March 29, 2012

The Scarlett Letters: #5

My dear, sweet six month old love,

My, how you've grown. It seems like everyday you are learning something new and everyday you are showing off your more mature mind. You are soooooooo close to sitting up on your own, each day a few seconds longer than the last. You have mastered the art of crawling/scooting backwards and are so eager to learn how to move forward. You get onto your hands and knees and rock back and forth, just wishing you would magically GO ahead. It's so precious. I can see the frustration in your eyes. Don't worry, keep at it, you'll get there very soon, my dear.

Some big news to report: You are cutting your first two teeth! Last night I felt the jagged edges and after you'd finally moved your tongue I saw the two front, bottom teeth are poking through!! Yikes!! That's why you've been gnawing on your teething toys so frequently and eating your bibs! And maybe that's why you were crying for Mama the night before. My poor darlin'.

You have been a very good eater so far! We've tried: apples, pears, bananas, mango, peaches, prunes, plums, avocado, butternut squash, carrots, sweet potatoes, regular potatoes, peas, green beans, spinach... I'm sure I'm leaving some out. I've cooked and pureed everything up myself so far but finally broke down yesterday and bought some organic jarred mixes because I want you to have a great variety. I think you're going to love them! I think I'M going to love them too - might be a new snack for Mama - haha. You continue to drink four bottles each day and 26 oz. total. You enjoy rice cereal, oatmeal and mixed grains and we're going to try brown rice cereal and barley next! After your doctor's visit next week (more shots - boooo) we're going to add meats to your diet. How exciting!

You're still sleeping through the night consistently. I put you in the crib at eight o'clock and you wake around seven. You play by yourself, happily, until I come to get you. I love your little playtime noises and sometimes it sounds like you're singing. Let's hope if you enjoy music as much as Mama that you have a way better voice than I do. Your naps are about the same each day - one between 10:30 am and 11:30 am and the other around 2 o'clock. They last anywhere from thirty minutes to an hour and a half on average.

For playtime you still love the doorway jumper, it's a favorite. You get so excited and have learned to take a few steps and lift your legs so you can swing a bit - it's pretty adorable. I think you're going to be quite sad when you outgrow it - which won't be long. You also love to look at yourself in our mirrored closet doors. You roll around in the floor and stare at your beautiful face. Laughing and smiling. And now you like to watch yourself sitting up - I think it might even be helping you! You enjoy playing with a plethora of toys in your crib, on the floor or in the pack 'n' play. And have also mastered the art of jumping in your Baby Einstein entertainer now that your feet finally touch the floor.

I am anxious to see how much you weigh and how long you measure. You sure look like you've grown a lot to us. Our big girl. I love to see you learning, playing and changing every day but I wish I could pause time now and then. I have been soaking up every second I spend with you. I couldn't love you more.


March 28, 2012


 This is a post that I originally wrote in 2009 and have selected as my favorite post to link up to 
Alison (of Mama Wants This) and Ado (of Momalog)'s First Blogoversary Blog Bash. 

Blog Bash

I've chosen this post because it is just one of the best glimpses of me that you'll ever get. It's all true. It showcases my ridiculousness. I can't help but to write about myself a lot of the time simply because it's what I know best. Those who know me know that I'm a stubborn, sarcastic, little whippersnapper but this post will show you the vulnerable side that I often try to keep hidden. 

It's pretty tough to look cool, calm and collected whilst flailing, shrieking and zig-zagging through life. Hope you enjoy...


When I was a little girl I really enjoyed living in the "country". For the first six years of my life my family called Richmond, Rhode Island home. We had it all: the poison ivy, the blueberry patch, the gypsy moths, the neighbors who made moonshine and conned people out of money with a cleaning products scheme. Ahhh, it was bliss. Being young and carefree, I didn't mind the snakes or the bugs ... or even the constantly flooded basement (my parents hogged up all the "minding" on that one). But for some reason, as I grew older I grew less fond of things that slither, buzz, crawl and creep.

One of the first insects I learned to LOATHE was the almighty cricket. These terror-evoking creatures would ninja around our basement and plant themselves somewhere super scary so that when my guard was down they could scare the shit out of me. I would be "studying" for school exams (listening to my headphones and reading Teen Beat) and see one sitting on the end table. Heart attack. I carried aerosol cans of Lemon Pledge with me so that I could spray the last breath out of them. It caused them to turn white and slide off the table. And I will never, ever, ever, EVER forget 'bare-footly' slipping on my little, white Chuck Taylor's to find that horrifyingly unpleasant, squishy surprise. I ran, like my life depended on it, straight to the toilet and gagged my guts out. In fact, just writing that now forced a full body shiver and facial expressions that should probably be mocked on You Tube.

