Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Officially a toddler....

Birthday party celebrating from a couple weeks ago aside, my little man OFFICIALLY turns one today. The hubs and I took T down to the Children's Museum to "celebrate" the big day - which was fun until he got fixated on eating his Cheerios and we had to leave. No really, he played hard and wore himself out (and ok, the Cheerios fixation probably had a little something to do with it) - and despite his slight cereal-eating obsession, it's still amazing for me to watch him in action these days.

Getting ready to play hard for his birthday!

It's hard to believe how fast the year has flown. He's gone from a little mushy bundle of snuggles to a little guy that only lets me cuddle with him in the morning because he's got too many places to go and things to see any other time of the day. The days of "date nights" with him perched in his Bumbo on the table are long gone. These days, T likes to share his meals with the dog (yes, sometimes even the very same piece of food....gross, I know). He used to jut out his lower lip as a 10-second warning before belting out the loudest screams ever. T doesn't use his amazing set of lungs much anymore (though I'm sure that will change as we get closer to the 2s!) and instead, these days he gets his way by giving me a little smirk that looks just like his daddy's -- or a big crooked grin that somehow shows off all 7 1/2 of his teeth. He went from cooing to babbling to actual words, even if they are in a language that only I can understand at the moment. And even though he says "dada" a zillion times more than he says "mama" (SO unfair), every once and awhile, I'm lucky enough to get a big slobbery open-mouthed kiss from him, and that more than makes up for it.

I can go on and on, and on and on. I have a feeling that this is not an unique feeling - anyone who has kids that might be reading this probably feels the same about theirs. To me, there is nothing better than life with this sweet little boy.

What a year it's been! (And yes, mommy obviously likes stripes)

Happy Birthday to my Mr. Man. I love you, Munchkin.

Friday, December 23, 2011


The big day is finally here!  Our first international trip with Audrey.  I wish I could say I were excited but truthfully I've been dreading this day since we booked the tickets 2 months ago.  This is a long trip.  3 flights.  2 layovers.  Pretty much 24 hours in total.  And a 10-hour time difference on the other end.  And Audrey came down with a nasty cold this week and has been up every night screaming from 10:00 pm to 3:00 am, so that's awesome.  I'm writing this post to avoid figuring out what to bring for her on the plane.  Because it really doesn't matter what I bring, she'll have zero interest in all of it and want to run up and down the aisle instead.  The last time I flew with her I made the mistake of packing every "quiet" toy and book I could find, only to have my carry-on stuffed so full the attendants made me store it in the overhead bin rather than under the seat.  And with Audrey on my lap the whole time and my hands full that meant I could get things out of the bag, oh, pretty much never.  So that was a huge fail.  Instead I ended up passing her off to the Indian woman sitting in the row behind me who gave her a smurf toy and made origami cranes.  Since I can't locate that woman to bring her along this time, I'm trying to be more realistic in my packing.  And since it's the holidays I'm going to stop being negative, stop complaining and remind myself  that I'm lucky we get to travel at all.  Somehow we'll get through this, right?  How much alcohol can you buy on the plane? 

Just kidding. 

Sort of.

Monday, December 19, 2011

A birthday's in the works

This past weekend was T's big first birthday celebration. His actual birthday isn't until next week, but I'm trying to prevent years of therapy for making him share all his birthday attention with Santa, so we celebrated this weekend instead. Since this was my first foray into hosting kids' parties, I'm pretty pleased with the outcome. There were no kid meltdowns or boo-boos, my pets didn't break free from their "safe zones" and attack or be attacked by any random toddlers, and my little man actually ate his cake, as you can see from his nicely dyed face and my permanently stained carpet.

The kid takes after his mom in one way...he likes his sweets!

The way Saturday morning started though, it wasn't looking good. T tends to be a super predictable little kid. I don't know if his super-duper internal clock is due to the fact that I'm a bit anal and we live and breathe "the schedule" - but you can set your watch by the time he wakes up, wants a meal, needs a drink, and goes to bed. Every day. Or, should I say, every day except Saturday. Go figure. Party day, he wakes up a little later than normal and refuses to nap. The timing of the party was chosen for no other reason other than the fact that he is always up at that time, always rested at that time, always happy at that time, and always ready to go down for a nap by the party-end time. Perfect right? Ahh, the best laid plans. Party finally starts and Birthday Boy is zonked out in his crib. Yup, the guest of honor is fast asleep. Which is actually fine by me, because happy...he was not. Nope, my typically happy little guy was turning into more and more of a crankpot as the minutes, then hours, past his nap he got, so I was envisioning full on grizzly mode in time for cake.

