Saturday, December 29, 2012

The little man turns 2

Hard to believe it, but my little man has officially turned the ripe old age of 2.

It's been a busy couple of weeks (in between the not-sleeping stints)...First, T's birthday party was a couple weeks ago at a kiddo gym. Thanks to the hubs' convincing, we decided to do the party out of the house this year --- and it was a fabulous decision if I must say so. An hour and a half of 15 kids under the age of 3 running around in controlled chaos for an hour and a half...followed by pizza and cake...without any clean up.  T was a bit hesitant to let loose at first (me thinks there's something a little overwhelming about a roomful of people all about celebrating you) -- but I think he had a good time.

Flying high-birthday boy!

His 2-year doctor appointment and first dentist appointment came this week. 80th percentile for height, 83rd for weight ( little chicken-legged child is sturdy-boned!) and a zillionth for head size. Ok, maybe his head isn't quite that big - but he takes after both his daddy and mommy, so it's up there.  T flirted a little with the doctor and showed off his truck book, so the appointment was a success.   Next came the dentist. The waiting room was pretty much the hit of the day. T managed to find every single toy with wheels and lined them up across the room. I think the kid would have stayed in that waiting room all day long if he could've.  However, he wasn't really into the idea of the hygienist all up in his mouth, but we got through it.

Just halfway through the "line up" exercise.

And yesterday -- that was T's actual big day. So we spent the day doing T-focused stuff. Starting with opening some Christmas gifts he didn't quite have the patience for on Christmas day. Next, we trekked to the Science and Nature Center, where he got to see all sorts of animals and dig for dinosaur bones. Adorable. Lunch, was pizza -- where T re-established his love of ranch dressing on pizza (gross) but this time without the allergic reaction.  Dinner, was nachos -- topped off with the largest bowl of ice cream that I've ever seen -- and the most adorable sugar high to follow.

Digging up some dino bones

What better way to cap off a birthday than double-spooning 10-scoops of ice cream?

So a great year, capped off by some pretty darn cute celebrating. Happy birthday to my sweet, patience button-pushing, snuggle-bunny, independent, momma's boy, clone of his daddy -- little 2-year old man!

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

The toddler bed change-up

So, we did it. We switched T's crib over to a toddler bed. How's it going? A work in progress, we should say. Saturday was the first night. He was so tired after his birthday party* that he went to bed without a peep and didn't give the open side a second thought.** Tonight, same thing.*** The nights in between, however, have been filled with varying degrees of tears, lying down on the floor by the door, with fingers peeking underneath. However, huge improvements from last week: the tears only lasted 30 minutes or so at the most -- and, when he was ready to give up, he actually got back into his bed (thank you toddler rail!) and went to sleep.  Glorious, peaceful, night-long sleep.

In his bed.

I think this is going to work out.

*Recap to come eventually...

**Of course, that was following nap time, which was his first time in the toddler bed and hilarious to watch on the monitor. Before finally settling down to sleep, he climbed out the high sides and back in through the open sides again and again as if to say, "Why are they making this so easy for me?"

***Update 6:25am: I jinxed us. He went to bed without a peep but proceeded to stand up and turn on his little aquarium on the crib for soothing noises from 12:30-1:30 constantly...and continued through the night....culminating with nonstop tears a little before 6 until it was time for him to get up for the day. Darn powers of jinxing!

The hubs making the big switcheroo.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Sleep boycott update

How did last night go, you ask?

We’ll break it into two parts 

Part 1: Bedtime
Crib escaping.
Hour and a half of hysterics.
No sleeping on the floor like I had hoped.
Mommy fail – I couldn’t take the screaming and caved. Went back in, and put him back in his crib. Four times. While yelling.  
Wouldn’t listen to me. Wouldn’t listen to grandma.
So my dad goes in. And T lies down for my dad to rub his back, stops crying, and is literally asleep in about two minutes.
Partially infuriating, partially heaven sent.

Part 2: Through the night
My mom and dad took one for the team and took the video monitor so I could attempt to get more than 2 hours of sleep in a night.
T slept.
The dog slept.
The cats (seemingly) slept.

I might just consider begging them to stay over one more night...Obviously this week has turned me into a wuss of a mom and I cannot seem to handle the toddler and pets without reinforcement. Hubby, come home soon!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Tonight's plan of attack

This week’s peaceful evenings of solitude aren’t quite coming to pass the way I’ve expected. No, they’re pretty much continuing to be a continuation of Sunday, where the child and the animals united in a cluster of sleep boycotting that lasted most of the night. Last night, my dad sat in the room with T until he fell asleep (aka, an HOUR AND A HALF past his 7:30 bedtime) so he wouldn’t continuously hop out of the crib and then cry that he couldn’t get back in it. Not an ideal situation, by far, but desperate times call for desperate measures. That this particular boycott was followed by both the dog and cats on a 2 hour rotating “on the prowl” schedule all night long (interspersed by toddler tears) isn’t the point of this post.

