Friday, September 30, 2011

Call Me Mellow Yellow

I love fall..and today was a bone chilling fall day. You can just feel the leaves changing and falling off of the trees. If I had a working fireplace, I may be apt to turn it on. The rain was cold and wet beating against my face as we took these shots. Josh and I got an impromptu date as the kids spent some time with my parents this evening. I had to quickly go from sweats to skinnies...only to shove my face with a veggie burrito (covered in cheese sauce)..so I could hurry up and get back into the sweats. I bought the "breezy" blouse from Old Navy this week...and I was pretty excited to have somewhere to wear it. I paired it with my first pair of skinny jeans that I bought a few years ago from Kohls. The marigold sweater was also a recent purchase from the Limited....I had given up looking for the perfect marigold sweater in the spring..then a couple weeks ago there it was! The highlight of this outfit was wearing the purple suede boots. I loved the way they contrasted with the sweater...and the fact that they were a garage sale find! I had to wear these bright fall colors..like a leaf that fell from a nearby tree.




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Cardigan: The Limited - Fall 2011
Shirt: Old Navy - Fall 2011
Necklace: The Limited - Summer 2011
Jeans: Kohls - circa 2007
Boots: vintage- garage sale

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Feelin Blue

Capture


Today was promising to be extra dreary and rainy. I choose this shirt mainly because it matched the sky...slightly blue..slightly gray. I wouldn't have chosen to pair it with this skirt...I just happened to see it hanging there when I grabbed the skirt. Maybe it was destiny or serendipity that pulled these two items together, but in my mind it was a match made in heaven. I threw on my black suit jacket and I was out the door. When I did this photo shoot (I think Josh is really starting to catch on to taking my outfit pictures nicely), I put our mum into this little garden we have in the back yard. For all you that can recall the years of our "pool" and the long winter's fight that persisted between Josh and I as we would stare at the pool covered in leaves, then mud then snow, then more mud...only to create a giant mass in the back yard. This garden is what grew over that mass when a bunch of bulbs are throw in. I love the way it comes up every year...a total surprise followed by "oh we planted that". I think the mum added some nice color to the still vibrant garden..and when I was carrying the pot over one of the flowers fell out..making for a great prop.

I especially love this outfit because I feel great wearing both this skirt as well as a button down. For all the other big chested girls out there...you know finding a great button down takes real work! Note to New York and Company: Bring back the plain Madison shirt in the 3/4 sleeve!!! I will buy every color. I love the Madison shirt..it is both fitted and stretchy. It doesn't do that weird button gap thing that most shirts do when you are above a C cup. I love the belt...It was my grandma's. I always feel connected to her when I wear it...I remember how close we were when I was a kid. Now that she dips in and out of reality, I take the good moments. There was a time when she saw me wearing the belt (and also carrying one of her old purses). She just looked at me and said "That is a nice belt." The skirt was what I bought to wear for the job I have now. Call it good luck, call it bad luck..who knows..I don't believe in luck. I do believe in confidence, and this skirt gives me confidence every time I wear it. I love getting dressed up on Thursdays. It is like saying "welcome" to the weekends. Since we wear jeans on Friday, skirt Thursday brings a flirty fun aspect to my work week. And I got tons of compliments on the outfit...great way to end the dressed up Thursday!



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Shirt: New York & Co- Fall 10
Skirt: The Limited - Fall 09 (40% off clearance in store now or 25% off clearance online!)
Belt: Vintage (my grandma's)
Necklace: Target - Fall 09
Shoes: Rocket Dog (via TJ Maxx) Fall 11
Watch: Gift

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Lady and The Tramp

Remember that scene from Lady and the Tramp when they were eating spaghetti..."This is the night...such a beautiful night..." being sung in the background. There was this minute as a kids where you knew how wonderful it was to live in a world where dogs get to fall madly in love under a blanket of stars. Maybe this was when you thought that rich beautiful  can fall in love with poor street dogs. Who am I kidding...I still love that movie. Disney has that effect on kids


For some reason, when Layla brought home her latest work of art, I thought of Lady and the Tramp. It actually looks more like 2 Ladies...but I just for a second as I took in the talent that I still can't beleive my nine year old has..I thought of how much I loved Lady and the Tramp.

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Tuesday, September 27, 2011

On Videogames

There are days when by principal I feel the need to tell the girls not to play video games. Most moms will agree they are not great for kids. Although i will argue that having an interactive game system like the Wii or Xbox Kinect are better than sitting around watching hours of iCarly or Spongebob. I have no room to talk since I stare at a computer screen all day followed by an evening with my laptop propped on my lap.



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Playing "Little Big Planet"



For the most part it seems to keep the kids entertained...at least when they are doing well. But, tonight something happened that made me wonder exactly what the kids see in the games they seem to love so much. I have often noticed that Olivia seems to get pretty stressed out when playing...she gets to a certain point and can't get any further. This seems to ensue panic followed by Layla coming to her "rescue". Sometimes she takes a humorous tone with the games she can't seem to master. She was playing "Little Big Planet".  If you are unfamiliar with this game, I am not the person to ask. To me it is like a sock puppet going through an acid trip....but the kids seem to love it. Olivia was stuck on the same board. She kept "dying" by falling off this conveyor train thing and her sock pupped would get electrocuted. This would happen over and over again..probably a good ten to twenty times. I braced myself for the tears and screaming that would soon follow. She was groaning a bit...but she seemed to be a bit giddy about it. Once again, Liv's sock guy jumps then gets  a jolt of electric. She turned her head slowly and said "Shocking!"

Tonight involved a Wii meltdown of epic proportions. I was doing some work in the kitchen. Josh was busy perfecting his game of Words with Friends. He was laying on the couch while Liv was sitting playing her game of Pet Cats on Wii. Josh and I both seemed to catch the same look on her face. She looked like she had smacked her head on a door or something. Her eyes were welling with tears and her hands seemed to be shaking...I could tell she was trying to compose herself the way only Olivia can (with much drama). Finally, she was able to get a few words out.
" I need help. I need Layla. I need to pass by the alligator but I can't."  (Layla was at her art class). Full tears are falling down her face like raindrops on a window. Then, out of no where, she went in to full shoulder shaking hysterics. " I want to play this game, but I don't want to die!"
Josh takes the controller from her to help her navigate her cat through some sort of water. "You MISSED it" She yelled at Josh. "There is a bird there" Her voice was strewn with terror "You are moving too far...I need Layla!!!" She yelled. Josh gave her a look and told her to never talk like that again. "What is the big deal, you need to calm down." I offered from the kitchen. " I didn't save it, I didn't save it!!" she stammered. " I don't know how...DADDY-don't get attacked!!" Josh and I looked at each other...the epic video game meltdown was way too much for us to comprehend. Liv was in full on hysterics. She could barely get out a full thought. "No..You need that...wait..go back there..wait..oh no..I cant tell which way to go..you went too far..."

