Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Ventage Tuesday: Santa Shops at Target, Right?

Now that the turkey has been carved, the stores have been destroyed by Black Friday shoppers, and we've all gone a little "buy it now" happy on Cyber Monday, it only seems fitting that the ventage girls approach the topic of Christmas Wish Lists. I'll be honest, I'm bad at making a wish list. I never know what to say when someone asks me what I want for a holiday or my birthday. I feel like I am really easy to buy for, and I'm always seeing things I'd like to have, I just can't seem to translate that into list form. I even went as far as to create a pin board of gift ideas for myself. I think there's still only five things on there and I've had the board for a year now.

For the sake of this blog post, I decided to keep it simple. I've been spending a lot of time at Target lately, in case you hadn't heard. And in my travels I've stumbled upon plenty of things I'd like to take home with me. In fact resisting the urge to shop for myself during every shift is something I am really working on. So I put together my own little Target wish list for the big man. His red suit would fit right in among all my red and khaki wearing coworkers.

To wear on Christmas Morning: my boys will be wearing skiing santa monkey pjs, so I'd fit right in. And really, it is important to take such things into consideration for the purpose of photography and memory keeping.

To keep my feet warm all winter long: during 3/4 of the year I am barefoot at home, but come winter my poor toes get too cold. These slippers would take care of that. Don't forget Santa, I have been feet. Pick them up in a 10 please.

To bring a little sparkle to my day to day: Only the best for my iPhone, right? I'd be lost without it after all.

To stay connected without getting frostbite: Sparkly gloves in a lovely turquoise that are touch screen friendly? Come on Santa, that's a no brainer!

To inspire me to cook up yummy meals for my family: Our current collection of plates is showing serious wear after 8 years of daily use. I need a nice new white canvas on which to create some culinary masterpieces this winter. Bonus points for some nice deep white bowls just screaming out for a yummy soup!

To help with the not dressing like a slob goal: Can you believe I don't have a full length mirror? What's a girl to do? Especially a ventage girl with friends who like to share pictures of their daily outfits!

And because I am SURE Santa is shopping with a red card and therefore saving 5% on my wishlist, I think it is completely reasonable to request a few days here with my fabulous ventage girls. I can see us cooking in the kitchen, drinking (gin) by the fireplace, and staying up late having fantastic conversations. It says the cabin sleeps 12. Who wants to come along?

Be sure to check in with the other girls (you'll find their blog links to the right) and leave them some wish list love.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Hello, Monday

 Hello, healthy?: 2012 will forever been known as the Thanksgiving we had the flu. Or norovirus. Or whatever name you want to give to that evil bug that makes you camp out on the bathroom floor and vow to never ever eat anything again. Try as we might to contain it, it spread like wildfire through the Homburgs and those visiting us for the holiday. The baby was spared, thank you breastfeeding. I would really really like for this to be our only big illness of the season. Dear Santa, please?

Hello, goodbyes: After 8 days of out of town family, we are once again flying solo. The past week went by so so quickly and I don't feel like we did nearly all the things we had hoped we would do while everyone was here (see the aforementioned flu bug). Mrs. P said the little dude had a couple of meltdowns in school this morning, complete with tears. I'm not surprised. Poor little guy has been living in a whirlwind. It's hard to get back to normal.

Hello,holiday hours: I've been initiated. I have survived my first black friday weekend in retail. 14 hours at a cash register on Friday followed by 2 days of roaming the sales floor, attempting to put back together the store that bargain shoppers (almost) destroyed. Truth? I kind of loved it. Even when I was pulling a display tree down off the shelf to prove to the (very) crabby couple that it was in fact 4 feet tall. Even when I was assigned to zone (that's Target for reorganize) the toy section on a Saturday afternoon when 90% of the store guests were in that section and NEEDEDMYHELP RIGHTTHISVERYSECOND!! My back is sore, and my knees are sore, and my feet are sore, and my voice is still a little raspy, but I had fun. And for the most part, people were awesome. Thankful for the help, and patient with the hiccups, and apologetic for the behavior of those shoppers who were clearly raised by wolves (in case there was any question, it is NOT okay to leave your starbucks cup on the nearest shelf when you are done with it).Will I still love this job come January? We'll see.

