Tuesday, November 30, 2010

day 30 of 30

You guys, this posting every day gig has been really fun.

I have met a lot of new bloggers and hope that some other new friends have decided to stick around here as well.

I have some videos, lots of pictures and other holiday fanfare (hopefully cookies!)  to share with you all through the next month, maybe not every single day, but hey, I’ll do my best!

But first, I have to show you what I got in the mail for Gianna this week (from etsy, of course):


I can’t wait for her to wear it!!

Also  - Mike picked up these most awesome Boogie Wipes to combat the snot/raw nose problem that has been going on in our house:

They freaking ROCK and the little one has been more willing to have her nose wiped.  Still not a fan of the chinese torture boogie sucker, but hey, one thing at a time I guess.


Monday, November 29, 2010

Controller of…..

I am totally in shock that I have managed to blog every single day for the past month.

I started off with a theme of “taking control”.  I wouldn’t necessarily say that I stayed on task, but I did get some thoughts out there (here, here, here and here) which made me feel better.

Here’s the thing though – what does taking control really mean? Shit happens every day all around us that we can’t control, expect or plan for.  It’s all about how we deal with that shit that makes us “in control”.

I lost my job over a month ago, and that totally sucks. But I am working hard to make the money my family needs in new and different (legal!) ways.  I am making the best of the situation, because I have no choice. The stress that I felt while working there was slowly killing me, there is still stress, but not like that. It is a different kind of stress.

I get to stay home with my daughter right now, and that rocks.  It is way way WAY harder than I ever thought it would be, but in a good way.  It challenges me and I like a challenge.

I am more focused and in control of my school work.  My thesis project is ready to roll and I am more present in my education, I feel like it is money well spent at this point. Come on May, I am waiting for you!!!

I am so freaking busy every day, and I really like it.  I am in control of my house, laundry (uh, sorta), relationships and time more than I ever have been.

While I DO apply for every and any job I feel would fit my qualifications, I feel a little more in control of what type of place I want to work and what kind of career I hope to have.  My focus has shifted a lot.  I try not to be discouraged with the lack of contact from potential employers and continue to get my name out there. Someone WILL call. I am awesome, educated, a fast learner with a broad base of experience -  I would hire me for sure.

My point is that the glass HAS to be half full, because I would lose my mind if I thought otherwise.  I have to control my perception, sometimes it can be tricky and difficult, but if I smile when I am upset it helps.  Having a “good” job, no debt, a huge savings account and “good” health insurance are all nice things to have and certainly make life easier, clearly I will not turn down any of the above if offered to me.

But (isn’t there always a “but”?!)

When my daughter laughs, my sisters say something funny, my husband tells me I am awesome, my mom calls, I get to catch up with friends or my step dad plays with Gianna I can’t help but smile and be happy with my life because these people make it all worth it. 

As long as they are all here with/for me, I will be fine. I might be grouchy and afraid sometimes, but I will smile anyway. 

I am in control of how I perceive life, and from this perspective, it’s not really too bad.


Sunday, November 28, 2010

Snot Snot Everywhere

I have a sick toddler.

A stuffy, sickly little girl – who, thankfully, is actually in a pretty good mood despite clearly feeling junky.

Friday night was less than productive in the sleep department and at one point when I went in to check on the bug, her hair was covered in snot (very attractive look) and I could hear the junk building up in her little head.

Yesterday she seemed better in the morning, so we went forward with our christmas tree plans.  It was all down hill from there. She had the sick eyes, the faucet nose and she was just the entire time. (but she did see Santa – so WIN!).

She woke up from her nap super early with a pretty significant fever.  And then was wired from the meds….. and didn’t nap.

I did get lots of snuggles.  And I do get to wear the hot new accessory, baby snot.  WOOT.

Last night was equally unproductive as far as sleep.

Her poor nose is bloody from running/blowing and she is so stuffy her eyes are watering.  But, she is a pretty happy camper, so that helps.  And her stuffy voice is kind of adorable.

We have tried putting vicks on her feet, saline/chinese torture bugger sucker, humidifier all that fun stuff.

What else can I do for her?


Saturday, November 27, 2010



these little twinkle toes have a tough decision to make today.


