Saturday, January 26, 2008

For Kellie.

Kellie tagged me on her blog. Remind me to thank her later. :)

The rules are as follows:

1. Link to the person’s blog who tagged you.
2. Post these rules on your blog.
3. List seven random and/or weird facts about yourself.
4. Tag seven random people at the end of your post and include links to their blogs.
5. Let each person know that they have been tagged by posting on comment on their blog.

So, here we go:

First off, this post is thanks to Kellie, who is linked in the right-hand column. However, I misspelled her name and I notice it every time I log on here, but I am too damn lazy to fix it.

Seven Random and/or Weird Facts About Me:

1. I love my job, but I sometimes secretly dream of being a personal assistant so I can spend my days answering emails and running errands. Now, I realize this is probably NOT how most personal assistants spend their time, but in my imagination it is.

2. My co-worker refers to me as "The Human iPod". Although it's rare that I know the name of a song, I know all the words to many. It's not exclusive to one genre either. I know oldies. I know classic rock. I know 60s, 80s, 90s, and even a few depression-era political jingles. You hum a tune, I can sing the words. And I can think of a song for pretty much any person, place, or situation. Just ask my brother in law's girlfriend K-Lee.

3. I have only been skiing once, and I ended up being taken down the mountain by ski patrol. There's not even a really impressive wipe-out story to go with it, though. What happened was my brother in law and his ex wife and her family had plans to go skiing, and they invited us. We were feeling adventurous, and Darrick's always wanted to try skiing, so we agreed. I figured I'd get some time in on the bunny slopes and then sit in a lodge drinking hot chocolate. Instead, I was strapped into my skis and taken up to a blue run. Blue being TWO steps above bunny and ONE below black. I knew I was in trouble when I completely ate it getting off the lift and had to be helped up by two people. But I imagined myself slowly picking my way down the hill in a zig-zag pattern and then feeling smug for my accomplishment. And the prospect of that hot chocolate I mentioned earlier sucked me in. Until I started down the hill, falling approximately every 3.4 seconds, and stopped at the top of a steep incline. Which was where I lost it. I couldn't move because I was so scared of tumbling straight down the mountain. So, I stood there and cried, as my husband (who was also skiing for the first time) zipped past me. Eventually, my sister in law went down and came back up with the ski patrol, who strapped me into the tabogan thing and brought me down the hill. NOT my proudest moment. I made up for it by going down the green hill (bunny slopes were closed) a few times and eating more snow than I could have imagined. Oh, and, even on the green hill, I still got passed up by more 5 year olds on snowboards than I'd care to admit.

4. If I'm scared of something and the opportunity presents itself to try that something, I HAVE TO do it.

5. I got stung by a sting ray the first time I went to Rocky Point. I was playing frisbee in the ocean with my husband and his brother, and I landed on a little guy. Let me tell you: that HURTS. I ended up getting carried upshore by my husband and taken to Red Cross (in Mexico! SCARY!) to get some medication that counterracted the posion. And I spent the next 2 weeks with a swollen ankle and a limp. Steve Irwin and I: sting ray victims united as one. Or. Not.

6. I have an innate ability to spell. I won the spelling bee in 3rd grade. And when people misspell common words or misuse punctuation, especially apostrophes and quotation marks. Is it really the best seafood in town, or merely the "best" seafood in town. And, no, I don't know any kid's who are allergic to there favorite foods, thanksomuch.

7. I have trouble trusting women who say "I just don't get along with other women." I think relationships with other women are the best thing in the world, and that we women are so damn amazing and strong and diverse and interesting that it's a shame when someone misses out on those friendships. We women are fabulous, and I wish more of us could support and encourage each other instead of feeling threatened by other women. Now, that's not to say that when an insanely hot woman walks by I don't ever think "I hate her for being so effortlessly perfect."...I AM still a girl! But I hope that when Luca grows up she has some wonderful female friends to share her life with.

