Tuesday, May 31, 2011

shameless plug

I don't want to be annoying about this, but I could use some new customers or some new orders from some current customers.

Go to www.marykay.com/melissacalo-oy

Put in an order. You can even attach a payment if you'd like.

I will email or call you with your actual total that will be 20% off.

If you get a friend to also place an order, you'll get 20% off plus a special gift. Two free eye colors or a free lipstick or a free lip gloss.

I'm totally down for doing parties but I will just need a little bit of notice so I can find a baby-sitter for the kiddo. As a hostess, you will get a ton of free stuff. It's actually a pretty fun couple of hours too. I do a lot of show specials and will make sure everyone who comes gets a good deal.

Email or call me any time! No order is ever too small (or too big!)


Frosted Flakes commercial...

him: I hate that cereal.
me: Really? I love it! Haven't had it in awhile though.
him: It gets soggy too quick.
me: It's the same as like Rice Krispies or Honey Bunches of Oats or Corn Flakes.
him: All those get soggy too quick.
me: So you just don't like cereal?
him: I LOVE cereal! What are you talking about?!

Sunday, May 29, 2011


The thing about setting a countdown timer when I put S in bed is that he almost always stops crying before the time goes off. It's awesome because it is an actual measurement of time. For this mama, any period of crying that isn't actually measured seems to go on FOREVER.

If my car battery had to die a complete death, today was the perfect day. If my car had to refuse to start, doing so in a parking spot at a place was the perfect place for it to happen. I just put the baby in the stroller and booked it to my husband's store and we sorted it out. Lots of running around and I cannot believe what an amazing baby I have. And I only had to make one phone call to get some help getting K's car back to him! Satisfied sigh here.

I HATE COCKROACHES. HATE THEM. My house could be cleaner, but over all it's clutter more than trash. They are coming in from outside and K and I cannot figure out from where. And to be fair, it's been two over the past month but they are disgusting and huge and freak me out more than I like to admit. I am so much bigger than them and they don't even bite or anything. But still. They freak me out. I am hoping so hard I don't have a little boy who loves bugs and who will want me to hold his discoveries while he runs off to find more. Calling pest control again on Tuesday by the way.

I'm reading Bossypants by Tina Fey and I LOVE HER. I have for a long time anyway, but I am really enjoying her book. In a way I'm glad I can't really just sit down and devour it the way I used to devor books pre-baby because I'm forced to savor the pieces I can read. I like her style and I just like her. I wish I could be that cool. And funny. And pretty. Maybe it's a bit of a girl crush... Whatever, the book is awesome.

Finally got to catch up on some Oprah and really enjoyed the sit down with the Obamas. I caught his DNC key note address and have followed him since then. I like him as President. But if I could only sit and talk to one of them, I would choose Mrs. Obama with no hesitation. I have a lot of respect for her and the way she's handled things in general. Plus, I love her parenting philosophies. AND, she even told Oprah that she was wrong about her ideas of what her daughters should be expected to do! OPRAH! But yeah, S will probably be generally unhappy with the list of chores he will eventually be expected to do. But I too cringe at the thought of my teenager saying he's never cooked or done laundry. I want my kids to be productive members of society and God-seekers. I will do my absolute best to see both to fruition. I can only do so much, but I can certainly expect cleanliness and practice the ability to follow recipes with my kid(s)!

So that's what's been on my mind!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

lay down your sweet head

Today was such a long day with my little guy. I always love him to pieces but there are days when I would love it if I could just take a four hour nap in the middle of the day or go to the grocery store by myself.

I got snot wiped on me all day long, whining, crying, a bowl of cheerios dumped out in the middle of the grocery store and then of course more tears because there were no more cheerios... It was just a long day. I gave him a bath and he soaked my entire shirt as he was getting out.

But then I got him in pajamas and we cuddled on the couch for a little bit and he was completely and wonderfully adorable. And my patience meter filled up again (it wasn't quite empty but it was definitely lower than usual!) and we are good for another day tomorrow.

Being a mom is hard. But wonderful.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

humpday happiness!

