Wednesday, September 30, 2009

pumpkin day

And a better day, it most certainly was.  Whatever had Mister A all in a tizzy yesterday had resolved itself by this morning.  He napped like a champ, and was so good natured I ventured to the MALL.  That's big.  The mall involves a 20 minute drive (each way) and a lot of confining stroller time- two ingredients in A's recipe for disaster.  Our mission was to find me a pair of dress shoes for SIL's wedding and A a shirt for upcoming family photos.  We failed to obtain either, but (obviously) we didn't leave empty handed.  Bumblebee got this scrumptiously adorable footie winter jacket/suit thingy and I got myself some fantastic bronzy fall flats.  So a wasted trip, it was not.  If you're part of the girl half of the family.  The boy half didn't do so well, I guess.  

The only odd part of the day took place at Walmart (shocking, right?  Something odd happening at Walmart?)  An old man checking out in front of us handed A a penny and said "here, kid.  This is what you're worth."  Yes, really, he actually SAID THAT.  Two things wrong here, besides the unprompted penny giving (not even a buck like Will and Avery got, right, Cari?!)  1: A throat sized coin?  In the hands of a small child?  During flu season?  Do you KNOW how many germs are lurking on the surface of a coin all poised and ready to infect my baby with the you-know-what flu?  2: My child is worth a penny?  Has this man no idea what blonde haired, blue eyed little boys are going for on the black market these days?  I mean ... not that I know, either.  But I bet your britches it's more than a damn penny.  I gave up EATING SUGAR for that kid.  That alone is priceless.

And after the he-half of the couple was done insulting my child, the she-half stepped in to insult my parenting.  Eyeing the pumpkins I had stacked in the cart, she clucked her tongue and commented "when my children were young, we actually went out into a FIELD to get those things".  Right, and I bet the field required two way uphill climbing and you were all barefoot and ... let me guess ... it was snowing?  Sorry, lady.  I'm pregnant, I'm tired, I'm cheap when it comes to things that will probably be stolen from my yard and smashed to pieces, AND my increasingly mobile child is not a whole lot of fun to chase around the sparkly clean shoe department of Nordstrom, much less some dirty field full of gourds ... this will suffice as our pumpkin gathering excursion.  

So all that aside, I was very excited to bring home our pumpkins.  And A thought this was all pretty neat, too.  Remember this guy?

11.5 months later, he's much more into the whole pumpkin thing.  Especially when it involves wheels (the wagon) and tools (his trusty pink shovel). 

Tuesday, September 29, 2009


So, mommy friends, you know those days where you are energized and imaginative and every meal fed lovingly to your child features a representative from each food group, and your child is cooperative and clean and so utterly lovable that you just don't understand why everyone doesn't want, like, THREE of these sweet little moppets?

Today: so not that kind of day.  I'm too tired to rehash it all, so I won't bore you with specifics.  I'll just say that dinner ended up being an orange and a pile of Gerber Lil'Crunchies after the nutritious dinner I spent 15 minutes putting together (with A trailing me around the kitchen pulling on my shorts and screaming because I couldn't pick him up RIGHT THAT VERY MINUTE) was thrown ONTO the dog, leaving me picking sticky pieces of cheesy scrambled egg and cream cheese smeared whole grain waffle and banana chunks out of long fluffy Sheltie fur while A smeared orange into his hair.  Such a fitting end to such a very trying day.

Tomorrow will be better.  

Monday, September 28, 2009


Oh, Sundays.  I love Sundays- the family time, the football, the joyful relief of leaving the house with two sets of hands to wrangle the wee one.  And when you've got a husband for whom Saturday is always a workday, you've got a whole lot of weekending to cram into one day.  And we did.  We headed back up to the very far north side to do some shopping and exchanging.  We had lunch at our very favorite, very Fine burger joint.  We got home, we cleaned, we played at the park, we gave our living room a long awaited makeover, we cleaned some more, we did laundry, and at very long last- J and I kicked back on the couch with a pizza and enjoyed our new surroundings and the fall premieres of our beloved Sunday night television shows.  

