Sunday, August 28, 2011

Missing Mahna


It's been a few weeks since Mahna left us after her 5+ week stay this summer, and boy do we miss her. 
Every summer we get the luxury of having her donate her time and love to watch the boys while their childcare is closed for the summer. 
She reads, she sings, she goes on the playground...and she deals with lots of dirty diapers and underwear.
I mean--that doesn't even cover it.
Oh, and she makes a mean scrambled egg for her overworked daughter. 
I love her.
I miss her.
The boys love her.
The boys miss her.
Eric loves her.
And yes, Eric misses her, too.
Outside of a propensity to apologize too much for things she doesn't need to apologize for, she doesn't cause a single ripple in our life. 

I think the boys really miss reading time with Mahna. Her 20+ years in early childhood is not lost on my kids.



It's amazing to think how much has changed in 4 summers... 



We always try to get my mom some sort of thank you for her tireless hours and sacrifice. This year, we sent her a package with a few books, well composed thank you letters, and then I found a necklace on none other than my favorite etsy.com that I knew would be a perfect addition to the package:


(you likey that artsy fartsy pic I took with the statue of two brothers in the background? Stop me before the museum calls.)



It's a handmade ichthys fish necklace with the boys' birthstones on it. I obsessively hinted to my hubster that when we are 100% certain we are done with procreating that I would love one of these. Maybe not a fish--I'm no pescatarian and really have limited myself to tilapia these days--but perhaps a circle or something. The craftsmanship is remarkable, her shipping was super fast, and I am just so pleased with the purchase.

Mahna hasn't seen this yet, but she has her floaties on and is swimming in Irene's furry up in Maine with my Nana and GP-J, so I imagine the box will hit her step prior to her reading.

I miss you mom.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Galoshes

What's cuter than a pair of galoshes?


Two pairs...and then throw my boys in them, and my day doesn't get much better. (Until Felix plants his bottom in the shallow pool, which I am sure is infected with STDs or something.)


No parental wisdom today, or even excessively ridiculous stories about me serving as a toddler urine blocker.

oh.my.god. If you don't follow my blog, you are probably about ready to call the police.

Let's just say my hands have been on splash guard duty a lot recently...page back a few entries.

Like yesterday, when my son held his pee for the entire day of childcare, and it literally exploded up straight in the sky when we finally figured out how to get him to sit on the potty at home. And I, of course, the hero that I am, instinctively tried to save the ceiling and my bedroom rug--because, yes, we had to put the potty in our bedroom, turn on PBS and blast the faucet to have a fighting chance to get the kid to sit---and I used my hand to stop the spray.

Wait. That was just an excessively ridiculous story about me serving as a toddler urine blocker.

Awkward. But ture.

Diversion!

Cute boys at Stone Mountain ahead...I must say, boys can be wild and dirty, but some days, that's just what the doctor ordered.




Friday, August 19, 2011

I heart etsy

I really love giving gifts.

I don't like getting gifts for myself...

...but I do like finding out what gift someone else may be getting me, and then becoming pissed at myself for ruining the surprise. I may have unwrapped hidden x-mas presents with my brother when we were children. And I have an uncanny ability at stumbling upon surprises Eric has planned or purchased.

One of my favorite kinds of gifts to get are new baby gifts. I love composing packages of a variety of different "baby" things. Luckily, I am at the prime procreation time period in a woman's life, so the past 4 years I have had the ability to put together lots of baby-themed gifts.

I usually try to incorporate at least 1 homemade good (chances are--a knit hat or knit elephant...though I am expanding thanks to a new toy knitting book!), a cute book for mom or for baby, a lactation cookie recipe, a gift for a sibling if not a first baby, something from a registry (if it is a first time mom), and something unique. For first time moms, I also include one of my own "essentials" like the nosefrida.

Recently I have been simultaneously working on 4 different baby gift packages, and been scouring etsy for that something "unique." I purchased a few great gifts for the packages, but had to blog about one of the most special gifts I found.

