Sunday, November 28, 2010

Another Shorty

Not much time to post lately since we've been busy trying to get our lives together since getting here (and then the holidays and other assorted craziness) but I will say we had great holiday get togethers with both my family and Joe's and that Ramona did awesome at both. She has been so insanely happy the last few days that it's like she's a competely new baby. Not like she was the fussiest baby ever before, but she was never this crazy happy. She is contantly smiling. I don't know if it's having more room to run and play, or meeting new people or what, but seeing her running around the kitchen banging measuring cups with the biggest grin ever on her face makes me feel like moving back here was without a doubt the right decision. Joe and I are both happier and she is over the moon.

Joe and I got cell phones today. (Well, Joe already had one, but got a new one, and I got one for the first time since college.) We were undecided about whether to get smart phones or not. We decided to get one, and I ended up being the one to get it since there was some special deal for new customers getting smart phones. Joe got a phone of average intelligence with a slider and qwerty keyboard (which he will almost never use since he's not much of a texter.) Anyway, I got some LG thing with a touch screen. I am still getting used to it, but I like it alright so far. Anyway, if you want my phone number, send me an email or whatever. (I'm annoyed because they were "out of" 419 numbers so I have a 734 number. Lame! How am I supposed to represent Toledo?) Now that I have a cell phone, I almost feel like a real person.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

We Are Here (well, some of us)

I'm going to make this short and sweet since Ramona is remarkably sleeping in and will probably wake up as soon as I start typing. We are in Ohio! It is weird and still feels like we're visiting, but I imagine things will seem a lot more real when I go to work tomorrow. The flight here was... well, not as bad as I'd feared but still not that fun. Danzig freaked out about being in her cat cage. Foaming at the mouth drooling everywhere freaked out. She also pooped like five minutes after we started driving, so we got that lovely smell. Ramona found Danzig's behavior hilarious and was laughing the whole first part of the trip.

We got to the airport and got Danzig checked in. (I would also like to note that it cost $200.00 to fly Danzig here in checked baggage, and my plane ticket was only $157.70. I believe that says something about the quality of air travel in coach.) I had to take her out of her carrier so the TSA agent could inspect her kennel, and she had been sitting in her own poo, so I got to have cat poo/pee foot prints on my shirt for the rest of the day.

On the plane, Ramona did pretty well. She was in a good mood when we got on and was giggling a lot. I was in the window seat, the seat next to me was empty and there was a woman around my mom's age in the aisle seat. Ramona was interested in looking out the window this time, which was cute. The woman was nice and didn't mind Ramona going up to her and grabbing her arm, which she did several times. She started getting cranky after awhile so I pulled out the portable DVD player and we watched an episode of Yo Gabba Gabba and then we read some books. After that she took an hour nap (which I was grateful for since I was running out of Ramona amusing tatics that one can do in an airplane.) We touched down on time and Joe's parents were waiting for us at the baggage claim. We picked up Danzig and got back to their house. Everyone is adjusting well. The first day or so Ramona and Danzig followed me around the entire time and freaked out whenever they saw Joe's parents. But last night they started getting used to everything. Ramona stayed with Joe's mom while I went shopping with my mom and sister yesterday, and that seemed to have helped Ramona get used to her faster.

Our movers, who were originally supposed to come Wedesday finally showed up last night. Joe and Andy started driving, and when I talked to him this morning they were outside of Albequerque, so they've got a good start. I can't wait for him to get here! I miss him so much, and worry about him driving (especially after hearing about my little sister's car totaling accident earlier this week from her falling asleep at the wheel.) I'm just glad Andy was able to drive in with him so he doesn't have to do it alone and has someone around so they can help keep each other awake.

I started the search for housing by checking out a rental house near Ottawa Park yesterday. It wasn't perfect, but it's a good price in a neighborhood I like and it's much better than what we're used to. I'm not concerned about getting a dream house since we're just renting, so I think it would work well. I have the application and I'm going to call and see about a showing for Joe when he is here. I'll keep looking at other spots, too.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Time is Flying

Holy cow, only three more days of work and then we're out of here. Today I've been a packing machine. I still feel like we're not even close to ready to go, but Joe will finish packing the kitchen and will pack his closet tomorrow. Then it's pretty much cleaning. We ended up hiring movers since it will probably be cheaper in the long run. They are coming either Tuesday or Wednesday and then Thursday Ramona, Danzig and I fly home and Joe drives home with Burghardt. I hope they have an Excellent Adventure, but I also hope they hurry up and get here because I start work on Monday. I'm kind of freaked out over how quickly things happen, but it also seems like it's taking forever.

We also have so much to do when we get there. First order is finding a place to live, then I have to get a cell phone again like a real person since I'll live in the real world. Joe has to find a job and then of course, I have to start getting Christmas figured out. I have bought nothing so far. Oh yeah, I need to buy new furniture. Our couches are so crappy we decided it wasn't worth it to bring them. So I've been hanging out on Ikea's website a lot. But as overwhelming as it feels, I'm crazy excited about it, too.

