i am, i think, i know…

i am: watching Curious George with the boys for the 876th time. At least.
i think: way too much about way too many things, probably like all mothers.
i know: that I am blessed with the good fortune I’ve had in life.
i want: a big house with a big family, lots of laughter and memories.
i have: a pretty amazing, insanely clever son and husband.
i wish: I could get up and go traveling every time I got an itch of wanderlust.
i hate: hatred, war, famine, ignorance, crime, suffering of the world.
i miss: bits and pieces of my life before motherhood.
i fear: being buried alive, now thanks to the TV show Bones
i feel: a little sick to my stomach and I’m trying hard not to jump to conclusions.
i hear: George and the Man With the Yellow Hat playing peekaboo…
i smell: nothing in particular thanks to seasonal allergies.
i crave: chocolate. [mmm, I second that, but then, when is that not true?]
i search: online for the greatest family vacation under the sun…
i wonder: what my son will be like when he is older, how many children will we have, where will we go from here? What awaits us in the future, even fifteen minutes in the future is a mystery some days…
i regret: dating as much as I did – only because I can’t help think how much of that energy could have gone towards my education instead. I may never get to go back to school and sometimes none of the dating I did seems worthwhile looking back now. I miss school though, the classes and projects. I eagerly await helping MLM with his own homework someday…
i love: filling out surveys so I can blabber on about myself even more than usual.
i ache: everywhere, all the time most days – I’ve always had kind of a bad back and it’s only getting worse with age unfortunately…
i care: too much about what others think of me. Am I funny enough? Pretty enough? Smart enough? GOOD enough? Do they really like me? Will they be gone tomorrow?
i always: dwell in the future or the past – I have a hard time living in the moment.
i am not: perfect – I don’t say the right thing, I lack in basic social graces, I wipe my hands on my clothes instead of a napkin, I feel awkward all the time.
i believe: that in spite of that, I’m a good person with a lot to offer to the world.
i dance: around the living room with my son to make him laugh.
i sing: Veggie Tales Silly Songs all the time, even when they aren’t playing (which isn’t often these days…)
i don’t always: eat breakfast in the morning, even when I know I should.
i fight: with my husband and always feel insanely guilty afterward. We are still at that stage where no fight can go unresolved by the end of the night. It’s nice.
i write: because I couldn’t possibly not write.
i win: a lot when I play games with my friends, but..
i lose: frequently when I play those games with my husband.
i never: got to do a lot of childhood things like going on a picnic, flying a kite, girl scouts or summer camp.
i confuse: my husband all the freaking time.
i listen: to my son all day…
i can usually be found: flitting between the living room, kitchen and my son’s room.
i am scared: of abandonment and death.
i need: books to stay sane.
i am happy about: how things have turned out so far…

Flickr Friday: Basking

I’ve had 29 views today and I haven’t even posted yet. This Real Life meme thing has really taken my blog by storm and I cannot wait until next week to do it again. Not only was it fun, it was the most action my blog has gotten since it was born (or created or typed into?).Now I’m all sweaty with the afterglow of blog action. Okay I’m not sweating at all, but you get the idea.

I’m feeling like now that all you wonderful people are here I may need to up my ante and write something scintillating, but that’s not really my style. I’m just going to bask in the glory of all these hits for a few hours and let you bask in the glory of me basking in the glory of one of the prettiest days we had last weekend, chillaxing at the park with husband, son and son’s friend. So here is your flickr photo friday, another picture of me – this is like the most of me personally you’ve ever seen, huh? My ego must be exploding:


basking, originally uploaded by jennifereggleston.

It's Real Life: Curb Appeal

It’s Real Life – I’ve been wanting to do this fun blogging photo meme since I read about it here. Brace yourself people, you are about to see my sad sorry existence in all its real life glory with fun pictures of my home, desk, jewelry and oh god, yes even me. So here it is:

Curb Appeal: We live in a cute little apartment complex in Central Massachusetts that certainly isn’t the prettiest place on the block but it holds a special place in my heart nonetheless. This is the first piece of property that has been mine even if we are renting it and thus don’t actually own it. Since graduating from college I flitted about living with my folks, then my in-laws and then back with my folks. So this apartment was a pretty big deal for my husband and I, because we finally had our own turf, a hiding place from the world (or at least our parents) and I think that’s pretty important.

