Monday, December 31, 2007

what??

Completely gratuitous picture. Just to get you interested in this crazy long post.

It's New Years Eve? What? M pointed out yesterday that New Years Day means it will no longer be the year that our little munchkin was born. That might not seem odd to, say, Feathernester or my friend K, whose children were born in November and December, but mine was born in January. I've had almost a whole year of it being the calendar year in which she was born.

People, January starts tomorrow. A new year. The year when she turns ONE. Are you picking up on the fact that I'm hyperventilating? Just a little? Wow. It's insane how quickly everything is happening. She walks everywhere now. She "talks." She eats anything and everything you put in front of her. She is a real kid. Kind of. What happened to my baby? I can't imagine what this feels like to people who have kindergarteners or high schoolers or babies getting married and having babies of their own. Dang. Bring on the Prozac now. I'm going to need it.

Moving on...to prevent my need to find a paper sack to breathe into.

The New Year, as always, brings its demand for resolutions. I batted .500 with my 2007 resolutions. I did lose the baby weight...and my boobs, but that's another issue entirely. (Sorry for the nausea tsunami that just hit the GIS Department at FMSM/Stantec.) Otis, however, got the short end of the deal. He's pretty lucky to get walked twice a week. Lucky. I can't walk him on my own when I take S out as he pulls too badly despite training and a gentle leader, so he can only be walked when M is home. As M leaves for work at 6:30 in the morning and S still wakes for a morning feeding between 5:30 and 6, I'd have to get up at 5 to walk him. Not happening. I am selfish. Then...M's dad comes over for dinner when M gets home from work between 6 and 6:30...then the kitchen has to be cleaned and S goes to bed at 7:30. The other option is that I could walk him after S is asleep, which means walking him around 8. Again, I'm selfish. I'm pooped by that point, plus it's winter, meaning it's cold and very dark at 8pm. That means that Otis gets walks on the weekends. I feel horrible having typed out that explanation for my poor dog-parenting. I'm basically admitting that I'm too lazy to wake up early or go out late to walk my sweet pup. I'll try harder in '08.

All that brings me to the upcoming year. Like everyone (I think) abstract goals are easy to come by. Be a good wife and mother. Be healthier. Continue the green crusade. Concrete is hard, though. We started one resolution already...cutting out soda. I wanted to eliminate it from the house entirely, but Mr. P drinks it with dinner, and M said I shouldn't penalize his dad with my resolutions. While I still believe M's padre would be better off drinking water with his dinner, too, I've kept soda in the fridge for him. For now. I'd rather not have it in the house as S gets older. So, for now, I'll stick to no sodas in the house for me. I've got 365 days to go. I've also decided that (abstract goal) we are going to start treating our health as an investment. M and I have no problems saving money and foregoing things that we may want when we are working towards financial goals like buying cars or houses or paying for vacations. We're downright good at it. We tend to neglect ourselves, though. To make it easier on us, I've decided that we should start looking at taking care of ourselves as another investment...the time and money that we put into it now will save us money and resources later. Plus, I can think of it as an environmentally friendly investment. The more medical problems we can head off now...the less energy and packaging for medicines and medical treatments later. To try and be more concrete about that goal I want to make sure that we are each eating at least three superfoods a day. I also want to try the walking the dog thing again. Plus, I'd like to practice yoga at least twice a week. Yoga is easy enough to fit in during S's naps. I just have to remember that my health is as important as the dishes in the dishwasher. M has to remember that his health is more important than Sportsline.com. (I know, I totally just called you out.)

I have to get in the shower. I've got things to do today, peeps. Have a happy and safe New Year. I'll see you on the flip side.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

happy christmas

What a perfectly perfect day. S woke up a little early, but that's okay. We had lots of fun checking out the loot from Santa and from friends. Then we decided to start a new P family Christmas tradition, and we took a walk just after we finished opening gifts and eating some Blueberry Cranberry Muffins, which were very yummy. The walk was great, and it was nice to be outside on such a quiet and peaceful morning. We only saw two people...a dad warming up the car and Max (a friend's son) trying out his new skateboard. For the record, he wiped out immediately. M and I had a relaxing middle of the day, slowly getting Christmas dinner ready. We pigged out at 3, and now we're chilling out with Mr. P while S takes a nap. It's been an absolutely wonderful day. I hope yours have been great, too. Here are some pics...

Santa only comes to see little girls with good oral hygiene.

The loot.

Playing the ladybug xylophone.

Wondering where it all went wrong.

Zoom.

Bundled up for a Christmas stroll.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

i go out walking...

You have my sincerest apologies for not posting recently. I know your holidays have been incomplete without your daily dose of all-things Ouiser. It's been busy around here. You know how it is.

Despite our having been running all over this week, we haven't had much going on. Last Sunday night, S hosted her first dinner party for her friends AJG and ALB (and their parents). It was lots and lots of fun. We hadn't had a chance to get the babies together since they all three became mobile, so it was great to watch them all together. ALB was especially interested in Otis as she doesn't have a dog. You'll notice in the picture that he was at the center of everything.The big news...if you can imagine bigger news than the infant dinner party...S is WALKING!! That's right, I said walking. Upright. On her feet. On her own. She only goes a few steps, but she's doing it, and it's so funny to watch. Hopefully, I'll have some video to post soon. That, of course, implies that I'll figure out how to do it. We'll see. Maybe you should just imagine S walking and then be pleasantly surprised if I post video. Yeah, try that.

Anyway, happy Saturday, peeps. If you're traveling for Christmas, be safe...

Friday, December 14, 2007

ready, set, go...

Is the weekend really almost here? What happened to all the days like Wednesday this week? It seems like yesterday that I was lamenting to my FIL that, "this has been a long weekend." The P family has quite a bit to accomplish this weekend. Lots of cleaning up to do around the house because Santa doesn't visit messy houses, and I'd hate to miss Santa. We're also having a little dinner party Sunday night, so I've got some grocery shopping and some cooking to do. And Mr. P needs a haircut in a bad, bad way. Pretty soon he could go the Flock of Seagulls route. Not really an appropriate look for an older man. Or a man not living in 1985. Oh, in other news...S sort of walked yesterday. She's been taking one little step for awhile now. By "one step," I mean she moves one foot forward then plops down. Yesterday, though, there were two steps. She was after the cookie I was eating. How hysterical is that? I laughed and laughed and laughed. Then I gave her well-deserved bite of my cookie, which she thought was great.

She's also officially got a first actual word (not just syllables that coincide with words like bye bye and dada and mama), though it's not at all what she's trying to say. It's OTIS! Really, it's O-din, but she's trying so hard. She makes the right motions with her face, but her vocal cords aren't really cooperating. She says it, though, and it's adorable.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

santa claus is in town...

We took S to see Santa Claus yesterday afternoon. It was great. I apologize for the poor photo quality...it's scanned.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

recover with ecover?

Am I on the way to recovering from yesterday's green depression? Maybe. My travels this morning took me to the immediate vicinity of Wild Oats, so I picked up some Ecover dish powder. I know, I know. I said no powder, and I would prefer liquid or cubes. Ecover makes cubes, but they were sold out, and since I am almost out of detergent and I don't know how often I'll be near Wild Oats, I went ahead and bought what they had. While there were several other brands that I'd never heard of and several that were just crazy pricey, I chose this one. One of the detergents was so expensive, you could just continuously replace your dishes instead of washing them and still come out ahead (monetarily speaking, I realize it defeats the green point). So, I'll keep you all posted on the pros and cons. It'll be a few days, though. I know you're on pins and needles with anticipation.

