Friday, August 31, 2012

On Being Open

If I were just meeting you in real life, I'd probably be very shy and very guarded.  I don't, or can't, open up to people unless we're good friends, I trust them, and/or they make me feel comfortable.  I'm fairly private when I'm with new people in real life.

However, on this blog and with my closest friends, I really have no filter.  Like none.  I write and discuss poop, vaginas, miscarriage, sex, trying to have a baby, fertility, money and whatever else pops into my head whether it's appropriate or not.

The other night I was at my friend Crotch's for her apartment warming party and I'm not sure if I was teetering on the brink of drunkeness or because I hadn't seen my girlfriends in a while or because it was the first time I was out of the house at night without Isabella in like 3 weeks, whatever it was it inspired me to have verbal vomit about everything that was going on in my life: when I'm taking a pregnancy test, about my parents marriage, books I'm reading, boudoir pics, how there's no graceful way to get to the bathroom after sex and anything and everything that popped into my head.  Which I would have talked about all of those things anyway, and I've certainly talked those things to death on here, but usually I might space it out so I didn't monologue all night.

But it got me to wondering...do I share too much?  I've definitely received a few e-mails in my blogging life that criticized me for being so honest.  Especially after the post where I called my daughter an asshole (whatever, sometimes kids are just assholes).  And I've been cautioned to keep somethings private.

Now I know everyone has different comfort levels.  I know that many people aren't comfortable sharing the dark moments of their lives and that's fine, but I also know that many people are.  And more than that, many people need to hear about your experiences.  So if reading about my miscarriage makes you feel less alone when you're going through yours then that's wonderful.  If laughing at me because I can't manage to make my child eat anything green makes you feel like a rock star parent, then good for you.

I wish all women, especially close friends, would all employ a non holds barred approach with each other.
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Thursday, August 30, 2012

Lay's Chips Giveaway

As we all know summer is slowly winding down and Labor Day is a great way to give summer time the send off it deserves!  What better way to enjoy a Labor Day BBQ than with Lay's chips.  Whatever your taste, you can find a chip for it at Fritolay.  From the classic chip to the ever addicting Doritos.  My personal favorite is any and every flavor of Sun Chip.  I can tear into a bag like a monkey on a banana.

No matter what you're sure to find a chip that's right for you for your Labor Day BBQ.  Pair with dip or visit HERE for a bunch of recipes that use various flavors of Lay's chips.

 And one lucky winner will win 3 bags of Classic Lay's Potato Chips, which truly are a salty, crunchy classic and Isabella's favorite.  I like to pair it with french onion dip, but if you're feeling adventurous chocolate covered Lay's Potato Chips are amazing...just melt chocolate and coat a chip with it and set aside until it hardens.  Also, the winner will be receiving 3 bags of Sun Chips 6 Grain Medley Parmesan and Herb, which I've never tasted until they arrived in the main and I didn't think it would be possible to beat out my sour cream and onion Sun Chips, but these rivaled even those.



So buy them wherever Lay's are sold or win them right here.  The winner will be notified by e-mail and have 48 hours to respond before a new winner is chosen.  
a Rafflecopter giveaway




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Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Pre-School Panic

My sweet bug is starting pre-school in September and while I'm so excited that she's ready for this step in her life I'm also in a bit of a panic.  Isabella loves being around other kids and she did great when she was in day care once a week.  So I know that she's going to love it and I know that she's ready for the extra stimulation and a learning environment, but I do worry.

Isabella is sweet and timid and shy (at least around people that she doesn't know) and I'm scared that she'll be nervous or self-conscious to talk to her teacher or to the kids at first.  Will the other kids be mean to her?  Will they leave her out?  Will she eat her lunch?  Will she ask to use the bathroom if she has to go?  Will she feel comfortable?  Will she be scared?

Or maybe I'm completely off the mark.  In that case I have a fresh set of worries:  Will she get in trouble?  Will she share?  Will she listen to the teacher?  Will she be nice to the other kids?  Will she cry a lot?

