Tuesday, August 31, 2010

September is Sewing Month! I Made a Dress!!!!!!

And Katy over at No Big Dill is having a show-and-tell!
This is my 'I never done none of this stuff before' entry
Okay, here we go, stuff I never did before:
Cut a pattern
making bias tape
sewing said bias tape around armholes (I used a brilliant tutorial from Amy Karol at Angry Chicken)
sewed in a zipper

Now, admittedly, the fit is not great, and that neckline kind of makes me look neckless. And the dress is NOT finished. 

A Request For WIllpower

My sister got married recently, but this post is not about her or her wedding. 
It is about my left shoulder.
During Megan's wedding weekend, I experienced major pain in/around my left shoulder. I'm not incredibly familiar with anatomy, so the issue may not be my actual shoulder , but a tendon or a ligament or some fricken thing. 
I visited my primary care doctor, who sent me for x-rays and suggested physical therapy in the future, if it didn't get better. She prescribed me an anti-inflammatory (which I stopped taking because it didn't help) and some painkillers. 
Then last night, when I picked Milo up to soothe his post-nap tantrum...something popped. The pain was enough to send me to the floor in a cold sweat. I moaned and groaned and massaged. 
Then it was fine.
Cut to my bed at 11 p.m. that night. Spooning the husb. Rolling over because I sleep on my back. More excruciating pain. More massaging and stretching. Then sleeping. 
And this morning I cannot lift a coffee cup.
I am very frustrated with my body. I want it to take care of ME like it did in my early 20s. 
I want to be able to binge a little. Wait, lets be honest here: I want to be able to binge a LOT. It doesn't help that Mr. Smith has the metabolism of a hummingbird. Last night I watched him eat a bowl of cereal and TWO bowls of my favorite chips. 
And here I am ...stuck at 160 pounds. Yeah. No progress, and now my shit is jacked so all I am going to ever eat again is veggie quinoa salad because I have no willpower. 
So, if you have any extra, send it on over. 

Monday, August 30, 2010

Because All Sorts of Fortune 500 Companies Read My Stupid Blog.

I know this guy, his name is Tom. It is actually Thomas, but I have never called him that. 
Tom is married to Karine. They have a REALLY cute little boy named Zeke that I have never met, but sort of want to hug. 
Tom is trying to find spectacularly gainful employment.
Go watch this

He really is the missing piece of the puzzle that makes the puzzle more awesome. If I had to hire someone to use interactive brand services delivered in Spanish to Spanish-speaking individuals, I would hire Tom. 

You know...just putting it out there. 

What's She BUILDING in There?

I looked around online (okay, for five seconds on Google- I do not have much patience for search engines) for some decent writing exercises. If I don't think I need to practice writing, I am sadly mistaken. 
But I didn't like any of the exercises I found online!!!
Hm. Idea. One I wrote down. Personal. But that's okay. 
Here goes:

Once upon a time there was a girl named Althea. The first day she ever set foot onto the grounds of Round Lake High School, a girl named Robyn told her to join Drama. Althea had been planning on it and knew in her 14 year-old insides that this meeting had been planned somehow. 
She had discovered in Magee Middle School (Mageecatraz, as the students called it) that acting in plays gave her the attention she craved. Pretending to be a character; giving voice to words on a page, were things she was good at. 
Meetings after school and permission to sit in the Upper Commons with the juniors and seniors at lunch were key fringe benefits to participating in this particular after-school endeavor. Without it, the three and a half years spent in those oppressive brick buildings would have been literally unbearable. 
The members of the 'Drama Crowd' were fairly typical: dark, brooding, slightly scary handsome boy ; the gangly goofy crystal ball-juggler; the gorgeous blonde with the great rack who got all the lead musical parts; the best friends up in the lighting booth....
Althea called them all her friends. They included her and didn't feed into her high school underclassmen fears. Fears of being rejected, and shoved intentionally in hallways. Of elevator passes and wrong directions. Of: 'Oh, the pool? Its on the roof...'.
And then one day...
There's a direction I want to take in this story, and I don't think I am doing a good job of taking it there. 
Hm. Or maybe I don't want to write about that. 
At least I got something down, right?
Bah. Work in progress. 
OH! Random anecdote. 
At work on Saturday:
Me, to a customer in a cute shirt, "Hey, I like your shirt, its really cute."
Customer with cute shirt (deadpan), "Yeah, there was this girl outside wearing it? And I punched her in the face and took it from her."
Me (spluttering and grinning), "Well....ALL FREAKIN RIGHT THEN! Carry on!"
I then related this to my co-worker Kim...she laughs and says, "That sounds like something YOU would say."
And she was exactly right. Ah, to be on the receiving end of your own refreshing humor. Patting self on back. 
I'ma go do Jillian's workout 3 for el firsto time-o. Workout 2 is boring. And I GRUBBED this weekend. OH MAN FOOD IS YUM. Roasted veggie quesadilla and (yes. AND.) garlic chile shrimp tostada from Taco Fresco. 
But now its back to salads and cereal. Woohoo. 

