Monday, August 30, 2010


We're in goodbye mode. I don't like goodbyes one bit. I'd sooner just slink off to the airport without warning, if that weren't a terribly rude thing to do to all the special people here who have given us so much love these past four years. So, we suck it up and say these goodbyes. And I stand at my front window and cry. And then wipe my tears and go back to packing and remembering all the goodness to come, all the happy hellos waiting up north.

Saturday, it was goodbye to Jodi and family. This is my aunt, uncle, and three much-loved cousins. The littlest, Miss C, was born just 12 days after A, so that was an especially tough goodbye as we'd pictured the littles riding a school bus together one day, A looking out for the girls when dates came calling, etc. That wasn't meant to be, but the good thing with family is, they're stuck with us no matter where we are. They'll be up north in the summer and we'll certainly escape winter at their serene Texan retreat in the country. Sad as the day was, we had a great time acting like fools in the yard for the sake of a couple smiles. It was worth it. These pictures = love.

And with that, back to packing and goodbye-ing.

Friday, August 27, 2010


Today, we closed on our new house in Wisconsin. Still being located in Texas and all, the "closing" event was our chosen representative (my dad) signing a bunch of papers then calling me to say "hurray! You closed!" Nevertheless, it was very exciting. You know what will be even MORE exciting? Actually seeing this house that we just bought. You read that right - we haven't personally laid eyes on the new F. family casa. We trust my parents taste and judgement (and the 300 photos they took and sent us) *that* much. And really, after I saw a few of these pictures, I was pretty much like "mmkay, YES, where do I sign?"


OMG, yall! I can fit like eleventy BILLION pairs of Uggs in here!

The view! Goodbye, "backs of neighbors' houses" view! Hello, "trees and woodland creatures and golden leaves and peaceful snowfall" views!

To celebrate our Rhinelander homeownership, Vivi tried on some more winter gear for size. I bought these faux sheepskin booties for her last winter before I remembered newborns in Texas don't have much use for faux sheepskin booties. So they'd never come out of the closet until today, and they're thisclose to being too small. So I see an upgrade to Uggs (twist my arm) in her very near future, and a pair of faux sheepskin booties on the way to her east coast BFF Ayla who will most definitely need some faux sheepskin booties this winter.

Vivi likey the faux sheepskin.

Anyway, YAY for closing! One down, one to go. (Anyone want to buy my house? Anyone? Bueller?)

Thursday, August 26, 2010

six days

So besides moving and selling things and buying things and writing gross poop posts, what else have we been up to? A lot. As we tick down the days left in Austin (six), they're getting shorter and shorter. I swear they are.

((One thing I haven't been up to is using my actual camera to take actual pictures, so please excuse the not-so-fabulous cell phone pictures to follow.))

We've been going to the neighbors' house every afternoon while they're working to let their dog in out of the heat. On Monday, I allowed A to wear his pajamas all afternoon. I put them on for his nap and he refused to take them off, so whatever. But I insisted on sandals to go to the neighbors', and he topped the look off with a hat.

And that's how he looked when we set of the house alarm that my neighbor set when he left the house that morning, momentarily forgetting about our 'let the dog in' set up. (It was payback, though, because we'd done the exact same thing to this neighbor a couple months back.) So the alarm was blaring and all I could think was that the cops were going to show up and find me in the house (sans makeup) with a kid wearing pajamas, sandals, and a hat. I figured this might prevent my arrest, though, because what kind of burglar drags along a toddler dressed like that? Or any toddler at all, really.

Then, I received in the mail a headband I'd bought for Vivi off Etsy. I'm about sick to death of the "oh, your boyS are so cute!" comments, so I am vowing to stick a bow on her head every time we leave the house until she has hair or whatever it is she's lacking that makes people unable to grasp the concept that a child wearing PINK is probably a GIRL. So anyway. The headband. Note to self: pay more attention to headband bow dimensions. She may have to grow into this one, or be subjected to the ridicule of a certain group of her mommy's friends (looking at you, bumpie-big-bow-haters!)

(I know it doesn't go with the outfit. I was just trying it on for size.)

