Friday, August 29, 2008


I couldn't bear leaving the last entry at the top for the entire weekend. So instead, here's a picture of my oh-so-stylin' child in her jammies and heels as high as she is. She has suddenly become the girliest of girls. Shoes, purses, jewelry, she's all about the girl stuff. And, truthfully, I'm really not sure where she got it.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Summer is Officially Over

Back to the long and SLOW commute from hell.

The last few weeks have been smooth sailing in to work and back. Commute hours were light and tolerable given every one in DC takes the month of August off apparently. But now that school is starting back up and people are finished with their vacations, they're all back on the road at the exact same time as everyone else. Loads o' fun, I tell yah.

What do you do to pass the time when you're stuck in traffic all alone with no one to talk to?

Monday, August 25, 2008

Just Another Day ... Or Not

We all have to learn to find our strengths and weaknesses. To learn self-criticism but to sense when it's becoming self-destruction. We all have to have faith in ourselves but need to know when to stand firm without bending and when to become fluid, elastic, and agile.

My husband sent this quote to me today. He had no idea how much I needed to read something like that. No, his motivation was entirely different - Out of the billions of people in the world, which single one was insightful enough and wise enough to say it? We love these random, insane guessing games. Well, *he* does. I like hints. He thinks I should be able to read his mind or something.

I did finally get it (with little actual help from him). Turns out I have yet one more reason to love Danny Elfman. The quote was taken from a speech he gave to a graduating class last year, which after reading, I realized the quote above is maybe not the best part about it. Go check it out for yourself. I don't know anyone who doesn't need a little encouragement or uplifting from time to time.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Jell-O Pudding Pops

Can you say "ew?"

I know she's a toddler. And I know toddlers are supposed to be messy. But I have issues.

I hover when she eats. I wipe up as she spills. I clean up and toss as she drops. Sticky, slimy, greasy, messy. I just can't do it.

Once in a while, I accept that I am a bit absurd - that I need to just get over it. Let her be a messy kid. It's rare. Very rare. And usually outside.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Butterfly (with the fringe on top)

So glad someone gets to have fun with her! She loves this stuff. Though this one wasn't nearly as easy to wash off and she wasn't too fond of that part...

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Project Say Something: Sights & Sounds

I have to examine everything before I touch it. In case there is a bug on it. I think that pretty much holds my answer.

Borrowing Because I am Bored

Bethany posted this meme on Monday. It was a little different from others out there and I am sitting here, stuck at this computer, with nothing to do. So I figured I would "borrow" it from her and answer it myself. Turns out it was a pretty good idea because it's sucked a couple hours of my time already. Woo! And now I can post it and go find lunch!
Ten Things I Wish I Could Say to Ten Different People Right Now:

- You have no idea how much you changed my life. Thank you for the faith you had in me. I wish I wouldn't have resisted so much - no telling what I could have done.
- Seriously?!?
No one is as important as you *think* you are.
- 'the hell did I do to you??
- I never know what's going on in your head. I wish I did. Sometimes it makes me worry about/for you.
- I think you might be the only reason I'm even remotely as sane as I am.
- I know it's not easy, and certainly not ideal, but I have so much respect for what you are doing.
- I forgive you. Completely.
- Thank you.
- I am so deeply, sincerely sorry. (I probably just should have put this one in each of the 10 spots since I'm sure there are at least that many people to whom I should say that.)

Nine Things About Myself:
- I will tell you anything you want to know. I am a very open person. But I am a very private person so I will not put it out there for you. You have to ask for it. But, of course, once you get me going, I don't shut up.
- I'm terrified of failing or looking stupid so I'd just rather not try. (I SO need to get over that.)
- You'd never know it unless you really know me but I love being the center of attention.
- I'm not nearly as ditzy as I try to appear to be. Yet, I'm nowhere near as smart as people think I am.
- I have always wanted to learn to play the violin.
- I wish I could cook. Really cook. The kind that doesn't require recipes.
- Having a child has made me take a second look at some of my fears. I don't want her having them just because I do. (i.e., I try to not scream at the sight of a spider now. Though house centipedes? Yeah, I still run screaming.)
- I don't want to be an Assistant anymore.
- I am really quite quirky.

