Tuesday, November 30, 2010

The one in which I explode celeb gossip everywhere

Ok, I know this is not a celebrity gossip blog. It's supposed to be a blog about how I work and I'm a mom and I write memos and all that.

Unfortunately for you all, you are a captive audience (if the word "captive" means that you could literally click the 'x' in the right-hand corner at any time and stop reading the words I write that occasionally form sentences and make sense). Further unfortunately for you all, I suffer from a severe shortage of people in my daily life who care as much as I do about celebrity gossip. Scratch that, I suffer from a severe shortage of people in my life in general who care as much as I do about celebrity gossip. And reality t.v.

So because of this shortage, you are now going to suffer. Because I'm having lots of thoughts about lots of celebrity gossip right now and D literally could not care less and anyone that might care a little, tiny bit is working right now or otherwise unavailable. Or they don't exist. You decide which. Either way, this post is going to be a big, old jumble of what I think about current celeb gossip. Merry Christmas early!

Jake Gyllenhaal and Taylor Swift: I am calling BS and blowing this shiz wide open. This is huge for me. Normally, I tend to be very trusting of relationships with evidential proof (such as canoodling caught on camera and run on the cover of US Weekly). I'm not so trusting that I'll believe what Star Magazine prints, but I assume it's only a matter of time. Anyway, despite my very trusting nature, I can't bring myself to believe all these shenanigans about this alleged relationship between Jake (29) and Taylor (20).

For one thing, though I don't know him personally, I feel like Jake is something of an intellectual. Not saying that Taylor is not, but there's a huge difference between an intellectual 29 year old and an intellectual 20 year old. And I can't really imagine what they talk about.

For another thing, Jake's last girlfriend was Reese Witherspoon, a 34 year old, divorced mother of two. They were together for a long time (long according to Hollywood standards, anyway - like 2 or 3 years, I think). Taylor's last boyfriend was Taylor Lautner, the 18 year old guy from Twilight who makes grown women feel guilty for being attracted to a kid who could still technically be attending high school. I don't even think I need to expound further on this one, it speaks for itself.

Finally, Taylor's new album just dropped and Jake has a new movie that either just came out or is coming out this weekend. Nothing like the free publicity a "relationship" can give. Bam. Case closed.

Mariah Carey is Pregnant: Ok, so maybe I'm stretching it on the "current" part, since this is relatively old news. But even though I'm not a super huge fan of Mariah Carey, I am happy for her. I know she's struggled with fertility issues and miscarriages and has been talking for years about how she wants to have a baby. Having been there myself, I found myself really pulling for her to get her wish and get pregnant.

And when she was photographed stepping out in a dress from A Pea in the Pod this summer (yet still denying she was pregnant), I knew she must be pregnant because when you've been trying and trying to get pregnant and have had miscarriages and all that, you try not to even look at - let alone wear - maternity clothes. I was happy when she finally confirmed the rumors that had been swirling for months, and am happy for her still.

And lucky for her, if anyone tries to pull any of the "just wait till the baby is here" crap on her to rain on her parade, she can laugh in their faces and introduce them to the 3 or 4 baby nurses she's hired to help her so she can still get her beauty sleep. And even further in that train of thought, she probably pays people to only say nice, happy, positive things to her, so she probably doesn't even have to deal with those "friendly" warnings.

Kim Zolciak is Pregnant: Ugh. Someone please stab me with a pencil. If you don't know who Kim Zolciak is, I am both sorry and happy for you. She's a Real Housewife of Atlanta, and a big, hot mess. (Also, I realize that my writing about her here gives her credit as a "celebrity", but please know that even I am aware that labeling her as such is a huge stretch.) She already has two daughters who are something like 13 and 8, and they are both SPOILED with a capital SPOILED. Kim is a train wreck who is so clearly a gold digger that she's about 2 seconds away from getting a custom neon sign to hang over head that reads "Sugar Daddies Welcome".

