Thursday, April 30, 2009

Blissfully Sleeping

When my daughter was born, I was bounded and determined not to become a co-sleeper. I’d been traumatized by tales from a friend whose two children invaded her bed every night. I set my foot down and said, “My bed is my bed and I’m not giving it up.”

Besides, I liked sleeping next to my husband. I liked snuggling with him. I liked the ability to roll around if I wanted.

Please note the use of past-tense verbs.

When we moved from our last home to our new home, everything changed. My daughter, who had been sleeping in her own crib since the day we brought her home, decided that the crib had become the devil.

Roo flat out refused to sleep in her own crib. As soon as I’d lay her down in it, she would leap up, crying and begging to be let out. She pulled out all the tricks for us, she rattled the bars, she squealed, she pouted.

Once again, I was determined to be strong. She had her own bed, I had mine. I fought to get her to sleep in her crib. I tried bribes of my own and trickery that would make anyone proud. I tried to sneak her in there while she was distracted. I filled her crib with toys, mirrors, flashlights.

I even held her while she slept and attempted to transport her to the crib when she was deep asleep.

The little stinker woke up every time I laid her down. If I managed to get her in the crib and asleep, she would wake up five, six times a night.

One night, delirious with lack of sleep, I laid her down in our bed and the rest was history. She slept like a rock.

I slept like a rock.

We had found our bliss.

I’ll admit it, it took time adjusting to the fact that there was a little rolling baby in the bed. My husband and I had to rearrange our sleeping habits to accommodate her. There would be no more late night kisses, no more jumping on the bed in the middle of the night. All of that had to go.

When we were all finally in sync with one another, it dawned on me that I loved co-sleeping. I loved the fact that I could snuggle with her whenever I wanted. I loved that she was the first thing I saw in the morning.

I was hooked.

And rightfully, still am.

Of course, I still think about what life was like when Roo wasn’t in our bed. I think about the horrors that will come when we attempt to get her into a big girl bed. I know it will be a fight and we’ll experience many more sleepless nights, but it’s not that time yet and as I watch her sleep next to me as I type this, I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to let her go. I don’t know if she’ll ever be ready to let us go.

But I know I’ll get my bed back one day, maybe the day she heads off to college?

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Going Green

We started with this on January 9, 2009.


This is what it looks like today.

Not bad for someone without a green thumb! :)



Don't forget to enter the Dr. Hippo Giveaway here!!

Finally!

Two weeks ago, my "waterproof" camera wasn't so waterproof.

So as much as I hated it, I had to send my camera back to the manufactor to be fixed and all that jazz.

I finally got it back today and wanted to share a recent photos of the nugget.

Make sure you enter my Dr. Hippo giveaway! Ends on May 8th, 2009.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Review & Giveaway: Dr. Hippo Books

All of our kids have been sick and all of us have freaked out when we’ve had absolutely no clue what to do about it.

I recently had to deal with a three week hodge-podge of symptoms that ranged from fever, throw up and diarrhea. Let me tell you, I really could have used the Dr. Hippo set of books to calm myself and my daughter down.

The Hippo Series is a series of five books that cover typical ailments of kids. Written by Dr. Charlotte Cowan, The Dr. Hippos series includes: Moose with the Loose Poops, Katie Caught a Cold, Peeper Has a Fever ,Sadie's Sore Throat , and The Little Elephant with the Big Earache .

As a mother of three and a certified pediatrician, Dr. Cowan knows what she’s writing about. Each book uses bright illustrations to explain to kids what is going on with their bodies and teaches them not to fear what is happening. The friendly Dr. Hippo helps both the parents and the kids understand their sickness and the best remedies to make them feel better.

The best thing about these books, each has a handy-dandy parent’s booklet in the back. Packed with tips and advice, the guides help parents make these situations as comfortable for your kiddos as possible.


No parent should be without these books!

And one of you won't be! You have the chance to win a complete set of the Dr. Hippo books!