Beyond that, there isn't much going on around here. M and I both had dentist appointments this morning. We really like our dentist's office. All the girls there (and it is all girls, not a man in sight) are very nice, and they are good at what they do. Our usual hygienist, Sarabeth, is so good you'd never even know she was working on your teeth. You never feel anything. I love her. I was not fortunate enough to get her today, though. Instead I got Brenda. I'd never had the pleasure before, and I'm using the word pleasure very loosely. Very. The woman is a sadist. She must absolutely abhor teeth and gums. I am not a bleeder. This lady made the gums around my front teeth bleed. I didn't even know that was possible. Then she had the audacity to tell me that my gums were bleeding, so I probably wasn't flossing enough. Maybe she was just trying to murderize the inside of my mouth. I floss at least every other day. I don't think my flossing habits had anything to do with my current need for a blood transfusion. My mouth feels like someone took a jackhammer to the insides of my teeth. I'm going to have to request that I never have her again. It's not worth it. She is the kind of dental employee that makes people afraid of the dentist. Apparently, M has drawn the short straw and gotten stuck with her before. She tried to kill him, too.

I'm out, peeps. Enjoy your afternoon with (hopefully) perfectly normal mouths.

Monday, December 10, 2007

guilty as charged

I think my ongoing battle with green guilt has been pretty well documented. For the most part, all of the green guilt in our little family falls on my shoulders. Not that M is at all environmentally irresponsible, but his role in most endeavors is to keep me sane and grounded. He puts things into perspective. So you can imagine my surprise when he fell into a funk Saturday after watching the video posted on Feathernester's site. Based on what it did to him, I'm not watching it. (Sorry, Feathernester, I just can't do it to myself.)

I really don't know where to go from here. I'm trying to phase plastics out of the house, but I'm not getting rid of things until they need to be gotten rid of. That just seems wasteful, right? I will, however, be replacing all of our re-usable plastic Glad containers with glass containers as they inevitably migrate away from our house (where do they go?). I'll also be slowly replacing our plastic hangers with wooden hangers, which I honestly prefer anyway. To get rid of other chemicals, I'll be purchasing some dryer balls when the current supply of fabric softener sheets run out. We already use Method cleaners throughout the house, though I use Cascade dishwasher cubes and All Free and Clear as I can buy them in bulk. Therein lies a dilemma. I'm great with the laundry detergent. No chemicals there, and I feel good about there being less packaging involved because I buy the container that I can barely lift. The dishwasher cubes are an issue, though. I know that Cascade is not the best option out there. I used to use the Method dish cubes, but they come in pretty small containers, so I felt like I was constantly headed to Target for more. With the Cascade cubes, I can buy them three times a year. I know that Seventh Generation has some options, but I really don't like to use powder as I tend to get it everywhere, and I think their liquid only comes in Lemon. I don't use lemon products on my dishes. It's too harsh. I guess I need to prioritize. Or do some research, eh?

Once again, green tips are appreciated as the P family is once again headed down our green shame spiral.

Oh, I have vowed that this will be the last year that I buy wrapping paper for gifts. I had already bought our Christmas paper when it went on sale last year, so now I'm waiting for our supplies to run out. From now on, we'll be reusing whatever paper I can find for Christmas, birthdays, baby gifts, you name it. I'm not sure that I can give up ribbon, though.

I'm out, people. I have to feed a baby.

Friday, December 07, 2007

you call this a meal?

I am amazed. Amazed at the random crap I can put onto a plate and call a meal for my child. I'm trying to recall her last few meals. Here's a sample of the kind of "meals" I've been feeding her. Breakfast is the same everyday: handful of Cheerios, one banana, and either a cinnamon nutri-grain waffle or a piece of whole wheat toast. Some of this week's lunches: whole wheat cheese quesadilla and grapes; diced cheese, diced chicken, and Cheerios; grated pear, toast, and green beans.

I usually try to incorporate at least part of our dinner into hers, so sometimes her dinners seem normal. Like last night's dinner. She and I ate the exact same meal. Baked chicken, whole wheat mac and cheese, and green peas. She's also been eating butternut squash this week. She loves squash. Almost as much as she loves eggplant. I feel like I've gotten into a rut with her meals, relying on the staples: steamed carrots, green beans, apples, pears, sweet potatoes, eggplant, squash, English peas. To try and bust out of the rut, I attempted lentil burgers for her this week, and she did not like them. (Not to mention the intestinal issues they caused the poor child.) Like Jayne's Ave, I have trouble with proteins for little bit. We don't eat a lot of meat, so I have to make sure that I'm feeding her enough protein. It would be easier if M ate beans and I could just throw those to her, but he doesn't. I've given her cooked lentils before, but they were hard to eat as they are so small. She likes smooshed chickpeas, but I'm trying to get her to like more things, so this week, I'm making her red beans. I hope she likes them.

I've also made a new list of things to try her on: blueberries, which I've been avoiding based on Toddler Tamer's warning about blueberry poopers, grape tomatoes, tofu, cantaloupe, asparagus, broccoli, and corn. I have another list of things that I'll have to wait until next summer for: mango, apricots, kiwi, and peaches (attempt #2). So, I'll keep trying to round out her diet...

Wish me luck.

Oh, and she has a new trick. (I say that like, "Watch how my dog can play dead.") If you start saying the first lines of one of her books, she'll go get that book and bring it back to you. It's really cute. It's especially cute when the book you're talking about isn't in plain sight and she has too actually look for it. I, of course, take this as another sign of her brilliance and future as a Rhodes Scholar. I mean, they'll go ahead and bestow that honor upon her based on her ability to recognize the cover of But Not the Hippopotamus, right? Good.

Have a great weekend, peeps.

FIVE SENSES FRIDAY
Sight: S giving Otis a hug, S wearing tights for the first time
Sound: Barenaked for the Holidays
Smell: cookies baking, melted chocolate
Taste: holiday goodies
Touch: flannel sheets, fluffy towels out of the dryer

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

happy Hanukkah

We are certifiable WASPs. We'd be card-carrying WASPs if they issued cards...I mean, look at us. I have an Episcopal Church sticker on my car for crying out loud. Just the same, we want S to appreciate that there are people out there that aren't just like us. I don't want my daughter to grow up saying things that are offensive to other groups of people because she's ignorant about those people. To kick start the process, we've set up a makeshift menorah for Hanukkah, which started last night at sundown. I don't speak Hebrew, so we didn't recite any blessings or sing any traditional songs or anything, but we did light the first candle, and we ate salmon and latkes for dinner. It was nice, but I think M's daddy was seriously confused by what was going on.

Beyond that, nice and reverent is out the window for this post. Has anyone else been following the Jennifer Love Hewitt, "a size 2 is not fat!" thing? Basically, she (who has a rockin' body, people...you have to love a girl with a booty and some tatas, right?) was photographed in a bikini recently, and she has-gasp!- cellulite. Who cares? How many real people do you actually know without cellulite? If you know any, you should remind them to thank their mothers for their genes because we all know that being skinny or being pudgy has nothing to do with cellulite. My grandma had it. My mom has it. I've had cellulite since I was a 14-year-old cheerleader. And I wasn't fat then, and I'm not fat now. Anyway, the photos hit the internet and everyone started saying she's let herself get fat. She has responded by saying that she's not fat. This is what she looks like and people need to get over it and start embracing their bodies. When I read about this on Monday, I was so happy. Good for her. Of course, if she suddenly becomes a bobblehead in a month, I'll be seriously peeved. Anyway, I'm pretty happy with my body. I always feel like I should be thinner, but in reality, I am a pretty small person. Society just makes us all feel inadequate. If you don't feel like you need to be smaller or more toned, let me know your secret for real body-related self confidence. I'd love to know...

So, I was feeling pretty good about myself for a couple of days...then I watched the Victoria's Secret Fashion Show last night. Now I feel like a whale again. To make myself feel better, I'll likely eat a cookie or two or ten. It's a vicious cycle, people.

