Saturday, December 15, 2007

E-Lo's Holiday Wishlist

It's that time of year, as evidenced by my short jaunt to the grocery store and Target today. All I wanted was to buy some milk, diapers, and pick up my prescription of badly-needed-after-dealing-with-the-general-public Cymbalta. What should have been an hour away from my house turned into 2.5 hours, with all the traffic and crazy holiday shoppers on the loose. C'mon, people - there's one more weekend left before Christmas - YOU HAVE TIME. I guess everyone was out trying to beat the snow storm that is currently dumping down on Western PA. The good thing is that I'm cozy and warm at home with everything I need to survive in bad weather.

Being at home on the weekends often involves a lot of time spent on the internet... you guessed it, shopping. It's a bad, bad habit - one that I just can't break myself of. I've spent the past 3 days on Etsy alone, just going through STUFF. Adding things to my favorites (and look - they're displayed in my sidebar!). So I thought I'd come up with my holiday wishlist - although I'm guessing that I'm probably going to have to buy a majority of these things for myself with whatever Christmas money I get - if any. Keep those fingers crossed for that raise at work that I'm still waiting for.

Let's start with Sephora. I have to admit, my friend Michele introduced me to Sephora - I wouldn't have even known it's existence before her wedding. I did see a Sephora store when I was in Las Vegas, but I was smart enough not to enter. Since discovering their website I've been wiping a whole lot of drool off my keyboard. I love all things Bare Escentuals - this makeup can make you look fantastic on your worst day. I'm a big fan of their foundation and eyeshadows.

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Next from Sephora would be Philosophy's Pure Grace. I love the clean scent of this stuff - it's not heady and overpowering like my Britney Spears perfume that I begged my husband to buy me last year - YES, I ADMIT IT. It's light and fresh - kind of like soap and water... which is probably why they call it the "soap and water" set.

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This is something that I've listed before - but I still want one...

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The Canon Digital Rebel XTi
... 10.1-megapixel CMOS sensor captures enough detail for photo-quality 18 x 24-inch prints... ooooooohhhh...

That WILL be forthcoming, I'm sure. Sooner than later... let's just say I have a feeling...
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Genius MousePen 8X6 Graphic Tablet for Home and Office
- kind of like a Wacom tablet, only MUCH MUCH cheaper. I have a 9X12 Wacom at work, and I'm in love with it. It's pressure sensitive, so when you're working in Photoshop, your brushstrokes are like you're writing with a pen - thicker if you're pressing down, thinner and lighter with a lighter touch. It's a wonderful thing - great for photo editing.

My next pick is this iPod skin from Gelaskins I first heard about Gelaskins from my ladies at Girls Gone Geek (shout out!) who gave away a laptop skin from there a few weeks back. This particular cover is designed by an artist that I adore, Jeremiah Ketner, who is based out of Chicago (Starr and Greg, you should see if you can check out his work!).

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How can you deny the sheer CUTENESS of this thing? I lurve it.

Next up, speaking of artists - I found a great site called Thumbtack Press. I'm big into art and artists right now, so much so, that I've started doodling a little. Imagine that, a graphic designer, DRAWING? And not with my Wacom tablet! Anyway, Thumbtack Press has lots of cool work by great artists, and one of my favorites is the Great Flood Series by Oksana Badrak.

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And of course, there's my favorites on Etsy. There's so much to love about Etsy. You'll notice I have a lot of owls, squirrels, and roosters in my favorites... kind of strange, but that's what I'm kind of into right now. But the one thing that I'd love to have for my office are these Ramones window shades. No, not Roman window shades - RAMONES.

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And for my girl, I love these pinafores from lassiegirl's shop on Etsy. I can totally see one of these on Lyric with jeans and a long sleeve t.

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Oops, I just bought one.

I think that means it's time to stop. Although there may be more to follow!

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Elfin good times...

Cause this is too funny not to share...

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Now there's the pretty kitty...

Boots. She's a fun cat. It took us about a week to find her a name, but Boots is the one that Lyric likes... and can say. So Boots it is. Today she discovered the fishbowl. I'm hoping that my betta stays intact for a while longer...

Wednesday, November 21, 2007



It's hard to believe that 2 years ago today, I started feeling those first pains of agonizing labor - thanks to my midwife stripping my membranes. I had this *thing* in me that I called Fuzzball, which in some ways seems like a lifetime ago, and in other ways feels like yesterday. The past two years have been nothing but awesome since becoming a mom - and I highly recommend it to anyone who hasn't tried it... parenthood, that is.

This is definitely my favorite stage - toddlerhood. Although from time to time it's wrought with terrible twos nonsense - temper tantrums and unbearable whining, mostly it's pretty damn cute.


I'm turning 2!

Emily looks on as Lyric attempts to ride

We had her birthday party on Saturday, since her actual birthday falls on Thanksgiving this year - and man did that kid make out. She's seriously spoiled. Not only did she get what she's been asking for for what seems like months, a tricycle (or as she calls it, MOTORCYCLE!), her dad surprised (or tried to) us with something else...

Surprise! Kitty-licious!

That's right. We now own a kitty. Boots is her name. I call her Meowzers. She's fun.

Funny enough, Ryan is allergic to cats. And apparently, so am I, as I haven't stopped itching since she showed up. But am I complaining? Hell no. I'm a cat person. Much more so than a dog person.

Anyway, I'm still just in awe that this...


has grown into this...

Doing her little turn on the catwalk

And I'm so extremely thankful for that.

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Fitting in my jeans - the saga continues...

I've been feeling out of sorts lately, and I'm trying to get back in the groove of things again. I was feeling pretty comfortable with my size and shape there for a while - so I eased up on my diet. Suddenly all that hard work I did for months did a very quick back slide, and now my thighs are the consistency of rice pudding, and my mommy pooch looks more like my 74 year old dad's beer gut.

So... back on the wagon.

Dieting is hard. It's even harder when you just feel like life is flying past you. With 2 jobs and a toddler, it's tough to find time to exercise. I've been wanting to join a gym for a while now, but I don't think I'd ever go. When I get off work, I just want to get to where ever Lyric is and get home.

