X's and Y's

Friday, May 29, 2009

I haven't talked here about having another baby too often, but it's been a topic of conversation for a few years. Whenever Phil and I have talk about it, the discussion disintegrated into a mini argument. We'd go around in circles not really getting anywhere. The baby talk has brought up a lot of issues. Some are things that have always been speed bumps in our marriage that flare up every few years but there have also been a few new things that have developed since I've started getting serious about the blog.

It's been frustrating for both us of not being on the same page.
In the end I think we both raised the white flag and agreed to permanently disagree. Phil got a vasectomy three weeks ago. I called Deb the morning of the surgery and tried not to cry. Since then I've had good days and bad. I mentally go over the pros and cons and Phil and I still talk about the "what if's" and the "maybe's."

I don't know if this was the right decision for us and I may never know. I know we needed to get out of the limbo we've been in. This has been hanging over our heads since we bought our house (probably before). It's hard to be present in and love the life you do have when you're constantly wondering about the life you could have.

Meet Me at the (San Diego) Zoo

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

This past Friday we were invited to the opening of the new Elephant Odyssey exhibit at the San Diego Zoo.

The exhibit is amazing and I can see why it took four years and $45 million dollars to create. I really liked the focus on conservation, recycling and saving the elephants.

The Odyssey spans 7.5 acres and I'm sure I walked all of them. Much thanks to my husband and Deb's husband, The Rock, for wrangling the children while we drank Pink Elephants socialized. The food was great, flowers beautiful, the costumes were superb, the elephant cakes (not made of, just shaped like) were amazing and the kids got to touch snakes, birds and alligators.

I can't remember where Jenn and Bridget were when we took this picture, but they were there too. It was nice to get together with the girls!

(left to right Sondra, Tonya, Sugar, Deb and Charity,)

Tyler and Toots (Deb's daughter, who has decided Tyler is her brother) got his and hers Grim Reaper tattoos. (sorry, Deb!)

Everyone got super cute bags to take home with one of the best pieces of swag ever: a picture frame made of real elephant poo!

(yes it's real poo, no it doesn't smell like poo and yes I'm enjoying typing the word poo)

Thanks so much to Drew and the zoo for the invitation!

A Lesson in Physics

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Scene: The family is outside their home enjoying the late afternoon sun. Mother and father are seated in lawn chairs. Son has been riding his bike up and down the cul de sac, but stops to take a break.

Tyler: "I'm hot."

Phil: "I know something that will cool you off."

[Mother can tell by the tone in Father's voice that something bad is about to happen and thinks "this oughta be good."]

Tyler: What?

Phil: "Run down the street as fast as you can and the breeze will cool you off."

Tyler: [hands on hips] "That doesn't make sense."

Phil: "Sure it does, the faster you run, the cooler you'll get."

[Mother looks at son with pleading eyes and thinks, "c'mon kiddo, don't fall for it." Child shrugs shoulders and takes off running. Father laughs hysterically. Mother scowls at him.]

Phil: "What?" [still laughing]

Me: "That wasn't very nice."

Phil: "I was teaching him a lesson."

Me: "What? That his dad is jerk?"

Phil: "No, a lesson in physics."

Tyler: [yelling, voice fades as he gets farther down the street] "I can't feeel anyyythinggggg."

Father is still laughing hysterically at his own joke.

Phil: "My stomach hurts."

Good News!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

I'm sorry I've been absent. I've sat down at the computer several times this week and nothing I've tried to post has come out readable. Today I've been going back and forth between my mortgage company and the county tax office. I'm so frustrated and I cried a little while talking to either the third or fourth person, I can't remember.

Anyway, I needed a little pick me up. And I got one in my email. Disney offered me a scholarship to BlogHer! I'm so excited! Our mortgage situation has me a little stressed about the conference. I've wondered whether I should bow out, find a way to make it up to my sponsors and look ahead to next year. But now I have some breathing room.

The relationship I have with Disney is so important to me. I'm so happy to be a part of their blog family. Leanne and Laura, thank you so much. I'm so grateful!


