Thursday, December 30, 2010

100.5 and Holding

Today I was up briefly to help BJ get the baby ready for the day and to call my office and tell them I was running a fever...still. Then I went back to bed and slept hard until BJ called me from work at 12:40. Can I take a moment here to give a shout-out to Sus, my splendid mother-in-law, who generously gave the Christmas gift of a dual-control electric blanket to me? Thanks Sus. I cranked that thing up to '17' this morning and was still shivering, but soon fell into that deep sleep of which I just spoke. It was a slow-moving day because of the 100.5 degree fever that I seemed to be holding steady at, but it subsided just after 3:00 this afternoon and I have felt pretty normal since then. Thank goodness!

I was pretty determined to get down the knit stitch this afternoon, so after Silas went down for his nap and I regained some of my health, I got onto youtube and found a demonstration of the garter stitch, which is the stitch that I really needed to learn for this chapter's two projects. Besides, I hear that it is the most basic stitch of all and the one that all others build upon, so learning it was essential. Admittedly, I did have to watch the video about five times, but I got it! I'm using a bit of a thinner yarn so this is going kind of slow, but so far I have about three inches going, and I'm happy with that. Tomorrow I'll make it to Hobby Lobby to spend some Christmas money on the yarns that the project actually calls for, which are much thicker and require a larger size needle (who knew?). When I was selecting some beginner supplies I had no idea what I was looking for, and I chose yarns based on their colors and designs rather than important things like size. I was at least intelligent enough to buy the necessary corresponding needles though. Now I just need a more complete collection, including some fabric scissors and a finishing needle.

As 2010 winds to a close, I hope that everyone is doing okay out there. My friends, I hope that life is awesome, and I encourage you all to start blogs so that I can keep up with your daily lives (this means you Emily! Don't let others stop you!!!). Good night. =)

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

The Pig-Out Stage

I'd like to propose a change to the widely-accepted grief cycle. As it stands, the acknowledged stages are denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. Shouldn't there be room for the 'emotional eating' stage of the grief cycle too? I mean, I go through it every time I grieve, and today was no exception. Somewhere between depression and acceptance there is most definitely 'pig-out' stage, which consisted of me going to Rusty's Frozen Custard and consuming a pumpkin custard with chocolate chips, solely in an attempt to make myself feel better today. Indeed, it did help a little bit, but only a little bit. Although I could go on about how today was a terrible day, the truth is that this business is someone else's, and the extreme sadness that I feel for some close friends of mine is not material for a blog. Suffice it to say, people that I love are truly hurting, so I am hurting with them.

I have been inspired by one of my friend's sisters to begin knitting. It seems like every time I get on FB, she has an enviable status that says something like, "A whole day of knitting ahead of me, with a warm fire and hot chocolate!" Now, that simply sounded irresistible to me, so I asked for knitting supplies for Christmas and I am on my way. Sort of. I have learned the casting on part of it all, but am still working on the knit stitch, which of course is the most basic stitch of all. It's hard to teach yourself because I don't know anyone in my area that knits. If you're reading this, live in the OKC area, know how to knit, and are interested in giving a lesson to a beginner, please let me know! I received the book The Chicks with Sticks Guide to Knitting: Learn to Knit with More Than 30 Cool, Easy Patterns for Christmas and am going by that so far.  Will keep you updated. Right now my free time is divided between so many things like writing work reports, reading, blogging, and now learning to knit, so I'm not sure how long it will take me to make progress...

Monday, December 27, 2010

Counting My Blessings (Instead of Sheep)

I love the movie 'White Christmas.' I especially am fond of the couple played by Rosemary Clooney and Bing Crosby, and my favorite part of the movie is when they sing "Count Your Blessings" by the fire. I was fortunate to watch this movie on Christmas night with BJ after the Thunder game ended. BJ was gracious enough to let us skip the home Thunder game on Christmas night so that we could spend time as a family in our home, doing Christmas-y things like watching a movie. I like the Thunder games, but believe me, I was grateful!

