About Me

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Concord, California, United States
I am a sometimes-writer, everyday mama, creative failure and experimental cook. I am interested in living a beautiful life, spending time with my family and making things that I can feel proud of. When I'm by myself I'm usually outside. Don't bother calling because chances are that I didn't bring my cell phone because I couldn't find it. If you see me walking, it's because I lost my keys and if you see me with only one child... I'm probably in big trouble.

Friday, December 31, 2010

Good-bye 2010

Normally this post would be about the inspirational year that we had. I'd reminisce about the good times and talk about the lessons that I learned and the people who touched and motivated me. I'd look fondly back on my year and celebrate it. This post will not follow that formula. I will further resist the temptation to list an inventory of our 2010 misfortune because I'm really ready to put it all behind me.

Not to start the day out on a sour note, but I have never, ever, ever, ever been so pleased to bid adieu to a calendar year before! I remember last year when Jay was in Philadelphia and I was in Florida visiting my parents for the holiday. I told everyone who would listen to me talk that our separation was surely a bad omen for the year to come. And because 2010 sucked one mighty large lemon, I have become a superstitious woman.

Of course, this isn't negative. This is GREAT! One day to go. One day, and I am at the end of a terrible chapter in an otherwise good book. But because the year has sucked so badly it only makes sense that on the last day I'd wake up to find Sidney poop on my kitchen floor and pee on my couch and a broken tv (not really broken. Just broken in a way that only jayholler knows how to undo). Fully, I anticipate being robbed at work today and then getting hit by a car on the way home...

But not fatally...

Because I have a good feeling about 2011!!!!!! Something tells me that the year to come is going to be fantastic!

Today after work we are all bundling up and heading over to The Battleship New Jersey to watch the early fireworks show from on board. The girls are super excited to see our friends MJ and their family and everyone loves fireworks! Then, MJ are coming over with the kids to play apples to apples and ring in the New Year.

As far as resolutions go, I'm not sure that I have any true resolutions yet. I know that I'd like to adjust my diet and reduce my carbs again. I just feel so much better when I don't eat any flour or sugar. Both make me sluggish and bloated.

Also, I'd like to blog each day. Whether that be in this blog or in my Little Shop of Hollers blog, I'd really like to put something up each day.

I want to move out of the city.

And be really wonderful to my husband and children.

I want to knit regularly for BGES.

I'll think about my resolutions more today so that they are a little bit more insightful and meaty tomorrow!

Oh, and everyone, HAVE A HAPPY AND SAFE NEW YEAR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Enjoy your families and your friends and your food and the very air you breathe. Love a lot! Scream loudly at midnight and kiss the person next to you! Hug everyone in sight. HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Mama Needs to Lay Off the Sauce

I don't know what came over me last night.

An old friend of mine, E, picked me up at four from work. We had plans to go out and grab a bite to eat. He was driving, so I decided that he should drive us over to my very favorite restaurant in Philly. I never go out to dinner and about 80% of that never sees me out on the town without my children and husband.

And for whatever reason...

I got this really delicious berry martini called a Wild Child. And I was actually just really thirsty. And it was chilled and smooth a deceitfully quenching. But I kept on drinking and drinking and drinking. I mean, I drank A LOT of alcohol and I REGRET IT.

I woke up in the middle of the night with my hands on my pounding head thinking "WHY DID I DO THIS?" I mean, how embarrassing to see someone for the first time in years and get plastered on fancy cocktails? I EVEN ordered a chocolatini for DESSERT!

It will likely be a good chunk of time before I have another drink... I'm just going to make it through my day with bloodshot eyes and a dry mouth. Ew.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Snow Day

I'm not certain how much snow we got, but it was enough for T to tell me that I shouldn't come into work this morning.

We would have taken full advantage of this day together had Lila not woken up at around 10pm screaming with ear pain. She described it as "a needle going through her bone." Had I thought that it was safe, I would have taken her to the ER. Luckily, we were able to get her a Dr. appointment for 10am and conveniently T texted that I should enjoy the day with my family instead of trekking into work. We had planned on a pediatrician visit today because Bunny had a rash (which ended up being bacterial and now we have three types of antibiotics- topical, ear drops and oral). But we originally had no idea that Lila was sick. We didn't' know until it was very bad. Now she has a little hole in her ear drum and has to have antibiotics dropped into it each day.

First thing this morning Bunny and Jay were outside, but Lila had to stay in.