Eight Ways To Win My Heart:
- Teach me something.
- Make me laugh.
- Be honest and sincere.
- Don't act like you're so much better than anyone for whatever reason. I don't care if you
are, you don't need to act like it.
- Be kind just to be kind. Not necessarily to me (though that's certainly not going to hurt), but to anyone, everyone.
- Write to me.
- Talk to me just to talk, no agenda required.
- Like the X-Files!

Seven Things That Cross My Mind a Lot:
- I hate this commute!
- I miss them!
- Crap. How is *that* going to work?
- It's freezing.
- I'm hungry.
- Well now what?
- Where the hell is my phone?

Six Things I Do Before I Fall Asleep:
- Clean up everything I can.
- Check on Madeleine.
- Tell the husband who stays up WAY too late goodnight.
- Check the bed for bugs.
- Brush my teeth
- Check the alarm at least 3 times.

Five People Who Mean A Lot:
- Dan
- Madeleine
- Monica
- Mom
- Dad

(Sorry! Don't feel robbed! I only had 5 spots. That doesn't mean there aren't a BUNCH of other people who belong on that list!)
Four Things You're Wearing Right Now:

- flip flops
- black skirt
- black and white top
- watch

Three Songs That You Listen to Often (Currently):
- "Poor, Unfortunate Souls" (because Madeleine LOVES to sing along)
- "Falling Slowly"
- "Be Our Guest" (see #1)

Two Things You Want to Do Before You Die:
- Live for a hundred years
- Go to Paris

One Confession:
- Growing up, I swore I wouldn't be the Absent-Aunt. That I would be there so my nieces and nephews knew me, could spend time with me and I could be a big part of their lives and watch them grow. Nothing in this world breaks my heart more than knowing I am missing out on all of that, that I *am* the Absent-Aunt.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

2 Years, 2 Months and 2 Days

I am a terrible slacker who cannot prioritize.
She doesn't look at all like that anymore. See that complete lack of hair? That changed. Over night. I swear. So now, instead of having two-year pictures that show what she looked like at "two," I have pictures that are two months and two days too late. (I didn't plan it that way, I just happened to realize yesterday that's how old she was the day the pictures were taken.) Which means they are of a different kid.
Of course, when I did finally get around to taking her, she didn't want to cooperate anyway. She refused to smile. Had absolutely zero interest in any of it. And just wanted to get down and run away. Not that we had the world's best photographer anyway. (I know. I should have known better. That's what happens from lack of planning ahead.) But we did get a few "decent" shots.
Once we got home though... Well, that's another story altogether. She was all smiles then. Happy as can be. "CHEEEEEEESE" all over the place. And completely hammin' it up for the camera. I'm not the world's best photographer either, but I did manage to get a few very cute shots.
Yeah, she's definitely two.
I kept putting Madeleine's two-year pictures off - well, that and just simply forgetting to schedule them. I kind of regret that now. Because this is what she looked like when she officially turned two:


Monday, August 18, 2008


Apparently her baby was hungry for yogurt, too.

I just wish she could learn so well with other people, not just her toys.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Just Not Sure What to do With the Mess in My Head

Yesterday I had something rather unsettling said to me. Today I turn 33 and everything I thought I knew - about me, about my skills, my abilities, my successes - is turned on its head and I find myself second-guessing every piece of me. I'm left with a gaping hole in me and I can't even pinpoint where it is because every nook, every cranny just feels empty.
Thank God for great friends and good food. While it sure doesn't solve anything, it certainly takes the edge off.

And hopefully, 33 will be much better than 32. I say it will be.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Project Say Something: Possibly Why I Don't Trust Anyone

There are a number of them and I don't know which one is actually the "earliest" so I will share a few of them.

All happened in Germany so they took place between the ages of 2 and 4. I don't recall these memories from stories I have been told or pictures I have seen but I remember these things actually happening. I don't remember much from my life but these will stay with me forever. Read on and you'll quite likely see why...

My parents left me with one of their friends while they went out for the night. He took me out on his balcony with my "bapper" (pacifier for those of you not "in the know") in my mouth. He pulled it from my mouth and said, "You don't need this anymore." With that, he threw it over the edge of the balcony and it was gone.

