Friday, November 28, 2008

Favorite Things Friday: Etsy

I've never been one for Black Friday shopping. Yes, the early bird specials are alluring but the getting up at 5am, the standing in line, the crowds, that just isn't for me. This year, still recovering from being sick, I definitely will not be hitting the mall for Black Friday.

Today's edition of Favorite Things Friday highlights my newest on-line obsession and my alternative to Black Friday shopping: Etsy. Maybe you've heard about it already, but have you lost yourself in it? Have you purchased your first Etsy item? I'm telling you, this site is amazing! Etsy tags itself as "your place to buy and sell all things homemade". Individual sellers have stores where they post their items for sale. Some shops are very small, just a few sewn items or photographs. Others are quite extensive and demonstrate amazing artistry.

If you are new to Etsy, or overwhelmed by how extensive it is, I suggest you start by scrolling through their great gift guides. Or, you can pounce and look at shops that have just updated items or shops that just sold an item. You can also shop local and search for sellers in your area.

I've already purchased several Christmas gifts through Etsy and am planning to purchase several more. Check it out!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008


The editors of this blog would like to make a clarification. Abel's symptoms, which led him to go to the doctor earlier this week, included, but were not limited to, the following: multiple sneezes, numerous moderate-to-severe episodes of coughing, and chills which may have indicated a feverish state. The author would like to further clarify that she has been known to visit the doctor herself, before death occurs. The mention of "two sneezes" v. "I'm dying" in this post was not a true fact but rather was meant to illustrate that the author's husband is generally more quick to visit a doctor than the author herself is. While occasionally the author may poke fun at her husband for being a "wimp" when it comes to being sick, she acknowledges that sometimes it is good to have him to balance her d0-not-ever-go-to-the-doctor tendencies, for example, back in May when he forced her to go to the doctor and if she had not, she may have, in fact, died.

And, since we are clearing the air here, the author would like to clarify that despite the fact that this post may have led you to believe that the author herself cleaned the shower/bathtub on this particular day, that is not correct. In fact, the author's husband cleaned the shower on that particular day. The author would like to point out, however, that she did put the liner into the washing machine. And, that 99.9% of the time that the shower gets cleaned it is due to her personal efforts.

Also, despite what the second word of this post may lead you to believe, there are no "editors" of this blog, just the author herself.

Readers of Smiling Mama can be assured that no creative license is taken with this blog. All stories are 100% true and accurate as reported. You have a very strict quality control reader in the author's husband.

(You know, Confession is sacrament non grata among Catholics these days, and generally misunderstood by non-Catholics. But, one thing about confessing your sins is that you sure do feel good afterwards!)

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Wellness? Ha! Ha!

Within hours of hitting "post" on my previous post which said, "we're finally starting to see the light--the light of wellness" the Internet was all mwahahahahahaha silly, silly girl and laid me low. Did you get my mental blog messages that said woe is me, I think I am dying cause I was definitely sending them out. I got Lucas's virus x4. I truly think there is some sort of relationship between kid germs and the adult who catches them. Like that they grow in strength when transmitted to an adult by the size difference between kid and adult. So, for example, if I am 4x the size of Lucas then the virus gets 4 times as strong when it comes into my system. Luckily Abel--who is like, I've sneezed twice, must see the doctor, unlike me who is like I'm dying but what is the dr. going to do about it?--went to the dr. and got a miracle elixir. Which, though I did not actually see said dr., I also took because I mean we have the same symptoms (except mine are worse, clearly). This miracle elixir has allowed me to go for 18 hours without a coughing fit that made me vomit. Previously I was going approx. 45 minutes without one such attack. And, I have now eaten 2! meals! without (see above). So, I think that I will not die. But, I'm not going to say that out loud just in case the Internet wants to be all mwahahahahaha again after I hit post. (Also, above mentioned elixir is making me a bit loopy to apologies if this all makes no sense.)

