Friday, April 29, 2011

the royal wedding (i mean, duh)

Kids, take a good look at your future in-laws.

Am I the only one that sat there for awhile wondering why Princess Catherine was driving the car around? Bug sat there for the longest time, watching the royal couple go around and around, waving every time they'd wave. Precious boy. Then a helicopter came on screen and his head almost exploded. "HEH-WO-TOPP-TER!"


And Vivi played with a Ziploc full of clothespins. And read her princess book. Obvi.

So, moving on! Who's as excited about Bump Watch: Royalty Edition as I am?! Get to it, Will and Kate! We're not getting any younger!

And no, I didn't get up at 4am to start watching the coverage, though I did set my alarm just to reserve the option of watching this historical event live. Sadly, Anderson had another plan in store for the night. And that was waking me up every 90 minutes or so. Poor Bug's had a cough all week and what that meant was a lot of mid-of-night consoling. So by 4am, I was clinging to every last minute of sleep I could catch before he decided he was up for the day. Instead, I've wasted away what could have been a very productive 2.5 hour (and counting) nap time glued to the DVR. Well done, Brits. You're a classy bunch.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

i can't decide

The biggest decision in my life right now? Do I or do I not wake up at 4:00am to watch The Royal Wedding? I mean, it's once in a lifetime! But it's 4:00am! But the dress! I need to see the dress! And the feathery hats! But FOUR AY EM! What to DO?

Speaking of decisions, I've definitely decided that while you can take the girl out of the east side (of the ATX, yo), the east side doesn't come out of the girl quite so easily. Remember the burglary? Such a warm and fuzzy memory that is. And also, I watch a lot of Criminal Minds. Half because that Reid is a Class A hottie with those fuzzy cardigans and encyclopedic brain of his, and half because it's like the best show of my lifetime after 90210 and Teen Mom (1 & 2). Suffice it to say, between that burglary and all the Criminal Minds watching, I'm not as trusting as I once was, even up here in the woodsy relative safety of a near-crimeless community. So tonight, a car pulls into the end of our (long, secluded, dark and stormy night-ish) driveway. And a guy gets out in those brown overall outfit thingies that The Google tells me is called Carhartts. And from the house looking out at the road, and with the guy all covered up in that Carhartt outfit, he looked thuggish. However, you should know two things. One is that my eyesight is bad. Like, so bad that I mumble through the DMV eyesight testing and once mistook my cat for a raccoon in the middle of the night and screamed 'OMG, J, A RACCOON IS IN OUR BATHROOM!" I might have been half asleep though. But still, hello, bad. Two is that it's quite a long way from the inside of the house to the very end of the driveway so it's not very easy from that distance to tell a thug from, say, a little old man. A few minutes later, the guy starts walking toward my house. So I did what any normal lady does, which means I ran to the kitchen and grabbed a knife and put it into the pocket of my hooded sweatshirt. (My hooded sweatshirt with sorority letters on it. Nothing says DON'T MESS WITH ME like a couple Greek letters and a five foot tall lady with a steak knife in her pocket.) So anyway, then the guy came to my door and when I cracked it open the tiniest bit to see what it was he needed, it turned out he was an apologetic little old man and he what he needed was water to pour on his overheating car part of some sort. At which point, in my head, I was like "omg omg omg don't let the knife fall out because I'll probably give this little old man a heart attack and try explaining THAT to the sheriff and/or his little old wife who I now see standing right out there by the car, too." So, oops?

I'm not sure what the point here really is. Basically I wanted you to tell me whether or not I should wake up at 4:00am to watch The Royal Wedding, or whether this is one of those cases where DVR is your BFF. Thoughts?

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

makeover

What, this old thing? Oh, just my brand new (long overdue) blog look.

That I LOVE!

You like?

Big thanks to Danielle Moss for the makeover!

Sunday, April 24, 2011

happy easter

Because it's not a holiday if I don't dress my kids up and take wholly uncooperative photos and post them on el bloggo, that's why! (Remember Thanksgiving?)


I lied. I got one cooperative photo. Lovely littles, aren't they?
And now, please excuse me. It's 4:07pm, and I must go wake my children from their sugar comas. They never, ever sleep past 3:00pm. Unless, I guess, they eat cookies and caramel rolls and pastel colored candy all the live-long Easter day and ride their sugar highs right into their cribs, where they pass out for four-ish (and counting) hours. Huh.

Happy Easter, everyone!

Friday, April 22, 2011

yoga? no-ga.

