Wednesday, December 31, 2008

String-Chewing-Green-Eyed-Girl


Actually, they're blue on the outside, and brown around the pupil. So is that green? Hazel? Brue? Hmm.

New Year Extravaganza!

You should go to one, and then tell me all about it.

Thanks for letting me live vicariously through you.

Happy New Year.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

She Loves Us

Mads is suffering from an awful case of separation anxiety. I can't even turn the corner, heaven forbid she can't see me, she turns into a screaming mess, gasping for air and teary-eyed. She's permanently attached to my ass. A sleepy baby needs Mommy. A baby with a boo-boo needs Mommy. A hungry/grumpy/hot/cold/thirsty/bored baby needs Mommy. A smiley baby needs... Daddy. She spends a lot of time on my lap, whether she's playing with toys or having a snack, I'm the best seat in the house. If she crawls away to go stand at the coffee table (her favorite play area at the moment), she looks back every five seconds to make sure I didn't go anywhere, then crawls back over and tries to sit back down on me (she doesn't have the best aim, and usually plops her butt onto my knee).

In other news, while I'm the holder of all things teary, Jeffrey is the holder of the smiles. The second he walks into the room, Mads' eyes light up, she grins wide, and giggles/babbles until Jeffrey picks her up. She absolutely adores him.

Am I jealous? Maybe just a smidge. I love being the comforter, the go-to gal of the house, but occasionally I would appreciate an easy smile once in a while, too. I feel like I have to work for giggles, whereas Jeffrey can just stand there doing nothing. It's just a little unfair.

I still like my role better though, so I'll stop complaining right now. Promise.

Oh Memories

This video is over ten minutes long. I shortened it to "blogger length", but it's still plenty long enough to get the general idea.

video

This is pretty much the story of months 8-10, she was always jumping around in there. It doesn't suprise me that she's so active now, into everything, climbing, crawling, and always on the move. The girl has just always been that way.

Sorry about Parental Control blasting in the background. The last couple months were pretty boring, spent mostly in front of the T.V. eating pickles, mustard, and Tums.

I didn't like being pregnant, but watching this video always makes me miss it.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Whoa Wobble

Here's a very wobbly showing of Mads pushing her first cabbage patch kid (I had at least fifty of those dolls), and the first video depicting her protruding-tongue-syndrome. This kid won't keep her tongue in her mouth. I hope she doesn't bite it off.

video

I'm an Idiot, on my way to the ER.

The guy downstairs is an asshole. I'm pretty sure I've told yall, but in case I didn't, he's an asshole. Today he was beating on his little dog, and when I say little dog, I mean this thing is about half the size of my cat. Maybe less than half. Usually when I hear that little dog squawking and him stomping around yelling, I give one swift kick to the floor with my heel. This is usually enough to make him stop. The first swift kick heeded no results this time, so I decided that a turbo-kick was in order. I turbo-kicked right into a support beam or something, because it felt like solid concrete against my bare heel. The pain was awful, it knocked me down with a thud that was plenty loud enough to delay the dog beating. I couldn't walk on it, so I layed down with Mads and forced her to take a two hour nap with me. Eh, she needed it anyways. So when we woke up, I figured my heel was pretty much healed (haha), because I couldn't feel any pain just sitting on the couch. The second I stood up, I fell right back on my ass. I think it's broken. I'm not kidding, I have a really high pain tolerance, but this shit really hurts, so it is most obviously broken. I haven't figured out how to get to the emergency room, since I can't even figure out how to get down the hallway (I've been crawling every where), but the second Jeffrey gets home, he will be helping my crippled ass down the stairs and straight to the medical center.

If it is broken, what kind of total dumbass does that make me? I turbo-kicked my heel into splinters. It's almost a funny story. Almost.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Merry Christmas to Me

About a week before Christmas, I was at my parent's house and Mum carried in a huge box wrapped up all pretty, and told me that she wanted to give me my first present early. I ripped into the huge box and found the one gift that almost brought me to tears. It was a set of pots and pans.

When Jeffrey and I moved into Vairo, we both contributed a couple random pots and pans, none of them matching, none with lids. There really wasn't much storage space in that little apartment, so I decided that I would store all the pans in the little drawer under the oven. My Mum had always stored her pans under the stove, so I just assumed that this was the whole purpose of that little drawer. There was one small difference between Mum's stove, and my stove; hers was electric, mine was gas. I didn't think there was a difference between gas and electric, except that my burners turned blue when they were hot, and Mum's turned red. That's the only difference, right? Right?? So I put all of our pans in the little drawer, made a pizza, and then started to smell something burning. It wasn't the pizza, it smelled a little like plastic. I hunted all over the place for the source of the nasty, burning, plastic smell, but I couldn't find it. Next day, I make something else in the oven, the fire alarms go off, plastic smell is back, and I hunt around once more for the source. Still nothing. That night, I decided that I was going to make spaghetti for Jeffrey, so I open the stove drawer to find a good pan. None of them had handles. None of them. What the fuck? I yanked all the pans out of the drawer and started yelling for Jeffrey to get his butt in here and explain this handle-less pan phenomenon. I mean really, those pans had handles two days ago, and now they are completely gone. Not possible. Before he makes it to the kitchen, I actually take a look at the drawer. In big capital letters, a warning states: Do Not Store Anything In This Drawer, or something close to that. Hmm. I'm sitting on the kitchen floor surrounded by a bunch of mismatched pans that don't have any handles (actually, one pan was left with a little nub), and Jeffrey walks in the kitchen looking very confused. "What did you do?" Uhh, I dunno. "You put them under the stove?" Uhh, I dunno. "That's where the flame is, Aimee!" Uhh, what flame? "It's a gas stove!! It cooks with fire!!" Why didn't you tell me? "Why the fuck would I have to tell you??" Doh.

