Sunday, November 30, 2008

fa ra ra ra ra

It's looking rather festive at our house! We spent most the afternoon decking the halls...and the living room, the roof, and any other space I could Christmas-tize with anything red, green, or glittery. The biggest project was getting the lights on the required full family participation. (Minus Ralph. He was busy plotting his annual Christmas Tree Take-Down.)

George helped J get started by searching for dead lights. (Actually, he chewed on the lead coated light strings, and got his head flicked twice by J. See the flattened ears? Post-flick #1, pre-flick #2.)

Then A helped his daddy haul the lights upstairs to get them onto the roof.

Griffin stayed on the ground to supervise.

A and I joined in on the supervision, making sure J didn't leave any gaps. Or fall off the roof.

Tah-Dah! It's not the Griswolds', but it's pretty and as good as it gets with our limited light hanging skillz.

a "cat enthusiast"

My dear baby sister Megan really likes her cat. Megan's usually quite sane, until it comes to her feline friend. Call him Milo if you want to be proper. Otherwise, he's known to the family as Muffy, MuffinPants, Mi, or TheCatWhoIsDeadIfHePeesInMySuitcaseEverAgain. Most recently I've dubbed him "The Dingo". (Because dingos eat your babies.) Megan went on the record on her brand new blog about her Milo infatuation, and I just so happen to have the photographic and video evidence to back up this claim. I mean, who doesn't spend Thanksgiving morn playing in the rainy cul de sac with your cat whilst wearing leggings, greek letters, and rain boots?


Thursday, November 27, 2008


The A-man and I made it back to Austin after a long, long day of travel. Very tired, very much in need of a shower to wash away the airplane germs. But above all, so very deeply thankful for so very many things big and small. For my husband, for my son- my two gorgeous, sweet, happy guys who make each day worth waking up for. My mom and papa, my inspiration, my strength, the ones who taught me love. My brother and sister, my partners in crime and my dearest friends always. My FIL, MIL, SIL for their generous hearts and loving spirits, for raising J to be the man he is. My beautiful friends near and (mostly) far, my pets and their endless chaos, my comfortable happy home. Health. Laughter. Safety. Growth. Warmth. 2008, truly a year of so many happy beginnings, the tying up of so many loose ends. I am so truly fortunate in so very many ways, and I am thankful. Thankful for a day that will always remind me of Grandma Rita, her well planned Thanksgiving celebration, her monster cookies, her kiddie tables in back bedrooms. Thankful for the opportunity to love so dearly and strongly our Turkeybaby, due one year ago today, loved always. Thankful to have this life, to be me, to be here.

Thankful. Content. Blessed. Tired.

And of course, missing the family.....Mulligan included.

Monday, November 24, 2008

beach boy

The A-man and I took an impromptu vacation! We're enjoying a relaxing 5 day furlough in semi-sunny Orange County. A's a natural traveler. He flirted with the flight attendants, chugged his bottle, and passed out until it was nearly time to return our tray table to its upright and locked position. We're having a fantastic time at my parents', and yesterday, A had his first oceanic encounter. While not super enthusiastic about the feeling of damp, cold sand between his itty bitty toes (a neat freak like his daddy, methinks), he seemed intrigued overall. I doubt it will be long before he's charging headfirst into the water, properly SPF'd and life jacketed by his very protective mama (and grandma), of course. As always, it's great to see the familia. We flew in on the same flight as Megan, dad gets in tomorrow, and Mikey on Wednesday. We head back to Austin on Thanksgiving, in time to celebrate the evening with J and unfurl my 85 boxes of holiday decor.
Random sidenote: For my friends as obsessed with superficial reality television as I am, yesterday we saw Lauri and her sugar daddy husband from the Real Housewives of OC. The hubby is a little cuter in person, Lauri is much shorter in person, and Lauri's lips are just as crazy ginormous in person as they appear to be on television. Now, aren't you a better person for knowing all this?

Thursday, November 20, 2008

the uglier the better!

