Friday, January 3, 2014

2013 recap

I've actually kept track of stuff like this for a while and I like going back to read it so here we go again.

Here were my 2013 resolutions:
  1. Get a new job - Did not happen. Sadly, getting a new job and having a baby in the same year usually does not happen for women in this country (I'm not sure if it happens in any country if we're being honest). 
  2. Find Jesus. Again. - We went to church more often this year but I could do better.
  3. Learn to sew - Yep! I ended up buying myself a new machine for my birthday and I actually know how to use it!
  4. Read 52 books -This definitely did not happen. According to my Goodreads I only read 10 books this year. Oh God, that makes me cringe. Not even one a month! I love to read, I really do but once I got pregnant, all spare time went to baby things and sleeping.
  5. Eat more veggies -We did pretty good on this one. Our meals are quite well rounded.
  6. Tackle my house "to do" list - This one also got seen about a lot. It's a pretty ongoing thing and we ended up refinancing in the spring so we'll be staying put for a while. But I'm happy with this one.
  7. Keep running -Nope. 

And a carryover from 2012...
  1. Get knocked up - I actually did get KU in 2012, it was just exactly 5 minutes before midnight. Well played, universe. 
So that's 4/8 or 50%. Not great, not terrible. I always strive to do better anyway.

I also read this little survey on another blog so I'm stealing it.
  1. What did you do in 2013 that you had never done before?
    • Dealt with a semi serious diagnosis. My gestational diabetes really opened my eyes to how important it is to take care of my own health, as well as my family's. I have never had any type of medical problems so this diagnosis was truly a shock. I cried a lot. I am forever grateful for such a healthy baby girl but I know if I hadn't taken care of myself, it could have been a very different outcome.
  2. Did anyone close to you have a child?
    • I did! Vivian Alice joined our family on September 20. My friend also had her son in March and one of the mister's cousins had a baby girl the week after Vivi was born.
  3. Did anyone close to you die?
    • Yes. On November 3, my wonderful mother-in-law died from cancer that was diagnosed a short 6 weeks earlier. She was only 56. I am still struggling with coming to terms with this since it feels like a really, really bad dream. She was truly the glue that held our family together and we are all left wondering, what now? This was not supposed to happen. She was supposed to grow old, travel with my father-in-law, watch our babies grow up, watch her granddaughter graduate from high school, see her grandson play football, bury her own mother (not the other way around). The pain of losing her has been so great and yet I know that it doesn't even begin to touch how much my husband is hurting. I miss her every minute of every day and I am so angry at God for taking her from us so suddenly. 
  4. Where did you travel?
    • We went to the beach with all my inlaws in July. It was the trip that wasn't supposed to happen and now we are so glad it did. She died 3 months to day that we returned and we will forever treasure those memories. I also went with the girls to Houston with my mom for a long weekend after Thanksgiving and it was very fun. That's about it. We were supposed to go to Mexico but that got canceled since I was 36 weeks pregnant that week. Again, I am grateful for that since we would have missed our last family vacation with MIL.
  5. What would you like to have in 2014 that you lacked in 2013?
    • A new job. More patience with Norah.
  6. What dates from 2013 will remain etched upon your memory?
    • January 12 - the day I found out I was pregnant
    • May 8 - the day we found out we were having another girl!
    • September 13 - the day they found the mass on my mother-in-laws lung
    • September 20 - the day Vivian was born and the day we got the official cancer diagnosis. This is the most bittersweet day of all.
    • October 3 - the day she asked us to call Hospice. This was possibly the worst day of my life. I have never cried so hard.
    • November 3 - the day we lost her. It still doesn't seem real.
