Monday, July 30, 2007

the tiny explorer

So S figured out the whole crawling thing last week, right? I knew it was only a matter of time before she started really moving around. Of course, I thought I had more time than this. She is already "exploring". She is into and curious about everything. She really likes crawling under the desk to play with the vent and attack the power cords for the computer. She even managed to switch the surge protector off yesterday before M could catch her. Needless to say, there is much baby-proofing to do. Much more than we ever realized before we had a little trail blazer on our hands. Yesterday we picked up a couple of outlet covers that protect things that are already plugged in. They also shorten the super-appealing dangling cords. We were trying to find something to attach to the bottom of the desk that would just keep her away from all the cords, but the railnet that I picked up just isn't doing the trick. I'm going out today to pick up a surge protector cover and we'll see how that goes.

It's a bit overwhelming, I'll admit. Who knew there were eight trillion baby-proofing products out there? Some of which just seem like overkill. They make covers and pads and guards for every surface in your home. Every surface. If I wanted, I could essentially make our house one big padded room...and I could get S a helmet, too. Never too careful?

M and I (and all of you) grew up just fine with bumps and bruises. I'm not saying that outlet covers and cabinet locks aren't a good thing because they are. Without a doubt. But a toilet paper guard? Why not close the bathroom door? That's how we keep Otis out of the toilet paper (and the toilet for that matter), and I'm betting it will work for S, too.

I can only imagine how quickly baby-proofing could get out of control. Standing in the safety aisle at Babies R Us yesterday, I was tempted to buy every single item to protect my little girl. Then I remembered that you can't protect your kids from everything (and expect them to grow up even remotely normal). Besides, she's already whacked her head a couple of times and she and I both lived through it.

And you know what else I learned? If you're weird or skittish about anything...just hand your baby to an experienced mom. Case in point: as much as I take S outside, I'd never had her in the grass until yesterday. She was always in her ExerSaucer or her stroller or on a blanket. I was just strangely afraid that the grass would irritate her skin or that she'd roll onto a hill of fire ants or crawl onto an old rusty nail or get attacked by a distant cousin of a basilisk. Something. Enter my friend Stacy. Stacy was holding S yesterday afternoon as we watched her kids stomping around the creek in the park trying to catch frogs. Her daughter decided that she was dirty and needed a shower ASAP, so Stacy plopped S onto the ground. Just like that, my fear of laying her in the grass was gone. I have a feeling there are a lot of things that will be like that. Luckily, most of the people in our neighborhood have kids, so I can always count on them. Baptism by fire sort of thing. And, for the record, S thought the grass was awesome. She kept playing with it and trying to eat it.

Alright, I'm off. We've got places to go and people to see. Happy Monday, peeps.

Friday, July 27, 2007

the comedy is divine

I decided weeks ago that the diaper pail needed a little decoration. Plain white can in the hallway outside S's room? Boring. Not any more. I have embellished its lid with such glorious literary eruditeness that I am quite pleased with myself. Quite. Dante would be proud to see that his work has survived the centuries and now adorns my daughter's diaper pail. I thought it terribly appropriate. If my high school English teacher could see me now...

Okay, nerdiness aside. I had quite the morning. Otis caught another unsuspecting creature. I was eating my breakfast, getting ready to mash up some banana for baby girl when I heard what sounded like an entire flock of birds erupt in protest. I looked out the back window to see about a half dozen birds hopping along the back of the fence, screeching at Otis, who was getting ready to pounce on a bird that was hopping around in the back corner of the yard. Clearly, the bird was already injured because it was hopping about six feet at a time but never taking off. As I stuck my head out the door to yell for Otis, the bird hopped into the air and that was pretty much all she wrote. Otis caught it right out of the air. Lovely. Luckily, my shoes from the great chipmunk chase of a few days ago were still by the back door. As I pulled my shoes on, I pleaded with Otis to drop the flailing bird. I ran and grabbed some plastic bags and dashed into the rain-soaked backyard. (Did I mention it was raining?) I turned the hose on full blast and chased Otis to the side of the yard, where he promptly dropped his catch and walked away. I don't know if all the bird's flailing had him freaked out or if he was actually
retrieving the bird for me, and I don't care. At least he dropped it. That's the good news. The bad news is that the poor thing was still alive. Fairly mangled, but alive and likely in agony. So, I acted like the good farm girl that I am and broke its neck. Even typing that sentence makes me feel awful. I couldn't just let it suffer, though. Anyway, I scooped it into the plastic bag and took it to the garbage. That was that. Another day in the life...

I think there may be too much excitement around here. Way too much...and not excitement like, "Hey! I just won the lottery." I'd welcome that kind of excitement.

