Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Weekend Exposure: What are you proud of?

You Travel Far to Discover Home by Ben

To learn more about the Weekend Exposure project, click here.

Weekend Exposure: In what ways are you simplifying your life?

My Life List by Globetoppers

To learn more about the Weekend Exposure project, click here.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

The Highlight of my Weekend

Walker casually rests his elbow on his favorite arm rest.

Walker's new favorite thing is to sit on Travis' shoulder and hold on to his head. He loves to be high up where he can see everything. So last night, Travis picked Walker up from a desperate sprint for the stairs and sat him on his shoulder. Suddenly I heard Trav cry out.

Walker, apparently, was bitter about his escape being foiled and retaliated with his only defense: he barfed on the top of Daddy's head. There stood Travis mouth agape in horror, barf dripping down the side of his face.


Weekend Exposure: What are you letting run your life?

Money! by Tracy O

For more info on Weekend Exposure, click here.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Weekend Exposure: What are you coming into?

Warm Wishes by Shutterblog

To learn more about Weekend Exposure, click here.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

An Uncharacteristic Post

I had my gallbladder taken out today. All in all it was a very easy surgery, but, having never had surgery before, I was understandably nervous.

Normally, I'm relatively private about my religion, mainly because I don't know that I present the best portrait of a Mormon. I don't attend meetings, I have a foul mouth (which I have been working on), and I can be just as crass as a sailor on leave. But I do have a firm belief in the fundamental principles of the faith. One thing I have a very serious reverence for is the power of the Priesthood. I've seen it work with my own eyes in the most profound ways. So, this morning, when I dropped Walker off with my brother in law before the surgery, I asked him to give me a blessing. For those of you who may be unfamiliar with an LDS blessing, it's when an Elder of the church, holding the Melchizdek Priesthood, lays his hands on your head and uses the power of the Priesthood to say a special prayer over you.

Chris has been kind enough to do this for me in the recent past, when I had Walker, and also for my husband when he had surgery. And this morning, in the middle of my blessing, unbidden, I thought "I should totally blog about this." Which, to me, seems like a strange, if not irreverent, thing to think in the middle of a prayer. I don't know if my mind was just wandering or if I was being prompted to share my feelings about blessings, but I haven't been able to get the idea out of my head all day, so I'm going to assume it's the latter.

Every time I've asked for a blessing, I've been in some kind of distress and, frankly, very afraid. They've always been held in my esteem as very private and sacred moments, not to be taken lightly. But the one thing I felt I should share, the prompting I feel I was given, is the feeling of peace that comes over me the moment the Elder's hands lay upon my head. This morning I was particularly frightened. Not that there was ever much of a chance of anything going drastically wrong, but there's always a part of me that thinks of the "what ifs." And this time, the biggest what if, the thing that scared me the most was "what if I die and leave my baby motherless." Now, logically I know that gallbladder surgery is a very routine procedure, but in my defense, Walker had been up most of the night with a fever, so I was pretty sleep deprived myself, and I have a tendency to be much more melodramatic than normal when I'm tired.

But the moment Chris put his hands on my head, a warm feeling of peace filled me and I knew everything was going to be all right. The only thing I can compare it to is being wrapped in a cozy blanket during a winter storm. It may be cold and icy and scary outside, but inside it's warm and safe and comfortable. The words he spoke whispered to the very deepest part of me that everything would turn out as it should and that my family and I would be safe. I knew, without a doubt, that whatever happened, God was watching over me and my family.

That's what I love about God: that he can overlook all the things I've done that have not brought me, or Him, honor and still extend his loving care over me. Maybe it's just the Loritab talking. But I feel truly blessed right now to have that knowledge and the faith that I've been taught, and I wanted to share that thought.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Weekend Exposure: How do you lift people up?

A Little Humor by Antiguan_Life

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Friday, October 03, 2008

Friday, September 26, 2008

Weekend Exposure: When I Listen to my Heart...

Happy Feet by JoshCarlton

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Friday, September 19, 2008

Weekend Exposure: What are you doing this fall?

