Volley and I played in a vball blind draw this past Saturday. I can hardly believe that I have not played sand vball all summer...but it's true. Needless to say I was a bit out of shape when I hit the sand but I really held my own and didn't completely suck. The way this thing works is you show up by 8 so you can get a spot in line. You wait for them to put your name on a list. They make you wait some more. They draw names and make teams, you then hope you are on a team that doesn't suck. So...I go to find my team. Let me just remind you that of the 100 people there I know exactly two people, Volley and Island Boy. So, I'm walking to my designated court to scope out my team. Looks like I'm the only girl...ok, no problem. I find two of my team members...pretty cool...ok where's the last member? I see his cocky little ass walking towards us. Crap...I now realize I know 3 people and this third edition is someone I can rarely stand. He's one of those cocky, know-it-all, types. He has short man syndrome coming out of his ears. Ok, so he's on my team, maybe he won't be the jerk I've learned he can be. It starts off ok...UNTIL, he tries to tell me what to do. For those of you who know me, you realize this is not a good thing. I'm sassy, I'm independent, I hate to be bossed around. Well Mr. Cocky must think I'm one of those chicks that is just going to step back and say, "oh sure...make me stay at the back of the court so I can just shag balls and never set or hit." Oh PLEASE. Well needless to say he was kind of shocked when I said, "NO WAY." After we got straight who the boss was, we actually did pretty well. We made it to the 'good' division of finals which made me happy since most of the time I end up on a sucky team and we end up in the 'UGLY' division. This time Mr. Volley ended up in the 'UGLY' but at least he was the hottest in the group.

I love volleyball but I must say I'm sick to death of those volleyball 'clicks'. I consider myself to be a pretty good player but here's where I differ from those cocky arseholes. I know this level of sport we play is for 'RECREATION'. I'm not going to be the next Misty May. I know I won't make money out of playing vball...I have a real job. I don't act cocky if I think I'm better than someone else...because not so long ago I used to suck too. Sometimes I wonder why it's usually the players who really aren't that great that tend to act like they just might be the next Olympic Volleyball Champions. Maybe their attitude is the only thing keeping them company.


Have you seen those t-shirts...Ugly Bunny? I read an article in the Tribune about how fast they are selling and how there is a controversy about whether or not kids should be wearing them to school. I found it interesting, not the controversy, but the fact that there really was any controversy at all. I figured that most normal, moral driven parents would agree, these t-shirts are just a further example of how money rules the world, while the rest of us suffer the consequences. Really...this whole t-shirt thing is ridiculous. Maybe you have not seen them...here are a few sayings that are plastered on the fronts:

It's so sad how stupid you are.
Maybe you don't get it, it's all about me.
Loser, you not me.
Two boyfriends are better than one.
It worries me how ugly you are.
Psycho, but cute, things evened out.
I know how you feel, I just don't care.

These are just a few. Do you get the picture yet? My only guess is that the people creating these t-shirts have never been a parent because if they had been or were...the first time their kid mouthed the words...really dad it's all about me....get over it...I doubt that kid would be saying much of anything ever again. Come on people, aren't we supposed to be teaching the 'future of America' that it's not ok to be a sassy, sarcastic, selfish, rude idiot? I guess I've been reading all the wrong parenting magazines.

I think I'm going to create my own t-shirt that says, "I'm the bosss of you....get over it." I'm sure my daughter will love it...and of course you have to be 30 years old to buy one (you aren't grown up enough 'til then).


Something for myself...

It's been awhile since I did something just for myself. When you become a mom you put your needs on the back burner and your child's become number one. I think this is normal, but it tends to be unhealthy. After all you are still a the person you were before becoming a mom, with needs, wants, and desires. I guess the trick is to be selfish for a moment without feeling guilty. I found the perfect compromise. I signed up for a guitar class on Thursdays and it starts at 8 which is after my daughter goes to bed.

It's going to be weird doing something just for myself, not that I'm a martyr or anything. Sometimes it's just easier doing nothing for me and everything for her. Strange isn't it? It almost makes me seem 'grown up'.


Losing touch...

