Thursday, June 30, 2011

Worst decision ever.

#1 Thinking I could probably give myself a bikini wax.  Fail.  The wax didn't harden.  I wasn't trying to save $ here... just couldn't get in when was convenient for me.  Lesson learned--I must make time.

Bad decision #2 quickly followed by thinking... although this didn't work on my bikini line, I could probably do my legs.

Wrong.  Same issue.  Now I have wax all over my body (because when you walk... it spreads) that I can't get off.  I showered.  Tried to use baby oil etc.  Nothing.

Thanks for nothing, Sally Hansen.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Vote for Griffin.

So I am SURE that we are one of the 85 million people that recieved an email this morning telling us we are finalists for the cover of Parents magazine..... but, as I've mentioned how marketing works for me--please take a minute and vote for G from now through July 3!

Vote here!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

A new challenge

Griffin says... "I can't even look at you if you don't donate."

PLEASE help me reach my fundraising goal by August.  Only 1800 left to go!  Let me run in honor of YOUR honored hero.

I've now completed 3 group training runs--all of which start before the sun comes up (because lets be honest, I'm not waiting until the sun goes down.)  It's been a little bit more difficult to get into the swing of things than it has in the past.  So in my mind I keep thinking about monty python (thanks for the nerdiness, Ben) "I'm not quite dead yet. I think it has something to do with that baby (who will be a toddler in ONE month) and that I haven't slept through the night in about a year.  I've been hitting the hot pavement with a new group of friends who are all out to find a cure--and not get lost on the streets of Austin.  
I began this journey  about 5 years ago with the inspiration from  one of my closest friends, Adine Bagheri Zornow, and her father Ali.  He was truly an inspiration and quite the story teller--both traits that have been handed down to his daughter.  We would call Ali on speaker phone in college and he would give us love advice, business advice, life advice all in his lovely accent.  Ali lost his battle, but I continue to run to find a cure so that other people do not have to lose their dad's to cancer.

I started working at St. James UMC in January 2006.  I met a youth named Ben, and his twin brother Harry.  I learned that Ben had been diagnosed with leukemia at an early age--and has luckily remained in remission.  Children have a high remission rate--but 90% isn't enough.  We need 100%.
Then there is spunky Kelli.  Kelli went to Rice University with Ben.  In April of 2007 Kelli was diagnosed with Stage IV Hodgkin’s Lymphoma.  Kelli has been in remission after her 6 moths of chemo.  She has take the bar exam, gotten married, is looking for a house, and decided to work for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.  She continues to raise amazing funds, race, and fight for a cure.
Every year I am overwhelmed by the stories of my TEAM mates.  They are tragic, moving, inspiring, and now my own.  I will continue to run for a cure.  Continue to sweat my face off in this triple digit heat--because I can.  Please join me with a tax free donation.  I need to raise $2400.  EVERY bit counts.  Everything.  Even $5.  Please donate today because somoeone needs your help.
Thank you and GO TEAM!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Remember when we got rabies?

It was last August.  I had a one month old.  It looked like poo.  Then Ben took a picture and here it is up close.  Gag me with a spoon.  Gagga-maggot.  It totally freaked me out.

I'm sure you see where this is going.

I came home yesterday only to find.... a bat on the kitchen floor.  Was it alive?  Dead?  feeding off the blood of some innocent person?  (Ben told me that vampires aren't bats.  I say he's wrong, it's just that not ALL vampires are bats.)  Anyway, the dogs are outside, G is napping in his room (this time not locked in with the bat) and I'm.... peering out of our bedroom door to watch the vampire (who did not show up with a fancy car or presents or anything.  Maybe because it was day time?)  Then... it moved.  I FREAKED OUT.  Called ben and said, "I need you to come home right now.  Emergency."  I'm sure if you have a kid that's not a call you want.  I assured him of the bat situation.

Then I had 2 glasses of wine.  Before 2 pm.  And made Ben wash his hands 85 times.  And cloroxed the floor.  And made him look in every nook and cranny of our house and under our kitchen table to assure me there were not more.  They move in packs.  Ug.  Gross.  Scary.  I dislike.

And how much does that look like a pile of poo?

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Daddy's day

To my husband... who was so nervous after G was born that he yarfed in the hospital everyday.  Who didn't want to leave our side.  What if he missed something?  Who was so sweet to that little tiny baby.  Who when he first read to him would announce the author and illustrator of books.  Who has become SO much more comfortable.  Who is a little more daring than mom.  Who asks me questions like, "When did he get so big?"  Who is the FUNNIEST person ever--according to Griffin.  Who fell over in the baby pool today (completely under water) so his baby didn't go under.  Who gets called "dadadadadada" over and over and Griffin can't wait to see him in the afternoons.  (Just say... do you hear dada?  and G is moving to the door.)  To the man, who was a boy when I met him (only 17!), who is now a Dr., who is now a dad to our sweet sweet baby.

