Sunday, February 27, 2011

Girlfriends

Last night I went to a dinner party at my friend Kate's mountain home in Conifer. The drive was long but absolutely gorgeous. And the house was just beautiful, with peaked ceilings, lots of windows and multiple glass doors leading to the wraparound deck. Jeremy and I are definitely the kind of people that need to be closer to conveniences to be happy, but I could imagine having a vacation house like that someday. What a fun escape that would be.

Kate made the best vegetarian lasagna I have ever had in my life. I pigged out on it, and Jeremy pigged out on the leftovers she sent home with me. I begged for the recipe. LOL

We played Trivial Pursuit (90's version) after dinner, which was a blast. I love games that teach me something. Yes, I realize that is a nerd statement. You should see my collection of Nintendo DS games -- all educational.

Jeremy took Scarlett to Vanessa's basketball game in Loveland yesterday. Apparently Scarlett wouldn't let anyone else hold her, which is odd. I guess she's starting to get to the age where she is more aware of people, and she knows the difference between us and someone else. She normally doesn't fuss, though, so she must have been overwhelmed with all the noise around her at the game.

I met Della for coffee today. It was so great to catch up. Scarlett just adores her, so she was putting on quite the show for her. After about an hour, Scarlett was getting tired and cranky, so we left. We had promised Sophie that I would bring the baby in to see her for a minute, so we stopped by Della's house. As soon as Scarlett saw Sophie, she woke right up and got so excited. Sophie may very well be Scarlett's favorite person. I posted some pics below (and yes, Sophie refused to wear pants the whole time we were there. LOL).

With the direction both Della's and my life are taking, I don't think we're going to be neighbors much longer. It's so sad. :( So we're going to try to hang out as much as we can until one of us has to move away. It's too bad neither of us can afford to stay in Lafayette. All of us -- me, Della and our husbands -- love it here so much. But the housing prices are significantly higher than other cities in the Denver metro area. The houses Jeremy and I are looking at, for example, are all in Brighton, Northglenn, Westminster, Lakewood and Golden. But who knows? Maybe something will happen with Jeremy's business and we'll be able to afford more soon. I'm not giving up hope just yet.







Saturday, February 26, 2011

Sunshine Smiles



Friday, February 25, 2011

Writing and Working

The universe listened to my whining. I've received a lot more writing opportunities recently.

Part of my day job has always been writing promotional copy for the web. That was one of the reasons I was hired for this position -- my writing skills were a perk for the department so they no longer had to outsource their writing work. But lately it's like people just noticed I do this. All of a sudden I'm "The Writer". They even did an interview of me for a big departmental newsletter. It's flattering, but a little scary at the same time.

One thing many people don't understand about us writers is that constant doubt is a way of life. It's like we're constantly worrying that someone is going to call "FRAUD!" I have never met, read about, or heard of a writer that didn't suffer from this. I suppose that's like any artist, though. An artist's work is open to interpretation, and some critics will inevitably not like something you have done. It's not like being a mathematician, where 2 plus 2 always equals 4. You can't argue with a mathematician.

Anyway, I've been given more and more writing work for my day job. I was even conscripted into this special departmental communications "task force". My first duty for that new role was given to me today.

It was a disaster.

I was asked to edit an email going out to hundreds of people. I did a good job with that. I clarified things, and made critical grammatical and punctuation edits. I used the industry standard Microsoft Word format with change tracking turned on.

Apparently the recipient of the edits did not know how to read editorial changes.

He sent out the email -- minus the critical edits -- with my name on it. Now, most people probably wouldn't see the mistakes, and I would have probably just rolled my eyes at the situation if he hadn't left my name on it. I was horrified.

Okay, I need to try to get over this trauma, so I'm going to talk about something a little happier now.

My dear friend Cheryl forwarded me a job posting for freelance work yesterday. It's writing emails for a really hot company with a snarky style. It's work I can do easily in the evenings and on weekends, and the workload is pretty flexible. So I applied. I had to submit a writing sample and take a writing style quiz, which was actually fun to do. My resume and cover letter are outstanding, so I'm not worried about those at all. The only way I would not be considered for this job is if my writing style wasn't snarky enough.

