Monday, December 17, 2012

Code Red

Blog Dare Day #15: Her frantic motions...

When I'm trying to check out at the store freak me out. She can be running circles around me, mesmerized my candy, chips or soda lurking at the checkout, or any number of other things. Losing sight of her those few seconds terrify me. She's little. She's fast. And it's my job to literally have eyes in the back of head. No easy feat.

For the record I'm pro shopping cart & treats to keep her sitting, quiet might be asking too much.


The Name Game

Blog Dare Day #14: If I could have chosen my first name...

I would have picked Laura. At a young age I was a fan of the Spanish pronunciation. I remember sharing this with my mom and she said no one would enunciate it like that. Supportive, huh?! Kidding. But hey a girl can dream right...


That Big Bird in the Sky

Blog Dare Day #13: The flight attendant said...

I have yet to fly with my daughter. To be honest it scares the shit out of me! I feel like it would either be great or the most miserable experience ever. She's yet to meet my father so maybe 2013 will be the year we conquer this fear. I just don't want to be the parent with the kid crying the entire flight. Tears happen. I get it.

But with age comes understanding and I can tell already at the ripe old age of three she is understanding things better everyday. Besides they're called the friendly skies, right?


Friday, December 14, 2012

To the Newbies

Blog Dare Day #12: What I want new mothers to know...

You're going to be fine. You're gonna figure it out. Love every second of that first year. Hug that baby. Breathe in that sweet smell. Take LOTS of pictures (and videos)!

I love babies. If I could have one and not take on the life after the first year I totally would. I know I'm equal parts crazy and selfish but looking back I don't think I enjoyed it as much as I should have.

Block out the criticism. Really just turn the volume down. Your way is the right way in spite of thinking, feeling or hearing that it isn't. There's nothing a good cry won't make feel better. Connect with other moms to confide in, vent to & have fun with!


The Bigger the Bow the Better the Mommy

Blog Dare Day #11: I seem to be collecting...

Ribbon. It seems recently that every time I buy Elle an outfit my next thought is she needs a bow in her hair. I need to organize because at the moment it's not very efficient. It's also in the worst place possible, her closet. Until recently she didn't give it a second thought but she's discovered how much fun it is to play with. You try telling a three year old that she can't play with something, yeah good luck with that. Which basically means more work for yours truly.


Those Old Things

Blog Dare Day #10: The old pair of (item of clothing) that I just can't part with

I have a favorite pair of jeans from high school still in my possession. They were my absolute faves! I   don't actually remember the last time I even wore them. I just know that I'm never getting rid of them.


One Big Let Down

Blog Dare Day #9: I was certain that I would disappoint...

Everyone. When I found out I was pregnant. I remember reluctantly going to Publix on my lunch break. The butterflies in my stomach as I waited for the results. Crying in my car and feeling like a big fat loser. Mind you I was twenty eight at the time. But good girls don't get knocked up.

I survived nine months of pregnancy. I did it minus the support of a significant other. I wasn't always nice. I wasn't always happy. I didn't take enough pictures. I wasn't sure I could really do it. But somehow I figured it out and here I am still figuring it out & not even able to remember what life was like before I became a mom. Some days it's a dream and others a nightmare but I wouldn't change any of it.


Saturday, December 8, 2012

Let Her Eat Cake!

Blog Dare Day #8: The look on her face made it all worth it.

A little over a week ago Elle celebrated her third birthday. It was a day filled with lots of fun, cookies for school, a happy meal for lunch, presents, home made spaghetti & meatballs for dinner and finished with a three layer cake. PS-Maybe now that I'm all caught up with this I can write a post in greater detail about the day!

This is the year she gets it. There was anticipation & excitement leading up to the big day. Her most asked request was for cake. She looked for it in the gift bag her Godmother gave her. It was so funny, she moved the tissue paper around and everything. She woke up asking for her cake. And when she finally saw it her eyes lit up! It was a proud moment for me. She was happy and that made all the work making it worth it. It was no easy feat and it's just my nature to see the imperfections versus patting myself on the back but you know what I did it and it wasn't leaning. *high five mom* 


Wait, Mom said No and Meant it???

Blog Dare Day #7: I finally gave in and...

Two words: Got. Tough. That's right no more "soft mom" over here! When I say no, I mean no. When I say it's time for night-night, I mean it's time for night-night. When I ask Elle to do something she's more than capable of doing, I want it done.

