Wednesday, March 31, 2010


See those pictures? That's how the whooooole day was! Shiny and carefree and perfectly orderly! Blue skies and chirping birdies!

Today: Nobody behaved like a drunken caveman at story time. (And certainly, nobody blew out a defiant fart when forced to sit down for the eighty fifth time at story time.) Nobody spit sippy cup water at the back of my head as I drove us home from that story time. Most definitely, when the sippy was yanked at the next stoplight, nobody threw a whole cup full of cheddar bunnies at the baby in her car seat in retaliation. Later, during so-called nap time, no poor little (gassy? overtired? just plain old cranky?) baby girl spent two HOURS crying frantically while her mommy tried to work and sobbed helpless tears to her husband on the phone when all the usual baby calming techniques failed to help the situation. Nope, no screaming baby girls like that here and certainly no sad and helpless mommies.

And while I'm being frank: the house is spotless, I'm showered and perfectly coiffed, there's a pot roast in the oven, and I most certainly did NOT drink a margarita in the backyard with a friend at 3pm (out of a glass cup that NOBODY shattered when NOBODY threw it onto the deck in a fit for NO GOOD REASON AT ALL). Nopers!

Just rainbows and puppy dogs and sparkles up in Mandieland.

Monday, March 29, 2010

moments from monday

At the end of a very long Monday afternoon where someone was always crying or pooping or not sleeping when they were supposed to be sleeping or just needing something (VERY URGENTLY RIGHT THIS SECOND) ... it's photos like these that I look at with tired eyes when it's all over again for another day. I look at the pictures of my babies and I find myself smiling despite my exhaustion, feeling so happy to have the chance to spend my days this way, to do it all over again tomorrow. I look at the pictures I took in the few peaceful pauses between the crying and pooping and not sleeping, and there are these moments. Moments where I see a child who instinctively loves his baby sister and is learning how to gently show her that love, moments where the house is silent but for the coo of a baby girl and the giggle of a silly boy ... moments that are caught in these photos that will one day all too soon seem like days so very long ago.

Days I'll wish I could relive, exhaustion and poop and all.

And lest I make it seem it was all goodness and fluffy moments, I give you this. Keeping it real and such.

Saturday, March 27, 2010


Being a toddler means learning something new every day. Some days, we learn that tantrums don't get you what they want, they get you a cranky mommy and an early bedtime. Other days, we learn that even the most tolerant kitties don't enjoy being "carried" up the stairs by their tail.

Yesterday, Anderson learned we don't eat deodorant.

See the teeth marks?

(And mommy learned A's go-go-gadget arms can reach higher than she thought.)

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

plate = full

Because parenting two children 18 months and under just wasn't enough for me to do with my days, I also started back at my job (I work from home for a few hours three days a week) AND took up with Jillian Michaels and her torturously painful but oh-so-effective Shred workouts once again. What can I say? Money and a skinny butt sound really appealing to me!

Between the parenting (x2) and the working and the exercising ... TOTALLY DEPLETED most aptly describes my current energy level.

So I'm going to eat popcorn and watch Idol on the couch with my sweet sleeping baby girl and leave you with my favorite photos from the past few days.

Monday, March 22, 2010

hello monday

When your Monday morning starts off with a face THAT happy, and all you had to do to make your sweet child THAT happy was take him to the park on a gorgeously cool and spring-y Texas morning ... the week is officially off to a very good start. (No need to clean your screen, that's dirt on his chin from the faceplant he'd just taken running eleventy billion miles an hour to get to the park.)

