Spider in the Shower

Let me tell you a little something about me when it comes to arachnids.

I die a little inside each and every time I see a spider. I don’t care if it’s a teeeeeensy little “no bigger than the head of a pin” spider. It’s a spider and is out for my blood and therefore, must be terminated on sight.

So the fact that I have a spider living in the corner of where I take my showers is slightly surprising.

Here is a picture of said spider (complete with handy dandy illustrations):

You may not be thinking that the spider is a huge deal. It’s not gigantic, and I’m fairly certain it’s not dangerous. I automatically assume that every spider I encounter & eliminate is a brown recluse but I’ve had a lot of time to look up at this spider as I shampoo my hair and pray it doesn’t fall on my face that I’m pretty sure it’s not a brown recluse.

But even though this spider isn’t very big, this is what it looks like in my head:

You can tell that it’s me by the red blobs boots.

So back to the reason that I let Shelob live in my shower. We live in an apartment complex, and when the weather is warmer there is an Ant Parade in our bathroom. I hate ants. They don’t cause any harm but they’re obnoxious. They bother me. So I figured hey, I have built in pest control living in the corner of my shower. Why spray harmful pesticides and chemicals when Mother Nature and her Minion from Hell can take care of the problem for me? Satan Shelob hasn’t really been an issue for me because she generally stays up there. Sometimes when I shower, I think she gets sprinkled with some water droplets because as I stare up at her to make sure she’s not preparing a sneak attack, she wiggles her legs like the water is hitting her. Or maybe she’s dancing. Or maybe she’s a pervert, and is really excited at the fact that I’m naked.

I digress. The other day I saw a teensy little roach in the bathroom (we’re not dirty people, we just live in an apartment complex. If you’ve ever lived in one, you know.) and glared up at Shelob. I informed her that she was laying down on the job and if she wasn’t careful, her new home would be Vacuum City. I swear to god she wiggled as if to say,
“Bring it, bitch.”

Happy Halloween, everybody!

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I Kicked a Tornado in the Face

The other day, the Tennessee Valley experienced some inclement weather.

And by inclement, I mean “heavy storms”. And by “heavy storms”, I really mean that there were fucking tornadoes.

In the Tennessee Valley.
For those of you who do not live in the Tennessee Valley, tornadoes do not happens here a lot. We don’t even have tornado sirens. Back in the Chicago suburbs where I grew up, we had tornado sirens. Tornadoes were not rare at all there and we had drills (and actual emergencies) more than once in my childhood.

I digress. The evening that I murdered a tornado, I arrived at my in-laws’ house to retrieve Nellie before heading out to pick up Josh from work. The weather was getting bad, and the news stations were flapping about warning about impending storm pockets and funnel clouds. I decided to stay there as long as I could before venturing out to get Josh, so we were all talking and playing with Nellie. The sky darkened, and it started to rain sideways. We marveled at Mother Nature, and watched various things fly through the air outside. After a few moments, it ended and we all went back to playing with the kiddo.

My father in law expressed some concern about me going all the way out to get Josh with Nellie in the car and all of this bad weather about so I agreed to leave her there and get him without her.

I went on my way, and was hitting pockets of rain here and there but nothing serious. Chattanooga is chock full of bridges that carry you across the Tennessee River; one of these methods across being the Chickamauga Dam. As I was driving up on the dam, it started to rain. Hard. As I slowed down and continued my way across the dam and was about to reach the highest point, the wind started blowing.
Really, really hard.
I was driving along side a van, and in front of me about ten feet ahead was another car. We all slowed down to a stop because the wind was whipping so hard we were having a hard time staying steady in our lanes.

Then, it got really bad. My car started rocking and swaying. Debris started flying up and over the road, whipping around in the air. As I sat there, unsure of what to do the fencing/wire caging to my right ripped off the side of the dam, and flew into the road. Poles were blowing across the road and landing, and the fencing was blowing around. I looked up and the air around me was debris flying around. I started saying out loud, “I don’t know what to do. I don’t know what to do!”
I felt panicked, and felt like I had to get off the dam right at that very second. All I could think about was, what do I do if this.. Whatever lifts my car up and throws me in the river? Should I get OUT of the car???
I began backing up to get off the dam but there was debris in the road everywhere, and I was afraid of running something over. When the winds stopped blowing and things stopped flying around, the driver beside me began slowly making his way forward. I followed, driving carefully over the fencing and across some wire. As I got clear of all the wreckage in the road, I hit the gas and got my ass off that dam.

