CJDaily's Blog

June 24, 2009

I’m never wasting money on the zoo again…

Filed under: Uncategorized — cjdaily @ 8:38 pm

Ok, day 3 of being a stay at home mom and I am going a little batty.  Not that I don’t love my daughter but we just don’t see eye to eye on what makes a fun day.  She would love to either watch The Wiggles/Tinkerbell until the cows come home OR go outside for hours on end and achieve world domination, starting with the neighborhood.  She plows through flower beds, takes toys from neighborhood children, and chases cats and squirrels like she is a hunter and they are tonight’s dinner.  I do not like going outside because I feel vaguely guiltyand a little ridiculous trying to maintain my tiny dictators behavior.  I mean, nobody else’s kid thinks they own everything their eye falls upon.  My kid has raging only-child-syndrome and I am not brave or crazy enough to try and remedy that. 

So, today I decided we would go to Barnes and Noble after her nap.  I like it there, it’s full of books, and she likes it there as long as she is not confined to a stroller, but free to run around and proclaim her independance.  I picked up a copy of The Very Hungry Caterpillar and Tales of Beetle the Bard while she roamed the childrens section, and then let her have free reign of the store for another 20 minutes.  We happily wandered, looking at magazines, cd’s, and mysteriously, a sandpail for sale, complete with shovel and rake.  (?)  But the store got boring after our fifteenth circle of it, and I relectantly paid for my books and left with her, wondering what we would do for the next hour before dinner. 

I didn’t want to go home, having spent the majority of the past 3 days there, but it was too muggy and overcast to risk the park.  I strapped her into her car seat and stood up, and my eyes fell on the perfect solution.  There in front of me, gleaming like a holy solution sent by the gods, was PetSmart!  I cackled wildly at my own genius and we set out through the welcoming sliding doors of PetSmart, perfect alternative to the zoo.

We spent over 40 minutes there, looking at all the cats, birds, ferrets, chinchillas, and fish we could feast our eyes on.  They even had tiny crabs, and brightly colored little toads.  Belle was in heaven, running from one case to another, pointing wide-eyed at the animals inside.  When a lady walked by with her adorable golden retriever she had brought in for grooming and let Annabelle pat the dog, who in turn gave her lots of snuffly kisses, I thought she’d die and go to heaven right then and there.  I felt almost guilty that she was having so much fun in a store where we weren’t buying anything.  Of course, I did pay in psychic pain when I had to pick her up and bodily haul her out the front doors, as she screamed in protest and reached out helplessly to any stranger who would come save her from this evil woman who was obviously abducting her.  I was half-certain they were going to call a Code Adam on me right then and there.  Lucky she looks just like me. 

It seems we will have to find something new and fun to do every day, as staying in the house starts to feel like a prison sentence, even though I love my house.  The sooner I find a job, of course, the sooner I will be out on a regular basis, but until then I will need to find new and exciting places to go so I don’t feel like I’m on house arrest with a very small and bossy warden.  I can only imagine the wonders and fun if we went to the mall…


June 23, 2009


Filed under: Uncategorized — cjdaily @ 10:38 pm

I devoted the past 2 weeks to re-reading the entire Harry Potter series, so I’d be all mentally caught up for seeing The Half Blood Prince next month.  I maybe should have stopped reading at book 6, since that’s the movie I’ll be seeing, but honestly, is it really possible not to want to forge ahead and get to the awesomeness of Hermione throwing herself at Ron’s face, and Harry and Voldy battling to the death?  I didn’t think so. 

In fact, funny side note, I was having a religious discussion with a friend and referred to the transformation of the communion crackers and wine as the “Transfiguration” instead of the “Transubstantiation.”  It was mildly hilarious, but only if you’re Catholic and/or a Potter-nerd. 

