Thursday, December 22, 2011

The drama o' the sauce.

From time to time, I find myself overestimating the brilliance of my daughter, or, more accurately, the brilliance of my own parenting. She's so adaptable, I think to myself. After all, she transitioned to a big girl bed with no significant hiccups. She'll sleep at Nana's house or on vacation. She mostly eats what we put in front of her, and she's always been pretty great with unexpected alterations to her schedule without much more than access to a wubby.

I forget that she is, in fact, a two year old, and imagine her instead to be a very small version of an adult, capable of quickly conforming to any unexpected stimuli with her usual cheerful demeanor.

And then we have an incident like we did at lunch today. An incident where Bug was provided with barbecue sauce to be used for the dipping of chicken nuggets. It was sauce that had been specifically requested by the toddler in question with the rather complex verbiage of "Mommy, ah wan' a sauce a dippa muh titten, feeeeeesss!" which, being translated, clearly means "Mommy, I want sauce to dip my chicken, please." The sauce was provided, and instantly it was determined that she DID NOT WANT THE SAUCE HOW DARE YOU GIVE ME THE SAUCE NO NO NO SAUCE THANKS. And even though the sauce was not touching any part of her food, and even though no one was forcing her to dip anything in any sauce, the very presence of the sauce, the very fact that it existed within the small realm of her control was simply unacceptable. We could not possibly emotionally move past the existence of that sauce, yea, even our entire focus must concentrate solely on the existence of the sauce and the need for its immediate removal forever and ever amen.

And that's when I remember that pride cometh before the fall, and great is the fall thereof when a mother dareth to assume she has the perfect child.

Then again...

Maybe I was right all along.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Growing tall, tall, tall.

Ever since we found out Sherman would be joining our family, Paddy and I have been tossing around ideas about what to do with the bed situation. We were fortunate enough to borrow a crib for Bug when she was born. When we brought her home from the hospital, we put her in a pack n' play that had a higher bassinet level for infants and was situated conveniently right next to my side of the bed.

That arrangement lasted about 2 nights. As a brand new mommy with plenty of fears, I found myself lying awake all night long, listening to her heavy newborn breathing and jumping up to check on her with every squirm in her blankets. I think it was the third night home when we moved her into the crib in her little purple nursery, and she's slept in that same spot ever since.

Like most do now-a-days, Bug's borrowed crib can convert to a toddler bed. We had never found the need to make the change, though, since she liked the crib and (with one exception before the mattress had been lowered for the final time) she'd never tried to climb out of it. With Sherman's birthday drawing nearer, we debated about the best course of action to take to make room for the little guy. Change Bug's bed into the toddler bed and buy our own crib? Buy Bug a twin mattress and put it on the floor until she's a bit bigger? Keep Sherm in the pack n' play until Bug was ready for a big girl bed?

Basically the only thing I knew for sure was that I wanted to make the change sooner than later so Bug didn't feel like Sherman was stealing "her" crib. We had basically decided on buying a twin bed and box spring along with some soft guard rails for her, and had begun pricing out the best place to make the purchase, when Jess mentioned she was selling an adorable toddler bed that her daughter, BG, had outgrown. We jumped at the chance to take advantage of a great deal from someone I know and trust. (Buying beds from I normally love!--seems a little creepy. Hello? Bed bugs? Luckily, I know for a fact that Jessica's house is about a billion times cleaner than mine, so we're in great shape!) It was quite a bit less expensive than the twin bed option, especially when we factored in new sheets and bedding and the bed rails we would have needed. Plus, Bug could keep using the quilt I slaved over that matches her nursery perfectly!

As an aside, we also debated on whether to switch Bug to the other bedroom a bit further down the hall to make room for the new baby. Ultimately, it was the presence of his man-parts that made the decision easy. I didn't want to repaint Bug's purple and lavender wall in boy colors. Laziness takes the day!

So anyway, this story is growing much too long. We bought the bed and set it up a couple of weeks ago, but hadn't moved it into her room yet. Schmoops didn't want to attempt the maiden toddler bed voyage on a night I'd be at work, and we knew we had to take apart the crib to fit it out the door. Last night, we finally got up the energy--courage?-- to make the switch.

We shouldn't have been worried. Bug was thrilled with her new big girl bed, and went down like a champ. She was fast asleep each time we peeked in on her. We heard one cry this morning as Paddy was getting ready for work. When we went in, she was all curled up on the floor. I was about to feel like a terrible mother, until she gave us both hugs and then, get this, asked to get back in her bed. We said our morning family prayers, and then she drifted off to sleep for another hour or so. Success!

I'll admit it; tears were shed. They were not Bug's.

I miss my copper-haired baby princess Bug. I miss her soft little body and clenched little hands. The missing is so strong and real it's nearly solid, and it lives at the back of my throat where it swells and makes it hard to swallow.

There are three things in all the world that help that missing, and I have all three. I have my copper-haired big girl princess Bug filled with smiles and words and her very own personality bursting right out of her.

I have new little tiny clothes hanging in an empty closet. They are blue and orange and red and brown with nary a pink top in sight.

And most of all, I have a sweetheart. He's the only person in the whole world who knows and misses that baby princess the way I do, and the only other person in the whole world who feels the wiggles of this unborn baby who will fill those clothes.

Tender and all, but he still won't help me come up with a reasonable name for this kid.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

I'm nothing if not a classy broad.

During our church services on Sunday, I found myself scooting out of Sacrament meeting to use the ladies room. It's a practice that is becoming more and more common what with this wonderfully large baby dancing on my bladder. Task completed successfully, I made the long walk back down the hallway, past the room with the open door where members of the Young Single Adult ward energetically participated in a Sunday School lesson. I smiled quietly at the few members of my own ward seated outside the chapel, and silently glided back into the large meeting and into our row not far from the back of the chapel. My belly and I scooted past the Schmoops, who was doing a terrific job corralling our two-year-old, and made myself comfortable on the pew to wait out the remainder of the meeting.

The organist began the postlude music, and that's when it happened. I was scooping up crayons and errant pretzel pieces when I felt a tapping on my shoulder.

Tap. Tap tap.

"Kristie?" a tentative voice called softly. "Your skirt is tucked in to your underwear in the back."

Oooh yeeaaaaahhhhh.

I am so hot right now.

Praises be that I had decided to wear a simple brown cotton skirt that, when not hitching a ride in my underwear, reaches past my ankles. I'm told (NOT by the husband who failed to notice any problem at all as I pushed my way past him in the pew--my derriere practically touching his face--I'd like to point out and thankyouverymuch) the long skirt still reached nearly to my knees in the back even with my delightful wardrobe malfunction.

After my thoughtful informant had moved away, pushed by the crowd of people eager to get home after three hours of worship services, Paddy looked at me with a bright smile on his face and arm raised cheerfully.

"You walked all the way back here with your skirt in your underpants? Right on! High five!"

And since there wasn't much else to do at that point, I wryly returned his grin and clapped my outstretched hand on his. Right on.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

My tasty holiday treat

I know I didn't do the traditional I'm Thankful For post this year. Just know that I am standing in a blizzard of the most amazing blessings, with bits of undeserved happiness and joy swirling all around me until I can't see myself for the whiteout. I am happy and healthy and loved and safe and overwhelmed with gratitude.

