Tuesday, October 30, 2012


We are always talking about finding balance in life.

But I have to tell you a little secret – balance? it doesn’t really exist. Because life is constantly shifting and changing and throwing off that balance that we so desperately seek on a constant basis.

To find true balance would be like running your whole life on a teeter totter or something. When I heard someone speak on this, it made so.much.freaking.sense to me.

so, stop trying to find balance. unless you like living on a teeter totter.

Start striving for harmony.

A place where we can accept the and easily mold our experiences to those constant changes and challenges that happen in this little thing called life.  Of course it’s not always easy, but knowing that things are going to change and that living in a place where you can feel ok with a bad day (or week) because it just IS that way makes the next good day (or week) that much sweeter.

As a woman who works full time, works part time, is a wife and a mother, is a daughter, sister, aunt and friend – I struggle every day to remain in a place where I feel like I am giving my best self to all of the people and commitments in my life. Where I personally feel harmonious. It’s a conscious effort, really.

So some days in my life, harmony means not worrying about the laundry for (another) night. Some days it means getting to work early so I can finish a project. Some days it means keeping all forms of technology put away so I can enjoy my family. Other days it means tackling my to-do list so that the next night I can focus on something more fun. And even others, it’s taking an extra 5 minutes to myself in the shower to relax.

Harmony to me is when I feel like I did a good job at giving everyone I encountered that day the attention they deserved.  If this happens more days out of the week than not, it’s a win.

Because there are days like today, where nothing goes right, nobody gets the attention they deserve, I end up crying at work because all I want to do is be at home and not have to worry about making up hours or using vacation time to take my kid to school and am a grumpy mess when I finally do make it home.  These are not the days I am proud of, but they happen.

The good part about bad days is that they end. And tomorrow, I get to pretend to be just another preschool mom for a few hours at Gianna’s harvest festival before going to work for the rest of the day. 

Things around here are more stressful lately, there is a lot going on, schedules are as crazy as always with no slow down in sight, life is happening all around us and a lot of days I feel like I am teetering on the edge of not being able (or wanting) to handle one more thing in my life.  I feel isolated a lot of days, like I don’t have anyone who could possibly understand my frustrations, fears, needs, wants, etc. Which is silly, really, but it is what it is and I let myself get in the way of my own harmony the majority of the time. 

Harmony is a funny thing because it is based on perception, it is the pleasing combination of elements, and beauty tends to overshadow the blemishes. Remembering that little bit of information isn’t always easy – but all I can do is try to live in harmony as a general rule, accepting the bad days as they come and cherishing the good days as they are happening.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Social Media Etiquette-ish

Is probably  not even something that really exists, but humor me because I am a fanatic about doing things “the right” way. Like, if you send me an invitation to a party the week before the party, I’m probably not going because – ADVANCE NOTICE?  If you invite me to a big event (you know like a bridal shower or something) via facebook – I am for sure not going because – well, just because that feels tacky to me.  I send thank you notes out pretty religiously (except I forgot after G’s birthday, still feeling a little guilty on that one) and well, you get the point. I like etiquette, and order, it makes me feel better.

And, back to the topic at hand.

Is there such a thing as social media etiquette? Because it’s very likely that I am just making up all of this nonsense in my head in an attempt not to feel like a huge attention whore.

For example – I have a really cute Disney post that I want to pin because I think it is that good. But should I? Should you pin you own brilliance? I have done it before but it just felt odd!

Another example – do you tweet/FB promote your posts outside of a networking site (i.e. networkedblogs)? I always feel like I shouldn’t be doing this unless it’s a giveaway or something like that.  Mostly because I don’t want people to be annoyed. Again, I have done it, but mostly when it’s something special that I know some people won’t see otherwise.

do you retweet yourself? is that weird or normal?  I always see tweets from people that are retro-posts, which is kind of cool. But I have no idea how to do that!