Have a great hump day...celebrating your humps. Or trying to get rid of them. Whatever makes you happy.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

for the foodies

A couple of recipes that have been requested:

BUTTERNUT RISOTTO

7C low-sodium chicken broth
3T olive oil
2C butternut squash, large diced
2C diced onion
2C arborio rice
3T butter, softened
3T grated parmesan
1tsp salt (or to taste)
black pepper to taste

  • Boil broth and set aside.
  • In large saucepan, heat oil over low heat. Add squash and onion, cook one minute. Add rice and continue cooking and stirring for 2 minutes. Add 2C of broth and simmer, stirring constantly over low heat until liquid is absorbed. Continue stirring and adding broth 1C at a time until all liquid is absorbed. (The whole shebang takes 20-30 minutes.)
  • Combine butter, parmesan, salt, and pepper. Stir into risotto. Season as needed.
  • Enjoy. Then enjoy a second bowl. Then a third. You get the idea.
CARAMEL PECAN PIE

1 refrigerated piecrust
28 caramels, unwrapped (obviously)
1/4C butter
1/4C water
3/4C sugar
2 large eggs
1/2t vanilla extract
1/4t salt
1C chopped pecans

  • Prebake pie crust as directed. (400 degrees for 6-8 minutes)
  • Combine caramels, butter, and water in large saucepan over medium heat. Cook, stirring constantly, 5-7 minutes or until caramels and butter are melted. Remove from heat.
  • Stir together sugar, eggs, vanilla, and salt. Stir into caramel mixture until thoroughly combined. Stir in pecans and pour into prepared crust.
  • Bake pie at 400 degrees for 10 minutes. Reduce heat to 350 degrees and bake an additional 20 minutes. (You may want to shield the edges of the crust to keep them from over browning...does anyone have one of those pie crust shield gadgets? Are they worth it?) Cool on wire rack.
  • Try to get a piece before anyone else. Otherwise, you may be out of luck. I will never, ever make any other pecan pie. It is so easy and always turns out perfect. Never too soupy and never too sweet. Just perfect.
There you go, loves. Happy eating. Tonight I'll be trying latkes for the first time. Wish me luck.

Monday, December 03, 2007

there and back again

So, we're back from another trip southward. We've got one more trip planned for this weekend, then we're home for the holidays. I think. It's tough having your entire family in other places. Lots and lots of traveling to see people during November and December. It's especially tough on S as she doesn't sleep well in other places and long car trips mess up her daytime schedule pretty badly. Oh, well. We've got a few days at home to recuperate.

Not much has been going on in the P household lately. Just getting ready for Christmas, which means I've finished up all the shopping and since the postage stamps came in the mail Saturday, I'll be dropping cards in the mail this afternoon. I'd like to get all the out-of-town gifts ready to go by the afternoon, too, but that may be wishful thinking. Besides, I am not sure I could get all the packages into the post office on my own with S in tow. I may have to make a couple of trips to the PO to get it all done. That sounds fun, right??

Now that all of that is out of the way, I can get down to the fun stuff- holiday baking and candy making. Scarlet Lily has been sharing 12 days of Christmas cookies lately, and I hope I get around to trying some of them. There is a whole array of things that tradition dictates must be made first, though. Like the Peanut Butter Kiss cookies I made last weekend and took to my Uncle Bret. I like this set-up. I get to eat a few of the cookies...then I take the rest to someone else. The PB Kiss cookies are my favorites, and I only let myself make them once a year as I'd sit down and eat the entire batch more than once. I also attempted gumdrop cookie bars for my FIL last night as they are his favorites. I made them last year, but I could barely read the recipe. I thought I had a better handle on them this year, but they are currently residing in my garbage can instead of in Mr. P's tummy. Despite passing the ubiquitous "toothpick test," they were still badly under-done. I didn't realize this until it was way too late to put them back into the oven. I'll try them again sometime this week.

To make up for the gumdrop cookie debacle, I made oatmeal, chocolate chip, and pecan cookies this morning. I wish I hadn't. I've already eaten four. Luckily, the recipe was from Cooking Light, and I made the cookies smaller than called for, so I don't feel as bad as I would if I'd eaten four PB Kiss cookies.

I've also got to get on the ball making M's favorite- Chocolate Mint cookies. I don't worry too much about getting fat off those. M eats them at warp speed.

I've also got to make chocolate fudge, peppermint chocolate fudge, English toffee, butter cookies, peanut brittle, and (hopefully) caramels. I'd also really love to try a Yule Log, but I wanted to do that last year, too, and I never got around to it. Of course, I'll also have to make a caramel pecan pie at some point. Mr. P ate an entire half of one over Thanksgiving. If you're looking for me during the next few weeks, I'll be in the kitchen. Obviously.

Alright, I have no other news to share. Have a great Monday, and keep your fingers crossed in hope that there will still be cookies here for M when he gets home.

Oh, and just in case you need some help getting into the holiday spirit, I found this reindeer who wanted to say hi...

Monday, November 26, 2007

yum yum and this bites

Firstly, a shout out to Toddler Tamer. I made her pumpkin muffins. Double yum. I did make them with half applesauce and also 1/3 whole wheat flour. The other yum was last night's butternut squash risotto. If anyone wants the recipe, let me know. Mr. P and I liked it, but M had his usual aversion to the texture of the risotto. He ate it, though, so I was happy.

Secondly, this bites. This being my child. She has taken to biting. I realize that she doesn't know what she's doing, so I can't get mad at her. We're trying to teach her. She bit a plug out of M's shoulder yesterday, and she's actually bitten my face a few times. It's somewhat less than pleasant. Keep your fingers crossed for us.

Okay, Thanksgiving was a hit. S had turkey, which she devoured just like she devours everything we put in front of her. It's both comical and scary to watch the child eat. We took lots of fun pictures of her over the weekend, and I'll get them up on Flickr eventually. Now we're home, waiting until this afternoon to pick up Otis. I'm anxious to see how things will be when he gets home as we set up the Christmas tree last night, meaning the living room is set up very differently. I wonder if S or Otis will be the first to crash into the tree. I'll keep you posted.

Now I'm going to dry off. The munchkin and I got caught in the rain during our walk. She doesn't seem to mind the fact that she's soaked, but I do.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

gobble gobble

It's fairly frantic around here. I'm desperately trying to get some things done before we head out of town tomorrow morning for Turkey Day. Somehow, I woke up this morning to an overflowing laundry hamper and no clean diapers. The house looks like a tornado hit it. The dogs (Otis and Mr. P's dog Pretzel) have to go to the vet to be boarded for the weekend. And, my "I bit off more than I can chew" project from last weekend is still kicking my tail. We decided to refinish the front door as it was having some issues. We are lucky enough to have a gorgeous solid wood front door. However, the previous owners' great dane and years of afternoon sunshine had taken their toll on the door. It has turned out to be a much bigger job than I anticipated. For starters, I didn't think I'd have to sand the door all the way down to the bare wood, but the front of the door was in such shape that one swipe of the sand paper on parts of the door went all the way to the bottom, which meant the whole thing had to be taken all the way to bare.

That was the first issue...realizing that a pack of sand paper wasn't going to do the job. Trip to Lowe's. We now own an orbital sander. As I hadn't anticipated actually re-staining the door (the plan was to smooth out the rough spots and add some new coats of spar urethane), I hadn't bought stain. No trip to Lowe's this time, though. There was a can of stain in the garage. As the only wooden surfaces in the house are the front door and the parquet floor in the entry and they are/were both the same color, I just popped it open and went to work. Don't make this mistake, people. Actually look at the color- or at minimum the name of the color. The door was previously fairly light. It is now dark walnut. I wasn't upset because dark walnut is actually my favorite finish. The new problem was that the front of the door and the back of the door were two seriously different colors. At first, I ignored it. I acted like it wouldn't bother me. Yeah, right.

Last night, I'd had enough. I didn't want to use the orbital sander, though. It's loud and I could only work on the little (ahem...massive) project while S was in bed. Besides, the guy at Lowe's had told me I didn't need to sand to the bare wood- I only had to get the urethane off the top. So, I sanded the back of the door by hand until I thought my arm would fall off. Then I started slapping on the dark walnut stain. That was 9pm. Yesterday. It is now 1pm. Today. It still isn't dry. It really doesn't want to soak in through the old finish. I fear that I'll be forced to re-do last night's work and actually use the power tool.

