Dec 21, 2011

Merry Christmas!

Dec 14, 2011

Old Rubbermaid

Before I begin, don't even act like none of you have done it. I am pretty sure we all have. They market the stuff in containers as if to say "you know we created this precisely for that use. Go on... do it" Ok pervs, you can now leave the blog because, NO, I am not talking dirty here. I'm talking tupperware.

My sweet Adam takes his lunch to school everyday (granted his OCD money saving wife insists upon it and he's secretly scared for his life - but that's not the point) Now, we all know that when a man takes ANYTHING from the home the odds of it returning are slim to none. Somehow once items leave the "universe" that is the house, they disappear into the "blackhole" that is the workplace. With that being said, I can't replace tupperware every week. I refuse. ESPECIALLY when certain deli companies insist on giving you free tupperware with the purchase of their delectable sliced meat. So nice.

Now, onto the story. In addition to Adam being an amazing husband, he also keeps me highly entertained (this is pretty obvious since he is the muse for a great many of my blog posts). The other night we made some Nutella cookies and were looking for tupperware to put them in. Adam pulled down the stack of containers and proceeded to hand me a few. We all know how trying it is to match the tupperware with the appropriate lid, especially when your tupperware consists of mix and match deli meat containers. After handing me my set, we attempted to coordinate lids....

Jess- "Babe, I need a lid for mine."
Adam "Which one?"
J - (turning over the container to look at the brand on the bottom) "Hm, I've got one Hillshire and one Ziploc"
A - (grabbing the stack of lids and passing them like cards) "OK, I've got one Hillshire and one Ziploc........ ".
J- laughing "I'll raise you one Glad..."
A - (slightly perturbed and embarrassed) "Jess, I feel like we're playing cards or something. What's that game where you ask other people for cards to get matches or something? Old Maid? Its like.......... Old Rubbermaid. "

I love this man. Definitely keeps me laughing. And I love that I'm so cheap we get to play Old Rubbermaid every time we search for tupperware :) Happy Wednesday!

Nov 28, 2011

Terrific Two's

Alas, life just keeps happening and the blogging gets shoved way down on the priority list. ;) I am still here - just busy as usual! In all of the craziness that is our life, somehow my sweet Maggie Claire has grown into an almost-two-year-old. WHEN DID THIS HAPPEN???!!! She will be two years old on Wednesday and I honestly can't say where the time has gone. I look at her with watery eyes much too often thinking it was just the other day that I was rocking her to sleep, or giving her a bottle, or thinking how great it will be when she says "mama". Those days are long gone :( She's now too wiggly to hold for longer than .5 seconds, can feed herself, and screams "mama" on a much too regular basis.

This little child is truly God's greatest gift. I don't know what in the world I did to earn such an amazing blessing from Him. I really thought I had been granted my maximum allowed blessings when I met the man of my dreams, but still God chose to give me bestow on me another. I pray that I can live up to His expectations and raise MC with all of the love that a child of God deserves.

If MC could understand wishes, she might blow out her candles and wish for toys, or books, or shoes (what can I say, she is like her mommy...). However, since she needs another year or two under her belt to grasp this concept, I thought I could make some wishes for her. These are my wishes for my sweet angel.

Maggie Claire,

Aside from Jesus, I love you more than one human could ever love another. You amaze your daddy and I each and every day. Your smile can lift our hearts and your cry can break them. We love you and pray that God continues to bless us with many more years with you. I hope you grow up and are granted each of the hopes and wishes mommy has for you....

*Although you will never meet a man as amazing as your daddy, I hope you try. Let him be man you compare every other to. You deserve the best.

* I hope you discover your many talents and use them to God's glory.

* I hope you find what makes you happy - whether it be serving coffee or being president - and have the confidence and drive to do it.

* I hope you NEVER forget or question God's love for you.

* I hope you are able to find humor and joy in life

* I hope you use every mistake I will inevitably make as a mother to make yourself an even better mom for your child.

* I hope you love yourself and always remember how amazing you are.

* I hope you make friends that love you for you. Friends that will be there for you and support you, just like your daddy and I.

* I hope you have the courage to always stand up for yourself and your morals. Never compromise your integrity sweet girl.

* I hope you never give up on your goals. Stay strong and pray for God's grace when you feel like you just can't do it.

* I hope you learn that its ok to make mistakes. Every mistake is an opportunity for learning.

* I hope you remember that even when you hate us and think we are the worst parents in the world, your daddy and I always have your best interest at heart.

* I hope you always stop to smell the roses and thank God for another day of life.

* I hope you never forget how important family is.

* I hope you give generously - your time, your talents, your money, and your love. Always remember how fortunate you are and those in this world that aren't.

* I hope you truly LIVE life and never have any regrets.

Obviously mommy has many many hopes for you. Don't be overwhelmed. Just remember two things and everything else will fall into place like magic - "love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength and with all your mind; and love your neighbor as yourself".

Happy Birthday my sweet Maggie Claire!!!!

Oct 14, 2011

Big City Life: Lesson 5

Lesson 5: Always take a picture of the mall entrance where you park

You've missed me. I know. Dry your eyes dear readers. I have returned from a much-too-long hiatus. So what has the Martin clan been up to for FOUR WEEKS?! Craziness. Is there ever any other answer to this question?

Let me just give you a brief summary so I can get on with my much needed big city life lesson. MC started a mother's morning out program, I started a playgroup (which has now grown to over 13 mommies! Go me!), Adam's super busy being the world's most amazing designer, visitors have come and gone, and amidst it all I have been attempting to keep my home in usual OCD order. That about covers it.

Now, onto the valuable information I know you are on the edge of your seat to hear...

If you have read even one of my past posts I'm sure you are well aware of the fact that directions are not exactly my forte. I like to think that I just have so many lists and schedules stored in my head that it makes it difficult to focus on little details like observing my surroundings when doing things like driving or walking. Yeah. That sounds much better than "I'm an idiot and don't even know which way is down half the time". Soooo, with that being said my directional inability also rears its ugly head when parking. Don't even laugh 'cause I know at least ONE of you has been "that person" who walks around the parking lot with your clicker in the air frantically pushing the unlock or panic button.

Anyway, some dear friends were in town and we all decided to go to the mall here in Charlotte. I'm not even going to discuss how large this mall is. From previous trips there I knew to take careful note of where I parked and what entrace I went into. I did everything correctly. I even made a mental note of the type of clothing we saw upon entering and even the name on the little stand housing a collection of brochures. I was golden - so I thought.

You might also know that almost-two-year-olds and malls don't mix. At least mine doesn't. She is Miss Independent and insists on walking everywhere. This doesn't exactly bode well when you would like to reach a destination at some point before Christmas. She doesn't doddle - I know here little chubs are working overtime to keep up. Its just that little legs can only take you so far so fast. Therefore, we typically encounter a battle of the wills. I want her to ride in the stroller, she wants to walk. Now, between a 27 year old and a 2 year old, who do you think usually wins? Yup. In attempts to avoid it sounding like I am murdering my child as I put her in the stroller I let her walk. Sadly though, walking doesn't last long. She's excited. She's amped up on shoes and accessories and wants to run, touch, and try on everything she sees. No fun for mommy who has to explain to a screaming toddler that she cannot try on the Jimmy Choo stilletos she has strategically swiped from the display.

As our friends continued to shop I knew MC had reached her limit. It was past her lunch time and she was having no part of being carried. We had to leave. I told them we would go wait in the car and to take their time. I knew exactly where I had parked and began the trek back, attempting to control what felt like a gigantic marlin now entangled in my arms. When we reached the entrace we had come in, I went right to the spot where we had parked. Only, there was a small problem. There was no car in it. Ok, stay clam. Not a problem. I decided to just weave through each and every row of the garage and eventually I would find the car. After lap 20, I was losing it. My arms were about to fall off and I was slightly dying from a heat stroke. MC began screaming for her milk which I told her was in the car. She then began crying "mommy's car!". The child was mocking me. I was at my breaking point and may or may not have snapped back in a Linda Blair like voice "Mommy can't find the car!". It was at that point MC literally took the keys from my hand and began holding them in the air pushing the unlock button. Poor child is going to think this is common practice when going to your parked car. Anyway, I was convinced our car had been stolen and all I knew to do was call for reinforcements. I had one bar of service and called our friend asking if she remembered where we parked. She said she would send the hubs out to help me find it.

