Thursday, February 17, 2011

Diapers Etc Blog Party!! (and GIVEAWAY!!)

Welcome to the party!!  Better late than never!  Debbie over at Diapers Etc has relaunched her site and it is BEAUTIFUL!!!

As part of the blog party, Debbie set me up with prefolds.  Yes, prefolds.  Those dreaded, old fashioned diapers that I swore I'd never use.  Now to be fair, I was searching for a night time solution and Debbie let me pick out what I wanted to try.  EVERYONE swears by prefolds for night time, so I decided to give it a try.  Surely 1 cover and some prefolds would be cheaper than the VERY pricey wool and fitted route I was looking into.  Debbie was great and helped me navigate what to order as I started on my newest cloth diaper adventure.  When we finally got it all set, she put it in the mail and it was here the next day.  Granted I don't live far from her, but the processing time on her end was quick!

Long story short....Debbie is my new favorite person ever.  I am no longer waking up soaked in pee (unless I pee myself, but I swear that's not as often as you'd think) and changing our bed sheets every other day.  Debbie has single handedly reduced our weekly laundry!!'s the party you were hoping I'd get to....

Debbie wants to give you $25 to spend in her store!!!!  Well, only if you're over 18 and in the US.  Here's the deal...  Go to her it...I'll wait....  Now leave me a comment about your favorite aspect of her website.  Debbie's generous enough to be doing these giveaways; please be respectful enough to play along and check out her website.  Please leave me your email address!!

AFTER you've done that...  You can leave some extra comments if you 

I'll use to draw a winner on March 1st (commenting closing midnight EST Feb 28th)!  Winners will not be immediately notified, however.  All winners from all of the blog party blogs will be submitted to The Eco Chic.  While you're more than welcome to enter all of the blog giveaways, you're only eligible to win once....gotta spread the love!!  After all the giveaways have closed, winners will be notified of their mini-shopping sprees!!

**Debbie at provided me with my choice of cloth diapers from her store in exchange for a blog post about her store.  All opinions expressed are truly my own.  Pinkie Swear!

Monday, February 14, 2011

So it's Valentine's Day

It's Valentine's Day.  The day of the Lonely Hearts Club.  The day where men are expected to buy lavish gifts for their beloved in order to show how in love they are.  The day people without mates are poignantly aware that they're alone and people with mates are comparing spoils to see who is really loved the most.  Forgive me while I scoff a little over here.

I mean, it was a fun day as a kid.  Everyone came to school hopped up on heart shaped tums dressed in their best collection of pink, red, and hearts.  You handed out little cards, enough for everyone in the class.  Props went to those who were creative or who included yet more candy.  It was cool.

Then middle school came and festivities were less equal as puppy love emerged.  We had a dance every year which meant we got out of a couple classes and got to segregate into our cliques for an hour or so.  Some girls got flowers or balloons, but really it was just the girls who put out.  So it was cool.

Then high school.  Relationships emerged, crushes became evident, and Valentine's Day changed.  Suddenly it was about the haves and have nots.  Not gonna lie...Valentine's Day came and went in 10th grade with no special gift from that special someone (that special someone who called my house the next year leaving a message on my answering machine confessing his undying love for me, whom later spent some time living as transgendered, whom is now an openly gay man).  I was jilted.  Valentine's Day that year was also a dear friend's 10th birthday....the last birthday she would celebrate.  November of that year took away my "little sissy" and I became even more jaded about Valentine's Day.

My junior year of high school I had my first "real" boyfriend (whatever that means).  We'd started dating before my friend passed away so he knew I was totally not looking forward to February 14th, when she should have been celebrating her 11th birthday.  I begged that we ignore the day and let it pass like any other.  I spent the day in tears, my heart ripped out of my chest.  I was 16 and dealing with the first death of someone close to me (that was not a great grandparent).  He showed up at my house that evening with 18 beautiful roses and a gold bracelet.  You might think I'd be happy about that.  But really, it just made me awkwardly uncomfortable.  I'm not one for lavish gifts to begin with, but especially when I was so heartbroken.  I tried my best to smile and be grateful, but really, I just wanted the day to fade into oblivion.

