Tootin’ My Own Horn Tuesday: The Mediocre Return

I have this thing I like to do. It involved me looking back through my old posts from the same date or month either a year or two ago. I was doing that the other day and came across this post. I have to admit, it made me feel pretty good, not just because I was speaking positively about myself, but because it reminded me that last time Mi.Vida was out of town for SXSW, it was a total cluster fuck, and in comparison this week with him away was truly a walk in the park (nothing like a little perspective to cheer a girl up, huh).

So anyway, after yesterday’s self flagellation, I thought I’d bring back my favorite Paint-By-Weekday theme and talk some shit sparkly-sticker-sayings about myself. Because even when things aren’t all unicorn farts and fairy queefs, I do manage to pull a few things off. So here we go, in no particular order, some stuff I’ve done recently that doesn’t suck kicks ass!

– I made it 5 days solo parenting. During that time the house didn’t burn down, the back down was locked most of the time (I think), the cat got fed twice a day (not that she’d let me forget that) and her box was even cleared of fecal matter and urine clumps a couple of times. Plus, I only ate popcorn for dinner once. And even though my daughter started dropping f-bombs all over the place, she also, eventually, stopped. FUCK YEAH!

– Speaking of shit my daughter can say, she has about 25+ Spanish words now and understands everything I say to her in Spanish. Her favorite Spanish word (actually, her favorite word period) is “más” (more). Oh and she also says “pease” when she asks for things, which is both polite and ridonkulously cute.

– While the house may not be clean (per se) it also wouldn’t qualify me for an appearance on Hoarders so that is something.

– I survived a week without my bestie being in the country (while my man was simultaneously out of town) and I only spent a good portion some of that time rambling incoherently to myself.

– I met up with a mom who also aspires to be a writer/illustrator. We managed what resembled an adult conversation while our kids played and we’re planning on meeting again. I also didn’t let myself feel too jealous that she has three days a week, while her kid is in childcare, to devote to writing/illustrating.

– I finally watched Before Sunrise, though I must admit I think I was ten years too late on that one. I just didn’t like it that much. (Did anyone else realize it’s just two people walking around Vienna talking?)

– I took Isa to a high school friend’s daughter’s first birthday, where all my old high school friends/acquaintances said I look FABULOUS (their capital letters, not mine). That felt pretty fucking good.

– I started putting Isa in her crib for a minute when she purposefully hits/scratches me and have been consistent about enforcing that consequence. I also bit my tongue when my ILs said they wouldn’t be doing that at their house because they didn’t think it was appropriate.

– I got my feature piece to the magazine on time. I also think it’s pretty good (I intend to post it here later this week). Oh and my editor already read it and think it’s AWESOME (my capital letters, not hers).

– I’ve been straight ROCKING the March Photo Challenge and enjoying it immensely. I plan on creating my own self-imposed photo challenge next month just to keep putting up a picture every day because I absolutely adore it

– I may have finally thought of an idea for a young adult novel. It’s still in the very early stages of idea-dom but I really like it so far. I have no idea if I could pull something like this off but if I could do it, and do it well, it would be aMAZing.

– I finally got around to doing the dishes today. Sure the dishwasher is actually doing the bulk of the dishes but I put them in the dishwasher. It couldn’t do them without my help. So yeah. I did some dishes/facilitated the dishes being done.

– What else… oh, in the second paragraph of this post I spelled “flagellation” well enough for the spell check to know what I was intending to say. (Though spell check deserves more credit for that one than I do, still I’ll take what I can get.)

– Oh, and my daughter says, “Love loo Mami” (alternatively “Love woo Mami”) to me now, which isn’t something for me to be proud of but does makes me melt into a puddle of goo every time she does it. Truly, it’s indescribably wonderful. (And actually, the first time she said it I burst into deep, wracking sobs–while buckling Isa into her car seat. Poor thing was terrified.)

You know what, writing this post actually did make me feel better about myself. Huh, who woulda thunk?

