Thursday, December 31, 2009
If there are any of you out there still reading this blog, I just wanted to say that I hope your 2010 is fantastic - I think a lot of us endured difficulty in 2009, and it's time for things to get better. And not only better, but great. And thanks for reading.
See ya on the flip side.
Tuesday, December 29, 2009
2000: Started new relationship. Dad died. Mom had skin cancer. Theater friend died. Year sucked, overall.
2001: Depressed. Uncle died. Bro got in major car crash, six brain contusions, broken ribs, smashed leg. Nightmare - but recovered! 9/11. Moved. Ended relationship. Was weirdly single for two months. Met Greg on blind date - finally, some good news!
2002: Growing pains w/Greg relationship. Started doing more theater. Moved again.
2003: The decade starts turning. More theater. Got Junior. Got engaged.
2004: Year of the weddings. Went to seven; planned our own. Much family and friend drama. Got married. Went to Hawaii!
2005: Went to San Diego. Began love affair with San Diego. Saw U2 three times. Created Summer Stage program w/friends.
2006: Started this here blog. Knocked up!
2007: Down syndrome test weirdness. Gestational diabetes. More theater. Healthy Jane! Became a mom.
2008: Work/life balance struggle. How do people do this?
2009: Ridiculous year. Didn't feel great. Went to Chicago. Saw U2 twice. Junior's surgery. New decade, stat!
Sunday, December 27, 2009
Saturday, December 26, 2009
We thought we rallied and saved the day when we just had my mother go to church herself and did a load of pukey laundry and re-dressed Jane, but then my mother ended up getting into a fender-bender in the parking lot at church, and because she was then outside talking to the cops my brother was inside the church waiting for her alone, then Greg gets a call that his 97-year-old grandmother is in the hospital....and while we did manage to get through dinner and present-opening and one really vicious political argument between my brother and myself, Jane then woke up from her pack and play at around 10:30 (she DID go to sleep in it after all!) and puked again. SO, it looked like we couldn't blame the first puking on her just drinking milk too fast and coughing it all back up ..... it seemed she had a full-fledged bug, only confirmed when she puked AGAIN on the way home.
I really have to pat myself on the back a little bit here. While I did indulge in a pity party (YOU'VE GOT TO BE EFFING KIDDING ME ALL OF OUR CHRISTMAS PLANS ARE CANCELED WE HAVE A SICK KID ON CHRISTMAS OMG I HATE PUKE OMG I AM GOING TO CATCH IT AND BE SICK ON MY VACATION THAT I HAVE BEEN LOOKING FORWARD TO SOO MUCH) I didn't actually cry or anything. I'll save that for when I'm puking during my time off.
Jane was fairly OK yesterday morning and loved opening all of her presents, and so we decided to brave it and head off to my in-laws, after my mother-in-law said it was OK (I didn't want to bring a potentially-contageous child over without letting them know). And she did really great. Although she had only had Pedialyte in the morning, she ate crackers and chips and onion dip and a roll and chocolate cake (I know, I know, WTF am I doing as a parent, but it was either let her do it or listen to her cry) and she kept playing this game with me where I flip her over my shoulder on the couch (again, I know, I know, but AGAIN, it was either I do it or listen to her cry) - so filling my kid up with junk and then treating her like a giant martini shaker isn't the BEST way to deal with a child recovering from a stomach bug, but hey, she was laughing, and it was good.
But now. It's after 7 a.m. and she's still asleep. While some parents would love this fact, it is SCARING me because she only sleeps late when she's sick. And I REALLY want her to be better. I hate it when she's sick and it makes me nervous and I just want to have another puke-free day. Is that too much for a girl to ask for?
I hope you had a Merry Christmas, if that's your thing.
Thursday, December 24, 2009
With all that said, I hope you have a very merry and safe Christmas Eve and Christmas. I am both excited for the holidays and the fact that my overdue friend Jackie is currently in labor, all Mary of Nazareth style, on Christmas Eve. New baby!
Wednesday, December 23, 2009
Tuesday, December 22, 2009
For those of you who know me, you either think a) I've lost my mind or b) I went to the cemetery. The answer is no to both (although perhaps just a little for choice a). I went down to the beach.
Despite the merriment/joy/holly-jolliness of this season, there is always a tiny undercurrent of sadness that my dad is not here. So I took today off to do some last-minute stuff and took a very last-minute trip down to the beach. I've probably said this before, but I'm too lazy to look back into my archives, so I will say it again - the beach reminds me so much of my dad, and some of my very happiest memories with him took place at the beach. He worked very hard and was often in a lot of pain from arthritis, but he just loved the beach (sound familiar?).
