Monthly Archives: October 2011

Go Cards!

Let’s Go Cardinals!!!!!!

Wildhorse lives and breathes the St. Louis Cardinals. LIVES and BREATHES. Living here in Virginia, we got the MLB package to watch each and every game. We have the cards shirts/backpacks/baseball gloves/bibs/blanket/caps/build-a-bear/cooler/etc….

We try to make it to a few games per year, despite being 800 miles away from Bush stadium.

We are fans.

Therefore, things are very tense in this house today. We are down in the series to the Texas Rangers 3-2. Tonite matters; tonite is THE event.

I just needed to put it out there in the world that while there are obviously more important world events going on today, Game 6 of the World Series is a pretty big deal.

We are playing back on our home turf. Garcia is on the mound. Maybe Pujols’ last game? (For the record, Wildhorse was checking out Pujols headlines while I was in labor with Huck. I believe I threatened his life if he did not stop reading about Albert and start breathing through contractions with me).

I am dodging squirrels (they are plentiful and lazy in my neighborhood), and I have all of our Cards gear run through the wash.

Please, please, please, Albert, Matt, Yadi (my main man), Lance, David, John, Nick and the rest of you lovely fine gentlemen….let’s bring home a winner. I want to have a good weekend. Love you, now be brilliant.

Cheers, cheers, and CHEERS!!

The Mommy Diarist


So, it occurred to me…

After an amazing night with my book club ladies, I’ve felt a little bit inspired all day. I smiled a lot. I finished a few projects. I took a long walk, played in the leaves with my family. We grilled out for supper. Bed time went off without a hitch. I’ve checked Facebook and Pinterest. And now, it is me time. Ahhhhh…..

I LOVE my book club. Last night, we discussed The Help. I am not sure that I am absolutely in awe of the book, but it brought up a bunch of interesting topics to consider. Don’t get me wrong–I liked it. I consider myself to be a tough critic. I’d like to say that my elitist criticism is a result of my English degree, but really it’s mostly due to my extremely short attention span. It takes a lot for me to invest my time in a book. But, for sure, it was worth reading!

One of the conversation pieces we discussed to great length was the nature of unconventional friendships and the power of individuals to affect others (I know! Don’t we sound smart!). We all decided that we know a Hilly (for those who haven’t read, she is a major, major Bi-atch), wish we were strong enough to be a Skeeter (an independent thinker willing to take risks), but really, we were unsure who we would be when faced with impossible circumstances.

I have been thinking about this all day. I think maybe I used to be a Skeeter. When did I become so afraid to speak my mind? Maybe I am just too tired? Bored? Uninspired? In trying to assess my own abilities and strengths, I find that I am at a place in my life that I am not really sure who I am exactly. Let me just say, not in a freaky life crisis kind of way. I guess it’s kind of scary, but it’s also sort of amazing.

I remember doing a thinking-web in various writing classes (remember doing this? you draw a circle in the middle of a paper with the word “me” in it, then use lines to branch off and build a web in an attempt to define yourself according to your characteristics and roles?). For the record, I searched for an image to include, but could not find a good one that was not copyrighted (I don’t know the rules about that), and I’m not motivated to do my own right at this very moment in time. ANYWAY, after building the web, you’re left with all the things that your are–daughter, sister, mom, wife, American, voter, thinker, dreamer, amateur photographic genius, etc.. You get the point.

Upon completion, you are left with this page full of things that you are, according to yourself, to build upon and define further. Now that I have thoroughly confused you all, my point is this–questioning yourself and redefining yourself is crucial to living an authentic life (Skeeter). If you don’t take the time to check in with yourself, life becomes a bitter, indulgent place (Hilly). I know too many people who think they have all the answers, and I feel sort of sad for them. If you think you know it all, you stop evolving.

As for me, I definitively know very little, but I am always willing and hoping to learn.

I think most moms will agree that when you look at the world through the mom lens, it is a very different place. My web has definitely changed throughout my lifetime, which is fine. In fact, it’s perfect. I think that maybe this blog was inspired by those changes.

So, I think maybe now, like starting at this moment, I am on a quest to define my own life and find answers to all of life’s important questions (with a two-year-old and an eight-month-old in tow). HA! Easy enough, right? Time passes by too quickly, and I am not willing to forget about myself in the chaos (Channeling Ferris Bueller).