I went back and forth about applying for that job. I don't know why because it's good money, fun work, and it will fit into my spare time quite easily. I guess the idea of a third job turns my stomach a little. I mean I work hard enough at my first two -- being a mother and managing web content. But Jeremy and I are sick of being broke. And it would make a difference in the type of house we could afford to buy this summer. And even though Jeremy is sick to death of not having consistent work, he's a good homemaker and I'm the one with the solid opportunities right now (yeah, poor Jeremy was not thrilled with the idea of me having two jobs and him not even having one). So stomach turning or not, I had to apply.

Jeremy did have a breakthrough with the business today, though. So next week he can start trolling for new customers again. Woohoo!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Mortgage, Bad Movie and Good Writing

I couldn't remember if I had blogged today. That's scary.

I usually take a 15 minute break in the afternoon to type something up, or use part of my lunch hour. Sometimes (like tonight) I write on the netbook I keep by my bedside, while I'm curled up in my big cozy bed. But I usually remember if I've written or not.

Bad brain day, I guess.

I got a ton done at work today, which was amazing given I had a few rather intensive meetings to work around. That saying, "If you want something done, give it to a busy person," is pretty accurate. I seem to crank out the work on my craziest days.

Jeremy and I had a phone meeting with a mortgage broker today. We've pre-qualified for a home loan. Let the house hunt begin!

Scarlett had another rough day today. So rough, in fact, she refused to go to bed tonight. That NEVER happens. She is always easy at bedtime. After battling with her from 7 to 8, we gave in and I cuddled her on the couch while we watched a movie from 8 to 9:30. She was sticking her hand in my mouth and cracking herself up for most of that time. When she finally passed out in my arms, she was like a rag doll. Poor exhausted baby.

We watched Repo Men tonight. We got a free month subscription to Blockbuster Online. Yeah, I'll be canceling that before we have to pay. It's lame. And so was Repo Men. I was so pissed at the ending. And Drew, if you're reading this, it was almost as bad as The Mist (yes I still hate you for that movie).

After I finally got the baby down and the movie was over, I wrote for a bit. I started (yet another) new novel. This one has a quantum physicist as one of the main characters. I'm finding it very fun to write so far.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Kabbalah

I was reorganizing one of my bookshelves today when I came across my old Kabbalah books. It reminded me how powerful Kabbalah was for me at a certain time in my life.

When I lived in Houston, I studied at the Kabbalah Centre there. I attended a free introductory class and fell in love with the spiritual concepts. I knew I had to keep studying.

But I also went in with some wariness because the way the Centre presents things sometimes makes it seem like they want your money. I may be very spiritually open-minded, but I'm a skeptic when it comes to human nature.

I did pay for more classes, I bought books, picked up candles in the gift shop, and tithed as much as I could bear (hey, it's hard for me to part with money when I don't immediately see what it is going toward). And I got so much more out of it than I paid for. It was just what I needed in that time of my life. And I credit their Love & Relationships class for a lot of the relationship skills that still serve me well today.

I went online tonight to look at their website, since I hadn't seen it in years. Oddly enough their featured video is about Success in Parenting. It was like a spiritual nudge. I looked to see if there is a Kabbalah Centre location in Colorado. There isn't. But there's a study group and I'm looking into some classes.

Wins and Losses, Brother and Baby

Today is definitely a win-some-lose-some day.

The baby slept through the night AND slept in an extra hour this morning. So I got 8 hours of uninterrupted sleep. But my body has still not recovered from yesterday, when she awoke at 1am and would not sleep for more than a half hour at a time until her bedtime last night. She was crying all day, too, so I'm 99% sure it was caused by teething and/or gas pain.

I spent an hour and a half working on a project today that turned out to be unnecessary. But then I found out a partner team was going to redirect their redundant pages to my pages -- making less work for my team AND sending traffic my way (which makes for better metrics for me come end-of-quarter).

You can see how my day is balancing out so far.