Do you comment on every post you read? Or just some of them? I always feel guilty not commenting when I am reading someone's blog so I typically will comment (hence the ridiculousness that is my google reader right now) unless by some chance I have NOTHING to say.  I know there are more than a few people reading over here, but my comments are usually crappy. Say hi people – I like to know who you are.

One thing I can’t get on board with is liking your own facebook posts – because, you posted it so of course you like it – no?

So, I ask you wise internets, is there such a thing as social media etiquette or am I just being paranoid and nobody but me pays that close of attention to what is posted where?

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Gianna-isms: hilarity, et. al.

The age of 3(.5) has seriously brought out the hilarity in my little girl. Every single day she says something that I wish I had recorded because – seriously. lolforeverandever.

She picks up on EVERYTHING. And she makes jokes. Which I happen to enjoy a ton.

A few gems from the past few weeks:

::Mike’s downstairs playing some music::

G – hey, is that daddy down there playin’ music? we should check…” (she goes down there to check out the scene and eventually comes to the bottom of the steps with her hands on her hips) “Hey, Mommy, are you comin’ down here to check this party out? Yes? Okay! Cooooooome On!” (followed by some crazy dance moves)


::Mike and Gianna are riding in the car::

Mike – Gianna, that sounds like Justin Bieber on the radio

Gianna – Daddy! That is not Damn Beaver

Mike – uh, what?

G – I SAID that is NOT Damn Beaver

Mike – I really can’t hear you, what? (turns music down)

G – Daddy. This is NOT Damn Beaver. It is JUSTIN BIEBER.


::riding in the car to dance class::

Me – how was your day today?

G – it was good. we are going to the farm tomorrow and me and Maggie are going to ride on the hay thingies and the farmer’s gonna drive. And it is going to be so cool. Can you even believe that?

Me – You sound really excited about that.

G – It’s going to be magical.


::talking to my sister::

Jacqui – (makes random noises at Luci, who does a lot of newborn sleep squeaking)

G – awe, Aunt Jacqui, are you teaching baby Luci her amimal sounds? that’s so cute!


::at dinner::

G – Aunt Jacqui has a weird looking belly button.

Me – Hers is just different than yours, that doesn’t make it weird.

G – yea it does. and sometimes my belly button can talk and says “let’s get this party started”

Me and Mike – what???


::just a random conversation::

Me – did you just say that was not a tragedy?

G – No mommy, nuffing is a tragedy unless you fart

Me – um, where did you come up with that?

G – (she is dying laughing) Daddy told me that. And he gave me the idea to fart on you, mommy. isn’t that hilarious?

Me – no…. no it is not…..

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Catching up {by numbers}

PhotobucketI am behind with life right now, so time for a little catch-up.

365: days ago I was floating around the Mediterranean on a huge boat with my family. I can't believe that was a year ago.
1: number of Bradley classes we have had so far. I like it & I am really excited about it.
100: grams of protein I should be eating a day
25: grams of protein I ACTUALLY eat a day
41.1: weeks the average woman is pregnant (thank you Harvard...)
14.6: weeks left until my "due" date (OMG)
23252345782: names we have discussed for this baby.
0: names we have agreed on
34210: things that need done before the baby arrives
2: contractors I have contacted about a minor home repair we need done.
0: number of contractors who have called me back (Seriously, I can't explain my frustration over this)
1: new hot water tank we had to put in last weekend
18: hours from the time we "discovered" the need for the new hot water tank until it was installed
2: brother in laws who are awesome and handy and very helpful
0.5: level of concentration i have been able to muster up lately
10: jewelry shows/events scheduled before christmas
15: number of jewelry shows I want to hold before christmas (hoping to make up that scheduling difference this weekend!)
1.5: nights every week where nothing is scheduled. Or less. Sometimes it's 0 nights a week....
5976: times a day I think about all of the other things I need/want/should be doing while at work

so, things are crazy (as usual). I'm tired (as usual). but everyone is good, healthy, growing, etc. Trying to keep my head above water these days.