I want to surround myself with beautifully positive things and influences, indulge in my life, and see where I’m at. EEek! It’s kind of like a happiness journey. I am not really unhappy, but maybe just not living up to my greatest life potential? So from time to time, I will attempt to share my thoughts about this journey in order to achieve the intended results–a healthier, calmer, more intrinsically and externally beautiful self.

I am starting my journey tonite with Fage Cherry and Sons of Anarchy. 🙂

I hope you’ll keep reading.


The Mommy Diarist

P.S. SOOO many pictures to share!! Will get some up ASAP!



Breakfast date.

 I am NOT a morning person, at all. I am cranky, hateful and disheveled when the dawn breaks. It’s not pretty. Wildhorse knows not to talk to me in the a.m., and for this I feel sort of bad, especially since he always comes over and kisses me goodbye. But, at least he respects it. And, let’s be honest, he simply got tired of getting his head bitten off by his crazy wife. Yes, that’s me.

My little Huck-man wakes up between 6:30-7am. Typically he wakes me up with giggles instead of cries. He is such a good boy. I hear him, and I try to roll over and pretend I am dreaming. But, I just want to get my hands on him. I am not sure why I am so crazy with my husband, but absolutely can’t wait to have a breakfast date with my little baby.

Juney doesn’t wake up until around 8:30, so while I am drinking my coffee, Huck is eating puffs and having a bottle. We head-bob to the tunes on Pandora. I get more smiles than I ever deserve. It’s priceless.

The time is now 8:25, so time to get the little lady up to get ready for preschool. Have a great day all! Love, love, LOVE fall!!!

The Mommy Diarist


How do you recover?

Morning from H-E-L-L.

I am generally a positive person, but seriously, what an absolute craptastic start to the day! Let the whining ensue. I hurt my back. I guess I should expect things like that since I am an old lady now. Have no clue what happened, but it’s not like I can just not pick Huck up, so I am just struggling through it with Aleve and Icy Hot (again, old lady). It hurts to work out, so the lack of activity is making me nuts, especially since I ate everything in sight this weekend. Huck would not stop fussing, mostly because I would not let him pull up on the entertainment center and fulfill his daily quest to live dangerously. My Keurig did that thing where it gave me a super short cup for no explicable reason. Juney is on a mission to make school mornings especially unbearable, maybe so in my insanity I will give up and keep her home. We  put on at least 5 pairs of shoes this morning before she decided on one to wear. Then, she threw a fit at preschool, so I’m fighting with her to get her jacket off, holding onto Huck while wincing in pain, and all the while, wishing I could just go back to bed and start the day over in hopes that maybe this was all a joke. Is this my life?

But, now I must turn it around. Juney’s at school; Huck is sleeping. Shake it off, shake it off. I can do this. I am capable. I am motivated. Yes, I am in serious pain and the caffeine ain’t working yet, but seriously, how lame can I possibly be? Even I think I am being a whiny baby.

I need some peace.

Thank you, Jerry Garcia. 🙂 While I do not share your affinity for hallucinogenic drugs, you are one of my musical soul mates.

Would really love to hear how you recover from absolutely horrific morning fiascos! In my quest to not be the “mean mommy,” I need all the help I can get.

I take it back….

What a weekend! Another photo shoot under my belt, my Cardinals are going to the World Series, and lots of quality time spent with my favorite people (I am thinking of renaming my blog to “embracing quality time,” since that’s all I seem to reference here lately. Not really, but it does seem to pop up in blogersation a lot. Thinking I’m reeling that Huck is already eight months old!!!! How did this happen?!).


So, all that great stuff about consignment sales…let me just say I might be reevaluating my enthusiasm. Not in terms of the finds, I scored!! I got two snowsuits, a fancy Juney Christmas dress, a Barbie van, 10 Barbies (At first publication, I wrote babies in lieu of Barbies. Ooops! Big type-o. No more babies here.), 4 DVDs (including Enchanted, which I secretly love), 4 puzzles, 4 outfits for both Juney and Huck, dress-up clothes for Juney, shoes for both kids, a toy train for Huck, socks, tights and a play cash register, all for 100 bucks. Very happy with all of my finds, which was all stuff we needed or for Xmas.

