Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween!! Now take a nap

Last year we dressed up Layla like a pumpkin for the few family members who stopped by our house. Then we trudged around the old cul de sac once and that was it.
This year is the first year of real trick or treating...the door to door kind. In keeping up with tradition, instead of walking blocks (until she's old enough to stay out later) we'll be driving from Grandparent to Great Grandparent to Family to Friend. The list is 11 houses long...give or take.

The first stop we did early in the day. Memorial hospital is still running tests on Pop (Great Grandpa Ira) and so we stopped by there to see him, Miss Irene and Nana Lorrie (who's been there all week taking care of things).

Nana Lorrie spoiled her rotten with bags of candy...then we ate lunch...charmed the locals (seriously a stranger asked to take a picture of my kid) and came home to a forced nap before we pick up again and do the rest of the grandparents/great grandparents closer to dinnner time.
My Laylabug...she's a LadyBug...Pictures available on her site (today and tomorrow... I'll take more tonight).

What's your little one this Halloween?

Thursday, October 30, 2008

The Thunder Rolls

The thunder and lightening is so close to our house that you can not count between the rumble and the flash. So I dim lights which starts the bedtime ritual a little faster than it normally should. I wonder around in my pjs with the front door and window open so I can watch the storm and the cool air swirls around me...moist and smokey from the fires that my neighboors lite tonight to ward off the chill.

It is here. My favorite part of Autumn...the first rain storm.

I fight the urge to dance in it, drive in it, scream towards heaving in it. Instead I take the baby out for a second to show her rain and her face lights up. It's genetic. Her father and I both love the rain.

After she is tucked safely in a warm dry place I find myself sitting at home chopping at the bit, oh to run through the rain, to dance under the stars, to splash the bottoms of my jeans wet with cold muddy water and then retreat into the warmth of my home.

Not tonight.

But soon...

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Wordless Wednesday- Swheepy

Works for Me Wednesday- Ziplock Packing

I got this tip from someone else before I ever had a kid. My friend Bobbie (who doesn't have a blog sorry) once told me that when she packed her kids for trips she put each day into a ziplock freezer bag.

Example (in 1 bag):

1 pair of socks

1 pair of toddler shoes

1 pair of jeans

1 t-shirt

6 diapers

1 pair of jammies

Then she would write the name of the day "Wednesday" on the bag. Each day she could pull out a bag and use it all day...then put the dirty clothing back into it at the end of the day.

I now use this trick when packing my daughter for a day trip too... I put 1 spare set of clothing, diapers, a wipes container, 1 pacifier and a snack in a freezer bag and throw it into my purse.

It's perfectly waterproof, if I'm at church I can write her name on it and hand it over to the nursery in one bundle. And if I never get it back... I'm only out 1 outfit and 1 pacifier.

For more Works for me Wednesday please click the picture above.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008


We're rolling right into my favorite season. The morning air has a light fog, there is a hint of frosty winter mornings on the breeze at night, and the leaves are changing colors. It's almost full swing into Autumn. I wait desperate for rainy days and foggy mornings. I am probably one of the few people on the planet that LOVE fog and rain.
As soon as the air is cold I'm counting down to winter and Christmas (just 8 weeks away) but in my heart Autumn holds a special place. The first time you pull out your scarves, the first time you need a hot coco to warm up pink little noses and fingers... it's all fall... Autumn... my first love.

Monday, October 27, 2008

GiveAway 8 Weeks till Christmas!!

Bloggy Giveaways Quarterly Carnival Button

So as you all know it's now 8 whooping weeks until Christmas and as keeping up with my tradition going all the way until Christmas I'll be doing another give away this week. What you might not know is that it's ALSO Bloggy Giveaway Carnival week...that means the rules will change a little for this week.

Winners from last week will be posted tomorrow so check in then for that.

As for this week?

ONE lucky winner will be getting the following THREE items...

The Snowman Storybook by Raymond Briggs...a Christmas classic you can share with your kids...

A Christmas Ornament letter (1) of your choice. A perfect addition for your Christmas tree or a great gift for a family member or teacher...

1 Pound of Starbucks (whole bean) coffee... your choice of flavor. The perfect beverage for getting pumped up for Christmas Shopping or Decorating...

To win this week you have a couple options...

1. Enter a comment (this is worth 1 entry)

2. Mention the Bloggy Carnival or Blog you heard about us from (this is worth 1 entry)

3. Have someone else tell us they found you from their blog (except blog carnival) (this is worth 1 entry for the blog mentioned...limit 4)

4. Write a blog about your favorite holiday memory and link it back here (don't forget to mention it in the comments) (also worth 1 entry)

So if you leave a link saying you heard about us from Joe's blog and you write a blog on your site linking back here about a holiday memory you could be entered for 3 entries (plus 1 for Joe's Blog). If someone links up and says they heard about us from you...that's another entry so 4 entries.

This contest will end FRIDAY October 31st. I know we normally go through Sunday but it's for the Bloggy Carnival of GiveAways. Winners will announced Saturday morning!


Must Be Santa Monday- My Wishlist (in full)

I thought this week for my Must be Santa Monday list I'd do my ENTIRE Christmas list because a few people have asked for it!

What I really need = Money towards buying a freezer

But if that isn't your sort of thing...then here is a little list I made...


Yankee in King Arthur’s Court
Usual Suspects
Harry Potter #5
Scrooge Musical
Wizard of Oz
Ghost Whisper Season 3
Supernatural Season 3


David Cook by David Cook
Love on the Inside by Sugarland


Nigella Lawson- How to be a Domestic Goddess
Nigella Lawson- Feast
Jamie Oliver- Cook with Jamie
Jamie Oliver- Jamie @ Home
Guy Fieri- Diners, Drive Ins & Dives Cookbook
Sinful Perfume from Anchor Blue or Fig & Brown Sugar perfume by Bath & Bodyworks
Old Navy Giftcards for Clothing

I am sure there are other things... but this is my list as of right now... not that I expect to get much if any of it!