The next two stories are both recounted here. The giant story is told in full but let me elaborate on the dog story a bit... It's true, I hate going to sleep at nights. I just might miss something. I've been that way all my life. Of course, once I get to sleep, boy, do I hate waking up. When I was little, my parents tried EVERYTHING. Including terrible, awful, you shouldn't tell a child because it will scar them for life threats. There were two large dogs that lived in the apartment above ours. I used to remember what kind of dogs they were but that part of the memory has finally faded. We would pass them in the stairwells during the day. Pretty sure they were both bigger than I was at the time. So some nights, when I absolutely refused to go to sleep and was making life miserable for everyone, my parents would use the dogs as motivators. It rarely worked. While you may think that's a terrible thing to do to a child, shut up, who doesn't tell horrible stories to children at one time or another? I got over it. And now think it's funny as hell. Great story to give my parents a hard time about any and every chance I get.

My grandma came to visit once while we lived over there and she took my mom to Paris with her. I was so angry. First, she was taking my mom away. But second, and most importantly, they were going to see the "big building" and *I* wanted to see it! They were going without me and I would miss out! The "big building?" The Eiffel Tower. And I'm still, to this day, bitter that I didn't get to go see the "big building." (Likely because it's the only chance I would ever get in my life and they STOLE it from me! How rude, right? Can you imagine traveling like that with a toddler?? Yeah. Me neither anymore.) After they returned, we set out on a camping trip. We were driving a van, going to a few different countries, seeing sights and camping at nights. I remember Madurodam in Amsterdam very well. I was bigger than the planes! It was so very cool. I remember something about wooden shoes in Holland. I remember fishing. But mostly (and here it is again, the parents traumatizing the poor little girl who can't won't sleep) I remember the van breaking down and we had to spend the night in a field on some guy's farm and my parents told me that if I didn't go to sleep, the farmer was going to come get me.

Yeah, these are my earliest memories. Fun stuff, huh? And I wonder why I can be such a nutjob at times...

Project Say Something: Material Girl

We just spent a month not living in our own house (some wonderful friends took pity on us and allowed us to house sit for them while they were away). That was a real eye-opener as to what we *really* need and what we really don't. (I am terribly, pathetically materialistic.) There were a number of things at home I missed, my crafting things, my Tivo'd shows, the entirety of my wardrobe, checking my mail every day. But honestly, I wasn't heartbroken over not having any of them. As a matter of fact, it was almost refreshing not having it all. Not that I want anything to happen to my stuff, of course! I'm still a materialistic nutjob. But if I had to narrow "stuff" down to five things, I think I could safely go with these five:

McZoomy. Must have my car. Love my car.

Internet Access/Email. Doesn't even have to be my computer, just as long as I have access to be able to stay in touch with my people. (Almost all of which live thousands of miles away. A few exceptions being 50+. But no one right close, so yeah, I need a way to communicate with the world. Which also leads me to the next item:)

My cell phone. See reasoning above. Also because I just KNOW one of these days I'm going to run out of gas or have some sort of problem and am going to need to call someone to come rescue me. Been there, done that. All too many times.

My photographs. I know, this could technically be considered "thousands of things" but I have a really horrible memory and the only thing tying me to some are my pictures.

My camera. See: My photographs. Though, in truth, I have a pretty decent one on my phone so I could group this one with that one which would make room for this:
The absolute coolest gift I have ever been given and even though it's tucked away in it's box for now (stupid house. Sell already!), if I had to pick one completely frivolous thing to add to this list, it would be this. (Oh crap, that spot should probably be saved for the vase Dan gave me at our wedding. I'd have to flip a coin!)

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Random Blurbs #12, 13, and 14

#12 Only in DC do you have to show your ID and go through security to go to the dentist. Or to buy lunch.
#13 Wearing a wrap dress in the wind? Maybe not the best idea.