Ok, now to 'tag' people. I'm not sure who reads this regularly, but I'm going to take those who I think do. Here we go:
1. Meredyth
2. Crystal
3. Kari
4. Suzie
5. Nisha
6. Natalie
7. Brandi

Some of you bitches ('re not're lovely) have been tagged by Kellie already, so get on it!

Friday, January 25, 2008

Deep Thoughts.

It's on! I'm taking it off.

No, sluts, not my clothes. The baby weight.

Yes. Baby weight. I still have some - ok, lots - to lose. I'm not quite ready to share a number or anything, but suffice it to say there have been 2 fallicies about pregnancy weight gain/loss I've noticed:

1. "Breastfeeding will help the pounds just MELT off!".
This one bugs me on many levels. Let me just say that, for me, eating lots and lots of protein has been a necessary evil since having Luca because my supply was low. Breastmilk is basically fat, protein, and water. Getting plenty of those 3 things = making more milk. I already had plenty of fat, and I drink a lot of water...but as someone who only eats chicken, and even that is rare, eating enough protein was my problem. So I get it from eggs, cheese, and things like yogurt. Yep. Super un-weightloss-friendly.

This one also bugs me because it makes we post-baby women who are working hard to breastfeed feel like maybe we're doing something wrong. I don't really eat fast food. We rarely go out to eat now that we have a baby, and when we do, it's fairly healthy. I don't snack all day. So what am I doing wrong? Who knows.

Now, I've also had people tell me that when I wean Luca I can expect about 10 pounds to just disappear. Given my track record with those sorts of claims, I'm not betting on it, though.

2. "9 months on, 9 months off."
This is an old adage you hear a lot, and unless my body is going to miraculously heed the breastfeeding message and make the pounds melt away in the next 2 weeks, it's not going to hold true for me either.

People will tell pregnant women that it "took you 9 months to gain the weight, so it's going to take 9 months to lose it", and I SO wish that was true. However, for me, most of the weight gain came in weeks 24-40, so I guess maybe I can remain hopeful that most of the weight loss will come now? Or not.

SO....2 weeks ago I decided to make a commitment to losing the last of the baby weight. far it's really slow going. So I've returned to an old friend who helped me out before: Weight Watchers. I am now a WW online member. I logged in and signed up this morning, and seeing my BMI was motivation enough to make me cough up the $$$.

Wish me luck. I'm taking it off, and I can't wait to see the new me!

Monday, January 21, 2008

Sneak Preview

A friend of mine is starting up a photography business, so she asked for volunteers to pose for pictures to help her build a portfolio and website. Never one to miss out on a shot at getting something valuable for free, I jumped right in and volunteered. It just so happened, she was able to come up to Phoenix from Tucson on the same weekend both my sister and my Grandma were in town from California. What better fortune could we have???

So, we did a family photo shoot with Darrick, Luca, and me. And after that, my mom, sister, and Grandma joined us so we could get all 4 generations together. These photos were free....true....but they are also incredibly priceless to me. Thanks to Jen for capturing some of my favorite people on film together. As soon as her site's up and running, I'll post links to it, but for now here's a sneak preview of some of her work. More to come!

Saturday, January 19, 2008

"For those who enjoy smoking..."

I heard an ad on the radio tonight. I can't remember what it was for, but I do remember hearing the phrase "For those who enjoy smoking..." and sort of laughing to myself.

As an ex-smoker, it brought back some funny and sometimes ridiculous memories of the insanity that IS being a smoker. Even more insane is being a closet smoker, where you have some people you hide it from and others you share smokes with. I'd also like to point out here that I am a grown ass woman, and yet typing up this blog entry makes my neck sweat. Thank god my mom isn't computer savvy enough to find my online blog...or so I hope.

