Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Rainy Day Fun

This past weekend we had a rainy day.  Now usually I'm all about putting on your rain boots and rain coat and going puddle sloshing, when it's a warmer rain or even going to an indoor playground or something, because I go stir crazy.  However, this weekend my face was swelled up like a golf ball so I had to improvise some rainy day fun.  And guys, don't laugh at me, but I actually wrote out a schedule.  Now, wait, I know it's lame but by this point I had been hiding my face since Tuesday and I was going a bit batty.

Here's how we had some inside rainy day fun.

First you cook a delicious breakfast together.  I peeled, cored, and sliced the apple, she mixed up the mix and dipped the apple in it.  I cooked it up and then ate it all while she demanded oatmeal.  Pssssh, whatevs more for me.




Then, you need to get your craft on.  Finger paint in freezer bags taped onto large pieces of paper...super fun without the mess.  I'm sure you can guess where I found it.  





Then she said she was done with her craft so we had to do regular art.


A quick flower hand print for Grandma


Then it was time to bake up these yummy beasts




I wanna eat one of those chips


I'm sneaking one.


Yup I ate it


I love baking with her.  Again, she didn't like it once it was done, but she enjoys the process.

Then it was finally time to get out of our PJ's, especially since hers have Santa Claus on them.  Then we played a little video games, watched a movie, since she refused to nap.  And I pretty much crapped out at around 4:00 so Grandma came over to play with her.


It was a fun and busy rainy day...it's a good thing we haven't had too many though

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Tuesday, February 28, 2012

The Four Stages of TV Watching

Like most moms I tend to turn to TV for a break in the action.  Sometimes I need to cook dinner, sometimes I need to make phone calls, sometimes I just need to chill.  I do think a ton of TV is not good, even just as background noise, especially since if it's on Isabella will watch it, so for the most part I've been keeping it off in favor of music or books or something else that doesn't give them that completely glazed over zombie look...that look freaks me out.

But sometimes TV is a necessity, however I go through stages of TV watching

STAGE 1 - Frustration

Dear God we're on the third day of rain and I'm so sick of the whining and complaining and the 18 second attention span.  Christmas was a few months ago how are you completely over all of your toys?  Here just watch this freaking singing mermaid with the hottest cartoon husband ever.

STAGE 2 - Relief

Ahhh that's nice.  I can pee in peace, maybe even have a cup of coffee.  Oh, what's that, I think I hear pinterest calling me...time to pin some dinners for the week.

STAGE 3 - Guilt

Should I be interacting with her a bit more?  Is that vacant look in her eyes normal?  Is she becoming ADD?  Are the shifting images messing with her brain wiring?  Am I a really terrible mother?

STAGE 4 - Worry

Holy shit it's over...now what?
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Monday, February 27, 2012

Grateful

In my pursuit of happiness I'm realizing that I'm almost done with my Happiness Project!  This month I'm focusing on Attitude.  One of my resolutions was to cultivate an attitude of gratitude.  As someone who tends to be restless and dissatisfied, a perfectionist really, it's so easy for me to find flaws or to focus on lack when in reality I have a lot to be thankful for.

In the middle of having the house on the market and keeping it clean "just in case" and a realtor who is kind of a tool bag (even though it seems like he knows his stuff) and no one looking and no one buying it I'm kind of losing my mind.  But instead of being an ingrate about the whole situation I'm trying to show more gratitude.  I'm grateful for the memories I've had in this house.  I like how it's changed as we've changed.  I like it's clean lines.  I'm grateful for the shelter and warmth it's given, for the laughter that has rung through it's walls.  It's a great house and I'm grateful that we can afford it and that we can live here a bit longer until it's time to move on.

There are big ticket items that I'm grateful for that don't change on a day-to-day basis, my daughter, my husband, my family, my home, my job, my health etc, but there are a bevy of things that you can be grateful for each and every day that may seem small and insignificant.  I just had my wisdom tooth taken out and at first I was so bummed out that I had to waste my week off stuck in the house, but if I look at things with an attitude of gratitude, I got a much needed break from all of my running around.  I'm grateful for the parking spot I got at a birthday party over the weekend.  I'm grateful I finally figured out how to work a curling iron.

