Thursday, December 30, 2010

A Christmas Surprise!

This year, without any kind of planning, The Hubs and I wound up giving our parents exactly what they wanted.

A New Baby!!
Of course, I had some cute, elaborate way to tell them we were pregnant. I wrapped the sonogram in a picture frame and wrote on it, "The Newest Baby: Coming August 2011".

To which The Hubs' and my parents both said "Oh, that's nice. An old sonogram picture of Bjorn. Cute."

Me: "Noooooo. That's not Bjorn."

Them: "Then who is it?" Pause. Face changes. "Ooooooooooooooh."

Me: "That's right. Bjorn is going to be a big brother!"

My mom: "Omigosh, it's a boy?!"

Gotta love surprises. They throw everyone off a little bit!!

So far, we've named this kidlet 'Peanut'. Which then makes me want to change all the names in the blog to ones like Lucy, Linus and Snoopy. And it makes me a little hungry.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Keeping up with the Jones. . . whoever they are

We all know how much I hate Heidi of the What to Expect When Everything You Do Could Hurt Your Unborn Child books, but when my little boy hit the stage of Terror that is an Almost Two, I ran crying "Help me! Help me!" all the way to the bookstore.

Well, actually, to my computer. Because it turns out that my health care plan provides me with free copies of What To Expect when Expecting, the First Year and the Toddler Years. Our health care tax dollars at work. (And how can I get my soon-to-be-written book sent out free with a health care plan? What an advertising ploy that would be!!)

So I ordered those dang books and spent many a night skimming questions like "I think my son is ADHD and my wife thinks he is just a normal toddler. Who is right?" (Seriously - this was in there!!!) Followed by ten pages of how to tell if your child could have ADHD.

Although most of the information seems useless to me ("I thought toddlers were supposed to be active, but mine just sits and plays. Is something wrong with him?" No, lady, you just have a quiet kid. Take advantage of it and TAKE A NAP!), I still skim to make sure I'm covering all the bases in discipline and sleeping and healthy eating habits. By far the most interesting tidbit so far is this:

At Nineteen Months your child will probably be able to use 6 words.
At Twenty Months your child may possibly be able to use 50+ words.

Wow. That's a BIIIIIIG difference in wordage. From 6 to 50 words in ONE MONTH.

Still not sure that my almost 19 month old kid is the over-achiever his grandparents and parents think he is, I put the kid on the spot, and while he understands alot more words, these are the words he can actually use (in the proper context), whether in toddler speak or adult speak.

Aga (Hansa)
Fooball (Football)
Nani (blanket)
Nana (banana)
Ide (outside)
Vroom Vroom (car)
Cuk (He clicks his mouth together. It means Snack)
Wee Wee (TV)
Nigh Nigh (Night Night)
Papee (Pasta)
Ish (Fish)
Bop (Hop)
Bee (Bird)
Bie (Bite)
No-nose (nose)

So that's 32 words he says and about twenty dozen more he understands. He follows directions very well - throwing away trash, getting a diaper, climbing into his car seat. I guess he is the Super Genius we all think he is!

Thursday, December 16, 2010


I never thought it would happen, but my kid has turned into a Blanket Kid.

Or, as he calls them, a "Nani" Kid.

He has to have his Nani's with him everywhere. In the car. On the couch. While he's eating.

We have set limits - no blankets brought into daycare, no blankets in restaurants.

And I won't let him drag the blanket around in public either. Not because I'm afraid of germs. Pssshaw. The kid eats dirt. I don't worry much about germs. No, I won't let him because I know he has the attention span of an 18 month old and, as much as he loves that blanket, he's going to see a bird or a dog or a baby and drop it like it's hot. And then we're in real trouble if I can't find it.

I found that out the hard way tonight.

See, his two favorite blankets were D-I-R-T-Y. Oh, horribly dirty. So I did what any normal person would do and threw the blankets in the washer.

An hour before bedtime. 

And I know those are his favorite blankets, but, I mean, c'mon, the kid has like 50 blankets, he can just use another two for bedtime tonight, right?!

Wrong. Oops.

At 7:15, he started searching the house for his Nani's. Even showing him the stack of thirty other blankets in the living room, and the drawer of a million and a half in his room didn't deter him. He searched everywhere (his room, our room, under the couch) for those two special blankets.

He tried to go to bed once, but when we got to the doorway of his room, he started sobbing "Nani nani nani nani" and wouldn't take any other blankets and didn't want to go into his crib.

It was the world's longest wash cycle. But finally it was done, I threw these two blankets into the dryer and five minutes later they were dry.

I handed them to the kid, he hugged them, smiled and walked right into his room, up to his crib and said "Nigh nigh." 

The kid knows what he wants. And what he wants are those blankets. Guess I've learned my lesson.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

An Arizona Christmas

As you may have noticed, I am not in the Christmas spirit lately. But I'm trying, so I hauled out the decor and waded through the millions of old cards. (Seriously, who needs to save those things?! Toss 'em!!)

But amidst the madness, I came across the Christmas card The Hubs and I sent in 2007, our first year in Arizona. I had composed my own Christmas poem - a 'Twas the Night Before Christmas, AZ style. enjoy!

An Arizona Christmas

'Twas the night before Christmas, and the weather's just great.
It still hasn't dropped below sixty-eight.
The stockings were hung on the cactus with care
In hopes that St. Nicholas knows we moved there.
We lounge in our swimsuits, just to keep cool
And lay outside to sun at the pool.