The years that followed I always had a boyfriend, it seemed.  The three subsequent Valentine's Days were spent with someone who, while basically a D-bag, actually understood that I didn't want to celebrate.  He'd lost his sister when she was young and her birthday he got it.  After him I (briefly) dated this guy who didn't believe me that I didn't want to celebrate the day.  He made LAVISH plans...I mean, reservations at the swankiest place in town, plus planned to book tickets for the special sunset tour of the lighthouse, and who knows what else.  If I'd let him, he'd have dropped several hundred dollars.  We'd been dating MAYBE a month.  But, it turned out that my friend gave birth that day.  I left town to meet the baby.  The day lost some of it's sting with this new little life.

Then I met Hubby.  He was great.  He got that love was meant to be showed at times other than JUST Valentine's Day.  He just got "it."   Guess that's why he made the cut and got to stay around.  Our first Valentine's Day together I was still away at school in a mad rush to finish my undergrad thesis.  I didn't have time for distractions and being 4hrs away made things difficult anyway.  When we spent our first Valentine's Day ACTUALLY together, our relationship had been well proven and neither of us felt the need to make a big deal out of the day.  Who wants to eat overpriced food in an overly crowded restaurant anyway?!

The first Valentine's Day we spent as a married couple was one of the hardest times of my life.  Hubby had to have some crazy intense surgery a few days before and long story short...I spent the day figuratively holding his hair back and worrying that all the throwing up meant dangerous complications of the surgery.  I got instructions on how to insert an anti-nausea suppository to save my poor husband from the very large, male nurse's gorilla hands.  By the time he was finally resting easy for the first time all day, MIL arrived with Taco Bell for 8:00pm...the first I'd eaten all day.  She sat with him as I collapsed in the hall of the hospital and cried into my soft taco.

So forgive me if I'm a cynic.  I just don't get it.  Last week I had a bad day.  I didn't realize it at the time, but I was coming down with a cold.  The kids were driving me bonkers, and I was just spent.  Hubby cancelled his overtime, picked up a modest and lovely bouquet from the grocery store, came home and cooked dinner for us.  THAT, my friends, is love.  THAT means a million times more to me than an over priced dinner, WAY over priced flowers, and a card that will get thrown away or shoved in a drawer all because the calendar reads February 14th.

Oh and for those of you pouring out your gooey, undying love for your partner on Facebook today...please don' just makes us all a little uncomfortable.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

And so it begins....

There it is, again.  That feeling, that question...Is it really there?  Am I being hyper sensitive?

I've been here before.  Once before.  And to say it ended awkwardly would be an understatement.  Where am I, you ask?  In an awkward situation.

I am caring for a child.  A child whose parents are unhappily married but pretend it's all okay and plow forward.  A child whose care falls primarily to the father.  A father who works hard for his family, comes home, cares for his child, and goes to bed in a cold marital bed.  A father who drops his son off at my house nearly every day and picks him up every evening.

It starts innocently enough...the daily chatter, this many naps, that many bottles, overall mood.  A couple of mutual comments shared over non-child related life details.  A smile and "have a good night."

Then the conversations get a little longer, a little more personal.  The smile gets a little more genuine.  A friendship forms out of mutual concern for the child.

Then the texts become more frequent...and the pit in my stomach starts.  Next the texts would move into less child related subjects and the pick-up time conversations would go a little too long.  Then the friendship would solidify out of mutual care and concern.  Then...  I've been here before.  I will not go there again.  This time it ends NOW.

Last time it ended when the dad met me at the country club to take the reins while his kid was in her swim lesson.  Last time it ended with drinks and a mutually enjoyable conversation while the kid swam.  Last time it ended with the conversation taking a turn.  Last time it ended with the alcohol blurring my better judgement.  Last time it ended with a sexual proposition mere weeks before my wedding.  Last time it ended with me making a quick exit.  Last time it ended with me being both flattered and disturbed.  Last time it ended with me driving home probably more intoxicated than I should have been for driving.  Last time it ended with alcohol on my breath, crying my admission that I'd allowed the situation to happen and the conversation to take that turn.  Last time it ended with weeks of tension, an ended friendship, rebuilding trust with my fiancĂ©e, and an awkward employment situation.

