Sunday, December 30, 2012

Random Things That Make Me Cry

These aren't the normal things that make a person cry but I sob like a baby at all of these:

  • Reading about Roberto Clemente
  • Katy Perry's "Firework" because it reminds me of the Fur Power circus in Madagascar 3
  • The Fur Power circus in Madagascar 3
  • L.E. saying, "Mommy, I'm so happy to see you!"
  • When my parents arrive in the middle of the night
  • Creamy jalapeño dip at Chuy's
  • The Mercedes commercials with Santa and Jon Hamm's voice
  • Christmastime in general. Music, commercials, TV shows, prime rib...
  • When the Steelers win
  • When the Steelers lose
  • When the Steelers don't make the playoffs
  • Getting sympathy cards in the mail from people whom I wouldn't expect would send them
  • When my hair and makeup look fabulous and I did them both myself
  • A deep meaningful conversation with Dr. T that was long overdue
  • Polar bears
  • Mom's chicken Romano
  • That scene at the end of Toy Story 3 where they're in the incinerator and they realize they're going to burn so they just hold hands. 
  • L.E.'s impromptu hugs
  • Being out of Xanax
  • A clean car that I didn't wash
  • Seeing a kid I used to babysit play in the NFL
  • Puppies and kitties
  • Finding a note from my Pap
  • The realization that some day L.E. will grow up and make her own decisions
  • Delicious tacos
  • Finding the perfect lipstick
  • Birchbox
  • Writing lists about things that make me cry

Thursday, December 27, 2012

A Question A Day

Best. Gift. Ever.
Last year for Christmas, a great friend of mine gave me one of the best gifts ever: a Five Year Question A Day journal. I love it so much. It keeps me accountable to where I'm at least writing something every day.
With year one just about complete, I thought it'd be fun to randomly pick a few days of questions and answers. I tried to be as honest as possible which, let's face it, wasn't always so happy or exciting. And since this is entirely random, it can also be quite boring.

January 28
Q: How do you describe your home?
A: Cozy. Warm. Neat. Happy

February 18
Q: What's the most expensive thing you're wearing right now?
A: My Danskos

March 4
Q: What would you like to ask your mother?
A: How can I make my chicken Romano as good as yours?

April 11
Q: What sound effect are you most like today?
A: An old-fashioned car horn

May 18
Q: If you could go back in time and change something, what would it be?
A: I would tell Reno Mom what she meant to me

June 20
Q: Write the first sentence of your autobiography.
A: So this is how it started...

July 11
Q: If you were a literary character, who would you be?
A: Ruth from A Widow for One Year by John Irving

August 23
Q: Yes or no: everyone should have a backup plan
A: YES!!! (Exactly how it was written...note that this was two days after I moved to Austin)

September 13
Q: Write down a minor, but chronic, problem.
A: My jeans don't fit

October 22
Q: Write a haiku about your day.
A: Kyle is in town
     Last night we drank too much beer
     I need to sleep now

November 14
Q: What do you need to vent about?
A: How hard it is to be a good employee AND a good mom without pissing anyone off

December 17
Q: If you had to move to a new city, where would you move?
A: That's not even funny right now

December 27 (Today)
Q: When was the last time you felt at peace?
A: I can't remember

I recommend this book to anybody. You can buy it here and here.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Does This Mean I'm Officially A Grown-Up?

I've done a lot in my 36 years. I've moved across the country with nary a second glance at home. I've finished school, worked countless jobs, been poor, been financially-stable, owned two homes, been a responsible car owner, wife, parent and dog owner.
To say my life hasn't had its fill of challenges is an understatement. But this week was the hardest.
I had to say good-bye to the best friend I've ever had.
We got P-man when he was 10 weeks old. He was our first anniversary present. I can't believe we didn't  have a dog sooner than that, but it was the best decision we ever made. He was a sweetheart and very much a puppy. He pooped on Dr T's leg the second morning we had him; T was trying to carry him outside. We tried to crate-train him at night AFTER he'd been sleeping in our bed, which was a terrible idea. Eventually--like 10 minutes eventually--he took over our bed and our lives.
He was diagnosed with hip-dysplasia at four months. As we were deciding whether to go through an expensive hip surgery or not, we realized that he was going to be a part of our family for a long time and he was worth the expense. He was more than just a dog to us for the past 12 years. He had birthday parties and puppy play-dates. He was the perfect combination of lazy and excited. He kept the floors clean of food and intimidated anyone who knocked on our door with his sheer size and drooliness.
In short, he was awesome.
When we brought L.E. home, he adapted beautifully. We tried not to treat him any differently and he learned pretty quickly that things were changed. He didn't bark hardly ever and he always let us know when he thought something was wrong with L.E. When she was learning to crawl, he got so excited that he accidentally knocked her over. He was more upset about it than she was.
He was never just a pet. He was our kid, our boy, our P-Man.
I won't go into detail about the last few days but suffice to say I could look into his eyes and know it was time.
So we did the grown-up, responsible thing. We saw him through to the end.
When L.E. asked where he was, I told her God needed some help watching over her so he asked P-man to help him. She smiled and said, "OK. Can I have a popsicle?"
I hope she never has to do this grown-up responsible thing until she's actually a grown-up. There are lots of things in life that kids should face head-on. This is not one of them.
Good-bye, my friend. Thank you for your comfort, your loyalty, your compassion, your devotion and your amazing ability to keep me warm. I'll miss you terribly and I will never forget you.


Sunday, December 16, 2012


One of the things I've gained since becoming a parent is an overwhelming sense of emotion when hearing anything that has to do with children being harmed. Friday's tragedy in Connecticut shook me to my core. I can't pretend to come close to comprehending what those parents are going through.
All I could think to do is come home and hug my baby girl.
Touch is the most powerful of our senses. Nothing will ever feel better to me than the sticky hands of my L.E. as she throws her arms around my neck.
Hug your babies as much as you can.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Obligatory Elf on the Shelf Post

