29 April 2010

Bald Eagles

Last night Lexy had a special dinner. I say special because I was exhausted from work, she had not taken her nap and was extra hyper, and we had just spent 45 minutes on the phone with her Grandparents, Aunt Brittney, Aunt Amanda and her Nana. By special dinner I mean she had a fish fillet, sweet potato fries and peas. Josh and I ordered a pizza.

While Lexy was eating and our pizza was on the way I was showing her a book of animals. I was explaining to her that the Big Boy Lion has a lot fur around his head and it is called a Mane. And then I got the brilliant idea, when she asked me to see more lions, to show her the National Geographic website for kids. It's awesome, if you haven't checked it out. We watched a video on lions and went on to watch about 10 others. When we got to the Bald Eagle this was the video that they have posted. A mother eagle caring for her chick. I told Lexy that it was a baby eagle in the picture and she proceeded to tell me that there was a Mommy Eagle, too. And when the Mommy Eagle came on the screen she pointed and said excitedly

"It's Carin Eagle, it's Carin Eagle".

Yes, Lexy knows my name is Carin. I am a Bald Eagle.

28 April 2010

Wishes and Dreams

He Wishes For The Cloths Of Heaven by William Butler Yeats

Had I the heavens' embroidered cloths,
Enwrought with golden and silver light,
The blue and the dim and the dark cloths
Of night and light and the half-light,
I would spread the cloths under your feet:
But I, being poor, have only my dreams;
I have spread my dreams under your feet;
Tread softly because you tread on my dreams.

I lay my dreams at your feet, my friends. Have a beautiful Wednesday.

27 April 2010

Pink Duct Tape

Okay, I have to ask. Why am I putting SO much effort into this bridal shower? To be honest, I don't really know Josh's cousins very well. We see each other at Christmas and sometimes Thanksgivings. There are a few in between visits, but we don't call, we don't email... we don't even really talk over Facebook. And here I am just having spent 45 minutes searching the Internet trying to find the perfect bridal shower favor. Yes, 45 minutes. I think I found something, but anything under $2.00 per favor is absolutely hideous and I don't want hideous to be reflected upon me or Josh. Ah, the true crux. I don't want to be hideous. The favors that I found are little teapot shaped ceramic plates for teabags. The shower is kitchen/bath. Teapots would fit, right? Please say right because the shower is 2 weeks away and I don't have time to think of something else. 45 minutes today alone people!

I'm stressing over what to add to the menu. I have 2 boxes of hors d'oeuvres in the freezer. I have 2 platters of cheese. I have a shrimp ring chilling out in the spare ice box. I have pasta salad, veggie platter and some ham sandwich thing that the Mother-In-Law is going to bring all hanging around in my head waiting for next week to buy. But. I have 32 people on the guest list. And the invitations say "regrets only". I have heard from 2 people that they won't be able to make it. It's a little less than 2 weeks from the wedding and I have heard from 2 people. I was assured by the creators of the guest lists that at least 10 people if not more would be declining. So far... only 2. This is going to be the largest party I have ever hosted, and so far I'm doing 99.9% of it on my own, even though the invite says 2 names. Ugh. What was I thinking???

When did I think I would have time to do this. I work part-time. I have Lexy full-time. I have a dog. I have Josh. That should count for 2. I have my parents and Lexy's play dates and my groceries. And I really really really wanted to decorate Lexy's room with some new Pottery Barn beach theme items for girls. All postponed to pay for the shower. Who knew that showers were so FLIPPIN' expensive? No one told me. I knew that they were expensive, but really. $60.00 for food and I'm not even 1/3 there. I have no idea what else to put on the menu... any suggestions?

And games. Boy, oh boy, the games. I've already shot down the "bridal gown toilet paper" game. Save a tree. I think I have it pinned down to the trusty "Match the TV couple" game and this really fun one that I once played with rice and paperclips and blindfolds. Connect the dots. It was really hard and lots of fun. 2 games. 30 people means a lot of presents. I'm thinking that this shower will be about 6 hours and I may have to order out for pizza. Or run to Target and buy extra pillows and blankets for all the people that will be sleeping on my floors.

Please. If you read this and you love me or even like me a little bit, next time someone mentions something other than "Bridal Shower for Shelley", please find some of that really girly pink duct tape and slap it across my mouth before I can say "yeah, sure, I guess I can do that". Unless it's Shelley and you can get an enthusiastic "YES, I WANT TO HOST A SHOWER!!!!" I want that duct tape in place from date of engagement to date of wedding. Thanks.

26 April 2010

Coffee Filters

Dear Friends,

First, just so you know, that picture above is entirely made from coffee filters. Cool, huh? Yesterday our church service was run by the youth members. I won't lie when I tell you that I was completely apprehensive about attending the service. I'm not into rock music or praise worship. It's just not my thing. I prefer tradition and liturgical services. I don't know if it's the structure of the services I prefer or the routine (which I guess is the same thing), but it suits my personality. So, when the youth director stood up and told the congregation that they were in for something different this Sunday I must admit that I cringed. I also thought that if I wanted to skip a Sunday that this would have been a good one to skip.

And, okay, I'm not going to lie when I tell you that there were 3 or 4 times in the service that I really wished I had skipped the service. I mean, for me, acting out a Lifehouse song with one of the deacons dressed as Jesus was a bit much... not to mention that the youth of our church (Bless them) are really poor actors. It was a definite cringe worthy moment. But, I give them total credit because I never would have gotten up in front of a congregation and done it, so, more power to them

There was one moment, though, that I would like to share with you. And whether you believe in God, the Trinity, or trees, it was a beautiful thing. The youth director explained at the beginning of the service that every seat in the sanctuary had a coffee filter and a marker. Unfortunately for me there wasn't any coffee to go in the coffee filter. I know, sad, right. I was a little upset about it. But, the reason for the coffee filter was even better than coffee. I know, scary that the coffee addict would say something like that.

For our confession, if the member was comfortable, you were to take the coffee filter, the marker and write down your confession. When you were finished you walked up to the front of the church and put the coffee filter in one of many crystal bowls filled with water. The tables were full of glittering candles and the bowls of water refracted the light beautifully. But the most beautiful part was putting your confession into the water and watching it be washed away. The coffee filters were white while the water was colored. For me, that's what Jesus is and does for me. I bring myself to him, covered with markers of all different colors and degrees of permanence. Some are harder to scrub off than others, but once admitted and turned over, they are washed away (or scrubbed off with a Brillo pad) and I'm left looking like myself again, only with a little more glint and glimmer from the candles that are on my table.

I had chills during this part of the service. Goosebumps. It was hard to think of what to write because I wasn't anticipating so much emotion from this small action. But translated into an entire congregation and to connect it to myself and how I bring myself before God brought me to tears. I think this translates to everyone. Very Message in a Bottle. I may start using this in my daily life. Writing down my prayers, confessions, even hopes and blessings. Dipping them in water and watching them be washed away and brought closer to the One that can help me with them. You should try it and let me know what you think. Turn it all over. Be washed and see how much marker comes off of you.

