March 31, 2011

Writer's Workshop: the Pen

In 5th grade the big thing was transitioning from pencil to pen, but in order to make that move your cursive writing skills had to be to the teacher’s liking. I was certain I would be the first 5th grader that year to make the move- but I wasn’t. And I was sure it was because I didn’t have one of those fancy new erasable pens that were all the rage (why I was certain this was the reason since I couldn’t use a pen until I perfected the writing with pencil, I don’t know... I was 10, for crying out loud!).

I begged my mom for one but she refused. Of course. (I swear my mom never got me anything cool. No, I take that back. After years and years of begging for a real Trapper Keeper folder system, she finally caved and got me one… for my 35th birthday. I’m not even joking- though I did digress greatly.)

I wanted that erasable pen so badly. I can still see it today- yellow with a black eraser. The ink was black. The cap came off and slid over the long part of the pen so that the eraser could easily be used. I had my eye on that pen for days, if not weeks (and you know weeks back then was like years today).

this is the pen EXACTLY except mine
just had a regular black eraser
instead of a Qbert one though i did
always love me some Qbert!
But my mom kept refusing to get it for me.

So one day when I went to the new drug store on the corner of the intersection I wasn’t supposed to go near, I got me that pen.

I walked in to the store with some of my friends and we all agreed to meet back at the counter in 10 minutes. I picked out some candy and then went to the pen aisle and saw it. My pen. I picked it off the rack and looked at the price tag and knew I didn’t have the money for it in addition to the candy so I switched the tag with another; but rather than buy the pen with the cheaper price tag, I put the pen in my pocket.

I remember looking around and not seeing anyone and thinking that I would just go to the counter and buy the candy. And I did just that. And after I got done paying and we were about to leave, a deep voice ordered us to stop.

And we stopped.

As did time.

And my heart.

“I need to see what’s in your pocket,” the man in the blue suit said, looking down at me.

I took the pen, still in its package, out of my pocket and started to cry.

“You girls can leave,” the man told my friends who didn’t skip a beat and immediately left.

I was sure I would be put in handcuffs and escorted into a police car. Instead, he brought me to the counter where the cashier was and they both looked at me and the pen that sat on the counter, taunting me.

“You can either buy the pen or we have to call your parents."

“There’s nobody home,” I said, digging through my change, avoiding eye contact and trying not to cry.

“And you’re not welcome back here anymore, either.”

I bought the pen and left- never to look back and never to steal again.

Nearly 30 years later and I still have an odd obsession with pens- even though I rarely use them anymore thanks be to the internet.

March 29, 2011

one and a quarter

My sweet baby doll is 15 months… 1 and ¼ year old today!

Things she seems to love these days:
  • talking (non-stop: most we can’t understand but things are getting clearer)
  • eating (non-stop: she bangs on the silverware drawer which is under the snacks; she’ll also step on her high chair and whine when she’s hungry)
  • harassing the cats (making a sound, “iiiiiiiiihh” that mocks my “niiiiiice” when petting them)
  • snuggling after waking up (love love love love love)
  • dancing
  • singing (this is new- and quite darn cute)
  • laughing (especially when we jump out and Rawr at her or when we tickle her or when we laugh)
  • looking out the window
  • going bye bye (just not necessarily getting her coat and hat on)
  • climbing (the stairs, the couch, chairs, etc)
  • trying to use a spoon by herself
  • playing with shape sorters, blocks, cars (roooom)
  • saying No No No when she means it (sometimes adding a shake of the head and wave of a hand to Really means it)
  • books (when we read- but she’s been reading by herself lately too)
  • Kitty (everything that moves and is smaller than her is Kitty- dogs, squirrels, etc)
  • The Wiggles
  • Television (specifically Nina and Star on Sprout TV and The Fresh Beats Band on Nick Jr)
  • Grandma Bear and binky at bed/naptime

Things she’s not too fond of these days:
  • anything that has to do with her head/hair
  • when we’re firm with our No’s (for example, we’re super mean and don’t allow her to walk around with a sippy cup)
  • This Song/Video

All in all, she's just such an awesome little girl! We're so damn lucky!

Visit Top Mommy Blogs To Vote For Me!