Usually children cheer to do the things they love..like go swimming, eat ice cream, stay up late. I just can't understand why Olivia plays video games. She has turned it into complete stress for all involved..and tonight we just realized what poor Layla goes through when Liv plays video games.



Monday, September 26, 2011

ET

I was watching ET, and I often wonder if it is one of those movies that was better as a kid. Well, I should pause and say that I was completely terrified of it as a kid. It was the first movie that I ever saw and I still scream when ET (who looks like an upright dog sans cute floppy ears) jumps out of the woods. (children of the 80's can I get a hell yeah!!).  I guess as a kid I never really understood the kid/alien feeling connection that I have later come to understand.

The only thing I can think of as a Mom is....I would loose it if that was my kid. Elliot is in the bubble, and living the dream that pretty much every kid I knew lived, to be BFFs with an alien. As a Mom, I wouldn't be able to handle seeing my kids turning all chalky with their weird alien dog friend. I can picture them now in their ashy bubbles.."stay together". Aaah...kids and aliens living in harmony. crazy. I just have to say as a Mom it never ceases to amaze me what your kids can hide from you when they set their little minds to it. I guess once you have kids, you are unable to see the glory in the things kids find so heroic, like being one with an alien.




Feelin Rusty

Another weekend over. Another day back to work. Its hard to imagine I crammed so much creativity into two small days. Today (well yesterday, considering it is after 1 am...) we spent our day in what can only be described as heavenly weather, at a birthday party. In fact it was so warm this weekend that Olivia's wardrobe was at its minimum. The girls are really getting into this idea that bras are awesome (I keep saying that they are in for a rude awakening when the boobs get here). Layla is pretty modest and especially mature about hers. Olivia on the other hand wears it loud and proud like any other article of clothing she owns. This weekend involved much discussion about the point of bras and the reasons why Olivia needs an extra small. Layla explained to me why you need a sports bra. "when you run, they bounce" She said, as if I would have no clue about this phenomenon. "Well", I said, "They actually don't really bounce until you are at least at plum status". Layla giggled. (Note: this comes from my earlier story about the birds and the bees...If you haven't read it...check it out).This weekend more than every she found  me very entertaining. There was the ride home this morning where I explained to her what "prairie dogging" meant. " I remember studying prairie dogs in school.' Layla said. "The pop their heads out of the ground." I then with out missing a beat responded..."Yes, imagine that being a turd. It pops its head in and out of your butt"..(we don't really filter on weekends). Layla was in hysterics about this and when Josh "disappeared" from the party we were at to contemplate at home..Layla was quick to say he was "prairie dogging".

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Olivia's minimalist wardrobe was quite a contrast to my bright weekend style. I keep referring to her as a minimalist since I promised her anything dumb she does I will post right on my blog. It is an interesting punishment because I think the backlash is that she is pretty attention starved so she may feel this is a free for all to take her strong personality to all new levels. Yesterday, I was rounding up the girls to go to my sister's house. They had been playing outside while I was doing some work with our photography projects. I went outside to call for the second time (do any kids come running the first time you call them?) Layla was waiting for me and the garage. Liv came running up in her bra and jeans. "Where is your shirt?" I asked. She held it up from its spot being twisted up under her arm. "What? She responded to my dagger look. "It is hot out!"

Between all the bra shopping, prairie dogging and family time we had a great weekend. Josh and I took one step closer to our photography side project becoming a for profit project. We did a birthday party. I am realizing that taking pictures of children involves a comfortable but stylish weekend look. (shortie dresses not really recommended for all the bending over). I was careful to select jeggings instead of jeans because they are softer and more flexable. (and don't give you as much plumber crack as jeans). Today's style was perfect for a simple breezy child's birthday party in the park. I wore my gap jeggings, a flowy blouse and some gold strappy flats. My outfit pics are especially beautiful today for two reasons..(1) we took them in the park (2) we downloaded a trial version of Adobe Lightroom 3. The Adobe is a little out of my price range for editing software..but I want to try it then compare it to the regular Photoshop Elements. I am already in love with Lightroom...you can see why.


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Shirt: Target (fall 11)  $10
Pants: Gap   $35 (with Coupon)
Shoes: Target (summer 09) $5 (clearance)
Purse: Fossil (from Dillards) $25 (clearance)
Necklace/Earrings: Charlotte Ruse $15 (for both!)
Headband: Walgreens  $4


Total Cost: $94




**my sunglasses are perscripiton...they are my staple



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Friday, September 23, 2011

Its a nice day for a...Bright Wedding

I debuted the Magenta dress for my first wedding of the season. It fit right in with the wonderful colors I saw tonight at the wedding.  It was my cousin's wedding. I was pretty excited to see him get married...and we are always happy to have a new person in the family who can fit right in. On a day that could have been ruined by rain and grey clouds, we were saved by the color we wrapped our selves in. As you can imagine, I was pretty happy to wear the dress. I took this picture with my cousin Les and my sister Kim. I was pretty impressed with our great color dresses. My sister wore (a dress I frequently borrow) her Free People sunflower print dress. My cousin wore a zebra print dress (which I can't wait to borrow)with a cute subtly sparkly crochet black hat. also..note our great shoes!

Me, Les and Kim


I have to say the bride wore a shade of green that is not easy to pull off. It is that shade that is somewhere between a key lime and a chartreuse. Its funny, not may people can say they have been to not one but two weddings where the bride wore a shade of green dress, but I can say that I can...and both were beautiful. I know the wedding dress is supposed to be white, but I think anymore brides can do pretty much whatever they want. While the white wedding dress is traditional I think wearing a dress that is the bride's favorite color instead of what was decided centuries ago by men who were marrying virgins (who were like 12) and only lived to be thirty. So if I could do my wedding all over again, I would pick any color but white. Don't get me wrong, I love white...it looks great, clean and crisp. But I really have to work to pull off white while some women can effortlessly pull it together. In the last few years, I have really put forth effort to make white work for me. (sounds like a metaphor for marriage in general!!). I will say, I don't know too many people that gravitate to a white dress (its called LBD for a reason). If I had to do it again (besides loosing like 15 pounds of new baby weight before I got married) I would choose a purple dress. Isn't purple the color of royalty, which is what every bride wants to be on her day. But that is my choice...

I think the sun came out right in time to set...which is the perfect backdrop for a wedding in the park. Since I wanted to keep up with the vibrancy of the dress...I threw on the new Leopard print cardi I got with my 40% off one item Old Navy coupon this week.  I kept it simple after that with a large buckle ivory belt and a pair of beige heels. I had a necklace on, but since I had "help" getting ready (Liv and my two and a half year old niece, Sammie), I took it off to change..but forgot to change. (see what happens to style after kids!!!). Although I will have to say there is nothing more validating that having an almost three year old around. I felt like a princess every time I put something on. As I slipped on the dress..."Looks great Kris!". As I put on the earrings "Very pretty Kris, there are two". Every girl needs to look at her self the way she looks to a little girl. So I slipped into my princess apparel...I felt as bright as the dress. I topped the dress with the leopard cardi since it was so chilly out. (fall is here!). I have recently gotten into leopard print. Lately, my formal style has leaned toward the lines of the 1940s...feminine and crisp..and there is nothing more feminine and crisp than a classy leopard print.


