The Blitz

The Blitz

Before I became a mother, I had no clue how much my life was going to change.  It was definitely a rude awakening!  Soon after my child was born, I realized I was the equivalent of the blitz.  For those of you who aren’t familiar with the the blitz, allow me to explain:

“The Blitz” is a reference from another one of my all-time favorite TV shows, How I Met Your Mother.  The curse of the blitz is a curse that results in the victim missing epic, and sometimes miraculous occurences.  The effect is so strong that the victim’s absence is sometimes thought to be the cause of the epic events.  So if you are “the blitz,” it’s pretty much a given that any time you leave a room, something awesome is going to happen and you will miss it.

That was me for the longest time.  Here I was, a 26 year-old single mom of a child with special needs.  I was living in a crappy apartment, driving a crappy car, and had a crappy job.  Every time I “left the room” (i.e, quit college, took time out from my friends, didn’t go for that better job, became single) it would turn out that amazing things were happening to other people.  Every time I turned my back, someone was getting that great promotion or raise, someone was getting engaged, or married, or having a baby.  Getting a new car, or house, or that advanced degree.  Obviously my absence wasn’t what caused those things, but sometimes it felt that way.  For a long time I felt self pity, because I had not even gotten close to the succesful and driven woman I had set out to be.

Fast forward several years, and I am now a stay-at-home mom with my 10 year old and trying for another.  I still have not quite finished my college degree.  I have a part-time job, but I’m not a lawyer, or a doctor, or any of the successful things I thought I might have been.  I’m a wife and a mom.  And to be real, that actually always was my dream.  I just didn’t realize all the sacrifice and self-doubt that comes with it.  It’s the dream versus the reality, and somewhere you find the happy medium. 

The dream is that you’re this June Cleaver clone, perfectly groomed and dressed, cooking perfect gourmet four-course meals every day, with an immaculate house and a kick-ass body.  The reality is much different. I’m a hot mess! At this point in my life, the trash goes out more than I do.   Changing out of my flannel pj’s into black yoga pants qualifies as getting dressed.  You think being a stay-at-home mom means you don’t have to work, but in reality, it means you NEVER leave work.  It means doing all the work, but having people say you don’t work.

But, the more I thought about it, the more I came to realize I’m not the blitz, I am a super-star.  I have like 50 careers rolled into one title: Mom. I’m a housekeeper, tutor, private chef, waste removal specialist, ghost exorcist, child therapist, referee, private shopper, pet sitter and groomer, life coach, personal stylist, nurse, amatuer construction worker, and internet police woman, just to name a few.  I came to realize, I am amazing, and do not have to make apologies for the life I lead.

Being a mom is the most important job I will ever have.  The truth is, I didn’t lose myself when I became a mom, I found myself.  As it turns out, children aren’t a distraction from the real work.  They are the most important work.  It’s not about what you gave up to have a child, but what you gained by having one.  The most special thing I will ever do in my life is raise this little girl to be a strong, smart, confident, and caring woman.  My role in her life is the most essential and most eternal role ever.  And I plan to live up to that role to the best of my ability.  And even though most of the time I feel like I’m screwing it up, I know I’m doing the best job I can.  And it’s a job I will never regret having.

So Happy Mother’s Day to all you amazing moms out there.  Let’s elebrate each other and our children, and the screwed up but beautiful lives we all lead.  Have an amazing day!

  

Adventures from last night:  I discovered I can count all of my teeth using just my tongue…

Adventures from last night:  I discovered I can count all of my teeth using just my tongue…

For those of you that have neglected to read my “about” page, (wink, wink) I have type 1 diabetes.  I am coming up now on 19 years since my diagnosis.  It is important to me to raise awareness, but at the same time, I don’t talk about it very much.  Or more specifically, I don’t COMPLAIN about it very much.  I try not to.  This is the hand I was dealt, and I am managing it the best I can.  However, if you don’t want to hear a bit of a T1D rant, I suggest you stop reading now…

Every diabetic at some time or another, even the most well-managed ones, will have a bad diabetes day.  The dia-monster has come out to play with no warning and no explanation, and is here to wreak havoc on your day.  The monster is alive and ready to play.  And he does not play fair.  That was my day yesterday, and today.  He brings me up, then down, then up, then down, crashing (well, bouncing really) over and over again.