I'm off to do some laundry and then attack the squash bugs in the garden. Fantastic.

Sight: S covered in avocado; so many tomatoes growing in the garden

Cory Branan's new (okay, it's been out for awhile) CD; S laughing
Smell: Basil in the garden; zucchini bread in the oven; Method lemon floor cleaner
Taste: peaches; cherries; zucchini bread; homemade croutons

Touch: clean sheets; clean Otis fur

Oh, six months, the wee one is 20.5 pounds; 28.25 inches. That equals enormous. I should likely stop referring to her as "the wee one."

Thursday, July 26, 2007


We celebrated baby girl's six month birthday last night with cupcakes. Unfortunately, she couldn't have any, so M, Mr. P, and I enjoyed them for her. Today we're off to get her six month shots. Not an exciting prospect considering her mouth is already making her miserable. I really thought one of her teeth would pop through her little gums last night because in addition to being able to see the teeth, there was a very distinct redness at the top of one that looked like if I pressed hard on it, it would start bleeding. Poor girl. No wonder she screamed and cried most of the day yesterday. We're also going to meet S's newest friend this morning. A was born Tuesday night at the same hospital where S's doctor's office is. We're going to share some of our cupcakes with the newest earthling. Happy Thursday...I've got to hop in the shower. What would I give for this picture to have turned out? It would've been so perfect.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

papa was a rolling stone

My apologies for all the negativity yesterday. That whole Harry Potter thing's had me really torn up. I promise lots of cheeriness today. At least cheery for me. I doubt many of you would describe me as a "cheery" person, though I did love me some Cheer Bear growing up.

Know what I love about summer? Stone fruits. We had peaches (and grapes and popovers) for dinner Monday night, and it was simply divine. Light, juicy happiness on a plate. Then I had another peach for lunch yesterday. It was so good, I had to go to the store to get more. It's not just peaches, though. Cherries. Plums. Nectarines. I love them all. They make me positively giddy. Not to mention how they make the whole house smell. Oh my yum. I love this time of year just for the produce. I know it's all mental, but all the wonderful flavors and colors of summer just kick winter's root vegetables in the arse...not that I don't love those, too. I hope S loves it all as much as I do.

I'm also having to figure out some new things to do with zucchini this summer. Despite crossing my fingers and muttering tiny little prayers to the tastebud gods, M really doesn't care for it, and I can only eat so much zucchini. I've given some away, but I'm growing the stuff, I'd like to enjoy as much of it as possible. So I made zucchini bread yesterday for the first time. So much better than I'd anticipated. I also ran across a recipe for fried zucchini blossoms, which doesn't sound very literally take the male flower from the plant and fry it. Fried petals? Not so much. Either way, I welcome any suggestions for zucchini. I'd love to try Ina's zucchini gratin, but there's no way that M would even consider trying it, so I'm afraid I'd have the whole thing to eat myself, which is not an option.

Last but not least: S turns SIX MONTHS OLD today. I can't believe it. To celebrate her upcoming half-year status, she gifted us with her first big girl poop yesterday. By "big girl" I mean solid poopers that had to be flicked into the potty. I already miss the days of being able to throw
everything into the washing machine. How gross am I? Am I really writing about this??

Okay, I have to go make birthday cupcakes and devour some of the cherries that I picked up when I got peaches yesterday. Everyone have a very pleasant Wednesday, and go eat a peach to celebrate summer and S's birthday...but not if you're allergic (CFC), which would totally suck.
Here's today's gratuitous shot of S...please note the leftover avocado from dinner smeared beside her nose.

the good, the bad, and the ugly

By "ugly" I mean completely and utterly disgusting, so any nauseated pregos may chose to refrain from reading the part of this post chronicling Otis's activities yesterday morning. Just a heads up...

Moving right along.

The good. Baby, baby, baby. My sweet girl is so hysterical. Everytime I look at her, I think I love her a little bit more. Sometimes I think I may explode from it all. I am constantly amazed at how much I love my life right now. I have a wonderful husband, who always makes me laugh, even as he aggravates the snot out of me. I have a great dog, who is sweet and gentle with our daughter. Of course, antics like yesterday's can be exceedingly frustrating. He's still an awesome doodle, though. Then, there is the girl. My vocabulary is ill-equipped for describing how happy she makes me and how perfectly she completes our little family. I'm giving up on'll all just have to see for yourselves.

