My Coffee Stain

Monday, March 12, 2007

MY BLOG HAS MOVED... if you care

I just finished moving this blog to my new domain:

I apologize to anyone who has subscribed to my feed or linked to me (thank you Semi-Desperate Housewife!) I promise that once I finalize my setup over there, I will send love some link love right back to you all and I hope that you continue to read my occasional rants. I also apologize to my commenters because there was no way for me to move my comments over there, only the posts. I'm going to leave this site up for a while though...

In other news, I'm considering "coming out of the blog closet" so to speak, by posting some pictures and more personal specifics. Remaining anonymous is tough work and I know that I've already slipped up a few times with online friends and more importantly, my husband. Damn. I now realize that I can't talk smack about him online any more... Sorry, honey.

The best laid plans...

Until last Tuesday we had absolutely nothing planned for this past weekend. On that day I received two phone calls--one from my father-in-law inviting us to his sister's wedding Saturday afternoon in Boston, and the other from my cousin inviting us to a strong ale festival in Brooklyn and then to his father's birthday brunch the following morning a little north of NYC.

A NORMAL person would consider the Boston and New York plans to be conflicting, insane people like my husband and myself would think nothing of trying to cram all of this into one weekend while toting around a cranky 18 month old.

Here's how it all went down:
Friday: Lots of ironing and prep work to get clothes ready for wedding, evening out and brunch party.
Friday Evening: Frantic trip to several stores to find a pair of shoes to wear to wedding.
Saturday, 8 am: Jo Jo's swim class at the Y.
Saturday, 9 am: Dunkin Donuts
Saturday, 10 am: Husband to the car wash, Jo Jo nap, Me in the shower and then packing.
Saturday, 12 pm: Drive to Boston, stuck in traffic getting to the church.
Saturday, 1:15 pm: Arrive at the church 15 minutes late, wrangle angry toddler into froo-froo cotton candy dress. Pacifier is not cutting it, even though we only break it out for "special occasions" (i.e., when I need Jo Jo to shut the hell up)
Saturday, 1:30 pm: Wedding actually begins, lateness forgiven.
Saturday, 1:35 pm: Husband and I have to remove Jo Jo from the scene as she is disrupting the ceremony by talking. Take her outside for a walk.
Saturday, 2:15 pm: Ceremony is over. We do a meet and greet with various family members, then forego the reception to start our trip to NY.
Saturday, 2:30 pm: We're stuck in city traffic trying to get to husband's mom's house to change our clothes (her place is on the way).
Saturday, 3:00 pm: Finally arrive at mother-in-law's house, change rapidly, split the scene as quickly as possible.
Saturday, 6:30 pm: Arrive at the hotel in NY and meet my parents who take Jo Jo for the night.
Saturday, 8:00 pm: Arrive at my cousin's apartment in Brooklyn.

Wow, this is getting long, I think I'll stop here with the blow-by-blow. Anyways, once we arrived, we found that my cousin was not ready to go... yadda yadda yadda... we didn't get to the bar for another two hours. Fortuntately when we arrived, they still had a lot of good beers on tap (at a beer festival, they offer "special" beers in small quantities. The good beers usually run out before the night is through). I was driving though, so the beer issue was only relevant to the husband and cousin.

Sunday was much more relaxed even though we lost an hour in there somewhere. The brunch was awesome with some really great food. Lots of laughs. Nice to see family, etc. I think we finally got on the road around 3:00, had a few stops along the way and got back around 7:00. And through all of this mayhem, Jo Jo was a champion traveller. This particular item helped just a little bit too... hehe. A friend lent it to us and it was a Godsend! I didn't even care that we had to hear the same Elmo video six times over the course of the trip because she was not crying.

So anyways, I'm glad to be back home blogging in my pajamas. I always love these impulsive kind of trips, but getting back to normal when we get home is a welcome relief.

A side note: Over the next week or two I'm going to be working on redesigning the site (this one was kindof thrown together randomly one day). I'm actually moving away from Blogger and will be attempting to set up with Movable Type. I hope this won't turn all 4 of my readers away (you know who you are!) Please stay with me!

Wednesday, March 7, 2007

Keeping up with the Joneses

Some days I sit here, thinking to myself, why would anyone want to read about my life's minutae. I seriously think I have nothing to write about today, like the creativity switch is turned off in my brain. So, inspired by Semi-Desperate Housewife's blog, I am also going to start a list. I can't promise that I will do this with any sort of regularity because I have borderline ADD issues, and have difficulty performing a certain task with any sense of regularity (besides going to sleep, waking up, eating and breathing).

My list for today is a list of wishes--I don't mean the heartfelt, "I wish for world peace and the wellbeing of all children" sort of wishes. I'm thinking more of the, "I wish I had more Cadbury Mini Eggs right now" confession sort of wish. Here are my top 5 for the evening:

1. I wish that I lived in the world of a catalog spread; specifically, Restoration Hardware or Pottery Barn. I recently received the RH Outdoors catalog and I know now that I covet the lifestyle that would allow me to live in the plush-towels-matched-perfectly-to-my-outdoor-chaise-lounge-cushions-in-82-degree-beachside-weather world.

