Saturday, October 31, 2009


So, this entry concludes 31 days in a row of blogging for 31 for 21. I hope everyone didn't doze off too much whilst reading my fascinating entries.

So - Halloween! Today it was 73 degrees and humid where I live, perfect weather for a very heavy chicken costume. I managed to get a couple of good pics of Jane in her costume, before she ripped it off and proceeded to eat everything in sight at my friend's house. This evening we went to my mother's, my friend Heather's (for pre-trick or treating dinner) and then to my sister's house. It was a lot of fun, but what I'm really looking forward to is when Jane can trick-or-treat in earnest. None of this going to three houses stuff. Halloween ain't nothin' until you've put in hard miles around the neighborhood.

Hope everyone had a fun day!

Friday, October 30, 2009

halloween eve.

So today is Halloween Eve, and what a day it was. First, I dropped my car off so I could get a new tire. That was a lot of fun. Then at work we had our annual trick or treat extravaganza, which is obviously awesome, because I "organized" it. (I put "organized" in quotes because all it takes is two company-wide emails but for some reason people think it takes more work than that.) (Yes, Dwayne and Shane, I realize you are not among the people who give me credit/think it takes work to organize this festive activity.) Anyway, it resulted in a giant bag of candy, which totally rules.

I left work early to go pick up my car with its spankin' new tire and headed off to Jane's Halloween party at daycare. They somehow managed to wrestle her into her chicken costume, but she ripped off the top pretty quickly, and frankly, I don't blame her. It was a zillion degrees in there already, nevermind with a very warm chicken suit on top of it. We had to go on this costume parade thing throughout the building, and Jane helpfully threw down a massive fit in the middle of it. I accidentally put my keys down so I could try to make her feel better, and oh, did I have a blast later when I had to have my own one-man scavenger hunt to try to find them. Anyway, after the parade there were delicious snacks to be had. Jane was a big fan of that part, and, in fact, she was the last girl standing at the party. Like I said, it was stankin' hot in there, and I really had to escape by the end. But it's nice that they organize this so the parents can come.

More Halloween fun to continue tomorrow - that is, if this hacking cough thing Jane has doesn't turn into something worse. I give it 70/30 in favor of us having to call the doctor tomorrow.

Happy Halloween Eve!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

star of the week!

OK, this was a few weeks ago, but I just had to deal with a flat tire so I'm cheating and posting a pic today as my entry. Jane was the Star of the Week at daycare in September! YEAH! Check out her awesome artwork!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009


So I got the dreaded notice at Jane's daycare when I picked her up today -there was a confirmed case of "the flu" in her area, and then they listed off all of the symptoms we're supposed to look for in our kids. No one would tell me whether it was the H1N1 strain or not, but my guess is that it is - although I guess we'll find out soon, if more and more kids stop showing up this week. Apparently the vaccine doesn't really take hold for 8-10 days - and Jane had it in her system for three days by the time she got back to daycare on Monday. SO. We'll see. It will piss me off to no end if she ends up getting this stupid thing after all of my hemming and hawing over the vaccine.

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

Junior update - cupcake, anyone?

By popular request, here is the latest Junior update.

Junior, at this exact moment, is acting like a complete assclown, galloping around the living room, jumping, attacking Jimmy, and generally acting like he did not have major stomach surgery a month ago. Really, he seems to have a whole new lease on life. Sure, it was a lease that cost $5K, but whatever.

As you can see from the picture above, the one where he is staring down Jane's dinner, his appetite is back. Basically it was back in just a few days, but I've been very careful with the amounts I'm feeding him. I feed him much less, but several times throughout the day, instead of just one big feed.

Three weeks after his surgery, we ran into a bit of an issue. We had gone to a birthday party for a neighbor's kid, and I had to leave early. Greg brought home two cupcakes for me (because I heart cupcakes), and left them on the counter, which is a reasonable place to put food. Not when you have a Great Dane, though. Junior swiped those cupcakes off the counter so that by the time I got home, the only evidence was a stray Elmo plate that Jimmy was carrying around.
Now, we would not normally worry about Junior eating two full cupcakes. Sure, the average dog owner might, but we stopped worrying about such things years ago. HOWEVER, stuck in the cupcakes were these plastic bees with sharp pointy parts so they would stay stuck in the cupcakes. Sure enough, there was no sign of the bees anywhere.
We realized that Junior had ingested the sharp plastic bees about two hours after it happened, and really, it was a horrifying realization. Not so much the fact that he had consumed plastic - again, this had happened many times before - but the fact that since it was so soon after his surgery, we would have to call the emergency vet AGAIN (because OF COURSE it was after hours) and explain what happened. A little more than slightly embarrassing, for sure.
Greg did the deed, and the vet immediately knew who Junior was. I mean, why not? We're funding their winter holidays. He said that Junior was most likely fine, and to watch him. Which we did. And thankfully, he was fine.
So there's your Junior update. Back to being the ass he always was, and boy, are we happy for it.

Monday, October 26, 2009

a horse is a horse

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

man, that was hard.

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

weekend. update.

