Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Have you seen my...

So, I seem to have misplaced my funny and I'm hoping maybe some of you out there may have seen it.
If so, let me know.

In the meantime I am holed up at an undisclosed location in Central PA with Little G, my mom, my sister, her friend, my nephew, two dogs, four cats and some beer for an indeterminate amount of time.

I figure that should help.

PS - did you know that if you search Google Images for 'funny' that picture up there comes up FIRST?! Really? I mean, I know I am totally out of touch with what mainstream America thinks is funny...all it takes is watching the end result of any episode of America's Funniest Home Videos to cement in my mind that clearly what *I* think is funny (unintended physical comedy, for one) is no where near the American cultural norm for funny (which is apparently kids doing stupid things under the watchful eyes of their parents or pets performing definitely-not-funny-nor-even-cute tricks)...but this, THIS is the picture with the most hits for 'funny'? Why, America, why? I guess I shouldn't be surprised that THIS is up there at the top too.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Tell Me All Your Thoughts on God

I recently discovered an amazing blog, with an even more amazing header...crazy, like-minded people think alike, no?...over at Suburban Snapshots. You may recognise the place from her recent, freaky-go-nuts, genius-gone-viral post about how having a baby is a bit like living in a frat truly should go check THAT out because it made me snarf coffee.

Anyway, she wrote a thoughtful post about her daughter and the big-ticket things she may or may not be picking up at daycare (and by 'picking up, I mean learning...not slipping gold watches and remotes into the diaper bag hoping no one will notice like some babies I know...ahem...Little G...ahem) and asked what 'our' thoughts were on teaching our kids our own values and helping them through what the world might teach them in our absence.

I started to reply and realized that my response was becoming a post in of in the continuing theme of the week, I am not actually posting today but instead making you read my response to someone else's post.

Fun, no?

So here's what I had to say:

Well...I haven't had many moments to teach Little G our values since he's just coming up on a year and really I'm just struggling trying to teach him not to pinch mommy and bring back all the suppressed memories of my sister pinching-and-twisting me as a torture device when we were kids.

A couple of times I have looked at him on the changing table (not sure why there and not anywhere else) and wondered if I should start chatting about God since that's where I also chat about the days of the week and what arms are and why we don't smack mommy with them. But I stop because 1) I feel silly and B) I figure he knows more about God than I do and is probably laying there half naked thinking 'it may seem like all I want to do is play with my poop, but really, I am a messenger... Ironically, I will have forgotten all the knowledge I brought with me about God once my memory kicks in which apparently is around the age of two'.

Of course, since the teaching moments we currently have all seem to be in vain (seriously, he thinks being 'redirected' is a game) I have had to have other mom's confirm to me that it may seem like he isn't listening or doesn't 'get it' but I just have to keep staying the course of discipline and one day he will understand not to reach out to mommy with his pinchers of steel and gleefully try to rip freckles off my clavical.

I am assuming that is probably the way we will need to teach him everything; not just by telling him, but by 'redirecting' him into better situations until one day he 'gets it'. This will encompass everything from how we speak to him about other people to how we observe the situations around us to what our reactions are to them. It is a lot to think about, especially when there will be so much else to help them learn.

It really is enough to make your mind go blank, isn't it? Or at least make you look at other parents and wonder how anyone ever successfully raises a child in this world what with all the things we need to be on top of; eating right, living sustainably, playing responsibly, being a good person, knowing who God is and what He/She means to not only yourself but others, understanding race and culture and why it is important not to get a Fruit Loop stuck up your nose; love, empathy, faith... ... ...oy.

Thursday, June 24, 2010


My mother-in-law is visiting this week. I love her.

She says things like, "Now you won't get upset if I open the shades and clean the windows, will you?". a word...'no'. In fact, here is the vinegar and some newspaper and do you want me to watch Little G while you do that instead of you watching him while I get work done stalk blogs?

Anyway, with her here and my son safely out of my responsibility and my windows sparkly and clean, I have decided to blow off the list of things I want to blog about and go take a nap. In the sanctuary of my air conditioned bedroom.