So I'm working on just eating healthier. My husband is the king of junk food - he'll eat just about anything if it's deep fried and battered. Sushi? No. Turkey dipped in boiling corn oil? Yes. Salad? No. Slices of potatoes saturated with chemicals and fried to a crisp? Yes.

So it's tough, especially when I don't have much time to prepare dinner. But I'm working on it. I'm hoping for a nice raise at work (it's coming - I just don't know when or how much) so that I can slow down a little on teaching - it's not that I don't like doing the online instruction thing, but I do need a break. I've felt like my entire days and evenings have been sucked up by nothing but work - and what I really want to do is spend some time with my daughter, reading, or playing, or doing something useful so that the TV will stop eating her brain.

And I want my jeans to fit better.

Want, want, want! I really gotta do do do.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

My Current Mellow Playlist on the E-Lo Pod...

Cause that’s the mood I’ve been in... laid back, groovin, mellow, lay on the couch and smoke a doob... ok, not really with the doob, cause then I’d be an unfit mother. And I don’t like being under the influence of anything anymore – not even alcohol. It makes me feel yucky. But I digress...

1. Zero 7 – In the Waiting Line
2. Sufjan Stevens – Chicago
3. The Shins - New Slang
4. Ray LaMontagne - Hold You In My Arms
5. Tracey Chapman – Fast Car
6. Nick Drake – One Of These Things First
7. Jamie Cullum – High and Dry
8. Jack Johnson – Holes to Heaven
9. The Innocence Mission – When Mac was Swimming
10. Fiest - Mushaboom
11. The Beatles – In My Life
12. Coldplay – Speed of Sound
13. David Gray – This Year’s Love
14. The Fray – Over My Head (Cable Car)
15. Ben Harper – Burn One Down (this has no significance to my doob reference)

Listen and feel... mellow...

Monday, November 05, 2007

Welcome to relaxing November... ahh...

October was a crazy month for me. I had a wedding, a big tradeshow, and our company's leadership conference, all in a two week span. On Halloween I returned from Colonial Williamsburg, where I resided for 5 nights at the Kingsmill Resort and Spa, home of the leadership conference that I busted my ass on for 5 days and nights straight. I don't think I've ever worked a 16 hour day until last week. Hmm. Now I know how Ryan feels, because honestly, I didn't sit. Once. And when I hit my bed at night to get a mere 4 hours of measly sleep to rest up to get back at it at 4:30 in the morning, I was out like someone hit me in the face with a sledgehammer.

Colonial Williamsburg (or CW, as the locals call it) was pretty cool. I was excited to go there - probably because I'm a nerd and I like history, and the highlight of my trip was getting to go to an old school tavern for dinner - The Kings Arm - where we were serenaded by a woman playing a mandolin... and I ate peanut soup. Good stuff. We had a group of 300 or so managers from our company and we were greeted and led down the cobblestone street by a colonial drum and fife corp - and after dinner we went on a ghost tour, which was fitting for Halloween.

Pictures will follow as soon as I get the 400 from my work camera uploaded.

I'm just happy to have the busy work crap behind me and be able to relax and enjoy the upcoming holidays - and Lyric's 2nd birthday. Which is on Thanksgiving this year, incidentally.


Remember last year when I got a dog? Yeah, and he was nuts? Well, I've been unsuccessfully trying to talk Ryan into getting another pet - be it guinea pig (no rodents), cat (allergic), bunny (maybe), or dog (NO DOGS). It's not working.

I've said this time and time again, but I've always wanted a dog. It's distressing that my first dog was kind of a disapointment... ok, a major dispointment, since he was totally not suitable for my couch potato family. Lyric and I went to the Humane Society the other day and met this fellow:

He was the sweetest little guy ever. Not too big, not too small. Very laid back and kind of shy. He liked laying down. He took more of an interest to Lyric than myself... but he warmed up to me after playing for a bit. The Humane Society calls him Snickers, and he was rescued from a shelter in Ohio that was closing down and had to put their remaining animals down. I showed Ryan the pictures I took on my phone of him and Lyric playing, and his reaction was like a punch in the gut - a staunch "I don't care." I could have cried. There is definitely a part of me that is missing without a full time animal in my life, because I've always been an animal person. I thought Ryan was the same way, but he's really proving not to be, and that's kind of hurtful to know. It's almost like not agreeing on how many kids to have. Well, maybe not that extreme, but I'm really starting to feel like the guy I married has no heart. That its turned to stone. It really makes me sad that we don't share the same ideals when it comes to this. If it were up to me I'd probably have a house full of animals - at least, that's how I always pictured it when I was growing up.

I'm just having some issues over this right now, I guess. Mostly because we fought about it all weekend, and really, there hasn't been a weekend that's gone by that we haven't fought about something stupid in a long time.

I'm questioning a lot about my life these days and how I really want things to be, and how I get things to be the way I want them. So sorry for putting all this out there, but I'm starting to get to that level where change is inevitable - and that means either making changes to myself or sinking into a deep dark hole that will be hard to get myself out of. So this is me stepping towards the light.

Yesterday I filled out an application to become a Humane Society volunteer, so that's step one in making a positive change.

Did any of this make sense at all???

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

On the E-Lo Pod (my i-pod's nickname)

Girls Gone Geek - possibly my favorite podcast.... EVA! But you know, I'm kind of geeky... and I'm a girl (or so I'm told - by my husband, who watched me push a baby out of, well, you know). Anyhoo, the show is all about technology and fun schtuff like that, which I'm into, of course. I'm personally waiting on the edge of my seat for the episode coming up where Liana names some great editing software that can be downloaded for free online...

Am I gushing? Gushing geekiness?

Anyway, if you're into technology, you'll definitely want to check it out. Meow!

Monday, October 22, 2007

I love the night life... when it involves pajamas

Being a mom has really taken my cool factor and just stomped the crap right out of it. Before I had a kid, I used to go out, drink, dance, generally live it up. These days I don't get to go out much. I used to feel kind of bitter about it, because Ryan still goes out to the bar with his buddies - and of course I'd be the one stuck at home on a Wednesday night, not eating wings and drinking beer, but changing poop-filled diapers and trying to get a cranky baby to go to sleep.