Her latest victim is a 25 year old NFL-er whom she met while filming an episode of Real Housewives. Kim claims she is 32 (I'd like to see some ID, please), so it's not a huge age difference, but still. You gotta feel a little bad for this guy. He's young, obviously naieve, and most of all, an idiot. Judging from the fact that she's managed to stay un-pregnant during her years-long relationship with her mysterious married boyfriend, I'm willing to bet at least $5 that Kim got pregnant by this football dude on purpose. Maybe even $10. Bottom line: she is icky.

Two of Kate Gosselin's Kids May or May Not Be Expelled from School: This whole situation just makes me sad. I've tried to watch Kate Plus 8 a few times, and all it did was make me want to punch Kate in the solar plexus (yes, I had to look up how to spell "solar plexus") so I had to stop. Watching her flirt with the guys who were power washing the siding on her house while simultaneously ignoring her children (or yell at them when they tried to talk to her) was too strong a trigger for my vomit reflex.

The thing with Kate is that I really feel for her sometimes. If you go back to the original episodes of Jon & Kate+8, she really was a different person back then. She was harried to be sure, but she seemed much happier. She was slightly more easy-going, a little bit fatter and decidedly more badly dressed. Jon was less of a douchelord robot back then, too, so I'm sure that helped matters. But it seemed like once she got her free tummy tuck, everything started going to her head. And we, the American people, witnessed the crumbling of her marriage from our couches.
So yeah, maybe she shouldn't have put her kids on tv like that, but I am not sure I wouldn't have done the same thing if put in her place. I mean, probably not, but still. If someone from TLC came up to me and told me that they wanted to film my life and pay me lots of money that would ensure a certain amount of financial security for my suddenly huge family, I might have a hard time saying no to that.

Anyway, in addition to getting long-winded, I'm also getting away from the point of all this. Her children are acting up in school. It is painfully obvious that they don't even know what to do with themselves in all this backlash and hoopla about their parents' divorce and the fact that their entire lives have been viewed by millions and are organized into episodes rather than years. And what does Kate do? She runs to Entertainment Tonight to give them an interview about all the details.

I think it would be better for those kids if Kate would just pull the plug on all this TLC business, take her kids out of the limelight, and go back to being a nurse. Meanwhile, she should milk douchetastic Jon for as much child support as she can get. Will this mean a significant cut in their standard of living? Absolutely. But I'm pretty sure Jon is a walking billboard for Ed Hardy, so that has to generate some type of solid revenue. And anyway, I personally know lots of families who have more children and waaaaay less money, and they do just fine for themselves. In fact, their annual income is probably about what Kate spends on tanning and personal trainers. You know, the real bare necessities of life. Clearly, I could keep going on this one. I could probably dedicate an entire series of posts to what I think about the Gosselins, but I am going to force myself to stop here on this one.

The Kardashians in General: What can I say? I love them. I know you probably think a lot less of me now. I'm sorry. They are famous for being famous, and I have to respect that about them. They're not annoyingly famous for being famous like Heidi and Spencer (both of whom I hate down to the very core of my cold, bitter heart). They are entertainingly famous for being famous. They have created a huge empire out of just being who they are. I watch their show (yeah, I admitted it!) and I love it (so there!). They make me wish I had sisters.

I am obsessed with them. I want Kourtney to drop Scott once and for all and move on with her adorable son Mason before it's too late and Scott raises Mason to be just like him. I love Khloe and Lamar and want them to have lots of babies and stay married forever. I want Kim to find some hot star of some type and settle down and be happy. Ideally, she'd settle down with Reggie Bush because, for some reason, I just like the two of them together.

Jessica Simpson is Engaged: This makes me happy. I like her. I loved Newlyweds and was truly sad when she and Nick called it quits. Jess has endured some hard knocks from the media about her weight, and that automatically endears her to me. Finally, a celebrity who ACTUALLY struggles with her weight. Not like those annoying waif biotches who are all like, "Oh my gosh, I eat soooooo much all the time, I just have a high metabolism." Whatever.