I was looking through a bunch of personalized note cards, and found an Christina William's shop with this listing:


My jaw dropped. Just days before, one of my preggo friends had told me the most touching story about her life/children/pregnancies that centered on a bluebird and a robin. I mean...could finding the above note cards not have been more perfect? So I knew for her "unique" item I was going to buy these personalized cards and have both of her children's names placed on the bottom. I contacted Christina Williams, and told her some of very general details of my friend's very touching story and experiences. She came back and customized the note cards not only with both of my friend's children's names, but also changed the red bird to be a robin!
Hold on...even better...I had also mentioned that I was going to frame one (which my friend could take out and use whenever she wanted to) because I just thought it might look good as a frame-able piece of art. Christina said she would make a print in a larger size for me to frame as a generous extra.

I mean, I haven't even met Christina, but I heart her, follow her blog now, and will be sure to order more from her shop as the need arises! And so cute, she included a thank you note as well as some balloon tags in the shipment.

Head over to her shop--take a gander--and make a purchase. I honestly couldn't be happier with how it all turned out. 

Just another example how etsy, like Google and Amazon, make my life a whole lot better.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

PS

Due to popular demand, I AM getting my husband a new toothbrush. (see previous post if you haven't already.)

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

You can’t make this stuff up…

…unless you have “Pulitzer prize winner” on your resume.

Prologue (you need one of those for a Pulitzer, right?):

This was the kind of morning that I look back on and laugh—even better, in the midst of the ess aitch eye tee (and I use that phonetically provided word figuratively AND literally), I found myself laughing as I knew I was living out a mediocre pilot for a soon to be canceled CBS “dramady.”

And I’ve convinced myself I’ve gone through this so that all you other mothers out there can feel better about yourselves.

You’re welcome.

But do know that even though I play on JV for team Protestant (can I get an shout out for the book of common prayer, Episcopalians?), mornings like these I do have moments where I want a good cleansing confession—it’s tough not always being the mom you intend to be.

Even at 6:15am.

Eric had to leave the house by 6:15am, so I knew it was “single parent morning.” Mind you, on the heels of my “single parent night.” In the AM, I’ve got some strict deadlines I cannot mess with as easily as the nighttime—childcare drop off, that elusive job I hold in the office from 8am-4pm each day, and this particular morning I had some blood work I needed to get done before going into work.

Of all mornings.

Of course, I knew the chances of my children sleeping past the time Eric left was about 70/30. I have resigned myself to the fact that no matter what, my children will get up before 7am. Forever. It’s just who they are…and the good thing is that I can expect it every day, and we make it work to our advantage. But sometimes, wake-ups are dreamingly closer to 7am, and I was just praying with all my soul it would be one of those days…

Come 6:07am, Miles was asking for a blanket to be put back on him—which really means he is up for the day and 5 minutes after you re-cover him and his Tot clock turns green, he is screaming to get up.

And then Felix started crying.

I’m going to be frank with you. In addition to the (anticipated) early risings, I readily admit that the upon waking, my boys act like teenage girls during their periods—super crabby and emotional for no reason. And I can throw that jab around--I was one. We had some spells (read: maybe 10 mornings cumulatively) of the boys getting up and “playing” in their beds/cribs, but for the most part, it is like full on drama. Felix now demands his entire menagerie of stuffed animals be carried along with you to the kitchen, or he throws his weight around in your arms and you get a paddle foot in the gut. Grease that kid up, and I’ve got a state fair game! I *have* to get a picture because it is hilarious—and an utterly impossible feat.

Luckily, I had their breakfasts all set the night before so it was really just a matter of calming the emotional storms enough to shove that first spoonful of oatmeal into their mouths. They respond well to food. See? Totally teenage girls.

So far—this was a predictable trajectory. And in all my multitasking wisdom, I decided to host a breakfast picnic party in my bedroom. Floor oatmeal. Felix already eats scraps off the floor, why not make it official? And without Eric, this might give me a fighting chance of applying symmetrical make up and blow drying my hair.

I set up some beach towels, undressed them (who wants to bother with bibs?), set out their breakfasts, plopped 'em down, and let the grain inhalation commence. The towels, covered in missed oatmeal bites, were easy to clean up, and I gave both boys wash cloth wipe downs.

Captain cocky over here thought it a good idea to throw another party after the successful picnic—a potty party—in our bedroom. (Insert my husband, if he ever reads my blog, cringing.)

