No High Heels Today, Just RED SOX!

Good times never felt so good! (so good, so good, so good!).

Oh yeah, we did it again. For a team that couldn’t win a series in our grandparents’ lifetimes, to a team that has now done it twice in four years…I’m not quite sure what to do with myself. That and the fact that I’m realizing I’m entirely too old for staying up til after 1AM and then being back up at 7 with my very eager toddler. And we didn’t even crack open the champagne like we did last time (although no worries, we probably will tonight!).

So congrats to a team that plays clean with two cancer survivors, two rookies who nearly blew my socks off they played with such poise, a man behind the plate who is simply the best in baseball (and seemingly a really great guy, too), a bullpen who plays their own version of Stomp during the games and a closing pitcher who does a mean Riverdance.



How I’m Winning the Worst Mom Contest

Why does it always have to come in waves?

Yesterday morning it was raining for the third day in a row. I should NOT be complaining since we’re in complete drought crisis mode around here (when the local stations each have their own title and graphic for their drought stories and have no qualms about breaking into prime time programming with their own “Georgia’s Water Crisis” specials, and press conferences with the guv’na posturing about suing the federal gov’t are a dime a dozen, you know it’s bad), but the peanut and I were going a bit stir-crazy. Add in the fact that we’ve both been fighting the sniffles and have been a bit cranky as a result, I decided we’d bundle up in dry gear and head out for our stroller workout to get some fresh air.

We weren’t the only ones desperate for a diversion – the class was decent sized. When we headed out, it was merely misting – that constant mist that you aren’t sure if it’s actual precipitation or air so humid it’s actually wet. About half-way through, it started to really rain. Not a downpour, just a steady rain. Enough to make me question what the heck I was thinking bringing a snuffly toddler out in it. Point against High Heeled Mama #1.

After peanut arose from his afternoon nap, I realized my sinus headache was getting worse. So I quickly reached for the Tylenol Cold & Sinus the hubby had purchased the night before. I saw Tylenol. I saw Cold & Sinus. Honestly, I didn’t read beyond that. My head started feeling better, but I became awfully drowsy. Like can’t keep my eyes open standing up drowsy. Luckily, peanut was happy to play in his room, so I laid down on the floor to “rest” sprawled across the room so that he couldn’t get past me without going over me and, needless to say, dosed for about 20 minutes. And I have to say, that frightened me. When the hubby came home, still feeling ridiculously tired, I laid down on the couch while he made dinner. Come to find out, I had taken the nighttime version of the medicine. I’m still feeling guilt and stupidity about this one. Thankfully nothing required fast action or rational thought during this time or else I would have been up the proverbial creek. Point against HHM #2.

This morning, peanut was occupying himself in our room while I tried to blow dry my hair. I should have known this was a bad idea. Whenever I start to feel like I’m beating the system, the system falls apart. Sure enough, he disappeared into his room. When I went to check on him, he had managed to open his diaper drawer, retrieve the Dreft stain pre-treater and had it with him behind a chair. I have no idea if he ingested any or not. Granted, it would have been difficult for him to get it out of a spray bottle, but still…a call to Poison Control was made. (Long story short: he’s fine). Point against HHM #3.

Feeling frazzled by the events of the last 36 hours, I decided errands would be good. We headed to our neighborhood TJ Maxx to get some additional long-sleeved bargains for baby now that the Atlanta weather has finally turned Fall. When we got home, I thought it would be a nice treat for peanut to run around the playground across the street to work our some energy before lunch. Oh, we were having a grand old time. Until he slipped on some acorns on the equipment and took a header into one of the side walls, with a corner, that, of course, found his forehead. Now he’s got a very pretty goose egg on his forehead. Point against HHM #4.

Thankfully, he just went down for a nap. I hope that gives me time to wrap the house in bubble wrap.

