Thursday, December 19, 2013

Just Breathe

I can honestly say that there have been very few times since Sidekick was born 17 months ago that I have felt very overwhelmed, exhausted, or feeling like everything is "unfinished" and for that, I am so grateful.  The downside of that is when I am truly feeling the above, it hits me like a ton of bricks.  I am currently feeling all of the above.

I've previously written about my job, and that has finally gotten figured out.  I am an account executive for the entire state (kind of a different "division" than the other account executives in my state).  Sadly, one of the account executives who has the most populated part of the state went on long term disability in August because he has ALS and it has progressed so rapidly.  We know he's not going to come back, but he is trying to get as much insurance as he can, hence the long term disability.  Since I was well above my sales goal, my manager asked me to "cover" his territory which added to my workload.  I accepted the challenge and did well with it, but doing the job of two people has been tough. 

When the company did a reorganization, one account executive from a different division was basically moved into my territory... the territory where I am currently sitting at 154% of my sales goal  WTF, right?  No one told me or my manager.  I found out through the grapevine.  Whatever.  I continued doing my current job (not with the best attitude) which won't be my job come January 1st and covering the other territory all without knowing where my job would be.   There had been discussion to divide the territory I'm currently covering amongst two other account executives which then leaves me, the one at 154% of my sales goal, without a job! All along, I was "reassured" that there would be a job for me SOMEWHERE, and I was afraid I would be forced to move.  In the end, four long weeks later, I was given the territory that I am currently covering because as we have always known, that account executive will not be coming back.  Let me just say that I did not want this territory for many reasons, so I am not voluntarily embracing this news as of yet.  I loved my "current" territory.  While my new territory is much smaller which is nice, it's also a feast or famine territory, and one big loss (I'm in sales) could really hurt me.  Nothing like that kind of pressure looming over my head day in and day out.  I hate that.

Back to where I began... I'm exhausted, spent, burnt out, and feeling like I'm never on top of things.  I've been done with Christmas presents for a couple of months. I've always been that way.  I start shopping way in advance so I don't feel the pressure of it all, including the financial aspect.  I've already set up a precedence that Christmas will not be out of control, and I'll stick to it.  Sidekick is getting three small presents from me/Santa and two books for his stocking.  He'll get stuff from my sister and Mom, but I've requested that they keep it simple, even though my sister doesn't with her kids.  I hate that Christmas is so commercial. I do. I think it's just natural that for whatever reason, the holidays make people stressed. 

Back to where I began... I'm exhausted, spent,... have I already written that?  Haha!  We are leaving town for Christmas and my entire immediate family will be together (we all live in different states).  I'm a bit stressed about flying with Sidekick and keeping him occupied, packing, travelling, etc. 

Finally, this little guy is wearing me out!!!  I've never felt this run down... really. I'm tired of people telling me that Sidekick is so good.  I'm not denying that at all, but doing it by myself in addition to laundry, cleaning, shopping, working, etc. is exhausting.  Period!  He is one busy little dude, and he never stops. 

In between all of the daily grind, I need to find time to go to physical therapy for my two bulged discs and SI joint problem and find time to work out.  Yep!  I am stretched too thin, and I need a break.

I realize this is a whiny post, and I apologize.  Married people don't get it, and a lot of people who read this are single and get it.  My home is a mess (not normal), I can barely stay up past 10:00 (not normal), and I find myself getting impatient with stupid things (like why must that woman who lives on the other side of my building park on my side of the building and take up a parking spot).

I am so hoping being with my family and my nephews who are older than Sidekick and love to play with him, will give me a little break.  I have got to pull myself together and regroup because I'm kind of feeling lost among the chaos called "life".

I love Sidekick and through the stress and exhaustion, I've never once regretted being a SMC.  It's still the best thing I've ever done, and I know this too shall pass. 

Friday, December 13, 2013

Silly Question: Food Related

Sidekick has always, and I mean always, been a great eater.  There's nothing this kid won't eat.  Last time my sister saw him when he had just turned one, she was bound a determined to find something he wouldn't eat.  She failed... he ate everything she put in front of him.  He's been eating table food since he was 10 1/2 months old, and since then, he pretty much eats what I eat.  Only sometimes do I fix him something different and that's usually because there isn't food for me, so I'll eat a bowl of cereal (my absolute favorite!).  Anyway, Friday nights are our typical take-n-bake pizza from our favorite place.  I pick up the pizza, pick him up from school, and then pop the pizza in the oven. It's our Friday night routine. 

Here's my question... is it okay for him to NOT have vegetables with dinner?  He loves veggies, but sometimes I just want to cook the pizza and not worry about anything else.  Must he have fruit with breakfast and fruit and veggies with lunch and dinner?  Why do I feel so guilty if I skip veggies/fruit one night?  I rarely eat veggies even though he has them every night, and I think I've been okay thus far.  So... does he need fruit and veggies for two meals a day, or can I lose my Mommy guilt and feel okay skipping them once a week?  Seriously... what is my problem with this "decision"???????

Monday, December 9, 2013

He's Got the Moves...

Now that it is too cold to play outside after dinner, we have resorted to having a dance party after dinner every night at 6:00.  Sidekick loves music, but he loves "my" music more than "his" music.  He actually prefers the songs on my iPod to which I listen while running or working out.  He will shake his head if he doesn't like a song.  This particular song has always been a favorite of his for whatever reason.  We used to dance together while listening but tonight he chose to dance on his own. He's growing up too fast and getting so independent.  To be footloose and fancy free again...

Thursday, December 5, 2013

"Sometimes you just gotta' poop anywhere."

... said the momma to her son after he freaked out because he pooped in the bathtub.  I literally walked away for 10 seconds.  Before you call DCFS... Sidekick's bedroom is right next to his bathroom, so I quickly went to grab his towel.  He had this strange scream/cry so when I went back to the bathroom, I couldn't figure out what was wrong.  He pointed at the water in the bathtub in hysterics as some of the poop was rising to the surface while some was stuck to the bottom (or course it could be really "solid" poop!)  I immediately thought "Crap" (haha), he must have my stomach bug that I had last week because it's not his "normal" time to poop.

While he was upset, I literally just looked at him while trying to figure out what my next move should be.  Do I scoop the poop right away?  Take him out of the tub?  Wash him in the sink? Drain the tub?  It felt like I stared at him and the bathtub for ten minutes, but it was for sure at least a minute. I think I was in a trance.  I just couldn't process what had happened.  I couldn't move my feet to do what should be done next.  I was literally dumbfounded. 

