Friday, October 31, 2008

Favorite Things Friday: The Original Sleep Sound Generator

Welcome to Favorite Things Friday!

Okay, so you expected me to start this new little series off with a bang. Then you come here and see the most boring looking product ever.

How disappointing!

But I'm telling you, this little bugger has changed my life:
It's The Original Sleep Sound Generator by Hammacher Schlemmer. I've had mine for more than 10 years and sleep with it next to me every single night. Let me repeat that. Every. Single. Night. I take it everywhere.

At $54.95 it may be a little more pricey than other white noise machines. But, as I mentioned, I've had this baby for more than 10 years. That averages out to approximately 1 cent per night for a sound, restful sleep. It has been packed in more check luggage than I can count and has been knocked off many various nightstands over the years. All that and it still works perfectly.

This is small enough to always fit into my suitcase and only makes white noise. There are multiple sound options, however. I know it is hard to describe but there are several variations of white noise based on how you slide the base and top.

I've just purchased a second Sleep Sound--one for Lucas. Now that he's in a big boy bed, he seems to be hyper aware of every little noise. And, when you live in a 60 year old house with creaky stairs and rattling windows there are a lot of noises to hear. I know that this will help drown all that out for him.

Sleep Sound Generator: Seriously the one item I can not sleep without.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Introducing Favorite Things Friday

I'm the kind of person that when I love something, I want to tell the whole world about it. So, I've decided to start a new little feature called "Favorite Things Friday". In theory (and with all the best intentions) I'll post a photo and description of something I just love every Friday. Again, this is all in theory. Please check back tomorrow for my first favorite thing!

Edited to add: Each item I highlight in Favorite Things Friday is just a favorite thing of mine. I have not recieved free samples or any sort of kick-back from these companies, websites, etc. for highlighting their product. If I ever review a product I have recieved for free, I will certainly let you know! Thankssomuch!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Working Mom Blues

I am feeling rather bleh these days. I think primarily it is my dissatisfaction with my job. I e-mailed Abel on Monday and all the message said was "I want to quit." I really do want to quit. But, that would be pretty stupid for multiple reasons, including:

1) The Economy Stupid.
2) Abel's job is still very much up in the air.
3) My hours, etc. are a mom's dream -- 20 hours, 2.5 days a week, very flexible...
4) I start to go a little crazy after too many days at home.

But, it also would be great for many reasons. And, in my mind that list is much longer than the four reasons listed above. I know I can make it through the holidays. Then we'll reassess. My dream situation is that Congress comes back for a lame duck session and passes the language to secure Abel's job. Then, he gets a big fat raise for basically saving the entire industry. Then I can quit my job and stay at home with Lucas. But, the big fat raise will still allow us to send Lucas to this wonderful 1/2 day nursery school in our town so I'll still get some time to myself during which I'll clean the house, cook amazing healthy meals, volunteer at our local public school and of course BLOG.

Sound good?


Okay team let's make it happen!

Monday, October 27, 2008

Cancel on me, please!

Last night my friend called me to cancel our play date for this morning. While she felt horribly guilty for doing it at the last-minute, I actually felt a bit of relief when I listened to her voicemail message.

Don't get me wrong, my son and I very much look forward to the chance to talk (me) and play (him) with our good buddies. We live a solid 40 minute drive from our friends but have done a good job of getting together once a month, alternating our visits, over the past two years. Lucas and his little buddy get along really well. They're both rough and tumble boys and they each love the new-to-them abundance of trucks and trains at the other's house.

Two weeks ago, I had a lunch scheduled with a good friend during my only possible window for a weekday lunch--at 1pm on my half day of work. At 8am that morning, she e-mailed to cancel. A former colleague, boss, mentor and all-around good friend, I very much look forward to our rare lunches. Yet, I wasn't crushed that she cancelled. In fact, I was a bit excited about it!

If this play date and lunch were so highly anticipated, why in the world was their cancellation met with relief and excitement?

Because a canceled play date = a free morning and a cancelled lunch = a free afternoon!

I admit it: I over-schedule my our life. Plain and simple. Whenever I look at the calendar I always think that our schedule is do-able. Then, in the throws of packed days and meeting-filled nights, I long for some down time. Time to just hang out.

This morning's canceled play date meant lazing around in our jammies (while playing trucks, of course) and a chance to hop on-line to write this post. Canceled lunches give me time for solo-grocery shopping (any mom knows that is a true luxury!) or an afternoon nap (sometimes a necessity!). And when the cancellation comes at the last minute, there is almost no chance I'll be able to fill it up again. That's an added bonus!

