Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Five months

Look at you. Five months old already. I don't know how the time has passed so quickly. You've been sitting up for almost a month now. It amazes me.

You have this hearty, throaty belly laugh that when accompanied by that huge open mouth grin you like to flash makes my heart completely melt.

We still co-sleep, and if for some reason I leave you sleeping in your daddy's lap and go to bed without you, I miss you terribly. It's the one good thing about the house not being finished yet. There is no pressure for you to go to your own room because you still don't have one yet.

I'm sorry that you've been sick so much. This morning, you vomited twice after you woke up, simply from all of the mucous you swallowed during the night. I don't know why you and I are having such a hard time kicking stomach bugs and colds, because you are certainly a breastfed baby. But we are both having a hard time staying well. You are a really good sport about it though. Thank you for that.

You have already stopped looking like a little clone of your big brother. I thought for a few months there that I was going to have identical twins, two years apart. You've come into your own though, and I apologize profusely for the ears I have passed on to you. You will most likely get teased over them until your hair grows in to offset them a little bit.

Right. And you are still so very very bald. That just means I can nuzzle your head all the more.

I read all about how I would have room in my heart for both of my boys. It's not that I thought otherwise - I knew I would love all of my children - but I didn't realize how much all of that love would grow. My whole life has become submerged in the depth of love I have for my children.

So your brother, sweet Bird, made me who I am, but you, my little Squeak, you complete me.

You are my littlest love.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Shoe storage solution

This is my wine rack. I have moved it to the foyer, behind the front door, and filled it with shoes. We constantly have piles of shoes by the door, and it annoys me greatly. Since at least 50% of the time, they happen to be my own shoes, I figured a organizational solution rather than trying to train everyone to move their shoes all the time was a smart thing.

But this isn't about my mad organizational skillz. It's about that wine rack. Which now holds shoes. And not wine.

I love wine. I love Sonoma Chardonnay and Lodi Zinfandel. I love Two Buck Chuck, and I love $50 Nicholson Ranch Rose. I love most all wine. Especially if it's bubbly. That $10 Barefoot Bubbly you can get at the Harris Teeter? Oh my . . .

Here's the deal, though. If you are taking anti-depressants, then alcohol - being a depressant - seems like a bad idea. It even says so on the label of my beloved Zoloft.

More than that though, since I jumped on the wagon, I like myself better. I feel more in control. I feel like a better wife and mama. I don't look forward to 5:00. Every. Single. Day. I don't wonder if Kevin saw me refill my glass when I went back in the kitchen to wash dishes.

I don't necessarily think it's a bad thing to drink everyday. It's just bad for me.

So I don't. At all. I know myself, and I know my limits. Besides, I can guarantee that I drank enough up to this point in my life to cover the next 40 years of it. And did plenty of stupid stuff while doing it.

And now I have a great place to store shoes by the front door. Bonus.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

The era of play

I had lunch with one of my oldest friends today. She is going to make an amazing mama one day. For now though, she is still taking notes. Literally. Which is funny, because some of the things she reminded me I said after Christopher was born are things I have totally thrown out the window now.

Like the soothing. I needed the five S's in that baby book so badly with Christopher. What I figured out this time around was that I needed them because I tried to have him on a nap schedule and bedtime schedule by the time he was 3 months old.


I can't even imagine doing that with Colin now, and he's almost 5 months.

It's not that I necessarily think I was wrong with Christopher. Okay, about the nap thing, I was - but it's just that I'm so much more laid back this time around. I know everyone says that, but I'm talking lovely prescription drug induced anxiety quelled laid back.

Yeah, Colin still sleeps with us. No, I don't think he's going to still be sleeping with us when he's 10. Or even when he's one. I fully expect him to transition to his own bed. At some point. I just don't particularly care when.

Granted, with Christopher, I went back to work. Part-time, but still work. I had to pass him off to the nanny every afternoon, and keeping a work schedule made me feel much more rigid about him having a schedule too. Plus, I'm naturally uptight. Just saying.


We've moved into a new era here at Chez Canape. It's the era of play.

Play, play, play, all day, day, day.

We are all about getting to the pool, hitting up Marbles, visiting with our friends, going to Music Together, playing at North Hills, and whatever else we can find to do.