I hope you all have a blessed week. Love to you all,

p.s. Today is my 7 year anniversary. Josh, I love you more now than I did on that day. Happy Anniversary.

23 April 2010


April 26, 2003. Tonight we celebrate. What was the happiest day of my life to that point. The beauty of being with our family and our loved ones. Pledging to each other that we were a new family, together. Before each other and before God. And, gosh, I love that dress.

21 April 2010

Thursday Thankfulness

Dear Friends,

Thursday. Ah, beautiful Thursday. My first day of Stay-At-Home Mommy-ness for the week. The beginning of my 4 beautiful days with my daughter (and my housework). I love Wednesday nights, too, as I get to relax and know that if I don't get the dishes put away it's okay because I don't have to rush through anything the following morning. Today I am thankful that I have Thursdays. This probably should have been the first "Thursday Thankfulness" post, but I wasn't smart enough to think of it then. So, here we are.

Today's Thursday should be extra special. Today I get to go and meet my Jennifer's new baby boy, Todd. I was trying to give her some time to settle in. Time to get her older son used to the schedule and routine of the little one, and just some room to breathe and become accustomed to being a mommy of 2. But, it's been long enough and I am SO ready to make the trip to see her. Lexy is dying to see Adam and I am DYING to hold that little baby. It's been too long since I've gotten to hold a baby. Watch out, Josh, it may make my uterus warm (as my dear friend Monica used to say). I have been looking forward to today for weeks.

Thursdays are always good days for us. Typically Lexy and I will make a morning run to the grocery store and then we spend the rest of the morning playing together. Lexy loves going to the grocery store, looking at all the things and watching all the people. She is a major people watcher. I love going to the grocery store because it's time she's trapped in a grocery cart and I know she can't escape. It's some nice quality time. And while she doesn't stop talking at all, ever, nonstop babbling and questions, I don't have to keep up with her physically or transition from toy to toy or think of a new game to play. It's time with Lexy without too much exhaustion. I remember loving going to the store with my mom when I was little. I used to get to take a coupon and go off and find the item that she needed. I doubt that in today's society I will ever let Lexy do that, but I'm hoping we can figure something else out. But, to have a fridge full of food with so many options for dinner (not that Josh would eat, but to have the option in just a mental plus) is a happy thing and makes me feel comforted.

Thursdays also mean nap time. Ah, the blessed nap time. To have 2 hours (or more... sometimes less, but usually more) to do what I need to do. To not have to rush through chores. To watch TV while I fold the laundry or listen to music while I swiffer the floors. I know it sounds like a little thing, but if I can get the majority of my housework done Thursday during nap time I will have 3 days of nap time when I can do something for myself. I can sit and read. I can catch up on email and facebook. I can watch something off the tivo. I can take a nap. Oh, the glorious adult nap. I am obsessed with the adult nap. I never really understood what a beautiful thing the adult nap was until I had Lexy. And now I cherish them. And all of this can happen because of the amazing Lexy nap time on Thursday so I can do work. I look forward to doing housework. I think I may be officially nuts.

So, here is where I give homage to the single mom. Or the full-time working mom. Or the stay-at-home mom that spends all her time teaching her kids to do much of anything else. I just want to wash your feet. To give you major love. I don't know how anyone can have the time or energy to do what has to be done in a household over 2 days in a weekend or at 10:00 at night. I don't have that stamina. My home would look like something out of Clean House or Hoarders if I had to do this with something other than a part-time job. It just wouldn't get done. It's a struggle with the part-time job and I still fall short of how I think my home should look. Of course, I have this crazy Martha Stewart, Pottery Barn idea in my head so that probably doesn't add to the reality of the situation. And my house is overloaded with toys at this point, too, so that doesn't help. But Thursdays I get to rearrange and clean and organize. I love you mom's that can do this and function on little to no sleep. You are amazing people.

My Thursdays are my blessing today. I will remember to be thankful for my free time and my cleaning time and my time with Lexy. I will try and be thankful in an outward manner, to show by example that I have so many blessings and they start with Thursday. What is your Thankfulness today?

Love to you all,


20 April 2010

What ever happened to...

Dear Friends,

Food has been foremost in my mind for the last few days. I feel like I've been inundated by the media with all types of health warnings and reports coming out about various stories relating how much salt or sugar should be in your diet, what the fat content of your food should be, whether or not coffee, wine, or chocolate is good v. bad. I've been seeing the same commercial on t.v. over and over from the American Beverage Association (sorry if I got that wrong) and how it's removed its full calorie carbonated drinks from schools across America. And then there's Jamie Oliver's "Food Revolution". I love it. He's trying to get a whole town, including the schools, cooking for themselves and eating smaller amounts of processed foods, more fresh vegetables and fruits, and so on. Very cool. I love Jamie Oliver. He's such a cutie and what a great idea.

My question is though, whatever happened to the parenting that kept our kids from becoming obese? What happened to the self-control that taught us that a muffin the size of your head isn't actually one serving, but 4? What happened to common sense telling you that drinking 4 Big Gulp size sodas a day probably isn't the best idea if you're trying to keep the calorie count down. When I was little I never got to drink sodas unless we went out for dinner, which was only once a week. Doritos were a special treat. I can count on 2 hands the number of times I got to eat Lucky Charms. My mother always gave us treats for desserts, but we had healthy snacks after school. Fruit, crackers... not cookies or doughnuts.

I'm just wondering why it's become so necessary to have the Today Show and the local news run 4 segments per airing about different aspects of the same story. I don't understand what happened to the common sense of people, parents especially, that told us that these things aren't healthy habits and that some things really are better in moderation. Don't get me wrong. I love my chips and cookies. In fact, writing this is making me really want one of those Do-Si-Do's that I have from my beautiful local Girl Scout troop. In fact, when I'm done writing, I'll probably get a nice glass of milk and a cookie. But, just one cookie. I don't really need 4. I may want four (or a whole sleeve), but one will do just nicely.

I'm really wondering what everyone's opinions are on this. Is it just that parents aren't home enough anymore that they have to rely on processed foods and things that are prepackaged so that their kids can grab things on their own? I try and give Lexy what I think is the best food I can. We only drink organic milk, we try and have mostly organic dairy products. She gets treats after dinner and that's it. If she eats all her lunch she can sometimes have chips, but they're reduced fat. I give her dried fruit and cheerios for snacks. Macaroni and cheese is a staple, but it's not everyday regardless of what Lexy might tell you. It's only 4 times a week. I get that I'm home more than most parents and that Lexy goes to family when I work so that helps with the diet thing. But, even before Lexy, I never really got the parents getting their kids large Frappuccino coffee drinks from Starbucks. What is that 750 calories? And the kids are about 10-20 pounds over weight. I'm confused.

Give it to me people. Help me to get it or let me know if you agree.