So here’s our “curb.” I love the red brick with little shingle cut outs for each building. The first apartment I remember living in with my father was a lot like this so instinctively I was probably drawn towards this little beauty. It was raining when I took this photo so I kind of ran out, clicked, and ran back in. Pretty good picture considering, huh?

the land i call home

all my junk

Next picture taken was supposed to be of my junk drawer. But I don’t really have a specific drawer for that kind of thing – I kind of have a junk apartment you could say. So I looked around for the most blatant display of junk with no obvious organization going on and came up with this:

It’s one of those carousel storage bins, located on my desk, and I tend to throw anything in there that needs to be taken away from my son, or shoved somewhere until I get around to throwing it out – it’s the home for things with no home, unless you count my bedroom which you couldn’t pay me to photograph except maybe for a thousand dollars or so. Hey, I’m not stupid.

So here you can see the cute little roll up keyboard we bought for $10, then found it was worth less than that, the box my hamster’s newest chew toy came in (big orange thing), a book my son demolished before I could take the poor thing away from him, and yeah a whole bunch of junk. Neat, huh? You aren’t even the least bit bored by this meme, I can tell. Moving on…

My absolute favorite jewelry. I’m a married woman, so you can probably guess that my favorite jewelry will be my wedding ring / engagement ring which I consider one entity despite being two rings. I don’t wear a lot of jewelry unless my watch counts, but I really do love my wedding rings. They are stunning and simple and perfect for me and I was so proud of my husband for picking out the engagement ring all on his lonesome. It’s a real beaut – it’s also apparently impossible to photograph with anything less than an amazing camera, but luckily my husband took one look at the sorry example I put online and demanded to take a better picture for me with his Nikon D40 (stop drooling on my blog, I know it’s an awesome camera), soooo… here you go ladies – feast your eyes on my beauty of a ring:

much better ring pic

From whence I blog: I’ve been using this desk on and off since high school when my father bought it for me (actually most of my furniture seems to have come from my father, one way or another…). Anyway, yeah my desk is nothing special and kind of a mess but join with me in oohing and ahhing over the pretty that is my iMac:

my mess of a desk

Notice how I cleverly put my blog in the picture on my desktop… Sneaky self promotion… ooohhhhh….

My best feature:

Boy I gotta tell you, I’m stuck on this one – it’s not that I have supremely bad self esteem – I mean I certainly don’t posses the world’s greatest self esteem, but I know I’m not a complete dog. My husband seems to think the world of me that’s for sure. Have a look for yourself:

the glory that is meMy real problem I guess is that I can’t see any one feature of myself and think “Oh yes, that’s a pretty nose or ear or elbow” – I can’t really do that for most people because I really prefer the whole package I guess you could say. I suppose I just take the question too literally and get all weirdly morbid and see “body parts” as being bits of flab and gunk… But, so here’s what I do like: My looks fit with my entire being and I dig that. I also don’t think I photograph well at all. Can we call personality traits a feature? Because I like my sense of humor, intelligence, motherly tendencies and cooking skills a great deal, and don’t find anything morbid or gunky about it. I also have great taste in husbands and children and friends. I’m pretty awesome if I do say so myself (and I do).

Okay I hear you hounding me – pick a feature damn it – you must like something of yourself. So I guess I’ll just have to cop out and say my eyes, which you can’t see because they are hidden behind my stellar red frames. Sucks to be you.

So yeah this was quite a bit of fun. I especially liked playing with my webcam at the end, for my best feature pic. You should see some of the other pictures I took, they are hilarious. Okay, okay, don’t beg, I’ll show you a few – geez, all you had to do was ask!

