Friday, January 28, 2011


So, for the last couple of days, I have been telling Hail that when I get paid, I would buy him a "bouncy, bouncy". I had originally thought to get a Johnny Jump Up because they are fairly inexpensive and they just clip in the door. They are great for building leg strength and strengthening back and neck muscles. My sister and I went to Wal-Mart today to pick one up, come to find out, they don't carry them in the store. We looked in the baby department, the toy department- twice, before someone told us this.

So we went back again to look at bouncy chairs and exersaucers. Now, admittedly, I am not a fan of Winnie the Pooh, for children's rooms and baby toys, I think that it is way over done and I am not really a traditional person. While looking at all the "bouncy, bouncys" as we call them in my home, I had two choices a pink one that was nearly $40 or Pooh. So Pooh went home with us today. After assembling the seat, I realized that I forgot to get batteries for the stupid thing! Although he had to make it bounce by himself, Hail has had a blast with the chair ever since we brought it home. The little bar that sits at eye level has Tigger toys that rattle and he can pull on. Overall, it was a great $36 purchase for all the smiles and giggles I've gotten out of it already. I can't wait to see what tomorrow brings when I go get batteries and it can bounce on it's own and sing. :)

Thursday, January 27, 2011

I got Scentsy with it :)

Many of you might not know this, but I am a sucker for a good cause. My best friend, whom lives in an oxford house, is currently doing a fundraiser for Oxford America selling Scentsy products. Admittedly, it doesn't seem very manly having a house full of 10 adult men selling wickless candles to people but, hey, like I said, I'm a sucker for a good cause.

I have always loved the smells of Scentsy products and know many people that have purchased Scentsy products in the past. Being a candle lover, but also having an infant that is quickly on his way to becoming mobile- not to mention a cat that can't keep well enough away, any sort of a candle that had no flame is perfect for my home. Always attempting to doing the charitable thing, I bought some Scentsy products. It took a long while staring at the catalog trying to decide what I wanted. First I had to choose a burner. I have limited space, so of course I wanted the most economical thing possible. Plug-in Scentsy is perfect. Now, it's a candle but a night light too! Choosing my scents was the hardest. The best deal was to buy 5 and get one for free. So, that's what I did. With over one hundred scents available, I spent over an hour sniffing rub-and-smell stickers trying to determine which I liked the best. The decision was difficult but I had to do it. It's for a good cause!

All said and done, I purchased a plug in ceramic burner, and six fantastic re-burnable wax bars for $40. I don't know if that money will go to buying coffee for all the oxford houses in my area, or helping them fund a project, but I felt good knowing that I helped. And, the best part of it all was that I got something cool out of the whole deal.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Lets Get Real

It is no secret that I do not have many friends. Perhaps it is my crippling honesty that drives people away or my inability to tell people no, which consequently allows everyone to walk on me, which in turn also means losing friends because once they have bled me for what they can, they are done. Whatever the case may be, it leaves me with few friends, and sadly, many of the ones that I do have don't live in the same state as I do and I've never met in person.

Right now, I could really use a good friend. Someone that doesn't know my other half, someone that can listen and let me bitch about anything and everything for awhile, and someone that will just be mad for me that I have to go through it all. So where does one turn to find such things? Where else but Craig's List. While looking through some of the ads that people place, it is no wonder that they are looking for more friends. I do not disclude myself from this either. Obviously, I have flaws that keep people away in droves- two of the biggest hindrances- I have a kid and no car. I recognize these flaws and I will be more than glad to point them out to you even before we meet, therefore, you have no expectations of something you won't receive. But seriously, lets get real.

Do most people really not see that they are limiting themselves when they state that they can only have friends that work a regular 9-5 are fit and like to drink every Tuesday? What kind of a peach are you when you are being so specific that you are essentially looking for a clone of yourself? Stating that you can't have friends that are over or under the 20-25 age range, or completely eliminating everyone with kids means that you could potentially be eliminating the perfect person from your life. The way that I see it, that single mom that continues to work for her kid and is willing to give up her Saturday night to watch The Princess and the Frog for the millionth time and wake up at 5 in the morning with a small child that had bad dreams obviously has a really big heart and a lot of love to give.