My tolerance for tears and behavior that falls under crazy pants is at an all time high. There was a time when the tears bothered me. I gave in more than I should have. Mainly for my own personal peace but you know what tears happen. Sometimes you hear no & have to do things you don't necessarily want to. It's called life the last time I checked.

In Elle's defense (and my fantastic parenting) she has manners. She uses please and thank you often. We're working on excuse me. And everyday at afternoon carpool when the teacher has walked her to the car she says, "thank you very much," which is followed by praise from mommy for being so polite!

With Christmas break quickly approaching we will be tackling potty training. Wish us luck. Send prayers. And feel free to leave comments as to what worked for you! Guess we're adding when I say go potty like a big girl, I mean it! Oh, if it were that easy she'd be fully potty trained!


Friday, December 7, 2012

You Think you Know but you Have no Idea

Blog Dare Day #6: I don't think you understand...

How much I hate having to bring my daughter with me to the store. Any store for that matter no need to get specific. They each offer there own version of torture. Grocery. Retail. Mall.

Yesterday was a not so friendly reminder of this truth of mine. We went to Target and I tweeted, "braving Target with my mini me." First problem, they don't have the "fun" shopping cart. I was able to sidetrack her with the promise of popcorn. Throw in a water and she is happily seated in the shopping cart. We browse, pick up a few things & head to the checkout. Now by this time she's asked to walk and help push the cart. You know nothing good is going to come from this right? We get to the checkout & she asks for m&m's, her favorite. I say no. This is when the crash and burn happens.

We exit Target holding hands & Elle in complete hysterics. Oh, I should throw in the nice lady checking us out asked permission and then offered Elle a sticker. A sticker that she said she didn't want to wear, ripped off her shirt and attempted to throw on the floor. Class act, huh? I get her in the car and spend the next 20 or so minutes being tortured by the sounds of screaming with a little arm and leg flailing. You know just so she was sure she was getting her point across. For a moment I considered joining her and crying myself. Then I snapped out of it. I'm the mom! So I laughed and snapped a couple pictures as  you can see.

We got home. I ordered her up the stairs and to her room. She asked for a hug. So I snuggled with her. Um, I'm not a monster. Soon enough she was snoring and I lived to tell about this one time I wanted to do things to my kid you only confide in your closest of mom friends. Whew!


Looking back to Move Forward

Blog Dare Day #5: What I had hoped to accomplish with my blog in 2012

For help with where to start I went and read my first post of 2012. It's littered with hope and optimism. Here I am just a few weeks from the beginning of a new year and the best way to sum it up is, life happened. I don't really do as good as I should when it comes to doing things for me. I'm positive I'm not alone on suffering from the "-itis." The I-can't-do-this-because-itis. I'd say my go to excuse is being tired. Selfishly wanting to enjoy my favorite time of day, Elle's naptime. I can spend quality time with the DVR. You know watching non-animated programming. I can eat lunch. Like uninterrupted and enjoy chewing. I can nap myself. Sometimes I'm not smushed to the edge of the bed or have ninja feet digging into my back.

It's the little things like that that stop me from being the badass mom blogger that I know is lurking just below the surface. Participating in this months blog dare is serving as a rehab of sorts. I'm behind BUT I havent given up! It's kinda nice to be reunited with the black & white keys even if I am doing it from my iPhone.


A Little Kindness goes a Long Way

Blog Dare Day #4: Acts of Kindess

Last spring I joined my local chapter of the Junior League. It's proven to be rewarding in more ways than I ever thought it would be. I've met some really great women from all walks of life who are the definition of kindness.

This week was our Breakfast with Santa, we visited 144 preschoolers. They got to have their picture taken with Santa & got a snazzy sweater commemorating the day. For the children that were absent, they were left a photo of Santa & sweater, so that no one was left out! I took the role of classroom coordinator and got each class and got to see the first of the excitement on there faces. It was precious! We're actually returning to drop off Christmas presents too! This time of year can be so hard for some many families. This experience really reminded me of that and I went an bought a few more toys since we haven't made our goal yet.

The first time I got the warm fuzzies that doing something you know is benefiting someone else was when I was a part of our Book Brigade committee. Every year we visit ten elementary schools in our county and give a book to all the third grade students. It was so awesome to see their faces light up when they walked away with a book of their very own! One class even wrote us thank you letters, it was so sweet!


Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Single Now but...NOT for Long!