Every blogger writes about the Elf on the Shelf so I feel like I should, too. After all, last year this lady wrote about it and now she has a friggin' bestseller. I am so jealous of her; really, she wrote about the crazy over-achieving moms that I'll never even come close to being like and she got a book deal.
I'm disappointed in myself because I feel like I'm smart and witty enough to write a book but I haven't actually done it. I still have the vague belief that this blog will get me discovered by someone like the person who discovered her. But I digress...back to the Elf.
Elves creep me out in the same way leprechauns do but they don't keep me away from corned beef and cabbage on St. Patty's Day. However, I'm still not one to really buy into this whole Elf craze. For one thing, have you noticed the red eyes? I don't think I could sleep at night knowing the red-eyed creepy man-boy-doll was roaming around the house and spying on us. So there's that.
He's stealing your soul.
But the real reason I don't want the Elf on the Shelf is because I'M EXHAUSTED! The holiday season is draining enough as it is. There is shopping, cooking, wrapping, buying, eating, drinking, travel-planning, advent calendars, tree-watering, decorations, keeping a nosy toddler out of the room where all of her presents are hidden, trying to get to see Santa,  holiday programs which require missing work, preparing for backup child care because the preschool is closed, hiding more presents, figuring out what Dr. T wants, nagging him to get the boxes of decorations down, more cooking, driving to look at lights, lighting luminarias, work gift exchanges, school parties which need volunteers (also during work hours...). It's all so much. On top of it all, this is the first year L.E. is old enough to understand what's going on and I desperately want her to believe in Santa but she has the worst secret-keeper ever as a mom. I'd forget to move the Elf and I know she'd bust me touching it, which you're not supposed to do or else I'd accidentally grind him up in the garbage disposal like her little pig toy I set on the kitchen counter so I wouldn't trip over it.
I'm not good at these things.
Growing up, I loved believing in Santa. But I loved thinking that my parents were in cahoots with him even more. All my mom had to say is that she talks to Santa every day and tells him whether we were good or bad. That was enough for me. It made me awestruck to think my mom was in contact with such a powerful person. After all, he trusted her to wrap the presents he brought us which is why the gift tags were in her handwriting.
I hope L.E. will think I'm a friend of Santa's, too. I already told her I talk to Santa and he says that she'll get another present for every five times she uses her potty. So far it's working.
No Elf-wrangling necessary.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

More Holiday Fun and Broken Promises

It really is a nice little tree.
So I said I was going to do 12 days of posts for Christmas. I think I'll start December 12th.
In the meantime, check out my post on Austin Moms Blog. I talk about Seasonal Affective Disorder and how I combat it with Run DMC, Charlie Brown and eating what other people bake.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Ten Reasons I'm Looking Forward to the Holidays

I love Christmas. I love buying presents and putting up decorations. I love gatherings and the cheese trays that go with them.
I know there are more than ten, but here are some reasons why I'm looking forward to Christmas 2012:

10. Gingerbread Lattes at Starbucks
9. "Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer."
8. Footie Pajamas
7. Everything in this post
6. My upcoming 12 Days of Posts, where I'll post something every day for 12 days.
5. L.E.'s Christmas Tree butt

4. Singing along with the theme from "A Charlie Brown Christmas"

3. A Major Award

2. "Little full. Lotta sap."

1. The pure joy L.E. will experience now that she's a little older and "gets" Christmas

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Thanksgiving Eve

I made this turkey hand out of old Halloween candy.  That's right, I made it not my 2-year-old.

A lot of people are doing a "Being Thankful" challenge in which they post something they're grateful for every day in November. I'm not that ambitious; so I'll just knock out what I'm thankful for in one super-easy-to-read blog post.
I know I've been a little off lately, but I want to channel some positive thoughts tonight. I'm very fortunate to have what I do.

I am thankful for:

  1. Dr. T. I can't even put into words how much he does and what it means to our family but he definitely deserves the top spot this year. 
  2. L.E. She is hilarious and frustrating and I wouldn't change a thing about her, no matter how late she stays up and how many times she wakes up in the night. OK, maybe I would change her sleeping habits. But her smiles and the way her eyebrows raise up when she's excited make me the luckiest mom in the world.
  3. P-Man. He's still here! 12 years old and still going strong.
  4. My guardian angel I don't know who he or she is but they once again saved me from what could have been a very terrible accident when a deer ran out in front of me the other night. I honestly don't know how I missed it.
  5. My sister-wife who is more important to me than ever. I miss her like crazy. Because of her, I have friends in Austin; close enough friends that they invited us over for Thanksgiving dinner.
  6. My family. Spending the holiday without them is always hard. Thanksgiving at my parents' house is an epic event. Maybe next year we'll be able to go to it.
  7. FaceTime. So my parents can prop up the iPad on the counter and it's like I'm there!
  8. My BFF who is going through her first round of holidays without her mom. I wish I could do more to be there for her and I hope she knows that I think about her constantly.
  9. My San Diego friend who never fails to let me know how much I mean to her.
  10. L.E.'s godparents who need to finish their remodel so we can visit.
  11. My Reno friends who still check in with me a lot more than I thought they would. People get busy so I would totally understand being overlooked but I'm not and that just makes me feel so warm and fuzzy.
  12. My former boss who not only reads this blog, but told me the other day that I am a strong person and can weather anything. It means so much to me because he's someone I've admired for so long. It's a great feeling when a mentor holds you in high regard. He also called me young which is awesome.
  13. Austin. OK, it's with a bit of reluctance because I'm still adjusting to life in Texas but truthfully, Austin is a pretty great place to live. There's never a shortage of things to do. 
  14. New Austin friends. We don't have many but we're grateful to have people here who are really cool and fun to be around.
  15. Life's essentials. I have a roof over my head, I'm well-fed, I have lots of clothing even though many things are tight (see: well-fed)...there's nothing I need and that's a damn good thing to be grateful for.
  16. The founders of Austin Moms Blog who gave me another outlet to share my "wisdom" and offer tips on finding the best queso in Austin.
  17. Queso.
  18. Barbecue.
  19. Phil's Ice House.
  20. Our trip to the beach on Friday.
  21. Bumble & Bumble. My frizzy hair is under control.
  22. Most of all I'm grateful for you, my readers. As long as I have at least one person reading this, I'll keep writing. And if you could tell maybe like 150 of your friends to read, too, maybe I'll get a book deal. Hey, it worked for the People I Want To Punch In The Throat lady...
So Happy Thanksgiving, y'all! Eat, drink, be merry, hug your loved ones tight.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

What Was Up With This Past Week?

I feel like the stars were aligned against me last week.
L.E. has turned into a 6-month-old colicky baby again, only this time she has verbal skills and free will. Getting her to go to bed has turned into a 2+ hour venture with Dr. T and I tag-teaming with countless stories. She also wants her binky all the time and cries when we make her take it out in the morning. She'll throw herself on the ground at random and will scream and cry for a lollipop or popsicle. She wakes up in the middle of the night demanding more stories and milk. It's been awful.
When she's not having a super-psycho-freak-out, she's the most amazing and sweet little girl ever.
I've said it before and I'll say it again: it's like living with a drunk Tasmanian Devil who is also bipolar.
I work till 6 and commute 30 minutes so I'm generally not home much before 7. This has turned Dr. T into a huge grouch because he's home alone with the devil incarnate for almost 2 hours. It shouldn't be that big of a deal but it all came to a head this week. I'm not one for tears at work, especially at a new job, but Wednesday I couldn't control it. I was upset, tired, angry and feeling like all of my spinning plates were falling around me.
I'm ready to say, "I give up."
I've been back to work for two weeks and my house has gone to hell, I've gained 7 lbs and I have yet to stay awake past 9:30.
I feel like a failure at life, work, marriage and parenting.
There is only one other woman at my job who has kids. She gets the same flack I do about not pulling her weight in the office. That is the worst possible feeling to have, especially when it's been less than a month. The younger employees don't think it's fair that I leave on-time every day. But they don't see me coming in early, working through lunch. They don't know that in my 15-year career, I've done more than my share of covering for people who have also struggled with finding a work-life balance.
On top of it all, we're pretty lonely. We don't have many friends here and we're trying not to be too pushy with the people we do know.
This is just really hard right now.
I hope it gets better soon.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Random Stuff About Which I'm Thinking

Just some random thoughts on this glorious weekend.

