Tuesday, August 28, 2012


I don't know how to say this.

No one came to my daughter's first birthday party.

My heart hurts.

In the grand scheme of things, I realize that she's never going to know, and she didn't care one way or the other, she's only a year old. But it just really hurt me that our friends didn't come to our daughter's first birthday party. What would I have said to Baby A if this was her 5th birthday party, or her 10th, and no one came? How do you explain to children why their friends didn't consider their birthday party important enough to attend, or even to RSVP, or even to notify us after having already RSVP-ed that they weren't going to be able to make it. Who does that to a little girl?

Just to clarify, my parents were there, my in-laws where there as well as Aunt A. Pregnant SIL and my husbands brother opted to stay home rather than drive 3.5 hours each way while 37 weeks pregnant. Good choice. Also, our good friends W&A up the street came with their little girl and W's sister was in town, so she and her husband and 18 month old came. That was it. I had food for around 25 people. I had three dozen cupcakes. Beautiful cupcakes. I decorated teacups and made 3 gallons of sweet tea. And no one came.

We have so many cupcakes left. Enough potato salad and chopped veggies to last the month.

I don't understand. How do I protect my daughter from all the hurt and pain in the world when it's so easy for the people around us, in our lives, to hurt her, to hurt me.

Looking back at the pictures of the party, it's hard to be too upset. Baby A had a great time. And at the end of the day, that's the important part.

How do you argue with that?

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Not a Political Post

I can't stand political tirades. I don't think it's possible to change people's minds by posting political crap posts online. My opinions are my opinions. Mine. Not yours. It's my vote, not yours, go away. It's my decision whether I want to be an informed voter, or if I want to go on instinct and gut reaction to the parties involved in the election. To be completely honest, 9 times out of 10, I am the later of those two options.

With all the hubbub going on right now about this Akins guy and the VP nominee Paul Ryan, I finally decided I needed to inform myself. I had no idea who Akins was or what he had said. I have to admit I was blown away by what I found on these two men. I felt I needed to share.

Please know, this is not a political post. I am not trying to tell you how to vote, or even that you need to go research these people yourself. Your vote, your opinion, cool with me. I'm just so amazed by some of the things these two men have said that I haven't stopped thinking about it and so, post.

First let me say that I looked up Mitt Romney also and while I'll stick to my 'I just don't like him' stance, his policies aren't terrible, they aren't great and they're not what I support, but he seems to ride down the middle of most subjects and isn't overly offensive or combative about them. I still think he's kinda sleazy and when future sex scandals come to light, I won't be overly surprised.

Todd Akin, current Missouri Senator. "Misspoke" during a recent interview (from wikipedia).

In an August 19, 2012 interview aired on St. Louis television station KTVI-TV, Akin was asked his views on whether women who became pregnant due to rape should have the option of abortion. He replied:
Well you know, people always want to try to make that as one of those things, well how do you, how do you slice this particularly tough sort of ethical question. First of all, from what I understand from doctors, that’s really rare. If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down.

Really? Misspoke? I'd love to know which doctors he learned this from.

If you haven't seen this hurtling through facebook and viral emails please take the time to read it. It's an amazingly well written response.

I have nothing else to say to this. Missouri will have to deal with him.

Paul Ryan, current Republican Vice Presidential Nominee.

These are policies that he has proposed, voted for or against, and things he has said. Actual quotes, not inferences people have put together based on their interpretation of his comments. (again, from wikipedia)

Ryan's budget proposals "would mean significant cutbacks for education across the board."[91] Rick Hess of the American Enterprise Institute notes that on "'education, training, employment, and social services,' the Ryan budget would spend 33% less" than Obama's budget plan over the next decade.[92] In particular, the Ryan plan would lower the income level qualification from $33,000 to $23,000 for the Pell Grant program, and set a maximum grant of $5,550, about one-third the average total year cost of college, a historically low percentage. According to an analysis by the Education Trust, this would result in more than 1 million students losing Pell Grants over the next 10 years. Additionally, under Ryan's plan, student loans would begin to accrue interest while students are still in school.[93][91] Ryan states that his education policy is to "allocate our limited financial resources effectively and efficiently to improve education."[

I have a problem with this. College is so expensive and getting worse. Students have a hard enough time paying these loans back without an additional 4 years of interest. I'd also love to know how this policy is going to improve education when you just made it that much harder for 1 million students to afford to go to college.

The biggest topic these days is his stance, in association with Senator Akin, on women's rights and abortion issues.

