Saturday, March 24, 2012
Thursday, March 22, 2012
Come on, my cooking isn't that bad.
On Thursday morning I thought I smelled gas coming from the stove and the oven had been making a really loud bang during preheating. The husband couldn't smell anything and thought I was crazy. I didn't listen to him and called the gas company. It turned out to be a defective valve. When I was preheating the oven the gas would just pool and then ignite (a delayed ignition). So basically, I saved the house from blowing up and I was totally right and the husband was wrong. Win! Except that now I can't use my stove.
However, no stove means going out to dinner which is definitely a win. The husband doesn't really care to have his picture taken in restaurants. But he's so cute, I can't help it.
Wednesday, March 21, 2012
I know that two walks a week doesn't sound like much but at least I'm moving around. Getting everyone out of the house for a walk is giant hassle. I've got to get collars and leashes on two bulldogs, change out of my work clothes, get Leo in the stroller. Then we walk around the block and I have to go back home to drop off the bulldogs who have joint problems and can only walk a short distance. Then I head out again to walk the hills around my house. I only walk for about 20 minutes but pushing a 30 pound toddler up a hill in a giant ass stroller is actually quite a workout. Luckily Leo loves going for the walks and seeing all the cars and such.
Today I was at Target doing my ritual "I just got paid, I must buy all the things" trip and I picked up the 30 day shred dvd. I know I'm kinda late to the Jillian Michaels thing but the dvd was $10 and the workouts are only 20 minutes long. As soon as Leo hit they hay, the husband and I were in front of the tv shredding it out. Holy crap it is hard. I'm not sure I can do this every day for 30 days but damnit I'm going to try! I am already so flipping sore. I can't believe I used to do hour long kick boxing and spin classes. I'm so sore that wine doesn't even sound good. What have you done to me Jillian???
My workout goals are simple - lose 10 pounds and be able to wear cute, trendy shorts during my trip to New York this May. By blogging my workouts I'm hoping to make myself accountable. We shall see what happens in May. I'll either be rocking my shorts or covering my ass with a full circle skirt.
Monday, March 19, 2012
Leo is just over 20 months and seeing him become his own person is simply breath-taking. He is so opinionated. Every night we pick out books to read and he simply must pick out all his own books. If I pick out the book, he says "nooo" and shakes his head.
He loves to pretend to make food and then pretend to eat it. Or have me eat it. Or feed Scout. I wish he were as excited about eating real food as he is about eating pretend food.
He loves to play dress up with glasses, hats, mommy and daddy's shoes. He imitates our actions. He'll flip upside down and pretend to blow dry his hair like mommy. If daddy is laying in bed with his feet up, so is Leo.
Wednesday, March 14, 2012
We had a ridiculously long lunch so I wandered around and found a super cute little restaurant. I stopped at a newsstand and grabbed a Vanity Fair. Vanity Fair and Vogue were my absolute favorite magazines in the pre-Leo era. I loved looking at the glossy ads, reading about the latest fashion lines, the book reviews, and interviews. I was a little disappointed that I was too tired and too disconnected to even make it through one full article in Vanity Fair today.
But I was still able to enjoy one of my favorite things about Vanity Fair, the Proust Questionnaire at the end of the magazine. Every issue of Vanity Fair includes a Proust Questionnaire answered by a celebrity or some noteworthy figure. I've always wanted to answer these questions and since I'm am dangerously uninspired for blog topics here I go:
What is your idea of perfect happiness:
Feeling balanced and accomplished in everything that I pursue.
What is your greatest fear:
That somehow Leo grows up to be a mean person. I want so bad for him to be caring and compassionate.
What is your favorite journey:
What do you consider the most overrated virtue?
Perfectionism. Is that a virtue? I don't know but it seems like no good comes of striving to be perfect.
On what occasion do you lie?
When what I have to say will hurt someone's feelings and saying it serves no purpose.
What do you dislike most about your appearance?
Which words or phrases do you most overuse?
"Like." "That's bullshit."
What is your greatest regret?
That I was not truer to myself when I was younger.
What or who is the greatest love of your life?
What: books. Who: my husband and Leo.
When and where were you happiest?
The road trip that my Husband and I took after the taking the bar. We went up the coast of California. I felt like I could do anything at the point. The stress of being a grown-up had not hit yet.
Which talent would you like to have?
To be able to sing.
What is your current state of mind?
If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
To stop comparing myself and my situation to others.
If you could change one thing about your family, what would it be?
I would make them be more open with each other.
What do you consider your greatest achievement?
Passing the California state bar. (Gasp! My greatest achievement is not giving birth. I'm such a bad mother! But seriously I worked at passing the bar, giving birth is all biological and there were drugs involved.)
If you were to die and come back as a person or thing, what do you think it would be?
If you could choose what to come back as, what would it be?
What is your most treasured possession?
Probably my cell phone, which is so so sad.
What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery?
Not having friends or someone to confide in.
Where would you like to live?
In a house with a yard that is close to my office!
What is your most marked characteristic?
I'd like to think it is my ability to look at a situation objectively.
What do you value in your friends?
Honesty and loyalty.
Who are your heroes in real life?
Working moms who do it all and share their secrets to success and manage to raise children who are not axe murderers.
What are your favorite names?
Catherine, Robert, Frank.
What is it that you most dislike?
How would you like to die?
As a very very old woman.
What is your motto?
