Thursday, December 27, 2007

Hmmmm.

I am entertaining the idea of committing to Blog 365. Entertaining. The concept interests me and I'm thinking I enjoyed NaBloPoMo so much, why the heck not? But I dunno. It's just a thought.

I'm still not feeling up to par. Daniel is feeling much better. Yesterday was horrible - his mom and my parents got the stomach flu and they were all feeling miserable. Daniel and I left his dad with the baby (at his urging) to go see the new National Treasure movie. It was so-so, but we enjoyed it. My parents left with their parrot (an African Grey) and their dog, Buffy today. We spent today giving Daniel's parents an exciting tour of Bakersfield and now we're resting back at the house. If all goes well, we're making a day trip over to Ojai just to get some fresh air and get the heck out of here. Our good friends got married in Ojai and Daniel and I fell in love with the small community when we were there the weekend of the wedding. I think it will look like paradise to Daniel's parents after the tour they had today. Seriously. Part of Daniel's job is taking interviewees and new internship people on tours of Bakersfield, and after today I'm not so sure the tour is a whole lot of fun. Not much to see here, in my opinion. Of course, we pointed out landmarks like where Zoe was born, Urgent Care's we've visited, an restaurants that have given me food poisoning - also, our old house and the little liquor store/market down the street from it where there was a shooting. I know, you're sad that you've missed the tour. I promise, if you come to visit I'll take you on day trips to Santa Barbara or Ojai or the nearby wineries and we'll relax by the pool and have a fabulous time. Bakersfield isn't so bad to visit when you go to the right places.

Anywho. The year is coming to an end quickly. I have to say, 2007 has been one of my favorite years of the last 31.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Dear Zoe,

Hey, baby girl. Today you are seven months old and oh, my goodness! that is sort of hard to believe. It's funny how time went by so slowly when I was pregnant with you, but now that you are here it seems to go at warp speed. This has been a wonderful month despite me being in poor health. I want to tell you all about it, but for the time being I'm going to put it off. I'm still not feeling fabulous (and either is your daddy) and I've got presents to wrap. In just two days you'll be celebrating your first Christmas with us. I am very excited for this. Your Nana & Grandpa are here now and your Grammy & Grandpa arrive tomorrow. You will be smothered in kisses and hugs and I know you're going to love every minute of it. I promise to take lots of pictures.

I love you, monkey. I'll write more after Christmas.

Love,

Mama

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Bah Humbug

Rant: I'm still sick. And that sucks. Zoe has been at Cheryl's all week so I can try to get better. I've missed a full weeks of rehearsal, for which I feel very guilty about. I'm thinking this is the last time I will do a show because my immune system sucks ass and it's just not fair for me to even try anymore. Goodbye, passion for acting. I feel miserable and am lacking in the holiday spirit. And I look like crap: grey hair, roots, etc. I had to cancel a hair appointment because I was too sick to drive myself and in no condition to sit at a salon for two hours. And really, if I can't go to rehearsal - I can't get my hair done. I called and made a doctor's appointment, and realized later that I didn't know where my car keys were. So I tore the living room apart looking for them. And I called Daniel but he was busy at work in meetings. And I called Cheryl but she didn't answer her phone because she accidentally dropped it in the toilet this morning. So I called my friend who is directing me in Imaginary Friends to see if she could take me (since she's pretty anxious for me to get over this sickness and come to rehearsal) but she had work and couldn't. So I called another friend that didn't answer their phone and I was too exhausted (and had almost no voice) to leave a message. SO, I called Missy and burst into tears with her on the phone because I felt so miserable and sort of bad asking my friend who lives on the other side of town and has two youngsters out of school (Mazzy is 3, Remy is almost 1) and another who needed to be picked up from his bus stop. But she was so sweet and told me she'd be right over, that the kids were already ready to go. She's my lifesaver for the day. So then Cheryl called and asked if I was OK because I sounded so bad on her voicemail - and I lost it again because I hate being sick and I feel guilty that she has Zoe instead of me. I miss my little girl! That said, I am SO grateful to have Cheryl in our lives because it has been such a relief to not have to entertain Zoe all day when I feel like the walking dead. Anyway, turns out my car keys were still in the diaper bag that Daniel took to Cheryl's. Not a good place for them! So then Missy showed up with her adorable kiddos and she drove me to the doc for my appointment.

Deep breath.

Turns out, I have bronchitis (that started out as a viral infection)... I also have gastroenteritis which basically means my stomach is going through hell (I've lost ten pounds). Those Christmas cookies? Not happening anytime soon. Oh, and they're a little worried this could all to turn into pneumonia if I don't take it easy and take some antibiotics. So, yay. Ho, ho, ho, and all that.

Right now, I'm feeling pretty negative which isn't really like me. I'm brooding and dwelling and feeling sorry for myself because today was a terribly rotten day. But I see a light at the end of the tunnel. Daniel is bringing home some food for me to attempt to digest. Zoe will be home soon and you can't help but feel better when she looks at you. Seriously:

"Santa does what?"
"Santa does what?!"

Also, my parents arrive Saturday and Daniel's on Monday. I am very excited to have this house filled with the people we love so we can celebrate Zoe's first Christmas together and enjoy our lovely new home. See? I'm not all negative today.

Not sure when I'll be posting again, so Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all of you.

Zoe laughing at her mama:

Best laugh I have ever heard, ever

Cheers!

Friday, December 14, 2007

Monkey = Panda

We were going to relax today. Instead, we bought new tires, Christmas shopped (but bought nothing*), had lunch, exchanged a highchair for the one we ordered, got Daniel a haircut, ordered & ate pizza, gave the kiddo a bath, splished, splashed, played. Currently, we're watching Live Free, Die Hard and trying to mellow out while I feed Zoe before she's put to bed. Tomorrow is another day and I'm hoping it will be restful. But there are things to be done....

* - OK, we did find a new hat for the monkey. It's a panda hat, and it's adorable:

Panda Zoe

Thursday, December 13, 2007

5 Days Down

Tonight was our fifth rehearsal for Imaginary Friends. We have sixteen more before we open. OMG! Sixteen, that's it. There are parts of me that are enjoying this process immensely. Getting to work with these talented people in a theatre that I have wanted to work in since I first saw a show there almost five years ago is very cool. Having to do research on the amazing Mary McCarthy and trying to understand how she worked and why she had this feud with Lillian Hellman has been very enriching and interesting. Both women were forces to be reckoned in the literary community. I admire them both, but would have liked Mary more, I think: possibly because she is who I am playing.

This play is pushing me in different ways than shows I've done in the past. No, I do not have to do the Cha Cha while dealing with my first trimester of pregnancy and the singing shouldn't be too difficult (no harder than any of the opera's I've been in, I'm sure). I will have to smoke on stage which is huge for me considering I successfully quit a little over three years ago. Cigarettes make me sick and of all the choices I've made in my life, starting to smoke is my only regret. But smoking was definitely a part of Mary's life and death (she died of cancer) so I'll be smoking (and trying not to inhale). Another challenge comes towards the end of the play: at the climax of a heated argument, Nora Ephron has written in the stage direction that Mary and Lillian kiss. I'm not too keen on kissing anyone besides Daniel ever, so this is a learning experience. Some of the cast and the director discussed the kiss this evening and we might not do it. A part of me is breathing a huge sigh of relief, but the other part is wondering if we are failing the authors vision by skipping over this part. There is a part of me that says we need to be true to the script and put personal discomfort aside for the sake of the drama, the play... but who knows. In the end, it's just a piece of stage business and the audience will probably not leave the theatre thinking "I really felt like there should have been a passionate kiss in the middle of that fight."

The hardest thing for me so far is the few minutes before I leave the house for rehearsal. The first night, I got all weepy as I grabbed my purse and script. I know it's silly, but I spend so much time with Zoe that I worry what she must think to have me be gone at night now. I worry sometimes that this is selfish of me to be doing this. Yes, it is important that I continue to feed my passions and challenge myself, but I don't know how often I'll be able to do this. I'm not the young, single girl anymore. I don't sit outside smoking with the cast or go out for drinks after. I don't feel like I fit in. Honestly, I sort of feel like an outsider. There's also the obstacle of learning all my lines. I have a lot of them and it is hard for me to find the time to work on them. I don't know how the famous, constantly working actress mom's do it. Frankly, I don't know how working mom's do it. It's a balance trying to be a mom and have outside interests and goals. I'm struggling so far to find my balance. I know it will take practice and perseverance. I know that it will be hard and rewarding and that when this is all over I will be proud of the work I've done, grateful for the experience and happy to be given the opportunity. What I'm not so sure about is whether or not I'll be doing this again.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

My Day

4:30 am - Get stirred from sleep when husband gets up to get ready for work. Fall back asleep, but not before saying a little prayer that husband doesn't wake Zoe with the noise of getting ready so darn freaking early.

6-ish - Say "goodbye, have a nice day, I love you, be careful, goodbye, I love you." spiel while half asleep.

7-ish - Hear Zoe waking up. Get her, dress her, feed her, relax with her in bed, sing to her and plead with her to please take her morning nap early so I can get some more rest. This process takes about a little over an hour.

8:30-10:30 - Have the most peaceful nap I've had in ages with Zoe curled up next to me and a large chunk of my hair in her little hand - she fell asleep petting me. I wake up first and watch her sleep for a few minutes longer. She looks just like her Daddy when she sleeps.

10:30-10:40 - Pry hair from baby's grasp and go take a quick shower while Zoe still sleeps on bed with a wall of pillows surrounding her. I shower with the door open and wish I could rig some mirrors so that I can see the baby while in the shower.