It's completely normal and natural to worry about our kids, especially when they're taking such a big step in such an independent direction.  But I'm also worried about myself.  With a real school structure also comes responsibility for me.  This is a real pre-school-grade 8 school (she'll only be there until kindergarten and then she'll go to public school) and she'll go Tuesdays and Thursdays from 8:30-2:30. So I'll have to pack lunch.  Check her backpack and get papers handed back on time.  Make sure I keep up to date with show and tell and things like that.  I'll have to provide supplies for her and maybe even volunteer my time to school functions.  I'm really nervous I'm going to drop the ball and I'm going to be "that mom" who you have to hunt down for permission slips or who has to rush to the school on picture day morning because I forgot to send her with a check.

It's definitely going to be a big adjustment, one that she is most assuredly ready for, but one that I'm not so completely sure about.

What was your child's transition to the school structure like?
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Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Books, Books, Books

I am quite the reader this summer and I don't usually write about books on this blog, but I absolutely have to recommend this series.  I have the best blog readers ever and when Rachel from The Life I Love suggested I try The Mortal Instrument Series to cure my Hunger Games Hangover.

I love this series.  Love it.  Not only because it's a young adult fantasy novel and we all know that I'm intrinsically drawn towards books that are written for 16 year old girls, but because it gets dark and twisty a la the latter books in the Harry Potter series.

I love the characters.  I love the story.  I love the plots and sub plots and I love that there is a spin-off/companion series.  They're even making movies.

But now I've finished all the books that are out (still waiting on two more).  And I need more books!

It doesn't necessarily have to be a young adult lol.  But I'm all about series lately.  So if you know of a good series please send me your recommendations.  I'll love you forever...swearsies.
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Monday, August 27, 2012

A Summer of Pinning

I've been kind of a lazy ass this summer.  But I still managed to get my pin on.  Get it guuuurl.

Baked it...

These were delish.  Really tasted like a peanut butter cup, but it wasn't as smooth.  Maybe next time I'll use an electric mixer.



This was really yummy.  Took a bit more time than I usually spend on a breakfast, but it was very good and cakey.



I prefer to keep my desserts full fat minus the fruit but my friends gobbled these up.



When I made these they looked like rolled up shit balls but they tasted pretty damn good.  I'm a terrible presenter of baked goods btw.



These were really really good a real crowd pleaser.  My father doesn't really like cake, so I made these instead for his birthday dinner.



Things I cooked...

This is my new go-to for meal planning and recipes. Love it!



This was so good that Andy and I made ourselves sick off of it.  It's really heavy, but it's something I will devour the twice a year I allow myself to make it.



This is a really simple yet yummy dish.



This was so well loved that I was asked to make it 3 times in one week.



I'd entertain with this meal for sure.



This was way too citrusy and orangey for me.  No one was really nuts about it.  It looks like it would be crunchy and have a General Tso's chicken feel to it, but it really just doesn't.



This is like a gussied up version of hamburger helper.  It's a little bit white trash so it's right up my alley.



We top ours with a bit of creamy blue cheese dressing.  So good.



This is a staple in our house.  I'll make it like every other week and no one ever gets sick of it.



This nearly put me into a sugar coma, but it was well worth it.



Yeah buddy.



What I crafted...

I'm craft handicapped, but this was super easy and she loves it.  The only thing is is that it's over in a hot minute so you have to do it over and over and over.



This is perfect for people like me.  We've used a few of these crafts like the paper plate tamborines and the cereal necklace.  But I'm telling you when I see words like "mod podge" and "glue gun" I high tail it right out of there.



I did this on construction paper because I don't keep canvas in the house.



This is the easiest flipping craft/activity  you'll ever do.



This failed.  I tried to just half the recipe because I ran out of flour and I just couldn't get the consistency right.  It wound up being a hot mess on my deck.



Fitness...

I totally did this.  I still don't look like those models.  It should specifically say in the pin that the exercise is not to be combined with grilled cheese sandwiches and beer.



Well this is pretty much a big old pat on the back from myself to myself for actually following through with about 3% of my pins.
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Friday, August 24, 2012

We May Well Have a House

::whispers:: I think we may have found a house.  It's in our price range (barely), is big, has a big back yard, has some room to put our own stamp on it and make it our own.

Guys, we've looked at 71 houses.  71.  We looked at big houses, small houses, overpriced houses, houses with gorgeous kitchens to die for just to have the back yard be right next to the Jersey Turnpike.  Houses with huge bedrooms and old roofs.  Houses with one bedroom on the main floor and 2 bedrooms in the basement.  Houses with jacuzzi tubs and disgusting neighbors.

