Thursday, December 30, 2010

Year in review and some projections

I can't believe it's already December 30.
{Happy Birthday, brother. You will always be older than me. And 99% of the time, wiser too.}

It wasn't long after this day last year that I woke up, in the middle of the night, and shook The Chief and told him I thought I was preggers. No lie. Middle of the night, totally knew I was pregnant. He thought I had totally lost my mind and blew me off COMPLETELY. So much so I totally blew off myself. I ignored, kept drinking and went about my biz for a couple of weeks. Gasp?!

January 14 came along. I had dinner with a dear friend. Drank a couple and came home and ALMOST opened another bottle. Actually, I did open the bottle, poured myself another and then took a testie. I'm sure you're all shocked to know this wasn't my first rodeo in the EPT department. Nope. The Chief and I have been down this road before. The difference this time was we were "ready" or as "ready" as we thought we'd ever be. look down and see that little indicator tell you that YOU. ARE. PREGNANT is quite freakish. Ready or not.

Heart. Stops. Beating.

OHHOLYSHIT. I'M REALLY NOT AT ALL READY. I TAKE IT ALL BACK. Those were the words FLYING through my head.

I thought it would be more like the Hallmark cards and such a sweet, sweet moment. It was so damn awkward. Clinton Edward was about as sweet and excited as they come.
But his life didn't come to a screeching halt at that very moment. It wasn't quite real for him until much, much later. For the woman, the's RIGHT. THAT. SECOND. Brain is working, thinking, planning, plotting for two. No more careless, carefree, ride by the seat of my pants kinda life. Nope. Put the wine, the social smoking, the late nights, the friendships, the fun all to the side. Was I mature enough for all of this crazy talk? Well, appeared I must be!

{This was a majorly carefree night in Venice. My, my, my...the fun we had that night. To-go wines for 1 euro. Thank GOD I wasn't pregnant is all I can say for that night!}

I had gone to see my doctor in November and told her we had hoped to be on this path sometime in the spring. When I showed back up pregnant in February she laughed. I believe her comment was, "That didn't take long." Nope, didn't seem to take long at all and for that I am so very, very thankful. At first, it seems like those months are going to creep by. It felt like I was just fighting through that first trimester. And now looking back, that time flew by. The time I spent with my little bug {my nephew} just disappeared. I left him when he was just 10 months. Now he's walking, talking and a full-on big boy. And I think he kinda looks like me, eh?!

He was such a trooper those months I nannied for him. We shopped for fabric. We bought girlie outfits. We ate cupcakes and drove through McDonalds drive-thru for cookies. It was quite the life. For both of us. I loved him like he was my own. I still do, but have been too sidetracked to help him remember those days.

The truth be told, I was so scared those months I was pregnant. I didn't have a clue how I would handle and raise a little child. I really didn't even know how I was going to make it through labor.
I made it past that part and didn't know how I would make it past the first week at home. And all these little milestones came and went. The Chief and I would high-five every once in a while in the kitchen grabbing some espresso. We could hardly believe we made it. Each Sunday was a "birthday" for Jules. In disbelief we would say "OH MY GOSH, I CAN'T BELIEVE SHE'S xx WEEKS OLD!!!!!". Almost like we didn't believe we could take care of a little person to that point. The doubt we had in ourselves!

The crazy thing about being pregnant at the first of the year is that your year starts off that way and the projection for the rest of the year is surrounded by such. I kept thinking that if I could make it to the holidays then we'd maybe know what we were doing and have a clue. Well, as 2011 quickly approaches it's occurred to me that I haven't given the new year a single thought. I had zero expectations past this point. Now that I have a healthy, precious daughter that I think is thriving, surviving and actually enjoying her placement in life...what's next? It's all gravy from here, right?! {And maybe a sweet beach trip for my 30th!}

Coming next? A lot of me, my little family and our happiness. I have found that having a child is a wonderful experience for your family, but not for everyone around you. It's a game changer. It's a friendship changer and that's okay. That was a hard one to accept, but I'm doing my best. I have some dear friends that haven't skipped a beat and for that I am thankful. I have some that have distanced and I understand. Funny thing is, we all go through stages of life at different times. It all becomes clear once you get to that stage, but before it's hard to comprehend. Bottom line, I'm tired. It's been quite year. I have been busy trying to keep up with friends, raising a child, waking up in the middle of the night, talking to my husband about his life outside of this house and pretending like I have it all together. So, in the new year...if you need me or want to hang out, you know where to find me. Despite having a little one, I can still be a pretty damn good time. Even drink an obscene amount and stay up late. Crazier even, I can get a babysitter. Crazy, huh!? These two people below still exist. I've seen them. And it's been recent! We love our little tyke but she's not defining to our being.

This year there aren't any actual "resolutions". Just doing what feels good and makes me happy. I wish the same for you! Really. Put yourself around the people that make you feel good and make you happy. Beyond's not worth it.

Happy 2011!


Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Wrappin it up...thank goodness

Ya'll glad this is all over? Sad? A little, yes. For the most part I'm ready to unpack, put away, take down and park-it until the little person gets back on track. Traveling is hard. Traveling by yourself is hard. Traveling with an infant is really hard. I have a cousin that lives in Brazil. She has an 8 month old and a 3 year old. I can't imagine how that all pans out. A couple of car rides have about put me over.

Here are some goodies from Christmas #2 in New Mexico. I will say, Texas is certainly number one in my heart, but the land of the enchantment does have my soul in the way of green chile. You can even have that goodness delivered on your Pizza Hut pizza. Fan-freaking-tastic.

(Lots of these pictures were taken with my phone and aren't very clear...sorry)

Kids, kid-in-laws and grandbabies.

Moi and the preciousness.

With oldest cousin, Brady.
That bow screams TEXAS, child beauty pageant queen, but I love it.

Christmas morning, Christmas baby!

The bow matches the just can't see.

Julia's first visit to Grammie's office. She was a hit!

Clinton's Nanny is sick and in a nursing home. This was such a sweet moment for him to see his grandmother hold his child. I'm so glad we captured it, even if it is blurry. Shortly after Julia had a major meltdown, but it was precious while it lasted.
The inside of this car seat carrier won't be missed by this little angel face.

After starting our day at 4:30 am, we celebrated our homecoming with a little NorthPark, happy hour and dinner...rock-n-roll style.

Can you tell who this holiday was all about? What a fun, new way to celebrate.

Hope your Christmas was Merry!


Monday, December 20, 2010

1 down, 2 to go

We survived Christmas numero uno. This one was filled with a lot of red heads. Now, let the week's festivities begin!

Friday, December 17, 2010


Damn, 2005 was a good year, if I do say so myself. The Chief married moi...and his life changed foreva. Then there was Kayne West that came out with "Gold Digger". That was a serious game changer. Great song, great times, great memories. LOTS OF GREAT MEMORIES to that song.

Some of you know the OG story of that song. And if you do, consider yourself in my inner posse. But, aside from that great story is another great story involving that song and the very first OU/Texas Party at this crib. Man, we were young and keepin it real. We had the brother and sister-in-law in town (pre-them living in the city) and if my memory serves correctly, we stayed up way, way late. We also had some other serious family in town. It was a new era. Party. Fun. Good times. And as we and the girlies say "We partied before Bevo." And that we did. The next morning we woke up, grabbed the java and sang the hell outta some Kayne "Gold Digger".

The Chief's favorite line from the song is,
"18 years, 18 years
She got one of yo' kids, got you for 18 years
I know somebody payin' child support for one of his kids
His baby momma's car crib is bigger than his"


How did all of this come about tonight? We just had some friends over and were discussing some old times. OLD TIMES. The kind of old times where people weren't married yet and today they have 3 kiddos.

These times were when we were younger, much younger. No kiddos and footloose and fancy-free. Sometimes I miss those days, but really, they were over before The Chief and I were ready. People bailed out on us and so we figured it was time to move on. Truth be told, it was the perfect decision for the time. How do I know? Well, our friends just left and it's just after midnight. There are empty bottles of wine in my kitchen and pizza boxes set out for the trash. I just walked into my bathroom and there I found a tater tot tub and pink washclothes. The babes and dog are asleep and Kayne West "Gold Digger" came on the radio. We had a mini-party and remembered the old times. I'm almost positive my memory of "old times" is even better than the old times themselves.

Where I sit feels good. Even if 30's creepin. A sweet baby sleeps in my house and I couldn't be more excited to start the Christmas tradition with her. I realized today that I no longer have a "wish list" and it doesn't even matter. It's all good.


Thursday, December 16, 2010

On a major delay

Hey all my peeps-
Here's the fried and burned to the ground. Metaphorically, it didn't really catch fire. So, santa's elf had to replace. Hence, the major delays in posts lately. The old computer was struck by a virus and would decide to shut itself off ALL THE TIME. Annoying. Very annoying.

Buying a new computer falls into the category of "never a good time to drop a wad on this." Other items in that category, as far as I'm concerned. Buying tires for your car. Paying a CPA fee. Purchasing a vacuum. Paying property taxes. Hiring a tree trimmer. Fixing foundation issues.
This was a more fun purchase than most listed above, but still...not ideal timing. We went with a Mac, and it's super sweet, but I don't know how to do a damn thing on it yet. Learning curve. Be patient.

I've also started a new part-time job. I'll be doing some HR work for 14 McDonald's stores around the DFW Metroplex. Keeps The Chief happy and keeps me able to buy little lovlies like this. Yes, leggings, tutu and knee pads all included. Who could resist?
I just started and mainly completed my Christmas shopping yesterday. Yes, all in one day. ALL. Anyone ever tried that? I. DO. NOT. RECOMMEND. I was sans a kiddo and my sled was flying 'round town like a G6. It was psycho.

