Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Go the F*ck to Sleep

I posted about this a while ago, but the original video was taken down. It's back now, and just in time to provide the soundtrack to my own personal hell.

Bedtime in our house hasn't been shorter than 90 minutes in well over a week. Even after he's finally asleep, he gets up every few hours for potty trips, tissues, needing to be tucked back in, whatever he can think of. These are all things that he can easily do himself between the hours of 7AM to 8PM, but as soon as it's "bedtime" a switch flips and he's no longer so self-sufficient.

Go The F*k to Sleep reading by Samuel L. Jackson from Nick McCoy on Vimeo.

I'm losing my mind. The night wakings are killing me slowly and the 4AM up-for-the-day deal just isn't right. Every time I'm awakened to the sound of his bedroom door opening, all I can think is "You've got to be fucking kidding me!" Mom fail, indeed. I don't like feeling snappy toward my kid. I don't want to be "that mom," who turns into an evil monster and yells at her kid to get back in bed. I just want a few hours of uninterrupted sleep. Is that too much to ask, 3.25 years in?


30 Days of Thanks

Just in time to wrap up the 30 Days of Thanks meme, I received this sobering statistic in my inbox this morning.

Americans' Ability to Afford Food Nears Three-Year Low (Gallup)

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The percentage of Americans reporting that they had enough money to buy the food they or their families needed continued to decline in October, nearing the record low seen in November 2008. The percentage who did not lack money for food in 2011 fell to 79.8% from 80.1% in September, continuing a decline that began in April.

Today, I am thankful that I have enough.

Monday, November 28, 2011

30 Days of Thanks - Catching Up

Clearly, I've missed quite a few days during last week's absence from Blogland. We'll just dispense with the numbered days, altogether. I'll just be glad I ended on 18 instead of the odd (and prime!) 17.

I'm actually thankful for that absence, itself. It was somewhat pleasant to disconnect from the Facebook and the Blogs and the Interwebs, as a whole. I went an entire week without sitting in front of a computer. Sure, the smartphones allow us to do all of the same stuff, but there was so much going on that I didn't even think to pull it out.

I don't always rarely see eye-to-eye with my mother-in-law on issues big and small. We have very different viewpoints on things like politics and religion and women working outside of the home. We've had more than our fair share of spats and "incidents." All that being said, I'm still so thankful that we were able to go out and visit them for thanksgiving. As I said last week, it's been 5 years since Charlie and his two siblings were all in the same room. I'm so glad that we were finally all able to be together for a holiday - in-laws and brothers and sisters and spouses and kids. I'm thankful that we have jobs that allow us to travel often to visit that family, that we can afford to make those trips, and that we have a family to visit, at all, even if we don't always get along.

I'm thankful that the kids all played so well together, and that we got at least one picture of all five of them. It made me so happy to see Charlie playing happily alongside his cousin, who is only 2 months younger. They had a great time dancing and singing and building lego houses.

I'm thankful that the in-laws offered begged to stay at the hotel, because it allowed the six adult children to enjoy some much-needed bonding time after the kids went to bed. We shared wine and crispin and brownies and stayed up late into the night laughing and reminiscing and watching bad youtube clips.

I'm so glad that we had that time together - we're literally on opposite sides of the country and I hate it. I wish that our kids could all grow up together and see each other regularly, but since we can't, we'll just have to make the most out of every opportunity we get. We've gotten pretty good at that over the years.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

30 Days of Thanks - Day 18

Today I'm thankful for having awesome sibling-in-laws and super cute nephews. I'm so glad Charlie has cousins his age to play with. The last time all three siblings were in the same room was Christmas of 2006. Back then, there was one baby. Today, there are five, including three 3-year-olds, who are providing me with endless entertainment. I'm so thankful that Charlie has had the opportunity to spend the holiday with his cousins.

I'm also thankful that it's not my house being destroyed this week :p

Nana got way more than she bargained for.

