Sunday, 13 December 2009

Shooting from the Hip

UG. I know it's been a while, you don't have to tell me! I go through these FUNKS where I just stop blogging. I don't really know why - I am just "over" blogging. Then I'm out of the funk and I want to blog again. I can't say that I am out, but I am on my way at least. I don't really care so much about this stupid blog, but I need to better about the kids' blog. sigh.

ANYWHO. I have recently been hardcore following a blog called hip2save. I have had a few of my friends mention it to me over the months, but I just haven't gotten around to really looking. Well this week I did. ha ha ha. The deals are aMAzing! I was mostly interested in her coupon codes for Victoria Secret and that type stuff. But I started noticing she blogs about all the coupons and rewards you can get at local drugstores. After researching I decided to try it - more for kicks than anything else.....but save a bundle never hurts either right?

So today (by MYSELF with BOTH kids in tow nonetheless) I went to Walgreens and tried my first little coupon dealio. Yes, I also use coups at the drugstore and whatnot, but to really go search out coupons and local deals just frankly takes too much time that I don't have. But H2S has them all in one place so it's easy!! apparently "WAGS" is known for being sorta mean to I went ready to have everyone get grouchy with me. Luckily, that did NOT end up being the case at all.

So here is my SUPER DORKY post (with a pic nonetheless!!!) of my booty. I purchased: Tissue Paper, Hair Dye, Huggies, Two tubs of Benefiber, 2 Oil of Olay Body Washes, Johnson and Johnson baby wash,2 Oil of Olay Lotions, a Nivea after shaving balm (for the Hubs), and a Nivea facewash for men that my husband will feel too masculine to use that I will end up using and smelling like a man for two months and then when he comes in to kiss me he'll ask me why I smell like a man and I'll tell him that it's because he won't use the facewash I bought him that I am now using so it doesn't go to waste. BUT I digress......

My original Total was 115.99 before tax. My total after all my coups was roughly $66.00 (before tax) BUT There is also an Oil of Olay rebate going on which I have already filled out and have ready to go - for TWENTY BUCKS...bringing my total down to 46 bucks. I also got 11 dollars in Register Rewards (a coup that you use just like cash on your next visit)! WHOO HOO!

I am SO MORTIFIED that I am this excited about coupons.UG. I have now met every single stereotype of a Stay at home mom. O well. At least with all that lotion I'll be very moist this winter!

Wednesday, 16 September 2009

Aha! Moment.

I'm not like the biggest Oprah fan in the world, but I do like her phrase "Aha moment." I had one not too long ago.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ That is my harp playing, wavy screen inducing flashback symbol......

I've always said I wanted to write a memoir. I love to write, but don't have the patience to write a "real" book, though I've started many. But I'd have to call my memoir "Spins and Giggles" because the older I get the easier I see my life was as a child. My mom stayed at home raising all of us, I was the SURPRISE baby that the Doctors said she'd never have. My memories of my childhood literally consist of making cookies with my mom, and my dad pushing me on the tire swing in the back yard. We weren't rich, but we didn't go without. Because I am 10 and 12 years younger than my 3 older siblings I was spoiled rotten by all of them as well. I went to a tiny private school, have never ridden a school bus to school in my life, and took piano, ice skating, trumpet (yes trumpet) lessons. Life was easy peasy.

But there was one aspect in which my life was very different than others'. My parents did foster care. From the time I was old enough to remember, I remember a revolving door of siblings - coming and going. Social workers and policemen were just part of my upbringing. One day my parents would sit us down and tell us we were going to have a new brother/sister and within a few days - there they were. Usually a girl, and usually around my age. I loved having a playmate and was mostly ok with change, though I'm sure I vied pretty hard for my parents' attention. But, usually, just as quickly... my sister would go. We'd have maybe a week's notice, and the sister I had for the past 2 weeks/8 months/3 years would be gone.....and that was it.

Anyone who knows me at all knows I am HORRIBLY over-sensitive. Anyone who has known me for a long time knows that I've made significant strides since I was younger. So to me - the emotive, left brained, heart on her sleeve, make best friends in a day, deathly loyal person - would "lose" a sister in a week and it was so heartbreaking. I would see my parents trying to be strong, but I could tell that there were tears shed by them as well. I couldn't understand why on earth, someone would put themselves through that more than once. It was awful. What I did learn early on, despite my white-bread world, was that life was rough. That not everyone had parents who had been married for 25 years, who ate dinner together every single night, or shlepped to their child's volleyball game even though she had no hope of doing anything else besides heating up the bench. I saw children come into our home with a vast array and rainbow of hurt. I learned at six that I was one. lucky. stiff.

Oh, don't get me wrong, I still railed against my parents' rules and couldn't beLIEVE I had to be home at ten o clock and some such... but I always knew that deep down inside - I was living a dream.