And so it begins...and it ends NOW.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Another day, another destiny

Pulling out of the working world has left me pondering life.  I've always been goal driven.  Always had one paper, one test, one break, one finish line, one project, one deadline ahead of me.  I got my BA because that's what you do.  I got my MA because it was safer than going into the working world.  I just kept pushing forward.  I got a job and got things lined up to get my licensure.  Future career goals were always my motivation.  Like so many others, it was always about the destination.  Don't get me wrong, I was enjoying the journey, but there was always a destination.

Now...  Well...  I'm not in school.  I'm not working (on the books, in my career field).  I'm married.  We own our home (not outright, but still).  We have a beautiful child (whom may or may not be our only child).  By many accounts you might say that I have "arrived."  My bank account may argue with you, though.  This Type A personality has no goal, no motivation, no project, no deadline.  This Type A is supposed to live in the moment and enjoy.  I'm working hard on doing just that.  I love my life and I do love spending every moment with my son.  Though I can't lie and say that I don't feel a bit lost without a destination to strive for.

Each day, each chapter, each journey has lead to another.  I would have never been able to predict I'd be here, today, in this situation.  Actually, 5 years ago come June I was interviewing for my masters program.  The professors interviewing me asked where I saw myself in 5 years.  I laughed at the time, surprising them.  I told them I couldn't possibly know where I'd be in 5 years.  Five years previous to that moment I'd been in Europe touring with a vocal group and singing in the most glorious churches ever built.  Had you stopped me on an Austrian street and asked where I'd be in 5 years I couldn't have guessed it would have been in an interview for my masters in the middle of a tropical storm.  I told my interviewers that I was just along for life's journey.  Five years ago I had just graduated from under grad.  I was living back home with my mom (ugh!).  I was dating this great guy.  And I was juggling the decision to go to a Christian university in Colorado for grad school, or stay local and go to the state university who was interviewing me.  Five years ago I was asked to predict where I'd be now.  Even then I knew I couldn't.

Five years from now...  Squirmy will be half way through kindergarten.  Will he be in public school, private school, or home with me?  (Unless there's a DRASTIC change, I'm praying it will be one of the latter two since FL is like #48 in the country for public school quality).  Will Squirmy boy have any siblings?  Will we still live in this home?  Will Hubby still work for the devil that takes him away from us too many hours of the day but pays so well and provides us with incredible benefits?  Will I be back to work?  In my career field?  Starting over?  Back in school?  (Man, Dr. Mommy does have a nice ring to it)  Where will the road turn?  What adventures will we be off to?  Who knows....five years from now is a long way away, though I know it will pass in an instant.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Wordless Wednesday

And THAT is what it's all about

King of the Power Nappers

I decided to take the troops outside to soak up the Vitamin D and to take advantage of the beautiful day not everyone was getting to experience.  I crossed my fingers that the sunshine and fresh air would also mean decent naps...

So the usual nap time routine.  Nephew in his PnP in the office first (he's an easy napper).  Kid I watch goes down next with a bottle in his PnP in Squirmy's room while Squirmy nurses.  Then it's Squirmy's turn to nurse in our room and go down in his crib.  (I swear, one day he WILL use the nursery we so lovingly prepared for him.)

It was a typical nap time start.  I had him peacefully slumbering in his crib in 10 minutes or so.  I tip toed out of our room, came down stairs, turned the baby monitors on, started Squirmy's nap timer, and heard the kid I watch still awake.  I took the last ounce he'd left in his bottle up to him.  He finished just as I started hearing the oddest banging ringing out.  I quickly left the room in search of this ODD noise.

It was coming from our bedroom!!!  My heart raced in the brief moments it took for me to get into our bedroom once I determined where the sound was.  Squirmy had woken up, crawled out of his side-car crib, crawled across our bed, found coins on Hubby's nightstand (why the man had coins there I'll never know, we never use cash), and was happily banging the coins on the nightstand.  He turned to look at me, all smiles, wide awake as though he'd never been asleep.  I tried to nurse him back to sleep, but he wouldn't so much as close his eyes.  Nap was over and he wanted to play!!

And play he though he'd slept for 3 hours and not the 10 minutes the nap timer read...King of the Power Nappers!

