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Goodbye to Stinky!

7 Dec

So Sunday marked a big day in our house. We had been preparing Ava for months that when she turned 4 she had to give up her pacifiers, which we call stinkies. The weeks leading up to Sunday Mike and I would both remind her that the day was fast approaching and she would say, “Mom, you don’t have to keep reminding me.” Almost like it hurt to think about it.

Sunday morning arrived and we hear her in her room waking up, so we both climb into bed with her to snuggle and she pops the stinky out of her mouth and hands it to me. I didn’t even have to ask. Now I know how this works…this moment of pride will be crushed at some point when she begs for it back, but at that moment I’m full of pride. She’s trying to be big and brave and do this four-year-old thing. So I take it and I feel the lump in my throat and my eyes sting. We walk around the house, check the cars and collect all the stinkies we can find…her much more enthusiastically than me.  

We had decided that we would send the pacifiers to Santa so he could deliver them to new babies on Christmas. So we made a beautiful envelope to put them in and she bravely put them all inside with a smile on her face. We dropped them in the mail and got ready for her birthday party.

That night at bedtime she was a little upset…she cried a little and said, “I don’t want my stinky mom…I just want something to suck on.” Her solution was maybe a lollipop…I may have given said lollipop to her. What? I felt bad and sad. But she did it…she went to sleep…until about 11pm when she woke up and it all finally came crashing down on her. She was inconsolable for almost an hour. So  much so that Mike came marching into her room with a pacifier and I chased him out saying, “No way dude!” It’s one hard week or waiting for her to decide at 42 she’s ready to give it up.

So last night was night #2…and she did awesome!!!! She didn’t ask for it…she didn’t wake up…all was quiet and this morning she was still so very proud of herself. For me…this was one of my hardest parenting moments. This marks the end of everything that made her a baby. The pacifier was the last link to babyhood. And while I’m really happy and proud of her for giving it up, I think my heart aches a little for my baby girl…I have to finally accept that she’s no longer a baby. Tomorrow she turns 4 and I just can’t believe how quickly it goes…I’m not ready for this.

Everybody Toots: Part 1

29 Oct

I cannot promise the laughter of yesterday or the same level of ickiness. But I can assure you that by the end of this post, my husband will be embarrassed. Sorry babe.

Day Two of parent/teacher conferences I show up to the school right around 4pm. Today it’s just Tricia (Amanda’s mom) who was there to witness what happened. Thankfully Tricia also has an almost 4 yo little girl, Amanda, and gets that kids say, well, whatever is on their mind. So we’re standing there chatting and Ava farts.

On a side note…when your kid farts in public, which is often, it’s embarrassing. I know it’s a normal bodily function but still they don’t do the silent ones…they are loud and command attention. So she farts and starts laughing hysterically and says, “I farted!”

Me: Ava, what do you say?
Ava: Excuse me.
Me: Thank you.
Ava: (to Tricia) My daddy likes to fart. He farts alot. He farts in my bed!
Me: Ummm….well, he doesn’t really fart in your bed Ava. He just says it when you’re taking too long to get into bed so you’ll hurry up.
Amanda: My daddy likes to fart too!

Thankfully at this point Tricia is laughing. I’m embarrassed…what kind of parents tell their kid they are going to fart in their bed if they don’t hurry up and get into it? So now, not only does my kid play with her poop, invite friends to play with her poop, but she also has parents who threaten to fart in her bed as a motivation. If anyone is giving out parent of the year awards, I’ll be the mom who’s hiding her face in her hands giggling…because….well…frankly…in our house the majority rules that farting is funny.

(And for all you gasping about it being funny…it is…but it’s also something we try to teach her she should excuse herself for…we do believe in manners most days)

If You Want More, Give More

30 Sep

I’ve been thinking alot lately about life, about people, about love, about relationships and about money. I’m feeling very fortunate and blessed. I have a good life. I am happy. That statement is worth millions to me…to be able to take stock of my life, look at it and say, “I am happy!” Truly, to my core happy.

I don’t have a magic solution to happiness…nobody does. But I believe if you want more, you have to give more. I cannot stand greed…not with money, with time or with relationships. I believe if you want a better partner, be a better partner. It’s the law of attaction…like behavior attracts like behavior. I find that when I’m a better partner, when I’m kinder, when I do his chore just because I want to be nice it benefits me in some way. Whether it’s feeling like I did a good deed or if he does something nice back. But the key is not to do anything with an expectation of return. Just like I notice when I’m having a bad day, if I take it out on the husband, he gets grumpy back. It’s no bueno. I guess my point is we (especially us women) spend alot of time complaining about our spouses and the areas they fall short. And so I stopped and wondered, “Where do I fall short?” or I think, “I’m always wishing he would buy me flowers or be thoughtful but what have I done to show my thoughtfulness?” It works both ways and I’m always trying to remember that…that if I want something I have to give something too. I can’t just hold my hands out and expect them to be filled.

