Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Same Old Same Old (not really)

Monday after writing my lengthy explanation of how crazy our week would be my brother called (at 10:30 pm) to tell me his band would be traveling through the area doing some local radio and television interviews and wanted to know if they could crash at our place again. I had to think about it for a moment, but there really wasn't any reason they couldn't. About a month ago I made a statement on this blog saying, "if you are ever in the DFW area and need a place to stay our door is always open". So to keep true to that promise I told him to come on down.
The following morning my day started out pretty typical. I woke up, took a shower, and got some hot water boiling in order to have oatmeal for breakfast, I have been kind of craving it lately.

First up on our agenda for the day was Z's follow up appointment. I have been pretty nervous about this evaluation. The strabismus surgery was so difficult to go through to not know for sure that it will even work. It's not like some surgeries, such as tosillectomy, where unless there are unexpected rare complications they do the procedure you heal and your done. In my son's case they do the procedure you heal, and then you wait to see how the brain responds to the adjusted eye muscles. Fortunately, the follow up went well and the Doctor says everything looks good so far. Now we have to wait another month for the next appointment to have a better idea of just how successful the surgery was and I am not good at waiting.

After the eye appointment we went thrift store shopping and got a few things to complete our outfits for the wedding. This took a little longer than we had planned so we headed straight to a photo session I had scheduled. The shoot was of a young man who competed in arm wrestling competitions. He is one of the best in the nation and has traveled internationally for competitions. The shoot went well, but when I returned to the car where J and Z were waiting it was immediately acknowledged that I reeked of cigarette smoke. I guess a 30 minute photo session with avid smokers left enough second hand smoke in my hair and clothes to make it appear that I had spent the weekend in a rowdy bowling alley. The problem was I had very little time before we had several guests that were about to arrive back at our house, some of whom I have never met. I really didn't want to give off the impression that I was a 4 months pregnant chain smoker. We hurried home so that I could change and take my second shower of the day. All the rush was for nothing when in the end everyone was extremely late.

Pediatric eye specialist, thrift stores, arm wrestlers, and 5 guys sleeping in our living room/office, it's not what I would call a typical day, but what should really be interesting is flying standby tomorrow with a toddler. I will let you know how it goes.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Real Life In Real Time

It seems that things rarely slow down around here, but they do tend to speed up! This is going to be a crazy week for my household so instead of my usual blog format I am just going to be checking in periodically with some updates about my real life as it happens.

I haven't seen J all day other than the kiss goodbye before he left this morning. Our church is opening a coffee shop. We bought an old beat up building and have been in the remodeling process for a while now. This month we are down to the wire to get this thing up and running and so J has been putting in some 14 hour days (not to mention today was his day off.) I am sure you will be hearing more about this project sometime in the future.

On Thursday we leave for Kentucky. My oldest brother is getting married. Of course it's a big deal when anyone gets married, but this seems like a really really big deal. We got married in reverse order. I was the youngest and was married first, the middle child followed shortly after. Then years later as my oldest brother hit and crossed the big 3-0 milestone without ANY sign of a serious relationship we wondered when he would ever settle down. We weren't worried, and we never rushed him, but let it suffice to say we are happy for him.

Add to all that the fact that Z had eye surgery on Thursday and the post operative instructions and follow through is our main priority above everything else right now.

It's a little overwhelming to think about everything there is to do, but what this really means is that there are a lot of potentially great things on the horizon. Now let's just hope I get through it all without any major melt downs.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Looking On The Bright Side

There are lots of things about pregnancy that I could complain about, but it's not all bad. There are certain things I can appreciate while I am living in the moment. Although they may come with some restrictions or stipulations here are a some things I have become somewhat spoiled by in my current condition. So in contrast to last months top 5 complaints here are my top 5 perks of pregnancy.

