Thursday, October 31, 2013

Halloween Fun!

Okay, so here is my obligatory Halloween post.  I didn't want to do it, but I can't help myself.  I am overwhelmed by the cuteness.  Plus, I love seeing everyone's Halloween photos, so hopefully other people feel the same way about my photos!

Cookie Monster and Elmo.  

Halloween was awesome.  I was so worried about her costume at first, but I ended up loving it.  I mean, just look at her.  She looked so cute as a furry blue monster and the smile on her face was priceless.  A friend of mine made her some cookies out of felt that she wore on her wrist and feet and those totally tied the costume together.  Too cute!

How cute are the cookies on her socks and wrist?!

The best part about Halloween though was that Myra loved it.  I mean, how could she not?  She got to dress up as her favorite character and go door to door where people told her how cute she looked and gave her candy.  Does it get any better than that?

She had a parade and party at her school today, which was too cute for words.  My parents, Josh, and I were all there, of course, but all that she cared about was the food.  She literally sat there and ate for 30+ minutes.  All of the other kids were finished, but she just kept eating by herself at the table.  Hilarious!  Who can blame her?!  She was probably thinking, "what the hell, Mom?!  You have been feeding me organic berries for the past two years when this stuff exists?!"  Who knows what she will do when she has to eat real food again tomorrow.

Eating with her feet propped up on the table.  Life is good.  :)

Tonight, of course, was trick or treating.  It was so much fun.  First of all, the weather was fantastic.  It was 65 degrees.  I was warm in a light jacket.  Awesome.  Secondly, we have the best neighborhood for trick or treating.  It is one block, we have sidewalks, and the houses are close together.  All of the neighbors sit outside and we get tons of kids.  Josh and I took Myra to a few houses while my parents handed out candy.  She was really shy and didn't like it at first, but after about 4 houses, it clicked for her.  It was like a light went on in her little head and she realized what was happening.

After that, she was hooked.  My mom and I took her around the entire neighborhood.  She just kept saying, "more candy.  more candy."

Halloween is the best!!

It was such a fun day.  Halloween is one of those things that is definitely made better by having kids.

And now...I going to overload you with adorable pictures.  :)

Laughing and enjoying the food
at her party.

Cookie Monster and Elmo.

Staring at Josh in his terrifying mask.

My husband getting ready to scare the neighbors.

Enjoying her first-ever piece of Halloween Candy.

Waiting for trick-or-treating to start!

Great picture of Josh and Myra.

And another great one...this time with PaPou (my dad).


Moosey and Mommy.  Love this. 

Josh hiding in the bushes.  Pretty damn scary.

Trick-or-treating with YiaYia (my mom).

Tasting her loot with YiaYia and PaPou!

Monday, October 28, 2013

The shopping trip from hell

I hope to never know what hell is like, but I have to imagine that it feels a lot like going to the grocery store with a tired toddler.

Today, after work, Moosey and I had to go to Kroger to pick up a few things for dinner.  The walk into Kroger was fine.  Great, actually.  We were making funny sounds and she was laughing hysterically.  When we got to the cart corral, she opted to sit in the big part of the cart, which was fine since we only needed 3 things.

In the entrance to Kroger was a group of college girls collecting supplies for their mission trip to Ghana.  They were really sweet and Myra enjoyed talking to them.  Sounds great, right?  Well, it was actually the beginning of the end.

I am a sucker for that stuff, so I decided to make a pit stop in the toiletry section to buy stuff for their mission trip.  While I was looking for folic acid, Myra decided that she wanted to stand up.  Being the unreasonable bitch that I am, I told her that we don't stand up in shopping carts.  Being the hard headed toddler that she is, she told me, in no uncertain terms, that we actually do stand up in carts.  I tried the reasonable parent bullshit of counting to 3 and telling her that her choices were to sit down or go in the front of the cart.  Of course, she still refused, so into the front of the cart she went.

Holy hell.  If you happened to be within a 5 mile radius of Kroger this afternoon, I am sure that you heard her screaming.  It wasn't just a little fit.  It was animalistic howling that echoed off of the high ceilings of the store.

The best part of this fit is that a woman in the egg section looked at her with a sympathetic stare and said, "aww, poor thing."  Yes, she really did.  Are you freakin' kidding me?  Poor thing?  I wanted to punch her in the face (the thought of sitting in a silent jail cell for the night was actually pretty damn tempting at the time), but I refrained because she looked to be about  8 months pregnant.  Plus, her kids were running wild, so I couldn't expect her to understand.

Happier times at Kroger last winter.