When just out front there arose such a howl
I jumped from my lawn chair to see what was afoul
Pushed up the window and turned off the fan
(For I try not to waste AC when I can).

I put on sunglasses and what did I see?
But a miniature sleigh pulled by eight coyote.
With a little old driver, so tan and so fit
I knew in a moment, it must be St. Nick!

As eager as horses, his coyotes pawed
The ground at their feet, as St. nick then called,
"To Tombstone, to Tempe, and to the Grand Canyon.
To Sedona, To Crown King and then up to Payson.
To the top of South Mountain, all the way to Prescott.
It's hot, but we're going and we just won't stop!"

With a tornado of dust and a slight flash of sun
The coyotes leapt to have them some fun.
For then, in an instant, I heard in the pool
The sound of eight coyotes there keeping cool.

I looked over my shades to see it and laugh
When St Nick too jumped in with one great big splash!
He was dressed in large swim trunks, Hawaiian they looked.
So tan was he that he seemed almost cooked.
His eyes - how they twinkled, his dimples - how merry!
His skin was like leather, his sunburn red cherry.

I smiled when I saw him, for he had found the right place
To put some of that color back into his face.
Then with a belly flop off of the side
He must have decided that it was now time.
And he smiled so sweetly and climbed out still dripping
To drink some Corona that I had been sipping.

He filled up our stockings, he finished our beer
And said that he had to "Git on out of here".
He still had some gifts for some good girls and boys
A few water guns and a slide as some toys.

So the coyotes they shook water from their backs
And climbed back in front of the sleigh with some packs
Of toys and good tidings and fun little things
That throughout this season they always would bring.

The sun was quite blinding, so I couldn't see
Just how they flew with those eight coyote.
But I heard him exclaim as he left with some kicks
"Happy Christmas to all, and to all of Phoenix!"

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

A Poop-y Day

My day started out with a Terror of an Almost Two.

He didn't want to be held. Didn't want to walk on his own. Didn't want to play or sleep or sit. He wasn't hungry. Or thirsty.

He just wanted to whine and throw temper tantrums.

The kind where he throws himself on the floor and when I try to pick him up, he goes completely limp. And we all know it's impossible to pick up wet spaghetti.

When I finally do get him up, he goes from limp to stiff as a board, straightening out, arched back, pointed feet and all, to make it impossible for me to hold him close and contain him.

When this happens in our house, fine. I try to ignore temper tantrums. Not so easy to ignore when this happens as we are walking through a parking lot and I need to get him out of the street because there is a car waiting to park and Bjorn has collapsed on the ground, screaming and limp limbed.

Oh what a fun day.

After a desperate text to my fellow Terror of an Almost Two Mom (OMG this kid is driving me bonkers) I took a 10 minute breather. I kept an eye on Bjorn, to watch for safety and health hazards he could create, but I made myself deaf and immune to whining and prodding. 

After my much needed Mommy break it was now 4:30 and while we usually don't eat until 6:30 or later, I needed a break this evening too, so if we ate now. . . . well, I could probably convince Bjorn about 7 that it was bed time. Conniving Mommy, yes. Smart Mommy desperately in need of some quiet, very.

I made his favorite dinner. Spaghetti, meatballs, carrots, peas and lots and lots of sauce. Usually I scrimp on the sauce because I don't like the humongous mess to clean up. Today, that mess would lead to a nice, long, warm bath. All part of the plan, my pretty.

Dinner was as expected. Mess, messy and messier. Then bath time, where I sat on the toilet, flipping through an old Life & Style while Bjorn splashed and blew bubbles.

I heard the bubbles and looked over to see him pushing. Yeah, those bubbles I heard were coming from his butt.

Well, I thought, at least it's just farts and he didn't poop in the water.

Or so I thought.

That ain't no Baby Ruth in the water, people.
You might think after my day with The Terror (the baby formerly known as Bjorn) I would have been frustrated and annoyed at having to pick up a huge piece of poop from the tub (how the hell do I get this our of the tub?), drain the water, clean all his bath toys (including his toothbrush, yech) and start the whole bath thing all over again.

But this big ol' piece of poop made my day. I have never laughed so hard in my entire laugh and as I write this I keep breaking down in giggles. I'm like a seven year old boy telling poop jokes.

See, this bath time poop reminded me that while he may whine and throw tantrums and be genuinely a Terror, he is only a baby. A baby who poops the worlds biggest poop in his bath tub and just laughs and continues splashing. It is my job to teach him how to handle situations in life and I have decided that from hereafter, we handle situations with humor and laughter.

Lesson of the day, Dear Bjorn. When life hands you poop, turn it into a blog post for friends. (Or spaceship fuel. Whatever works for you.)

Hi. My Name is Scrooge and I am Christmased out. Already.

Oh, friends, I am Bah-Humbugging big time.

I can't figure out why. This year the weather in Phoenix has actually reached almost-record lows, hovering in the 20's and 30's overnight, so I should be feeling more Christmas-y than last year's no-need-for-a-coat December.

But I'm not.

I don't want to take Bjorn to sit on Santa's lap. Why wait in a three hour line so I can get a $20 picture of my kid screaming as he sits on some fat guy's lap when he doesn't even know who Santa is yet? I'll have plenty of years ahead where I smile patiently and wait so he can desperately ask Santa for his red rider BB gun, but for now, I opt out of the whole deal.

