Monday, January 31, 2011

now i can sleep at night!

Big news, you guys! (I'm trying to transition from "yall" to "you guys". When in Rome and such, you know? Plus, when I say "yall" up here, sometimes people look at me like I'm a space alien. More so than usual.) Anyway. You guys. I GOT MY BLURB BLOG BOOK!

Let me back up. For the past year or so, I've had this paranoid fear that Blogger would just ::poof:: disappear one day, and take along with it my beloved little blog. And then, I'd be so, so sad. Not like I think it's some glorious work of art or something, because let's face it, it's a mommy blog. But it's MY mommy blog, and it's chock-full of sweet little memories. It's how I remembered when I started each baby on solids and what they ate, who slept through the night at eight weeks vs. who tortured us for months and months with multiple wakings. It still makes me cry to go back and reread my babies' birth stories. And the pictures! All these fun little pictures I've put up over the years that aren't really photo album worthy, but aren't images I ever want to forget, either. So all those things considered, I knew my blog would be VERY sad to lose. So worrying about my blog ::poof:: disappearing was added to the list of 276 things I worry about when I'm trying to go to sleep at night, which keeps me from sleeping at night, which causes me to lose brain cells and write long, rambling, grammatically questionable posts about things like this that make people go 'OMG GET TO THE FREAKING POINT ALREADY!'

I knew I could make my blog into a book, and that was the plan. Problem was, I thought making my blog into a book would be a huge, huge pain in the you-know-what. So I procrastinated. And occasionally backed up my blog following some directions I found online, but truth be told, I didn't really get what I was doing when I did it and probably did it incorrectly. And then, my college friend Kelsey told me about the blog book she was making using Blurb (and later posted this on her blog) ... and that was just the motivation I needed to finish this project. Because if she could do it with a brand new baby, I was out of excuses. So I got to work and though a bit time consuming because I was nitpicky and wanted to do some editing/upload some better quality pics/etc., the results? OMG, totally worth it. Without further ado....


I cried, yall you guys.


So that's my blog book #1! I decided to go from Anderson's birth (aka, the beginning of time as far as this blog is concerned) to Vivian's birth for the first book. Blog book #2 will pick up on Vivian's day of birth and go through her first birthday - I've nearly got that one done as well, but obviously need to wait until her first birthday actually happens to complete it. And after that, I think I'll do one book for each year until my kids get big enough to understand what a blog is and make me shut this puppy down because how embarrassing for kids to have your dorky MOM write about you on the INTERNET!

page 1

page 264 (I know. I'm wordy.)

Just a little excited. If you couldn't tell. Thank you, Blurb!

Stay tuned. I've got lots to blog about this week. Including but not limited to:
-Vivian's first birthday photo session: sneak peeks and how I almost DIED with excitement when I saw them
-my new Zumba skirt and why it's awesome
-how I've become one of those 'writes letters to the editor' types
-first birthday party planning, crafting, cupcake lusting
-how there's maybe something wrong with me because I'm not that sick of winter and don't even miss the sunshine, like, ever

Friday, January 28, 2011

mom bag

You're definitely a mom if the inside of your bag looks like this:
Not one, not two, not three OR four, but FIVE plastic contraptions. And a diaper. And all the stuff you can't see, too (butt paste, teething ring, bribery lollipop, and inexplicably, a baby tooth brush). And we were leaving the house for, like, 90 minutes, not 9 days.