By this time, Moosey had calmed down, so I offered her another chance in the back of the cart.  To her credit, she didn't try to stand up again.  The end.  Isn't that a happy ending?  Oh, wait, I forgot, the worst is yet to come.

Because we needed cheese, I made the fatal mistake of turning my head for 5 seconds to grab it from the shelf.  When I turned back to the cart, Myra was staring at me, holding an empty carton of eggs.


And, no, Kroger didn't accidentally stock an empty container.  The missing eggs were laying all around Myra's legs in the cart.  Sigh.

Calmly (because she didn't do it on purpose), I picked up the eggs and put them back into the container.  Luckily for me, Myra decided to help by picking up one of the 4 broken ones.  She then proceeded to touch her face with the raw egg on her hand.  And guess who couldn't wipe her hands?  Oh yeah, that would be me because I used the last of my sanitizing wipes wiping goat drool off of her hands at the zoo on Friday.  Oh well.  At least they were organic.

On to the checkout line we went, where the checkout lady clearly thought I was nuts when I told her to bag the eggs separately because several were broken.  She just looked at me, and then said, very slowly, because that is how you speak to people who give you a request like that, " you want new eggs?"
Me: "no, thank you."
Checkout lady: "so, to be clear, you want the eggs that are broken?"
Me: "yes, that is fine.  It is only 4 eggs."
Checkout lady: "So, you chose a carton with 4 broken eggs?  Did you want broken eggs?"
Me: "no, but I don't have time to go back there.  I need to get home."  Before I rip out my f'in hair.
Checkout lady: "okay, just checking, psycho."  She didn't really say psycho, but I know she thought it.

As we walked outside, I breathed in the fresh air with a sigh of relief.  That is, until Myra decided to try and fling herself out of my arms to walk.  I managed to hold on to her, and the two bags, and put her down by the car, where she proceeded to throw herself on the ground.

I calmly picked her up and tried to put her in her car seat.  Yes, I tried.  Unsuccessfully.  She was screaming, arching her back, kicking her legs, and stiffening her body.  I literally could not get her in the car.  She managed to kick off her car seat cover, spill her milk all over the car floor, and rip my Croakies off of my sunglasses, but I could not get her stubborn little butt in the car.  I tried everything: nice Mom, mean mom, sad mom, crazy mom, but nothing worked.  Finally, about 5 minutes later, I managed to hold her down and get the buckles around her.

I wish that there was a happy ending to this story, but there is not.  I still have a hard-headed toddler and we still have to eat, which means that this story, or something similar, will happen again.  Probably tomorrow.  Honestly, the only ending that I really see happening is that I start getting loaded before going to the store.  Day drinking is a slippery slope, I know, but I see no other way.

Let me know if you have any other suggestions for coping with toddlers in stores.  Please.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

It's Okay...Week #3

It's okay...that I tell Moose that things like coffee and Italian hoagies are "yucky."  She believes me and it keeps her from crying over not being able to eat things that are clearly not good for her.

It's okay...that I am in full blown Christmas mode!  For some reason, I woke up on Saturday morning totally in the Christmas spirit.  We even listened to a few Christmas carols.  Josh protested at first, but then I pointed out that we needed to start making Moosey aware of Santa Claus.

Look at this sweet face!  How could 
this not make you look forward to Christmas?!

It's okay...that Moose didn't want to put on her coat this morning (and I didn't make her) because it would have meant taking the cookies out of her hands.  The cookies that she ate for breakfast.  To be fair, she also ate a half pint of raspberries AND they were gluten free, organic, peanut butter cookies, so they were full of protein.  ;)

Its okay...that, after a particularly hard day, I tell Josh that I have to go to the bathroom (and I really do), but I then go upstairs to use the bathroom connected to my bedroom and I sit there for a good 10 minutes just to soak in the peace and quiet.

It's okay...that Josh now knows my secret.  He is a good husband, so he will still allow me that escape.  Besides, how can you be upset with someone who is so desperate for solace that they find it in a semi-clean bathroom?!

It's okay...that my sweet Moose wants to live amongst the ducks at the duck pond.  At least she loves nature and animals.

Hanging out with her new family.

It's okay...that I had to go buy a new outfit because we are going home this weekend and will be going out with friends and family downtown.  Sadly, nothing in my Mommy closet fits the bill of "nighttime in a city."  The upside is that, thanks to a 30% off coupon at Kohl's, I actually have some awesome new clothes!

Linking this up with Kera at Nugget on a Budget: It's Okay!