Only problem is, now I’m done and my life is devoid of meaning.  It’s always that way with a good book.  If it’s a truly spectacular book I cram my way through it like a fat kid in a pie eating contest, not stopping to savor anything, and next thing I know I’m done with nothing left to look forward to, and a strange and forlorn stomach-ache.  Ok maybe not the stomach-ache.  But  few months ago I re-read the Dark Tower series, by His Awesomeness, Stephen King, and had the same feeling after it was all done.  It was cathartic, like, “Yess, that felt good, I love re-living all those moments with my favorite characters… and now I’m done… and they’re all happily ever after… and I’m here with nothing to read now.  Shoot.” 

So I have a few Barnes and Noble gift cards that are burning a hole in my wallet, and my challenge to you, dear readers, is this… Name me a book that is so good you want to crawl into it and writhe around in its literary splendor.

What are your favorites?  What can I immerse myself in next?  I’m desperate people.

June 22, 2009

Why doesn’t being a stay-at-home-mom come with a paycheck when it’s the hardest job there is?

Filed under: Uncategorized — cjdaily @ 3:18 pm

Annnnnnnd… my unemployment has begun!  So far, I have two parents whose children go to the school I worked at head-hunting for me, bless them.  I’m looking online as well, and tweaking my resume daily, but not panicking yet.  Give me 3 weeks of this and I’ll panic.  But right now it’s cool to actually be home with Belle, even though The Wiggles are the background soundtrack to my life. 

Strangely, I also have an overwhelming urge to exercise.  I KNOW, RIGHT?  Me, exercise?  We’ve talked about this.   But after losing 5 pounds for Kate’s wedding, (and finding it again soon after) it really is eveident to me how different my body looks when I gain or lose a few pounds.  And since I hate pretty much every picture of me taken in the last 6 months, maybe that has spurred me to really start kicking my own butt.  I keep Belle on a pretty good schedule, and so now every day when she goes down for her nap, I’m going to take that time to work out.  More importantly–work out FACING THE MIRROR.  Oh yes.  Nothing like seeing myself jiggle around like a lost Teletubby to fire up that self discipline. 

I got to go shopping this weekend with Gabrielle while she was home.  I know, shopping right after quitting my job doesn’t make much sense, but I got a lot of gift cards from my class and so barely spent anything while buying “work clothes.”  Having spent the last 5 years in jeans and flip-flops, or head to toe velour while at work, I sadly reconciled myself to the fact that the professional world is calling and it won’t appreciate Juicy Couture like I do.  So I went to The Limited, which is having a huge sale (go if you can), and got a nice skirt, and 2 tops.  I have some nice pants I picked up here and there since having the baby, but I’m not brave enough to see if they fit yet.  With my weight yo-yoing the way it does, I never know if a pair of jeans that fit last week will fit today.  It seems I have to be more disciplined, and maybe lay off the Rosemary and Olive Oil Tricuits, food of the gods. 

Well, I hear my munchkin stirring… off to go chase her around the living room while ignoring the siren call of the Tricuits… wish me luck.

June 18, 2009

You light up my life…

Filed under: Uncategorized — cjdaily @ 7:40 pm

Dear Belle,

Tonight as I was putting you to bed I was having one of those emotional moments where I look at you and wonder if I’m doing everything right, if I’m being the best mom I can possibly be.  It’s so easy to be overcome by doubts, to worry if I’m reading you enough stories, singing you enough songs, encouraging and stimulating you as much as I should. 

I was tucking you in your crib, smooshing you down with the blanket the way you like and you were smiling up at me, wiggling your shoulders the way you do when you’re happy.  (You picked that up from me).  I said to you, looking down at your precious face, “Do you know how much I love you?”

And Belle, I swear it brings tears to my eyes still as I think about it, you took your binkie out of your mouth, looked straight up at me and said, “I know.”

I hope you always do.




Filed under: Uncategorized — cjdaily @ 5:37 pm

Coming home from work yesterday, I took notice of everything I was carrying in from the car:

My new purse, on my left shoulder, and so large it could contain a small nation.  It actually contained, among other things, various gifts from my students, a full water bottle, and a hardbound copy of The Order of the Phoenix, which is 600 pages and rather heavy.