Life is good.

I have my Schmoopsie, my Bug Princess dancing in her jammies, my Sherman kicking my kidney and bladder and whatever else he can target in his little space, my silly, lazy dog who gets fatter every single day, and a Cocomotion supplied with Steven's Peppermint Hot Chocolate.

Life is SO good.
Bet you wish you had enjoyed this slice of pumpkin pie for Thanksgiving the way I did.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Thank heavens I made it with low-fat milk.

Does being pregnant justify the amount of chocolate pudding I want to eat today?

Monday, November 14, 2011

My fragile sense of vanity

I am six months pregnant. I have precious little personal vanity left to cling to at this point. I can wear only tops designed to expand to accommodate a belly the size of a Michelin all-weather tire, and my skin looks like the average junior high student before they discover the wonders of facial cleanser. I am far from the most stylish dresser around even on my best day, so while experiencing all the quirks of growing a human--including the pleasure of regularly weighing myself in front of a stranger--I claim the right to fiercely take advantage of any shred of wardrobe dignity available to me.

I had a doctor's appointment today to check Sherm's progress. I finally broke down and admitted to my doctor that, unlike when I was pregnant with Floyd, I have been experiencing a reasonably significant amount of lower abdominal pain with this pregnancy.

(This happened right after I finally broke down and admitted to myself that apparently I have issues with appearing to be anthing less than a pregnancy rockstar. Don't mind me. I'm fine! Just GROWING A BABY over here with absolutely no discomfort or unusual complaints. Carry on.)(In my defense, in my line of work I come across a lot of award winning whiners, so maybe I'm a little sensitive about becoming one.)

My doctor, who is fantastic and did not appear to immediately shun me for being less of a rockstar, suggested that perhaps a maternity support belt worn under my tummy to help heft the weight of this growing boy would help.

Long story short: a quick google search of 'maternity girdle' revealed some truly frightening options.

And that's why despite the pelvic and hip pain that has been plaguing me for the last several weeks (particularly when I have the pleasure of working all the way through the middle of the night) I have decided to eschew any product with a design structure that includes any of the following:
  • An attached panty
  • An attached bra
  • Over the shoulder straps
  • Between the leg groin/crotch support (Unfortunately for someone, this exists. I am ever so grateful that I have no idea what type of ailment might necessitate this as a solution.)
Let's pray that the simple, small band I managed to find at an extremely reasonable price is helpful. Otherwise, I might just be suffering in silence. It's like Wesley said to Princess Buttercup:

Life is pain, Highness. Anyone who tells you otherwise is selling something.

Like maybe a maternity groin supporter.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Tomorrow I turn twenty-eight.

Turning twenty-eight feels a lot like growing a baby.
I know, I know, it seems like a really obvious analogy given my current physical state, but the more I think about it, the more apt the comparison feels. Let me explain.

It doesn't seem as strange to turn twenty-eight as I thought it might. I think at least part of the reason is because my twenty-seventh birthday feels so long ago.

There are no tears the day before my twenty-eighth birthday. Happiness and contentment fill my heart the way this growing boy fills my belly--heavy and swollen and slow. Our circumstances on the eve of my twenty-eight are not perfect.  Maybe it's obvious, but the older I get, the more I think that no one is exactly where they'd like to be and maybe that's the point. Maybe that's the whole point.

I spent a lot of my rough twenty-six searching for the whys and how comes and hurry-up-and-let-me-learn-this-lesson-so-it-can-be-OVER-alreadys and, oh yeah, crying. Don't get me wrong, the search was good. I am stronger because of twenty-six. Twenty-six gave my personal belief system a lining of steel to protect the soft, warm feelings I'd been nurturing over the first quarter century of my faith building. Twenty-six was a good start. I'd do twenty-six over again.

Here is what the twenty-seven year old me thinks, though, at least on the eve of twenty-eight. (I reserve the right to re-evaluate this position whenever I want, of course. I hardly think I have it all figured out before I even hit three decades old.) I think that maybe the whys don't matter all that much. The point is in the process, tthe walking, the hurting, the growing, (even the crying, which makes me feel only slightly less silly for all the carrying on) and the end result. Everyone is going to have some sort of rock in their hiking boot and it doesn't much matter the size or shape of it or how different their trail is from mine, the point is that everyone makes it to the top.

This time around, this year, the challenges and frustrations feel necessary, even purposeful. There are bumps in our family's road, but the road is headed somewhere, and that feels great.

This baby is lower and heavier than I remember feeling with Floyd. By the end of the day, my pelvis and hips are sore and stiff from the effort of hefting the weight of my growing body. Twenty-eight feels like these sore hips--a bit awkward and cumbersome, but worth the effort for the end result. There is heartburn, but not the sort of agonizing fire as last year. This year, I can feel the flickerings of the child in my belly and it helps me push through a bit of burning in my chest. (Plus, let's be honest. Prilosec = fantastic.)

Baby growing is a series of contradictions. It is nausaea and it is also hunger, for one thing. It takes for-ev-er; I cannot believe how fast it has gone. It is painful and joyful. It is hard and worth it and happiness and tears and worry and faith all rolled into one giant growing belly.

And that's a little like turning twenty-eight tomorrow.
I don't have big plans for my first day of twenty-eight. I don't have to work this year, and the Schmoopsie and I have a date night planned for the next evening. I think I'll spend the morning watching a pair of two-year-olds toddle around my living room, and then maybe I'll take a nap in the afternoon.

There is one thing I know for sure: on my first day of twenty-eight, I'll be wearing my pearls.

Friday, November 4, 2011

I'd say 95% of our Time Outs are screaming infractions.

The ruling on the field was End of Bubble Time.
After the play, unnecessary screaming-- on the two-year-old.
Defense will be charged one Time Out.
Penalty will be enforced on the end of the play.
Please reset the game clock to Nap Time. (Please.)

4th Down.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Good thing we got that one taken care of.

It all happened while I was changing Bug's diaper. The process of filling said diaper with its stinky contents had already delayed nap time significantly, and Bug was lying on the floor of her bedroom, patiently playing with a finger puppet while I took care of the business end of things.

I chatted away softly to her, telling her all about our new Sherman-baby and running name ideas by her to see if she showed any particular interest. To be honest, she was looking a little bored with the whole concept until a brilliant idea emerged from her little mind. I could almost see that cartoon lightbulb above her head flashing on as her little eyes lit up. Excitedly, she shouted out her name preference for her littleyounger brother, her tiny eyebrows lifted in anticipation of my response.

It still has to go before the board for final approval, of course, but if Bug's suggestion wins out, Sherman's official name will be SantaSanta Hoho.

Monday, October 31, 2011

A pirate, a pirate, a pirate says-- ARRG!

Happy Halloween!

Pretty intimidating, huh?


From our little swashbuckler to yours (or whatever yours are), have a happy and safe one!

Friday, October 28, 2011

You are what you eat.

If gestating babies were made up only of what their pregnant mothers ate, Sherman would be almost exclusively cold cheese sandwiches and Crystal Light.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Judging a pumpkin by the rind.