Monday, January 31, 2011

Mama Bear Growls

This weekend was packed!  We had THREE birthday parties to attend, two on Saturday alone.  The first was for the kid I watch.  We got there and we were in a room full of people we didn't know.  Hubby found a seat and really didn't move.  Squirmy looked around and was cautious.  Slowly but surely he ventured further and further away from me and found the toys.  He went up to a few people as though he wanted to be held and managed well when they picked him up.  Everyone marveled at how cute he was and how he was much more about the festivities than his birthday boy counterpart.  Towards the end of the party, I could tell nap time was much needed as he started to melt.  We begged out early due to nap time and needing to get to another party.

Between parties, we had about 45 min in the car (had to run home first which made the drive much longer) and Squirmy napped peacefully, waking on his own as we neared the next party.  We arrived about an hour late to our nephew's party.  The family was all gathered around while the kids played on the playground and did a treasure hunt.  Of course Squirmy was the charmer and everyone was excited to get to see him walk.  Of course, being on his second party of the day and having a rough night (congestion) the night before and waking up early and only having a 45 min nap in between parties, he wasn't in his finest form.  But, we were at a small park and there wasn't anyone there but party goers.    He tolerated going to anyone who asked to hold him, even if it was just for a few minutes.

(our 78lb, 13 year old niece in the Ergobaby)

After a little while this family "friend" starts in.  Now this family "friend" is a woman whom Hubby has never liked and I don't exactly have a fond opinion of her, myself.  I got in trouble because I didn't invite her to my bridal shower (I'd literally met the woman less than a handful of times before the wedding and she was invited to the wedding).  She likes to kiss Hubby on the lips despite his protests and attempts to avoid her kisses.  Against my better judgement, I invited her to my baby shower to avoid controversy only to have her hound me at the party, asking how much weight I'd gained.  Luckily, when she tried to rally the other moms into bullying the amount out of me, they all protected me and changed the subject.  So suffice to say, she's not my favorite person.  But...she's a family "friend" so I smile and keep my distance.

Anyway, like I said, she starts in.  Two of the nieces at the party had meltdowns at some point because, well, they did.  She was complaining about how ALL the girls in Hubby's family cry too much (and by ALL the girls she meant 2 out of MIL's 5 female grandchildren).  Cue Squirmy fussing.  He wasn't crying, just fussing because it had been a long day.  It was now 3:00pm and he'd been up since 7:00am with a 45 min nap.  I instinctively started swaying as he sat on my hip while I chatted with people, careful to keep my back to the "friend" to prevent me from getting too frustrated with her rude, opinionated babble.  Then, oh THEN, I hear her make a comment about Squirmy crying too much just like ALL the girls in the family.  My blood started to boil.  A 10mo who's fussing because he's tired is no comparison for a 5 year old who's crying because someone didn't want to play her game or a 13 year old who is crying because life is so unfair.  But I continued on with my conversation and tried to ignore her.  WELL, that wasn't enough.  She came up to me and put her hands on my son while I was holding him.  He started fussing even more and clinging to me.  I resisted giving him up.  She snapped "Oh just give him to me" and made it clear that either I let go or my son would be in the middle of a tug of war.  I let go of him as she ripped him from my arms and walked away.

I know she couldn't hear me but I didn't care who else might have.  I was PISSED.  I made it clear that it was TOTALLY unacceptable to RIP a child out of his mother's arms.  She didn't even ASK me.  She just TOOK him.  Hubby was so lost.  He's the peace keeper of the family and NEVER wants to cause a scene.  He also knew what just happened was totally unacceptable and it was up to him to fix it since it was him family "friend" and he knew I'd be in jail for murder if I handled it.  So he gave me time to finish spewing hate which gave her a minute with Squirmy, then he took her back from her.  She tried to say he was having fun with her and Hubby shouldn't have taken him away, but neither of us cared.

After that we said our goodbyes.  Squirmy was really starting to melt, I was fuming, and we were over it.  All 3 of us just wanted to go home.  As we were walking to the car, I saw MIL go into the bathroom (one of those classic park bathrooms where you can hear everything that goes on outside while you're pooping) and I made sure to loudly express my discontent and drop a couple of f-bombs to Hubby as we passed by.

No doubt we're scratching 1 off his birthday guest list...