Friday, November 21, 2008

The state of things

I'm sitting here on a Friday night with my whole head smelling like olive oil, my husband alternately coughing, moaning and winking at me (likely a fresh case of conjunctivitis, if you ask Dr. Damselfly, along with a cold) and wondering where my day has gone. Where my week has gone. Where my mind has gone.

First, the olive oil: You know the economy. The one that almost doesn't really exist? I decided to sacrifice my salon highlighting habit in the name of the family budget. This meant a trip to my (former) favorite stylist to, as I said, "reverse my highlights." When it was all done, he declared me, as he said, "a raven-haired beauty." Oh, hee hee. It wasn't until I got home and looked at myself in good lighting (why shouldn't a salon, of all places, have decent lighting?) that I realized he was right. I now look like a contestant in the Miss Goth Universe pageant. My hair is pretty much black.

I should note my hair has never naturally been this dark.

So I consulted my next-favorite stylist, Google, and learned I could strip away some of the color by putting Prell shampoo on my dry hair for 45 minutes. (This required a trip to the store. I don't keep Prell around at home.) Then wash it out, watch the dye go down the drain, and apply hot oil.

I may have just ruined three towels with hair dye stains. And nearly burned my scalp.

But my hair still looks black.

Can I say it? Lather, rinse, repeat as needed. Tomorrow morning.

Now, the husband: He is clearly sick. Two nights ago, he came home, slumped over dinner, went to bed without saying a word and fell asleep. Leaving me to entertain and take care of Fly for the rest of the night. JP finally woke up ... just as I was putting Fly to bed.

Today, he went to the doctor, who told him he doesn't have a cold -- he has a respiratory infection. I asked him what the difference was. He said he didn't know. Back to Google again, and voila! Apparently a cold is a respiratory infection. But I think the "respiratory infection" proclamation just gives him a good reason to shuffle around the house and go to bed early. I know you're not supposed to hold grudges, but I clearly remember having mastitis once with little sympathy from JP, and another time I had a bad cold (couldn't take anything because I was nursing) and JP left me with Fly all day to go to a car show.

I've heard it said before, but it's true: When it comes to being sick, men are just big babies.

And now that I pointed out to him his left eye has been red for hours and it's oozing goo, having a possible case of pinkeye will just give him an additional reason to get out of doing things. Anything. All he needs now is to stub his toe really good, because then he clearly couldn't be expected to walk.

I'm not really trying to come down hard on JP (you know how much I appreciate my husband).

But this is all plenty to make a mama grumpy. Between a sick husband, my hair crisis, preparation for Thanksgiving and then a weeklong vacation, and being so behind in my to-do list that a birthday gift I started making for Fly (who turned two in September) will now be a Christmas gift if I'm lucky -- and assorted unraveled nerves as of late -- I need to take a blogging break. I need time away from the computer to slow down and yet catch up on real life. To make my hair brown again. I hope to pop in now and then, but I won't be around much until some time in December. I'd love to blog through my vacation, but I've heard Internet access rates there are crazy.

So, I will miss you and you and you, and I hope you have a great Thanksgiving. Don't mind my olive-oil-infused tears ... maybe they will make the wrinkles around my eyes go away.

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Thursday, November 20, 2008


Fly is just starting to put two or three words together (unlike some people's toddlers of the same age who have been speaking in complete sentences since birth). "Come on!" "This way." "I see you." "Love you." {heart melts}

Even though I understand Fly better than anyone else, sometimes he says things I don't understand. He keeps saying something like "snail mail," which doesn't make any sense because I don't use that term.

He also started saying "crunchies." Crunchies at Target. Crunchies on our nightly walk. Crunchies driving through our town after dark. And I know he's not asking for a snack.

Then last night while driving past a shopping center decorated for the holidays, it hit me.

Fly is saying Christmas trees.

After I was done laughing, I joined him in saying Christmas trees.

Do you think his pronunciation will be better by Christmas?


Wednesday, November 19, 2008

What I'd Wear Wednesday: None of the jackets I've worn before

What I'd wear today if I could: Just a hoodie, like maybe this one from Old Navy. I don't mean like, just a hoodie and the rest of me naked. I mean, I have been thinking about what kind of jacket to get. (Remember my coat post?) My cool-weather coverups are older than old, and I need some new warm threads.

Here's my current jacket inventory: A dressy white wool jacket I first wore in 1986. Twenty-two years ago, peeps! A gray leather Indiana Jones-like lined jacket that is about as old, which was a gift I never wear because I look awful in gray. The red jacket I mentioned in my coat post, ugh. Another red jacket -- a lined windbreaker. Oh, and another red windbreaker, unlined. (Lots of red here.) A lightweight peach and white nylon-like jacket that's hardly warm. Assorted cardigans that don't add much warmth.

So it's cool again today, and I am thinking I really need that coat I blogged about before, but also something to replace those little lightweight jackets -- and retire all the red for a change. Then I realized most of Fly's cool-weather coverups are fleece hoodies (it's the only way he'll wear something on his head), and voila -- I found this lined hoodie. Just something for kicking around in.

