Tuesday, November 30, 2010

My nerdy little heart is so full of joy right now!

Today is a big day for me.  Huge, in fact.  H-U-G-E!

What, besides the first day of the Christmas music season, could cause such joy in my life?  Well, tonight is the night that I finally go to see the new Harry Potter movie.  Oh, for the love, I am ridiculously excited!  I mean, it's been out for almost TWO WEEKS!!  How could I have waited this long?!?!?

True story...when the last book came out?  Steve and I were at a party the night of the release, and we left around midnight to head home.  We passed a Kroger along the way, and Steve thought it would be funny to stop by and see if they had any copies of the book.  Oh boy, did they ever!  We each picked up a copy (because of course we did), and I went on to read until 4am, before waking up early to spend all day Saturday finishing the damn thing off. 

Life before Brigid...did I know how to live it up, or what?

Back in the day, we were the midnight showing people.  I didn't dress up like a wizard, and I didn't fake a scar or anything, but you'd better believe I was in line early to make sure I beat all of those people who did dress like wizards and fake their scars to the good seats.  Brigid is just lucky I didn't try to take her to opening night this year...I mean, honestly, what toddler doesn't want to sit through a three hour movie in the middle of the night, right? 

Damn common sense takes the fun out of everything. 

But I waited, and I made the appropriate toddler type arrangements, and now I'm finally going to see it.  I just hope it lives up to the hype...

PS: Steve would like me to note that he got a new dutch oven from my parents for Christmas, and he made me a very, very tasty butternut squash soup for dinner in said dutch oven.  That's really all there is to this story, but Steve wanted to make sure he got credit for it.  

It was pretty fantastic soup...

Monday, November 29, 2010


Brigid started posing for her pictures this past week.  She apparently recognizes that when the flash goes off, mommy and daddy are hoping for a smile out of her.  And she is more than happy to oblige.  Most of the time, anyway.

So, it seems that I have a lot of this to look forward to in the coming months...

And I think I'm ok with that.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!

Hope everyone had a fantastic holiday! I'm off to watch the snow/rain mix Indiana has chosen to bless me with this Thanksgiving day...and to hope it is the extent of the snowy weather I have to deal with this winter!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Time Away

We're in Indiana for Thanksgiving this week, and we plan on doing nothing but eating, sleeping, and generally lounging around with my family for the next few days.  Unfortunately, this leaves very little time for blogging, so I'll see you all next week.

Have a very happy Thanksgiving holiday, and remember...

...rock on!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Road Trip Fail

Even before Brigid came along, I was not a good person to have along on a road trip.  Just ask my dear husband.  I either spent my time reading, sleeping, or involving Steve in obnoxious conversations that somehow ended up with us arguing over something that neither of us really cared about, but that neither of us was going to back down from, either.

I was a joy.

And now that Brigid is along for the ride, let's just say the addition of a baby to the mix did not make things any better.  In fact, I'm not sure what the highlight of our trip from Georgia to Indiana was this past weekend...

Was it the Chick-Fil-A for breakfast, followed by the Arby's for lunch that I fed my poor, malnourished toddler?  Was it the stop at the Opry Mills outlet mall to let that same poor, malnourished, and now sleep-deprived toddler stretch her legs, which we only discovered was still closed due to the Nashville flood after we drove several miles out of our way?  Was it the diaper change that had to take place in the backseat of the car because our stop didn't include a bathroom with a changing table, the one that ended in Brigid peeing all over my seat because I didn't get the clean diaper under her fast enough?  Was it the stop at the Jim Beam distillery (a must see for any fourteen month old), where Brigid fell, hit her head, and started hysterically crying, to the point that she couldn't catch her breath, and every employee in the Jim Beam gift store came over to try to offer ways to make her feel better (including a little taste of Jim Beam, of course...)?  Was it the Baby Einstein video we threw in for the last hour of the trip to zombiefy our grouchy kid, who wanted nothing more than to be out of the car?

Oh yeah, from start to finish, our drive north was full of parenting fail.  I can only imagine how much fun the return trip is going to be...