10:45 - Walk in room to check on Zoe sleeping and find her looking around confused. When she sees me standing over her, she smiles and then covers her face while she laughs.

10:45 - 11:50 - Change, feed and entertain baby. Call Daniel and find out if his car will be accessible to me at his work parking lot because he has the stroller and I need to go to mall. I think I'll be walking out the door at 11:15, but the whole getting Zoe ready takes a lot more time than I'd figured. Almost nothing ever goes as quickly or according to plan since having a baby - I am finally accepting this and taking it all in stride.

Noon - Transfer stroller from his car to mine. Drive to mall and almost get into a pile up because people in Bakersfield suck at driving. Seriously. A large truck cut me off so fast that I had to swerve into the middle lane. He almost hit the car that had been in front of me and the car behind me had to slam on their brakes to avoid hitting the asshat who cut me off. I dealt with my anger by cussing at my bad_keely twitter page.

12:15-2 - Shop for pants and a new shirt for Daniel to wear to a "graduation" dinner for work. Stress about what pants to buy, and decide to buy three and let him choose. Worry about what I'll wear and opt to purchase a new dress for myself as well. This is the first work function I've been invited to (besides Christmas party) and I was nervous.

2-4:30 - Feed baby. Read two stories to Zoe. Take a short nap with her. Bundle her up and take her to Cheryl's for evening.

Leave Cheryl's at 5:15. Race home. Feed dogs and then let them outside. Freak out about what to wear even though I got a perfectly nice dress. Plug in straightening iron for my mushroom hair ( that was not mushroom hair pre-pregnancy or motherhood). Obsess over my roots that are so obvious and all the grey hairs. Grey. Hairs! Get dressed. Straighten hair. Freak out because my makeup bag is in Daniel's car. Let dogs back in house. Gulp down a glass of cranberry juice. Freak out that Daniel isn't home and hasn't called when it's 5:27 and we're supposed to be at his work "graduation" dinner thingy at 6pm. Pick up phone and see that I have one missed call and a voicemail that was left at 5:25. Ooops.

Husband walks in at 5:35. He changes clothes. I do my make-up in record time, which is pretty darn fast considering it normally only takes me ten minutes. We jump in car and head to dinner thingy.

6-8:30 - Shmoozing, eating, watching husband get a "diploma". He also get a Nano and I get to take home the centerpiece. Yay. I needed a short clear glass vase for all our pretty roses.

9-10 - Rehearsal for Imaginary Friends.

We're home now. I am SO tired! This blogging every day business can't possibly go on. I mean, I should be sleeping right now. Tomorrow promises to be hectic as well. Yay.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Appointments

I have an appointment this Friday for my annual check up. I've been seriously considering canceling the appointment because I really feel like I've had my fair share of pelvic exams over the past two plus years. Between trying to get pregnant, being pregnant and the follow up exam to make sure everything healed correctly, I'm feeling done with my OB/GYN for a bit. I'd say I'm breaking up with him, but he broke up with me... and every other patient he had. Apparently, my doc has retired or quit practicing or something. A close friend (practically family) had been seeing him and when she went for her 15 (15?) week check up the front desk person asked her who her new doc was. What the heck? That sucks. Luckily, the office has lots of docs in it and my friend found a new doc that comes highly recommended, but still.

We brought Zoe into his office three months ago so he could meet and hold her. It was when we were getting all those tests done on her to find out why she wasn't gaining weight and I needed to see him. We waited for twenty minutes so he could finish with his patient and hold Zoe. His calm manner and joy at holding her put my mind at ease for those few minutes. I LOVE Doc Y. He was cuddly and smart and had a great bedside manner. He put my mind at ease and made me laugh. He was the perfect doc for me because he was so kind and explained everything so well. I'd thought that if we were lucky enough to get to have another baby, that he would be with us to get us through it. Is it weird that I worry about him and hope that he is OK and just retiring so he can travel with his wife and focus on his own family? The man probably doesn't give me a second thought, but he'll always be my favorite doctor I've ever met - and I've met A LOT of doctors.

So yeah. I feel like skipping my annual exam because he's gone. I know. Ridiculous. But really. I wish this didn't have to be a yearly thing. Gah.

Monday, December 10, 2007

The Book

We've been slowly starting to introduce various foods to Zoe. We started off with some organic canned stuff but really, the idea of my baby going from breast milk, to formula and breast milk, to stuff in a jar with a shelf life of two years sort of grossed me out. I know there are good foods out there, and Zoe doesn't seem to have any issue with eating these foods. If you offer my kid food, she'll take it and quite possibly bite your index finger off with it. Our little monkey likes the food and is not what I would call a picky eater. BUT! I like the idea of her trying new tasty food that her dad and I make for her. I like the idea of fresh ingredients. I'm liking the color of fresh fruits and veggies versus the canned stuff. So we bought a book. And then we bought a steamer. And we're going to make our baby fresh food. Daniel's mom did it for him. Lots of mom's out there do it. I'm excited to do it for Zoe. According to the cookbook, we may even decide we want to join our little one which sounds intriguing because canned pears? Yuck.

For Shannon and Victoria: I love the book we found. I need my cookbooks to have bright, pretty pictures for me to be inspired and this one delivers them and some good information as well. Also, it was one of the more moderately priced books I looked at. Let me know what you guys think. And for those of you who have been doing this longer than me or have other cookbook suggestions, I'd love to hear your input!

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Decorating the new house

So today is another one of those busy days. My friend is here until this evening. I have my first rehearsal tonight and I'm a little nervous. On one hand, it's been a while since I've been in a show and OMG! do I have a lot of lines to memorize! Also, being away from Zoe and Daniel five nights a week for three hours a night is going to feel strange. I'm excited and a little sad all at once and I have this feeling I'm going to miss Zoe crawling for the first time. But I know there will eventually be so much crawling I'll wish she'd just sit still and there will be lots more "firsts".

Speaking of firsts: I'm about to post the first interior shots of the new house. I have taken pics of all the rooms, but I thought I would start with these.

Looking in Dining room from cute little cut out by front door:

Looking in Dining room from cute little cut out by front door

Dining Room:

Dining Room

Fresh roses from front & back yards:

Fresh roses from the front & back yards

Close up of Dining room bookcase:

Closeups of Dining room bookcase

View into Kitchen from Dining Room:

View into Kitchen from Dining Room


View into Kitchen from Dining Room

More to come soon... and I PROMISE there will be festive pics of Zoe as well.

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Holiday Spirit

I think my favorite part of this season is all the "goodwill toward men". While we were out today we saw people just full of it. Like the lady who told her grandson to squeeze past me and Zoe in her stroller to nab the table we were waiting for. THAT was touching. Also touching was the man who questioned another guys manhood and character (rather loudly) when he felt HIS table was wrongly stolen out from under him. My heart practically melted when I watched a lady try to pick a fight in the parking lot. Oh, and the sales associate who just dropped my friends shopping bag to the floor and turned away instead of handing it to her. This truly is the most happiest time of the year, isn't it?

Of course, this is all tongue in cheek because getting to share this season with my husband and our child makes my season bright. Be safe and jolly out there folks!

Friday, December 07, 2007

Delays

With my friend here, I didn't get a chance to take the pictures I promised. I did pick up Daniel's and my Christmas present to each other early: a larger television. We'd been using a 23 inch that I purchased pre-Daniel and decided it was time to upgrade to a 40 inch LCD. I'm not sure if the larger living room was to blame (the couch sits back further) or just my eyesight faltering with age and the birth of a child, but with the old t.v. I was squinting to make out subtitles and people. It was ridiculous and frustrating. And now? It's glorious. I mean, it's just a television but I grew up with a small screen and this is like having our own mini theater. And Daniel? He's pretty excited to experience the Wii and PS3 with this new purchase.

We also picked up a highchair for Zoe today. I'm looking forward to us feeding her many meals in it and it will be nice to have her sitting up at the table for us - especially when both sets of her grandparents are here with us. It may sound cheesy, but I've been looking forward to us getting to eat together as a family for a long time. I'm especially excited because I've found a book with recipes for making Zoe her food. She's totally fine with the canned organic stuff, but again I'm looking forward to feeding her fresh stuff that I've prepared. I never imagined I would look forward to some of this - again, it's amazing how things change.

Tomorrow we'll possibly have a date night while Alison watches Zoe. Both of us really want to see The Golden Compass. Oh, and we still have a cocktail party tomorrow - that should be fun.

Cheers!

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Aah!

Today has been a day, a busy but good day. We invited Cheryl and Chuck (Zoe's babysitter and owners of our house) to dinner tonight. Originally, they were going to come yesterday but we postponed because of how sick I was Monday and my need to recuperate. Also, I just didn't feel like the house was ready. We spent a large part of last night hanging more stuff on our walls and straightening here and there, but the real work was done today.

I was able to actually take a shower this morning while Zoe entertained herself in her crib. This has only happened once before - I either take a shower while she's sleeping or I do it when Daniel is here. It was refreshing to start my day clean. The next couple hours were devoted to changing, feeding and playing with the baby. I got some laundry and dishes done while she took her morning nap. Later, she occupied herself in her crib while I scrubbed kitchen counters and finally put the finishing decorating touches on the kitchen. Oh, and I moved the Christmas decorations piled on the counter to various places around the living room! Now, we are festive and look less like a store.

Daniel had some extra vacation hours he needed to use before the end of the year, so he came home early. I cut fresh roses from the yards and arranged them in a vase. I did all my prep work for the pasta dinner I made. I set the table all fancy. Daniel dusted and vacuumed. I dressed Zoe in a dress and tights and black patent leather shoes with big bows on them. Everything was perfect and we are now exhausted.

