Friday, March 30, 2007

Good news!

I found out yesterday that one of my good friends, who had a little girl (E.) that is 3 weeks younger than J., has quit her job to stay home full time! I am so excited for her - she has wanted to be home since E. was born, but also felt like she should go back to work and give it a try. She had been working for almost 15 years and has done really well in her job. She received a promotion shortly after going back to work from maternity leave, which seemed to make it harder for her to then leave, but she decided this week that E. wasn't getting older any slower and she needed to be home with her. She is so happy about her decision and grateful to be able to stay home with E. And J. and I are so excited to have her and E. around during the day and able to go on walks and out to breakfast like we did during our maternity leave! We have some fun moms and kids that we hang out with from our moms group and playgroup, but I will really enjoy having E. and her mom around - we are already talking about plans for doing stroller aerobics together, and I'm sure there will be lots of playground trips in the next few weeks!

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Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Catching up

I have not been on the computer much lately - most of what I've been doing for work this past week has been either in-person or on the phone, so I haven't been on for work. I also realized that I had a huge stack of library books that I'd already renewed as many times as I could that were due today, and I wanted to finish reading them! So I've spent most of my "free" time lately reading instead of sitting on the computer. I need to start catching up on everyone's blogs.

Dinner at Fudd.ruckers was so good. I completely stuffed myself, but it was worth it. Karen, I laughed at your comment! Anyone that has ever eaten with me at Fudd.ruckers has said the exact same thing, but then once they try a bite of the bun (they have these really good, homemade, toasted buns) with the melted cheese and pico on it, they start eating their burger the same way!

The best part about dinner though was that J. actually fed himself his dinner! We had gotten him a children's grilled chicken sandwich with fries, and he ate a few pieces of chicken, about half the bun, and 2 or 3 fries! I was so excited. We have had such a hard time trying to get him to feed himself anything other than crackers, goldfish, or cherrios, and so it was so nice to have him eat his food and not need babyfood. I told H. that we might have to eat at Fudd.rucker's every night.

I gave up (for now) working on my post about women working/staying at home. I'm going to finish it at some point, but it was making me too frustrated and fired up when writing it. I'm really trying to just enjoy the "here and now" and remind myself that all of this is just one phase in my life. I think it's helping that the weather is getting nicer - I have been so grateful lately to be able to have such flexibility in my schedule that I can take J. to the park during the day or go for a walk outside whenever we want. Yesterday, we were in Cl.ayton, the area of town where H. works, to run some errands, and I took. J. in the stroller and we walked down to H.'s office to say hi. As we were walking, and I was watching all the business men and women on the street, I realized that having the ability to be with J., outside on such a beautiful day, and in comfortable clothes and flipflops instead of work clothes, is totally worth putting my career on hold for a few years. I wouldn't do it any differently, but I do need to find a better way to balance working from home, getting everything done, taking care of J., taking care of H., taking care of myself, taking care of the house, etc. so that it doesn't stress me out so much. Any ideas?

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Thursday, March 22, 2007


I drove by Fudd.rucker's today on my way to a lunch meeting, and the urge for a burger was so overwhelming that I thought about calling to cancel my meeting and eating at Fudd.rucker's instead! I have a long history with this restaurant - my family used to go there almost every Sunday after church for lunch (we'd alternate with a pizza place). If you've never been there before, the way it works is that you place your order at a counter, then they call you to pick up your food when it's ready. Then, they have this huge condiment bar with every thing you could possibly think of to top a burger/chicken sandwich/salad with.

I developed a very specific (and slightly odd) way of eating my lunch there - I get the same thing every time* - burger with fries - and I take the burger apart and put melted cheese (my favorite part - they have these big vats of hot, melted cheese) on both sides of the bun and then top it with pico de gallo. I then eat the bun/cheese/pico by itself. I then top my burger (just the meat, since I already ate the bun) with the hot cheese, more pico, tomato, lettuce, pickles, and A1 sauce and then eat that with a fork. My fries I dip in melted cheese and top with a little pico or I dip it just in A1 sauce.

Sometimes for dessert I'll get either a rice krispie treat or a cookie. So, so good.