Friday, November 19, 2010

What not to tell your pregnant wife...

A summary of my last 24 hours: Christmas shopping, travel errands, black eyes for both Brigid and Steve (due to a toy and a dog, respectively), work deadlines before a week of vacation, and a new job announcement for Steve (He still has one, thank goodness...corporate reorganization sucks.  We work for the same company, and I found out I was safe a couple of weeks ago.  It took the powers that be a little longer to get around to his group.  You could say I've been a little stressed lately...).  Still to do before we leave in the morning?  Christmas wrapping, one more work assignment, laundry, packing, and general house organization.

Should be a good day.

Anyway, I tried to find a good pregnancy story for today's post, and the first couple of days after I found out are all about whether it's possible that I'm already gaining weight, sleeping, and feeling sick.  Sorry...

Saturday, February 14, 2009
My Valentine’s Day consisted of seeing He’s Just Not That into You with Karen and Katie, hitting the outlet mall, and eating fish tacos with Steve's family.  Very romantic.  Honestly, I don’t really like to celebrate Valentine's Day…too much forced smooshiness, too long of a restaurant wait, too much money spent on a fake holiday.  Plus, the fish tacos were really, really good.  What wasn’t so good was the fact that I was nauseous all damn day.  Apparently, I’m supposed to keep a snack by my bed, eat first thing in the morning, then lay in bed for 10 more minutes while the food kicks in.  We’ll see how that works.

Sunday, February 15, 2009
Crackers in bed first thing in the morning?  This does not keep the sickness at bay.  Good to know for the future.
Monday, February 16, 2009
Tried the crackers in bed again.  I know, the definition of insanity…   

Shocking, but it still failed to work.  For the first time since this whole thing started, though, Steve’s internet research actually came through for me, in the form of an article on how to prevent morning, noon, and night sickness.  Apparently, you’re just supposed to keep eating all of the time.  The things I have to do for this kid! 

I guess it’s all about regulating your blood sugar by getting something in your stomach first thing before you get out of bed, then adding something to it every two hours or so.  Protein is the key, apparently, so I will be adding almonds or peanuts to the mix tomorrow.  I may end up gaining 50 pounds when this is over, but if I can make it through the day without throwing up, or feeling like I’m about to throw up, I think that's a chance I'm willing to take.

On a side note, Steve told me all of my symptoms may be in my head.  Karen once told me she believes that when a man dies, he is forced to spend time in Purgatory as a woman.  I hope she's right...

And that's why Steve is lucky he survived my pregnancy.  My self control knows no bounds.

Next week?  The first doctor's appointment, and my best birthday, ever!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Thanks for Family

I know I place an abnormally large amount of importance on the Christmas holiday, and I think I’m going to have to blame my parents on this one (it always comes back to the parents, doesn’t it?). When I was growing up, Christmas at my house was always amazing. My parents went out of their way to make the holiday special for my sisters and I, even going so far as to get up at 4am on certain Christmas mornings, with no prompting from me or Jess (even as a kid, I was not excited about a 4am wake-up call, Christmas morning or otherwise…Brigid’s sleep habits are starting to make much more sense to me now…), so we could celebrate Christmas before my dad headed off for his 24-hour shift at the fire station at 8am. Basically, he (and my mom, of course) would stay up until all hours of the night to get things ready, try to squeeze in an hour or two of sleep, then get us up to open presents, before he’d head out to work while the rest of us took a nap.

My dad was awesome. Guess I should have been more patient on the flip side of this scenario, all of those times when he had to work on Christmas Eve, and they made me wait until he got home at 8:30am to open presents on Christmas morning, huh? Man, kids are brats…

Anyway, I have great memories of decorating trees, wrapping presents, and listening to the Time Life Christmas music collection around the house. I have great memories of making my mom listen to the Christmas rap from the more contemporary Christmas CD we kept in the car, even though my mom would have preferred to skip it every time. I have great memories of driving around town to look at Christmas lights on the way home from my grandparents’ house on Christmas Eve. I have great memories of Christmas in general.