Dress: Express (currently on sale for $50...and they are having a sale 20% off clearance!)
Cardi: Old Navy (purchased two days ago)
Shoes: Vince Camuto (bought at Dillards)
Earrings: Charlotte Russe
Belt: Thrift store


Thursday, September 22, 2011

Cowgirl

These earrings were a steal from Target ($3). They were the inspiration for my cowgirl inspired outfit today. (number crunching lasso holding...well now I am going too far).  I  needed a break from my usual conservative office style attire. (plus most of my work pants were in desperate need of a good wash). I threw on one of my favorite wardrobe staples, my navy BCBG shirt dress and my Rocket Dog riding boots to complete my western inspired look. There are just those days where I wake up and think I want to get a little creative with attire..and today was one of them

I found my tripod! What I really want to do is combine my writing love with my love of shopping and well all things fashion..and my amazing camera. In the last few weeks, I have taught myself a lot about photos and webpage updating...so this is only the beginning!


Capture


Dress: BCBG (Spring 09)
Boots: Rocket Dog (last winter)
Belt: Walmart
Earrings and Bracelet: Target

Capture

The Bare Essentials


Can kids watch this?
Is this a good movie for kids?
Olivia: Mom, how come babies are born with no clothes on? 

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Charlie Sheen

Like everyone else in the world, I have no clue what to think of Charlie Sheen. I watched the roast on Comedy Central the other day and I watched the season premier of Two and a Half Men...and I am still baffled. The roast was funny and awkward at the same time. Two and a Half Men had about two funny lines and that was it  (not that I was ever a fan of the show to begin with).

At this point you may be wondering why I even care or am bringing this up. Well, I will have to say that the whole "Charlie Sheen is winning" controversy has really sparked my interest. I cant help but wonder what the hell he is winning and what I am missing. Then I started to really wonder if i was winning.

We seem to measure every ting in terms of winning and loosing. What are we winning? What are we loosing? To take it back to the Sheen reality, the man essentially quit his job and told his boss to eff-off. Who out there wouldn't want to do that? It is the American dream. Does he do what every other person who won something does? (if you are wondering...that is go to Disneyland). Not at all...upon claiming his victory, he goes on a hooker and crack binge. Now who is the loser. Then he goes on a comedy tour and calls himself some warrior from Mars or something. Now who has lost it? But yet, you have to admire him for sticking himself out there and not caring at all what anyone else thought.

Getting back to the idea of winning. I wonder if in my life, I am winning. On the plus side I have a wonderful family, great friends, I am damn good looking (Shout out to Richelle!!!). But, I still am on my pursuit, I haven't told anyone to eff-off recently and I see another twenty years of college loans for two degrees I hardly use. (well i guess my Creative Writing degree is finally getting some use!). So really am I winning? Since this is more of a rhetorical question, I think I am going to keep this in the back of my mind. For now, I am on the pursuit of winning.




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today's inspirational picture

Monday, September 19, 2011

Role Reversal

Do you ever wonder if there will be a time when your children surpass you in maturity? Will it be an actual moment when you are snickering about fart jokes and they are shushhhing you. When they become teenagers, is their overwhelming embarrassment of you due to the fact that they think you are a joke? There are days when my silly antics will make them giggle and some days when they look at me like I am just not cool enough to get them.

Today was one of those days where I think the girls were way more grown up then me. Maybe it started with yesterday when we were about to go to my sisters. Living in a quint town with sidewalks and houses that are close enough to walk, I am fortunate enough to live less than a mile from my sister. I was going to drive there yesterday for a family visit. Once I mentioned it would be a great idea to ride bikes over there. Yesterday they were adamant about riding there.

Me: We should just drive. I am being lazy
Liv: But Mom, we should ride our bikes..please
Layla: its good exercises
Me: Okay. Get you shoes on. Liv grab a coat
Liv: I'm hot
Me: it may get cold later. just do it

We get to the garage. I look at the ceiling...the adult bikes are hanging from the ceiling hook

Me: I am not sure I can get that
Liv: Can you just walk?
Me: I can, but it will take a while. We should just get in the car. I am sorry, we can ride a different time. When Daddy gets home, I will have him help me get the bike down
Liv: Cant you stand on something?

I try to stand on a chair. I look at the bike. I imagine it falling right on my head

Me: no
Liv: Ohhh. Mommy. But you are strong. Girls are just as strong as boys. You can do it.

I look at the bike again. Stand on the chair to ensure balance. I look at Liv. She is encouraging me with her eyes. I press my hand against the tire as if to loosen it against the hook. I pull slightly. Not bad. Should I do it? It cant be that heavy. I think about what great exercise it will be to ride to my sister's. Inhale. Grab the bike. I take a deep breath and swing the first tire off the hook. It dangles. pretty close to my car. I steady it with my other hand, look at Liv then heave it down. My wrist goes slightly numb for a second, but I got it down fine. KJ the Riveter.





Since I don't go to bed well on Sunday nights, I of course was up late last night. Tonight after work I was exhausted. I focused my attention on my new blog..looked up templates I may like worked with names etc. Good thing I had that, the kids were unphased by me at all. When I got home from work they had already finished homework and went to Girl Scouts. Then they came home and played with Play-Doo with out even the hint of a fight. While they were playing I went to take a shower. I came out of the shower and Layla had her pajamas on.

Layla: Good night Mommy

She kissed me and wrapped her arms around my waist

Me: Goodnight Layla. Why are you going to bed so early?
Layla: Its late, I want to get a good night sleep. I was tired in school today and I want to be more awake tomorrow.
Me: Ok..how big of you.

I think to myself that there is some alterior motive that I am missing

Me: Wait, make sure the Play-Doo is cleaned up before you go to bed.
Liv: We already did

I look at the table. All cleaned.

Me: OK. Goodnight

After Layla went to bed Olivia was bustling in the kitchen.

Me: Liv, what are you doing?
Liv: packing snacks for me and Layla tomorrow at school

Me: OK.

Liv: Can I pick out something to wear tomorrow?
Me: sure


Liv runs into her room (which by the way is completely clean) and shows me her outfit for tomorrow.

Me: Perfect

So at eight thirty, I can say both girls are in bed. I don't know why they are being so mature and taking care of things I am usually asking them to do. Is it possible that my constant nagging has finally sunk in? doubt. I am going to take today as a blessing and try not to question it.

I recently added the "quote of the day feature" to the right column. today's quote is very inspiring and I think it speaks volumes for what I am trying to do

"Some pursue happiness, others create it "

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Just a Small Town Party

Just a Small Town Party : Lucky Magazine

This is it folks. My dream...put out there on the line. Tonight I was truly tested on what it is like to be a writer. It started with a hectic day at work. I had spent some time tweaking my Lucky article. I was pretty much done, but it needed some additional content and I needed to work on the pictures. I wrote a good 500 extra words and found some great food recipes. When I left work at 5, I knew that I had the article ready so all I had to do was to get some pictures ready (aka, come home..throw on a dress, heels and mascara) and pose for some pictures. Simple enough right....


