Monday, November 30, 2009

oh, baby...a giveaway

So I'm lining up a few giveaways for the holiday season and I'm starting with this one because it's easy. I'm giving away an infant/toddler holiday tee. The real reason this is so convenient...I designed them and they're on my website for my little (as in teeny tiny) side business.
Before Bug was born I created a few women's tees (it was a nice outlet/distraction from the wait...). After Bug arrived, I started making tees for him then decided to put them online. The first tee for babies was inspired by my little bald Bug: Hair is Overrated. I haven't done much with Charming Maeve in the past year although in 2008 four of my infant/toddler tees were carried on (Yes, that Target! Crazy, huh?). These tees are currently sold on a couple of sites.

Anyway, I did a giveaway over the summer for one of my women's tees so I decided to now have a giveaway for the infant tees. Sizes start at 3 months and go to 18 months. (Note: all tees are currently available but there's a chance that I might sell some between now and the end of the contest so I hope the winner will be flexible if the style/size is unavailable.) Here are the options (sorry the photos aren't too clear...I'm not sure what's up with that). All are long-sleeve tees and 100% cotton.

Silent Night (I don't think so)
Available for Holiday Parties
Boy to the World
You get one chance for one comment. A second chance (with a second comment) if you're a follower. A third chance if you post about the giveaway on your site. I'll draw a winner on Monday, December 7. I'll post other giveaways later this week or early next week assuming I can get my act together.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Oh, Boston, you're my (wannabe) home

We'll be spending Thanksgiving in Boston with Donnie's family, which has become our tradition. We'll see some of Donnie's--and now my--friends and please oh please oh pretty please we'll get to spend a chunk of time at my favorite bookstore, too.

On the list of things to be thankful should add this:

Be thankful you aren't on our flight. Bug told me several times that he wants to "drive" the plane. I expect to hear screams when he learns he's not really a pilot.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

I can read him like a cookbook

I decided that Bug and I should make cookies today. I've got the "Bakin' Without Eggs" cookbook and figured I would make cookies before I try egg-free cupcakes tomorrow for Bug's little birthday gathering. (Fingers crossed...the kitchen and I are often at odds with one another.)

I was so happy to find chocolate chips that are made in a facility that's peanut-free that I decided to make something chocolatey. So...Bug tried his first chocolate chips today and it was love at first bite as I'm sure it was for me so many years ago. Shortly after that we had the following conversation:

Bug: Mommy, you're skinny.
Me: Hmmmmm.
Bug: Mommy, you're funny, too.
Me: Bug, do you want something?
Bug: Of course...[verrrrrrrry long pause] I want more chocolate chips.

Friday, November 20, 2009

from 0 - 3 in no time

Happy Birthday to my little lovebug! Somehow Bug is turning 3 today. I now believe time flies.

(Side note: this was the only item I bought while we were on the adoption waiting list. The "I was worth the wait" hat and onesie were in a funky container tucked behind a photo on my dresser for more than two years...)

Yesterday I was thinking I would write a post about Bug's second year and how he much he grew as a little guy and how my patience shrunk and how much he learned and how he taught me so many things.

Instead Bug woke up in a mood similar to a troll that quickly escalated to screaming, crying, flailing and hitting and I thought...hmmm, if this is THREE I'm glad it's not a leap year. I'm not sure I could take 366 days of that mood. He calmed down (and so did I) and now we're ready for new adventures as we kick off a new year.

Poor kid...when I asked him how old he was he said, "three...but I want to be five or seven or thirteen."

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Dear Someone

Dear Bug,

As your mom, I need to give you some general life tips:

I know you’re excited that you’re going to be three but when you're out in the world it’s generally considered impolite to ask a woman her age. And it’s definitely not nice to guess that Mommy’s her age is “five-zero.”

The one who's looking out for you who's not yet 50

Dear Work,

It’s the most wonderful time of the year!

