An irreverent look at motherhood and family life in a new state of normal.

Monday, December 28, 2009

The Amazing Abby

Several developments after the Christmas madness of snow and ice and no power. Abby has discovered the joys of measuring tapes and letting them roll up and snap. Makes her laugh like crazy. Especially if the dog (who is to cold and to much of a wimp to be downstairs, so we have graciously allowed him to be in the entryway for some hours in the day) is near her and she can pull out the tape until it falls over on him. He jumps up with a start and runs off his "spot" and is promptly yelled at by both Andy and I. Poor guy, can't win and Abby is laughing all the way to the bank with that little nugget of humor.

She seems to get the idea of temperature, sometimes. She has no idea why her fingers and toes get cold but she claims that anything with steam coming off of it is hot and gets scared about bathwater and she knows that may be hot as well. Baths must now be accompanied by bubbles to be truly acceptable. The Christmas bubbles we got her are incredibly low quality and I have decided that buying pink Dawn and refilling it will be far superior.

During the long and tedious hours of potty training, were I insist that we are near the potty and the TV is generally not on because it is to difficult to stay focused on our naked baby who may or may not soil the carpet if we aren't watching her every waking hour, I have taken to giving her a book and taking a book myself. I will read a few sentences and then ask her what hers says. She now reads books to herself in an incoherent language all of her own making and seems to love it. When the book is finished, she pronounces it "all done" and moves on to the next one. Thank you, Kevin and Karen for her birthday present of a million and one Potter books that have provided endless entertainment and a real definition of the word Froggie.

It is also apparent that she knows about our routine more than we thought. After getting it together in the morning (which is much more fun now that she has her own hairdryer and brush and makeup stuff) she asks if we are going to shakers nakies (gymnastics which is always kicked off with shakers and a song) and when I tell her that we are on break for classes right now, she asks if we are going to Sabi-go-home (Sabbath School), which is her other favorite activity. I'm not sure how she will do when Andy and I have to go back to work and the regular routine starts again. She has been so spoiled for the last two weeks having both Mommy and Daddy around all the time.

Getting Ready for the Day

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Potty Training (cont.)

I have decided that Pull Ups are evil. We are trying to potty train Abby and any time she has anything resembling a diaper on, she just pees in it. She get's upset about poop but pee... nothing. She doesn't even notice unless she is naked and it's going to go on the floor. Therefore, we are going into what I am going to call intense potty training.

We are leaving her naked unless people are coming over or we are going out. Then she gets a regular diaper and we are "taking a break." Other than that, because it is break (and particularly, the side that we have no responsiblities for) we are just leaving her diaperless. She may have a shirt on but that can also get tricky. Then, one parent has to sit close to the potty training potty and call her over every time she starts displaying signs of needing to do something. She is getting the idea that she needs to sit if she feels "the feeling." I think we are getting somewhere and hopefully, by 2010, we will have a mostly potty trained kid. Not a big deal if she doesn't. We are giving her chocolate (M&M's) if she does something in the potty as well as praising her like crazy. I think she really likes this whole deal because there is a parent playing with her (watching her like a hawk to protect the carpet) all the time... literally. We are giving her tons of liquids and trying to keep her fed more than normal to keep the pipes moving. We'll see how it works out. I'm hoping to use some of her Christmas money for new panties for the new year. We'll see how that works out as well.

If anyone has more suggestions, we are open to them. I will say that Pull Ups are definitely out! We will not use them until we are DONE figuring out what it feels like to pee and poop and all that. Hopefully, we will just get into the underwear thing and leave Pull Ups for night time use only for a while.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

How You Can Know!

Many of you have seen Abby's hair in braids or pigtails.

You can know how tired I am or how our morning is going by her hair. When I'm up and at 'em and really getting it together, she's in braids all the way down. When she has been a little fussy that morning, braids are half way. When I'm feeling guilty about caffeine and have not had my coffee, pigtails. When I don't care about anything and am considering going to class in my bathrobe, she has wild woman hair and most likely, it's got peanut butter in it.


When Abby wants to sit on the toilet, she says, "Poo-pawie?" Which translated is, "Poop in the potty?" But this always comes directly after she has already pooped, or she is trying to get out of bed time, or she is sick of being in her diaper. So, today I was in the bathtub and she was messing around in the bathroom and I saw the look come over her face. You know the one, that watery eyed, red cheeked look with the lips pooched out that said, "I'm going to poop and you are going to have to chase me around to change this diaper."

She has been doing this thing where she hides behind a wall in the kitchen to poop and then she runs from me knowing that I'm going to change her immediately because I hate the smell and I don't want her getting used to being in a messy diaper. I leaped from the bathtub, as fast as a huge pregnant woman can leap. I grabbed my somewhat frightened daughter, ripped off her pants and diaper and sat her on the big toilet. She was freaked into constipation.

I knew that poop was waiting to come out and I wasn't going to let it get the best of me. I put her training potty behind the kitchen wall, got her some wipes (her favorite just-sit-there toy) and sat her down, naked to learn what pooping in the potty really meant. I didn't want to scare her again so we played with wipes and we washed the wall. (Before you start thinking what a mean Cinderella step-mom I am, realize that these are her favorite activities...) We scrubbed carpets and jumped around in blissful naked freedom. Several times, the look crept back onto her face and I would rush her back to sit down armed with a juice box to get the pipes moving and keep her from being scared about what we were doing. Finally, she got the idea that when she started to feel that way, she was to sit and she would rush there herself only to lose that feeling and run off to jump some more. Finally, after an hour and a half, she sat down just in time for the poop to rush out INTO THE POTTY!!!! She was scared at first that she had done something wrong with me sitting right there but as she sat, I praised the heck out of it. I smiled and clapped and made a general fuss. She got excited also and after a good wipe down, celebrated with me. So maybe we have closed the lid on what it feels like to poo-pawie. But I'm not sure. We will try again tonight and every day of break after that.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Giving Mommy the Spa Treatment

The other night, Abby decided she wanted to give Mommy a bath. She got down on her knees next to the bath and after testing the temperature of the water and pronouncing it "HOT!" she got a wash cloth and washed everything on that side of my body. She then turned me around so she could do my back. She got my shoulder and cheeks and everything and it was totally cute. There was water all over the floor but she felt totally important.

