Thursday, April 30, 2009

not about pig flu

Another day, another headless bunny.

Remember how Ralph assassinated that sweet little bunny a month ago?  His killer instinct is progressing, so any bunnies in my reading audience, consider this your warning.  It's no longer enough to kill the bunny and drag it home.  About a week ago, he started ripping the heads off of his prey.  Yes, you read that right.  He decapitates the poor little bunny and leaves its' headless carcass on my front door mat.  Tonight, because I was exhausted and starving and too lazy to cook, I ordered pizza.  Thirty minutes later...."ding dong".  Then, through the door, I hear a muffled voice.  "Um, hello?  You've got"  I open the door to find the pizza boy green at the gills, trying to warn me not to look.  I look down, and though I already know what I'm about to see, I gag and immediately lost my appetite.  Pizza Guy said "I tried to warn you!  I think your cat did it!"  Like I was going to think Pizza Guy himself had chewed bunny's head off and thrown it down there as some sort of creepy appetizer.

How gross is that?  Really gross, right?  Wanna hear the grossest part?  I can't find the heads.  I just threw up part of my pizza dinner into my throat thinking about that.  Is he eating the heads?  ::gag::  Let's move on to something less vomit inducing. 

Tonight, I handed A his first toothbrush.  He's obsessed with watching us brush our teeth.  He'll stop whatever it is he's doing (usually chewing his hands mathematics) and stare in awe.  I decided it was time to introduce him to his own dental hygiene tool.

At first, he wasn't impressed.  It's not motorized like daddy's.

But he considered it.

And decided to give it a try.  A backwards try.  But a try.

Once he figured out that the bristly part goes in his mouth, he decided this toothbrush thing was pretty fun.

What a day it's been.  From pigs to headless bunnies to tooth brushing babies.


Hey, can you hear me from under here?  Hello?  I write from underneath my bed, where I'm hiding from the pig flu.  Cowering as neurotic germophobe freak shows do.  I was really hanging in there okay until the news last night that a toddler here in Texas died and the entire Fort Worth school district closed....then I gathered up the canned goods and retreated to the underbed.

Okay, I lied, I'm not really hiding under my bed.  But I'd like to, if it were roomier and had DVR access.  At very least, I'm shielding Anderson from the public.  That long overdue grocery/TP/baby formula trip?  Made at 7am today, in order to go alone and without the Mister (before the big Mister left for work).  One teeny tiny positive benefit of the swine flu?  Discovering that Walmart is actually relaxing at 7am.  The floors freshly mopped, the shelves neatly stocked, the crazies still at home in bed asleep on the streetcorners!  It was almost like Target, minus the $300 tab at the end!  

So in all seriousness, I am a little scared about this outbreak.  For the time being, A & I are laying very low.  Stroller walks, playing in the yard, avoiding human contact.  Not the recipe for a well rounded social life (or a super sane mother), but I'll do what I've got to do to keep the little guy healthy and pig-free.  

I'll post later with a picture or something semi-sane and redeem myself to all of you who are going "damn, this blog post is boring.  And Mandie's quite possibly losing her mind."

Monday, April 27, 2009

the real housewife

I have no idea where those casting execs at Bravo find their 'Real Housewives', but they've missed the mark.  This is what the life of a real housewife looks like:

Child in pajamas (at 11am), dog underfoot, groceries spread about, and the kitchen baby food factory looking anything but camera-ready.  Puffs, baby bottles, sink full of dishes, cookbook open, and behind the lens- an unshowered ponytailed mama.  A rainy Monday tailor made for staying inside and embracing domesticity.  

I suppose shopping sprees and grand fetes do make for better TV than a messy suburban kitchen.  Ah, well.  I'd take this version of reality any day.  Not that I'd turn down a shopping spree.  I'm domesticated, not dead.

And just for the fun of it, a few pictures of A from the weekend.  Who is this super-sized child and what has he done with my baby?  

