Airing Dirty Laundry

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Let’s dust off this here blog July 8, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — airingdirtylaundry @ 9:28 pm

Where have I been, you ask?

All over the place, except for right here on my blog. This is my ninth post of the year so far. Shameful, isn’t it? With all of the running around, working, cleaning, laundry, etc. that goes on in life, I’ve found that I’m having trouble carving out the little bit of time it takes to write about said life. Too busy living it, I guess.

So I’m not going to promise to do better, because I doubt that I will. In the midst of working 50-55 hours a week, taking care of Maggie and the house (and Mike), running around on the weekends, etc, time is so limited, and blogging will always take a back seat. Which is a shame, since I wanted to use this blog (in part) to record all of the precious moments of Maggie’s life, all of the big milestones, plus all of the little things. Well, folks, it’s obviously not happening!

Speaking of Maggie, she’s 10 months old today. Amazing. It’s getting harder and harder to leave her in the morning. It used to be that she’d get up early, eat, and then fall asleep on the couch with Mike for awhile. Now she’s playing and crawling around when I leave for work in the morning, and I just want to scoop her up and take her with me.

Everyone we’re around comments on what a happy, pleasant baby she is. Something I totally take for granted. You mean all babies don’t always wake up happy?  Even when they’re startled awake? That they don’t melt down when they spend the afternoon of the Fourth of July without a nap? They don’t all love splashing in the pool?

She makes me laugh every day. When I try to get her to say “mama”, she gently whispers it. And then yells “dada” at the top of her lungs. When she gives her Ernie doll her pacifier. When she dances whenever she hears music –any music—a toy, a commercial, the radio. When I put a bunch of toys in a bucket and she gets mad and dumps them all out.

I need those laughs. I look forward to those laughs. I’m still struggling with the post-partum depression (or maybe just regular ol’ run-of-the-mill depression?) that crippled me earlier this year. I made the decision to take myself off of my meds, pull myself out of therapy, and do it my own way. Figure out how to get better on my own. About ten days after I stopped the anti-depressants, I felt better. More aware. More in control. Less fuzzy. Less numb. I knew I had made the right choice. So I just take each day as it comes, and do what I have to do to get by. I’m slowly learning how to get rid of the overwhelmedness (not a word, I know) that was weighing on me. I’m slowly learning to concentrate on the smaller tasks that make up the big picture instead of looking at the big picture and not having any idea of how to get where I need to be from where I am. And it’s working. Not 100%. Not foolproof. But hopefully the little baby steps that I’m taking will lead me in the right direction.

But enough about that.

We have a couple of busy months coming up . . .my brother’s wedding next weekend, a big work event that I’ve been planning for months, my father-in-law’s 60th birthday party, a trip to NJ to see Mike’s cousins, and Maggie’s first birthday bash. It will all go by quickly, I know.  Maybe I’ll get a chance to blog about it.  Maybe not.  We’ll see.

Here’s some pictures to tide you over until next time . . .

 

Catching up . . .in pictures May 15, 2010

Filed under: baby!,daily grind,family,Uncategorized — airingdirtylaundry @ 9:25 pm

So, even though it’s been awhile (since Easter!), I really don’t have the gumption to string sentences together and make a coherent post right now.  Mike, Maggie, and I had a full day cleaning the house, taking a long walk, going for a run (OK, Mike and Maggie didn’t participate in that one and HOLY CRAP CAN YOU BELEIVE I STARTED RUNNING AGAIN?), and all of the other usual weekend-y type stuff.

Oh, and I cooked dinner today.  That in and of itself is newsworthy.  WITH MORE THAN 3 INGREDIENTS.  WITHOUT A RECIPE.  (I have friends in Seattle and Phoenix who just fell off their chairs when they read that).  I made pasta with zucchini, crab meat, spinach, and mozzarella, with a little bit of garlic, drizzled in olive oil, and topped with almond slivers.  It kicked ass, if I may say so myself.