Alphabet Soup

As if this wasn’t bad enough for one year, I finally broke down and headed to the experts for new bras. My poor boobs have been through a lot in the last two years — pregnancy, nursing and weaning. I didn’t have a clue what size I was anymore. All I knew is that the Bs I was wearing before I was pregnant didn’t fit anymore, the Fs (oh yeah, you read that right) I wore when nursing certainly didn’t fit anymore and the Cs I was wearing while I was pregnant were just plain worn out.

So off I went, dragging the hubby and peanut along for the ride under the guise of other shopping “while we’re out.”

To be honest, it wasn’t all that bad. It was certainly better than bathing suit shopping alone. The saleswoman measured me quickly (the official new me: 32 C, go figure!) and brought back a large selection to try on. We quickly found three I LOVED and I was set. Sure, it was awkward having a total stranger watch me hoist those poor saggy bags into a bra, but I figured that as long as I didn’t look at them uncovered in the mirror, she didn’t see them either. And IN the new bras, they look fantastic.

Ah, what a relief. Feeling confident, I tackled another female shopping albatross – jeans! The hubby and peanut had given me a gift certificate at Christmas to a local boutique for a pair of designer jeans. I kept putting it off, waiting to be the “right” size. Well, I figured now was the time. Again, thanks to a wonderful saleswoman who simply brought me every jean in the store that met my description of what I was looking for in what she thought would be my size, I left with two pairs of killer jeans. One fits like a glove and the other, after learning everything I know about fashion from Tim Gunn, is at the tailor being cinched in the waist to avoid any unsightly booty gap. But both pairs are definitely cut to be worn with heels! (Note to hubby: I’m ready for date night! Bring it on!)

Good jeans and good bras. What more could a gal ask for? Well, a good bathing suit, I guess?

Hey, two out of three ain’t bad.

Brand New Day

Things have been good lately. Not that things have been really “bad,” but I admit there was a rough patch. Right around peanut’s birthday, I was having a hard time. He was growing up so fast. I could barely seem to remember what it was like to pace the floors, sway him until I thought my hips might pop or my arms would give way, wipe up the inordinate quantities of spit up and drool he trailed EVERYwhere, snuggle with that sweet bundle of contentment.

And, at about the one year mark, I started coming to terms with my decision to stay home. I was suddenly having a hard time being the housewife on top of being mom. I was starting to feel resentful that tasks the hubby and I used to share were slowly becoming my sole responsibility (the laundry, making dinner (and sometimes multiple meals depending on timing or food involved for our novice eater), cleaning). The hubby and I started repeating the same arguments. The peanut started running into things, which I internalized and decided every bump was another physical reminder of what a bad mom I was. I was just feeling a bit frustrated — what had I chosen for myself and how come I still couldn’t seem to get it right?

Somehow, somewhere in the last few weeks, I seem to feel in control again. Well, as in control as I can be when chasing around a toddler. I don’t know if it’s my hormones FINALLY regaining some sort of balance after nine months of pregnancy, 12 months of nursing and three months of trying to find the right pill to make me whole again (because after 19 months “friend” free, she came back with a vengeance, making up for lost time by visiting 7 times in three months – seriously, who invited her anyway?). I don’t know if it’s the weekend the hubby and I spent finally HEARING each other. I don’t know if it’s just feeling good after a week of getting real dinners on the table by 6pm each night so we could eat as a family before peanut went off to bed or hubby went to the gym or I watched my pitiful Sox remind me why there was comfort in the Curse (ah, the days when we could blame our choking in the post-season on the curse of an angry, drunk, fat, dead man, *sigh*). I don’t know if it’s finally taking ownership of this life I have chosen and therefore spending each moment more wisely.

Whatever it is, I’m going to run with it. I’m going to cherish this time. I’m going to craft away (ah…the Halloween decorating ideas I’m mulling over and the hand-made Christmas gifts I’ve started), enjoy the Fall weather, read a book and giggle through each weekend “family activity” we come up with. I’m going to own who I am and who I am becoming. I am so lucky to have this time to not only watch peanut grow, but discover myself as well.

And as a tribute, today I wore my heels to Target.