1. No Dieting!
You don't need to subscribe to Fit Pregnancy magazine to know that you are supposed to eat right and exercise throughout the entire 9 months. However, strict dieting and weight loss is absolutely out of the questions and if it is a new fitness routine that would strain your body you are advised against it. So for someone who is always considering starting a diet or new exercise regimen, but never does, you don't have to worry about it anymore. In fact it's forbidden. So now if I get the urge to go run a marathon I am off the hook. I love it!

2. Excuses
I feel like I was born clumsy and forgetful, but this is not an excuse that most people recognize as legitimate, that is were pregnancy comes in. I don't like the fact that at times I wonder where my brain has gone, but I do like that at least now I can blame it on something.

3. Maternity Clothes
Maternity clothes have come a long way sistas! There were times when I wasn't pregnant that I would admire the clothes made for women who were and now I can wear the big belly styles once again. I love having an elastic waste band, especially at a time when bathroom trips are quadrupled it's nice to just skip the zipper.

4. Extra Calories
Okay, I know that "eating for two" can be taken to an extreme, but you are at least allowed an extra 300 calories. I don't know about you, but anytime someone wants to instruct me to take in more calories I am all ears, or all mouth, or stomach. Whatever, I just like to have an excuse (there is that excuse perk again) to stuff my face at times.

5. Letting It All Hang Out
Other than babies and toddlers this is the one time in your life you can have a big round belly and everyone thinks it is adorable. Postpartum tummies are inevitable, but for now I can quit sucking it in, put the spanks* away, and just enjoy my silhouette. This is the time to sport "my bump, my bump, my lovely baby bump."

*The truth is I don't own any spanks, but if I did I would put them away.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Belly Laughs

I recently read Belly Laughs by Jenny McCarthy. This book came out in 2004 when I wasn't even thinking about babies, so sorry if I am a little behind in the trends. The first chapter gives a disclaimer about her frankness, but I admit I don't think I realized what I was in for. I was somewhat familiar with Jenny McCarthy and I had already read her book Love Louder Than Words, but that book was written from the perspective of a mother fighting for her autistic son. Apparently the Belly Laughs Jenny and I are polar opposites. I had a hard time relating to what I would call a Hollywood style pregnancy.

For example in her chapter on granny panties, she talks about transitioning away from the g string. I am not entirely convinced that she even knows what granny panties are, because if underwear that you wear outside of your butt crack is considered "granny panties" well then I say bring it on, preggers or not. Then there is the chapter about engorged breast. She admits to having had a boob job, and thought she would be able to handle this aspect of pregnancy. However, she complains about how her once attractive boobs turned into something you would see in National Geographic. I guess I shouldn't be surprised that a playboy playmate would only be able to relate the female anatomy to what is found in magazines, and when it comes to nudity in magazines you pretty much have two options porn or National Geographic. As for me, I guess I am National Geographic, and once again that goes for being pregnant or not.

At the end of the book (if you don't mind the spoiler) she talks about the birth and she says:
"Life was good. Life was going to be great. I had plans for this boy. I would fill him with so much love that he'd be able to conquer the world. Watching my husband glow with love also took my breath away."
She also shares the idea of having another baby. It is weird reading her books in the wrong order. It's like being able to see in the future. Knowing how she will divorce her husband, her son will be diagnosed autistic, and at this point doesn't have anymore children. Despite all that, she seems to be doing great and I admire her courage and all that she's done in raising awareness about autism. It's just weird to think about how she had no idea what was in store for her after Belly Laughs was written. Of course none of us know what the next chapter in life holds.

The book was an easy read, although don't let me go without mentioning that it is absolutely crude and offensive. I did laugh some though, and after reading 160 pages of her complaining about how difficult the 9 months were for her, I thought "Dang, I have it easy!"

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Look Back and Laugh: I Know...

Now that Z is two I guess he thinks he knows everything. Half of his sentences start with "I know". When he sees something familiar he says "I know". For example "I know Elmo" or "I know that dog". So the other day J had the freezer open and Z spotted a bag of coffee grounds and said "I know daddy's coffee." It was really cute. Then he looked up pointed again and said "I know mommy's ice cream."