People, this is what we call “tactical toddler containment”.

Felix pooped, which Miles announced with a “it SMELLS in here! Felix pooped. He’s teaching me how to poop.” Miles peed, and I thought we were good to go.

Potties were disinfected and returned to the kids’ bathroom, Miles donned underwear, Felix was wrangled into a diaper, it was 6:45, and we were on schedule for a 7:30 departure.

Ali: 2

Morning tragedy: 0

Miles headed out to the family room to play with his trains while I continued drying my hair. Felix was shuttling all of our house’s stuffed animals into piles and body slamming them.

From my upside down hair blowing I saw the 2nd half of a naked boy who screamed into my hair:

“DIAPER!”

Shoot. It’s off.

I flipped my head over and I had a stare down with my 1 1/2 year old--it was like that moment you are in shock, fear, confusion, and just freeze. If only I could have videotaped it: it was like a Western gun draw—him with his penis, me with the hair dryer.

He looked down at his weaponry, and I knew I was gonna be in the loser's circle. I’ve caught his pee before thrusting an easily available portable potty under his cresting stream, but both potties were in the other bathroom drying from my earlier cleaning. I had nothing to catch the pee but my hand. I quickly acted as a human jock strap, but let’s be honest—skin isn’t really absorptive, and my palm holds about 3 drops of liquid.

It was just an instinct. You know, like when a hero throws herself in front of someone else to take a bullet, or leap onto tracks to save a child from an oncoming train.

Yeah, I’m calling myself a hero.

So now what? I had a saturated hand, a non-commissioned urine Jackson Pollack on my rug, and a naked toddler running around the house. As I was washing my hands and about to spray our rug with Bac-Out, I heard Miles SCREAMING for me:

“Mom! I need help! I pooped in my underwear!”

Really?

I quickly sprayed the rug, slapped another diaper on Felix, and headed over to Miles who was planted in his room, assuming the downward dog position.

Problem here—we taught him downward dog for AFTER we remove any poopy underwear or pull-up so we can wipe him, but he was already in position and NOT moving. I told him to stand up, but he refused. He kept freaking out that the poop was getting on his leg. No matter how much I told him that it would get on his leg more if he didn’t stand up, the farther apart he spread his legs—stretching the undies so the leg holes were tighter and tighter and almost impossible to pull down. I had to pry one leg up at a time, distributing the contents all over. I shoved wipes on the sides to avoid the dreaded plop on the rug. Even worse than getting poop on his leg, poop was shoved into my nails and covered an area where I think I have an infected hang nail. Just this past month I was paying homage to my “X” chromosome and grew out my nails. So this was a full on manure-acure on my right 3 fingers. And don’t let me fail to mention that we also had a cheerleader to my left pointing out and screaming “pee nee, pee nee!” throughout the ordeal. After I managed to get the undies off, I rushed to the toilet, dropped them into the toilet bowl, and ran back to wipe down Miles.
(And you ask—you really did cloth diapers at one point? You sound like you’ve never dealt with poop! I dunno—there is something about older toddler poop that makes it harder to manage. I think it has more parts per million of E.coli or something. And after 2, I think it just smells worse.)

As I was wiping Miles down, I realized my cheerleader had disappeared. And it was quiet. That is never a good sign.

I ran back into the bathroom, and Felix was stirring the poopy undie filled toilet water with Eric’s toothbrush. (Insert my husband, if he ever reads this blog, throwing up in his mouth a little.)

And his diaper was back off.

PLEASE tell me you are laughing right now. Because this is the point I actually started laughing out loud. And so did Felix. Kid’s got a sense of humor at 1 ½.

(Not sure why, but upon seeing Felix, I had the vision of Charlie Bucket from Willy Wonka stirring that pot of hot laundry. Anyone??)

I washed my hands and nails, put the toothbrush in the dishwasher, and got out some new dish washing gloves. I converted them into industrial hazmat equipment by writing “POOP” on each arm. I rinsed out the soiled underwear, doused it in Bac-Out, and ran it to the laundry. I dug around to see if we actually still had bleach in our house, knowing that this time, I really wanted a more caustic solution than baking soda and vinegar. I used a diluted bleach bath to dunk the gloves in. They are now holding residence above my toilet in the bathroom for future poop/underwear incidents.

