Monday, May 26, 2008

Third post...

Sorry, I'm just excited! I got the proof for my business card! I absolutely love it. The woman who made them did the illustration just for me (I told her what I wanted and gave her some samples, but she really pulled it out). I'm hopefully going to be done with my website soon and can take down that stupid starter page that's there now. I also am planning to petition someone important to add a few more hours to the day. It would really help me. Also, refer to my AP blog for a fun Roxanne story from today!


As I speak, our neighbor (the same one with 3 motorcycles for each of the 3 people who live in the house) is setting off fireworks in his backyard. Right next to the chicken coop. Oh right, he also has a rooster and a few hens. In all fairness, he keeps the rooster in a box at night, so it never cockadoodledoos at night. Only during the day. And I think it's kind of neat. The chickens and rooster are all really pretty and white. However, the neighbors (two guys and a girl) all park in the lawn, and the house looks a little rough (not counting the heaps of construction material in the backyard). Sadly, we seem to fit it easily with these sort of heavy metal rednecks... We never have to worry about anyone being bothered by Justin playing guitar. Maybe eventually we can buy eggs from the neighbor. I'm just too scared to talk to him. He's big and has a shiny bald head.

On the other hand, the neighbors on the other side are the antithesis of us. They are wealthy (like FOR REAL wealthy) although they are around the same age as us and have a baby a little younger than ours. But it's hard to like them for several reasons. They have parties where the guy's rugby (I'm serious) team comes over and it sounds like drunken grunting ensues for the next few hours. They usually wrap it up early at least. Then there's the pet dachshund who Justin swears is named "Rod," who they let out loose in their front yard to yap and poop in our yard, even though they have a fenced in backyard. Then there is the fact that they dumped about a billion pounds of red dirt all over our driveway when they ran caterpillars up and down our driveway and through our backyard in order to re-do their backyard. They messed up the entire street for at least a week, and installed a sprinkler system. In the middle of a drought. Apparently you can run a sprinkler system on new grass for a given number of days, but they were running it in the front yard, too, and there was NO NEW GRASS UP THERE. So while our landlord was telling us it might be better to not flush the toilet if it's only peepee, this goober is running a sprinkler.



Well, I finished my articles, but not until today...oops. But at least they are done! I'll probably get fired from doing any more, but we'll see. This weekend has been really nice, but busy. Today was like a sample of what working from home with Roxanne would be like. It was actually better than I thought. The bad news is that Justin got some bad tummy upset from Crescent Moon in Decatur, where we went for brunch. We will not be going there again. So it was me and Roxanne and 13 articles. We were really a good team. It did make me think I'd like to have a baby swing. The exersaucer and bouncy seat are great, but I think she'd sleep in a swing like she does at Andrea's. Although Andrea tells me that Roxanne has been sleeping in a crib for her naps.

Oh, and also, Roxanne's bottom teeth are finally peekng through! Yay! Hopefully the pain will subside for a little while, too. Poor little thing just wants to chew on EVERYTHING.

My massage on Saturday was really wonderful. I'm still having some back pain, but it's not nearly as bad, and Rome wasn't built in a day. And the massage was amazing.

Alright, Roxanne is giving me a hicky on my neck. I think she's hungry. We hope everyone had a lovely weekend!

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Flickr Video!

I'm currently procrastinating. Justin and I are watching Indiana Jones (The Last Crusade) and I'm supposed to be working on my freelance articles. But I seem to work only when I'm sleep deprived and in very very serious danger of missing a deadline. So I'll figure out how to write 15 300 word articles by tomorrow night. I promise.

So, Flickr has started allowing video! I uploaded a few short videos of Roxanne today. They look just like the photos, but you should see a small "play" symbol in one of the corners of the image. I know they aren't earth-shattering, but for those of you who don't get to see Roxanne that often, they are pretty cute. Roxanne is pretty cute in general these days. I think her teeth are going to come through any day now. Earlier this evening she was really fussy, and I gave her some Hyland's Teething Tablets, and she is OUT for the count. She is sleeping through Indiana Jones... We've had a nice Saturday, starting out by getting some delicious pastries at Elan's in Morningside and then going to Sydney Marcus Park in Morningside for a picnic and a stroll. We imagined what it would be like to live in that neighborhood. It's so lovely. Of course, most of the houses are probably at least $500,000. Plus, we really love our neighborhood.

