Thursday, December 27, 2012

The Snowsuit

When I was a little girl, my Papa bought me a snowsuit. I wore it for a couple of winters, playing in the snow outside the duplex we lived in and learning to ski in my private lessons at Alta. (Oooo, private lessons at the posh place. Aren't I all fancy pants?)

My mom, ever the careful and meticulous one, kept it in perfect condition and every one of my sibilings wore it, too. Turns out, after 27 years it is still safely stored in the snow clothes tupperware in my parents' basement.

Today, MJ put Bug in it. I'll stop talking now and just let the pictures say the rest.

Me, November 1986.

Bug, today.
I'm getting all weirded out, and I'm not even my parents.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Laughing all the way

Hoping that your family had as merry a holiday season as ours did!

This year in particular we've held our babies close, remembering just how terribly lucky we are to have these two little sugar snaps underfoot with health, happiness, and more than enough little extras to go around.

Ready for Santa

First Christmas!

Search for Christmas PJs = WORTH IT.
We spent the holidays surrounded by everyone we love (with the exception of Elder Uncle Big, who is serving away in Fiji. Bug singing The Wise Man and the Foolish Man to him on Skype was basically the highlight of our Christmas!)

After an accidental back-of-the-head-to-the-face collision

Merry Christmas, all!

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Lone Christmas warrior

With regard to the much-procrastinated buying of Christmas pajamas, which now apparently do not exist, nay, neither can they be found in any part of the land roundabout them.

Actual conversation had mere moments ago:

K: Babe. You've looked at a million places today. I'll get dressed and run to one more place before work.
P: I cannot be conquered by jammies. This is my battle now.
K: We're a team honey. We're ONE.
P: You don't want any part of this. Get out while you still can.  

Merry Christmas.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Social Realities.

If I sneezed with a mouthful of sweet potatoes anywhere near as often as this guy does, I'd have, like, half as many friends I bet.

(Picture was taken pre-haircut.)

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

I cut his hair again.

So the very same day I wrote this post including my questionable impulse to trim the Mister's hair--and despite Sammi's warning that he would look too old if I did--I found myself giving the baby's head of floppy hair the stink eye from across the room. And that's when I decide to just go for it. You know, one of those How bad could it really be? and C'mon, go big or go home! sort of moments that always lead to brilliant decision making.

 I'm sure the set up I had would've made every cosmetologist I know have a stroke right there on the spot: Baggins in the pink Bumbo seat munching on some crackers and me, sitting cross legged in my sweats with a pair of all purpose scissors and a kitchen glass full of water for me to dip the comb in. We were destined for success.

So the long and short of it is that it turns out he's a lot wigglier than the last time I tried this, and also he has a lot more hair now in a lot more places. Like, for example, the sides of his head. I gave it a good hearty try, but an unfortunate lunge on his part the very instant I was trimming around his little ears just might have resulted in some awkwardly high sideburns that generated some hearty laughs from a certain Daddy when he got home from work.

I offer the following items in my defense:
1. I have never been trained in the fine art of hair cutting. I'm a total amateur here.
2. It took about 4 and a half seconds for the crackers Mr. Baggins was eating to get all covered in hair, and then he got restless. Once he got restless, he really started to notice that, HEY, SOMEONE IS STABILIZING MY HEAD! WHY CAN'T I THRASH AROUND FREELY?! The obvious trauma inflicted by me depriving him of his God-given right to recklessly whip his head around brought on tears and hollering and, well, we finished up in a hurry.

Daddy mocked us both endlessly over the weekend, and today I took matters into my own hands yet again. During bath time, I sneakily picked up those orange handled scissors again and took a quick little snippity snip to the especially egregious areas on Baggins's head.

I am happy to report that with the notable exception of the sideburns (may they rest in peace) the Baggins is sporting an acceptable and quite nearly STYLISH new 'do.

Oh, and Sammi was right. It does make him look older, but so does BEING OLDER and he won't stop doing that, either.

Friday, December 7, 2012


When I was in Kindergarten, my teacher had one entire bulletin board dedicated to teeth. Every time someone lost a tooth, we'd get a laminated tooth cut out with our name on it on the board. I was sort of an early tooth-loser, so my name was splattered all over that board right from the beginning of the year. Trust me, no one wants to be that braggy girl with all the missing teeth.