After a couple of Fridays out for bachelorette parties, I wonder how I ever LIKED going out. Because I did. I looked forward to the weekends to cut loose, live it up, and sleep in.

Sitting in a smoke-filled, disgusting, sweaty person filled bar this past Friday made me come to the realization that I truly am happiest at home, with my tornado/toddler. I'd rather be on the couch, in my pjs, watching Shrek for the 15 millionth time, in bed by 9:30, and awake and clear headed by 7:30 on a Saturday.

I guess that's why youth is fleeting. I can't imagine being single and childless at this age. Is that totally weird of me?

Sunday, October 21, 2007

With the flowergirls

With the flowergirls, originally uploaded by Elosquirrel.

Lyric with Michele's little cousins - three flowergirls in a row...

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Thursday, October 18, 2007

E-Lo's a bridemaid again (or an old maid?)

This weekend my good friends Bill and Michele got married. Ryan, Lyric, and I had the honor of being a part of the wedding party, and it was a blast.

I don't have any pictures yet - but here's my favorite so far (and probably destined to be one of my all time favorite photos of Ryan and I), courtesy of Starr...

Yes, this may at first glance appear to be a photo of my husband kissing my hand... then you get a closer look - and you realize he's actually gnawing on my finger. That's right. I had a splinter.

And that's why as of next Friday, we'll have been married for 5 years. Love, baby!

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Dude, where's my blog?

Seriously, I'm really slacking lately. But I'm busy... insanely busy.

My kid burned her finger today... on a lightbulb, of all things. I thought maybe it just scared her (the heat) but I looked at her finger and there was a white hot little blister starting. So now she's playing in a bowl full of "eyecee walla," in her words. Poor kid.

So I've been shopping online, and I'm in lurve with this shirt (by wenifnotnow):
I'm really close to buying it, but the large sounds... small. And I'm a mom. Not a skinny mom. I still have the mark of the slightly overweight mommy - the mommy belly. There's no getting rid of it, no matter how much pilates I do... theres just this weird excess of skin that makes me look maybe 3 months pregnant all the time.
Funny story about looking and feeling frumpy... yesterday I was at an event where several of my work friends showed up. One of the guys in my department brought his fiance, who I've met on several occasions - nice girl, very cute, very young and charming. I haven't seen her in about 6 months, but when she was me she was all, "Erica! I love your hair! It's so cute! And I didn't know you got your nose pierced - I'm jealous! You look great! You look 10 years younger than the last time I saw you! Not that you looked old - but you look... hip!"
I was flattered, and at the same time, I wondered... did I really look like a frumpy mom before?

Monday, September 24, 2007

Some Monday Cuteness

It's been a while since I've posted some photos of my cutie pie, so here are some new ones...

I'm so cute in my new hat!

A BINKY? Are you serious?
Seriously, the girl never liked binkies even when I wanted her to, but she found one in her toybox and wouldn't take it out of her mouth so I could take a cute photo.

Cuteness Personified
She's got Ryan's cheeks.

Concentrating on a puzzle...

Her princess chair
The Princess in her throne.

Happy Monday!

Friday, September 14, 2007

I could have told you this...

Looks like the Steelers have the most female fans out of all of the NFL. While I was at the airport the other day, I was baffled by the pink Roethlisberger and Polamalu NFL gear. I was like, "Where's Charlie Batch? Where's Santonio Holmes? Where's freaking Hines Ward?"

Are Big Ben and Troy with his long flowing locks the hottest guys in the NFL? Really? Ok, well, maybe they are pretty hot for football guys (and everyone tells Ryan that he looks like Big Ben, so he must have something going for him)... but I do not and will not ever own a PINK Steelers jersey. Black and Gold people! Black and freaking GOLD!

Thursday, September 06, 2007

I quit you...

Or breaking up is easy to do - celebrity edition!

Michelle Williams and Heath Ledger. Next thing you know, it will be Ben Afleck and Jennifer Garner. All these celebrities that have babies that are close to Lyric's age are calling it quits. Just look at Britney.

Raising kids is hard work, granted. It does put a major strain on your relationship, and forever changes things. I'm sure that if Ryan and I were celebrities, we'd be long divorced by now. But we're regular people, sticking it out. So here's what I don't get - why is it so easy for the rich and famous to pull the plug on their relationships? What makes them so emotionally inept? So commitmentally challenged? It's just so hard to understand.

But I guess there are more important things in life. Like who will they date next!

Friday, August 31, 2007

Corporate E-Lo

If you had to choose a song that would be the "theme" of your corporation's annual conference, what would you pick? My thought is Fleetwood Mac's "Don't Stop." Everything is just so overused... we also thought about Van Hagar's "Right Now."

Any ideas?

Saturday, August 25, 2007

I want it all... I want it all... and I want it now...

I have to admit, I'm a material girl. And it's a material world. And when I'm bored, nothing soothes my soul more than internet shopping. Which is why I love these sites:

Shoes, shoes, and more shoes. Evil if you have a gap card, like I do. I'm eyeing these badboys up. Especially since I have a 20% off coupon burning a hole in my purse.

Uncommon goods. Goods for the uncommon! Like me. I'm personally coveting this. Because I think it's important to remember what's important... like picking up lactose free milk every other day for my champion milk chugger.

Not because I'm a fan of paper - I'm a fan of their pendant trays. I need to get me some of those and make some cool personalized pendants.

The HOW Conference

I missed it this year, but I'm trying to talk my boss into sending us next year. Keep your fingers crossed.

Amazon is my old standby. Anything I need I get there. But right now the number one item on my wishlist is this... especially since I'm going to a Photoshop for Photographers seminar in Pittsburgh on Monday.


Thursday, August 23, 2007

Ain't No Jive Turkey

So - it was time for a new look. What do you think? Pretty pink, huh? I like pink. It's one of my favorite colors. So eff off. My only problem is my sidebar... I... just... can't... seem... to get it... up here... ugh.

