6.30.2010

So Long, Chicago Moms Blog

It's been about a year since I started contributing to Chicago Moms Blog and a couple of weeks ago the news broke that the site and its regional sister sites will no longer be operating as of July 1st. I was shocked, then bummed, but I knew that the leadership in the Chicago Moms Blog community would take advantage of the opportunity. I'm excited for a new chapter, but beyond appreciative of the time I had to contribute to Chicago Moms Blog.

Contributing to the site helped me to stop wincing when I said "mom blogger" out loud. It allowed me to grow confidence and work on my "mom voice," to get to know other mom bloggers in the area, mingle with sponsors, and it was through my affiliation with this group that the NBC spot came my way. I joined the Book Club, which got me reading and thinking and writing in a way I have not in a really long time. Being a contributor gave me deadlines and goals for posting, it gave me a reason to have to post. I found a space for myself as a mom in Chicago.

So, when the news broke I went through my concerns, but like I said, I knew that if I sat tight a new opportunity would present itself. And it has. (Details to come in mid-July.) For now, if you want to look back at my time with Chicago Moms Blog, you can see my posts here.

And if you have some extra time on your hands, check out the rest of the Chicago Moms Bloggers here. You'll be seeing more of them in the new Chicago group. Just wait and see.

6.29.2010

Internet Safey - Then vs. Now

I remember when my parents got our first computer with internet. We had AOL and it was a big deal. I still remember the sound of the modem dialing up, the anticipation of "chatting" with someone, seeing my name pop up on a list of people who were also on the internet. I was in junior high. My parents didn't know what I was up to. I was always a night owl, usually reading, but when the rest of the lights would go out, I'd creep into the basement and play with the new computer. Sometimes it was Sim City or Zelda, usually it was the internet.

There was a guy who would pop up and talk to me. I assumed we were the same age, but the interaction must have been basic and slow, given my junior high level of communication and two-fingered typing skills. I recall we talked a couple of times, nothing major and then he asked for my phone number. I gave it to him. Internet security and safety didn't seem to be a big deal in the early 90's. Anyway, he called me and I remember answering the phone and hearing a far older voice than I was prepared to hear. Instantly, I knew a line was crossed, but he was in California and I was in junior high, it seemed to me that nothing could go wrong. And it didn't. Maybe he didn't realize how young I was, but he likely did. I knew I shouldn't talk to him, that my mom would flip out if she heard his voice, so I told him not to call me anymore.

We continued to talk online, but not on the phone. I was clearly freaked out by the depth of his voice and somehow the internet felt safer. Then a package showed up. Now, I don't remember if I gave him my mailing address, maybe I did? It included photos of him and a sweatshirt from his university. That's right. UNIVERSITY. He was over the age of 18. I was probably 12 and I'm sure I sounded like it. My mom saw the package and communication halted immediately. My choice as well. I didn't know exactly what I was doing, but I knew it couldn't be good. I don't believe I ever signed on to chat again. I was spooked enough by the weirdness of the situation, I didn't even need to watch an episode of the Dateline sting operations cornering internet predators.

When I think of the situation, I still get slightly nauseated. It gets worse when I think of it in context of my own child. What will the internet have in store for him? There were no photos of me online at the time, someone had to really work to find me, but now it's all out there. Even as adults, we're at risk. One of my nearest and dearest is right now dealing with some unwanted internet attention from someone who is anonymously harassing her, but knows a ton about her life. She has a blog and her name and profile are on her company site. It wasn't hard to find information about her. You can find her on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn... But, aren't these the basics sites that everyone is on? It's scary to think that someone is trolling these sites for personal information used to harass her. That's scary for a 31 year-old adult. What will it be in 10 years when I have a 12 year-old on my hands?

I've learned my lesson and try really hard not to list the things "I'll never do." I can't say I'll never let my son go on a computer without supervision or that I'll never let him have an account with whatever social media tool is all the rage. I can't say I'll always use the parental controls or check his online activity every night or keep all of our family's computers in common areas or insist that he play a board game with me instead of games on the computer.