I pushed and prodded and cajoled until I got the Hubs to take a Christmas card picture even though we decided not to take pictures this year, but I got free cards from Shutterfly so we have to because it's free. . . . . and then decided that the picture was not the right picture and we have to do it all over again. But I haven't told him yet. Not looking forward to that, either.

I blame retailers for selling Christmas ornaments before Halloween, completely skipping a whole fun month of food, festivity and holidays.

Could I be Christmased out before the season even begins?

Yesterday I grudgingly began holiday decorating. Every other item I took from our 7 boxes of decorations made me cringe. Did I really think that puffy paint personalized stockings would stand the test of time? And sparkles? Wow. I immediately started a box to donate.

And today? I'm going to brave the stores with a kid who has just gotten over being sick since Sunday. A kid who wants to run and play after sleeping and whining away the last four days. But I need something (red and purple ornaments, fruitcake, the dreaded tinsel, anything) to make it begin to look alot like Christmas.

Maybe Santa can bring me some Christmas spirit this year. Otherwise, thy name is Scrooge.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

World's Pickiest Eater

I am the world's pickiest eater.

Ask anyone, they'll tell you it is true.

My parents will recall the tale of one fine Lenten Friday where I spent over SIX hours sitting at the kitchen table because I refused to eat one stinkin' fish stick. I still refuse to eat them.

My husband can tell countless stories of the lip-smacking cuisine he has poured his heart into (bacon and jalapeno wrapped quail, homemade Texas chili, pork chops) that I won't touch. Many a night he has eaten a Filet Mignon and I dine on grilled cheese and veggies. Amazingly, we are both happy with our dinners.

There is no method to my eating madness, either. I used to tell people I was a vegetarian. It soothed alot of egos at dinner parties when I wouldn't eat the main course, but it's not true. I love bacon and I eat homemade tacos and bratwurst.

But that's about it. I will not touch chicken or any other kind of poultry. (Really, won't touch it. The Hubs has to cook that stuff. Yuch.) I hate fish - except I love sushi and have just begun eating tuna rolls and California rolls. I don't think I will ever be ready for sashimi.

I won't touch steak. (And, yes, I am from Texas. I know. I think that's why they kicked me out of the state.) I hate pork chops. I refuse to eat hamburgers or other "meat" products at fast food places unless I am wasting-away-to-nothing-can-you-still-see-me-when-I-turn-sideways starving. The list really could go on and on.

So I guess I have no reason to complain because my kiddo won't eat his turkey, ham and cheese sandwich unless it's grilled. At least he eats it.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

If you don't like celebrity gossip, you should pass on this. . .

If this morning you missed TMZ, Extra or every morning news program known to man, I have some exciting news for you.

Kate Middleton and Prince William are engaged.

Oh, ahem, excuse me. . . Katherine Middleton.

Yes, the Katherine Middleton the British press pegged 'Waity Katie' because after eight years of dating, The Prince still had not proposed.

God Forbid a girl be all of 28 years old and not be married! A spinster!

She has incredible poise and maturity, much more than I ever have (had, or will probably ever have). And I admire that about her.

Because I once was her.

No, silly. I wasn't British. I didn't wear darling hats slightly cockeyed, but looking just right. (Seriously, who can look that cute in a hat besides Katherine Middleton?!) And I never, ever dated a Prince. (Unlike, if you can believe it, a Real Housewife.)

But I did wait for what seemed like forever for the guy I loved to ask me to marry him.

So, this girl from Texas has something in common with that girl from Britain. Or as we say it in my neck of the woods, I smell what she's stepping in. I'm picking up what she's putting down. I git her.
The Hubs and I met when I was 19 and he was 22. His fifth - and last- year of college and my second.

If he had asked me to marry him that first year, I would have said yes.

But he didn't ask that first year. Not when he graduated. Not when he got his first big-boy job. Not when he stayed in Lubbock, because he didn't want to move away from me. And not when he bought me a jewelry box for Christmas and whispered, "There's something special inside" only to hand me a pair of earrings. (Beautiful earrings, yes, but did he really not get it!?)

But I was ready. I had found the guy I wanted to marry, so what was the big deal? Why couldn't I finish college and he start working while we were married? Why wait!?

Because he wanted to wait. He wanted to become established in his job and have money and his own place, rather than one he shared with three other guys and. . . . .blah blah blah.

We had our ups and downs, complete with the requisite few month break-up. (Just like Kate and William!) Then I graduated college and decided to go to grad school and he moved across the state. A year later, I quit grad school, found a big-girl job and moved across the state with him. He quit his job that moved him across the state in the first place and found another, better job.

And I waited.

Waited as we were in the same place, then different places, then the same again and still. . .nothing happened. And I got asked the same questions. From my friends to my friends parents to co-workers. "No ring, yet?!" after my birthday/Valentines/Groundhogs day. "What is he waiting for? Do you think he's ever going to propose?"

People asked me why I was still with him. "You're ready to get married, right? So why are you waiting for him? Why don't you find someone else who is ready to get married, too?!"

Because that's not how this works, people.

See, I love this guy and I want to marry him. That is for the rest of my life. So if I have to wait a few years (ok, six) for him to be in the same place as me, I'll wait. Because waiting a few measly years for the right person is a million times better than rushing into anything with the wrong.

