Eight Months

Categories: Cecilia | 1 Comment

Cecilia,

You’re eight months old today. Where has the time gone? It’s so hard to believe that eight months ago you arrived in this world as a little fussy baby and that you’ve already turned into a passionate, determined little person. It never ceases to amaze me. I’m also amazed that your father and I have successfully raised you thus far without any major catastrophe. Considering my limited experience with children, it’s probably a small miracle that you have not only survived but thrived.

70s-baby

This month has been a busy one. You started crawling on your hands and knees. You are no longer limited to your immediate surroundings and are able to escape to new areas of the house. Of course, this has kept me on my toes and requires that I give you constant supervision. As a result, I’ve carried you on my hip as I tended to chores around the house. My days of dashing to the mudroom to start a quick load of laundry while you play in the living room are over. Your mobility combined with your obsession with laptop power cords means that your unsupervised moments are over. However, you don’t seem to mind

.close-up-pj

Spending the majority of the day in my arms isn’t helping with your separation anxiety, which has kicked into high gear this month. You’ve become unwilling to be held by anyone else, even your daddy. There are some days that this gets to be tiring, but some days, especially those days that you tightly hold onto me in protest, it makes me smile. Even though you can’t say “I love you” yet, those moments tell me that you feel it. My heart holds you as tightly as your little hands hold me.

Not only did you start crawling during your eighth month, you also started pulling up and cruising around the room. All people and objects are fair game for practicing this latest accomplishment, including Lucy. Interestingly, she stood next to you calmly as you grabbed her fur and pulled yourself up. You two have really become good friends. She cries when you cry, and you laugh whenever she does tricks. She’s definitely your first best friend.

Chris-Cecilia

Also, this month you’ve stopped sleeping through the night. For a long time, we’ve considered ourselves extremely lucky parents because you started sleeping through the night at 6 weeks old. Unfortunately, you’ve started waking and wanting to happily practice your new skills. I’ve been very fortunate because your daddy has taken the brunt of this sleep disturbance, even on the nights that you’ve wanted to smile and play from 2 to 4 am.

pack-n-play-pj-smile

A couple weeks ago we joined a local playgroup, and I realized that it’s going to be challenge to raise a young lady in an affluent town. I want to make sure we provide you with enough that you never feel inadequate, or like you don’t belong, but I also want to teach you to appreciate what you do have. It’s going to be difficult to find the right balance. However, I know the first step is to teach you to have self confidence and self worth by showing you unconditional love. Thankfully, I know that loving you is one of the easiest and most natural things I’ve ever done.

Love,

Momma

Sourpuss

Categories: Relations | 1 Comment


These past few weeks I’ve been struggling with negativity, not my own but from people around me. I don’t believe in karma and auras, but there is something contagious about foul moods and I’m easily influences. Normally I would just avoid contact with these folks, but unfortunately they’re in circles of friends and family that I enjoy. To cut them out means that I would no longer see people who lift me up and encourage me. I’m not really sure what to do.

In the beginning, I tried to support the negative Nancys and Debbie downers. I listened to their complaints. I sympathized with their problems. I offered suggestions. Despite this, it never seemed to help. Their negativity came with a sense of despair and unwillingness to find possible solutions. It’s as if their only perfect solution was impossible and no other solution, albeit not perfect, would be suffice.

Now I can acknowledge that apoplectic situations do exist. Personally, I think they’re pretty rare, but when they do come along, I think it’s best to accept it and move forward.  Bemoaning the situation never helps, and besides, dwelling on the unpleasantries of life is, well, unpleasant. We can’t avoid all unpalatable events, but we shouldn’t prolong them. Plus I live by the motto, “Fake it until you feel it.” Sometimes it’s important to vent your feelings to a trusted confidant; often it helps to share your emotions. However, constantly spewing your tribulations to everyone every day gets to be burdensome. I think it’s good to pretend you’re in high spirits. After all, spending the day upbeat and smiling won’t leave you feeling heavy and downtrodden, even during the most difficult hardships.

Despite my approach to difficult situations, I still have to interact with negative individuals, and I’m not exactly sure what to do. I suppose I could follow my own advice and fake feelings of warmth and concern until I feel that towards them. However, I’m afraid their influence will leave me in a gloomy mood for several hours after speaking with them. How do you deal with these types of folks? What do you advise?