Anyhoo - lots going on these days. We're in the process of ripping apart the kitchen and putting it back together. A few steps left and my kitchen will have been upgraded. Not NEW, but different. And different can be better.

Next is the bathroom! Pictures will follow.

Speaking of different being better - I changed my email address. If you'd like my new address, email me at my old one. You'll get a quirky auto response back from me, but just ignore that... I'll make sure to add you to my address list.

And that's it for now.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

I heart Top 40.

I'm a big dork for it - but I love Rhianna's "Umbrella." And I certainly appreciate Mandy Moore's cover of it...

Monday, August 06, 2007

Love Bites

It took me forever to find this link. I really need to label my posts.

This past weekend Ryan and I spent with my parents and Lyric at camp. Lyric loves camp, because there is always someone around to take her for a walk - be it me, or Ryan, or my mom, or my dad. And the dogs follow her where ever she goes. The kid loves taking walks, and camp is a great place to do it.

She also had the experience of sleeping in a tent for the first time. That in itself was an experience for us, because she was just TOO EXCITED! You mean we SLEEP in here? Not bounce around like crazy people! BUT THIS IS JUST TOO EXCITING! FORGET SLEEP!

Thankfully, she passed out after about an hour.

It's getting to that awkward stage right now with Lyric that I'm not sure how to discipline her. She does things that need corrective action, and short of telling her NO, I'm not sure what else to do, because I don't know what to do with her. Case in point - she's a biter. I don't know why, or how it started, but the kid loves biting, especially when she's tired. I look like a battered woman with crazy bruises all up and down my arms.

So - parents - how do I stop the biting? Do I spray the bitter apple stuff that I used to use for Rocky all over me? What do I do? I'm in a wedding in 68 days that involves me wearing a strapless dress... it's not gonna look so hot if I have bruises and scars all over me.

What would you do?

Friday, August 03, 2007

Holy Eff

This is unbelievable.

I've written about the Duggar family before. When they only had 14 kids... but crap, they are one breeding bunch.

What do you think it's like to have spent 10.5 years of your life pregnant?

Monday, July 23, 2007

Mama got a piercing!

Mama got a piercing!Some moms get flowers - I get nostril piercings. This is my late birthday present - I had a cold on my birthday so a nose piercing wasn't feasible.

Friday, July 13, 2007

There’s nothing quite as bad as...

Giving your baby an enema. It’s like clubbing a baby seal. Only you know that something good is going to come of it, like a giant log of weird yellowish baby poo – and a happy and relieved baby. But the act of giving an enema in itself is something that nobody should ever have to do. Especially to a small child.

My kid gets constipated. I can’t figure out why – I think it has something to do with cows milk – although she’s not allergic. Since I weaned her and she’s upped her milk intake, she’s been constipated more often. And when she hasn’t taken a crap, she’s more than unhappy. She’s a tyrant. She’s a demon. Never have I wanted to see poop more badly in her diaper in my life.

It’s awful to watch her try to poop when she’s constipated. She hides behind the recliner, holds on for dear life, starts to get really red – and that’s when the screaming begins. The screams of her trying to poop are much different from any other scream – they’re almost inhuman. And you can’t help but pick her up and hold her and try to ease some of the pain – if there even is a way of easing the pain of something too big trying to come out of your baby sized pooper.

Poor kid.

I’m looking forward to a splattery poop filled weekend. Seriously.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

On not being poor anymore...

I can't say that I'm well to do or anything like that. Certainly not wealthy. By any means. But looking back on how far I've come in the past year is pretty amazing. A little over a year ago I was living at my mother-in-laws, raiding the bare cupboards trying to find stuff to make something partially edible for dinner. I was unemployed, miserable, depressed, and stressed out.

Our good fortune started with buying our house. Soon we'll celebrate a year there (oh, and my 3 year blogoversary just passed me by). I got both of my jobs after we moved in and settled. Now my teaching job is expanding a bit... I'll be doubling what I make. Yesterday I jokingly told Ryan that he could be a house husband. I think he liked that idea a bit too much, so I had to clarify that I was indeed kidding.

My life is pretty nice right now, I have to admit. It might not be all that... my house needs some major renovations that just aren't going to happen any time soon (unless I get a $10,000 raise), I had to give away the one thing I really wanted to make my life complete - my dog; and my kid is a biter. Seriously, I have bruises all over me from her biting me... what do you do about that?

Regardless, it's all pretty damn good.

Oh, and I just got Adobe CS3. Chalk that up to being fantastic. Yow.

All I need now is an iphone...

Friday, June 29, 2007

What happens here...

Bellagio at Night

Fountains at Bellagio

Fountains at Bellagio

Paris Las Vegas

Outside Paris Las Vegas

Bellagio Lobby ceiling

Isn't really much to speak of when you've got to work.

But Vegas is fun. I'm definitely going back... when I have money and lots of free time.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Currently obsessed with...

This song:

I heart her...

Chick lit - Jennifer Wiener rocks.

Searching this site for stuff to do in Vegas, since I'll be there on Saturday.

Taking my kid swimming - she loves it and it's HOT.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Baby... growing...

P1010184, originally uploaded by Elosquirrel.

Tres cute, no?

Monday, June 04, 2007

Turning 30 and getting my body back (to myself)

Thanks for the birthday wishes. It’s been an entire week of being 30 and so far, it’s been great. Ryan threw me a suprise party, and what a suprise it was. It’s always suprising to learn that people like you, evidenced by the amount of friends that showed up at my SURPRISE birthday party. And it was so fun... I had a better time than I imagined, although I did pass out by midnight. Not cause I was drunk (but have you had the new Smirnoff Raw Tea yet? DANGEROUS! And WONDERFUL) but because I’m old now, and a mom, and I like sleep, especially when my daughter is nestled in bed between my mother and father and I have a bed all to myself with no interuptions. That was a good birthday present in itself.

Pictures from the party can be seen here.

Now on to a different subject.

1 year, 6 months, 1 week and 4 days.

That’s how long I breastfed my baby.

