Friday, February 25, 2011

Feel Good Friday – Stream of Consciousness

Hosted by Lia Sophia Tomgirl

I just got done cleaning up this friggin’ dump honing my housekeeping skills. And now I will attempt to let my stream of consciousness flow while my Partner in Crime eats her snack right next to me while asking me a ga-gillion questions about the inner-workings of Microsoft Word.
Ready. Set. Go

- I love how when I cough, Thomas (who is not quite two years old yet) asks me if I am OK and tells me to drink some water. I also love how he blows on my coffee because he thinks it’s hot and then brings the cup to my mouth. Seriously. How. Adorable. Is. That.

- I am super excited that I finally bought a yoga package at Red Lotus Yoga. It feels good to make a commitment to yoga. I love the studio, the people, and the teachers; it’s such a nice community. I really feel lucky to have found this place.

- I love how, despite the surprise snow storm (although that’s a bit of an oxymoron since I live in Michigan), technology and The Internet Machine helped me get a ton of shopping done while trapped in my house. No way was I going to let weather get in my way of shopping for Birthday Season and our California trip.

- Speaking of California, I will be in Dana Point in two weeks. As I stated on Facebook and Twitter, I am insanely jealous that Al Roker was in Miami for the South Beach Food Festival today and in LA for the Oscars this weekend while I am here. In Michigan. Honing my housekeeping skills. But then I was all like, that’s right, I will be in Dana Point on Monarch Beach in two weeks! WIN! Which is what I am choosing to focus on rather than the overwhelming amount of prep work that must be done before that.

- On a related note, does anyone know of any awesome restaurants in or around Dana Point? I would love to hear some of your suggestions.

So that’s making me feel good this Friday. How about you? What’s making you feel good this week?

Also, don’t forget to forward any of your Dana Point/Laguna Beach restaurant suggestions my way!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

The Delicate Line Between Surfing and Drowning

I feel like I am going to be rambling here. I feel like I am having a hard time to finding the time to write. It’s just that I feel that The Babes are going through this transition phase. Thomas is napping less, and Marie needs a bit more of attention lately. So because there is less nap time, by the time I take care of stuff around the house and spend some time with Marie, there is little time left for anything else.

So I’ve tried to wake up earlier (like 5:45 a.m.) to have some alone time. Sometimes that works, but sometimes more sleep wins. Sometimes The Babes wake up at 6:30, so that doesn’t work either.

I’ve tried to write while they are watching their morning shows. However, the minute, the absolute minute I sit down, they find their way to me and the computer. No matter how engrossed they are in a show, if I sit down by myself or dial the phone, their little mommy antennas go off and send them right to me.

Night time is hard to stay motivated because I am so tired.

My first priority is taking care of The Babes. I know that they need me, and I am happy to be there for them. I know it’s not going to be like this forever. And to be truthful, I will be sad when it’s not. I mean, they are just so sweet. And I don’t want to look back and wish I spent more quality time with them.

And then I am getting ready to go to California for Harrington’s work conference again. (And if anyone has any restaurants that they recommend in Dana Pointe, please let me know). And I’m really excited, don’t get me wrong, but WOW, it’s a lot of work to find clothes that are not SAHM-wear, to get arrangements settled for The Babes, to get the house ready, to get things ready for upcoming birthday season. And this is all great because I love to travel and celebrate birthdays.

But . . . .

I just wish there was a tad bit more balance.

I feel like I am on this surfboard, and I am riding the wave, feeling pretty damn good that I figured out something that works. And then, from out of nowhere, this huge wave crashes in on me and all of a sudden, I am tumbling around the surf like a piece of drift wood. I am doing the best I can to keep my head above the water. I’m surviving. But surviving is not the same as surfing.

And if I had my sense of humor right now, this is how I would have said this:

(Just substitute “Valentine’s Day” for “weekend away”)

(That Mompeition. She’s brilliant).

So that’s where I am at right now.

How do you find balance in your life? I could use some suggestions.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Feel Good Friday - Brought to You by Bethenny Frankel

Be sure to check out The Girl Next Door Grows Up for
some Feel Good Friday fun!

This week? A complete whirlwind. Last week? The same thing. I would love to vent about how I feel like my life is like one big wave crashing in on me, and I am just tumbling around in the surf like a piece of drift wood. But hey, it’s Feel Good Friday, so let’s focus on the positive.

In my crazy adventures this week, I had to dash into the market. I got all the way to the opposite end of the store and realized I forgot onions. So I had to treck all the way back which just happened to be by the liquor counter.

And then the clouds parted, the sun shone down, and choirs of angels sang.