Last week, while Daddy and I were busy looking at pictures of Sherman and his man-parts, Bug went to play at Grammy Lu's house. After I wiped all the ultrasound gel off my belly and drove back to Centerville, Grammy, Bunk, and I took Bug to lunch and out to a pumpkin patch to really kick off the season.

Isn't it funny how kids seem to remember very specifc incidents and recall them in perfect detail? We ate lunch at In N Out Burger that day, and as far as I can recall it's maybe the second time Bug has eaten there in her entire short life. Somehow, though, she locked the signature look of that bright arrow sign into her little mind, and now every time we drive by one, she hollers "fries! fries!" at the top of her lungs. Nothing like that to make a mom feel great about the nutritional values she's teaching her toddler. She's sure never flapped her arms with that much joy while shouting "broccoli! broccoli!" from the shopping cart in the grocery store.

Anyway, it was great to see how excited Bug was at the pumpkin patch. They had a kid-sized little hay maze that she ran through with all the joyful abandon her little heart could muster. It took all my mommy-powers to get her to hold still long enough for a picture.

Bug had a hard time wrapping her brain around all of the possible pun-tin options available to her in that whole patch, and at first she just ran to the first one she saw, content to take home any ol' lopsided, half-rotten, or worm-chewed gourd she could lay her hands on. We quickly taught her the importance of judging every pumpkin on it's most superficial features, though, and she seemed to get the hang of it.

We found two acceptable pun-tin specimens and let her choose between them.

As a side note, this is the way I intend for her to choose her spouse, as well. No half-greenish son-in-laws for us.

Bug was sure glad that Mommy let her wear her special Halloween outfit that Grammy Lu had given her a week or so before so she'd be sure to radiate holiday spirit. It was a close call, since she was hard pressed to remove that owl shirt (whooo! whooo! she says) from her frame AT ALL, let alone long enough for a whole wash cycle. The girl's got preferences, I tell you. I had to hide the Halloween costume because she wanted to wear it all. the. time.

Grammy misplaced the $20 bill she brought with her, and our trip nearly turned into the most expensive pumpkin purchase in the history of the world. Amazingly, the staff there found the bill the next day and called her to return it! It's a Halloween miracle!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

To my princess who is 2. Two. TEE-YEW.

Dearest Bug-let,

You turned two yesterday. This milestone horrifies your mother just as much as the others have, but I'll let you in on a secret. Somehow this one seems less surprising, somehow more believable or something. It's just that recently you seem so BIG. Every single day the child I lift out of the crib is less a baby and more a kid.

You've developed ever so many funny little quirks that have me rolling my eyes and chuckling at you nearly all day long. One of my favorites is that absolute shock and disappointment you exhibit every day at some of the basic parts of our schedule. Every day for, like, a million days in a row, even multiple TIMES every day, I have lifted you out of your high chair after every single meal and carried you directly to the sink for the mandatory sticky-fingers-sticky-cheeks rinse session. And yet you always act horribly surprised to find out that--SHOCK OF ALL SHOCKS!--Mommy is going to wash your hands right this very second. The phony tantrum is blessedly short lived, generally a wail of protest and a dropping of those expressive little eyebrows (makes you look like your daddy, sort of, which is strange since he doesn't scowl much) and the whole event is basically over before we've even dried your fingers.

I am blown away by your new-found language skills. You weren't particularly early developmentally in the words arena, and for a long time you basically stuck with a few favorites like mommy, daddy, milk, wubby- the basics, really. Now there is just no way I could list all the words you can say. I am surprised constantly by words you know that I swear I didn't teach you. (Scary, really, but so far we've avoided anything too naughty.) I am blown away by your ability to string the words together to make sense of your surroundings, too. A week or so ago, you were prancing around in some of my high heels when Daddy called from work to check on us. He asked what we were up to, and before I knew it, you were describing your fun with "mommy's church shoes" which sounds just a little like "mommy's cheech shoooes" in your little toddler accent.

The one possible exception to your otherwise squeaky clean verbal skills (and I hope this is embarrassing to you later) is your somewhat unconventional pronunciation of the word truck. You are a champ at making the T-sound in words like tubby, tummy, two, and Tommy, but for some reason, you prefer to start the word truck with an F-sound. Luckily for us, you have yet to perfect the hard consonant sound at the end of the word, but it's close enough that your excited shouts of "FIRETRUCK" while we're in the car still leave mommy and daddy shaking in the front seat in silent laughter, touched with perhaps just a hint of panic.

Don't worry, though. My next door neighbor when I was a kid did the same thing, only he nailed the hard K-sound at the end, resulting in a terrible version of "truck" ringing out loudly, clear as a bell.

And his grandpa was a trucker. Which he was quite proud of.

Really. And he turned out ok, as far as I know.

A very few things have stayed the same with you, it seems, but there are a few. When you are tired or a little nervous about something new, that little thumb still goes directly into your mouth. I do hope you grow out of it one of these days so you're not one of those weird kindergarteners that doesn't have any friends, but it's pretty cute in the mean time.

You still love to dance and shake that little tushy every chance you get. In the car, you invent new dance moves with your arms and demand that Daddy and I participate, too. We find ourselves sitting in the front seat, obediently mimicking our two year old and wondering where all our parental authority went.

Near as I can tell, it ended up in the laundry with all those poop-covered sheets.

Now I'm watching you bubble around the front room in the oversized Aggie game day shirt and enormous Aggie sweats Aunt B got you for your birthday, and it feels like maybe the next time I look up you'll be in a t-shirt that fits you, painting black marks under your eyes and excitedly exploding out the door of your first apartment for the Homecoming game.

And here is something you can't possibly understand until you are a mommy, too. That thought, that vision and the crystal clear images of you at every stage in between now and that day, make me equal parts devastated and elated. It's like my heart is torn exactly in half- part mourning the squishy, soft little baby that you aren't anymore, and part bursting with the anticipation of seeing the absolutely lovely girl you're becoming.

And those are big thoughts for someone who is just two.

I love you, Sugar Pie. Right up to the moon and back,

Friday, October 21, 2011

It's her party.

We're celebrating someone's second birthday tonight. TWO. ENTIRE. YEARS.

Jammies, floofy hair, teal colored doggy "pack pack" (as she would say), and upside down shades. 

That's my girl.

Monday, October 17, 2011

The A part of Q&A.

Back when we first found out we were expecting another baby, we spent a few days coming up with a silly name to use until the kiddo comes out, like we did with Floyd. It seems a little funny to spend time on a joke name when it took us about 9 months to come up with Bug's real one, but it's just nice to call the thing something other than 'baby' all the time.

I've mentioned befre that Schmoopsie is a big BYU fan. While I was throwing around Bernards and Herberts, Paddy suggested we call this fetus Jimmer.

You know, the Jimmer. Jimmer'd. That guy.

And don't get me wrong, I enjoyed watching the guy play ball. Stacey and I took the boys to the last BYU basketball game of the year and had a great time watching the circus. But really-- Jimmer? I explained over and over again that the reason Jimmer wasn't funny was because people would think we were serious. Between the ridiculous Jimmer-mania that occurred around these parts and the fact that Paddy's father's name was James, I was nervous that people would think that we were really, seriously considering naming the kiddo Jimmer.

Which, to be very clear, we're not. There will be no Jimmer in our family.

So we compromised, and Paddy calls the kiddo Jimmer in private, while we call him Sherman everywhere else.