So, I feel ya, Katherine, future Queen of England. I know why you patiently smiled and accompanied him to wedding after wedding for all your friends. Not because you are passive, silly or a doormat. Because you are strong, confident, and know what you want.

No longer Waity Katie. Now you're Matey Katie.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Jingle Bells, Batman Smells. . . . .

I'm not allowed (by strict rule of The Hubs) to bring out any Christmas lights, trees or decor until the day after Thanksgiving.

Not even the hand-painted blocks that count down the days to Christmas, held by a teddy bear in a tacky Christmas sweater.

The boughs of holly and wreaths of ribbons and pinecones must stay wrapped in their boxes in the back of the garage cabinets, stuffed behind all the crap stuff we have bought since last Christmas. (Except for the mistletoe, which I never took down and The Hubs stopped noticing about May!)

I would decorate now if he let me, and turn a harvest-y, fall Thanksgiving into a red and green feast.

He asks for so little (ha!) so the least I can do is hold off on unloading fourteen mega boxes of lights and glass ornaments until he is ready for the madness.

But there are no rules as to how early my blog can start Christmas. . . and it looks like the holiday season is a-fast approaching.

We are two weeks from Thanksgiving, and two weeks and one day from Black Friday. In other words, I-Have-to-be-First-to-Get-my-Christmas-Cards-Mailed Day. The darkest day of the holiday season.

Last year I was a mom of a 6 month old and blamed him for not getting cards mailed until (gasp!) December 10th.

This year, I am determined to do better.

This year, I have help (yay!!) in shutterfly.

Even though I have boxes upon boxes of holiday cards stored from post-Christmas sales of years past, I can't resist the shiny glitter of a new, perfect photo Christmas card. Like this:

Which only shows me that if I am going to send out photo cards from Shutterfly this year, I am going to have to start taking some better pictures.

Yes, Shutterfly is giving me 50 free holiday cards to write this blog. But that doesn't mean it's not all true - I have used shutterfly for years and I love their products. Want to get your own free holiday cards? Check it out!!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Better Late Than Never

Oh, friends, it is my pleasure today to receive the Worst Mommy of the Year award.

Not for forgetting my camera and not being able to take Halloween pictures.

Not for bugging my friend to take pictures and then bugging her again and again and again and again to send me the pictures so I could post them on my blog.

Not even for having Halloween pictures posted about a week after every other Mommy Blogger.

No, not because of that.

But because I made my kid dress as an Oompa Loompa for Halloween. (And then dress up myself as Veruca Salt.)

Could this be considered child abuse?!

And, just for shits and giggles, last year's Chewbacca.

Yes, we do have the most awesomest Halloween costumes ever!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Another Potty Post

There are many things I thought I would do as a Mama. Clean up poop. Wipe up snot. Cry. Laugh. Not sleep.

But I never thought I would be posting a picture of my toilet on my blog.

Why, yes, that is my toilet. Why did I post a picture of this? Because sometimes as parents we get excited about the littlest things and sometimes those little things are toilets.

Because you see the lid of the toilet? Weird-looking, huh?!

Inside the lid is an even smaller toilet seat. A toilet for midget butts. (Or toddlers, I guess.)

When I asked The Hubs to pick up a new toilet seat (because the dogs collar tags had scratched ours every time she drank out of "her" bowl), I never imagined I would be excited about it. And I never thought it would be a parenting move.

But, voila. A training toilet that fits into a regular one. Who would've thought?

(And just so you don't think that a toilet seat is ALL Bjorn got today, check out his other new toy, straight from a garage sale. Just in time for beautiful weather!)

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Be careful what you wish for

I'm not saying The Hubs isn't helpful - he does change a mean light bulb and kill big bugs - but sometimes I feel like I have three kids. One's furry, one says "Joooo" for "Juice" and the other can't remember where he put his sunglasses. (On the counter. Right there, Hon.)

What I really want is some help around here. You know, a maid. Like Rosie.

But my Hovercraft is in the shop and Astro's been eating the trash. My life is not The Jetsons.

So when Bjorn started offering his help, I gladly took him up on it.

He now puts his bowl and cups in the sink when he is finished. He also puts his blocks, books and cars in the sink. I don't think he really knows what the sink is for.

He wants to carry the clothes to the washer and throw them in himself. But most of all he loves to help me fold the warm clothes from the dryer. They make perfect snuggle rugs. I usually have to do laundry all over again because of dog hair!

He wants to vacuum and cries, banging on the hall closet, whenever vacuuming is done. He has his own Elmo vacuum now. We vacuum together, only instead of the "Rrrrrrrrrrr" of a vacuum motor, I hear Cookie Monster say "Oh, me love to vacuum with you."**

He loves sweeping, especially with the big broom. More than once I have been whacked in the head as he swings the broom handle around. This kid has no sense of space. No sense of space at all, I tell ya.

Dusting is his real all-time favorite, though. Or wiping up in general. I hand him a sponge or a paper towel and he wipes up any spill or dirt. Not before trying to eat whatever he has spilled, but, still, he wipes it up.

So be careful what you wish for. You might just get it. In pint size.