There were dozens if not hundreds of times that I called for my mother to kill a spider or a bee. She would take off that classic "mom slipper" and smack them dead for me. One night, or more like early morning, I woke my father to kill a moth that was aimlessly zipping around my bedroom. He couldn't find it and groggily assured me that it was gone. Well that was clearly unsatisfying to me. There was no way in hell I was getting any rest. So there I sat, on my bed with a can of Lysol in one hand and the vacuum attachment in the other. I waited him out. He never showed. I ended up finding him months later, dead, behind my bookcase. Why I almost never cleaned my room is a story for another time.

The glistening cherry on top of my paranoia sundae came when I had the joy of experiencing the House Centipede. I won't even attach the link - just Google it if you've never seen one. Vomit town. The horror took place in our first apartment and we had lived there only a few weeks when I saw the first dirtbag. I had just put my yoga mat on the floor for some Pilates when out of the corner of my eye I saw something scurrying like it's ass was on fire. The shape and color  petrified me. A jillion-legged, antennae-clad, beer colored demon bug. It came out from under the television and sprinted across the room. My heart stopped. I had NEVER seen anything move that quickly. Frozen, I called Gregg's work - begging for them to put him on the phone. I called my upstairs neighbor leaving a message so tragically hilarious she played it for everyone at work the next day (and weekly for years after). I called my mother pretty much insisting that she should take the twenty-five minute drive and save me from this sinister creature. But I was left alone on this one. Grabbing my trusty can of green apple Lysol, I inched my way back into the depths of hell. Roughly twenty minutes passed before I mustered the courage to start spraying him. I DRAINED that can leaving a puddle about the size of a Papasan chair cushion in the center of the living room. This was the first of MANY standoffs. It got to the point where I became so terrified of them that I wouldn't enter a room without scanning the walls and floors first, clutching Hot Shot Kitchen Bug Killer (which didn't repel them but would inevitably kill them when sprayed directly on their nasty asses). I also wore shoes all the time, refusing to walk barefoot. This horrific time in my life actually caused some permanent damage. If I notice so much as a tiny piece of a leaf or even lint on the floor I immediately assume it's a scary bug. A simple hole left by a nail or tack, a scuff mark or ANYTHING out of place on the wall triggers instant panic. And just yesterday, happily picking apples with the family, I was a flailing, yelping mess as "things" buzzed by my cranium in the orchard. I'm a broken woman.

Final thought - Please note that I do realize that not only am I a rotten human being for killing off scores of innocent, disgusting creatures but I also know that I am single-handedly ruining the environment with chemicals and aerosol death spray. You're welcome, everyone.

March 26, 2012

Monday minute by minute

Wow, is it Monday already? Lucky for you - you get to read about my super duper, hair-raising, crazy exciting Monday! (Hope you all felt the sarcasm dripping from that last sentence).

Let's get started, shall we?

Today started off like any other day; I got out of bed. After boring morning chores and a shower I decided to make what has thankfully become a monthly (instead of bi-weekly) trip to Walmart. I called my mom to see if she'd like to watch the pea while I took a trek. She delightfully accepted and, in fact, baby-napped my girl - whisking her away to Grammie-land.

I got myself ready in "old Sheri" fashion. Meaning I chose clothes that maybe aren't What Not To Wear approved but they make me feel like me, and I love that. Lately, I've been knocking around in dark-washed jeans hemmed to perfection for a flat shoe with a neat-looking shirt and age-appropriate jacket. Truth is, I hate jackets, I hate hemmed jeans and I hate flats. Who am I trying to impress? And why am I looking so mom-ish? I like a loose shirt with a cute hoodie. And I like my old pre-pregnancy jeans that have a teeny bit of that gasp-inducing 'fading down the front of the leg' look and are way too long for flats because I LOVE HEELS. I'm short! I like jeans that hit the ground and show just a little of my shoes or boots a la Jessica Simpson. So here's what 5'1" old Sheri wore today:'s really not SO bad, Stacy & Clinton.

My trip to Walmart was almost a complete success! Pros: I didn't have to knock someone out in the parking lot, they had a generous supply of sanitizing wipes for the skeevy carriage, I found a few cute, cheap things to put into Scarlett's Easter basket, I had zero encounters with aisle-blockers. Cons: My carriage, albeit clean-handled, was a three-wheeler that allowed for resistance training while shopping, they were out of my humidifier filters, the unattractive smell of Subway sandwiches almost made me vomit upon entering the store. Cashier issue: She kept asking me "Are these tampons?" "Are THESE tampons?" confused by two different sized boxes. Just read the coupon, lady, will you? Man alive. I was waiting for her to hold up my Advil asking "Are THEEEEESE tampons?"