Friday, April 24, 2009

baby blues

hold the zoloft, we're not talking about those baby blues.

these are the baby blues I love to love:

Have I mentioned how much I love my new camera?  I haven't?  Oh.  Well then: I LOVE MY NEW CAMERA.  While I'm well aware that Anderson will have no use for a five foot pile of photos from his first year ("here you are sitting on our front porch on some random Friday of your seventh month of life"), still, I find so much joy in capturing the minutiae of our days.  Time is in such a hurry to pass, our baby changing to boy before our eyes.  But with a click of my camera, time stops for just one second.  Commits that moment to something permanent, tangible.  Ensures that when I'm old and my memory fails, we'll still have proof of the beauty, the bliss of these quietly passing moments.  I'll look at this photo and even if I can't remember the day or the occasion or why I took the photo (or my name or whether it's 2075 or 1999), I'll recall the clear blue innocence of baby A's eyes and the careful way he'd sit and watch the world.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

a swing for A

the hanging of A's first swing was a family affair.

first, J utilized a very scientific method to ensure the sufficient strength of the chosen tree limb.

it passed.

Griffin paced nervously and yipped, 
unaccustomed to 'his people' hanging from trees.

meanwhile, A entertained himself (and his mama) by...

reading a book

studying nutrition
experimenting with fashion
and being generally, ridiculously adorable

(my role in this endeavor was threefold: chief picture taker, head puff-hander-outer, and proper tree swing height consultant.)

and finally, 
the project completed, 
Mister A (and his parents) discovered the joy of a backyard swing.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

rub a duck dub

..a boy in his (new ducky) tub.

At the end of one of those days, a ten dollar rubber ducky tub lights my little A's eyes, draws out his sweet giggles, reminds me that I have everything that truly matters.  (Including 3 puked on shirts, a flooded laundry room, and a bratty neighbor kid whose fingers I'll break one by one the next time I catch her poking my cat with a coat hanger.)  

But most importantly, most deserving of my attention: I have so much perfect love in my life.  I have the kind of life I always wanted, where yellow rubber ducky tubs define a day.

Monday, April 20, 2009


I'm living such a manly life these days.  Cars, trucks, tractor toys, superhero shirts.  This is not what I ever imagined.  I was quintessentially feminine pre-Anderson.  Clothes, hair, sparkles, all things pretty.  I owned the Girl Talk game.  I could (okay, still can) smell a mall from a mile away.  But now, I live (and love) this life where a ride in A's hand-me-down plastic car is the highlight of our afternoon, where the world stops spinning when the garbage truck rolls by, Mister A held in a trance by the noise, the motion.  Pure boyishness. 

The best and surprising part is, I don't long for dollies, for hair bows, for pinkness.  Maybe a little bit of longing for this season's delightful Baby Gap sundresses, but we've got lots of sweet baby girl friends to buy those for.  I love this boy, and I love what he loves.  Even if it means sitting in the grass, sullying my clothes, and shooting footage of the recycler truck man doing his thing.  And totally showing our recycling bin who is BOSS. Take THAT, recycling bin.
And more video, since A's godmommy asked so nicely for more A in action.
Still not exactly crawling.  He's got the back end motion down, it's his arms that won't cooperate.  Oh well.  More time to enjoy my breakable lower shelf decor.


Today, our world returns to 'real life'.  I said a tearful goodbye to Kay and Beth last night, and as I write this, they're on a northbound plane.  I hope very much that they'll be greeted in Bismarck with sunshine and springtime.  And I also hope another nine years won't go by before our next visit.  So today, it's quiet around here.  April has zoomed by with travel and holiday and special events.  And without discounting the obvious joy we get from spending time with people we love doing things we don't normally get to do....there's something very joyful about the return to our quieter days after a three week hiatus.  Our open calendar, the ability to let Mister Anderson's naps (or lack thereof) predict our schedule, the freedom to putter around Central Market discovering new delicacies, time to sit on the living room floor working on that "ma ma ma ma" thing.  Don't get me wrong- we're missing the grandmas, the grandpas, the aunties, the friends- and all the A-loving they lavished upon our boy.  Just saying it's okay to be back to this as well.