We had an awesome first Christmas with Silas. He was semi-interested in opening gifts and majorly interested in playing with gifts once they were opened. As was expected, he scored quite the loot, so mommy and daddy are going to have to chisel down what is available at any given time to him; otherwise, the living room will look like a jungle gym! We had some good time together on the morning of Christmas Eve. Silas got us up early, but then went down for a super long nap, during which time BJ and I ate breakfast, then sat at the table talking and wrapping Christmas gifts for HOURS. It was lots of fun though. I'm a lucky girl.

I was reading on a friend's blog about a family whose son was born a couple of weeks ago with some substantial health problems, and he passed away on the morning of Christmas Eve after being taken off life support, as it was determined that doctors could no longer do anything for the poor boy. What a way to spend Christmas Eve. My heart ached profoundly for that family as I read about their hardship, and I was once again humbled by the circumstances that I enjoy... This family just lost their son because he could not breathe on his own, and what was my biggest problem of the day? That Silas woke us up too early? That my beautiful son was announcing in a happy voice at the top of his very healthy lungs that he was ready to get up from his crib and play at 6:15 in the morning on Christmas Eve? Geez, what a sacrifice (sarcasm...this is hard to read). I bet that family would have gladly gotten up every day for the rest of their lives at 6:15 if it meant that they could spend more time with their son. I ended up loving every minute of that early morning anyway, because Silas smelled so good and was in a cuddly mood, and I just couldn't stop whispering "Merry Christmas Eve!" into his soft little hair.

So I am counting my blessings. In the pics above you will see my greatest two blessings, BJ and Silas. Silas likes to stand at the edge of the tub watching while his bath is drawn. The other picture was taken on Christmas Eve while opening oodles of presents. I hope that yours was as merry as mine.

Thursday, December 23, 2010


One thing I always love about the holiday season is meeting up with friends that I don't always get to see. An advantage of being home means that, when loved ones that live far away flock home for the holidays, you get to see them.  BJ and I used to be members of this flocker-homer group, and I am so enjoying NOT belonging in this category anymore. Instead, I'll let the loved ones get home, and then there is no escape for them from me! Ha ha.

Last night was spent with dear friends at a Christmas party, a get-together that has become quite an annual reunion it seems. Today I spent most of the day with my mom, getting things done for the holidays and trying to catch up on everything that I'm behind on (which, indeed, happens to be everything). Tonight we met with Brian, Emily, Aaron, and Laura for sushi at Go-go, which was delish as ever. Then more dear out-of-town friends made it to our home tonight, and we're waiting on more to arrive as I type.

As we were driving away from sushi tonight, I remarked to BJ that he and I are quite lucky. We have an amazing friend-base, and our friends are genuinely wonderful people. Every one of them builds me up and reminds me that I am loved and respected. This Christmas season, I am happy to see so many kick-ass friends. For those of you who are celebrating far away, you are also missed. May God bless you this holiday season. Cheers!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

My Second Favorite Day

As the hubbub closed in on December 18, 2010, I was reminded of my life exactly one year ago. Things were busy at work, the holidays were gearing up, life was great, and I was pregnant with Silas. I have often reflected with smiles and extremely fond memories for Friday, December 18, 2009, which I have dubbed as my second favorite day of all time. And since I was once again reminded of this esteemed day this afternoon by a memento that was ironically floating around inside my purse (along with way too much other shiz), I thought I would share my thoughts on December 18 for today's entry.

It didn't start out like any other day. BJ and I had that Friday off (it was one of those glorious RDO's ), and we woke up that morning laughing in bed and quoting an SNL sketch where Kristen Wiig plays Aunt Sue ("I'm so FREAKING excited!"). We got out of bed, nervously ate breakfast, and then were off to the hospital for the ultrasound that would tell us the news of a lifetime: is it a boy or a girl? I honestly didn't care, but I felt certain that Silas was a girl. BJ was leaning toward wanting a boy for the first child, simply so that he has a partner-in-crime to scare off potential suitors for our younger daughter-to-be.  We arrived at the hospital with both of my parents and BJ's mom in tow, and the ultrasound tech was a real champ for letting us all crowd into the room. Well, Silas had no qualms with letting it all hang out, so our tech was able to tell us right off the bat the grand news that Silas was a boy. After the shock of this announcement set in, it seemed so fitting (I don't know why) and grand. Now, I can't even imagine having a girl because I am so tickled with having a baby boy. Silas even humored me later in the ultrasound process by distinctly waving an OSU 'Pistols firing!' sign, and for all you doubters out there, the proof can be had by visiting his nursery, where the picture continues to be displayed.