Why is it that people feel that they need to present themselves as a package instead of just saying 'hey, this is me. Take it or leave it. I'm broke, I give everything I have to someone else, but I'm happy to do it again. I just want a good friend to laugh and cry with. Someone to share my good times and bad ones.' You don't need someone to get f*cked up with every weekend, you don't need the next STD to crawl in your bed, or your 15th child to pop out either. Did that bottle of tequila really make you happy? Even as you passed out on the bathroom floor in your own sickness? Do you wish you could just stay in watching a movie or reading a book for once, but can't now because the friends you limited yourself to having expect you to go out and dance until your legs hurt and your toes are bleeding from the uncomfortable heels you *had* to wear?

Lets get real. Limiting your options isn't going to help you find what you're looking for. It's all about the options.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Starting a New Series

So I have been preparing to start writing a new series for awhile now, and I have started working on it today. As many of you know- or don't- I am working on getting my professional baking degree. My absolute favorite thing is cupcakes. I love cupcakes. How can you not? They are the perfect solution to having your cake and eating it too. They are bite-sized and small enough to fit in your hand. In my head, smaller means better. Half the calories, fat,sugar, clogged arteries- err.. did I say that out loud? For all these reasons and many more, this makes cupcakes perfect.

Now, since we would all like to be super-mom but don't have the time to do so, most of these recipes are perfect for the "at home baker" as I like to call them because they come from a box, wearing a fancy dress to look as if they are something else. That is to say, it's a box mix with some stuff in it to fool your friends and family to think that you slaved away over a hot oven all day making something fabulous when in reality- it might take you 30 minutes. For anyone that wants to follow- here's where you can find all my new delicious cupcake recipes as well as many other fabulous food, holiday and parenting articles that may be helpful to some or entertaining to others. And don't be afraid to comment, become a fan or follow me. There's always new stuff going up and always something to talk about.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Uggh... TAXES

Today, I spent nearly all day long doing taxes. This is one chose that I hate each year until my tax return comes. I had to do them THREE times because of complications and programs that wouldn't allow me to change things. However, I am FINALLY done! Not only that, but the program that I used let me file my FAFSA all at the same time since I could just attach it to my taxes and send it all off at once.

This year was the first time that I worked the entire year as self employed. I didn't know what I should expect, but because of Hail, I was able to have a fairly large return- more than what I was expecting. There were many deductions that I did not saving receipts for until the middle of the year, therefore, I didn't bother to claim those deductions. This year, I was unable to itemize because of my lack of deductions, but next year, for sure I will be able to.

TurboTax refused to let me make any changes. For anyone that follows me that is self employed, I do not recommend using TurboTax or HR Block- to file self employed, you have to pay for their service. TaxAct- the program that I finally decided to go with not only lets you make changes, but suggests how you can save money on your taxes, lets you fill out your FAFSA, and is completely free to file electronically. The only complaint that I have about TaxAct is that instead of showing you when you are in the clear by changing color- the little box stays orange and the little word that says owe turns to refund.

I am glad to finally have my taxes completed and out of the way. I made more than I was expecting to and the money that I made will be going toward getting myself a car- something that I desperately need- taking the bus is not only difficult when you need to keep appointments but is also confusing and frustrating when you have a little one to take with you.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Feeling Defeated by a Shining Light

So for those of you that have been following me, you know that Hail and I have been sick this week. He hasn't wanted to do anything but snuggle all week now because he hasn't been feeling well. Just like me, when he gets sick, he has to sleep sitting up. Because I'm afraid that he may suffocate if I prop him up with pillows and blankets, he has been sharing my bed when he wakes up so that he can sleep on my chest in the most comfortable way possible. I know that this has attributed to his excessive need to snuggle but I don't know a better way to go about it and I don't want the guilt and even more sleeplessness of knowing that he might suffocate in his sleep. Since doing this, I have learned a good tip that my doctor told me that any frugal moms on here may like to know- if you can't afford a humidifier, rub Vick's Vaporub on your chest and put on a t-shirt. By allowing the baby to sleep on your chest covered in gunk, you are acting as the humidifier. Since he's too little to rub it directly on him, it's the next best I can do.