I was shaking. I was terrified. I pulled over for a few minutes so I could process what had just happened. As I would come to find out later, the wreckage and chaos caused a multiple-car pileup on the other side of the dam (the two sides are separated by a divider), and that what had hit while I was up there was, in fact, a tornado.
An EF2 tornado.

My husband found a video of it on YouTube. What you’re seeing in the video is a camera kind of perched under one side of the dam. The camera is on the side of the dam that I was on; so basically if I had looked to my right, this is what I would have seen coming toward me. When the tornado disappears from the camera’s view, it’s crossing over the top of the dam (where I was) and down to the road on the other side, where it did more damage. The bridge you see in the video is not the dam, rather a railroad bridge beside it.

When I inspected the damage to our car this morning, I was happy to see that there were just a few cosmetic dings, dents, and scratches.

Oh, and this, lodged under the bug shield on the front of our car.

It’s some kind of oily, dirty, rusty ass chain but I don’t know what the fuck it goes to. I’m just luckily this thing didn’t smash through my windshield/window.

I’m also glad that Nellie wasn’t in the car with me, because all logic would have flown out of my head, I would have launched myself out of the car, run around to the back and climbed in there with her. Getting outside of my car probably would have been very foolish and dangerous, not to mention I most likely would have been sobbing and hysterical.

So that, my friends, is the story of how I almost got eaten by a tornado but emerged victorious.

EAT IT,  MOTHER NATURE.

Baby’s First Christmas….. Cards!

I’ve never been big on sending holiday cards or family letters. I’m one of those people that collects everyone’s addresses like a squirrel gathering nuts with the intention of sending them and then I lose my steam.. And by the time I get it back, it’s Valentine’s Day.

But this year is different. This year is my baby girl’s first Christmas! I want to make it special and memorable. I’m excited to share my daughter’s epic cuteness with all of our friends and family. Luckily, that’s what Shutterfly is for! They have an array of holiday cards for you to choose from.

Now, we aren’t Christian but we do celebrate Christmas (for us, it’s more about family tradition than anything religious) so I look for “happy holiday” type cards. One of my favorite designs that Shutterfly offers this year is the Mod Snowflakes Christmas Card design. I love the non-traditional colors featured on this card; it’s not your standard “Christmas red and green”.

Mod Snowflake

Another design I loved is the Shimmering Ornaments Christmas card. Again, I am in love with the non-traditional colors! The layout is fresh, and cute, and crisp and I puffy heart it!

Shimmering Snowflakes

My next favorite is the Top Ten Moments card. It has a spot for your family’s name, and then you list your “top ten moments” of the year. I think that this is so clever and different! I’m not sure what our top ten would be. Most likely it would look like: “Josh got a full time job!” “Nellie was born!” “We brought Nellie home!” “Nellie pooped!” “Nellie rolled over!”
You get the point.

Top Ten Moments

Shutterfly offers an array of cards outside of the Christmas holiday! They have Thanksgiving cards, Hannukah cards and even New Year’s Cards!

So if you’ve never sent holiday cards before, it’s never too late to start. Shutterfly offers completely customizable cards so you can send holiday wishes and greetings with pictures of your family, your kids, or your pets! I’m starting to get that “holiday fuzzy excited feeling”!

Do you want 50 free holiday cards from Shutterfly? Click here to go to Shutterfly for information on how you can get 50 free cards this holiday season, and make sure to select Clever 1000 as the referral source.

This post is part of a series sponsored by Shutterfly. I was selected for this sponsorship by the Clever Girls Collective, which endorses Blog With Integrity, as I do.

What Would You Say?

If you could go back to right before you had your first child and tell yourself one thing..

What would it be?

I think if I could say just one thing to myself before I had Nellie it would be..

Enjoy every second, because this is going to go faster than you can possibly imagine.

If I could say two things, I think the 2nd thing I’d say is..

It’s okay to feel sad. Or scared. Or helpless. It’s okay to cry.

So.. What would you say?

Bad Moon Rising

It feels as though the air around me is bewitched and attracting negative energy. And not necessarily just negative energy but there are a lot of surprising and unexpected things happening to people all around me and I swear to you it has to do with the moon.

It really started last week; honestly about three strange/unfortunate things happened to people that I’m in contact with and I wondered aloud, “Is there a full moon or something?” I found out days later that yes, there was a full moon approaching. But seriously. Someone who works for my company got into a plane accident (he’s okay but is going to need lots of therapy). Another person who works for us lost her grandmother just a few short weeks before her son is due to be born. We got into a fender bender. Our tire finally rolled its’ last roll and gave out on us, causing us to buy two new tires. Friends are going through car trouble, financial trouble; pneumonia. One of the members of my quartet just had her baby – 4 weeks early. Another coworker’s daughter is in the emergency room with shortened breath and chest pains. My friend’s boyfriend lost his job. I’m even experiencing some, er, “cycle weirdness”.