I'm off to get my cookie and tomorrow when I'm on my third cup of coffee I'll reread this, contemplate whether or not caffeine should be entered in on this post, ignore those thoughts and put it out there. I hope you all have a beautiful and healthy day.

Love to you all,


19 April 2010

Running Through Water

Dear Friends,

I have been thinking a lot on the sermon that my pastor gave Sunday during our church service. Now, God Bless my pastor, but a lot of time when he talks, I tune out. I know that a lot of people do the same thing, but my pastor tends to end his sermons about 4 times. And sometimes I don't feel too intellectually challenged by his words. But, he's good at his job, he keeps most of the congregation from falling asleep and he's great with people and has really helped to build our church.

Sunday I made a very concerted effort to pay attention to the words. First, I was very proud of myself for attending for a month straight... and for attending for the second week in a row by myself. I'm starting to think that it's good that way. Less distraction in the pew. Second, that I was actually trying to pay attention to everything written and said so that I could plow through to find deeper meaning upon reflection. That is SO not me. I tend to go, read the bible, sing my hymns, and ponder God on my own time. The sermon is something that is just in the middle of everything else. But, I am trying to be a better Christian so I can teach Lexy to be a good person and a good Christian, and I guess that means listening to the actual words of the sermon.

Pastor Larry was speaking on John 21, one of the chapters about Jesus appearing to his disciples following the resurrection. He was specifically speaking about the disciple Peter. For those of you who aren't into the religious thing, please bear with me. The chapter is about how following Jesus revealing himself to the disciples, Peter jumped from the boat where they were fishing and leapt into the waters to fight his way to his Lord as fast as possible. His interpretation was that Peter was so thrilled to see his Master that he flew off a boat and into the ocean. He went splashing through the water as fast as he could with the enthusiasm of a child to be with his Lord.

I can't imagine what it would be like to have that much passion and enthusiasm for something that I would leap off a boat into who knows how deep waters and fling myself forward through waves and sand to be the first and the fastest to get to my desired end. And later, upon Jesus' request, Peter single handedly pulls in a full net of fish to feed his brothers and his Lord. To have the brute strength and energy, the excitement and adrenaline to make this achievement. Amazing.

I have this picture in my head of a half-crazed man, arms flailing, leaping with legs pedaling into the water. Okay, and I have to say, that in my head he looks a little like Hugh Jackman (ah, the collective crowd finally understand that beautiful picture of Hugh). I realize that is so not the most religious image, but I can completely see Hugh leaping through the air in pure ecstasy. He seems to be a joyful person which may be why I have his face in my head when I think about this. And, of course, it's keeping me thinking about it which is also a good thing. But, in truth, to be a fisherman in the time of Jesus and the disciples, you had to be in excellent shape, and they tended to work in the buff. Which is also part of the chapter in John with Peter clothing himself BEFORE jumping off the boat. Again, back to Hugh... but, I digress.

I'm wondering about how this applies to me (other than the Hugh Jackman obsession). Do I have anything in my life that I have that much enthusiasm for? Lexy, obviously. I think it qualifies that I would jump off of, fly through, run at, or deal with anything at all, as enthusiasm at being a mother. But what else? What would it be like to live life with so much joy and unabashed love for something. To embrace life with zest, to run at something instead of run from something. To live life with love, joy, ecstasy, peace, purity of being. To carry even a small piece of that in everyday life. To remember in the smallest actions that feeling.

So, here goes. I am going to work on remembering to live life a little more like Peter. With the thrill of knowing that God is in front of me and all I have to do is jump.

I hope you all will take a jump with me today, to God, to a friend, to anything.

Love to you all,


18 April 2010

Cheez-its and Jesus

Dear Friends,

I hope you had a great weekend. Ours was relaxing, minus chores, trips to the grocery store and other various housework. Not to mention hitting a GREAT yard sale and finding all kinds of great clothes for Lexy to grow into and a new big wheel that she loves. By the way, breathing in watered down bleach is not the greatest idea. I guess there's a reason why there is a window in my bathroom, silly me.

So many of you are asking for pictures of Lexy. Okay, to be real, no one is asking anything. I haven't gotten one email. Just some lovely facebook comments. But, because I like to pretend that I'm exceptionally popular and my daughter should be hounded by the paparazzi I have included for your viewing/reading pleasure a few pictures of our spring. The picture above is our first trip to a park. Lexy was so excited to be able to get close to the geese and the ducks. Next time we'll take popcorn and a lot more pictures. She had a blast!

This is Lexy's first attempt at blowing dandelion seeds. She did pretty well considering that she blows through her 2 front teeth. Most of the time she was asking me to do it for her. Hopefully none of the neighbors are reading this as their lawns spring up with more and more dandelions. I think that's the risk of having a 2 year old girl for your next door entertainment.

We also had a fun at church on Sunday. When I told Lexy Saturday evening that we were headed to church the next morning she said "cheez-it". Now, cheez-it out of Lexy's mouth sounds a LOT like Jee-shush. So, I thought she was saying "Jesus" and I was all impressed that she was learning that going to church means talking to Jesus. I told her that she was right, that we were going to church to talk to Jesus. Apparently, my 2 year old thinks I'm a tad ridiculous. She told me "Jee-shush, Mommy". And, again, I responded "Yes, Lexy. Church is for Jesus and we love Jesus". I didn't know a 2 year 3 month old could enunciate so well. She broke down EVERY syllable for me. "No, Mommy. CH-EEZ-IT". Oh. Cheez-its. She had crackers in the nursery on the previous week, and Cheez-its were, apparently, the crackers that she had mentioned she ate when we were on the way home that day. I had no idea that the nursery attendant had given her Cheez-it's, but that was apparently the biggest impact on going to church for her. When we left for church on Sunday morning she was very excited to go to the nursery to have her Jee-shushs.

Cheez-its. Jesus. It's all good.

Love to you all and have a great Monday.

p.s. If you're reading on a regular basis, please sign up to be a reader or drop me an email to let me know. I'd love to thank you for stopping by... and I love seeing my numbers go up up up. What a boost to the self-esteem to know people like to read my crazy ramblings and see what's been going on the life of a typical suburban mom.

15 April 2010

I *Heart* Dyson

Dear Friends,

I would like to introduce you to Finnian Hickey. Better known as Finn. Or Finny. Or, to Lexy, Inny. Finn is my fur-baby, the test run, the guinea pig, the company for me when Josh works and travels, and the most hyperactive bouncy dog you have ever met in your entire life. About 4 years ago after a few years of marriage, since I hadn't killed Josh with my housekeeping or cooking, I decided it was time for the dog. Josh agreed, we decided on a beagle and I was starting the search for the perfect pet for our little family. And then. The bombshell. Josh changed his mind and decided that he did NOT want a pet. One of his friends had told him that beagles were noisy and he figured that would be a bad thing in the long run. I'm not sure if there was any other thinking behind it, but that was his final say.