Friday, August 27, 2010


As most of you know, I am home with a toddler nearly every day. Or I am OUT with a toddler. Every day. 
I dig the hell out of my kid, but he puts a cramp in my formerly hella stylish...style....
Many women will say that havin a bebeh should NOT compromise one's style, and to an extent, I agree. 
However, I generally end the day with some sort of schmutz on my right shoulder and cat hair on my pants. I use that as an excuse to let some kickass clothings get lonely in my closet. 
VERY pale pink (I know, it looks white. It isn't) cotton blazer from H&M a million years ago. I'd like to shorten the sleeves, but don't want to lose the button detail and am scared of turning it into a hack job. I DO want to remove the lining though-it makes me sweat. 

Floral velvet wrap dress from Betsey Johnson from another million years ago. The background is red with purple roses. The last time I remember wearing this out was to some hippie show at Durty Nellie's (coughcough ...about ten years ago). With giant platform boots that I REALLY miss. Those babies pushed me over six feet. sigh. 
Hey there dirty bathroom mirror! Hi!!!

This hat. Oh, this hat. Words really can't do it justice. Yes, I am in a bathrobe. 

White wool over red wool with cutouts on top and inside the brim. The label inside reads Archie Eason and this was purchased at a vintage store in Minneapolis (I forget the name, but I'm pretty sure its on Lyndale). I have no idea who Archie Eason is or was, but DAMN.
You would think I would find reasons for wearing this cool shit. But I can't. When you live in the suburbs, people will look at you funny and not speak to you when you wear, oh, say...a red velvet dress with purple flowers, or a bitchin cutout hat. (plus, I'm really not a hat person. But I will keep this baby foreves)
Well, time to go drag myself into workout clothes and shoes. 
Also, can I PLEASE say that 1220 calories is NOT VERY MUCH!!!!???
My bestie Dana shared a wise observation with me. We (she and I) lack what we call 'the skinny girl' gene. The gene that says, 'I really want a Whopper with cheese for lunch, so I am going to have a Fiber One bar for breakfast and a salad for dinner.'
Our genes sound more like this:
'Hey man, chips are GOOD. You should eat more of them. Also, ask for a side of ranch to dip your fries into.'

Ugh. My final random observation for the day:
Jai Guru Deva Om.
Sanskrit for (loosely translated)Victory to God Divine. 
'Across the Universe' is one of the most beautiful songs ever written. It contains the kind of beauty that brings a tear to my eye and an appreciation for creation to my heart. 
Namaste, bitches. 

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Self Improvesies

I may have found the cure to my hair A.D.D.(period).
InStyle.com has this makeover thingamajigger that I spent WAAAAAY too much time on yesterday.
Please to be ignoring the weird bit of hair sticking out of my head there. This is Posh's old bob, darkened, with Angelina's makeup from somethingsomething.
Pink blush! Who knew????