On a non-toothy but related note, my teacher also had a racetrack numbered 1-100 along the top of the wall, and we each had a labeled car she'd move along the racetrack based on how high we could count. Since I got all sorts of attention from adults at home (oldest child, you know) and no TV to distract me (Bug may not ever learn to count correctly, but she can sing the entire Doc McStuffins theme song, so, tradeoffs...) I could count to 100 before Kindergarten. If there's one thing that tooth board taught me, though, it's that no one likes an overachiever. I think my teacher may have been a bit suspicious of my social strategy when I abruptly stopped counting ("...fifty-five, fifty-six, I don't know anymore. Really.") but she obliged and my car stayed right in line with the pack. MEDIOCRITY IN THE NAME OF CONFORMITY. YES.

So anyway. Teeth.

Bug had, I don't know, like a million teeth by the time she was 9 months old. In the fine tradition of his father's family, Mister Baggins can't be bothered to waste time he could otherwise spend being adorable growing teeth.

His daddy calls him his little chimuelo.

 There has never been such a cute gummy gaping mouth in the history of the universe.

If he was any more scrumptious, he'd probably give me hives or something.

Daddy likes the floppy hair. I wasn't too sure until I saw that little glowing halo around his ear, which is pretty hilarious. What do you think? Cut, or floppy for Christmas?

Monday, December 3, 2012

Guess which one happened today.

Sometimes I vacuum so I can sit back in my perfectly clean house and enjoy the pretty straight lines in the carpet.

Other times, I vacuum so I can't hear the symphony of crying coming from both of my children at once.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Mister Baggins Can't Sit Still

Baggins on the Move: A baby-crawling picture essay.

By nature, a picture essay should not have words,
 but let's just talk for one minute about those little crossed ankles...

Thursday, November 15, 2012

And then it was November.

 Um, guys? Thanksgiving is in a WEEK. Like, 7 days. What? WHAT?! It's like someone slipped something into my beer at a frat party and I slept through 2012. Only, I don't drink. Or go to frat parties. And also, why would someone bother with drugging me? A dark, quiet room and a catheter and I'd be out until Bug graduates from Kindergarten.

I've been thinking a lot about blessings. I guess that's pretty typical this time of year, but it's been especially poignant for me this season. Yesterday, I cried all the way through this video.

Just a glimpse of the devastation these families are facing was enough to make me squeeze my babies and send up a silent prayer of thanks for my electricity. And while it's a painfully obvious observation, it strikes me that it's all from a storm-- a random, unpredictable, and completely uncontrollable force of nature with no rhyme or reason for it.

 In my line of work, I have the unique opportunity to regularly see families on what is, to put it mildly, a really bad day. Folks roll through those doors bleeding and broken, and (if we're lucky) crying out in pain. I am so ill-equipped to heal them. Sometimes, the hurt isn't on the outside. There is no cut to stitch or bone to set because what is broken is inside, in the brain or the soul or wherever our ability to cope with the world lives, and I can't fix that in the ER, either. So I leave all of this to the practiced fixer-uppers, and instead, turn my attention to their loved ones, because most everyone has a mother or a child or a wife or a best friend (and really, it's worse when they don't) and it's my job to look them square in the eye and tell them that they will make it through this, over and over again and convincingly enough until they believe me.

It's easier, a little, when it feels like there's a reason. When we can look at each other in those yellow gowns while we peel off the gloves and think, Well, he really should not have done that, and move on with our lives, confident that we'll never be there because we would not make such poor choices.

And then there is a storm, or an earthquake, or someone else makes a bad decision a little too close to where we are standing, or something just plain awful and accidental happens for no good reason at all and there we are. (In my case, naked in front of my coworkers on a stretcher, and that'd be really embarrassing.)

It is what it is, right?

And all of this to say: I AM SO BLESSED. I am happy. I am healthy. I am well.

I have the most beautiful children.

(And just to eliminate any discussion on the issue:)

I have a strong, handsome, wonderfully funny husband who I love with all my heart and soul. 

(Further proof:)

I have fantastic friends (like the ones who took these pictures) and family and a foundation that tells me way down deep in the core of me that even when things aren't OK in the moment, they are going to be OK someday, always and forever.

And the long and short of it is that I am so blessed, and so lucky to have the chance to celebrate that next week with family, friends, food, and football. My life is so, so good.

Like, SO GOOD.

Aaaaaaand, end overly dramatic Thanksgiving post.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Some kind of birthday party.