So, I'm trying to get this little project completed before we're gone for four days. Plus, I'll be putting down a new coat of polyurethane on the entry floor this evening after S goes to bed since Otis will be out of the house. It's just insane around here. Plus, I haven't started packing yet. How could I? Everything is in the frickin' washer.

I'm done with my nervous breakdown. Have a great Thanksgiving, people. We're out.

Friday, November 16, 2007

go back to sleep

I hate days when I have to be somewhere in the morning. I don't dislike going places in the a.m., but I do hate having to get up before M leaves for work to shower. I really need that 45 minutes of sleep that I get between his waking up and S waking up. I need it, and I just don't get it like this. It's giving me a headache, and the Tylenol is upstairs, which is where I don't want to be as I'm trying to convince S that she has no business being awake yet. For the record, that approach isn't working as I can hear her babbling away up there. I can't really stand the thought of laying down with her to play human pacifier so she'll sleep longer. I've had some pretty uncomfortable neck pain for three days now, and I think it's a direct result of her rediscovered love of falling asleep while being held. I've spent several hours during the past week with her snoozing in my arms, which, we all know, means that I tend to drift off, leaving my head dangling at impossible angles. Wow, I'm very Negative Nancy today. I'll stop. As soon as I get some Tylenol.

Anyway, we've got a busy day ahead of us, but I wanted to say "g'day, mates."

Oh, I almost forgot. If you're not doing anything super constructive this very second, go and make the peanut butter icing from Barefoot Contessa at Home. Holy, moly. It is so yummy that I want to lick it off the cake. For the record, I did not make the Barefoot Contessa chocolate cupcakes...I just made the chocolate cake from the recipe on the can of Hershey's cocoa.

FIVE SENSES FRIDAY
Sight: Otis and S playing
Sound: silence...if I ever get it
Smell: poopers in Target yesterday (yuck)
Touch: S in my lap for story time, the pillows, which is where I wish my head was right now
Taste: peanut butter icing

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

it's sew time

First and foremost, today is going to be a great day. "Why," you ask.

Why? Why?

Two words. It rhymes with Schmodject Schmunway.

That's right. Project Runway starts tonight. I watched part of the Season Three marathon this weekend to get pumped up for it. I am so, so excited. There is, however, a concern. "It's sew time." That's the slogan they've been using to advertise the beginning of the new season. Um, is this supposed to be like, "it's show time," or is it like, "soooo time." (Soooo Taguchi, inside joke for M.) I'm all for clever wordplay, but I don't like to be confused by the Bravo Network. It makes me feel incompetent, and that's not a feeling that I like. Anyway, I'm probably overthinking the whole thing. You know how I am. I am certain that I'll get over my issue as soon as Heidi and Tim and Top American Designer Michael Kors and Fashion Director of Elle magazine Nina Garcia appear. I'm positively beaming with delight. Beaming, people.

So, I'm anxiously counting the hours until I can plop on the couch, curl under a blanket, and indulge in the guilty pleasure that is Project Runway.

Until then, I am working on a new experiment called, "is S ready to move to one nap a day?" She's been fighting nap time pretty hard for weeks now, so I kept her up until after lunch today, and have just put her in her crib. Wish me luck.

Auf Wiedersehen.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

eanie meanie...

I was doing a little online browsing. I hear Santa Claus e-shops a lot these days. How funny is this little guy? I found it at Manhattan Toys, and I am in love.

I'm also loving this tee that I found last week...I don't think I've posted it.

alone

Did anyone else happen to catch Oprah yesterday? I haven't watched Oprah in about a decade, but my FIL was here yesterday afternoon after his doctor's appointment, and I guess that's what he watches at 4. Anyway, it was one of those "wish come true" days and Celine Dion was on the show. I didn't catch much of it at all, but I did see the last three minutes of Celine singing. She's apparently releasing a new album today, and the first single is "Alone." You know, the song by Heart? Let me tell you now, the Celine version was awful. Horribly, horribly horrible. I had to leave the room.

Just thought I'd fill you in...

S and I are, in fact, alone today as M is at a conference in Memphis. We were going to try to make it a little family trip to the River City, but it was too much to try to throw at S as we'll be traveling again next week for Thanksgiving.

Speaking of...well, speaking of speaking. I have once again misled you all. S doesn't really speak, though I do think she is making the connection between "hi" and "bye" and waving. She'll say "hi" when you walk into a room. Last week was the first "bye bye." Our friend M was over, and as she turned to leave, S just said, "bye bye" and started to wave. She hasn't really done it spontaneously since. Please note that she is not talking. Unless you count baaa, uh, gaaa, or gooo as words. I will tell you that she says "boo" when she picks up books, so I think maybe she's starting to get that one. Maybe not, but last night I told her that if she wanted me to read a book before bedtime to get one. (I'm sure that's way, way too advanced of a direction for a nine month old.) Either way, she crawled to the pile of books in the floor and brought one back. Probably a fluke, but I'll take it as a sign of her rapidly advancing brain.

Okay, I have a zillion things to do today, most important: we're almost out of Cheerios. I'd rather be beaten than to run out of Cheerios...especially while M is out of town and I'd be forced to deal with S's breakdown on my own. No thank you. I'd much rather venture out into the rain, and that's really saying something.

Happy Tuesday, peeps. And Happy Birthday, Aunt Mel.

Friday, November 09, 2007

just to clarify

Apparently, there is a bit of confusion. In my last post, I mentioned ironing linens. I apologize for being vague. I do not iron bed linens. I barely iron anything. Ever. I was, however, ironing the tablecloths and napkins from the weekend before I put them away. I don't want anyone lost in a shame spiral, worried that they are behind the curve by not ironing their pillowcases...and if I find out that you actually do iron your pillowcases, I will barf. Spare us both, please.

Anyway, as promised, a brief synopsis of S and the poopers. You may recall that we had one previous pooper incident during naked time.

Whoever says lightning never strikes twice was seriously mistaken. Very, very seriously mistaken. Monday night, S and I were hanging out in the living room with Mr. P after dinner. M was at the computer, which may as well be in the living room as it's really only about four feet away. S was happily playing during naked time. She was sitting in front of her toy box, pulling things out, chewing on them, discarding them into the "I already gnawed on this" pile. It was quite pleasant. Then I noticed her making a face, a "what the heck is in my mouth that tastes this bad?" face. She was trying to spit something out. I jumped up.

"What's in your mouth?"

Poop. Poop was in her mouth. She had pooped while she was sitting there and managed to wipe her hand in it. Then she licked it. She did not enjoy it. Neither did we. I picked her up like she was a bomb, and we rushed her to the kitchen sink where we promptly scrubbed her. In hindsight, it was funny. Sort of. But my kid ate crap.

"You eat pieces of $h!+ for breakfast?"



Well, not really for breakfast, more like an after dinner snack. Or the worst after dinner mint in the history of the world.

Lucky for us, she happened to be sitting on a gift bag that we'd been letting her play with, which means that we just picked it up and chucked it. Absolutely no cleaning of the carpet required. Small favors, people.

So, that's the story. All you lovely new mommies, have fun. Happy Friday, peeps. I've got to go check the progress of the guys replacing our gutters.

FIVE SENSES FRIDAY
Sight: my handsome husband smiling at my beautiful daughter
Sound: S saying, "bye bye"
Smell: garlic-infused cream for mashed potatoes, yeast rolls baking
Touch: S's wet head after her baptism
Taste: chocolate bread pudding cupcakes, egg white omelet with cheddar cheese and red beans, fried chicken and garlic mashed potatoes

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

what a week

Wow. When was the last time I went an entire week without posting? Probably around the time I gave birth. It's been busy around here to put it mildly. S was baptized on Sunday, so we had the whole family over for dinner on Saturday. Most of last week was spent getting the house ready for it all. In the end, we had 22 people at the house Saturday night, and I think it's safe to say we were filled to capacity. Everything went really well, though.