My laptop, in its carrying case, was slung over the same shoulder.

In my left hand, the days mail.

On my right hip, a 26 pound toddler.

In my right hand, said toddlers lunchbox.

Slung precariously over right middle and index fingers, said toddlers shoes, which she refused to wear.

I took inventory of all this, and how I managed to mount the front steps and OPEN THE FRONT DOOR all while hauling what was easily 50-60 pounds at one time without even thinking about it, and I thought… I am awesome.

Lost in Translation…

Filed under: Uncategorized — cjdaily @ 9:48 am

On the phone last night with Jesse:

Me:  Hey, how was work?

Him:  It was…

Me:  Oh wait a sec, let me get my shirt on…

(2 full minutes pass)

Me: Ok, hi.

Him: Um, hi?

Me:  Sorry, what I should have said is, let me take my shirt off, take my bra off, put a different shirt on, take my hair down, get under the covers and turn the light off.

Him:  Riiiiiiiight…

He’s a very patient and lovely man who understands my compulsive OCD.  I NEVER could have continued that conversation if I wasn’t under the covers as usual…

June 13, 2009

And life is like a song…

Filed under: Uncategorized — cjdaily @ 8:17 pm

It’s funny, someone sent me a message recently saying my blog sounded cynical.  I was genuinely surprised, since, aside from hating on the Wiggles (Captain Feathersword in particular) most of my blogs are simply about my life from day to day, and things I find funny.

The blog I just wrote about the Jordin Sparks song, Battlefield, deserved, I think, the serious brow-beating it received, as it A. sucks, and B. is a giant rip-off of a famous (good) song.  But the funny thing was, as I was listening to it on my way home, after getting over the shock of it’s truly awful-ness, I was thinking how grateful I am that my life isn’t like that.  I remember so well being in awful relationships, one in particular, where it sucks but you think you’re happy, you think life won’t get better than what you have.  You start to think it’s YOUR fault that the other person doesn’t treat you with respect, and never consider that you deserve so much more. 

While listening to that song I was so grateful that the love I have is genuine, respectful, fun, and most of all, drama-free.  Jesse never once played games with me, never came on hot and cold, didn’t commit too soon, but didn’t leave me hanging.  He made sure we took the perfect amount of time to decide if this was as serious as we thought we were, and when I told him I had certain boundaries I needed to keep, he never once tried to push them. 

He took Annabelle in stride right along with me, and saw us from the beginning as a shared package.  He never, ever said, “Why don’t you leave her home so we can have time together?”  He never resented her presence but took for granted that my life was intertwined with hers.  In fact he was the one saying, “Bring her along!” the times I suggested a babysitter on our days together.  Somone who’s never been a parent cannot imagine the amount of stress a child puts on your life, in big and little ways, but he has embraced it with a selflessness I never dared anticipate.  He has been my rock in every way possible, even during the times I was reluctant to lean on him, sure he would run once he saw the real side of parenting.  But he has never faltered, always been honest with me, and always treated me with the most scrupulous respect a girl could ever possibly hope for. 

He is the guy who will change a poopy diaper just because he smelled it and not because he was asked.  He will get up in the middle of the night to check on Belle without even considering getting me up to do it.  He will wipe her runny nose, make her laugh when she’s grumpy, and patiently wait out her worst tantrums.  He always says, “Sit down, I’ll do it, you do it all week.”  He is the guy who puts me first.  He is the guy who gives my daughter unconditional love, because he loves me.  He loves us both.  He GETS me–there is no facade, no pretense, never a need to be anything other than myself. 

I never never been happier.  I have never been this content.  I used to think that drama meant passion, that arguments and tears were inescapable, and to an extent, they can be.  But no one who loves you will willingly make you cry, or let you hurt.  Jesse is everything I ever needed, without ever knowing it.  I am so blessed to know him.  I am so blessed to know his love.

