Monday, May 30, 2011

memorial day weekend recap

Despite J having to work Saturday and today (whine grumble repeat), it's turned out to be a pretty nice holiday weekend, anyway. It's felt almost summery! Mosquitos and lemonade and that hot grill smell.

We started things off on Friday night, when I invited my fabulous girlfriends over. And their kids (we have 11.5 age 6 and under, if I'm counting correctly). And their husbands, who are just as fabulous (I mean fabulously MANLY) as the girls are. It's a good feeling to look around your kitchen and see everyone chatting and laughing and barefooted kids running in and out (cookie in each hand, obviously) and have that feeling like you're building your friend village. That one you need around you to raise kids with any amount of sanity. For entertainment and relief and advice and commiseration and celebration. The ones who will offer to watch your kids so you can get your hair done, who offer up their husband to carry your screaming kid out of the birthday party when naptime is clearly far past due (and he gladly does it), who drop a bottle of wine on your doorstep when it's been one of those weeks. Those kinds of friends. So for me to have found those kinds of friends, and my kids to like their kids so much they squeal with excitement at the mention of their names, and then for my husband to think their husbands are fabulous manly enough to do man things with .... I'd call that a win on the village building front.

rhors. minus the catfighting and evil eye hats.
katie (& baby #4!), elizabeth, libby, yo mama, crystal

just some babies here. talking about baby things.

big kids table. how sweet (and outnumbered) is miss lucy on the end?

fun if you're a boy. not fun if you're vivi.

it's not a party until someone's got their pants off.
that someone, 99% of the time, is this guy.
(otherwise it's his homeboy, melvin.)

earlier in the evening, vivi helped me get the house ready.
i'm shamelessly posting this just to show off her super cute outfit, obvi.
(target, head to toe.)

And the rest of the weekend was not too shabby, either. We celebrated the birthday of one of the cutest 3 year olds in town, we cleaned closets (out with the uggs, in with the jelly shoes), and yesterday we helped Grandpa get the yachtoon in the lake. The look on Anderbug's face says it all:
"OMG BOATING!!!!!" The boy likes his summer boating. Even if it does start in jeans and a sweatshirt. It's only May, people, and that breeze off the lake is chilly. We'll get the swim trunks (and SPF 350) out before much longer.

The boat launching was exciting for another reason - it was Abbie's first boat ride. Abbie is the newest member of the family, my parents' recently adopted 4 year old lab. Isn't she precious? And healthy. She ate a bottle of vitamins last week to prepare for a summer of fun.
Dogs are here, Grandpa's here, now we just need the Mommo. Who will be here in about 96 hours. Not that we're counting or anything.

Welcome, summer!

Friday, May 27, 2011

iphone photo week in review: two

little boy big chair . picnicking . what you wear when you pee your last pair of jeans . heartmelt.
vivi swings. new haircut, hey good lookin'. oh excuse me i thought it was spring my bad. hey, it bought me ten minutes to do my makeup.

Thursday, May 26, 2011


Dear McD's Order Taker Lady,
I don't spell out the word t-o-y when saying "no t-o-y in the Happy Meal, please" to show off my gold star spelling skills, I spell out the word t-o-y because the LAST thing my kids need is another piece of plastic doodad laying around on the floor where I'll inevitably crush it into my foot at 2am responding to a screaming child and inevitably say a word I'll regret saying the next day when my bigger little repeats it twenty hundred times. Inevitably. Not like they need chicken nuggets made of pink gooey looking meat (I saw it on the internet so it's true!), either, but we were running late and I had a car full of groceries to put away and I was tired and so whatever. I ordered the apple slices and milk, at least. So anyway, lady, when I spell out the t-o-y word, maybe DON'T respond by shouting out "huh? What? You said no TOY? Is that what you said, no TOY?" Because now you just sold me out to my two year old who's eyeing me suspiciously in the rearview mirror like he's thinking "wait, there are TOYS in there and you never TOLD ME?" Thanks a lot, order taker lady.

