Monday, October 11, 2010

Our baby news that everyone knows already...

Hello out there! So, what's been happening since my last post, when I announced my pregnancy? The most significant thing to report is that we found out our baby's sex at our 20 week ultrasound. Luke will be a big brother to a little BOY!        
I cried tears of shock and Rich nearly cried with joy when we saw the tell-tale peesch on the screen. Nothing about this pregnancy, from how I feel to how I look, has been similar to when I was expecting Luke. But interestingly, during this major sonogram, the first image of this new baby was the same exact one we first saw when we had our 20 week ultrasound with Luke.  This image - which happened to be the view from up between his legs, showing off his goodies so there's no question as to his sex - was honestly the first connection I saw between the 2 brothers. Luke is certainly not shy, and apparently this baby isn't either! The images of this baby's little profile are like seeing Luke's sonogram photos again too - I'm hoping this little guy looks just like his Big Bro, with a chin cleft and big expressive eyes.
New Baby can look like Luke, but we hope this little fella is opposite him as far as sleeping goes - Luke was a horror for the first 2 years of his life. Rich and I hope that the price we paid in lost sleep with Luke is enough to get us some rest this January *fingers crossed*. That being said, I'm a realist - who wants to volunteer to keep their phone on from 10pm-6am for me to call when me and Baby are wide-awake? Anyone?
Now that it's been a few weeks, Luke and I have gotten adjusted to calling the baby a boy (it took awhile for both if us) and we are now focusing on getting our house ready, and finding a name. Luke still insists on calling his brother Bird, which we love. I just passed my 6 month point of pregnancy and am feeling good these days, though huge. Here's my latest prego pic:

Luke, Bird and I trying out the timer on our camera

Baby Boy is jumping and spinning around in there, apparently having a party for one. I love feeling his movements, and now others are able to feel his funky dance moves too, which is awesome. We look forward to when Luke and his Baby Bro are dancing together.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

This Eggo is Prego

Thank you, Juno, for the words of my title. This Momma has a bun in the oven, another baby lion cub on the way, a little one due in January. I did three things this spring to insure that this happened (well, 3 things besides the obvious...
please don't make me explain where babies come from, mmkay?):
(1) I bought myself clothes that fit and looked good - including jeans. It was an epic shopping day. I even bought one shirt that wasn't on sale! So of course nothing fits now.
(2) Luke graduated from his pre-school program and I purposely kept his summer activity-free, God help me.
(3) Rich and I started talking seriously about spending his 40th birthday in January in Hawaii.


So, really, I wasn't too surprised when we saw this on 
May 28th:
Yup.

Or this at my doctor's the next week:
The jellybean on the left is the newest Sere!

We're happy that Luke is excited about our new addition:


And he's already rocking this shirt:


I've been horribly nauseous the past few months with this baby, and the horrendous heat hasn't been kind to us either. Poor Lukie has had a crappy summer so far, stuck in the house with me. Thankfully I'm feeling much better now that I'm 15 weeks along, and the heat has subsided, so Luke can finally have some fun before autumn.


My due date is January 20th, the day before Rich's birthday. Buh bye, Hawaii. *sigh* We'll have something else to celebrate then, though!


I'm trying to keep up with taking pics like this every week:
Love my helper!
               Here's our latest one, from last week:
Such a good Big Bro!


I'm growing wide instead of out front. That, and the way I felt in the beginning, is totally different from when I was expecting Luke. Every Momma instinct I have, plus these differences, makes me think this one's a girl. I'm sure of it. So sure that I just might fall off the table if the doctor says otherwise.


So that's our good news! Pretty freakin' major.
Thank you in advance for your good wishes!

                                          xoxo,
                           Momma Lioness Michele

Monday, July 26, 2010

Trying to Keep My Cool

I've been yelling a lot lately. At this guy, in particular.  