Anyhow, back to the phrase "For those who enjoy smoking...". It reminded me of the things I used to say to justify or explaing my icky habit, one of which happened to be "I enjoy smoking." And I guess on a certain level I did enjoy it. It gave me a buzz, it soothed me, it kept my hands busy and my mind quiet. It also gave me an instant connection to others in awkward social situations. Stuck in jury duty with 11 other strangers? Find the guy rushing out on every 5 minute break, lighter in hand, and make an automatic friend. Even if you have nothing else in common, you can always bond over your shared annoyance at other people and their disdain for smokers. "In the 70s," lighter man will lament, "you could smoke anywhere. Why I remember smoking in planes! In school! In the hospital while my wife gave birth!". "Yeah," you'll reply with faux-wistfullness, "that must have been awesome. And now here we are forced outside in the heat!". Yup...deep connections and lasting friendships were built for sure.

I also used to say "I don't have an addictive personality; I could quit anytime." This was usually followed by an "I just enjoy smoking." But, really, who was I kidding? Last I heard, it's not one's peresonality that makes smoking addictive. It's a little something called nicotine.

Going back to the comment about hoping my mom won't read this, there's the "I just spray Febreeze on myself and in my car, and no one knows I smoke!" Sure, except for the lighters everywhere (telltale sign of a smoker is more lighters than people in the home. The frequent need to leave the group. The way you look uncomfortable when characters on TV or in movies are smoking and you're watching it with your mom. The lines around the mouth. The bad breath. The constant throat clearing. And...oh yeah...the smell of Febreeze and cigarette smoke.

And, last but not least, "I'll quit when I have kids." Fortunately this one is true. I haven't smoked in a looong time, and have no plans of going back. I love being able to smell things. My skin looks better. I feel better. I don't have to sneak around and be secretive. My clothes and hair don't smell. But, more than anything else, I have a husband and kid I adore, and they are reason enough to stay away. After all, who needs cigarettes when you've got this?:

Friday, January 18, 2008

What Not to Wear

I need to go on this show. The other day, I realized I was about to head out the door, in January, with PJ pants and Darrick's shirt on. With this, I was wearing flip flops, with chipped toenail polish showing. I also had my hair in a ponytail. It was 2 pm. I had not yet brushed it.

Yup. Sexy beast.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Things that Make Luca Laugh, Part II

Things That Make Luca Laugh:
1. Toe nibbles.
2. Belly nibbles.
3. Ruby and Miss Piggy.
4. Mommy yelling at Ruby and Miss Piggy.
5. The words "No.", "Naughty." and "Eat." The first two lead us to believe we're super screwed when she gets older. The last one's just freaking cute.

Things That Do Not Make Luca Laugh:
1. Raspberries anywhere but the belly or feet. Especially on the face --- do that and she'll look at you like you're SO mean.
2. The laughing bug toy.
3. Dogs that are not Ruby and Miss Piggy. She likes them. She watches them. She will not laugh at them.

Monday, January 7, 2008

Happy 8 months to us!

Today Luca is 8 months old. I say this every month, but I cannot believe it's been that long already!

We now have on our hands a lovely, smiley, laughing little girl. She sits up on her own quite well, although she has taken a tumble backward once or twice. She army crawls so much and so quickly that we're starting to suspect she's never going to do a real crawl. Maybe she's going to have mommy's pansy biceps, not daddy's strong ones (which, really, I'm pretty ok with. No need for my little girl to be walking around with huge man-arms, right?). She also pulls herself up from sitting to standing, but fortunately she has not yet realized that she can do it in her crib or on furniture...only when holding our hands. I'm not quit ready for a cruiser yet. She says Mama, Dada, Nana, Baba, and PPpppp, and she blows raspberries. She doesn't seem to be connecting the sounds she's making to the things they should correspond with, but that doesn't make it any less precious to us! And, she's really starting to show her personality. She plays coy with people, and she seems to know when she and those around her are being funny. And...of course...I would be remiss if I mentioned that she thinks belly and toe nibbles are just about the funniest things ever, second only to the dogs being yelled at. For some reason, she is highly entertained by the words 'No' and 'Naughty'. Something tells me we're in trouble when she gets older....