I don't really have one. My motto for breastfeeding was "stay committed, be flexible," which I think can be adapted to many aspects of life.
If you made it this far, congratulations and thanks! I'd love to see others answer this questionnaire. I think it poses some pretty thought provoking questions.
Sunday, March 11, 2012
Thursday, March 8, 2012
Monday was my birthday so my oh-so-amazing husband cooked me a very nice birthday dinner. The only problem was that he had bought $30 worth of filet mignon from Costco. Do you know how much filet that is? It was about four huge steaks. And seriously amazing. It actually was a really good deal even if we ate filet all week. I know, our lives our so hard.
Here is how our week went:
Sunday - I made a recipe I found on pinterest, crock pot buffalo chicken. I hated it. I'm not sure why I even made it, I hate buffalo sauce. I thought the ranch dressing mix would make it not so spicy but it was still flaming hot. Despite hating it, I ate it for dinner and choked it down for two lunches because I didn't want to waste the food. My depression era grandparents would be so proud.
Monday - Husband made filet, asparagus, and a caesar salad. That man can grill a steak.
Tuesday - Oh my gawd, dinner on Tuesday was so amazing. I made the Pioneer Woman's beef with snow peas with the leftover filet. It was divine. Seriously restaurant quality and really easy and really fast. I have a new favorite recipe. The only thing I would change is that I would double the sauce recipe. I like a fair amount of sauce over my rice. I think the fresh ginger is really what makes this stand out and you could use the sauce for any kind of stir fry. I could talk about this recipe for days. Let's move on.
Wednesday - Ok, down to the last filet. I made steak and eggs for brinner! Who doesn't love brinner? It reminds me of my dad. He always seemed to make brinner when my mom was working nights.
Along with the steak and eggs I made some skillet potatoes out of my recent farmer's market purchase. We finally made it down to our local farmer's market and then didn't have any cash. We only had enough cash to buy this little bag of potatoes. Total Farmer's Market fail. I felt all Charles Dickens like as I handed over my $3 and walked away with a tiny bag of potatoes. Please sir, may I have some potatoes? (Please read that with that poor Dickens British accent. Thanks.)
Hey look! It's Leo enjoying brinner. Except not. He only ate a tortilla. The boy turned down filet. I can't even.
Thursday: We had turkey/spinach meatballs with the Pioneer Woman's bow tie lasagna. I think I make this meal once a week. It is good, easy, and everyone eats it. Well, usually everyone eats it. I'm pretty sure Leo has eaten nothing but carbs this week except for the random two helpings of green beans he ate at daycare today. Also, if the Pioneer Woman didn't exist I'm pretty sure my family wouldn't eat.
Tomorrow we are going out to dinner with friends and Saturday we have a play/dinner date with friends. I'm starting to run out of recipe ideas. I have no idea what I'm going to cook next week. I'm starting to get sick of my tried and true recipes and I don't really have any new ones to try. Suggestions are welcomed!
Wednesday, March 7, 2012
We started tonight with whining for mama's phone. To think that I was worried at one point because I didn't have an iphone or ipad and "omg would he be the only kindergartner who didn't know how to use any technology?" I worry too much.
I got him happily contained in his highchair with playdoh and crayons while I cooked dinner. This worked relatively well. There were only a few moments of whining when he couldn't get the playdoh out of the can (that stuff seriously creates some kind of mad vacuum seal in those stupid little cans). Obviously cooking dinner is a difficult part of the night. I don't want to ignore him but I also need to pay attention to what I am doing. I'm trying to think of more ideas to keep him occupied because him dumping out the contents of my pantry is driving me crazy.
Dinner can go in many different directions. Sometimes he eats. Sometimes he doesn't. Sometimes he dips his bananas in ketchup. Toddler eating is so confusing. I have given up on trying to understand it. I'm proud to say that most nights the three of us eat together as a family. Some nights it is just me and the little man. Even then I try to make sure I talk to him throughout the meal and not just stare into space out of exhaustion. I try my best to make sure he has a balanced meal but there has been more than one night where he ate goldfish for dinner.
The best part of our nights is after dinner when we just play. This is the time where I get to really experience my son and see the amazing little person he is becoming. I bought Leo an old school Mr. Potato Head this week and it has been a huge hit. Best $8 spent ever.
The husband got me an ipod and speakers for my birthday and we have been having dance parties on the regular. Tonight's dance party included a lesson on how we don't use our instruments on the dog. I honestly do not understand why Frank doesn't just walk away. He just stands there and takes it.
Another favorite right now is the tunnel. Which had to be put away after Leo insisted on trying to walk while standing up in the tunnel which caused all sorts of visions in my head of how he was going to trip and crack his head open. In related news, Leo has a scratch on his forehead that sort of makes him look like Harry Potter. I need to find little glasses and a Hogwarts scarf asap.
After playtime, it's bath, last drink of milk, saying goodnight to poor daddy who is working late again, books and bedtime.
I hate to think about the time I spend with Leo during the week in terms of hours because if you look at it that way it seems like I don't see him very much. I pack so much into the time after work because that is the quality time I get with him. I want to teach him things, see him grow, and show him that I am there for him even if I am at work during the day. I really do feel that our time during the week is quality time. When I do stay home during the week I am not at all this engaged with Leo from 6 to 8pm because I am so done with dealing with a toddler all day.
