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…”

 

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”.

Peeved Out: Yu Can Writ 2

Can you understand this? 

skool sukked i waz soo tired all day i mean y do ppl wanna go ta skool so bad i get to see mii frayndz outta skool lol!!!

 No?  How about this one?

makinggg many different dilicious cookies wt miii grama nd mii fraynd also doinqq sme last minute gift wrapping still gots lots 2 do nd x-mas Eve is 2marroe yilkkerz i thnk i can make it cross urr fingaz…!!!!

Still having a hard time?  Here’s one more:

Hellow mommy Buyyyy sum cerealllll peez cinimon tost crunch fruuut luupps butter nd choc frosteed flaks peez

 These are actual FB posts and text messages I’ve received from my daughter.  My almost 12-year-old daughter.  Straight-A student daughter.  Yeah, her.

You want to talk pet peeves?  There’s mine.  Right there.

Don’t get me wrong…she knows how to spell.  She certainly didn’t receive straight-A’s with that kind of grammar!  But she says that’s how kids communicate now.  Unbelieveable!  Well, I’ve finally learned of a way to combat her “wrtng sklllzz” by simply not replying to anything written improperly.  Just call me the Grammar Police!  Hmpf!

So, maybe my peeve has more to do with this generation of kids growing up than my daughter’s disdain for proper English.  Ummm, nah…it’s both.  Makes me so angry.  This can’t be the future of our language.

So, Miss-Y – it’s time you cracked open the dictionary, start loving those vowels, and show your “friends” the real way we use the English language.

Or you, my dear, will be getting a can of alphabet soup for your birthday.

 I wrote this post for Mama Kat’s Writers Workshop in response to Prompt #1: One pet peeve that shouldn’t drive you crazy, but does.  It drives me NUTS!

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 love Olive Garden!  Well, I love the seafood fettuccine alfredo anyway.  Never, ever ordered anything else.  I’m always starving when I get there and I already know I like it so that’s what I order.  Fattening? Yes.  Bad for you? Absolutely.  But nothing stands between a hungry woman and her cravings.  Nothing.

2. I am the oldest of 4 siblings with the textbook Type-A personality that goes with it.  Type-A, bordering on OCD really.  Ok, ok.  My family would probably say OCD, but whatever.  From little things to big decisions, it’s hard for me to stray from my train of thought or way of doing things.  I got this definition from Wikipedia “Type A individual as ambitious, aggressive, business-like, controlling, highly competitive, impatient, preoccupied with his or her status, time-conscious, and tightly-wound. People with Type A personalities are often high-achieving “workaholics” who multi-task, push themselves with deadlines, and hate both delays and ambivalence.”  Yep – that’s me!

3. I hate going to the dentist.  I bring this up because I have an appointment on Wednesday that I’m dreading.  I don’t care if I’m going in for a cleaning or a root canal, I hate it.  It’s uncomfortable and I can’t stand the plastic mask they wear looking like they are going to mine for gold, not clean my teeth.

Weekend Wrap-Up: I Am Sick & Tired of Weekends!

Yes, you read it right…sick & tired. Uh-huh!

Weekends are exhausting…more so than my 9-5.  Constantly on the go.  Whether it’s running errands, attending an activity, or just doing housework – sometimes I can’t wait to get back to the office on Monday morning.

Honestly, I don’t know how you stay-at-home moms do it.  On the weekends kids have to be accounted for, fed, bathed, and entertained – all while doing whatever else needs to be done that weekend.  I’m exhausted just thinking about it.

Take this weekend for example:

Friday night – my brother and family stop by for dinner (and, yes, I cooked too) followed by a visit from my BFF and her family.  When did I rest?  I didn’t.

Saturday – up at 7am with Baby B.  Morning spent doing laundry, cleaning up the kitchen, and other housework/wifey/mommy duties.  Then – time to get ready for dinner to celebrate my sister’s birthday with family. (Olive Garden – YUM!)  But first, made a stop at BuyBuyBaby for some needed items.  By the time I got home, I was so spent that I fell asleep within an hour of being home.  Fed Baby and knocked out.  On the couch.  With Baby B in his swing. Ugh.  Resting? Not a chance.

Sunday – up at 7:30 with Baby B.  Errands and Costco and Target (had to pick up gift).   Back home to Baby. Fed, bathed, dressed and out the door for a birthday party.  More housework then time for bed. Time to relax? Barely.

See what I mean?  Tired.  Burned-out.  Just plain pooped.

Come Monday morning, I get to drive to the office and sit.  Eight hours of blissful rest.  No matter how busy my day is at work, it’s never as busy as my weekends.  And – I know what you’re thinking – spending time with family is so much more rewarding, stop making so many plans, yadda, yadda, yadda.  I know all this.  But I just have a busy life.  It is what it is.

But, that’s it!  No more jam-packed weekends!  A quick look at my calendar tells me I have no plans this weekend.  YESSS!  Think it’ll happen?  We’ll see…

I did manage to take this priceless pic at the birthday party though…my favorite boys.  Two peas in a pod.