Oh, that's right. HIM. We call him Sherman. Based on facebook and the blog poll, 56% of you were wrong.

It's a boy.

We're still not naming him Jimmer.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Considering dog versus baby? Read on.

I have been a happy dog owner for almost 3 and a half years. We love our puppy, but let's be honest. Any one familiar with dogs, particularly large breeds, who tells you that dogs are not completely disgusting creatures is a liar. Or they're selling something. (Probably a dog.) Our dog is wonderful, happy, pleasant, loyal, lazy, and... gross. She eats her own poop and drinks out of the toilet, ok? Freakin' sicko.

Now, in the interest of full disclosure for any of you weighing your options, let me fill you in on a little secret. I have been a happy mother for just short of 2 years. I have come in direct, personal contact with EXPONENTIALLY more poop because of my daughter than I ever dreamed of touching with the dog.

Besides the new baby blowouts, my daughter has now removed her diaper in her crib and smeared poop all over the bed. And bedding. And herself. As of today, this wonderful event has happened TWICE.

So essentially what this amounts to is the somewhat disconcerting knowledge that, to one degree or another, everyone smaller than me in this house is totally in to touching their own crap.

This picture is several months old. It's from back when I still liked Bug.


Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Conference Fort

Somewhere in the Bloggernacle (I wish I could remember where) I stumbled across a fun idea for watching General Conference with little children, and we were excited to try it out with Bug this time.

Remember that good King Benjamin from The Book of Mormon? He's a personal favorite of mine, actually. Remember the tower he built? The people came from all around and set up their tents facing the tower so they could hear his words.

We had a quick family home evening lesson with the Buggy girl about this story, (I wish I would have seen the cool pictures and summary for children on the link above before I decided to just sort of wing it) and then built our own tents in the living room out of blankets. Turns out that blanket fort building skills decline with age and lack of practice, and Schmoopsie and I quickly found that the average 10 year old could probably whip up a decent blanket fort in half the time it took us. After a few failures and careful consideration of our architectural plans, we employed the use of a vaccuum as center pole. It all came together fairly well after that.

Once it was done, there was plenty of room in there for Daddy, Bug, the computer streaming the session online, and yes, even pregnant Mommy to sprawl out uncomfortably on the floor.

Bug held still like that for, oh, about 4 seconds. At nearly two years old, it's not surprising that the concept of relaxing and listening quietly was completely lost on her. In fact, I'm sure the entire adventure was simply a messy change from the norm for her rather than the cool scriptural object lesson it was intended to be, but we still thought it was a fun tradition to start early.

We decided that during the next General Conference in April, we'll have to hide Sherman underneath the safety of one of the wooden kitchen chairs to protect him/her from the hopping feet of the toddler and inevitable blanket collapse that quickly follows.

What are other fun traditions for General Conference? Our family also loves to stuff our faces with a breakfast of ridiculous proportions in between the morning and afternoon sessions on Saturday, and the girls enjoy a shopping trip while the boys check out the priesthood session Saturday night. What do you do?

Monday, October 10, 2011

Your civic duty.

I feel a little like a bad pregnant blogger what with being halfway done with this pregancy (what the WHAT?! Round two goes by ridiculously fast!) and no pictures of my rounding belly.

The easy answer for this: I haven't taken any.

The easy reason for this: I spend the entire non-working portion of my day as a crazy person-- cleaning, cooking, and trying to keep at least half an eye on my rambunctious two year old. This equals a great deal of pajama wearing and almost no makeup wearing/hair washing/leg shaving. By the time I am presentable, I am running out the door to work. I get home from work in the middle of the night, you'll remember, or in the early morning after an all-night shift. Neither of those are times that I want visual documentation of.

So anyway, excuses, excuses. I have a belly. Let your imagination wander. I'll take a picture soon.

Anyway, just so I'm not a total motherly failure to my little Sherman-fetus, I put up the obligatory gender poll. (It's off to the right underneath the BlogHer ads.) Give us a vote! For what it's worth, I'm sort of thinking boy. But I was sort of thinking boy last time, too, and you can see how accurate that was. Two of my coworkers know already, actually, thanks to a spur of the moment ultrasound play-date in the middle of the night, but I asked that they not tell me since Schmoopsie was snoozing away at home. The two of us will know a week from today!

Monday, October 3, 2011

Bonus Mommy Points.

It happened while I was folding up the blankets from our weekend fort. Bug came trotting down the hall, hair askew, with a mildly disgusted look on her face, attempting to spit out very small chunks of an unknown white residue.

Afraid to even consider the possibilities, I wiped the crud off her lips and tentatively took a sniff.

It smelled... clean.

"Is that SOAP?!" I asked, incredulously.

"Suhp," she repeated, nodding.

I demanded to be led to the scene of the crime. Tiny fingers wrapped around my hand and dragged me down the hall and into my bedroom.

I can imagine what you're wondering at this point, so I'll just go ahead and confirm it for you. Yes, that is my deodorant. Yes, those are very small teeth scrapes. No, they were not there yesterday.

I CANNOT WAIT for her to bring a boyfriend home. 

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Thoughts on daytime television

That guy from Cake Boss is always making a fancy cake to surprise his family members for milestones or special occasions.

You know what I think would really surprise them?

A pie.

Friday, September 23, 2011

You knew this was coming: barf talk.

I don't believe in most of those pregnancy related old wives' tales, and I'll tell you why. Time may have softened the pain of contractions in my memory. And maybe in retrospect the incredible, unbelievable, indescribable level of tired in those first few post-partum days has faded a bit, but I will never, ever forget the heartburn I suffered through while pregnant with the Floyd/Bug. The raging fire in my throat seared itself directly into my long-term memory. Nearly 2 years later I still can't drink orange juice because of one unfortunate empty-stomach sippage that occurred at work one day and resulted in actual tears. And do you know what I got out of all that firey nausea? Certainly not a baby sporting the full head of lush, thick locks those old ladies promised, that's for sure. 

Remember this bald beauty, anyone?
So that's why I haven't paid much attention to the differences I've noticed between my experiences with Sherman versus Floyd. The speed with which my tummy swelled right up and out of my normal wardobe is, I'm told, quite normal for Baby Numero Dos.

There are other differences, too. I've noticed that the round ligament pain--sharp, brief little zingers of pain that shoot across my lower abdomen just above the groin when I stand up quickly or sneeze--are far more noticeable this time. I attribute this at least in part to the fact that, at least to this observer, this baby seems to be sitting lower in my pelvis than Floyd did. I'm ridiculously short waisted, so maybe it's all in my imagination anyway.

In terms of the barfing (oh, the barfing)- I seem to be dealing with less this time around, both in terms of intensity and frequency. I know, I know, I should be counting my lucky stars. Let's be real, though- it's tough to be grateful about much of anything puke related when you are, in fact, puking. And trust me, I'm puking.  After somehow avoiding it successfully for an entire pregnancy and a half, I tossed my cookies at work the other night. It was not fun. I made it into the receptacle of choice, (because I'm basically a rockstar barfer) but... hmmm. How to say this? There was, ahem, nasal involvement which meant that even after the necessary clean up had been completed, I was still acutely aware that the deed had been done, if you know what I mean.