How's Miss V, you ask? Well, she's as scrumptiously adorable as ever and throwing around whole-body smiles like she's been doing it all her (six-and-a-half weeks of) life. Which is a very good thing (for her sake) or I may be tempted to trade her for a goldfish. Or a sea monkey. Or something very quiet and low maintenance that wouldn't scream at me whenever I dare step away from it for two and a half seconds. ((Disclaimer: I love Vivian dearly. There will be no trading for aquarium-dwelling creatures of any type. It's called sarcasm, and I was born with quite a lot of it. Thanks, dad.)) Our Vivi isn't a big fan of independence, you see. What she is a very big fan of is being held. In HUMAN ARMS AND THAT'S IT. Forget the swing, the bouncy seat, the car seat, the crib, the pack and play, or any of the other worthless baby holders we have cluttering up our house - ARMS ONLY. Car trips? Ha! I didn't even get to Panda Express (approximately two minutes away) before she had a big dramatic nervous breakdown that caused her brother so much concern that he sat with hands clapped over ears, screaming "MAAA MAA! BAY-BEH! BAY-BEH! MAA MAA!" and pointing toward the noisemaker with his foot to ensure I was made aware of the VERY DIRE backseat situation. As if I could possibly have been unaware. As if anyone in a two mile radius of our vehicle was unaware.

But the thing is, she's a big faker, that V. She wasn't hungry or dirty, she just wanted ARMS. We raced home and screeched back into the garage, I threw my door open and ran around to her door, pulled her from the seat, and before I'd even finished checking her over for obvious signs of gushing blood or serious life threatening illness, she let out a wobbly little sigh and smiled sweetly, like she hadn't just been screaming like her (cute little) butt was on fire. Trickster. And of course, that gummy baby smile was SO ridiculously precious that I smiled right back and assured her she's still the best little baby-waybee in the whole wide woooowld.

So, that's Monday so far. Fun at the park, screaming in the car, orange chicken eaten with one hand while feeding the big child PB&J and feeding the little child a bottle with the other hand. Here's hoping for a good long nap period, a scream-free afternoon, and a very happy week. And someday soon, a trip to Panda Express where nobody acts like they're DYING.

Friday, March 19, 2010

scream, walk, repeat

My new coping mechanism is to load up both babies and take a walk whenever I'm feeling overwhelmed or frustrated or afraid for my sanity.

If today is an accurate indicator, I'll be in my skinny jeans in about a week, because pretty much all we did ALL.DAY.LONG was walk circles around the neighborhood.

From the time we woke up and realized we were all out of diapers for Anderson, meaning my designated shower time turned into a frantic trip to Walmart before J had to leave for work or I'd be stuck taking both kids on a diaper run (or trying to squeeze a size 4 booty into a size 1 diaper, which I did actually consider because it sounded more appealing than Walmart at 8am), it was just one of those days. When one wasn't screaming, the other one was. And around 4:00, just as the end of the day was coming into view and I thought I might get away with turning on Oprah and getting off my feet for ten minutes ... they decided taking turns wasn't cutting it, so they may as well BOTH scream. For no reason. Other than that the big one was teething and his nose was running like a faucet, the little one was ... well ... just doing her new "scream whenever I'm not being held and sometimes even when I am being held" thing, I guess.

So all this to say we did a whole lotta walking today. Which is always enjoyable once we get going, because I do like to be outside and A likes to point out birds and planes and that makes me smile, and V promptly conks out in the Moby or the Bjorn and she's cute as a damn button all snuggly and sleepy in there. The problem is, the peaceful happy feelings ended each time about three minutes after we strolled back through the front door and my tantrum-prone toddler found SOME injustice to scream about (a Lego stuck in the cab of his dump truck, a sippy cup that dared be empty, the sky being blue, etc.) Then it was back to screaming.

Anyway. We survived, tomorrow's a new day, and I've got popcorn popping and some RHONYC (for the Bravo-challenged, that's Real Housewives of NYC) waiting for me on the DVR. Tootles.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

afternap snaps

As everyone woke up from their afternoon naps, I wandered around with the camera making a nuisance of myself.

I call this one ... "Not yet mama! I haven't put my face on!"

And this one ... "Blankies are a good source of comfort AND fiber!"