Playing with the crocodile xylophone.

We *think* she may be starting to teeth. Of course, we've thought for sure she was teething at least 3 times a month since the age of 8 weeks, so what the hell do we know? ;) She's eating quite a few solids now. Her favorites are bananas, watermelon, apples, and pears. She loves animal crackers and puffy cereal. Other foods she's tried, to varying degrees of success, include peaches, prunes, squash, raspberries, blueberries, green beans, carrots, peas, yogurt, cheese, chicken, potatoes, lettuce, celery, and pita bread. We're lucky because she's a good eater and will try almost anything. She has recently realized that she can grab the spoon when we feed her, which results in lots of food-flinging fun. Good times.

Daddy feeding Luca in her new high chair.

"Who knows why I don't like peas? I just don't! Now leave me alone!"

Fortunately for us, Luca is a pretty good sleeper. Most nights she's in bed by 8 and usually she's awake in the mornings around 5 or 6. We just moved her crib down last weekend in anticipation of her being able to pull herself up in there soon. We also noticed that she no longer likes to be hald upright to be rocked to sleep (it used to be that she'd wake in the middle of the night and wanted you to hold her on your shoulder and pat her back to get her back to sleep). Instead, she now likes to be cradled and have her butt patted. You and me both, sister. You and me both.

We have had a great 8 months getting to know our little girl, and I can't believe she's growing so fast!

Hamming it up for the camera.

Sitting up like a big girl.

Luca and her friend Melody play with their Christmas presents.

Mommy helps Luca and Melody raise the roof. Woot.

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Life in 3 minute increments

I guaran-effing-tee that any mom who reads this blog need read no further than my title to know what this is going to be about.

Every so often, I have a child-free friend ask me what things change the most when you have kids. And they don't want to know the obvious things (you get less sleep, you can't just pick up and go anywhere without some planning, you stop buying clothes for your bizarre new body and instead buy them for the little critter who looks cute in everything).

What they really want to know about are the changes that you can't expect and no one tells you about. There are the post-partum changes (you can somehow pass a human head from THERE and yet peeing hurts...night sweats will plague you for weeks post-delivery...oh, and did we mention stitches? You haven't LIVED until you're actually relieved when a medical professional pulls a chair up to your crotch and exclaims, "You'll only need about 14 stitches!"). There are the emotional changes (crying when you drive past the hospital you delivered at...crying every time you try to fill out a page in the baby book...crying crying and more crying). There are the mental changes (putting someone else above you all the time...thinking it's a great night when you got 5 straight hours of sleep...deciding there's nothing wrong with a pacifier after all, considering your daughter seems to think it's her BFF).

There are also changes for the whole family and in your relationships. Everyone - you, your husband or partner, your parents, his parents - has to adjust to this little life that controls everything. Darrick and I were just discussing this the other day, and we were like "We have no life. Our life consists of planning around Luca's life." The beautiful thing about it is: suddenly, you just don't care. I remember pre-baby when people would be all, "You'll never have MONEY to go OUT and you can't DRINK and you can't go to the MOVIES...", and at the time I thought maybe that would suck. Now, however...well...I have yet to see a movie that makes me laugh, cry, and feel the insane pride and joy as watching my kid. Yep, I am officially one of "Those" lame women.

Anyhow, aside from all that, the one thing I would say was the biggest adjusment was what I refer to as 'Life in 3 minute increments'. It's also commonly known as 'Baby, you're cute, but PLEASE for the love of all that is sacred, let me set you down for MORE than 3 minutes so I can get something - anything - done!'.