And that, my friends, is one for the baby book!  Did I just write an entire post about poop????

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Has this Happened to your Kid's Diaper?

Lately, some of Sidekicks nighttime diapers seem to fall apart in the morning when I take them off.  (I think perhaps "fall apart" is a bit of understatement!)  As soon as I undid the tabs, Sidekick was covered in the "gel" and it just all fell out of the sides. I've always kind of blown this off, but today I decided to take a picture and make a phone call to the company.  (I hadn't moved anything except Sidekick):

When I called the company, I was reassured this is something that is not acceptable by company standards (no shit!) and that the "gel" has been tested and is not harmful to my child (that's good to know!).  Interestingly enough, the person with whom I spoke didn't seem shocked that I was telling her this. To be nice, the company will mail me some coupons.  I appreciate that. I really do as we all know how expensive diapers are. 
Of course I went on with my day and never threw the diaper away until I got Sidekick ready for his bath tonight.  Oops!  It was quite a mess to clean up because this "gel" is like a wet powder that kind of clumps together and seems to just spread everywhere.  I'm still pretty amazed this happened!

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Our Digital Native Kids (sigh!)

I'm trying to be one of those parents whose kid is not obsessed with technology, the iPad really being one of them. I despise kids so attached to iPads at such young ages.  Sidekick loves my iPad, probably more than I.  The only reason I have one is because I won it at work.  I barely use it.  I walk to my computer and use that or my phone 99% of the time.  Anyway, a long time ago, I saw something on Facebook advertising the Goodnight Moon app for free, so I downloaded it. Whenever he sees me holding the iPad, he runs to the bathroom, puts up the lid on his potty, and sits on it.  Why?  Because that's typically the only time I let him play on the iPad, and he is obsessed with Goodnight Moon.  Anyway, the app is great! It is so interactive, and he has to discover what certain things can "do".  He has two favorite parts of the app now:  the balloon that launches and the cow jumping over the moon because the moon twirls. 

Tonight, we read the actual book, and he started trying the get the moon to twirl.  Later in the video which was too long to email to myself to post, he tried to get the balloon to launch and became frustrated because it wasn't moving.  I had to tell him that it was broken, which kind of appeased him. 

Are our kids too digital???  I believe the answer is yes, but for a kid that rarely plays with the iPad except the few minutes he sits on the potty before bath, I'm trying not to let it bother me too much.  I'm very thankful that he can go into his room, take some books off the shelf, and "read" them to himself, but I'm fearful about how much technology to which he is exposed, and I try to keep him away from TV, my iPhone, computer, and iPad at all costs.  I sure hope he doesn't become uninterested in the real Goodnight Moon just because it isn't interactive.  I cringe at that thought.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Are Illnesses Contagious through Blogs?

I've been reading blogs about this nasty stomach bug that's going around.  I've empathized with all of the Mommas dealing with their sick kids (and in some cases the Mommas themselves are sick too).  I think perhaps it's contagious through the blog world because it entered my home yesterday.  Sidekick is dealing with everything his classmates have which is a cough and a bit of a runny nose.  Last night at 9:30, I began feeling a little queasy and was really tired.  I feel asleep until 10:30 only to wake up and do a mad dash to the bathroom.  The dreaded bug has struck!  I literally spend the entire night in the bathroom.  Meanwhile, Sidekick woke up multiple times coughing/crying.  So while I was spending a lot of time in the bathroom, I was also tending to my sick boy.  It's 8:08 AM, and Sidekick is still asleep. I so badly want him to wake up so that I can take him to school, go back home, and sleep.  I know he needs the sleep, so I don't want to wake him, but at the moment, my stomach is a little calmer, so I think I can get him to school without any "issues".  For goodness sakes... what could possibly be left in my intestines/belly? 

I had something like this last March while I was visiting my mom and it landed me in the ER for fluids because I was so dehydrated and weak after dealing with it for about 2 1/2 days.  Thankfully I was at my mom's so that she could take care of Sidekick while I sat in the ER.  This time I have no one to help me.  I know I'm going to jinx myself by writing this, but I'm pretty sure Sidekick will be next to get it.  In March, he gave the stomach bug to me, so I guess since I'm such a giver, I'll pass it on to him.  I really hope that's not the case because it's going to be a really long holiday weekend stuck with a sick boy.  Ugh! 

To those who have or have had this stomach bug... I now officially feel your pain. 

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Job Update

I look at that sweet face with such personality, and I have so many captions for it, but right now the most appropriate one is:
"Hmmmmm... What's gonna happen to my momma's job?"
I wrote a couple of weeks ago that my job was up in the air, and right now, it still is. It's difficult to explain to people who don't understand the situation or what I do, but basically there has been a company reorganization, and "they" don't know where to put me.  HR has been involved as well as upper management, and I have been reassured countless times that there is a position for me somewhere.  As a human being (and a SMC), this is very unsettling.  What the hell does "somewhere" mean???!!!  I work out of my home and in the "field" in my home state. It's not like I'm in an office and can move cubicles.  I'm at 153% of my sales goal, so one would think that I would have a position confirmed because of my performance, but apparently that's not the case. 
There were essentially two options for me:  I was going to stay in my same territory but under a different department, or I was going to take over another account executive's territory.  For the latter, the current account executive is on medical leave and I am covering for him, but unfortunately for him, he won't be coming back.  His territory is not very lucrative, so my manager and I have been trying to put together reports for both territories in order to figure out which position is best for me and will keep all of the account executives in my state safe.  In the end, I think we concluded that my current territory, being moved to a different department, is probably the best place for me. 
Yesterday my colleague/friend talked to a different account executive to see if she could get some scoop about his position because of the department in which he currently works.  He told my friend that HE now has my current territory!  No one has told me or my manager this!  WTF?!?!  He doesn't know the product, doesn't live in a good area with regards to where the bulk of the business is...  not to mention the fact that I kicked ass in my current territory.  For the past two or so weeks, I have been calm and collected, but last night I cried after I got off the phone. I feel like I have been strung along.  I feel like my loyalty and success mean nothing.  I feel so belittled right now. 
My manager is on vacation, but I sent him a text message asking him to call me. He called me last night and didn't know anything about this.  He is going to talk to his manager tomorrow to figure out what is going on.  This is such a mess!  I am currently working the job of two people and have no idea what my future holds.  It's so hard to be motivated to work every day.  I'm so afraid I'm going to get stuck in a shitty territory.  I honestly told me manager to just give me a severance package.  I've been with the company for 14 years, so I know I'd get a good package.  If I do get one, I may just pick up and move to be near my family. 
I've always believed that things happen for a reason, so while I'm trying not to panic or be upset or angry about the situation, it's really difficult to have something so out of my control.  And why does something like this always happen during the holidays????