I'll admit, some nights, when I am too tired or emotionally spent from work, I just hang out while Leo plays with his toys. Other nights, I'm actively engaged with him every minute until he goes to bed. Most nights include a lecture on how we don't stand on the dog or we don't ride the dog, or for the love of baby Jesus don't touch the dog's butthole!
Our nights have evolved so much from when he was infant and the focus was just on nursing, bath, and bedtime because he went to sleep so early. I am interested to see how they change over time as he becomes older and more independent. I hope the terrible twos do not take away my happy toddler playtime.
I definitely end every night in exhaustion but it is (usually) a happy exhaustion. I'm not exactly sure why these two are so tired.
Sunday, March 4, 2012
Anyways, every restaurant was packed so we ended up going to this Irish pub that is a bar and restaurant with emphasis on the bar. It was very "You have a baby. In a bar." It took forever to get a table and forever for the waitresses clad in mini plaid skirts, tight tops and knee hi socks to notice us. Leo was quickly approaching flipping his toddler shit mode and I was crafting my acceptance speech for mother of the year for bringing my kid to a bar with scantily clad waitresses.
Finally, one of the waitresses paid attention to us, got our food, going, and made sure we had everything we needed for Leo. My husband remarked, "she must have a kid." You can totally tell when wait staff have kids. They just get it. The waitress as a mom got me thinking, I asked my husband, "so she's a working mom, do you think she spends lots of time and energy thinking/writing/talking/reading about being a working mom."
His response - "no you psycho-freak." Hmm, a simple no would have sufficed. The point is he thinks I spend too much time worrying and thinking about being a working mom. And I do spend a lot of time on this subject. I write about it, I read about it, I talk to other working moms about it, I talk to non-working moms about it. I went to my book club meeting today where I was the only working mom and I specifically told myself that I would not talk about it. Then I ended up making a working mom blogosphere reference.
I know I talk about it a lot. But the thing is I need to talk about it a lot. I need to talk (or blog) how I feel about it because I have a lot of feelings about being a working mom. I talk about it a lot in an attempt to help other working moms who might be feeling the same things and think they are alone. I know how heart-wrenching it is to leave your baby in the care of others and I know that it gets better. I read about it a lot in order to see how others make it work and to know that I am not alone. Hearing other women support each other in this role is inspiring and comforting.
I don't think that one can just do the whole working mom gig without talking about it. There is just too much going on. The guilt, the lack of guilt, the routines, the judgment, the lack of support, what support works, the list goes on and on and on. I think that women talking about their roles as employees and mothers furthers the advancement of work places that respect both.
So maybe my husband thinks I'm crazy for being obsessed with being a working mom. I say that all my talk helps me do what I do and there are many other things that make me crazy. Like me not letting Leo touch the toys at the children's hair salon because I thought they looked too dirty. Now that is being a psycho-freak.
Tuesday, February 28, 2012
The purpose of these framed "pictures" was to cover the accent windows in my master bedroom. I think the windows are nice and let in lovely natural light but my vampire husband wants them covered. And not because the sunlight makes him sparkle.
I tried to buy something to cover the windows. We used to have pictures from Cost Plus but we painted the bedroom Tiffany blue and I could not find anything that coordinated well with the color. So I decided to craft something up.
I started with two 16 x 20 open back frames from Michael's. I purchased unfinished ones and then painted them with espresso brown spray paint. The frames were on sale and I got both for $20. 16 x 20 frames are pretty pricey but the open back ones are less costly and I didn't need the glass since I was framing a wreath.
I took a piece of foam board and cut it to 16 x 20. Then I covered it with fabric and hot glue gunned the fabric around the back, making sure to pull tight so that the front was smooth.
You end up with a pretty fabric covered board to pop into the frame.
Ok, I know yarn wreaths are so 5 minutes ago on pinterest but I had a couple laying around and the color happened to be perfect. I removed all the little accessories which I had pinned on with straight pins (making for very easy removal).
To make new adornments for the wreathes, I cut a bunch of circles out of a linen type fabric and folded them in half till I had little rose looking things. I definitely did not invent this technique and I have seen it a million places. One place I did see it was on The Heir to Blair. That link will give you a much better description of how to do this.
Monday, February 27, 2012
I tried to reign it in a little this week and actually plan some meals. This weeks recipes are as follows:
- The Pioneer Woman's lasagna. I used Rachel Ray's meat sauce in it. Just a little note, Rachel Ray's sauces always come out so mother-trucking watery. Homegirl puts way too much chicken stock in her sauces. There is no way that shit cooks in 30 minutes. You would have to cook it for 2 hours to not have a runny mess. Wow, I just got really worked up about Rachel Ray and chicken stock. It happens.
- Crock pot bbq chicken. I didn't really use a recipe for this, just chicken breast and a bottle of bbq sauce in the crock pot.
- Cat Cora's broccoli slaw.
- Skinny Taste's mac n cheese.
Here is the breakdown of prep and eating for the week:
Sunday: I made the meat sauce and assembeld the lasagna throughout the day. I didn't use mushrooms in the sauce, instead I put in zucchinni and carrots. Then I popped in the lasagna about 40 minutes before dinnertime and dinner was served. I love this lasagna but Leo didn't really eat it. I had random stuff in the fridge for him but it was a bummer having to make a separate meal.
