MeMeMe Mondays

I’ve seen a few variations of this ME concept on other sites and thought I’d take a stab at it.  (Imitation is the best form of flattery, right?)  Every Monday I’ll let you know three random things that are all about me.  I’m new to the wonderful world of blogging so thought I’d give the folks who check out my site a few tidbits about yours truly.  (‘Cuz you know you’re dying to know. LOL!)

 

1.)  I have never traveled outside of the United States.  I dream about it all the time.  I fantasize about walking on the Great Wall of China, visiting the London Tower, spending hours at the Louvre, and taking a stroll through the streets of Tuscany or Venice.  But, sadly, I have yet to take the journey.  Hell, I don’t even have a passport!

 

2.)  I cry EVERY SINGLE TIME I watch the movie Titanic.  Of course I know what’s going to happen, yet I cry anyway.  And not at the end like most people.  I cry when Kate Winslet jumps off the boat that guarantees her safety, to run into the arms of a baffled and oh-so-in-love Leo.  “You jump, I jump.”  ***tear***

 

3). I really love the song “Forget You” by Cee-Lo Green.  And I have the real version on my iPod.  The version where the word “forget” is replaced with something the kids can’t hear in the car.  On my way home from work I will crank up the volume and belt it out. “I see you drivin’ ‘round town with the girl I love…”

 

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5-Month-Old Raspberries

My son loves raspberries…no, not those raspberries…but the spitting raspberries! 

All day long…raspberries.

Feeding time…raspberries. (BTW, I got peaches in the face with that one.)

Diaper change…raspberries.

Bath time…raspberries.

Every waking moment of his day has been spent blowing raspberries…and I’ve got 10 soaked bibs to prove it!

Enjoy your peek at 49 seconds in the life of a 5-month-old.

Super-Stylish, Yo!

This, my friends, is awesome.  I received this award from the lovely 30ish Mama a few weeks ago and, honestly, I didn’t know what to do with it.  I had just started my blog (literally, like two weeks old) and thought, clearly, she couldn’t be talking about me.  My blog is so generic (see previous post) and I’m not even very proud of its progress, thus far.

Then I thought – why am I being so hard on myself?  I’m just getting started.  And, while my blog is nowhere near the awesomeness of more established blogs, like Mommy of a Monster and Mommy Monologues, it WILL get there.  I have come to love this massive blogging community of wonderful mommy writers whose posts inspire me DAILY and I will do my best to offer the same inspiration to others.  Trust me, folks – I’m not going anywhere.

So, to accept this award, I went back to 30ish Mama’s site to grab the button, read the rules, etc.  I re-read her post (probably for the 5th time) and thought, who is this great lady?  I really had no idea.  So, for the first time, I clicked on her “About Me” page.

And…Gasp! Almost instantly my eyes honed in on “CHICAGO SUBURB”.  What?!?!  The Chicago ‘burbs?  Those words completely popped of the page – they could have been blinking red Vegas lights – that’s how fast I noticed them.

30ish Mama – I LIVE IN A CHICAGO ‘BURB!  This award, by this lady, is exactly the confirmation I needed to know that this whole blogging thing is exactly what I should be doing.  Not only can I meet some new, online friends – but some of those online buddies could be living right in my backyard.

So, 30ish Mama, thank you.  I’m honored that you chose to bestow the Stylish Blogger award to little ‘ol me.

Now here are the responsibilities that go along with being a reigning Stylish Blogger:

1.  Thank and link back to the person who awarded you this award.

2.  Share 7 things about yourself.

3.  Award 15 recently discovered great bloggers, or less, it’s up to you.

4.  Contact these bloggers and tell them about the award.

So, here they are – seven things about me (one shared with 30ish Mama):

  • I’m addicted to The Real Housewives of anywhere
  • I’ve lived in Chicago all my life, but will NEVER get used to Chicago winters
  • I’m not fashion-forward – at all.  Just got my first pair of jeggings for Christmas
  • I will never turn down a Potbelly’s oatmeal chocolate chip cookie
  • I’m afraid of Suze Orman – she might give me a “smack-down”
  • I’ve fallen out of love with my job since my boy was born
  • I love country music – and have been named the “Concert Queen” by my friends

And now I can only think of one person to pass the Stylish Blogger award on to.  She’s also just getting started but I am already hooked.  Her posts are so flippin’ funny and I always anxiously await her next one.  Two Kids and a Fish, this one’s for you.

The One Giveaway I REALLY Want

You know you see them everywhere…heck, some of you probably even have them on your site.  Giveaways.  All kinds of giveaways…from make-up to shoes to toys to everything else.  Seems like everyone has something to give away.  (And I’m not even gonna lie – I hope to one day be able to post a giveaway of my own right here on this site.)  Anyway…

Usually I just browse, read the description and move on.  The chances of me winning something are probably none.  I have NEVER won anything in my life.  Not a contest. Or a raffle.  Or anything.  Notice how I started with usually.  Sometimes I do enter.  Not because I think I’m going to win, but simply to prove that I really never win.

This giveaway, however, more than peaked my interest.   Ashley over at 3 Boys and a Dog is hosting a giveaway for a FREE blog design by Sheilla at Made with Love, Inc.  I took a look at her design portfolio and I just KNOW that she’ll do a fantastic job.

That just stopped me in my tracks.  I know, more than anyone, that my blog looks like crap.  You don’t have to tell me – trust me, I know.  The most unoriginal blog ever.  I know NOTHING about blog design, and I didn’t even know that I had to move from WordPress.com to WordPress.org just to add a custom layout.  (I’m holding off on that for now, hoping I score with this free design.)  Totally blognorant…yep, that’s me!