To get your hands and this amazing set of books all you have to do is leave a comment below. Tell me what common ailment knocks your kid down for the count and how you make them feel better. This giveaway will run until May 8, 2009.

Want extra entries? Follow me or tweet about this contest!


Thank you to MomFuse for this review opportunity!

Countdown to Va-cay

We're gearing up for Roo's first plane ride this week and the panic is starting to hit me. And my lists are not calming me, at all!

Do I take the car seat on the plane? Can I take snacks on board? Are they going to have to unwrap all of Roo's lollipops? Will the pressure of the cabin irritate her ears?

Thank goodness for google. I've been reading up a storm about everything I can find when it comes to toddlers and flying.

But deep down, I'm still worried she's going to freak out and make the whole thing as uncomfortable as possible. Plus, it does not help that I. Hate. Flying.

Hate. Hate. Hate it.

I'm praying I'll be so distracted by taking care of Roo and making sure she's okay, that I can avoid air sickness.

Any tips, advice, suggestion you could give me will greatly calm my nerves.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Water Baby No More?

Roo's sign is Pieces, which is a water sign.

From day one, Roo has LOVED her baths. She could (and did) spend hours splashing in the sink and later on, the tub. Give that child a few toys and some bubbles and she was happy.

Those days have disappeared.

As soon as I mention the word bath, she freaks out. She will literally run away from me if she can.

She just starts screaming, complete with crazy tears as soon as her tiny feet hit the bathroom tile.

Bath time has been reduced to the world's quickest shower where I quickly slather her body with soap, wash her hair and swoop her out of there as fast as I can.

Oh, the tears and the screams I endear in that three minute shower.

You would think someone shot her.

I tried a tub full of toys and finger paints last night with hopes of enticing her.... nope.

What has happened? It's not like she doesn't like water because she'll play in her little plastic pool everyday, and quite happily too.

Where did my bath baby go? I mean, I can't forgo giving my child a bath, she plays outside all day and gets very dirty. Besides, could you imagine the smell if I didn't?

Egh, any suggestions?

Friday, April 24, 2009

Oh Lord

Today's post has been post-poned due to a two year old ripping keys off my laptop.

I have not the patience or the keys to hack out an entry like this.

Thank you for your understand.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

You Patient, Patient Man.

It's no secret that I am a rather odd character. I wear obnoxious shoes; I talk way too much and tend to do some rather stupid things.

But through all my follies, Mr. Me has been there.

He's been my champion, my supporter and even the buyer of my most ridiculous socks.

With the patience of not so typical male, he answers my repeatedly obscene questions, shows me how to fix a truck and how to plant corn. He also taught me how to do a J slide for fun and how to maneuver a two wheel drive truck through the thickest of mud.

Without his guidance I'd have never learned how to shoot straight, drive straight and think straight.
Because of him, I've grown up in the most important way. He's taught me to not be so bitchy, to accept people for who they are and that not every person who cuts me off in traffic is out to get me personally.

He's one hell of a man and if you ever run into Mr. Me on the street, feel free to shake his hand and tell him he has the patience of a saint for putting up with me.



Wednesday, April 22, 2009

The Facebook Curse

I've been a member of Facebook for a while now. I joined to promote the photography business and once I started back writing, I totally forgot about it.

Until some of my peeps at Playground hunted me down and sucked me back in.

Now, I visit at least three times a day. I'm updating what I'm doing, I'm become fans, I'm commenting on pictures. I can't stay away and now understand why some of my friends were refering to it as "Crackbook."

It's just as addicting... not that I've ever done crack.

I've also re-connected with some old friend that slipped through the cracks. I've even found some people I really don't want to see again.

I'm finding myself jumping from my article (that's due tomorrow) over to Crackbook and seeing if anyone has uploaded anything new. I cannot stop.

Seriously.

I can spend hours on this thing... my poor MySpace page has gone silent since this started.

Oh well, at least I know I'm not alone... right?



If you want to become my friend on facebook, shoot me an email and I'll add you as a friend.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Eat Eat Eat... and Eat

The other day I hopped on the scale and found I'd lost seven pounds.