A few parting shots from last night, our girls' night out downtown.  Margaritas, a walk to the Capital, and because Austin has definitely made me weird....the bats.  Which my guests and I loved so much, we just couldn't resist the 'Keep Austin Batty' shirts.  Oh, Austin, how I love thee.  Any other city considers bats a pest control issue.  Here, we gather to celebrate and sell shirts.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

saturday mornings

Remember Saturday mornings back then?  Before they were filled with the built up housework and mundane errands of grown-up-hood?  The Saturday mornings of kid-hood.  Stay in your PJs, spread a blanket on the living room floor, watch cartoons and eat bowl after bowl of your favorite all-sugar cereal.  At our house, the blankie on the floor was a "boat", the carpet surrounding us an ocean.  I threatened to shove my little sister off the "boat" and into the shark infested carpet-water more than once.   She kept talking during Inspector Gadget! 

With a little help from his mama, Anderson's getting the hang of this Saturdaying thing.  Blankie on the floor, favorite tractor toy at arms reach, Baby Einstein on the telly.  No Fruit Loops just yet (still working on Cheerios), nobody to shove into the ocean, and the TV time is kept to an educational, 30 minute minimum.....but it's a kid-hood Saturday morning all the same.  And it's just as fun for me this time around as it was back then.

Friday, April 17, 2009

7 months

Sweet Mister Anderson, 7 months old on this dark and stormy morning.  

Unbelievable how fast these months go by, how fast our dear boy is growing and changing and becoming less baby boy and more Anderson.  Each month he grows sweeter, funnier, and though it seems impossible- happier.  (And heavier.)  How lucky we are to witness this little life blooming right here in our happy home. 

Thursday, April 16, 2009

a bloggy buffet

1. My hiney feels better.  It was a long night of itching and scratching and whining to J about my broken hiney, but I think I'm on the mend.  Thanks to all who expressed concern for my hiney.  I'll stop saying hiney now.


Okay, really I'm done now.

2. My friend Sara just sent me this, and I laughed so hard Griffin got nervous and left the room.  She Photoshopped this snuck Mister A out when I wasn't looking and took some proper Texas bluebonnet photos.  I bet her hiney came out unscathed (she's a native).  I'll print this for his baby book, because as I said yesterday- never again.  Look how jolly my boy looks amongst the devilbonnets!

3. My lovely North Dakotan friends arrived today, and I can already tell it's going to be one of those visits that ends much too quickly.  Funny how you can pick up right where you left off when you "left off" almost a decade back.  As Kay said, "some friendships are just meant to last".  Amen.  Of course, our sunny weather turned to crap just in time for their arrival.  Rain, rain, rain.  As much as I do love some grass-greening rain, I'd prefer some sunshine for my wintered out friends. 
4. In honor of Kay, whom Griffin has to thank for starting my Sheltie obsession with her sweet brood of Sheltie babies, a photo.  For once, Griffin braved the camera and sat pretty for me.

5. Last but most certainly not least......I TOLD you Megan and I met Chuy!  I wasn't lying!  We really did get our picture with Chelsea's Little Nugget!  A spring breaker girl took the pictures on her camera and (picture me making a surprised face) lost my email address.  Thankfully I have enough spring breaker girl experience that I had the foresight to ask for HER address as well.  She sent me this last night:

Look how tall we are!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

i messed with texas

And Texas, without hesitation, kicked my Yankee ass.

You see, down here in the Lone Star state, it's a springtime right of passage to photograph your child in the bluebonnets.  What are bluebonnets?  If you ask my dad, they're "stupid girly weeds".  If you ask Texas, they're her blueish purple state flower.  If you ask me they're the devil, because in my quest to assimilate by getting some shots of A amongst these things, I ended up with red welts on my hiney.