Monday, October 21, 2013

A Scream in the Night

A few weeks ago, in the middle of the night, Moosey woke up screaming.  This is completely out of character for her, so I ran into her room to see what was wrong.  She was heaving with sobs by this point, so I picked her up and held her and rocked her until her she calmed down a bit.  I then asked her what was wrong.  Looking pitiful and still hiccuping from crying so hard, she looked at me, tears still staining her cheeks, and said, "necklace."

I just looked at her, totally dumbfounded, and simply said, "what?" although in my head, it sounded a lot more like WTF.

She looked at me, again, this time totally calm, and said, "Myra necklace please."

Yes.  She woke us at 3am, screaming and crying because she wanted an f'in necklace.  Are you kidding me?

I just looked at her, wanting to cry myself now, and said, "it is time for night-night.  We can have a necklace in the morning."  Of course, because she is a toddler, this was not satisfactory to her, so we were up, in heavy negotiations, for the next two hours.


Rockin' her necklaces!  Please excuse the 
background.  It was sheet changing day. 

Everyone warns you that newborn babies don't sleep, but what no one tells you is this: once you have kids, sleep is never again guaranteed.  My sweet little Moose started sleeping through the night at 6.5 weeks old and by through the night, I mean 12 hours at a time.  (I know, you hate me.  I don't blame you.  I am realistic though.  I know that it was just dumb luck and that I should count my blessings.  Trust me, I do).

Even with her being a good sleeper though, a full night's sleep is never a guarantee.  Sometimes she wakes up because she isn't feeling well or because she has a bad dream.  Sometimes she is thirsty.  And sometimes she just wants some accessories.  Is that too stinkin' much to ask?

Nothing is sweeter than a sleeping baby.  

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Sunshine Award: 21 Questions!

Okay, so my blogging life is way more exciting than my real life, which consists of things like laundry, cleaning toilets, and changing diapers.  In my real life, those mundane tasks are just expected from me, but in my blogging life, I get awards for doing something I like.  So awesome.

This time, I was lucky enough to be nominated for the Sunshine Award by both Lanaya at Raising-Reagan and Amber at Chaos and Crackers!  How cool is that?  If you have not checked out their blogs already, you are totally missing out, so get over there now!

The Real Housewife of Caroline County

I am going to be a rebel today and change the award rules a bit.  You are supposed to list 11 random facts about yourself and then answer the questions that your nominee asked you, but since I have two sets of questions, I am just going to skip the facts.  Doing all of it would be overkill because, let's face it, I am not all that interesting.  Plus, this works out to be 21 questions, which is kind of fun.  :)

So, without further ado, here goes!

1. Mountain hideaway or beach house?
If I could be greedy, both.  Mountain house in the winter, that has ski in/ski out access and a hot tub, and a beach house in the summer.  A girl can dream, right?!  

2. Computer or television?
Computer.  I have an unhealthy addiction to the Internet.  It is a combination of online shopping, blogging, and social media stalking.  Truth be told though, I am glad I don't have to choose because I also like TV.  

3. What is your dream job and why?
I know this sounds cheesy, but at this point in my life, my current job couldn't be better.  I work part time and am able to choose my own hours.  On the days that I work, I bring my daughter with me.  It seriously could not be more perfect.  I am very lucky.

Off to work / school with Mommy!

4. WordPress or Blogger.
Blogger.  It came up first on my google search (obviously) when I went to start my blog.

5. Describe a difficult time in your life.  How did you overcome it.
Moving to Blacksburg.  I seriously cried everyday for at least the first 6 months.  I couldn't believe how small and isolated it was and I was really homesick.  I got over it by putting on my big girl panties and getting over it.  :)  Although it may not be my first choice of a place to live, we have a great life here.  I love my part time job (see #3), we have a nice house, access to amazing outdoor activities, and we have met some great people.  Life is good.

6. If you could have dinner with someone, dead or alive, who would it be?
My deceased grandparents.  I would love to see them again.

7. Are you a dog or cat person?
Dogs.  They are so much more loyal and loving than cats.

My sweet and handsome firstborn. 

8. Have you or would you ever go skydiving?
Hmmm...don't know.  I have always thought that I would enjoy it, but I have a feeling that I would wimp out once it got to the point of actually jumping out of a plane.  Think about it: jumping out of a plane?!

9. What is your love language?
I am the one who buys nice gifts and does nice things for people.

10. Describe your personal style.
 Busy mom combined with boring 30-some woman.  Haha!  It is either yoga pants and a tank top or jeans, a solid colored shirt (maybe stripes if I am feeling saucy), and flip flops.  Uggs in the winter.  I am so boring.

Exhibiting a little more style than usual
while on an adults-only vacation to Napa in August.