After this greatest news ever, we went to a delicious lunch at San Marcos, then went with our moms for my first-ever trip to Babies R' Us, where BJ and I each bought a celebratory baby outfit of our choosing. Then he and I headed on to see "A Christmas Carol" at a nearby matinee. Finally, we met cousins Julie and Michael for a late dinner at the Melting Pot, where we spent hours catching up and having a delicious dinner and dessert.

A year later, as I said before, I look back and smile when I think about that day. The movie ticket stub was found stuck to a bunch of receipts in my purse, as it must have escaped from my wallet, where I keep it for sentimental safekeeping.  From start to finish, the day was really the best ever. Okay, it was the second-best ever. =)

Here is a picture of Silas a year later...

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Back Into It

I haven't run in a few weeks, which is really unfortunate. For a while I lost the will to motivate myself, and certainly no one else was helping with this, until my sister Christa gave me the what-for and reminded me of my goals the other day. Thanks Christa. So, this morning, before I could talk myself out of it, Tex and I went for a jog around the park.

Let me just say that I could immediately feel the weight that I have put back on in three weeks' time. Since we left for Los Angeles, I have put five pounds back on and am no longer below my pre-pregnancy weight. What a grand five pounds it was though! I ate whatever I wanted in LA, and this Christmas season has also been generally filled with Gluttonous eating (I did mean to put a capital G there too). So I set off and immediately I'm thinking, 'Oh no, I can feel that extra five pounds already.' Tex and I made it 16 minutes though, mos def over a mile and a quarter, so that's good. To me, this means that to some degree I still 'have it,' since when I initially began this venture there was an iceberg's chance in hell that I could go a whole mile.

I know that I was successful with my jogging during this entire fall season because I set myself a wonderful goal, which was the Turkey Trot. Okay, if that's what it takes, I'll do it again. So here's my next goal, and it really has become a family goal: we're signing up for the Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon Relay on May 1, 2011. I was surprised when reading about this relay to learn the rules, as I had assumed that a five-person team basically entailed each person running a little over five miles. Not so, though. The marathon relay follows what it calls the Eikeden format, which is set up as follows:

Runner #1 = 10K
Runner #2 = 5K
Runner #3 = 12K
Runner #4 = 5K
Runner #5 = 10K

I have personally opted for a 10K distance, which is going to mean really pushing myself. I think I can do it though. So here is the team....Only runner #4 is tentative at this time I believe, but I do have a back-up for him should he choose to not run.

Runner #1 = me
Runner #2 = my mom (what what, way to rock it Mom!)
Runner #3 = Christa (way to go sis! pulling the long one!)
Runner #4 = Billy
Runner #5 = BJ

Time to get to it! I can't let my team down!!!

Friday, December 17, 2010

The Christmas Blur

Wow, it has been for-eevvv-eerrr since I have blogged. I think I have been so busy that I even forgot to miss it, which is crazy. I never expected to get hooked onto blogging, but I definitely have. Well, since I last wrote, we have returned from Los Angeles, attempted to get caught up at home a bit, worked a full week (which for me is three days), and attended (in my opinion) entirely too many things that take me away from home. Friends who know me well know that I'm a serious homebody, and spending too many nights in a row away from home can be painful for me. In this case, the number of nights away from home was two in a row, and it was indeed painful. Tonight, however, BJ and are at home together in front of the fire, baby man is sleeping soundly in his crib, and I'm contemplating a piece of pumpkin pie and reveling in the glory of my living room.

Like nearly everyone else in this country, I am entirely too busy this Christmas season, which is unfortunate. It seems to have been a red and green blur since the day before Thanksgiving, and once you throw parenthood into the works, it gets even crazier! I say this and I only have one child, and he's still young enough that I can shop for his Christmas presents right in front of him and he has no idea. This will only get crazier, I know.

