A First Birthday Party

I am currently shirking my responsibilities in lieu of a more pleasant task; bragging out my baby’s first birthday. I mean really, who wouldn’t choose that over the tedious job of packing and cleaning? Although to be fair, I do enjoy cleaning more than most chores, but that’s beside the point! Given the sad tone of the last blog post I thought I owed myself a reflection on the joy of last year of new motherhood and Caidoc’s life. Very early on this year I decided to celebrate the year mark with a party, which I promptly started planning around the six month mark, yup, I’m one of THOSE people.

If you know anything about me you know I can be, er, rather, AM an avid planner (just ask any of my poor bridesmaids, haha!). Caidoc’s first birthday was no exception. I wanted the theme to be “Circus” not to be mistaken with “carnival” because we wouldn’t actually be playing any games, seeing that the guest of honor isn’t quite at the “following rules” stage 😉

A picture is worth a thousand words (which I could probably write easily since I LOVED planning this party) so I will use the amazing photographs of my sister-in-law, Anne Black, to shed light on the details. (You can find Anne’s work here.)

The invitations! Took me a couple weeks to find ones that were just right.

I don’t actually want to admit how much time I spent pre-making decorations. But I had a blast doing it!



I debated about how to convey a circus tent without breaking the bank. Here is what I came up with:

 I hand made most of the decorations, which made things cheaper and if I’m being honest, was how I prefer things since then they are exactly what I want.

I must give a special thanks to my sister Nina who slaved with me setting up decorations. It wouldn’t have been done in time without her!

I love making these:

And this was by far the trickiest thing to make since I had to transport it from our house to my parents without getting damaged. It turned out great!

Notice it’s arranged chronologically 😉

These were probably my pride and joy  of the decorations:

I had a difficult time with the food since I wanted it to be more of a snack and drinks thing than a full meal. With the help of my awesome mom, who was a wonderful sounding board and corn dog buyer, the spread was perfectly “on theme” and also provided more than just sugar and alcohol! Haha!

And of course the cupcakes:

There were also vegan cupcakes (for Caidoc) from PCC, I’m hooked! They were awesome.

These are Fruity Pebble rice crispies. I made them the night before so they would be as fresh as possible. I’m something of a rice crispy snob. I just love how colorful they came out! The trick is to do both regular rice crispies and Fruity Pebbles, too many Fruity Pebbles makes them taste weird.

Strawberry cocktails! Because what’s a first birthday without a little adult celebration?

Among the guests were Caidoc’s god parents, Brooke and Riley and their two daughters.

And of course, my BFF, Emily 🙂 (She is talking to Taylor, my eldest brother).

Once Caidoc woke up from his nap, the party started! I was SO happy he actually napped since he usually doesn’t sleep well anywhere other than home. And who wants a crabby baby at his own party? ( Of course, as my little sister Lydia pointed out, “Abby’s it is HIS party, he can cry if he wants too!) Luckily, he was an a fantastic mood, and looking quite dapper I might add 🙂

First came presents:

Then came CAKE! (Well, a CUP cake to be precise).

This is probably the most sugar he’s ever had in his life. Boy, did he LOVE it! He did hesitate to dig right in.

Probably the cutest kid in the world

And then more socializing! A special thanks to my parents for letting me host at their house since my guest list got a little out of control for our apartment 🙂

Caidoc eyeing Taylor and Macie (Caidoc’s cousin)
Atafa and her two kiddos
The guys chillin’ outside

The favors! I handed these out early since I ALWAYS forget to give out the favors when people leave. As is, pretty sure I missed a few people to give these to.


All the planning paid off, and it was so fun and I think went super well. Out of the parties I’ve planned this one went  Thanks to everyone who helped out and to those who came and celebrated with us! We hope you had a wonderful time.

“Whew! Mom, I’m tired!”


One Year

I’ve been a mother for one year today! Well, if you don’t count the nine months part of that, which most people don’t. I’m very nostalgic today and I have to admit when I was thinking up this post and what I was going to say, I wept to myself a little. Sadness isn’t what causes most of my tears since I became a mother, it’s everything else. I’ll get to that later.

