Friday, December 31, 2010

My blog's second year

2011 is almost upon us. Just a few hours away from the NYC ball drop, the Atlanta peach drop, champagne toasts and kisses up & down the east coast. And I will enter the second year of this blog.

My first post was January 21st, 2010. Ramblings about balance and the various roles I was trying to play within my one life. I was feeling unhinged, inadequate, and stressed. But trying to keep my optimism. Trying to convince myself that I was capable of mommy "perfection".

Monday, December 27, 2010


My work is fabulous enough to give us this whole week as vacation. And I'm too busy to write! Too busy playing with my girl and her fun new toys. Santa brought her a small indoor trampoline! So while it's too cold to go outdoors, we're bouncing ourselves silly here. We're playing games, dressing up in glamorous princess accessories, coloring, and reading new books. Over & over again.

We'll be with more family members in a few days. And word has it she's getting a Sit-N-Spin too! So we can bounce and spin until we fall over.

No wonder kids like toys so much... they're FUN!

I'll get back to my usual blogging schedule when the real world comes back to my life on Januay 3rd.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas!

Wishing everyone a very Merry Christmas!

Looking forward to more magical family memories this year.

Happy birthday, Jesus!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Ho Ho Holiday

Once again, I am in awe of the lovely and talented people I have met in my short blogging life span. I managed to squeeze myself into a fine group for a Ho Ho Holiday Swap. Today, I will be a guest poster on Wonder, Friend. Check it out HERE

My fabulous guest post comes from Ashley at Just Another Mom of 2.

Our Magic Tree

There's nothing quite like getting settled in a new state only days before Christmas. While moving at any time of the year is stressful, the holidays take it to a whole new level. We typically drive and bring along our Christmas decorations. However,this year, because we were moving so far- from the East Coast to Alaska- we decided to take a new approach. We would simply put Christmas together- in 5 days or less. Piece of cake.


Of course, the main component to our celebration is the Christmas tree. We did not think twice about it- I mean, really, how hard could it be to find a tree in Alaska?

Ahem again.

Sure enough, there was some sort of Christmas tree shortage in all of Anchorage. Yes, seriously. We drove all around, visited multiple nurseries, called high and low- all as we drove past no fewer than three hundred perfect Christmas trees on the side of the highway.

Finally, after hours of searching and tears and frustration, we call the last number on the google search list. Our toddler had now been screaming for forty-five minutes, our five year old had been repeating "where's our tree" for hours, and we were now pulling into a parking lot called Bob's for our outdoorsy tree adventure.
We cautiously got the kids out of the car, glancing suspiciously at the -very- tiny selection- none taller than my 22 month old. Snow had started to fall, the sun was setting and it was about 5 degrees outside.
I'm not sure if the man saw my daughter's tear-stained cheeks or the ones threatening to spill out of my eyes, but he led us around to the side. He told us he had this one bundled up for someone, but they had changed their mind and wanted a smaller one instead. He was closing up and had all but forgotten about it- but said it was ours if we wanted it.

Bob became our new hero. And a few hours later, as we settled in front of the tree, with the fire blazing and the snow falling outside, the day became our new favorite memory.

Want more holiday memories? Here's a linky to our Ho Ho Holiday Swap participants!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Breath of Heaven

I love this song. One of my all-time favorites.

I guess someone else likes it too. Enough to sync their Christmas light display! Fabulous.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Relax and laugh

I have never seen "It's a Wonderful Life." A few minutes here or there if it's on television, perhaps, but I have never sat down and watched this classic film from start to finish. My husband thinks this is a travesty.

Perhaps I'll get a chance to sit down and watch it this year. Maybe it will re-arrange my personal list of Christmas favorites. But until then, here are my current recommendations for holiday entertainment.

Starring the always quotable Will Ferrell in some fashionable yellow tights.
"I'm a cotton-headed ninny muggins"

National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation
An influx of family, an electrocuted cat, and Cousin Eddie. Gotta love it.

Miracle on 34th Street
I like the 1994 remake because Mara Wilson is just too cute.

The Grinch Who Stole Christmas
Another quality remake. No one makes grinchy faces like Jim Carrey. And I can't get enough of Cindy Lou Who's rendition of "Where Are You Christmas?"