Sunday, November 24, 2013

Christmas Card

My mom came in town to help me with Sidekick because I had two evening work events and had to work on Saturday.  Since she was here, we decided to take Sidekick's picture for his Christmas card (I can't believe how soon Christmas will be here!).  It is so incredibly difficult to get a picture of him because he is so busy and on the move.  BUT, he was such a trooper and so patient with us as we kept asking him to sit, stand, hold this, touch that, etc.  In the end, I think the card will turn out really well.  This is the front of the card:

This is the inside the card (to the tune of "Jingle Bells"):

Dashing through the year
All I've done is grow
I learned I have no fear
I got lots of bumps to show
I learned to walk and run
Lots of words I say
Life with Momma is so much fun
We laugh a lot each day
I'm 17 months, 17 months
And I don't ever stop
Oh what fun it is to make
My momma wanna drop
I'm 17 months, 17 months
Bein' a good boy is my goal
Hopefully my stocking won't be
Filled with lots of coal

Have a wonderful Christmas
and a happy and healthy new year!
Love, "Sidekick" (and my momma)

This is the back of the card and the caption reads "Having a ball getting ready for Christmas":

On a side note, my mom and I went to brunch today with my friend, her son, and her mom.  As I've mentioned before, Sidekick is a very scheduled kid and has always been a great sleeper.  For whatever reason, he fell asleep five minutes after we got in the car to take my mom to the airport  which was an hour before his normal nap time.  When he falls asleep in the car, I know I am screwed. As soon as I took him out of the car seat, he woke up and would not go to sleep.  After letting him fuss for a while in his crib, I picked him up to try to help him fall back asleep which didn't work because he was being totally goofy and wanted to play, so I put him back in his crib with some books because he really needed to sleep longer which kept him quiet for a whopping 45 minutes. (I've never done that before.  Is that bad?) I've worked a six day work week, evenings included, and I only got a 45 minute break today.  I am so incredibly exhausted, and I am for sure putting this little guy to sleep early!  Momma needs some downtime.  At least I got his Christmas card done.  Mission accomplished.



Monday, November 18, 2013

Anonymity in the Blogging World

I sometimes wonder if I'm the only one in the blogging world who doesn't have friends or family following me. My sister knew I started my blog long before I conceived Sidekick, but I think she has since forgotten about it.  My circle of friends don't know about my blog. I've passed on my blog to friends of friends who are either SMCs or wanting to be a SMC and we've connected through a mutual friend.  Other than that, no friends or family know about my "secret" blog, and I kind of like it that way.  I can remain an anonymous person which allows me to be brutally honest about things without feeling like those close to me will judge me. Of course you all will judge me, but I don't know you know and you don't know me, so who cares if I tell you that I didn't like Sidekick the other day because he was being challenging or I yelled at him for the first time or I was having a difficult day as a SMC?

I like that I can write without really wondering what so and so will think about what I just wrote. It's nice to be anonymous in this technologically connected social world.  I enjoy connecting with other SMC (and whomever reads my blog) and receiving support, advice, and knowledge from women I never met and probably never will.  I try to be a support for these women as well.  I've found that SMC community is tight because we are truly the only ones who "get it".  I'm honored to be a party of this community in one way or another, even if we don't know who the each other is. I'm grateful for the "friends" I feel like I have miles and miles away.   

So... am I the only one with a "secret" blog? 

Friday, November 15, 2013

My Future in the Corporate World- ugh!

I've been with my company for 14 years.  I've been loyal to my company for 14 years.  I've worked hard for 14 years.  I've hit my sales goal over and over again.  All of that doesn't matter because my job is up in the air right now.  My current sales position is in the wrong place at the wrong time.  It doesn't matter that I am the highest performer in my district or one of the highest in my region.  I'm in the wrong place at the wrong time, and this particular position is going away in some way or another.  I'm currently working a territory that I know I will not have.  I'm working at a company that I might not be working for.  My motivation is lacking.  I'm on a conference call/webinar right now barely paying attention because it could all be irrelevant, so I am typing in my blog instead.  I've been through company transitions over and over again, I've made the "cut" year after year, and I've been constantly thrown different territories.  I've embraced all of the changes.  This time around, I'm really nervous.

"Best" case scenario, I'll move into a sales position in a different division/department, and I have no idea what my territory will be.  I'm afraid it will be multiple states, and as a SMC with no family living in the same state, that's not very doable.  To me, that's not the "best" case scenario.  I'm almost hoping I'm offered a severance package because I know it'll be a good one.  A severance package would mean I could move to where my sister or mom is and find a new job there while I am still collecting a paycheck.  A severance package seems to somehow open different doors and allows me to explore my options a little more freely.  I just took my condo off the market with the holiday season approaching, but I can throw it back on if I want to move out of state. 

So... my future with my company is out of my hands.  I'm calm and collected.  Everything happens for a reason, and I'll be okay regardless of what happens.  I've got plenty of money in savings, so I don't need to worry about paying bills if my severance package runs out before I find a job (I'm pretty sure that won't happen).  It just sucks that hard work and loyalty don't really matter in this situation. I think the hardest part is not knowing what's going to happen.  I hate that.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Ringing in the BIG One!