I woke up low, 52. I drank some juice, took the drama tween to school, and came home.  Blood sugar now in the 60’s.  Drank some more juice and was feeling super nauseated, so I went back to bed.  Flash forward 3 hours later, and I wake up, test, and am horrified at the number: 234.  What?! Why?!  Seriously?  So, I bolus the appropriate amount, eat some lunch, and everything seems to be semi-stable for now.

About 5:30pm I drop again.  Inevitably, while I’m driving, and of course do not have any glucose tablets with me. Well played, diabetes.  Well played.  I manage to make it home and proceed to eat half a jar of peanut butter.  (In hind sight, this wasn’t my best decision, but when I over-treat my lows, it’s not pretty!)  At this point I’m feeling super cranky and terrible.  And then for the rest of the night, I just stay high.  I try to sleep, with no success.

So I go out to the couch around 1:45 and turn on the tv.  It’s astounding how terrible late-night tv is.  Needless to say, I was pretty bored.  (Hence the title about counting my teeth lol) But no rest for the weary.  Gotta keep checking, gotta keep bolusing.  At this point I have switched to injections just to get back to normal.  (A 2:00am reading of 502 definitely kicked me into gear on that one!)

And then before I know it, it’s 6am again and time to get the morning started.  I get everything done, blood sugar still in the 200’s, bolus some more,  and go back to bed.  Wake up at 11:00 still in the 200’s.  At this point I change out my pump infusion site.  Probably should have already done that, but I had JUST put on a new one.  Those things are like gold ya’ll!  Can’t be just wasting them!

As I type this post it is 6pm and my blood sugar is now 105.  36 hours later, I finally have an acceptable reading.  Now comes the fear of another serious drop, but I’ll cross that bridge if and when I come to it.   And I still have no idea what caused all that.  I didn’t do anything or eat anything out of the ordinary, and the pump seemed to be functioning fine.  But what I’ve come to learn with the dia-monster is that sometimes you can do everything right and you’re still gonna have days like this!  It’s just a way of life with a chronic illness.  What I also realize is that I may be chronically ill, but I’m also chronically awesome!

In closing I will just say, try to remember that we are all dealing with something.  Just because I don’t talk about my struggles with T1D that much and play it off like it’s no big deal, doesn’t mean it isn’t a daily struggle for me to manage this horrible disease.  It’s 24/7, 365.  It never quits.  And so, neither do I!

None In the Oven

None In the Oven

I thought I learned everything I needed to know about getting pregnant in junior high.  Turns out…I was wrong!

As I sit at Café Express, typing away on my keyboard and listening to the expectant moms next to me talk about the joys of babies and pregnancy, I realize I have to get out of here before I stab someone. Let me justify my hostility by saying I started my period yesterday.  So not only am I disappointed at the fact there’s no baby, but I’m also crazy hormonal! Turns out this isn’t the best place to think and write, as there are too many moms out there with nothing to do all day.  Oh wait…

Maybe I should have been a teenage, high school drop-out.  Or maybe I should just go back to being single, drunk and stupid.  Then I could get pregnant again.  Sigh. If someone could tell my uterus that I’m not a teenager and not middle-aged, and to stop rebelling,  that would be great.  Get your shit together uterus!  I’m a college-educated, 30-something with a loving husband and stable home, and apparently that makes me least likely to have a baby.  Why is it that when you’re not trying to get pregnant, all you have to do is dress in a slutty Halloween costume, get drunk, and have unprotected sex ONCE?! (yes, that is how my first child was conceived)  But nowadays it seems my ovaries are like the Sahara Desert and my uterus is giving me the middle finger!  I hate people who say “trying to get pregnant is the fun part.”. You’ve obviously never TRIED to get pregnant, or are extremely fertile.  If practice makes perfect, our child will be flawless.