I had some really great friends not so long ago and because of life or just my sheer stupidity, we've lost touch. I think about them often, not that it matters since they can't exactly see inside my head. I've decided that somehow, some way, I'm going to let them know I still care about them. They are such wonderful people and they have each contributed to who I am as a person, that I think it's only fair that I keep in touch, even if they don't want me to.

It's hard you know...being an adult. I've realized through many trials and tribulations that friends really are the most important asset that a person can have. Although I have friends that I do keep in touch with regularly, I've never lost sight of how important a role the ones I have not kept in touch with actually are. People shape you, and if you are lucky, you get the chance to thank the ones that had a positive influence on who you are.

Doing Nothing

I remember way back...before I was a mom, I had to have plans on weekends. There was no way I'd be caught dead sitting at home on a Saturday night. Sometimes I'd even drag myself out to a bar that I didn't really want to be at, have conversations with people I really didn't want to talk to, just to be 'somewhere' because being somewhere was better than being at home. Wow, have times changed. I've become such a homebody. It's not that I don't still have that occasional urge to hang out a bar and talk to interesting individuals, but now it's really the last thing that crosses my mind. The most surprising thing is that I'm really ok with being boring.

My weekend consisted of shopping at Target, watching Volley mow the yard while my daughter swam in her kiddy pool, and sitting back and relaxing...something I so rarely get the chance to do any more. My weekend was boring, at least to an outsider. To me it was blissful. You have to understand most of my weekends are spent running around from inlaw to parents. If we're not visiting an inlaw so Volley can fix a computer, do taxes, water the plants, we're spending it traveling to see my parents who live 3 hours away. It's amazing how many demands people can put on your free time.

Doing Nothing....is wonderful.


Unconditional Love

Have you ever had someone love you unconditionally? I'm talking about REALLY love you no matter what you did? I have...and it changes you.

I think I've searched my whole life for that person (besides my mom) that would love me regardless of how I looked, what I did, or how I acted. You meet people, you fall in love, BUT it's always conditional. Sometimes they still love you even though you look like crap when you wake up in the morning with dark circles under your eyes, hair sticking out every which way, a huge zit on your chin, and breath that smells like rotten garbage, BUT will they continue to love you if you really screw up? What if you just hit rock bottom, you have no money, no job, no sense of anything. Will they love you then? Will they love you even if you are mean and say horrible things? Will they love you even when you find it hard to love yourself? Most people search for this kind of anomaly and never find it. I'm here to tell you that you can find it, in a child. It's the most wonderful thing in the world to know that every day my daughter will wake up loving me, regardless of what I do for her. Even when she's a horrible teenager and she thinks she hates me, she'll love me. She'll love me no matter what, just like I love my mom no matter what. Sometimes I think how wonderful it is that a child can love unconditionally...but then I remember all the stories I read in the newspaper about parents that don't deserve that honor. Many children are abused and neglected by their parents every day of their life, yet the child still loves them. Knowing this almost makes me wish that my child learn to love 'conditionally' because it's what protects us from being abused. I want her not to love me if I neglected or abused her (this would never happen). I want her to make people (even myself) deserve her love. I want her to know that loving someone conditionally is ok. Am I bad for thinking this way? It kind of makes me a hypocrite doesn't it...wanting to be loved unconditionally yet wanting to teach my daughter to love conditionally? Maybe I'm trying to protect her, maybe it's how I've learned to protect myself. Maybe it's just the way of the world. Maybe if we ever get to the point where we live in a perfect world, we can all love each other unconditionally.


Watch what you say...

Having a toddler who's learning to speak really helps remind you that you must learn to think about what you say before it actually leaves your mouth. For example, we're riding in the car the other day and volley starts singing, I jokingly say, "your singing sucks" and a tiny voice from the back seat bellows out, "Sucks." Ooops....bad mommy. Sucks isn't exactly a curse word but used in the proper situation it can seem a bit, 'offensive'. Now my daughter seems to be able to use the word at all the inappropriate times....we're at the park, lots of other judging eyes and ears around, I tell Alice we have to go...she yells, "SUCKS". Um, excuse me, did that come out of my child's mouth? I have no idea where she learned that. We're at the store and the checkout clerk starts talking baby talk to Alice and asks her how she is today...guess what her response is, "SUCKS". Yes, my baby sucks. My oh my...what will I teach her next? I'm such a good role model.