I'm not afraid to admit it... I just turned... gulp ..., 40!!!!!  My goal was to be pregnant before my 38th birthday, and I got my BFP four days shy of that day.  Phew!  I don't care that I'm 40 because I honestly don't feel 40.  I remember when my mom turned 40, and I thought that was SO old!  I don't have that feeling anymore.  Turning 40 made me realize just how lucky and blessed I am.  I think if I didn't have Sidekick, I wouldn't have embraced that number as easily because I would have felt like my life kind of sucked.  Honestly, I think I would have thought that.  I was never in the suicidal kind of thinking of "What's the point of life?" when I started thinking about being a SMC, but I did question the emptiness of my life without a child. So now that I have Sidekick, I am taking 40 and running with it because my life is more fulfilled with him.
Sidekick and I drove to Chicago to visit my best friend and her family who moved in August.  It was great to celebrate with them and see their new home.  I got to get out while Sidekick napped because my friend's husband stayed home with the sleeping kids, and on Saturday night, I put Sidekick to sleep and my friend and I went out to celebrate.  (I felt a sense of freedom for the first time in a long time!  Not having family in the same state limits my freedom since I don't like to spend money on babysitters.) 
My friend and I went to a bar, and I felt old there.  A bar!  I haven't been in a bar in a really long time!  We got hit on by one really drunk guy and one nice guy.  The drunk guy bought be a shot which I drank at midnight to celebrate the new decade of my life, and about 30 minutes later, he got escorted out of the bar because the security people thought he was being "inappropriate" with us.  He wasn't being a true gentleman, but it wasn't anything we couldn't handle. Drunk people!  Psssh!  Anyway, Nice Guy was very polite and gave me a hug and a kiss on my cheek when we left. It was sweet to have a nice guy treat me well.  When's the last time that has happened?  It would have been even nicer if Nice Guy lived in the same state as I. 
We were out until a little after 1:00 in the morning.  While I wasn't hung over, I was really tired on Sunday.  Sidekick has been sleeping 12 hours straight though the night since he was nine weeks old, so I haven't had that zombie feeling in a really long time, but I had it on Sunday.  Holy smokes was I tired!  Okay, maybe I do feel old.  : )
So four decades in, I reflect on my life and where I thought I would be now.  It's definitely not what I had envisioned.  It's funny to think that if it had been any different, I wouldn't have Sidekick, and I wouldn't trade him for anything. Such an amazing and sweet boy he is!  Forty isn't so bad after all.


Tuesday, November 5, 2013

I Yelled at Sidekick

Sidekick has always been a great eater.  He transitioned to table food 100% at ten months old and has always eaten anything and everything I put in front of him.  Usually what I make myself for dinner is what he is eating also.  I have yet to find something the kid won't eat!  His most recent favorite is an entire ham and cheese sandwich (two slices of bread with the crusts!) with a little horseradish-Dijon sauce. For a little guy, he sure eats a lot.  He is a bottomless pit! 

Lately he has more of an opinion about what he's eating.  He loves peas but for some reason, he's not much of a fan right now, and really, I don't blame him. I hate peas!  Recently (tonight be the most recent) he'll feed  himself a spoonful of them and then proceed to spit them out, pretty much one by one and let them fall down his shirt.  He thinks it's funny.  I don't.  If that's not enough to piss me off, he'll smash each pea on his tray one by one with his thumb. The icing on the cake???  I gave up on the peas and gave him green beans.  He took them one by one, and dropped them on the floor as fast as he could.  When I told him "No", he laughed. I said it again.  He just looked at me and dropped another green bean.  I bent down to his level so we could see eye to eye, and I said "No" again. He laughed at me. I said "No" in a firmer, louder voice. Honestly, I yelled at my son.  For the first time in his short little life, I lost my patience with him to the point where I yelled at him telling him to stop.  He got quiet and had sad looking eyes.  I was devastated.

I picked up the green beans off the floor and cleared the rest of his tray because I won't tolerate that behavior.  He proceeded to get every itty bitty piece of the green beans from is tray and put them in my hands as if he's helping clean up.  He's great at cleaning up.  He's a great helper, but it was a little too late to do the "right" thing, which was to NOT spit out peas or throw green beans on the floor!  He knows better.

He redeemed himself and ate the rest of his dinner.  Afterwards, I took him out of his booster seat, and he went to the oven which was still hot.  I kept telling him nicely, "That's hot. Stay away."  He kept signing Please.  I repeated.  He signed Please.  I told him "No" in a firmer voice.  He signed Please.  I said "No" much louder which one would interpret as yelling (which it was).  He signed Please.  Seriously!?!  It's effen great that he signs and that he is a polite kid, but it's not great when I can't explain that even though he is saying "please", he doesn't always get what he asks for or wants especially when he safety is at stake.  So... temper tantrum commences as I remove him from the scene of the crime, my patience completely shot. 

I yelled at my son two times tonight.  I know it's not a horrible thing, but I feel badly.  I sometimes forget that these kids don't come into the world knowing how to behave, and that we need to teach them...  every. single. thing!  My frustration level hit the roof with him because I KNOW he knows not to throw food on the floor or spit peas out of his mouth.  He does it to piss me off.  He succeeded, and then I upset him because I yelled at him.  It may have been the first time I yelled at him, and it certainly won't be the last. I just never envisioned that I would yell three days shy of my innocent, sweet boy turning 16 months old.  Oh, the guilt!

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Sidekick Got the DST Memo

Daylight Savings Time is always an interesting time of year.  I've always loved the extra hour of sleep but still waking up early.  When it's dark at 4:30, I quickly remember I'd give back that extra hour of sleep in a heartbeat.  It's so depressing.  Sidekick and I will also begin feeling trapped because even if it's not too cold, we can't go out to play after dinner because it's too dark.  We'll both miss that.  I hate being cooped up (which was evident in my running errands with Sidekick when he was three days old and taking him out every other day thereafter despite all of the stitches I had and pain I was in-- ouch! My sanity took precedence over my pain.).

I had a showing for my condo yesterday, so I had to get Sidekick down for an earlier nap and get out of my home quickly when he woke up.  We took Dog to the dog park and met some friends there.  Sidekick had a blast playing with all of the dogs and collecting ever "ba" (ball) that he saw, followed by some running around and exploring at the playground.  I guess all of the fresh air and running around got to him because he was ready to go to sleep at 6:50.  He's always been an incredible sleeper, and for that I am grateful.  I was a stickler about bedtime from day one. He only slept in his crib in his room, bedtime routine started at four weeks old, and he started sleeping 12-13 hours straight at nine weeks old.  I contribute some of that success to my being very anal about his sleeping "rules".  He loves to sleep and is much better at it than I.  Anyway, my plan was to keep Sidekick awake a little past "normal" last night in hopes that he would sleep a little later than normal, making DST a little less painful for both of us.  Sidekick got the memo about the extra hour of sleep, but apparently I didn't get the memo because while I was awake at 6:15, Sidekick slept until just after 8:00 (which to all of our bodies at the moment is actually 9:00).  He normally sleeps until about 7:15.  So last night, he sleep for 14 hours!  While I sit here typing this, he sits in his crib playing and "talking".  He can stay in there for up to an hour, happy and calm, but since I'm sure he is starving and needing some breakfast since he hasn't eaten since 5:00 yesterday, I need to get him. 