Ah, and then comes the advice.  You mean I can get pregnant just by having sex?  Well damn, I never thought of that!  Oh, I should just adopt?  Why yes, I do have $50,000 just sitting in my bank account.  Why didn’t I think of that before?! Or, have you tried an all Paleo diet?  How about Gluten-free? Or vegan?  Or essential oils?  Why don’t you just relax? (that’s my favorite) Have you had any testing? (yes, and nothing says “good day” like a trans- vaginal ultrasound) I know people mean well but believe me, these things have already crossed my mind!

Maybe I’m  not infertile, I’m just clueless. NPR recently ran a story with a study that showed nearly 60% of women are wrong about what time of the month is best to get – or avoid getting- pregnant.  Needless to say, that does not boost my confidence.  I am doing all I can.  I have recently started using the Glow app to track my ovulation.  It sure asks a lot of personal questions and has me checking things I could have gone my whole life not knowing about!  Every day a list of things to do.  Check cervical mucus.  Um, ok.  Apparently that matters.  Cervical position?  Don’t even know how to figure that out.  Did I have sex?  If so, what position?  After I enter THAT personal info, it then tells me position doesn’t matter. Then why did you ask?! (Note, I tell my husband it matters so I can be on bottom). And my favorite, check basal body temperature first thing in the morning.  Hey Glow, let me tell you what my mornings consist of:  The alarm goes off, I hit snooze.  I hit snooze again.  And again. Then I jump out of bed realizing I have about 20 minutes to get my kid up and ready for school.  Then comes the frenzy.  I usually don’t even pee.  Nowhere in that mess will I remember to take my temperature.  I’m lucky I remember my own name in the mornings.

Then comes the waiting.  I’ll tell you, the anticipation I felt as a child of 8 waiting for Christmas morning is nothing compared to the anticipation of waiting the obligatory number of days before taking a pregnancy test.  And then waiting 3 minutes for the result.  I walk around trying to distract myself, all the while knowing I need to see those 2 lines or I’m gonna cry.  Then comes one line, basically screaming at me “Hey, you’re NOT PREGNANT!”. And then I just want to put that test down the garbage disposal or something! Then I think I’ll never get pregnant the old-fashioned way.  I’m seriously worried at this point our ability to procreate may depend entirely on our bank account balance.

Sometimes I think this is God’s way of telling me one is enough.  Being diabetic and pregnant is no picnic.  My first pregnancy was so difficult.  And my child was a preemie and has a birth defect.  We have all struggled so much.  Maybe I don’t need to go through all that again.  But then I imagine holding a precious baby boy (wishful thinking) in my arms, and I know that all of this will have been worth it.  I think my goal for now is to stop trying to plan and calculate everything (not that timed intercourse isn’t sexy) and just let nature take its course.  What’s meant to be will be. (I guess)

For now though, I’m gonna go enjoy some alcohol and chocolate since I know I’m not pregnant.  I hope you all have a fantastic week, and hopefully I will be announcing a BUN in the oven soon!

The One Where I Realized Monica Geller Is My Lobster

The One Where I Realized Monica Geller Is My Lobster

I’m a little bit of what you would call a control-freak.  I’ve always been a Type A, organized person.  Always the leader, always taking charge, always organizing.  And I can definitely be outspoken at times.  In my home everything has a place, and it’s almost always immaculately clean. Every knickknack placed in a particular spot and position, movies alphabetized, photos in albums in chronological order. And don’t even get me started on my closet! This provides a lot of endless fodder for my family, as my drama tween could care less where things actually go, and the hubs likes to move things around occasionally to see if I notice. (Note: I ALWAYS notice.)

Another fun fact about me, Friends is my favorite TV show of all time.  There is not one fact I don’t know about that show, not one quote I can’t tell you what episode it’s from.  I’ve seen the entire series as least 10 times.  Seriously, I probably relate something in my real life to something that happened on Friends at least once a day.  Some people love me for it and some people get super annoyed.

As my love for Friends grew, I realized one of the main reasons I loved it so much was that one of the characters was eerily similar to me in personality: Monica Geller.  So in honor of awesome Type A’s out there everywhere, I give you 25 times I realized Monica Geller was my lobster.

25. I too really know how to have a good time.

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24.  I also get very loud when I’m excited.

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23. I try to be understanding, no matter what weird things my loved ones might do.

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22. I know what I want and when I want it.

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21. I can talk in circles when necessary.