So there are differences. I'm not superstitious, though, so I'm not insisting that those differences mean Sherman is a man-child rather than a second little princess-face. I'm not insisting either way, actually. I guess we'll just see next month.

Differences aside, I've been quite lucky in both my pregnancies. I haven't experienced any back pain or significant difficulty sleeping, and I'm hopeful that I'm inching my way closer to the wonderous joys of life in the second half of the second trimester-- that magical world where baby is visible but not intrusive, where movement is noticeable but does not elicit yelps of surprise when a tiny heel rams itself into the unfortunately placed kidney. My work situation is a zillion times more conducive to pregnant/new baby life, so I'm quite hopeful that the insanity of my crazy 26 will be avoided this go 'round.

So we plug onward, bravely staring down week 18 in just a few days.

Biggest difference between these two pregnancies? Round two goes by SO FAST.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Fall Clean Up

I woke up this morning, and found myself watching my ceiling fan spin around and around.

Today is the day, I thought to myself, and officially declared the day Fall Clean Up.

Luckily, after a tasty breakfast of Cream of Wheat and peaches, Bug agreed with me. I might be the mommy and therefore think I'm the boss, but completing Fall Clean Up with an uncooperative almost 2-year-old is basically impossible. With the toddler on board, the two-and-a-half of us spent the morning stripping bed sheets, vacuuming floors, scrubbing toilets, and pulling all the tops that I won't be fitting in to for the next several months out of my drawers and folding them into tupperware bins.

And a measly 3 and a half hours later, I found myself flopping down on the couch, for once in my entire life looking forward to folding laundry because it meant I could sit down. At seventeen weeks pregnant, growing this Sherman baby takes some real energy.

Thank heavens for a good episode of What Not To Wear to keep me company while the Bug (lucky girl) gets a nap. Once she's awake, it's back to the grind, pulling out the clothes Bug has grown out of over the summer from her drawers and replacing them with the long sleeves I found for her--on sale PLUS a coupon!--yesterday at Carter's. Tired or not, it will be time to mop the kitchen floor and polish the countertops.

After all, the Fall Clean Up waits for no woman. Or fetus.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Because the first time was, well, pretty great.

Bug's been feeling under the weather this week. A few days after our very first trip to InstaCare on Sunday evening for what turned out to be not a UTI (but did result in a very traumatic experience involving a catheter), I noticed that Bug sounded just a tiny bit hoarse when I left for work. Halfway through my shift, I began getting updates from Schmoopsie.

"Bug's voice is totally gone," he sent in a text message. And then, "she's coughing a lot. She can't seem to catch her breath." Finally, near midnight, "she can't breathe when she's laying down. I'm snuggling with her downstairs."

I snuck out of work early and dashed home. I ran down the stairs, peeling off my blouse (because who knows what kind of germs float around in an ER) and pulling on a clean oversized t shirt before snatching up my miserable baby and planting a kiss on my exhausted husband's forehead.

Here is something I have learned over the past 22 and a half months. Motherhood suits me.

I mean, don't get me wrong. I fail quite often. There are many days where Bug eats too many fruit snacks and goldfish and not enough vegetables. Sometimes we stay in our jammies all day with nary a comb to touch her orphan hair, and occasionally we find ourselves watching too much children's television (which is brutal on the Mommy half of the equation, but hey. Laundry has got to get folded somehow. I'm looking at you, Handy Manny.)

Shortcomings not withstanding, I think motherhood suits me. I struggle to find words to describe the bond with my copper haired daughter that aren't cliche, that haven't been echoed by mothers for generations. You know the kind-- the sort of hokey "heart walking around outside your body" sentiments that are probably overused but nonetheless frighteningly accurate.

The best I can come up with is this: there is a part of me, a part which I suspect is located somewhere just below my throat, underneath my sternum and between my lungs, that was empty and lacking and somehow I didn't even know it. I can feel it there, lighting on fire when I see her soft, chubby cheeks smiling in the morning or her naked little bottom trotting away from me after the tubby. It's a part of me that swells until I think it may explode, and a place that is, coincidentally, directly linked to my tear ducts.

It's the part of me that hurts when I swoop up my feverish little girl and tuck her warm forehead into my neck underneath my chin. I feel her weight melt into me in the rocking chair, and run my fingers along her narrow little back. It's a place that is filled by her, but somehow has room for more.

One day and one croupy diagnosis later, Schmoops and I stood shoulder to shoulder, gazing into her crib and watching her chest rise and fall in time with the wet sort of wheezing sound she made. I saw the way her tall body fills up her crib these days, and the way her long hair splays out across the top of her shoulders while she sleeps.

She's just so BIG. We've been noticing the signs a lot recently. New words pop unexpectedly from her lips every day. She softly "counts" the items in her number book, two, five, two, five, which sounds in her little girl voice more like "tee-yew, fih, tee-yew, fih..." She climbs and runs and jabbers constantly. She is less a baby and more a child every day.

Like all mothers, I am proud and I grieve. I pridefully grieve. I prieve.

Turns out there's no stopping this incessant growing up. And so several months ago, the Schmoops and I decided there was only one thing to do.

Grow another one.

So we are.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Chocolate milk and Santo Jorge

A few weeks ago, I sent an absolutely unfathomable text out to my family members. Lunch time had arrived, and, being out of regular milk (minus one point for Mother of the Year) I filled Bug's sippy with chocolate milk instead.

And she lost her mind. Like in a bad way. Like in a throw-herself-on-the-floor-because-of-the-INJUSTICE-of-it-all kind of a way. I am the meanest mom in the world for making her try that chocolate milk.


This behavior shocked me. What child of mine doesn't like chocolate milk?

My dad said it best.

She's obviously not an ______ (insert his mother's maiden name here), he said. She'd be dipping her cheese in chocolate milk.

He's so right. We're food sort of people in my family. And that whole story is my way of explaining the huge quantity of treats I ingested during our family outting to St. George over Labor Day weekend.

We had an amazingly lazy, relaxing, hilarious time as a family swimming, sleeping, watching college football, and eating.

(As an aside, I am oh-so-proud of my Aggies for the strong showing against Auburn. Yes, I did sing the entire fight song a number of times. Let's all agree to pretend that the final four minutes, which I watched standing in my swim suit, dripping on the tile floor, was all a terrible dream. Go Aggies, go Aggies, hey hey HEY.)

It was the perfect getaway from the insane schedule we've been keeping around our house recently. We've been exhausted, in fact.

Months ago, after news of new demanding church responsibilities, several lonely months of working opposite schedules during the week, increasing time demands at P's work, and other new stress-increasing changes that naturally come with life, the Schmoopsie just rolled his eyes and sighed.

And just think: he got the shingles before all of that.

So anyway, we spent the weekend celebrating Uncle Big's mission call to Fiji by eating copious amounts of chocolate and cheese (not together) and enjoying each other's company.


Oh yeah. Also, Bug totally DUG the chocolate milk once she put on her big girl panties (not really, just an expression) and tried it. Maybe she's mine after all.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Stuff I don't get.

