Friday, August 30, 2013

Friday Randoms and Mr. Brian Williams

So I've got nothing yet again today....mostly because I'm sitting here just an hour after getting three cavities filled, I can't feel anything on my lower jaw and can barely talk, let alone eat or drink.  It doesn't affect my ability to think or write coherently,, I don't feel like it.  So you get random thoughts from Nain this fine Friday - Enjoy!
Okay, so I know I'm not the only one who hates the dentist, right?  Not the actual person (I love my dentist, he's a great guy) but the whole process.  I mean really, it's odd the things they do to you, especially when filling your teeth.  The instruments that get stuck in your's just odd.  At one point I had two of these metal things that can only be described as medieval torture devices, clamping down on two different teeth and sticking out as the hygienist kept trying to get me to open wider, which, at that point was an impossibility, and here she is putting this disgusting goo on my teeth, shining some light on it and grinding it down.  I think I may have nightmares about this tonight.  It's 5:00 when I'm writing this, I have no feeling on my bottom half and can barely talk, and dammit, I want a drink.  It's okay to drink wine out of a sippy cup, right?  Aubrey won't mind.  Or maybe a straw.  That probably is little less CHINS mommy.
So I lost my battle with the coffee stains today.  They are faint, but they are there.  So we will be renting a carpet shampooer.  Dammit.  I thought I could do it.  But I scrubbed so much that a little part of the carpet is now bare.  So I decided to raise the white flag and call victory to the coffee stain.  Lesson learned - do what my parents taught me and keep the drinks and food in the kitchen.  But oh, I love my coffee.  Maybe I need to put it in one of Aubrey's no-spill sippy cups.  She won't mind. 
It's nice that we have a holiday weekend coming up, but this one will be a little different for us.  My cousin is getting married on Sunday so we'll be headed to the Haute (as in Terre Haute) for Sunday and Monday.  This will be my first wedding with a kiddo with me, so I'm thinking the open bar experience may be ever so different.  But I am packing a bottle of wine for T and myself to have at the hotel after we put the little girl to sleep. 
Speaking of sleep....little miss is not getting much lately.  She's getting her canines, and man, teething...not fun.  She's only got one of the four poking through so God help us with the others. 
That and we were told today that apparently Aubrey is not getting along with a specific girl in the class.  Every time they are around each other, they swat at each other and scream.  I mean, really?  Already?  Wasn't this supposed to wait until middle school.  I don't want my kid to become one of the mean girls.  So it looks like Paris has a Nicole in that, wait, I don't want to compare my child to either of those.  She has a frenemy.  That's what I was getting at. 
I am kind of curious, as it is now 5:30 how I will be eating tonight.  This guy numbed me up pretty well.  And it doesn't seem to be going down.  Well, liquid dinner it is!
Alright, I'm out.  Oh wait, no, I'll share this...T knows my love for Mr. Brian Williams, so he found these skits that Jimmy Fallon is doing where they splice together video to make it sound like "Bri Wi" is rapping.  This is my favorite :-)


Thursday, August 29, 2013

Murphy's Law

There are times when I feel like the unluckiest person in the world.  Not unlucky in terms of my life not being good but that things just happen.  Stupid things.  I make mistakes, and the kind of mistakes where I'm like "really?  seriously?  why the hell did that have to happen?"  Case in point:  I've hit six parked cars.  And several inanimate objects.  Every single time I feel like the dumbest person in the world.  If I had just been a bit more careful.  Why can't I take time back to remove that mistake? 
But I can't.  Things just happen.  I break the phone.  I nick the wall and take paint off of it.  I spill drinks in the car.  I am getting the coffeemaker ready and coffee grounds go everywhere.  Yes, these things happen to everyone, I said, they seem to happen all. the. freaking. time. 
Yesterday was yet another one of those circumstances.  Getting ready in the morning is a trial.  We get Aubrey up, get her dressed, feed her breakfast, and I start packing lunches and getting our own breakfast ready so that we can quickly shower and get out the door by 7:30 a.m.  It's not easy.  So yesterday, I was getting everything set, while T was taking out our lunches and bags to the car.  I am carrying the coffee mugs upstairs, and it happened.  I slipped.  On the stairs.  I managed to catch myself by falling on my knees and not actually spilling the mugs themselves, but I'm sure you can imagine what happened.  Coffee everywhere.  All over the carpet.  All over the walls.  Shit.  I knew once T heard it the shit would hit the fan.  See, I'm married to one of the neatest men on the face of the earth.  Organized, neat, your typical engineer.  Me, on the other hand, my life exists in some sort of chaotic state.  I'm not organized.  Things aren't folded properly, things are just shoved in somewhere, my shoes aren't lined up just so in the closet.  T's are.  And I know it drives him insane.   It's not that I don't try.  But it's hard for me because I'm just not that way. 
So of course, at the worst possible time ever, I made a huge mess.  And by huge mess I mean it...HUGE coffee-stained mess.  And we didn't have time to clean it up.  I mop up what I can and wipe down what I can, but it's done.  Magic eraser won't take the coffee off the walls so of course we need to paint where the spots were.  And of course, the Resolve doesn't work.  So cue marital fight.  Cue me feeling like an idiot.  Cue T's nervous breakdown.  Not good.
I spent all day researching ways to get rid of coffee stains.  I've tried Resolve, I've tried the water and vinegar with wet cloth and steaming with the iron, I have tried spraying with stain spray.  And the damn spots are still there.  Out damn spot, out! 
I'm home from work today, and I'm determined to get it out.  Determined.  I want to show T that I can get this right.  Maybe part of me is comparing this screw up to my Mary Kay failure, but for once, just once, I want to do something right. 
Out damn spot, out.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

