January 26, 2014

new level of comfort...

We finally, finally, finally got our new chairs! Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh... I almost forgot what it feels like to be comfortable. (I know I sound like a jerk when we have soldiers overseas sleeping on sand... if they're lucky). But it's truly wonderful to just sit down - without having to arrange a variety of pillows behind my back or prop my feet up on a decorative suitcase. (I'm not kidding).

Here are the little (and big) darlings...

We ordered our chairs from Jordan's Furniture on our anniversary, December 4th. He chose a giant, brown leather rocker, recliner that swivels. I chose a sweet little white and indigo patterned seat with a beautiful wooden rocking chair base. We were soooo anxious for them to be in stock and delivered. They finally arrived yesterday. As I was conditioning the leather on Gregg's recliner I noticed a small amount of damage on the arm of the chair. I called the store immediately and they sent out a tech within two hours. He was very friendly, he fixed it on the spot and it's like new. Fantastic customer service. I am pleased.

Our old recliners lasted nearly eleven years, we are hoping for a great stretch with our new chairs. Don't they look purty?

January 24, 2014

15 randoms

1. It never fails when in the morning, after initial chores, the very second when I sit in my uncomfortable chair and fix the three awkward pillows behind my back just so and reach for my coffee to have the very first sip while it's hot - Brody barks from outside for me to get up, go into the kitchen, obtain a cookie and hand it to him through the slider door.

2. I hate having to walk past people looking for donations when I come out of (or walk into) a store. I mean, I get it - most of us have had to do it at one point or another for school or what not... but I've come to realize that it's easier to just give a buck rather than awkwardly fooling with keys or sunglasses ... or pretending that a seagull is chasing me.

3. Much to my surprise, I absolutely love Instagram. I am such a fan. I love looking at creative photos from strangers across the globe. I find that my favorites are mostly from the Netherlands and Australia. I participate in blogger Fat Mum Slim's photo-a-day challenge and I love it. It's not easy to fit the prompts on a daily basis - but it's a great creative outlet. {I'm @sherib0bbins by the way}.

4. I've created a little Chapstick-loving monster. Scarlett sees me apply Chapstick and lip gloss routinely and is naturally intrigued. She now has her own special Hello Kitty lip balm and is not afraid to apply it all over her face. Liberally.

5. I tip well for a person of limited means. I can thank my harrowing days and nights as a waitress for that. For those of you who don't know this - servers rely on their tips, their paychecks are usually laughable. They are ordered around and often treated poorly on a daily basis. It's not a glamorous job, it's by no means an easy job and just think about what your world with be like without service workers. TIP them. And tip them well.

6. I really love watching old episodes of Who's the Boss. I'll tell ya, that Mona, she's a hot shit. And I love the dynamic between Tony and Angela. It's both funny and a little sad to watch shows that I enjoyed as a kid and now side with the "older" characters.

7. The foods that I seem to eat the most of are: eggs, whole grain bread, chicken breast, beans, greens, turkey, dark chocolate, pizza, cheese and frozen yogurt. Quite an odd mix there.

8. Soon, our new living room chairs will be delivered! Gregg and I each picked out a new seat back in early December, on our anniversary. My old recliner was shown the curb in November and his is on its last leg. We bought those when we moved into our first apartment ten years ago, it was a good run. We are planning to break them in by spending a very comfortable night watching movies by the fire.

9. I watched that Lifetime Movie Network remake of Flowers in the Attic. Hoo Boy. I mean, the original had a cheese factor too but at least it was haunting and kept me nervous. I assume when someone "remakes" a film their intention is to make it better than the original... right? Definitely fell short on this one. Nine times out of ten I watch movies like this just to see the creepy old house. {One of my many obsessions}.

10. Pet peeve #23: I greatly dislike when I'm in line in a store and the customer in front of me is being super friendly and smiley and is truly pleasant - only to be met with the grumpiest of all cashiers. I feel like I always have to chime in and intercept their friendliness so they don't feel badly. I know some cashiers aren't thrilled with their position... but kindness is kindness. We take it where we can get it. And we should always give it back.