Wednesday, May 13, 2009

I lost two subscribers recently and it's been bugging the crap out of me, wondering what on earth I could have possibly said. The subscribers I lost came just after I posted about how hard the mornings can be getting Tyler to school and that sometimes he pushes my buttons so much he's thisclose to getting a spanking. I would be lying if I said that losing subscribers after I posted something so personal and 'real' doesn't sting a little. Maybe that's not why they left. Maybe I'm just getting really boring.

It's made me wonder though just how much of myself I can reveal here. The "real me" hasn't made too many appearances on this blog. I'm not really sure why. I'm not controversial on here even though I've got an opinion on
everything. I've never dropped the F bomb here even though I do in real life because sometimes it's the perfect thing to say.

There's been a lot going on lately that it would be nice to air out, and get my thoughts and feelings in order. Some of it is still too raw to talk about, some of it I may never get to since it's about my marriage. I won't invade my husband's privacy. Knowing how many people say they like to read about the good and the bad, then losing two people after I share some of the bad gives me pause.

I've said before this blog is a work in progress. Hopefully I'll always feel that way because it means I'm continuing to learn and grow. If I ever get complacent that will be a sign that maybe it's time to walk away.. I left this comment on Angie's blog recently:

"Delurking to say I think everyone's blog goes through some sort of evolution. Our sites are what we need them to be, when we need them to be it. You can really tell who your friends are by the ones who stick with you through all the stages."

I guess I just want to say thanks to everyone who's stuck with me so far, and thanks to those who decide to stay should anymore of the "real me" decide to make a visit.

Wordless Wednesday: Prince and Princess

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

For more Wordless Wednesday visit 5 Minutes for Mom, Mom Dot, What's That Smell

National Mom's Nite Out: Thank You Just Isn't Enough

Monday, May 11, 2009

When I was young, my mom drilled into me the importance of saying 'thank you' and writing a note to someone who has given a gift or done something really nice for you. Those two words are so small, and often not adequate which is definitely true when it comes to our Mom's Nite Out party last week.

I had a speech prepared to thank everyone for attending, to thank Megan and Ingrid for the great location and Lizzie from Bailey Gardiner for putting us all in touch, and to thank Deb and Charity for their awesomeness and for still being friends with me after experiencing first hand the anal compulsive, over bearing control freak that I am.

And I completely forgot to give said speech. I remembered at the end of the night when the room was empty and we were cleaning up. I felt like such a heel. Still do. So, to all those involved in making our party so fabulous, please humbly accept those two small words and know that they have big, BIG feeling behind them.

Megan from Seaport Village
Ingrid from Buster's Beach House and Longboard Bar
Lizzie from Bailey Gardiner
Maria and everyone at BSM Media
Kathy Ireland Worldwide
Chelsea at Pat and Oscar's
Jeff at Cosmic Frogs Photography
Joan at Laughing Rhino
Sydney at Dropps
Shari's Berries
One Step Ahead
Ashley at Tunix
Meri at Avon
Build A Bear
Kevin at KanYo Fuse
Sheryl at TableTopics
Paula at Rae Florae
Ciaran at Francie Pants
Liz at The Cookie Chew
Laura at VPG Printing
Bella d'Ora Spa
Kin Spa at the Manchester Grand Hyatt
Big Honcho Media
Candice at Bid My Cleaning
Karen at Captain Cooks
Sugar Jones at Sugar Snaps Photography
Hands 2 Go

The Simple Stencil
Little Debbie


Friday, May 8, 2009

National Mom's Night Out was fun! But I'm glad it's over. The night went off with only a few minor hiccups (mostly that I was still in the bathroom getting ready when our guests started arriving). Megan at Seaport Village, Lizzie at Bailey Gardiner and Ingrid at Buster's; you are angels on earth. You all went above and beyond and exceeded our expectations. Many heartfelt thank you's to you.

There are many, many more people to thank. And I will thank them all after I take a long nap. ZZZzzzzzzzzz

May the (Shopping) Force Be With You

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Looking back, it probably wasn't a coincidence that I chose the dollar store right next to Marshalls to buy the gift bags for my National Mom's Night Out party tonight. I've had such good luck at that store finding something to wear at the last minute and not spending a fortune.