Beyond that, S has been growing some new teeth, and her grand total stands at five chompers now. You can actually see two of the top teeth now if she smiles really big.In more exciting news, S welcomed two new cousins this weekend. Baby Hannah was born Thursday morning at 4:05 in Tennessee, and Baby Lily was born in Arizona at 11:19 Saturday night. Both babies and their mamas are healthy and happy and so are we. Also in baby news, my friend L is being induced today, so I think we're down to two pregnant friends. At one point this summer, we knew 11 pregos. That's a lot of babies, people.I'll tell you the story about S and the poopers tomorrow. For now, I'm still trying to get linens ironed and put away from the weekend.
Happy Hump Day, peeps.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

don't be frightened

This is just a picture of S. It is not really a witch. S is just dressed as a witch for Halloween. Please don't be afraid and call the muggle police.
For the record, M is not a scarecrow. He's a broom. Get it? Witches ride on brooms. It's funny.

Happy Halloween from the P family, which includes the scariest witch ever. Ever.

"i see dead people"

Oh, Dennis Kucinich, you make me laugh. They actually asked him if he's seen a UFO during a presidential debate. Then he actually said, "yes." Of course, he tried to explain that he couldn't identify what he saw, which made it technically an unidentified flying object. At that point, the laughter coming from the Philly crowd was deafening, so I may be the only person in America who saw on his face that he was trying to be funny and cerebral and a good sport about being asked such an insanely irrelevant question. The whole situation prompted Chris Matthews to ask why Kucinich wants to ruin his chances of ever becoming president, declaring that he may as well have said he sees dead people. So, I'm not sure if it's more that Kucinich wants to shoot himself in the foot or that he's just such an easy target. Then again, the man made Shirley Maclaine his daughter's godmother, so it's really a toss up. Moving right along...

The way this day is going, if I don't have a massive panic attack before bed, I'll be surprised. S refused to take her morning nap. Blatantly refused. After an hour, she finally started to settle down, so I jumped in the shower. Then, someone came to the door, ringing the doorbell like a fifth grade moron, prompting Otis to go absolutely ape. So, Otis was howling and barking, S started screaming for all she was worth, and I was standing in the shower with shampoo running into my eyes, wondering what I ever did to deserve such chaos. I finished rinsing my hair, jumped out of the shower, and ran downstairs in a robe. Whoever was there was gone, but Otis was still all fired up. I didn't bother getting back in the shower as I couldn't stand to hear S scream any longer. She's been a grumpus ever since, and she has just fallen asleep. Thank God for small favors, right? So, now I'm trying to start digging out all of the stuff we need for the weekend and get the house cleaned and get the laundry done and not have a breakdown, and I'm sure I'm wasting precious minutes by blogging. I don't care.

Oh, now I remember the other thing I wanted to rant about. Halloween costumes. M and I were driving past a Halloween store the other day and there was a girl standing on the corner with a sign for the store. She was dressed as a devil. Not a regular devil, though. A sexy devil. This girl, who didn't look a day over 18, was standing on a busy street corner in broad daylight in a red garter belt and boots and not much else. I nearly choked. Can you imagine some day down the road if that was your daughter? Oh. Snap. I'd drag her into the car by her hair. It's one thing to be dressed up on Halloween or for a party, but this was too much. What else is too much? I'm so sick of all this sexy costuming. Why does every single women's costume have to make you look slutty? Slutty nun. Slutty nurse. Slutty slut. It's too much. People, put on some clothes. It's October. You'll catch pneumonia. I am such an old lady...just put me in my zip-up flannel nightgown and slippers now. I cannot deal today...

I have to go. Happy Halloween, my ghouls. I promise a pic of S all dressed up tomorrow.

Monday, October 29, 2007

suck it up

You know what's hit me in the past couple of days? How I am so going to have to be a grown-up about things that I've always been able to be a whining little chicken baby about now that I'm a mama. What a bummer. Example? My flu shot this morning. I don't like shots. Amazingly, I don't mind IVs or having blood drawn, but I hate shots. They're too violent. You're being stabbed, people. Stabbed.

Anyway, I got my first flu shot ever last year. I only got one then because my doctor said I sort of had to. I would've finagled my way out of it this year, but the doctor still suggested it because of S. I don't like that flu shot. It hurts. It makes my arm sore, and it makes me all anxious as I wait to be accosted by the giant needle. As I was sitting there waiting for it this morning, I realized that I have to stop acting like it bothers me. It will probably always bother me, but I can't give S a reason to start picking up on my neurotic behavior. She'll likely become neurotic all on her own, and I really shouldn't encourage it. Anyway, I kept thinking about it on the way home. What are the insane things that I am afraid of or that I dislike that I have to start faking it about for the sake of my child?

Number one? My fear of things with disproportionately giant heads. Like the Lexington Legends mascots. My fear of those evil things is the stuff of legend. I've more than once run crying from them, hiding out in the restroom. They scare me, and they feed off that fear. Other things that I'm afraid of that I have to start toughening up about? Pigeons. Snakes. Water. What about you? Am I the only 'fraidy cat out there? I seriously doubt it. Fess up. Alright. Last thing for the day. S spent a large part of the weekend trying to imitate M whistling. It's the cutest thing ever as she stretches out the entire bottom of her face and makes a little "o" with her mouth. So, so adorable.

And I lied. Last thing...congrats to MoWask and family on their precious new bambino. We love him already.

I'm out, peeps...things to do, people to see.

Friday, October 26, 2007

honey, i shrunk the kid

Our girl is shrinking. SHRINKING! S turned nine months old yesterday, and had her check-up today. It was the first time she's been weighed and measured since her six-month check-up. She's about 21-1/2 pounds and 29 inches now. While that's no small kiddo, she's shrunk from the 99th percentile in both categories to the 88th for weight and the 91st for length. Like I said, she's shrinking. At first, I was worried. Then I realized that I don't likely want my child to remain in the 99th percentile for either weight or height for her entire life lest she have to join the circus for employment. So, she's healthy and growing, and I'm happy.

She also got her first flu shot today, and she had blood drawn to check her iron levels. She was such a trooper that she didn't cry during the shot or during the finger prick...and we all know those finger pricks hurt. Of course, she wailed when I took the band aid off her finger. I suppose I can't expect her to be tough about everything.

Alright, I leave you with a shot of her nine-month birthday cake...or her three-quarters of a year three-quarter cake. Dark chocolate fudge cake with chocolate ganache, if you're wondering. Have a great weekend.FIVE SENSES FRIDAY
sight: the top tooth that's about to pop through
sound: S's super loud lentil poots
smell: Aveeno baby wash
touch: S smothering my face with her mouth (I think it's supposed to be a kiss)
taste: grilled hamburgers and sweet potato oven fries; s's cake (with about three glasses of milk)

Thursday, October 25, 2007

a wocket in your pocket?

I just watched a clip online of Dennis Kucinich on "The Colbert Report." It was hysterical. Colbert apparently challenged Kucinich to come on air and empty his pockets in response to Kucinich's habit of pulling all manner of crap out of his pockets during debates. Here's a link, so you can watch it, too.

So, what's in your pockets? I don't have pockets in the pants I'm wearing today, but when I cleaned out my pockets last night, there were three mini candy bar wrappers that I'd been accumulating all day as I continue to wage war against the Halloween candy in my house. (Seriously, M, this is why I don't buy the candy early, so don't ask me to next year. You're making me fat.) Usually, there are also some Cheerios as I think S drops a trail of them Hansel and Gretel style everywhere she goes. You know, in case she gets lost. In the woods. On the way to a gingerbread house where a witch might try to bake her for a tasty snack.

Anyway, we're just trying to stay dry and warm and keep from being blown away by the gale-force winds howling around the house. Oh, and we're telepathically trying to send both MoWask and Feathernester into labor. Good luck, girls.

