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!]