What are you tootin’ your own horn about today?

Tootin’ My Own Horn Tuesday: The New Order

I know I promised you a Tootin’ My Own Horn Tuesday and I guess I’m giving you one, even though (most) all of you will see it on Wednesday.

I’m getting this post up late because I’ve re-prioritized my life and blogging is now taking a back seat to other things like family and organization and sleep. It’s definitely a new order for me but I expect it will provide me with the balance I’ve been seeking.

But I digress.

Back to congratulating myself for my accomplishments.

This week I’m tootin’ my own horn because I created a child-safe play room for Isa. Her playroom doubles as the office and before all the office furniture was interspersed with the playroom furniture. This meant that, left to her own devices, Isa might end up under the desk next to the power strip. Not a great place for a curious baby.

Last week I pushed all the office furniture to one side of the room and all the playroom pieces to the other. Then I put up a gate in between them, separating the office side from the playroom side. Of course 2/3s of the furniture is now on one half of the room but that’s okay; we can still use the desks and get to the book shelf (hypothetically). The best part is that now Isa has one side of the room all to herself – and it’s free of cords and electrical outlets and anything else she shouldn’t be playing with. The little closet is still open (it doesn’t have a door) but I’ve stacked stuff in front of it and for now it keeps her out. I bought a cheapie door gate but of course none of the door frames in my house are straight enough to use it so I guess I’ll give it to my in-laws for when Isa’s with them next year. I don’t know what I’ll do to “shut” that closet up but I’ll figure it out eventually (any tips would be greatly appreciated).

Anyway, here is new playroom in all it’s glory.

I can’t tell you how awesome it is to have this space for Isa to play. My daughter can entertain herself alone with her toys for an absurdly long time. Now that I know she’s safe in there I can get things done around the house while checking in on her every now and again. It’s great.

The rest of our house will be considerably harder to baby proof but right now at least we have one spot where Isa can play safely.

I’m heading out of town tomorrow morning and am not sure how frequently I’ll be able to post. I do play on catching up on my reader and commenting when I can, though that might be from my iPhone and god knows I’m crap at typing on that thing. Autocorrect is such a blessing and a curse.

Hopefully you’ll be hearing from me again soon!

Tootin’ My Own Horn Tuesdays: Warrior

Mondays are “me” days in that Mi.Vida has a meeting and I’m left to fend for myself. It’s actually nice to have time to myself and I usually plan to get some laundry and blogging done. That was my original plan for last night but for some reason, when I got home, I decided on a new, decidedly more action-packed plan.

It started with Isa and I braving Safeway despite a severe case of fussiness. Let’s just say that the patrons of Safeway got to choose between a fussy girl with her chime toy and a fussy girl without her chime toy. Neither was pleasant.

After I got Isa to bed and put one of two loads into the wash I started prepping for what would be the baby food cook off of 2011. Last night I single handedly made Isa lentils (with carrots, celery, onions, and sweet potato), a “eat your greens” mix (with spinach, brocolli, peas, onions and sweet potatoes) and a carrots/peas/broccoli mix.

Of course my blender crapped out on me half way through the first batch. I had to pull out my sister’s Magic Bullet and finish the rest in tiny amounts, mixing them together in a big bowl. Another snag presented itself when I realized that I didn’t have enough ice-cube trays to store all the food I’d made. The carrots/peas/broccoli mix is still in my fridge, waiting to be frozen this afternoon.

When Mi.Vida came home at 11:30pm from drinks with a friend I was just finishing the third set of dishes I had done. All told I spent 4 hours in my kitchen prepping, cooking and cleaning. I didn’t get around to folding the first load of laundry but I managed to wash and hang the diaper covers. All in all I was, to quote Mi.Vida, “a warrior.”

Of course today I feel like poo on a shoe. And looking back I realize I overextended myself last night; a valuable lesson was learned to be sure.

Oh and a shit ton of baby food was made.