Maggie is . . . mind-blowing.  It seems like every day she’s learning something new.  Some of her favorite things are waving, clapping, doing “so big”, peek-a-boo, “gimme five”, and dancing.  She LOVES to dance.  And, if I may say so, I think she inherited her dancing skills from me.  (Poor girl!)

Anyhow, here’s some pictures to tide you over until I come up with a real post.

 

Octoberfest October 4, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — airingdirtylaundry @ 11:20 am

Yesterday was a beautiful day–almost 70 degrees, sunny, with just a little bit of a breeze.  Mike, Maggie, and I met up with his Dad and Mary, and also JLo and AT at an Octoberfest that was held in the community that Mike grew up in.  It was a really small festival (and by small, I mean that they didn’t serve beer, which is what I have always equated Octoberfest with).

Maggie got to see the Pirate Parrot (probably for the first of many many times!),

but she slept through just about everything–once again, I had to wake her up to feed her!  The combination of fresh air and her love of the car seat seem to have a magical effect. 

So we headed home, still asleep . . .

 

I’m officially a “mommyblogger” September 16, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — airingdirtylaundry @ 11:05 pm

As much as I hate the term, I’m now officially a “mommyblogger”.  Now that Maggie has joined our family after such a long wait, she’s quickly taken over every aspect of our lives–and we love every minute of it!

I have a million blog posts swimming around in my head, including her birth story, but I’m running a little short on time and also have no inclination to spend time on the internet when I could instead be staring in amazement at my beautiful little girl.  So bear with me!

 

ABC June 30, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — airingdirtylaundry @ 8:01 pm

I stole this one from TheAngelForever.  Feel free to join in!

A – An advantage you have – Job security, at least to an extent.

B – Blue or brown eyes – Blue

C – Chore you hate
– cleaning the bathroom.  And the kitchen.  And the rest of the house.

D – Dad’s name – Larry (not the cable guy or the crash-test dummy)

E – Essential start of your day
– shower and get ready for work

F – Favorite color – Red

G – Greatest thing you’ve ever done that made you feel really good – working with Mike to run the American Cancer Society benefit each year.  It will never get old or be a chore.

H – Habit you have – glossing over important issues because I don’t want to deal with them.

I – Issue you hate that the world tries to make you pursue – Religion (I’m right there with ya, TheAngelForever!)

J – Job title – On paper?  Sales.  In reality?  Jack of all trades, babysitter, crisis management coordinator, and voice of reason.  (It was a long day at work today)

K – Kohls or Target – Target.  Wish there was one a little closer to us.

L – Living arrangements – Mike and I, two cats, and a baby on the way

M – Music you like
– Just about anything, depending on my mood.

N – Nicknames – Don’t really have any. 

O – Overnight hospital stay
– Tonsilectomy at age 7, Appendectomy in 2003

P – Pet Peeve – right now it’s people that tell me everything that went wrong during their childbirth experiences

Q – Quote that you like most –  “People who know little are usually great talkers, while men who know much say little”—Jean Jacques Rousseau

R – Right or left handed – Right handed

S – Siblings – A baby brother.  He’ll be 30 in August, so I guess he’s not much of a baby anymore.

T – Time you wake up – I sleep in as much as I can now that I’m pregnant—I don’t get up until 6:15 during the week.  Usually 7:00 on weekends.

U – Underwear – Yes, please.

V – Vegetable you dislike – I think I like them all.  Is that weird?

W – What makes you run late – Traffic is the only thing I can think of.  It’s more likely that I’m early for something rather than late.

X – X-rays you’ve had – Teeth, foot, ankles, collarbone

Y – Yummy food you make
– If “make” means “dial the phone and have delivered”, the possibilities are endless!

Z – Zoo animal – I love the giraffes!  And the reptile house is always interesting.

 

Breakdown June 26, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — airingdirtylaundry @ 5:41 pm

Baby, breakdown, go ahead give it to me

Breakdown, honey take me through the night

Breakdown, I’m standing here, can you see?