Whenever Jess would get into a relationship (I suspect her of being a serial monogamist), I'd hope against hope that it would work out for her. And whenever the relationship would inevitably go kaput, I'd be sad for her. So even though I also strongly suspect the timing of this engagement (since Nick Lachey coincidentally also got engaged the week before), I will push those concerns from my mind and just be happy that she is hopefully happy and in love.

And that's all I've got right now. I hope you weren't too bored. I promise not to make this a regular occurrence, but out of consideration for my dear husband, I decided it would be best for our marriage if I got all this out to the dark abyss that is the internet instead of subjecting him to my thoughts and being met with a disappointing, "I. DON'T. CAAAAAAAARE."

I can't promise I won't do this again, though, so every time you stop by my blog, it will be like Russian Roulette. Will you get a blank or will you get a bullet? There's only one way to find out.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

First Birthday Parties......Again

I've officially earned my Girl Scout badge in throwing 1st birthday parties. And it's not even over yet. I'm earning another one this weekend because it's L's First Birthday: The Sequel on Saturday. And even though The Sequel has not happened yet, I already feel like it's taught me so much about what I did wrong the first time around.

Let's briefly recap, and you, too, can learn from my experiences. (Unless otherwise stated, it can be assumed that everything in the "wrong" category was done for First Birthday: The Original. Everything "right" will be done/has been done for First Birthday: The Sequel.)

Wrong: Stress out about decorations. Spend hours scouring the internet (with special attention paid to Etsy) looking for cute, unique themes that no one in your circle of family/friends has recently used and then torture yourself by trying to figure out ways you can duplicate the adorable and professional-looking decorations yourself for cheaper.

Right: Order 1 dozen balloons from Party City in a specific color scheme, buy streamers that match and call it a day.

Wrong: Research every cake bakery in a 30-mile radius to try to find the one that can best-match the vision in your head. It's helpful if the people at the bakery can also read minds, since you'll likely have great difficulty communicating the vision in your head. Try unsuccessfully to convince your husband that it is not uncommon, immoral or just plain wrong to spend $200 on a birthday cake for a one year old. Drag out the entire process for so long that you eventually realize you don't even have time to commission a professional cake and resign yourself to making cupcakes. But promise yourself that you'll decorate them with your fancy piping gun and envision how impressed everyone will be that you made those delicious, professional-looking cupcakes.

Have an emotional breakdown the night before the party when the frosting is too thick for the piping gun so you'll just have to spread it on in the old boring fashion but the cupcakes are still a little crumby on top so you just end up ruining half of them and they look like hell. Half-heartedly select the least-terrible looking cupcakes to display in the cupcake trees and put the remaining cupcakes on a tray out of sight.

Right: Plan to make cupcakes from the start. Realize in advance that homemade cream cheese frosting will be too thick for the piping gun and let yourself off the hook by purchasing store-bought whipped frosting. Assume that they will come out looking terrible and be happy and surprised when they don't look that bad after all.

Wrong: Convince yourself that, because you are punking out and not serving an actual meal, you need to make some kickass appetizers that both look incredibly impressive and taste like little morsels of heaven. Comb every recipe and cooking website you can think of for said appetizers, and try not to think about the fact that you are spending your monthly grocery budget on ingredients for party snacks. Get stressed out by the thought of trying to prepare all these appetizers and the worry of "what if they aren't good?" and cope by ignoring the food entirely.

Have a panic attack three days before the party when you realize that you were ultimately successful in your mission to passive-aggressively forget about the food and frantically go back online to re-find all those recipes. Get 100% overwhelmed and defiantly relay a mental message to your guests that they'll be getting cupcakes and taco dip and they'll like it, and if they don't they can leave. Still manage to be crabby and surly and stressed beyond definition the day of the party as you prepare the significantly narrowed-down menu. Be mean and snappy to your husband, mom and brother as they simultaneously try to help you and not set you off like the minefield that you are.