Who was "man enough" to let his baby get the tab.

And yes... I still call my dad, "daddy."

Friday, June 17, 2011

Because of Jill's idea

Here is a preview of what I'm thinking. Want a full shot? email me.
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Revoking the parent card?

SO sometimes I wonder if my parent card should get revoked.  Lately, when Ben and I put pants on Griffin we say something like... you're going to need these for the pants party.  Then Ben says, Griffin, are you trying to say there is a party in your pants?

Is it ok to quote Anchorman to a baby?

Is it ok that I'm going to be co-directing a camp of 200 senior high kids?  Who is signing their kids over to me and when did that become ok?  I will corrupt them--in a good way that is filled with sarcasm.  And I always ask, "are you making good choices?"  That means something, right?

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Snack time.

The new scrunchy face smile. He scrunches up his nose and kind of snorts. He spends much of his time leaning over the high chair looking at the da da da (dogs dogs dogs). Our first time as a back rider. Not sure how you're supposed to get them on there by yourself. I read the directions, but seriously?
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Wednesday, June 15, 2011

I need your helps.

So we are doing some family pics this weekend.  Ok, they are Griffin's 1 year photo's... which are actually almost 11 month photos, but who is being specific?  SO mostly this is all about him.  I'm going to get a pic in his JonJon (I have been asked... and a jonjon is what we southern mama's dress our baby boy's in so that they are kind of girlie.  It's true.  I said it.  Sorry, G$.)  I also have a birthday boy shirt for him.  And, I'm thinking I might take some balloons.  He's going to be adorbs.  I'm sure of it.

Anyway, I'd also like a family picture.  We don't get these very often.  I don't want to be matchy matchy.  I don't know what to wear.  Here are the problems
1.  It's hot.  Even at 8:30 am.
2.  My husband is a sweaty beast.
3.  My husband will only wear shirts with collars (so it is usually a long sleeved button up rolled at the sleeves or a polo.)
4.  I want to look 10 lbs thinner than I am currently.

Who can resolve this?  We really like blue and green.  G's jonjon is blue with light green on it.  Sigh.  I need a zillion dollars and a day of shopping.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

If I knew a vampire...

I'm currently reading the True Blood books (blush, look away, be embarrassed).  Whoa Nelly.

However, when I get consumed by books I start thinking like they're real... so the other day when I got a ticket and was figuring out what I needed to do, an actual thought that popped into my head was, "If I knew a vampire they could contact the authorities and get this erased."

Anyone else been in such a predicament?

I'm not quite dead yet.

Bring out yer dead!  That is not me.  I made it.  I successfully got up at 5:20 to go meet my group.  We did a 1 mile warm up, did straights and curves, and I was NOT the slowest person.  I mean, this is not to be confused with saying I'm fast, because I'm not.  And I know it isn't a competition, but... I wasn't the slowest.  Hooray!  Mama is back in action.  Kind of.  It's a slow action followed by a slow burn in my hips.  Whatevs.

There was also a really fast guy running the wrong way on the track and kept tooting every time I saw him.  Out loud.  If he were my nephew he would excuse himself and say, "Me tooty."

So to counteract all of that work from this morning I'm enjoying a 3 pm glass of wine.  It's white so that it's hydrating.

Monday, June 13, 2011

I can't even remember

what it feels like to be in shape.  Tomorrow morning I'm going to recall just how OUT of shape I am.  This is after my first marathon.  Remember the one where I got up the next day, wore heels and went to a board meeting?  Yah.  I'm thinking I'll be more tired tomorrow than I was that day.

We have track practice tomorrow morning starting at 6.  Straights and curves.  Death by circles.  Lets hope it's only 99 degrees verses the 105.  WHAT WAS I THINKING?

I think it was something to do with those honored heroes, but it's becoming faulty in my memory now.  Though I need to get it together because I'm mentoring a group of 5 ladies again this season.  Why I keep choosing to run during the middle of summer is beyond me.  Other than curing cancer, running with 40k women in San Francisco and my Tiffany's necklace.

So say a prayer.  Light a candle.  Put on a friendship bracelet.  SOMETHING.  I'm going to need it.

At least I bought some body glide today so my bff thighs will be free of friction.

Friday, June 10, 2011

It's like going on a gay cruise.