Breakdown, it’s all right

It’s all right

It’s all right

Just about every time I see or hear the word “breakdown”, I think of Tom Petty. And I like Petty, so it’s all good.

Except for 4:30 this morning, when I had my first pregnancy breakdown. Hours later, in the light of day, it seems trivial and, well, petty (pun TOTALLY intended). But in the darkness of night, an hour before dawn was ready to break, I fell apart.

I went to sleep at 10:30 last night, dutifully on my left side, sharing my king-size pillow with a sprawling 10lb Guinness, as comfortable as one can be nine and a half weeks away (Or less. Or more.) from giving birth. Even though we were in the midst of a pretty bad thunderstorm, I was tired. We had spent half an hour at our local Wal*Mart that evening, 29 minutes more than was really necessary, and if any place in the world can drain the life energy out of me, Wal*Mart can.

I don’t sleep as well, or as deeply, or as long, as I used to. My days of being able to pass out for hours with lights blazing, TV or music blaring, and in uncomfortable positions seem to be over. And I’m OK with that. In theory, at least. So when I woke up at midnight or so and talked to Mike (who was still awake, in the dark, watching a very muted TV), it took me a little while to get back into a deep sleep. And when I woke up at 1:30 because a certain cat’s paw was too close for comfort to my eye socket, it took me a little while longer. And when I woke up at 3:00 for seemingly no reason at all, I couldn’t fall back asleep. Mike was snoring, although not loudly, but it was all I could concentrate on. After a few pokes to his rib cage that he failed to acknowledge, I grabbed my body pillow and water bottle and headed downstairs to the couch. A common enough scenario for me anymore, and usually I can fall back asleep at least for a little while.

I got myself comfortable on the cold (ahhhhh) leather of the couch in the family room, closed my eyes, and waited for blissful rest to come my way. Seconds later, I heard the tell-tale thump of Forrest knocking something off of the island in the kitchen. I squeezed my eyes a little tighter and tried to will myself to sleep. A few minutes passed, and I heard him in the dining room, playing with the glasses that hang from our wine rack. I got up, turned the lights on, grabbed him off the wine rack, tapped him on the nose, called him a bad cat, turned the lights off, and laid back down.

Five minutes later, he was at it again. In a loud whisper, I said “Forrest!”, and he stopped. He got back up on the counter, and used the weight of his body to push my purse off onto the hardwood floor. No small feet for a scrawny one year old cat.

Not getting a reaction out of me, he walked into the family room, got on the coffee table, knocked my phone (which I had the alarm set on) off onto the floor and played hockey with it across the hardwood and into the kitchen. Of course, I was lying there wondering where he would hide it and imagining that I would miraculously fall asleep and then be late for work.

I once again grabbed my body pillow and water bottle, retrieved my phone, and, as Forrest trounced back upstairs, I shut myself into the room that is supposed to be our formal living room but is more of a den. The room is dark red, the blinds were shut, and only a little light was coming through the windows of the French doors. I laid down on the couch, settled in, and maybe even fell asleep for 5 or 10 minutes. Until Forrest figured out that the only thing separating him from me were those doors. He, at first, gently pushed at the doors, making them rattle. His pushing increased until he was throwing his little cat shoulder into the doors, trying to use his body weight to push them open. He’s very persistent.

I packed up my stuff and went upstairs to one of the spare bedrooms, and although he didn’t follow me, I couldn’t get comfortable on that bed. And I was cranky by that point, which makes getting comfortable a teensy bit harder. So I moved to the other spare room, shut the door, swept the mess of clothes off the bed, and threw myself down. It was 4:30.

The first time I heard Forrest in the hallway outside the room, the tears started. I knew there was no chance now that I would fall back asleep. Within seconds I was sobbing uncontrollably. I knew I had an intense day at work ahead of me, and knew that I would have trouble being “on” for nine straight hours after such a restless night.

I cried until my eyes were swollen and the tears eventually dried up.

All the while, I could hear Forrest pacing in the hallway, trying to figure out how to get to me. I felt like I was in the movie Jaws, in a cage in the ocean, a shark swimming laps around me, smelling blood, anxious to make his move.

