Friday, February 8, 2008

Cool Site of the Week: Splendora

Ok, so of all the days of the week, Friday is probably my most hectic from a "I am so not going to get to blog today" aspect. If hubby and I aren't trying to fit in a quick dinner out then we're trying to at least have a nice night spent at home together to celebrate the start of the weekend. Of course once we get home, hang with Coco and then get her down for the night, that doesn't leave much time. Hence I have given in to the realization that at times engulfs all writers (or at least ones who have an 8 month old and a daily blog) - that I can't always keep up.

But not being one to leave all three of my devoted readers hanging, each Friday I have decided, in lieu of my typical blog entry, to instead offer you my "cool site of the week". Most of you know I'm an internet freak AND an anal research-queen. Annoying for my family, good for you. Each Friday I'll share a website that I've found that I think is cool for some reason... either quirky products, great deals, interesting info, etc etc. I promise I will not be putting up the link to Sears anytime soon - I will try to be as original as possible. Most likely it will either be mom or chick related. Sorry single-guy readers (as if I have any). If I ever have any stake in the site (i.e. its a friend's, or I get some sort of anything out of referring folks there) I will promise to tell you up front and in bold letters!

So, without further ado - this week's CSOTW is:
This site, Splendora, is a great place for fashionistas. Each week they publish the "What To" list (which you can get via email for subscribers) including such things as: what to wear, what to read, what to watch, what to rent, what to drink, what to jewlery, etc. They also post one celeb who's looking "Extra Foxy" that week. Plus, its all done with a great girlfriendly sense of humor so that it doesn't take itself (and its fabulocity) too seriously. The blog is great too (and one of my favs). There's also the "BFF Lounge" for normal folks like you and me to chat, post and share ideas. As one of my favorite movie lines goes: Love the shoes, love the bag, love everything!

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Glorious Freedom

Certain things we do because we have to, certain things because we want to. Other things we do for odd reasons that are a combination of both. Back when Cora was first born, I had heard of a website that tracks certain daily events for babies, thus allowing parents to see patterns. The idea is that once you see a sleeping, eating, or fussiness pattern evolve you can prepare around it. The website is It was made by a dad who wanted to have an easy way to chart his daughter's (Trixie's) daily happenings. The anal side of me was in heaven - I signed up right away.

After more than six months of trixie tracking (or Cora Chronicle-ing) diligently almost each and every day (save for vacations or trips to see hubby's family) I can tell you daily how many naps Cora has had and how long they lasted, how many poopy diapers she's had in her lifetime, how many ounces of whatever kind of beverage she's had each day, what solid foods she's had and when the first time was that she encountered each, plus give you averages on all accounts both for Cora alone, and compared to the other babies her age using the site. Neato huh. Except I've noticed something - and that is nothing. No patterns, no clues, no useful tidbits. She rarely used to nap at the same time and almost never for the same length of time - she does now just out of the routine of her daycare. She rarely wakes the same time(s) at night. She has never had a food allergy so knowing when she was first exposed to something hasn't been needed. She's growing like a weed so formula intake isn't a big issue. Other than having a neurotically entertaining record of her first 8 months, (ok I didn't track the first month actually) there isn't much else I'm getting out of this deal other than the stress of making sure I enter her information (diligently provided for me by her care provider) each night. One more thing I have to get done.

Yesterday was our 'snow day' at home. Between work, hubby and teething crabby baby, things were just too hectic to track when she ate, how much, when she napped, for how long, what solids she had, when she pooped and on and on. And strangely, I felt an odd sense of freedom. Who knew? I realized that my subscription to the service would be up for renewal in a couple of weeks and almost felt glee at the fact that I would not be paying to renew it. I would be free - free I tell you! (insert crazy laugh here) Its amazing how great I felt about shrugging off chains that I had imposed on myself. Weird.

So in a few weeks I won't be able to tell you how much Cora is napping each day in fractions, I won't be able to tell you how many average poopy diapers she has each week, and I won't be able to tell you how her average hours of overnight sleep compare to kids her age. But I have an odd feeling I won't feel too badly about it.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Tough Day at the Office

Hubby and I were house-bound snow bunnies today after getting 8" of snow in our area. Figuring that our care provider cannot possibly carry Coco around all day with 4 other kids to care for, our plan was to both work from home at just pretend she was in day-care. We thought Cora would play on the floor on her blanket with toys, or in her pack-n-play, or her exersaucer, or her jumparoo -- we'd feed her, play with her, she'd go down for her two naps (about 90 mins each) and all would be well with the world. Yeah, no.