Little brightly-colored finds for Scarlett:

After setting up my new car air freshener (let's see whatchu got for me, Airwick) I headed home to put away my loot. Baby-free, I decided to watch a DVR'd episode of My So-Called Life. Don't you dare make fun of me, that show was GOLD when I was in high school and I enjoy it just as much now. Although now I kinda relate more to the parents which makes me a little sad and pissed off. Lounging in my recliner I noticed that there had been an accident while I was out and I quickly rectified the situation...

... I'm guessing airplane vibrations knocked miss Coraline down a peg. Or a book.

Lunch consisted of the other half of yesterday's deliciousssssssss eggplant focaccia w/fresh mozzarella, roasted red peppers, spinach leaves and of course eggplant, ding dong.

I'm about to wrap up my nephews birthday gift and then head over to my mom's to pick up my little darlin'.
That's Monday thus far!

Hope you are having a great one and hope you enjoyed today's post.

March 25, 2012

music & mango


This post is based on The Lightning and the Lightning Bug 
Flicker of Inspiration Prompt #43: Listen

Your prompt this week was simple: Start your linkup post with the word "Listen."

"Listen to our Lights playlist today, Sweetie?"

Scarlett gives me a look that assures me she has no idea what I'm asking of her. She flips her bib over her face and patiently awaits her mango.

Every day during each of Scarlett's meals I choose a playlist from my iPod for our listening pleasure. I have been doing this since she first started eating solid foods. It started out as me wanting to play children's songs for her but that quickly took a turn when I realized how effing annoying they are. So now it's Mama's choice. Some days we have the upbeat 80's featuring pros like Cyndi Lauper, Madonna and Whitney Houston. Other days I like a nostalgic feel with my Richmond mix which is made up of songs that remind me of the first six years of my life. (Richmond being the town I lived in). A few other playlists include, Lights, Favorites, Treadmill, Fire, (that's for backyard get-togethers, not life-threatening situations), Oldies, 20's & 30's, etc. There is always something to fit my mood.

I'm a huge music bug and I can already tell that Scarlett is too. When I was pregnant with her I'd play the same song on the ride home after every good doctor's appointment. That song was "Float On" by Modest Mouse. When Scarlett was just a few weeks old and refused to settle down we learned that we could play that song to  instantly soothe her. I guess there is some truth to that whole "babies can hear while in the womb" mumbo jumbo, huh?

I grew up with all sorts of music and always enjoyed a wide variety. My parents both loved the music of the 50's, 60's and 70's so I got the best of all genres. I can't say there's a decade that I don't like.

What's your favorite decade or genre of music?
Did you grow up with a music-loving family? 

March 22, 2012

Dr. Switchyswappy

Well, I've done it. I've already switched pediatricians. I've been thinking it over since Scarlett was just one month old. I just had this instinct about another doctor within the same practice. One that I'd met while I was in the hospital recovering from my C-section. She was so wonderfully sweet and had such an authenticity about her. I remember how softly she spoke and how she was always smiling and complimenting the baby. Treating her with that little 'specialness' that I'd hoped for. It stuck with me.

The doctor that I had chosen was perfectly nice; she did nothing to offend me. But I felt that her relationship with Scarlett was a very general one. There was nothing special about it. No wonderful remarks, no compliments, nothing in particular that might have set this relationship apart from the hundreds of others she keeps. It was always strictly business. First, the typical questions to make sure Scarlett was hitting all of her marks. Then the Q&A which was always very broad and I was left to google the majority of my uncertainties. And I realized that if I didn't ask it - it wasn't being discussed. We do receive a sheet of generic guidelines for the upcoming months but I feel like I need to get a little more out of each visit. I am hoping the new doctor will be more descriptive and informative.

I'm guessing it might sound unrealistic to want this magical doctor experience since Scarlett is barely six months old. But as a new mom I want her to have the best she can if it's in my power to make it so. I want her to be in the best of company as long as I am the one making those decisions. Most importantly, I want to be sure that I'm leaving every doctor's appointment with the knowledge and satisfaction that we deserve.

Hope I don't pass the old doc in the hall ... awkwarrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrd

March 20, 2012

The Wrong Driveway

I slowly made my way up the rocky driveway. The house on the right looked deserted. A screen-less window allowed for a torn curtain to drift back and forth, in and out like a heaving chest. An old Chevy rotted away on blocks in front of the dilapidated shed. Weeds as high as my own throat waved in the chilly, blue-skied breeze. I felt uneasy. I should have driven on.