(The picture is small because it’s a pretty ugly picture)

Let’s see, at this time a year ago, I was sitting in a bed in the Labor and Delivery ward of Overlake Hospital and was thinking that soon, maybe, a nurse would burst in saying it was time to push. That was all I could think since I had been in labor so long already my brain was pretty mushy and my tummy very empty. My poor husband was exhausted but stayed cheerful and kind. We thought it would be any minute that our little Caidoc would be born. It also happened to be the 17th, which held some significance for us since we started dating on a 17th and got married on a 17th, so hey, that’s cool!

Juice! The only sustenance I got. Grr…

But we waited, and waited, and waited. And no doctor came in, no nurse (well, they did of course but with no good news). After 24 hours of labor, on a pit drip, dilated four cm, I started crying. I think those were my first  tears as a real mother. I had never been in that kind of pain for that long and more than that, I felt like there was no end in sight.

Which of course, I now know is ridiculous because it’s not like he could live in there FOREVER… could he? But I was tired, really, really tired, and really, really hungry (I was one of those pregnant women who ate a LOT  CONSTANTLY and LOVED it, so not eating for 24 hours was not going over so well physically or, eh, mentally, ha ha).

It wasn’t until 11:47 pm (he almost wasn’t our “17th” baby!) that my little red, mushed, crying and utterly heart wrenching little boy was pulled from my abdomen. The first thing I thought was, “Why am I not holding him? They said I could have him!” I wasn’t totally coherent that I was being pinned down by four nurses because I had what is know as “the shakes” pretty bad. I felt the strange tugging of being sewn up but the only pain I felt was the screaming of my little baby cold and naked being handled by strangers. And I cried.

The amount of anger and despair I felt cannot be described with words. I believe the birth experience to be a monumental and life altering journey for the mother and baby, one that shapes the bond of the family for the rest of their lives. So, Chris and I had spent the past nine months preparing for the most natural, safe, calming and perfect birth we could provide for our little one. And in a matter of 36 hours of labor, it was torn to shreds. The selfish doctor, the careless nurses, they all poo-pooed our wishes and pressured and bullied us into the exact opposite experience we wanted with alarmist threats. I know a lot of you are thinking, “Well, he’s born, that’s all that matters.” To an extent, sure. But I will hold regret and anger for the way my baby was brought into this world for a long, long time. Maybe forever.

Birth isn’t supposed to have so many tubes and junk, at least Caidoc’s shouldn’t have.

It felt like hours and seconds all at the same time, but finally, I was lifted onto another bed, and sent to the Mother Baby unit. After all the washing and poking and prodding of my poor baby, I got to hold him and kiss him. He was perfect. And I cried.

So, today I was thinking back on that day and I cannot believe it’s been a year. The horrendous C-section recovery, the difficulty nursing, the rashes, the hospital visits, the food allergies, the loneliness of being a young mom, the sleepless nights (and days) and the stress and worry that I wasn’t doing anything right, that folks, brought so many sad tears. But there were happy tears as well, from the projectile poops, the sleeping baby laughs, the new baby smell, the pride and joy of such a perfect child, the first steps, little arms wrapping around my neck, that brought so many happy tears.

I can write and explain sadness and pain and frustration because we ALL have experienced that. But what I’ll never really be able to explain or express with clarity is the absolute and utter totality of the love I feel for my son.  And when I think of that, I cry.

*Photo by Anne Black

Where did the time go?

I cannot remember what I used to do with all my time. Oh wait, yes I do. I watched entire seasons of shows in a couple days. Gross. I can’t believe I was such a Jabba-the-Hutt. Yes, I just used a Star Wars character as a verb. ( You know you liked it.)

Since having Caidoc, I think time has become so much more precious to me. I can’t imagine wasting one second of his time, of his life. I want everything for him, all life has to offer- all the experiences, feelings, desires, and goals. When I look at him I see so much potential and so much wonderful, fleeting time ahead of him. It’s so EXCITING!

I don’t think my time, my life, is the priority anymore- his is. To be honest, I like it that way.  I’m going to do everything in my power to make it the best life possible for him. I have a feeling he was brought here, to me, for the very reason that I need to stop being so introspective and preoccupied with me, myself and I. Here everyone thinks he needs me, but really, I need him. 

I’m realizing that more every day.