I had Josh do the pictures in the forty five minutes between when I got home and he had to go to work (the life of a server). So that puts us around Friday night...6 pm. T-minus 6 hours left until the contest closed.

6:15 :I change into my sweats and I upload pics. I love the ones of me in the kitchen but you can't see my shoes. The full body shots in the hallway are perfect, except the large visible picture frame.

6:20: I change back into my dress and show Olivia and Layla how to use our SLR camera. After fighting over who got to take more pictures, I break up the fight and take back the camera

6:22: I upload pics and decide I love them all. I get my edits done and my mom calls. We had talked about going to the high school football game with the girls. I decide I have all the pictures ready, and stopping for a couple hours would be acceptable. I go get dressed in my brisk fall best (Josh's hoodie).

7:00: My mom picks me up for the game. We go to the game. I am as always impressed with her ability to "create" the perfect parking spot.

7: 15: We get to the game. The kids immediately ditch us to go find their friends.

7:25: The girls return to get money for snacks. Layla reaches in her pocket to find $4. She buys M&Ms for all of us and lollipops for all her friends.

8:00: Liv wants another snack. I give her $5 from my mom's pocket and instruct her to get me some popcorn and what ever she wants

8:05: Liv returns with three bags of M&Ms and a Diet Coke. I have to go get popcorn

9:00: Mom and I are unable to feel our toes and decide its time to go. Its 3Q and we are up by 10 points.

9:05: We are back at the car. Someone else has parked next to our made up spot. I compliment Mom for being a real trendsetter.

9:45: I am home. Kids are coloring and coming down from their M&M buzz. I need a beer to get to work My nerves are a bit on edge from all the pressure of doing my absolute dream job..even for a night..that and competing against 100 or so people for 10K. I cant find the bottle opener (all we have is Great Lakes). I look everywhere. I look in my room, in the bathroom, in the kitchen. No bottle opener. I have a friend who is always calling me out for never having a bottle opener.  She told me she was going to buy me a bulk pack of bottle openers. Finally, I use a BIC to pry open my beer.

10:15: I go to my lap top. I open the program to submit my article. I look at the article on my desk top. I realize it is not the current article that I have perfected and more importantly saved to my desk top at work.

10:16: I panic
10:17: I take deep breaths
10:18 : I cry
10:19: I laugh

10:20: I decide I will have to start from scratch. I go paragraph by paragraph and redo the content. I go online and find two new recipes then make a reference to running like hell to GFS

11:00: I start to insert pictures. They don't work
11:05: I google "Writing HTML"
11:06: I cry again
11:07: I register for a FLIKR account.
11:10: I start the process of uploading all my story pics to FLIKR
11:15: Josh arrives home. I give him the intense "I may loose my mind look"
11:20: Josh goes to the bathroom so I know I am good. I get my pics in and use the HTML editor to add pics
11:28: I realize there is no "spell check" option
11:30: I laugh
11:32: I copy and paste the whole article to Word to try to find my errors
11:33: I realize I can't copy and paste back...the HTML wont work. I revise my work the old way...by reading it and trying to find spelling errors
11: 40: I submit my draft. Phew...20 mins remaining
11: 41: I realize I wanted a set of pictures to be bigger and I need to edit the HTML. I click "edit"
11: 43: The page loads back to where I can edit. I notice an A symbol that looks like a triangle has infiltrated parts of my story.
11: 44: I take two deep breaths and open another beer
11: 50: I have (hopefully found all the As)
11:51: I submit again
11:52: error message. I didn't type in the little weird looking letter box thing right. (since no one in their right mind can figure out what those figures are)
11:55: I resubmit the article
11: 55: The article is accepted. I get a note that I am free to edit the article as long as the contest is open. I don't want to risk it...So I get the hell out of there.


I think what I am trying to say is...PLEASE vote for me. I know the page is terrible to navigate. (trust me...I just spent two hours trying to do it). I will keep trying to figure out easier ways to navigate the page and share them. I am moving closer to getting my new blog up and running...well I am still writing the business plan..but this experience has given me the confidence to move forward. THANKS!

Just a Small Town Party : Lucky Magazine



Friday, September 16, 2011

Pics For Lucky


Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Vodka Sauce Drunk

Question to parents. This may seem like the dumbest question in the hole entire history of questions..(according to Layla). But, is it safe for kids to eat Vodka sauce?

My evening started with a birthday phone call to an old friend that its been way too long since I last talked to.  Because its been too long and because I am kind of a Mom super star, I talked on the phone through getting the girls from CCD (catholic education), finding them in the their classrooms, coming home and meddling through the kitchen to see what I can pull together and actually be able to call dinner. Since I was on the phone, I was able to avoid the "whats for dinner" look, followed by the "whats for dinner" stance and the "whats for dinner" lingering in the kitchen. I averted all that distraction by giving them the "i will kill you if you miss behave while I am on the phone look" (note: that work is only about 50% effective, the other 50% came from trying hard to ignore the mass amounts of giggling coming from their bedroom). As I am thumbing through frozen chicken, frozen peas, canned corn, and noodles of all shapes and sizes. I decided to take the approach to dinner the way I seem to do anything else in life, I winged it (not made wings, but did something without proper time to rehearse). I threw some boneless chicken breasts in a pan with oil and garlic. Then I looked for the proper carb..rice? nah..spaghetti? hmm..we had that last night. baked potato? maybe. perogie? yesss!! so a grabbed a box of those mini perogies and sauteed them in a pan with broccoli, cauliflower and beans...so we can a) be healthy and b) spend the entire night farting.  By this time I was done on the phone and hoping the girls wouldn't notice or even better go play outside. While this was all simmering together in pan, I looked for the right sauce to tie it all together. Light bulb: there was left over vodka sauce from last night.  

Right on cue, Liv walked in the kitchen.

Liv: Whats for dinner?
Me: perogies
Liv: Layla doesn't like perogies. Cant we have Chef Boyardee? 
Me: No. that stuff is crap
Liv: Mommy! then why do you buy it?
Me: not sure. you aren't having it tonight. You will love these perogies, they are the potato ones. and I am making them with vodka sauce. 
Layla: We aren't allowed to have vodka sauce. It has alcohol in it. That's not good for kids. 
Me: Really? says who?
Layla: Daddy
Me: Daddy isn't here. 
Layla: you should call him and ask. Kids aren't allowed to have things with vodka in them.
Me: You will be fine. Its only the flavoring. Haven't you ever had beer battered fish?
Layla: no
Me: Guinness stew?
Layla: no
Me: Rum cake? 
Layla: no. those things aren't good for kids. 
Me: I think the alcohol cooks off of the food. you are fine.
Layla: just call Daddy. or text him. 
Liv: I will eat it
Me: of course you will
Liv: i want to try it. it smells good


I am looking at my pan of random things. The broccoli is turning that bright green color that means it will be perfectly steamed, the vodka sauce is bubbling lightly over the perogies. I am basically starving. Liv and I are fine with getting vodka sauce drunk..but Layla is very apprehensive. Should I push my child to eat something she feels is wrong on principal? If she were a vegetarian, I wouldn't make her a big fat steak. The dinner is already cooking...do I just let her feast on the spaghetti Os. Clearly the vodka in my sauce cant be nearly as bad as whatever those mini meatballs are made of. The hunger was battling with my logic. Was this a no brainer I was missing because I was tired and hungry? Was I enabling my kids for giving them vodka sauce..or am I taking all of this way to literally. If it weren't for Layla, I wouldn't have thought twice about lathering their mini potato pockets in yummy vodka sauce. 