His late sleeping will hopefully help today as I have a showing between 1:00-2:00, and he normally takes his nap around 12:45.  I need to keep this little guy going until 2:00 when we can go back home.  I'm hoping I get the DST Memo next year and take advantage of the extra hour of sleep like Sidekick did.  With my luck, next year Sidekick won't get the memo. 

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Trick or Treating

We braved the whipping winds and pouring rain and ventured out for trick or treating!  We spent 35 minutes in traffic driving to our friends house when it should have only taken ten minutes.  Despite the horrible weather, we all decided to go for it!  I held Sidekick, his bucket, and an umbrella while trying not to get blown over or allow my umbrella to turn inside out.  Once he saw the older kids with whom we joined going up to houses and picking "something" out of a bowl, he insisted on keeping up with them. He wanted to walk just like them and tried so hard to be as fast as them but wasn't fast enough.  In my new momma wisdom, I finally said "F it!", collapsed the umbrella, and we both happily (well, he more than I) trudged through the wicked, cold rainy weather to collect the yummy candy (which he of course had no idea what is was).  We gave in to Mother Nature after about 40 minutes and went back to my friend's house to pass out Halloween candy to the other brave souls while he wore warm, dry skeleton PJs. 

I have zero pictures from this wild night because it was hard enough to watch Sidekick and keep him from getting blown over, and I didn't want to ruin my nice camera.  Despite that, I'm bummed I don't have one picture of the back of him at someone's house.  The night will forever be etched in my memory. 

I know my mom took me out at least one year in the nasty weather, so the torch as been passed down.  Lots of homeowners empathized with me, but they all knew why I was doing it.  Sidekick had to have his first experience trick or treating in his perfect-for-him sock monkey costume regardless of the crappy weather.  Who cares if we both ended up looking like drowned rats!  I'll share this story with him over the years so that despite the lack of pictures, he can recount the night through my story telling. 

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Halloween (Generic though it may be)

Last year for Halloween, Sidekick didn't dress up.  What's the point?  He was 3 1/2 months old, but I at least put him in skeleton PJs.  After Halloween last year, I went to a Halloween store to see what costumes were on sale.  I was shocked at how expensive they were!  What happened to home-made costumes like we wore???  I feel like these "costumes-in-a-bag" make Halloween less exiting. How many Supermans, Belles, Spidermans, and Cinderellas can there be?  It's all so generic now and it bums me out because when I was a kid, I loved coming up with my Halloween costume and seeing how creative people got.  I must admit that I purchased Sidekick's costume (for a great price), but I wanted to find one that was appropriate for who he is, and lo and behold, I found a Sock Monkey costume!  Sidekick's bedroom is designed around Sock Monkeys, my baby shower had Sock Monkeys, his 1st birthday was all about Sock Monkeys, and his Christmas stocking is Sock Monkey material, so this costume was fitting.  I'm pretty sure we'll be Sock Monkyed out after this, but for today, it's perfect, and his costume was a hit when I dropped him off at school.

Since Sidekick goes to sleep so early (7:00), Trick or Treating will be up in the air.  We are going to meet some friends and see how long he makes it.  Hopefully he'll have so much fun that we'll make it to more than a few houses.  Last year, we went out with friends just to hang out with them, and Sidekick cried through the three houses we visited because it was past his bedtime.  Even at 3 1/2 months old, he was a scheduled kid. I'm hoping for better success tonight!

It's so much fun to see holidays and kid related experiences through my son's eyes.  It just makes life that much more special. 

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Two Years ago Today...

... I conceived Sidekick.  It's a date I'll always remember.  I was out of sperm (after this try), out of patience, out of hope, and out of my mind!  I was so done after this try.  I triggered the night before I ran a half marathon, and after every couple of miles, I had a talk with my eggs (yes, there was more than one), to not jiggle out until the next morning when my IUI was scheduled.  I was so worried they'd come loose after running 13.1 miles. 

I walked in to the RE the next morning for my eighth, and what was going to be my last, time.  I just never thought that this "last" one would actually take.  My goal was to be pregnant by the time I was 38, and this IUI was 17 days before that big day.  I had wacky betas and had to deal with unexpected news.  To catch up on the craziness, follow this link:

I Must be in a Dream

Happy two year conception, Sidekick!

One Day Old and I was Already in Love

Tuesday, October 22, 2013


I sometimes look at families with a mom, a dad, and child(ren) with envy when Sidekick and I are out and about.  I think I notice it more now because we do more fun things now that Sidekick is walking.  I've always said I can't imagine having a husband with whom to share parenting, and I mean that. I really do. I don't know any differently and with family living in different states, it's just been me and Sidekick with the occasional visit from Grandma. Of course I'd love having the nuclear family, but I can't even wrap my head around that idea. What would it be like to be able to skip feeding Sidekick a meal every once in a while, to not have to change his diaper, and to actually sleep in one morning while someone else fed him breakfast?  I realize that the Mom typically does most of the work anyway, but there are times when I would just like to have an extra set of hands even if it's just to play with Sidekick while I run to the store alone. 

One time when Sidekick was a newborn and napping, I grabbed my keys and started walking out of my home to go to the store.  For whatever brief moment, I felt single and free again and completely forgot I had a baby sleeping.  Oops!  I don't even think I can blame that on sleep deprivation. I had been trapped for days with a newborn and so felt isolated that I think I may have drifted back into my "before baby" days and yearned for that time of my life for just a brief moment.  It was at that moment when I really realized how different it is to be a single mom because I. Couldn't. Go. Anywhere. Alone. at that moment (or anytime Sidekick is sleeping). Apparently, it is frowned upon to leave a child at home alone, even if he is sleeping.  : )

When I see these families, there is a little tug at my heartstrings. I wish I had someone with me to partake in all of the "firsts", laugh with me as we laugh at Sidekick, relish in this amazing little guy "we" made, rub my shoulders one night after a long day, and just help me in whatever capacity possible.  But I have to remind myself that I wanted a baby under any circumstance which was obviously more than I wanted a husband.  I have zero regrets.  Truly.  I'm happier now than I ever have been in my life, but sometimes my heart hurts, and I worry that Sidekick will never experience a "real" family with a Mommy, Daddy, and sibling. But just like I don't know any differently, neither will Sidekick.  This is our family, and there are many different families around us. 