Here Bunny is playing in the back yard:
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And then they cleared the sidewalks!
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While Lila stayed inside and painted:
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And I baked cookies and cookies and cookies and brownies!
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And tomorrow I'll have dinner with an old friend after work! Expect pictures!


Sunday, December 26, 2010

Once A Year

As much as I love Christmas, I am so glad that it doesn't happen more than once every year. I am EXHAUSTED! As we were leaving our house yesterday and closing the door on a living room scattered with open toys, tiny plastic pieces, gift bags and unopened goodies... I realized that I am the sort of person who does not like to host Christmas at my house. I like to leave. I was so relaxed yesterday, which is a huge difference from the me you'll find on a day when we host the holiday. I didn't have to worry about clutter or cleaning up. I just fancied up myself and my children, fixed Lila's new Bump-It onto her head (which held up shockingly well all day), and closed the door!

Here are some pictures of the before and after's of our Christmas gifting!


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And then, the after...

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All Fancy

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Clearly Bunny is a movie star in that red lipstick of mine.
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Unfortunately I don't have any pictures from my day at J's. I wish that I did. I always forget... It's a shame too. I could have taken them with my new iphone housed in it's new case.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

RPatz Near Miss?

Big Green Earth Store just opened up a second store in Liberty Place. Liberty place is located in the fancy party of town Rittenhouse Square.

T called me earlier today to tell me that Robert Pattinson was in the store (for anyone who knows me, you understand that this is A REALLY BIG DEAL because I've spent the last few years trying to talk myself out of daring to dream the dream where I show up on the set of some Stephanie Meyer based movie set with a demented look in my eye, slinging my unmentionables at a boy who is young enough to be my son). Further, T says that RPatz bought exactly the same gift for whatserface that I bought for Jay. Clearly this exemplifies the FACT that he and I were meant to be. I mean, it's SHOCKING how much RPatz and I obviously have in common based on this mutual purchase. We. are. nearly. the. same. person.

So, though I feel robbed of the opportunity to meet and likely humiliate myself in front of Robert Pattinson, I am grateful to have escaped the day with my pride and marriage all in tact.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Granola Day

This year Jay and I are giving the gift of homemade granola to coworkers! Yesterday was the day that I mixed, baked and assembled it! I have to say, I do have some sort of magical granola mastery magic in my fingertips (sorry for the bragging. Just skip a few sentences if the sound of me tooting my own horn bothers you). We always have granola on hand in our house because Jay is a granola monster, and I did some taste comparing between my finished granola and the Reading Terminal granola. Mine was much, much, much better!

Anyway, I made an obscene amount of granola. Twelve cups of oats were used in the process (though I may have eaten five cups of them as I cooked. I sampled so much that I wasn't able to eat dinner last night).

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Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Sidney Holler

I got Sidney this super cute sweater from work and couldn't wait until Christmas to give it to her.

Yes, that's a recycle symbol on the back!

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Something exciting has happened!

Last week Jay was reading about the new Google computer that's coming out. He went online and filled out an application to test it.

Yesterday, UPS knocked on the door and delivered Jay a free laptop!!!!!!!!!!!! All he has to do is play with it and report any problems to them.

Talk about good luck!

Monday, December 20, 2010

I love this time of year! I can't believe that Christmas is less than a week away! All of our shopping is done. All of our gifts are wrapped. I have granola to make all week and cute little boxes to put it in!

This week should be very busy at work, so I expect for the hours to really blow past while I'm there. Yesterday went by really quickly.

After the holidays I get my own BGES email that I can use to contact companies. T has had me doing a little bit of the buying here and there and he says that he's going to teach me everything about the store. He's put me in charge of contacting the company for the Orbit Baby Stroller and ordering them for our store. Now I've been doing all of the mail orders (both phone and internet), the purchasing and receiving vouchers, merchandising and the store newsletter. I'm excited to learn more so that I can apply it to my own little business someday.

Things are good. I'm feeling settled in. I wish that our house was a little bit more festive for the holiday... but we didn't take any Christmas decorations with us when we moved and it seemed like a waste to go out and buy a house full of decoration when we could be using the money in so many other ways. That said, we have the necessities. We have a little tree, stockings, Charlie and a little Santa.

By the way, this year I'm cutting corners. I'm giving Santa those instant cookies from a mix and the reindeer are getting baby carrots. I work on Christmas Eve and have lots to do that night. I'm making jalapeno poppers, 7 layer dip, a meat and cheese tray, a veggie plate, a lemon meringue pie, a banana split pie, a cheesecake and peanut butter cups when I get home from work. At noon the following day CK, the girls, Jay and I are heading to JD's for Christmas... which is something that she and I used to dream of when we were young. Long friendships warm my heart. This is particularly true because my family is so far away.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Ponytail

Bunny is just like me! Her hair grows like a weed!