So here's a message to all my friends: I do love spending time with you and thoroughly look forward to our get-togethers. But, don't feel guilty if you have to cancel, especially at the last minute. You're really giving me a gift. (But, let's be sure to reschedule soon: I'm pretty booked for the next few weeks!)

Original post to DC Metro Moms. In her spare moments, Aimee blogs at


BananaBlueberry said...
I agree :) I love the occasional day when we stay in pjs and play trucks! Life is so nice and relaxing- while seeing it through your little one's eyes !

Diana said...
Now I'm tempted to schedule a play date with you guys and see if you cancel! :)

Wife and Mommy said...
Hanging out in jammies is a luxury that happens less and less as my kids get older. Must schedule days in to just laze about!

Robin said...
Couch potatoe days are our favorite!

Shannon said...
Even better: when they cancel via e-mail/voicemail/text, and you don't have to actually talk to them and conceal your secret excitement!

April said...
you can schedule me for whenever you like - and then pretend I called to cancel!

Claire Jess said...
I have felt this so often - love my time with people/at activities but also love the surprise free time that just can't get too full because it lands in your lap so late.

Original post by Smiling Mama. Thanks for reading!

Weekend Wrap Up

After a rough morning, Friday got considerably better in the afternoon. I got Lucas down for a nap and as I was eating lunch the water people came back. Apparently the woman from the morning team went back to the office and talked with her supervisor about their inability to install the remote reader at our house. He suggested that she bring another better technician out because they really should be able to install it. Voila! It was super easy and now I won't have to read my own meter and send in the little postcard every three months.

After Lucas woke up, I told him that we were going to gymnastics! He got SO excited. Note: I told him 1 hour before we were supposed to leave (after calling to confirm the building was open and open gym taking place!). The hook was that he had to pee in the potty 2 times before we left. Success! He had an awesome time.

Abel was home when we got back (approx. 5:45pm) and he immediately took over Lucas-duty so I could change and freshen up for our fantabulous DC Metro Moms party that night. It was so fun--great transportation (Chevy Traverse sponsored it and we all drove to and from in several Traverses), great food, great wine and most importantly, great people. It was so fun to hang out with old friends and meet some of the awesome bloggers I've been reading for months.

Saturday night my friends Summer and Ike got married. Torrential rains (and moving the ceremony from outside on the water to inside) didn't dampen the festivities a bit. I wore this new dress (mine is black, however):

Isn't it beautiful?! I just love it! I'll also wear it to a December wedding (with absolutely no over-lapping guests) so I did splurge on it. But, I just loved wearing it and it was especially fun to dance in--all those little ruffles move a bit! This past week was so busy I didn't think about accessories until about 2 hours before the wedding. I'll definitely need to put more thought into my shoes, jewelry and bag before December.

Sunday night Abel went over to Virginia to see (and buy!) a cute toddler bed for Lucas. We've really been debating what to do about his sleeping situation. At almost-three, Abel feels he should be out of the crib. The problem is that his nursery is quite small and a twin bed wouldn't leave much room. Eventually when we have a second baby Lucas will move into the current guest room to use the current double-bed (so we can kick him out and let guests sleep there when they come). So, I didn't want to buy a twin bed and mattress which he'd use for a (hopefully!) short time in the nursery and I'm certainly not ready to give up the guestroom yet. We saw this adorable cherry (to match his other nursery furniture) toddler bed for $70 on Craigslist and got it for $50. I feel like that is a great solution as the toddler bed fits his current crib mattress and will be easy to store down the road.

Tomorrow is Abel's 34th birthday so I'll be busy baking a cake tonight!

My over-scheduled life

I'm over at DC Metro Moms today. Hope you'll go check it out!

Friday, October 24, 2008

What a crappy morning

Things that happened before noon today:

1) I woke up and went for a morning walk (4th time this week, thank-you-very-much) so that is a good thing. The only good thing of the morning, actually, because then all the rest of this happened.

2) Lucas head-butted me (a regular occurrence and big problem) and gave me a fat lip.

3) The WSSC (water) people came to install the remote reader and not only were they unable to install it, they tracked mud all through the house.

4) Lucas peed on the couch.

5) Lucas peed on the carpet under the dining room table. Seriously, only like 10 minutes after the previous pee. I knew I shouldn't have blogged about potty training.

Luckily, I have a very fun happy hour to look forward to tonight with the fabulous and amazing DC Metro Moms. Otherwise I just don't think I'd make it through the rest of the day.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008


Several months ago (like in March!) I took Lucas to open gymnastics at the Prince George's Sports and Learning Complex. He loved it. LOVED it. Loved it so much that he asks to go to "nymnastics" often. The problem is that the wacky schedule of open gymnastics often doesn't mesh with my days home. Or, the times are smack-dab in the middle of his nap. So, we've only be there a few times (like twice!).