And I want Brigid to have these memories, so I may go just a bit overboard with things (That snorting sound you just heard? That would be Steve…I think he would argue that I may be understating my obsession slightly.). But, as my friend Mandi so lovingly reminded me earlier this week, Thanksgiving still stands between me and the promised land of Christmas cookies and Charlie Brown’s sad little tree, and while it is not the same, I should give it the respect it deserves.

And yes, despite how it may seem here, I do think that Thanksgiving deserves respect, because any time I have an excuse to take a week off of work to drive up to Indiana to spend time with my family, it’s a big deal. And I am so freaking excited to see everybody, I can’t even begin to tell you. So, I promise to put a moratorium on all of the Christmas talk for the next week and a half and to celebrate Thanksgiving the way it is meant to be celebrated.

With lots of family, lots of thanks, and a nice pair of stretchy pants. And the Time Life Christmas collection, of course. I am still me, after all!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

What happens when Brigid wakes up in a good mood?

Well, you get an unprovoked cuddle session with daddy that leads to an impromptu photo shoot by mommy because it's just so ridiculously adorable. 

Monday, November 15, 2010

Reason #671 Why Having a Kid is Awesome...

Decorating the house for Christmas is always fun, especially for a complete nut like myself. Throw in a toddler?

Yeah, we had a good time...

Brigid adores the singing stuffed animals. She loves the goofy hats. She's obsessed with the ornaments that make noise. She's crazy about carting nativity set baby Jesus from room to room.

She is a big fan of this whole Christmas thing, in general. Thank goodness.

Suck it, Halloween!

Friday, November 12, 2010

As promised...

I didn’t start this whole online life documentation thing until Brigid was about three months old, but I did keep a personal journal during my entire pregnancy, and I feel like there are many untold stories that I'd like to share.  Stories that I want to remember and Brigid may someday want to hear.  She might want to know how and when people found out she was coming.  She might want to know how excited I was to find out she was a she.  She might want to know how we came up with her name.  She might want to know which of her aunts got her the best baby shower gifts.

You know, all of the important stuff!

And the first important story I'm looking to document?  How hard it is to pee on a stick properly…

Thursday, February 05, 2009
Today was the first day I could take the test to find out whether I was pregnant or not.  I took one of the ‘two pinks for positive, one for negative’ tests, not realizing any version of a 2nd pink line (no matter how cheap of a line) was a positive.  After three minutes there was an extremely faint 2nd line, which I assumed was more of a phantom line, so I told Steve it was a negative.  He usually gets up to shower right about the time that I’m leaving, and I was on my way out the door when he stopped me…”Um, honey?  That’s definitely a positive.”  He then proceeded to send me pictures all day of what a ‘positive’ test looks like.  I made him go out and buy a pack of digital tests.  I mean, seriously, who can decipher the mysteries of the pink line?  I needed something that clearly said pregnant or not pregnant.

Friday, February 06, 2009
First thing this morning, I took on the digital test.  It was supposed to be another three minute wait for the results, but about a minute into it, I had my answer.  I believe my exact response was ‘holy shit’, which got Steve up and moving.  So, yeah...I'm pregnant!

And...scared out of my mind.  This should be an interesting nine months...

First doctor's appointment is scheduled for February 18th, so I think Steve and I will be keeping it to ourselves until then.  Can I go two weeks without talking to my parents at all?  Might be the easiest way...

THE END.  For now, anyway...

I know you’re all on pins and needles to see how this plays out.  Riveting stuff, I tell you…especially when you already know the ending, of course.  Get excited people.

Get excited.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Hey, Thursday? I'd like you much better if you were Friday.

My dining room looks like Hobby Lobby vomited everywhere. As someone who hates clutter of any kind (I'm not saying that my house is clutter-free, by any stretch of the imagination, but that has more to do with me not having the time to constantly pick up after a one-year old and two dogs who aren't happy unless every toy they own is spread out over the floor and less to do with my personal preferences.) (Also a factor? Steve's apparent blind spot when it comes to clutter...I don't understand it, but I know it's there, so I'm trying to deal with it in a more productive manner. Last night I actually asked him to pick up Brigid's toys instead of just sighing dramatically, and waiting for him to pick up on the dagger-like brain waves I was sending his way. Novel concept for me...), I'm surprisingly ok with this mess.

