Mom Crawls

So, this just happened…

Elle is napping (like a champ since we got her on the mend now…). And while she naps, I’m cleaning the house, showering and getting ready to attend Holden’s first birthday party later this afternoon (Elle’s going too).

I go to dry my hair and have decided that the last time I got compliments on my hair, I dried it with the round brush (which makes my arms hurt and I’m no good at it and it takes For.Ev.Er. BUT – I want my hair to look its finest. For whatever reason.

So, I go to the bathroom drawer and pull out…four hairbrushes that I put back into the drawer about five times per day (Elle’s on a hair brush kick and an emptying-everything-from-a-drawer kick too). But, no round brush.

Think, brain. Where is the round brush?

Ah, yes.

In my mind, I see it.

Laying in the middle of the floor of Elle’s bedroom.

(Told you she’s on a hair brush kick).

The bedroom where that girlie girl is napping.


I do what any mother would do…

Put on my softest slippers (damning our hard wood floors the entire time) and head toward her barely-open-a-crack door.

It sticks, and knowing this I try to do a shimmy/jimmy lift thing.

It fails.

The door makes a loud creak.

I stop, fearful.

Will she wake up and pop her head over the edge of the crib?

No! I need more time.

So, I quickly close the door back again and drop onto all fours outside the door, waiting anxiously.

I hear the sound of her sucking on her pacifier, hope that she doesn’t wake further.

But I NEED beautiful, lustrous hair. And the only way to get it is with the brush that is JUST beyond my grasp inside that room.

So, I decide to try once more. Evidently the risk being worth it…

I open the door, and I gingerly continue on all fours (less of a chance I’m spotted that way). I reach for the brush. I’m not close enough. I will my arm to grow a half inch – and somehow, it does (or I pulled a muscle in my side while I stretched for it).

I’ve got it!

So, I won that mild battle and headed for the hair dryer…only to realize that it really does hurt my arms to use that stupid round brush and it’s taking forever and I don’t have that kind of time, dammit, so I give up and go to the hairdryer-roundbrush all-in-one that was safely in the cupboard the whole time.

And, in the end, I’m having a moderately good hair day.

But I had to pull a muscle to get there…


Ahh, motherhood!


Day in the Life: October 16/17 2012

I love doing Day in the Life.

Totally random day that I chose. I wanted to do this on Thursday, because my Mom and I and her friends are going to the Temple Theater in Saginaw to watch PostSecret Live. But, I decided that ought to be a post on its own, so here’s my Day in the Life…

Forgive the photo quality – iPhone4 does NOT have a sweet camera.

10/16/12, 10:18 PM: It’s Tuesday evening and Jon and I are watching the Tigers, Elle is in bed and the presidential debate is on a different channel. We try to watch the debate, but can’t stomach any of it. Baseball’s better. The good guys (Detroit Tigers) are up 2-0 in the bottom of the 6th.

10/16/12, 11:25 PM: Need a snack of SOMETHING and stay healthy with a cucumber, see? Yes, I ate on the couch, watching the Tigers still. Still up 2-1 in the bottom of the ninth with Verlander leaving the game after 8.1 innings pitched.

11:30ish PM: I pass out on the couch, which rarely happens anymore, and the Tigers end up winning by the skin of their teeth.


11:41 PM: My own bed, where I barely remember actually crawling under the covers.



6:30 AM: Alarm goes off. Snooze until I get fed up and turn the iPhone alarm off.
7:00 AM: Second alarm goes off. Snooze once, then turn off the alarm altogether.


7:28 AM: Check Facebook on my phone while lying in bed.


7:29 AM: Elle (who moved to our bed around 4ish AM after a diaper change and bottle) is crying LOUDLY IN MY EAR. Should’ve given myself the hour headstart, but Jon’s laid off for the week, so I take full advantage of that fact.


7:41 AM: Elle has crawled on top of me and is laying on me sleeping. Which means I enjoy myself and my cuddly, cranky-morning girl. I love mornings in bed with her and Jon. I know it’s against all the parenting rules, but it makes me happy (most mornings) to have her snuggled next to me.