A few months ago it was super-short and now she's able to get it back into a ponytail. I can't wait until her bangs are all grown out. Again, in true mama fashion, every couple of years she consistently wants bangs and then spends months clipping them back until the joyous day when they are finally long enough to tuck behind her ears.

Knit News

I haven't been knitting much. This is mostly because I abandoned all of my yarn and crafting supplies in the move. At the time they were the least of my concerns... but I really regret letting them go.

Last week T invited me to start selling my knits in Big Green Earth Store, so I went out to my favorite yarn shop and picked up a few skeins of fancy yarn and circular and straight needles. I'm excited to start crafting again. I think that I'll make a few cowls, fingerless gloves, scarves and legwarmers. Also, I'd like to learn how to line knits with fabric. I'd like to have lined hats and handbags. I can sew. I can knit. So I feel like this is something that I can be taught. Yet still... it seems too complicated. I'm going to detail everything that I make with a hand felted embellishment. That's my thing. I really love hand felted detailing. I just think that it makes a knit look at the more special. That said, I don't know that I can actually sell anything for more than what I pay to make them. Ha! But, it would still be awesome to see people walking around the city in things that I made. As it is, I haven't sold knits to people who live in Philly. All of my etsy orders were elsewhere.

Also, I'm going to abandon my Etsy shop name and start using the name Little Shop of Hollers. It's the title of my new blog and I think that it's got a serious cute factor to it.

Wish me luck! Maybe people will really like them!

Saturday, December 18, 2010

The Babysitter

Our babysitter was busy last night so she referred us to a friend of hers. Her friend was nice and pleasant. More importantly the girls seemed to like her. They even drew a few pictures of her.

Lila's is normal enough:
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But should I be disturbed that this is Bunny's interpretation of our babysitter?
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Big Night Out

I had hoped to have a fancy picture of Jay and I all dressed up for his holiday party last night, but unfortunately we never took one! In my fantasies it even had a Christmas tree in the background or a sprig of mistletoe!

We had a WONDERFUL time! The babysitter arrived 45 minutes early, so Jay and I decided to take advantage of the time alone and head out together for a drink and an appetizer! This was a great choice and we ended up at a little Turkish place that's a few blocks from our house. After, we headed over to the party and still arrived right on time! The party was at the Ritz Carlton and I got to meet coworkers and their wives/sigothers that I haven't met before. All in all, we had lots of laughs, the company was excellent and it was great to get out alone with my husband for awhile.

I've been realizing recently how special our relationship really is. This is especially true because when times are tough we get closer, rather than more distant. Everyone has tough times in their marriages, and we are certainly no exception. The strain of this year was hard on us... but I'm really beginning to understand that the love that we have for each other isn't common. I am blessed to experience it because not everyone does. Last night I was telling people how we met and how we knew within hours that we were meant to be. There's something magical about it. For me, it was even a spiritual thing. I met Jay and I just intuitively knew that he was someone who needed to be in my life. I'm not sure that he had the same thing happen in such a strong way... but he definitely knew that he was done looking for someone and that he could be with me forever. I don't know why it's taken me so long to truly appreciate this, but I need to learn to remind myself of how great our love is when I feel stressed out or annoyed or worn down with life.


Thursday, December 16, 2010

Report Card Day

I had my report card conference for Bunny and Lila yesterday and pretty much everything looks great!

Bunny is on grade level for everything. Her struggles are over and her participation is great. Last year she had a difficult time mastering new concepts in math, but this year she's really doing well. The one thing that she struggles with is recognizing sight words in text. For instance, if you sit down with her and say, "let's work on sight words," she's able to name them all for you or tell you how to spell them. But when she's reading a text she doesn't recognize them. I think that this will come with practice.

Lila is on grade level or above grade level in every way. She is excelling as a reader and is able to sound pretty much everything out. Sometimes I don't know what Lila is able to do. Things come very easily to her and she quietly absorbs a lot of information. She's never like, "LOOK WHAT I CAN DO..." She just knows how to do it and when I realize it, I'm shocked. So, I was shocked to see the journal that she keeps in school and all of the entries that she writes without help.