STRANGELY enough...Rihanna's hairdos ALL looked pretty good on me. 
But I doubt I will be doing the cockatiel thing anytime soon.
OR WILL I?????
Grow hair, grow!!!!
I also apparently need black liquid eyeliner every day of my life.
On the reals, though...I can't seem to shake these last 5 to 7 pounds. I get all snacky at the end of the day which is THE WORSTEST time to snack. Doubleyouteeeff.
I'll have to eventually resort to duct tape over the old mouthahontas. Stupid willpower and me not having any. Boo. 
Um...also...Amanda Palmer has recently put out an album of Radiohead covers. ON HER UKELELE. 
I want. Badly. 
Go. Now. Listen. 
Last night at work, I couldn't sell a DAMN thang...I had enthusiastic customers, I demoed my face off, and still...no one bought. Even the woman who wanted our most expensive moisturizer, and the one who was pissed off at Oak Brook for lying to her (sorry to trash another store, but y'all gave that lady WORNG INFO). I was trying SO HARD to impress my new bosslady-who has purple hair and a Vonnegut quote tattoo (swoon). 
But then. THEN. Another co-worker paid me the SWEETEST compliment. She said that the first time she met me she thought I looked like a 50s pinup girl. 
I almost made out with her right there. Not really, but I DID give her a big hug. Planning to file that one away for my less-than-loving-myself moments. 
Time to go sweat to the oldies. Kidding. Jillian and I are hanging out again. She's got a big butt. 

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Promises, promises

I have a new boss at work. I met her for the first time on Sunday evening, and she seems really cool.She has/wants purple hair.  Tonight will be my first time working with her. 
Last night I dreamt we got into a fist fight at work. 
What the fuck?
Last night was a WEIRD night for me. Custies were bizarre and I kept hearing of massively life-changing personal events (for other people, not me). 
Anyways, I promised cute pics of Milo flossing.
Et voila:

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Social Networking (a standup routine)

*taps microphone*
'Hey there...anyone out there on...FACEBOOK?'
*lame cheering from audience*
'Hey...how about that? Isn't it superlame to get other peoples' drama shoved down your throat daily? Isn't it so effing FUN to find ALL your ex-boyfriends in ONE PLACE??'
*audience throws fruit at my face, storms the stage, and bludgeons me to almostdeath*

My plan this morning was to post some old old poetry, since I haven't written and NEW stuff in years. But I couldn't find my folder, so I decided to piss and moan about stupid social networking. Schmetworking.

I remember when I first signed up for MySpace. It was wonderful to find old friends, ones I thought I would never speak to again. Then I abandoned it for Facebook. 

And I found (and 'friended') people I was never close with in high school, most of my extended family, my husband, my besties, my idol Rebecca Woolf, and my entire immediate family. 
It was like watching a soap opera unfold, daily. 

This week I have had my fill of THAT. I am taking a break from watching other peoples' drama, struggles and triumphs. My close homies know where to find me if they need me.

As of today, I am 4 1/2 pounds away from my goal weight, so I will be eating just this (scroll down-informal gathering salad) without the yogurt, and doing this with a yoga mat. 
Cute photos of Milo coming tomorrow. Promise. 

Friday, August 20, 2010


Here it finally is:

There it is, people. I am sure you are all as thrilled as I am. 

Wow, looking at these photos I am suddenly compelled to get SOME color in that room. We spend so much time in here that I rarely step back and look at it. 
Of course, now it is full of cat hair and plants and cars. So that colors it a trifle. As it were. 

Currently reading The Brothers Karamazov. It is my first experience with Dostoevsky. 

Currently close to goal weight due to stomach issues early this week. 

We shall all see how THAT goes. 
I am now off to go do a walking DVD because I am too much of a wussy to try Jillian yet. 
But I kind of miss her. 

Thursday, August 19, 2010

I was waiting

I was waiting to write a post about my new living/dining room floor, and I will. But I need to get something off my chest, and maybe ask the internets a question. 
Last night my dear husband told me that I seem to have less and less energy than I used to. And he's right. I used to be able to stay up until the wee hours and still be able to rock it out the next day. 
But those were the days when I could shower without worry. I could do my makeup and pick out a cute outfit knowing that the only person to get food on it would be ME. I could wear dry-clean only clothes without feeling like a moron. 
I NEVER thought I would be a mom. Ever. For a number of reasons. One of them being that I am an incredibly selfish person. I generally put Althea first, and I never wanted to change that. Then a few things happened to me in VERY quick succession:
I became a Christian-which is a rather humbling thing.
I fell in love with someone I NEVER figured I would fall in love with.
I got married.
I got pregnant. 
I became a SAHM. 

