Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Some People Knit, Some People Golf...

I have an old saying, "Some people knit, some people golf. I judge." It's my hobby of sorts, and I'm not ashamed to admit it.

Now, I know that some of you out there will be horrified by this. But the truth is, we all do it--whether you admit it or not. I don't think that I am better than anyone else. I am far from perfect, and I think it can be a relief to realize that NOBODY else is either. I don't do it out of malice, it's just a fun distraction to the daily grind.

I thought that it would be fun to do a new feature here about my favorite past time. Don't worry, names will be changed to protect the innocent. Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you the first installment of "Some People Knit, Some People Golf."

This morning, I saw a lady at work wearing a black turtleneck and black faded mom jeans. Not my style, but the judging hadn't started yet. Over the turtleneck, she wore a SPARKLY vest covered with glittery pumpkins. And if that weren't enough, she was wearing light up jack-o-lantern earrings, with their beady little eyes glaring red.

I am all for being festive. But this was way too much. Let's hope that she works in a patient care area and dressed like that to amuse the children. That's about the only justification I can think of. I don't want to upset my teacher friends (and mom) because I am pretty sure that ya'll are the #1 purchaser of festivewear (my made-up word) like this.
What's the worst festivewear you've seen so far this season?

(As you can see, I am getting pretty good at typing sans index finger.)

Sunday, October 25, 2009

taking a blogging break.

i am sitting here typing with my left hand and it is freakin hard. i broke my right index finger on friday. hence, no caps or punctuation.

should make for an interesting week caring for the babies and trying to write at work.

wish me luck...

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

A Present for Pam

To be honest, I don't even remember how I found Tabetha. I was doing a little late-night blog surfing and came across her site and fell in love with her pieces. I decided that I'd "commission" a piece for myself in honor of my 30th birthday. I wanted something pretty that could feature my girls, without being too over the top. Plus, Rob kept asking me what I wanted and I had no idea.

Since each piece is custom, I gave her a vague idea of what I like and she did the rest. And when it came yesterday, it was like my birthday and Christmas rolled into one. I had emailed her some photos and she added vintage beads and crystals. And it is seriously amazing.

If you know an expecting or new mom, a grandma, or heck, any woman with a pulse, I promise that she would go gaga for one of these as a Christmas gift. The best part is that it was really inexpensive. I mean, feel-like-you-are-stealing-it-cheap. Since each piece is different, her prices aren't on her site. But if you email her and let her know what you are thinking, she'll give you an estimate. Check our her other stuff at

Sunday, October 18, 2009


Abby wants to wear these ears every day. All the time. At first, it was endearing. As a former slave to Mr. Mouse himself, I thought it was sweet.

I thought, as we packed up one busy morning last week, "what harm can come from her wanting to wear these stupid ears?"

I got pulled over that same morning when I was in the carpool lane. The cop accused me of putting a Mickey Mouse stuffed aninal in the car seat to fool cops. It was just Abby with this hat on.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Sweet as Pie

The Gift of Fear

There are a lot of weirdos in this world, that I know for sure.

Recently, I was approached by a very obviously mentally ill man in a dark parking lot. He was homeless, or at least looked that way and stank of urine. It was as I was leaving the grocery store. I just had Abby with me and she was still in the cart as I unloaded into the trunk.

He asked me for cash, and as he stood there, he was rambling incoherently to himself. I wasn't mean to him--the truth really was that I had no cash. But I certainly tried to put out that polite, but you-don't-want-to-mess-with-me-or-my-kid-vibe. I guess I went into "momma bear" mode.

I never looked back to see what Abby was doing while all of this was happening. Then I hear her scream "DAAAAA-DAAAAAAH" and when I turned around there she was, smiling as brightly as I've ever seen and waving frantically to this man. You see, Abby calls pretty much all men (including Rob) daaa daaah.

He didn't wave to her, or even smile back. He really didn't seem to know what was going on at all. He just stood there and stared. He ended up leaving after I gave him a bag of tortilla chips from my grocery bag and asked him leave us alone. And he went on his way, uneventfully. But it got me thinking. I know she's little, but she seemed to not pick up on my stress or the man that was CLEARLY not interested in playing her game.