BJ and I were laughing the other night about how parenthood really does change everything, and I can't help but be entertained by the changes that I see in myself. Absolutely everything takes longer to accomplish now. I no longer can think of Christmas presents that I want for myself because instead I'm thinking of presents I want for Silas.  I wear only two rings, and all other jewelry has been cast aside for functionality purposes. I can do anything I want one-armed now.  I know how to make a formula bottle in the dark. I know the difference in meaning between the made-up words "boppy," "bumbo," bjorn," and "booga," and I actually use the words on a fairly frequent basis.  And when a friend who was over for dinner, games, and drinks jokingly asked for a 'sex on the beach,' I told him that the only makings I had to prepare one besides the vodka were grape Pedialyte and apple juice. Ah, such is my life now. Ain't it grand though. =)

Also, I really need some accountability when it comes to my jogging. Will someone please get on my butt about this?

Saturday, December 11, 2010


Today was a great day in LA. BJ was finished working this week, so we set off early this morning, as sleeping in has become a thing of the past. Breakfast was had at the Original Pancake House. BJ ordered the German pancake, which was quite comical-looking and I took a picture of it... however, it should be noted that I stupidly forgot to pack my camera battery charger, so I was forced to buy a disposable camera for this vacation. That blew my plan of chronicling our adventures via blogging and posting pics to smithereens. Anyway, his breakfast was funny looking. After that, we headed to REI to buy a child-carrying backpack, checked into our next hotel, happily ate cheeseburgers at In-N-Out, and then spent the afternoon at the Huntington Library, which was absolutely amazing and well worth the 15 bucks a head. This place had about a thousand gardens, and all three of us had a great time.

Now, to the title of this entry. In a previous entry I referred to my poor mother as CG, abbreviated for "Crazy Grandma," and I promised readers the story to accompany this unfortunate dubbing. Since that time I have received a request to tell that tale, and I have decided that today is that day. I feel like telling the story with the mannerisms of George Costanza, whose ridiculous theatrics would serve this action well. On that note, the story shall begin... "The sea was angry that day, my friends..." Just kidding.

But really.  BJ and I had just gotten Tex the week before, and he was an 11-week-old puppy.  I'd say that he was small, but for those of you who know Tex, he was large even then. Within the first week of having Tex as ours, we had to drive home from Minneapolis to Oklahoma City for weddings that were on back-to-back weekends, so BJ and I just decided to take the week in-between off from school and spend it with our families in Oklahoma. One night during this week, my mom, Tex, her puppy Sam, and I were all in the backyard relaxing. The dogs were running around on the back porch and, for some reason that I cannot remember, my mom went over to one side of their porch (which is quite large), and I think she stooped to pick something up. As she was coming back to a standing position, she began losing her balance and took a small step backward to regain it. Unfortunately, puppy Tex was immediately behind her and had chosen that exact moment to put his front paws up on my mom's leg, begging to be picked up.  Tex got kicked by this small step that my mother made. This sent him somersaulting backward over the side of the porch, which was probably one foot off the ground. It happened in such a way that he actually landed on his back on the edge of the porch, so that his momentum kept him going and he performed a complete back flip off the porch and onto the grass, landing on his feet and coming away from the incident relatively unscathed. My mom watched these proceedings in horror, and I with amusement. Once I realized that Tex was absolutely fine, I burst into laughter, and my mom, who remained horrified for another five seconds, soon followed my cue and began laughing as well. When we recounted this adventure to my dad later in the evening, he scooped up Tex and said to him, "Well, what was your momma thinking, bringing you to a crazy lady's house? Don't mind that lady...she's just your crazy grandma."  Over the years BJ and I never let that name slide and we eventually shortened it to "CG." I had aspirations of Silas following suit and also calling my mom CG, but my four-year-old nephew has already decided to call her "Nana," so I guess that wins out by default of Sebastian being older than Silas.