  • I'm happy about the outcome of the election because my Nuva-Ring is free and shall remain so.
  • L.E. has been anti-sleep again and it's starting to wear on me.
  • My first week of full-time work was good but exhausting.
  • I've made a plan to find a different event with a bouncy house every weekend. Yesterday, it was here.
  • I'm making deviled eggs but Dr. T would rather have egg salad. Either way, I get to play with hard-boiled eggs.
  • I don't have a doctor in Austin and my anti-depressant RX ran out. So I'm starting to taper off. I hope it helps with my memory because I never remember anything because of those pills.
  • L.E. keeps eating things she finds on the ground at the park.
  • I worry my Reno friends have forgotten about me.
  • I love tacos.
  • I just finished reading The Perks of Being a Wallflower. It's set in Pittsburgh in the early 90s, when I was the same age as the narrator. This part is my favorite:  As you enter the tunnel, the wind gets sucked away, and you squint from the lights overhead. When you adjust to the lights, you can see the other side in the distance just as the sound of the radio fades to nothing because the waves just can't reach. Then, you're in the middle of the tunnel, and everything becomes a calm dream. As you see the opening get closer, you just can't get there fast enough. And finally, just when you think you'll never get there, you see the opening right in front of you. And the radio comes back even louder than you remember it. And the wind is waiting. And you fly out of the tunnel onto the bridge. And there it is. The city. A million lights and buildings and everything seems as exciting as the first time you saw it.
This is what he's describing

  • L.E. is going through the worst possible phase: all she wants is her daddy. That's the most heartbreaking thing for a mom with fragile self-esteem. 
  • I need to get my sewing machine out of the shed.
  • I'm excited for our trip to the beach over Thanksgiving weekend. I know people say Texas beaches are awful but to me a beach is a beach. Plus, it's November.
  • Is it possible that PTSD can occur after ordinary life events like having a baby and moving to a new city?
  • I need some new clothes.
  • Argo was a great movie.
  • I need some barbecue.
  • A lawyer penned her resignation letter as a day-in-the-life-of and it's gone viral. My conflicted feelings on this should definitely be an upcoming post.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Last Day of Being a SAHM

Well this is it.
My grand experiment of being a stay-at-home-mom is coming to an end.
My three months of "finding myself and figuring out what I want to do" is over.
I start my new full-time job tomorrow.
Instead of starting over in a new career, I'm doing the same thing I've always done.
And I'm ok with that.
It's weird.
But I guess when you're good at something, you get recognized for it.
The one-armed bandits who have shaped my career have a home-base in Austin.
And they found me.
I enjoyed my time being home with L.E.
But she needs stimulation other than me.
I had every intention of building my writing career.
I wanted to turn this blog into my job.
I wanted to write a novel.
Instead I found myself depressed. Again.
I tried to make everything good.
I tried to be happy with my role at home.
But the lack of friends and adult interaction left me broken.
Some people are most creative when they're down.
I am hopelessly blocked.
I would spend L.E.'s naptimes in a ball on the couch watching 30 Rock in the hopes it would make me smile.
I spent my time not writing.
I thought this time with L.E. would be a great bonding experience.
It was but her battle cry still sounds for "Daddy."
I was offered this job on the spot.
I had nothing to lose in taking it.
Except time with my daughter.
A 30-minute commute each way.
One hour every day.
Five hours a week.
I'm the wicked one dropping her off at school.
Daddy is the hero picking her up every day.
Her rescuer.
But when I get home at night, she runs to me screaming, "Mommy's home! Mommy Mommy!" and gives me a giant hug.
The kind of hug that's one in a million.
The kind of hug that makes her so amazing.
She's stimulated in school.
She has friends.
She sleeps better.
People will ask me if a job is worth it.
When I tell you she spends most of her time at home with me watching TV, you will wonder why I didn't find a job sooner.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Things I Hate

I try to be pretty positive on this blog, despite the posts about crippling depression. But there are some things that I really downright LOATHE. I'm going to share them now. It's ok, it's my blog.


The weird wavy rolls my hair gets in the humidity

When I wake up and the fitted sheet is off the mattress

The phrases "off the hook" "off the chain" and other phrases white people say to sound like black people who maybe uttered those phrases like seven years agosx

Social media posts about kids' poop or other bodily fluids

The Pottery Barn-ization of every holiday and the inadequate feeling I have for not even wanting to carve a pumpkin.

Smart asses on Facebook who always pipe in about politics when my status update is stupid and mundane like "I have on new shoes." (If you're scoffing at me, chances are it's you.)

Glass drink dispensers

Moms who protest the stupidest things like Nick Jr. programming and when they change the design on diapers. (Maybe they should protest things like equal pay for women and paid maternity leave.)

Moms like me who write statements like the above but really don't actively do anything about it because I'm too lazy.


Turning left onto a four-lane highway

90 degrees one day; 50 the next

Stepping in a bowl of dog water in the middle of the night

The fact that I'm awake and walking around in the middle of the night because I can't remember if I turned off the back porch light

Spending twenty extra minutes on my eye makeup and nobody notices

Duck face

L.E's milk falling out of her bed and leaking all over the floor

Not wanting to use the toilet brush for its intended purpose because it looks too nice

Being out of coffee

When Wal-Mart is nicer than Target

My phone falling on the floor of the car.

When a headline says *insert starlet's name here* chopped off her hair but it's really just a shorter version of their long hair.

Fresh Italian parsley

The fact that L.E. talks to a ghost. Why did she have to say ghost? Why can't it be an "imaginary friend?"

Skinny jeans with bunchy knees

The little screw falling out of my eyeglasses

Having to go to the post office. Not the trip itself, just the looming notion that something needs packed up and mailed.

The Church's Chicken on Burnet doesn't have a drive-thru

Globs of hair stuck to my clothes after a haircut

Big zits that won't pop

The movie "Happy Feet"

There you have it. Things I randomly hate. What do you hate?

