Wednesday, October 16, 2013

One. Year.

It's almost one year since I posted anything here. A lot has happened in a year. Hence my inability to find any free time to write. Sure, I have free time. But I'd rather read, or reorganize my closet or sit and do nothing than write. I write all day, every day. See, what they don't tell us lawyers about being lawyers is that all you do is read and write. Now that I've been practicing for five years (?!), I know the drill. But maybe that last sentence will make someone think twice about pursuing a career as a lawyer. Reading and writing. Not Matlock.

IN any event, life has kept me very busy. Elise is three now, and Charlotte is one. They are crazy awesome. Elise is like a little person now. She talks constantly, has opinions, loves to dance and is just generally very sweet and good natured.

Charlotte is walking and running now. She tries to copy Elise all the time. She can meow like a kitty, bark like a dog, say "nana" for banana, "nighnigh" for bedtime, and she sings to herself all the time. She is still nursing some and just recently (fingers crossed), started sleeping through the night.

We might buy a van.

Husband is good. Work is good. House is good. We're at the point where we need to make some long-term decisions about where we will live for the long haul. We bought out house with the intention of being there for five or so years. Those five years have come and gone and we are still there. We love our house, but we're not zoned for great schools. So the decision needs to be made about whether we will stay and possibly incur private school costs, or whether we will move to an area that has great public schools. I think for now, we've decided to not decide until next year. Look how grown-up we are. Deciders of things. Deciders of deciding.

I will try to write more. I miss this little space. When I was younger, I kept a diary. From 4th grade through 12th grade. No joke. I've always liked to make notes of what's happening so that I don't forget.

I will try to not forget to write.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Autonomous sensory meridian response. You want it.

Autonomous sensory meridian response.  Asmr.  Remember my snatation post?  You know? How I sneeze when I get too full? Well maybe my odd physical reaction to sneezing is related to my asmr, but at least with asmr, it is something I enjoy.

Now if you haven't googled it already, (and once you do you will think I must be completely insane) asmr is basically characterized by a pleasurable tingling sensation that occurs in the brain and continues on through the scalp, often traveling down the arms. This physical response usually occurs in response to external stimuli that is NOT from touch.  I repeat. Not from touch.  How can a scalp tingle without being actually touched? Well I don't know.  I'm not a scientist. But I do know it is a real thing and that I've had this reaction to certain noises since I was a child.  I also know my mom and sister have similar physical reactions to other noises. 

From the time I can remember, I've always been really sensitive to both noises and smells. My biggest pet peeves? People obnoxiously chewing gum and eating too loudly, especially "wet" foods, like bananas or ice cream (you know who you are). But on the other end of the spectrum, I am grossly attracted to other sounds.  Since I was vey young,  the sound of magazine pages turning would almost cripple a good way.  I would be sitting in school and would hear someone turning the thick pages of a textboook and I would literally be mesmerized.  Entranced. If I happened to be writing somthing, I would be unable to keep a grip on my pencil.  My fingers would go all tickly, for lack of a better word.  My head felt all full.  It was amazing.  The feeling did not last too long, maybe five minutes, but it just felt so nice! I would often seek out people who were reading magazines or thick books, just to hear this noise.  I noticed that some other things made me feel this feeling.  Watching people get their hair brushed.  Seeing and listening to people organize stuff that had hard containers like makeup bags, pencil boxes or junk drawers. You wonder why Bob Ross was so popular? Yea. That's right. It ain't the happy trees and clouds.  His voice can actually send people into this braingasmic state. Even someone flipping through a card catalogue would work for me. If you don't know who Bob Ross is (and no, you don't know who Bob Ross is because you saw some ironic t-shirt with his face on it) or what a card catalogue is, then you are too young and I hate you. Go bring me a latte or something.

I know my mom reacts similarly to the sound of gum being chewed and popped, which is a sound I cannot stand. My sister reacts to crunchy noises, like the sound of tires driving over gravel.  My amazing sloshy-banana chewing and ice cream slurping husband once made me a cd of him just turning magazine pages over and over.  Although I can't listen to this while driving (totally serious) I would play it on repeat over and over at work.  As a bonus to the tingles, I always sound super productive. After some looks from coworkers, I did a little googling and to my surprise, found asmr information.  I was amazed that my experience was shared by many others. Although it has always been weird, I was neve bothered because it feels so nice.  It is not sexual. It is not erotic. It is just a feeling in my brain and scalp that is very pleasant. 

I wonder if anyone else I know experiences this...anyone that I'm not related to, that is.

Monday, September 17, 2012

My cousin could kick your a$$, part two.

So back like, forever ago, I wrote about my cousin Samantha and her ass-kicking abilities.  Well, her super powers have only multiplied.  Since my last post, featuring Sammy throwing herself off a painting scaffold, Sammy has been to London, performing for the city prior to the Olympics. Her antics were so insane that she was featured on The Soup, Joel McHale's show on E!  For your viewing pleasure, I present Samantha, the ass-kicking spider person.  In London.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Heeeeeeere's Johnny!

