Dec 19, 2009


"Courage does not always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, "I will try again tomorrow."

- Mary Anne Radmacher

Dec 16, 2009

The weight of the world

I don't think the blues I've been experiencing on and off since August are going away. I want them to. I desperately want them to, but they're not. Over the past 24-hours I've been trying to think of how to describe it because I know I'm going to have to see the doctor to talk about things. The word "depressed" doesn't cut it. Neither does "overwhelmed," although I feel both. This morning, when my alarm went off in my ear, it hit me. Heaviness. Bogged down. I wake up every morning, sometimes to the alarm and sometimes to Griffin fussing to find a more comfortable position in his crib, and I want to cry (and sometimes I do as soon as my eyes open). Why? Because I feel the weight of the world on me. And you can all try to convince me that I'm just overreacting. On a cerebral level I know this, but my goodness, it sure feels that way...and that's what's important. I feel this heaviness pushing down on me every single day. Every single second. And as hard as I try, and believe me, I've tried, I can't get out from under it.

The heaviness is work and financial stress. It's taking care of people - Griffin and Duncan and even Patrick. It's feeling like I have nothing that's truly mine. Seriously, as hectic as NaNoWriMo was, it was so lovely because it was all mine. It was my challenge and my time to do something for me. I've lost myself somewhere along the way and what I'm left with is this weight that sits on me, pushing down harder and harder. It makes me feel trapped and sometimes I have these flashes of "this is my life now" and that makes me feel even more claustrophobic.

I worry all the time. About Griffin and finances and everyone's health. I used to love sleep, but now I find myself dreading going to sleep. As strange as it might sound, I'm worried that something bad will happen in the middle of the night. I think about Griffin's bout with pneumonia and how he just woke up and had this insanely high fever. I think about the phone call we got at 2:30 AM almost one year ago that Patrick's father had a heart attack and was on life support. I figure that if I stay up, nothing will startle me in the middle of the night. Stupid? Yes, but I don't know how to work through that. And when I do sleep, I wake up to the smallest sound and I stay awake.

I have an appointment with my regular doctor this afternoon to discuss antidepressants. I tried my hardest to avoid them, but right now, I don't see how I can. It makes me feel like a failure, like I couldn't do it on my own (even with seeing a psychologist). It makes me feel like I'm not strong enough when I always thought I was pretty tough.

I don't want people to think I'm relying on medication to make me better, but I think I need a jumpstart. The weight is so heavy that it clouds my view on everything. Going to work is frustrating. Cooking dinner is too much to handle. Griffin's recent meltdowns are driving me to tears. This isn't me normally. It's the weight. And right now, I don't see any other way to help lift it.

Dec 11, 2009

Something I hate, hate, hate

Let me preface this post by saying that I am in a pretty decent mood so far this holiday season. I'm enjoying the Christmas music, our decorated tree, and I've even thought about baking some holiday goodies. So this brief rant has nothing to do with me being in a bad mood.

I've been noticing a trend lately that really annoys me. Maybe I'm a little late on this one and it's been going on for a while, but I cannot stand when people say "love, love, love." As in, "I love, love, love Reese Witherspoon's style." Or, "I just love, love, love Christian Siriano" (and I really do love him, hence using him in that example). I've noticed this a lot while reading blogs - people tend to write that in their comments. It really gets under my skin. What's so wrong with saying that you "really love" something or even putting LOVE in all caps? Why the love, love, love? Who started that and why? When is it going to end? Ugh.

I'm seeing it everywhere and I can't tell you how much I hate, hate, hate it.

Dec 7, 2009

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times

Oh, who am I kidding? It was the worst of times. This weekend. Last night. Awful. Plain and simple.

Patrick and I took Griffin to Chicago to go to the One of a Kind Show where my sister has been one of the artists for the past four years. We went in 2006, 2007, and we skipped 2008 because Griffin was just too little and we were just plain exhausted. He's 16-months old. We figured this would be a great age to take him downtown to see the show and maybe even the lights on Michigan Avenue.

To make that part of  the long story much shorter, I'm just going to say that about a month or so ago, we realized that Griffin had hit his Terrible Twos really, really early. We've nicknamed him Mr. Meltdown and Mr. Noodle (his whole body goes limp and he's suddenly about 40 pounds heavier than usual). That's what we dealt with all weekend. The poor kid was stuck in a carseat for three hours to get to Chicago and then we needed to get him in a stroller to look around the show. He wasn't having it. He also wasn't having someone carry him around. Those were our options. He struggled. I got frustrated. Patrick and I took turns. Thankfully my mom was there and gave us a break here and there (and of course, he wasn angel for her).

So two days of battling Mr. Noodle.

Then comes the drive home. Again, long story short, it took us 5 hours to get home. Coming straight from the Loop, it should only take about 2.5 hours. We hit some massive traffic and then Griffin screamed and screeched the whole way. In his defense, I think he was in a bit of pain (anyone with kids knows that sometimes eating a whole pile of grapes can wreak havoc on the tummy). So as not to bore anyone with this story in narrative form, let me just hit the highlights:

  • Screaming commences before we get out of Chicago

  • It continues until we pull over somewhere in Naperville (at this point, we could have been in freaking Alaska - I couldn't focus).

  • I change Griffin's diaper in the car in the parking lot of Macy's

  • We drive to Portillo's to get him out of the carseat for a while.

  • All is right in the world and we leave.

  • Screeching commences about 15 minutes into the drive.

  • I pray he falls asleep soon.

  • Griffin teases me with his fake snoring (and then a loud snort and a giggle).

  • He screams some more and finally falls asleep.

  • I fall asleep.

  • I awake, 20 minutes later, to more screaming.

  • This goes on for what seems like forever.

  • I announce to Patrick that if I had a gun, I'd freaking shoot myself (I think Patrick contemplates pulling over and dumping me and Griffin off on the side of the highway).

  • More screaming.

  • I ask Patrick to smother me and put me out of my misery.

  • Griffin finally falls asleep at Mile Marker 25 (yep, only 25 more miles until we hit the Iowa border).

  • I sit still and rigid in the front seat, hoping he stays asleep until we at least get to the single digit mile markers.

  • We pull into the driveway and relax.

  • Griffin starts screaming.

He seemed fine once we got inside. He was smiling and laughing. I think he was really tired of being in the car seat all weekend. The only running around he got to do was at my parents' house on Saturday night/Sunday morning. Not much.

Oh, and when we walked in the house, we were hit in the face by the overwhelming smell of natural gas. We had the gas company out at our house at 11 PM. They checked and said everything was OK, even though the guy said he could smell the gas.