Well, I ended up going on to my meeting, but I called H. and asked if he'd be up for going there for dinner. He's not a big fan of Fudd.rucker's, but is indulging me tonight! Yeah! So in less than two hours I will be eating a delicious burger and fries! I can't wait.

* almost every time. I went through about a 6 month period where I only ordered the chicken taco salad, but then I went back to my usual.


Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Cleaning out the basement

We spent most of the weekend - about 4 hours on Saturday and 6 hours on Sunday - working on the storage/laundry part of our basement. I'm a packrat; I still have textbooks, papers, notebooks from college and grad school as well as tons of little "stuff" that I've picked up along the way, used once or twice (if even that), and then stuck in a box and forgot about it. H. and I both have also collected a lot of stuff that we don't use but don't want to get rid of "in case we ever need it" - this includes all kinds of random stuff like an extra window shade, three box fans, vases, decorative items from our college and grad school apartments (i.e., cheap stuff we picked up at random stores), and hundreds of framed pictures. Most of the pictures were mine - it was funny looking back at what I thought was worth framing, especially since I would now not have any of those pictures hanging in my house! I had a whole collage that was centered around pictures of myself and friends drinking in college. I remember it took me hours to put together, and I loved it, but it's definitely not something that fits in with our house now!

The hardest things for me to get rid of though were all my graduate school books, papers, and thesis materials. I think I've mentioned before (I know it's in my "100 things about me list"), but I quit my graduate program about 4 years into it. It just wasn't the right thing for me anymore (and it didn't help that my advisor moved 1200 miles away), and I don't regret the decision to leave, but sometimes, I like having all this stuff to remind me about what I accomplished while there. And it was so much work, and so much effort, and such a huge part of me for those years that it seems like I shouldn't just be able to throw it all in the trash! And the textbooks - when I think about how much money I spent on all these books (money that we're still paying off; got to love student loans), it's hard to not want to recoup some of that. H. has kept all his law school books, so I argued for keeping mine, but given that he's still in the legal field, and I have changed fields, it is unlikely that I will use many of these books again. So they had to go.

My incentive for getting rid of as much as possible was that if I could make room, I'm getting a deep freezer! I almost have enough space for one, and we also have more room for laundry, ironing, etc. I no longer have to climb over piles of stuff to get to the ironing board or the shelves. We still have some work to do, but the hard part is done.

I didn't take any "before" pictures, but here's a picture of all the donations and trash waiting to go out to the driveway:

and here's the other corner:

and this is our almost clean laundry/storage area:


Monday, March 19, 2007


Just a quick note to let you know that I've updated my list of blogs on the right - a few of the ones I've added are ones that I started reading after they commented on my Ultimate Blog Party post or I found them through the Ultimate Blog Party "Mr. Linky". One of my favorites of these is "A Time Such as This" - go check it out when you get a minute!

I still haven't gotten to all the blogs that commented on my post, and I definitely have not made it through the "Mr. Linky" list, but I'm working on it!


Friday, March 16, 2007

and all the good things

I realized that part of why I think I was feeling so frustrated and emotional the last few days is because I have been experiencing 19-months worth of PMS in the last week. I finished breastfeeding completely about two weeks ago (after going down to morning and night only for the previous six weeks), and I've had two periods since January, with each being worse than what I ever experienced pre-pregnancy. And the emotional swings associated with them have been noticeably different than pre-pregnancy. I think my hormones must still be out of whack.

But, even with all this being worse post-pregnancy, I would do it all again to go 19 months without a period! I hate dealing with it and really enjoyed not having to for so long!

I'm also feeling like I'm physically out of shape - I hate the softness of my stomach, the post-baby "pooch", and how none of my br@s fit anymore! So my lack of interest in s.ex is due in part to me not physically feeling up to it. I need to start running more and working on my abs.

I talked with H. a little about some of what was going on and what I was feeling, and we had a good conversation. If I bring it up at the right time (i.e., not as soon as he gets in the door from work or at night right before we go to sleep), he does really listen and is open to what I'm saying.

