Tuesday, November 27, 2012

3 months

My Mabes.  She's three months old, you guys.  That's a quarter of a YEAR.  Shut the front door.  (No really.  Shut it.  Were you born in a BARN?)

She's awesome.  The best baby ever, I swear to you, she is.  She sleeps from 9pm - 7 or 8am, rarely waking in the night.  And when she does wake up at 7 or 8am, usually because she's got a two or four year old in her face, she's full of smiles and babbles.  She's content ALWAYS, as long as she's not within ten feet of her car seat.  (Effin car seat.)  She smiles at everything and everyone, even when she's hungry or wet or waking at 7am to a screaming two year old in her face.  She's just, well, the best.  And you know what?  Even if she stops sleeping (which she may) and being a content little kitten (could happen) and being little miss social (never know), she'll still be the best little Mabel Gray there ever was.

There's been lots of other things going on around here, too.  Tis the season, right?  Christmas card ordering, family get together planning, adding just one more string of twinkly lights to the house (then one more .... then JUST ONE MORE.....), peppermint mocha sipping ..... the usual merriment making that makes us all giddy as schoolkids this time of year.  Likesuchas Sunday, when we trekked to the forest with my family and sawed down our trees.  It was all kinds of charming and awesome and full of Griswold family quotes a'plenty.  I'll post about that tomorrow.  For now, the DVR's awaiting.  Catfish, are you watching?  What else do you have to do after TM2?  It's so, so good!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012


So, I had a crafty post in the works yesterday about Vivi's wall letters and the kids' rooms coming together .... but then things got a little yuck around here.  So instead of that post, you're getting a little PSA about four year old boys and heights.

If you ask Anderson, he'll tell you his (sleeping) (~30 pound) sister came into his room during nap time, threw him into the sky, hurt his face, and ran back to her room to go to sleep.  Huh.  Well, then.  And an hour later, on our way to urgent care, he changed his story.  There's a monster, it lives in the trees, it bit his face.  I WANT WHAT HE'S HAVING.  Anyway, what I'm VERY sure actually happened is that a certain little boy was monkeying around on his top bunk instead of sleeping safe and sound on his bottom bunk where he belongs, and somehow nosedived off the top.  And hit the ground with one of those thuds that moms just KNOW means trouble.  I knew.  I knew he'd fallen from the top bunk.  I heard it, the screaming started, and I sprinted upstairs with my heart in my throat not even wanting to see whatever it was that happened to my kid.  His arm was broke or his face was gashed or his head was cracked but thank GOD he was screaming.  Screaming is good, sometimes.  Like when it means your kid didn't break his damn neck.

Here's Bug, midway through the urgent care visit.  Post-numbing gel, pre-shot-to-the-face-and-stitches.  AKA, pre-when-he-freaked-the-eff-OUT.  I won't show you the post-stitches one.  It's sad, trust me.  Poor Buggy.

So with that, since a few friends have asked: I'll go on record saying I do not recommend the bunks if you have a four year old boy.  Or one under seven or eight, really.  I was very sure Bug wouldn't use his top bunk. I wanted it for the convenience factor (in our old, 3 bedroom house, A & V would've shared a room soon) and of course for the adorability factor, and DAMN was it adorable.  But it's apart for now.  Though I'm pretty sure yesterday's scare would've put an end to any top bunk nap time hijinks, I feel a little more comfortable with the temptation removed for now.

More on those letters and rooms soon.  For now, back to my Thanksgiving cookie baking.  While listening to Christmas music and burning Christmas candles and digesting my 187th Peppermint Mocha of the season and finishing up my felt pennant Christmas tree garland.  Sorry, turkey.  I'M WEAK.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

it's yarn on sticks, is all.

The bad news: I woke up with a sore throat, a headache, ears that hurt, and possibly a high fever that caused me to dream that my cat was performing a c-section on the dog.  Sick?  Yes, I think so.  The dog's a BOY, for Pete's sake!

The good news: MOMMO.  What on the ever-loving earth would I have done without a Mommo to text an SOS at 6:45am, who was here to take the kids off my hands before 8:00am?  Died, probably.  I probably would've died.  Instead, she's out on a walk with my kids, babywearing and all, and I'm in my bed with my trusty laptop and the remote control.  Catching up on 'Call the Midwife' while my husband is at work and out of earshot, because while the man puts up with a lot of subpar television viewing in this house, and actually EMBRACES some of it (he likes Teen Mom 2 even more than I maybe do, not that he'd admit that in real life), he draws the line at dowdy British accents on a PBS show about childbirth.  Can we blame him?  No, no we can not.