The Apple Doesn't Fall Far

I got another call this morning from my brother in law, Chris, who generously watches Walker for us. He was asking when the last time Walker had Tylenol, because teething is still kicking his little diapered butt. We hadn't given him any since last night, so it was a go for drugging my little tater tot.

About two minutes later, I got another call, this time from a very amused sister of mine. Apparently Chris went ahead and gave Walker the medicine, much to Walker's delight. He got very calm and began acting somewhat placid.

Chris moved in to play with him, Walker all the while giving Chris the big Puss In Boots eyes. Chris got closer and closer to my baby's sweet little face; Walker got cuter and cuter with every inch. Then, when Chris was within range and completely lulled into complacency, Walker took his opportunity:

He blew a big old Grape Tylenol flavored raspberry right in Chris' face.

My baby's a luller. Just like his father.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

The List

The latest topic of conversation at my office has been "who is on your List?" We all know what The List is. It's the famous Friends episode: the five people that you're allowed to cheat with should the opportunity arise. Of course, The List really must comprise of The Unattainable; those with whom your path will likely never cross. But if it should, you are preapproved by your significant other to have an affair with the aforementioned List member.

My List has classically been comprised of two Lists, really. Because I don't want to get caught in the Ross Gellar / Isabella Rossalini trap, I've historically had a list of foreign and domestics. But, for the purposes of the office confab, I've tried to narrow it to one list only. While the list is officially only five people, the originator of this conversation could not narrow it down to five, and therefore, we are allowed seven choices. So here are mine. I'd like to add the disclaimer that this list is an ever evolving ever changing project and I would never go so far as to laminate my List. I would hate to commit to these seven for the rest of my life and then, in three years, a new actor arrives on the scene and bumps one of my List Members off. But I digress:


Ah, Denny. I fell in love with JDM as Denny Duquette in Grey's Anatomy. Then I realized he was in Supernatural as John Winchester. We watched the episode where Denny died the same week the season premiere of Supernatural aired in which John Winchester dies. I was crushed. Now I've found him in Weeds, where he plays Judah Botwin, a woman's DEAD husband. I'm noticing a theme here, Jeff, and I'm not happy about it.


I discovered Andy in When a Man Loves a Woman and have loved him ever since. I mean, come ON. Look at him, for heaven's sake! And that whole Cuban thing? Hello, Andy!!


I can't help it! He's funny! And laughter goes a long way for me!! He's lanky, he's got horse teeth, and I'd still do it!


I've discovered during this process that I have a little thing for Latin men. I love Antonio. If you need to know why, just watch Desperado. That love scene! Wow. He's short, but he can sing, he can dance, and he's just plain pretty!


Again with the funny. I love him in Clay Pigeons, Mr. and Mrs. Smith, The Wedding Crashers, Swingers, Made...the list goes on and on. But his dramatic stuff is also really awesome. I have to admit that I loved his version of Norman Bates better than Anthony Perkins', and if you REALLY want to see Vince in his prime, the movie that started the love affair: Return to Paradise.


I've maintained for years that RDJ's problem with drugs would be completely solved if he and I met and substituted sex for drugs. Problem solved!!


This is the reason I would never laminate my list. King Leonidas had to be added, especially after seeing him in PS I Love You with my friend, Jeffrey.



Okay, I know he's no longer with us, but still...

Now and always, Steve-o!

So there you have it. And now I propose a new list. A list of those that you would probably add to your List, if you weren't just the slightest bit embarrassed about it. Any takers?

Friday, September 12, 2008

Weekend Exposure Catch Up

After posting my first "Weekend Exposure" picture, I started looking at the past 3 questions and decided I wanted to answer those, too. So here they are:

Weekend Exposure: What do you appreciate most about America?

My friend at work told me about this project, and I thought it sounded really interesting, even if it just gives me a little introspection. I'd love to hear if any of you join in the fun. At any rate, here you have it.

My answer can be found here.