I also have to remind myself that not all families are happy families.  What I see on the exterior is not necessarily an accurate portrayal of who they really are.  I have friends in my life who are unhappily married and that makes me sad.  I have friends who argue with their spouses all the time, and I feel sorry for the kids who are exposed to that.  At the end of the day, life is about happiness and fulfillment, and Sidekick contributes to that to my life in such a big way.  Not to intentionally quote a movie, he has completed me. 

Envy... even when we are happy, we can always find something about which to be envious.  During those times, I have to remind myself how thankful I am that Sidekick chose me to be his mommy.  I think he made a great choice.  We are a great team and an incredible family filled with love, laughter, and happiness.  Sometimes I need to remind myself of this when the green Envy Monster clouds my head and clogs my heart. 

(And then of course there is the envy of the two parent financial aspect of raising children, but that's another posting.) 

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Singing Potty

Sidekick is only 15 months old, but for whatever reason, when going down the diaper aisle and the potties were right there, I decided to get one since they were staring me in the face.  Later that night, I put Sidekick on the potty for shits (haha) and grins and lo and behold, he peed!  Since I didn't really have him sitting in the "right" position for the splash guard to do it's job, most of his pee ended up on the floor (oh well!), but I still cheered and he clapped (not really understanding what all of the commotion was about).  Since then, he'll walk to the bathroom door and scream until I open it to let him in.  He walks in, lifts the lid, and sits on his potty.  I don't bother taking his diaper off, but who cares if he sits on it.  I'm kind of shocked he's interested in it.

Last night I put him on it before bath, and we sang some songs.  Next thing I knew, the potty started singing songs and scared the crap (haha!) out of us!  Since Sidekick kind of missed the splash guard the first time, we didn't get to experience the music which goes off when liquid hits the sensor.  Since I didn't know that he had actually peed while singing my goofy rendition of "Head Shoulders Knees and Toes", I was shocked that the potty started singing. We kind of stared at each other freaked out.  I was afraid that Sidekick was now afraid of the potty, but after bath, he wanted to sit on it again, so I think he and Potty are still friends. 

For 11 years, I have said to Dog, "Let's got potty" before taking her outside.  My furry child and my human child are now starting to respond to that.  My poor dog is going to think that we are going to be going outside a lot.  It doesn't matter what room we are in when I say that to Sidekick, Dog comes running!  Poor Dog gets so excited when she hears those words, and even when I whisper things, her bat ears hear them also.  : (

Who knows if this is a fluke, but I'm going to keep putting him on the potty every night before bath to see if he really "gets" it. 

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Sidekick is ALL Boy!

I love that Sidekick is all boy!  I love that he has no fears, loves to wrestle, and now I've found out, he loves to get dirty.  My sister gave me her amazing camera when she bought a new one, and I've been so intimidated by it and all it's functions that I haven't really used it.  Last night was a beautiful night, so we went outside to play, and I let him have fun, explore, and get dirty. I found that it's much more fun to take pictures of him now that he actually does things like... move around!  : )  Surprisingly, I ended up with a few good pics (below).  I guess using a good camera requires a lot of practice (and patience with a 15 month old).  Maybe I'll go out and try again tonight.  I have to figure out why some pictures were darker than others, how to get the flash to go off when needed, how to edit, etc.  Now I have another thing on my long list of things to do. 

Throwing mulch and sticks (you can't really see it all in his hair)

Digging in the Dirt like a Dog (I think he needs a non-furry sibling). 
See the dirt in the air under his butt??? 

Showing his independence and walking away
(although still looking back for his momma!)

Thursday, October 3, 2013

"Stuff I'm Reading" Category

I finally figured out how to add everyone's blog that I read regularly to my blog!  I found most of the blogs I now follow by looking at what other blogs "you" read, and I figured out how to add the blog titles to my blog.  I'm a little slow, what can I say.  : )  So now my "regulars" are showing up on my blog. It's the little things I accomplish that make me happy.

On a different note... I threw my hat in the mix for a position in Chicago at my company.  I'm originally from Chicago, moved here for a guy, once guy and I broke up, I decided to stay anyway.  Going back would be nice, but the logistics of a big, potentially fast move seems overwhelming.  Who knows what'll happen.  I would need a pretty big raise to be able to afford buying a home there and pay for daycare since the cost of living is so low here, so it probably won't work, but at least I am exploring the option.  Either way, it's all good.  One never knows where life will take him/her.

One way or the other, I'm hoping to move soon!  Come on, Buyer, make me an offer!

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Just Call Him Cyclops

It's never good when school shows up on my caller ID, especially since he was out the week before with Hand Foot and Mouth.  Our conversation went something like this:

Me:  "Oh no, don't call me!"  (I typically answer the phone like this when they call.)
School:  "He's not sick."  (phew!)  "But he fell on his head and has a pretty bad bump.  We tried to ice it and he fought us."  (I totally know what this means because when I've had to pin him down to apply ice, he turns into the Exorcist baby.)
Me:  "What happened?"
School:  "He was pushing a xylophone and it got away from him, he landed on his forehead."  (Apparently, he was standing and bending down to push this toy so that his butt was in the air.)
Me:  "How bad it is?"
School:  "Pretty bad. He kind of looks like a unicorn."

I called the pediatrician's office just to make sure I don't need to be concerned that Sidekick grew a horn, and they said as long as he didn't lose consciousness and isn't vomiting, he's okay.  I called school back and was reassured that he's acting normal, so I kept him there. When I picked him up, I was told by many people that it looked so much better. (I can't even imagine what he had looked like.)  He had a massive goose egg that looked like he was growing a horn out of his head.  This is what it looked like the day after.  Yes, it looks better, but yikes!  I sure hope that bump (which you can't quite see) goes down.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