Thankfully I was able to suck it up and not cry about the whole thing, although I felt like a total moron and Jeffrey teased me about it nonstop for a couple days, and then at least once every time we used a pan. For the past year, we've been using those handle-less pans (very carefully) and I'm reminded of my kitchen blunder at least twice a day. So when I opened that big box full of matching pans, I felt tears prick the back of my eyes, and probably would have completely lost it if my Mum hadn't been there to say, "It's just pans, Aimee." But they're so shiny, so new, so copper-bottomed, and each and every one has a handle!

Mum took me Christmas shopping today, even though I told her that I was thrilled with my new pans, and wouldn't need another Christmas present ever, unless those pans didn't live up to their lifetime warranty. I remember when I was in high school and she would take me shopping, I would walk out of American Eagle with $500 dollars worth of clothes, my arms full of bags from other stores and new shoes on my feet, and then cry like a spoiled brat when she wouldn't buy me the $200 Guess bag that would perfectly compliment it all. I was a total snot. Things have changed since then, I don't get new clothes often (none in the past year), and I can't imagine buying anything full price, or even on "first sale". Mum and I spent the whole day at the mall, her pointing out cute things that she knew I would like, me shaking my head and pointing out how overpriced things are these days. I picked out a few things, thanked her profusely, and hugged her twice before she left. $500 dollars worth of clothes seems like such a waste to me now, and I was more than grateful for my two pairs of Express jeans, found on sale.

I had a good Christmas.

Friday, December 26, 2008

First Christmas *Warning* Includes Pictures of a Half Severed Fingertip

Let's start with Christmas Eve. As you surely know, A Christmas Story always starts at eight on Christmas Eve, and then runs for twenty-four hours. I usually watch the very first one, but Jeffrey had to work and we didn't know if he would be back in time so that we could watch it as a family. This is my favorite Christmas movie, so I'm sure you understand how important this was. He called at seven to say that he probably wouldn't be done until nine. I was a little disappointed. Then, at 7:15, he called back to say that he cut his finger off and needed to go to the emergency room. CUT YOUR FINGER OFF?? I ran to my car, flew to OG, I was so worried. I had all these visions of Jeffrey covered in blood, pale because of the blood loss, and having to be carried out the door wrapped in a white sheet or something. When I got there, Jeffrey walked out with a little band-aid on his finger. What a shit. I drove Jeffrey to the ER so that the physicians assistant could put three stitches in his finger. He got a fancy pants finger cage and acted like a total baby the whole time. Apparently the cut did damage to his nail bed, so now he'll have a gimpy looking finger forever. Ew.



Back home, the plan was to let Mads open one present. That had always been the tradition in both of our families, and we wanted to continue it with our own baby. But then we couldn't decide which present, one from us or one from the G-parents. This kind of decision had the potential to turn ugly, so our first tradition was squashed before it began when Mads opened two presents on Christmas Eve. The first one was the walker from us. After the stupid toy was finally put together, I stood babe up behind it. The stroller moved forward a little, and then she followed it... the whole way across the living room. I expected that it would take her a couple days to get the hang of it, but she suprised me by walking all over the place with that thing. I put the babe to bed and we finally watched A Christmas story, me with a glass of wine, Jeffrey with enough Motrin in his system to numb his entire arm (eye roll right here).

Christmas morning, there were still many presents to be chewed on, so we let Mads at the tree and told her to have at it. She chewed on a lot of wrapping paper, and maybe even swallowed a couple pieces, then ignored all her new toys so she could roll around in the boxes. Jeffrey was annoying me about his car, we had left it at OG the night before because of the finger emergency, and for some reason, he needed it RIGHT NOW. I put him off until I could take a shower, but the second I had clothes on, he was back on my ass about his stupid car. I finally yelled at him and told him he was ruining my Christmas, which may have been just a little over-dramatic, but he finally shut up. For a minute. He was still salty when I took him to get the Honda, but we made up on the way there, and decided that we would make this a grump-free Christmas.

When we arrived at my parent's house, I took the first step to a grump-free holiday by pouring myself a very large glass of wine. Maybe just a little buzzed, I decided I was going to sled down the ginormous hill that my parents live on. I asked for more participants, got two, and then about ten spectators. Jeffrey's Daddy went first, he had a good start, but when he got towards the trees, things started to get a little hairy. He rolled off and slid about ten feet. Slight harm to one knee. I was next. I was using this little black sled, whereas the Pappies were using a Lightening Flyer, which has a steer bar. Mine of course did not, so when I saw that I was heading straight for a tree, I had to roll off before my ride was even done. There was a nice crack in the ice where Daddy had driven through the yard a couple days ago, and my ass smashed nicely into one of the tire tracks and stopped me. My Daddy went next, almost biffed it into a lawn mower, and walked away with a nice sized gash on his arm. I decided to try one more run, I just wasn't satisfied with my half-assed first try, and Jeffrey got this one on tape. The angle of the video doesn't do the actual ride justice. It was very fast, and I slid at least forty feet after I rolled off the sled. Totally awesome. Jeffrey didn't get a try, he just didn't want to chance it with his crippled finger (insert yet another eye roll here).

video

After presents were opened, more wrapping paper consumed, it was time for dinner. Babe had been happy go lucky this entire time, but the second I filled my plate, she turned the screams on and wouldn't stop until I took her out of the room. With Mads finally quiet, I went back to the dinner table to find everyone almost done and my food cold. Why would Christmas be different than any other day? My little big girl had noodles, mashed potatoes, cranberry, turkey, and even a piece of a pickled beet (I didn't feed her that thing. Ew).

