Monday, January 31, 2011

Here's the Deal

So by now, most of you have probably been wondering why this blog has had such high levels of suckage lately. Stop being polite. Even I know it has sucked. I have lost 5 followers in the last 3 weeks. That's a lot when you only have a hundred or so. There are many reasons for the suckage actually. The holidays really wiped me out. We were busy and rushing around with family. There's been the stress of keeping our place clean and tidy for real estate showings. We have had 3 so far in the last week so we are hopeful that we will get an offer soon. And honestly, I haven't felt all that creative lately. Oh and then there's this.

I'm pregnant with baby #2. My loins beareth fruit. Hooray, yay!!!! Phew. That feels like a 100 lbs has been lifted off of my shoulders. That has been the hardest secret to keep from my bloggy world. I hate keeping secrets because it kind of feels like lying. So, I have barely written anything. And all of the stuff I come up with  to write has to do with pregnancy so I have just been laying low, hoping not to lose anymore of you.

How did this happen, you ask? Well, other than the obvious (brown chicken brown cow), we had a moment in October where we thought we might be pregnant. When we weren't, we decided that we really wanted to be. So we did what we had to do to make it happen. Again and again and again and again and again. And a month later, I took that picture up there early in the morning. We are thrilled and can't wait to make Beatrice a big sister.

Go pop a cork and celebrate for me. It will be approximately 29 more weeks before I will be popping any corks or celebrating in that fashion. Yay for babies!!

Friday, January 28, 2011

Let's Talk

I love a good conversation. Especially a good conversation over dinner. I think that's why I hated being single so much. I scrambled every night trying to find a companion to dine with. Mostly for the company, less about the food. Most nights though, I found myself eating steamed broccoli alone on the couch watching The Office and wishing I had someone to share the brilliant and clever things filling my head.

I was thrilled to get married and have a guaranteed conversationalist every night at dinner. Except JD worked the night shift and had dinner on the job many nights. That left me alone on the couch watching The Office with steamed broccoli. Why cook a real meal when you have no one to share it with? I hated this and looked forward to the day to have family meals around our table surrounded by talkative little ones and a loving husband, interested and hanging on to my every word.

I have a husband home for dinner every night and a talkative little one now, but most nights our dinners are a hustle of making plates, coaxing Beatrice to eat her bites and leave ours alone, all while the TV blares in the background. Conversation is nonexistent. At least the kind of conversations I dream of having are. We talk to Beatrice mostly. And on the rare occasion that she is happily eating quietly, JD and I "talk." Our conversations go something like this:

Aly: Loving Husband, what did you do today?
JD: Got my haircut.
Aly: Oh, what did Dwayne have to say?
JD: Not much.
Aly: Did you run into anyone we know at the salon?
JD: Yeah.
Aly: Oh that's nice. Who?
JD: Geri.
Aly: Do you love me?
JD: Yeah.

This drives me bonkers. I like details. I want to see the conversation come to life with each word. JD's conversations leave much to the imagination. Not to mention, it makes me feel weird that after almost 3 years of marriage, we have nothing to talk about. If the same conversation were reversed, it would go something like this:

JD: .........................
Aly: Do you want to know what I did today?
JD: Sure.
Aly: Well, I got my hair done and Dwayne was super nice and talked all about Lisa and the girls and did you know that are going to Disney next month? That would be super fun. Maybe one day we can take a family vacation to Disney. I saw Geri and Eric and the other guy that looks like Eric and ohmygosh, Shannon had these amazeballs truffles. I ate 2. Anyway, Dwayne tried a new color on my hair and I'm still deciding if I like it. What do you think? Too dark? Can you even tell? Honey? Honey, are you listening?
JD: Huh?
Aly: Dwayne says he is getting a new assistant and she used to work for him back in the day. Do you remember her? I wonder how Shannon will like her new job. Do you wonder if she'll like it? I remember how exciting and scary starting a new job is. Gosh, I bet she's excited. Honey? Are you watching the news through the reflection of the picture in the living room instead of listening to me?
JD: Yes dear. I mean no. What? That was a long story, honey. You lost me after you got your hair done.
Aly: Oh, well I wanted you to know all about my time at the salon. That's not even the whole story. Want to hear about who I saw at Starbucks and about shaky I feel after drinking coffee these days?
JD: Aly, I don't like stories. Just give me the facts. Are you done eating? Can we watch the news now?
Aly: Oh. Do you love me?
JD: Yeah.
Aly: Okay.