I somehow got the boys dressed and was putting their lunches into their backpacks when I called for them to go find their shoes. Miles was ignoring me while playing with his trains, and Felix was, again, nowhere to be found. When I did find him, he had gotten into my stash of feminine “sticks” as he called them, and had strewn them all around the floor—except for the ones he was testing as chew toys.

NOW are you laughing? (At least not calling DCFS…)

Even better, among the strewn “sticks” was massive amounts of hair on the floor. (Insert my husband, if he ever reads this blog, flushing with embarrassment.) Two days before Eric had shaved his beard--see, he captures his facial hair in a towel that gets dumped into our compost pile. But sometimes (read: all the time), he leaves a waded up towel by our laundry or the back door until he gets time to put it outside. I.do.not.touch.it. It’s like the you break it, you buy it rule. You shave it, you compost it. Beard hair on the face isn’t my favorite, but once it leaves the body, it grosses me out even more. Somehow, the towel had been moved (I dare say that I think before my mom left, she moved it into the laundry bin when she kindly did a last load before she left, and the hair fell out on the ground.) Well, the little unnoticed pile was now very noticeable and EVERYWHERE. I had just enough time to put the 8,000 tampons back in their bag, and for now, I have a hair floor in the bathroom. First poop soup in the toilet, and now a hair floor.

I told you—you can’t make this stuff up.

Miles was still playing in the room with the trains ignoring the oven timer beeping indicating train time was over. I was just about at the end of my patience. I dug through my old, dusty, library of mental clippings from the 8,011 parenting books I read over the past 3 years, and selectively tried to implement some “love and logic”. Unfortunately, I think it was flawed. I had just dealt with a human jock strap, poop soup, and a tampon adorned hair floor—you can’t expect much from me. I said,

“Miles, if you don’t respect your mother and your toys and go get your shoes on, I am giving your trains away to a boy who listens to his mom.”

(Feeling better about yourselves, moms? Yup. I said that.)

Instead of freaking out, Miles asks:

“Who is he? What is his name?”

Really? That’s not the response I wanted—you need to fuss and moan and then reluctantly go put your shoes on for fear of losing your toys. I mean, you pooped in your underwear and gave me probable MRSA in my hand, and that’s your response?

So I lie:

“His name is Zack.”

“Mommy, where does he live?”

Again, not the response I was hoping for.

“He lives down the street.”

We go on with this line of questioning about the fictional boy who is the recipient of his toys for a few minutes before I just pick the kid up, and bring him to the front door—kicking and screaming.

Somehow, both boys got shoes on, got to school, and I barely made my 8:45am doctor’s appointment.

Ah, parenthood…and I still grapple with the idea of having another.

Epilogue:

Whenever I have one of those mornings and am away from the situation for no more than an hour or so, I always feel like telling anyone who will listen—you have NO idea what I just went through. I walked into the OB office and one nurse was commenting to the receptionist that her son was complaining already about getting up to go to school. I wanted to say—I have a story for you—oh, and can I take an extra cleansing pack from the restroom? I think I have MRSA on my hand.

As I sat in the lab area waiting to get blood drawn, I noted I had oatmeal caked on my leggings in between my thighs—and I had 1 earring in. I guess my parties weren’t as successful as I had hoped. And then the person taking my blood, who must have been a new student or something, kept missing what I think to be pretty awesome veins. After she jabbed me on both arms multiple times, she had to call in reinforcements. While waiting, she asked me how far along I thought I might be. I said negative 8 weeks. Ouch. We just sat there in awkward silence-me wondering why she was wearing Tinkerbell scrubs in an OB office. Pediatrics, I understand, but infantile attire wasn’t working for me—maybe for happily pregnant women it makes sense, but for those of us currently unhappily becoming “un” pregnant, it wasn’t helping. (Don’t they have scrubs with cartoon ovaries or images of speculums or something?) After finally getting a successful draw, I got up to leave, and Tinkerbell said, “I think you have something on your tights.”