No service later, I see my hero exiting the double doors of the mall and heading into the parking garage. He informs me that there is another garage on the other side of the department store - which is where we parked. Seriously? In my defense, the friggin' entrace to THE WRONG garage was ALSO in the men's department and even had the same damn brochure stand in front of it! I felt ridiculous. I told him I was so sorry and was officially the world's dumbest person. Then I remembered the fact that this guy is 6'4" and had an insane vantage point of all the department store's exits. I felt slightly better.

On the ride home he suggested I take pictures when I enter the building so I'll know where to go back to. Good idea. Then, he threw in that if I did this each time I went, I would have multiple pictures and would probably get confused when attempting to identify which one is the new one . Thanks. (Nevermind the fact that the statement was completely accurate).

So there you have it. 47 laps around a parking garage while holding a toddler screaming "mommy's car!" with keys raised in the air can teach you a valuable big city life lesson. Utilize the iphone's camera feature.

Sep 14, 2011

Big City Life: Lesson 4

Lesson 4: Never leave your house after 4:00 on a weekday

Brilliant move. It was now 5:45 pm and the most intelligent woman in the world I was STILL sitting in my car. How long had I been in my car you ask? Well, between the crying child and 207th cycle of Elmo's potty time, I would guesstimate about 5011 hours.

Not really. I had been in traffic for about 45 minutes. The beginning of it was fantastic. I had nothing to do and MC was happily watching Elmo sing about poop. I decided it was the perfect opportunity to chat it up with a girlfriend and my sweet mom. Its not very often that I get the chance to just sit and talk with nothing to do and no toddler to chase. After two conversations though, I was back to being a desperate mommy strapped in my unmoving car. I thought I could spend some time contemplating life's mysteries, however I couldn't get past how annoying Elmo's laugh can be. Time 3, its adorable, time 9 it's cute, time 13 its like fingernails on a chalkboard, and by time 207 I may or may not have considered hanging myself by my pendant necklace on the "oh shit" handle above my head.

Its funny how when you live in a small college town you never think about the time of day when you leave your house. You just know that as long as you're home by 1am you miss the traffic jam from the line at the Wendy's drive through. Any other time you are golden. Now that we've moved to Charlotte I have to be conscious of what time I run my errands. Obviously leaving the apartment at 4:30 on a Tuesday wasn't the smartest move. If I'd had a toothpick, tweezers, and a rubber band I might have been able to MacGyver my way out of the situation, but being as I'm a mere stay-at-home-mommy all I had to work with was a package of baby wipes and a sippy cup. I tried, but it was no use. I needed the toothpick....

Anywho, yet another mental note taken. Have I mentioned I am super excited for MC's doctor's appointment at 4:40 today?

Sep 5, 2011

Big City Life: Lesson 3

Lesson 3 - Bigger city doesn't mean better zoo - it just means more friggin' walking.

Let's face it people - at age 7, the zoo was the bomb diggity. There was something so magical about seeing animals that, at that point, you had only seen in Eric Carl books. Going back to the zoo with a two year old? Um, not so much. Let's just say that there's nothing too magical about 4 adults sweating their arsses off as they play hot potato with the screaming toddler who wants to stand, jump,climb on every bronze animal statue her little eyes hone in on.

We all know there are three types of kids you will encounter at the zoo:
1) the kid on a sugar high - this cotton candy-ed kid is all but climbing in the gorilla cage (and usually one or both parents are tempted to let him/her do so as they mumble "yeah, you would fit right in..." Part of you wants to appreciate the enthusiasm, but the other just wants to slip a zanex into his Capri Sun.
2) the completely wiped out kid - this kid is in a zoo induced comma and usually has his/her head partially falling out of the stroller, drool streaming from an open mouth, and occassionally a crooked zoo memorabilia hat.
3) the devil-spawn kid - this kid is wreaking.havoc.everywhere. You've all seen him - SCREAMING that he can't see the gigantic white polar bear as the parents grab onto his wriggling arm which then results in the tantrum from hell and multiple threats of getting in the car and going home.

Now, combine 100 of each said child type with 300 sweaty, panting, stroller-pushing parents who realize they just paid $87 dollars to have their butts kicked by a five year old and you have the magic that is the zoo. Its beautiful really.

With all that being said, let me discuss THIS zoo. I have to say that living in the "big city" gave me a preconceived notion of what the zoo might be like. I was wrong. Way wrong. The main idea is that you walk 500 miles from one exhibit to the other and when you arrive, you may or may not see an animal . See, this zoo is very animal friendly. Its very natural and the animals have extremely large environments in which to gallop, play, sing, dance, whatever it is zoo animals do. They have also created the layout of the zoo to mimic a natural habitat as well - ie, you walk down long, heavily treed, winding paths to go from exhibit to exhibit. This is fantastic for the animals, but for parents with toddlers who insist on "I walking! I walking!" everywhere, it can take upwards of 1055 hours to reach a destination. All the while, this toddler is wanting to climb on every stinkin rock and poke every stinkin ant they happen to come by.

At this point I was pretty sure the zoo was a bad idea. As you can tell, MC was more interested in anything that was NOT an animal than observing the caged ones. Then, we reached the seal. We went to the glas enclosed observation area and she was in heaven. She saw the seal swim by and let out one of the most excited squeals I can remember to date. That's when I realized this is why parents do what they do. We brave the 115 degree heat, screaming children, and exhausting walks just to see the smile on our kids faces. Its what parenting is all about right? Being miserable so our kids can be happy. Seriously though, I would go back to the zoo in a minute if it meant I got to see MC that excited even for one second. And that my friends is why we continue to wear the funny hats and act a fool singing Old McDonald 900 times - because we're good parents and love our kids more than our dignity :) Happy Tuesday!

Sep 1, 2011

I Am Certain

Its not very often that I get to say "yes, I am certain.". I'm probably the world's most indecisive person. No joke. However, much like the lessons learned in the big city, I am now sure of several things I thought I'd share.

1. The brown stuff I found on MC's hand after her nap is, sadly, not chocolate: No, I didn't eat it to find out. Thank God.

2. The enormous wet spot I found on the couch is not spilled water: Note to self, do not let child run rampant through house without a diaper on. Apparently it only takes 47 seconds for a child to sit on the couch, pee, get up, stand by the coffe table and nonchalantly read a book.

3. God accidentally gave me a child that's part dog: If I clean up any more pee or poop that's not in a diaper or smeared on her butt I'm taking her to the animal shelter.

Hmm, yeah, that would about cover it today.

Aug 18, 2011

Big City Life: Lesson 2

Lesson 2: Add 30 minutes to every Mapquest travel time.

Adam and I are pretty good communicators. However, when we embark on a car journey and are forced to navigate together, all of that goes out the window. Let's face it, men and women were just not meant to coexist in a car. Men think they know everything and women really do - it creates problems. I kid, I kid. In reality I think we are all born with a road trip alter ego that can't help but surface in times of great navigational stress. One minute you are holding hands singing "the wheels on the bus" in attempts to quiet your screaming two year old, and the next you are screaming even louder than the two year old because we all know the louder you talk, the more likely the other is to understand that they are a complete moron.

We have learned in our short time here that they should've just named Charlotte's highway system "divorce court". Which is where lesson number two arises - you must factor in "lost time" to every single Mapquest travel time. Now, you might be wondering to yourself, "how is it that if you guys have a GPS you still end up lost?" Well, its simple. I am directionally retarded and Adam can't follow a GPS....

Now, that's not to say that Adam isn't a good navigator. He was an Army ranger. The man could find his way out of anything; I've come the conclusion that he just harbors a deep set, psychological resentment for the GPS (affectionately known as "Victoria" - yes, we have our GPS set to the British accent). Maybe he doesn't like a woman telling him what to do. Maybe its the fact that Victoria's bossy and doesn't say "please" {Adam has brought up the fact that all GPS models should be equiped with a "polite" setting...} Either way, it's the enemy and can't be trusted.

Take our recent trip to Wal-Mart. There is a Wal-Mart a few exits down, however we learned another valuable lesson - if a Wal-Mart is equipped with 50 parking lot survelience cameras and a police watch tower with an actual cop standing post, its probably not worth the close proximity. That means that we have to drive a longer distance to the devil store and that means we have to navigate highways. Not good. Here's how it all went down

{All extremely chipper and excited to get out of the house}

(good wife): ok, I put the Wal-Mart in the GPS
(grouchy husband, hehe): K, where are we going?
GW: I dunno. Follow the GPS.
GH: Well Jess I kinda like knowing where I'm going. I don't rely on a stupid woman machinery to tell me where to go.