Vote For Us @ Top Baby Blogs

March 28, 2011

The Reader

My Lovie has been loving books for a very long time. When she was about 9 months old or so, she started "asking" me to read books by bringing me books and laying on me as I read them. By about 11 months old or so, she started to get upset when I would get near the last page of books because, up to that point, I would read the book once and move on to another or just stop reading all together... so once when she started freaking out at the end of the story, I quickly started over from the beginning and voila! She was content again. Then when she started to talk around a year old, she started bringing me books and really asking me to read to her. And now at 15 months old (tomorrow!!), she's really starting to "read" books by herself. It's pretty cool. And when I ask her what she's reading, she'll actually start "reading" and pointing, etc.

She's such a cool little chica. And she's all mine. : )  So often she leaves me seriously wondering how in the world I can be so seriously blessed.

Visit Top Mommy Blogs To Vote For Me!

Vote For Us @ Top Baby Blogs

March 24, 2011

Mambo number 5

Er, not really... more like Toofers Number 5. (What is it about baby teeth that turns me into a 3 year old? Why can't I say Teeth or Tooth? Why, when it comes to little babes and their brand new teeth, do I HAVE to refer to them as Teef or Toofs or Toofers or Teefies, etc, etc?!?)

I haven't taken any pictures of my darling in almost two weeks so yesterday I made sure to carry the camera around with us after we got home for the day. And when I was looking thru the pictures after downloading them to the computer, I came across that one up there and was like SHE'S GOT ANOTHER TOOF!! I hollered over to the husband and he asked me to zoom in a bit and we both agree there's another toofie in her mouf, making it Toofers Number Five!

Some other favorites from the night are when she could see herself in the little flip view thing...

God do I love this child. With everything that I am. It's insane the love I have for her. Insane.

After I downloaded these pictures and marveled over her incredibleness, I logged in to Facebook for the last time before going to bed... and my eyes came across an update that left me with tears streaming down my face and feeling like someone had punched me in the gut. Writing about it now is leaving the same taste in my mouth, too. Fuck is this hard.

Back in September I posted about my cousin's kid, then a mere 6 months old, who had just undergone a liver transplant. At the time I just asked that if you were reading this, that you just take a tiny moment to just think about Tyler and his family in a positive manner. And I swear to you that it worked. It really did.

Well... they need our positive vibes again.  Please send any POSITIVE energy you can in any shape you can to this little boy, Tyler, and his family.

March 23, 2011


I'm getting super duper excited about something that I've been meaning to do for ... YEARS!! Turn a blog into a book!

In 2007 I designed and created our wedding album for a fraction of the price it would've cost us to have a wedding photographer do so and did this via one of my favorite websites- Blurb. Some time later they announced that they could turn blogs into books. How freaking cool is that?! I thought. But why on earth would I want to turn my ramblings about my boring life into a book? Still, I kept it in the back of my mind that it was an option.

Then in July of 2008 I got pregnant and created a blog with the intention of turning it into a book for my future child. Sadly, that pregnancy ended too soon and I created another blog to deal with that loss... but there's no need to turn that into a book.

When I got pregnant again in April of 2009, I created yet another blog for that pregnancy and kept it private because I was extremely ... cautious about the pregnancy. The more time passed and the bigger Lovie grew, the more I catered that blog to be hopefully read one day by my her. And about a month or so before Lovie was due, I created yet another (private) blog (love me some blogger eh?) in which I envisioned writing directly to Lovie and turning it into a book (basically using the blog in lieu of a "baby book").

So there you have it... I've been thinking about this for years and now I'm finally going to do it. Well, I'm going to start at least. Lord knows the wedding album took months and months to finalize, so I'm sure Lovie's book(s) will take some time, too.

I plan to start with Lovie's book - from birth to a year old. My goal is to have it ready to print by her 2nd birthday. I plan on downloading the software tonight and working on it whenever Lovie's sleeping (too bad I couldn't download it here at work).

Anyway, all of that got me to looking through her blog and I thought I'd share last year's entries (from one year ago this week):

     March 22, 2010 (click image to enlarge to read):

     March 23, 2010 (entry was too long to take a screen shot so c&p below):
12 weeks: I smile
Today marks week 12 of your beautiful life... and next Monday you'll be THREE MONTHS OLD!
I miss you so much, baby girl. I really hate bringing you to daycare every day. I hate it so much but I won't let on to you that I hate it. Instead, I scoop you up into my arms and snuggle you for a minute and talk gently to you, telling you that it's time to go to school. I smile all the time at you...