For more must be Santa Monday lists...visit Be Jolly By Golly

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Menu Plan Monday #2

Alright, last weeks menu was helpful even thought I didn't do it exactly like I thought I would so I'm giving it another try...
White beans with ham
Happy Halloween!! (Eat out while Trick or Treating)
Chicken Enchiladas
Green Salad

Last Chance

Don't forget today is your last chance to enter my giveaway for this week. Click this link for more information.

Snot Rockets and Boogie Pants

My daughter went with us to a little party at a friends house yesterday. They cleaned to the best of their ability and she still came home a giant post kitty cat nightmare. She ended up sleeping in our bed last night between the snot rockets and the boogie whimpers Mommy didn't get a lot of sleep.

It's a shame really. They had dogs she liked and other babies to play with and yet the presence of a cat that used to be there was enough to send her over the slimy edge for ...well...she's still there.

I feel bad telling people we can't do fill in the blank because they have a cat...but I think after seeing how last night went I'm almost there.

I guess it's time to play the "what would you do for Layla game?"

I'd stop going to places with cats... and I know a few people who will be finding homes for their cats as soon as they read this... but the rest of them...

their loss.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Mini Moments

This week has been a week to remember.

Sunday I got so desperate for a Pepsi that I took a warm Pepsi from the garage and poured it into a cup with three baby teething rings (frozen) in it because we had no ice.

Monday I found out that Pampers rewards points are available on wipes too. I've been buying wipes for over a year and I haven't kept a single point. I wonder how many more points I would have had if I was paying attention. So, I dug through the trash and salvaged the points that I could...pathetic no?

Tuesday I found out that my Dr's office had lost a form I dropped off on the 8th and needed back by the 22nd in the early AM. That was a wonderful thing to figure out on the 21st. I had to go to a goverment office to get a new form (lovely) and then take it to my Dr's office to be picked up the very next morning.

Wednesday I went to a job fair. I was early. I was still probably the 50th person in line. They had 300 people but I got a second interview. So did the person I took with me. Then I had a phone interview that was for a job I hope I don't get.

Thursday, I had a second interview and it was the most sterile interview I've ever had. They gave nothing. They took lot's of notes. They said I'd know after November 1st.

Today is Friday, I have cleaned some...but not enough. And, I am desperately torn between a nap I haven't earned and watching RR which is my favorite. Maybe both... one after the other.

I feel like this week a million little moments slipped through the cracks. I woke up this morning and my daughter was an inch taller, several vocabulary words smarter and had longer hair and I thought to did I miss that? But, I lost it... somewhere in the mini moments.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Our Holiday Traditions

Me @ Christmas at the Collins' when I was probably about 7 or 8

What? I can't hear you...

Sorry someone was mumbling about how it was only October for God's sakes and I could stop pushing the Christmas thing.

They can shut it. LOL

I heart Christmas. The list of musts for Christmas at our house used to be pretty long... it's died down some due to budgets, and having kids, and growing up and getting wiser in our old age. Here are some things that will be staying this year.

1. Getting our tree and decorating outside the house right after Thanksgiving.
2. Going to the Downtown Turlock Christmas Lights Parade
3. Going to Christmas Tree Lane and to see the Miniature Train in Turlock
4. Taking Pictures with Santa in the Mall in Modesto
5. Making Christmas cookies & candies with Layla, Mommy & Daddy
6. Having our Back in the Day Party where everyone comes in Jammies and watches the Christmas movies and Claymation Specials that were popular back in the 80's (and older)
7. New Christmas Jammies the night before Christmas and reading the Christmas story to Layla
8. Christmas Day we'll have Turkey and all the fixings at home while Layla plays with her new toys

So it's 8 things now-a-days. It was probably 20 last year. As time goes on, Christmas is becoming one of those holidays where I look at people with simple lists and simple lives and I think... Maybe I should teach my daughter that. So I'm trying. I'm starting by cutting back the list while she's still too little to miss things like Downtown tree lightings and Breakfast with Santa.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

10 Weeks GIVEAWAY Part 2

Did you all enjoy talking about your Christmas Traditions last week? That's awesome! This week (otherwise known as T minus 9 weeks until Christmas) we'll be talking about our favorite Christmas decorations.

You can tell me about Christmas decorations you put up, or make, or want, or see at other people's houses, maybe something you remember from your childhood or the one you broke when you were 8 on Grandma's tree.

My favorite Christmas Ornament isn't an ornament. It's my Willow Tree Nativity scene. Part of which I got from my husband and some of which came from family and friends. I love that is so simple and modest, it reminds me that Christmas isn't always about the flash and sparkle. After all Jesus was a simple and modest guy.

This week I'll be giving away a Christmas Ornament (shown above). You get to pick the letter.

The rules are the same as last week. I will be picking 1 winner. Comments will be excepted until 11:59 PM on Sunday October 26th.

To enter this lovely contest you must do one of two things. People who link back AND leave a comment will be entered twice!

1. Leave a comment or a link to your blog where you must tell me what your favorite Christmas Decoration is/was/will be.
2. Link back to this blog so other people will have a chance to enter our giveaway too!
As a special bonus this week. If someone else links to this post and says they heard about it at your site I'll DOUBLE your entries (limit 4). That means you could be entered to win up to 4 times.

Good Luck!

Wordless Wednesday

My First Works for Me Wednesday~

So this week, I'm giving the Linky Love... this is my first Work's for me Wednesday! If you are a reader of my blog who has never heard of Work's for me Wednesday you can click the lovely linked picture above and go check it out (sign up for the Mr Linky and post your own great ideas... it's fun).