When I spend the time to be grateful for the big and little things in my life that I might ordinarily bustle over in my business, I don't feel dissatisfied, I feel happy and content and lucky.  And isn't that the point?
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Friday, February 24, 2012

I'm Sexy and I Know It


I had my wisdom tooth out on Tuesday and I've pretty much been rocking the Jay Leno/Quagmire/Quasimodo look for the past few days.  Which kind of blows.  I got the top and bottom tooth both taken out at the same time and apparently the bottom tooth was very impacted and under a bunch of bone (gag) so that's why the swelling is so severe.  I kind of look like the elephant man.  

I've been pretty hopped up on oxy for the past few days, but my mouth is feeling much better, except for the exceptionally large and throbbing egg shaped swell-fest on my cheek.  I'm off from work this week thankfully, but I had a ton of fun things planned to do with Isabella and Andy and it really was just the two of them most of the week as I've been home bound.  Once I got out of my drug induced fog, I was able to do some fun in-house stuff with her, cooking and crafting, so it wasn't a total wash, but Andy got the fun stuff: Bounce U, Kid Junction, Park, Out for Walks, while I've been inside going stir crazy with the windows drawn.  

But I need to get out of this house and I need to chew food so if you can send me some anti-swelling vibes that would be fan-fricken-tastic.  

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Thursday, February 23, 2012

Holy Photoshop Batman

So recently I blogged about getting my B-pics done and I've decided not to post the full ones up because I'm just not comfortable with a full shot of me up in my underthings, but I will show you one that isn't so incriminating, mainly because it highlights the point of this post...don't compare yourself to celebrities.

Even the most beautiful women in the world are not up to the standards set forth by magazines.




The picture on the left is what you're supposed to look like at that age.


Source: google.com via Indy on Pinterest


This is natural beauty




Did you notice that her legs are fused together?




Even my own before and afters:

 










Not to say women in magazines all need airbrushing.  When I was in Vegas and I saw the Maxim Hometown Hotties in person, they looked amazing.  Fit and thin and gorgeous, but I bet magazines airbrush them anyway, just to bump them up to that unattainable level that really does a number on our self esteem.  So don't compare yourself to celebrities in magazines.  You are real and you are beautiful.

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Monday, February 20, 2012

Letting Go

Letting Go is a resolution for this month's Happiness Project in which I'm focusing on cultivating a better attitude.  Letting go isn't always easy for me since I tend to overanalyze and harp on things.  I've had tons of imaginary arguments in my head because I can't just let things go, but I'm too passive to get into a real argument.  The inability to let go of slights, both real and perceived, has sent me into the corner to cry quietly into my Pinot Noir.

But I'm working on self-improvement and I knew that this would be one of the hardest things to tackle.  So this month when my sister was acting weird to me, at least I think she was acting weird...we all went out to dinner and she was really super nice to all of the other girls, but she was kind of standoffish to me.  This is not the first time I've felt that way around her.  I don't even remember the last time she and I had a conversation that wasn't terse and to the point or the last time that we hung out just her and I, but again I'm completely willing to admit that this might be all in my head.  I do have a good dose of the crazy in me.  Anyway on the way home I started to brood.  I could feel myself slipping into the dark place with the kleenex and the wine and the sad, but I didn't want that to happen.  So what to do?

I know that I should try and act the way I wanted to feel.  I wanted to feel happy and light, like the worries would just roll off me like raindrops off a duck's back.  But I'm a practical person and I need practical steps to get there.  So I put on a happy song that makes me want to belt it out and dance.  So I blasted "You Can't Stop the Beat," from Hairspray.  It felt kind of forced at first, but before I knew it I was starting to feel better.  Staving off the shadows one note at a time.  I felt good.

I used to also feel really left out a lot if I wasn't included in everything, but even those feelings are waning because I'm trying to not harp on every little thing.  I can be really oversensitive, and I need to continue to work on ways to emotionally compensate for that.

Letting go made me feel lighter and less dark and twisty.
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Thursday, February 16, 2012

Boudoir Pics

Last week I got boudoir pics done.  I've been really good on my diet and exercising and my body has come a long way.  It's far from perfect, especially my doughy middle (bleh), but I've been wanting to get pictures done for Andy (really myself) and a girl I know recently got them done and was really happy so I decided to take the plunge and get them done.