There you have it folks. CG. And she's the best-ever grandma to that dog. In fact, I have no doubts that he has had late night walks with his best buddy Sam, lots of food and treats, and a big dog bed to snore on in my parents' bedroom while BJ, Silas, and I have been gone this week. Three cheers to CG!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Old Friends

The primary reason that I originally stated for beginning this blog was my desire to keep up with old and dear friends who are all over the country. I wish that all of my long-distance friends kept blogs so that I could join in their daily lives, as I used to when each of them was near me. I have reached a point in my life where I am no longer terribly saddened by missing friends, if and only if these friends are happy in their respective places. I remember how sad I felt when I initially parted with my best friend Andi, when I moved to Minnesota and she headed to south Florida a year afterward. Andi was having such a blast in school, and I knew that she was well taken care of by her new friends in Florida. Since I didn't need to worry about her emotional or physical state, I wasn't so sad about Andi not being in my daily life anymore. Instead, I was happy each time I thought of her, imagining her kayaking, eating at Pizza Girls, or spending time with her new friends at the beach. It's the same with Andi now as she lives in Maine and seems to be having the time of her life. Of course I get emotional as I type this blog now, but typically I only smile and think happy thoughts when I think of Andi, because I know that she is happy where she is.

I was reminded of this emotional state last night as I was blessed to spend time with my wonderful friend Jenn, whom I met in Minnesota but who now lives in Los Angeles. Last time I saw Jenn here, I sobbed after we said goodbye because I knew that she was new to the area and was still somewhat lonely. Although I had every confidence in Jenn that she was going to carve herself a beautiful path here, I was worried and unhappy about leaving her at the time. Now, a totally different story has emerged. I was sad to leave Jenn's home last night after spending time with her and meeting an awesome friend of hers, but I will only think positive thoughts when I think of Jenn from now on, having seen her settled and blessed by her new life.  Each time I get to see her in the future I will be ecstatic, but during the in-between times, I will also feel happy even though she is not near me.

To all of my wonderful long-distance friends, you know who you are, and I am missing you...but I am mostly just happy for you, because I know that the vast majority of you are thrilled to be in the places that you are. I love this for each of you...even though you are not with me.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Trying New Things

One thing that our friends Aaron and Laura have been good for (among many other good things) is expanding our culinary horizons. BJ and I really love food, and we both like trying new things. This makes dinner with Aaron and Laura always an excellent adventure, because they'll try pretty much anything (as long as it's not a restaurant chain), and with them, the motto is 'the more authentic, the better!' Last time we were in LA we ate dinner with them at an El Salvadoran restaurant that served us up papusas, and thus began our quest to find papusas in Oklahoma City. This was accomplished when we came across Cocina Guatelinda, which I have blogged about before. Delicious!

Last night we were fortunate to meet our wonderful friends Aaron and Laura for dinner once again while visiting in LA, and they took us to a kickin' Vietnamese restaurant. I've tried Vietnamese only once and didn't like it, but I wasn't sure if it was because the food was Vietnamese or if it was because every meal I was forced to taste at this particular restaurant had tofu in it. It must have been the tofu, because this place was remarkably delicious! I knew that Aaron and Laura were not going to disappoint us when we walked into an absolutely packed restaurant and we were the ONLY non-Asian folks in the room. I was particularly fond of this drink that Aaron convinced me to try. Basically it was a mixture of a very strong, smooth coffee combined with sweetened condensed milk and poured over ice. It was among the better drinks I have had in my life, and I consider my pocketbook lucky that this restaurant is so many hundreds of miles away from home, or else I would probably get one every day.

So I loved the Vietnamese food. After that we went and got boba tea, which was also a new thing for me. For those of you unfamiliar with this treat, it is basically a tea mixed with milk and it has soft, cooked tapioca balls in the bottom of it. You drink it through a wide straw and those boba just come up through your straw. No one prepared me for this so when it happened the first time, I thought there was a worm in my drink. BJ said, "It's like a drink and a snack all in one," and he really is right because the boba have the consistency of soft gummy bears. I had to get used to this one, so BJ and I found another boba tea place tonight and I got another.

Today poor BJ had to work, but Silas and I lived it up by eating lunch at In-N-Out (don't worry, Silas ate green beans and mangoes) and then spending the afternoon at the Santa Ana Zoo. My life is good. I hope that yours is too!