Monday: As soon as I got home from work, I threw the chicken in the crockpot. It should cook on high for about four or five hours. I usually go to be around 11pm so this works out. We had leftover lasagna (Leo ate random stuff again). Tonight I will also cut up sweet potatoes to bake fries tomorrow and prepare the broccoli slaw dressing. For my sweet potato fries I toss them in olive oil, paprika and sea salt. Bake at 400 degrees for about 20 minutes. They are good but don't come out very crispy. I'm still trying to perfect this technique.
Tuesday: We'll have bbq chicken, sweet potato fries, and broccoli slaw. I have one more day of trial on Tuesday so I know I'll be tired and won't want to do any additional meal prep.
Wednesday: Leftover bbq chicken. I might use it to make quesidillas. I'll throw together a veggie side. Probably just steamed broccoli or sauteed zucchini. Something easy. I'll prep the skinny mac n cheese. I will probally cook the whole recipe and get it ready to bake the next day.
Thursday: Skinny mac n cheese, broccoli or zucchini as a side (whatever is left over from Wednesday). I have not tried this recipe so I hope it is good. I love mac n cheese but I usually use a Paula Deen recipe where I double the cheese. It is like a cheesy, delicious heart attack in a casserole dish.
Friday: Leftovers baby! We gotta eat up whatever is left over in the fridge so I can start the whole process again on Saturday.
Saturday: The husband better take me out to dinner for all my hard work cooking during the week.
Saturday, February 25, 2012
First, I'm pretty damn proud about being a working mom. Of course I have my moments of self doubt and I will get upset if people say rude things to me about it or if I read stupid things about it (for example the comments on babble.com are a sure fire way to get me spitting mad), but for the most part I am proud of what I do and confident in my decision to work. The one thing that really makes me question everything is when I see working moms with grown children who are complete fuck-ups. Like can't hold a job, dropped out of school, drug problems, relationship problems, etc. I'm a very "the proof is in the pudding" kind of person. I know that me being a working mom is right for my family because we are all happy, healthy, and thriving. But when I see grown children of working moms all screwed up, I always wonder if they got screwed up because their mom worked too much. I realize this wondering is stupid because there are plenty of grown children of stay at home moms who are also big fuck ups. But still it always makes me wonder what went wrong.
Second, at Leo's daycare they have little figurines of people dressed for different professions. There is a doctor, firefighter, chef, and such. One of the figurines is a woman dressed in a black suit with a cell phone and briefcase. The other day when I dropped Leo off, he was playing with the figurines and his teacher held up the woman in the suit and said, "here's a lawyer, just like mommy." I have to admit, my heart swelled with pride. My son was playing with his teacher and hearing about how his mother is a lawyer. My son will grow up knowing that women can be anything that they want, including a lawyer. This made me very happy.
Third, one day this past week I was walking up to the daycare to pick up Leo. I ran into my very good friend from law school who was also picking up her son. She asked me about the trial I was in and I asked her about her arbitration. For a split second I thought, look at us in our cute suits, talking like fancy lawyers, on our way to pick up our adorable sons, we kick ass. I have to say the working mom gig can bring about many moments of questioning the choices we have made so I will definitely take the moments were I feel like I'm kicking ass and cherish them.
Now you know the working mom thoughts that have been floating around in my head this past week. There has been a little bit of questioning accompanied by feeling very happy about what I do.
Tuesday, February 21, 2012
Two pounds more than two weeks ago. I'm supposed to be losing a pound a week. I'm 5'4, 162.8 is not ok. Maybe I should try it again, maybe it was out of whack the first time. I watched the digital numbers spin around. Still 162.8. Ugh. I started to dig through my closet to find my flattering brown pin striped suit. Of course my brown tights were not clean so I was forced to wear my very unflattering black pin stripe suit. Hey, I'm a lawyer, I don't have a lot of options for my work wardrobe.
I'm over groaning every time I step on the scale. I'm tired of picking out clothes I don't want to wear just because they fit. I've been talking about getting healthy for months and I have done nothing. I'm frustrated by my lack of desire and motivation to do better for myself. My weight is unhealthy. It is making me feel unhealthy. This isn't about how I look. I look fine. This is about how I feel.
I know I can be healthy. I've done it before. I was on weight watchers before I got pregnant and it worked wonders. I was also working out at least three times a week. I was so motivated back then. And my will power? It was ridiculous! I could go to a Mexican restaurant and not eat any chips at all. I try to do my fitness pal. I make it through half the day and then just kind of forget about it.
So do I make a pledge to work out every day? Eat only 1200 calories a day? Say I'll blog it all out so I feel like I'm being held accountable? I was going to try to reach some kind of conclusion with this post but I'm actually sick of listening to myself whine. Plus I need to write some witness questions for trial tomorrow.
Monday, February 20, 2012
The post set off a chain of thoughts in my head that made me realize that my working mama double-edged sword is the weekend. I cherish the time that I get with my family but the weekends can bring oh-so-much anxiety as well.
These pictures are from this past weekend where we went to Lake Arrowhead and played in some snow and then went to the San Diego Zoo Safari Park. Sometimes living in Southern California is all kinds of awesome.
When Leo was an infant my weekends were centered on spending as much time as possible with him. I felt compelled to spend every single minute engaged with him, reading, playing, and nursing. I would not leave him for anything. If I had errands to run they happened after he went to bed or he went with me. I cleaned during naptime. I didn't get my hair done. I didn't grab coffee with girlfriends or go on dates with my husband. I had an almost psychotic obsession that I must spend every waking breath bonding with my son.