Hello, Star: I dropped AJ off at school this morning to find a large yellow posterboard in his cubby. It appears someone has been chosen to be the star of the week. He (read: me) has to decorate this posterboard with all sorts of things that represent him what he likes. Lucky boy, his mama has a few scrapbook supplies that might help.  He also gets to be the line leader and the calendar helper and he gets to flip the pages when they read during storytime. After a week of lots of grandparent time, I think the little dude will enjoy some special attention at school  :)

Hello, Monday inspired by Katrina who was inspired by Lisa.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

30 days of Thankful catchup

November 7th: Leah: You know that saying about the cobbler's children not having shoes? The same sentiment applies to photographers. Sure I have plenty of pictures of my boys. But pictures of all of us together? They exist in self portrait attempts inside my phone. They're not very good. But thanks to Leah's skill and patience, we now have a real portrait of our family of four. So very thankful!

November 8th: Mrs. P: AJ loves his "new school" with his "new teachers" and his "new friends."He likes to sing me the Goodbye song, and tell me how "Mrs special" (AJ's approximation of his teacher's name) does the hand motions for Wheels on the Bus. I am thankful that he's in a good place, with a teacher who is learning how best to reach my little dude. Also thankful for the days when she tells me that he had "no TOs" (time outs) and especially thankful for the days when she comments on his desire to be a big helper.

November 9th: Steve: My brother has the uncanny ability to send me a text message exactly when I need it. Sometimes it's a picture of his pumpkin spice latte to make me jealous, other times it's one of those silly animal pictures you see on the internet. Whatever it is, I love it, and seeing his name pop up makes me smile. Hate that we are so far apart, but thankful that we have modern technology to keep us close together.

November 10th: For Facebook: Sometimes life as a stay at home mom is incredibly isolating. My mornings are spent running AJ to school. My afternoons are spent managing nap time, running errands, and figuring out what in the world these people in my family are going to eat for dinner. Sometimes, especially when Karl is traveling, Facebook is my only "connection" to the outside world. I'm thankful for the chance to catch up with old friends around the world from my little phone screen!

November 11th: For Veterans: I am continually blown away by those who make the choice to serve our country. That kind of bravery, not just from the soldier, but also from those who love him or her enough to support the decision, is just amazing to me. I look at my boys and wonder if that's a decision they will ever make and I pray that I will someday have the strength to support them if that is their dream.

November 12th: My Row: These girls have been sitting with me every Monday night for almost 2 years. In that time, I've had 3 pregnancies (resulting in one amazing Sammy) and they've been kicking butt and taking names in the weight loss department. Mary is down over 125lbs. Katie and Karrie are both in the over 75lbs lost range. They are faithful friends who are there to laugh with me, cry with me, and mutter "mmm donuts" when someone else in the meeting mentioned the opening of Dunkin Donuts nearby

November 13th Barb: What can I say? Really? We lived 5 minutes from each other but didn't actually meet until I walked up to her at CHA with a totally awkward "Are you Barb Novak?" She's been the first person (other than medical professionals and Karl) to hold both my babies. She once stored fertility drugs in her fridge for me. She brought me cinnamon rolls when I threw my back out and cupcakes at the hospital when I was finally free of the gestational diabetes. We've cooked up many schemes. We've channeled Julia Child. We've baked our way into a sugar coma. We've gone on adventures. We've snickered through yoga classes. We've been patrons of the arts (and dinner). The fact that she isn't living five minutes away anymore breaks my heart, but also makes me so proud of her for wanting better for herself. So very thankful for the years we had as neighbors and so very glad we are still close enough to plan dates.Like breakfast on Saturday!