I did the happy dance right in the middle of Publix (and promptly embarrassed my husband, again). Seven pounds, I thought. Holy Hell!

And to be truthful, ever since that day my hunger has been in overdrive.

And now I'm thinking, WTF?

It's like my body is trying to replace those pounds I lost and here I am, helpless to stop it.

Orange sorbet ice cream, you're mine. Spice cakes with caramel apples, you're no match for me.

I shouldn't be doing this. I should be rejoicing and vowing to get the scale to go even lower!!

Is this that karma thing I'm always making fun of? Or maybe it's life's way of telling me I'm doomed to be fatter than I'd like?

Hmmmmm... I think I hear some cookies calling my name.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Me? Never!

My one true favorite thing is the world (behind my child and my husband, obviously) is sarcasm.

I love nothing more than thick, heavy, sugary sarcasm laced with snarky bitterness. It's the perfect combination that makes me shiver with delight. If you can perfect the witty comeback that snaps someone in the face, I'm yours... forever.

That's how my husband snagged me.

He told me some ridiculous one-liner that was weighed down by sarcasm that I told him I'd marry him right at that second.

Of course, my love for sarcasm has gotten me in a lot of trouble. I tend to use it when it's not called for. Hell, I use it all the time and it has earned me the label of: bitch.

Sarcasm is my way of expressing myself, covering up pain, making light of any situation or just breathing.

I just can't help it.

I get it from my father (among many other dazzling talents). He taught me to be the biggest smart ass and while my mother simply rolls her eyes when we get together, it brings me nothing but tears of joy.

But seriously, why do so many people find sarcasm the bane of their existence? Is it because you have to have a knack for being sarcastic?

If so, I've got it and I'm not afraid to use it.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

I'm Melting

The other day as I finished my run (solo), I came around the bend and on to the driveway and saw Roo in the distance. She was walking with her Daddy, chasing bugs and doing what toddlers do best.

She saw me and immediately this huge grin broke out on her face. She stopped what she was doing, dropped Daddy's hand and ran for me.

Literally, ran.

Full on, toddler legs eating up the ground as she tore down the driveway for me.

The whole time yelling, "Mama. Mama. Maaaaaammmmmmmmmmmaaaa!"

I don't think I've ever ran so fast to get to her.

Moments like these make everything bad disappear. Moments like these remind me how blessed I am.

:)

Saturday, April 18, 2009

I Apologize

I don't know if you've noticed lately, but I've been off the mark with a lot of things. My blog is suffering from a serious case of writer's block and I apologize for it.

The snarkiness that has made my blog what it is has taken a vacation.

The wit and humor that rules my world has taken a back seat to my grief.

As much as I try to cover it up, I haven't recovered from my Grandfather's death.

As much as I try to ignore his empty chair in the room, I can't.

And I don't know what to do.

I've got assignments to write, a story I'm sadly behind on, a blog that is suffering... but I can't get it together. I sit down everyday to write and nothing comes to mind. Sure, I've written about this only to delete it after a few paragraphs. I've tried to work around it and complain about some other mundane task.

The sad thing is, it's not only my blog that's suffering. It's everything. Take the smallest problem and I can whip it out of control leaving me snarling at people. Sure, I have my moments where I can forget about everything and truly enjoy the moment but as soon as I sit down to write about it, it slips away and leaves me numb.

And un-imaginative.

So I apologize if my blog is sucking lately... this too will pass, I just need some time to adjust to life without my Grandfather and find the creative spark that made this blog shine.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Squalor

I've complained about messiness in my world before and you know I'm not a fan of it.

But as I look around my bedroom, I see nothing but crap everywhere (not literally). There's a spoon on the floor next to a lid of PlayDoh. The Dora chairs are knocked over, the Dora table is covered in crayons and DVDs. The toy box has overflowed and has spewed toys EVERYWHERE.

It's enough to make a mother go mad.

Now I see what my mother was complaining about with me and my million Barbie dolls.

