Thursday, January 31, 2013

Recanted - Heaven is not a new haircut

I've had a change of heart. Not because I don't love my hair cut. I do. It's fabulous, and it's blond! I love being blond!

However, last night, I did find heaven.

Heaven is at our neighbors house, where I 'babysat' their 10 month old little girl while they went out to dinner.

By 'babysat' I mean, their little girl was already in bed, sound asleep. They left out a bottle of wine for me. I brought a book that I've been trying to get through for about a year and I spent several hours sitting on a couch, by myself, reading, having a glass of wine and a nice, quiet, quiet, quiet evening. It was awesome. They got back from dinner and I asked if we could do this again next week.

There was no husband complaining about water in the basement (a valid complaint, but still), no Baby A whining at me, no dogs pestering me that they have to pee, but won't go out because it's raining, no dishes on the counter, no toys to pick up (until I got home to find that my husband hadn't picked up Baby A's toys after putting her down for the night), it was just a nice, quiet, peaceful evening.


Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Heaven is a new hair cut

I haven't had my hair cut or colored since last April. And the only reason I had it done then was because I had a Groupon to what ended up being a mediocre cut and a very boring color. I can not tell you how excited I am. The idea of several hours of pampering just puts me on the highest cloud possible. I'm considering calling the salon back and seeing what massage services are available this afternoon too. Might as well just get it all done, right? At the very least I will get my eye brows waxed. Wouldn't a facial be wonderful?? Or just a nice little foot massage. It's been so long since my last pedicure that there is no polish left on my toes, and not because I removed it. It's just been that long that it has all grown out and chipped off. Probably a year. Ugghh.

Why do I no longer have time for these things anymore? I used to get pedicures monthly. I used to get my hair done regularly. I used to have the time and money for these things. I didn't used to consider them luxuries. Or maybe I just didn't think that much about it. Now, going out and spending several hours away from work or the house to spend several hundred dollars having my hair/nails/body cut/colored/waxed/peeled/massaged just seems a little excessive. However, I"m also not willing to step too far down, reference Groupon incident, but I truly believe that with hair, you get what you pay for. That is not to say that I have not had great hair cuts at Great Clips, I've had some pretty good ones, but they don't do color and I've also had some pretty bad cuts there too.

So, screw all of it, I"m getting my hair done and I'm going to look like this when they're through! :)

Monday, January 28, 2013

Start the day off sexy

This probably falls into the category of TMI, but hey, anonymous blog, so tough.

This weekend I bought...

wait for it...

Bras and panties!!!!

For myself!!!

The last time I bought a bra was before I got married.

The last time I bought underwear was when I was pregnant and couldn't fit into my old ones anymore.

Not only did I buy bras and panties, I bought MATCHING bras and panties.

So, yeah, I have a little more strut in my stuff this morning 'cause I'm feeling sexy.

There's also lace up my ass and you just can't walk normal with that going on.

Thankful Post #4 - Silly Games

This past week has been a little chilly and we have not been able to get outside much to play, which makes for a stir crazy Baby A and Mama! So we have played lots of silly games this last week and past weekend. we play puzzles, we play ball. We chase each other around the house and Baby A squeals and laughs so much that I end up laughing hysterically and my husband has to come see what all the commotion is about. We play 'knock over mama' where Baby A runs at me while I'm sitting on the floor and pushes me over. I grab her and pull her down with me and squeal 'oh no, the baby knocked me over, oh no!' She loves it. We color, a lot, and then have to chase the dogs down to get the crayons back.

I love that Baby A is so interactive and has so much fun doing small things. I know this is not a phase that will last forever, in fact I'm sure it will go by too fast and soon she won't want to play tag with me, or color with me. But for now I am thankful for all the silly games that we play and that I can so easily make her laugh, which is the best sound in the whole world.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Another Million Dollar Idea

Again, cooking related. Maybe I need to take some classes or something so I can at least say I have some chef like experience.

I think it would be great to have an in home meal delivery service. I'm not talking take out, or anything all fancy or restaurant level menu selection. I mean, like what a normal person would normally make for their normal family, but just don't have time to. I can't tell you the number of times i looked around my kitchen, and then at the clock and wished there was something I could have delivered that was even moderately healthy. My only viable options are pizza and chinese. Not what I had in mind. But if someone could deliver a big bag full of baked chicken, steamed veggies and lightly buttered rice with a decent side salad I would be thrilled.

The name would be Mama's Kitchen and the mantra would be 'home made, home delivered'. It would be a very limited selection and just for delivery, no actual sit down restaurant. Just like anyone's house growing up. I know my parents said to me 'this isn't a restaurant, this is what's for dinner, eat it or don't.' I can't be the only one who heard some version of that.

