Saturday, May 30, 2009


I can't straighten my arms.  They're stuck in a 45 degree angle, and trying to force anything wider causes me to swear wildly in pain.  Jillian isn't joking around.  I really hope my crooked arms aren't permanent.

Anderson's currently taking the longest nap he's taken, oh, ever.  Going on 2.5 hours now.  He's a straight up 40 minute speed nap type kid.  I've snuck into his room twice just to make sure he's still breathing.  He is.  He's just very tired, I guess.  Teething and throwing a huge embarrassing fit during lunch at Jason's Deli apparently do that to a kid.  (The fit was caused by my refusal to hand over a butter knife he just had to have.  I'll give in on my car keys, my cell phone, and even paper....but knives are just out of the question.  Until he's at least a year, obviously.)

It's super hot, and I realized today when I walked out into the pressing heat and actually smiled at the feel of it that I'm getting closer to being a bona fide southerner each summer.  The first summer we were here, I thought I was going to die.  The second summer I thought I was going to die, but only because I was hauling around fifty extra pounds of baby and who-knows-what-else (yes, I said fifty, put your eyeballs back in your head).  This summer, summer three as a Texan, I'm actually enjoying the heat and the way it makes me feel like I'm on a perma-vacation somewhere tropical.  It's been above 90 every day lately and now that I got it through my head that I can't wear foundation and anything with sleeves has been put away for the next three months....well, I'm kind of digging this hotness.  We'll see if my heat loving ways continue through the 100+ degree days of mid to late summer.

Mister A got his first taste of blueberries yesterday.  He went wild- yanking the spoon, shoving the stuff that splattered off the spoon and onto the tray into his face, and just generally acting like this was the best thing he'd ever laid lips on.  

Exhibit A:

PS: Never brag about your baby's marathon nap.  A jinx if there ever was one.  Nap over.

Friday, May 29, 2009

out, in, out

The grass is always greener on the other say the boy who wants out and the cat who wants in.  Welcome to my days.  Dog out, dog in.  Cat out, cat in.  Other cat out, other cat in.  And now that Mister A is crawling and standing and realizing there's a big bright world with parks and birds and grocery store balloons waiting for him outside these four walls, he's joining the line at the (revolving) door.

And the other kitty's not loving the whole "pulling up" thing.  The couch used to be George's safe place, out of reach from grabby little hands and their tendency of yanking instead of petting.  No more, Dubya, baby's coming to get you.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

have i mentioned crazy happy I am to be this boy's mommy?
very crazy happy, that's how happy.

and I think J's pretty happy to be his daddy, too.

And the happy family is together once more.  Anderson and I returned to Texas yesterday, and it was the same old struggle of emotions as we boarded the plane- tears at saying goodbye to my family (and beautiful California too) but an excited buzz about getting back.  Back to J, back to the furry friends (and the non-furry friends too), back to our familiar routine, just back. Away from mom's ridiculously delicious homemade brownies and their evil plot to give me a muffin top....back to the fridge nearly empty but for A's YoBaby yogurt, A's cheese, and a whole lotta diet soda.  

I came back to find Jillian had arrived.  The Jillian.  Shred Jillian, Biggest Loser Jillian, "TV's toughest trainer" Jillian, the one all the mommies seem to be trusting to bring our pre-baby bodies back.  I start tonight, and I'm expecting pain.  And probably whining and maybe even tears.  Wish me luck.

Monday, May 25, 2009

the problem

The problem with a relaxing vacation is, it's actually possible to get so vacationized that you become too relaxed.  So relaxed that, while sunning on the deck absorbed in the best book I've read so far this year (yes, even better than the 1,943 times I've read Brown Bear, Brown Bear), a baby's cries breaking my peaceful silence were just that...a baby, crying.  Not my baby crying, because in my very relaxed state, I nearly forgot I even had a baby.  There I sat, reading my book, ruining my skin, thinking "hmm, didn't realize any of mom and dad's neighbors have a baby at home".  Then "good gracious, somebody quiet that child!  I'm trying to read here!"  Then "hmm, that sort of sounds familiar".  Then "oh, crap, I have a baby!  That's MY baby crying!"  Whoops.  

Maybe this means that as hard as it is to peel myself and Mister A away from California and the family, it's about time to get on home.  I mean, I'm forgetting I have a baby.  If we stay much longer I'll forget my middle name or how much I hate bluebonnets.  That would be bad.  For my hiney.

And I'm also needing to get home to start The Shred.  I'm blatantly copying my good friend Sarah in her quest to look like Gillian Michaels.  Or Gillian's somewhat less manly sister with blonder hair.  That's my quest anyway, after a panicky moment earlier this week when I realized in order to take Mister A swimming, I'd have to remove my cover up.  And reveal the unbikini body underneath.  In public.  In a state where women actually look like Jessica Alba and Giselle.  Gulp.  I gritted my teeth and disrobed, because I'm a mom and we are expected to set aside our vanity for the happiness of the little people, but I sure wasn't happy about feeling so self conscious despite the baby weight being (99%) gone.  Time for some firming and toning.  Wish me luck, internet.  I hear Gillian's about to kick my ass six ways from Sunday.  