True story folks. Sigh. I get it. Men don't have a long attention span for a bunch of boring details that ultimately shape the entire conversation, but whatever. I suppose I will just have to wait to have those long, detailed conversations when our precious little ones are big enough to listen talk to us without making animal sounds. Or have dinner with my girlfriends. Yes, I do believe I'm on to something now.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Dawn of a New Day

When I was pregnant with Beatrice, I had terrible heartburn. The kind that required a strong prescription to give me some relief. Because of the heartburn, everyone told me that my baby would have tons of hair. They were right. She was born with a head full of thick, dark hair. Everyone told me that it would fall out if I washed it too often/played with it/looked at it. I loved her fuzzy hair so I did my best to never wash it, touch it, or look at it. Her hair did not fall out, but grew longer. Everyone told me that it would stay dark like her daddy's. When it turned blonde, everyone told me that it would fall out (again) and grow in dark. As her hair got lighter and longer, I began to think that everyone didn't no what the heck they were talking about.

Beatrice's hair has been on a journey. An awesome journey of transformation. I have written about it before. But now? We've conquered new territory. A whole new world of hairstyle opportunities has been born.

Behold, pigtails.

I can't even tell you how much these little pigtails make me happy. They are wispy and spiky and so cute. Beatrice likes them too. But don't take too many pictures of them because she will not like that.

Everyone told me I couldn't do pigtails yet. What do they know?

Friday, January 21, 2011

Good Thing She's Cute

I love having a girl. I love the smocked dresses, the hair bows, and the mary janes. I love messy ponytails, tiny painted toes, and baby dolls. I dreamed of tea parties, tiny baby strollers, and playing dress up when I was pregnant. When I found out Beatrice would be a girl, I was beyond thrilled that I was going to have a girl child for my very own. It was going to be the best thing ever.

And it is. There are 4 baby dolls that she mommies on a daily basis by giving them bottles and brushing their hair. Cutest thing ever. She loves to try on shoes and prefers polka dots on her outfits. She plays in my jewelry and loves when I give her a make up brush to play with. She is all girl. It is everything I thought it would be.

What I didn't expect when dreaming of having a girl was the drama. Lots and lots of drama. Beatrice is a drama queen. She never asks for anything, but whines and whimpers and pouts until I give her a bite/drink/hug/kiss/toy. There are shrills of displeasure when I take away something she wants/put her in her highchair/tell her no. She fake cries at everything. No really, EVERYTHING. She is so full of drama and from what I hear from mothers of boy children, this is a girl thing. How wonderful.

Most of the time, Beatrice's display of her innate girlness is just annoying. Or ridiculous. JD and I look at her, then at each other and say things like "whose child is that" and "why is she so upset over a green snack cup?" Mostly we elicit little emotion since we aren't quite sure what the big deal is anyway.

Then this happened.

Talking back at 15 months old? Is that normal? And if it is, what do I do about it? Granted, it is hilarious that one of her first 2 word sentences is "no no mama." But be assured, it won't be stood for. In my experience, children don't get away with talking back to their parents, especially tiny little girls.

So yeah, having a girl is super awesome and all but uh, I think I have my hands full.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

It Takes A Little Preparation

If you've been following the blog for at least a month, you know that our place is currently on the market. We knew not to expect much with winter and the holiday season upon us, but we prayed about it and felt like it was the right time to sell. JD and I walked through every inch of our house, exterior living space, and attic with our realtor taking notes of what needed to be done. We spent 2 weeks purging closets, organizing pantries, and rearranging everything. We cleaned, we painted, we prepared. And then, we waited.

It has been a month and we are still waiting for our first showing. It's a little difficult not to get discouraged when we have done everything in our power to prepare our home for potential buyers and the buyers don't come. It has left us feeling a little helpless while bordering on hopeless. Our attitudes have suffered because of it. Our realtor is working every avenue and creating wonderful marketing plans, but so far we have yet to see any fruit from the seed we've all sown in this place.

It has been hard to stay positive when it appears as though nothing is happening for us. Selling is not just something that we would like to happen, it needs to happen. We are in a place in our lives where more space is a need versus a want. We need to move to a larger home sooner than later. And if our place doesn't sell this summer, we are faced with a somewhat desperate situation.