When I reached High School age, my parents decided, for a vast array of reasons, to discontinue being foster care parents. I won't lie and say that I wasn't glad to once again have my parents' exclusive attention. (Can you plough the depths of my shallowness?) The older I got, the more hazy my memories became of my "different" childhood, and when I shared it with people I was always surprised at their near-obsessive interest. To me it was just the "norm." The one question I always got, was if I was going to follow in my parents' footsteps. I think my hysterical laughter answered that one straightway. Who would knowingly welcome extra tears, pain, and goodbyes into their life? Not I!

I wasn't expecting to become a parent. I was NOT one of those people who worked in the nursery at church, and babysat all the time... I didn't really like kids. Teenagers - oh I'll take them by the dozen! But little kids gave me the heebs. I was that lady in the restaurant giving your child the evil eye when they wouldn't stop screaming. But - I did become a parent - twice over even!

I remember about a year after Madeline was born, Steve and I were finishing our evening ritual of watching the ten o' clock news before going to sleep. There was a story about a baby almost exactly Madeline's age who had been left in her crib, in her carseat for 3 days. By the time the police were contacted the baby was barely alive. (I am being extremely kind in not going into graphic detail.) I listened in horror as they described how long the baby must have cried, how desperately hungry she was - how loudly she must have screamed to finally get the neighbors' attention.

I was beside myself in tears. I remember turning to my husband and saying, "Don't you just want to go get that baby, and just hold her for hours straight? To give her a nice warm bath and soft clothes - to snuggle her and sing to her and give her all the love that she was denied? Just tell her that for as long as she's in your house she will never want for anything?"


Monday, 14 September 2009

Tuesday, 8 September 2009


There are two things that strangers always assume wrongly about me:

1. I work out
2. I am a Democrat

Now I don't know which of these is more hilarious to me as I can't really imagine myself doing EITHER one. (OK, I am lying a little because I HAVE been sneaking in some yoga now that I have a zillion pounds of baby weight to lose).

Before Madeline I was pretty thin, so I guess people just assumed that, like most people who were thin, I jogged and elliptical-ed and ate right. Then, they see a day in my life and realize that they couldn't have been more wrong. In fact, prior to my pregnancy my diet consisted mostly of pizza, 1/4 pound fudge from South Bend Chocolate, and Cap'n Crunch. My exercise was occasionally taking the stairs to my second floor job, and the 3 block walk to my downtown office to avoid paying 6 bucks in parking fees - but that was because I was cheap.

Now the Democrat thing....I don't know where people get that. Maybe because I am young?Who was it that said something like "If you're not a Democrat while you're young you don't have a heart, and if you're not a Republican when you're old you don't have a brain." (Thanks to Stephanie my token Donkey friend for sharing that with me BTW) I remember having lunch with a friend of mine from the Center on Philanthropy when I worked for the BBB and we were discussing the upcoming election. When I told him I was a Republican (this of course being before my Libertarian light came on) he about fell out of his chair. It's like he couldn't reconcile it in his brain. Maybe because my job was so heavily involved in community and philanthropy? Well anyway, it was just interesting to me that he (and many others) just assumed I was a Democrat. I can't imagine that I give off that vibe.

Being a mother has brought with it stereotypes of its own. I hate to admit they were the very ones I believed before I had children of my own. One of the biggest being that Stay at Home Moms choose that particular vocation because 1) it was easier 2) they didn't have any other options. HA HA HA. Oh my ignorance...... 1)Can't think of ANY profession that's harder and 2) Um, yes they fact all of the SAHMs I know are college educated, smart, beautiful women who CHOSE to give up their high paying, important, fulfilling jobs. But I hate it when i get the vibe when I tell someone I'm a SAHM and they think I'm doing so cause my gas-station job didn't pan out for me. But I guess that's karma for me!

When Steve and I found out we were pregnant with our second child we both really wanted to try for a VBAC. I had very very strong feelings about my first birth experience and wanted desperately to avoid it the second time round. I did hours upon hours of research on how to take a proactive role in my pregnancy - hiring a doula and crafting a birth plan. When one of my husband's co-workers heard that I wasn't just opting for another C-Section she was surprised. Upon hearing we were hiring a doula she asked my husband if we were going to have a homebirth.

um me? homebirth? HAHAHAHAHAHA I LOVE hospitals. I love having people bring me delicious food round the clock, I love having a nurse just a beep away if I have any questions. Also, even by ambulance the nearest hospital to me is still quite a while away. Though I have no problem with people opting to have a homebirth - it was just not the choice for me. But I thought that was interesting. She assumed because we were taking a slightly "off the beaten path" approach to having a baby that we would be giving birth to said baby in our very own bathroom. To me those things are about 2308239471987 steps apart.