A Christmas Story
I may be a loser for never seeing "It's a Wonderful Life", but you are a nerd if you've never seen this one. Everyone wants a leg lamp for Christmas.

A Muppet Christmas Carol
Yeah... I like Muppets. ("The Great Muppet Caper" and "Muppets Take Manhattan" are even better!)

Clearly, I like laughs. Here's to Christmas joy. Hope you find time to relax and laugh this holiday season!

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Did I just say that?

A first pregnancy is exciting. And scary. And confusing. When I was pregnant with Amelia, I constantly had questions. Not wanting to be the crazy one with daily phone calls to the doctor, I turned to the Internet for answers to my frequent freak-outs and worries.

In doing so, I met a fabulous group of mommies. We were all due at the same time. For some, this was also their first child. Others were experienced mothers already. Somehow, simply through our little message board, we connected. Even though many of us have not met in person, these ladies are my friends.

We've since moved our "club" to a closed group on Facebook. This is the place where everyone can vent, worry, laugh, and cry, without fear of letting private secrets leak out into the public.

And let me tell ya, some of these secrets are doozies! But I'm not going to tell you those. My lips are sealed.

But I can share this one:
Do you ever catch yourself saying things to your kids you never thought you'd say?

We have! Here are a few highlights from this hilarious conversation:
  • Close your butt cheeks
  • Stop decorating your room with sandwiches
  • Macaroni & cheese does not belong in your ears
  • Stop eating all the soap bubbles
  • Take the dog's coat off an go put on some clothes
  • No, you may not get in the washing machine
  • Do not pee on your sister
  • Stop feeding the dogs glittered pine cones

Want to join in our fun? Leave a comment! What surprising phrases have come out of your mouth lately?

Friday, December 17, 2010

Friends 2 Follow Friday: The Little Hen House

Today's F2F Friday feature is The Little Hen House!

Not only is this mama an excellent blogger, she makes a lovely coffee mug! I took part in a holiday "mug swap" with several bloggers recently, and was lucky enough to be the recipient of the sophisticated pink & black Little Hen House mug.

When was your blog born - and why?
The Little Hen House was born June 20th, 2010.

I started blogging because I love to write. Since I then, I have realized how much of myself I lost during the early years of motherhood. Blogging has helped me reclaim my identity as an actual person, not just a mother and wife. The friendships and support within the blogging community are undeniable. It's my life-blood.

Also check out The Little Hen House on TWITTER and FACEBOOK

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Danger: Tunnel Approaching

It happened in preschool.
My first disastrous boo-boo.
Complete with some stitches.

Children's playthings are so safe these days. Everything is made of plastic. With rounded edges and, except for the occasional "made in China" disaster, non-toxic paint. Warnings are stuck all over baby equipment. And age restrictions can always be found on the front of the box.

Toy makers weren't quite so safety-conscious back in the day. Metal was not taboo. In fact, our preschool had a big yellow plastic tunnel in the playroom. A big yellow plastic tunnel with a metal rim around the edges. I loved running around the room and ducking to crawl through the tunnel. Often, I giggled with other kids as we chased each other around the room and through the large yellow tube.

I'm sure that tunnel had been used for years without incident.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Wordless Wednesday: Ouchie

I still crack up when I see this photo. Steve managed to snap the camera at the precise moment when a 5-month old Amelia tried to rip my earring out of my ear.

We know our girl, now age 2-1/2, is feisty. Now we realize this was an ingrained trait early on.

Look at that mischievous smile!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Passing it on...

15% OFF ALL ORDERS over $75!
Everyone needs a little help once in a while, even Santa.

For four days you can finish your holiday shopping with big savings at My Baby Clothes Boutique.

Holiday baby clothes with matching baby headbands, warm and snuggly baby hats,
Tutus for your little prima ballerinas, and so much more - whatever you need for your baby, you will find it here.

Starts 12/16/2010 and ends 12/19/2010 at midnight EST
Don't wait - inventory is selling fast!
This is your last chance to order and have your gifts arrive by 12/24/2010.

Use the discount code below to get 15% OFF any order over $75.
Simply enter this code at checkout

Discount Code - SANTASHELPER2010

* Offer valid from 12/16/2010 to 12/19/2010 at 12am EST.
Cannot be combined with other offers. Shipping not included.

(This is an advertising message from My Baby Clothes boutique)

Monday, December 13, 2010

Is there a klutz gene?