Seriously. What gives, universe? It’s like when it rains, it pours. I suppose it’s better to get all of this negative energy out and away all at once rather than in a slow, constant stream of unfortunate events. And as I said not all of these things are terrible, life-altering and they’re not all happening to me.

And I don’t really feel like the energy is malevolent, or nasty it’s just.. Mischievous. Like fate is frolicking around sprinkling bad luck all over everyone. Hopefully things will turn around soon for everyone.

So what about you? Have you been affected by the bad moon this week? Has a bit of Halloween mischief and misfortune been lurking around your house?


P.S. One of the girls who works for us just came in and said that a bunch of pumpkins she had on her porch were stolen. Bad moon, I tell you!

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Accident

This evening, my husband and I dropped Nellie off at her Gran’s and headed up Lookout Mountain to the Ruby Falls Haunted Cavern. We had a fantastic time! It was nice to get out for an evening, and I didn’t get to go through last year because I was big and round with baby love. We went straight to pick the bunny up afterward so not to keep Gran up too late and on our way back home, we were driving down a familiar road.

We slowed to a stop at a red light behind a car with Florida plates. In the rear window they had stick people decals – several of them, in fact – with a phrase underneath that said “Family is Everything”. I was in the process of counting said stick figures when suddenly they began to come closer.

And closer.
And closer.
Suddenly I realized that Florida was backing up – directly into us.  I yelled, “What the fuck!”
And then they hit us. Josh slammed on the horn, we both yelled and then sat there for a second. The light turned green and I watched the large SUV, wondering if they were going to try and just drive off. When they did not, Josh put the car in park and I pressed our hazard lights on and scrambled out of the car, almost ripping the rear door off its’ hinges to check on our baby.
As soon as she saw me she started screaming. I don’t know if it was the horn noise or us yelling, because honestly we weren’t hit that hard. The airbags didn’t deploy and there’s not even really a dent in the front. Regardless, I wanted to get her out of the car in case someone coming down the road wasn’t paying attention and slammed in to the back of it. I pulled her from the seat and moved safely into the grass while Josh and the driver of the other car began to talk. She calmed and I just held her in my arms.

Josh asked me to track down the insurance cards which I did relatively easily. I handed them to him and I saw the driver of a car, who was a woman who looked like she was maybe in her mid 50s. She looked nice enough and the vehicle they were driving suggested that they weren’t hurting for money. As I stood there in the cool night air, holding my baby girl all I wanted to do was set her safely aside, run at the driver of the SUV as fast as I could, slam her onto the ground and beat the holy living shit out of her.

I’ve blogged about Mommy Road Rage before but this was new. With my previous MRR, it was just a close call. This time, we were hit. We weren’t hit hard and no one was hurt, but this fucking idiot backed into our motherfucking car when we were both sitting at a red light. I wanted to sit on top of her chest and scream at her until I was red in the face,
“WHAT THE HELL IS THE MATTER WITH YOU? DO YOU SEE MY CHILD OVER THERE? SHE IS 9 MONTHS OLD. WHAT THE FUCK WERE YOU THINKING???!!!”

The whole time I kept my distance, holding Nellie and talking to her as Josh took care of the exchanging of insurance information. There was a younger woman and also a man out there too, looking calmly as Josh and the driver spoke. The younger woman looked at me and pointed at our car.
“You might want to move the car, people come flying around that curve and just don’t pay attention.”

I just looked at her, wondering if she was fucking serious. I mean, I appreciate the concern. But the fact that you are telling me that people come flying around that curve not paying attention makes me want to simultaneously laugh, and beat you with something that is pointy and preferably on fire. Talk about not paying attention? YOU BACKED INTO OUR CAR, YOU BRAINLESS TWAT.

I kept my cool, however and when they apologized (no “I AM SO SORRY” or “OH MY GOSH, I FEEL SO TERRIBLE”, it was more of a “Whoops! I just cut in front of you in line at the grocery store. My bad!”) I just nodded and got Nellie secured back in her seat.

We drove away unharmed; my little family of three. We’re contemplating not even bothering seeking repairs from our insurance because the damage to the front of the car is seriously that insignificant and as Josh pointed out, we did not get the police involved and for all we know these people could try and make like we rear-ended them.

