The Birthday Post!

Today is Xavier’s 2nd birthday!! I can’t believe my little baby is definitely, certainly, NOT a baby anymore. And as if on cue, the last few days have shown us a taste of the terrible twos..let’s hope this is as bad as it gets. Toddlers be crazy, yo.

So let’s talk birthday party. We had to do it a bit early this year, due to a combo of the vacation schedules at work  and Xavier’s social circle having quite a few birthdays in June & July.  This year, we found a GEM in the Scituate Community House. It was inexpensive, HUGE, AIR CONDITIONED, and extremely conveniently located (for us anyway, only 10 minutes from home!)

I’ll let pictures tell you the story, I guess.

IMG_9787 IMG_9797 IMG_9792 IMG_9791 IMG_9802 IMG_9805 IMG_9806 IMG_9810 179713_10200650644140052_1096012574_n 1002273_10200650643380033_1401416376_n IMG_9811 IMG_9832 IMG_9837 IMG_9829 IMG_9828 IMG_9827 IMG_9825 IMG_9824 IMG_9823 1043847_10200650642820019_755457276_nIMG_9887 IMG_9885 IMG_9884 IMG_9883 IMG_9878 IMG_9877 IMG_9868 IMG_9861 IMG_9859 IMG_9855 IMG_9853One of the most frequently asked questions so far has been “Where did you get those posters?!” They ARE seriously amazing, right?  I am telling you, there are artists EVERYWHERE. You just have to look. One of my coworkers did them! Here is her Etsy shop, go buy some stuff from her!

http://www.etsy.com/shop/VivaLeArt?ref=top_trail

She does custom stuff too, and also she’s the sweetest girl ever.

Don’t try to make those monster horns, they sucked ass and didn’t even taste that good. I steamed sugar cones until they were soft, dropped a few chocolate chips in the bottom and then dipped. Candi-quik worked the best for that, but these were seriously, the biggest pain.

I forgot to take pictures of a lot of stuff, the goody bags, the outside..I suck.

You’ll notice the ambulance photo..yea. The hubs decided to put the grill on the stoop..and the smoke got inside and set off the alarm. The very LOUD alarm. Since it was a public building, we had to evacuate and wait for the fire department to come shut it off. It’s a good thing it wasn’t an actual fire..because I see no fire putting out apparatus in that AMBULANCE. Way to go!

Did you see my big kid blew out his own candle? After his laying on the floor, don’t want to sing protest, that is.

As far as activities, the kids were all pretty small still, so we just read the book, and I had a basket of musical instruments for them to mess around with. It worked well enough, I think. Oh, and the fire drill.

Yes, I went a bit overboard, but I figured it was okay since I saved so much on the venue and centerpieces!

Today is his actual birthday, and I woke him up with a room full of balloons, and made him peanut butter banana French toast. When he wakes up I’m taking him to the Providence Children’s Museum.

My very good friend Katy was kind enough to make that cake. Isn’t it AMAZING? Then we just set these Hallmark ornaments on top.

Feel free to hit me up with any questions about anything.  This was a REALLY fun theme to work with, but WTWTA Merch is outrageously expensive. If you’re doing one, either link your credit card up to Etsy, or get ready to DIY some shit and rely heavily on a few key elements and color scheme to keep your theme cohesive.

 

A Revival, Again.

Hello again friends. It’s been a very, very long time.

I have some updates to give, and the blog will soon be getting a makeover. Sadly, we no longer have three beasts. This is one of the reasons I could not post for so long. In February,  we said goodbye to our oldest dog, Capone. It happened very fast.  One day, he was fine. One day, he skipped breakfast. Three weeks later, he was gone. Cancer in his abdomen.  I miss him dearly, every single day. Every single dog I look at, and I see a lot of them, I miss those big brown eyes and his mile wide grin. It’s been months and I have yet to fold up his crate and his sweater still sits on my nightstand. I miss my dog.  But I don’t want to spend the day crying. Someday, I’ll tell you all the story of Capone. But not today.  I’ve tried to make my peace with it, 10 1/2 years is a damned good run. He didn’t suffer, and I was with him at the end. You can’t ask for much more than that.

RIP,  Old friend.

RIP, Old friend.

On a much lighter note, I’m much lighter. In September, I decided to lose a little weight. Shit was getting scary. Nothing even in the plus size stores fit me anymore.  I was BIG. I decided I would give a 10 day diet a shot, maybe I could get something going.  Lose a few lbs, see the scale move, get inspired.

Man..did it ever.  As of last week, I’ve lost 90 lbs (Put four back on this week, but let’s not talk about it, I’ll get rid of them!)

Here’s me at Xavier’s birthday party last year:

553695_785252158169_1146908123_nAnd here I am at his party THIS year:

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Okay not the best comparison shots. Here’s another:

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That was at 80 lbs down.

I wish I could tell you a secret that was exciting and new. But it’s just calories in, calories out. I eat a lot of salad, I walk, I do yoga. I drink lots of water and take my vitamins.

(We’re still not talking about this last week that was a shitshow.)

I’ve started a weight loss group on Facebook and it’s a stellar little community. It helps hold me accountable and provides support for others who are facing the same sort of challenges.