Even though inside I'm crying hysterically because I just want to hold you, play with you, feed you, outside I smile as I get you strapped into your car seat.
I smile as you suck on your Binky and look up at me as if to say, "What's going on now, Momma?"
I smile and tell you that you're a big girl and big girls go to school while Momma's go to work.
I smile even though inside I want to drop to the floor and curl into a ball over having to do this.
I smile as I talk to you as we leave the apartment. As I carry strapped-in-the-car seat-you down the stairs, I smile as I count out loud each step I hit: 1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8 (then landing then) 1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8 (then landing then) 1-2-3-4-5-6 (then lobby).
I smile as I set strapped-in-the-car seat-you onto the floor and unfold the stroller base.
I smile as I pick strapped-in-the-car seat-you up off the floor and snap you into the stroller base.
I smile as I tell you that it's going to be cold when I open the door and that we're off to the car and then to school.
I smile as I push you down the street(s) to the car.
I smile when I place strapped-in-the-car seat-you into the car seat base.
I smile when I fold the stroller base up and put it in the back hatch.
And when I sit down in the driver seat in the car and start it, I smile then, too, and announce "Here we go baby doll."

I smile because I love you so much and I don't want you to worry even for a moment. I don't know if babies as small as you even know how to worry just yet but you're growing so fast and absorbing so much and from your expressions, I really do think you can at least wonder at this point -if not worry. And I don't even want you to wonder if something’s wrong.

I want you to feel safe and secure and loved and adored at all times.

So I smile - and will continue to smile - when I drop you off at daycare ... even though inside I want to scream and shout that it's not fair and that I just want to care for my baby.
     March 26, 2010 (click image to read):

     Pictures referenced in above screen shot:
DISCLAIMER: Blurb has given me nothing, has asked nothing of me, etc. This is not an advertisement for Blurb. I'm not getting paid to do this, I'm not getting anything for free to do this (though I certainly wouldn't mind, ha!). I'm doing this of my own free will because I'm super duper freaking excited about this!
Visit Top Mommy Blogs To Vote For Me!

Vote For Us @ Top Baby Blogs

Wordless Wednesday: Congrats!!

image from here

March 22, 2011

story time

The other day Lovie and I were sitting at my computer at home watching Wiggles videos on YouTube when my husband comes in (to the office) and asks if I've seen or heard about the video of the newest teen sensation who's video had like 26 million views because of how bad it is.

"You mean Justin Bieber?" I asked.

He chuckled and said, "No, this is a girl... Rebecca Black or something?"

I looked it up and found it and pressed the play button:

We all sat there watching the video for a minute- Lovie on my lap, the husband to my right in his chair. Honestly, I didn't see anything wrong with the video and made a comment that money was spent making the video; it just wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. The husband commented on the sound- the one note the girl used throughout.

Lovie just sat there looking at the computer when all of sudden she raised her hand and started waving it back and forth. The husband and I shot looks at each other like, "WTF?" and then started waving our hands back and forth, too, in support of our little lovebug.

That's when Lovie dropped her hand and started shaking her head back and forth No.

"You don't like it?" I asked, a little confused.

I let the video continue to play and Lovie raised her hand again and waved it back and forth- much like she does to the food on her tray when she's doesn't want anymore, shook her head side to side, and said, "No, no, no, no!"

The husband and I about died. The husband was SO proud at that moment.

I turned the video off and found a Wiggles video to bounce around to instead.

Do you think the song is that bad?

Visit Top Mommy Blogs To Vote For Me!

Vote For Us @ Top Baby Blogs

March 18, 2011

On being an introvert

I need help… serious help. I have no idea how to socialize with people I’ve just met other than on message boards or via email, facebook, twitter. I’m a horrible introvert IRL and while I thought I had come a long way, the truth is that I’ve only come a long way in the media life, not real life. : (

I have no clue how to talk to people I’m just meeting when we’re face to face.

Yesterday Lovie and I stopped at the park again. A new park in the suburbs. A smaller, more peaceful park. At first she was one of three kids playing so it was no big deal. But by the time we left, 45 minutes later, the park was full of little and big people. At first Lovie was just enjoying the slide and checking things out. And then this little blonde haired, blue eyed beauty entered the scene and she just whizzed by Lovie going from one thing to the other like most 3 year olds do. This little girl’s mom wore the hugest smile as she watched her girl play and then when she saw Lovie, she laughed, her face brightened up even more, and, after a few minutes of watching the girls, she asked, “How old is she?”

"Almost 15 months."

“She is absolutely beautiful.”