November 14th: For Nap Time: It doesn't happen often, but on the rare day that the stars align and both boys decide to close their eyes at the same time? The angels sing and this mama is a happy, happy girl. My favorite nap days are when I can pretend there aren't things I should really be doing with that quiet time and sleep a little bit myself. Today was one of those days. And it was definitely something to be thankful for.

November 15th: For Netflix: several episodes of Army Wives were watched today in between runs to the bathroom and restless sleep. Thankful for the distraction of a pretend world when real life sucks.

November 16th: For Health: also known as thankful that 24 hour bugs only last 24 hours. Thankful for hot showers to wash off the sickies and the hot cycle on the washing machine to disinfect the sheets. Thankful for immodium and gatorade and saltine crackers. Thankful that as of this moment I was the only one in the family to catch the bug and thankful that as a whole I very rarely get sick. And to be filed under: silver lining: I'm down 6lbs in 48 hours. Certainly won't stay that way once I'm rehydrated, but man was that a shock to see.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Ventage Tuesday: Betcha Didn't Know...

This week the lovely Angie challenged us to dig deep and pull out 5 random/interesting/fun facts about ourselves. We Ventage girls are very good at talking about some of the most random things in addition to the important stuff. As a result of these conversations I know that Angie and I share an affinity for Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson and that Barb, Katrina, and Emily prefer their crushes of the skinny slightly grungy hipster variety.

1.My senior superlative was most likely to sit on the bench of the Supreme Court. That was back before poli sci and pre law turned to broadcast journalism. Now the closest I will get to a courtroom is watching law and order marathons. I do kind of hope I'm called for jury duty some day. Yes, I know that makes me weird.
2. I didn't own my first car until the age of 25. I took public transportation all through college and when I moved to East Tennessee I found an apartment 2 blocks from the tv station. Having a car paymeny and insurance was not in the "fresh out of school getting paid crap" budget. To this day I wish I lived in a city where I didn't have to drive.
3. I used to have an extensive collection of fun socks.One particular English teacher in high school would make a point to comment on them daily. Now I hate socks. My least favorite household chore is sitting down to match socks up and put them away. Maybe I would like this chore more if I still had all those crazy socks?
4. I have really weird taste in music. The first concert I went to was The Bangles (hello child of the 80s) and Weird Al was their opening act. I've seen more country and blue grass concerts than any other genre. I have a personal connection to Billy Joel and still love him even though I'm weirded out by the fact that his latest wife is younger than me.
5. I have a soft spot for old people. Any senior with a story to tell will do, but I have a particular soft spot for veterans. Oh how I love a good war story. That could explain why I have watched the band of brothers series countless times and can't change the channel if I come upon a marathon. When my boys are older, I'd like to volunteer to be an escort for an Honor Flight. 

And now that we're better acquainted, why don't you share a random fact with me and then go see what the other girls are revealing!

(ps: I still have my thankful list going, just need to do a big catchup blog post!)

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

30 days of Thankful: For Gretchen and For Angie

November 5th: Blog world, meet Gretchen. Gretchen and I have a standing date on Monday nights. She started off as my Weight Watchers Leader and has become a great friend. We have celebrated successes together, we've talked through the struggles, and she's been there with a hug when I've needed one. There are weeks that our Monday night meeting is standing room only. That's all Gretchen. She was one of the first people to know that I was pregnant with Sam and kept my secret for weeks when I kept going to meetings because I was so afraid if I stopped going I would suddenly not be pregnant anymore. And when I finally did leave the meeting for the second half of my pregnancy, she sent me post cards and went out to dinner so I wouldn't have complete Gretchen withdrawal.

