Thursday, July 28, 2011

The Small Things

Today was a long day.  Productive.  But long.  So long, in fact, that I didn't make it home until 7:00 pm.  And because it was such a long day, my back (which had been feeling much better due to suitable application of muscle relaxers) became ridiculously sore around the time I finally got to leave the office.

Needless to say, I was pretty wiped out by then.  Tired.  Done with the day.  Not really in a terrible mood, but definitely not happy, either.

Now, however, I am blissfully content, thanks to a myriad of small things, reminding me how very blessed I am.  Such as:

  • The sheer joy of a performer realizing that the terms of his contract were better than he expected.
  • The hugs and love from the whirlwind of Romani that invaded my office just before I left.
  • The excitement of a co-worker thinking he had heard Miles, and his disappointment to find that he was mistaken.  (While I am not happy about his disappointment, I am happy that he loves Miles enough to feel that way)
  • A thank you at the right moment.
  • Silence in the car and a highway free of traffic.
  • A lucky glimpse of a rainbow, unbelievable brilliant, for less than a moment before it faded.
  • The joyous sound of "Mom-mom!" as I walked in the door, and the loving embrace of my wonderful husband.
In the end, it has been a good day.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Bad Mommy Mondays

Instead of a list today, I have a story for you.

The setting: the Festival office, after hours; completely empty save for:

The cast: Maestro, Tobar, Karla, Miles, Me

As our story opens, Mommy is leaving the bathroom.  Miles tries to re-direct her outside, but she returns to her office to finish up a few things.

Miles throws himself dramatically on the floor, and begins a temper tantrum of Epic Proportions.  Mommy walks back to her office anyway, leaving the screaming child in the hall.

Maestro: What's wrong?
Mommy: Nothing, he just wants to go outside, and I said no.

Work-related conversation continues for several minutes, while screaming continues in the background.  Occasionally, conversation pauses long enough for everyone to listen and giggle quietly at the fact that this ridiculously dramatic child just won't let up.

Maestro: [putting his finger to his lips] Shhh. [He picks up a chair] No, no!  Don't do it!  Don't hurt the Mommy! [slams chair on floor, then grins, waiting for a reaction]

Miles: [continues screaming and crying, seeming to not even notice the theatrics]

A few more moments pass, with the screaming beginning to fade slightly as Miles winds down.  Just when it seems to be over, the screaming intensifies ten-fold, now worse than before.

Maestro: [whispering] Tobar, go slam the back door. [grinning mischievously]

Tobar stomps across the floor toward the back door.  Screaming begins to fade a little.

Maestro: Bye!  See you tomorrow!
Mommy: Bye!  Have a great evening!

Right on cue, the door slams.  A moment of utter silence, then

Miles: Mom-mom-mom-mom-mom-mom-mom!!!!! [He rounds the corner to find everyone - including Mommy - laughing hysterically.  He looks around, momentarily confused, then smiles uncertainly.] Ha?  Ha ha ha? Ha ha?

The laughter increases exponentially, and Miles joins in wholeheartedly, still not fully understanding.

End Scene

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Battles & Blessings


  • Crazy-busy schedule that left me stressed.
  • Having to come to terms with the idea of going through physical therapy again. Blargh.
  • The heat.  I have tried so hard not to complain about the heat, but it has been oppressive for more than two weeks straight.  It is starting to wear on me.
  • Teething + Growth Spurt = Cranky Toddler
  • Temper tantrums.  
  • Exhaustion.  Partly from the heat, partly from back pain, partly from simply being Miles' mother.


  • Job-sharing with a friend to ease the scheduling crazies.  I will work 2-3 days a week, and she will take the rest.  Even better?  On my working days, she will watch Miles, and on her working days, I will get to have her amazingly sweet 6-year-old daughter.
  • Modern medication, physical therapy, and decent medical insurance to cover it all.  Sometimes, I forget what a huge blessing insurance really is.
  • Air conditioning so cold that I actually like going out into the heat.  For about two minutes.  Then, I get to return to the suddenly-refreshing icy-cold air conditioning. :)
  • A toddler who is absolutely delightful 95% of the time.  It makes the other 5% worth it. 
  • Cuddles, hugs, and kisses from Miles, because he needs the comfort.  I hate that he hurts, but I love the affection.
  • Dominic.  I love that goofy little mutt.  Especially when he curls up next to me to love on me.
  • Time to spend with dear friends, especially Portia, and Pren, and Tracy, none of whom I see often enough.
  • The anticipation of the birth of my nephew, who could come any day now.  It's so exciting! Eeee!
  • The beautiful, loving, supportive family that I am blessed with, and the beautiful, loving, supportive friends who have become family.
I am so thankful to be living this life.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Friday Photos! - Nostalgia Edition

I'm realizing more and more how far we've come in the past 22 months, and it has left me feeling a bit sentimental.  In honor of that, here's a little stroll down memory lane.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Dear Miles,

In nine days, you will be 22 months old.  Two months from being 2 years old.