2. I wish that my daughter had more manageable hair. Her hair is extremely curly and I have no idea what to do with it, short of dousing her with products not at all suitable for a baby. I have pretty straight hair, so this is a whole new world to me.

3. I wish that I had a nice digital camera. Back in college I actually majored in fine art photography, but wasted a lot of time learning darkroom and development techniques that have pretty much become obsolete. I still take pictures with, *gasp*, a film camera, but lately I have found myself hating the thing... mainly because I know that if I buckled down, saved some money and got the camera I want, that I could have instant gratification every time I take pictures. I waste a lot of time debating this very issue.

4. I wish that I could motivate to buy myself some new clothes. I keep telling myself that I will drop a few pounds and then I will reward myself with a new pair of jeans. I am sick of only having a few shirts and one pair of pants in my clothing rotation. It also reminds me how much my life has changed because at one point in my life I am pretty sure I had 15 pairs of jeans.

5. I wish that I liked to exercise. I don't think this one needs further explanation.

Monday, March 5, 2007

Am I really blogging in bed?

What has my life come to that I am lying in bed, writing a blog post on my laptop while my husband snores contently beside me. Maybe it was the fact that he went to bed at 8 pm tonight and I wasn't ready to sleep, or maybe it is because I have a crack-like addiction to the Internet. I'm not sure, but I know that neither of us is getting any action tonight.

I spent most of today at my friend April's house with Jo Jo. April, who I've known for 20 years (since we were 9), has a daughter that is 6 months older than Jo Jo. We try to get the girls together frequently for some socialization, especially during the winter months when toddler self amusement is at an all-time low in these parts. Today's playdate was particularly rough because the girls didn't get along well at all. Seriously, engaging two toddlers who don't know how to share, try to play with one another is a recipe for disaster. April and I spent the entire afternoon trying to referee the playdate which was not fun. The only highlight of the afternoon was when we taught the girls to hug each other (even if they were hating each other), as in "Big Hug". I wonder sometimes what we will do when the girls get older if they do not like each other and no longer fall for our tricks. I think as long time friends, April and I risk placing undue expectations that they will be as close as we are as they grow up. I can only hope that Jo Jo has a friend as good as April when she gets older.

In other news, I got over the idea of putting a new vanity in our bathroom and instead have decided to enlist my handy father in constructing a linen closet. Despite his expertise, the thought of cutting holes into my wall to install built-in shelving scares the crap out of me... maybe it is the thought of causing permanent, irreperable damage to our home? That's probably it. Updates to come on this project's progress.

My confession of the day is that I haven't been back to the Y since Jo Jo's meltdown, and I have not worked out since. People tell me that our cable company offers different exercise videos "on demand", which seems slightly promising if I can get around to vacuuming all the cheerios off the floor of our living room. Jo Jo will miss her floor snacks.

In other weight loss/getting in shape related news: I have cracked my addiction to Cadbury Mini Eggs... for now. With imminent monthly issues, I don't know how long I can stay on the wagon. As my husband would say, "This is the true test."

Sunday, March 4, 2007

The good ol' days

I have to make it known that tonight's episode of the Simpsons was the best I've seen all season. Hazaah to the writers for returning to the tried and true formula for an excellent show. I know I am a dork. I'll have more important things to write about tomorrow.


Ever since I left my job, I have found that the only way I can stay sane is by creating little projects for myself. I mean, there's only so much "itsy bitsy", let's climb mount mommy and keeping house that I can do before I want to stab myself in the eye with a plastic tea party fork.

My latest obsession is coming up with cheap home improvement projects we can do (a la Designed to Sell) so that when we eventually go to sell our condo that it looks more like a showplace and less like a place where hand-me-down furniture goes to die. More specifically, I am currently obsessed with updating our bathroom, and to a lesser extent, researching DIY hardwood floor installation.

The thought of successfully executing these projects and seeing a return in our sale price is extremely satisfying to me--especially since I haven't significantly contributed financially to our household bottom line in well over a year. Thankfully my husband is all for making these improvements as long as he doesn't have to make any design decisions and it doesn't cost too much money.

The sad thing about making these improvements though, is the thought of making them based on appeal to a potential buyer instead of what I would necessarily like to do myself. I mean, if this were our forever home, I would tear out the bathroom completely and put in a nice new jacuzzi tub. But after some thought, we realize that we would never see that money come back to us in a sale. Sad times. No jacuzzi bubbly goodness for us. I guess I will just have to write this whole improvement process off as a learning experience and enjoy the little projects we can do. The one good thing is that husband and I both agree that there is no time like the present to make the changes, instead of making them right before we leave so we won't have time to enjoy the improvements ourselves (which is what they do on the aforementioned television show).