Now I'm not trying to be a mommy martyr. This is a stupid way to live. It left no time for me to be by myself. I was quick to snap at my husband because I wasn't allowing myself to relax and rejuvenate on the weekends. Yes I spent a lot of time with Leo, but time with Leo at the cost of my sanity doesn't benefit anyone.
I wish I could say now that Leo is a toddler I have found a happy balance to my weekends. But I have not. Once he became a little more independent and did not need my attention every second of the day my focus shifted to spending the weekend getting everything ready for the upcoming work week. I obsessively clean, do laundry, meal plan, grocery shop, etc. To the point where I am exhausted and snapping at everyone.
The meal planning seriously saves my sanity during the week and I'm getting better at it so it does not take up as much time. But I am still running myself ragged with trying to get everything done and trying to fit in fun, engaging activities with Leo. Sometimes I get so focused on chores that I feel like I don't spend quality time with Leo. And while sometimes there may be enough hours in the day for me to clean and spend time with Leo, there are not enough hours to do all that and have the much needed me-time and some time with the husband.
This has all lead me to a point where sometimes I actually dread the weekend because it can be so stressful for me. And that is crazy. I've said it before and I'm pretty sure I'll be saying it till the day I die, but I need to find balance. We have hired a housekeeper to help with the cleaning (just once a month, nothing drastic). I am trying, trying to put down the swiffer/vaccuum/random cleaning tool and just sit on the floor with Leo and play blocks. And when I do need to clean I am trying to incorporate Leo into the chore so it is more of a fun game. He gets to push the button to turn on the vacuum cleaner. He gets his own swiffer when I dust. So far that has been working but I'm sure it won't take him long to figure out that cleaning is most definitely not fun.
This past weekend was great. The house had just been cleaned by the housekeeper and we had Monday off due to President's Day. Now if every weekend could be like that I might just find my much-needed balance!
Tuesday, February 14, 2012
Anyways, today was the most simple and most wonderful of all my Valentine's Days.
First, there was this happy little baby. His shirt says "mama's boy." I will be explaining to future girlfriends (or boyfriends) that he is most definitely a mama's boy and no one can compete with the mama.
Then there was the greatest daycare drop-off in the history of drop-offs. One of Leo's teachers went on and on about how much weight I've lost. I haven't lost any weight in a long time but whatever, I'll take the compliment. Then when I took Leo to his classroom, he sat down at the little table, started coloring, gave me a kiss, and happily waved "hi" to his little friend. It was so peaceful and sweet. I wish every morning was like that.
I had a relatively productive morning at work. I was out of the office all morning, when I returned in the afternoon I had these flowers waiting for me from the husband. They are the same roses we had in our wedding.
Husband got home for work early and we gave Leo his present.
He is so obsessed with "fooball" right now! Needles to say, he loved it. I made him take notice of the card. Remember how your mom always made sure you read the card before you got to the present?
Monday, February 13, 2012
We did some Valentine's Day art. Leo only ate a little bit of paint so I consider that a win.
We went out to breakfast with my sister.
I made the mistake of giving Leo a little bit of whipped cream from her hot chocolate. He spent the rest of the meal trying to climb out of his highchair to attack her hot chocolate with a fork like some kind of rabid monkey with a sweet tooth.
Then I hosted a little playdate at my house. There were three toddlers, five ladies, wine, cupcakes, cookies, and lots of catching up. I tried to make hot pink chocolate chip cookies but they came out this really weird pinky-brown color. My little pretzel, hershey kiss, m and m's things turned out really good though. Leo furiously signed "more" for my cookies. I'll take my toddler's approval any day.
While waiting for dinner to cook we played golf, read books, and did a puzzle. All day long Leo had been saying "football, football" over and over so I put on a DVRed Michigan game. Husband was pretty surprised to walk in through the door and see the Sugar Bowl on.
Sunday, February 12, 2012
First the rules:
1. Post these rules
2. You must post 11 random things about yourself
3. Answer the questions set for you in the post you were tagged in 4. Create 11 new questions for your tagees to answer
5. Tag them on Twitter, Facebook or your blog.
Now the random facts:
1. In junior high, I was a competitive tap dancer. There were a lot of dance moms, sequins, and fighting over earrings.
2. When I was going into my freshman year of high school I tried out for/ran for the cheer team, the dance team, volleyball, and student council. I didn't make it on to anything. I credit this experience for my inspiring my ability to pick myself up and try again. The next year I made the dance team, the tennis team (with lots of practice!) and newspaper.
3. I was almost kicked out of my sorority for partying too much. When I rushed I had just come out of a long relationship and embraced my new freedom just a little too much.
4. In law school I earned the highest grade in my evidence and sales classes. I also earned such a high grade in federal income tax that I was asked to be a tutor. I can't even do my own taxes now.
5. The summer before my senior year in high school I went to Rome with my church for Catholic World Youth Day. I saw the Pope in the Pope Mobile.
6. I almost went to fashion school to become a buyer. I was accepted to FIDM and then decided to apply to law school.
7. I worked retail all throughout college. When the store wouldn't give me time off to go home for the holidays I would quit and get a new job after the break. I worked at Express, Zales, Rampage, and Cache.
