Thursday, December 30, 2010

Hey Homies!

I just wanted to say, I'm around. And alive.

Gemma is a wild child.

I'll be back for real, soon.

Pinky promise this time!

Please don't leave me.



Wednesday, December 15, 2010


Congratulations to Liz of Quiltz n' Hoez, the winner of the first official And Baby Makes Two CSN giveaway. Happy shopping!

Also, many thanks to all of you who entered!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Mobile Upload # 1 and a Reminder!

Isn't she cute?

Isn't the picture quality horrible?

Oh, well.

This was taken at Gemma's 15 month appointment on the 3rd. Gemma is tall and skinny at 31.something I forgot inches and 20 pounds and 1 ounce. She is in the 75th percentile for height and 10th percentile for weight.

As I have said before, she is not built like her mama.

I took 14 and 15 month pictures, but still haven't gotten around to uploading them here. Soon, hopefully?

Anywho, just wanted to share this cuteness and remind you to enter my giveaway! You have a little less than 7 hours left, so get at it!

In a related announcement, due to this giveaway my blog will no longer be featuring BlogHer ads. This opens me up to host more giveaways in the future, so where I don't plan on turning this into a giveaway blog, I would love to host something if anyone out there is is interested!

Take care, and stay warm my blog buddies!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Things That Make Me Happy

I've been a bit of a Negative Nancy. In my every day life that is. I haven't been blogging much because I am pretty sure all I would come up with are a bunch of vents and rants and to be completely honest...

It's not that bad.

Sure, things feel a general now.

Things that are making me happy right now:

Gemma. Duh. If I remember I will upload a photo of her and all her toddling glory when I get off of work. She is seriously a handful lately but I am so happy to have her sweet presence in my life.

The Sing Off. Watch now and thank me later. This show is so. good. I am not a Dancing with the Stars, American Idol, America's Got Talent (and so on and so forth) fan, and I love this! The music is actually really enjoyable. LOVE IT!

My new phone.

Yes, I'm shallow. I downgraded phones when i was pregnant and I am so happy to have a smart phone again. I am welcoming myself back to 2010!

DIY holiday gift ideas. I am finding TONS of economical and fun looking gifts to make for the family this year. Seriously, the hardest part is going to be narrowing down and choosing only a few to do. Right now I am thinking Malted Hot Cocoa Mix, Tile Coasters, Cinnamon Applesauce Ornaments, and these sweet little Mice Ornaments. All of these look super easy and don't require too many supplies, so should be fun.

Oh, yeah, my $45 CSN Stores promo code giveaway makes me happy too!

Remember folks, " Being happy doesn't mean that everything is perfect. It means you have decided to look beyond the imperfections."

Feel free to share what makes you happy. But only if it makes you happy. To share. Does that make sense?

And enter the giveaway already, darn it!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

45$ CSN Giveaway!

Big news...

I'm finished Christmas shopping! Do you want to know where I went to finish up?

 CSN Stores. CSN Stores has over 200 online stores where you can find everything from stylish furniture, leather messenger bags, or great cookware! You can definitely find something for everyone on your list. I think Gemma is going to LOVE the Bilibo I picked out for her!

Isn't it cool looking?

The great thing about CSN is you can shop for the kids AND the adults on your list all in one place. I know I have already mentioned that they have something for everyone on your list, but seriously, for me, that is the best part. No more store to store or even site to site...CSN Stores has you covered!

I am honored today to be able to spread around a little holiday love and offer a one-time-use $45 CSN Stores promotional code to one of my lucky readers. This would be awesome for a last minute gift or even to treat yourself to something Santa forgot to bring!

To enter the giveaway:

Tell me how you would spend your $45 at CSN Stores

* Become a follower of my blog or comment if you already are  (1 entry)
* Become a fan of CSN on Facebook  (1 entry)
* Follow CSN on Twitter (1 entry)
* Blog about this giveaway and leave me a comment with a link (3 entries)
*Share a favorite holiday shopping memory (1 entry)

 This giveaway will end Monday, December 13 at 11:59 EST. The winner will be chosen via random number generator and will be notified via email of their win. Please be sure to include your email if it is not publicly available in your profile so that I can notify you of your win. The winner will have 48 hours to respond to the email before a new winner is chosen.