He believes all abortions should be illegal, including those resulting from rape or incest, and only makes an exception for cases where the woman's life is at risk.
During Ryan's 1998 campaign for Congress, he "expressed his willingness to let states criminally prosecute women who have abortions," telling the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel at the time that he "would let states decide what criminal penalties would be attached to abortions," and while not stating that he supports jailing women who have an abortion, stated: "if it's illegal, it's illegal."
This could lead to laws that would "criminalize all abortion, as well as in vitro fertilization and some forms of birth control."[135][136]
Ryan voted to cut off federal funding for Planned Parenthood andTitle X family planning programs.[68][137] He also opposed giving over-the-counter status for emergency contraceptive pills.[138][72] Ryan was one of 173 co-sponsors of the 2011 No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act bill in the House of Representatives that would have limited funding for federally funded abortions to victims of "forcible rape". "Forcible rape" was not defined in the bill, which critics said would result in excluding date rape, statutory rape, or other situations where the victim had diminished mental capacity. The language was removed from the bill before the House passed the bill, the Senate did not vote on the bill.[139]

There are so many things I have issues with here that I just don't think I can even get started on them. He is actively attempting to overturn the Roe vs Wade ruling. He also opposes civil unions and/or marriages for gay and lesbian couples and is working towards a constitutional ban on them which would supersede laws already voted into place in individual states.

I am and always have been a Republican and (usually) proud of it. However, there is no way I am going to be able to vote for this man. I truly feel that should he be elected, women's rights (as well as those of G/L/T's) would suffer severely in the four years he is in office.

That's the end of my 'not a political post'. Again, I'm not trying to change your opinion or influence your vote. I just was so very amazed by what I read and amazed that this is the person chosen as a Vice Presidential Nominee. I think any shot Romney had is probably gone now, not that I mind, not that I'm an Obama supporter either. I really don't know what I'm going to do come November. I think I might vote for Big M as a write in ballot. He'd be a a great President. He photographs well, never says anything he doesn't mean and believes hugs and kisses solve all problems.

Big M For President!

Monday, August 20, 2012

OMG Cupcakes

So, we're having a tea party for Baby A's first birthday party this Saturday and I am in LOVE with the cupcakes we're getting for the party. Hubby and I were drooling over the online menu and so had to have a tasting to figure out which ones we wanted to order for Saturday. Check them out!
Here are our final options:

Birthday Cake: For obvious reasons.
Classic Birthday Cake with sprinkles baked in, topped with a colored Vanilla Buttercream, rainbow sprinkles and a cherry.

Ultimate Chocolate: Because I had a 'moment' when I bit into it.
Classic Chocolate Cake topped with a Chocolate Buttercream and dark chocolate curls

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough: Because my husband had a 'moment' when he bit into it.
Vanilla Cake with a cookie dough center topped with brown sugar buttercream and chocolate chips.

Irish Car Bomb: We weren't able to taste test this, my husbands wants to get it solely based on the name and ingredients.
Guinness Chocolate Cake with an Irish Cream Buttercream and Irish Whiskey chocolate ganache drizzle (holy lord almighty!)

Mexican Hot Chocolate: Another we weren't able to taste test but I really want to get them anyway.
Chocolate Spice Cake with a Spicy whipped cream topping.  (mmmmm)

Sweet Potato.
Sweet Potato Cake with Cinnamon cream cheese Frosting, candied pecans and toasted marshmallows.

The final selections haven't quite been made, but we have enough people coming that I think we could get 6 of each of these flavors and probably not have too many left over. I"m not sure how I feel about that. Good that I won't have all these temptations in the house. Bad that I won't have all these temptations in the house.

I've decided not to worry about the diet for this week. Hubby and I have been taste testing appetizers also.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

I don't want to be enjoyed!

I know we're not the only family that thinks it's funny to harass their child. It's a time honored tradition. I grew up with my mother singing the Sesame Street song wrong just to bug me, and boy did it. 'Sing nice mommy' was said a lot in our house. My husbands family was the same way. It starts right away too. It's an uncontrollable compulsion to reach your finger out and tickle the bottom of a baby's foot if it's sticking out from a blanket. And then we snicker when the baby draws that foot back into warmth and safety. As they grow, we continue to tickle, poke, pull and tease. Just the other day I found myself on the floor with Baby A chasing her as she crawled around the room and pinching her feet and legs while she giggled and squealed and then turned around to chase me back. It was so much fun and so very funny. Another of her favorite games is to hang out on my bed and crawl as fast as she can across it. Just as she gets to the other side, I reach out, grab a foot and drag her back over to my side, face down, drool smearing across the bed, laughing uproariously. If it weren't so stinking funny, there would probably be something wrong with me, dragging my child by the foot. It's one of those joys of parenthood things where because you created that little person, you get to laugh at/torture them. And as they get older, you tease them about the boys or girls they like, the boy bands they have a crush on, how they do their hair, or the outfits they put together on their own and so on.