At some point during the day, Jeffrey realized that he lost his finger cage (the horror!), so after we got home from my parent's, he had to go look for it. He found it in the OG parking lot, and was incredibly excited.

Mady received way too many toys, and I've spent the day today trying to figure out where to hide them all so I don't have to look at primary colors twenty-four hours a day. I've decided to give her one new toy each week to play with, so that she doesn't get overwhelmed, and I don't have to listen to all of them squawking at the same time. My next step is to get all of this Christmas crap out of my living room. Call me the Grinch, but I'm ready to have my house back to normal, minus the mooning santas and silver bells. Here's a fraction of Mads' Christmas loot. There are also a couple more dolls, more books, and enough soft blocks to build a life-size mack truk, among other various crap and clothes.


All in all, it was an awesome first Christmas. Even with cut fingers, bruised butts and kneecaps, slight hangovers, and only one full showing of A Christmas Story, it was time spent with people that absolutely adore my baby, and there isn't anything else that I could possibly ask for.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

I'll Write Tomorrow. Or Maybe Not.

















Either way, I'll have to post pictures of all of Babe's Christmas loot. She did alright for her first Christmas. I also have a video of me sledding down a huge hill that is completely ice. There's quite the bruise on my ass. Maybe tomorrow.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Home Alone

The G-parents took Mads to Walmart, Jeffrey is at work, and now I'm home alone for the first time in almost eight months. It's really quiet here.

Totally weird.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

A Little Bit of Everything

I haven't had loads of time to write anything. Jeffrey's parents are staying with us for a week, and they arrived yesterday evening. We did a quick dinner at Olive Garden since Jeffrey was at work. Even though it was almost a whole hour after bed time, Mads took it like a champ. Our Christmas tree had a total of maybe four presents under it until Jeffrey's parents got here. There are packages spilling in front of the balcony door, stacks of boxes surrounding the tree, and gift bags by the front door. Combine this mess of gifts with the entire room full of presents that my Mum has for Babe, and we could totally start a daycare service. Where the heck am I supposed to put all those toys?

I knew that the Grandparents were going to go way overboard for Mads' first Christmas, so Jeffrey and I went way minimal on the baby gifts. Mads will receive a walker from us, nothing more, except some extra kisses and maybe some jammies.

Babe has been super excited to have these extra people in the house. She only put on her bashful face for about ten minutes before she warmed up. Now, it's almost like her G-parents have been here forever. It's awesome to have two extra pairs of eyes watching her and keeping her out of trouble. I feel like I'm on some kind of home bound vacation.

Mads has been pulling up on the glass coffee table, which would be fine if she could keep her mouth off of it. She can't. She just has to chew on it. She scrapes her teeth over the glass, it makes an awful noise that bugs the shit out of me, and dammit, it's dangerous. Pappy went out and bought a roll of plastic tubing, sliced it down the middle, and put a bumper the whole way around the table. It's fabulous. Not the prettiest thing, but truly fabulous.

The whole lot of us will be spending Christmas at my parent's house. I don't know what it is about Jeffrey's family and my family joining for a major holiday that makes me weepy, but I can't help feeling this odd sentimental wave every time I think about it. I think it's just the realization that one tiny baby, my baby, can join so many people into one huge family. It's fucking beautiful.

Pictures are at an all time low right now, as G-Ma's video camera has been running practically nonstop since they got here. I feel like I'm on a reality TV show. I wonder which character I am? The dumb blonde? The sophisticated brunette?

The answer would be, the sophisticated brunette. Bye-bye blonde, my locks are now a dark chocolate brown, and I absolutely love it. Why do I ever go back to blonde?

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Vagina Candies...



Are surprisingly really good. I wasn't expecting much, but it's a pretty good combo. Jeffrey and I ate half a batch in six minutes. I feel a little sick. I posted the recipe here.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Sleep on Me

The sleep situation around this joint needs to change. To get Mads to take a nap, I either have to lay down and let her sleep on my chest, or I have to lay beside her and cuddle real close the entire time. With this set-up, I can't sneeze/move/breathe/scratch my foot/etc. for up to two hours. The second I try to set her down, she's awake and she's pissed about it. If I sneak away while we're laying side by side, she figures it out within fifteen minutes, and then she's awake and pissed about it. I get so frustrated because as I'm laying on the couch/bed/floor with Babe on my chest, I'm looking around and noticing all the things that I could be doing. Laundry in the dryer, dishes in the sink, a hot shower. All things that I should be doing, but instead I'm playing mattress to a seven month old for six hours a day. Forget trying to do all those things when she's awake, this kid is into everything. I mean everything.

I read all these "success" stories about babies that were Ferberized, and I'm so jealous. I could never leave Mads alone in the dark to cry, but I tell you, sometimes I think about it. Or should I say fantasize about it? I see myself laying Babe down in her crib, singing a shortened version of You are my Sunshine, then skipping off to take a nice long bath, complete with candles and a book. Out of the tub, I still have over an hour to do all the things I need to do, plenty of time to clean this place up and finish a load of laundry. With all of the chores done, I hear Mads giggling in her crib, and when I go in to get her, I find a well rested, happy baby waiting for me. Three hours later, I would have another nice break for myself. What a happy day it would be.

Oh to dream.

At least I only have to lay with her for one short hour to get her to sleep at night. Oh sigh.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Shortbread Cookies

Jeffrey has been asking me to make him shortbread cookies. Usually when Jeffrey asks for cookies, I pick up a package of Chips Ahoy and tell him to have a nice day. Very rarely do I venture into the terrifying realm of baking. When I do, sugar cookies are my specialty considering their easy recipe, and Jeffrey can usually eat a whole batch in two days (that's like twenty-four big ass cookies people. Twenty cookies in two days.) After I had dragged his grumpy butt to Walmart today (that place was insane), I figured I would make him his silly cookies.