Ramona has no idea what's going on (of course) but I'm so excited to get home so she can spend time with her relatives and hang out with our friends' babies and have little baby friends. I'm going to sign us up for some toddler/mom classes at the YMCA. And we can get a place with a little more room for her to play.

She has been walking really well lately. And there are a couple things she's been doing that are super cute. Number one- she has started interacting with her baby doll. She picks it up and gives it a kiss and then promptly throws it on the floor and steps on it. (This makes Joe very jealous because she has yet to give him a kiss. I think it's his beard.) The other thing is a Daddy/Mony moment that is so adorable. I would video tape it, but I know it wouldn't be as awesome as it is in person (although I'll probably tape it anyway at some point.) I'm assuming Joe listens to non-baby music with Ramona during the day or something, but it's gotten to the point that she really loves the song "Tobe's Got a Drinking Problem" by the Street Dogs. She recognizes it as soon as it comes on and she gets a huge smile on her face. Joe always dances with her and throws her in the air. She cracks up! It is so unbelievably cute that I can't adequately describe the cuteness. It must be seen to be believed. I would like it more if it was a more baby oriented song, but at least there aren't any bad words. I need to get her Brats on the Beat so she and Joe can listen to that together. Hmm, maybe this Christmas shopping will be easier than I thought.

Friday, November 12, 2010


Also, just for fun, I must show off this sweet blanket that Joe's friend Cory made for Ramona's birthday. The other side of it is the same thing with the colors inverted. (For those who don't know, it's the Ramones logo with Ramona's name and birthday instead of the band members' names that usually surround the emblem. When we were deciding names for a baby, I picked the girl name and Joe picked the boy name. I had always liked the name Ramona, especially because of the books, and I knew Joe would go along with it because his favorite band is the Ramones. After the ultrasound where we found out I was carrying a girl, Joe played the song Ramona by the Ramones in the car on our drive home to celebrate our sweet, sweet little Ramona. All of which makes this blanket extra cool!)

Instilling a Love of Life that Defies All Odds

Wow, this article really summed up a lot of feelings I have about my own experiences growing up. I feel like I've finally reached a point of comfort with myself that I can reflect on a my past and admit that there are things I regret and things that I wish I wouldn't have done and times I was not living for my own happiness. And I've only really reached that point in the past year. I don't know if I'm at an age where that just happens or if it has to do with being a parent, but I'm confident in myself and really concentrating on my life and its value and my happiness for what feels like the first time. That post is something I've felt but never really expressed (and wouldn't have expressed as elegantly nor completely.)

Usually when I write in here it's just a word vomit of whatever has been banging around in my head lately, mostly revolving around my daughter. I write poorly and rarely take the time to edit or even re-read what I've written before I post it, because I'm just trying to convey whatever is happening as quickly and easily as possible. That's fine, this blog's purpose is to keep everyone up to date on my life, not to woo people with my prose.

This post isn't any different as far as writing, but it is more thoughtful. I can't remember if I've written about this before or merely intended to, but Ramona's birth really surprised me because I didn't expect the reaction I had. One of the big surprises was that the week after I had her, I felt bad for her. I kind of felt like a jerk for bringing her into the world. I had been thinking of her in a theoretical sense for so long that the idea that she was going to be a real person who would have to deal with all the horrible stuff in the world hadn't really occurred to me until she was born. When we were driving home from the hospital we passed a million sexy lady billboards (she was born in Vegas after all) and all I could think of was how it was only a matter of time before she'd have to deal with the pressure to be sexy- and of course the right kind of sexy. And then I got home with her and Joe went and picked up my mail for me and there was a Victoria's Secret catalog and it made me sad for the same reason. I have impossibly sexy ladies mailed to me that make me feel like crap about myself. How will Ramona handle this stupid fabricated pressure to be what you're supposed to be to make others like you?

Most importantly, how can I help her handle this pressure, and realize that it's not important in the long run? That the road to satisfaction is paved with your own happiness? That, while there is beauty in the selfless acts of the world, you get one life, and it's not worth it to spend it miserable to make other people happy? How do I make sure she has great self esteem without being conceited, that she's self interested but not self possessed, and that she's giving but still true to herself? It's a fine line and there are so many factors.

I want more than anything for her to be happy. It's heart breaking to think that some day in the not so distant future someone will say something mean to her solely to intentionally hurt her feelings. I know it will happen, it happens to everyone. And that's life. I think the happiness, beauty, and fun are worth all the heart wrenching bad moments, but it's so hard to see that little innocent, worry-free face and know that it's only a matter of time before she gets the sad knowledge that not everyone in the world will love her and think that she's as beautiful and amazing as we do. And she'll wonder how to make them feel that way about her and finally at some point, figure out they won't- not everyone. I need to figure out how to make her realize that as long as she's doing the best she can to be a person that she's proud to be, that she's doing just fine. And I have nooooo idea how I'm supposed to accomplish it.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Craigslist and Shopping

