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 jalapeƱo 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.