Monday, March 13, 2006

I've Moved!!

Blogger has been a toxic friend and so I have decided to drop the dead weight and move to WordPress.

Find me HERE. It's a new URL so update your blogrolls and favorites! I don't want to lose you :-)

It's still under construction but feel free to look around.

See you there! Open bar! Bring your own lampshade... and some waffle sticks for Liam.

Friday, March 10, 2006

Photo Friday: First Warm Day

Today we hung around outside for a bit before and after lunch. Here are some photos.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Why I Work as an At-Home Mom

You know there are many times when I'm doing some distasteful task like changing a particularly disgusting diaper or staring at the fridge... pleading with it to make dinner that I wonder what the holy HELL am I doing.

There was a time when I thought myself "important." I held positions with others reporting to me. I did productivity reports and wrote recommendations. I traveled and presented. I billed back and expensed. I innovated and expanded offerings. I shook a little. I moved a bit.

But there are these moments in motherhood that bring you to your knees. And to the veteran's out there... I know that I'm just on the brink of many many days ahead of such cut me some slack and the "You have no idea..." I know that the challenges change as the child does. And as my "skills" do.

But still. There are days that I look at Liam and pray to God that I'm not screwing him up in some way. When I think of the jobs I've held and the positions of power or titles. The client companies from Fortune 25 that I interacted with. They were so much easier.

Now this isn't to belittle. Definitely not. It's just... to be fair - many times you can leave work at the office. You can have your weekend. You can go on vacation. At least I could. People like Dan have a different story. He works all.the.time. He has this Goddamn Blackberry that I would like to chuck far far away but also happens to affords us the opportunity for me to be at home. In fact during his review, Partner A thanked him for helping out on Christmas Eve with his son's To-Be-Gifted iPod. Christmas Eve, people. Anyways, I know out-of-home work is hard. But for me - I could leave it at the office more often than not - if I chose.

I sometimes think of how compentent I felt at the office. How in charge of myself and my output. Stressed? Yes. Irritated? Sometimes. But overall I knew what the hell I was doing MOST of the time. Now?

I truly feel I'm faking it about 50% of the time.

To be honest this number has gone down. The first 3 months? Oh Lord I would say I was faking it about 75% of the time. I had never changed a diaper before Liam. I was nervous to say the least...but I faked it.

Liam has this requirement that after his nap there be a drink and the choice of two snacks available to him on the end table in the living room. The end table is pretty close to the bottom of the stairs so it is one of the first things he sees when we come downstairs. We discovered this requirement when he started screaming after naps. I knew he was hungry and usually would get him first and then get the snack wehn we came downstairs. No... this was not good for the little mister. He wanted, of course, the immediate gratification of the snack.

So we started this new routine of two snacks (small offerings) - a bowl with diced fruit and a bowl with either cheerios/goldfish/puffs/etc. Then a drink - usually milk or water. Yesterday when he came down, he saw the offering and screamed. Big fat tears. Honestly I think he woke up too soon - not a long enough nap and he was super cranky. But he did it again today. But today. He cried off and on til dinner. A change in the rules perhaps.

Now in my head I know - he's hungry, he's probably still tired and so he's cranky. Additionally, his teeth have really been bothering him this week. His nose is like the Niagra Falls of snot and the coughing from it is disrupting his sleep. I know all this.

But the overpowering thought is Oh my God what can I do to make.the.crying.stop. Because it's the whiney sob. The standing in front of me, blocking me, and demanding to be held. He usually wakes sometime between 3:30-5pm. I start prepping dinner around 4:30-5. The crying, the wanting to be held/read to/climbed over, this inhibits me making the dinner which will make him feel better.

So the crying and whining continues as I try to pull dinner together... of course one of the sides fails miserably... and my head is pounding feeling like it may blow. And I speak a little too loudly or curtly and it just makes it all worse. I feel bad, he is worse.

I'm not faking anymore...I'm just not managing well. The feedback I'm getting is that I'm failing to meet the need. I'm not innovating. I'm not presenting fresh ideas or turning tides.

I don't feel compentent in these moments. I feel lacking. Very very lacking. And this lacking kills me and I end up apologizing to Liam because I don't know what to do to make him happier/less like he is chewing on nails. Typically we look at each other... and if I'm really losing it I start to cry too.

And guess what Liam does?

He leans way in and hugs me. And simply says, "Mama."

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

March Wk 2 Results

Alright dawgs...woof woof I'm feeling you man. Can you tell I'm watching American Idol? Yeah Randy and Paula annoy me to no end and Simon always makes me laugh. Oh and I heart Taylor Hicks who is the reincarnation of Joe Cocker when performing. He writhes and twitches just like Joe. It's disturbing to watch yet he sounds amazing. Yeah he's very cool.

Oh yeah... the game the game... yeah it was good. Glad it's still tricky for you all...and it seems to be doing so.. but in a good way.