Onto the dark side of selling your old crap. Now, I tediously prepared over 300 items for sale. Yeah, it was a lot of work. Let’s just say that the turn out for this particular sale was absolutely abysmal. They had like 200 people less than last year. So after all of my work, about half of the clothes are back, as well as my swing and seat. Ugh…….Frustrating beyond belief. I think, in preliminary number guesstimating, I made about 200 bucks. Was really hoping for more to put towards a new lens!!! Guess I will now turn to Craigslist and EBay and see how I fare.

Anyway, just wanted to share that in my purging frenzied entry last week, consignments are great. But, manage your expectations.

And now I will never write about consignments ever again. 🙂

Consignment season madness– 6 Steps to Successful Consigning

I consign. Like, I don’t just go to the sales. I am one of the crazy ladies that takes hundreds of their children’s items to make back a fraction of their worth. I get excited for the sales. I also shop on Black Friday. Maybe I have a problem. A deals a deal, right?

Today, I am in shock. How did this happen?? How do we have a million articles of clothing? I really don’t buy that much stuff. Seriously, I don’t.

Jeez Louise!!

Anyway, consignment sales really are great! They seriously sell everything you could possibly need for your kiddos. Not cribs, and not car seats for the most part, but so many clothes, bikes, toys, books, DVDs, shoes, etc. It’s crazy. I have scored some fantastic deals (Peg Perego double stroller for $40), do most of my Christmas shopping at the sale on the cheap and have found lots of dress up clothes for Juney. You have to be patient and ambitious, but I believe consigning and shopping consignments are totally worthwhile. Here are some tips:

1. Buy the early shopping pass if you are claustrophobic or impatient (I am both). It gets pretty intense once inside, and lines are long. Usually, the sponsoring consignment organization will offer a certain amount of early shopping passes for around 20 bucks, which gets you in the door 30-45 minutes before doors are open to the public. When I was pregnant and needed lots of stuff, I did this. It was worth every single cent to be heading out the door as the mob of moms was filing in. And, I got a Baby Bjorn for 5 bucks, one of my biggest victories!

2. Make a list of things that you need/want. Get specific. If you want an Etch-A-Sketch, write it down. Huck needs shoes and a jacket. It’s on my list. Make sure you are looking for specific things instead of just buying stuff because it’s a bargain.

3. Bring a large, sturdy bag. They typically offer trash bags at the door, but they are a pain to carry around. My bags have broken twice now, and I am on a quest for an indestructible carry-all.

4. If you are selling your stuff, volunteer. I am working a 3 hour shift this year. Since I chose to help out, I get 70% of my profits on my sales, as opposed to 50% if you don’t work the sale. I am selling a ton of stuff, so this 3 hour shift could mean quite a bit of sacrificed money if I chose to be lazy instead. Also, I get to shop an hour before the sale starts, so I have a greater chance of finding some quality items (Not that it’s junk after the pre-sale, but there is certainly a variety in the condition of items. Obviously, the best quality items go first). From experience, if you get the large item room, your back WILL hurt the next day.

5. Don’t buy stuff you don’t need. This goes along with the make a list, but let me reiterate–it is overwhelming at these sales. Here in Northern Virginia, we have over a dozen different consignment sales each fall and spring. If you don’t really like the clothing item, chances are you won’t put it on your kid. If your child already has enough legos, don’t buy more because it’s a good price. Be frugal! You’ll feel great afterwards! 🙂 

6. Finally, some consigners price their items a bit too high, in my opinion. Some stuff you could probably actually buy new for around the same price. Be wary of overpriced sellers!

Quick Disclaimer–If you can’t handle the idea of used items on your child or if you are super picky, I would recommend heading to the mall over the sale. Though you can find many new items on the racks, it takes patience. While a ton of name brand items are included, they are largely used items for the most part. Also, for whatever reason, I have had much better luck finding girl clothes than boy clothes. Finally, you can probably make more money selling your maternity clothes (yep, they sell those, too, at least in NOVA) on Ebay. I have had great luck on there with my own maternity wear.

Anyway, now you know what I am doing today–tagging all the items. Seriously, why do I do everything at the last possible minute??

Just my two cents. Happy Consigning!

Quality time.