News you can use

So I haven't been posting on my blog as often as I should or giving as much content as I should, but that isn't without reason.  I've been fairly busy writing in other areas...not all of them yet published, however.  I believe my first article is due to be published mid-September.   However, over at ModVive I have written quite a bit.  I still have SIF to thank for referring me because I love writing opinion pieces for them.  It's my first step into being all "controversial" and what not.  (whoo controversy!)
The one piece I'm surprised hasn't received comments and I'd likely get some journalistic flack for is an article I've written on the U.S. v. Sterling case that recently was published in July.  While it really is a case on a former CIA agent releasing highly confidential information illegally to a reporter who then published this information in a book, the focus was not really on the CIA agent, but rather the reporter.  The court tried to get the reporter to testify regarding his conversations with Sterling and he claimed he couldn't be forced to testify due to reporter-source confidentiality privilege.  I was asked to give my view on it, and my opinion did not coincide with what most journalists would say.  I have that whole lawyer-journalist conflict in my mind, I suppose.  You'll have to read it to see why, though.  No spoilers, sorry!
Another article I wrote was on a series of tragic events that have played out in the news with murders where the suspects claimed they killed because "they were bored."  It's disgusting.  It happened to a young girl recently in rural Indiana where two men decided "hey, you know what we should do - see if we can rape and murder someone" and randomly picked a poor girl to be their victim.  It's just disgusting.  I'm not sure what is wrong with people. 
And there's my new obsession with the show Locked Up.  Unlike other members of my family, I prefer to see documentaries of real criminals behind bars.  It's pretty shocking what is allowed behind bars and how much criminals can get away with. And to hear them complain about prison food?  Really?  That food isn't gourmet enough for you?  Well, I'm sorry...we'll get Gordon Ramsey on there ASAP. 
Local news-wise on the Examiner - some very intelligent person decided to leave a package of CDs for their mother who worked at the county courthouse on the steps of the courthouse at midnight, wrapped in newspaper and tied with a bow.  Yep, no reason for that to cause a huge bomb scare or anything.  I wonder what CDs they were - Ke$ha maybe?  Or the attorney who was suspended from practicing law for beating up his client in the courtroom?  Oh, Indiana news, you never fail me...
I will definitely try to not beat up my client the next time I'm in court.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Random pictures

I am short on content today (sorry, everyone!)  Well, not really because I know certain readers (cough, cough, Sarah) love the pictures, so here are a few from recent weeks.  I'll be back with something of more substance tomorrow!
Me attempting to take a picture with Aubrey....yeah, taking a picture with a mobile and very curious 18 month old does not work so well. 

But I do like this last one.  Mommy and her girl.  And then, her girl decided to go through all of the diapers and toss them all over the floor.  Oh, Aubrey....

Aubrey has a baby doll that she got from her Aunt Andrea, and she just loves it.  "Baby, baby, baby" she says over and over again.  She has to kiss her, she has me wrap her up in a blanket, and recently, she felt that baby needed a diaper, too. 

This last weekend she was very into books and sitting in our laps to be read to.  I think I read "Fox in Socks" somewhere around seven times.  I was to the point where I wasn't getting tongue-twisted with the verses, and well...that's sad.  But here's a shot of Aubrey and her's striking just how similar they are.

Miss Aubrey enjoyed her applesauce so much she felt it would go very well on her head.


And here we go random...

I know that Pitbull was working with a lot of artists and all (In my opinion he's the JaRule of today's generation), but man, I didn't know he has these kinds of connections. 

I have found what I'm getting T and saving this for Father's Day next year.  One word:  hot.

And we will end with a picture from our date night a couple weeks, we totally did not have a few glasses of wine at this point.

Alrighty, there you go - pictures, lots of pictures!  I'll be back with content later, lots of content! 