{total stole the by numbers idea from Danifred, because she is awesome}

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Overwhelmed and Underprepared

There are less than 16 15 weeks until we have a new person living in our house. A new little tiny itty bitty person.


And when you think about what is going to happen in those 15 weeks (lots of packed weekends, bradley classes, halloween, thanksgiving, christmas, new years, family birthdays, work, etc. etc. etc.) they are going to FLY right past us just like the last twenty something weeks have.

When I am overwhelmed I make lists. And the other day at work, after I started freaking out and having myself a very quiet little pity party/cry fest at my desk, that’s what I did. And I emailed it to Mike, who thought I was just a little bit crazy but also started to feel a little of my OHMYGAWD we have a lot of shit to do-ness that I have been feeling. 

We got rid of a lot of things after we had Gianna/moved/got pissed at not getting pregnant (okay, that part was all me) but also – a lot of things were just worn out (or were second hand to begin with). and some things, this new baby gets fresh!

I present to you, the list (not in any order of importance) ((complete with my stream of consciousness notes to mike!)) (((we are very not prepared))):

Things to buy sooner (for the girls):

  • New bottles (we got rid of ours)
  • New pacifiers (again, got rid of)
  • warmer clothes in newborn & 0-3 months
  • Size newborn & size 1 diapers & wipes (maybe re-sign up for amazon mom?)
  • heavier weight swaddle-me/swaddling blankets (do we really need this??)
  • lovie for baby (from Gianna)
  • humidifier
  • sound / white noise machine (bear??)
  • Changing pad for dresser. (something for upstairs too???)
  • diaper genie & refills
  • Big sister gift (what to get????)
  • boppy & cover (did i let someone borrow ours??)
  • baby meds 
  • rock & play (or borrow)
  • more baby hangers
  • burp clothes, bibs, baby wash rags, towels, changing pad covers
  • I have no idea what else we need…….

Things to buy soon-ish (for me/mike/house)

  • glider/rocker for the nursery
  • feminine hygiene stuff (yay…)
  • nursing stuff (what the heck do i need???)
  • wine for when the baby comes home.... beer for mike.... (joking. sort of. not really)
  • pump??
  • nursing cover
  • moby or something like that? (or borrow??)
  • living room storage solution (where are we going to put everything??)

Things to pull out of storage/wash

  • All newborn and 0-3 month clothing (determine if everything is seasonally appropriate and make new clothes list for any gaps – add to buy list….)
  • Car seat base, cover, bundle me
  • Big Stroller
  • See if cloth parts of bouncer can come off to be washed (make sure bouncer works!)
  • Play mat and toys
  • Teethers, rings, and other 0-6 month toys (find a good place to keep baby toys)
  • Crib bedding, sheets, blankets, burp rags, etc. etc. etc.

Things to put into storage

  • G's outgrown clothes & toys.....
  • lightweight stroller

Rooms to Tackle: Gianna's Room

  • fix up dress up area how I want it
  • Paint???
  • Buy artwork for walls/print pictures/frame/etc.

Rooms to Tackle: Baby's Room

  • find someone to fix window/wall ASAP
  • paint, clean, rearrange as necessary
  • Raise crib 
  • Get/hang up artwork
  • clean carpet

Rooms to Tackle: The rest of the upstairs!

  • touch up paint (where baby gate was)
  • try to come up with better playroom storage/arrangement (ha!)
  • figure out where baby stuff will go upstairs
  • Clear out cupboard space for bottles, etc.


  • Pick a name for the baby…….
  • Maternity photo shoot (when?!!)
  • hospital packing list/bag (figure out what diaper bag to use....)
  • Maternity leave & STD paperwork
  • Pre-register at hospital (no idea if we have to do this??)
  • sign G up for big sister classes
  • Figure out main plan (plus 2 back up plans) for what to do with Gianna when the baby comes
  • Take/Finish bradley classes
  • Try not to freak out
  • Holy shit we are having another baby

There it is kids. My lovely, scary, really freaking long, list of shit that needs done sooner than later.  I KNOW it will all be fine, and that all the really important stuff will get done. But goodness I am just overwhelmed with THINGS to do and also, the TIRED from all of the other stuff going on every day.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Forgetful to the Max

Here’s the thing: I forget EVERYTHING.