Root for Daddy’s wolverines.

Or Mommy’s Buckeyes.


That face totally makes the decision for us, I’d say.



*photos by Tami Musick

Friday, November 26, 2010

Friday Night Leftovers: turkey hangover edition

  • Had a great day yesterday with the family – we had 4 kinds of potatoes and lots of dishes filled with cheese. that is my kind of food!
  • I get to eat cheese-y potato leftovers tonight and that makes me super happy.
  • Only had to spend about an hour at the in-laws, it was tolerable.  I guess.  The crazy just gets me every time.
  • First ever black Friday shopping attempt today – I mean, if you count going to the stores at 11 black Friday shopping.
  • Scored a sweet deal on a new xmas tree. Since we threw ours away when we moved and forgot about it until this week – good thing I found something on sale or we would have turned a coat rack into a tree before I spent $100 on one!  I do wish I would have gotten to Gap before 10am for the 50% off sale though, oh well.
  • I NEED to be done shopping for G. But I keep getting things at awesome prices. And saying she only needs one more thing…. But really, she does only need one more thing…..
  • I NEED to figure out what the heck to get the rest of the family members! Adults are hard creatures to shop for sometimes.
  • there is a big pile of research, a paper and some phone calls waiting for me to pay attention to them…. I really really don’t want too.
  • We are going to a local christmas tree festival tomorrow and hopefully to a christmas parade.  I mean, the parade will be going on regardless, but if it rains, we are out!
  • Also tomorrow- is Beat Michigan Day!  IMG_0082_GDHoping to be able to catch the game after the trees.  I wish it started at 1:30 instead of noon, that would have been much more conducive to my schedule.
  • It is cold here today. And Mike is working a college football game.  I bet he has frozen fingers….  I’ll drink some coffee for him because I am so sweet and thoughtful.
  • GOOOO Buckeyes!11.26

as always, share your leftovers with Danifred and the rest of us!

Thursday, November 25, 2010


I am sure this is going to be the 29472 post about thanksgiving you are going to read today.

So let’s mix it up.

I am forever thankful to my family (all of them) for their support and general awesomeness.  I am thankful for the unexpected things that happen, because while they may be frustratingly tough to get through, they provide opportunities that would otherwise be missed.

But let me share what I am REALLY thankful:

  • Coffee. With yummy flavored creamers (peppermint mocha currently)
  • Jewelry for making me look pretty. And long necklaces for making me look skinny.
  • My sparkly zebra print flats.
  • Post it notes
  • My Nikon.
  • Wine.
  • To-do lists.
  • My favorite pen.
  • The pink fuzzy blanket my sister made for me several years ago.
  • OPI nail polish.
  • My internet friends!
  • My mom’s mashed potatoes. Cheesy potatoes. Okay, all of the food she makes, really.

Hope everyone enjoys their feast today (or whenever you eat it), no one gets mauled doing their black friday shopping and that there is little drama at your holiday events.


Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Wordless Wednesday–my-baby-has-hair edition

This is Gianna in the morning:


Where is the girl behind all that hair?  Thank goodness she loves her “boats” and loves to have her hair done.

Let me show you the a few of the many hair-do’s she sports:

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The bow to the side look.  We need more bows, just saying.DSC_0612

the new “baby bump” as I call it.


The classic pig-tails. My personal favorite.

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The Aunt Krissy special complete with minnie ears.


And FINALLY the actual, real live ponytail! (and a boat, of course!)


Tuesday, November 23, 2010

The problem with communication

I love being able to connect with people via the internet – be it email, facebook, twitter, message boards, all of the above etc.

I love it especially because I do NOT like to talk on the phone. Like at all.  I think my last job really put me over the edge because I spent 80% of my day on the phone for one reason or another.

I am not always an awesome communicator, I know this. I am working on it.  My husband is also not always an awesome communicator.  We both kind of shut down when we are stressed out.  Imagine the tension and bickering going on lately, it’s stress city over here.  But he can read my body language, he can hear HOW I say things (which, tends to say a lot more than the actual words coming out of my mouth) and he can ask me if he doesn’t understand what I say/mean.

But here’s the thing.

When you communicate with people by writing – something gets lost in translation.