Right: Ask your mother-in-law what she thinks we should do regarding food for the party. Happily and heartily agree with her when she suggests ordering in party subs. Do not prepare any other food, in the realization that people love subs and no one will ask to your face why there was not more food. Further realize that no one will likely ask why there was not more food behind your back, either. Enjoy the knowledge that the hours before the party can be spent relaxing and sucking a bit of weekend out of your Saturday morning instead of running around like the proverbial headless chicken.

So just a little bit of my hard-won wisdom for you today. It should come as no shock that I'm feeling much more at ease and relaxed about The Sequel than I felt about The Original. I might actually be able to enjoy it rather than having to race to the bathroom to practice deep breathing, tone down my crazy eyes and paste a happy smile on my face.

And to my family, who put up with my psycho-ness and didn't even say a word about it after the party was over: thanks. I can't imagine how psycho I would have been if you hadn't been around.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

What moms are really thankful for

Ok, I confess - I stole the title of this post from an article I saw on Yahoo. I was hoping for a light article about the little things that make us mommies happy, but it turned out to be more serious things about being happy for a husband whose cancer is in remission and coming to terms with/loving your postpartum body.

So I thought I would take it upon myself to write about the more trivial things that makes this mommy of a one year old (!!!) and a half-baked bun in the oven happy.

Toddler-safe items that keep your kid occupied for longer than 30 seconds - Up until very recently, this item for L was an empty Quaker Oats container. L looooved that thing. He would put anything that would fit into it (including but not limited to: my cell phone, my shoe and the remote to the tv), then try to put the lid back on.

He also loved to chew on the lid, which is what ultimately what led to the demise of the good old Quaker Oats container. Though sturdier than I initially thought, the cardboard in it was not designed to withstand hours of baby gumming. And once the lid was gone, L was no longer interested. Unfortunately, it doesn't look like we'll be able to replace it any time soon because I'm pretty sure I could eat oatmeal for breakfast, lunch and dinner every day for two weeks and still not finish an entire container of Quaker Oats.

Diaper/clothing changes that don't require the SWAT team - I'm not talking about the contents of the diapers (since I'm pretty sure we'd need a HazMat team instead of the SWAT team for that). I'm talking about the physical process of changing my child. It has quickly and easily become one of my least favorite things ever. Despite any and all attempts to distract L with toys, songs, games, whatever I can think of, he hates being pinned down. And he protests by screaming as if being tarred and feathered, in addition to flopping all over the place and acquiring Hulk-like strength out of nowhere. So when I can change his diaper and/or clothes without having to call for back-up, it's that kind of simple pleasure that can completely turn around a bad day.

The random sleep-in - This is especially glorious when it falls on a weekend day (read: almost never). That Saturday morning when I wake up with the sun streaming through my window, listening to the sound of silence. I roll over to peer at the clock and see that it's 8:15. The angels burst into a joyful chorus as my well-rested head flops back on my pillow and I bask in the peaceful world of half-sleeping/half-awake until I hear L start to stir in his crib. And then I just lay there and listen to him babble and play, seeing how long I can wait him out until he starts crying. That, my friends, is the dream.

The reality: The random sleep-in occurs on a Tuesday morning. I've slept through both my alarms and I wake with a jolt to see that I should be arriving at daycare to drop L off at that very minute. L, my alarm who will not be ignored, is passed out cold in his crib, and I curse the fact that I have a job that requires me to arrive at a certain time, thus further requiring me to go against old wives everywhere and wake a sleeping baby. These are the days that I'm not so thankful for the random sleep-in. But we'll file it under the thankful category anyway.