Turns out I'm not a yoga girl. Because the class I took this morning? Because the kids were and dressed, raring to go and screaming 'BYE BYE Y? BYE BYE Y?' by 8am and that yoga class was all that was offered for the early birds? That yoga thing straight up killed my caffeine buzz and stressed me right on out because apparently I totally suck at it and sucking at things stresses me OUT. I know. Sucking the life out of me and stressing me out is totally not the point of yoga, though really, I'm not sure what the point could possibly be other than to bore the participant half to death and apparently, make people fart. ((Disclaimer: this has nothing to do with the lovely yoga instructor or her yoga teaching techniques. It has everything to do with me maybe having some kind of adult onset ADD that renders me totally unable to downward dog or child pose or whatever the hell it is we were doing in there without looking around the room to see if anyone else is giggling like a five year old at the fart smell or if it's just me, and no, yeah, it was totally just me.))

The instructor kept telling me to look into my mind, to look at my mind, to mind my mind. What? Like, my mind as in ... my head? So then I started thinking about my head and how I wonder why the back of it is kind of flat and maybe if my parents didn't rotate my head around while I slept or something, then about my hair and how my roots are starting to look dark so I was calculating how many more weeks until I need to touch up my highlights and then whether my bang braid was coming loose because it kind of felt floppy or something and then whether that new brand of dry shampoo I saw in a magazine might be available on Amazon so I could get free shipping on it or .... wait, my mind. Think about my mind. But all that was on my mind was OMG, I'm so BORED and it kind of smells like a FART in here and this music totally reminds me of that Japanese store at Epcot center where I got that cute little jewelry holder and whatever happened to that thing anyway and I wonder how warm it is in Florida today because I bet it's super warm and I so wish I was at Disney World where it's warm and not in this cold dark room listening to this wind chimey music. Hey, WAIT I see my Zumba friends outside the window and HMM I wonder what they're talking about and on and on and on. End result? I was sleepy and annoyed and it took both a Zumba class AND a Diet Coke to feel alive again.

So, the moral of the story is, I won't be going back to yoga ever again.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

on traveling with baby people

that's how we roll.  heavily.

The threat level of flying with a baby or two can be ranked like the color-coded rainbow thingy that tells us just how horrified we should be about air travel on any given day. One baby? Threat level blue: guarded. Be a little tiny bit nervous but you'll probably just end up sipping Diet Cokes and reading magazines and going all "threat level whaaaa?" One toddler? Make that level yellow: elevated. Won't be the most fun trip you've ever had, but you probably aren't going to cry. One baby, one toddler? Up it to threat level orange: high. Have a sound plan in place, sleep well the night before, be sure there's alcohol waiting upon arrival. Two toddlers? You've hit the most ominous level of all. Red: SEVERE! Meaning, kiss your mom-jean-ass goodbye, you're DEAD. Okay, no, you won't die (and please tell me you are NOT wearing mom jeans, because thatwould make me so very sad that I might actually cry for you Argentina). But at some point during your however-many hours of flight time and connecting time and layover time, you're maybe going to wish you were dead.

But no matter your threat level, remember this: eventually, you'll land, you'll exhale, you'll brush the 4 pounds of smushed Goldfish off your lap and then you will RUN off that plane toward sweet fresh-aired freedom. And by run I mean lumber as fast as one can move down a six-inch wide airplane aisle with one groggy toddler in your arms, one defiantly shoeless toddler you're dragging behind by his shirt sleeve, and two overflowing carry-on bags sliding down your shoulder and into the crook of your arm. (You're running because the 250 people on the plane with you? They all want to hurt you.)

If you've been reading long, you know I fly with the kids every so often. Most of the time, I'm alone in these travels, because the man-parent has a job and such (party pooper). I don't enjoy these solo flights with the babies, but I do enjoy going places and seeing people (especially people who live in sun-soaked beachy locales and take my babies to the park and leave me with a book, a lounge chair, and my Facebooking iPhone, hiiiiii parents!) and so, we fly. And every now and then, I get an email or FB message or blog comment from a friend asking how it works, this flying with babies thing. I'm not an expert, by any means. But I sense that this air travel with baby thing makes even the calmest mama anxious,so I've got a few tips to share in hopes that my experiences help you fly more confidently with your littles.

Here we go.

1) Forget your co-passengers. Their comfort means nothing to you. They're going to go all wide-eyed when they stumble down the aisle to your row and see they have to sit by you and your baby(s), they're going to shake their heads and sigh and exchange "OH EM GEE, that baby is out of CONTROL!!!!!!!" glances at one another if your baby so much as sneezes, they may even verbally assault you like some judgey old bat did to my friend Elizabeth one time. Shake it off. Who cares? You're not going to see these people again, and if they're sooooo bothered by your crying baby, they should've ponied up for a seat in first class. Or a private jet. Or, maybe just kept their crabbyass at home. Because your baby? One hundred plus times less annoying than the crusty open mouth snoring guy, the hangover whiskeyfart guy, and the spilling into your seat guy. (I've flown beside all three. I'd take colicky triplet babies as my seatmates over any of the aforementioned.)