11. I love Valentine's Day decorations. I know the day itself is corny and a big money-making scheme but I enjoy pink, white and red and I LOVE heart-shaped everything. Gregg and I don't do flowers or candy (okay sometimes candy), we don't go out to dinner or anything but you know I'm scouring the shelves for clearance items to pepper my home with for everyday enjoyment.

12. I like Maxwell House Master Blend. There I've said it. I grew up on it. I used to brew it in a Farberware percolator for the best piping hot cup. When the Keurig came along I still chose MH. I just use the refillable K-Cup everyday. Of course I like Dunkin and Starbucks. But at home I'm a Maxwell House girl.

13. Even though Scarlett isn't a baby anymore I still sometimes tear up when singing her lullabies. Baby Mine? Did you ever try that one? "Rest your head close to my heart, never to part, baby of mine" ... ugh.

14. I feel like I can never see another movie in a theater and be fine with it. I don't know, the big screen somehow lost its luster for me when HD TVs came out. I'm happier watching in my living room draped in fleece with frozen yogurt.

15. "Drunk Uncle" is currently my favorite SNL character. I get the whole "Make it a treat" thing but I wish he was on more often.

January 20, 2014

Another horrifying scenario...

A nightmare seems to lose its terrifying luster when you try to explain it to someone else. I toyed with even writing it down but it was so vivid and so real and when I shot out of bed at ten of five this morning I prayed to not go back to sleep.

I dreamed I was at a little country store and saw a scrap of paper pinned to a board. The paper read something like this: "Curious about all the noise at the farm? Wondering about the dump trucks and backhoes? Come see what all the fuss is about, we'll be there to answer your questions." Now, in real life I wouldn't even be glancing at that board let alone mulling over the decision to go to that farm.

Sure enough - I was headed to the farm. Walking along the dirt road I heard the buzz of the big engines and knew I was almost there. Without hesitation I walked up the "driveway" to this gigantic dirt farm. Right away a man met me, he came out of the shadows of the tree-lined property. He was grimy and weathered. I figured from years of tending a farm. There were no other curious townspeople around - only me, Grimy and the men in their machines. Immediately, Grimy said, "You're only about five feet tall, aren't you? That's perfect. Just perfect." (Very Buffalo Bill from the van scene in The Silence of the Lambs). I was confused by his statement and when I looked behind me two other men had joined us. Fear. Horror. Panic.

The next scene had me dragged into an underground cell where I was met with dirt and darkness. Hopelessness punched me in the face and I woke up.

My heart raced for a good twenty minutes. I got up and walked around, I DID NOT want to get back into that dream, into that cell. I was able to keep from falling asleep for over an hour and the next dream was a pain in the ass but manageable. (Tornado was coming and the ceiling of my living room was leaking rain and plaster - it was a holiday, Gregg was working and for some reason nobody was available to help. Bah, child's play compared to most of my nightmares).

When I have these frightening dreams I immediately think of the people that have actually been in these situations in real life. I know the feelings of fear, despair, hopelessness - but only for a moment. I have such admiration for people that endure these horrible happenings, they live through them, the survive and they move on. Holy Sh$#.

January 17, 2014

Scarlett's first emergency visit ...

Well, I guess very few parents escape the horrors of the emergency visit. We got ours out of the way on Wednesday night. Lucky and thankful that it wasn't very serious.

Scarlett is known for her rough and tumble ways, her defiance and her flailing. She twisted away from Gregg when she didn't feel like cleaning up the aftermath of a potted plant incident... and she hurt her arm. She was holding her wrist and crying in pain so she needed to be checked out.

The trip to the emergency walk-in center was a bit rough. Luckily, Gregg's mom was able to take care of Scarlett and keep her as comfortable as possible while Gregg filled out all of the paperwork. I met them there and when I arrived she was having x-rays taken. The x-rays showed that the bones were fine and the doctor figured it was a dislocated elbow (nursemaid's elbow) and did the proper "adjustments" to her arm. We felt so badly seeing her in pain like that. Grandma rocked her and sang to her until it was time to head home. Scarlett wore a makeshift sling and got to stay up extra late and watch her favorite television show on the couch.