But once I stopped worrying about the lack of sleep and the random runny nose he woke up with (the jury is still out on if it's teething or daycare germs, since he's fine now...but what a lovely way to start party day, no?), momma managed to settle in and have a good time among all the crazy kiddo chaos. And T ended up having fun "playing" with his little friends.

Now I'm getting the hang of this birthday fun stuff...

"Why, thank you, A, I will gladly take that toy from you."

So, you ask, how did I celebrate surviving not only my first kiddo birthday party but my first year as a mom? That night, with the kiddo fast asleep, right on schedule, a good ole glass of vino (or two) and some Elmo cookies in hand. Gotta love it.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Let it rain, let it rain, let it rain

After a year of no rain, we are currently being inundated with the wet stuff here in Texas. It's supposed to last another zillion days. And it's really cramping my style.

Not surprising, the weather doesn't have me looking my finest at the moment. I have the drizzle-frizzies in the worst way and have pretty much given up on the ability to pull off any look besides the ponytail for the time being. It's also completely halted my ability to exercise. Sure, I could try the treadmill after T goes to sleep in the evenings, but since the yet-to-be-used treadmill is upstairs, I can only imagine the reaction my not-quite-laid-back dog will have when it sounds like the ceiling is about to fall on his head.

The worst though, is what the rain is doing to my house. My poor floor. Because we haven't had rain in an eon, our backyard was looking pretty barren. But now, it's a giant mud pit. Yay*. And while the Pups has stayed inside since it's started monsooning, he still does have to get outside sometimes (you know, to do his business). And each time he goes outside, he tracks in about an acre worth of dirt. It's so bad that I've actually mopped multiple times since the weather took a turn for the worse**. And I don't think it's helping. Nope. I'm pretty much just spreading the dirt to a wider area. It's fabulous. And tomorrow, our cleaning lady comes. And it's supposed to rain, again. So the dog, since he's of the protective "I don't like people in my house when my owners aren't there" variety, needs to be outside. In the rain. A disaster in the works.

I wonder if the poor cleaning lady is going to walk inside my house and cringe? Ask for a raise? Run away screaming? Let's face it, we all clean for the cleaning lady. But I wonder if I should spend tonight deep-cleaning extra-hard in preparation for our cleaning lady to come clean so I don't have to hide from her in embarrassment?

Darn rain.

Thought I might die. He needed to go out the second I cleaned for the cleaning lady tonight....mopping rendered useless.

*One of the joys of home ownership. I am not looking forward to the pretty penny that resodding our yard is gonna cost in the spring after this year's draught caused its lovely deadness.

**Not a fan.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Pinterest wreath

I finally made something that I saw on Pinterest!  (Woot woot!)  Since I couldn't afford the wreath I really wanted from Ballard Designs I decided to make this one since it sounded pretty much idiot-proof.  Here's what you need:

- 13 or 16-inch foam wreath form
- about 200 push pins
- 1/2 yard muslin or plain white cotton fabric
- 2 yards of red canvas (or whatever color(s) you're doing)

You cut the muslin/white fabric into 4-inch strips, wrap them around the foam wreath form and pin them into place.  Then you cut the red canas into 4x4 inch squares (whoever 'pinned' this neglected to mention what a huge pain-in-the-ass this part is, especially when your toddler is jumping all over the fabric - just fyi).  Next you fold the red squares corner to corner twice, making a triangle, then pin each one to the wreath.  I pinned them in rows leaving the back empty so the wreath would lie flat against the wall.  One side ended up a little "thicker" than the other - oops - but overall I'm pretty happy with it.  Here's the wreath just before I finished:

Here's the finished product:

And here's my attempt at creating a holiday mantle with all of the kitschy decor I've been gifted over the years by well-meaning people:

Yes, we only have 1 stocking for 3 people.  I don't know how that happened but we're going to my parents' house for Christmas this year so I'm not even dealing with it.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Friday night and the weekend's here

Ah, what a difference a few years makes. How the reasons for loving Fridays have evolved over the years....

Circa Late 1990s - The college life. Getting dressed up in our black TAPS (that's tight-assed-pants, in case you're not familiar with 1990s teenage lingo) for a night of frat parties was all the rage...Fridays rocked because the next morning, breakfast was available til 2pm. And make no mistake, I got my meal in at 1:55.