I don't know if I've mentioned this before, but, yeah, I. LOVE. CHRISTMAS.

It should be noted, though, that the minute a box gets emptied, it gets banished back to the basement. Like, IMMEDIATELY. I've already emptied and returned 3-4 boxes to their original spots. I mean, I don't want to get too crazy, here. I do have my limits.

Anyway, moving on, with absolutely no transition whatsoever...

I think I'm going to rip off every other site on the internet, and start a little something here called 'Flashback Friday'. Ok, I won't actually call it that, but flashing back is the general idea. I've been wanting to do this for awhile, but I keep putting it off, and I'm hoping that by actually writing this down, I'll force my hand a little. I have a journal that I started more or less the day I found out that I was pregnant, and I think I'd like to start retroactively posting some of those entries here. I like having this record of my life, and I like to think that someday Brigid will come here to learn just how crazy her mom really is (or, if she has already figured that out on her own, to have someplace to come for concrete evidence to prove her theory...). And I think she should know what a pain she was when I was pregnant, so when she sasses me as a teenager, I don't have to tell her what I went through for nine months, I can just point her in this direction.

Productivity and efficiency. I am all over it.

Besides, who doesn't want to hear about the first time I threw up at work, right?

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Conversations With My Mom

A little background for this conversation...I come from a relatively small town. We have two malls, but one of the malls consists of an Elder Beerman, and I think that's about it. Oh wait, I think there's a Sears there, too. Or maybe it's a JC Penney. I can't remember now... Let's just say, it's not too well visited. In fact, if you're looking to get your picture taken with Santa Claus on Christmas Eve with your two sisters to surprise your parents one year, not realizing that it would become a tradition that would be repeated every year you make it back to Indiana for Christmas (a fact which I love, but annoys my grinch of a husband, who finds it weird or something that a 30-year old, a 25-year old, and a 16-year old still want to see Santa Claus), it's the perfect place to go. Because even on Christmas Eve? The only people in the mall are the mall walkers.

Any-who...my mom called last night from Indiana to see how Brigid's appointment with our fancy big city Santa went on Sunday.

Mom: So, how did Brigid do with Santa Claus this weekend? Was it worth all of the hassle you went through?

Me: It was no hassle, really. And Brigid was fine. No smiles or anything, but no crying either.

Mom: Were there other people getting their Santa pictures taken?

Me: Yes. It wasn't too crowded, but there were definitely other kids there.

Mom: I can't believe you went to see Santa this early.

Me: Well, Brigid won't remember anyway, and I'm going to have the cutest freaking Christmas cards, ever. So there.

Mom: Was the Santa at least a good Santa?

Me: Yes, he was great.

Mom: Better than the Santa here?

Me: Better than St. Nicotine? (Ed Note: That would be our loving nickname for my hometown Santa, since his beard has that slight 'I just stepped out for my every-15-minute smoke break' yellow tinge to it) Yes, I'd say he was better.

Mom: I find that hard to believe. I'll bet your Santa won't remember you coming to see him every year, like ours does.

Me: Mom, I'm pretty sure that has more to do with having three grown girls come to see him every year than it does with his qualities as Santa Claus.

Mom: Well, you're probably right...

Aaaaand, scene! Of course I'm right! Ask Steve...I'm always right. Especially when it comes to Christmas logic.

Moral of the story? My hometown is awesome, and there is nothing wrong with visiting Santa every year, no matter how old you are.

I love Christmas!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Photo Warm-Up

Before the big Santa Claus photo shoot on Sunday afternoon, Steve decided to take a couple of practice shots of Brigid in her pajamas, just to get her in the right frame of mind.  Personally, I think these turned out better than the mall photos.

But that's just my opinion.  I think it's the footie pajamas that get me every time...