I know, how can you yell at that face, right? I feel awful about it afterwards, of course, but I can't undo it. The horrible relentless heat is somewhat to blame, because we've been marooned inside our air conditioned living room for the last 2 weeks. Luke makes huge messes, seemingly instantly, and spreads them around everywhere - he IS a 3 year old boy, after all. I try to go with it, but sometimes I lose it and lose it hard. We kiss and make up afterwards but I fear the damage my "Mediterranean temper", a term my first boss coined to refer to my hotheadedness, may be doing to our relationship. But Luke innocently finds ways to let me know we're still cool, at least for the time being. Tonight, he was hanging around my neck, literally, and I asked him what was up. He said "I love your neck because it's warm and I love you". He can't be too emotionally scarred if he says things that cute, right? Or when I carry him up to bed after a busy day of running around when he's fallen asleep on the way home. He puts his soft little arms around that neck he claims to love due to its warmness, even in his sleep. Little moves like that let me know that I'm still in good standing with him. But I DO want to stop yelling, or at least yell less (I am a realist). How do you keep your cool when your temper is ready to blow?   

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Hiatus

I've been out of the blogging loop for a long time now...since the end of May. 
I just stopped - stopped writing, pretty much stopped reading other blogs, and stopped twittering. Things were happening and life was buzzing along as it does and I just stopped. I'm getting my groove back now, as things slow down a bit, so I'm jumping in again. I'm working on a post for tomorrow. That's where I start.  



Saturday, May 22, 2010

Sums It Up

Luke and I were discussing clearing out some old toys to make way for the ones he now plays with the most. After explaining that he needs to give some old toys away to kids who have none, especially if he wants some new toys, Luke agreed. I told Luke "Thank you for speaking to me so nicely about your toys." Luke then said to me "Thank you for always being so nice to me, Mommy." AAWWW - what a sweetheart I'm raising! As tears started to fill my eyes, Lukie looked at me and said in his adorable toddler voice: 
"Actually, Mommy, you're not that nice." 
I cracked up. Out of the mouths of babes comes the truth, right? As sweet as Luke is, he certainly doesn't sugar-coat things he says. He doesn't even know how, which is why talking to him is always interesting. 
Even if the honesty stings a little bit.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

We Did It!

We completed the Canines for a Cure walk on Sunday. Being our first attempt at anything like this, I really wasn't sure how it would go. It was a beautiful day to walk a mile around a lake through a lovely park. Thankfully my parents came also, because I needed more than the two hands I have to keep a hold on both my 80-lb. dog and my 30-lb. fireball of a son. Kyle was calm and cool despite being surrounded by dozens of other dogs, which usually causes stress for both of us. Luke was excited about being in a new park with lots of playground areas to explore, and lots of dogs to see. Mr. Personality also got a chance to sing "Itsy Bitsy Spider" and signal the start of the race on the microphone, and he loved the attention. He kept Nonno and Nani on their toes while I kept Kyle chillin', pre-walk, in the shade. My sister is the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society's Coordinator who worked so hard on all of the details that made yesterday such a success, and I have to say CONGRATULATIONS LEENIE, the event was terrific!  Here are some photos (taken with my phone, I really need a new camera - but that's another post entirely) of the Canines for a Cure walk:
                  Superstah Luke with his Aunt Leenie


                             The Big Guy and Me


                           Nani, Nonno and Lukestar


We're rocking red, the color of the Leukemia & Lymphoma 
                             Society


            Kyle resting after the walk - he did so well!


THANK YOU so much to those that contributed to support our participation in this walk. We raised $365 to fund cancer research through YOUR donations. There's still time to donate, if you'd like - just click here:  http://li.canines.llsevent.org/serecrew


We look forward to trying out other ways to help others while enjoying ourselves too. What organizations are your favorites? How do you participate in charity events with your family?

                                      xoxo,
                           Momma Lioness Michele

Friday, May 14, 2010

Canines for a Cure: Who Let the Dogs Out?