It’s that I have a plan.

I cracked Toddler 411 last night and read about toddler delay tactics. My child has apparently decided to start using some of these on me. Not cool, kiddo. Tonight, I fight back. Tonight, I will remove the toys from the room (though Toddler 411 does say it’s ok if they play if they get out of bed….). Tonight, I will leave an extra blanket on the floor by the door so that if T climbs out and lays down in that spot for the zillionth time this week with his fingers peeking out from under the door, hopefully he’ll take a moment to cuddle up to the blanket while he’s at it and sleep through the night. Tonight I will ignore the "mommy" cries and not go back in.

Oh, and tonight, I will pass the video monitor off to my parents, who sensing my zombie-like desperation, nicely offered to sleep over and take over the monitor duties. It might be easier for me not to go into his room if I can’t actually hear him…*

Wish me luck! 

Tonight, I'm attempting to take action on this page of the book.

*And I might not actually become a full-fledged crazy girl if I get more than 3 hours of sleep tonight. 

Monday, December 10, 2012

My poor lacking Zzz's

The top 3 reasons why I want a do-over on last night’s beauty rest.

  1. The child. After a seemingly peaceful and content bedtime (pat on the back, mommy! With the hubs out of town all week, I really wanted to start out the week on a good note.), T started crying for mommy about 2 ½ hours later. Since this isn’t a daily occurrence, I decided I better go up and rub his back to calm him down. If only I could get in the room, that is. Somehow, during what I thought was his deep slumber, the child had climbed out of his crib and laid down smack up along the doorframe to his room. So when I went to open the door and go in, I couldn’t get past the lump that was my child on the floor blocking my entrance. Don’t you have a video monitor, you ask? Why yes, yes I do. And T tends to like to sleep in the one blind spot of the crib where we can’t see him with the monitor – but he doesn't usually make a peep, so it's not a big deal. But last night, I never even knew he wasn’t in there. Freaked. Me. Out.
    So, I had to go through the whole bedtime routine all over again with him, because he spooked himself out (probably by waking up smushed up against the door and NOT in his crib). And then it took him a good hour to get cozy again. No more tears, but moving around a lot, standing and sitting and kicking and rolling. Not exactly the start off of a relaxing night that I was hoping for. So you can be sure that I had my eyes glued to the monitor afterwards to track his escape plans. Didn’t really help my slumber that I was sure every noise I heard was my kid catapulting out of his crib again. Luckily, he stayed put for the rest of the night.*
  2. The dog. After the kiddo finally settled back down, cue the dog waking up. Our ever-lazy, always-sleeping dog got some sort of burst of energy at 1:30am and decided he wanted to play, pee, and venture outside. Seriously, pups? Not cool.
  3. The wind. I am not a Texan. So, when these cold fronts come through every once and awhile, they startle me awake and keep me up All. Night. Long. Cold weather does NOT show up this way in the Northeast. Along with the 40 degree instant drops in temperature, I become convinced that the wind bringing in said weather at 3am is also going to burst my patio furniture straight through my bedroom window at any given moment. So I wait and wait for the inevitable crash. I make a crazy action plan in my head that consists of garbage bags stapled to window frames at 3am to prevent the cats from escaping through soon-to-be-broken windows. Generally, I hear the (massive) dog house blowing over – it’s like Oz vs. Kansas outside my window. Strange panics to have at 3am, I admit, but luckily, no flying patio furniture this time around.

And each one of these “events” had me out of bed, with the lights on, moving about. And double checking the locks while I was at it. Oh yea. And NOT sleeping.  See why I need a do-over? These bags under my eyes are so not flattering.

*Me thinks that it’s finally time to admit the time has come to move T into a toddler bed.

Shopping and the mail

With the holidays (and T’s birthday) rapidly approaching, I’ve done most of my shopping online this year. Ok, this isn’t a new thing - I do pretty much all of my shopping online. Between working and parenting and trying to keep my house halfway clean, malls aren’t usually open when I’ve got some free time to shop.  The only problem? The package deliveries.