Monday, November 8, 2010

Visit with Santa Claus

Yes, I know that we are only one week into November.  Yes, I know we haven't even hit Thanksgiving, yet.  Yes, I know there is over a month and a half until Christmas.

No, I don't care.

I started listening to Christmas music as of November 1st.  I will have my Christmas tree up in the next week (mostly because I want it up before we leave for Indiana for Thanksgiving, so that I can be in full-time Christmas mode once we get back, but still...).  I have already taken my daughter to see Santa Claus.

Ok, I admit that the last one is a little crazy, even for me and my Christmas obsessed self.  But, Brigid is only a year old, so I don't have to worry about getting her too excited for the big day, too soon.  And I want her picture with Santa Claus to be our Christmas card.  And getting an appointment with the good Santa in Atlanta on a weekend is kind of hard.  And yes, I am rationalizing my crazy.

No, I don't care.

I may be sharing the actual, official, 2010 Brigid-with-Santa-for-Christmas picture with you, once our Christmas cards go out (Unless I can get Steve's permission to post it before then, but I wouldn't hold my breath.  I will tell you that the picture actually turned out better than I thought it would.  There is no smile involved because Brigid was understandably freaked out by the strange bearded man talking to her, but there also weren't any tears involved.  And I will definitely take that any day of the week...), but until then, I give you this:

Now that is some Christmas spirit I can get behind.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

30 for 30 Remix

Kendi over at Kendi Everyday has offered up a challenge to style-loving people everywhere.  Pick 30 items of clothing from your closet, and for the next 30 days, formulate 30 different outfits using only those 30 items.  Also included in the challenge?  No shopping during these 30 days.  

I know this isn't something I usually do here in this space, but I'm always trying to find new ways to slightly hamper my shopping addiction and streamline my closet, and this seemed like the perfect opportunity to do both.  Plus, Christmas shopping is currently on my daily to-do list, and I have a bad habit of finding just as many things for myself as I find for the rest of my family, so...

It's a good thing I'm competitive, that's all I'm saying.

Anyway, if you're interested in following my progress, see the link to my *30 FOR 30* list at the top of this page.  My clothing options are already listed, and I'll be updating it daily with my remixed outfits.  Creativity may not be my strong suit, but I'm going to give it my best shot.  If nothing else, this should make the packing easier for my trip to Indiana come Thanksgiving time.

Silver lining, and all of that, I guess.  I am nothing if not an optimist!

Friday, November 5, 2010

Just goes to show, I have absolutely no idea what I'm talking about...

There is a guy in my office whose wife just gave birth to a sweet little baby girl two weeks ago.  And like any new parent, he's been walking around the office in a fog this week, as said sweet little baby girl doesn't go to bed until midnight, and follows that up with middle of the night wake-up calls at 2-ish, 4-ish, and 6-ish.  As the most recent new parent on our floor, he stopped by my desk yesterday, looking for reassurance that it does, in fact, get better at some point.

I told him, of course, that it does.  I told him how Brigid started sleeping for six hours at a time before she was six weeks old.  I told him that now, she refuses to be rocked to sleep.  Once we finish her pre-bedtime routine, she starts reaching for her crib, and she is not happy until she can curl up into a little ball, put her thumb into her mouth, and put herself to sleep.  I think he went away knowing that there is a light at the end of the sleepless tunnel, but not feeling any better about the fact that he was currently in that sleepless tunnel.  And I smugly congratulated myself on surviving that time period, as well as birthing the most independently awesome sleeper of a kid that I could have imagined.  Even as I was getting her ready for bed last night, I was idiotically thinking how happy I was to be beyond the point when I had to hope she'd go down for the night without too much fuss because she always went down for the night without too much fuss.

So, it should come as no real shock that last night, things didn't go remotely as well as they normally do.  I'm talking full on screaming coming from that child for absolutely no reason that I could discern.  She does not scream uncontrollably.  She cries sometimes, yes.  She throws a little fit now and then.  But, generally, we know how to calm her down, how to quiet the complaints.  Last night, there was nothing I could do to stop it.  I finally managed to calm her with a lot of walking, a lot of rocking, and a monkey lovey that I actually let her sleep with for the entire night.  Although Steve has been of the mindset that she's old enough to sleep with something in her crib, whether it's a lovey or a blanket,I've been a little hesitant to start something that didn't seem necessary.  Well, desperate times call for desperate measures, and other such cliches, and last night I gave in. 