7:44 AM: Cuddling is now over. We are up and at ’em. Elle’s picking out an outfit…which means I chose this for her. She’s got a doctor’s appointment at 9 AM that Jon is taking her to. Her one year well baby check up!

7:46 AM: Turns out Elle is not awake or happy to be attempting to be awake. Meltdown #1 of the day ensues.

FYI, I hate those Huggies wipes. They are the worst. I bought them at Sam’s Club and they aren’t in the package like tissues, so that one pops up after the other, they’re just folded on top of one another. Worst idea ever. It feels like this box of wipes is lasting AGES as a result of purely hating them.

7:53 AM: This is where it gets good. I was mainly trying to capture two things a) my morning beauty and b)that my favorite PJ shirt is my 1998 Girls Michigan High School Athletic Association Golf long-sleeve t-shirt. That’s right, it’s 14 years old, that t-shirt I’m wearing.

7:59 AM: It’s a Day in the Life and most days I really do try to appreciate the wonderful view our backyard gives to us, so I wanted to share it too.


8:03 AM: Dressed, after trying on several options. It’s a black dress, gray/silver wrap and black tights. Comfortable option and yet looks trendy-ish.

Here are the products out of the huge silver case the I actually used on my face this day… Jergens Natural Glow face lotion, Almay Wake Up Makeup, Mac blush, Clinique blush brush, Revlon neutral tone eyeshadow, Urban Decay eye primer, Revlon (I think) mascara, Mac bronzer and brush, eyelash curler and dark purple Mac eyeliner. Not in that order…

After makeup:

I also want to show you my hair…and mainly that I am obviously in year three of a seven-year bad luck streak. I feel like I’m doing okay if this is my bad luck streak.

8:15 AM: Elle’s favorite drawer to play in. It’s like she can hear me opening it and comes running…notice the absence of combs (she’s taken them all into her toy bins) and the Fiber Choice pills. They’re in that drawer because I SHOULD really take them more often and that’s as likely a spot as any that I’ll take them and because it provides entertainment when Elle starts digging through the drawer. Like a rattle, except Metamucil style.

8:17 AM:

What’d I tell you?


8:27 AM: Elle is getting ready to head to the doctor with Jon while I’m trying to get out the door. My two favorite people!


8:28 AM: On my way to work.

My drive is so short, it’s a crap shoot what song’ll be on in the morning. Great start to the day with my favorite song of the year! Springsteen, by Eric Church.

8:33: Arrive at work. Seriously, it’s a FIVE MINUTE DRIVE!

My office, how I left it from the day before…

8:35 AM: Need coffee. Our office manager just bought me a coffee pot for work!

8:44 AM: Computer is getting up and running, I’m checking voice mails and taking a Zyrtec and a Biotin Vitamin. I’m in the process of trying to grow an excellent running ponytail…as soon as I have one, that’s when I’ll start running (that’s what I keep telling myself).

Michelle and I count cash and do our morning routine, get the bank deposit ready, etc. It’s a pretty typical morning thus far.

9:39 AM: Remember/realize that I’m to do engagement pictures with Rick and Jen (Jon’s brother and future sister-in-law). Call Jon to make a plan for his parents to watch Elle as Jon is slated to go to work that evening in Bay City. Only to find out that he is not going to work in Bay City, he is still laid off. Curse the construction industry and the shitty economy. Just a little more turn in the economy and I know he’d be more steady.

Debrief on Elle’s check-up. She got four shots, including a flu shot and weighed 20 pounds and was 30 inches tall. Excellent!

10:04 AM: Was supposed to have secured my family holiday plans over the weekend so our management team could finish our coverage schedule for the month of December, so I quickly message my Mom’s side and then my Dad’s side making an appeal to lock down holiday plans.


10:53 AM: Close the door to my office and get ready for a radio interview I’m doing with WJR out of Detroit. It’s with Dave Lorenz of Pure Michigan and it will air the weekend before our annual Deer Widows Weekend event at work.