GW: Honey, its not hard, you just follow the red line

GH: Whatever, this thing is retarded and it tells you like 2 seconds before you're supposed to do something!

Victoria: Turn right

GH: SEE!!!!

GW: Um, Adam that red line showed us turning for like 5 minutes. Just watch the red line.

GH: I am not watching some stinking tiny TV Jessica, I am watching the road

Victoria: recalculating...

GH: (as he misses his exit) DAMN IT!

GW: laughing hysterically

GH: NOT funny Jessica...where the hell is this thing telling me to go???

GW: Honey, just watch the red line - why are you getting off at this exit?

GH: It's telling me to!!!!

GW: No, its not Adam. It just told you to stay straight

GH: What the ^%&!!!! This thing is an idiot!!!

GW: (slight laughter) Adam, I think maybe its the operator - not the machine.

Victoria: Recalculating...

GH: OH JESSICA! I know you didn't just say that... Do you not think that after Ranger school and 4 tours to Iraq and Afghanistan I don't know anything about navigation??!! Huh??!!!

GW: (mumbling) .... and after all that you can't even follow a red line....

Oops. That was obviously stated much more loudly than anticipated because after getting lost and on and off the interstate about 3 times, Adam did the pull over. That is never good. And then the question that makes all women cringe in their passenger seat... "Do YOU just want to drive??!"

As a woman, I can't say that I ever really know how to answer this question. Do you say "yes, I would like that very much considering we almost died, like, 5 times on this 3 mile road trip" or do you play the complacent 1950's housewife and lie and say "no, honey, you're doing a great job" and then vent your frustration by blogging about it to the entire world when you get home? Hm, wonder which I chose.....

When all was said and done, it took us 45 minutes to arrive at our destination. It was 4.6 miles away from our apartment. Needless to say it wasn't the most pleasant 45 minutes of either of our lives. However, that's what marriage is. A fantastically awesome road trip spotted here and there by wrong turns, flat tires, and the like. The most important thing is that we survived. We didn't kill each other (although I'm sure both of us thought about it) and we learned a valuable lesson - If Adam drives, Victoria is off. We rely on shadows and which side of the tree the moss is growing on to determine our route. Lesson learned.

***Disclaimer: I, by no means, attempt to claim complete innocence in this ordeal. I am fully aware of the fact that being directionally retarded in no way aids us in reaching our destination and only serves to hinder any efforts sweet Adam puts forth at rectifying the situation. I have a dear and intelligent husband and I can understand that questions such as "how do you know you need to go north?" and "how do you know which way is north?" might fall into the category of special needs" and will only further frustrate an already desperate man ;) Bless his heart for putting up with me.

Aug 9, 2011

Big City Life: Lesson 1

Lesson 1: "Stockpile" is as good as Greek to the Charlotte uptown-er

Have you ever gone somewhere and felt like you might as well be wearing a straw hat, fanny pack, and black socks with sandles? You felt so tourist-y that you craved an "I love NY" t-shirt so that you would at least have a visual explanation for your behavior without having to explain yourself 209 times to each person you passed by? That was me.

Its not a rarity for me to embarrass myself. It happens quite frequently actually. I've learned to live with it and my experiences usually do make for excellent party stories (or blog posts). Had I been born blonde it would probably even be considered an endearing quality. However, with my brunette locks I think it just falls into the category of "you have to be embellishing because there's no way anyone can be that stupid". Again, I'm ok with it.

As Adam and I moved to Charlotte, I was certain that "Big City Life" and I would have a few words. Oh did we. We all out brawled at the uptown Harris Teeter.

For you folks who might be unfamiliar with how things are done in the south, let me give you a brief, yet informative, summary. When you live in Mississippi, odds are you live in a neighborhood. Down the street from another neighborhood. Which is up the street from yet another. You must drive "into town" to obtain all necessities. It makes little to no sence to make this drive each day. Oh no. You face Wally World maybe twice a month. You stockpile what you need so that you DON'T drive into town a hundred times.

Not so much the case here. I found this out in probably the most difficult and embarrassing manner, but that IS the intended purpose of mistakes, right? To learn something valuable. I mean, it made sense - we went to a grocery store "in the 'burbs" recently and their prices were twice as high as the prices I found at the uptown grocery. Given that we are on a ramen-noodle-every-night budget, it seemed only practical to do my shopping at the place with the lowest prices. The fact that the store is only half a mile from our apartment also made it even more economical.

Cut to Jessica in the uptown Harris Teeter. I immediately stuck out like a sore thumb. My khaki cutoff shorts and v-neck polo t-shirt were a striking comparison to the crisp white button downs I was spotting all over the store. Yes, I had come at 5:30 when most of the uptown workers were making their daily run, but my disheveled appearance was the least of my worries.

I felt good when I left the house. I had an entire month of meals planned and a highlighted grocery list to cover the first two weeks worth. It was organized and it was perfect. Until I started my venture in locating the items on my list. My cart quickly filled and became more and more difficult to maneuver through the narrow obviously-intended-for-basket-shopping aisles. After the 12th person or so gave a very disgruntled "excuse me" as I stood cluelessly in front of the black beans, I knew this was no longer a good idea. These people ran into the store after work, grabbed their organic romain hearts, hummus and wine, and left. I was the crazy bag lady.

My fears were only later confirmed when a fellow shopper felt the need to openly comment on my new crazy bag lady stockpile..."Honey, look! Damn, we need to be going to her house!" That was the final straw. The lemon juice I had been in pursuit of for almost 30 minutes was now a distant memory. I was taking my crazy self right the checkout line and ridding my mind of this horrible place where at any moment the angry villagers would start throwing their freshly packaged caprese salads at me.

I knew the checkout line would too be an undertaking. Given I was unloading this monstronsity alone it would take time. Time I didn't have. I quickly begain placing my items on the black conveyor belt hoping the cashier would go all "Employee of the Month" on me and scan them as quickly as I put them down.

My dreams partially came true. She was quick. She even thanked me for organizing them on the belt, saying it made it so much easier for her to scan and bag them. I couldn't help but use the segway as an opportunity to explain. "Oh gosh, I usually try to organize them a lot, but I'm just trying to be quick because I know the people behind me are about to kill me! No one wants to get behind"that lady". Ya know, the one with all the groceries". The couple behind me threw out an insincere "oh, you're fine..." as I continued tossing items like a dang fire juggler. I then knew it was necessary to explain the situation to them as well... "when you have a little one its hard to make it to the grocery store a lot so you jump on the opportunity to stock up when you can!" The went on to say something about their little one but I was too focused to pay much attention. In attempts to save myself from the sneers that would surely follow upon my exit, I tried to make conversation with the cashier. I said we had just moved here and I was starting to get the impression people don't exactly "stockpile" here. She said no and talked about how she usually sees customers every day. Seems silly to me, but as Adam put it, "not every person in uptown turns their coat closet into a pantry to fit all their dang cans". Touche.

Feeling completely defeated, I slumped away to my car and began pondering how to get my massive load up to our apartment.

When I arrived back and shared my story with the hubs, he didn't fail in his usual response. Insane laughter. I knew to expect it. He loves to sugar coat it with the fact that I just tell stories so well that it makes them all the more funny. Good try my love. However, I must say that after my immediate drink, the situation was quite humorous. When I walked to the fridge for a refill and stopped to stare at my OCD meal calendar, Adam inquired "strategizing your next trip crazy bag lady?" I was all but on the floor laughing.

I might have given a few people in uptown Charlotte something to bitch about when they got home, but they gave me a hilarious story to tell my husband. And, in the midst of organizing, finding insurance policies, changing banks and all of the other fun adult duties, I'll take a laugh however I can get it.

Aug 6, 2011

Charlotte Adventure

Oh how I know you've missed me. Yes readers, I live. As you can imagine, packing and moving 600 miles away with a toddler does require a bit of a hiatus on mommy's part. Let's face it - OCD organizational tendancies override blogging any day of the week for me. However, now that the unpacking is completed and most accessories are even placed in their proper spot, blogging can commence.

I don't even really know where to begin. To be honest, the whole moving day was pretty much a blur.... pick up heavy crap, walk with heavy crap, drop heavy crap. Repeat 437 times and that was the day. Thank God we have such incredible friends and family to help us or I would've lost it. I was able to limit myself to only 4 emotional breakdowns throught the course of the 4 day event. I call that success.