I am not a scaredy cat, it just seems that lately, I've grown to be more and more paranoid about stuff. I guess it's all the media surrounding Jaycee Dugard. It also didn't help that, while I was up in the middle of the night with Ellie, I watched the Oprah from this week that featured all the missing children.

I know that my kids are probably way too young to learn about "stranger danger." I want her to still be her outgoing little self, without being so paranoid about strangers that she lives in a constant state of fear. How do we teach our kids to be safe, without being scared? Please weigh in on this issue, whether you have kids or not. Any advice?

On a side note, I read a great book a few years ago about trusting your instincts. It's called The Gift of Fear by Gavin De Becker. It's where I learned that sometimes, in the name of safety, it's okay to be direct and ask someone to leave. He stresses that it's always a good idea to trust your instincts. They are there to protect you. He's written another book about keeping kids safe, so maybe I'll read it and do another book review...

Monday, October 12, 2009

My first book review: The Second Nine Months

I love to read. Although back-to-back babies have somewhat hindered my ability to devour books like I used to, I still like to squeeze in at least a little reading at the end of a long day. If for no other reason than it forces me to sit still. I'd like to be more regular about doing book reviews, since I think it could be helpful to others out there. Especially for busy moms, life is too short to read bad books. So I'll only review books that I would recommend.

My inaugural review is of The Second Nine Months, by Vicki Glembocki . I was given this book by a friend after Abby was born. To be honest, my first thought was "yeah right, when the $%# am I ever going to be able to read this book with this screaming baby hollering all the time???"

But one night during one of Abby's mini-naps, I started to read. It's a hilarious and candid portrayal of what happens after the baby is born. Page after page, I found myself laughing (out loud). I could totally relate to what she was saying. Besides striking coincidences, like our daughters sharing a birthday and both having AWFUL colic, I felt as though I could have written many of those chapters word-for-word. She had let me into her private quarters.

I saw the all-too-familiar strain that the new baby put on her marriage. I saw my own self-doubt as a mother in her tales. I really related to her loneliness and feelings of intimidation and fear of joining mother's groups. She writes about stuff that, as a new mom, I felt that I wasn't even supposed to think about, let alone put on paper. It was like she was brave enough to admit the thoughts that I has been avoiding--the good, bad AND ugly, from a close friend. And in the end, the takeaway is that you don't have to be perfect to be a good mom.

I read it again recently and found it just as funny and relevant the second time around. It helped me to see that I wasn't alone, and that it was okay that things weren't perfect all the time.

Now, I need to come up with some sort of rating system. Any ideas? Stars are overused. Maybe vodka/soda-filled sippy cups?

In any case, this book was good enough to make me keep reading, even through the bleary-eyed exhaustion of new motherhood.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

And you are...?

I am in the midst of an existential crisis. You see, the last couple of years have been a whirlwind. I am an otherwise totally independent go-getter, who's all the sudden sidelined with exhaustion and memory loss. Now I can't remember what happened 5 minutes ago, let alone what I liked and what I wanted before I was a mom.

This past weekend, my sister took me for a spa-day getaway to celebrate my upcoming birthday. Nobody has EVER done anything like this for me. It was an all-expenses-paid-baby-free day. (Thanks, Brashear Family, for pitching in and making this day possible). She even took me to a fancy-pants dinner afterward. And therein lies the problem--when it came time to decide where to eat and what to do, I was at a loss. I couldn't even think of restaurants I liked or places I had been before I had the girls.

I came to the realization that every decision I make now has a kid-based factor. Is it family friendly? Is there enough parking? Will the double stroller fit through the door? Is it a loud enough place that if Abby screams and Ellie cries, will it ruin everyone else's meal? Do they have slings for the baby seat?