Of course, we didn't spend a lot of time at the beach in late December - the water would have been too cold even for him. But I feel like his spirit is there, and I feel close to him there, so there I went. So much preferable to visiting the cemetery - I hate going there, I hate feeling like everyone is looking at me, I hate the fact that someone I know might be driving by and see me - but being at the beach, even if I'm with hundreds of other people, feels eternally more private.
(I also took a detour here - God, I love this bookstore!)
Friday, December 18, 2009
Friday: We had a holiday potluck extravaganza today at work, and I feel like I'm going to explode. Why, oh why, do I give myself the free eating pass whenever I'm at these things? But it was so good. Then I had my parent-teacher conference for Jane, which went excellently (I hope to post more details later). Tonight I am stage crewing a show called The Best Christmas Pageant Ever - and I have not been to one rehearsal or seen the show in my life, so this ought to be...interesting. How many bruises will I have from running into set pieces? Only time will tell!
Saturday: Crewing two performances of Best Christmas Pageant so that will pretty much take up the whole day.
Sunday: Supposed to crew the last performance, except now it looks like we might get a bazillion inches of snow - or no snow at all. Um, OK weather people....figure it out with your super dopplar machines!
That's about it! It's old-skool Amanda, with a weekend of shows!
PS Of course I have a fresh new cold as well.
Wednesday, December 16, 2009
Sunday, December 13, 2009
But it was nice. We brought Jane to Au Bon Pain and managed to have a relatively nice breakfast as a family. We went grocery shopping, so it's pleasant to know we have some food in the house for the week (Greg and I have never grown up in this regard; we tend to eat weird meals comprised of pretzels and soup and other such nonsense-I promise I do feed Jane normal meals). Then when we came home, Greg dragged Jane around the backyard in her brand new sled - it was her first real experience sledding and she LOVED it. It's nice to have a reason to like the snow again.
Jane took a super long nap this afternoon and I proceeded to eat a kajillion Hershey's Kisses, watch TV and read. Tonight we went to my niece's birthday party where I gave her what I know must be her favorite gift (tickets to see In the Heights. With me. What's better than that?). And now I'm watching Tom Cruise run away from aliens. Although listening to Dakota Fanning scream is kind of putting me on edge.
So, overall, a nice day. And I thought you deserved a nice entry for once. (Upon review, I have used the word "nice" too many times in this entry but I am not going to change any of it. Because apparently that's how I feel about my Sunday.)
Friday, December 11, 2009
Suffice to say - life has been truly chaotic and dizzying, and not in an altogether pleasant way. But you don't need to hear about my problems (unless you are already one of the people who endlessly have to hear about my problems, and to you I say - I'm sorry!). But I'm OK and I don't want to make this sound more dramatic than it actually is - it's just the craziest parts of my life right now tend to fall into categories I don't blog about.
BUT. We are getting ready for the holidays, and plan to go get a tree this weekend - YAY! I love how the whole house changes once you have that tree smell and lights going on. Now that I think about it, "tree smell" doesn't sound like a good thing, but oh, it is. And we will be going to my niece's 14th (!!!) birthday party this weekend, and for the life of me, I cannot believe 14 years has gone by since she was born. Mostly I can't believe that because I was in college then. And college feels like yesterday.
I hope you have a great weekend!
Saturday, December 05, 2009
Friday, December 04, 2009
Yes, once again, not the best of weeks. Have I mentioned I still have the cold from hell? With a fresh new cold on top of the old one! But it's the weekend, and for that I am thankful. Here we go:
Friday: I had today off, thank God. I went Christmas shopping with two of my friends, and it was very cathartic. I don't get to spend nearly as much time hanging with my friends as I would like, so it was really a treat. I actually got a decent amount of shopping done and had a fun lunch too. After we were finished, I went to Barnes and Noble and read my gossip mags (hey, did you hear? Tiger Woods cheated on his wife!). Now I'm on the couch with my homegirl Jane, watching Dora. Continuing to be irritated by Diego's field journal, for no good reason.
Saturday: My sister is having her big annual bonfire/neighborhood party tomorrow, which coincides with our first mini-snowstorm. So we'll see how that goes. I love the bonfire party. It it so much fun - lots of food and drink and people I know.
Sunday: No official plans, but I have been bugging Greg to get out the Christmas decorations, so maybe we'll get all festive up in here. Or maybe not. Depends if I'm looking for a fight - because as you know, nothing brings on the arguments faster than getting ready for the holidays, with the mother of all triggers being decorating the tree.
Have a good weekend!
