Tuesday, November 29, 2011


my daughter turned the big one a couple weeks ago
and in honor of that achievement
{she still has all her fingers and toes, go mom and dad!}
we decided to have a celebration
Lillie in One-derland
{get it, ONE -derland, because she's turning..oh never mind}
 seems fairly straightforward, right?
have bright colorful things, a couple of theme items
and bam, good to go
well, when you look around and there's nothing
available to buy for decoration because let's face it
Alice in Wonderland is not appreciated nearly enough
in comparison to all that is a Disney Princess
you have to get a little creative
floating yarn balloons
have amazing friends
we love you emilie!
{who are willing to stay at your house nearly every day in the week prior
to get everything and then some ready}
a fantabulous husband
who put up with nearly a month of craft supplies strewn about the house
{while the laundry suffered in silence}
I drove him mad all right...
a mother-in-law who went above and beyond
when she offered to make Lillie's cake
i'm pretty sure my jaw dropped to the floor when she came in the hall with it
yes, it's that amazing
Lillie even had her own personal teapot to tear into
and wonderful family and friends to celebrate her with
the love and generosity shared to celebrate our beautiful little girl
it was so much more than i expected
{seriously, we need more closet space at the house after this!}
  i admit, i may have gone slightly overboard in the production
of this little birthday party
and by overboard yes, i mean the outfits.
wonderland props, fresh flowers, pinwheels, yarn balls and tulle
squeeze-its {i didn't even realize they still made them!} with drink me tabs
and personalized water bottles with alice quotes
over yonder {i took some creative liberties}
oreo pops, heaven in your mouth
big as house, small as a mouse - take your chances with these eat me cupcakes!

i just wanted it to be special
not just for her, but for everyone invited/involved
because without these wonderful people in our life

i would have never made it through this first year
{at least not with all my hair}
so, for all you haters out there that may say
really, tamara, really? this much effort
she's one, she won't remember it
who cares?
i say to you
she may not remember it, it's true
but when she looks back on pictures
she'll just know
that the joy in our faces
in our hearts
in our blistered fingers from cutting up and gluing paper together for hours
means only one thing

that we love her more than anyone outside our family needs to understand
no matter how cooky, upside-down or ridiculous things may appear
we'll always have our own little wonderland
alice and all