Today, we put bells on the tree. She put them all on one branch and it is taking everything in me not to move them but I can't. It was her thing to put on the bells. I got to put on the bulbs and ribbon. She's getting to be such a little helper. LOL!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Cleaning Up Your Act

Was watching one of those entertainment news shows and saw Mark Wahlberg say something interesting. When asked about his Bob Marley tattoo, he responded that he was having all his tattoos removed. He said that he had kids now and didn't want them getting tattoos. Really? Marky Mark is changing his lifestyle because he has children? He's cleaning up his act. If you are single and somewhat unscathed by the world, take note: If Marky Mark, the man that made all other bad rockers lives possible, is cleaning up his act after having children to the tune of hundreds of thousands of dollars of tattoo removals and most likely other major cover-ups, you can still avoid it. Remember, someday, you are going to have to explain why you were on youtube doing whatever it is you were doing (Hello, Jon Gosslin). Remember that you are not invincible and stuff doesn't always get erased or forgotten. Even if the flashbacks are only in your own mind, you are going to have stuff in the past. I know it's hard to think ahead but I bet when Mark W. is sitting under a laser that is burning his Bob Marley portrait off his shoulder, he's wishing he had.

Sunday, December 20, 2009


Woke up this morning to the most beautiful sound, "Mommy?"

"Yes, I hear the fan!"

It's amazing how when you start to feel like you need stuff (like a finer Christmas, or new dishes, or just a bigger paycheck in general), God plucks away something like the electricity and suddenly, you are satisfied with flushing your toilet.

What is it that we really need? Our bills are paid, we are clothed, fed and have a beautiful daughter, and somehow, the cords that attach to our gadgets are taking over the house. We financially struggle sometimes right before payday but we are not "needy." How many people are going without something like heat this Christmas? How many people will not be having a single present under the tree? Who is it that you can help? What can you do without this Christmas so you can do something for someone who is needy?

Every year, at my parents house, we got out the stockings and there was always one for each of us and then one for "the other guy." This stocking was for that person or persons who either was alone on Christmas (which happens ALOT) or needed something. We always took food down to the shelter and my Dad always does nice stuff for people year around. I hope that I can be an example of this Christmas spirit to my daughter and not get caught up in the hype.

But getting caught up in the hype is suddenly so easy to do with a kid! In my mind, that kid HAS to have Christmas. Abby won't even remember this Christmas but it is suddenly essential to have a Christmas dress ($50), a tree ($35), decorations ($25), presents ($150), wrapping and bows ($10), and your picture taken with Santa at the mall ($25)! $300 later and I am thinking about the person that doesn't have oil in their heating tank and wondering if we could have gone without so they could have what I take for granted every day, a thermostat that magically makes things warmer in my house... priceless.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

What We Take For Granted

I pause in my frantic preparations for another possible power outage to blog this little thought. It is amazing what we take for granted. Like: washing dishes, vacuuming, flushing the toilet, heat, lights, maintenance men, and a million other little things.

Our power being out for the last 17 hours or so was the worst. We didn't have any indicator of when it might come back on and now that it is on, we don't know how long it might be until it's off again. There are heavy snow/slush/freezing rains predicted for the next few days and we might be going back and forth between the here and now and Little House on the Prairie. Fortunately, I have the most wonderful husband ever who just loves it all and gets out his camping stove and makes hot chocolate and Ramon Noodles and plays music on the little battery powered speakers.

A long game of Scrabble and several rows of cross stitch and I was tuckered out last night. We were scared we might not have power for several days so this morning we sponge bathed and conserved water as much as possible, using heated water from Andy's camping stove. That poor little thing is about done for after all this. When the lights suddenly kicked on, I was ECSTATIC. Thank you, Lord, for all your blessings including fast working power line men that are willing to get out in blizzard conditions and fix our power so we have HEAT! Those guys should get a medal! And Paul and Jason too for being on top of stuff here at the school.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

The Amazing Appearing Shower Head!!!

Whenever my parents are here, they tend to "fix up" our house a bit with a few gifts. They bought us a new table cloth (for my birthday). One time, Dad fixed our freezer and this time a chair and the stroller. You know, having them come is always awesome and feels a bit like some fixer upper show.

After they left this time, Abby was playing with a box and I saw that it was an unopened shower head. For a week, it just hung around and I finally got around to calling my dad to see if it was one of the things he had picked up at Home Depot. He didn't remember buying anything like that but you know... maybe. Josh was here too and I wondered if he had bought it and left it. He didn't remember either. We figured someone had purchased it and forgotten. We needed a new one and had been talking about getting one and just hadn't for lack of time. So, we put it up and started enjoying evenly dispersed water in our shower again.

A week later, I was collecting stuff that Josh (the toddler who plays with Abby two mornings a week) had left around the house as he was going to be gone for the break and might want all his things. His mom came in and we took a quick inventory and she said, "You didn't happen to come across a shower head did you?"