Only one week left of my great 31 for 21 blogathon! Phew, because I think I'm the only one reading it. : ) Anywho, it's weekend time, so here we go:

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

five years ago today

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

ode to jimmy, on the eve of his birthday

Tomorrow is Jimmy's fourth birthday. We cannot believe we've only had him for just under four years. I can so clearly remember the Christmas morn he showed up, and how the following nights were just about equal to having a newborn: the crying, the needing to be held, the sleeping on the couch with a baby lying on my chest, the explosive poop everytime we left him in the crate, the time I fell down the stairs after I slipped on snow in the middle of the night when I had to take him out -and that was just the first 48 hours. Oh, the adventures we've had since then.

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

ETA: I have no idea why this font is so tiny. I can't seem to change it.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

alright, stop. collaborate and listen.

(you are welcome for that Vanilla Ice song that is now in your head.)

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!

Monday, October 19, 2009

project small joys: candy corn

Confessions of a Candy Corn-aholic
Fact: I am completely in love with candy corn.
Fact: It is probably my favorite candy in the whole world, its only real competition being those conversation hearts at Valentine's Day.
Fact: I ate a huge, huge bag of those delicious nuggets this weekend. Well, mostly Sunday. Well, mostly Sunday during Jane's nap. It wasn't a tremendously long nap, either.
Fact: I felt absolutely disgusting when I was done. I seriously couldn't move or I thought I would puke.
Fact: Even if I had puked, I will never be immune to the deliciousness of candy corn.
And, in conclusion: If you want me to love you, bring me candy corn.

Sunday, October 18, 2009


I was driving to my mother's house this afternoon, as I do every Sunday afternoon, and I, all of the sudden, started really missing my dad. I have said this before - I can slide right through holidays, birthdays, anniversaries, etc with no problem (sometimes) but then out of the blue, I will get really melancholy. Today was one of those days. This Friday will be my five year wedding anniversary, and I just got to thinking about how my dad wasn't there, and how much fun I think he would have had, and how pretty he would have thought I was (I know that may sound strange, but that's just what I was thinking). I was thinking about how, when my father walked my two sisters down the aisle, he said something to both of them right before they began walking that made them cry. And I have always wondered what he would have said to me.

When I was planning my wedding I put my friend Heather in charge of making sure no one said anything depressing to me right before the ceremony. Like, "oh, I wish Dad were here" or something like that. It's not that it wasn't in my head; of course it was. I just didn't want it to be in the forefront of my mind. My mother walked me down the aisle, and I told her she wasn't allowed to say anything sad. So instead, she said something perfect. (I'm not going to tell you what it was. I get to have my secrets too.)

My dad was a partier. And I know he would have partied that day away, super proud of me. And I am so sad that I missed that experience.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

not really feelin' it

I'm in a pretty bad mood today for multiple reasons, but luckily, Linda at All & Sundry has written eloquently about one of the reasons I'm not very happy. Posts like this one makes me both feel better and know that there are just some things in parenting that are universal.

Friday, October 16, 2009

weekend. update.

Well, my weekend started unexpectedly early when I had to take the day off and bring Jane to the doctor - diagnosis: double ear infection. I really wasn't surprised, because she's been hacking away all week, but still, ugh. So I kept her home and hung out with her today. Not surprisingly, this afternoon I started to feel like crap - not sure what exactly is going on, I just feel like I've been run over by a truck. Maybe it's because I've been home with a two-year-old all day? I really don't know how stay-at-home moms do it, I really don't! Anyway, without further ado, my pathetic weekend:

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

not for all the money in the world would I go back to this time in my life

I came across this post on yesterday and it's been haunting me ever since. Apparently the author of the book Queen Bees & Wannabes - the book that inspired the movie Mean Girls - has published an updated version that goes into all of the new, exciting kinds of bullying going on in this day and age with teenage girls. As it turns out, if you're the one who has unfortunately been deemed a "wannabe," it seems you can't escape the bullying. Going home isn't a respite anymore; horrible groups can be formed about you on Facebook, you can be bullied by text and IM, and who the hell knows what else. Reading this post and all of the comments left me with my heart pounding, mouth hanging open and tears in my eyes.

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

a note

OK, I started my picture post about Chicago yesterday, but then Greg got all flippin' mad about our Friendly's experience, so I just saved it as a draft so Greg could vent to the interwebs about his dissatisfaction. So when I just published my Chicago pictorial now, it posted under Greg's entry from yesterday, I assume because I wrote it yesterday. But I am counting it as TODAY'S post.

So there.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

and now, a guest post from Greg

Ahem..... Dear Blog,

OK so it should be clear to those of you who know me I have no patience. It might be a virtue, but I haven't been able to wait long enough to find out, so suffice to say the monstrous and time consuming process of writing down my thoughts (or typing them) is not going to happen. Unless I get really, really pissed.

I am damn mad at Friendly's and considered conducting my first tweet, which is too time consuming, so Amanda said I could rant here.