I have been scrounging around Craigslist quite a bit looking for somewhere to live when we move, and I have to say it's pretty annoying. I really don't understand people's thought process when they post housing listings. First, I hate it when anyone posts anything in all caps for no reason, which happens all the time. All caps generally makes me think someone is an idiot, and I don't want an idiot landlord. There are also a disturbing number of ads that don't even list the location of the place they are posting. Why would I waste my time answering an ad that doesn't tell me where the housing in located? Either you forgot to put it on there (which takes us back to the idiot landlord scenario) or it's so crappy you know people won't answer your ad if they know what terrible neighborhood it's in. Either way, no good. Also, people don't seem to understand what the term "luxury amenity" means. There are tons of ads that say things like, "This apartment includes such luxury amenities as clean carpet, heat, and parking." I think when you're in Ohio, heat is considered basic. And I would assume that there is somewhere to park. I guess clean carpet is nice, but I don't really think it is luxurious.

Then there are the people that post an ad for the sole purpose of getting your attention. These ads usually don't even make sense. There was one a couple weeks ago that said, "IF APARTMENTS WORE CLOTHES, THIS APT WOULD WEAR APPLEBOTTOM JEANS AND FUR BOOTS" I don't even know what that's supposed to mean. That the apartment would date Russell Simmons? So the housing hunt continues, and I'm hoping it's more successful when we live in the area and can actually stalk the neighborhoods we like looking for nice places.

Saturday Ramona and I went to Vegas to do some shopping. Joe had to work, and back in the day I wouldn't attempt going shopping in Vegas with Ramona solo, but ever since our cross country trip, I feel like the fish and I can do anything. (Cue Just the Two of Us- Will Smith version, for extra cheese factor.) Anyway, Mony took an awesome nap in the car so she was in a pretty good mood. We got a portable DVD player and some Yo Gabba Gabba DVDs for the flight home, and I got some new heels for my new job. Ramona and I ate at Chipotle for the first time and shared a delicious bowl of Mexican type ingredients. Then we went to the Cupcakery and got a dozen cupcakes since it will probably be the last time we get to eat them. Once we got home Ramona was in the best mood ever and walked around smiling and being cute. It made for a very awesome day!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010


I've been doing some Craigslist browsing. We're going to stay with Joe's parents until we get a place to stay, but I'm hoping to keep that time as short as possible. I'm trying to find some place that's not crappy, but not too expensive that we can live in for two or three years while we finish saving up for our down payment for a place of our own. I'd prefer a townhouse or duplex so I don't have to mow the lawn, but I guess we could rent a house.

I want to live near work. My job is not at main campus, but at Scott Park campus, so even though I was originally looking strictly at West side places, I've started looking at the south end, too. For some reason I always think the south end is really crappy, but it's not. I think it's just because a friend I used to hang out with lived in the south end in a really sketchy apartment complex and I hated going there.

I really want to find a place I like so we can stay there until we're ready to buy. I don't want to move again until we buy if we can help it. I'm not concerned about the school districts since we plan on moving before Ramona is old enough for school. But I want to be in a nice safe neighborhood and be somewhat close to a park if possible. I also want a short commute.

The search begins...

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

This is my kid

She runs around yelling all the time. It cracks me up, especially since she's getting better at walking. She'll walk up to me, and then go, "AAAAAAAAAAH!" and then walk away like that's totally normal. It was especially hilarious when she was wearing her ranger outfit. She looked so professional and then she just yelled. Also, since she has a cold she's been breathing through her mouth which has led to four times as much drooling. So she just walks around yelling and drooling with snot running out of her nose.

Monday, November 1, 2010


New umbrella stroller

Ranger Ramona

Pirate Mommy, pirate Mony

Much to say- most importantly, I got the job at UT! So, we're moving back to Ohio and I'm so excited. There's only a couple of weeks until we'll be back in society. So now we're going to have a couple of super stressful weeks as we plan and execute a cross country move. But, I'm really excited. First, obviously I want to be back in Ohio and see my family and friends, but also, the job sounds like it's going to be pretty cool and I'll be able to finish my Master's.

We had a good Halloween. I did everything at the last minute. We bought candy Halloween morning and I carved the pumpkin just a couple of hours before trick or treat. Ramona had two costumes- first she was a baby pirate, although that costume was hard to get unless she was wearing her bandanna, and she did not want to wear the bandanna, so I switched her into her National Park Ranger outfit (which she also did not want to wear the hat for.) We just stayed home and handed out candy. Mony ate a little bag of Sweetarts (which was not a part of the plan. I gave her raisins as her treat, but she figured out how to open the Sweetarts by herself and ate them.) I'm not sure if that's why she wouldn't sleep, but she stayed up until 10:30. It was intense.

I've started working on weaning. I don't really have a plan except nurse her less and less until she's done. I'm trying to cut out her lunch/nap time nursing session first. I'm not really committed to a certain time frame of accomplishing it or anything. I might get more devoted to it as she gets older, but now it's just a gentle shift in our schedule. And I might hold off on it for a little while if she needs extra comfort during the big change of moving. We'll see.