Thanks for the encouragement and commiseration on that spitting business of yesterday. I'm happy to report today was spit-free. I mean, not like he was Bobby-freaking-Brady having a Sunshine Day all of the sudden either, but he didn't humiliate me in public with body fluids and was actually pretty sweet all afternoon. So, yay.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

oh no he didn't

I've come to accept a lot of things about parenting a two year old. Like that sometimes there's going to be a cat trapped in the hamper, and that if I happen upon a naked toddler, there's a pool of pee to be found somewhere. I've loosened up and lowered my expectations. He'll eat when he is really hungry, and if that meal is a whole lot of carbs and nothing green, so be it, he ate. Leaving the dog food cupboard unlatched is an invitation for kibble from one end of the laundry room to the other. My wedding rings left sitting on the bedside table will end up riding along inside the Little People bus. He probably won't just sit nice and listen to the story at story time, because he's two and he's a boy and there are BOOKS and FISH and COMPUTERS to see. So long as he's not hurting anyone or disrupting anyone or blatantly disobeying a rule I have set in place, whatever. Rock on with yo' crazy self, Mister. Be two. Learn, explore, figure out what's what.

But spitting? OMG, YALL. The spitting. He spits when he's feeling defiant, he spits when he's frustrated, and today, he spit at me because I dared try to coax him away from the craft table at story time when he'd already completed his craft (read: already covered himself in paint and ripped his mardi gras mask in half). He. Spit. At. Me. In public. So obviously, I grabbed him by the hand and said a curt goodbye to my friends (sorry, friends) and marched him to the car and drove my frustrated self to Taco Johns for a large Mountain Dew (because I couldn't hardly go grab an ice cold six pack, and this was the next best thing and killed some time for everyone ((read: ME)) to chill out before we got home). Because while I'll tolerate a lot out of a two year old knowing that the name of the two year old game is testing boundaries .... I will NOT tolerate blatant disrespect. Or spit. In my face. That I put makeup on and everything.

So, mamas, do any of your kids do this spitting thing? (Or if they don't, tell me they do something equally jaw-droppingly naughty, just to make me feel better.) What on earth do you do about this kind of behavior? Have you read a book about parenting toddlers that might help me out and not bore me and/or make me feel like I suck? (Title, author, Amazon link. Thanks in advance.)

((Note: it wasn't just that one episode, either. The whole morning was just kind of one mess after another mess, but for the sake of not going on and on and on (because I never do that, I'm always all to the point, over and out), I'm just sharing the lowest of the low.))

And all this after a day like yesterday, when we had some of our new friends over and had a fabulous play date where everyone played nice, nobody hit (or, you know, SPIT IN ANYONE'S FACE), and the kids hit it off so smashingly and had so much fun playing together that the moms actually got to speak in full sentences and I got a chance to get to know two new friends a little bit better. Total keepers, for sure. And the afternoon was equally pleasurable, with lots of playing and hugging and "wuff yous" and such. So yesterday was like that and I went to bed all "kids, good, life, yes, fabulous, lucky meeeeeeee" and then today went all "omg make it STOP!!!!!!!!!"

Anyway. Share your words, oh wise ones.

Monday, January 24, 2011

go pack!

I bet you'll never guess what we did yesterday.
Oh. Never mind. I'm guessing you did guess. Easily. And at the end of that game? SCREAMS! I called my parents and sister (watching together out on the west coast) and there were TEARS shared over the telephone lines. And I'm taking full credit. Can't be a coincidence that the very year I move back to Wisconsin, the Packers make the Super Bowl, can it? GO PACK GO!

To celebrate, I whipped up some homemade Packer cupcakes!

Okay, fine, they were from a box.

Okay, fine, they weren't really Packer cupcakes, they were Christmas cupcakes and I needed to use up the box before it expired.

But wasn't Bug cute eating his celebratory "Packer" cupcake?

(I know. He looks like he's seventeen years old or something. New haircut. New "bit too short, please grow quickly" haircut.)

Sorry, Vivi, no cupcake for you.

Friday, January 21, 2011

flu

I've been in bed for 21 hours. Minus the four or so hours I spent asleep on my bathroom floor. And people, I'm not one of those 'can sleep anywhere' types. I'm more 'pillow fluffed just right, room temp between 64-66, all sources of light blocked out' fussy sleepers. But last night, between the puking and the chills and the aches and the crying for my mommy, I guess I just passed right out, right there on my bathroom floor wrapped in a bath towel. Good times. I look like death, I feel like hell, and I've burned through my entire DVR'd show list, so now I'm just bored. And cranky. And kind of missing my family, because I can hear them upstairs playing and laughing and I want to be up there playing and laughing and not laying here feeling like hell and looking like death.