Pretty sure that would make me high too.  in an amazing way.  Well, only if I was making best friends left and right.  I sadly am sans gay men in my life right now.  We need to find a church.

Anyway, this morning I had a LARGE iced coffee.  Let me tell you.  I have coffee once a week (the expensive kind--because expensive means it tastes better.  You know, like when I play the game in In Style where I don't look at prices and pick out the most expensive thing.  It's one of my spiritual gifts.  That, and not being able to do percents.  I'm not sure that counts as a gift, though.)

(and don't even ask about fractions.  Who does fractions anymore?  Didn't they disappear with the dewey decimal system?) 

(what I can do is eat 7/8 of a pie.  So basically, if you could make all sales tags when I'm shopping in pie form... I'd probably get it.  My current practice is to figure out what 10% is and then make that into 30% or whatever.  My math skills are sweeping the 3rd grade nation.  Only I think they do fractions.  Whatever, I can drive.  And have a credit card.  Suck it 3rd graders.  Dang, I also have a job.  Nevermind.  You win.) 

I can wow you with my ability to find expensive things though.  Ben is constantly in awe... or shock.  Or shock and awe.  though I'm not sure that's what the G-dubb was talking about when he used that statement.

So back to my coffee.  I'm high on caffiene. 

And I got G$'s birthday jonjon yesterday.  Nothing says gangsta like a jonjon with a sock monkey on it. Am I right?  Trying to decide if I should do a birthday preview (including cupcake toppers, invitations, jonjon, high chair banner now--or if I have to wait until his day... which is more than a month away?  Thoughts?)

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

workin' boobs.

Seriously, these girls have been put to work the last 10 months.  I will say that I like nursing.  Hello, I'm Amanda.  I'm a mom.  I'm down with this program.  It hasn't really interfered with my life (well... I mean, except the every two hour bit, but we got past that.)  It's free.  I don't have to think about how many bottles I need to carry with me.  (you may think this would mean I'm all about cloth diapers.  But, throw em out!) 

I'm also great with you choosing to not follow suit.  I'm great with everyone figuring out what works for them.  I am not a teat nazi (thank you Tina Fey for the term.)  I do not think that the only way to prove you love your baby is to walk around in a hooter hider and be pretentious about things like floor germs.  (My thing is G knocking his teeth out, obvi.)

At work though... I want to get into and out of the supply closet without discussion.  I want to go in there, get business taken care of, read fb on my phone then go back to my desk as if nothing has happened.  because I'm at WORK. 

Today I also encountered the anti-teat nazi.  They are just as prevalent in society.  I'm sure every mom will encounter both breeds. 

Me: discreetly carrying pump bag downstairs about to run into someone.  Oh, hi Barbara.
Her:  Oh, huh, you're STILL doing that?
Me:  Yep.
Her: How much longer are you going to do that?
Me: until he's a year.
Her:  how old is he now?
Me:  10 months.
Her: oh at least it isn't much longer.

Why do you care?  I do not ask you when you are getting your next perm because I do not have an opinion on that.  Ok, that is not true.  I do not believe you should be perming your bowl cut but, I keep that to myself (and the internet.) 

The thing is, I don't mind someone asking if I am still nursing.  Or when I plan to finish.  It's HOW you ask.  I love all kinds of those discussions and ask my  mommy friends things all of the time--out of interest--not in attempts for judgement. 

Please note that this is the same lady who asked me if I had enjoyed not having my period, told me my boobs looked bigger, and asked if I had to look sideways (while pregnant) while walking down the stairs. 

She has three daughters.  One is my age. 

(and spell check REALLY wants me to capitalize nazi.)

Friday, June 3, 2011

dear b-feeders,

Posted by Picasawhich also sounds like beef eaters.  So, beef eaters, I'm not really talking to you as much as those of you who b-feed your babies for a year.  (Not that I don't want the opinion of those who do it for 3 months--just that we are past 3 months.  It's all circumstantial.  No judgement.  No judgement on the beef eating either.)

Anyway, when did you wean?  How did you do it?  What went first?  I'm out of town the week of July 4 (July 3-morning of the 9th).  G is staying with my parents (mom can probably bring him once a day to "visit"--sounds so prison visit-ish when I say it like that).  Will he still want to nurse when I get home on the 9th or will he be done with it by then?  I'd like to make it to a year.

I'm either finding stuff that's all about family beds for 8 years and breastfeeding for 9 (exaggeration, much?) or nothing really at all.

Our Schedule--

Wake up-nurse
nurse/nap (or if at daycare, no nap and b-milk in a straw cup)
and another feeding in the middle of the night for funsies.