Tell you what, I never, in my wildest dreams, thought caring less be so incredibly freeing.

Disillusionment by "The Parenting Club"

Since I joined the Parenting Club on May 17th, 2012, I’ve had some of the most difficult and unexpected experiences of my life. I’m not talking about trials and joys raising a baby,  I’m talking about the Club that’s shaping me as a parent. The minute you walk out of the hospital, you’ve joined a new group of people and whether you like it or not, you’re in it for life.

It’s not as morbid as I’m making it sound. The benefits of being surrounded by help and advice and over flowing generosity is truly an incredible thing. I guess my pre-conceived  notions are to blame for any negatives I’ve found. I figured that once you have a baby you are a grown up, (of course I thought that once you got married you were a grown up, ‘course I figured that one out pretty quick ;). The fact of the matter is, having a baby doesn’t make you act like a grown up, and I’m finding out most people I assumed were “grown-up” because they had kids aren’t “grown-ups” at all. And it’s depressing.

What do I mean by “grown-up”…Let’s see. I guess I figured that the petty personal competition, selfishness, drama and obsessive behavior was given up at the hospital once you left and you came out being the best version of yourself (or at least trying your upmost) for the sake of the new little life you are responsible for. I’d like to say that I’ve fundamentally changed since I’ve had a baby. I think I have. I hope I have. Some people, haven’t. And now that I’ve joined the Club were I thought we’d all be trying to be our best selves, I feel let down- because that’s not the case.

I know it’s not fair to expect so much of others, and I know by the measure I judge others I will be judged, and that’s okay with me because I expect it and probably need it. I guess I just feel disillusioned. That’s okay though. Not all that glitters is gold.

 But some things are…


And they make everything else worth it.


Here I am again. Finally! I can’t believe it has taken me this long to get back to my blog.

I could say that I had a baby, my beautiful little boy Caidoc (KAY-doc) and I was so busy wrapped up in being a new mommy that I let Conundrum fall by the wayside.

(He sure is adorable eh?)

I could say that I was working at home and that was taking up a lot of my time and energy. But none of that would be the reason I wasn’t blogging. I think the reason was, that I felt I had nothing positive to say, and I didn’t want to be blogging if I was only going to complain. I know, kinda pathetic. There it is.

But I’m back. And I have a lot to say.

Generally, I don’t buy into the “New Years Resolution” game. I find it discouraging when, by mid-February, all the grandiose resolutions have been given up. So, I’ve given it a lot of thought (clearly, since it almost IS February, maybe I could just make Valentines Day Resolutions…) and here is what I have come up with: I resolve to try. Deciding to give up coffee or lose 15 pounds or read 20 intellectual books in a year or only go of Facebook once a week…to be honest, those would NOT happen no matter how hard I “resolved”. Call it weak will if you must, but I like to call it over-commiting. 2013 will be different because I am going to do what I do best: try. When I try something, I try it HARD. So, even I don’t accomplish something, at least I tried. And here is my list:

In 2013 I am going to at least TRY to do all these things.

  1. I want to read more books. If I want my son to be a reader, I need to keep up with my reading. We are off to a good start, I treated myself to the new series by Veronica Roth, Divergent and Insurgent. They are more juvenile for someone my age but ya gotta start somewhere (can I admit that I am THROUGHLY enjoying them without sounding like a teeny-bopper?!). Caidoc is doing vey well too, he read books with me for a good 20 minutes the other day with rapt attention. For an eight month old, I’d say he’s ahead of the curve…even if the only book he wanted to read was a baby book of himself. *Ahem!*
  2. Pre-pregnacy body. Yes, I know we all want it, but I WANT it. I desperately need to be back in shape in order to keep up with my little boy. He’s already tiring me out and he isn’t even walking. Also, I can barely do 20 sit-ups. That’s mortifying for me.
  3. Cut the self-depreciation. I do it too much, it is not healthy and using it in humor can’t be the only way I make people laugh. I can be more creative than that.
  4. No more “Latte Factor”! Recently, Chris and  I revisited David Bach’s Smart Couples Finish Rich (I highly recommend it) and it was motivating..and discouraging. To sum up, a “Latte Factor” is a seemingly small expense you regularly indulge in. Most of the time, these little expenses add up and over the course of a life time, $4 a day can end up being a half a million dollars. I am ashamed to say I have several “Latte Factors” . It’s not a daily thing, but it’s still bad.
  5. Be a better wife and mommy. This is a day to day-er for me, and always can be improved on.
Well, that’s it for now! I expect another post will be coming soon because I am REALLY anxious to talk allllll about Divergent !!!