Oh, how I love getting the memo that says I have vacation days to use or lose by the end of the calendar year. After I’m off ALL next week for Thanksgiving, I still have eight days to use up! I can’t wait to sit down with my calendar and decide which days I’ll be doing anything other than sitting at my desk…

Worker Bee

Dear Boss,

I understand that your ego was bruised when you asked about something in a meeting that was already resolved. What I don’t understand is that later you attacked me by saying I needed to inform you of such things prior to the meeting--particularly when I had done just that the day before.

The first time I mentioned it was in a staff meeting (I have witnesses, heh). The second time was later that same day when we discussed a future marketing promo. I think your words to me were, “good idea.”

So, in the spirit of the upcoming holidays I’m going to pretend that your reply of “Oh, I guess I wasn’t listening” was really intended as “I’m sorry.”

Worker Bee Again

Dear Little Miss Clara,

All we wanted to do was watch a little TV last night but with your snoring, it wasn't very pleasant. Remember that time when we had to move you to another room so we could hear people getting whacked on the Sopranos? How can someone so little make so much noise? And I won't even start in about the smells you were producing from the other end. Here's to a better night ahead...

Your ear-plugging, nose-plugging #1 fan

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

a benefit, winners and a little bug

Ah, the benefit is over and it was a fun night! The one downside (although not really a downside)...the theatre lobby was on the small side, which meant it was packed because we sold more tickets than expected (see--all in all a good problem). The performer was terrific! She was adopted through our local agency but grew up in London. She started off in her fabulous British accent announcing that she's American and followed that by saying she's a redneck. She shared her story through words and songs. I laughed (a lot), I cried (often) and I had a great time. I even won a silent auction item (the place was crowded but I fought my way through to outbid others). The night ended with a champagne reception that was bubbly and wonderful!

Bonus: I'm referred to as a young mother at the adoption agency. I'm far from young but I'll do just about anything for them if they keep saying that...

The warm fuzzies continued through the night...Bug woke up around 4am and we heard him leave his room and patter through the hallway to our bedroom. He stood in the doorway, opened the door a little, shut it again and went back to his room to sleep until nearly 8am. Bravo, little man, bravo!

I loved your comments both about height (mine and yours) and babysitters. Katy of Bird on the Street and I have the same problem both think we're the same height as everyone else. When I first started dating Donnie, I asked a friend to see if he was taller than me. When she met him, she got a good laugh...Donnie is 6' so I guess there's a bit of difference. Also, I need to hire some of your babysitters. Last night's outing was nearly $70 in babysitting!

Okay, onto the winners...

I wish I had one of those bubble things used for picking lottery numbers but I used the random number generator site instead. The two winners are: #30 Jen of For Immediate Release Reviews Kids (check out her book reviews of recently released children's books...there are some great holiday gift ideas for little readers!). The second winner is #18: Mama-Face of Blog Ignoramus (you know and love her already). Go visit them both and say hi from me.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Random Tuesday Thoughts

The "Win one, bake, some (and send a few to me) giveaway ends today...enter here.

I'm not as tall as I thought I was. Several years ago I thought I was about 5'6". A friend burst out laughing when she saw that height listed on my driver's license. Apparently, that was funnier than the weight I had put down. Fine, so I'm not 5'6" like I thought hoped.

As we were approaching the Cessna for the photo op at the Air & Space Museum, the volunteer told Donnie to watch his head as he ducked to get under the wing. The volunteer looked at me and said, "you're probably fine--the wing is 5'3". I chuckled at his comment then found I could stand perfectly UNDER the wing. In fact, it was such a good fit that I could easily wear the wing as a fancy hat if I ever attend the Kentucky Derby.

Have I told you I volunteered for our adoption agency's benefit that's happening tonight? I wanted to get involved and then ended up being a co-chair. Yikes! In any event the cocktail party, silent auction, performance and reception is now just a few short hours away. It's been a mostly fun experience. The true highlight for me was meeting more adoptive parents. The event should be's a one-woman performance. The author/actor is a woman who was adopted through our agency and I've heard she's a riot! Oh, and I have a really great pair of shoes to wear.