I was talking to my mom earlier about how hard it was going to be when Jeremy was working full time again. I'm so spoiled with him here. He takes care of so much around the house, and he watches the baby while I'm working a good percentage of the time. My mom said I should hire help for a few hours in the afternoon when Jeremy is gone. I said "Yeah, someone who will also do chores, run errands and make me coffee. So an assistant trained by Starbucks." I like that idea. LOL

My brother's offer on a house in Denver was just accepted. I am so happy for him! And he'll be living a little bit closer, which is nice. Since he and I lived together for a few months two summers ago, we have grown a lot closer. I consider him one of my best friends now. It's pretty damn awesome.

In Scarlett news, she is now clicking her tongue and smacking her mouth to make new noises. And she's also saying "babababababa" and doing this funny growling/yelling thing when she's playing by herself. We're working on getting her to say "mama" and "dada" purposefully, but she does say "mama" occasionally without knowing its meaning. She's also a little squirmy worm. Jeremy calls her "Scarlett Squiggles". In order for her to stay still when you're trying to change her, you have to give her a toy to play with. Not just any toy, though, something she doesn't get to play with all the time. Her nightlight (it's a cordless, person-shaped thing) and my Origins lip balm tube are some of her current favorites.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Houses and Funk

We didn't go see that house in Golden today. Turns out it went to auction. When a house goes to auction, you bid online and you have to have cash in hand. But our realtor is going to keep her eye on it to see if it gets purchased or not. Meanwhile we have an appointment with a mortgage broker to pre-qualify for a home loan, and our realtor is putting a list of properties together for us to look at. We're in no hurry right now -- we still have 7 months left on our lease -- but spring and summer are going to bring a lot more competition to this already horrible housing market, so it's best we start now.

My brother is trying to buy a house right now too. I am so damn proud of him.

I had today off of work for President's Day. The only things I really accomplished were a nap, a walk and yoga. That is sad.

When Jeremy and I took a walk with the baby around Waneka Lake today, I noticed the trees were starting to bud. It's February! This is not a good thing. Although an early spring would be awesome, Colorado typically gets its heaviest snows in March and April. When the trees go to leaf and then snow falls on them, it's a recipe for massive broken branches.

Jeremy is down in the dumps today. I feel so bad for him. He's been out of work for a year and a half, and although he's been working toward the goal of starting his business, he has days where he feels frustrated and hopeless. I try to reassure him that he's doing the right thing, and encourage him to keep at it until we can't afford it anymore -- but nothing snaps him out of these funks except time. Or something positive happening with the business.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

More Visitors, Date and House Hunting

My friend Kate came to visit on Saturday. She is a massage therapist who lives in Conifer, and she's a really cool chick. She brought me lunch and her extra copy of Wuthering Heights (I only have the ebook), and we ate and hung out for a while. It's always nice to have some adult girl time.

Kate had to leave in the early afternoon, so Jeremy and I went to the Blockbuster down the street that is going out of business. They're liquidating their inventory, so we wanted to check out the deals. Jeremy found the Garbage Pail Kids Movie. Talk about a blast from the past. It was only a few bucks, so I let him get it. We watched it when we got home -- it was just as disturbing as you can imagine. Jeremy loved it. LOL

Drew and Lisa came up today and babysat for us for a few hours while Jeremy and I went on a date. We saw I Am Number Four, and then went to dinner at Mimi's Cafe. We haven't left the baby with people very often (not for any reason other than we don't have a lot of money to go out these days), so this date was a real treat.

Jeremy and I have an appointment with our realtor tomorrow to see a house in north Golden. It's in Coal Creek Canyon, and it's on an acre and a half. There is probably something majorly wrong with it for the price they're asking, and it may be too far west for us to be comfortable (it's 14 miles to the nearest grocery store), but we're going to check it out anyway. It is surrounded by some of the best hiking areas in the state, and it's got a sunroom that makes me drool. So I'm excited to look at it.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Abs-olutely Hurting, Scott Pilgrim and Broken Fridge

I want to go to pilates tonight. But my abs are still so sore from Tuesday, I'm sorta dreading it. Part of me wants to stay home and do some interval training on the treadmill... but I can do that any day. This particular pilates class is only once a week. And besides the fact that I pay a membership fee in order to have access to these classes, I need to get out of the house or I'm going to become a hermit!