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Sick and tired of being sick

This has been one of the longest weeks ever and we're just finally starting to see the light--the light of wellness. We've been sick. Well, Lucas has been sick all week and since yesterday Abel and I have been feeling pretty lousy, too. Last night we all, finally, got a good night's sleep and so far this morning there's been a lot of playing and no TV, a huge improvement over past days which included Lucas laying on the guest bed or couch and watching TV, basically all day. As far as I can remember, this is the sickest Lucas has ever been. He's on his nebulizer and an antibiotic and prednisone. He's been totally pathetic and we've catered to his every need. I mean, that's what you do when your kid is sick, right? Yeah, but in the back of my head, I'm really worried we've created a monster. We've broken so many of our long-standing rules and I'm so worried that once he's well, we won't be able to put Pandora back in the box. For example:

1) Lucas never sleeps with us. He really never has, even as an infant (we did have his bassinet right next to our bed, though). But, since Sunday night, Lucas and 1 parent have slept in our bed while the other one of us slept in the guest bed. We did this because he was waking up many, many times a night with major coughing fits (often so bad he'd vomit) and so it just made sense to be near one of us. And, at least one parent got a good night's sleep in the guestroom. I can't tell you the joy/excitement this has bought to his life. He's going to freak when we make him sleep in his own bed again.

2) TV. Oh the TV. He's been feeling so terrible that he hasn't had any desire to play. We've done a few other activities and have read lots of books, but come on, don't we all just want to veg out in front of the TV when we're sick? So far this morning we've managed to keep it off (yeah, big feat as it's only 9am!) but we'll see how the rest of today goes.

3) Whining. So much whiiiiiniiiiing. And the tantrums. And we've been giving in, every single time. He whines for apple juice. Well, the Dr. said to push fluids (he's barely eaten all week) so of course we'll give him apple juice. He whines to be held. Well, the poor little guy feels horrible so of course we'll drop everything (not that much anything else is getting done anyway) and cuddle. Lesson: whine or throw a tantrum and you'll get your way. We've worked really hard not to give in to whining and tantrums for the past almost-3 years. Now, after 1 week is everything down the drain?

It's been a rough week so far, but I have a feeling re-establishing our rules will be tough, too.

One bright spot in this entire week is that I won! I won Tech Savvy Mama's Year Long membership to SitterCity. I can not tell you how excited I am about this. The second Lucas is better, we're hiring a sitter and running for the hills going out to dinner. Two always has been my luck number!

Thanks Tech Savvy Mama!

Friday, November 21, 2008

Favorite Things Friday: This American Life

This American Life by Chicago Public Radio.

I love Ira Glass and This American Life (TAL) so much that I'm having trouble finding the words to tell you how great it is. I have to start somewhere, so I guess I'll start at the beginning.

I'm totally obsessed with NPR--National Public Radio. I listen to it in the car. I listen to it at work. It is what wakes me up in the morning. Somewhere along the way of being obsessed with NPR, Abel and I heard This American Life. Most likely this was on a Saturday afternoon drive to my parents' house in Pennsylvania. Right away, we were hooked. Now, we each have at least 20 episodes (free downloads, by the way!) of the hour-long series on our ipods at any given time.

One our L O N G drives to Ohio, to visit his family, we listen to 3-4 episodes. (Well, we used to, now that all depends on how much Lucas sleeps.) TAL got me through the hours long weekly IV infusions I had to get this summer. I listen to TAL when I get my butt out of bed for a morning walk. I know some people depend on pumping music to keep them going, but I get so into these fascinating stories that I want to keep walking so I can keep listening!

TAL is impossible to describe. But, I don't feel bad about that fact because their own About Us page acknowledges the challenge of the question"What is This American Life?":
There's a theme to each episode, and a variety of stories on that theme. It's mostly true stories of everyday people, though not always. There's lots more to the show, but, like we said, it's sort of hard to describe....

So, my best advice is to listen for yourself. Find them on a station near you or download the free podcast. I promise you three things:

  1. The hour will fly by.
  2. Within 48 hours, you'll say to someone "you won't believe what I heard on This American Life...."
  3. You'll be hooked.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Winner: Mommy's High Heel Shoes

Congratulations to comment #2, Dr. Blondie, who wrote: I LOVE children's books and this one sounds like a good one! At the moment, I love my new pair of trendy black sketchers because they are saving my feet today (a few walking trips across campus are on the agenda).

You're signed copy of Mommy's High Heel Shoes is on its way!