We’re so excited to be writing a guest piece for Too Cute for Mom Jeans. It’s fantastic to be allowed loose on someone else’s blog however there is a problem. You need to think about what you write. Now I’m a guy, who runs a dating site or two…I know very little about moms…So I looked at what we had in common. Hint - it’s always in the title. I love people who are too cute for moms jeans!

So with that in mind Singles Warehouse, the place to meet singles in the United States is going to give some fantastic top tips for moms who are getting back into the dating pool. We hope you like them and would love to hear your comments.

Top Tip 1: Pick the right time

If you’ve just come out of a relationship or possibly not quite over the situation then it’s probably not the right time to start dating again. You need to give yourself time to heal so that when a new partner enters your life they have a chance to dazzle you and make you happy.

Top Tip 2: Pick the right picture

OK we all know you are too cute for mom jeans however there is one dating site no no. Your first picture needs to be one of just you. Leave the little ones out of it (for the moment). Trust needs to be built up before you show any potential pictures to a date. Also they need to get to know you first. Never lie about having children (why would anyone want to right?) but there is no need to have a picture publicly available for people to download.

Top Tip 3: Respond to all messages

It’s a well known fact that pictures on a profile increase it’s interaction level by about 10 times what it would have been before. What that means is that you will be bombarded with messages. Try your best to respond to all of them. Sure not everyone will be what you are looking for but by responding you give the chance of conversation to show other sides of the person.

Top Tip 4: Do a search

Simple right? Online dating sites have great search functions. If you are looking to chat to single parents then consider just ticking that box. You’ve signed up after all, you might as well give it a shot.

So there you have it, 4 tips for moms getting back into dating. We hope you’ve enjoyed them and would love to hear from you.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Santa, are you there? It's me...

Blog Dare Day #3: What we tell (or don't tell) the kids about Santa Claus.

I don't know what the right answer is. I realize it varies from family to family but I see it two ways. For the first we'll have to take a ride down memory lane. I was in elementary school, in the girls bathroom and a bomb was dropped on me. There was no Santa. Wait. Did I hear that right? I took it in and kept "my truth" to myself. I was telling my mom this story today and we laughed hysterically! Then there's the part of me that doesn't want the focus of Christmas to be all about this Santa guy and the presents he brings. Then it dawns on me that a lot kids are aware of Santa and I don't want to have the "jerk kid" who goes around raining on other children's Santa parade. That just doesn't seem very fair.

I've considered talking to some of the moms at my church and seeing how they balance Santa baby & baby Jesus. Balancing the traditions of the advent & the happiness that guy in the red suit brings (and at one time brought me).


A little snow. A lot of crazy.

Blog Dare Day #2: When snow begins to fall...

Luckily the part of the US we live in snow is not a normal occurrence.  When the weatherman or woman speaks the word snow it's a mad dash to the grocery store. The bread & water are the first to go and I guess it's a toss up as to what's next. 

It did snow a few years ago. It's fun for pictures and to look at but that's about it. I'm not tough enough for it. High fives all around for those of you who are! 


Close your eyes. Make a wish.

Blog Dare Day #1: My holiday wish...

When it comes to anything "I want" it can be found bringing up the rear on my "to do list." It's just one of the things I've come to accept kinda like picking up toys several times a day with a smile. 

Now that Elle is three she gets Christmas. More like she can clearly enunciate it & refers to it as "her Christmas." I'm not sure she's aware that presents are involved. I want this to be the year we start family traditions. Church will be involved. I might live on the edge and not drop her off in the nursery. I'm hopeful that between a coloring book, me & the holy spirit she can successfully make it through an hour long service. We'll sing Happy Birthday to Jesus! I'm going to do some more research into traditions & add a couple more. 

My wish is for Elle to know & begin understanding that Christmas is about much more than gifts. It's about being thankful, love and giving with an open heart. 


Monday, November 5, 2012

Dear Vanessa Past

Today's Prompt: Write a letter to your 14-year-old self. Tomorrow, write a letter I yourself in 20 years.

The year was 1996. I had just relocated to the place I've come to call home. I was a high school freshman. And I shaved my legs for the very first time!


You don't know this, not the way that you should but you are smart, you are beautiful and you are talented in ways you've yet to discover. Life is full of happy and sad, ups and downs, successes and regrets. Learn from each and every one of them. Love appears when you least expect it from the unlikeliest of candidates. Embrace it. Heartbreak happens. Cry. Feel it. But don't wait too long to do it again, as crazy as it sounds.