My new goal is to have tired, tired boys at the end of the day. Of course, we've been a little derailed by some summertime colds and the discovery of Jack's Big Music Show on at 9:00 AM, but I fully expect to be back in the swing of things by Thursday when we are meeting some friends at Marbles.

When we play, we learn. When we play, we're happy. When we play, we are connecting with each other. When we play, we are celebrating childhood.

When we play, we aren't keeping a perfect house. We aren't having gourmet meals every night. We aren't blogging as much. We aren't sewing as much. We are neglecting the piano.

But everything in life is just a phase. The dust can be swept up tomorrow or even the next day. And I can get back to writing and sewing next month or next year. For this afternoon, we danced to Elizabeth Mitchell and then simply had scrambled eggs for dinner.

It was a good day.

Photo of Kara's kiddos joining Christopher in an impromptu jam session with Colin playing roadie in the back. Now THAT'S what I'm talking about. Rocking.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

World's best zucchini bread recipe

As with all great baking, use the recipe as a guide and your intuition as the final decision. Me? I just fill up the food processor with as much zucchini and apple as it will hold and go from there. Sometimes I use nuts, sometimes not. Sometimes I use yogurt or applesauce instead of oil. Once you've made this a few times, you will figure out what works for your family.

The best part is that Christopher thinks it's cake and eats it right up. I'm going to have to be one of those moms who sneaks veggies in, but that's another post altogether.

From Kevin's dear Aunt Lorraine, I give you Zucchini and Apple bread that will rock your world.

Zucchini Apple Bread

4 C all purpose flour
1 T baking soda
1/4 t baking powder
1 1/2 t salt
1 1/2 T cinnamon
1/2 t ground nutmeg
5 eggs
2 C sugar
1 C brown sugar
1 1/2 C vegetable oil
1 T vanilla
2 C shredded zucchini (about 3 medium)
1 C shredded apple (about 1 medium)
1 1/2 C chopped pecans

Combine first six ingredients, put aside. combine eggs, sugars, oil, and vanilla in a large bowl. Beat at medium speed until well blended. Stir in dry mixture. Stir in zucchini-apple mixture and pecans, stirring just until moistened. Spoon batter into 3 greased & floured loaf pans Bake at 350 for 50-55 minutes or until a wooden pick comes out clean. Cool in pans 10 minutes, remove to wire rack, and cool completely.

You can also do muffins for about 30-35 minutes and mini loaf pans for about 45 minutes.


It's only fun if you play too

What's a girl to do when she's looking to regain her blogging mojo? Why, answer a list of random questions of course. Stolen from one of my most favorite bloggers, Miss Zoot, who stole it from someone else before herself. That's the way it works, you know.

30 Questions:

1. It’s 2AM and you are not home. You are more than likely:
Wishing I was at home and in the bed.

2. What’s the last thing you spent more than $100 on?
Not counting trips to the grocery store, I'm pretty sure that would be clothes for the boys. I have a slight Gymboree problem.

3. What do your bank checks look like?
Standard issue style from the bank. (Same answer as Zoot)

4. Where did the shirt you are currently wearing come from?
Swag from the music store where my ex-husband worked. Guitar strings.

5. Name something that will be on your Christmas wish list:
There are a couple of Anna Podris' paintings I've had my eye on for awhile. If they haven't been sold, I'll probably ask for one of those. Or, a more modest request would be a new Holly Aiken bag - one with the birds. I love those.

6. What color is your toothbrush?

7. Name something you collect and tell us about it.
Local artists. I love to have original artwork in our home - especially that is created by North Carolina artists.

8. Last restaurant you ate at. Who were you with? How was it?
Torrero's with Kevin and the boys. It was fabulous. We hadn't eaten there in several months because of the whole no-dairy diet I've been on.

9. Who was the last person you bought a birthday card for?
My oldest nephew, Jacob. Unfortunately, it is still on my kitchen counter and his birthday was this past Monday. Even worse, my oldest niece's was in May, and I haven't sent hers either. I suck.