The bad. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. I waited a couple of days before even broaching the subject. I was terribly disappointed in the movie. Terribly. I will say, however, that I agree with Feathernester and Die Frau. The casting choices for Luna Lovegood, Dolores Umbridge, and Bellatrix LeStrange were perfect. I am in love with Luna's character. As for the movie, I'm not even upset about stuff that was left out. I understand the concept of editing for time. I get it. I do not, however, understand why they chose to just flat out change things. Come on, people. I'm sure it's not that important that they had Cho rat out the DA instead of her friend. I'm sure it matters to no one that Umbridge busted up into the DA as she did instead of Dobby warning them to run. I'm sure all those crazy made-up Educational Decrees aren't important. In fact, I know those things aren't important. They're just annoying. I suppose I'm a Harry Potter purist. Then there is my other major issue, which applies to the entire HP movie franchise, not just this particular flick. Could they please stop changing the way things look? I'm only asking for a bit of consistency. A teensy bit. Did anyone else notice that when Sirius spoke through the fire that it was completely different than in Goblet of Fire? I didn't care for the way it was done, but why change it? Then...Why suddenly change the movie to reflect present day so much? Big, shiny Parliament...London all lit up at night...Dudley in his ghetto-thug finest...insanely shiny hallways in the Ministry of Magic? It's so silly. It's equally silly that I am this upset about it, I suppose. I know that the books are based in the present, but they've never made it all so slick and shiny. I thought they'd always done a good job of achieving a very neutral backdrop, timewise. Now I feel like it's all chockablock with harvest gold and avocado appliances, if you know what I mean. I will admit that the dueling scenes at the end were pretty cool, though I found it odd that they showed Dumbledore's ankles. I know that's a weird thing to notice, but it made him seem so ordinary to me at a moment when he seemed invincible in the book. Dumbledore in socks. How mundane. I'm done thinking about it. At least for five minutes or so...

Okay. The ugly. Otis caught a chipmunk yesterday. At least I think it was chipmunk. He's been chasing one that runs along the back fence for weeks now. Anyway, he caught something yesterday morning. Chipmunk, squirrel, badger, whatever. He then proceeded to eat it. It still had all (at least I think all) of its body parts when I first noticed the situation. I tried all the regular attempts at getting him to relinquish his prey. Tennis ball, food, cheese, grapes. Nothing worked. I got the hose out. He quickly figured out that I couldn't reach the back corner of the yard with the spray...and that he could outrun the spray anyway. I called M. He encouraged me to try one more time with the hose, making sure it was really on full blast. I got Otis to drop the remainder of the poor animal, which at this point was only a severed head with an intact eyeball. One of the more disgusting sights I've ever witnessed, let me tell you. Of course, as soon as I went into the house to get a bag, Otis devoured the head. He wasn't about to let me take away his snack. I wouldn't let him inside yesterday morning because I was afraid he'd lick S in the face and infect her with hanta virus or rabies or some equally unappealing disease carried by chipmunks. When I did let him in, he was remanded to his kennel until M got home and we were able to take him straight to the bath. Then he apparently stayed awake all night, vomiting all over the carpet downstairs. Quite pleasant, I assure you. We're now trying to decide between paying Stanley Steemer to come clean our carpets or buying our own steam cleaner. Awesome. The poor little guy clearly feels like crap today, but I know it won't deter him from eating the next animal he manages to catch.

I think this is a long enough post, I'm going to make a Boca Burger.

Monday, July 23, 2007

sweet potato queen

S has been devouring sweet potatoes for a week now. She eats them with a voracity usually reserved around here for the relationship between her father and a bowl of ice cream. She loves them. Loves. Of course, the child cannot go through life only eating sweet potatoes, so this morning we moved on, introducing a new food. Avocado. While she didn't like it quite as much as the sweet potatoes, she gobbled up an entire half of a pureed avocado. I think it's safe to say she's not going to starve. The downside to her healthy appetite is that soon enough there will be avocado poop. The sweet potato poopers haven't been as bad as I worried. They were a very Texas Longhorn shade of orange. Here's a lovely shot of mealtime...when her daddy was feeding her. Also, she can both crawl and sit up now. Both are developments from the past few days. It's very exciting stuff around here. Of course, she bonked her noggin once when she was sitting up and fell over into the bookshelves. Luckily, she hit the flat part and not an edge. I guess the time has come to start really worrying about bumps and bruises and whatnot. Lovely. It's just about nap time, so I must be off. Happy Monday, folks.

Sunday, July 22, 2007


I finished HP/The Deathly Hallows at 2:15 this morning. I was completely exhausted at the end...not because it was four hours past my bedtime but because the book was exhausting. no spoilers here, though.