Pre-baby, I always wondered how parents put up with all the ugly baby paraphernalia in their house. You know- the primary colored monstrosities covered in stripes and polka dots and animals with smiley faces that you MUST have if you're any sort of decent parent. The activity mat, the bouncy seat, the exersaucer...the list goes on. Well, now I know why it's tolerable. Because it makes your dear, sweet baby make faces like this:

Now that's the face of a baby who is having himself some FUN! I caved today and bought a playmat with a bunch of dangly doo-dads. Not only is it fugly, but it also plays high pitched annoying music guaranteed to cause parental headaches in under a minute! Bonus! But when I placed A on the mat, he appeared suddenly over-caffeinated. Or as my Grandpa would say, "who put the quarter in him"? He spent 30 exhilarating minutes kicking his legs and swinging his arms and cooing enthusiastically at his new plastic friends. He started gasping for air because I'm pretty sure he was so excited he forgot to breathe. It seems the ugly toys make babies very happy. So in turn, I whole heartedly accept the beginning of the ugly baby crap takeover. Because if it makes A happy, it's better than anything a Pottery Barn catalog has to offer.

Here's a video of A enjoying his new toy. Probably snoozeworthy for anyone who isn't his mommy, but clear evidence that he enjoys his new (ugly) playmat.


PS: I've just discovered the other reason parents put up with the ugly baby crap. All the excited baby playtime makes babies very sleepy. And sleeping babies allow tired mommies to read People from cover to cover AND watch Oprah!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

today, happiness is....

1) Mister A surviving his shots. Scratch that, he took 'em like a champ. He screamed his little lungs out with each poke, but before the nurse had applied his third and final camouflage band aid, he was calm and breaking out the smile. He's weighing in at a very porky 14lb, 4oz and in the 95th % for both weight and head size. We weren't surprised by his impressive weight gain. The kid eats like a champ, and his only fussy spells are because someone isn't getting a bottle to his mouth fast enough for His Highness' liking.

2) Filling my SUV's empty gas tank for $28. $28! Now if only formula prices would follow the lead of gas prices, we'd have enough cash left over at the end of the month for a week in Maui!

3) A heartfelt note from a friend who will always hold a special place in my heart, both for her sincere and kind nature, and our joint survival of the houseboat adventure.

4) A's very first play date on the books for tomorrow. He's been warned that he better play nice and not try to eat the other children.

5) Looking back at my former blog's entries from this time one year ago, and realizing how far I've come. How lucky, how happy, how blessed I am. How strong I became by just waking, breathing, moving through the motions each day knowing some way, some how, it had to get better. It got more than better, and it's sweeter than I'd never let myself imagine life (and motherhood) could be.

Monday, November 17, 2008

2 months!

Anderson is 2 months old today! To celebrate, after an exhausting morning walk and grueling photo shoot on the couch, he went hog wild on his morning bottle and passed out in my lap. He's still there, with the cat curled up beside him, and if you ask me....this is bliss. A sweet natured, smiley, happy baby. A purring kitty. A gorgeously crisp fall morning in Texas. Life is good.

Tomorrow may be not as blissful. Mister A is due at the pediatrician for his 2 month appointment. My mommyfriends know exactly what this means....shots. Augh. I actually lost sleep last night in anticipation of this. After that horrid antibiotic shot last month, when his face turned an awful shade of red and we sobbed in unison, I'm not looking forward to putting him through that experience again. (Okay, yeah, I'm also not looking forward to putting myself through it either, selfish as that may be. I prefer "empathetic".) Fortunately, J will be along. So if you need me around 1:30 tomorrow afternoon, check the bathroom at the pediatrician's office. I'll be in there, plugging my ears and quite possibly crying.

A few photos from yesterday. We enjoyed a leisurely day of church (at our very funkyfresh new church home:, brunch (complete with a mimosa for ma-mama), and shopping (J has seen the light and now shares my Martin + Osa obsession). Mister A was a champ throughout, hanging in his stroller or his Bjorn and takin' in the beautiful Austin day. Good boy, A!
Enjoying the Iron Cactus brunch

Introducing A to a little slice of retail heaven...The Domain

Thursday, November 13, 2008

what's wrong with this picture?

Yes, obviously, you see that there's a couch standing on end in our living room. That's not it. It's also not that I've still got a jack-o-lantern on display two weeks after Halloween. I'm a new mom. It will probably still be there in June. Move on, look deeper. See it? The cat atop the side turned couch? THAT's what's wrong.