Sunday, November 29, 2009
I don't know why I put so much stock into these long holiday weekends. Anytime I seem to really look forward to a solid block of time off is exactly when the fates laugh hysterically and I/Jane/Greg get super-sick. I was the worst one by far this time. So far Greg has managed to escape it. We didn't do much in the way of fun. Did a LOT of feeling sorry for myself.
So now I head into a ridiculously busy work week, still feeling awful and completely unprepared.
I certainly hope your holiday was much better.
PS I know I sound like an idiotic whiner.
Wednesday, November 25, 2009
However, I am completely exhausted so I will just bulletpoint a few very superficial things I am grateful for at the moment:
1) That I have the next four days off of work. I think I squeezed five days worth of work into three days this week, and I am excited about the break! I just came down with a cold today (I caught the nasty one Jane has) so at least I don't have to work on top of feeling crappy.
2) All that deelicious food I will cram down my throat tomorrow. I love that free food pass that Thanksgiving offers (you know, how you get to eat everything in sight without feeling bad about it.) (Because, hello, that's the point of the holiday!) (Well, that and being thankful.).
3) The fact that, as I type this, Greg is handling the steam with Jane right now. Because she has such a bad cold, we have to spend at LEAST 20 minutes a night in a super-steamy bathroom with her before bed. It sucks so hard. It's hot and sweaty and awful. She doesn't really seem to mind it; in fact, she looks forward to it, but I HATE it. The bad thing though, is that her cough is so bad right now that I will probably have to do more steam with her later tonight. I know I should bring her to the doctor, but I think it's just a cold, albeit a bad one. Maybe Friday though. What better way to spend a day off than in a pediatrician's office?
4) My DVR has some good stuff on it. Tonight's features will include "The Biggest Loser" from last night and "FlashForward" from last week. Remember how the night before Thanksgiving used to be the night you would drink yourself into a stupor with your hometown friends? I suspect I will be in bed by 9:30 tonight.
I hope you have a Happy Thanksgiving!
Friday, November 20, 2009
Friday: I am off today. It's Amanda Day. Which basically means I am going to try NOT to do chores today. I always end up using my days off for chores, which is stupid, because I should be using the day to recharge and fuel up for the upcoming insanity of the next several weeks. Am thinking of getting a pedicure, will probably hit the bookstore, am currently catching up on some DVR'ed shows. Big day!
Saturday: I have to work for a chunk of the morning and afternoon. Not looking forward to this AT ALL because it will involve thousands of children who will be no doubt coated in swine flu and MRSA. UGH. Saturday night I may be going out to celebrate my friend's newly-single status. My guess is I'll go, but just for a little while. Too many late nights lately, and Jane gets up at 6 (or before) no matter how late I stay out. No respect!
Sunday: I have a production meeting for a Christmas show I'm working on, and then I'm sure we'll end up at my mom's.
So that's about it! Sidenote: I saw two shows this week - Next to Normal and August: Osage County. Both really good shows - both shows that are still haunting me. I think, for now, I need to see shows about puppies and kittens. : )
Have a great weekend!
Wednesday, November 18, 2009
How often do I say this? At least 10 times a day. Sometimes I say it without even realizing I'm saying it. But the fact is, I am really half-zombie most days.
I used to be a champion sleeper. I used to sleep until 11 a.m. no problem. Not that this is an option now, but when I was younger, the concept of getting 8-10 hours of sleep a night, straight through, was no big whoop. It happened all the time.
Now? Not even. I would say my sleeping issues cropped up when my father died - I believe that created an underlying thread of anxiety that remains with me today. That's about when I started waking up several times throughout the night. And woah, after having a baby that needed to be fed every couple of hours, a baby that seriously would sometimes only allow me ONE HOUR of sleep a night, well, that's when I learned the true meaning of sleep deprivation.
Now, I'm a mess. I can fall asleep no problem, but I still wake up several times a night, and now I just start thinking about something I'm worried I've forgotten at work, or I'm worried that Jane will start coughing (yes, this is truly sucky - not actually being woken up by a coughing/crying child, but waking up because you're AFRAID you're going to be woken up by a coughing/crying child. This blows incredibly hard, but it is my reality quite often.).
I don't want to take sleeping pills, because I know I'll be super-zonked for the following day as well. I don't respond well to that kind of drug. But what do I do? Any suggestions? And I don't want to drink warm milk because that just means I'll have to get up to pee. : )
How do you get to sleep? And, more importantly, stay asleep?