Monday, August 26, 2013


Sorry I have been MIA for the past few days....last week was just, well, one of those weeks.  Little Miss Aub was sick a lot during the week with a terrible cold, combined with teething and the projectile vomiting in T's car just as we were starting our commute back home on Wednesday and then my brand new car needing to be taken into fix a rather huge manufacturer's defect....well, it was one gigantic suck fest.  All around.  At least the car was fixed rather easily.  But the cleaning off of your daughter and stripping her down to nothing but a diaper while T mops up puke with napkins outside a Burger King on the exit of I-65 and then driving 45 minutes home with said hysterical child and the car smelling like...well, I'm sure you can imagine, and then cleaning it all up after we put the poor kid to bed.  Rough week.
So here's to a better one, right?  Right?  We're not 100 percent sure yet but hey, fall is coming soon so let's look forward to everything that glorious time of year brings! 
Just a look ahead at the week...lots of non-profit training, 3 cavities getting filled on Thursday (boo!), and and lots of writing as I have several assignments due by week's end.  That is kind of exciting as I'll be getting published more than I have been so I'm definitely excited about things to come. 
Aside from the week ahead, I have to ask how many of you really watch the VMA's?  Because all I see on my news feed this morning is Miley Cyrus, someone who doesn't really deserve that much attention, and I'm not even going to attempt to watch the performance everyone is talking about on my work computer.  I do love the picture of Will Smith and his family reacting to it.  But why do they still have this awards show when they don't really show music videos?  Because it is the Video Music Awards, right?  Where do they show videos anymore?  Now I sound like an old person but...I do miss the days of actually seeing music videos and watching Beavis and Butthead make fun of them.  OH, those were the days....and I'm not even sure Miley Cyrus, considering I'm not sure how old she is, was born.  And hell to the no will Aubrey be into music like that as a kid.  I remember my niece being into Hannah Montana, and well...look at what we have now.  Ick.
Ok, off to start the busy week, ending with 3 cavities!  Happy Monday, everyone!

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Cleaning out my closet

I have been trying to pretend that it didn't exist or that perhaps I could just forget about it.  But it must be dealt with.  What's that? 
Oh, just the thousands of dollars in Mary Kay crap sitting in my den closet. 
Just those pink boxes of stuff reminding me of the mistakes I made and how much I wish I never decided to join that venture.  Just that stuff. 
See, the company buys back the inventory you still have in stock that you have purchased over the past year but only the last year.  Unfortunately, that isn't when I made the bulk of the purchases that are still sitting unsold in my closet.  So what do I do with the rest of it?  Well, liquidate it.  For pennies on the dollar basically.  I can try my best to get something back and recoup my losses.  Key word is try. 
I have gotten a check back from the company for the stuff I could sell back.  It was a decent amount, but I still have a ton of inventory to clear out.  I've gone through items that I want or stuff I know that friends or family would want and I'll give that to them for free.  The other stuff I want out.  And ideally I'd like to clear it out as soon as possible because I can just move on from this mess., not really move on, but start to move on.  We'll move on once that debt is paid off. 
So yesterday I collected and accounted for every item I still have and sent a spreadsheet listing it to a liquidation place that was recommended to me.  Once I hear back from them, I will ship them off and that will be it.  Thank. God. 
I know this post is coming off as kind of angry, and well, that's because I am kind of angry.  Angry with myself and angry that I let myself get sucked in and tricked into the idea of "you can't sell from an empty cart."  For those not familiar with the site, I've recently discovered  It was created by women who have gone through similar situations like me if not worse.  Some women are well into the ten thousands or more into debt, some have lost their marriages...I mean, I'm not even making it up.  It is that bad.  And Mary Kay is just one of the multi-level marketing schemes out there. 

Once you sign the dotted line they then try to get you to purchase inventory.  "You can't sell from an empty cart!" so you are encouraged to buy a store full of products so that when a customer orders from you, they won't have to wait.  They have quarterly "star" goals where if you purchase a certain amount in wholesale inventory ($1,600, $2,800, $3,200) and so on, you get a prize.  I got a Fossil watch once, which was awesome, except essentially it was a $2,800 watch.  When you get rewarded for being the "queen of sales" or so on, it's not really for how much you sell.  It's for how much inventory you purchase.  Not really the same thing, right? 
So I'm counting how many of each lipstick shade I have on hand thinking "what in God's name made me think that I needed three of each?  Seriously?" 
While my director or recruiter never ever said this to me, I have read it in online company training material and have heard it at conferences.  "It's better to ask for forgiveness than ask for permission."  They essentially have this motto of leaving your husband out.  Now not all consultants will follow this, but it's true.  I did the same thing, whether intentionally or not.  I didn't tell T how much I was getting and how much I was making.  I wanted to show him that I could make it work and "hey, look how much money I made our family!"  BUT, the thing is, I'm not good at business, and I kept digging myself further and further in the hole.  It got to the point where I then kept it from T because I was ashamed and wanted to fix it on my own.  You know what this is called?  I didn't until I read it on one of these sites:  financial infidelity.  It sounds harsh but true.  I lied and kept a huge and expensive secret from T.  The hole was dug deeper and deeper.  Until I came clean.  And now we're getting ourselves out of MY mess. 
I feel awful about it because it is just that, MY mess.  Money I cost our family.  Money that we have to use in our budget to pay off a loan and credit card.  We're both making sacrifices and will need to for quite some time, but we should not be required to do that.  It should be just me. 
So yes, this post is pretty negative.  Sorry guys....I figured that when it gone down to it and I had to take that last step in getting everything together.  And it's like the stages of grief, right?  I suppose you could say I'm in the anger phase. 

What's the next step?  Anyone?