Looks Like this High Heeled Mama Needs a Pair of Cowboy Boots

Why I’ll be buying this CD:

* Because breast cancer is just plain stupid and whatever we can do to help those surviving the fight and keep it from affecting one more woman, the better ($10 of each CD sale benefits the Susan G Komen Foundation).

* Because when Garth Brooks performed on Good Morning America on Monday morning, peanut stopped tearing up the newspaper, sat quietly staring at the screen, and at the conclusion of the second chorus turned to me smiling and started clapping. He then returned to watching the rest of the performance. Guess he’s a fan!

Although, seriously, if you ever get a chance to see Garth Brooks (although he keeps saying he’ll never tour again) or Prince in concert, you just HAVE to go. These two put on the best concerts I’ve ever seen. The hubby does not like country music (well, except the Dixie Chicks, but I’m not sure his motives are pure) and even he loved the Garth concert we went to years ago. And Prince…who knew such a little guy could pack such a powerful performance punch!

The End of an Era

It came this week. My lovely, delicious Bon Appetit Thanksgiving issue with a delicious plate of lemon-herb turkey with lemon-garlic gravy, cornbread dressing with roasted fall vegetables, balsamic-braised cipolline onions with pomegranate, and cranberry and blood orange relish gracing the cover. And it pains me to even look at it.

After hosting Thanksgiving for our families for the nine years we have been married, the hubby and I have decided to relinquish this holiday tradition in the name of peanut. For as long as we’ve been married, we have not lived closed to our family homesteads. Since it would be difficult for us to travel for every holiday, we picked Turkey Day to stay home, I would cook and anyone and everyone was welcome. Each year we had a slightly different mix of folks – from parents and siblings to various sibling dates to a few aunts and uncles for good measure. Each year I had a minor meltdown about 11am or 1pm (depending on what time dinner was set), would be handed a glass of wine by the hubby and cook on. Each year we’d try something new and have a table full of tried and true favorites (creamy mashed potatoes, Grandma’s pecan pie recipe, mushroom crostini).

But now that we have a family, we want to create some family traditions for peanut. And there is just so much pressure on Christmas day to see everyone and be everywhere, that we just didn’t want to put the little guy through that now that he’s old enough to get cranky, worn out and annoyed. So we have decided, after debating this literally since we got in the car to drive home after last year’s Christmas visits, to stay home on Christmas.

Boy, this still tears me up. This will be my first Christmas morning not waking up in my parents’ home and seeing mom, dad and sis first thing. But on the flip side, this will be the hubby and my first Christmas waking up in our own bed, in our own home (which seems crazy to me after 9 years of marriage). And we’ll pack up the car and head up to see all the family probably for New Year’s anyway. But we at least avoid the pressure of that one day, can spend the day creating new traditions for peanut that will grow with our little clan, and hopefully have more quality time celebrating the holidays with each set of relatives in a more relaxed environment when we visit later in the week.

Ah, but Thanksgiving. I admit to being a foodie wannabe. I loved pouring over my recipe box, each past Thanksgiving issue of Bon Appetit since 1999, every cook book I own and my handwritten “menus” from Thanksgiving past. I loved developing each year’s rundown and creating massive shopping lists. It’s the only grocery trip I enjoy all year – going from store to store to get the best ingredients for each dish. I loved starting the day before making pies (two pecan because my dad and sis’s hubby can polish off one together in five minutes); peeling the fruit and assembling the apple pie with my sister, a bottle of wine and endless girl talk; chopping; grating; timing. The whole thing was a challenge. The only one that was next to impossible was the year I was pregnant and didn’t know it — the smell of mushrooms made me nauseous. I cooked all day and then could barely eat any of it. I thought it was the stress. Ah, but the relief and surprise we discovered the day after everyone left and I worked up the courage to pee on that stick.

So this year, I will swallow my Thanksgiving pride and my mother’s turkey (that she hasn’t had to make in 9 years!). I will enjoy bringing the wine, being the assistant in the kitchen and helping with the dishes after (something I haven’t had to do much of in 9 years thanks to my wonderful family who pitches in with the suds).