Like, maybe I think the way you typed something is bitchy but you meant it to be funny.  Or maybe you were really trying to offend me. Whatever.  Maybe I think you are being a whiner but you are really sad or frustrated about something and just need to type it out.

For some reason, I have felt like people are just being mean and nasty towards one another over the internet lately. To the point where it would be better for me to stay away from it because I am going to take something the wrong way, hurt someone’s feelings (not on purpose), type something wrong, not get my intonation across correctly, start a debate that wasn’t intended – you get the point. Drama.

When I vent a frustration related to looking for a job, I am not saying that I rule the world and should be paid a million dollars.  I am saying that I am frustrated and am not sure how to overcome this obstacle -  trying to stay positive about the employment search is hard.  If I ask a question or make a statement about something I am constantly concerned over if it will be interpreted as I intended it too.  I actually have tried not to post anything in these different mediums lately because I don’t want to (unintentionally) start shit with people.

I like scientific writing, I am good at it. It is straight forward. No room for interpretation.  No drama possible, unless you don’t like the evidence, then do your own experiment!

Does anyone else ever feel this way? Like you just need a break from the internet*?


*by internet I mean everywhere except twitter, my blog and email….

Monday, November 22, 2010

Frugal Shopping

I am really starting to get into holiday shopping mode.

But, as seems to be the case all around, we are in FRUGAL holiday shopping mode.

As much as I would LOVE to spoil everyone I know with awesome gifts, it is not really in the budget.

So I need to find/make/create these awesome gifts on the cheap.

So far my biggest savings has been buying some of Gianna’s gifts after halloween, since we are doing a dress-up corner for her. We snagged some awesome deals on disney princess gear.  Still looking for the perfect dress-up mirror, though.

My 2nd biggest savings, which is really a money maker, is using Ebates.  If you shop online – you NEED to check it out.  By going through ebates, you earn CASH BACK on every purchase.  I have earned up to 20% cash back on my purchases, and pretty much every single retailer is on their website.  You go to ebates, click on the store you want to shop at, shop at your leisure and BAM – money in the bank!  You get a check from them every so often, which rocks. If you go and sign up using me as a referral, we will both get an extra $5!

My 3rd biggest savings has been just shopping around.  Comparison shopping and whatnot.  Not something I am great at, but getting better! 

What are YOUR holiday shopping tips?


(no, I was not endorsed by ebates at all, they just really rock so I wanted to share the love!)

Sunday, November 21, 2010


Since I have become a “grown-up”, wife & mom (now stay-at-home-job-seeking-self-employed-mom) I have gained a totally new perspective on life.

Young, youthful Andrea perspective:

  • I used to go out with my friends 4-5x a week, and we wouldn’t leave for the bar or wherever until close to 11pm. 
  • I had a few “best” friends and a lot of people I hung out with
  • I drank a lot of beer…..
  • I had way more energy, I mean I worked like a mad women, studied like an even crazier person and still had a social life.
  • My closet was always jam packed with new things because I am a shop-aholic who can’t pass up a cute pair of shoes or a good deal.
  • Sometimes I would take things too personally and get upset really easily. 
  • I made freaking stupid (usually selfish) choices a lot of the time, because, why not?!
  • I tried to do EVERYTHING that people asked me to do, to the point where I was a chicken with my head cut off and totally missing the point of helping others.

Older, wiser Andrea perspective:

  • I see my friends maybe once a month, we still go to the bar (okay, we go to a restaurant that HAS a bar), but we are gone before 10! 
  • I have fewer “best” friends, and a lot of good friends.
  • I drink a lot of wine now…..
  • I still work like a mad women, study like a crazy person but now I am TIRED! Always tired.
  • Still a shop-a-holic, just filling up someone else's closet instead of mine.  I have so much fun buying stuff for G that it is really hard to spend any $$ on myself. (but, I won’t pass up a great pair of shoes….)
  • I still take a lot of things personally when I shouldn’t, but I don’t make a big deal out of it.  I mean whatever – people suck sometimes, that’s all there is to it.
  • Probably still make stupid choices, but not as many, and not nearly as many selfish ones.  Unless you count choosing the activities I do based around how fun it will be for a toddler.
  • I try to do everything that people ask me to do, but I know my limits.  And I try to do the little things for people because I want to and enjoy it.