Good luck, happy holidays, and have an awesome week!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Caught Up

Did you go Black Friday Shopping?

I did. Now, I didn't go at midnight or anything, but when Gemma and I woke up we got together with my brother's girlfriend and headed out.

Do you wanna know what I bought?

A bra, a pair of jeans, and a winter hat for my cousin's baby.

Later that day, at work, I felt bad for not spending much, went on to the Carter's website and dropped $40 on couple of outfits. The outfits are cute, but certainly nothing I (well, Gemma) couldn't live without. Even though she didn't really need them, I justified telling myself what a great deal it was, and bought it anyway.

I am caught up in holiday consumerism.

I wanna buy, buy, buy...and then buy some more.

I have spent at least $200 on Gemma already, and I don't feel finished? Why? I'm not sure. I guess I am feeling the pressure of feeling like I "should" do as much as possible...but I am making it impossible on myself. I am struggling with bills for the first time in months and seriously...

I just.can'

I'm not particularly religious at this point in my life...I am still figuring out what I believe...but I still feel like Christmas should be about something more than THIS. It should be about family and friends and happiness and love and all of that cheesy stuff.

We are creating a cycle of buy, buy, buy...want, want, want. Instead of focusing on starting family traditions for Gemma and I, I have been focusing on what I want to get her and what gifts I want.

I'm so caught up.

But I'm over it.

I'm waving the white flag.

Does anyone have any tips for NOT getting caught up in the material aspect of the holidays?

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

My "Specialty"

Each year for Thanksgiving there are certain dishes that can't be missed.

My daddy's ham.

Aunt Kelly's gravy.

Those yummy rolls that my uncle picks up at the grocery store.

Everyone has their specialty.

My specialty is sweet potato casserole.

Just like your grandma used to make.

If your grandma likes lots of butter and those mini-marshmallow things.

Now I know that good ol' sweet potato casserole has fallen out of vogue, and I guess it is rightly so. Sweet potatoes are awfully delicious in their purest form, and I am sure there are lots of other tasty (probably tastier) ways to dress them up. Plus, almost anything else would be a lot more healthy.

But sweet potato casserole is my specialty.

And each year healthfulness, taste, and food snobbery are tossed out in favor of tradition that runs soul deep.

My "recipe"

A couple of cans (yes, cans!) of the sweet potatoes that look like this:

Warmed and then whipped with butter, milk, and brown sugar.

Half is covered with pecans, pats of butter, and more brown sugar...

And the other half is covered in...

Then, it is thrown in the oven at 350 degrees or so, until the marshmallows are brown and it looks "right."


It might not be fancy...

Heck, it might not even be food.

But it tastes just like Thanksgiving at Home.

What's your specialty?

Monday, November 22, 2010


I went on my first post-baby "date" this weekend.

The quotation marks are because it wasn't a date-date, so much as a set up double-date thing.

It went okay I guess.

We bowled 2 games. My mom was a reluctant sitter. I had to rush home.


I spend a lot of time on here lamenting Gemma's milestones...

That "date" was a milestone for me.

Whether or not we go out again, I took my first step towards...



well, I'm not sure. But something different. Something new.

This little girl is growing up.

Monday, November 15, 2010

WWYD? Alternative Title: I'm a Broke Single Mom, yo

Gemma's Big Present this year is going to be this:

It's a play kitchen (duh).

On Amazon right now, this kitchen is listed at $122.54 (retail price of $199.00, prices elsewhere on the web are aound $150.00-$160.00) I almost have enough swagbucks for another 5$ Amazon giftcard, so if I buy it with this paycheck, I will probably pay $112.34. Good deal right.


I want to go shopping on Black Friday. I mean, there isn't anything I have seen in the ads that I HAVE to have, but I wanna go, and I want to have money to spend. If I buy the play kitchen I might be able to scrounge up $50 bucks to spend, and I am not even sure I would have that. So, I am thinking, maybe I should wait on the play kitchen... I might even be able to rack up another $5.00 or even $10.00 in Amazon giftcards from swagbucks, so that would bring the price down even more,


what if the price goes up or what if Amazon sells out? Then, I would have to find some place and else, and pay potentially $40.00-$50.00 more than I would have to if I bought it sooner.


