Tuesday, April 16, 2013

I'm Leaving On a Jet Plane (Lauren Edition)

Today is my last full day in California.
To be honest, I'm ready to come home but that will happen tomorrow.
The conference is fun and I'm enjoying California, but I'm ready to be in my own home.
Since I'm still in San Francisco so you get to be entertained by Miss Lauren!

Lauren isn't a blogger, but she is my Baby Girl.
"Baby Girl?" you might ask.
You see, this is how that nickname came about one day on G-chat.

Lauren: Is there ever an appropriate time to use the term "baby girl?"
Jen: Only if you're a black rapper and you're referencing your main woman and not one of your ho's. For example, Tiny is TI's "baby girl"
Lauren: So I shouldn't call you "baby girl?"
Jen: No.
Laurn: Ok, baby girl. (you see what I did there? I called you baby girl anyway.)

And that folks, is how we started calling each other baby girl.
She's even saved in my phone like this

You see, I love Lauren so much, I over look the fact that she's a Cowboys fan.
Blech!

Be prepared to be entertained.
Lauren is full of sass, snark, and sheer hilariousness.
Enjoy!

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When my dearest baby girl, Jen, asked me to compose a“guest blog post” for her amazing website, I wholeheartedly agreed as there is simply nothing I would not do for my baby girl, and yet, now, as I sit down to actually compose this thing, I realize my monumental error in judgment. Admittedly, Jen assured me that I could write about anything, perhaps even test my theory that when life lets you down, pop culture always provides a satisfying scandal to save your day (i.e. Lindsay Lohan). Perhaps, since my baby girl is such a fan of T-Swifty, I could provide some insight into why Taylor Swift cannot seem to find true love in her many, many relationships (i.e. What is the common denominator in all of these relationships? Right, it’s you, Taylor. Post concluded). Still, the lawyer in me is always reluctant to take too many pot shots at these even very deserving public figures, so I opted instead to take up space on my dear friend’s blog talking about my own personal weirdness as I prepare for an Oklahoma summer as a toddler mom with virtually no maternal instincts whatsoever. I suspect I am about as equipped for that as I am for guest blogging, but I trust my baby girl will forgive this little foray.

Before I dive in, I need to provide some slight history to bring everybody up to speed on my life path that went from maddeningly ambitious attorney to mommy. Three years ago, I was in the middle of growing my own law practice when I inadvertently contracted the mommy flu from my husband of seven years. In the blessed three and a half years that followed, I really started to think I was surprisingly hitting my motherly stride. My kid is cute, relatively well-mannered, and generally takes direction without shrieking in hysteria in the middle of some department store. I survived breast-feeding, dirty diapers, and all-nighters with an admittedly uncharacteristic Mommy Zen. He speaks his (brilliant) mind with the same edge his mother has, wipes his own you-know-what, and still naps for a couple of hours every afternoon like clockwork. I really feeling a little proud of my adjustment when I learned apparently that summertime means I have some obligation as a parent to socialize my child with all the things I dread: day camps, field trips, play dates, swimming lessons, amusement parks, all in usually blistering heat.

Recently, a culmination of experiences reminded me that, even as a now “tot-mom” (i.e. Jen, I totally just pictured Nancy Grace talking about the Casey Anthony trial and laughed inappropriately), I am apparently ill-equipped for parenthood because I feel like I need a stiff drink after (and during) every play date activity. For example, a few days ago, I took the kid on a play date with my sorority sister and her son for “Pre-School Time” at what I can only describe as a house of inflatable horrors. The place was truly crawling with screaming, sweaty toddlers without shoes literally climbing on one another in piles to get to the top of a grimy balloon slide (or take down a helicopter mid-flight like the sugar-fueled, mouth-breathing zombies they were) while other toddlers rammed tennis balls into makeshift air guns and opened fired on the herd. It was germ guerilla warfare, and I arrived for battle without a ten gallon jug of antibacterial hand gel. In fact, my PTSD is so intense, I literally just made myself a cocktail recalling this place, but for me and my baby girl, Jen, it is just another Tuesday night!