11. If you could be any superhero, who would it be?
I am totally lame and know nothing about superheroes.  Maybe Catwoman.  Halle Berry played her, right?  So that means she is hot.

12. If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be?
When I was younger, I would have said something exotic like Hawaii, but now that I am old and practical, I would say Charlotte, NC or Charlottesville, Va.  In addition to apparently being obsessed with all things "Charlotte" they are two places that we have visited that have everything that we could want or need, while still being relatively close to family and friends.

13. What is your favorite television show?
Homeland.  If you have not seen it, you are seriously missing out.  Amazing.  I pretty much love anything that HBO and Showtime put out though.

14. What is your favorite thing to 'pin' on Pinterest?
Currently, Sesame Street birthday party ideas.  I told you, I am lame.

15. Do you believe in love at first sight?
No.  Lust, passion, and all of that other stuff, but love takes time.  And patience.  Lots of patience.

16. Favorite Fall Flavor: Apple or Pumpkin.
Man, that is a close call.  I would say pumpkin, but I also love apple.  I love everything fall.

Someone else loves pumpkin!

17. Which one of your teachers had the most impact on your life?
My 8th grade English teacher.  He was the one who really solidified my love of writing.  He also pushed me to overcome my shyness, especially in terms of public speaking.

18. When you were a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
I had quite a few phases.  For awhile I wanted to be a hairdresser, then it changed into wanting to be a realtor.  For most of my childhood though, I wanted to be a teacher, which is what I "grew up" to be.

19. How much time do you spend each day working on your blog?
Too much.  Probably a few hours.  It has taken the place of a lot of online shopping though, so it has been a good financial move for me.

20. Do you play any sports? 
I grew up playing tennis, but don't have time for that these days.  I jog, but it is solely to stay in shape.  There is little enjoyment in it.

21. What is the one thing that has surprised you the most about being a parent?
I would have to say the range and depth of emotions.  Everyone tells you that you just cannot believe how much you will love your child, and that is true, but there are so many more emotions that you just aren't prepared for.  Some are good, like the absolute joy and pride you feel towards your child, but some are scary, like how much you worry.  Along with the deep loves also comes deep frustration.  I have faced some of the most difficult times since becoming a mother, but it is amazing how quickly you forget the frustration.  Is it a crazy ride.

This sweet, sweet faces brings me so much joy.  

Friday, October 18, 2013

Holiday Shopping: The best part of air travel

I'm not going to lie, last night, when I found this post that I had written back in early August, I was thrilled!  Not only is it informative, but it is timely, as I know that people are just now beginning their holiday shopping.  Enjoy!

Flying is not what it used to be.  When my Grandma was alive, she would always dress up to fly because when flying first became available, it was an experience.  A good one.  She never lost that image of flying, which is fortunate because the reality is much less rose colored.  I actually have pre-9/11 memories of when flying was somewhat luxurious.  I remember taking several cross country flights in college where they fed you breakfast.  A good one.  With fresh food.  For free.  Now, you practically have to beg them to get the .0015 oz bag of stale pretzels.

Overall, flying just sucks these days.  It is expensive.  There is no leg room.  They don't feed you.  You can't bring liquids over 3oz on board.  You live in fear that you bag is going to be a 1/2 oz overweight, in which case, they will charge you $100 extra (no joke).  The security lines are long and you practically have toy get naked to go through them (okay, I stand corrected, I guess it isn't all bad).

Luckily though, there is one thing that still redeems the airline experience and reminds me of the days of old: SkyMall Magazine.

For those of you who aren't familiar with SkyMall Magazine, I can only liken it to sunshine and children's laughter.  If you don't like those things, good luck going through life without a soul.  **Thank you Ashley (you know who you are) for introducing. me to that awesome phrase that I have now stolen.  It is awesome and you are awesome.**

As a sit here, on this cross country flight that has no food service or Internet access, I have decided to share with you some of the joys of SkyMall.  

SPOILER ALERT: If you are on my Christmas gift list, you may not want to read on, as one all of these things may end up under your tree this year.  

1. Litter Kwitter 3 Step Cat Toilet Training System: potty train your cat faster than most people can potty train their kids.  In case you cannot visualize this innovative contraption, SkyMall kindly provides a picture of a cat sitting on the toilet (see below).  I know it is easy for me to judge, as I, myself, don't' have any feline companions, but if you do have a furry little friend and do not have this toilet, you have no business owning a cat.  It is like having a child without having a car seat.  If there was a Social Services department for feline neglect and abuse, I would be calling right now.  