So yesterday sucked big time. The only highlight was that we learned that if you ask Griffin what Santa says, he will say, "Ho Ho!" Definitely cute, but not enough to wipe away the memory of the crap day we had.

Dec 2, 2009


Now that NaNoWriMo is over (and I won!), I'm left with a half-finished first draft of a novel. It's a story that has been in my head for almost a year and I'm beyond thrilled to have gotten part of it down on paper (er, computer). Anyway, I've got too much invested in it to just let it go. Sure, NaNo was fun - and I'm definitely going to do it again next year - but for me the challenge didn't stop on December 1st. I really want to finish my story. So I've decided to give myself the goal of finishing by January 18th. I initially said I'd have it done by the end of December, but with the holidays thrown in there, I know things are going to be tight. I picked the 18th because the very next day will be my 37th birthday. {OK, I just looked at that and freaked out because I'm officially going to be in my late-30s - very weird because I still feel 27}. I thought that the best birthday present I could give myself would be to wake up on my birthday and have a completed first draft.

I'm excited about the new challenge.

Nov 24, 2009

An early Thanksgiving

I am very thankful that my neurologist refilled my prescription for painkillers.

Nov 22, 2009

Griffin playing in the leaves

These pictures were taken during the one day in the past 5 weeks when Griffin was actually healthy (yes, he's sick again).

Nov 18, 2009


I just finished writing the scene that I've been thinking about since I first thought up this story idea. It flowed right off my fingers and even though this is only a first draft, I really like how it turned out. Of course, there will be revisions and I will probably go back and think it's just atrocious, but for now, I'm happy.

I'm also over 30,000 words! Almost 3,000 words today - very proud of myself for that.

Nov 17, 2009

I think we've all felt this way at some point

I was browsing some of my favorite blogs during lunch and came across this gem of a post from All & Sundry - I don't think I could have said it any better myself. Especially after the past couple of weeks.

And yes, Griffin, I love you very much, but seriously?

I can't believe I forgot to post this

Our day care provider sent me this picture of Griffin a couple of weeks ago just as he woke up from his morning nap. Now don't get me wrong, I love his curly hair. It's just that, well, he really does look like the Heatmiser.*

We love him curly hair and all, but we promptly got him in for a haircut (Griffin, not the Heatmiser - he can take care of his own grooming).

* I cannot take credit for the Heatmiser reference - that was all Christina's idea (she's our fabulous day care provider).

Nov 15, 2009


I just crossed the halfway mark in NaNo. I checked my total words and am at 25,159. There are 15 more days to go (counting today, and I'm going to count today because I'm not done writing).

The funny thing is that I am not even close to the halfway point in the novel. I just hope that I can reach 50,000 by the end of the month and that I can finish the novel if I'm not done with it by then. I'm worried I'm going to stop writing once NaNo is done. I must finish the novel or this whole thing was a waste.

Nov 12, 2009

Dinner conversations with a brand-new teenager

Duncan: Tracy, did you go to the store today?

Me: No, did you need something?

Duncan: I need more shampoo.

Me: Any particular kind?

Duncan: It doesn't really matter, but there's some, like, two-in-one stuff.

Me: Like shampoo and conditioner in one?

Duncan: Yeah!

Me: I know exactly what you're talking about. I'll get some tomorrow.

Duncan: Um, Tracy. I want the stuff that's for men.


Nov 6, 2009

The widgets are working! The widgets are working!

Two things:

1) The widgets are working (as you can see on the right-hand side of my blog).

2) The fact that I care about the widgets makes me a total loser.

Nov 5, 2009

Slow and steady wins the race

My NaNo word count is 6,725 as of yesterday afternoon. I wasn't able to get any more done last night because somehow Griffin has managed to get sick...again. Hopefully it's just a headcold this time and nothing else.

During the weekdays, I'm sticking to my plan of trying to write in the morning before Griffin wakes up (hasn't been happening because of the time change and his cold). Then I write during my lunch break at work - supposed to only be 20 minutes, but I stretch it to 30. Then I write at any other time I get the chance, but it better be before 8 PM because after that, I'm toast.

So 6,725 is pretty much on pace with the 1,667 words/day goal. In fact, I'm a few words ahead of that pace, so I will go ahead and pat myself on the back.

This weekend will be the true test since Patrick is leaving for Charlotte, NC tonight and won't be back until Sunday night. Oh, and there's a Bears game on Sunday afternoon (hey, a girl's got to have her priorities, right?).

So basically I want to tell all those NaNoers who cranked out, like 15,000 on the first day to suck it because my measly little 6,725 words after four days is still on target to win.

Nov 3, 2009

I came for the drinks, but I stayed for the love

My back-up husband will be performing at the Double Door  in Chicago this weekend, and once again, I'm going to miss him. Timing and geography are not our friends.

Ceci - if you're reading this, he'll be in Bloomington on November 8th. Lucky girl.

Nov 2, 2009

Another e-mail from my dad

He's the best dad...ever:


I like the writing project you have successfully begun today. It is like running a marathon of 26 miles, except you are writing a marathon of 50,000 words!


Rocky, you can do it and by making a public announcement, we'll be checking in on your progress as you reach various milestones like 5000, 10000, 15000 .... words.


Good luck.


Love, Paw


In case you're wondering about the nicknames Rocky and Paw, I wrote about them here a couple of years ago.

Nov 1, 2009

I'm a cowboy, on a steel horse I ride

So I think I mentioned that we were going to dress up as an 80s rock band for Halloween. Between getting our costumes together and someone's crankiness (I'll give you one guess), we almost didn't make it out the door for Halloween. OK, I admit, I was the one ready to throw in the towel, but it all turned out OK. Griffin loved going up to people's doors even if he wasn't getting candy.

OK, enough chit chat, here's a look at our costumes:

[caption id="attachment_1071" align="aligncenter" width="510" caption="I think our band name should be Moore Than You Can Handle..."]003[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_1072" align="aligncenter" width="510" caption="I didn't have to ask him to make this face."]004[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_1073" align="aligncenter" width="510" caption="Don't ask"]006[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_1074" align="aligncenter" width="510" caption="Patrick's pants were so tight that when I saw him from behind I almost peed my pants"]005[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_1076" align="aligncenter" width="510" caption="My baby Griffin rockin' his Chuck Taylors"]002[/caption]

And one more post-Trick-or-Treating picture:

[caption id="attachment_1077" align="aligncenter" width="510" caption="Digging into Duncan's stash of candy"]008[/caption]

And we're off...