I'm happy to be able to offer everyone else a 10% discount (through December 31). Just use the coupon code "smile" here. And, if you don't want to take my word that this is a fabulous book, it also made Tech Savvy Mama's Holiday Gift Guide!

Congratulations again, Dr. Blondie!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008


I came home from my girls weekend in North Caroline to a sick little guy. He'd had a cold when Abel took him to my parents on Friday (yes, I got a weekend away in North Carolina and Abel got a solo weekend at home) and ended up with a pretty bad cough. He ran a fever Sunday night so Abel stayed home with him on Monday. I'm home with him, as usual, today. Poor little guy! He's just miserable. He slept with me last night (Abel escaped to the guest room) and we were up about every two hours all night. I think that was the most night wakings he's had since he was about 4 months old. I honestly didn't mind it, though. It was so nice to be able to cuddle and soothe my little guy.

The funniest thing happened, though. About 4am he turned into a little dictator. First, he didn't want the blanket, only the sheet. Then he wanted his pillow a certain way. Then he wanted my pillow a certain way. He was so serious about it all. Honestly, I think he was just a bit delirious.

We're having a cuddly little day--with too much TV. I don't think Abel will be able to take another day off this week, so most likely I'll be home with him again tomorrow. I'm thinking I'd better get out to Target or Safeway tonight or I'll start going a bit delirious myself!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Girls Weekend

I can't remember the last time I had such a great time as this weekend. I flew down to North Carolina--solo--for my friend Stephanie's bridal shower and had such a fabulous time.

Stephanie picked me up from the airport around 4:30pm Friday afternoon. We went straight to the mall, specifically Banana Republic, where I helped Stephanie pick out some wonderful outfits for her shower and rehearsal dinner. (How fun is it to get to pick out great clothes but not spend a dime!) We went to her house to drop off my things and pick up her fabulous fiance. Off to a wonderful restaurant in downtown Raleigh for great food, great wine and wonderful conversation. Poor Will, he just zoned out a bit at dinner while Stephanie and I talked and talked and talked. He was a great sport!

The next morning we were up bright and early for our drive to Charlotte for the actual shower. Our friend Claire hosted at her beautiful home. The whole thing was just lovely. The best part is that things moved along at a good pace and after the presents and dessert the guests didn't linger. That left the hostess, the bride, the bride's sister, me and two other bridesmaids with the afternoon to talk and catch up.

After a few hours of conversation we headed downtown to a fabulous, modern and trendy restaurant for a delicious dinner, then back to Claire's home for an evening of...bachelorette fun! We stayed up into the wee hours of the morning and woke up fairly early--by about 9am for more talking (and laughing!) before we went our separate ways.

With the exception of the bride's sister, the rest of us are fellow alumnae of the women's college we attended as undergrads. The bride and I were friends in college but didn't become really close friends until after college. I knew and was friends with the other girls, but not really close friends. Now, here we are almost 10 years out of college, with Master's degrees, fabulous careers, husbands (all married or soon-to-be- except one) and two of us have preschoolers. And we talked and talked. Talked about life and love, marriage and husbands, sex and money, kids and family.

At our college we were all leaders--involved, told we could have it all. We went out, degrees in hand, and truly did have it all. We conquered the world. Six master's degrees among us, amazing career accomplishments. The one thing we didn't learn in college, in this women's college where women empowerment was a constant theme--was how to have it all and balance it all. Yes, go out and conquer the world, but what about the husband and the kids? How does that all fit in?

We talked about our struggles with losing our identity. Yes, I'm still working, but since having Lucas and by working part-time I've definitely put the brakes on my career and remained on a plateau--if not even taken it down a few steps. And I know that is my choice and feel grateful to have that choice. But, sometimes in the mind-numbingness of playing trains, again, or wiping a butt or making my millionth PB&J sandwich, I just want to shout out to the world: "This isn't all I am, I have an MBA!"

It was awesome to hear these women, these smart, funny, amazing women, voice the same problems, the same challenges. To get advice on some issues and give advice on others. And to drink. And to laugh. It was amazing.

To sum up: No men. Much laughing. Much talking. Much support. (Much drinking.) Yeah, this girls weekend was just like college!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Inauguration Plans

Just in case your inauguration plans included asking to stay with us, I'm sorry to report we're booked! Read about it here!

