Thursday, October 31, 2013

Happy Halloween!

It's suppose to rain here but my city didn't reschedule trick or treating so that is still on for tonight. We took them last night to a nearby neighborhood that was trick or treating just in case it does rain. So they at least got a little in. Button was a bit confused but happy to see candy in her bag. She did a little dance later when she got to eat some. Bub, as always, had a good time. If it isn't raining tonight, I will take them for a lap around our neighborhood but at least they did a little this Halloween rain or not.

BT carved pumpkins Tuesday and they turned out great! Each matches a kid's costume. Bub is a ninja and Button is Cinderella. I think he did an excellent job.

Hope everyone has a fun Halloween!

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Dancing with the Stars (so far)

Dancing with the Stars is a show I always meant to watch and never got around to it. Well, in fairness, I don't get to watch a lot of TV just in general anymore, but every time there was a contestant I was interested I always make plans to watch and then never did. But Amber Riley is on this season and I love her from Glee and I follow her on Twitter and she just seems like such a genuine person that I decided to go ahead and finally watch the show. But then we don't have TV service anymore. So what to do? YouTube and Hulu were my answer. Now every Tuesday at lunch I've been catching up on DWTS. I tried to talk to a co-worker about it but she apparently hates Derek Hough who is Amber's partner and since I like Amber and Derek is a great dancer, we didn't get very far in our conversation. I have virtually no background on any of the dancers so I think I'm missing a lot of information that long time fans of the show have. But that's okay.

My favorites so far are Amber and Derek and Bill and Emma. Bill has a charm that I find endearing. Of course, I've seen his stand-up routines and the Blue Collar Comedy Tour so I was already familiar with his charm. But you can see how much he honestly seems to care about the others. And he's clearly made friends. Everyone always looks so excited to see him finish a routine and he brings a levity to rehearsals that the rest of the stars/dancers need on occasion. He genuinely looked super sad when Nicole (Snooki) was outed and he was safe. I thought he was going to cry. He looked stunned and confused. I think he is just a good guy.

Corbin Bleu seems like a cool guy but, I mean, let's be honest. He's had professional training. Maybe not ballroom dance training but if you are use to training and you have natural ability like he does, then it's not really a fair competition. Still I enjoy watching him and Karina dance. They have amazing chemistry and I wonder about them together as a couple. Maybe most couples are like this since they spend so much time together but they do spend a lot of time touching. Elizabeth Berkley is very intense, almost disturbingly so but she is a good dancer and I like her with her partner Val. They seem like they are just really intense together. Brant Daugherty is not someone I previously heard of but apparently he is on Pretty Little Liars, a show I never watched and a book series I couldn't get into. He is a decent dancer and he has really nice teeth. He is another one with great chemistry with his partner, Peta, and I wonder too about them. That was a pretty decent kiss at the end of their last routine.  Jack Osbourne, I am only familiar with from the reality show with his parents. But he is a cool guy though he falls more on the pessimistic side with good reason. Lately he's been dealt a raw hand between his MS and the recent miscarriage his wife suffered (something thankfully DWTS hasn't mentioned). He is a good dancer with a natural musicality (as they say) though his face is stiff and in the first few dances you could almost see him counting. But I like him. Leah Remini is not my favorite. She as person seems cool, very dry wit and sarcasm but she is not a good dancer and certainly should have went home before Nicole. And then lastly is Amber who is my favorite and I hope she wins. She is doing good this season and has a lot of talent. But it's basically the same thing as Corbin. She's had professional training and I know that on Glee there are long days and long practices so it's not like she hasn't done this before. I know ballroom is different though and she certainly struggled with the hold for the paso doble but her timing and her musicality and her acting ability are certainly coming into play for her. I don't know if she will win. I like her with Derek. They have a brother/sister vibe that works for them.

This past episode with the team dances was crazy. I like Team Foxing Awesome's the best but that shit was crazy. I also don't think it was fair to have Corbin and Amber and Brant and Derek on the same team. The cards were definitely in their favor. But they also did bring it with a bizarre song. So that was a challenge. Team Spooky BomBom's routine was also really cool but not as crisp as Foxing Awesome. Bill held that team's routine together and he did a great job. However it's hard going up against Derek's choreography and Amber and Corbin's talent. I think Team Spooky BomBom should have had at least one 10 though.