2. Singing Toothbrush: singing toothbrushes make brushing fun!  I know all of the parents out there are thinking, "wow!  That is a great idea to get my kid to brush his teeth."  Bad news though; this product is for adults.  Actually, forget I said that, kids usually get all of the fun.  I refuse to feel guilty about the fact that this singing toothbrush is for adults only.  A side bonus to this: one of the models sings only Justin Bieber songs, so it is the perfect go-to gift for the Bieber fan who has it all.  Double bonus: you can save $2.00 if you buy 2.  Stocking stuffers, yeah?

3. "The Peeing Boy of Brussels" Statue and Fountain.  The title pretty much says it all.  It is a replica of a Brussels statue that features a toddler peeing.  For an extra $100, you can get a recirculating pump so that he is actually peeing and not just holding himself like he is.  If you get a good plumber, I would bet that you can actually hook the pump up to the sewer so that he really is peeing.  Let me just be clear in case NSA is tracking this blog and thinks that this item is a bit suspect: I do not own this fine piece of decor.  Yet.

Much to my dismay, I couldn't get the picture of this one.  If you are interested in purchasing this fine item though (and, let's be honest here, you are), you can view it here: This statue is peeing.

4. Food Pillows.  For those of you us who get stressed at the idea that bedtime means a whole 8 hours without eating, fear no more!  Food pillows are here.  When you wake up at 3:00am with a hankerin' for an ice cream sandwich, or better yet, a piece of sushi, you can just stick your tongue out and lick your pillow.  Or, if your spouse is "in the mood" and you just aren't feeling it, you can throw him a pillow and be like "here, hon, eat a cupcake instead."  Freakin' brilliant.  

Now that I have pretty much done your holiday shopping for you (you're welcome), please do me a favor and send me me the pictures of the excited looks on the faces of your friends and families (and cats) when they see these amazing gifts.  

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

It's Okay: Week #2

It's okay...that I sometimes hit start on the dryer for a second third time because I am too lazy to take the clothes out and fold them.  I will be the first in line when they come out with a dryer that folds the clothes for you.

It's okay...that my bi-weekly paycheck from my (part-time) job isn't even enough to pay the car payment.  If I am honest, I mostly work for the socialization that it provides for myself and my Moose.  The money is obviously a nice side bonus, although, clearly, is not used for things like car and mortgage payments.

It's okay...that 90% of the songs on my iPod are from more than 15 - 20 years ago.  Let's face it, the music of today is nothing to brag about.  That and I'm old.

What?!  The doors aren't cool anymore?!  Next thing I know, you will 
be trying to convince me that Bruce Springsteen is no longer popular.  Ha!

It's okay...that we currently have 6 brand new Halloween costumes in our house.  5 of them were purchases made before I decided to let go (Letting Go: Halloween Costume).

It's okay...along those same lines, that we got 4 boxes from UPS today.  I never claimed to not have an online shopping addiction.

It's okay...that everytime that my mom visits, we run out of hangers in our closet because it is the only time that all of the laundry is clean, ironed, and hung up.  It is a nice problem to have.

It's okay...that although Moose's current age is my favorite one yet, I still sometimes miss her being a baby.  I look at these pictures from a year ago and it makes me sad that the time has gone by so quickly.

Nugget On A Budget

Monday, October 14, 2013

Trip to the Pumpkin Patch

This weekend we took our second trip (my 4th) to the Pumpkin Patch.  Moose was unsure the first time that we went a few weeks ago, but was so excited this time.  She spent the entire 25 minute ride to the pumpkin patch talking about tractors and pumpkins.

We have tons of great pictures from the two days, but sometimes less is more, so here are my absolute favorites.  Honestly, they are such good ones that they are now amongst my favorites of all time.

Hope they bring you a smile on this Monday morning.

Have you ever seen anything sweeter?  Seriously.  She was just so happy to get her pumpkin.

So, so sweet.  I love that she is the only person visible in the field.  And the outfit is perfect!  She certainly isn't lacking in the clothing department. 

Riding behind the tractor with her YiaYia and PaPou (my parents).  The look on her face in this one might be one of the funniest things I have ever seen.  I can't stop looking at it.  How do you even sum it up?  A mix of satisfaction and I don't even know what else?  And the arms on her pumpkin and gourd? This one is priceless.

Friday, October 11, 2013

The 1st Ultrasound.

Josh and I were in Orlando when I found out that I was pregnant.  I was tagging along with him on a business trip (because why wouldn't I take a free trip to Orlando?!), so we were together in a hotel room when we found out.  We had been trying, so we were super excited and I called my doctor immediately to set up the first appointment.