My best girl friend arrives tomorrow for the weekend. She's going to babysit for us Saturday night while we're at a cocktail party Daniel's boss is throwing. My first rehearsal for 'Imaginary Friends' is Sunday night. Life is about to get really busy. Today might be the last day my house looks this way* before both sets of our parents are here for Christmas.... and then we do this all over again. Phew!

* Tomorrow I'll take pictures and post them so I can look back and remember how nice it looked.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Embarrassing Fact:

Almost ten years ago I entered some online contest through US Weekly and I actually won. They sent me a copy of Chocolat on DVD and a box of Godiva chocolates. Ever since then, if I get an email about a contest (or if I come across one while surfing) I feel like I have to enter. If it's one of those sweepstakes where you can enter every day for an entire month or longer, I will either set up a file in gmail or I will add it to my bookmark bar for quick reference. I'm thinking it makes me a little nuts. I have not won a contest like this ever besides the US Weekly one, but a part of me thinks that someday I might win again and it will be something amazing like a trip to Italy or Scotland or something.

Do you have an odd quirk like this?

This is Bailey and Max in their embarrassing secrets*:

After: Christmas puppies (Tracy is the awesome!) :)


* Special thanks to the talented and beautiful Tracy for working her Photoshop magic on this photo. *hugsnorgle*

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

In sickness

First off, thank you for the proposal-versary wishes! I've never heard that term before and I'm liking it.

Daniel and I had the makings for a wonderful night. We picked up some Chipotle (my favorite fast food) and brought it home. We watched Terry Prachett's: The Hogfather on DVD while we ate and cuddled on the couch. The living room was illuminated by the television and the Christmas lights on our tree so it was nice and comfy and romantic. When we got chilly, Daniel grabbed a big blanket and the cuddlefest continued until we took a brief intermission to run to the store to buy cinnamon rolls to heat up and eat with coffee (for him) and chai (for me). It was all lovely and I was glad to be cozy in our home instead of sitting at Mama Tosca's spending a lot of money on a meal.

And then my stomach started burning... and cramping; I was feeling jabbing pain and nausea. I don't know if it was food poisoning or the 12 hour stomach flu, or what but it sucked. The pain was worse than any of the contractions I had (when they induced labor) and the round ligament pain combined. I moaned and I cried and I milked that "in sickness" part of our vows something fierce. Needless to say, our romantic evening turned into a hellish night and early morning. Daniel was with me every step though and I've got to say that helped knowing he was there to depend on like he always is. I don't think we'll ever forget this proposal-versary.

Honey, can I get a do-over?

Monday, December 03, 2007

Proposal

Three years ago this evening, Daniel proposed to me. I'd actually proposed to him almost a year prior, at his parents house on his birthday... but we were both a little tipsy and he says he didn't realize I was actually proposing. I had given him a pocket watch with an engraved message on it and had asked him to marry me and he said yes, but apparently I was not clear that I wanted to become engaged right that moment. He said later that he thought I just meant I wanted to marry him someday. Oh, dear. Daniel wanted to plan something elaborate. We would have talks about when this elaborate plan would unfold and I was told the official proposal was coming soon, so I waited and waited. And waited.

So I waited and waited for almost a year for it to be official. We had some close calls: Valentines Day at home, my birthday at a nice restaurant, (where he gave me a book to start planning our honeymoon) Thanksgiving day at the beach. We joked about it and laughed and basically, I spent a year on edge anticipating when Daniel would ask me to be his wife.

The proposal ended up being impromptu. We'd just planned on having a special date night, but we got swept up in the moment and the great conversation and the next thing we knew Daniel was asking me to be his wife. I will always remember that night: where we sat, what we wore, how he looked when the question came out, that feeling I got in my heart and how we laughed and cried and celebrated with wine and dessert and National Treasure at the movie theatre two minutes from Mama Tosca's.

We'd planned on trying to have a similar night this evening. We'd planned on eating at Mama Tosca's and catching a movie after (too bad the sequel doesn't come out until the twenty-first) but we've opted to spend a quiet evening at home instead. Our budget going into the holidays does not allow for Mama Tosca's. So maybe we'll watch National Treasure on DVD and make the most of our new home. It doesn't really matter where we are as long as we're together.

Happy Anniversary, Daniel. I know we have like, three anniversaries (1st date, engagement, wedding) and as the years go by that may be hard to keep track of with all the other things going on in our lives, but I'm glad that we do. These dates changed my life (YOU changed my life) and I am so happy to get to remember their significance yearly. I love you infinitely.

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Two out of Four

Well, this weekend has been somewhat productive. Things are actually hanging on the walls in our living room, dining room, kitchen and Zoe's room. We recycled, yay! We did our budget, boo! The chili I planned on making did not happen, we lacked the motivation to find a good recipe and get it done. We did not get to host our pals because their youngest one has the creeping crud and his mom thought it best to not risk getting Zoe and us sick. We appreciate that immensely because we three have a knack for catching stuff. I took a lot of pictures of the monkey and the dog kids. We laughed a lot. We relaxed.

You know what? This weekend was just the right amount of productive.

OH! Look at what my best gal pal, Alison did for us: Cute and sort of creepy all at once!

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Day Thirty-One: Can't Stop

So I'm not committing to posting every single day indefinitely, but I sure am going to give it my best because I've really enjoyed this challenge. It helps me feel like I'm having adult interactions and conversations instead of just watching Baby Einstein and The Backyardigans and making funny noises and faces at Zoe all day. A gal can only sing her ABC's and nursery rhymes so many times a day before she starts feeling like a baby instead of a twenty-eight fine, THIRTY-ONE! year old.

So yeah, we'll see how long this lasts before I start taking days off again. Rehearsal for 'Imaginary Friends' starts a week fro tomorrow and Zoe's going to be crawling any day now, I just know it. Life is about to get a whole lot more hectic, as if it's not hectic already.

Somedays, I wish I could just chill and watch tv all day:

Watching the Dog Show on Thanksgiving


But I'd be missing out on so much and I would have nothing to blog about.

Friday, November 30, 2007

Day Thirty: Take it to the limit

It's funny how becoming a parent changes you. We went from being a couple to being a family and our priorities have changed. When Daniel and I first started out we weren't entirely sure we wanted a child. When we got pregnant we talked about how we wanted Zoe to get to have a sibling (I have two half brothers but was essentially an only child) like Daniel does. As time has gone by and we've gotten to enjoy Zoe, the prospect of a larger family is not as threatening to us. I grew up with four aunts and four uncles and a slew of cousins, there is a part of me that wants that for my grandchildren. My family got to celebrate a few family reunions together and I want that for our family as it grows. We're not trying to extend our family right this minute, but at the same time we are planning for the future and no longer putting a limit on ourselves. Well, maybe that's not true. Our previous limit had been two and now? Maybe three or four. Maybe.

I think one of the biggest lessons I've learned since becoming a mother is the possibilities are limitless and that is very exciting. We take each day as it comes and try not to speak in definite terms about the things that we cannot control 100%. It's not always easy, but it leaves our options open without making us feel like failures.

Something I definitely didn't fail at: posting every single day for NaBloPoMo! I wasn't sure I could do it, but I am so glad I did because it awarded me some "me time". So even if I don't win an actual prize, I've won.

See you tomorrow. Maybe. ;)

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Day Twenty-NIne:

Twenty nine days go by of constant posting and I have writers block. I'm tired and frankly, ready for a break. Daniel is off tomorrow. I think we're going to actually hang some things on our walls, do some recycling and maybe even make some chili. Saturday night we're having friends over. Daniel will play Brock on the new PS3. Melissa and I will chat. Zoe might play with Remy who is almost a year old now and we'll all try to entertain Mazzy (age 3 ) and Phoenix (age 8). I'm excited to have them over because now we can actually do so and not be cramped in our tiny dark living room.

What else? We still haven't gotten our security and pet deposits back from the landlord who said we were "tenants from heaven". California law says within 21 days and it's been 29. I've called and emailed. She responded Monday and said she'd get back to me Wednesday. She hasn't and I'm pissed. But I'm trying to take a deep breath since it's the holiday season but it's the holiday season and that's not small change. Sometimes I feel like we get jerked around because we're so nice and that sucks.

Beyond that, I've got nothing. Maybe tomorrow I'll end the month with some brilliant, funny post....

or maybe I'll just post some pics of the dog children and Zoe. We'll see.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Day Twenty-Eight: Lean on me

Twelve years ago, I was not a good friend. I was horrible at it. I was young and naïve and had put all my energy into a guy who turned out to be an assface. I let him control my time, and me and I let my friendships go to the wayside. And then I really screwed up and got married which only separated me from my friends more and then the assface tightened his grip even more. Things were rough and I needed my friends (or just a friend) and I’d all but physically pushed them away because he wanted me to and it was easier to do that than put up with his abuse (which I got regardless).

Eventually I mended some of those friendships and I attribute my finally leaving to the strength that those friends gave me. Ashley, Alison, Sharon, and Max… they helped me realize I was not alone and wouldn’t be if I chose to stand up for myself and walk out the door for good. So I did, and they were there for me when I needed them.

I wanted to be the girl they’d laughed with and had memories with, and for a short time I was. We laughed. I went to (and met up with them in) L.A, Vegas, Disneyland and Chicago. We danced a lot and drank too much and sat up late into the early morning talking. I relocated to a new city and got to live with my best friend and her best friend and we three became sisters. Those first six months were great. But I struggled with who I was, with the things I hadn’t done. I was insecure. I made a lot of mistakes and put myself in stupid, dangerous situations. I struggled with suddenly having people who cared about my bad decision making when I’d been so used to standing on my own. I felt smothered. I was like a teenager from hell, and I was 27.