After our Tuesday morning play date was cancelled I realized that there was open gymnastics so decided we'd go there instead. I told Abel about my plans Monday night but did not intend to tell Lucas until we were there. Just in case. Just in case something went wrong.

Abel, however, had other plans. First thing Tuesday morning he told Lucas I was taking him to gymnastics then promptly left for work. So, I enjoyed approximately 4 hours of Lucas: begging to go to "nymnastics now mama!" "nymnastics, mama?" "MAMA, nymnastics!!!"

L O N G morning indeed.

Finally, it was time to leave. Actually, it wasn't time to leave but we left anyway because walking around outside the complex or watching the older kids in the gymnastics arena certainly had to be more fun than convincing Lucas to play or do something--anything--other than ask about going to gymnastics.

When we arrived the parking lot was suspiciously empty.

When I got Lucas out of the car a truck pulled up. A nice older man told us the whole place was closed...something about a broken pipe.


Lucas was inconsolable. Heartbroken. It was awful. Just awful. Ten solid minutes (which of course felt like 10 solid years) of me just saying "I'm so sorry Lucas" and him crying "NOT BROKEN" "nymnastics NOT broken Mama" "don't say sorry, say yes! nymnastics".

Oh, my darling baby, if only my saying yes would make it so.

Finally I got him back into the car seat and we hightailed it over to a nearby Chick-fil-A. Some time in their playroom, a kids meal and a shared milkshake made everything okay.

We got home and he went down for a nap, probably just as mentally exhausted as physically exhausted. I thought he had gotten over it.

Until he woke up two hours later sobbing: "mama, nymnastics".

Monday, October 20, 2008

Potty Training

Warning: Potty talk ahead.

While at BlogHer DC it dawned on me that I am officially a "mommy blogger" and I also realized that isn't a bad thing. But, now I'm going to have to admit that I'm a terrible mommy blogger.


Lucas has been potty training for more than a week and I haven't blogged about it once!!

I think it is a case of superstition. It is all going so well. I just kept thinking that if I blogged about how well it was going then certainly the next day it would all go down hill and fast. So, here I am blogging about it and totally expecting tomorrow to be terrible.

But, until now, it really has been okay.

Abel has really been pushing the potty training for a while--months, actually. I kept blowing him off saying that boys aren't ready until closer to 3. Well, folks, we're 2 months away from 3 and so that argument just wasn't holding water anymore. Two weekends ago Abel got up with Lucas on Saturday morning and just didn't put a diaper on him. When I woke up and questioned it he said he wanted to start potty training. It was time. I started to protest but then did a quick mental calculation. It was Saturday. Monday was Columbus Day and I'd be off at BlogHer DC all day. Tuesday and Wednesday I'd work all day; Abel was planning to take the week off (well-deserved after his recent work craziness). I'd be a fool to put my foot down--after all, he'd be home the bulk of the week, not me.

And so we began.

Saturday and Sunday we stayed very close to home (Lucas never left our property) and did the naked-from-the-waist-down method (though he did wear shorts in our backyard). During the first 48 hours we had 1 puddle, 2 poops on the carpet (hallelujah FLOR carpet tiles!) and 1 poop outside.

Not too bad.

This past week and weekend he's only had 3 pee accidents. One of those was on a car-ride and we just couldn't pull over quick enough so I take full responsibility for that one. He does wear a diaper during his nap and at night and seems to be waiting to poop for that diaper. So, we'll see how that goes.

Part of me is totally excited about all this. He'll be 3 in December and is just such a big boy. I love that! On the other hand, diapers are just so easy. I'm really not looking forward to the inevitable instances of leaving a grocery cart to run to the nearest bathroom or taking the potty seat to the park to have it easily accessible.

It's always an adventure, isn't it?

Friday, October 17, 2008

Halloween Costume

I'm a planner. So when October rolled around, I thought I'd start priming Lucas with ideas for cute and easy-to-put-together-at-home Halloween costumes. Despite the fact that Lucas has no clue what Halloween actually is, one afternoon I casually started asking him what he'd like to dress up as for Halloween. He's totally obsessed with firetrucks and already has a great fire hat. Fireman? He's also obsessed with tools and has a complete set of play tools. Bob the Builder? Or, a carpenter?

Suddenly Abel jumped into the conversation and said, "how about SPEED RACER?"