Yes, child-free friends. Live it up and enjoy your excessive margaritas, sleeping in, movie-going on a whim, carefree 'adult time' with no sleeping baby in a car seat in the room (not that I would know...a friend told me about that one), and spending cash now. But, more than that, enjoy:

- Getting to use both hands to eat. While sitting. And talking to friends/family. And not balancing a baby on your boob/lap/shoulder/in a high chair while using the other hand to shove mashed apple in his/her mouth.
- Being able to bend over to pick up something you dropped, rather than relying on the freakishly finger-like dexterity of your toes to do the deed.
- Showering without concern over whether the resident 15-pounder is napping/with Daddy/occupied in a manner not involving kitchen knives, nail files, or power cords.
- Blowdrying your hair. Seriously. It's not as though I can claim to have been some stylish woman with my hair always done before, but I think I've blown my hair straight...hrmmm...4 times since Luca was born? So, about once every other month. You go ahead and do the math on what proportion of the time I spend looking like complete ass these days.
- Making any meal without fear of dropping your baby and/or her pacifier into the frying pan as you balance her on one side and a spatula on the other.
- Applying your makeup, start to finish, without having to play interference between your baby and the coffee table, dust bunnies, and the power cords (again, with the power cords...they attract babies like shiny objects attract birds).

You see, once you have a baby, you will find that your life will be divisible into 3 minute increments.

Quick! Get your hair washed, rinsed, and conditioned! You have THREE minutes before baby wakes and is mad as hell at you for DARING to shower on her watch!

Quick! Go ahead and TRY to finish making that cheese sandwich in THREE minutes, before baby army-crawls across the 16' expanse of smooth and safe tile, and straight toward the dogs' wet and very unsafe water dish.

Quick! Make a phone call and get it done now. Because I can guarantee that your kid --- much like most husbands --- will give you just about THREE minutes to say whatever you have to say before demanding your full attention once more.

Quick! Throw the wet laundry into the dryer, start a new load in the washer, run the dry stuff up the stairs and attempt to lie it flat so it doens't wrinkle, all while pretending in earnest that you will ever actually find time to HANG those clothes before they end up just getting taken piece by piece from the pile and worn. And get that all done in THREE minutes, before the baby starts eating dryer sheets or tries to pull off the dog's ear and eat it.

Speaking of, I've now been ignoring my child for close to THIRTY minutes, which means she's probably drooled all over Piggy's ears, chewed some power cords, spilled the doggy water dish, eaten 2-3 dust bunnies, and is crying in a corner. Ah, the life of a mom!*

*Please do not call CPS. We all know this is a joke. My kid can't possibly get in that much trouble while safely incased in her babycage.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Happy New Year!

Yes, it's exactly 24 minutes after midnight on January 1st, and I'm posting a blog entry. While all my single and child-free friends are out getting drunk and making out with a boyfriend/girlfriend/hot person at the bar, my husband and Luca are upstairs sleeping and I am awake and sober. Ah, the glamorous life of a mom. Go jealous.

Anyhow, today we were at dinner (on a side note, we ate at 5:30, which is precisely when people with young kids and old farts go out to case you were curious) and we were talking about 2007. It was seriously one of our best years ever. It started off fabulously with our 3 year wedding anniversary in January and the purchase of our home in February. May was our Best Month Ever, and here's why:

May 3rd = our 10 year dating anniversary (obv. this photo was not taken on our anniversary...)
May 7th = Luca's birth May 11th = Darrick's graduation
The rest of the year was made fabulous by the addition of Luca, who has truly made us feel happier and more in love than ever (cheesy, right?).

So after talking about how we had this great and wonderful year, I was questioning whether it would be possible to top it. Can 2008 stack up to 2007? Is it possible it can be BETTER? Only time will tell, but my cute husband has assured me the best times are yet to come. It's hard to imagine anything topping this year (Dude - I gave birth. To a real, live baby. A cute one. Who's really funny, and smiles, and has a laugh that can stop time. Is it POSSIBLE to top that?!?!?!), but I sure hope Darrick's right!

And, just because I'm a mom and this is how moms roll, I'm adding some new pictures of Luca here. They're not really related to this post, per se, but who gives a damn?!?!? That kid is cute!



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