Oh, man. Should I tell her that it is in my shower?! LOL! I totally did. We got a real kick out of the amazing appearing shower head that she had been trying to find for two weeks! She "gifted" me the shower head for my birthday and we left it at that. I mean, returning a used shower head is kinda like returning underwear or something... am I right people?

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Cindy Lou's Mom

If you have seen the newest version of the Grinch, you know that Cindy Lou's Mom is in an unofficial competition with EVERYONE for the best lights, especially her perfect neighbor, Martha May.

Here at the school, there are several times during the year when we have these "potluck" like events. We are asked to bring a desert. My "Martha May" has always been this perfect haired goddess who makes the most awesomely wonderful tasting and beautifully table decorating deserts. She rarely has the time to actually participate in these potluck things but we all know who she is and how amazingly talented she is and we all wait with baited breath to see if she will show up with one of her gourmet concoctions.

This Christmas, we had our annual Christmas desert potluck. Now let me emphasize that the competition I'm about to describe all takes place in my own head (and probably the heads of all the women on campus).

I spend hours deciding what desert will be better than anyone else's and how I can dress it up to be PERFECT! This year I decided homemade, from scratch lemon meringue pie and key lime pie would be the key to me "winning" this cooking competition. Remember, I'm in contention with a culinary student, two cafeteria gurus and several mom's who make fondant covered birthday cakes... I'm really in trouble. Every year some disaster befalls my creation: soggy pastry, missing ingredients, time crunch issues or something like that. I'm plagued to never have that perfect desert.

My lemon pie is no exception. Today, I forgot to put in the egg yolks and had to start over, my meringue wouldn't stiffen up, and my filling overflowed the pan. As I clean up the GIANT mess, I think about the upcoming party with fear and loathing. As I wash sugar and egg whites out of my hair, I hope the mostly uneventful key lime pie will be better... It will most likely taste good but I doubt it will be pretty.

There is only one unofficial judge in my mind (as our boss has decided to go on a diet and this makes him totally incapable of judging). This person loves sweets and everyone makes sure he gets a little of their creation. Like Jim Carey being stuffed with fudge as the Holiday Cheermeister, our friend is watched on every side (albeit subtly out of the corner of our eyes) for his reaction to each and every bite.

Well, tonight I will find out how I did. I will be watching and it will be all in good fun. At least my presents for the gift exchange will be pretty! And so will my little Cindy Lou!

Potty Training

So we have arrived at the time in life where Abby knows when she needs to go potty. She asks to sit on the potty and then does... absolutely nothing. Then she will get up and down and up and down and I will put her in a new diaper and she will inevitably pee or poop. So, how do we get her potty trained? Is it worth it right now as she will have a new sibling in March? Ideas?

I have read Dr. Phil's ideas... crazy. I have heard about just leaving her naked for about 5 days and following her around all the time. If this really works, then Christmas break is the ideal time for getting it done as we are here and have minimal work to do over the break. I have heard about many different methods but I almost always hear that it's harder than any other part of parenting.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

You're hiding where?!

I have seen this for years: children hiding behind their mothers or fathers and the parents pulling them out from behind and putting them somewhere else. I always thought, "Why? Just let them hide if they are shy." That's not it at all. Abby is just butt height. Grr.... When she get's behind me, which she does ALL THE TIME, she puts her face right in my butt crack! LOL! I'm laughing and freaking out like, "Kid, that is not a place for a face." Talk about being up your butt all the time...

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Bed Time

Last night I was trying to put Abby to bed and I always start to get frustrated when she has come out of her room for the 3rd time (OK, the biggest and hardest part of putting her back in is that when she comes out, she's like waving and happy to see you sitting on the couch and you have to send her back to bed.) and I'm like, "Get to bed!"


How do you resist when she says, "Mommy? Book?" So you read her a book.

"Mommy, kiss, elbow?" So you kiss her elbow and any successive body parts she asks to have kissed like her cheeks and toes and hands and whatnot.

"Mommy, kiss mommy elbow?" So you let her kiss your elbows after she pulls back your sleeves because kissing an elbow through sleeves is not kissing an elbow, it's kissing a shirt.

"Mommy, drink?" So you hydrate her because she needs to be hydrated and child services doesn't look kindly on people who with hold liquid from their kids at night time.


"ABBY! Time for sleep. Night night!" And you run out of the room because if you stay one more second, you will be pulled into yet another cute way for her to manipulate you into letting her stay up.

Man, she's good....

Friday, December 11, 2009

Back to the OBGYN

Went to the OBGYN today to have a glucose test. I had to drink this awful sugar water and then they drew blood. Abby wanted to get her blood drawn also. I could just see that... I would have really fainted. I have trouble with needles as it is.

I don't have another appointment until January. I'm really ready for all this stuff to be over. I just want to have the baby and be done with the pregnancy. I being a mommy.

Abby has been wanting to rock in the rocking chair more and more. I can't believe it because she was never a snugly kid. She just wanted to play all the time. Now she will point and say, "Rock? Sit, Mommy? Rock?" She get's her blanket and her milk and we rock. It's so great!

You know how your baby, when they start talking, says words wrong and you love it? In fact, Andy and I say the words like her sometimes just to be funny. It's so cute. Abby goes to nackies (gymnastics). She eats cackers (crackers) and she says pees (please) and da du (thank you). I love it. I do say the words correctly around her because I want her to learn proper pronunciation but it's hard because I think her baby talk is so cute. My mom still talks about certain words that we always mispronounced that she loved to hear. I guess that's part of your little one growing up.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Ashes of Bad Teenagers

I see this little bottle everywhere in schools and homes, this Ashes of Bad Teenagers. It is obviously a difficult thing to deal with young people sometimes and I should know - I was a BAD teenager. I was the one that rolled her eyes at everything my parents said and even if I wasn't showing it on the outside all the time, I was thinking what idiots they were. I was having shouting matches with them in my head and sometimes in real life. I said things I'm not proud of and made mistakes I wish I could go back and fix like a bad spelling error in a manuscript. I'm writing this particular blog for the parents/teachers of difficult teenagers. What am I saying? I should have said ALL TEENAGERS!