  7. What was your biggest achievement of the year? 
    • Having a healthy baby girl despite my diabetes diagnosis. I was terrified when I was diagnosed (I still am some days) however I overcame my fears and was determined to have a healthy baby with no c-section. And I did!
  8. What was your biggest failure?
    • Oh God, this is going to sound bad but some days I feel like such a failure of a parent. I know that I'm not. My kids are happy and healthy and I love them more than life itself. However. Norah has taken the age of 3 by storm and she has become quite the challenging child. I snap at her more than I care to admit and there is more yelling in that house than I want. I just wanted to do better for her than my parents did for us (don't read that wrong) and I often do not feel that I am doing very well with that.
  9. Did you suffer illness or injury?
    • Not really. I guess technically having gestational diabetes is an illness but I was never sick from it. My only injury was recovery from childbirth. I don't think that counts.
  10. What was the best thing you bought?
    • Honestly, a hula hoop for Norah. She asked Santa for one everyday since September and seeing how excited she was on Christmas morning was awesome.
  11. Where did most of your money go?
    • Daycare, gas, and the hospital.
  12. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
    • Finding out we were pregnant! We had tried for over 6 months so seeing those two pink lines felt like I was seeing a miracle. I like to go back and read the group texts I sent to my 3 bff's because I was seriously in complete disbelief. 
    • It was also really fun finding out we were having a girl. We did the balloons in a box and opened it with Norah. I was so excited to have two sweet sisters!
  13. What song will always remind you of 2013?
    • For some reason, Roar by Katy Perry. Maybe it's because I was on maternity leave and watched her whole GMA thing for the month of October but it's definitely the "song" of the year for me.
  14. Compared to this time last year, are you A) happier or sadder? B) thinner or fatter?  C) richer or poorer?
    • Both. This time last year, I wanted a baby so bad so I am thrilled that we now have a precious 3 month old in our home. But I also never imagined that we'd be losing my mother-in-law in 2013 and every time I think about her final weeks, my heart breaks into a million pieces all over again.
    • I'm actually thinner right now. Thank you, breastfeeding. Now to keep it off...
    • Ha! Poorer for sure. Two daycare bills is no freaking joke.
  15. What do you wish you’d done more of?  
    • Reading. I'm appalled that I only read 10 books in 2013. That needs to be rectified in 2014.
  16. What do you wish you’d done less of?
    •  Working? Crying? Both were unavoidable though. I took off 10 weeks for maternity leave plus a week of vacation time so I definitely worked less this year than most. I'm just over my current job. 
    • You haven't seen crying until you've seen a postpartum mother deal with a tragedy two short weeks after giving birth. I can't tell you how many times I hid in a dark closet, doing the ugly cry so Norah wouldn't see me.
  17. Did you fall in love in 2013?
    • Yes. Vivian Alice filled a place in my heart that I didn't even know was empty.
  18. What was your favorite TV program?
    • Scandal. I discovered it in April and watched 1 1/2 seasons in 3 days. So good. I actually still haven't caught up with Season 3 but I will soon.
  19. What was the best book you read?
    • Well since I have only 10 to choose from this should be easy...The only one that got 5 stars on goodreads from me was The Lost Wife which was very good. But I also enjoyed Nineteen Minutes while we were at the beach. Midwives was also really good.
  20. What was your greatest musical discovery?
    • One Direction. I know, I know...I'm not 16. But I kept hearing about them and finally caught them in concert on GMA one morning and was like, these guys are awesome! 
  21. What did you want and get?
    • Another baby. Oh, and my diamond earrings! I've always wanted a pair but figured that wouldn't happen until my kids were adults. But the mister completely shocked the hell out of me when he sold his grandfather's Rolex (with the blessing of GG) and used the money to buy himself a new shotgun and me some new earrings. He cried when he gave them to me and told me his grandpa would want me to have them. I love that man so damn much.