Monday, September 08, 2008

I am an Official Tabbal

Over the Labor Day weekend we went to my inlaws' house to move their big screen TV from their living room to their family room. They were going to try to move it themselves, but we're not talking about the new fangled 50 lb. numbers. No, this is the kind of big screen TV that we all wanted when we were younger. You know, the first one ever invented, so it's really big and really heavy? And let's face it, the inlaws' aren't getting any younger, so we took pity on the old folk and went to move it for them.

After disassembling it into two "oh, my GOD this is heavy!" pieces rather than one "call 911, I think I just had an aneurysm" piece, and after assuring my father in law that I could lift it (my husband didn't marry some pansy princess!!), Trav and I started moving it into position to get it down the stairs.

Their house is arranged in a split level fashion, which wouldn't be so bad, except right in front of the stairs leading into the basement, there's a closet, so in order to move stuff down the stairs, the object in question has to be just the right size and just the right shape and you have to be able to do some fancy manuvering. We were in the midst of this delicate little dance with the behemouth of all TV screens when my father in law made a comment that warmed my heart and made me realize that I had arrived.

But first a word about my father in law's feelings toward his TV: it is generally assumed that Lori and Dennis Tabbal have only 5 children. This would be a completely inaccurate statement. They have two sons, three daughters, and one Big Screen TV. Guess which one is the favorite child? My mother in law's dream retirement is to buy an RV and spend a month at one of her children's homes, then move the whole production to the next kid's house and so on and so forth so she can see her whole fam without having to leave all her personal space behind. This dream will never be realized because the TV will not fit into an RV. I think the TV is actually willed all the good stuff in my father in law's estate plan. The rest of us get to split the debt and the "filing system."

So I'm trying to manuver Stevie the TV down the stairs, my father in law intently watching, a worried expression on his face. Then he tried to take my place going down the stairs. I had to reassure him that I could do it, that it was not too heavy, but rather just awkward, and that I'd be fine to carry it. And then he said it:

"Well...okay. But you be careful. I can replace the TV."

Travis nearly dropped the TV, my mother in law's jaw dropped, and I damn near cried.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Better Late Than Never - Pictures of Our Walker

As promised (months ago), here are some pictures of our little guy:

The day after the big arrival. Isn't he PERFECT!!

3 months old - Walker in his cute little blessing outfit that took me forever to find. God forbid I don't want my son in a dress!!!

I had to put the kibosh on the hat. What, are we suddenly Amish??

Walker giving Daddy "The Look." He hated tummy time and was very bitter that we were making him suffer the indignity.

Walker and his week older cousin, Connor. Can you just die over the cute hair on that little guy?!?

"Grandpa thinks I'm napping...hee hee hee."

Six months and all smiles...once I took his shoes off.

Friday, August 01, 2008

How Deep Doth My Paranoia Run?

This morning I was sitting at my desk, trying to talk myself into working when really all I wanted to do was go home, take a nap and play with the baby, when the phone rings. It was Chris, my stay-at-home-daddy brother-in-law that watches Walker for us while we toil in hell. Instantly my heart plunged into my stomach. What was wrong? Had the baby rolled off the bed? Had the girls shoved a pencil up his nose to see if he could write with it up there? What was wrong? DEAR GOD, PROTECT MY BABY!!!

So I answered the phone to hear a very somber sounding Chris:

Chris: "So I was feeding the baby and he started making this really weird noise."

My Mind: "Oh, no! Not throwing up again? What am I doing wrong!?! Why can't he go a whole month without projectile vomit? I'm a terrible mother! I've only been at this 6 months and already I'm unfit!!"

Me: "Yeah...?"

Chris: "So I looked down thinking 'what are you doing??'"

My Mind: "...and you found that not only had he barfed, but it was pure blood barf! There's something wrong with my baby!!! I'm on my way! HOLD ON, SON, MOMMY'S COMING!!!"

Me: "Uh-huh."

Chris: "And rather than eating, he was blowing air back through the nipple and blowing bubbles in his formula."

How cute is my kid? And how psycho am I!!

Monday, July 14, 2008

Updates and Such

Okay, so I suck at keeping up with my blog. Is that what you wanted to hear? That I'm a blogging failure? Cause you'd be right! And I've got nothing for excuses, other than they want me to actually work when I'm here (something about earning my paycheck), and at home I have an adorable baby and husband to attend to. So there you have it. Weak excuses, I know, but it's all I've got.