I think about money. Who doesn’t want more of it? Most people do. Money is great…it gives you peace of mind and flexibility. But what it does not give me and will never give me is happiness. If you’ve ever said, “It will all be worth it if I get $XXX,” you’re fooling yourself. The feeling that money brings is temporary…if you’re unhappy and you hate your job, you’ll be still be unhappy and hate your job once the euphoria wears off, even if the money is still there. I know. I’ve been there. I’ve said it. I’ve lived it. Don’t believe me, try it. Go ahead. I’ll wait. So a long time ago I said, “Take money out of the equation…what will make me happy?” My answer was simple, “My family, my friends and time with them.” So I took the steps to make sure I was going on that path. And I’m happy I did. I have a job I love and I’m getting what I wanted…time with my family and time with my friends.

I can’t get yesterday back…or the day before…or the day before that. I don’t want to look back at my life and think, “God, I missed it.” I have a little girl who is growing faster than I can fathom. Who’s small pudgy hand is getting leaner and more graceful by the day. I walk into her room every morning and see a mess of long legs, skinny arms and knotted hair asleep and I think, “When did that happen?”

And yes, I’m a working mom. I like being a working mom. But right now, I’m a working mom…not a career woman. And that’s okay. It’s okay if I make less money. It’s okay if my title is smaller. It’s okay because I have a little girl who’s growing fast and I wouldn’t give up my evenings with her…I wouldn’t give up the laughs as she eats a handful of raw onions while we’re cooking dinner because she was experimenting. Those are moments I can’t get back. So right now…I’m giving it all to her and to Mike and getting more back than I could ever have hoped for.

It’s Not You. It’s Me.

6 Aug

Dear Blog,

I love you. I really do. These next few weeks may be a little tough and you may feel a little neglected, so I just want to explain myself. You see, we bought this house…

It’s our first home and it has a yard. Yes…a yard. I know…no more concrete living for us…

And it has all of these wonderful rooms. These wonderful rooms need to be cleaned and painted…

Baseboards need to be removed and replaced. Counters need to be scrubbed…

Ava’s Room needs to be fit for a true princess…

We need a room prepared especially for guests. A room that will also house the place where I write to you and tell you all my thoughts and remind you you are loved…

Carpets must be replaced to create a playroom to send Ava off to while I’m trying to write those thoughts…

And then when that’s all done, I must create and decorate the space where I will lay my head at night…

So you see, I’m busy making my dreams come true. Making my family’s dreams come true. So if I take a few days off from you and neglect you, just think of the stories I’ll have to tell and the pictures I’ll have to show. Think about the parties I’ll host and memories I’ll make. You understand, don’t you?

Found my husband thanks to a newspaper ad…

25 Jun

I was 21 years old and needed a job. I was doing the online search thing, but having no luck. So I turned to the classifieds. I saw a job posted for an adminstrative assistant at a footwear company and thought, “This sounds awesome.” I interviewed and landed the job in April of 2001.

This is how I met Casie. Casie worked two cubicles away from me and I would visit her every single morning. I don’t think she knew what to think of me, but I didn’t care. I wanted to be friends with her. She was nice and funny and had no interest in being my friend. But I’m a persistant bitch and wouldn’t go away. After about 3 months of working there she said, “I have someone I want you to meet.” I said, “No. Not interested. I just got out of a serious relationship. I’m not ready.” Apparently she’s a persistant bitch too, because she wouldn’t let it go. A few times a week, she’d bring it up and I would always say no. Until one day, I asked for more details on this guy named Mike. Here’s how that went:

Casie: Well, he’s 30.
Janice: Oh. Yeah…that’s no good.
Casie: And he has an 11 year old son.
Janice: Ummm. Yeah…not sure I’m ready for that.
Casie: Here’s a picture of him
Janice: Ummm…he looks nice????

You see, Casie showed me the WORST picture of Mike EVER taken. I’m not joking. It was horrible. He looked bloated and drunk. So basically, Casie did the worst marketing for Mike ever! Apparently she was also working on him and this his how that went:

Casie: I have a girl I want you to meet.
Mike: Ok.
Casie: She’s 21.
Mike: Ummm. Yeah…don’t want a girl who wants to go to the club every night. She’s too young.
Casie: Just meet her.