Having exhausted the options of the two couches and two spare beds, I gave up and went back to our bedroom, climbed into bed, laid my head down on the edge of my king-size pillow that Guinness allowed me to have, and closed my eyes. The tears started anew, not racking sobs this time, but enough to wake my (still snoring!) husband, who talked to me, hugged me, and calmed me down. Forrest, meanwhile, leapt onto the dresser, weaseled his way through the curtains, and rattled the blinds when he stuck his head through them so that he could look out the window.

The sun was up. I fell asleep around 6:00, and my alarm went off at 6:15. Time to get up.

I showered, forced my contacts into my swollen red eyes, got myself ready for work, and stopped for a second on my way out the door to pet Forrest, who was passed out cold on the couch. As annoyed as I was with him, I still love him. But couldn’t resist a small poke to stir him awake.

Sure, I’m still tired, and my eyes are still puffy with dark circles underneath, but I got through the day by thinking that at least I could go home after work and lay down for an hour or two. And the baby was really active today, so my mood improved with each movement, each kick, each scrape of an arm or leg as he or she flipped and turned.

Breakdown, it’s all right

It’s all right

It’s all right

Good night.

 

Crazy weekend! June 9, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — airingdirtylaundry @ 7:21 pm

JLo’s bachelorette party was this past Friday and her bridal shower was on Sunday.  Add a baby shower on Saturday, and we had quite a weekend!

JLo’s bachelorette party was a lot of fun.  It was great to see her having such a good time with all of her friends, and although there was a lot of beer and shots involved, nothing got out of hand and JLo was barely even hungover the next day. 

She was quite a sport with all of the traditional bachelorette party garb.

And she had a good time dancing!

I will admit that being the sober pregnant one at a bachelorette party was a new experience for me, but I had such a great time!

The bridal shower was also a lot of fun.  JLo got a lot of really nice gifts and it made me realize that her wedding is just 2 short months away.  Time is just flying by!

 

Babymoon May 26, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — airingdirtylaundry @ 10:43 pm

It all started innocently enough. About 6 weeks ago, I said to Mike that I wanted to go away over Memorial Day weekend, one last trip somewhere by ourselves before the arrival of Baby L. I proposed New York City , and Mike’s immediate comeback was “Why don’t we go to Vegas?”

Why not, indeed?

So we used our frequent flier miles to get free flights (well, relatively free—there was a $30 service charge for each). Mike called around to a few different hotels and came across one that would comp us the 3 nights— New York New York . Free flight, free hotel. Who could resist?

Certainly not us! (And in a twisted sort of way, I got my trip to New York!)

If I was a complainer (which I’m trying hard not to be), we kind of got what we paid for. On the flight out, we had the pleasure of sitting directly behind 2 drunk jerks, one of whom was the Ultimate Loud Talker. I could hear every word he said despite my ears being clogged from the change in altitude AND wearing earplugs. Because our flight was delayed, US Airways was stupid considerate enough to offer a complimentary alcoholic beverage to everyone on the plane to make up for the inconvenience. Brilliant idea . . .half our flight went to the bar as soon as the delay was posted. Now that we’re finally on the plane, let’s get everyone even drunker! And then, despite having to be asked to be quiet by the flight attendant because of his drunken Loud Talking, the dude bought 3 more during the flight. Is it not possible for him to be cut off? I guess every $7 is so important to US Airways that it doesn’t matter that the rest of the passengers are irritated. Our flight back was quiet, but very very bumpy. The seatbelt sign was on almost the entire flight and at some points the turbulence was so severe that your butt actually lifted off the seat and then slammed back down despite the seatbelt. The Bishop of the Pittsburgh Diocese was on our flight, so I think that made us all feel a little safer.