But, I know I'll try as hard as I can to keep him safe, to give him the confidence to make good judgements. And I know I'll remember that uneasy feeling I got when I heard that too-deep voice and saw the photos of someone I knew I shouldn't be chatting with. My red flags went up, but that doesn't mean that every kid's does.

This post was inspired by National Internet Safety Month, which was the Yahoo! Motherboard topic this month.

6.26.2010

Outdoor Family Fun

Welcome NBC 5 viewers... If you are here because you saw my segment, I'm impressed by your early morning ways. Pat on the back!

If the weather in Chicago stays the way it was yesterday, then we'll have plenty of reasons to use some of these great items below, so check them out. I think they're all pretty neat.

Here is more information about the items I showed, how you can get them, and why I like 'em:

Snack Trap (snacktrap.com)$4.99



  • Kid needs a snack, mom's hands are full, kid can feed himself
  • Minimizes wasted food and wasted time spent cleaning up while developing self feeding skills for infants to toddlers
  • Slits in the lid allow children to see and retrieve food, but automatically closes when the toddler removes their hand
  • Portion control - no handfuls shoved in the mouth (I mean for kids, can't be responsible for adults)

  • Thermacell Outdoor Lantern (mosquitorepellent.com) $31.99





    • Applying bug spray or lotion is on the list of my least favorite mom tasks
    • Non-toxic, portable, safe, non-intrusive, and, can I repeat, NON-TOXIC (no need to worry about what you're rubbing into that little skin)
    • Keeps insects away for a 15 x 15 area and is 98% effective
    • Doubles as a lantern for a romantic dinner when the kids go down and the mosquitoes get sick of trying to feast on you
    My Royal Heinie Daypack (myroyalheinie.com) $34.99

    • Compact diaper bag instead of the huge one I'm used to dragging around town
    • Awesome built-in Smart Wipes Dispenser that allows mom to deal with wipes one-handed, so the other one can hold down squirming, pantless child
    • Love the stroller attachments, changing pad, and well-designed pockets
    • It can fit in mama's big ol' purse
    Potty Flip (pottyflipusa.com) $24 for 12-pack


    • When nature calls you might just be in nature... No public bathroom, no problem
    • Full size, safe, portable, disposable, and biodegradable
    • Just flip it out and then fold it up and dispose
    • No more holding kids over freaky public toilets
    Speedminton (speedminton.com) $29.95
    Kinda like if tennis, badminton, and racquetball had a baby without tons of rules
    • Easy, portable, fun all wrapped up in a compact carry case
    • No need for a net or a strict-sized playing field
    • Includes special lights to play at night
    • A little more refined than bags at a BBQ, no?
    Sport-Brella (sklz.com) $69.99




    • Instant protection from the sun, wind, or rain in 3 seconds
    • Fits the whole family for a picnic or hanging out at the beach
    • Top air vents and side windows for efficient air flow
    • Convenient carry bag for taking it to and fro
    The park, pool, Ravinia, beach, tailgates, BBQs... The list goes on and on for awesome places to use any of these items. Seriously, I think these are all pretty great. Check them out and let me know what you think.
    Disclosure: I received complimentary samples of these products for the NBC 5 review. I was not compensated in any other way.

    6.25.2010

    Vanity, Kids Toys, and NBC News

    Ever since I got pregnant with the little guy I've had some issues with my skin... on my face... as in breaking out. And it never went away. I kept thinking it was a hormonal thing that had everything to do with being pregnant and getting back to my "normal self." But, seriously, the self I was for 29 years may have been a stepping stone to my mom self. Adult acne and all, this may just be my new reality. So, let's just say that this whole break out thing has been new for me, kinda like I'm in junior high.

    This week has proved to be one of those weeks when my skin issues have roared their ugly head (tee hee hee). And, of course, the timing could not be worse. Here's the deal: I'll be on NBC Chicago Morning News tomorrow morning to discuss outdoor toys for kids. If you're like us Hannemaniacs and wake up at the crack of dawn you can catch me around 6:15 am.