Tootin’ My Own Horn Tuesday: Blogger FAIL! (and Pass)

Haha! I posted a Wordless Wednesday post today! Hilarious! I’ve since reposted it as the Wordless Wednesday: The Tuesday Edition. I’ll have to put another Wordless Wednesday tomorrow. I guess you’re all double lucky with twice the Isa shots! I love that I’m writing about this mega mix-up on my Tootin’ My Own Horn post. What a blogger FAIL. I’m seriously cracking up right now.

Today I’m tootin’ my own horn because while there is big fat FAIL on this blog today, my other blog is happily passing. That’s right, I’m actually putting my new blog together, slowly but surely. Each day this week I’m creating what will be a new page for my new space. By the time I launch my blog on Friday I will have the who, what, when, where and why of my blog already published. Yay me!

In fact, you can look forward to the “when” later today.

This is a big accomplishment for me. I’m writing with a new voice and each piece takes longer than I would have expected. I’m sure I’ll eventually get used to it and the words will flow easily. Until then I’m spending a lot of time trying to make things just right and it’s truly a labor of love. I hope you’re enjoying the final result as much as I am.

Which brings me to an essential part of this post, the one where I toot all of your horns and thank you for all your positive feed back. I can’t tell you how much it means to me. It’s scary branching out into new territory with a difficult challenge and a distinctive writing style. I feel like I’m dangling in cyberspace with my drawers down. But instead of laughing at me, you wonderful women are telling me what nice panties I have on. I can’t thank you enough for that. It makes feel just a smidgen less exposed and a lot more supported.

thank you!

Tootin’ My Own Horn Tuesdays: Surviving Mommy-dom (without a man)

If you’re hear from ICLW, you might want to check out Monday’s post. You can click here or just scroll down.

And now back to our regularly scheduled program of me explaining how and why I rock sooooo incredibly hard.

Last week my man was out of town (Did I mention he was at a music festival with his friends? Because he was). I was home alone with Isa for five nights. I also came down with a brutal cold and Isa came down with a bad case of teeth-cutting. For me this involved a horrible sore throat, concrete-like sinuses and a hacking cough. For Isa this involved increased fussiness, random projectile vomiting, a horrible diaper rash and frequent poopsplosions. It was a rough, rough week. I couldn’t take any sick days because I used them all up during my family medical leave and Mi.Vida’s parents were in Mexico leaving me without back up. Thank goodness for my SIL who came every day at 6:30am on the dot and took amazing care (as always) of Isa for up to 10 hours a day.

During this (hell) week I got a ton of laundry done, washed the cloth diapers, made dinner for a friend and offered her a shoulder to cry on (as I was getting the hellacious sore throat), cooked dinner twice, made homemade baby food, kept our bedroom clean, fed the cat and changed her box and gave Isa a bath (three times in one day).

Luckily I was able to retreat to my parents’ house on Saturday for reinforcements. Thank god for family.

Mi.Vida came home Sunday but he’s had shit to do last night and again tonight. So I’ve been (and am) parenting solo again. In the past 9 nights I’ve had help a total of ONE time. No wonder I took advantage of that to get the hell out of dodge and visit my friends and their brand new baby (with a face mask on, don’t worry, I’m not infecting new borns with my horrible virus).

And that is why I rock mommy-dom today, because I can do it all by my lonesome. Something I know my guy couldn’t say. While I always knew I didn’t want to be a single mom, I also knew I would have made that choice if I didn’t find the right guy. I can honestly say now that I would have had NO IDEA what I was getting myself into. I’m sure I still don’t. A week solo does not a single mother make. I have a new found respect for all single moms. Being a single mother has got to be the world’s hardest job and I applaud any woman who’s doing it. My hat is off to you; you are a stronger person than I.

But for one week I did it. And I’m pretty darn proud of that.

Tootin’ My Own Horn Tuesday: Around the House

So, we had one of those low-key weekends where we didn’t do much of anything during the days. Isa never left the house all weekend, which meant one of us was always around (except when the grandparents babysat and we went out on a DATE)! It was actually really nice. Especially since I got some stuff done around the house.