I'm also trying to make more of an effort to notice all the positive things he is doing:

~ comes home every night and takes J. to give me a break, sits and plays with him, gets him ready for dinner, gives him a bath after dinner, reads him books before bed
~ calls in the afternoon to let me know what time he'll be home, to check in on dinner plans, and to see if we need anything picked up on his way home
~ initiates conversations about weekend plans, what would be a good time for him to go into work (he always goes in over the weekend to get caught up on work), what we want to do with J. over the weekend, what things we want to get done around the house, and what we want to do in the evenings
~ unloads the dishwasher without any prompting or reminders
~ always parks on the street so I can have the garage
~ makes sure I know that he wants me to have some "fun" money out of our tax refund
~ trusts me completely with handling all of our finances, bills, etc
~ has a great sense of humor and can easily get me to relax and not be so uptight about stuff

I can't remember what book I read this in, or who the author was, but in college I read something that had a section in it about love. And the bottom line was that love, in marriage, often was something that you had to consciously decide to do - that you had to choose every day to love the person you were married to. Married love isn't always going to be exciting and full of fun and fireworks, but often is just the continuous decision to love the person you are with. And I think this is just one of those moments where I shouldn't be expecting fireworks, but instead just love H. because he is my husband and I am his wife.

I also like remembering what H. and I heard in our marriage counseling before the wedding - you may marry the wrong person, but once you marry them, they become the right person.

H. was the right person before we were married, and there's not a chance now that he's become the wrong one. I need to remember that every day, even when I feel frustrated or disappointed.


Wednesday, March 14, 2007


Well, I went ahead and deleted my last two posts. I'm too paranoid about someone finding this blog, and since I share a computer with H. at home, I'm always worried that I will forget to log-out, or he'll start looking at my bookmarked sites or something.

If you read them and commented, thanks for putting up with my need to see my thoughts in black and white. It never seems as bad as I think it is once I've actually written out and then gone back and read it a few times.

I decided I can keep feeling sorry for myself today, and tomorrow I'll figure out what to do about it.


Friday, March 9, 2007

beautiful noise

Right now, I can't hear my music on the computer as I work downstairs because of the noise coming from upstairs. And I don't care one bit. Why? Because the noise upstairs is of the beautiful sounds of a vacuum cleaner working on my dog-hair, cat-hair, baby-food, dust-covered wood floors and rugs. And the wonderful noise of three housecleaners deep-cleaning my kitchen and bathroom. And the awesome sounds of my furniture being moved around so that the floors can be cleaned. Oh, the beauty of it all. I just feel calmer sitting here. More relaxed. Joyously happy even. I have a smile on my face. I want to get up and jump up and down.

I finally gave in, after three months of trying to clean my own house in an attempt to make-up for having gone to a part-time nonprofit (i.e., major pay cut) job in December. In those three months, I vacuumed once. I tried to mop once. I practically cried in the aisle of Target as I was overwhelmed with all the mops and cleaning supplies. I scrubbed my toilet once. And then, this past week, when the dog tracked in mud and leaves and I found J. eating a leaf on the floor, and I realized that the cost of the cleaners was equal to only about 4 hours of my work hours, and it took about 3-4 hours for me to really clean house, and I realized that I was incredibly stressed about how dirty my floors, bathroom, and carpets had gotten and I had to choose between playing with J, working, or cleaning, I cried "uncle" and gave in. I know when I'm beat, and I'm not ashamed to admit that I can't do it all.

I am going to walk upstairs in about 2 hours and find my house looking like it did back in November, when I last had it professionally cleaned, and I will do a little dance and might even hug the cleaners.

And then, they will be back in two weeks. And two weeks after that. And continue coming until I say stop.


Wednesday, March 7, 2007

got me thinking

A post over at "Not that you asked" has stirred up a lot of my feelings about motherhood. I'm really glad she posted, and although I have a lot to say on this, and will, I'm still too fired up right now to really think straight. I've had so much of the same feelings and thoughts as she has described in this post, and it was so good to read all the comments and suggestions.

So please, take a minute to go read it. I'll post more tomorrow on it.


Monday, March 5, 2007

Too tired to come up with something original

I figured that with new bloggers stopping by for the party, it'd be a good time to do my first meme! I saw this one on Slacker-Moms-R-Us, a blog I found through the party, and she stole it from Burg, who stole it from someone else.

So here goes . . .

How tall are you barefoot? 5 ft. 6 in., but I claim to be 5 ft. 7 in. It just seems so much taller.