And come Christmas, you’ll find me overcompensating making any number of chocolate-peppermint cookies, gingerbread, and pouring over those recipes to find the perfect Christmas dinner for our little threesome.

But, mom, there is a killer looking Cranberry-Chocolate Tart with marscapone filling in this issue — I’d be happy to send you the recipe!

Let’s Do Lunch

Working lunch before baby:
Grilled salmon with wasabi mashed potatoes and szechuan green beans or butternut squash tortelli or she crab soup and southern fried chicken or THE best steak, interrupted by business chatter and a pitch for a proposal or (even better) the closing of the deal.

Working lunch after baby:
A plate of mac ‘n cheese the peanut and I shared, interrupted by putting the peanut down for a nap, and followed by two chocolate chip cookies and a Diet Coke. Thank goodness I worked out today.

The Power of the Guac

I’m not sure what it means that I made chocolate chip cookies from scratch this weekend (not the slice and bake kind that were such a friend to me during pregnancy!), performed “surgery” on my hydrangeas in an effort to rescue it from its near-death status thanks to our historic drought conditions and then wore flats on a date with the hubby Saturday night. It was quite the domestic weekend.

And why is it that on the first night we leave the peanut with an actual babysitter (not a friend or family member we “pay” with food) we are seated next to a table with an adorable infant girl, her mom, dad, grandmas, grandpa, aunt and uncle? Thank goodness for tableside-made guacamole and frozen pomegranate margaritas to help me forget my mommy obligations and remember that I can be a fun date.

Why I Love…

What a week? Where does the time go? I’m not really sure, to be honest. So here are just a few random thoughts on why I love…

  • Target – Really, Target should install a playground and start a regular playgroup. Everyone I know uses Target as an excuse to get out of the house. Today’s purchases include a few Halloween decorations, cards, lotion, blanket sleepers for peanut, two long-sleeved polos for peanut, and peanut’s first puzzle. Ah, a lovely morning out.
  • The Library – I honestly haven’t been in a library since college (well, except for using the Undergrad’s restroom on football Saturday’s on my way to the stadium, back when we used to go home for football games). Peanut and I went to our local branch this morning to get a library card. Oh how I missed the musty smell of books and those crinkly plastic covers. I’m serious, I LOVE the way a library smells. Going to the library every Saturday morning was one of my favorite trips as a child. And after taking peanut through the children’s section, I think he’s going to love it just as much. Story time Tuesdays, here we come!
  • Fall – It’s FINALLY cooling down (relatively speaking for this southern gal) and it’s time to start thinking pumpkins, jack-o-lanterns, falling leaves, cinnamon in the air, cider on the stove, throw blankets, hot cocoa, and a holiday season with a peanut who is a year older. I can’t wait to watch him this year as he truly experiences the world around him.
  • The Peanut – The kid is plumb ridiculous! He’s taken to walking with his arms straight out behind him like Superman. He doesn’t do this all the time, just when he’s super excited or wants to go faster. Hilarious. He has mastered the slide, loves to play outside, likes to bounce and I swear he tries to make the hubby and I laugh.
  • Will Ferrell – If you haven’t seen this yet, you have to check it out (and be sure to check out the outtakes and Good Cop, Baby Cop). Cracks me up EVERY time.
  • TiVo – Oh how I miss my TiVo. I fought the original purchase of it, then fell in love. This summer, however, we had to let it go (long story that includes a switch from satellite to cable and therefore a useless TiVo from DirecTV). I haven’t really missed it…until now, until Thursday nights when The Office and Grey’s Anatomy are on at the same time. UGH!
  • SitterCity – We did it. I signed up, I posted a job and met a great sitter (who even came over to meet us before I committed). She’s coming by this weekend so the hubby and I can have a date night. If you are like me and live far away from family and can only take advantage of your friends so often (most of whom are pregnant or just had babies anyway), it’s worth checking it out (thank you for the recommendation).

Enjoy your Thursday!