Now, I’ve been pretty lucky this year that most of the things that I’ve ordered have come when I was at work*. Because there are two things you should know about me. (A) I hate going to the mailbox and (B) I hate when the doorbell rings and I’m not expecting it. Yes, I am that person that hides behind a chair and goes completely still when the doorbell rings, in case the person at the door has x-ray vision and can sense movement inside the house. Open the door? Of course not! I wait in silence (aside from my dog, who may just be going berserk at the sound of the “stranger alarm”) until I think enough time has passed for the door-ringer to leave. Then, I creep over to a window and pull up the blind ever-so-slightly (you know, like in horror movies when someone *thinks* someone might be watching them, but the window looks dark?) and then, when the UPS truck starts to pull away, I begin to breathe again.

Is this weird?

*The other day’s nap mat sheet delivery did not….and since my peephole is now covered in a holiday wreath, the delivery almost gave me a heart attack.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Here we go again...

The long-dreaded day is here and we are officially off to Brazil in about 5 hours.  I know I should be working, or packing, or doing anything other than blogging but I won't have Internet access while we're gone and frankly I'm still trying to get my heart rate down to normal after the past few hours I just spent at Audrey's school. 

Today was Teacher Appreciation Day so that meant the teachers went to a catered lunch by themselves while moms fill in in the classroom.  I really did not need to add this to my "to-do" list for the day, but of course out of the entire class no one else agreed to do it.  I was *supposed* to have the help of one other person but she canceled on me this morning so that's when the panic really set in.  It was me versus an entire classroom of 2-3 year olds.  Everyone's dream, right?  Things started off calmly enough on the playground, but soon spiraled into this scene:

- Audrey clinging to my leg and screaming if I so much as talked to another child
- One boy peeing his pants
- One boy throwing sand in another's face; sand recipient screaming
- One boy and one girl fighting over one of those Little Tikes cars with me refereeing while Audrey still clings to my leg.
- Me smiling and waving to the other moms in the neighboring playground, prentending that EVERYTHING IS FINE!  I'VE GOT IT UNDER CONTROL!

Ha ha.

Next was hand-washing, which we sort of half-assed.  Then I forgot to lead them in prayer before lunch.  Oops.  Finally we sat down for lunch and that's when the sh*t really hit the fan.  The boy sitting closest to me was eating salami for lunch (yes, really) and promptly smeared me and the table with grease.  Another boy told me his mom was picking him up early and ran and hid in the school office, causing 2 other kids to follow him.  A 3rd kept asking me where the teachers were, to which I told him to pray for their speedy return.  It was about this time that a school employee started giving me the evil eye and saying things like, "what exactly is going on here?" to which I really wanted to let her have it but instead told her to watch the remaining kids while I went to the office to the retrieve the missing 3. 

Needless to say I might have shed a tear or two of joy when the teachers finally walked through the door.  I'm sure they were less than thrilled with my performance but honestly, the fact that all the kids were still in the building with all of their limbs in tact was success enough for me.  And now I get to reward myself with 12 hours of international travel.  Santa really has been reading my wish list this year!

Monday, December 3, 2012

Holiday dining

The hubs and I had a long-planned date night on Friday night and got out for an extremely glamorous night on the town. Ok, we went to Wal-Mart. And almost went to Olive Garden too -- if I had gotten my way -- as I was craving some salad and breadsticks. Alas, the two destinations were in opposite directions of town. Don’t even ask what is wrong with me. Wal-Mart and a potential Olive Garden visit in the same night? I know. I know. It’s embarrassing. Utterly embarrassing. My least-favorite-place-on-earth was where we spent our long-awaited babysitter-enabled night out. However, to be practical, we (read: I) looked at the calendar and we (read: I) deduced that we have zero weekend days between now and Christmas to get holiday and birthday shopping out of the way. There was no other choice.

Anyway, over dinner, we started discussing hosting Christmas dinner. It’s our second time hosting Christmas dinner, but our first time to host when I wasn’t 9 ½ months pregnant and had a good excuse to cater it out entirely. So, I want it to be nice. I want to make (most-of) the meal. And I’d like to start to establish a few traditions. What traditions? I’m not sure – but I don’t think we’ll be incorporating my hubby’s ideas into the day:

In response to my idea about setting up the card table for extra seating:  
Hubs: “If it’s nice out, we’ll just set up the card table in the garage and people can eat in there.” 

In response to my thought that we’ll probably need to borrow folding chairs from my parents:
Hubs: “Why? We have those camping chairs we can set up.” (Yes, the ones people use at tailgates with cup holders in them.) 