Yesterday while snuggling, the movie Corina, Corina came on Showtime and I had to watch it. I've always loved the movie and I hadn't seen it in a long time. When the ending came, being the sentimental schmuck that I am, of course I cried, but I also realized that Hail is my little light and he shines so brightly. And I'm gonna let him shine as long and as bright as he can. Now, being that he is a long lasting, brightly shining light- like an Energizer bunny, I have felt so defeated.

It is hard work being a single parent that works from home. I am with him 24/7, and since we've been sick, nothing has been done. Every time I think that I may have a few moments to write a quick article or edit a paragraph, he wakes up. It's as if he senses that I'm not paying 100% attention to him, even if he is sleeping. I am so behind with work that I feel as if I am only making it by the skin of my teeth. Something that I am completely not used to. Not only that, but I can't seem to make him understand- without listening to him scream- that it is okay to play by himself and he doesn't need me to entertain him all the time. I know many people that would tell me to just let him cry it out, but have you ever tried to work or even think when your baby is screaming and you know that the only thing that they want is you?? It is the most heart-breaking and difficult thing to do in all the world. I can't do it. I never thought I could ever feel so defeated by something so bright.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Caring For an Infant When You Don't Feel You Can Care For Yourself

So today I have had the most difficult challenge of my entire mommy-hood. Right now I am working on getting over a cold. I feel extremely physically drained- I have a severely stuffy nose and I keep coughing up crap from my lungs. Hail is feeling better from the little sniffles that you had yesterday and I would hope so after sleeping nearly all day long yesterday. Hail has been a ball of energy all day long- talking, playing jumpy-jumpy and doing all the other things that he enjoys. I on the other hand have barely had the energy to hold up my own head. I feel completely inadequate. Being a single parent is hard enough. Being a single parent when you don't feel well and have someone that wants your undivided attention all day long is even more hard. I was able to keep up with him but I did try to slow his pace some. Hopefully tomorrow will be better.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Adventures on a Bus

The other day, I had to go to WIC. In a car, the WIC office is less than 5 minutes from my house. Since I don't have a car right now, I thought, "I'll take the bus, the trip can't take that long and if thousands of other people can do it, I can too." Wow was I wrong. I don't know how anyone can rely on public transportation for anything. This was my horrible adventure.

I left the house 30 minutes before I needed to. The bus was 45 minutes late. Now, I'm starting my trip out 15 minutes later than I need to. I get on the bus with Hail and there are no seats available. Nobody bothers to allow us to have a seat, so we stand. Now, in order to get to the WIC office, you have to take 3 buses to get there. Each bus runs back and forth in a straight line up all the main roads. The first bus was 15 minutes late, the second bus that we need only runs once an hour, and we missed it. So we start to walk. I don't know if you have ever carried a child in a car seat for any length of time but it adds at least 10 pounds. I carried him for over a mile, then it begins to rain.

By this time, I am so frustrated, tired, and late that I call my sister crying. Luckily she was on her way home from somewhere. Conveniently, she lives right across the street from the WIC office. She came and picked us up and we ended up only being 15 minutes late. Now, here's the kicker- When I get to the front counter to check in they ask me if I have the printed certificate, which I hand her. She gives me 3 months worth of checks and tells me that in April Hail had to have another weight check. I DIDN'T EVEN HAVE TO TAKE HIM WITH ME!!! Had I know known that, I could have gotten the neighbor, or even Noel to sit with him for the half hour it would have taken me to get there and back since I didn't have a class, he didn't have to be weighed or even seen. Why can't they be more clear about these sorts of things before you get there???

In conclusion- I have no idea how people depend on public transit when they are always late, or it takes you half the day to get somewhere when you have to wait for buses that only meet up where you need them once an hour. Because of our little bus adventure we are both getting sick from having to be out in the cold. I need a car.