And for this one, I have no cheesy title, but I have to say ...
Simply put: I'm a very lucky girl. Love. Love. Love.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010


The Bug, one year ago today:

Look at that big bald noggin! Those roly poly arms! The edible toes! The chipmunk cheekers! The pure innocent BABYNESS of my sweet little man before he learned to crawl and walk and jump into mud puddles and destroy the main floor of our house in thirty seconds flat!

Today, my Mister is 18 months. One and a half. Halfway to age three, which is halfway to age six, which is 1/3 of the way to 18 years and my baby turning into a GROWN UP who will never ever ever want me read Brown Bear, Brown Bear to him EVER AGAIN.

I'm going to go to bed and sob now.

Friday, March 12, 2010

one month

Vivian Jenae, one month old.

Yes, already. She's a month old! Does that seem implausible to yall? Weren't we just at the hospital celebrating Valentine's Day holding newborn Vivian? Chomping hospital ice and gullibly chugging those milk of magnesia shots? But we weren't just there yesterday, we were there a whole month ago. And sadly, as a second time mom, I know all too well how the remaining 11 months of V's first year with us will zoom past and how this very photo will make me cry at the memory of Vivian being teeny tiny and unable to protest sitting in place for her monthly portrait.

For the record, yes, I DO know that the #1 sticker on her chair is supposed to be stuck to a onesie. I tried that first, and turns out you can't exactly read a #1 sticker on a onesie when a baby's arms are scrunched up and she can't sit up straight to show off the #1 sticker on her onesie. So the first batch of pictures looked like a schrunched up baby wearing an unreadable scrunched up onesie. Not the look I was going for. I had to improvise.


Happy one month, sweet baby girl. You've brought more joy and love to our lives than I could ever have known you'd be able to, for I really did believe we already had more joy and love than one family should be allowed. You've made me love your daddy even more for the way he loves his baby girl, for the way he sings you soft lullabies when he doesn't think I can hear, for the way he fills my camera's memory card with photos of you sleeping because he adores you so. You've made me cherish your brother even more for the way he kisses your foot and checks for you in your pack and play and looks on with concern when your cries grow frantic and loud. And most of all, I fall more in love with you each day as we snuggle up early in the morning before the sun comes out and the world starts up again, as you start to respond to my voice with wide, searching eyes, as you learn to smile and melt our hearts in the process. I love you, baby Vivi.

Because taking photos of a squirmy noodlish newborn while a curious monkey of a toddler runs wild nearly ensures out takes ... here are the out takes:

big brother invades....

"Miss Vivi wants the boy out of my shots! NOW! It's about Miss Vivi today! ME! NO BOY!"

all that posing wipes a girl out
(V will have you know that mismatched stripes are SO in this season, people)

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

two things on about tuesday

(Better late than never, right?)

1. After a rocky start on Monday, come Tuesday, my boy was talkative and giggly and affectionate. And so adorable that I wanted to eat him up with a spoon. If every day was like this with my Mister, I'd have nothing fun to blog about because it would be all "my kid is perfect and life is perfect and blabbity-bla-bla-bla" and that would get pretty old (for yall) pretty fast.

2. Miss Vivian no longer has a horn. Oh, what? I forgot to mention that she ever had a horn, you say? Well, pardon me, but I didn't think the proper way to introduce my beautiful new daughter was to say "hello! Vivian's here! And she's got a skin tag growth thingy in front of her right ear that looks sort of like a teeny tiny alien antennae!" Much as I hated to kick off the superficial feminine quest for cosmetic perfection at age 3 weeks, I knew if we left the skin tag in place, she'd hate us when she was 16 and spending an hour before school hair spraying her hair to cover her right ear. So off to the dermatologist we went, and in five minutes, she was horn-free. She'll have to wear a bandage for a few weeks, but she doesn't seem too stressed over it.

Because I know you'll be wondering what this thing looked like, here's a picture where you can kind of see it. (And I do so love this memory of Miss V napping with her Grandpa, so really, it's just a convenient excuse to post this picture.)