Dear Weather,
Are you even for real right now? It was 46 degrees at 10am. FORTY SIX! Get your act together before June, would you? Because I'm pretty sure I'm going to cry if I'm still spending a half hour every night covering my poor baby plants much longer. And also there's an outdoor wedding on June 11 and I'd very much like to not have to wear a snowsuit to watch the happy couple say "I do." So please get summery now, okay?

Dear Missouri River,
Please lay off this flooding business. You're scaring some of my loved ones, most notably everyone's favorite Auntie Peg. I'm hoping and praying you don't flood their house or anyone else's house either, and if some of yall reading this want to say a prayer for that same thing, that would be really greatly appreciated. (Love you, Auntie Peggy!)

Dear Everybody In The Public Places We Go To,
Please stop commenting on my adorable boys. I have one boy, that one right there with the truck/airplane/other boyish thing on his shirt. That other one, sitting up in the front of the cart? The one with the big pink butterfly on her puffy sleeved t-shirt, wearing purple lace trimmed leggings and blowing kisses all over the place? That would be a GIRL. I know. She's bald. She's got the same hairdo as you do old bald guy, hardy ho ho har, never heard that one before. But she's a girl (and anyway, who said bald = boy?) And while the baby boy comments didn't bug me so much when she was a tiny baby (because let's face it, babies kind of do look like genderless blobs), they're starting to grate my nerves now that she's a toddler girl who I dress as such. She's wearing pink and purple and sparkles. If you're still unsure of her gender after taking in the pink and the purple and sparkles, maybe just try "cute kids!" so I don't feel like smacking you and/or super gluing a big pink bow to her head. Thanks in advance for your cooperation.

Dear Circus Goers,
Have you seen this link right HERE? If you haven't, look at it now. Because I drove by the circus setting up shop in our town today, and it took all I had not to cry just thinking of the abysmal lives those sweet animals packed into semi trucks are living. If you can even call it living, because if you ask me, being subjected to abuse and torture and cramped living quarters is not living at all. Please look at that link and reconsider your future circus attendance until circuses are kind and happy places for all living creatures.

Monday, May 23, 2011

on eating poopies (you've been warned)

Today my kid ate shit. No, really. Feces. From a dog. I assume. Not like I'm a shit expert or something. Said kid ate said shit about a 1/4 mile away from the house. Where there was no Clorox. Let me back up.

It was a Monday, through and through. Zumba was sweaty and I kept finding myself a few steps behind, mostly because I was thinking about whether my DVR was set to record the Bachelorette and whether it might conflict with RHONJ, or how much I wanted some Twizzlers. We went to Walmart after that. Enough said, right? Except I also need to say that Anderson was in a particularly defiant mood (and by defiant I do mean maddeningly so) and that on the way out, as I was crossing a crosswalk in the rain with a cart full of groceries and two toddlers in that cart, some old guy drove blindly across the crosswalk, nearly running us down and I may or may not have shouted something like "DON'T MIND THE BABIES HERE YOU AY-ESS-ESS-HOLE!" right there in front of Walmart. It was just a very Mondayish Monday, you know? But then. Yall. The SHIT! We're out walking down the "street" (quotation marks on account of the fact that this "street" is just a gravel road that goes down past our house about 1/4 mile into the woods then stops). Me, the kids, the dog, a wagon, and that awesomely redneckish four wheeler riding toy of ours. A's running up ahead (because again, it's a "street" and I'm not terribly concerned about traffic), and I hear him yell "MAMA! Poopies!" But the thing is, he calls everything on the ground "poopies"- rocks, tree bark, et cetera. So I'm not really paying much attention to the alleged poopies. Until Vivian "runs" ahead (quotation marks on account of that she can't exactly "run", just toddle in a fast fashion that looks a lot like me fast walking to the loo after a few glasses of wine). And she catches up to Anderson and Anderson offers up the "poopies". And Vivian takes the "poopies" and puts her hand to her mouth and then, then, then .... just as I catch up I see she's eating something. THE POOPIES. Which, I'm now considering with some horror, might actually be poopies. I look down to the ground beside where he picked up these "poopies" and see, indeed, there are poopies. Dog poopies. NOT our dog's poopies, not like it's that much less gross if it's our own dog instead of some random medium sized stray dog in the woods. So now I'm very sure my sweet baby girl is eating poopies. And so I grab her chin and pry apart her steel trap jaws and yank out the poopies. And dry heave. And then try to figure out what to do with two kids, one who has poop hands and another who has poop hands and poop mouth, out here in the woods with nothing to clean these kids that I don't really even want to TOUCH on account of the poopies. So I pick up the little one and instruct the big one to walk and NOT to touch anything (including me, like I wasn't already contaminated after extracting the poopies). Except he's screaming now because we're leaving his WAGON and his FOUR WHEELER out there in the "street" in the woods. So that's how I ended up carrying two kids who weigh a collective 57 pounds 1/4 of a mile back into the house, then into the bathroom where we scrubbed and scrubbed and scrubbed a little more.