The drive was actually great, however, I wasn't the one driving the 26ft Budget truck. I imagine Adam's experience of drive would vary slightly from mine. Anyway, we made it to our destination in one piece and then began the arduous task of unloading every possession we own. I have to say that the unloading process was not nearly as difficult as the loading process, and, again, we had our wonderful family and friend Oliver to help us out. (This kid literally drove 5 hours to Charlotte just to help us move - no hidden pretenses... he even VOLUNTERED. I know, he's a sick man...)

We managed to get everything unloaded fairly quickly and got to spend Saturday enjoying time with Adam's parents, my parents, and Ollie.

At this point you might be wondering how MC is doing throught this process. I feel her experience could best be conveyed through pictures so here goes...

First we took away all of her toys and left only left her with a book and boxes... she didn't seem to mind.
Then, I think she got scared she was going to be left, so she decided get a box to be packed to ensure she would be taken to NC too After we were unpacked, she got to spend some time swimming at the grandparents' hotel - the kid is obsessed with swimming and had a BLAST
We all went out to a great dinner in uptown and she got to see this (charity bike race going on outside the restaurant)

and act silly

Then we got to do some exploring in uptown after everyone left. Sweet baby had so much fun! After an hour and a half of walking, she had had enough. This was the aftermath (sidways bow, hungry, berry smoothie soaked outfit, airing out the chubs...)
After a fun day of exploring she decided it was time to party. She headed the decorations committee...
If you remember from my last post, this was definately a "camera or broom" moment. I obviously chose the camera ;)

Things are going really well and MC seems to be enjoying her new home. She even finds our new apartment especially holy... (sorry but I have to sidetrack to share the story behind this statement)

The other night I was running MC's bath with her standing beside the tub as usual. Then, all of a sudden, she leaned over the edge of the tub. I immediately grabbed her and asked what she wanted, to which she responded "hand". I figured she wanted to touch the water with her hand so I held her as she reached over the edge and dipped her fingers in the water. She the proceded to stand up, make the sign of the cross, and say "amen". Yup. I kid you not. It was one of the most hilarious and precious moments I have ever experienced. Glad to know that if she hasn't learned anything else, she's learned that being Catholic involves lots of holy water and signs of the cross so she's getting her practice in now. Oh, how I love this little girl.

As you can see, our Charlotte adventure is offically underway. I'm sure we will have many more stories to come so I hope you stay posted :) Happy Saturday!!!

Jul 7, 2011

The Camera Or The Broom?

So far Maggie Claire and I have had a fantastic day of running errands. Oh yes, its possible. No meltdowns, no crying to the "milp" god {yes, she calls it "milp" - I can't even correct her most of the time because I'm laughing about how friggin' cute it is}, however, she did run away from me once...

I had to go to the courthouse to get Adam's car tag renewed and, of course, had MC in tow. I knew it woudn't take long and she had been such an angel the entire morning that I really didn't think it to be an ordeal. I was actually anxious to show off my adorable and well behaved (well, today) child. As we entered the courthouse she immediately put her head on my shoulder, preparing for her "shy" routine. This is where parent's make the deadly mistake. You get confident. "Oh yeah", I thought to myself. "We've got this in the bag". I opened the door to the tag office, hip-carrying my "shy" child and a sign immediately grabbed my attention {given that there were 4 of them posted at each clerks station, this was obviously the intent} It didn't take long to read it. In huge bold letters it said: Control Your Children

Hahahaha. I got a great laugh out of that one. I couldn't help but instantly imagine a Jumanji scenario with 99 crazed monkeys demolishing the hallway sized office. ha. This sign was not meant for children such as mine. WRONG.

Before we got to the counter MC wanted down. Oh dear. I put her little golden sandle clad feet on the ground nervously... she stood. Then she wanted to sit in the chair. Ok. I can do that. You sit here and look pretty while mommy gives the nice lady some money. Nope. She was not having it. After crawling through my legs like a jungle gym for 2 minutes, I picked her back up in hopes her angelic face would detour the clerk from asking me to "control my child". It worked. Score. Then she wanted down - this had to occur as I couldn't adequately dig in my luggage size purse for my wallet. I set her down and WHAM - she was off. Yup. Ran down the entire office like some sort of hooligan. I threw my checkbook on the counter and chased after the 19 month old who now seemed to sprint as fast as a freakin' gazelle. I scooped her up and returned to the counter with a down turned head, feeling like a dog who just knowningly crapped on the new living room rug.

Humor. That was going to save me. Or pity. Choose quickly Jess! Both.... "Man, if she's only 1, I don't think I want to see the "terrible two's"".... I waited. It didn't take her long to respond "oh honey, we have three grandchildren - 5,3, and 2!" As she went on about their recent trip to Branson, I knew I was saved. I "mmhmm-ed" and "oh-ed" my way through the remainder of the transaction and made it out without reprimand.

Then, as we were walking to the car, one of the older gentlemen from the office walked beside me and commented "she sure is a cutie..". I thanked him and he continued.."they're a handful at this age, aren't they?". I agreed and he proceeded to give one of the most valuable pieces of advice I think I have ever heard.."I'm guessing this is your first? Ya know, when mine were growing up, I always asked myself "should I get the broom or the camera?" I always chose the camera. They grow up too fast to get upset. "Terrific Two's" I say...Try thinking about it like that..."

I could've been offended by his assumption that I thought my child was a mad-woman, but, surprisingly, I wasn't. I actually thought this man had it all figured out. What a great perspective to have on life - not just children.

So here's to you, courthouse-tag-office-wise-man. Your wisdom has spawned its own blog post and touched the life of a mom and her one or two readers. Thanks :)

Jul 6, 2011

Baby Genius

No, no. Not the lame movie.... my child. Yup, baby genius. I know every mother tends to think this about their tot at one time or another, but I just so happen to have hard facts. Know too many 19 month olds who can say their ABC's? I don't. Granted she stopped at "j", but I still think that's pretty friggin' amazing. {A note to all readers - If your child is 19 months old and he/she can say the ABC's don't tell me about it. If your child said the ABC's earlier than 19 months, don't tell me about it. I ask that you please let me enjoy this prideful high I am currently experiencing and let me continue my naive thinking that my child is, in fact, a baby genius. However, if your child is 3 and still can't say his/her ABC's, please feel free to comment...} I kid, I kid, I'm not that mean people... the hubs may think otherwise, but I think we all know that's just not the case.

Anyway, I was making dinner last night and MC was playing in the den. It was no surprise that she was in there talking to herself as she has obviously inherited her daddy's ability to talk to even inanimate things and enjoy it. She was jabbering away when all of a sudden I hear "a!". Aw, cute, she said "a". Then I hear "beeee"..... then, "seeeee". At this point I stopped mid-stir, straining to hear what my angelic little offspring was spouting off. The chant continued..."deeee", "eeeee". I immediately ran to the door and peeked my head around as if to expected to see a 4 year old sitting in my living room instead of my 19 month old toddler. Sure enough,there was MC. Standing at the coffee table non-chalantly reciting her ABC's. I was in complete and utter disbelief. I desperately wanted to google "what age do children learn ABC's" but the event had me much to enthralled to look away for even a moment. I strained again as she continued.."effff", "geeee" {at this point if you are wondering, yes, she drags out the letters for a seemingly endless period of time. Like each one is a song in itself} I was completely amazed. I listened as she recited to the letter "j" and then I was discovered. She ran to me and asked for a cracker, completely unaware of the feat she had accomplished. I scooped her up and kissed her at least 5011 times before she grew tired of it and wriggled down, still wondering about that cracker she requested at least 5 minutes ago.

Oh what a day. I might also add another joyous tidbit of "first" information. MC also made the sign of the cross by herself! Yup, proud parents to a Catholic baby genius. We were praying before her lunch and when we said "amen" she touched her head, chest, and each shoulder as she said "hoy pirit" (No, I didn't forget the "L" in holy. She said "hoy" - same for the "s" in "spirit". It was just "pirit") PRECIOUS.

This kid amazes me This morning we even found her in the hallway. The child crawled out of her bed, opened her bedroom door (which was tightly shut) and those chunky monkey legs took her right into the hallway as she waited for mommy and daddy to get up. Hilarity. Can't believe this adorable little smart baby girl is all ours :)

Jun 30, 2011

Life Aint Always Beautiful, But Its a Beautiful Ride

In addition to being a fantastic song, I also feel the title would perfectly suit a novel about my life.