Friday, October 19, 2012

Be Like Gumby

Bend, baby, bend.
A few short weeks after I returned to work from maternity leave, I helped a co-worker with a big PR event at our company. I picked up dozens of cookies from the bakery, helped her set up the A/V and helpfully told people where to go. Although I usually spent my lunch hour with L.E. over at daycare, I really wanted to show I was still a team-player so this was the first time I didn't go see her. 
After the event, there were tons of cookies left over so we put them all over the company at break areas. I had a box in my hand and said I was going to take them to the daycare, which was subsidized by our company. My co-worker gave me a snotty look and said, "They're not really employees."
To say I was upset by that was an understatement. Granted, this was in the throes of my PPD and subsequent working-mom guilt. I calmly left the cookies on the table and left. 
As I sobbed uncontrollably on my way to the daycare, I vowed I would never let work interfere with my baby girl again.
The next time a big event rolled around, I didn't dare step out of my normal scope of work to help out. It was an asshole-move, I admit but I wanted to drive the point home that I wasn't going above and beyond because I was now a mom.
I don't think anyone really noticed I was making a point; I think they just thought I was being an asshole.
Obviously, that was not the most realistic and mature way of dealing with things and as I think back on that moment, I'm appalled for being that upset.* I know it was because I wasn't ready for the cascade of emotion that being a working-new-mom would bring. My PPD was in full-force and I hadn't been properly treated yet. I could go on and on about it, but that's not the point of this post.
The point is that the notion of women "having it all" is a hot-button issue right now. As a recently recommitted-to-working-mom, I don't necessarily want it all.
I just want some flexibility and understanding.
And I will give it in return.
I will work late as long as I'm home in time to tuck L.E. into bed and as long as it's not every day.
I will work through my lunch hours in order to leave on time.
And if I have to take her to the doctor or stay home with her when she's sick, I will make up the time accordingly.
If employers want happy and productive workers, they need to be willing to bend the traditions of 8-5-punching-a-clock. They need to understand that shit happens. Traffic happens. Yogurt gets flung at you as you're walking out the door. The dog escapes and it takes 20 minutes to find him. And, quite literally, shit happens.
Working-moms have the opportunity to set a new precedent. The laws are not going to be re-written anytime soon so if you want to "have it all," a good step in the right direction is to be open and honest  about the shit that can go wrong. 
And expect to make up for it.
I've heard many stories over the years about how people with kids get away with more. I'm sure there are plenty of parents out there who take advantage of the system. But I always remember that once I was the child-less worker, staying late to help out someone so they could go to their kids' recitals. 
It all comes around, people.
And if you choose not to have children, well it's hard to feel sorry for you while you're on your European-Pub-Tour vacation.
If the Entitled Generation has taught me anything, it's that the old-school rules need to be bent. 
If the Old-School Generation has taught me anything, it's to be polite and honest.
And if Gumby has taught me anything, it's to be flexible.

* This co-worker was a friend and I should have spoken to her about it sooner rather than crying about it.
If she's reading this, I hope she knows how sorry I am.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Top 10 Signs You're a Terrible Stay-At-Home-Mom

10. You had to Google SAHM.

9. Your toddler is eating Cheerios off the floor and you can't remember the last time you bought Cheerios.

8. You don't know what time Days of Our Lives is on.

7. When someone gave you a "mommy card" at the park, you laughed so hard that chardonnay came out your nose. Now you have to find a new park.
Yes. You live in a world where these exist.
Be frightened.

6. When you have dinner on the table at 6 pm, it's usually in a pizza box.

5. Your black yoga pants have yogurt stains on them. Not those ones, the other ones. No, the third pair. Dammit, woman, don't you own any jeans?

4. You don't do laundry until your towels start moving on their own.

3. Your kid wakes you up from naptime by exclaiming, "I'm done mopping, Mommy!"

2. You can't remember your password but you can always access your PornHub account with no problem.

1. Your husband asks what you've done all day but you're too drunk to answer him.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Me and Esther Williams

She even kept her swim cap on the whole time.
This week, L.E. and I started swimming lessons. Judging by her ridiculously HUGE smile the whole time, she loved it.
And so did I.
I found a dive place just around the corner. They have a tiny super-heated pool and they keep the classes small, just three kids in this one. It was definitely more fun than I expected.
It's nice to get into the pool and leave the bathing suit anxiety behind. (Behind my big behind, yuk yuk). We sing songs and be close to our kiddos.
L.E. could not wait to get into the water. Once she did, I had to hold onto her pretty tightly. Yes, I was a little bit anxious because one slip and I'd be relying on my lifeguard training from 20 years ago. But L.E. was good about being clingy, except for when I would bounce her up in the air. "Higher, Mommy, higher!"
We learned "ice cream scoops" (over-hand strokes), kicking, blowing bubbles and submerging, which was the last part of the lesson. As L.E. told me repeatedly, "I don't like going underwater!" We finally "tricked" her by telling her to close her mouth as she jumped into the pool. She would be just under the surface when she jumped in and I would hoist her up in the air. Her giggles echoed throughout the pool.
Who knew I had a little Summer Sanders on my hands?
This is the happiest I've seen L.E. since we moved. I think she really feels at home in the water. I loved swimming as a kid, with some of my happiest memories at good ol' Scott Township Pool. I'm glad we're starting her early so she knows how to be safe in the water and have lots of fun with her friends and family.
Plus, as an added bonus, I feel like I'm getting a great workout. Carrying 30lbs around a pool for half an hour will definitely build your stamina. I love that both L.E. and I are getting something out of it.
I can't wait to take her next week.
Ready to get in!

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

My Latest Post on AMB: A Review of Gone Girl

"Gone Girl" was the best book I've read so far this year. I reviewed it on Austin Moms Blog so you should check it out and then we can talk about it, like a virtual book club!

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Unemployed to Kinda Employed

I might have a job.
Through a friend in Las Vegas, I discovered an ad agency in Austin that specializes in gaming properties as clients.
In other words, what I thought was my completely unmarketable-outside-of-Nevada gaming background is actually an asset.
I sent my resume and waited.
The creative director emailed back in record-time.
I interviewed, had a daylong test/audition with another one set for next week, after G2E.
The fact that I know what G2E is is a pretty big thing.
So yeah. I swore I was done with design but this job is a little bit too-on-the-nose to ignore. Plus I could do some copywriting and TV/Photo shoots.
I always get a little on-edge when things seem to come together that easily. I'm always asking what the catch is.
I know the catches on this. Location, hours, commute, etc.
So I'm thinking about it.
I'm happier while working. This is true.
I love being with L.E. but she sleeps half the day – which I'm not complaining about – it just disrupts the day enough to where we can't go places and do the fun things mommy and daughter should be doing.
I was only half-assed looking for a job and this one was practically thrown into my lap.
I can't ignore it.
I can't have laziness be the main reason I don't go back to work. Laziness meaning, I like sitting around in my PJs until L.E. takes her nap. And I like not having to rush around in the morning.
So like everything else, I'll see what happens...