Oh, yall. I SO earned this evening in my bed watching reality TV. And the grilled bratwurst and XL glass of wine my husband brought to me in said bed. But so far? The Bachelorette is concerning me. I mean, one guy has a kid named Cozy. Cozy! As a NAME! And another guy has crazy eyes and another guy is a butcher. A butcher! And do I even need to talk about the guy wearing a mask? (A mask!)

Silver lining of this very Mondayish Monday: my little Bug picked me some flowers. Don't even ask what happened to his head.
Also don't ask why his shirt is inside out.

Friday, May 20, 2011

iphone photo week in review: one

I've seen these kinds of posts all around the blogosphere (most notably here and here), and I'm thinking it's time I jump on the iPhone photo week in review posting bandwagon. I take approximately ten hundred billion iPhone photos a week (I do! I counted once!), and while the snapshots aren't the finest photographic specimens of all time, they're the blink and you'd miss 'em everyday moments I want to remember even after my iPhone ends up in a toilet at Walmart (or wherever my iPhone will meet its untimely death, and it will meet an untimely death, I have two toddlers).

So, here we go.

iphone photo week in review: one

bug eats qdoba in wau-wass. grandpa flies in. vivi gets new shoes (um, again). my boy looks 12.
they play together when they don't think i'm looking. we learn how to desqueakify maddening squeaker shoes (fail: I try a steak knife, win: j plucks out tiny squeaker from side of sole).
my princess sparklepants. shirt i threatened to buy my dad for next time we fly together (to avoid the side-eyes we got last time because people thought we were MARRIED) (omg, i know, ew). post-nap snuggles. cat: it's what's for dinner.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

tiny tube, tall baby, etc.

We went to the pediatrician this morning. Me, a pediatricianphobic 2 1/2 year old, and an unassuming 15 month old who was about to get shot up. The big one had a chest and ear check up, and the little one had a well-child exam. And I had two Diet Dews. Because really. Here's what we learned:

1) A baby girl with a big brother 17 months her senior is a tough cookie. She shrieked for one second when the needle met the thigh, and then, she was totally over it. The nurse said something like "my, you've got quite a high pain tolerance, little one!" And my head said something like "because her brother pokes her in the eyes/runs her over with a Cozy Coupe/pushes her off the couch". But just my head said that, because who needs a pesky CPS visit?

2) Vivi really is as tall as people comment about her being 20x a day. She's a whole two inches taller than Anderson was at 15 months, up in the 90th% at 32 inches tall. Watch your lanky a-s-s, Heidi Klum!