My recent facebook status update read that I needed to borrow MC's new helmet because out life is one heck of a bumpy ride. Understatement. It got me thinking about all of the craziness that is our life and how we got to this point. As I walked into my last day at work I began reminiscing about mine and Adam's journey together and how we are proof God works in mysterious ways (and has a sense of humor...) Here's a small glimpse into the rollercoaster.

June 2008 - Get married
February 2009 - Find out Adam is being deployed to Iraq
March 2009 - Find out we're pregnant
April 2009 - Find out I'm moving in with my parents for a year
June 2009 - Find my long lost brother I have never met
November 2009 - MC is born
March 2010 - Find out were're all moving in with Adam's parents
May 2010 - Move back to Starkville for Adam to finish school
December 2010 - Find out Adam wants to go to grad school
February 2011 - Find out Adam is accepted to UNC and we're moving to Charlotte
May 2011 - Find an apartment
May 2011 - Find out we DON'T have an apartment
June 2011- Find out out of state tuition WON'T be waived
June 2011 - Find out of of state tution WILL be waived
June 2011 - Find out we DO have an apartment
June 2011 - Find out out of state tuition WON'T be waived (AGAIN)

That's a lot to take in in a few years time. Especially these last two months. God has put our faith to the test time and time again. I have NO IDEA what God is trying to tell us or why we have been put in such difficult situations. However, in the end, something will be learned from every experience we have had. If I'm blessed enough to be able to make it to Heaven, no doubt I'm going to be beboppin' up in there with "God, you got some 'splainin to do!" Seriously though, I often wonder if we will magically be endowed with complete understanding and reasons for all of the various events in our life. Maybe His plan is meant to remain a mystery though - even in death. I hope not. I'm nosy.

I'm sure our life will continue to take sharp turns and God will continue to surprise us with things. Let's be honest, moving 10 hours from anyone you know with a toddler and no jobs will provide a vast amount of comedic blog posts to say the least. I hope y'all continue following our journey - life aint always beautiful, but its a beautiful (and humorous, stressful, surprising, enjoyable, terrifying, aggrivating, humbling, exciting) ride :)

Jun 22, 2011

So What Wednesday

Today I'm saying "so what" if...

We are moving to Charlotte in 34 days and I haven't started packing. Maybe the clothes fairy that frequents our house will come pack it too...

If I try to play match-maker with every.single.person. I meet. It will work out one day. It will.

I threw a rock at an certain apartment on my run today. Sooo worth looking like a lunatic.

I used the word "attention-ing" Monday night. The hubs said I wasn't paying any attention to him mid-Bachelorette. I glanced at my hand resting unconsciously on his leg and said "see honey, I am attention-ing you...

My husband is scared to say/do anything for fear that I will blog about it and "make him look like an idiot".

I know every stinkin' word to every stinkin' Fisher Price toy ever assembled. I think it makes me well rounded.

That's what I'm saying so what to. What about you?

Jun 21, 2011

Brag Time

I know every parent thinks nothing will ever compare to the cuteness that is their child. However, I dare you to look at these pics and not agree with me.

Driving the tractor at the Children's Museum

In the Museum with her "leash" hahah

"Underground" tunnel at the museum

Yup, shoved an entire Nutrigrain bar in her mouth...

Me and my PRECIOUS angel!!

Sweet sweet baby!

Jun 17, 2011


So for all of you who have been on the edge of your seats wondering about our Charlotte venture, I have an update: We now have an apartment. Its official. We won't be living in a box - YAY for us! :) The influenced morons have gotten their act together at last...
Adam says we have now used up all of our blessings for the year. Let's hope not because grad school, an unemployed and directionally challenged wife, and raising a toddler in a city where you are 10 hours from anyone you know is going to be quite an adventure!

Jun 16, 2011

Alligator Purse

So, as I read with MC yesterday I couldn't help but think how disturbing this children's story is. Anyone ever read/sang "The Lady With The Alligator Purse"? Of course you have. Don't even act like you didn't do that hand slap game thingy to this song.

Anyway, as I said, now that I am a mother and an extremely intellectual thinker (bahaha) I started analyzing this story and how its completely detrimental to our children. As I read, I couldn't help but add in my own opinions {aloud} to MC...

Miss Lucy had a baby. His name was Tiny Tim - Harmless enough, go on...

She put him in the bathtub to see if he could swim - Wait one dog'gone minute! Would it not be wise to invest in some beginners swim lessons before chunking your baby in a tub full of water there Miss Lucy?! I cry abuse!

He drank up all the water, he ate up all the soap - Obviously we need to add food withholding to the long list of abusive criminal charges!

He tried to eat the bathtub but it wouldn't go down his throat - As if we didn't have enough of a case already - lets add brain damage as a result of the blatant neglect and abuse!!

In came the doctor, in came the nurse, in came the lady with the alligator purse - in came two uniformed police officers and a social worker thanks to mommy's anonymous tip.

"Mumps" said the doctor, "Measles", said the nurse, "Nonsence" said the lady with the alligator purse - "Pica" said the mommy who has obviously watched entirely too much of TLC's My Strange Addiction. However, it was no doubt enhanced by his abusive mother withhold food!!

"Penicillin", said the doctor, "Castor oil", said the nurse, "pizza!", said the lady with the alligator purse - Hmm, mommy would concurr with the alligator lady on the food - however, as you might remember reading earlier, this is a BABY. Mommy thinks all these nut jobs should enroll in a hospital sponsored "Baby Basics" class

Out went the doctor, out went the nurse, out went the lady with the alligator purse - ...and out went this retarded book that condones child drowning, Pica, employing unlicensed healthcare professionals and choking hazzards.

MC cries. Mommy reads book again :/ {sigh}

Jun 15, 2011

"I Am Not A Hillbilly Honey!"

Let me tell you a little secret about Adam. He's a collector. I can't call him a "hoarder" because hoarders collect junk. Adam collects "useful" junk. See the differentiation? (Yeah, don't feel bad, I can't either...") But, God love him, he comes by it honestly. His grandfather was king of the collectors. The man even had entire shed to store his collections.

Just to give you a glimpse into how insane innovative this man is: one day he came home with a mannequin. Yup, a naked woman mannequin. Do I really want to know the use this is going to serve? It was ok though. He had a great explanation. "Honey, it was just sitting on the side of the road! They were just going to throw it away!!" Wow? Really? They were just going to throw this treasure away??!! Erroneous on all accounts!!!!

Now, Adam has "collected" such an abundance of shit stuff, that when he starts looking for something he turns into a kid at Christmas. Take yesterday. He started looking for hair trimmers because the beard trimmers he was using to buzz his head just weren't working (I'll get to that in a moment, but let me just say that at this point he had a fantastic half-shaved mullet going on. The remaining hair on his head was choppy and uneven because we thought it was a great idea to just grab handfuls and cut it with scissors to make the beard trimmers "work better") He opened his insanely gigantic black box in which he stores his old Army paraphenalia and he found a treasure trove of goodies...
1. A broken green thingy with wires sticking out - Adam:"Oh wow! There that is! I bet I can fix that!"
2. A cord that goes to nothing and is missing the actual attachment that makes it even serve a purpose. Adam: "Oh look! This is awesome! I don't have the part to make it work but when it does work its great! Oh, wait, here it is!!"
Me: "Yay."
3. UnderArmor boxer briefs. Adam:"Woo hoo!"
Me: "..."

It went on like this for a time, and unfortunately, no trimmers were to be found. We found the guards for the trimmers, but no trimmers. (Adam probably had a moment where he had both in his hand and in attempts to keep with his collections as "useful" as possible, he opted to keep the guards and toss the actual trimmer...makes sense.)

Now, onto the continuing hair cutting operation. As I mentioned, Adam was immensely irritated that his beard trimmers wouldn't buzz his head properly. (Obviously a complete crap product. What lunatic designs BEARD trimmers that won't cut hair.) He then insists that I go to Wal-Mart to purchase something more appropriate. At this point its almost time to pick up MC and I wasn't about to go all the way to the evil Wal-Mart across town. I suggested he put on a hat and go himself. Hm, probably not the best idea.
Me: "Honey, just put on a hat and go yourself."
Adam: "Hell no! Look at me!"
Me: Insane laughter
Adam: "See!!! I look like a monk!"
Me: "Adam {laughter}, if you have a hat on your head, no one can see your head {laughter again}
Adam: "What the crap Jess? A hat only comes down so far on your head! I'll have half hair and half no hair hanging out of my hat!"
Me: "Honey.... it's Wal-Mart."
Adam: "I don't care! I am not a hillbilly honey!"