There on the counter I saw this:

OOOO!  Doesn't that look beautiful?!
Thank you, Bethenny!  I *heart* you!

I have been waiting and waiting and waiting and waiting for Skinny Girl Margarita to come to a store near me. And without effort, there it was.  (I went to a yoga class this week that talked about effortless joy.  I'm pretty sure this is not what she meant, but it really felt effortless and brought me so much joy). I was so excited! I’ll be even more excited to try it when I am not so worn out by my day that I am not falling asleep at the dinner table. Which should be this weekend. I’ll let you know how it is.

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

The Big Reveal of My Hot Pants Post: The All True Among the Pretty All True

The wait is over! I will now reveal the all true among the pretty all true (and if you have a preschooler who reads Olivia, I hope you get the reference).
You must read this first or the rest of this is not going to make sense.

Go ahead. I’ll wait.

I’m still here, don’t worry.

So which one do you think is all true?

If you guessed #4, you would be wrong.

All that drama with the green runny nose running down that little girl’s face and her grandfather chatting it up during the hokey pokey was true. However, I scooted out with another mom during Ring-Around-The Rosy. We vented privately how disgusting all that was, and then I left a message for the program leader. Because the program leader? She is awesome and doesn’t take any crap. And I think she’d want to know what was going on.

All that stuff about me standing up and addressing the offender and the parents clapping? The fantasy version of how I saw it going down.

If you guessed #1, you would be wrong.

I did go to Germany with my high school boyfriend after I graduated high school to visit his family. We did go to an amazing castle. I also got drunk with his grandparents. However, he did not ask me to marry him. In fact, I cried pretty much every day to come home. We broke up soon after we came back. We got together and broke up several times before calling it quits for good. Since I had no ring to sell, I did work in the university cafeteria flipping burgers and grilled cheese sandwiches.

If you guessed #5, you would be wrong.

 Harrington and I did go on a cruise that ported in Cozumel. But instead of tequila, it was margaritas. And instead of tamales, it was taquitos (which I could not eat for years afterwards because they made me nauseous. Or was it the margaritas at 10 a.m. I guess one can never be certain . . .) Although I did sing Honky Tonk Woman, I did not wait for a stage or a microphone; I just belted out the tune from my beach chair. All by myself. I was videotaping Harrington doing some water sport (parasailing maybe? Jet ski? I can’t remember) and a party boat to pull up to the beach and started playing The Rolling Stones. Really loud.  And I just couldn’t help myself. So yes, there is a lovely video clip of that somewhere in my house. Which is one of the reasons I’ll never run for public office. And for the ship? It was Dynasty Era at its finest.

If you guessed #3, you would be wrong.

Although one of my superiors did get wasted, it wasn’t at the end of the year party. It was the Christmas party at a pool hall. So she was puking in a public restroom with other ladies yelling at me that my “friend” better get her shit together. She did not threaten my job (although that did happen several times which is an xtranormal video in the making). But she did slurishly yell, “Erin, get my coat, my keys, and my purse.” After not being satisfied with my sheepish answer, “I’ll get your coat and your purse, but not your keys because I think you might maybe slightly be a tad bit uh, how do I say this, um, kinda dunk.” At which point I found some senior staff members to take care of this situation (which I think The Situation from Jersey Shore would call “a situation” don’t you think)?

If you guessed #2, you would be correct!

 I did work at a pet crematorium. And while I worked there as a receptionist, (because there was no way I would do anything else there), a lady came in with her jean purse full of ferrets asking about her options for cremation as well as her birds. I do believe I was let go because I told her that maybe she wanted to bury birds since the owner (who did have a real life bachelor’s degree in funeral directing) said there would not be enough remains to give her. Which I guess presents a conflict of interest. But that’s OK because I got a job as a receptionist at a hair salon in which I got deep discounts on highlights and brow waxing. So yea, Real Mommy Chronicles, you were right!

Thanks again, RN Mama for this fun award!

See you for Feel Good Friday!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

My Hot Pants Post

Otherwise titled as “Liar, Liar Pants on Fire”


I have been given an award by RN Mama at 29 and Holding! Yea!  Thank you so much!  I have to write five facts about myself. Four of these facts have to be embellished truths, you know, toeing the line between truth and not so truth. Or as Olivia the Pig would say, “Yep. Pretty all true.” But among these enhanced versions, there is one solid, honest-to-goodness truth. I also get to pass this fun award to five other bloggie friends. Nice way to perk up the week, right?