3) Ear tubes are tiiiiiiny! The one in A's left ear had worked itself halfway out, then just stuck there for a few months. So today, the doctor decided to grab it out. And yeah, I took it home with us. For the same reason there's something that looks like a tiny shriveled up booger in a baggie in Vivi's closet (that would be her umbilical cord stump) and a positive pregnancy test from June 2009 under my bathroom sink. We just moved. I brought this stuff with me. I know. Weird. Anyway, after we'd gotten home and had a nap to get over the SUPER TRAUMATIC experience that shook him up so much he screamed through the entirety of V's exam and her one second of post-vaccination crying and all the way out to the car and then halfway home until I finally said I'd buy him a Happy Meal if he'd just puhlease stop crying.....anyway, after all that he wanted a good look at what it was the doc had pulled from his ear. That tiny thing kept him ear infection-free for a year and a half. Crazy!

Friday, May 13, 2011


(A do-over post, since Blogger went all Charlie Sheen-ish on us yesterday and ate my post.)

I remember those fears I had during my pregnancy with baby Bumblebee- that my Bug would feel replaced, that I was taking happiness from him by making him share and wait his turn and do all the other things siblings have to do. That he'd be jealous and sad, that my heart couldn't love any bigger, and that surely, they'd both suffer for having to split that finite amount of love.

Silly me. It's infinite, that love, and these two? One would be lost without the other.

My two, the park by the lake, a heart-happy morning.
Thank you to Amy and Monica for saving this post for me!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

title, schmitle

Universe, you are hereby forgiven for last week. Because this week has been a whole lot of bliss. There was Mother's Day, oh sweet Mother's Day. J, being J, came up with this great idea to take me out for a nice lunch at a local resort while the kids napped. I mean, they're sleeping, it's not like they need us, and the dog will keep them out of the knife drawer. (Lie. He had my aunt recruited to come over.) But really, all I wanted for my day was a day at home with my family. A day in the yard with the kids, getting our hands (and faces and legs) dirtied up digging holes, planting flowers and bushes and making our place look less "new build" and more "pretty place where people live long time". And, if I do say so myself, mission accomplished. For now. I've got many more such plans, but I must spring them on J (and our bank account) gradually.

before. rock bed. fascinating.

after. shrubs. flowers that promise to grow wild into viney ground cover and spill on down the rock wall.

the man looks good, even in pink lady's gardening gloves. am i right? i'm right.

miss v, cuter by the day.

mister a, reveling in the dirt.

The goodness didn't end Sunday, either. We've had nice warm days punctuated with stormy nights (or in the case of today, dark and stormy naptime). We've been at the park, we've had playdates, I've made it to Zumba twice, I sat out on my patio reading a magazine and remembering just how much I love the midwest in the late spring/summertime, I watched this online ten times and will surely be singing it with pride at Lambeau come fall, and tonight I've got a dinner/margarita date with a couple of friends. I've had enough quiet time to devour the book Water for Elephants, which I HIGHLY recommend you read if you haven't already. I saw the movie and had to know more, and the book was one of the best I've read. I heard my baby daughter say "please" and "outside" and about 20 other words she wasn't saying last week, and by the way, her brother is talking more confidently every day as well. OH! And this morning, when I dropped the littles off at the gym day care, Vivi walked over to grab a doll, turned back to me, and smiled and waved goodbye. Big girl. Adios, tearful drop offs! I even showered today! The week, so far, is a win.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

happy mother's day

Happy Mother's Day, everyone. And especially to my beautiful, wonderful, taught-me-all-I-know mom. Now, with littles of my own, I truly know how much you've loved me, how selfless you've been with that love, and how never-ending that love will be. I'm forever grateful. I love you!

Saturday, May 7, 2011

on menfolk headwear

A helpful fashion PSA for the menfolk. Who probably aren't reading this thing I call my blog. But still. Here you go, from my heart to yours:

No grownass man should ever, ever, EVER wear a Sponge Bob Square Pants hat. And this wasn't a one-time thing, people, because I saw this same guy last week at the same park in the same SBSP hat, just a'sittin there yelling at his wife from that there park bench while she tried to play with their kid and he wanted her to GO GETTA SAMMICH FOR HIM, DAMNIT. I mean. It's just like. I can't even. Can you see it? Does it make you want to cry, too?