I'm thinking I should probably exit the nursing/bmilk in the mornings?  And probably the one in the middle of the night--though our ped believes they should continue to wake up until they are 1.

This parenting gig is hard.  Can't someone just give me all of the answers?

blood, sweat, and tears (inspired by a cocktail and 900 cookies)

I'm trying to decide if this spanx shiz is worth it. This is what my mom wear looks like. Please note the hot mess of trying to use the photo timer.

Please also note that swimsuit pictures should not be taken straight on. And, should you be taking them in the bathroom, for the world to see, you should probably take down the things that are drying on your "drying rack" so that you look more put together. Whatever, the "cleaning lady" will get to it tomorrow. Right after our "nanny" cuts G$'s finger nails.

Honestly, I'm surprised that my bazooms are not looking fuller as this suit squishes everything up and out. Can. Of. Biscuits. to remove. Seexxxxxxxxxy. (prayers I won't need to use the facilities. So basically, I'll probably pee in the pool. Don't invite me over.)
Kidding... ish. I hear black and white is like tan fat. Everything looks better in black and white. And, everything looks better with a tan--which is why I was more attractive when I was regularly visiting the tanning bed. Just ask my premature wrinkles.

So is it worth it? The effort it takes to roll this thing on? Is it too "mommy"? I can't decide.
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Thursday, June 2, 2011

Complaining. What? Me? Never.

Except today I will break my complaining rule and I'm going to complain.  Oh, my life is hard.  Oh, life is terrible.  Good thing our neighbor works for the girl scouts and came by yesterday with 10 boxes of cookies.  Yep.  Seriously.  I opened 4 boxes within 30 minutes.  Have I mentioned my lack of self control?  I think yes.

Not what this is about other than I came home and had a cookie.  Just one.  So far.

Today I had an ALLLLLLLLLLL day meeting.  My child is also getting some molars and so I haven't been sleeping.  ANNNNNNNNNNNNND, my ahem "highest form of womanhood" showed up yesterday.  And, I've been up since 4.  And, I went running this morning.  And my child was at day care allllll day.  And slept a grand total of 45 minutes after being up since 6:20.  And, when we went to leave Frances' house he wanted to stay with her.  And, is in a poopy mood.  Came home.  Nursed.  Wanted to stay there for eternity (him, not me.)  And is now asleep.  I've now seen my baby for a total of maybe... an hour today.

How the hell am I supposed to go back to working full time in a month?  Yes, I realize other people do this.  Yes, I realize life isn't so bad.  Yes, I realize that it's GOOD that he loves his child care provider.  Yes, I realize it's a blessing that I've been able to be part time.  Yes, I realize it's a blessing that I have a job.  But I don't wanna do it.  It makes me all anxious inside.  That, tied with the fact that we are staying in a hotel for ONE NIGHT next weekend, (First time away from him over night) and for an ENTIRE week in July.  I'm about dying.  Seriously, dying.  How did I think I could direct a senior high camp?  Who thought that was a good idea?  (I still do, just not as much right now.)  Why didn't I realize that my "grace period" is ending?  How will he make it through his first fourth of July without me there?

wahhhhhhhhhhhh.  How many cookies do I get for this?  Because as we all know life should be compensated with treats.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

This is my sister in a nutshell. Or, My sister. In a nutshell.