  22. What did you want and not get?
    • A cure for my mother-in-law's cancer. I prayed so hard for Him to heal her.
    • On a less serious note...a new couch and a new iPhone. 
  23. What was your favorite film of the year?
    • Frozen was pretty cute. I still haven't seen Catching Fire which I suspect I would love.
  24. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you? 
    • I turned 30 this year! Ouch! I actually managed to celebrate for a whole week though. My mom took us out to dinner at Beausoleil the week before which was delicious then my husband managed to pull together a group of my closest girlfriends and surprise me at Coyote Blues. It was very fun. The actual day of my birthday I got a massage, a pedicure, had lunch with my BFF, and went to an auction/fundraiser thing that night where I got to wear a fancy dress and eat yummy food. It was a good birthday!
  25. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2013
    • Everything happens for a reason. We started trying for a baby in July 2012 and it just wasn't happening. I really thought something was wrong with me. By getting pregnant in January, it put me on maternity leave for my mother-in-law's entire illness which was a blessing in disguise. While I still maintain that it was the maternity leave from hell, I am forever grateful that we were able to spend so much time with her in her final days and I know that wouldn't have been possible if I had gotten pregnant at any other time.
    • We also had planned to go to Mexico in August with two of our friends. Since we were taking that trip, we weren't going to be able to go to Florida with my inlaws in July. This is all before I found out I was pregnant. The day that I was booking the trip, I was having a lot of problems with pricing, insurance, etc. Like, more than I should have. I was so mad but was determined to book this trip then and there. So after fighting with it for over an hour, I finally got everything squared away. 6 days later I found out I was pregnant and that I would be 36 weeks the week of our trip. I was upset about missing the trip but we had no choice but to cancel. This was another blessing in disguise because if we had gone to Mexico, we would not have had one last vacation with my MIL. I feel like if I had just stopped what I was doing (and waited until I tested since we were in the middle of a cycle) it wouldn't have been such a headache to get our trip money back. (Thankfully that all worked out.) Regardless, Mexico was not meant to be and Vivian was. For more reasons than one. 
    • The last "meant to be" moment that stands out to me occurred last spring. I was about 4 months pregnant and had been picked for a jury. I had to go to court on a Saturday and of course my husband had to work. It was also the weekend of his birthday. I was so pissed. We ended up calling my mother-in-law to come over for the weekend and she watched Norah for us and took her to a birthday party that Saturday afternoon. That night we cooked dinner and invited some friends over and it was just a really great night. Because of all those circumstances, my husband was able to spend his birthday with his mom during the last year she was alive. We obviously didn't know that at the time but it gives my heart a little bit of peace knowing that he has that memory.
That sums up 2013 pretty well. Obviously the two biggest things were gaining our daughter but losing our mother. It was a bittersweet year and I'd be a fool to think that 2014 will be "easier". We are just beginning our first full year without her and it's not going to be easy to face all the "firsts". If the holidays are any example, I can brace myself because those suuuuucked. But it's also Vivi's first year of her life and I don't want her to be cheated out of anything. And I know my mother-in-law wouldn't want that either. My motto for the past 3 months, and likely for 2014, was "we will just do the best that we can." I'm pretty content with that.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Getting shit done