First of all, Cora is teething again (who are we kidding - the child is teething perpetually). This time its the upper side two teeth coming in. In addition to that, apparently being out of her weekly routine of going to her care provider's threw her off base. Apparently the "day-care-at-home" vibe was not one she was willing to accept. She took her two naps - but only for 30 mins each. She wouldn't eat on schedule (or much at all period). She would start to cry about 30 seconds after we put her on her blanket, or in her excersaucer, or in her jumparoo. By 3:00 this afternoon she was fussing even while we were holding her if we didn't shift positions every 10 seconds. On top of all of this, Hubby was working under a very tight deadline and I had 3 important teleconferences I had to participate in. It was not a happy day. Most of the day however Cora was in my charge since Hubby had to keep pounding away to get stuff done. I started to feel a little put upon that my job took backseat to Hubby's and that I was the one who was expected to take care of Cora all day.

After Cora went to bed I was so frustrated, frazzled, and dissapointed that I slipped into the mollygrubs. You know - the place of self-doubt that wraps you up so tightly you can't see the upside of down? I realized (for the 100th time) that I would not be a good stay-at-home mom and because of that started to feel terrible. I started wondering what kind of mother wouldn't want to spend every available moment with her child? Most women I know would kill to be able to trade their jobs for their children. That thought spun into "maybe I should have never been a mom". That thought spun into the "did I make a huge mistake?" That thought spun into "hubby probably thinks I'm a horrible mother". That thought spun into "with hubby so stressed and me being a terrible mom and homemaker what on earth would keep him here?" At that point even I realized it was time to claw my way back up to the surface.

I went in, sat down, and talked to my husband. I apologized for not having been a very nuturing mother today and told him I had some frustrations I wanted to talk about. Turns out he had some as well and we talked about everything going on in our lives, at work and at home. By the end of the talk we were laughing, hugging, and deciding to go take a break from computers, chores, and cleaning and go watch some TV together on the couch. I'm back to feeling like a woman who is ok with her choices and with being who she is and I know more about the stressors Hubby is facing. Hubby is feeling less stressed about everything on his shoulders and is more aware of what I need some help with around the house. Cora is snoozing away happily upstairs (so far). It may not be Norman Rockwell for the ages, but for 2008 I think its pretty darn close.

(p.s. of course just as I was about to hit "publish" the ever-familiar paci cry erupted upstairs. sorry Mr. Rockwell!)

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Daddy’s Graduation Day

Yesterday was a big day for Daddy and Cora. It was the first time they had been on their own for more than a couple of hours. I had to be out of the state all day for work, leaving very early in the morning and returning well after Coco went to bed. It was up to Daddy to get her up, get her dressed, get her to her care provider’s, get to work, pick her up at the end of the day, get her home, get her dinner, have playtime, put her to bed, get himself dinner and clean up her bottles from the day. Whew.

I am happy to report that Daddy aced his day like a pro. Cora was resting sweetly when I got home at 7:45pm and Daddy was working away on his computer. The bottles were cleaned up, Cora had gotten dinner and he even said she had been in a great mood all night (of course I’m sure he meant great mood except for that part where she missed mommy terribly). On top of it all, since I had had a long day (over 8 hours through 3 states in a rental Prius on icy roads) he had tried to tell me to go to bed and that he would get up with Cora anytime she had a “paci call”. As adorable as that was, I knew he had had a long day too and that was not fair so I tried to split them with him – but I’m not sure how many I woke up for. He’s been hopping up so quick in the night lately that I don’t even hear her stir! Have I mentioned I have the best husband in the world?