And then I met Daniel and he was this calming influence on me. He had such a good, kindhearted spirit and being with him made me want to be a better person. I felt stronger with him and he had so much faith in me. It was refreshing to meet someone who had no preconceived notions about who I was; who I should be. I was a better person when I was with him and I found myself wanting to spend every waking (and sleeping) moment with him. I wanted to share him with my friends, but I didn’t feel like they understood. Some did understand and embraced him. Others worried I was making a big mistake and warned me against moving too fast. I did not take this well. I took their caring as controlling and I cut myself off from them. Bad things were said, feelings were hurt, friendships ended.

For a time, it felt like it was just me and Daniel and a couple friends who (even if they did think I was moving too fast) supported us. We tried to branch out. We got more involved in theatre. Eventually, we made some great friends who we love like family. We felt less alone. After some time, the friendships I’d lost were repaired: not the same but evolved. There was forgiveness and understanding and tears. Grudges and anger slipped away and my heart felt less heavy.

I don’t think I’m the best at being a friend. I can be quiet and hermit-like. Daniel is the only person in this world who I can stand to be with 24/7. We compliment each other because we understand that we’re still together even if we’re not talking every second or sitting right next to each other. Sometimes I want to be able to just be alone. I’m not a phone talker- I actually hate the phone. I email and text and I’m great in person. I get impatient with people complaining for years about the same thing and doing nothing to fix it.

But if a friend needs me in an emergency, I am there. If someone needs a shoulder to cry on or an unbiased ear, I will be that person. I will lend the money I can to help in an emergency. I will defend you. I will be honest with you. I will give you whatever I can to help. I will be your cheerleader. I will try to make you laugh and I will let you cry. I will not hold grudges and I will forgive you. I am not afraid or too proud to apologize. I do my best to be the best friend I can be and I love my friends like they are family.

But sometimes a person needs a break from their family. I’m just sayin’.

Recently, a friend told us they really needed to know who their real friends were – who they could depend on. I understand where they are coming from but at the same time this frustrates me. Who is to say how much a friend has to give before they are reliable and a “real” friend? We do what we can, when we can. Why does it have to be black and white? I’m either a good friend or I’m not? I don’t feel like there should be obligation in friendship. Friends are the family we choose. If we can’t be there it’s because we have things going on in our own lives: baby, a cold or flu, sick parents, new house, stress. It does not mean we love you less, it just means life is hectic and we can’t be ten places at once.

I do the best I can. You can lean on me, but if you lean too much for too long I might fall down. What I’m trying to say is: sometimes I need a break – but it doesn’t mean I’m not your friend anymore. Is that awful and selfish of me?

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Day Twenty-Seven: Dear Zoe

Today you are six months and four days old. Every month that passes I feel like it moves too slow and too fast all at once. On one hand, I am so excited for you to crawl, to walk, to call out for your father and I (and all the other exciting events). On the other hand, I look at you and am amazed at how big you have gotten and how much you have changed. I've loved getting to be Mommy to my sweet little monkey and I can't wait to watch you grow up into a woman.

Zoe

It's hard to believe that just six months and six days ago your dad and I were checking into the hospital so that we could meet you! I thought I'd go ahead and tell you that story now before the details escape me:

Your Birth Story

Monday, May 21st

Twitter post: at 12:13PM (web)- Just finished watching last night’s episode of Brothers & Sisters. Cried like a baby. Damn it.

Twitter post at 12:42 PM (text) - On our way to our last pre natal appt.for this pregnancy!


12:45 pm - Your Dad and I were at the doctor’s office for my weekly check up early so I could have an NST done. I had been getting them done for the past month because of the gestational diabetes and they wanted to monitor you. We weren’t fans of the NST because you weren’t a very cooperative baby. Once I was hooked up to the monitor, you would fall asleep and refuse to move. Your dad would sing and talk to you while I poked and shook my belly until the monitor picked up your movements.

1:30 pm - When Doc Y came into the exam room; he asked me when I wanted to have you. I had been carrying you for 39 weeks and 3 days and your dad and I wanted to meet you so I said, “Today would be nice.” Sometimes your mom says things just to be funny or to see what happens, but without really expecting to get what she asks for. I was really surprised when Doc Y said that if I was serious he would call the birthing center to see if they “had room in the inn” for us. I laughed nervously. I was serious, but I hadn’t expected his response since we had an appointment to induce labor in just two days. He checked to see how far I had progressed in the past week and found that I hadn’t. I was still 1.5 centimeters dilated and 50% effaced. You weren’t coming any time soon without some assistance.

While we waited for news about being induced that afternoon, your dad and I sat nervously in the exam room. I think I laughed a little bit and held back tears. I was excited and nervous all at once. We ended up walking out to the nurse’s station as Angie was calling the center. They had a room available for us and we were to go straight over (the birthing center is attached to the office we went to).

I started crying in the elevator. I was scared. I was nervous. On the way out the door to our appointment I had accidentally stepped on Max and now I wasn’t going to see him again without you. I hadn’t apologized! I was irrational. I was sure he would never forgive me and that he and Bailey would be confused because we hadn’t told them where we were going and what we planned on bringing home with us. Your dad calmed me down and promised me that everything would be OK. We stepped out of the elevator and went to our car to get all the stuff we’d been carrying around just in case I went into labor on my own. I called your Grandpa Joe from the parking lot like I did after every check up. He asked me how it went and when I told him he said, “Well that’s just great.” You see, your Nana K and Grandpa Joe were planning on coming to town on Wednesday and he was stressed that you would come before they could get here. I assured him that induction could take days and he was relieved. They would come on Tuesday.

Twitter posts:
4:11 PM (text) - Doc decided to induce today. Baby is doing well. He just thought today would be better than Wednesday.
4:14 PM (text) - The IV is in. Waiting for doc to give induction medication. Will take at least twelve hours for labor to begin.

So, my nurse got the IV in and everything was great. Your daddy left me for a bit to go get me some magazines that I asked for but never touched our entire time in the hospital. I sent text messages to our friends letting them know what was happening. I sent the twitter messages above. Your dad came back with the only good magazines the gift shop had... I think maybe a Oprah magazine and a Vogue and something else. Magazines I never read. Since we were waiting for Doc Y to come give me the induction medicine and we had no idea when exactly he would come, I told your daddy to go ahead and leave to run the few errands he wanted to do. He needed to get himself some caffeine and I was really wanting frozen yogurt and Mexican food while I could still eat it.

Not long after he left, Doc Y came in to insert the Cervadil into my cervix. We were talking and there was a general feeling of excitement in the room. I was nervous still, but so ready for the induction to begin. Your daddy called my cell phone just as Doc Y was trying to get the medicine in, so our nurse answered the call. Daddy called the nurse honey, because he thought it was me and this made her and me laugh. I laughed so hard you were bouncing around in my tummy and I thought I might pee (which would not have been good for Doc Y considering his location). I took the phone and the nurse and I kept laughing while I talked to your daddy and the medication was being inserted WAY up in my cervix. Doc Y said he'd never done the procedure and gotten the reaction he'd gotten from me before.

The rest of the afternoon was a lot of sitting around and waiting. Your daddy had to fix the television in our room so we could watch shows. We watched Law and Order, I think. I took pictures with my camera and had your daddy take some pictures of me so we'd remember the excitement leading up to your birth. I was having contractions, but they weren't too painful and I tried to stay positive and polite through the whole thing. I was worried about being too dramatic, which sometimes I can be. Your daddy and I took a few walks around the maternity ward to try to help things move along and eventually we tried to get some sleep. Sleeping was not very easy for either of us. Your daddy looked so funny and uncomfortable in the pull out chair/bed they provided for him. And me? Well, lets just say hospital beds are not the most comfortable things and I spent a lot of the early morning hours listening to a lady in the next room go through some serious labor. She screamed and moaned for hours and scared the heck out of me. When a nurse came in to check on you and me, I asked if everyone was like that and she told me no, not to worry. I still worried.

The following morning Dr. Lewis came in to check on my progress with the Cervadil. By this time I was having a good amount of contractions and I was feeling some pain. I was trying to not take and medications and I was very cranky that someone I'd never laid eyes on was going to check my cervix and you. He was a sweet man though, he kind of reminded me of one of the grandpa's in Sixteen Candles. When he checked my cervix I'd still not dilated but you had "engaged". I was so sure more had happened over night and was feeling discouraged. Your daddy said, "That's good baby, she's in engaged!" Feeling more than a little flustered I said: "People break engagements!" Your mama, was tired... but still polite. Dr. Lewis inserted another Cervadil.

Twitter post at 12:27 PM (text) - Day two of induction. This is exhausting.

The rest of the day is a little bit of a blur. Contractions continued. Your daddy was wonderful and monitored all the contractions very closely (you will learn that he LOVES graphs and technology and geeky things). He would tell me when I was having a contraction, I would tell him I was having contractions. We laughed, I think I might have gotten a little emotional. Aunt Sheila and Uncle David (he wore a doctors jacket from Rocky Horror costumes) came to visit and to bring you presents. Nana K and Grandpa Joe came to visit and they were so excited and nervous looking. Nana K fussed over our television a little and really wanted to watch the last American Idol, but couldn't find the right channel.