Please don't be too pissy at appease the masses...I offer up this cuter than cute picture of my son.

So much for my son being safely out of my responsibility.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Motherhood Myths

Time for me to expose another myth of motherhood...this one definitely took me by surprise even though it makes total sense:

Monumental Achievements Don't Happen Overnight

I'm the first to admit that I am a sentimentalist even when my family isn't involved. So it would seem to make sense for me to have invested early on in a baby book. I am ashamed to admit that the only baby book that I have even remotely written anything down in is a board book that is really meant for your baby to look at. And by 'look at' I mean gnaw on and chew to bits.

But I actually don't feel too bad about it, because the truth is I couldn't possible give you specific dates for when Little G accomplished things no more than I could tell you what his first word was...or even if he has uttered his first word for that matter.

A few weeks ago we were turning the pages in the Going to Bed book by Sandra Boynton and Little G pointed at all of the hippos in the tub and looked at me and said, "BA!". But he hasn't done it who knows. Then a couple of days ago we were at a friends house and I was about to give him some banana and he bounced up and down in his chair and said, "nana-nana-nana"...which isn't a word, but clearly shows recognition.



Oh who am I kidding...'nana' isn't a word...and he doesn't do it that clearly can count as the baby book entry. The baby book clearly states that it is looking for 'First Word'...not first babble or even first mumble.

Of course, the baby book also wants a specific day for when Little G sat up...but do they mean sat-up-with-assistance-from-mommy? Sat-up-without-slumping-over-after-10-seconds? Or perhaps they mean the day we find him in the crib just sitting there...I mean, he has been sitting up for months...but he hasn't sat up yet.



And really, I just don't have the time to sit around tracking his every accomplishment...anywhere other than my own head, at least.

So one day, when he is old and has kids of his own and wants to know (or, who are we kidding, his spouse wants to know) when he actually hit whatever milestone, I will look at him and smile and tell him 'at some point in 2010'. That oughta be specific enough, right?

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Let the Celebrations Begin

Little G isn't officially a year old until July 8, but when he was born we took a mommy/baby class at Isis with seven other mommies and their children who were all born within six weeks of each other. So, we had the parents and their babies over to our house this past weekend for a joint birthday party.

I tried not to go overboard, but as previously mentioned, I'm on crack, so I made up some favor bags and decorations to fully festify the place.

A friend of mine gave me a kit for a monkey party a while back, so I used some of the decorations from that including these awesome monkey cake decorations.

I also had a cheese and grape spread for the kids with cheese crackers (not pictured). In addition to that we served meatballs for the kids and hot dogs, hamburgers, potato salad, chicken...your standard BBQ fare.

The highlight for me for the afternoon was getting to see all of the kids together and see how much they have grown over the past year. Second on the highlight list was watching Little G eat his first cupcake. They were vanilla cupcakes with whipped cream frosting, so I was totally comfortable with him going to town...

But he very cautiously checked out the frosting...

...and then meticulously ate all of it off the cupcake...

...when he was done, I'm not sure he realized that the cupcake was actually I broke it into a couple of pieces for him...

...and he proceeded to eat that efficiently as well.

He ate. the. whole. cupcake. And with VERY little mess if I do say so myself. I'm such a proud mama.

Another special treat of the day was that one of the daddies is a burgeoning photographer who took lots of really great pictures. Having professional pictures of my son as he turns a year old has always been in the back of my mind...but it isn't something that we really want to budget to have received these pictures was a wonderful, greatly appreciated, surprise. All pics below are from the super talented PurpleGanesh.

It was a great afternoon and we all had lots of fun and this wasn't even Little G's OFFICIAL birthday event...nope we have a couple more parties to get through before that happens.

Any birthday parties in your calendar this summer?

Friday, June 18, 2010

Ma'am...put down the off-set spatula and step AWAY from the cupcakes!

There's A LOT happening on my plate right now. Who ever knew being a SAHM was so busy?