I am beyond thankful for my saintly husband, who stayed home today and managed to keep the littles entertained (and away from their germy mama) all day long. I suspect there's been a lot of cartoon watching and I think there was a Happy Meal run for the Bug, but whatever. He's awesome, because if I'd had to care for these kids today, it wouldn't have been pretty. Here's hoping the J, A, & V's flu shots work a whole lot better than mine did and the flu stops here.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

sucktown!

You know when it kind of sucks to be Mister A, big brother to a baby sister a year and a half his junior? When your mommy buys that sister of yours a new sweater in size 3T and makes YOU try it on to see if it might fit her by next winter.
(Good news, it will fit her by next winter. Bad news, my son will disown me one day when his buddies get ahold of that picture of him in his sister's sweater.)

And here's when it sucks to be the baby sister of a (maniacal) toddler boy. Can't even get a picture of yourself without his behind (literally) all up in your business.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

saturday

Here's a little list of things I did on this snowy Saturday. I must warn you, you may be jealous. If you have little kids, that is. If you don't have children, you'll be all like "whaaat?" and then you'll probably go renew your birth control prescription because if this is a mom's idea of a really great Saturday, you aren't sure you want to even go there.

Today, I:

1) slept until 8:34am.

2) showered for what felt like a (hot, steamy, rejuvenating) hour though it was probably only ten minutes but that happens to be about 9.5 minutes longer than I usually get to shower (with a toddler opening and closing and opening the shower door while his almost-toddler sibling sits on the floor and screams/eats my hair ties/sucks on the top of a can of mousse). Then I dried my hair fully (with nobody unplugging the blow dryer over and over again), then applied makeup (without a toddler "helping" with my "mupup". Read: snatching my eyeliner and drawing all over his face because ONCE on Halloween I used eyeliner to draw whiskers on his face so that MUST mean "mupup" is meant to be used for scribbling all over his face every single day, right?)

3) went to the grocery store ALONE. No cart cover straps to negotiate, no sippy cups to pick up when tossed from the cart (ten times), and if there's a (smushed up, regurgitated) Goldfish trail winding through the grocery store aisles, it's so not from my kids. (For once.) Hollah!

4) strolled leisurely through a floral/gift/home decor shop FULL of breakable items at toddler eye level. You know, the type of store I don't go within 25 feet of with my children in tow because, well, I don't want to buy half the damn shop when my kids destroy it item by fragile item. And even if I did want to, my doublewide stroller wouldn't exactly stroll on through. But today, solo, I took my time and gathered fun new floral branches to get me through the decor-season lag that falls between after-Christmas and early-spring. You know, the one that happens when you take down the Christmas stuff but can't quite yet bring out the spring stuff, what with the snow and ice and such but your house looks naked so you need something? Yeah, I found some branches and florals to help out with that. And some picture frames and a candle, for good measure.

5) totally rocked out to old school Christina in my car on the way home. I was doing my genie moves, people! They were HOT! They probably weren't, and it probably looked a whole lot like there was a grown woman having a seizure in the seat of her mommymobile. But in my head? 19, blonder than blonde, at a frat party with my girls.

6) ate a pile of chicken tacos while hanging out with some fun people while watching my football team stomp all over the other football team in tonight's playoff game. Okay, so this last part is a little premature in that it hasn't quite happened just yet, but GO PACK GO!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

11 months!