Enough about me, how's Mister A, you ask?  Super relaxed as well, despite those three minutes of crying after naptime before his mommy snapped to it.  His teeth seem to be on a break from causing him immense pain and uncharacteristic crankiness, thank goodness.  Let's hope this parlays into a nice long uninterrupted 13 hour night's sleep for the both of us.
Grandma and Grandpa took Mister A to the park.  Where he hid out in a conch shell and was apparently given some very surprising news by a dolphin.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

vroom vroom

His language skills are still pretty primitive, so we aren't exactly sure what Mister A was "saying" in this picture.  But we're thinking it was either "I gotta wait how many more years to drive this thing?" or "Dude, where's my car seat?"  Whatever it is he's saying, I think the little man looks pretty cool behind the wheel of Grandpa's car.
We loved our visit from our friends Cari and Jason and their super adorable little family.  However, someone needs to tell Mister A that he's not going to be a very popular boy if he gnaws on his friends.  
Thankfully W's the patient type and didn't knock A off the couch for that.
How lucky we are with friends like these.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

like a fish

He swims splashes, looks confused, and refuses to smile!  Today, A had his first aquatic experience outside of the bathtub walls.  Despite the confusion about bathing clothed with a bunch of people in his tub and his somber expression (thanks, *&^%$#@ teething), he was a very happy boy slish-splashing in the pool.  

Friday, May 22, 2009

teething sucks, cali doesn't

Ahh, teeth.  Seems they've got no regard for vacation or beauty sleep.  A's working on #4, a particularly pesky top tooth causing a whole lot of misery, mostly of the nighttime variety.  More clearly, of the "wake and scream at the top of your lungs no matter what your concerned but exhausted and half-asleep mommy tries to do for you for 90 minutes straight until passing out and snoring like a truck driver for a few hours before starting the fun all over again and making mommy wonder where Grandpa hides the tequila" variety.  He's still awake tonight.  Bedtime #1 came hours ago, and a whole lot of miserable screaming ensued (between rocking, Motrin-dosing, back rubbing, etc.) until two sympathetic grandparents intervened, bringing Mister A out of the crib for a do-over.  (He thanked Grandpa by barfing all down his neck and shirt.)  Bedtime #2 is in process, and from my hiding spot out on the patio, I'm pretty sure those are Mister A screams I hear downstairs.  Thank God for Grandmas.  And wine.

Despite the dental drama, we've still been managing to have a great time, as usual.  Hanging out, eating well, enjoying the effervescent SoCal sunshine.  Tonight, after a delicious (belated) Mother's Day dinner, we tried out the famed Sprinkles Cupcakes.  Holy.  Moly.  Absolutely worth the wait in a shockingly long line that stretched out the door and to the parking lot.  A little heavy handed on the frosting, and most certainly not something I'd eat more than once a season if I'd like to continue wearing pants without elastic waistbands....but one taste explains the hype, for sure. 

Anderson and Mama, leaving Sprinkles.  A's looking super peppy, don't you think?

Thursday, May 21, 2009

good to be A

Life is rough for Mister A.  

I mean, who wants to swing away the afternoon in a big fun park overlooking the big blue sea, anyway?  You gotta feel for the kid, with his busy travel schedule and adoring entourage everywhere he goes.  It's a hard life, but someone's got to live it.....

Tuesday, May 19, 2009


We've found a most ideal babysitter.  Cheap, clean, and most certainly not going to finish off my last pint of Ben & Jerry's Half Baked. 
Yes, he is pulling himself to standing.  
Yes, the laundry basket did topple forward just after this picture.  
Yes, I've got catlike reflexes and caught him.  
Yes, we are leaving for California today.  
No, I have not got my bags packed.  
Yes, must stop blogging and get in gear.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

8 months

Mister Anderson, 2/3 of the way to his first birthday.  Oh, my. Four more signs and we're done.  Oh, sad. 

As fun as the outcome may be (for me), our "every-17th-of-the-month photo session" was so much easier before he was a moving, squealing, busy little man with a mind of his own.  Month one went something like this: tape up sign, prop baby on couch, get shot with baby's eyes open...done!  At eight months old, our little guy has other ideas.  "Oh, neat!  I'm on the couch!  Hey!  I'm sitting!  On the couch!  Hey!  Hi mom!  Whatcha doin'?!  Dad!  Hey!  What's this?!  Paper!  Yum!  Paper!  Hey!  What's that?!  Camera!  Yum!  Camera!  Hey!  I can crawl!  This is so cool!  Look!  I'm crawlll....oh, HEY, PAPER!  PAPER!  YUM!  HEY!  CAMERA!"  You get the picture.  I got the pictures too.  79 in total, just one of the boy, the sign, and a semi-smile.  The rest, well, they looked a lot like this:

"Got the paper, now hey, lemme at that camera!"