Friday, November 13, 2009
BUT! It's the weekend. So here we go:
Saturday: Jane has a haircut in the a.m., and thank God for it, because she's a scraggly looking monkey right now. After that I have to go shop for snacks for my book club meeting tomorrow night. Since I picked the book (The Know-It-All by AJ Jacobs) I decided to choose snacks that supposedly boost your brain power. So we'll have dark chocolate, almonds, berries, veggies, WINE, Smartfood popcorn (because that's funny) and other, more typical snacks (DIP). Anywho, I'm hosting the meeting tomorrow night. And I'm going to need to kick everyone out at a reasonable hour because....
Sunday: I am going to see the musical Next to Normal on Broadway with TODD (shout out!) and maybe Alan, who won't go see the show because he hates musicals but maybe he'll come for the ride and the eating and the New York-visiting parts. Anyway, I'm really excited to see this show because three separate people have told me I NEED to see it (I assume because it's about a mentally-unstable mother).
Have a good weekend!
Wednesday, November 11, 2009
So today, in honor of Maddie's second birthday, I sponsored a NICU support pack for $25 (link is to the right) - these support packs help the families whose children spend a long-term amount of time in the NICU after they are born. The Spohrs established Friends of Maddie to educate and help families with critically ill babies, all in honor of their special girl.
So please think of the Spohrs today, and send some happy birthday wishes to Maddie. And donate if you can.
Monday, November 09, 2009
Each night, Greg and I trade off two chores that we have to do each and every night these days.
1) Sit with Jane in the steamy bathroom, super-hot shower water running, for 15 minutes with the hope that this will help prevent her from coughing throughout the night. It really does help, which makes the hellfire heat and icky sweaty steaminess a little easier to bear. Although it's frustratating to read her books when I can't see a blasted thing through my steamed up glasses. Coolness!
2) Clean out Jimmy's disgusting yeasty ears and give him medicine.
So yeah! Jealous? I thought so.
Friday, November 06, 2009
I decided to give you a break from my boring rambling for a few days, but now I'm back with another thrilling weekend update. I woke up this morning feeling like general crap, and then some other crappy things happened today that I won't get into here, so yay? Friday? It's the weekend. I mean - Yay! Friday! It's the weekend!
Saturday: We are going to a friend's kid's birthday party. This is assuming I feel OK enough to go. Apparently a bunch of the guests have canceled due to the flu. How festive!
Sunday: They say it's going to be in the 60s, which is obviously awesome and probably one of our last nice weekend days before the true cold sets in. Hopefully everyone will be healthy enough to get outside.
So, yeah! That's the plan. As you can see, it's jam-packed with fun. But honestly, I've got an insanely busy week next week, including a short work-related trip to North Carolina and then to New York next weekend, so basically I just want to feel better and ready to to face the upcoming craziness.
Have a great weekend!
Saturday, October 31, 2009
Friday, October 30, 2009
Thursday, October 29, 2009
Wednesday, October 28, 2009
For some reason, I had hopes that this wouldn't hit daycare for a while. Don't ask me why, considering schools are closing all over this state because half the kids are sick.
Tuesday, October 27, 2009
Monday, October 26, 2009
First of all, I just wanted to say thank you to those who responded to my pathetic needy need for comments. It made me feel popular. It shouldn't have, of course, but it did.
Anyway, yesterday the whole fan-damily, including the dogs, drove up to Greg's alma mater, UConn, so he could re-live the glory days and so we could go visit the cows and horses and shit (literal and otherwise). It was fun and I was going to take a bunch of great pics, maybe even some Christmas card-worthy pics, except the camera died after about two minutes. So here they are, and they are not even that good. But boy, do I love horses.
Sunday, October 25, 2009
This is quite a week of anniversaries of milestones in my life - two years ago today, Jane started at daycare. I know to some people, this would be no big whoop, but that was truly one of the most traumatic days of my life. I looked back at what I was writing two years ago on this blog, and here are some excerpts:
Everyone tries to make me feel better about these things - obviously babies don't have real schedules anyway, and of course other babies spit up a lot and have reflux and weird sleeping habits - I just don't want her going in being the strange baby that no one wants to take care of because she has issues.
Daycare starts this week. I am heading there after her nap this morning to drop off all of her stuff and to go over their procedures. I have bought new clothes for myself that actually fit right. I have filled out a million forms. We are as ready as we can be, at least with all of the stuff. But inside, I feel like my heart is breaking.
I have all sorts of questions. Will she know that I'm her mom when I pick her up at the end of the day? Will she take her first steps and say her first words at daycare? What will I miss? Will she change during the day, so when I pick her up eight hours later, she's not the same? Is this OK? Will she be OK? Will I be OK?