My Memory is Already Fading

I loved being pregnant.  I had horrible insomnia the entire time, but I still felt great anyway.  I never napped (I never understood how pregnancy makes people tired). I ran up until I was about 6 1/2 months along, but I continued to work out until I delivered.  Okay... let me back track... I loved being pregnant after my horrible all day sickness ended at 15 weeks, but I digress. I loved my belly.  I loved people always talking to me just because I was pregnant.  I loved feeling proud that I was growing a human being in me.  I felt beautiful and healthy.  For some reason, I am already upset that I can't remember what being pregnant felt like.  My water broke at 38+6 which surprised everyone because I had an induction date scheduled as it appeared that Sidekick had no intentions of coming on his own.  He fooled us!
Because I had an induction date set for 40+2, I thought I had time to say goodbye to my pregnancy.  That sounds strange, I know, but since my water broke unexpectedly (and I waited six hours to go the L&D because I wasn't sure my water really broke since it was a trickle), I was very surprised.  I was planning on another 11 days with my little guy growing in me while I kept him safe. I was planning on having one last night out with my best friend getting a pedicure/manicure and eating a great dinner, but then my water broke that day, so I never got that last night out.  I remember every hour that I was in L&D from 3:00 PM until 8:48 AM the next morning when Sidekick joined the world. I remember pushing for 2 1/2 hours and how fast that 2 1/2 hours felt.  I remember everything getting pretty scary because Sidekick was stuck and we were approaching the 24 hour mark from when my water broke, so he needed to get out.  I remember getting so angry and determined to push him out so I wouldn't end up with a c-section.  I remember looking at him as soon as he was born and thinking that the sperm must have gotten mixed up because he looked like an African American baby since his skin was so dark. Ha!  (By the way, my mom and best friend thought the same thing but didn't tell me until the next day.)  I remember that moment when he was put into my arms and I fell in love with him.

But, I can't remember being pregnant! Granted Sidekick was a very calm baby and didn't move much at all, so oftentimes it felt like there wasn't anything growing/moving inside me. I was a happy pregnant woman who had no cravings and wasn't emotional, but I can't remember what it felt like with him growing in me.  Am I the only one?  He will be my only child (unless I get married soon, so I can afford another one), so I'm sad that I'll never experience that incredible feeling again... a feeling that I CANNOT remember! 

I'm sad about this, and I don't know why.  It's been 14 months, but sometimes I miss him growing inside me.  I miss that experience. I miss that sensation.  I miss wondering what he will look like and what his personality will be like.  I miss wondering if he'll be an easy baby or a difficult one. (I got so lucky!) I miss the wonder of it all, and if it wasn't for finances, I would be doing everything I could to experience it all over again.  I loved being pregnant.  I miss the feeling of being pregnant even though I can't remember it. 

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Can you Hear That?

It's the sound of me cheering that Sidekick is going back to school tomorrow!  Woo-hoo!  Yay!  Yippee!  Sidekick survived a double ear infection and a horrible new strain of Hand Foot and Mouth, and I survived Sidekick!  We did it! 

That sound is also me cheering because when I put him on his feet at the playground yesterday, he took off walking!  What?!?!!  He's taken up to eight steps (whenever he felt like it which wasn't often), but yesterday he just kept going and going and going.  Did a light bulb turn on in his little head and he all of a sudden "got it"? Awesome!  He also learned to put his finger in the hole of the raspberry and eat it off his fingers. That's pretty much the only way he'll eat raspberries now.  Funny.

We had an open house today. While we were kicked out of our home, Sidekick, dog, and I went for a long walk at the park.  After about 30 minutes, Sidekick fell asleep so when our 2+ mile walk was done I sat in a gazebo and actually read book on my Kindle.  That poor Kindle has been neglected.  I would love to have gone further, but poor almost 11 year old dog was slowing down.  When I got home, I learned that eight people showed up to the open house... some of which might be really interested in my condo.  Come on, buyer!  Bring me an offer!  I'm waiting!

Even though Sidekick and I need to be separated after ten days (wow!  That was a long time), I still get sad that it's Sunday night, and I have to go back to my adult responsibilities and earn my keep.  Gosh darn it.  : )  

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Help! The Walls are Closing in!

I am ready to lose my mind! We are on day five of Hand Foot and Mouth and a double ear infection, and I am feeling very claustrophobic in my home! This continues to spread and while it's looking better, it's still pretty nasty.
I'm trying to juggle work while keeping Sidekick out of trouble and it's exhausting. Thankfully the emails and phone calls for work have been far and few between so I can continue to send emails to customer prospecting business for 2014 and not have to field a lot of phone calls with Sidekick making noise in the background. Sidekick has been a trooper and continues to be in good spirits, but since he looks like he has some scary disease, the only time we are getting out is to take the dog for a walk. Today it's pretty hot, so our time outside will be short. I love him, but I need a break from him. This is one of those times when being a SMC with no family in the same state really sucks.

On a funny note, while I was sitting at my desk working, I had some lovely background music for quite a while compliments of Sidekick. I finally got up to look and this put such a smile on my face:

So here I sit wondering when I'll ever get to the grocery store, if I'll ever work out again, how I'll get ready for my open house on Sunday with a kid that follows behind me and destroys what I just cleaned, and how I'll survive four more days until I can take Sidekick back to school and get a break. It's all good though. Really it is.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Sidekick's Diagnosis...

Sidekick woke up this morning with more of these lovely blisters on his legs, hands, and face, so I took him to the doctor.  He has a new strain of Hand Foot and Mouth AND a double ear infection (he just had that at the end of July).  The kid continues to show no signs of an ear infection every time he gets one, so I am always so caught off guard when I learn he has one. He also has the blisters down this throat, so that would explain why he hasn't been eating very much.  His pediatrician can't believe what a trooper he is.  We dropped off his prescription, went to the grocery store to load up on yogurt and applesauce in hopes he can swallow that, came home, gave him his antibiotic and applesauce, and put him down for his nap.  He looks miserable. Have you seen Hand Foot and Mouth?  It's pretty nasty!  (I'll spare you the picture of his gruesome legs!)

I now know what he'll look like when he is going through puberty.  Poor little guy!

And so begins the drama yet again of a working single momma!  Sidekick will be out of school until at least Thursday.  I actually have a training tomorrow (I'm co-running) that can't be changed.  Actually, I'm helping my partner because it's in her territory.  So... either my partner's pregnant daughter will watch Sidekick (if OB says it's okay) or my partner will watch Sidekick while I do the training alone because I know the product better than her.  All of this stress for something that I'm not even responsible for because it's someone else's territory.  But, we've always been a team and she's a good friend, so of course I'll do what I can to help her. 

All I need is someone to call to tell me they want to show my condo with very little notice.  That would just complete my day/week!  It's going to be a really long week with my sick little Sidekick. 

Sunday, September 15, 2013

It's Already Sunday Night?