Now for my tip...

My daughter is 1. Brushing her teeth was a nightmare. She didn't want to let me brush...she just wanted to grab the tooth brush and chew on it.

I bought a Firefly toothbrush 2 pack. They can be found at T*arget because that's where I got mine. The Firefly has a timer built into the handle (which goes for 1 minute). That part didn't help my daughter at all ... because she's one. But for older kids the timer has a flashing light that flashes until it's time to stop brushing your teeth. My daughter finds the light to be highly entertaining... in my mouth.

So part of my tip is the toothbrush but the second part is...

I gave her 1 brush (which she "brushes" my teeth with) while I brush her teeth with the other one. I figure there is no such thing as too much brushing... even if it's horribly uncoordinated brushing by your one year old. So I open wide and she clunks her brush around in my mouth while I brush her teeth.

** Unrelated- For people who came here looking for my weekly Christmas giveaway please click this link**

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

The Official About Me Post

I've had this blog for over two years. Before this blog I had another blog for almost five years. I've never had an about me post. I don't know why I didn't/haven't made one. I think I'm lazy or maybe I just figure if you're here reading every single day like a good blog fan should be then you already know all about me...after all my blog is a pretty good long drawn out story of my life, is it not?

But, I've had a few requests as of late for a link to the "about me" post on my blog and it seems everyone who is anyone in blogging has one. So I think it's about time I wrote one, after all, it has been almost a decade of blogging... you might not be able to figure me out yet.
Hi... my name is Allie and I'm addicted to going ... in the middle of my run on sentences. I'm almost 30 (more 30 than almost). I've been to college, but I am not done yet (another almost). I'm a curvy girl who likes to approach life with a lot of laughter. I call that attitude "curvatude" and that's what I named my blog. I also like to eat and cook that is the reason I started a whole additional blog called Fat Girl Eats to house my recipe collection. I converted to Christianity a few years back, before that I was Celtic Pagan...which is a fun story in itself.

I've had a few interesting jobs. I've been a hostess, a bartender (for two days), a nanny (in highschool), a sword dealer at renaissance faires, an office manager, a marketing person, a recruiter, an HR person, a sales person, a medical office biller, a writer, and once I was even paid to sit at home and watch TV while clicking a button (because everyone totally wants to know what I watch on TV). I've worked at a college in financial aid and admissions, on a ranch doing odd jobs, and when I was younger I got an allowance for doing my chores. I ran my own catering company for awhile. As of more recent years...

I'm married to my wonderful hubby who I once talked to all night standing in the rain. He sells coffee, plays drums on the couch with his fingers and flips the channels for no reason during commercials. We have a daughter. Due to a case of failing economy and a side of resume overqualified... I'm a stay at home Mommy right now.

My daughters name is Layla Grace but we call her Layla Bug and she has her own picture website which I also manage (some family lives far away). She just turned one. She walks, talks and does all the normal one year old things. In addition to that she does some great things that other 1 year olds don't do (like make elephant noises and rock star faces). I'm her biggest fan.

I used to travel alot. I was a road tripper, a day dream believer and I hated the homecoming queen. I've been all over and I have pictures to prove it. Pictures with people who I loved who I don't get to talk to much anymore now that we're all adults with big grown up lives. I was the girl who could mix a good drink, cursed like a sailor, told fun stories and knew all the good dirty jokes. I made dinner, dealt at the poker nights and danced in inappropriate shoes. That girl, with long hair, trendy jewelry and great fitting jeans is still a part of me.

So now I'm at home, eating, having curvatude and playing with the LaylaBug while the hubby flips the channels. In the old days... I had good friends and we ate expensive food in our name brand shoes while talking about books and art and quality music. Now, I have better friends, we talk on the phone about our kids in our bare feet while talking about things that scare us on the news and the art our kids drew on the wall in the livingroom with Jack's Big Music Show singing in the background.

This is my life... every boring, normal, stressful moment of it. I promise to try to tell a good story about it though. Let's laugh about it together ok?

Week 1 Giveaway Winners

This week I gave away 2 Lbs of Coffee (or boxes of tea). Each winner will get 1 lb or 1 box.

This week I'll be hosting another giveaway (starting Wednesday) so make sure you come back and take a look see. I'll be giving away a beautiful Christmas ornament & another pound of coffee.

As for me, my favorite holiday tradition has always been the downtown Turlock Christmas lights parade. It's everything that is beautiful about living in a small town. There is Christmas music, hot chocolate, flashing lights, out of tune marching bands with Santa hats on. I love it more than the kids do. I go every year. I even drove back every year when I lived far away. It's a MUST for me. I'll be posting on Friday about my favorite holiday traditions list.

If you won this week, go to the Starbucks website (if you don't already know what you want) and tell me what flavor of coffee you want. Email your selection to me along with your mailing address to: a l l i e j e f f e r y (at) g m a i l (dot) c o m (no spaces and use the proper symbols-- sorry for the long version I don't want spammers to get me)

Your coffee will go out this Friday in the mail and you should have it shortly there after.

So are you tired of waiting to see who won...

Lynn @ Displaced Californian


Bookworm (who doesn't appear to have a blog)

Yay Hooray for you!!

Monday, October 20, 2008

It can be done

I've been looking for a job... since I don't know...forever ago. The economy sucks but I know I'm looking as hard as I can. I rate my success by my rejection letters. It's like that line in Meet the Robinson's "When you fail you learn something, when you succeed...not so much".

I've learned that it is possible to get 1 rejection letter EVERY single DAY for a WHOLE week and not die from it. I mean at least I feel like I have physical evidence that I'm applying for LOTS of jobs right?