Helpful Hints for Those Working with a Speech Pathologist

April 7, 2011 1:51 pm 29 comments
Penny Castagnozzi - I know what you’re thinking, “Why would anyone ever need help in working with someone as capable as me?” They don’t. You’re fantastic. You’re competent, astute, systematic, analytical, committed, analytical, sensitive… did I mention analytical?
Okay, you may see where I’m coming from. As wonderful as SLPs are, they are in a class by themselves among professionals, and it’s just going to make life easier for all concerned if people realize that they don’t have to try to change the SLPs in their lives -they just have to understand them.  Having spent the last twenty years as the business partner of a speech pathologist, and the last 52 years living in close contact with that same SLP (this brilliant business partner is also my adorable sister!), I feel not only qualified to share my thoughts, but actually justified to finally be unleashing my opinions on life with an SLP! 
As a disclaimer, I might mention that, of course, not all speech/language pathologists are alike. Throughout my career, though, I have worked with hundreds (if not thousands) of speech pathologists, and although you are a beautiful tapestry of individuals, there are indeed some colors that seem to appear quite frequently in the artwork!
As my gift to the world (no, I’m not re-gifting the corn-cob roaster that my adult children honored me with over the holidays!) I’d like to offer ten tips on dealing with the elite individuals who I lovingly refer to as “Speech Paths.”
Ten Tips for the SLP-Blessed:
1        Don’t even bother to ask, “Do you know what you’re going to do today?” Of course she knows what she’s going to do. She’s a Speech-Path! She made her mental list the night before and has been rehearsing it ever since, unless she’s written it down on a small piece of paper, which she’ll copy neatly onto another, larger piece of paper right after she has her first cup of  coffee. 
2        If there’s any verbal confusion, it’s your fault. She’s a speech pathologist, and knows how to express her thoughts – all of them – all of the time.
3        Nobody takes more notes than a Speech-Path. They may not be legible, or organized, but the thoughts are on the paper! (Without being conspicuous, continue to take your own notes at meetings so you can read and understand the important facts!)
4        Nothing is simple. A statement like, “He has a sore throat,” will surely be followed by, “What time exactly did this start? What was he eating at the time? Did you take his temperature? What do you mean by normal? Is it his normal or everyone’s normal? Are you sure he hadn’t had ice cream right before you took his temperature? Does he have any rash? Maybe we should x-ray his throat to make sure there is no bone sliver in it! Did you feel his neck? Were his glands swollen? (I know – you’re thinking, “These are actually all very good questions to ask.” That’s my point! Of course it all sounds reasonable to you -you’re an SLP!)
5        They are like elephants. No, I’m not calling them gray and wrinkled…that would be describing me right now. What I mean is that they never, ever forget anything that happened in the distant past. What’s amazing is that not only to they make mental notes that seem to last forever, but, when asked, they can pull these figures and facts out of thin air in any disagreement.  Are they all true? I don’t know! I clearly do not have the kind of memory to know this or I wouldn’t have asked Speech Path in the first place! Sometimes the memories are just a wee bit too vivid and detailed to be believable, but how can you prove that something thirty years ago wasn’t true if you’ve already admitted your ignorance by asking the question?
6        Don’t try to compete with their work ethic. Speech Paths can, and will, stay up all night to finish an important project, an evaluation, a paper, or a speech. Just say, “I don’t know how you do it!” as you wave to them and drag your weary body off to bed or out of the room.
7        Be prepared for long emails. In the spirit of thoroughness (Yes, “thoroughness” is a word, and I’ll email you the web page that proves it so you’ll believe me!)  every detail of every thought will be put on paper to explain a point. Maybe we should start an email “game” with them, called “Say it in Three!” There are only two rules to this game. One – in any email, there can only be three sentences. Two – no sentences are allowed to have more than 4 clauses. It’s not that I don’t need and appreciate the information, but my brain (remember, I’m 52) can only hold on to three details. That’s it.  If I ask for directions to a location, only give me the first three steps. After that, I’m pretending to listen. (I know what you’re thinking, “Hmmm, poor short term memory for linguistic information…this woman clearly needs some intervention…)
8        Expect them to find flaws. Don’t take it personally – it’s their profession that causes this behavior. They’ve been trained to look for imperfections in speech and language. Looking for something to fix comes naturally to them, and the skill transfers much too easily to other areas of life. On a day you’re prepared to speak in front of an audience of 100 people, you may be standing there minutes before the presentation starts, confident in your tailored slacks and the jacket that hides everything you don’t want the world to see.  Speech Path comes up to you and whispers, “You have something white in your hair – I’ll get it” or “There’s a string hanging here – let me pull it,” or “There’s some black under your eye… no, there…no, a little higher…” It’s a wonderful esteem booster.
9        Enjoy the fullness of life with a Speech Path. Because of all the details they notice and report to you, you’ll live more richly, see more fully,  step more securely, and, if you’re with a Speech Path that’s just like mine, laugh more heartily. They are truly involved in all they come in contact with, and that vitality and commitment to make things better is not only endearing, but commendable. The world is a better place because of Speech Paths.
 If you see yourselves in this article, pass the tips on to those you love or those who may occasionally react to you with a smile and a slight wince. If you don’t recognize any of these traits, just explain this article away as merely a way for some poor middle-aged soul who needed to vent openly (nationally?) about a sibling she may be spending a little too much time with lately! Oh, and for those of you who are disturbed because I had promised ten tips…I just wanted to see if you were paying attention! I knew you would be – you’re Speech Paths!
This article was written by Penny Castagnozzi, co-director of Reading with TLC and proud partner/sister of Nancy Telian, M.S., CCC-SLP! For more information, please contact Reading with TLC, Telian-Cas Learning Concepts, Inc. 781-331-7412