For a while now (um... since beginning to nurse, it seems) I’ve been devising a way to wean my beloved boob junkie. I wasn’t sure that it was even possible, considering the amount that she always wanted to nurse, and how much it comforted her. A few months ago, after a trip to the doctor, I began to question myself. My doctor was switching my depression/anxiety medication, and she asked me if I was still nursing.

I lied (after extensive research on whether or not it was safe to nurse on what she was switching me to... and it was). To which she laughed, “oh, well, you never know – but I was going to say, whew! 15 months... yeah, if you were you might be getting something else out of it.”

That’s when I started to feel like a freak. Then Lyric started asking for it. “Boob?” she’d inquire? “Boob!” she’d demand. “Boooobbbb,” she’d sob. Trouble.

I always said that I’d be done nursing once my baby could ask for it. But I had never been there.
Saturday morning was the last time we nursed. After talking to her pediatrician, who recommended that I go cold turkey, that’s the route I chose. I thought, “boy, am I really in for a hellacious weekend.” I had Ryan buy me a head of cabbage, and I waited for the breakdowns to begin.

But they never did. Not really. At my first refusal, it took a while to console her. After that, she took “boobies go bye bye... all gone!” as an explanation. Last night, I snuggled with her in bed, and she laid her hand on my chest and said, “boob.” And I said, “no, boobies go bye bye.” And she rested her head on my shoulder and snuggled closer before she fell asleep. I’ve never felt greater relief.

The only hard part that I’m dealing with right now is the pain. My boobs are so full, they’re like rocks. And while they’re not leaking or anything like they might have done a year ago, they’re still very uncomfortable. And I can’t very well shove cabbage down my shirt at work, because if you’ve never smelled what cabbage cooking on warm skin smells like, you certainly don’t want to. And I want my coworkers to like me, and not call me “the girl that smells like cabbage.” That’s not a good label.

So yes, I thought that this would be harder. I probably could have done it sooner, but I was nervous. 18 months is a long time to be in the same routine, and the change was kind of scary. I thought I’d feel a little more sad, and while Saturday night was a little tough for me, since then I’ve been fine. Of course last night I finished off what was left of a gallon of ice cream, complete with chocolate syrup, so my hormones might be starting to get out of whack. But hopefully when I start taking my estrogen based birth control pills again and my milk starts drying up, and up myself tonight (doctor recommended, of course) to 60mg of Cymbalta, all will even out. I love Western medicine.

I'm glad to have had this experience. The past 18 months have been wonderful, and while it is kind of sad to have this milestone behind me, at the same time - I was ready. I'd tell anyone who was willing to breastfeed their baby. It's the most bonding experience that you can share with your child. And if you don't understand that, it's because you've never done it. I would never take anything back or regret anything.

So that’s my story. No more boob... until I decide if I’m going to have another baby. And that’s a whole other story that we’ll talk about another day.

Friday, May 25, 2007

The new 10

That's what 30 is.

And I'll be there... on Sunday.

Happy Birthday to me.

Monday, May 21, 2007

A New Home...

I’ve said before, and I’ll say again – I’ve always wanted a dog. For as long as I can remember, I’ve had dogs growing up. Moving out on my own, getting to a place in my life where I could have a dog was a goal of mine. I wanted dogs before I had kids. But it didn’t happen that way.

When we got Rocky, I was excited to finally have reached that goal, but I found it increasingly hard to make an emotional connection to that dog. He could be sweet, but he mostly terrorized my house, chewing up Lyric’s toys, eating packs of cigarettes, breaking bar glasses with his giant tail, and jumping up on countertops. Not to mention stealing food right out of Lyric’s hands and plowing her over numerous times. It was very disheartening. And the fact is, that with my two jobs and my baby, I barely have time for myself, much less an animal that obviously needs a ton of attention. I had every intention of trying to take him to obedience classes, but it never happened.

Ryan wanted to get rid of the dog from day one, but I was insistent on making it work. Finally, after 5 months of him begging and pleading with me to find him a new home, I agreed. It wasn’t fair to Rocky that we didn’t have time for him.

After searching for a few weeks for our options on a new home for him, we were starting to feel a little discouraged. We didn’t want to take him to a shelter – we wanted him to be happy wherever he went. Ryan came up with the brilliant idea of calling one of his ex-coworkers, Barb, who had mentioned before that she was interested in getting a dog.

So he called her. And she said yes.

We were thrilled. Not only because we had a place for Rocky to go, but because we knew it would be a good place. So we packed him up yesterday and made the drive up north, to Barb’s house, where she and her little boy were patiently waiting on Rocky. As soon as we pulled in, her son exclaimed, “my new puppy is here!” And I felt relief flooding me, knowing that someone actually wanted him.

After hanging out for a while, showing them what Rocky likes (throwing the tennis ball, scratching his butt, chewing on giant bones) – Barb reassured us that Rocky would be well cared for, get fat and lazy and spoiled, and get tons of attention. I just hope he doesn’t disapoint them. Because as mean as it sounds, he disapointed me. After years of wanting a dog of my own, now I question whether I’ll ever have another. And that’s sad, because I really do love dogs.

Maybe someday I’ll find that pup that sweeps me off my feet. Not literally, like Rocky did to Lyric. For now, I’ll be happy with our fish. Whose name, ironically enough, is “Fish.”

Fish is good.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Lame times at E-Lo High

Some of you may remember about a year ago when I was unemployed and my brother was in a car accident – my “friend” offered me an interview with her employer. They hired me, and I rejected the job because the pay sucked and there were no benefits. After that, my “friend” – who was at one time someone I called my “best friend” quit talking to me. She never called me to see if my brother was alive, never wished my baby a happy first birthday, nothing. Nada. Whatever. No skin off my back, because personally, I had felt our friendship faltering for some time. We had become incredibly different people – actually she stayed the same and I kind of evolved into someone more mature and responsible, what with motherhood and all forcing me to do so.

