Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Sometimes I Even Wonder About Myself

I have had the "Drama Queen" label attached to my name since, well, pretty much birth. At times I have embraced it, at times I have denied it, and at times I have sarcastically said with raised eyebrow "Who, ME?"

Today, I have worn the label well. Tomorrow I will be six month post partum, so I'm pretty sure I can't blame my latest emotional breakdown on hormones anymore. Jacob is thriving, he's recovering from his monstrous cold and showing no signs of the RSV that is making the rounds of his daycare, and work is going as well as I could hope for right now. I'm still stressed about not having enough time to "fit it all in" most days, but it is getting easier. He can sit up, he can amuse himself for about 15 minutes at a time, and he's started sleeping through the night again. His dad and I have gotten a pretty solid morning and bedtime routine going, and part of that includes dad washing the godforsaken bottles every evening while I put baby to bed. (Trust me, you don't know how valuable that simple act can relieve stress right now. I HATE washing bottles with a passion.)

So how did I find myself crying at 12:24 today, standing in the rain on my lunch break at Advance Auto? It's my own fault, really. My beloved car is 4 years old, has close to 80K miles on it, and has been sluggish to start for the past 2 weeks. So, I knew it needed a battery, but I have put it off each day this week with the "I'll do it tomorrow" mantra. Until this morning, when it nearly didn't turn over as I was leaving daycare to head to work. Of course, even though I knew I was procrastinating, it didn't make my internal wrath towards the auto parts store (who, incidentally, has "we have hard to find parts...just challenge us" emblazoned across their front door) when they told me that battery was not in stock. They could have it delivered from a store across town and I could come back after work. If my battery makes it through 2 more cranks.

For 20 minutes I sat there chewing my hangnail, growing weepier and weepier by the second, while the manager looked to make sure they were really out of the battery, convinced me to get the next one down, gave me a discount on it, and told me that the salesclerk (who was on the phone with a problem customer) would install it for me as soon as he got a chance. All I could think about the whole time was whether or not I would have time to pump and/or eat lunch when I finally got back to work. I was reminded that this is one of those down supply weeks and that I had pumped less than an ounce on my morning break, and couldn't afford to miss this one, too. As the clerk fumbled around changing my battery, I just stood on the sidewalk willing my tears not to fall.

Which made me feel even dumber. Like a stupid, emotional, wreck of a drama queen crying because they wouldn't just HURRY UP and do what I asked them to do, RIGHT NOW. It was like an internal battle inside my head, with one side saying "hurry up, imbeciles, can't you see that I'm busy and only have a limited amount of time" and the other half saying, "seriously? Who the hell do you think you are? Is your time really that much more valuable than everyone else's?" That attitude is exactly my pet peeve in my own clients. Sheesssshhhhh....

I guess the difference now is that at least I can admit that I'm a Drama Queen.

Monday, February 22, 2010

An Unpopular Opinion in the South

(Other than, of course, Breastfeeding in public is totally appropriate and normal, ya'll.)

I am about to share with you something that I loathe, but that every 23-58 year old that I know, have seen, or occasionally end up behind apparently thinks is SOOOoooooo Cuuutttteeee.

Car Decals. Specifically this:

Now, why in the hell do I need to know your initials? If I know you, chances are I already know that you are AJC or SOR. And if I don't know you, well, that along with your license plate number and my husband's savvy use of knowing how to look up pretty. much. anything. on the Internet means that I have one more piece of your own personal identity theft puzzle.

And in fact, while we're at it, I don't really like decals of any kind. I actually know what constitutes the Outer Banks of North Carolina, and have vacationed in many spots of that glorious shoreline. Does that mean I need to slap an OBX sticker on my windshield? I think not. Those gaudy flip-flops? Seriously? Are you 12? It reminds me of in high school when as soon as we got our tassels we all hung them from the rearview mirror so that everyone could tell we were Seniors, and therefore Tha Shizz-nit! And don't get me started on those God-Awful car paints now so that I know the name and number of every single rec league softball player in the Triangle.

While we're on that subject, soccer moms, let's take a look at you. Does having a cheerleading sticker, a soccer ball, and one of those God-awful stick figure families on the back of your Honda Odyssey going to make a drunk driver suddenly veer away from your car and over towards the ditch? We would hope, but probably not. Not that you're paying attention anyway what with your Bluetooth in your ear and Spongebob blaring on the DVD player in the back.

Let me lay out a simple rule: if you want to put a political sticker on your car, go for it. When there's an election. Besides that, the only decal I want to see on anyone's back end is the college you are currently attending or a recent graduate of. And by recent, I mean unemployed. As soon as that offer comes across the table, you had better be peeling that thing off, stat!