Today I’m tootin’ my own horn because my bedroom looks like this!

Those floors have not seen the light of day in many, many months. (If you don’t remember how bad it has looked in the past, you can remind yourself here and here.) This weekend they were not only bathed in sunlight, but also in the mediocre cleaning power of a Swiffer mop pad. It was glorious. And surprisingly, it still is. Although some small piles are erecting themselves around the edges of that pristine floor space it has mostly survived Monday unscathed.

I also swept and swiffered the hallway AND THE KITCHEN! Oh yeah baby! I was rocking the Swiffer mop pad this weekend. My whole house wreaked of Febreeze. It was literally sickening.

Then, as if I hadn’t already done enough, I cleaned my shower at 6am on Monday morning, before work! I used a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser because there were some tough spots I needed to scour. Also, the Magic Eraser is much quieter than the brush I normal use and I was trying not to wake Isa (her room shares a wall with the bathroom). So my shower is also squeaky clean, if not covered in a thin layer of industrial-grade chemicals! Whoo hoo!

And that is why I am a rocking mama this week!

(And why looooow standards of cleanliness can be a good thing!)

Have you recently gotten anything done around the house that your proud of?

Tootin’ My Own Horn Tuesdays: International Women’s Day

Kate from Bee in the Bonnet left me a great comment the other day exclaiming what a KICK ASS mom she is (I totally agree by the way) and how it sucks that as women we don’t extol our virtues with the frequency that we criticize our shortcomings. Since then I’ve been mulling over the idea of a new Paint by Weekdays, Tootin’ My Own Horn Tuesdays, where I will talk about how I’m a kick ass, take-no-prisoners mom.

Now I quickly realized that me tooting my own horn might come off as arrogant, or worse, a jab at someone else. If I say, I rock because my daughter ate homemade food twice today, is that knocking women who fed their babies jarred food? If I’m proud that I just did another (my thousandth) load of cloth diapers am I condemning people who use disposables? Maybe they would feel that way, but I can assure you that is not my intention.

I hope you take these posts for what they are, just an attempt to celebrate what I, and all mamas, do well. We’re so good at lambasting ourselves for our faults, we also need to applaud our achievements even if they may initially seem insignificant.

It seems fitting to start Tootin’ My Own Horn Tuesdays on International Women’s Day. Women all over the world are under appreciated for their contributions to society. Some are punished or killed for simply being female. Women do 66% of the world’s work, earn 10% of the world’s income and own 1% of the world’s property (can I site Twitter for those numbers? Because that is where I got them). Those statistics speak for themselves. As a race, we need to exalt women for what they do. We hold this planet together in so many ways. We deserve to feel good about ourselves.

Today’s Tootin’ My Own Horn Tuesdays is about cloth diapering. Lately I’ve been really down on cloth diapering. It’s an incredible amount of time and effort but I feel it’s important for my daughter and for my family. So every day I spray off the number two diapers into the toilet. I separate the contaminated-by-creams cloth wipies and liners from the uncontaminated ones. I put the shells into the wet bag and the cloth inserts into the bucket. And then every three or four days I drag the inserts downstairs and soak them in cold water and agitated them by hand because it costs $2 to run a prewash. And then I rinse them twice (also by hand with the bucket) before throwing them, sopping wet, into the washing machine. Finally they get transfered to the dryer for 80 minutes on high before I sort them all out and put them away. Another day I might do the liners and wipies that have been contaminated by creams (they can’t go in with the inserts) and another day I do just the shells (because they can only go in on warm and need to be washed separately). All in all its four loads of laundry a week, along with all the other loads I do. But every time I throw away a bag of the disposables we use at night, I’m reminded why I do all of that. I’m proud that we don’t throw hundreds of disposables away and I hope we can continue using cloth until my daughter is potty trained. I think using cloth diapers makes me an awesome mom.

What makes you an awesome mom? An awesome wife? An awesome woman?