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And Then He Was Mobile.

I have already screwed up NaBloPoMo, so there you go. Seriously, I was disappointed in myself, and I started to have a pity party, but then I realized that I was late for three things and not long after, I fell asleep. My Life: One Big Party.

Tony and I sauntered into daycare this afternoon to pick up Vinnie, and they proudly announced that he rolled over today. A few times.

And it’s one of those weird things, where you’re both ecstatic and really really sad. I am thrilled that he’s growing – and not rolling over has been killing his five month old soul – but Y’ALL. He’s, like, MOBILE now.

(I am trying to deflect my mom guilt that he rolled over at daycare first and not with me. OH IT’S THERE, DON’T WORRY.)

I’m keenly aware that he’s the last baby, and how fast time moves by is so bittersweet.

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It’s November! Let’s All Suffer!

There’s this thing in the blogosphere called NaBloPoMo or some other random collection of letters that should basically equate to writing one post, every day, for the full month of November.

I’ve done it occasionally, but life is just insane at the moment, and I was all like, Who has time? And then I got sad because I used to write twice a day here. It was my smoke-break at work, my ten minutes alone with just me and a keyboard and my thoughts, and I love reading those archives.

When you write for money, it’s easy to start seeing what was once a hobby as now an obligation, and the idea of having to carve MORE time out for it can seem laborious. But in the end, these are the archives I would read. I wouldn’t fondly revisit my freelance writing gigs.

So I’m back in the saddle. Writing daily. No matter how unpolished, inane, or pointless it may feel – I’m back.

Day 1 of 30

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Random Stuff Y’all Have Asked Me

Remember how I said it’d be quiet around here this week?

INSANITY.

Without further ado, RANDOM STUFF Y’ALL HAVE ASKED ME RECENTLY THAT I MAY OR MAY NOT HAVE ANSWERED AT THE TIME.

Q: What do you put in your green smoothies?

A: I’m not at all methodical about the contents. Which, have we met?, is surprising. I basically add the following items to my grocery list on Sundays: 3 apples, a bag of seedless grapes, a big bag of “tender” spinach (I don’t know why it’s tender), a bag of frozen mixed berries. I throw a random combination of those items into my Magic Bullet cup every morning. (Although, to be honest, I usually cut up the apple the night before and stick it in a baggie with the spinach, and sometimes do two and three baggies at once so my weekday mornings are a bit less hectic.) The great thing is that you can use whatever. Some people swear by bananas, some people use mango or pineapple.. whatever floats your boat. The spinach is REALLY good for you, but with a mild taste of “greens”, so it’s easily masked by the fruit.

Q: I have sensitive skin/skin prone to allergies. Would Birchbox work for me?

A: Dude, I have no clue. Everyone is different, right? BUT I will say that when you sign up for the delivery service, you answer a long list of questions regarding your skin type, coloring, preferences, etc so that you get the right “blend” for your buck. While I can’t remember a specific question about skin allergies, I am 99% sure I answered a question regarding my skin’s sensitivity. (Which, seriously, all the way to eleven.) To be fair, I also chose a Preference for Natural and Organic Products, so a lot of what I get is something that wouldn’t flare my skin up anyway.

Q: Have you seen The Hunger Games trailer?

A: OhEmGee, did I ever. And yes, I am totally stoked. I saw the “sneak peek” trailer .. whoop-dee-doo, look at her run through the unscary forest .. and wasn’t really impressed. But the full-length trailer? DUDE, I cried. I volunteer! I volunteer as Tribute! Oh, tears. I am ready to really, really love this movie. (Mockingjay, however, is a different story altogether.)

Q: What do you think of your homemade laundry detergent?

A: This totally deserves its own post, but the short answer is: I’m glad I did it. It made a BUNCH – I filled a 2 gallon cookie jar and still had enough to give Jenni and Courtney Ziploc-gallon bags – and it’s kind of cool. I think all of the materials, total, cost me less than $20 and I even got some extras. I did add the remaining of my Downy Unstoppables for added scent. Were I to do it again (Bryan’s not sold on it yet), I would add more OxiClean to it .. it’s not quite as effective as a cleaning/brightening solution as I’d like. It cleans well, but for things like Socks of Boys .. they look a bit drab. Clean, mind you.. just drab.

Q: What do you think of your homemade liquid soap/body wash?

A: I think that was so insanely easy that I don’t know why I didn’t do it years ago. Tony uses castille soap (I have a soft spot for Dr. Bronner’s Lavender Castille Soap) for his sensitive skin, but the big bottles are really expensive. A bar of it, however, is only $3. One bar of $3 soap, and 10 cups of hot water got me a refill of the original bottle (a 16 oz, I think) AND an empty milk-jug. I didn’t use glycerin, as all the recipes called for, because I had none on hand. Next time, I will though.. the soap currently solidifies somewhat in the bottle. (A quick shake fixes it right up.) But I think the glycerin will fix that.

Q: What’re y’all doing for Tony’s party this year?

