Thursday, December 20, 2007

Holy Peanut Butter Kisses!!!

OK, so the BIG DAY is only 5 days away and there is not one single solitary cookie in this house. This afternoon, I will venture out to get some flour so we can bake a batch of damn Christmas cookies.

I also still have one gift to buy. Damn again.

And I'm shredded. Because like a dumb-ass I was up until 4:30 this morning on my living room floor with a journal. Will it become a novel? It better become a fucking novel!

Anyway, peace to all this Thursday afternoon. I need to hit the trail (or the bottle perhaps)...

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Manic Monday

Yeah, I'm a day behind. BITE ME. Uh, I mean, happy holidays.

I'm usually done with my Christmas shopping by this time of year. Now I know the joy of all the last-minute bullshit that people put up with. Dear God, why would anyone intentionally wait till the last minute??? This whole thing kind of snuck up on me this year. I looked at the calendar yesterday and was all, "Holy SHIT! Christmas is only a week away?" And I'm still on the quest for the "WOW" gift for hubs. It's usually basketball tickets, but due to budget constraints this year, I've been rethinking that one. Worst case scenario is that I can cave at the last minute and go pick some up downtown. We'll see.

Speaking of not having enough time (?), yesterday I also lost 20 minutes of my life - AT FUCKING KOHL'S. I went in to buy Diva a new pair of sneaks (they've got the best deal on toddler Nikes, and she needs them for her skinny feet) and when I got to the checkout, there were three (1-2-3) people in front of me, none with particularily large purchases. And it took 20 minutes for me to get out the damn door. Generally, I'm the world's most patient person, but this was RE-TARD-ED. When in doubt, team up and have a comedy jam session! I don't know that I've ever had as good a stand-up set as I did yesterday in line with the customers behind me. I offered up that I think stores should bring back carolers and snacks for people waiting in line. And then, the cashier asked the woman in front of me who was paying for her items if she wanted a gift receipt. And on cue, me and everyone behind me sang a chorus of "NO! Dear GOD, NO!" It was actually pretty funny. Well, I guess you had to be there...

Then, I was completely parched and needed a beverage. As luck would have it, there is a brand new SBUX drive-thru across the street. Like manna from HEAVEN! As I went through the DT, I believe I proposed to the barista. I don't know that I've ever been that happy to see my iced chai latte come out of the damn DT window. I called bananafana during my manic fit of tea-ness, and I think that now she may be rethinking our friendship. TOO BAD, SISTA! YOUR ASS IS STUCK WITH ME!

On the running front, well, the sidewalks are still a bit icy from the 6 inches of snow we got over the weekend. The good news? The highs today and tomorrow will be in the 40s, and we're not getting any major precip until later in the week. So I'll be back on track shortly. Thank GOD!

On the writing submission front, got a rejection yesterday. But at least it was a nice one. So I'll edit and send it somewhere else. Several folks have asked if it bothers me when I get one. I'd have to say that it really hasn't. It's annoying at worst. I can't be angry with editors if they don't think I'm a good fit. Someone out there somewhere wants what I have; I just need to find them. And most publications will start taking submissions again in January, so I'm getting ready for that. Thanks to everyone for cheering me on. If, however, I haven't gotten any acceptances by next fall, please punch me in the face, burn the flash drive, and tell me to get my head out of my ass. Thank you in advance.

For anyone who would like, I've posted an excerpt of the family Christmas letter at my other blog. Take a gander if you like.

Happy Tuesday to all!!!