These things literally happened within three years of each other. 

Hey-I like to do things fast. 
To say I am still adjusting is kind of bullshit. I have been a wife for three years and a mom for two. I should HAVE this by now. But I don't. I feel like a constant failure that is always three steps behind. 
But Althea...(you say)...you are the luckiest woman EVER! You have a roof over your head, an eternity in Heaven, the most adorable family, AND a part time job at the store you LOVE!!! What the hell is your problem!!???!!

Exactly. Ex-freaking-actly. what the hell is my problem. Maybe I just need to start a gratitude journal and tattoo it on my arms. 
I guess, my question is this: How do I get some of my original, kickass, Althea-is-a-cool-chick groove back?

Sort of rhetorical. Now I am going to take photos of my SWEET NEW FLOOR. Yet another thing for me to be grateful for. DANG IT I AM SUCH AN UNGRATEFUL WRETCH!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

I cried when

I had no shoes. Then I met a man with no feet; and then I laughed, really hard. 
Name that movie/tv show. 
Taking a breaky-poo to rip up carpet these next few days. Ignoring things that bother me that are unchangeable.
Cheers, intertubes!
Milo shoots you with Jessica Simpson perfume and an Elmo drill. 

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

not really insomnia

I've been slogging my way through Vicki Iovine's A Girlfriend's Guide to Getting Your Groove Back . Well, to be correct, I HAVE slogged my way through it as of last night. I have gleaned from this tome that I am not about to get 'my groove' back for awhile-which I was expecting. My BFF gave me Iovine's A Girlfriends' Guide to Pregnancy and I liked it, so when I saw another of her books at the library, I picked it up. 

Whatever. The groove-back book kind of sucked, but had valuable insights. One of them being that you WILL lie awake nights counting your failures against you THEN MAYBE counting the wonderful moments of the day. 
It might be the skinny vanilla soy iced coffees I've been drinking the past few nights to get through shifts at work OR Iovine's insights; but I have been unABLE to fall asleep before 11:30 for a few nights now. 
Not to say that 11:30 is some crazy hour to be awake until; but when your dear husband generally passes out by 10:30, an hour is a long time to lie awake in the dark. 
Here I will remain true to the name of my blog and try to recount the things that kept me awake last night:

where my ruffly black maternity dress from FIFCO's 2007 holiday party is

where can I buy a newspaper to wrap glasses in?

a story idea about love

why the fuck did I drink a coffee at 6pm?

what beach can I take Milo to this summer?

how exactly will Google Analytics help my website?

what is going to happen to my parents when they get REALLY old???

why haven't I taken Milo to the beach yet????

I want a book light

have I lost any weight yet?

why don't I have willpower against bbq-dusted chips?

wow, a lot of people died this month

Perhaps these thoughts were like jumping sheep for me, because of course I slept. Hence the title of the post. 

Ugh-and now extended family drama is creeping into my morning. I won't write about it here (probably ever or until most of them are dead), but it has the innate ability to make my stomach turn and hands shake. Thanks, jerks!!!! But this time it will not ruin my day or depress me. I have many many MAAAANNNNNYYYYY things to be grateful for and happy about. Like a toddler who smears Pop Tart on his face and then comes over for a kiss. 

Monday, August 9, 2010

Dreams DO Come True. (and an imaginary press conference)

Since my son became large and mature enough to fling food; he has done exactly that. 
For those of you that have never been to my home, know that our eating and living areas are basically the same, and that area is carpeted. 
This. Is. Gross. 
I will now answer logical questions. You in the back-

'Did you CLEAN UP the messes as they occurred?'
Yes. But I did not get them all. 

'Did you ever shampoo the carpet, you lazy beast?'
Numerous times, yes. More than I've ever shampooed a carpet before (which isn't saying much). 