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Austin, One Month In

I’ve been in Austin for exactly one month. It’s definitely been an adjustment and not just emotionally. I’m undergoing these weird physical transformations. They’re not bad; just different.
I sweat constantly. I thought that would have worn off by now since the weather is no longer in the triple digits. But even a quick walk to the park leaves me soaked to the skin. It’s embarrassing when I’m trying to schmooze the fellow park moms.
My skin keeps breaking out. But the dry patches are gone.
I have a funny smell about me. Not funny bad; funny as in “That’s new,” and “Who knew bug spray could be so aromatic?”
I relish showers like nothing else.
I put my PJs on at 5:00 every day because by then I’m too swollen for regular pants. L.E. thinks this is hilarious.
My boobs sweat.
My hair…can’t complain. Six different anti-frizz products will do that.
The food here is amazing, and also wrecking havoc on my intestines. How long until I can eat barbecue without dire consequences?
I can eat tacos for three meals a day here and I have. More than once.
Where can I get decent, non-smoked Buffalo wings in this town?
I wear a lot of dresses.
I take a lot of naps.
I bump into things a lot so I’m constantly bruised.
Three beers is too many; Two is just right.
Five margaritas is way too many. Six beers, two margaritas and a random vodka cocktail leave me wishing for death.
I have yet to see a live show other than the random bands playing at random restaurants. Anyone want to go see Ben Folds Five with me on Monday?
I need to find a nighttime baby-sitter.
I need to find some friends.
I had a mom-date this morning with a woman I met at a brewery. It was awkward like a first date would be. I’m not sure if I’ll see her again. Dating sucks, even when it’s play-dating for your kid’s sake.
I caught a lightning bug tonight. It was surreal to see them for the first time since I left Pittsburgh.
I’m not sure if my house is haunted or if there’s just some weird, getting-used-to-living-here energy going on.
Anyone know of a medium in central Texas?
I can’t find a writing job.
I haven’t even started my novel.
Things sound bad, but they’re really not. It’s just taking some getting used to. Dr. T. and I are getting along. L.E. is awesome. And there is lots to do here.
It’s just an adjustment.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

I'm Siiiiiiiiiick

After traveling and an open house at L.E.'s preschool, I have a cold.
I used to do all of these things to combat colds like take echinecea and orange juice, tea, Zicam, throat drops...anything and everything.
Today I went back to sleep for two hours. I feel monumentally better.
I get more colds than I let on; Mucinex is the genius-drug that always makes me feel not-sick even though I am. So I would still go to work. And hope nobody noticed.
That was really stupid. When you're sick, stay home and get some rest. Don't be a hero. Everyone needs some bad TV once in a while.
Like, have you ever watched the fourth hour of the Today Show with Kathie Lee and Hoda? Those crazy drunks made my maternity leave more bearable. Seriously, I don't know how The Soup only finds one clip a week to which to mock.
Also, when was the last time you checked in with Hope and Marlena on Days of Our Lives? Chances are, the storyline is about the same it was 20 years ago. And those two women haven't aged since high school.
Cap your day off with some bad afternoon talk shows, in between naps of course.
Or you could get really lucky and be sick on a day that Bravo has on a Top Chef or America's Next Top Model marathon. It's totally acceptable to watch six consecutive episodes of the same show when you're sick.
It's also OK to do the following:

  • Eat nothing but soup and crackers
  • Melt cheese on the crackers
  • Forget the crackers and melt cheese on a tortilla
  • Sleep on your brand-new leather couch
  • Eat off the coffee table
  • Put your feet up on the coffee table
  • Watch every recorded episode of House Hunters without your spouse.
  • Throw used tissues on the floor
  • Move your bedroom pillow to the couch
  • Don't clean
  • Melt cheese in your soup bowl
  • Don't rinse your soup bowl
  • Wait until the last possible second to pick up your child from preschool
  • Try to re-trace your steps and figure out how you didn't appear on House Hunters when you just bought a house
  • Take a shower before your family comes home. You've been eating cheese all day and you stink
  • Ask your husband to make you a quesadilla for dinner
  • Pretend you didn't spend the entire day sleeping and watching TV

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

I Wasn’t Ready for This

My lovely, and spotless, kitchen.

Yep, I knew I would back-track.
Every morning, I wake up and check my list for the week.
I started including look for a job on it.
I still have no idea what I want to do.
I don’t know if staying at home is it.
That scares me.
I love being with my daughter.
I hate having to defend it.
When you’re a parent, you’re already judged for every decision you make.
Natural birth or drugs.
Vaginal or c-section.
Breastmilk or formula.
Co-sleeping or cry it out.
Follow your kid on the playground or let them go explore on their own.
Montessori or Waldorf.
Stay at home or go back to work.
Enough is enough, people. The last thing parents need is affirmation that they’re not doing it right.
I’ve surprised people because I’m not working.
They all know me as being career-driven because that’s the personae I’ve always adopted before I became a mom.
This new role of mine was a shock to them.
They get a little bit judgey.
I explain that we just moved and I’m not sure what I want to do.
“But you’re a graphic designer!”
I’m obviously not a very good one.
I don’t have a website, minus this blog.
I don’t have the passion for design right now.
I have more passion for wiping off counters and folding laundry.
And a clean bathroom.
What does that say about my career?
So I stay at home. 
It’s sneer-worthy.
Not as sneer-worthy as saying I’m a writer.
I wasn’t prepared to defend my new place in life.
What is there to defend?
It’s not about money, it’s about happiness.
OK, not happiness but contentment.
Am I content? 
Ask me in a week.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Shabby Apple

It really does look this good on. Even on me.

I'm a clothes-whore.
I've covered this before and since this post, my closet is no longer streamlined. Especially now that I live in Austin where it's sticky-hot and I've had to re-build my wardrobe to include more dresses.
My fellow blogger turned me on to Shabby Apple. At first I thought it was just another online clothing store with sub-quality products that are too expensive. Who am I kidding, I never think that. I got super-excited because it's yet another online store where I can buy things!
The first thing that caught my eye was the Lighthouse Collection. Between the color combinations and the gorgeous photography, I was tempted to buy the entire collection. After much debate between this and this, I decided against stripes and chose the Vineyard Sound dress. All I can say is WOW. Everyone knows that wrap dresses are universally-flattering but this one is by far the best one I've ever tried on. It hugs my curves in all the right places and is the right amount of cling to wear the weird "ripples" I have don't show. It's wrinkle-proof and the grey shade goes with pretty much any color. I usually wear a red or purple cami underneath and navy blue shoes. It really is the perfect dress.
And if you're into maxi-dresses, it comes in a longer length, too.
Shabby Apple has way more than fabulous dresses, too. They have a full line of accessories, shoes, bags and even kids' clothes. L.E. would totally rock this dress with her new cowboy boots. I'm also impressed with their New Mama collection. I really wish it was around when I was post-partum because it would have been nice to wear something other than yoga pants all the time.
The best part about Shabby Apple? Free returns! So if it turns out that these shoes I've been ogling don't fit right, I don't have to worry about paying to ship them back.
I've made it super-convenient for you to start shopping. Just click on the button to the right. If you give them your email address, you'll get 10% off your first purchase.
Happy shopping!