So don't be surprised if I fall over dead tonight.

I was on a conference call this morning and one of my teammates/friends down in Colorado Springs told me she did 5 HOURS of yoga in ONE DAY last weekend. Holy cow. No one can call me die-hard now.

Jeremy and I watched Scott Pilgrim VS. the World last night. It was weird. Can't-look-away weird, though, so I suppose it was worth $1 we paid to rent it from Redbox. At least we had a good dinner while we were watching it -- burritos from Qdoba. With our fridge being out, we can't do much grocery shopping right now.

I just realized I never blogged about our fridge going out. I can't believe I forgot to mention that. So yeah, our fridge went out. We lost about $100 worth of frozen food, since we had recently stocked up the freezer. Grr! The owners of the house had a hard time finding a new fridge for us. According to the property manager we deal with, they had a spending limit for it -- which I totally understand but it SUCKS for us -- and it had to be able to fit into the space we have in the kitchen. So the service company is delivering our new fridge on Friday. Luckily we have a spare fridge downstairs where we keep sodas and stuff, so we had enough room for essentials like milk, cheese and eggs.

I find it hard to complain too much about a stupid fridge, though. I feel so blessed to have this nice home, especially when we only have one income right now. So many people are way worse off than we are, so a week without a fridge is really not a big deal to me.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Gym, Flora and Columns

I went to the gym last night for a Yogalates class. There was a sub, however, and she was strictly a yoga teacher, so no pilates in the mix. It was my second yoga class of the day since I had also gone to Mommy & Me Yoga earlier in the day. I have been in classes where this woman subbed before, and she is hardcore. She teaches vinyasa style (moving fluidly and constantly from one pose to the next, using your breath to guide you in and out of each movement). Vinyasa is challenging to begin with, and it's not something I like to do on a regular basis because I prefer to hold poses longer and make sure my form is correct -- but after having a baby it ABSOLUTELY KICKED MY BUTT. It felt good, I admit, to feel my muscles burn like that. But I am paying for it today.

I keep noticing all the teenagers on the cardio equipment at the gym. Good for them, getting into good health habits early. But I can't help but remember back to when I was that age, and back then working out wasn't even on my radar much less was it a priority. I was too busy being boy-crazy and doing homework. Is it just the kids around here that flock to the gym, or is it like that everywhere? Kids these days.

The yoga teacher who taught my prenatal yoga class and now teaches my Mommy & Me Yoga class is starting a "stroller boot camp" in April. I am so excited about this! Scarlett will be close to outgrowing the Mommy & Me class by then, so it will be the perfect transition for us.

I can't believe it's February 16 and it's almost 70 degrees. Just last week it was below freezing for days at a time! That cold snap just about killed my poor peppermint plant, actually. I had it on the windowsill in my office, and even indoors it got so cold that the leaves started falling off the legs. I had to move it upstairs, prune most of the legs short, and keep it very moist to get it healthy again. But there are a million new shoots coming up right now, so it will be lush and green again in no time. That is the only plant I've ever successfully kept alive...

As I'm sure you saw from my previous post, Jeremy got me roses and chocolates for Valentine's Day. He also got Scarlett a cupid teddy bear. We're not officially celebrating until Sunday, when my brother and his girlfriend can babysit, but I was charmed by the sweet thought. I adore red roses. Sure, they are classic, a romantic standard -- but they are my favorite nonetheless.

I'm reading an ebook right now on newspaper column writing. I was hoping it would help me organize my blog a little better, give me some new info to work with for the copywriting I do for my 8-5 job, and maybe even help with my freelancing. It's a really interesting read (if you like writing craft books like I do), and I feel like I've learned a lot from it. I've put what I've learned into practice as much as I can in my blog, and I think it's helping a bit.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Germs

There was a sick little boy in our Mommy & Me Yoga class this afternoon. He is a crawler, and very social, so each of the other babies got their face pawed at some point or another. Scarlett included.

Scarlett has never had anything more than an upset tummy. If she gets a cold because this mom didn't want to keep her sick kid home, I'm going to be PISSED.