And when I donate my old jackets, just think of all the closet space I'll save....


Tuesday, November 18, 2008

He's mine

Maybe it's because JP knows I am having "one of those days" day after day lately.

Maybe he just wanted to do something nice.

Maybe the universe is being kind to me.

But when I saw a top on eBay I had to have -- then saw the bidding price escalate way past what I would ever pay for it -- JP bid a crazy amount of money at the last minute so I would win.

And last night when I realized I had no breakfast to take to a mom's group meeting today, when it was my turn to bring breakfast, he went out to buy muffins and fruit, and made a fruit salad while I bathed Fly and put him to bed.

He also brought me chocolate ice cream bars.

And he's been a generally all-around nice, understanding good guy.

Sometimes, my husband is the only thing that makes life bearable.

And times like these, I just can't believe he's mine.

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Monday, November 17, 2008

I don't know how you good little bloggers do it

It's 11 pm.

I am tired.

I have a busy day ahead tomorrow.

I have 28 unread e-mails.

I don't even want to know how many unread blog posts are in my reader. (They are probably all yours, but because I haven't been visiting your blog, you probably aren't visiting mine, either, and so of course you don't know this.)

Another day I have failed as a blogger.


On an up note, someone on the Bustin' Out Babies list "graduated" last week. I have added several bloggers since I started the list about a month ago, and there's room for more! If you know someone expecting a baby or if you had a baby in 2008, I'm happy to add to the list.

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Friday, November 14, 2008

It's beginning to look a lot like ... uh-oh!

Because JP is the manly-man Mr. Fixit, I rarely go to Home Depot. I had to go, though, for some gardening items.

I didn't realize Home Depot had turned into Holiday Central. It looked like this:

Fly was extremely excited and led me right over to all the Christmas displays. The biggest one was a train going around on a track with loads of miniature decorations, all surrounded by a short picket fence.

Fly loves anything with wheels, and he couldn't resist the lure of a moving train just inches away from him -- and at his eye level (of course!). He reached through the picket fence and grabbed the train.

The train derailed just enough that it stayed mostly on the track but wouldn't run anymore.

After I was done reproaching Fly and told him not to touch anything else, I reached over the fence and tried to set it back on track.


I tried again. The train looked as though it was on the track all right, but it still wouldn't move. The wheels were turning, but nothing was happening.

I glanced nervously around. I was hoping someone in an orange vest would appear, smile, say, "It's all right. Third time today!" or something to make me feel better. But no one seemed to notice.

Then I saw what looked like the train controls, attached to a plug that disappeared under the display. I pushed a button on the control unit, hoping to turn it off.

CHOO! CHOO! CHOO! jingle jingle jingle chug chug chug....

Whoops. Wrong button.

I tried another button. The train shut off.

The sound was still playing, though.

Maybe I should just stop trying to fix this thing and leave well enough alone, I thought.

Glancing around nervously, I redirected Fly to an aisle of moving lit-up reindeer.

And none of the orange vests seemed to notice.

But I still felt like this:

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Wednesday, November 12, 2008

What I'd Wear Wednesday: Flowy silk

What I'd wear today if I could: This loose, flowy blouse from Marc by Marc Jacobs, found at Bluefly. Today, I feel a need for comfort. But I also have been craving silk. This blouse has a nice fall color (it might look brown on your screen -- it does on mine -- but it's actually a deep wine) and a loose-but-not-too baggy shape. I love how the sleeves are full and then taper because it's hard to wield Crayolas and prepare snacks for little people with long sleeves getting in the way. This fabric also has a slight print, which makes it a little more interesting.

I'd probably wear it with a pair of dark-wash jeans like the mannequin, but, hey, it's silk! This blouse would also go great with a nice pair of pants or a skirt. The neckline is also perfect for wearing your favorite necklace.

Cotton does the job most of the time, but sometimes, even on ordinary days, it's nice to wear something a bit more luxe.


Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Balance against the tide

When you have a strong tide at the beach, standing in the surf and watching the waves recede back into the ocean, and feeling the sand slip away under your feet, you can feel as though you're moving, or falling. You have to catch yourself. Or be really sure of your balance.

After yesterday's drama -- half of which I didn't even mention -- Fly and I have found our balance again.

I recommend a day at the beach for restoring cranky kids and mamas.

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Monday, November 10, 2008

Lord have mercy

It's 10 pm and the end of a very long day.

It was one escapade after another with Fly. The worst was him getting drenched in cough syrup and then playing in the cat litter box so that little excrement-infested pebbles were stuck to his body. Not the least was me getting head-butted and bitten. The diaper came off twice, and the potty wasn't good enough for him -- he had to poop on my pants (which I'm still wearing, actually). I spent an hour cooking dinner, and all he ate was a handful of corn. And? He's still awake in his crib.