Although my sorority sister and I vowed never again to return to this establishment, we somehow found ourselves on yet another play date less than a week later…at a petting zoo. My sorority sister patiently parked her stroller just outside the little farm yard, and the boys seemed to momentarily enjoy interacting with the goats, pigs, sheep, and apparently gay bunny rabbits with surprisingly few inappropriate questions about the miracle of life. Suddenly, my sorority sister sprang to action, running to the fence to try to wrangle a goat that had stuck its head through the fence and was polishing off a few stray Cheerio’s inside her stroller seat and washing them down with by lapping water out of her son’s water bottle nestled in the cup holder. For a moment, I chuckled at her expense until her son pulled at my pant leg and held something out to me inside his cute little hand, something small and round, pellet-like really, and freshly deposited quite recently by an excreting billy goat. As I frantically tried to keep him from touching anything else while dragging him screaming to a hand-washing station and my sorority sister, now armed with some zoo staff members, tried to extract the goat that oddly enough shared my son’s name from her stroller, another stray animal (a peacock we affectionately deemed Roger) randomly eluded another zoo keeper while my kid just looked confused as the strangers in khaki uniforms violently shouted his name and demanded he get back in the pen. That’s right, bottoms up, gang!

We again vowed never again, but a few days later, we were already chatting about future play dates. I mean, what could possibly go wrong if we decided to allow our children to explore their creative at a pottery painting studio? Or, even yet, decided to load up the entire gang in her mini-van and go to the one place in this world that still causes me to break into a cold sweat: the amusement park. Allow me to explain my anxiety…

Certain elements are absolutely essential for any successful visit to an amusement park. No amusement park visit is complete unless the temperature is at least ninety degrees Fahrenheit with one hundred percent humidity. You must feel sweat in body crevices you did not know you had such that you are willing to literally dip yourself in the brown, foamy water on the graffiti-splattered log ride to cool off and wait in an incredible line for the opportunity to do so. Once you feel the sweat begin to bead under your eyeballs and start to trickle down your cheeks, you know you are ready to pack yourself into back-and-forth rows of humanity for the exciting privilege to be jerked around in a loop for thirty seconds or so. A little wobbly, you step off the ride only to observe a mass of sweaty humanity (and their thirteen barefooted children) stuffing their respective faces with fried food and multi-colored drinks composed mostly of high fructose corn syrup. During any solid amusement park visit, this will certainly not be the last time you observe these dietary delights.

Amusement park visits offer a cornucopia of germs, particularly when I think about how my toddler will touch every surface therein. My mother always told me that as a small child, I would always avoid filthy bathrooms. One time, Mom and Dad convinced me the circus was over at intermission because I refused to use the toilet in the arena. I have to admit that I still experience that apprehension, particularly in amusement park bathrooms. It always seems like there is one working public toilet in the entire park with the rest of the stalls closed with handwritten signs indicating they are not in working order. Despite these signs, park visitors always seem skeptical. Why is that? You could put up a sign that says, “Some creep loaded the toilet with paper towels and smeared feces on the walls of this stall. Out of Order” and people would still peak inside just to be sure. At amusement parks, the floors of the bathroom are always wet, and the origin of the water is always unknown. Filthy children with face paint peer beneath stalls. Employees leave the restroom without washing their hands (Although frankly, I am not convinced they are any dirtier than those of us that elected to wash our hands in the amusement park restroom). You wait in line to use the facilities, and inevitably, the longer that you wait, the more concerned you become about what your predecessor is doing the stall you are soon to occupy. Waiting with a clenching toddler in tow does not seem prudent.

Still, I am confident that there are many that would say I am simply an uptight snob. The truth is, I really would not argue with that sentiment. Since I officially became an adult, I don’t know that I have ever visited an amusement park that I am not a little embarrassed to be there. Amusement park attendees are always colorful: Gigantic women in wet tube tops with Tinkerbell tattooed on their right shoulders eating a turkey leg followed by a line of barefoot and crying children wearing the remnants of an oversized lollypop on their faces, the “Pat”-like visitor that, despite your best efforts, you cannot tell whether he/she is a man or a woman, families dressed with matching, tucked-in polos armed with professional cameras snapping pictures of some absolutely indistinguishable concrete monument erected in front of the saloon fa├žade, teenage brace-faces covered in pimples getting hot and heavy against a tree covered in about a thousand hardened gum wads, each a different fluorescent color. Frankly, the amusement park crowd operates like social birth control-It is a warning to our society about the all-too-real results of hasty couplings. Despite these thoughts, I see the irony in being judgmental while I myself am a visitor at the amusement park. The odds some visitor will look at me, my sticky toddler and my loved ones and think we are a pack of disgusting weirdos has to be fairly high.