    Keeping this in mind, I decided to fight back against my face yesterday. Why? Vanity set in. I had an appointment with the adorable dermatologist's nurse for stitch removal from that pesky mole and asked if she had any tricks up her sleeve for clearing up the mess on my face. She asked if I wanted to see the doctor.... Um, of course. So, he came in about 10 minutes later and took a look at my face.

    Doc: "Hello, again. Heard you're going to be on tv. Let's get you ready!"

    Me: "Yeah, well, I mean, it's not a big deal and I'm not usually this vane and, I mean, um, this is just out of control. But, seriously, I don't have to explain vanity to you, I can't imagine some of the patients you probably see...." (OK, it's safe to say I should have an off switch)

    A little one on one time with the doc and he lays out his plan of attack. Shots, pills, and a topical gel. Yikes. It seems major, but promises to clean this up lickety split.

    The shots were administered yesterday, kinda hurt, not gonna lie. And the topical gel seems to have made an overnight difference, except I felt like my face was tingling a bit. But, I think I'm going to draw the line at the pills. I want to see what the shots and topical gel can do on their own. (Say it with me: self sabotage)

    So, anyway, moral of the story:

    1. I will be on NBC News tomorrow morning at the crack of dawn talking outdoor toys.

    2. Adult acne is real, people.

    3. Vanity has set in for this Mom Blogger.

    4. Per usual, I say I want help, but only commit to about 66% of anything I'm told to do.

    6.23.2010

    Kinda Wordless Wednesday: Why I Have To Get Better


    I have a lot of reasons that I have to get back to fighting form by this weekend (more on that later), but the main reason is the bachelorette party for this Parrot Head.

    6.22.2010

    Being Sick = Mom Guilt

    I have the flu. In a bad way. What I thought was food poisoning has progressed to a serious flu bug. You name it, I got it. Worse even is that I seem to have locked up my neck either from laying on my couch or retching. As if the body ache and headache weren't bad enough... I've been able to hold down Advil this afternoon, but it doesn't seem to be doing a thing.

    Anyway, I don't mean to complain about being sick. We all get sick sometimes and I have a tendency to run myself down. With the schedule I've had lately, this isn't a surprise. But, this time being sick is different. This is the first time I've really been sick since my little guy can understand what's going on. Not that he comprehends what sick means, but he understands that he has to be gentle, that I can't play with him, and I'm spending a lot of time in bed and on the couch. And he's being incredibly sweet about it, which only makes it worse.

    All I want to do is give him a hug, but I can't. As a working mom , staying home sick is quite guilt inducing. Not only do I feel guilty that I'm not in the office, I feel terrible that the few hours of the day I usually get to spend with him are off limits. I don't want to get him sick and can hardly lift my head. I feel horrible because I'm sick and feel guilty for being sick. It's vicious.

    And, I'd also like to state that there is nothing good on tv during the day. Except for Food Network, which is not ideal when you're dealing with stomach flu. Now back to bed I go... Fingers crossed I wake up feeling a little better tomorrow. Just good enough for a hug.

    Aunt Paula Sounds Very Familiar To Me

    For the SV Moms Book Club this month we read Girl in Translation, the story of an immigrant Chinese girl, Kim, and her mother's struggle to make it in the U.S.

    My mom is an immigrant, which most people don't realize about her. She moved here from Venezuela as a young girl, but it isn't something that has shaped our lives too much. She doesn't speak with an accent, my sisters and I aren't bilingual, and we don't have any traditions that seem foreign. It's a non-issue, for the most part. In this way, she was very different than the Chinese immigrants in the story, who held tight to tradition and their own culture. However, my mom's relationship with her siblings is very much like the relationship between the book's main characters and their family.