Monday, November 21, 2011

30 Days of Thanks - Day 17

Today I'm thankful for Mondays that are also Fridays! Even better when they're jeans days and half days, too.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

30 Days of Thanks - Day 16

Today I'm thankful for Peppermint Mocha coffee dates, nights out with the BFF sans kids and husbands, Stella Artois and French Fries, cheesy vampire movies, and whoever decided to build the De Lorean and park it down at the Levee tonight.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

30 Days of Thanks - Day 15

Today I'm thankful for the elusive double-strawberry-starburst pack, a fun day out of the office at a geeky GIS conference, good company on the 112 minute drive down, and a multi-disc CD changer to get me through rural Kentucky when all the radio stations are playing country music.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

30 Days of Thanks - Day 14

Today I'm thankful for Tosh.0 reruns. I wish I had discovered the show sooner, so thank you Comedy Central for the veritable Tosh.0 marathon set to record on my DVR. I'm also thankful for DVR.

My favorite Tosh.0 clip is posted on my running blog. Check it out if you need a good laugh.

Husband was surprised that Tosh made my List. Not like he, himself isn't proof that I have a thing for geeky men.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

30 Days of Thanks - Day 13

Today I'm thankful for mechanics who don't treat women like idiots who know nothing about the cars they drive, the Lithium station on Sirius in the sweet rental car they gave me, $7.99 pizza night at Noce's Pizza, and my husband-as-workout-partner who keeps me motivated when I'd prefer to sit on the couch.

I'm also thankful that I don't have to drive an SUV/minivan every day! Once was enough :)

Monday, November 14, 2011

30 Days of Thanks - Day 12

Today I am thankful for the little moments and family memories that we're creating every day.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

30 Days of Thanks - Day 11

Today I am thankful for lazy Sundays that preclude blogging but leave lots of room for pancake breakfasts in pajamas, King Arthur's Perfect Pancakes, and the Reality Bites radio channel on DirecTV, because Toadies, Better Than Ezra, and Rage Against the Machine make for a very eclectic breakfast soundtrack.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

30 Days of Thanks - Day 10

Today I'm thankful that Ohio FINALLY got Yuengling! I don't understand why it took them so long, Pennsylvania is right next door.

Yum! I see a lot of carb-loading in my future :)

Friday, November 11, 2011

30 Days of Thanks - Day 9

Today I am thankful for the five pints of Ben & Jerry's I have stashed in my freezer. It's nice to know that the hardest decision I'll have to make tonight is which one I want to eat.

Happy Friday!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

30 Days of Thanks - Day 8

I'm thankful that in addition to my super Little Sister, I have an equally amazing Little Brother, the middle of the trio.

TJ is a talented musician who lives in Brooklyn with his fiancee Patti.

He has a freakish ability to pick up any instrument and teach himself how to play it within a matter of hours. It used to drive me crazy when I was little - I would slave away at the piano for weeks to master a single piece, and his fingers just flew over the keys like it was nothing.

You can check out some of his music on his website.

I think he sounds like a cross between Sublime, Coldplay, and Radiohead. My most favorite song is embedded below - his version of I'll Fly Away. He did all of the vocal harmonies separately and then mixed them all together. Super talent, for real.

Best of all, he's about to be a proud dad to a baby boy. I can't wait to meet my new nephew in December!

I definitely lost out on the artistic genes, I forgot to mention that Katie is also a talented artist - she draws and paints and designs sets for plays. I'm lucky to have had such an amazing set of siblings to grow up with.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

30 Days of Thanks - Day 7

Today I'm thankful that I get to call a very special and inspiring person "Little Sister." Of course, she's not so little anymore, all grown up with a life of her own in the Big Apple (yes, I'm the only one of my siblings who didn't make it back east).

Not only is she smart, caring, and hilarious, but she's very unselfish and is trying to save the world.

Case in point - right now she's in the middle of a three-week trip to Africa where she's volunteering at an orphanage. She's been sending us little pictures and texts (and, every once in a while, a longer email) telling us about her adventures. Since some of our family members aren't so tech-savvy, I started a blog for her that they can visit to see what she's up to. So now I'm sharing it with you, too.

Smiling Kate Goes to Africa

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

30 Days of Thanks - Day 6

Happy Election Day! Have you voted yet? I'm usually at the polls first thing in the morning, but Charlie decided to throw a temper tantrum (catalyst still undetermined) so I figured I'd just go after work, instead. Polling Locations are no place for a screaming 3-year-old. (but truthfully, where is?)