We've seen some houses.  Even liked a few enough to try to buy them which was one big fail, and then the other.  But this time just might be it.

We had a crazy two days of back and forth negotiations until we eventually dug in our heels and said they either take our best offer or leave it and they took it.  Then there was a ton of back and forths with the Attorney Review and a home inspection.  The big issues with the home inspection were the furnace (old and turned backwards) and the doors that they were installing when we saw the house were now not being put on.

So we played a little ball.  We asked for a 5K credit and the doors.  They came back at a 3K credit and the doors and we said no.  They slept on it and eventually agreed.  So it looks like we're well on our way to closing around the middle of October.

The house needs a little TLC and a bunch of new paint and light fixtures and homey touches, but it's a great house with a ton of space for our family to grow.  It's a bit more than we wanted to spend, but it's in such a great town.

Wanna see some pics?

This is the front of the house. It's not a great pic, but it's a corner lot ranch with a small covered front porch where I'm envisioning a brown wicker bench and a small table where I can sip coffee in the rain.


This would be the kitchen.  The thorn in my side.  See those old plastic cabinets?  Ripping them out.  That hideous orange floor?  Gone.  That super sweet ironing board screwed into the wall that's masquerading as a breakfast bar?  See ya.  Those lovely white appliances?  Say hello to stainless steel baby.  We're planning on dropping a huge chunk of money into redoing the kitchen.  It's a bit smaller than I would have liked, but getting to gut it and completely redo it will make sure that it's my own. 


This is the basement bar.  Eventually down the line we'd like to update the counter and possibly extend it a bit.


This is the screened in back porch and I'm in love with this room.  It has ceramic tile and a ceiling fan.  I can see that Andy, Isabella and I will be enjoying many meals in this room.  We used our deck all the time, and now that we have a room that is screened in, we'll be sure to use it even more.  I can see us sipping wine and listening to The Killers after the baby has gone to bed.


This is the basement.  We'll turn the basement into a play room/man cave for Andy.  I've been obsessively pinning toy storage.  I want a pin worthy playroom.  


This is the outside patio.  Down the line I'd like to rip up that concrete slab and replace it with something a little more appealing, but that will have to wait a while. 



This is the dining room.  Slap some fresh paint on the walls and a new light fixture and you've got yourself a whole new room.  


This is the formal living room.  What I have in mind for this room is a few comfy, antiquey looking arm chairs with mohagany book cases and lots of fresh flowers.  Although, it will have to wait a bit since we won't have a ton of money up front for decorating.  It will take us a bit to get back on our feet. 


The back yard.  That play set is staying.  It just needs to be spruced up a bit.  I can't wait to watch Isabella have a big back yard to run and play in.


This is the family room.  I love how light and airy it is and I just adore the fireplace.  


The money shot baby.  An in ground heated pool.  I die.  


The master bathroom has been recently updated and the main bath is fine, a little outdated, but it's not on our improvement radar just yet.  The bedrooms are not huge, but they're decent sized and there's four bedrooms so we can have guests over.  

Now I'm no stranger to heart ache.  I know plenty of things can go wrong between now and then but I'm pretty excited regardless.  


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Thursday, August 23, 2012

On Growing Older

Sometimes I still feel 16 years old.  I walked around on the beach with my 3 year old daughter, 34 year old husband, and 55+ parents and it felt like it could have easily been 15 years ago with my girlfriends checking out boys and rubbing our bodies with baby oil (gross right?).

But sometimes I really do feel  my age.

Like when I was at my cousin's 30th birthday party and I was cutting a rug, shaking my booty on the dance floor and the next day my knees hurt so bad that I had to ice them.  Sexy.

Sometimes no matter how much I sleep I'm still exhausted by 10 pm.

I need like 3 days notice to mentally prepare myself for a night away from my family.  Not because I love them so much, but because all of a sudden in my old age I have developed some social anxiety that I need to plan around.

And I'm getting these wicked lower back pains.  I stretch it out so much that Isabella can do my whole stretch routine from start to finish.

Also...sometimes I really look my age.

Like I'll catch a glimpse of myself in the mirror and I'm all, "What the mother fuck?"

For example, you could crawl into the bags under my eyes and hibernate for the winter.  True story.