A short list of things making me happy...

...lunch with my mom and my baby. They are crazy about each other and it's awesome.
...actually losing weight! Even though it's a drop in the bucket, it's a drop in the bucket!
...meeting so many completely cool moms lately.
..the little guy who is currently curled up in my lap, snoring.
...iced tea.
...mumford and sons
...being able to do laundry without a ginormous puddle of water on the floor!
...my amazing husband's back rubs
...the way my husband sometimes comes home and tells me he missed me during the day (especially because I miss him during the day).
...Twitter (@meljamc)
...my much shorter hair
...that insane rain we got last week!
...being able to take time to read real live books again.
...having three books that I actually own that I get to read and I'm excited about all three of them.
...making plans for my birthday already even though it's not even summer yet.
...trying out new recipes that end up being super yummy.
...my kiddo eats like a champ now!
...air conditioning
...ice cold water
...black coffee--I just kind of recently rediscovered it.

this is the stuff that drives me crazy

I've been thinking about the kinds of things I watch on tv and read.

We have a dvr and I've noticed that since we've had it, I watch WAY more tv than I ever did before. Sometimes I will record a series that looks interesting and then not be able to watch it until there's a handful of episodes on the dvr. Last week I caught up on a new show, Body of Proof, that is pretty good. I'm really glad the season finale is this week because I have to take a step back.

When S was first born and K had to go back to work and I started going places on my own with the baby, I would get irrationally afraid something awful was going to happen. I wouldn't go anywhere after the sun set because being out at night with my little baby made me super nervous and paranoid. And I would have horrible thoughts of hearing S crying and not being able to get to him for some reason. I didn't tell anyone because I thought I was crazy. It lessened over time (but there are still some places I just won't go after dark) and I found out a lot of new moms go through that.

Watching so many episodes of this show about a medical examiner made me start getting nervous that something awful was going to happen to me or my family. And I started thinking about the shows I watch and the stuff I read. I want to be influenced by positive and uplifting things. So shows about death and whatever are okay, but in really small doses. Definitely not in a five epsiode binge over two days.

And I read a lot of blogs. I use Google Reader, which I can't recommend enough... And I'm always looking for new stuff to read. I can access it all on my phone which is super handy. Awesomely, in the past few days, I've discovered that the plans for the Band of Mothers blog is to be updated several times a week and that my church has a brand new blog that a bunch of people are contributing to. Plus, the author of the book we're using for the Band of Mothers Squads right now also has a blog that she updates regularly.

This is a good start.


Monday, May 16, 2011

i don't want to wait for this life to be over

I have noticed when I talk more about Weight Watchers and fitness efforts, I tend to be more on top of things. I've been talking to K about things but I thought maybe if I posted some thoughts that could help to.

I lost 3.2 pounds this week so yay for that! I have like a hundred million pounds to go but it's going to come off in very small increments so I just need to plod steadily along until I get there. I've struggled the past couple of months especially, thinking that I don't have time to cook things or just not having any ideas. It's always been hard for me to leave a few bites on a plate, and I have no idea why because my parents only expected us to try everything on our plates and never made us clean them. And I started drinking Dr. Pepper like a fiend again. My back is super achy all the time and I think a lot of it is my weight and also the fact I haven't been as active.

Over the past couple of weeks, I have met a ton of moms through my church which is all kinds of awesome in a variety of ways. But one thing I've noticed is most of the ones I've met that are just overflowing with activity and energy and kids are basically fit. And that's the thing, I want to be one of the moms that has active kids and is going from here to there all the time and whatever and I can't do it if I don't have the energy to do it and right now I mostly don't. I do okay but I know if I weighed less, ate better, and was more physically fit, it would certainly be a lot easier!

So tonight I made picadillo. Except I used ground turkey instead of ground beef, I measured out two teaspoons of canola oil to put in with the onions, and let me tell you, it was delicious. Still used potatoes and tomatoes and all the seasonings (minced garlic, garlic powder, salt, pepper, cumin, and a tiny dash of cinnamon) and it was super tasty and not nearly as greasy as when I've made it with beef. Definitely a keeper because even my husband who rolls his eyes when I mention using ground turkey thought it was good and not as heavy.