My final say revolved around being crushed for about 2 days and then taking a trip to the local shelter. There was Finn. Available for adoption the following day. I called Josh at work and told him that I found a dog I wanted and it was only part-beagle so the noise factor wouldn't be a problem. I told him the dog was small, tri-color, and about a year old. I told him that the dog went up for adoption the following day and I was going to head back to the shelter and adopt the dog. Final say. We got a dog.

Finn has been an adventure. He hates Golden Retrievers, he's always hungry, he sheds like nobodys business, he loves to run outside and can walk for miles without slowing down. He also likes to sit on the back of my expensive and beautiful living room sofa so he can be in the sun and see out the window at the same time. But most of all, he sheds. I can brush him everyday and still pull fist fulls of fur off of him, no exaggeration. It is seriously annoying. There is fur on EVERYTHING.

But, we love the silly dog and Lexy thinks he's great so it's all forgiven. And, as it turns out, Finn is a purebred American Rat Terrior. We ended up getting a purebred dog from the shelter. Gotta love it.

A few months ago I was given one of the best gifts anyone obsessive about dog fur could get. A Dyson Animal. It's BEAUTIFUL. It's purple and light, it has crazy attachments that I actually use, it sucks up everything and then some off the floor. It is the most amazing house cleaning piece of equipment ever made. I want to marry my Dyson. Or, at the very least, I want to make out with it. It makes vacuuming fun. I know, you think I'm crazy. I am crazy. About my Dyson. It changed my life. Not that there was anything wrong with the 30 pound 10 year old Hoover that I had before. In fact, instead of getting rid of it Josh actually decided to keep it for his personal use in the garage. What you vacuum in a garage I don't really know, but he has his space and I have mine. So, we kept the 50 pound Hoover.

2 days ago, I came home from work to find Josh already home. He was lucky enough to have a half day and got off early to come home to watch the Orioles game. Had a half day, took a half day. Who knows. I told you he LOVES baseball. And there was my Dyson, my gorgeous, life changing Dyson, sitting outside on the screened in porch. The screened in porch that was previously covered with cobwebs, dead bugs, pollen lots and lots of pollen and lots and lots of fur. See, when I groom the pooch, I take him onto the porch. So the birds (and the outdoor carpeting) can have the fur. It was a tad messy from the winter and hadn't been cleaned for the spring yet. Until 2 days ago. When Josh took my Dyson (not the 85 pound Hoover that he kept to use OUTDOORS) and cleaned the porch. I spent the evening taking apart the Dyson to make sure that all the pollen it sucked up, and man did it suck up pollen, was cleaned out of it and that it had clean filters and looked brand new like it did before it was stolen out of my loving hands.

The porch is covered with pollen again.

Thursday Thankfulness

Dear Friends,

My Thursday Thankfulness idea was supposed to make the whole blogging thing a little easier. I thought that if I had a topic the subject would come easier. Instead it sometimes makes things a little bit more difficult. I have been thinking all day about faith and writing about that as my thankfulness. In fact I have started and stopped writing about it about 5 times already. I haven't been able to put it into the correct words. It somehow feels fake or wrong and I'm not sure why. I think about it easily, but trying to put the words down on page is much different. And so, I will make this a short post.

I am thankful for my faith. I am thankful that when I wander, struggle, argue, and don't behave the way that I should I am able to return and that I am welcomed and loved and forgiven and accepted and soothed. I am thankful for that peace and the knowledge that I don't have to be perfect, it's not expected but it's expected in the attempt. I am thankful that I can now have this venue to express myself and to make me stop and think and breathe and that I can acknowledge aspects of myself that I don't tend to discuss with people. I am thankful that I can learn and grow in my faith and that I can accept my faults and my hardships and learn from them because of it.

I hope that all my friends feel comfortable in this setting to express what they believe or don't, that they feel love and safety and the strength of camaraderie. I hope that you are all thankful for something and that it brings you the same peace and warmth and love that I find in my faith as a Christian.

Love to you all,


14 April 2010

Parenting Lessons

Dear Friends,

I will admit that I am not the world's best parent. Don't tell anyone I said that, especially not Lexy. We eat way too much pizza (Lexy gets Gerber meals, at least there are no preservatives), too much macaroni and cheese, too much Cinnamon bread. There are probably a million safety hazards in the house. I'm sure the blinds on the window will choke someone, the little pieces of puzzle lying around may be eaten, and there are probably accessible stairs to fall down if the little one is unsupervised. Okay, okay, when is Lexy unsupervised? I don't know the number to poison control and it's not on speed dial. I do know the number to 911, though, so I figure I have that one covered. Josh and I don't have a lot of rules when it comes to our parenting technique, but I'm fairly certain that this qualifies as "How Not To Parent Your Child".

Love to you all,

13 April 2010


Dear Friends,

Yesterday was a "Nana Day". These are the days that I pack up Lexy, her favorite softies Giraffe and Puppy (creative names, aren't they. Would it be better if I told you the Giraffe was named Puppy and the Puppy was named Giraffe? Not true, but better?), and anything else that she feels is necessary to bring with her and we make the .4 mile drive to my parents house. Nana Days are the days I pack up my handbag, my lunch and water and head off to my part-time 3 day a week job where I try to do full-time work. Sometimes I'm successful, sometimes I'm not. But for each of those work days there is a Nana Day for Lexy.

I call them Nana Days because there are a lot of these days where I feel like I'm co-parenting with my mother and not my husband. I separate the Mommy Days when I get to stay home and be a Stay At Home Mom from the days that I drop Lexy off and wave from the car on my way to the office via Starbucks. Lexy knows the Nana Days from the Mommy Days when I wake her up in the morning. She knows that when I wear scrubs she visits her grandmother. She knows when I have to wake her up in the morning she visits her grandmother. And she absolutely LOVES her Nana Days. I can't say I love them as much as she does, but I love that she has such an amazing relationship with her grandmother.

My mother has more toys at her house than I do. I think she has more toys than the Target or the local Toys-R-Us. And she has more children's books than Borders or Amazon.com. I'm not exactly sure where she's picked all these things up, but her house is like a nursery school mixed with a library combined with the local playground. Lexy gets to have tea parties, draw on her easel, read any book she can get her hands on, play on a slide or swing, or get sandy in her sand/water table. It's like heaven for little children.

My mom does an amazing job with Lexy. She makes her say "please" and "thank you". She has to wash her hands before she eats. There are no tantrums without time-outs, and for Lexy the threat of a time-out usually prevents any tantrum. She has to put away one toy before she can play with another. She can only watch Elmo if she eats most of her lunch and then she can watch a video while she finishes her food. It's a little like watching her raise me, which is a little surreal. I have to admit that it's strange seeing your mother parent your child without your being ill or incapacitated in some way.

I had completely different ideas of how my life was going to be when I had kids, but one of our "readers" and my new friend Kathie commented on a previous post saying that as a mother she's learned that she eats her nevers all the time. Thanks for the lesson, Kathie. It is so true! I am getting that one everyday. I always thought that I'd be a full-time say at home mom and here I am working part-time, I never expected it. I always knew I would be the primary care-giver for my daughter in every sense of the term. Now I feel like I share a bulk of that role and it's difficult on some days.