It could still be on sale right? (this would be 2 weeks from this Friday, when I get paid) And I really wanna go Black Friday shopping



p.s. I promise my next post will be legit...or a little more legit at least.



I'll try okay, geesh... 

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Rain, Rain

I am the kind of person who gives into their own whims.


Like today.

I am also the kind of person who functions best with average weather.

Too nice or too icky of a day both have a tendency to render me useless.

Or completely lazy at least.

(Isn't getting to know me fun?)

Today I had an appointment, so I had a sitter lined up for Gemma.

And it it was raining. Lots. Ugh.

And I was supposed to have to go to this appointment. Like, drive there. And then drive back.

And then...

on a whim...

I dropped Gemma off at the sitters...

turned the car back around...

and went home.

I cleaned house all day, and discovered Dead Like Me on Netflix.

Sometimes, impulsivity is a good thing.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Halloween and Such

Okay, so this picture kind of busts me...
This wasn't taken Halloween. This was actually the costume preview for the grandparents. Unfortunately, I am having camera issues so all of my Halloween 2010 pictures are going to be stolen off of other people's facebook pages.


In case you are wondering, from left to right, we have Gemma as a duck, my cousin's baby Delia as a mouse, and my little sister Abby as a bumble bee.


Here is Gemma last year in the same mouse costume that baby D was rocking this year...

Halloween day was actually pretty fun! I had to work, but I requested to get off at noon so I could go home and catch a quick nap so that I would feel up for trick or treating and stuff. When I started thinking about the prospect of baby free time (Gemma was going to stay at the sitter until 3) I decided that I couldn't waste it on sleep and went and got a haircut instead :) It isn't anything very drastic, but my hair finally has shape again and it looks sooooo much healthier.

Halloween night we went to my aunt and uncle's house, just like last year. My aunt made jambalaya and chili and it was so yummy! Gemma went trick or treating for the first time. It was fun, but I never realized how many people don't hand out candy! There were like 5 people NOT giving candy out for every 1 that was.


Wanna know what is not a bummer?

This picture :)

For some reason, I find it funny.

Easily amused I guess.

How was your Halloween?

Thursday, October 28, 2010

I Would Rather Be Sleeping...

Than doing pretty much anything else right now. But alas, I am working.

I am still not feeling particularly chatty, but the only way to get back into the habit of blogging is to do it, right?

My dad leaves for work around 4:30 a.m., and for some reason I woke up around the time he was leaving and I have been up since then. I know some people can do totally well with 5 hours of sleep but my friends, I am not one of them. I am a girl who does best with 7-8 hours no more or no less. I am pretty particular (in a spectacularly average way) about that I guess.

Today I had an appointment with my therapist. I am really hopeful that she will help me sort through all of the crazy that is floating around in my brain. I like to talk about myself, so it is actually kind of enjoyable for me.

I am still not working on grad school apps the way I should. This weekend. I am promising blog land, and more importantly myself.

I think I might wrap up. Sorry. I know this post probably wasn't very useful or entertaining, but I've got to warm the ol' engine up ya know :)

Take care y'all!

Monday, October 25, 2010

All Over

I'm at work. I am here for another hour still, and I thought that I had exhausted all of my internet/time-wasting options and then I remembered I had a blog.


Things have been going okay for me. I have been taking medication for my anxiety for about 2 weeks now, and last week I began seeing a therapist. Is therapist the right word? Technically, she is a clinical social worker. Her office is in an old Victorian house, and I have to drive up a mountain to get there. The place is about an hour away, which means I am going to have to juggle childcare for 4 hours once a week. Not easy, but doable I guess.

In less crazy news, I am pretty excited for Halloween! I work over the weekend but luckily Halloween is a nighttime holiday anyway. Gemma's costume *quacks* me up (hint hint). I was hoping she would be confidently walking, but it looks like she isn't quite there yet, although we are seeing more and more steps each day.

Woo Hoo to that!

Work is work. Grad school applications seem harder than I anticipated. I think the academic part of my brain has already begun to atrophy. I am having a hard time figuring out how to approach the essay questions, which is totally NOT like me. I am used to having too much to say with those kinds of prompts. Hopefully it will come to me. If not, I am gonna have to go after it I guess.