That is only a very slight exaggeration. Seriously – I am totally not with the program most of the time. And annoys me to a ridiculous degree, because I am used to being organized and on top of things.

Except I am totally not right now. Want an example or two?

Example 1: I forget to drop Gianna off at preschool about once a week, as in, I just drive right past the exit and (thankfully) realize it pretty quickly, but still. HELLO! Earth to space cadet Andrea!

Example 2: I put clothes in the dryer and don’t turn it on. Often.

Example 3: I go to the store for something specific and leave without it (and with things I didn’t even go there for)

Example 4: I rarely know what day it is – to the point where I schedule almost every work meeting on the wrong day and just generally never know what is going on! (and then I am more thankful than normal for my google calendar. it saves my life!)

Example 5: I walk out the door without my lunch. or my coffee. or both at least once a week.

I know there are more things, but I FORGET WHAT THEY ARE!

I write myself notes, set reminders in my phone, schedule things that don’t even need scheduled on my calendar, and still – I forget what/when/where I need to be!

I am thankful that Mike just goes with it, helps to remind me of things and just generally forgives me for my spacy, forgetful nature.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

A letter to my {oldest} daughter: very merry unbirthday

Dear Gianna:

Today is your half birthday. I woke up this morning and thought to myself, there is NO WAY my baby girl is three and a HALF years old. No way.

But, time has a way of moving pretty fast these days and yes, you are in fact three and a HALF years old. And what an amazing girl you have become. You look older, your “baby” voice is all but gone, you make jokes, you understand and comprehend more than we realize. You are quite the young lady.

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You LOVE preschool, I mean you really really love it and in just the few weeks you have been going you have learned and grown so much I can hardly believe it.  You tell us about your day, your friends, the things you do. Your independence is shining my sweet girl – and I hope it shines through brighter and brighter with every passing unbirthday.

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We have a hard time most mornings getting you up and dressed and out the door, we are not so much a family of morning people. We’re figuring it out, some days are better than others, but it’s ok. You are a very strong-willed girl when it comes to getting dressed – you like what you like and that’s the end of that. Maybe in between being a princess, a dancer, a cowgirl and a singer you will be a fashion designer when you grow up!8.4  (14)

It has been a pretty busy half a year for you – you learned you were going to become a big sister, went to Disney world, started preschool, went camping, spent a week at the fair, swam a lot and got the best Coppertone tan (I’m sure you will probably never know what that means!), had your first sleepover with a friend, became a big cousin, were a flower girl in your aunt’s wedding and that’s just the big stuff!

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Some of your favorite things right now is watching movies on netflix, playing on the ipad, playing cowgirl and princess (sometimes at the same time!), going outside, spending time at Grandma and Papa’s house and with your aunts, dance class and school.  You still adore your lovie and like to keep lots of “pets” in bed with you at night.

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We have a pretty busy next half of the year coming up too – but despite all of the really big things going on (like your baby sister’s arrival!) around you – I hope you feel how much I love you. How special you are to me, how special you will ALWAYS be to me. I hope you always remember how proud I am of you and how wonderful I think you are. Remember that you make me smile and laugh like no body else can and that I cherish every conversation we have (and we have a LOT!) – if I could tape record all of them so I could play them over and over again, I would.  You are so insightful, observant, honest and loving – you’re my little helper and my littlest best friend.

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You ask me a lot lately if I will still be able to hold you when baby sister comes out, and the answer, like I always tell you, is yes. I will always be able to hold you, my sweet girl – because you hold the special place of my first born, my oldest daughter, and you will always be my baby – no one will take your place.  Mommy’s have this special way of just making room for all of their babies, but making sure they all have their special spot. So know that your special spot will always be YOURS.