It all started when I realized that not only was Little G going to be a year old soon, but so were his buddies from his Great Beginnings class at Isis. We haven't all gotten together since the class was over, so I thought it would be really great for us all to get together and celebrate their birthdays at our house tomorrow.

Of course, that was before the great freezer defrosting incident of '10 (more on that someday, I am still in therapy over it) when we had copious amounts of grilling meat available for quick retrieval which meant I wouldn't even have to go anywhere near a grocery store. I also totally forgot to realize that while our son will eat anything we put in front of him, not every child is at that stage, so I need to make sure to provide something...I'm making meatballs. Plus you can't have a birthday party without decorations (I am totally getting on that right after I post this) and cake...don't even TRY to take that responsibility off my's the one fun one.

Anyway...also on my mind is anticipating that my mother-in-law is coming to visit for a week which I am so incredibly excited about I can barely stand really...I love my MIL...she's funny, and lovely, and helpful and great conversation and accepting and just all around awesome. But she doesn't get here until after the party. Bummer. I could actually use her babysitting expertise right about now.

In the middle of all this, I signed up last minute to take friends to the airport today which will be followed by a super-crazy-go-nuts-important appointment to go to with Little G that will require me being able to take notes.

Not to mention I finally got a chance to hang out with a new friend yesterday that I have been stalking because I kind-of have a mom crush on it was out of the question to even think about not never even dawned on me that perhaps I had more pressing things to be getting done and quite honestly I would have given up all of my to-dos just to get to chat with her and meet her boys.

Oh yeah, and have I mentioned that our house is a pig sty and we haven't baby proofed anything yet because Little G doesn't actually move yet?

So how was it that last night at quarter to ten, instead of attending to ANY of the above things that desperately need to get done before noon on Saturday, I was instead making 6 dozen cookies and packaging them up for a bake sale?


I have always heard of moms who go over and above and end up saying 'yes' to everything and then end up going over the deep end, but I never figured I would BE one of them. And the worst thing is that no one forced me to do any of this.

I made the cookies because I felt bad that I couldn't help with my church's yard sale on Saturday because I will be hosting a birthday party.


You read that right.

I made cookies because I felt guilty. No one made me feel guilty. No one even came close to making me feel guilty. I did it all on my own.

Even worse, I packaged them all pretty and made labels for them...BECAUSE I AM CERTIFIABLE!!

The good news here is that I recognize that I have a problem and I am going to work on not over extending myself in the future. But truthfully, there isn't one activity on my to do list that I don't want to do .

Cookies - FUN!
Labels - I LOVE labels even MORE than cookies!!
Hosting a party - One of my FAVORITE past times!
Helping friends get to the airport - Would never even consider NOT doing it!
Hanging out with a new friend - 100% awesome

I'm kind-of like a kid in the 'candy store' of fun activities at camp over here...or like a retiree on a cruise ship; signing up for every fun adventure from shuffle board to pool aerobics with Billy-the-short-shorts-wearing-cruise-director and then forcing myself to stay up for the midnight buffet.

So yeah...I guess the lesson here is for me to learn to cut back on the activites, no matter how fun they are.

I promise I'll get right to that...right after I frost some chocolate-free, organic cupcakes.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Eleven Months

Dear Little G,

As previously noted in your 10 Month letter, you are quickly escaping baby-hood and entering toddlerville.

The month started off with a visit to Cousin C in Rochester, NY. She may look like she's a crawler in the picture below, but her main mode of tranport is scooting and we think you must have taken notes since that's your favorite method of getting around these days too.

That trip was the very last time you used your pacifier. The pediatrician had told us at our past two appointments to make sure we weaned you off the pacifier which you had only been using to go to sleep at night and for naps.

Sadly, we made the attempts to do this right in the middle of the teething fiasco of '10 and you compensated by discovering your thumbs.

Also in the middle of the teething fiasco of '10 was your first trip to the zoo where you got up close and personal with one of the Gorillas.

But no one, no ape, no animal can compare to your love to Indy, the neighbor's dog. In fact, we are convinced that you figured out how to scoot because of your constant desire to be at our neighbor's house playing with Indy.