Happy Thursday. I'm off to do sheets and towels. Did you know that Thursdays are "Sheets and Towels Day?" I am that huge of an anal-retentive nerd.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

stop staring at me, swan

So, Scarlet Lily had a moment. One of those "I'm seriously about to lose it" moments. She's not the only one, though, as I'm pretty sure that S almost went medieval on the refrigerator door yesterday.

In addition to taking things out of bookcases and banging on our wine glasses, she is now really trying to figure out what's inside of things. She realizes that doors open and that there are things on the other side. Some examples? The pantry. The dishwasher. The aforementioned refrigerator. Making dinner last night was an adventure...a new game I like to call kitchen tag. If I needed something out of the pantry, I'd rush to it, fling the door open, grab whatever I might need, and try to slam the door shut before S could get there. It was like watching Rachael Ray on speed, if that's even something that can be imagined. Anyway, the same went for the dishwasher and the fridge. The dishwasher situation is a little scarier as there are knives in there, so I have to be extra careful with that one.

At one point, I was digging vegetables out of the drawer at the bottom of the fridge, and I just couldn't get in and out fast enough to keep S out of the fridge, so I just stood out of the way and decided to let her explore a little. At first, I was holding the door open, then I decided that was for the birds and if she wanted to play in the fridge, she could take care of the door herself. That's when it got funny. The door would slowly close and hit her in the butt. She would turn around and give it a very mean look and push it away as hard as she could. Satisfied with having taken action and defended herself against the overly aggressive door, she would turn around again to play. Needless to say, the door kept coming back. She would get more and more frustrated. Giving the door more and more menacing scowls, pushing the door harder and harder. It was completely hysterical. Eventually she more or less gave up and started playing with the things in the door.

As harrowing as the game of kitchen tag was while I tried to make dinner, watching my daughter become completely indignant made it all worth it.

Happy Wednesday, folks.

Friday, October 19, 2007

hold on, what happened to friday?

All day long I meant to sit my little buns down and blog. All day. All of a sudden, I looked up and realized that it's 5:30. What happened to today? We're heading to DC tomorrow, so I've been trying to get things together, but surely that didn't consume my whole day.

Hang on. I got sidetracked. Now it's 10pm. Of course, M and I just watched our latest movie from Netflix. We got A History of Violence. It was horribly, embarrassingly bad. Worst acting ever captured on celluloid. Ever. It's one of those movies that really makes you think you've just lost an hour and a half of your life. I'll never get that time back. It's just sad. That's all I can say. If you haven't seen this movie, don't. If you have seen it, why didn't you start a nationwide campaign to spread the news about how horrible it is? If those Latter Day Saints kids can tool around my neighborhood in shirts and ties in the blazing hot middle of August to spread the word about their church, why couldn't you, my friends, give me a heads up on this movie? Really.

Anyway, we're out of town for the weekend, so I'm out peeps. If you're not one of my prego friends about to pop, send them lots of happy labor-inducing thoughts. Lots of them. I'm hoping to get everyone to give birth on the same day, so I'll be less likely to forget any birthdays. Is that too selfish?

Happy weekending, peeps.

FIVE SENSES FRIDAY
Sight: the end credits of that awful movie...the end was so welcome it was like seeing the first daffodils in Spring
Sound: Last of the Mohicans soundtrack
Smell: baking bread
Touch: "hugs" from S
Taste: peanut butter brownies with chocolate ganache-holy yum, batman

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

all i want for christmas

You know what I love? The Neiman Marcus Christmas Book. Love it. It's so ridiculous. I can't imagine paying more for an outfit than I paid for my wedding dress. I can't imagine paying more for a Christmas gift than I paid for my house. I just can't imagine...
That being said, I still would love the treetent in this year's book. So, if anyone has 50,000 bucks that they want to blow on a completely frivolous item, go right ahead. I promise to send a thank you note.

Really, I don't think that any of the trees in our yard would support this monster, so it's probably not a good idea. It would just sit in the closet. Wait a minute, it's bigger than my closets. I could use it as a closet. Forget storing my off-season clothes in tuckers in the garage, I'm schlepping those babies into my treetent.

Alright, I've got too much to try to accomplish today to sit here rambling about the treetent. Happy Hump Day, peeps.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

new hobby

Warning! Warning! To the men in M's office who read this blog, I will be using some female-ish words that may disturb you...like the time I mentioned pumping a bottle for S and you all wigged out. Just warning you.

Sometime in the past few days, S figured out that the drawers and the doors in our bathroom open. She'd actually opened the drawers inadvertently a few times, but now she knows it wasn't a fluke. She's trying to figure out how to get the doors to open more than the two inches allowed by the cabinet locks. Until she figures that out, she's fairly content to pull the door open, peek inside, close the door, and repeat. Over. And over. And over.

When she gets bored with that activity, she moves to the drawers. I sorted the drawers ages ago, removing all dangerous and toxic materials from the bottom drawers, knowing that this day would come. M's bottom drawer is totally empty now, so it's not at all interesting to S. My bottom drawer, however, now plays home to such items as cotton balls, empty cosmetic bags, and tampons. Stuff that can't hurt my daughter (at least not physically, she may someday be psychologically scarred). Yesterday, she pulled a box of tampons out of the drawer and started beating on it like a drum. She went one step further this morning, actually opening the box and trying to figure out whether tampons are edible. She sat in the bathroom floor for a solid ten minutes in a pile of tampons and other feminine accoutrement. I found it hysterical. M didn't find it so funny, and he thought we wouldn't have to explain those things to her until she was about 15. I think he was a little upset when I told him it would be closer to when she's ten. Like when he freaks out when we walk past training bras in Target, and I mention that S will need one someday. Sometimes I point stuff like that out just to see how oddly misshapen his face becomes. It's really fun.

Of course, she's not just into feminine hygiene. She's into everything. We officially have "that baby." You know the one I'm talking about. The baby that has to touch and attempt to eat everything. She's tall enough now to reach actual tabletops when she stands on her tiptoes. Phones, lamps, plants, magazines, picture frames. All of these things are endangered. Her new favorite game is to race me to the wine cabinet. She likes the sounds the glasses make when she bangs on them and they clink together. Needless to say, it isn't a game I enjoy, as I spend most of my time trying to figure out how to keep her away from the cabinet and make it less enticing without removing all the wineglasses. Because, really, where would I put them anyway? Why couldn't we have had a baby like our niece S? She was one of those babies that did not need to explore everything. I always knew our child would be like this, though. God wouldn't let me get away that easy. He was bound to bless me with a daughter just like me. I don't know how M can stand it.

That's enough talking about that. Just so you know, I sat down yesterday...Blog Action Day, remember...and I started making a chart of what various presidential candidates are saying about the environment. I didn't get all that far as S woke up from her afternoon nap earlier than anticipated. However, M did send me a quiz that was going around his office yesterday. The quiz matches you up with a candidate based on your answers and ranking of 11 questions. It's pretty interesting, and after it matches you up, you can look at the candidates' stands on the issues a bit more thoroughly. Give it a try if you've got five minutes.

Monday, October 15, 2007

blog action day

Did you know that today is blog action day? It is. Everyone is supposed to write about the environment. Instead of writing about it, though, I'm going to check out some other sites to see what they have to say. I hope you will, too. Here's somewhere to get started.

Happy Blog Action Day, peeps.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

gameday

S just wanted to let you know that it's Saturday...in case you didn't know. "What's so special about a Saturday," you ask. Well, we're in the south, which means Saturdays in the fall are game days. SEC football game days. S is pulling for the Vols, and she's sporting her new orange jumper with pride. It's way too big, though, so she's already wearing something else. Oh, well. The girl looks good in orange, though, and that's never a bad thing.
Happy Game Day, peeps.