OBVIOUSLY I still have a ways to go, but I am proud of what I’ve done.

My mom and I took a trip with Xavier back to Illinois last month, and we got to spend some time with our family, which was really great.  I got to meet two of my nieces that I hadn’t, and Xavier got hang with his aunts and uncles.

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Xavier is doing fantastic. He’s just the coolest little mini-me.  I cannot believe how lucky I got. He sleeps, he eats, he’s happy, he’s healthy, SO smart and sweet and charming and funny. He’s BUSY, and getting busier every day.  Man how I love this kid!

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Xavier’s birthday party was on Saturday and it went very well. I’m excited to show you guys that, but it’s going to need a post all to itself. Here’s a sneak peek:

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I’ll post more details soon, promise!

The Pirate Party Post.

I know, I’ve been gone forever again. Xavier has EIGHT teeth coming in and he’s cranky and busy as hell. He can walk, btw. He can RUN.  My house is a series of barricades. Barricades that need work.

But I’m going to make it up to you today. This is the pirate party extravaganza!!!

Are you pumped? You better be, hillbilly.

We rented out the Aspray Boat House in Warwick RI for his party.  This place is seriously a hidden gem and I almost don’t even want to tell you about it. I heard about it from a friend, and got super lucky that they still had a Saturday in July open.  Everything regarding this place was exactly as it should have been, and the best part was I didn’t have to waste time meeting with anyone. Much, much easier than picking a wedding venue. And much, much cheaper.

Here’s the link for info:

http://www.gaspee.com/AsprayBoathouse.html

The pictures leave a lot to be desired.  But it’s right on the water, there’s a dock and everything. Which..is a great thing for a pirate party.  Day of however, a giant, disgusting dead goose washed ashore.  I just did my best to pretend it wasn’t there, and when John finally arrived he disposed of it. Phew.   The ONLY major problem we had was that the place has NO AC.

NO AC.

NO AC!!!!

In July. In HOT AS BALLS JULY.

So I walked around lookin like Fat Sweaty Betty all damned day.

Here’s some pictures of the place:

 I know, perfect for a pirate party, right?

Okay so I’ll get down to the details, you know you want them.

Outside, I did this to pick up on the treasure map thing. (Okay, I had my brother do it.) Basically we just cut up pieces of red cardstock and taped them to the ground so it made kind of a dotted line to the door, where I was going to make a giant X out of crepe paper streamers. However, I expected to be able to CLOSE the doors. I had to leave them open to let air in because it was just too hot. So we improvised with a smaller X.

I hated that the tape was showing. But my brother was being a really good sport about helping while I was inside running around like a loon. He had already taped them once the wrong side up, gone back out and redid them, so I didn’t care complain about tape:-).

So there’s our smaller X, a pair of cuties, and some toddlers too. Ha!

Btw, those last two photos and a bunch of others from The Murphys will be smattered in here. Thank God they were there with their camera or I would’ve gotten jackshit.

I printed up free coloring pages from TwistyNoodle.com and just trimmed off the edges where the ads were.

Well, I had John trim them off anyway:-) Then I scooped up some Pirate Crayons from Iparty. Yes, I could’ve just gotten regular crayons. But PIRATE crayons weren’t very expensive at all, at 29 cents a box. I just put 4 packs on each table and it was a hit with kids and grown ups too.

I also did a pirate accessories table. I put eyepatches, hooks, swords, mustaches, hoop earrings, temporary tattoos, bandanas, paper pirate hats and even a few pirate masks. I wish I had taken more pictures of this because it was so fun.

We set up the gift table in the entranceway, and kept the decor there simple with just a net tossed over a little table. Didn’t matter anyway, it was covered very quickly anyway.

The cake was one of my absolute favorite things. I’m pretty sure my wedding cake wasn’t this awesome.  One of my mommy friend/coworkers tipped me off that we had a little cake boss working right under our nose at the store.  Who knew?  This girl was a freaking DREAM to work with. I gave her almost full artistic license, I said just make it pirate themed and delicious. And she showed up on time, with this freaking masterpiece.

I know. It was amazing, just look at it!!

Also, she did a smash cake. All I asked was no red or black frosting, and no chocolate. (Xavier hasn’t had it yet.) I didn’t say what I DID want though, which I know, is a bitch. But she came through for me with this adorable little creation:

How cute is that?!

Now, I am not going to put her name on the interwebs cuz she’s not officially in business. (But she fucking A should be.) So if you email me and ask me very nicely I will give you her info. I’ll stop raving about the cake now.

You might have noticed surrounding the cake are some cookies. Cookies that are so amazing, this whole time you’ve been like “OMG shut up about the cake and tell us where you got those amazeballs cookies right now!!” Brace yourselves.

I made em. NBD.

(That was sarcasm, in case you didn’t pick up on it.) I did make them, that part wasn’t. But it was just Betty Crocker mix and a whole lot of cussing.  Funny story about those though..I was actually running on schedule, shit was getting done and I was feeling good about it. I EVEN had a little time to relax penciled in for the night before the party to be all “I’m done lalala”  I just had to run a few errands first.