I know how lucky I am to be able to work part-time and that I don't have to work full-time in an economy like the one we have. I know how blessed I am that I can have my daughter stay with family instead of being dropped off at a day-care where the teachers and kids rotate in and out (no offense to anyone that works at a day-care. I worked day-care for years when I was in school and I loved my kids. I have hundreds of pictures of my kids from those summers, but they were summers and there was a high turn over of staff). I understand that I obtained my values from my parents and I am attempting to share those values with Lexy and it's amazing that she can also learn them directly from my parents. I know the value of my mother caring for Lexy in a financial sense as well. It makes living where we do and having the neighborhood and community that we do possible.

I also know that 3 days of the week are 3 of the hardest days that I have. I don't know how full-time working mom's do it. All I can say is that I have SO much respect for any mother that wants to work full-time/has to work full-time and can somehow manage to parent their children as well. I know how hard it is to combine caring for a child, caring for a home, and caring for your relationships with others and yourself all at the same time. I'm not sure how we women can have SO many balls in the air, but we do it. I have so many days where I have to choose which of my 35 balls falls to the floor so I can have a few minutes to sit and breathe. I often have days where I forget the breathing part all together. Yesterday was one of those days. One of the staff, and a friend of my families for 30 years was missing from our office because her husband is in the hospital having had another heart attack. I'm not sure of how he's doing at this moment, but I am praying for a return to health. I worked late yesterday. I spent 3 hours of the whole day with Lexy before her bedtime. She cried when I told her it was time to get ready for bed and told me that she wanted to "play with mommy some more", which I have to say almost made me cry, too. It's so difficult managing the aspect of working and being with her.

Lexy is sleeping. I have a little bit of time to be Carin before I become Mommy. Then I have to pack everything up and make today a Nana Day. I am trying to learn to love MY Nana Days. It takes village, right? Nana's village is one of a big heart, lots of books, Elmo, and a really fun playroom. Thanks, Nana.

12 April 2010

Help Me, Please Help Me.

Dear Friends,

I am not a liar. For those of you who have known me forever, you know that this is true. I also don't curse. If you've known me forever you know that this one is true too. For those of you who don't know me very well or are a visiting Monkee (I love you Monkees), it's important for you to know that I am one of the most brutally honest people you will ever meet and if I think something, a lot of the time it tends to come tumbling out of my mouth. This is both a blessing and a curse. It can be refreshing to have someone tell you something that smacks you in the face but is something you need to hear. At least, that's what I tell myself when I say something stupid that I know I'm going to regret later.

I told myself that I wouldn't exclude any parts of my life from this blog, that I would be open and honest and that I would let my friends know what is going on in my life and that I would pray for responses and comments that will help me through the tough times, make me laugh at myself, and help me chronicle the way I'm learning to be a mother and a parent to Lexy. So. Deep breath. That's what this blog is about, right? Learning to breathe. This one is going to hurt.

I have someone in my life I'm supposed to love that I just can't bring myself to. I don't know how.

Growing up we all learn that we should love our families, our friends, our neighbors, as we love ourselves. I try and practice this. Really, I do. I know that there are some people that just don't click, but as I grow older I have come to the conclusion that if you give people time and listen and watch that there is usually some common ground. There is something that can bond you, tie you to another person. You don't have to love everyone but you should at least respect them.

I have one person that just makes me insane. I can't look at anything that she says or does without looking for an ulterior motive or underlying criticism. I know this is wrong. I know I should take everything at face value. And then I get around her, or get an email from her and I just feel like I've taken a punch in the gut. I feel like I'm 7 years old and the boy that picks on me at school just told everyone that I pick my nose. Now, that was hard for me to write, because I don't do noses. Noses gross me out like nothing in the world. I can do vomit, blood, diapers, accidents. Anything else. But I can't do noses, so when I say that this reminds me of that critical moment in elementary school that turned me inside myself and made me small then you know it's a serious thing. It's not without justification. I have watched and learned that this person is a master manipulator. She's done it with me, my family, my parents, and I've watched her do it with other members of her family. And no one says anything or does anything about it. It seems like it's an accepted aspect of her being and everyone has agreed that it's okay. I'm not sure how I can remember to breathe when I'm around her.

This was all brought on by an email that I got a few days ago. To which part of my response actually included a section something along the lines of "if you want something just say what you want". Don't beat around the bush. I have a few pet peeves and one of them is being passive-aggressive. I guess this comes along with always speaking my mind, so it bothers me when people can't just be honest. But, to attempt to be manipulative about it really irks me. I haven't received a response yet, so I'm wondering if my response to her didn't read as it was written. Email is a wonderful way to have miscommunication with someone. I did say it really nicely, I did. I can be very tactful with my brutal honesty. I know it was written nicely because I had to rewrite it about 3 times before it came across gently as opposed to smack. I promise, it was tactful. Really.

I apologize for this rant. What I think I'm really getting at is asking for my friends and my "readers" to offer me strength when it comes to this person. If you have someone in your life that does this to you, I would love to know how you deal with it. Please help me learn to grow and be accepting and try and learn to love this person. Please comment. I need your comments today. Please sign up to be a reader. I love seeing that number go up and it gives me strength and pride. I know it's selfish and I know that it's completely needy. But, I can use the love and the responses. Its nice to have a conversation with someone that doesn't revolve around Elmo, ladybugs, or Twinkle Twinkle.

Love to you all,


p.s. I really am nervous about this one. I don't think it's completely masked who this person is to me and I don't want to be hurtful or rude. I must remember to breathe. Breathe. Breathe. Everything is better when you breathe.

08 April 2010

Childhood and Stuff Like That

Dear Friends,

The other day in the Washington Post style section there was a HUGE article on the front page revolving around one of the best series of books ever written, The Babysitters Club. Now I know that most of you reading this are around the same age as I am, so if you tell me that you never read any of these I am totally NOT going to believe you. I think it was mandatory reading for every girl growing up in the 80s and 90s. I have saved all of my BSC books. They are now located in Lexy's room, in order might I add. I'm missing a few and would love love love to complete my collection. I will freely admit that on certain nights, when the day has been long and my brain is a bit fuzzy, I grab one and slip into a nice hot bubble bath and take myself back to my childhood. The BSC isn't the only childhood books that I reread. I go back and read my Mary Higgins Clark books over and over as well. The stand up as more than just 80s fluff.

One of the reasons I was thrilled to have a daughter was so that I could show all of those 80s icons. Lexy already has one of my Cabbage Patch Kids (and one of her own). I plan on giving her the My Little Ponies that I have packed away in the attic in a few years, too. I think I had about 30 Cabbage Patch Kids and at least 75 My Little Ponies and their stables and accessories. I hope Lexy is going to be into baby dolls and ponies because I shouldn't have to buy her any toys the year she's 5. Oh, and does anyone know if Jem is out on DVD yet so I can get that for her, too?