Here's the thing with shortbread cookies. They're uber-easy, but to make a really good one, you have to actually buy really good ingredients. Like 'grade A' butter and pricey vanilla. Now, I don't buy 'grade A' anything, nor do I splurge on really good vanilla, so my cookies are never The Bestest. But I do have a secret. Cornstarch. Find any recipe for shortbread cookies, replace a quarter of the flour with cornstarch, and you'll turn your cookies into melt-in-your-mouth goodness, instead of crumbling, messy, mess. Here's cookies that I made, but I used one and a half cups flour, and a half cup cornstarch instead.

Shortbread Cookies

2 cups flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup butter (I use margarine, but you're really not supposed to.)
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla (I use a little extra)

Alright, so first off, you need two bowls.
In your first bowl, mix the salt and the flour.
In your other bowl, stir the butter until it's smooth. I'm one of those wack-ass bakers that doesn't have a mixer, so I just do it by hand.
Add the powdered sugar and then beat that til smooth.
Stir in the vanilla.
Add your flour/salt and mix it all up.
It should be really thick. If you're mixing it by hand like I do, you should start to really feel the burn in your arm by now. Stir past the burn!!
Flatten your dough and then wrap it in plastic wrap, throw it in the fridge, and go watch the two episodes of The Hills that you missed.

So one hour later. Isn't Justin Bobby like, totally drool-worthy??

Roll your dough flat. How flat? I dunno, pretty flat. Oh put flour down first.
Cut your cookies, Mum uses a cookie cutter, I just use a glass, but whatever.
Put your cookies on a cookie sheet that has wax paper or parchment paper on it.
Throw them back in the fridge for about 10-15, and preheat your oven to 350.
Bake until they're a little brown, it was like 11 minutes in my oven.

And that's it. They're awesome if you use the cornstarch. I sprinkle a little sugar on the top for Jeffrey, but they're perfect without it.

Somehow, I burnt three of them. Only three. Is that even possible?

Big Chuck, Little Chuck

It's Cracked

I wanted to make some Christmas Crack, so while we were at Walmart today, I tried to remember the recipe. I grabbed some whole pecans, a thing of dark brown sugar, and some milk chocolate chips. When I post the recipe at the end of this blog, you'll be able to see all my errors. So I bought all the wrong stuff, and I didn't have any real butter, just margarine, but I figured recipes are meant to be tweaked, so I tried to make it anyways. It looked pretty disgusting when I took it out of the oven.


Pretty disgusting and just a little burnt.

Maybe after I put it in the fridge it will be pretty.


Nope! Still looks like shit!

But it tastes oh so effing good.

Christmas Crack
1 cup REAL butter
1 cup LIGHT brown sugar (that means not dark!)
12oz chocolate chips
CHOPPED nuts, your choice
1 sleeve saltines

Preheat your oven to 400.
Line a cookie sheet with foil. Cover sheet with one layer of saltines.
(My cookie sheet wasn't big enough, so I had to use two, just try to keep them all together and touching.)
In a saucepan, heat BUTTER until melted, add brown sugar.
Bring to rolling boil for about three minutes.
Pour over your crackers.
Bake in oven for about five minutes.
Take it back out and throw your chocolate chips on it.
Back in the oven until they're pretty melty.
Spread the chocolate over all the crackers, then throw your CHOPPED (not whole) nuts on top.
Throw it in your fridge for a couple hours, and then break up into little pieces.
I hope yours comes out better than mine. :)

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Monday, December 15, 2008

The Little-Big Things

The past week or two, I've been noticing little things about Mads that I've never seen before. I feel like all the attention is paid to the big milestones, crawling, walking, talking, but I wish the tiny milestones got the appreciation that they deserve. So here is my short list of big things, things that aren't so big, but just big enough to be exciting.

The Mirror People. Babe has always loved the mirror. Put a grumpy babe in front of a mirror, and she'll be grump-no-more. Mirror people fascinate her. But they're not mirror people anymore. She knows that the Mommy in the mirror is the same Mommy that's holding her. When mirror Mommy sticks her tongue out, so does real Mommy. She looks back and forth, from the mirror to me, and she finally gets it. We're the same person.

The Sitter. Sitting came easy to Madelynn. She was an early sitter, and she mastered the skill very quickly. But she never actually put herself in the sitting position. If Mads was sitting, it was because I set her down that way. About two weeks ago, Babe was laying on her back in the middle of the floor. She rolled over to her tummy, got up on all fours, and plopped her butt down. She was sitting! She does it all day long now. She loves this new-found power.

You still exist! This one has two parts. Not too long ago, if Babe was playing with something that she shouldn't, I could simply take it from her, put it behind my back or out of sight, and she'd be over it. Lately though, if I put something behind my back, she knows it's there. Whether it's a toy under a blanket, or the pliers on the coffee table that I'm trying to hide from her, she knows exactly where it is and how to get it. I'm not so sure this is a good thing.

At the hospital when we were visiting Summer and her baby, we were waiting in the hallway while the nurse's did something with Summer. I was holding Mads against me, so that she was facing me. Two men were walking down the hallway, and Babe was staring them down. As they were walking behind her, she turned her head the other way to watch them walk away. She knew they were going to come out the other side!

Miss Multi-tasker. This chick loves to stand. She can pull up on anything, laundry baskets, coffee table, toy basket, you name it. At first, she needed both hands to keep her balance, but now, she can hold onto something with one hand, and actually reach down with the other to get a toy. Standing and playing at the same time? That should definitely count as a milestone.

Chewy. During my break from work today, I had Mads on my hip. I was eating some crackers, and she grabbed one from my hand. I didn't stop her. She put the corner of the cracker in her mouth, bit a piece off, and then chewed it up with her teeth. It looks like it's time to stop pureeing the baby food, huh?