I can no longer pretend that you're still my baby.  You are a toddler, with goals, and opinions, and desires all your own.  And you are beginning to be able to communicate those to us (sometimes slow-witted) adults.  And when we correctly interpret your latest word, you smile and wrinkle your nose, and bounce up and down, and clap for us, celebrating our success.

These moments are flying by so quickly.  One day, you are grunting and pointing, and the next, you are clearly stating what you want.  You are acquiring new words so quickly that I can no longer keep up with recording them, as I have done for so long.

You are fascinated with the alphabet.  You have already begun to point out the letters and name them, and you even know the sounds that some of them make.  My heart swells with pride when you point at H and say, "Ayychh. Huh" or at X, saying "Eck!"  And you definitely know the letter M, the mmmmm that begins your name.  And speaking of your name, when someone asks, "Where's Miles?" you have started to point at yourself, grinning at the silly person who had to ask.

In the car, you have begun to recognize where we are going.  On our way to work, you say, "Mama wuk".  If we go see Daddy for lunch, you say, "Daddy!  Daddy wuk!" (You also explain to me that "Daddy wuk" when he is not at home).  When we go to Aunt Ninell's house, you get all excited and start clapping.

And you're beginning to understand humor.  This morning, as I was changing your diaper, you said, "Mama" and then a word that sounded kinda like "duck".  I said, "Mommy's a duck?" and you giggled hysterically.  And you fall over laughing when the bird explodes in Shrek.

In short, you are amazing.  You are growing and changing so quickly, and it is a true joy to watch you.

I love you, with all of my heart.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

My Hectic Life*

I've been complaining for weeks now about my hectic life.  I thought I'd give you a little insight into our day.

  • 7:15ish am - I get up, get ready, make breakfast for Miles, and do my best to down a cup of coffee before
  • Anywhere between 7:00 and 8:00 am - Miles wakes up.  Sometimes he plays quietly, other times (like every day this week), he bangs on the door yelling, "Mom-mom!  Mom-mom!" at the top of his lungs until I come running in, convinced there is a crisis.  There never is.
  • Wake-up time until 8:00ish - Play with Miles in his room.  Eventually get him changed, and dressed.  Usually, end up leaving his room in a state of disaster.
  • 8:00 - 8:30 - Turn on the TV and give Miles his breakfast to distract him while I (finally) get to drink my coffee and maybe even get dressed for the day.
  • 8:30 - 9:00 - Do some light housework - dishes, laundry, decluttering - whatever I can manage in half an hour.  Miles usually spends this time between my feet "helping" or asking for any number of things I cannot help him with while carrying a basket full of laundry.
  • 9:00 am - Load Miles - and his junk - into the van, and drive to work.  If I'm not already completely brain dead, I call one of my parents, as this is my only opportunity to talk to them most days.
  • 9:30 am - Arrive at work.  Unload Miles.  Try to get him interested in something, anything to distract him so I can get some work done.  By 10:00 am, I can usually begin working.
  • 11:00 am - Miles begins whining because he's a) hungry, b) tired, c) bored, or d) all of the above.  I try to placate him for a few more minutes so I can finish up what I'm doing.
  • 11:30ish - Miles finally wins the fight, and we zoom out the door and off to lunch to avoid a Meltdown.
  • 12:30 - Drag my exhausted rear-end back into the office, carrying a suddenly-heavy Miles, who fell fast asleep in the van on the ride back.  I spend the next 15-20 minutes making sure he stays asleep.
  • 12:45 - I finally get to do some work. Until:
  • Anytime between 1:30 and 3:00 pm - Miles wakes screaming from his nap.  Don't ask me why.  He does it at home, too.  It's just the way he is.  I pick him up and cuddle him while finishing my latest task on the computer with the other hand.  Eventually, he wakes up completely, and goes off to play again, quite content (usually).  I generally manage to get a good chunk of work time at this point.
  • 4:30ish - Miles lets me know, in no uncertain terms - that he is done being at work and is ready to go home.  I try to placate him, or send him outside with to play with one of my co-workers who is finishing up for the day.  Meanwhile, I frantically wrap up everything, amend my to-do list, cross a day off the calendar, and clean up the remnants left by my son, the Tornado.
  • 5:00ish - We finally load our weary behinds into the van, and drive the 30 minutes (longer if traffic is bad) back home.  If I have any energy left, I call the other parent, to make certain they don't feel left out.
  • 5:30ish - I make dinner, while Patrick plays with Miles (or vice versa).
  • 6:00ish - We all fall into a heap and eat our dinner while staring mindlessly at the television.
  • 7:00-8:00ish - Playtime with Miles.  Possibly a bath, if he's amiable.  Or particularly smelly. :)
  • 8:00ish - Begin bedtime routine.  Play quietly in Miles' room for 10-15 minutes, then read 2-3 books (with him in bed), then 2-3 lullabies, and goodnights.  Patrick and I take turns on this.  Whoever is not doing bedtime is cleaning up supper dishes, and shoving toys out of the walkway so we don't kill ourselves in the morning.
  • 9:00ish - Patrick goes to work on a project (or a work assignment, if it's been that sort of day), while I sit down to catch up on e-mails, Facebook, and maybe my blog.
  • Bed for us as soon as we have finished our chores for the night.