                            
                         http://li.canines.llsevent.org/serecrew                                                                        
As many of you know, my family is participating in the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society's Canines for a Cure walk. This one mile walk takes place this Sunday, May 16th, at Belmont State Lake Park in Babylon (on Long Island). This is the first time we are trying anything like this, and I'm excited. I hope our 11-year old dog can handle the mile (and me too! Not exactly in the best shape over here), and that Luke will be relatively good while walking when we begin and eventually being pushed in his stroller by his Nonno. Lukie knows we are walking on Sunday, at what he calls "the park parade", and he knows it's to help sick people. Thankfully, this is the most that Luke knows about what Canines for a Cure is fighting.


We're walking to raise money to fight blood cancer. Every FIVE minutes someone is diagnosed. Someone just got the awful news of a cancer diagnosis within the time I sat down to type and now. Obviously, no one wants their life affected by cancer. But as a parent, just the idea of dealing with my child being sick is enough to make me feel ill. To hear the words "Your child has cancer" is incomprehensible. That's why we're walking on Sunday. Not because I've heard those four life-shattering words (Thank you Jesus) but because NO parent should have to. There is work to be done to remove the word cancer from our vocabulary. Can you imagine a future when our kids don't have to worry about cancer? It's possible. It's what we're walking for.


If you're with me and want to have a hand in changing the future for our families, you can help. Click on my link and donate - even $5 is better than nothing. Have a dog? Come join us! Want to enjoy a beautiful day in the park, with live music and vendors? Come join us! Even without raising a dollar, just showing up to the event on Sunday is supportive of this fight. 


                                                                        

My lazy ass is walking on Sunday to make HIS future better. Who's your inspiration to make a difference, or at least an effort?
                            
                                   xoxo,
                         Momma Lioness Michele




Tuesday, May 4, 2010

First Time Out

     Last night, I attended my first blogging event.  My inaugural real-life interaction with fellow bloggers was at a cocktail party at the Affinia 50 Hotel in Manhattan.  This party was hosted by two local blogging mothers who I follow on twitter and looked forward to meeting.  
Carol of www.NYCityMama.com and 
Corine of www.ComplicatedMama.com 
organized this fabulous event through Help A Mother Out, which organizes diaper drives across the country to help parents struggling to afford diapers.  Every person who attended last night's event brought a package of diapers with them, which was then donated to Baby Basics, a NYC-based organization that helps struggling working families. You can read more about them at www.babybasicsNYC.org.   
     
     I was intimidated when I first walked in, but the bloggers I met were even more welcoming to me than I could have imagined.  I really was unsure about attending since I have only "talked" to a handful of the attendees online, but I wanted to extend myself past my computer and was happily surprised by how open and warm everyone was.  Last night's cocktail party was a wonderful introduction to merging my online connections with the people behind those tweets and posts.  It was terrific to meet and talk with other local parents while helping families in need at the same time.
     
     In addition to the diaper donations, raffle tickets were sold to raise funds for Baby Basics to spend on diapers. These raffle tickets raised $400, which was major considering there were only approximately 30 people at the party.  I bought $30 worth of raffle tickets and won big!  The first raffle prize chosen was a $200 gift certificate for a photography session with super-talented photographer Alethea Cheng Fitzpatrick.  Alethea was at the party and we chatted before the raffle winners were chosen. Corine chose the first winner of the night, which happened to be ME!  I'm slightly embarrassed now by how I reacted, but I was very excited to win the photography certificate, and certainly looked it.  Alethea, who not only donated this prize but also took photos at the cocktail party, captured my reaction in her photos. Click below to see how I looked...


http://photos.aletheafitzpatrick.com/hamo_nyc/e2c272b62


http://photos.aletheafitzpatrick.com/hamo_nyc/e39676131


Yep. Pretty freakin' thrilled.


     Alethea is doing her own part to assist Baby Basics in their goal of providing diapers to those in need.  Check out her website, www.AletheaFitzpatrick.com, for details on how to enter her spring giveaway, which ends this Friday.  