Are all young children utterly clumsy? Or was Amelia simply unlucky enough to receive the klutz gene from her mama?

I know I'm not graceful. Never have been. In fact, I had to quit dance class at the tender age of three because the teacher wanted me to do extra practices. Yeah, I must have been that bad. Somehow I muddled through many years of gymnastics, but still can't do a back handspring without landing square on my head. (Not that I would try it now - I know I'm only in my early 30s, but that is most definitely a decade or so beyond back handspring retirement age.)

Amelia does have some athletic talent.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Potty Training: Part 2

On November 6th, I posted "Potty Training: Part 1". I was worn down by the process, but cautiously optimistic about our progress. Now I have a feeling you'll be seeing Potty Training: parts 3, 4, and 5 before this adventure is complete.

When people say this is a frustrating process, they are not kidding.

(For those of who who got you kids trained in 3 days and never looked back... good for you. But hush. That is not my world, and I don't want to hear about it. I have enough mommy inadequacy issues already.)

Friday, December 10, 2010

Friends 2 Follow Friday: Truth About Motherhood

Having a fabulous Friday, friends? I'm looking forward to another weekend with no specific plans. It's nice just to do what we feel like at the moment. And if that means chilling in sweats with some movies playing, so be it.

Today's Friends 2 Follow Friday feature is Debi, the Truthful Mommy. I "met" her only recently, and have enjoyed seeing into her world via this great blog.

Blog name? The TRUTH about Motherhood

When was your blog born - and why? My blog was born May of 2009, as a way to build a writing portfolio and an online presence. But we moved and I didn't start blogging regularly until February of 2010, thats when I began growing a community and having readers, other than my family:) It's was when I was born again a Mommy Blog!

Twitter/Facebook?  Find Debi on TWITTER and on FACEBOOK

The writer behind the words - list 5 adjectives that describe you.
Honest (to a fault), Mouthy, Charming (or so I've been told), Happy, Funny

Thursday, December 9, 2010


My mother-in-law used to work at a jewelry store. She worked with a salesman who never - and I mean never - held back his opinions. He could throw an insulting remark at anyone without a moment's hesitation. He had a flamboyant personality and a knack for disguising his jabs as humor. However, if you happened to be the unlucky recipient, those jabs packed a punch.

Once, he told my then-teenage sister-in-law that her pantyhose were so baggy she looked like an elephant. Do you remember your teenage years? When looks and approval were critically important to your well-being? Clearly, this guy didn't. Or he didn't care.

I first met this man  - we'll call him Brad - when shopping for wedding bands in 2002. I pretty much knew what I wanted. A white gold band with tiny inset diamonds. I found the band right away. But Brad wouldn't hear of it. He steered me to the other side of the store, energetically pointing out larger and larger rings. Gaudy rings. Rings that suited wealthy, middle-aged socialites. Rings that would never mesh with my "jeans & t-shirts" personality. I told him so.

He wrinkled up his nose and looked down at me. "Oh, I see," Brad stated, "You are just vanilla."

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Wordless (almost) Wednesday: Last Snow

 We don't get much snow in Atlanta. So this one last March 2010 was exciting!

You can tell we're not very proficient in snowman-building. I think we made a dumpy snowlady instead. But despite her looks, she made it on the 2010 family Christmas card. She's quite proud.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Oink Oink

Atlanta has a unique and adorable holiday tradition - The Pink Pig!

This holiday ride first began spinning on top of the downtown Rich's department store in 1953, as a way to attract people from the rapidly-growing suburban areas and compete with JC Penney, Sears, and other similar stores. It was originally a monorail design, hovering in the air.

Today, the Pink Pig is a happy pink train with a piggy smile. It is located within a tent on the top level of he the Macy's store parking deck at Lenox Mall. The train travels through a shiny & pink storybook land, narrated by Priscilla, the pig with a thick southern accent.

This was Amelia's second Pink Pig ride. We took her last year as well. Since I rode with her last year, Steve was treated with his very first Pink Pig ride. We had a blast!

Pre-holiday adventures are priceless. No matter the winter temperature, seeing Amelia's shining eyes and childhood joy always warms my heart.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

What'cha doin?

Great weekend so far! We hope to have a surprise activity for Amelia on Sunday. It's a secret, but I'll have pics to share on Monday.