January 20? Sorry, no vacancy

The guest room was first to go. Then the pull-out couch. Next, the air mattress. The other couch fits one, it really isn't too bad. Room for four on the floor, but you'll need to bring your own sleeping bags. But, don't forget, we only have one shower!

Why do we suddenly have so many people coming to visit--and all at once?

The inauguration, of course!

A quick survey of my neighbors confirms that everything in this Washington Post article is true. If you live in the Washington region you're completely booked on January 19 and 20. My neighborhood is right on a Metro line and only 15 minutes from Capitol Hill by car (though you'd be crazy to try to drive there during the inaugural festivities!). One neighbor told me that they will be hosting a long-time friend who asked to stay with them because her downtown friends were already full! Even as I laughed at him, I had to admit that two of our closest friends are staying with other friends who live in the city (but promise that they want to get together with us, too!).

Actually, it's a good thing those Arizona friends had another option because we'll have every sleeping surface (including the floor space!) crammed with family visiting from everywhere from California to New York. (And we really do have only one full bath!)

Not only do I not mind, I have to admit that I'm really looking forward to it. After all, I invited them! I can't think of a better way to enjoy this historic occasion than with my family.

Original post to DC Metro Moms. Check out Aimee's personal blog at


cindyfey said...
Can't wait to read all the DC Metro posts about the inauguration!

Original post by Smiling Mama. Thanks for reading!

Friday, November 14, 2008

Favorite Things Friday: Best Bridal Shower Games

I'm off to North Carolina today for my good friend Stephanie's bridal shower. She was one of my three bridesmaids, along with my sister and cousin and I'm honored to be doing a reading in her wedding. (In my opinion, that's the best possible role to have--you are invited to the rehearsal dinner, are listed in the program, but wear your own dress!)

One of my favorite things about a good friend getting married is hosting--or helping to host--the bridal shower. Oh how I love bridal showers! As this shower is long distance for me, I offered to help the hostess with two things: the invitations and the games.

I'm 99.9% sure Stephanie doesn't read this blog so feel safe telling you about the things we're doing at her shower tomorrow.

For the invitations, I purchased these from Target. They are currently on sale, $24.99 for 50 (I think they were $34 when I bought them). Either way, they are a bargain as they look and feel much more expensive than they are. Because we asked people to RSVP via e-mail, we are using the reply cards as a special surprise for Stephanie. I included them in with the invitation along with a note asking people to use the front of the card to write Stephanie a note, share a memory, give advice, share a quote or poem or even attach a photo of themselves with Stephanie. At the shower we'll put them all into a scrapbook and later add photos from the afternoon.

What else can a long-distance friend help with for a bridal shower?


I'm generally not a fan of games at bridal or baby showers. Toilet paper dress? Guess what's in my purse? Yuck and yuck. But, over the years, I've collected ideas for several fun and funny games.

1) Bridal Bingo -- The most boring part of the shower for guests is generally when the bride- or mom-to-be is opening her presents. Yay towels! Yay knives! So, let's give the guests something to do. Preparing for this game is easy. Just make a table with 5 columns and 6 rows. Instead of BINGO across the top, type in BRIDE. In the center square type "Your Gift". Hand the sheets out to the guests before the bride starts opening her gifts and give them time to fill in each of the squares with gifts they think the bride may receive that afternoon. When the bride opens one of those gifts, they cross off that box. The first person to get 5 across, down or diagonal yells "BRIDE" and receives a prize! With this game, I like to offer prizes to the first two people to get a row, just to keep it going a bit longer.

2) Advice Game -- This is a really funny game! Get all the bridesmaids to help come up with various wedding or honeymoon scenarios--they should be humorous and relevant to the bride and groom. For example, we played this game at my friend Katie's shower this summer. Her fiance, now husband, is an engineer and her mom sewed her dress (it was so stunning!). So, one of our scenarios for them was "On their wedding night, Katie discovers that her mom has sewn a chastity belt into her dress. Despite being an engineer, John is unable to remove it. What should they do?". There should be one such scenario for each guest at the shower. You hand out the pieces of paper with the scenario facing down--tell the guests to write down a piece of advice for the new couple on the blank side without looking at the other side. Collect the cards and read the scenarios followed by the advice. They end up being quite funny!