Friday, October 12, 2007

you can call me Al

Seriously big shout out to my man Al Gore. I wonder if he's the first Tennessean to win the Nobel Peace Prize. Whether he is or not, I'm thrilled for him and the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. It's pretty exciting, you know. Al Gore brings a lot of publicity to anything he's involved in, so I think this could be great for the environmental movement. Really, really great. So, way to go, Al. (I'm certain he reads this blog and will be thrilled out of his head at my congratulatory statement. Right?)

It's been a pretty low key couple of days around here. Fall showed up Wednesday with a vengeance, and it's a solid 25 degrees cooler than it was earlier in the week. It's chilly. S has had to start wearing pajamas, and her little fingers and nose are like popsicles. We've been pretty bundled up, which seems ridiculous since we were wearing as little as possible in the heat last week. Of course, it is still in the 60's, so it's not like there's an ice age setting in. It just feels that way since it all happened to fast. We'll get over it.

I've also gotten started on S's Halloween costume, and I should be able to finish it up today or tomorrow. She's going to be a witch if I haven't mentioned it before. I think I'm going to make her a little broom to carry, too. I'll be the one that gets beaten with it, so we'll see if I'm really brave enough to make one. I promise to post pics of the costume as soon as it's done.

I'm out people. Things to do...

FIVE SENSES FRIDAY
Sight: S and Otis, side-by-side, looking out the window
Sound: The Littlest Birds by the Be Good Tanyas
Touch: ice cold little fingers
Taste: chocolate cookies at M's work party last weekend
Smell: grilled cheese poop (yuck!)

Monday, October 08, 2007

say cheese

Today has been an exciting day in the P household. I use the term "exciting" fairly loosely. It may not seem exciting to everyone. Around here, though...the standard for excitement is pretty low.

Anyway, the day started with a first. The first time that I actually gave S her breakfast in a bowl with the spoon. On her own. I have one of those suction cup bowls, so I put her banana/yogurt/oatmeal combo in it, stuck it to the high chair tray, handed her the spoon, said a silent little prayer, and asked forgiveness from my carpet. It wasn't so bad really. She chucked the spoon immediately and dug in with her fingers. When she realized that her fingers weren't really the best vehicle for escorting the breakfast combo to her mouth, she decided she didn't care and went after the diced bananas that were scattered across the tray. I eventually removed the suction cup bowl, and I don't even think she cared...aside from the fact that she could see her diced bananas better without the bowl in her way. We'll wait awhile before trying it again. She just isn't interested in being fed right now as she wants to do everything herself, so I thought I'd give her the opportunity. Basically, I think we'll be skipping the puree step of making her food, and just giving her things that are steamed and diced.

The second first of the day was at lunch. S had her first grilled cheese. Since she's so interested in feeding herself, I thought I'd give her something new and sophisticated. Sophisticated for her, anyway. There was really so little cheese involved that I may as well have fed her grilled toast. She liked it, though, and she ate the entire grilled cheese, less the crusts, which I thought might be a "choking hazard." She also ate half a pear. She eats like a grown-up.

After all the lunchtime fun, we headed to the mall, which is totally mommy-central in the middle of the day. It's like playing a game: dodge the oncoming strollers. ("If you can dodge a stroller, you can dodge a ball.") I had to return a jacket that I'd ordered from Land's End. (Did you know you can take the stuff back to Sears and not pay shipping?? Score. I'll take that six bucks in Starbucks credit, please.) I also had to pick up a birthday gift for my littlest sister, who turns 11 next week. Since we were there, I let S play in the play area, and she was a little more adventurous this time. She crawled away from me several times, toward groups of other kids. I think she had fun, but after ten minutes, she was overwhelmed, so we came home for naptime.

The last first of the day was an Otis first. Background: we replaced all of our locks a few weeks ago, and the door to to garage doesn't shut entirely properly now. You've really got to put your weight into it to make it close, and then you have to double check to make sure it's closed. Then double check again for good measure. I ran out to the garage a little while ago to grab some packing tape, and as I was on the phone, I did not check the door the extra time. Apparently, it came open at some point while I was on the phone and taping packages, because I realized that Otis wasn't around anymore. Crap. Otis is not one of those dogs that you can just let out. Well, maybe he is, but we'll never know because we don't trust that he wouldn't chase a squirrel all the way to Maryland. I ran out to see if he was anywhere to be found, and I saw him in a yard a few houses down. I called to him, and he looked at me, confused. I ran back into the house to find something to entice him with, and when I went back to the garage, there he was. Good dog. Very, very good dog. I gave him a whole apple as a "thank you for not making me chase you throughout the entire city of Lexington" reward. Now he's napping, and I'm sitting here thinking I've got the greatest dog ever.

I have stuff to do. Like wash diapers. As always.

I'm out, peeps. Have a good one.

Friday, October 05, 2007

dunder mifflinfinity

I have nothing of any consequence to say today. Nothing at all, so I'm just building on Scarlet Lily's post, which means I just want to say how wicked awesome "The Office" is. Funniest show on TV right now...followed closely by 30 Rock. Tina Fey wiping her ham fingers on her sock was one of the most hysterical things I've ever seen. As was Jane Krakowsi demonstrating how vertical stripes don't always draw your eye upward or Tracy Morgan talking about ministering to transvestite prostitutes. I nearly peed it was all so funny. You can watch the whole episode here. Go ahead, it's a Friday afternoon, and you know you're bored and your boss has probably already gone home anyway.

FIVE SENSES FRIDAY
Sight: "how many cheerios will fit in my mouth?"
Sound: Screen Door by Uncle Tupelo, which I snagged on iTunes yesterday.
Smell: baked french toast
Touch: shoulder rub, warm shower
Taste: baked french toast, grilled steak fajitas

Thursday, October 04, 2007

dirrrrty

Our playgroup met at Boyd's Orchards today. My child looks like she just went to playgroup on the set of "Dirty Jobs." The whole play area is essentially trampled straw over hard-packed dirt, and S loved it. I had to strip her down before I would even put her in her car seat. She fell asleep on the drive home...five minutes before we got to the house, so now she's upstairs in her crib playing and refusing to go back to sleep despite the fact that she must be exhausted. I'll never understand why anyone would refuse naps. Naps are glorious.
Of course, she'd already gotten herself filthy this morning by choosing to teach herself to use a spoon. With yogurt. While she understands the concept of "put spoon in mouth" as her MO is to put everything in her mouth, she does not grasp reloading the spoon. We're working on it, but today's attempts yielded less than stellar results. She got more yogurt up her nose than in her mouth...and more in Otis's mouth than her own. Lovely.Lastly, speaking of dirt...how much do I want this shirt? Unfortunately, it's a child's shirt. While I can wear a kid's XL, they tend to be too short, leading to the ever-despised "plumber crack." And, hey, crack kills.

I'm here all week.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

three is the magic number?

Cross another one off the list. Another anniversary, that is. M and I celebrated our third anniversary yesterday, which also means that it has also been a whopping seven years since T dragged us out onto an island in the middle of the Mississippi River. We count that little field excursion as our "first date" even though there was nothing date-like about it. It was chilly, and T was sick, and M's contacts nearly froze to his eyeballs overnight. I wouldn't change a thing about it.

Anyway, it's been a great three years, full of grown-up things like buying a house, and getting a dog, and having a baby.
In celebration, I grilled fajitas and drank a really good beer (Jack's Pumpkin Spice Ale) and made a pink cake. Well, a chocolate cake with pink icing. In case you're not lucky enough to have been on the receiving end of any of my rantings about our wedding cake, count yourself blessed as I'm about to explain...our wedding cake was supposed to be pink. Granted, it was pink, but it was such a light shade of pink that it looked like a regular white cake. There is absolutely nothing wrong with a traditional white wedding cake. Not a thing in the world. The problem is that mine was supposed to be pink. I made up for the great travesty yesterday by making one. Now I can get over it. I even added raspberry for M as that was the filling in his groom's cake. So, another year down...