While waiting, I check my Gmail and get a note on some of the economic development activity that we’ve been doing in my local community and get asked to put together a presentation for an upcoming buy-in presentation to key stakeholders.


11:58 AM: WJR spot went well, incredibly well. Lasted all of seven minutes and I think I hit all my talking points.
Met with my Lead Customer Service Rep to review her annual goals and make sure that she’ll meet her goals by year’s end. She starts an 11 day vacation tomorrow, so it’s kind of our last chance before the holiday season chaos begins.


We have a monthly lunch to celebrate manager’s birthdays that month and today happens to be our weekly manager’s meeting/Dawn’s birthday lunch. I ordered the Cheesy Chicken Gyro from Victor and Merek’s.


Should’ve gotten a pic before biting into it…I have an abnormally large bite I think.

Here’s my boss Phil with his tasty Victor & Merek’s lunch! I honestly love working for him, he’s a phenomenal man to work for.

1:29 PM: Meeting is finally done. They have a tendency to run long. We did start early since we did the lunch, so we’re done early. It’s good, because Thursday (tomorrow) is my last day before taking Friday/Saturday off.


2:58 PM: Typical busy work day. Just proofed a memo to go out to all 145 of our tenant/merchants, trying to secure release for our Deer Widows Weekend Bargain Hunting Guide to go to print, emptied my real mailbox which I do about once a week or so, and called Jon to make a plan for pictures in the evening.


3:02 PM: Confirm appointment for trying on bridal dresses at Becker’s Bridal and that my Mom can take the day off to go with me to to try on dresses. Looking forward to it regardless of what the outcome may be.


4:29 PM: Working on drafting an email to go to business-to-business contacts for our Veterans Day Sales. Need it done before I’m out of the office in Houston next week. Over the radio I hear Security get a call because someone thinks their car could blow up because it’s leaking gas in the parking lot. It’s actually nothing to worry about and is quickly taken care of.



My hair is at an awkward stage and doesn’t last down very long throughout the day…


5:35 PM: I keep the clock in my car at least 8 minutes fast because it helps me feel less late…on my way home to grab Jon and Elle and head to the park where we’re meeting Rick and Jen for pictures and Elle and Jon are going to play.

5:41: I pull in the driveway and Jon’s Jeep is running, the garage door and door to the house are wide open and no one is inside. Weird. I ultimately find Jon and Elle in the backyard on the patio talking with our neighbor Michael. When Elle sees me she takes off across the muddy new grass in her socks.

We load up to head to the park.

5:50 PM – 6:30 PM: Engagement pictures in the park.




A picture of Jon and Elle playing in the park while we were looking for great backdrop and light…

And, a little Daddy/Daughter photo grab:


6:30 PM: We decide that instead of getting pizza at Rick and Jen’s as previously planned, we’ll go to the local Mexican restaurant for dinner. And, a strawberry margarita is sounding pretty damn good.

Jon and I take our own ‘engagement’ pic. I love us and our duck faces.

6:36 PM: The back entrance to Nuevo Vallarta.


6:36 PM: Group picture at dinner.

Elle was a trooper through dinner, but she’s honestly getting harder and harder to take out to restaurants. We deal with it and I feel like we do it pretty well. Quite honestly, the only saving grace lately has been that Jon and I have downloaded the free Fisher-Price apps onto our phones. That’s always good for 5-10 minute spurts of sitting in one spot.

7:52 PM: After dinner and a margarita, it’s time to visit my Grandma’s new condo that she just moved into today.

My Mom was also over, helping my Grandma unpack boxes.

8:05 PM: Elle’s SUPER TIRED and got four shots and has been hanging in there with the best of them, so we take one of the boxes and make her a little tent/fort. She LOVES it.

8:28 PM: I had been wearing a three-strand green jade toned beaded necklace. Elle pulled at it (it was already broken, I just had rigged it to make it not look broken) and it came off my neck. So, she then played with it.

And in a few swift minutes, it was toast. You can see strands of it in motion across this picture.