And now, for the second time this week, I am being asked what I want and I don't know. I am turning 30 on Thursday, and my hubby and family wants to take me out to dinner. What do I want and where should we go? The truth is, I'd be happy with a stiff drink and a long nap. Is there a restaurant for that?

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Abby's Big Bear Boat Ride

Between the packing, moving and baby-having, it was hard to find time to post these pictures of Abby from the "River Queen" boat ride that took when we were in Big Bear in July. I know it was so three-months-ago, but I wanted to make sure that there were some recent photos of Abby somewhere on this blog. It's amazing how much she's grown since these were taken. That child grows like a weed!

Friday, October 2, 2009

Working Moms & Cuddle Time: What I've Always Known

I am "borrowing" a post from my new favorite blog: The Motherlode on It's a hip, funny and upbeat blog for working moms and stay-at-homers alike. It's a nice mix of mommy-related news items and guest posters.

I read this post by Lisa Belkin, and was thrilled. Especially since I carry around a suitcase-worth of guilt about having to work full time. I'd like to know what readers out in blogdom think, so leave me a comment and let me know where you stand on the working mom vs. stay-at-home arguement.

And when you're done here, surf on over to the Motherlode. I'm sure you'll love it as much as I do.

Working Moms and Cuddle Time
By Lisa Belkin

There are endless ways of trying to measure the immeasurable, and researchers in Australia are now counting cuddles. Their conclusions: the babies of mothers who work outside the home get just as many as those of mothers who stay home — an average of 138 minutes a day.

Not only was cuddling-time equivalent, the report last month by the Australian Institute of Family Studies concludes, but so was the amount of time that babies were held, read to and talked to during the day.

The data was taken from the Longitudinal Study of Australian Children, a time-use diary kept by the parents of 3,000 babies between the ages of three months and 14 months. Counting snuggly moments, the researchers found that the cuddle equivalence was partly because working mothers who spent much of the weekday away from their infants became efficient about creating time together when they were home, and also because fathers were stepping up to prevent a gap.

“When mothers work full time, they spend 83 minutes less per day with their child compared to a stay-at-home mother, but the child spends an average of 81 minutes more a day with their father,” the report’s co-author, Jennifer Baxter, told the Australian newspaper The Daily Telegraph.

Other data from the study:
Breast-fed babies got an additional hour of one-on-one time with Mom each day, compared with bottle-fed babies. They were also read to, talked to and sung to more — about 27 minutes extra per day, and “held, cuddled, comforted and soothed” for 32 minutes more per day, though one would think that most of that overlapped the time spent breast feeding.

On the other hand, breast-fed babies slept 40 minutes per day less than bottle-fed babies and spent five minutes more per day crying than bottle-fed babies.
Mothers who are college graduates spend 22 minutes more per day reading to their babies.

Start that clock, and commence cuddling.

Thursday, October 1, 2009


Rob has been REALLY sick--and therefore quarantined to our bedroom and not allowed near the kiddos. After work, I have been heading to my folks' so we have somewhere to hang that isn't totally germ infected.

Last night, we got home past Abby's bed time and I ran the girls into the house. I put Ellie in her crib (wide awake and kicking) and turned on this little musical/light show thingy she's got in there. I just needed a few minutes to get Abby changed and in bed, and to throw on my jammies. I figured she could self-entertain for a few minutes, then I could give her my full attention.

So I go back into Ellie's room after about 15 minutes, and my heart stopped. Not only had the music and lights show stopped, it was totally silent. I was worried that something had happened to her, that I had left her alone for too long. When I peered over the edge of the crib, there she was. Fast asleep and sweet as can be. I hadn't even changed her diaper and she was wearing a stinks-like-spitup onsie!

And here's the kicker--she slept all night! It wasn't until 5 a.m. that she woke up! It's like she decided it was time to be a big girl. I have been rocking her to sleep the way I did with Abby (who had awful screaming colic) and it never even occurred to me to put her down to sleep on her own.

For all you sleep deprived mommas out there, you know where I am coming from. It was a baby miracle. So let's cross our fingers her new sleeping habits are here to stay!!!