I found my missing black bra. It was in with the towels. Go figure.

Question for you...what's the going rate for babysitters where you live? Typical rate here ranges from $12 to $15/hour, which is why we stay home a lot. A far cry from the money I made a gazillion years ago. Biggest payday for me was to watch the little boy the neighbors called Dennis the Menace. I made $1.50/hour. The family I babysat for once...four kids under five and I made .25/hour.

For more randomness check out The Unmom.

Monday, November 16, 2009

a little help from little friends

Enter the "Win one, bake, some (and send a few to me) giveaway here.

So yesterday Donnie, Bug and I went to the (new-ish) Air & Space Museum near Dulles Airport. We thought it would be fun for Bug to see all the hairplanes (© Bug) and the interactive stuff. (We quickly learned there's only ONE interactive thing at the museum so we were able to get a photo of Bug in a Cessna--although the real photo might have been Donnie trying to get out of the little plane!) Nonetheless, we had a good time and had a little picnic when we were done at the museum.

We were all sitting on a bench outside the windows of the gift shop and McDonald's. A group of little kids were waving to us from inside McDonald's. We smiled and waved back. One girl was pointing to my jeans. I immediately thought that my shirt wasn't reaching my jeans in the back and they saw skin or (gasp!) underwear. I reached around but my shirt was okay so I went back to my sandwich.

They knocked on the window and pointed again to my lower back with a more frantic motion. I thought they were playing so I smiled then turned back to my sandwich. More knocking with more kids motioning to me (seriously, they seemed to be multiplying--it couldn't be a school trip it was a Sunday--and why can't I finish my sandwich!)...this time the leader was holding her fingers about two inches apart, holding her nose and pointing to my back with a little urgency. I chuckled to Donnie and said, "I can't figure it out but there's no way there's a two-inch gap between my jeans and shirt and I'm not going to try to figure out the plugged nose sign." Now Donnie looked at my back and said, "oh, it's not your pants there's a big bug on your back." He shooed a HUGE bug away and the kids gave a cheer through the glass.

Thanks, friends...

Friday, November 13, 2009

Win one, bake some (and send a few to me)

First of all...a big thank you for all your kind comments on my post yesterday. I know several of us are dealing with similar things with parents and other loved ones. I appreciate your thoughts, kind words and hugs.

I have a giveaway for two of you to win. I've got two signed copies of Cookie Sensations by Meaghan Mountford. This is a beautiful cookie cookbook with spectacularly decorated cookies and clever (oh-so-clever) ideas. So, if you're gearing up for a big bakefest this holiday season, this would be perfect...or a terrific gift.

I couldn't find any links to images in the book, but here are a couple of photos from the bakery where Meaghan used to work. We were sent a cookie bouquet when Bug was born. It was adorable and the cookies were yummy!

To see some of her more recent cookies and other creative ideas, check out her blog, the decorated cookie. I'll pick two winners on Wednesday, November 18. No big rules...just leave a comment. You get two chances to win if you're a follower (but leave two comments). Oh and maybe send some cookies my way if you're one of the winners.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Dear Someone

Dear Anyone,

It's a dreary day here and I would rather be doing this:

The Lady

Dear Mom,

I wish I could make things easier for you. I know it's difficult. Even when the physical pain is gone, the emotional pain is always there. It breaks my heart when we talk and you know you're confused and forgetting things. It's not the little things. We all do that (I've been looking for my black bra for three days...and I know I wore it home from work last week!). It's that you forget that Dad is no longer alive and you miss him so much.

There are times when I'll remind you that Dad died twelve years ago and that's why he hasn't been by to visit but other times I know you don't want to can't hear the truth at that moment and that's fine with me so we just talk. What's equally amazing is that you've never forgotten about Bug. Just a few months ago you were mad because you thought I got married without telling you (like that would ever happen!) but you still asked about Bug.