Small changes, here and there. That's what will get me to my goal weight!

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Happy Mother's Day!

My first Mother's Day was really last year, but this year, I feel like a REAL mom. I feel like I've battled my way through sleeplessness, poopy diapers, tears (his plus mine, honestly), making decisions about how to raise a child, and making sure to choose my husband and show him I love him. I have a little bit of experience under my belt. It's such a tiny drop in the bucket but I feel like a mom. Last year I was still trying to get my feet under me. S was about two months old and Mother's Day was the first day of rotten painful gas for him. I spent a lot of the day walking and bouncing him while he screamed right into my ear, trying to get him more comfortable and also assuage my guilt for somehow inflicting it on him.

Anyway though, K really spent some time finding me cards from him and S. Plus, flowers, a really sweet gift AND he let me sleep in this morning. We went to church and after the service let out, I stood at the Band of Mothers booth with my cute camo hat and helped answer questions and get ladies signed up for small groups. The response was a little bit overwhelming to me so I'm excited to talk to the leader of everything this week and see what her impression is. I suspect it was a bit overwhelming to her as well because she had ordered 50 books for the campus bookstore and they were sold out by the time I was there for the 11:30 service today. I'm incredibly excited to be a part of this and that there are so many moms interested in meeting other moms and learning how to find joy and fulfillment in being a mother and protecting and teaching and loving our kids!

Yesterday I had a leadership meeting at 6:15 am and it was amazing. This is really my niche. I have so much to learn but I can serve and be fed at the same time and I am thrilled to be a part of this group of amazing women. I know that I have a need for being around other moms and learning about what the Bible has to say about raising kids and I can't be the only one. I think this is going to be a crazy time but also awesome.

I'm an excited and happy mama!

Saturday, May 7, 2011

you and me, were meant to be

I was adding a bunch of contacts to my phone and I opened up K's accidentally. It turns out that today, we have officially been together for five years! I am proud of us. A lot has happened during the past five years and really truly we are better than ever today. I doubt I'll remember the date that we decided to be an exclusive couple for much longer. Well, I didn't even really remember today, I happened to see it.

We had been dating for a little over a month before we had our DTR. Everyone has to do that at some point or another. Define the relationship. He started the conversation because he wanted to make sure we were on the same page. The awesome thing is he mentioned he was going to keep his options open, just in case. My heart fell a little, but I just said I would do the same thing. And he asked why and I told him, well, we need to be doing the same thing. One of us can't be committed to our relationship and the other one be looking around to see if there's a better option out there. For the most part, since that conversation we've really been at the same level of commitment.

Not to say we haven't had rough patches or there weren't times I thought we weren't going to make it. We also have work ahead of us because you have to put time in to maintain ANY relationship, but I think especially a marriage. I'm proud of us for getting to here. I'm excited for us that we have the whole future ahead of us. It wasn't love at first sight and I really had no idea I'd marry K when we first started dating. But as time goes on, I see how well suited we are for each other and I'm thankful every day for such a wonderful husband.

Yay for five years! And for over a year and a half of marriage in there!

Friday, May 6, 2011

i'm gonna bake you a pie with a heart in the middle

Well, sleep training is making me a more productive mom. Instead of holding S for a couple of hours trying to get him to sleep, I'm keeping myself busy because it hurts my heart to hear him cry, even if it is a small amount of pain now to avoid a huge amount of pain later.

I made three strawberry pies for tomorrow. I made calamari and cheese steak sandwiches for dinner for me and K.

I am a tired mama.

Thursday, May 5, 2011


me: What's going on over there?
k: I'm playing a new game on my phone. It's called Fruit Ninja. If you like fruit, you'll love this game.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

humpday happiness!

A small list of things making me happy these days...