It’s funny to look at the way I used to live life and compare it to the way I live life now.  6447944426C98CE667104DD21FA0EDBC

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Technologically inept

I need to vent.

About my printer.  And other technological things.

My printer must have it out for me.

It won’t print postcards, it sometimes only prints portions of pages, but usually?  It won’t print anything. at. all.

I yell, scream, offer cookies, feed it ink and paper & still – it gives me the 3rd degree every single day.  Ridiculous I say.  Especially because it works just fine for Mike.  Stupid thing.

I have been trying to post a video from my phone (because, hey, my Droid is awesome) all day. Like 4 or 5 attempts.  No dice. WHY?!! It is a hilarious video, but again, technology hates me.

I will have to do it the old fashioned way and just upload it to my computer. Some day.

The last technology vent is totally all my fault.  I am doing a 365 photo project. See.  I have been doing super super awesome at taking a picture every single day (not really awesome at keeping the site updated, but it’s not too far behind).  Except, I think I either forgot to download 2 days worth of pictures onto my computer before erasing my card (which I have NEVER EVER EVER done before, but it was during the really bad week, so anything is possible I guess) or I downloaded them into a super secret place on my hard drive by mistake.  I can’t find these pictures any.where.  I recovered one from my sister’s phone.  The other? MIA.

I also want to give my blog a makeover and figure out a better page layout, but these things take me far too long to do, so I put them off for a year or so…..


Friday, November 19, 2010

Friday night leftovers

Attempting to write and post this from my phone.....

I do research and this week alone I have had 3 meetings and suddenly we are in a time crunch to get a component completed. Funny how it wasn't urgent the past 3 weeks....

Trying to come up with Christmas ideas for my family is tuff this year.

I can't believe thanksgiving is next week. Woah!

I'm boring today, sorry!
Published with Blogger-droid v1.6.5

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Some things never change

Social media has been both a blessing in my life and a real pain in my ass (Facebook, namely).  I have found out some very interesting (and not usually in a good way) things by way of Facebook.

Today’s lesson: My father has a Facebook account.  How do I know that? Because I was doing something for my sister via her account and POP there he was.

I promptly vomited in my mouth.

I know I have talked about my real dad in the past a little bit.

Mostly in relation to how he is really NOT a dad and no longer involved in my life.

As I was nosing around on his page browsing, I noticed he had some pictures posted.  Him, his crazy wife, their 2 crazy kids and my sister.  He has TWO OTHER DAUGHTERS,  no mention of that anywhere. 


I get it, we don’t like you, so maybe you are ashamed that your children have lived their life without you in it.  That’s probably embarrassing to all of your old friends.  Your friends that KNOW HOW MANY CHILDREN YOU HAVE.  Reason # 56928110 that he is, in fact, a douche bag.

I have no idea how a person can just “forget” they have children. Especially now that I am a mother.  I could never, not in 1 billion years or for any reason in the whole wide world just “forget” about my child.  Forget her birthday, her anniversary, her child’s birthday, holiday’s etc.  NEVER. I might not always like her or the choices she makes as she gets older, but I will ALWAYS forever and ever and ever and ever x100000000, love her more than she can ever know.   I will always call her, even if she doesn’t want me too. I will always shower her with affection, especially when she doesn’t’ want me too.  I will always be there for her, even if she doesn’t want me too.

That is called being a parent. 

You don’t get to pick and choose when to parent your children, when to love them, how to love them, which of your children to love etc. 

His actions continue to prove over and over and over again x3000, that he is not a parent. Not to me, at least. 

The only thing I have ever learned from him is how NOT to be a parent, how NOT to live and how NOT to treat the people you are supposed to love.  It makes my heart hurt a smidge to know that he will never see the awesome human I have become ON MY OWN (well, with my mom’s help!), but mostly it makes my heart sing to know that he won’t be breaking it anymore, ever again.  It sucks that he can still continue to disappoint me though, I wish that part would stop.

Thank goodness we have him in our life to make up for all the suckage this idiot has put me through.  I don’t know what I would do without him – he is the father I never had, the one he didn’t have to be to us, the one who loves us unconditionally ALL the time and who I love right back. 


Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Wordless Wednesday: the very toddler edition

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Big smiles and ears in her hair.


Tutu’s are essential for reading books.

And we read books It’s fantastic.


2 “boats” are better than one. Clearly.

(I have no idea WHAT she is doing in this picture!)


Too busy for pictures.


Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Snail Mail

I don’t know about you all, but I love the holidays because that means MAIL!

Not bills, pointless ads, bills and newspapers. But FUN things like packages, cards and pictures from friends and family.  I am a total snail mail junkie and try to send cards to friends regularly.

So I get all giddy when it comes time to designing Christmas cards.  I have been using Shutterfly for YEARS (I am talking more than SEVEN years!).  I have gotten thousands of prints, photo books and cards from them – and I use their share sites to inundate people with pictures on a regular basis.

This year, I am totally overwhelmed at their options for photo cards.  Seriously, I love them ALL!  I think I need to just pick a card and then pick the pictures to match it! Or, I need to make a few different cards because I like that many of them.  Oh the possibilities….

I am also digging the calendars.  The desk calendars are peaking my creative interests for a few lucky family members.

Honestly, I have been nothing but 150% happy with every thing I have ever ordered from Shutterfly and I am confident you will be just as happy. 

Because Shutterfly is so totally awesome, they are giving other bloggers the chance to receive 50 free holiday cards as well – check it out like I did.  I know you won’t be disappointed.


Monday, November 15, 2010

What’s on your list?

I have been attempting to work on a holiday wish list for myself.

I have a problem though.

Everything I want is either WAY expensive and I would never ask anyone to buy it for me (but I certainly won’t turn any of these things down should you choose to spend your hard earned $$ on me).

Or too practical and boring to actually WANT as a gift.

The awesome (and expensive):

this beauty is from Jo Totes. It’s a camera purse. I get all hot and bothered just thinking about putting my camera in here.  I am also an epiphanie fan, I like Belle the best.

AF-S Nikkor 50mm f/1.4G.  I want this so bad I can taste it. But it’s super expensive since my D40 doesn’t have autofocus built into the body.

I’ll also be accepting this:

I want the D90 camera body so I can get cheaper lenses. And because it is more awesome than my D40. 

I will also be accepting, international plane tickets, a 360 flash, 80-200 f/2.8 lens, Understanding Exposure and anything related to traveling to Italy next fall and Shutterfly gift certificates, I have lots of pictures that need printed!

The boring (and still expensive):

I need new tires for my car. And some maintenance work. Boring, but necessary. And freaking expensive.

Look, I am unemployed. A job. Cash. Paying off any one of the 4522 student loans I have. It’ll work. Not exciting, but again, necessary.  I know for sure money won’t go unused/unopened/unappreciated.

I also need new pillows for my bed, a new duvet cover, a bookshelf for the office and some organizing stuff (think a label maker and plastic bins/totes/drawers).  Am a boring old lady.

What are YOU asking for this year?

(also, what are your husbands asking for, I have no clue what to get mine…)


Sunday, November 14, 2010

Papa’s Trucks

Today, I got to go see my Papa and his new fire station.  And his TRUCKS!  My mom made me wear this awesome shirt with a fire truck on it. 


She also made me say “wooooo truck” whenever someone asked me what was on my shirt.


Then I got to wear Papa’s hat. AWESOME!


See – TRUCKS! And a new fire station!


Since all this excitement was going on during my nap time, I figured I would catch a rest with my Aunt Sissy while the bagpipe guy was playing.


Then there was lots of talking and my Papa was just STANDING there right in front of me! I kept saying “HIIII Papa” and “WAVE PAPA”, but he didn’t hear me.  Or maybe he was just trying to keep his place in line.


I took a picture with Mommy and Daddy. CHEESE!


We got to see Papa’s fire stuff. Pretty cool, huh?


I guess all the rest of my family thought it was pretty cool too.  I really like Papa’s new fire station and trucks.  And these people too, they are fun!


Saturday, November 13, 2010


I am all about referring to people by their proper names.  I always try to use full names (like Michael, not Mike) until told otherwise.  And, even though it’s annoying sometimes, I use Mr./Mrs./Dr. whatever if I don’t know you at all.