While shopping, Mister found a new buddy.  (More like, J found this buddy and since J thought it was really neat being the USMC mascot and all, A decided it must be the coolest thing since sippy cups.)  Needless to say, "Chester" came home with us.  There was no removing him from A's grip at the check out counter and J gave me puppy dog eyes when I questioned the necessity of another stuffed thing around the house for the dog to eventually chew the face off of.

The living room makeover involved tools, and the whole scene simultaneously melted my heart and made me very excited to be having a daughter this time around (so someday we can escape to the mall when Sundays become tool time).  Anderson saw the tools, and the very cool daddy with the tools, and I was chopped liver with my offerings (books and familiar pile of toys).  But how cute is he, "helping" his daddy?

And finally, I think it's safe to say I've entered the "looks pregnant" phase.  It's very much preferred to the "looks like she didn't lose her baby weight and eats Nutty Bars for breakfast" phase.  Hello, Bumblebee, I seeeee you. 

Just for comparison sake, look at the difference a few weeks make.  Here's the same belly just 12 days ago:

ps: seeing my camera in the shot above reminded me of something.  I've received a few comments lately asking about the kind of camera I'm using.  It's a Nikon D60, and I can't say enough wonderful things about it.  Simple enough for a technology dummy like myself, but high tech enough to get some really great shots with very little effort.  I can only imagine what it could do if I'd ever get around to reading my user's manual and learning its' many tricks.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

the baby's been sat

Night one with a (non-grandmother) babysitter: check!  Mister A's safe and sound in his crib, and mama and J had a wonderful night in the company of grown ups at a birthday party.  I was more than a little nervous about A's first night with a sitter, but I'm happy to report we all came through it okay.  Granted, we didn't leave until A was fast asleep.  And it was also handy that the party was at our back-door neighbors' house, giving me a clear view so I could peek out their back door and make sure our house looked as it should.  You know... no flames shooting out the windows, no masked men on the roof.  Not that I worry about those things.  Nope, just random examples of things a nervous first time mom might think to look for if she were semi-crazy.  Which I'm not.  Clearly.

Anyway, the party was fun, there were nice people there, and if I thought nobody would have noticed, I would have licked that deliciously decadent bowl of artichoke dip clean.  Just one word of pre-party caution, my friends.  Even if you're SO sure that the party is 80s dress up themed that you've laundered your Blondie sweatshirt, practiced your side ponytail, and purchased a pair of neon pink hoop earrings- be sure you check in with the hostess the day before.  Because she may have only mentioned that whole costume idea in passing, and you may have been sleep deprived or pregnancy brained and taken it as a serious plan when in fact it never was.  And if you don't check in with the hostess and get set straight that in fact, NO, nobody at the party will be in 80s garb ... well, that could end in a very embarrassing moment for you.  Just FYI.

I'm just thankful my friend was kind enough to spare me a Legally Blonde bunny costume moment when I did check in about this minor detail last night, even if her (funny) husband thought it would be more entertaining to let me show up looking like a big nerd-o-rama.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

things we're doing

I am one hot mess today.  My hair is unwashed and untamed, my worn out yoga pants are covered with cat hair, my belly is busting through the seams my favorite comfy tee shirt, and I won't even tell you where I found the socks I'm wearing.  (Okay, I will tell you, I found them at the bottom of the dirty laundry basket.  Happy?)  Ed McMahon himself could rise up from the dead and ring my doorbell, six foot long check and bouquet of balloons in hand, and I don't think I'd open the door.  I'm a fright and with the exception of my unfortunate husband and child, nobody sees me like this.  But it's cloudy and rainy and chilly for the third glorious day in a row.  After three days spent running here and there and everywhere, the Mister and I have nowhere we have to be and nothing we have to do.  And mostly, it's because I woke with an annoying sore throat and an achy body that could just be pregnancy combined with all the housework I've been strangely motivated to do lately.  Or it could be the dreaded pig flu and I could be dying.  Who knows.  We'll just hope for option #1.  But in case it is option #2, somebody, please wash my hair and put some mascara on me before they haul me off in the deadbus.  