    In the book, Kim's Aunt Paula takes advantage of her family's desperation, attempts to control their choices, and then punishes them for their achievements. She is a terrible character, one most people may not believe could be real. Except, I know that family can be that way. I've experienced it first hand with my mom's family. All of the emotions I saw play out between the aunt and her sister and niece are the same my mother has struggled with for years. While Aunt Paula did help Kim and her mother through health issues and travel costs. The debt was far too great and was made only worse by the issue of family pride and respect.

    I have aunts who are very similar to Aunt Paula. We've never been indebted to them, but the idea of family and pride has manifested itself in vicious ways. Like Kim, once I became old enough, I started to see through the fog of family. Years ago I vowed that some of them would not be welcomed into my own family once I had one. I've drawn the line. My mom, however, has held onto hope that things will get better, that they don't mean what they say or do, that one day she'll have a normal family. Other than an aunt who I love dearly, the rest have continued with their charades and my mom has tried to excuse everything they do with the understanding that they're "family."

    As Kim did in the book, I've seen through their antics and am now a threat to them, so naturally I've become the center of their attacks. My aunts have decided that I've turned my mom against them, that I don't show them enough respect, and have made up incredible lies about me, which have resulted in personal attacks. The things is, I don't care what they say, because they matter so little in my life.

    For my mom it's heart breaking. She is trying to learn to accept that her siblings are toxic, yet still loves them despite it. She has accepted a lot from them over the years, made excuses for why we have to see them, put on a happy face when people ask about her family. Maybe it was that initial feeling of "otherness" that they shared when they first moved here that makes her feel like she has to stick by them. And, maybe it was the frustration of being in a foreign land with new customs and a huge language barrier that has been translated into anger by my relatives. It couldn't have been easy for them to be dropped into the North Shore from a life in Venezuela with an Italian father and Venezuelan mother. I know it was difficult to be Hispanic in white, upper class America in the 1960's, even if they were only half. Was that the experience that created the situation they're in today?

    I'm sure my mom won't be happy that I'm writing this post, airing my feelings toward the family that isn't. But, they don't read my blog. And after I finished the book all I could think about was how familiar Aunt Paula felt to me and how sad that is for all of us. Acceptance and openness about the things you can't change is the first step in moving forward, so I'm trying to move forward for all of us.

    This post was inspired by Girl In Translation by Jean Kwok, which I received complimentary as a part of Chicago Moms Blog (Silicon Valley Moms Group) Book Club. See how other moms were inspired by this book here.

    6.21.2010

    A Day of Joy and Loss

    Saturday was a bizarre day. I went to a baby shower for one of my oldest, closest, and most wonderful friends. Kari has always wanted to bring life into this world, to have a baby to love and protect. I'm so happy she is only weeks away from meeting her baby girl, what I know will be the happiest day of her life. So, the shower felt like a celebration of all the joy she has in store.

    From there I swooped in for about 15 minutes to check on the home front and then went to a memorial service for a sorority sister who recently passed away after a relatively short battle with cancer. Emily was 30 years old. I wouldn't call us great friends, but we were friendly. However, we shared an extraordinary friend who was close to both of us. I went to support my dear friend who is mourning the end of her friend's life and because her parents deserved to know that their daughter was part of a community of people who will miss her. I can imagine how important that was to them.

    My day consisted of two most opposite views of life. Joy for a new, innocent life and all of the possibilities of a new baby. Joy that can only be understood by a new mother holding a sweet, tiny onesie or the blanket they'll use to swaddle their baby. Then it was Loss. Loss of a life way too early... before weddings or onesies.

    My friend Angie spoke at the memorial and told a story about Emily, mentioning a gift she brought to a friend for her birthday when a gift was not necessary. She cited that without knowing what life had left in store for her, she was determined to live the best life she could, be the best friend she could, ultimately give her friends the best possible memories of their time together. Something to remember her by, perhaps, whether that be a tangible gift or the gift of knowledge. I'm still thinking about this and it's making me reconsider every interaction I have. Perhaps that was her gift to me, what she taught me in her short life. I know it's not profound, but it felt like it. No matter how many times we tell ourselves to live every day as if it's our last, the voice in the back of our head reminds us that there's really good chance it isn't.