     I guess it's true what they say about beginner's luck, because I was also chosen as the winner of another gift certificate.  YouCake is a company that provides personalized cake toppings.  The website is www.YouCake.com, and you should check it out to see what a unique concept this is.  Being a rookie at these types of events, I wasn't sure if I was even allowed to win twice...and although I was assured that I could win both, I decided it would be the fair thing to do to let someone else win the cake gift certificate.  I was still giddy over winning the photography gift!  However, there was one prize I would not have given up had I been called again - a two night stay at the Affinia 50 Hotel.  The Club Room we were in was wonderful, and the food and service presented was fantastic, so I can imagine how lovely it is to stay there...but will have to find out on my own dime, since I didn't win that prize.  Honestly, the excitement of winning the photography certificate drowned out any blues I may have had about missing out on the hotel stay.  I am extremely excited to have Alethea photograph Luke and will post those photos when they are done.  Wonder if he'll do the alligator pose for Alethea?

Chomp! Chomp!

      Overall, this cocktail party was a fun night out, and a terrific ice-breaker for me in terms of attending blogging events.  I'm now even more excited to attend BlogHer, a huge conference in August.  Thank you again to Carol, Corine, and everyone I met yesterday, who not only helped Baby Basics provide for their clients, but also helped ease my anxiety about attending more blogging events like this one in the future.


                                          xoxo,


                            Momma Lioness Michele
  

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Friendships: Past, Present and Future

My longest friendship has been with a girl I met in kindergarten. Alison and I met and became instant best friends at the age of five.  Going through grade school, we were inseparable, the way that only pre-teen girls can be - not sitting next to each other at lunch would ruin our day, despite the fact that we sat next to each other all day, passing notes to each other, and then went home and called each other at night.  My family moved from Queens to Long Island when I was in sixth grade (worst time ever to move, by the way), and our friendship eased into a long-distance one. Thanks to our parents, Ali and I visited each other when we could, staying in contact while living our teenager & young adult lives.  We never completely lost touch, despite this being before the internet (gasp!) - we actually had to call each other, and we did.  Years later, when Rich and I decided to get married, I wrote Alison an email letting her know, and was thrilled to hear back that she, too, was getting married soon.  The girls who met as five year olds attended each other's weddings, then celebrated each other's pregnancies and firstborns.  Today is Alison's birthday, and I hope she had a wonderful day with her family.


                   Happy Birthday, My Forever Friend!


Thinking of Alison today while spending the day with Luke made me realize that, someday, he will come home and tell me something involving his "best friend".  Luke and I say now that we are each other's best friend, and there's a truth to that, but I know that soon he will have someone else he spends his day with. Instead of playing in the sprinkler with me or asking me to push him on the swing, he'll be calling out his best friend's name to take my place. I hope and pray friendships will come easily for him.  But a corner of my Mother-Heart weeps at the thought of being replaced as the central "friend" in Luke's life.  I never asked my Mom how she felt when I wanted to spend every second with Alison.  I wonder if she felt hurt at all (Sorry, Moobie!). Now in my mother's place, I hope not to, but I think I might. I hope, though, that when Luke finds that best friend, that person is as special to Luke as Alison is to me.  I plan on supporting and helping any way I can so that Luke is able to sustain this future friendship the way Ali and I have held onto ours.