Friday, December 14, 2007

Giving to Everyone Who's Ever Done Anything For You

On the heels of bananafana and tessie, I've looked up all the guidelines for the 80 bajillion service people in my life. I don't have to worry about the daycare thing, but for your amusement, here are the guidelines per Emily Post:

Every situation is different, so let common sense, specific circumstances, and holiday spirit be your guides. The tip amounts in this chart are merely guidelines. What to give is always an individual decision.
Au pair
A gift from your family (or one-week’s pay), plus a small gift from your child

Babysitter, regular
One evening’s pay, plus a small gift from your child

Cost of one haircut or a gift

Beauty salon staff
The cost of one salon visit, split among the staff

Child’s teacher
Check your school’s policy first, as gift giving may be prohibited. If allowed, then give a gift that is a token of appreciation from your child, not cash. Possibilities: a homemade gift made by your child, a book or a picture frame. Or, consider participating in a joint gift from the class as a whole. Possibilities: a gift certificate to a restaurant or bookstore.

Day care providers
$25 to $70 each, plus a small gift from your child for the providers who give direct care to your child(ren)

Dog walker
One week’s pay or a gift
Fitness trainer, personal
Up to the cost of one session

Garage attendants
$10 to $30 each

Home health employees
A gift, but check with the agency first, as most agencies have a no gifts or no tips policy. If this is the case, consider giving a donation to the agency.

Up to one week’s pay or a gift

Letter carriers
U.S. government regulations permit carriers to accept gifts worth up to $20 per occasion, not cash

Live-in help (Nanny, Housekeeper, Cook, Butler)
One week’s to one month’s salary based on tenure and customs in your area, plus a personal gift

Massage therapist
Up to one session’s fee or a gift

Newspaper deliverer
$10 to $30

Nurse, private
A gift, not cash

Nursing home employees
A gift, not cash, but check the company policy first. Consider giving a gift that could be enjoyed by or shared among the floor staff: flowers, chocolates or food items.

Package deliverer
A small gift if you receive deliveries regularly; most delivery companies discourage or prohibit cash gifts

Personal caregiver
Up to one week’s salary or a small gift

Pet Groomer
If the same person grooms your pet all year, up to one session’s fee or a gift

Pool cleaner
Cost of one cleaning, to be split among crew

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

All I Want For Christmas

Dear Santa,

Well, there are less than 2 weeks until your big holiday. I hope that I'm not too late to get on your dance card for the evening. If I am, then I suppose I'll have to wait for presents until next year. If, however, I get this to you before your route has been determined (damned logistics companies do everything so early these days), there are a few things I'd like to suggest.

First, I must say that I think I've been pretty good this year. My toddler has managed to survive another year in my care, and I've not been convicted of anything that would lead to a stay in the nice correctional facility downtown. As for my mental state, well, I can only say that I'm coherent and have found ways to parlay any stress. I've gotten through another year of stay-at-home motherhood. So I'm all good then, right? Cool.

Secondly, I'd like you to know that this is merely a list of suggestions. If kids these days understood how to write Christmas lists in this way, we might see less school violence and more kids sharing. But the damned little brats have to get everything. Anyway, I digress. Here are my suggestions:

1) A shower enclosure/wall tile to take the place of the crap caulk job currently in place;

2) An all-inclusive trip to an unknown island for ME ME ME (and perhaps a fishbowl companion);

3) The antidote for toddler whining (I'm sure you can relate with the elves and all);

4) Sanity, or some semblance thereof;

5) Just one editor to say "We'd LOVE to publish that. It's AWESOME!";

6) OK, maybe 2 editors;

7) Toys for Diva that will neither be recalled nor come from China (let's just avoid it from the get-go);

8) A spank bank for hubs (thank you, Kristen and respective firefighters);

9) A spot in the next Fiddy video (random white ho on the Benz);

10) A get-out-of-jail-free card for my dirty mouth on this blog;

and if your damned corporate sponsors haven't completely repealed your budget, please send

11) THIS. Hey, I can dream, right?

Lastly, please tell Mrs. Claus that I think she's one hell of a woman putting up with your bullshit. What kind of husband works only one day a year? And putting the needs of the entire world first? Damn, Santa, you'd better be one HELL of a lover, because I can tell you that shit would bother me like all get out.

Anyway, please bring all my blogger peeps whatever they want for Christmas. They deserve it.

Much Love and Merry Christmas!