I went in looking for something to wear with my brown gladiator stilettos and trouser jeans. Nothing jumped out at me and I was about to give up and *gasp* wear something I already had.

Well, the Shopping Gods must have heard my pleas because they turned their benevolent eyes upon me and led me to this:

It's hard to tell but the ruffled cap sleeves and tiny lavender buttons are SO cute! It has my favorite color, purple, and teal, taupe and cream. For $19.99 all thoughts of brown disappeared PDQ. Of course, then I did a mental slide show of all the shoes in my closet. I set aside two pair of lavender heels to try on and headed for the dressing room.

I was chatting with mom
(who will be leaving tomorrow for a 4-day Mexican cruise, $89 per person!!!!) and the Shopping Gods were feeling extra generous because they had me wander past these

And I'm in love! I said to my mom, "OK, try to talk me out of spending any more money," and she said, "that's not my job anymore, and by the way, I need your address to mail your Mother's Day card" which I took to mean, "I'll slip a little something in it," and put the shoes in my cart.
There's nothing quite like a shopping high. I'll take it over sex and chocolate
(almost) any day.

(Follow @momsniteout tonight on Twitter for all the parties. I believe there are over a thousand!)
This post is sponsored by
Marshalls who are providing my clothing for BlogHer.

Wordless Wednesday: Pinkberry! (Lives Up to the Hype)

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

For more Wordless Wednesday visit 5 Minutes for Mom, Mom Dot, What's That Smell

What Mother's Day Means for Me, With Flowers!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

This post should have been up yesterday but my flowers died and Tyler was stung by a bee. But I should back up a bit. I have a relationship with a new PR company. They offered to send me fresh flowers, my favorite Gerber daisies, to use in a post about Mother's Day. I've been wracking my brain trying to tie flowers and what being a mom means to me together in a way that didn't sound trite or cliched. The events of yesterday afternoon spoke for themselves and kind of wrote the story for me.

I'm not crafty so the thought of arranging the flowers myself, especially into something picture worthy that wouldn't embarrass the sponsor was a little scary. I love having fresh flowers but I generally leave the arranging to the pros. I've never made a topiary out of anything, let alone flowers. But, I try to be open to new experiences. There's always something to learn and the feeling of accomplishment that goes along with mastering a new skill is so, so sweet.

I kept my flowers in a vase with the protective straws on the stems until I was ready to start my post. If you're not familiar with Gerber daisies the flower heads are really heavy. The stems can get limp and droopy long before the bloom is gone and the heads hang like they lost the Little League title by one run and it looks so sad.

So, I kept the plastic straws on the stems to support the heads so that my arrangement would look fresh. But, when I took the straws off to start creating my topiary the stems had mildewed and collapsed but I couldn't see that through the green straw. I was crushed. I thought I was being careful and doing the right thing. But sometimes, decisions we make that seem right at the time don't turn out the way we planned.

I had to take a moment to regroup and come up with a Plan B on the fly. I decided I had to get new flowers so that I could honor my commitment. After I picked him up from school, Tyler and I went to a wholesaler near us and I bought two bunches of beautiful orange Gerbers and white mini Carnations. When we got home I started snipping and bunching, hoping the topiary would turn out at least sphere-like. And it didn't, so I tried again. And again. And again.

It took me more than hour to put the arrangement together. Mostly because I'm anal but also to prove to myself that I could do it. Putting together a flower arrangement isn't on par with cooking a five course gourmet meal for eight but I really, really wanted it to turn out well. Having the topiary on my kitchen table would be a visual reminder that I do manage to get the all encompassing "it" right, at least some of the time.

As I was finishing up and trying to find good light for pictures, Tyler, who was outside playing tether ball, started to cry. Then he started to scream. He ran inside holding his hand and his eyes were huge. "It hurts! It hurts! Ow, ow, owwwww!" I tried to get him to show me where he was hurt but he ran from me, to the bathroom, back to me and to the bathroom again in a complete panic. I've never seen him like that before. "It hurts worser now! Ow, OWWWWW!"