I stepped out and began to unfasten Scarlett's safety straps. She needed a quick diaper change before we would continue on our way to Grandpa's house for Thanksgiving dinner. When did my car become so cluttered? Are all of these items for our short trip? I quickly removed the dirty diaper, cleaned up Scarlett and rifled through countless belongings searching for a makeshift garbage bag.

"Yup. That's burnin' pot, alright." A young voice spoke out of nowhere. I spun around, startled. To my right stood two children under the age of nine. One boy, one girl. Both dirty. Both malnourished. The girl glared at me, stone-faced. She was the one who had spoken. She aimed her statement loudly toward the creepy house to make sure someone heard her.

"Pot?!" I exclaimed, "There's no pot here, that's a dirty diaper you're smelling." The two looked at me as if they were incapable of expressions. I became frightened and noticed my grip on Scarlett tightening. I asked the children to please find a bag for me so I could dispose of the diaper. They walked off into the house. I worked fervently to buckle Scarlett back into her seat and shut the car door. As I stepped toward the front of my car I was halted by a tall figure. A man. Dark haired. Wearing dark green. My heart began to race.

"Kids smell pot." He spoke like a Sheriff  from some backwoods Southern town a la The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. I was petrified.

"No pot," I explained with a nervous smile, "Just my daughter's dirty diaper. I'm headed on my way now to meet my father for dinner." I wanted him to know that people were expecting us.

"Oh dinner! Isn't that nice? Special ocassion?" He asked with a smile that suggested he had a sinister plan.

"Yes. Today is Thanksgiving." I reminded him.

"Ohhh that's right! Forgive me. Today is my birthday too. I always forget. Wow, what a day."

I began to make my way toward the driver's side and I was shocked to find a man rifling through my backseat - so close to my baby girl! Terror took over. When did this man get here? How did he open the car door so quickly without me hearing? How can I get Scarlett away from him? What do they want from me?? Please don't take my baby girl!!

"I can carry her up..." The birthday man said to his partner under his breath while never taking his eyes off of me. I became frantic in my mind picturing my daughter being carried away by these monsters, crying for her mama while I am locked away somewhere in some dark dungeon ... unable to help her, unable to see her face again...

This was the dream nightmare that I awoke from this morning. My heart beat out of my chest for what felt like a lifetime. I am plagued by nightmares more often than not but never about Scarlett. This had to be one of the most horrifying, terrifying scenarios I have ever dreamt up. The mere thought of seeing someone, a stranger with bad intentions, steal my daughter from me - it really is almost too much to imagine. 

Have you ever had such a terrible dream/nightmare stay with you, 
haunting you all day?

March 19, 2012

Monday: minute by minute

Now THIS is a beautiful day. It is currently 72 degrees, sunny and blue. Absolutely gorgeous. As soon as I got out of bed this morning I flung open the windows. I'll admit I had to dust a few that hadn't been touched since probably October. One awesome thing about our house is that we get fantastic cross breezes. The scent of fresh air is one of the things I enjoy most about a nice day.

I chose Scarlett's outfit easily this morning. It's nice to not have to bundle her up so much... gives us both more freedom. I settled on a long-sleeved Hello Kitty onesie with polka-dotted sleeves and cupcakes on the front. The colors are so soft and summery - pastel pink, purple, yellow and aqua. I was pleased and amazed to find aqua colored pants to match it perfectly. So cute. 

We enjoyed our slow morning. I sipped coffee at the dining room table, leafing through the Sunday fliers while listening to a relaxing ipod playlist. Scarlett had a ball screeching and practicing her acrobatics in her doorway jumper. She's such a maniac in that thing. It's hilarious. I never would have bought one and am so glad my sister-in-law gave us hers. While S was taking her morning nap I decided that I would bring her over to see her ninety year old great-grandmother today. She gets such joy out of her visits. It's priceless to see her playing with the baby. She smiles the entire time and even has to take Ibuprofin because her back hurts from leaning over so much!

Whilst I was getting myself ready our power went out. Not a big deal since I was just about ready to go to Grammie's. I packed up the car with our bags and stroller and heard my neighbor's voice. She asked if I had also lost power and then walked over to see the baby (for the first time) and we chatted for a minute. We both marveled at the fact that Scarlett will be SIX MONTHS OLD on Saturday. I can't even fathom it. 

Upon arriving at my mother's house I noticed that she had lost power too. Bummer. I was hoping for a delicious lunch but ended up with a peanut butter sandwich. Still not bad. We played with the baby for a while and I decided to come home to do some writing but of COURSE I'm drawing blanks. So here I sit with my Monday minute by minute that's about as exciting as a beige necklace. I'll get back to my project one day ... when the inspiration is dripping from my fingertips. 