Rant over.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Valentine's Day and Appreciation

Today is Valentine's Day. Though I do think it's mostly a marketing holiday, and love should be celebrated every day, today is a vivid reminder of how far my relationship with Jeremy has come and I feel the need to remark about love in my blog today.

Most of you know our story. But for those of you who don't, here's the short version. Josey introduced us at a 4th of July party at my house in Colorado Springs in 2004. We dated briefly after that until the company I was working for transfered me to Houston. I didn't want a long distance relationship, and I wasn't about to stay in Colorado for a man I hardly knew, so I ended things. We attempted to remain friends, but lost touch when I moved. Several months later, we reconnected via text message. I was going through a really rough time and had decided to leave Houston -- I just wasn't sure where I was going yet. Going through the massive evacuation for Hurricane Rita right on the heels of Hurricane Katrina, I quit my job, sold my house, moved everything to storage and rented an extended-stay hotel room until I figured out where I was going. Jeremy supported me via text message and phone through everything. He was a rock. I knew I had to give things another chance with him, so I moved back to Colorado to see if the second time was the charm. The rest is history.

Many of you will also remember that Jeremy and I went through a really rough patch during the summer/fall of 2009. Our marriage almost didn't survive. But again through Jeremy's undying commitment (and sheer stubbornness), he dragged my butt to counseling and not only did we work out our major issues, but we learned so much about how to understand each other. We even learned how to work with our differences (which were pretty major -- we are a textbook case of opposites attract). When we decided to take what we learned and move to Lafayette to get ourselves a clean slate to try it out on, we ended up becoming partners. I know how lucky I am to have that.

That newfound partnership came with an added benefit -- our daughter. I got pregnant the week we moved here to Lafayette. Jeremy was so supportive and loving throughout the pregnancy, and he has been such a devoted and involved father to Scarlett, my appreciation of him has grown by leaps and bounds.

And his appreciation for me has grown, too. While we work to be better partners, making compromises and constantly reminding each other how much we appreciate one another, the circle of anger we once experienced has turned into a circle of love. Yeah, I realize how trite that sounds, but it's the truth. I see it every day. One loving gesture leads to another.

I always loved Jeremy. But love isn't always enough. Appreciation counts for so much in a relationship. Love is a relationship seedling, but appreciation is what makes it grow.

Valentine's Day gifts "for his ladies" from Jeremy

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Team Dinner and Weekend Visits

Thursday I drove down to Castle Rock with the baby at lunch and worked from my parents' house for the afternoon. Scarlett put on quite a show for everyone while we were there, sitting up like a big girl, banging her plastic keys on things to make noise, singing, and trying to drink out of a sippy cup.

We left Castle Rock that evening and headed down to the Springs to meet my coworkers for dinner. A group of my teammates from all over the country had gathered together for a project at the HP campus there, and I hadn't seen many of them in the flesh for years. I didn't want to miss this rare opportunity, so I met them at Marigold's for a delectable meal and delicious conversation. Scarlett behaved pretty well for it being past her bedtime (usually she'll nap in her carrier in restaurants, but she wasn't having it that night) -- and she really seemed to click with my manager, Heather. Scarlett babbled to Heather and chewed on her necklace for a good stretch of time before finally succumbing to her exhaustion.

The drive home Thursday night was miserable, unfortunately. I left Marigold's at 8:30, and they had I-25 down to one lane for about ten miles through downtown Denver. I made it home at 10:30 and I was supposed to get on a conference call for an IT build at that time. So I passed the baby off to Jeremy, logged into my work computer, and jumped on the conference call as quickly as I could. Luckily my testing and sign-off were complete by 11:30 so I got to bed before midnight.

Friday night Matt, one of Jeremy's best friends, came up from Colorado Springs for an overnight visit. We ate some dinner and watched Supernatural together, then I headed to bed and the guys headed downstairs to hang out and play video games. Guy bonding at its best.