I remember reading another blogger putting it this way once: Age Two is totally kicking my butt.

I think I might cry myself to sleep....

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Friday, November 07, 2008

Santa's lap, being drunk and other stories

I realized yesterday there are only 20 days until Thanksgiving! This is a perfect time to do Metropolitan Mama Stephanie's meme of posting seven things about you and holidays. Thanks for tagging me!

1. Some of you know my real name, and that's why sometimes I like to call them the Hollydays instead of the holidays. I can be cheesy like that.

2. I was born during this time of year, as my name suggests. So most of the time, I can't remember if a gift someone gave me a while back was for my birthday or for Christmas. And no wonder -- sometimes they're even the same gift!

3. The first time I remember sitting on Santa's lap, I was four years old. And I seriously freaked out! I didn't want to have anything to do with Santa. I didn't sit on Santa's lap again until I was 16 and with a group of friends at the mall doing some Christmas shopping together, and they wanted to have their picture taken with him. Against my better judgment, I went along with them. I'm not sure Santa enjoyed having a bunch of teenagers sitting on his lap -- or maybe he did, which makes it worse, now that I think about it.... I will never make Fly take a picture with Santa.

4. My parents divorced when I was little, so while growing up, I got to celebrate most holidays and birthdays twice. That was probably the only perk of that arrangement. Now, I am happy to celebrate the holidays just once. Mostly because I really don't need to gain twice the weight!

5. Have you ever been drunk on music? I have. The first time I experienced it was while singing at a candlelight Christmas Eve service. Mesmerizing....

6. I can't eat sweet potatoes. They kind of make me gag. But someone in my family makes a sweet potato casserole that I just can't get enough of. Go figure. When it comes to holiday meals, within my family, I'm known for my stuffing. But all I do is take Stove Top and add things to it. Too bad I can't be recognized for something more difficult and harder to cook!

7. In college, I was a waitress and loved working on New Year's Eve because of the happy atmosphere and the great tips. Later, JP and I used to host a New Year's Day brunch, which I loved cooking and having everyone over for. It rivaled Thanksgiving in the amount of food we served. Lately, though, we've taken New Year's Day to visit a national park or wildlife refuge. There are hardly any crowds!

Feel free to do the holiday meme if you like!

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Thursday, November 06, 2008

Friends from the beginning

Mozi Esme tagged me for a meme to go to my fourth folder and pull out the fourth picture in it. Because my blog is short on inspiration lately, I was thankful to have something to post! I may even do another meme tomorrow! Oops, should I tell you that in advance? Well, I hope you stop by anyway because it's fun.

The fourth picture in my fourth folder isn't a great photo -- just a snapshot -- but I couldn't part with it.

This is Fly (on the right) and his friend Lance as babies. I think this was the first outing my friend Guinevere and I had after Lance was born -- we took the boys for a walk in the park. I think we talked about losing weight and 529 college plans. Considering we were both new moms, we probably also talked about poop. (Don't all new moms talk about poop?!)

Just for comparison, here are the boys last week.

They've grown up together since day one -- well, actually day two -- Fly visited Lance in the hospital the day after he was born! And now that Lance comes to spend the day with us twice a week, the boys have gotten even closer. They even ask for each other sometimes when they're apart.

And you know what, I think Guinevere and I still talk about poop!

If you need some bloggy inspiration, I tag you!

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Wednesday, November 05, 2008

What I'd Wear Wednesday: Casual chic

What I'd wear today if I could: The cool, casual chic of this outfit by Michael Michael Kors. (It was so good, he had to name it after himself twice.) You start with dark wide-leg jeans, add a simple tee, then top it off with a basic cropped cardigan. I love the flips and the Hollywood sunglasses, and that bag looks pretty smart too.

I could wear this every day! I mean, I won't, because I get bored easily like that. But really, for a stay-at-home mom, there are few situations this outfit wouldn't work for. Playground? Check. Drop off or pick up? Check. Doctor or vet appointment? Check. Shopping? Indeed.

The darker colors make it great for fall, and if it's cooler out, you can wear a heavier sweater or add a snappy jacket on top. Oh, and, uh, switch out those flips to some cool ankle boots.

Do you have a go-to outfit?


Tuesday, November 04, 2008

I'm a big wiener

First, I'm a big wiener for not posting as usual. I have just had no inspiration -- not for posting, not for reading blogs, not for doing craft projects -- none. Lately, I just want to veg. And sleep. I hope the dry spell will be over soon.

I'm also a big wiener winner because I won two giveaways! Stephanie at Adventures in Babywearing hosted a contest for a winter-themed plate designed and signed by Danny Seo and also the book Squeaky Green, the Method guide to detoxing your home, during last week's Bloggy Giveaways, and I won! I also won $50 from Tiny Revolutionary through Mrs. Mogul's new site, Mogul Baby! Thank you mahvelous bloggers and companies so much! I feel so lucky to win two fun, great contests.

What do you do when you need inspiration for blogging?

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