Hmm...maybe that would be better use of my free computer time?


How've you guys been? I miss my blogging buddies :)

Wednesday, October 13, 2010


Things have once again fallen a little silent here.


I have been so stuck inside my head lately, and there hasn't been much reflection that has made it out. Plus, my camera is broke too, so there hasn't even really been the option of a few cute pics slapped up with a couple of captions. I hope this explains my silence, at least a little bit.

I was always an anxious kid growing up. I remember going to bed at night, waiting for the world to end. My grandma used to bring me with her to a church and the end of the world was brought up weekly. Where our fellow churchgoers actually seemed excited about the prospect, I was absolutely TERRIFIED. Sounds of trains, or planes, or even dogs barking at night would cause my body to tense up and my breath to catch...each time I would wonder, is this it? I remember calculating that if the world would end in 2000, then I would live to 13... These thoughts began to consume me. I thought about the end of the world so often that it made it into my dreams. The thoughts would get so overwhelming that I would upset myself to the point of vomiting on a somewhat regular basis. I was referred to specialists for my stomach and I had to speak with a counselor at school regarding my "worrying."

Recently, the worry has come back. I am no longer convinced that the world is going to end, but there are thoughts that make me just as upset that have been churning around in my brain lately. Most people think unhappy thoughts and then are able to let them go, but for me, the thoughts get stuck and even grow and grow into something much bigger and much more consuming. The coping mechanism that is supposed to step in and quiet those fears simply is broken in me. I can't do it.

So, I reached out for help.I have been given medicine that will hopefully get me back on track.

I have OCD.

Sometimes, it makes me anxious.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

13 Months

So...I wasn't sure if I was going to keep doing this or not...

but then, I decided...what the heck!

I will still be taking pictures, and posting (and I will still be late, obviously). The only real difference is that I am going to be a little more free flow-y with what I write. It seems that the milestones come all at once now, and that there are breaks in between, unlike when Gemma was new baby and it seemed like she was a new person everyday.

So let's see...what do I want to remember about Gemma at 13 months old.

She has 6 teeth.
She say Mama suuuper clearly now. Too cute.
She says some other words too.
The cutest thing I have seen her do recently is when she started barking when the dogs were barking.
Literally, too freakin' cute.

Gemma has started to become a picky eater. Apparently cottage cheese and mashed cauliflower are a no-go, among other things.
Grilled cheese is the bomb though, as are crackers, yogurt, and bananas.
She is allergic to cinnamon.

(this is my favorite from this month's "shoot")

Gemma is incredibly loving...on her own terms. Just today she was holding me, hugging me, kissing me. I felt like my heart was going to explode.
In a good way.
To be completely honest though, most of her kisses are saved for the dogs and random inanimate objects.

Gemma took her first steps last Saturday night. Only a few, but they were steps. She was holding onto a book and I guess she didn't realize she was walking on her own. It was awesome.

Other things...

Her hair is long enough to put in a little pebbles do.
She lets me do that sometimes.
She hates socks.
Still loves pajanimals.
She STILL nurses a couple of times a day....even though I SWORE I would be done the second she turned 1.
This makes me happy and not so happy.

And for flashback purposes, here is a picture of Gemma a year ago.

and a little happier...

Holy Crap...what a difference a year has made.

For us both.

Gemma, I love you forever and always,

Monday, September 27, 2010

Today Is Monday

Last week, I said Happy Wednesday on Monday.


Obviously, I need help.

And so does Gemma's hair.

Don't babies eat gross?

Here's to remembering what day it is for the rest of the week.

At least.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

I'm Awesome

My sister went back to school. Almost 4 weeks ago actually. Now that she has gone back, Gemma and I are back to being by ourselves everyday.

This is both good and bad.

It is good because I am pushing myself to get out and find friends. Even though my sister and I fought like cats and dogs (yep, I'm mature...and awesome) being around her was still not being alone, ya know? So now that she is gone, and Gemma is becoming more and more her own little person every day, I have decided it is time for both Gemma and I to make friends. Just this week we have scheduled a Mommy & Me excercise class, a MOMS group open house, toddler story time at the library, AND a picnic. This is definitely progress for us. Definitely.