Oh, and breastfeeding. To me - it's just a normal part of having a baby. No, not everyone chooses to do it, but it's not like the people who did it 30 years ago when hardly anyone did it. But when I shared that I was nursing with an acquaintance of mine she said, "Thats great! I was a third-world mother too!" Which I just assumed meant that breastfeeding was not the norm. Third world? So because I wear my baby in a sling, breastfeed, and occasionally co-sleep - I'm a granola-eating, Birkenstock wearing, recycling, composting, left leaning woman?

I guess I say all this to say .....Does everything have to be one way or the other? Can I not be a Republican who composts and makes her own baby wipes? Don't get me wrong - anyone who knows me well, will tell you I am a black and white, 0 or 100 type person - but I guess I hate being defined by one or two things that I do. I go to church - therefore I must be a crazy hypocritical religious nut, I nursed my children - therefore I must not bathe on a regular basis. (Ok so getting a shower every day is still a lofty goal but you know what I'm trying to say) I'm a Republican therefore I don't care about landfills or the less fortunate. I guess I just hoped that by 2009 we'd all be a little less stereotype- beholden and more..... potpourri.

Friday, 21 August 2009

Toys! Toys! Toys!

I discovered this blog a while ago and fell in love with what they did.

Random people with sewing talent make little felt stuffed animals and leave them in random places for people to find! It includes a little note that says the animal was hand made and free for them to take home. It encourages them to take a picture with the animal and post it back on the blog. Makes me desperate for some sewing talent!

Wednesday, 5 August 2009

Her and Me at the Breakfast Table

One of my greatest fears about having a second baby was that I would lose all that "one on one" time I had come to love with Madeline. I know that having a son will prove to have wonders not known to me before, but having a little's just totally different.

Today I had to go down to the Castleton area for a big CL drop. Hmmmmm what to do in Castleton?? SHOP! I haven't ever really taken Madeline to the mall to just walk around and look at things. So I figure there's no time like the present. After packing up the 23457234987-1823492834 things required to take 2 children somewhere we headed out!

I stopped at Walgreens to exchange some diapers and since Jackson's carseat took up the whole of the cart she "had" to walk beside. She did great. She stayed right by the cart, and asked permission to touch things. She walked up and down the toy aisle - eyes agog with the treasures and didn't ask for a thing! She even carried a pack of diapers to the car for me!

We got to the mall and I just didn't know what to expect. Jackson was being a little testy so I always had one hand on him - sticking his pacifier in - stroking his head and she helped by singing "Twinkle Twinkle." I told her that I wanted her to sit in the back, but that she may ask permission to get down. So when I would stop and look around at clothes or shoes she'd ask politely "May I get down and yook Mama?" (I will truly be heartbroken when she can pronounce Ls better) Most times I'd tell her yes, but a few times I told her no and she totally took it in stride. We went upstairs to the girls section and they had a 2.37 cent sale going on so we picked out some tops and shorts together. She was so excited about all her pretty clothes.

I even let her have one of those sugar coated dry roasted almond things that smell up the whole mall. mmmmmmm. She loved it!

We picked out a pair of new sandals and she was so in love with them (and the foot measuring thing) that she wanted to wear them right away! She kept saying "My pretty shooooooes!"

We ventured into the Disney store if for no other reason than I knew she'd get a big kick out of walking through the big Mickey head at the entrance. (she did) As she's never been in the store before her eyes got all big and she quietly walked through the store taking everything in. Seeing all the Nemo paraphernalia got her quite happy. I transferred still fussy Jackson into the sling and told Madeline she could pick out a special cup to have. There was a whole SLEW of them by the checkout complete with snow globe at the bottom. She picked out one with Bolt in the bottom and took it up to the checkout herself and even said "please" when she asked for a bag. (lol) She was beyond thrilled with her cup and I made a special trip to the bathroom to wash it out so she could use it straightway. I told her that Mommy helped her pick it out, but Daddy paid for it. It's important to me that she learn young that Daddy (and Mommy) work hard to give her what she has. Her little heart breaks every morning when he leaves for work, and I try to remind her that Daddy doesn't leave because he wants to, but because he has to work to pay for our food and our house. I don't know how much of it she understands, but I just want her to grow up appreciating what a hard-working father she has. She gets to see me work hard for her, doing laundry and making dinner - but I think the concept of Daddy working and making money is a little more ethereal......and I want her to try to appreciate it. So I told her it would be nice to thank Daddy when he got home for her special new cup.

We had a fun lunch of Chick-Fil-A during which I managed to nurse Jackson and make sure she wasn't overdoing it on fries. She knows the rule of one fry per piece of chicken and she stuck to it herself! She asked to play on the playset in the middle of the foodcourt but it was getting close to lunch time and that playland has always skeezed me out so I told her no, that we needed to head home. She nicely said "Ok" and hopped back on the stroller. She saw the huge ice cream cone on DQ's sign and asked for ice cream, but I told her we had had enough treats for today. She took that right in stride as well.