Hope you are all enjoying your Monday wherever you are, whatever you're up to.

March 17, 2012

The Nap-Gestapo

Okay baby, you have a fifteen minute window to poop startiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiing (clicks stopwatch) NOW - Go!

Too rigid? Perhaps, but exactly how carefree can I be without unraveling like a cheap-ass sweater you'd find at the local drug store? I'm the type of person that thrives on organized regimens and control. I demand that my baby girl's ass explodes before I put her in the Christening dress, I admit it. If the clipboard says 'it's time for peas and a bottle' you'd better believe that my girl will be green-snouted and pot-bellied within the half hour.

So, is that such a BAD thing? Having a finely tuned schedule that works for everyone? I don't think it is. It did take about five months to really get it all down. Until that point it was a grab bag of semi-controlled chaos at best. I realize that babies do their own thing. I know they follow their own natural paths. I get it. But is it so wrong to want to help them along and maybe benefit from it in my own sneaky way? Nah.

It's not like I can't go with the flow to a certain extent. I mean, I don't believe that Scarlett is going to eat, crap and nap at the same exact times every day. I don't naively think that her routines won't change a thousand and forty eight more times before she is two. I've heard that as moms we are supposed to surrender all control and just let things go as they will. That's just not gonna fly with me.

Everything works well for us on a daily basis but occasionally we run into a few snags. Like, for instance, if we are invited out at night. BEFORE, when Scarlett wasn't going to bed until 11pm it wasn't an issue. But NOW that she has her last bottle at 7:30pm and is in bed by 8 o'clock - I don't want to mess with that. I like to be home by 7 o'clock with the baby in her cozy sleeper, wound down, soothed and ready for slumber. If we stay out later than that she's all out of sorts. Overtired and over-stimulated. It has taken up to two weeks to get her back on track in the past. It's simply not worth it.

So for now, I continue to carry my clipboard and click my stopwatch. I am running the show - with Scarlett as my co-host. A bit of role-reversal? Yeah, maybe... but I like it this way. And she does too. Her beautiful, consistent smile is all the proof I need.

I wrote this post based on The Lightning and the Lightning Bug's 
Flicker of Inspiration Prompt #42: Killer First Line.


March 15, 2012

What's in my bag?

I always love to read What's In My Bag? in US magazine 
so today I thought I'd show you all just  
what I have in mine...

Excited?? Yeah, probably not. But what else do you have to do for the next two minutes? 
Take a peek...

Okay, it's NOT a $4500 bag - but it's still really cute and I love it. It's a Deena & Ozzy and it came from Urban Outfitters

Ohhh I bet you're just dripping with envy now!! 
Medicated Chapstick AND an inhaler?? I know, I know... I live the glamor life!

The rest of the list:
* Spearmint Altoids - the discarded mints of my mother who simply "can't stand them"
* A Hello Kitty notepad
* Trident White - peppermint (it's the only way to go)
* My super huge Guess Wallet that's come to be my "Costanza wallet"
* Ann Taintor cigarette case that I use on the fly when I don't want to carry said Costanza wallet
* Random life savor peppermints that I bought when I was pregnant
* Antibacterial hand gel... for immediate use after exiting Walmart
* Vaseline hand and nail conditioning lotion that I'm addicted to
* Various shopping notes that I've yet to throw away
* Argyle zip pouch - containing aspirin, ibuprofin, band aids, cuticle cream etc.
* Polka-dotted zip pouch - containing coupons
* Coraline zip pouch - containing floss picks (that's right, floss picks)
* Little Wizard of Oz pouch found on Etsy
* Lip Smackers lip gloss. I've tried the rest but I always come back to the best!

And I think that's about it! Of course I couldn't show you my inside zipper pouch!!
That's where all the secrets live! Wink Wink. 
Hope you had a blast rummaging through my things ... now beat it before I call the cops! Creep.

March 14, 2012

The Scarlett Letters: #4

I hear you.

You've woken up from your forty minute nap and you are making the sweetest sounds my ears have ever heard. Are you talking to yourself? Or maybe your little dolly? I hear smacking noises. You're most likely sucking your thumb or your entire hand. Fumbling sounds come next. I envision a limb or two sticking out of the crib railings. You just love to do that.

I almost can't wait to come and pick you up. Your sweet smile is something I will never grow tired of.

I love to hold you so, so tight... and whisper your name to feel your cheeks puff up as you grin. I'll open the shades and the sunlight will pour in making your blue eyes even brighter. You are absolutely beautiful. My beautiful girl.