So I'd go on and on but I'm kinda tired...I minded 2 toddlers today (yes including my own) and while it went fine I'm a little D R O O P Y tonight. Not my boobs... my brain. Well the boobs are droopy too but c'mon! I breastfed Liam for a YEAR for God's sake.

Wait...what was I talking about again?

Oh the game.

Answers and Point Takers...
1. We’ve shared the laughter and the pain and even shared the tears
Against All Odds – Phil Collins; Points to Jody!

2. We take the pressure, and we throw away conventionality, belongs to yesterday
Grease – Bee Gees; Points to BJ!

3. So many times, it happens too fast…You trade your passion for glory
Eye of the Tiger - Survivor; Points to BJ!

4. With auburn hair and tawny eyes; the kind of eyes that hypnotize me through
I Ran (So Far Away) – Flock of Seagulls; Points to Carrie! Gotta watch those numbers BJ!

5. I can cast a spell… With secrets you can’t tell…
I’m Every Woman – Chaka Khan; Points to Claire!

6. I done told you once you son of a bitch… I'm the best there's ever been
Devil Went Down to Georgia – Charlie Daniels Band; Points to Bridget!

7. Don't hang on, nothing lasts forever but the earth and sky
Dust in the Wind – Kansas; Points to Bridget!

8. I keep a close watch on this heart of mine, I keep my eyes wide open all the time
I Walk the Line – Johnny Cash; Points to Claire!

9. Power and the money, money and the power…Minute after minute, hour after hour
Gangsta’s Paradise – Coolio; Nobody got this right for points, but apparently Bridget and BJ figured it out after the fact.

10. In daylights, in sunsets, in midnights, in cups of coffee.
Season’s of Love - Cast of Rent; Points to Jody!

Bonus Points: These people earned an extra bonus point just by going to Carrie's blog and leaving a comment. Angela! Bridget! Laina! Jenni! BJ! Claire! William! Jody! Carrie!

Bonus Question: Jody gets the 2 point conversion. These are all songs on movie soundtracks.

Awesome play, internets! See you next week when the game will be posted sometime between 9-9:30AM ET.

Now I need to update the points tally in the sidebar.

Why Do the Loudest Trucks Pass the House at Naptime?

After 18 months of motherhood... I have a couple questions. So off the top of my head...

Why is it the hard star-shaped block must be underneath the soft instep of my bare foot as I walk across the kitchen? During playgroup? And while I want to scream "Fuuuuhhhhhhhk! Oh my Goddddddd" I must quietly whimper "ah ah ah..." while two little parakeets chirp "ah ah ah" over and over again behind me.
Why is it right after I change his diaper, he poops?
Why do I forget my cell phone yet remember to bring the Elmo-phone?
When does "me time" not mean the opportunity to do laundry, dishes, make dinner, pick up toys?
Why does my "free time" from 8pm-10pm go so fast?
Why does Liam get his hand stuck inside a shape sorter and when I finally get it out he puts it right back in?
Is there an end to the amount of snot and drool he can manufacture?
What's with those 2 chin hairs...uh mine, not his.?
Why can I now smell poop 3 rooms away?
Why does Dan pass gas right before I enter a room?
Are the last two related questions connected somehow?

March Wk 2!

So here's where I do the blah blah blah - play the game! Have fun! Rock it out...

First timers: READ THE RULES or be subject to point deduction and much ridicule.

Last week started the new March Game... but also ended February which gave us CARRIE as the Rock Star...
Will YOU be the Rock Star this month? Let's roll.

The Lyrics...
1. We’ve shared the laughter and the pain and even shared the tears

2. We take the pressure, and we throw away conventionality, belongs to yesterday

3. So many times, it happens too fast…You trade your passion for glory

4. With auburn hair and tawny eyes; the kind of eyes that hypnotize me through

5. I can cast a spell… With secrets you can’t tell…

6. I done told you once you son of a bitch… I'm the best there's ever been

7. Don't hang on, nothing lasts forever but the earth and sky

8. I keep a close watch on this heart of mine, I keep my eyes wide open all the time

9. Power and the money, money and the power…Minute after minute, hour after hour

10. In daylights, in sunsets, in midnights, in cups of coffee.

Bonus Points: Sorry, no referral points this week! But I'll give you one point if you go to Carrie's blog and leave her a comment congratulating her for being February's Rock Star.

Bonus Point Question: What do these songs have in common?


Have fun!

Why are you looking at me? Go play!
Did you just say something about my hair?

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

The post where two girls holler at me for linking the picture at the end

So I had my photography classes this weekend and they were - in a word - GREAT. Totally amazing and totally inspiring. Seeing the images captured by these professionals..and the incredible presentation...set my mind afire.

I want to dig in but alas two days out of the house have set me back in household management tasks. So while I pine to use my camera and flit around the house and great'll have to wait.