Every Monday as I'm reading my blogs over coffee at my desk, it never fails that I am guaranteed to come across at least one post (usually more) about how someone did ALL THE PRODUCTIVE THINGS over the weekend. And I'm like, to whom did they sell their soul to get more than 24 hours in a day because that's the only way they possibly got all those things done!? Which leads to me thinking about my weekends which usually go like this: breakfast, Dora, dishes, lunch, nap, play outside, order dinner, shower, repeat on Sunday. Maybe the grocery store is thrown in there. Maybe.

This weekend was different though. And I didn't even realize it was different until Sunday when I was like, damn, I have gotten shit DONE this weekend. So I feel the need to brag on myself since it will likely not happen again any time soon. So without further adieu, here's what I did this weekend:

Friday afternoon when I got home, I started cleaning up the patio which was a hot mess. This included sweeping mulch back into our flowerbeds (thank you, Georgia but it does not belong there) which led to me reraking the mulch AND pulling weeds in the beds. The mister got home, cooked dinner and then I went to the grocery store ALONE which was awesome. Oh and then I made creme brulee before going to bed, alternating reading my latest Grisham novel while waiting on timers.

Saturday is usually my "me" day. Or at least the morning is. I sleep late, do my thing in the morning then run errands in the afternoon. This Saturday was no exception. I read more of my book while NJ played in her room (God bless her late blooming imagination) only to be rudely interrupted by a knock on my door. People, do not come to my house on Saturday before noon because the likely hood that I am NOT wearing pants is high. I managed to grab my robe and open the door. Apparently my new insurance company likes to surprise you on the weekends and request pictures of the outside of your home. I said that was fine since I HAD NO PANTS ON and was not in a position to argue but then 3 seconds later, I was texting my agent (no doubt he rues the day he gave me his cell number) making sure this guy wasn't just casing my house for this next robbery. I was assured that he was not a criminal and yes, they do this to everyone. So I found pants but by then he was gone.

Since I had already been disturbed, I decided to clean since we were having people over that evening. Over the next two hours I managed to: clean Norah's room (with her help), clean the toilets, mirrors, sinks, and floors in both bathrooms, sweep the living room floor, and load the dishwasher.

I was so tired, I wanted to nap but we had a birthday party at 2 so we got dressed quickly and headed downtown. The party was super fun and I'm glad we powered through. When we got home, NJ napped while I washed a couple dishes. My house smelled so nice and we had lots of fun that night and ate yummy crawfish (more winning on my part).

By Sunday, I was exhausted but managed to drag myself out of bed and make waffles for me and the girl (which she did not eat, of course) and then get us both dressed for church. After that, we hit up Kohl's because momma needs some skirts (holy hell, it's hot), then did our weekly fruit stand run and back home to eat lunch. I had told her we'd go to the park in the afternoon but it was so damn hot, I decided we'd push the park back to 5 or so and fill up her little pool in the backyard. While the pool water warmed up a bit, I put dinner together in a pot then stuck that in the stove and finished reading my book in the pool while she happily splashed around and showed me all her rad pool moves. After about an hour, she was done so we picked up outside and went inside for quiet time. She fell asleep about 5 seconds later so I folded the massive pile of laundry that has been haunting me for a week while dinner finished. Once it was done, I woke her up and we went to the park. FYI, it's still hot as Hades at 6pm. She had a blast for about an hour before it was time to go home and have dinner. She managed to con the mister into some outside play first to which he happily obliged. After dinner, we had baths, did more laundry, packed school and swimming lesson bags, and then collapsed in bed.

I cannot believe I got all that done. The pessimist in me keeps thinking of all the things I didn't get done (vacuuming, cleaning out the fridge, sweeping the kitchen, etc.) which I guess I could have gotten done if I hadn't read my book on Saturday or played in the pool with the girl on Sunday but my more optimistic side is quite happy that we found a good balance between chores, errands, and playtime! Go me!

Monday, May 6, 2013

Kids are funny

My kid is no exception. Actual conversation that took place yesterday afternoon.

Me: What are you doing, kiddo?
NJ: Just hugging Pooh. He's sad.
Me: Why is Pooh sad?
NJ: Because he misses me.
Me: Oh, well it's a good thing you're hugging him. That will make him happy again.
NJ: Yeah, it will. (pauses) Mom, look at Pooh's face. It's just gorgeous.
Me: ::dies::

This kid. She kills me.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Bedroom Update

Even though progress has slowed down, we are still slowly working on our bedroom. And FTR, it's because of spring, not because I'm exhausted 24/7 and chasing a three year old around, bowing to her every command. Anyway, here's a look at the amended list:

  • New nightstands
  • New bed
  • Move file cabinet & bookshelf
  • Move mirror & jewelry box to opposite wall
  • Paint the walls gray  
  • New dresser
  • Sunburst mirror above the bed (I FOUND ONE. Now I just need that hot husband of mine to hang it)
  • New frames for Norah's pictures (we actually did find some but they also have yet to be hung)
  • Replace TV
  • Replace carpet 

You may have noticed that I took a few things off. For starters, it was our plan to move some things into the nursery. Well, since we're expecting a new tenant in less than six months (wtf?!), that's out. So the vanity needs to stay where it is and I am saying bye-bye to my reading corner. I also really, really don't think we have room for a bench at the end of the bed. Sad.

The search for the perfect dresser is ongoing. It's also a nightmare. I have been searching Craigslist for 5 months! Same for the mirror. I cannot fathom dishing out $200+ for a damn mirror  BUT then Tarjay to the rescue so fingers crossed my $32 find fits the bill. We had decided not to replace the carpet for like 5 minutes because we were going to sell our house next year and it was just easier to do a carpet allowance and let someone else deal with it but then we decided that instead of moving, we're going to refinance and stay put for a couple years. So replacing carpet is back on the list.