My parents spent an inordinate amount of time trying to get me to understand several things:

1. I was smarter than I thought. I could have been a straight A student.

A little time and effort and READING THE DIRECTIONS ALL THE WAY THROUGH makes a huge difference in grades.

2. Boys would always be there. I had way to many boyfriends.

Relationships when you are a teenager are largely just for entertainment and should be taken in stride. Don't get all bent out of shape over stuff.

3. Being open minded didn't mean agreeing with ME (the teenager).

Cussing is not an acceptable substitute for a well rounded vocabulary. Get it together and learn something and then express your frustration or anger or love in a clear manner. Not everyone HAS to like your taste in music, movies, or books to be an open minded person. You don't like their stuff either so don't judge the older folks.

4. A relationship with God is the only way to make it through this life.

God seriously wants you to have a great life. He didn't put you here to suffer. Let him lead you and it will go much smoother. If you want to know what He wants, you need to be His true friend and be honest with yourself. This means taking a good hard look at yourself, and no one else, every day when you STUDY YOUR BIBLE or SPEND TIME ALONE WITH GOD! If you can find 2 or 3 hours to spend reading Twilight, you can find 30 minutes to set aside for the Lord your Savior. If you can find 3 hours a day to watch youtube, you can find time to spend with God. If you can spend 3 hours on the phone with your significant other, you can find time to spend with God. It's all a matter of priorities.

The hope for parents and teachers is this - I find myself saying those exact things to my students all the time which means I either learned them or I'm great at channeling my mother. Maybe both.

Teeth, Mommy

Abby's favorite thing to do is brush her teeth, at least right now. She loves to floss also... Weird. If I let her, she will walk around with the toothbrush cleaning everything and then her teeth. No wonder her breath stinks half the time. She comes into the bathroom and practically screams, "Teeth, Mommy, Teeeetthh!!!" I wonder if she thinks she needs to yell because I'm way up here and she's way down there.

Whenever I'm getting ready in the bathroom, she comes in and stands on the toilet and imitates my every move. She wants foundation, blush, eye shadow and the works. I substitute a q-tip for and eye applicator, let her use a clean old blush brush and give her lotion to put on as foundation. I love it that she wants to do whatever I do.

When I go to the OBGYN, she sits in the chair with me and gets an unhooked blood pressure cuff on her arm while I'm getting mine checked. She weighs herself and pulls up her shirt and points to her tummy when they check the heartbeat. I love it. She's such a cutie.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Birthday and Baby Butts

My birthday was fabulous. I got up, went to gymnastics with Abby, came home, cleaned, taught class, got some fabulous pictures from my husband as a romantic gift, made myself a birthday lasagna, put Abby to bed and now I'm sitting here dreading putting together the worksheet for my students. I just want a break. I know that's not going to happen right now but we are going to celebrate at the Christmas break. I think. I'm not sure what we are going to do.

OK, on to the poop. Abby has been telling me when she feels like she's going to poop. She really wants to poop in the potty so I tried tonight to accommodate. I got her pants and diaper off and put her on the potty. Nothing. She got on and off and on and off. Then I heard it: the telltale fart that indicates the beginning of movement. I grabbed her to put her back on the potty. There was poop everywhere but the potty. She was so pleased with herself. I spent 10 minutes putting the poop in the potty and cleaning up the residue while she sat happily on the potty doing absolutely nothing. So why don't training potties come with the straps? Whatever.

Friday, December 4, 2009

I give up... Come on, Christmas!

The little tree that could is no longer. Due to my inherent lack of a green thumb, we have had to make rosemary butter out of what was to be the Christmas bush. Today, Andy browsed Home Depot for something I can't kill and found a 5 foot pre-lit tree. We are going to make some ornaments and I'm making some stockings for us to hang... I'm not sure where. Maybe over a heating vent or something. Anyway, let the frivolous Christmas decorating begin. We are officially on the path of financial ruin around the holidays and for some reason, I just can't say no to it all. Stockings, tree. Next thing you know, I'll be out selling my hair for an X-Box.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Public Tantrums

Whenever I go to Mom's group, if I want to stay awake through the whole thing, and my class and then dinner and bedtime, I have to have a little caffine. Therefore, Abby and I make a trek past Abercrombie and Fitch, some hair place, a jewelry store, through Belk and to Starbucks and back to the play area. Now, store fronts are easy because everything is behind glass and she can press her face up against the windows and no harm is done. Belk is another story. Jewelry is laid out for all to TOUCH and clothing racks are practically in the aisles. Makeup is within arms reach and all this usually proves to much for my little angel. Sometimes, I can get her through holding my hand the whole way. Some days, she get's through being held, squirming, screaming and upside-down. Oh, well.

She has taken to going limp when I'm holding her hand and she doesn't want to be led. I'm not sure how to get her off the floor when I'm to big and she's to big for me to carry but for now, I still win by sheer size.

Public tantrums are going to be a problem. Fortunately, my husband is an angel and usually is with me when I'm in the grocery store or a restaurant. Then one of us can haul the screaming kid out and the other can face the stares and humiliation while paying.