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20. I have been occasionally known to be a sloppy drunk.

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19. I also secretly felt this way the day after my wedding.

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18. I love the cleaning that comes after you clean.

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17. And, there is a difference between “clean” and “Amanda clean”

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16. I too am a people pleaser

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15.  I have some spectacular dance moves as well.

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14. I have, on occasion, tackled someone to get what I want.

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13. Sometimes I get a little snarky with the people I love.

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12.I love to teach people new and valuable tricks.

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11.  I am NOT turned on by a mess

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10.  I can always tell when my husband is up to something fishy.

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9. I’m always ready to do what needs to be done, even when I’m sick.

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8. I’m also always the hostess.

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7.  I do, at times, let my anger get the best of me.

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6. I am also crazy competitive.

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7. I’m always on a schedule.

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6. I have a love/hate relationship with food…

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5….but even fat, I’ve still got it!

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4.  I know how to get my way.

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3.  I’m not afraid to tell people when they’re wrong.

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2. Sometimes I tend to overshare.

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1. But most importantly, I love with all of my heart.

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15 McAwesome Life Lessons I Learned From McDreamy

15 McAwesome Life Lessons I Learned From McDreamy

Well, as you all probably now know, Shonda Rhimes decided to try to ruin all of our lives last Thursday when she had to audacity to kill off Dr. Derek Shepherd, aka McDreamy, on Grey’s Anatomy.  Grey’s fans practically broke Twitter with grief, fury, and even a few death threats!

For my part, I was devastated.  After drowning my sorrows in a bottle of wine and a bag of Cheetos, I went to bed.  Getting out of bed the next morning was like Izzie getting off the floor in her prom dress.  For that one split second between sleeping and waking, I thought it was all a McDream.  But of course, it wasn’t.  The first thing I need to say is this: to all the One Direction fans who sobbed uncontrollably when Zayn left the band, I apologize for mocking you.  I get it now.  At the moment Derek died, I was crying, screaming, and throwing stuff across the room.  I think my family thought I had gone temporarily insane.  Maybe I did!

And then of course, comes the inevitable anger.  The way his death played out was a huge slap in the face to all the MerDer fans out there.  He saves 4 lives, and then gets hit by a huge semi-truck?!  He survived a shooting, a plane crash, and then dies in some second-rate hospital because some dumb surgeon was too busy eating dinner?! Seriously? That’s McCrap!! My biggest problem with it was that there was no epic MerDer goodbye scene.  He was just gone. Hey, Shonda Rhimes?  I’d like the last 10 years of my life back.  If you can’t give me that, you at least owe me hundreds of dollars of Kleenex and money for future therapy bills!

Sadly, all the crying in the world won’t bring McDreamy back, so instead I am posting my tribute to him: 15 McAwesome life lessons that he taught me. R.I.P. Derek, I will miss you!  MerDer forever!

15. It’s crucial to ask the important questions when it comes to your future children.

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14. Apparently even world-renowned neurosurgeons can die of a brain bleed.

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13.  It’s important to always keep your promises.

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12.  A father that is culturally sensitive to his adopted child’s heritage, is a GREAT father.

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11. Occasionally you just have to teach others how to live life.

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10. It turns out you can have it all:  An amazing career, a wonderful family, AND fantastic hair!

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9. Sarcasm is always a good way to start an important relationship talk.

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8. If someone isn’t doing what you want them to, coercion is always a good fallback.

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7.  You just have to be honest with your loved ones, even if you might hurt their feelings.

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6. Always be optimistic in the face of adversity.

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5. Don’t make promises you can’t keep…

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4. Even sexy, genius, romantic, super-surgeons are indeed, flawed. (This was news to me too)

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3. When you’re a proper and sophisticated man, there is only one drink of choice.

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2. There’s nothing sexier than an elevator.

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1. It’s great to be a strong, independent woman, but it’s even better to have someone who gets you by your side.

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Oklahoma Strong

Oklahoma Strong

Today marks the 15th running of the Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon.  The marathon is a fundraiser for the Oklahoma City National Memorial and Museum. While many of us were still sleeping on this Sunday morning, over 25,000 people were in downtown OKC to run. They run to remember and honor the 168 innocent lives that were lost when the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building was bombed on April 19, 1995.  The race serves as a testimony that good can overcome evil.