In response to my push back on the horridness of serving Christmas dinner in the garage with camping chairs:
Hubs: “Well, it doesn’t really matter. I figure you and I will sit with T by ourselves in the kitchen anyway.”

You think I’m joking. 

 Pull up a chair to our tailgating Christmas extravaganza!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Free stuff this weekend

A few weeks ago I attended a seminar about educational and fun stuff to do with your kids in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.  I don't usually attend these types of events but this one was free and I was semi-guilted into it by some moms in our playgroup.  It ended up being a great talk so I'm glad I went. 

Anyway, the speaker definitely opened my eyes to the fact that I have NO clue how much awesome stuff there is to do with your kids around here.  And best of all a lot of it is free and is going on nationally so if you're looking for something to do this weekend, read on! 

Home Depot

I must be living under a rock because I had no idea that Home Depot (Lowe's too I believe) does free kids' workshops on the first Saturday of every month from 9:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.  The kids make and take a different craft each month, learn how to work with tools, and get their very own orange Home Depot apron to take home (how awesome is that???)  October's craft was a firetruck, November was a Thanksgiving-themed napkin holder and this Saturday's craft is a holiday picture frame.  Hello grandparent gifts!

Bank of America/Merrill Lynch

If you bank at Bank of America or have a Merrill Lynch credit or debit card, you can get free admission to more than 150 museums, zoos, botanical gardens and science centers nationwide on the first full weekend of every month by presenting your card at the location.  To see what museums participate in your city go to this website and select your state:  This is an awesome deal because I know some of the museums here in Dallas cost $15 a person to get in so even for our little family of 3 that's a big savings.

Showtime Saturdays at the Mall

You'll have to check your local mall on this one but one of the primary malls in Dallas has magicians, musicians and comedians performing a kids' show every Saturday at 11:30 a.m. for free.  Each show is different and takes place in the play place adjacent to Nordstrom.  **Awesome idea: get the hubs to tag along, leave him at the show with the kids and sneak into Nordstrom for a little solo shopping, or even just a latte.  Sounds like a plan to me.


Wednesday, November 21, 2012

My turn for preschool prep

The fam and I are a few months behind Erika on the majority of child-rearing experiences. So as you know, Erika embarked on the world of preschool and mothers-day-out programs back in September. A few months later, it's now our turn.

T is starting at a Montessori school in January. It's a bit bittersweet for me, as I absolutely adore the woman that takes care of him daily while I'm at work. Back when he was an itty-bitty baby and being "18 months old" seemed so far down the road, we envisioned starting him in a "school" by that point.  But, he was so happy with our daycare provider and still seemed so little to us - so we let that age come and go without even considering taking him out of her care. 

However, she encourages parents to find other arrangements once the kids turn two. Maybe something about them becoming hellions around this time? So, with his birthday over the holidays, it's time. Sniffle, sniffle. 

To take my mind off of the fact that my baby is growing up so fast - I have a shopping list we have to bring to class on the first day. 

1. The infamous nap mat. I think I may spare myself the torture Erika went through and order this one. We have to use plastic ones anyway - so at first Google search, there's not a whole lot of room for my indecisiveness to come into play.

2. House slippers. We bought T some adorable little Lightning McQueen slippers for the house, which, to be honest, he's kind of afraid of at the moment. However, for school, the slippers can't have any distinguishing marks on them that other kids might also want. So I think I might order these boring things.

3. Rain boots. Same thing goes for the boots. No cute fireman rain boots for school. I think we're going straight black.

4. Lunch box. I think this will be a Christmas gift from Grandma, personalized with T's name. Cute, right?

5. Cloth napkin and napkin ring. Really? Not sure what to make of this one, but it's on the list. My son is going to be one classy dude. Hope he doesn't start to expect this type of service at home!

6. Blanket and sheets for nap mat. I'm also sort of at a loss on this one. T has a zillion blankets that he got as baby gifts -- but are these appropriate to bring to sleep on the floor with at school? I picture toddler tug of wars - not sure I want to subject our pretty blankets to 20+ 2 year olds, but then again, what else do I use? And what about a pillow?  I ordered a set of these sheets for the nap mat, but these seem pretty pricey for sheets that are going to be on the floor daily. HELP!

7. Packable lunch containers. I guess I could just buy tupperware, but I feel like he should have his own? Overthinking, much?

Basically, I'm afraid T's going to show up for the first day and I'm going to be that mom that forgot to pack all the essentials.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Please talk me out of this

You know when you've been looking for a certain clothing item forever?  Like almost 2 years?  And you just can't seem to find IT (i.e. the one)?  And you've sort of thrown in the towel and given up?  And then one day you're out buying wrapping paper and you see it.  And it's gorgeous.  And there's only one left.  And it's in your size.  And it happens to be your birthday in 4 days.  And everyone in the store is telling you how awesome/cute/fab it looks.   