As you lay sleeping...

I wrote this for my daughter....

I tiptoe into your room hoping the squeaky floor boards won’t wake you.
I stand at the foot of your crib silently watching you sleep.
You look so peaceful, so happy, so content.
Your body is twisted in many directions; I remember when I was that agile.
I watch the slow rise of your chest, up and down, up and down; I am content.
My hand brushes your head; your hair feels like silk.
The warmth of your little body comforts me like a blanket on a cold winter night.
Your breathing is slow and steady; it is music to my ears.
As I watch you, I wonder if you are dreaming.
Are you thinking of me or are your thoughts of baby dolls and building blocks?
I long to hold you, but I’ll wait; patience comes easy as long as I can be near you.
Sometimes I wish I could lay down beside you, fold you into my arms, and never let go.
But I know this is your time, your night, your sleep.
As I tiptoe out of your room I hear you stir in your bed, I turn for one last look, you open your eyes to look at me…just for a moment…just long enough for me to say I love you, and then you close your eyes and return to your peaceful slumber.
I slip out of your room; now I can sleep.


When you become last.

My sweet baby is sick. Remember when you were a kid and you were sick, all you wanted is for your mommy to hold you. Well, I'm now the mom and I must say it's pretty nice to be needed...I think. I should say it's nice to be needed until...you are needed to administer the nasty pink medicine that is supposed to taste like cherry but really tastes like pink flavored chalk. It's nice to be needed until you are the one needed to wake up at 3 a.m. to comfort the baby that can't breathe because her nose is stuffed up...which brings me to the part about being needed to 'unstuff' the nose with that clever invention called the snot snuffer'. I'm all about being needed and I love my darling girl...but sometimes I wish I was invisible and the only thing that needed me was my pillow.

Time flies...

It seems like a week has passed since I posted last. Maybe because the last time I posted I was stuck working late hours, (until 4 a.m.) and the next days were spent in a fuzzy haze. Now, the haze is clearing and I can almost see the light of day.

We got a new puppy....I swear it's liking having another baby but without stretch marks. He's cute and Alice loves him. Thank goodness for our other dog Jake who's been the very best puppy-sitter. As long as Jake's around Vinnie seems to be content, it's too bad I can't train Jake to watch Alice so I can steal a few moments to myself.

So it's Tuesday and I managed to bypass the Monday blues since I took the day off to be sick. Yes I'm under the weather. I hate being sick, it's so unproductive. Anyway, I'm back to work, not feeling much better except for the fact that I'm one day closer to the weekend. Isn't it pathetic when you start looking forward to the weekend on Sunday night? It seems as I get older the work week gets longer and longer. Pretty soon my weekends will seem non-existent.

I wrote something over the weekend because my creative juices seem to be flowing again. I decided this blog is the perfect place to share...since no one really reads these posts. ;-0

My words:

If I could fly, I'd take a running start and leap...right off a building. Someone would be there to catch me if my wings were clipped...wouldn't they? If I could sing, I'd pick one of those "make your heart bleed" types of songs...and someone would listen...wouldn't they? If I could write, I'd write words that change the way people think...people do think don't they? If I were someone else, I'd still recognize myself...wouldn't I? If my life were to end tomorrow, I'd die happy...wouldn't I? Couldn't I? Shouldn't I?


It's 12:10 a.m. and guess where I am...work. I'm importing data from an old database server to a new and it's soooooo slow. As I sit here watching the little dots go across the screen hoping the percentage will fly to 100 much faster than it is right now...I decided to blog. I've always had my most creative moments when I'm half asleep so I figured I might as well share them. So, here it goes....

I close my eyes, shutting out the light that blinds me. I can still hear the echoes of a distant call for help, but I cannot see the face that beckons me. My feet cannot carry me fast enough to the far off land I long to reach. When my destination is within my grasp, I know I will not speak the language. An outcast is what I'll be. Shall I retreat? Or quicken my pace? I'm too old to learn new tricks, maybe I can just listen. Do I remember how...to listen? Quietly I'll sit, this time I'll open my eyes. If I cannot speak, how will you know what I am saying? Or will my silence speak volumes? Quick, turn off the lights, someone is coming. She creeps over her moon, exposing nothing, yet everything. The buzzing sound overwhelms this sense of power I thought I possessed, now I must surrender. Life calls, the alarm sounds, wake up sleepy head.