I started writing at 5:30 this morning. After 1 hour and 15 minutes, I've written 1221 words. I have a word count on my blog, but I don't think NaNoWriMo has gotten the links up and running just yet.

Oct 31, 2009


On the eve of NaNoWriMo, I received the following e-mail from my father:



Good luck on your November writing project. May the words flow.


Love, Paw


Thanks Dad :-)

Oct 29, 2009

Just playing around a bit

A lot of people participating in NaNo have created "book covers" for their upcoming novels. I thought this was so silly. Why do that when you haven't even started writing? But the more I thought about it, the more I realized that the cover of a book can speak volumes. I'll even go so far as to say that at times, I've picked up a book based on the cover - just to read what it's about.

I honestly think that the whole process of thinking about what I'd want on the cover was helpful. It made me think about the whole feeling of my story.

Besides, it was a good diversion for me - it let me play around on the computer and also helped get my mind off the fact that with only two more days left before we start writing, I still feel unprepared.

But hey, if I could create a cover for my non-book, it might look something like this:

Cover Art2

Oct 28, 2009

Down to the wire

NaNoWriMo starts on Sunday. That leaves me only four more days (counting today) to finish prepping for this challenge. I'm getting nervous and I'm not exactly sure why. OK, so I'm afraid of "failing" - not making it to at least 50,000 words. I'm also afraid of getting one-third of the way into the novel and then freezing, having absolutely no idea what should happen next.

I haven't written anything in a really, really long time and I'm worried that I'm going to be rusty. Then I start thinking about all the little details that I still need to figure out. Like what the heck does one of my main characters do for a living? And how much do I need to know about that profession before I start writing? I know it doesn't sound like a bg deal, but it makes a difference. I don't want to be in the middle of this when I decide what his job is and then have no clue about the logistics of it all - what kind of work schedules do they have? How much would he earn (which affects what kind of lifestyle he has)?

I'm feeling overwhelmed by all the details and the very little time I have left. Why the hell did I even agree to try this? What on earth possessed me to try to write a novel in 30 days? How can I get this done while working full-time and dealing with all the other aspects of my regular life?

I want to win the challenge. I'm afraid that if I don't make it to 50,000 I'm just going to give up. This challenge is giving me the opportunity to finish something on that big ol' to-do list of life that some of us have.

Tonight is going to consist of finishing up our Halloween costumes and then I hope to go home and get more work done. I tried last night, but Griffin had other ideas.

Four more days.

Oct 25, 2009

Sunday sucked big time

I'm not even going to try to make this post funny. Today sucked. The morning started out OK - played with Griffin, took him grocery shopping, and then we got home and everything went downhill. He wouldn't take a nap even though he was exhausted. We had a similar problem with him going to bed the previous night. This morning he was not having it...and Patrick was growing frustrated. I was getting tired (I'm also fighting a cold and a fever). He wasn't just fussing. He was screaming. Ear piercing screams with tears. It just got worse and worse. He finally wore himself out and slept for 30 minutes. When he woke up it started again.

This went on until he fell asleep in the car at 1:30 PM. He slept for 50 minutes (yes, I drove that whole time - don't forget he was a colicky baby and this is how we survived for almost four months).

I took him to clinic that's open on weekends and it turns out he has a nasty ear infection. When I told Patrick, he said, "I feel bad for yelling at him." In his defense, he didn't really yell. We were exhausted and frustrated and confused.

So the little man is on another antibiotic. That makes two in a little over a week.

Oct 22, 2009

Can't get no respect

I don't mean to brag, but at only 15 months of age, Griffin is a comic genius. At his doctor's appointment this morning, he sat very still in his diaper and socks while the nurse took his temperature and listened to his heart. He stared at her and even smiled. When she got up to leave, she said, "The doctor will be right in." Without missing a beat, Griffin said, "Uh oh."

Thank you! He'll be here all week (and for the next, like, 20 years).

T minus 10 days


Oct 21, 2009

Halloween dilemma

OK, so it's probably not a big deal to anyone other than me, but the whole decision to dress up as an 80's rock band is bothering me. Don't get me wrong because I think it's a cool idea, but it means that I won't have any sweet, adorable pictures of Griffin dressed up as a bear or a peanut or something cute like that. Last year we went as the Wizard of Oz and he was the Cowardly Lion (make that the Cranky Lion - but he was just hungry), and he looked sweet. Now I have this crazy fear that I'll look back in about 10 years and wonder why I dressed him in acid-washed denim and let him whip around drum sticks for pictures.

So I've decided that for the sake of pictures, I just have to get him a cute (and inexpensive) kids costume. And, um, it's October 21st, so I need to hurry up and buy it.

Oct 19, 2009

It takes one to know H1N1

Griffin has been sick for the past week. We didn't give it much thought, but ended up bringing him to the doctor because he ended up being rather cranky at day care and was developing a dry cough. He checked out OK - just some viral crud. That was last Tuesday. By Friday, he spiked a high fever and his cough was worse. No day care. The doctor called in an antibiotic along with strict orders to call first thing the following morning if he wasn't any better. By 10 PM that same night, he was much worse. His breathing was labored and his cough was really "crunchy." With no other options, we headed to the ER. The diagnosis was bronchitis. Two hours and a dose of oral steroids and a breathing treatment later, we were on our way home. Poor Griffin was exhausted from coughing and from kicking and screaming during the treatment.

He seemed a bit better on Saturday, but on Sunday evening he developed another high fever. It lingered this morning and his cough was just awful. It was more of a bark than anything else. I made another appointment and found out that Griffin has the flu (along with bronchitis). The problem is that our local ERs will not swab for H1N1 (it's their strict policy). Today was four days after his initial symptoms, which is too late to start him on antivirals even if he did test positive for that strain of flu. Besides, I was told that with babies under 2, any flu is being treated as H1N1, and that the biggest concern is secondary infection (pneumonia, etc.). Griffin has been on an antibiotic since Friday, so he's covered in that department.

We are supposed to give him until Wednesday and then call the doctor to tell him Griffin's symptoms - they will decide of we need to bring Griffin in for another chest x-ray.

This has been a long weekend. For us and for Griffin.

Oct 14, 2009

A change of pace

I'm not talking about writing today. No writing. No NaNo. I'm not even going to write about Griffin (total shocker, right?).

I ask that anyone who reads this blog please check out the following journal written by my sister's neighbor. Bill is a 20-year old college student who has been in intensive care for almost two months waiting for a heart and kidney transplant. Donate Life Illinois approached him and asked if he would share his story as he awaits his transplant. He just wrote his first entry.