While running those errands I received a phone call from my husband, and he was using his “approaching a bear on bath salts” voice, so I knew it wasn’t good news the second I heard that tone.

“Baaabe? Yea..you kinda left the cookies down low..and Squirt kinda….ate them.”

And at this point I don’t remember much. But my brother says I recited this lovely monologue from the film The Boondock Saints:

What I sounded like (NSFW!!)

So..my “LALALA” time turned into “Bake and ice and package 35 more goddamned cookies” time. AND HERE’S THE PUNCHLINE:

After the party..I had about 40 cookies left over. Didn’t even have to do that.

Don’t you dare ask about the dog. DON’T.

Moving on. In May, a friend of mine had a popcorn buffet at her baby shower. I couldn’t wait to do one. So even though that popcorn has absolutely nothing to do with pirates, I was going to do that shit. And so I did. I borrowed the containers from her, and ordered from www.popcornpapa.com. Another easy transaction. The bags didn’t look very big though, so I ran around RI looking for backups of these flavors, only to be eating the shit for a month because I bought way too much. Figures, eh?

They have like a bajillion flavors to choose from, but we went with Kettle Corn, Hot N Spicy, Chicago Style, Extra Butter and Cheesecake.

Chicago Style was awesome, my total fave. It’s a mix of Caramel and Cheese.  Cheesecake, second fave. Extra butter and Hot N Spicy, they mean it! Kettle Corn..I’ve had better but it was decent.

It took all I had not to bust out the Xyron Machine and personalize those bags, but I had to draw the line somewhere. I wrapped the containers with twine and affixed the labels to the twine. As you can see, that was kind of a fail. Next time I’ll just cut to the chase and bust out the glue gun. No more fucking around with these polite little glue dots and what have you. (It’s late, can you tell?)

Oh! See that banner behind the table? That was SUCH an easy project, it was pretty much just like doing the invitations all over again. Leftover pocketfold invitations, brown cardstock, typed up in Word and printed it out and attached it to twine. I made it adjustable because I knew we were going in sight unseen to the Boathouse and was just guessing as to where the hell I was going to put it.  Here’s where I put it:

Are you getting bored? Here’s a picture of my kid smashing his cake to bring you back:

Hell yea he’s cute.

The centerpieces….geez these things had me stumped. Everything I found on the interwebs was just a little too pricey for 8 tables. I considered balloons, but on the serious, balloons cost too damned much to look that cheap. (Again, much like your mom.)  So these are my $5 centerpieces, and I’m sure they’re going to blow your mind.

I got the buckets, flags, beads and coins at iParty, and the shells and “gems” in the dollar bins at Michael’s. Oh, and I stole that sand from the beach. Yes, really, I did that shit.  Be damned if I’m buying bags of sand when I live in RI!

Don’t worry though, I paid for it. While I was scooping eight buckets o sand and loading them into my car, a large winged insect came zooming out of the sand I’d just disturbed and stung the shit out of my ankle. I screamed and drew a bunch of attention to myself and the eight buckets o sand I was stealing. Pain and embarassment, paid in full.

A couple days before the party, I took eight gallon ziploc bags and put everything for each table into it. Gems, beads, shells, crayons, tablecloth, coins. That way it was super easy to enlist my friend’s help without being a hypercontrolling beotch. (More than I normally am, anyway.)

I think that’s about it on the details. So I’ll wrap this up with a few more photos and call it done. I hope to be around more!

Hi!

I know, I know. It’s been FOREVER.  And I’m really sorry, but I have some pretty solid excuses.

1. Due to my work schedule at my real job, combined with shooting weddings with The Murphys, and one awesome little birthday party, I did not have one single day off from June 10th til July 2nd. Not one.

2. Xavier’s Birthday party ate up my entire week last week. What wasn’t spent on his birthday, was spent entertaining my brother Tom, who made it to RI on July 2nd.

3. Xavier has been kind of a lot recently. Very clingy towards me in particular. Unless he’s sleeping, if I leave his sight or his 5 ft radius, he FLIPS THE FUCK OUT.  He’s got yet another goddamned tooth coming in, #10, and I think that’s partly responsible.

 

I think the birthday party needs a post all on it’s own and I don’t have time for that right this minute.  So I’ll just give you a little bit of an update on him first. He is ONE. I cannot believe it. He’s increasingly mobile, and has taken a few drunken, zombie like steps on his own here and there. He stands unassisted, climbs down from the couch, tries to climb up my legs, gives kisses, kicks his legs, dances, and makes pigfaces on command.

That’s his pigface. I guess it’s also his “Beach Face”, because he made it all day that day. My brother and I took him to the beach on his actual birthday. He was being super clingy and didn’t want me to put him down, so I almost didn’t bother taking him down by the water. But I did, and man..he looooved it.

LOVED IT.

That night, we did cake at home with just the five of us.

This was the first time he’s ever had anything like this.

I also bought a seperate cake for us, but unfortunately, I dropped it.

 It still tasted okay though.

Ha! Happy birthday, Tom!

 

Now, onto the smashing!

Yep, that’s my husband, in crocs. Eat your hearts out, ladies..all mine.

And yea, the baby with the lighter.

Jesus.