After our activity, it'll be time to relax. And I'm once again participating in Relax & Surf Sunday. Have a blog? Link it up. Maybe you'll get a comment from ME!

Shibley Smiles Sunday Blog Hop

Hand over the popcorn

Have you ever noticed how kids can watch the same exact movie over & over & over again and never get bored? Amelia loves movies. If she had her way, she would probably watch movies all day, every day.

Some movies are more parent-friendly than others. Here is my list of kid movies that won't drive you crazy over, and over, and over again.

1. A Bug's Life (Disney/Pixar): I don't think this movie got the attention it deserved. It's so cute! I can't get enough of chubby Heimlich.

2. Monsters, Inc. (Disney/Pixar): Another lesser-acclaimed movie that is really quite clever. Amelia loves the little girl in the movie. She's already practicing her "Mike Wasowski!" exclamations.

3. Stuart Little (Columbia Pictures): Simple, sweet dialogue and a colorful quirky family. Not to mention talking cats and a mouse in khakis.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Friends 2 Follow Friday: Wonder, Friend

Can you believe it is December 3rd already? Hope everyone has a joyous holiday season, whatever holiday you celebrate.

Today is Friday - you know what that means!

Friends 2 Follow Friday!
I've recently been introduced to an big group of hilarious and talented bloggers through an ongoing inbox-stuffing email conversation. Missy is one of my new friends. I am really enjoying her blog. And you will too!

So read below, then click on over to check it out.

Blog name? Wonder, Friend

When was your blog born - and why?  Wonder, Friend made its official debut in April 2010 (there were a couple of pre-posts in March). In blog-years, Wonder, Friend is old, but I still consider it a new venture. I started the site because I love to write and wanted some impetus to practice. While that's still one of my main focuses, I have found that I now blog as much for the community that comes with it, as for my personal writing practice.

I adore Twitter and am trying to build my Facebook community. I hang out in both places quite a bit, so come on over!
MS_WonderFriend on Twitter
WonderFriend on Facebook

The writer behind the words - list 5 adjectives that describe you:
Yikes. This is not easy. How about... Faithful. Committed. Neurotic. Wordy. Contemplative.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Back in time

Back in the day, I attended a small Catholic elementary school. Class sizes were generally small, ciriculum was advanced, and we had a great music class. Each year, the 5th grade class would perform a musical/operetta. I remember HMS Pinafore and The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe to name two. My 5th grade class was exceptionally small - only eight students, to be exact. Our music teacher struggled to find a script that would fit our unique cast and eventually settled on a play called Hey George.

I was cast as a princess. I don't even remember the full plot of the play or even the name of my character. But the performance was a really big deal to me. We had a lengthy script requiring lots of singing. I had participated in various Christmas pageants and choir shows in prior years, but this was my chance to stand out as a star!

As we practiced and practiced for opening day, I was excited to perform. But also very nervous. My main singing debut was a duet with my prince. I remember extra work with our music teacher because I had to hit some high notes. I wasn't comfortable singing on my own, especially notes I wasn't sure I could hit when the time came. But I practiced and worked hard, eventually gaining some confidence.

Performance night finally came. Wearing my amazing rose-colored sparkling princess costume, I stepped out onto the balcony on our set. And I opened the play with a funny spoiled princess tantrum. Shortly thereafter, it was time for the big song. And I nailed it! Hit every note and soaked up the applause afterwards. The play went without a hitch, with all of my classmates doing an exceptional job. We received a standing ovation as the curtains closed.

While I don't do it anymore, I never quite got rid of my love for acting. There's something about stepping out of my own life to become a character. Something about expressing emotion through theater that just feels good. I still often get teary-eyed at the end of shows, remembering the rush of looking out onto a theater full of people standing and clapping.

If I could relive a moment in my life, I would relive my 5th grade performance. I poured my soul into becoming a princess. I succeeded after months of dedication and practice. It was such a fabulous feeling.

Everyone could use a standing ovation now and then.

This post was inspired by Mama Kat's Writer's Workshop. Prompt: "“If you could relive any moment in your life, what moment would you choose? Write about it.”

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Wordless Wednesday: Generations

96-1/2 year age difference  :)

(Pssst... I've got a giveaway going on right now! Click HERE for your chance to win a Back Sac!)

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