It's been quite a while since my last post.  For all of you that have been waiting, desperate to read something from me, well here it is.  Since my last post, some big things have happened. I celebrated my husband turning 30, I had a baby, I celebrated my older daughter turning two (the day after I had baby numero deux), and I turned 30.  That is the last few months of my life, in a very brief nutshell.

Now, anyone that has had a baby knows that life can get pretty hectic for a while.  And by "while", of course I mean forever.  But once the initial hormones come crashing back to normal and a routine gets underway, life moves forward.  In our household, that means taking care of a toddler (when she's not at "school"), a newborn, the dog, cat and chickens, and still trying to take a shower everyday.  I also try really hard to do the dishes, the laundry and to cook "whole food" meals.  I've even started letting my cat outside during the day, the therapy cat without claws, with the hopes that he will crap in the dirt somewhere.  Instead, I think he forages and eats animals or rodents or whatever and holds it in until he inevitably takes a big stinking poo the moment he returns inside.  I might potty train my cat while we're trying to potty train our two-year old.  But that might be too ambitious.  Even for someone as crazy as me.

So as things return to normal here, I find myself looking to spice things up a bit.  I mean, with the new baby sleeping like "insert random number here" hour stretches at night and the toddler telling me that her shoes, regardless of which pair I want her to wear, "don't fit" or that the shirt I want her to wear is "too hot, mommy", how could I not need more spice??

My husband and I are going to try to do a date night, at least once a month.  I know that's not that abnormal, but we're going to try to do "surprise" date nights, where we each plan an activity/dinner/two-hour stretch of uninterrupted time together, on a bi-monthly basis.  Since I'm bewbie-feeding my newborn, it is hard to get away for more than a few hours without needing to pump (which I don't particularly like doing) so our dates are going to be limited to about 2 hours or so.  My husband did take me to the Fox Theater to see the Addams Family musical for my 30th birthday and that was a four-hour trip away from the baby (and she was only 2 weeks old at that point!) and we all survived, so I know it can be done.  I already have some fun ideas for our dates! I can't post them here because my other half might actually read this post and then the surprise would be ruined.

In addition to the date nights, Eugene and I were discussing some other ways to have fun.  We often get together with a group of our awesome friends, most of whom have little kids, so going out usually is limited to  rotating meals between houses.  We have a lot of fun doing this and our daughter is usually exhausted after our gatherings.  But I think I'm ready to take these get togethers to a new level.  After watching a sci-fi show called "Face Off" I proudly declared that I could make costumes and do sculpting.  I even proved it to Eugene by forcing him to remember that time I sculpted a meatloaf into a devil goat thing.

So I think I will invite my friends over for the first annual Meatloaf Sculpt-Off.  Then we can all eat the meatloafs.  Or meatloaves.  This event will happen and it will be fun.  There will be meat-related prizes too.  Look for the evite, friends.  Look for it.

This is the first of my ideas to "spice" things up.  Get our creative juices flowing.  I'm thinking there will be other fun things.  Maybe as the weather cools, we can do pumpkin carving (a Pumpkin Carve-Off) and maybe backyard games (a Faux-Olympic Game-Off).  Thoughts??

Monday, April 30, 2012

Confusing baby.

So my daughter looks a lot like her father.  Like a lot.  When she was first born, I couldn't even see any "me" in her at all.  Now, the older she gets, the more she is taking on some of my traits.  Despite the fact that she is beautiful, which obviously is my contribution, she still looks so much like her daddy.  I've read studies about how first born babies often look like their fathers, more than subsequent siblings, sort of as evolutionary insurance for dads: a "natural paternity test" if you will.  Is this science fool-proof? No, of course not, but if you google this phenomenon, you will see that there might could be something to it.

I myself look a lot like my father.  I've always looked like his side of the family, but there have been more than a few occasions where I am struck by just how much I resemble my own father.  My brother and sister have moments where they look more like my mom or my dad, but neither look so similar on a regular basis.  Now to the point.

Now, my daddy look-a-like daughter loves to look at family photos.  LOVES to look at them.  She points out the people she knows (MomMom, Mike, Step-eee, PopPop, Nanny, and so on).  She knows pretty much everyone in our family and she loves to tell us.  She loves looking at pictures so much that she will pick up my computer and bring it to me so that we can sit and look.  It also works when I want a few minutes of sit-still child will sit still and look at pictures for a very long time.

So last week, we decided to look at pictures.  She wanted to look at MomMom and PopPop in particular.  So I went online to their respective facebook pages (yes, they both have facebook accounts) and started to go through their online albums.  I ask my daughter "Who is this?" and she responds accurately.