What the heck? Speed Racer? How do you put together a Speed Racer costume?

Despite subsequent attempts (when Abel was not within earshot) to tell Lucas how cool it would be to dress up as a fireman or cowboy or Handy Manny, he was totally stuck on Speed Racer.

Speed Racer?

I found these movie photos on-line for inspiration and we headed off to the thrift store for a white shirt and pants. We got a white turtleneck (something he needs for fall anyway) for $2.96. The pants were slightly more difficult but we found a boys' white tuxedo (tails!) for $6.96. It is too big but I think hemming the pants and pulling in the waist will be fairly easy. I even picked up a silver bike helmet for $2.45--it looks a little beat up, but he won't be wearing it on a bike ride so I'm not concerned about safety: this is his racing helmet!

Here's our my plan:

Spray paint the helmet white and add the "M" on the front with red electrical tape.

Use blue electrical tape to make racing stripes down the arms of the shirt and legs (conveniently right over the satin tuxedo stripes) on the pants.

And, suddenly you've got: Speed Racer!

No one will have any idea who he is, but he'll be more than happy to tell them: I'm Speed Racer!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Go Pink with Let's Dish

One year ago my mom had just finished her treatments for breast cancer. Now she's 100% back to her old self and busy, busy, busy.

One of the most amazing things about her diagnosis and subsequent treatments is how her friends truly rallied around her. The teachers at her school (where she's worked for more than 20 years) took turns doing special things for her. They even pooled money to fly my sister in from San Diego for a visit. There were gifts of books and tea, candy and lotions, slippers and bathrobes.

But perhaps most comforting was the food.

My parents were inundated with food. And, it was wonderful. Anytime my mom had an appetite, there was a great home-cooked meal waiting in the fridge. My dad didn't have to cook. Whenever Lucas and I visited, we could just enjoy our time with my mom and share in the bounty of comfort meal goodness supplied by her friends. My mom has been such a good friend to so many others throughout the years that there was almost too much food. We had to start "scheduling" the deliveries for every few days because my parents (especially when my mom was nauseous) simply couldn't consume the abundance of generosity brought to their door.

I realize, however, that not every breast cancer patient is as lucky as my mom. That's why I'm excited about Go Pink with Let's Dish.

Several friends and I went to Let's Dish back in January (I can't believe it's been so long. I have GOT to get back there ASAP!) and Abel and I thoroughly enjoyed having our freezer stocked with great easy and delicious meals. Through their Pink Dish! Campaign, Let's Dish is providing meals--at no cost--to families living with breast cancer.

There are many easy ways you can support their effort--sign up for an October Let's Dish session or purchase retail items and they'll make donations to the program. Blog about it (like me!) and they'll make donations to the program. Know a woman or a family living with breast cancer? Nominate them to receive free Let's Dish meals. You can also share a story or make an e-dedication at their website.

Thanks, Let's Dish, for providing this most basic comfort to women and families living with breast cancer. Let's all join in to help them do even more.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

BlogHer Reach Out Tour

I've attended many-a-conference in my days, both personal and professional. But, let me tell you, I've never attended one with such amazing food and so many laptops!

Yesterday was the BlogHer Reach Out Tour DC and I was there!

Even though it was a conference about blogging, the best part for me was hanging out with so many great people. It was so much fun to be there with long-time real life friends (and awesome bloggers!) Diana and Dr. Blondie. And, really great to meet some of my favorite blog friends and many awesome DC Metro Moms like Jodifur, Banana Blueberry, Sue and Pundit Mom.

What did I learn at BlogHer DC?

1) I need a laptop! Preferably a MacBook, please.
2)I know more than I thought I did about blogging but have a lot more to learn.
3) There are some amazing women bloggers in the DC-area and many of them are not mommy bloggers!
4) Twitter! I must join twitter!
5) Must get blogging business cards!

Friday, October 10, 2008

Methinks the toddler doth protest too much

Yesterday morning Abel and I were scrambling to get out the door. I was drying my hair and Abel was packing up Lucas's lunch. Lucas was in the living room playing with some trucks when suddenly he announced, quite loudly, "I not poo poo."

Darn! Add in a few extra minutes to change a dirty diaper.

You see, lately the surest sign that Lucas needs a diaper change is when he announces that he doesn't.

Same goes for him needing a nap or to go to bed. For example, on the drive home from the airport earlier this week Lucas was literally nodding off--his eyes would close, head drop down. Then, suddenly he'd jerk his head back up and open his eyes widely to announce, "I not tired." Sure, buddy. You're not tired at all.

On a rant

Over at DC Metro Moms today. Hope you'll check it out!