Monday, November 28, 2011

Ninja Friday {and Thursday!}

i am a ninja.
no, really, it's true.
okay, well, probably not to you.
but to me, oh, fo'sho' i am.
you see, i partake in this crazy little phenomenon called Black Friday.
you know, that day after Thanksgiving were people get pepper sprayed over a video game or stepped over and ignored while having a heart attack
it really is quite ridiculous, and even though i absolutely adore the adrenaline rush i receive from grabbing that last box on the shelf for a price i could probably get with a good coupon on any other day of the year, i, in no way condone that kind of behavior. 
some people just completely baffle me
maybe it's my southern roots that even in mid-run down home depot i still yell sorry with every person i may accidentally nudge as i weave and bob through the crowd
or maybe it's the fact that i know if i want something that bad, i'd more than likely pay full price for it anyways, so who cares?
but back to the ninja thing - 
this year {in case you hadn't heard} sales actually started on Thanksgiving DAY
in the past 8 years or so that I've participated it's all been {technically} on Friday with times like 3 a.m., 4 a.m, etc.
the crew this year  involved my two sister-in-laws, cousin-in-law and me
in a hotel
because yes, we are that badass
{huge shout-out to the husband's aunt who thought
of this ingenious idea and booked the room}
they 3 all arrived before i did
{i dropped of the kiddo with her godparents - who are effing amazing}
the evening started out around 6pm with my
SIL texting me the wrong room number on purpose
i actually had a feeling she might do that
finally after knocking on the wrong door
i found the right one
and hit the sales ads
i only had two items that were necessary's 
a christmas tree and a stove
everything else was just a sure, why not
{i'm not so much a real shopper on this day as an enjoyer of al's family, they are amazingly fun and we don't see each other enough}
so, around 8 we decided we'd go to walmart
their sales started at 10pm and 12am
we got there and already people were in lines with their hands on things
{all still on pallets in the center aisles with the packaging tape}
things were not allowed to be in the basket until the appropriate time
i only had 3 items
600 ct sheets for $20, 7 piece comforter set for $34 and Cooties game for $3
and because none of these were MUST HAVES
i was awesome and told the other crew members i'd head over to ToysRus to see how that madness would go. 
with their lists in my relatively warm little hands, i left with high hopes
you see, i knew ToysRus started at 9pm. and since it was about 9:15pm
i figured i'd get in the store fairly quickly
{although it'd be crazy crowded}
and with fingers crossed maybe, just maybe, i'd be free by midnight
{when Target opened their doors}
uh, yeah, like i said - high hopes
they changed their strategy this year 
instead of just opening the doors they only let 50 people in at a time
which was great when you got in because you could actually move around
but not so great as you were standing out in the cold for oh, about 2 hours listening to people complain about any and everything, watching small children run up and down the parking lot, and cheering every time the line moved (whether it was because more people were let in the store or people gave up and got out of line)
and i must say it did make it extra sad to watch all the people before me leave the store with basketful's of items,
i was almost certain there was no way i'd be able to get what was on my list
{lincoln logs for Lillie & humidifier for my niece, Ayana)
and especially not what my crew had given me as their lists
so, i was pleasantly surprised to have gotten the 2nd to last lincoln logs and the majority of everyone else's items
{i can't wait to play lincoln logs with the lillie-kins!}
they must have stocked more in anticipation of starting time at 9pm instead of 12am or 5am or whatever it has been in the past
the line was probably just about an hour wait
they were very organized and made it very clear where the line started and stopped
props to ToysRus management
i managed to get out of there right at midnight
because my crew was still battling the walmart crowds
{apparently there was practically a fight over the sheets - there was totally a line for them at 8pm}
and because one SIL wanted an electronic they had to wait until midnight for it
and apparently that was an ordeal
as they did not roll them out when they were supposed to
but she got what she wanted and it was her big ticket item
so i think she was happy
anyway, they were still in the throes of walmart madness
i punched it to target
they had just started to let people in
i had my list and the crew's list
i got in about 12:30am and had about as many hits as i had misses in my first run-through
all i wanted was some pyrex for $16 
{i gots it}
everything else was for my nieces/nephews per their parents
our target is fairly big
which meant the line was beyond ridiculous
and by beyond ridiculous i mean over 2 hours ridiculous
BUT, i did manage to score a few items in line that i didn't get on shelves because people had dropped them on the way to the front for check-out
the people in line behind me {hi ladies!} were amazing and offered their shopping basket to me
{i literally had things stuffed in my jacket to keep a hold on everything, with sweat dripping down my face, i was the epitome of a mad woman}
don't judge me
pyrex is heavy
and because i'd been in line for an hour, staring at the same butts, i was completely shocked at the balls the couple who tried to cut me had
if you know me then you know i am laid-back
i go with the flow
want my spot, whatever, not that important
but not on black friday, bitches
had i not been in line for an hour already with another hour looming in front of me, i probably would have not reacted the way i did
nor if i had just heard the couple speaking plain-as-day english before they cut me

Me: Are y'all just trying to shop or get in line, because the line starts back there.
{man looks at woman, woman looks at me, looks at man and turns around}
Man: uhh No sabe englis.
Me: Ohhhkay. I just heard you speaking english. the line does not start here, it's back there.
Woman: Que? Que?
Man: No comprehende.
Me: Seriously? Fine. Let's do this.