On the down side, her teacher spent most of the conference speaking with me about her speech and feels that this is an appropriate time to seek out an evaluation from a speech therapist. I was really surprised. I've always thought that Lila's speech was cute. She has always spoken with a southern accent. Think Georgia. She adds syllables to words and draws out the vowel sounds. Like, the word "more" becomes, "mo-rah" and scoops up at the end. Think, Blanche from the Golden Girls. Every word that ends in "er" is pronounced with an "or." So, sister is sist-ore.

Her teacher said that it was extraordinary that it hasn't effected her learning yet. But he also thinks that it will if we don't address it.

So... looks like it's time to find a speech therapist.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Earlier today I told my husband that I was excited for this year to end and for the new year to begin. He said, "What about right now? Aren't you excited for right now?"

I was sort of caught off guard by his remark and I'm still not certain if he was kidding.

I've been reflecting a lot today.

2010 was my hardest year to date. I've had difficult pills to swallow in my life. I've known some tragedy, felt some growing pains, had my heart broken and failed a few times. But, never before have I had an entire year of disappointment where every path lead to disaster.

...which got me thinkin', there's something very beautiful about disaster. And though the most emotionally taxing events are the toughest to weather, they are also the changing things. They make us greater and stronger and richer than we were previously. This year knew a lot of fear for my family. We didn't have our health. We struggled financially. We fell apart... but we never hurt each other.

So, now, on the other side of a terrible chain of events, I feel grateful for the disaster. I don't know that I knew how strong the bond between my husband and I was until it was forced to withstand the weight of a years worth of blows. I don't know that I knew that I was able to hold a stable home together for my children when facing fears that I felt were too big to deal with. I don't know that I have ever been so scared and not run away before now. I didn't know that I had it in me. But now I do.

I am stronger than I was at this time last year.

I have a greater appreciation for my life and marriage.

I have a greater understanding that happiness is where you build it, not where you chase it.

I have a greater sense of self-acceptance.

And I have a deeper sense of peace.

I tend to live in the past or the future but struggle with the now. I hope that at this time next year I can say that I have better control of that. Instead of saying that I'm really looking forward to the year to come, I'd like to be able to say, "I'm really enjoying my life."

...I might not actually know how to enjoy life.

Chew on that.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Make it a double.

Until today, Lila believed that the photo to your left was of something called a Cheese-Booger.


Motherfuckingfuckingfuckers

Late last week we received a letter from the management company of blood suckers and bastards. The letter ignored the rebuttle that we sent as response to their first letter. The new letter stated that if we didn't pay them several thousand dollars within ten days that they'd send us to collections.

We sent the last letter certified mail and the post office was never able to deliver it and no one from the apartment company ever picked it up. We followed up by overnighting it to them. Still, several weeks passed before the sent a new letter (that didn't even acknowledge anything that we tried to negotiate).

This time we faxed them a letter saying that any attempt to slander our credit will be vigrorously faught by both Jay and I and that we dispute owing them any money. It also points out that they've made no attempt to come to an agreement, nor did they acknowledge our losses.

So, they called. They are saying that because the girls and I traveled last summer that we likely brought the bed bugs into the building and that the company had to exterminate the hallways after we moved out. The thing is that we hired a company to safely remove all of our belongings and dispose of them. Also, the girls and I traveled TO MY PARENTS HOUSE in Naples. We came home to a bed bug infestation. Philadelphia is number 2 in the country for bed bug infestation. My parents did not, do not and never have had bed bugs. They live in one of the wealthiest communities in the US, for Christ's sake. Not that money has that much to do with it... but one of the biggest reasons that bed bugs are so prevalent in cities is because they are so expensive to exterminate. When people can't exterminate properly because they don't have THOUSANDS of dollars at hand... the bed bugs spread.

The apartment company is also saying that the condo association fined them because we moved out on the wrong day and used the wrong hallway. But Jay had our move approved by the condo association days before we actually left and all parties were in agreement that doing the move at night and through a back door would be the best, healthiest thing to do.

So, here's the thing. I WILL NOT. I WILL NEVER, EVER, EVER, EVER give those bloodsuckers one penny of our money. I know that they can say that we didn't have to throw out everything that we own. Some experts say that you do. Some experts say that you don't. And if we went to court, they could probably find lots of people to say that we chose it so we can eat the money. For the most part, that's fine. Jay and I are back on our feet. We came out of this okay. And look, it even worked as the catalyst to get me a job that I really like.

But the apartment wasn't inhabitable. How in the world can they possibly be charging us for something that we couldn't live in.