The ride home Jackson was still fussy so she helped me sing to him and chattered on and on about her new cup. Once we got home we went straight to potty and to bed! I was beat and Jackson needed to eat again. She put up a tiny fuss about napping, but soon went to bed when she realized the sooner she went to bed the sooner she got to get up and play with her cup! She slept a whopping TWO HOURS (of course Jackson fussed the entire time) and woke up in a delightful mood! She helped me wash dishes and change Jackson and the first thing she said to Daddy when he walked in the door was, "Daddy! Thank you thank you for my cup!" That was when my heart just totally melted. Wow she listened AND remembered.....who knew??

Our days aren't always like this, but today was truly a treasure. She was a gem, even when Jackson demanded all of my attention. My heart just felt like it was going to burst, and it was wonderful to see that she and I can still get some "one on one" time if we try hard enough.

Tuesday, 21 July 2009

There's something to be said for delayed gratification....

I have always been bad with delayed gratification. If I get a birthday card in the mail before my birthday - I totally open it..... I'd eat my dessert before my dinner if I could.... I just figure - life is short and you never know when you might get hit by a bus (or tractor in my case). My husband is the total opposite. Back when we both worked I used to send him little sweet cards at work. He would send me some as well and as soon as I saw them in my box I'd rip it open and read it over and over. However he would let it sit on his desk and read it perhaps....after lunch. If someone were to give us each 3 pieces of candy I'd eat all mine right away and he's still have one of his a few days later.

Good for him right? I mean, delayed gratification is hard to come by in a "I want it NOW" culture.

I got to thinking about this recently when we got Direct TV installed. I now have the ability to record the shows I like to watch on TV if they aren't on at a time that's conducive for me - then I can watch them later while I nurse/fold laundry/cleanup the kitchen. COOL right?

Madeline's been into Curious George lately so I thought I'd record it for her so that she could watch it even if, perchance, she DIDN'T get up at 6:30 am one day. (We have not been so lucky as yet) However the last few days she's been obsessed with another show so I have been recording them both.

However I can't help but wonder if it's just a smiiiiidge egocentric. I know I know - it's a TV show whatever.....but it used to be that if she asked to watch Curious George after her nap well, she just had to wait. But now - if she wants Curious George, she gets it. I think there's a lot to be said for waiting for something. I mean I"m not going to hold on her or anything...I just think it's one more thing in this "now now now" society. She woulda been hurtin' for certain' if she grew up way back when I did and all I had to play with was a sick....

Tuesday, 7 July 2009

the livin' is easy

THIS is what summer in the country is all about!

Too bad I didn't have my camera handy to capture my husband on it!!!

Friday, 3 July 2009

Half n Half

"I miss the hospital!"

I have said it about a million times in the past 5 weeks. I cried both times with both babies. You go from having 'round the clock nurses and doctors at your beck and call, and 24 hours room service (Nothing like scrambled eggs and toast with a strawberry shake at 3 in the morning!!) to being back in your house with a pile of laundry and dirty dishes staring at you.

Now, I happen to have THE BEST NEIGHBORS in the world who cleaned my ENTIRE HOUSE while I was in the hospital having Jackson. (We're talking even toilets people.....they even turned down my bed for me!!!) So that was about the best thing in the world to come home to a CLEAN house.....

I will always say that the scariest day of my life was the day we brought Madeline home. I was beyond nervous and still in lots of pain from my C-Section. Plus I was like "I HAVE NO IDEA WHAT TO DO WITH A NEWBORN!" The first nights with both babies were terrible - they only slept 10-15 minutes at a time.....

In the hospital you have people seeming to trip over themselves to help you. With both children we had a special nurse who went out of their way to really look out for us. I was breastfeeding like crazy so I was ordering food every two hours - movies on demand - people visiting - a nursery to send the baby to so we could get a 3 hours stretch of sleep.....then - HOME! no help, no nursery, and you can have food any time of day but you have to cook it yourself and worse - clean up the dishes.

I decided there should be a "halfway house" for new parents. After you leave the hospital (and really, should they boot you out after 2 days???? come ON - you just GAVE BIRTH!!) you go to this like....apartment complex. There's a nurse or two on staff that you can meet with, there's food made for you and your family - but you have more space and you can come and go - like your own little condo. You could still send your baby to a nursery for a few hour break if you need it, but yet you'd have your "own" space to live in. It wouldn't be as scary as being back home with NO medical professionals around and all of your chores piling up around you... Who WOULDN"T take advantage of that??

The tough part would be selling the idea to insurance..... sigh....

Sunday, 14 June 2009

Bye Bye Baby

Well I finally got my act together enough to remove the spinning baby from my blog. I wondered how long he would sit and spin there......