Sunday, February 21, 2010

But I Didn't Write a Speech

When I started this blog, I wasn't in it for the fame, or the money (because, um, there is none), or even any recognition. I just wanted a place to share my thoughts about anything. Anything primarily being a new mom to the most adorable little guy ever. And I like that my friends and family can read it, and that people I have met on the internet that know a little (but not everything) about me can get a clearer picture of who I am. And along the way I've found that I rather like the attention.

But I never in a million years expected to be nominated for any awards! This award is simple, really. It's basically a badge of honor passed around from people who read my blog (and like it) to people whose blogs I follow. The rules are this: I tell you seven interesting facts about myself, and then nominate seven people to pass the award to. Hopefully, they will feel like sharing the love right along!

Seven facts about me:

1.) My husband proposed at Krispy Kreme. It was December 22, 2005, and he had gotten a horse drawn carriage ride for us. What he wasn't expecting was the cold and the proximity of the driver and horse's ass. We stopped to warm up with hot chocolate and that's where he did the deed.

2.) I have a phobia of the dentist. Before I found my current dentist, I would hyperventilate while on the phone making an appointment, and then while waiting in the lobby I would start crying. I have to get nitrous oxide for a cleaning and exam. (ALL of the cleaning and exam.) If my current dentist ever moves or retires, I'm screwed.

3.) My first job was selling knives. I worked as one of those Cutco representatives the summer after I graduated High School.

4.) When I first met my husband, I was a total Liberal and he was a die hard Republican. (He's still registered Republican but we both pretty much consider ourselves Libertarians. Well, he doesn't believe that, but I know in his heart he really is.) He couldn't stand to be around me because I thought Al Gore was God and trashed GWB every chance I got. Sparks flew...

5.) I am a girl who truly loves sports. I love Hockey, College Basketball, College Football, Pro Football, and Pro Baseball, in that order of allegiance.

6.) I drive a 5-speed and LOVE it. I know that with one baby and hopes for a little sibling one day, this will probably be my last 5 speed for a good twenty years so I take full advantage.

7.) Every time I travel to a new place, I can picture myself living there. Which is strange because I am very proud of being a North Carolinian and couldn't honestly imagine leaving my family. We live here because it's home and such a great place to raise our family.

Now, I strongly encourage you to read these blogs:
Feels Like Home
look at the birds...
Maxed Out Mommy
Learning How to Love
IMO: In My Opinion
P and Me

And finally, thanks to Nicci at Changing the Universe for nominating me!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Does it count if I'm only doing it for the pie?

My weight loss has hit a snag. I'm happy that I am now 5 lbs under my pre-pregnancy weight, but at 225lbs I still have 50lbs to go, and I've been stuck here for over three weeks.

I'm pretty certain that I could actually drop 5 pounds in just a short week or two. I have granola bars and yogurt that I could do for breakfast every morening instead of 3 out of the 5 (what can I say, in the South we have a biscuit obsession). I also have salad dressing in the fridge that will expire if I don't put it to good use. It is blue cheese, but I'm certain that 'good use' would not constitute an order of extra hot buffalo wings. What I should be doing is walking to the Lowe's Foods a quarter of a mile across the parking lot and hitting up their salad bar every day for a month.

I should also stick to all of the "rules" I've set for myself regarding my beverage intake: plain coffee in the morning with a little cream and Splenda instead of Starbucks, McCafe, or the local coffee shop downtown. I've been good about my water intake lately...hitting my 1 1/2 liters before I can have that afternoon soda, and I usually continue that good practice at home. But who am I kidding...the snack size Heath and Twix calling out to me from the drawer directly behind my back right now are more than making up for any extra soda I use to have.

All of these sound like good ideas, I'm sure we all agree. What you don't know, however, is that my motivation is really not what it should be. What I should be working towards is improved health, self-esteem, and well-being. I should have the big moments of my son's life pictured along with the drive to want to be there for them. Or at the very least, I should be picturing a swimsuit that is NOT last summer's maternity suit to wear on vacation this year.

What I am working towards, however, is called the Chocolate Mousse Cake, and it is available at the greek boys' deli down the road. Three beautiful layers of decadence...white chocolate ganache on top of milk chocolate mousse on top of the richest dark chocolate torte you could sink your teeth into. It was my weekly splurge during pregnancy (don't judge...I probably gained 10 extra pounds but stayed reasonably sane, and I contribute both of those to the cake). I got one so often in the third trimester that when I visited the deli for the first time three months after giving birth, as soon as I walked in the door, Greek Boy number one smiled and said "chocolate mousse cake?"