Fast forward 3 weeks to Josh and I walking through into the doctor's office for the 1st ultrasound.  It was like an ad from a magazine: the two of us, hand in hand, me glowing with the miracle of life, staring into each other's eyes, wordlessly sharing future dreams for our little baby.  We were giggling like schoolgirls, envisioning my not-yet-showing tummy glistening with the ultrasound gel that would provide us the first glimpse of our baby-to-be.  It was magical.

Okay, okay, I call bullshit on myself.  Aaaand I just barfed in my mouth a little with the image.  It was actually nothing like that.  I am pretty sure that neither of us spoke a word because it was too early in the morning and I wasn't drinking coffee at that point, but, nonetheless, we were SUPER excited (and I was still kind of cute).

About two weeks after the first ultrasound.

So, they called my name and we started to walk back with the ultrasound tech when the bomb was dropped: "So, did they tell you that this is a transvaginal ultrasound?"

Me: "Excuse me?"

Tech: "Did the receptionist who scheduled this tell you that this ultrasound is transvaginal?"

Me: "Ummm.  No."

Tech: "Ugh.  Even though I tell them to, they never tell people on the phone.  Do you know what a transvaginal ultrasound is?"

Me: "No, but I am pretty sure that I can figure it out." And, to myself, please stop saying the word transvaginal.

So, in to the room we went where I stripped down and was penetrated.  Kidding.

Oh wait.  No, I'm not.

It's not quite as vulgar as I just made it sound, and maybe it would have been better had I have been prepared, but I wasn't, so it was quite a shock.

Instead of the beautiful image of the gel on my belly and Josh holding my hand, it was Josh looking like he wanted the floor to open up while the ultrasound tech put a condom on the transvaginal ultrasound dildo.  Yes, they use a condom.  My doctor's office doesn't just preach safe sex; they practice it.

Maybe this is something that most people know about and I was just totally naive, but I felt compelled to write this post so that all women will be prepared.  Well, as much as you can be prepared to lay spread eagle on a table while a woman sticks a dildo up your who-ha and points out your ovaries while your husband sits uncomfortably next to you, silently coming up with excuses of why he will have to miss your next two ultrasounds.

In fact, I would almost go as far as to say that it was my most awkward ultrasound moment, but then I remembered that at the 18 week ultrasound, Josh asked the technician if you could tell the race of the child on the ultrasound because we were unsure.


Oh wait.  No, I'm not.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Letting Go: Halloween Costume

While I am very laid back about most parenting things, one thing that I am not laid back about is Moose's appearance.  I feel like the way that she looks is a direct reflection on me.  She is a toddler, so obviously I don't buy her expensive clothes for everyday use, but she always looks impeccably dressed when we go out in public.  Her clothes are clean and ironed, they match perfectly, and she always has a bow.

This obsession feeling of mine also translates over to Halloween costumes.  Growing up, my husband and I both always had homemade Halloween costumes, so we looked fabulous every year.  Because I have the craftiness of a brick wall, I am the person who pays whose parents pay for Moose to have adorable costumes.  This was her last Halloween.

Tell me this isn't the cutest thing you have ever seen?!

This year, we got the same catalogue in the mail and she and I sat down to look at it.  She immediately chose an owl, which I was fine with because the costume looked adorable.  We ordered it and it came in the mail yesterday.

As soon as she saw it, she freaked out.  No matter what my husband and I did to ease her into it, she was terrified.  She didn't settle down until the costume was safely back in the box.  Obviously I am not going to traumatize my toddler over a costume, so we sent it back and I decided that she could be a princess, VT cheerleader, or something else that closely resembles "normal" clothes.

My husband suggested that we go to the Halloween store to see if we could find something she was not afraid of.  If not, she could be one of the above mentioned ideas.  I agreed, so off we went.

As a side note, those Halloween stores are so creepy, and not because of the stuff they sell.  They are like the retail version of carnivals.  They are dirty, kind of scary,  and the people who work there are definitely "carnies."  Totally creepy.

Back to my point though, as soon as we walked into the toddler section, it was as if the heavens shined down on her because there it was, right in front of her: a Cookie Monster costume.  She LOVES Cookie Monster.

As soon as we tried it on her, she was in love.  She was beaming from ear to ear and kept saying, "Cookie Monster."  You would have thought the kid hit the lottery (if the lottery rewarded cookies and Elmo stuffed animals).

She was elated, Josh was thrilled, and I was devastated.  Seriously devastated.  All that I could think was. "My kid is going to be the kid in her class with the cheap-ass stupid Cookie Monster costume.  Noo!"