8. I used to listen to a lot of heavy rock music. I've seen Korn in concert twice, Stone Temple Pilots twice, Disturbed twice, and Rob Zombie. I've been to two Ozzfests and I have taken off my dangly earrings to go into the mosh pit.
9. I love Miracle Whip. I hate mayonnaise.
10. I was a vegetarian for two years.
11. I love steak. I once told a cow, "I want to eat you."
Now the eleven questions:
1. Did you have an imaginary friend? What was his/her name? - No imaginary friend but I had a giant stuffed dog that I used to pretend could play Go Fish.
2. I’m interviewing you for your dream job- how do you get me to hire you? - I tell you about my experience, my ability to problem solve, and rattle off some case law to be impressive.
3. Is there a song that makes you want to cry every time you hear it? - Jesus Take the Wheel by Carrie Underwood.
4. What is one personality trait of your partner’s that you wish you had? - The ability to be frugal with money. I just love to buy stuff.
5. Go-to website for sure-fire hilarity? - The Oatmeal or, when I need a pick-me-up, Cute Overload.
6. What’s your favourite childhood memory of a grandparent? - Sleepovers with staying up late to watch movies and big breakfasts in the morning. And they always, always had miniature snickers and butterfingers in the fridge.
7. You see a mom at the playground. She’s on her phone while her mouthy kid stuffs sand down his pants and smushes his chewed gum in her purse. What do you tweet about her? - Get off your damn phone and deal with your damn kid.
8. Describe a moment in the very recent past you wanted to give a self-high-five. - I was taking a shower and Leo walked into the bathroom and walked out with the trash can. I told him to put it back and he actually did!
9. How long does it take to get from your house to Windsor, Ontario? - I had to ask my husband where this even was! He says a flight would take four and a half hours.
10. Do you remember what you wanted to name your kid when you were younger? Boy name and girl name. - I wanted to name my girl Britney. I no longer want this. I didn't even contemplate having a boy.
11. If you could only dip your vegetables in one thing for the rest of your life, what would you choose? - Curry yogurt dip.
And the tags:
Tag! You're it! Please don't feel obligated to participate and answer all these questions. It is a tad time consuming. This isn't a chain letter. But I like all of you and would love to hear more about you! (And Rogue get on twitter for heaven's sakes.)Rogue Woman - The Rogue Woman
Natalie - Growing Up a New Jersey Wife & Mom
Misty - The Family Math
Ginger - Ramble Ramble
And finally, my eleven questions:
1. What was your favorite band in high school?
2. What is your favorite snack (healthy or not)?
3. Which literary world would you like most like to live in? (I have to answer this, I would choose Hogwarts and the wizarding world).
4. What song gets you pumped up?
5. You are stranded on an island, you have the ability to either watch unlimited movies or read unlimited books. Which do you choose?
6. What was your "first dance" song at your wedding?
7. Which troubled celebrity would you like to give advice to and what would your advice be?
8. Why is your best friend your best friend?
9. If you were going to a fancy awards show, what color would your dress be?
10. Money is not an object, do you buy a ridiculously expensive purse or shoes?
11. Goldfish or cheezits?
Friday, February 10, 2012
- I find it hilarious that Leo falls asleep clutching a football. I find it equally hilarious when he runs around the house with my hot pink Coach purse. He's well rounded.
- I am so excited for the 9th Circuit ruling overturning Prop 8! I want to read the decision but I heard its like 100 pages long and it is probably full of boring con law stuff. I actually hope this goes up to the Supreme Court so we can get some finality on the issue and some equality in this country. I'm really hoping that this will be our Loving v. Virginia (where the Supreme Court struck down bans against inter-racial marriage).
- Leo has been wanting to read his First 100 Words book all week. We read this damn book every night. I hate it. But he loves it. I offer a million other suggestions and he just says "noooo" in his little voice and I die of the cute and then read the stupid book.
- Today at work I was talking with a couple of ladies about little babies and such. I mentioned the new little ones at Leo's daycare (6 and 8 weeks old!) My point was to say how cute they were but then one lady said "oh, that's so sad." I wanted to scream, "bitch there is nothing sad about parents sending their baby to a wonderful daycare with loving and attentive teachers while they go out and earn a living in order to provide a nice life for their baby!!!!" Then she went on about how she stayed at home when here kids were little and how it was so great. My working mama blood was starting to boil when she started talking about her (now adult) daughter has down's syndrome. Then I felt like a big asshole and was very glad that not all the thoughts in my head make it out of my mouth. I also realized I may have had too much coffee.
- My husband criticized my use of commas in my blog writing. I called him a fat asshole.
Tuesday, February 7, 2012
My goals with meal planning are simple: to only grocery shop once a week and to eat at home 5-6 nights a week.
My routine starts Saturday morning. Leo and I eat breakfast (the husband is always still asleep)and I pull out my cook books and check my pinterest boards. I pick out 2-3 recipes. I look for ones that are somewhat easy, will make enough for leftovers, and contain ingredients that both my boys will eat.
Then I map out my meals using my handy momagenda planner (which OMG I love and no one gave me anything to say that).
After breakfast we head to the grocery store. I let Leo hold differnt items (he likes to shake the boxes of pasta) and listen to the old ladies coo over how cute he is. I primarily shop at Trader Joe's because it is so much cheaper than the regular grocery store.
This week I picked out three recipes:
The Pioneer Woman's cajun chicken pasta,
Skillet gnocchi with chard (I use spinach),
and Skinny Taste's crock pot taco chicken chili.