...C family hugs on the couch!
...Tuesday nights--my mom picks the kiddo up and I get to to go Bible study unencumbered. It's lovely!
...the Mominar I got to go to last weekend!
...my husband kisses me good night every single night.
...S is a walking fool!
...using coupons. Not like in Extreme Couponing, but in a way that keeps a little more money in our pockets.
...clean clothes.
...the Royal Wedding! So pretty!
...starting Weight Watchers again. And really meaning it (again). And doing well so far this week.
...trying to blog every day in May.
...How I Met Your Mother. Even S likes to "sing" the theme song!
...Black Russians. Can you call it a Tan Russian if you put a tiny bit of cream in it? I don't think I can drink at bars anymore.
...Sparkling water.
...Craigy Ferg

hush little baby don't say a word

At S's last well baby appointment, his doctor told me I needed to teach him how to fall asleep on his own, rather than on me. She said that everyone wakes up in the middle of the night but we each know how to get comfortable again to go back to sleep. S's way to get comfortable again is to fall asleep on me, which means I have to get up and get him back to sleep. She said it wouldn't hurt him to cry and to do it now rather than when he knows real words or is in a bed he can get out of. I tried, based on my sister's experience, for five nights and it was completely miserable. Then he cried so hard he threw up and I realized I was just way out of my league and needed an actual book or something.

I kind of put it all off. My friend came to visit and that was going to disrupt the normal day to day schedule (in a wonderful way, but still) so I wanted to wait until after she went home. Then I got a book and read it and was set to go and S started really walking. The book suggested not starting sleep training while the baby is teething or if they have learned a new big skill because that really affects their sleep schedule. So, this was the week.

I've been dreading it. It is completely awful to hear my baby cry and not go to comfort him. But in this case, it has to be done so he can learn how to self soothe himself back to sleep. The book asks that you commit to one night at a time and says that most people see results in five nights. I figured I could do one night and even bargained with myself that if after two hours he was still hysterical, I'd just start again tomorrow.

We went through the normal bed time routine. Can I just say how freaking adorable he is about bath time? You can ask "Are you ready for a bath with bubbles?" and he will drop whatever he's doing and walk to the bathroom and try to open the door. I gave him a bottle (which is the next thing to go, by the way) and then we sat and chatted for a bit and then I took him to his crib. He started whimpering before I had even put him in his crib and was full on screaming by the time I was out the door. I waited five minutes, and went in. I could see his tear streaked face and he was reaching with both arms towards me. I followed the instructions and went back to the living room and set the timer for ten minutes. Same thing. I went back and set the timer for fifteen minutes. After about five minutes, it was considerably quieter. By the time fifteen minutes rolled around, it was silent. I snuck in, and sure enough, S was laying down, snoring. He looked exactly like he does when I let him fall asleep on me and then put him in the crib.

I was dreading this all of last week and it was so easy! I mean, ridiculously hard to not pick up S when he was reaching for me, but it wasn't just to be mean, but so much less crying than I was anticipating!

Do you know what this means?! I might be able to go to sleep at a decent hour on a regular basis AND sleep all the way through the night! The world is so much easier to face on more than four hours of sleep!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011


me: I'm baby-free for a few hours!
k: party like it's 1999!
me: I kinda just want to take a shower and a nap.
k: I'm sure people did that in 1999.

you are true, you are true, even in my wandering

K and I started going to church five or six weeks ago and actually haven't missed a Sunday since we started. There's this church down the road from the Starbucks he works at and just about all the pastors are regulars. I actually remember most of them from when I was working at that store as well. They like to have meetings there or just stop and get drinks on the way to and from places. We decided to try their church first because of the way they all are at Starbucks. No one is perfect, and we certainly don't expect them to be. But all of them are nice. And genuine. Really, those two things go a long way. When you can see that someone is trying to do the right thing in a situation as small as getting coffee and pastries on a regular basis, over a series of years even, I think it says a lot.