Post pregnancy, I've been fairly good. Since returning to work (I was down about 25 lbs of the 35 I've lost totally) I promised myself I could have one every time I hit a 5lb mark. So, I've only had 3 in three months. Not bad. But now it's been a month since my last one, and I am craving it like a junkie craving crack. And I know crash dieting is bad, especially when my goal is probably about 600 calories of indulgence. But I WANT THAT CAKE.

And I think I'm willing to do whatever it takes to get it.

(Even if that means letting the rest of those cookies that are leftover from our work event last week go to waste.)

Monday, February 15, 2010

Blog giveaway winner!

I am very excited to announce that loyalty has been rewarded. Although I absolutely did not "rig" the drawing, one of my longtime readers actually won the Sprout. Mrs. B, I am happy to report that you won my very scientific and modern drawing. Basically, I went old-school: I wrote everyone's name on a piece of paper, folded them all up, mixed them into a pile and sat Jacob down in front of it. The first piece he was able to successfully grasp and separate was the winner! Email me at with your address and the fancy-pants food will be on it's way this week.

Oh, and in case you were wondering, that is also my spammable email. So if Anonymous wants to be a man and send me some more specific hate mail, I would be happy to read it and address her concerns with my blog content. (Your maturity really showed with that one.)

Sunday, February 14, 2010

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

Of going out as a 30-something.

First of all, I want to point out that I am A-OK with my age, yet when I was younger and the above mentioned TV program came on regularly, "30-something" was a phrase that stuck in my mind as meaning ancient. The only time I have really felt old recently was when I started this blog and also started reading other blogs regularly. There is a group that calls themselves "20-something bloggers" and at first I thought that meant there were 20-something of them. I swiftly realized my mistake, and for a brief second was excited until I realized that I would never be eligible to join them.

On to my real story: Friday night my husband and I had our first overnight, meaning little guy stayed with a grandparent while we went out for a night on the town. We went to dinner and a comedy show for a good friend's birthday, and since it has been a while since a 10:15 comedy show, or even staying out later than 9PM has been a possibility, there was a feeling of not wanting the night to end. (There was also beer involved, along with the promise of more beer.) So after the show ended, we visited one of our favorite young and hip bars that we frequented a few years ago (when we were 20-something). That experience was so enjoyable that somehow we found ourselves at IHOP at 2AM. And since I knew I would never remember some of my observations, I wrote them down to share with you.

My original intent was to weave them all into nice colorful prose, stringing them into some semblance of coherent thought. But it was 2AM and I was about 62 oz. into some fairly strong microbrew. Saying that I remember these thoughts would be the overstatement of the decade. So instead I will list them, bullet-style, for your entertainment.

-young people say "shit" a lot
-the fact that I just called them "young people" really ages me
-at least we're not at Waffle House where I would have to remember if I liked them "scattered, covered, smothered, or hashed"
-we are getting better service than the table of college kids next to us b/c the waiter knows we're going to tip more
- they're not listening unless we say "pot" or "sex" (this, after I apparently said the previous statement about tipping aloud and my husband told me to tone it down)

And my biggest gem, while I was in the bathroom:
-I feel so much more grown up and confident than I did in my twenties, at least until I realize that I'm tucking my camisole into my granny panties.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

The smallest blog giveaway. Ever. Forever-ever.

I like food. All of it, pretty much. I hope one day that Jacob will, too, but for now he's pretty much just a boob man. Any attempt at solids, however meager they may be (and they are pretty meager indeed at this point, since we have what I like to call a "non-crunchy baby-led philosophy" to child rearing at this stage of his life) end up looking like this:
However, I am also a narcissist. I like my blog. I like to imagine millions and millions of people reading it, nodding their heads, laughing, sometimes crying, and very occasionally disagreeing. (Really, that's a very lofty goal. I would be happy if tens and tens of people read it. Like, 20.)
And I hear that the best way to drive traffic to my little old blog is a giveaway.

Except I'm poor. And I have solid food and a baby that won't eat them. Really great solid food. I am making most of the purees and first meals that Jacob will eat, but in terms of something I can keep in his diaper bag for emergencies, I am pretty lazy, and I'm 90% sure that a tupperware container of homemade sweet potato puree will not last for weeks at a time unrefrigerated and carted all across the NC piedmont. And I'm not above Gerber and Beech-nut and all of that, especially for prunes, because mama is not rehydrating, and then straining, dried prunes and sometimes babies need to get things movin. But there is something out there that speaks so deep into my gourmet little heart, and that would be this:
Part owned by Tyler Florence himself. Oh, and that brings me to the other reason for self-bought blog giveaways: maybe the good chef (or more likely, someone who works for PR at Sprout) will be bored one day and do some googling and find this post. And then, maybe since I have endorsed their product (me, with my 15 followers and counting) they will look kindly upon me and send me a case of their stuff. Just sayin'.

