Monday, October 25, 2010

are you able to operate a motor vehicle? (a short quiz)

after nearly being in a ton of accidents due to the carelessness of others (honestly), i decided to make a quiz to see if you really CAN and SHOULD operate a motor vehicle....

1) Is your cell phone glued to at least one of your hands at all times?
2) Do you feel that turn signals are optional or should be used at the very last second?
3) Do you forget to turn on your head lights?
4) If there is inclement weather, do you drive below half of the posted speed limit?
5) While driving, if there are cars approaching from an oncoming ON ramp, do you speed up to make sure they don't get in front of you?
6) Do you STOP completely at a yellow light?
7) While at a green turn arrow, do you sit in your car organizing things on your front seat or space out or send a text?
8) Do you believe in multi-tasking and feel that you can put on make up, fix your hair, send texts or talk on the phone while driving?
9) Do you feel the need to stop and stare at every flashing light/police car/stalled vehicle/accident on the side of the road??
10) Is your car just so awesomely expensive and brand new that you have this sense of entitlement or an overprotective nature about you that you just can't seem to drive normally?

If you answered yes to any of these questions.... GIVE BACK YOUR LICENSE AND GET A STATE ID AND BUS PASS!
I am sick of driving near you people and having you share the road with me. 

the ever growing audrey

it would be unfair to say i love my daughter now more than i ever could. some days i feel like that though. 
lately audrey has just been TOO cute.  she is learning to hug, kiss, and cuddle.  at bed time she gets all snugly on my shoulder and falls asleep on me sometimes..... there are times she grabs my face and smiles and squeals, and then there are days she grabs my face and tries to give me a kiss.
she is so loving.  she LOVES to squeal and smile and shriek and laugh. 
of course this comes with the ever painful squeal that turns into a grunty whine that turns into tantrum crying.  but most often, audrey is a happy girl.
she's also started feeding herself.  she reaches out for the spoon and helps dip it in the bowl and bring it toward her mouth and feeds herself.  if we dont hold onto the spoon though, she does think the spoon itself is the food and is able to gag herself which is NOT fun.

she loves story time.  she hits the pages and smiles at the pictures.... she lays on me and cuddles me...
i honestly cant get enough of my little girl.

she may lack the "motor skills" of crawling, standing and rolling over, but she is such a smiley, happy, and social little girl that is CHATTY.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

dream a little dream...

i had a dream i fit into these size 4 pants i used to wear for work.
i woke up to find that my jeans still read size 8.
oh well.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

the rambling mind of a momma

"There is a fair amount of circumstantial evidence that chronic emotional stress can be associated with heart disease and early death. ....It appears that the unrequited fight-or-flight reaction, if it occurs often enough and chronically enough, may be harmful.....  We also know that the surge in adrenaline caused by severe emotional stress causes the blood to clot more readily, increasing the risk of heart attacks."

i need to slow down.  honestly.  i have the creepiest of dreams, can't sleep, panic, my heart is just nonstop... there's so much to do and not enough hours in the day to do it.  i have learned to make audrey my priority and play with her first, but then im left with a train wreck of a house to conquer alone since josh has to work late a few nites a week... this is on top of me working 35 hours a week and shleping to and from day care.

i am so tired of having to be "on."  sometimes i just want to lay in bed, not get up, and not take care of anyone.... i feel frumpy and haggard, ive got bags under my eyes, and i really am thinking they need a coffee delivery service....

i worry though that my constant "go go go go" lifestyle that one day i might collapse for real.  xanax anyone?

Saturday, October 9, 2010

the frugal, bargain hunting, coupon loving mom

i love a good deal. 

"buy one get one free"
"half off"
"bargain bin"
"10 for $10"
"temporary price reduction"
"sale price"

these are signs that rule my shopping experience!  plus, i am a coupon fiend.
i love when you register for baby stuff at target, they continuously send you great coupon deals.  i love free samples that send you coupons in the mail.  i love when the local grocery store sends out a monthly coupon booklet full of great stock up items and savings.

i figured i would share a bit of my newfound knowledge on having a family and having fun on a budget.
grocery shopping is a total pain in the butt.  everything is so expensive.  meat is not cheap (and we are a family of meat eaters), cereal isnt cheap, fruits and veggies aren't cheap... but i found some great ways to save without needing a costco membership (which is also handy by the way for some other things).