So someone asked me... what do you want to do? Go back to school full time. That's what I'd like to do. No actually... I'd like a job where I talk to a lot of people and I don't have to stress out because I'm NOT in charge. I'd like to pay the bills without using two sheets of lined paper to make lists of what I want to do verses what I can actually do.

I want to work with kids. I want to work with adults who laugh. I want to talk to people who use complete sentences and can put on their own socks. (So I think that leaves me with anywhere but a rest home right?)

Mainly, I want to remember what it was like to get paid for a full days work.

Until I do...

I find my joys in little stupid things. Today my daughter turned a wheel above her head using a stick. That's using a tool to accomplish evil deeds. That's a smart baby. I take joy in her confidence, and the way she is constantly learning. Like today when she took great joy in shredding one of my rejection letters.

Now that's a skill a baby can take to the Mommy bank!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

My First Must Be Santa Monday

I was over at Candace's Blog Mommy Matters when I noticed she started writing for a new blog called Be Jolly By Golly. That peeked my interest because I'm already well into the holiday spirit...what with it being 10 weeks before Christmas and all.

So I clicked...and there I found some Linky Love... Must be Santa Monday is something Be Jolly By Golly appears to be hosting every week. (You can click on the picture above to get there)

Must be Santa Monday is a place to post the items that are on your wishlist or shopping list this holiday season.

So I figured I would post one item for each person in my family this week because it's the first week.

The hubby loves a game called Munchkin which is made by SJ Games. It's a role playing game done with cards. They just came out with a new pirate version of the game called Munchkin Booty. So that is my Wishlist/Shopping Item recommendation if your hubby likes role playing card games.

My daughter LaylaBug is 1 so I am definitely looking forward to the first year that her Christmas will be interactive. Last year I put a bow on her head. That was the best gift she got on Christmas morning. This year I am hoping that she will get something like the Jump-o-lene. Ironically I heard about the Jump-o-lene when I read about it on Candace's blog last Monday. But I think she's right... it's a great gift.

Lastly, a little something for myself. I would love the new David Cook CD which is aptly called David Cook. I am a HUGE David Cook fan and I already have his new single Light On blasting from my Myspace page...because I'm cool like that.

How about your Must Be Santa items...go to the link for Be Jolly By Golly and tell them all about them!

My First~ Menu Plan Monday!

Over at the Org Junkie Blog (which I read semi-regularly) they have something called Menu Plan Monday where you blog about what you're planning on cooking that week. I thought with budgets being tight around here I'd give it a go and see if it helped get dinner on the table. Here at the J house we tend to eat dinner at home 6 nights a week (at least if not all 7) so I tend to plan my bi-weekly shopping based on I'll just be assigning those meals to a day.

If you would like to try out Menu Plan Monday please click on the picture above (which should take you to the orgjunkie site where you can sign up for the Mr Linky and post your own blog).

Shredded Chicken BBQ Sandwiches on Hamburger Buns
Spaghetti & Meatballs
Italian Sausage & Balsamic Farfalle
Grilled Cheese
Spicy Tomato Soup (recipe soon on FatGirlEats)
Cassandra & Andrew are having a potluck we're taking Pretzel Salad
Pork Verde served over Rice
Recipes for several of these menu items are available at my food website FatGirlEats
**For our regular readers- unrelated to MPM- Our Giveaway winners for last week have been chosen and will be posted tomorrow morning. A new giveaway for this week will start Wednesday!**

3 Times 3

When I was first converting to Christianity, God stalked me. God was everywhere. Strangers talked to me, quotes found me in books, words haunted me from movies, signs feel down in front of me, it rained everyday angels and there was no denying that God was part of everything. I noticed God in everything, despite trying hard not to see him.

Now, it's been awhile. I find myself searching for God in the little things and although I find him there always I find myself also wondering if he wouldn't have been there if I wasn't looking so hard. It's that old Pagan in me. There's always going to be a little doubt.

Thursday it was a trying day. But, at some point during my day I sat down to watch the RR Show like I do every day and there was this Robin somebody or other who used to be (or maybe still is) on Good Morning America talking about a book she wrote after surviving cancer. She talked about her eighth rule which she added after she won her battle. The rule? "Make your messes into messages!"

I had an "ah ha" moment. Ok God, I hear you. I've been praying pretty hard about this writing thing... but I hear you now. I'll take this mess and find a way to make it into a message. Thanks Robin somebody or other for carrying God's message on to national television for me, I thought outloud in front of my daughter who looked at me like I was crazy.

But, the day was still long and hard and I felt pretty alone in it. I mean who listens the first time God talks to them... even people in the bible sometimes had to be told things 3 or 5 or 532 times. So I didn't feel bad when later I looked up while preparing dinner to hear Maria Shriver on Oprah talking about I don't know what and about how the I don't know what was her attempt to get women "to realize they are the leaders they are looking for". Ok God, I was listening the first time I was just making dinner. I chuckled to myself. I can do this. I feel renewed. I am...

What? The baby slipped while I was bathing her and now she's got a cut lip... I'm a horrible mother. Ten minutes changes everything and I am swept back from "enlightened" to beating myself up over a stupid mistake that the baby didn't even care I made.

So I sit down at the computer and I click through some blogs I follow after the baby went to bed and someone in one of my favorite blogs is talking about a book she is reading and how the person in the book wrote a little note to God on a postage note and the very next day she found a way to handle a situation she didn't know how to handle.

The person who wrote the blog started the blog by talking about how they didn't even really believe in God but ended the blog talking about how they wanted to use the blog they had written as a way to ask God to help them in the same way.

So it was decided. I mean it was already decided... I was just stalling.