I have a pile of clean laundry on the floor of the closet and I have a pile of dirty laundry waiting for me by the door.

The play kitchen in the corner is covered in writing journals, ABC flash cards and a red hat.

Just viewing the destruction that comes with three days of the whole family being sick makes me want to claim I'm still sick and hide under the covers.

Think I could get away with it?

Me neither. I'm going to have to suck it up and get my vacuum to suck the rest up.

Anyone want to help?



p.s. If you're in Central Florida this weekend, join me for Playground Magazine's Music and Arts Festival on Sunday. It's guaranteed to kick some tushy.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

25 Months

Dear Roo,

I don't really know what to say about this past month. It really was a doozy of a month for us. So much happened for us. You were sick for three of the four weeks, you discovered play-doh and you lost two beloved family members.

During these times, you've been a rock for your dear ole' Mama. You've helped me cope in more ways then you could understand. Your smiles and giggles have brightened even the gloomiest days. You've made everything better by taking my hand and looking for ladybugs in the garden. You've helped by dragging me to the riding ring every day just so we can tuck our toes into the warm sand and build sandcastles (which you delight in stomping in once I've finished).

You've even tolerated me when I attempted to teach you potty training and how to spell your name. I know you really wanted to roll your eyes at me and tell me that you're a genius and don't need to learn this mundane stuff, but you allowed me to pretend I'm smarter than you, even if it was only for a second.

I'm hoping this next month is much better than the last. I'm praying that all the sickness is washed away by the afternoon rains and replaced by bright sunny days that warrant nothing but play dates at the park and swimming lessons in the pool. I'm praying that our first vacation without Daddy goes without hitch (even though I know both of us will desperately miss him). I'm hoping that new memories surface and replace this month's cruelty.

I love you Roo, more than you'll ever know.

Love,
Mama

Monday, April 13, 2009

Mother's Intuition

I'm a firm believer in what I call: a Mother's Intuition.

Of course, my husband begs to differ and says it's simply called being a good parent.

Take this for example. Saturday morning around 4am Roo started throwing up. Just out of no where, starts chucking everywhere. Every twenty minutes she was gagging and every 19 minutes I was waking up.

It's as if my brain knew my child was going to need me so I would wake up.

This happened when Roo was young and would wake up to nurse at night. I would wake up every two hours, seconds before she did. I remember this because, between me and you, I would wake up, groan and pray Roo wasn't going to wake up.

Of course, she did but that's not the point. The point is that I have been instilled with the super-power of knowing when my child needs me. All mother's are. We know when our child is going to need our assistance. We know when we need to jump up from bed and come running with a bowl to throw up in.

And while my husband swears he's got this "intuition" too, I distinctively recall me calling him, me waking him up, to help me clean up puke.

I don't doubt him being a good dad, because he is a hell of a dad, but he's also a heavy sleeper too.

:)

(I love you hunny).

Friday, April 10, 2009

The Envy of Easter Baskets

When I was a child and Easter would roll around, I would drool with envy over those pre-filled masterpieces of store bought Easter Baskets. I literally would be pea-green with jealously at kids who got those kinds of baskets.

I can remember slowly walking up and down the Easter Aisle when I was a child. My eyes were wide and my mouth was watering just looking at all those yummy chocolate Easter bunnies. I would trail my finger along the cellophane wrappers covering the pink and purple baskets filled to the brim with Easter grass, Barbie dolls and tons and tons of candy.

I would plead with my mother to tell the Easter bunny I wanted this one pointing to the one filled with Crayola products and if all else failed, I would accept the smaller Barbie doll one.

She would roll her eyes (a trick I learned from her) and continue her grocery shopping saying "We'll see."

And every Easter would roll over and alas, no pre-packaged, cellophane Easter basket.

Of course, I would get an Easter basket. But it was one that my Mom and Dad put together. And of course, as a kid you don't appreciate their efforts.

All you could think about was that Barbie doll or the chocolate bunny that didn't get delivered to your door.