So, if you're interested, become a follower of my blog, and leave a comment with a random food observation. Like this one: why would a bag of "cranberry and pecan salad finishin" have to have a disclaimer that it contains nuts?

**Lest you scoff at my first miserable attempt at a blog giveaway, may I remind you that I spent $1.79 on this, people. Plus tax. Plus whatever shipping costs will be associated to beam it to the winner's diaper bag. It may not be much, but free food is free food. And when you're stuck at the mall on a Friday at 6:30 and you really, really want to eat out but baby needs to eat, and you suddenly realize "oh, yeah, I have that Sprout in my bag...we can hit up the Cheesecake Factory after all" then know two things: that you are lucky because I cannot currently afford to eat at the Cheesecake Factory. And second, that in a way, I made this dinner out possible.**

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Breastfeeding is HARD, Ya'll!

Time for me to confess. I was one of those moms who had it very, very easy at first. I had heard it was hard so many times that I figured I had a 50-50 shot of making it to 3 months. But lo and behold, the Wonder Boy popped out an instant boob-man that seemed to latch within 3 seconds of me holding him sideways near my naked chest. And for the next 3 1/2 months we coasted along on his exclusive diet of mama's milk.

In secret, I was very, very proud of our accomplishment, like it was something I was doing that allowed my body to make milk. Really, all I did was be available any time he wanted to give it a go, and stayed calm and relaxed enough that the milk had no problem flowing. I demurely bowed out of conversations where people talked about how hard breastfeeding was, because honestly, it felt pretty easy for me. I felt sorry for the women I know that tried to breastfeed and were not able to. Overall, I felt pretty proud of myself and my little guy for our "accomplishment".

And then I went back to work. No worries: I had a healthy 60 ounces or so in my chest freezer and I was pumping pretty much what he was eating during my 3 breaks a day. For the first 2 1/2 weeks. Then, all of a sudden he was eating 18 oz, I was pumping 12 oz, and the freezer outlet tripped. Murphy's freaking law, people. Since then, I've been up and down. I've come to terms with supplementing with formula. At first it was only 6 oz, maybe once a week, but as time has passed and work has become more stressful, I am now supplementing at least 3 times a week. Sometimes as much as 2 bottles. I think we're at the point where it's going to be one formula bottle and two breastmilk bottles. Which is ok, but it's still disappointing.

I remember a conversation with my little (childless, opinionated, but well-meaning) sister just before Jacob was born. I said that my first goal for breastfeeding was 3 months, but that I really hoped to go 6. "Why would you only do it for 6 months," she sneered, "when you know a year is better?" Well, the closer I've gotten to six months (SIX months! Just around the corner...) the more I've wanted to continue for a year, or at least until the baby decides he's done.

But it's HARD, ya'll! Sometimes when I pump I only get an ounce. An OUNCE, for nearly 20 minutes of my precious workday. I probably spend nearly two hours of my day pumping and/or cleaning the pump accoutrements. And those times, all I can think of is how much I can't wait to eat chocolate-covered espresso beans and spicy hot food again. Now that he's been exposed to formula and I know it's not radioactive or rotting his brain, I really sometimes think about how nice it would be to stop pumping and only breastfeed when I'm around him. But I'm scared to try that in case it just causes the rest of my supply to quit. And I'm not ready to give up at all when I look down at Jacob and he smiles, like he would never want to drink anything except mommy's milk!

I just need a vote of confidence, I guess. I really want to make it to a year, but it's getting harder and harder to appreciate the benefits in spite of the troubles it gives me!

Monday, February 1, 2010

"They don't know how to drive in it down here."

Snow, that is.

If I have one more Yankee look at me conspiratorially (because at work I usually do a decent job of hiding my accent) and say that, I think I'm going to go on a rampage, gunning my engine as I fly down an icy embankment, taking out as many parked cars with New Jersey plates as possible.

What does that even mean, anyway, when someone says, "Oh, I know how to drive in snow." Seriously? The only technique I can think of for snow-driving is to use common sense, drive slowly if you are on top of a patch of ice, don't follow other cars too closely, don't slam on brakes, and if you skid, turn into the direction your car is floating.

And if you are proudly lauding your bad-weather driving skills in a two-ton four wheel drive monster of an SUV, then no, you really don't know how to drive in the snow. Because your car does it for you.

As for us Southerners, we will more than likely do the common sense thing after a snowstorm: stay home and wait for the plows to fix everything.