1

Becoming Me

My life over the last several years has been such a journey. A good one. A bumpy one.

I feel like, for the first time ever, I am becoming more ME than I’ve ever been able to be before. It comes in little changes, a shift at a time…  I stand up for myself once, twice, again, and then most of the time. I engage and meet new people – still afraid, but pushing through it, and through that I’m cultivating better friendships than ever before. I make physical changes-  continuing to work my ass off and train, piercing my nose, dying my hair blonde and purple and pink – things that I would have never done before because MY GOD, WHAT WILL PEOPLE THINK.

Now I’m preparing for a trip to Indonesia – something that I never thought I’d ever be doing. I look forward to this time with my boyfriend and his family and to all the new experiences. The last time that I took a major trip was right before I had my daughter and when my marriage was in shambles. I spent the whole trip worrying about what was going on across the ocean from me. I am going to enjoy the hell out of this trip.

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15

A Rambling Post With Nothing To Tie It All Together

Oh, internet, it’s been a while since I’ve written a real post. Mainly because I’m a whole lot of tired and a whole lot of occupied with baby and also because I’ve been a bit blah and overwhelmed.

In reading news, I’ve been reading slowly but surely. I just finished a book (Acheron by Sherrilyn Kenyon). I’m about 20 pages into a romance on my nightstand (Just For Kicks by Susan Anderson) and a book in progress on the coffee table (Toddlers Gone Wild by Rebecca Eckler). I have another book that I’m a few pages into on the end table (Blood Noir by Laurell K. Hamilton) and another on the bookshelf that I’m also a few pages into (When Christ And His Saints Slept by Sharon Kay Penman). I’m also carrying a book in my purse (Pieces Of My Sister’s Life by Elizabeth Joy Arnold) that I haven’t managed to crack yet. So the reading is happening, albeit at the pace of molasses.

The baby is an amazing little girl. She’s just over eleven pounds now and babbles away at nothing. She kicks up a storm and loves to watch hockey. She had her first shots last week and was quite angry (understandably so), but forgot it all by the same evening. She sleeps like a champ through the night, but hardly at all during the day. Which brings me to a plea for advice – the baby has been sleeping with us in bed since she was eight days old. She refuses to sleep by herself. She’ll sleep great in my arms, she’ll sleep alright in her swing, but she will not sleep in her crib or bassinet. Just won’t do it. We’ve tried using a stuffed animal with a heartbeat sound to soothe her, we’ve tried rolling up a blanket next to her so it feels like she’s curled up next to someone. We’ve tried putting her in there when she’s already asleep, but she wakes as soon as she hits the mattress and won’t resettle. So tell me. How do I get her to sleep on her own? I’m not ready to let her cry it out yet, but I just have the feeling that it’s going to come down to that. Advice is welcome.

I took on a new mission recently to start commenting on the blogs that I read. I’m usually a lurker and then I thought about it some more and realized that if I love to receive comments, other people probably do, too. I mean, us bloggers tend to be a vain bunch and we want feedback. So now I comment. It means it takes me a hell of a lot longer to get through all my blogs, though, so if I’m commenting three or four days after you post, well, that’s the soonest I could get to it. I subscribe to so many sites that if I don’t read for three days I wind up with well over a hundred new posts to read and catch up on.

I’ve also been looking for some good new recipes. I’m not a really great cook and I’m a really picky eater which means that I make my five or six tried and true meals and not much else. It’s getting old. I need some variety. If you have anything good and yummy that I should try you should send it my way. Just remember that onions are from the devil. The devil, I say!

I’m going out on the town on Thursday and I’m getting really amped for it. A group of us (the same group that I went to see Gwen Stefani with) got a limo again and we’re heading to see Madonna. It’s going to be AWESOME. I’m a little nervous about leaving Derek with Ana for that length of time as he’s never had her by himself for more than an hour, but I’m sure he’ll be fine. My bigger crisis is that I have nothing to wear. Zero clothes. Nada. Nilch. I own two pairs of jeans that fit me (you can hate me, but I’m actually smaller than I was pre-pregnancy so everything is too big) and well, none of my shirts fit right. I’m also on the broke side until the day AFTER the concert so a new outfit is out of the question. I’m really not sure what the hell I’m going to wear.

My poor friends. I feel like I’ve really been neglecting my friendships as of late. It goes back to that feeling blah and overwhelmed thing I mentioned. I don’t like talking to other people when I’m feeling a bit down and so I haven’t been talking. Or posting. Or doing anything. I am amazingly in love with my daughter, but lord, she sucks the life out of me (no pun intended).

Lastly, I’m getting excited (and nervous) for an upcoming trip. I’m taking Ana to go see her grandparents in Idaho for two weeks. It’ll be great to get away and it will only be the second time my parents have met their granddaughter. She’s changed SO much since they met her last at just 2 weeks old. I’m just nervous about the airport and getting through security with the stroller and then wondering if she’ll nurse good enough to stop the ear popping and will she sleep on the flight or will she be a pill and cry the whole time… oh goodness, I’m going to give myself a panic attack just thinking about it.

So that’s that. That’s what is going on with me. How about you? How’s life out there in the world of the internet?

7

Vacation Lag

Every day that I’ve been home, I’ve had every intention of updating the site, but there’s just so much that I saw and experienced, that I’ve felt that there’s no way I can even begin to cover it all. Instead I’ve covered none of it!

Italy was amazing. Toni was fantastic. Seeing my good friend Brian (for the first time in seven years) was wonderful. I’m still riding on a vacation high, I think.