Who WOULDN'T want to be friends with this kiddo? 


xoxo,

Momma Lioness Michele


Saturday, May 1, 2010

Every Day in May

This blogging world is still new to me.  I spend lots of time reading other people's blogs and not enough writing on my own.  I am making a pledge to myself to find time everyday this month to write something...anything....as long as I write.  I don't even know if it's the actual writing or the time set aside for myself that's driving me, but I think it's a combination of the two.  In addition, I'd like to work some more on the design and layout of this little blog.  It's almost like redecorating my little corner of the web.  I'm looking forward to figuring out how to do more in terms of my blog, writing & technology-wise.  I also think the discipline of holding myself to blogging daily will be good, too.  Being a Stay at Home Mother is a full-time job, full of lots of things, but discipline isn't one of them...at least, discipline for me. Disciplining this guy: 


                                 Flirty Flower Fella


is definitely a large part of my daily duties (Mommas, am I right?).  Speaking of my darlin', I do plan on writing about him - alot - but I'd like to try writing about other topics this month as well.  We'll see how & where this goes.  If anyone has any tips or ideas on how they find time to do something for themselves, or how they keep the momentum going for a project, please leave a comment - I appreciate all advice.  
Thanks for taking the ride with me!


                                        xoxo,
                             Momma Lioness Michele

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Sights of Spring

There is a tree around the corner from our house that I keep an eye on as the weather begins to change.  During our walks, I point this tree out to Luke and show him the green buds.  Seeing this tree blossom is truly my first sign that winter is finally, truly over, at least until December.  Getting the first whiff of these magnolia flowers really sets my mind for the renewal that is Spring.  Hope my neighbor didn't mind Luke and I taking these photos!

                                            In all their glory

                                            Al-l-l-most there


Under the Magnolia Tree



Open up and say Ahhh



Aiming up at the Sky

Now that Luke is 3 (my baby is 3! Wow!), there are new Sights of Spring in our life.  Here's the newest one:

                                        Vroom!


           Lukie on his brand-new scooter - Go, Lulie, Go! 
          Thanks Aunt Jen, Uncle Mike, Jenna and Michael!
                     
                               Happy Spring!


                                   xoxo,
                       Momma Lioness Michele                                                

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Sending Strength to the Spohr Family, Today and Every Day

About this time last year, I had just been introduced to the idea of blogging. As I wandered through this whole new online stratosphere, I kept seeing one family written about, over and over - The Spohr Family. Heather Spohr writes about her life and family on her website www.thespohrsaremultiplying.com. As I began exploring the world of blogging, Heather and her husband Mike's world crashed in on them. Their exquisite 17-month-old daughter, Madeline Alice, passed away suddenly a year ago today.  


The loss of a child is a pain no parent should ever experience. I would understand if the Spohrs chose to shut down their blog and just be, but they didn't. Heather continued to post, and I was captivated by her ability to express herself so beautifully and honestly in the face of such overwhelming grief. In Maddie's name, thousands of dollars were raised for the March of Dimes. In addition to supporting the March of Dimes, the Spohr family also formed an organization, Friends of Maddie, that helps families of NICU babies. Maddie was born a preemie and the Spohrs know what families of preemies need. The Spohrs are champions for sick babies, and I honor their efforts, and their gorgeous daughter Maddie, by donating. You can too, by clicking on this link: www.FriendsofMaddie.com.


Heather and Mike Spohr welcomed daughter Annabel Violet into their family this past January.  I continue to read Heather's blog daily as she and Mike do all they can to make this world a better place for families. They are increasing the number of healthy babies like their Annie, while honoring the legacy of their Maddie. My thoughts and prayers go out to them on this wretched anniversary.



Wednesday, March 31, 2010

March: The End, The Beginning

This day, 3 years ago, was my due date. March 31st, 2007 was the magical date that Rich and I were given in August 2006 when the doctor confirmed the news that the bun was officially in the oven. From that point on, only 2 dates stood out in highlighted marker, circled in red on my internal calendar. Our upcoming wedding (October 27th, 2006), and today, 3 years ago. I pretty much knew what to expect from our wedding day, although not ever being a bride before, one can imagine their wedding day. But March 31st, 2007 was a date that held a mystery that I could never have been prepared for.