The one thing that depressed me about the article in the Post is that they plan on reissuing the books with changes to the more 80s style aspects. They're changing the clothing descriptions. I mean, really, how can you change the clothing descriptions? The hair clips, frizzy perms, the high bangs, the leggings and big sweaters. Seriously, Claudia Kishi and Stacy McGill were my style icons. Of course, I never knew where to buy clothes like they wore so I never wore anything remotely resembling anything described in the books, but I still wanted to. And they're taking out the Diabetes shots that Stacy had to take. Really? I know that there are progressions in medicine for the 21st century, but come on. These are books in and of the 80s. Leave it alone! I love my biking everywhere, 11 year olds being able to babysit, 6 girls getting together between 5:30 and 6:00 MWF in one room to be girls. And to take that away? No thanks! It's like taking the Smurfs and making them purple. Nobody wants a purple Smurf. Who has ever heard of a purple Smurf.

Leave the 80's alone. The music was awesome, the clothes rocked, the hair was big (except for mine. Mine doesn't do big even with Glue), the people were nice and safe. What's wrong with that?

07 April 2010

Thursday Thankfulness

Dear Friends,

I'm drafting this Wednesday night and it's been a bit stressful of an afternoon/evening so I'm hoping that this post provides for a little bit of centering and attitude adjustment.

This is the day that the pacifier has gone "bye-bye". I never thought I would let any child of mine reach 2 years while still having a pacifier, but here I am at 2 years 3 months... but, there she is in her crib with her stuffed animals and her night light on. No pacifier. And for at least the first 20 minutes of the night, no tears. The child continues to amaze me in her reactions to things. Bumblebees and ants cause massive freak outs, but take away the pacifier she loves and asks for at nap time and bedtime with only a little bit of discussion and she is good to go. So far. We'll see how the rest of the night goes and nap time tomorrow. That one I'm so not looking forward to.

So for my Thursday Thankfulness I choose to be most thankful that my little baby girl, the one I still call "Baby" is being a big girl. I am thankful that she did well enough when she was in the NICU to get that swallow reflex down with enough mastery to use a pacifier for 2 years. I am thankful that she is smart enough to understand the things that I explain to her, like the pacifier going away but that she won't be alone because she has her softies and her mommy outside her door. I am thankful that while she's not asleep 30 minutes after she was put to bed, she's being quiet and lying in her crib talking with her animals and being generally good. I am thankful that she continues to surprise me everyday with the things she learns and the things she says.

I have to say that this little bit of thankfulness is making me a little sad. The pacifier seems like a connection to that part of the baby that is left in my toddler. It's hard for me to think that she's grown up enough that she doesn't need it, that she's actually old enough to be getting rid of it. Where did the last 2 years go? How is it possible that 27 months can go by so fast. How is it possible that I can't slow time down or stop it for just a little while so that I can love and enjoy this age and all the new experiences more? It's so bittersweet. I have all the pride in the world for her and want to let everyone know how remarkable she is and at the same time want to lock all the doors and not let anyone in to see it for themselves but keep it all for me.

I am so thankful. I hope that you're just as thankful for your daughters, sons, parents, siblings, friends, loved ones. I hope that you know who your blessings are and tell them everyday like I get to tell Lexy. Love love love. Thankful beyond thankful that she is growing up so big and strong.

So, I say, I am thankful to ALL of you, my dear friends. I love you all and you all are amazing. And I am thankful there are no more pacifiers in my household.


Updates and updates and updates

Dear Friends,

Yesterday was, for me, a deep post. I don't mean to get all philosophical on you... or maybe I do. I loved my comments and my virtual hugs. It means a lot and made me smile which helped me get through an "Eeyore" day. I thought that today I would let you know some of the updates that have been going on around the household. Just to lighten things up a bit.

I am officially a baseball widow. MLB has started back with a vengeance and Josh is glued to the TV. Orioles are the only team... but he's happy to watch anything when it's on if there's no Orioles game. I love baseball. For our first, third, and fourth anniversaries we splurged on AWESOME seats to Baltimore Orioles games, booked great hotel rooms and spent long weekends in Baltimore. It was awesome. I love going to games. I read the sports page religiously. I follow my team. I CANNOT watch 162 baseball games a season. Not counting postseason, but the O's haven't been there in forever so I haven't had to worry about that part. And then there's all-star break. AAHHHHH!!!!! I am happy for my DVR so I can record my DWTS (Dancing with the Stars), Private Practice (Okay, guilty pleasure) or House Hunters and go and hide in the bedroom and watch something that I want to watch. Of course, I am the supportive wife and I totally will watch some of the games. Some of them. For about 15 minutes at a time. When I'm not writing. Or reading. Or surfing the web. Or breathing.

I am going to be the Aunt to a bouncing baby boy. That's right. The decision has been made. Little Ian Daniel is going to become a bigger part of the family come September (hopefully, all prayers gratefully accepted). Carol is doing well and I love the name. Daniel is the Josh and Matt's fathers name. love love love. I can't wait to buy some decorations for the baby's room. I hope they don't mind but I rock at decorating boy's rooms. Not doing so great with Lexy's, but maybe that's because she's mine and nothing is good enough for my daughter? But that makes it sound like anything would be okay for my nephew, and that's not right. hhmmm.... Yea! A nephew!!!

The invitations have arrived for Tall Willowy Blonde's bridal shower. Oh my goodness, they are SO SO SO cute!!! I love them. I'm trying to plan a color theme around them and am planning on heading out to the stores Thursday to check on cake, balloons, flowers... Now, if I only had games and shower gifts nailed down. I'm pondering, people, pondering. Anyone have a great game they want to share? Email me, please. Personal creative block aside, my MIL suggests that we play the "toilet paper bride" game. NO NO NO!!!

Lovely Jennifer is doing well with the 2 babes at home. Although her last FB status update was a little scary so some attention from me maybe in order. She sounds a little stressed and I can't imagine how hard it is to have 2 children to take care of. But, she's an amazing trooper and I know she's doing better than she thinks she is. I keep thinking I'm giving her space and time to settle in, but I'm headed down that way in the next 2 weeks. Jennifer, I hope you're reading this. Make preparations for my mother, myself, and Lexy to head down to you. We bring time for a shower, laundry, and a nap with us. Take full advantage of us, please.

The reader count is up to 9, which is one of the most thrilling things that has happened to me in a really long time. I was hoping to get to 10, so we'll see. I am so happy to see my friends on here and to have their love and support in my little venture into the world wide web. If anyone wants to guest post, let me know. I have NO idea how to actually do that, but would love to read what my friends have to say about their lives and the world in general. Shelley, this means you. And Chimmy, if you want? I drafted the post last night. What a wonderful surprise when I woke up this morning and found my number at 10! Thank you thank you. Now that I met that goal where do I go from here. 10 is after all my favorite number. Should I aim for 15 or 20? Do I even know that many people interested in reading my thoughts? Share with your friends and lets try and get to 15!