The next morning I got up with the baby and Matt came upstairs shortly after. We had some tea and chatted until Jeremy woke up. Matt and I are both really into holistic health, so we have great conversations. I enjoy his visits as much as Jeremy does. Anyway, when Jeremy got up the guys went and picked up the couch that my brother is selling to us. It's a gorgeous leather L-shaped design and it barely fits in our family room downstairs -- but we love it and were thrilled to get it from him. After they brought the couch in, I told Jeremy we'd decide how to arrange everything later and shooed the boys out of the house. Matt wanted to go to Ku Cha tea shop in Boulder so they headed to Pearl Street for some shopping and lunch. I stayed at home with the baby and got a workout on the treadmill when she took her afternoon nap.

After Matt left later that afternoon, our second round of weekend visitors arrived. My brother Drew and his girlfriend Lisa came up just before the baby went to sleep, so they got to play with her briefly. Then we got Chinese food and went downstairs for Sing Star and Kinect bowling. I don't think I've laughed that hard in a year. Lisa and I butchered The Beach Boys' Good Vibrations (which Jeremy then tried to play back for us -- which just ended up with Jeremy and I wrestling for the controller and Lisa grabbing the TV remote and hitting the mute button). And then Drew mispronounced a word in Duran Duran's Hungry Like the Wolf in such a hilarious fashion that we were all in tears.

Drew and Lisa stayed Saturday night and left Sunday morning right before Jeremy, Scarlett and I packed up and headed to the Springs for the day. We wanted to visit Jeremy's family for a bit, and Jeremy was dying to take Scarlett swimming now that she is big enough for swim diapers. Below are a few pictures from the day.







You can see that Scarlett is a fish like her daddy. She had no hesitation about the water at all. She never got cold, never got tired or hungry. She would have gladly stayed in there all day. Given what a water-lover Jeremy is, I have no doubt that when she turns 10, one of her birthday gifts will be SCUBA lessons.

I was amazed today at how gentle the twins were with Scarlett. It was really sweet. Jeremy's dad said he thought it was because the twins were so used to being around each other, interacting with other children came naturally to them. I believe he's right on the money.

So yes, busy weekend, but well worth my current exhaustion. Jeremy got some guy time (two weekends in a row -- he is one happy dude right now), and I got to socialize. I can sleep when I'm dead, right?

Swim Time!

Wednesday, February 09, 2011

Kindness

A writer friend of mine posted a question on Facebook this morning. She asked, Is common courtesy learned or instinctual? I responded that I believed it was learned, and everyone else's responses seemed to echo that.

Common courtesy, specifically in the form of manners, is dying out. I'm sure all of you readers have said this out loud at some point recently: What ever happened to courtesy? But if it's a learned thing, are parents responsible for the downfall of decency?

Yes and no.

It is parents' job to teach kindness to their children. By kindness I mean things like courtesy, manners, open-mindedness and sharing. Kindness is a big umbrella for a lot of little behaviors. Those little behaviors add up to people getting along and not hating each other.

But once children enter school, and thus society, parental influence meets its match with peer pressure. That one bully at school whose mother's refusal to teach her child the words "please" and "thank you" can quickly unlace the courtesy the ten other kindness-fostering mothers have spent years instilling in their children.

So I believe that when I send my daughter off to school for the first time, a few years from now, my job teaching her kindness has just begun. I will have to reinforce those teachings constantly, because as much as I will believe kindness has been instilled in her by myself and my husband, her schoolmates can instill beliefs and behaviors as well.

Tuesday, February 08, 2011

Learning to Walk Away

I have been staring at this pastel painting of Scarlett for a week now. I first painted it when she was a couple of months old, and did the second round last week. There was something off about it during the second round, and I could not put my finger on it right away. Then I figured out that I had used two slightly different reference photos for the first and second passes. The pose and lighting were the same, but her expression was ever so slightly different. That little change threw me off big time.

Once I figured out what had happened, though, I looked at the painting with fresh eyes. It was actually pretty good! I promised myself I’d leave it alone for a while and come back to it when I decided what else needed work.

But after staring at it every day since then, I have realized it’s perfect as-is. This is an example of a situation where I could have easily over-worked the painting. I could tweak it forever. But at some point I needed to say, Okay, this is done. It’s the artist’s job to learn how and where to draw that line. No one else can do it for us. And if we don’t draw that line, we stress ourselves out and stop producing new works.