Small traditions

We have Aubrey down to a pretty good routine.  With pretty much everything and not just bed time.  Some of it has developed over time, and it's pretty funny.  Like at dinner, we eat with her and watch a Sesame Street.  Half way through dinner, she looks at me, holds out her sippy cup and goes "mo? mo?  pwees?"  So regardless of whether it needs refilling, I will go to the refrigerator and fake pour milk into the sippy. 
Come bath time, when we take her upstairs she races to the bathroom.  She has to get there before us.  I start the bath and line up her bath toys as she knocks them in one by one.  And she always has to get in right away when there is basically no water in the tub.  After we wash her off, she hands me the cup we use to rinse her off with, and we count as she puts her bath toys in the cup and we dump them out.  Then we hit our hands on the tub, and then we tap with our finger nails so that I can crawl my hand to her and tickle her.  We play and then it's "Pajama Time!"  (look up the book Pajama Time if you're not sure, but we always sing it to her.)  She gets the diaper, lotion, the little swimmer's diaper over her regular one because she has now taken to taking the diaper off in the middle of the night, and brush her hair.  T and I take turns on who holds her while the other reads, and she always takes the book to read to her butterfly and monkey.  It's usually a good hour while we hear her babble away and jump up and down in her crib.  It's times like those where I do wish I had a video monitor just because I'd love to see what she's doing. 
My favorite tradition of ours?  It's when we get home.  We go to the mail box to get the mail, she always has to push the garage door button and gets so excited to see it go down, and then we're ready.  It's time to race.  Since T normally has to carry her (ahem, 31.7 lb child), she grins at me while I wait.  As soon as the shoes and socks are off, she's off and running to the dining room blinds, trying to get to them before I do so she can smack them.  I usually beat her and pull the cord and move them up so she can't reach them.  Then she laughs, turns around and is off running to the living room blinds.  Lately she must have caught on because she'll totally fake me out like she's going to the dining room and turn around and sprint to the living room.  And a couple times she's tried to hug/block me.  But it's hilarious because we have to do it every time.  If I have bags I need to put down first, she will wait, giggling and ready to run. 
I'm going to treasure moments like this, and I know some day when she's grown, I'll look back and see that little curly-haired girl, giggling and running in the house trying to beat me to the window.  
Sure, it's predictable, but it's our tradition.  And that's what makes it special. 

Monday, August 19, 2013

Guilt mama

I have a problem.  Guilt.  I feel guilty about everything.  Come on...I know none of you are surprised, right?  Anyway this weekend was no exception. 
So T and I had a date night, and our regular babysitter came to watch Aubrey.  I love this girl...she is so great with Aubrey and is so professional.  Before we left, Aubrey was doing pretty much okay, but a little stuffy and coughing.  But I didn't think anything of it.  Anyway, T and I left and headed to a local wine, art, music and micro brew festival.  It was a ton of fun, and we may (may) have had a few too many drinks.  I mean, I was feeling pretty good.  I guess when you get to escape that's what you do?  Anyway so we headed back home, and the poor sitter was anxiously waiting for us.  I guess Aubrey was pretty fussy for her and had a rough night.  She pulled the "throwing a fit at bath time" thing, but this time she did it for the sitter.  I felt awful about that and kept apologizing, even though the sitter said if she got an email from me later apologizing, she'd delete it  She assured us that she would for sure come back.  But I felt awful.
Then I started feeling bad because I was pretty drunk.  So I starting thinking "oh crap, what if she noticed?  Did she judge us?"  So I felt awful about that.  Guilt, guilt, guilt.
And I did end up writing her an email apologizing.  I reread it the next morning, and it totally sounded fine and not like some drunken person rambling.  Of course, this is Sunday afternoon as I'm writing this, and I'm worried because she hasn't written back.  Dammit, Alaina, stop.  And I'm not even sure that would make me feel better. 
Guilt, guilt, guilt. 

That and I think I might abstain from the wine for just a little bit...

Thursday, August 15, 2013

My growing girl

I have a toddler.  It's becoming more clear to me every day.  She is no longer a baby, though she will always be my baby.  Her little brain is learning more and more and developing more and more every day.  It never ceases to amaze me.  The words she says now - More, please, down, Momma, Dadda, baby, milk....oh and her name.  That has to be the sweetest sound ever. Of course it comes out more as "Aubwee" but I love it. 
Every day we're learning things she has picked up at school, but the tough thing is she cannot always tell us what she learned.  Like apparently the having us lay down on the floor face first so she can put herself between us and pat our backs is what they do for them to take a nap.  And apparently Miss Aubrey pats everyone on the back at daycare.  And she does not just pat.  It's a little harder than a pat, but she means well.  I guess she almost put a little boy to sleep the other day when he was laying down by patting his back and rubbing it.  She's also learned the songs of "Bah Bah Black Sheep" or "Row, Row, Row Your Boat" and "If you are happy and you know it."  The funny thing is we cannot really figure out what she's doing.  She'll do the motions for the song, but we don't always know what song it is until we ask the teachers.  And then it's like an "aha!" moment for Mom and Dad.  However, once we figure out what she's doing we have to do it over and over and over and over....
She's picked up on blowing zerberts on our stomachs, too, which has to be the cutest thing ever.  She's also picked up on her surroundings.  We changed the family pictures in our living room, and she noticed and points it out every time we come home.  It's hilarious.
She's entirely too independent for her Mommy, too.  She used to walk holding my hands out of the daycare but now she runs ahead.  I've been told this is just like me when I told my mom "Mommy, I can go inside by myself" my first day of preschool.  God help me.
Of course, we have the toddler phase.  She's taken to smacking.  I don't like it.  She didn't get her way the other day, so she smacked me the other day resulting in time out.  She did it again but this time to T, and she ended up in time out again, which is her pack and play in the den.  So we hear her screaming her head off, shaking the pack and play and throwing an all-out fit.  I go up there, open the door and just give her a look.  THE look.  No raising my voice, just stern voice and the mom look.  And man did she change her tune.  No more screaming, she could barely keep me eye contact.  I said "No hitting.  Do you understand me?"  And she just looks up at me with this "oh shit" look in her eyes.  I told her to apologize to Daddy, and she hugged him.  Man, I didn't think I was going to be the disciplinarian, but I should have seen that coming. 
But she's growing up so fast!  Slow it down!
I should note that as of today, the little girl is officially 18 months old - just six months away from being a two year old.  Whoa, whoa, whoa! 