This is where I begin rolling on the floor laughing. My husband is standing in the bathtub, in his newly found UnderArmor boxer briefs, with a mullet, attempting to buzz his head with beard trimmers. Please, honey. Tell me again you are not a hillbilly. Really think about it this time....

Jun 14, 2011

Magic Abs

I want magic abs. I know what you're thinking "what the freak is that?". Well, magic abs are the ones that just put you in a trance. You see someone with magic abs and you are not on this planet anymore. You stare at them transfixed and all you can think is "whooooaaaa.....that is like....magic or something." Yeah. Those.

I have some friends with magic abs. I love them dearly, however they do make me throw up in my mouth a little bit (you know who you are). I saw a photo of one of my magic ab friends 3 weeks after she had her baby girl.... in a bikini. Not surprisingly, her abs looked better 3 weeks after carrying a watermelon than mine do 18 months after giving birth to one. Ugh.

I've spent the last few days reminiscing about my time in high school and college when I was thin and didn't have to do a damn thing to be that way. I brought this up to my sweet husband and his response was "honey, that's just part of getting older". Screw that. I want to grow young if that's the case. I wish I could go all Benjamin Button on him.

In attempts to regain the figure of my youth (no, I'm not ninety, but lets get real - I'm 2.5 years away from 30. To me that's OLD) I have decided to start the "Couch-to-5K". An exercise program specificaly created for those who don't do exercise programs. Exactly what I need. You gradually work your way up to running more and more and by the end of the 9 weeks you are supposedly able to run a 5K.

So how's it going you ask? Well, yesterday at 3:00 was my first time. I decided I should be very strategic and intellectual about it and chose the friggin' hottest time of day in the friggin' hottest part of the year to begin my weigh loss journey. Yay for brains. I was hard core about it though. I said "its now or never" and hit the asphalt with Rocky music echoing in my head....

Cut to 4 minutes later. The Rocky music has stopped. I am now hearing french horns and trumpets playing "Alleluia" hymns because I am certain that death is upon me. I can't breathe. My cute running shorts are riding up my fat butt who has decided to eat them. My perfectly smoothed pony tail is now disheveled and partially sideways, flapping in the wind like white flag of surrender. Sweat is dripping down my God-awful uncomfortable sports bra and I have a stick stuck in the laces of my shoe. I had pushed myself from the category of "cute girl running" to "special girl they let out of the facility for a walk".

While my appearance was particulary horrid, I also began dealing with a knee that was about to explode. I have no idea what I did to my knee in 8th grade, but I remember hurting it and every now and then when I put a lot of continuous strain on it, it starts hurting. Well, considering I haven't run in 5011 years for this very reason, I wasn't surprised to find it throbbing. I wanted to stop REALLY bad but I knew I had to come home to my Ranger hubs and I just couldn't face the shame of having quit.

God must've heard me because it was at that moment that I passed my an old boyfriend's apartment. This guy was so totally nutso that he could've had his own show with Dr. Drew. He was horrible and thanks to him I get to carry the weight of about 30 emotional suitcases. Anyway, as I passed his old place I began thinking about how horrible he made me feel all the time and I was like "ha! I'll show you psycho!". I then went all psycho and started repeating profanities rhythmically in my head as I ran. It got me through the rest of my ru,n but as I approached my house I was limping like a 3 legged dog. Adam must've seen me and came running to the door asking what happened. No, I didn't get mugged and beaten (although I probably looked it) - I overworked my knee while screaming profanities at an ex's apartment. Yeah, that sounds WAAAY better....

Needless to say I can't walk this morning. Previously I was an out of shape, middle aged woman. Now, I'm an out of shape ninety year old who needs a cane.... fantastic. Let's hope things heal up quickly so I can run by the ex's and throw rocks at it for hurting my knee now.

Jun 9, 2011

And The Door Was Opened

I said "its not logical!". I said "it can't be done!". I said "I can't!". Just moments ago God reached down, smacked me in the face and said "no, you can't... But I can."

My life has been forever changed today. Today. A day like any other. However, a day that I will never, ever, in my entire life forget. Today is the start of a life without ever doubting God. Its the start of a life where I fully and completely, with every ounce of my being trust in God and the power of prayer.

As you know Adam and I have been struggling. Physcially, emotionally, spiritually, monetarily. It seems as though one mountain after another after another has been placed in front of us. We are trying to get Adam to school and get an apartment. That's all. However, NOTHING has seemed to work out for us. I doubted whether we were doing the right thing. I doubted God's ability to make things happen for us. However, the past few days have lead me to this beautiful moment I am in right now.

If you aren't a believer in prayer, I hope that this post at least makes you re-evaluate your stance.

Adam and I planned on him going to school without paying out of state tuition. (I touched on this briefly in another post) Well, that didn't work out. We were informed his out of state tuition would not be waived - WHAM. Thousands of unexpected dollars were hurled at us all at once. Immediately following this news, we received a phone call saying the apartment we just drove all the way to Charlotte to put a deposit on is not available. They made a mistake and don't have a unit. WHAM.... again.

We've spent the last several weeks attempting to correct both of these situations to no avail. We have pushed and pushed and nothing seemed to be going our way. I hit rock bottom. I doubted every choice we had made. I asked Adam how all this money was going to materialize. I believe my exact words were "How Adam??!! How are we going to magically get xxx thousand dollars each month??!!!"

A few days later, I read that an old sorority sister of mine and her husband won a house. That's right. A whole house. Not even a crappy house - a half a million dollar house. I was intrigued (and of course incredibly jealous). I watched a clip of their interview and you know what they said? They said they had prayed and prayed and prayed. They truly believed God was going to help them and they were going to win this house. What did I do? I laughed. Not out loud, but to myself. Seriously? You think if you pray for a house you're just going to get it? No friggin' way.

Last night about 3am Adam and I both couldn't sleep. We began talking about everything and how stressed out we were. We reached a low together and all we knew to do was pray harder than we had ever prayed before. We didn't pray for God to give us money. We prayed for His will to be done. There, in the dark at 3am, we reached out. We both agreed to let go and put it in His hands. We both cried. I delved into the very depths of my soul and pulled every ounce of faith I had in me. I truly let it go for the first time since all of this began.

Fast forward to today. Despite the sleep deprivation I awoke refreshed and positive - and I had no explanation why. I felt this alien sense of peace that everything was going to be ok. I thanked God over and over for this calmness that he had blessed me with. No, nothing happened to change our situation, but I was so thankful to finally have peace of mind. Adam was still distrought but I told him about these emotions and assured him everything was going to be alright.

Fast forward again to one hour ago. We were at the bank completing some business when Adam's phone rang. He stepped out of the office and all I heard was muffled speaking and then very distinct thank you's. He returned to the office with a smile I hadn't seen since the day our daughter was born. He said "Jess my out of state tuition has been waived..." The very question I asked Adam just nights ago had been answered - "How are we going to magically get xxx thousand dollars each month???" - God, that's where. No, God didn't wave his wand and give us money. He gave us what we both longed for and needed this entire time and didn't even know it. He gave us faith. With His intervention in the minds and hearts of everyone involved, He showed us that this is our path and He WILL provide for us.

This has been a long and emotional post and some of you might have grown tired of reading something that's not my usual comical pity party. However, I pray that some of you out there have seen our miracle and believe. My husband has come back from Iraq and Afghanistan FOUR TIMES without a single scratch. We were given a perfectly healthy baby girl while he was away that I cared for on my own for months. We've had no jobs and chased dreams. Yet, it took this day to change my perspective. All of the blessings we have received are now visible and I have been granted the gift of faith in God and prayer that I can pass on to that beautiful baby girl.

Adam and I both said we are going to tell Maggie about this day. Whenever she doubts, she will hear about this day. Whenever Adam and I have struggles, we will remember this day. I pray that if you haven't yet, you will have your day. And guess what, since I am praying for it, it will happen :)

Jun 6, 2011

What will it be - option one, two, or three...

This is what our life has come down to. In essense, playing "pick a door - any door!" with a studio audience. Things are falling apart and since I am in the midst of a nervous breakdown, I figured I should just go with it and ask complete strangers what we should do with our lives. What do you think everyone? Option one, two, three, or four?