There's a famous quote from growing up where my sister didn't appreciate my mom's amusement at her expense and told her to stop laughing at her. My mom responded 'I'm not laughing at you, I"m enjoying you.' My sister then said she didn't want to be enjoyed, which made my mom laugh even more. Both lines has lived on and are frequently repeated 30 something years later.

Yesterday my daycare lady, Mama T, sent me a video of Baby A. She had pulled up on a little chair and then didn't know what to do next. She couldn't figure out how to sit, she hasn't figured out how to walk, so she's standing there stuck, hanging on to the chair for dear life and screaming. I was practically in tears I was laughing so hard. When I showed the video to a coworker, who doesn't have children yet, she was so heartbroken for my poor little girl and I had to wonder if there's really something wrong with my reaction to Baby A upset and stuck. After a very short inner dialog with myself that involved bullies, self esteem, independence, and raising strong children, I decided I (and the millions of other parents) wasn't doing anything wrong.

Baby A did manage to sit herself down after a few minutes and because no one jumped in to rescue her she'll learn faster how to sit down the next time she pulls herself up. Me laughing at (enjoying) the situation teaches her that it is not something to get all worked up about. By letting her figure it out on her own, she is developing resilience and self sufficiency. It's also teaching her how to be laughed at (enjoyed). Shockingly enough (note sarcasm), a lot of people have trouble with that. Did you do or say something stupid? Expect to be laughed at (enjoyed). I don't actually know what the pinching and tickling teaches but hey, while she's little and thinks it's hysterical, I'll keep pinching! It will be far too soon that she's too old to pin down and torture. I'll have to come up with new ways to enjoy her but I"m sure they'll be just as funny and I'll laugh just as hard.

That's life, it's funny. Laugh at it.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Crate & Barrel saved my marriage!

I'm only partially joking. The biggest reoccurring argument in our house is over dishes. Part of me is thankful that this is our biggest issue, another part of me is amazed that we can't get past this.

My husband is one of the neatest, most orderly people you will ever meet. I am not. He occasionally borders on Monk level OCD cleaning and every once in a while I have to point out that he may be over doing it. 99% of the time, I clean the house and keep things on a maintained level. It's not great, but I feel ok having my baby crawl around on my floors and I keep the spider webs in the corners to a minimum. When my husband gets a bug up his butt and decides to clean the house, I just get out of the way. Literally. I will usually try to leave the house for at least two hours. There is no helping, there is just get out of the way or get run over with the Dyson. It happens probably once every three or four months, and when it does, I come home to an amazingly spotless house. Kitchen, bathrooms, bedrooms, walls, light fixtures, stairs, ceiling fans, all have been washed, swept, vacuumed, dusted, scrubbed and mopped. It's truly amazing. My husband is usually sweating and frequently swearing at just how 'disgusting' the house was. I would like to point out that the house is rarely disgusting although I won't say never. This is the Monk side talking and what is disgusting to him, is pretty normal to the majority of the population.

Now that the stage is appropriately set, our biggest fight is over dishes. Our typical evening goes like this: I stop at the store on the way home from work to pick up whatever I forgot to get on my regular shopping trip so I can make dinner. I stop and pick up Baby A from daycare. I get home and unload the car, greet the dogs, change clothes and head out the door with Baby A, Big M and Old Lady for our after work walk. I get back to the house by 6, in time for Baby A's dinner, followed by feeding the dogs after they've cooled down from the walk. Bath time for Baby A at 6:30, bottle at 7 and she goes down for the night at 7:30. In between all of this I start prepping dinner.

My husband gets home around 6:00, changes and goes for a run or bike ride, gets home, showers and sits down in time for dinner. After dinner, he does the dishes and then we catch up on our days and usually watch something on tivo. I typically have a glass of wine with dinner and then have another half a glass while we watch the episode of the day. Before going to bed, I put my wine glass on the counter next to the sink.

This is the source of massive frustration for my husband. My wine glass, on the counter.

His complaint is that it's just expected of him to wash the dishes and that I leave things out purposely knowing that he'll clean up after me.

To be completely honest, given everything I do after work. I feel no guilt leaving the dinner dishes for him to do. I usually will clean up the prep items as I make dinner, just leaving him with the actual pots and pans that the food was cooked in.