He and his family have been through a lot, not just during the past two months, but for the past 20 years.

I hope you take the time to read his story.

Oct 12, 2009

19 days and counting

There are only 19 more days before November 1st and the start of NaNoWriMo. I've got a lot to do to prepare to actually start writing. I've been perusing the forums on the NaNo web site and saw that another first-timer asked how others prepare for this challenge. Of course there are those few people who jump into this with nothing more than a fleeting thought of a plot. Then there are those who do major planning and outlining and pretty much all they need to do is connect the dots in their outlines and they've got the 175-page novel done. I fall into the middle - those who cannot fly by the seat of their pants, but who find an overly detailed outline too constricting.

So what to do? I actually found out that the process I've been using over the past few months (I told you I was slowly working on my story) would probably suit someone who needs some direction so they don't get lost when the pressure is on. The solution? A simple pack of notecards and some time to brainstorm.

So as not to bore everyone, here's what I still need to get done in the next 19 days:

  • Settle on/name a few more minor characters.

  • Determine goal/motivation/conflict for three main characters

  • Finish brainstorming plot points.

  • Get the plot points in some sort of order.

  • Fill in the gaps a bit.

  • More research - possibly on settings and occupations.

This sounds like a lot...and I think it is, but I hope to get stuff done during my lunch break. Patrick asked me if outlining was going against the whole "getting it all out on paper" idea, but I don't think it is (by the way, outlining is OK by the NaNo rules - starting to write before November 1st is not). I know what kind of person/writer I am. I need some sort of direction or I'll freeze under the pressure of the 30 day deadline. If I don't even have an idea of where the story is going, I could sit for hours or even days wondering what should happen, losing precious writing time. That doesn't mean that I have every little detail figured out. It just means that I have thought about what events lead my characters to do certain things. I've thought about what kinds of situations they might face. It might all change when I sit down to write, but for now, there's a semi-plan in place. I would never want everything figured out because that would take all the fun out of writing. Sitting down to write this story is like taking a little adventure with the characters (and with that sentence, I now fully realize how big of a writing dork I really am).

Oct 8, 2009

The night the lights went out in Iowa

Griffin is obsessed with lamps. OBSESSED. There's no easier way to describe it. He follows us around the house, points to an unlit lamp and says something that sounds like, "Pree! Pree! Pree!" We think he's trying to say "Pretty" because this is what my in-laws used to call all the things in their house that he shouldn't touch - "pretties." {Note to self: Need to nip that one in the bud before he really gets confused}.

So we turn the lamp on and say, "Lights on!" and then turn it off and say, "Lights off!" We have a lot of lamps in our house. A lot. You can tell when Griffin has been in a room because every single lamp is on. Why appease him, you ask? It's no big deal. We talk to him as we do it, so hopefully he's learning some language along the way. Besides, sometimes when I'm really exhausted, I just say no.

Our day care provider has a job chart on her wall. Take one guess what Griffin's job is? Lights Monitor. I saw that this morning and couldn't help but smile.

Oct 7, 2009

Embracing imperfection

I think making the mental switch from "holy crap, whatever I write needs to be perfect" to "I need to purge what's in my head and reach 50,000 words" will help rid me of my incessant self-editing. That's my real problem. I've had a good (to me, at least) story idea in  my mind since...January? Hey Jason, when did we last meet in DeKalb for lunch? That's when I came up with this idea. So it has been a long time and since then, I've done very little work. Some character development and few major scene ideas, but that's about it. I've been so worried that this idea would fade just like all the others, and who knows when - or even if - another idea would come along?

Here's an excerpt from the welcome e-mail I received after registering. It really spoke to me:

"Even if it’s hard at first, leave ugly prose and poorly written passages on the page to be cleaned up later. Your inner editor will be very grumpy about this, but your inner editor is a nitpicky jerk who foolishly believes that it is possible to write a brilliant first draft if you write it slowly enough. It isn’t. Every book you’ve ever loved started out as a beautifully flawed first draft. In November, embrace imperfection and see where it takes you."

Embrace imperfection. I don't think I've ever done that in my 36 years on this earth. I think it's about time I started.

Oct 6, 2009

Stop looking at me like I'm crazy

I signed up for NaNoWriMo. I needed a jumpstart. I need to stop editing in my head before anything even gets on paper (er, on screen). We'll see what happens. I start writing on November 1st.

30 days. 50,000 words. Game on.


{Ten bucks I quit by November 3rd}

Oct 2, 2009

We built this city on rock n' roll

We finally decided on our family costume idea for this Halloween. I've been bugging Patrick about it for weeks - it's his turn to choose - since we like to give ourselves as much time as possible to make our costumes. So this year's theme is:

80's Rock Band

Yes, this will include Griffin. I'm really excited because I love a good theme like this. Some other ideas we tossed around include: The Village People (Patrick and I thought this was great, but just couldn't do that to a 13-year old Duncan), Scooby Doo, Willy Wonka, Chicago sports teams.

I like 80's Rock Band because it involves big, bad hair and the possibility of acid washed denim. Rock on!

Sep 27, 2009

My big boy

These pictures made me realize how big Griffin has gotten. He's not a little baby anymore...

Big Boy BW



Sep 25, 2009

Five years!

Five years ago today, Patrick and I got married! Here's my favorite picture from that beautiful day:


Sep 24, 2009

Apple picking

The whole family went apple picking last Sunday. We were going to go on Saturday, but Patrick convinced me that Sunday would be better - it would give me one more day to get over the cold I'd been battling. Plus, we checked the weather reports and Sunday was supposed to be as nice as Saturday.

Wrong! I didn't feel better. In fact, I felt worse. And the weather sucked. It was dreary and drizzling. We forgot Griffin's sweatshirt (not that he cared), and I was crabby with a capital "C."

Thanks to Patrick, we had a great time. He was able to see beyond the rainy day (and thanks to Duncan for offering up his new sweatshirt for Griffin to wear). Oh, and Griffin loved his first apple (and now we have to hide the bag of apples because he will just dig into the bag and start biting into as many apples as possible).

Here are some pictures:

Apple picking 011

Apple picking 005

Apple picking 004

Apple picking 009

Sep 19, 2009

Me and The G on a Saturday afternoon

I got a new laptop the other day. Actually, I got my first laptop the other day. I use a laptop for work, but it's not mine and I only use it home once a week (the other four days it stays at work). Anyway, it has a webcam and Griffin and I played around with it this afternoon. He liked looking at himself and blowing raspberries:


Sep 15, 2009

Just so I never forget...