And the room? Ehh. The hotels we stayed at before had much nicer rooms—bigger and with extravagant bathrooms. This one wasn’t much more than your ordinary Holiday Inn in Anytown , USA . But it was clean, and we were barely there anyhow, so it wasn’t a big deal. Plus, we were on the 22nd floor with a view of one of the higher spots on the roller coaster, so it was entertaining to be able to just sit there and watch.

But despite the little quirks, we had an incredible time. We went into this trip knowing that it’s going to be our last one, at least for quite some time, so we had a game plan of the things we wanted to do while we were there. Some highlights of the trip:

Staying up until after 2AM (Vegas time) our first night there and then only getting 3 ½ hours of sleep before being wide awake and ready to start the day. For once, pregnancy insomnia did me a favor.

The bed was really firm (but not uncomfortable) and sleeping on it totally got rid of my ligament pain, which was key to me being able to walk around the whole time we were there. I’m cured!

Going to bed the first night after hours of gambling and only being down $5. Mike was up $50. Good feeling.

Heading downtown on Saturday morning before Fremont Street was really busy . . .wandering in and out of casinos, people-watching, and playing 3 card poker and roulette.

Checking out casinos on the strip that I haven’t been in before—Stratosphere and Circus Circus. I’ve now officially set foot in every single casino that’s on the strip.

Going back to the Riviera . . .

Mike stayed there for work 3 years ago and I went out for a long weekend. I woke up at 4AM the first morning really thirsty and we wandered downstairs to find somewhere to buy bottles of water. We went into this ABC store.

Bottles of water were $2.50, 24oz cans of beer were $2. Our rationale was that beer is mostly water, so we each grabbed one (and then another and then another) and sat at these Wheel of Fortune machines

until 10AM or so (winning money!), when Mike had to go over to the convention center for work and I went to the spa (which wasn’t very spa-ish, but I got the best neck and back massage EVER there). We both reeked of beer and were very very tired by the time we met up again at the pool that afternoon. That morning with Mike is one of my favorite Vegas memories.

Dinner at Chin Chin. Possibly better than PF Chang’s. We left there stuffed—I went upstairs and took a nap while Mike played Pai Gow Poker. I met up with him downstairs an hour later and we walked around for awhile (to MGM Grand and the Tropicana), but it ended up being a fairly early night, relatively speaking.

Going to the Hard Rock on Sunday and watching all of the “young kids” line up for Rehab.

Playing roulette at the Hard Rock with a famous (well, at least “reality show famous”) person–Evil Dick, the winner from Big Brother 8. We didn’t give him the time of day as he threw around his $100 chips and he left the table disgruntled that we didn’t fawn all over him. He’s as skeevy in person as he was on the show.

Going back to Planet Hollywood, which was our “home base” for a lot of our Vegas trips. We loved it as the Aladdin, and love it even more as Planet Hollywood.

Mike seeing Chuck Liddell (in real life, but we only got a picture of a cardboard cutout of him).

Lunch at Earl of Sandwich (although they really need to bring back the Ultimate Grilled Cheese).

Wandering up and down the strip to Bill’s, O’Shea’s, Casino Royale, Imperial Palace , Harrah’s, the Venetian, and the Flamingo, and ending up back at Planet Hollywood for the Spice Market Buffet. Mike had been looking forward to the crab legs for weeks. We got our money’s worth there.

Seeing a random Elvis.

Playing some kind of Noah’s Ark slot machine at O’Shea’s that just wouldn’t stop giving me money. And then playing a game with wolves on it that gave me even more. And all the while, being entertained by the people playing beer pong in the back of the casino.

Walking back to New York New York and stopping along the way to make our first clothing purchase for the baby.

Buying a couple more outfits before we left on Monday.

And Mike couldn’t resist a musical Vegas snow globe for the baby’s room. It plays “Luck Be a Lady”. It never occurred to either of us that you can’t take a snow globe in a carryon bag (duh), so that made for quite an adventure in the security line.

Taking my weekly belly picture in front of Nine Fine Irishmen before lunch.

26 weeks

26 weeks

Traditional Guinness at Nine Fine Irishmen. Mike had two to make up for me not being able to have one.