Friday, December 7, 2007

Christmas Portrait Day

I will never EVER be one of those parents who can go in to a portrait studio, choose one pose, and pay $10 for the whole caboodle. Why? Because to me, photography is about unadulterated memories. Glimpses of my baby girl. Moments of her life I will never see after this age. So, I spent too much cash flow today, but here is why (a sample).

Thursday, December 6, 2007


Normally I get all snarky and sarcastic, but not today, my friends. There are many of us out here in bloggerland that deal with the whole post-baby mind/body/spirit shakedown. It's a tough thing, probably one of the hardest places we've found ourselves yet. I don't know that I've ever been less sure of myself and more confused at times than I have the last couple of years. I think many of you can relate, and I just want to say you're not alone. And I also want to tell you that you can get out of it. I'm not sure how this will come about for you individually, but I can tell you what has happened to me.

Just over three months ago, I was at the one of the lowest points in my self-confidence spectrum. I felt down in a way I couldn't describe to you even if I had all of the right words. One day, I decided to take a walk to get out of the house and clear my head - no baby, no hubs, just me. And what I discovered that day is absolutely amazing. I discovered that I am a great mom with a strong body and a deep soul. All that just from thinking on a walk. And when I returned home, I felt like a new person. That day may have set me up for a kind of change I would have never imagined.

I just came back inside from my near-daily run/walk, and an amazing thing happened to me today. I was nearing the last half-mile and a decent downpour of sleet, rain, and snow began. It was 32 degrees and I was layered up and now about to be soaking wet. But I didn't quit running and take a short cut home.

I threw my hands in the air, began laughing, and kept running. This is my moment - I have arrived.

Over three months ago I would have never even ventured outside because of the damn weather. How the hell did someone like me end up running in the FUCKING FREEZING WINTRY MIX?

I made a decision three months ago to do what feels good, and nothing more. That means on days when I don't want to run, I don't; I only go out and walk. The magic of that sentiment is that I don't feel pressure anymore, like I'm competing to better myself every damn day and then disappointing myself when it doesn't happen. That is the exact kind of thinking that stops me every time. "Why bother trying so hard when it doesn't work?" Fuck that. When I just do something, I feel a little better every day. And when I feel good I want to do more. And more. And more. And more. And because I only have done what feels good...

In the last three months I've lost 18 pounds, nearly 2 dress sizes, 4 inches in my waist, and 5 inches in my hips. I interval train (alternating running and walking) on the days when I feel good. My running interval has gone from 20 seconds to 4.5 minutes. I've thought about new things and learned new things about myself during my sessions. I feel like a human being again. And a damn strong, sexy, and confident one at that.

Remember, none of this really was ever about weight loss. It was just about taking care of me, having some alone time. I've listened for years to people tell their awesome stories about how they beat this or that health thing. I'd try to copy their successes and miserably fail. Why? Because each of us has our own unique way we relate to the universe. In turn, we have our own unique way of relating to ourselves. You are the only one that can figure out how it will work for you. But you will never learn if you don't find out what feels good and just try it. And when you truly find it, you will want to do more of it. And more. And more. And more.

I don't believe I will ever be a marathon runner or anything like that. I'm still all about me. I don't want stopwatches or medals or anything. I do it just because it feels good to get all primal with myself. But who knows? As I've learned over the last three months, anything is possible...

I wish you all of the best in finding that "thing" that helps you relate to your soul. May it be an eternal gift to you.

Much love to my internet family!!!

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Tag, I'm It: 7 Random Things About Me

So, bananafana tagged me for this post, so here are my 7 random things about, well, ME. Hope you'll still respect me (if you do) when it's over!

1) My number one fear is electrical fire. To add to my delirium, my house was built during the short usage period of aluminum wiring during the 1960's. Which is fine if handled properly, but mine needed some maintenance. So this past summer I didn't sleep at night for weeks until everything was fixed and up to code. But still, rewire a light fixture with a live box in anyone's house and I will be nowhere in sight.