College is going to be one of the best times of your life. Live it! Don't be afraid. Figure out who you are & what you want. Don't stop until you're that person and you're where you want to be. No one can make you happier or love you more than you can! Always remember that. Always. People are going to come into your life and the ones that are meant to be there will. For the rest remember the good times and let it go. Don't hold on. Don't make excuses.

PS-Quit being a people pleaser! And stop with all the self depreciating! Oh, mistakes. They happen.

Always be that sweet girl. Hold on to her fiercely! Don't let anything or anyone change that. If you do it's going to be harder then I can possibly put into words to find again. Love all the things that make you, you. Your snort. Your laugh. Your height. Your awesome rack! And all the snarky, not so nice bits that only a select few will ever see. Own it. Love it. Every last bit.

"This is my wish for you: Comfort on your difficult days, smiles when sadness intrudes, rainbows to follow the clouds, laughter to kiss your lips, hugs when your spirits sag,  beauty for your eye to see, friendships to brighten your being, faith so that you can believe, confidence for when you doubt,  courage to know yourself, patience to accept the truth, love to complete your life" 


Friday, November 2, 2012

Me & My Other BFF

Today's Prompt: When is the last time you felt really, truly lonely?

So technically I should have wrote this yesterday however I like to think that I march to the beat of my own drum. It probably goes more like I didn't come across this until late in the day. I had a Junior League commitment, didn't get home from that until close to 8:00pm, ate dinner and put my daughter to bed which in theory is putting myself to bed. And here I find myself at 5:30am, playing catch up & jamming to the Afrojack Pandora station. But now back to the task at hand...

If I were being honest which is what I think one should be when blogging then my answer would be simple. I struggle with loneliness. There I said it or rather typed it, same difference...right? Right. Let's take it back to the beginning for an example of sorts. Me & my "real life" bestie met men who would end up playing key roles in our lives on the same day at the same place. Press fast forward and you have me: The girl who had her whole world change after one passion filled romp. See example A, my beautiful daughter. And then you have her: The girl who found her husband. Yeah, take a minute. Go on and choke that one down. PS-I love my bestie. I'm her maid honor. I couldn't be happier for her.

I'm "the mom" in my circle of friends. I know one day that won't be the case. I also know that if you were to look at my facebook page you'd see pictures of me out, about and having a good time. True enough. But be lonley hits when it's quite, my daughters sleeping, on a rare occassion I'm in the car alone and it's just me, myself & I. No one wins playing the "what if" game. What if I didn't pregnant? What if I had a significant other? What if, what if, what if? This is all I know. Doing it alone. I also just hit the big 3-0 and it's left me in a really weird space & trying to figure out what's going to make me happy. I am not sure what the answer is as of yet. I just know that I want to be embracing this idea of living, loving life in my singlemotherdom [is that a word. I'm pretty sure not. The perks of blogging.]

I'm not the first mom to be sitting at my computer and cry. I doubt I'm the last. But dammit if it doesn't feel good.


Thursday, September 6, 2012

A Little Spit Shine

I envisioned my triumphant return to the keyboard happening under a different set of circumstances. It'd be me basically saying that life has been so fabulous finding the time to sit and write about it was just too much to ask for. The jet setting. The parties. The hobnobbing.

Instead I find myself a wee bit pissed off and unlike times past I thought, "Why don't you just blog it out?" It's basically me talking to myself. Freeing myself of whatever garbage has piled up or on the flip side sharing the happy, funny & so on and so forth. On a side note, someone asked me yesterday if I was still blogging. It kind of caught me off guard but gave me even more of a push to make myself sit here and say you know what I'm having a shitty day. I think it can be more accurately described as a period of shit-tastic-ness.

Living the glamorous life of a stay-at-home mom means that I live, eat and breathe my daughter, which conviently means eight [or so] times out of ten the reason I'm irritated in someway involves her [either directly or indirectly]. Today my mother was in charge of dropping and picking Elle up from preschool. I sent her text inquiring how drop off went, pretty much holding my breath that it went smoothly. Fortunately for all involved it did. Fast forward three hours and it's pick up time and the report back was "very embarassing picking Elle up..."
Insert an expletive or two on my end along with a tear or two or three of frustation and their you have it.