8:44 PM: Finally  home and in PJs with a bottle for Elle, in her rocking chair in her room. Her hair is standing straight on end from being in a ponytail all day. You’ll also notice her love for plastic mini hangers, too. She just holds onto them for whatever reason. Weird, right?

9:22 PM: I am SO ready for bed. Long day. Tigers were supposed to be playing, which I would have watched, but instead it’s rain delayed. So I opt to watch PBS on my iPad in bed. I am 10 minutes into the American Experience episode about Jesse Owens and am determined to get further.

I washed my face, filled my water cup and put on my same PJs (yup, I do that!). Love the runny mascara under my eyes, yet I look so happy to be going to bed?! Totally an unflattering mid-section photo here. I’m going to go with it’s a bad angle and the t-shirt was bulging out…ick.

Anyway, by 9:25 PM I was OUT. I did not make any progress on watching my Jesse Owens show.

Maybe tonight.

There you have it – just a day in the life!

Day in the Life: Fall 2012

I love Day in the Life from Navigating the Mothership.

Love it.

I’ve missed it two too many times in a row.

So, I was thinking tonight that I would do a Day in the Life tomorrow and/or Thursday this week, and I hadn’t caught up on my Mothership blog reading.

Until just now.

And, it’s time!

Day in the Life, Fall 2012 style.

I love reading about other Mom’s, Women, People and what their days look like. There is great support in knowing the mundane, I guess. At least for me.

So, I hope that you’ll consider posting a Day in the Life and sharing it, too.

Look for mine in the next day or two!


Day One – The New Job

Today counts as the first day on the job of the New Job.


That’s right, one whole day under my belt.


I feel like it was probably an unusually hectic day in terms of items on the schedule, and it was unusual in that there were corporate visitors on-site for walk-through’s and trainings with me…it was an exhausting, sometimes exhilirating day where I felt at times that I actually did soak in the fact that I’m in a position where I’m doing something I’m very, very excited to be doing.


But, then we did walk-throughs.


And my day is scheduled to end at 5:30 p.m. and while I didn’t expect it to totally be over at exactly 5:30, I didn’t figure that day one would go uber-long. So, I didn’t plan for that. I should have, in hind sight.


But – the visitors from corporate began the walk-through later than intended and as the time neared 5:20, then 5:30, then 5:35, then 5:40 I was uber-anxious that I wouldn’t get to daycare on time for pick up, that I’d end up getting ‘fined’ for not being on-time or before 6 p.m. and I was flustered as a result of not getting out of the office before 5:40.


When I walked in to get Elle, she was the last baby in the room, which made me sad because I’ve never been there when she’s the last girl in the room (or boy for that matter) and I just didn’t anticipate that, and I certainly didn’t anticipate the feeling of inadequacy/lateness and overall overwhelmed-ness (I just made that a word in case you were curious) that I’d feel in trying to get Elle picked up on time.


Why do I feel now like I need to do it more myself (without our parents helping with pick-up, etc.?) than I did before? I guess the knowledge that I’m simply 5.5 miles down the road makes it seem as though I need to be there to drop her off, pick her up and for her general well-being more than when I was 100s of miles away.


Add insult to injury and I got one of the first calls every from daycare today asking if it would be okay if they gave Elle some tylenol as she was running a low fever – which they attributed to teething, but still. So, all day I was waiting for another phone call from daycare, waiting on having to frantically make plans for her to be picked up by a grandparent, wondering if I should just call and have her picked up anyway, if I should be more cautious about taking her temperature. I feel like that pre-occupied my mind today in ways I probably can’t fully appreciate right now, too.


Anyway – my morning routine went well and I felt good about it. My evening routine, well, let’s just say that I’m tired, Elle’s tired, Jon’s tired and we probably need me to not be sitting in front of the computer writing this. BUTTTT. I needed to catalog my day.


So now I have – off to begin the evening routine.


Ah the life of a non-traveling, working mother!

The #$!@# Backyard: An Update

Yesterday, Jon’s Mom, Karen, said that this weekend was the weekend to work on the pond. We’re hosting a big birthday party at our house next weekend and it’s time to get the thing finished. So, I took her up on her offer. She had a plan, and I was willing to make her plan work.