Which is why I am going to begin splitting my Assistant job with a friend.  We will each take half of the work load, and thus, half of the days in the office.  On my working days, I will drop Miles at her house before I head to the office, and on my non-working days, she will drop off her six-year-old with me.

It sounds like Heaven.  I can't wait to start next week. <sigh>

*True story: It took me four tries to type the title to this post correctly, because I am one exhausted Mama.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Mama's Boy

As I type this, Miles is watching his morning cartoons, nibbling on a banana, and pulling on my toes.  He has spent much of the morning on my lap, or leaning against me, or playing with me.  Out of nowhere, Miles has suddenly become a Mama's boy.  And I love it.

For months, my heart would break just a little when Patrick came home from work.  Miles would get all excited and spend all evening ignoring my existence.  Which wouldn't have been much of a problem, except for the fact that he never got excited about spending time with me.  I would sit down on the floor to play with him, only to have him say, "Uh-uh" and turn away from me, or push me away.  It seemed as though I got to deal with all of the tantrums, and dirty diapers, and struggles, and got very little of the happy playtime.  I'm being slightly overdramatic about it,* but that's how I felt.

But, in the past two weeks, I have found myself in the delightful position of Miles' Favorite Person, a title I now happily share with Patrick.  In the mornings, Miles eats his breakfast and watches his cartoons while sitting on my lap or nearby.  At work, he plays at my feet, or sits in my lap for much of the day.  At home, he will pat the ground next to him, inviting me to play with him.  And everywhere we go, there are hugs, and cuddles, and sweet, slobbery toddler kisses.

I couldn't be happier.

*Big surprise, huh?

Thursday, July 14, 2011

I won! I won!

So, eons ago, I received a blog award!  My very first!  And I was oh-so-excited!

And then, life happened all over the place, and (I hate to admit this) I forgot about it.

Dana over at Dillightful Musings sent this Lovely Blog Award my way, because she's incredibly sweet that way (no, seriously - go check out her blog and you'll see what I mean).  And to show that appreciation, I am finally going to tell you the seven things about myself and nominate some other blogs for you to enjoy. :)
  1. I adore making lists.  Like, really.  It's so very satisfying to have it all so organized.
  2. My favorite flowers are daisies.  As Meg Ryan says in You've Got Mail, they're "such happy flowers."
  3. I am a huge fan of classic movies.  I think Audrey Hepburn is the classiest lady ever.  And Katharine Hepburn had the most wonderful attitude.  And Cary Grant and Jimmy Stewart and Clark Gable are the epitome of gentlemanly chivalry. <sigh>
  4. I love crafting.  The discovery of something pretty among a pile of scraps is a truly thrilling experience.
  5. I have discovered that I define myself - at least, in part - by my relationships with the people around me.  I define myself as mom, wife, friend, employee.  That makes doing things like this a little difficult.
  6. I have really random taste in music.  My favorite playlists include everything from Enya to Garth Brooks to Frank Sinatra to Indigo Girls.
  7. When I was five, I decided I wanted to be a teacher.  When I was twelve, I told my Grandmother that I wanted to be a "professional mommy".  When I was sixteen, I decided I wanted a job in theater.  I find it amazingly awesome that I have managed to combine all three of those things in my job.
And now, that you know all about me, it's my turn to pass along this lovely award to some very deserving bloggers.  They are, in no particular accidentally alphabetical order:

Convivial Crafter - Loaded with tons of crafty ideas and tutorials, with a healthy dose of quirky. :)

Craig and Rhianna's Big Adventure - The on-going saga of one couple's journey through the adoption.