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

No cancer!

So yesterday....yeah, that happened.
I would have put this post as one for Wordless Wednesday titled as one thing - fear:
This is me right before I had to wait 45 minutes to get my ultrasound.  Yeah, you can see the fear in my eyes.  I was freaking out. 
You know, ultrasound techs are not supposed to really say anything to you about what they are doing or seeing.  I've tried digging for information from techs when I have had tests done on my heart, unsuccessfully, of course.  This tech examined me before doing the ultrasound only to say that I felt modular or when I asked her what in God's name that meant - she felt a lot of lumps.  Way to start off, lady.  So she did the thing, left me in the room to flip out and had the radiologist look at the pictures.  She came back in, said the ultrasound came back negative, but then confused the hell out of me about whether I needed further testing and whether I should ask my doctor.  I left more frustrated than when I went in and lost it right about the time I got to the car.  Of course I called the doctor's office freaking out on the nurse who must have passed that along to the doctor who called me in the evening to reassure me that everything came back clear and that the tech shouldn't have said a thing.  I just need to keep an eye on it.  And likely get a mammogram when I'm 35, which is young, history.  Alas. cancer or cyst!
Let me say that again - no cancer!
There is one thing I learned from all of this - check yourself monthly.  Seriously, ladies, because you never know.  And catching something early is so much better than not at all. 
While I didn't hear the bad c-word, I did get the other one...cavities.  Yeah, three of them. Dammit.  What a way to start a day of sucking, right?  I was kind of worried that it was a precursor of things to come, but luckily, it was not.  I'll take cavities any day, seriously. 
Ok, so no more medical stuff for the rest of the year, okay?  (I'm saying that to the Big Man upstairs, just in case we are not on the same page.)

Tuesday, August 13, 2013


Getting ready this morning, and I totally realized I never wrote a Tuesday post.  I'm normally on top of my game, but not so much today.  Today?  Well, today is THE day.  I'll be heading out shortly to 1) go to the dentist first because, let's face it, who doesn't want to start out a stressful medical day with a trip to the dentist?  (Can I get an Amen?) and 2) the ultrasound at 11:00.  I would be lying if I said I wasn't just on the brink of throwing up pretty much all morning.  My nerves are shot, I am scared beyond scared...even more so than when I have my heart issues every other year.  I mean THOSE I'm used to (I have to admit, it's pretty sad I can say that), but the possibility of the c-word, and I am freaking the hell out. It doesn't help that since I stopped taking the Naproxen, thinking "yay, the pain is gone!" the soreness has started again.
Last night I found myself at the Adoration Chapel at my church praying a rosary and asking that my Grandma watch over me today.  I hope that I'm worrying over nothing.  I am praying that is the case. 
11:00 (EST for my friends in other time zones), please please think positive thoughts.  I may have an update later, but we'll see how I feel about it later. 
and in all good fun, let's think about the other not that one, but the cavitiy cavities, Nain, no cavities!  Let's be positive all around, right?

Monday, August 12, 2013

Writing, writing, writing

I'm not going to lie.  I have days where I wish just writing was my full time job.  Seriously.'s not.  I still stand by my dream of living in Dublin with Aubrey and T and freelance writing full time.  You know, like this: 
But I have been enjoying the hell out of doing the freelance work I have been doing for The Examiner, upcoming articles for, and just this last week, Leah over at SIF introduced me to Mod Vive, a start-up online magazine and recommended me to her editor.  See, with this type of writing I get to express my opinion and use my voice more than I do in a normal news story with The Examiner.  It works more like a column than anything, and I love it. 
So I have written two pieces, and I hope you will check them out.  The first is "Blame the system, not the people" - I got a little passionate expressing my thoughts on the legal cases coming out of Florida over the past few years.  The second one was on Gideon v. Wainwright, the legal case that made it a right for all criminal defendants to have access to counsel.  I talked a little bit about what I do and the misconception that people facing civil cases have that same right, which they don't. 
The problem with all of this is it's all I want to do right now.  Almost obsession-like.  It's lit a fire.  This is what I originally wanted to do, way before law school, and I still am so passionate about it.  I just haven't really recognized that until recently.  If I can combine the law and writing?  That is my dream job, hands down.  However, that isn't exactly something I can click my heels and "bam" I have that as my job, paying as much as what I make now. 
But it's fun.  And I love it.  So thank you to all of you who have been keeping up on them.  I truly appreciate it! 