The vericose and spider veins on my legs could easily be mistaken for a map of the Thames.  Isn't there something that can be done about that? Maybe some sort of vein sucking procedure.  I'll need to check with my derm.

I have sprouted a lovely pair of parenthesis around my mouth along with a weird dry patch on my foot.

My skin care routine has gone from soap and moisturizer to face wash, toner, under eye gel, under eye cream, and moisturizer with SPF.  Twice a day every day.  Yet I still manage to get a bit of acne from time to time, ya know...to keep me young.

I'm not opposed to getting a little botox in the future if I need it.

All in all, I think I've held up fairly well.  I can see the bad decisions of my youth catching up with me: never using sun screen, smoking, not running unless I was being chased.  But it's also making me make a lot better decisions about my health and looks now.  Right now I'm trying to do a little damage control and not wind up looking like a leather purse by the time I'm 50.
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Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Cry Baby

Isabella is a cry Baby.  There's no way around it.  It is what it is and it be what it be.   I think that this is my own personal form of karma.  If it's one thing that I've always hated as a teacher, it's been criers.  I've never had patience for children who cry for no reason.  So God gifts me with a cry baby so that I can temper myself...well played God, well played.

But it's not just a regular tearful sniffle, it's an out and out full on tears streaming, high screaming, inconsolable cry.  And it's never for anything good.  Her cookie broke before she could eat it.  Her cousin has a pink pail and she has a purple one.  She sat somewhere second.  She didn't get to be the leader.  I'm sure all that stuff is super important for a three year old, but to me it's pretty ridiculous.

I don't think it's just the age, because when she's with my nieces, none of them cry like that.  I mean they cry, just  not over every little thing.  It's not like she can't express herself, she speaks in full sentences and can easily communicate what she wants, she's just super emotional.

It's not all the time, she tends to go in fits and spurts, but right now she's in a crying stage.  It's becoming embarrassing.  But who knows...maybe one day she'll channel all that angst and become a brooding lead to an alternative rock band.  A mom can dream huh?
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Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Feeling Inadequate

Lately I've been feeling just really inadequate.  Like my best just isn't good enough.

Andy and I went to visit a couple friend of ours and their house was just gorgeous.  Not just was it big and airy and bright, but it was decorated and painted in such a way that I never would have even thought of.  I'm not even pinning ideas like that.  I feel like my house, when I ever get a house, is going to look completely mish moshed.

Our shore vacation was awesome, but if there's one thing about Ocean City it's that every one looks fit and fab.  You have to really look very closely to find a person who is overweight or out of shape.  I'm not just talking about nubile teenagers, but mom's of four, grandfather, and 12 year olds.  They were all rocking the TLB's (tight little bodies).  It didn't help that I went on a bender this week fueled by wine, fried oreos, ice cream, and caramel corn.  Bleh.

I feel like living with my parents definitely has it's perks, they get up with her every morning and they do a lot with her and for her and I kind of feel like I'm not being a good enough mom.  Isabella always wants to play with my dad.  She always wants my mom to take her to the bathroom or to comfort her when she cries and I feel like I should be spending more time playing with her instead of farting around on the computer or on my phone.  I know I'm not doing my best there.  I've gotten lazy and I've gotten into a bit of a rut.

I also feel like kind of a loser in the friends department.  I've barely seen any of my friends this summer.  It's not for lack of time or babysitting, it's for lack of motivation to set things up or to meet up with them or anything.  House hunting has taken up the bulk of my free time, but I've been awfully lazy in an area that means so much to me.  Like why would I rather sit home on a saturday night instead of meeting my sister for a drink?  I'm being bummy and anti-social.

So there are all the reasons I feel badly right now.  It's good to get it out.
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Monday, August 20, 2012

Summering at the Shore

Sorry for the lack of posts this week, but we've been on our annual trip down to Ocean City N.J.  Every year we rent a house, my, Andy, Isabella, and my parents, and this year we had my cousin and her family join us for 2 nights.

It's always great to get away.  This year was better than the past two years since Isabella is so much older.  I read 2 books!  Can you imagine?  She loves to dig on the sand, build sand castles, and search for shells, but she's very timid of the ocean.  She's scared the waves are going to get her, poor bug.

It was a wonderfully relaxing vacation, but it's always nice to be home, wherever that may be.
















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