I have reflected a lot on this tragedy this year, the 20th anniversary of the bombing.  I think of the lives lost, the victims who suffered and still continue to suffer today, and everyone that was affected on that tragic day. I think of the sheer terror I felt, and still feel, every time I think about it.  If you lived in Oklahoma City at the time, it was impossible to not be directly affected or know someone who was.

I was 16 years old on the day of the bombing.  It was a busy day for a lot of us, as our school had just had our annual Cancer Fund Drive, and we were now cleaning up after a very successful fundraiser.  As a volunteer it had been my job to get helium tanks for balloons, and on that day I was rounding up helium tanks and getting them loaded in my car to return to the vendor.  At the moment the bomb went off, I was staring out the window during English class. We heard the sound, and wondered why we were hearing thunder on an otherwise sunny, uneventful April day.  Some of us thought it may have been a sonic boom from the Air Force base near by.  I pondered it for a moment, but then went about my business, as there were many things to be done that day and I didn’t have time for distractions.

I walked out to the parking lot and got in my car, getting ready to load up helium tanks.  As soon as the radio came on, I heard what could only be described as pandemonium on the radio station.  People were talking, people were yelling, people were all talking over each other, so much that none of it made any sense to me.  In that moment I knew something awful had happened, but I had no idea what it was.  I just remembered feeling panic.  I remember feeling that I knew something was wrong, that somehow things were going to change.  I still didn’t know what exactly had happened, but I knew it was bad.

After the tanks were loaded and my car was parked, I went back into the school.  That’s when I heard the news.  There had been an explosion in downtown Oklahoma City.  The initial report was that the court house had exploded.  I immediately was terrified.  At the time, my mother worked downtown.  I didn’t know the exact location of her building.  I just knew she was there, somewhere, and I wondered if she was hurt.  The school brought out every TV we had and we all sat in the hallways and watched the coverage.  Other than hearing a few people crying, it was eerily quiet as we all watched the coverage.  We had all been shaken to our core.

Then the news came out that it had been the federal building that had exploded.  At that point I had made my way down to the school office.  I was panicking, as were the other students in the office, all of us who had a parent working in downtown OKC.  I wanted to talk to my mom.  I wanted to call my brother at his middle school and assure him that everything would be ok.  I wanted all these things, but they were all impossible at that moment.  This was a time before cell phones were a common staple in our lives.  Phone systems in OKC were down, not just at the federal building, but in surrounding buildings as well.  There was no way of reaching anyone at that moment.  There was nothing to do but wait.

See at this point, I was indeed in a state of panic.  I knew my mom was downtown, but I wasn’t exactly sure where.  I knew she worked for a bank.  I knew she had interviewed at the credit union at the federal building but I couldn’t remember if she got the job.  I was 16.  I didn’t exactly pay attention to that stuff, and my mom and I didn’t exactly have the best relationship at that time.  Again, I was 16, and had way more “important” things on my mind than where my mom worked.  All I kept doing in that moment was kick myself for not paying more attention, for not being more aware.

Eventually I was able to get in touch with my mom and was able to verify that she was indeed ok.  As it turns out, she had interviewed at the credit union 2 weeks before the bombing but did not get the job.  I will be forever grateful for that.  Our family was fortunate.  Others were not.  168 people were killed. 168 mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles, and children. 19 children were killed in the building’s day care center. A girl in my class lost her mother.  The pastor at my church lost his sister.  Like I said, if you lived in OKC in April 1995, you were affected or knew someone who was.

Our lives were changed forever at 9:02 AM, April 19, 1995.  The recovery itself was a marathon, and now, 15 years later, the run serves as a reminder that we are indeed Oklahoma Strong.  You can bring us down but we will always come back fighting, even stronger than before.  We all still grieve.  We all still wonder why this happened, and why all those innocent lives were lost.  For me, all I can do is try to still see and be the good in the world, and know that God has a plan for us all, even if we don’t understand it.  I will never in my whole life forget exactly where I was and how i felt on April 19, 1995.  And I still relive the terror I felt every year.  But I also feel grateful, and proud of the city I call home.  Oklahoma, you are amazing, and I’m so proud to be from such a strong, resilient, beautiful state!

