all books are written by Dr. Seuss.

Lexy has an arranged marriage. Her "boyfriend" is the son of one of my best friends. His name is Adam and he is beautiful. He has pale blond hair, sharp blue eyes, and a great smile. He is a boys boy. He and Lexy have too much fun playing together. His mother, Jennifer, and I have this wonderful idea that when they grow up they'll fall in love and get married. We'll all move into the same culdesac, one on either side of the beautiful couple and live happily ever after. This would all work out wonderfully, with the exception that Lexy is in love with Elmo. I will one day have a furry red monster for a son-in-law. Lexy talks about Elmo from the moment she wakes up until the moment she goes to bed. We have Elmo pajamas, Elmo toothpaste, Elmo shirts, Elmo books, Elmo stuffed animals, Tickle-Me-Elmo (that one was mine from the year they came out. Yeah, I know, don't say it), and Elmo Elf from Christmas. I'm probably missing some Elmo paraphernalia. Oh, the videos. We have lots of videos. So, Jennifer, I'm sorry. I think Adam has been put on the back burner for the time being.

This is the tip of the iceberg when it comes to Lexy. I will fill you in on more on another day. For now, cleaning the bathroom, picking up the husbands socks, picking up some of those books, and trying to sit for a few minutes are all on the list of "Things to do while Lexy naps".

Love to you all,


11 March 2010

Cribbing From a Friend

Dear Friends,

I thought that when I initially had the idea to start a blog of my own that I had so many thoughts and ideas in my head that I would have no problem picking something to start with. I have a problem. I'm thinking I have zero creativity. Once this page came up there became nothing in my head. No comprehensive thoughts, no ideas, no funny stories. Just a blank page and my inability to spell. Thank goodness God had someone create spell check.

I follow momastery, which is amazing and I highly recommend it to every woman (and man) out there. I was thinking I would steal from lovely G and write something about myself... if you're interested. (sorry, G, but imitation is the highest form of flattery).

1. I have been married for almost 7 years. 7 years seems like a really really really long time and yet, it doesn't seem like that long at all.
2. I would love more than anything to be a stay-at-home mother. I have the most beautiful 2 year old daughter and I would do almost anything to raise her full time. I work part-time at the same job I've held for over 9 years.
3. Apparently, I love hyphens. And long-term (oh, geez, there's another one) relationships.
4. No matter how much I clean my house, how many times I make donations to charities or fill up the trash can, I cannot for the life of me get rid of the stacks of paper in my house. No, I'm not a hoarder, I really do get rid of things. I just can't seem to get rid of enough of it I guess.
5. It drives me absolutely crazy that my husband will not keep his socks off the floor.
6. Sometimes I wonder if I'm making my daughter OCD. She tells me to "clean it up" and "put it away" on a regular basis. I really am just trying to keep her books from making my living room completely impassable.
7. I shouldn't make any comments about the number of books my daughter has, I probably have 5 times as many in various stacks and bookshelves around my house.
8. I love Coach bags and have far too many of them, and yet not enough. I have also never purchased one for myself, but have always managed to receive them as gifts. Yes, any item from Coach will be willingly accepted, no questions asked.
9. I am in love with the beach. Any beach, anywhere, on any ocean. It doesn't really matter, as long as it's the beach. One day I will live at the beach. Really. I will.
10. 10 is my favorite number.
11. I have had one best friend (I love you Shelley) since I was 16 years old (wow that's another of those long-term relationships) and another since college (I love you, too, Jennifer!). Both keep me grounded and sane. Both make me laugh. Both make me feel loved. Both know far too many secrets about me... although, maybe they have forgotten.
12. I had no idea that I would be able to write this much about myself. I feel decidedly average the majority of the time and this absolutely amazes me.
13. I love to shop, but I have no particular style I can claim as my own. I would love to be surprised with a makeover from the Today show, just so I can have a starting point.
14. I had braces for 6 1/2 years. That's right, all through high school and through 2 year of college. Maybe that's where some of the low self-esteem comes from. And, yes, my teeth are amazingly straight now.
15. I am addicted to coffee. No, I will never give up this addiction, it tastes way too good and it keeps me functioning. Yes, I know it's an addiction, although I choose to think of it as a lifestyle choice.
16. I refused to drive a mini-van after my daughter was born, so we ended up with an SUV. I am far too young for a mini-van (although, lately, I've been thinking that we should have got one).
17. My husband wants to teach my daughter and myself to ski next year and the idea of both terrifies me.
18. There is someone in my family I am supposed to love and I can't for the life of me make myself do it.
19. I am left handed.
20. I have never once dyed my hair.

I think there may be more, but the kid just woke up from her nap and for once it is BEAUTIFUL outside and who am I to keep her from being out in it.

Love to you all,