And then you look at the price tag.

And it says $600.  (Yes, six HUNDRED.)

And then you're not so excited any more.

And then you have a moment of insanity and try to rationalize such a purchase.

And then you call the hubs and vent to him.

And he starts laughing.

And then you get depressed.

And then you're suddenly craving chocolate.

Well, I'm having one of those days. 

Sniff, sniff.

(Here's the part where you tell me that this jacket isn't really all that nice.  That the leather isn't that buttery and that the shearling isn't really that soft.)  Can we all agree that it's against the rules to be tempted with things like this at freaking TJ Maxx??  I mean jeez, I thought I was safe there.


Friday, November 16, 2012

Every kid needs a car, right?

When T was first born, Chris's clients got him a little ride on BMW. Talk about a great gift.  T takes it for a spin pretty much every single day -- these days, he drives his car from his room to the bathroom for bathtime. Door to door service.

So, we're thinking since he's about to turn the ripe old age of 2 in a little over a month, that we're due for the next big thing in big boy cars....

However, if we do go this route, I am pretty much positive that getting T a mechanical car is probably going to result in at least one trip to the ER.  Think toddler toys come equipped with airbags?

Any other good ideas for 2-year old boy gifts? I'll take any gift advice I can get!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Daddy's in charge

Erika and I were both out of town this weekend visiting Erika’s old stomping ground and one of my most favorite cities, Washington DC, to celebrate the impending birth in a few short of months of one of our college besties. Since I left both the hubs and T at home, it was a great weekend full of wine, girl talk, and s’mores banana bread. (Yes, there really is such an amazing, heavenly thing.)

So, Chris was in charge on the home front. He and T appear to have had a great time together doing all sorts of manly stuff like watching tons of football and visiting Cabela's (and T has a new gigantic shark stuffed animal to prove it). But a weekend with 100% dad duty has to have at least one funny moment for me to zero in on.  It turned out I didn’t have to pick T up at Twin Peaks (AKA Hooters copycat) when I landed on Sunday after all, so I couldn't write about that (though I'm not sure why the hubs thought I’d expect he was joking about the outing when he has taken T to Twin Peaks in the past…).

Nope, instead, it was the random reaction T got when he appears to have paired lunch with Ranch dressing. Apparently, he doesn’t have the same all-things-go-better-with-Ranch gene that his daddy does. Instead, my kid turns rashy and splotchy.

 Blurry, but I think you get the general idea. 
And yes, an abnormally high number of our pictures are taken with T in this highchair.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Holiday pictures

Am I the only one that stresses out about holiday pictures every year?  It's like this silent pressure I put on myself to get a cute holiday family photo while walking that fine line between cute and uber cheesy.  Last year I bought a $10 Groupon and we had them taken at JC Penney.  We got some great candid shots of Audrey so the hubs and I left ourselves off the Christmas card that year (score).  This year I really want to get a picture or two outside, since my attempts at doing outdoor family photoshoots have gone up in flames (see Living Social Sucks post). 

We were at the Arboretum last weekend but Audrey could not be bribed to sit still for even one picture over a 2-hour time period.  When I tried to sneak up behind her in the hay maze while silently motioning to the hubs to start snapping away, she promptly turned around and dumped 2 handfuls of hay on my head.  Here she is squirming, kicking, and screaming at a decibel that only dogs can hear:

Picture drama aside, there's the whole outfit issue.  I have some strange aversion to those poufy satin and tulle little girls' dresses that are routinely foisted on me by well-meaning moms who JUST WANT SOMEONE ELSE TO WEAR THIS DRESS ONE TIME.  But finding something festive, semi-afordable, yet not fancy is not that easy.  I love the sweater dresses that Hanna Andersson comes out with every year but after multiple attempts I've concluded that their sizes are simply weird.  Audrey is consistently too small for one size and way too big for the other so I guess they only fit Swedish kids??