While enjoying the holidays of 2006 as a newlywed and prego, preparing for my baby shower, and wrapping up work matters, I always had today's date looming in my mind. My crazy pregnant mind figured out that, when written out numerically, 3-31-07 could be seen as 
3+3+1+0 = 7, and that, to me, was just cool. I was told by my mother-friends that most firstborns arrive late. In looking at my baby shower memory book, most people guessed that Luke would be an April baby. Being born on April 1st would be an interesting birthday, too, but something told me this little boy of mine was a March baby. Despite this feeling, Luke's due date prevented me from buying (or registering) for anything birthstone or astrology-sign related...24 hours could determine if his birthdate would begin with a "3" or a "4"...would he be a Pisces or an Aries? We just had to wait and see.


Turns out, we didn't have to wait until this day to meet our fella. At 4:30am on Wednesday March 14th, 2007, my water broke. Thirteen hours later, Luke Richard was born at 5:11pm. His birthdate will always begin with a "3", and he is a Pisces. He surprised us in Summer 2006, and he surprised us in March 2007. In true March fashion, he roared in like a lion (requiring me to have an emergency c-section) and was as soft and lovable as any lamb. March 14th will always be the day that Rich and I became parents. It is the most important day in our lives. Though not born today, the anticipation and love poured into March 31st will always make today an important date to our family too.


                                              Back then:


To now:





xoxo, 
Momma Lioness Michele

Monday, March 22, 2010

3 years ago - Week One

Three years ago, Rich and I had just made it through our first week as parents.  We were shell-shocked by it all: the extreme pain I was in after an emergency c-section, the extreme sleeplessness, the extreme neediness of this little creature who roared his way into our lives on March 14th, 2007.  Our lucky charm Luke was just over six pounds when we brought him home on St. Patrick's Day 2007.  Rich and I could have never, never imagined how such a tiny creature would change our lives so quickly.


Here's Luke on his Birth Day:

                                  Hello, World!


Rich and I went from this:

                The clueless couple on Baby Shower day: 
                            February 17th, 2007
                      (Check out all of our loot!)


To this:

          Kissing our bundle of joy on his one-week birthday: 
                               March 21st, 2007


We SSLLOOWWLLYY adjusted to our new life, our new Luke-revolving world.  It felt like those first days and weeks of figuring out what this tiny but LOUD dude needed were never-ending.  
That time passed in what now feels like an instant.  


Last Sunday we celebrated Luke's THIRD birthday: 
                        My Baby is 3!

                                            
                Our Little Dinosaur - He ROARS like his Momma!



Lemme at that cake!
      
Just as we felt the week of March 14th-March 21st, 2007, every day with this gorgeous, lovable, demanding Little Man is a surprise.  As Luke celebrates his birthday, and Rich and I get used to having a three year old, we also adjust to the wants and needs of a pre-schooler.  Every day is something new.  We treasure this time, because we now know how fleeting it will be.  And how could we not want to hold onto THIS for as long as possible?
                                         MWAH!

   We Love You, Son!
   HAPPY BIRTHDAY - BUON COMPLEANNO!!
      Thank you for making us parents - you are the BEST!

    
xoxo,
Momma Lioness Michele

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Kyle Gets Cozy

*Our favorite furball, Kyle, turns 11 years old today! Happy Birthday, you handsome fella! xoxo*   


  One of the side effects of having a husband that regularly works overnight is being alone in bed at night.  Some evenings, I miss my Babe and can't wait until he's home.  I miss his warmness and being able to cuddle up to him. What I DON'T miss is Rich pushing his covers on top of me (he's always hot when he sleeps, I'm always cold - isn't that always the way?), him taking up most of the bed, and the snoring...Lordy, the snoring.  When Rich is working, I take full advantage of having our bed to myself by sleeping on an angle with the heat cranked up.  Having Luke sleep through the night in his crib is still a work in progress, so any night when Rich works and it's just me, and not me and Luke in bed, is a rare night.