And today:

We drove J to work in his car so I could keep it today, since my mommymobile is sold (WAHOO! And BOOHOO!) and I wanted to have a car to drive in case of emergencies. Like if I ran out of Diet Coke.

V finished up a couple deals, then nom-nommed on a remote control for awhile.

And on the way home, as tends to be the case here in Austin around 9am, we got stuck in some major slow moving traffic. But alas, like a rainbow sent straight from heaven, what did I spy at the nearest exit? Why, my favorite mall. A SIGN from above, and who am I to question that? So we went in.

While there, I kept in mind something I read the other night in a parenting book (The No Cry Discipline Solution). The author talks about how we are surprised that our kids don't behave in the store, but think about it - would YOU want to go to a store where nothing interests you at all and follow someone around who only wants to look at things they want/need or have decided YOU want/need, and you're not allowed to touch anything and you'll be forced to stay until that person is done and ready to go? No. That would pretty much suck, right? So I decided to set Anderson free to lead the way for a bit and see what interested him. Mannequins, namely. Did you know they don't have toes? I'd never noticed, but A picked right up on that one. "TOES? MAMA? TOES!?" We looked at sparkly necklaces and fluorescent shaded sports bras, checked out the mulch in the potted plants, and pressed every elevator button (twice). And you know what? It was really fun, following my curious little boy around and watching his eyes light up over this thing and that and see the pride he felt that HE was in charge for a change and could make his mama smile by finding all these neat things. And you know what else? After thirty minutes of that, he was more than cooperative to crawl up into his stroller and snack quietly while I finished my shopping. Very good.

Then, we bought some hats at BabyGap, because if you didn't know, it's very cold in Wisconsin and body heat comes flying out of your head. Or something. All I know is, we need lots and lots of hats.

So later, the kids tried on their hats as they practiced their "hey, der, guyz! We live in dah Frozen Tundra, eh!" looks.
Vivi's not impressed by this "snow" which we speak of, even if it means she gets to wear a ridonkulously adorable bunny hat.

And finally, we wrapped the day with a wagon ride. It was actually semi-pleasant outside, being only in the 90s and all. So off we went, with Vivian in a boy's hat. In my defense, I was rushed to get out the door, because one member of our little party has about ZERO patience for things like mommy running upstairs to grab baby a GIRL hat because that might take ten seconds and that's simply not okay when I'd already uttered the words "wagon" and "ride". So I made do with what I had handy.

And when I dared try to interrupt the wagon riding with picture taking (being V's first roll in the wagon and all), they were both really receptive.
on the left: stink eye
on the right: feigned disinterest

If we don't look at her, maybe she'll just go away.

Tomorrow, Friday. Then, weekend. Then, our final two days as Austinites. Whoa.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

one word you don't want to hear from a naked todder

You know what's NOT a good feeling? When you're in the bathroom scrubbing down your tired and cranky littlest little after one of those Code Brown diaper malfunctions you wish you could sue Pampers for (MENTAL ANGUISH! TIME AND SUFFERING!) and your bigger little comes running into the bathroom wearing nothing but his birthday suit and a suspiciously wide smile. Just as you're wondering "wtf, where are his shorts, I thought he was in his room reading a book .... " he yells out with an astonishing level of exuberance - "POOPIES!!!!"

For a second I practice wishful thinking and tell myself he's referring to the poopies he's seeing in the bathroom - the diaper, the small mountain of soiled wipes, the dirty outfit. But I'm pretty sure that's not the case when he yells again - "POOPIES, MAMA! POOPIES!" and points back toward the direction of my bedroom. Where, when I venture in a few minutes later following a naked toddler (still screaming "POOPIES! POOPIES!" and pointing the way ahead) and with a still fussing naked baby girl in arms, I see it. Yes, son. Poopies. Many of them, on my carpet. I have photographic evidence, which I texted to my husband without even stopping to think "for real? This is my life? I photograph POOP and send it to my beloved?" No worries, dear friends, I'll spare you the picture. But I promise you this .... it made my husband VERY VERY glad to be chained to his desk and NOT at home with the littles.