    Why is it that we only do this when facing our mortality? What if Kari's new baby were to grow up with this knowledge from her first day of life? Imagine the impact she would make on this world, on the people around her. Then maybe a life that only lasts 30 years would be a life lived fully.

    When I think back on Saturday, I see smiles and tears, there was a lot of laughter, plenty of stress, and a lot of hugs. But, the vision I can't get out of my head is of two huge brown eyes watching me as I walked out the door yet again. I looked back over my shoulder and saw him sitting at the dinner table eating dinner with his dad as I drove off to be a friend. I feel like I'm too often driving away, but I know it's always for the right reasons. And I can only hold onto the hope that I am living my life in the best way possible, knowing when I have to be there.

    6.20.2010

    Father's Day #2

    I think that celebrating the special days is important. I'm serious about enjoying the days we have each year set aside to honor the people we love. And what a beautiful day to celebrate Father's Day!

    Let me tell you, we have a lot to celebrate. Here at our house we're incredibly fortunate to have a really, really amazing father. He is by far one of the most hands-on fathers a kid could ever wish to have - Yes, I know I'm lucky.

    We started with brunch at our favorite place, Mrs. D's, in Wilmette where I enjoyed the best eggs Florentine I've ever had, Matt enjoyed the best Greek omelet he's ever had, and the little guy picked all the powdered sugar off of his pancakes.

    After a quick trip to an awesome new park, we collected sticks and saved a worm from being eaten as it sunned itself on the sidewalk.


    From there we hit the road for important errands, including buying the first set of Hot Wheels for the little guy and plenty more flowers for our never-ending house work. (We're finally getting smarter and investing in more perennials than annuals.) Finally, we got the two guys measured for their tuxedos for Christina and Tristan's wedding in three weeks (eek!).

    We hightailed it home where the little guy went down for a nap and I started Martha Stewart's delicious Sweet Onion Dip for our Father's Day celebration at my aunt and uncle's.

    At the party W ran around like crazy, got plenty of hugs and kisses, and got to pet and hold their snake. And I got to see my dad and grandpa for Father's Day.


    For the guy who is often frustrated by our overstuffed life, I tried to pack a day full of all the stuff we wanted and needed to do. If I could give Matt the perfect day it would be a day of the three of us with nothing to do, but hang out. That's coming, I promise.... We just have to get through the next month.

    6.17.2010

    So You Think You Can (insert talent here)

    Since this is *the* show that I like to blog, so I wanted to share my thoughts on the new All-Stars format. I love it. I really do. Some of my absolute faves are back, like Twitch, Catherine, Ade, Pasha, and the beyond amazing Neil. Love them. Love, love, love them. But, man, it's crazy how much better they all are since they were on the show, isn't it? They were good before, but now they're gooo-ooood.

    That's what's great about this format. All of these All-Stars were once in the shoes of the contestants: They were outstanding. They did the show and then went off, matured, honed their skills and now they're extraordinary. (Just imagine what Billy and Alex are going to be like in a few years.)

    And that is what has struck me the most: the opportunity to see what this show creates and what a young dancer looks like compared to a real, polished professional with the knowledge that they will have that same opportunity. And each and everyone of them are someone's child. They started out as fresh and innocent, as full of life and wonder as William is right now. (What is it about becoming a mom that makes you see the little kid in everyone?)

    I sit here on my couch and think of all the things W has ahead of him. What will be his talents? Where will his passions lead him? I never had a passion like that. Sure, I had plenty of talent, skills, and interest in all sorts of things, but not enough to follow one serious, singular dream. Matt has that. He's an artist. It's the way he was born, he sees the world in a different way. I only wish there was a show called So You Think You Can Draw. He'd seriously kick some sketching ass.

    How exactly do you make sure you give your kids every possible opportunity to do something great without being pushy? How do you encourage them to take their talents seriously without being the crazy parent?
     