Friday, August 9, 2013

Stress management

I'm not a big fan of waiting, and I sure as hell am not patient.  So waiting until Tuesday to even have an ultrasound for this fun little lump that decided to appear magically this last week is's pissing me off.  And scaring me.  I go from pissed to scared to pissed to scared to just tired.  It's exhausting, really.  And I'm not saying it for the sake of saying "feel sorry for me."  Because I don't want, nor do I need pity.  I just need to vent.  Because this whole thing just sucks. 
I'm walking the fine line of losing it with health, work and money stress.  After a rather stressful work board meeting, I was happy to find one of my employees made cupcakes and brownies for the interns who are leaving us this week.  Because those were some really good sweets.  Enter Nain stress eating.  At least I was stress eating good food.  I mean, if you are going all out for calories, make them worth it, right?  And they were worth it.  I probably could have eaten the entire pan, helped.  And yes, I know, dealing with stress with food or wine (maybe had a glass or two that night) isn't healthy, I'm not in the caring mood. 
The thing I'm really not doing well with is keeping my anxiety at bay with Aubrey.  She's clingy, and I think she's picking up on my stress.  I can't let that happen.  So my goal this weekend?  Stay busy.  I have a feeling that will involve some cleaning.  Because if I can't control my health, dammit, I'm controlling how clean our laundry is or how spotless the bathroom is. 
And maybe I'll stay away from brownies.  Or cupcakes.  But not wine.  No, never wine.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Why lawyers run

Not very long ago, I came across this article on why lawyers run, the benefits of that specific form of exercise.  A lot of the content spoke to the mental benefits of running, and I couldn't agree more.  It's taken me forever to finally admit that I am, in fact, a runner.  For the longest time, I always told people that the only time I ran was when I was running away or to something.  Having asthma, I always thought running was impossible, and I just hated it because I always had to concentrate so hard on the breathing pattern, keeping the mental focus and not psyching myself out.  However, T, being the avid runner he is, has changed that mindset for me. 

So I'm a runner.  I'm not a fast runner.  I'm not the world's best runner, but I'm a runner.  And like many of the lawyers in this article, I find running to be my release. 

I try to run when I can outside, but most of the time it's in our basement.  We don't have a TV down there, so I normally listen to what I call my "workout mix" and stare straight ahead at a poster I bought T a couple years ago of Steve Prefontaine with the quote:  "To give anything less than your best is to sacrifice the gift."  I focus on it when I'm running, especially on those days where I'm like "eh, I could just stop right now" or "this kind of sucks."  I keep going, and I focus on that poster and the music playing, blocking out everything in my head. 

This isn't an easy task, by any means, because I'm a thinker.  My mind wanders from one worry to the next.  But the music I usually pick on my iPod workout mix tends to be pretty upbeat, something I can really run to.  My most recent obsession has been David Guetta's "Titanium" and of course, Macklemore's "Thrift Shop." 

Running gives me that time where I'm doing absolutely nothing, no multi-tasking, just running.  No one is bothering me, no work needs to be done, I'm just running.  I can tell when I don't get to run for a few days because I'm much more tired and tense at work, but on those days where I do get a jog in first thing in the morning, I can almost feel that release. 

With all of the stress going on right now - health, job stuff, Mary Kay...I need that release more than ever.  So I focus, on that saying, on the wall ahead of me and on the lyrics of the music playing. 

This particular song is hands down my favorite.  For those days when I have court or need to do a particularly hard work task, or days when I'm facing a scary doctor's appointment or just had an argument with someone or a rough Aubrey/toddler day, I repeat the lyrics in my head. 

"Shoot me down, but I won't fall.  I am titanium." 

And so I run.


Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Convincing myself

(Side note: About to get personal.  I'm going to try my best to be vague personal, but this is personal.  And I've debated sharing this on my blog because I haven't shared it with many.  But it's hard to not write about something when it is preoccupying your mind.)
At the beginning of the year, T and I made an agreement with God - no big things were to happen in 2013.  The biggest thing?  Maybe painting a room.  Or something minor like that.  So far....that hasn't exactly happened.  Not cool, not cool.  Maybe 2014 is our year. 
At the beginning of the year, I made an agreement with God as well.  No major medical issues this year.  I've had my share, so let's just skip this year and move onto the next.  I thought we were doing pretty damn well, too.  I mean, I lost 30 lbs, dropped my blood pressure, got the "good job" from the's August so I mean, we're well over halfway through the year.  Then this happened....
I was playing on the floor with Aubrey last week.  She has this new weird thing where she says "down" and likes T and I to lie face down on the floor and she plays drums on and crawls all over our backs.  So we were playing on the floor like normal and having fun. 
And I felt something.  Something hard. 
I sat up, thinking I was on top of one of Aubrey's toys, except I wasn't. 
I laid back down.  Yep, it still was there.
It's a lump.  I've had it checked out by the doctor, and she seems to think it isn't the C-word, but there is a mass. 
And it's been all I can think about. 
I have an ultrasound scheduled for next Tuesday so just see what it is.  It could be a cyst (different c word and one that I'm a little better with), or it could be traumatized tissue...from rough-housing with Aubrey most likely.  But it's about 1 centimeter in size, and it's something.  So we just need to see. 
I'm trying to act like it's nothing.  I'm trying to say I don't care.  I even keep saying "we don't need to go do this," to which T responds "yes, we do."  But I don't wanna.  I thought we had an agreement.  I thought we agreed (by me, I mean me and the big man) that we're clear of medical drama this year.  Dammit. 
I'd be lying if I said I wasn't scared.  My maternal grandma had breast cancer, and she has a mastectomy.  So there is a family history.  But that doesn't mean anything.
No reason to be worried. 
It's nothing, though.  It's nothing.  I'm sure of it. 