Have you ever flown first-class? No, and I've always wanted to. I had hoped on our honeymoon that we would fly first-class, but we ended up taking a smaller plane on American Airlines that didn't have business or first-class.

One of your favorite books when you were a child? it's only on my mind because of the movie, but I loved Bridge to Terabithia

A good restaurant in your city? Tony's

What is your favorite small appliance? My Chi hair straightener. I couldn't live without this - my wavy hair is so thick that the only thing that tames it is the Chi. I love it.

One person who never fails to make you laugh? my friend Teresa

What was the first music that you ever bought? I think it was a Tricia Yearwood tape. I wasn't allowed to listen to anything other than contemporary christian or country music growing up, so it had to be either this or an Amy Grant tape!

Do you do push-ups? sometimes, if the instructor at stroller aerobics makes up. And then only with my knees down.

What was one of your favorite games as a child? Capture the Flag

When you were twelve years old, what did you want to be when you grew up? probably a ballerina or gymnast. I used to dream about being Mary Lou Retton's sister.

Your favorite Soup of the Day? Bread Co.'s lentil soup; they only have it during the winter!

Have you ever met someone famous? I met Amy Grant when I was in 4th grade

From what news source do you receive the bulk of your news? Online CNN and MSNBC

Current worry? how in the world am I going to find the time to do all my work, laundry, grocery shop, etc.?

Current hate? I don't really hate anything, but I am irritated right now with the city that's claiming I owe $600 in parking tickets from 4 years ago

Favorite place to be? home with my son and husband

Least favorite place to be? the ob/gyn's office for my annual exam. Can't stand it.

Do you consider yourself well organized? I used to be - having a child and working from home has changed that

Do you believe in an afterlife? Yes

Where do you think you will be in 10 years? Still here. But with my husband and probably more kids by then, and also probably back into a full-time career.

Do you burn or tan? burn, then it peels into a tan

Are you more optimistic or pessimistic about the future? In day-to-day stuff, I'm probably more pessimistic, but in long-term thoughts I think everything will work out.

What did you fear was going to get you at night as a kid? I always was afraid my house would burn down. This probably stems from my parents "great" idea that they should do fire drills at 2 am in the morning and not tell us it was fake until we were outside at the mailbox.

What's in your pockets right now? absolutely nothing

Last thing that made you laugh? a story some friends told us this weekend about how the person that bought their house keeps calling them, months later, through their realtor, about all the things she hates about the house

Worst injury you've ever had? I've always been slightly accident prone - so it's either the time I had to get 25 stitches above my eye or the first broken arm I had when the bone popped through the skin

How many TVs do you own? 2

Best compliment received? in high school, I overheard some guys from church talking - one of them was a guy my age who I had a crush on, and the other were older, college guys. The older guys were giving the younger guys advice on how to find a good girlfriend, and they said you should always go for someone who you can tell will be hot when they're older. Then they used me as an example of someone who they thought was cute now, but would also still be really hot in college. I don't know if I fulfilled this by being "hot", but I always thought it was nice to hear them say this

What leaves you speechless? Stories about children being hurt

What is your favorite book? way too many to just give one, but "What our mothers didn't tell us: Why happiness eludes the modern woman" changed my direction in life, so this might be it

Last meal you cooked for the opposite sex? Coriander pork chops, vegetables, and white cheddar macaroni

What were you doing at 12 midnight last night? trying not to throw up - I ate something yesterday that did not sit well with me and I was up all night sick!


Friday, March 2, 2007

Ultimate Blog Party

Ever since I was a kid, I've loved parties! My most memorable parties include my fourth-grade rollerskating birthday party when I fell and broke my arm and missed most of the party, my wedding reception, my dad's 40th surprise birthday party (mainly because I got to drive his car that day so that he was stuck at work and wouldn't arrive home too early - as a recent 16-year old, having the car for the day was better than my 16th birthday party!), my 20th birthday in college when my parents drove down and surprised my entire soccer team at our game with ice cream, my 21st birthday in DC, and my wedding showers and baby showers! All of these parties were a great time of being with friends and celebrating. Right now we are planning my son's first birthday and I am so excited about his party!

This week, 5 minutes for mom is hosting the Ultimate Blog Party - it's a great way to find new blogs to read and win prizes. Go check it out, sign the Mr. Linky, and visit a few new blogs!