That company is one big giant jerk and I hate it.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Don't mind my totally messy kitchen. We had just finished making our sugar cookies and caught Bunny doing the dishes and rockin' out to Taylor Swift.

Christmas Cookies

Lila is feeling a bit better today. She still has a fever, but it's way down. In bad news, I also have a fever, chills and a sore throat. This should be an interesting week.

We needed to stay in for another day, but decided to craft it up. I went out earlier in the day (by myself) and grabbed a bunch of stocking stuffers. So now I'm done. My Christmas shopping is now complete. Case closed. Let the wrapping begin.

This afternoon the girls and I threw together some sugar cookies. We cut them into squares and trees and then whipped up some vanilla frosting. I had some chocolate frosting sitting around that we were able to use. After coloring the frosting, we spooned it into plastic baggies and then cut off the tips.

Here is the result!

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Lila's monster cookie
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And of course, Lila is covered in chocolate and frosting! It's even in her hair!
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Also, you'll notice that there are way less cookies as we finished than there were when we began our cookie making magic. You do the math. Heh.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

...like flies

Poor Lila is sick.

We had a party to go to this afternoon, but we are going to have to stay at home. She woke up this morning and was complaining of a belly ache... which I didn't initially take that seriously because she complains of belly aches every day. As the morning progressed it became clear to me that my little bean is super sick. I can't find a thermometer to take her temperature, but it's definitely high. She's burning up and has been going in and out of sleep on couch all day.

She's so sick that she wasn't even upset about not going tot the party. She deliriously woke up and sort of shouted, "When are we leaving?" And when I told her that we weren't she said, "I can't go anywhere..." And then started snoring again immediately.

Jay is working. I'm not sure when he will be home. But I may run out and get some stocking stuffers later. And tonight... when the little ones are asleep, I think that I'll do my wrapping!

Little Shop of Hollers

So, I've started a new blog.

I'm still going to update this blog with our family and day-in-the -life stuff. But my new blog is for invited readers only, as a safe place to talk about the baby blues that I've been having and how they're impacting our lives.

I just want to be able to have the freedom to write candidly and say what's truly on my mind without fear of being criticized or judged for those feelings. Not that I've had any negative experiences with this blog. So far, everyone has been very respectful and ! enjoy the comments I get when I get them. But, when you have a public blog you just never know who is reading. For such blogs, the author generally doesn't care who is reading (myself included) and welcomes views and clicks and comments from anyone and everyone! This is true for The Rocky Holler Picture Show, but not so much for my new blog. I want to be able to write about the private things in my life and know that the people who are readings things that are very personal care and are supportive.


If someone out there is interested in reading my new blog, just shoot me an email at annapholler@gmail.com. I'll forward you an invitation to it.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Proud of my little Bunny

Generally the way Jay and I parent is to listen to our children and honor the boundaries they set for themselves. We don't force a lot. Obviously we force some things. When Bunny was having trouble with school we said, "I'm sorry but you HAVE to go..." But we try to respect them, even when we don't necessarily agree and even when it makes our lives more complicated.

For the most part this has worked for us. I think that our children are growing up to be fantastic people who have a great sense of who they are and ownership of their actions and bodies. They do things when they are ready and because they aren't forced, they are better able to determine when they are ready and when they feel comfortable. I also believe that they feel more valued. When you're a kid there's so little that you're in control of. I just want my kids to feel that they have some control over their lives.

So, for years... Bunny could not sleep on her own. She has never slept well. Not even as a newborn baby. As a toddler and even a small child, it would take her HOURS of my laying there for her to fall asleep. I tried to let her "cry it out," once and couldn't do it beyond that. My only saving grace was that Lila was so open to sleeping on her own. So, at night, I was able to give Bunny what she needed. My decision was to wait it out. Her fear of being alone at night was real. As she got older she would wake up several times during the night if I wasn't in the bed with her. She'd come find me and cry if I wouldn't crawl into bed with her. I'd be up five or six times in one night... never sure which bed I'd wake up in.

But Bunny is almost 7 years old. I had been struggling for awhile with the fact that she hadn't just naturally grown out of this. And at night, I didn't feel that she was fearful any longer. I just felt that my being in her bed was habitual.

One night I just had it. I had a long, firm talk with her about not laying down with her as she goes to sleep... EVER AGAIN. She will sleep in her own bed, by herself, all night... EVERY NIGHT.

And it was tough at first. She had a few nights when she stayed up and fought it for hours. After that, she started falling asleep so much easier. I'm convinced that my being in her bed was making everything worse for her. It's been over a week now and she's in her bed and actually asleep by about 7:45 every night. She sleeps through the night.... and for the first time in almost 7 years... SO DO I.