J got a kick out of that, especially since he has been trying to rat me out at our prenatal appointments. When my blood tests came back last week he asked if they revealed how much ice cream I have been eating. Their response was that they don't check ice cream levels until later in the pregnancy.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Growth Spurt

It's time for another maternity update. I am 17 weeks now, which means I am really in the thick of it. What I mean by that is that I am getting thicker in the middle everyday. Maternity clothes are a requirement, although most are still roomy. I took some photos out in front of our garage a couple days ago. I must have trained Z well because these were all done on timer and he looks at the camera even when there is no one standing there.

The last photo shows much I grew this past month and I still have 5 months to go.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Pam and I are both pregnant

Last night was the season premiere of the Office. At the end of last season I admit I wasn't terribly impressed. I might have even made a comment about the show jumping the shark with their cliff hanger of Jim and Pam's pregnancy. Of course that was before I was pregnant. Now I am very interested to find out about this lil' bitty fictional bundle of joy. Of all the office characters I relate the most to Pam. I guess everyone would, unless you are a guy then you would say Jim. That's the point of the show. Jim and Pam represent you the viewer and the rest of the cast represent the annoying people that you work with.

I don't often take Face Book quizzes, but every once in a while the nostalgia of being in Middle School with a bunch of my girlfriends huddled around a Seventeen magazine and taking quizzes lours me in to relive the moment with more meaningless multiple choice questions.
So when I saw that my Face Book friends were taking the quiz titled"which office character are you?" I gave it a try, and the quiz results confirmed the suspicions that I am a Pam.

So anyway, Pam and I are pregnant at the same time. This should be fun. I remember when I got married it was the same year as Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston. The bridal buzz was all about this power couples nuptials, and even though they only released one photo of the big day the tabloids milked it for all it was worth.

It's amazing to look back now and see how Jennifer Aniston married the most sought after bachelor in the world around the same time that I married a small town musician with a low paying day job, and now 9 years later I think it's fair to say that I was the lucky one.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Look Back and Laugh: My Brother Preaching

I normally have my "Look Back and Laugh" blog post on Tuesday's, but I didn't get this video until today. I figured since I am always sharing funny stories about my family I would show a clip of my brother doing the same thing. This video was taken last week when my brother preached at the church where I grew up. It was a once in a life time opportunity. The cat's out of the bag on what "Z's" name is, but it's not the first time it was accidentally mentioned on this blog.


Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Prime Time and Late Night (feed back wanted)

Truth be told I have yet to watch any prime time or late night TV this week even though that is my blog topic. I was going to catch the premier of Castle because that was a returning show that I was looking forward to, but Dream Girls was airing in it's slot so I guess I will have to wait. Speaking of waiting Dancing With The Stars is another show that is holding off until next week.

I am not DWTS #1 fan by any means, but if you've followed this blog over the past year you know I talk about it every now and then. Even though the 9th season of the show has yet to begin the hype leading up to it has been building all summer. As far as the celebrity line up goes, there isn't much to talk about, but if I were to have a favorite (without having seen anyone dance) I would choose Melissa Joan Hart. I never was watched The Teenage Witch show, but I know that she is a mom and uses cloth diapers, so there is some camaraderie there. I am sure this will hoist her to the top as a fan favorite right? Not really, she'll probably be the first to go.

Since we are talking about reality/talent shows I can't go without mentioning the big announcement for American Idol's replacement judge since Paula Abdul resigned. I figured this would be it for the 7 year old show. However that was before I heard that the guest judges for the early auditions include Victoria Beckham, Mary J. Blige, Joe Jonas, Neil Patrick Harris and many others. That's not too bad, and now Ellen Degeneres is on board. I've got to hand it to them, that's a pretty good line up. As far as Ellen not having any musical experience other than the sheer love of music as a consumer, well there are 3 other judges on the show that supposedly know what they are talking about, so I think it is a pretty fair spread.