Some of the complaints I've been seeing on the scoring are how can Jack, say, get an 8 for that and Corbin a 9 when Corbin's is clearly superior? Well I think they need to be judged differently. One of them is practically a professional and the other is not. They can't be judged on the same scale so I think the judges might have different standards for them. Certainly Jack is not going to pull of the same moves Corbin does and so I don't think it is fair to judge them the same way. And Corbin is capable of those higher standards so it is fair to expect more of him. No one was going to judge Valerie Harper the same they were going to judge Amber or Elizabeth. It's only fair.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013


Button had her 1 1/2 year check-up last Friday. I was so afraid of the doctor once again saying she was failure to thrive but finally she got back on the height chart in a more significant way at 30 1/2 inches (10% height). She still hasn't hit 20 lbs yet coming in at 19 lbs 5 oz but she's getting there. She's basically made her own line on the chart just under the 1% line. So she following a line, just not one on the chart. She's made her own line which is pretty typical for her. Everything on her terms and how she likes them. She's hit all her milestones. Run and throw? Check. Mimic what others are doing? Check. Knows 50 words? And more. Knows 3 body parts? Check. Can climb? How do you think she got that cut on her lip? By climbing onto a box, that's how.

She got her last Hepatitis shot and a flu shot, by which she was thoroughly offended and we were off. We need to do a weight check in a few months and I think I'll take Bub too because the doctor recommended one for him too back in September. All in all, it was a good appointment. And not just because there was no blood work ordered, but because I got to watch her run around in circles in her diaper and dance while we waited for the doctor and try in vain to open all the drawers in the cabinet. She has a good time wherever she goes.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

The Second Day

I've been trying, mostly in vain, to get back into a workout routine pretty much since Button was born. Well, almost. And then I was going to start in earnest when Bub was out of school this summer and then again when he was back in school. My trouble is the second day. I've gotten up multiple times and done some sort of workout, usually a video, but I can't seem to follow through to a 2nd day. I'm not sure how to motivate myself. I mean, if the fact that my clothes don't fit anymore and I feel gross most of the time doesn't do it, then what will? I've gain some weight ever since Button weaned. I didn't realize what breastfeeding was keeping at bay until we stopped. And part of that is just readjusting my eating to sustain only me and not a baby too. That part I've worked out though I still am not making the best choices sometimes.

I would like to work out again. I always felt better about myself and my day when I did. It's just so freaking early in the morning. The only time I can do this is before everyone wakes up. I don't have the time after work though I suppose I could get my lazy butt up at break times at work and go walk around. I use to do that. The weather is super nice right now so it would be a good time. I just can't seem to get my motivation going these days and I'm not sure what to do about that.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Nine years

Today is our nine year anniversary. Yes it does follow closely on the heels of our dating anniversary. I did that on purpose. It would have been the same date if the 22 hadn't been a Friday. While I won't say every year is better than the last, I will say that every year has been something new; a new challenge, a new baby, a new way to live our life together. I am extraordinarily proud of what he has accomplished in the past year with finishing school while caring for our baby girl while working full time. It's amazing what he can do when he sets his mind. I am thankful to be married to a man who works hard to provide for his family and betters himself not only for himself but for the good of that family as well. And the fact that he cooks and does the laundry doesn't hurt either. I'm looking forward to seeing what the next year brings us. But I know no matter what we will face it together.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Fifteen years

Today is the anniversary of the day my husband and I got together. I wish I had a really cute first date story but the truth is our first day was about a week or so later. We went miniature golfing and he let me win (so he says). But 15 years ago at the beginning of October we first met and I thought he was cute but short and that was about it really. His best friend was roommates with my best friend and we had gone the whole summer without seeing each other. Partly because he was home for the summer, partly because he was scared of my friend (different story). Anyway, we hung out as a group a few more times and then October 22 we went out for a friend's birthday and we ended sitting across from each other in a booth at a bar talking and flirting and that was about it. I knew then. That was it. Sometimes you just find that person, the person, my person. So I still celebrate this day. 15 years is a long time and the six years we had together before we got married were pretty important in shaping who we are as individuals and who we are as a couple. Sometimes I look at him and I'm not sure where that time has gone. But we've done pretty well for ourselves in those years, especially with our lovely children. And in five years we'll have been together for longer than we were apart. It's crazy how that happens.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