What's that? You don't know the options you say? That's ok. Just pick one. Yup, you heard right. Just comment with a number; 1,2,3, or 4. Simple enough.

PS - If you're thinking "whoa, that chick has definately gone off the deep end", you're so right ;)

Jun 3, 2011

Really People?

"I may not being going to school, we have no place to live, and now Pooh's gone!!! Our life is a mess! We've got issues and now we've got missing bears!" This quote by Adam made my horrible day almost laughable.

Let me just take a moment to fill you in. We are moving to Charlotte for my husband to attend grad school. Now the statement should read - "We MIGHT be moving to Charlotte for my husband to attend grad school." The two major things needed in this whole process have now possibly been removed. School and lodging. See, in order to go to grad school, you have to pay (I know, crazy). When you believe your out of state tuition is going to be waived due to the academic common market (I'm not even going to go into an explanation of this. Google it) and then someone tells you its not, you can't exactly pull another $20,000 out of your butt. As much as I would like to. It also doesn't help that said moron is incorrect in the decision...that's not even an opinion - that's a fact. Urban DESIGN is not the same thing as Urban PLANNING. Ugh.

Move on to requirement number two - lodging. Its kinda hard to move somewhere with your family and go to school when you have no house. I've mentioned living in a cardboard box before, but this is literally what it would amount to. We went to Charlotte this weekend and put a deposit down on a great 3 bedroom apt in a perfect location. When we get back from Charlotte we got a phone call saying they made a mistake and that apartment wasn't available. Really people? Have you been hanging out with the moron school lady and the idiocy just wore off on you??? "Mr. & Mrs. Martin we have a great apartment ready for the time frame you requested. HAHA Just kidding! We fooled you didn't we!" Awesomeness.

In order to get another 3 bedroom at the complex we had to go a different route and fill out 4632 pages of crap forms. Ok, maybe not 4632, but it was 46 pages. Seriously, I counted. We are now waiting for them to process everything and that could take up to a week.

So alas, we have possibly no school and no home. Things are looking up.

We also got another surpise when we got home from Charlotte (yes, this is where the missing bears comment comes in). I noticed Pooh, who of course is part of the family and had to accompany us on our trip, hadn't been roaming the house as he usually does when we returned. I figured he was still in our not-yet-unpacked suitcase and didn't think much of it. Well, yesterday as I was unpacking, he was no where to be found. I started a frantic search and couldn't find him anywhere. (Let me just say that MC hasn't noticed. Although she is quite fond of Pooh, he has more sentimental attachment for Adam and I. Not long after we found out we were pregnant we were in Chicago and bought Pooh for MC. It was the first thing we ever purchased for her. Together. Right before Adam left for Iraq. Pooh IS a part of the family) I was completely distraught. I called both sets of parents and the hotel and Pooh hasn't turned up. I don't know if we'll ever find our silly 'ole bear....

That was the end to a completely crappy day. The story of our lives lately - morons, moving, and missing bears.

May 24, 2011

Its a "Small Ring" Kind Of Day

So I was listening to the radio in my car the other day - which in itself is quite a rarity. Anyway, I stopped on a Christian station and one of the gentleman was discussing a low point in his life and what he did to regain his joy (not happiness- happiness is circumstantial. Joy is something you hold inside you; also a fantastic point). So, what did he do? He went to a friend's ranch and as he was taking a walk he found a tree that had been cut in half. He started looking at the rings and noticed how some are big and some are small. Obviously the small rings were times of drought, infestation, etc. and the tree lacked substantial growth. However, just next to these small rings were very large rings. During this time the tree thrived and grew. Just like life. While life can give us times of "small rings", its after those that we are able to learn, and grow, and thrive. The man also said he has learned more in the valley than he ever has on the mountain top. So true.

After quite a tangent I have to say that yesterday was a "small ring" kind of day. One of those days when you want to go all Jim Carey on God and scream about an ant and a magnifying glass. I won't go into details but lets just say even after I thought things couldn't go downhill any more than they already had a wonderfully sweet police officer shoved a ticket in my face... SUPERB!

I know what some of you are thinking - seriously? You couldn't get out of a ticket? That's what I was thinking. I am proud and ashamed at the same time to say that I have been able to smile, cry, or flirt my way out of at least 5 tickets. I know, sad. However, when you're scared of your mother you do what you can to survive... {I know mom is just loving that statement right now. haha}

I must say that this guy was obviously having none of it. And, to be honest, I was too distrought to even give it a good performance. As I pulled out of my driveway to go get MC at daycare, I was still bubbling over the events of the day. I ALWAYS put on my seatbelt, however, today I was more focused on not engaging my own self in an argument just so I could yell at curse at SOMEONE. After driving LESS THAN ONE MILE (thats how close MC's daycare is) I put on my blinker to turn in. My blinker wasn't the only thing that blinked. Those friggin' blinding flashing lights reflected in my mirror and told me my day was about to get even better. Oh joy! I knew exactly why I was being pulled over. I tried my best to perform to the standard I have previously held myself to, but it was hopeless. I was so mad at the world and officer stupid head I couldn't even do it. To really put the cherry on top of everything though was hearing on his CB that my was expired. One month. I knew officer ruin-my-day would call me on that one too - and he did. However, I suppose he cut me some slack and just wrote the ticket for the seatbelt. Guess he figured even a half ass performance deserved some credit. Thanks. Half a gold star Jess.

But ya know, even though my "small ring" day made me want to curl in the fetal position and cry, when I got home I remembered those large rings. I had called Adam crying and said I needed to talk to him about stuff when he got home - after I explained everything he just said "well Jess, at least you and MC are safe." So wise. I looked at my sweet husband and precious baby and realized how ridiculous my complaining had been. What if I didn't even have a baby to go pick up at daycare? Life is good. (Let me just mention that at this point I decided I needed to lighten the mood and broke into song. Chorus of "had a bad day"? - check. Mood lightened? - check. Confused and slightly scared husband? - check. PS - if you ever want to totally freak out your spouse, just burst into random song pretending your wine glass is a fancy microphone. Works every time.) Needless to say, I think tomorrow is going to start a "big ring" day :)

May 20, 2011

Random Friday Thoughts

I'm excited its Friday. Like, super.excited.

For all of you millions of readers out there who are interested, today I think...

1. Rice cakes have to be the messiest snack ever. MC loves them but I always end up picking up her trail of rice pellets. Guess it does make her easier to find...

2. Men can be absolutely ridiculous. (However, this isn't just a "today" thought. I usually tend to think this, at least once, every day.) I think they really believe there is a magic clothes fairy that comes to our house and picks up clothing left in every room. They think this is a cool thing, so they continue to leave clothing in every room. I mean of course. It makes perfect sense. Who would want the poor clothes fairy to have to draw unemployment.

3. I need to lose AT LEAST 15 pounds. Thanks for that fashion industry.

4. MC is a genius (although, much like men being ridiculous, I tend to think this every day). She's got the lip pout down to a science and knows it. "Oh, you wanna play that game mom? Watch this {insert highly dramatic bottom lip puckering} BAM! Butta' baby!"

5. My one hour lunch break is too short. This doesn't even come close to affording me adequate time to blog.

With that said, its back to work. Have a fantabulous weekend all!

May 18, 2011

Toddler Brain?

I always talk to MC. It seems as though I feel the need to give the poor child a play-by-play of each and every move I make. I suppose I want her to be exposed to as much vocbulary and possible... or maybe I just get lonely sometimes and feel more social if I attempt to converse with my 18 month old whose only response usually includes "bahgadoo". (I'm being slightly sarcastic with that. I will take a moment to brag that MC now has a vocabulary of over 20 words....If you are one of those people thinking "oh no she didn't!" I say to you, oh yes I did. I counted every word my child can say and blogged about it. Just wait my friend, you will fall into the blog brag trap soon enough. )

Anywho, while this overly descriptive habbit might be great for a developing toddler, I have to wonder if it has become a detriment to my own mental health.

Today I talked to myself about making mac-n-cheese. Out loud. With no one home. Is that sad? I have to admit I'm a little concerned. Thoughts?

May 17, 2011


Sooo, not too often do I blog about someone else's blog. Let's face it - I'm struggling to get even one comment on my own, the last thing I should be doing is sending readers to someone else who is overwhelmingly more entertaining than I am. However, this is so friggin' hilarious I had to share. Seriously. Laugh.out.loud funny. Enjoy...