Both of my babies are very unique little humans. In many ways, they are polar opposites, sort of like my husband and I. (Let’s pause here. Henceforth, my two little ones will be referred to as Juney and Huck for all blog purposes. My husband, let’s call him Wildhorse, does not like the idea of using our actual names on-line, which I completely understand (but secretly think is somewhat silly since most of you know me.) (Then again, I am very naive and think that most people are innately good.) (So, to be certain that my babies are protected, an alias is acceptable, and sort of fun.) For those that know my family personally, feel free to incorporate these names as you so choose. I am sure that Wildhorse will appreciate his new name. 🙂 ).

I have found that one of the most successful ways for me to parent two children is to be sure to take a few moments of quality time with each of them everyday. This is sometimes difficult (like everyday), considering I also need to take care of my husband, myself, my dogs, my house and all the other day-to-day “to-dos.”

Juney is brilliant. I am biased, but she really is quite impressive. She needs lots of attention. Like, L-O-T-S. If she gets bored, she finds herself in trouble (like her mom), so Wildhorse 😉 and I must constantly come up with crafts and projects for her to tackle. Huck is quiet, composed and loving. Unless he is hungry, he is extremely laid back (like his dad). He likes hugs and cuddles, baths and the outdoors. Sometimes, he is so chill that I am not sure if I have actually put him into the car when we leave to go somewhere. Yes, I’ve actually looked in back, just to be sure.

So considering their different needs and an increasingly busy schedule, it is beyond difficult to effectively find the time for quality, meaningful, and dare I say it, validating interaction. One of the biggest lessons I have learned as a mother, and…..homemaker (why do I despise this term so much??!!). Housewife? No way. Let’s try this again, “One of the biggest lessons I have learned as a mother and supreme-ruler-of-my-household/blogger/novice photographer” (much better) is that organization is the key to success. I am completely unorganized. So, am I failing?

I think not. My kids smile a lot. My husband, my Wildhorse (I can’t stop), kisses me hello when he gets home from work and seems to like me most of the time. I have accepted that while organization is important, it must not become an obsession. Your family is your life, not your stuff. Important lesson here, in my non-expert opinion, one that I struggle with often. Stop buying crap and start hugging your family. Stop organizing closets and go out and run in your backyard.

My house is typically messy, albeit in a warm, inviting way. Our bedroom is especially hodge-podge, which makes me stress because the Dr. Phil’s in this world equate the cleanliness of your bedroom to the quality of your marriage. If this is the case, we might be in a wee bit of trouble. Then again, I put the most work into keeping our master clean, which must be a good sign, right?  

I guess what I’m getting at is that in learning to juggle two children, I have found that embracing my flaws is much easier when I have been a good mom–when I have given Juney and Huck that quality time. Today, while Juney was drawing circles, a feat she is very proud of as of late, I taught little Huck how to play Pat-A-Cake. While Huck was sleeping, I taught Juney to be a sassy model (hence the pictures) and showed her how I import them onto the computer, edit them, etc. She loved seeing herself, maybe a little bit too much. Not everyone’s cup of tea for quality time, but she was actually very interested! In taking the time to actually be a mom instead of just living the title, I learn so much about my babies.

Most days, I love my little family so much that my eyes well with tears, an emotional trait that I embrace. It makes me feel grateful. I am a very lucky lady, and only through forgetting about the stuff–the material, insignificant crap that means nothing or the expectations that I place on myself to live up to the standards of others–can I truly give my family what they need. I feel more myself when I am being a homemaker (blech. there, I said it), a mom, and a wife than I ever imagined. Instead of fighting it, trying to be someone else, I think I’d rather just embrace my life. It’s stressful; it’s messy. But, it’s mine.

I think as I get older, the term “quality” is constantly being defined and redefined. While Wildhorse and I love a good Cab (especially with an amazing filet, maybe some homemade creme brulee), I think we’d trade the tannins in for Juney slumber parties or Huck cuddles any day.

Listening to the rain, drinking tea while my kiddos are sleeping. Pumpkin scents fill my house. Chicken chowder in the crock pot. It’s been a good day. Hoping the same for you. Take a moment to breathe and embrace your life. It’s kind of awesome.


The Mommy Diarist

P.S. Working on establishing my own domain and some site edits, so please stick around during my technical tribulations.