**I'm a terrific speller. I almost won the spelling bee in 6th grade - but lost to an 8th grader who later went on to make a 1600 on his SAT's. But the one word I probably hate to spell the most is vacuum. Who puts two "u's" next to each other? It just looks weird. And I misspelled it every time I wrote it in this paragraph. **

Thursday, October 28, 2010

A Goof Mom

When my son was a few months old, I received a text from Daddy. “You’re a goof mom.” Followed almost immediately was another text, written somewhat frantically. “Good, not goof. I meant good. You’re a good mom.” I just laughed, knowing that he was right on both counts.

I am a goof mom (and a good one, too). I like to play on the dirty wood floor, being tigers and zebras stalking each other across the plains. I like to build blocks and then teach Bjorn to walk through them like Godzilla. I have even been known to dance around, making silly faces and singing nonsense tunes, just to see the tiniest of baby smiles from Bjorn.

I always thought I wanted to be a MILF. I wanted to be the mom who takes her baby to Baby Music Mambo wearing skinny jeans, slouchy boots and always the latest accessorizing hit (scarf, bangle bracelets, one big gaudy ring). I wanted to be the mom who elicited stares of jealousy, even back-handed envious comments, from other moms. Really, I wanted to be Heidi Klum.

But who doesn’t?

But, a few months into being a Mom, being a MILF stopped sounding like fun. I stopped wanting jealousy from the other mama’s, I wanted friendship. And if I skipped a shower or two, throwing one of Daddy’s old ball caps on to cover the mess, was Bjorn then not going to want to play? Perfection is hard work, and there is enough hard work in mothering that I didn’t need to add anything else to the mix.

Being a goof mom is good enough for me.

Being a goof mom means that all the playdates are at my house, where the kids can shake out an entire box of cheerios, dance along to the Wiggles and spray each other with the garden hose.

Being a goof mom means that I don’t worry what the stranger beside me in Target thinks as I’m twisting and gyrating to the sound speaker pop music, just so I can entertain Bjorn while I shop.

Being a goof mom means that I think it’s kind of funny when Bjorn pukes all over himself while running errands, and since I have forgotten to pack extra clothes for him again, he has to spend the rest of the day wearing nothing but khaki shorts and a pair of socks.

Being a goof mom means that I never have to worry about looking good, because every crazy woman looks pretty with a smile.

A goof mom usually has a cheerio stuck in her hair, mismatched socks, and earrings that don‘t dangle enough to be in the reach of grabby little hands. Goof moms have friendships with other moms and playdates at the park with wine and cheerios.

Goof moms can be good moms. I know. I am one.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Crap to Craft: Take 2

This was intended to be another step-by-step "Crap to Craft" post, but things don't always go as planned around here.

Here are the chairs I bought at Savers (while still pregnant - that's planning ahead!) and the table I bought a few weeks ago at a consignment store.

Here is what I wanted to "craft" it into.

After enlisting the Hubs help, this is what we wound up turning it into. (Why, yes, that IS a chalkboard paint top. My newest favorite way to paint things. Chalkboard everything!)

(Masked rider chair not shown.)
And this is what happens when you let your husband around spray paint and homemade stencils.

Yes, that's right. He spraypainted a Double T and Masked Rider on our freezer.
Tomorrow he is going to spraypaint our cars. I love crafting.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Crap to Craft

I've been attempting to narrow down my To Do list lately and the top three items that have been carried over from list to list for months now all have to do with crafting.

How is it that I can keep the Hubs in clean clothes, the kiddo in diapers and the dog out of the trash, but I can't manage to get a teeny-weensy little crafting done?

Thanks to the help of my very-soon-mom-to-be friend Meg, who is the only reason my shelves are hung straight and pictures are in frames, I was reminded that I have a blog specifically for crafting and I need to get off my lazy ass, take some pictures and post on it.

So I did.

But then I realized that no one really reads that blog. (Does anyone read this one?!) Maybe because my last post was Friday October 16 2009 and the Blog World tends to give up on you in a year?

So I've kinda chucked that blog to the side and you, dear Bjorn Blog Readers, get to savor in the fruits of my crap. Craft. I meant craft.

Here we go. Martha, watch out. I'm back in town.

(Martha may have to watch out, but Ansel Adams is safe. Bill Gates, too. I am the worst photographer ever and I don't know enough about computers to know how to rotate my pictures. Yes, I am that computer un-savvy. It's enough that I know how to create a blog!)

After literally months of scouring antique stores and Target for a key and mail holder that looks like it came from Pottery Barn but costs just a fraction, I realized that I had exactly what I was looking for in my very home. It just needed a little tweak.

Behold. The perfect key and mail holder. Which will take my mail off the counter and my keys where they can always be found. This has been hiding behind a door. When we first moved in (3 1/2 years ago!), I hung this in the laundry room before I realized that it would always be hidden behind the open laundry room door. Oops. So I forgot about it.But isn't it a little too boring? I thought so!

You like the mini waffles and half a fruit bar? Nice touch, don't you think? Bjorn thought so. I laid it on the tile floor to take the picture, and he thought the chalkboard was the perfect place to sit and eat his snack. I let him. This was a $10 purchase from IKEA 4 years ago. If he broke it before the tweaking started, I really didn't care.

Not broken. So off to the first step: Newspaper to cover the chalkboard. It's very sad to say, but I had to call Meg again to ask how she covers what she doesn't want spray painted. What can I say? It was my first time using spray paint in years. I blame the aerosol from the last use for my lack of brain cells.