Which then resulted in me yelling out for a Target employee who speaks Spanish
which caused man and woman to both speak very rapidly in their non-english and look around nervously
a girl about 5 people behind me said her mom spoke spanish
she turned to get her
man and woman took off
about that time one of the ladies who had let me use their shopping cart had come back with an employee
he wasn't necessary but said that's why there were so many stationed near the line
anyway, i felt slightly bad about it
but at the same time
not okay.
if you choose to be an idiot {admittedly like me} and go out at 12am for some deals, you have to suffer the consequences and one of those is waiting in ridiculously long lines
don't cheat the system, people
i survived the remaining hour with no more cutting and a text around 1:30 that the crew was meeting at the hotel, they were finally out of walmart
i was out about 3
stopped in at a sonic that was open grabbed some cheesesticks
and downed my mountain dew i had grabbed from Target
it was the kick i needed
tried to go to Old Navy
uh, negative, there was no room to even shop
people had no idea where the line even ended (i asked)
kohls was the same way
i went back to the hotel
checked over the ads 
and the crew was back again!
4am HEB happened
i saw one of my favoritest people ever from my retail days
{Hi Amber!}
got a $20 dutch oven
{hehe, dutch oven}
and 40 double A batteries for $10 bucks
from there we went to Home Depot
this was important
you see, they had a Christmas tree for $49 bucks
and i wanted it
7.5 foot and pre-lit, full and beautiful
i had to have it
but there was a line already
the girl and her mom behind us were wanting it too
i started counting the people in front of us
the odds were not in my favor
i knew what this meant
ninja skills, ninja skills indeed
when i got inside those blessed doors
i ran like the wind
forrest gump, you don't have shit on me
i am never skinnier than on Black Friday, 
i weave, i bob, i jump, i scout out best possible routes
{thank the sweet baby jesus i am tall}
i placed my hand on the 2nd to last one, the girl in line behind me got the last one
i was in adrenaline heaven, pumped and ready to go i couldn't wait for the next store
{thanks Chrisa for helping me carry it out!}
my other SIL also had a slight run-in with a mad woman who insisted she owned a full shelf of .99 cent pointsettas
next store was Michael's that didn't open until 6am
we had about 30 minutes to kill, so a bathroom break happened
and when people started getting in line
so did Chrisa and I
they had their cricut cartridges on sale
buy two get a jubilee free
but apparently they were open on Turkey day and ran out of free product
{of course}
we did get a free candy bar though
 we decided to get some free breakfast at the hotel
it was amazingness
the girls wanted to go ahead and lay down
but i was determined to check out Cavendar's
{boots for me!}
they opted to ride with me and i was lucky enough to find exactly what i wanted in my size
{if you don't know me or my size 11 shoe, you're missing out on all my shoe shenanigans}
from there we tried to return few items from ToysRus
but nope, no returns, not until 1pm
we then tested out Old Navy again
which resulted in a pair of $15 jeans for me and two sets of adorable jammies for the kiddo
and Kohl's 
were my crewmates officially rocked my ninja status 
by hiding their finds from earlier in the morning behind some men's oxford shirts
they got all the stuff with none of the line
amazing crew
my alarm went off at 6:45 to call alfred and i thought something was wrong, because surely i wasn't this wide awake after 24 hours of no sleep
runner's high, pshhh
black friday high my friends
i found the stove we wanted at sears, called to see if they even had what i wanted (gas, not electric) and they were actually honoring all of their in store sales online, so we didn't even have to weather that situation
we tried to hit the hotel again for some sleep, but yeah, after showers and everyone and their mom calling us, and a maid trying to get into our room
we got up a short two hours later and headed out for some lunch
love us some Chuy's
then to return things at ToysRus and Target
and finally home
we separated all the items at my house 
{since there were no prying kid eyes there}
and about 6:15pm i was finally able to sit down, text lillie's godparents about picking her up
and revel in my awesome shopping abilities
alfredo & the best friends {emilie & justin} & the bro-in-law arrived shortly after
i made my emilie proud by my target situation
and then i promptly zoned out
after showing off my kickass boots of course
it was exhausting
it was ridiculous
it was fantastic
and i absolutely cannot wait to do it again next year

did any of you join in on the craziness this year?