So when we decided we were going to go to church as a family and there are probably literally thousands of churches in San Antonio, we just decided to try theirs first and see what it was like. We LOVE it. The music is loud and GOOD. The speakers have challenged us every week but also given us something practical we can do every week. K and I talk about the Bible verses or the message through the week. We've been checking S into one year old church and although that hasn't been something he's crazy about, I think it's good for all three of us. He gets to play with different toys, meet other kids, and know that if we drop him off, we're coming back to get him.

We usually pick S up and then go back to the auditorium and chat with whoever we see that we know. I really like that part of the day as well. Everyone loves S, which is kind of like loving me. I think it's funny that everyone remembers his name and is slightly unsure of mine. I don't find it offensive or anything, because I think it's great that my little guy already makes such great impressions on people. A couple of weeks ago, one of the guys we were talking to basically told us he wasn't trying to or planning on pressuring us but he was excited to see where and how we'd serve in the church. I had already been thinking about it and I had a few ideas. Whenever I think of new things to do though, I always get stuck on what to do with S. He's too big for me to just take with me and it not be cumbersome at all. He wants to run around and explore and touch things and take things apart and put them back together. He's too little for me to expect him to sit next to me or to sit in a particular area and keep himself entertained. There's nothing wrong with any of this, but it makes it difficult to think about volunteering somewhere.

Saturday, I got to go to a woman's ministry event called the Mom:Inar. I completely loved it. It was so nice to get encouragement and feel pampered and be able to go home and feel refreshed. I'm not the only mom who struggles to keep on top of laundry! I'm not the only mom who gets nervous about making a weekly commitment to something on top of everything I'm already doing! I'm not the only mom who wants to read to my baby on a regular basis but has no idea WHAT to actually read! They are about to launch a new program called Band of Mothers and I am really excited to have a small group that is all moms. I talked to the leader afterward because I know this is where I'm supposed to be. I can help in so many different ways! I can serve and be fed at the same time, and I totally don't have to worry about S because it's going to be doing stuff with other moms so they will either understand or we will have childcare available.

I'm really excited to be going to church as a family. I'm really excited to be going to THIS church as a family. I'm really excited to dig in and get my hands dirty and help do something for other moms.

It's a good feeling.

Monday, May 2, 2011

how wonderful life is when you're in the world

S woke up for an early morning feeding, so I happened to get to see Kate Middleton arrive at Westminster Abbey live. I had set up my DVR to record both the Today Show coverage and the BBC coverage so I could watch later and fast forward through the boring parts. I have to admit though, I was thrilled to see her driving through the streets and arrive live and I gasped with delight when she stepped out of the car and I saw her full dress.

I think the wedding was beautiful and they looked so happy and in love it made me tear up a little bit. I don't know them and our paths will never cross. But I was glad for the chance to be unabashedly happy about something that was covered extensively in the news. It's been awhile since there has been an event to just be happy about.

My wedding was very very small and very simple. K and I got new clothes and honestly my dress ended up being much fancier than I had originally pictured. When we decided to get married, we wanted to get some new clothes, have our immediate family with us at the court house, and all go out to dinner to celebrate and some place we didn't normally eat like The Cheesecake Factory. My mom kind of said no to this plan, but in a good way. My parents told us they had planned on paying for a wedding celebration for me like they did my sister so we should live it up a little bit. Hence the fancier than intended dress (that I got to shopping for with a friend, my mom, and my grandmother who lives out of state so that was a really special afternoon), the flowers, the limo, the photographer, and the meal at The Palm.

I remember being absolutely elated. There was so much family drama in the week before that K and I really made a lot of effort to have a wedding ceremony just for the two of us without worrying about where anyone else was or what they were doing or what they were thinking. We were all in this tiny room (the judge's chambers) but it still felt like it was just me, K, and the judge. I didn't cry because I knew that if I let one tear slip, it would be hard to get it under control. K was very handsome and I felt beautiful. I'm thankful my photographer friend offered to take some pictures for us because I love my little album. And when K and I took our marriage certificate straight downstairs to file it with the county and we got that little bit of time as a brand newly married couple doing something together, well, it was just lovely to have start to sink in and it just be the two of us.