Dr. Lewis came in to check on our progress at around 11pm. I was no further dilated and you were no longer engaged (just like I said might happen!). He examined me a little more and came to the conclusion that we needed to have a c-section. The medicine was not working because my bone structure was not letting you drop. It was like you were hitting a wall. By this time I was so exhausted and overwhelmed. I cried a little and said, "But I have such big hips!" Dr. Lewis was great with me and so was our nurse. They explained there was nothing I could do, that it was just how I was made. I cried a lot because I had so wanted to have you naturally. I wanted to experience the pushing and all the hard work to get you out into the world. I didn't want medication because I did not want it to make you sluggish. I'd imagined your birth for months and I was excited to get to go through that part of life. Our nurse calmed me down and prepped me for the surgery. Your daddy reassured me and held my hand.

From there, a lot of things are a blur for me. We were transferred to a different bed and pushed down a hall into the operating room. The doctor had rushed things so quickly that I hadn't signed the papers for getting the spinal block before the anesthesiologist started. This caused some drama in the O.R and as I felt myself reacting to the block, our nurse and the anesthesiologist argued and I signed as my body went numb. I remember being warned that it might feel like I was having trouble breathing, but it was just the block and everything was fine. When that feeling came it was so strong I couldn't speak, but I kept asking for your daddy over and over until he came into the O.R. That felt like an eternity! The next thing I know, I was being told to look at my daughter. I remember holding my breath for a brief moment until you cried. I remember you being held up high in front of me as you cried out. I think I cried too, I'm pretty sure your Daddy had tears in his eyes too.

19 inches, 8 pounds 5 ounces
at 12:18 am on Wednesday, May 23, 2007.

I know your daddy cut your umbilical cord. I know he went with you while they finished up with delivering the placenta and sewing me up. I remember hearing Dr. Lewis say he didn't like the way it looked and that it was going to be just a little bit longer while he redid it.

For the next eight or so hours, our entire family slept. Nana K and Grandpa Joe came to meet you. Aunt Sheila and Uncle David came to meet you all dressed up before they went out to her birthday dinner. I text messaged our friends. We stared at you while you slept. We slept more. The nurses refused to let me eat because of the gestational diabetes. Your daddy snuck me in a sandwich and chips because my blood sugar levels were well within normal. I was given a lot of medication for the pain from the incision. You ate and pooped a lot. All the nurses kept saying how huge you were, but you looked like the smallest thing we'd ever seen. So precious. So beautiful. So fragile. We fell in love with you instantly (and that love has gotten stronger with every day of your life). We were so ready to bring you home with us. We were anxious to introduce you to Bailey and Max. We couldn't wait to start our lives with you, out of the hospitals walls.

We were released Thursday.

Twitter post at 8:45 PM (text) - On our way home with baby right now. She seems to really like her car seat.

Your daddy drove SO slow! Nana K and Grandpa Joe were at the house with Bailey and Max. Our friends Kristina and Samantha had decorated our front door and your room. We were home. We were a family.

"Don't ((BUG)) me."

Life has been an adventure ever since the day we decided we wanted you in our lives. The fertility doctor, the waiting, the pregnancy, your birth... all wonderful adventures. You are our greatest gift and we are so thankful for you. This year, Thanksgiving had even more meaning to us. Thank you, baby... and happy 6 month birthday.

Love, Mama

Monday, November 26, 2007

Day Twenty-Six: Getting Out

Today was Zoe's 6 month "Well Baby" visit. I'm not even going to talk about the entire insurance debacle where I had to physically resist the urge to freak out at the front desk girl who talked down to me and tried to get me to pay $352 that we do not in fact owe even if the office and our insurance company have their wires crossed. We do not owe the money. The office has made a mistake that they said they'd corrected last month, but now have forgotten. I was irked. Seriously irked. But I am not going to write about it here so don't get me started. Mkay?

Zoe is now 25.5 inches long and 15 pounds 1.25 ounces. The doc says she is gaining weight at a good pace again and is healthy. He pointed out her chub and said she was "obviously healthy". So that's awesome and a huge weight off my shoulders. Also cool is that we don't have to get any more shots until February. My goodness! I absolutely hate Zoe getting shots. She does so well with the first few, but that fourth one is the last straw and today we added another and got her a flu shot. She was pissed!

But a hug and some dancing around the exam room was all she needed to get her laughing again so I loaded her up and drove her to Borders. THAT was a event.

1. I ordered myself a blended peppermint mocha. I tried one lid that was too small, so I reached for another and got chocolate and whipped cream all over my boob sweater. Oh, and there were some broken up pieces of candy cane too. The one time I splurge and get whipped cream. Oh well, if it's not that it's spit up. Can't take me anywhere.

2. A lady came up to me while I was cleaning up and told me I had a very cute little boy.
"Thank you. She's a girl." (She was wearing ALL pink)
"How old is he?"
"SHE'S 6 months."
"He's so small!"
"Yes. He is."
And then she touched her cheek and hand and I nodded and smiled but inside I was screaming. I don't mean to be unfriendly, but why do strangers think it's OK to touch her without asking? Is it our six sentence exchange?

3. Just as Zoe was falling asleep while I walked around a toddler came running up to the stroller, threw his arms in and grabbed her hand and yelled "Baby!" Yay. Zoe was cool with it though and smiled. The mom and toddler proceeded to follow me all around Borders like baby stalkers. It was a little odd.

4. I found a discreet little corner to sit and send Twitter updates about my experience while Zoe napped. A little old lady came up and admired Zoe. Talked to Zoe while she slept. Sat down next to me for ten minutes and stared at Zoe sleeping. It was sweet, but also just a little odd. She was sleeping after all.

5. Overall, we had a nice time. It's nice to get out and do things while pushing her around even if we do get approached by all her admirers.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Day Twenty-Four FIVE*! : Home, Sweet Home

Daniel, Zoe, Bailey, Max and I got home from visiting my parents in San Diego a couple hours ago. The bags are unpacked. Ornaments my parents gave us have been added to the tree. Daniel vacuumed the entire house. Dogs and baby fed, husband out picking up take out because we're too tired to cook. Actually, I'm too tired to blog as well. I've got Zoe sitting in her "magic seat" watching Baby Einstein's: First Signs while I try to catch up on all things computer related. My parents don't have wireless and I'm too lazy to actually sign on to things like Flickr and Twitter when we're there, (and as awesome as the iphone is; it just wasn't convenient) so I have a lot to catch up on... like all those blogs I've got listed in my links. OY!

Tomorrow promises to be busy: Zoe and I go for her 6 month check up. Keep your fingers crossed that her weight gain has continued at a good pace. I'm happy to report that she's eating like a little piggy and has the cutest little belly you've ever seen. Lets just hope the scale reflects all the chub.

* So tired yesterday that I incorrectly counted my days. ACK! The exhaustion!

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Day Twenty-Four: Survival

Daniel, Zoe and I braved "Black Friday" yesterday. I figure after years of being in retail, I might as well see what the day after Thanksgiving shopping is like on the other end of the register. In my opinion, it's a lot better than being the person stuck behind a register or being all cheerful to crazed, maniacal shoppers who are usually not so nice.

We went to Babies R Us and got a couple Baby Einstein DVD's since I'm getting tired of watching the same four over and over again. They were $5 off, but the rest of their sales seemed pretty unremarkable. We walked into Old Navy, did a circle and walked right back out the door. The line was too long and too many people for our tastes. Then we had a leisurely lunch to prepare for the rest of our shopping. We checked out Bombay since they are going out of business. Nothing. Great sales, but the store isn't really our style and well, it sort of freaked me out being in there after that company being my livelihood for so many years... and I wanted to help them re merchandise their store which would have been "crazy customer" of me. Anthropologie is always fun for me, but really just to look. $288 for a gorgeous sweater coat is $288 I'd rather spend on Zoe. But we did get some books at Borders with a 25% coupon. Next on the itinerary was the Carlsbad outlet. This was really the only place we faced true crowds. By the time we got there it was 2pm and the parking lot was ridiculous. Daniel got a little grumpy so I made fun of him and sang Christmas songs that I changed the words to: "'Tis the season to be grouchy. Grumble, grumble, grrr. Grrr, grrr, grrr, grrr." He suggested we retreat, but I was insistent. The outlet has a Carters store and I knew there would be good deals there.

We eventually got a really good spot that we just sort of happened on without having to be a parking space vulture and made our way to Carters. Just about everything was 50% off, some things were 70% off. We got some really cute stuff for our fashion plate and got out as quickly as we could. While Daniel sat on a bench feeding the monkey, I ran from store to store looking at stuff. Baby Gap: too crowded to see anything. Toy Store: nothing for baby's. Striderite: Baby shoes too big for Zoe, she has petite feet. As we were on our way to the car we did stop at a cart to browse some handmade scarves and pretty necklaces. Daniel got me a beautiful hand crocheted chocolate brown scarf with roses on it and a the gorgeous necklace that picks up my eyes and brightens me up. The couple running the cart are expecting a baby around the same time our good friends are (and as Zoe's birthday) so we enjoyed talking with them and contributing to their business. Also, we walked away with two lovely items for $30.

And then we went home. I felt good about not going over the top with our spending, but purchasing things that were a great deal. We didn't get any real holiday shopping done, but we put money back into an economy that desperately needs it right now AND we got out of the stores relatively unharmed and cheerful. 'Tis the season, folks!