I gotta tell ya, this kills me to read, because it brings me right back. God, it was so hard for me to go back to work. And I am a person who had not a single doubt that I would go back to work. But, wow, once you have that kid, it beats the hell out of anything you ever expected parenthood to be. And bringing her to daycare just ripped me to shreds.
I wish I could talk to this person who was so scared, and tell her that, yes, everything - daycare, Jane, me - would be OK. That Jane would not only be OK, but would thrive at daycare, and her teachers would love her so much they would cry when she left their rooms. I wish this person would know how much she would become attached to Jane's teachers as well, women who have Jane's surrogate mothers during the work day.
This new mom should also know that I ended up deciding that her firsts ONLY happened at home. It didn't count if it happened at daycare. It only counted if I was there, preferably with a camera in hand.
This new mom should know her baby NEVER forgets who her mom is, and will plow down a row of kids just to get to her at the end of the school day.
Daycare is NOT all roses and loveliness. Jane gets sick. A LOT. This is not a shock to anyone who has read this blog even super-casually. She has also gotten bit at daycare, a couple of times. I have had other issues as well, not the least of which is the enormous check I write out each month. She had a terrible time transitioning into her new room earlier this fall, and it was so heartbreaking to hear her screaming for me as I left the building each morning. There were about three weeks this fall that, whenever I dropped her off, I sat crying in the parking lot, wondering what the hell I was doing with my life and to my family, and had to compose myself before I drove off.
BUT. I know she's getting so much out of it now. I see her language and social skills developing in a way I know I can attribute to all this time she spends with these other children. As an only child, I think it's super-important for her to have this time with a diverse group of kids and caretakers.
So yes, two years later, I can say everything is OK.
Saturday, October 24, 2009
Saturday: Oh rain. I loathe thee. In ye olden tymes, I used to take days like this and read all day. Now I have to be the song and dance girl for a demanding toddler. For example she just pulled me into the bathroom with her so I could watch her not go potty. Oh, we go through the whole routine - the pants removal, the throwing out of the pull-up or diaper, the sitting - and then two seconds later she's done. No peeing. And we do it all over again and for every five millionth time, she pees, for a total of only two times so far. I'm not really invested in the potty training yet, because I'm lazy. But I know I have to get it done, although I think I'm the only parent in creation who just doesn't want their child to be out of diapers (a $40 savings per box!) because I don't want to contend with bringing her into public restrooms (NASTY). Anyway, I'll do it, I'll do it. So, I'll be entertaining Jane today with a trip to Target, probably the bookstore, and God knows what other fantastic adventures. The grocery store? Who knows. She lives the life of Suri Cruise, this girl.
But tonight! Greg and I are going out. Out! With the people! I think we're going to see Paranormal Activity. I'm afraid I might crap my pants in fear. But I REALLY want to see it, because I loved Blair Witch. Also, I have only been to two movies in the past 27 months, and I am really jonsing for the popcorn.
Sunday: Um, repeat of Saturday, except no rain, so we will hopefully be outside. Also, no going out at night. We will go to my mother's. Jane is obsessed with my brother (who also goes to my mother's on Sunday evenings) and my mother's cat. She talks about them all week, as well as the pizza we have there. It's hilarious, especially because my brother is so not a kid person. But she loves him. She's already drawn to boys who aren't giving her attention....sigh.
I took Jane to get the H1N1 vaccine on Friday morning. I was absolutely NOT getting her the vaccination up until recently, but I started doing a bunch of research and talking to doctors and fellow parents and while there are tons of people NOT getting the vaccine for their kids, I went ahead with it. I'm still nervous about side effects (which I'm watching for this weekend as well) and have some fear about the long-term effects, but "they" say this is made in the same way every flu vaccine is made, and I do get her the regular flu vaccine - so, there you have it. I still feel unsettled, but since she is in daycare and the probability of them getting slammed with it is a million percent, and since healthy kids are dying of this stupid virus, I went with the vaccine. I really hope I made the right decision.
Have a great weekend!
Friday, October 23, 2009
Yup, today is our five year anniversary. Despite the big cash I spent for a photographer (who did take great pics, I will say) one of my favorites is this one that Alan took. Now that couple looks ready to party! And party we did. It was a great day.
PS I cannot believe no one commented on my Jimmy haikus. Come on, that was funny! So sad.
Thursday, October 22, 2009
To celebrate the birthday boy, Greg and I came up with some haikus about Jimmy. Now, I'm really tired and kinda sick-feeling, so I think these could be better, but they make me laugh, and that's really what counts.
I see you are asleep
But I thought I heard a noise
So now I must bark
Ew, what is that smell
It is Jimmy's yeasty ears
Time to clean with foam
What is he doing?