I'm so proud of her. Also, I take this as a lesson in parenting. Not that I'll change my general philosophy... but sometimes children don't know their boundaries and they need someone to help them. I think that we could have done this with Bunny sooner than we did, but I certainly wouldn't have done it when she showed true fear of being by herself. I understand that it's fine to do that. I've had pediatricians recommend it to me... so I'm not making any sort of judgement on anyone who chooses this as a way of forming routine. It just wasn't conducive to my parenting style. And you don't choose the sort of parent you are. It chooses you.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Is My Child Strange?

It occurred to me that this is not a typical conversation in everyone's home. But it happens here, pretty much every night.

Me: Okay, how does spaghetti and meatballs sound for dinner tomorrow night?

Lila: Can I choose?

Me: Sure. What do you want?

Lila: I want spinach... and... broccoli... and... those things that are round and green... uh... BRUSSEL SPROUTS. I want brussel sprouts. I want spinach and broccoli and brussel sprouts. Okay?

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

He's ba-ack

Charlie has been back since Black Friday. He had retired to the North Pole for the other three seasons, slaving on wooden toys and baked goods, but now he's back. I'm so glad that Charlie doesn't hibernate. If he did, he would have been lost to our bb's and we would have had to throw him out. THE HORROR.

THANK GOD THAT HE KNEW OUR NEW ADDRESS. That means that Santa does as well. Phew. I can rest easily now.

Most nights he moves, but sometimes he's sick or experiences bouts laziness.

The Elf on The Shelf makes Christmas better!


flowers and body butter

I walked into work this morning to find this beautiful bouquet of my favorite flowers with a lemon in the vase (lemons are my favorite fruit, scent and flavor).

Being that my husband thinks that things like sending flowers are contrived and cheesy and has never done anything like this... ever... I didn't expect it on a Tuesday, Mid-December and for no reason.


Even when you know that someone loves you, sometimes it's nice to know that they want you to feel special. It doesn't take much for me. Today was WAY more than I require to make me feel loved. But, I'll take it and I appreciate it.

Thank you, Jay.



And when I got home, he had gotten me a present. It's my favorite body butter!

It's been awhile since I have written about the bed bugs.

When we were moving, we did two things with our clothes. Anything in boxes was thrown out and everything in our apartment that hadn't been packed yet went into bags, went to a laundry mat, was put through a heavy duty drier cycle, put into new trash bags and has been sitting in our basement for two months.

I have only had three actual outfits and have just been wearing them and wearing them for three months. The girls have just been wearing new clothes and new school uniforms. Jay also bought a few new things.

But, confident that the bed bugs are gone, we took the 11 trash bags that we had stack in our basement to a laundry mat this weekend and Jay washed and dried everything.

There should be no survivors. There really shouldn't have been any survivors after the first time. But we left them there because the eggs aren't killed by the heat and they needed to hatch and the babies needed to starve.

Also, we received a letter from our old management company saying that if we do not pay them a ridiculous amount of money that they are sending us to collections. We do not owe these bastards a cent. What do we do?


Monday, December 6, 2010

My Bagel Makes Me Sad

I have noticed something.

I am much, much, much happier when my carbohydrate intake is barely existent. When I cut all sugar (that doesn't come from fruits and veggies) and when I cut out all flour and grain, everything in life improves.

And when I add things back, I get sluggish and sad.

Part of this is because I have a gluten sensitivity... so it makes me more bloated and gives me a bigger belly ache than other people get. A particularly nice, big, fluffy, salty, soft pretzel can make me forget all that, of course.

But what I do notice is that when I am eating carbs, I feel bad emotionally.

I looked online to see if I could find any information about a carb/mood connection that indicates it's anything other than "in my head." Unfortunately, the only information that I could find was to the contrary. Apparently, low carb diets can be responsible for depression in some people. They alter your serotonin (or some such thing).

I was on a super-low carb diet for nearly a year and weathered a few terrible events in that time rather gracefully. Not that I think that my low carb diet gets the credit for that, but I feel like I am emotionally more stable when I do not eat them. I just feel healthier in every respect.