'Uh, have you HEARD of Folex spot treatment?'
Why yes, yes I have. We have gone through four or five bottles since Milo went to solid food. 

There you have it. Toddler+food+carpet+a housewife unwilling to crawl with her nose to the carpet daily to pick up minuscule germworthy food particles = GROSS

I have long desired that carpet to be GONE. And this week, my dear husband and I will RIP IT OUT and THROW IT AWAY. And this weekEND, my dear brother in law is going to come install a NEW not-carpet floor and baseboard and this stuff called quarter round that I never knew existed. 

OH I AM SOOOO EXCITED. Someone told me I have a dirty mouth after reading this blog, so I will refrain from using all the glorious curse words I enjoy to describe my feelings of utter motherfucking GLEE!!!!!
(it slipped out)
Here's the funny part:
I am generally a play it by ear kind of chick. Except when it comes to anything involving Milo. This floor replacement is one of those things. And my dear Mr. Smith wants to play it by ear. 

Whew. I am going to choose to focus on my rad new floor. Yes, I will post before-and-afters for those of you that give a shit care. 

Friday, August 6, 2010

Here We Go!!!!!

My guess is that if I document this online, I will stick with it. No excuses. 
Here we go:
-I am not technically overweight. I am on the BMI cusp of being overweight. 
-I have some cute clothes left that I would like to fit into someday. 
-I am sick of being grossed out by my own body. 

After my sister's wedding, I had some intense pain in my left collarbone. Clavicle, to you medically schooled homies. It hurt so that I couldn't lift my arm and didn't want to wear a brassiere (which IS necessary at this point in my life). 

So I went to my friendly PCP and she told me to take some prescription Aleve and some prednisone. Generic, of course. The anti-inflammatory made it worse in a completely different way. So I stopped taking it. 

Needless to say, I have not done Ms. Michaels' Shred in almost a month. I have gained back everything I lost while exercising. My doc advised against arm exercise with weights. Plus I got lazy. 

My best friend Dana has MUCH stronger resolve than me. She's lost a Thanksgiving turkey. Well, not literally. The equivalent of one, at least. She looks amazing and has a goal and is sticking to it. 

I should too. 
SO. I guess I should MAKE a goal. 
Here we go...
I now weigh (o lord) 162.5 pounds. I am not making excuses and not apologizing or really opening this matter up for any kind of discussion. 
Let us say that a decent weight for me would be 150 pounds. That would get me safely into the 'normal' realm. And perhaps have me looking svelte by the time our NEW FLOOR FINALLY party happens. 
Lets see if I can do it. 12 pounds @ 2 pounds a week: 
Wish me luck?
Here we go?

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

DIbble dibble dopp dopp

That is how Mr. Brown sounds like the rain, and that is what I can hear now. 
Plus a little wind and traffic. 
Milo usually sleeps in on rainy mornings, and instead of doing a workout video like I should, I am farting around on the internet. 
I sit here on mornings like this and try to collect my thoughts for the day. I check Facebook, and Blogger and Gmail. Hear about the days of people I don't ever actually see. Most of the time. 
All these people!
My cat Squishy jumps into the bed the second I am out of it. I am convinced that he thinks it is HIS bed. When he was a kitten, one of us accidentally closed him in the bedroom of our old townhouse. He pooped on our bed. (on SHEETS. that I washed in HOT water) 
Maybe that is why he considers it his bed. And it all kind of makes sense. 
Yesterday afternoon was quite literally soupy outside. The air hung with that special kind of humid heat that hits northern Illinois right at the beat of August. Milo and I had Caroline for the day and we literally played at the playground for 15 minutes and walked back inside. I felt like I was walking through water. Then I felt like I was carrying a wet, crabby, poopy toddler through water. I remarked to Caroline that Milo smelled like a locker room at a pool. Like poop and wet. 
Dibble dibble dopp dopp dopp....