     Last Thursday, we got slammed with snow.  Rich worked all night (lots of car accidents and downed power lines for FDNY to deal with in a major snowstorm) and Luke was asleep in his crib after a full, fun day.  I headed for my empty bed, assuming I would be the only one in it. Kyle, our dog, faithfully followed me upstairs and settled down on his bed in our room.  After about a minute of total and complete peace, Kyle got up and began pacing.  This would normally make me nervous, especially when Rich isn't home, but I knew what the problem was.  Kyle, in all of his pit bull glory...is afraid of wind.  Seriously.  The blowing of the wind freaks him out.  He panics, and I imagine that he thinks the wind is out to get him.  He will pace around our bed and then lay down on the hardwood floor next to Rich.   It would almost be comical if it wasn't so pathetic.


     So Thursday night was a tad windy.  As in, 50 mile-per-hour winds blowing the snow around.  Kyle was out of his mind with concern.  His problem was now my problem, since he was making me very aware of his fear with his non-stop pacing.  Kyle must have sensed my willingness to ignore him, because he then put his front paws up on the bed, very close to my head, and began to shake violently. Did I mention Kyle is 80 pounds?  Yep, 80 pounds of dog shivering in fear, inches from my head.  As much as I wanted to, I couldn't ignore that.  Pushing him off the bed did nothing as he would just prop his paws back up and shake again.  It was mucho dramatico, but I knew he was actually afraid, and I did what I had to do to get some sleep. I lifted his back paws up and hoisted my 80 lb.-pussycat-in-a-pitbull-body onto my bed.  Kyle used to sleep on our bed before Luke came along, but has rarely been on it in the past three years.  I think the combination of the thrill of being up on the bed again and the knowledge that he was next to his Mommy finally calmed him down, and the shivering and frantic panting eventually stopped...although the wind certainly didn't.  Kyle cozied up next to me and we finally fell asleep. 
    
     My spacious bed was suddenly filled with a big ol' hairy, frightened dog.  My chance to have the bed to myself was over, at least until Richie's next overnight.  But I didn't mind too much.  Kyle's snoring reminded me of Rich.  And Kyle IS my first baby.  So it was almost like having Rich and Luke in bed with me.  While I may look forward to my nights alone in bed, I'm happiest when we are all together.





                  
Me and Kyle on our bed, the weekend before I had Luke

                                    
          Rich, newborn Luke and Kyle-with-glowy-eyes

                                          
Best friends share the couch...