So I'm new at this taking pictures while I post thing. I missed a step. See all that red showing through the black? That's because Step One was to spray paint the entire thing brick red. Why? Because I googled "How to Spray Paint to make wood look rustic" and the first website I picked told me I should paint Brick Red first and then layer Black on top. And it was on the internet, people, so you know it was right. They can't make this stuff up.

One coat of red and three coats of black spray paint are done. I'm questioning why I even went to the trouble of painting red, waiting eight hours for it to dry and then doing the same with the coats of black. Why not just start with black?

Ah, the joys of photography. "Look kids, a blurred picture of my hand and a small piece of sandpaper!" Just wanted to show you that I was too cheap to spend $5 ($5!!!) on a piece of sandpaper at Lowe's and this is the only sandpaper I could find in the huge workspace that is my Hubs garage. I don't really know what this midget sandpaper attaches to. A sander for dwarves? An electric hand sander for children?

After sanding. Can you see a difference? I couldn't either. And then I took this.

And realized that it actually looks pretty good. The red shows through just enough to have that rustic-y, this-has-been-used-but-in-a-good-way feel to it. I love it. I used to be a white wood, country cottage kind of decorator, but after getting married to a Big Strong Man who is afraid of anything white, I now prefer the dark woods and blacks with a slight antiqued, used feel. Which is what I got with this $10 IKEA piece, two cans of spray paint and some crafting time.

I am now in the process of spray painting everything in home black. You think I'm kidding. Wait until my next crafty post.

Grocery store ads on one side, mail on the other, places to hang keys and (although you can't see it) there are thin holders for the chalk above the mail holder and below the chalkboard, and that is where I now stash my sunglasses. Sigh. I still prefer Pottery Barn, but I also prefer to pay my mortgage and not eat Ramen. For my wallet, this is perfect.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Post of the Never Ending cliches

The Irish author Brendan Behan once said "There is no such thing as bad publicity."**

I think Bjorn knows this quote, only he doesn't know what publicity means, so he decided to make it his own.

"There is no such thing as bad attention."

So when I say "No" as he starts to put a rock in his mouth, he thinks 'Wow, I have Mom's undivided attention. This is so cool!'

He knows it's wrong. He really does. I can see it in his smart, little, beautiful baby eyes.

But as wrong as eating rocks is, doing something that causes Mom to leap ottomans and singing caterpillar toys in a single bound only makes him laugh. And then eat the rock all over again.

Apparently, if eating rocks is wrong, he doesn't want to be right.

**The actual quote continues and says "There is no such thing as bad publicity except your own obituary."

Saturday, October 9, 2010

A farm, a goat and a very good day

Most of the time, I can't think of two good reasons why we live in AZ.

Then, fall slides in on the tails of 115 degreee weather, and in one short week, the doors and windows are kept open and walks around the neighborhood begin.

And, of course, there are the pumpkins. And the fairs. Oh man, all those photo ops. . . .

Friday, October 1, 2010

It's all fun and games 'til. . . . .

It started as a game. Just a simple game.

I, in the hallway, picking up dog hair, kids blocks and random miscellaneous crap, and Bjorn, in his room not ten feet away, closing the door from the inside, knocking and laughing hysterically when I opened it again.

A game.

Which lasted until I was done picking up crap and went to open his door for the last time.

Only to find it locked. With Bjorn alone inside the room. He has somehow locked the door. And this is how it went. . . . . .

Omigod it's locked. Omigod omigod omigod.

Bjorn starts crying and banging on door. Ummm. . . . I bet our house key fits all the bedroom doors too, right?! It has to. . . . keys. . . keys.. . .

Find my giant, bottomless pit of a diaper bag. Root through diaper bag for five seconds calmly shouting "Bjorn, it's ok. I can hear you. You're alright." before very un-calmly dumping diaper bag on kitchen table.

Cheerios fly everywhere.

Keys, keys, where the f&^* are my keys?! Can't find keys. Ummm. . . spare keys are in kitchen drawer. Grab them - right where they are supposed to be, Thank God - and run to Bjorn's room.

There is no key hole. Only a tiny slit.

Flabbergasted. No key hole? NO KEY HOLE? What kind of door doesn't have a key hole?!

All the while, Bjorn is sobbing and screaming, banging on the inside of the door.

"I'm here, Bjorn. I can see you. Can you see me?" while I wiggle my fingers under the door, pretending this is a game. "See?! I'm here. You're ok."

And I can see him. At least from his ankle bones down. As he runs from the middle of the room to the door and back to the middle of the room again. And back to the door again.

Must call Hubs. He always knows what to do.

Phone. . .phone. . where the f&*^ is my phone?! I don't remember seeing it the pile of rubble from my purse. F^&$!!!

Remember that we do own a home phone, we just never use it. Call Hubs number. He is leaving Home Depot to come home. Tell him calmly (ok, calm-ish-ly) the situation.

"Well, you will just have to bust down the door."

Can't do that. The kiddo is standing right behind the door. I could hurt him.

"It's ok Buddy. You're ok. I can see you. Mommy is here."

Bjorn's crying has turned to wailing. The banging continues from the inside.

"You will just have to break in through the window."

Not what I want to hear. I want to hear that there is a secret passageway from the laundry room to Bjorn's room. I want to hear that we have a key for a doorknob with no key hole. I want to hear that he has it all figured out. I hang up with The Hubs so I can concentrate.