You know how some people like to joke that they turn 29 over and over again? I guess because they don't want to admit that they're thirty-something now? I'm not overly concerned about admitting my age, but even if I was I'm not sure I'd really elect to celebrate my 29th birthday over and over again, at least if future parties were last, well, interesting as this one.

It sounds a little harsh, I know, but hear me out. I really shouldn't complain about the first three-quarters of the day, besides of course the horrible awful snowstorm that reminded me that my birthday falls a lot closer to the Winter section of the year than Autumn, gag-barf-and-carry-on-blah-blah-blah. I spent my birthday lounging around with my babies, accomplishing a whole lot of nothing besides spending obscene amounts of time on the internet reading all about how angry/disappointed/thrilled/nauseated/ecstatic various groups of people are after this week's election. Mister gobbled up an entire yogurt for lunch and after I cleaned up the cottage cheese Bug accidentally dumped all over the carpet (CURSE CARPETED DINING AREAS!) we had an all-around relaxing day.

Honestly 8 seconds before the cottage cheese launched itself onto the floor.

Two minutes after that. Who's my favorite child? (Kidding.)
That afternoon, the Schmoopse got home from work and I jumped in the shower to get ready for our date night. I washed my hair (for the second time in two days, might I add, and that's a lot of hassle) and Paddy packed up the kids to go hang out at Grammy Lu's house. The plan was to have dinner without the kids and then catch a movie without the kids and maybe even dessert without the kids. Parents, raise your hands if you understand the importance of those last three words. Right.

So into the car we piled, kids, diaper bag, husband, and me with my clean hair, and we made it exactly half of one block--very literally down the road and around one corner--when we heard an awful sort of knock-pop sort of sound. We both looked at each other, made a couple of jokes about running over a cat, and thought maybe that was the end of it. Another two or so blocks down the road we stopped for a red light, and when that green arrow flashed brightly and Schmoopsy hit the gas, my birthday hopes and dreams ground to a halt with the odd rumbling sound coming from the back drivers-side of the car.

You guessed it. We had blown a tire. (Sort of wish we'd hit a cat.) (KIDDING.)

So anyway, we pulled into a parking lot and stood in the falling snow looking forlornly at the absolutely completely flatter-than-a-pancake tire and trying to think up a reasonable solution that included a snowstorm in the dark with two tiny children. And no jack to lift the car. (In our defense, we just bought the vehicle.) Oh yeah, and a husband who had worn a short-sleeved shirt with no coat because, in his own words, "I"ll be fine! Have you planned some sort of sledding activity?"

Famous last words.

So anyway, eventually Paddy decided to jog down the road to a tire center outside the mall that was blessedly very close to where we found ourselves stranded. They were kind enough to let him jog out of there with a tank full of pressurized oxygen, even if he was wearing the little lightweight jacket belonging to his WIFE that was luckily hanging out in the backseat under the diaper bag. We blew up the tire as best we could, and even though we could hear the rushing of the air leaving the destroyed tire, we rolled as carefully and as quickly as we could down the parking lot of the strip mall, stopping to re-fill the tire every 150 yards or so. We made a break for it across the busy road to the tire center and felt so, so blessed that we made it there in one piece a mere half and hour before they closed. 

The tire was a complete loss, and we weren't really interested in replacing all the tires on our 4-wheel drive vehicle right in that exact moment, so the good folks there put on the spare (which they had to inflate, so the lack of jack from earlier was really a non-issue) and we limped ourselves home. Speeding down the freeway to Grammy Lu's house was not an option anymore, so the long and short of it is that my clean hair and I whipped up some name brand macaroni and cheese, Schmoops used our other car to pick up a piece of cheesecake from the Cheesecake Factory, and we huddled in for the night with our babies and a movie from the redbox.

And now, looking back, I really, really can't complain. We spent the night as a family, which is rare and treasured with the crazy schedules we keep. The tire exploded quite close to our house and even closer to a tire center where we could get help, instead of on the freeway in the dark on the way home. We were nearly always safe and warm and together, and we got to teach Bug about how our family is a team, and sometimes being on our team means being your very bravest self, even when you'd really rather go to Grammy Lu's and play store. 

Together, with my little team, was not a terrible way to begin 29. Happy birthday to me!