I should ask my doctor about this. She hugely advocates no-carb diets. She says that by eliminating carbs you're only getting rid of junk food... stuff that hurts your body. I think that this surprises a lot of people because they get stuck on "low-fat = good health" and low carb diets tend to be higher in fats. That said, I don't have a totally meat based, low carb diet. The meats that we eat are organic and come from good farms where the animals aren't living in awful conditions (so I don't agonize over it) and I eat PLENTY of fresh fruits and veggies!!! And the difference I feel is drastic. Maybe it's all body chemistry? I don't know. I'm one of the few people that I've ever heard say the same thing. Most people that I know start low carb and quit a few days later because they're so unhappy.

So, as of yesterday I'm back at it.

Not at all for weight loss, but for general health.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

babies eveywhere

I need to make some big changes.

I don't know what yet.

I am really struggling with this whole baby thing.

Like, REALLY struggling.

Sometimes I feel like people do not understand me. Or, my problems don't seem very big to them so they blow me off.

I'm just having a very tough time.

I can't adequately express how hard it is to want something so badly and then to see it happening to all the people around you and knowing that you'll never be the one. This is especially true because I'm totally able to still have children... I just have had to decide not to. Which hasn't been my decision at all. Emotionally, I'm just unable to deal with it.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Well Folks, it's official...

I have LET MYSELF GO.

I have wanted a new profile picture for my facebook. My hair is growing like a worm-compost tea fed flower garden and it's at this super-awkward stage. Stage: WORST OF THE WORST. I don't want to use dread pics anymore and the super short doo that I had previously isn't really what I look like... so I went to take some new pics today.

And damn.

Mama has got bags under her eyes that she didn't even know were there. It's like, beneath my eyes hides all of the emotional baggage of generations of tortured people.

Just LOOK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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MOTHER OF GOD!!!!! What has happened to my face?

And just as proof of the hair hell where I reside,

I have resorted to this:

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From the back I appear to be a chubby 4th grader.

And from the front I look like I'm 50.





Friday, December 3, 2010

What's Wrong With My Husband's Feet

The image here is a picture of my husband's TOTALLY RELAXED foot. He is not, I repeat, IS NOT stretching his toes to the ceiling. His toes point upward, all of the time and there's nothing that he can do about it.

Like, THAT'S the way his foot is NATURALLY.

When Jay doesn't have socks and shoes on, his toes are all I can see. If they had a voice they'd be screaming bad, 90's metal music at me through a megaphone while holding an ambulance siren.

He says that they don't bother him. But I can't imagine that this isn't going to cause some terrible problem eventually.

At some point he's not going to be able to put them in shoes anymore.

bad dreams

I had the worst dream last night.

It starred LOTS of people from my past.

Weird people.

People who I haven't thought about in years.

It was the kind of dream that was so terrible that I kept waking up from it, feeling unnerved, and returning to it when I fell back to sleep. It was just horrible.

This morning I am so tired.

I'm not even going to tell you about the content of the dream because it would probably just make you dislike my husband.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Poor Babies

Both of my girls are sick.

Bunny couldn't sleep last night. She just tossed and turned, laying in bed, wide awake and coughing until almost midnight. It's so sad.

I wish that I didn't have to send them to school today, but I do. Neither Jay or I can stay at home.

In other news, we ate crappy pizza ON THE COUCH WHILE WATCHING TV last night. It's a toally illegal move in our house. I did baths early and got everyone in jammies right away. I have been feeling a little bit under the weather myself, and it just felt so relaxing to cuddle up with my children, a little bit of cheesy bread and Anne of Green Gables. I think that I'd like to get the books for Bunny. I'm not sure if they're too far above her reading level at this point, but if so, I could always read them to her.

While they were still feeling well, the girls were doing a bit of song writing.

Here are a few clips of them singing and judging each other. We watch the X Factor together, so, they have learned to be discerning.

The last video of Lila is really the best.




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Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Domino's Pizza

I have been having a serious craving for fast food pizza.

Growing up, this is pretty much the only pizza I ate. In MA they have these little, Greek pizzas. They're made with cheddar cheese and mozzarella cheese and are tiny with things like linquisa on them. But in Denver, I ate Domino's, Little Caesar and Pizza Hut pizza. That said, I didn't have any of these very often because it takes a special person to actually like fast food pizza. I'm not much of a pizza eater as it is.

The thing about it is that it's not really pizza at all. I mean, it has all of the components of a real pizza. But the crust is thick and garlicky and the sauce is heavy and spicy and the cheese is... well... its cheese. You can't do too much to that.

So, for about a week I've been dying for pizza and cheesy bread from Domino's.

DYING FOR IT.

Tonight may be the night. Jay won't be here (he can't endure it) and I don't feel like cooking tonight.