We bought it anyway, with the knowledge that it can be returned until October 18th.  As we drove to dinner, Moose was clutching her costume, filled with joy, I was reeling in the fact that my kid was going to have the worst costume, and Josh was making me feel like shit for trying to take away her joy.

Clutching her Cookie Monster costume in the car.

After she went to bed, I spent hours scouring the Internet for nicer Cookie Monster or Elmo costumes and came up empty.  I found some adorable tutu dresses, but they are all sleeveless, which is a no-go here at the end of October.  To say I was stressed is putting it mildly.  My OCD was in high gear as I pictured her marching in her Halloween parade with her cheap, shedding, Cookie Monster costume.  At 1:00am, I finally decided to sleep on it.

With 7 hours of sleep under my belt, I was able to wake up with new perspective and realize that I needed to let go.  The costume makes her happy and that is what Halloween is about.  Plus, when I saw her in it this morning (we tried it on again), she really did look cute.

Look at the joy on her face.  She is SO 
excited to be dressed at Cookie Monster!

Would I prefer that she wore something else?  Absolutely.  Is it the end of the world?  Absolutely not.  Is it worth taking away the pure joy that spreads across her face when she sees the Cookie Monster costume?  Not in a million years.

So, there it is...I am letting go.  And, let's face it, she does make the cutest Cookie Monster I have ever seen.  :)

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Your child will eat shrimp in a car.

Okay, I know that most of you are wondering, "what the hell is she talking about?"  And, to be fair, most of your children probably have NOT eaten shrimp in a car because you either A) don't have kids or B) your kids are too civilized to eat crustaceans in a vehicle.

I, however, do have a child and therefore have significantly lowered my standards of civility.  It happens.

And it will happen to you.  That is what this post is about.  Shit that will happen to you that you NEVER thought was possible.  Like having your child eat shrimp in the car.  People always talk about the things that you say that you never thought you would say, but the situations that you find yourself in...THOSE are seldom discussed.

Once you read on, you will figure out why.  So, here they are, folks, my universal truths of parenting:

1. Your kid will eat shrimp in a car.  Why?  Because they refused to eat it at the restaurant because they were too busy dipping the lemon that came with the shrimp into the ketchup that came with your fries.  Yes, you read that correctly: your child spent the entire dinner dipping the lemon into the ketchup and was therefore unable to focus on the shrimp until everyone got into the car and and she realized that she was going to die on the spot without eating shrimp.

True story.

Sassy face immediately prior to declaring war on shrimp.

2. You will find yourself sitting on a toilet one day everyday, with the door wide open, holding a stuffed Elmo and a stuffed owl on your lap while your toddler stands in front of you, touching your knees, asking you to sing "EIO."  And you oblige.  Because, really, at that point, is there any shame left?

And, yes, that really happened.  I know that some of you have just gauged your eyes out due to that visual image, but hopefully some of you are like, "yup.  Been there.  This morning."

3.  You will stick your face in poop.  What the hell, Becky, you freak?!  No, I am serious.  This shit (pun intended) happens.  When I went to get Moosey out of her crib the other day, the first thing that she said to me was, "I pooped."  Naturally, I picked her up and stuck her butt to my face to check if she really had pooped.  She had.  What I did NOT know at the time, however, was that not only had she pooped, but it was diarrhea and it had leaked through her diaper and pajamas.  And I stuck my face in it.  It was a great way to start the day.

4.  You won't really care.  Again, shit happens.  See: Body Fluid Indifference.

5. You will let your kids eat cookies for breakfast because you are trying to talk on the phone and pack lunches and don't want to pick that battle.  Plus, the cookies have pumpkin, which is technically a fruit, so it is practically as good as eating blueberries for breakfast.  And blueberries are almost as good as tomatoes.  Or kale.  So, really, I digress on this one.  I was doing Moose a healthy favor.

Nutella: the breakfast of a champion.  To be fair, this was snack, but I am a firm believer
that Nutella and bananas make a great breakfast and no one can convince me otherwise!

I could go on and on, but since my goal, believe it or not, is NOT population control, I am going to stop.  Don't want to scare people off from having kids!  Just want to make sure you are prepared for what will become of your life.

For those of you who already do though, please share the crazy things that are now a part of your normal life!

Thursday, October 3, 2013

My jealousy rant: People whose parents live close by

Let me just start out by saying that I realize that jealousy is a pointless and petty emotion.  I realize that not only is it selfish and unbecoming, but that it is counterproductive.  I am a smart girl.  I realize all of those things.  I also don't give a shit.  I am jealous.

I am jealous of people whose whose parents live close by.  Not just a little jealous, but like seethingly and irrationally jealous.