Circa 2001 - Living in NYC with my roomie, Friday nights were all about what "all in CAPS" bar we hadn't yet tried in the Zagats guide (and checking it off) and getting our bop on (that's dancing, in case you're not familiar with early-2000s City girl lingo). Getting free drinks didn't hurt. (And I ended up marrying the guy that picked up the tab on most of my free drinks...go figure.)

Circa 2011 - These days, I love Friday nights for three reasons. (1) Mommy happy hour followed by (2) ice cream for dinner (hopefully T doesn't ever catch on to my diet habits) and finally (3) uninterrupted laundry time, ahead of the game! Yea, I'm totally in my Snoozies (an obsession discovered on maternity leave, thanks to Hoda & Kathie) by 7pm these crazy Friday nights. Life is good.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011


I've started taking this class at the gym called Tabata and it just about killed me the first day.  I'm that person in class who makes everyone else feel better about their own fitness level and skill, you know what I mean?  Even worse is that I took the class with a new friend who's been going for a while and I think by the end she was thinking, "um, can I have a new partner?" as I could barely crank out one push-up, let alone 8 sets of 20!  Apparently I missed the part of the class description that said "advanced" and "not for wimps like you."  I'm also now officially old since I could barely get out of bed the next morning.  It's sad when you start to understand what your parents meant when they complained about getting old and now you're knocked out for 2 days after a 1-hour exercise class.  The good thing is that this experience has motivated me to get into better shape because I'm vain and don't want to keep getting my butt kicked by the 50+ year old dads in class.  And secretly I need to keep up with the other moms who are in great shape and only feed their kids organic food while I ply mine with Goldfish and Goya cookies to keep her from getting kicked out of childcare.  And yes, some days that counts as "lunch."  Shh, don't tell.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Elf on the Shelf

Ok, I guess my kid is still too young for me to understand what the Elf on the Shelf is all about. Some 21- year old salesgirl at Nordstrom (yes, she did tell me her age while she was telling me how much she loves the toy) was trying to tell me all about it and I didn't quite get it, but I do understand that my house is the last house on the planet not to have one. The Nordstrom Youngin', as I will call her, was filling me in on all the "fun" activities they can do, like make snow angels in powdered sugar (Really? This sounds like a disaster in the making to me) or turn water in the toilet green (Uh, ok? Sounding more and more like a great toy to me...). I can only imagine my blank stare in return. But it looks cute. And I guess it's a pretty convincing way to get bigger kids to behave. I'd like to have an Elf watch over me -- especially if said Elf helps bring me presents! (Is that how it works?) And I admit it, I'm seeing pictures everywhere of people's Elves on their Shelves...and I'm jealous. I want to partake, even if I don't get it. Kind of like Kentucky Derby (yea, not really, but go with it) - I want to wear the big hats, drink mint juleps, and participate, even if I don't quite understand the point.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Knight in shining armor

So ok, it's been well established at this point that I'm a softie. The word "goosebumps" was basically invented for my use because everything gives me them. Much to my hubby's dismay, I am pretty much a constant cheeseball and am trying my darndest to make T into a snuggler (which is not working, FYI).

But the Hubs? Not so much. He’s pure macho. No feelings on the sleeve for this guy! So how can I tell that he loves me? The random phone call while out on my nightly walk with T. He’s called to tell me that he sees a helicopter, possibly a police one, circling the nearby vicinity with a "searchlight" on. He suggests that I cut my walk short because he doesn’t know why a chopper would be circling, or who they must be looking for, but he thinks that it can’t be good. I kid you not. So, while I might have nightmares for the next few days about the random psychopath that **may** have escaped from prison and is now evading police, hiding in my neighbor’s driveway and waiting to attack me & T as we stroll on by, the mush in me has also gotten all warm and fuzzy that the Hubs called to protect me from the prison-break crazies out there. That's love, Hubs-style.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

WTH Nordstrom?!

Why why why did you get rid of your maternity stuff?!  I was just about to refer a newly-pregnant friend to your website for awesome deals on cute maternity stuff only to see that it's all GONE.  You are the only reason cheap poor people like me were able to wear semi-cute, non-mumuus during our pregnancy and now you've gone and left us high and dry (sniffle, sniffle).  And it's not like you didn't do good business since I often had to stalk your website during the wee hours to score coveted Olian stuff once it finally went 60% off.  I'm not even preggo again and I'm so bummed about this :(  So Nordstrom peeps, since I know you're reading this, you need to reverse this lapse in judgment and get your maternity sh*t back in gear.  Please don't leave preggos to fend for themselves at Old Navy and Target - you know that won't end well.