Congratulations to all the runners in today’s marathon.  You all are spectacular and I applaud you!

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London BABY!

I have officially reached Defcon 1.  And it’s not because of all the severe spring weather we seem to be having lately. (Note, I’m an Okie and I take severe weather seriously.)  No, I’m on high alert about something very important, something very near and dear to my heart.  Something that is going to change the world.  That’s right, it’s Royal Baby Watch 2015.  Yes, the countdown is underway, as any moment now the pleasantly plump Duchess Kate will be giving birth to a scrumptious little prince or princess.

Alas, I am still waiting.  As Joey Tribbiani would say, I am Westminster crabby!  I need to see this newest addition to the royal family already!  I guess I should explain that I’ve had a borderline insane obsession with the royal family since I was a little girl.  I can remember watching the video of Diana and Charles getting married and thinking I’d never seen anything more beautiful.  I cried when Diana died.  When William married Kate, I called in sick to work and got up to watch the coverage starting at 4am.  It is definitely what fairytales are made of.  A beautiful commoner who marries a prince and inherits a kingdom.  How can you not be completely enthralled?  And when Prince George was born, I waited impatiently to see the first pics of the dashing little future king of England.

The British bookies have been busy placing their bets as to whether it will be a prince or a princess, and what the names will be.  For a girl, right now Alice is the top contender with odds of 6/4.  Other top girl names in the running are Elizabeth, (6/1) Charlotte, (6/1) Victoria, (10/1) and Alexandra. (14/1)  I would personally love to see a little princess Diana, but that one has the lowest odds, with 20/1.  I guess that would be a lot of pressure for a little girl.  But come on, another Princess Diana?  I would go insane with excitement.  Maybe if it’s a girl that can be her middle name!

Of course, It could always be another little prince. The name James is topping bets with odds of 16/1. Arthur comes in next at 25/1 while Henry, Philip, Alexander and Albert are all tied at 33/1 odds.

So until the newest royal makes his or her debut, I will be sitting here impatiently with my knickers in a twist, getting sloshed and being cheeky until the delicious little one arrives.  It better not happen while I’m at work or I’ll have to risk being sacked just to watch the coverage.  For me, the royal family is the bees knees and anyone else who doesn’t think so is just dodgy in my opinion!

Cheers to all for reading, and I hope you have a bloody great day!

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My crappy blog introduction

Allow me to introduce myself:  My name is Amanda, and I hate introductions.  How are you supposed to do a blog intro anyway?  To me it feels like the first day of school, where the teacher makes you stand up, say your name, and “tell us something about yourself.”  I always panic in that situation.  All I can think is, well crap, I’m just gonna blurt out the first thing that comes to mind, and it’s gonna be crazy embarrassing!  Then all year I’ll be known as the girl who told a room full of strangers on the first day of school that I like to pretend I’m a horse and gallop around everywhere. (You know, like in Monty Python and the Holy Grail?)  Sometimes I make an amazing first impression, and sometimes I let on just a little too quickly what a weirdo I am.

But I guess that’s why I’m blogging in the first place.  We all have a little weirdo in us, and I think it helps to share that and realize you’re not alone.  So now that you know one of my most embarrassing childhood secrets, (yes, the horse thing is true) here’s a few other more relatable facts about me.  I have a freakishly tall husband. (Ok, don’t know how many of you can relate to that, but I just like to always point it out.)  I have a drama queen for a daughter.  I have a crazy little cat. I love movies, music, and food.  And I LOVE wine.  Speaking of wine, I’m also trying for baby #2 so I will probably write a lot about wine to compensate the fact that I’m gonna have to do without for awhile…sigh.

So, if you find these topics even somewhat intriguing, then come back for more.  Sometimes I’m eloquent and sometimes I’m quirky, but I can definitely guarantee some fun and relatability up in here!  In closing, I’ll leave a little quote that pretty much sums up my whole reason for blogging in the first place.  Until next time, happy Tuesday everyone! 3c0cb95e606cb8dca17d60491da01c79