MEAT- occasionally they have family packs, discounted prices, and massive sales.  this is when i stock up - even if i dont need it right away.  we got a deep freezer just for this reason.  holidays are also a great time to stock up on meat. tons of things are on sale around the holidays.
FROZEN STUFF- i really don't eat a lot of frozen things just because i like fresh fruits and veggies BUT.... again we have a deep freezer for things like pizza (who doesn't just want a frozen pizza sometimes because it's quick and easy and cheaper than getting papa johns?), tator tots and juice.
a lot of times those cans of juice will be $1 each and while we aren't big juice drinkers, occasionally the craving hits and it's cheaper than a $3 bottle.
PANTRY ITEMS- my favorite time to stock up on these items is around holidays.  thanksgiving, christmas, and easter especially.  very BASIC BASIC things suddenly are CHEAP like butter, flour, sugar, stuffing mix, soups, stocks, chips, crackers.... i think i still have 2 boxes of stuffing that haven't expired yet because they were a dollar a box around christmas. 
baby food when it's on sale and i have coupons is a double savings for me!  my dear sweet audrey just eats and eats and eats... so, target occasionally will have jarred food and cereal on sale and gerber sends me coupons and i get target coupons, so when these items go on sale, i use the coupons and sale prices to save big!

a lot of savings come from having a watchful eye.  i don't buy halloween candy until right near halloween because it's cheaper then.  i get a lot of cleaning supplies and pens and stuff around the end of august when parents are out getting school supplies.  i pay attention to where i get the best deals and where i get USEFUL store coupons.  i learned the hard way that just because i have a coupon for it, doesnt mean i have to buy it....when i see things i know i will use eventually on sale, i have to remember a few key points:
- does it have a long shelf life?
- do i really need it right now?
-if i wait, will it get marked down any more or will it go back to normal price?

so, hope that helps.  i'm still learning how to budget with a josh, a baby, and a cat.  we all have our likes and dislikes and all need to eat and be clothed.  clothes are a whole other story... i'm still not that great with clothes shopping and staying on budget.... but at least with food and cleaning supplies, i'm getting there.

being a new mom is a total learning process....

Friday, October 8, 2010

i'm a regular ol' girlscout

i really really love baking.
i dont know why.  i just love making cookies and cakes and muffins and brownies and cupcakes and bars and breads (like pumpkin and banana).  i love figuring out new twists on old recipes and throwing odd ingredients in and seeing what happens.
i was thinking maybe i should start selling them.  i mean, i know i cant make like an "at home business" cos of permits and health code stuff (i'm totally clean by the way- in fact, i wash my hands TOO much- seriously), also tax write offs, but what about if for fun, i sell some of what i make?  what if someone back in NY wanted to buy some around the holidays or people i work with wanted me to bake goods for their family function?  i would do it!

here are some goodies i like to prepare:
-peanut butter chocolate chip cookies
-chocolate chip cookies
-banana bread
-pumpkin bread
-banana chocolate chip bread
-peanut butter cup cookies
-monkey cakes (banana nutella cupcakes with chocolate chips)
-coffee chocolate chip cookies
-nutella chocolate chip cookies
-apple crisp
-oreo cheesecake

here are some things i want to make:
-pumpkin pie
-pumpkin cheesecake
-carmel chocolate cupcakes
-gingerbread cakes with vanilla cream cheese frosting
-raspberry tartlets
-berry pie
-apple pie
-bread pudding
-toffee brownies
-coffee brownies
-lemon shortbread cookies
-carrot cupcakes with vanilla cream cheese frosting

yeah, as you can see i can keep going.... so let me know if you want anything and i will figure out costs and shipping (if you're far away).

Thursday, October 7, 2010

thoughts to the sounds and snores....

I've been reflecting a lot on my youth lately.  I've been reflecting and regretting.
See, I was brought up from 13-20 to be a "born again Christian."  Of course a lot of that upbringing was of my own consciousness and volition but I regret a lot of what it made me.
I found some old emails I wrote in that time period and people I never really befriended in that time period that are actually quite amazing people.

This is what bothers me.  I missed out on a lot.  I'm not talking sex and drugs.  I'm talking about experiences, friendships, lessons learned.  I traded those things in for judgment, piety, and haughtiness.  What's worse, is that in the small circle of Christians that we called "family", there were cliques, circles, and "bad seeds."  How does that work?  How do you say to a member of your family, "Hey sorry but you're not quite as 'spiritual' as us so we cant associate with you."

It was my understanding that only God is to judge. Doesn't it say somewhere that "God will judge the living and the dead"?  It is also my understanding that Jesus hung out with prostitutes and sinners, the worst of the worst.  Yes he didn't partake in what they did, but he did spend time with them in the hopes of winning them over with good deeds and kindness.