 

At this point, he still has no idea that this is FOOD. He’s just happily making a mess.

 

And that was it for the little cupcake:-)

Now, I don’t think he actually got much into his mouth, but he was up well past 10pm that night. So clearly, he had some lol.

Yesterday was his one year pediatrician’s visit. He is 27.5 lbs, and 31 inches long. Both of those and his head circumference were off the top of the charts. HUGE kid. I put size 2T Pj’s on him last night and they fit well.

But he’s awake now, so I’ll post more on the party later!

 

Pirate Party Planning

Because I’m not busy or anything.

Now I see why people have these obnoxious, over the top birthday parties. The urge to go overboard is strong. Really effing strong.

No room for this in the budget? Shitty.

But I’m trying to curb it as well as I can and remind myself that this is a child’s birthday party.  A birthday party he won’t remember.  And in total candor, folks, my budget for this party is about $8.  But hey, I’m used to making $8 enough. So for the invitations, I DIY’d that shit. I have a metric fuckton of leftover wedding crap, so I dug up some leftover black cardstock, and purchased this card kit from AC Moore:

http://www.acmoore.com/p-56725-greeting-cards-with-envelopes-5×7-50-setspkg-white.aspx

Except in a brown paper bag color that they don’t have listed on their website. I believe it was actually closer to $10, it might have been on sale.

So without further ado, here’s what I rustled up for about $10.

 

I asked (begged, and bugged and pleaded) one of my coworkers to doodle up some pirate shit on the envelopes. She was kind enough to indulge me. And only two came back like this:

Yay Buttpirates!

I used my super fly calligraphy skills to address them, but I’m not gonna show you that because I’d either have to waste one with a fake name and address, or put someone’s address out on the interwebz. Not gonna. Trust me though.

Trust me. It’s awesome.

I got lucky at the post office and found these US Merchant Marine stamps:

Thank god I found something that goes. Because be damned if I would be sticking some lame ass liberty bell on those envelopes. And I really didn’t want to go the custom route because it’s expensive..and as I mentioned, I have $8. So thank you, USPS.

Inside these lovely envelopes:

Yep. we actually took the time to burn those edges. They smell like fiyah. Glued them onto leftover wedding cardstock using my handy little Xyron glue runner thing. We figured out when making our wedding invitations that this was the best glue for cardstock, btw: http://www.amazon.com/Xyron-3-8-inch-Adhesive-Runner/dp/B000S168L6

So there’s one side. And on the other side is this:

Again, can’t show you the whole thing because we gotta keep the stalkers at bay. But I just made it up in Word after googling for wording and an appropriate watermark.

I would show you more stuff that I’m pinning and planning, but a certain chunky bald fellow is demanding my attention right now. Something about needing food or whatever.

 

 

 

 

Phew.

Thank you sweet baby Jesus, Christmas is finally over.

My job makes us work the seven days leading up until Christmas. The way my days off played out, I worked 10 days in a row. The ten days before Christmas. Which for those of you who work in the retail slash service industry, you know that those are the ten worst goddamned days of the year. IN A ROW.

That does something to a person. Somethin uuugly.

It also seriously must compromise a person’s immune system, because guess what? I’m sick again. And not just a little cold, no no. That’s not how I roll.  Friday morning, Christmas Eve Eve, I woke up with some ear pain. As the day progressed, it got worse and worse. By Saturday morning, Christmas Eve, I was in quite a bit of pain. Even with enough ibuprofen in me to stun a yak, I was struggling. I got lucky and got out of work early, and raced straight to an UrgentCare. But they were already closed. So..I sat there, thinking well, first thing Monday morning, I’ll go in.

But it just kept getting worse and worse. It woke me up a bunch of times that night. I was really in a lot of pain. So..at 3:30 in the morning, I woke up John. “I’m going to the ER. I can’t take this shit another day. Might as well go now. I’ll be home by the time X wakes up.”

Well..I wasn’t. Apparently, earaches fall pretty low on the emergency scale.  Eventually, the doctor made his way over. Said “Yea..that’s doubly infected, inside and out. Here’s a stack of prescriptions. CVS is open, head on over.”

So, I did. Eardrops, antibiotics, and two kinds of pain meds. Oh yes. I made it home about 9:30. Xavier had pooped on his Christmas pajamas. Mom and John were waiting, Xavier’s excitement was palpable:

And Squirt could barely contain his overwhelming joy:

 But John was ready: (to start drinking. Ha!)

So, let’s start the show. We start with stockings. First, my mom looks through hers. Finds a chocolate orange. She’s pumped about it.

John tricked her into wearing that hat. I love this man.

Then we opened Xavier’s stocking. I handed him his first gift, expecting him drool as he dropped it on the floor. But instead, this happened.

DUDE. LOOK AT HIS LITTLE FACE!!!!

How cute is that? He’s all “Oh yes, this is relevant to mah interests!”

Stupid little set of teething keys dazzled his world. Babies are so funny.

I’d like to post more pictures, but stupid WordPress is being slow and if I keep waiting around to do that, I’ll never get this finished before Xavier wakes up.

