Saturday, October 31, 2009

Happy Halloween!

Her Big Bird costume didn't work as planned (mask issues), but I'd venture to say my 2-YEAR-OLD (!) bow-tied bear is just as shamelessly adorable :-)

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

The New Favorite Book

Grandma Jan came to town, and with her came some new books. I know Claire's favorite books out of her huge stash, but even she was growing tired of the same old, same old.

Enter the new favorite...

Please, Baby, Please by Spike Lee and his wife Tonya Lewis Lee. The book could be Claire's autobiography. Each page presents the baby in a different situation..namely, throwing a fit when she has to leave the playground, refusing to hold Mommy's hand, splashing in the bathtub, i.e., a day in the life of Claire. Even better, the little girl has crazy little curls and knots on her head a la Claire.

Claire demands that this be read at least five times before she gets into bed. She laughs like crazy when I read it. I think the laugh may be slightly diabolical. Hmm.

After checking amazon, I see that Spike and Tonya Lewis Lee have a whole series of books. Looks like I may have some additions to the Christmas list!

What a difference a year makes!

Then (Oct. 4, 2008)...

And now (Oct. 24, 2009)...

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Nudey Judy

My camera is outside in my car. You'll have to trust me on this one. Claire is running around the room, jumping on the couch butt naked. Her new favorite thing is to strip herself naked and run around like a nut head. Oh, now I see she's coloring in the nude. This is all well and good except when she pees on the floor. Then it's not so amusing.

I'm off to try to catch the exhibitionist.

Friday, October 23, 2009


I've just read some of my archives on here, and I'll be damned if I'm not whining in over half of them. To my readers...holy moly, I'm sorry. My sounding board is desperately out of tune.

Can't promise you anything is going to change, but I'll try to throw in a little warm fuzzy joy once in a while.

ok, kiddies, i'm headed for slumbertown..happy dreams!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

It's a Mad, Mad World

Don't have much time to blog unfortunately, but had two bits of news I'm pondering this morning.

Number one, Claire peed on the potty. Yes, this is CNN headline worthy. Claire actually LIKES peeing on the potty; it's her lazy mama that has been dragging her feet. I still don't even have a little potty for her, but that will change this weekend. She has been going down at her grandparents' house. I just haven't taken the plunge yet.

Rewind to last evening. I was changing Claire for bed when, as usual, she hopped up and ran away from me, all attitude and bare butt w/her bad self. She started peeing. On the carpet. Again. (I should own stock in Resolve Spot Cleaner.) But after a little trickle, she shut her legs together and grabbed her "stuff." I said OK Claire, let's go to the potty! You would have thought I just invited her to Disneyworld. She flew into the bathroom and I lifted her on the potty and held her. She thought this was great. She didn't go at first. She wanted to stand on the toilet seat (big surprise). She wanted to stick her foot into the toilet. (Um, no.) I grew impatient and said let's go back to your room, it's time for night night. But she stubbornly insisted, so I put her back on the potty one more time. And she peed!!! Then it was like the Fourth of July celebration at my house. There was singing. There was dancing. There was clapping, hugging, kissing, bottle rockets, champagne, the works. So I guess this journey is beginning.

Next thing on my mind. In fact, obsessively on my mind. The H1N1 virus. Swine flu, whatever you want to call it. As I see and hear of more and more people coming down with this, I get nervous. Not for me...for my child. I discussed in the last blog my decision to get her the vaccine. Well, little did I know once I made that decision how difficult the next step would be. The H1N1 vaccine shortage is the new reality. And for whatever reason, my mind has decided to obsess over this and wake me from restless sleep, give me anxiety attacks, and preoccupy my mind.

Claire's pediatrician is not expecting a shipment until sometime in November. There are clinics in Baltimore County, but people are waiting hours in advance and many are turned away because they run out far before the scheduled close. So here we are today. There is a clinic at the Perry Hall High School in northeast Balto County on Saturday, you know, the same day as Claire's birthday party. Brant and I decided we must make the vaccine a priority. So Claire's party will go on as planned, but she may not be there!