It may happen.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Hopefully We Don't Get Robbed

There's a guy who knocks on our door every so often asking if we want him to sweep up outside of our house. The first time he came by we gave him a few bucks to do it.

Of course, he took the money and left without doing a thing.

Amazingly, this man has had the nerve to come back repeatedly.

Two nights ago this guy knocked on our door and Jay told him that he didn't have any cash. He was like, I noticed that you have trash bags in your basement (uhhhh... peaking in our basement windows? CREEPY) and I have a dumpster. I can bring it over and take everything away for you.

Here's the thing. Our children's Christmas gifts are hidden in those bags (along with the clothes that we washed and dried at the laundry mat when we found out about the bb's back in September).

Hopefully he won't rob us.

We have an alarm on the house but Jay has been insistent that it can't be used while we're gone because our cats set the motion detector off. This struck me as being completely impossible. I mean, why would you have an alarm that you can't use? I found out that you can put a weight limit on the filter that triggers the motion detector. This stupid alarm has already caused us so much grief. We are living with no smoke alarms because the fire department was going to fine us if they had to come to our house anymore. And they were being called at least once a week because of this stupid alarm.

This makes me want to scream, "I HATE TECHNOLOGY. IT MAKES ME LIFE HARDER" from the top of an apple store. Apple doesn't even make the alarm. I'm just grouchy. And apple makes my iphone... which has been giving me a hard time. So I may have some displaced anger toward electronics.

Wow. I'm in a really bad mood.

I can't handle another bad thing...

Monday, November 29, 2010

Epiphany...

My friend Tali gave me the most profound bit of insight via blog comment (in reference to the regrettable envy I have for my pregnant friends). She said something that opened my eyes and connected... while making me feel better too.

"I think it's not so much resentment Anna as grief. Granted I have never had something work it's way out my uterus but see a lot of women go through a grief process after they've drawn the line at how many babies to have. It's grief that you're not going to carry a baby again and that you won't have those experiences again. It feels a lot like jealousy and/or resentment but grief is often only associated with death so we don't always recognize it."

Everything about this comment resonates, but the part about grief being associated with death and therefor going unrecognized rings especially true.

After all... the death of a dream is something to grieve for. Even if you put it to rest knowingly, agreeably and honestly... still, you grieve.

...and that's what I'm doing.

So, be patient.

Everyone Is Pregnant

I don't have that many friends who I see often.

Actually, I have a bestie who I've never met face to face before! The majority of my friendships are with people who live thousands of miles away and who I only get to see once or twice a year.

As far as close, close friends who I get together with and see frequently, I have four. I have four girlfriends who live within a couple of hours and who I will take a night to see here and there. I feel so completely blessed to have these friendships. It took me years to really understand that I don't need to please lots of people or squish myself into the expectations of my friends in order to be liked and accepted. The people in my life love me and I love them too. I don't worry that they'll judge me and I don't judge them. These are good, strong, honest, lifetime friendships.

Two of the four are pregnant and a third will be pregnant soon.

So, there I am. Nearly by myself in the empty womb club.

And I can't help but feel a little left out.

I had always wanted to have a third baby, but my husband had strong feelings against it. A few years ago I resigned myself to being grateful for the two children that I do have and decided to enjoy my family as it is.

And I do.

... but I can't help but feel a little bit envious of the growing families around me.

Isn't that awful? I'm pretty embarrassed by it.

My friends completely deserve to have babies and wonderful husbands and big families. They are great people and fantastic parents... so it's just terrible that other people's pregnancies should make me feel a little bit sad about my own life when I should be experiencing nothing but joy and happiness for the people who I love and care about.

I guess that in reality I still want a third baby. I always will. It's just something that I had to sacrifice in order to be married to the person who I chose to marry.

The resentment comes in waves.

This is one of those things that we've never been on the same page about. It's sort of a big thing.




Sunday, November 28, 2010

Solar Queen

Bunny lost a tooth yesterday and all she wanted from the ToothFairy was a solar queen.

She's been admiring the solar queen in the Big Green Earth Store for awhile but I haven't gotten it for her because it seemed like the kind of thing that she wouldn't actually want once she had it. I'm actually not sure why anyone likes these. You'd be shocked (or maybe you wouldn't) by the crowds of people who gather around the solar queen, giggling as she waves. We sell so many of them!!!!

This morning, when Bunny fished under her pillow and pulled out her very own, blue solar queen, I was surprised by her delight.

I was also surprised that she accused the ToothFairy of shoplifting when I said that I hadn't seen her buy it.