The only way I can pull off all this cooking is to do the majority of the prep work the night before. Leo and I get home around 5:45 or 6 pm. My goal is to have dinner ready by 6:30. My husband gets home around 7, so I need to be able to cook and entertain the toddler at the same time. Which ain't easy.
Here's my meal planning for this week:
Sunday: we ate dinner with friends for the Super Bowl so no cooking. I prepped my cajun chicken pasta that night by chopping all the veggies and marinating the chicken. I actually used taco seasoning instead of cajun seasoning because I thought that would be too spicy for Leo. Usually on Sundays I like to make a crock pot meal or a casserole (like a lasagna) for dinner and leftovers.
Monday: I cooked the cajun/taco chicken pasta which I was able to do in about 20 minutes. We ate that for dinner plus some leftover pulled pork from Super Bowl (I couldn't help it, the pork was delicious). I took pasta leftovers for lunch on Tuesday.
Tuesday: We ate leftover chicken pasta plus Chinese food. Husband drove past the new Chinese takeout place on his way home; it was so empty that he felt bad and stopped in to pick up a combo plate. I have since instructed him that we do not need to be eating pity food. We do not have calories to spare!
Wednesday: I will cook the gnocchi and that will be dinner. That recipe is seriously so easy. It is even easier if you just use jarred marinara instead of making the sauce. I'll take the gnocchi for lunch on Thursday. I'll also throw the crock pot taco chicken chili together and cook that. I'm going to half the recipe because it makes so much and we never eat all of it so it should cook in about 3-4 hours on high.
Thursday: We'll have taco chicken chili with whole wheat tortillas. I might try making my own Mexican rice but it was so awful last time I'm not sure.
Friday: Leftovers! Sometimes we go out to eat on Fridays. If we do, leftovers will become weekend lunches.
Saturday: Check the blog title. I really do not cook on Saturday nights. I'll start the whole meal planning process again.
So that's basically how I try to manage working full time and doing a fair amount of cooking. I've got my tricks for keeping Leo occupied while I cook. There are certain drawers and cabinets in the kitchen that have stuff that he can play with. I'll give him some bowls and spoons which will keep him pretty happy. Or I let him stack all my canned goods. Sometimes, and I mean sometimes, he even actually plays with all the toys he has. I'd love to hear any more meal planning tricks as this is definitely a work in progress!
Monday, February 6, 2012
In the fourth grade I was in a writing club. We met before school and learned about writing characters and plots. I wrote a little book about a girl named Kelly who had a stutter. She wanted to run for class office but was too embarrassed to give a speech because of her stutter. When she realized that she didn't stutter when she sang, she ran for office, gave her speech, and won. At the time I was in my fourth year of speech therapy for articulation problems. I still get really nervous when I speak in front of speech and language pathologists (which is all the freaking time since I work in special education).
All throughout elementary school I kept a journal. I was paranoid that it would be read so I used code names. I addressed each entry to "Anne." I was inspired by Anne Frank writing to Kitty and my Anne was the one of Green Gables.
In junior high I was in the poetry club. My best friend was with me, we would meet after school, read our poetry, and snap our fingers. I was full of flowery words, angst, and it just felt good to put pen to paper (we didn't have a computer yet).
In high school I was on the school newspaper for three years. I was a writer, sports editor (what?), and the entertainment editor. I worked for hours and hours on that paper and loved it. Even when I accidentally pasted the columns of my story in the wrong order (we did all of our layouts by hand, like old fashioned bosses).
In college I wanted to go out for the newspaper but I was too nervous. I did a small amount of writing for the college arts paper but eventually that fell way to a sorority, work, and partying. I wrote numerous papers for my English major. Some written the morning of, through the haze of last night's alcohol. Some with truly in depth thought. I journaled some of my college exploits but was later so embarrassed by them that I burned that small book in my parents' backyard firepit. I stopped writing for pleasure.
In law school I struggled with writing. There was no time to even consider writing for fun. I struggled to adapt my flowery prose to the strictness of legal writing. I was reprimanded constantly for "using too many words," and for my writing lacking consistency. Yet somehow I became a successful lawyer and even my crappy 1L writing is way better than some of the junk that opposing counsel sends me.
On July 11, 2009 I started this little blog. I wrote about food, my husband, my struggle with weight loss, my dogs, my sister. Now I write about many of the same things with the very noted addition of my son. I am writing for pleasure again. Sometimes the writing is painful as I force myself to look inside. No matter what, I always feel better after I hit publish. I don't track my stats. I'm not trying to make it in the blogging world. I write for me. To feel that release. And it feels good.
Thursday, February 2, 2012
I mean it. Just stop reading. It is for your own good.
Is he gone?
Ok good, cause I really want to talk about the make-up I bought at Nordstrom's today.
On my lunch break today, I ran over to Nordstrom's to return a purse that I bought online (I don't know why I keep buying purses online, they arrive, and they are always a totally different size than I imagined, I'm bad with spatial relations). I returned the purse and started wandering the store. I had a $20 gift card and I thought I could pick up something very small and fun. Maybe some little earrings from Brass Plum or something. I couldn't find anything so I started to head out. I ended up walking through the make-up section.