Elle is rounding the corner to her third birthday. She's not a demon baby. She's got quite a bit of spunk. A temper. She's bossy. Likes things done her way. And for those who know me I just described myself. Guess that's where the phrase "mini-me" came from, huh? She didn't come with instructions. I have no idea what I'm doing. I take that back I'm figuring it out as I go. I don't beat her. I have enforced a time out or two. We've had more "mini discussions" regarding her bad decision making skills than I can count. She's one smart tough cookie! She knows how she can act with who. She knows when she's done something wrong because she starts chirping that she's sorry. That in of itself shows intelligence. Tears come with the territory. She cries for any and every reason most of which tears aren't warranted but you try telling her that. It doesn't phase me. If we're out and she asks for something and the answer is no, which by the way rarely is then the waterworks ensue. Do I like it? No. Who wants to be the parent with the kid who's crying and screaming? Uh, no one! But it happens. I say stare or look away and tell yourself under your breathe that'll never be me. Which PS is a lie. It will be. But when it comes to my mother it's embarassing. She's claimed recently to not be phased by it but I know that if she could run away or pretend to not know us she would. I'm not offended at least not when I'm there to do the mothering. I haven't quite mastered being able to do that when I'm not there, like this afternoon.

To add insult to injury she throws in "if she's acting this way how does she behave in class?" All I could think was "did you really just say that?"
How about we go back and see how you behaved at this age. See that's the problem it's been what 1912 since she had little ones & she didn't play the role of disciplinarian. I'm judge, jury and treat giver. I have yet to actually hear the details of the horror that was the afternoon pick up. I'm sure we'll sit down and have a discussion what it will resolve exactly I have no idea. We mother different. We know this already. I'll listen with one ear open just in case. However, I did e-mail Elle's teacher just as a precaution. I assume that Elle's behavior isn't anything out of the ordinary. Tears. Not sharing. Having to repeat yourself. All seem par for the course. I am very curious to hear what she has to say. I promise to take it with an open mind and heart. Neither of which are easy but whatever needs to addressed should be so that we can continue to be a part of the preschool. She's got two years left and mom needs the three hour break!

Holy crap, I feel better! Nothing a little venting can't fix...


Thursday, January 26, 2012

Dream a Little, Dream of Me

Day 23-The most vivid dream...

The most vivid dream I've had was about my daughter. I saw her attending "our" dream school. Yes, I've already visited and it was love at first sight. It's a private all girls school and it's everything I know she deserves. Come graduation these young women are going on to continued success both in and out of the classroom. I see it so clearly her in a uniform, getting dropped off at carpool, forging friendships, intelligence and extracurriculars. Brains and beauty, that's my girl!


There's White Stuff Outside

Day 22- Snow days...

This is what snow days are all about!


Christmastime reading...

Day 21-An impactful book in my life

I read this book for a book club and think everyone should too! It's called Christmas Jars by Jason F. Wright. It's an easy read just a little over a hundred pages. It's about making what you have work. It's about paying it forward. It's inspiring...


A Good Girl Gone Rouge

Day 20-Something mischievous I did as a child

I was only grounded once in my tween years. I was in middle school and up until this fateful night was not only a member but president of the "goody two shoes." A title up until my college days fit like a puzzle piece. It was the weekend and instead of returning home like a good girl I opted to hang out with my friends. Innocent enough right? Not when you've got a dad that rules with an iron fist. I can even remember having one of those light up phones and having to turn the ringer off just to talk on it. Thank God for mothers that bend the rules a little for you. So back to me, the trouble maker; I didn't get home until it was dark....ohhhhh bad girl. I can't recall how long I was grounded for it was the look on my dad's face that sticks out the most. Needless to say I found my way back to the straight and narrow...


Monday, January 23, 2012

Laughing leads to Peeing

Day 19-The last time I laughed so hard, I cried

Laughter is necessity in my life in instances like the above it keeps me from crying. This would be my daughter after finagling the lock off the bathroom cabinet, getting her paws on my make-up bag and well as you can see an enviable make-up application. Even just looking at it makes me laugh. She looks so happy and proud of herself, kind of hard to be mad at that!


Twenty-Three Days in...

Sound the trumpets this my first "real blog" of the new year. As you've been following I've taken on a Blog Dare and am happy to report that I haven't fallen more than a few days behind at most; hence multiple posts on the same day. But that's neither here nor there...