It helped that my best friend Jen came with me and got her pictures done the same day.  I used the same photographer my friend used, Maria DeMartino photography and I was really pleased with the entire experience, which I will now relive for you.

The outfits:  I was tipped off by a photographer friend that structured lingerie is the way to go and I agree.  Corset and underwire keep things in and lifted.  So one outfit I did a red and black halter corset, then I did a turquois strapless corset, I did a red one piece chemise with underwire, then I did a Giants jersey with boy shorts and stockings, I did a bra with a blazer, but only liked the pictures where my stomach was covered because it's doughy and stretchy and gross, and I did another one piece in hot pink.  I was happiest when my problem areas were covered.  I felt like I was less stiff and not worried about every pose.

The photographers:  Maria and Debbie were awesome.  When I first saw them I was like "Oh no."  They were gorgeous and thin and who wants to be photographed by two hotties?! But while they were doing our hair and makeup we were all bs'ing and they were such down to earth girls.  Before long it felt like we were old girlfriend yapping about hot guys and penis size.  They made me feel beyond comfortable, like I'd known them my whole life and we were just spending a fun girls afternoon together.  And the hair and makeup came out phenomenal.

The experience:  I'm not a model.  I'm a teacher.  So basically the only thing I know how to do in front of a camera is smile awkwardly and pray it doesn't end up on my friend's facebook page, maybe if I'm really drunk I'll throw in a duck face just for good ugliness measure, so I was really nervous to "model" for the photogs.  But they really did guide me and tell me what to do and where to look and when they showed me the pics in the camera I liked it.  I liked the lighting.  I liked the faces I was making.  I just liked it.  It was so empowering to see myself like that.  I don't have the best self-esteem and it's rare that I ever actually feel beautiful, but I felt beautiful that day, even a bit sexy.  I'm usually so plain and I tend to kind of fade into the background, but I really popped that day and I'm so grateful that I got to experience it.

I really was going to post a picture, a modest one, but I'm a bit nervous to have a b-pic of my floating around on the interwebz.  What would you guys do?

Oh and if you're in the NY/NJ area I would most definitely recommend Maria @ www.boudoirnewjersey.com

She was amazing.  And quite the photoshopper too because miraculously all of my cellulite disappeared along with a few inches along the waist ;)
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Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Oops I Pinned It Again

Yeah I'm addicted to pinterest.  Like completely and utterly hooked.  Here's what I've been pinning and doing this week.






It was delicious!  Again, not as beautiful as the pin but it sure was a yummy way to burn about 300 calories.  




We did hand prints instead and then we painted them.  Such a fun craft.




Well, I wasn't exactly prepared for this one, but I improvised and well you get the point!




So yummy!  I opted to skip the icing in hopes of cutting out some calories.  This bread was light and moist and the citrus of the lemon really cut through the sweetness of the bread.  A slice of warm bread with a cup of tea was just amazing.  

You can follow me on Pinterest by clicking the button on the top right sidebar.  


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Monday, February 13, 2012

A Bad Attitude

February I was working on my attitude for my Happiness Project and I really sucked at it.  You know the feeling when you know you just completely and utterly sucked at something?  Yeah that was me this week.  So my resolutions were to 1. Let things go.  2.  Cultivate an attitude of gratitude. and 3. Think positive.

I will detail you my suck-fest.

1.  Let things go:  I was doing good all week.  Letting things roll off my back, not overanalyzing everything that everyone said.  But one thing kind of annoyed me.  My friend at work who has a really nice body was saying that her legs were ugly and fat and that mine were skinny because I'm taller than her. I told her that I'm not taller than her I'm only 5'3 and she said, "well I don't know why then they're skinnier than mine."  Ummmm hello self-absorbed.  I'm allowed one body part that is nicer than yours.  Then on Saturday my friends were trying to get together, Andy was working midnights so I suggested that they come here.  One of them said that they didn't feel like leaving brooklyn and another one said that she "couldn't handle" coming to NJ because of her work schedule.  I really can't.  Honestly, I drive into Brooklyn to see them all the fucking time.  With my full time job and my full time child, I drive in a car by myself all the time.  New Jersey is another state, not a God-damned other country.  And they would have company in the car.  I'm guessing you can tell by my seething venom that I haven't been able to let that go.