My dad has always told me that I have a memory like a steel trap. It's true. I can recall, verbatim, conversations I had with people years ago. I can tell you where we were, what you were wearing, what you were eating, etc. It's weird, but it does come in handy in certain situations - like when my sister can't think of the name of a certain actor/singer/entertainer/movie/TV show or when Patrick and his ex can't remember who had Duncan last Easter and who will get to have him this year. But lately, I've noticed that my memory isn't quite what it used to be. Is it the sleep disruptions of the past year? Perhaps. The challenges of working full-time and parenting? Probably. The fact that I'm about to officially enter my "late-30's" in a matter of a few short months? Let's hope not.

Over the past 13 months, Patrick and I have given Griffin a ton of different nicknames. Some have stuck and others have been silly names that last for a day or two. I've noticed that as he's gotten older, we don't use those "baby" names any longer, and while I'm OK (I think) with the fact that he's no longer a baby, I don't ever want to forget those times with him. So while this might seem silly to anyone who reads this blog, this is just a way for me to keep a list of those silly (and some very endearing) names we had/have for Griffin. As a side note, this blog started as a way for me to replace my handwritten journaling, so this is one of those times when I'm not trying to entertain anyone with my personal life...

Little Baby Griffin - my personal favorite and the original - I even went as far as making up my own song and singing it to the tune of "Little Bunny FooFoo" in the middle of the night.

G/ The G - we still use this now (used to annoy me, but now that he's older, I'm OK with it)

Snugglebug - if I even try to explain the day I came up with this, I'll cry. Let's just say, I had one week left of maternity leave and Griffin slept on my chest for 3 hours while I sobbed.

Fussybutt - self-explanatory and still used to this day

The Delaney Boy - a play on his middle name

My curly-headed boy - just see the pictures below and you'll understand.

DLB (aka Dad's Littlest Buddy) - I didn't know about this one until a couple of weeks ago...and I love it.

Bubeleh - Yiddish; an endearing term for someone you love (I know, we're not Jewish, but who cares).

Baby Doll/Doll Baby - don't ask, I can't explain.


{______} McGee - fill in the blank with anything such as Sneezy, Fussy, Silly, Stinky, etc.

Mister Man - again, don't ask.

Monkey - he loves bananas and climbs EVERYTHING.

I know there are others, but I can't think of them right now. I'll probably have to come back and add to the list as they come to me. So I'm sure this post is incredibly annoying to most people, but if I wrote this on a piece of paper, I'd probably lose it. Maybe there's a place I can put it in his baby book, but for now this will have to do.

Sep 14, 2009

A precursor to rollercoasters

We took Griffin to Rocket Park (it has an official name, but no one really knows what it is) on Saturday afternoon and he loved it. Patrick put him on the slides, and I - like most mothers - panicked a bit because well, he seems so small and those slides seem so big. He started on the smaller ones and giggled each time he slid down, so we started moving him to bigger and bigger slides. I panicked each time he graduated to a bigger slide (and yes, I made sure Patrick went with him down the tornado slide!). He loved it - the bigger, the better! So, here's a look at how his day went:

[caption id="attachment_973" align="aligncenter" width="476" caption="Approaching his first slide"]Approaching his first slide[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_974" align="aligncenter" width="477" caption="Mom had to take a picture before he went down the slide"]Mom had to take a picture before he went down the slide[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_975" align="aligncenter" width="476" caption="Wahoo!!!"]Wahoo!!![/caption]

[caption id="attachment_976" align="aligncenter" width="477" caption="Going back for more (he really did climb the whole slide by himself!)"]Going back for more (he really did climb the whole slide by himself!)[/caption]

Sep 10, 2009

Official diagnosis

I went back to the doctor yesterday for my third appointment. She showed me my paperwork with my official diagnosis:

Major Depressive Episode (moderate)

Specific Phobia/Generalized Anxiety Disorder

I've opted for no medication at this point. I'm not trying to prove a point to anyone. In fact, there are times when I would really, really like to take something because I just don't think I can do it on my own. But that's the whole problem. I know what I  really need to do to deal with this - everything I never did over the past 20 years. So without getting into the details, I've got a long road ahead of me. I'm not looking forward to it because it's going to be a lot of hard work and a lot of retraining my brain to think and react differently, but I think it will work. It's what I've known all along would work, but was too scared to try.

{This all sounds like some weird science experiment, but it's just a form of therapy where you challenge your current way of thinking. I'm an all-or-nothing, black-or-white type of person. For example, I think I'm a horrible mom because of that time I didn't want to be around Griffin when I was exhausted and had a migraine and he was fussing. I felt awful and guilty and I cried for two days. Am I really a horrible mom? No, but I need to retrain myself to stop thinking that way. That's just one small example. The list could go on and on. And it does...}

Sep 2, 2009

42 years of tolerance

Today is my parents' 42nd anniversary! The subject of this post is courtesy of my mom who so eloquently (and romantically, I might add) described how their marriage has survived...

Sep 1, 2009

Slip-slidin' away

Last night, after a harrowing experience trying to buy groceries at our local Hy-Vee (including having my credit card declined, leaving my checkbook in the car, and having to lug a tired and fussy Griffin back-and-forth through the parking lot to get said checkbook), I drove through town trying to keep Griffin asleep in his carseat for a decent amount of time. Just before we got home, we drove past the park where Duncan played baseball this summer, and I got hit with some serious nostalgia.

It's crazy because all I did this summer was complain about the baseball season, about how everyone got to do what they wanted while I had to take care of a baby that was trying desperately to give up his third nap of the day, but didn't really know how to do it. I complained about working 8 hours a day and then coming home with a fussy Griffin only to have Patrick  and Duncan bail on me to head to practice (a WHOLE hour before the game started!). I'd feed Griffin, pack his diaper bag, load him (and every toy and snack known to man) into the car and we'd head to the game. Most of this was done for my own sanity. I could sit at the games around other adults, and maybe, just maybe those adults would want to play with or hold a cute baby.

Despite my best efforts, we'd always get there late and have to park as far away from the field as humanly possible. I'd grunt and groan trying to get the stroller out of the car and do the same getting Griffin situated. Then there was the sunscreen and the hat, which he immediately pulled off his head (and please don't suggest a hat with straps - the kid knows how to work around those, too).

The sad thing is that I don't even remember most of the games. I was usually chasing after Griffin or trying to appease him with some snacks or a book or a toy. A lot of times I'd just take him for a walk. Honestly, it was a lot of work.

But driving by the park last night, with the sun just starting to set, all I wanted was to go back to those early summer nights. Those baseball nights. I'd take the struggling with the stroller and the diaper bag and Griffin just to be able to sit out there and relish the beginning of the season and all that I could look forward to.