So, after giving this road trip to the amusement park some serious thought, I have decided, in light of my past experiences and our recent play date history, I just may have to deny my kid that I love dearly this sacred summertime rite of passage. His frazzled mother should be spared the overwhelming anxiety of so-called amusement, right? I mean, right? Who is with me? (Awkward pause) Yeah, okay, sure, this Saturday works for me. I’ll bring the juice boxes and the fruit snacks for the ride.

Monday, April 15, 2013

I'm Leaving On a Jet Plane (Suzanne Edition)

I hope you all had a lovely weekend.
I know I did!
I'm still in San Francisco so today you get a maternity fashion/comentary on Kim Kardashian from the lovely Suzanne.
She's a blogger, but hasn't been lately because she's super career woman/wife/mother/sorority advisor/friend.

I met Miss Suzanne while she was a law student at the law school where I work.

I was so proud of her!

Suzanne has introduced me to many great blogs (like The Bloggess) or authors (like Jen Lancaster).
She keeps me in the loop of all gossip and pop culture.
For instance, this is one of the G-chat messages I got from Suzanne about Kim K last week.
"Kk, honey. If it requires spanx, you should probably give it up.
I wore maternity spanx once amd it was to a wedding, at the end of June and it was more about protecting my thighs from each other than being skinny.
And that problem didn't occur whilst wearing a jumpsuit (likely not maternity)"

Do you see why I love this girl?
She keeps me entertained daily and you're lucky enough to be entertained by her today!

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Hi, there! I’m that chick who has a blog, but never blogs because I work full time, Blogger is blocked at work and, by the time I get home and get my kiddo to bed, I’m exhausted. So, I then take a shower (because who has time to do that in the mornings), maybe talk to my husband for a few minutes and then go to bed. Yes, this is all by about 9:30pm. However, I have a good excuse. Almost exactly 2 years from when B Jr was conceived, my husband thought it would be funny to go and knock me up again so that I could spend my entire last trimester wallowing in my own puddle of sweat during the hottest part of the summer. Yay me! That being said, Jen has brought me here to talk about a little thing I like to call “maternity fashion,” also known as “Hey, guess what? Just because you’re pregnant doesn’t give you an excuse to be a sloppy mess” or “Hey, you are knocked up. Go buy some maternity clothes instead of shoving your ever growing physique into the next size (or 8 sizes) up.”
 
Now, I learned a lot during my first pregnancy. For example, a good fitting bra is extremely helpful and, most importantly, it’s better to embrace your changing body than try to conceal the changes or shove them into something that doesn’t fit well. Let’s talk about a woman who is (apparently) over halfway through her pregnancy. Yep, we’re talking about KK. So, here’s the “skinny” on pregnancy weight gain (for those non-preg/never been preg), for someone of average weight pre-preg, you are recommened to gain between 25-35 pounds. During my first pregnancy, I gained right at 35 pounds. I’m pretty sure that I took the idea of eating for two to heart, especially during the last week of my pregnancy (which was the week past my due date). I ate grilled cheese and cake like it was my job. I had the kid and, months later, realized that the 35 pounds I gained was 7 pounds baby, 15ish pounds everything else and 15ish pounds of weight I just gained (or, grilled cheeses and cakes).
Inline image 1
 
Left: Me literally weeks before getting pregnant. Right: Me literally a week before giving birth.

So, I was a normal preg. My belly didn't really pop until about 16-18 weeks and then I steadily gained from there on. I also wore maternity pants and lots of shirts (like above) and stretchy tanks, but mainly B’s workout clothes. That is one way to do pregnancy. Another way, is to literally eat for two (as opposed to the 300 extra calories they say you need per day) and to gain like J. Simps (who is really dressing to flatter her body this time. Good for her!) and KK (who is not). Let’s take some examples shall we.

Let’s discuss things that aren't comfortable when pregnant. Leather skirts and pants. Does any of this look comfortable? You have to pee like all the time when pregnant and tight clothes don’t help.
Kim Kardashian Baby Bump: Lots of Tight Leather and Heels!
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Also, as discussed above, just moving up sizes is not flattering. Your body changes. Stop trying to give yourself a definable waist. You don’t have a waist when you’re pregnant. Unless you consider the circumference of your ribs right under your bust to be your waist, then, by all means, cinch away. I’m all for letting women be and to not make too much out of pregnancy weight gain (sometimes, there’s only so much you can do about genetics). There are amazing things happening in your body. Embrace it, but let’s not go overboard on making ourselves look bad.
 