So..the day after Christmas, John, Xavier and I made our yearly trip out to the stores to get the goods on next year’s Christmas decorations. My theme for next year is certainly more challenging than red & white was, but I think I did okay and I am pretty damned excited about it.

Also..next year, my mother has decided she wants a tree for her area also. So that’s TWO trees to decorate. I don’t think she’ll let me get all OCD on her tree. But I really wish she would. She’s probably going to get all obnoxious drunken fruity pebbles vomit on the damned thing just to drive me batty. *sigh*. I suspect she just doesn’t like next year’s colors. I’d tell you what they are, but then you’d try to copy me. So you have to wait, suckas.

Anyway. When I went to the ER Saturday morning, they told me if I’m not much better by Tuesday morning, I needed to go see my For Real Doctor. So..Tuesday morning I was still really struggling. I tried to go to work..and it was a fail. I couldn’t take the serious pain meds they gave me and drive or groom dogs, and trying to groom dogs in that much pain…well. It didn’t work out. So I left work and went to the doctor.  It was worse, my face was swollen, and now my left ear was aching and crackling.

And this is where we discuss bedside manner and it’s importance. A doctor should not take one look at a person’s ear and say “Oh no! It’s really bad. Like..REALLY bad. You need to go see a specialist. NOW. Right NOW. It’s reaaaally bad. I’m going to find you a specialist to go to, right now. This is serious, I’ve seen people go on IV antibiotics for less. YOUR BRAIN IS IN DANGER!”

And then disappear for 10 minutes.

Leaving me just…sitting there. Apparently, in grave brain danger.

So she comes back, gives me an address and a number and tells me to “Go right now. Just go NOW okay?”

OKAY I’M GOING!!! FUCK!

In a rare exception from my usual stubborn to the core independence, I had had John accompany me to this appointment, in case they wanted to dope me up or something.  So he was with me, thank God, because I was actually sort of scared. MY BRAIN WAS IN DANGER, for fuck’s sake.

So I went to the specialist. And waited for over an hour and a half before he wandered into the exam room. Which had a big scary dentist like horror movie chair in it with lights and pokey things. And there were all these instruments that looked like something out of the SAW movies. GAH.

I might have peed in the chair.

So he takes a look in my left ear, the newest arrival to the party in my head. He’s like “Yup, infected. We’ll flush that sucker out and give you some drops. NBD.” Then he looks in my right ear, and says “This is really bad.” He says my ear is completely clogged up, and the antibiotics they had given me in the ER were not strong enough. Since my ear was closed up, there was no way for the drops to get down in there, so they just kinda built up and gummed up the works even more. So..we’ll have to suction that out. Then flush. Then we’ll have to insert a wick so it can drain.

Oh..that sounds magical.

He says “It’s going to hurt. If it doesn’t hurt I’m not doing it right. Sorry.”

So he pulls out this thingy. It has a four inch or so metal tube that’s very narrow, like the inside of a ballpoint pen. He STICKS THAT IN MY FUCKING EAR. And then he turns it on. And it’s like the suction thingy at the dentist, only it’s metal and it’s in my ear. And it’s sucking the danger out of my brain.

It was unpleasant. But I have to say..it almost felt better. There was a lot of pressure in that sumbitch, and that relieved a good chunk of it. Then he goes around to my left side. Takes this giant metal syringe thing..and a metal vomit catcher pan, you know, the kidney bean shaped guy. And he comes straight for me. This ain’t gonna be nice.

But again, not that bad. He sticks the giant metal thing in my ear and it’s like a firehose jammed into my brain. The kidney bean was to catch the excess.

(Are you grossed out yet?)

SO THEN. He comes back to my right side. And he’s being very descriptive about what he’s going to do my ear. Which I appreciated, I don’t think I would’ve taken too kindly to someone just cramming stuff and shooting and suctioning on my orifices without an explanation. (That’s what she said.)

He shows me the wick he’s going to put in my ear. He shows me what he’s going to use to put it in with. Explains it’s purpose and when it needs to come out. I really liked this doctor.

(Dr Tarro at RI Ear Nose & Throat in Cumberland RI)

So then he tells me it’s gonna hurt again. And I brace myself. But it wasn’t that bad. Certainly no walk in the park. He says “Wow. You must have a really high threshold for pain.”  If you’ve read my birth story, you know why that is.

So..I did take the day off work today. I’m in quite a bit of pain,  and I can’t hear very well, and I’m still quite loopy from the Vicodin regimen. But I’m getting better, I can tell.

And one last thing before I end this, speaking of getting better. The Reglan is working like gangbusters for my milk supply, it has totally pulled me off the ropes in that battle and I’m in the fight again and swinging. When I first started breastfeeding,  I honestly wasn’t sure I’d last the week. But when I did, I said “Six weeks. I probably won’t be able to do it after I go back to work.” But I was. so I said “I’d like to make it til Christmas, that’s just about six months.” I wasn’t even sure I’d be able to make time to pump because it gets so insanely busy. But I did. I made it. So. I’m not going to set another goal. I’m going to keep going until I stop. So far, I have had zero side effects that I can’t handle. Hopefully that continues. HOORAY FOR BOOBIES!

Everything & Nothing.