June 11, 2009

Words and lyrics…

Filed under: Uncategorized — cjdaily @ 5:17 pm

I had a lot of things to talk about but it’s all been turned to liquid sloshing around in my brain thanks to the insipid drivel the Wiggles are singing about right now…

“Walking along, Singing a song, Ring-a-ring-rong, Bing-a-bing-bong…”  REALLY?  YOU RAN OUT OF RHYMES THAT FAST?!

While I AM impressed that they made “bong” rhyme with the other words, the fact that they arbitrarily switched over to nonsense crap after only 5 decipherable words makes me think they should have their songwriters liscence taken away.  I mean, I could write the kind of crap they spew out.  And while I don’t hold anything against the four Wiggles themselves, (those poor Australians have to make a living somehow) I think Captain Feathersword should be drawn and quartered.  I have never encountered, whether in real life or on tv, a more intensely, blatantly, obnoxiously annoying character. 

ANYWAY… (whew, deep breath) enough about that.  I heard a song on the radio on the way home, and I was so flabbergasted when I heard the chorus that I actually sat there at the stop sign, not going on, though my way was clear.  With one ear cocked in the air like Lassie sensing danger at the old mill, I sat dumbfounded as this song, which I assume is a new release, blatantly called love a BATTLEFIELD.  Um, really?  Love being compared to a battlefield?  So, what you’re saying is, LOVE is a BATTLEFIELD?!  Gosh.  I’ve never heard it put that way before.  Except… oh wait, let me think… this little-known song in the 80’s may have phrased it similarily…

I sat there in a total stupor, wondering if it was a really bad cover of the Benetar song, or if it was at least being sung with a sense of irony, but no.  NO.  I actually heard the lyrics:

“I don’t want love to feel like a battlefield, a battlefield, a battlefield, Why does love always feel like a battlefield, a battlefield, a battlefield?”  (And the next line, I’m not even making this up…)  “Better get your armor on.”

ARMOR!  Love is a battlefield, full of booming cannons and musketfire, if you have a Civil War kind of love, or perhaps a rougher Braveheart kind of love full of guys in skirts swinging broadswords at your head and dousing you in pitch and setting you on fire!  LOVE IS A BATTLEFIELD.  My dear sweet baby Jesus, what were this girls producers THINKING?  Surely not, “Hey let’s rip off one of the most widely recognized songs of all time, using the key metaphor as our chorus like we thought it up all by ourselves, and then make it laughable and crappy!” 

Not only that, but both songs talk about being tied up… Pat says she’s “Trapped by your love and chained to your side,” and Jordin Sparks (who is the singer behind this new atrocity) claims “Both hands tied behind my back with nothing.”  With nothing?  A rip-off, and yet doesn’t even make sense. 

Now, frankly, if I were in a relationship that resembled a battlefield, I’d run the hell in the other way, dodging bullets right out the front door.  But if you listen to Jordin Sparks, she advises you that when your man picks up that mace and aims for your cerebellum, you put on some armor and ENGAGE IN COMBAT!  Grab your kilt and GOUGE HIS EYES OUT!  Man left the damn seat up again?  GRAB YOUR CROSSBOW!

Of course, this is from the same girl whose last song claimed she couldn’t breathe, because there was no air.  NO AIR, AIR.  NO AIR, AIR.  Obviously, she’s got a lot of problems, what with the no breathing and the domestic violence.  We shouldn’t be too hard on her.  She probably doesn’t write those songs herself. 