As I thought about how I wanted to approach my first post I wanted to find just the right mix of inspirational wit, it's kind of my thing or at least in the making; whatever...just go with it. Like most of us I did ponder some new years resolutions I'm happy to report I've hit full-grown adulthood being that weight loss didn't even register on my radar [insert happy "not-yet-at-ideal-weight" dance]. The way I see it I've been fatter and I know what I need to do. I'll be honest I'm mulling over re-joining Weight Watchers but in true procrastinator form [i.e. the deadline to join free isn't until March] I'm going to do a little more mulling. I don't want to sign up for failure. I became a scale obessed monster and even though I was feeling great and seeing a difference not having the scale reflect that was unacceptable. I want to set a realistic goal and commit to allowing the pounds to shed how they shed.

Last year I decided instead of resolutions I would pick a word and use that to motivate me towards becoming a better Vanessa. I failed miserably however this year I'm giving it another go and my word is: thankful. It's easy to forget how much I have to be thankful for when things get tough or I'm in the middle of throwing a temper tantrum. I've already had moments where I've been able to reflect and see what I have to be thankful for; the goal however is to go there first as opposed to doing it in hindsight.

As a parent it seems only appropriate to pick a word and it's going to be patience. I've got an independent, fiesty, trouble maker on my hands and the only way we'll both live to tell about it is with lots of the "p-word." Mothering a two year old requires an infinite supply...

23 days down. Only 343 to go [it's a leap year, an extra day to get it right!]


Friday, January 20, 2012

That piece of Junk

Day 18-Something at home/work that serves no purpose

After a good bit of brainstorming and even a look-see into the garage all I can come up with is the wheelbarrow. It's sitting smack dab in the center with a few pieces of wood on it; mind you I couldn't tell you the last time we started a fire, guess you can call us prepared.


Tuesday, January 17, 2012

There's a first time for everything...

Day 17-The first time I saw...

The first time I took another child to the bathroom and saw her poop, I felt like I cheated on my daughter. We haven't exactly started potty training [gasp and ohhh & ahhh]. I do think that she's ready being that she's got a fair average when it comes to telling me she's pooped and she did break out into tears when I wouldn't sit her on the big person potty; she's got promise. But bck to my traumatic experience, I found myself being asked to take a little girl to the bathroom. We walked into the stall and she just stood there. I figured that was my que to help her with her pants and get her on the pot and within a matter of seconds I was staring at poop. Although I pictured myself running out of the bathroom screaming "GROOOSSSS" I didn't think my antics would have been appreciated. So I helped her up, got her cleaned and zipped up and we were washing our hands.

I've had a potty training dvd for longer then I care to admit but clearly it's time to pop it in, take some notes and tackle this thing called potty training...


Nothing a Gummy Bear can't fix

Day 16-I convinced my children to...

I've got a toddler so most things take coercion, most come in the form of "sit down and put your hands in your lap," followed promptly by tears. But whenever Elle makes a monumental mess it usually takes a gummy candy to convince her to smile so that I can capture yet another blackmail picture. I can picture it now, it's her sweet sixteen and out comes a cake with her in the tub with bag a of tortilla chips (true story) smiling her little heart out! Revenge is sweet...


Sunday, January 15, 2012

Wow-Wow...No Thanks

Day 15-Why I don't like a certain cartoon character...

It took some thinking but if I had to pick one cartoon character I don't like it'd be Wubbzy, the main character on a show called Wow Wow Wubbzy (and pictured below)...

My reason is simple, his voice. It's screechy and irritating and the same can be said for his buddies. It's unfortunate because I do think the show teaches some good lessons. But even this mom, who embraces everything from Dora the Explorer to Yo Gabba Gabba has her limits.


You like...what?!

Day 14-I can't believe my kids like...{This could be a food, beverage, toy, show, music...}

I can't believe Elle likes the show Wipeout. It's hilarious I get it but to watch her watch it is even funnier, if that's even possible. She sits quietly, gets a little worked up when the commercials come on and laughs perfectly on que. There are also lots of "uh-oh's" rather appropriately too.



Day 13~My child's creepiest toy

Elle doesn't have any toys that I consider "creepy." Most of them make noise and after ten times of her hitting the same button on her alphabet sing-a-long toy it can certainly wear on me. I do get creeped out at night when a toy will randomly make a sound or scare myself by tripping on something when I'm trying to peek in on her; I'm just smooth like that.


Thursday, January 12, 2012

Take me away...

Day 12-A vacation I hope to take this year

The vacation I'd like to take this year is to Napa Valley. I want to go in celebration of my thirtieth birthday! I was watching the Food Network and one of my favorite chefs actually has a restaurant there and I couldn't think of a better place to have some grown up fun. Oh, the chef by the way is Michael Chiarello he owns Botegga Ristorante. I've started researching how to make the most of my visit and there is a ton of information out there. My big day is in October so I've got plenty of time to plan. I can't wait for the wine to flow and fun to ensue...