If you read my last post then you are already aware of Scarlett's new attitude and defiance. Just last week she decided she will no longer take medicine. Perfect. So, the doctor prescribed Tylenol with codeine and we weren't able to get that down her throat after trying several ways. She basically went to bed in pain and woke several times each hour - crying for a few seconds and falling back to sleep. Poor lil thing.

Thursday was very challenging. Gregg worked from 9-7 and I basically spent the day trying to keep her comfortable - and sneaking her regular Tylenol into different foods. It easily went down in her morning yogurt smoothie. Lunch was tough - had to resort to using yogurt again. After dinner we had frozen yogurt with meds mixed in chocolate syrup - I thought that was clever hehe. She held her arm up as if it were in a sling all day. She used only the good arm. I had a feeling that half of her reluctance was due to fear of pain. I kept testing her. Almost tricking her into using her bad arm. By 6 pm she was 'forgetting' from time to time and picking up toys with the bad arm. And by the time Daddy got home from work she was rolling around on the floor and putting her weight on it. YES!!!!!

She slept soundly all night, I thought we were in the clear. While getting her dressed she was holding her arm again, begging me to not change her clothes. I did it anyway. I moved her arm all around and it was fine but when I twisted it slightly she cried in pain. So I called the orthopedic doctor like we were instructed. We had a quick visit there and the doc said he thinks it is fine but made us an appointment with a pediatric orthopedic doctor for Monday. Ugh.

Scarlett had a miraculous recovery this afternoon it seems. She's back to being a little bull. I decided not to keep the Monday appointment and we are hoping she's all out of pain. I stopped giving her meds as of noon and she's been using that arm for everything. I think we're GOOD !!

You never want to see your child in pain but from the get-go we were so thankful that it wasn't anything serious. The same thing happened to me twice at her age - and is very common from ages 2-5, especially in girls. Once it happens - it is very easy to do it again so we've gotta be diligent. HA! Impossible.

January 15, 2014

The Scarlett Letters: let's get a few things straight...

Dearest Lemon-pie,


Eh, I'm half kidding. Let's just say you've been "testy" lately ... and trying every ounce of patience I have. Some days I'm not sure who's winning. It seems that you believe that I am winning and I believe that you are winning. So we battle harder.

Let's clear up a few things...

You are 27 months old. How is it that you are strutting around the house like you just paid off the mortgage? You're constantly throwing your things everywhere, tossing food on the ground like this is some half-assed diner. Demanding diaper changes, snacks and Mickey videos. Listen up, kid, I run the show.

If I say we are drying your hair post-bath so your teeth will stop chattering - it's happening.

When I tell you to stop using the television screen as an easel - STOP IT.

When I put dinner in front of you which you refuse to eat and you immediately pull the pin on your little grenade - you aren't getting your wish of cookies, your alternate option is yogurt or nothing.

Just because I accidentally zipped your skin in your jacket ONE TIME doesn't mean that every zipper is going to ruin your life. I SAID I WAS SORRY, CRIPES !!! Let it go, kid.

When you flail around like a lunatic during our bedtime rocking/reading session it only makes me shorten the ritual. I feel like Danny DeVito trying to rock Shaq up there. You are clearly longer than my lap and legs, I know it's awkward - I can't stretch out like taffy so please try to settle in and just enjoy it. I'm pretty sure that glider is about to collapse any day now anyway.

When it's nap time and you run into the corner I can still see you. I will come get you, peel you from the floor and carry your arched body to the crib. It's going to happen.

When you decide that you can't handle the skin from the tomatoes or that you don't like blueberries today you needn't hand me every single unacceptable morsel to be taken to the trash that very moment - you can keep them on your plate until meal time is over.

You cannot eat all of the marshmallows out of the cereal canister. Mallow Oats will simply be OATS if you do that. Trust me, it's better this way.

Stop sticking your head through the bannister. Just stop it.

The staircase is not a place to put on a jazz show. Just move your bum up the stairs and don't worry about who carries blanky and who carries bunny. We will all be together again in fifteen seconds.