Happy Wednesday, folks.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

kid-tested, mother-approved

That's the slogan for Kix cereal for those of you not in the know. I read in one of my books that Kix is a great alternative to Cheerios for little ones, so when I got to DC last week, I picked up a box. I thought S might like a little variety. She devoured those little round puffs of corn. They are not, however, just little round puffs of corn. They are sweetened. Not Fruity Pebbles sweetened, but sweetened. They were like crack. She loved them even more than those flavored Gerber fruit puff things. She ate almost an entire box in four days (less the two bowls that I ate). It's all harmless, right?

Wrong.

She has been producing the nastiest, undigested Kix-laden poop that you can imagine. It's so gross that it's funny. Learn from my mistakes, new mommies, stick to Cheerios.

Beyond the great Kix experiment, the trip to Tennessee was good. S enjoyed her first pep rally and parade on Friday, and she got to ride the tractor for the first time. All-in-all it wasn't bad- except that she, once again, did not sleep well when taken out of her element. Luckily, it seems to have only taken one day at home to get her back into the swing of things. Almost. She is suddenly going to bed a half-hour earlier...and getting up a half-hour earlier, too. What am I supposed to do at 6:30 in the morning, anyway??Nothing new to report here...though I did make another new soup last night. (Actually, I'd made it before, but I'd never served it to M, so it doesn't count.) It's Giada's Quick and Spicy Tomato Soup. It's insanely simple, and a total cheater recipe, so you can probably make it any day of the year with the stuff that's already in your cupboard. It's yummy, so go ahead and give it a whirl sometime.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

things that go bump in the night

...or in the afternoon.

Monday was a tough day for the wee one. She woke up cranky, which is completely unlike her. I could tell immediately that she wasn't feeling 100%. Fast forward to morning nap time. She took her diaper off in her crib again and peed. Then she tried to go to sleep, but her bed was all wet and cold with pee. I went to check on her and felt so sad for her. So, no morning nap. The middle of the day went okay, and she took a really good afternoon nap. When she woke up, we played in her room. We love to play. What we do not love? Smacking her little face into the edge of her bookcase, which, of course, she did. She screamed like you'd cut off one of her limbs. It was pitiful. I thought she'd have a bruise, but she woke up yesterday without one. She does, however, have a mosquito bite on her face. It's really fantastic. Needless to say, Monday wasn't fabulous.

Tuesday was better, however. I made sushi for the first time, and I was really pleased. I also made a little fleece jumper for S, but it's still too hot to wear despite the fact that the original plan was for her to wear it to the Homecoming parade in DC Friday. It's orange and it has a football on it. I'll post a picture soon, but for now, the camera battery is charging, and I don't have the energy to deal with it. My brother also came to visit yesterday, which was nice, and he's riding to DC with us today.Which means...S and I are out of pocket until at least Sunday. She is going to experience her first DC Homecoming, even though she won't be able to go to the football game because it's past her bedtime. I think she'll live. Have a great rest of the week, peeps.

Monday, September 24, 2007

waterworld

Did anyone ever see that horrible movie with Kevin Costner? Me, neither. Of course, I don't suppose anyone would really have to qualify a Kevin Costner movie as horrible as most of his movies are (with the exceptions of Robin Hood, Bull Durham, and Field of Dreams...you have my sincerest apologies if I've failed to mention some Costner movie that you love.) What am I talking about here?? This post has nothing to do with Kevin Costner at all. It was just a title. You know how I like to think I'm all clever. The post is actually about water.

A happily greywatered plant in a sadly blurry photograph.

I have had one of those "why didn't I think of that already?" moments. About water. Watering plants to be precise. I read on Green as a Thistle about greywater. I'm sure that loads of you have already heard about this, but I hadn't so I feel like I've stumbled onto something really, really fantastic. Think about how much water you nonchalantly pour down the drain everyday. If you're like me, it's a lot...between unconsumed glasses of water, water used for steaming S's meals, water that makes it into the giant Pronto Pup cup for Otis but not into his water bowl lest it overflow. Lots and lots of water needlessly poured out. Then, think about how much water you use for watering plants. Houseplants, plants on the front porch, plants in the garden. Lots and lots of water required. What if you could reconcile the "lots and lots of water" lists into just one thing? I started today. After I steamed a pear for S, I poured the leftover water into one of the plants in the dining room. When I rounded up the glasses of water that I had scattered around the house yesterday, I poured them into a couple of other plants. The next time I run across some extra water, I'm going to start filling up the giant watering can that I use for the outdoor plants. It's amazingly simple, isn't it? I'm beside myself with glee at the thought of being able to do such a small thing that will make me feel so much better. Three cheers for greywater. And seriously, why didn't I think of this before?

Jack in the box? Nope. S in a box.

Friday, September 21, 2007

further up and further in

I just finished reading The Chronicles of Narnia to S. It's taken almost two months to finish the whole shebang, reading a bit at a time as she plays before naptime and bedtime. I had forgotten how much I love the end. Most of The Last Battle makes me so sad, but then the ending comes and it makes me so happy. It's almost exactly what you would hope for, you know? Well, if you haven't read it, you don't know what I'm talking about. If that's the case, I recommend reading it. It's just lovely.

It makes what I read last night in Newsweek seem that much more absurd. Yoga for Christians. Even my right-wing Evangelical buddy (that's right, there is exactly one of you) has to admit this is ridiculous. Yoga as blasphemy? Whatever. Follow that link and read the article so you can laugh out loud. I mean, wow.

S and I are actually headed to church today (this is a very "jesus-y" post, eh?). They're having a big children's consignment sale and I volunteered to help. I'm actually not sure how much help I'll be as I'll be lugging S around, but we'll try. Besides, we can't even stay for a whole shift, as we are technically signed up for 10:30-3. We'll only be helping during the time between her naps, which means we'll show up at least an hour late and we'll leave at least an hour early. I already let them know that and I think they thought I was insane for even offering to come out at all. I try (to help, not to be insane).

please note that S, the bear, and the turtle all sleep in the same position

FIVE SENSES FRIDAY
Sight: really, really perfect red color of diced tomatoes; naked baby buns in the crib
Sound: Ray LaMontagne's "Jolene"
Smell: lentil-sausage soup, lavender
Touch: cold ice cream with warm apples, cool air in the mornings
Taste: the soup, scallops in butter and parsley, Naked juice

Thursday, September 20, 2007

questionable

I don't think I mentioned last week that we had S's friend 'Lijah over for a little baby play date and mama lunch. I mention it because my daughter has apparently developed some highly questionable behavior. She kissed Elijah. Kissed him smack on the face. M is jealous because she doesn't even give him kisses. She had just been with her friend A the Saturday before, and we caught him "putting the movez" on her (boob graze, if you were wondering). Is it already starting? Do we already have to sit M out on the front porch with a shotgun to ward off potential fondlers of our daughter? Maybe we should just go ahead and shackle her to her crib. Our regular Thursday playgroup starts back today, so I'll be interested to see if she tries to make out with any of the boys. Hopefully not.

Her other lovely new behavior? A little story. S does not like having to take naps. At all. She's screams as you leave her in her room, then she'll calm down and play with the animals in her crib and talk to herself, then she'll realize that you're not coming for her and you expect her to go to sleep. Then the waterworks begin. It can be fairly stressful, but I can deal. As long as what happened yesterday does not become de rigueur. "But what did she do," you ask. She stripped. After she finally fell asleep, she managed to take about a half hour nap. When she woke up, I opened the door to find a naked baby standing in her crib, laughing. Apparently, she was very pleased with herself. She had, of course, peed in her bed, which makes the second time in two weeks that we've had to deal with pee in the bed. I am thrilled, I'm sure. It was actually pretty hysterical to see her little naked butt when I opened the door. Just don't tell her that I thought so.

So my little stripper harlot of a daughter will be made to pay strict attention in church this Sunday as we can't have this morally reprehensible behavior continue. What a stinker. Of course, I'm getting ready to plop down in the floor and play with the stinker, so I'm off. Happy Thursday, peeps.