  • Young men who insist on wearing their pants so large they have to permanenty dedicate one hand to holding them up.
  • Women over a certain age wearing mini-skirts and/or tank tops in public.
  • Toddler beauty pagaents. (Spray tanning a 5 year old? I just... I can't... ugh.)
  • Comedies where a black actor dresses up as an older fat woman.
  • Handle bar mustaches.
  • (Let's be fair.) Any kind of mustache.
  • People with that foamy saliva built up in the corners of their mouth as they speak.
  • Unnecessary product upgrades, e.g., the scented handles on the package of disposable razors Kim bought not long ago.
  • People who are neither playing beach volley ball nor water skiing, but still insist on securing their sunglasses with those chum things.

What things stump you?

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Worth a thousand words

A few weeks before my little sister packed up and moved to rural Alaska to teach school, my parentals decided to get a few family pictures snapped.

You know, because the island she lives on is packed with brown bears, and, well, you never know, right?

On extremely short notice, my mom booked Linsey from EllieBean photography, and she did a fabulous job!

Bug with Nana and PopPop

The ladies. Ari is finally back from the mish in Panama, and now MJ lives in AK.
P.S. When did my litle sisters turn into supermodels?
P.P.S When did I get so short?

The boys. Aren't they handsome?
 I can't believe none of them share any actual genes. (Or jeans.)

The whole fam-damily. You're luck that you can't see the electric nail polish Maddi wore on her toes.
Basically, my corneas are still on fire from seeing her toes glow radioactively in the sunlight.

Sigh. I'd kidnap her if she wasn't already mine.
What do you think?

Also, my little sister moved to rural Alaska. Did I make that clear? I mean, what?!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Kiss Me Dirty

Remember how I still haven't blogged the details of our trip to Denver? Well, it turns out there are all kinds of things I haven't gotten around to blogging about recently. Sometimes it doesn't feel like it, but it seems there are exciting things going on in our lives besides watching the turtle episode of Handy Manny 850 million times.

Don't judge me. Double dog dare you to withstand the eager cries of "tuh-tul! tuh-tul!" from my little copper-haired orphan, especially when battling the aforementioned cold which was awful enough to make me misspell the word "throat" in my last post. I mean, really.

So anyway, one of the things I never got around to blogging about was the Dirty Dash I ran with my inlaws in June. It was sludgey, muddy, and fabulous, so I convinced the ladies on the other side of my family to run the Kiss Me Dirty 5k last weekend for a similar experience.

We dressed as nerds, which was essentially an excuse to wear the most ridiculous outfits we could find. Case in point: Brenn's neon green denim capris featured front a center. Neon. Green. Denim.

What would a nerd party be without a human pyramid? We were making some good progress:
 until we weren't anymore. Plastic rimmed glasses were everywhere.

We might have had time to try round 2, except that after spending the days before the race sending out messages to everyone participating about how to be there early and remember their picture IDs, guess who forgot theirs? Despite the Schmoops reminding me minutes before we walked out the door? And didn't remember until we were in Woods Cross, when we turned around adding, oh, 40 MINUTES to our trip? I'm pretty sure the adrenaline from the anxiety I was experiencing from our frantic dash to Ogden carried me straight through the first mile.

While the fam-damily and I had a fantastic time making our own fun, I have to admit that the race was not nearly as dirty as the Dirty Dash. It was really more of a trail run with a giant mud puddle at the end and the occasional hay bale in the middle of the trail. The 4 dollar canvas shoes I scored at RiteAid the night before (since I donated my old running shoes at the Dirty Dash) were certainly not designed for what basically amounted to a bumpier-than-usual 5k.

I was certainly the slowest in my super athletic family, but we all finished in fine fashion. I must admit, after a sort of sub-par racing track, the bubbles at the end were a super cool idea.

I wish you could see the deer and the American flag on my t-shirt, paired with the most unflattering pair of basketball shorts in the history of the world. I pity the Taylorsville High student that I presume owned these before happily shoving them in a bag bound for the DI.

We rinsed off with the hoses provided, and headed to Maddox in Brigham City to gorge ourselves on warm rolls and raspberry butter along with all the other senior citizens who were ready for lunch at 11:00 am.

I'm not kidding about that. One of the (few) patrons to beat us in line when the restaurant opened had a powered wheelchair sporting a bright orange flag on the back.

It was pretty startling to head into the bathroom and see that the electric blue eye shadow that had been caked on nerd-style in the morning had now faded to the point where your average person might have assumed I wore it on purpose. Shudder.

After lunch, we started the long trek home with a tired baby and a dirty mommy. All in all, a delightful way to spend a Saturday morning.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Making lemonade

Ever notice how many quaint little sayings there are about making lemonade or finding joy in trials? From now on, whenever the Schmoops opens Bug's door after a nap and immediately calls out for me, I am going to sneak out the back door. Since I didn't know that this time, I'm just trying to count my blessings.

I am grateful for this little peanut, for example.

Doesn't she just look so innocent? So perfectly incapable of causing havoc?

I am grateful for diapers.

I am grateful that Bug has strong, healthy legs. I am grateful she can jump and bounce and stand in her bed, the better to splatter with.

I am grateful for her nimble little fingers, skilled enough to undo onesie snaps and diaper tabs. I am grateful for her artistic sensibilities, with careful, deliberate poo placement ensuing that no crib bar was left out of Poo Party 2011.

Mostly, I am grateful for washing machines and hot showers. And oh, how grateful I am for Clorox wipes.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Note from Ill-Ville.

I am wallowing in the misery that is a summertime cold. The stuffy nose, dry throat, hacking cough, nagging, persistant headache--I'm basically a disgusting ball of my own germs. I gross myself out.

I am also a terrible mother. For the last two days, we've done basically nothing but watch episodes of Backyardigans and completely ignore the growing pile of laundry. It's all I can do to fix meals and complete the occasional diaper change.

Thanks, Schmoopsie, for passing along the love.

Getting well quickly is imperative as the sloshy filthy muddy Kiss Me 5K run is coming up in a mere 3 days, and I still haven't made it to the DI to compile a kick-a outfit.

Wish me luck.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

The first post about how we went to Denver.

Let's talk about why my last post was so horridly written. No, really, it was and we both know it, what with that abrupt ending and lack of concrete examples and all. But the thing is that I have an excuse and it's a good one.

See, the Schmoops and the Bug and I were in Denver last week and the lovely hotel we were staying in did not have free wifi (what year is this, anyway? I know of McDonald's locations with free wifi, and I don't pay to stay there for days on end) (also, we didn't pay to stay in out hotel in Denver, either, so maybe I should just stop complaining) so anyway we found ourselves one night munching on frozen custard at a fast food place in the middle of a long pedestrian mall and that place did have free wifi (my point, right?) and so I snagged the iPod touch from Schmoops and threw together a blog post.

And then two things happened: Bug was struck with the sudden and intense urge to spend lots of time with her hands on the floor of that fast food place, and also she pooped. Schmoops looked at me with that frantic look on his face and because we were stroller-free that evening I volunteered to sacrifice my arm to potential poop-leakage and hefted up the Bug and off we went. Right after I published that sucky post.

So anyway, Denver. Even though 2010 was his very first full year with the agency, (remember how he marched himself right out of his old job and into this better one a mere 2 days after I pushed the Bug out? Stressful. Also, a brilliant move) the Schmoopsie-face qualified for the Leader's Conference his company holds yearly because he is very, very good at what he does and works very, very hard at it. I am proud of him all the way up to the moon. Plus, free trip to Denver.