You're in my thoughts all the time and I'll see you very soon.

Mary Ann

Dear Thanksgiving,

I hear that you're two weeks away.

The one who forgets dates on the calendar are closer than they appear

Dear Bug,
You were a star at the allergist's office this week! All our practicing paid off and when the doctor asked to listen to your heart, you lifted your shirt without missing a beat (oh, bad pun, sorry). I know Dr. S was as surprised as I was when you decided to lift my shirt as well.

PS. We have to go back tomorrow so you can get the second half of your flu shot. Be brave, little guy.

Dear Brother #3,

I can't wait to give you your Christmas gift. You're the one who made me a Bruce fan. As a junior high student I always heard you playing his albums and then all of a sudden I was singing along and playing them myself.

You don't know I have a blog so I can comfortably say this...I have a signed Clarence Clemons book for you. Yeah, I doubt you'll read it but isn't it cool...the Big Man signed his book and it's yours or will be in about six weeks. (Good grief, Christmas is right on the heels of Thanksgiving--I better get moving).

Leave it to me to find books for sale at a Springsteen concert.

Your favorite and only sister

For more Dear Someone letters, stop by and visit Amanda at Family of Shorts.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Random Tuesday Thoughts

As a child Snow White was my favorite story. I think the biggest hook was that she was a brunette and I globbed onto her. I've never been a big fan of apples and now I'm betting it has to do with her story. In any event I feel like I'm relating more to the dwarfs these days than Snow White:

Bashful: How I felt when I sent emails to the mayor and two council members about the road construction on our street and the lack of communication about the progress.

Doc: When I gave Bug Benadryl after mistakenly buying (and serving) him ice cream that had egg in it. Note to self: there are multiple kinds of vanilla ice cream in the store. Don't buy French vanilla.

Dopey: There are many things I could include for this one but we'll just stick with not noticing I put French vanilla ice cream rather than real vanilla ice cream in the shopping cart and call it a day.

Grumpy: Hi Ho, Hi stuff. Not worth details. Also, that I couldn't get the Random Tuesday Thoughts picture to work but yet Snow White is here--ugh. I'm so not a computer gal.
Happy: Hanging out with Bruce last week (along with 20,000 others). Spending the weekend with Donnie and Bug. And...are you ready for this...having the road barriers removed from our street--it's now back to a two-way street AND we can park in front of our house. (Just a short 15 months after construction began.)

Sleepy: An almost every day occurrence. However, last night Bug slept ALL. NIGHT. LONG. so I slept well, too. (Maybe I should add that to Happy.)

Sneezy: My allergies kicked in when we went to a farm over the weekend. It was a great place...animals, hayrides, live music, a gazillion slides (one so big it required burlap for sitting) and pumpkin smashing.

I think there might be a couple of others to add as well:

Bloaty: Being a girl is fun.

Bitchy: Almost always present when Bloaty arrives.

Grateful: For many things.

Go to The Unmom for more randomness.

Monday, November 9, 2009


A big thank you to Deb at Menopausal New Mom and Mama-Face at Blog Ignoramus for giving me awards. (Can you see me blushing?) I’m forwarding all of these to:

MiMi at Living in France
Katy at Bird on the Street
Mrs. Montoya at One Foot in Front of the Other
Tammie at Irregular Tammie
Rose at Desert Rose Moments
Bea at This Wonderful, Crazy Life

As far as I can tell only one of the awards comes with rules. The Honest Scrap award says I have to share ten honest things about myself. Here goes:

1. I’m somewhat shy and quiet until I’m comfortable in the environment and then people probably wish I were shy and quiet again.

2. I despise public speaking. Several years ago I had to describe my job to a staff of 100 people. I took my contacts out so I couldn’t see far and made my friends sit in the front row while I spoke panicked for ten minutes.

3. I had a crush on Donnie for about a year before he noticed me.

4. My first conversation with Donnie was a bit of an argument about copyright law. (A friend who knew about my crush passed by my office and said “you were bitching but you were blushing.”)