And if you're visiting my blog through the Ultimate Blog Party, thanks for stopping by! I'm a new blogger and am still working on my blog - a new template, what kind of posts I want to do, and getting into a regular habit of blogging. So this is a work-in-progress, but please take a minute to look around, leave a comment, and then visit back later!


Thursday, March 1, 2007

random thoughts

1. Speeding tickets.

I got a speeding ticket today for doing 42 in a 30, at the bottom of a hill. ugh. I saw the cop right as I came towards the end of the hill and he started pulling out. Fortunately, it was in a municipality that my husband's firm represents, and the last time I got a ticket in this area, the local prosecutor just tore it up. Not that it's any excuse for speeding, but it is nice not to get hit with the fine and points on my insurance! So I was very nice to the cop and didn't let it upset me as I knew that at the very least, it wouldn't go onto my insurance and best case scenario, I wouldn't have to deal with it at all. And I haven't gone over the limit the rest of the day today!

It is funny that I had only received 1 speeding ticket from the time I was 16 until I met my husband (when I was 24). Since being with him, I've gotten 4 tickets. Fortunately, all of them have either been cleared by the local prosecutor or I've had it reduced to a non-moving violation and only had to pay a small fine. I guess this is one of the benefits of having a husband that is in his line of work - kind of makes the 60-80 weeks worth it.

2. Unfinished prayers

I dated this guy in college/grad school for a few years who had gotten two women pregnant when he was in his 20s (he was 29-31 yrs during the time we dated; 8 years older than me). Both of the women had ab.0rti0ns. When I first found out about this, it was really upsetting because he was devastated by it. The first woman, he had begged her to get married and not to do it, and she decided that it was the best decision for her at the time and went forward with it, against his wishes. The second time, he reacted differently and encouraged the woman to go ahead with it since it seemed like the best thing for both of them. I had never though much about the effects of ab.0rti0n on the man, but in talking with him about it on the two occasions that he did talk about it and in seeing the pain he felt, it was obvious that both experiences were extremely upsetting to him. Anyway, the point of this is that every so often I get struck with thoughts of him and the two women and the ab.0rti0ns. And by "struck", my head is filled with thoughts of them and the memory of the pain on his face when he told me about this, and how one of the women called him on the anniversary in tears, and how the other women broke down after and told him that the doctor had told her it was twins after the ab.0rti0n. And the curious side of me wonders "why now?" "Why am I thinking of them (him, and both women) now?" The first few times this happened, it was days before I could get them out of my mind. I volunteered at a cri.sis preg.nancy for awhile because it felt like I needed to do something. And now the only thing I do when these thoughts come up is pray for him, for the first woman, and for the second woman. I don't know what I'm praying for - I don't even know if it has to do with the ab.0rti0ns, and I can only remember one of the women's names - but I feel like there has to be some reason why they are stuck in my head. They've all been in my thoughts today and I've been praying, so if you think of it, please say a prayer also.

3. Nostalgia

Food Network had a show last night that featured the city I lived in for college. It showed a lot of the restaurants I loved going to and miss eating at. It made me feel very nostalgic for being in that city (a city I always thought I'd end up settling in) and for the memories associated with eating at a lot of those places. So I started thinking about a conversation I had last year with friends about the best meal we've ever had. The common theme among our answers was that the meal didn't have as much to do with the food, although in all cases the food was good, but more with the people or event associated with the meal. So today I spent some time while driving around running errands (and getting speeding tickets) thinking about my favorite meals:
1. the biergarten in Germany with K.H. when the sun was going down and we sat and ate pasta and drank beer for hours in one of the most beautiful places I've ever seen
2. the night at the coffee shop with J.C. when we were the only people there (since they hadn't actually opened for business yet!) and they let us stay and drink banana bread coffee (which was surprisingly good) for hours
3. on our honeymoon, when H. and I sat at the bar on the beach and drank buckets of Coronas and ate whatever the kitchen brought out for us
4. in Chicago with H. - dinner after we'd gotten engaged, our first anniversary dinner with the amazing hearts of palm salad
5. every time I get back to texas and get to go eat mexican at my favorite place (ok, so that's not just one meal, but a lot of meals!)

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