Full disclosure: I'm a member of Shabby Apple's affiliate program. So if you click on the sweet ad on the right and buy something fabulous, I'll make a few bucks off of it.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Is This Really So Bad?

Stains fear my wrath. Or whatever it is moms say about it...
I am a housewife.
As much as I'd like to say I'm a writer when asked, "What do you do?" the answer has become, "I stay at home." 
Maybe it's because my parents are still here.
Today, I walked L.E. to preschool, came home, sorted laundry, started the washer, found $1.50 in the bottom of the dryer, moved the sprinkler around the yard, made a cup of coffee, glanced at the news headlines, opened the fridge and thought about throwing out some leftovers, made the bed, picked up L.E.'s cars and put them away. 
Now I might watch an episode of House Hunters.
Is this so bad? 
I've been working non-stop since I was 16. Even longer than that, if you consider I babysat my next-door neighbors every day after school beginning at age 12. 
(I don't count maternity leave as "time off" because that was like working the hardest job ever for 24 hours a day, seven days a week.)
I had a career that I found to be less than fulfilling so I decided to step away from it once we moved. I'm fortunate in that I can take my time and figure out what I want to do.
But that doesn't mean I can just sit around all day watching DIY TV. 
I'm cleaning.
I'm meal planning.
I'm potty training.
I'm exercising.
I'm shopping.
I'm wearing a cute apron.
I'm squishing spiders.
I'm changing light bulbs.
I'm contemplating such questions as, "What IS Zumba and is it right for me?" And, "Just where the hell do you buy decent lamps in Austin?"
I'm sweating. A lot. Seriously, Texas, when is the end of sweating season? 
I'm not eating as much as I want to.
I've lost 10 lbs since starting Weight Watchers.
This is the life of a housewife. This is the life of a stay-at-home mom.
People keep telling me I'll get bored and my brain will turn to mush if I don't get some adult stimulation.
I'm not bored yet. My mind hasn't gone to jelly yet.
I don't hate my child yet.
Sometimes the mundane is just what's needed.
It's nice not to stress about deadlines and bleed sizes. 
It's wonderful not to worry about whether the client will approve something in a timely manner.
I'm not 100% in La La Land, though. I still have no friends. L.E. still doesn't have friends.
And there's the sweating. My God, why am I sweating so much?
I've applied for any writing job I see.
I have a novel that I've barely started or even outlined in my novel book.
But for the most part, I'm content.
I have to be for my family's sake.
Being a housewife isn't so bad.

Let's see how I feel about it in a month.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Back to (Pre) School

L.E. started a new preschool today. It was so anti-climactic compared to the other times she's started daycare/preschool.
Her first day of daycare was on her 3-month birthday. I cried so hard; it was tough for me to leave her so soon. It took a good two or three months for us both to be in a groove and for me to realize that she absolutely loved being around other babies.
She stayed in that center for over a year. I used our company's onsite daycare which was very reputable so there was no need to research it. Then I changed jobs and found a learning center just between my job and my house.
This time it was traumatic for both of us. She was crying for Mommy as I was leaving and clung to my legs. Again, I cried the whole way to work. But L.E. is nothing if not resilient and she soon grew to love it. She did so many art projects, that I still have a huge box of them.
When she turned two, she got moved up to the next center which was down the street. So once again, it was new teachers, new kids, new toys. L.E. seemed pretty upset the first few weeks there. She was the youngest in the center. But soon enough, she was getting hugs from all the other kids every day and her teachers were telling me how wonderful she was doing and what a good little sharer she is.
It was heartbreaking to leave that center.
Moving to Austin was the best thing for our family. I am still grappling with the idea of being a stay-at-home mom and if I really want to pursue a serious writing career, I need some me-time. And L.E. has spent the last three weeks vegging in front of the TV. She needs to be around other kids again. So we enrolled her in a preschool down the street two days a week.
I dropped her off this morning. As the other kids swarmed around her to give her a hello-hug, she looked up at me and said, "Bye, Mommy!"
I still shed a tear on the way home.

Friday, August 31, 2012

Depression Link

I came across this link courtesy of The Bloggess. It's well-written and includes a bunch of other links about depression that are well-worth a read.
Regular readers know about my depression, which I've nicknamed Mildred. You can always read up on that here, among other places on this blog.

Depression is something I still struggle with and I'm definitely not shy about it. I have days where I want to curl up in bed all day and not get out. But now that I'm a mom and L.E. can communicate, it's not as easy to hide from the world. When your child regularly says, "Mommy's sad," you need to pick yourself up and figure out the best way to shoo Mildred into her corner. I have a pretty good handle on it now. I'm genuinely surprised by well-adjusted I feel mentally, despite being in a new place. I feel a little lonely sometimes, but it's nothing like the burrowing-under-covers feeling Mildred brings.
So I'm not about to mess with what works.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Gone Texas, Y’all

Everybody needs one of these.
I used to live in New Mexico, which any New Mexican will tell you is overrun by rich Texans. It’s just like Nevada being overrun by rich Californians. 
It’s possible that this reason, along with the Steelers' Super Bowl XXX loss to the Dallas Cowboys, is what made me hate Texas with a passion.
Once when I was driving from Oklahoma City back to Albuquerque, I refused to get out of the car in Texas. So that was a few hundred miles across the panhandle, past the Big Texan Steakhouse and I didn’t stop.
I bitched about their driving, lack of style, trashy attitudes, horrible accents and boots.
Here I am now sitting on a fake porch in my backyard in Austin, TX getting attacked by mosquitos. This porch isn’t Texan; it’s actually a replica of a cabin in New Orleans that had been destroyed by Hurricane Katrina. It’s just the front of a porch, complete with swing.
From what I’ve been told, it’s so Austin, y’all.
I’ve embraced this like you wouldn’t believe, and I’ve only been here a week.
I bought yard art.
Granted, it’s not Beyonce the Giant Metal Chicken, but that’s only because I know the Bloggess paid $100 for B and the ones they had for sale at Austin Furniture Depot were more than that.
So I got a parrot instead.
L.E. named him Blu. I think Pedro is more appropriate.