Now as a parent, I look at those pre-packaged Easter baskets that line every aisle of Target and WalMart and I think, how stupid I was. I never thought about the time and energy or the love my parents put into our baskets.

What I didn't know was that instead of taking the easy route in Easter Basket 101, my parents were creative and took time to pick and choose each item that went into our baskets.

And while I'm sure Roo will go through this longing for cellophane disasters (that are never really as full as I thought they were, the magic of Easter grass did indeed work wonders), but I am hoping one day she'll see the love and care I put into her hand-made, home-made Easter baskets, just like I did with my parents (THANKS MOM AND DAD!).

Happy Easter Everyone!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

When Did It Get So Hectic

Do you ever remember those days of being lazy?



The kind of days where you lounged just as long as you wanted? The ones where you accomplished absolutely nothing... and had no problems with it?



Ahhh, those days are long gone in this household.



Now my days are crammed full of crap to do. Running in the morning, cleaning the horse stalls and adding shavings. Makinge lunch then fighting with baby to nap. Writing my articles, writing my blog, writing my story. Then it's playtime, dinner time, bath time, bed time.



And the next thing I know it's 11:30pm and I'm wondering what the hell happened to the day.



Do you think that for one day I could sleep in, ignore the horse poop and eat bon bons all day?



I didn't think so.



But it's fun to imagine... what would you do if you had a day with nothing to do?



p.s. Check out my sidebar and you'll notice two new buttons. I've got two new gigs to add to my methods of madness. I'm super duper proud to be working with MomFuse and Blog Friendly PR as reviewers.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Ahem, where did my spring go?

Two days ago I was in shorts and a tank top running around barefoot, soaking up the warm rays of the sun.

Today, I'm shivering inside, fully dressed in jeans, long sleeved shirt and socks on my feet. My fingers are cold and my nose is running.

Um, where did my spring go?

Why in the world did the temperatures drop a whopping twenty degrees?

Anyone?

Seriously? I'd thought we were done with this cold business.

I think it must have been because I laughed at my Dad the other day when he said it was in the 30s where he lives.

Karma is such a bitch to me.

So Spring, I beg you. Come back to Florida. Come back with your warmth, your sweltering heat waves and your blistering sun. I need you.

Especially because I'm working on an article how on to stay cool and this is not what I had in mind.

Thank you!

Monday, April 6, 2009

Nobody Wants To Be Pooped On

Nothing makes a parent more exhausted and frustrated than a sick baby.

Especially when that lifeless parent can't make it all better with a hug and a kiss.

Roo has been experiencing some diaper issues for over a week now. Last night was the pinnacle of this "sickness" when she needed a diaper change every twenty minutes. The highlight was when she promptly woke up at 2am to throw up all over our bed.

Then me, then the floor.

The poor thing doesn't have much experience with puking, seeing as she did it for the first time last week. I felt entirely helpless as I held my screaming, crying child who had no clue what to do with the bile that rose in her throat.

After stripping the bed, lysol-ing the entire room and clicking the fan on high (because boy, oh boy, does puke stink at 2am), she went back to a restless sleep.

After a painful trip to the doctors, which resulted in tears for over an hour she's happily watching cartoons with her sippy and some crackers. Although she is still having dirty diaper issues and the mild fever that was kicking this morning is lying low (that hopefully won't rear its ugly head tonight... why is it always at night when kids are the most sick?), I'm hoping for a full recover. We have easter eggs to dye and after spending a ton of time indoors today, both Mommy and Roo need some garden time.

A special thanks to Angela for recommending today's blog title.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

The Evolution of Nap Time

When Roo was younger, she napped all the time. Every two hours, she would snooze... in my arms.

I would nurse her to sleep and spend the next hour or so, however long she deemed. I would hold her until my arms went numb because if I made the slightest move to place her in her crib (on the floor, on the bed, anywhere) she would wake up and squeal.

To afford myself some well-deserved quiet time, I dealt with it.

I rearranged my whole life around her nap time and I came prepared. I would gather all the essentials, i.e. Boppy, a book to read, some pillows to prop myself with, a water bottle and a spit cloth.