I know that my internal reaction was knee-jerk, and the accident honestly and truly was not even close to the realm of being serious but something inside of me, something large and surly and foaming at the mouth was awoken and it was hungry for that woman driver. I wanted to shove my daughter in her face and say, “Look. Look at who I had in my car. Do you realize what I would have done to you if she had been hurt?”

I wonder if I will ever get used to the protective beast that lay within my heart now that I’m a mother. This is really the first time its’ reared its’ head and I know that it won’t be the last. Perhaps I will just embrace it, name it, and learn to live with it sleeping inside of me.

Blogger’s Block

Fuck.

It found me.

Blogger’s Block.
Damnit.

I had a few good weeks where I had things to talk about. Blogs to write. Videos to upload.. Even if the last one I uploaded drove certain peoples‘ husbands crazy (ahem), at least they were there. I had a featured SITS day, have been contacted by some companies about doing some giveaways, and then my good Bloggy mood crashed and burned. My traffic’s down and it depresses me. I know, I know, I shouldn’t obsess over traffic but HOW CAN YOU NOT WHEN IT’S RIGHT THERE, STARING YOU IN THE FACE?

I contracted the Plague this past week which was definitely not cool. Hopefully early next week I’ll have something to blog about, because tomorrow night my husband and I are hitting up the Ruby Falls Haunted Cavern. So that should be fun. My head feels like a big fat balloon my sinuses are so stopped up and if one more person tells me to use a Neti Pot I’m going to fucking scream. I know they’re awesome, okay? I always forget to buy one. I’m also very bitchy, apparently. I always get whiny and bitchy when I don’t feel well and also, AF is due to come in to town any second so on top of my “I’m sick I don’t feel good” bitchies I have the “AF is a big stupid whore and is going to stomp all over everything delightful in my life” hormones.

Sorry I bitched at people who suggested a Neti Pot, I know you’re just trying to be helpful.

I want to see Paranormal Activity 2 but have you seen the trailer? It has a motherfucking baby in it. I don’t think I can handle it. The last one scared the bejeezus out of me and made me paranoid. I still think about that shit sometimes when I’m lying in bed trying to sleep.

Okay so apparently when I have Blogger’s Block, you all get whatever the hell happens to be floating through my weirdo brain at the moment. Lucky you. It’s like creative writing classes, only bizarre and crazy.

I need to stop before I start scaring people away.

You know what would help my Blogger’s Block? You voting for my blog. Actually it wouldn’t help my Blogger’s Block but it would make me so happy I might crap a unicorn. Click on the button below twice and that’s it.

xoxoxoxo

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Mommy and Nellie In: The Sing-Off

Who has your vote? Mommy, or Nellie? Comment and let me know!

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Nellie Rose – 9 Months Old

My daughter has been outside of my womb as long as she was inside. I was rocking her before naptime the other day, feeling her sprawled out across my lap as she had her bottle and thinking how marvelous, strange, and surreal it was that just a year prior she was inside kicking the crap out of me.

Nellie has changed in so many ways since birth. She’s not really even the same baby. I watch videos of her at 3 days old, a week old, a month old and marvel at the difference. I try and remember what it felt to fall asleep with her on my chest; her entire body fitting from collarbone to belly button, basically. I struggle to hear her wheezy newborn breathing from the depths of my memory.. I attempt to relive the first time I laid eyes on her.

It’s hard sometimes to remember exactly what she felt like, looked like, and smelled like.

Nellie isn’t crawling yet, but she does get around. She scoots, like a wounded solider. She’s showing the beginning signs of stranger and separation anxiety. She babbles and strings syllables together, and can say “da da”. She loves to snack on her cereal puffs and eats baby food several times a day. She’s gotten a few bites of table food; smushed up banana, mashed potato, small pieces of bread. She makes the funniest noises. She laughs, she growls, she screams and shrieks and she blows raspberries constantly. In three months, the sweet little infant that I brought home on a cold January morning will be one year old.

Happy 9 months to the light of my life. The love of my life. The sillest girl I’ve ever known.

My baby, Nellie Rose. I love you from your head to your toes, to the moon and back, with every breath in my body, until the very end of time.

The Noise

Nellie has this noise that she makes when she wants something. It’s kind of hard to explain but it comes out most when we’re out to eat at a restaurant and the food arrives. I’ve created a video that showcases Nellie Rose and “her noise”.

Also, that bleepy spaceship noise you hear is my BBM BFF Katie messaging me. We’re probably gossiping about you.

Enjoy.

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