Deep isn't it? Hey...I'm tired what did you expect?


Is it Friday yet?

Yesterday I was so busy that I barely left my desk. Today, I'm sitting here surfing the web, reading blogs, looking for something to do. I'm not complaining really, I'm just no good at being non-productive. That's pathetic isn't it? Most people would love not to have anything to do at work except surf the web. I'm a work-aholic, I love being needed, being busy, being productive. I'd rather have something to do...I'm no good at this web surfing thing. Wait...I just realized tonight is the night I have to come back into work to finish this server upgrade....Oh crap...I hate working...I want to be non-productive again.

Is it Friday yet?

Hey have you ever heard of Amos Lee? He's this awesome new artist that opened for Nora Jones. He's not only hot...he can sing. Check him out... Amos Lee !


No it isn't another baby...although that would be ok with me. :-) We're getting a new puppy on Saturday. His name is Vinnie, actually his proper name is Vincent Aloysius Duncan-Abushalback. Now that's a mouthful! Vinnie is an American Cocker Spaniel and right now he is 7 weeks old and weighs 5.5 lbs. HUGE! He'll probably grow to be about 15" tall so he'll still be quite a bit smaller then Jake (our lovely Chocolate Lab). We decided, on a whim, that Alice needed a dog to grow up with. Although we love our Jakey, he is 9 and getting slower in his old age. I'm hoping he'll be around for a long time! We thought it would be great for Jake to have a playmate as well as Alice. I didn't want another large dog, having 2 big dogs is just too much, so we decided on a medium size dog. We're so excited....for the potty training woes, the being woken up in the middle of the night by whining...the chewing, the sassy mouth...wait...is this a dog or a baby? Yikes, we're in trouble.

Happy Wednesday...we made it past Monday.

My happiness goals for the day...to remember why being happy really can be simple (note to self, read my former blog posts).


Peter Jennings died last night at the age of 67, he had lung cancer. Although he was born and raised in Toronto, Canada, he was truly an "All American." He's probably one of the only successful, well-known journalists that was a high-school drop-out. He never went to college, he didn't even make it past the 10th grade, yet he was one of the most successful tv journalists in the world. He saw the world and then each night he shared his visions with the rest of the world.

When I was a kid I used to watch the ABC news with my dad and I loved listening to Peter Jennings speak. He really opened up the world to me. I'd say at an early age I became a news junkie and much of that can be attributed to Mr. Jennings. He made news sound interesting. Most kids don't have any use for the news, which quite honestly makes me sad. I think it's so important to know about the things that go on in your world. I know some adults who never watch the local news let alone the world news. It's kind of amazing to me that a person can go through their life and never pick up a newspaper or watch a news program. If you only know about what goes on in your own little section of the world doesn't that make you...I don't know...Ignorant? Not meaning ignorant as a insult rather as a literal term. Definition: Ignorant - lacking knowledge or comprehension. So if you don't watch the news you have no knowledge of what goes on in the world around you, therefore, you cannot comprehend it, Ignorant. Harsh isn't it? Sometimes when I'm at work I'll try to bring up something I've heard or read in the news. I'll say, "did you hear about this....." Their reply, "nope." Most times they'll get interested by the news tidbit and want to know more. I feel like saying, "hey you should watch the news or read the newspaper if you like this info because there's a whole world out there beyond your front door."

I can hold out the hope that my daughter will grow up with the desire to know more about the world around her. Call me silly but I have this belief that knowing more about the world around you helps you appreciate the world outside your front door...a little more.

Things that made me happy today, I got to take a shower before Alice woke up, I had time to buy coffee before the train came, when I opened my Outlook today I only had 53 emails instead of 100, and by the end of the week Alice will have a new puppy (cocker spaniel) named Vinnie.

So your task for the day...pick up a newspaper and read one article in the world news! You'll be amazed...there actually is life beyond Chicago.

Happy Monday!