Why, dragging his butt downhill!
Scrape, scrape, itchy butt.
You are four years old
It feels like we have had you
For a hundred years
A designer dog
You're a pug and a beagle
What freak thought of that?
Remember the time
Your inside parts were outside
Man, that was gross
Happy Birthday, James
You make us laugh constantly
You're one of a kind
Wednesday, October 21, 2009
Over the past six months, I've had a series of health issues that are telling me, in no uncertain terms, that I have to slow down. That I have to manage my stress better. That, to put it bluntly, I often need to chill the fuck out.
I have never really been a chill person. But at this stage in my life, I find that I am multi-tasking from morning until night. At 6 a.m. I may be giving Jane breakfast while feeding the dogs while shooting off a couple of work emails. At 6 p.m. I may be cleaning up, giving Jane dinner, doing laundry and making lists. At 9 p.m. I have usually collapsed on the couch, with the TV on, a magazine nearby, and the laptop where God intended it to be (on my lap).
This is utter insanity. I need to focus on simplifying. I've said this before, and I've known it's important to not have ten things pulling at you at any given moment, but now I'm hurting physically and I need to make my life better. I have all the ingredients for a great life, but when you're running around apeshit crazy all the time, it's hard to pull back and "feel" that great life, if I'm making any sense here.
This is going to be really hard for me, because I've been a multi-tasking lunatic forever. But I've never landed in doctors' offices because of it. So wish me luck!
Tuesday, October 20, 2009
Monday, October 19, 2009
Sunday, October 18, 2009
Saturday, October 17, 2009
Friday, October 16, 2009
Tonight: Catching up on some DVR - watching last week's "Survivor" right now and might watch "Ugly Betty" season premiere tonight if I can stay awake. I kinda think I won't be able to.
Saturday: Well, it's going to rain/snow (effing stupid weather) so, as long as I'm not bed-ridden with some nasty thing, we will keep Jane on the go, possibly going down to see my in-laws at the beach.
Sunday: Continued bad weather, continued keeping Jane on the go - perhaps a pet store visit, maybe a trip to the boat so Greg can do some work, no doubt some intense Dora-watching. Also weekly visit to my mom's.
All weekend: Insane jealousy about Lisa's trip to a beautiful land far away.
This very well may be the lamest of all lame weekends. I literally do not have one official plan. But considering how I feel right now, that is probably a good thing. Please share your much more exciting plans in comments.
Thursday, October 15, 2009
I was truly lucky in middle school and high school. There was every reason I should have been picked on - I was a classic nerd, with the giant 80's glasses and the funked-up teeth that later had braces and retainers, the horribly-permed hair, the sad attempt at looking like my idols Madonna and Cyndi Lauper - I was a hot mess (this was mostly in middle school - I just turned into a grungy metal chick in high school). For some reason, I was lucky enough not to be bullied. I think part of it was that for seventh and eighth grades, I went to a very small private Catholic school. I truly believe if I continued on to public middle school at that point, I would have gotten my ass kicked handily. By the time I went back to public school for ninth grade and beyond, I was looking a little less geeky and a little more...scary, so I assimilated pretty nicely. And my high school (in my town, at the time, high school was only tenth, eleventh and twelfth grades) was sooo huge that you really had to stand out to get picked on.
Now, people could have been ripping me to shreds behind my back, and they probably were. But I feel so fortunate that I'm not left with the scars of a really horrific middle/high school experience. I mean, it wasn't perfect - not by any stretch - but I can look back at those years semi-fondly.
But now I have a daughter. A sweet, funny, adorable, wonderful, perfect daughter. I know she's not all of those things all of the time, but I would do ANYTHING for her, throw myself in front of a bus for her, protect her from things that will harm her. Until I can't anymore. And it's then - when she comes home crying because someone said something mean about her in school (and I fully understand that this happens in elementary school too, and hell, probably preschool), that I really don't know what I'm going to do. Because I don't think it's nice, or really even legal, to punch other kids.
But I think I'm gonna want to. Scratch that - I know I'm gonna want to.
Another blog I read, Mike Adamick's Cry It Out, hit on this same subject, but with far younger children. He does it with humor, but I was crying by the end. Check it out.
Ah, parenting. Such fun!
Wednesday, October 14, 2009
Tuesday, October 13, 2009
American Gothic and me
Monday, October 12, 2009
Sunday, October 11, 2009
Saturday, October 10, 2009
Because I am such an interesting blogger, I'm going to tell you how my weekend has switched up. My mother has blown me off for the craft fair (not really - she's busy - but how can I feel sorry for myself unless I say she blew me off? it's much more dramatic that way). Anyway, instead we are headed to the boat for quite possibly the last time this year tomorrow. I took this picture last weekend, when I THOUGHT it was our last time down at the beach. For some reason, I love it.