The Things They Don't Tell You About Pregnancy (Part 2)

Disclaimer! This post might contain some positive reinforcement along with some mushy moments. I blame this entirely on hormones and promise to return to my usual dry/sarcastic humor once the wee one has been evicted and my hormones have been rearranged. Until then… enjoy this hiatus from the norm. 

Remember when I wrote The Things They Don’t Tell You About Pregnancy (Part 1)? I know, it was a long time ago, and I feel bad about that. But, I didn’t want to write Part 2 until I had something REALLY worth saying, and until I was further down the path of pregnancy knowledge. Now that I am close to popping, I thought I could finally write down those things that happen in later pregnancy that “they” DON’T tell you. Here goes..

For some reason, “they” (being doctors, parents, friends, random people on the street, web blogs, Yahoo chats….whatever…) do not tell future moms what it is REALLY like to be pregnant. I’m here to do that. In my last post about pregnancy I talked about the crap that happens that is absolutely and TOTALLY not given the gory credit it deserves. Well, I’m here to say; good things happen during pregnancy. Yes, I know. I said it. If you know me, you know I’m not the type to be without morbid curiosity and humor. So, to willing admit something positive has happened in the past couple months is a big step for me…especially when I’ve been whining and moaning about pregnancy. But, since there ARE good things that happen during this trying time, and most people either don’t want to hear them, or simply do not believe me, I am going to write it down. It’s the Truth people!

1. First things first….how can I put this…you will become more of a …woman? Hmm, no that’s not right. Okay, well, you can expect your boobs to enlarge to porn star status. Yes, I know that was blunt. If you are like me and been small chested your whole life, this is a welcome change. Although it can be painful, that does stop and for the rest of pregnancy they are just sit there…being the gloriously large bosoms you have always wished for.

You might say.. “Uh, Abby I know that… my mom told me that..” or ” Yeah, duh, that’s obvious.” BUT! Did you know that (if this is the first baby at least for me) that those things grow BEFORE you get your tummy? SO. In other words, you get a whole couple of months to feel what it is like to be Pam Anderson. At least breast wise. And folks, despite what I might say…it is pretty freakin’ fantastic.

2. Along with that upper chest ego boost, your, how shall I say this…your libido also shoots through the roof, and when I say shoots through the roof, I don’t mean baby conceiving libido, I mean, LIKE YOU HAVE NO IDEA LIBIDO (no, seriously, you have no idea, and trust me, I thought I used to “have an idea”, but you don’t until you experience pregnancy).

After the horrific death march that is the first trimester, the second trimester rolls around flaunting its boobs and libido and you think it can’t get ANY better than then…

3. YOUR METABOLISM GOES UP! Yes, the perfect trifecta, the mystical and rumored trifecta. Boobs, libido, metabolism.

See people, this is the brief moment in time when your skin is perfect, you have no baby bump, you have porn star boobs, you have no pesky period to deal with, you and your hubby are in seventh heaven, AND, on top of that, YOU CAN EAT WHATEVER YOU WANT. And, THIS HAPPENS ALL AT THE SAME TIME! Impossible?! No sir.

This is what I would imagine Victoria’s Secret models experience. All the time. At least that’s what it looks like in magazines.

So, if that was a little mind blowing for you, well, good. Because pregnancy isn’t all horrid and somethings are worth mentioning or we can expect to go extinct.


However, if you are one of those people that like to wallow in the grossness and difficultly that is pregnancy and constantly remind pregnant women that “their lives are over” and, “those things don’t happen to everyone” (oh yeah, these types appear EVERYWHERE once the bump comes out and love to suck the joy out of you like a fungus) you can go ahead and keep doing your thing. But, I for one, I’m going to enjoy the goodness endowed to me, and go flaunt myself to my husband whilst I still feel so inclined.