(just because she is cute, a picture from the library last week)

The bad part is...I'm slacking. With nobody to hold me accountable, I am not quite as strict about things as I used to be.

Recent offenses:

  • Feeding Gemma chicken nuggets. (From McDonald's).

  • Allowing Gemma to watch a DVR'd copy La La Lullaby (it is like 2 or 3 minutes long), with my dad, 5 times in a row so that I can eat dinner.

  • Turning the t.v. on Sprout for long enough to put her hair in a pony tail.

  • Forgetting to wash clothes the night before our exercise thing today and dressing Gemma in her birthday outfit and wearing a hard letter sorority shirt myself.

  • Not asking the sitter to stop when she tells me that she is letting Gemma drink juice at her house, even though all I give her is milk and water.
Yep...I suck...these are my confessions.

Oh, and yesterday I smoked a cigarette! Just one, and it was my first in almost 2 years.

Don't tell anyone, please!

Like I said...I'm awesome.

P.S. The nuggets were a one time thing, PROMISE!

Monday, September 20, 2010

My Life

In one picture...

and ten words...


Happy Wednesday Y'all!

Example 3,783 That I Have No Life or New Television Shows I Am Excited About For Fall

Once upon a time, I didn't watch T.V.. Ever. I was always busy, there was always something better to do, and really...what's worth watching anyway.

And then...

 I moved home. Had a baby. Got the most antisocial job ever.

(Y'all know that part.)

I run, run, run until I get home at about 9:30 every night. By 10:00 or so Gems is in bed.

Then I'm trapped.

Surprisingly (?) single motherhood ain't good for the social life. (And leaving baby at home in bed alone is frowned upon too.) So, I'm stuck. At home. Even worse, I am stuck IN BED because...well, I still co-sleep and I don't know how to stop.


All this buildup is basically just to say I WATCH A WHOLE LOTTA T.V. NOW!

A lot.

So much T.V. in fact, that the other day while I was bored at work, I came up with a D.V.R.  schedule for the upcoming fall season. Yes, seriously. I was bored at work though, gimme a break. While searching the premier dates of my old favorites, I found some new shows I am excited about, and thought I would share with you.

Here goes, finally!

Shows I will be checking out Fall 2010:

Mike & Molly-Monday 8:30, CBS

CBS Says:  "MIKE & MOLLY is a comedy about a working class Chicago couple who find love at an Overeaters Anonymous meeting."

I Say: Sounds cute, right? And hello Sookie! Gilmore Girls fans have missed you =)

Raising Hope and Running Wilde-Tuesday 9:00 and 9:30, FOX

FOX Says (of Raising Hope): "RAISING HOPE is a new single-camera family comedy from Emmy Award winner Greg Garcia that follows the Chance family as they find themselves adding an unexpected new member into their already terribly flawed household."

I Say (of Raising Hope): Admittedly, I will checking this one out for the whole unexpected baby factor. Hopefully the comedy doesn't get too...low brow...I'm all for a little white trash humor, but there is definitely a thing as too much!

FOX Says (of Running Wilde): A romantic comedy starring Will Arnett as Steve Wilde, a filthy-rich, immature playboy trying desperately to win (or buy) the heart of his childhood sweetheart Emmy Kadubic, the uber liberal humanitarian who got away-all told through the perspective of a 12-year old girl.

I Say (of Running Wilde): I have soft spot for romantic comedies, bad boys, and uber liberal humanitarians so this sounds like something I would totally like. I wasn't really a Keri Russell fan in her Felicity days, but maybe as an older, more sophisticated, and full of soft-spots viewer I might change my tune.

Last but not least...

My Generation-Thursday 8:00, ABC

ABC Says: "What a difference ten years can make. In 2000, a documentary crew follows a disparate group of high schoolers from Greenbelt High School in Austin, TX as they prepare for graduation, then revisits these former classmates ten years later as they return home to rediscover that just because they're not where they planned doesn't mean they're not right where they need to be."

I Say: I think that this is a really interesting concept, and with lots of character there are lots of possibilities for good t.v. drama. Also, I think shows with people who are close to your own age are instantly more relate-able. With this show, the relate-ability (is that a word?) might be the downfall. I'm not sure I can commiserate about  not being where I imagined myself to be in life for an entire season...unless the show manages to strike the balance between offering a true and accurate portrayal of post grad life while still offering some hope and inspiration.