3) Love Poem -- This is another way to keep guests busy while the bride (or mom) opens all those gifts. Take a piece of paper and write the first line of a poem, for example, "Stephanie and Will have found true love". The guests add the next line of the poem, but--here's the catch--they can only look at one previous line. So, before the pass it, they fold the paper so that only their line is showing. After all the gifts are open, you read the poem--it always garners a laugh. The hostess can then type the poem up nicely for the bride or mom to keep in their shower album or scrapbook.

4) Famous TV Couples -- I just discovered this game and plan to use it for the first time this weekend. There are several different ways to do this game. I have listed the first names of 20 famous TV couples and the guests will have a certain amount of time to list the TV show that goes with each couple. The person with the most correct answers wins! There will be a broad age range at this shower so I've got couples ranging from Carrie and Mr. Big to Edith and Archie.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Review: Mommy's High Heel Shoes (and a giveaway!)

I recently received the loveliest package in the mail--the book Mommy's High Heel Shoes by Philly Mom Kristie Finnan. I told Kristie I'd be happy to read the book and give her my honest opinion about it. Well, here is it: this book is adorable!

The beautiful cover, illustrated by Pat Achilles, helped draw me in. In fact, the illustrations throughout are just simply delightful. But, it is the overall message of the book that means the most to me.

As you know, I work outside the home 2.5 days a week and I often attend meetings in the evening for the various community groups I'm part of. Lucas definitely can tell by how I'm dressed if it is a day I'll leave for work or a day I'll stay home with him. (He also knows that meetings are boring!) And, what parent hasn't laughed as their kid stumbled around in their high heels, slippers or other shoes? Kids just love trying to--literally--walk in our shoes!

My favorite line of the book is "And when I feel good, I'm a better mommy." Truer words could not be spoken. I currently am struggling with continuing to work part-time or staying at home full-time. As much as I love spending time with Lucas, I know that my professional identity helps make me a more fulfilled person and that does help me be a better mom. I truly believe that each mom--and dad--has to find the balance that is right for them, that is best for their family.

And this book helps teach kids that although mommy has many, many roles to play, the most important one is being a mommy.

Giveaway! Although I am very tempted to keep this adorable book for myself, I'm going to give this autographed copy (!) away to one lucky reader. Leave a comment telling me about your favorite pair of shoes by Wednesday the 19th at Noon (Eastern). I'll use to choose the lucky winner! (Don't forget to leave me your e-mail address or some way I can get in touch with you if you win.)

Monday, November 10, 2008

A bit of domesticity

Recently the community over at Shannon's Rocks in My Dryer blog was commenting about all the things they do with their dishwasher. It was crazy. I mean I get cleaning dishes, pots, pans, pet dishes and was even with them as far as swim goggles and the lid of the trashcan. But a computer keyboard and shoes? Now that's just crazy. Apparently you can even cook in your dishwasher--salmon or potatoes.

Not only was I a little incredulous when reading these few posts, I was also quite jealous. In my entire life, I've had approximately 2 years of dishwasher use. The apartment Abel and I lived in after we got married but before we bought our house had a dishwasher and that is the first--and only--time I've ever had one. It was really old and really loud, and I'm sure it used a TON of water. But, I loved it.

So even though I don't have any dishwasher tips to share with you. (Go here and here for those.) I do have an appliance tip for you and it came to me as I was cleaning my shower this weekend.

First some business: if you are the kind of person who regularly wipes down the shower curtain liner when you clean your shower, this tip is not for you. In fact, why don't you just meander over here where I'm certain you'll be much more comfortable.

Okay, now that they're gone, this tip is for you. I know your shower curtain liner gets pretty yucky. Nothing to be embarrassed about, mine does to. Now, what would I have done about this in the past? Well, I would have thrown it away and purchased another cheap-o $1.99 liner.

But, what do I do about it now?

I put the liner in the washing machine!