Monday, March 8, 2010

a monday kind of day

Oh, Monday.

I was determined to get to MOPS today. Anderbug needed to play, I was looking forward to the social time, and Miss V's pretty much up for anything as long as there's a bottle and a snuggle involved. So, "Mission: Take Two Babies to MOPS" began last night. I packed the diaper bag, I prepared A's snack, I laid out clean clothes for the three of us, I scheduled our departure for 9am. I patted myself on the back for my superior organizational skills, and went to bed anticipating a good Monday.

Oh, but Monday had other plans for us.

First, there was the "possessed bedroom clock incident" that had us leaping from bed when we saw "7:45" on the display. Only after I'd started getting ready and J had taken A downstairs for breakfast did we realize it was kind of dark for nearly 8am. It looked more like, uh, 7am. A look at the microwave clock confirmed what we feared- we were up much earlier than we needed to be for no good reason at all and we also need a new clock that doesn't skip ahead as it pleases. Strike one, Monday.

At 9am, we loaded up and off to MOPS we went. But instead of scampering off to play as he usually does when we walk through the child care doors, the Mister clung to my neck and screamed. When a kind teacher reached out to help, A took a swing at her hand and screamed louder. I finally got brave and walked away, figuring it was true what they say, he'd quit crying as soon as mommy left. I got myself a donut healthy breakfast, settled in with the ladies, and was enjoying some mom-chat for 20 minutes or so .... until my cell phone rang. It was A's teacher. The Mister, it seemed, did NOT stop crying. So back I went to pick up my very sad boy. Who clung to my neck sobbing as I carried him to the car (while wearing V and lugging our 40 pound diaper bag, mind you) and choked back tears of my own for no good reason other than that I'm still a hormonal mess from time to time. Strike two, Monday.

I get them both strapped into their seats, and the big one stops crying as we pull out of the parking lot. Silence. For two seconds. Then the little one starts crying. Then screeching. Then choking and sputtering and making a whole lot of noise for someone under 10 pounds. And that's how I ended up in a Long John Silver's parking lot, feeding Vivi while Anderson howled (because I wouldn't free him from his seat, knowing once he was out going back in was going to be a fight). If you're counting along, this is strike 3. Anyone knows you're out on strike 3, and a smart mom would have called it a day and headed home now, right? Oh, no! I put on EYELINER, people. We were all three dressed and decent. We were going somewhere, because we were not going to sit around the house all day long.

To Borders, I decided. It was on our way home, I wanted a new book to read, and A likes to hit up the kid section. So we get to the parking lot, I get out, put the Bjorn back on, remove a sleeping V from her car seat and insert her into the Bjorn. Open the back of the vehicle to grab the stroller .... and find a big empty spot where the stroller usually sits. J had taken A out last week, so OF COURSE the *&^%$$##@ stroller was still in the back of J's car. Of COURSE I'm now standing out in the rain with a stirring infant and an impatient toddler kicking to be let out of his car seat. No Borders for us, because while I may be a little crazy, I'm NOT crazy enough to let my toddler run wild through a bookstore. And I doubted they'd be cool with me locking him in the bathroom while I shopped. Jerks.

Anyone still with me? Anyone? Bueller?

After all that, the day still turned out okay. I got to Skype with my baby brother in Spain, a very good friend had a very good morning (love you, friend!), and best of all I have two sweet babies and a chance for a do-over tomorrow. And Jason and Molly's wedding is on tonight. AND I have wine. Plus, we all napped, and naps cure all. Best of all, after naps were over, I captured this very sweet moment that made me sure we're all going to be okay after all .... so much love, my heart could just explode ....

Friday, March 5, 2010

friday in photos

Today, my babies ran me ragged. Not by doing anything especially naughty or wild, but just by being two young children in need of constant supervision and care. I've got about 45 unanswered emails in my inbox (sorry if you're among that pile), I haven't even started on baby gift thank you notes (sorry again if you're the sender of one of the yet-unthanked-for gifts), my to-do list grew instead of shrank, and I've been meaning to cut my toenails for days. It was a good day, don't get me wrong ... but just a very (very very) tiring day.