Let me back up.  I was originally disinterested in this Texan bluebonnet picture tradition.  But as each of my Texan friends proudly showed off their baby smiling amongst the bonnets, and when we spotted a few families out along the roadside taking bluebonnet pics on Monday, I started to crack.  So this afternoon, when A woke early from his nap and we had a half hour to kill, I dressed Mister A in his finest Ralph Lauren and headed out.  Not to a field, because I have no idea how to find a bluebonnet field.  But there's a big patch of purple flowers near our house, I figured it would do.  I also made the assumption that any ugly-ish purple flowers growing in Texas = bluebonnets.  Foreshadowing, my friends, stay with me.  We arrived, I spread a blanket out so A wouldn't come in contact with nature and squatted down low to get to his eye level.  Then fell backward onto my derriere.  Now's when I sheepishly admit I was wearing shorts.  SHORT workout shorts.  I wore shorts to a field full of weeds because I'm an idiot it's laundry day.  So I just stayed there with my behind exposed to the ground, snapping (really bad) shots of A looking totally baffled and somewhat annoyed.  Squinty too.  This was starting to seem like a dumb idea.  And is it just me, or is my hiney starting to itch?  I clicked on.  About two minutes later, I felt a tingly, mildly itchy sensation from my legs to my lower hiney.  And about two seconds after that, it started to burn SO badly that I leaped to my feet and shrieked, pretty sure some awful swarm of insects was feasting on my rear.  This startled A, who (bad mommy alert) toppled forward off the edge of the blanket and scraped his forehead on the stupid weeds.  Now we're both near tears, I've got 13 sucky photos, and I'm totally over this stupid flower thing.

A was fine as soon as I wiped his forehead and handed over the Whoozit.  But mama?  Not so fine.  Burning and itching don't exactly do my malady justice.  More like "try really hard not to scare the bejeebies out of A by screaming in anguish  and get home as fast as you can to rip these shorts off and make this torture stop".  It required a good 20 minute soak in a cool tub full of baking soda to start to feel slightly less like I might die, while A sat in his exersaucer quietly eying me with what I swear was an "I told you that was a dumb idea" look.  

Oh, but wait.  The dumbest part is still coming.

THEY WEREN'T EVEN BLUEBONNETS.  I found out later it was lavender.  (Thank you, FireChiefsBride.)  My only bluebonnet spotting experience was, well, looking those photos I was telling you about and having J point out patches of blueish purple flowers and say "look, honey, bluebonnets!"  I really should have done some google research.  But this is my style- I get an idea, I run with it, no time to ask questions or rethink.  Most times, this quick thinking works in my favor.  Today, it welted my hiney and netted some really fugly pictures of my poor kid in some dumb looking weeds. 

I should have listened to my dad and stayed away from the weeds.  Mark my words: NEVER AGAIN.  I'm hereby announcing my personal bluebonnet ban.  A will probably have his Texan card yanked later in life when he's unable to produce any "baby in a bluebonnet" photos.  So be it, he can point back to this post (forever in internetland) and blame his northern mother.

And no, I won't share the awful photos of A in a bunch of weeds.  I can't believe I even shared this story.  But no pictures.  I've got some pride.

But I will share this evidence that I'm not totally brainless.  I mean, can you sort of see why I got confused?

Bluebonnet Imposters:

Monday, April 13, 2009

easter fun

My, what a happy Easter we had.  (Despite some very loud, very persuasive protest on A's part during the late night drive to Houston.  I can't blame the kid.  If I were fast asleep and some giant people plucked me from my bed, spoke in hushed whispers, and strapped me down in a dark vehicle for hours on end, beside a dog no less- I'd protest too.)  But after that, it was smooth sailing.  And laughs and yummy food and a fun trivia Easter egg game and of course, lots and lots of pictures.  So because I'm tired, I'll keep the words to a minimum (or try to- that's never been my forte) and share our weekend in pictures.  And also say how fortunate I feel for these loving, good people in our lives.  

We played a fun trivia game.  Being the classy gal I am, I'll refrain from bragging and not tell you who won.  (::cough cough ME!  HAHAHAHA!  I WON!!  cough cough::)  No matter, because there were prizes for all the (big grown up) kids.

When the actual kid woke from his nap, someone had the funny idea that we should ALL greet him.  Ever unflappable, he smiled and laughed and acted like EVERY nap ends with a bunch of people storming his room. 