So what shows are you going to be checking out this fall? Make sure you set your DVR's, as most television shows premier this week.

***Note, I am in the Eastern time zone, so check your local listings as times may vary***

Monday, September 13, 2010


Thank goodness for it being almost fall...

unbearable heat, humidity, and daily thunderstorms have finally been replaced with warm breezy days.


And perfect for the park.

My baby is looking less baby and more toddler everyday.

If she isn't walking she can't officially be a toddler, right?
There are so many sweet things about Gemma right now. 
I'm a sucker for her hugs and kisses...
and her sweet little words.

She's been mimicking everything we say lately.
And I am finally starting to hear Mama more often than when she's upset.
She pulls up on the dogs' backs and tries to love on them too.
Like I said...she's a sweet girl.

When we go to the grocery store, or any store for that matter...
she giggles with anyone making eye contact with her,
and ya know...babies (toddlers?) get a whole lot of attention when they're out...
so there are LOTS of giggles.

Cashiers can't get over how HAPPY she is.
I can't get over how HAPPY she is.

Until I try to brush her hair.
And then...
Well...she's not that HAPPY.
But most of the time...


Wednesday, September 8, 2010

This and That

Because I want to, here is some of the randomness that is on my mind right now...

Last night, while I was driving home from work, there was a bad car accident...all that I could gather was that one car was flipped over (well, I saw that,) and that a passenger from one of the vehicles had been ejected. I work on old country roads, so there are only two lanes, and I was stuck for a little over an hour waiting for them to clear things up. I couldn't let myself be frustrated over the wait, because I was staring straight at the reality of having it so much worse.

I'm starting to get excited for Halloween. Just a little bit. Yes, it is almost 2 months away, but with the birthday party being over and done I need something to look forward too, right? I bought this dress for Gemma yesterday, while I was at work:
Cute right? Here's the link if you are interested.

Have you signed up for Swagbucks yet? Swagbucks is a neat-o site, that gives you "bucks" for things like using their search engine, and taking daily polls. You can then use these "bucks" for neat prizes. I have only been doing it a month or so, and I have already earned a gift card! If you are interested, leave a comment or email me for more questions. If you are ready to sign up, use my referral link, and help a sista out! (By using my referral, I will get points when you search too! However, I can't like track what you are doing or anything, so no worries!)

I finally took Gemma to story time today! I also met up with an old friend from high school there who has a little boy, and afterwards we all went and got lunch and ice creams together. I think Gemma had fun. She was crawling around during story time though, trying to kiss the other little kiddos. Adorable but distracting. I felt like I was the mama of the wild child!

And my big news for the day...

I think I might know what I want to do with my life...

Social Work.

I've finally decided that I would rather be happy and poor than...well, sad and poor because I couldn't figure out anything else I can really see myself doing for the rest of  my life anyway. I have it narrowed down to two schools that I will be applying to, and hopefully I can get the ball rolling soon. I am so, so, so happy to have a little direction. Finally. The crazy part, is I have sort have known this is what I wanted to do all along. The moral of the story is don't fight it.

I feel like that is a good, postitive note to end on. Plus, I'm at work so I should be working, right?


Big P.S.  (Does that sound a little dirty to you too?)

America's Next Top Model starts tonight. I'm a little excited.

Small P.S. (He He)

I promise, I wasn't purposefully trying to not write segues from one paragraph to the next. I was trying to make a list of bullet points, and I didn't like the way the formatting was, yeah...

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Bad Pictures/Good Party

I finally got the motivation to get the birthday pictures off of my almost dead camera. After seeing these pictures, I am pretty sure my camera got pissed at its own life and just decided to quit working. Jerk. I mean, the pictures aren't great, but c'mon.

This is what I've got:

These are the ONLY two shots I got for her monthly "photo shoot." Usually, I get about 50 ;). With all of the craziness of party planning, it got late, she got grumpy, and I got this:

and this:

The next day, the day of her party, was equally crazy. I swear, I was so exhausted I was in a haze the entire time. I am hoping someone else got pictures because the following are pretty much the best of what I got.