    Disclosure: This post was sponsored by XFINITY by Comcast. I was compensated.

    6.16.2010

    Wordless Wednesday: Blackhawks Win!

    (Yes, I realize this is a week late. It's been crazy around here.)

    6.15.2010

    I'm In The Loop

    My office moved and today was our first day in the new space. After about five years of working at the same desk, I'm completely changing my routine. I've worked downtown for most of my adult working life (except year-long stints in Naperville and Humboldt Park), but this is the first time I'm working in the Loop. Heck, I've never even worked south of the river, and I gotta say, it's different.

    I love that the new office is closer to the train and am so looking forward to spending my lunch hour at the Farmer's Markets this summer. The 10 different options for coffee within a couple of blocks will bring me endless joy. BUT, there is just something a little more dark, drab, and dirty about it. When I walked out of the building for lunch with about nine of my co-workers we all froze, looked up and slowly craned our necks back and forth, stared at a bus, got knocked around by a couple of dudes in suits, and took on a rather deer in headlights look. Yup, we looked like tourists. That's the best way to describe it: the Loop is the real city. It's like for the first time we came to the city and we were all totally confused. Until now, I've been cooling my heels in River North where there tends to be more room on the sidewalks, less bus exhaust in your mouth, and some trees. These days I'll be clutching my purse a little tighter and wrinkling my nose at the exhaust. Maybe I should buy a city map. Kidding, sort of.

    6.11.2010

    Labor Envy

    Check out my new post at Chicago Moms Blog about labor envy.

    I swore I'd never be one of those women who recounts the yucky details of her labor story. And I haven't. There would be no way to really do it justice.

    6.10.2010

    If Only He Could Have Stitched My Ego

    Last week I paid my dermatologist a visit for the annual mole scan and he decided that two had to go, so I enthusiastically asked for the next appointment possible. Yes, I wanted to remove anything freaky from my body ASAP, but my dermatologist also happens to be ADORABLE. So, yes, I would happily plan to see him again.

    It's OK, people, Matt sees him too and might even have a man crush on him. He's fully aware that I swoon, encourages it even. Going on...

    Most of the ladies in my office also see the Hot Doc, so he's become a frequent topic in our office as someone or other seems to be paying him naked and often embarrassing visits every couple of months. So, my mole removal was kind of big news. When one of my co-workers offered to grab me lunch while she ran out, I declined citing my upcoming visit to the Hot Doc.

    I was reminded that eating might be a good idea to make sure I didn't pass out. But, seriously, passing out wouldn't be all bad... It would mean passing out in the arms of Hot Doc. I was willing to risk it. I called Matt to make sure he was fully aware of my diabolic plan. He was cool with it, joked that he hoped I would need mouth to mouth resuscitation, and I was on my way on an empty stomach.

    The first mole was removed from my right bra line area. Yes, there was plenty of giggling. The next was on my back, so I had to flip over. As I did, my vision was clouded with tiny white points of light.

    "Um, I'm kinda seeing stars. No big deal. Just want to give you the heads up," I said. The stars continued to close in and then I felt light-headed.

    "Yup, I'm a little light headed now. I'm not the passing out-type, but I just thought you might want to know," I said.

    "OK, just let me know if you feel like you're going to throw up and I'll get you something to do it in." What?!?! Seriously? A barf bag? Clearly I had totally overestimated his savior reflexes. A moment later he finished the stitches and we were done, I made a couple of weak jokes, peppered with nervous laughter, and he was on his way.

    He wanted me to wait a couple of minutes before I could get up, leaving me with a nurse who argued with my "I'm fine" protests. Ugh.

    I texted Matt that I was done and he replied that he was outside waiting for me. Of course. I walked out of the building and told him I wasn't feeling well, that I needed to eat something. He gave me a sympathetic eyebrow raise.

    "Are you wearing lipstick?" he asked.