Friday, October 09, 2009
Friday night: I am sitting here trying to keep my eyes open, watching "The Biggest Loser." Greg is about to go out and perform at an open mic with his band. It's weird not to go watch them play - before Jane, I always went.
Saturday: I am once again going off in search for fritters at that local festival I never made it to last weekend (although I did stop by there during the week, I must admit. Or did I already admit that on here already? Who can keep track). Tomorrow afternoon we are off to a chili cook-off at a friend's house. This is an annual event that has gotten pretty huge.
Sunday: Going to arts and crafts fair with my mom. Oh Lordy, I know how to live it up! Please tell me what your no-doubt much more exciting plans are!
Thursday, October 08, 2009
Wednesday, October 07, 2009
1) The annual festival in my hometown that features the best apple fritters EVAH. People wait in line for extremely long amounts of time for these little nuggets of supreme joy. They must be eaten warm for maximum pleasure. In fact, I love all festival food, and luckily, there are lots of fall festivals in my area.
2) The fact that I live in New England. This is the only season where my area of the country rules.
3) The crunchy, colorful leaves. Is there anything more satisfying than marching over a crispy pile of leaves?
4) Not having to apply sunscreen to Jane every day. For those who have to do this with a toddler, you know what a reprieve the colder months are.
5) The impending holidays. Commercialism or not, I love the October-December holiday season.
6) Halloween. Specifically, the candy. We have a whole trick-or-treating extravaganza at my workplace every year where full-grown professional-ish adults dress in costumes and run from office to office to fill up big bags of candy. I work in a very candy-centric office, which is obviously awesome. So we totally bring it for Halloween.
7) Candy corn. (This does deserve its own entry.) My favorite favorite favorite candy. If anyone wants to purchase me a bag, I will be your best friend for the day.
8) That first-day-of-school feeling that September brings, even if you're not in school. I always feel the urge to stock up on notebooks and a new Trapper Keeper (remember those?). It feels like a new year, even more so than the actual New Year does.
9) Hello - my BIRTHDAY. I will never be ashamed at how much I love my birthday, and how much I love everyone's birthday. Particularly if it means I get some cake.
10) Getting to break out the jeans and sweaters (the fall sweaters, not the big bulky winter sweaters) and scarves and having an excuse to go replenish my wardrobe a little bit. Even I, who adore wearing flip-flops and shorts so very much, gets sick of wearing them by the end of September. I'm clearly no fashionista, but I like one or two new things every now and then. Having to buy Jane an entire new wardrobe every season is a little bit daunting and expensive, but as it turns out, these kids - they grow. A lot, in fact!
And my very LEAST favorite thing about fall:
The fact that it means winter is coming.
What's YOUR favorite thing about fall?
Tuesday, October 06, 2009
Monday, October 05, 2009
Yesterday, Jane was feeling under the weather a tiny bit, so we spent a couple of hours on the couch dozing to “Dora the Explorer.” (Actually, I was dozing, she was enthralled.) (Also, the songs in that show WILL NOT LEAVE MY BRAIN. AT ALL. I cannot tell you how many times today I found myself with that catchy hit “I’m the map, I’m the map, I’m the map, I’m the map” in my head. It is taking up way too much important real estate in my head. Where I could be remembering all of the lyrics to the Madonna songs on her new greatest hits CD that I just got, Celebration. LOVE IT.)
Anyway, she was being very cute and leaning on me while we watching, which she doesn’t typically do when she feels great, because that girl is on the GO like nobody’s business. So to have her snuggled up with me was pretty awesome. And it got me to thinking about when I would do the same with my mother, how I would sit close while she read books to me and my brother. And I can remember it all so vividly.
And then I realized that I – ME –am that person to Jane. And I know you’re probably thinking – DUH, Amanda, you are in fact her mother, and we’ve had to listen to you rambling about that for over two years now, plus nine months of pregnancy – but it still comes as a shock to me that I’m someone’s MOTHER. That when she grows up and talks about her mom, she will be talking about ME. For better or for worse.
And no, I’m not drunk right now. It just makes me feel very grown-up, I guess. (And if you are polite, this is not where you remind me that I’m 36, and I passed the grown-up threshold long ago.)