The smiles and good mood when there should be a melt-down - This happened to us recently, at L's birthday party. I had been running around like a bat out of hell for two days trying to get everything ready for the party that I promised I wouldn't stress about. I had reached and surpassed my breaking point and was snapping at everyone in sight (and maybe picked a humongous fight with D, which possibly was so loud that my mom and brother turned on the football game at top volume so they wouldn't hear us). L had only napped for 45 minutes, and even though he was in an ok mood, it looked like all systems were gearing up for Mr. Cranky-Pants who cries and fusses whenever the slightest thing does not go his way.

But it turns out, my kid loves attention. I already kind-of knew this, but I don't think I knew the extent. Once everyone arrived, he was in his element - smiling, waving, clapping, dancing. I'm sure it didn't hurt that we let him eat his weight in cake. It was an enormously pleasant surprise, because I'd already been mentally preparing the apologetic way I'd say to our guests, "I'm so sorry for the tantrums. Someone didn't get a good nap today. And neither did L."

Note: This scenario especially applies for places like church and restaurants. When your kid is on his best behavior in these kinds of settings, it's nothing short of awesome.

When all the socks from the dryer have a mate - I'm sure people other than moms enjoy when this happens. Socks have got to be the most annoying piece of clothing in the world to wash, especially baby socks. They are tiny and seem to get lost far more frequently than adult socks. I hate them. So it's no small thing for me when I am folding a load of laundry and do not have a single baby sock unmatched. I think this has happened a total of one time so far. No small thing, indeed.

Offering new food and having it be accepted - In the latest "my kid is my husband's clone" news, L is turning out to be a rather picky eater. Just like D, he has a limited repertoire of preferred foods, and he seems to be hellbent on sticking to them. It's actually really easy to remember: if it's a carb or if it's cheese, it's all good. Bonus points if it's a cheesy carb, a la mac and cheese. Also accepted are sweets, but that is so obvious that I almost didn't put it here, and it doesn't count because we don't give him much in the way of sweets anyway.

This kid confuses the heck out of me. He literally one day ate almost an entire can of spaghetti-o's on his own, then the next day took one bite of spaghetti-o's and gave me the "OHMYGAWD WHAT IS THIS CRAP?" face. Color me confounded.

So when I can get him to eat something outside his norm, it's a feeling of victory that is hard to describe. This past weekend, I offered him chicken at dinner. And this was some good chicken. Like, the best. Juicy and grilled to perfection. Yum. I pretty much proposed to the grill master on the spot, but since he's my bff's husband, it just wasn't meant to be. But since it did not pass the checklist of approved foods (the opposite of a carb, nary a speck of cheese to be found, and no sugar in sight), L wouldn't even touch it. So mama started wrapping his chicken in garlic bread. And wouldn't you know, it is possible to outsmart that kid every once in a while. He ate like 10 bites of chicken. Score one for the good guys.

Figuring out how some crazy baby gear contraption works - Parenthood in general comes with a huge array of crap that needs to be unfolded, folded down, put together, taken apart, etc. ad nauseum. And every single thing claims to be "easy". You know what I did this weekend? I had to put L's high chair in the van fully upright because I could not figure out how to fold it down. Even though I've folded it down before, more than once. Even though I'm the one who successfully assembled it in the first place. And my friend couldn't figure it out either. So we just loaded it up as it was. And when my friend's husband was able to fold it down for us before we left their house, it was disproportionately exciting for me. I shouldn't have been so happy that we were able to get that highchair folded down, but I was.

So really, with parenthood, it's the little things that we are thankful for. The small victories and sloppy graham cracker kisses and hysterical baby laughter are what gets us through the public meltdowns and tantrums in church. Sure, there's the deeper stuff to be thankful for too, but that stuff happens less frequently. My day-to-day energy tank is filled up by the little things.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Pregnancy Brain

I guess it's time for me to face the music. Pregnancy makes me a complete and utter idiot.