I have friends in Reno who are seriously worried about me. They’re just jealous because they haven’t had tacos for roughly more than half of their recent meals.
Yes, there are bugs. Yes, our legs look like we have chicken pox. Yes, I can’t stop sweating from the humidity.
But it’s so nice here, you guys. It’s green and lush and there’s a Crate & Barrel. I mean I try to buy local when I can but it’s hard when you finally live in a city with a Restoration Hardware.
There is more than one Whole Foods.
There’s a competitor for Whole Foods called Central Market, which is actually closer to us.
There’s this place, which I’ll refer to as paradise. It has ice cream, burgers, beer and a playground.
The public pools are actually swimmable.
There is no wind; just a slight breeze.
So maybe instead of going full-Texan, I’ll just go Austinite.
I promise not to get a perm or big fake boobs. Or be a Cowboys fan. 
But I'm already saying, "y'all."

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Crazy, Convoluted Post About Life in Austin

This kid can adapt anywhere!

OK, I’m in Austin. So Now What? 
(Original title of this post)

We made it! Our stuff made it!
It’s nice to longer be sleeping on an air mattress after having dinner on new UT (totally obligated to write this: hook ‘em!) camp chairs.
The house is still a mess but we’re able to cook, sleep and watch TV. I’m even sitting on a couch! It’s not in the same room as the TV but what does that matter?
Yesterday, Dr. T. said the best thing ever. “Tomorrow, you should call the daycare around the corner and see if we can get Lucy in there two days a week.” It’s nice that I can have some time to myself and he’s actually encouraging me to spend that time by writing or finding a writing job.
So here’s my question, Austin: what’s next? What should we do? What should we see? What should I wear?

Austin. Day 4
The above was written on my second day here. I was trying to be optimistic because reality had yet to set in. I’m not saying that I hate it here and want to go home; I’m simply facing the challenges of a new city.
Moving sucks. It sucks if you're moving to the greatest city in the U.S. It sucks if you're moving to Eastern Washington. It just sucks.
If I were to track each day, this is what it would have been like:
Austin. Day 1: holy crap. The Target is totally ghetto. I’m going home to cry.
Austin. Day 2: at least our stuff showed up. And I found a nice Wal-Mart. This town is Bizarro-World. And what is up with movers and lamps? Not one lamp made it here unscathed.
Austin. Day 3: found a giant cockroach in L.E.’s dresser. They call them “palmetto bugs” here. I think that’s so we don’t feel so poor because we live with cockroaches. I screamed loudly and then got yelled at by Dr. T for screaming in front of L.E. At least SHE was nice enough to console me by rubbing my shoulders and saying, “Mommy. It’s ok. It’s ok, Mommy.”
I’m ok with bugs, mostly. I don’t mind if they’re on the floor, on the walls, crawling out of drains or hanging out on the ceiling. But when they’re hiding in furniture, that’s MESSED-UP! I would have given you a chance to escape before but now you and your buddies are dead.
I’m talking to bugs now.

So yeah. That’s been my first few days. I’m trying desperately to be optimistic. When I post a funny status on Facebook about queso and mosquito bites, the three people I know here (virtually, not physically yet) all posted stuff about West Nile Virus in Travis County. In addition to the Skin So Soft I’m slathering on (OK, I know it theoretically doesn’t work but I still like the smell) I have to spray myself with OFF so I’m instantly reminded of the horror of my life that was Girl Scout Camp.
The humidity isn’t as bad as I thought it was going to be but I think it may be the cause of my shoes not fitting. Or else it’s the stealth queso that seems to appear on every meal we’ve ordered out. I call it stealth queso because rarely the word “queso” is printed on the menu but it shows up on your entrée somewhere. Usually smothered. It’s delicious but food-guilt-inducing.
Point being, I can only wear flip flops, which makes me even more likely to kick the edges of furniture accidentally. My latest and greatest accessory is a bag of ice.
I hate flip flops.
I haven’t used my Weight Watchers app in 3 weeks. I thought it would have started yelling at me but even worse is it just doesn’t care. Same with the GPS who will let me make 5 wrong turns and still won’t call me a fucking idiot.
I’m starting to sound very sad but really I’m not.
My house is very lovely and it’s in a cool part of town. Dr. T has been letting me furnish it as I please. I haven’t had internet so there’s no pressure to find a job. L.E. has adjusted beautifully as only she can. I need to get her some friends; she definitely misses the interaction amongst other kids.
My hair has never been more fabulous.
This place is in walking distance. For reals, y'all! I can walk to a place that has beer, burgers, ice cream and a fenced-in playground. It's like new-parent heaven.
And I walked to this coffee shop where I now sit with a cold Diet Coke and free WiFi.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Living Without Internet

I won't have wifi in the new house till next week. I'll post lots after that, unless the coffee shop around the corner had free Internet; unlike Bibo in Reno...(what the hell kind of coffee shop doesn't have wifi?)
With love from Austin,
Hip-baby Mama

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Nightmares and Hallucinations