I hadn’t seen her since, that is, until this past weekend. I saw her in passing at the same bar on Saturday, and I honestly felt like it was a scene out of the lamest of the lame high school movies. She went out of her way – without actually making any contact with me whatsoever – to show me that she had other friends, that she was having fun, and it was all very rude and obnoxious and immature. It reminded me of how she used to get jealous when we’d go out together and guys would hit on me. She’d come up to me and act like she was my girlfriend to try to convince whoever that we were lesbians. I hated that then, and I have absolutely no time for it now.

My life, while not perfect, has gotten considerably better in the past year. I have two jobs that are rewarding in many ways, friends, both old and new, that I love, a daughter that fills my life with extreme joy, and a husband who is my foundation. I have a home, a wonderful and supportive family – and I don’t have to act like my life is all peaches and cream all the time. Because for the most part, I’m happy.

Whether she really is or not, I probably will never know.

I’ve got to admit, I’ve thought about her in the past year, many times with a small amount of sad regret because of the friendship that we once had. At the same time, I’m glad to have moved beyond that point in my life. I guess almost everyone has had toxic friendships in their past – people that you don’t really like who you become when you’re around them. And I have to admit, I never really liked who I was around her. I just never really knew it.

Que sera sera.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

The joys of raising a girl...

I’m ashamed. In my last post – the ones with all of Lyric’s words – I forgot the most important word.

The thing that she’s most obsessed about.

She’s a girly girl.


She’ll wake me in the middle of the night, calling for her shoes.

“SHOES! Shoooooooooes! Shoes! SHOES!!!!”

She loves shoes.

Probably more than any one and half year old.

We took her to the shoe store a few weekends ago because Ryan needed new shoes. It was like taking her to the circus, or McDonald’s playland. She was non-stop: “SHOES!!!” It was like she couldn’t believe that the world could contain so many shoes. In so many styles. And so many colors! Shoes! Everywhere you look! Big ones, little ones! Baby flip flops! Baby sneakers! Big girl shoes! Big boy shoes! Daddy’s shoes! Mommy’s shoes! SHOES!

It was exhausting to watch her tear through them. Because I just sat back and let her go. Those shoes were hers for the taking. Until we left – and she cried.

And I thought that I liked shoes. Yeah, it just doesn’t compare.

On a postive note, we'll have lots of fun shopping trips in the future.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007


More photos like this can be found on my Flickr...

My kid can TALK. I think she learns a new word daily at this point.

Here's the list of words that I can think of off the top of my head that she can say:

Thank You
Boob (this one explains a lot... remember my tagline, "weaning is not an option?" Yeah, that's true.)

There's a lot more, but sometimes she makes my head feel like it's going to explode with the immensity of her knowledge. She's a smart cookie.

And cute.

But I'm biased.

Friday, April 27, 2007

My new hair and my new MONITOR

My new hair and my new MONITOR

Got my hair did on Wednesday.

Got this monitor a couple weeks ago.

I love both.

Friday, April 20, 2007

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

The worst come on line in the book

Sunday Ryan and I did our Sam's Club shopping. In spite of always telling me that he wants to go on a diet because he's getting so fat sitting at a desk, he still picked up what might be the grossest food substance ever invented: sausage links encased in pancake batter... on a stick. So they're basically a sauage and pancake corndog. He bought a box of somewhere around the vicinity of 50 of them - or close to that - who knows, it's Sams Club - and has proceeded to eat one every day since.

Needless to say, I find them fairly repulsive and stick to my breakfast of Kashi Go Lean Crunch - which should really be called Kashi Go Lean Break Your Effin Teeth Out. But it's at least healthy - not processed meat and fried batter on a stick.

Last night I was lying in bed reading, and Ryan came into the room - eating one of these monstrosities. I immediately gagged at the mere sight of it, and he took my weakness as a moment to come on to me using this "food." The conversation went a little something like this:

"Ugh - are you seriously eating one of those right now?"

"Yeah - they're good. Want a bite?"

"No. No - get it away from my face. Buddy - seriously. You smell like sausage corn dogs."

"Come on... they're gooooood."

"Get away from me."

"I got another sausage for you... wanna be my pancake?"


Thursday, April 05, 2007

April Showers

Tuesday - Western PA. The weather is beautiful. It's equivalent to a summer day - sunny, hot - almost 80 degrees. I wanted to spend the entire day outdoors.

Two days later:

April Showers

This was my drive this morning.


Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Vegas, here I come!

Woooo! Vegas, baby!

June 24 - 27, I'll be staying at the Bellagio for the SHRM 59th annual conference and expo.

I've never been to Vegas. Hell, I've never really been anywhere except for Mexico and Tulsa. And Canada. Well, ok, maybe more places than that.

Of course, it means getting on a plane again.

But it's VEGAS. How can I say no? A free trip to VEGAS. It's effing retarded NOT to go.

Ok, that's my news for the day.

Sunday, April 01, 2007


I may not be blogging very often these days, but one thing on the internet that's getting a lot of action is my flickr site. I've uploaded lots of pictures as of late. So check them out. Most recently is my brother's trip home from California, which was all too short of a visit. But it was a good time.



Don't forget, he's a chef, so I got to enjoy stuff like this while he was home:

Eat at Jer's

I'll miss him.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Why E-Lo's don't have wings, the explanation

From now on, driving is the way I travel. I don't care how long it takes. California, here I come - in my minivan.

Because I'm never flying again.

So I've flown once before in a commercial airliner, and the experience wasn't so bad. The turbulence, although scary, wasn't as scary to me then as it was now, since my anxiety has reached its highest point ever now that I'm a mom.

More on that later.

We reached Tulsa with little stress. Our flights were on time, they were pretty smooth - even our landing in Chicago - our first stop, was perfect. We barely even felt the plane touch the runway.

Chicago from the air.

O'Hare was crowded and crazy, a much different scene than Pittsburgh International. The morning at the Pittsburgh airport was almost strangely quiet, but O'Hare was nuts. We stood outside of Chilis for 15 minutes to get seated for lunch. We were almost afraid we wouldn't get to eat before our next flight left.

We made it from Chicago to Tulsa without much interesting happening. Tulsa International airport is weird and tiny. But it does have a Starbucks, with coffee like crack cocaine that I experienced the morning we left.