Lexy is still talking about Easter. She had one of the best days ever, at least she thinks so. I'm hearing about her Easter egg hunt, her friend she got to play with, and lasagna (which is pronounced "Anya" for those of you out of the 2 year old loop). Oh, and CANDY. Candy is a big one. She'd never had candy until Sunday and I think she's addicted. I'm not sure what to do about it, although I'm thinking it maybe a positive thing for taking away the pacifier and teaching the potty-training thing. Give a little bribe in the form of candy. No, I am SO not above bribing my daughter. Oh, speaking of the pacifier. Anyone have ANY suggestions on that one? She only gets it for nap and night time and I'm ready to take it away, she's getting way too attached and I want to nip it in the bud. It's been too long, but she gets such relaxation from it. Should I just take it and tell her it went "bye bye" or do it at bed time and then add in nap time later? Clean break I'm thinking. And just deal with the tears and the talking and no napping for a few days. Ugh, the joys of parenting.

On that note, my lovelies, I am off. I love you all and I hope you have a beautiful day full of blessings (and comments. I love love love my comments).


06 April 2010

Internal (Maybe External) Rant

Dear Friends,

I'm having a bit of an internal struggle about today's post. I was reading a friends writing this morning and she was discussing religion, Christianity in particular, and how there are some books that she reads that she really enjoys because they question religion and it's establishments and doctrines in philosophical and Christian ways (Glennon, if you're reading this and I got that wrong, let me know). It was making me think about some of the people I know and how sometimes it seems that the people who claim to be the most Christian are really the least Christian.

It makes me cringe a bit to write things about religion, although I think about it often enough. I mean, who really cares what I think about religion? But, well, this is my blog and I get to write about anything and everything I want to. Wow, that's a sense of power that I don't tend to have in my everyday life. How disturbing. Okay, so more than anything I think about the hypocrisy of some of the people that are in my life, some in by choice, others not, who use religion on a daily basis and who don't seem to notice that they use it as an offensive weapon or that they say one thing and then act in a completely different manner. I really wonder what they think they're doing and what they think they're accomplishing by it.

I have to say, I just reread that and it makes NO sense whatsoever. I don't feel comfortable mentioning names of people that I'm thinking of right now, because I don't want to stir the pot and I don't want to hurt some people. I think that it would be good for a few of them to have something thrown in their face for self-examination, but I'm not sure a public forum is the best way to do it. Of course, in person I am a completely nonconfrontational, passive-aggressive, wimp who doesn't feel qualified to discuss religion because I don't have the bible memorized. And I do realize that that in and of itself doesn't mean that I don't have a knowledge base or understanding of my religion. That is my confession of the day. But, I do know enough that I don't throw or attack people with religion. I like to have calm and reasonable discussions including both points of view and try to show people the love I have for my God versus attempting to force people into the same manner of thinking. I think that example is more telling than speaking/lecturing/ranting...

And on that deep and meaningful note... Have I told you lately how much I love Chuck. It is seriously one of the funniest shows on TV, I highly recommend it. I look forward to it every Monday night. I don't even Tivo it so I can see it the minute it comes on. And I love Dancing with the Stars, because I could totally learn how to dance if I took myself out of real life and trained for 8 hours a day with a professional dancer. And I would look damn good with a spray tan, and AMAZING in one of those Latin costumes.

Love to you all,


p.s. Please leave me some comments today if you're reading. I want some opinions on this and am feeling needy! I'm in need of a virtual hug.

05 April 2010

The Empty Easter Egg

Dear Friends,

I hope you had as wonderful an Easter (or passover or whatever you celebrate) as I did. We had a great day taking Lexy to church, watching her have an Easter egg hunt and dyeing Easter eggs with the neighbors and a yummy lasagna dinner with the parents and one of our good friends, Jason. Exhausting but good. I am wiped out. I decided I didn't want to cook this year and that a lasagna would be easy... until I had the brilliant idea to make the sauce from scratch instead of using premade. It would have been easier, but it wouldn't have been as yummy. In my humble opinion it was super-good.

I wanted to share an Easter story that you've all probably heard at one point or another, but it's a big part of my childhood and for me Easter wouldn't be complete without it. My pastor when I was growing up, Rev. Dr. David Campbell, would tell this story every Easter at the children's service. I would look forward to it every Easter. So, I've found a variation of the one he told and am reposting it here. I hope you like it as it's made my Easter complete.

Jeremy was born with a twisted body, a slow mind and a chronic, terminal illness that had been slowly killing him all his young life. Still, his parents had tried to give him as normal a life as possible and had sent him to St. Theresa's elementary school. At the age of 12, Jeremy was only in second grade, seemingly unable to learn.

His teacher, Doris Miller, often became exasperated with him. He would squirm in his seat, drool and make grunting noises. At other times, he spoke clearly and distinctly, as if a spot of light had penetrated the darkness of his brain. Most of the time, however, Jeremy irritated his teacher.

One day, she called his parents and asked them to come to St. Teresa's for a consultation. As the Foresters sat quietly in the empty classroom, Doris said to them, "Jeremy really belongs in a special school. It isn't fair to him to be with younger children who don't have learning problems. Why, there is a five-year gap between his age and that of the other students!" Mrs. Forrester cried softly into a tissue while her husband spoke. "Miss Miller," he said, "there is no school of that kind nearby. It would be a terrible shock for Jeremy if we had to take him out of this school. We know he really likes it here."

Doris sat for a long time after they left, staring at the snow outside the window. Its coldness seemed to seep into her soul. She wanted to sympathize with the Foresters. After all, their only child had a terminal illness. But it wasn't fair to keep him in her class. She had 18 other youngsters to teach and Jeremy was a distraction. Furthermore, he would never learn to read or write. Why spend any more time trying? As she pondered the situation, guilt washed over her. "Oh God," she said aloud, "here I am complaining when my problems are nothing compared with that poor family! Please help me to be more patient with Jeremy." From that day on, she tried hard to ignore Jeremy 's noises and his blank stares.

Then one day he limped to her desk, dragging his bad leg behind him. "I love you, Miss Miller," he exclaimed, loudly enough for the whole class to hear. The other children snickered, and Doris's face turned red. She stammered, "wh-why, that's very nice, Jeremy. Now please take your seat."

Spring came, and the children talked excitedly about the coming of Easter. Doris told them the story of Jesus, and then to emphasize the idea of new life springing forth, she gave each of the children a large plastic egg. "Now," she said to them "I want you to take this home and bring it back tomorrow with something inside that shows new life. Do you understand?"

"Yes, Miss Miller!" The children responded enthusiastically - all except for Jeremy. He just listened intently; his eyes never left her face. He did not even make his usual noises. Had he understood what she had said about Jesus' death and resurrection? Did he understand the assignment? Perhaps she should call his parents and explain the project to them.