Here are some great options for what to wear while pregnant. Non-leather leggings – Gap and Pea in the Pod have great options. Stretchy tops and tunics. Maxi dresses. These are all great options. Go forth KK, and wear leather pants/skirts no more. It will be best for everyone . . . not least of whom include you and your baby.
Kim Kardashians Bare Baby Bump.tiff
via
This looks fairly normal for 6 (maybe) months pregnant. Dress to accentuate this. Don’t hide it. You are a beautiful woman (no comments about help/changes/whatever). Embrace that body and work it. I know you can work your curves. Do it sensibly and not in a way that makes it look like you’re trying to squeeze yourself into a sausage casing. And also, take into consideration what your doctors tell you. 25-35 lbs through a whole pregnancy is normal. 23 lb in the first half is a bit much. Don’t lie. Tell us what you’re really eating. And, most of all take care of you. (So, this turned more into an open letter. Just go with it and try not to give me too much shit. Pregnant women are beautiful and you can be beautiful and comfortable at the same time. Trust. You can do it.)

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Hi From San Francisco!

Peeking in from San Francisco to say hi!
The pleasure portion of the trip is drawing to an end as the work portion gears up.
I couldn't imagine someone more fun to go on an adventure with.
Bill headed home this morning and I went people watching on the warf. 
The people watching in San Fran is unbeatable.
This afternoon I checked out of the Holiday Inn by the Warf and checked in to the Marriott Downtown.
I'm off to see what downtown has to offer,
but I wanted to peek in and say hi.
Tomorrow you'll have a great guest post from my friend Suzanne.
You'll love her.
Have a great rest of your weekend!


Friday, April 12, 2013

I'm Leaving On a Jet Plane (Erin Edition)


I'm on my way to San Francisco!
This trip is 1/2 fun with my bestie, Bill, and 1/2 a work conference,  but let's be honest, I'll even find a way to have fun during the work portion.

While I'm gone for these few days, I've asked some of my favorite ladies, bloggers and non bloggers, to sub in for me.
We are shaking things up up in here.
They're going to be a little different than normal crafting/recipes/my normal nonsense.
Get excited.

To kick things off, I've got Miss Erin from over at Two Thirds Hazel.
She is hilarious, adorable, and down right wonderful.
If you don't follow her blog, you totally should be.
Erin and are are blogging buddies so we've never met in real life but we email and text often.  Some day I will make it to NYC and this is how I imagine the shenanigans would be...drinks in hand, singing, getting crazy!
Sis, sorry I covered your lovely face with Erin's.
Without further ado...

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Hello Crafty Jen fans, I'm Erin and I blog over at Two Thirds Hazel! I'm pretty excited to be over here today because it has given me the chance to do some confessing. I do that a lot on my blog. Usually every Friday. So I've decided to compile a list of some of my favorites from all of my past posts. Enjoy!

One: I contemplate moving out of the city just so I can get a puppy. But then I go to happy hour straight from work instead of having to go home and walk it and I forget all about wanting one. Until I find a picture like this and my heart melts to mush all over again.
Two: I will throw grapes away as soon as they become slightly mushy. They must be able to crunch/pop/burst in between my teeth or else they're goners.
Three: That I will forever be baffled by chubby bellies in belly shirts. I really do feel bad for the bellies.
Four: This conversation happened between me and my momma...
Five: I almost got peed on by a bum once. City living at its finest right there.
Six: I have started to take the four flights of stairs up to my apartment instead of the elevator as a "workout". I bet it'll do wonders for my body.
Seven: I look like a deranged hillbilly whenever I eat celery and peanut butter. There just simply isn't an attractive way about it. Stay classy ya'll.
Eight: I feel bad for any man that has to walk his girlfriend's "punt pass and kick" little pup through the streets of Manhattan. But it's a sure fine way to attach a "He's taken, back off Barbie" sign to his forehead without actually doing so. So hey, you go girlfriend.
Nine: Guys who use "whatever", excessive exclamation points, or winky faces in text messages need to, well, not.
Ten: I once found a nerd, yes the candy not the Geek squad employee, in my belly button. I discovered this little escapee about thirty minutes after I had finished the box. If this isn't the definition of fat then I'm not sure what is...
Thanks for having me Jen! You can come say hi and see some more randomness over here!
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Wednesday, April 10, 2013

It's Not Just Anyone'sBirthday

It's two people's birthday!

(Today's post is short and sweet because I have so much to do!
I have to...
wrap things up at work to be off for a week
Papa and LaDonna arrive this afternoon
make arrangements for a special dinner tonight
and so much more!!)