I'll follow you anywhere. Sometimes I would leave babe in the living room while I did something quick in a different room. As long as she had some toys, she'd usually be happy for at least five minutes. Yesterday I was doing laundry. I went to switch the clothes, and while I was in the laundry room, I was trying to sing really loud so Mads could hear me from the living room. When I walked out with my basket, that kid was half way down the hallway coming to find me. Well, either that or it was a really cool coincidence.

Up and out. Sitting on the floor? Want picked up? Arms up! Being held by Mommy? Want your Daddy? Arms out! Communication! I feel like these arm motions are her first words.

Make some noise. What's a rattle good for? A newborn doesn't understand that if you shake the rattle, it makes a noise. So what's the point? At seven months, Mads knows that if she shakes a rattle, it will rattle. If she pounds her hands on the coffee table, she can hear it and knows that she's doing it. And of course, if you hit anything with a wooden spoon, it will make a satisfying thump. (Unless you hit your Daddy, then it's more like "OW!!" all girly like.)

Good Lord, when I read over this, it's almost surreal. Two years ago, if you had told me that this list would hold all the most important things in the world, I would have said you were fucking crazy. When did I become such a Mom??

Sunday, December 14, 2008

That's Gonna Leave a Mark

My parents have one of those houses, I'm not really sure what they're called, but it's like you walk in the front door and there are steps that go up, and steps that go down (split-level? bi-level?). If you go up, you come to the "living room" where there are couches and such, but it's one of those rooms where there isn't much going on. If you go down the stairs, there's "The Family Room" where you'll find even more couches, a wood burner, and a T.V. This is the hub of the house, the place where everything happens. The problem with this floor of the house, is that it's a concrete floor with carpet on it. Now if you have ever lived in a house with a concrete floor, you know that there is absolutely nothing you can do to this floor to make it not hard. Carpets, rugs, padding, whatever, that shit is still hard as hell. I'm sure you also know that no matter which way you land, if your face smashes off this floor, it's going to hurt.

So we're all in "The Family Room" today, Mum's on the loveseat, Daddy's on the couch, I'm sitting on the recliner, and Mads is playing on the floor. Daddy is calling to Madelynn, shaking her bunny and trying to convince her to come get it. Well Babe really loves her bunny, so she crawls over to the couch, grabs hold of the cushion, and stands up. Daddy is still waving the bunny, and Mads is holding onto the couch with one hand and waving the other hand at her toy. And then she lets go. She let go of the couch! It was like the whole room paused, we knew exactly what was going to happen, but there wasn't anything we could do about it. My parents and I sat there frozen, the fire stopped crackling, and the rattle in her bunny stopped rattling. She was swaying, swaying, going down!! Daddy's hand shot out and grabbed hold of her arm, trying to keep her face from smashing the floor. It was too late though. That baby had to fall on the floor, and all Daddy could do was hold onto her arm while her face slammed into the concrete. Oh the sound it made. And then a worse sound, the sound of a baby that is screaming, not because she's grumpy, but because she feels some real ass pain. Mum swooped, grabbed Mads and took her to the bathroom to put a cold washcloth on her head. Daddy was left on the couch, his arm still stretched out like he was holding onto Mads' arm. He looked like someone had just beaten him with a stick. It was totally not his fault, but I could tell that those screams hurt his heart, and I didn't know what to say to make him feel better. I ran to check my baby, worrying about concussions and brain damage and possibly a seizure or something later tonight. There was a tiny red mark and Mum had it under control, so I went back out to check on Daddy. He still looked sad. I was fighting back tears, but I knew I had to say something.

Me: That's gonna leave a mark.
Daddy: Sure is.

And then we giggled. Mads' screams were just beginning to turn into whimpers, and here I am in the living room, giggling with my Daddy about the big ass bruise that will be showing up on my baby's forehead tomorrow morning.

So I guess the moral of this story is, when something scares the crap out of you so badly that all you want to do is just sit and cry, it's probably a good time to giggle. Actually, the moral would probably be, when in doubt, cover the floor with pillows.

Mads is fine, but she will definitely have a bruise. I know I need to prepare myself for many more situations like this, but do they really have to hurt so bad? I felt it. That shit really hurt.

Friday, December 12, 2008

The Face of Tubby Time

Every evening, at 6:30 on the dot, Mads gets her bath. On Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Sundays, it's a real bath, I soap her up and wash her hair. Every other night of the week, bath time is merely splash time, a time for babe to chew on a clean washcloth and play with shampoo bottles. These are the baths that she loves the best, and her happiness is clearly written all over her face. Every night, I always kick myself for forgetting to bring my camera. I don't remember it until bath time is in full swing, and then it's not like I can just leave Mads to splash alone while I hunt the apartment. Tonight though, I wrote myself a note and put it on the bathroom door. Don't forget your camera!!

That's definitely the face of a baby that loves tubby time. That last smile is so big, it almost looks painful.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

A Very Random Picture

Black is the New Tan

When Jeffrey and I joined forces a couple years ago, we also combined all of our junk. With Jeffrey came the entertainment stand. I guess any T.V. stand is better than no T.V. stand, but this thing is about fifty years old and has been destined for the burn pile for about twenty-five of those years (I'm exaggerating, but it is a little junky, OK?). I hate the thing. It's all banged up, the knobs keep falling off, the doors won't stay closed, and it's ugly. Period. Trust me, I would be more than happy to have a bonfire in it's honor, but then our T.V. would be sitting on the floor. With no funds to buy a new one, I did what I could with five whole dollars. I refurbished it.