2.  Cultivate an attitude of gratitude:  I've been working really hard with My Fitness Pal and New York Sports Club to loose the weight and I've been doing great.  I'm down 6lbs so far and I've been so proud of myself and my accomplishments, but after seeing several very unflattering pictures of myself where I looked like some sort of dough girl I completely lost my shit.  I got really down on myself and completely lost sight of how far I've come.  I'm still working on that.

3.  Think positive:  We just listed the house this weekend.  And I'm already convinced that it's never going to sell and that our competition is too great.  I'm bringing bad juju and I need to stop thinking negative and start visualizing buyers and a quick sell.

So yeah, I pretty much blew it this week and February is a short month so I need to get my shit together.
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Friday, February 10, 2012

A Slight Lack of Creativity

My niece Daniella has this ratty old baby doll that she's been carrying around since forever.  It's bald and care worn and its name is Baby Lion.  My friend's daughter is a few months older than Isabella and she has a stuffed lamb named Puffy.  Isabella is slightly lacking in the creative name department.

When we bought Isabella her two fish, aside from the fact that I nearly had a panic attack at Pet Co I was excited to see what she would name her fish.

Me:  Isabella, look you have two fish.  What's this one's name?
Isabella:  Fish
Me:  Ok and what about that one?
Isabella:  The Other One

And hence she named her two fish, Fish and The Other One


The picture above is of Fish who just so happened to kill her friend The Other One.  Still think I'm awful for wanting to flush the fish down the toilet? It's a murdering fish.  



Then there are these two rabbits.  We got them as free gifts at The Children's Place.  The white one is a girl and the brown one is a boy.  The white one is named Isabella and the brown one is named Grandma.  

Her lovey that she sleeps with every night is a giraffe.  It's name is Giraffe.  

Her baby doll is named Doll.  

Her duck and frog puppets are named Duck and Frog.  

I guess there's something to be said for the simple approach in life.  


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Wednesday, February 8, 2012

The Man Cold

Every woman knows of it...every woman dreads it...the Man Cold.  You know of what I speak.  The sniffle and barely there cough that turns the man in your life into a big puddle of complaining, whining, exaggerating ball of goop.

Andy had a cold last week and you would have thought it was the end of days the way he pissed and moaned.  He needed tea, he needed toast,  he needed tylenol, he needed a swift kick and a full case of "shut the hell up."

I had a cold not too long ago too, it was referred to as "Thursday."
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Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Off Balance

Balance has been my own personal Everest in my journey of motherhood.  Sometimes there are so many balls in the air that I feel like everything is a breath away from crashing down around me.  There's the full time job, the endless commute, Isabella, Andy, time with my family, time with my friends, blogging, my on-line mommy board, cooking, gym, housework, and maybe a minute for myself.  Daunting.

As the years have passed I've gotten much better at my balancing act.  I separate things into two categories:  Negotiable and Non-negotiable.  Work, commuting, Isabella, Andy, time for myself Non-negotiable.  Those categories come first and cannot be messed with...everything else is pretty much negotiable.  So basically my life works like this:  Everyday after work I come right home except for 1-2 days during the week when I hit the gym.  I try to be in the house between 5 and 5:45.  One day a week I splurge for some time just for myself.  Maybe I'll grab a mani-pedi or take a bath with a good book, maybe I'll grab a beer after work with my girlfriends or a movie with Andy.  It keeps me sane and makes me a better mother.

However, lately I feel a little off balance.  There's a lot going on right now in my life.  Two weddings that I'm a bridesmaid in, a lot of children's birthday parties, and it's doctor time (I generally cluster schedule doctor's appointments).  So I've been feeling like after work a lot of my time is getting cut away from my non-negotiables.  There's a dress fitting I need to be at, a dentist appointment that I've rescheduled 3 times, shopping for birthday presents, returning things still from Christmas, meeting with realtors.  It's like a long line of "have-to's" have invaded my life.  It's burning me out and I hate when I have to say to myself, "Just make it through this week and you're good" or "Just one more really long crappy day, and then you can come home straight from work on Thursday."