Non-artists can learn from this, I think. Whether it’s an argument with a loved one or a stressful project at work, everyone needs to learn how and where to draw that line and walk away – to say, I’m done. There is nothing more I can do to improve this situation.

That may be the hardest part about marriage. Learning to walk away from something that can’t get any better from working at it anymore. Whether it’s an argument (agreeing to disagree), or a habit (I have learned to deal with four pairs of my husband’s shoes constantly by the back door), at some point you have got to give it a rest. If you don’t, at minimum your sanity will start to dwindle.

I value my sanity. So I’m going to frame this painting of my daughter – and then I’m going to go put those four pairs of shoes in a neat line by the back door.

PPD Update

I've been on Celexa for 4 weeks, now. It has helped in some ways and not in others (yet).

Though my emotional lows were never horrible, I do feel a lot more upbeat these days. In fact, I feel pretty similar to when I was pregnant -- persistently positive, satisfied with life, and wanting to lavish love on my husband and child. Of course, Jeremy reciprocates the love immediately and abundantly, which makes it all the easier to feel good about life.

The main symptom I was experiencing, and the reason Jeremy insisted I go to a doctor, was lethargy. And unfortunately the Celexa has not changed that a whole lot. I am good at pushing myself, so I am more active than others in my same situation, but the desire to do things is not there anymore. And this is the main thing I wanted help to overcome.

I talked to my doctor and the counselor that works with her office this week and after prescribing a small increase in the Celexa dosage, they both said to give it another 6 weeks and we'll reassess then.

I have high hopes. Life is not awful right now, and I don't want to give that impression. I just need a little boost to get back to my normal go-get-'em self.

Monday, February 07, 2011

Arianna Huffington Says "Get Some Sleep!"

Hear, hear!

Arianna Takes On The 'Cult Of No-Sleep' (VIDEO)


Weekend Roundup

Jeremy went to help my brother move on Saturday, so Scarlett and I were home by ourselves all day. The baby is in pain off and on from her teeth coming in and also her tummy is still getting used to solid foods, so we snuggled a lot. I also did laundry, read some of The Art of Column Writing, and caught up on some Hulu queue items.

South Denver got heavy snow starting Saturday afternoon, and Jeremy, Drew and Chad played video games while they waited for the snow to abate so they could finish moving. The snow never abated, so Jeremy had an unplanned guys' night. He really needed it, and I was happy he got some time out of the house and away from the screaming baby. Unfortunately, Jeremy felt obligated to drive home that night, even though I told him he should stay the night at Drew's, so he ended up driving through Denver in a snowstorm at 1am. He made it home safely, thank goodness.

Sunday Jeremy woke me at 9:30 with a fresh-made breakfast sandwich. Have I mentioned lately that I love my husband? After I got up and ate breakfast with him, I went to Walmart to pick up a few necessities, then came home and got to work while Jeremy took a nap. I made a pasta salad, boiled the baby's new pacifiers, washed the dishes and bottles, wrapped Sophie's birthday present and got the baby and myself ready for our day out.

We went over to Della's that afternoon to celebrate Sophie's third birthday. Sophie came to the door in a beautiful princess dress. So cute! There were a lot of people there I know -- friends from college and Della's family -- so it was fun to catch up with everyone for a bit. Della is in her third trimester, and she is really showing now. She looked gorgeous.

Tamara's family was at Sophie's party, too. Tamara's little boy Cohen was born on the same day Scarlett was. It is really interesting to see them side-by-side since they are exactly the same age. Cohen looks like a little boy, while Scarlett is a chubby little baby-face. And yet they are exactly the same weight! Tamara brought some clothes that her daughter Evie had outgrown, and gave them to me for Scarlett. One of the items is a gorgeous purple party dress, and I am really excited to have an occasion to dress Scarlett in it. Another item is a cute little orange and pink swimsuit. Jeremy was very excited about that one, since he's taking Scarlett to swim lessons starting next month.

We didn't stay at Sophie's party very long because we were heading to my parents' house for the Superbowl. As usual, my mom and Drew made a crazy amount of delicious food and I completely pigged out. The game was great, and my dad was very excited that the Packers won because they have players from his college team (Cal Berkeley) and mine (CU Boulder).