I thought he might have gotten a bad splinter from the wooden base of his tether ball set but he wouldn't let me get a good look.
Phil brought the tweezers and antibiotic into the bathroom, but Tyler had already stuck his hand under the faucet. What I saw could have been a splinter, but judging by the pain he was in, the redness and swelling, it had to be a sting. It was his first, and Phil is allergic to stings so we kept a close eye on him for awhile, just in case.

Seeing Tyler like that, hurt and terrified, scared me a little. He's my heart and soul. Keeping him safe is my job. But sometimes, no matter how hard we try, we won't always be able to keep our kids out of harm's way. But, we can do our best to kiss it and make it all better, and hope that it actually will.

For me, being a mom has changed me in so many ways. It's been a journey to say the least. I've had to step out of my comfort zone into unfamiliar territory many times, making decisions as I go and hoping they are the right ones and trying not to beat myself up too badly when it turns out I was wrong.

I've had to learn how to handle the energy of a fearless, curious little boy. I've tapped into patience levels I didn't know I had. I've had to think on my feet and change directions many times. I've had to admit when I didn't know the answers.

I've come to realize I need external validation more than I'd like to admit, especially now that I'm a stay at home mom. I understand now that deep, fierce need to protect that is only words until you have a child of your own. Being a mom is hard at times. But it's so worth it. And when my little flower smiles and tells me I'm the best mommy in the world, I know that all my time, effort and patience are working and I'm getting "it" right.

Gift Idea: Teacher Appreciation (Ziggy Marley iPod giveaway)

Monday, May 4, 2009

There was a conversation on Twitter last week about what to do and what to give for Teacher Appreciation. Teaching is a calling. Actually, I think it's more than that but I just can't think of a word bigger than calling.

I'm a nerd and I really like school. I'm sure that's partly due to some of the great teachers I've had who helped take learning above memorization and recitation and made it engaging and fun.

My Freshman year, our World Studies teacher turned class time into a Jeopardy game. He was also really into classical music and made our knowing composers and individual pieces of music part of class too.

I credit Mr. T (my teacher, not the man from the ATeam) with the fact that I enjoy classical music and he's why I bought all the Baby Einstein music CD's to play for Tyler. I may not remember all the Palestinian Territories anymore, but I remember how awesome it was to come up with the winning mega bonus point answer after a really close round and all the cheering and high fives in our row. I think we may have gotten ice cream too.

Anyway, all this is to say that teachers work HARD to make a positive impression and impact on our kids' lives. For Teacher Appreciation week, gifts that can help teacher's expand on the lessons in their classroom are much needed, especially when budgets and funding are being cut. If that gift will also help a charity benefiting children, more's the better I say, and Ziggy Marley's new CD, Family Time, fits both bills.

Family Time is a CD of children's music and short stories. Willie Nelson, Jack Johnson, Ziggy's daughter Judah and Paul Simon are a few of the artists collaborating on Family Time, and Jamie Lee Curtis voices two short stories, one she wrote and one written by Ziggy.

The music is typical Marley. It makes me want to dance with my son on a white sand beach while we sip from coconuts (mine with a little Jamaican Rum added of course). Proceeds from Family Time go through Ziggy's foundation
U.R.G.E to help renovate the
Chepstowe Basic School in Port Antonio, Jamaica, which is so badly in need of repairs it is not allowed to be an official part of the school system.

Win It!
One (1) Grand Prize winner will receive the following:

* Copy of ‘Family Time’ CD * 1GB iPod Shuffle

Three (3) runner-up winners receive a copy of Family Time
To enter:
1. Leave a comment on this post and tell me how music is important to your family or what you're doing for Teacher Appreciation - required.

2. I MUST have a way to get in touch with you! I will have to delete comments with no contact info.

3. Comments will close on Monday, June 1st at 11:59pm CA time.

4. I will use random.org to draw the winners and post the results/notify winners via email and in a "Winners" post on Tuesday, June 2nd. The number that appears first in the sequence will be the grand prize winner.