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Monster Mash

Happy Halloween! This year, the spooks began a week before the big day when we went to a fun toddler-sized Halloween bash with some friends. Bug started out the day in a timid sort of mood

 but with the help of her sidekick

she warmed up pretty quickly. We had a great time watching the littles play around on the floor while the bigger kids played games and ate snacks. I'm hesitant to post pictures of other kiddos, but you should have SEEN all the babies just Mister's size swapping slobbery toys and looking all-around adorable in their little costumes.

When I was a kid, (how old does that make me sound?) Halloween was always FRIGID. I swear I nearly froze solid to the ground a couple of times on the trick-or-treat route when I was small. In fact, every year I wanted to be a princess for Halloween, and every year my mom said no because she couldn't fit sweats under the princess costume.

So it was fitting that the year I dress my children head to toe in fleece it turns out to be a balmy 75 degrees on the big day. Bug's poor little Dalmatian puppy was super hot in his costume, and obviously less mobile than he would have liked.

Bug, on the other hand, was thrilled to be dressed as a "fire-gril." She's really into pointing out all the firetrucks around town, and loves driving past the fireman station where the big trucks are kept. She's already super jealous that Mommy works where the helicopters live (because we live so close to the hospital, she's seen LifeFlight land and take off a bunch of times.) If she knew that I also get to see firefighters every single night, she'd be green with envy.

Monday, November 5, 2012

You've had a birthday, shout hooray!

Two weeks ago, our Buggy girl turned 3. After my tears from the night before dried up, we planned a great day as a family to celebrate with our little pumpkin. Even though I offered to make purple and pink pancakes for breakfast, the silly goose opted for boring ol' oatmeal, instead. The two littles and I spent the morning together playing with the balloons we left in her room and managed to get everyone dressed and ready for the day. Daddy took half a day off of work, so once he got home, we packed up the family and headed to Chik-Fil-A to take advantage of the birthday girl coupon we got in the mail.

After lunch we headed to the Living Planet Aquarium. Daddy and Bug went once a long time ago, but I had never been. We splurged on family passes, so we plan on hitting that spot a lot once the weather gets cold.

 Checking out the otters close up. Bug wasn't sure what she thought of that plan at first.

 Mister Baggins had a fun time, too. He's a good sport about hanging out in a pink butterfly stroller when we don't want to haul out the big double one. Daddy, on the other hand, felt guilty the entire time.

The day after her birthday was the day of the big party. I spent most of the day decorating and frosting all sorts of treats for the party. Since I'm not as creative as other internet moms, I googled all sorts of ideas for decorations and treats. I had decided on a goldfish theme in honor of Bug's most favorite snack in all the world. I don't Pintrest (figure I waste enough time online as it is) but luckily I stumbled across this site and this one with all kinds of adorable ideas for a goldfish party.

I was so thankful to my mom for letting me steal her enormous kitchen for prepping and the party. We have a big family, so we definitely needed the extra space. I couldn't have pulled it all together without my sisters helping like crazy. Left to my own devices, guests would've arrived to find me still in my grubby clothes frosting cupcakes blue until the end of time. Megan jumped in to frost and tape paper goldfish to balloons and MJ twisted crepe paper streamers and cut out sea plants out of green marshmallow fondant so I actually had time to shower before the party started.

Bug was totally spoiled by everyone who came. She is swimming in adorable clothes and fun toys. Her daddy and I were super excited about our big birthday surprise. Do you think she liked it?

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Project Runway: Daddy Edition

I work a couple of nights a week, and I swear I miss all the fun stuff. Bug is always be-bopping into my room in the morning jabbering on and on about all the great stuff she did with Daddy "while you was at work." (As an aside, parenting takes on a whole new level of funny when your kids can tattle on your partner to you later. Schmoopse and I are always calling each other with insider info from our little blabber mouth.)

Last night, my phone buzzed on my desk at work with the following picture:

Bug requested a princess dress, and a skirt (including the THREE tutu-inspired numbers she has) simply wouldn't do. Luckily for her, Daddy was able to whip up this full length empire-wasted number with ruching at the top out of a favorite blanket, a hair elastic, and her Easter sweater to keep it Daddy-approved in the modesty department.

The long and short of it is that I've tried all morning to replicate the gown, and simply can't match his execution up to her discerning taste and standards.

Daddies are the best.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Three years.