A: HA! Remember my grand aspirations? Yes, they were grand. And had we more time and money, they would be SO MUCH FUN. However, we looked at the calendar, realized he’s only turning four, and said, “Let’s all get together and have a pizza party instead with the family!” Because when you’re four, you just want to be around the people who will coo all over you anyway, right?

Q: Are you going to The Blathering 2012?

A: Oh, I think we all know the answer to this one, right?

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There’s Always Gonna Be That Somebody

The reality of .. well, reality .. is that you’re always going to have a battle to overcome.

(You can pick your battles, a lot of the time.)

I don’t want to infer that it’s generational, but I run into so many people who simply crumble at the first sign of resistance. By that same number, I know a lot of folks who just don’t know when to back down.

And I think the two groups are who keep eachother in population control.

No matter what you’re doing, there’s ALWAYS going to be that somebody who is against you. We all laugh because it doesn’t matter the topic – about an hour after I post something on here that’s semi-opinionated, in a matter of hours, people are emailing me telling me that one or two of my faithful readers is online, spouting the exact opposite opinion. They LIVE for that.

(And honestly? I do not. Having that is ALMOST enough to make me pity Dooce.)

And that’s just something as silly as blogging. I also have a few faithful readers of my Twitter, and they love to scuttle about when I tweet things, and whisper in people’s ears that I said this and that and the other. There are always going to be those people.

When you lace up your shoes to go running, there is always going to be that somebody who looks at you and says that you? There’s no way you can go running. There’s always those people who hit below the belt, criticizing your weight, your physique, your determination.

When you take a chance, there is always going to be that somebody who waits for you to fall. They sit at the ready, drool hanging from their open mouths, as they salivate on the prospect of your failure.  They cannot wait to be the first ones to shout I TOLD YOU SO! when things don’t work out.

When you decide to bottle-feed, there is always going to be that somebody who tells you that breastfeeding is EASY and WHY DON’T YOU LOVE YOUR CHILD ENOUGH? When you decide to breastfeed, there is always going to be somebody who’s going to judge you for doing so in front of anyone else, no matter how modestly you cover yourself.

It doesn’t matter what you’re doing. There’s always gonna be that somebody.

PROVE. THEM. WRONG.

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Thanksgiving and All.

Holy frijoles, NaBloPoMo almost got away from me today. I COMPLETELY forgot about posting here today. I’ve got cranberry sauce cooking, sweet taters working, and working from home with a very grouchy little boy. “Balls in the air” as no one once said.

I guess I should talk about what I’m thankful for. But .. I don’t know. I mean, I have the obvious stuff to be thankful for – roof over my head, gainful employment, a loving (and PATIENT) husband, two rambunctious and healthy boys – but I feel like we’ve come to a place where we have to out-hipster eachother and find a more meaningful reason to be thankful. Or a theme for our thanks. We want to put a hashtag on our thanks.

(No, obviously, you’re not who I’m talking about here. It’s everyone else.)

I’m thankful for everything, really. And in that sappy, first-grade kind of way. And I’m thankful that you’re here, reading this. And I hope that you take time out from wiping your sweaty brow with the back of your flour-covered wrist, in between snapping at your kids to STAY OUT OF THE KITCHEN OR I’LL SELL YOU TO THE GYPSIES and sobbing to your husband to PLEASE JUST HELP ALREADY PLEASE, to realize that it’s just a day, just a meal, just a chance to get everyone around a table.

(The above rant is entirely hypothetical.)

We have no big plans this year outside of our normal “travel to Nonna and Poppa’s for the meal” routine. We’re all taking what we’re good at – for me, it’s sweet taters, stuffing, and cranberry sauce – and not stressing about it. New this year is what I hope will become tradition: Aunt Gee and Dude are taking the cousins on Friday afternoon to do .. holiday stuff? I dunno. All I know is that I casually mentioned it to Tony two weeks ago and he’s literally asked me “Is it Friday November 25th yet?” daily. He’s ridiculously excited, because After Thanksgiving not only means going to Aunt Gee’s, it also means that his birthday and Christmas are right around the corner.

We’ve been debating what to try for as far as Santa’s concerned this year, since he has a longstanding history of disliking the man who brings you presents:

And then last year, we didn’t even try.

So we’ve been talking this guy up a lot, is what I’m saying. We role-play, with me pretending to be Santa and Tony playing himself. We talk about how nice Santa is. Hell, we even LOOK AT THIS PICTURE and Tony will say, “I be nicer to Santa this year.”

You can imagine our SHOCK! and AWE! when we walked into the mall two weeks ago (TWO WEEKS AGO. NOT EVEN THANKSGIVING.) and saw the big purple chair. Tony FROZE. Demanded we leave the mall. Or at the very least, maintain a floor between us and that evil, evil man.

So should we do the elf on the shelf thing? I want to, so badly, if for no other reason than I think it’d be fun. For me. Let me clarify: I would have fun with this thing, therefore I am all gung-ho for it. But .. the child is already terrified, so ..

Hell yes, we’re doing it.

I’m thankful for therapists.

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