Saturday, January 30, 2010

Winter, part II

And now we're on to the next phase of winter -- wanderlust. Every year once the organizing phase passes me by, I start thinking about vacations I'd like to take. Truthfully Rob and I haven't been on a vacation in a long time. We got to go on one sort of work extension trip about two years ago, but that's about it. And now that we aren't doing any road trips anymore, we don't even have the feel of a vacation. We do both have vacation time this year, so we will probably be spending a week at the cottage -- a lovely possibility that I'm already looking forward to.

But now that Maddie is around, I'm starting to day dream of future trips. My current fantasy is a road trip starting in Vegas, driving through the desert and ending at the Grand Canyon. Maybe a trip to Cracker Barrel is in order -- that's like a road trip in and of itself!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010


Ah, I started out so well this month... and then there was such a long pause. I was trying to remember why I wasn't blogging for the past few weeks and realized there are any number of little things. We had company -- Rob's sister Natalie came to visit us, and we took her around town to show off our fair non-wintery city. Last weekend, was my Grandma's 95th birthday, which we celebrated with a family dinner down at her house. We also spent much of January cheering for the Saints (Who Dat??) You figure that with a collection of personal favorite teams that includes the Bills, the Sabres, the Cubs and the Saints, one of the four should eventually come to some good, right? At any rate we're very fortunate people, so unlucky in sports is not exactly the end of the world.

[Still I wonder if the Cubs might win a series during Maddie's lifetime... because I've given up on my own. Only 37 more days until Spring Training!]

I've also been pretty busy with work stuff. I have a really fun, but ambitious project at work... a new website. There's something about website design that fascinates me and makes me think I may have been better served in my life by becoming a professional techie. Still, I've managed to immerse myself in tech quite sufficiently.

But there's just something about January that tricks me every year and makes me think that time is going by more slowly than it really is. I was quite convinced all through January that I can handle this thing called winter, with it's bitter air and blustery snow. While Natalie was here, we had our traditional January thaw and I caught a whiff of hopeful Spring (not the delusional sort, but rather of the oh-it's-only-3-months-away variety). Today there's a nice little snow going on outside my window and because today is my day at home, I find myself looking out the window and loving snow. I'm taken with the idea of winter -- someday making paper snowflakes with Maddie, singing wintery songs like "I've got my love to keep me warm" and thinking about reading wintery sounding books like "Snow Falling on Cedars" (Is that really wintery? Does any one know? Didn't the movie star Ethan Hawke?)

My traditional January trend is to spend my daydreaming thinking about spending money. I don't know why, but every year when January rolls around, I dream about spending lots and lots of money. This year, my wish list included 2 shirts I saw at the Loft during my Christmas shopping, lots and lots of family photos and items for completing the decoration of my living room and dining room. I've settled quite nicely into this apartment (and am shocked we've lived here for almost a year!) but now my mind is turning towards baby proof-ing... and that means organizing again a symptom of my January-ness.

I'm envisioning 2 storage cubes for the living room, to house toys and serve as extra seating when needed. Plus 2 more low bookcases to remove the last of my books from the floor, and also house a few photo-storage boxes for my massive photo collection which I would like to organize this week. Plus, I'm picturing a huge vase of Chinese lanterns on my dining room table (in a nice, solid, non-tippy container -- that's child proof right?) And truthfully, I've been dreaming about this for about 4 years now:

OK, now for those of you who read my blog only for my beautiful Maddie and her gorgeous pictures, I shall give you an update and a treat.

This girl is getting close to crawling! I think it'll be any day now.

In the meantime, she's perfectly happy being jumpy, jumpy, jumpy!

We took Maddie and Natalie to the conservatory in Niagara Falls. Please note the new lip pout. She's actually just learning how much fun it is to make faces, but perhaps a sign of things to come!

Maddie was spoiled rotten on Christmas! Look at all these toys! How on earth can a girl choose from all this bounty?

That last game was a nail-bitter! Let's hope the Super Bowl is a little more relaxing!!

I haven't been taking as many pictures lately -- mainly because of Rob's iPhone. Now that Maddie is a little more playful, it just seems easier to get better shots with the iPhone, less lag time between snapping and actual picture. Plus Maddie always flinches when the flash goes off, so the iPhone works out better. Sadly that means, weeks and weeks between uploads. But there are always great pictures!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010


I have been insatiably hungry lately. I think it started right before Christmas when there always seemed to be lots of sweets and treats laying around. Around that same time, I started augmenting my lunch with a snack from the vending machine -- classy, huh? To satisfy your curiosity, I will tell you my snack of choice is Chex Mix.

So I just got back from a fancy dinner and I am still starving! And I actually can't eat tonight because I'm having some sort of scan/x-ray thing tomorrow (I'm unclear about the details, my plan is just to show up at the hospital and tell them my name.)