Since my job will be bringing increasing travel throughout the year (at least once a quarter) it makes me feel so great to know that Daddy can handle this baby stuff hands down. They say that over time, love changes from strong swings of passion to constant feelings of joy and contentment. That roses and candy give way to gentle smiles and a soft touch... that extravagant gifts give way to thoughtful gestures… that surges of butterflies give way to happiness and security. I don’t know if I agree with allll of that (I still get butterflies plenty of times when I think of or see my hubby) but I can tell you that the deepest love I feel for him often comes at the simplest times: when he’s playing and laughing with our daughter, when he goes out unasked in icky weather just because I don’t feel good and want soup, when he’s changing a little bottom and making funny faces/voices to keep her entertained, when he offers to take her out on his errands instead of me taking her on mine because he secretly wants to show her off, when he brings me a magazine home from the grocery store just because he thought I’d like it, when he doesn’t think I’m listening and tries his hardest to get Coco to say “hi mama”. Needless to say, knowing that I can feel completely confident now in leaving my daughter on those days when I’m forced to takes me to a whole new level of admiration and love. Tending to a little one’s every need is not easy (can I get an AMEN stay-at-home moms??) and to know that a father’s love is just as strong as a mother’s is a wonderful aphrodisiac. Now if we can just keep her asleep in long enough stretches at night to enjoy the fruits of his labor….

Weight Watcher's Weigh In - Week One

Well today was the first official “WW” weigh in. While I didn’t do badly – I lost exactly 2 pounds – I had kinda hoped for more. Don’t get me wrong, I’m happy that I did as well as I did, but someone in our group (who wasn’t identified) lost 5.8lbs! Holy cow. But if I continue to lose 2 pounds a week then by the end of the 17 weeks I will have lost 34 lbs. Right now my ultimate goal is only 26lbs so hopefully I’ll get there!

At least I lost something. After having stayed within my total points and within my daily points everyday but my one planned "special" dinner date, I would have been really disheartened if I hadn't. Goal for this week is to up my water intake and throw in some sort of physical activity (since that is so nonexistent for me). Here's hopin!

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Point Binge

Ok so I had either met or been under my points everyday this week (even when my horribly cruel friend made me eat one of her homemade scotcheroos - do you have ANY idea how many points are in that - a lot). So I had saved up my 35 points for dinner last night. Yes, for one meal, one day. Hubby and I were joining friends at an eclectic little french bistro downtown (and when I say little I mean it - they have about 15 tables tops). The night was all in all a nice one since we had great company and a nice meal (note I say nice - not fantastic) but the rest of the event was a bust.

First, when we got there, all three of the waitstaff were at the bar snipping at each other about the "featured cocktail of the night". I have no idea what could be so at issue over such a matter but they were all quite pissy about it. After standing at the maitre de desk for quite some time they finally decided we were worthy enough to be waited on. We let the man know that we were about 15 mins early for our reservation and waiting for the other couple to arrive but would be happy to sit at the bar. He looked at us as if we had wasted his energy for the 10foot walk over to us and simply said "ok then sit at the bar" before walking off. Grrr.

After our friends arrived and we were seated it took about another 30 mins just for one of the waitstaff to take our order (two of the three kept stopping over saying it would be "just another minute" as if they didn't even know who's table it was). Finally the female told us apologetically that either dessert or a drink would be on the house. About this time the male came over and told her he would take our table to which she replied "good - I need a minute." Nice to feel loved. We placed our order and waited. And waited. And waited. Tables of people who had come in, waited at the bar, been seated and ordered AFTER we were seated had eaten, departed and the tables were reset. By the time we got our meals (with no mention of the wait much less apology) the restaurant was almost empty.

The food was average especially for the price. Dinner for the four of us was over $200.00 (and of course, our drinks had NOT been comped even though we had been told they would be). I had been so excited to spend my points on some great decadent food and I didn't even finish what was on my plate. When time for dessert finally came (which I had been dreaming of all week) it was so late that no one had the umph to stick around even longer just for a taste of something sweet.

The up side is that since I didn't eat even half of what I ordered, and since I did try and order somewhat carefully I only used 25 points last night. Of course my daily allotment is 21 but if you add in the 35 I was still way under. Now of course I doubt the WW folks really encourage people to spend all 35 extra points in one sitting... but hey... they never said I couldn't. So I guess the lesson here is that if you're gonna be a glutton, make sure you have something worth being gluttonous over. Like homemade scotcheroos.