Speaking of: today is the day we're decorating my parents Christmas tree. I bought eggnog last night to drink while we're doing it. I love this time of year now that I'm not stuck in a store. Having Daniel, and now Zoe adds to my holiday cheer a thousand times. I hope you all are enjoying the beginning of the season as much as we are.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Day Twenty-Three: Full

Todays roster is full. We've got shopping, shopping, leftovers and relaxing to do. Oh, and we're going to decorate my parents house for the holidays. So blogging, isn't really going to happen in abundance today. But consider this a place holder for my letter to the monkey. Our baby is six months old today, time has moved so quickly. I looked at pics of her from her first week all the way up to yesterday and she has grown so much. She'll be a teenager before we know it. AACK!!!

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Day Twenty-Two: Thanks

Since today is Thanksgiving, I'm going to keep this short. I've got a baby to gobble on, a parade to watch and family to spend time with. I am thankful for so many things this year: Daniel, Zoe, well adjusted dog children, family, friends, our health and happiness, a good friend just finished her first trimester and her and baby are doing well, getting to be in a show again soon, Daniel's parents coming for Christmas, our new house, etc. I could go on and on... but I won't. Happy Thanksgiving everyone. "Gobble, Gobble!"

Oh... and I should also say I'm thankful for blogging and all the friends I've made by doing this. Some of you I have "known" for quite a while. We've followed each others lives: wedding planning, weddings, pregnancies, baby's, illness, travels. It's been fun and I'm looking forward to the next year and all it's possibilities.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Day Twenty-One: Misc.

Nope, not pregnant again. We're enjoying having Zoe to ourselves for a while before that becomes a focus again. She is really getting to be a handful now!

Also, not a new blog design. Still tossing the idea around though. I've considered starting a new one up using Wordpress. And then there's really utilizing this Mac and building a page from scratch.... but that requires knowledge and time that I am lacking. And really? I'm starting to feel like six people read this blog even though my stat counter says otherwise. Sometimes I feel really good about a post and I get no response at all and it makes me question why I do this. I mean, I know why I write... but why publish it if it feels like you have no one responding. It's early, I'm a little cranky and I'm just being honest.

The big change is that I'll be in a show in January. I auditioned last Sunday for Imaginary Friends by Nora Ephron. I got the part of Mary McCarthy (one of the leads). It's a comedy/drama/show with music (but not a musical). I'll be on stage most of the time and I get to sing. This is the first time in a year that I've been involved with a show and I am really excited (and a little nervous).

Daniel thought I should do this. I'll rehearse for a month, Sundays thru Thursdays from 6-10 while he takes care of Zoe. I'll miss them both, but I have also missed having this outlet and I think getting involved in theatre again will be good for my soul and spirit. As a friend said, it's important that I nourish my passions.

So that's my news. Yay! Now, excuse me. I need to get the entire family ready for our trip to San Diego. I want to get on the road ASAP so we don't have to deal with too much traffic.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Day Twenty: Music Makes the People Come Together

Ever sing along with a song and kind of fudge your way through the lyrics? Add an extra "la" or make up words that you think sound right with the melody. Ever since I was a kid, I've been singing along to what I hear on the radio. Doesn't matter if it's the first time I've heard the song or not, I'll soon jump in and sing whatever words I've gathered that the actual artist is singing at the top of my lungs. I have this feeling it might be annoying to just about everyone except my mom as she's always begging me to sing and I kindly refuse.

There are times though when I am absolutely positive I am singing the right words. So adamant that when I'm singing the song in bed to be funny and my husband tries to correct me, I tell him that he is wrong. I KNOW the lyrics! And when I start acting all excited and wronged by his doubting he asks me to not run into the living room to look up the words on the internet... and I obey his wishes, but reach for my iPhone because HELLO! - internet just inches away from my grasp!

So I pull up Safari and in the search window type these words: "Boy, you really got me going"

And that doesn't get quite the results I was looking for, so I revise my search and end up at this: page, where I discover that the words are not actually "Shut up, push it." And the husband laughs and is all proud of himself while I'm all embarrassed that I've gone like, twenty years thinking they were saying "Shut up" instead of "Ah". But I turn things around when I commence with whisper singing all the words to the song (that I'm reading off of iPhone), in bed, with my parents sleeping down the hall. There is a lot of laughing and joking and well.... the night ended quite nicely.

The End

Monday, November 19, 2007

Day Nineteen: iPhone Rocks

Currently I am walking around Best Buy,blogging on my iphone while on a date with my husband. This shows two things:
technology is awesome and I am way too commited to NaBloPoMo. Seriously.

Later....

So, I felt guilty for only posting a few sentences earlier. Not much more to add except tonight has been divine. Zoe is with Cheryl. Daniel and I got to have some "us time" before we go to San Diego this Wednesday. We had a nice dinner. I had an adult beverage. We walked around Pier One and Best Buy and Target. We joked and flirted and talked about things besides cute baby, poo and spit up (and then, we might have talked about all those things too). I feel refreshed having had tonight. I am in a blissful mood. Date nights absolutely rock and I highly recommend them. Excuse me while I go snuggle with my man.

- Keely

P.S. - This is not a drunk post. It's not even a tipsy post. This is just happiness, folks. Cheers!

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Day Eighteen: Busy

The house is looking pretty darn fabulous with the help of Daniel. We ran around cleaning and straightening like sick fools. Nothing is hanging on the walls yet, but when we were done I was grateful to my husband for all his help and excited for my parents to arrive.

So yeah. That's pretty much all you're going to get from me today. If it weren't for NaBloPoMo, I would not be posting at all.

But I've got a funny story to share with you tomorrow. Oh, and some new possibilities just around the corner*. Care to guess?

*I'm thinking I'll reveal my little secret on Wednesday if all goes according to plan.....

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Day Seventeen: Visitors

My parents are going to be here in about ten hours. It's the first time they will see the house with our stuff in it (we showed it to them before everything was official). It's the first trip they've gotten to take since my dad started radiation (now we're in the waiting period, we'll know how it worked in about three months). It's the first time we've had guests in the new house.

The house is a mess right now. Pictures still not hung. Things not organized or put in their places yet. We've been in a messy state ever since I got sick, and then Daniel was sick and then Zoe. Now we're all sick: Partaay! It's been one big sickie party over here. It's a good excuse, but it still drives me crazy. Looking around makes me feel anxious and panicky. If you were to see it, you'd probably think it doesn't look bad... but you’re not me. I get obsessed with the details. Daniel often has to tell me to make sure I relax and not do all the things I feel need to be done because he knows I'll just wear myself out and get even sicker.

I think a lot of it comes from my years working at Bombay (FYI - they're going out of business in the US, lots of good deals in stores) and Pier One. I would do entire floor moves in the span of a week. We'd move all the furniture, paint and re-hang all the walls at least four times a year at Bombay (if not more). Sometimes I had a team working with me and sometimes I did a lot of it on my own because it got me out of my house and well, I liked it. I liked the deadlines I was given, getting ready for the district, and regional, and corporate visits. I loved the big wigs walking in my stores and seeing how great everything looked. Now, I find myself comparing family and friends (the people who really just want to see us.... and Zoe) to the people who walked around critiquing my space and team. It's silly.

Silly, but still - I've got stuff to do...

Friday, November 16, 2007

Day Sixteen: Puppy love

I am so proud of Max and Bailey and how they’ve adjusted to all the change they’ve had in their lives recently. First they had to get used to not being able to pounce on my tummy whenever they wanted because I had a resident. Then, they had to get used to a new little human in their house: a little human who demands a lot of attention and cries. If that wasn’t enough, we relocated our family across town and they had a new house and yard to contend with. To make things even more interesting, they don’t have a doggie door so they have to “ask” to be let outside. They are the awesome and haven't had a single accident (knock on wood). And then? Zoe has recently started to really take notice of her “brother” and “sister”. She "pets" them and watches them and grabs on to their collars and fur without a grumble from them. It's like they're finally getting what they've wanted from her: attention. The dog children have been little angels (aside from stealing burp cloths and binkies). They come running to get me if the baby cries or makes a noise showing any distress.

Best pug "brother" ever

Max is protective of Zoe and is often laying right next to her or looking over her. He’s also quick to lend a hand tongue if needed to clean up spit up, or cereal, etc.

Super Bailey!

Bailey is a little more stand offish, but she does like to snuggle with Zoe and me on the couch. She’s eagerly waiting for the baby to be really useful and actually throw a toy for her. Occasionally, Bailey will rest a toy in front of the baby (or on her lap) and wait for that toss. Soon girl, soon.

On the way to her doctor*

I have a feeling things are going to get even more interesting soon. The little monkey is wanting to crawl.....

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Day Fifteen: My ABC's

It seems the alphabet is a theme this week! I saw after I'd posted yesterday that I was tagged by the fabulous Jolene with this cool meme.

Rules: List a word or words that describes you for every letter of the alphabet. Offer as much or as little explanation as you wish. Please keep the words positive and feel free to get creative. Tag as many or as few people as you wish.

A: Actress, Animal lover, Artistic
B: Blogger, Bootilicious... I couldn't resist.
C: Candid, Committed, Creative
D: Daydreamer, Domestic Diva Wannabe, Detail oriented
E: Eager, Entertaining
F: Forgiving, Flickr addict, Friend, Funky
G: Grateful, Guarded
H: Happy
I: Independent
J: Jewelry (especially necklaces)
K: Kindred Spirit
L: Loving
M: Musical, Music lover
N: No Nonsense
O: Open minded, Opinionated, Organized
P: Photography, Private, Protective
Q: Quiet
R: Real, Romantic
S: Sentimental, Shy, Smart, Strong, Survivor
T: Talented, Thoughtful
U: Understanding
V: Vivacious, Voluptuous (yeah, I said it)
W: Wife, Winsome
X: X-rated! Bahahaha! (Not really, but Daniel never came up with a Chinese word that started with X. Whatevah.)
Y: Youthful
Z: Zoe's mommy

I'm tagging Lisa, Sue, and Tracy because I heart them*. And honestly, I think maybe we all need to spend less time focusing on our flaws and more time acknowledging all the great things about ourselves.