I do know the new speedflash I got as a surprise from Dan - isn't he GREAT?? - totally changes the pictures. And a lot of the changes I've made in my photography...simply changing those previously misunderstood areas like white balance, aperture and shutter speed - make changes that improve the pictures in ways you don't even know they can be improved until you see them. Blows my mind.

So I'm currently researching camera back packs for my DC weekend in a couple of weeks. I'm looking forward to getting jiggy with the D70 on the trip. Expect lots of pictures like this...but better lit! And sharper! But hopefully without the wine stain on my jeans.

A Message to Jeff

Happy Birthday, Highlander! Posted by Picasa

So Yes Some Post-Class Snaps...Yes Yes.

Can you see how bored they are with the photographer? Posted by Picasa

Tired Lily? Posted by Picasa

Drowsy. Posted by Picasa

Sleep. Posted by Picasa

For the Why? Files:

Dana Reeve loses her battle with cancer at age 44.

Friday, March 03, 2006

Photo Friday: Liam Turns 18 Months

Liam turned 18 months old on Wednesday. Happy Half-Birthday, Liam!

At Gymboree last Friday we did tumbling...which basically included guiding the kids as they rolled down a soft ramp. Liam liked it so much that Dan made one out of the couch at home.

Climbing up!

Rolling down!


More resting! (I like his style)

Later in the week we did the normal stuff...errands, playdates, and of course...snacking.

And the snack is good.


Thursday, March 02, 2006

My Love is Better than Ice Cream

So yeah how's about a post NOT about my game. That'd be good, huh? Mayyyybe...maybe not.

How you doin' out there?

I'm doing ok. Well...actually really well cause things are cruising along here on the homefront. Granted we still don't have our home on the market because the goddamn DEP hasn't cleared the pre-existing order on the house.

Long story - REALLY boring; short version - we live on land that is part conservation land/wetlands. Previous owners did a small amount of clearing and stone wall building in the conservation area...we found out hours before signing papers on the house...part of the money we paid them for the house was kept in escrow to pay for reparations at the discretion of the local conservation commission (lcc). The lcc got off their asses about it in September (our 3rd YEAR in the house) but the state DEP didn't approve their reparation plan and made up their own. (Can you say "pissing contest"?) Yadda yadda yadda... we are stuck waiting for paperwork and action that is hanging out in red tape. We could try to sell the house anyway but who wants to buy a house with a pre-exisiting order on it! Red flag! We did because we were green first time homebuyers and we found out RIGHT BEFORE SIGNING THE FRIGGIN PAPERS. So anyway - we aren't going to market the house til it's resolved.

Dan finally had his review from work and while of course raises are great and's been in limbo for about 3 months waiting for meeting times and rescheduling etc while we are jubiliant! about the raise we are more relieved it is finally done. Plus it's retroactive. Hooray!

This weekend I'm attending two seminars on photography hosted by Nikon School. I'm hoping to finally get some insight into the basics then some advanced features of my D70. It's not specifically for D70s but rather for SLRs. There will be talks by professionals and photojournalists. I'm really excited! Plus two days of me being by myself - Susie the woman who has interest in photography. Not necessarily just Susie the mom who takes lots of pictures of Liam. And around adults! for 6 hours on two days in a row! Madness.

To my GLEE my husband brought me home a surprise tonight... a SB-800 speedlight for the camera. Can't wait to see how it changes the quality of my pictures. I'm so spoiled!

So spoiled that Dan is caring for Liam this weekend and in 3 weeks when I got to DC for a weekend with two girlfriends. Two weekends for me in one month! I can't even wrap my brain around it yet.

But yet...these weekends are coming...can I get a HELL YEAH?

Tomorrow...some pics of the boy.

The Rock Star for Name That Tune: February!!!

Carrie!!! of Cze-Johnson Fever

Carrie is also the proud recipient of the above first Name that Tune Rock Star badge for her blog.

Isn't it juuuuuuuuuuuust gorgeous?

Isn't she just the RockStarBagger of them all...for February?? Carrie will also be the recipient of a lovely prize which will be sent to her via the U.S. Postal Service. The thing with the prize won't know what it is unless you win it and it comes in the mail all shiney and EXCITING!

So here are the FINAL standings for February. I still need to update my sidebar with all the good stuff for March and to give Carrie some WINNAH love.

Carrie 17 pts February Winnah!!!
Ang 16 pts
Jody 16 pts
Diana 13 pts
Claire 9 pts
William 9 pts
Jenni 9 pts
Kelli 9 pts
Johnny Mac 9 pts
BJ 9 pts
Bridget 6 pts
kep 6 pts
Laina 6 pts
LotionBarBunny 5pts
onangelwings 5 pts
Grant 4 pts
Gina 4 pts
ZuphChic 4 pts
Toronto Erin 4 pts
Erin 4 pts
Kerry 4 pts
Maria 4 pts

See the correct answers for yesterday's game below!