So today I'm thankful that I live in a country where I have the freedom to voice my desires through voting. Sure, our system isn't perfect, but whose is? I do my fair share of bitching and moaning about things, and then on election day I make my voice heard.

Did you exercise yours today?

On a separate but related note, I did learn an interesting random fact this week - did you know that voting isn't actually a Constitutional right? True story.

"The Constitution contains many phrases, clauses, and amendments detailing ways people cannot be denied the right to vote. You cannot deny the right to vote because of race or gender. Citizens of Washington DC can vote for President; 18-year-olds can vote; you can vote even if you fail to pay a poll tax. The Constitution also requires that anyone who can vote for the "most numerous branch" of their state legislature can vote for House members and Senate members.

Note that in all of this, though, the Constitution never explicitly ensures the right to vote, as it does the right to speech, for example. It does require that Representatives be chosen and Senators be elected by "the People," and who comprises "the People" has been expanded by the aforementioned amendments several times. Aside from these requirements, though, the qualifications for voters are left to the states. And as long as the qualifications do not conflict with anything in the Constitution, that right can be withheld. For example, in Texas, persons declared mentally incompetent and felons currently in prison or on probation are denied the right to vote. It is interesting to note that though the 26th Amendment requires that 18-year-olds must be able to vote, states can allow persons younger than 18 to vote, if they chose to." (source)

Monday, November 7, 2011

30 Days of Thanks - Day 5

Today I am thankful that Husband Charlie has agreed to give running a shot! We're both signed up for the Leadville Trail Marathon on June 30, 2012. I'm thankful that we're going to have the experience of training for and running a marathon together. Thankful that he's willing to indulge my crazy streak, and thankful that we're both healthy enough and active enough that we just might succeed at our crazy endeavor.

What's so crazy about a marathon? Been there, done that, got the t-shirt, right? Well, this isn't just any marathon - you can read the dirty details of what we're about to embark on at See Bean Run. Certifiable, for sure.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

30 Days of Thanks - Day 4

Today I am thankful that I have strong and healthy legs that let me run far. Not super fast, but definitely far. 10 months ago I was completely intimidated by the box on the Flying Pig Training Group plan that called for 10 miles on a cold Saturday in January. 2 full and 3 half marathons later, my weeks just don't feel complete without a weekend 10.

Nothing wakes up the soul like an early solo run on a crisp fall morning. Add a post-run breakfast at Green Dog Cafe with bacon, biscuits, and coffee, and you've got a very happy Bean.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

30 Days of Thanks - Day 3

I'm thankful for Daylight Savings Time! I'm glad that I'll be able to get an extra hour of sleep tonight - I still haven't really caught up from the DC trip. Between staying up super late on Halloween, booking a 6AM flight the next morning at an airport an hour away, and being unable to turn away from late-night Friends reruns at the hotel, I didn't get much rest this week. I love my job and I love DC, but those trips are exhausting.

The extra hour means I can get a full night of sleep and still be able to squeeze in an early-morning long run. Hooray for DST!

Friday, November 4, 2011

30 Days of Thanks - Day Two

Today I am thankful for a job that doesn't suck the life out of me. Once upon a time, I was a super idealistic graduate student in sociology who had a part-time job that I loved working with people that I enjoyed. Then real life (the reality of University budgets, anyway) caught up with me and I went out and got a "real job" in the world of business. Market research, to be exact. The statistics and research methods skills that I had picked up in grad school were in high demand outside of the ivory tower, because all companies have a burning desire to figure out how to sell more products to more people. Even though the work itself was tedious and soul-sucking, I was ok with it because the people I worked with were amazing. My cube-mate, in particular, became one of my very close friends.

But even though I worked for a family-friendly company with family-friendly people, I still missed having a job that was completely fulfilling. I missed doing research that would actually help PEOPLE, rather than helping a company's bottom line. One day, my old mentor from the University called asking if I knew anyone who would be interested in a job working for him on a big project. Did I know anyone?!?! Hell yes, I did! I revised my CV and emailed it over that very afternoon.