I saw so many things. I saw St. Peter’s Cathedral. I walked through The Sistine Chapel. I jumped up and down with glee at experiencing the awe-inspiring Colosseum. The Roman Forum gave me chills and I can’t believe that I stood mere inches from where Julius Caesar was cremated. I tossed a coin backward into the Trevi Fountain and climbed the dome of St. Peter’s. I stared in fascination at Michelangelo’s David and I stood in front of Botticelli’s Birth of Venus. I circled the Leaning Tower of Pisa and marveled at the fact that it remains standing.

I have seen and done amazing things and I feel so fortunate to have been able to do this. Pictures, most of the 1700 that I took, are up on Flickr. Feel free to comment on them there or here!

Now if I could only adjust to life back at home!

11

One Day In Italy

Number of flights taken to get here: 6 (including my flights to Orlando where I stayed for two nights).

Number of packets of airline pretzels consumed: 4

Number of amazing buildings in Florence: 564,349,343,574,645,498,384

Number of times I’ve been called “bella”: 3

Number of times watched illegal street vendors run from the police: 6

Number of Italian words I’ve learned: 12

Number of authentic Italian pizzas consumed: 1

Number of balsamic vinegars I’ve tasted: 4

Number of cool things yet to experience: (See number of amazing buildings in Florence)

2

Quickie

Just a quick post from the airport in Washington D.C. to let you all know that my vacation has officially begun. Actually, it began on Thursday when I took three flights to end up in Orlando and now I’m waiting for my second of three flights today/overnight to get me to Italy!

I wouldn’t expect a whole lot of blogging as I think that I’ll have much better things to do than sit hunched over my keyboard pounding out blog posts. I could be wrong, but my guess is that posting will be sparse for the next two weeks.

Orlando was fantastic, Italy is going to be amazing. I can’t wait.

9

L'Italia, Qui Vengo!

For weeks now, I’ve had this little delicious semi-secret inside. I’ve whispered it to a few people and shouted about it to others, but I haven’t broadcast the news because it wasn’t real. The other day, in the mail, it became real.

Those? Are my tickets to Italy. I absolutely have to thank Toni for providing me with this amazing opportunity. I never would have found my way to this dream vacation otherwise.

So February 14th, I am hopping on a plane. I’m staying two nights with my dear friend in Florida (and going to Disneyworld!) and then on February 16th, I’m making the long flight across the ocean to L’Italia! There is so much that I am looking forward to experiencing. There is so much that I am anxious to see. It seems so close, but at the same time so very far away. I could not be more excited.

What do you think are some must-do’s while I’m away?

10

The Day I Almost Became Bear Food

This past weekend I ventured with my husband and another couple a few hours north into Whistler. Now if you didn’t go to visit the link, Whistler is a very cool ski resort with a bustling center village and a hopping nightife. This early in the year there wasn’t any snow, but the dirt bike runs are up and we enjoyed several long moments of watching the jumps and tricks from the patio of our swanky hotel room.

It was my dear friend Stephanie’s birthday and the plan was to consume large amounts of alcohol- enough to forget how much fun we had. I’m proud to say we succeeded. We didn’t forget everything though…

After a so-so dinner at Earl’s, we made our way back to our rooms to get ready to go out for the night. And by get ready I mean consume large amounts of alcohol that we’d purchased to save us money overall. I don’t know how many shots of Jagermeister I had, but it was a lot. Plus the raspberry vodka (yum) and diet 7-up (yum).

We staggered our way to the club where they, thankfully, let us in and we proceeded to party it up. There was more consumption of alcohol, of course, and lots and lots of dancing and giggling and carrying on.

The excitement of the night however, had nothing to do with the drinking and the dancing. It was the walk back to the hotel. We’re cruising along, swerving from side to side, laughing obnoxiously and really not being quiet in the slightest. We start to walk up the stairs to walk between some buildings as our hotel was on the other side. We get about two stairs up when Derek puts his arms out to the sides and goes, “Whoa…. let’s go the other way, guys.” I peer around him and not twenty feet in front of us is a full grown black bear. Are you fucking kidding me? Of course I was so drunk I wanted to take his picture, but thankfully the remembrance of the flash and how pissed off that might make a bear prevailed, so I have no evidence of this.

We backed up slowly and went to walk around the other side where we ran into security. We told him about the bear and then decided to follow him and the cops that were looking for the bear. Hey, they had guns. A few minutes later we see a cop shining a flashlight into the shrubs just across the freaking path from where we are and we see the bear go lumbering slowly across. Yikes! We get to where our hotel is in sight and we hustle our way to the entrance, warning everybody we encounter along the way about the existence of our bear. They of course, looked at us like we were drunk idiots and kept going. Maybe the bear ate one of them.

As we were sitting outside of the hotel entrance we saw a flash and heard a shot. Tranquilizer guns. Stephanie and I look at each other and we both thought the same thing. Let’s go see if they got him! The boys, ever chivalrous, decided to stay under the safety of the hotel awning and let us die if that was our choice. Kind of them, really. We giggled and laughed and snuck our way back down to where we saw the cops with the flashlights and we asked, “Did you get the bear?” The guy just looked at us and said, “No, he’s still out there. It would probably be a good idea if you guys went somewhere else.” Sad. But we did.

Back in the safety of our 8th floor hotel rooms, we heard another shot and we figure they probably got him the 2nd time around, but of course we have no way of knowing for sure.

I so could have been bear food. What if he had turned around as we came up the stairs behind him and decided that on his search for food we looked meaty enough? Sheesh. I hope never to be that close to a bear again- at least not with some bars between us this time. I have to say though, it makes a damn cool story!