After much eBay searching and stalking I settled on this dress from the Gap:

I'm pairing it with these tights, which conveniently match some brown shoes Audrey already owns (me lazy):

I buy the Tiny Prints deal on Zulily every year for holiday cards so now all I need is that picture.  Our neighbor has offered to go to the park with us and try to get some cute family shots so maybe this will actually work?  Or maybe it's time to can the photos and start writing one of those awesome "Here's what we've been up to this year..." letters.  Oh how I love those things.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Going to the polls

Whenever I think of Election Day, I have memories of one of the most obvious MomFail moments I witnessed Pre-T.  I'd say it was before I had a kid of my own and learned not to judge -- but well...not in this case.  So, I reached back into my email archives to find the story word-for-word that I shared at the time. Hopefully it's still as funny now as it was two years ago!
Date: Wed, Nov 3, 2010

So I have a funny story to share that makes me feel better about my as-of-now-non-existent parenting skills. No matter what we DON’T know, we still know more than this lady did!

I went to vote yesterday after work. Apparently, there was some fire in Houston where voting machines got burnt up in storage, so Houston took some of Austin’s voting booths, so my voting place had a pretty long line. We’re waiting on line, and this lady comes out with her adorable little baby. I’m guessing 8 months old, but of course, I don’t know anything much about babies at this point, so I’m not sure. She could hold her head up and was totally aware, but was still an infant for sure, and still had no hair, etc. But she was dressed in pink tights, a little skirt, and had on a lightweight tank undershirt. Her mom was carrying her – and the baby’s adorable little baby cardigan, that had little pink do-dads on it. And her mom was totally immaculately dressed, cute black sweater cardigan (it was cold last night!), adorable all around, and pretty. The mom, finished with her voting, walks to the door, where we are all waiting on line, and exclaims to the baby “Oh no! It’s raining outside! What are we going to do!” you know, just chatting with the baby the way moms do. So she puts the baby down on the bench, and it appears as though she’s going to get the baby ready to go outside in the chilly rain – by putting the cardigan on her, so she has something covering her body. No, the mom puts the baby down on the bench, in order to put the baby cardigan on her own HEAD, to keep her hair from getting wet. I kid you not. She puts the baby cardigan on her head, picks up her baby (dressed for summer still) and heads out into the pouring rain. Really?  So I am kind of just watching this, wondering if I’m the only one on this massive line that has an issue with this….and the murmurs start traveling down the line, as people are going “Oh my goodness! God forbid my HAIR get wet! My baby doesn’t need to keep warm, my hair looks too good!” and “People who are that unaware shouldn’t have kids” etc.
So regardless of what I don’t know about parenting at this point, I know that if I don't wear my own baby's clothing on my head to keep my hair dry, no matter how good I might look that day, when my poor baby is going to be bare-skinned outside in the cold and wet night.... I will be a parenting success :)
Story still has the same effect on me. A cringe and a chuckle.  How about you?

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Dressing Room Adventures

The stars aligned last weekend and I finally made my second SOLO trip to the mall in 16 months.  Yes, two trips in 16 months.  Don't be too jealous now.  I decided to start with a little blast from the past and ventured into The Limited...I don't know about you but I used to shop there all the time in high school and college.  It was on the go-to list.  Then the store in the mall near my house closed and I guess I moved on.  I seriously had not been in there in 10 years probably and it's one of those stores were everything is perpetually 40% off so I decided to take a peek.  I ended up trying on a few things and they had some potential.  Here is their version of black jeggings with a black and gold lace top that looked better on the hanger than on me:

Next I tried this tank and sweater combo that basically just emphasized the perma-baby bump I am blessed with:
Finally I tried this striped sweater, which I did end up buying.  It comes in 3 different color combos and I love the relaxed fit and the lightweight knit for TX weather:

I left the jeggings behind because I couldn't get past the strange chemical smell they were emitting and all I could think of was spontaneously bursting into flame while wearing them, but fit-wise and price-wise they were a decent buy.

Next I snuck into J.Crew, specifically to drool over the Biennial Hobo (oh Santa, please work with me on this one):

While I was there I tried on the Frenchie sweater and toothpick cords in charcoal gray.  Love love love.  I had low expectations for the cords, given that I tried them on last year and pretty much ran out of the dressing room screaming.  Apparently someone at J.Crew finally saw the light and added more stretch, thinned out the corduroy, and removed the awful ankle zippers for this year's version.  White ankle socks aide, these are super cute with ballet flats or tucked into boots.  Love them in the burgundy color too.  Unfortunately both the cords and sweater are $98 so I had to put them back and hope for a sale...

I saved my splurging for Anthropologie.  As usual I could have gone totally nuts in there and come home to divorce papers, so I only picked up this sweater dress for a few upcoming functions.  Not sure if I'm going to wear it with tights, boots, or bare legs like the model.  Thoughts?
Does anyone else get as excited as I do for two hours alone at the mall these days?  How are all these other moms doing hair and make-up and showing up in cute outfits every day at school pick-up/drop-off while I am trying to remember if I put deoderant on or not?  And did I mention that they have 3 children and I have one? 