1. I travelled to Germany with my high school boyfriend right after graduation. We stayed with his dad, step-mom, and two step-brothers. We also got to visit his grandparents. They didn’t speak English, but we totally bonded over drinks and chocolate. One day, we went to this beautiful castle where he got down on one knee and asked me to marry him. I said yes! But once I left for college, it was pretty obvious that I was not ready to get married. So I kept the ring and sold it so I wouldn’t have to work at the school cafeteria flipping burgers and grilled cheese.

2. I used to work at a pet crematorium for a short time in college. The weirdest client I encountered was a lady carrying a bag of ferrets (alive). Actually, it wasn’t just any bag, it was denim purse. She wanted to know what her options for them would be one day when they died. As they squirmed all around in that denim sack, they looked like they belonged at the gates of Hell. I should also mention that the ferrets were not close to death or even sick, but she loved them so much she wanted to know what to do with them after they passed. She also wanted to know if it would be possible to cremate her birds. The owner said no because there would not be enough ashes to give her. I told her that she might want to give them a proper burial for them in her backyard. Shortly afterwards, I was let go due to hard, economic times. And I believed them. Although looking back, I think it may have done something with that bird comment.

3. While working as a teacher, one of my superiors became so wasted at the end of the year party. As she was yacking in the bathroom, she yelled at me to get her purse and her keys. I told her that I didn’t feel comfortable doing that. When she yelled again, I told her I’d get her purse, but not her keys. She threatened my job, so I found a more senior staff member to deal with this because I was not yet tenured. Thankfully, it was the end of the year so we had the summer to pretend it never happened.

4. Recently, I took Thomas to story time at the library. There was a little girl with a GREEN runny nose, flushed cheeks, and a sweaty forehead. She was sniffing all over the place. Her caretaker (perhaps her grandfather) thought nothing of whipping out his hanky, wiping that mess of a nose, and sending her back to the group to infect the rest of the innocent bystanders. He then thought it appropriate to answer his cell phone and have a conversation right in the middle of the hokey pokey. While all the other moms were glaring at him and the teacher turned a blind eye to the situation, I stood up as she announced it was time to do Ring Around the Rosie and put an end to this catastrophe.

Me: Hey, you! Yeah, you. The one with the phone. Take your conversation and your sick kid and LEAVE.

And you, Librarian Lilly*, it is your job to enforce the rules. As the leader, you have to ensure story time is a fun and safe for everyone. Everyone is disgusted by this man’s behavior. You have to tell him to not take calls and be respectful of others by not bringing a sick kid to story time.

I started to feel that I had been a bit harsh, but then all of the moms broke out into applause. I knew that I had saved the day.

5. Harrington and I went on a cruise while we were dating. One of the stops was Cozumel on the beach. At ten o’clock in the morning, they were serving shots of ice cold tequila and a buffet of unlimited tamales. And then there was the karaoke stage. I think between the tamales and tequila, I got lost in the moment and jumped on stage to sing The Rolling Stones “Honky Tonk Woman.” It. Was. Awesome. After all that activity, I took a little nap beach side before I stumbled back on to our cruise ship . . . which I am sure was quite grand in its heyday circa 1987.

OK, so which one do you think is totally all true?
*Librarian Lily is not her real name, but wouldn’t it be really cool if it was?

And congrats! I am passing this award to the following lovely ladies:

Good-Bye Twenties . . . Hello, Botox!

Lulu and Moxley

Mom et Al

Real Mommy Chronicles

The Girl Next Door Grows Up

Friday, February 4, 2011

Feel Good Friday – An Open Letter to All of Those That Made My Snow Day

Come join The Girl Next Door Grows Up for some
Feel Good Friday Fun!

As you know, I had a snow day on Wednesday. As far as snow days go, or any other days for that matter, went awesome! I have a few people to thank for an awesome day:

My neighbor Lana, thank you for the idea to bake cookies. I was originally going to bake bread, but when you said that you were going to bake cookies, it sounded like way more fun. You and your family are always doing fun things like that. Thanks for the inspiration.

Giada De Laurentiis, thank you for an awesome cookie sandwich recipe. Marie saw this on TV and wanted to make it. I thought, what better time to make delicious treats than trapped inside during Snowmageddon (which actually not as dramatic and has resulted in newly developed trust issues with my local weather person). Also, I thought it would be cool for her to see something done on TV and feel a sense of pride that she actually could make it. Marie really looks up to you. And in the age of Miley Cyrus, I think it’s great that there is someone who is using her creativity in a positive way as opposed to dancing up on a pole.