Each night Mama's Kitchen opens for delivery at 5 and closes at 8; orders can be placed during the day. There would be three options, a meat, a fish and a casserole, that's it. The meat and fish dishes each come with a starch, a vegetable and a salad (no dressing). The casserole comes by itself, no sides, as individual portions, or a 13x9 family portion. Individual portions of all of these are actual portions. Not restaurant portions that are stupidly huge and unnecessary.

Anyway, that's my idea. I think the delivery side would be the part that could trip me up, but still, wouldn't it be great to have a 'real' meal arrive at your door, piping hot and ready to eat? I think so. I think it's a great idea!!

Winter has (almost) struck Georgia

There are many things I appreciate about living in Georgia. One of them is the wonderfully mild winters. I grew up in New Hampshire. My husband constantly teases me about being raised with Eskimos and Polar Bears. It does tend to be a bit chilly there from about October through April.

Georgia winters consist of about 10 days total of cold (i.e. below 35 degrees) weather spread between December and February and rarely any snow worth mentioning. However, when it does snow, it's awesome because everything shuts down and no one's expected to do anything other than stay home and play in it.

Today however, the forecast is ice. Which does make me nervous, even with my 'polar' upbringing. It's a 'late' morning chance though, clearing up after lunch and fine by evening. So, I'm at work. Watching the weather with an eagle eye just waiting for it to start looking bad so I can rush out and get Baby A and get home before it gets too bad. Mostly, I think it's going to be north of us and all the schools closed for no good reason. We'll see though.

I will of course have to stop for the required gallon of milk which every Georgian must buy for winter storms. I don't actually need bread or eggs, but sadly I am low on milk and Friday is my normal shopping day for those things. I don't know that I'll even find a gallon of milk in the store. For anyone who is not in the South, yes it's true; tease and make fun all you want, it's true. Any mention of snow or winter weather and the shelves of every store clear. It's actually a little frustrating for those of us who are actually out and need it for real, not just for storm.

In addition to milk, I always get the important things. Wine, beer and pizza.

Cheers! It's winter!!

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Sweet Tooth Troubles

Yesterday my car, all on it's own mind you, pulled into a local cupcakery and I was forced to purchase several cupcakes before my car was willing the leave the parking lot.

This is the infamous cupcake shop where we got way, way too many cupcakes for Baby A's first birthday and spent a couple months pulling them out of the freezer one at a time. Fortunately they freeze and unfreeze quite well.

When I stepped through their door, I immediately saw that they had my favorite, Mexican Hot Chocolate cupcakes. Chocolate Spice Cake with a Spicy whipped cream topping.


Oh lordy, just shoot me now. I got two of those, the very last Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough available which is my husbands favorite, and a Chocolate Peanut Butter cupcake just for fun. I then texted a picture of them to my husband, who practically flew home since he knew better than to leave them with me for any length of time.

The cupcakes them self are huge, twice the size of a 'regular' cupcake from a grocery store or something you'd make at home and I ate an entire one. I actually cut it in half and ate the first half with every good intention of limiting myself. Yeah, that lasted for about 10 minutes before I was back for the rest of it.

Then, all day today I've been sitting at my desk drooling, thinking about the cupcake that is sitting at home, waiting for me to get out of work. I actually had to go and raid our freezer here at the office for the fudge pops that I had in there over the summer. They had a little freezer burn, but at 70 calories per pop, instead of 800 calories per cupcake (yes, EIGHT HUNDRED calories!!!!!!! I told you they were big) I figured that was a better option to make sure I didn't have to run out at lunch to get a sugar fix.

Just typing all this is making me crave one again. Argghh!

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Secret Shopping Pitfalls

When the pants you secretly buy, without telling your husband that you bought them, don't fit, you have no one to complain too.


Monday, January 21, 2013

Thankful Post #3 - A Healthy Daughter

Every evening before I go to bed, I check on Baby A and watch her sleeping for a few minutes. It's one of my favorite times of day. She is so peaceful, and frequently comical in how she has fallen asleep. A few nights ago I was watching her when I suddenly thought of my sister in law, who was more than likely watching Niece J sleeping at that very same moment. Only Niece J wasn't sprawled out in her own crib, in her own room, in her own home. She was in an ICU unit at a hospital several hours from home, having had open heart surgery just two days before. My SIL could watch Niece J sleep, but couldn't pick her up to comfort her, couldn't rock her to sleep, or even feed her without extreme care.

I am so, very, very thankful for a healthy, active and vibrant daughter. I don't for a minute want to take that for granted. She is my light.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Food Post - 25 minute salmon dinner

I got the salmon recipe from my Better Homes and Gardens cookbook which is worth it's weight in gold.

For 4 servings:

Pre-heat your oven for 375 degrees. Place fish, skin side down, on a baking sheet covered with tin foil and lightly spray with olive oil. Bake for 18 minutes.