My biggest problem is when someone else's kid is having a fit. I want to be sympathetic but I can't decide whether to look or not look. If I don't look, I'm judging. If I look and they take it the wrong way, I'm judging. JUST TO LET YOU ALL KNOW: I'M NOT JUDGING! Abby is just as bad as every other kid. She is a screamer and unless I've had enough stamina to get out our monster stroller or the grocery cart straps are in tact and working, she is going to be in my arms, screaming, kicking and making a general nuisance of herself.


Well, just like the last pregnancy the insomnia is setting in. It is very hard not to cry every night when I wake up at 2 am and can't get back to sleep. I have read several books, taken up a vicious video game habit and am getting very frustrated.

The worst part is that when I first wake up, I try and get back to sleep as fast as possible but all the things I did that day that may have been "wrong" go through my head over and over and over. Last night I gave the wrong version of a test to some unsuspecting and very vulnerable freshmen. Poor kids couldn't figure out why they failed and all of them were feeling really crappy. I tossed and turned over that one most of the wee hours of the morning.

After finally getting back to sleep, I will wake in the morning feeling like I forgot something important and I will have that feeling all day. You know that feeling you get in the pit of your stomach? Like, "I left the oven on and the house is burning down and it's all my fault." Yeah, that feeling... all day. I hate it.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Pictures with Santa

So we finally did get pictures with Santa. So cute. Posting a copy on here. For $17 you get a fist full of advertisements and two, count them people, only two photos of your kid and Santa. Thank goodness for scanners.

Abby was totally freaked out and I don't know why. She is totally won over all the time and I don't get this sudden refusal to smile. So, I went ahead and bought the dear in the head lights picture and it looks remarkably like last years picture.

Monday, November 30, 2009


My dad bought me a rosemary bush. I'm not sure what he was thinking. Actually, I do know what he was thinking - "Callie likes rosemary. Andy makes bread. Maybe these to can get it together and make some rosemary bread. Or even if that never happens, maybe they can use the rosemary in some butter for a nice loaf of Panera bread. Those two are going to love this!"

I love the smell of rosemary in the house. Problem: I can't even keep a cactus alive. I tried. I don't know what possessed me to purchase a dog (and from the previous posts, we can all see how wonderfully that is working out). I noticed today that there is a set of care instructions attached to a branch (kinda like dry clean only clothing which is also not working out well). We have had the bush for a week and I just remembered that it was there. The instructions say, "If kept in pot, water daily." Oops.

The great thing about this rosemary bush is that it looks just like a little Christmas tree and that is exactly what it is going to be this year.

I can't wait to decorate it and put little presents around it for Abby to open on Christmas day. It's going to be a blast. Now, if I can just keep it alive until then... stay tuned for more updates on the little tree that is GOING to make it until Christmas.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

The Dog Dilemma

The dilemma is: should the dog stay or go?

We got Aslan when he was 5 weeks old and raised him but then we got pregnant and his walks got to be less and less and then when Abby came along, they got to me more and more but he became an outdoor dog because of all the hair. Now we have new couches and he's not even allowed in the house at all and I'm pregnant again so his walks are almost nill.

Should we send him off to someone who can take care of him better?

After this little incident we had where he fell down the stairs and we were worried that he was really hurt and realized we didn't have the money to do anything about it if he was hurt, I am wondering if it is responsible to keep him. Maybe he needs rich, childless parents to take care of him... Academy life with infants and toddlers is just not conducive to having a pet like a dog who needs attention.

Try Try Again

So I'm shopping and the inevitable question keeps getting asked at every store. "When are you due?"


"Wow. Do you know what it is?"


They see Abby. "Well, guess you'll just have to keep trying."

Really? For what? A lizard?

I know. I get it. I do think about playing the lottery and seeing if the next time we have a boy. It's an interesting thought. I just think its funny how many people assumed that we would keep having babies until we had a boy.

If I have learned anything from my friend Regina (who has 5 girls), it's that the baby lottery doesn't pay out like that. You just have kids and whether they are boys or girls, you love them the same.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

I know. Talk to the hand.

I'm sort of reposting something that I want to reiterate - again.

I know I'm fat. I don't need anyone telling me what I cry about every morning. I AM HUGE. I'm 25 weeks pregnant and I look like I could go at any moment.

Yesterday, I had pictures taken for the new church directory. The photographer asked when I was due and I told her with rolling eyes, "March."

She took a second look at my huge belly and asked the inevitable question they all ask, "Are you having twins?" I almost said something to the effect that she better be glad I had such a nice maternity wardrobe as I could pass it off to her later. Let me just say that she was obviously not pregnant.

I have been asked that question so many times, when I state my due date, I just hold up my hand and say, "I know, I'm huge," and walk away. I'm so sick of everyone telling me what a big belly I have. No pregnant woman wants to be told how huge she is. Once again, I will tell you all that no matter how "cute" we are (thank you, Beth), we don't want to be fat. Baby's are cute. Pudgy puppies are cute. Fat pregnant women are just tired and their ankles look like tree trunks. If they aren't as pregnant as you think they are, they are depressed as well. We aren't allowed to be anorexic like the rest of you because it could endanger the baby so SHUT IT!

I will tell you right now - Abby was 9 lbs 3 oz and I'm betting heavily on a 10 lb baby this time.

Friday, November 20, 2009


I'm on Skype with my mom and she's like, "How's my Susanna Banana?" Meaning the fetus.

I start to freak out as we were planning to surprise my mom with the fact that we are naming this girl Susanna Catherine (to be called Cate). I had told my dad and specifically said, "Don't tell Mom." Dad is terrible at keep secrets. Not because he likes to gossip but because he doesn't remember that something is a secret until after he has already said something... sometimes.

He's in the background of the video call and I yell, "Dad!? Did you say something to her?"