Leaping lizards. This has been a week for the record books. Beyond the poopies, there's just been a whole lot of craziness. Meds for A's legs (AGAIN) that required THREE trips to TWO pharmacies to FINALLY get our hands on, forty minutes round trip in the car to pick up meds for cats' (PLURAL) infected ears (AGAIN), Sequoia sales escapades, crying in the mall parking lot before I pulled away from that mall for the very last time probably ever in my whole LIFE, fighting back tears as I sat behind the wheel of my Sequoia for the last time EVER in my whole LIFE before J drove off with it today, paperwork paperwork paperwork, money flying out our ears because EVERYONE needs some check or payment or deposit or SOMETHING, the denial I'm carrying around that I actually have to say GOODBYE to all these awesome Austin friends of mine in one week's time and board a plane with the littles (ALONE) .... and the constant tidying and sweeping of a house on the market that nobody's come to look at in over a week .... oy vey. Mama needs a drink or ten. Or, you know, to start my work shift and hope to GOODNESS I can cram it all in before either little wakes up screaming. (Or pooping.)

And just before I hit post, a Realtor called to show the house. Which is gooder than good. But the house is a wreck and smells like, you know, POOP. Not good, needs to be handled. Over and out.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

good. fun. busy.

So, here's the deal, friends. I've had a lot going on. All very good and all very fun .... but a lot. (Beyond the usual feeding-diapering-napping-repeating brand of busy.)

The good and fun last weekend? First was the pinkfest baby shower I co-hosted for The Lisa on Saturday. It was SO fun and such a sweet day of celebration. And not to toot my own horn, but it came together pretty smashingly - it was pink and yellow and cozy and HAPPY. Nothing but happiness radiating from each one of The Lisa's loved ones who were there to celebrate baby Alice and her mommy with us that day. Baby Alice has no idea how very lucky she is to have my very dear friend as her mama. And isn't her mama cute and glowy and such?
Yes, yes she is.

Behold, The Table Of Sweetness. See those letters? And in the next picture, those tissue ball thingies? I CRAFTED those things out of paper and glue and cardboard and a freaking Exacto knife. AND LOVE. I don't craft, people. I just love The Lisa enough to try. (And I liked it. Note to self: do more crafty things.)

So there was that.

And Sunday, the good and fun just kept coming. We had a special visit from J's sister, aka my SIL, aka Auntie LaLo. And her husband, Uncle Ben. They're very fun. And very good. And very, very sweet to the littles, who had a GREAT time showing them how it's done at the splash park (where we ended up after a Barton Springs FAIL - I think half of Austin was trying to get into that parking lot on the hottest Sunday of 2010, so we detoured).

Hey, A, how much fun did you have with Auntie LaLo and Uncle Ben?
(That's his "SO MUCH FUN!" face.)

And then yesterday, there was good and fun when we found out we were under contract on our new home in Wisconsin.

Wait, what? I didn't TELL you we're moving to Wisconsin? Oh! Well, guess what? WE'RE MOVING! To (northern) WISCONSIN! Where there are four distinct seasons and green and gold clad Packer fans and lots of people we love nearby. And a wonderful opportunity for J to advance his career while also being home for dinner most nights. How's that for good? And fun. And busy. Because if I thought merely having two little people (barely) under two years old was busy .... I'm now learning about a whole new level of busy as we try to sell our house and buy our next house and try to sell my (2wd) vehicle (that's not going to cut it in 87 feet of snow) and try to find new doctors and contact old doctors for records and pick a mover and do the other eleven hundred things that one has to do when uprooting a family of four (plus three furry friends) across the whole country. Busy.

And then, of course, there's the very sad aspect of all this .... saying goodbye. Goodbye to the Texan relatives and amazing friends we've collected who have made this place home, crying with us and laughing with us and pitching in when we needed furniture moved upstairs. Goodbye to this city, so fair and so funky. Goodbye to this house, where we painstakingly chose just right shades of paint for nurseries and brought home precious wee babies and watched them grow big. Goodbyes are never good, or fun, or easy. At all. They hurt my heart and they make me cry. But the ache of goodbye is soothed when you know, you truly know from the bottom of your heart, that it's the very best thing for your family, this move. And that there are airplanes to bring southern friends to see you (or take you to see them) and old friends you love waiting up north to welcome you home. That there's a new city smallish growing town waiting, full of big opportunities and loving memories to be made. That you've got a new house waiting for you to fill with love and the giggles of growing littles. So the goodbyes, they won't be easy ... but there's MUCH to look forward to.