Liv looks at the pan

Liv: I don't see any vodka. I want to try it. I want to try vodka. I like that word..vodka
Me: Liv..you don't want to try vodka. Its not good for kids. but vodka sauce is ok
Liv: I made vodka on papa's ipad
Me: You did?
Liv: yeah. It was like ice cream
Me: what kind of game was this?
Liv: it was a vodka making game. I wanted to make more vodka but it cost a 1.99
Me: when did you do this?
Liv: like two years ago.



I raise my eyebrows at her. 

Liv: I mean like two weeks ago.


I let the girls eat the perogies with vodka sauce. I really hadn't used much and figured it would mostly cook off. Liv at her perogies without barely taking a breath. Layla took small bites of each perogie. I asked her if she liked them, she said they were "OK but she was worried that they were bad for her".


I cant help but wonder if the vodka sauce is a prediction for future behavior. Layla was apprehensive and cautious. When faced with something she knew was bad for her, she was adamant about not eating it. She didn't care if it was not what everyone else was saying in our house. Even when I said it wasn't that big of a deal, she backed away from doing it because she was sure it was wrong. Liv, on the other hand, couldn't wait to try it. She dove right in and ate it all up like the vodka sauce was the reason she ate dinner. She wanted to try it...mostly since her sister told her it was wrong. I can only imagine what these two are going to be like ten years down the road....


Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Awesome-a-Saurus



Layla's newest piece

Moving on

What a long day!! I went to work, dropped Layla off at art then went to back to back orientation for the girls. It was awesome to meet the girls teachers, sit at their desks and of course catch up on the latest in Mom gossip. 

After all that, I apologize for my short but sweet post. I want to share some plans and thoughts with everyone. This pursuit experience has been so positive that is becoming clear to me where my path should go. I may now be on the pursuit to a couple different things that involve writing and of course being creative. One thing I want to do is another blog. In addition to writing about my personal experiences, I would like to do something on shopping and style. It is one of the reasons I started doing the Lucky articles. Hopefully I can get something together in the next few months. Feel free to toss me some feed back or ideas...I always appreciate it. 

Dont worry..I will still be on the pursuit of myself and I still have many stories to tell and hope to one day put together a book. I am just getting started...



Monday, September 12, 2011

All Things Layla

In honor of my little patriot, Liv and I have put together some interesting questions concerning Layla. Nine years ago, our nation was remembering all those lost on the 9/11 attacks. It had been a year since it happened and for many the wounds were all too fresh. In my apartment in Columbus, I was thinking of something that was about to come. My due date was September 14, and it had been a long and humid summer. I spent a good amount of the time seated in front of our window air conditioning unit. (Did I mention we had no AC?). On that anniversary of 9/11, I was hoping my little girl wouldn't be born that day. I didn't want her birthday to be associated with such pain and loss. I fell asleep watching tributes and woke up..and of course my water had broken. Josh put on his best shirt (in case we were interviewed on the news) and I grabbed my bag. Luckily, my beautiful baby girl was born around 6am the morning of September 12.  Nine years ago my life changed for the better. Today is all about Layla..so here are all things Layla


We had a great dinner ...pizza and wings at Inner Circle (yum!!)...Layla wanted Pizza Hut but we all insisted Inner Circle was better. We are ready to sit down and dive deep into the most complex mind I have ever met...and she is only nine. I told Liv to prepare her five questions. (she first had to get on her super girl gymnastics outfit). And of course, she had to go first.





O: Which house do you want to have when you grow up? Wait, wait no. That wasn't it.
O: What's your favorite animal
L: I am sure that my favorite animal is a Diplodocus, which is a dinosaur. Did you know they were the longest living dinosaurs on earth. They lived during the the late  Jurassic period.

**during time Layla was discussing dinosaurs...Liv stumbled and fell off the back of the couch..she now claims she broke her tail bone.

K: If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be?
L: I would live in..um...(definitely not Antarctica). I would live in South America..in Rio De Janerio because I would like to hang glide and go into the the jungle and see the pretty Macaws.
K: Is that because of the movie
L: Yup

O: (finally) which house do you want to live in when  you grow up?
L: A building with two floors. A basement, a first floor and a second floor. Well, three floors.

K: What do you want to be when you grow up
L: artist, easy artist.
O: Hey!!! That was what I was going to ask

O: Which car do you want when you grow up?
L: I want a Nissan
K: Nissan?
O: you just saw that on TV
L: yeah. but I like them

K: What is your favorite book?
L: it is Warriors. Because I like cats and fantasies..and it has feline fantasies. And it has lots of chapters

O: There are three things you choose from this...would you want a baby..to get from your stomach..not have one or just adopt one?
L: I am sure I could just get one from my stomach

K: Besides Art, what is your favorite subject in school?
L: Library. I really love reading

O: This is something I made up called "Choice" when you grow up,  you said you want to be an artist?
L: yes
O: Well if you made a book...wait, I thought you wanted to illustrate books.
L: it is kind of same thing. Illustrating and Art are in the same category
O: OK that's what I wanted to say. When you write books, what is going to be your favorite?
L: The adventures of Paw Fuzzy and Whiskers........
L: they are pretty good books...maybe I will make them chapter books. That should take me about a month to finish two chapters......


K: What is your favorite song of all time? (smiling)
L: my favorite song of all time is....Layla!
O: I knew it. I just knew it


Olivia is now climbed between the couch pillow and the actual couch. she has slinked down almost into the the cushions of the couch. Layla rubs her nose against Olivia.

O: I am glad you are giddy


Happy Birthday Layla


Friday, September 9, 2011

The Birds and the Bees


DISCLAIMER: Uncle Ted...do not read!

I should have known tonight was going to turn into a deep and perplexing conversation when Layla asked if I used tampons (she said tamp-oons). I am sitting here with my Mason jar of red wine thinking about my performance during the presentation of growing up. I remember my original encounter with growing up. My mom sat with me and gave me the "talk". She went into detail about body changes, hair growth and periods. My recollection of the whole thing goes a little like this: "there is no Santa, you will bleed from your butt and me and your dad have sex". By the tender age of eleven I was a solid C cup...a good head taller than most kids, I had acne, a mullet and a perm. I remember going to the salon and asking for "sides" and a perm. "Trim the top please and leave the bottom long". (Refer to my About Me page). I was not the most elegant thing in the world and there are times when I enter a room and I can immediately feel like that awkward oily kid who just wanted to remain invisible. I have been shying away from the fact that days before Layla's ninth birthday I know it is inevitable...my baby is going to grow up.