After reading news stories and seeing TV news about the masses waiting for hours and hours at these clinics, Claire's dad has decided he will be camping out on Friday night up in Perry Hall at the school to ensure we get her vaccinated. I mean, have you heard of such a thing? Didn't we all do this 15 years ago to get U2 tickets? Now it's sleeping in the rain to get a vaccine. This feels almost Third World. I will just be glad when it's over.

Closing my eyes and praying for peace of mind.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Protecting my child

I, like many people, sometimes feel the media puts the fear of God in us unnecessarily. Seriously, I feel like the media has been an enormous influence on the downfall of the morals in our lifetime.

On the other hand, there are stories presented that serve to help me in a decision. This one was one of them.

I'm pro-vaccine...always have been, always will be. But I was having more than second thoughts about the H1N1 vaccine for Claire. I was really 90% sure I wasn't going to get it for her. I've changed my mind. My child is in daycare. You always think it can't happen to you, just like Isabella's parents thought she wouldn't get so sick. By God's unending grace she got better, but I'm not taking the chance.

This is just is just one drop in the infinite bucket of worries and decisions we as parents face each day. It, as always, increases the enormous admiration I have for my parents. I think of all the worries and decisions they, too, encountered...except for me it's just for one child and for them it was three (because Mother you two were nuts enough to have three of us). I also remember not thinking about any of it as a child. Because that too is a part of parenting...trying to save your child from fear and worry.

This is a hard gig, but I'm glad I had shining examples of how to handle it, and I'm equally glad to be surrounded by my "circle of moms" to commiserate and vent with. With love.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Oh life is bigger, it's bigger than you

I just posted this question to my mom and to poor Mary Zane...

When you were younger, did you ever have this sort of illusion of how your life was going to work out and then as you got older and looked back all of the sudden you realized it just wasn’t working out the way you planned it at all?

Yeah, I'm sure everyone feels that way. But I'm really kind of in the middle of something I can only label as an existential crisis. It's not the kind of crisis that comes to a head like a Level 5 hurricane or anything like that. It's just a slow process of feeling really unsettled, thinking about where I am, where I should go, being really confused and kind of down about it.

I'm not doing a very good job of articulating my thoughts, which really adequately represents how I've been feeling for a while. Unsettled. Wayward. Garbled.

I'm an answer gal. I like neat, tidy answers. I like taking proactive steps to "fix" a problem. But I'm not sure the direction I need to take here.

This is what I call talking in circles. Sorry if I made anyone dizzy.

Friday, October 2, 2009

I Am Beautiful, In Every Single Way

When I arrived today to pick Claire up from daycare, I noticed they had her hair pulled back in a ponytail. They often play w/their hair and I think it's cute. God bless whoever managed to get almost all of her curls, including the front part of her hair, into that ponytail. When I put her in her car seat, I looked down at her and it absolutely blew me daughter is BEAUTIFUL. Part of Claire's charm is her wild, unruly, spiraled hair. I've grown to love it. But it's what you notice first I think. When it's all pulled back as it was today, all you see is that face, and that face is pure beauty. I'm being totally objective, by the way. I have no idea why anyone would think I was biased...

So I just wanted so desperately to capture this face on camera. Unfortunately, I am surrounded by photographry elite friends and I can't take a picture w/my sad little point and click to save my soul. Oh, and Claire was eating her apple slices and watching Elmo and didn't want to be bothered. She actually started almost crying a little after I took a few pictures. And by a few I mean 86. For real.

Anyway, even shoving apples in her mouth, she's a beauty...

Can't get it outta my head

I have here a newspaper 13 months old
I've wrapped fish inside it, it's smelly and cold
But I wouldn't trade it for a big pot of gold
I love it because it's trash

Oh I love trash
anything dirty or dingy or dusty
anything ragged or rotten or rusty
Yes I love trash

Sigh. Gone are the days when I'd be humming the new Feist song or touting the praises of Damien Rice's achingly emotive voice.