So if not showering and primping, what have I been doing these past few days, you ask?  Being crafty.  And I am not a crafty girl.  But I've done a couple projects, here are a few:

I made this wreath for under $20, instead of spending $50 on some overpriced Pottery Barn design.

I adorned this boring lampshade with buttons to give it some color and make it more play room appropriate.

And what's Mister A been up to while his mama gets her Martha on?  Being a total toddler.  Suddenly, he wants to hold the spoon and feed himself (aka: jam a spoonful of scrambled eggs into his ear).  He's walking more than he's crawling and getting scary fast at it.  He's blabbing at me with newfound certainty "mama, blablabla, doo doo, puh puh, kihhhh-ty!", then waiting patiently for an appropriate response.  He stops mid chew during lunch, looks at me thoughtfully, then pulls some food from his mouth and offers it to me.  (Disgusting, right?  I know, I gag.  But it's so very sweet.  We'll just make sure he stops that before his first date.  Unless I don't like her, then I'll encourage some mid-chew food sharing.)  He's reaching places I never in a million years thought he could reach, like yesterday when he used his go-go-Gadget arms to reach a candle on the middle of a console table.  It was recently blown out, thankfully, but still plum full of warm, gooey wax.  Which splattered across the living room and kitchen floors upon impact.  Ever tried getting wax out of carpet?  I don't recommend it as a fun way to spend nap time.

He's also:

-sitting like a big boy at his new play table.

-climbing on everything and doing his best to escape any blockade.

-hamming up the cuteness to distract me when busted being all monkeylike.

-tormenting the felines, as per usual.

-peeking out the front window throughout the day.  He realized the door brings exciting things- daddy, kitties, UPS man, burglars.  So he spends a few minutes here and there peering out to see if anything exciting is happening.  Am I seriously that boring?

-making perturbed faces when I interrupt his toy time by sticking a camera in his face.

And now for the videos:

-playing with a super fancy new toy ... a plastic container filled with buttons and glued shut.

-becoming obsessed with all aspects of laundry- the machines, the basket full of clothes, the folded piles he pulls off the couch and throws in a heap on the floor.  

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

home again

So obviously, we're home.  I say "obviously" because I'm not boring my blog readers to tears with 85 daily photos of Anderson on the beach.  A big thanks to the three of you who stuck around!

Here's all I'm going to say about the return flight: O.M.G.

Okay, I'll also say this (unless you're new here, you know keeping things brief isn't this girl's forte): never ever ever will I fly with Mister A as a "lap child" ever again.  He gets his own seat from now on.  He was ... um ... a handful.  See the photo below?  See how nice and peaceful and oh-so-angelic he looks?  This was taken after landing.  The wheels skidded onto the Austin runway, and THEN he decided it was time for a nap.  I had to resist the urge to poke him in the eyeballs, which wasn't really all that hard since he looks so damn cute all sleepy and quiet like that.