I don’t really have anything specific I’d like to talk about this week, so I’m just going to do a general update. I just realized, just this second, that today is my last day off until Christmas. That’s a big ol’ FML for you. Had I realized that…oh well.

We have to talk about my hair, as it is the most important thing ever. (Sarcasm.) It has been falling out in clumps. Xavier has been ripping out what’s left. Birthing a behbeh does weird shit to your body. MY baby sucked the goddamned life out of me. He was like “Bitch I don’t have any hair, you don’t need any either.”

My hair has been a point of pride with me for a long time. I don’t have big boobs or a tiny waist or big velvety lips or long legs. I had pretty hair though.  But about six months into my pregnancy..it got duller. I changed shampoos roughly 120 times. Finally, towards the end of my pregnancy, I gave up, and into a ponytail/bun it went.

And there it stayed..pretty much until yesterday. It also refused to take color properly..so I couldn’t get it all one color to save my life. Finally..I decided it was time. Fuck it, cut it off.

Now..I’ve had my hair short before so it wasn’t total terror, I know it looks okay short. But last time, I had sideswept bangs, and I feel like it made me sorta look like a little kid. My six year old niece has the same haircut.

So this time I wanted something kinda grown up. Maybe even a little sassy and sexy? I don’t know.

I scoured pictures, got a few ideas..but really, you just have to have a good stylist that you trust. I was lucky enough to find one pretty quickly after I arrived here in Rhode Island. She’s the only one in the 401 who I’ll go to, and she has never done me wrong.

Sue, at Allure Salon in Warwick. GO.

Now that I did that little shout out, I will show you my before, during and after shots. My before picture is pretty embarassing. But it’s the most recent that shows my hair. I want to clarify and really, really, stress the fact that I was attending an UGLY SWEATER PARTY and I DO NOT WEAR SHIT LIKE THIS NORMALLY.  And neither does my friend Cara. Swear to God.

Ready? Okay!

So…yea, we’re idiots.  But don’t let it distract you. Notice the hair. THE HAIR.

That was Friday. So on Tuesday, I donated this to Locks of Love:

Sue participates in the program and donates hair for you, free of charge. Which I think is pretty dope.  This is the second time she’s lopped off and mailed in a metric fuckton of my hair.

I was very scared. And she just kept. fucking. cutting. I reminded myself that she’s never done me wrong. I reminded myself I look okay with short hair. I reminded myself that it grows back.

And when she took clippers to the back of my neck, my bladder released a little.

But..here is the final product:

 And I must say, I really, really dig it. Thanks again, Sue!

Now, moving on to other business. Xavier is AMAZING the shit out of me lately. Like..a week ago maybe? He rolled over, belly to back. He was a little behind on this, but his Dr insisted not to worry, that everyone is on their own timeline and he’ll get there. I was so proud. But then..a few nights ago, he started doing this:

Sitting up, all by his damned self. How bout that!

He’s doing okay with solids. Still struggling a lot with constipation, even after we’ve integrated fruits like prunes, pears and peaches..he gets bound up pretty badly, pretty often. Not sure what to do about that. I guess it’s normal to have an adjustment period, but man oh man, I feel so damned bad for the poor kid.

And..speaking of foods.  I went to my doctor today, and we talked about my breastfeeding & supply issues. I told her about my hair falling out, my milk supply going to hell, my body hoarding calories like I’m a starving Ethiopian..and she thinks I may have a thyroid issue. So she tested me for that, and I’ll know the results soon. But she also prescribed a drug called Reglan to help with my supply. One last ditch effort, and if it doesn’t help I can say with certainty that I absolutely tried everything. Even a drug that has been known to cause hallucinations and a disease called Tardive Dyskensia, and “rapid stomach emptying”. But if it’s the thing that works and buys me six more months of nursing, then bring on the hallucinations. Okay..maybe not. But formula IS freaking expensive. Just saying…maybe a few hallucinations aren’t so bad.

(That my friends, is desperation talking. And I’m kidding.)

One more thing I want to discuss before I wrap this shit up. In late October, I wrote a post titled “Six Months.” It was a two parter, about my feelings surrounding the death of my best friend Jimi. It was insanely hard for me to wrap words around the things I was feeling, and even harder for me to put them out into the world. I have recieved a LOT of feedback about these posts, from his friends and family, my friends and family, and our friends that are like family. And overwhelmingly, what people are saying to me is “Ditto. I feel the same freaking way.”

Now, here’s the thing..ever since I wrote that..no. Even as I was writing it, I could feel the healing starting. Believe you me, I am never, ever going to be the same again. But talking about it plainly and honestly was evidently precisely what I needed to do. I really haven’t talked much about my feelings since he died, and my reasons for that are kinda stupid. 1. I felt like I was being sort of whiny, and I didn’t want to make anyone uncomfortable. I do want to be pleasant company and pleasant company doesn’t spread melancholy around. No one wants to be Debbie Downer. 2. I don’t want to use the word arrogant..but it almost was. I didn’t feel like anyone could possibly understand the pain I felt. People would say “Oh I know how you feel..” and I would think “NO YOU DON’T! YOU DON”T KNOW! IF YOU KNEW I COULD SEE YOU’RE BROKEN INSIDE LIKE ME AND YOU’RE NOT!”