Tulsa is a strange place. It's all flat and spread out - and it takes forever to get anywhere. It has a large population of Hispanics and gays. Work went fine - the power went out in the Tulsa Operations center on Monday right after lunch, so we had no lights to continue filming. So the ladies from marketing, or the "marketing bitches" as they like to be called took us on a little driving tour of Tulsa. There wasn't much to see. Like I said, it's a strange place. I learned that Tulsa is an oil town, turned technology town, turned aviation town. It's also a test market city, so it gets a ton of chain restaurants and stores and products before a lot of other places get them. Weird.

This is downtown Tulsa, and this is exactly how close I got to it. That's about all there is to see.

We resumed filming Tuesday, went to a couple of trucking companies, yada yada, and basically wrapped everything up. The marketing bitches took us to dinner at this sushi place called "In the Raw," which was the highlight of the trip, other than getting totally wasted Monday night at the hotel bar with my co-workers. We met a few diverse and colorful chaps that we chatted with, played pool, and went outside every 5 seconds to smoke. You can't smoke anywhere in Tulsa. Unless it's a bar that doesn't serve food. So anytime we wanted to smoke, we had to venture outside. Pretty inconvenient.

I ate edamame for the first time - which is just seasoned soybeans. But it's pretty good. And the sushi rocked.

Wednesday morning we left at 8:30 for our 10:30 flight, only to find out that it was delayed an hour because of storms in Chicago - we were flying back the same way we came in. So we drank some crack Starbucks and smoked as many cigarettes as we could before going through security. When we finally did decide to go to our gate, we found out that the flight was delayed yet again - which put a damper on us getting to our flight from Chicago to Pittsburgh on time, but there was still a chance we could have made it... if only...

For some reason, getting on this flight from Tulsa and taking off was dreadful for me. At all of our take offs, my palms were sweaty. This one I had to do deep breathing. My coworker V was as anxious - if not more anxious than I was. After about 45 minutes in the air, V went back to the bathroom, and the pilot came over the loudspeaker with this little gem:

"Attention ladies and gentlemen, this is your captain speaking. We've run into a little problem up here in the cockpit."

This is where my heart stopped working and my entire body got cold.

"It seems that our windshield is delaminating. We've got it rigged up enough to prevent it from actually shattering, but we're going to go ahead and land in St. Louis. It's not an emergency, but it's for safety reasons."

I think I started to hyperventilate, thinking about the windshield of the plane shattering, the pilots getting sucked out, and crashing into the ground and dying in a fiery inferno and never seeing my child again, which was the only thing that I wanted to do that day.

V came back looking as white as a ghost. Before this announcement, we had been watching the first episode of Lost on my i-pod. You know, the one where the plane breaks in half and people get sucked out of it and they crash into an island? Yeah, that one.

It seemed like we were in the air forever. The pilot was obviously waiting to get clearance to land in St. Louis, and he was flying in circles, which made the plane tip back and forth, back and forth. I thought I might puke. I thought I might cry. I wondered if I was going to live. I wondered what would happen to our department if all of us died.

We finally did land, bouncing off the runway as we did so. We then had to get off the plane, which was wonderful, and immediately board another plane to Chicago, which we thought was dumb, why couldn't we get a direct flight to Pittsburgh? A rude non-American United representative told us we couldn't. So back on the next plane we went, even with the announcements that everything in Chicago was being delayed 3 or 4 hours because of the storms. Which made me really excited to fly into Chicago if you can sense my sarcasm.

The plane taxied down the runway. Then we sat. And sat. The pilot said that O'Hare was shut down. We didn't even know if we could get out. We sat on that plane for an hour and a half. The pilot came out and served us water and answered questions. Finally, he got word that the storms were only getting worse, and we'd be better off cancelling the flight for the night. So back to the airport we went.

We got our luggage and a flight from St. Louis to Pittsburgh for 6AM Thursday morning. United comped us a hotel room at the airport Hilton.

I loved St. Louis, the little that I could see of it. There were smoking lounges! You were allowed to smoke - in a bar! I was in heaven. This trip was stressful, so of course all I wanted to do was drink and smoke.

This is a long story, no?

Thursday morning was the same crap. We didn't get the correct boarding passes to get through security. Then we had to be specially screened by the homeland security agents because United transferred us over to US Airways, then we almost missed our flight because we were smoking in the smoking lounge. The ride into the sky was terribly bumpy. There was lighting all around us. I was a nervous wreck.

Never have I been so glad to see Pittsburgh. I'll never take having my feet on the ground for granted again. My mantra on that last flight was: "never going to fly, never going to fly, never going to fly AGAIN."

But I'm safe on the ground now. I'm such a terrestrial being.

Friday, March 23, 2007

There is a reason that I don't have wings...

I'm back... after the most hellacious 2 days of my life. I never want to fly again. I've never experienced so much anxiety or panic as I did on my last 2 plane rides.

I'll go into more detail on that in a few days... once I have pictures uploaded.

Tulsa sucks, I can tell you that much.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

When the lines between work and life get fuzzy...

I’m to the point where I feel that my jobs are taking over my life – and the thing is, I don’t really mind it. For me, it’s work, Lyric, work, Lyric, American Idol, Lyric, Sleep, work, Lyric, work, Lost, Lyric, Sleep. And eating, of course. But that’s getting less and less – still 20 pounds to lose here, people. And Cheesecake Factory Tiramisu cheesecake for breakfast today isn’t helping. But oh well. It’s cool.

Tonight, after work, I have a work related function. I’ll probably get home around 9 or 10, work some more with my class, then go to bed. Back to work in the morning to prepare for our trip – then one day off. Sunday morning we’re leaving at around 8:00 for our flight.

The one great thing is that I love who I work with. My teaching job is cool – but it can be a total pain in the ass. But my normal job is great. And I feel so lucky to have finally found something that I love – a place that I WANT to be – where I don’t feel like I’m neglecting my daughter for being there 40 plus hours a week.