As a last ditch effort to do what I could to spread the word about our townhouse, I emailed every person in my address book that lives in our state. I sent them the listing and asked for their prayers. One of my old friends from college replied with a really awesome real estate prayer. It was very detailed and specific which I appreciated since I hadn't considered praying for some of the things listed. What really struck me about the prayer though was the responsibility that I held in selling this place. The prayer repeatedly stated how the home had been prepared in excellence as if for the Lord. That was very sobering to me because while I originally prepared our home in excellence for the market, I have not kept it in excellent condition. I have made new piles instead of sorting and putting away, I have stuffed things in drawers and closets instead of hanging them neatly, I have cluttered hallways and smudged wood floors and left beds unmade. In my defense, the snow was a mess and keeping our floors shiny and clean has been nearly impossible. Just sayin. 

In my moodiness about the lack of activity we've had on the place, I grappled with the notion that I may have had something to do with it. I keep praying for God to send the right buyer, but if my house isn't in market ready condition, why should I expect God to send me anyone?

Sunday we cleaned this place top to bottom. JD went back up in the attic to rearrange, I scrubbed EVERYTHING, we moved furniture (lots of Cheerios and raisins under the couch), we organized toys. We vowed to keep it this way. I called our realtor (who happens to be my best friend) and told her about my revelation and how we vowed to keep our place in excellence. She was so happy and relieved. She said that she had been praying and asking God what else she needed to be doing. She said that she was so pleased that we had prayed and come to the realization that we did.

So we have committed to keep our townhouse prepared in excellence for the buyer that I know and trust God has in store for us. Maybe now we will get some showings!!!! Are you praying???

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

The Post Where You All Hate Me

I, like most women I know, was a little worried about weight loss after having Beatrice. I gained a ton while pregnant and wasn't sure how my body would handle losing it all. Thankfully, it only took about 4 months to lose it all. Not that I would describe myself as vain, but I never felt good about myself when I carried extra weight. I was happy when I lost it relatively quickly and felt pretty sure that maintaining my pre-baby body would be easy enough.

I wasn't prepared however, for the additional weight loss once Beatrice became a toddler. Not that I'm complaining, but sheesh. I am down to wedding day weight which is kind of ridiculous. Wedding day weight borders on scary skinny and I don't know anyone who looks good at scary skinny. I'm not sure when it happened, but sometime around her first birthday, people started asking me if I had lost weight. I hadn't really noticed, but sure enough when I stepped on the scale I had dropped another 5 lbs.

I hadn't really done anything differently. Lord knows I haven't worked out in ages. I was eating the same and snacking the same. It didn't really make sense. So I started to pay attention to my daily habits. Was I burning more calories by watching House Hunters International instead of my beloved Real Housewives? Wouldn't that be so awesome? Something had to be contributing to my sudden weight loss.

And then it hit me. I may be eating the same foods, but I was barely eating an entire adult sized portion of any meal. Beatrice was starving me by eating all of my bites.

Mealtime at our house is hilarious and loud. Once we mention food or get plates and utensils ready, Beatrice started chirping her nonstop chorus of "bite, bite, bite, bite, buy-tah" until we give her bites. She endlessly asks for our bites regardless of the time or size of her last meal. She starts begging for buy-tahs from both of us, but always ends up in my lap grabbing at my plate. I am lucky to eat a few buy-tahs of my own before she has demanded the majority of my meal. I have tried to add more to my plate but that just means more for Beatrice. I have tried to hide and eat my own full meal in the pantry or knelt down in front of the sink, but she always finds me. If there is a buy-tah to be had, she will find it.

This happened to my mom when we were kids. I remember her barely eating anything. When I got older and asked her about it, she said that we ate all of her food. We wanted her chips, we wanted her hot dogs, we wanted her drinks. But we never, ever wanted her cheese sandwiches. Bread, cheese, and lots of Miracle Whip. Ick. Eventually, she stopped making plates for herself. She learned to eat our scraps instead. It was easier than fighting off little hands begging for more bites and a sure fire way to end up with something in her stomach every day. We starved our mom, and she just went along with it. Sorry, Mom. And now Beatrice is starving me. And since I know what is happening, it alarms me a little. Will it ever end? Will I be forced to eat at nap time and after she is in bed forever? Maybe this is why I don't bother cooking anymore.

I find it a little hilarious that every kid thinks their mom is holding out the good food for themselves. It's as if the exact same food tastes a little better if it comes off of Mom's plate. I keep assuring Beatrice that I will not withhold anything delicious from her, but she doesn't believe me. She wants to have buy-tahs to see for herself. All of them.

Monday, January 10, 2011


This morning we woke up to this.

I'm guessing we got 4 or 5 inches. It is glorious and powdery and perfect for snowballs. And snowmen.

The kids across the street made this larger than life elmy, as Beatrice likes to call all winter characters. Santas, snowmen, and reindeers are all elmies at our house.