A book. Yes God I hear you. I'll start writing it tomorrow. I'll set aside the fun project I was distracting myself with...because I hear you in the little things... someone (like the person who wrote that blog) is being stalked right now... and I think it's my turn to be the little thing they notice.


Don't forget today is your last day to post a comment and try to win free coffee at the 10 Weeks GiveAway!!

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Kick Me Again

I had a bad day. I know I had a bad day because I cried twice, I apologized a lot for things that I couldn't have changed and then I had 4 pepsi's. Bad day.

It's a test... and I'm passing with a C-.

So I had someone come over for dinner while Jon worked the night shift. We laughed, we talked babies, we pretended that bubble bath baby was the center of the universe. It was fun. I have pictures...well of the baby anyhow.

Maybe with my extra credit I'm up to a C+.

I don't feel as bad. What is, is. What was, was. What will be, will be. I've got to stop focusing on what kicks me and start focusing on my dodge reflex.

The only wait to get patience is to be tried. The only way to get endurance is to train. The only way to grow faith, is to pray.

And as long as I know that...

I'm still passing the class

Friday, October 17, 2008

Little Pills

Ocean's 13 was the last movie I saw in the theatre. At the time I was extremely pregnant and two friends took me to the movies in an attempt to keep me up late enough to attend another event with other people. I told them if they didn't keep me up, being as I was so pregnant, I would fall asleep and end up missing whatever it was.

I don't remember what the event was but I remember the movie. I also remember very clearly how on one side of me my friends Courtney and George sat watching the movie and on the other side of me (in the top row of the theatre I might add) sat two of the most annoying portugues woman I've ever encountered.

The first woman was about 65 years old and the woman she was with was probably in her late 70's. The older woman couldn't follow the movie plot and couldn't tell the characters apart. So through the entire movie she talked to the person next to her who answered her questions with the most hateful and abrupt answers I've ever heard. Not that I can blame the lady I personally wanted to push her friend down the stairs by the time I left.

George and Courtney enjoyed listening to me rehash the entire experience in the car and while the story I told was both funny and bitter the movie itself and the time I spent out with friends was enjoyed more because of it.

That was almost 2 years ago I think. Occassionally the opportunity comes up where I could go to the movies but I never go. My husband goes because I send him on without me. At first I didn't want to leave the baby that long. Then after awhile I just didn't want to spend two hours of my life and $20 watching something I could watch for free at home later in my pjs.

Now it's been awhile and I'm honestly scared to go to the movies. Scared of what? I don't know. It's like an anxiety bubble starts to blow up inside of me when people talk about the movies and I spend the rest of the time trying to figure out how to get to stay home.

So the other day when Layla had her 1 year check up I mentioned this to my Dr. Turns out some people get post partum anxiety and it rolls right over to an anxiety disorder. He thinks that's probably me. So we renewed my prescription.

While a part of me wonders what it will be like if I suddenly do want to go out again, being as staying home as become a part of me. Part of me also wonders what it will be like to stay home once I want to go out. Conflicted.


Don't forget my first ever GIVEAWAY contest... get your entries in by Sunday night!

Thursday, October 16, 2008


There is a space in my mind where the whispers are quiet. The voice that tells me that today I am not enough is pale and distant. In that corner of my mind I can ignore the looming feeling that the devil puts in my heart. The voice tells me that in my misery I am alone, that there is no hope, that I will fail and that no one will love me.

The voice is not my own. Inside my soul I have a light. The light is dim sometimes but it is never vanquished. In the light I can see my hope. The warmth of the light thaws the parts of me that feel aching and cold. In the light I know I am loved. The light is quiet and alone and yet it always makes me feel like the space it is in is surrounded by a protection so great my mind can not understand it.

In that space in my mind where the light is and the noise in quiet I find words. Words that spill over on to paper like water overflowing the edges of a river after the storm. The words recklessly shower all around me spreading fast and furiously amongst what is already there. As I try to scoop up the words I need some of them slip through my fingers.

As I watch them slip past me I am both anxious and calm. I am nervous about the words I will not be able to grasp and I am calm because I know the words I have in my hand will be enough if I use them wisely.

So I sit. I sit in a world field with noise. And in that noise I find my solace. The one word I have caught today will be enough. The word is comfort, safety, adventure and longing all in one. It is both the scariest word and the most liberating word I know. It is the word that describes the quiet spot in my mind, the light in my darkness, and even the noise around me.

The word is grace.

Grace be my solace.


Don't forget my first ever GIVEAWAY contest... get your entries in by Sunday night!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

10 Weeks GIVEAWAY!!

I don't know if you realize it but it's 10 weeks until Christmas. Yesterday someone gave me a little grief about being so "ahead of the game" and when I pointed out that it's just a mere 10 weeks until Christmas the person's eyes seemed a little less smug.

Why is it that two and a half months seems like so much longer than 10 weeks?

So I find myself 10 weeks before Christmas making a list of Christmas Traditions that I want my daughter to have. Some of them have been passed down in my family for generations, some of them are things Jon enjoys doing with his family, some of them are new things I'm adding now.

So this week I'm have my first ever GIVEAWAY! I know... exciting HUH??

As you probably guessed from the GIANT picture I'm giving away some free Starbuck's Coffee. The winners of this contest will get a 1 LB bag of Starbuck's Coffee (or a box of tea) of the flavor of their choice.

This Monday I will pick 2 winners. Then next weekend there will be a new contest...and so on for the next 10 weeks. Try to contain your excitement long enough to keep reading.

To enter you must do two things...

1. You must leave a comment linking me to a story about one Christmas tradition your family can't live without. (If you've already made this post you can link to an old post)
2. You must link this contest on your blog so other people can come enter too!
(and yes you can do both of these things in one blog post if you like)

If you do not have a blog you can leave a comment to enter to win but you have to give me TWO family traditions... (because this post has been up for 10 minutes and someone already asked)

So get started... contest ends at 11:59 PM on Sunday October 19th, 2008 (California time)

Tag I was it!