I just need to hit my stride.  I know that things come up that upset the turnip truck, but I like my predictable routine with it's balance.
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Monday, February 6, 2012

February Happiness - Attitude

This month for my Happiness Project I'm not focusing on taking action, I'm focusing on my attitude.  I tend to be an overthinker, dissatisfied, nervous, worried, and so on and so forth.  I want to be light... to have what Gretchen Rubin describes as a "contented heart."  I think my Happiness Project so far has really helped me to, well be happy, but there's still work to be done.

My resolutions this month:

1.  Let things go - I tend to harp.  I really am very sensitive when it comes down to it. I let things eat away at me.  Every perceived insult or slight makes me quaver with insecurity.  It has to be more cathartic to just let go of all the negative feelings.

2.  Cultivate an attitude of gratitude - I have so many blessings in my life great and small, and too often I just don't take the time to spend a moment in appreciation for what I have, whether it's the roof over my head, the health of my family, or the parking spot right across the street from my job.

3.  Think positive- I believe that thoughts have weight and therefore gravity so thinking good things brings good things to you and negative thoughts bring bad experiences.  So banning criticism, judgement, negativity, and maybe curbing the sarcasm is a goal for this month.

I'm looking forward to laughing more and finding more peace this month.
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Friday, February 3, 2012

What I'm Worried About

Motherhood and worry tend to go hand in hand.  Sometimes I think it's just womanhood and worry go hand in hand, but lately I've been worried about some things and I'd like to get them off my chest.

1.  Isabella is very smart and she's also highly anal retentive, just like dear old mom, but I feel like sometimes her desire to have everything be a certain way or to be "right' is hindering her creativity.  For example, she doesn't really like to draw.  She likes to tell me what to draw for her.  One day she wanted me to draw a monster and I asked her why she didn't just want to do it herself and she said she didn't know how.  That makes me sad for her.  I don't ever want to feel like she's under that much pressure to be perfect.  I'm wondering if it's something I've done to make her like that.

2.  I'm really worried about the house.  We had a few realtors come in and are torn between two.  One is a really nice lady who seems like she's really committed to selling it.  The other is an annoying guy, who seems like he knows a ton about the business and is pricing it competitively, but he kept saying "Oh you can always pull it off the market in 6 months if it doesn't sell."  I want someone aggressive, but smart and I really just don't know what to do.  I feel like there are 10 other homes for sale in this complex alone and some of them have fireplaces and driveways and I'm really freaked the fuck out that I'm going to be stuck in this townhouse forever.

3.  I want Isabella to start pre-school next year.  Schools are starting the registration process now.  I don't know where I'm going to be living in September so I don't know where to register her.

4.  I get worried that I don't interact enough with Isabella.  I worry that I'm on the computer too much.  I worry that I'm not doing enough to show her how much I love her.  Am I a really bad slacker mom?  Do I let her watch too much TV.  Am I really present and engaging with her?  It gnaws at me.  Sometimes when I get home from work I'm so worn out that crashing on the couch with a cup of tea sounds better to me that getting down on the floor and playing with her stuffed animals.  It makes me feel guilty and I should just use that guilt as a motivation to be better.

That seems like a lot to worry about.  But today is Friday and it won't be too long before wine is available ;)
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Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Pinterest Ate My Brain

So everyone knows about Pinterest right?  Well I've really been pinning up a storm lately and following through with a lot of my pins.  Check out my handiwork:

The pin:



How it turned out:

Not too bad right?  It's a great valentines day gift for Isabella to give her dad.  Don't mind the handwriting, I have the penmanship of a sociopathic second grader.  

Up next...Skinny Scones


Here was my take on it:



Now I know I know I'm nowhere near a food stylist, but what they lack in loveliness they make up for in taste and at only 199 calories, My Fitness Pal was satisfied.  A little caramel creamer in my coffee and my lazy Sunday morning was complete.  



These were so fantastic that there were none left to snap a shot of.  So yummy!



Also, you are not getting a photograph of me doing crunches.  It ain't pretty.  I've been doing them for a little under a week and I think I have one ab that's hiding somewhere under the chub I do feel stronger in my core and I feel good so I'll stick with it.  

I'm loving pinterest...come follow me: Melissa Galileo
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