Most of the time, the dinner dishes aren't the trigger issues, it's the glass on what had been clean, clear counters.

So, after checking out some of the sale items online on the Crate & Barrel website, I found these:

Clear, acrylic, wine glasses. That can go in the dishwasher!!!! They stack too which is awesome for cabinet space. I got 6 of the clear ones and 6 of some cool orange ones too because I liked the color.

Now, these aren't my normal pretty, etched, decorative glasses that I like to drink from because I feel fancy when I use them. However, at the end of the evening, I can toss this sucker in the dishwasher and never again have to listen to the 'clear counter' lecture. At least not one that is associated with my wine glass.

Why this didn't occur to me earlier, I have no idea.

I love you !!!!

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Single Parent's Day

This week on our own has been pretty decent. Not perfect, but decent. I really think single mom's & dad's are actual super heroes and should have their own 'day'. Mother's Day, Father's Day, Administrative Assistants Day, Single Parent's Day. It should be it's very own celebration. They work so much harder than the rest of us lucky ducks with spouses. Maybe there is a day already and I just never realized it, but I'm fairly sure I haven't seen cards in the Hallmark store for 'Happy Single Parent's Day because you Rock on your own!'

I stumble through on my own for four days, knowing my husband is going to be back and will mow the grass. I don't really have to think about that. I also don't have to worry about the fact that there are two lights out in the dining room 'chandelier' (term used loosely for a 30 year old, mega cheesy chunk of gaudy metal), several large items that need to be moved up the crazy angled pull down stairs to the attic, there's an odd smell coming out of the utility sink in the laundry room, etc, etc. I know that this weekend, I can have a nap if I want because there will be someone else there to take care of Baby A. I can spend Saturday afternoon doing dog rescue transports and not have to have Baby A in the car with me, she's home with daddy. Single parents rarely have that luxury. There's no stopping. There's no end of the day. There's just 'the next thing' and getting through until you can crash in bed for a few hours. I'm sure that doesn't describe all single parenting situations, but it's probably most.

This isn't to say that us plain old working mom's and stay at home mom's have it easy. There's always something, laundry, groceries, cooking, cleaning, dogs, cats, family, oh, and work. Right. The job. That too.  That thing I go to where I have to not see my baby for 9 or 10 hours a day. Where I drop her off an hour and a half after she's woken up in the morning and I pick her up from two and a half hours before her bedtime. I love our daycare, I really do. I couldn't have asked for a better environment for Baby A while I"m at work. But I miss her and there are a lot of days where I envy the stay at home moms. I don't think there's anyone who envy's the single mom (or dad) though, especially when the kids are little and need fairly constant attention/supervision.

So, here's my little shout out to the single parents. If no one told you today, You Rock!

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Stupid Post

Why are Reeces Pieces colors only yellow, brown and orange? Who decided that? You can get M&M's in any color imaginable and every holiday has it's own decorative arrangement. Reeces Pieces are only in three, boring, kind of ugly colors.

It was bothering me. So I had to share.

Monday, August 6, 2012

'will' you?

It's another week of travel for my husband, so it's just me, Baby A and the dogs. Hubby actually left for the airport yesterday afternoon, so I spent the rest of Sunday making baby food for the week and packing lunches ahead of time. I was in bed at 10 last night and got up at 5 this morning. Did about 25 minutes of yoga, showered, hair, got Baby A up, fed, walked dogs, fed dogs, did makeup, curled hair, dressed and out the door by 7:30. I really wanted to be out before 7:25, that's my 'on time' cut off. 7:30 is 5 minutes late, but, over all I think we did pretty well.

I had a FANTASTIC weekend! I had a manicure (can't tell you when the last one was) a pedicure (first since January), eyebrow wax (also since about January), hair cut (last one was May and I didn't like it), bought a new sundress (for Baby A's birthday party), found a really great Chianti at Trader Joe's for $6.00 a bottle and we all had lunch with our two best friends and their baby girl. After the pampering Saturday afternoon I really felt like a new person. It was so needed. I fed Baby A her lunch and handed her off to my husband saying I'd be back in a few hours. It was so needed.

This happens every time and it cracks me up. I chopped my hair off, it's probably 4 or 5 inches shorter than it was on Friday when I left work. Why does everyone have to ask 'Did you get your hair cut?' Um, no, I just woke up like this...???