All of a sudden, it was time for us to go home. We got in a cab and headed to the airport, looking back at the strip.

Our gate at the airport faced the strip, and we had a view of the hotel where our baby was conceived (I know . . .TMI for some of you), thinking about how our lives are going to change (for the better!) in just a few short months.

It was a bittersweet trip . . .knowing that it was our last vacation anywhere before the little one arrives. But every time we got sad about having to head back home to reality, we thought of the baby and knew that our biggest adventure is yet to come. And we couldn’t be happier.

 

Travelin’ Tunes–This Week In Music Part 4 January 31, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — airingdirtylaundry @ 10:27 am

If I could find one good thing in all of the ice and snow we got this week, it was that it extended my drive to work (but barely affected my ride home each day). Normally I would get a little road-ragy when it takes me over an hour to make the 8 mile trek, especially when the length of the trip is the sole fault of the asshole in front of me in his SUV with 4 wheel drive and big tires creeping along while I follow in my Saturn-made-of-plastic-and-fiberglass with thoughts of passing him on a blind curve because I’m so frustrated. (My high school English teacher would not be proud of that poor excuse for a sentence.)

Anyhow, this week I easily coped with the weather, the road rage, and the trip thanks to Kevin and Michael Bacon.

It was the summer of 1997–August, I think.  Mike was in Myrtle Beach with a bunch of guys, I was in Pittsburgh in my crappy apartment sitting in the dark thanks to a tornado that had passed through.  When Mike got back, he raved about a band he had seen–The Bacon Brothers.  He had bought their debut album, Forosoco, and over the next few months we listened to it almost around the clock.  Twelve years later, the memories of that summer flooded back when I put that CD in.  I love when music evokes memories, when a certain song transports me back in time.  This whole album does that for me.  And its damn good!

 

January 8, 1999 January 8, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — airingdirtylaundry @ 7:45 pm

Usually I go through the winter months in a fog.  It rains, it sleets, it snows, I really don’t care.  I just know that each day brings us one day closer to spring, to warmer weather . . .and more rain. 

My memories of certain occasions don’t include what the weather was like, unless it was particularly bad or surprisingly good.  I remember going to a Super Bowl party in the snow 5 or 6 years ago.  I remember the mess of a March blizzard we had during spring break one year in college.  I remember that the weather on our wedding day was bright and sunny and almost 70 degrees . . .in November.

I also remember what the weather was like ten years ago today.  It rained all day and then got increasingly colder, so that by the time I was leaving work, the rain had turned to sleet.  It was a mess getting home.  I ran from my car into my apartment, my hair getting soaking wet just in the few minutes it took to get in the door.

I changed into flannel sleep pants and one of Mike’s Pitt sweatshirts and put my hair up in a ponytail.  I was looking forward to a night in.  Mike was coming over later and I figured we’d just watch a movie or something.

Mike came in the door half an hour later, still in his shirt and tie, and with a bottle of wine.  He took me into the living room, got down on one knee, and proposed.

It wasn’t a surprise, really.  We already had our whole wedding planned for that November–the church was booked, the hotel was booked, the DJ was paid for, and my gown was ordered.  We planned our wedding without getting officially engaged, and it really hadn’t bothered me a bit.  I didn’t need a ring to know that I wanted to spend the rest of my life with him.

The first thought that crossed my mind was, “Crap.  I’m a mess.” 

But I didn’t really care.

If he could ask me to marry him on a night when I was wearing his baggy hand-me-downs, hair in a ponytail and crunchy stiff from the mousse that I had used that morning, and with mascara streaking down my face from my mad dash in the rain that I hadn’t bothered to wipe off, well, then, at least he could see me at my worst before we were married!

We ended up going out that night, in the ice and eventually snow, to a little bar near my apartment called the Pour House.  It was Irish, it was small and dimly-lit, and it was–understandably–empty.  We had a few drinks, maybe even some food, and quietly celebrated our engagement .

I will always remember the weather from that night. 

By the way . . .I said “yes”.