2) Wear. Your. Baby. Bjorn, Moby, Ergo, budget-friendly duct tape, whatever. You'll have free hands, your baby will probably snooze, you can take them into the bathroom with you and still be able to wipe, which if you ask me, is kind of a crucial part of the whole going to the bathroom idea. Plus, if you get lucky like I nearly always did while babywearing, you won't have to remove the baby going through security. Super helpful because you'll be very busy extracting the butt paste and infant tylenol and bottles full of water that have migrated to the very bottom of your carry-on lest you inadvertently sneak a liquid-like substance through in your bag forcing the whole place into lockdown for three hours. Or the dreaded full body pat-down. I had one last week, people, and I needed a smoke afterward. Just sayin'. (HER HANDS WERE IN MY PANTS, YALL!)

3) If you're taking a convertible car seat, and I do recommend doing so if you're traveling with a bigger baby/toddler, buy this: the GoGoKidz Travelmate. Big help. HUGE. You strap the car seat to it, and voila, car seat on wheels. You can even pull your kid around the airport this way if you aren't bringing a stroller. Then you wheel it down the airplane aisle to your seat (our Britax and Evenflo seats fit just fine on the Travelmate down aisles on every airline we've flown), pull your car seat off, and stash the Travelmate overhead.

4) Forget the CARES harness. At first I thought it might be a winner (car seat straps without the burdensome car seat!) and even blogged about my one successful flight using it .... but by the next flight we took, Mister A squirmed right out of it. And it's never kept him put since. It lacks a crotch strap, so even if your kid is compliant and doesn't escape, he'll probably slide down and end up with the seat belt up around his armpits. And it's around $80, so if you're even considering it, I'd borrow or rent one a couple of times to see how it works for your kid. Mine is available for borrowing, call me.

5) Two toddlers? Take that double stroller! Take it right to the door of the plane, then gate check it. I can't even come up with a way that you'd get two toddlers through an airport on your own otherwise, unless you're He-Man or have freakishly obedient toddlers who won't take off running the wrong way on the moving walkway and just about take his face off and make the WHOLE TERMINAL stare at you like you're some kind of deadbeat mom. Or something. Even if one of your kids walks, that's valuable space to cart around one of your ginormous carry ons and it also comes in handy for changing babies in the bathroom (blanket between butt and stroller, obvi) if you're like me and just can't quite bring yourself to use the public changing tables unless you absolutely have to. (Because then you have to burn your kid's clothes when you get home and that's a total waste of BabyGap.) I know a lot of you are concerned about what the baggage handlers might do to your stroller that probably set you back a paycheck or two. I can't make any promises, but I can tell you that ours has emerged in the jetway unscathed every single time. That jumbostroller is going to be one of the last things loaded and the first things off, which drastically reduces the risk of it being pulverized. Knock on wood.
the old pros, double strollering

6) Overnight diapers. Put one on your bebe(s). My first line of defense when the screaming starts is usually a sippy cup. Chugging a sippy cup for 2+ hours means the average toddler will pee more than a horse. Not like I know how much a horse pees or anything, but I'm betting it's a lot, just like the average toddler who sucks on a sippy cup for 2+ hours. So go for the overnights (Huggies have been fail-proof 'round these parts) and avoid your lap being soaked with leaking baby pee and ALSO avoid a trip to the germ encrusted, stranger-poop smelling airplane bathroom. Unless your baby poops. In which case, you're going in. Bless your heart.

7) For the toddlers, a portable DVD player is a must-have. I don't care if you don't believe in TV, you will believe in TV when your antsy pants toddler has pressed the flight attendant call button THREE times and you're not even an hour into your flight. Probably won't buy you peace and quiet the whole way, but it's been great for entertaining at least one of my two kids for thirty minutes here and there. Buy the cheapie. We paid $40 for some no-name brand, because I'll care less when it ends up being left in a seatback pocket one day in my haste to escape when they crack the forward doors open. And leave the DVD cases home to cut down on bulk. I stick each DVD into a sandwich baggie.