I wish I had taken a better picture of it before I painted it, so you could really see the mess I was up against. This is the before:

One small can of black paint and a little polyurethane later, you get this:

Now I know a coat of paint doesn't make that thing a good, quality piece of furniture, but it does make me insanely happy. So happy in fact that I couldn't give two damns that Jeffrey didn't want me to paint it in the first place. Now that it's done, Jeffrey likes it almost as much as I do. When will he realize that I always know what I'm talking about?

Oh and P.S. No, I'm not just really lazy, it's supposed to be two different colors, see knobs for proof, jerkface. You have to see it in person to fully appreciate the beauty that is my brand new, five dollar, entertainment stand.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

It's a Game!

I had Babe's hair up in a Pebbles Flintstone all day, so when I took the hair tie out, her hair pretty much stayed in the same position. I for one thought this was hilarious, which meant that she also thought it was pretty darn funny. I had to take about fifty pictures of it, and while I was scanning through the results, I noticed a picture that was not like the other ones. Can you find it?

So which one is it? It's the third one. Do you know why it's different? I'll give you a minute to go study.

*One minute later*

By now, one of four things has happened.

A: You found the difference because it's so totally obvious, and you're wondering why I would even question your intelligence by entertaining the idea that you don't know. You totally rock.
B: You studied the picture but just could not figure out what was wrong. You still rock.
C: You found multiple differences and you think my game is stupid because it's impossible to pick the correct difference when there are so many differences apparent. You kind of rock.
D: You didn't even go back and look because you're an asshole, and you don't want to play my silly game. You rocking? Not at all.

Regardless of which category you fall in, I'm going to blow it up and make the difference incredibly easy to see.

Not the most flattering picture of my beautiful daughter, what with the drool/snot/water/who knows? all over her face, but it's totally needed to get this job done.

Please tell me you see it. Bugs Bunny lookin teeth coming through those gums! What's up, Doc? Right? If you look closely right next to the left bottom tooth, you'll also be able to see the tip of yet another nipple tearer coming through.

Thanks for playing!

Tiven Lee

Tiven Lee, born December 9th, 2008. He's 7lbs. 9oz and 22in. He's long legged, has ginormous feet, and is absolutely stinkin perfect.


Not a spectacular picture of me, but Tiven sure looks damn good. I wanted to take him home with me, but then Mads started getting fussy, which reminded me that they only sleep the first five days or so, and then never again.

Stinkin cute.

Baby-Proofing Mission

During nap, I got down on my hands and knees, and started crawling all over our apartment. Holy crap. I'm surprised we've all lived this long. Nail polish remover under the bathroom sink, twenty-five plugs leading to the same outlet, lamp cords hanging all willy nilly, pennies under the couch. There are ice skates on the floor in the entry closet, fabric softener sheets behind the dresser, the entertainment stand is top heavy and not anchored to the wall, litter box on the floor (Good Lord, what would I do if she ate cat poop? Gross.), and leaky carpet cleaner under the kitchen sink. Baby killers. Everywhere.

My first step? The poison control phone number posted on the refrigerator. Hey, I'm a realist. Bad things can happen to good parents, too. With that done, I put latches on all kitchen cupboards except for one, I figured Mads would be extremely happy to have access to at least one cupboard door. I filled it with tupperware and pots and pans. Latches on the bathroom cupboards, outlet plugs on the ones that were missing, and mini-blind cords hung where baby hands can't reach. I sucked up about sixty pounds of cat hair that had somehow gotten behind the couch, sucked up pennies, a paperclip, bobby pins, and one unfortunate lady bug.

I'm going to the hospital to visit Sum and the baby, and on the way back I'm going to survey the baby safety aisle at Target to see what I missed. I have a sheet of Mr. Yuk stickers that Jeffrey can't wait to apply (Babies don't know Mr. Yuk? Are you sure?), and I'm going to pick up a baby gate to block off the hallway from someone on Craigslist.

Hopefully when I do my post-proofing crawl-through tonight, I'll be able to sleep.

It's Official

We've been through the roll, the shimmy, the bear crawl, and the swimmy. Exactly one hour ago, Mads put one hand forward, then a knee, the other hand, and the other knee. Repeat.

On a rainy morning on December 10th, Madelynn crawled across the living room. Like a baby! Not like a marine, not like a bear, and not like a professional swimmer. She crawled like a baby.

It's totally official.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Holy HTML, Batman!

I really want a three column blog. I'm a gadget whore, and I just need more room. I tried to install a background that would make it three columns, but I wasn't a huge fan so I'm trying to do it myself in minima. I now have three columns, but my wrappers are all screwed up and nothing is even. Nap time is over, I won't be able to fix it until tonight, so this blog is going to look like hell for a little while.

Maybe longer than a little while, I'm not really sure what I'm doing wrong.

Edit: Well I did have three columns. Now I only see two. Grr.

Edit at 11:21pm: I went half way. I fixed the silly ass wrappers, but when I was trying to make my own background, I gave up. I got my background from The Cutest Blog on the Block, and there are some really super layouts there. Although, when you use the background, there's one of those ugly ass buttons in the corner that links to the site. I hate those things. Another good layout site with equally ugly buttons? Aqua Poppy Designs.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Baby!

My bestest is at the hospital right now, trying to convince her unborn baby to make an appearance. He's nine days past his due date, but Sum's Dr. said he would be out tomorrow afternoon. Um, really? How the hell does he know that? Whatever, she's having a baby and she's having it soon.

Mads will be seven months older than Tiven, which in adult time is pretty much nothing, but in the world of baby, that's like fifty years. I'm a little worried that my babe will beat the hell out of her babe. I mean, obviously a newborn can't "play" with a seven month old, but I'm talking about later on, like when he's five months and Mads is one year. He'll be just learning to roll around and sit, while babe will be... uhh... doing whatever a one year old does. What the heck do they do at that age? Hmm.