Finally, the few people I felt were close enough to me to actually speak frankly to about my feelings, were the same people I worried about hurting if I were to say “No one’s ever understood me like he did.” or “He was my most loyal friend.” By saying things like that, while true..I worried that I would be saying “YOU don’t understand me. YOU are not loyal.” But that’s not how it was, of course. I don’t hang out with people who don’t get me, or disloyal sonsobitches. It’s just that those were HIS strengths….and other friends have other strengths that are equally valuable to me and I would certainly mourn the loss of those just as much. But that’s a lot to try to explain, and rather than do that, I would simply clam up.

My point, and I do have one is this: Ever since I put those words out into cyberspace, I feel better.

I didn’t realize how damaging it was to my soul to be repressing it. That’s why it was leaking out at random times, and I was bursting into tears over music, any music, all music. I would be standing there washing a dog at work and start to cry and try to hide it before anyone caught me. I was bursting at the goddamned seams with grief. So when I opened the valve I released a lot of pressure, and the healing is beginning.

I can listen to music now. New music only. Music that has nothing to do with anything, is totally shallow and topical and light. But no more talk radio. No more random bursts of tears. I still think about him every day, and I always will, I know. But it’s not so bitter and dangerous anymore.

So if you are one of those people that called me, emailed me, texted me, saying “Me too”..my advice to you is to find that damned valve and GET IT OUT. Go see a counselor, start a private blog that no one can read. Or be an attention whore like me and let everyone read it. I’ll read it. Figure it out, scream it out, swear it out, sing it out. Do what you gotta do, but letting that repression fester in your soul is going to spoil you, like a bad apple in the barrel.

That’s all for today.

 

 

Giving Thanks

The last few years we haven’t really celebrated holidays much around here. It was just the two of us, and it kinda made me sad because I was away from my friends and family and I’d get all emo and shit about it.  But after Christmas two years ago, I decided I wasn’t going to exclude us anymore. It made John all sad not being able to stroke his holiday boner. (Figure of speech, not literally.) (Okay, kinda literally. Let’s move on eh?)  (Anyone else picturing an actual holiday boner now?)

So I decided the next Christmas I’d do that shit up. And last Christmas, we did. I had a tree and everything. But last Thanksgiving I don’t think we did anything at all. I was pregnant, and probably slept through it. Or wanted to barf at the thought of a turkey carcass. Both probably.

But this year is Xavier’s first Thanksgiving and my mom is here now, so I have family. Hardcore awesome family.  The plan was  that we’d go see John’s family in the morning, and then we’d come home and do dinner here with my mom.

It’s worth noting that my job requires me to work the seven days leading up to Thanksgiving. Christmas too. Because we’re insanely busy and we tend to make big bank, I don’t usually mind. However..a certain person who shall remain nameless decided to bring a virus to work with her to share with all of us. And I was the first man down. But I fought through that shit for the most part. Ugh, it’s nasty though. Last night I finally gave up the ghost and bailed out of work just a little early and headed home. I had a temperature of 100.4, I had chills and I couldn’t breathe worth a damn. My mom hooked me up with one of her nebulizer treatments or my ass might have just landed in the ER last night because my asthma was flaring SO badly with this crap. Luckily, the rest of the household has been spared thus far. But I begged John to cancel our visits for today, I’m pretty sure I offered him my soul if we could just stay home and do the visiting Sunday.

Well, everyone but one of his family members said Sunday was fine. But one person had to work Sunday, so he asked REALLLLLLY nicely if we could just go visit her, and this morning I actually felt ok so we went.  I’m feeling much better today, by the way. Not better enough to traipse around New England, but better.

So when we got home from that one visit, John started cooking. (You didn’t think I would do it, did you? You’re crazy.)

When he got everything going, we got started on what’s going to be our Thanksgiving tradition from now on.  It’s simple, and you guys might laugh, but you don’t think I give a shit, do you? You are def crazy.)

HAND TURKEYS!!!

Now..I’m no Martha Stewart. I literally went to Michael’s yesterday during my lunchbreak and felt so Special Ed asking the best way to make a freaking hand turkey. But I want them to last forever, but be super simple and fun. Not complicated, and nothing Xavier would have to hold still for extended periods of time for, come on, he’s an infant.  The lady at Michael’s was nice enough not to laugh at me too much, and showed me craft foam and explained how to use the stuff. $15 later I was back to work.

I was pretty scared about having to hold Xavier’s hands still enough to trace them, and it did take two of us but we got it. Hand turkeys alone are boring though, even with glitter glue and feathers. So we wrote on ours what we’re thankful for.

Here is Xavier’s. He didn’t do any of it though. I told him to glitter that shit up but he just kept drooling and playing with his feet. So he dictated his list to me.

Yea..the boy listed Naked Time. But he REALLY loves it, so what are you gonna do? We have to be as accurate as we can, this is serious. There’s no bullshitting on craft foam.

And usually, John’s so excited by holidays that he runs around like a maniac, looking for stuff to do, chattering nonstop. Who knew that all it took to combat this mania was a little glitter glue and feathers? This kept him occupied for over an hour. He was pretty cute, having me trace his hands and gluing his feathers. He asked “Can I use this color?” And I said “Do whatever you want, they’re your turkeys. Turkey it up buddy!” His face was priceless, like a kid in a candy store.