Being home feels nice.  Leaving is never fun, but since J having a job is a good thing and living in my parents' house permanently is maybe not such a good thing, our time in California had to come to an end with the usual tearful airport goodbye.  Texas welcomed us back with the most yummy, cloudy, soggy fall weather today.  (I needed a SWEATSHIRT to go on a walk!  Later, I wore RAIN BOOTS!  And JEANS!)  To celebrate, Mister and I made the 35 mile trek to our local IKEA, where he rode in the cart happily for over an hour as I shopped and envisioned and tried to figure out what the hell 'mammut' and 'expedit' meant and why they don't just call it 'kid table' and 'shelfy table thingy'.  We may have left a trail of Puffs in our wake, but hey, mama got some major shopping done.  I'm hard at work on the Mister's new 'play room' aka, 'the room that used to be our dining room and was supposed to be my new home office but since I'm so selfless and kind I've handed it over to the little people'.  That's right, I've forfeited the battle against the kid decor.  It's okay.  A kid lives here, another kid will soon live here, and I'm just kind of over trying to pretend otherwise.  May as well give in to it and do it up right with a stylish, fun, not atrociously tacky playroom (read: no cartoon characters, clean lines, bright pastels instead of primaries).  I'm pretty excited about how the room is coming along in my head.  (I say 'in my head' because the loot is still out in my car waiting for J to come home and unload/assemble/move into place.  I'm totally playing the pregnancy card on this one.)  Photos to come.  

For now, here's A waiting in breathless anticipation to experience the Swedish wonderland.  He looks thrilled, right?  I swear, he had socks on when we left the house.  He must have eaten them while I drove, because they vanished.

I'm off to do really important things now.  Or, I'm hitting the couch to lay comatose until Melrose Place starts.  Take your pick.

*note: these are cell phone pictures.  I'm a little nutso with the picture thing (so say the album of 480 pictures I took on our one week trip), but I do not take my camera with me on airplanes or to IKEA.  Just FYI.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

the birthday continues

Mister A is following in the fine tradition set by his Auntie Megan- the one where birthdays have a way of lasting much, much longer than their allotted 24 hours.  (So if you're sick to death of posts about birthdays and California and cupcakes, and incessant pictures of the aforementioned, take a break today.  We return to Austin tomorrow and soon enough I'll be posting once more about ... uh ... whatever it is I usually post about.  I've sort of forgotten what with all this vacation fun and cupcake diet.) Yesterday, we had his "official" party.  Nothing big, since I'm in the "save big expensive bashes for when your kid will remember them" camp- just the family, a few dear friends, yummy food, and a generous pile of very thoughtful gifts. 

You'll be shocked to learn there were cupcakes. 

Where from, you ask?  Mister A will tell you.

His Highness awaits the party in his honor.

Then there was singing, which he found a bit embarrassing.

And we decided Mister A would look more festive this way.  (Since party hats are obviously not an option- this boy does not do hats.)

Then his hands got messy.

So he used Auntie Megan's hair to clean up.

Then, there were presents and pictures and the party came to an end.

A with Grandpa.

My WCBFF (that's west coast BFF, in case you don't speak tweenspeak) C, and her sweet baby A.

A's favorite Cali girl, A.  (She's beyond adorable.  Those eyes!)

A video of the birthday song.

And another video from his actual birthday.

That's all from the coast, my friends.  (Insert my sad pouty face here.)  We fly home tomorrow and as sad as that is, the cooler Texas temps I see on are making it a little easier to deal with.  If I had to return to 100 degrees, I'd be on the phone right this minute with JetBlue canceling our tickets indefinitely.  But alas, there's much to look forward to back home as well.  It's fall decor time (look out Hobby Lobby, here comes big mama!), Lauren's sure-to-be-awesome wedding is fast approaching, and my DVR is probably going to explode from all the fabulous fall programming it has to work with this week.  So I'll deal.  Not sure how Mister will respond when he finds out there won't be daily birthday cupcakes back home, though.  Yikes.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

it's your birthday

go, go, go shorty ... 

it's your birthday ...

we're gonna play on the beach (+ make friends and chase birds) like ...

it's your birthday ...

we're gonna eat seaside lunch and blow out a candle like ...

it's your birthday ...

and we're gonna eat yummy chocolate frosted cupcakes because ...

it's your birthday!

Happy First Birthday, Anderson Lee.  May your EVERY birthday be full of many sweet happy memories such as these.

And a big, huge, from the bottom of my heart thanks for all the loving birthday emails, comments, Facebook messages, and texts- this boy is SO blessed to have THIS much love in his life.  I thank you ALL for loving us!