No, I'm not even kidding you. She's REALLY 11 months old.
And she's tall and she's smiley and she's little miss social everywhere we go (wherever would she have picked up that little trait?) She's also throwing toddler-style tantrums that stop Anderson in his tracks, totally awestruck (and taking notes on his Magna Doodle, probably). I can't deny the truth ... her baby days are at their dusk, and toddlerhood looms. Which means two toddlers. Oh, mah, gawwww.
And as is the case, I fear, for every big moment in the life of a second child...Miss V had all of 2.2 seconds to be the center of attention before big brother crashed the party.


So there you have it, she's 11 months old, and those are the photos to prove it. I'm not even going to get into how sad it is that this is the very last of V's monthly photos, because then I'd cry and need to go eat a pile of peanut butter cups to console myself. And I worked WAY too hard at Zumba class this morning to succumb to that. So I'll just stop before I go there. But it is sad. She was just born YESTERDAY, for goodness sake! SOB!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

it was her BIRTHDAY!

Okay, so for starters: was it someone's 30th birthday on The Bach last night? Maybe? Was it? I'm not sure if it was mentioned THREE BAZILLION TIMES or not. It was her birthday! She's a WOMAN in the land of GIRLS! Oh, Big Bad Brad. Just final rose the Adorable Blonde Single Mom and be done with it, mmkay? Or The Southern Nanny, if youthful naivety is more your thing. Just don't go with The Vampire. (Do yall think The Dentist is just totally aghast about the fangs? Because I'm totally aghast about the fangs and teeth aren't my livelihood.)

In other news, yesterday, both of my kids woke WITHOUT green boogers crusting their nostrils shut! Which means my day didn't start by clearing the nostrils of a screaming child and getting kicked/scratched/smacked in the face while doing said nostril cleaning! Can I get a "woo-hoo!"? Because in the six or so days leading up to yesterday, it was booger central around here and I just about lost my damn mind. No play dates, no Zumba, no going anywhere or doing anything ... just a long stretch of days where the kids stayed in their pajamas (yeah, I did too) and refused to be more than an inch or two away from their mama, which meant I spent most of each of those days carrying one kid on each hip and seriously? That's like 50 pounds of kid. And they didn't nap well at all, and they woke up between 5 and 6am, and we were up at least once a night with each pitiful, stuffy, inconsolable kid. And did I mention that I almost lost my mind, and probably would have it wasn't for the blissful reprieve that was my Book Club night out on Friday?

But as of right now (:::knock on wood:::) they're healthy and though a bit uncooperative during this mornings' music class, they're happily back in the land of the living. And mama's happy to have happy babies. And a peaceful snowy day and the Blurb book projects I've got going on - one for each baby's first year. And Diet Coke. And Teen Mom 2 season premier tonight, yall! (My TV tastes are so highbrow, aren't they?)

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

tuesday. nap time.

Okay, so first? Those fangs? For REAL? BigBadBrad lost a few sanity points in my book handing a rose over to Fangy McFangerson. Whaaaa? But then he took his shirt off and won back ALL his points. And MORE points, too. And if you aren't watching the Bachelor (SISTER ANNE I'M LOOKING AT YOU), be prepared, it will probably be a frequent topic 'round these parts the next few months and you'll probably be all "what? What's she talking about? WHY don't I watch this amazingly awesome piece of television artistry? :::cry:::" You'll only have yourself to blame!

Next topic. Tuesday. Nap time. I had the best of intentions, I swear I did! I was going to pay bills, then make a healthy sandwich, then clean up my kitchen, then pull an armload of laundry off the laundry heap and get them into the wash. (We were without water to our laundry room for the better part of this week so the laundry mound is approximately three point five toddlers high.) I was then going to get all Martha-ish and work on the lamp renovation I've had planned for V's lamp since, like, September. Then, to round out my remaining 2.2 seconds of nap time, I was going to put my feet up and chip away at the book I'm supposed to be reading for the book club I have been invited to (YAY, me! An invite! Friends!)