Good Girls Always Tell

Day 11-If my parents had ever found out...

I'm what you'd call a "good girl" and that means ten times out of ten I rat myself out. There was a time in middle school where I skipped school (I ran with a tough crowd, kidding) and the first thing I told my mom when I saw her is that I skipped. I was in high school and skipped a class and even though I appeared not to care on the outside I'd broken in to hives on the inside. I had my eyebrow pierced twice, one of those times my mom was actually with me. As you've gathered from the title/content of my blog I'm a mom minus a significant other, no secret there.

Here's the thing about hiding things, it can be hard; at least in my experience it has been so I tend to usually just confess and deal with the consequences. I do however believe we're all allowed one thing that we take to the grave, my advice...choose wisely!


Tuesday, January 10, 2012

An Old School Fave!

Day 10~A favorite retro toy

My favorite retro toy would have to be [drum roll please]...the easy bake oven! I found this great link that shows the evolution of this bad-ass baking machine,

I honestly can't wait to be able to use one with my daughter. Maybe we'll do something fancy like a Sandra Lee inspired table scape of desserts.


You Did What?!

Day 9~I never thought I'd find this in my child's room...{doesn't have to be something 'bad'... could be an incredible mess!}

This is just one of two minor and one major make-up incidents. What can I say, my girl pays attention? The worst of it all isn't in the picture it's the rug, it basically resembles splatter paint art project gone terribly right (I meant wrong but it fits better the other way). It's awful and all I could think to myself is why didn't she just ruin the blanket, but no it's just outside the perimeter. Besides what would be the fun in making a mess if to clean it all you had to do was toss something in the wash. Nope, she's doing things the right way!


Television-A Mom's Dilemma

Day 8~Too much television...

Television can be a catch 22 in my house. The shows I like, my favorite channel for that matter is the antithesis of kid friendly. It's lots of nick jr. and pbs kids for us. We actually start the day dancing. Elle absolutely loves music of all kinds (yes, she can even break it down to elevator music)! She's also decided that everything is yellow, she's started reciting her ABC's in about 2.5 seconds and all animals are dogs; to combat this we've got some DVD's to help us at least for a moment realize that the world is made up some fabulous colors, animals and if we can add a letter in at time that to me is success! Little Bill comes on at noon so we eat lunch and watch him followed up by nap time. After nap time to evenings is filled with a bit more but the way I see it, I'm trying. I always try and spark up conversation with whatever it is we're watching and she's known from time to time to even teach me something new. I can't say I understand most of it but I always smile and encourage her.

Do I indulge myself when it comes to watching what I'd like, I do. She's usually playing, making a mess or quietly starting trouble while I am. So the way I see it it's a win-win.


My Daily Fix

Day 7~Something you need daily - coffee?

My daily fix is simple, laughter. There are days that to keep from crying I've got to be able to laugh. Having a toddler on my hands can certainly have it's trying moments I can actually think of several off hand. What I've learned is that most of the conundrums could have been avoided had I locked the cabinet, put the nail polish away or moved the flour out of her reach. I forget that if something is just within her reach she's more then willing to get on her tippy toes or climb the changing the table to get whatever it is she's got her eye on. What can I say, I'm learning to laugh along the way...


What's this about alone time?

Day 6~My "special" place. {Where do you go for quiet/alone or regrouping time}

I don't really have a "special" place to call my own. All I know is this, my favorite part of the day is nap time. It's the first chance I have on a daily basis to just turn to my favorite channel, silently scold myself about not using said time more effectively (i.e. blogging, cleaning, etc.) & more times then not I make myself lunch and fall asleep only to woken up by either laughter or tears; and with that I'm back on mom duty.

Being a single mom doesn't exactly lend itself to many opportunities for aloneness. I mean I basically have a shadow and I welcome it the way I see it one day I'll be needed in a different way, besides she's already making her stand for independence heard loud and clear. And just so I don't sound like a complete debbie downer I also enjoy being in the car & food shopping alone as well as the short walk to the mailbox. When the weather is nice I even like to sit outside.


Thursday, January 5, 2012

Lost & Not Found

Day 5~Something lost...