Maybe this started earlier when I bought her her mini bra. She said she had measured around her body and she was a 28. She got out her manual and turned right to the bra section. By her manual, I am referring a book she had picked out on her trip to Columbus. (Note to Carolyn...please give me a heads up when buying Layla a book that has more than the punctuational explanation of the period). For the last week or so, Layla has been referring to the manual and asking me random questions. "When can I shave my legs?" "I need my own brush because it is good hygiene". "When I am a teenager I wont get pregnant because I will be too busy going bowling and roller skating with my best friend Alexis". In her most sensible, reasonable Layla fashion, she has been carefully studying the pages of her American Girl : Care and Keeping of You: The body book for Girls. I began to scan the pages of what she had become so obsessed with lately and I have to say I was pleasantly surprised that it was a very informative and practical book. I thought back on the in depth diagrams of lady part insides and the diagrams you fill out of the parts of the testicle. The stuff that you couldn't help but sneer about and be utterly mortified about at the same time. As a kid, I felt it was all so gross and weird. I didn't want any of those things to happen to me and it seemed like I had to be the pioneer for these changes.

I have to admit, I am impressed with the way Layla handled everything. She came out with her questions..almost like she was ready and excited to become a woman. She wanted to do things like wear a bra, be a B cup and shave her legs. I felt blindsided by her questions and the way she reacted to the responses..like I was the one snickering at the dick joke and she was the one calling me immature. "What is a period" she asked. "Well, um..its..well its complicated". I would stammer. "Can I read the book?" Liv asked. There is no privacy conversation when Liv is around. I kept sending her away on little missions so Layla and I could talk privately but she would boomerang right back with another question. I know Liv didn't quite understand what I was talking about, nor did she actually pay attention long enough to listen to my words. I focused on my Q&A session with Layla.



Layla: Does it hurt to wear a tampoon
Me: not really. maybe at first but you get used to it
Layla: Why do you wear a tampoon?
Me: because you start bleeding. It is your body practicing for when you are ready to have a baby
Liv: Does it hurt to have a baby?
Layla: no. They put you to sleep
Me: Yes it hurts. And you aren't always put to sleep
Layla: (flipping to the bra page) Am I a B cup?
Me: Not yet.
Liv: Are you a B cup Mommy?
Me: I wish. I am actually a double D cup. (giggles) boobie sizes are like fruit.  A B cup is like a plum or an orange. a double D cup is more like a cantaloupe.
Liv: Then I am a blueberry
Layla: I am a cherry
Me: pretty much.  Layla, do you have anymore questions? If you do, you know you can always ask me. These are more questions you ask Mommy and not Daddy. I have had these things happen to me..Daddy didn't.
Layla: you know sometimes you get your period and it gets on your pants. Then you just tie a shirt around your waist.
Me: that is a good idea.
Liv: I like a shirt tied around my waist.
Layla: My legs are hairy.
Me: Yeah..you will be able to shave eventually. Maybe when you are 10.
Layla: I have to be careful or I will cut my legs
Me: It takes time to get used to. You know you will grow hair other places too. Like under your arms
Layla: ewe
Me: and around your private area
Layla: do we shave that?
Me: um.
Layla: maybe when I am older?
Me: maybe. lets talk about that when you are older
Layla: when I am a teenager?
Me: yes. Being a teenager is rough. You will have these things called hormones that will make you a little more emotional
Layla: Like Olivia?
Me: exactly. And you probably wont like Mommy and Daddy at all. You will want boyfriends and think you are always right
Layla: Do boyfriend make you have babies?
Me: sort of. you always need to be responsible
Layla: Well, I wont have a boyfriend until I am ready to have a baby. Probably when I am pretty old, like 20.
Me: probably much older
Layla: I will be too busy doing art and writing books.
Olivia: I wont be mean to you Mommy
Me: Yes you will. Its what teenagers do.
Olivia: I will still love you here. (she points to her heart). And I promise I will still take care of you when you are old. Just like Deejes (what she calls my mom) does with Mimi (my grandma).
Me: Thanks

I remember being pregnant with Layla..I was so excited I was having a girl. In the back of my mind there was this dread...one day we would have that talk. I would have to look into her innocent child eyes and tell her her body was about to do things to her she would never be able to imagine.  She was going to become awkward and get zits...and start to smell from sweating too much. But it has slowly started to happen. First there was the deodorant. Then she started to shower on her own...and I mean actually want to shower. I think back on her eighth birthday when all she wanted was her own room. Almost a year later, it is a necessity for her to have her own little place to become a woman in. In true Layla fashion, she is coming into this change like she has every other change, prepared. She has a manual, she is not afraid to ask questions. She is both excited and accepting of what will happen to her. I cant help but to admire her for that. She looks at it as science and nature. I looked at it as ridicule and torture. Its times like these, I can hardly believe she is only going on nine. Just like me, Layla is on her pursuit of growing up. She has always been this old soul..this deeper person. I am proud of her tonight. But don't worry...she still believes in Santa!



Thursday, September 8, 2011

Non Conformist

Today I conformed what they wanted me to do. I did work..at my desk..for eight hours. My fingers punched keys in a melodic way. My mind worked numbers and calculated percentages. (beyond 30% off $79.99 is...and another 8.95 for shipping). I played their game and went by their rules. I went through the same motions I am accustomed to by now. Hell, I was even on time today. After work, I came straight home. I changed my clothes into my same old jeans. I engaged and asked questions. I did things they way I felt I was supposed to do them. I had breakfast, I had lunch..I am about to have dinner. Why is it about being so normal do I find uncertainty? I am one of those people who just sees things a bit skewed. I ask why, I write my thoughts  on a computer, I cut out pictures in magazines and tape them together in my journal like outfits. Sometimes I am troubled by my inability to adapt. I wonder if there is something wrong with me and everyone else knows it but me. I think that somehow with the right job or the right house I will look like something completely normal. As a kid I rebelled against being normal. Once I was old enough, I took control of everything and stated calling the shots. I never dressed normal (even when I was required to wear a uniform). I never listened to normal music. When everyone around me was melting into one giant "new kids on the block" pin, I was listening to Metallica. (don't judge me, I was 10). I never did well hanging out in groups of people, I was always better one on one. I started thinking about where I got these ideas of how people are supposed to act. I can almost pinpoint normal. Its like living in a HGTV house...what it meant to dress normal. (for some reason I picture khakis and a blue shirt). I thought about what husbands and normal children look like. (they came from a Ralph Lauren ad). I think most of my ideas of being normal came from my fascination with commercials. I think they are always trying to one-up me or sell me a vision of what normal is..using their product. I sometimes imagine myself on a commercial..selling lipstick and applying it perfectly..wearing it all day and looking fabulous. That is what they want me to think...so I buy their lipstick or piece of mind or whatever it is they are selling. They are selling that label and that image. Why does it entice me so much? sometimes I get mad at them..like they are trying to win me over or they are trying to trick me into spending more money than I intended. I think they have a motive. Whats you motive?? Them: I just want to sell you pants. Me: But what's your motive? Sometimes, I laugh. I know I am more normal than them, I see through them...they aren't winning. I feel better sometimes knowing I am not like them...I am way different. Some days, I am sad thinking that I really cant be them..it is not part of me. There are days like today when I can relate to how they feel. On days like today, I ask myself if I am normal or if everyone else I think is normal is just as non conformist as me. It is days like today I realize that everyone is struggling to get their kid to seem like a Gap ad...and everyone wants to make their job look as awesome as being Bon Jovi. (amongst one of my many dream jobs: be a member of of Bon Jovi). I think we all struggle with the idea that we have to fit in to be normal. Days like today are a moment of clarity, where I rest assure in the fact that I don't know anyone normal. Everyone is trying to find their own unique way through it all. I haven't really discussed the pursuit anymore. I am still not quite sure what it is I am looking for...but I can tell you one thing, it is certainly not normal.