As it turns out, my Babes are natural bakers. If there is a camp or an extracurricular club to develop their palettes and food presentation skills, I need to find it. (Giada or Ann Burrell, do you travel for toddler/preschool seminars? If not, please have your managers look into it. It would be great for birthday parties. But, shhh, don’t tell those Real Housewives of Beverly Hills about this little Midwestern girl’s fabulous idea. I don’t want Taylor latching on after her $60,000 birthday party for her four year old.) Actually, I think if they could just play with a Kitchen Aid Mixer or any high powered small kitchen appliance, they’d be happy. Thomas really took a liking to the Kitchen Aid Mixer and wasn’t happy with level three. He wanted MORE POWER!

Ghiradelli, thank you for your 60% Cacao Bittersweet Chips. They. Are. Luscious. Sorry, Nestle Tollhouse, you will always hold a soft, gooey semisweet place in my heart. But you, Ghiradelli, “I love you” doesn’t seem adequate enough to truly express my adoration for your product. I think the 4 ounces of cream cheese to 2 ½ cups of powdered sugar filling was suppose to be the star of this cookie sandwich, but you were the show stealer.

Michelle S., thank you, thank you, thank you for showing me the light when it comes to quality baking pans. My cookies were always had very burnt crispy bottoms and would tilt in the oven. You told me that the baking pans that I bought at the grocery store for $5 along with my craptastic nonstick pans were the reason. In my head, I knew that this made sense, however I didn’t realize just how right you were. These cookies were perfection. And the pans didn’t warp in the oven! Mwuah!!

See, here's how the day went:

Future Bakers of America
One of the best parts of baking.


Waiting . . .

The frosted half.  Delish, right?

"Cookie!  Yea!" 
She frosted that all by herself!  She's so proud of herself
and so am I!
The final product!  Can't you just taste that dark
chocolate cookie with the creamy-sugary filling?!

Thank you, everyone, for your participation in a wonderful day. I found project that both Babes can do together and love it! (This is no easy task for an almost two year old and almost five year old, mind you). Being a mom is peppered with lots and lots of challenges. So when I have a good day and feel everyone’s needs were met AND we had the kind of fun which created some warm and fuzzy memories, I feel like a super star.

Which hopefully they’ll remember and not the month of January where we all became sloths in front of the TV.

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Snow Day Rambles

*said in hushed tones*

Shhhh! It’s a snow day! Although that means not rushing off to drop Marie off at preschool and to take Thomas to story time, it does mean that I will be entertaining The Babes all. day. long. And it looks that my writing time in the afternoon while Thomas takes a two-three hour nap and Marie quietly entertains herself are soon coming to end.

So this morning, I snuck out to the computer like a secret ninja on a mission to get some blogging stuff done. I am working on this post right now, but it’s not flowing right out. Don’t you hate that when you have these thoughts and feelings, but you can’t seem to get the words just right to express exactly what you are feelings? So frustrating, right?

And about this snow day . . . between Al Roker and our local weather man, I thought there would be more snow than this. I could be wrong because I haven’t actually gone outside yet coupled with my deficiency in depth perception, but it looks like we got six inches. Not the eight to twelve that was expected.

And I do not think I was the only one who was expecting a ton more snow since the grocery store was a mad house. I thought I was all set, but yesterday, then the weather man was crying out that THE SNOW WAS COMING RUN FOR YOUR LIVES!

I panicked.

I rushed to the grocery store like a frantic fool because we didn’t have any backup milk and we were out of bananas and oh my goodness we need more flour if we are going to do that baking project and we cannot be out of salsa in case The Babes want black bean tacos.

Mind you, I had already gone to the grocery store in preparation for this storm over the weekend so we already had plenty of stuff.

So I get home, and I used the rest of my distilled white vinegar to clean out the humidifier in Marie’s room. OH NO! I ran out of distilled vinegar! What am I going to do?! Wonder if there is an emergency in The Snow Storm that requires white distilled vinegar! The horror!!

Seriously, I need to get a grip when Al Roker looks into the camera with all his doom and gloom. I think he’s talking to that person who laughs in the face of Mother Nature. I totally respect Her abilities and never underestimate Her fury. (No woman likes to be underestimated).

So today, I will be hanging out with The Babes. I am guessing there will be some Mickey Mouse Clubhouse and Sesame Street in our future. We will also be trying this:

Chocolate Sandwich Cookies on the Food Network

Marie loves the Food Network. In addition, to anything Giada, she watches Chopped and Worst Cooks in America. When she refused to eat my homemade potpie last night, I half expected her to say, “Mommy, I do not like the flavor profile of this dish. Also, your knife cuts for this chicken need some work. You have been chopped.” It’s coming soon, I know.

Anyway, she has been wanting to make these cookies for months now. Well, here’s our big chance. Let’s home Thomas is along for the ride on this one.

What’s the weather like by you? Are you doing anything fun today?