She slept, I read.

I read a lot of books those first few months.

As she grew older, she continued to nurse herself to sleep. Eventually, she let me place her on the bed after falling asleep, but it was down with precision.

I would creep slowly forward, inch by inch, and ever-so-softly place her down before inching my arms out from under her little body.

Of course, after all of that, I would leap from the bed (ever-so-quietly) and do a quick happy dance before rushing from the room.

When we hit the one year mark she grew more comfortable and after nursing would roll off of me and go to sleep.

Occasionally, I would hold her while she slept needing nothing more than to hold by baby girl in my arms. Sometimes a Mommy just needs to hold her daughter and the rest of the day she was running and exploring, so nap time was the optimal time for me to snuggle.

Now that she's two, she doesn't need me. She doesn't nurse, she doesn't need me to hold her. Now nap time is turning off the light, handing her the binky and taggie and she's out like a light.

Sometimes I'll watch her while she sleeps and I can't believe how far we've come. From squalling newborn that needs her Mommy to an independent toddler that needs nothing more than her comfort item.

I used to be that comfort item and I admit it, sometimes it's hard to take.

But I know she'll need me for more important items down the line, but nap time was ours and I miss it. Maybe if I bribe her with candy she'll let me snuggle her to sleep, but she'd probably just take the candy and tell me to get lost.

She is my daughter after all.

Friday, April 3, 2009

The Written Word

When I was in the 6th grade I read Gone with the Wind for the first time.

And I fell in love with writing.

I loved how I could become so absorbed in words and how when written the correct way, I would be immersed in the story. I became Scarlett O'Hara begging Rhett Butler not to go. I cried her tears, felt her grief and heartbreak.

It was such a powerful emotion to go through at such a young age, but it inspired me.

I whipped out a notebook, sharpened a pencil and sat down, ready to become a novelist.

I wanted nothing more than to be able to provoke thought and feelings from my readers. I wanted nothing more than to bring a stranger to tears with my words. I wanted them to feel victory when my heroine triumphed and pain when she fell.

Since starting my writing career all those years ago (17 to be exact), I've written countless pages. I've written poems (which I still don't understand, even with a degree in English), short stories, fan fiction (yes, fan fiction), novels, magazine articles. I've written it all.

Even romance stories.

And I must admit, it's the romance stories that do me in every time.

It's the tragedy of love that grips my soul and makes me (literally) racing to write the next word. I'm sure it's a tragedy to think that after all the studying of the classics I've done, I get the most enjoyment out of writing about a girl falling in love.

But to create two characters and have them meet at the right (and possibly wrong) times, to perfect their first kiss, to create obstacles, to have them fall in love... it gets me every time.

And the men... boy, do I love having my way with them.

I can make the males in my stories do anything I want.

I can make them true men that are rough and hands down, sexy. I can make them weak and groveling. I can do anything and that my dears, is power.

So when I get asked what I write, I tend to only speak of the paid writing assignments or my blog, I tend to keep the fact that I write trashy romances hidden, until now.

Maybe underneath it all I'm foolish, but I'm a fool for love.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Writer's Workshop: Oh No, I'm My Mother!

I remember as a child when my mother and I would clash and disagree over something stupid, I would mutter under my breath that I would never, ever (!!) be like her.

Oh, how stupid I really was.

It didn't appear until I had my daughter. Slowly, but surely, I started noticed little ticks that reminded me of her. Things I wouldn't know I was doing until afterwards, or my husband pointed them out.

The main thing was, she once told me that a mother never stops loving. A mother never stops caring and a mother never keeps her nose out of your business.

And as I watch my daughter growing more and more everyday, I feel it.

I feel that love.

I feel that caring.

And most importantly, I feel the noisiness.

Thank you Mom, I love you.

Today's post was part of Mama Kat's Writer's Workshop.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Rain Rain

It FINALLY rained here last night... so to celebrate, we put on our rain boots and danced around.