Photo credit: ©Alexey Lisovoy |

It’s no secret that I’m stressed, exhausted, overwhelmed, etc. It’s also no secret that I sometimes medicate to sleep. Last night, after the Greek festival wherein I burst into tears over the thought of becoming a stay-at-home-mom to the ridiculously more-difficult-than usual tantrum-y L.E., I took ½ of a Klonopin. Then when I realized I was crampy and bloated, I took some homeopathic PMS tabs that supposedly have no drug interactions.
What happens next is what I can best describe as tripping balls.
I’ve never done LSD before and my single foray into mushrooms ended up with me puking all night after watching James and the Giant Peach. So this was all pretty unexpected.
I woke up scared. I wanted to call Margie but my phone was in the dining room. Of Margie’s house, where I am staying. So my plan was to go and get her. The first time I tried to get her, a man was standing in the hallway with a gun. A big gun. The second time I tried, there was a pack of coyote/wolf hybrids in the hall. Like the big Twilight wolves who spoke to each other, only it wasn’t funny this time. The third try, the blankets tried to strangle me. The fourth time, I finally realized what was going on and I had a blaring headache. I succeeded in getting out of bed and got some ibuprofen.
Mind you L.E. is sleeping in the same room the whole time this is happening so there was a big challenge to make sure she didn’t wake up. “Mommy is having violent hallucinations,” is not something you should have to explain to your child. Ever.
So I gave up on getting help from Margie but I’m pretty sure I imagined going into her room a few times but the layout was all different every time.
I fell back asleep and that’s when the nightmares really started.
We were enslaved in some sort of cult/government bunker where all of my female friends were pregnant despite the absence of our older children. Cutesy birth announcements were projected on the walls. And the name choices were awful; I highly doubt my one friend would name her child Primet but whatever. Next thing I knew, it was time for me to give birth, which I did in about 3 seconds and it didn’t hurt. It was a boy and I can’t remember what we named him. Ben? He had blonde hair and blue eyes and nobody even thought twice about the fact that I had just had a VBAC while standing in a hallway.
Woke up again, fell back asleep.
Still enslaved in the same bunker but I’m part of a rebel team who is about to take over with the help of some Japanese friends, including my BFF. It involved product merchandising. Well, that was the distraction while I climbed on the roof of the bunker with the other snipers to shoot the enemy. We were successful with me getting the main killshot. We celebrated with the Japanese distraction team only they decided to turn against us and I ended up running away from a flying Hummer that was shooting at me.
Woke up again, fell back asleep.
This next part can be best described as a detailed backstory for the whole rebel take over. Some of it involved slot machine design. Don’t ask.
Woke up again, fell back asleep.
Finally, Dr. T. shows up in these nightmares. To tell me that he’s leaving to take Spanish lessons and it’s up to me to either keep L.E. or figure out a way to get her to where he’ll be studying 10 hours away every weekend. He was so cruel in saying that he still wanted to be part of L.E.’s life but only if it was convenient for him. He also wanted nothing to do with me so I would have to hire a driver to get L.E. to him.
Woke up again, fell back asleep.
Last one. We’re living in a seedy motel but I drove a brand-new convertible which gets stolen in a grocery store parking lot. 911 doesn’t pick up and my dad isn’t around to help. I track down Dr. T. in an alley but he has delved so far down into homelessness and drug addiction that he is of no help. He can’t even find L.E.’s bathing suit in his hobo-bag. Worst of all, he’s still insisting that he’s leaving L.E. and me and we’re on our own without him. I got dumped by a drug-addicted hobo of a husband who I’ve been married to for 12 years.
I’m pretty sure he stole and sold the car for drugs, too.
Nightmares suck.
So that sums up the most terrifying night of my life. But at least there were no zombies.
I’m pretty sure the cult/enslavement parts are smaller parts to the bigger story I’m working on for my novel. At least now I know what to do for inspiration.
There are other little things here and there. At one point I texted T and asked him what to do. He never got back to me till this morning. Also, my Google history reads: “Homeopathic PMS medicine interaction;” “Klonopin hallucinations;” “PMS Klonopin side effects;” “Pharmacies in Canada;” (what good would they do?) and “La Qunita Inn El Paso” so I could try to find T in El Paso.
Usually my foray into drug experimentation/accidental consumption end up with some kind of moral or lesson. I know I never want to experience pain like that before whether conscious or not. And I obviously still have unresolved issues with my family since they were less than helpful every time they showed up.
My BFF can put on a hell of a distraction fashion show while I’m snipering on the roof.
And purple isn’t a bad color for our government/enslavement camp attire. They kinda looked like Renown scrubs.
So in summary: drugs are bad. Even RX drugs can mess with you if you already have a good base-layer of crazy going on.
Or else my novel just got that much more super-awesome and amazing…

Thursday, August 16, 2012

My Favorite

This is my favorite part of my Reno house. Crown molding. The perfect "frame" for art or a TV. The antique blue from Sherwin-Williams' Arts & Crafts collection. The brick around the fireplace.
This photo will always invoke the happiest of memories.
And if those walls could talk they would say, "Damn! There were some GREAT times in this room!"

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

My Austin Moms Blog Debut!

How much harder is moving when you have kids, compared to pre-parenthoood? Hop on over to Austin Moms Blog and read all about it.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Yes, Even More Talk About Moving

If I had the energy, I would make a really cool box-fort.
We’ve been in Reno for over 15 years and have established a great foundation.
It’s hard to pack up and move away from that and start all over in a new city. But that’s also exciting. I get to re-invent myself. New friends. New opportunities. New city. Bigger city!
I’ve only been to Austin once and I wasn’t sure if I wanted to move there.
It’s weird to think I won’t be back there until the day I move into my new home, which I haven’t even seen.
I cut all of my hair off so I’ll be starting off in Austin as a short-hair girl. That’s another new weirdness for me because it’s been long since I’ve been a mom. L.E, fortunately, loves it and still says, “Hey Mommy! Nice haircut!” like her daddy taught her.
I got new glasses, too. L.E said, “I want to wear them. They’re blue.”
It’s like I’ll be a totally different person once I move.
L.E has tried to help with packing. She has sprinkled her stuff animals throughout our boxes so she always has something of hers to unpack. But sometimes she gets distracted and wants to pretend a giant plastic tub full of books is her “boat” so she empties it out and goes “sailing.”
We’ve had to toddler-proof the bubblewrap, too. And who knew how sharp the edges of a tape dispenser can be? I mean L.E.’s fine, but I have a nice big gash on my hand from it after I proudly taped up a chopping knife in cardboard incident-free.
Saying good-bye has been harder than I thought it would be. Having one last lunch at Dish Café with Seema. One last Aces game. One last drink on the roof of Silver Peak. One last toe-dip in the Truckee River. One last annual annoyance known as Hot August Nights. One last nail appointment at Soak. One last glass of wine with Vicki. One last lunch with My Favorite Little Piggy. One last awkward run-in with that girl who I used to work with but can never remember her name. One last surprise visit from Nicole. One last chimichanga night at my sister-wife’s house.
One last shooting in my neighborhood. We don’t live in the ghetto but I like to think of it as the Gateway-to-Where-Bad-Shit-Happens-Despite-Having-the-Best-Taco-Truck.
Moving itself sucks and is horrible. It’s not the physical part; that’s fine and all. But it’s the emotional part that nobody ever talks about. It’s hard finding something stashed in a closet that can evoke a painful or happy memory. And when tensions are running high in the household, you just need to keep your head down and an “every man for himself” approach.
I know I keep writing about this move but the fact is that it’s the biggest thing in my life right now. I’m unemployed and about to call an air mattress my bed. My husband is taking my dog and leaving me here with L.E. for an extra five days. I have to fly with L.E. again.
My bank account is dwindling.
I don’t know if I’ll like being a stay-at-home mom. A part of me thinks that I’ll absolutely love it. If that's the case, then where did all of that career ambition go that I’ve always possessed? Did it get flushed out of my uterus 2-and-a-half years ago? And is that so bad? I really don't want to jump into the women-having-it-all debate right now but maybe for some of us, our child is enough. As long as there are writing jobs that come in and I can work on them from home in-between writing that ever-elusive book I keep talking about.
Methinks this is perhaps fodder for another post once I truly am a stay-at-home-mom. (I vow to never use SAHM to describe myself.)
If I end up being really that sensitive to that label, maybe I’ll just say I’m a writer/mom blogger. If you keep reading this and telling your friends, then it wouldn’t be a lie!