The Teletubbies video is almost over, so Jo Jo should be clinging to my leg any moment now. And yes, I let television babysit my child.

Friday, March 2, 2007

Pimping out your kids

Last night, husband and I took Jo Jo out to the Rainforest Cafe for dinner. This restaurant is a horrible mish-mash of animatronic animals, tropical fish tanks, bad food and service with attitude that really has very little to do with the rainforest. But, as we presumed, Jo Jo was in awe of every little detail the place had to offer, thus making our trip worthwhile since husband and I actually got to eat without interruption.

The mall in which the restaurant is located was practically deserted last night, so we decided to take the opportunity to let Jo Jo run free and terrorize the patrons and shopkeepers. As we're chasing her down the walkway, she stops in front of Abercrombie, which was pumping the most obnoxious dance track, and just like a music-activated dancing Santa, Jo Jo busts a move right in the store's entry. Well, the women standing nearby, you'd think they'd just busted an ovary because they could not stop fawning over her. One actually said that we should enter her in a talent contest. Seriously? I'm pretty positive that it would be extremely destructive for me to pimp Jo Jo out in this manner.

After about eleventy jillion rides on the escalator and the elevator we had to leave. Jo Jo was pitching a fit because we wouldn't let her push the shiny red button marked ALARM. Good times.

Everything and the kitchen sink

I can't believe how much our parenting style has changed in the past 18 months. When Jo Jo first arrived on the scene, I used to scour every parenting book (this book was like my bible) and followed every "rule" to a T. I remember us putting her to sleep in a sterile crib environment totally devoid of fluffy blankets, pillows, stuffed animals, toys, fun.

Now, every time we put her down for her nap she must have two blankets, two pacies (yeah, I know, we're trying to kick the habit), her electronic Po Teletubbie doll, her cat stuffed animal and her dog stuffed animal (or as she calls it, "puppees!"). How she came to need each of these items to sleep is beyond me--well, maybe not beyond me since we have a tendency to be overindulgent, especially where our sleep is concerned. Here goes the conversation...

Jo Jo: (screaming in her crib late at night) "Puppees!"
Me: (groggily to husband) "Give her whatever she wants so she'll shut up."
Husband: (turning over) "I'll give you a million dollars if you do it."
Me: (angrily) "Fine."
Jo Jo: "Puuuuuppppeees!"
Me: (lobbing stuffed animal into crib) "Are you happy now? Good. See you in the morning."

Repeat 5 minutes later with "Kee Kee" (kitty) if she still hasn't fallen asleep.

Eventually we just gave up and started giving her everything she wanted in the crib when we put her down, which sortof solved the problem, but now we run the risk of her drowning in all the crap. I wonder how we'll be when we have #2. Will we become awful, overindulgent parents and do whatever it takes to maintain our sanity? Will we let the television raise our kids? Will we let them play with knives and bleach because it is oh so much fun?

Thursday, March 1, 2007

Does not play well with others

So, this past year for Christmas, my mother generously gave Jo Jo and I a membership to the local YMCA--mainly because she thought it would be good for both of us to get out of the house more, especially during the cabin fever months of the New England winter. It took me just over a month to work up the nerve to start exercising again (you'd think the doughy appearance of my waistline would be enough, but chocolate chip cookie addiction is a powerful thing!) The week before last I took advantage of the Y's babysitting services so that I could attend my first exercise classes in years, and oh man, it has never been more apparent how horribly out of shape I have become. Not only do I have separated abdominal muscles, but my flexibility, well... let's just say that I cannot touch my toes. I think I had been fooling myself into thinking that because I lug around a 23 pound toddler, often without a stroller, and the general amount of walking that I do, that I wasn't that far out of shape. That theory was quickly destroyed as I suffered through my first pilates class and had trouble with the 2 lb weights and nearly passed out from joint pain. God help me, I feel like I'm a young person trapped in an old person's body!

This week I resolved to try and get my groove back a little before I attempt to take a class again by doing the elliptical every day. But here's the issue... Jo Jo all of a sudden does not like the daycare because she's going through some kind of separation anxiety thing. The daycare manager actually had to come get me 15 mins into my workout to come assuage the little one. When I went into the room, the assistant was rocking a tearful Jo Jo who upon seeing me, perked up, smiled and said, "Home now!" Well, it actually sounded more like "ho down" but I knew what she meant. Unable to leave her there in tears, I decided to forego my "me time" and take her home. We'll try it again tomorrow. I had a big bowl of pasta waiting for me at home anyways.

It's times like these that I hope that she doesn't turn out to have the same childhood social anxiety issues that I had (I was painfully shy as a kid). She has always been pensive ever since she was a baby, often taking on the persona of "Serious Sally" when introduced to new people or a new situation. I hope that she can get past it as she gets older because 17 months seems a bit young to be disliking everyone you meet!