So finally after about a month of her nagging both of us, I agreed as long as she and her husband came along. We would just meet for drinks. I had already decided I wasn’t interested. So the evening of introduction comes and I’m not joking when I say I didn’t even change my clothes. I didn’t put on more makeup. I really didn’t put any effort into myself at all because I had already made up my mind that I wasn’t interested.

So Casie and I arrived before Mike and Tuti (Casie’s husband) did. And we’re sitting on the top of this rooftop bar in Hermosa and I see this gorgeous guy walking up the stairs and then I see Tuti behind said gorgeous guy and I flip out. Oh shit…he’s hot!!! Wait…he’s hot????? So they sit down and I’m not joking it was instant for me. As soon as he said he liked Matchbox 20, Casie and Tuti might as well have not existed. I came home from that first night and told Sara (my best friend) I thought I had met someone really special.

He promised to call on Saturday and he did. He called before noon, which I thought was so awesome. He was the first man to ever officially ask me out on a date. He took me to dinner at Jackson’s Bistro and from that moment on, we were inseparable. Except for the one time a week in when he got freaked out about my age and tried to walk. Thank God for his Grandma who said, “Do you like her?” To which he said, “Yes.” And grandma said, “Well, then who cares how old she is.” Four years later he proposed at that same restuarant and five years ago today, we stood up and said our vows in front of friends and family who promised to help us and support our marriage. And they have….more than I can ever say.

Happy Anniversary Husband! I just want to say:

5 years

Many ups

A few downs

2 job changes for me

Starting a company for you

A drive halfway across the US in the worst moving van EVER

Your mom passed

My grandmas passed

A baby girl was born

A son graduated

Ava started preschool

Drew started college

A move from a 1 bedroom apartment, to a 2 bedroom apartment, to a townhome

Countless miles ran

A half marathon completed

Desert trips

Guys trips

Girls trips

The Big Easy

Mexico x 3

Florida

Missouri

Countless trips to the desert

And a HUGE pile of great memories!!!!

We live a good life babe and I couldn’t have asked for a better partner on this journey. I love you simply doesn’t seem like enough. You are an amazing man and I’m looking forward to adding to the list of memories. I love you more than I say and more than you know.

Memorial Day Weekend

28 May

Okay…the truth is I’ve got a busy weekend ahead and I’m trying to not touch my computer this weekend. Trying…I said trying. So I just wanted to wish you all a very safe Memorial Day and share the following with you…

Every American I know celebrates Memorial Day in some fashion…mostly a weekend filled with BBQ’s, beer and rejoicing in the fact that we have a three day weekend. Who doesn’t love that, right? But sometimes I feel we don’t understand the magnitude of this holiday and what it really stands for. I was fortunate enough to grow up in a military home with parents who taught me about pride, honor and sacrifice. They taught me that you don’t speak when you hear our national anthem playing…it’s a respect thing. I may not say it enough but I am extremely proud to be an American..I still tear up at the Star Spangled Banner and feel a sense of pride every single time I hear it before a race. And while I don’t agree with illegal immigration, I can certainly understand why people want to come here. America rules people!

To me, this holiday represents extraordinary people who have offered their lives in return for our freedom. Just think about that for a minute…would you offer your life to save your husband’s life…your child’s life? The answer is probably yes. Now would you offer your life to save a complete stranger? You probably paused before answering that…I did. Remember that our military personnel OFFERED their life in return for OUR freedom…they didn’t just offer in a “hey, if you ever need me, let me know” kind of way. They volunteered and spent months, maybe even years training to protect our nation.

So please…please…please take a moment this weekend to honor them in some way. Whether it be in quiet reflection or by sending a car package to a soldier overseas. If you need a name of a soldier to send it to, please let me know and I can easily supply a name and address of one of the best soldiers I know. I don’t care who you pray to or if you’ve never prayed at all but this weekend…please pray for the people who are over there fighting this fight for us and remember the ones who have given their lives for this great nation and your freedom.

Family Portrait

26 May
We never did a holiday portrait this year as family. I’m lazy and don’t think of things like that. So I thought I would post this one. It’s the closest thing I have to a family picture and it would be a great family portrait if this was my real husband and I had two daughters. If you see this on next year’s holiday cards, you will understand just how lazy I can be. I think I can just overlay Mike’s face on to Art’s. I dunno…anyone good with photoshop?
 Note: The people in this photo are not paid actors. Art is our best friend and Mimis is his little girl.