...and the yard

                                                        
                                xoxo, Momma Lioness Michele

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Working Girl

The title of this post instantly brings to mind 2 thoughts:
(1) Melanie Griffith on the SI Ferry, headed into NYC and
(2) umm...shall we delicately say...a lady of the night?  Are prostitutes still called that?
ANYway, I briefly was a Working Girl a few weeks ago, and I was neither Melanie Griffith nor a "professional" - though now that I think about it she did look pretty whorish in the scenes when she wasn't wearing white sneakers with giant-shouldered business suits.  Hmm.  I digress, let's get back on track here.
What I mean is, this week I got a chance to do something fun and different and get paid...again, not in THAT way. Ahem.  Minds out of the gutter, people!
This week, I was given the chance to step out of my SAHM role and work outside my home.  I am being very specific here because I want to make it very clear that being home with a 2 year old IS work, ALL THE TIME.  However, this week I got to leave my sweats at home, slap on some make-up, and head into the Big Apple.  Oh, one more thing - the make-up part? I actually bought new mascara for this week, since I hadn't used my old one in a month (why would I?) & I was betting it was pretty gross inside that tube.  So, hello - not only did I wear mascara, but I actually bought a new one.  Win-win for me!  That is what brings me excitement these days.  So you're probably getting a better handle on how thrilled I was to be out and about 3 nights in a row this week, in the greatest city evah!
The first 2 nights I participated in a workshop sort-of program with 11 other women.  We eventually found out that it was sponsored by L'Oreal.  What I got paid to do was sit with other chicks and talk about skincare, make-up and haircare.  We also spoke about the term "beauty" and what it means.  We talked about why we buy what we buy, and we analyzed magazine ads and TV commercials and discussed what grabs us and what bothers us about them.  It was a long project - 6 hours total (3 hours, 2 nights in a row) and what we spoke of was really eye-opening to all.  I see the ads and commercials, but I never really thought about how they affect what I buy, and how much is soaking in.  And the airbrushing - Dear God, the airbrushing that goes into these ads!  Most of them might as well be showing mannequins wearing make-up, that's how fake many models look.  
And us real women notice that, not-so-slick Marketing Peeps. FYI.
It was a funky mix of women, some were fellow Stay at Home Moms, some were true Career Women, and the rest a mix of what's in between.  We had no problem stating our opinion, and we had a great time interacting.  We all got along so well that the moderator put together an online group for us as a way to stay in touch, which was way cool of him.  We walked away from this workshop with the opinion that those who market skincare, make-up and haircare still have alot to learn in terms of what us real-life gals want to look like.  I was happy to be a part of spreading that awareness.  I was also happy to make $350 for hanging out with some terrific women and talking - Holla!           
The 3rd night of my working week, I worked with a dear friend of ours that owns a catering business. I helped out at a cocktail party by passing around the yummies.  It was fun to be in a party atmosphere - I haven't been to a cocktail party in ages!  The party people were always happy to see me heading towards them with a tray of deliciousness, and I didn't even mind the clean-up.  I feel like I'm forever cleaning up, and this time I was getting paid to do it.  I know I'm "paid" at home with my family's love, and Rich takes care of us financially, but I was happy to go home that night with some good ol' cash!
So, I was a Working Girl, again.  Temporarily.  It was fun.  I was happy for the change of pace.  But I missed this face too much, even in those brief hours, to think I am ready to give up this SAHM gig I got going on right now:


                                     xoxo, Momma Lioness Michele

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Me & My Mac: We're Ba-ack!

Soooo....it's been awhile since I've blogged.  I think of blogging often, but somehow get around to doing it less than I want to.  The December holiday craziness didn't help AT ALL, and thankfully that is over for another year.  As things were settling down, my Mac decided I wasn't going to blog for a little while longer, and followed through on that decision by blowing itself up.  On New Year's Eve, this little bitch o' mine sent me 2 giant middle fingers and closed up shop.  I know why, too.


You see, I pushed my Mac too far this past December.  I tried to do as much of the holiday stuff as I could online.  I had anywhere from 2-10 windows open at all times, comparing gifts, prices, etc.  My poor Mac was pushed to its limit, and gave me all it had, but then gave up the fight.  I blame myself. 


My Mac was simply showing me who's boss.  That I may be the one who pushes the buttons, both literally and figuratively, but the Mac, the Mac is truly in charge around here. 

I've learned the lesson, my dear Mac - and yes, have now started sweet-talking it - anything to keep it running smoothly.  Momma hears ya.  

But this lesson didn't come cheap, financially or mentally.  After my husband heroically restored the hard drive (I have no clue how, I just thank God and the dude at Best Buy that worked him through it), we found that we lost about 2 months of information.  Some fantastic internet buddies - especially Adam of www.dadarocks.com - gave me information on trying to restore what we lost, so we'll try those recommendations.  The thought of not recovering lost photos of a friend's wedding, Luke's first airplane ride, his first trip to Florida and Halloween (of course this is the only year I didn't have professional shots done, so I have very few photos of my little Horsie) breaks my heart.  And makes me pissed off that I didn't do more to preserve them.  We're addressing that now, by backing up more on the external hard drive and burning CDs of photos, but the damage is done.

And the Mac? Well, this lil darlin' of mine gets shut down for its beauty sleep every night.  I don't push it to work too hard for too long anymore, and I make more effort to preserve what is precious.  Hmm...a full night's sleep, not being overworked, and taking care of what is loved? Turns out, what is important for my Mac is important to me too. Speaking of what's important to me...



                    xoxo, Momma Lioness Michele