I always love you. Even when you're driving me mad because you refuse to have your nails clipped and I have to go sit in the other room on the couch for two minutes and breathe- I love you. When you roll over on the changing table like an alligator nailing its prey because I'm trying to get the "floofies" out of your nose and you've got some kind of mental block against tissues and q-tips - I love you. When you throw rocks at the glass door - I love you. When you take it upon yourself to get the chapstick out of the "do not enter" drawer - I love you.

It is apparent that you are going to fight me on everything for the next couple of years and I'm going to do my best to mentally (and physically) prepare myself. (Think: running bleachers and meditation). You're beyond stubborn. Potty training will most definitely have me rocking in a corner somewhere. But I love you. You're my wonderful, smart, adorably funny little girl. You're going to be a huge challenge but it's alright - we will get through it.


January 11, 2014

Pretty Woman - revisited

Alright, who hasn't seen the movie Pretty Woman? I mean, it's ridiculous that I even posted a link to IMDB there because I'm pretty sure everyone that could possibly be reading this blog knows that movie inside and out. I, for one, know it by heart. I first saw it in the theater with my friend Shena and her mother. We were probably too young to see it but we loved it, quoted it, bought it and watched it over and over.

But I never found Richard Gere attractive until last week.

Yep. You read that right. I might have been the only gal in the world who treasured that movie so much without any attraction to the lead male. I just loved everything else. Julia Roberts, naturally because she is just so charming and fantastic (that smile!!) and her character is one of my favorites of all time. The plot, because it's top notch as far as Cinderella stories go. The fashion. The romantic game that is so cleverly played. The hotel manager. The opera date night??? Seriously. All of it. But I never swooned over Edward Lewis.

Last week, I decided to put in the DVD. I hadn't seen it in a long time and I really wanted a nice, fluffy movie - nothing heavy. To my surprise, from the very first scene I saw Richard Gere in a whole new light! It was so strange! He suddenly had that older man/Harrison Ford/George Clooney quality that I enjoy. It totally changed the movie for me. I saw each scene with new eyes.

I don't know what caused the mind-shift - perhaps the fact that I'm older now. Or wiser. Or dreaming of being rich one day hahahaha - no suh. Well, maybe a little pipe dream now and then. Maybe it's because now I had given my full attention to his character and saw his vulnerability and weaknesses. While appearing so powerful and shrewd, he is a bit broken, humble and in need. But whatever the reason - I really enjoyed watching it so much more last week. I think it added a sort of  "dreaminess" that the movie may have been lacking (in my eyes) before. Either way, I'm finally on board with the rest of the world!

I should probably revisit some of my other old favorites - I could quite possibly be remastering my entire collection! I've always loved Benny and Joon for Johnny Depp (who hasn't) but who knows, maybe now I'll give a glance to Aidan Quinn too.

January 10, 2014

they wear you out... but it's worth it

Ahhhhhh. Soaking in the moment when I am DONE for the day. Scarlett is in the crib, Brody's gone outside and had his snack, dishes are all done, humidifiers filled and all chores have commenced ... until tomorrow morning.

The rat-race.

It's so funny how you can read a million of those articles/blogs titled something like I may not have a job but I work just as hard as a stay-at-home parent and not realize that it's completely true until you actually become that parent. You get whacked with that realization * omg YUP, so true *... and then you wonder how you didn't see it before.

I really had no idea how consuming being a stay-at-home-mother can be. Year one didn't feel so crazy. Things were moving at a slower pace. Sure, Scarlett was growing and changing rapidly but she wasn't really mobile or terribly demanding. Year two sped things up drastically, leaving me to count on one hand the amount of times I sat down in a day. Year three is proving to be a weird mix. Scarlett can play by herself for longer periods of time and I don't have to watch her as closely in some situations. But she's still in diapers, fiercely stubborn, very energetic and a daredevil. Mealtime can be exhausting. Bath-time can be frustrating. Nap-time has turned into Scarlett's own Broadway show but at least it gives me an hour break. Add in heaps of laundry, swiffering and vacuuming dog hair, preparing meals, paying bills, running errands, cleaning, washing dishes - it's go, go, go until bedtime. We read books each night (she always pushes for 'one more') then we sing songs (again, 'one more') and then she cries when I put her in the crib - for just a minute or two. (She's never ready to rest). I head down the hallway and down the stairs and sigh. That sigh is not because I'm getting rid of her ... but because I'm getting time for myself after a long day. I love her like mad but need to be away from her too. To replenish my patience at the very least. Because let's face it, spending time with anyone for thirteen hours a day can be pretty trying.