Maybe If You Just Relax - The life of one mom who has come through infertility, pregnancy, loss, and an extended term with the NICU, and still manages to find the humor in her world.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011


This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of PBM Products. All opinions are 100% mine.

For those of you who don't know much about my history, I've got a little story for you.

From the time I was five years old, I wanted to be a teacher in the worst way.  I wanted nothing more than to have my very own classroom, full of children who were ready to learn all I had to teach them.  

Of course, at five years old, I didn't realize that I would have to learn everything I needed to teach.  I had heard of college, but to me, a nerdy kindergartner who loved school, it was just an opportunity to spend four more years in a classroom.  Probably doing coloring sheets and reading Dr. Suess all day.  And snacking on graham crackers.

Actually, in a lot of ways, I wasn't far off.  I spent a lot of time doing coloring sheets and reading Dr. Suess.  But it wasn't in my classes.  It was in the jobs at day cares and preschools and elementary schools where I worked my tail off to pay for college.

After six years of working long hours, and losing sleep to finish homework, and struggling to pay rent each month, I promised myself that when I had children, I would start their college savings plan the day they were born.

If only it were that easy.

Once again, in my naivete', I hadn't counted on the expenses of having a child.  In a period of nine months, we bought a stroller, a crib, a bassinet, and assorted other baby-related items.  And then there were the recurring costs to think about: diapers, formula, etc, etc., etc.  And don't even get me started on the cost of the hospital stay - even after insurance.  Yikes.

The problem is, in the real world - especially today's tough economy world - saving for college sometimes takes a backseat to simply living.

Which is where contests like this come in.  Parent's Choice formula is holding a sweepstakes for a $10,000 college scholarship.  You can read all about it here: Parent’s Choice Infant Formula Savings Sweepstakes.

And in the meantime, try out the Parent's Choice brand of formula, pediatric drinks, and assorted baby goodies at your local Wal-Mart.

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Headache Update

Two weeks of headache.  It kinda sucks.  And by kinda, I mean really.

So, yesterday, I went to the doctor.  Again.  Only this time?  I went to one who had a clue.

The verdict?  Something has caused my whiplash injury to become a problem again.  You know, the whiplash from my wreck three freaking years ago.  Grrr.

I was given a shot of Toridol (a heavy duty anti-inflammatory), and prescribed a heavy-duty muscle relaxer to take.  Oh, and I get to go back to physical therapy.

I am so ready to be done with headaches.  Blah.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Battles & Blessings


  • Migraine/Headache that has now lasted nearly two weeks.  Second doctor's appointment scheduled for tomorrow.
  • We are hitting the busy time of our year, and dealing with staffing issues at work.  Not a good time for this.
  • Long hours for both Patrick and I, which meant very little time spent as a family.


  • Linda, who helped out a lot with Miles, so I could be more productive at work.
  • Some answers and possibilities at work, which may make everything run a little more smoothly.
  • A burst of creative energy.
  • Miles, who has been in an incredibly good mood most of the week.
  • Date night with my hubby on Friday.
  • A new performer for our dance group.
  • Lunch yesterday with my mom, my aunt, and two of my cousins.  Hooray for BBQ!
  • Dinner last night with Stephanie and Jacob. Yay!
  • Girls' Day Out this afternoon.  Pedicures all around!

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Friday Photos!

So, it's Saturday.  But whatever.  Here are some of the pictures from our trip to Denver.

Wind Farm in Western Kansas.  It was miles and miles of beautiful
windmills as far as the eye could see.  Gorgeous.

Watching TV is just as fascinating in Denver.

Mommy makes a good chair.

A beautiful pine cone at the park.

Aunt Gretchen is a superhero.  Perhaps her name will be
The Super Swinger.

Love those eyes.

And that expression.

Playing with Daddy.

One of the few pictures I have of the mountains.

Grandma LaDean's flower.

Licking the frosting with Daddy and Uncle Mike.

Chocolate goatee.