5. US residents only (sorry!)

6. For two extra entries: (not required) Tweet, and/or blog about this contest and leave each of your links in a separate comment (three entry opportunities total). You will need a free
Twitter account.

7. You
do not have to follow me or subscribe to this blog as a method of entry (but you're more than welcome to!). Tweet as often as you like, but only one Tweet will count as an extra entry. Here's the URL to this post: http://tiny.cc/JEhPp

Good luck! (PS: Comment moderation is on only because this post is older than 25 days. I'm getting each one and will publish them before pulling a winner.)

National Mom's Nite Out: San Diego FAQ

Friday, May 1, 2009

Well, not really. Sorta. We've had questions in our email and over Twitter about the party so I thought I'd address them here.

On Wednesday I had a bit of a panic attack about the party and I called Deb. When she answered I said, "I'm freaking out!" We greet each other with random comments like "I'm fat" before we say hello so she's used to it. She talked me down and agreed to meet me. We took the kids, who are now brother and sister, then went to dinner.

We made a little video while we there. I wasn't going to use mine because my face looks like a connect the dots of splotchy-ness and Deb has forbidden me to post hers (but I haven't erased it. shh). I'm going to put mine on the Facebook page anyway.

Anyway, the FAQ's. People have asked:
1. Can I bring a friend? Absolutely!
2. Is it really free? Really and truly.
3. What is the cost for the raffle? Tickets are $5 each or 3 for $10 with all money going to the March of Dimes.
4. How much is parking? We're validating for three hours, after that it's $3 an hour, but free with a purchase in the Village (spend your $3 on a latte!)
5. Do I have to be a mom? Nope. We want to meet all fun, San Diego women.
6. Do I have to be a blogger? Not at all.

If you have questions please let me know. Looking forward to meeting you!

Breast Cancer 3-Day Training: The Shoes

I'm not structurally sound. I think my hips rotate too far inward. If I stand with my feet parallel and bend my knees, my knees come together. If I turn my feet out slightly then bend my knees they go straight parallel to one another. I have a deep arch in my back that bypasses sexy approaching swayback. One hearty sneeze can tweak my back for days.

For a few months in college I went to a chiropractor who told me one leg is slightly shorter than the other (I think it was bullshit but he was totally hot and I was covered under my mom's insurance). I walk on the outside of my heels and I have wonky ankles (they pronate, badly). I'm skelatally challenged. I knew there was no way I could skip getting professionally fitted for shoes for my 3Day walk.

Through the 3Day website I found an outfitter near me. I went several weeks ago to get my first pair of shoes. Before now I chose athletic shoes mostly by price. But, I'll be walking 60 miles and this is not the time to be frugal. Getting professionally fitted for shoes can be the difference between a few blisters and lost toenails.

I tried on several pairs and had Bill and Caroline watch me walk in each of them. I needed a shoe with major heel and arch support to keep my wonky ankles stable and support my lower back.

I chose a pair of Brooks. So far they're working out well. I walked five miles this past Monday and hope to do five and half the next time I go out.

Bill and Caoline gave me a few tips for anyone starting training:

1. Find out if the shoe you choose changes styles. Some brands change a shoe from year to year. What worked for you last time might not feel the same later.

2. Get shoes at least a full size larger than your actual size. I hate seeing my feet looking like skis but 60 miles of the tips of my toes rubbing against the inside of my shoes is a surefire way to have the nails on my big toes start to bleed and then fall off. Vanity has no place in training!

3. Shoes with a larger toe box give your toes room to spread and minimize friction. Plus, if you start getting blisters there's room for the tape and moleskin.

4. Buy synthetic socks. I didn't know there was a difference but Bill explained that cotton absorbs the sweat but stays wet. Which creates a sauna in your shoe that will take a long time to dry. Plus: stinky! Ideally walkers should wear one pair Friday, switch on Saturday and go back to the first pair on Sunday.

There's no turning back now!

Help me reach my goal for the San Diego Breast Cancer 3-Day!

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