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Lillie's Birth Day

i had plans. 
you know, the kind where i will get everything done that needs to be done in this set amount of time because i'm a rockstar
but yeah, that did not happen
because i made my first mistake as a mom - 
i forgot to take into account that
you see, my little butterbean, was late. 
nearly two weeks late.
despite me trying nearly everything in the book to convince her it's not so bad out here
she refused to let go of my uterus
i had finally conceded that i was going to be induced
and that was that
november 17th was the big day
so, when november 16th came i just went about my business
i had plans to clean and go to the store and spend some time with my mother and brother who had come in for her birth
i woke up
had alfred help me from the bed
{you try to get up by yourself at 10 months pregnant}
wobbled to the toilet
plopped down on the seat
did what needed to be done
stood up
peed myself
or rather, that's what i thought i did
you see, i didn't want to be one of those girls who thought their water had broke but really just peed themselves
and i was way confused because i had just.went.to.the.bathroom
so, i told the husband
"hey, i either peed or my water broke"
which he then responded with a "well, what is it"
which then escalated into me vehemently telling him i had no idea, i'd never been pregnant before, i don't know what contractions are and i'm convinced this hell-baby wants nothing to do with me
so i did what any emotionally charged woman would do in this situation - 
i tried to shoo him off to work which didn't work 
he thought it was hilarious that i was convinced if it was labor that i would somehow drive myself to the hospital
{i know, it sounds ridiculous to me now, especially after feeling contractions, but i swear i knew i could do it}
it was 7:30am. i called the doctor at 8 and they asked me how close my contractions were, etc.
{i was still convinced i was peeing because i didn't feel anything}
we set off to the doctor about 8:15
i felt contractions on the way to my OB
alfred could tell because i would conveniently stop talking
and about 9am my OB confirmed what my husband had already been telling me
i was in labor
i was just grateful that i didn't waste a trip to the doctor because i thought i had peed myself
we checked into the hospital
i immediately asked for my epidural
{i had been told by multiple people to do this first thing because it may take them some time to get to me}
they checked my dilation, i was at a 3
contractions were ok
i was settled in watching television, breathing, thankful i decided to eat a small bowl of cereal before we left
{i had heard/read that eating something light was okay}
and 2 hours later i was at a 5
the contractions weren't bad exactly, but i knew i didn't want to go any further
without my epi, alfred asked about it
the anesthesiologist made it in and 
i was in heaven
and then around 4 they told me i was almost a 9
and i started feeling some pressure
and more pressure
and more pressure
i finally asked the nurse about my epi and they quickly gave me a refill and a few moments later it was almost 5 pm and i was ready to git.r.dun
my OB (whose office was right next door) came running from his office
{literally i saw him running from his office to the hospital from my window}
and i was already doing 'practice pushes' 
my gawd, you hear that pushing actually feels good but you never believe it until it actually does feel amazing
you don't want to stop
and i didn't
i got in trouble because i wasn't giving my body a break between contractions
but i was not  going to be pushing for up to 3 hours
{the doc had told me it can take anywhere from 30 minutes to 3 hours prior to this}
and it didn't
at 5:25pm our Lillie Mae was delivered
in perfect condition
{albeit with a slight temperature}
and i was so proud of my husband who never left my side
and kept me smiling through it all
{we actually fist bumped after a particularly nasty contraction to let each other know we're kicking this labor's ass}
and it feels as if it was just yesterday
that the nurse rolled her in our room and everyone had left
that alfred and i looked at each other and asked,
what do we do now?
and how we left the hospital and on the way home were simply amazed that the hospital just let us leave with a baby. 
we had no qualifications. 
no babysitting time between us. 
neither of us had successfully even changed a diaper!
and yet, here we are a 1 year later
parents to the greatest blessing we have ever known
she has taught us so much
and we look forward to her teaching us
{and hopefully us teaching her}
throughout many more years
Happy 1st Birthday my beautiful darling girl
your smile brightens our day, our hearts and our soul
we love you.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

I must be mad...

In less than a week, it will have been a year. Yes, a FULL YEAR, since my daughter decided to bust a move from my womb and make her way into this world.
Who does she think she is anyways? Trying to turn into a toddler and all. Ugh.
And in a week, she'll be sitting in cake crumbles and ice cream celebrating this day with our family and friends.
Where will I be?
Probably in the fetal position praying to the sweet baby Jesus that it's finally over while drinking a nice, healthy glass of wine and swearing to myself over and over that never, ever, ever will I plan a birthday party.
{Okay, fine I admit that even while I say this, I know good and well, this time next year I'll be making last minute touches to yet another perfect party}
I just hate that I know I did this to myself. I've been planning this since she was roughly 6 months old. Or at least had the idea in my head at that point. And for the past couple weeks I've been trying to coerce these little thoughts, these plans from the recesses of my brain to come to fruition. Well, it's getting closer and I can feel the pressure.
I mean, Lillie in "One"-derland was/is a wonderful idea.
But it's actually really hard to find Wonderland items to purchase.
Everything is princess this, or princess that...
Which means, it's up to me to make this vision in my head come to life, but that's a lot of pressure and strain to put on one slightly-perfection ridden mom.
So, I've commissioned my best friend to help me make a lot of what I want
{Thanks Emilie for putting up with my crazy!}
Thank you Pinterest for helping me become a do-er!
Wonderland Props coming together...
Okay, I see you. You can stop with the eye rolling. I'm not an idiot, I know that Lillie will have no recollection whatsoever in regards to her 1st birthday. So, she technically won't care what I do. She's going to be happy to have cake and people holding her all day. 
But the thing is - this is for me as much as it is for her. This is my celebration to the world saying
"I effing made being a mom my bitch."
Because I did, despite all my worries, all the frustrations, all the tears and confusion I passed. It may be with a C-, but she still has 10 toes/10 fingers/ 2 eyes and a heartbeat.
And one helluva smile.
Adorable, right?
 And I can't wait to see that same smile when she's older, looking back through her baby book and saying to me
"Damn, mom - overcompensate much"
so that I can reply with
"Just you wait sweetheart, you'll do things you never thought you would."
We play the "Mom eat this" game entirely too much.