Here is why.  If you have children and your parents live close by, you have NO IDEA how hard it is to survive on your own.  Seriously, you might think you do, but you really don't.

You don't know what it is like to have to pay for a babysitter just so that you can go out to dinner.  You have no idea what it is like to only get a few hours every few months to spend as a couple.  Because, let's face it, at $10 per hour for one kid, we aren't going out every other week.

Even then, when you do go out, you can only enjoy yourself so much you don't have the luxury of having your children spend the night at Grandma and Grandpa's so that you can sleep in.  Ha!  Can you people with parents far away imagine?!  That would be amazing!  A-freakin'-amazing!

If you have parents close by, you don't know what it is like to have your kid get sick and you have no one to turn to.  You and your husband have to figure out whose work is less important that day so you know who stays home.  You also have to decide who is not going to sleep because you have a sick baby.

And I have a flexible, part-time job, so this is nothing for me compared to what most people go through.  How would you like it if all of your vacation time was eaten up by staying home with a sick child?  And by sick child, I mean a child who is running around playing, but has an unexplained fever and has to be out of school for two days.

Worse yet, when you don't have parents close by, you don't know what it is like to get sick yourself.  Holy shit.  It is awful because you have no one to call.  Your husband has to go to work and you are stuck home, feeling like the walking dead and having to take care of a rambunctious toddler.

If you have parents close by, you just don't know what it is like to not have a break.  Because you have no one to turn to.

If you have parents close by, you don't know what it is like to feel too guilty to go to the gym.  If my parents lived here, I wouldn't feel guilty about taking more time away from the Moose because she would be spending time with her grandparents.  I would have them pick her up from school and I would go to the gym.  Oh my God..just the thought is like hitting the freakin' lottery.

If you don't have family close by, you can totally relate to this.

If you do though, you just don't get it.  You have no idea.  And it is not your fault.  I would be the same damn way if we hadn't have moved away from our family.  I recognize this.

And the thing is, we are lucky.  My parents are retired, so they come visit us every 4 - 6 weeks and stay for at least a week, so we have it better than most people.  When they are here, they wake up with the Moose and watch her so that we can go out.  Because they get it.  They also didn't live close to their parents when my brother and I were growing up.

My father-in-law is also retired and he comes down for a week at a time to help us when we need it.  In fact, he and my mom each came for 2 weeks when I went back to work so that Moose could have another month at home.

Moose spent the entire month of August vacationing 
at the beach with my parents.  Tough life.

Here is the thing though, it just isn't the same.  Being able to go out every night for a week isn't the same as being able to go out once a week.  It isn't the same as having your child spend the night at a house that isn't your own.

I know, beggars can't be choosers, but I warned you at the beginning that jealousy is pointless and irrational.  So, instead of being grateful that I have it better than most people, I am going to take 10 minutes to just feel bad for myself and all of my friends who are in the same boat.

So, my friends, if you are lucky enough to live close to your parents, give them a huge thank you today.  Call them, not just so that they can help out, but to tell them how grateful you are to not have to do this parenting thing alone.

Phew!  I feel so much better getting that out there, but now my pity part is over.  Gotta clean the house because my parents are coming on Monday!  :)

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

It's Okay...

It's okay...that I rarely sometimes often wear my jeans one time extra before washing because I don't want them to fit tight again.  Having loose jeans, even if it is because they are slightly dirty, is good for my self-esteem!

This would not be possible in clean jeans.

It's okay...that I sometimes, on really tough days, watch the clock and count the minutes until Moose's bed time.

It's okay...that, on the other hand, seeing Moose when she first wakes up is the absolute highlight of my day.

It's okay...that I ate ice cream almost every day this week.  I blame it on those damn monthly hormones.  On the upside, Kroger stopped carrying my favorite ice cream, which means that my consumption is going to go way down.

It's okay...that I made pumpkin chocolate chip cookies today and ate at least 1/2 cup of batter, plus a cookie (and it is only 2:00 as I type this).  Actually, this one is not really okay, but it is over, so there is nothing that I can do about it now!

They are gluten free.  Does that count for anything?!

It's okay...that the only reason that I exercise is so that I can do things like eat a 1/2 cup of cookie batter.  If I ever want to get serious about losing weight, I will have to actually exercise and eat well.  Blah.

It's okay...that I pretended to be appalled when I saw the Christmas stuff out in Target, but I was secretly happy.  While I am not ready for Christmas quite yet (the season starts for me on November 1st), it still put a smile on my face.

Please share what is okay with you this week!

Nugget On A Budget