A panicked look comes over his face. "About what?"

Mom - "Yeah. About what?"

And that's when I knew she had me. She is the master at extracting information. When I was a teenager, I would walk in the house and she'd say something like, "Well, looks like you had a REALLY good time at the movies," all cryptically like she was in the theater, hanging over my shoulder, waiting for me to hold hands with whatever unsuspecting male may have taken me out that night.

Then I would spill my guts, "Mom, I don't know what undercover agent you have following me but we were JUST holding hands!"

"HA! I knew it." She had me.

So back to the baby names. Right, I'm terrible at keeping secrets too. I think I got that from a family member but... we are naming the baby Susanna Catherine and we would like everyone to refer to her as Cate until she stands up and speaks her mind about what she wants to be called.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Maternity Clothes

I was watching Project Runway (one of my guilty pleasures) and they had a maternity clothes challenge (which seemed appropriate as Heidi Klum is poppin' out kids left and right). I was amazed that even those talented designers couldn't come up with a really good maternity outfit.

I was walking in the mall the other day and saw a pregnant lady with a short shirt on that showed her belly. As much as I believe our pregnancy is a badge of honor, courage, and crazy-lady-what-were-you-thinking, I'm not sure that a flippy, blingy belly button ring on the front and a butterfly tattoo on the back (all hanging out for the world to see along with your stretch marks) are the way to go when launching into motherhood.

But what choice do we have really? There are only two places that aren't department stores that sell even a small selection of maternity clothes in our mall and they are both outrageously expensive. With the plethora of celebrities gracing the red carpet with protruding stomachs, you would think there would be more of a dash for the maternity niche but I am reduced to wearing my husbands sweats all day, every day until I loose the weight 3 or 4 years from now.

My biggest hurdle with this whole dilemma is getting to work in something decent. I have a limited budget and buying comfy pants for home and something appropriate for the classroom is quite a stretch on my already maxed out credit card. My sister and I have been sharing a maternity wardrobe and have timed our pregnancies so that we are never pregnant at the same time but we are always pushing right up against the weight loss deadline of the other person. It gives us a financial incentive to get the weight off as we really can't afford to buy a whole new wardrobe when required to give up the maternity boxes. (Sorry, Casey, I kept a sweater because it's GREAT and I wear it all the time, pregnant or not.)

Well, here's to hopin' my birthday presents include new additions to the wardrobe and or a great massage from somewhere they don't allow toddlers. *hint* *hint* *wink* *wink*

Monday, November 9, 2009

Daddy at the Gym

Took Andy to the Little Gym this morning. He had the morning off and I needed a break so I told him he was going to spend some quality time with Abby. Notice, I told him it was going to happen.

Thank goodness there was another dad there because usually it's all mom's and he would have felt way out of place. He was great. He tried all the activities. When it came time to play with bouncy balls, he bounced the ball so high and hard and close to Abby, she got a little scared but he recovered and did a great job.

It's hard to find time when Daddy's can do activities with their children. If they are primary bread winner and the Mommy is the primary care giver, it can be a little harder for kids to bond with Daddy. I have noticed that I have to ask Abby to give her Daddy a kiss and ask her to go and sit with him and hand her over and then leave the room to get her to spend a good amount of time with him.

This morning, we were all up lazing around for a few minutes. Abby was on my lap and he put his arm around me and she got jealous, trying to push him away. Is that a foreshadowing of what's to come with new baby? I need to find a way to spend good time with just her. I'm not sure how that's going to happen but we are going to make that time.

What are your suggestions of how to spend time with just one kid? How do you find child care for the baby while you get out with the toddler? Do you feel guilty if you find child care and then just take your toddler home and do a project together or something?

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Forward for the Book

I don’t know why they call it the “glow” of pregnancy unless “they” are your friends who are trying to explain away the acne that has returned from your adolescence and attacked your face just because you are having hormonal changes, knowing that you can’t use ProActiv while you are pregnant. “They” could be your husband trying to make himself feel better after you have gotten so angry about the smell of the trash that he hasn’t emptied in the last hour that your face has turned red and is about to split open. (Then he proceeds to blame all smells on your pregnancy “super sniffer”…) Perhaps “they” is your mother-in-law who has forgotten her glasses and prefers to assume that your rotund figure and pudgy appendages are due to her fuzzy eyesight and not that you are retaining water and you are only in the 22nd week.

It is equally as astounding to me that “they” have dubbed childbirth a miracle. As a devout Christian, I have studied this miracle and its origins and I’m pretty sure it was a curse bestowed on Eve (for which every woman in the world will “get” her in Heaven) after she ate of the forbidden fruit and led her husband to do the same. The miracle is that we, the women of this day and age, after knowing all the ins an outs (unless you are a crazy person who thought you were invincible and had sex without a condom) of this so called miracle, choose to do it once and then, if we are really crazy, over and over (Hello! 19 Kids and Counting, you are nuts!) What I do hear over and over is, “No one told me that was going to happen!” That being a variety of different curse like things that occur. Now, don’t get me wrong. I’m not writing all of this to scare away those who want to get pregnant and have their kids the old fashioned way, or any other way. I just want to share with those who are going through pregnancy, or have gone through it, or are considering going through it. We are a sisterhood that loves to gab about our experiences and I know that there are many women out there who are all holding back a Jerry Springer moment when someone comments to them (after only 9 weeks of pregnancy), “How are your ankles holding up?”

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Judge Not

I have posted a similar blog earlier on in my parenting experience but this thought continues to ring true regardless. Therefore, I'm reiterating a point: Judge NOT! Lest ye be judged.