It was better than lemon cake.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

jumping on the soapbox

Okay. I'm jumping on mowask's soapbox. Not in my usual ranting-and-raving style...mostly just agreeing with her. Thanks to her I found the greatest website today. Oompa toys. I think I've mentioned before how much I like simple toys for S, and we've been fortunate so far in that no one has gifted us any insane screeching fire engines or light up princess dolls or other such nonsense. People have given her simple plush toys and teething toys and squishy blocks. Stuff like that. I really, really like the thought of developing S's motor skills and creativity through play. It's a more appealing option that sitting her in front of crazy toys that she just zonks out in front of. Of course, I realize that the day of Disney Princess Mania will come. I know it's unavoidable. I know I'll be hard pressed to tell her that she can't have the toys that she wants and all of her friends have. I can only hope that we'll raise her in a manner that allows her to be more interested in interacting and actually playing. Besides, most of the crazy light up toys are expensive...and they get boring quickly, being brandished to the bottom of the toy bin. I'd like to forego that whole scenario. I mean, one of her favorite toys right now is an empty water bottle. The other favorites being her teething beads, her colorful squishy blocks, Spike the Dinosaur, and a globe rattle. M and I are particularly fond of the globe rattle. Yea for our little geographer.

Oh, yeah. I almost forgot to mention that she's had sweet potatoes now. I have yet to take pictures, however. I'll try to remember tonight. She devours the sweet potatoes. Devours. It's hysterical. I'm waiting for the sweet potato poopers. Not with bated breath in the traditional way...more like holding my breath for fear of the stink.

I am, however, waiting three more days for Harry Potter with bated breath.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

four days and counting

Oh, Harry I love you.

I am actually mortified by the fact that I have yet to see HP/Order of the Phoenix. Mortified, people. I should've thought about Harry Potter movies before I got pregnant. Not really. I think I am going to cash in a babysitting IOU on Sunday afternoon to go see it. I'm not as excited about seeing the movie as I am reading the final book, though. If there were a reading-related equivalent to a pee-pee dance, I'd be doing it. I am crazy anxious. Because I haven't been able to see the latest movie, I reread years 5 and 6 over the few days that M was in Fort Fun packing up his daddy's house. How did I have time to read 1500 pages of Harry Potter with an infant? Little sleep. Lots of laundry piles. It was worth it. I had only read HP/Half Blood Prince once as I didn't want to relive the ending (oh, the treachery). However, I knew I needed to before the final book. Correction. I knew I wanted to. Besides, I'd read all the others more times than I can count. Anyway, I have been having Harry Potter dreams ever since I finished book 6 on Saturday afternoon. Dreams that are intertwining Rowling's fictional world with my reality. I don't remember the dreams well, but I know I have dreams with Sirius and Harry and me, M, and S. Crazy. Plus, I keep waking up thinking that I have something Potter-related to do. All I have to do, though, is wait. I almost can't stand it.

I worry that there will be a huge, gaping hole in my soul after I finish the final book. Happy or sad, I am not sure I'm ready for the finality of it all. I may need therapy. How hysterical is that? With all of the crazy family disfunction and insane issues I've dealt with in my life, Harry Potter is what's going to drive me to the shrink's couch.

I can't believe I even have time to think about it with all of the insanity around here this week. Wish me luck. And patience. Happy Tuesday night.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

low rise, regular fit

So I got a little advertisement in the mail yesterday from Express. It was advertising their new styles of blue jeans. (I assume they are new, I've not been in regular stores pretty much since I got pregnant.) They have a new cut with the same name as my daughter. I am somewhat less than thrilled. Two reasons: one, someone may actually think I've chosen to name my beloved munchkin after low rise denim, or two, the general population may be reminded of what a lovely name I've given my baby and all of a sudden there may be a surge in popularity of the name S. Either way, I'm not happy. Secretly, I'm hoping that Express somehow goes under. Maybe they're running sweatshops in New Orleans or something awful. I think I may be thinking about it too much. I'd already had an encounter with her name once this week upon reading about the arrival and subsequent cloth diapering of Dave Matthews newest baby. Turns out he and his wife had a boy that they named August. That was going to be S's name if she was a boy. No big deal there. It's just funny that he already has a daughter named S. Great hippie minds think alike? Probably not. I'd never dump a chemical toilet into a river in Chicago.