Us...and Them

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

The Dogs of Canada

This is a slides show dedicated to the unspoken BFFs in our lives. I am not talking about our credit cards, I am talking about our dogs. On my trip to Canada, I wasn't the only one who enjoyed a little rejuvenation time. The four dogs that went with us, Nomi, Dard, Chewy and Finn were there for some serious doggy R&R, in their doggie way.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Roller Coaster of Emotion

That is my seven year old daughter. One minute she is happy and smiling and in just an instant her face will start to quiver and rain drop sized tears will slowly stream down her face. And they aren't the kind of tears that normal kids cry when they have fallen or they are just all out throwing a fit. Even Liv's tears seem to be unique. They start at the corner of her eyes..but never seem to smear. After the corner of her eyes..the tear will collect at her cheek bone. Then when enough of the tear has collected, it will slowly roll down her face only to plummet down her chin and off into the unknown. Its like all the mini tears ban together to create a tear super power...capable of melting any ones heart. Try as you may...it is next to impossible to give in to the mega-tear.

The mega-tear is just the beginning. Everything about Liv is mechanically structured for drama and flare. Her chin will slowly quiver at just the mere thought of things not going her way. Her arms mold into each other in desperate fold. Her eyes open wide and sorrowful as if to say the word that is trying to move out of her mouth..."but Mommy".  I have seen the pout in action..the slow rejection the tears springing to life at the near thought of rejection. Her mouth moves into a small upside down U shape. Her legs melt into her body..as if to lower her self in a small cower....all the drama ready to erupt. 

I have seen this dynamic work to her favor so many times. When I try to call her out on it..she clenches her lips and nods slightly over exaggerated to let me know that she either (a) understands or (b) is really good at making it look like she understands. Over the last few days, Liv has been at her most dramatic. It is the end of summer..and there are changes in the air. Liv's spidy senses are a tingling. She knows that her days of unlimited sleepovers at the grandparents and late nights "sleeping" in her sister's room are at an end. So of course her dramatic edge is at its peak..as if she trains all year for this exact time. 

Over the holiday weekend, somewhere in the middle of over indulgence and quality family time, I found myself facing the autumn change..the time when Liv will shed her old leaves to grow new more resilient ones that are even brighter and more colorful. I am speaking of course about her acting. Like a new school year, each fall starts it off and by the early spring she is has perfected her craft to Oscar winner status. And I am always at the other end of it all. If she is the best actress I become the best supporting role. The labor day weekend brought no shortage of complete animation. 

I noticed the change was coming early on. I thought it was the ninety five degree heat..or the pending start of school, or even the fact that while I had been manipulated enough to let her get a new messenger bag for school (My quote when she got her Kindergarten bag..."You will keep this until fifth grade..you will NOT get a new bag every year) but I had not yet authorized the purchase of a new lunch bag (see previous quote from Kindergarten). With the anxiety of a new school year looming and the added excitement of the family being in town..and not to reign attention on her (Layla's birthday) she was primed for performance. 

I first noticed the drama when we were at Kennywood. My husbands family all came to town and we spent a soggy Sunday at the amusement park. (think: Adventureland) Liv spent a good part of the day running between the two rides she deemed herself brave enough to ride. She had started the day with a couple of one line zingers. When we got there she decided her uncle should go on the bungee drop..since her dad had the year before. Perplexed by his decline she looked at him and retorted:  " My dad went on it, and he is bald too. So you should go on"

As we spent the day riding things she was comfortable with (no roller coasters) kiddie rides, and of course the Carousel....which seemed to be stuck on the Christmas Song/ Addams Family and Scooby Doo theme song track. She tested me by jumping on the highest horse in the air. When the carousel started playing (I saw Mommy kissing Santa Claus) and the horses started their spin, I looked back and she holding out her hands. "Liv! hold on with both hands!!" I snapped. She grabbed the pole and lifted her eyebrows as if to say "OK I am holding on, now turn around and quit watching me" A couple turns around the track later, I heard her yelling my name. 

Liv: Mommy! (shouting over the Christmas Medley)
Me: What? 
Liv: What if I have to itch my nose? Do I still have to hold on with two hands?
Me: No!

Liv spends the rest of the ride with her hand at her nose as if to itch were I to suddenly turn around again. 


The excitement of the weekend finally took its tool during Layla's birthday party. The combination of people doting over her sister and her sister getting new stuff had really taken its toll. Mix that with overall tiredness and you have the perma scowl that was Liv during the party. Every present her sister opened her frown got bigger and bigger. The tears were ready to go and her arms were in the folded position. Then it happened, Layla got a messenger bag AND a matching lunchbox. "I wanted a lunch box" she exclaimed. Somewhere between the presents being opened and the birthday cake being lit, she had ran off into the house to quietly (but noticeably) cry in her room. She missed singing Happy Birthday to her sister, but she did pull it together (with the help of her buddy Richelle) to come back. 

The start of school was easy and painless. She sprang back into her normal self and even though she had to sleep in her own bed (she said I wasn't going to unless i got a new mattress) and clean her room, she has managed to keep the drama low..for now. 



Thursday, September 1, 2011

You Spin Me

Todays plan was simple. Work out. I have been trying for days to live up to my commitment to work out at least twice a week. I am lucky to get one in. Its not like I try not to work out..or I hate it. I am pretty satisfied after a good work out. Sometimes I consider sex a workout or a workout sex..they seem to carry that same area in my mind....I should do it...I like doing it...its good for me..but when am I going to find the time or modivation??