I am in no way shape or form saying God doesn't exist.  That is exactly what I'm NOT going for here.  I don't regret being introduced to God.  I honestly feel like I am, in spite of a ton of crap lately, pretty lucky and blessed.  I have a beautiful baby girl, a house to call my own, a great boyfriend, and money to pay bills and feed myself, Josh, my cat, and my baby.  We have a great family and know some pretty amazing people and have done and accomplished some pretty amazing things.  What I am saying is that I regret letting a system of beliefs dictate my life in the way it did.  I think God wants us to be kind to others, to do good, and to love.  I honestly respect Buddhism a lot for its philosophies and teachings.  I feel like that is true Christianity- to find the opportunity to do good and be kind and to do it - and there is ALWAYS opportunity.  I don't think it is in my place to judge anyone else because I am human also and with being human comes flaws and shortcomings.  I don't think Christianity is meant to have "levels" and that someone is higher up than someone else and much closer to God than someone else.  Who are we to judge the heart and mind of an Almighty being?

This behavior caused me to ostracize members of my own family- blood relatives.  I don't want to bring my child up to behave or think that way.  I want her to embrace everyone, to have her own set of values and morals, to do good, be good, and think positively.  Maybe it's a pipe dream and I'm grasping at straws, but this is my hope.  I will talk to her about God but I wont force it upon her.  If she chooses at whatever age it may be to visit a church, I will take her, but I wont make it a mandate in her life.  I want her to be free to to think..... free to love whomever comes across her path.... and free to be whatever she is meant to be.  I wonder if not bound to the set of strict rules and guidelines I grew up under if I would be different.  Again, I am thankful for the morals instilled in me because I was kept out of a lot of terrible situations, but I was also robbed of some amazing opportunities, experiences and friendships because of how sternly and rigidly I was made to upkeep these ideals. 

Maybe I have offended some or many with these ramblings, but it is my hope to publicly make amends to the many that I offended, insulted, ostracized, shunned, and irritated with my barrage of bible quotes misused and taken out of context and my holier-than-thou attitude that kept me from being truly humble and real with myself and others.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

10 things I wish people told me about pregnancy/childbirth/babyraising...

I'm a thinker and a list maker.  Here is the first of many....

10) Exercise while pregnant is NOT hazardous!!  I was told to be careful about exercising and people made me feel guilty for doing ANY!!!
9) Breastfeeding does NOT help you lose all the baby weight and give you the best body you've ever had.  In fact, many mom's I've talked to had to work REALLY hard to lose weight even while breastfeeding.
8) Most dads wont get involved with the child until they can actually DO something like smile, or hold a toy, or have an attention span.
7) You CAN and SHOULD try to put your baby on a schedule as early as possible.
6) It is OK to let the lil baby cry and NOT always rush to pick them up.
5) You will have to give up having a clean house.  Between toys and books and just having NO time, the house will get messy if you and your spouse work full time.
4) Coffee is your new best friend and saviour.
3) You just simply will NOT be prepared for the birth - nothing will ever be completely ALL ready.
2) You will never forget the birth of your baby.
1) You will never ever ever be able to love anyone as much as your child.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Weird Dreams About Future Times....

I dont even mean future as in 2020 or something like that.  I mean future as in a few months from now future.

The other night i dreamed Audrey had 4 teeth and woke up to find no teeth and was all confused where her teeth went.  Last night I had a dream I made a beef stew and a vegetarian friend asked me for the recipe because I made the beef look just that good....

I am in a hurry for winter to come.  I get away with more in the winter... Josh doesn't mind that I bake so much (we have potlucks and it's the holidays), and I FINALLY FINALLY FINALLY get to go to Long Island to visit my family.

My cousin's kid is already 1, my niece that I never met yet is going to be 1, and my lil Jellybean (my other niece) is already over 2 years old....I don't even KNOW at this point how old my own Grandma is (in my mind the dear woman is still 60) and she even wants to meet my Audrey.  NO ONE in my own family has seen Audrey yet and she'll be 10 months the day that we go visit!

I don't really talk to anyone I was friends with growing up but I wonder if maybe they would want to see us too.  I mean, sometimes I think about what life would be like if i never left NY, but, I'm happy with my choices.... I don't think I would have been blessed with my dear baby Audrey if not for the way things turned out.

On the subject of baking (my mind has ADHD)- I'm really excited to try new things....
Some things this fall/winter are going to bring are:
-raspberry tartlets
-pumpkin pie
-apple pie
-nutella cookies (again)
-pb chocolate chip cookies (again)
-monkey cakes (round 2 - i almost got it!)
-mini cheesecakes
-beef and mushroom stew (round 2- i think i got it)
-oven roasted chicken (i have a new idea and i am EXCITED to try it) with roasted veggies
-cake decorating (just somethin i wanna try)

SO, if you find yourself drooling and want me to make you some and live in another state or live nearby, I'm thinking about maybe selling some treats (after I get them right of course).... just don't tell the city of Minneapolis cos I think I might get fined!!  : P