*Oh, I heart you too! Do this and leave a comment letting me know so I can read your ABC's!

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Day Fourteen: Now you know our ABC's

If you were a fly on our wall, these are some things you would hear daily:

The ABC's of Zoe

A
Aaaaaa! Apple. Are you poopin'? Atchoo! Awwww.

B

Baaaah! Baby Einstein. Baby girl. Backyardigans. Bailey! Bailey, no. B-A-N-A-N-A-S! Big Poopies! Binkie. Boobie-Snack. Boogers. Booger-Snatcher. Bottle. B-O-T-T-L-E.

C
Cereal. Cheryl. Cheryl’s house. Chuck. Cranky McCrankersons. Crazy. Cuddle-time. Cutie Pie.

D
Daddy. Daddy, Zoe, Daddeee, Zoeeeeee!

E

Eeeeeeee! Elephant.

F
Food. Funny baby.

G
Gaaaaaa! Good Girl! Goodnight. Goodnight Moon. Goofy baby. Grammy. Grandpa. Grumpy McGrumpersons.

H
Haaaaaa! Ha ha! Happy girl. Hello! Hi! How big are you? Hugs!

I

Icky! I love you!

J

Jump! Jumperoo!

K
Kid. Kisses! Kookoo.

L
Lalalala! Little One. Lovey.

M
Mmmm! Magic Seat. Mama. Mama's Mac. Maxie. Mirror. Monkey. Mommy. Mommy, Zoe, Momeeee, Zoeeeee!

N
Nana Bear. Nana K.

O
Ooooh! Oh. Om nom nom nom nom! Oy-Oy!

P
Pajamas, pajamas! Pattycake, pattycake... Bakers man. Peak a boo! Poopies! Poopy.

Q
Quack, quack!

R
Rar! Raspberries! Really?! Roll 'em and roll 'em.

S
Sigh. Silly. Sleep sack. Sleepy Bear. Snort! Sooo big! Stinky! Sunshine. Super Spy! Sweet Pah-tay-tahs.

T
Teletubbies. Tippy Toes. Toot! Tummy Time. Twinkle Toes.

U
Uh Oh!

V

W
Waaaa! What you say? What’s that? Where’s the baby? Who’s that? Who’s that baby? Wowee!

X

Y
Yay!!! You don’t know. Yumm. Yummy!

Z
Zerbert! Zoe. Zo-Zo. Zo-Zo Monkey.

See what being a parent does to you?! You'll have to excuse me if I talk "baby talk" to you.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Day Thirteen: Superstition

At some point (early on) during my first marriage, I gave up on superstitions. I didn't believe things could really get any worse than they were. I balked at the superstitions about black cats (I prefer black cats over any other), the number thirteen, spilt salt, etc. Working for Bombay and Pier One, I broke a few mirrors (accidentally); and I did not fear the subsequent years that would follow. Co-workers would warn me against walking under ladders extended or leaning against walls and then squeal at my obstinacy as I purposely chose the path they warned against. I would laugh at their silliness and continue on like nothing had happened, because nothing really had or would. To believe in these superstitions meant I had to believe in good luck as well, and no four leafed clover or shooting star was going to save me, give me good luck or grant wishes. I was stuck with the life I had and I had no one to blame but me.

But when I left Assface, I found myself gazing up at stars and making wishes like I had as a child. I had time again for daydreams and hopes and everything that came with it. I had a new outlook. However, this new outlook did not come with a fear of ladders, mirrors, and cracks in the sidewalk or spilt salt. I maintained that these things were not the stuff to be afraid of.

Then I met Daniel. As I've mentioned before he helped me believe in the whimsy again. As our love grew and our bond strengthened I became more and more afraid of outside forces screwing things up. Letting him into my life and heart opened me up to feeling vulnerable about losing him and the sense of security he gave me. My main worry is his (and of course, now Zoe's) health and safety. We've been together for almost five years in January and I think I have told him the same thing every time he leaves the house for the past four years: "Have a good day. Be careful." If we're saying goodbye in the morning and I'm so tired I forget, he tells me he will be careful... and then I tell him again. If he leaves without me getting to say these things because I'm asleep or we both forgot, I will call to tell him - it's become my own superstition. Like if I don't tell him, something bad might happen. Honestly, I think it's a little crazy of me.

I still don't consider myself to be superstitious, really. But I don't rush to tempt bad things happening either. Now, I might be persuaded to choose the path around the ladder, maybe.

What about you? Are you superstitious?

Monday, November 12, 2007

Day Twelve: Return

After years of retail there are a few things that drive me absolutely bonkers:

1. Rudeness, ignorance and projecting. I'm putting them all together because, from my experience if a customer has an issue with one they have all of them. Yesterday we were at Target (the best store in the world) waiting in line at the Returns desk. I needed to return a shirt that fit funky (in a bad way). I was cheery about the entire thing. I had my receipt and it wasn't anyone's fault the shirt looked ridiculous on me - I just had to return it. Well, before I could do so I had to wait for this woman to freak out. And she really freaked; in front of her toddler. She was cussing and yelling and demanding corporate numbers. The woman did not have a receipt and was returning something that looked really used, like "Hey, my kid used this all last winter and now it doesn't fit him so I'm returning it." used. The sales people gave her the number and did it without stooping to her level, yay them. I sort of wanted to tell the lady she was an idiot, but I didn't want to get my butt kicked on a nice Sunday afternoon so I held back. Besides, I avoid confrontation at all costs - I may fantasize about telling people to stick it where the sun doesn’t shine but that’s the extent of me being a bad ass.

2. Last minute gift shoppers who get mad at sales people for items being out of stock. Seriously? You're going to get mad that they're out of something you want to buy on Christmas Eve? That's just stupid.

3. Returns. The act of returning does not drive me bonkers; it's more Daniel's reaction to it. The man does not like returning stuff and in a way it's sort of endearing. Except, some things need to be returned. Like the ill-fitting shirt. Why waste $15 bucks on something I won't wear? Other things like damaged merchandise. I'm not blaming anyone, but if something is faulty I want to exchange it for one in good condition. I think that is to be expected and I have no qualms about it.

Right now, we're in a rug crisis. We cannot seem to find a rug for the kitchen that I am satisfied with. We got a 5x8 jute rug yesterday. It looked too big and so I told Daniel I wanted to exchange it. "But we've laid it out. We'll just find another spot for it." Not going to do it. We have no other spot for it and I don't see the point in keeping a $70 rug that I don't think looks good. Besides, it's a decorative item! People buy items like these, test it in their homes and return it if it looks bad. When I worked at Bombay (and then Pier One) a day did not go by that I didn’t process a return. That's the way it goes. It's not like we're using it for when my parents come to visit and then returning it so we have money to go grocery shopping. Geez.

So, I took the rug back today and got a little 2x3 rug and a matching runner. These rugs also look stupid so they're back in my car ready to be returned later today or tomorrow. This makes Daniel uncomfortable, but not me. I'll go through ten rugs to find the perfect one if I have to. I'll save my receipts and do it with a smile and they may think I'm nuts at Target for being so hard to please, but they won't care because I'm not a jerk. Returning things is a normal part of the shopping process and is a-OK as long as you're not an asshat.

Rant over.

Phew! I guess I’m a little touchy when I don’t feel well. Ahem.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Day Eleven: Evolution

This blog has been around for a while and it's been renamed a few times. It started off as "Little Miss Sunshine Girl", but that was such a long URL to type in and a long moniker to comment with. Then I renamed it "Sunshine Days". It was fitting for where my life was going, and it just worked. And then I took on "Inevitably Keely", because I grew tired of the sunshine attachment and wanted more of my real identity connected to my words.

I've written as a recent divorcee; a singleton; a girlfriend; a cohabitator; a fiancé; a wife; a mom-to-be; a mama.

I've written about a horrible marriage and what it took to heal from it, friendships gone bad, falling in love, living with my boyfriend, adopting puppies, planning a wedding, coping with my Nana's battle with cancer and later her passing, my own health issues, my adoring husband, our infertility journey and hopes to start a family, my pregnancy and our amazing baby girl.

My words have taken on many topics over the years. I've done so honestly and mostly openly. Mostly. A few years ago I outted my blog to my family. My dad stopped reading long ago. He doesn't understand the point of a blog; why people choose to share their lives with strangers. At one point my SIL read my blog and had one of her own where she chose to write about things that were hurtful towards Daniel and I. I became more sheltered with my choice of topics and words because I did not want to hurt anyone or share too much. As far as I know, my mom and MIL still read regularly. Who can blame them? I've posted numerous times about the monkey and it's a way for the mom's to keep tabs on what we're doing. I'm happy for this venue if it makes them feel closer to us, but at the same time I've found myself more and more censored.

There are certain topics (funny things, conversations about s-e-x, etc.) you just don't want to have your relatives read about, regardless of how open you are normally. But these things are perfect blog fodder! There have been innumerable instances where Daniel and I have said something would be a funny blog post. I love my husband's mom and my own (our entire family), but I've felt this need to draw a line between my real "live" life and my blog.