Beatrice is quite the prima donna at times so we weren't sure how she'd react to the snow. We talked about it all morning and she managed to tell Daddy all about the snooooo (pronounced with lots of nasally o sounds) when he woke up. She was ready to test it out for herself mid-morning.

Although a little hard to walk in, snoooooo proved to be great fun. We made snowballs and then tasted them. She kept asking for bites and saying mmmmm after every taste. We made the cutest snow angels you've ever seen. We knocked snow off of the fence, the car, and the trees. Snow is fun. The only time she fake cried was when her mitten came off and I insisted that we put it back on.


None of us have proper snow clothes. Thankfully, it wasn't that cold. The temp is around 25, much warmer than the teens we've experienced the last few days. I layered Beatrice in 2 pairs of leggings, 2 long sleeved shirts, 1 short sleeve shirt, down jacket, mittens, snow kitty hat, and baby Uggs. I wore jeans (bad idea. My knees were sopping wet after a few minutes), 2 sweatshirts, gloves, a peacoat, and Uggs. JD wore gym pants, a sweatshirt, hat, and gloves. We were happy to see our neighbors dressed similarly. It was kinda like that time we visited our Chicago relatives one Christmas and it snowed 3 FEET. My mom dressed us in plastic garbage bags because you know, we lived in Florida. We live in a part of the country that gets snow flurries every so often. Not 5 inches of white blizzard awesomeness.

She couldn't stop making snow angels once I taught her how.

I don't know what it is, but there is something so hilarious to me about a baby lying in the snow.

The cutest little snow angel ever.

We played outside for about an hour. We were all cold and our noses were starting to run. I'm glad she liked it. We hope to get snoooooooo more often. Tonight's forecast is calling for a few more inches. We are hoping it happens.

Black and white because I have no make up on and it's not a pretty sight.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Sucking At Life Really Sucks

I have sucked at being a wife this past week. In fact, I have sucked at life in general. I don't feel good. It's a mixture of stomach issues and fatigue and everyday around 3 o'clock, I hit a wall and cannot continue on with my day anywhere but from the couch. This would be okay if I didn't have a baby that is into everything and a husband that is hungry every night around the same time.

Last week, I didn't cook a single night. On Sunday night, I had big plans to make something worthy of a cold Sunday night dinner, but as soon as the Papa John's commercial came on, I ordered a pizza instead. This was before my full fledged commitment to eating healthier so please don't judge me. I couldn't bring myself to cook dinner that night or any other night if I continued to feel the way that I did. On Monday morning I realized that I had to come up with a plan if we were going to eat for the rest of the week. I came up with the perfect solution: I was going to invite us over to all of our families' houses for dinner for the week. Brilliant if I do say so myself.

I called my mother in law on Monday morning and invited us over for dinner ran my plan by her. She obliged and made us a feast. We took leftovers home and things were looking good for the rest of the week. My scheme was quickly halted when my family declined my invitation to their homes. Hmmmph. It was either cook myself or starve. So I did the next best thing to cooking and heated up leftovers and ate cereal. Let's just say JD had a lot of sandwiches last week. By the end of the week, JD wasn't even making sandwiches anymore. He went to work early a few nights to "do paperwork," but I think he just wanted to grab some dinner that wasn't contained by sliced bread and served on napkins.

I still feel like crap. But yesterday I made a meal plan for the week and went to the grocery store. Tonight I made world's best lasagna. It took forever but it was the best lasagna we've ever had. In the world. I have a plan for a hot dinner every night this week. JD is thrilled, but a little skeptical. He says he'll believe it when he sees it. No matter how awful I feel, I am committed to making my husband dinner every night this week with a minimum of 1 leftover meal served. Sucking at life is not an option anymore.

Friday, January 7, 2011

The Lion Says RAWR

Beatrice knows all of her animal sounds minus the pig and the rooster. She can hiss like a snake, bock like a chicken, and do whatever sound an elephant makes complete with arm above head mimicking the trunk. I totally call it an elephant snout in the following footage for unknown reasons. She knows the lion, she loves the lion, but dagnabbit if she's not stubborn about performing the most precious rawr you've ever heard in your life when asked on camera. Oh, and she's eating doo doos. Also known as noodles for those of you who don't speak toddlerese.

I finally captured the infamous RAWR. The quality is crappy, but the content is priceless.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

On the Right Track

So after I wrote this, I got serious about my family's health. I started eliminating those harmful additives I discussed and we ate more fresh fruits and vegetables. I have been baking our bread and making our sauces from scratch. We don't buy sodas anymore and we rarely eat refined sugars. Sigh. It felt like we were on the right track, but I knew we needed to do more.