And the rest is history. Well, a very short 17-month history, anyway. Sure, there's a little bit more risk involved working for a start-up non-profit, but I'm back doing what I love and working with very lovely people. I don't spend Sunday evenings moping around because I have to go to work the next morning. I can honestly say that I love what I do, and that makes me a very lucky person, indeed.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

30 Days of Thanks - Day One

I'm sure you've all seen this in some incarnation floating around on Facebook and the blogosphere, so I'm jumping in the game, too. The idea is to get people (me) away from dwelling on the negatives in life and to focus attention on all of the positives - the good and happy things that make life worth living. There are no rules, which means I can be thankful for my health one day and thankful for Dunkin Peppermint Mochas the next. Take the serious with the superficial.

After my generally negative post from yesterday, it can only help. Right?

I should have started on November 1 with everyone else (30 days has November, blah blah blah), but I'm a unique snowflake I was at a conference in DC with internet access that was frustratingly slow.

Contrary to what it may have sounded like in my earlier pity party post, I really am so very, very thankful for my Charlies. We make a fantastic little family. I had an easy pregnancy and we had a healthy baby, and I know that we are very, very lucky to be able to say that. They truly are the center of my world, and I couldn't imagine life without them.

(photo by the incredibly talented Steph Carson)

They are the best a girl could ask for, and I'm so thankful that our paths crossed at that keg party 11 years ago, this week.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Where it Gets Painfully Real In Here

So. This is something that's been weighing on me for months about two years, now. I've been reluctant to talk about it, firstly because it's nobody's business, and secondly because I'm afraid that if I actually write it down, it makes it too real, and I prefer to live in a somewhat ambiguous mental world when it comes to serious issues. Yes, in a previous life I was an ostrich.

I want another baby. Reeeeeeeeeeeeally, really, really, heart-breakingly really want another. Like to the point where hearing about people I know getting pregnant or planning for an addition makes my eyes prick with tears.

I feel like a horrible person for feeling like this, especially when there are so many close friends of mine struggling with infertility and pregnancy loss. I have a beautiful family, already, and I should be happy with what I've got. And I AM happy with what I've got. Very, really, truly happy.

I look at C and think about how fast these last three years have gone by and I just can't imagine never doing it again. It's not even like I want to be Michelle Duggar! I just want ONE more. Just one. That's it.

I don't think it's even so much about me here, but more about Toddler Charlie. My sister is one of my best friends. I'm so lucky to have both a brother AND a sister, and I just want one or the other for him. Some of my favorite times are those spent with my gigantic extended family reminiscing about the past, telling stories about growing up, finding long-forgotten anecdotes about how we used to play magic show and shove my sister into a wooden box, or how we tried to sell rocks on the corner for $5 each, or how we carried around my brother's tape recorder creating a cassette tape of our own radio broadcasts. I love how we had each other to lean on through thick and thin - even though things were really rough for a few years and family drama drove a wedge between us - we were still family and we always will be. We will always have each other, and we will always be connected.

Maybe I wouldn't feel so strongly on the issue if we lived closer to my family and he had access to his cousins and aunts and uncles. But we don't, and the reality is that we probably never will, so it is what it is.

And this is where I get all dark and morbid, but obviously no one lives forever, and once Husband C and I are gone, I want Toddler C to have SOMEONE. Sure, I hope he gets married and has a family of his own, too, but a sibling relationship is different. They are people who knew you when - who can verify or challenge your memories, who can vouch for your character at all phases of your life, who share that common past. And that is why I hate that we just can't come to a decision on this issue. We've been unable to commit to a decision either way - there are valid reasons on each side. I'm more on the pro side, C is more on the con side - and that's ok. That's just how it is right now. Things could change. And that's what I really hate - the lack of certainty. I know that nothing is ever certain (save death and taxes, blah blah blah), but the not knowing is pretty much killing me. It's obviously not a decision that you can put on a definite timeline, either, although at some point human biology will step in and make it, for us. Sometimes, making the decision by NOT making the decision actually sounds preferable.

I don't expect any profound comments on this subject, I just needed to put it somewhere. I also don't need any more pros/cons to the argument - we've gone in enough circles on our own and we've covered pretty much all of them. I think this is somewhat of a contributor to my recent case of the anxiety blahs. Maybe writing it down will help.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

The Obligatory Halloween Picture

I hope to be back into the blogging swing of things, soon. It's been a little blah here lately, just lots of work and lots of play and no time to compose my thoughts. Such is life :)

I think the Star Wars costumes came out pretty darn well, for the first (and second!) attempt.


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