There are things - old wives' tales, if you will - about pregnancy that I used to believe were either total myths or, at best, self-fulfilling prophecies. Sure, I am hungrier when I am pregnant, but that makes sense. I am growing a person who has nutritional needs of their own, plus I'm burning calories by actually growing said person. But I'm not really "eating for two" as everyone likes to say. And last time, when I followed that old adage, the evidence of my "eating for two" remained on my jiggly, wobbly body long after L was born.

Slightly related are pregnancy cravings. I can only speak to my own experiences on this one. I will admit that there is some truth to the belief that you crave certain things when you're pregnant. For me, at least, it was more of a "wow, this particular food item sounds really good to me and I've never liked it before now", instead of a "if I don't get a pickle in 5 minutes I will spontaneously combust".

So yeah, I'd have to say that many of the wives' tales regarding pregnancy are more myth than fact.

Except for pregnancy brain. Pregnancy brain is very, very real. Pregnancy brain turns me into the stoopidest person alive.

With pregnancy brain, I am clumsy, forgetful and just a moron in general.

Case in point. In the middle of writing this post, I get a feeling of deja vu, as if I had written something along these lines before. But I couldn't exactly remember, so I went back and tried to find a similar post because I didn't want to write this post if it had essentially already been written. But then I got sidetracked reading all my old stuff and forgot what I was looking for. So if this is a redundant post, please forgive me.

Other reasons I am an idiot:

I am in the middle of coordinating an awards banquet for work. It's a pretty decent sized event, and by far my favorite part of my job. One of my responsibilities is to send out 3,000+ save the date flyers to everyone we are inviting. So I designed this really nice autumn-themed save the date flyer and was really happy with it. We print off a few in color to hand out at meetings and such, but the majority of the flyers are printed in grey scale.

Today, my boss comes up to me with a flyer in hand and says, "We have a bit of a problem with the save the dates." My heart dropped because I was afraid there was some sort of spelling error or something, and I'd be seriously pissed because I proofread the stupid flyer to within an inch of its life.

But no, it wasn't a spelling or grammatical error. Instead, she pointed to the rather large graphic of the maple leaf that was in the lower right-hand corner. On the color flyers, it was obviously a maple leaf. On the grey scale flyers, however, it was a big, fat marijuana leaf. So 3,000+ people now think I'm a pothead.


Then, yesterday I was leaving a work-related message for someone. I briefly outlined what it was I needed, and then I started my usual message wrap-up spiel.

"If you could give me a call back when you get the chance, I'd appreciate it. You can reach me at....um....uh.....Well, this is embarrassing, I can't seem to remember my office phone number right now. It's um.....well, hopefully you have it. If I don't hear from you by this afternoon, I'll call you back. Thanks so much! Bye."

Yeah, she never called me back.

The other day, I was zoned out at my desk, trying to figure out some relatively simple math when the phone rang. I picked it up on auto-pilot and didn't start tuning in to what was going on in the conversation till about half-way through. By that point, I didn't really understand what the guy was saying so I just "mm-hmm-ed" and "yep-ed" my way until he mercifully seemed satisfied enough to end the conversation.

The next day, I got a call from some lady named Amy. Amy informed me that I had spoken with her colleague Dave the previous day, and he had put me down as the contact person for my order.

I was like, "Umm...what?" And then she was like, "Oh yes, he told me to contact you with any issues about your toner order and I just needed to confirm your shipping address."

"Uh....I don't recall ordering any toner. I am not usually the contact person for that type of thing, are you sure he spoke to me?" I said, desperately trying to remember what she could be talking about.

Then suddenly, it dawned on me that my space cadet moment from the day before might have landed me in some trouble. So I asked her to recap the order and she said, "Yes, you very wisely were able to lock in last year's price for toner. We have you down for 12 boxes at the discounted rate of $365 per box, instead of the current rate, which is $424!"