That's right, just take it down and throw it in. It comes out all "clean and shiny" (Lucas's new favorite phrase--"look Mama, I'm all clean and shiny!") Here's what I do--I put it in by itself (really, I don't want that gross shower gunk to get on anything else, do I?), on a small load and with warm water (I'm sorta' scared the hot would be too much, it is vinyl after all) a lot of detergent (more than what you'd put in for a small load normally) and a splash of bleach (now that I've gone green with all my cleaners I really avoid bleach, but in this case feel it is warranted).

When it is finished washing, take it out slowly--there will still be some water hanging around in the folds--let it drip out into your washer and put it into a towel to take to your bathroom (or you'll leave a trail of water behind you). Just hang it up and it will drip dry into the shower.

Voila! It is like you have a brand new shower liner!

And so concludes Smiling Mama's pretense of domesticity!

Friday, November 7, 2008

Favorite Things Friday: Baby's First Year Calendar

Welcome to Favorite Things Friday, a weekly series where I share products I love!

This week's product is Baby's First Year Calendar.

My pregnancy journal has about 5 entries, I don't scrapbook and have more photos saved in the computer than printed and put into albums. I knew that if I wanted to remember all the wonderful little details of Lucas's first year I needed some help. I ordered this calendar for myself a few days after Lucas was born and it was the perfect solution!

The concept is pretty basic--it is a blank calendar! You fill in the dates and write something-- anything--in the square for that day. Then, at the end of each month, you fill in the top of the calendar which prompts you to fill in what foods the baby is eating, books you are reading, milestones achieved that month, etc. I kept this calendar on my nightstand and tried to write a phrase or sentence every night.

On Lucas's first birthday, I went back and read through the entire calendar. It was amazing. In it, I captured so many little details that I would never have remembered otherwise. That is truly priceless.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Big Boy Bed

We were so excited to move Lucas into his big boy bed almost two weeks ago. Well, honestly, I didn't mind him still sleeping in his crib but Abel was really pushing to move him into a bed. I started searching and found the cutest little toddler bed on Craig's List and it is cherry, which matches his other nursery furniture.

Here he is on that very first night:

Adorable, right?


Well, he is adorable and really likes the bed. The problem is that there have been many problems. Many. Problems.

First problem is that he gets out of bed and sneaks to the top of the stairs many times after we say goodnight. He lets us know he is awake by yelling downstairs "HEY MAMA! HEY DADA!". Generally if we go to the bottom of the stairs and tell him to go to bed he complies.

Second problem is that suddenly he says he is scared--thus requiring that the door be kept open a crack and the hall light on (his nightlight doesn't seem to offer enough light and he freaks if the door is shut tight). He also has commandeered Abel's feather pillow and I tell him every night that having Dada's pillow is just like having Dada there and will keep all the scaries away. This was invented at a desperate moment and I know it will come back to bite me at some point in the future, like if something ever happens to the pillow!

Third problem is that for the last few nights he's been desperate to sleep in our bed. On Election Night I came upstairs to find him curled up in our bed. Last night he was yelling for us and Abel went up to put him back to bed. I came up later to find them both asleep in our bed. Ugh! I was so annoyed. We're trying to teach Lucas that he has to sleep in his own bed and so what lesson did this teach him--that if he gets out of bed and yells for Dada then he gets rewarded not only with sleeping in our bed but with Dada. Jackpot!

Fourth problem is that he's been waking up very early--like between 4:30am and 6am--and coming into our room to crawl into bed with us. He doesn't go back to sleep, however, just keeps us awake. I'm certain he used to wake up early in his crib, too, but would just amuse himself for a while before he yelled for us.

Help! What do we do?

Honestly, I wouldn't mind the rest of it so much if he would just not wake us up before 6ish. He has books and toys readily accessible in his room. I've talked to him about staying in his bed and that it is okay to play with his toys when he wakes up. He gets the concept of "when the sun is up" but runs in at 4:30am asking if the sun is up.

I know there are many parents out there who are dealing with much more difficult sleep issues. I'm sure they are scoffing--sleep until 6am. Ha! You are so weak! Well, yes, we are weak. Lucas has been a champion sleeper since he was very, very young. And if things don't improve soon, I'll be very temped to bring back that crib!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008


This is what I did while glued to MSNBC last night...