And once again, I was reminded that I know absolutely nothing about baby sleep habits and that Brigid possesses some kind of super power that dings every time I start getting too confident in my parenting skills.  Other things I  know nothing about?

*How do you stop a one-year old from sticking her finger up her nose and laughing hysterically at your disgust?

*How do you stop a one-year old from grabbing the poopy diaper out from under her while your changing it, leading to smeared poop on every surface of the changing table, as well as up her legs and on her stomach?

*How do you teach a toddler that giggling at her farts is not really something we should be doing?

*How do you convince a toddler's father that Oreos are not something that need to be introduced into her diet at this age?

*How do you ever hope to survive this whole raising a kid thing, and does it ever get any easier?

(If anybody has an answer to that last one, and the answer is no, could you just keep it to yourself?  I'd like to think I'll be a pro at this at some point, just to keep some semblance of sanity in my life.  Thanks!)

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

I think all clothing decisions will have to be run through me from now on...

Steve has been stuck in (on?) jury duty this week, which kind of seems like something I want to be a part of since it apparently involves coming home at 2pm and spending the afternoon with Brigid.

And what happens when daddy spends the afternoon at home?  I end up getting text messages with pictures of Brigid dressed like this...

She looks so sad in these pictures...

I think she realizes that orange just isn't her color.  I think she's thinking about all of the pretty blue in her closet.  I think she's trying to say 'Go Colts!'.

I think I may just pull some Hoosier out of her, yet.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

The Month That Was - October

I think, now that Brigid has passed the one-year mark, I'm going to transition from writing monthly letters to her on her birthday to writing monthly wrap-ups of the family as a whole.  Because you are all waiting on pins and needles to see what we've been up to over the past 30-ish days, aren't you?

Well, in October, we hung out in a cemetery.  We decorated for Halloween.  We found out (for the 2nd year in a row that nobody in our neighborhood likes us enough to give us free candy.  Brigid turned one!!  We went to the pumpkin patch, we went to the fair, we ate sandwiches (I think Brigid still has peanut butter in her hair from that one...which maybe says more than it should about my baby grooming abilities?).  Brigid kept growing, with the teeth and the walking and the whole milk and whatnot.

I spent waaay too much time playing Martha Stewart this month.  Steve spent waaay too much time building a black lit ghost and staining a skeleton for our front porch.  Brigid spent waaay too much time loving on the frog chair she got for her birthday.

October was awesome.  But November is the start of the Christmas season, according to my calendar.

November is going to be so much better!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Baby's first trick-or-treat...

So, it wasn't officially Brigid's first Halloween this year, since she sort of participated in the festivities last year, at all of three weeks old.  But, it was Brigid's first Halloween in a mom-made costume, and it was definitely her first attempt at the trick-or-treating (or, as it's known around here, earning her keep by bringing in the candy for mom and dad...).  I'm not exactly sure we'd call it a complete success or anything, but she definitely charmed the pants off of the inhabitants of the four or five houses we were able to make it to before Brigid was ready to call it a night.

First, the Steve and Tara costume combination...

Let me tell you, if I had known just how long Steve's costume was going to take to put together, there is no way I would have ever committed to doing it.  But I was dumb.  And I committed.  And it turned out pretty well, I think.  If it's not clear, I was a birthday girl, and Steve was my pinata. 

And every time I hit him with the bat?  He threw out blow pops.  That part was all his idea.  For future reference, blow pops and beer do not taste all that fantastic together.

But the star of the night would definitely have to be our little resident fairy-in-training, Abby Cadabby. 

This, right here?  This is how you do trick-or-treating.  Riding in a wagon around the neighborhood, being carried up to the neighbor's door, double-fisting M&Ms.

This is what you get away with when you're this cute...

Must be nice!