So, I've been tossing an idea around. I'm thinking I'm going to start a new blog. It might take me a bit to get it all squared away and OMG! I'm freaking out about that because the lovely gal who designed this site is busy with a new baby of her own and I lack the knowledge and talent to do what I want. * I plan on keeping this one up.... indefinitely so that the Grammy and Nana K can still access the monkey's cuteness, and how we are doing as a family, but I'm thinking the new blog will deal with more diverse topics and still talk about my journey with Zoe as a new mom (but with maybe a different/uncensored spin on it). I'm hoping it will be more entertaining to people who don't have kids yet (or want them) and bridge a gap.

Joining NaBloPoMo has made me very ambitious with what I think I have time for. It's made me enjoy blogging again and want to take time out of my day to do so. It's forced me to take more time for me and to be creative. I love that I lay in bed at night thinking about what I'm going to write the next day. I'm feeling more whole and more like myself with each passing day, and that is an awesome feeling because I've been struggling with the old me and my new role as a mother. I love being a mom, but I'd sort of forgotten my other joys and needs. I've been feeling like I'd kind of lost my real voice and who I am. I want to find that again. I want the different facets of my life to continue to merge and I want to be more comfortable with who I have become. I would love for my blog friends to join me in that. What do you think?

*Totally fishing here, people.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Day Ten: Contagious

My little monkey is sick. Last night we could hear little coughs through the baby monitor and this morning we heard her coughing in a series of bursts. When I went into her room, she was coughing but happily playing with the mirror in her crib. My baby LOVES the mirror, being sick isn't going to screw that up. I took this smiling, happy baby out of her crib and layed her on her changing table. The plan was to take her temperature, but she started coughing so much that she was choking just a little and yellow mucous came out of her mouth.*

The weird thing is, that as I'm freaking out about the mucous and feeling guilty that I've passed on my creeping crud to her (and Daniel, poor thing is sniffling right next to me) she squirming around and smiling and being a morning person in spite of it all. Where's the wallowing in misery? I wallow and her dad? He's looking pretty miserable too. Zoe? She a happy (sick) camper.

But we called her pediatrician anyway.

"My daughter is sick. This is the first time she's been sick and I don't know what to do."
"How old is she?"
"Almost six months."
"Please hold....... The doctor says to use saline drops and to elevate her when she's eating."
"Ummmm. OK. So, whast should I do about the coughing and the yellow mucous?"
"Oh. Well she needs to come in. We have a 10:15."

Call me crazy, but shouldn't they have asked what her symptoms were before just telling me to use saline and elevate her? What if I'd just taken that advice and hung up? Hello, new mom here! But we're OK. Zoe has had her breakfast and ate like a champ. She's looking around and smiling and watching the dogs play and looking confused by all our concern. You wouldn't know she was sick looking at her, except for the coughing and Darth Vader impersonations.

Well. Here's my blog post for the day. NaBloPoMo continues in spite of sickness. Blogging, in sickness and in health. Look how commited I am. Now it's off to the pediatrician with us.

* I know, yuck... but this is my life now so you're getting to hear about it.

Update: Zoe is going to be fine.We're back from the doc and it's good that the mucous is breaking up. Also good that she is relatively cheerful despite the coughing and she doesn't have a fever. We've been told to keep her sitting up or elevated and to feed her lots. This will be just fine with her, I'm sure. The good news is that with all the rice cereal, bananas, sweet potatoes, formula and breast milk, Zoe is putting on the pounds. She's up two pounds from when we had to add formula to her diet so, Yay! :)

Friday, November 09, 2007

Day Nine: The Light and Dark

He loves the sunlight, revels in it. He does not like Daylight Savings. He is happiest on a sunny day and loves to see me in the sunshine. He turns on every single light in the house (not just the room we're in). He likes curtains open so the rooms are bright and cheery.

I prefer moonlight; it relaxes me. I like the dark days of winter and was happy to see the changing of the clocks. I shade my eyes from the sun and wish the sky would just cloud up and rain on me. Storms are my favorite, I love walking in the rain and seeing the lightning across a dark sky. I follow him around the house, shutting the lights off and closing doors. Dark places, tight spaces are my favorite; they make me feel safe. I like the curtains shut. I feel more secure when no one can see inside my house, my world. I have trouble sleeping if even a glint of moonlight shines through the window. The funny thing is, my childhood nickname was Sunshine.

Our new house is bright and open and I love it. High ceilings, tons of windows with sunlight streaming in. I spend a lot of my days squinting. I crave curtains. We have thick blue curtains that we brought over from the old house. I loved those curtains. If I had the energy I would hang them now. We have long red curtains for our bedroom that Cheryl gave us. I want them up; he wants them down.

He likes the light.
I like the dark.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Day Eight: Killer Whales

The other day, Daniel had to call Apple about our damaged power cords. We purchased the Apple Care plan for both Mac's so the whole process was relatively painless. Well, it was completely painless for me as I played the sick card and requested Daniel make the call. I usually am the one who takes care of things like this because of my experience in retail and customer service. After years of dealing with horrible customers, I do not hesitate to voice my opinions and concerns politely but with conviction. And if someone is rude to me or doesn't do what is within their power to do? Well, I can get a little frustrated and I will ask for a supervisor. Don't make me ask for a supervisor!

Daniel had a nice rep from Ghana. I know this because I overheard him making chit chat with the guy and the guy asked Daniel to guess where his accent was from. This was funny to me. What was even funnier? When Daniel was giving one of the Mac serial numbers to the rep, he did so by naming something that started with each letter. * When he got to "K" all he could come up with was "K" as in "Killer Whale." Bahaha! This made me guffaw, repeatedly. I don't know why, but I'm going to blame the Benedryl and deliriousness.

The End.

* There is a word for what he did, but all I can think of is acronym and that's not it. Also blaming the sickness for my brain not working at the moment. So, Yeah. This post took a nosedive, but at least I'm still posting.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Day Seven: Repeat Offender

Long time readers (or heck, people who have just been reading for a couple months) will not be surprised to read that I am sick. I know, play that violin... give me some cheese with my whine. But for reals. I've got the creeping crud that won't stop creeping. This time I'm sort of ticked off about it. I should not be sick! I don't drink and I don't smoke. I don't stay up late and I get eight hours of sleep (even with a baby and THAT is awesome). I eat somewhat healthy and at least three times a day, if not five. So what's the deal? I dress appropriately for the weather conditions and I'm a happy human. What the hell!?

The only thing I can come up with is that this is my lot in life. I just get sick; it's what I do. And every year around this time I will get very sick for the rest of my life. There is nothing I can do except just give in to the damn thing and ride it out complain on my blog until I feel better a couple times.

So there you have it. Riveting, I know. I'm off to get some more rest (yes, Zoe is with Cheryl - yesterday was exhausting).

I leave you with what I used to say (or sing) every night when I was a kid:

"Sleep tight, don't let the bed bugs bite! See you later alligator... In a while crocodile. Goodnight. I love you."

EVERY single night, I said this. Anything to prolong going to bed, but now? Not so much with the wanting to prolong sleeping.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Day Six: Grumble, Grumble, Gah!

I'm having technical difficulties. Actually, Daniel and I are both having them with our Macs. Our lovely, beautiful, perfect little Macs that we adore and use every single freaking day. BOTH of our power adapters are pretty much dead and this pretty much ticks me off to no end. Fraying power cords = suckage. I'm currently typing like a mad woman because I have 46% battery and I'll be darned if I'm going to let that stop me from posting every single gosh darn day of NaBloPoMo! Grrr. Gah!

So, the people at Apple are sending two new cords. They say they'll be here Friday. FRIDAY!!!???

Grumble, Grumble. Gah! Scrooge.

45%!!!! Damn. Posting and powering off.... now.
------
Later:

OK. So I wrote this like, two hours ago and blogger was not cooperating, so I couldn't post it. You can imagine how well this went over with me. Not well, let me tell you. But I'm feeling much less Scrooge-like at the moment because Apple has delivered. That's right, my faith is restored because our cords have arrived and I'm already at 75% battery. It's a good day.

See you tomorrow.

Monday, November 05, 2007

Day Five: Yuck

It amazes me how even though I can be completely grossed out by something someone I love does; I love them all the more. Is that the true test of love? Loving despite differences and in spite of gross habits or maladies. I don't know. What I do know is I love Daniel no less when he is sick; I love him more. And Zoe can throw up all over me (and if I'm not careful - in my mouth) and I still adore her. In just a few short months she has made poop, throw up and pee a part of my daily life and conversation and I love the little monkey to pieces. Right now you're probably thinking, "She's my daughter, of course I love her."

Well, yeah. But what about my love for the dog children?

Max? He eats poo. Almost every single day, I think. When he's craving a snack and I've not given him enough treats to his liking, he goes outside and gets some poo. Sometimes he brings it in and eats it in front of me. This is really gross. Disgusting. But I still love him. I spray special mouthwash in his mouth that his vet gave us to kill the germs and try to dissuade him of the habit. I yell a little and tell him he's gross and that he should not eat poo, but I love him. In spite of his vice he is the sweetest little pug I know. He's my "son". I love him no matter what he does.

Bailey? She has stink butt. And I don't just mean farting (but she does have a major problem with that too). Boston Terriers have this issue where they emit a metallic, icky smell from their butt. They can become impacted and they leak a fluid that just reeks of this metal smell. It's disgusting. Bailey knows it's disgusting and she's embarrassed by it. Deep down, I think she is a girly girl. I think she knows we don't like it when she has stink butt and she jumps around nervously and puts her back to us when she's having her problem. It's easily fixed: we just take her to the vet and they work their magic. But YUCK! And yet I love her. She's my first baby and a little bit of stink won't sway that, ever.

"Love means never having to say you're sorry"**... for all the disgustingly gross things you do? Hmmm.

**Oh, Love Story... how I love you!