A New Day

I just cried my eyes out through President-elect Obama's speech. It is impossible to put my emotions into words. But, the thing that is forefront in my mind is that my almost three year old Hispanic son, my half-Mexican son, will never think that only a white man can be elected President of the United States of America. Amazing.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Nervous Energy

I know many, many people, like me, have had a lot of nervous energy yesterday and today. What have they done with that energy? Many have phone banked or knocked on doors for their candidate. Or, they've obsessively checked websites, blogs and the news. Or they facebooked or twittered or blogged.

What did I do with my nervous energy?

Why, I baked cookies. Lots and lots of cookies.

My first batch--double batch, actually--was sugar cookies cut out with my donkey shaped cookie cutter purchased at the Democratic Convention. Aren't they adorable?

I plan to decorate these 60 or so donkeys tonight. They're for a Thursday night potluck social (which everyone but me is scared to refer to as a Victory Celebration) for the local progressive group I'm co-chair of. I plan to decorate them while watching the returns tonight. I briefly (very briefly) thought of decorating one with the state flag of every state that goes for Obama. Instead I'll just use red, blue and white icing. I'm sure I can make some sort of semblance of stars and strips and the Obama logo!

The second batch--again, a double batch--was chocolate chip. Yum! Yum!

My adorable helper who decided today was a "no pants" day!

Ooey gooey goodness fresh from the oven! (Are you hungry yet?)

For the first time in about the past 6 or so elections (and with all the special elections 'round these parts in the past year, those 6 have all happened pretty recently!) I'm not working the polls this election. Our precinct and the entire state of Maryland will go pretty solidly for Obama so there's no need for volunteers to be out in the cold and rain. But, I thought it would be nice for some of the after-work voters, who are sure to be in a very L O N G line to have a little snack. So, I've packed up these 70 or so cookies and am about to walk over to my polling place to hand them out.

My sister asked if I would take the cookies away from anyone planning to vote for McCain! I did think about it :) but my confidence in our victory has made me magnanimous. After all, we're in tough times and post-election need to be united not divided. What better to unite us than chocolate chip cookies?

Don't you wish you voted at my precinct?!

Monday, November 3, 2008


I can only imagine how hard it must be to be a toddler--there are just so many extremes! You want to be independent and do it "all by myself" and yet need so much help. You want to go off on your own to explore but even the most familiar room in your house is a little scary when the lights are off.

Being the mother of a toddler puts you into some extreme swings in feelings as well. Yes, indeed it does. Take for example, this high and low of motherhood which occurred literally moments apart.

High: I was tucking Lucas in for his nap when he reached up and put his hands on my cheeks, pulled my face right into his and said, "You're the best mommy in the whole world." Heart. Melting. On. The. Floor.

Low: As I walked out of his room, I glanced down to notice a bit of dried poop on my pants. Lovely.

The Election

I plan to head to the polls at about 10am tomorrow morning, hoping that most of the before-work voters will be done by then and I'll breeze right through the line. We'll see how that goes. It just occurred to me that about 24 hours from now I will have cast my vote for Barack Obama. It literally makes me tear up just thinking about it.

Barack Obama won't be the only important vote I cast, though. I'll also vote for a constitutional amendment to allow early voting in Maryland (seriously, I feel like everyone I know has already voted early in their state!) and against a constitutional amendment to allow slot machine gambling in Maryland. This is why I'll be voting against slots.

Here's another thing that made me tear up today. I have a feeling it is going to be a pretty emotional few days.

Photo from this blog. And I'm all about the flag but dude, what is with that jacket?

Speed Racer

Lucas's Speed Racer costume came together better than I ever imagined--isn't he adorable? It was our first real Halloween with him--trick-or-treating and the whole nine yards and he absolutely loved it.

As I previously blogged, the entire costume came from the local thriftstore for about $13. Most people would never guess that Abel is the more meticulous of the two of us, but he totally is. He used electrical tape and a razor blade to make the awesome and totally accurate "M" and "5" logos. It all looked so professional that one mom in our playgroup thought it was store bought!

Lucas wore the costume for our Friday morning playgroup halloween party, Friday night trick-or-treating and our town's Saturday morning parade and party. By about 1pm on Saturday the shirt was juice-stained, the pants grass-stained and the racing stripes peeling off!!

Go Speed Racer Go!