Scarlett was having a very happy, playful day, so my whole family had a blast with her. We brought PJs for her and she went to bed in the playpen there, sleeping soundly from her normal bedtime (7pm) until we left at 8pm. She napped and played quietly on the drive home, then I was able to take her straight from her carrier to bed with no fuss. I am so lucky my daughter is such a good sleeper!

Saturday, February 05, 2011

Over-caffeinated

I found this poem in one of my many journals (I think I have two journals in every room of this house -- heaven forbid I don't write an idea down when it pops in my head). It's better than I remember, so I thought I'd share it.

Over-caffeinated
I roll in the twisted rush below
Drawn to earthy oranges, corals, browns
But red is jumping off my skin.

Home is too quiet
But outside the front door
The noise drowns me
Split in two.

Flailing without parameters
Strangled by structure
Each day is birthed from a book
And dies on the page.

Scarlett Video -- Bouncing Baby and Patient Puppy



YouTube link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l6DoyXfH-fw

Friday, February 04, 2011

Redemption

Two glasses of wine, three episodes of Fringe and a discussion of the Sons of Anarchy characters later, here are my thoughts for the night.

The greatest villains in literature are redeemable.

This is rote for a writer.

How-to books say "to make a villain relatable, give him a child or a pet". And it's true. If you make a villain even the slightest bit vulnerable, you suddenly allow your reader to not only understand why he is the way he is, but sympathize with him.

That ounce of sympathy makes characters like Scarlett O'Hara and Heathcliff stick in our minds long beyond the end of the book.

What is more satisfying than reading/watching a bad guy do his bad thing and then thinking "Yeah, I get it. In his position, I might do the same thing,"? Or,"There was no other way for this guy's life to go, and yet he's still struggling -- although failing -- against it." This is a truth in literature and tv/movies. But how often do we see it in real life? Almost never. Human nature seems to struggle against redemption.

Maybe that's what makes that little bit of hope such a strong rope to grasp onto.

We want the bad guy to redeem himself.

Tooth #2

Six months, three weeks old -- Scarlett's second bottom tooth came in this morning, and it feels like she's got one on the way on top too.

She can roll front to back and back to front, and sit up for longer periods of time without falling. She can sit in a high chair without leaning at all. And she just discovered the excitement of banging her toys on things to make noise.

She has also learned to do raspberries. Though mostly she just spits.



YouTube link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CKjmwHQO6cQ

Thursday, February 03, 2011

Evening Cuddles

Scarlett insists on spending the last hour before bed in my lap. She alternately snuggles and uses me as a jungle gym.

Cold Snap and Working Out

It's been frrrrreezing here in Colorado for the last week. Below-zero temps with even further below-zero windchill. I haven't left the house in days.

Jeremy is a brave driver -- he can drive anything in any weather -- but not me. When the roads are icy and I don't HAVE to go anywhere, I won't drive.

So I've been working out at home all week. Monday and Tuesday nights I did Your Shape on the Kinect. That program is no joke. It doesn't let you cheat. So I actually get a really good workout with one or two sessions.

Wednesday the treadmill repair guy came by and fixed my treadmill. Wahoo! I have a working treadmill now! So I spent a half hour on it, listening to the audiobook version of How to Think Like Leonardo DaVinci. It was heaven.

Today I tried to get on the treadmill during my lunch hour, but Jeremy was out and Scarlett put a stop to my workout after 17 minutes. I'm going to pilates at the YMCA tonight, though, if the weather cooperates.

Wednesday, February 02, 2011

Toilet Paper Dilemma

Question. Why do men care so much about toilet paper? Here is a conversation heard in our house recently:

Me: We need TP when you go to the store tonight.

Jeremy: Ok. Same as usual?

Me: No. We need to start using the Scott brand 1-ply, like the plumber recommended.

Jeremy: *death glare*

Me: It's just toilet paper, honey. This house has sensitive plumbing and the plumber said we needed to start using that type or we'd keep having problems.

Jeremy: So? We don't own this house.

Me: I'm sick of having the plumber visit once a freaking week.

Jeremy: Fiiiiiine.