So Walker's tummy is continuing to be a pain in our collective asses. He's stopped the marathon pooping, though, but has now progressed into the occasional vomitting episode. Not just spit up, mind you. I'm talking full Exorcist pea soup projectile puking. Poor little thing. Though it really doesn't seem to bother him in the least. He barfs and then goes back to whatever little game he was playing before he evacuated his stomach. And it's not all the time. Just once a week-ish. And they weren't back to back. We did have a couple of weeks there where there were no delicate tummy issues. The doctor seems to think that he's just caught the stomach flu and is having a hard time getting rid of it. I'm hoping that's all it is.

On the up swing, he laughs all the time now and has mastered rolling from his tummy to his back, though back to tummy still remains elusive. I, personally, am of the opinion that he is resisting this feat because he can't see as much on his tummy as he can on his back, and he's a snoopy little thing. I'm not really sure where he gets that from. Must be from his father.

Trav's little sister got married in June, so Walker got a chance to meet his cousin from Alaska, who's merely one week older than him. I love that they're so close in age, though I wish Taya, Brian and Connor lived closer. Connor's cute as hell, though. And he's got more hair than I've seen on most adults, let alone a baby!! He's a little screamer, too. While Walker's been focusing on his physical development, Connor's been learning the intricacies of speech. Funny thing is that as soon as they had gone home to Alaska, Walker started screaming and Connor started rolling. Maybe it's better that they live so far apart!! If they're already playing off of one another in their babyhood, I'd hate to see them in their adolescence.

At any rate, I've got tons of pictures, so look for those coming soon to a blog near you.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

The Joys of Motherhood

Walker's sick. And not just "Sniff, sniff, I have a cold" sick. I mean the four diapers in one changing, you'd better be quick on the draw, multiple clothing changes for he and I sick. Poor little thing!! Last night he was up all night, pooping and eye rubbing, and just when I'd get him to sleep, he'd poop again and we'd have to start all over again.

So needless to say, I wasn't in the greatest of moods this morning when I felt his little body wriggling next to me in bed. Yes, I was letting him sleep in the bed with us and I don't want to hear it! It was the only way I could get him to sleep and if he was asleep, then I could be asleep and that was really the goal there: Daddy, Mommy and Walker all asleep at the same time. So Travis got up with him this time, changed him, fed him, and tried to play with him, but Walker wanted none of it. He fussed and then the fussing turned into crying and by then I was awake, so I figured what the hell, I was supposed to be up a half hour ago, so I'll just get up.

And as soon as he saw me, Walker stopped crying and broke into the sweetest, brightest, amazing smile. So, of course, my heart melted and suddenly the fatigue was okay. And when I bent down to talk to him, the smile got bigger and open mouthed and he giggled. GIGGLED! As if to say "hey, Mom, all that stuff last night? No hard feelings, 'kay?" And there weren't.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Lamentations of a Working Mommy

Last week I returned to work after three blissful months at home with my beautiful new son. Being at home alone with your first child is trying. The first day Travis had to return to work and I was officially on my own, I cried most of the day. I felt lonely and inadequate and very, very scared. Not that I didn't know how to care for an infant. I've done my fair share of sitting and nannying. But then I could defer to the parent when an important decision needed to be made. And if it's the wrong decision, well Damn The Man, baby. Wasn't my idea to do it that way. But now I am The Man. I am the one to whom people consult to make decisions on how to care for this perfect little baby. I am the one that has the potential to make or break the foundation on which this life will be built. How freakin' terrifying is that?!

And a newborn isn't exactly a sparkling conversationalist, so I longed for another adult to sit and chat with. Travis would come home for lunch and then at the end of the day, and I would talk from the moment his shoes hit the back hall Pergo until he closed the bathroom door for some privacy. And then I'd start up again when the door opened, before the toilet even finished flushing because I'd been hovering outside, waiting very impatiently for him to listen to my reports about how many naps were taken, how much formula was consumed and how many diapers were changed. I'd ramble on and on, all the while Travis just looking for five minutes of solace and quiet at the end of a long day at the office. The man deserves an award, I'm telling you, cause I'da punched me in the beak.