"Hey!  Where'd that paper go?!"

Saturday, May 16, 2009

yes, yes you are

You are a star, Mister A.  For grinning and giggling and blowing spit bubbles through your teething pain, for trying oh-so-compliantly to choke down some lunch before deciding that no, it just wasn't happening.  (We could have done without you shoving the bowl out of my hands and onto the floor, but hey, nobody's totally perfect.)

You're also a star for straight up rocking those new pajamas of yours, the ones you chose yourself at the store yesterday.  (He really did!  I'd chosen the brown monkey set when he practically lunged out of my arms toward this lion ensemble.  I tried to put it back on the rack, but he just grinned and cooed with delight, hugging the lion shirt to his chest.  Who am I to suppress his burgeoning fashion sense?)  Finally, you're a star for the sweet duck tail puff of white blond hair sticking straight up off your head this morning.  The one so sweet I refuse to slick it down.  It works on you.

So loved, my little star.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

all sorts of special

We're having one of those days.  One of those "as fun as a root canal are you sure it's not Monday and are you kidding me it's only noon?" type days.  It was set into motion just an hour into the day when A woke up in teething pain at 1am.  It continued (for me) long after he returned to sleep, as I laid awake in bed worrying about a ridiculous array of things over which I have no control (an anthrax attack a la the latest episode of Criminal Minds, missing the tight connection on our trip in June that isn't even officially booked yet, why not one single person in Austin wants to come see our aggressively priced and pretty much like new house, if all my teeth will fall out someday, etc.)  And on and on it's gone.  Poor A's whiny and restless and in pain, refusing even Puffs for lunch after making it clear my homemade mac n cheese was the most disgusting thing he'd ever encountered on the end of his spoon.  I was even nice enough to leave the broccoli out of the recipe.  No matter, he wasn't having it, a total waste of 35 minutes and a block of organic cheese that probably cost about $45 a pound.  Out of Baby Tylenol and in need of medication for my pancake sized canker sore that's making it painful to eat but somehow hasn't stopped me from eating three chocolate chip cookies today, we trudged out to the store.  But before I had A fully buckled in, he puked.  Not spit up- this was chunky and smelled so rancid that I thought I might puke too.  Back out of the seat, back into the house, change of clothes for A, wet wash clothe to wipe down the seat, scrub seat with fussing baby on one hip in the 96 degree garage, buckle the poor kid back into the seat, back out of the driveway.  Only then did I realize he'd managed to shoot a bit of the puke onto my shirt.  Which I was absolutely not taking the time to go change if we were ever going to actually make it out of the neighborhood for our much needed drugs for our respective ailments.  Thank you Jesus for baby wipes, and I sincerely do mean that.  As a nice finishing touch, we emerged from the store to find that a bird had shat down the side of my freshly washed vehicle.  Roof to door handle.  

Considering all this fun and fortune and A's out of whack nap schedule, I decided we weren't going to make today's Gymboree class.  Which is probably okay, because this is how impressed Anderson was with last weeks' class:

These were taken shortly before he had a screaming, kicking meltdown during parachute time, causing all the other parents to stare with a mix of disdain and 'thank goodness that's not my kid' relief.  Whatever.  Save your disdain for the mom showing her boobies at Gymoboree.  (Not for feeding purposes.)  (See photo #1.)  (Unless you're a guy, because then you already noticed.)

Oh, since I'm on a roll here with all my sparkling sunshine, this is what J and I wake up to each morning on our bedroom wall:

The work of a "stager" brought in by our (otherwise very sane, seemingly very capable Realtor).  What I failed to realize is that by "staging" she meant "make your bedroom look like an roadside Holiday Inn last updated in 1986".  I mean, seriously.  Have you ever seen something LESS my style?  Gold?  Mauve?  BIRDS?  I think they're going to have to come down.  They're giving J nightmares.

And finally, to cap this hodge podge of a Thursday posting with something actually pretty cute, FakeRalph strikes again.

"Pssst...hey, dude...everything okay?  You're awfully quiet.  And you don't smell at all like dead bunnies."