(NOTE: I know, I know – I haven’t written much lately. That’s not because I don’t have TONS of things to share and thoughts racing through my mind…it has more to do with the complexity of motherhood, womanhood, friendships, volunteer and civic involvement and the melding of all those things…I promise to write more).


So, this is the photo of where things stood at 1 p.m. this afternoon. Notice again that the pond, the bottom level is relatively cleaned up (though at this point growing algae since I last touched it so long ago). Also notice the nice border and color around the patio. That’s my handy work!

Karen even recruited Big John (Jon’s Dad) and her sister Selena to help in the pond, too. And then Selena recruited their other sister Carla to help. I can’t even TELL you how great of a help it was. Work that would have taken me the whole day, Selena and I got done in about 12 minutes together. I was absolutely amazed at how Karen and Selena were willing to literally get dirty to help get this pond in shape (we were all a muddy mess).

Here’s another picture as I headed out to get ready to clean up the pond. I just want to really point out the top level of the pond at this point — filled with cattails where are both rotten (those are the ones that look dead/brown) and sprouting new and growing MORE roots (the green stuff). From this angle you can’t even see how beautiful the yellow iris are. Seriously, incredible.


Here’s from the other angle, Selena hard at work in the pond, Karen taking a very quick (and deserved water break). The three of us spent HOURS in that upper level of the pond today.

Another shot of Selena – and the iris – around the pond. Big John took away three loads of CRAP out of this pond, with his tractor, for us.


And here is the closer-to-finished product.

Again, let me remind you:



In summary – THANK YOU to Karen, John, Selena and Carla for all their help today. Would not have this thing NEARLY DONE if it weren’t for you! We have the best families, I swear!

Mother’s Day & Food Poisoning, Those Go Together, Right?

Mother’s Day 2012, my first as Elle’s Mom.

Was looking forward to getting nine holes in, to planting some flowers in the yard, working in the pond for awhile, cleaning out the garage, doing some laundry and just catching up on our lives, while spending time together.

That was what I honestly wanted to do on Mother’s Day, silly as it may sound.

We had been invited to my Aunt Linda’s house about an hours drive away but when I drive lots of hours to be able to work each week, driving again for fun just doesn’t sound, well, fun.

So, we turned down that invitation and I was really, really looking forward to doing just what I wanted to do for the day.

Only, Saturday afternoon Jon met me at the high school where I was announcing (in the rainy weather) a Mustang Challenge race in conjunction with the Healthy Community fair. We walked through the high school and decided to grab a quick lunch at the local bar.

I was excited to order my favorite chicken quesadilla — but after it took nearly an hour and a half to get our food, I was annoyed. And when the food came, it wasn’t made right at all. The peppers and onions were still crunchy and the spray that they use on the griddle/grill was overwhelming on the outside of the tortillas. And then, there was the salsa and sour cream. The sour cream was smooth – not like it was terribly cold, in hindsight – and I used it anyway. Because it tasted so not good, I needed condiments for sure.

So, that was at 3:30 when we finished our food. Came home and about 7 or 8 I said to Jon ‘That Nite Cap food sure isn’t sitting right with me” and I made myself a bowl of yogurt and granola to try to bland my stomach up.

No dice.

I even poured myself a glass of wine, but one sip into it and I couldn’t stomach it either.

By 10 p.m., I was breathing heavy and couldn’t handle it. And that’s when it started…the, you know, the vomiting.

And over the course of the next twelve hours, it happened about four more times. My Dad brought over some Pepto, which I took gladly, and then that just made me more sick.

So, my Mom stopped by at about 9 a.m. with Vernors (and warmed some up for me), water, gatorade, Mrs. Grass soup, Coconut water, Saltines, etc.

I slept in blocks of two hour stretches looking out the window at how nice it was. Finally, at 4, I called Jon and he and Elle were at my Mom and Dad’s. He came and picked me up at home and I proceeded to lazy around at my parents house. I ate a few Saltine’s bit by bit and tried to get more water in me. My Mom made some Mrs. Grass soup for me, and that actually tasted alright, though a bit salty.