This is what I do at the end of every summer. Maybe it's a bit of regret for the things I didn't get to do. The things I forgot to do. The things I didn't truly enjoy. I feel like I spent my summer rushing around, feeling tense, running from one thing to the next. I haven't really stopped much to enjoy things, and now it feels too late.

I'm trying to slow down a bit. Really, I'm trying.

Aug 31, 2009


I received an e-mail this morning informing me that my story from Six Sentences was nominated!

If you liked my story, you can go here and vote for me (yes, this is a gratuitous request for votes).

Thanks in advance :-)

Aug 27, 2009

The duck that saved my life

Griffin graduated to the "big boy" car seat. This just means that he's old enough and big enough to ride facing forward. We got him a new seat just before his birthday and started using it a couple of weeks ago.

I love it because I don't have to lug that heavy seat (with a heavy baby in it) in and out of the car everywhere I go. Now I just get to lug the heavy baby with me. Griffin loves facing forward, and who could blame him? I mean, for the past 12 months the only thing he could really see when facing the other way was a grey headrest. Not very exciting.

Just as much as I'm thrilled to not have to carry that carseat around, I miss it because if Griffin fell asleep, we could just carry him into the house like that without a problem. Now, we have to wake him up and try to get him to fall back asleep in his crib. And you know what they say about the best laid plans...

The problem with this seat is that as much as Griffin loves facing forward, he hates getting into the seat. First thing in the morning isn't too bad - he's still tired and excited to be getting outside. It's the afternoon that's a killer. He's over tired and kind of cranky. He might be hungry and probably just really wants to play or walk. But then there I am, trying to stuff into that car seat for his own safety and all. How horrible of me. The kid can throw a total meltdown - to the point that he will somehow manage to escape from the arm straps and end up standing up in the carseat and facing the headrest. Maybe he really did like that view.

It was causing me a lot of stress. He did it every day when I picked him up from day care. Our provider had to get him in the seat  because he would fight it so bad for me. He did it in the parking lot at Target, our local grocery store, and his doctor's office. Screaming. Crying. Straightening his legs. The works. I would stand there and sweat and swear just trying to get him in the car. Think of a swear word and I said it.

Then I had an idea...

As we walked to the car one morning, I handed Griffin his Baby Einstein musical duck and his face lit up. I grabbed him, got him in the seat, and secured the seatbelt, all while he pushed the buttons and listened to the music. Success! And it has worked ever since. I told Patrick today that I don't care if I have to do this every day until he outgrows this seat because a) it works and b) I'm not sweating my ass off in my day care provider's driveway and various parking lots trying to get him in the carseat all while strangers think I'm abusing my son.

So thank you Baby Einstein duck. I love you {and I don't care how annoying and repetitive your songs can be, I would gladly have your music haunt my dreams just so Griffin keeps getting into his carseat without any problems}.

BE Duck

Aug 25, 2009

Six sentences

I found this incredibly unique web site that challenges writers to tell a story in six sentences. I've heard of flash fiction, but would this be considered micro-flash fiction?

On a whim, I decided to enter my six sentences. After hitting the "enter" button, I wondered what the hell I'd been thinking as I read through some of the most amazing stories. Aarghhh!!! I wanted to take it back. I wanted a do-over. But the very next day I received an e-mail from the editor informing me that my story was accepted!

So, here's my story...

Please do me a favor. Take time and read through some of the other stories. There are some amazing writers on this site. Quite honestly, I kind of feel like an imposter.

Aug 20, 2009

Something new

Yes, I'm trying a new look for my blog. I can't stand flip-flopping, but I wasn't thrilled with the last layout. I'm going to try this one out for a while and see how I like it. It just might change again...

Aug 19, 2009

Lost and found

Why does the title of this post sound eerily familiar to me? Did I just use it? At this point, I don't care. I like it and it fits with what I have to say.

It has been two weeks since I saw the doctor and I've got another week to go. Somehow, I've managed to make it. I don't know how because there were days (and nights) when the sadness and anxiety seemed unbearable. It's not so much the anxiety as it is the anticipation of the anxiety {and anyone who has ever experienced this knows exactly what I'm talking about}. I could be sitting at work, having lunch with my coworkers and then all of a sudden, a wave of dread washes over me: I'm not better. This hasn't been some awful nightmare. I still have to face it every day.

I have these moments when things seem normal {whatever that means}. I cook dinner. I flip through a magazine. Sometimes I even sneak in a laugh. But it always hits me. The dread. It's like some invisible person pokes me in the arm just to remind me of how awful I feel.

I like getting lost in those little moments - those small breaks from the sadness. I want more of them because I'm tired, so tired, of dragging myself around. I'm tired of faking smiles at work and with family. I'm tired of pretending. I'm just tired.

I'm very impatient this time around. I want to feel better and I want to feel better NOW. I know there's work to do and it's not something I can rush, but it's really difficult when I wake up each morning and dread going to work to have to deal with things that don't seem very important. And it's difficult to come home exhausted and have to take care of my family when all I want to do is crawl into bed.

One more week.

Aug 15, 2009

My backup husband

I had a dream last night that I was dating my backup husband. He called me from his tour in Europe to tell me he missed me and would be home in a couple of weeks. This was much better than the past few weeks when I battled insomnia...

{William Elliott Whitmore - aka "The Backup"}


Aug 12, 2009

And miles to go before I sleep...

Patrick is out of town tonight, so I'm home alone with Griffin and this is causing me a huge amount of anxiety. I'm scared he's going to wake up in the middle of the night and I'm not going to be able to take care of him. Or worse, that I'm not going to want to. It's those thoughts that drive me deeper and deeper into a depression. What kind of mother thinks those things?

I'm trying to do anything to keep my mind occupied. TV. The Internet. Writing. I just don't know if I'll be able to go to sleep tonight. I've been suffering from such horrible insomnia lately - waking in the middle of the night and then the anxiety keeps me up. Sometimes I only get 4 hours of sleep a night.

All I do at night is stare at the baby monitor. It's an awful feeling.

We'll see how long I make it tonight.

Griffin times three

Birthday 001

Griffin had his 12-month check-up today, which really was his 12 and 1/2 month check-up, but whatever, it's only two weeks, right?