Because I'm unable to come up with anything creative or inspirational or even semi-coherent to blog about ... here's our day in pictures.

The Mister ate his lunch neatly and obediently, as usual.

The little Miss slept peacefully ...

... until she realized the mom-arazzi was all up in her business.

Anderbug had a great time with his new tub crayons ...

... which I bought against my better judgement, because it seems less than wise to teach a kid to scribble upon walls (tub walls, but still - they're walls all the same in the mind of a toddler). I'm sure I'll be cursing this purchase one day when I'm repainting the living room wall to cover his "artwork".

He decided the green one tastes best. (Take a close look at his teeth.)

V fell asleep in her snowsuit and knit cap while we were out walking, and I just let her hang out in her snowsuit and knit cap all through A's dinner and bath time because taking it all off would mean waking her up. (And before you even ask, my midwestern BFFs, no, it wasn't snowing or even all that cold. But it was breezy and she's an itty bitty new baby and I'm a little crazy.)

Anderson helped Vivian accessorize after his bath. He likes the hat. Vivi looks unsure that this is actually helpful to her.

The end. Tomorrow is Saturday. Which is followed by Sunday, which is J DAY! Which is "mommy showers without an audience" and "mommy eats with two hands" day! Hallelujah!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

target with two

Another check mark off the 'things I'm afraid to do with two' list- we made a Target run. Just me, Bug, and Bee. We'd tried a Target shopping trip last week with J and it wasn't an experience that inspired any confidence in my ability to one day make that trip solo. There was fussing and howling and tantruming and the trip ended with both littles screaming in their car seats as I sat between them crying hysterical post-partum tears and J drove the whole tearful hot mess home. REALLY FAST.

But today, we needed things. Bananas, namely. The Mister was chanting "nana! nana! nana!" But we also needed diaper wipes and baby hangers and some baskets for Miss V's changing table, and in all honesty I was just feeling a bit stir crazy, so off we went.

Guess what, people? It was no big thang! V slept in the Bjorn and Mister happily cruised along in the cart. I did forget the all important snack/bribe (you don't do the store without a snack in A-world) but hey, we were in Target. We grabbed a box of toddler cereal bars off the shelf and ripped into it. Problem solved.

So there you have it, a boring post that's pretty much me patting myself on the back for doing something a million moms do every single day. Earth shattering, right? However, I know there are other soon-to-be moms of two following our journey, and I want to assure you- you'll not be homebound (and banana-less) forever, as I once feared I would be. You'll pack up those babies and their 85 pieces of required gear and you'll go to Target and you, too, will leave triumphant with newfound confidence. (And $100 poorer.)

How cute is my boy at Target, holding his nanners?

Tuesday, March 2, 2010


1: number of days running solo with two munchkins SURVIVED! We may have ended the day exhausted (me), drenched in spit up (V), and butt naked playing with the vacuum cleaner (A) ... but we made it. Phew.

2: surround sound cry sessions on day 1 (just the babies, mommy was strong)

3: hours napped by A & V simultaneously yesterday

1 gazillion: dollars I'd pay to make 3-hour simultaneous naps an everyday occurrence

45: approximate number of grapes Mister A threw all around the kitchen during his after-nap snack time

45: approximate number of grape tosses I ignored because it bought me time to feed Vivi during snack time

1.5: soothing glasses of wine imbibed while watching the Bachelor to unwind from the day

3: number of months I give the newest Bachelor couple before they self destruct. (Really, Jake? Vienna? Really?)

5.5: number of hours Miss V slept without stirring last night. Oh, V, you love us! You really love us!

1: number of miles I drove on the southbound Interstate this morning toward the kids' pediatrician's office before realizing the appointment I was rushing to was at my OB, up north

2: pictures of V's nursery in progress ....