The Sweet Far Thing: A Midway Review

Right now I’m reading The Sweet Far Thing by Libba Bray – it’s the latest (and I believe last) book in the Gemma Doyle series (trilogy?). Yet another young adult series that has captivated me, Bray creates a world of magic and petticoats. Taking place in the 19th century, achingly close to the 20th century, the books focus on the ideas of women’s rights (or lack thereof). The girls are all destined for whatever life their families have chosen for them (or been forced to succumb to) but each ache for something more, or at the very least an opportunity to choose for themselves.

Girls reading the books will see how much opportunities they are given these days but at the same time may notice how little some things have change – how far we’ve come as a society, and how little we’ve progressed at the same time. Magic and romance add a lovely spark to this historic novel which takes place in London for the most part, though the series began in India for a few chapters and has a constant Indian presence throughout the series. It is exotic and traditional all in one moment, exhilarating and stifling – much like adolescence.

Perhaps these books are even better to read at my age or older, fresh out of adolescence with a clearer mind of the girls’ mistakes – I am not the young hot headed teenager I once was and can see with great perspective when they are being silly, but I’m young enough to rally around them anyway (or perhaps simply human enough). Add to that a fresh dose of mommy issues, something I always enjoy (Grey’s Anatomy, Bones, Alias) – I do adore any story where family ties are not traditional and simple.

Anyhow, I just started Act III of the book and yet I’m not even halfway through. I’m loving every minute and squealing my way through with delight and I suppose since I haven’t finished the book that’s pretty much all I have to say on the subject thus far.

Other books of a similar genre that I’d recommend are: The Blue Bloods series by Melissa de la Cruz; the Twilight saga by Stephenie Meyer; The Luxe by Anna Godbersen; Tricksters Choice by Tamora Pierce and her other books as well.

Anyone else know of some other good ones?

Top 10 Things To Do This Summer

Just a little list of the top 10 things I want to do this summer with MLM or would like to do given the time, money and / or energy:

01. Picnic at the park – complete with cute picnic basket, kite flying and a yummy dessert. I have actually never been on a picnic so this would be a real treat.

02. Hit the beach! – The sweet smell of sunscreen and sand in your shoes, waves crashing against the shore in a non-violent totally safe way. Building sandcastles and eating sand covered peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.

03. Read a book under a tree – wearing some terribly cute peasant girl dress while the kids amuse themselves with that kite or a ball game.

04. Make my own ice cream – We tried the whole ice cream maker thing a few months ago but the machine we got was defective and we ended up returning it and never found the momentum again to try another one. Someday, someday… In a bag, in a ball, in a bowl

05. Go camping –  in the backyard I don’t have or a state park, tell ghost stories, roast marshmallows, star gaze, catch fireflies…

06. Go berry picking – and make pies, jams, and ice cream toppings with our findings

07. Watch a Movie in your yard – Hang a white sheet from a clothes line, rent a projector and a good flick. I’ve always wanted to do this. In my mind there are no mosquitoes or space limitations.

08. Good old fashioned fun in the sprinkler – who needs a fancy underground pool or beach pass, when you have a sprinkler – or even just a hose.

09. Go to a family BBQ – Nothing beats time with good family or friends, a grill full of burgers and hot dogs, and loads of other foods that are likely terrible for you but delicious. Enjoy the treat of having other people to amuse your kids for a day.

10. Go on vacation to the White Mountains! – Okay maybe this one is ultra specific but hey it’s also the only one without a doubt likely to happen this year and definitely the one I’m looking forward to the most.

Why I [don't] Write [much these days]

You may or may not know that I’m a writer. Or at least I was a writer. Can I honestly call myself a writer when mostly my only writing happens inside this blog? I graduated from college with a degree in English: Writing and Communications which may or may not have prepared me for communicating to my son what he may or may not be allowed to do. I can quite succinctly inform my son the following things, “No,” “Not for [insert name here],” “Walk away!” I have been educated enough to know that he will not understand me if I say, for instance, “There is a marginal chance that you will be electrocuted if you play with that and as your mother I am paranoid enough to worry about such matters and would greatly appreciate it if you would refrain from playing with said item so that I may be relieved of the duty of worrying about things like electrocution and any other harms lurking therein.”