November 6th: Since it's Ventage Tuesday, it was only fitting that I pick a Ventage girl to be thankful for today. There are so many reasons I am thankful for Angie coming into my life. (Did you know that the first time we met in person it was for me to lend her martini glasses? Did you know she still has those martini classes 6 years later?) I think I am most thankful for the way Angie gives advice. I'll be honest, I'm sometimes not the best at taking advice. But some things you really just need to hear from someone who as been there. As it turns out, life has handed Angie and I some of the same crappy things over the years. I wouldn't wish miscarriage or sick babies or speech delays or even morning sickness on my worst enemy, but the fact that I have a friend who has been through those same hard times is such a blessing to me. I can only hope that I can give back some of what she has given to me in our friendship.

Ventage Tuesday: Hey Mr. DJ

This week, Barb challenged us to list 5 favorite songs. I immediately felt like I needed to narrow that theme down. There's no way I could possibly pick five FAVORITE songs of all time. It would be like picking favorite friends or family members and worrying that I'm leaving someone out.

So my own personal mini theme this week is 5 favorite songs on the radio right now:

1. It's Time by Imagine Dragons: This song just makes me happy. And car dance. And scare people just a little bit when I tap the beat on the steering wheel a little too forcefully. Favorite line "The path to heaven runs through miles of clouded hell"

2. The Fighter by Gym Class Heroes : this is my "who cares that you got zero sleep and you smell like spit up you can still be a badass" song. There goes a fighter, indeed!

3. I Won't Give Up by Jason Mraz: So I'm sure Mr. Mraz meant this to be a love song, but I have a habit of taking love songs and making them into songs about my kids. This one is for me and AJ. I mean, really, "And when you're needing your space,to do some navigating. I'll be here patiently waiting to see what you find." Yup. That's me and my boy.

4. Everybody Talks by Neon Trees: I haven't checked in with the other girls yet, but I'd imagine this made at least one other list. We're all having a bit of a love affair with this song of late. My favorite part is that the only lyrics AJ knows is "It started with a whisper" and he literally SHOUTS them from the back seat. Exact opposite of a whisper, friend.

5. T.H.E. (The Hardest Ever) by (with Mick Jagger and Jennifer Lopez): And the award for most ridiculous song on this list goes to... I call this my Office Space song because I have been known to jam out to this like the "Damn it feels good to be a Gansta" scene and then feel absolutely ridiculous. And in case you are wondering I totally make up alternate lyrics when the boys are in the car. :)

And see, even making my five favorites right this very second list still makes me feel guilty. There's no Lumineers on the list. And no Mumford and Sons. And what about the Phil Phillips song that I posted lyrics to last week. Don't make me pick!!

Be sure to check out the other girls for more songs to add to your own personal playlists!

Monday, November 5, 2012

Hello, Monday

hello, fall back hangover. I used to love this weekend. In fact, 8 years ago my wedding day had an extra hour in it thanks to the end of Daylight Saving Time. But alas, then I had kids. Little boys do not understand clocks, or falling back, or really anything that relates to good sleep habits. So very tired.

hello, retail madness. Forget Black Friday, the crazy shoppers are already out. They come for the clearance Halloween candy and leave with a cart full of stuff. They certainly kept me busy yesterday.

hello, election eve. SO glad I early voted. SO glad the ads will stop tomorrow night. SO hopeful we can all go back to life without a giant line in the sand and mean words on social media. I hate that the right to vote and choose our leader brings out hate in some people. I really believe at the heart of it all we all want the same thing. We just have different plans to get there. I'm thinking about running in 2016 since I'll be old enough by then. My platform, "Just be nice to each other. Take care of each other when you can. And when you can't, then leave each other alone."

hello, early morning phone calls. While I could do without being way at oh dark thirty, I do love that it allowed me some chat time with Barb this morning.

hello, red cups. If the scale has good news for me today, my reward is my first red cup of the season. How's that for incentive to make sure I pee before I weigh in? :)

hello, rug doctor. I still wouldn't call our carpet "clean" but renting that bad boy this weekend makes me feel better about hosting Thanksgiving. Builder grade carpet just doesn't hold up to the messes a young family makes. My apologies to a certain littler dude who will have to learn to crawl amid stains and worn fibers. Someday we will have hardwoods. That will be a good day.