I got to hang out solo for a good hour while Josh took the girls to soccer. While I should have worked out, I did the following: played Words with Friends, text some friends, went to the bathroom, played more Words with Friends, talked to my mom, tried on shorts I want to wear over the weekend that I found in Olivia's hamper, washed two dishes, started dinner, played more Words with Friends, started putting out bowls for dinner, made an executive decision the dishes in the dishwasher were dirty and loaded the two dishes in, played more Words with Friends, and put dinner on the table. By then the kids were home from soccer, eating cupcakes. They looked at dinner and made the face said to me "dinner was going to be long". They would spend the next half hour eating their vegetables one tiny delecate bite at a time. Olivia spent most of the time getting up. "I need a napkin" she ran over and grabbed a napkin. "I need a drink" she grabbed her water she left on the counter. "I need to go potty" she ran to the potty. We got to discussing Angry Birds (insiteful dinner conversation). "Do you know we have an Angry Birds code on our Rio disk?" they explained. "how come you never entered it?" I have no idea what she is saying, but I figured I should use it to my advantage.  "Well, if you eat all your dinner...then you can play Angry Birds on my laptop for a little while". "Ooooh...she sat down for a total of thirty seconds and ate her food. "I need to go get something from the car" she jumped up. "No..you need to eat" I was getting a bit annoyed. Dinner was going to take forever and no workout was going to happen. I finished my dinner and looked at the pan. There was enough left for a quarter of a serving..so I put it on my plate...now I had to work out.

After dinner I was cleaning up. The girls were still eating. Olivia had managed to go a couple more places.

Me: Lets see if you can sit in one place for three minutes and eat
Olivia: am I allowed to talk?
Me: a little bit
Olivia: Ok
Me: The clock says 7:46, if you can sit there and eat until 7:49, I will be amazed.

At 7:48, Olivia brings me her empty dish.

Me: See what happens when you sit still and eat
Olivia: Can I play Angry Birds now
Me: Sure. I bet you can sit there for ten minutes and not move.

Olivia puts her fingers in her ears. "What?"
Me: Nothing

Josh is on the laptop, so Olivia has to patiently wait

Josh: Do you know what song was on Pandora
Me: This better be entertaining.

I know it sounds like I am being rude...but if eight and half years of marriage has taught me anything, its when Josh Taylor decides to share a random thought it is a huge toss of whether it is the most interesting fact in the world or if I am going to immediately regret asking. Luckily, it was a violin solo of "Such Great Heights" which provided for good loading the dishwasher music. Feeling Olivia twitching behind me...I had to cut off the end of the song so she didn't go into full out computer-less convulsions.

Olivia was playing Angry Birds. Josh was wandering around the house doing God knows what on his ipod touch. (it could be anything from bowling to looking for camera stuff on Craig's list).

Me: So you know that sitting still for only three minutes makes it so much easier to eat
Olivia: I know
Me: Do you think you can go a whole hour with out asking for a snack. That means you aren't allowed to ask for a snack for sixty whole minutes
Olivia: I can do that
Me: We shall see. Its 8:15 now...you have to go until 9:15 with out asking for food
Olivia: Mommy!


Kitchen cleaned, I look around at the rest of the family. Layla comes in the kitchen and asks if she can go shower.  "Um..sure!" Its hard to realize how grown up Layla is suddenly becoming. Do you remember the moment you went from loathing to loving the shower? The moment you wanted to get in to the shower? I have noticed after soccer practice, Layla is especially excited to go get cleaned off. She has been keeping her hair better groomed and putting on fruity lotion. She keeps her deodorant and jewelry safely in her room and asked me the other day "When are my legs not going to be so hairy?" I got her one of those Coobodles (mostly for the nostalgia) and she keeps her "important things" in there. When she lost the key, she pried it open with a pair of scissors. She is both girly and Rosie the Riveter rolled into one. When she wandered off into the shower, I started picking up clothes in my room. Tomorrow was casual Friday..and I needed a good dressy Tshirt and jean combo. "now would be a great time to work out" I say to my self. "Let me just run this stuff to the laundry" I argue. "But it is getting late, its already too late to walk outside" I retort. I look at my sports bra and tennis shoes sitting out ready and willing to go. "Remember us?" they say. "Ok" I give in. Its time.

Once upon a time, before I was a working mom, I used to religiously go to spinning classes. I loved spinning. I went to our YMCA and there was this black room filled with bikes and black lights. In the dark you sort of lost yourself in the spin. The music would dictate how hard you worked and you could feel your legs moving to every drum beat. Since I am a terrible (I mean horrible) dancer (unless Tequila is involved..then I am awesome) I use workouts and spinning as my way to really enjoy music. I like to change up my workout by what song I was listening to. Unfortunately, since I neither have the time or the money to be in a spinning class, I have to make do with my Wal-Mart stationary bike and my iphone mix. I planned on putting in a good 30 (OK, OK 20) minute workout.  I put in my ear buds (remember when we said headphones?), picked a random song to get me moving (The Dougie), and tried to turn on the light. Oh yeah, the florescent light near our dryer doesn't work. Josh had said twice as he walked by the dryer in the last few days "Remind me to buy a new bulb". So I had a faint light glow, just enough to find the numbers on my bike. I selected a burn calories workout and got pedaling. Then next song I i put on was "I Will Possess You Heart by Death Cab for Cutie. I know...doesn't sound like a great workout song....but the drum beats in the opening really work on a bike. It starts out flat...so your legs are warming up. then you feel your pace increase as the drum beats get faster. There is a good few minutes before the vocals even kick in, so it is a great build up. I build up my resistance. My eyes are closed...my heart and legs are racing along. I open my eyes. There is Layla.

Layla: Feel my hair
Me: (panting) feels nice
Layla: I brushed it out alot while I was in the shower. See, no tangles
Me: that's great Layla. ( pant, pant) It looks shiny (pant, pant) I am proud of you (pant, pant, pant).

She is just looking at me.
 Me: OK, I will be done soon.

She walks away. I move my legs to get back into the rhythm. It didn't take long to catch back up to the drum beats. The vocals start to kick in I begin to move my arms and my head into it. I grasp the bars and stand up..as if to jog along to the music. I close my eyes and am singing along. "Gotta spend some time love, gotta spend some time with me.." I open my eyes....Olivia

Olivia: Can I have a snack after 9:15?
Me:    You aren't supposed to ask about food until 9:15
Olivia: I know...I am asking if I can have food after 9:15
Me: I am trying to work out here. (pant) I said not to ask until I am done

Olivia scoffs away.

I finally get back into my workout again. I know better than to close my eyes. It never seems to work. I still have a good six or seven minutes left. I get lost in thought. Should we buy new shelves for the back room? Or should we just wait until these topple? Is there anything in the dryer? I sure am glad tomorrow is Friday. Once again Layla appears

Layla: Is it my turn to play Angry Birds?
Me: (pant) Go ask your father!

She walks away. I get to finish my workout in peace. No one bothers me for four whole minutes. I get off the bike..my legs slightly shaky from not working out for so long. I decide it would be a good idea to finish with some strength training. Who am i kidding?