Then, Mister A was given his first car.  (Who needs a license?)  

After a quick driving lesson from his Papaw, A was ready to roll.

"FASTER PAPAW!  Don't listen to my mommy!  GO FAST!"

A quick break in the action for some family photos.

Then, right back to doin' dude things.  Like talking cars.  And eating sunhat chinstraps.

So much fun was had that even Mister A, smiler extraordinaire, was solemn as we headed home.  Thankfully he had his buddy Gronkey to keep his spirits up. 

Next up as April continues to hurtle toward May: A's 7 month-iversary, Kay & Beth's Texas visit,, probably a whole bunch of pictures.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

hoppy easter

I've sealed my fate.  Someday in the very distant future, I'm going to end up dumped into a crusty low brow nursing home without cable TV.  Why?  Because my son, now so sweet and obliviously compliant, will want revenge for the following photos.

After that very fun photo shoot, we stopped by the neighborhood Easter egg hunt.  (We ditched the bunny hat.  I'm not that crazy.)  No egg hunting this year, but I did get a photo of Anderson meeting "The (two tone) Easter Bunny".  Look how thrilled he looks.  Give him a year.  Next Easter, he'll be advanced enough to realize the big creepy bunny brings candy.

Happy Easter, everyone!  xoxo 

Friday, April 10, 2009

rookie mom

Poor Mister A.  Much like the time I emerged from a job interview, looked in the mirror, and discovered that I had some lettuce wedged between my teeth....the little man went to lunch (with cute girls, no less) with his little shoes like this:

Thursday, April 9, 2009

back to reality

We're home!  Goodbyes, they're never fun.  I cried roughly 1/4 of the way to the airport.  Mom stayed strong for the both of us, and smiled with A for a sweet goodbye picture.  (Don't worry, we didn't pull a Britney and drive there like that.  We're parked.)

Despite some serious pre-boarding concerns, the flight went very well.  What serious pre-boarding concerns, you ask?  Not a mechanical failure announcement or a drunken pilot at the gate....a high school cheer team.  A blonde, squealing, matching black and gold swishy sweat suit wearing throng of at least 25.  They had the terminal's attention, that's for sure.  The menfolk were ogling (even the men beyond the appropriate age to be ogling high schoolers), the womenfolk were wondering if we were ever that thin and/or annoying.  (Yes and/or yes.)  Mister A even gawked, but I think that was more about the pom poms.  I HOPE that was more about the poms, or Mister A needs a talkin' to.  I was a cheerleader, I've got no right to judge the squealing or the poms, but man....this did not bode well for a quiet restful flight.

It was better than I thought.  Thank God for their iPods and the in-flight television.  Also thanks much to my very sweet seat neighbor, a 8th grade girl with a  new baby sister at home all too happy to hold Anderson so I could use the facilities without a baby in tow.  (Never tried it?  Don't.)  In turn, I pretended (again) to know who the Jonas Brothers are and she nodded with eager approval when my answer to her "which one do YOU think is cutest" was my "uh, well, probably the middle one".  So we flew on smoothly, flipped through Seventeen together and discussed The Hills ("who do YOU think is prettier?  LC or Audrina?"), landed safely, and heaped hugs and kisses on J upon our arrival.  I missed that guy even more than I thought.

And now, we get back in the swing of life at home.  A's sleeping like a champ, seemingly undisturbed by the time zone changes.  We hit up Target this morning and it was smiles and good behavior galore, rewarded with a bunch of bananas and a new swing for the backyard.  We even braved the 90 degree summer heat (spring apparently slipped away in our absence) for a nice long walk around the 'hood.  And I felt so loved when I spied a sign in my favorite neighbor friend's back window welcoming us home.  How cool is that?!  Oh, I must also add that my camera is here.  Look out, A, you've now got paparazzi.

Now, we look ahead to finishing out a very busy April.  We're off on our very first family road trip this weekend.  I've got lovely friends from way back when coming to see us next week.  Mister A turns 7 months.  Good times ahead.