This was a banner that I made with printables that came with her invitation package, and then her monthly pictures, each printed out and hung with a hot pink clothes pin. The pictures I used were mostly ones that I shared on this blog! Above it, are the little favor buckets (I think only one of which I ended up giving out...I kept forgetting as people left!) This was snapped before the guests started arriving, so the gifts are just those from my parents/grandparents and I. (and yes, those are cigs. They're my dad's. Ick!)

Here is a strange picture of my cake table. I added a few extra little bowls of candy and treats as well. In the back, I have baggies filled with baby Goldfish, and party blowers in the plastic cups. You can also kind of see a picture of Gemma on the table. Her newborn picture was there. For the tables where guests sat (which I didn't get a picture of!) I had alternating pink and blue table cloths and each had a picture taken from a different month, and then I scattered painted seashells on the table. It was cute, and the guests took all of the pictures as party favors.
(I guess that makes up for the buckets!)

Here is a close up of the cake. Confession #1: I didn't love it. Someone else made it though, and I didn't see it until the day of the party. Oh well I guess. Confession #2: I didn't even get to try one bite! I did hear it was delicious though...

So, we ate lunch first. I had a taco bar with chicken, beef, and 2 types of bean tacos. Yum.

Next was presents. There are lots of pictures of my backside handing Gemma gifts. This one isn't one of those:

Next, was cake! I was excited/nervous for this part. Gemma was already tired and cranky, (she had napped too early) but I think she had fun...for a little bit at least.

Here, she wasn't really sure what to do...or what she was allowed to do...

But, eventually, she got the hang of it:

After she had done her dirty work on part of the cake, I figured she had done enough damage. I think she was pretty wired/exhausted/done too.

Overall, it was an awesome experience.

Next year, we're going out for pizza!

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Getting to Know ME!...Under the Sea?

It's Sunday...blah blah blah...

I'm working...blah blah blah...

Let's have fun with the MannLand5...blah blah blah...

Getting to know YOU
1. Do you like seafood?

Yes ma'am. Shrimp, scallops, oysters, crabs...yum! The only thing I don't really like is mussels, or clams that are not fried. Being raised not too far from Maryland my very favorite is:

With lots of:


2. Are mermaids hot?

Umm, no. I think they are cute though. Really cute actually. The theme for Gemma's birthday party was Mermaids!

3. Have you swam in the ocean?

Yep. I did one of those "swim with the stingrays" excursions once, when I was on a cruise. When I am at the beach though, I sort of splash by the shore more than swim in the ocean.

4. If you got stung by a jellyfish, would you let a stranger pee on you?

Ugh. I don't know what the pain is like, so I can't really say! Either way, I am sure I would try to...umm... take care of it myself, first.

5. Have you ever pee'd in the ocean?

Not that I can recall.

6. Can you make a cute fish face? (Show a pic..if you want)

I can make a fish face. I don't think it is very cute though. I look more like this:

Now if you want to see a cute fish face:

7. When you see the lobster tank at the grocery store do you just have this overwhelming urge to set them free or cook them up?

Neither. I usually walk past the tank without any thoughts of them at all. Where is my humanity? (Or lobsterity?)

8. Are you afraid of sharks?
Short answer, yes. Yes I am.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Happy 12 Months and 1 Week Gemma!

So, I took 2 whole pictures of Gemma at 12 months old.

But my camera is broken.

Seriously. It broke the day after her big shindig.

At some point (soon) I will get the pictures off of the memory stick on the desktop. Until then, I want to at least get my monthly post done before she is 13 months old!

This month has been nuts. I mentioned recently (in my 11 months post maybe?) that my baby was becoming a toddler...

ain't that the truth!

This month Gemma has learned all kinds of sweet toddler things. She climbs things. Like tables and stairs and clothes baskets. She gives me sweet baby kisses, often more slobbery than I want them to be. She feeds her breakfast to the dog, sings along to her favorite song, and rocks out to the radio. She's no big girl, but she's close(r).

As far as the sleeping stuff this You sleep. With me. You are down to only one nap some days, which I actually kind of like because it will free up more of our days together.

At your 1 year appointment you weighed 18 pounds and 9 ounces and you were 29.65" long.  Your head circumference was like 17 maybe? You wear size 12 months clothes and size 3 diapers.