In other news, my Anthropologie catalog came last week.  Oh, helllllooooo, my lovely.  I love Anthropologie.  LIKE SO MUCH.  So much that I could blow my (husband's) whole entire paycheck there and not even feel bad about it.  I mean, until we couldn't put food on the table, which might make me feel a smidge bad about it because hungry children andsuch.  Anyway, I've been flipping through it all week long, and was kind of taken with these totally adorable little monogram ornaments on the left.

I was about to order three but then was all like "$8 times three plus shipping for STICKS WITH YARN, MANDIE?!"  That wouldn't do.  And my crafting buzz?  The one that hit full force in the pre-holiday months of 2011 before I got pregnant with MG, then flatlined when the First Trimester From Hell came about and zapped me of any and all creative energy (or will to live, even) and didn't come back after that what with the first move and the temporary housing and then the big move and the new baby and such?  It's coming back.  I've catching the crafting buzz once more, and I have the Hobby Lobby bill to prove it.  (If you follow me on Instagram, and I assume you do if you have any sense at all, you already know this.)  (mandie716)

So where was I, there, before the feverish rambles?  Oh.  Yesterday, while the kids were strapped into their boosters at lunchtime watching Mickey Mouse Clubhouse (which means, they're in a trance and wouldn't notice if the walls fell down around them) and the baby was strapped into her bouncy seat staring at the turtle hanging toy like she'll do for DAYS because she's the best baby EVER, I ran out to the yard.  Grabbed a few handfuls of sticks, came inside, broke the sticks up, and did some hot gluing.  The whole process took about five minutes.  And I had these.  Step one.
no, i did not have two more kids in the week that's gone by since we last spoke.
for our friends, duh.
And later, I invited the friends over.  The kids played (I mean, smashed Teddy Grahams into the rug and wrestled over toys and one of them wrote all over his face with a marker but NOT SAYING WHO) (but I bet you can guess), E and I drank wine and talked and wrapped yarn around sticks.  And voila!
my advance apologies if your kid's name starts with an o.  or s.
that sucks.
Easy peasy.  So easy that I want to make more.  I'm thinking they'd look cute as Christmas package toppers, no?  I'm going the whole 'brown paper packages tied up with strings' route this year, so these would fit riiiiiight in with that whole 'Pinterest made me do it' feel.

Next, we'll talk about these little beauties, and how ridiculously easy and cost-efficient they were to put together, as far as room decor things go.  AKA, Anthropologie would've charged me $22 per letter.  Plus shipping.  Equals NO FOOD ON TABLE.
They're for Vivi's room, obvi, not for the dining room side table where they're currently resting.  I need Command strips, and am not exactly fit to hobble out to the store and buy those right at this very moment.  Tomorrow.

Happy weekend, yall!

Saturday, November 10, 2012

nice try, colorado

Winter Storm Brutus.  Total tease.  We'd heard varying reports about this "weather event" we were going to be getting.  3-6 inches, 4-8 inches, starting Friday, starting Saturday, high winds, no winds .... but every report agreed: WINTER STORM.  COMING.

So yesterday, we waited.  Aaaaaand we waited.  And because I had a momentary lapse of judgement, I told the kids we were waiting on snow.  So while we waited I fielded questions about the snow all.  freaking.  day.  "Snow, mommy?  When, mommy?  Now, mommy?  Where's it, mommy?"  Finally, around 5:00 last night, flurries.  The kids were thrilled.  I got all excited, too.  Planned to bake cookies today, make my coffee at home (because we most certainly were NOT driving around the mountains in a BIG HUGE SNOW STORM), play board games, maybe dig around the basement for my tubs of Christmas decor and take inventory .... basically, hunker down and ride this snow out in the coziest possible way.  And early this morning, we woke to overcast skies and some legit falling snow.  WHEEEEE!  I snuggled with MG in bed and watched it fall, sent J off to work begging him to drive slowly, take his time, blablabla.  And it kept on snowing ...... fooooorrrrrrr about five minutes.

Then our yard looked like this.

Oh, gee, what a whopper.

The kids were semi-amused.
wait, mom, we're calling this snow?
okay then.
she's just excited because her boots are pink.

lovely portrait.
mabel.  not impressed.
vivian.  plotting an escape.
anderson.  mocking his baby sister.
And then the sun came out and it all melted the end.  Better luck next time, Colorado.  That was WEAK.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

recap style

My morning went a little something like this:

Vivi has an over the top, pre-8am, 20+ minute meltdown in her room over being forced into a long sleeved shirt.  Door slamming, hysterical tears, et all.  I recognize the glimpse into life with a 13 year old Vivi, and I die a little bit inside.