The pool, also at the neigbors house, is not as enticing as it was way too cold for your country club taste.

No worries...the neighbors also have a super fun chair that is just your size for lazing about by the pool.
Other fun discoveries of the month include when we all realized as a family that perhaps it was best for us to feed you your cous cous instead of letting you just go at it.

The thing is, Little G, this month, once those teeth FINALLY came in, felt pretty uneventful and it flew by. I'm in a little bit of denial that the next milestone is one year, so I have been putting off writing about turning 11 months in hopes that your birthday would just take longer to get here.

But that isn't happening...and time is flying by...and you keep growing and growing.

And now there is no denying that you scoot all over the place. We've had to install our safety aresenal. And you're trying to pull up on things, but there isn't much at our house to pull up on and you weigh a lot for those spindly little legs to support. You wave goodbye to people with your whole arm and you get your very own kids meal when we eat out instead of just eating a side of veggies or a chicken breast.

So yeah, I guess things have changed and maybe I'm just in denial because it seems like it was just a heartbeat ago that you were still waiting in my belly to make your appearance.

Enjoy this last month of your first year on earth, Little G. Something tells me things are really going to start to happen quickly and when they do, you will be taking off and it will be easy to forget all about this eventful time in your life.

We love you so much, Little G. More than I ever though even possible. Even when we are all at our wits ends because of the epic awfulness of teething, we love you so much it hurts.

Mom and Dad

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

The Big News

So as you may know from reading this blog, I have been a fan of FLOR ever since seeing Kevin Sharkey do a demonstration of how easy it is to use their versatile, stylish product on the Martha Stewart show.

We used FLOR tiles in Little G's nursery and then more recently redecorated our master bedroom using a new area rug we created with FLOR tiles. We also have used the left over FLOR tiles from Little G's room as a play-rug for our living room and have a few tiles that we use as a mat in front of our kitchen sink. I love me some FLOR.

Well, as you ALSO may know from reading this blog, I love to blog. I have been blogging since starting my first personal blog back in 2005. I blogged as Mrs Corn at Weddingbee starting in 2007 and even in the aftermath of the most difficult situation to ever occur to me from blogging, I STILL blogged..because I love to write and it is a creative outlet for me.

So, where am I going with this?

A few weeks ago, the lovely people at FLOR tweeted that they were rethinking their blog and looking for writers and to contact them if we were interested. I contacted FLOR and received a fairly standard email reply with the requirements they were looking for which included, but were not limited to, having 6+ months of blogging experience, an eye for design, a few writing samples, a resume, etc. As I mentally checked off all of the requirements in my head I started to get really excited. I KNEW I was perfect for the job.

So I set to work creating an online resume...complete with custom header (let's all say a quick shout out to the babysitter I have on Tuesdays for affording me the time to create the online resume). I submitted it and...drumroll please...I am pleased to announce that I have been chosen to blog for FLOR!!

People, I can't even BEGIN to tell you how excited I am to have been selected. There are, of course, a whole host of reasons that this is exciting, but to be brutally honest, I can't help but feel a little validated.

It should be noted that I hesitated publishing the next few paragraphs because they don't necessarily paint me in the most humble light, but I wanted to keep this real so here we go.

There are some people in my life who have suggested at one time or another that perhaps blogging wasn't an appropriate activity for me. While their concern was justifiably because of the personal impact my writing had on my immediate family, it was also suggested that although I like to write and although I think I have a valid voice with an audience that appreciates what I have to say, blogging isn't 'real' writing. I am certainly not a writer because writers are published and get paid.

So, I sort-of feel like having a company; a real. live. design-focused company; HIRE me to blog for them not only validates that I AM a writer but also validates all the work I have put into my personal blog over the years. Had I not continued to blog, I wouldn't have had this opportunity. On top of all that, beyond the initial I-told-you-so-itis that creepd into my mind, I feel like this validation also half shuts down the negative-nancy voice in my own head that tries to convince me that I have no design sense what-so-ever.