Friday, October 26, 2012

Mr. Froggy

Every day around noon I take Audrey and our dog on a walk around the neighborhood.  Because Audrey refuses to sit in a stroller these days she walks too and therefore what should be a 20-minute stroll usually takes about an hour.  She spends most of the time picking up sticks, acorns, and leaves while also managing to step in whatever dog poop is within a 2-mile radius.  Yes, the whole experience is about as awesome as it sounds.

Anyway, we always walk by this house that has a big ceramic frog planter out front.  Audrey naturally thinks this is a real frog that she can have elaborate conversations with.  I have no idea who lives in this house but I seriously hope they don't mind my child manhandling their yard decoration 5 days a week.  Here is the unsuspecting frog:

As soon as we get to the house, some version of this conversation takes place -

Audrey: "Hi froggy!  I'm here now!  It's okay!  Your dad will be home soon!  Do you want to kiss me froggy?  [Kisses dirty nasty freaking ceramic YARD frog]  Do you want a hug froggy?"

Here's the makeout session in action:

After about 5 minutes of this I try to get her to say her goodbyes so we can move on and I start walking.  I usually turn around to see her running back to the frog shouting, "One more hug froggy!  See you in a few weeks froggy!" and then another 5 minutes of kissing and hugging ensues.

The thing is, it's so freaking cute.  And sweet.  In fact, that's why I'm blogging about it.  So I can remember these random cute things that my 2-year old does because God knows my mommy brain won't.  As to whether or not we'll be getting a large ceramic frog for our front yard, I'm thinking no.  Santa doesn't do yard animals or anything in the "gnome" realm.  And so we'll just continue mooching off the neighbors.  I'll have to get them a Starbucks giftcard or something.


Wednesday, October 24, 2012

A Blank Stare

The last dance party I successfully initiated in my living room was with my dog to Ke$ha  back in 2009. And yes, at the time I had visions of reenacting that adorable scene of Jen Aniston dancing with Marley in my head. And no, actual reality didn't quite turn out the same way - I believe Jameson got in trouble for interpreting "dancing" to mean "jump all over and snag" my New Years' outfit.

I digress. On my way home from a sushi date last night, I decided the new Ke$ha song is a total jam and, as a result, not only had memories of my last living room dance party with the dog, but also had a stroke of genius that I excitedly brought home to the hubs.

I mentioned to Chris that now that "Ring around the Rosie" is a bonafide hit in our house, T was just about old enough for us to establish family dance parties. How much fun would be to put the music on and boogey around the living room all together?!

I was met with this expression.
Do I sense some excitement behind the "she crazy" look?

So I had to seek out the dog and tell him my plan. He wasn't thrilled either.

I'll work on them. Dance party here we come.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Picture Day

Audrey had picture day at school this past week which was naturally way more exciting for me than it was for her.  Because I have a little thing for kids in school uniforms, I made Audrey wear the closest thing she has to a uniform - this plaid Juicy Couture jumper and leggings I found on clearance at TJ Maxx.  Here she is practicing her pose at home.  J/k, this is just how she sits (girly much?):

From what I understand they had the kids stand in front of a fall foliage backdrop for the photo shoot, which is super cute but also hilarious given that this is Texas and it's still 90 degrees outside.  I'm guessing that Audrey stood there and gave her usual I'm-not-smiling-for-pictures face but maybe the photographer was a miracle worker and I'll be surprised.  Either way, I can't wait to see. 

School is a money SUCK I am learning.  After the necessary backpack and lunchbox, as well as the whole nap mat fiasco, there have been t-shirts for t-shirt day, Scholastic books, cash for teacher gifts and now pictures.  Nevermind the monthly tuition.  And we are what, 5 weeks in?  I may have to keep up my part-time working gig just to pay for preschool.  Jeez.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Bug 1, Us 0

We thought T was on the mend - and he even got to go back to daycare.

Until today, again.  Sent home sick again.  Same tummy bug, back again.

Apparently this stomach bug is running rampant all over Austin at the moment.  And the worst moment of the morning before T got sent home sick?  The terrible realization that came to me as I dropped him off at the same time as another kiddo's dad (who had apparently caught the bug from his daughter and was up puking all night).  I signed T in with the same pen as the dad, after the dad used it.  I realized what I had done after I had already put my hand to my mouth with the same hand that touched the same pen that pukey dad had used to sign his daughter into daycare moments before. (Miles and miles from the nearest hand sanitizer.)