8) Don't overpack. Just packing the bare minimum will net you a couple ginormous carry-ons, so don't make this harder on yourself than you have to. Skip the books, because your littles would rather rip up the SkyMall catalog and books are heavy. I don't bring toys anymore, either. They ended up catapulting to the floor and rolling away, and plastic cups and boarding passes are far more entertaining (and disposable). Save your carry-on space for snacks (see#9), sippy cups, your Valium, a giant pack of wipes, two more diapers than you think you could ever possibly need, and a full change of clothes for each kid (and maybe a spare shirt for you, just in case). Vivian had a code brown explosion when we flew home in December, and had to spend the flight wearing nothing but a shirt and an overnight diaper because I neglected to bring her spare pants. We had to buy her a $20 Minnesota Golden Gopher onesie when we connected in Minneapolis, and that made me want to cry twice ($20?! Minnesota?! Sads.)
boarding pass is a fun toy

9) Snacks, snacks, and more snacks. On our last flight to CA, they ate their weight in Goldfish crackers, Puffs, and Fruity Cheerios. Forget the wholesome diet for today, the name of the game is keeping their mouths busy with chewing. Because if they're chewing, they're probably not screaming in your ear. Give them double vegetables tomorrow and you're even.

10) Pack a few extra Ziploc bags. You never know when you might need to contain a diarrhea soaked onesie or a leaking sippy cup. Or suffocate yourself.

11) Keep a light heart. Keep #1 in mind (you don't know these people, you'll never see these people again, they were babies once, too) and go easy on yourself and your littles. I'm not going to lie and say I keep my cool (I sometimes get sweaty and hyperventilatey) or that it gets easier every time, because in truth, the baby stage is the very easiest flying stage and I don't foresee it getting much easier until they're at least 5 ... but no matter what, you'll get where you're going and nobody will die and it will all be worth it to be wherever it is you wanted to go so badly in the first place.


Have anything to add? Want to hear more about TSA getting to 2nd base with me last week? You know where the comment button is, friends. Happy travels! You can do it!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

look! a target with palm trees!

This morning, Mommo took the kids and cut me loose. Orange County was all mine for the taking - I could seriously do anything! Like, go places too small for a double stroller, places that don't have changing tables even! Places with $12,000 bags! Places to spot RHOCs!

Instead? Hello, Mommyville:

There's no Target in the woods, people. I know. Moment of silence? Yes. So I was craving the feeling one gets walking through Target with the big red cart (the new ones not the old ones, it matters!) - like the deal of a lifetime could be right around the corner, like you could fill up the WHOLE CART with AWESOMENESS and still pay your mortgage, even! And this particular Target trip was SO epic that it required a lunch break. No, for real. I shopped for two hours, paid, went to a restaurant and had lunch while reading InTouch on a patio, slammed another Diet Coke, and went back to Target because there were still things there, things I HAD TO HAVE. I found a swimsuit that meets both of my requirements: 1) covers my not-so-flat abdominal area (thank you, two ginormous babies and thank you also, potato oles) and 2) doesn't look like a mommysuit. Then there were the swimsuit coverup dresses. Then there was the children's department, omg, the children's department. Clearance as far as my shopping-starved eyes could see. Vivi's closet is pretty much set for summer now. Denim romper? Check. Two hot pink skorts? Checkity check? Eighty-ten other things? Check. Don't worry, I didn't forget my boy, he got a Dodger's shirt. Not because we're really big fans, but because it was that or the Angels shirt and he looks better in blue than red. Go blue team or whatever!

And of course, no trip to California is complete without a visit from Cari and the kids. They came up yesterday. We had lunch, watched the kids chase birds, and arranged marriages. We're going to have some realllllly adorable grandbabies, Cari!

This is about as good as a picture can get when it contains two adults and four children under four, all looking into the sun.

Monday, April 11, 2011

bunny


Anderson: "BUNNY! Tweats! Hi! Bunny! Tweats?!"
Vivian: "OMFGOSH WHAT IS THAT THING?!?!"
Anderson: "Bunny! Hi? Bunny?"
Vivian: "YOU TOLD ME WE WERE GOING SHOE SHOPPING MOM!!!!!"
Anderson: "Bunny? Tweeeats?"
Vivian: "I CAN'T BELIEVE YOU WASTED MY NEW OUTFIT ON THIS!!!"
Anderson: Reconsiders the bunny.

Friday, April 8, 2011

this is my baby

This is my baby:
At the park in sunny California, her very first "real" park trip as a walking, playing, toddlerperson!

This is my baby on drugs:
Dramamine. Given to encourage a restful flight after a very early wake up. Not so much effective, unless 30 minutes of sleep on a 3.5 hour flight is your idea of a lot of rest.