I spend the first hour of my day drinking coffee and watching Today (or Roseanne). I need that little wake-up time before I start the grind. Scarlett's up by 7:20 so I am up by 6:20 every day. There are no days off, there are no weekends. She's not going to get up and make herself some eggs. She's not going to change her diaper and get dressed. She needs me. And I love that she does! I treasure that moment when she sees me open her door and announces, "MAMA!" with her great big honest grin.

And I treasure it even more than when I close her door at night - no matter how exhausting the day has been.

My motto to share with new parents (and old pros) everywhere is 'just hang in there'. Every dreadful phase passes and every tiring day/night comes to an end. The amazing thing about being a parent is that for all of the frustrating and trying moments there are countering lovely moments. You just have to be sure you're soaking up the lovely ones more than the ones that wear you down. So the next time you're admiring your little one as they play quietly to themselves - soak it up. The next time they giggle at something silly with their amazing honest giggle of crazy happiness - soak it up. The next time they hug you, kiss you or hand you a soggy pretzel to eat - eat the soggy pretzel, kiss them back and squeeze them tighter. Soak it all up. Those moments will power you through their next meltdown - or yours. ;o)

January 2, 2014

I'm on the couch!

When you become a parent you also become aware of lots of thing that you took for granted before children. Like how easy it was to do errands, how little contact you had with a sandbox and today's favorite: how wonderful it is to lie on a couch for hours when you don't feel well.

I rang in the New Year with a stupid jerk sinus infection. This used to be my calling card but over the past few years I've been quite lucky. In fact I didn't have a single cold in 2013 - until New Year's Eve. It's like a pitcher giving up his first hit in the bottom of the ninth. This one snuck in at the buzzer, started off mildly and showed its true colors on New Year's day.

A sinus infection is pretty manageable under normal circumstances. My remedies are: boxes of tissues, Advil cold and sinus, drinking lots of water and dragging a humidifier around like an I-V. However, the biggest key to my success is rest. Rest is something that is pretty hard to come by these days. And with Gregg training on a week's worth of closing shifts I'm pretty much flying solo. Scarlett goes to bed at eight but it's a long stretch getting to bedtime. She's been really good lately-playing more by herself and enjoying lengthier activities. But all day meal prep and clean up alone can seem unbearable when you just don't feel well. Last night's bedtime stories and songs nearly killed me. Alright I'm being dramatic - but my throat was so raw that I definitely skipped a few pages ... and my heart just wasn't in that last verse of Frosty the Snowman. Not to mention - I sounded like Bea Arthur.

Today, my mom offered to take Scarlett for the night - a sleepover during the snowstorm! So I packed her up and Gregg drove her over there for a slumber party. She's napping as we speak. {Funny, she never naps here}. What am I doing, you ask? I am currently set up on the couch with my fleece blanket, water bottle, box of tissues and Roseanne on the TV. It's so nice to just lounge on the couch! No watching the clock to see if it's time to pluck Scarlett from the crib or caring about what we'll have for dinner. No sitting on the floor playing Memory or hunting down the tiniest bottle of mustard from her Lalaloopsy doll - again. No running up and down the stairs for diaper changes as our hot meal becomes cold. No time table. I can do whatever I want all afternoon and all night. And I get to do it while watching the snow fall. Added bonus!

Don't get me wrong, I don't mind doing those things with Scarlett on a daily basis - I enjoy them. I mean, I do tire of mealtime struggles and cleaning up all day every day - but I love my time with her. It's just nice to have a break when you feel like crap. It's nice to lie down for hours with no agenda. It's nice to only be concerned with what I feel like eating when I feel like eating it. It's nice to run the television. Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm long overdue for a catnap.

Thanks, Mom!