I'm sure I'll post details and some pictures when I find my camera. I bet it's somewhere underneath the 16 loads of laundry that need to be done. Here's the quick version:

Highlight: Bug pooped through every single pair of pants, shorts, or leggings we packed.
Lowlight: No self serve laundry at the hotel.

Highlight: Bug on the way to Denver. A gem, really.
Lowlight: The 9 hour trip home. I nearly lost my marbles, and I'm not 21 months old.

Highlight: Bug's super strange fear of the free t-shirt we got at the conference. Should have seen her lose her mind when I put it on her for bedtime.
Lowlight: Putting on a damp swimsuit. You know you know what I'm talking about.

Moment to remember: Bug had honestly said "mommy mommy mommymommymommy" so many times in a row on the way home I thought maybe I would die. A response from me, any response from me, was met with a blank stare from her, and quick return to the rapid fire mommy-ing.  Schmoops and I discussed possible uses of an audio recording of this, including torture. (Oh, wait. The PC term is "interrogation techniques", right?) Pretty soon we found ourselves with two options- laugh, or leave me alone on the side of the road to celebrate the silence.

We decided to time how long it would take Bug to hit 100 mommys. In her defense, she didn't hit 100 before giving up. In my defense, she did hit 64. In one minute and 24 seconds. Thankfully, we were laughing so hard by then that I was pretty sure my brain wouldn't explode after all.

How both Bug and I felt somewhere along I-70

Between fits of laughter, the Schmoops and I talked about the funny parts of parenthood, and about how some things make me nuts ("mommymommymommymommy") and not so much him (betcha "daddydaddydaddy" would've put him over the edge) and vise versa.

"We all have our El Guapos," he said. I laughed again, and thought about how smart he is.

And I guess that's what I was trying to say in my last post, too, when I was so rudely interrupted by poo.

Parenthood is full of El Guapos. And sometimes all perspective means is remembering that at least our El Guapo isn't the actual El Guapo, a big dangerous man who wants to kill us.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Things that are great about having a 21 month old

I imagine that every mom finds different stages of kid development that seem to be a better fit for their personality than others. For example, I love the itty bitty baby stage, and I am already dreaming of when Bug can read her books out loud to me at night. The toddler stage we're in now is full of laughs and learning, but it's also a little frustrating for me. She wants so badly to communicate, but doesn't quite know how best to do it. She also has quite strong feelings about the television shows allowed to invade her viewing experience. Right now we're in an almost exclusively Backyardigans phase. Daddy can occasionally finagle a Wipeout in the evenings, but forget about Project Runway.

There are lots of great things, though, too. Retrieving, for example. I haven't had to fetch a diaper in ages! Best of all, Bug can finally say Mommy.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

How to make my perfect chocolate chip cookies.

Not to brag or anything, but I make really delicious cookies. Want to learn how?

Step one: locate ingredients. In my case, this necessitated a quick trip to the store for flour.

Luckily, on my way to the store, I stumbled across this very helpful orphan child, and bribed her into coming to my house with chocolate chips. Quick tip: when looking for your own helpful orphan, keep an eye out for floofy, uncontrolled hair. Clearly, there's a child without parental oversight.

The ratio of cookie to chocolate chips is a very personal choice. In my own life, for example, I find myself sandwiched between two extremes. Paddy would be quite content to avoid any and all chocolate chips for the rest of his life (I know. I can't figure it out, either.) My mother, on the other hand, uses only the tiniest amount of dough humanly conceivable, and even then only because it is absolutely necessary in order to hold the copious amounts of chocolate together in the oven.  I find myself somewhere in the middle.

My least favorite part of cookie making is the seemingly endless process of scooping the dough onto the pan.

The perfect cookie texture is soft, but firm when cooled. Under no circumstances should a chocolate chip cookie be overcooked.

Hair safely corralled, the next step is to share with the orphan child.

Done correctly, she'll enjoy the snack with a sippy of cold milk.

And finally, store in an air-tight container with a piece of bread. It's an easy trick that keeps them soft and fresh that my mother, She-With-The-Chip-Obsession, taught me. Trust me, it works.


Thursday, July 21, 2011

Take THAT, February.

I put Addy into her pack 'n' play in the cool, quiet basement with a sippy cup of fresh water and waved goodbye. I walked back up the stairs, leaving the sounds of my running laundry behind me, and sauntered up to the kitchen to enjoy my lunch. I peaked through the curtains to my overrun backyard, where my lazy dog was sprawled out on the grass, soaking up the sunshine.

I found myself bent in half over the sink, fresh peach juice dripping down my chin and from between my fingers. Moments later, the pulpy pit and a few pieces of soft, furry peach skin were all that remained of my perfectly ripe meal.

Sunshine, a sleeping baby, and fresh peaches on sale at the grocery store: this is why I love summer.

Monday, July 18, 2011

One down.

I've been contemplating this post for a couple of days. Ultimately, I decided my hesitation was related to some sort of internal filter that prevents me from typing the word 'mole', so let's go ahead and get that out of the way first off.

Mole mole mole mole MOLE.

Ugh. What a horrific word.

So anyway, moles. I have a few, ok? I come by them naturally from every identifiable side of my family, so what was I supposed to do about it? It's genetics. I can't fight that crap. Mostly I don't notice them anymore since I've had them since basically forever.

And now I'm sitting here trying to figure out how to lead into this story, and let's just jump right in because there's no easy way to say this:

Bug noticed a small mole on my neck while we were at the eye doctor with MJ last week, and she used her tiny fingernail to rip it off.


Just to recap, this is the text I sent Patrick that day:

On top of your list of texts you did not anticipate today: Bug just scratched my neck mole off at the eye doctor and now I'm bleeding.

Any questions?

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Put the washing machine on standby.

We interrupt your regularly scheduled cute Bug picture posts for this important announcement:

Some of the very cool ladies in my family and I are running a sludgey, slimey, all-around mud-fest of a race on August 20. It's going to be such a party!

Want to come along? Post a comment (or just do that anyway because comments boost my self esteem) and I'll give you the info to register with our group so you can hang out with us on race day. Or, get your own group together, but remember-- this one is ladies only!

Saturday, July 2, 2011

And that's what I call a good point.

P: But, I just want it to be exactly like it was before.

Me: You know that phrase "can't have your cake and eat it, too"? You can't have cake, eat all of that cake, and then still have cake.

P: I know. But you CAN start baking another cake exactly like the first one as soon as you're done eating.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Next up: second grade.

We have this beautiful book at our house called "If I Could Keep You Little" by Marianne Richmond. Paddy wandered in while I was reading it to Bug the other day.

"She's not even little NOW," he said. "We should just start calling it, 'If I could keep you medium.'"

Maybe those of you who don't birth baldy mcbaldo babies will be less impressed by this.

I absolutely cannot get over my girl with a pony tail. When did this HAPPEN?

Friday, June 24, 2011

Mama, as seen in "The Wiggles".

This afternoon, I put Bug down for her nap and wandered downstairs to dutifully begin my very favorite chore--folding laundry. (You should sense the sarcasm in the "favorite chore" part. I hate folding laundry. You should also sense the sarcasm in the rest of the sentence where I said I was going to fold laundry. Let's face it; we all know I was hoping for a nap and a few episodes of Say Yes to the Dress: Big Bliss.)