Life certainly won't be boring these next few weeks. Wish us luck.

Friday, August 13, 2010


You know what's very gross? When you take your kid to the post office, and then you walk out of the post office carrying your kid and set him right into his car seat, and as you are buckling your kid into his car seat, you notice he's chomping on something. Upon further inspection, it's food that he's chomping in his mouth. Except you didn't GIVE him any food, so you realize what happened is that in the 2.2 seconds inside the post office when you didn't have your eye directly trained on him because you were writing out the label on the package you were mailing, he found some kind of food on the FLOOR of the post office (because he can't reach the counters, so it had to be the floor) and he ATE IT.

That's gross, right? I fished a little chunk out of his mouth just to ensure that it was, in fact, food and not a roach or something (which would have made me drop DEAD right there in the PO parking lot) ... and it was food. Unidentifiable chewed up food. That he picked up on the post office floor and ate. Because that's how toddlers roll.


Thursday, August 12, 2010

6 months!

Yes, it's true. Miss V, Baby Bumblebee, our little Vivi Jenae ... six months old today. She's halfway to her birthday, yall. That's just, as RZ would say, BUH-nanas. Seriously. Bananners.

Vivian was full of ideas for her half-birthday photo shoot today.

"Want me to do my pretty model pose?"

"Or my dancing pose?"

"My too distracted by this rattle to pose pose?"

I love all your poses, baby girl. Happy half year to you, sweet baby Vivi.

(And a big thanks to V's fashionable friend Lily Kate for lending V this adorable dress! xoxo!)

Wednesday, August 11, 2010


You know how some mornings you wake up and just go .... "ugh"? The neighbor's dog is yapping outside your window (again), last night's dinner is still stinking up the stuffy air, not one but two baby monitors are blaring the discontented cries of children who woke up on the wrong side of the crib and aren't likely to change their mood much as the long, hot day wears on and a headache is already threatening? Those mornings? Where you lie there in your bed delaying the inevitable start to the madness that will be your day, dreaming of the honeymooning beaches of Aruba or the cool darkness of a movie theatre or any other place like that where there's peace and relaxation and nobody pooping their pants and then YELLING at YOU because they did it? Well, I haven't had one of those mornings yet this week. This week, my friends, has been .... nice. Happy. Dare I say, easy?

The babies have been in good moods. So good, in fact, that NOBODY cried ALL DAY on Monday. Not them, not me. No crying. That's probably a first, because crying is what kids do. (And mommies of two under two. That's what they do, too, when they're not drinking wine or cramming a few minutes of Facebooking/blogging/whatever into their three and a half minutes of daily free time.) And the naps! Oh sweet goodness, the naps! Two to three hours, the SAME two to three hours, for about six days and counting. Hello? Children? I LOVE YOU and keep this up because you're making me SANER. And while of course I'll love them just the same next week when they're nap-refusing, all-day-screaming, pants-pooping rugrats ... for this week, I'm enjoying the goodness my babies have gifted me with right now. This feeling that, six months in, I'm kind of hitting my 2u2 stride. It's no longer a daunting task to take the kids to the store or the mall, we do the parks and the story times and the children's museum without (much) issue and very rarely have to leave early because someone is kicking/screaming/snack stealing. I'm well rested enough to start looking forward to things not (totally) related to the babies - the pinkalicious baby shower I'm co-hosting for one of my very bestest friends on Saturday, the time we'll spend with SIL and her husband on Sunday, all the exciting things in store as summer fades to fall and football comes back on TV and I can make a pot of chili without keeling over from heat exhaustion. And best of all? V & A, they're starting to have these delicious sibling moments where they're in the playroom smacking on the music table and one looks at the other and giggles, and the other giggles back, and though I'm left out of their little inside joke, it makes my heart beat faster just the same. Because, really, isn't this what we all want as parents? Happy kids who are kind to one another? And a good week here and there that recharges your batteries so when the next week crashes in and life doesn't go as swimmingly, you've got some strength built up and won't blow out the emergency slide and run off with a stolen beer? (LOVE that guy! And THIS girl, too. Hilarious. Love.)