I looked at some little bottles of lotion and decided to just hang on to my gift card. Then I saw him. Standing at the Lancome counter in his slim cut suit, skinny tie, and a newsboy cap. He was eyeing me like a female lion eyeing a gazelle. A sales girl approached me and asked if I wanted help. I said I was just looking and she walked away. Ok, I avoided one salesperson. I just needed to make it past the skinny guy.
I started to walk past the Lancome counter. "Hi Love," he called out in a lilting lisp, "can I help you find anything?" I replied, thank you, but I was just looking and continued to look at some eye shadow at a different counter. I should have just kept walking to the door.
"Just let me know if you need any help love, my name is Randall," he chirped. Be strong, I thought, look at the eye shadow and walk away. Somehow I ended up looking at the Lancome eye shadow. "Aren't our eyeshadows just beautiful! They are so saturated in color!" He was so excited about the eye shadow. The eyeshadows were pretty and I did need some new make-up. He was sucking me in.
"Look at this color, it's gorgeous!" He started rubbing a peacock blue shadow on his hand. Ok, he was losing me. I was dressed in a very sensible sheath dress and cardigan. I clearly did not wear blue eye shadow. Then he pointed to a more neutral color palette. "Oh love, these colors will make your eyes pop! It will be so pretty and with this eye shadow base, your eye will be instantly brightened! Ok Randall, I'm listening.
Then he went on and on about my blue eyes. And how the eye shadow base covered up fine lines, not that I needed to worry about that. And how the eye shadow can easily go from day to night. Mother effer, he totally sucked me in. I didn't even look at the price. I just handed him my $20 gift card, hoping that made a dent in the price. Sixty dollars later, I was the proud new owner of a very expensive eye shadow palette and base.
In my defense, it is pretty eye shadow.
And it did come with this handy guide. I'm so make-up challenged I might just tape this on my mirror.
Next time I will just sprint for the door before anyone calls me "Love," and comments on my eyes. Damn you Randall, damn you.
Wednesday, February 1, 2012
So let's keep that train rolling. You know, with the feelings and whatnot. My husband always asks me, "what will make you happy?" And I always whine, "I don't know." It occurred to me that I can't answer that question because I don't really have a grasp of what makes me sad. In special education when a student has behaviors that interfere with their education, a behavior support plan will be developed. A plan to identify the antecedents/triggers to the behavior and replacement behaviors. Well, being sad is interfering with my life so I need a little plan of my own. My first step is to try to identify my "triggers" that just send me into a pit or make me want to stab kittens.
In no particular order, here are the things that set me off (so to speak). Some may be profound, some may be silly, but all seem to have some kind of impact.
1. A rough drop-off at daycare.
A surefire way to destroy my day is for me to drop Leo off at daycare and see those little arms reach for me amidst his tears. It rips me apart. Even though I know he'll calm down and spend the day playing and learning. He's been having a great time at daycare lately and has even started a little gymnastics/music class.
These are cell phone pictures of the pictures printed by daycare, so kinda crappy.
2. Slow days at work.
When work is slow or I've been sitting at my desk for too long I freaking lose my lawyer shit. I have to be busy at work to be happy. I don't know why. Maybe to feel validated? Or like my work is important? I was like this before Leo so it isn't a working mom thing. When work is slow, I lose my concentration and motivation. Then I end up staring at pinterest and looking for pictures of Neville Longbottom to send to my sister.
3. When my husband doesn't like the food I cook.
I don't know why this bothers me so much. I don't seek this much approval from him in any other aspect of life but if he doesn't like dinner I turn into a pouty mess. Maybe it is because I spend a lot of time meal planning and such. Whatever the reason, this has gotten really annoying. He's become afraid to say anything about my cooking so much so that the other night when I completely failed at making homemade Mexican rice, he ate an entire plateful of it. Bite after crunchy, awful bite.
4. Eating junk food/not exercising.
This one is so obvious, when I'm not treating my body right, I feel like crap. Eating junk food makes me feel sluggish, bloated, and guilty that I ate the junk food in the first place. Then I get a poor self image and feel bad so I eat more junk food. A vicious, chubby cycle. One that needs to stop.
5. Snarky comments about working moms.
Whenever I get a "when is your husband going to let you stay home," or "you should save your money so you can stay home with your baby," (both have actually been said to me) I spiral into a hole of self-doubt about the choices I have made for my family. The same thing happens when I read articles/blogs/comments about how women need to be home with their children or else they will become ax murderers.
6. Family crap.
This is the big one that I'm not ready to talk about, but anytime I'm reminded of my disintegrating relationship with my parents I pretty much shut down.
There are many more things that happen in my life that cause me to shut down but, for right now, these are the ones that I can think of. My next step is to think of ways to positively react to these "triggers" instead of letting them get to me.
Monday, January 30, 2012
Not a really bad place. Not a dark and twisty place. But not a good place either. It has been more of a melancholy place. A gentle hum of sadness with occasional spurts of happiness.
I need more than an occasional spurt of happiness.
There's been a whole lot of "why does everyone have it easier than me?" And a whole lot of, "If only I didn't have this commute/had a bigger house/bought new clothes/got my freaking roots highlighted I would be happy."
There has been an onslaught of "I miss Leo" and working mama guilt.
I didn't weather the holidays well and the complicated mess of my family has taken its toll on me. Over Christmas break, I had an amazing vacation in Hawaii with Leo and the husband and came home to work piled up and my family being sick for practically the whole month of January.
I'm over this place. I'm just not sure how to get out of it.