10. What is your worst bad habit?
Drinking waaaay too much diet coke. (Also Zoot's answer)

11. Name a magazine to which you subscribe?
Everyday Food

12. Your favorite pizza toppings?
Fake pepperoni, black olives, and mushrooms.

13. Whose number were you looking up the last time you used a phone book?
I think I was looking for a doctor in the Yellow Pages.

14. Other than family, who is the person that you love most?
That's a hard one, and kinda silly one. But I guess I could narrow it down to Susan.

15. What is the last thing you cooked?
Last night I made beer braised sausages and warm potato salad (from Everyday Food).

16. Name something you wouldn’t want to buy used?
Training potty

17. Which shoe do you put on first?
Maybe the left? That's the contact I put in first.

18. What is the last thing you remember losing?
Some LLL papers. But I found them this morning.

19. What is the ugliest piece of furniture in your house?
The cheap Target dresser in our room that I'm stuffing Colin's clothes in for now.

20. Last thing you bought and ended up returning?
Some pants for Colin.

21. What perfume/cologne do you wear? If none, why?
None right now because of the baby, but Kevin gave me some for Christmas a couple of years ago that I really like. I don't remember the name, but the bottle is plaid.

22. Your favorite board game?
I like Dominoes, but there's no board.

23. What was the last board game you played?
Card game, actually. BS with Mallory.

24. Where did your vehicle come from?
Smithfield. A Jeep dealer.

25. If a movie was made about your life what would the theme song be?
"Broken Things" by Julie Miller.

26. You’re sad, who can cheer you up easily?
It was always my granddaddy before he died. Now, it would be Kevin.

27. What was the color of the bridesmaid dresses of the last wedding you went to?
I have no idea. Black maybe?

28. What house cleaning chore do you hate to do the most?
Cleaning the blinds. So we didn't put them back up after the new windows went in. Ha.

29. What is your favorite way to eat chicken?
Fried, of course. With biscuits.

30. It is your birthday. You hope the cake is?
A mint chocolate chip log cake from Baskin Robbins. With lots of flowers and decorative icing. Yum.

Feel free to steal this too. Let me know if you do; I would love to read it.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Let's just move on to Thursday, shall we?

Don't ask me why I said it. I don't know. It's a dumb thing to say if you don't really want to leave somewhere.

"Christopher, if you don't start listening to me and calm down, we are going home."

Well, damn if we didn't leave five minutes after me saying that. And I didn't want to leave. Colin and I were enjoying music class - except for the part where Christopher was acting like a little hellion.

It's been that kind of day. Upon leaving music class, we didn't actually go home, we went to the grocery store where I proceeded to do all of my shopping and go to check out only to find that I had no wallet.


Meanwhile, I'm getting news that my momma has either had a heart attack or a stroke, and they aren't sure which one if either, but she's driven herself home from the store so she can go to the ER. I swear this woman is still alive not because of modern medicine, but because she is just too damn stubborn for cancer.

For crying out loud. I hate this day.

P.S. Momma just finished a hamburger and is enjoying a lovely blood thinner drip now. Doesn't that just somehow seem wrong? Just ribbing you, Momma.

Monday, June 14, 2010


It's a good, good man who will don the plastic gloves, mix the noxious chemicals, and comb comb comb the dye through his wife's ridiculously thick hair.

It's an even better man who knows where the random chunk of thickness known to my hairdresser as the Bermuda Triangle of hair.

And it's the best man ever who lets me call him Raoul while he does all of this.

He's such a good sport.

Washed that gray right outta my hair.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Communing, not competing

That big pit of mommyblogging quicksand seems to have grabbed a hold of my ankles and doesn't want to let go. Competition. I've said so many times that I blog because I want to, not to make money, get free stuff, or to feel loved and important.

It's easy to say that. It's harder to keep it going.

My four year blogoversary came and went without me even batting an eye at it. My BlogHer Ads have been up for over three years. I've blogged for and left the SVMoms Group. Two BlogHer conferences under my belt and a ridiculous amount of swag later - I'm still just me.

I guess it's time for that personal pep talk again. The one where I remind myself that it's my choice to keep this a small time operation. It's my choice to not give my posts up for free to a group who made money off of them. It's my choice to keep my little BlogHer ads up just for the feeling of belonging to that community and not because I'm going to maximize my SEO anytime soon.

