Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Getting Crafty with a Framed Wreath

Gather round kiddies, it's craft time. I am going to tell you the story of these two lovely decor items. Which I think came out pretty cute if I do say so myself. This is my first attempt at a craft tutorial, please bear with me and I hope it makes just a little bit of sense.

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.

Oh Lord my thumb looks terrible. I could really use a manicure. Husband - make that happen.

I used straight pins to fasten my roses to the wreathes and strategically wrapped some grosgrain ribbon for a little extra cuteness. Can I tell you how much I love grosgrain ribbon? It is girly and sweet and just so lovely. There is certainly nothing gross about it. See? See? I'm crafty and funny. My husband is so lucky.

To fasten the wreath to the board I looped some ribbon around the top of the wreath and hot glue gunned the end of the ribbon to the back of the board. Then I put the board into the frame securing with more hot glue gunning. In addition to gross grain ribbon, I also love my hot glue gun. My mom always hot glue gunned my girl scout badges on to my vest or sash. I was the girl with weird strings coming off her badges.

The wreath did not lie completely flat so I put a dab of hot glue on the back of the bottom part of the wreath to attach it to the board.

And there you have it, covered windows with something cute. I am still trying to figure out what to do, if anything, for the center above the headboard.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Another Week of Meals

Last week my meal planning went to hell. We had been out of town the weekend before, I was in trial and the grocery shopping just really didn't get done. We ate out way too much. I ate McDonald's breakfast way more than I would like to admit. It all just felt a little gross.

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

The Thoughts of a Working Mom

It is not secret that I think a lot about being a working mom. I mean, I kind of talk about it constantly. To the point where my sister says that I need to just realize my kid is awesome and get over myself. While she has a point, there are a few things that have been floating around in my head for a while about being a working mom.

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

Fat Tuesday

After a three day weekend full of Mexican food, chocolate, and a breakfast consisting of cheese covered biscuits and gravy, I stepped on the scale.



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 Freaking Weekend

Last week the lovely Alicia posted at Liberating Working Moms about how her coming home after work was a double-edged sword (sidenote: working mamas or whatever-you-do mamas, please check out this site. It is a very supportive community of mamas with posts that ring so true for many of us.)

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

Valentine's Day

I'm in the cliched group that dislikes Valentine's Day. My icy cold heart isn't one for romance. I find the whole thing cheesy and there is always a great potential for build up and disappointment. Plus my whole inability to effectively express my feelings.

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?

We made homemade pizza for dinner. By homemade I mean the pizza crust came from a Pillsbury tube. It was all just so nice and simple. Just nice, simple family time.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Staying Home

I had the day off today because of Lincoln's birthday. I love being a public employee and our random paid holidays. My husband had to work so I spent the day pretending I was a stay at home mom. By 10am I was exhausted and sick of the whining. It ended up being a fun day and a nice little glimpse into life on the other side. I figured it out and with vacation, holidays, and weekends, I am "at home" 40% of the year. I like to think I have the best of both worlds.

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.

Two of the moms at the playdate are stay at home moms. There was some interesting discussion about staying home v. working outside of the home. I think the consensus was that working part time is ideal because you get to use your brain and spend time with your child. That being said, no one has actually been able to find worthwhile part time work.

After the playdate it was time to make dinner. Leo helped me crush corn flakes for corn flake crusted chicken

And he helped me shake up the sweet potato fries to season them. When I make dinner after work I always have the meal on the table by 6:30 pm. By the time my husband gets home, everything is ready. Today, dinner wasn't ready until 7:10 pm. I'm not sure what happened. I kind of lost track of time. Clearly, I'm not a very good stay at home mom.

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.

After a very late dinner and a very quick bath, I had the husband put Leo to bed. I was simply physically exhausted, even my joints ached. I'm actually looking forward to setting at my desk tomorrow!

Sunday, February 12, 2012


I love these kinds of things, lists and questions, and talking all about me! I kinda love to talk about myself. Hello I'm a lawyer and I have this blog, I clearly think I am very important. Much thanks to Alicia for giving me the opportunity.

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

Friday Brain Dump

- Today I was all out of clean, black tights. My choices were to wear black thigh-highs or black maternity leggings. Basically, risk looking like the office slut v. waddling around like a penguin because the legging's crotch was between my knees. I went with the leggings. They complimented my granny panties nicely.

- 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

The Planning of Meals

I've been wanting to write about something that is very near and dear to my heart....meal planning. As a working mom, meal planning is essential to my sanity. I didn't worry about it that much when Leo was still on the boob (we ate a lot of Stouffer's lasagna, delicious but oh so sodium laden). Now that Leo eats with us, I want to make sure that I'm putting somewhat healthy, home cooked food on the table.

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


Writing has been important to me for a long time.

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

Girl Talk - No Husbands Allowed

Warning: this post is going to be filled with girlie talk. Periods, cramps, shoving an almost 9 pound baby out of your va-jay-jay. So Husband stop reading right now.

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

A Plan

The other night I opened my icy heart a wee bit and started to talk about the place I've been in. I was nervous to publish it, I didn't even tell my husband I had posted until the next day. But the mere act of expressing my feelings along with the very lovely support I received made me feel so much better.

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.