I imagine there are all sorts of ways you could approach this topic. For me it makes most sense to talk about a friendship lost. I've considered trying to repair or at least make some attempt at repair, I've thought about what to say even tried writing a few times but I always end up scraping it for one reason or another. The thing is even though I think my level of responsibility is minimal I still feel guilty. When I think back to the incident all I know for certain is that I was angry beyond words. It goes back to my biggest pet peeve of them all: texting something you should be picking up the phone and talking about. I guess for me it was the final straw & maybe if this person couldn't be bothered to pick up the phone or at least discuss an alternative then maybe I was better off cutting my losses.

Fast forward seven months and I find myself torn between wanting to reconnect and coming to terms with the decision I made. I don't want to say sorry I want to say why haven't you said sorry but something tells me that isn't exactly that most productive way to go about things. The saying goes, life is what happens when you're busy making other plans and I guess that's what happened. Maybe it's okay to skip the harsh, ugly words and just remember the good times for what they were.


Buyers Remorse

Day 4~What I shouldn't have bought this holiday season.

I guess I'm gonna take the "fat girl route" and say I shouldn't have bought all the sweets I consumed. I developed a small addiction to boxed chocolates, Hershey's Pot of Gold's topping my list...YUM! I've never considered myself having much of a sweet tooth but evidently that's changed.


Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Kick the Bucket Open

Day 3~Bucket List: If you already have one, review it and see what needs to be added or checked off.

I don't have a bucket list. The thought of even writing one seems kind of daunting. I mean I get it and for a little reassurance I googled it and it seems complicated I mean easy enough. Except I'm clueless on where to even start; can I blame it on my "mom brain?" I mean after all my world perspective has changed quite a bit and I've never been a dreamer. But I suppose I could start one, right? So here goes nothing...

1. Get my bachelors in accounting
2. Cut all my hair off (in a cute edgy way not anything resembling Sinead O' Connor)
3. Get a tattoo
4. Learn how to sail
5. Buy myself a diamond

Well there you have it the beginnings of me kicking the bucket open!


Monday, January 2, 2012

Looking Back to Move Forward

Day 2~A look back at 2011

I’m going to be honest I don’t want to look back because it makes me sad. I can’t say that 2011 was exactly my greatest 365 days of life. Here’s my take on things from the rear view mirror…

I began the year unemployed, I can’t say that I really made the time to just say “It’s okay Vanessa, you fucked up but it’s not the end of the world.” In the words of Donald Trump it was the first time I’d ever heard you’re fired, thankfully those weren’t the words I heard but that was basically the jist of it. The good news, it didn’t last terribly long a new opportunity presented itself and it was one of the worst decisions I made of 2011 [whew, there I said it]. Now seems like the appropriate time to say “It’s okay Vanessa, you did things your way and sometimes no matter how much planning you do, things don’t work out the way you intended.” Case in point, once I decided I was done I started looking for a new job and was presented with what I thought was a great direction to take my budding career. After an initial interview for a different position and three more for the said new one I heard the words I had been longing for, you’re hired! Next, I was turning in my resignation and counting down the days that the misery I had come to know oh so well was ending. Day one of my new gig had finally come; I looked the part, felt amazing and was ready to dive into the world of hair. First though there was a month of training to get through and at the end of that journey came a not so pleasant kick in the face. I was fired. It was like an out body experience I didn’t see it coming and for longer than I can count replayed that moment over and over and over in my head. So now I’m going to say, “Vanessa you did your best and even though you feel like the girl on bid day who doesn’t get a bid (which I’ve experienced) it’s okay, there’s something better out there for you.”

Looking back for me means forgiveness for the mistakes and missteps that I’ve made. Life is a journey filled with ups and downs all of which can only make us stronger if we let it. This is me letting it & saying “Hi 2012, I’m Vanessa and ready to live life on my own terms…fasten your seat belt.”


Sunday, January 1, 2012

Oh yeah that again...

I attempted this and experienced failure of epic proportions last year however the great thing about day #1 of a new year is the opportunity for success. So here goes nothing...come along for some literary genius as I take on the Blog Dare 2012.

Enjoy and don't forget to laugh!

Day 1~ My Social Media goals for 2012

Over the last few days I've actually given this a good bit of thought. First I had to deal with my feelings of feeling like a "Mom Blogger Failure" but once I forgave myself I decided that this year I instead of internalizing I would come here, place my fingers on the keyboard and write. That being said, this year I'd like to find a mom blogger mentor. Someone who can be a sensei of sorts and help me in making my blog a success in terms of readership and all the other things that come along with be a kick ass mom blogger. [Feel free to send moms my way!]