My day rounded off with some serious wine with a darling momma friend. We concluded that no one tells you about the guilt that comes along with being a mom. NO. ONE. Everyone shares the little tid-bits like, "You'll never sleep again." True. Very true. "You can't just get up and go anymore." Yip, that's for sure. It's a miracle if I can make it by the drycleaners and Target in one stint. "You never knew you could love like this." No words can explain that.
But what they don't say is how flipping guilty you can feel about EVERYTHING and EVERYONE. Anyone feelin me? Does that ever go away?

In other news, the little princess is about to be baptized. We had her baptism class at church this past weekend. To be honest, I was dreading it a bit. But, it could not have come at a better time. It was such a wonderful, information filled, fulfilling class. I'm more restored and renewed and ready to tackle the holidays as better mom with a good, loving attitude!

And lastly, Jules is really starting to embrace her love of music. Current favorite band: U2.

Hope you all are enjoying the merriment this season.


Thursday, December 9, 2010

Thankful. Thankful. Thankful.

Here's my Thanksgiving post. Late. Like a lot of other things around here!
This year was a year for super thanks. I'm grateful and thankful each year, but this year with the addition of the tater tot, I'm really thankful. She has brought so much joy and contentment into our lives that I'm at the point where I can't imagine my life without her. I'll stop there. I could go on for days. And it's the same old, same old every proud parent says. Nauseating.

Unfortunately for The Chief's family, we go to Victoria every year for Thanksgiving. I didn't make this rule. It was just in place when we started dating, and I've never been approached about compromise or change. I have been 28 of the 29 years of my life. It's what we do. It's where my peeps are. And when I say peeps...39 to be exact when we're all there. It's fun. Ridiculous fun.

The Chief is a football watching, gambling, drinking man. Those are three major bullet points in this family. Wholesome, right? A bunch of Polish Catholics, that's all. The Chief calls it the Polish Mafia. And when my Grandpa Kalinowski was alive, I'm sure the poker table was much that way...Mafia style. The Chief digs it down there. He fits right in. I think there are some family members that enjoy his company more than mine. That makes my heart sing.

Lucky news for us, my closest cousin {also Julia's God Mother} and her husband live there. So we always have a landing spot and a place to plant when we arrive. They just bought a super cool, gorgeous, new pad. It's like the kind of place where you can envision lots of little feet running around. I kindly asked that they get on that sooner rather than later.

These two are trouble. This was back when Clint had what we call "The Larry David Glasses". Not sure that will make sense to everyone...but the good news those glasses are gone and the creepy tint when indoors is no longer.

Here's what happens after they're together all week.

I always hit depression mode when we get home. I'm sad it's over. This year was no different. We had way too many nights of staying up way too late. Drank too many bevies and spent too many hours laughing uncontrollably. It took me days to recover. Oh, and I haven't even mentioned the food. I swore I was going to get a picture this year. Totally spaced. Let's say this, there are two fried turkeys, one baked, three cheesy casseroles, all the regular Thanksgiving trimmings and a roaster full of dressing like you've never seen. It's ridic. I have no idea how much wine I consumed, but by the size of my headache the next day at our bloody mary lunch I would say it was a lot. You gotta just plow through. Stay strong and keep on goin.

It's for sure a crazy family, but for that crazy bunch I am thankful. I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving yourselves. Would love to know what traditions you and your family share.


Thursday, December 2, 2010

I got the spirit

I was a little worried that I wasn't getting into the Christmas Spirit. Then Mr. Claus insisted we pour a nice bottle, turn on the music and put the ornaments on the tree. I swear, it's his favorite thing in the whole world. Thank goodness one of us is a true Griswold.

I began singing Christmas songs to Jules and she thought it was the funniest thing. Which, is probably because my ability to sing is nil. I happen to hate Christmas music. Always have. Nick and Jessica singing "Baby it's cold outside" is my only hope for even beginning to enjoy it. That's sad altogether.

As we began to put our ornaments on the tree I found a little pep in my step. You see, we've collected ornaments from the places we've traveled. This has been a lot of fun and also a total disaster too. The year my grandmother died while we were in Europe and didn't make it back for the funeral we had purchased a really lovely and expensive (after conversion from pounds into dollars) ornament in London. As we almost missed our flight I was standing and sweating in the security line and the bulb popped in my bag. The tears began to stream. After purchasing an additional and then paying shipping costs, it still holds prime real estate on our tree. And probably always will. It's more expensive than some handbags.

Then there is Santa on a gondola in Venice. He's one of my favorites. And the memory of finding him is special. There are so many more, but I'll save you the 2 hours of a read. But all in all, I love the memories we have on our tree. And each year if I'm not in the spirit, by the time it's all said and done I have found the Christmas Spirit deep inside. I hope you've found yours too.

And if that wasn't enough...then there was putting Julia in her Christmas jammies. How could you be bah humbug after that?

Merry Merry!


Wednesday, December 1, 2010

December 1

Well, it's officially the month of Christmas. Glad I have a whopping 3 gifts purchased. I better get on it.

Guin just wanted to say "keep in real and happy holidays".