Lastly, has anyone seen Jay Leno's new show? I have not, but I did watch his last episode of the tonight show and it seemed like that would have been a nice place to leave his career. There is all kinds of talk in the papers and magazine that "Jay is changing Television as we know it". Wow, that sounds exciting, but I am not convinced, it's a comedy show that comes on at 9:00 whoop de do. I tend to forget however, being in the central time zone, that I have the luxury of watching late night programs at 10:30 and 11:30 pm if I watch them at all. I can't imagine finishing up late night TV at 1:30 or 2:30 am. So what are your thoughts? You think Jay Leno will change late night TV? Does anyone have any opinions on when comedy starts at night? Does anyone watch these shows and if so which ones? Please share!

Monday, September 14, 2009

ANOTHER reaction to Kanye and Taylor

After a long enjoyable television hiatus I am ready to take a peak at what's happening with TV's fall line up for 2009. I am making absolutely no commitment and promise of follow through, but I am always curious about what is out there and this is the week that most networks will be airing some the premiere episodes of new shows and returns of the few old ones that are returning for another season.

For starters can I just take a moment to rant about the latest television scandal that took place last night at the Video Music Awards. Blogs, Face Book, and Online reporters everywhere are chiming in to talk about the scene caused by Kanye West, and I just can't resist. For those who haven't heard the buzz, what basically happened was that Kanye West hijacked the mic from Taylor Swifts who was giving a speech after winning for best female music video. He really riled everyone up by saying that "Beyonce had one of the best videos of all time", insinuating that she should have won---ouch. We already knew that Kanye has a few loose screws and a history of these kind of public outburst, so no breaking news there.

I did feel really bad for Taylor and was happy to see the seemingly rehearsed moment of redemption when Beyonce took the award for best video and had Taylor come out to "have her moment".

It's amazing how much this has stirred people up, whether they like Taylor Swift or not the internet seems to be mourning the humiliation of Taylor and I have a few things to say to the internet because I am a blogger and that is what we do.

First of all there are many 19 year old girls that were raised as slaves in the sex trafficking industry, some that are dying of aids, some that are victims of abuse, and some are single mothers that can't afford to take care of the children. Not that is what we are talking about.

Taylor Swift on the other hand is more successful than most aspiring musicians could possibly dream of. The multi platinum selling artist reportedly raked in over $18 MILLION this year alone. She arrived at the VMA's last night in princess fashion with her sparkling silver gown and Cinderella like horse drawn carriage. Unfortunately as with any fairly tale their is a villain and in this case it was Kanye west interrupting her acceptance speech for one out of the many many awards she has won and will win.

Before I come across as too harsh let me just say you don't have to be on your death bed for me to feel sorry for you. I am a girl, I specialize in sympathy, but as for everyone that is concerned about the well being of this little princess, I wouldn't worry too much, I think she will recover. To be honest, if it weren't for Kanye most of us would never know or care that she ever won that award in the first place.

Friday, September 11, 2009

From Baby to Toddler

There are many things that are changing for my little guy as he transitions into this new stage of life. As mentioned on Wednesday he has a big boy hair cut now. We also dumped the diaper bag and replaced it with an adorable penguin back pack that he got for his birthday.

On Sunday he graduated from the infants nursery at church to the 2-3 year old class. His teacher said he did a good job, but that he did go to time out once. She also told me not to worry because he was really obedient overall and his behavior is not abnormal, so that's a relief. He was sent home with a craft that they did which was a little paper ark that he decorated with animal stamps. This was exciting because they don't do stuff like that in the baby nursery. I have it hanging on the fridge.

He might be becoming a big boy now, but that doesn't mean that all the baby stuff is gone. For example he still sleeps in his crib. I LOVE having him in the crib, but I know the time is near that we will no longer have that luxury and will have to teach him to STAY IN BED at bedtime. Also I did an "ask the reader" post about bottle weening about 5 months ago and he still takes a bottle at night, but we only give him water now so we don't have to worry about his teeth rotting. Both the crib and the bottle are such a crutch to get him the much needed sleep that we all deserve, but when I get enough motivation I will eventually tackle these issues.