On why I'll probably never be a SAHM

A conversation with my mom lead to her saying that if BT made X amount of money I could quit my job and be a stay at home mom. At that moment I realized I don't want to do that. Shocking, I know. It's not that I like being apart from my kids. It's just that Bub is at school all day anyway. And Button, well, as much as I dislike daycare I know that in a couple years she will be going to school too. So yes, it would be nice to stay home with her in the meantime, but at around 3 I will want her to start some kind of preschool and then hopefully at 4 she can get into public school preschool at her brother's school. And then I would want to go back to work. I don't love my current job 100% but I am comfortable here and I am finally in a good place with my staff and my work. I worked so hard for so long to get us where we are now too. I feel like I've found my niche in the academic library setting like I belong here. So if I left for say, what a year and half, I don't know that I could come back to this university. Maybe if there is a job opening but it wouldn't be the same.

I've said before that my ideal situation would be a work-at-home type of job but Button would still probably go to a Mother's Day Out or something because I would still have to work and, frankly, I believe in children getting out of the house and into social situations pretty early on. I think it is good for them. Or I'd even take a part-time job but what kind of part time job would make me happy? I'm a librarian. I like being a librarian and finding a part-time librarian is fairly nonexistent in our area. I would like to be able to get Bub every day from school and spend more time at home with Button and with him. But I don't think I'd want to do it all the time. I admire moms who stay at home and love it. Maybe you just get use to never having a break from your kid. Maybe other people's children aren't as needy as mine. Maybe they are just better, more patient mothers. I don't know. But I honestly don't think I would like it. Maybe that makes me a bad mom. If so, then so be it. I try to do my best for my kids but also for myself.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Sew easy: T-shirt dress

Let me preface this by saying that the most I've ever sewn is to hem pants and I just learned how to sew on a machine about a month ago. I got a craft sewing machine for Christmas last year but I just learned to use it. So what I'm saying is I made a dress for Button this weekend and I'm pretty darn proud of it.  Button has two t-shirt dresses from a local flea market that I love but I thought Hey I could make that and so I decided to try.

It was relatively inexpensive and pretty easy. I actually used my mom's full size sewing machine and she gave me direction but I did it myself. I got the material at a fabric store and it was on sale plus I had a 20% off coupon. I got the shirt from a consignment store for $2.50 so overall the dress cost about $6.00. The shirt was a turtleneck but I ended cutting off the neck since I took a chance getting long sleeves in the first place. It is rarely cold enough in South Louisiana to wear long sleeves in October. But you can never tell. I followed this tutorial and this one too. I didn't add a sash but rather added ribbon like a belt and then added a bow to the ribbon like the other t-shirt dresses she has. I cut out the turtleneck and so it looks a little more like a boatneck but I'm pretty happy with it. I have the stuff to make her a Christmas dress and now I can't wait to make that one. I think I've caught sewing fever.

Friday, October 11, 2013

On why pictures are important to me

I wrote yesterday about taking professional pictures of my children for their birthdays but I don't think I really explained why it is important to me. There are 2 pictures of me as a baby. Only one as a newborn and a squishy, disgruntled newborn at that. And then one when I'm a bit older, maybe 3 months with my sister. And that is it. I don't think my mom had time for pictures even though there are a ton of my older sister from birth on. And to be fair, taking pictures 35 years ago was not nearly as easy as it is now. But still, there are almost no pictures of me. From about maybe a year on, there's a bit more. I'm assuming the stress of dealing with a 2 year old and a new baby is a contributing factor to the lack of baby pictures of me. There's nothing to be done about it now obviously but I'm missing something with these lack of pictures. After all, we have albums full of my husband as a baby so it's easy to compare him to our kids' baby pictures and say Oh s/he has your (fill in the blank). It's not easy to do that with me.