Thursday, October 1, 2009


I need a vacation. Period.

Life has been a bit unsettling for...well, a really long time!

Losing my job this year hit me in such a way that is hard to explain to even my closest friends and family. My very foundation felt like it crumbled beneath me. My loyalty was so dedicated to both the company and my job, and it was literally like a very bad breakup. It shook my confidence and stripped me of self-esteem. Even with these words, I still can't describe the sense of betrayal and loss I felt. When driving from Claire's daycare to the metro station every morning, I come to the light that used to take me to T. Rowe. Now instead of a right turn I make a left. I glance up at the entrance and see long rows of cars making their routine left turn that leads them to their workday. It still stings to see it.

The new job is coming along. I still have so long to go in this learning process, and the changes are still difficult to get used to. I feel so blessed to have gotten this job and there are definitely many more opportunities for me to improve my skills and really shine. But the adjustment period has been challenging. Just our morning routine is enough to throw me off. Whereas my old "commute" was a mere 10-15 minutes, with Claire's daycare just down the road from T. Rowe, now it involves much more. I had to be at T. Rowe at 8:30 am, which meant I could leave the house at 8:15 or so (oh, I was also blessed with a very lenient boss who didn't mind if I showed up ten or so minutes late). Claire could sleep until she woke naturally, which was until about 7 or 7:30. I often stopped at Starbucks on the way to work to pick up a chai and sometimes a coffee for Mark or Jonathan.

Fast forward to the present. I am supposed to be at work here by 8 am. That has been more than challenging, and as of late I haven't been doing very well. I get up at 5 am to get myself ready. I wake Claire up at 6 am and put Elmo on for her and give her milk. I hold her for a half hour. I will NOT give that up. She is understandably tired and therefore, more clingy, and I enjoy this time together. Of course, that doesn't help the schedule. I have to get her dressed and cleaned up, get her daycare stuff ready, my lunch stuff, etc., and have us out the door by 7 am. HA! Exactly. Not happening. Once I get her to daycare, she is often clingy, not wanting me to leave, particularly when she is left w/one of her morning teachers who isn't exactly the warmest individual out there. After I unlatch her from my leg, I walk out the door (feeling like a jerk) and get myself to the metro station parking lot, aka, the Indy 500 track. Don't ask...just know that these people treat that parking lot like it's the Beltway. I then run to try to catch the train before it leaves the station and I have to wait for the next one. My success rate on that is 50/50. Once on the train, I travel for 25 minutes, hop off and then run down to the office. I feel like I have a whole day in before I even sit down to work.

Did you enjoy that long, boring, self-indulgent story? It's my blog and I can whine if I want to (you would whine too if it happened to do do do).

My nights are much the same. I hop off the train and hustle to the daycare, sometimes stopping at Giant for any necessities. Claire and I get home and I make her dinner, then it's bath time or play time (I will need to blog about how she is obsessed w/diapering her baby's so cute). Then to her room for books (or more diapering) and bed. Then mommy makes herself some dinner and the trend since starting the new job is I fall asleep in my room around 9 pm, sometimes w/the light still on and my contacts in. I cannot shake the exhaustion.

So my days are rolling into one another with no truly good routine.

I have decided mommy needs a weekend retreat. So here, blogger friends, is where I need your input or suggestions.

My requirements...somewhere I can go that isn't too far. Somewhere that has woods I can walk through. Somewhere quiet...maybe a small town with a great main street, bookstore, fruit stands. I'm thinking quiet rejuvination. Oh, and cheap. Let's not forget cheap.

Brant is thankfully supportive and would take Claire for two or three days. I'm blessed that way.

So there you have year's journey that has led me to today, in need of a little clarity and rebooting.

UPDATE: I already think I found a place...Boonsboro, MD...near Hagerstown (hi, Jess!)...I pass the exit when I go home to PA on Route 70. It is quaint, has the Appalachian Trail (walk through woods), a very cute main street that includes a book store, and a few nice inns that if I go on a weekday won't cost a fortune. I'm going to try to do this in October. Wish me luck!