My Dad had started dinner, so I felt obligated to take some bites, which I did of mashed potatoes, macaroni and cheese and some chicken. And it seemed to be alright. We went to Jon’s parents later to drop off gifts (Jon’s Mom is sick with the flu) and I fell asleep on the couch, so we headed home where I fell asleep on our couch.

And at 10 p.m., I woke up to rid my body of any sustenance I’d put in earlier in the day. Slept on the couch until about 5 a.m., when I went and laid in bed for a little while until elle woke up at 7.

Jon got me a great patio heater for Mother’s Day (which I’ve been wanting) and an umbrella base, which we needed desperately. It was set to be a great day, but the damn food at the Nite Cap did me in. And it pisses me off.

I feel like I should get a do-over or something.

Anyway, Mother’s Day and Food Poisoning do not go together, for the record.

We Stayed Home

Last Wednesday (I know, I know — better late than never, though) I was to have been in Indianapolis. However, a Fireman’s Convention meant that I couldn’t find a hotel, which meant I couldn’t head out of town. So – I opted to take Wednesday off work at the last minute.

And — it. was. awesome.

Elle and I woke up at about 6:30 a.m., had some breakfast, hung out a bit, jumped, played toys. I checked some work email and did some work-related stuff and then just threw in the towel because I was having SO MUCH fun with my girl.

Took a gratuitous photo of the two of us because very few of them exist. This was the beginning of one of the best days I’ve had with her, ever. (I mean, of course every day is awesome-er than the next, of course…er…).


A little video for effect, if you’re in the mood (I can’t figure out how to do video embedding and I don’t feel like figuring it out tonight…so…there you go).

I don’t even know what all we did – we played toys, we had lunch with Andrea and Drew, we went for a long walk, we took lots of cuddly, warm quiet naps.


Drew fell asleep on our long walk -- with his head against the stroller. Tired boy.

All I know is that it was so super cool to spend a WHOLE DAY (not a weekend day, those are different. I don’t know why, but they just are.) with my girl. I mean, honestly, the last time that I felt like I spent all day with her – got the best parts of her throughout the day and had her on my schedule/her schedule/the right/best schedule – was when I was on maternity leave and I’ve been back to work now for nearly four months. Longer than I was on maternity leave. And it was so, so cool to have a day with no doctor’s appointments, no reason to get in the car. Simply spending time with my girl. I made a mental note to try to do that every so often because it felt SO good.

In other news…

I continue to work on the backyard. It’s coming together. Yesterday, Jon and I and Elle went for breakfast at our favorite local yocal spot (Elle slept the whole time!) and on the way back drove through his old neighborhood area. We saw a man grinding a tree stump, so we stopped and asked him when/how much to do the stump in our yard.

He said he’d be over in an hour and a half! Craziness!

So, while that was going on, I was re-working the rock border, hauling red lava rocks (seriously WHO thinks those are a good option? who?) out of the gardens and moving the wood chips into the one hosta garden bed adjacent to the patio.

Today, I managed to put down fertilizer and grass seed in the area that used to be the walkway. We’ll see if I can grow grass!

I also got the patio put back together, re-drained the pond (good news is, it holds water!) so I could work on it this week, and started trying to clean up the hoses, etc.

Jon was home Sunday from the nuclear plant where he’s working out of town six days a week and he got to spend quality time with our girl, and I got to get some serious yardening done.

Still have a Japanese Maple that needs to be cut back in a bad way – it’s impeding my view to the golf course from the upstairs living room – my Dad’s advice was ‘stand up’. Have several other trees that need trimming, have a host of red rocks and orange brick that need to be hauled away and I need to manage to remember to ask someone to water my grass seed while I’m out of town the next two days.

Seriously – yardening is a LOT of work. I’m tired of it just typing it.

But it’ll be so worth it when it’s all said and done.

Anywho – just wanted to remember how great it was, that one day, to stay home with NOTHING to do, and spend it with my girl.

To all a good night…