I'm doomed.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Grossest Afternoon Ever

What we initially thought was a flu shot reaction in T has morphed into a lovely stomach bug.  Got his flu shot on Saturday and by Sunday lunchtime T had his first pukey-pukey episode. The hubs and I have been splitting our days off this week so we both get half time in the office and half at home with our poor little patient. And last night, I really thought we were turning the corner - T was playing in the bath and happy again.  Finally.

Today, he was home - but in pretty good spirits. Anyone with a sick kiddo knows how sad it is to see them miserable, so you can imagine how happy I was to see some playtime around here. You can also imagine how impossible it was to explain to my milk-drinking, yogurt-obsessed child that dairy has been put into the off-limits category until his stomach settles down -- so you can probably picture both the hubs and I breaking the rules a little and sneaking him some milk here and there (like when the hour long hysterics while hanging onto the refrigerator door screaming for milk happened). And when the kid has refused to eat anything at all (including anything on the B-R-A-T diet), turned his nose up at Gatorade and Pedialyte, and barely touched any water -- we both figured something was better than nothing. 

Well, apparently not. This afternoon was the Grossest. Afternoon. Ever.  The poor Uppa Baby might not ever recover from the trauma it experienced on our afternoon walk this afternoon. It's currently air drying in the backyard after a bathtub soak. I kid you not. 

I deserved some of this tonight --

Thankfully, despite the grossness, I didn't lose my appetite for ice cream. 

Friday, October 12, 2012

Tortilla Crazy

Yet another oddball way that my son is just like my husband...

He is crazy about tortillas.

I mean, yeah, they're tasty. But he goes bonkers for tortillas. Just like the hubs.

My genes are apparently way hidden in this kid.  Either that or he really hasn't had the opportunity to have M&Ms yet. He'll learn.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

State Fair

Yesterday we made our first visit to the Texas State Fair and it was quite an experience.  Despite the 56-degree weather the place was packed and honestly, I have never seen so many crazy-looking people in my life.  I wish I were quicker with the camera phone but just like with Mr. Banana Sling on the beach in Ft. Lauderdale, alas, I am too slow.  Anyway, the hubs said first things first when we arrived and headed straight for an 18-wheeler that was turned into the world's largest grill I think.  He promptly ordered us the world's largest corndog, some french fries, and a tiny soda with no lid (Random fair fact: lids on cups are not allowed.  Because that makes total sense).  All this for the low low price of $20.  (Not so random fair fact: it's expensive as hell).  Audrey loves hot dogs so needless to say the corn dog was a hit:

Once our arteries were 97% clogged we headed over to the petting zoo, which was a smaller, smellier version of hell.  Aren't petting zoos supposed to be outside?  Should giraffes have to duck under scaffolding and light fixtures to walk around in their pen?  I don't think so.  Despite the hoards of people, the smell, and the half-crazed animals, Audrey was able to feed a white buffalo, and really, it doesn't get any cuter than that.  I on the other hand, made the mistake of petting a baby donkey, whose mother promptly charged at me and sent me jumping (and screaming, let's be honest) backward.  Oops.

Finally we walked around looking for some kiddie rides that Audrey was big enough to go on.  It costs about $7-$10 PER RIDE so we let her go on three (cue major temper tantrum...).  I sent her dad on with her because things that spin around repeatedly make me queezy and she wasn't big enough for my favorite ride, the rollercoaster.  Now this is what pure joy looks like:

I love that little monkey.  She had a great time and is already begging to go back.  Next year I'm saving room for "cup of trash."  Whatever that is it sounds delicious.  

Monday, October 1, 2012

Killer Mosquitoes

I don't know what it is about this summer, but the bugs are out in full swing.  I used to be the one to get eaten alive by bugs once the weather got warm. The hubs never quite understood the welts since he never got bit -- his theory was that if you didn't scratch, the bug bites wouldn't itch, and therefore, would never blow up to be the size of a variety of marbles and baseballs. Sure, honey.

But now he has a kid that puts my mosquito history to shame. These days, T has taken the "sweetest blood in the family" superlative to a whole new level. He is being utterly devoured by mosquitoes, no matter how much spray we put on and how much fancy outdoor bug-repellant equipment the hubs buys.

He looks like a bug bite disaster, almost any day of the week these days.

Even fingers aren't off limits to these crazy buggers!

How many bug bites can a kid get on his face at one time? Today, I count 6.

And one particularly bad reaction to a particularly mean bug. 
Yes, that is my child hidden under the half swollen face.