I run to the garage, searching for a screwdriver. I am going to break through the friggin' doorknob with no key hole.

Screwdriver. . . . screwdriver. . . where the f%^& are the screwdrivers? Hubs, why did I spend money we didn't have to buy you two Craftsman tool boxes that could store every tool you could ever dream of having if you aren't going to put the f&*^ing screwdrivers back into this overpriced excuse of a tool case?!

Found one. Lying on the toolbench.

Continue to reassure Bjorn through the door using the same safe words.

"You're ok, Bjorn. Really. You wanna sing? Let's sing together."

Wailing from inside the room gets louder. Could be because of my singing voice.

Prying with the screwdriver. Can't get the friggin' tip behind the knob base to pry it off. But I will. pry, pry. . . prying. All the time singing and talking to Bjorn.

Hubs calls back.

"The dog can usually get into Bjorn's room even after we shut it. The latch is a little loose. Just throw your body weight a few times into it."

That's right! Dog is able to get in there somehow! Check under the door - Bjorn is a few feet away from the door.

I throw myself at the mercy of the door. Thud. Thud. THUD THUD THUD!

I have five new bruises and a door that still won't open.

"DOOOOOGGG! DOG! Come here and help. DOOOOGG!" She is not coming to help.

I can hear the Hubs on the phone still. "Omigod, I am going 80 miles an hour. I'm almost there. You are doing good. You can get him out of there."

I finally pry the knob base off the door. Lots of wires and contraptions. Can't get the whole knob off. Why the f^&% won't this knob come off? It must be the toughest doorknob ever made. The armored truck of doorknobs. I poke and prod with the screwdriver, jiggling and wiggling. Something has to freakin be the freakin wire that opens the freakin lock. IT HAS TO OPEN SOMEHOW.

I step back, take a breath and get ready to throw myself at the door again.

Randomly, I put the screwdriver in the tiny slit where a key hole should be and turn.


And the door opens.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Why I blog

I blog so I can think.

So that in the midst of chaos and reality, crying and poop, I can think.

I write so that all these thoughts that swirl around in my head can finally be laid to rest in the simple, black lines of Times New Roman font.

At least, that was why I started this blog. As a fountain of extraneous thoughts and worries. So that other momma's and friends could join with me on a journey that you can never really pack for.

But now it seems I blog less for myself and more for Bjorn. I blog as a way to remember all those baby things that he does today that may be gone tomorrow. Frankly, I blog because I am too damn lazy to sit down and write these things in his baby book.

But this month something strange happened. I didn't blog. (Did you notice?)

I didn't even check other blogs but maybe twice this month.

And a funny thing happened.

All those hilarious, crazy-cute things my Bjorn did? I watched them. Just watched. And while I was watching, I didn't think 'Oooooh, that is soooo cute. How can I word that in my next blog post?'

Instead, I watched as he learned how to put on The Hubs shoes and shuffle around the living room. And I watched as he dragged a thick cookbook across the floor to put it next to the ottoman. Where he used it as a stepping stool to climb onto the ottoman. And then off the ottoman. And then back on again. And . . . . well, you get the idea.

See, I didn't plan on taking a break from blogging. I just sorta fell into it. Just as writing everyday had become natural, after a while, a break from writing felt natural, too.

And maybe that is for the best.

I commented to a fellow blogger how I was absent from my Bloggy Friend's lives recently and she replied, 'So what? You're not just writing about life now. You're living it.'

Not that you can't normally do both. But this month, I couldn't.

(Ironically, this is also the month when I bought a laptop so I could write more. Ha.)

This month was a great break from blogging. During Bjorn's morning naps I usually brew yet another pot of coffee and race to my computer for some catch-up reading and writing. Lately, instead, I would put on a workout DVD and afterwards treat myself to a long, hot shower. Or curl up with a good book. Or call a friend I haven't talked to in a while. Sew. Research. Relax.

It was nice. Not a permanent break. But nice.

See, I miss writing. I miss blogging. And I miss all of you - my bloggy network of Momma's and friends and crafters and cooks. But I like knowing now that I can drag myself away from it and everything will still be ok. That while I need my friends and the network I have out here in BlogWorld, I don't need to be tied to a computer.

And, crazy enough, knowing that I don't need to write everyday. . . . makes me want to write even more.

A wise man once said 'If you love something, let it go free. If it doesn't come back, you never had it. If it comes back, love it forever.'

And I will love you all forever.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Boys and Their Bruises

Today, as we battled through yet another clothes and diaper changing, Bjorn threw himself away from me with the force of a hurricane.

Smack dab into the corner of the wooden dresser.

With his forehead.


After the initial screaming and mama-clinging, he seemed ordinary Bjorn-like, but I know that head injuries can be deceiving and the three-inch-long-two-inch-wide mark and bruise on his forehead was breaking my heart.

So I called the pediatrician. Did I need to get a CAT scan? Could I let him take his usual nap? Was I a bad mother? The usual questions.

We were both calm, I got the answers I needed and then I called The Hubs to brag about my superb parenting skills. You know, the ones that allowed my kiddo to get hurt in the first place. The Hubs also wanted to question me about Bjorn's head injury.

Is he drooling? Well, yeah.

Is he talking gibberish? Uh huh.