It amazes me the idealistic manner I used to look at parenting:
"I'm never going to let my kids watch TV. I'm sure that makes them stupid."

"What the crud is that woman doing? She's yelling at her kid in the middle of the store? Can't she take him out and do that somewhere we don't have to hear it?"

"Is that parent crazy?! If it was me, why I'd...?"

My sister called the other day and asked me what I thought she should do about her little stubborn boy... (I just had to stop typing to go find out what all the crying was about and apparently, Abby's hamper had "eaten" her arm. She wouldn't pull it out although she is perfectly capable and just sat there crying as though she was going to die. I loosed the appendage, let her sit on my lap and wail. She literally stopped screaming mid-cry just to finish chewing and swallowing a goldfish and then continued as though she had never stopped. She was finally comforted by me putting on her princess crown and saying she looked pretty. So I'm back... where was I? Oh, yeah, the stubborn kid...)

So I'm talking to my sister and she is telling me that I'm the genius who said I wasn't going to spank my kids (yes, I did say that) and what did I think she could do because she was going nuts and spanking seemed like the only option. Apparently, he literally runs from her every time she tells him to come over to her. Sounds remarkably like my dog. Seriously, I have no idea.

That whole thing about never letting my kid watch TV... Abby is addicted to Mickey Mouse Playhouse and I don't care. It helps me keep her still while I braid her hair (and the only reason I do that is because you all compliment me so much and it boosts my ego). It helps me get a few extra winks in the morning when the pregnancy is sucking the life out of me.

I might not YELL yet in the middle of the store but there are certainly stern words along the lines of "put that back," "stop touching that," "do you want Mommy to go nuts?"

There is a mite bit of arm grabbing and taking away of toys and pens and SHARPIES!!!

But mostly, there is a giggle that goes through my brain every time I think of how I was going to parent my child and what a crazy person I was to think I could do a better job than "that" woman.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Fish Crackers are the Devil

The other day, Abby's friend was here for babysitting and I had a bout of nesting syndrome. I went a bit crazy sweeping mopping and vacuuming. I came out from vacuuming the hallway, my last bit, and found Josh and Abby, each with a bunch of crackers, throwing them to the ground and squashing them into the carpet. This must have been a fun activity as they were stomping and laughing and stomping and laughing. I breathed in deeply and went back to the hallway. Pregnancy can make you crazy and the hallway is a great place to get out that crazy before you deal with two very happy kiddos. Pregnancy nesting is WAY harder when you already have a toddler, or sometimes two, and sometimes three. Best to let it wait until they are asleep.

Andy, being the wonderful, caring husband he is, decided to rub my feet last night. He got out the lotion and just went to town. Very relaxing... until he says in his calm, never excited or worried voice, "Have your ankles started to swell?"

WHAT THE MESS?! I'm only in the 22nd week. You heard me rant and rave last pregnancy about how I was getting sick of all the fat comments. I deal with that enough when I'm not pregnant. This is the one time I get to be fat and no one gets to say anything unless I start it!

Anyway, I know he didn't mean anything by it and therefore, we are still married.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Bring on the Holidays

Today I went grocery shopping. For those that don't know, teachers only get paid once a month so we do this thing where we buy a ton of groceries ($200) and then, as we eat ourselves down, we get down to nubbins like Raman Noodles and peanut butter sandwiches until we get paid again. Well, today was the day of the big grocery shop. I'm proud to say I didn't break the $200 mark today but what did happen was EGG NOG!!! I love egg nog and when it comes to be the day after Halloween, they stock it on the shelves and I'm a happy person for 2 whole months. As soon as New Years passes, there is no more egg nog until the next season. So sad.

I only bought a quarter gallon today but if you had walked into the kitchen at just the right time, you may have seen me sneaking a little swig here and there behind the refrigerator door. I don't know if Abby likes egg nog or not but Andy does not for which I am ecstatic. I can buy egg nog and know that no one will drink it but me. It's all mine. No sharing. I love the holidays.

The Mother's Cell

Whoever built our church was a man. Oh, shut it! Men just don't think like mom's do. We have had to convert a side room off the platform into the mother's room. Now, every couple of years there is an influx of baby making in the church and this room (as well as the cradle roll class) get's REALLY crowded.

This time it started with Dawn and I. We were the first breastfeeding moms that needed the room. We used to make all these comments about how we needed privacy and all that. We did get that when we put up a curtain. We were also very tired of having to be in the cell-like atmosphere and Dawn went out and put up a great lamp that you step on to turn on and Ollie (head elder) put up a privacy screen so we didn't have to worry about the congregation getting a flash of nipple during the sermon. All this after we made a bit of fuss. Now we have toddlers, there are MANY toddlers and three more infants who are all BREASTFEEDING. This means that our little 12 X 12 cell has about 14 people in it every Sabbath and let me tell you, it is all but a calming atmosphere.

So here are my proposals:

1. Children's Church. I want Abby to learn how to sit through a program but I understand that the congregational prayer and sermon can be tedious for a 2 year old. So we could do our own program that starts after the children's story and they just file out and come into our program during the "boring part." We could have a sign out and sign in system so people could actually leave their toddlers there and participate in the adult service if they wanted. We could get some of the academy students to help. There could be puppets sometimes, drama sometimes, stories and veggie tales sometimes. It could just be 45 minutes of our toddler program.

2. There is a video feed into the Primary 2 room and we could just turn that into a transition mother's room where only kids between the ages of whenever they start walking and 5 can come with their parents to scream and do whatever they do. This would require less work but yield less learning.

So, what to do? I will be calling local moms but my big thing is to leave that room for those mom's that are breastfeeding and need privacy but also provide a chaos free place for those that have toddlers. Now, I know that chaos free is a stretch but at least that room would be BIGGER and be less crazy.