Marlee's Blog

May 16, 2011

Terrible Ones?

I have to say that between Adam and I, MC didn't have a chance. While I am a logical, practical, overly analytical, emotional OCD perfectionist, Adam is a creative, independent, energetic, and confident "think outside the box"-er. Definately more of a free spirit. Now, combine the two and what do you get? MC. I would describe MC as quite a balance between the two of us. She inherited my practicality (the kid will perfectly place her shoes back on the shelf of her closet and adjust them until the are in line) and "high maintenance", and inherited Adam's strong will and independence. Sadly though, she inherited both of our emotional expressiveness. I cry at the drop of a hat and Adam has an anger fuse about as long as my pinky nail. Now granted these characteristics are what make us "us", they aren't exactly the best combination in an 18 month old.

Maggie Claire has developed quite the little personality. She LOVES to help with whatever you are doing (she is actually insistant upon it as I will soon explain further), she is a complete daredevil and has no fear of anything, she operates on full throddle every second of the day and will ONLY sit still a max of 20 minutes and thats only when she's watching Baby Einstein, she doesn't like you to tell her how to do things - but then gets frustrated very easily when things dont do what she wants them to. Now, you might have guess where I am going with this extremely long personality analysis...

Maggie Claire has a tantrum problem. Mommy, therefore, has a "clueless" problem. I have NO idea how to handle these tantrums. I have done the research and there seems to be a great divide as to the proper approach - cuddle and comfort or ignore.

I feel in order to receive proper advise on the subject I need to give you a little insight into how, when, and for what reason these crazy spells arise. Its quite simple really - anything and everything makes MC cry. I kid you not. You might think I'm being overly dramatic (not that I have ever been known to do that....) but the kid really does get mad/frustrated/psycho ALL THE TIME. Examples:

(PS, if you haven't already figured it out, this is going to be an extremely long post. If you have to get back to work or start dinner, I strongly suggest you save this post for a day in which you have at least 2 hours to devote to reading/analyzing my situation and offering award winning advice....)

Its raining. MC sees daddy go outside to put something on the deck. MC wants to go outside. Mommy says "MC baby its raining, we can't play outside right now - how about we read a book?" MC runs to door, bangs on it, screams. Mommy lets MC play on deck. MC wants to go down the stairs into the rain - mommy says no and attempts to find something to play with on the deck. MC falls into a pile in the middle of the deck and screams. Mommy takes MC inside and MC continues flailing on the floor screaming.

MC tries to put her shoe on and can't get it on - screaming begins. Mommy or daddy try to help and she shakes her foot making it quite impossible. Screaming escalates. Mommy or daddy try to explain what they are doing and why - MC grabs shoe, throws it, and repeats above mentioned flailing and screaming.

We are playing happily with MC when she asks for a cracker. Mommy goes to the kitchen and gets out a cracker to hand to her. She turns away and starts screaming. Mommy says "MC you asked for a cracker baby, so here is a cracker." Screaming escalates and MC falls to floor. Mommy gets a drink.... haha j/k... well, slightly-depends on the hour ;)

In mass daddy is holding MC. MC wants to get down and run around the cry room like a hoodlum. Daddy refuses to let her down. MC screams like she's being attacked and forces herself out of daddy's hands. Daddy wants to join MC in screaming.

Daddy smells poo-poo. Daddy takes MC to change her diaper. MC screams and wriggles like a friggin' worm all over the changing table while screaming at a decible known to shatter glass.

It goes on and on like this each and every day. MC does something/tries to do something, she gets mad and throws a tantrum. She can't do/get what she wants, she throws a tantrum. I understand that this is a "normal part of her development" and that "she can't effectively communicate her feelings, needs, and emotions" but this is madness. The last thing Adam and I both want is to raise "that kid". Ya know, the one who runs rampant through the grocery store screaming "I WANT A CANDY BAR!!!!!!!!!!! I HATE YOU!!!!!!!!!!!" to the poor, unfortunate looking mother who appears as though she could be the spokesmodel for the suicide hotline. No thank you. We want a child who understands that her way is not "THE" way. A child who is capable of being reasoned with and doesn't throw a tantrum when she doesn't get her way. A child who is able to exhibit persistance and hard work in order to acheive a desired outcome. Did I just describe an adult? Maybe I did. I realize I am throwing things out there that are not able to be acheived until MC is much older, but there has got to be a way to deal with the current situation in a way that will put us on the right path.

My question to you after this long, drawn out rant is this - WHAT DO WE DO? When MC throws a tantrum what should our reaction be. Ignore it? Comfort her? I have to say that in our attempts to cover all the bases we have tried comforting her - this only leads to her becoming even MORE angry and pushing us away. If any of you veteran mothers out there have a solution PLEASE comment. Any input is appreciated! Have a great Monday everyone!!

May 12, 2011

All The Single Ladies...

I know it's not Wednesday - so this can't really be my "so-what-Wednesday" post, but if it was, I would have to say:

"so what if I let my 17 month old child put on her "fancy" shoes and dance on the coffee table to Single Ladies"?

*PS - To make myself feel like a slightly better mother, I did stress the importance of "puttin' a ring on it"...

Apr 27, 2011

Here Comes Peter Cottontail

Best. Easter. Ever. Seriously, it was FANTASTIC. When you get married and have children, its really difficult to juggle the traveling so that each set of grandparents gets to see the baby on each holiday (because let's face it, when you have a child its never about seeing YOU anymore. The totem pole is drastically altered and you are now way down on the bottom with the crazy aunt) Which is fine. I get it. I can openly accept and agree with the fact that my child is the most adorable little thing to ever walk the planet.

Anyway, while Adam and I usually hash out the difficult task of scheduling said visits, this time we got to take it easy! Adam's parents invited my parents to their house for Easter and they accepted which meant we ALL got to be together for the holiday. Super nice.

As you may know, MC was much too young last year to do the whole egg hunt. This year I imagined it would pan out as follows... We would point out an egg to MC, she would pick it up, and the moment we tried to get her to let go of it and put it in the basket she would throw one of her famous tantrums and flail on the ground screaming. I was wrong (thank God). This kid was like some sort of pro egg-hunter and never even bothered to let us in on it. The kid has never "hunted" an Easter egg a day in her life, but when we cut her loose she took off and was HARD CORE. She was even belly crawling like a freakin' army ranger (I'll leave out the fact that said manuever might have been slightly overdramatic since the egg was in the middle of an open yard...) but it was precious to see.

Hope you all had a wonderful Easter as well and don't forget that it wasn't the Easter bunny who died for our sins! Keep Jesus in your hearts and have a great day!

And she's off...

And, yes, she insisted on carrying her basket like a purse

The loot

My gorgeous family

Easter Morning

Daddy and MC being silly

What's better to finish off the day than a cupcake...

Unlike her 1st birthday cake, she actually LOVED the cake and icing this time!

Apr 19, 2011

Baby Scholarship

Have you ever thought people should have to have some sort of qualification to be a parent? I mean I see an 8 month preggo woman standing in a parking lot smoking a cigarette and I think to myself - you have to have a permit to have a yard sale yet any dimwitt can have a child. There should be some sort of application process...

Which leads me to my next point - there should be a "good parent scholarship". Upon the parental application review, the selection committe would pull the best and brightest applicants for said scholarship. Lets face it, there are people in this world who ADORE being parents but just can't afford the cost of another child (I wonder who I could POSSIBLY be referring to) hahaha. Adam and I would LOVE to have another child right now (well, me anyway! The baby bug bit me a while back and it bit HARD) however with him going to grad school its just not in the cards financially. I think since we have had a proven track record - we have kept one kid alive - we should be awarded a full paid child. In my imaginary Jessica world, the government says something along the lines of "you seem to be good people and you like kids and being parents... with that being said we would like to pay YOU to have a baby. That's right Jessica and Adam, we basically think you rock and would like you to bless this world with yet another precious offspring - all expenses paid" Ah, that'd be nice.

I guess until the government can get its act together and formulate this application process I will just have to continue stalking all my pregnant friends on facebook.... all 376 of them. Not really, but it seems like that many...

Happy Tuesday readers, and since I hate to leave on a negative note, here's a little happiness to share! Spring is here - and that means we can finally play outside! Here are a few pics of MC when we got back from the park - look at those precious pink cheeks!

Hooray for Spring!


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