Friday, January 14, 2011

10 Small Tasks to do While on Hold

This morning I had to call WIC about getting an email address to email a certification to them for my appointment later this afternoon. I was on hold for over an hour waiting to speak to someone. After nearly 60 minutes of listening to an automated voice tell me, "Please hold. Someone will be with you shortly." every thirty seconds, someone finally connected to promptly hang up on me as soon as I said "hello" and then I had to call back and hold AGAIN for another hour. While on hold, I discovered this nifty list of ten small tasks to do while you are on hold.

1. Paint your fingernails
2. Wipe down the kitchen counter tops
3. Check for Demand Media titles
4. Check your Facebook for *important* updates
5. Make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich
6. Make another cup of coffee
7. Feed the cat
8. Program your DVR with shows you will be missing because you have to work late
9. Straighten the photos hanging on the wall
10. Update the grocery list

Thursday, January 13, 2011

We Made Cupcakes Today!

Being a professional baker, I am often sad that I don't have to time for it at the moment with work, watching my son and sleeping- these are the only things that I feel I do anymore. I recently purchased a fabulous book called Cupcakes! From The Cake Mix Doctor by Anne Byrn. This is a great book for those that want to be super-mom and live the 1950s lifestyle but just don't have the time. The book is all cake box or muffin mixes with a twist so that you never know it didn't come from home.

The recipe that we used was for Coconut Snowballs. It was an easy process and the cupcakes turned out great except I overfilled the paper cups. The frosting is actually a whip cream with coconut on top. I would have used something else because you then have to put them in the fridge since they use fresh cream. This makes the cake not as soft and moist as I like it to be.

Now I say "we" in this, because Hail has had a little trouble "down under" lately and his little bottom hurts making sitting difficult for him. Because of this, he wants to be held a lot and today has been no exception. So we made cupcakes in the fact that I did them all one handed and he occasionally got to "help" turn over a cup of oil or milk into the batter. :)

Overall it was a lot of fun, and the cupcakes turned out great. I definitely recommend this book to every super-mom out there that wants to do it all but just doesn't have the time.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Daddy Disappointments

I have to write this post because this is something that I have seen far too often in my lifetime and it has really been bothering me.

Sunday, I got a text from my husband saying that he wanted to come over on Monday to visit with our son. "Great! You can come any time," I told him, "We have nothing planned for the day."

Monday comes and we wait, and wait, and wait, and wait some more. All day Sunday, I was hopeful that he would really show up. I talked to Hail about getting to see his daddy, something that in hindsight I wish I hadn't done. Now, keep in mind that I have never disillusioned Hail in who his daddy is, he knows him, and when we talked about him on Sunday, he seemed to remember him- judging by the gigantic smiles he gave me each time I mentioned him.

Finally, around 11 PM I get a text stating that "I tried but couldn't make myself come over. You were right, I am a coward." I am not sure what exactly there is to be afraid of here, unless you cannot face the fact that you left a 3 1/2 month old child behind and haven't seen him in over a month. That is 1/3 of his ENTIRE life.

Never before and never will I say anything bad about Hail's daddy in front of him because I want him to make his own opinions, judgments and feelings for him. But seriously, if this is a continuing trend- what do you tell your child when they ask why their daddy didn't want them? Or why daddy never showed up.

All day Monday, Hail avoided taking a nap. He would look around in anticipation every time someone came to the door, any time my phone made a noise, and any time there was a sound that he recognized. I could really care less whether he wants to be there for me, or really even wants anything to do with me at all. It makes my heart hurt and absolutely sickens me that someone could walk away from their child, especially at such a young age for their own selfish reasons. Or even the lack thereof.

Cowardice or not, this little boy needs his daddy as all other little boys need their daddys. He's a happy baby boy, full of smiles and giggles. He is very forgiving, but I doubt he will be forever when he is given nothing but disappointments. I am his mommy, I can't be his daddy too. I don't have any intentions of finding him a new one, I want the one he already has to make the decision to be a part of this sweet little boy's life. I can't make that decision for him.