So he still wears diapers most of the time, sleeps in a crib, and takes a bottle, but I don't mind. I am fine with him growing up, just not overnight.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Z's 2nd Birthday

This year I was going to have a very simple birthday celebration. We did a big thing last year but this time I was just wanting to keep it low key. Nice idea, yet somehow the "non-party" gradually grew into a decent size birthday bash (this was completely my doing by the way). There were over 20 guests, we had pizza, party favors, and I even made a home made cake. When we brought out the cake Z started singing happy birthday to himself right away. It was my favorite part of the night. He got a lot of great presents and is one spoiled little boy. He still hasn't quite figured out how to really tear into a wrapped gift, but he'll have another chance in a few months when Santa comes. Anyway, here are some photos of the fun filled evening.

The Monkey Cake

Happy Birthday To You...

Let's Party!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

First Haircut

I was stuck at the Toyota dealership for an hour yesterday getting my oil changed. While waiting I ended up reading an issue of People magazine cover to cover. It turns out that Kate Hudson's son just had his first haircut, which was breaking news of course. Her and Celine Dion always intrigued me the way they never cut their little boys hair.

I always said I would never ever do that! And although I might not have a 5 year old with hair past his shoulders I did have a little boy with long locks that would be the envy of many toddler girls. His bangs dangled in his face and his curls covered his neck. We really riled a lot of people up from family members to strangers wondering WHEN WILL WE CUT THAT BOY'S HAIR!?

I blame my husband. He liked the shaggy california look and would make comments like "he will tell us when he wants a haircut". Obviously this is unrealistic. If we relied on him to tell us when he wanted something done he would never bathe or eat anything of nutritious value. To compromise we settled on giving him his first haircut at two years old. We have had this planned for a while now and on the morning of his second birthday we made the cut before J even headed off to work.

Even though I was beyond ready to give him a trim it was hard to see the baby curls go and it will take some time to get used to the new haircut. As far as Z goes, he doesn't even seem to notice. Another milestone crossed and many more to come, milestones and haircuts.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Look Back and Laugh: Kiss My Cars

We have been doing some potty training around here, which means BIG BOY UNDERWEAR! For his birthday Z's aunt gave him some briefs with the characters from Car's on them and a pack of m&m's (bribery candy). He was really excited about the car underwear.

One of his latest saying has been "mommy kiss it" when he hurts himself. If he hurts his finger he'll say "mommy kiss my finger" or foot or whatever. One day while wearing his car undies he fell down and came up to me pointing his booty saying "mommy kiss my cars". So as only a mother would do, I pursed my lips, gave him a kiss on the "cheek", and made it all better.

The above photo was all I could find of him in whitey tighties. It's hard to see, but he does have a sticker on his shirt which means he must have had a successful potty session that day. As far as the high heels, I am sure he'll be mortified about it later, but it's cute right now, especially when he goes around wearing heels and pushing his mini lawn mower.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Madagascar 2

Z got Madagascar 2 for his birthday yesterday. It's funny how he calls the first one "the lion movie" but he calls the second one "madcar". That's good though, how else would I know which one he wanted to watch if they were both the lion movie? So Mad-car is playing right now even though Z lost interest about 10 minutes into it and is in another room playing guitar with his dad. He certainly doesn't have the attention span to sit in front of the TV for an hour and a half, or anywhere near that, which is a good thing. When that day comes I know I am going to have to put the kibosh on just how much movie time we allow.

I'll admit the kid flicks get old sometimes, but it could be so much worse, like the Teletubbies for example. Fortunately there are production companies like Disney and Dreamworks that really set the bar for quality animated films. I have yet to see Finding Nemo, but I have been told it's a classic. I will have to add it to my list.. for Z of course. I mean, why would I care? That's all kid stuff, and I am a mature grown up.

Or maybe I am just a big ol' kid.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Frugal Video Rentals

Remember the days (not that long ago) when pretty much the only choice you had for video rentals was to go to a video store and rent one? Then came Netflix. We did netflix for several years earlier in our marriage and it was a great frugal way to rent as many videos as we wanted for about 10 bucks a month.