I have become enchanted lately with sliders. I love those little burgers. Sliders are a great excuse to have 6 burgers at Burger King or Wood N Tap or wherever. They're cheap and delicious. I like the Wendy's double stacker too. All of these items are healthier than a strawberry milkshake, so it's ok to eat them.

Friendly's has joined the party offering their own interpretation of the cheeseburger slider. Before I go on, you should know my first job was at Friendly's. I am well aware of the time vortex involved when ordering and am fully cognizant of the FDA's "just above dog food" classification, "suitable for human consumption." I am no fool, I knew these things were going to disappoint, it was just a question of how bad they could be.

Do you have two quarters? Stack them on each other. The height of the "meat" in the burger was less than that. The meat was actually thinner than the "cheese." Remember the old Wendy's commercial with that cranky old lady saying "Where's the beef?" The meat in that commercial was way, way thicker than the slice o' burger in my sliders.

C'mon Friendly's, we know the economy's in the crapper and you can't raise your prices. We know the cost cutting fools at corporate have got to try to keep your company from keeling over like Bennegans and Roy Rogers (CT locations RIP). Do you remember the riots that broke out when you guys doubled your profit margins on cherries? Didn't you learn that splitting a cherry in half and putting the sliced part down in the whip cream was going to piss people off?   
Were you thinking, "Well if they don't actually try to pull the cherry off the top, they won't notice." We noticed. No stem, half a lame cherry. Congratulations you screwed me out of a third of a cent. Ninety people later you're 30 cents richer. F-U Friendly's.

Avoid Friendly's, and if you can't, at least avoid the sliders.


oh yeah, remember I went to Chicago?

Me and a street performer who pulled me into the act

American Gothic and me

tick tock, show's about to start

Ready for U2!

Navy Pier, from a distance

Greg talking to Bob Newhart

Me hanging with Bob

A festive anti-heathcare reform rally at Millennium Park (we were there because I wanted to see where Obama gave his acceptance speech)

The Cloud Dome at Millennium Park

Monday, October 12, 2009

let me entertain you

OK, I am starting to draw a blank on what to write about. So help me! Is there anything really exciting you'd like me to blog about? Anything of interest? I mean, not that there could be anything more interesting than that bug I posted a pic of yesterday...but still....I need ideas to carry me through the rest of this month!

Sunday, October 11, 2009


Check this ginormous bug that was on the boat today! I swear, this thing was staring at me. Plotting, even.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

weekend update. again.

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

weekend. update.

Well here we go again! I am ever so thankful it is Friday.This was a hectic week. I actually went out last night with some friends, and today was a little rough-going for me. Do you remember, in college, when Thursday night was so HUGE? I can't handle it at 36, that's for sure! Especially when that alarm goes off four hours after I go to bed. Anyway, weekend plans are as such:

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


Well you all know how much I love the musical In the Heights, and I'm super-psyched it's hitting the road - especially because part of the road it's hitting is where I work. This is a freakin' COOL video they made to promote the tour. Have I said I can't wait? Well, then I'll say it again. CAN. NOT. WAIT.

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

project small joys: fall

Top 10 Reasons I Love Fall (in no particular order):

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

ps this is awesome

busy bee

I am in the midst of an INCREDIBLY LONG work day, so this is going to have to suffice as my blog posting for today, because who knows when I will get home.

And how are you doing?

Monday, October 05, 2009

a thought

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

project small joys: my book clubs

Continuing my exciting series of things I love in life, I present: my book clubs. I belong to two. One is made up of former/current co-workers; it's a very small but persistant book club that meets on an irregular basis but is always reading something (or supposed to be reading something). This book club has been around for probably five years or so. The rules are lax in this club. If you don't like the whole idea of the chosen book, you don't have to read it, but you can still give your opinion about it (or maybe that's just a rule I came up with myself, because lordy, I don't like reading super depressing books but I sure love giving my opinion about them). We also talk VERY LITTLE about the book when we meet (which is usually for lunch during the work week). Instead we spend 80%-90% of the time gossiping and talking about what a douchebag Jon Gosselin is (really!).

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

two sincere questions

1) How did the Kardashians get so famous? Seriously - what do they do? Do any of them act? Sing? Why do we care? And you know I love pop culture and gossip, but whenever I'm cracking open a new issue of US Weekly or People, I simply cannot understand why I have to learn about so-and-so Kardashian's wedding, or the other one's pregnancy, or the other one's cellulite - these are seriously the stories they are reporting on these people - I mean, you might as well be writing about my wedding, pregnancy or cellulite in these magazines - WHO ARE THESE PEOPLE AND WHY DO WE CARE? Seriously - I want to know.

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

weekend. update.

Since I'll be blogging EVERY SINGLE DAY in October as part of 31 for 21, I will be going back to some regularly scheduled segments on this blog, including the ever-exciting weekend updates. These used to be a lot more interesting back in my single/childfree days, but here we go anyway:

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

31 for 21 - aw yeah, it's on!

Remember last year, when I did the 31 for 21 blog challenge - which challenges bloggers to blog for 31 days, throughout the month of October, in an effort to raise awareness for Down syndrome - and you all didn't think I could do it? And then I did? Well, here we go again.

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?)