Wednesday, May 13, 2009


Just your average 96 degree mid-May Wednesday.  NINETY SIX.  If this is May, I shudder to think of what August will bring.  By my approximation, probably daytime highs of 184.  (But don't take my word for it.  I'm no meteorologist and certainly no mathematician.)  Thank goodness for the three week Midwestern escape we have coming up at the end of June.  Well, A and I get three leisurely weeks up north.  J's only partaking in one week of relaxation.  Someone's got to be here to sift through all those offers we're getting on our house work.  The breezy weather is only part of the appeal.  We also get to meet THESE sweet little ones at long last (three of my best friends' babies) and spend the July 4th holiday with my family at the lake.  There's just nothing like a margarita on the screen porch, Apples to Apples with my hilarious siblings, and a late night lakeside campfire.  Even if it means assuming the risk of being eaten by a Hodag.  What's a Hodag?  Google it.  It's scary.  Or just look for pictures of A with said Hodag in six weeks or so.

Anyway, it's hot out.  Not sure how I ended up on that tangent.  Probably because my brain is fried by this NINETY SIX DEGREE HEAT.

J, A, and I made a grocery store trip this afternoon.  (After I returned from getting my hair highlighted.  Love.  It.)  While we carted 'round the store, A channeled his inner/future frat boy.  Polo shirt?  Check.  Khakis?  Check.  Baseball cap?  Check.  And of course, booze.  Not that any frat boys I know drink pink wine.  In public, at least.  (I realize this is the second photo of A with a wine bottle, and I realize it's marginally inappropriate to encourage infantile interest in the vino.  It was his idea.  And he's just too cute to deny the simple pleasure of gumming his teething gums upon the cap of a cheapo bottle of wine.  After I may or may not have wiped it down with an anti-bacterial wipe.  Maybe.)

Excuse the poor quality cell phone pictures.
My very cute boys, just being all cute and surprisingly accepting of my aisle nine photo shoot.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

note to husbands

When choosing a Mother's Day card to give to your wife from your baby, look for cartoonish baby animals hugging their cartoonish animal mommies, look for childish hearts in Crayola shades.  But whatever you do, as pretty as a card may look at first glance, read it carefully before purchasing.  Otherwise, your child may unknowingly give mommy a card more suited for a 40 year old man to give to his recently widowed old lady mother.  Or his mother who is dying.  Or just lost her beloved poodle.  Or is just really, really sad.
Not that anyone I know made that mistake.  Nope, not my J.

Monday, May 11, 2009


Blech.  Pretty much sums up how I'm feeling today.  And yesterday.  Sore throat, upset stomach, a total lack of energy- too tired to even think about errand running or even getting a pedicure, which for once I had plenty of time for with my sweet MIL in town.  Napping won out over pretty toes.

Since I'm feeling uninspired and lazy and ready to zone out on the couch wrapped in blankets and eating ice cream, just a quick photo from my very lovely first Mother's Day.  My boys made me feel so special, and we spent the day relaxing at home.  No fancy brunch or shopping trip- just time together, napping and playing and marveling at how very fortunate I am to be not just a mother....I get to be this boy's Mother married to his wonderful Father.  Lucky, lucky me.
Yeah, I need highlights, I have an appointment.  Thanks for your concern.  Focus on the cute baby and cute puppy and not my sickly complexion, makeup-less face, and dark roots.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

mister independent

With mobility apparently comes an appetite for more independence.  Now that he can crawl and get himself in the sitting position, he's making the connection between wanting and getting.  Want a toy, crawl to get that toy.  Want a better view from the sitting position, get a better view by sitting.  Get and want.  (I'll pause for a second to let those of you who know J and me in real life pretend to be surprised that WE would have a strong willed child.)  His 'gotta have it right now attitude' means nothing is sacred.  My cell phone, my camera, and most unfortunately for the cleanliness of our kitchen- the spoon.  I denied him the camera.  I dug out my old cell phone and tricked him into thinking it was off limits, thus making it his favorite toy EVER.  And tonight at dinner, I fought him on the spoon for awhile.  I even tried to hand him his own spoon but only the spoon in MY hand would do.  Fine.  Have at it.  I'll spend the evening scraping carrots and oatmeal off the walls.  Relaxation and catching up on my DVR list is so overrated.

If you haven't eaten dinner and would like to keep your appetite and/or don't find food smeared faces entertaining, maybe don't look at these pictures. 

Friday, May 8, 2009

our house a very very very fine house.

with two cats in the yard on the deck...
Now, if only someone wanted to come see (and buy) our very very very fine house.  Day 3 on the market, no showings yet.  Plenty of drive-bys and a flier box with five fliers taken (yeah, I counted, so?) but that's the extent of our action.  It just takes one showing, one buyer, I tell myself.  And if no one appears, well, that's okay too.  We're very happy in our very fine house with our very fine neighbors and our very big Super Target across the way.  

On a slightly braggish note, I really am the luckiest wife in the whole wide world.  For no other  reason than to make me smile, my sweet J came home last night with these:

My very favorite flowers.  For our very fine house.  (Yeah, I'm annoying myself now, too.)

Anyway, isn't he the best?  Thanks, Sparky.