You like my sneaky photog skills? Vivian's all like "MOTHER, I will have no part in this snark!"

You're welcome, menfolk.

Friday, May 6, 2011

and we're back!

Finally, this morning, the clouds parted, the sun shined through, and I awoke to the birds chirpidy-chirping outside my bedroom window. (Though they do that all fuh-reaking night LONG, so that's nothing new, and it may require me to learn how to use a gun, apologies to PETA.) Best part? I could breathe out of my nose - both sides - and had time to get myself ready for the day before the babies woke at the very respectable wake up time of 7:30am. And they woke in fine form. The boy was still in his jammies and wasn't coughing up a lung, the girl didn't have boogers in her eyebrows, and that, ladies and gents, is how I knew it was going to be a very good day. And so far, it has been. I made Zumba, and reunited with my friends. The littles hit up the gym day care, where Mister had big hugs waiting his most favorite girl-pals Loothee and Tasseee (better known as Lucy and Cassidy, better known as the seriously adorable daughters of my good friend Katie, whose blog is as sweet as she is). We were all very, very happy to be back among the living. Here's hoping we can stay that way until next winter. Or the winter after! I think we've earned a two-year reprieve.

Have you seen this Mother's Day commercial before? I hadn't, and when I watched it last night it made me want to do two things. (Unfortunately for JC Penney's, neither thing was "run to JC Penney's to shop.) But one was to jump on a plane to Cali to hug my mom (or speed up the remaining 3-4 weeks until she makes her arrival in the woods for the summer), and the second thing was to make Vivian STOP GROWING. Because that part where the little girl's hand slips out of her mom's hand as she runs off to join her friends and leaves her poor mom there all alone on the sidewalk with no baby girl hand to hold? Oh, tears.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

more of the same

If ever there were a day where three hour naps were in order, today would be that day. Because Quarantine: Day 4 is apparently about where I HIT MY LIMIT. Which means I have to double my morning Diet Dew allowance to get up the gumption to go get milk (after witnessing my son come thisclose to giving himself a heart attack screaming "BILK! BILK! BIIIIIIILK!" when I break the news that it's Water For Breakfast Day), get halfway down the driveway and glance in the rearview mirror and see that I've still got my hair thrown up in my for-the-house-only clippy thing, and also that I cry in the Walmart parking lot. Which is so sad because hello, it's sad enough to even BE at in the Walmart parking lot (or anywhere in the vicinity of Walmart), much less to be there with two kids in the backseat who sound like they smoke a pack a day (each), much less in the rain, much less bawling into the phone to my mom on top of all that. They don't feel great, I don't feel great, and we missed out on a fun morning with our friends because nobody feels great. And yesterday, I went to the doctor thinking I had an ear infection when really I just had a gross cold and an ear full of fluid plugged up with wax. Which they removed. Which felt like my ear gave birth. To a wax baby. And for the record (Jonathan), I DO clean my ears using a q-tip, which the doctor said is the whole problem. I guess you're not supposed to use q-tips. Unless you, too, want your ear to give birth to a wax baby. And take it from me, you don't, because guh-ross.

So today, dear littles, please sleep three hours. It's raining outside, we can't go anywhere fun, we've played with all your toys 10 times, and the crayons are on a perma-timeout after that little 'color the fireplace while mommy sprints to the bathroom' stunt. I'm not even going to play it like I'm going to be all effective during this (hopeful) 3 hour nap time, either. No. I just want to lay here under my covers, let my decongestant kick in, read 100 blogs, and check out the Social Security Administration's top baby names of 2010 list. Which I've already looked at long enough to breathe a big sigh of relief that neither of the kids' names are in the top 100 (Anderson's hanging way back at #312, and Vivian's safe for the time being at #158). You can find the list HERE.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