Priorities and Pregnancy

Everyone has a sub-conscience list of importance based on what they consider “important” at that give time in their life. Usually, this list changes with different priories. For some people it never does. I have come to the conclusion that some people’s lists coincide at varying points in their lives with lists of other people that they would not suspect (or maybe they do, who knows).

(Any given thing of “importance” is rated on a scale that specialized for each person (also based on what they find important) and let’s say that scale is the simple 1-10 category, 1 being the lowest priority or importance and 10 being the greatest.)

Example 1:

Fourteen-year-old girl full of teenage-y angst: 1 being something super not important like homework and 10 being returning the text of a cute guy that if she doesn’t return IMMEDIATELY (with the proper emoticons so that her her deepest emotions are clear) the world will, like, LITERALLY explode.

Same example…but different:

Thirty-seven-year-old woman that is a self-proclaimed Twi-hard, goes on blind dates with men she meets on Craigslist and has five cats with rhyming names: 1 is something super not important like volunteering time to charity and 10 being returning the text of a cute guy that is she doesn’t return IMMEDIATELY (with the exact right wording so she doesn’t seem desperate) she might miss out on her SOUL MATE.

Example 2:

Nineteen-year-old male: 1 is homework and 10 staring at the text from a cute girl for three days trying to figure out what to say.

Same example and…not so different.

Twenty-five-year-old male: (See above but substitute “homework” for “work”.

Example 3:

Twenty-year-old pregnant woman: 1, make-up and skinny jeans. 10, food and sleep.

Thirty-year-old pregnant woman: (see above).

Forty-year-old pregnant woman: (see above).

New-born: (see above).

Thirteen-year-old male: (see above).

Neanderthal: (see above).

Eight-seven-year-old male: (see above).


Conclusion? Pregnant women, contrary to popular belief, are the most easily pleased and most relatable category of persons.



The Co-Habitation

There comes a time in every person’s life when they begin to live with someone. Or in my case, my entire life, since I’ve never lived alone. Of all the time I’ve had to observe roommates (and don’t forget I have ten siblings), never have I come across one quite like… The Husband.

Episode 1: 

Me: “I can’t believe how much I’ve swollen! And it’s not even through the first trimester yet, just wait till my milk comes in, holy cow!”

Husband: “Time to make the cookies!”

Me: “…you do know this milk isn’t for you…right?”

Husband: “…”

Episode 2:

Me: *Man, every time I put the cutting block knives in the dishwasher, they end up in the sink…this is so weird… I’m the only one in the kitchen…hmm.*

The next day.

Me: * What the hell?! I put all the knvives in the dishwasher and RAN it LAST NIGHT! HOW did they get in the sink??…Omg…..gnomes…..*

The next day.

Me: * I know they are out to get me, but I will win…I will cleverly bait them with a knife in the dish washer and hide behind the couch till they come out, then I will stab them with this knife! Mauahahh!*

The day after that.

I hid in anticipation, fearing for my life. If gnomes had infested my kitchen…who knows what ELSE lives in there? I gripped my knife. Then suddenly I heard…*thump thump thump*

Me: *OMG! This is it! Here they come!*

Crazed from the stress of defending myself with the butcher knife, adrenaline pounding in my veins, I pounced.


Husband: “HOLY $%&#*!!!!! Put that knife down!!!!!!”

Turns out, the chop block knives aren’t suppose to be dish-washed. So, husband was carefully making sure they never got cleaned in there by putting them back into the sink. He didn’t want to sound “like a jerk” by simply telling me they were not supposed to be dish-washed.

Episode 3: Sleeping Part 1.

Sleeping with Husband is always interesting. It got much MORE interesting when he started a new job and consequently got much more stressed. Oh, and we also have very different sleep schedules.

2 AM ( Hubs has been asleep approximately four hours).

Me: *Aww… Hubs looks so cute sleeping! Poor honey-poo in all stressed…. I know, I’ll be a great wifey-poo and snuggle him. He will love that.*

I slowly slipped my icicle foot (okay, the snuggling wasn’t JUST for Hubs) onto his side of the bed and began search for his foot. Finding his whole leg instead, I ran my freezing foot down the length of his warm leg.