You are growing so fast. Each day more active, more alert. Soon you will be crawling. Investigating everything around you. Be patient as I cautiously protect you and smother you with I love you's and kisses.  I'll do it as long as you let me.

I can't describe how much I love you. It's much brighter than the sunshine, more awesome than the moon, much larger than the universe.

I may need a second heart to carry all of my love for you.


March 13, 2012

Old Lady Leach

It's happened.

I've become that angry old lady on the block. You know the one who glares out the window at the street kids riding their bikes, making sure they aren't in her driveway about to clip her twelve year old Honda with their handlebars. The one who rushes out onto the front stairs, clad in slippers and pajamas yelling sternly at the jerks to stop taunting her dog. Yep. That's me now. I'm her. I'm Old Lady Leach. Sigh.

Well, it's not my fault. I was thrown into this situation, really. We moved here over five years ago and each year it's gotten worse. As the cul-de-sac kids get older they apparently get douchey-er. And they're not like Dennis the Menace douchey. I'd kill to have a good-hearted little blondie who accidentally mowed over my flowers (we don't have flowers) with his wagon while trying to catch a "robber". Instead we have this gang of little bastards that I on occasion have wished harm upon.  That's right. HARM. Think all the less of me you like - YOU try living here.

The ringleader is appropriately enough the worst one and a complete prick. He's about thirteen I'd guess, scrawny, pants hanging off his ass, ALWAYS on his phone - riding his bike with one hand and texting with the other. He thinks he is the epitome of cool. I will assure all of you - he is not. He feels that the neighborhood is his kingdom. Running into everyone's yard, jumping on fences, spray-painting fences, leaping off front porch railings etc. Never in his own yard, mind you. Then there are his cronies. Because every little prick has to have a cronie or two. There are about four regulars who follow him around like he is the Grateful Dead. They'll do anything he does, says or tells them to do. I watch as they follow almost directly in his footsteps. They are all younger by about two to four years. Then there is this GIRL. And I put the word in capitals because I want to emphasize my disgusted voice while saying it. She appeared out of nowhere at the house across the street about two years ago. We have no idea who she is but she sucks. She's about fourteen and a rotten, rotten witch. Last week she sat in the car in her driveway for about forty-five minutes while the elderly lady/car owner screamed "GET OUTTA THE CAAAAAARRRR" in her less-than beautiful voice. That was such a zen moment for me.

My least favorite activity these freakshows play is "Let's torment Brody". Because my dog clearly doesn't bark enough. He's a German Shepherd/Akita mix. He likes to bark at people that are too near our house, he's a bit protective that way. Hence the sign...

Brody is not a mean dog, he's friendly and adorable, but for obvious reasons we bought the sign. I've caught the kids barking at him before - not a big deal. I don't like it but I understand, they're kids. They're a little old for it, but whatever. Then I caught them taunting him. Yelling at him. And a couple of weeks ago, the ringleader actually cursed a web of profanity at him and then ran up into our yard and jumped onto our chain-link fence - the fence that Brody was behind. While Bro was going ballistic I ran out into the front yard like a snapped lunatic and shouted "You need to knock it off, leave the dog alone!" (Sounds so hilarious to picture but I was shaking and ready to beat someone's ass). They looked at me, in their cool little gang, didn't bat an eyelash, didn't make a sound. Gradually during the following ten minutes they filed into another neighbor's yard. No apology, no whispers, no 'go shit in your hat', nuthin. I was livid.

Yesterday a similar situation went down. The GIRL across the street was standing directly in front of our house dancing around and shouting at Brody to get him to bark. Naturally he did. She then started barking back at him and yelling at him to shut up. After watching her shout and curse at my dog for a couple of minutes I threw open the front door and yelled at her, "You need to STOP yelling at my dog!" She and her friend walked away and I saw her throw her head back laughing. Funny, right? I could have nailed her chubby ass to her tree in that moment. BUT I cooled off in my recliner... wishing that we could sell this house and move. No peace. No peace here whatsoever. And the fact that the parents just don't give a shit crawls right up my spine.

I cannot imagine being a child and disrespecting my neighbors - my mother would have grounded me for weeks. If I saw cars in the driveway I wouldn't set foot on the grass never mind in the driveway or on their FENCE! I would have apologized up and down and been a mortified nervous wreck if a neighbor came out and yelled at me. I am appalled by what the world is coming to. Where are these parents? It's a small street! Lord knows I can hear everyone's fights and tantrums - I KNOW you can hear me shouting at your children after they torture my dog. Get with it, people. I'm putting this sign up tomorrow...