    6.08.2010

    Me Time

    Our little guy's day is ruled by time. We've found it's the best way to make him cooperate and anticipate his daily routine. He day includes the usuals... Nap time, bath time, play time. We've also incorporated some of our own... pajammy time, brusha-brusha time (teeth brushing), and his current fave, naked time. (Naked time is his post-bath period of freedom in which he runs around the house shrieking in the buff.)

    During naked time tonight we were playing on the bed, chatting, and giggling when suddenly he started scooting off the bed. "Where are you going?" we asked.

    His response: "Me time." And we watched his adorable little butt scurry out of the room.

    6.07.2010

    Withdrawal Symptoms


    I had some serious kiddo withdrawal after this weekend. Seriously serious. Matt took the little guy to Wisconsin to see his grandparents and cousins, but I stayed here for bridal shower bonanza for one of my brides-to-be. The showers were fantastic and I got in some major quality time with my BFF and even snuck in a sleepover (she is still a major bed hog). I also managed to wash the sheets, hit the grocery store, vacuum two rugs, pick up a bridesmaid dress, and get my haircut while running in and out of my house in various directions. I might have sat down for about 15 minutes.

    Seeing as I had no down time, it wasn't until I was in the bathroom after the shower ended yesterday afternoon and saw a mom with her own little guy right around William's age that I realized how much I missed him. Of course I missed him all weekend, but I never had a chance to really MISS him. I checked in with Matt all weekend, but always as I was on my way to one thing or another. In the bathroom I was finally in a quiet moment where I wasn't thinking about where I was going and I realized that the only place I wanted to go was to see my little man.

    Matt and I got home right around the same time and I was greeted by a very excited toddler who let me give him as many hugs and kisses as I wanted to. (Every time I asked, "Where's my hug?" I received an enthusiastic "Right here!")

    I have a lot more kiddo-missing coming my way... June and July weekends are full of stuff that will keep me busy and away from him on the weekends. All good stuff, but we're really going to be missing each other.

    6.03.2010

    How NOT to Start Your Day

    It’s been a crazy couple of weeks with lots of time at work, shower and bachelorette party stuff, some crappy personal stuff, and Hannemaniac Home Renovation 2010. It dawned on me just how bad things have gotten this morning when I encountered the following issues:

    1. Matt left for work at 5:30 am. He’s been really busy with work, but since mine has been more pressing, he is finally playing make-up. Oh, and Howie woke him up at 3:30 wanting a walk. Poor guy.

    2. W woke up before I had a chance to take a shower, so I “pretended” I didn’t know he was awake and jumped in quickly while he was still contained in his crib, where I was fairly confident he sat with a dirty diaper.

    3. While in the shower I found the hotel sized bottle of shampoo I’ve been using to be empty, so had to use W’s California Baby Shampoo and Body Wash.

    4. I’m a stress-(non)eater, which means that none of my pants currently fit me. (I’m still too big for my pre-kid pants, yet to small for my post-kid pants.) I’ve been getting by with saggy butt pants, but somehow this morning they looked like clown pants. I finally found a back-up pair of pants with a home-made hem job.

    5. W started screaming “milk, milk” at the top of his lungs. We didn’t have any whole milk for the little man. And the skim milk had an expiration date of May 30th. Not OK for him to drink, however OK for me to use in my (absolutely must have it) coffee this morning. I was willing to risk food poisoning.

    6. After a quick scan of the bills I realized that I paid COMed for both their bill and our COMcast bill last month. How did I realize this? The NASTY letter from Comcast threatening to switch off my service. Looks like we’ve paid off our electricity for the next couple of months. (Note to self: Look into AT&T. Really, Comcast? One missed payment and you threaten to shut off service? I know it was my fault, but it’s a bit dramatic.)

    7. While walking out to the car this morning, I had to pass a tray of sad looking flowers and herbs that are still waiting to be planted in some pots. I’ve been planting every chance I get over the weekends, but it’s only been an hour here and there.

    Please tell me how good my hair looks if you see me today.