Sunday, October 04, 2009
My other book club is newer - our second meeting is tonight. This is made up of my core group of friends I've been tight with since I was 8, along with some of their associated girlfriends, boyfriends, what-have-you. So far, the books this club reads tends to be a little more serious, Pulitzer Prize-winning and what not, and so far, the two choices have been great. The last one, which is about a traveling circus in the 1930s, is definitely not something I would have read on my own, since it talks about the abuse of the animals in the circus, but I really liked it. And I guess that's the whole point of book club -reading stuff you normally wouldn't. This second book club takes itself very seriously, with prepared discussion questions and themed snacks. It's kind of hilarious.
Tonight, it's my turn to reveal what book I've picked for our next meeting (we had to pick numbers to determine the order of the picking). I'll let you know what I picked tomorrow! (Because I know you are desperate to find out.)
Saturday, October 03, 2009
2) How is it possible that Jon Gosselin is such a douchebag? A year ago I was really getting bored with "Jon & Kate Plus Eight" because it was so annoyingly NORMAL and BENIGN-the kids are cute and all, but Jon and Kate were so bland/annoying I couldn't really take it much longer - and now their gross divorce is the top news story everywhere, and he fancies himself the Playboy of the Western World, and worse, the laydeez seem to be responding to him as if he is some sort of hottt ticket instead of an unemployed, not really attractive, lazy, idiotic douchebag. And now he's decided that the show is bad for the kids? The very moment he's been kicked off? When all this time he's been insisting that it's OK to have their flock in the spotlight from the moment they were born? OH MY GOD THE BAD PARENTING OF THESE TWO.
And there is my very early morning rant on some of the most annoying people in the entertainment headlines.
Friday, October 02, 2009
Friday: This used to include me going out to bars and stuff. Instead, tonight Greg and I will attempt to go out to dinner with Jane, which will no doubt end up in a mess/tears. But we keep trying! Because we're suckers like that. After she goes to bed, I will be catching up on some TV, including trying out the show "The Good Wife." Then I'll read more of this and fall asleep before 10, no doubt.
Saturday: Chores, possibly some alone time at my favorite Borders, and, if it doesn't rain, heading to the Apple Harvest Festival for apple fritters. I mean, to celebrate the harvest. The harvest of fritters I will stuff in my mouth. However, it does look like it's going to rain, so I'll probably entertain Jane by letting her run rampant throughout the mall. Because I've become one of those parents. And by "those" I mean "annoying."
Sunday: Greg has a fishing trip, so Jane and I will be solo that day. We'll probably visit my mom, and then we have a birthday party to go to in the afternoon. In the evening, I have a book club meeting, where I will have many, many things to say about this.
What are you doing?
Thursday, October 01, 2009
As a refresher, here is why I participate - when I was preggo with Jane, the results of my quad screen blood test indicated I had a 1/77 chance of having a baby with Down syndrome. And while the level 2 ultrasound didn't indicate any markers for Ds, I still felt I had to prepare myself - to answer all of the "what ifs" that were clogging my head. In doing my research I became addicted to several blogs written by parents of children with Down syndrome, and still read them today. While it turned out that Jane did not have Down syndrome, I hope in some way, although my own child does not have Ds, I have been and will continue to be an advocate for those with Ds.
So let's rock and roll! Can I do this? YES WE CAN. (oh wait, that was last fall's mantra...)
(in the meantime, please check these ladies out. Pretty inspirational moms, don't ya think?)
Sunday, September 27, 2009
Olive Tree, The Wisdom
Loves sun, warmth and kind feelings, reasonable, balanced, avoids aggression and violence, tolerant, cheerful, calm, well-developed sense of justice, sensitive, empathic, free of jealousy, loves to read and the company of sophisticated people.
So, let's break it down:
Loves sun, warmth and kind feelings: EMPHATICALLY yes. So much. I'm so sad summer is over. Also, who doesn't love kind feelings?
Reasonable/balanced: I try to be. This is not always true, however.
Avoids aggression and violence: This is true. My ass kicking days are over. (This is the part where I pretend I once had ass kicking days.)
Tolerant: Mostly, except for ignorant douchebags.
Cheerful: I would say snarky rather than cheerful.
Calm: I can't even pretend this is true.
Well-developed sense of justice: Sure, I like when the bad guy gets what's coming to him. Or her.
Sensitive: Only when I haven't had enough sleep. Which is most of the time.
Empathic: I try to be. I think so.
Free of jealousy: I wish. But no.
Loves to read: Ha! This couldn't be more true. All of my birthday presents featured books. I'm a huge nerd!
Loves the company of sophisticated people: If those people make fart jokes, yes, I do love sophisticated people.
Go here to find out what kind of tree you are!