There's another baby, too, but he's busy taking a nap. At 9am PST. No, he doesn't take a morning nap anymore. Unless, of course, he wakes up (FOR THE FREAKING DAY) at 3:50am. I know. That's not even, like, a real time. It's the pitch black middle of the night. But it's also 5:50am back home, and not like we wake up at 5:50am at home either (because OMG, if we did, OMG ::hyperventilate at the thought::), but at least there it's a maybe/sort of logical wake up time. Not like here, where it's actually 3:50am and THE MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT. Oh, did I mention the other little had been up intermittently from 11pm-1:45am with teething pain, so I got about two good hours of sleep in me? And then because cry it out wasn't working and was only going to result in my having TWO toddlers up in the middle of the night, I TRIED to bring the Mister to bed with me to encourage some snuggly sleeping time and instead laid there in the pitch black middle of the night listening to him go "A, B, F, O, P, COO, R, A, B, F, REPEAT REPEAT REPEAT", so that was pretty much a no-go because now not only was I not sleeping but I sort of also wanted to stab myself in the ears. (It was cute for two seconds, and it would have been cute forever at, say, noon. Not at 3:50am/in the MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT.) Until Mommo & Grandpa woke up at 6am and took the little dears off my hands (obvi, the bigger one had awaken the littler one by then) so I could go back to bed? Where I totally crashed in face first right into a dead sleep and had a wacky dream about my childhood friend Katie A. calling me for fashion advice, so I drove to her city and took her to the mall and did her up in a new Express wardrobe that I charged on my (non-existent, obvi) black AmEx? Weird for a few reasons. One being that I haven't laid eyes on Katie A. in a good, um, 10 years? (Though we Facebook frequently, so there's that.) And two being that Express isn't exactly where I'd take a childhood friend in need of a fashion makeover, because hello, Nordstrom and such?

In conclusion, Dramamine doesn't really work that well and also being up at 3:50am might make you crazy in the head. The End!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

packing

If by "packing" you mean "sitting in my bathrobe stuffing anything in arms reach that doesn't smell dirty into a suitcase without even looking at it" then yes, I'm packing. I'm also recovering from some gawdawful virus that hit me last night at 2am and kept coming looooong after I thought I had anything left to give it. Like, so bad I was barfing out my nose and pretty sure I was going to have a pant situation if you know what I'm sayin'. Might I add that the two toddlers screaming and clawing at me to be picked up WHILE I BARFED added a special little something to the experience? A+ day. And by A+ I mean SERIOUSLY REALLY BAD, FAIL. Like, let them watch Barney four freaking times bad. That's real bad, yall.

But now, I'm "packing". I'm sure I'll open my suitcase in sunny SoCal and find forty two pairs of underwear and some toddler snowpants or something, but whatever. Malls. Cali has 'em. Cali also has my mom, my sister, one of my favorite friends, and about 284 other things I'm looking forward to doing/seeing/eating, though after a day like today, a trip to, like, middle Iowa would seem like a real treat.

Over and out.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

30

Fact: I'm 30. Though if you'd asked me at the bar during my birthday dinner after party bar crawl I might have said "IT'S MY 29TH BIRTHDAY, YALLLLL!" or some nonsense .... but in reality, I've hit the thirties. And if the first three days of being 30 are any indication, this 30 thing might not be so bad after all. Cards and flowers and cake. Great friends, great birthday dinner, great nuts in my margarita. (Yeah, I know, what?) A whole bucket full of beer with my name on it (really, my name was on it). Great husband with a great gift (new camera lens for the mamarazzi) who was also a great designated driver and got all 24ish occupants of the Tahoe home in one piece. AFTER we danced like we were superhot 20 year olds and not 30-something moms with a collective 7 kids at home with sitters. Good times, these first three days of 30.

I don't know why it looks like I have a chipped tooth. I don't. But I do have, like, the best husband ever.

With Jen, one of my best friends from college in town for the birthdayfest.

Told you I'm 29. Bucket says so. See?
(With my fellow birthday celebrator, Jen's husband, who actually did happen to be turning 29. He had a bucket, too.)
(That guy lurking in the background was the 3rd birthdayer, my cousin Robbie, he's not 29 either and I can't really remember if he had a bucket or not.)

Say "time to go home, ladies, it's past the sitter's bedtime!"

And now? Rehab. These past two weekends of living it up have done mama in. My rehab of choice? A trip with the kids to SoCal later this week. The beach, the park, the sunshine, not a single flake of snow anywhere to be seen unless you look way off into the mountains, and I'm just not going to do that, because HELLO OMG I'm so SICK of the *&^%$#@ SNOW. Get ready for eleventy billion pictures of my kids on the beach, people.