Friday, January 7, 2011

You Just Can't Have Nice Things

Today I have come to the realization that whether it is children or pets, as a parent, you just can't have nice things. My cat, Moo, I live him dearly- he is my first child- decided to run around the house like a bat out of hell this evening and ended up breaking 2 of my snow globes. I love snow globes. I find them to be unique with their songs, and small stories that each one tells, so I collect them. I had a beautiful snow globe of two bunnies hedging trees in the garden and an equally gorgeous Alice in Wonderland snow globe depicting the scene where Alice meets the caterpillar and he blows her smoke rings asking, "Who are you?". The Alice in Wonderland played Nocturne by Chopin while the bunny snow globe played a song called in my garden. They are no more.

Because I was holding Hail in the rocking chair next to the bookshelf that the snow globes sat atop, I had to do everything to make sure that he didn't get hurt. I had to throw myself around him and let the cat attack my arm as he tried to tiptoe around the glass that he broke and avoid the glitter, which I am still convinced, is the herpes of the crafting world. Once it gets on you, it never goes away.Hail was a little shaken by the sudden craziness, and he cried, of course. I on the other hand will more than likely have to go to the doctor at some point this weekend to get a tetanus shot to make sure that these deep scratches on my upper arm do not become infected.

So, for this momma, lesson learned. As a parent, I can no longer have nice things. There is no place high enough for anything of value to sit where it will still remain valuable.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Dear Moo- A Letter to my Cat

Dear Moo,
Most of the time I love you a lot. Since we have moved, you have kept me awake all night long screaming in the window and running back and forth from one end of the house into the bathroom and back into the dining room. If I have to listen to this one more time, I may hog tie you at night while I sleep.

There is no reason to yell at the bathtub faucet. Screaming at it will not make the water come out. Sitting in the sink for hours only makes the drain fill with your hair. Oh, and that orange and white cat you see in the mirror is you. Of course he talks back, he says everything that you do.

It is unfair of you to think that you can stay up all night long and sleep all day when everyone in the world is awake. Reverse your schedule. I will never understand why you feel that you need to sleep at the noisiest times of the day then glare at me contemptuously when I run the vacuum, get something to eat, bug you to stay up or anything else that may disrupt your sleep like you do to mine.

If I get one more sleepless night, you may start sleeping outside.
your human
p.s. I'm the one with the fish treats- if you do not be nice and start cooperating you may never see them again.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Why Your Friends With Kids Are Too Tired to Hang Out

I get this question a lot from my friends that have no kids. They always want to know why it is that I never have time for them after my long day of "doing nothing." First of all, jerk, if you think that I do nothing, come stay at my house for a day. I'll go to work for you and leave you with my list of to-do. Not unlike most parents these days, everything I do in a day, I do alone. Super mom is a title that EVERY mom should have, especially ones that are single parents, work from home and don't ditch their kids on the first person that will take them.

To my childless friends, I say; "What time do you get up in the morning? Do you get up, shower, have a cup of coffee, read the paper and then head out the door to work?" Most of them say yes. Well, my day starts at 5:30AM. I do not get a few minutes of relaxation, I wake up and have to immediately start working. At 8:00AM Hail wakes up and he has to be fed, changed, burped, and dressed. All these things take my undivided attention for approximately an hour and a half before first nap time.

First nap comes. This is my one chance to shower, get a cup of coffee, edit some work, clean the kitchen, start a load of laundry and maybe have some toast. There isn't always time for toast.

When Hail wakes, he will will have to be changed, fed, burped and now he wants to play. So for the next three hours, my undivided attention is needed while we sing, dance, learn new things, work on feelings and emotions, and then finally ten minutes to wind down in his swing while I switch the laundry and he falls into second nap.

Second nap. Work furiously until Hail wakes up, two hours later.

when second nap is over, it is time to eat, burp, and change diapers again. After this, it is play time again. He will be more energized now after two naps and will and will want to play "10 little monkeys" (this is my upper body work out as it takes a lot to bounce a baby continuously for ten rounds of monkeys jumping on the bed). Then it is time for a story, a snack, tummy time, which requires undivided attention so that he doesn't roll off the couch, scoot into something and hurt himself, and then time to play in the swing while I attempt to make myself dinner. If we are having a bad day, I have to hold him and cook one handed.