In fact, there’s probably a troll under a bridge somewhere taking phone calls from harassed agents; “Hey, Lenny, Jordin needs a new song, maybe one about her constipation?  We’re sticking with the whole suffering theme.  Oh, and while you’re at it, The Wiggles need a new hit…”

June 10, 2009

Dear Belle,

Filed under: Uncategorized — cjdaily @ 4:47 pm

Today I had the pleasure of wresting an alligator out of its pajamas and into its school clothes.  The whole time I was doing this, the alligator was shrieking at top volume, thrashing in full circles, and BITING ITS OWN ARM because it was so angry at life and the  injustice of having to wake up.  And then I carried this screaming, thrashing alligator downstairs, trying to cover its head with my palm so it wouldn’t brain itself against a wall in its fury.  And then I spent five whole minutes trying to put shoes on its flailing alligator feet.  And not once did I raise my voice or yell because Mommy is a PATIENT and WONDERFUL woman who deserves praise and a stiff drink for not SELLING THIS ALLIGATOR ON EBAY.  I’m sure you agree.  YOU would never pull a stunt like that, would you kiddo? 

Didn’t think so.


Mommy (as you’ve just started calling me this last week.  No more “mama” for you, big girl.)

June 8, 2009

To have and to hold…

Filed under: Uncategorized — cjdaily @ 8:12 am

First of all, I would just like to give a big shout-out to my best friend Katelyn (formerly Finnegan) Piotrowicz for being the hottest bride I’ve ever seen and for THROWING ME THE BOUQUET!  That sucker sailed high in the air and landed straight in my upstretched hands, like the wedding fairies had declared it should be so.  I didn’t even have to lunge.  Now, the night before (when we had our bride and maids sleepover) I may have laughingly made one or two veiled comments about stabbing anyone who tried to catch it, but I didn’t actually think it would gently land in my palms like a little gift from heaven.  I didn’t even have to wield any cutlery! 

All in all it was a wonderful weekend, despite the fact that I was awake for 23 hours the day of the wedding.  Yes, I woke up at 5:30am after dreaming about the wedding all night, and was too excited to go back to sleep, so I had some coffee with the equally amped up mother-of-the-bride while we waited for everyone else to awaken.  Fast forward to 4:30am and I finally passed out at the hotel.  I’m not sure if all the alcohol consumed helped or hindered my condition that day, but we bridesmaids started indulging in mimosas at 8:30 am whilst at the hair salon and didn’t really stop until, well, much later that night.  Sheer excitement and adrenaline kept me clear-headed. 

Being a part of a bridal party for the first time was truly exciting for me.  There’s nothing like being able to see all the background things going on beforehand, and being able to lend support to the bride that makes it an experience like none other.  Watching Kate in her gown and veils reading a letter from Mark that he’d specially written for her to have that morning brought tears to my eyes.  Being a witness to love like that is so heartwarming, so special.  I was truly moved the whole day.  Seeing Mark’s smile as she walked down the aisle; seeing her parents tears of happiness; watching Kate and Mark have their first dance… it was all amazing.

Oh yes, by the way, I did say VEILS.  Not veil.  Not our girl.  Kate insisted on having the cathedral length veil trailing behing her as well as using a fingertip length veil for the blusher.  Every memory I have of that day is swathed in yards of tulle.  Every time she tried to leave a room someone would scream “STOP!” and run to unravel her veil from whatever it was trying to wrap itself around.  We kept waiting for it to grab onto someone and not let go, anaconda-style, and for Kate’s head to susequently snap back as she was laid out on the floor by her TEN-FOOT VEIL.  Fortunately this never happened, and somehow nobody was hurt or maimed in the wearing of this veil.  I thought she was crazy for choosing this miles-long accessory, but after seeing some of the photos of it trailing behind her, fairy tale style, I’m starting to think she knew what she was doing.  Do I see a “something borrowed” in my future? 

Hah!  The instant I start getting ahead of myself like that, Jesse will run off with some blond surfer-girl with no stretch marks, who has never taken off her bra at night to find cheerios mysteriously hidden inside.  But I did wave the bouquet in his face at the reception and he didn’t pass out, or scream, or run off with our dear friend William Michael Peters, with whom he WAS dancing rather enthusiastically that night.  So I will just save those little yellow roses and consider them my good luck charm… because if I find myself as lucky as Kate and Mark, pledging their love forever in front of all their friends and family, I will consider myself fortunate indeed.

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