While the fish is baking:
In a small bowl mix 1/4 cup of mayo, with 3 tbs of store bought pesto.
In a separate bowl mix 1/2 cup of bread crumbs (I use plain panko) with 2 tbs of grated parmesan.

Boil water and put 2 cups of whole wheat orzo on to cook.

Make a salad (a bag of mixed greens, cherry tomatoes and some crumbled feta is all it takes in our house to call it a salad).

Have a glass a wine.

After 18 minutes take the salmon out, spread with pesto/mayo mix and top with bread crumb/cheese mix. Put back in the oven for 4-5 more minutes depending on thickness of fillet.

Top orzo with a sprinkle of parmesan and a little butter and there's dinner in 25 minutes or less.

Dog Shaming

I really do love those emails that go around and I visit the website every once in a while when I need a good laugh. It makes me feel better that other people's dogs are just as crazy as mine, or more so in many cases. Some of these things make my dogs look like angels, which they are not, as I proved to myself yesterday.

A friend forwarded me one of these emails because he knows I'm a dog person, into rescue, and thought I would appreciate it, which I did. He is not much of a dog person and is, in fact, one of 'those' people who got rid of their dog when they started having children. He's a friend, but I will always hold that against him. But, not the point of the post.

Just to be funny I responded to him saying that I could make one of these emails myself with just the dogs and fosters that I have had and then proceeded to list out a few things that my dogs have eaten. He responded with 'wow' and in between my email and his response I had come up with several more. I sent those, and then realized just how terrible this list was when it was written out all at once. Then last night when recounting the story to my husband, he added several that I had forgotten about. When it happens over the course of 6 or 7 years, it's not quite as daunting. So, for public viewing here's my list:

Old Lady
~A bowl full of hersey's mini candy bars including wrappers.
~An entire batch of cookies, and then when I got home,  before I had any idea of what she had done, ran out the door and wouldn't come to me.
~A dura-flame starter log which required a call to poison control.
~A pound of fudge. She then threw it up all over the house. There are still stains on the upstairs carpet.
~Several measuring cups worth of protein supplement meant for a foster and threw up so much that she gave herself pancreatitis and had to be on mediation for 10 days. Didn't stain, but required the rental of a carpet cleaner.

Big M
~A pair of my sneakers (not my husbands which were right next to mine).
~A pair of my heels (again, not my husbands sneakers which were also available).
~My magazines (not my husbands).
~The tivo remote (almost cried).
~10 feet (TEN FEET) of nylon leash that had to be surgically removed. He has still not forgiven our vet for this.
~Several of Baby A's pacifiers.
~Several of Baby A's books.
~Several of Baby A's hard plastic toys.
~Anything cardboard he can reach.
~A beautiful coffee table given to us as a house warming present.
~A wooden side table.
~A bamboo serving tray that we had on the ottoman to use as a table.
~The plastic toggles on every pair of blinds in the house.

Ruby (foster)
~a sheet of MDF that had been used to reinforce her crate

Just think, these saintly faces:

Have been responsible for this:

And this:

And this: 

And this:

And all the things we didn't take pictures of.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Secret Shopping

I can't be the only one who does this. Right?

I handle the budget for our house and track incoming and outgoing money, make sure all the bills get paid on time, make sure we have money for our HOA dues every January and make sure that we have new pants or shoes occasionally when they're needed, etc, etc. My husband is great at asking me how much is in the budget and if there's room for the absolutely necessary saw that's on sale at Home Depot this week. I tend to buy things indiscriminately even if I know there isn't really room in the budget this week. I know I can move some things around come next pay period and never really feel the pinch. Especially if I buy something on my 'other' credit card. The one my husband never sees the balance to because it's my Banana Republic card. Granted the only things I put on there are clothes and I never let it get high, but if I decide I need a new pair of pants because my post maternity ones are drooping and looking sloppy, I just buy a pair of pants. My husband usually asks permission. I just buy, and then don't tell him.

That's not really bad is it? It's only kind of bad. I'm not taking food out of anyone's mouth. I may be sacrificing a few power tools, or a gallon of paint every once in a while so that I can get a fabulous pair of shoes, or top, or bins for Baby A's room to contain the toys, that's not a crazy splurge, right? Even if they're from Thirty-One and not Walmart, and cost $25 per bin instead of $10. They're so pretty though, and I'm supporting my Stay at Home Mom friend who's trying to bring in a little extra income. So it's practically charity and should be considered a good deed. Right?

I'm not the only one. I can't be.

Thankful post #2 - Not going without

Yesterday I was making baby food and prepping dinner while Baby A ran around playing and watching her I had an instant thought about how lucky we are that we have never had to worry about where our next meal was going to come from. Both my husband and I grew up in households that were on tight budgets, but there was never a time where either of us were hungry. It's such an easy thing to take for granted. Just open the fridge or the pantry and grab a snack, or breakfast, or find something to make for dinner. If we're out of something, just go to the store and buy more. We are, sadly, a minority in this world in how carefree we are in our attitude toward food.