Lady, you have no idea.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Twofor

Stop biting your nails...the wait is over. A potty update!

No news is good news, right?

Let me just say--he's doing G-R-E-AT! (with a little encouragement from Big Bear)


Huh?? Felix?

Hold your pee, folks (sorry, too easy)--nope--that ain't Mil-o-so-vich. But the truth is, my 1 1/2 year old is kicking tush and taking names with the potty bid-ness. We plop him down for all of our "potty parties" with Miles and 99% of the time, he pees AND poops. Today, in fact, he pooped 3 times during the day!

I mean, if I could get a "twofor" out of this rigmarole, I might start playing the lottery regularly.

Now, I will not say that we are NOT attempting to formally potty train a 1 1/2 year old as he really doesn't get the whole system, Instead, I call this strategic diaper recovery. Still--Felix has started repeatedly asking to use the potty throughout the day. We also recognized that he asks for the potty a lot after he has actually wet his diaper. Readiness? Nah--not enough to formally do anything outside of synchronized potty sitting with his big bro. My hope is that in a year or so when we formally start his training, we'll have primed the pump so that we aren't dealing with the issues we have with Miles.

Y'all, I love Miles so dearly...but there is not one other part of parenting I LOATHE so much as potty training. I imagine teaching him how to drive may elicit similar emotions. I guess I should have expected this from a kid who although came almost 7 weeks early, took 11 months to crawl and 15 to walk. My mom was like, "give him a break--he was premature." Not sure that logic holds weight anymore, but I can see it now...

"Miles, it's okay you haven't had your first kiss yet. Remember...you were premature." 

Convincing?

So the current strategy is: exploit his innate follower tendencies. And who better to follow than his peeing and pooping younger brother?  

Competitive potty sitting is working so-so. Miles  does pee after we throw the imaginary confetti and dance around at Felix's numerous potty successes...but it's usually on order of an ounce. I was worried about control, but from the looks of it, he has too much control.

The other night, Miles peed 6 separate times in the span of 3 minutes.

"I peed!"

Party commences. Mini M&M is ingested. And he goes back on the potty. 10 seconds later...

"I peed!"

Party commences. Mini M&M is ingested. And he goes back on the potty. 10 seconds later...

You get the drill. No, the wool hasn't been pulled over my eyes. I know he's abusing the system in the name of chocolate. And yes. We have mini M&Ms

And let's not start on the poop part. We are just not there. But we'll get there. He's 3 1/5 around Christmas, so I'm hoping for a Christmas miracle.

Look! More blackmail below!

And in case you doubt Miles's interest in "let Felix do it first and I'll follow mentality," we had a potty party a little before bath time the other night. Eric was putting together our new grill, so I put Felix in underwear as well as Miles because it would only be about 20 minutes until bath--ya know--diaper saving tactic. Felix had just peed, so I figured we were safe to go outside in just their undies.

Well, outside, Felix was becoming one with nature and I noticed he had peed through the underwear (should I get this kid tested for diabetes? He pees A LOT!)...I said,

"Oh no! Felix peed in his underwear!"

And...then...Miles looked at me--stone cold face--and I knew what was coming---

"I'm peeing in my underwear like Felix!"

Are you kidding me??

So here we are. And yes, in the picture above the potty area looks remarkably like Miles's room. We have some fear of the bathroom (and I think the flushing), so we are taking it baby steps.

The real challenge is going back to school. Miles does not wear pull-ups unless it is for naptime or bedtime. And if you ask him to wear them during alternative times (like going to the library so he doesn't christen their rug again, he says no). In terms of using pull-ups at all, he saturates himself during sleep. I'm not in the business right now of trying to train him at night...and let me just interrupt myself and give a shout out to NatureBaby Care pull ups--we ran out and in a pinch had to get some generic brand at Walmart and they are a-w-f-u-l!, but Miles will not even step foot in the bathroom at school. He asks me if it is "loud" and I know he is scared of it. They also use a little mini toilet, which I know will take a long time for him to feel comfortable sitting on. We are just a long way from getting him to pee in public--at least if it is outside of sitting on a portable potty chair in the backseat of my car, which we do a lot.