Littlest Pollywog Buggy,

I spent last night remembering. It probably looked like I was busy as a bee, flitting about broiling chicken and whipping up spicy peanut sauce or dashing off to the store with Daddy to pick up your birthday surprise, but in my head was a running clock. Right now, I bet we were at the Orton's house watching the game, I'd think. Contractions were starting. We picked out crepe paper and balloons for your party. I-15, squeezing Daddy's hand and holding my breath. We snuck your present into the garage at Nana's house and loaded sleepy kids into the car to drive home.  Monitors on. IV in. Knees and ankles rocking side to side to manage the hurt.

After you fell asleep, Daddy and I snuck into your room with balloons and streamers so you'd wake up to a party, and then I crawled into bed and cried.

I guess I've run out of ways to tell you that you are growing up too fast, that it can't possibly have been three entire years since you slid into the world, that I miss your littleness already.  I'll just wait patiently (it won't be long) until you've outgrown your Dora jammies and your habit of saying goodbye with a hug, a kiss, an Eskimo, and a high five. I'll wait until you have a baby of your own and your heart splits and knits together a thousand times a day. I'll see it in your pretty blue eyes; you will finally understand.

So, on your birthday, I'll spare you a wordy post about how last night I cried over the sleepers you've long since outgrown and the funny little words you used to stumble over that roll effortlessly off your lips these days.

Instead, I'll just say this: you are the most wonderful girl. You are smart and kind and funny and lovely and you fill my world with sunshine. Even though I miss you small, I cannot wait to see the beautiful woman you are becoming. 

Sometimes, when we're all wrestling on the floor together in a pile of arms and legs and laughter, someone will yell, "FAMILY SANDWICH!" It's your favorite thing, and you immediately burst into laughter and clap your hands until we all pile on in a stack. 

Mama and Daddy are the bread. Mister Baggins is our sweet, sticky little jelly boy. And you, pretty princess, you are our peanut butter. You are the soft, warm glue holding all of us together, with just enough salt to keep things interesting. 

Plus, your hair is the exact color of Skippy. 

I love you, baby. To the moon and back. Happy birthday!

Birthday treat with Aunt Mim

Friday, October 19, 2012

Princess Hair

Bug, who has never even seen the movie Cinderella, recently saw a commercial with the fairy godmother dressing Cinderella for the ball.

I wanna look like Cinderella! she cried.

Go ahead, say it's my fault for ingraining those gender stereotypes. I don't care what you say, because she held perfectly still the entire time I combed her hair without the normal hollering and carrying on with merely the promise of a princess bun.

And so, if you are one of the throngs of people who have ever wondered what Cinderella would look like as a redhead and wearing an oversized glow-in-the-dark jack-o-lantern sweatshirt (courtesy Aunt B), a pink tutu, and floral tennies with a bit of washable marker on her face, here ya go. My gift to you.

Who needs a glass slipper, anyway?

Thursday, October 18, 2012

The Hee-hee Place

Last year around Halloween, when Bug was still small and learning words (unlike now--these days I'm pretty sure her vocabulary is bigger than mine) we taught her all about pumpkins and jack-o-lanterns and witches on broomsticks, and at some point during the conversation we told her the witches say "hee hee hee". She thought that was hilarious, and referred to witches as hee-hees for the rest of the season. This year even though she knows they are witches she still calls them hee-hees sometimes just for fun.

Around this time last year, Jessica and I took our kiddos to Gardner Village to do the little scavenger hunt searching for the witches they have set up all around the shops and restaurants. I'm not sure why I never really blogged about it, but it might have had something to do with being 4 months pregnant and feeling like garbage (looking like it, too, most likely.) Bug and her steel-trap of a memory have referred to Gardner Village as The Hee-hee Place ever since.

Yesterday, Stace and I took our kids over to check out the hee-hees again. This year, it basically consisted of following Bug around endlessly searching for the next cool thing.

Someday when the two little ones have actual preferences about where we go and what we do, poor Bug's bubble is going to really pop.

Bug was all kinds of sassy about getting her picture taken at first (this almost 3-years-old business is no joke and SO MUCH HARDER than plain ol' 2) so I had to sneak them in from behind.

Once we staged her as the resident Big Girl of the group, though, she pretty much ate it up.

The series of shots of the three of them viewed in order basically become a flip book wherein you can watch Mister Baggins jam his girlfriend's super cute cape right into his mouth. This is only stage one.


Luckily, she didn't seem to mind her clothing covered in his slobber. We have such great friends.

We had a great time! The weather could not have been more beautiful, and there's nothing better than a free seasonal activity with plenty of photo ops to make me feel like a good mom.