Candace over at Mommy Matters! tagged me for a photo blog.
The rules are as follows:
Go to your 6th picture folder & copy your 6th picture and put what it is here. Then tag 5 other people to do the same. I had to cheat a little. I put folders in my folders. So I went to this year and the 6th folder was March-April and the 6th picture was this one. Layla reaching for the camera after a bottle feeding. The sunlight from the sliding glass door at the old house gives it a nifty shadow.

I tag:

Lynn @ Displaced Californian
Courtney @ Practicing Patience
Melissa @ Jeffery's in Washington
Stacey @ Better Late
Cheryl @ Red Pens & Diapers

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Magic Ball

I wish there was a magic ball I could look into and see what I need to give her (other than love) to make her a well rounded person. I wish I could look into the future for a moment and see if she needs a dash more confidence, or humility or perhaps a little more book learning.

But there isn't.

There is no magical way that I will know that what I am doing is the right thing. I see her confident and funny and full of lifes new curiousity and I think I am doing good.

I give myself a gold star.

But, I just don't know. I don't know when to hold on to her hands, when to let her go, when enough is enough or when I haven't put in enough effort.

But, I do know this. There is love here. Love and forgiveness in this house will boil over. Love and a desire to be near each other. Never, will my child feel uncomfortable in the place where she was raised. She will always have a home. Here home will be in my heart.

And I don't need a magic ball to tell me that.

The Writing

I am writing a book. Now before you go around throwing out words like author or paid, I am writing a book so that I can get it out of my head. This book wasn't going to be the first book I ever wrote, but it is boiling over inside my head so I am going to write it to get it out.

I used to get paid to write. Back, in my younger days, I wasn't so carefree with the "...'s" and run on sentences. It's going to be hard to get back into the swing of things.

And for those of you wondering. I'm still looking for a FT job. This is just something I'm doing to do. Because that's what I do...random things when I feel like doing it. (Dang it another ... slipped in there)

On an upside, I think I have made a few major holiday decisions/realizations this week and I think this year the holidays are going to be a lot more at home simple here at the J house. Especially since it took 3 days to get rid of the cat rash and 3 out of 4 grandparents have cats. I see lots of visitors in my future. I just have to email them all ... which is somewhere on my to-do list between now and December 1st.

Tune in later this week when I tell you all about Thanksgiving.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Good Morning Sunshine

My daughter is a morning person. Ironically, I used to be a morning person before I had a daughter, now all I want is sleep. Yet, every morning... I find myself awake before the sunshine hits the window panes. I stumble down the stairs for some couch cuddling while she drinks a sippy cup and watches her shows.

Bedtime is irrelevant, we will be getting up at 6 am forever. At least, that's what I've decided after several months of getting up between 6 am and 7 am. Once I got to sleep in until 7:30, false hope was fun.

So now I find myself making busy work by 8 am to try and stay awake. I hate coffee and 6 am Pepsi with ice leaves you with indigestion and cold hands. So I bump around downstairs between the kitchen (doing dishes) and the living room (sighing at the mess already being made on the floor). I sing along to children's TV shows and sometimes I dance around in my big robe and my bare feet to make her laugh.

Then the first nap comes and every SINGLE day I find myself playing pro & con list in my head about whether it's good to take a nap while she naps or to start applying for jobs and searching the web. Usually I compromise and I look for jobs for awhile before I take a nap that ends up being 30 minutes or less before she wakes up.

I find myself tired every night at bedtime which is new for the girl who used to sleep 3-5 hours a night. With being tired come an entourage of strange dreams. Dreams that are liquid and illogical and still seem oh so very real.

Last night I dreamt we woke up early and watched the sunrise. So today we went outside in the early morning and we took out the mail as the sun was coming up. My daughter, a little cold and a little bitter I had taken her away from the house in the near dark...clung to me for a minute.

Then the sun came to greet us and her eyes opened wide. She pointed at the sky and said "no Bad" ( I couldn't dream something that...well... that Layla)

Oh well...

at least I tried.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Perfectly Bored

I know I always post the "bad" pictures on this site except when it's Layla's monthly letter so I thought I'd treat you all to a "good" picture. It's also on Layla's site for people who have access to that but I know some of you don't so I thought you should get a picture of my beautiful daughter to enjoy!

I hate you cat!

it's hard to see the rash in this picture but it's around her mouth and nose...

Today was my nieces birthday party. She turned two. My daughter turned into a giant rash. I love me niece and I was excited to celebrate her birthday but I don't know how I'm going to keep up with life as we know it when my child turns into a giant hive every time we encounter a cat.

Don't get me wrong. It could be much worse it could be a peanut or an orange or something with trace elements that hide in her food. She could go into shock and stop breathing or something horrible. Snot, itchy eyes and a small rash aren't that bad compared to what could have happened.

It just keeps getting worse and I'm not sure what to do. Two doses of benadryl later and I'm still dealing with a small rash on her face. The one on her back side (where she touched the changing table) and the one on her neck and chest and hands are almost gone but her face is still like a teenage food service workers.

Does anyone know a way to help a child with cat allergies at a house with a cat? I'm sending my pleas out into the Internet. Someone help us.

*An unrelated celebration of Nevaeh's birthday post is on Layla's site with pictures for those who are interested*

Friday, October 10, 2008

Everyone Knows It's Windy

Two days of the wind outside and today I woke up revitalized, refreshed, and overwhelmingly peaceful in my heart. I love the wind. Not as much as I love the rain, but it's a close second.