"Oh thanks," I replied looking at Lovie. I wanted to return the compliment because I felt the same way about her daughter who reminded me of a young Thora Birch only I couldn’t remember the name of the young actress until just now. I kept seeing the image of the young actress with the eyes that popped every time I looked at this mom’s girl and I tried so hard to get the actresses name in my head so I could tell the mom, but it never clicked until two minutes ago when I remember the last name and did a google search.

But why couldn’t I at least tell her that her girl was gorgeous and reminded me of an actress? Why couldn’t I tell her that I was super impressed with the girl’s manners (she was asking things politely and saying thank you to her mom without the mommy telling her to do so)? I just felt like if I said something then, after she complimented my Lovie, she’d think I wasn’t genuine and that I was just returning the compliment because that’s what you’re “supposed to do.” And I really didn’t want her to think that, so I just smiled a lot. Like a friggin idiot.


Lovie and I stayed at the little kids play area while the 3 year old and her mom went elsewhere but we soon met up again at the swings as Lovie seemed to really be attracted to the young girl who was now swinging. I tried getting Lovie to swing but like the day before and the Sunday before and last year, she didn’t want any part of it. She just wanted to watch the big girl swing. So the mom and I started talking about swinging etc. But when I say we started talking, I mean she did most of the talking and I smiled and kept my words very short.

I felt so stupid.

I just don’t know how to talk to people I don’t know. I can answer questions, I will look you in the eye, but I just have no clue how to change subjects or ask questions. I have no idea how else to explain it. I’m fine once I get to know a person but until then, I just clam up.

I think it has to do with the many years I isolated myself from others because I realized that people, generally, are very selfish. I spent time actually testing this theory out anytime I’d get into a conversation with a classmate or a coworker. We’d get into a conversation where I’d be talking and then, on purpose, I would abruptly stop talking for some stupid reason (tie my shoe, cough, bend down to scratch my leg, etc) and not continue a clearly unfinished story. On purpose. To see if the person who was allegedly listening would ask me to continue. And more than not they wouldn’t ask me to continue, but would start talking themselves.

I couldn’t even say how many times I did that and I think it just made me truly believe that people don’t give a shit about what I have to say and that, in turn, made me unable to socialize well with others.

And now, years later, I’m clueless when it comes to socializing with strangers IRL.

Again, throw that woman on a message board or facebook or some other media outlet and I won’t have a problem.

What the fuck is wrong with me?!??


The mom gave me another chance when we met up at the sandbox. Lovie was sitting on the edge of it and the woman brought over her daughter’s sandbox toys (super duper nice- of course I thanked her!) for us to use while they continued swinging the bigger swings. Soon they joined us at the sandbox and we all sat together and she asked our names and we talked about the girls’ names and … I SUCK AT LIFE.

Why can’t I ask questions? Why can’t I compliment her daughter’s kindness and manners and friendliness to play with my child?

I found this woman to be a very genuine person- and I could actually see us running into one another again (which I really hope is the case so I can finally rectify this stupid mess I made). Hopefully she won’t run away if she sees us.

After the sandbox, Lovie and I made our way back to the little kid play area and played a bit alone- something I cherish! God, I love making my doll laugh and have fun! : ) Several minutes later, the mom and girl came our way and the girl started playing near Lovie again, which Lovie really enjoyed. The mom stood by and smiled and chuckled at them and again commented on Lovie’s beauty, “She really could be on a cover a magazine or something!”

My reply?!?? God, I’m so embarrassed to admit this… “Oh my!” I said shocked- because she really seemed so enamored with Lovie and after having mucked on other conversation chances with her, I just assumed she’d given up on us and I really was not expecting the comment. “Thanks so much!”

That’s IT. That’s all I said. UGH I SUCK I SUCK I SUCK!!

Her girl started running around from one thing to the other and Lovie was following the girl and laughing at her and really wanting to play with her- but I could see the mom really needed to leave. Something about daddy waiting for them so I told the girl that we would see them again and play with them more then and thanked her so much for playing with Lovie and letting us use her toys.

So I can talk to a 3 year old but not a 30 year old?!?!

God, I’m such a loser!

I have GOT to figure this out. I have GOT to figure out how to talk to strangers because I’ll be damned if Lovie grows up an introverted loser like myself. Right now, we’re complete opposites when it comes to socializing as she adores people- especially when they pay her even an ounce of attention. But if I don’t learn how to communicate in a better fashion with strangers in the park etc soon, she’s going to catch on and start acting that way, too. And I just cannot let that happen. I can’t!

Any thoughts on how to break free of the clamming up in real world social situations? Help!