When I came to this picture of my father and said "And who is this?":

She responded "Mommy."  I had to laugh and I said, "No.  It's PopPop, just a younger PopPop." She got very upset and said "No PopPop.  Mommy."  How could I argue?  It does look like me.

So the immediate picture after this one in my dad's online album was this one:

Same question, but my daughter instead said it was "Step-eee".  This one looks more like my sister than any picture of me looks like my dad.  In my opinion.  And my daughter couldn't tell the difference.

Love you guys.  Here is a more recent picture of us three. And yes, we normally dress like this.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Calling home.

So if anyone out there is watching the weather (while messing around on the computer), you will notice that there are tornado watches and severe thunderstorms and weathermen in a tizzy.  My husband told me that I should call my parents to make sure they were watching the weather because some of the heaviest storms are headed their way.

So I pick up the house phone (yes, we have a house phone. Don't be a hater.  We get good long distance) and dialed my dad's cell.  My mom picks up and says "Hello?" and I said "Hi, Mom?" And shes goes, "Yes?" so I go "Are you watching the weather?" And she says "No...why? Wait.  Who is this?" And I say "Mom, it's Lauren?! Mom?" And then I look at the caller id on my phone and I realize I dialed the right number but the wrong area code.  So I say, "Wait.  Did I call the wrong mom?" And she says "Yes" and so I say, "Well, someone's mom, you probably need to watch the weather." And so someone's mom says "why? what's going on?" So I explain the tornado situation and she says, "well where are you?" and I say, "Decatur...where are you?" And she says "Snellville" and I say, "well the storms are coming your way too! Watch the weather channel!" So she laughs and says, "I will! Thanks!"

And that is my story.  I hope you enjoyed the back and forth recitation.  Good night.  Take cover.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Elise's Daycare...this will be least I think so.

As most of you probably know, I am a working mom.  I am fortunate in that my situation allows me to work, as a lawyer, part-time.  Not only do I have an awesome and understanding boss, but I have an amazing husband who supports my decision and basically lets me do what I want.  Most of the time.  What I want is to be at home with my daughter part of the time.  When Elise was born, I did not think I could leave her alone at all.  Like not even for a minute.  I actually took about 5 months completely off work (I did work from home when we had a big Appellate case) and returned to work one day a week for the next three.  Since April 2011, I've worked 3 to 4 days a week (as my boss needs additional work) and it has worked out great!  I get to spend two days at home with Elise and three earning the money to pay off my student loans!  And having adult conversations.  And eating lunch in peace.  And generally feeling completely fulfilled by overall situation.

So when I am at work, Elise goes to daycare.  Again, we are very lucky that we did not have to engage ourselves in the battle to find decent care in Atlanta.  I've heard from a lot of my other friends tell me how the battle is fought: fill out applications to multiple (and expensive!) in-town daycares; wait; wait some more; wait sometimes more than a YEAR; find out if there is an opening for your child; pay a lot of money for daycare if you're lucky enough to get in...and don't think about calling to see if you will be told what spot on the waiting list you won't be told.  So we got to avoid this whole process because Eugene's firm has its own daycare.  It is called Bright Beginnings and it is right around the corner from Eugene's office.  Aside from the fact that Eugene can take Elise to and from daycare on the days she goes, BB also has a part-time program (which a lot of Atlanta daycares do not) and we get a steeply discounted rate in comparison to market.  So all in all, we are very fortunate and Elise loves going!  She now comes home to tell me the names of the other kids in her class and gets excited to put on her coat in the mornings to go with daddy!  So now for the funny part.

As you might know, February is Black History Month.  At BB, there is a lot of effort made to teach the kids, even the babies and toddlers, about special events.  There are books read and activities done for what seems like all the "bank" holidays (Columbus Day, President's Day, Abe Lincoln's Birthday...).  We get notes home from the teachers everyday, describing the activities of the day.  On "normal" days, Elise makes food, plays
with sand, goes outside, makes things with noodles, sings songs, etc.  Well, for February, BB decided to celebrate Black History Month the other day.  Our note home said,

"Elise celebrate Black History Month today.  We learned about Nathaniel Alexander who invented the folding chair.  In appreciation of chairs, the children experienced life without chairs and ate lunch and snack on the floor."

I literally lol'd.  My first thought was "well, do the kids eat on folding chairs?"  The answer is no.  They do not.  They eat on adorable little chairs that do not fold.  I am pretty sure that chairs were around for a long time before Mr. Alexander came along.  So yea.  I get what BB was trying to do, but it was just so funny for me.  My next thought was, "I am sure my 18 month old understood why they weren't eating on chairs."  She barely understands that you can't stand on a chair.

So yeah.  That made me smile.  I do love her "school" and love that they are teaching my daughter so much.  But that note home was just too much!  Ha!