But, that's not what this post is about.
It's about these two!
HAPPY BIRTHDAY,
BETHANY AND GRANT!!
(They have the same birthday, crazy, right?)

Sis is turning 40!
Grant is turning 2!

I love you both more than words can express.
Thank you for moving to Tulsa so I can be a part of your daily lives and share so many fun memories and experiences with your family.
I love you!!

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

So Much Craziness!

Boy, oh boy, has life been crazy in this neck of the woods.
Friday, I took a half day off so I could clean the house and start party prep for this little angel's 2nd birthday party on Saturday.
 Well, an hour or two into the afternoon I got a call from Sis and her husband, Chris, telling me Bethany's doctor wasn't going to let her go home from her weekly check-up because the baby's growth had dropped in the chart from the 6th percentile to the less than 3rd percent.  They were checking her into the hospital for monitoring.

I offered to cancel the party, but Sis wanted it to go on.
Chris came over and helped me with the yard work.
He also saved me from a giant snake.
Ok, it could have been a small garden snake.
I may have also squealed, danced, and leaped around a little bit to get his attention.

We were hoping Sis would get released Saturday in time for the party but that did not happen.  They decided to keep her until Monday for another check up with the doctor.

Thanks to Chris, and some help from the birthday boy himself, we were able to get the house decorated and food ready for the party.  I could not have done it without him.  Thanks, Tristopher!!

Here's a little peak at the party theme...Elmo.
This is Grant with his "best friend" Jackson.
They are so fun together. 

Another thank you goes out to my dear cousin, Ashley, for helping during the party.  I LOVE YOU, ASHLEY!!

So, the party went off without a hitch.
Afterwards half of us took more cupcakes, some presents, and such up to Sis in the hospital so she didn't miss out on the festivities.  That was a lot of fun.

Chris had to work Sunday so Ashley took the morning portion of watching Grant while I spent the morning doing the research for my science paper that was due Monday.  Yes, started the research.  I picked Grant up, we visited Sis, and then we went back to his house for a nap.  When Chris got off work I headed home and started my paper.  I didn't finish until 2 am.  I was a hot mess on Monday.

Monday rolled around and Sis found out she's going to be incarcerated in the hospital until Ava makes her grand appearance.  The goal is to keep her in there for another 5 weeks.  

This means Sis will be on bed rest in the hospital for over a month if all goes well.  That's a long time!  So, Operation Make Sis Feel At Home is in full effect. 
This morning I ran some pictures up to her room of immediate family and some scribbles Grant made for her.  We have a few other things up our sleeves, but this will do for now.

I can't thank family and friends enough for the love and support they've shown to Bethany, Chris, and Grant.  You've all been so wonderful.  Last night Sis and I were talking about how it was meant to be that they moved here just over a year ago.  They are where they are supposed to be...here...were we/you all are here to rally around them.  THANK YOU!!!

Papa and his wife, LaDonna are headed home to help with childcare and life in general.  I can't wait to see them tomorrow.

Speaking of tomorrow, it's poor lil' ol' Sis' 40th birthday!
What a rotten way to spend your birthday, but we will do our best to make it as amazeballs as possible.

Needless to say, that's why I've been a little MIA and might be for the next month or so.  I will do my best to keep up the blog, but with as crazy as things have been, and will continue to be, I might be a little hit and miss for a while.

Friday, April 5, 2013

Dirty Little Secrets (aka: Confessional Time)

Today I confess the following...

I am SUPER stressed because I have way too much to do this weekend, but it should be a good time so I'm trying not to freak too much.  I can do it. I can do it. I can do it.

I think I get more satisfaction out of being one of two people in the office college basketball bracket with a team in the Final Four.  Syracuse better bring it home for me this weekend!

I like music better when there's a little grit/cussing/rough/swearing element to it. 

Because of the above confession, I refuse to buy an edited CD. I don't want to pay for half the music or pay for something that isn't how the artist didn't intend for it to be.  Don't get me wrong, not all of my music is raunchy.

I've been soda free for going on 3 months!  But I confess I have had 2 diet cherry limeaids in that time as treats.  I'm even more proud that I had those and then didn't slip back into my 44oz Diet Dew a morning habit.

I know it's only spring, but I'm so ready for football to start up again.

I feel like a bad blogger because this is only my 3rd post this week, but I would rather be silent than bore you with crappy posts.  Besides, next week I'll be busy sharing fun party decorations, recipes, and the like from Grant's 2nd birthday party!

And today I leave you with this reminder...

Happy Friday, all!