March 12, 2012

Monday: minute by minute

I knew today was going to be great when I heard the weather forecast yesterday. Sunny and 66! That's my favorite kind of day. I love that little chill and the liberty to wear almost anything at all and be comfortable. I immediately scheduled my walk with Pea, planning to go during her morning nap time.

I woke up at the normal time, opened the curtains, fed the dog, emptied the dishwasher, prepped Scarlett's breakfast - you know, the daily glamorous chores. Made my coffee and went up to get Pea for her breakfast of oatmeal and apples followed by her bottle. She was happy as a clam and played with her fruit teething ring and her little, crinkly giraffe as I cleaned up the breakfast dishes and had myself a bowl of Quaker Oatmeal Squares. (I've been switching it up lately from my years of having the same egg-whites and wheat toast every stinkin' day). (I also rekindled my love for Cracklin' Oat Bran). I then set up a little photo-shoot for my mother-in-law's birthday today. After about fourteen pictures we got the perfect one...

 I die that it looks like she is pointing to the sign.... Sigh. She melts my heart. 

My mom stopped by to drop off a newspaper, new children's book and a couple of sleepers that she bought for Scarlett. She played with her while I got dressed for our walk. Not much needed today - just some comfy yoga pants, a short-sleeved t-shirt and sneaks. Easy. I dragged the giant stroller outside and suited up Pea. She wore a pink cable-knit hat, a fleece sleeper and a pink blankie. I grabbed my sunglasses, keys, Chapstick, Kleenex, a burp cloth and my phone... and we hit the trail. I was super psyched about a new app that my husband found that would track my walk/calories burned etc. Yet, stupid me, I ruined the whole thing by stopping to take THIS picture...

Yeah. Not only is it of crappy quality - it's cut way further off than I thought - since the sun was reflecting off of my screen and I couldn't see a damned thing. Oh well. I know that we walked for 35 minutes and I was truckin' because I wanted to see the results. Next time, no mediocre photography. Score one for Mother Nature, luring me in with her blue-skied trickery.

Pea took a short nap on the walk and decided it was playtime again once we got home. I imagine that Brody barking in our faces as we entered the house had something to do with her alertness. I boiled up another twelve eggs (we make 24 each week) and I ate two for my snack/lunch. Scarlett had her bottle and then we continued playing, rotating her various options ie: Bouncy chair, pack 'n' play, doorway jumper, Baby Einstein exersaucer and of course rolling around in the floor. She LOVES to roll over and over and over - and I love to watch her do so.

That was our Monday minute by minute ... up until 1pm anyway. Hope you all have been enjoying your day as well!  

March 8, 2012

The Scarlett Letters #3

all prettied up in pink & gray

bunny feet!!

 LOVES this "handy" teether hehe

 dressed for Spring in honor of this 64 degree day!!

 loves to stick her feet through the crib railing

 all smiles for mama

had to put the pack 'n' play in the living room today because...

Well, I have made one of the most popular "new mom" mistakes - I left Miss Scarlett unattended for a few minutes. She was laying on a big blanket in the floor with her toys all around her. She always rolls onto her stomach and plays but THIS time she decided to roll clear across the room. When I walked in she was over near the front door where we keep her toy box (a.k.a. storage ottoman). I was absolutely shocked that she could have gotten that far in the amount of time that I was gone! What a little scamp!! I used two blankets this morning and watched her rolling all around. It's actually hilarious. But I realized that if I need to leave the room I need to have a safe place to stash her - hence the lovely pack 'n' play. This all is happening too suddenly! I need her to move at a country pace - not a Manhattan pace. (Must invent a time-pausing device).

coming clean ... a little

Me: "Mr. Mullen, remember when you duct taped my side mirror on my old Sundance after I hit that car?"

Mr. Mullen: "Of course."

My mom listened in on this conversation, HORRIFIED. Where were we? Church. For a friend's wedding ceremony. What better a place to come clean about past lies I'd told my mother than a church?

Isn't it funny how after a certain number of years pass we feel it is okay to start leaking the truth to our parents? As a teen I had my share of hidden gems and probably your share and your friends' share as well. I kept them tucked away in my memory and some written in code in my journal. These tales became twisted over the years as my memory isn't what it used to be. I often wonder how honest my truth actually is - am I even remembering it the right way?

I did a lot of foolish things after high school. I was carefree, reckless ... invincible. Or so I thought. I spent a lot of my nights partying. I looked to my friends to be my family. And they were. Or so I thought. My father did a lot of the same things I did so I didn't really think my parents had a case to argue. My mother had never been drunk a day in her life. She lumped pot in with crack and heroin. It was all the same to her. She was nosy and overprotective. Or so I thought. I remember her demanding that I stay home just one night a week - and I refused. WHY would I ever do that? (Now, to get me out of the house on a Saturday night it has to be well worth my while). I did whatever I wanted to do. I stayed out all hours of the night, didn't come home at all a lot of times. How could my parents stop me? They couldn't shackle me up in the cricket playground (cellar). They couldn't take my car from me since I bought it and paid for my insurance. What were their options?