Oh, and I'm getting a massage tomorrow! I can't even believe it. My mom recommended that I check out the Atlanta School of Massage for cheap student massages. She was right. I am getting an hour massage for only $40. My back has been totally a mess since Roxanne was born (or before) so I'm hoping this will help. I feel very very lucky. I've had a massage once before in college, and it was amazing. Let's just hope the student who does it isn't creepy or obscenely inexperienced. I don't even care though. I'm just excited about laying down by myself for an hour. I'll probably fall asleep immediately.

There I go, talking about myself endlessly again. Justin is doing well, too. I'm currently typing on his new laptop. His work gave it to him, so it's not really ours, but it's beautiful! It's a big nice Dell. He's been playing with it, and our desktop for hours the last few days. Although he has of course been playing with Roxanne. They are very cute together. Roxanne is SMITTEN with Justin. She gives him lots of smiles, and her favorite thing is when he whispers "Wild Child" to her. It cracks her up. She has also learned to make raspberries and kissing sounds. The kissing sounds are my favorite. She's also developed a very high pitched whining sort of squeal, that is pretty much exclusively tied to teething pain. Fortunately, it's pretty quiet, but it is very high pitched. She's also started rolling from her tummy to her back, but only a few times. All in all, things are good around these parts, and our family is having a good streak of calm. I'm still working on my freelance career and looking around, but I'm trying some relaxation techniques, etc. to deal with work. Plus, I'm 9 to 4:30 at work, which helps, too. The more time with Roxanne, the better!

Saturday, May 17, 2008

mmm, Saturday afternoon cuddle time

Roxanne and I are snuggling right now (well, I'm snuggling and typing; it's a gift). Afternoon naps on the weekend are one of my favorite things. We woke up early this morning to go to a co-worker's wedding shower (well, Justin didn't go) and Roxanne met lots of new ladies. They all wanted to hold her and Roxanne really hammed it up. She also spit up a little on the hostess' throw pillow. I consider it a souvenir. From there we picked up Justin and met some friends for lunch in Kirkwood. It was so nice to sit outside in this amazing weather. I made a nursing apron for myself, and I have to say that I LOVE it. It's made from an old sheet with a pretty floral pattern on it, and since it ties behind my neck, Roxanne can't throw it off. And it's super light so she doesn't end up sweaty while she eats. Ew. I used it last night when we went to dinner with my sister and nieces. Roxanne REALLY likes Ella and Chloe. She even giggled at Ella a time or two. She stares at them and smiles at them and tries to grab their faces and hair.

We just got home from a trip to Dr. Bombay's for a treat and then a walk around Candler Park. We put Roxanne in a swing and she really liked it. I'll post pictures later. It was very cute. We decided that we should go to parks more often. It's such a lovely way to spend your days. Plus, I can feed Roxanne when I need to, and she can nap if she gets tired. Atlanta has some amazing parks. We are starting to really worry about gas prices though, and we are trying to drive as little as possible. And with no end in sight to the high prices, we are wondering what will happen. How will we drive to see family? How will we go to the grocery store? I'm at least glad that our car gets decent gas mileage and that Justin takes MARTA to work. But we wonder if every family will have to examine their budget and lifestyle to figure out how to afford gas. I'm most concerned with our family though. To use some old familiar wisdom, different strokes for different folks. On that note, I think I'll look for some "Different Strokes" episodes on YouTube!

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Doing the best I can...