Instead. Tuesday. Nap time. I scrummaged through the fridge for something caffeinated and ended up pulling out a container of leftover cocktail weenies and eating every last one of them. Then I ate a bunch of Tums because it turns out cocktail weenies? They make my heart BURN. Then I picked up my iPhone (aka, the iTimeSuckerOfTheCENTURY) only meaning to check for missed calls, and accidentally opened Words With Friends and playing catch up in a few battles I'd thought long lost (thank you, thank you, "PRILL", TL + TW!) Then since I was already wasting time, I downloaded a new app called Instagram (thanks, MMT!) and had way too much fun with this not-even-in-focus picture I grabbed of baby Vivi, who I can only call baby Vivi for like one more month before she's TODDLER Vivi, which is just about the most ridiculously unfathomable thing EVER, isn't it?
Then, I came to my blog and wasted more time blabbering on about nothing at all and losing half of my remaining 4 readers when I bored them to tears. Then my babies woke up. The End!

Sunday, January 2, 2011

playroom project

On goes my quest to make the playroom a space that checks each box on a short list of criteria:
1) looks cute, but not in a "cartoon character explosion" kind of way
2) educational
3) doesn't cost three bajillion dollars. Or even two bajillion. Under one bajillion, preferably.

In that playroom, we had one big long wall that was just .... blah. I'd played around with picture frames and perused Etsy for wall decals, but nothing was just right. Until last week, when I was in Antropologie helping my brother choose a gift for his girlfriend losing my brother in the crowd and trying on sweaters instead of helping him find a gift for his girlfriend (sorry, Binks!) There, on a table beside the three mile long checkout line full of other girls who ditched their brothers and found themselves sweaters, I saw this box:
Alphabet Animal flash cards (also found here).

And inspiration struck! So yesterday, I gathered my materials and got to work and ended up with this:





The project cost under $20, and took about 30 minutes to complete. Can't beat that, right? So here's what you need:

-a ball of hemp yarn

-some big nails

-clothes pins
I lucked out and found a bagful my dad had stashed in his garage that came from my Great Grandpa Anderson's farmstead, which was a pretty awesome bonus, but you can get yours for about $1.50 at WallyWorld. OR! You could check out (or make) something like THESE .


-I also used two curtain clippy things, one on each end of the string, but you could skip that step because those things were a major PITA to fasten onto the wall. If I were doing it over again, I'd just find a cute little hook actually made for fastening into walls, which when you think about it makes a whole lot more sense, right? Or just use the nails, because that works just fine.

And then, all you do is pound the nails into the wall, wrap the string around the nail 2-3 times and tie it tightly, then repeat a couple times on down the wall. Then use the pins to clip up your adorable flash cards. And if you're a little (or a lot) type A like moi, listen to your husband when he says "quite being so type A about it and just HANG THEM ALREADY!" Imperfection is the new perfection, yall. Or something. I'm still not 100% sure I'm done with this - I'd thought about collecting a handful of big buttons and super gluing one to each nail head .... what do you think?

Anyway, there you have it. An EASY playroom project that will surely help the littles in their alphabet learning endeavors! And it's cheap! And if I do say so myself, it looks pretty stinking cute.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

new year, minus the happy

So remember that super tame old people NYE I thought we had in store? What actually went down looked a whole lot like every NYE party I went to in college. There was a belligerent guy throwing up all over the place who ended up wandering naked around the kitchen screaming for more drinks, and some girl up absurdly late speaking gibberish, then crying off an on about Godknowswhat until the wee hours of the morning, and the whole effect was very 'out of control house party'. Minus the cops puttimg a stop to the revelry by showing up and hauling everyone off to the clinker. Though at 2am, when I was at the laundry room sink shivering in my skivvies rinsing barf off of crib bedding and listening to babies scream, I was kind of wishing someone would show up and just haul me away.

And hello, 1-1-11? It's also COLD. Like, my left eyelid froze shut running from my car to the store this morning cold. (Pedialyte and diaper run! Woooooweee!)

2011, you better get yourself together.