MY PETS ARE DRIVING ME BONKERS. My dog barks. At everything, at anything, at nothing. The phone rings, bark. I clip my nails, bark. The baby sneezes, bark. God forbid you'd like to use the onion chopper. BARK. I'm certain A's first words will be "GRIFFIN, NO BARK!!!!" Yes, I did my breed research before getting a Sheltie. I knew they barked a bit more than the average dog, as I spent many days of my teenage youth with a wonderful family who had an impressive, spirited collection of Sheltie dogs (hi Kay!) And I accept my bark happy Griffin with a shrug most days, because he's simply cute and sweet enough to overlook his yap-yap-yapping. But other days, I tell him he's off to the sausage factory if I hear ONE.MORE.BARK. In response, he looks at me blankly. Then barks.

Then there's our cats. Ralph, he pees. Right, I realize we all pee, sort of a necessary bodily function. But Ralph pees inappropriately, a result of his vet-diagnosed anxiety "issues". (Note: we've investigated the matter fully- there's nothing physically wrong with Ralph. He's just emotionally troubled.) And for some reason, he chose my Pottery Barn sofa as his ONE object of obsession, so we've taken to covering it with plastic, keeping Stanley Steamer on speed dial, and buying stock in Nature's Miracle. To hasten the eventual premature death of my sofa, George has decided the couch is his personal scratching post. Whyyyyyy? I have ONE piece of beautiful upholstered Pottery Barn goodness to my name. Whyyyyy must they ruin this for me? My mom and I, as we discussed this predicament for the 100th time, decided the couch had to go away for awhile. Remove the temptation for long enough to break the bad habits. So earlier today, I tipped it on end and shoved it between the bookshelf and the wall. HA! Try getting to my couch now, evil felines!

Yeah, nice try. An hour later I went downstairs, and then thought "hmmm...haven't seen George in awhile". Then I looked up. And there he was, smug and snug atop my sofa. He got up, stretched lazily, and then clawed at the arm of the couch as I stood there looking up at him in helpless frustration.

UNCLE. I give up. We'll just go all minimalist and not have furniture anymore. The couch would eventually have met its' demise anyway when Anderson discovers crayons.

Since we're on the animal topic, a shot of Anderson with his Mister Monkey. The look on his face makes me giggle. " you aware that there's a monkey on me? Help? Hulloh? Anybody?"

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

a widdle bitty giggle wiggle!

8 weeks old today! Time is just flying by. Well, the daylight hours are flying by. The night hours, not so much. I love this quote....and agree on all counts:

A baby will make love stronger, days shorter, nights longer, bankroll smaller, home happier, clothes shabbier, the past forgotten, and the future worth living for.

Monkey gets more happy and fun by the day, and I feel so fortuate that (90% of the time, not to include last night when he decided sleeping was to take place in no longer than 2 hour increments) he is just the most easygoing little guy. And earlier this afternoon, I SWEAR he giggled. I have no idea if 8 week old babies can giggle. I'll consult my Dr. Sears baby bible later. But we were sitting here on the couch having a little discussion about our plans for the evening- the usual- bottle, bath, books, bottle again, watch mommy shove a Lunchable in her mouth while keeping the bouncy chair bouncing, hope daddy gets home before bedtime since he is oh-so-gifted at getting Anderson sleepy and really enjoys his alone time with el bebe during the bedtime routine. At the end of all this I told him how tonight, I had a feeling he was going to be a great sleeper and let his very tired parents get some much needed rest. Which sounded sort of like "and tonight, you're going to be the bestest widdle itty bitty sleeper weeper in the whole wide world so your mommy and daddy can get some sweepy sweep"- yes, this is a sad side effect of parenthood: you start talking like you've got a wicked speech impediment. The other night I asked J if he'd like some "chicken wicken for dinner winner". Thankfully he was too absorbed in Prison Break to even hear me.

Anyway, where was I? Oh- so in response, Monkey broke out a big smile....then came what sounded a whole lot like a sweet baby laugh. Monkey LAUGHED! That alone made this day a complete and total joy. Whether or not I sleep tonight.

Friday, November 7, 2008

just a'workin' on his fitness

He's Fergi-licious.......and his "fitness" is his tummy time! And the past few days, he's getting that head waaaay up there. It inevitably crashes back into the blanket after a few wobbly seconds, but hey, we're getting somewhere- that head, like the rest of our chunky Mr. A, is heavy! He's also mastering the art of following a toy from side to side with his eyes. Uncle Michael gave him a set of VERY fun, bright, rattly toys for his baptism that are being put to good use. Right up there with the vacuum cleaner and our ceiling fan, they seem to be the most interesting things in the house. Way to go, Uncle Michael! (Griffin kindly requests a set of his own for Christmas, because he's having trouble understanding why the baby is playing with toys that look suspiciously similar to but infinitely more fun than his dog toys....)

trying, trying.....