No, he wouldn’t appreciate or understand a statement like that and thus my degree is mostly useless where he is concerned, at least for the time being. I frequently dream about one day publishing a childrens book or book of poetry, and have even occasionally set about writing such a thing, but the truth is lately I prefer reading to writing, especially when there is something good to read that a teacher didn’t force me to read via a curriculum or syllabus. I have always said the best reason to write is when you want to read something that hasn’t been written yet, but I have a lot to read before I can say that these days.

I love to read. I read children’s books to MLM, young adult fare to myself, and the occasionally great piece of literature also for myself. I read magazines and edit them for my own pleasure, snarkily reveling in the knowledge that I am still smarter than someone above the age of 2. I read recipes from cookbooks and internet foodie sites, grumbling about the fact that I don’t keep things like artichoke hearts and heavy cream in my refrigerator in a regular basis.

Oh and the poetry? Here’s the thing – in general, I think any great piece of writing needs a little thing called conflict, and where poetry is concerned I excel at that great cliche called unrequited love. Problem with that: I’m married. My love life is pretty honky dory and I don’t think anyone wants to read my poetry about that. It would go something like this : I’m happy. La de da. . . . . Whoops, sorry, I fell asleep. The things I worry about at great length now I am not entirely knowledgeable about enough to write about and think I’d know what I was talking about. Ode to I’m Sad About Global Warming and War is For Stupids and Other Such Bothers just don’t have that great rigor that is necessary in poetry. In short, I ran out of material for poetry before I got good at it. I am le screwed you could say.

I know I’m young. Perhaps my time for greatness simply hasn’t come yet. I may just need to “live more” and wait patiently for my muse to find me. I see no need to write trite nothingness in the meantime – it would simply be more things to edit with my handy delete key. Thus, useless. So… I am a writer. But I guess my muse is on pause while I busy myself with poopy diapers and Veggie Tales Silly Song marathons. Until next time, I bid you all a fabulous afternoon.

My Little Baby Is Growing Up! ::meep::

This weekend I got to hold a new baby (weeks old people, weeks old!) and finally had my son’s first hair cut finished (so it took us over a month, we got there). So right now I am gazing at my son and his cute little lack of hair and marveling at how much older he looks, while dreaming about newborns and recalling the earliest days of MLM’s life – our adventures in nursing, living with in-laws, learning the ins and outs of parenting (let’s face it, we’re still learning that) and now look at us little more than 2 years later and we are semi-world class professional parenting gurus. Doling out advice to our recently new parent friends, hoping in the back of our minds that they wanted said advice and ogling the fresh newborn baby awesomeness for all it’s worth.

I’m not sure when we’ll have our next child. Emotionally we are ready, financially we’re probably as ready as we’ll ever be. It’s all a mixture of timing and trying to do right by the kid we’ve got. I’d love to get MLM actually potty trained before the newborn shows up and I’d love it if he were old enough to help out and really get the idea of being a big brother. Right now he’s still slowly leaving his own baby-hood, but 9 months is a long time, who knows what he’ll be like 9 months from now, never mind whenever new baby is born.

And then there is the whole gritty process of actually TRYING to conceive and stressing yourself out with all the details, like it wasn’t easy as pie the first time around. I don’t want to fall in love with the idea of a fall birth and then miss it completely due to lack of “success” or dread a winter birth and end up with that in the end. There is a downside I think to any season and up sides to all of them as well. The important thing is the baby.