Okay, beyond that there's not too much exciting to report. M's dad is now in Lexington. He's staying with us for a few days until his stuff gets here. It's safe to say we have a houseful with Mr. P and Pretzel added to the mix. Pretzel and Otis are funny to watch, though. It makes Otis seem even more puppyish than usual. He's dying for Pretzel to play. Pretzel has little to no interest in playing. She has been trying to steal Otis's breakfast, though.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

it's not easy being green

S and I did a little work in the garden yesterday afternoon. Correction. She played in the ExerSaucer and "sang" to herself while I worked in the garden. The tomato plants were growing out of control and were beginning to really overtake half of the basil plants. Sooooo, I dug up the endangered basil, moving it to the edge of the garden. I also added another stake for the tomato plants...basically tying up anything that would reach. I can't bear the thought of my beautiful tomatoes rotting on the ground. Plus, we have a bunny that is trying to make our garden into his own private pantry. With everything tied up off the ground, Otis can actually see the bunny and chase him away. Just call Otis "Mr. McGregor." I love it. Besides...I thought bunnies wanted lettuce and carrots. Who ever heard of bunnies trying to swipe zucchini and tomatoes? Beyond that, I actually went to the gym yesterday. With our attempts at getting S into a more predictable napping routine and the nursery being closed from 115-315 in the afternoons, it's actually pretty difficult to get across town to work out while avoiding the mad rush of mommies during the morning classes and the insanity of evening rush hour. I think I've decided I just have to be ready to hop into the car and head that way at a moment's notice. Anywho, I actually ran at the gym. Normally, I am a weights and elliptical machine girl. Yesterday, however, I decided to hop on a treadmill since the machines I like were all occupado. Holy BenGay, Batman. My legs are sore today. It's good, though. It makes me feel like less of a sloth. More like a geriatric, but less like a sloth.

Alright, I'm off to finish the laundry. Happy Wednesday, peeps. Here's a gratuitous S shot.

Monday, July 09, 2007

been there, done that

Another of life's milestones crossed off the list. The ten-year high school reunion has come and gone. It was way more fun that I anticipated. Of course, realizing that enough people were walking through the doors to pay for the event helped me have a lot more fun. Otherwise, I would've been walking around to everyone begging for money. As it turns out, I only had to beg for money when the kegs were floated and we had to pull together enough money to buy another one. Luckily, the more intoxicated people were more than willing to pony up. All in all, it was a great party, and it was really, really nice to see people again. I've gone through the past ten years being pretty indifferent about most of the people I graduated with, but it's nice to be reminded that I know some great people.

I was also really glad that all my high school insecurities did not come back with a vengeance. I had this fear that I would get there and feel like everyone hated me. It didn't go down that way. It probably doesn't hurt that M and I looked great...and I don't look like I just gave birth. Except in the boobs. Those suckers scream "MILK JUGS!" It also helps that I am so super happy with my life. M had asked me a few days before the reunion if I am where I thought I'd be in life ten years after I graduated high school. No, I'm not. I'm also not the same person I was ten years ago. Ten years ago, I didn't want to get married or have kids. I was super ambitious. I wanted to be a lawyer or a lobbyist or the president. You know, something big. Now I realize that being a mom is the biggest thing that I could ever hope to be. For me. It's not for everyone, I suppose.

Moving on...
Baby girl had a good time hanging out with the family. She was, of course, a perfect angel when I left her with them while we went to the reunion. She then decided to stay up most of the night when we got home. I think it was her way of punishing me for making her take a bottle.

Speaking of the girl...she is so close to crawling. I mean, thisclose. She just has to put two and two together. I'm also pretty sure that we're going to achieve teeth in the next couple of days. This could be a big week for S. Fingers crossed.

Monday, July 02, 2007


I have a new least favorite holiday, so move over April Fools Day. The 4th of July is top dog now. Funny thing is, I usually like the 4th. I have a newfound hatred, however, for fireworks. S goes to bed between 7:30 and 8. All the little neighborhood kiddos started shooting off their bottle rockets last night around 7. Awesome. Roman candles and other annoyingly loud fireworks continued until about 10. Needless to say, it's hard to get a baby to sleep through constant booms outside her window. I fear the next couple of nights. I feel like one of those crotchety old people who complains about noise and crazy young whippersnappers. Fireworks should be illegal. They aren't safe anyway. I read something the other day about the average temperature of a lit sparkler being about 1500 degrees. Yowsers. I don't know how I still have fingerprints. They should've burned off when I was a little girl.

Beyond that, we're still trying to get M's dad's new house squared away. We replaced all the locks yesterday, and finished painting the bathroom walls. Now we need to paint the trim in there and hang some new hardware. Then at least the bathroom will be done. Other than that, I am switching out all of the heinous brass switchplate and outlet covers, doing a bit of cleaning, and that's a wrap. At least until we actually move Mr. P.

So much fun. So little time.

Oh, yeah...M and I played Trivial Pursuit Pop Culture 2 last night. I won. I rule. I had two Johnny Depp questions. JHK, I thought of you.