What a week!  I made an offer on that house with a contingency, and as I predicted, it was not accepted. The seller didn't want to be "off the market" while I tried to sell my condo.  I immediately put my condo on the market and have two showings. Both people like my place a lot, but wanted to look at other places before making a decision.  While I was chilling out on my sofa today, I got a knock on my door. Someone was thinking the open house was today and not next Sunday.  She explained that her daughter had looked at it yesterday and wanted her mom to look at it, so I let her in.  Why not?  I want to sell this place!  I'm hoping I'll get a contract on my condo and that house will still be available.  I keep reminding myself that if that house is meant to be, then I'll get it.  Keeping this place clean with a dog and a kid is really hard and getting all of us out the door (or just the dog if Sidekick is at school) is really a pain in the ass. 

Sidekick woke up with a horrible diaper rash this morning.  He's never had a diaper rash, so this is all new to me.  I had plenty of things to try (Butt Paste, A&D Ointment, Dr. Smiths) which I used, but after his nap it looked worse.  It became blisters that ruptured and started spreading down the back of his thigh.  Even though he's never had a diaper rash, this is not what I thought one would look like.  He's been very out of sorts and whiny today which was my other indication that something more might be going on.  I called my friend who said that her daughter had something similar and it ended up being Hand Foot and Mouth.  Great.  Coincidentally (or maybe not), there has been a big blister between the fingers that he sucks.  He also has some random "spots"/blisters on other parts of his body. 

I called the doctor on call and she is baffled.  Nothing caused the diaper rash (no diarrhea, new foods, etc.).  It just appeared this morning and has gotten worse.  So, we are not at a standstill with regards to what it is.  If it looks better tomorrow morning after applying Neosporin tonight, then it is most likely a diaper rash.  It more blisters appear overnight, it's Hand Foot and Mouth.  So as of now, I don't know if he'll be going to school tomorrow. He went to sleep before 7:00, so I know he's not feeling well whatever it is.

So between selling my condo and getting kicked out whenever people want to look at it, dealing with a crabby kid with a wicked raw behind, and working the job of two people, life is a bit chaotic!  In typical Sunday night fashion, I need an antidepressant. (Haha!) I hate Sundays.  I hate having to go back to work and leaving my Sidekick (although I may not have to take him to school if his rash isn't better).  I'm always sad on Sunday nights. 

Sunday, September 8, 2013

From Funk to Homeowner?

Whatever funk I've been in lately has quickly been replaced with the excitement of being a potential homeowner.  I am currently a homeowner of a condo, but I'm ready for a house. Sidekick, dog, and I are running out of space in the condo. I made an offer on a house yesterday and listed my condo also.  Holy craziness!  Of course I had to submit a contingency with the offer because I have to sell my condo, but there have been no offers on the house, so I'm hoping that we can come to some "agreement" on a contract.  It's so exciting but so scary at the same time!  I owe money on my condo which sucks, but I'll come out ahead in the long run because I'd be getting a great deal on this house.  Nonetheless, I'm nervous and my stomach has been in knots because I hope I am doing the right thing. Sidekick and I went to Lowes today to just get an idea of prices to redo my bathroom (his bathroom is new), and I didn't know where to begin I was so overwhelmed  We then looked at carpet.  How do I choose one?  My house would look better with new doors and hardware on all of the rooms, and that quickly adds up.  It became very nerve wracking. 

My realtor asked if I am going to have another baby.  I told her I'm going to buy a house instead and live a great life with Sidekick in our amazing home (hopefully)!  So... I feel like I'm back in the TWW because I'm currently waiting for a counter offer.  Waiting sucks, but if this house is meant to be it'll all work out.  I have to believe that. I had that same belief while trying to conceive Sidekick, and boy did that turn out amazing!  Fingers crossed!

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Guest Blogger

Sara from "OMG... There's Three" ( asked some fellow SMC Bloggers to be a guest blogger on her blog.  The question she asked was "Why did you decide to be a Single Mom by Choice?"  While I know why I did, it was very therapeutic to write it out, especially so Sidekick has "documentation" about the thought process and plans that went into my decision.  In case anyone is interested in my story (or reading Sara's blog), here is the link to my guest post:

Sunday, August 25, 2013


There are times when I am wildly happy and in love with my son while feeling sad at the same time, and now is one of those times.  What's that all about?  It doesn't make sense.  While I'm happier since Sidekick was born than I have been in a very long time, I find myself yearning for something more, and I can't quite put my finger on it.  I've accepted the fact (as best as I can) that Sidekick will not have a sibling (if I stay single because I don't want to worry about finances).  Is that my "problem"?  I want to have another baby so badly.  My best friend moved out of state.  Is that contributing?  I had a huge work load put on my shoulders and that is stressing me out as there are some big expectations for me.  Is that making me feel out of sorts?  Sometimes I really miss having a boyfriend and companionship and online dating is not going well.  Is that playing into this?  Don't get me wrong, there are bonuses to just being responsible for myself and my son because I don't have a third "thing" (relationship) to worry about. Days are so crazy busy and I'm always on autopilot, but once Sidekick goes to sleep, lately I find myself feeling lonely in the quiet of my home.  I'm not one to talk to people about things like this, so I guess I'll just put it out there in the blog universe.  I'm hoping it's a funk that will pass quickly.  In the meantime, I'll keep going because I don't have a choice. I can't lay in my bed and feel gloomy because my sweet little Sidekick relies on me for everything. I love him so much, but I want to love him without having an inkling of sadness surrounding me.  I hate feeling this way.

(Sorry for the rambling entry that doesn't make much sense.)

Friday, August 23, 2013

One Year Pics

I was feeling the pressure from people to do professional photos for Sidekick.  I prefer the more "natural" looking shots, but with the purchase of a Groupon, I bit the bullet and off we went!  The photographer was so surprised that he is my first born, and I waited 13 months to finally get his pictures taken.  I've just never been that kind of Mom who does this kind of thing.  I have such great pictures of Sidekick already that my mom, my sister, or I took, so why pay someone to take his pictures?  I have to admit that I have quite a ham, and he actually did really well despite the fact that we went after school and it was dinner time.  I can't see doing this again any time soon, but I'm glad I did as we ended up with quite a lot of good ones. I did a couple of different outfits that really suit his personality (and my style of clothing for him), and he played the part so well in both of them.

My Sweet Boy
My Rocker Boy
(Who would have guessed they had a drum for him?)