Monday, August 2, 2010

Le sigh

This weekend started with a salad. An ambitious salad for a few picnics we had to attend. With mostly un-ambitious eaters. 
It was a recipe from my new idol's blog. Her name is Rebecca Woolf and I am pretty sure we were separated at birth, even though she is a few months younger and was born on the West Coast. She wrote a book, I read it. She posted a quinoa salad recipe and I made it. 
I loved it. 
Everyone hated it. And there was SO MUCH LEFT. And NO one wanted it. It is basically quinoa with veggies and a smidge of yogurt. Effing tasty. I even roasted the fucking peppers myself. 
Friday night was a picnic in the park with the Frenches. Caroline was twirling and pom-pom-ing and there was a singalong for little kids. The women in that town always confuse me. I don't know how Dana does it. Milo liked the singalong and I left the camera in the car. Whoopsie. 
We met up with some distant relatives and friends on Saturday for a pot luck picnic in a park in some town I've never been to and now want to live. 
Milo borrowed a pink tricycle:
Is that not the coolest bike you have ever seen?
Everyone was standing around talking about second master's degrees and doctorates and CPAs and lawyers...I ran away. I was TERRIFIED of being asked, 'What do you do?'
My thoughts raced. Could I legitimately say I was a stay-at-home mom AND a writer? Nope-feels like a fraud. 'Part-time Lush employee' doesn't really have the same ring as 'Doctorate in Divinity'. Or, 'I used to be an engineer.'
I feel awkward around educated people that I don't know. 
So I took Milo to the park where he MASTERED the slide! He is a sliding maniac!!!
He also likes to run off when we aren't looking and try and make friends.

 Brian got him that time, but I also  did a lot of running. Kids. Parks. Running. Whew. Also-those two little girls and that elderly fellow there? Yeah-we don't know them. I love how my little kid just GOES to other little kids. We need to find him a preschool. Or something. 
After the picnic and sliding, Milo and I went home to rest a little, and Brian went to Wiffleball. After our rest (it was not a nap. There was no napping happening THAT day) Milo and I went over to my in-laws' home for sandwiches and hangin out. 

 Milo likes to play with the hose and watering can and the fountain and the geraniums. He also liked playing with uncle Scott's iPhone (hint hint) and running around in circles. 
On Sunday I worked an early shift, got home and then Milo and I went to see Brian play soccer, but we never made it past the playground. Slides, man. Slides. 

I can't post this without mentioning the family I had talked about  last week. Their tragedy colored my entire weekend, as their story did not have a happy ending. Thank you for your prayers and thoughts. If you sent any. If you didn't, well then you can go suck it. 
I am going to take this opportunity to say that YES bad, terrible, awful, unimaginable things DO happen to good people. This does NOT mean that God (or however you view it/him/her) does not love them, or you. 
Luckily this family has a strong faith. As I've said many times to myself this past week...I cannot fathom going through what they went through as an atheist. No fucking way. 


I love the show Sesame Street. I have even moved from the 'Elmo sucks' camp to the 'Elmo is actually pretty cool' camp. 
I naturally prefer the Sesame Street of my youth, though. The Sesame Street where Snuffleupagus could still only be seen by Big Bird (and us, of course...I loved being in on that), and Oscar had a Brooklyn accent. Mr Hooper's store!!!! Come ON!!!!
I wanted to live on Sesame Street. 
Imagine my happiness when my darling hubby queued ALL the oldschool Sesame Street that Netflix had and loaded them onto our AppleTV. He's good at stuff like that. 
Darling Hubby
I was pleased; because while the current incarnation of Sesame Street focuses on relationships, kindness, fairies and technology (among other things), the past one focuses on reading and numbers and playing outside. 
Milo watched an oldschool episode today, and there was a disclaimer at the beginning. A DISF*CKINGCLAIMER. Apparently someone decided that an educational show (that I grew up with) from the early 80s 'might not be sufficient for today's preschooler.'

Really? Re-eaaaaaally? I disagree. I DO think that a LOT of the programming (eerie term, no) out there for preschoolers is WAAAAAY overstimulating. 
Team Umizoomi, anyone? Sheesh. What the heck is wrong with 'One of These Things is Not Like the Other?'??????????
We don't think anything is wrong with it.