We had an interesting thing happen at lunch with our friends on Sunday. My husband met W and his then soon to be wife, during their graduate program. They've known each other for years, I married into the friendship and they are truly some of the best people on the planet. They moved to GA and bought their house before my husband ended up here and after we got married, we loved their house and the neighborhood so much, we bought a house down the street. We are literally less than a mile apart. Their little girl is 7 months younger than our Baby A. Yesterday they asked us to be the beneficiary on their will and guardians of their daughter should anything happen to them. I was amazed. It never occurred to me that we were that high up on their list. We haven't had a chance to talk about it yet since my husband left for the airport directly after lunch, but I really feel honored that they would entrust us with their child. It got me thinking about the fact that we haven't done a will yet. We kept talking about it before Baby A was born and then once she was here, we got lost in the parenting part and the will discussion hadn't resurfaced. It also got me thinking about who we would want to raise Baby A should anything happen to both of us. That's a really hard decision. Our friend W has a sister who has a baby boy, is happily married and she and her husband make serious money. They'd be very capable of taking care of W and wife's baby, but they chose us instead. The sister knows, and everyone says  it's all good. But who's feelings are hurt and who's not saying? But, this can't be a decision made based on who's feelings are going to be hurt, this is your child and their best interest. When I really started thinking about it, my sister really isn't high on the list either, she lives in Germany, she's single, she still parties most weekends and while she's really great at babysitting and playing, singing songs, etc, I don't know that she'd be the best one to raise Baby A. My husbands older sister, also in that same boat, except for the Germany part. She's a little more local, but a little flighty, a little hippy. She can't train her dog. I wouldn't rest easy knowing she'd be responsible for my child. My husband's brother and wife (the very pregnant SIL) would probably be a consideration, but again, I just don't know. They're very different from us, they're going to have a child with Down Syndrome and their plate is going to be very full without any additional burdens. Would they even want to be on the list? What about our parents? They're grandparents now, by the time Baby A is in high school they'll be in their late 70's and 80's. Is it fair to ask them to become parents again?

There's a lot for my husband and I to discuss when he gets back at the end of the week. I feel like it would appear we were trying to reciprocate without true consideration, but I think W and his wife really are at the top of our list too, for a lot of the same reasons they gave us. Our children are going to grow up together, they're going to be in the same grade, they're going to go to the same church, be part of the same Sunday classes, etc, etc. They'll practically be siblings. Why wouldn't we want them to care for Baby A if something happened to us?

"Will" you?

Friday, August 3, 2012

Morning Running

The last two mornings I've taken Big M out in the morning first and Old Lady second because she's been having some arthritis issues and doesn't want to walk quite as far or as fast. So Big M and I have gone for morning runs, just the two of us. We don't go far and the total distance, out and back, is probably not quite three quarters of a mile, but it's just enough to feel like I've done something. The only problems is getting Big M going. Our run back to the house is fine. The run out to the normal turn around point is a little rough. We get out of the house ok, start down the road and about a minute into it he realizes Old Lady's not with us. And then he stops. Big M is 70 pounds of muscle. Granted I do weigh more than him, but there is very little I can do to force Big M to move. Now, he isn't stopping because he misses Old Lady, or doesn't feel like running right now thank you. He has stopped because he is quite sure that Old Lady is back at the house eating his breakfast. Yes, I know dogs don't actually talk, but you can just look at this dog and know, that is what he's concerned about. Food is his most favorite thing in the whole wide world and while we're out, just the two of us, first thing in the morning, he is very sure that he's missing out on breakfast and will refuse to walk another step. Until I pull out a piece of pepperoni, and then the world is right once again.

My handsome boy.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Food Post

I like to think I watch what I eat pretty closely, I do have to admit there's a bag of reeses pieces hidden in my desk at work. It's at work because I can't hide candy at home, my husband will find it, every time. He has an amazing ability to find all hidden things, candy, presents, scratches on cars, etc.

Other than that though, I eat really well. We all have our fall back menus for dinners, mine is a garlic chicken with panko bread crumbs that never fails. I don't really measure the ingredients anymore and I don't really remember where the original recipe came from, probably allrecipes.com since that's where I get 90% of what I cook.

(For two chicken breasts) In one bowl mix a good pour of olive oil with a teaspoon or so of minced garlic and finely chopped green onions (I have been knows to used dried chives when I didn't have green onions in the fridge). On a separate plate mix the panko crumbs with a solid handful of shredded Parmesan (can use the kraft grated but I tend to keep the fresh shredded deli version on hand), salt and pepper to taste, can also add a dash of cayenne if you want. Dip chicken breasts in oil mixture, then in crumb/cheese mixture and bake til done. Easy, fast, and relatively good for you (a little high in fat because of the oil, but it's really low carb/calorie and really high protein). I typically serve with rice and steamed broccoli or squash both with a bit more of the Parmesan rather than butter.