Friday, October 30, 2009

On Costumes and Disney Taking Over the World

When I was a kid, my mother always made our costumes and they were always animals. I remember going to my cousins house and she had a real, store bought Tinker Bell costume with wings and everything. She let me try it on and play in it and it was the best moment of my life as I was sure that I could fly with those gossamer wings.

This year, for Abby, we decided to go to Walmart (which happens to be the most awful place on earth) to shop for costumes. Now a little disclaimer: We do not want to promote Halloween to our children. We believe it is a holiday that sets kids up to glorify all that is horrible in the world. We also don't want them to think that messing with things that have anything to do with witchcraft or the devil is ever to be taken lightly. However, Abby has amazing hair that just begs for a tiara and I have been looking for a good excuse to dress her up like a princess. Therefore, we went into the day-before-Halloween fray in Walmart. It was messy!

It was to scary to walk down the costume aisle with our 1.5 year old daughter staring and saying, "Ohhhhh, whats that?!" at every monster and zombie. Besides, there were people tearing costumes off the shelves, putting them on as though we were in a huge, Walmart sized dressing room and then tossing them to the floor with reckless abandon. The aisles dedicated to Halloween were clearly to crowded with fear and families for us to even attempt to get in there. We opted for the toy section which just confirmed my suspicions that Disney is taking over the world.

On a related note, I discovered after a few hours of shopping the other day that finding shoes (especially slippers) in Abby's size that don't have a Disney princess on them is almost impossible.

We hunted through the aisle and realized that Disney has taken a safe way out of any lawsuit and prints on every product "for 3+ only." As though anyone listens to that... pshhhh. So we finally find a costume that looks perfect. We decide that princess shoes, although fun, are way to expensive (They only come in packs of 4 pairs. Are you kidding?!) and impractical for wearing outside of the house (as though a ball gown and crown weren't impractical.) We buy said dress and a crown and squeeze out of the store. The dress is way to big for Abby and will need some taking in but we intend to wear it to the Fall Festival and then use it as a play dress FOREVER as it cost us $30. Abby is in love with the crown and is at this moment wearing only a diaper and that crown and bowing to everyone with a huge grin on her face. Totally worth it.


Yesterday was the crappiest day ever. Someone treated my husband badly and that makes me angry. I get very defensive of the man I believe to be the most perfect human on earth besides, of course, my child. Disclaimer: When he does things that get him in trouble, I usually just give him a look and walk away. But this time, he didn't do anything and I was feeling the righteous indignation any wife feels on behalf of her lover.

Anyway, I called my mom to unload about the injustice of the world and was going to ease into my tirade with a nice, "How are you?" when I got an earful about the fact that her house had just been burgled. Yes, her family heirloom silver has been taken along with most of the valuable electronics and all the DVD's, CDs and my father's iPod (which I'm not sure was much of a loss as he never really figured out how to use it and his fingers were never the agile, texting tools that most of us have today.)

So I'm listening to her tell me that the police are still at the house and both my parents are in California so it is my sister who is having to take care of all of this when I realize, I haven't told her about what a horrible place the world is for treating my husband like he did them wrong.

"OK, Mom. YOU WIN!!!" I'm over it all.

But what really made me feel better was when I walked back into the house after only leaving 45 minutes before and was greeted by my toddler as though it had been years. She always does this and it makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside.

Thursday, October 29, 2009


Today we begin the real battle of the ladybugs. There is a season here, mainly when it is cold and then warm all in one day (fall), when the ladybugs invade our house. They are in the window boxes, the ceiling, the furniture and dive bombing Abby and I at every turn. The veins on my neck stick out whenever I'm in the living room watching them fly overhead. You may say, "Callie, call the exterminator." Then you don't live here or anywhere there is this particular infestation. These bugs are CRAZY like a termite. You can vacuum them but they just fly out of your vacuum. You can have them sprayed but it does no good. I have started my vacuum battle. I suck them up, run outside with the vacuum, let them all loose and dash back in. No good. They are at the door before me and I carry a load in on my pants, shirt and hair. They are everywhere. The only real solution I have discovered is to freeze them out. They want to be in the heat so when the house warms up with the sun, they come out and start their air attack. I think I might just turn on the air conditioning, get them all in a bunch to get warm, and then suck them up and BURN THEM!!! AHAHHHHAHAHAH!!!!!!! I know, I'm getting nuts. I can't help it.


Abby wacked her head on the coffee table. Picture this. She's sitting in a dinning chair and goes to slide off only to misjudge the distance to the floor allowing her feet to go under the chair instead of onto the floor and sending her into a front layout ending with her head hitting the table at a high rate of speed. Yes, it was a "Hup! (quick breathy intake)" moment. I actually waited a split second to see what her reaction would be but from her facial expression, I knew the screaming was just being delayed by the fact that she wasn't breathing. I got her in my arms before the wailing began. Huge goose egg...

Today, I decided it was so nice, we had to be outside. Put her in the hammock for a second and let go. Yes, I'm stupid. She tried to get out, flipped around like hammocks do and ended up on the ground, screaming, lip split and goose egg smarting from a blow to the exact same spot...

Abby likes to follow me into any room I go into and the bathroom is no exception. When I decided this evening that it was time for a little privacy, I told her to go out and she turned without looking and hit the goose egg, yet again, on the door post. Let the crying commence. Yes, I can comfort a toddler while using the restroom...

Anyone think she's going to have brain damage?

Tonight, when she got into the halloween candy and ate several Tootsey Rolls, I said nothing. My penance.