Still high on my 'happiness' goals I strolled down Dearborn this morning, not rushing since I was early to work, stopped at Dunkin Donuts and grabbed a coffee then headed towards my building. I'm not sure what possessed me but I decided to hand the 'Streetwise guy' $10. He smiled, I smiled, he said thanks...and honestly it was one of the most sincere thank you's I've gotten in a long time. On my elevator ride up to my floor I started thinking about some of the 'automatic' responses we hear that actually carry no meaning at all. How many times have you said the words "I'm sorry"? Probably a lot right? I find myself saying it too much and most of the time I can honestly say I don't mean it. For instance, I go to get on the elevator and no one moves over so I can squeeze my way to the back..."I'm sorry, can I get past you?" What the hell, why am I saying sorry for them being rude arseholes and not letting me past them? Another example, I'm on the El, the train is crowded and there are a lot of people standing but I spot an open seat so I head towards it only to discover a backpack occupying it. Um, excuse me, does your backpack need a seat of it's own...it's had a hard night, it's feet hurt, it's back is aching. So, I say "I'm sorry, can you move your backpack?" Again...why am I apologizing for the sheer rudeness of others. Come on people, it's public transportation, it's rush hour, YOUR BACKPACK DOES NOT NEED A SEAT! Another automatic response, "Thanks". Now here's one I tend not to say unless I really mean it but I hear other people say it to me all the time, mostly because it's part of their job etiquette. You stop at the drive through at McDonald's, you pay, "Thanks" but the volume of the words are so low you have to strain your ears to even hear them. You are at the grocery store and you've just dropped $150 on groceries, the clerk hands you your receipt, "thanks" as she sighs and looks at the long line of customers waiting to check out. You know those clerks you get that just omit the 'thanks' all together? I almost respect them more. At least I know they aren't faking being thankful.

So, automatic responses. I decided telling the truth is much better so here's how I am going to proceed (at least for a day or two until people think I'm the rude arsehole). When I try to get on that elevator and no one moves over so I can get past, I'm going to say " Can you move your fat arse so I can get past it". When I try to sit down on a seat on the El that's occupied by a backpack I'm going to say " you know I know your backpack has probably had one hell of a night, but, so have I, MOVE YOUR CRAP." And when I get that heartfelt 'thanks' from the employee who obviously loves their job so much, I'm going to reply, "You are right that you should thank me because without my business, you'd be out of a job. So yes, THANK ME."

Before I go, I almost forgot to list my daily list of things that made me happy today. First, I got to watch my daughter wake from her peaceful slumber. Most mornings I go into her room when she's already awake, this morning she was a sleepyhead so I stood over her bed and watched her wake up...she looked at me and said "mama" now that's happiness. I got a cup of Dunkin Donuts coffee...I love that cheap stuff. Today is Friday...and that makes me VERY happy.

'Til next time


My dad's 63 birthday was August 2. I sent him this card that I created with Touchpoint (if you have never used that you should, it's awesome) with Alice's 'Beach' picture on the front. On the inside I wrote...sometimes happiness can be as simple as walking on a beach and feeling the sand beneath your toes. As we grow older we forget that anything in life could ever be that simple. Nice eh? I still have that ability to write, heck I should have worked for Hallmark. ;-) Anyway, this post actually got me thinking about happiness. As adults we place so much significance on the 'big' material things to bring us happiness, the great job, the love of our life, the house, the car, the paycheck. Remember when you were a kid and being able to stay out past the time when the streetlights went on made you the happiest kid in the world. Or when you chased the ice cream truck 4 blocks, got completely out of breath, but the second you tasted that rocket popsicle all your cares just disappeared. I've often wondered at what point in our lives that simplicity goes away. When does happiness become so complicated? Is it when we go through puberty, is it when we graduate college and start having to pay our own way? Or is it after years and years of listening to commercials that tell us to buy something so we'll be happy? Whenever that point was, I wonder if there's a way to step back in time to that point where happiness was actually simple, uncomplicated, and obtainable.

I've decided that I'm going to try and set new 'happiness' goals for myself. I'm going to take on a new perspective on what actually constitutes happiness. I started today....and so far here is what has made me 'feel' happy. When my daughter woke up this morning and I picked her up out of her crib, she hugged me. She held on so tight that I never wanted to let go. Volley told me he loved me, I never get tired of hearing this. The El came 30 seconds after I got onto the platform AND I got a seat. It's not 90 and humid outside. An issue I was working on yesterday with a Microsoft product, got resolved (this happens so rarely). I have a job. I have a family. I can feel my heart beating and I'm alive.