Watching airplanes.

Driving a fire truck at the Children's Museum.

Hanging with Uncle Mike.

Hanging with Aunt Gretchen.

Blowing bye-bye kisses to Grandma LaDean.

Thursday, July 7, 2011


Four years ago today, I married the love of my life.

In my memory, the day of the wedding is a blur, with only a few moments that are crystal clear.

Standing in the back with my father and grandfather, waiting to walk down the aisle, as the music began to play.

Smiling at Patrick through the ceremony, excited and filled-to-bursting with joy.

The kiss.

Walking back down the aisle with my new husband, so giddy that I had to carefully keep myself from bouncing.

Bouncing up and down with joy in the bridal room in the brief moments after that, while we waited for the guests to exit, and the sparkle in Patrick's eyes.

Dancing.  Walk Like an Egyptian.  YMCA.  Our first dance.  The Daddy-Daughter dance.

The never-ending speeches.  Never hand a microphone to a table full of actors.

But mostly, I remember the breakfast.

Early in the morning, before all of the joy and the chaos, I went out to breakfast with Patrick.  It was a beautiful, calm time of quiet conversation before the chaos of the day set in.  We talked about everything.  The wedding.  The idea of being "Mr. and Mrs."  The honeymoon to come.  But mostly, we talked about everyday things.  How good the French Toast was here.   The wonder of maple syrup, and then hypothesizing how people had discovered that tree sap was yummy to eat on bread products.  We laughed, and held hands, and reveled in the last few moments of being two separate people.

We had several people tell us that we shouldn't do the breakfast.  That it was bad luck for us to see each other before the wedding.  That it wasn't 'traditional'.  But honestly?  That breakfast was the best thing we could have done.  It gave us a moment to connect as a couple and remember why we were doing this crazy thing called marriage.  And it helped us to stay focused on the reason for the chaos, rather than on the chaos itself.

That breakfast will stand out forever in my memory as one of my favorite moments ever.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Hello, again

So sorry for the week of minimal posting.  It's been a bit . . . hellacious.

We returned from Denver last Monday (June 27), so late at night that it may have been early Tuesday morning.  I don't really remember.  Anyhow, I woke up Tuesday with a bit of a headache behind one eye.  This happens from time to time when I don't get enough sleep or sleep funny, or get mildly dehydrated, so I didn't think a thing of it.

The headache didn't go away.  In fact, today is the first morning I've woken up without a headache since we returned from Denver.  Apparently, my allergies were causing a major issue.  I got a steroid shot of something to help with the allergies, and woke up this morning feeling about 75% better.  Which is a major improvement, so I'll take it.

On top of that, I was trying to deal with rehearsals, and promos, and getting fourteen kids ready to walk in a parade on the Fourth of July.  And working at the office.  And trying to keep a toddler happy.  And then, of course, there was the news that Grandma LaDean had passed away.

All in all, it's been a crappy week.  There were definitely high points, but the overall theme has been Suck.

Anyhow, I'm back now, and look forward to updating daily again!  See you all tomorrow!

Monday, July 4, 2011

Happy Independence Day!

As you enjoy your parades,

and your barbeques,

and the fireworks,

Take a moment to be thankful that you live in America.  It's not perfect.  It definitely has a million issues.  But put those aside for today, and be thankful to live in a place where you have the freedom to watch your parades, and attend your barbeques, and revel in the joy of fire in the sky.

And if you happen to find the opportunity, thank a soldier for all he's sacrificed in the name of that freedom.

Happy Fourth!

Saturday, July 2, 2011

A Good Reminder. . .

Saying Good-bye

Last weekend, we went to visit Patrick's Grandmother LaDean.  At 84 years old, she still had one of the biggest personalities I had ever seen.  She laughed out loud at Miles dancing, and played catch with him, and smiled quietly while he drove his trucks around her feet.  At dinner, she told us the story of how she met her husband, and her eyes sparkled when she talked of their first date.

It's hard to believe that was only a week ago today.

Yesterday morning, this lovely, vibrant lady joined her beloved husband in heaven.  Though she will be greatly missed by those of us here, it is hard to feel sadness at the thought that her eyes are sparkling once again, as her eyes meet his across a crowded room.

We love you, Grandma.  So glad we got to see you one last time.

And thank you to Aunt Gretchen for use of the photo.  I'm fairly certain Grandma LaDean would be very upset if I posted the few pictures I managed to get of her.  After all, her hair wasn't done up. :)