That evening, Doris' kitchen sink stopped up. She called the landlord and waited an hour for him to come by and unclog it. After that, she still had to shop for groceries, iron a blouse and prepare a vocabulary test for the next day. She completely forgot about phoning Jeremy 's parents.

The next morning, 19 children came to school, laughing and talking as they placed their eggs in the large wicker basket on Miss Miller's desk. After they completed their math lesson, it was time to open the eggs. In the first egg, Doris found a flower. "Oh yes, a flower is certainly a sign of new life," she said. "When plants peek through the ground we know that spring is here. "A small girl in the first row waved her arms. "That's my egg, Miss Miller," she called out. The next egg contained a plastic butterfly, which looked very real. Doris held it up. "We all know that a caterpillar changes and turns into a beautiful butterfly. Yes, that is new life, too" little Judy smiled proudly and said, "Miss Miller, that one is mine."

Next Doris found a rock with moss on it. She explained that the moss, too, showed life. Billy spoke up from the back of the classroom. "My daddy helped me!" He beamed. Then Doris opened the fourth egg. She gasped. The egg was empty! Surely it must be Jeremy 's, she thought, and, of course, he did not understand her instructions. If only she had not forgotten to phone his parents. Because she did not want to embarrass him, she quietly set the egg aside and reached for another.

Suddenly Jeremy spoke up. "Miss Miller, aren't you going to talk about my egg?" Flustered, Doris replied, "but Jeremy - your egg is empty!" He looked into her eyes and said softly, "yes, but Jesus' tomb was empty too!" Time stopped. When she could speak again. Doris asked him, "Do you know why the tomb was empty?" "Oh yes!" Jeremy exclaimed. "Jesus was killed and put in there. Then his Father raised him up!" The recess bell rang. While the children excitedly ran out to the school yard, Doris cried. The cold inside her melted completely away.

Three months later Jeremy died. Those who paid their respects at the mortuary were surprised to see 19 eggs on top of his casket, ...................all of them empty.

God bless and I love you all,


02 April 2010

Just What Is Too Big?

Dear Friends,

As I write this I'm eating NATURAL Cheetos White Cheddar Puffs. I say this because I do not truly have a weight issue. Although, maybe I do. I'm not sure anymore.

Last year a couple a few streets over put their house on the market for sale. It sat and sat and they waited and waited. I guess they didn't get a deal that they really liked because once the house was under contract they put up a sign in their yard stating that the play set they had in the backyard was for sale. They weren't giving it up along with the house. This thing is amazing. It has a tower, a rock wall, a rope ladder, regular ladder, picnic table, slide, 2 swings, tire swing, monkey bars. It's awesome. A kids dream and every neighbor kids jealous dreams. I decided that I had to at least ask about getting it for Lexy. Yeah, she was way too small to use it last year, but it would keep, right? So off I went to their front door to inquire about how much they were asking for it. $2500.00. Okay, way way way too much. Far over anything I would ever dream of spending on Lexy. So, far too much and I ruled it out.

About 2 weeks later the sign was still up in their yard. I decided that if they hadn't sold it by then that maybe they would entertain my crazy low-ball offer. I called and made an offer. Chatted with the woman for about 20 minutes. A few days later they called me back. They had decided that after talking to me about it twice and meeting Lexy that I really wanted it for her. They had 2 other offers that were higher than mine, but they were going to sell it to me because they liked me. It was so cool. And then we had to disassemble it and move it. Ugh, that was a nightmare! It took Josh, his friend Jason, myself, and my father to take it apart and move it 3 streets over.

The reason for all this back story? It was a glorious 75 degrees outside yesterday. Blue skies, white puffy clouds, nice breeze. I decided it was so nice that I would skip the grocery store in favor of letting Lexy play outside for the morning. After lunch we ended up in the backyard so Lexy could use the slide. We haven't used it since last year and it was covered in leaves and spider webs so I climbed up after Lexy with a broom to clean it up a little. When I went to go up into the tower section Lexy was kind enough to tell me: "No Mommy, Mommy too big. Lexy little". Nice, right?

I decided that I would take her down the slide with me the first time, since it's a bigger slide than she's used to. I sat down and when I went to put her on my lap she told me "Mommy too big, no Mommy". Um, yeah. Okay. I'll admit it. I'm 5 foot 6 and weigh 134 as of this morning. I may not be pre-baby shape, but I am pre-baby weight. I've never been ridiculously thin, but other than baby weight never been over 140ish. I consider myself average. Normal. Regular weight. Nothing special. I try and eat healthy, with exceptions. Like Cheetos White Cheddar cheese puffs. I try and go for 2 walks a day.

"Mommy too big, no Mommy" I went down that slide about 15 times.

01 April 2010

Thursday Thankfulness

Dear Friends,

I've been reading some other blogs in the last few days and one of the things I've noticed that I think is fun is that a lot of them have weekly segments for their posts. One of the things I've been thinking about lately are all the blessings that I have and how lucky I am. And so "Thursday Thankfulness" is born. Hopefully this will allow for anyone reading along to think of their own blessings and remind of us of all the wonderful things we have instead of thinking of all the things that are wrong or not how we want them. I am attempting to be "Glass Half Full Girl" versus "Glass Half Empty Girl".

So, obvious blessings: I have a wonderful husband (socks on the floor aside) and an amazing daughter (2 year old whining ignored).

Okay, so what are the not so obvious blessings... the things I want to try and think of and remind myself of? I am thankful for my basement. I know that seems a little silly. I should be thankful for health and solid employment, deep and moving things like that. But first, a little back story. When Josh and I were first looking to move from our townhouse, we had a contract on a house that we both liked in the neighborhood we both liked. Fortunately the contract was contingent on the sale of our townhouse which didn't happen. Once that contract fell through we ended up with the same model house, on a cul-de-sac, with a finished attic, larger master bedroom, and a finished basement. All around a better house. We love it.

The finished basement has become our playroom for Lexy. It has saved my bacon on so many of the snowy and rainy days that we've had this past winter and early spring it's hard to imagine what I would have done without it. We have been able to migrate so many toys downstairs and there is so much room for her it's amazing. She has room to run and play, she has room to take her toy stroller for a walk. We have a TV, sleeper sofa, kids table and chair, and there's enough room for her doll house and 2 bookshelves for her books and toys. Gotta love storage. And, there's still enough room for a blow-up ball pit.

The nice thing about that picture is that it doesn't show the other half of the room. Actually, more than half. Of course, right now there is a huge ball pit taking up what seems like a third of the floor space, but Lexy loves it so much that I hate to deflate it. When she sees it she runs into it and flings herself inside and yells "Balls EVERYWHERE". I mean, really, could you deflate it?

For me, anything that makes parenting easier is a blessing and something I should think of and be thankful for. Being able to change locations and have different toys in different areas of the house makes for a much better stay-at-home day, especially when the weather is freezing and there happens to be 30 inches of snow outside like we had this past winter. So, to the previous owners of this house I say "Thank you so much for finishing off the basement. Lexy and I both love it. I appreciate your helping to make it easier for me to raise my daughter."