My name is Andrea, not Andi. (and for God sake do.not call me Mrs D, I am not my fingernailsasfarastheeyescansee mother in law).  Gianna is GIANNA not GiGi or Gia or whatever other freaking way you want to say her name.  You MAYBE can call her G, only because I do, and only if I REALLY like you. Or bug, again I have to REALLY SUPER like you (or you have to be one of my sisters).  Otherwise just call her by the name we gave her or I’ll just refer to you as jackass for the rest of the conversation.

My mom and (step)dad are referred to by Gianna as Gama and Papa.  Inlaws are Grandma and Grandpa D.  For some reason this especially pisses me off because LOOK - she only has ONE Papa and ONE Gama.  I don’t want her getting confused about who we are referring too when we talk to her.  Sheeesh.

My sisters are all aunt *first name*, even though G totally skips the “aunt” part and calls them by their first names.

We started referring to all of our friends as Mister and Miss *insert first name here*.  So she knows Miss Kim, Miss Sarah (or Zach’s mama…) etc.  For some reason it seemed like a great plan when she was leetle.  I mean, it IS still a great plan, but sometimes people think we are weird! (right, I know that has little to do with what we have our child call our friends!)

What do you do? Do all grandparents have their respective names? (mine did growing up too, this isn’t a total Andrea-created thing!)  Do you have your kids or have kids refer to you as Mr/Miss?  How do you refer to others?


Friday, November 12, 2010

Friday Night Leftovers

  • I am making my first (second and third) etsy purchases and I am totally stoked about it!!
  • Looks like summer 2007 hair is the winner (since every.single.person liked it best – thanks for weighing in!).  Now to save up a few extra bucks to get it cut and colored.
  • Gianna is a dancing machine. Her and Mike had their own private dance party in the basement yesterday, Mike was mixing music and G was shaking it. It was too funny.
  • When can I sign her up for dance class? She is going to LOVE it.
  • The new favorite phrases in this house are: “um on” (come on), “uuuh oooh” and “dance dance”.
  • We have also been “singing” a lot, twinkle twinkle and justin beiber’s “baby” are big hits – she walks around saying '”bay-buh bay-buh bay-buh. DANCE!” Funny girl.
  • I am trying to get the video I took off my phone and it’s not working.
  • If you have a droid incredible, does it stay “on” when you have it plugged in?  Is there a way so it doesn’t do that?
  • Also if you have a droid, there is an adobe photoshop express app – it’s awesome!
  • Our November weekends are totally booked again.  Mike said I need to ask him before I plan so much stuff because it doesn’t sound “fun” to him…. Um, it will  be fun for the wee one, so it’s okay, no?  I should plan something fun for just the 2 of us… we could use that. Ideas???
  • Thanks to Mel’s awesome comment about being productive, not only am I a list maker (and list cross-er-off-er), I have been finishing everything I started. Like folding AND putting away the laundry.  It was a great suggestion.
  • My start to finish project today? Getting all of the donating/selling/consigning stuff out of my basement and to it’s respective new home. Very excited to get rid of these boxes!!
  • Join Danifred to participate in FNL, it’s super fun!


Thursday, November 11, 2010


I need to ask my most awesome bloggy friends for some help.

Hair help.

You see, my hair has been all over the map the past 3 years.

Have a look: spring 2007- LONG hair!

 summer 2007- short hair

 winter 2008-medium and curly

spring 2008 -short and straight (and dark)

 summer 2008- shorter & curly

 spring 2009- medium, dark

(I am the large sober blue balloon in this picture…)

 thanksgiving 2009 – more of the same boring hair

 October 2010 – longer boring hair

So you see, my hair has been all kinds of things but right now the only thing it is is in a ponytail pretty much every single day.

I can’t decide how I like it, so help me! Which way do you like better? What DIFFERENT way/color could I do my hair?


(also, looking back at old pictures is kind of fun)

((until you realize that you still wear the same clothes from 3 years ago))

(((but you looked better in them 3 years ago then you do now)))

((((also realized that I spent most of 2007 in some sort of alcoholic state. and with lots of friends. GOOD TIMES!))))