What are you saying hello to this week?

Sunday, November 4, 2012

30 Days of Thankful: For Home and For Target

 November 3rd: When we closed on this house six years ago, most of the lots in the neighborhood were empty. Only one floor of the house was finished, but since we only needed 2 bedrooms at the time, we saw the potential. And we LOVED the lot. Six years later there are a handful of things I wish we could change, and I really wish we hadn't bought at the peak of the housing bubble, but man am I thankful we took the leap and made this house our home. I love our house. I love my handy husband and all the hard work he's put into finishing it the way we want. I love our neighbors and the built in posse of friends AJ and Sammy have. This place may not be perfect, but it's perfect for us!
November 4th: I was thankful for Target before I donned the red and khaki for the first time, but now that I'm an employee I love the bullseye for a variety of new reasons. This job has been good for me. Good to have adult conversations. Good to interact with the public. Good to see other children behaving badly in the store and remind myself that every parent faces the same challenges. Good to get positive feedback and be appreciated in a work environment. And the discount. Man I am thankful for the discount. (Ask me if I'm still thankful after Thanksgiving weekend. My first experience in retail during the holidays just might do me in!)

Friday, November 2, 2012

30 Days of Thankful: For School

I remember being so full of fear when I dropped the little dude off for his first day at "school" in April. It was the right decision for our family, with a new baby on the way and a high risk pregnancy meaning lots of doctors appointments. And it was right for AJ to get him around kids his age who weren't speech delayed. But with his food allergies there was such fear there, to let him out of my sight and trust that other people would take his allergies seriously and keep him safe. We chose this particular daycare because they had an RN on staff. It eased my mind... a little bit.

We were hopeful school would speed up his language development. And we were right. SO right. The child who held my hand walking through those doors almost 7 months ago had maybe 10 words and 20 signs. He didn't know about circle time. He wasn't a fan of getting his hands dirty for arts and crafts. He had neighborhood friends but no clue how to really play with them.

Today he is a social butterfly. He's the friendly kid who says hi to everyone. He calls everyone he sees "friend." He likes to show new kids how to do things. He transitioned to the older classroom better than I could have expected. He talks a ton. And his teachers have been amazing. They embrace the things that make him unique and work to help him learn how to control his crazy energy. We are so lucky to have him there 2 days a week in addition to his speech therapy program. It's made all the difference.

So today, as I spend my day with just Sam and a long to do list of things I can only get done when the toddler tornado isn't around, I'm thankful that we took that leap back in April and that we continue to be a part of the SS family.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

30 Days of Thankful: For Karl

Hold on, to me as we go
As we roll down this unfamiliar road
And although this wave is stringing us along
Just know you’re not alone
Cause I’m going to make this place your home

Settle down, it'll all be clear

Don't pay no mind to the demons
They fill you with fear
The trouble it might drag you down
If you get lost, you can always be found

Just know you’re not alone

Cause I’m going to make this place your home

I am not an easy person to live with.
I get crazy ideas. I'm impulsive.
On a good day you'd call me disorganized.
On a bad day, I'm a slob.
There are more bad days than good in that regard.
I'm kind of bossy.
And really emotional.
And sometimes I think things are funny, or sad, or ridiculous, and I will hold it against a person if they don't feel the same way. 
I'm also a little bit of a worrier.
Except there's no little bit about it. I'm a BIG worrier. And when it turns out I had valid reason to worry about something that makes my worrying even worse.

And still, he loves me. He indulges me. He talks me off the ledge. He makes me laugh.

8 years.
2 states.
3 homes.
2 years of infertility treatments.
4 pregnancies.
2 angels.
2 amazing little boys.
Thankful for him.