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Childless by choice

So I have created my own Facebook page strictly for professional and writing purposes.  Should you feel so inclined, "friend" me, and you can stay up-to-date on all of my articles and such.  So that whole being off of the Facebook lasted a short while,'s a good thing because I do realize now the power that social media has when you are trying to get your name out there.
I did manage to get some article writing done, and one I found through Yahoo indirectly and the original actually came from Time magazine.  The article was on couples who choose to not have children and live their lives childless.  I covered the debate on whether deciding to not have children during your childbearing years is selfish or not.  An author and many critics out there say that it is selfish in that it hurts the economy - less people, less consumers, less taxpayers.  Personally, I find that argument a bit of a stretch, but...
Aside from the economic impact, the decision to not have children can be considered selfish or even a sin for religious reasons.  Being a Catholic myself, once a couple is married, it is a given that children will follow, unless medical reasons preclude this.  Actively saying "I am married, but no, we don't want to have children.  Not for any reason other than the fact that...we don't want children."  Do they need a reason other than that?
In my opinion?  No.  That should suffice.  In writing this article, it's interesting to find the other support groups out there for women and men.  Laura Scott, blogger and creator of The Childless by Choice site, argues that this trend isn't going away.  It's even gone up in the past 30-40 years.  Currently 1 in 5 women choose to not have children during their childbearing years.  This is a drastic change from the 1 in 10 in 1970s. 
Honestly, I've never been put in the situation.  T and I faced the possibility of not being able to have a child due to my heart, and that thought crushed me because I always wanted to be a mother.  But that isn't for everyone, and it shouldn't be.  Everyone is different.  And choosing to not procreate, even if for "just because" reasons, that doesn't make you selfish.  It's just a personal and private decision. 
I just had to write a little on it, though, so check out the article here.  I'm curious what other's thoughts are.  Selfish or not?  Or is it too complicated to answer in just a yes or no? 

Monday, August 5, 2013

About the Facebook

As of last week, I'm officially off the Facebook.  I'm not sure why I like calling it "the" Facebook, but anyway, neither here nor there.  It is funny because I've slowly started getting emails and texts from families and friends wondering 1) if I blocked them or 2) if I am going through some kind of mental breakdown.  No, neither of those.  It's just annoying when something that is actually very pointless on a personal nature takes up so much of your time.  And it's how you stay connected to people.  I need to become a better friend with emailing, writing, calling or hell...this is a crazy thought...actually seeing people (gasp!).  "Liking" someone's status or commenting on their wall isn't really contact, is it?  But I'm off the Facebook for personal reasons and personal use, and no, I am not one step away from a cabin in the woods.  I swear. 
Here's the rub.  I'm trying to get a freelance writing (part-time) career here, and not utilizing social media to promote what you write, whether it be on blogs or in articles, is ignoring a huge form of media.  I've noticed over the course of a few days of being off of Facebook that my views on The Examiner have gone way, way down.  It has been quite noticeable.  And while, yes, I haven't been writing as much as I was for awhile there due to the whole Mary Kay business I'm trying to clean up, I should still be receiving some kind of traffic (aside from CWMartin who is by far my most loyal and favorite reader).  No traffic equals no visibility as well as no money.  Yeah....that's not a good thing...
So now I'm questioning myself.  Should I have just gone off the grid all together?  It's a double-edged sword.  If I got back on, I'm just going to get sucked back into the black hole that is Facebook.  But if I don't get back on, I'm missing out on a huge way to promote my writing.  Hmmm...
So for those bloggers and fellow writers out there - what do you do?  Do you have a separate account just for your writing?  Kind of like a "business FB account?"  I had pages set up when I was on the Facebook, but they were connected through my personal account.  I don't want that.  So I'm just curious...needing some input.  Should I or shouldn't I? 
But if you want to really be an awesome person (and hey, who doesn't?)  subscribe to my articles - even if you're not in the Indy area, they aren't always local per se.  You may just read about a man assaulting his roommate with a cat.  Yeah, I'm not joking.  Or about a Kenyan attorney who is trying to get Jesus's conviction overturned 2,000 years later.  So, if you want to subscribe, you can click on my profile here and subscribe separately to the three topics I'm assigned.  You'd be helping me out and might learn something new! 
So opinions, people, I need opinions! 
Damn you, the Facebook! 