Annnnd....we're UP!

favorite toy

Thursday, November 6, 2008

i shoulda just stayed home

Reasons my trip to the store was a virtual buffet of annoyances:

1) A Christmas tree in the entrance. Jingle Bells playing overhead. A whole display of Glade in holiday scents like gingerbread and candy cane. It's November 6. I'm still snacking on Halloween candy! Can't we just give the turkey his time to shine? Poor overlooked turkey.

2) A fanny pack. On a guy. AKA a manny pack. Unless you're in the 6th grade and at Disney World- where I wore with pride my super cool neon nylon fanny pack in 1992- how else would I carry my disposable camera, scrunchie, and Lisa Frank pen for autographs?- a fanny pack is just inexusable. Plus, it's just a super unattractive place to carry extra weight.

3) Whose bright idea was it to put the ramen NOODLES over by the soup? I spent a good 10 minutes examining the pasta aisle, box by box. No luck. Checked out the Asian food section, no avail. Gave up and went in search of chicken noodle soup instead- voila. My ramen, stuck there between the Campells and Progresso. But for $1.20 for a 12 meals, I guess I'll deal with the misplacement.

4) Feeding baby, then strapping in Baby Bjorn = a nice calm quiet sleepy baby at the store. However, it also = bouncing baby to and fro with a tummy full of milk.....and a big spit up explosion down his shirt, down my shirt, and all over our Baby Bjorn. Aaahhh, the lovely scent of baby barf. But I must add how sweetly good natured Anderson was about the mess. Instead of screaming after said explosion, he just rolled with it, and grinned up at me, looking mighty proud of his spit up moustache and beard. Did I mention this was the FIRST time I went into the store without a diaper bag? I really wanted to carry my purse. It's cute, and I miss it. It's also lacking a burp cloth, wet wipe, or anything suitable for wiping a spit up explosion. The Macy's receipt I tried to make do with didn't quite cut it. Lesson learned, stick to the diaper bag, no matter how short the errand. (My shirt cleaned his face just fine, but made me feel like I'd sunk to a whole new level of icky-ness.)

5) And as a final piece de resistance: what, exactly, about a petite woman carrying a tiny baby on her frontside and pushing a wobbly wheeled cart full of bags says "crosswalks are to be ignored" and/or "floor it and pretend you don't see her"? Rudeness. I feel it necessary to point out said rude-guy was driving a car with Oklahoma plates. Because we all know Texans drive friendly, unlike our neighbors to el norte.

Honestly. If my cat hadn't really, really needed his anxiety medication refilled, I'd have run screaming when I saw the Christmas tree.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

baptismal weekend recap

The good news is, at least the illegals will be licensed to drive. I mean, that's a plus.


The baptism weekend/Andersonorama 2008 was a success! Mr. A was his usual charming self and seemed to enjoy the company of his nearest and dearest- big grins to anyone who looked his way. The baptism was very special- two pews full of people we love, a very touching service, and a pastor who called him Alexander about 105 times (which sent A's mother and Godmother into fits of giggles each and every time). Other than the main event: lots of hanging out, chatting, eating, laughing, baby holding, cat/dog petting, etc. The grandpas kept themselves busy- we've got a newly installed bedroom ceiling fan AND a super convenient garage door opener to show for their toils! (Thanks, Grandpas!) We could have done without the Green Bay and UT losses....but such is life. We deal. The family started their mass exodus late Sunday, and we just dropped mom off at the airport this morning (sniffle, sniffle). We got home and Anderson looked at me like "uh....where's my posse?" It's mighty quiet around here, and we're missing la familia today. I'll conclude with some photos from the weekend. (For some reason I had to crop these, they were jumbo, so some look a little funny.....too tired to care.)

Anderson, Auntie Megs, Uncle Drew

Some pre-baptism Anderson adoring

Anderson and his Godmother Michelle

Enjoying some Grandma time

Michael and Nikki

Project Ceiling Fan: COMPLETE

Testing the weight limit on "big brown"....10 people on, room for more!