Dinner time is the time that he will want your attention because he is most fussy. Eating one handed is a major part of being a super mom. This part of the evening will probably be more fussy than any other. This is largely in part because he will fight sleep. He will fight and fight for nearly four hours until he passes out hard.

Time to go to work again. This is important that you get little sleep so that all financial goals can be made to ensure diapers, clothes, soap and everything else that you need.

Now, keep in mind that all of this is only attainable if I have nowhere to go that day. If I do, then I have an extremely fussy kid because naps are missed, feeding is often delayed and they don't always get changed when they want to be. This makes for frustration on an already tired momma. So after the sleep deprivation, working around an infant, providing undivided attention to teach, feed, change, burp and play with someone that cannot do anything for themselves, perhaps, my childless friends will know why I have no time for them.

Monday, January 3, 2011

The Joys of Naptime

Before the last 3 months, naps were not anything that I really cared about or even thought twice about. Now that I have a 3 month old, nap time is my best friend. Earlier this afternoon, I did find myself falling asleep in the rocking chair with Hail while I was burping him. Then I realized, "I have to get up! I have an hour of nobody wanting my attention, nobody needing me for anything. I must do something!"

So, during the first nap, I cleaned the kitchen. Second nap, bathroom. When I first got pregnant, everyone told me that I should use nap time to nap as well. Fortunately, I have been blessed with a kid that sleeps 8 straight hours through the night and has since he was six weeks old.

Since I am a stay at home mom, many people feel that I don't do anything all day long because my house isn't SPOTLESS, I am often still in my jammies, and I look like I just woke up. This is the farthest from the truth. I have a job. I am a freelance writer which requires me to be on my computer a lot. Because I am also a teacher, parent, nurse, cook, entertainer and friend to my precious baby boy I have to get up before he does, stay awake after he goes to bed and work while he naps. This means that my day starts at 5:30 in the morning and ends around midnight, every night.

I would really love someone that feels I am so lazy to do my job. I am a very interactive parent. I sing, read, play, watch movies, dance with my son every moment that he is awake. So most of my day is go, go, go and I do it alone. How many people do you know that are given any sort of appreciation for that? Anyone that has ever met my son says that he is a very sweet boy. From the time he was born, I've worked with him on sounds, grasping things, memory and other things as well. Hail is full of smiles, happy sounds and very rarely ever cries. Why? Because he's a happy baby- he has no reason to cry. I know thousands of parents that cannot say the same about their kids, and many that even resent them because they were not happy babies.

I know that Hail is a momma's boy, and I know that it's entirely my fault. But at the same time, I feel that these long days and nights and undivided attention is worth it. That is the real joy of nap time.

Successes and Failures of 2010

Well, 2010 was not a good year for me. As most year's new years resolutions go, I fell short in my attempts of self improvement over the year. Then the other things that I accomplished, I did a little too well. Last year I had stated that I wanted to get healthy. In January, I went to the doctor for a kidney infection. She gave me antibiotics and I ended up getting so Healthy that I got pregnant. Nobody told me that antibiotics would negate my birth control! Well now I have a beautiful little boy to love, cherish and watch in amazed awe as he learns and grows each day. :)

Hail's daddy told me that he wants a divorce- only 2.5 months after he was born... so, to sum up that crappy year, I had a baby and became a single mom all in one year. Awesome! 2010 you can kiss my ass! I have started 2011 with a fresh start and a new beginning. I moved into my own place on new years eve day. I rang in the new year in my new apartment and since then have learned the joys of living near a train. I never new I hated trains so much...

Although I do not have many resolutions for the 2011 year, I have chosen, what I think to be the best ones possible. Here they are;

1. Be the best momma I can for my little boy.
2. Finish school
3. Get a car
4.Improve my credit
5. Stay healthy
6. Get crafty

What are your new years resolutions this year? How do you plan to keep them?

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