And I love these babies. And so far, I love this week. :::knock on wood:::

Baby Einstein. Enthralling.

"hey, Bug, show mama your teeth"

Saturday, August 7, 2010


Slacker bloggers say I.


It's not that there hasn't been plenty of material (there has, oh, there has) ... but as anyone with half a brain would suspect, it's the lack of leisurely free time that has kept me off the blog. I'm BUSY. The kids, the job (I started my ((work from home)) job again this week), the housework, the oppressive 107 degree heat index keeping us cooped up and stir crazy, the mid-week pediatrician run for A's summer bug bitten legs turned staph infection, and some other exciting things that are going on that I'll get to in another post, another time. You know, when I have time. Which I don't.

So, yeah. Back to the obvious. These kids are keeping me busy. A's cutting two year molars (1 down, 3 to go) and someone really should have warned me that cutting two year molars means your normally good natured child will be demonic 90% of the day and dump the unsuspecting baby right out of her Bumbo for no good reason other than that she was THERE in his WAY when he was TRYING to watch MISTER NOODLE on SESAME STREET, OKAY? (Same goes for spitting Motrin in my face, insisting on wearing three pairs of shorts at one time and stomping and screaming until I help him accomplish this task, breaking remote controls with wild abandon.) Then the other 10% of the time, he's my sweet Bug, patting my back and nuzzling my cheek out of the blue as we sit playing with the shape sorter. We're not even going to talk about next month. You know, when he :::cringe::: turns TWO. Seriously. How?

And what's little V been up to when not face planting into the carpet after being dumped from her Bumbo, you want to know? Oh, just shedding her 'new baby' skin and turning into something that looks suspiciously like someone who will be a walking, (sorta) talking, 2-year-molar cutting toddler in the blink of an eye. See?
Vivian BIG! She's sitting up tall, scooting across the carpet, stealing toys from her brother, jabbering all the livelong day, and taking a whole lot of interest in our furry friends. Her sleep can best be categorized under "things that are terribly unreliable". Even so, she's smiley and good natured and totally enamored by her big brother and every move he makes. (Except the Bumbo dumping move. Maybe not so enamored with that, although she did just look up at him like "wheeeeee!")

As promised (because I know the collective internet world has been waiting breathlessly), more pictures from our Ayla-meeting trip to Maryland. Which I had no idea was so pretty and had, like, an OCEAN. Not a REAL ocean, according to Michelle, but like a bay or something? Whatever. It has water that looks oceanic, okay? When we moved in for landing, I thought I'd boarded the wrong flight when I saw all the huge waterfront homes and piers and boats. I may have exclaimed "holy smokes, there's an OCEAN down there!" and drawn a few "what a dipshit" looks my way. Anyway, Maryland's pretty. And so's Ayla Faye. And her suspiciously already-skinny mommy. And their big daddy G? He's very very ..... happy. Thanks, B family, for having us!

V and A meet. Neither looks terribly impressed. Just wait girls, the fun has only begun.

The first of many matching outfits. (They'll be even cuter when they fit better.)

You'd think Miss Bumblebee would be better accustomed to sharing the spotlight by now. But, no. She wants baby Ayla out of her shot, and she wants her out NOW.

Have you ever seen a dog quite so happy to be a big brother as Oakley? I haven't.

So, that's it for now. Happy weekend!

Monday, August 2, 2010


Miss V and I are in the Baltimore airport, soon to board our flight home to Austin. This has been a fabulous trip. The main and most exciting purpose, of course, was to meet this sweetie pie:

...and to take many photos like these that our baby girls will (hopefully) cherish like their mamas cherish the many photos WE have together as baby girls (and cute little kids and awkward teens and bridesmaids in each others' weddings).

Expect more of those to come.

But for now, I need to tell you .... Vivian's kind of a big deal here in Maryland. This morning at the airport, she had some serious celeb encounters. People who are VIPs, making Vivian a VERY BIG DEAL by association. See?

Big. Deal.