I know that we are not as good looking people as William and Kate and we didn't have nearly the money they did for the ceremony  and we had 16 guests. But I felt as happy and beautiful and giddy on my wedding day as they looked on theirs. And that's why I think it's so lovely that they shared so much with the whole world. I hope they are very happy and in love for the rest of their lives.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

newsletter: month 12

Dear Samson,

Sometimes when I'm at the doctor office or someone I don't know very well asks me what your birthday is, I say March 11 and then correct myself to say it's the 13th. Last year, I was admitted to the hospital on the 11th and you made your way out on the 13th. It was a bit of a long and arduous labor that ultimately ended in an emergency c-section. I remember how everything happened and can definitely retell the story, but I'm not sure how much it actually matters in talking to you.

It was a difficult pregnancy and a difficult labor but none of that was your fault. I don't intend on holding that against you. I'm just so thankful you and I were able to make it through that nine months and also this past year! When I first caught a glimpse of you, I gasped at how gorgeous I thought you were. You were ticked at being out in the open air and the team of doctors and nurses that were waiting for you wasted no time in making sure you were okay. As my team of doctors and nurses were sewing me back up, Daddy and I watched as you were cleaned up and checked out. Daddy got to take pictures and then someone haphazardly put my glasses back on my face and handed you, all nicely bundled and capped, to Daddy and we took our first family picture.

I got to hold you as they wheeled me back to the labor and delivery room where family was waiting to find out if you were a boy or a girl and what your name was. A nurse wrote "Happy Birthday Samson Luciano" on the white board in our room. And Daddy and I held you and marveled at you and each other, and the best adventure of my life started a fresh chapter.

This past year has been the simultaneously best and hardest of my life. I've gone from trying to survive to trying to intentionally parent you, even though you are just now turning one year old. I had no idea I could love like this and no clue that my heart would just grow to try to contain all the love I have for you and the new kind of love I have for your Daddy. For all the sleepless nights (and days), spit up, poop, tears (yours and mine), laundry, and other awkward times, I wouldn't trade any of it for anything. I was meant to be your Mama and you were meant to be my son. I have absolutely no doubt of this and am so excited to see what kind of toddler, kid, teenager, and adult you will be.

Right now, you are cruising along furniture and I think you're just going to start walking like a pro any day. In the meantime, you seem pretty satisfied by crawling like a maniac. You startle me sometimes with how fast you are! You love to get into any open door (like say the fridge) without warning so you can see what all is inside.

At your birthday party, Daddy and I got to see some of our concentrated efforts pay off. You insisted on opening up each birthday card yourself to see what was inside. Someone asked us how we taught you to do that, convinced it was a trick you learned for the party. But really, it's that we read to you so much that you not only know how books work but you are interested in them. I think you know that you'll be able to read them all by yourself soon enough but if you start trying to operate them now, you might get that ability faster. I am thrilled. I don't expect you to be the smartest kid in your class, but I do expect that you will read. I want you to be hungry for knowledge and know that the best way to find information is to read. I want you to get lost in other worlds and have a bigger vocabulary than other kids your age because you just keep reading. But for now, I just love that one of the few times you'll let me snuggle you is when you're in my lap listening and looking as I read to you.

One of my hopes for you is that you will live up to your name and be a light to those around you. I can say with certainty that you bring light to the faces of those around you now. You are a very strong little guy and I hope that as you grow up, you have more than physical strength. I hope you have strong faith, kindness, emotional stability, and strong ethics. I hope you are a healthy and productive member of society who is a God seeker. I hope I get to see you accomplish big things, in your own life and in the world.

Samson, Daddy and I will be here for you no matter what. You will be able to ask us questions and know we will tell you the truth. You will be able to come to us and tell us difficult things and know we will still love you. You will be able to turn to us in times of happiness and in times of sadness.

You are off to an amazing start! May there be many more birthdays to celebrate and may you be celebrated by as many people as you are this year on your first one. Don't ever doubt that you are significant or that you are loved.

Thanks for making me a Mama, Samson. The best and hardest title I've ever gotten to claim.

I love you.

Love, Mama