I can vividly remember what it was like to listen to the wind in the curtains laying in my bed when I was little. I can feel that same wind dance around me like it did when I spun in circles as a child. I am awakened by it like a child feeling the freedom of a high flying swing on a sunny autumn day.

My daughter on the other hand is restless. She doesn't know what that sound is outside her window and it keeps her awake. So today I'll show her. I'll show her the swing in the wind in the park and the breeze on the walk to the mailbox, how we can spin in it. I'll show her the wind in her hair. And I'll watch it for the first time through her eyes.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

The Alphabet Survey (thanks mom)

-A -
Available: Only for lunch plans
Age: 29
Annoyance: People who tell other people how to live
-B -
Best feature: my sarcasm...or my ass... you tell me
Beer: No thanks I'm not into yeast
Birthday: March 28th
-C -
Crush: I married my boy in the rain
Car: Paid off in 12 months
Candy: I just ate my body weight in Cookies n Cream Hershey Bars
-D -
Day or night: Morning
Dream car: I miss my Tahoe
Dogs or Cats: Dog (Cats kill my kid but I used to have an awesome one)
-E -
Egg nog: not unless I'm already drunk
E-mail: I only have 1
-F -
Favorite colour(s): Pink or Red
Favorite Band: Layla on drums
-G -
Gummy Bears or Worms: Wiggly foods are not ok
Giver or taker: Giver
-H -
Hair Color: The roots are brown the rest is calico LOL
Height: 5' 3" maybe
Happy: when it rains or when the leaves begin to fall
-I -
Ice Cream: yes please
Instrument: anything but the forceps...they were awfully not fun
Idol: Grandma Gerty
-J -
Jewelry: a ring from my engagement, a ring from my wedding, a ring from my mommy, a ring from my old BFF
Job: official wiper of noses and asses
Jail: not today I'm already booked
-K -
Kids: I'm partial to the one I have thanks
Kickboxing or karate: Aikido
Kindergarten: I hated that teacher but the trees at school reminded me of a magical kingdom and I dug that part
-L -
Longest Car Ride: To Oklahoma and back with my grandparents while trapped in the back of a cab and a half chevy was pretty memoriable
-M -
Meat: mmm bacon
Most missed person: Grandma Gerty
Movie Last Watched: Iron Man (we borrowed it from my mommy)
-N -
Number of Siblings: oh boy that's a long story... only child... mom remarried and I got a step sister...then I got married and got 3 in-law siblings and 2 of them had spouses so then I was at 6 but Terri (dad's GF) has been around forever and she's got 3 kids I could count too... so somewhere between 0-9...give or take
Name: Ma Ma
-O -
One wish: for my family to fill well loved
One regret: Many regrets... but forgiveness too
-P -
Part of your appearance you like best: um... ahhh.... I have nice ...intentions...the rest of me needs work as I near 30
Perfectionist: Only when I can be
-Q -
Quick or Slow: Quick to laugh
Quiet or loud: loud
-R -
Reason to smile: there is always tomorrow
Reality TV Shows: I don't really watch any... anymore... lol
-S -
Song Last Heard: Casting Crowns Can Anybody Hear Her
Season: Autumn
Shoes you're wearing: why would I put on shoes now?
-T -
Time you woke up: 5 am
Time you went to bed: in about 4 minutes
Time Now: 9:32 pm
Time for bed: already came and went
-U -
Unpredictable: only when I need to be
Underwear: not at the moment
-V -
Vegetable you hate: brussel sprouts (have my dad tell you that story)
Vegetable you love: carrots and ranch dressing, artichokes, or asparagus
Vacation spot: away
Worst habit: nail biting and worrying
Where are you going to next: to bed
Weather: Rain
-X -
X-tra special someone: I've got several of those, I collect them
X-rays: not again
-Y -
Year it is now: 2008
Yellow: not my color
-Z -
Zoo Animal: monkeys
Zodiac Sign: Aries...can't you tell

Fever! In the morning...

Layla woke up this morning at an ungodly hour with a fever. At 5 am she felt like her little body was boiling from the inside. So we went downstairs and had a cool bottle and ran around under the fan in our diaper with the door open to let in a cold breeze. (Some people believe in the cold bath...but it was early so I worked with what I had). After a dose of tylenol and 30 minutes in the near nude. The fever was just slightly warm to the touch and I put her jammies back on and let her lay on the floor for an hour and watch Jack's Big Music Show. Then I put her down for a nap.

By now she's just mildly warm. But, she's sooo moody. Flinging things around, tugging on her overalls, throwing things, and head butting things that don't work the way she wants. It's funny in that pathetically heart breaking sort of way.

Stupid eye teeth! Don't they know I have a new phone and must spend all my spare time pushing buttons in my obsession to know what every single button does?? Guess not.

In other news, I got two rejection emails for jobs I didn't really want today. So I guess that's the end of those... not that I care. I also got a call for another interview. Lucky me. I'm still waiting to see how I did at the interview yesterday.

This morning my lovely hubby put baby latches on everything in the kitchen the baby can reach so that I can get rid of the kitchen gate and hopefully not trip over a baby gate for the 4th time. After all I've destroyed my ankle, knee, old cell phone, and one plate of food... I think that's enough damage for 1 month of a baby gate.

Monday, October 06, 2008

Normal Life

It's amazing really, how much time you can waste when you get a new phone. I spent most of the day waiting for the phone, then marveling over the phone, then entering data into the phone. It was quite a long process.

Then eventually I set up my voicemail, only to find out that a local job has been trying to contact me for 2 days. Not the job I've been waiting for contact from. Just some random other job, calling me over and over again.
So I have an interview tomorrow night at 6 pm and a new phone. That's about all that is new and exciting here but really isn't that enough? I don't think I could handle much more.
Once the new phone is all set up I will no longer have to truck around a large day planner everywhere I go. So I am investing a decent amount of time in getting that ready. I long for a tiny purse... or better yet no purse... like it was back in the good old days.
You know what else I long for? Foggy mornings, twinkling lights in the early night and the site of my daughter in little striped autumn tights.