I love you more and more every day -


Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Threenagers: The Drama

I know (or, at least I tell myself) that every parent of a three year old experiences the same thing.

The frustration, the attitude, the frustration, the crying, the whining, the frustration, etc. etc. for(whatfeelslike)ever.

A lot of days it feels like we are on the extreme end of the Threenage Drama.

I don’t know if it has something to do with school. Or anything at all, really.

But what I do know is that I feel like I am fighting an uphill battle to get my polite, respectful little girl back.

We have a LOT of defiance going on. We hear a lot of attitude. We talk a lot about making good choices, listening ears and inside voices.  I have used the line “because I am your mom, that’s why” way more than I thought possible at this point. I ignore the behaviors I am trying to diminish as much as humanly possible.

And it feels like it is all for nothing. Except that I KNOW we are getting through to her at least some of the time by her actions.

I would say her 3 biggest offenses right now – in no particular order are

(1) not cooperating at bedtime (example: she has been in her bed for 35 55 minutes now whining/stalling/trying to find anyway not to sleep)

(2) a bad attitude (example: general grumpiness and angst in the form of whining, grunting and total body limpness. or, saying “you’re not the boss of me” when asked to come in from outside)

(3) being defiant (example: flat out refusing to pick up her toys when she is asked complete with “I am not doing it. I don’t have to listen to you”)

And our biggest parenting challenge is effective discipline.  Taking her toys away? She could care less. Timeouts? They work some of the time, but overall, they don’t really phase her. Reward charts? They don’t matter to her. Losing privileges? again, she just doesn’t really care at the time – because if she doesn’t want to pick up her blocks before going to the zoo, she is not picking up her damn blocks. Maybe we are doing something wrong or maybe she is just that tough, I don’t know!

I am not a proponent of spanking or anything like that, but some days – I am telling you it sounds like it might be a good idea. 

Mike and I feel stuck – like nothing we do is working. We KNOW she is a good kid, but when she’s not? Look out – Miss Attitude is in full effect.  We also know that she is 3 and we try to maintain our expectations with her age. But telling your parents “no, I’m not doin’ it” when asked to pick up your toys and saying words like “stupid, shut up and idiot” is not flying in this house, ever.

We try to always give her timelines, warnings, expectations up front – i.e. “when we are done getting dressed, we are going to brush our teeth and do our hair”. or “in 10 minutes we are going to bed/in 5 minutes we are going to bed”. or “we have to use our words when we need something”

Please don’t get me wrong – she is still as hilarious & awesome as ever. And she has her days of total sweetness. But the days filled with Attitude are quickly overtaking the days filled with Sweetness.  I would really prefer that ratio be the other way around.

Any tips on navigating the threenage drama? Because let me tell you – if this is only the BEGINNING of the drama, lord help me and send lots of wine for the real teenage drama that is headed our way.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Disney Recap: Animal Kingdom/Downtown Disney

We went to the Animal Kingdom on our last day – it’s the easiest to get through park, so we saved it for the day we would be most tired!

We had breakfast at the Tusker House – it was good, the juice they had was seriously awesome, I forget what it was called! They had usual breakfast food and some other African specialties.

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She danced with Daisy, which she thought was super fun!

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We went on the safari, and as many times as we have been on it, we have never seen the animals so close.  Gianna LOVED IT!

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We went on a water ride, got soaked,

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did some more stuff, and looked at more animals,

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let Mike ride Expedition Everest, went to the Nemo show and watched a bugs life before heading out.

We spent the evening at Downtown Disney – and had dinner at Portobello (it was REALLY REALLY GOOD!)

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We went home the next day (spent the day at the pool in the am, enjoyed the magical express back to the airport and had a pretty uneventful ride home!)

Until we meet again, Disney World.

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