Snacks were the next thing to tackle. I ordered the Brother's freeze dried fruit (Beatrice loves them), I bought Annie's organic cheddar bunnies in lieu of Goldfish crackers, and I bought all natural cereal Os with no added junk. My biggest fear with giving up Cheerios and Goldfish crackers was the convenience of them. I was concerned with not having clean snack options for Beatrice when we were on the go. But the more I looked, the more things I found that were made with natural ingredients and were better alternatives to the stuff found on most grocery store shelves.

Today we went to Whole Foods and stocked up. I found tons of snack and meal options for all of us that contain no chemical additives. I am a big nerd in the fact that I have been looking forward to our trip all week. I love going to Whole Foods. It took forever because I read every label before I put anything in our cart. I have learned that if there is a long list of ingredients with words I cannot pronounce, it's not really food. And the best part? I only spent $60 on 4 large bags of food. I'm kind of obsessed with saving money and shopping organically is not cheap. I have been programmed to think that food should be cheap and not be a huge expense in our budget. But if I invest in our health by eating the most nutritious foods possible, we are actually saving money because hopefully we will save in medical expenses down the road. You are what you eat, ya know?

I don't really make New Year's resolutions. I'm more apt to make goals and improvements. My goal for this year: eating better and more naturally. JD is less than thrilled with this plan. He likes his Big Macs and Mountain Dews. I like my cake and gummy bears. I'm not saying that we will never have those things, but for now, the majority of our food is going to be wholesome fruits and vegetables, lean proteins, and tons of water. No more artificial substances in our pantry. I'm excited.

The other day when Beatrice was chowing down on some hummus and whole wheat toast, JD asked if kids normally like hummus. I said that kids eat what is offered to them and depending on what is offered, that food becomes normal. I want healthy, wholesome foods to be normal to her. I want her to love her vegetables and prefer water over juice. I think we're on the right track and I'm excited about that.

Beatrice says, "I feel healthier already!"

Monday, January 3, 2011

Someone Feels Neglected

I have a problem and it's starting to affect my marriage. I am addicted to mindless time-wasting nonsense. What is mindless time-wasting nonsense, you say? For me, it is internet message boards, internet Scrabble, Angry Birds on my cellphone, crocheting, reading, and watching TV. I am addicted to all of these things and must be doing at least one activity during the time that Beatrice goes to bed at night until I go to bed. This is causing issues.

It all started when JD left last year for the federal academy. It was winter and I was stuck inside all day with a 2 month old. Alone. For 6 months. I relished the "me time" every night after I put the baby to bed. It was the only time during the day that I got to veg out and do whatever I wanted for as long as I wanted. For the most part, I wasted time playing online or watching reality TV. Hello Real Housewives of Everywhere.  Then I started crocheting so at least the mindless time-wasting nonsense I was doing was somewhat productive. Once JD returned, it was too late. I was hooked on doing whatever I wanted at night. I couldn't stop.

For months now, JD has been begging me to put down my computer/book/yarn/phone and spend time with him. This never happens. And not because I'm a jerk. JD doesn't want to have meaningful conversations or cuddle. He wants me to put down my things so that I have free hands to tickle his arm/rub his shins/massage his back. Those are the last things that I want to do with my spare time. So I ignore his requests and continue playing on my computer/reading my book/crocheting with my yarn/playing Angry Birds on my phone. He is getting upset.

Last night was bad, probably my lowest point. JD begged me to cuddle with him on the couch while we watched a movie (AKA lay across me with his entire body, crushing my bladder. Super romantic and cuddly). So I conceded. HOWEVER, I had my computer on his legs (which were crushing my bladder) and my phone in hand. I was playing a round of internet Scrabble and 4 games of Scrabble on my phone. Yes, 5 games at once. I know. I have a problem. This infuriated JD. He wanted me to rub his leg with my free hand. But that was the problem. I had no free hands. So I ignored him. I played my games until my phone shut down for 12 hours. Seriously, I killed my phone. It would not power on at all. By the end of the movie JD wasn't talking to me. He said that I care more about games than I do tickling his shins. He was kidding of course, but I got the point. I need to lay off the mindless time-wasting nonsense. For the record, I thought the bladder crushing cuddling was quality time. My bad.

So tonight I am blogging while he is watching TV. He keeps poking me with his toes and I'm guessing that means he wants to crush my bladder cuddle. Maybe tomorrow night, Dear.