The TV had been left on some sort of children's channel. I found myself rooted to the ground, watching a grown man in a pirate suit lunge and flail his way across the screen, presumably in an attempt to entertain the 4 and under crowd.

I found myself wondering what my own price would be. How much cash would it take for me to make a complete idiot of myself for a few young laughs?

And then a series of surprisingly vivid flashbacks slammed into my brain like one of those Acme anvils in the roadrunner cartoons.

Me, straighfaced, with Bug's wooby balanced neatly on the tip top of my head.
Me, crawling around on the floor in my pajamas growling like a dinosaur.
Me, hiding under the level of the bumper on Bug's crib, popping up and down unexpectedly with a new ridiculous look on my face each time.

So, basically, I make a complete idiot of myseself every. single. day.

And here's the worst part: I do it for free.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

The Mr. Gets the Shings.

Let’s talk about how not to wrap up a romantic weekend, shall we?
In our experience, it’s really fairly simple. Just do your best to steer clear of SHINGLES.

Oh yeah. I just said that.

A little back story for you:

Several months ago, we got a coupon in the mail for a gift card that essentially amounted to 50% off of a stay at the beautiful Hotel Park City. We decided this would be a wonderful and affordable way to celebrate our fifth wedding anniversary. Between my running in the Dirty Dash and Paddy’s busy work schedule (even on the weekends), our June weekends filled up fast, and this last one was the first time we had a chance to sneak away.

With the Bug safely bundled away to Nana’s house, we first headed up to Currant Creek on Friday afternoon to do a little fishing. The hubster and I used to do a lot of fishing on the weekends before I pushed Bug into the world, but since that time, he’s had to enjoy his fishing trips alone. Daughty’s little legs are just too short to hike around a river bank, and visions of her flinging herself into a lake or gulping down a couple of treble hooks have kept me safely at home with her since she was born. For Father’s day Paddy requested a joint excursion, and since we were headed up the canyon anyway, the timing worked out perfectly.

The drive was gorgeous, although we did miss our Jeep when we hit the unpaved section of the road. We caught a few pretty little trout—in this instance, ‘we’ refers almost exclusively to ‘Paddy’—and then headed back to Park City. The gift card was also good at the Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse located in the hotel, so we stuffed ourselves full of yummy steak until they basically had to roll us out of there and up to our bee-you-tee-ful room.

In the morning, we ran over to the outlets to do some shopping for the dads in our lives, and raced home to see that one little Bug we had been missing so much. After her nap, we hopped on Trax with our best buds the Ortons to check out the chalk festival that benefits the Utah Foster Care Foundation. Paddy and I stumbled on the show 3 years ago, and we’ve loved checking it out every year since. This year, luck was on our side, and the show was Harry Potter themed—perfect for Stacey’s deep love of the magical series.

I dumped an entire cup of ice water into Bug’s lap at dinner. Other than that, the visit was fantastic.

Did I mention that this story was going to end up with SHINGLES? Yes? Well, I'm getting there.

Schmoopsie had been complaining of a strange skin pain on his back and around one side to his abdomen for a week or two. We didn’t know what to think about it since there was no sign of a rash or bruise anywhere.

Until there was.

Sunday morning, Paddy had a small patch of blisters on his stomach. A quick visit to WebMD and I was confident I had the right diagnosis, because, you know, who needs medical school when you have WebMD? That's how I diagnose myself with spinal meningitis everytime I sleep poorly and wake up with a stiff neck. Anyway, in this case it was hard to know for sure, though. After all, Paddy was experiencing symptoms a full TWENTY THREE YEARS before the average person gets shingles.

Did I mention that part? The part where my 27 year old husband has shingles?

Don’t worry, I’m picking up his walker and a package of Depends at the store later today.

Instacare confirmed it. Paddy’s got the shings.

Let’s all count our many blessings that Bug got her chicken pox vaccine in October. (Vaccine haters, go ahead and bring it. Frankly, I think you’re freakin’ crazy anyway.) Let’s also count our many blessings that Stacey, whose immune system is busy helping to growing a baby, had no reason to touch Paddy’s bare stomach over the course of our outing. That’s all we need—to give our pregnant best friend the shings, too.

Really, he's not contagious, especially now that he's been gobbling antibiotics FIVE TIMES A DAY for the last 2 and a half days. Basically, someone who has never had the chicken pox or who has a weak immune system would need to rub his naked blistered stomach like a magic genie-lamp and then lick their fingers, and then they might get the pox. Let's hope he keeps his shirt on when he hits Chuck A Rama at lunch today.

And that’s the way we rock Father’s day around here, herpes zoster style. Recreate, relax, and can I have a side of SHINGLES, please?

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Californication, Part 3

Day 3: Just another good vibration.

The day began slowly, with the entire family shaking off the Mormon version of a hangover from the late-night party the night before. We spent a few hours in the morning crashing each other's hotel rooms and discovering which cousins can rap the entire first verse to Eminem's Lose Yourself. Eventually we all brushed our teeth and headed down to the pier to rent some beach crusiers. My extended family turned into the biggest bicycle gang in Southern California!

Here's Bug in the bike shop trying to tell us how much she dislikes wearing a helmet. She was unsuccessful in convincing us; after all, Mama is a trauma social worker and Daddy is a certified worrier. The helmet stayed.

This needs to be said: the dirty jeans behind Bug do not belong to my family.
 We rode all the way to the Wedge to set Bug free and check out the big waves from all the wind.

 This is the whole fam-dam trying to figure out how to lock up all of our bikes with the two bike locks they gave us.

They are so tasty.

On the way back, I risked life, limb, and lens cap to pull the camera out mid-pedal and snap a few shots of our own little bike parade. The boardwalk was populated by my family as far as they eye could see in front of and behind me. How lucky I am.

Once we pedalled back through all the wind-blown sand (can anyone say microderm abrasion?) we were starving. We stopped for some delicious burgers and fries just off the beach. I won't bother to bore you with the story of how I knocked an entire Diet Coke out of Paddy's hand, splashing ice and soda all over a 5 foot radius. Instead, I'll tell you all about how then we wandered down to Seaside Donuts for a treat.

We did a bit of shopping--sticky fingers and all-- and then headed back to the hotel for a desperately needed nap. Once Bug woke up, we decided a trip to the hotel pool to show off her tankini was in order. 

 The rest of that evening was spent standing around in the hotel lobby debating over where to snag some dinner. After hearing opinions from all 19 of us at least twice, we evenutally landed on a Mexican place just down the road which turned out to be delicious.

A good night's rest and it was time to pack up and head back to the ol' SLC. Bug and Uncle Big watched the whee-yas while we waited, dreaming of the day when he is a pilot and he can take her up in plane himself.


Thanks to the thunderstorms waiting for us at home, the flight was the bumpiest I've experienced. Miraculously, the Peanut snoozed through the entire thing.

We made it home safe and sound. Bug seemed disappointed to wake up the next morning in her own bed, unable to toddle down the hall to Grammy Lu's room. I think it was her first time with the post-vacation blues.

To that I say, welcome to the real world, girl.