I get comments on your coloring pretty often. You have blonde curls and big brown eyes. Today (9/2) was actually the very first day I put your hair in a ponytail. It is finally getting long again!!!

We are 100 percent off of baby food and formula now! I can't believe it. I have started sending dinner for you to the sitter that doesn't come in a jar. I fed you chicken nuggets the other day when I was busy, and French fries the day before yesterday. I am usually so good about feeding you good things, so I felt the need to confess...and let you know I am sorry about that!

Let's see...what have 6 teeth!

Gosh baby, this year has been a whirlwind. I can remember one year seeming so far away, and now we're here and...well, its been a year. Ups and downs, hugs and kisses, tears and giggles. With every ounce you've gained or milestone you have reached, I have gained something too. You have such a sweet little personality and I am really looking forward to see how that blossoms in the coming year.

It's been hard but worth it.

Totally worth it.

Love ya Snooks.

Forever and always...


Monday, August 30, 2010


I went to the Sheriff's office this morning, to make sure I had Gemma's car seat installed properly (rear-facing of course). Next, it was time for Gemma's well-baby visit (18 pounds, 9 ounces and 29.65" long.) She fell asleep while we waited in the office for two hours and then awoke to being poked, prodded and eventually receiving 3 shots in her sweet little baby thighs.


They also wanted to have her blood drawn today. That would have been another office, another wait, and another jab in the sweet little baby thighs (or arm maybe?)  Mama bear stepped in and said it ain't happenin' at least...and we were left for home, with only one thing on our minds.

(a nap)

We got home around 1 and I fell asleep right with her. We woke at 4, and scrambled so that I could  make it to work on time.


I forgot my camera. So pictures of the birthday girl and her birthday bash will have to wait. (Fair warning, there aren't many. Turns out just throwing the birthday bash is a total time suck that interupts picture taking opportunities.)

So tomorrow hopefully, I will tell you about my one year old.

Today, we took a nap.

Thursday, August 26, 2010


In a little less than an hour, it will be my Gemma's birthday.

In a little less than 16 hours, she will have been here for a whole year.

There are so many things that I could write about today.

How much she's grown. How much I have grown. How much I love her. How fast it has all gone. How excited I am for things to come.

To be honest, you've probably read that post I right?

I could show you her month to month pictures, but you can go back through my archives and look for yourself.

Yep, I'm lazy.

I could tell you the birth story that I never posted.

But I have forgotten.

(except, I haven't forgotten the nurse who said I looked like Ugly Betty "but not ugly," or the pain of an epidural that DID NOT WORK.)

And you don't want to hear about my cervix anyway right?

If you do, I reserve the right to judge you...creep.

I could tell you about my plans for today.

I think today is going to be a day spent with hugs and kisses, last minute party preparations, and maybe an ice cream cone.

But there isn't too much else to say about a day that hasn't happened yet.


So maybe I will tell you that I love her.

A lot.

And here is just one picture.

The first time I touched my Gemma.

And now...

she's 1.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Two Days Until Baby...Turns One (and she's a precious jewel)

This week, we are celebrating all things Gemma.
(Yes, I realize it's already Wednesday and I am behind on life. Shhhh!)

I have already told you about how I chose Gemma's name. So often, when I tell people her name they will say, "Oh, that's different." Well I thought I would create a post to show those people, its not!

 (Maybe in the future I will direct them to this blog post.)

A Parade of Gemmas
(In honor of my Gemma)

Gemma Ward
Australian Model

Alpha Coronae Borealis-Also Known by Traditional Name Gemma
A binary star in the constellation Corona Borealis. It is located about 75 light years from the Solar System.

Gemma Frisius
A physician, mathematician, cartographer, a somewhat confused philosopher and instrument maker.

A Gemma
parentIn botany, a Gemma is a single cell, or mass of cells, or a modified bud of tissue  that detaches from the  and develops into a new individual.

Gemma Galgani
Italian Saint. Patronage includes students, pharmacists, tuberculosis patients, love, hope, and spinal injury.

Like I said, I am so not original.

Here's Catherine Bell with her daughter Gemma.

To be honest though...

there is only one Gemma for me.

She turns one in 2 days.