I tried not to keel over dead as my brain exploded from trying to mentally calculate how much 12 boxes of toner times $365 per box would cost. I frantically and very ineloquently explained to her that some sort of mistake had been made, I was confused when I spoke with Dave, and we decidedly did not want 12 boxes of toner. Thankfully, I think Amy was not a salesperson because she managed a confused, "Umm.....ok, then. Thanks." and let me off the hook. Dave would likely have tried a lot harder to save the sale, thus furthering my discomfort and embarrassment.

It's really unfortunate that all my idiot moments seem to happen at work. Work is the place where I'm supposed to appear together and competent. I get enough of the falling apart and appearing incompetent as a mom! And as a mom, I generally don't have a huge audience to witness my failures. (L, my one constant witness, so far is luckily not saying anything to anyone, either. A good reason to appreciate the fact that he's still not really talking much yet.)

At work, though, there's plenty of people around at all times to see me fall on my face in one way or another. And why does it always seem to be the same people? Although now that I think about it, it's probably best that a small handful of people repeatedly witness me playing the idiot than a bunch of random people every time. At least it stays contained this way.

Shockingly, I can't remember if pregnancy brain goes away after the baby is born. Which is likely due to my current bout of pregnancy brain. Here's hoping, I guess.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

One year ago today

I have been trying and trying all week to get a post up about eating at restaurants with a very active toddler, but I just can't do it! I started writing it on Monday, and have literally returned to it each day since then, trying to add to it and get it finished and posted. And it's not even because it's bad (which is usually why a post would get the fatal categorization of "draft", never to be heard from again) . There's actually some semi-decent stuff there.

For Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, I have no excuse. For today, I actually do have an excuse. How can I write about eating out when today, all I can think about is the fact that one year ago today (currently, it is 11:40 a.m.), I was blissfully unaware that I was thisclose to embarking upon 13 hours of pain, agony and exhaustion that would open up a whole new world of pain, agony and exhaustion (well, ok, maybe not pain and agony but definitely the exhaustion part).

One year ago today, I was almost at my doctor's appointment. The 39 week check-up at which my water would break after my doctor told me I was 2 centimeters dilated and right on track to deliver on schedule.

One year ago right now, I was waddling as fast as I could all over my office, trying to get a huge rush job finished before the work day was over.

One year ago 35 minutes from now, my doctor would laugh and tell me no, I couldn't go back to work, that I had to go to the hospital because I was in labor and was going to have a baby.

One year ago 45 minutes from now, I'd stop at the receptionist's desk on the way out of my doctor's office, pale as a ghost with a stricken look on my face as the receptionist excitedly congratulated me on reaching the end zone of pregnancy.

One year ago 50 minutes from now, I'd call D, telling him I was in labor and on my way home and that we needed to get to the hospital.

One year ago 52 minutes from now, I'd call my mom and break into panicked sobs that I don't know what I was thinking getting pregnant and that I was scared and that I couldn't believe I was about to have a baby.

You get the picture.

How can I focus on a post about L screaming in restaurants when all I can think about are my incredibly vivid memories of the day that changed my life forever?

Compared to all my big life moments, I'd have to say that having a baby was the most life-altering. Yeah, moving out of state for college was pretty life-altering. Sure, getting married was definitely life-altering. But having a baby? It changes things in ways that can never be undone.

In so many ways, I can't believe it's been a year since L made his debut in the outside world. The time has gone by so quickly, all in a blur.

In other ways, I can barely remember my life without him, as though he's been here forever. Well, I take that back. I can remember my life without him, but it's almost as if someone else entirely was the one that lived that life.

And now, my guy is almost one year old. Tonight, I'll put him down to bed a baby, as I have done for the last year (ok, more like the last 9 months or so, after he was sleep trained and could actually be put down to bed for the night). Then, at 1:42 a.m. while the whole house sleeps (and while D works), my baby will turn into a little boy.

And it seems fitting that this morning, when I dropped him off at daycare, he took his first real walk by making it 10 consecutive steps without falling down. I am so happy I was able to see him reach that milestone, as it seems I miss so many while I'm at work.

Tomorrow morning I'll officially be the mother of a toddler.