Each visit we like to take bets on how much he weighs because he's, like, really heavy when you pick him up. I don't know. Maybe the kid likes to throw dead weight, but he's heavy. Besides, people are constantly telling me how big he is {once at Walgreens, a woman called him "thick" and "juicy" - maybe she was just hungry}. Anyway, we take bets. Patrick usually guesses too high and I'm usually closer, but still a bit high. I guessed 22 lbs 8 oz and was off by a whole pound! He's only 21 lbs 8 oz. But...he's 30 and 1/4 inches long. A long, tall, Iowan.

So he has officially tripled his birth weight (give or take a few ounces) and he grew over 9 inches in one year. I swear we haven't given him any steroids, but now that I think about it, he was wearing a Red Sox jersey the other day. Hmm.

Aug 8, 2009

She's a little runaway

I'm in Chicago right now. It was a really tough decision, but I had to leave. No, I didn't leave my family for good, but I had to leave for my own sanity. For my own good. For my mental health. Things came to a head last night/this morning and after a long talk (and some choice words), Patrick and I decided (OK, so I made him decide for me) that I needed to visit my parents for the weekend.

I was torn. The pros are that I get a break from the routine, the rut of my everyday life. Maybe I can return to my family tomorrow with fresh eyes and a fresh outlook. I hope to return with a new appreciation for all of them because they truly are the center of my world. The cons are that I feel such a sense of guilt for bailing on them. I feel as though I have let them down, especially my baby-doll Griffin. I have this obsessive thought that he will be scarred from this experience. That somehow, at the age of 25 he will end up in therapy because "that one time my mom took off to Chi-town for the weekend because she didn't want to be around me."

On the upside, I think Patrick might finally be beginning to understand the depths of my depression. He has never experienced it himself (thankfully), so I know it is difficult for him to comprehend how it feels. Explaining it isn't easy. This morning, I held Griffin while I tried washing bottles and sobbed. I didn't know what to do.  I couldn't make a decision. I was paralyzed. Everything was going on around me as usual, but I was paralyzed. It is a horrible feeling.

The funny thing is that even though I'm at my parents' house, and I don't have to worry about waking up in the middle of the night watching the baby monitor and listening for Griffin, I'm still as anxious as ever. What's that all about? I thought I'd be feeling great. I don't get it.

I just hope that these 24 hours really give me a break. A much-needed time to breathe and regroup.

Only time will tell.

Aug 6, 2009

Day one

I wasn't sure if I should title this post Day One of Square One. The whole point is that I'm starting over. I actually felt a bit of relief yesterday morning when I left the psychologist's office - partly because I finally was able to talk to someone (a professional) about things, but also because I felt like I was on the right path. Moving forward. Getting better.

That only lasted for a little while before the doom and gloom came over me again. The dread. The fear. The anxiety. The I-can't-keep-doing-this. As I stood in the doctor's office making my next appointment, I couldn't help but feel defeated. Am I seriously here again? When am I going to be done with this stuff? When am I going to conquer it all? It's so disappointing, which only fuels the depression.

I have these brief moments when I feel motivated and I think I can handle things. I like those moments. They actually make me smile. The only problem is that they're so short-lived. Maybe 30 seconds if I'm lucky. Then it's right back to the dread.

I'm my own worst enemy in this battle. I'm very aware of that. The rational versus the irrational parts of me. Right now the irrational is winning. The I'm-never-going-to-get-better part of my brain is a lot louder.

I want to go back to yesterday morning when I felt good about everything. How do I get that feeling back?

Aug 4, 2009

Some days...

Some days, like today, I think Griffin deserves better than what I am giving him. He deserves more. More love. More attention. More affection. More cuddles. More walks outside. He doesn't deserve my moping and pacing and crying.

Some days the thought of taking care of him is exhausting simply because the thought of taking care of myself is exhausting. Some days I just want Patrick to do everything - feed him, change him, give him a bath. And he will do it, but it can't go on like this forever. And then Griffin will look up at me with that sweet face of his - the one that doesn't know the meaning of depression or anxiety - and he'll smile and reach his arms up for me to hold him. So I do. And for a split second, all is right in the world. But then it's gone. That wave of darkness washes over me again and I hand him off to Patrick. What am I doing to him?

This morning when I dropped Griffin off at day care, I kissed his head and whispered in his ear, "Mama's gonna' get better, OK?" I know he doesn't understand me, but I just had to say it.

He deserves a good life filled with fun and laughter and experiences. I can't take that away from him, but I can't give him those things when I feel this way.

So I have to get better. I just have to.

Aug 1, 2009


At the age of 14 I sunk into a deep, deep depression. So deep that I could not see a way out. So deep that while I never contemplated suicide, I kept it in my back pocket as a last resort. So deep that I spent two full months in a psychiatric unit of a hospital because there was no other option.

In the 22 years since then, I have battled the occasional emotional ups-and-downs, the funks, and I've even had to go back on anti-depressants a couple of times, but nothing even close to what I experienced back then. The last bout was back in 2001. I went to see a psychologist and ended up on Paxil. They both helped tremendously and for the first time in my life I felt like I'd conquered the depression and anxiety.

Until last week.

It's back. I thought it was a funk. It's not. I know the difference. With a funk, I can see the end of it - I know it's temporary. I can feel it. This feels so different. I'm starting to pull away from everyone and everything.

I don't want to go on and on about it because I know what I need to do. I already made an appointment. I hope to avoid medication this time mainly because I think I might have to stop taking my Topamax. Too many meds messing up my brain.

I hate this. I hate this more than anything else in my life. I hate it more than migraines. I can feel myself slipping and sinking each day. Each minute. It hurts. I looked at Griffin this evening and I told him how sorry I was. I was sorry for passing on my fucked up genes to him (god how I hope he never has to know what depression feels like). I was sorry that I wasn't doing all the things I should be doing with him (guilt, guilt, guilt). If I don't get better for myself, I need to get better for him.

So, there you have it. A deep, dark secret and a big confession all on a late Saturday night. What more could you ask for?

Jul 31, 2009

Extreme Home Makeover

OK, so maybe it wasn't that extreme, but we (and when it comes to home remodeling "we" means "Patrick") did some major work in our house a couple of weeks ago. We've wanted to put in hardwood floors in our living/dining rooms for a really long time but have never had the money to do it. We still didn't have the money, but thanks to a very generous donation from my grandfather (who recently sold his house) and strict rules that we could only use the money toward home improvement projects, we decided to go ahead and get hardwood floors. Yay!