#14 You teach a child things to stop them from whining and making you do it over and over just to have them master it and you wonder why the hell you ever taught them in the first place.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Project Say Something: I Need to Read More

Last week, I asked what I thought was a fairly decent, thought-provoking, yet somewhat easy question. Until I sat down and thought it through in trying to answer it for myself. I asked everyone to give us their Top 5 books. I didn't specify category - whether it be their favorites, the 5 that most influenced them, the 5 that were the biggest waste of time, it was up to the writer to choose. I (am now thinking, stupidly) decided to go with the 5 that left a big impression on me, that changed me or my perception of things in some way. (And I am really hoping by the end of this, I will have written myself in to 5 because going in, I am only at 4 and it's a cheating 4.)

5. The Pokey Little Puppy
I remembered nothing about this story until I started reading it to my daughter. I just remember it being my favorite book from my childhood because it was puppies. It was what made me like animals. It was, I believe, what made me grow up to be a dog-person. And, anyone who knows me now, knows I am always late for everything, so I guess it's fitting in that regard as well.

4. Knight in Rusty ArmorThere is one line from this book that pops in to my head randomly and frequently. "When you learn to accept, instead of expect, you'll have fewer disappointments." Yeah, I'm still working on that. I think it was this book that started my never-ending self-evaluations and my neurotic desire to always try to figure myself out. That and it was just simple and silly and I'm all about the simple and silly.

3. Darkly Dreaming Dexter
This is in no way condoning this book. Remember I said this list was for books that changed me in some way. This book made me never blindly trust a person's recommendation again. It is what drove it home that there really is no accounting for taste. This is not indicative of the TV show based on the book. (Love! The TV show) They did it right. The book was a marvelous *idea,* very original and of course, right up my alley in the topic-world but was so very, very poorly written that it's the first and, I believe, only book I have ever hated and took nothing whatsoever from (other than the knowledge I would never read that author again). The writing was probably on caliber with something *I* would write and I can't write.

2. The Twilight Saga - My Story, My Dream - Memoirs of a Geisha - Any Jane Austen book - How about we just say "any grand love story" and call it good
I love love stories. But I think I hate them more. I've always wanted some epic romance, some amazing, undeniable, unbreakable, unwavering love story in my life. I'm a hopeless romantic, of course I would want that. Instead I live the antilove story. Maybe that's what makes us work so well, I don't know. I just know that reading the love stories makes me feel like I am missing out on something. And I'm not, I'm perfectly happy with what I have. But still...

1. The Fountainhead
I think the only thing I love and hate more than love stories is this book. I don't know if it was the book specifically, or the circumstances surrounding the first time I read it, but nothing has changed me - who I am, how I view people - more than this book. I read it my senior year in high school and as much as I fought against it, it shaped so much of the person I was to become. I get angry even thinking about it and yet, I just want to go back and read it again. Hands down it is my favorite book. Not because I buy in to it, not because I think it's a great story (I'm not saying it isn't, either), not for any reason other than how much it makes me think, how much emotion it stirs up in me and how powerful that emotion is. Anything that can create such a response in me has to be given credit.

Friday, August 1, 2008

It's Friday and I'm Feeling Lazy...

... So I am just going to sing praises of some amazing, wonderful, they get me through the day every day, I would so stalk them if I were a stalker-type person*, very funny, very well-written women.
This is the funniest thing I've read all week. She cracks me up. And I'm not saying that because I have to. She always makes me feel so normal. Because she's way crazier than I am. Okay, fine. Because we're so very much alike. We're our own version of "normal."

And on that same note (if you didn't know, that last link was to my sister)... I've been trying to figure out a reason to link to this post from the Pioneer Woman. (I just love her.) I couldn't come up with a legitimate reason until I decided to do this post. I've never heard a better description of sisters. She sums it up more perfectly than I ever could have hoped. She always does such an amazing job of describing things. And she keeps everything light and humorous and 100% entertaining. Even some things that are in no way entertaining.

And most importantly, she's back! Holy cow. I was SO excited to see a new post on her site when I accidentally clicked the link - knowing she'd been gone for ages. Well she's not gone anymore and she's as funny and witty as ever. I'm a lot more excited about her return than I probably should be.

Oh. And the last paragraph of this post? So perfect.

*Except my sister. I totally stalk my sister.