It’s come to my attention that several readers are upset about this post.  Let me clear a few misunderstandings.  This about folks that run in my circles of friends and family but are not within my inner circles.  To the best of my knowledge, these individuals do not read my blog.  I would not use this site as a means to attack those that I’m close to.  I’m very upfront with those I care about, almost to my detriment.  If I had a problem with a close friend or loved one, I would talk to them directly.  

Crappy Day or Money Down the Drain, you pick.

Categories: home | 4 Comments

digger

Two years ago when we were house hunting, I wanted an older house. I grew up in a subdivision where all the houses had roughly same exterior and floorplan, and I knew I wanted a home with a little more personality and character. The first time I saw pictures of our 1950’s home, I knew it was the one. With a long front porch and two mature maple trees in the front yard, it has a cozy, friendly look to it. We put an offer on it just a few hours after touring it the first time.

Fast forward two years and my infatuation with my adorable fixer-upper craftsman has been dampened by the responsibilities of home ownership. Maintaining any home is hard work, but maintaining a home with personality and character is even harder work. After all, personality and character is earned through age, and our blessed place is starting to wrinkle…literally. She’s starting to crack and sag and clog. Yes, clog. Remember those beautiful, mature trees? Apparently their charm only masks what’s going on below the surface. Their roots system is wreaking havoc on our sewer line, and it all started with a gurgle.

Last summer, just as the bathroom renovations were coming to an end, I noticed that the nursery bathroom would bubble while I did laundry. At first I figured it was just a side effect of the renovations, but when other pipes started slowly draining, I knew it was something else. At first we tried several quick fixes - vinegar, plunging, draino - but nothing worked. It only took a few days for things to completely stop flowing, and we had to call a plumber to snake our main sewer line.

Clearing our pipe wasn’t an easy job. We spent several hours trying to locate our clean-out, before we finally determined that there wasn’t one. The plumbing service eventually removed one of our toilets, used a camera to locate the line, and used a gigantic auger to clear our pipe. Afterward, they informed us that we needed to replace the entire line and until we did it would just happen again. And eight months later, just outside our 6 month warranty, it did. Not prepared to pay for a multi-thousand dollar repair, we paid to have it snaked again and vowed to replace the line at the beginning of 2009.

sewer-line

When January rolled around, I convinced Chris that we should wait until it was absolutely necessary; I was hoping that we could buy some time to save up the cash. Like clockwork, the toilet started gurgling the day we filed our tax return, and within a week, the drains started slowing down. We scheduled our line replacement for the next week.

Things got a little harder over the next seven days. Desperate for some clean clothes, I ran a small load of laundry. That forced grit (from my face wash, not raw sewage) to gurgle up the shower drain. We also had to stop using the dish washer. Then the toilets wouldn’t flush and I started making runs to the nearby Mapco to go number 2. With piles of laundry and dishes all around me, I felt the walls caving in on me.

Finally, today, the line was replaced. It took out part of our driveway and some of our bushes. (We did, by the way, save the asshole tree that did this to us.) It was pretty painful to write “thousand” on a check, but it’s a lot cheaper than paying for sodas and coffee at the gas station every time I needed to poop. (I couldn’t, in good conscience, not buy anything after pooping in their potty.) To celebrate, I ran the dishwasher, started a load of laundry, and flushed a toilet.

asshole-tree

FAIL

Categories: Cecilia | 1 Comment

Watching Cecilia learn to crawl is sort of like watching someone learn how to use a joystick on a Commodore 64 game - she keeps running into walls and can’t figure out how to back up.

fail

Photo Meme

I got tagged in a meme by Amber of Monster Cookies. While I normally don’t participate in these, I thought it would be fun to revisit some of my older photos. Here’s the one I found.  It’s a picture of my best gal pal, Korbie, while on our road trip to Chicago in September of 2007.  We had a lot of fun, ate a lot of thai food, and drank a little too much. (And apparently drunkKelly went on and on about the awesomeness of her breasts.)  That trip was my final childless woman’s hurrah;  I was pregnant with Cecilia a week later.