Patrick got a number of bids and we determined that they all pretty much averaged out to the same amount - $4 per square foot for the wood and $4 per square foot for installation. We decided on Lowe's because we had just received a 10% off coupon in the mail and we're all about saving some money. Then Patrick called me and asked me the question I was dreading: "What do you think about me installing the floors?" Oh crap. Seriously? When it comes to projects around the house, skill level is not the issue. Timeliness is the issue. I had visions of our floors being torn up until Thanksgiving. But he promised me. And we had a deadline looming - Griffin's first birthday party, which was less than two weeks away. Plus, I needed a few days before the party to get everything back in order and clean the house in preparation for the party. He said he'd be done by Tuesday.

I'm not even going to get into everything that happened that next week, but let me just remind everyone of Griffin's bout of pneumonia that kept him (and us) home for 3 days. It seemed like everything got in the way of this project, including me and my complaining and whining and anxiety-fueled rants. "This is never going to happen!" seemed to be one of my favorites. Wait...that and "Who cares about matching the color, just nail down the f'ing wood!" Poor Patrick. I know that one of the big reasons he wanted to do this project himself (aside from saving us a lot of money) is that he and his dad had talked about doing the floors a couple of years ago. His dad used to be a carpenter and back then, if we had the money, I would have been more than happy to have them do it mainly because my father-in-law really knew how to light a fire under Patrick's butt to get stuff done.

In the end, it doesn't matter when the floors got done (yes, they were done in time for the party). Patrick did a beautiful job and we're so happy with how they turned out. I've got some "mid-project" pictures. I need to take some real "after" pictures, which I will do as soon as we clear Griffin's b-day presents from the living room:

[caption id="attachment_895" align="aligncenter" width="500" caption="Pulling back carpet in living room"]Pulling back carpet in living room[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_896" align="aligncenter" width="500" caption="The crappy carpet as it looks in the dining room"]The crappy carpet as it looks in the dining room[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_898" align="aligncenter" width="500" caption="A before shot of the living room (aka Tools and Crap)"]A before shot of the living room (aka Tools and Crap)[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_899" align="aligncenter" width="500" caption="Patrick planning out how the hell he's going to get this done in a week"]Patrick planning out how the hell he's going to get this done in a week[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_900" align="aligncenter" width="500" caption="Oh yeah, and we painted, too..."]Oh yeah, and we painted, too...[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_901" align="aligncenter" width="500" caption="We = Patrick"]We = Patrick[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_902" align="aligncenter" width="500" caption="The color is Mississippi Mud"]The color is Mississippi Mud[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_903" align="aligncenter" width="500" caption="It looks great with the color of the wood floors"]It looks great with the color of the wood floors[/caption]

Stay tuned for the "after" pictures. Patrick really did an amazing job and I know his dad is proud of him...

Jul 28, 2009

Let them eat cake!

Not much time to write the details of Griffin's party (will have to do that later this week), so here are just some pictures of the birthday boy:

Birthday 066

Birthday 084

Birthday 088

Birthday 100


Birthday 104

Birthday 116

Birthday 122

Birthday 143

Birthday 129

Jul 22, 2009


Dear Griffin,

One year ago today you came into our lives two weeks earlier than expected with a loud and healthy cry, just your little way of telling us that you were ready to take on the world. And now, one year later, I am amazed at how your personality hasn't changed much from that first welcoming cry.

I've been thinking about this letter for the past few months in anticipation of this big day, but when it came down to it, I waited until the last minute. (I hate to tell you this, Griffin, but the odds are stacked against you in that department). I figured things would come more naturally once I just sat down and started typing.

Every parent says the same thing - they had no idea how much their baby would change their lives - but it's true. That first night alone at home with you, I went to bed and thought, "There's another person in this house with us." I was so worried I wouldn't wake up when you cried. But you cried, and I heard you. And it was like we we had been doing this for years - feeding you, changing you, rocking you. You fit into our world so nicely.

Oh, there were the rough times. The colic and the screaming, but I don't want to think about those times right now.

I'm not even sure what I want to say to you right now. Maybe how you've changed me from being a very anxious, uptight person to a more go-with-the flow person. Believe me, I've got a long way to go, but I'm a work in progress. You've taught me that I can't plan my life any longer. I have to let things happen. And they just will. You've taught me how to stop and enjoy the right now because it's what's most important. You've taught me to not care if I'm a few minutes late for work...especially if it meant that I got to spend more time with you before taking you to day care.

You have this uncanny ability to make me smile when I'm in a bad mood (even when I might be a wee bit frustrated with you!). I envy the way that you approach the world, with eyes wide open and no fear. Every morning is a fresh start and a chance to learn. When you wake up each morning  and you reach your arms up for me to take you out of your crib, we always do the same thing: We walk over to your windows and I reach out for your curtains. You anticipate it now and you start to smile right away. I sweep open the curtains and I say, "Hello world!" and your face just lights up. I just know you're ready to take on the world. I love that about you.

And here we are, 7:04 AM. Exactly one year later. And my eyes are tearing up thinking about that moment when you entered this world and our lives. I want so much for you in this life.

I love you, Griffin.

Love, Mama

Jul 20, 2009

Bag o' tricks

Griffin fussed on the drive home from Chicago last night. Of course, I was the one in the back seat with him. I gave him a bottle. I played peek-a-boo with his blanket. I stuck a pacifier in his mouth. Nothing really seemed to work. Fortunately, being in the back of Patrick's car is like being a contestant on "Let's Make a Deal." I swear, there's some good junk back there. I found an old-school baby rattle, some masking tape, a neon green highlighter, baby socks, a rubber glove, napkins, a baseball hat, a small plastic Spiderman figurine, two nearly empty travel-size bottles of hand lotion, a baseball, a pair of cleats, a pair of jeans, a Grover stuffed doll, and a blue dress shirt rolled into a ball. Seriously, there was more stuff on the floor...I just couldn't reach it.

I used most of this to try to entertain Griffin for the drive home. The socks were used as rather boring sock puppets (now that I think about it, I could have used the green marker to draw on some eyes - what was I thinking?). I rubbed some lotion on his arms. I put the baseball hat on my head and then on his head (which only elicited more screaming), and then I put it on his Grover doll. Now that made him smile. Grover in a Cubs hat! After the novelty wore off, I ended up trying to tie the baby sock around Spiderman's neck like a cape so he could fly around and stuff, but then I was informed that Spiderman doesn't wear a cape and I was all "Whatever. I'm a girl. I'm just trying to keep this kid from flipping out." So, I spent the remainder of the drive making Spiderman jump from the back seat into Griffin's car seat and when he got bored with that, Grover started jumping.

At least I know that if we ever get stranded in Patrick's car, we might starve, but we'll be entertained...

Jul 16, 2009

One year ago...

I looked like this:

Griffin's first birthday is next week and I'm getting all nostalgic and stuff.