Here’s his finished result:

Pretty good huh?

Now..my mom likes arts and crafts about as much as she likes shopping. Or as she put it “As much as I like herpes.” I shit you not, she said that. So she huffed and puffed as I “forced” her into making some “goddamned hand turkeys”

I told her “My only requirements are that you put your name, the year and list what you’re thankful for.” I traced and cut out her hands for her, glued on the eyes. I wrote “I am thankful for” and told her to go to town. Decorate your turkeys, write your list.

I looked over a few minutes later, she had done nothing but smear the glitter glue I had written. “Need some help?” I said, thinking she might not be super handy with the glitter glue pen. “I know what I want to write, but my handwriting is no good.”

“Okay, go”

“My Kids.”

“ok. And?”

“That’s it?”

“That’s it”

“Cats? Family? Football? Cheese? ”

“I think my kids pretty much sums all that up.”

Well..I’ve already been enough of a control freak. You got it. I write it with the marker she chose.   I put it back in front of her and tell her “Now you can pretty up those turkeys.”

“Okay.”

I go back to working on my turkeys, watching her out of the corner of my eye. No moves. For like 10 minutes.

“Need some help?”

“I’m done.”

Ohhh kay.

At least she didn’t throw anything at me. Here’s her turkeys:

Tada.

I love my crazy ass momma lol.

Alright so I’ll show you mine now. Prepare to have your faces dazzled right. the fuck. off.

 My turkeys look like Vegas Showgirls.

I know, y0u’re still in awe of my glitter glue skillz. But, I am after all, me, and I had to include the pups.  I found a way to make their turkeys too. I just traced their paws and cut them out and made them front facing turkeys instead of profile turkeys.

Okay it kinda looks like crap. But the idea is solid and if I were good at stuff this would probably be the shit. I’ll call Martha’s people with it. It’ll be the new thing and you guys saw it here first.

Happy Thanksgiving, bitches!

SURPRISE!!

Holy crap.

This is my surprised face.

(And possibly my O face. Possibly not. You’ll probably never know. Ask your mom.)

Anywho. As some of you may know, I am approaching a birthday. The big 3-0 specifically. Which..I am actually not freaking out about. I think that thirty is only scary if you’re nowhere near where you wanted to be by now. While I’m definitely not perfect, I’m kinda okay with the trajectory. I have a gorgeous baby, awesome dogs,  a job I don’t hate most of the time, I don’t live in a shit hole, family who loves me,  and I don’t drive a piece of shit car.

Oh yea, and I have a husband that says “My wife is turning 30 and I want to throw her a surprise party” and friends that hear him, and say “CHALLENGE ACCEPTED!” (Barney Stinson style.)

And bitches, they pulled it off. I cannot believe it.

John’s the kinda guy the minute the package arrives, he’s all “Can I give you your Christmas present now, even though it’s only halloween? I really want to give it to you right now. Can I just tell you what it is and then you can open it? Can you please just open it, please please please please pleeeeease!!!” He asked me to marry him the minute the thought popped into his head.  The man just spits out WHATEVER he is thinking, and if I’m being completely honest, it’s one of my favorite things about him. So I think this is the biggest surprise of all, is that for over a month, he managed to keep quiet about something this exciting.

And not just him! Like..ALL of my friends (here in New England) knew about this and didn’t blow it.  Amazing! Really though, I feel like I should’ve suspected. “Oh let’s have this potluck just two weeks before your birthday and everyone’s going to come.” I’m going to play the “I work full time and have a baby and three dogs” card now, because really, I shoulda seen this coming and just flat out didn’t suspect a thing.

And if you need proof, scroll up and look at my face again.  I was SO clueless, that I walked in and didn’t even look up, I just bent down and started petting the dog and everyone had this “Uhh..what do we do?” moment as my dumb ass is all “Hi Mischa you’re so pretty lalala”

Of course John makes me carry the jug of cider so I look like a TOTAL sped in these pics. I couldn’t carry the bottle of rum or anything that would make me look cool. Nooo. Of course I’m like “Eh fuck it, my bra strap shows a little who gives a shit” Of course, I forgot my camera. So all these pictures, again, are courtesy of the Murphys. As was the ziti, which was delicous.

So I’ll show you the rest of the pictures now of the amazingness.

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I got flowers, and cake, and a little ribbon that says Birthday Girl, and a balloon, and lots of cards. But really, having a surprise party thrown for you, that’s just about as good as it gets.  I’m one really lucky girl.

As a bonus, let me give you my boozy cider recipe.

Take one gallon of store bought apple cider, one bottle of Captain Morgain, and toss that shit in a crockpot and turn it on.

If you wanna make it look like you did something, chop up three macintosh apples, toss them with a stick of melted butter (yea buddy), some brown sugar and cinnamon. I tossed in a squirt of maple syrup and a shot of vanilla. Serve it with cinnamon sticks to make it look fancy. Then go to the potluck and be all “Look at my fancypants cider drink” and eat what other people made. 🙂