I really, really, REALLY hope I win this giveaway.  Please let the stars align in my favor just this once!  One day – soon peeps – I WILL have a blog that is totally original and mostly, all me.  Until then, please keep your fingers crossed that this is my contest.

Book Review: Outtakes from a Marriage by Ann Leary

Second book review of the night…I’m on a roll!

Before I start this review, let me preface by saying that I no longer read the inside covers of a book to determine if I’m going to read it.  I go to the library, quickly scan the covers, and proceed directly to check-out.  I do not pass “Go” and I do not collect $200.  I don’t have a lot of time to read cover after cover spending hours up and down the aisles.  I grab a few books and go.

On my last trip to the library, I was most excited to read this one, Outtakes from a Marriage.  I was picturing funny bloopers seen at the end of movies and thought this book would read that way.  Short little anecdotes covering the ups, downs, and in-betweens of a normal marriage.  Sadly, I was wrong.  This book isn’t like that at all.  (Though I was surprised to find out later that this book is actually written by comedian Dennis Leary’s wife, Ann.)

Outtakes from a Marriage really is a novel (duh, says so right on the cover).   And it is about a marriage – just not one I can relate to.  This book tells the story about an actor and his wife, uncovering the infidelities of said actor.  Just think Brad Pitt and the Jennifer Aniston scandal.  The wife, Julia, is a paranoid, message-obsessed phone stalker, constantly trying to catch her husband, well-known actor, Joe Ferraro, in a lie, or with his mistress.  I felt sorry for Julia in this novel, she was no confident heroine.

I was definitely disappointed with this book – probably my own fault though.  The hype (in my head) is never as good as the real thing.

I do have a good excerpt from Outtakes though – and this one is totally relatable (pg. 180):

“I walked home wondering why, in my youth, I used to get so terribly annoyed by the catcalls from workers on construction sites or from gangs of teenagers lurking on corners.  I had no idea then that one day I would no longer be noticed by men at all.  I would become, as far as most men were concerned, invisible.”

I’d rate this book a 2 out of 5.

Book Review: Fragile by Lisa Unger

I finally finished another book!  Well, actually…I finished two books.  And I finished he first one last weekend.  But, whatever, I just haven’t had the time to write.  So now I’ve made myself comfy, poured myself a drink, and I’m ready to write.

Fragile by Lisa Unger is a good book.  A really good book.  I was surprised at how much I liked it.  The book focuses on a missing girl that takes place in a small town outside of New York City and the families whose lives are intertwined by this event, as well as their secrets from the past.  This book explores familial, emotional relationships spanning generations in the town revealing a complex, well-written mystery/contemporary fiction novel.  Fragile is a multi-faceted novel, expertly telling the tale of two simultaneous stories, separated only by time.

The characters in Fragile are surprisingly full of depth and relatable.  My favorite character, Maggie, is a do-it-all kind of mom – psychiatrist by day, nurturing mom and supportive wife by night.  Her steadfast love for her son and her tireless search for the truth really held this novel together for me.

Here is one of my favorite lines from the book (pg. 219):

“The thing is, I wanted to be a better man than my father, a better father than he was.  I just never knew how.  You can’t build a house without the right tools, you know.”

Now ain’t that the truth! 

I’d rate this book a 4 out of 5.

Missed Out on “Mommy of the Year”

Most days I strive to earn that coveted “Mommy of the Year” award.  You know, the one where your child is always on schedule, fed, bathed, and generally thriving.  Well, today I missed the mark…by a long shot.  Put it this way, I’m not even a runner up.

This morning was my son’s first pediatric dermatologist appointment.  Pediatric dermatology is a specialty practice so I had to take Baby B an hour away to see a doctor from the children’s hospital.  (They make rounds a few times a week at various locations.)  This hospital – an hour away – was the nearest option for me.  Ok, cool.  I can handle that.

Usually for doctor’s appointments I have my mom accompany me to sit with him in the backseat and to help me out when needed.  Ideal, right?  But (unfortunately for me) today my mom – who should probably be anointed as a living saint IMHO – was also watching my 3-month-old nephew during the day.  So, I was on my own.  For the first time since he was born.  At five months old.

Ok.  Great.  I can do this, right?  Yeah…no.

First indication that today was just not my day – I get pulled over for speeding A BLOCK AWAY FROM THE HOSPITAL!  Nice cop.  No ticket.  But still.

Then, in the parking lot, pulling out the brand-new stroller that has yet to be used and…

Stuck.  Couldn’t open it.  Roughly 10 minutes spent trying to figure this thing out.  Should’ve carried the manual with me.  I must’ve looked like a complete moron fighting with a stroller.

“Come on, you stupid thing!  Open!  I’m late! UGH!”

I then noticed the plastic hook on the side.  I guess I am a moron. 

Anyway, quickly loaded up the baby and started to power-walk towards the entrance.  Strong gust of wind…and…there goes the blanket.  In the middle of the road.

Wow…what a mess, huh?

Haha…thought it was over?  Not a chance.

Finally settled in at the doctor’s office, baby’s clothes off, placed on the scale, and…

Spit-up.  You have GOT to be kidding me!!!  Gotta clean it up now.  So I (being “Mom of the Year” and all) WALK AWAY from my son (who can roll over) to get a blanket from the diaper bag.  Yeah – leaving him alone in front of the nurse.  Not my proudest moment.

I won’t be venturing out of the house with him alone again anytime soon.

Lesson learned:  From now on, I’ll just go for “Mommy of the Day”.