So anyway, that's the big news around here. The FLOR blog redesign is still in its infancy stages, but I will be sure to let you know when the first posts go up. In the meantime, you can check out the online resume I created by clicking on the picture at the top of this post.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Too Quiet

It's been quiet around here lately.

Too quiet.

Like when you are quickly trying to get something done in one room and realize that your child who has been playing in the other room is no longer making 'normal playing sounds' and so you go to check in on him and find this:

(Clearly this isn't my child...I just couldn't resist the awesome visual aide)

I have a fun announcement to make that has absolutely NOTHING to do with me or anyone else I know being knocked up, so you can toss that assumption out the window.

But until I am ready to announce, I need to remain quiet.

Promise me you'll stick with me?

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Kitchen Conundrum

Ladies and Gentlemen, this is my kitchen (it's messy, I know, please don't judge). Specifically, this is my kitchen as viewed from the back door.

Why am I showing you this? Well...see that small pile of rags on the floor to the right of the door? That pile is my current storage/cleaning/organizational dilemma.

I use a fair amount of rags a day, a number that is about to increase dramatically as I cut out all paper towels, pre-made wipes, sponges and mop heads from our home (a topic for another post). And those rags, which need to go down to the basement to be washed, get tossed in that small pile to the right of the basement door.

What I NEED is some sort of way to dry the rags (so they don't get mildew-y and gross and smelly) and then a hamper to toss them into once they are dry so that at the end of the week I can take the hamper downstairs and wash all the rags at once.

That said, what I HAVE is not-that-much-extra-space to do this in.

As you can see from this alternative view of the kitchen, there isn't much room on the other side either:

But I THINK maybe I might be able to do something here in the small area between where the basement door is and where the cabinets start which is currently where the kitty food dispenser and water is, but she's flexible, right?

The space is pretty limiting, only about 23.5" wide between the counter edge and where the wall extrudes out. And there has to be enough room for the basement door to open all the way. And I need it to look nice, since it is right there in the kitchen. Plus it needs to be multi-functional...remember, I need to be able to dry things and to store them away until laundry day.

So, here are the options I have come up with...

Option 1: a beadboard drying rack from Ballard Designs for $89. The rack is 27" high and 23" wide, so it will completely fill the width of the area. And the depth is good; it is only 2 3/8" deep when closed and it looks like it can be closed and still have things on it drying.

My concern is that if I have the rags out drying, that they will be ugly...and prominently displayed in all of their ugly-ness. Also, I am concerned about smell...but I guess that is a concern with all of the options.

Option 2: is this slide out hamper from Home Decorators Collection for $129. I love the functionality of the slide out hamper, but there is no place to dry the cloths before dumping them in here unless I combine this with Option 1 which would be cost prohibitive. Besides, wouldn't it look weird to have a 17" wide 13" deep hamper under a wall unit that is 23" wide and only 2" and change deep? I feel like that would look off balance. Lastly, the hamper is deep enough that in order for the basement door to still be able to open all the way, the hamper would need to be installed all the way to the left of the space, further making the set up awkward.Option 3 is the option I am truly coveting and it doesn't even actually exist!

IKEA has these Sandnes shoe cabinets in tall and wide and they are only 6 3/4" deep. The problem is that the tall one is too wide (and too tall for that matter) at 27 1/2". The wide one is obviously too wide at 37 3/4", but it is the perfect height at 35 3/8".

If they were the right widths, these would work awesomely as my hamper. I only need a small amout of space to store the rags and the slim profile of these cabinets make them a perfect fit.

I tried to look up plans for making a cabinet like this and realized that it would be stupid to go and purchase all of the materials and have to make the whole thing from scratch when I can potentially use the materials from one that is already designed.

So now, I am actually wondering if I could purchase the wide model (for $99) and REALLY hack it to make it work for me.

I am thinking if I use my husband's table saw, I can cut the top and the bottom pieces so that they are only 1/2 as wide and then omit the center rail and 1/2 of the drawers. The width would be around 19" which will fit in the space nicely. And I can paint it to match the cabinets or if I go with the drying rack, I could paint to match that. What do you think? Am I crazy for even thinking this? Do you have any other magical solutions?