I discard a perfectly good outfit I'd chosen for myself because it's blue.  Election day superstition, whatwhaaaaat.  Change to a scarf with red accents.  Think red, Colorado!  You too, Wisconsin!

Get to the preschool, drop off the boy, realize I'd left my baby carriers at home.  I can't deal with errands minus my Ergo or Bjorn, because LIKE Mabes is going to tolerate the car seat for hours, and errands MUST be conquered on my "only have two kids" days, so back up the mountain we went to retrieve a carrier.

Back down to town.  Get to Starbucks.  Mmm.  Coffee.  Better yet, coffee with Emily.

MG has a shitsplosion.  So, so bad.  I knew she'd pooped, because I heard it, but I was not aware it had blown through her onesie and her leggings until I picked her up and E's face was all "OMG SHIT EVERYWHERE".  And yall?  That pricey super duper special formula she's on?  It REEKS.  So.  Bad.  Reeks going in, reeks eleven hundred times MORE coming out.

Rush to leave, to change MG in the back end of the vehicle.  Vivi dumps her "coffee" (aka, hot chocolate) on the floor.  She'd filled the cup with fruit snacks while I was busy chatting, so the spilled "coffee" was chunky and pretty much looked like she'd vomited on the floor.  People were staring.  I alerted the baristas, then ran.

Strap Vivi into car seat, then turn on the DVD player in the Suburban and start up Mickey Mouse Clubhouse.  The shitsplosion was going to take some time to clean up, I knew.

Clean up shitsplosion.  Ew.  Just.  Ew.

Get a finally-clean MG into her seat, buckle her in, the crying starts.  Because duh.

Start the Suburban.  Instead of a roaring engine, there's a click.  Click.  Click.  OMG THE BATTERY IS DEAD.  DVD player did it.  DVD shuts off, Vivi starts yelling, Mabel still screaming, I call for help.

We wait awhile.  It's not really very fun.

But my weekend?  Oh, what a weekend.  A getaway with the husband and the baby girl!  It went like this:

Pack a suitcase.  Mabel hogs it.  #girlmomproblems.

We leave the bigger littles at the ranch with Mommo, and board MG's first flight, bound for Chicago.  MG being MG, she rocks it.  (Because she's not in a car seat.)

Land at O'Hare, get a free upgrade at the Budget Rent-a-Car counter.  Feel fancy in a luxury SUV and better yet an SUV that's not as big as a bus, because we travel relatively light with only one tiny child in tow.

Have a great night out with our very great friends in Chicago, Anne & King (1/2 of the famed GTG gang, for those who have been following along here).  Take no pictures, minus the one Anne and I snapped at the restaurant that's blurry and so dark it could be Bill & Guiliana in the picture, for all I know.  But we had fun.  Trust me.

Back in the car, to Michigan for a wedding.  Mabel enters her 8th state in 9 weeks of life.  She's like, meh, ain't no thang.

I wear clothes that aren't a) leggings, b) spit up splattered, or c) off the closet floor.  Fancy.

While J fulfills his pre-wedding groomsman duties (drinking beer and watching TV, I think?), the Mabester and I hike down to Lake Michigan.  I'm quite impressed by the beauty of it, even if it's so bone chilling cold that my face goes numb and I consider calling a cab to get us back to our hotel.  Still, beautiful.

I get all dressed up, Mabel refuses to be set down, we deal.  Secretly, I love it, because a) snuggles AWWWW and b) the Bjorn matches my dress and covers up my leftover baby belly.  The part the Spanx couldn't hold in.  Win win.

We celebrate the marriage of one of our very best friends and his bride, who's as genuinely kind as she is beautiful.  Keep the baby up WAY past her bedtime.  And ours, too.

Unsure of what time it really is because we've switched time zones twice and then the time change happens and we're thoroughly confused .... we leave for O'Hare before my pinot buzz has even fully worn off.  J drives, OBVIOUSLY.  It kind of sucked.  Michigindiana isn't much to look at pre-dawn.

MG doesn't mind our hours at O'Hare one bit, despite being kept up past midnight and woken up before 5am to get there.  Winnerbaby.

 ....but then she crashed for the near entirety of our 2 hour flight AND 2+ hour Denver airport layover.  I look down at her with love .... and envy.  OMGSLEEPIWANTIT.
*See that spot by her nose?  I first noticed it the day after she was born, thinking it was a scratch, but it's stayed put and is darkening as time goes on.  We're thinking it's a hemangioma like Miss V had on top of her head.  Remember that?  I spazzed about it, then grew to love it, then mourned it when it went away around her 2nd birthday, as hemangiomas tend to do.  Bummer this one is appearing on Mabel's nose, but I already know I'll miss it when it's gone.