Which is how we end up where we’ve been ending up with this idea of not not trying and letting nature handle things. But oh the organizational obsessed woman in me loathes this idea on some level – shouldn’t I have a detailed plan laid out like I do for our savings, budgeting, house planning, vacationing schemes? Bah, I say…

And with that, some before and after pictures:

before haircut

before

 

after haircut

after

Snarky Comments are Cuter on Kids Clothing

Um can I have another baby just so I can make him (or her) wear this? Or maybe this? They do sell these onesies in sizes up to 24 months, but despite being a peanut my son could still outgrow this tomorrow if he tried hard… And the t-shirts are equally cute and available up to 6T, but okay, I just want another baby, so sue me!

But anyway, back to gwendesigns.com and the oh so cute that are her designs. I especially love all the shirts with teenie tiny foot prints on them like this one – which is way cuter than just a red sox jersey in my humble opinion. When you add to all that awesomeness the fact that each piece of clothing is printed on 100% organic cotton and made in the U.S.A. you really can’t go wrong. I found gwendesigns.com on the Goody Blog, by the way – if you don’t read them yet, you really should – at least, if you are a parent and / or like children. Go I say!

I'm Dreaming of the White Mountains…

So when dh and I decided not to vacation this year the biggest surrounding reason was due to “certain things” we were saving money for. Well, house aside, we aren’t saving for “those things” anymore, and the more I looked at our upcoming savings budget, the more I realized there was no reason we couldn’t afford at least a small vacation (i.e. Disney is unlikely but a short road trip could be ever so in). I also realized that this is the last year that MLM will get in free to some of the places we’ve had on our wish list, namely Storyland in NH (So vacationing this year could save us money? Huh?).

So I went about pricing the trip to see what it would come to (because if I don’t have something major to plan at all times I start feeling useless and boring). Originally I was looking in the fall, say October, thinking it would be cheaper than the summer and less crowded with OPC (Other People’s Children), but in the White Mountains Area it seems that fall is actually more expensive than summer for lodging (maybe for cost of heating reasons?) and reminded myself that MLM might enjoy OPC. Crazy, I know.

So anyway, the area we were looking at in NH is supremely expensive so I started looking into campgrounds that have cabins (I’m not up  for tenting it with a two year old, sorry) since I had no idea if that would be a cheaper option or not and I came across this: The prices for their motel were very inexpensive compared to everything else I’d looked at in the area and it looks FUN. See: new awesome looking pool, family friendly events all the freaking time, picture perfect vacation for camp loving husband and playground loving toddler (and “activities loving nerdy momma”). This “resort” as they call it looks like a vacation in and of itself.

Then looking at the price range throughout the year I realized that the October rates (and major weekends throughout the year) were twice as expensive as even September or August. Given that the rates at Storyland are $24 per person all year, there is no other major advantage to going in October now. August may even be prefferable because Storyland at least will be open all week in August, but weekends only starting in September (Are you all asleep yet? WAKE UP! hehe j/k you can go back to snoozin’ sleep heads).

Another drool worthy feature of this area is Santa’s Village, where, again, the rates are around $25 per person and again Michael would be free this year (we’re just cashing in with this 2 year old) – so in amusement park tickets alone we’ll save $50 going this year and by going in late summer / early fall we’ll save half the cost of lodging. So I’m starting to come to the conclusion that a trip this year might be a good idea and that waiting until October might not make any sense whatsoever. Word.

Anyone else taking a vacation this year? If so, where are you headed?

Signs of Affection

Valentines Flowers, originally uploaded by jennifereggleston.

I’m not normally a flower person – I don’t necessarily like the idea of giving someone flowers which inevitably die – especially if they would have lived in the ground otherwise. I mean I get that you should enjoy things, but I guess in an ideal world, when we have our own home, I’d prefer flowers I can plant in my garden, which I will then magically know how to upkeep.

But I was thrilled this Valentine’s Day when my husband brought home a gorgeous bouquet of pretty pink tulips and I decided that if I took a few pictures they could essentially “live on” indefinitely. The first few pictures were kind of blah, just a picture of a flower and ugh, my messy apartment was in it, so I decided to get closer…. and closer… until I came up with this. And I just love it. It’s my intention to do something like this with all flowers given to me from now on.