Monday, December 6, 2010

It's Good To Be the King

If you've never seen "History of the World: Part One," then you might not be familiar with the oft-used quote "It's good to be the king." Good ole Mel Brooks...I just can't get enough of that guy. Well, Silas may as well be thinking this quote in his silly little head, because I'll tell you what: It's good to be the baby around here. Today BJ, Silas, and I were all aboard a California-bound airplane. All three of us were tired, a little cranky (well, some more than others), and in general, just ready to be in Los Angeles. However, while the adults in the party took care of adult-type responsibilities, the baby in the crowd was living it up. I thought, you know, life is good when you're a baby. You get to wear a one-piece fleece suit that zips from toe to head and no one laughs at you, you get to lay across two people's laps so that you can sleep on the plane, your mom strokes your head softly until you fall asleep with a smile behind your pacifier, and your belly is full from the giant meal that you just ate. When you're the momma, you're sitting in the middle of the three-seat configuration, you're waiting on crappy airplane coffee so that you can finally start feeling awake even though your alarm went off at 4:50 AM, your restless leg syndrome is starting to kick in, and your legs are falling asleep because there is a baby on them. Now, being a mom is nice, and I really do love it, but it's good to be the king (AKA the baby).

Right now I'm looking out of our hotel window toward the mountains east of Los Angeles and eagerly awaiting dinner with good friends that live out here. Vacation stretches before me, the weather is 70 degrees and sunny (which makes the Christmas tunes on the radio seem ironic), and I can't wait to see much-loved faces out here. Maybe it's not just good to be the baby... it's good to be the momma too. Bring it on!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Turkey Boy and Picking Up the Pace

First things first, here. Below you will find a picture of Silas and me celebrating his first Thanksgiving. Please note that I bought product and styled my son's hair into a kickin' faux-hawk, which made him all the more irresistible. He was adorned in a quite adorable Thanksgiving outfit, replete with a turkey bib that was promptly covered with a variety of foods that his eager mother stuffed into his mouth. Such foods included mashed potatoes (which were repeatedly gagged and spat back out onto the turkey bib), sweet potatoes, pumpkin pie, cool whip, and gravy. The boy seems to love his pumpkin pie, so he's a chip off the old block in that regard.

All this talk of food makes me feel the need to jog. One might think that because I met my goal at the Turkey Trot my running days are over, to which I emphatically reply, "Hell-to-the-no."  I have several vague goals in mind for my running future, and they include both (probably at different times) a faster pace and a longer distance. I want to be on the next Claire's Crew in Minneapolis, and if that means running a 10K then so be it. It will just have to be done. But in the meantime, I said to myself, let's try to pick up the pace a bit. I discussed with BJ what might be an acceptable time to cut down to, knowing that I wouldn't be able to run the 3.1 mile distance if the pace goes too far up. We put our heads together and decided that I would run from our house to the park and then around it one complete time, which should equal roughly 1.1 miles, and that I would complete this time in 13 minutes. Now, I'm not all gadget-y like some people I know, so I have no iPhone or what have you to keep my pace for me. What this means, my friends, is that I was stuck blindly guessing. Of course I took off way too fast and was already having difficulty by the time I reached the park (.2 miles people, really). So then I slowed down a bit, and Tex (my ever-faithful running partner) stopped to take a poopie in the park (let me be clear here that Tex is a dog). As I finished with picking up this mess, I noticed a lady going by in the same direction, and she was jogging at a nice clip. I thought to myself, stay behind her and try to keep up with her...that can be your steady pace. Of course, one thing I know about this lady but neglected to fully realize in that over-zealous moment is that I know this lady is in the armed forces. Well, needless to say, she promptly left my ass high and dry, even though I was running faster than I was when I had originally set off. Soon my goal was just to be able to see her in the distance, and this was abandoned and later reclaimed as she came jogging around and passed me on the other side of the park, going the opposite direction. I sarcastically consoled myself that at least I could still see her.  Anyway, though my pace was inconsistent, I logged that 1.1 miles in 12 minutes, 10 seconds. I plan to try this again this weekend, and I will again resist the urge to use a gadget...

Happy weekend, everyone!