For your patience, I'll reward you with two pictures that are shitty quality. But you can see how awesome my bed looks with that rad wall color! You're welcome.

So, you know, it's coming. Slowly but surely. Any suggestions for where to find a decently priced dresser?

Monday, April 1, 2013

Goat Cheese Scalloped Potatoes

I've been eyeing this recipe for about a year but my husband was insistent no one in his family would eat it despite the fact that goat cheese is so damn delicious it should be a crime. Finally, this week I basically insisted we make it for Easter dinner. My argument being that the goat cheese is surrounded by potatoes and heavy cream. And that we were going to say it was cream cheese. I guess he was tired of hearing about it because he made it and as predicted it was insanely good.

Grandmother-in-law actually discovered our dirty little secret before lunch but managed to keep her trap shut since she actually does like goat cheese. The potatoes were so good that my goat cheese hating mother-in-law had two servings. And that was after we came clean on what was in it! The flavor is definitely there but it's subtle and not overpowering at all. Even if you don't like goat cheese, I really recommend trying these. They were super easy to throw together and by far, the hit of the meal. And while you're on Pink Parsley's site, poke around because she makes damn good food. I hit up her blog often for inspiration.

Monday, March 11, 2013


Dear Norah,

My sweet girl, you are three today. I will never forget the moment I heard your first cries. You've grown up so much and it makes your momma both proud and a little sad. You are so polite and know all your manners just like a little lady! You love to watch Dora and Cinderella in the afternoons while having a snack. Your favorite foods are fruit, mushrooms, "toodles", rice & gravy, yogurt, and chocolate. Coco and Georgia are your current playmates but soon you will have a baby brother or sister to play with too. You are so excited and love to tell everyone about the baby in mommy's belly! You also are very curious and always want to know what everyone's name is, wherever we go. You also love to tell mommy and daddy that you love us so much, all the time! We love you too, monkey. More than you will ever know!


Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Jesus has a sense of humor

Last year when I needed a place to gripe and keep track of all the things going on in my head, I turned here. One of the first posts I wrote was about my 2012 goals/resolutions/to-do list, which included "get knocked up in 2012". This led to a barrage of "omg, you're having another baby?! Why didn't you tell me?!" emails from people I see on the regular. By "barrage", I obviously mean two. Regardless, I decided to cease talking about my bedroom activities for the time being.

Spoiler alert: I'm pregnant! I could drag you on through this entire post and then tell you but I'm not James Patterson and you didn't pay $24.99 to read this so let's just keep it real.

Back to me. For reasons not relevant to this blog, we started trying in July. I should mention that when I got pregnant with NJ, we talked about it and then a month later I was staring at two pink lines. No one could have been more shocked than me at just how quickly that happened. So it's safe to say I was cocky.

Spoiler alert #2: I'm also naive.

By the end of my July cycle, I am pretty sure I had peed on at least 10 tests, absolutely convinced they were all wrong. But they were not. Neither were the ones in August or September. Then it was Halloween and Thanksgiving. Still nothing. I was heartbroken. We were supposed to get pregnant this year and it just wasn't happening.

In December, I was finishing up what I knew would be our last cycle of 2012. I prayed so hard but it too was negative. There would be no 2012 baby. (This also coincided with a cookie swap where I ingested a LOT of wine and proceeded to bitch for 3 hours about my bed that would never be finished and my vacant uterus. I'm pretty sure I won't be invited back next year.)

The timing for our next cycle was bad. I didn't think we had a chance but lo and behold, on January 12, I saw what I had been hoping for. Today I am 10 weeks & 1 day, due September 24. To say we are elated and grateful is an understatement.

A couple days after finding out I looked at my chart to see if I could pinpoint the date of conception. And I could. December 31, 2012. We did the dirty and then five minutes later watched the ball drop.

Well played, Jesus. Well played.