Korbie-revisted

On that same trip, this wonderful picture was taken in downtown Chicago when I was completely sober.  Let me tell you, I really needed a beer once that bitch got off my back.
bitch-on-my-back

Waging War

Categories: home | 4 Comments

In the past few weeks, Lucy had deposited an insane amount of dog hair around the house.  I’m not sure if I was oblivious to her shedding before I had a small creature rolling around on the floor or if she’s feeling super stressed from the baby crying and shedding more.  (She usually whines out of concern if Cecilia is crying.)  Regardless of the reason, there is dog hair everywhere. EVERYWHERE.  And it’s slowly driving me insane.

doghair

I decided this past weekend that it was time to strip the house of all the excess hair.  Now I consider myself a pretty good housekeeper.  My house isn’t spotless, but it usually gets dusted and vacuumed once a week.  It’s very apparent, however, that this isn’t cutting it.  I decided to start at the source and furminated Lucy.  What is furminating, you ask?  The furminator is this awesome tool.


It’s an awesome grooming brush.  Unfortunately, we’ve only used it a handful of times in the past few months.  Thankfully, Lucy doesn’t mind it.  The biggest struggle is combing the dog outside where she can easily be distracted by squirrels.

My next move is vacuuming every day.  This can be a bit challenging because Lucy attacks the vacuum like she attacks the hairdryer.  Here’s day one of vacuuming.  Mind you, it had been a couple days since I last vacuumed.

vacuum

(View Large)

I’m also going to shake out and wash all the dog linens, replace air filters, and dust everything with a lint brush.  Hopefully that will help me regain my sanity.

Doesn’t this make you want to come and have dinner at my house?

Her Skills Are Multiplying

Categories: Cecilia | 2 Comments

Cecilia has a new skill, and we are learning that, despite the amount of padding you put around your house, your child will still hit her head.
Pulling Up
Pulling Up
Pulling Up
Pulling Up
Pulling Up

Number 61, check

61. Master the art of cut-out cookies
cut-out-cookies

Growing up with divorced parents, we alternated houses for major holidays so we didn’t have many traditions.  However, one that managed to reappear every year was my stepmother’s sugar cookies with red hots at Valentine’s day.  I always enjoyed those cookies and look back at that memory fondly.  It’s a tradition I want to continue with my family.

With that in mind, I also thought this would be a great opportunity to knock another item off my to do list.  I don’t think I actually “mastered” the cut out cookie, but I did manage to get them into a decipherable shape without the whole process ending in tears or a long stream of curse words.  They do look a little bit like mangled hearts, but this is probably more of a batter problem than a cut out issue because I ran out of butter.  We use between 0-3 tablespoons of butter a week - mostly depending on my bread recipe - so I rarely buy the stuff.  Instead I substitute 1/4 cup of butter flavored shortening (leftover from making Thanksgiving pie crust.  That stuff doesn’t go bad, right? I mean, it’s shelf staple.).  I chilled the dough for several hours, but shortening doesn’t stiffen like butter.  All things considered, I think they turned out well.  I think Chris would agree too.  We ate the entire batch last night.

Just for reference, here’s the recipe I used.  It’s from the Mrs. Field’s Cookie cookbook that I swiped from my mom.

Metamorphosis

When I tell other women that my husband rocks our baby to sleep every night, they usually respond with an “Awww” or “That’s so sweet”. Recently he’s gotten into the habit of saying, “Come here little one,” when he picks up her slumberous body from my lap after our final nursing session. It melts my heart every time, and I’m completely amazed that this guy:
I'm only doing this because you are my girlfriend and I want to get some later.
turned into that guy:
Dec 13 08

The Notebook

Categories: Picklings | 2 Comments

While I think it’s important to be thrifty, I think it’s equally important to delight in the little things, and it’s okay to occasionally spend an extra dollar for something that your going to regularly enjoy.  For example, I normally carry around a notebook for jotting down my thoughts, grocery lists, and to-do’s.  Usually it’s just a crummy tablet that I’ve stolen from my employer, but now that I’m a stay-at-home mom, that option wasn’t available when my notepad recently needed replacing.  (Stealing from my employer has definitely lost it’s thrill.)  However, when I found this cute notebook at Hobby Lobby, I decided I would buy it.  After all, it’s worth $1.99 to feel cute and fashionable while stocking up on eggs and baby wipes.

notebook