But we'll get there. He did eventually sleep through the night. He did eventually crawl. He did eventually walk. He did eventually talk...and he will eventually master the potty--even if it is after his brother.

Shot in the dark, but if there are any blog stalkers out there who have trained a resistant boy--PLEASE comment or e-mail me. Or any one of you more fortunate readers (I know who you are) who cannot relate because the potty thing has come a little easier, maybe you can ask around your own friend circles for anyone who might help? Looking for some suggestions, validation, commiserations. (Do I sound too desperate, yet?)

-What do you do with a boy who is afraid of a public toilet? How about just a regular adult toilet?
-Anyone else have a child who only pees in tablespoons? Not sure how to get him to figure out how to release the entire bladder in one sitting.
-How do you deal with transitioning from systems at home into systems at school?
-Tell me that by age 4 I'll be looking back on this time and laughing...please?

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Softie

Do any of you moms find yourself "softening" as the months go by with your toddlers? And I don't mean in the corporeal sense--but in the "I'll give in this one time and let you watch cartoons while I am getting ready for work. Okay, so I know I let you watch cartoons yesterday, but only going to let you do this one more time." No wonder my kids have a problem with the concept of "one more time."

As I've alluded to, this summer I have not been on my Mommy "A" game. I've had a few of those out of (or is it outer? I never know...) body experiences, looking at myself as a Mom and thinking, "Guuurl! You are totally that Mom you used to judge. Get it together; stick to your guns; enforce house rules--you have southern gentleman to raise!" Really, I just want them to have manners, get good grades, contribute something to society for the better, and not get picked on. If they could say "y'all" and use "sir" and "ma'am", that might be kinda cute, too. I'm a Yankee--I have a hard time implementing southern charm.

I don't want to say I'm getting lazy, although I really need to figure out how to move my legs faster than a 4.0 speed for more than 10 minutes, but I am constantly dealing with "conflicting priorities" as they call them at my work, and look for easy solutions to problems.

Somehow, my kids really spend more time naked or in underwear than in matching clothing (less laundry, right?).

Somehow, we've had pizza about once a week for the entire summer. And it has NOT been homemade.

Somehow, my kids say "excuse me table" with half of their dinner still needing maceration, but they are allowed to get down and play so that the adults have a fighting chance of eating without chaos.

Somehow, Felix is getting the majority of his daily intake from food scraps on the floor (so I just attempt to drop a whole selection from the food pyramid.) I mean--what happened to the woman who wouldn't even let Miles hold plastic for fear it would leach into his skin and cause an endocrine tidal wave?

Somehow, a "fairy" put some Trader Joe's organic lollipops in my purse! Blasphemy! Organic makes it better, right? (But wouldn't you know it, I am ready and willing to pull those out as bribery when in I have two boys melting at my feet. Luckily, I've only pulled them out once.)

Somehow, bedtime routines have gone from 3 books, 3 songs, throw 'em into bed for the night, into a looooooooong drawn out process of me making up stories about Clancy, the purple engine. (And talk about out of body experiences--I usually tell my "Tall Train Tales" while lying next to Miles. One night I was in that state where you are not sure if you are awake or asleep, and kept thinking...who is that talking??? I realized, it was me--telling some asinine story about penguins using cookie sheets as sleds, borrowed from Mrs Jones's bakery, to get to Clancy before the 10am train departure in from left Antarctica to go to right Antarctica--not even east/west, but "right/left." And wouldn't you know it--Miles asks for that story every night--even to Mahna and Eric, who unfortunately don't know the ins and outs of my delusional brain.). Don't get me started on Felix...wait, I actually started that previously on my logistic regression post. But it's gotten more involved, and trying to hold a stuffed animal the size of my toddler, another dog stuffed animal AND a Tilty cup of water while singing a French lullaby is getting O-L-D.

Somehow, the potty lands itself in all sorts of landscapes, EXCEPT the actual bathroom.

Somehow we found ourselves rewarding potty parties with cut up Swedish fish and mini M&Ms and are only now going through the 12-step recovery process after withdrawal/desensitization and are moving back to stickers.

Somehow, I envision myself turning the keys over to my boys, and adopting a free range kid home.