We are so fortunate to have the means and ability to provide for ourselves and our daughter and I can only hope and pray that as Baby A grows, we are able to continue providing for her and that she never feels a moment of want or hunger.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

My Million Dollar Idea

I have visions of being an entrepreneur. Most of my visions involve food, which is funny because I'm not a fabulous cook. I'm a good cook, but never had culinary dreams in school or wanted to perfect my dicing technique, which honestly, could use some work.

Starting in high school I had day dreams of coffee shops in small towns, very 'Friends' like, boutique atmosphere. Starbucks without the corporate. The dreams evolved into wine bars and specialty restaurants with added services. Boy do I have a good one on that front!

I still have those dreams, but then I became a mom and my dreams shifted a bit. I love cooking for Baby A and am constantly horrified at the lack of good baby food in stores. Apparently there are only four vegetables that any baby needs, peas, green beans, sweet potatoes and 'mixed vegetables'. That's it. That's all you get. Now fruit, you can get every imaginable type and combination, but not vegetables. So my dreams have shifted to homemade baby food. Real food. I would love to have a table at the local summer farmers market selling baby food that isn't processed mush. Especially when you get to stage three and toddler foods. Prepackaged toddler foods taste like prepackaged foods. Baby A won't go near it. Hates it. However, she'll devour a full bowl of fresh spinach and carrots with whole grain couscous. She loves kale, and clearly the standards of green beans and peas, but she's had cabbage, leeks, rutabaga, summer squash, acorn squash, tilapia, salmon, pork and tons of other foods that you can not find on a store shelf. She refuses to eat chicken fingers. That one I can't quite believe, but it's true. Mix up some shredded chicken with green beans, corn and onion, and she'll eat it all day. I really believe that setting the eating expectations of children at 8, 9 and 16 months is what leads to healthy eating habits later.

I would call it 'Rest for the Wicked' based on the working mother's constant struggle of feeling like nothing is quite good enough. We try to be a mom and an employee and I know I can't be alone when I feel like I'm not doing a very good job at either one. We feel wicked because we can't, or don't, choose to be home with our children. Or on the other side of that proverbial coin, you are a SAHM and, shockingly enough, don't have time during the day to make baby food, on top of everything else you're trying to manage. So, one thing to take off your plate in feeling like all you can do is buy the same five or six options that are on the shelf at the store every week.

I have a bunch of other Million Dollar Ideas, and maybe sharing them just means that someone else is going to use them, but I have no plans for global domination so, whatever. I was mostly just thinking my little GA farmers market and having something that I started be successful.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Thankful Post #1 - My husband

I am Thankful for my husband.

I met my husband on December 7th, 2006.
He proposed on December 25th 2007.
We were married on November 1st, 2008.

After our second date, I knew I was done dating.
After our third date we haven't gone a day without talking to each other.
After less than six months we knew we would be married.

My husband makes me a better person. He is my best friend and my partner in all things. He is one of the most responsible, kind, honest, considerate and loyal people I have ever met. He is one of those people that other's are drawn to. He makes friends so easily and maintains friendships effortlessly. He is the person that other's call when they need help and my husband will always respond.

There are not enough words to express how thankful I am that he is my husband. That he loves me without question. That he makes me laugh. I know that with him, together, we can accomplish anything we set our minds to and that together we will have a loving, full, happy life.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Stumbling into the New Year

I haven't slept in about three days. I don't feel sick but have a terrible stuffed up nose and head and haven't been able to breathe since about Monday. Thus, no sleep. Sudafed doesn't touch it and even the hard core, Meth making, Pseudo only takes the edge off so my nose isn't freely running. I'm functioning on coffee and as many different cold medicines as I can legally take. Operating heavy machinery may be a bad idea for me right now.

'Tis the season I guess. Same thing happened last year when ever Baby A gets a runny nose, I get a full blown head cold. She never misses a beat and yet I want to crawl under the covers and die. And, to boot, I haven't managed to get my flu shot yet so, yikes, hopefully that's not where we're headed.

I have to be better by Saturday though because my niece is getting baptized that morning! My husband and I are dropping the dogs and the baby at my mom's house and making it a day trip. It's going to be a long day, 4 hours there and back, but there's no way we'd miss it. Niece J is having heart surgery in two weeks and so everyone wanted to get her baptized before hand. It's not supposed to be a complicated surgery, but, at four months old anything like this can have major repercussions. She's going to be in the best hands possible, but still, she's such a little thing. I really hope my sniffles have gone because this is only my second time seeing Niece J and I really want to be able to hold her. But, considering she's heading toward surgery, I probably need to stay on the other side of the room and wave. Or maybe stay in the car and wave just to be safe.