I find myself wondering, do you think I'm so hungry all the time because I gave up coffee? It is an appetite suppressant after all. Or maybe I have a tapeworm? Which one sounds more likely to you?

By the way, I haven't posted pictures of Maddie in a while because my camera batteries died. I shall post more pictures soon, promise. Because that girl is hilarious.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Making New Traditions

I had every intention of writing this blog on January 6, given that the content is actually January 6th related. But of course some days come and go without a single minute to pause and write. I love my devote readers, the Sarahs, who suggest I should write every day. Um, ladies I'm lucky to get to shower ever day. That is a rare treat, my friends. But I mentally write everyday. And some days I remember what I mentally wrote and actually write it down. As today.

I have always had a really tough time letting go of the Christmas holidays. One year, Rob and I were flying back to Chicago on December 26. While we were sitting in the airport, Christmas music started playing over the PA, and I started CRYING because I was so upset that Christmas was over. And that stupid airport was playing that music just to remind me it was over.

This Christmas I tried to make a decent attempt to recognize that Christmas does not end on December 26. This being the first enjoyable Christmas since we've been home, and Maddie's first Christmas, that was a little easier to do.

Then I started thinking... We have all these wonderful traditions leading up to Christmas, maybe we should have some traditions after Christmas. When I was little we used to have a very big New Year's Day dinner at my Grandma K's house, and she used to give us a New Year's gift too. This year I had hoped to do so again, but everyone got hit with a bad cold this year. Blah. (Poor Maddie actually lost her voice, which I did not know was possible!) I think we should in the future have a traditional Epiphany party, even if only for the immediate family -- perhaps borrowing from the Puerto Rican culture? Coquito, anyone? Or maybe a tree de-trimming party with lots of healthy foods for all those New Year's resolutions? Does anyone have post-Christmas, Christmas traditions?

For this year, I've undecked the halls, and am moving on to my normal January tradition of wanting to organize and shop.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

New Years Resolutions

Long ago, one of my dear, dear friends -- someone I consider to be one of my favorite people -- mentioned that she has a different system for New Year's resolutions. Rather than make one resolution, she makes as many resolutions as the last 2 digits of the year. She started in the 90s, so therefore had 90-some odd resolutions. Once the 2000s rolled around, she elipsed a 0 and made 200+ resolutions. Some were small promises, others were gargantuan tasks; some were ongoing changes of conduct, others quick to-dos.

That year, I started doing the same thing. I was slightly less ambitious -- rather than 200 resolutions, I started with 100. For example, in 2007, I made 107 resolutions.

Here's what I have learned in doing so: When you make one resolution, it's easy to give up. When you make lots, you motivate yourself through accomplishment. Imagine the weight of carrying one big resolution all year round, like loosing weight. As the year goes by, if you falter you tend to push the resolution to the back of your mind. But with 100 resolutions, you constantly review them in an effort to remember everything. And as you check off resolutions, you realize a goal. Before you know it, more than half your resolutions are completed, checked off -- and your other resolutions, even the big ones seem that much more realistic and manageable.

This year, I'm being kind to myself (one of my resolutions). I only have 10 resolutions. I've already broken three of them. But hey, I have 7 more to succeed at. Aim high, my friends, aim high.

Things I have Learned [Vol.2]

I've been blogging for almost two years now, and some of the charm has worn off a little bit. At first I blogged just for the challenge of writing. I have over my life struggled with my self-confidence only on one score -- my writing (thanks to Dr. Bernstein and his single-spaced typed comments on my college essays). In all other matters of my life, I am perhaps over confident, but in this one arena I doubt, oh, how I doubt.

In my early days of blogging, I would spend Saturdays and Sundays at a coffee house, researching for a book that I have had in mind for no less than 7 years, but never actually writing it for fear of getting off on the wrong foot. I would write several pages but always abandon them and go off in different directions. So a blog seemed a fearless way of allowing myself to write. After all, despite the permanency of the world wide web blogging text means little. Particularly when you have very few readers.

Later I thought of the blog as a means of updating friends and family about the happenings in my life. And as I finally convinced my family to actually read my blog, that purpose was realized. And with the arrival of Maddie, it has seemed easier to update my family with pictures rather than words. As an interesting turn of fate, my work is now about 60% writing, and generally is received well by my various audiences. And I don't have time to write a book, but the thought is still there.

But that leaves me searching for a skeleton of purpose for this blog. I have something in mind, but am loathe to commit to anything at all given the many things that claim my time and my changeable nature. Rather I think I'll play a little bit and challenge myself to write in new directions. Stay tuned... perhaps I can follow through with a resolution.