Eh, I'll figure it out in five months. Summer's having a baby!!
Happy dance!

I Guess Yesterday Wasn't That Bad

When I crawled into bed last night after my day from hell, I was reminded that even on crap days, there's always something good waiting for you somewhere. I took a picture.

Question: Why haven't I thrown myself down a flight of stairs yet?
Answer: Every night, I sleep next to that smooshed up baby face.

Oh yeah, and I keep cheap wine in the house, but that's not as touching.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

So Today...

Mads wakes up on the wrong side of the bed at 7:30. Grumpiest of all grumpies. So I get up, change the gigundous diaper full of pee, and head to the bathroom to brush our teeth. I'm brushing mine while babe sits in the bumbo chewing on the toothpaste tube. I probably should have checked to make sure the cap was closed properly before I handed it to her, but ya know. Toothpaste. Everywhere. I clean Mads up with a baby wipe and then start brushing her teeth. She's screaming, I'm trying to brush her tongue, and she's just fighting me the whole time. Baby toothpaste. Everywhere. I should have thrown that babe in the bath, but I knew she would have breakfast all over her in three minutes, so I just stripped her down and wiped her with three more baby wipes. With babe on my hip, I throw Jeffrey's work clothes in the washing machine and pinch my finger in the lid. Sonofabitch. To the kitchen, I'm trying to make baby some oatmeal with pears, one handed, but I turn the water on way too high, shooting oatmeal, pears, and water all over my face. Mads cracks her first smile of the day. Real funny. I plop her on the floor and restart her breakfast. She's screaming, the washing machine is making an awful banging noise, and there's poop on my arm. Where the hell did the poop come from?? So Mads goes into the shower, I do a quick wash/rinse trying to sing You are my Sunshine without baring my teeth, new diaper and some clothes this time. The washing machine sounds like it's banging down the laundry room door. I scrub the poop stain out of the carpet, one handed, and go back to making that stupid breakfast. I finally get it right and plop babe back in the bumbo to feed her. Choo Choo! Here comes the oatmeal train! Mads opens her mouth wide, sucks off the spoonful of oatmeal, and then spits it right back in my face. Holy fucking spit. I wipe with a dishtowel and then try the airplane instead, maybe she just doesn't like trains. Sonofabitch. She doesn't like airplanes either. Breakfast is officially over, and my face is covered in the stickiest shit in the world.

Jeffrey? He's still asleep.

Baby is back on my hip, I'm walking down the hallway trying to wipe my face with a baby wipe when bam, elbow to the doorknob. The doorknob? Why the hell is that door even closed? Open door... Sonofabitch. (Now I have to explain. The door goes to the cat's room. Yes, the cat is so precious that she has her own room. She is also a fucking bitch. Don't ever piss that cat off, she'll shit on your pillow, I swear.) Wicca darts out of the room with a growl to tell me just how pissed she is that she was locked in her room all night, and I see the floor around her litter box covered in litter and two poop nuggets. Little shit kicked almost all of her cat litter out of that box as payback. Thank God I just changed that shit yesterday. So I skip this mess to switch the laundry to the dryer. I lift the lid without looking and wet sticky nastiness flies through the room. SONOFABITCH! The twenty-five pound economy sized laundry detergent that Jeffrey just had to have is leaking all over the fracking lid. The clothes? Soapy. I take the stupid detergent off the shelf and turn the washer back on. I'm cleaning that, one handed of course, when Mads starts getting all fussy and rubbing her eyes. She's tired? She's only been up for like an hour! So I'm rocking her, and rocking, and rocking, and rocking. Jesus Christ kid, there's poop on the floor, could you just go to sleep?? Finally she goes to sleep and I toss her in the crib to go clean up Wicca's room. I'm vacuuming and vacuuming but nothing is happening. What the hell is wrong with my vacuum? There's a little light that's supposed to turn red when the bag is full, but it was still green, so what now? I yank the bag out anyways and the fullest vacuum bag ever in the whole entire world dumps all over the carpet. I guess that little light doesn't work, huh?

In case you're wondering where Jeffrey is through all of this, he's still sleeping, all snug and warm in our nice comfortable bed.

Baby is up already, the cat's room is trashed, the washing machine is trying to make a break for it again, and I'm covered in vacuum dust. I need baby wipes. I'm baby wiping myself and Mads has both hands down my shirt pinching and grabbing. Goodness didn't I just feed you?? Oh that's right, you spit it in my face! So I put her in the hotsling so I can clean, and feed her at the same time. I put a new bag in the vacuum cleaner and sweep up the damn cat's room. I'm obviously making quite a bit of noise because I hear, "Ugh! I'm sleeping! I didn't want to get up until nine!" It's already nine. "9:30 then!" (Grrr.) The cat's room is cleaned, litter box topped off with more litter, and babe is finished eating. I go back out to the kitchen to clean up her breakfast mess and the washer finally stops banging. I feel a sense of peace. Switch the clothes and then flop onto the floor to play with my baby. Playing, playing, dryer buzzer! Mads and I fold the clothes, all happy and singing, putting Jeffrey's work clothes in a separate pile so all he has to do is bend down and bam, he's ready for work. "I can't find any work clothes!!" (Shut up.) They're out here. "I don't like this shirt. I like the ones with green words better." (Double grr.) Jeffrey plays with Mads for three point five seconds before he has to leave for work.

Geez, this is getting really long and it's not even eleven yet in this story. I'll try to speed it up, but feel free to stop reading at any time.