2) I wrote my first "novel" at age 12. Isn't that insane? It was called "My Wildest Dreams" and of course involved a series of daydreams. I worked on it feverishly during free period in junior high. I'm toying with the idea of writing the same type of deal in my adult life. Of course, this one will, as I'm sure would would assume, entail some element of S-E-X. Scared yet???

3) I keep three journals - a personal, a daydream, and an inspirational. This is in addition to anything done on the computer for your reading pleasure. The daydream one is my favorite and I have completely personified HIM. Yes, I am insane. And he only gets the BLACK specially-picked pen, as opposed to the inspirational journal always in my purse which will accept any form of writing utensil.

4) My college roommate and I had contraband fish living in our dorm room. Apparently, they had opposite personalities despite the fact that the pet department guy told us they could co-habitate. SY's fish ate my fish's eyes, so my poor baby spent the rest of it's mundane life clinging to the side of the bowl.

5) Traditional Christmas carols and the Rockette's live nativity at the end of their holiday show make me bawl like a baby. I think it's because they bring back so many memories of my grandma, who is my biggest inspiration. I was named after her as well. She passed away while I was away at college in February of 1997. My last words to her before leaving to go back to school were, "I love you and I'll see you again soon." Still gets me going. Ditto for Sarah McLachlan.

6) I could have been a pop star. OK, maybe not a star, but I was selected and did a stint for an all-female pop group back in the early 90's complete with producer, studio time, etc etc. Weird shit, huh? It went south for me when my dad got wind of the schedule and the money situation. Oh - and Dad wasn't happy with the apparel selections, I might add. Britney, I was the original, BITCH! Oh, thank God I didn't go there...

7) My group of friends seems to lend itself to any sort of joke set-up. I have a whole range I wish I could finish. They go something like this:
a) So a minister, a flight attendant, and a law professor walked into a bar...
b) A doctor, an art teacher, and a speech pathologist are at this karaoke club...
c) A nurse, an attorney, and a carpenter go to lunch...
d) ok, there are too many to keep going
I have just about every field covered. Hmmmm. A future project???

Hope you've enjoyed this installment of bullshit. Have a great Thursday, BEOTCHES!

Where Little Diva Gets It From...

Courtesy of Season's Day Spa (Audra, girl, you ROCK), here is my current state of mind:

No, Perrier, you low-life! Evian is trailer-park water! And I said only GHIRARDELLI DARK CHOCOLATE! What's this Hershey's crap?! Get my agent on the phone! And where's my damn publicist?! Have your people call my people. No, I won't endorse that shit! Do you know who I am?!

Anyway, I'm gettin' all Hollywood on your ass. It's amazing what a massage and a great manicure will do to a girl. I've never been uber high-maintenace, but I'm thinking I could get used to such a lifestyle. Now, if we can just get the hair situation cleared up, I'll be ready for the big screen. OH, wait. I'm not an actor.

In an odd sign of things, I am awaiting replies from some publications. The nail color I chose for my manicure just happened to be called "My Big Break." Foreshadowing??? Just in case, I bought a bottle. We'll see...

Baby, It's Cold Outside

Well, everyone, just wanted to check in and say hi and that I have not been sent to a penitentiary or anything like that. It's been a busy couple of days around here, and I am about to lose my mind. So I'm doing what any somewhat-sane person would do - I'm headed to the day spa. Yes, ladies, I will be thinking of you all during my massage. Thank God I still had that gift certificate laying around. Oh how I pine for the days when I could pretty much go on a whim...

It's fucking cold out and now the biggest decision I have to make is what to wear to the spa. I'm thinking the yoga pants and a sweatshirt because I will pretty much be a big pile of do-nothing shit by about 2 PM. YAY!

Anyhow, I'll check in later!!!

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Christmas SMACKDOWN 2006: Back by Popular Demand

The proudest moment of my parental career has to be when we discovered Little Diva understood our message about how to handle strangers who give out candy.

Exhibit A:

Incidentally, this became our 2006 Christmas card that everyone STILL has hanging on the fridge.