Somehow, it seems during the summer, rules take on more flexibility, and my children exploit that at every possible turn.

But somehow...things will tighten back up once school starts.

In the midst of feeling a little guilty that I am getting "lax" with rules, I decided to use it as an opportunity to do something I would never have done a few weeks prior--and with Eric gone for the weekend attending a wedding (that I couldn't go to due to work), I had even more extrinsic encouragement:

MOVIE NIGHT!

If I am going to go down, I might as well do it with guns blazin', chocolate milk, popcorn, and RedBox.

It was like a sleepover--but without other friends--and massages (tell me you used to do that, too--please?)--and sleeping bags.

Mahna and I told the boys that we would take a bath early, get all cleaned up, and then make something called chocolate milk, eat popcorn, and watch a DVD. Earlier in the day, we used a coupon code for RedBox and got a free rental for a 1 hour Dr Seuss DVD.

After baths we sat at the table, I dug out chocolate syrup that was purchased circa 2008 I'm sure...and explained how to transform their milk into a dessert:




Here Miles is with Mahna...cup #2. I told you, I'm losing all control...





Movie time!! Make sure to keep the chocolate goatee, of course.



POPCORN! (Thank you Trader Joe's--organic olive oil popcorn is the BEST!)


I didn't know Dr Suess could be that engaging...

And in the end, they both ended up on the floor, dancing, and body slamming "Big Bear."

It was a success! And isn't childhood about having fun? Doing new things? And getting spoiled when your grandparents living with you for the summer????

I cannot say that once I become more Military Mom once school starts that we won't do things like movie night from time to time given the fun and success this time...but next time, I'm demanding a massage.



Tuesday, August 9, 2011

"Bye Bye Gorillas"

Better late than never...just one or two shots from a recent trip to the Zoo when my oldest brother, Seth, was in town. (Right after my other brother, Nicholas, was in town. After they left, Miles aptly asked, "is another uncle coming to visit?")

Highlights? Felix keeping the entire Zoo in stitches as he screamed (on repeat) "BYE BYE GORILLAS!" to every inanimate animal statue. Oh, and the *cuh-reepy* ring tailed lemur who was perched at the top of the cage, which happened to be at our eye level, scouting out his compadres below...who was also apparently starring in his own x-rated fur flick. Leave it to Felix who said, "STICK!" (Aren't we a good 10 years away from forcing Eric to have these discussions?)

And I threw in a picture of a rhino because I realize that from the looks of it, we didn't actually see live animals.






Sunday, August 7, 2011

Winner Winner Chicken Dinner!!

Winner time!

I used my uber sophisticated Excel "=INDEX($A:$A,RANDBETWEEN(1,COUNTA($A:$A)),1)" function after typing all 8 million of you (exaggeration) into my spreadsheet, and the Excel gods have spoken:

PYJAMMY PAM WINS!! 


Duh. Of course she wins. She's like my long lost sister from another miss-ter. And I would just like to mention she has the cutest identical triplets who have THE BEST names, ahem. :) Perfect--3 CDs for 3 3-year-old boys.

CONGRATS! I'll reach out to you so I can track down your snail mail and send off all 3 CDs for you.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Embrace the Camera: Mama Bird



We nestled in the monster bird nest at the zoo to see if I could finally get a picture with me and "tender foot" and "wild dog." Success? Eh, not quite, (can we photoshop my skeletor post-nursing chest?), but I'll take it!
Don't forget about the re-donk-u-lous giveaway linked here!
your turn!

here's the nitty gritty (taken from the original source):
1.  take a picture with you and your kids/spouse/family member/friend/whatever.
2.  blog about that picture and include a link to this blog
3.  link your blog post up on the link tool below at her blog.
4.  visit the other embracers...give each other lots of compliments about how good we look with our greasy hair and sweatpants velour jogging suits on.  cause yah, we need a little boost when it's been days since our last shower.
5.  have fun!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Sour Puss

Don't forget to get your "giveaway on!" (linked)

Y'all have probably had your fill of sour puss faces from the years of America's Funniest Home Videos, but there is nothing funnier than watching your own child inflict harm on his own taste buds (culinary sadism?)

video