So I was determined that my second child was going to have many, many pictures of herself and I take way too many pictures of my kids altogether. I need this for them and for me. Who doesn't like to look back at baby pictures of themselves and think about how small they use to be or an event that happened? We have so many pictures of both them and I don't want her to have less than him. After all, she is not less important or less pretty or less anything just because she is second. Of course, the digital age helps. It's so easy just to snap a quick photo with your phone or go outside and take a few pictures of them playing outside. Bub is harder to photograph now that he's at that silly grin age. But one day I'll be happy to look at those pictures of that silly grin. And he will too. And she will have that for herself as well.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Leave it to the professionals

My cousin, Kia, and I were discussing photographers the other day. Specifically she wanted to hire a photographer to take pictures of her and her 8 month old son with her (half) sister and her newborn. The problem is that my cousin's dad's family doesn't seem to believe in professional pictures. For the aforementioned sister's wedding, a neighbor with a nice camera was going to take the pictures (that wedding didn't happen). And so when Kia mentioned to her sister about taking pictures her sister agreed but then wanted the entire family which wasn't the point of the whole thing. And then it became well so-and-so has a nice camera. He can just take them. But what I think people often fail to understand is that it is not all about the camera. It's knowing how to use the camera. It's knowing how to edit the pictures later. I have a pretty decent camera and it doesn't compare to someone who knows what they are doing all around.

I didn't take newborn pictures of Bub. That wasn't popular like it is now. BT actually took a few of Button out in the garden and they turned out nice. I like to take pictures of my kids and I'm slowly learning good photography skills and tricks. And that's fine for just snapshots. But I try to take them to a professional for birthday pictures. I'm not sure why this became important to me but I like having really good, really awesome pictures to commemorate their birthdays.

The photographer we used for Bub's first 4 birthdays was amazing but he was really expensive and it got to the point where I couldn't afford the pictures anymore. I actually skipped his 5th year picture because I was pregnant and didn't have the energy for it. I know, bad mommy. And then I stumbled on the boutique photographers. You know the kind that basically only do outdoor photography. They aren't too much cheaper but they often run specials. I found one girl and used her for family pictures/Bub's 6 year pictures last year. She did a great job and so I used her again for Button's 1st year/cake smash pictures. She, unfortunately, is focusing mostly on senior pictures so we are trying out another lady who was running a fall mini-session special. And once again I'm combining Bub's pictures with family pictures. Somehow I don't think he cares. One day I'll devote these sessions just to him but for now we can update the family pictures every year and it isn't too expensive. I like the packages that include the digital images. That way I can keep them and print them however I choose. I notice last year she did a Spring/Easter mini-session package and now I'm considering doing that for Button's 2nd year pictures. I'm trying to be frugal and keep up with the tradition I started and don't want to give up on. It's just important to me to have quality pictures of them for later.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Sick Day

It's been a little pitiful around my house lately. Luckily not with the kids but unfortunately with BT and myself. He took off a few days of work for a little mini vacation from Friday to Monday. But sadly he got sick on Friday and was out of it all that day and was still blah on Saturday. Cue to me Tuesday. I woke up and had a few stomach issues but went on to work anyway. On the drive over I could feel the nausea and I knew that I had whatever he had. I tried to tough it out but once I threw up I knew it was over. So I left for the day. Button was very happy to see me home but she was less enthusiastic when I went to take a nap (she was avoiding her own). I slept about 2 1/2 hours which was nice and when I woke up she was asleep on the couch. My mom came for her right when BT left for work so I had a few more hours alone. It was nice. My mom picked up Bub after school and bought them back home. It wasn't a good night after that. I fixed them food even though it made me queasy and we barely made it through homework and bedtime was a mess. I wish I was a better sick person because I feel like I was a terrible mom last night. I did what I could but I wasn't happy about it.  I wonder how other moms deal with being sick and having to take care of their kids too. Am I the only one who does it grudgingly?