Thursday, October 9, 2008

I Believe Your Vote Matters

On our recent trip to Ohio I felt compelled to volunteer at the local Obama headquarters for a few hours. Sure, it gave me a break from my in-laws, but more importantly, it helped me—coming from a solidly Blue state—feel like I was making a difference. At my husband's high school reunion later that evening (the reason for our visit) I was pretty disheartened to meet several people who weren't planning to vote. I would give anything to be able to cast my vote in Ohio—where Kerry lost by just a few votes per precinct—instead of Maryland where every Democrat will win handedly.

It was very difficult for me to continue chatting with those old high school buddies who weren't going to vote. I honestly was astounded by their attitude--that their vote didn't matter, that they didn't have time to learn about the candidates. Excuses! Excuses!

If I could have gotten my act together that night, this is what I would have told them:

I truly believe in the American political process.

I believe that it is not only our right but our moral obligation to be involved. At a very minimum this is an obligation to vote. And not just every four years or for the “big” ones like this year, but for every school board race and mayoral primary as well as for representation in the state legislature and at the federal level.

But, voting is just the minimum.

I believe that citizens of the United States of America have an obligation to educate ourselves, to pay attention to what is happening with our government, to voice our opinions to our elected officials. And, yes, even to campaign for those we believe in.

Who are these people that represent us? Are they all egomaniacs? Are they all crooks? Are they all only looking out for themselves? No, no they are not.

I believe that the very large majority of elected officials in our country are good, hardworking men and women who ran for office in order to serve: to serve their communities, to serve their neighbors. I believe that they work hard for us.

I believe that even the people with whom I vehemently disagree, that even those people, believe they are doing what is best for the American people.

And I know for a fact that the decisions they make, the votes they cast, affect each and every one of our lives and our children's lives each and every day. Not just the big things like war and taxes and health care, but the little things—funding for the neighborhood school, regulating dangerous chemicals in baby bottles, new playground equipment at the local park. These are just some of the things decided upon by our elected representatives and paid for with our tax dollars.

I know that as moms, especially as moms, we are all busy. But that is even more reason why voting is so important. None of us have the time or, quite frankly, the inclination to stay on top of every vote cast in Congress, to attend every local School Board or Town Council meeting. Because we can’t or won’t, it is even more important that we cast an educated vote, that we take our suffrage very seriously.

So please register to vote, read up on the issues. But don’t stop at Obama v. McCain, learn about all the candidates on your ballot--there will be many more names there than Obama and McCain. Your vote matters. Then, after November 4, stay engaged and speak out on issues that are important to you. Our democracy depends on it.

Original post to DC Metro Moms. When Aimee isn't politicking she writes at Smiling Mama.

ilinap said...
Wow, the concept of not voting is foreign to me, especially in light of how so many people have fought for the right to vote. My parents are immigrants who treasure their right to vote. I love voting and vote in every single election big or small.

You can bet those same people will be bitching about whomever is elected even though they didn't cast a vote.

MamaDoo said...
I too believe that voting is a must. Financially supporting is even more important. Everyone is up in arms at special interest having influence on our elected officials. If every single person gave just one dollar to the candidate they support the so-called special interest would be wiped out and we would all be the better for it. So listen up people, give money to people you support...even if you are a republican.

Original post by Smiling Mama. Thanks for reading!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

A few updates

I've been in the land of OH-IO for the past several days sans Internet connection. Here are a few quick updates for my loyal readers.

1) My hair is still falling out at an alarming rate. But, no visible bald patches yet. I'm strongly considering a major haircut, something more flattering to my now very thin hair.

2) October 1 came and went and my husband is still employed. He did not get the legislative fix necessary to keep his organization operating into the bailout legislation. (Yay! Let's give $700B to Wall Street but not continue to allow these charities to help 100,000 people a year buy homes without using any taxpayer money.) But, his organization is very financially sound right now so they are going to keep their employees on for as long as possible hoping that the legislative fix will indeed happen before the have to close down. So, sigh of relief, for now things are fine.

3) Another sigh of relief, my platelets have remained stable in the 65K range for about 6 weeks now. In fact, I no longer have to go in for my weekly blood draw but am just going every few weeks. 65K is still low but well above the critically low range I was in before. So, woo hoo for my platelets!

Coming attractions this week include a rant about people who choose not to vote--especially when said people live in the battleground state of Ohio; the story of Lucas and his new Hummer (I kid you not); and a long visit to Ohio which included my brother-in-law, sister-in-law and niece (obviously I don't blame her) finding exactly 2.5 hours to spend with their nephew and brother.