I filled the calendar years with harmless white lies. I figured what they didn't know wouldn't put them in the ground. When the passenger side mirror was hanging from my car I explained to my mother that some cretin must have hit my car in the parking lot while I was working. I think she actually felt bad for me (which kind of breaks my heart) - if she even fell for it. The truth: I had hit a car while backing down a street clumsily and chose to speed away and avoid that street for two weeks. It wasn't until six years had passed that I fessed up - to my mom anyway. (I still feel horrible about the hit and run. Feel free to think even less of me).

Slowly I am fessing up to a lot of the dumb things I did during those years. What made me feel so cool back then makes me feel like a huge asshole now. Funny how that happens, huh?

Becoming a mother has made me aware of sooooooooo many things. I look at the world with different peepers for sure. The mere thought of Scarlett doing to me (and my husband) what I've done to my parents is almost too much to handle. I will deserve every rotten word she says to me and I'll need this post to remind me of why I am being punished after being such a loving and gracious mom.

Sorry, Mom. Those crappy years were just my stepping stones. I needed to treat you like dirt to become a wonderful person I guess. Hehe.

Do you come clean as years pass or are you keeping your secrets forever? 
Has becoming a mother changed the way you look at your own past life?

March 2, 2012

Maybe I should shut up

It is such a humbling experience when you are complaining about the annoyances or the bad luck that seems to be plaguing your life and you are met with tales of actual tragedy, health problems and horror. I find I am constantly reminding myself that It Could Always Be Worse. Maybe our financial situation isn't as desirable as we'd like for it to be. Maybe my dog is a HUGE pain in the ass (as I have even less tolerance for him since having Scarlett). Maybe one of our cars needs repairs, maybe I feel like I don't have enough quality time with my husband, maybe I feel overwhelmed by the amount of friends and family that want to see the baby. Maybe I LOATHE my street and everyone on it. Maybe I should shut up. Maybe I should watch the news and see men, women and children suffering and dying in the streets, no one to care for them. Maybe I should listen to a friend tell me that she recently learned she has cancer. Maybe I should realize that people are being put out of their homes for various reasons every single day. Maybe I should see my friend's heart filled with sadness because her dog is ill.

I'm not an ingrate. I'm not taking things for granted. I'm just guilty of forgetting sometimes. Forgetting that people have it far worse. Forgetting that I could so easily have it far worse.

I am thankful for everything I have. I am so blessed to be married to my soul-mate and to have a beautiful daughter that I couldn't have dreamed to be any more perfect. I'm thankful for the good health of my family. I'm forever indebted to my mother, who has bent over backwards to help me US in every single way she possibly can. I'm thankful for our home, which may come with a ridiculously high mortgage and may not be sitting on the most desirable street in the world but it's OUR home and it's filled with love.

I need to continuously remind myself to make my problems smaller. In the big scheme of things - what's a car repair? What's a barking dog? What's a few credit cards? Nothing. A mere drop in the ol' crap bucket. If you have your health, you have it all, baby. And as long as I have my health I'm going to live happily. So cheers to our years!

March 1, 2012

The Scarlett Letters #2

My dearest Scarlett,

Thank you so much for going to bed at eight o'clock two nights in a row! I have worked for five months to try to get you on this schedule. All of those times you would wake up and I would have to bounce you back to sleep for hours (since you refuse to let me rock you) I never realized it was because you were overtired. I didn't know that I should have just tried putting you down to sleep earlier to benefit us all. How was I to know that you could forgo an entire bottle so easily? A mere two ounces extra in your bottle has allowed you to sleep soundly and not wake forty-five minutes after you fall asleep. The fact that you stay happily in your crib until I come up and get you each morning makes my life a true JOY. You are amazing. People continue to tell me, "just wait" -as though I am to sit and dread some terrible routine that you're going to get into. I refuse to just wait, dwelling on some possible negative scenario around the bend. I enjoy you now. You have slept through the night since you were about eight weeks old and we are so very thankful for that. I don't mind that you don't take more than a couple of catnaps during the day because you give me a full night's sleep which allows me to enjoy you even more. Last night I accomplished a full pedicure and manicure once you drifted off ... and I dedicate them to you. My love, my heart, my moon. I love you more than you will ever truly know. Always, Mama.