Deep stuff eh? As corny as you might think this stuff is, I can say at this moment, I'm happy. The trick is to remember that all the things that made me happy today...were very SIMPLE.

So for each day you can count on me to write at least one or two blurbs about what made me happy for that day. I think it's important so that I don't forget. Which reminds me, another thing that makes me happy...I can remember things. My step dad has Alzheimers, remembering is something we should never take for granted.

'Til next time mon amies.


The Most Beautiful Girl

From the beginning...

I decided to start blogging so I could be cool like my other friends. I used to always be the one who started the trends but since becoming a mom, my 'cool' skills seem to be falling by the wayside. I want sweetpea to have a cool mom...so here I am posting a blog for all the world to see (well not all the world, but at least the parts of it that matter to me).

I had a bit of trouble trying to come up with a catchy name. I consider myself creative and imaginative but trying to find the right title to capture my true self yet at the same time sounding 'cool' is really hard. Then I thought about the one phrase that seemed to capture the action I spent the majority of my life performing...backwards motion. Always repeating your mistakes over and over and never taking steps forward. Well that was my life, or at least it was until I had a baby. Some people consider having a baby out of wedlock a mistake, a step in the wrong direction, but for me, I consider it to be the biggest step towards 'something' that I've ever taken in my life. It was the first time I'd ever taken a step without selfish reasons. It was so scary, but I did it, and I'd like to think I did it well.

So it's a good place to start a blog isn't it...not from the beginning of my life but from the beginning of the place where I actually stopped the 'backwards motion'. It's sort of funny if you knew me before my 'mommy' days. I was selfish, I was a bad girl, I was independent, and I didn't have much time for a family. I'm a changed person, much to the thanks of my beautiful daughter and the man who gave her to me.

I'm 37, wow that seems so old when I type it out on the screen. I have a 17 month old daughter who just happens to be the most beautiful girl in the world (just ask her fan club). I have a wonderful man in my life who isn't my husband. Oh how morally wrong, I know you are thinking it, it's so...80's. Well, it wasn't by choice, ok maybe it was, but now my choice is changing. I want to be married, I want the picket fence, I want, I want, I want. Hey, it's not selfish. Honestly, in my 37 years of living, wanting the picture perfect family is the most unselfish thing I've ever wanted. I want it for my daughter, I want it for myself, I want it for my man...let's call him 'volley'. We met through a sport we both love, volleyball. He was the quiet, tall, dark, and handsome guy that got placed on my team. He was shy, a trait that normally didn't attract me. I tended to go for those loud mouth types, you know the obnoxious ones that let their presence be known all over the room? Well volley was different. He was soft spoken, so much so that I kept having to say 'excuse me' because I couldn't hear him. He was hot though so I didn't mind straining my ears to listen to him. I was pretty sure he liked me so I turned on the Irish charm, determined to get him to ask me out. Unfortunately some other 'player' on our team had different ideas and he quickly warned me off volley by saying he was just out of a relationship and was still 'healing'. So...I backed off. Instead of pursuing 'volley' for myself, I did what any normal person would do, I set him up with my friends instead. Stupid, yeah go ahead and say it. But, I honestly think that if it didn't go this way, we would have never found our way back to each other. Volley was a bit too 'engineery' for me. He was hot, but I thought he lacked the usual criteria I strived for. It wasn't until I saw him play the guitar and sing that I realized what a dumbass I'd been. He wasn't only hot, he was a musician. Just to clue you in on my biggest weakness, it's musicians. Luckily my friends didn't see just how great volley was, so I was able to sneak back into the picture and dazzle him with my charm. It worked better than planned because 7 months after we started dating, I got pregnant. Ok, that part wasn't in my plans, in fact it was the furthest thing from my plan. It worked out though, because we're still together and we have this amazing child who is the perfect blend of her father and mother.

So, you now know the brief history which lead me down the path to least...destruction...I mean blogging. I'll try to keep up on this blog because my life is so interesting...honestly it is. Just because I'm a mom doesn't mean I don't have a lot to contribute to these gossip columns. Just wait...you'll be begging me for more.

'Til next time...