Sunday, October 05, 2008

I feel like Ginger

Yesterday we had a fun time at Nana Lorrie's house. Layla played with a variety of musical instruments, chased the poor little dog in a circle and recreated havock by putting things all over Nana's floor. Which Nana loved and I didn't have to clean up so I also enjoyed. We had pizza for lunch and southern chicken for dinner with greens. And, before I left... my daughter head butted me in the lip giving me a swollen fat lip with a cut and a purple bruise. Nice.

So then I could relate to poor Ginger, the little dog who had no safe haven (because she wasn't smart enough to go upstairs) and just waited around for the chaos to stop and the food to drop. Poor thing.

This morning we went grocery shopping and she's been down for a nap for over 2 hours. Grandma's are exhausting. When she gets up I'm going to let her eat something while she plays with her own toys and tells me repeatedly that Daddy Bye Bye and Nana Bye Bye and Papa Bye Bye.

Then it's WRESTLING! Jeff Hardy who I adore has a big PPV match tonight on No Mercy so we're going to try and make that happen somehow and I'm going to make a big pot of beans. Yummy!

I can't wait.

Saturday, October 04, 2008

My New Phone

So on Wednesday, while stepping over a baby gate, I took a little spill in the kitchen. The spill ended abruptly, hands first on the floor with my entire body weight on my cell phone. Which in hindsight I guess was better than my face or my tail bone (which I've broken 2 times).

My phone snapped into two pieces, the top half hanging limply like a loose tooth from the bottom half. The LCD screen was not working, the only way you could use it was on speaker phone but of course you can't dial it because you can't see what you're dialing or when someone calls.

It was dead. After calling A T & T it was determined that replacing my phone using the insurance was a $50 plus shipping experience but I was eligible for an upgrade. So on Friday when I got paid I called to find out about the upgrades.

I've wanted a Pearl (Blackberry) FOREVER but they retail (whole price at $329.00 on the internet, $199.00 with a new plan, or apparently $149.oo with my upgradable phone discount.

So... we started looking at other phones that were less than my insurance because the MOST I would be willing to pay would be the amount of my insurance. Most of those phones were refurbished. My phone would be "refurbished" too if I used the insurance. I'd get my phone back... but fixed.

Then it happened. Right while we were on the phone with A T & T a refurbished Pearl became available... guess how much it costs??

$4 more than using my insurance that's how much! I know... AMAZING

And I have to have a phone because I give my cell number to every job I apply for. Which lately, is lots and lots of jobs because my time on Unemployment is getting increasingly shorter.

So until Monday when my new phone arrives from DHL I'll be reachable by home phone (when I'm home) and by nothing else when I'm not because...well... that's what happens when you part your cell phone like the red seas.

Friday, October 03, 2008


Today Layla and I went Grandparenting. We stopped by grandparents houses (who were home) one by one for a short visit and for some affection fishing and then we dropped off her official studio pics and headed on our way.

Tomorrow we'll be going to Nana Lorrie's for a day filled with Amici's Pizza (my favorite if you're in the bay area), chasing Ginger the dog and hopefully with Mommy and Nana getting to play a little backgammon.

The hubby and his BFF "the Godfather" will take off for the Godfather bday trip to Magic Mountain. A boy roadtrip is just what the Dr ordered right now while everything is nice and stressful.

And the best part? It's going to rain. Gosh I love the rain. I could really use a good case of washed over and clean outside world.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

4 am

At 4:15 am I awake to the sound of my name being repeated over the baby monitor. I stumble, in the dark to her room and find her dry diapered but covered in sweat and tears. But, she never actually cried outloud so baffled I stumble back to my bed baby in hand and climb into a spot which is shaped like an L and blocks her from rolling off the bed. Jon's already at work.

I coax her into laying her head down and for 2 hours we alternate between her sitting up or rolling around and then talking to me in baby talk. She really believes it is morning and at 6 am I give up and let it be morning. We stumble downstairs in the dark and when I put her down she tries to crawl into that new rocking chair again.

I set her in the chair, turn on Jack's Big Music Show and make a sippy cup of milk. She watches for an hour then gets down and walks to me on the couch and tell me... "eat... benana". Ok, so I can totally do that. Half a banana and a half a cup of dry cereal later she wants "awl down" (all done) and waves her hands in the air so I pick her up and take her back the living room to play. But she doesn't play. She crawls to the baby gate and says "ups"

We go upstairs where for the first time in her tiny life she makes the turn towards her room instead of mine willingly and crawls beside her bed. "Nie Nie" she tells me and I put her down for a nite nite nap. "want that" she points at her pacifier on the dresser. Ok.

I turn on the musical fish and live the room. What do I do now? I think. Nap doesn't normally happen for another 1 and a half hours. Our schedule today is ruined. So I pay some bills, take a shower and write a blog.

If I sleep I'll be upset if I have to wake up soon. So I wait. The toll of 4 am weighing heavily on my shoulders and dragging each one of my steps.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Professionally Adorable

The 1 year studio pics are up. As any mommy would do, I sent my husband the SECOND we got the call to pick them up. This picture will soon be hanging in my living room. This particular picture is the one I picked "just for Mommy".

The grand-parents, great-grandparents and assorted family will all be getting something else. This pose, is my little treasure...and I'm hoarding it.

But can you blame me? I mean she is adorable isn't she? She refused to take a picture standing up, and this picture was taken one of the 300 times she tried to crawl away in 30 minutes. She thought it was a game. A game I will never forget, because I have the ONLY picture of it.