Jeffrey leaves for work and baby is back on my hip. I throw my hair in a ponytail and try to apply some mascara (no one should leave the house without mascara), one handed of course, and head out to my parents house. Sundays are Grandparents days. I hand the baby over as soon as I get there and then raid their kitchen. I'm fucking starving. Chicken-spinach-alfredo-goodness-on-a-fork is less than two inches from my mouth when I hear, "I think someone needs something only Mommy can give her!" said in a sing-song voice with a smile. (Grr.) I try to feed Mads while eating, but the fork distracts her and she just cannot eat while I'm doing something so incredibly entertaining, like holding a fork. So my bowl of yummies taunts me from the dining room while I feed Mads in the living room. Done! My food's cold. Like always.

Nothing really awful happens for the next four hours, I take a nap, babe plays with Pappy and Grammy, and then Grammy changes her diaper. That diaper is what brings on the real madness for the day. I'll get to that.

It's been snowing since I got to my parents house, which wouldn't be a big deal if they didn't live on the top of a mountain in the middle of bum-fuck-Egypt. They don't plow the roads in bum-fuck, they don't care about the mountain folk. Mum wakes me up and basically tells me to 'get the fuck out' since the roads look bad, not in those words, but that was the general sentiment. "And make sure you call me as soon as you get home. Last time, you didn't call. I was worried. Make sure you call!" (Grrr.) Yes, Mum. I slip and slide the whole way down the mountain, almost in tears because it's the first time I've driven in crappy weather with my baby in the car, and forty-five minutes later, I'm home. I have baby in one hand, diaper bag, left over alfredo, and the mail in my other hand, and my phone is ringing. (Shut up!) I ignore the phone and drag myself up the stairs. Now Mads, she's been asleep for the whole car ride and even slept through the jostle up the stairs, she starts screaming her head off the second I put the carrier down. It's obviously an emergency. I yank her out of the car seat and she smiles. No emergency, just needed to be back on the hip. My phone is ringing again. "You forgot to call." (I did not forget to call, it's a forty-two minute drive in perfect weather and I still made it home in that time in the snow. GRRR.) Sorry, Mum. I just got home. I plop baby on the floor with some toys so I can take my boots off. She's happy there. Really? Can't be. Too good to be true. I take advantage of the silence and go to the bathroom for a nice pee. When I come back out, Mads is of course standing with one hand on the computer desk, and the other preparing to yank down Jeffrey's headset. I scoop her up, yank the cord out of her hand, and roll her up to blow some raspberries on her belly. Good Lord, what the fuck is that smell?? Poop. Poop everywhere. (My Mother cannot change a diaper. She always puts it on too loose because she wants the baby to be comfortable, which is a nice thought and all, but if you don't put the diaper on tight enough, it doesn't hold any poop.) There was poop the whole way up her back to her neck. There was poop on the back of her arms. There was poop on the floor, poop on my sweater, poop on my neck, POOP ON MY CHIN!! I rush her to her room and throw her down on the changing table. There's seriously poop everywhere. I'm trying to figure out how I'm going to get her onesie off without getting poop on her face. I pop the snaps and ever so carefully pull her arms through the holes. Poop. Poop everywhere. I bunch the onesie up and pull it over her head. There's poop in her hair, poop all over the changing table drawer, poop on the wipes container, my hands are literally covered in it. And good heavens it smells. I yank the diaper off and surprise, there's hardly any poop in it at all. Mads' hands fly directly to her feet as they always do, and now they're covered in poop too because it's all over the back of her legs. I'm trying to stop her waving hands and she's covering my sweater and arms in little poop hand prints. I finally stop her flailing and pick her up to take her to the tub. I'm holding her as far away from myself as I possibly can, and she's giggling like a madman. And then she does the unthinkable. Apparently she was still a little tired after her car-ride induced slumber, and we all know what a tired baby does, right? She wipes her eyes, nose, and mouth with her shit covered little hand. Omigosh. Ew. There wasn't even anything I could do, I was covered in poop, too! I put her directly under the faucet and watched the yellow water run down the drain. I'm gagging. I can't stop thinking about the poop that is now dried on my chin. It was wet before, but now it's crusty and it makes my skin feel tight. Omigosh. Mads is almost the color of a baby by now, instead of that nasty poop color, but I was still completely covered up to my elbows, and I couldn't figure out how to hold her and clean myself off at the same time. I started to cry.

I used an entire cannister of Clorox wipes cleaning up Mads' room. Baby is fresh and clean, asleep in the big bed since eight. I've scrubbed my face three times, once with regular soap, once with actual face wash, and once with a Clorox wipe, but I can still smell poop. I think I got it up my nose somehow.

I have to work a double tomorrow. I've never been more excited about going to work as I am right now. Today totally sucked.

Friday, December 5, 2008

How to Open a Bottle of Wine Without a Corkscrew

I own three wine keys. Maybe four. The one that I keep in my glove box is missing, the one I hide in the kitchen junk drawer is MIA, and my favorite wine key I had loaned out to Jocy and have yet to get it back. So imagine my despair when Jeffrey walks in with a bottle of Beringer (my absolute fave cheap wine at the moment) from the state store, and here I am keyless. I tore the house apart. Nothing. If you ever find yourself in this situation, relax. You will get that bottle open.

Here's your tools:

Screw driver, hammer, and a big 'ole screw. None of those pussy little picture hanging screws, you need a heavy duty big 'ole screw.

Screw the screw into the cork with the screw turner. You could probably use your hand, but why? That shit hurts.

After the screw is almost the whole way in, use your hammer to pull it back out.

Voila! An open bottle of wine!

Another nifty trick that comes in handy? Let's say you're partying in the woods and you don't have these tools handy (not that I have experience or anything), all you have to do is wrap the bottom of the bottle in some kind of cloth (your shirt will work if you're willing to take it off), and bang the bottom of the bottle on a tree. The wine will actually push the cork out after about ten good whaps.

And remember, drink responsibly! :)