Still. I feel like maybe there should be yet another button. Yet another group of bloggers who band together and say, "This exists for my benefit. I choose to expand it or to not expand it. I work as hard as I want to on it, and my traffic and exposure reflect that work or lack thereof. I welcome the community, but I don't do it for the fame and fortune. I am not competing with you - I am communing with you."

As everyone gears up for BlogHer again this year, I get those twinges of longing. But what I'm really longing for is the desire to do more with my blogging. And it's just not there. I don't have the desire to use this space as anything other than what it is right now. I need to be alright with that. I am alright with that - I just need to keep reminding myself of that.

I am ready for a little change though. Some sprucing up. Maybe a new template. I would like to move off of Blogger and onto my own domain, which I have shamefully owned for over two years and done nothing with it. Again though, I just don't have the motivation to put the time into moving it. Plus, I know that I would likely lose most of the readers I have now if I broke this link. I don't know. It would be nice to have new digs.

So what about you? Are you happy with where your blogging life is? Do you wish you were doing more? Are you satisfied with the relationships it's brought you? Do you wish you could buy more than a latte a month with your ad revenue?

I'm curious.

Friday, June 11, 2010


I've lost it. I've lost my blogging mojo. There's too much Facebook. Too much just sitting and absorbing and not enough interacting. I'm thinking that regardless of the Zoloft, there is still an underlying problem. I'm thinking that the Zoloft helps me deal with day to day life and keep it together, but that there is still a sadness there that I'm not dealing with. And that it's drawing me inward.

Or, I'm just lazy and don't want to write lately.

Either way, I'm here now. And grumpy. Aren't you glad you stopped by? Seriously though. The construction on our house is still going on, and for whatever reason, people seem to suck.

If you underbid on a construction project, take four times longer than you quote, act like an asshole while I'm in LABOR, and then still don't finish the job? Most people won't pay you. Not my husband. He goes ahead and chalks it up as a loss and pays you what was promised because he feels sorry for you and also wants you gone. Then you bitch about how much time you spent on the job and how little money an hour that works out to, and you threaten to kill him and do some other ridiculously stupid things that we won't talk about here. Yet. Because we're not finished with them.

Seriously. The guy is four times slower and doesn't finish and we're supposed to pay him more? Right.

Then, today, D the drunken painter, who I have previously thought was awesome, proceeded to piss me off beyond belief. He asks for a third of his pay, which I happily provide him in the form of a check. Mind you, I had asked him yesterday if a check was still alright with him. He's worked for us twice before, and I've always written checks. So I give him a check and the bitching begins.

Our USAA account apparently is a problem for him. Translation, he doesn't have a bank account and needed to go to our bank (which doesn't have physical branch) in order to cash the check. I cannot tell you how much of my problem this is NOT.

Without the gory details, he was not pleased with the mere $300 the ATM would give me at one time and proceeded to bitch to me about us not having a local bank account. So I pointed out that he must not even have ANY bank account, and that pissed him off.

Seriously. I'm supposed to drive around town going to ATM's, collecting cash for Mr. Pisspants the drunken painter because he's not responsible enough to keep a checking account of his own?

What the hell is wrong with people? Are we not in a recession? Why is it we can't find decent, honest, sane, and hard working people to work for us when so many people are out of work?

Yeah. Maybe this is why my mojo seems to be gone. The whole house thing is not going well, and I haven't wanted to write about it in a public way. Because there is some seriously bad stuff that's gone down. Like changing locks and watching my rearview mirror bad. But you know what? I'm tired of hiding out and not talking. I'm tired of being scared. I'm sick of it all. I want my house done. I want my life back. I want my husband to quit having all of this work hanging over his head.


One thing I've learned from experience in blogging and having crazy people read it. How to get a restraining order. Kidding. No, actually, I'm not.

So I'll be back to talking about whatever the hell I want to talk about and fuck the crazies. They will do whatever they want to anyway, so I'm done tiptoeing around them.

And yes, I'm aware that not much of this made any sense, but it felt good, and I'm hoping that it's going to unclog whatever has been keeping me from writing.

Wednesday, June 02, 2010

How it is

I opened a post. And Squeak cries. It never fails.