Friday, August 2, 2013

Growing up too fast

It turns out all of you were right.  Time is flying by, as I watch Aubrey grow up so quickly before my eyes.  I need it to slow down, just a bit.  Or at least I tell myself that on the good days.  On the bad days, however, I'm like "when will this toddler phase be over?"  But I know I don't really mean that.  But she's growing up, so quickly, and right before my very eyes.
Slow down, Aubrey.  It makes Mommy's heart ache.
I had one of those "wow" moments just last weekend.  We were at our neighborhood's block party, and she was playing on the playground.  Before, I would have to lift her up on the slide so she could go down, which incidentally landed me in the ER with that whole chest pain thing.  But nope, now she wants to climb up and go down herself.  The only thing?  She's not big enough to climb up, but that doesn't stop her.  She sees the big kids doing it, and she's like "So can I!"  I know where she gets that from.  (ahem...)  She saw the big kids going up on the top level to go down the spiral slides and wanted me to take her up there.  I did, but she did get intimidated and changed her mind once she saw just how big it was.  But just watching her slide herself down all by was like "wow, she really is a big girl." 
When we pick her up from daycare, she just walks right out of the room with us.  She doesn't want to hold hands; she just walks straight down that hallway swinging her arms, walking with a purpose.  I told my Mom about this the other day, and she started laughing and told me about my first day at preschool.  She said, here I was, this tiny little thing, holding my lunch box who looked up at her and said "It's ok, Mommy.  I can go in by myself."  Of course, she didn't let me do that, but God, my daughter is going to be just like me. 
She's feeding herself, albeit making a mess, but still, she's feeding herself.  When we get her ready for bed, she wants to rub the lotion in.  After I change her diaper, she grabs her doll and pretends like she's changing her doll's diaper.  She's saying words like "Mom, Dad, down, woof woof, more..."  She sings songs like "Ring around the rosie," "Row, row, row your boat," and "Baa baa black sheep."  She tries to count along with Sesame Street.  She mimics.  I mean, she's becoming a little person. 
We also have those moments, those toddler moments, when I'm about ready to lose it.  I'm writing this post on Thursday, after we had an incident in the morning when I took something away from her to go upstairs, and she smacked me in the face.  Which resulted in a time out.  Or the bucking bronco temper tantrums...God, how I love those.  And the screaming.  For no reason, the screaming.  She's not mad, she's not happy, she's just testing her voice at a level that only animals should be able to hear. 
In a week and a half, we take her to her 18 month appointment.  Seriously?  A year and a half?  When the heck did that happen?
Of course, we do have those other moments where she's still my little girl.  Those times when her teeth are hurting her in the middle of the night, and I rock her to sleep as she holds on tight.  Or when she falls while playing, and she needs her Mommy to make it all better.  I do eat those moments up.
I have a little person on my hands.  A strong-willed, stubborn, but yet so loving little person on my  hands. 
Aubrey, can you slow it down just for a little bit? 

Aubrey walking by herself at the canal last weekend.

Aubrey, taking a drink after playing hard on the playground and enjoying the meat off some BBQ chicken wings.  And no, she didn't want to sit in the stroller...she wanted to sit like a big girl, of course.

Aubrey sliding while we were on vacation...

Aubrey playing in the kid's place in the mall.  She was climbing in and out of this rocket ship all by herself!

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Going cold turkey

I've talked about doing it. T's done it and has been happy ever since, and yesterday, I made the decision.  I'm off the Facebook. 
How sad is it that that is even a big deal?  I mean really, how much does that say about how much control a form of social media has over my life? 
With the new revelations about Mary Kay and moving on from that, I've decided that I am going to cut other negative avenues from my life. While FB is not really always has its upsides - staying in touch with family and friends, seeing cute pictures of relatives' kiddos, reading about people's good has its downsides, too - getting sucked into political arguments, all of the negativity some people put out there, and well, staying connected to people you don't necessarily want to see.  Even if you "unfriend" a person, there's still that nagging temptation to just see what they are doing.  And let's just say there is someone in my life or who was in my life like that.  And I'm not sure I really want to even be tempted to see what she's doing.  So I'm off the grid for now.  And honestly, I'm not even off completely.  I mean, there's the blog, Pinterest, LinkedIn, and it's not like I'm going all Henry David Thoreau on you.  I'm just taking a step back from Facebook. 
I don't want to be that person.  You know who I'm talking about.  That person who is out with a group of friends and family and is glued to their phone, scrolling down through their FB feed?  That person who only finds out what is going on in someone's life because of their FB status?  That mom who is on the playground with her child, checking FB, rather than enjoying the time she has with her child?  I don't want to become that person, and I felt like I was becoming that person. 
I swear, I'm not going off the deep end here with completely ridding myself of Mary Kay, getting off Facebook...I swear, I'm not one step away from going to live as a recluse in a cabin in the woods.  I'm just taking a step back and pushing away a few of the things, annoying things, in my life that were taking up entirely too much of my time, attention and worry. 
So sorry for those of you who I am "friends" with on FB.  I'll still be on Twitter, and're just going to have to keep coming back here to see what's new in the world of Nain, T, and Aubrey, huh? 
Starting tomorrow?  I'm going to completely rid myself of the cell phone and go land line only.  Ha, I kid, I kid....