So it looks like my article for the June Atlanta Parent will probably not make it in. The editor just said that it wasn't "quite what she was hoping for" and that they are running tight on space, so she'll let me know if it does. At first, I was very very discouraged by this, and honestly started thinking that it was a huge mistake to even try pursuing freelance writing. But then I realized that any time you try and market a creative ability, you are going to be subject to rejection, and I need to grow a thicker skin. Instead of just letting the article go, I'm going to try and polish it up and shop it to a few other places. And maybe it won't get published in any of those either, but at least I will have tried! I also ordered business cards from a woman on who is a teacher trying to start her own business, too. I figured it would give me good karma shopping with her rather than Office Depot or something. And she's designing a custom logo for me, too. I should get them within a month. I also bought my domain name (super cheap through Yahoo), but it's only a starter page for now. Justin is going to help me beef it up a little bit, and the etsy seller said she was fine with me using the logo she designs on my website.

Roxanne is doing well. She's really not much of a sleeper these days, and as I write (at 10:00 pm) she's just woken up and is playing with her toes. I'm so tempted to try her on cereal (I already bought some organic brand rice cereal and some baby spoons because I'm so excited) but Justin and I think it would be best to wait until she's 6 months. But I've been slowly testing her and giving her dry runs with the spoon, and she seems to know what she's doing. She is also very very interested in what I'm eating and tries to either grab it, or opens her mouth and tries to eat it. Granted, she does that with pretty much everything, but it somehow seems more meaningful with food... She's continuing to make fun new noises that sound more like talking, and she's really grabbing EVERYTHING.

Big family news:

My sister graduated from her Master's Program on Saturday! Yay! I'm so proud of her. She worked so hard to finish, and it's just amazing.

My aunt Ellen and her husband Patrick are expecting a BOY! That's right, a boy. He's due to arrive in the end of September I think. Ellen and Patrick's twins are going to have a field day with a baby boy!

My half-brother Peter just left for Germany where he will be stationed for 3 years. He's a linguist with the army now. We're hoping he'll be able to come home for Christmas, but he's excited about buying a sports car when he arrives.


Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Does anyone else need a vacation?

Things are just entirely too busy. Work is completely out of control, and I have just taken on a freelance job writing 10-15 short blurbs a week about mortgage and finance topics. On the up-side, I just turned in my second article for Atlanta Parent and also picked up the May issue. It was so exciting to see my article in there! I also had the editor mail me some issues of Atlanta Baby (I couldn't find it anywhere!) and I got to read my little "Mommy Diary" in there. There was even a picture of me and Roxanne. I guess one of the tough parts of trying to get into the freelance world is the part where you are still doing your full-time job while also trying to get contacts and build up a portfolio. I met with a former co-worker over the weekend, and she is a full-time freelance writer, and she gave me a LOT of great information. The older I get, the more I realize that networking is EVERYTHING. She has a great website set up ( where she refers potential clients to see her writing and resume. I think this is a fabulous idea. I want to copy her. After turning in my article today, I just felt amazing. I realized how much I like writing. I hope that someday it can be my job, even if it's writing scripts for telemarketers and brochures for real estate agencies. You can be sure I will introduce myself as a writer at parties. Tee hee.

Roxanne is amazing, as always. Justin had to watch her for extended stretches on both Saturday and Sunday. Poor daddy. I went to the memorial service for my co-worker on Saturday. It was absolutely beautiful, although very very hard to sit through. Raven had an amazing and huge family. I'm pretty sure she was one of seven siblings. They really were wonderful people, and I can't believe how strong they are. I feel like it afforded me a little closure, although I still feel sad at work at random times throughout the day. I think that will probably be the case for all of us for a long time to come.

Sunday I met my old co-worker for the tutorial I mentioned above. But it was much more than that. We chatted and realized how much we like each other. I never got to talk to her very much at work, but she's really fun and very very nice.

All in all, I'm continuing to focus on staying positive, and enjoying every second I get with my fantastic family. I know things are going to work out, and I'm putting a lot of time and effort into making them happen.

Oh, and I'm posting a HUGE batch of pictures on Flickr. Sorry. I got backlogged for a while.

Oh, and also, Roxanne has started making new sounds, and one of them totally sounds like "mama." It's absolutely adorable. I'm going to try and record it soon and upload some more video on Flickr. It's amazing how big and cute she is these days.