5. We got married at the Audubon Society and the officiant was a woman from the Ethical Society. Donnie’s Jewish and I’m Catholic and it just seemed the easiest way to go.

6. I never wanted to get married until I met Donnie.

7. I was proposed to when I was 23 but said, “no thank you.” It was awkward.

8. I love (LOVE) Christmas—no matter where I spend it or what I do. I love that people seem friendlier at that time of year.

9. I took fencing classes about five years ago. I wasn’t particularly good but had a blast. (Side note: the class was for adults--13 years old and above (really, 13 is an adult?). There was a nine-year-old who started in the adult class and his first question was: “When will we learn to fly through the air with swords?”)

10. I’m a procrastinator. Case in point: I was going to post about the awards on Friday…

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Dear Someone

Dear Fall,

I'm glad you've arrived. I'm ready to unpack sweaters and tights.

A seasonal kind of gal

Dear Work,

Help me figure this out. More than six months ago my position was reduced to part-time for budget reasons/slowing sales/bad economy yet I was still expected to do a full-time job in fewer hours. Recently, I was given responsibilities that were taken from a full-time co-worker to lighten his load. Do you find that odd? Oh, and the extra travel...didn't really want need that.

The one who will keep her mouth shut because it helps pay the bills and buy the occasional shoes
Dear Lovely New Shoes,

I hope you're enjoying my closet your new home. When I saw you, it was love at first sight and when I tried you on and felt that smooth leather, I was yours. I look forward to a long and happy life together.

Happy Feet

Dear Fellow Bloggers,

Thank you for making me smile, making me laugh so hard I snort or sometimes spit whatever I happened to be drinking while reading, making my cry and making me realize that it's possible to make new friends I may never meet. I may not know your real names or where you live but I enjoy our friendship.

A grateful new friend

For more letters visit Amanda at Family of Shorts.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Random Thoughts Tuesday

Three years ago today Donnie and I were on our way to work talking about the paperwork we needed to complete for year three of the adoption waiting list. I was having a hard time with the rejection waiting and needed to figure out how to handle the upcoming year differently.

That afternoon at work I got THE CALL from the agency that a birth mother had selected us! The call is both clear and fuzzy in my memory. The agency woman told me the birth mother was going to be induced in two weeks and it was a boy. I remember thinking...that's so silly...she's a girl...birth mothers are always female. Thank goodness I kept my mouth shut because I quickly realized she meant the baby is a boy not the birth mother (kinds of tells you how shocked I was to receive the call, doesn't it?). I remember stamping my feet in excitement and trying to be quiet (only a couple of people at work knew we were hoping to adopt) while I heard the news. I also remember turning to look out my window thinking that Donnie would be there. This, of course, is stupid in hindsight for a variety of reasons. For one, I work on the 8th floor and so far Donnie has never done a fly by at my office. The next two weeks are a blur as we tried to purchase baby things but at the same time still keeping the news fairly quiet in case the birth parents changed their minds.

Bruce was last night. The concert was great! Lots of my favorite songs were sung (by Bruce and everyone else and in the audience). I have the ticket to prove I was there but like most of my Bruce concerts I'll forget where I put it. After all, Bruce and I don't need a piece of paper to show our commitment.

It took Bug a bit to understand Halloween. Prior to going out trick-or-treating, some friends gave him candy for his Thomas the Train candy container/Halloween bag. At the first house, Bug gave the greeters a piece of candy. The people at the door practically had to beg him to take something from the bowl. He caught on quickly though and after saying "trick-or-treat," he started announcing, "I like chocolate" at each house. He also asked repeatedly to go to Bruce's house to trick-or-treat.

Why is it on the day I have a dentist appointment I want chocolate for breakfast?

I've been in a reading slump but I think I'm now ready to dive back in with Everything Must Go by Elizabeth Flock, the new Read With Girlfriends pick.

Go to the unmom for more randomness.