Visit Top Mommy Blogs To Vote For Me!

Vote For Us @ Top Baby Blogs

March 17, 2011


The Paper Mama


Visit Top Mommy Blogs To Vote For Me!

Vote For Us @ Top Baby Blogs

! Post 300: People suck sometimes.

We went to the park yesterday. Second time in a week.

Sunday (38 degrees) looked like this:

Yesterday (64 degrees) looked like this:

I couldn’t really take a picture of her because my cell phone takes forever to load, she was constantly on the move, and there were SO many people. Gross. I hate people. Yeah I really do. Especially crowds of people. Fortunately most of the people at the park were of the little variety so it wasn’t so bad. The teenagers and bigger variety played soccer or basketball or sat at the picnic tables while the little variety slid the slides (or walked/ran them), swung on the swings, climbed the bars, etc.

As soon as we stepped foot in the park, Lovie was drawn to a big plastic pink ball- the size of her- that two kids, around 6 and 10 were kicking around. She kept pointing to the ball and walking her way over to them/the ball. A very pregnant woman watched and smiled from nearby. I gathered she was their mom. At one point, the ball ended up hitting Lovie. I chuckled while apologizing to the kids for being in their way. They smiled and seemed OK with Lovie’s interest. Phew. I don’t want her to be a burden, but I know not everyone is enamored by her adorableness the way I am.

After a minute I scooped her up so that they could continue kicking their ball around, and made our way over to the swings. Last spring, summer, and fall, we stopped at the park a good dozen times or so. And every time we did, I tried getting Lovie to swing- but she just wasn’t too interested unless I was holding her. I was hoping that maybe she’d be more into swinging this time around, but I was wrong. Like on Sunday, she crinkled her face and wanted no part of the swings.

Do I have the weirdest kid or what? Who doesn’t love to swing?!?

I like to think that I’m not a helicopter parent… but I kinda was yesterday. I felt I needed to because there was just too many people. Normally, like on Sunday, I just kinda follow from a distance in public places (at home she can go wherever). But no matter how my back ached (I really NEED to lose weight) and my eye wandered to an empty bench, I couldn’t leave her be yesterday: she wanted the soccer ball, the huge pink ball, and then she wanted the dog.

“Ki-Ka’,” Lovie exclaimed, pointing to the small dog.

I smiled (everything small and furry is a Kitty Cat- cats, squirrels, dogs, raccoons…) and said, “Doggie, yes, but we can’t go there.”

She started running to the small dog, with her little finger pointing.

I don’t mind running after her when she’s about to get into trouble with a ball, but when there’s a dog and there are signs that say NO DOGS… I started to get pissed. I was super close to telling the dog’s walker to read the sign and leave. The dog’s walker kept the small yippity dog away from others, but still: NO DOGS means NO DOGS for a reason. There are kids everywhere and … I just don’t give a shit if the dog is small and leashed. My kid is attracted to anything that moves that is smaller than her- as most kids are- and your fucking dog needs to leave. But nooo. She just kept pulling at the leash anytime the yippity thing started bouncing up and down trying to get toward the kids. And as Lovie made her way closer and closer to the damn thing, the woman just stood there.

“No,” I said trying to pull at Lovie. “No, we don’t go to doggies.”

Bitch, take your fucking dog and leave already, I wanted to scream.


“Yes, that’s a doggie,” I said trying to gear Lovie away, “’woof! Woof!’ but we can’t play with it. Let's go slide!”

Lovie started to make sounds that would soon escalate into a crying fit if something didn’t change soon. I scooped her up, softly talking about how we should slide or some shit while glaring at the damn dog and its walker. The woman just stood there with her yippity dog boucing around. Lovie wasn’t too pleased about being held and I quickly made my way over to the slides. She slid down and wanted to go back to the fucking dog so I picked her up and asked if she was hungry and quickly gave her a fruit pouch.

All in all by this point we had been there for 20 minutes or so. I was OK with leaving- especially since the dog was still there and I knew once Lovie remembered about the dog, there would be another mad race to get to it and I didn’t think that (almost) 15 months was a good time for a kid to see their parent be interrogated by the police. I’m kidding about the police thing!

I’m overreacting about the dumb dog, right? (it's ok if you're nodding your head, yes)

It just steams me is all. I live in a huge fucking city… the third largest in the United States! And yet this damn woman and her dog had to go and ruin a perfectly fine afternoon because she couldn’t adhere to the sign or respect the people around her. And some wonder why I really dislike people.