cough sniffle cough repeat

My poor littles. Okay, and yeah, my poor me. This being sick for the 20th time this winter season thing? It sucks for all involved. (You didn't know May was considered winter in Wisconsin? Huh, me neither, what a fun surprise!) There's the coughing. And the sniffling. And the 8,567 balled up Kleenexes scattered around the house. And the fussiness that turns otherwise lovely little littles into beastly creatures that smack their sister and dump the dog water bowl down the heating vent. And my throat that feels like I ate, like, a Christmas tree light, not like anyone in our house would EVER do such a thing. Oh, and of course, there's the rancid antibiotic diarrhea. You're welcome for that.

So, obviously, Tuesday didn't end up being much better than Monday. On Tuesday, I woke up a full hour earlier than we usually wake up, because A was awake and hysterically screaming. (Because, as I found out minutes later, he was naked, had peed on his legs, and had a nose crusted shut with boogers. I'd have been screaming, too, if I were naked and covered in pee and boogers.) As I hurried of bed, my foot landed in something wet. Neon yellow dog barf. (What is that dog EATING? I don't feed him anything neon yellow. Or anything not brown, actually, so what the hell?) No good day starts with your foot in neon yellow dog barf and a stumbly one-footed hop into the bathroom before you're even fully awake (nor breathing out of your nose on both sides). So not to be totally Debbie Downerish, I'll just say this: we survived. We snuggled and we Sesame Streeted and we took a nice long Benadry-induced nap. (Doctor's orders! Who am I to question the doctor? She went to doctoring school!) And I tried to remind myself to just soak up the extra snuggles, because one day, I'll miss these days. Maybe not so much the diarrhea and boogers, but for sure the wiggly snuggle of a warm two year old getting comfy in my lap to read his favorite "Tinky-Face" book, and the sweet fuzzy head of a one year old resting on my shoulder as she regains consciousness from a Benadryl nap, peeking up at me with her rosy cheeked, sleepy little smile. They're pretty sweet, boogers and all. But I'd prefer no boogers, so if we could magically get better in time for Zumba tomorrow, I'd be VERY okay with that.

This picture pretty much sums up the day: kleenex, teddy, blankie, jammies.

Thank goodness a sweet friend of ours handed down some fun doll gear last week. (Thanks again, Heidi!) The stroller, in particular, has proved to be a great distraction. When they're not fighting over it, I mean. (Yeah, more on that in another post. We've entered a new phase, and it's called "MINE I WANT IT NOW MINE STOP TOUCHING IT MINE!")

"Who me? Smack my sister?"

And here's what a playroom looks like after 12 hours of stir crazy toddlers trashing it like a frat house basement on a Friday night. As I write this, my saintly husband is upstairs putting it back together, because I pretty much told him I was going to jump out that big window on the right if I had to look at that mess for ONE MORE SECOND.

Monday, May 2, 2011

good, bad, ugly

the good: OBL is burning in you-know-where

the bad: another sunless, cold, May flower-less day

the ugly: by 9:45 on this Monday morning, we'd already had approximately 10 meltdowns (I said no to cookies at breakfast, I also said no to Barney during breakfast, I dared request the blankie not go into the toilet, etc.), two explosive diapers, one full change of clothes each, one sloooooow wait at the pediatrician's office that neither of my sad and sickly littles were very pleasant about (toy throwing, purse dumping, exam room escaping: check, check, check), an ear infection diagnosis and X-ray for Bug showing bronchitis and the start of pneumonia, V's sticker eaten instead of stuck, and a 15 minute wait at the Walgreens drive-thru just to drop off a prescription. As we burned gas that costs a bajillion dollars a gallon. Because if we turned the car off we'd freeze to death (see "the bad"). And my throat hurts and I'm sniffly and did I mention I'm VERY COLD and is it the weekend YET?

I'm going to go out on a limb and say the week will get better from here. Pleasegodplease.