However, when our son came along we noticed that we never exchanged our movies and were paying about $10 per rental. Not frugal. So we canceled it for that season in our lives. Then I heard about Red Box and how you could get cheap sometimes FREE movies, anytime and it was so convenient. The first time I checked out a movie I didn't realize it was a dollar per day and I ended up paying $12.00 for the movie. Not frugal, again. I have tried a few times since, but with having a baby and a packed schedule I couldn't make it to the red box often enough for it to be cheap or convenient.

After that we pretty much gave up on watching movies altogether, which for me hasn't been such a bad thing. Now that my son is 2 though (as of today) he is wanting to watch movies, so I started borrowing them from friends and family. There is one guy in particular that is like a human blockbuster (if you go to my church you know who I am talking about.) He has all kinds of movies and lots of family friendly options. We have been able to catch up on the past two years of children's films thanks to him and all for free.

I am sure we will enter another season of movie watching at some point in our lives, but for now this borrowing business is really working well for us. I am not suggesting that everyone should go find their own human blockbuster, but you have to find what works for you. Some people go to the library for their movies, some people love movies so much they just purchase them and watch them over and over. Being frugal is not a one size fits all kind of thing, and even on an individual level sometimes sizes change.

For more frugal tips for to Frugal Fridays at

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

What I Learned From Toy Story

I feel privileged to remember the release of Toy Story. Much like Steam Boat Willie is the first cartoon to ever be accompanied by audio, Toy Story will forever be a part of entertainment history as the first full length computer animated film. I remember going to the theater multiple times to be blown away by the cutting edge animation. It all just looked so realistic. Although, I am sure Godzilla and King Kong did at one time too.

Now 15 years later my son gets to enjoy the movie for the first time. It was one of the VHS tapes from my old collection. Yes, you heard that right, we still own a VCR. I will admit it feels like a lifetime when waiting for it to rewind or having to fast forward through the previews. Still, it lends the opportunity to teach all of us a little something about patience.

I had forgotten what a cute movie Toy Story is. I almost wanted to cry when Buzz believes he can fly and ends up falling off the balcony. Then there is the scene where Woody convinces Buzz that it doesn't matter that he is not a super hero space ranger because he is Andy's toy and that is the most important job in the world.

I am always amazed when I learn humbling life lessons from children's stories. It's stuff we already know, but need to be reminded of at times. To be something that you are not will only lead to disappointment, but to realize your calling and know that is an irreplaceable role brings fulfillment. I may not look like Angelina, or be crafty like Martha, and I will never sing like Mariah, but I am Zs mom (among many other things) and that is a role that I wouldn't want to trade for anything!

The truth is I don't really struggle with wanting to be Angelina Jolie, Martha Stewart, or Mariah Carey, but I just thought some of the major female icons of our culture would get the point across. You can insert pretty much any lie or insecurity and it applies the same.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Look Back and Laugh: I Did It Again

Last week I shared a story of how I said something that could have been taken the wrong way, which is the story of my life by the way. Our church does a thing on Wednesday nights where we eat a meal together before going off to our separate Bible studies. It is a really great thing that brings everyone closer, like family.

One night the topic came up about the Transformers sequel, and one dad at the table said that it was not "kid friendly". I had already assumed that from the PG-13 rating, the trailer, and being told about the language and explicitly sexual material that oozes throughout the entire film. This is confusing to me because I always thought transformers were toys that young boys played with, not to mention that the toys, clothing, and room decor from this movie are being marketed to children!

In trying to get my point across I said something (in a group of mixed company) that was along the lines of, "They just need to decide what kind of a film they are making. Is it going to be a children's film or adult film?"

Well, I am sure you already see were I went wrong in my wording. The Transformers Adult Film conjures up all kind of mental images that I was not trying to imply. Of course someone had to ask "what kind of film are suggesting they make?" We all got a good laugh out of it. No big deal, because like I said we're practically family.