So I thought the adjustment of coming back to work would be a relatively easy one. I'd have the best of both worlds. I'd get to hang out with my friends at work (and maybe do a little work here and there) and then come home to spend quality time with Walker. Oh, how misguided was I?! My first day back, it was reported to me, Walker cried most of the day. And the separation anxiety was torture on me, as well. Since then Walker's done really well. He loves spending the days with Uncle Chris and the girls and even seems to enjoy Sofi, the Chihuahua's, company.

For me, however, it's gotten progressively worse. I thought that the first day would be the worst, but then it would get easier. Not true, my friend. The second day I cried the whole way home, and I could see the thought running through Travis' mind: "increase your Zoloft, increase your Zoloft." When I originally thought of the eight hours I put in at work, I neglected to take into consideration my lunch hour and then an hour travel time each way. I'm away from my baby almost twelve hours every day! And when we finally do pull into the garage and I throw myself out of the barely stopped car and run across the driveway to my sister's house to fetch him, I have to share our time together with Travis. Now, I know he misses the baby as much as I do. But I've gone from 24/7 to 4 hours if I'm lucky. I want to bogart.

Anymore a woman is crucified for wanting to stay home with her kids. She's looked at as only a mother. Yeah. Cause raising the next generation of humans is cake compared to building a career that ends with a cheap gold watch. Raising my children is all I want. I felt lonely at home with only the baby to keep me company, but I feel more alone here at work, surrounded by people, without my son. He was with me every minute of every day for 11 months. To suddenly be separated from him is almost unbearable. I want to have tummy time and spit up on my shirt. I want to fold laundry and change dirty bums. I want to clean the house and make dinner for my husband. I want to teach my son to clap and hold things in his hands.

Call me provincial or old fashioned. I don't care. It's far more important to me to be with my son than anything else in the world. We do have a plan to make that happen. I keep telling myself that this arrangement is only temporary. That, even if it's a year, we'll pay things off and I'll be able to stay home. Until then I'll just plaster the walls of my office with pictures of Walker and wait, though impatiently, for the day to arrive when I can quit and be a full time mommy again.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Triumphant Return to Blogging

So I haven't blogged in ages. I have no excuse, except that I got busy having a baby and, really, who reads this thing anyway? Being on maternity leave for the last three months I became very remiss in my blog reading obsession. Now that I'm back at work, though, I've used my down time to catch up on my usual sites, and even added a new one that, so far, has proved interesting.

I love reading blogs. I, like Crazy Aunt Purl, am a blog stalker. Something about being invited to snoop into other people's lives appeals to me. Makes my natural born "curiosity" feel a little less wrong, a little less dirty. I read blogs of my friends to catch up on what's happening in their lives and to stay in contact with them. And then I have my AnonoBlogs. You know, the blogs written by people I've never met, never will meet, but I love to read them anyway. My favorite is I may not always agree with the things she says, but she's entertaining and insightful and always there. That's the best part. The "always there" part. There's something comforting in knowing that my day at work can be broken up by five minutes of blog-reading here and there.

Lately, though, I've found myself being very jealous of the throng of Mommy Bloggers out there who have made their blogs their jobs. Not that I find anything wrong with that at all. Quite the opposite, really. I love that there are people out there who make money from sharing their thoughts and ideas online. Seems no different to me than reading an article in a newspaper.

With the recent necessity of having to return to work after having my adorable baby, I've got a burning desire to become one of them. How exactly do these people break into the career field as a professional blogger? I mean, is there a BS of Blogging out there I need to obtain? Does one need to sleep with the Blogging Boss to get ahead in the Blogosphere? 'Cause at this point, I'm ready to take one for the team on this one.

Alas, I think the world of professional blogging will be forever closed to me. I will continue to blog, though. My words may not find a home. They may float out into the abyss and fade away, but I will have found an outlet. And really, that's what it's all about, this Hokey Pokey of life called blogging.