Me: * Ahh!!! Bliss…what the!*

Husband: Leaping out of bed, throwing off the covers, yelled at the top of his lungs, “THERE IS SOMETHING IN THE BED! DON’T MOVE! IT JUST RAN DOWN MY LEG!!! HOLD ON I’LL KILL IT!”

Now I had two choices here…I was sorely tempted to react as well and thereby deflecting any guilt:


What REALLY happened..

Me: ” OH NO!!! I’M SORRY!!!! IT WAS MY FOOT!!!”

Husband: ” What?”

Me: “I was trying to snuggle you! Did you like it?”

Husband: “…”

Episode 4: Sleeping Part 2. 

There have been several times when I try and snuggle Husband. Mostly, because I know he likes it, and also because I get really cold at night. Since we have such different sleeping schedules, I’m awake much later than he is. Which means when I snuggle him, he is deep into his REM.

Me: *Aww… Hubs is so cute… I’ll just put my arm over him, that won’t wake him up…I’m such a good snuggling wife.*

The next day.

Husband: “I had THE WORST dream last night! I was just chillin’ and then this FAT and HAIRY DUDE, like, just NASTY babe, came up and PUT HIS ARM on ME!!! UGH! It was the worst…”

Me:  “…”

The Things They Don't Tell You About Being Pregnant (Part 1)

Some people know everything there is to know about being pregnant…and some don’t. If you fall into the latter category, don’t worry, you are in good company. Here’s to illuminating those details that, for some reason, are mysteriously forgotten when we all get “The Talk”.

After all, honesty is the best policy, eh?

1. No matter what type of illness you may have ever had before, hospitalization, mono, broken limbs, etc., being pregnant will blow your mind out of the water. I’m not talking about birth, but the agony a woman experiences while pregnant. I’ve thrown up before, you know, we all have. But regular throwing up brings a sort of relief to the pain you are feeling. Pregnant throwing up is nothing like this. You will vomit until you have nothing left to retch up… literally I think some of my stomach wall has come up before.

2. “Morning sickness” is grossly misnamed. Let’s try, “All Day Puke Fest”, “Uncontrollable Vomiting All Hours of the Day” and “What You Used To Love About Food…You Now Loathe”. If you’re like me, you’ll find yourself hoping you will just starve to death so you can stop throwing up. This is usually at the point you can feel your spine through your abdomen.

3. Sleep is no longer useful. You can sleep all day but be just as exhausted as you were after you ran your local triathlon. And get used to it, because you will be a zombie for the next nine months. The best way to describe it is being a growing teenage boy again, but having mono and the flu at the same time and tape worms. Kind of. But since you get up at least three or four times a night to pee it’s a little different.

4. Your bladder will shrink to half it’s size. For some reason they don’t put that on the pregnancy test box. “Side Effects Include: Your life flashing before your eyes, bladder shrinkage, and general life reevaluation.”

5. You may not be showing, but to you, you might as well be wallowing in the ocean with the rest of your kind.

6. Even if you were in phenomenal shape before, you will be huffing and puffing walking across a room. And you don’t even have a belly yet to blame it on.

7. Even if you never drank before, you will miss alcohol. A lot. But you can’t talk about how you do or you will get nasty glares from people, “She obviously doesn’t care about her baby”, “Doesn’t she know what she signed up for?” …”Well, no. I didn’t asshole. Now get me a martini.”

8. Those pretty little feet and ankles you have now resemble elephant legs. And I mean, the leathery, fat, log-like legs, yes.

9. People will say your hair and skin will look beautiful during pregnancy. Here’s the two things they DON’T mention about that: Your hair will look beautiful if you can keep all your prenatal vitamins down and if you remember to take them everyday. Either you will throw them up or you will forget. Oh, and all that great hair falls out after the kid comes out anyways. On a totally vain note, does your hair and skin really matter when you feel like a blimp and everyone avoids you anyways because of your “mood swings” ?

10. Although this sounds terrible, you’d rather stay in this stage of vomit-zombie-whalrus because the idea of having a small creature crawl out of your lady parts horrifies crap outta you.


So there you have it. That’s what you can REALLY expect the first few months of pregnancy. Come to think of it, there is a market out there for honesty being the best way to keep lil’ Suzy off the street.  CHEERS!

error: Content is protected !!