And money is good. A year ago I was struggling to buy groceries. I was homeless, basically – floating between homes. I was miserable, depressed, and felt sorry for myself a lot. I’ve come a long way since then, and believe me, I’m thankful every single day for that.

Now if I could get my husband to the same level, life would be perfect.

Let's end on a note of cuteness:


I heart her.

Monday, March 12, 2007

Monday is the old blah

This weekend I’m faced with leaving my child for three entire nights to go to Tulsa for my job. Oklahoma. Not some place cool, like New York or LA, - TULSA.

In some ways I’m looking forward to going. I’m going with 2 of my coworkers, who are awesome people that I really like, so it will be fun to hang out with them outside of the confines of our office walls. Two of us are moms, so it will be nice to be away from the kids in some regards to kind of cut loose a bit. At the same time getting on a plane and flying away from my child scares me to death. I’ve left her before, once. I know this is going to be tough, because I race to get home every day so I can see her face and relax.

It’s crazy how your entire world can revolve around a little person.

I haven’t flown in 4 years, and I’m not really looking forward to that, either. Thinking about it right now is kind of making me sick – but not as sick as putting 1046.1 miles across 5 states between me and my child.

Ugh... excuse me while I dry heave.

To follow up on this great feeling, today I found out that my dad has to have surgery on what turned out to be an aneurysm in his brain. That could be what is helping out with all my anxiety.

It’s possible I need to up my meds.

On top of all of that, my husband has called me twice today to tell me how much he is hating his new job, which he used to do to me repeatedly when he was paving. Now he works in an office and sits all day. He told me last night that he had a dream he was paving again... so I told him that no matter what he does, he’s obviously not going to be happy.

He didn’t like that response.

I’m having a great Monday.

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Hells Autumn

Hells Autumn, originally uploaded by Elosquirrel.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

E-Lo Art

Herbal Burns, originally uploaded by Elosquirrel.

This is a print I recently did for my mom's living room. I have yet to get it framed, or even show it to my mom. There's a few more in my flickr that I've done if you want to check them out.

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

A pain in the ass. Literally.

Last Thursday night, I decided to go down to the basement to watch Iron Chef, much like I do every week. I like to do that because after my baby is asleep, I sneak away to smoke cigarettes and snort lines off of Rocky’s snout. Then Ryan and I call up some hookers, have a good time, and then – only then – can I go to sleep.

Iron Chef makes me think of my brother, who is currently working as a chef in California. After his car wreck/reality check he decided to get as far away from us as possible, you know, us as in the people who were there for him when we thought he was going to die. I’m saying that sarcastically, of course, because I fully support my brother getting out of town – Butler is a good place for people like Ryan and I, who have a family and also have our heads on straight and have a good thing going. It’s not, however, a good place for people who are younger and less mature with no responsibilities – like kids- and live with their mothers. Drugs, man, drugs. So he moved off to Humboldt County, California, a place where you can easily get a license to legally grow “medicinal” marijuana. You know, to use for stuff like... oh... say, period cramps or headaches or hippies that want a legal reason to get high so they get their doctors to tell them they have anxiety. Yeah. I wish I lived there so I could easily medicate my, ahem, anxiety. Dude.

Anyway, I watch Iron Chef on Thursday nights, right after I watch the Office while nursing Lyric to sleep. That’s right, Lyric is 15 months and still nursing. Talk about hippies. While I’d love to wean her, number one, I have no idea how to get her away from my boobs. She’s always been a boob junkie, and at this point now it’s more of a source of comfort for her, and I have to admit, for myself as well. When she wants the boob she goes for it, pulling up my shirt, which can be awkward around the public, as you can imagine. Number 2, I like my boobs the size they are. I bought new bras a month or so ago, and I enjoy being a large C cup. I don’t want to go back to B. B is for “before baby boobies.”

I’m making a short story long.

So, as always, I headed down the basement steps. I was in my pjs, socks on, of course, because the socks can’t come off until I’m snugly in bed, with warm feet. As soon as I slip those socks off my feet, I’m out. At the end of the week, I have to remove all the socks from the foot of my bed. Don’t tell me you don’t know what I’m talking about.

I hit the 3rd step down on the stairs when my socked foot slipped out from under me. I knew what was happening and my arms flew up, but my hands hit the handrails so hard that they bounced off, and my ass hit the edge of the stairs with such force that the wind was knocked out of me. My left elbow hit something on the way down as well. I was rapidly bounding down the rest of the hard wood stairs on my ass until I hit the concrete floor at the bottom. I’m fairly sure that the sound that came out of my mouth resembled something like what a female cat in heat sounds like.

As I writhed at the bottom of the stairs, half in pain, half laughing at what a stupid ass I am, Ryan appeared at the doorway at the top of the stairs in a panic, having heard the large thud that my ass made and my cat-like screech/grunt. It took me a few minutes to get up with his help, and he lovingly called me a retard and I sat down very gingerly in the recliner for a desperately needed fix of nicotine. After that fall, what I really needed was some medicinal marijuana. Stupid Pennsylvania needs to get with the times, man.

My butt and my elbow were throbbing, as were both of my hands that hit the railing. Sitting felt GREAT, but not nearly as good as trying to roll over on to my right side in bed. Friday I revealed what is probably my largest bruise ever on my right butt cheek. It’s probably 2 inches wide and 5 inches across. I showed my mom when I went to pick up Lyric and she made me show my dad. My dad probably hasn’t seen my ass since I was Lyric’s age.

That bruise is magnificent. Lesson learned: walk down the stairs with caution. The pain is still there. Good thing my pride had nothing to lose.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Crazy Picture Post

Mmm... organic fruit snacks in the car!

Miss Can't Stop Walking Everywhere!

And she loves to crawl into things... it's mainly drawers, but this lottery cart at the American Legion works nicely too.

Weeeee! Having fun in the snow!

Here she's a little irritated because all this weird, cold, white stuff is on her foot.

Rocky... he loves us. Because we love to torture him.

Unfortunately, this is what happens to him when I'm stuck in the house for 2 days because of the snow. I love that dog. I MEAN IT.

Thank you, Blogger, for letting me upload pictures, finally.