Is he wobbly and falling over unexpectedly? Yup.

Is he fussy, crying, screaming or acting cranky? Check, check, and check again.

Apparently, the normal questions for a head injury don't apply to toddlers.

**BTW, Bjorn is fine. We did as the Ped suggested and had him sleep with us last night (she suggested being in the same room at all times) and I got kicked and kneed enough to last me forever. The little booger is fine. Me, I need a nap. **

Saturday, August 28, 2010

It will make you feel better. . . I promise

Have you visited the world's funniest blog yet? (And, no, it's not mine!)

Check it out here.

And while you're at it. . . go here. You won't regret it.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

The Life and Times of Bjorn

A few months ago the Hubs decided to grow out his hair. After a few weeks in the awkward growing-out-his-bangs stage, he has finally hit long(ish) male Baywatch type hair. It looks pretty good.

But now that he has this long hair, he has taken to using it as a towel. Or, in place of a towel. (Not that I mind, because, really, let's face it, that's one less towel I find on the bathroom floor after one friggin' use.)

After he washes his hands, he runs his fingers through his locks. Styling it with the water and drying his hands at the same time. Two birds, one stone.

I only mention it because at 15 months my little Bjorn is a sponge. And he now copies his Daddy by splashing in the Dog's bowl and then running his fingers through his own hair. Very cute, but very very wet.

Bjorn has learned how to kiss for real - and not just that open-mouth drooly kiss that is somehow incredibly gross and incredibly cute at the same time.

No, he puckers his little lips and goes "Mmmmmm" until you kiss him and then he makes the kissy "Mwah".

Sooooo adorable. And he kisses on demand. As in "Bjorn, kiss Scout." "Mwah." "Bjorn, kiss Dog." "Mwah." "Bjorn, kiss the pretty lady on TV." "Mwah."

Today I think I was kissed about 50 times. Not bad for this Mama.


As I was doing anything to get out of the house and get my sanity back heading out to run some errands, I heard some babble coming from Bjorn in his car seat.

I look back to see his "phone" wedged between his ear and shoulder, totally going hands free, babbling away as he waved his arms dramatically.

Definetely brokering some major deals.


I know I don't talk to Bjorn as much as I need to. (Me? Not talk? What?!)

Well, I mean, I talk, but not the kind of talk that pediatricians like to hear. I don't explain everything I'm doing as I'm doing it, or point out colors around the store or count the number of apples Mommy is putting in the cart. I'm more the "Yeah, you have a bear. That's great, play with your bear as Mommy checks out the newest toy on Woot."

So yesterday I was completely surprised when. . . .

I asked if he wanted to take a bath and he ran for the bathroom door and grunted as he tried to open it.

Wha-wha-what? Did my kid actually learn something (albeit something as simple as bath, but still!) from me?!

So, in the name of experimental science, the Hubs grabbed him from the bathroom, placed him in the farthest, remotest spot in our house and calmly asked him "Do you want to take a bath?"

And he careened right towards that door.

My little genius!

(He also knows where the bananas are kept and that he gets a banana every morning. He will stand by where they are on the counter and grunt and reach until we get one for him. Same thing with the milk in the fridge and the juice cups in the cupboard. Kid is a GENIUS!)


I finally got out my Wii Fit last week for the first time in. . . well, the Wii told me it had been 167 days. So, let's just say it has been a loooong time.

I played a few balance games on the balance board, making myself look incredibly silly as I flapped like a huge flying, chicken or ducked as shoes and panda heads came flying at my nose.

Then I look at Bjorn.

And he has grabbed the white doggie door insert (about three feet by two feet), placed it next to the balance board on the floor and was now standing on top, pretend-running in place. His own Wee Wii Balance Board.

If that won't make me play more often, nothing will.


Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Cue the Cumber

Today was a baby-free day for me.

Today, a day off work but sans toddler, was intended to be a day to get all my non-baby appropriate chores ticked off my to-do list. (Scrubbing floors, bikini wax, finally get my much talked about tattoo*.)

After dropping Bjorn at daycare, I dressed in my gym clothes only to realize that I really didn't want to go to the gym. So I didn't. Instead I took a nice, long, hot shower.

It was wonderful.

And as I was drying off without a little boy trying to grab my towel, or dropping all his toys in the toilet or the tub, I thought, 'I could get used to this.'

I could get used to taking a shower without a kiddo waking up from his nap - crying - just as I get under the water. I could get used to a hot, hot shower with non-Johnsons shampoo because there isn't a little kiddo in there with me, who doesn't like hot water and real shampoo that gets in his eyes. I could get used to being able to shave and lotion because he let me get a shower in, but he gets the door open by the time I get out to lotion up.

I could get used to it.

And I can see why people don't want kids. I understand that it is a huge requirement of time, patience, money and compassion. I understand that having a kid can be the most consuming, demanding job and some people aren't ready for it. Some people don't want to be saddled with the baggage of a kiddo. They like being unencumbered and fancy-free.

Me? I kinda like being cumbered.

Yeah, I could get used to having my free time to myself. But not for long. Not now that I have this little person to share my life with and not now that I know what the trade-off would be for not having him.

Do I want a hot shower or a drolly kiss from a puckering-up toddler? I'll take the drooly kiss. (But I wouldn't mind a hot shower once a week - or so.)

Do I want new clothes or gymnastics classes for the munchkin? Let's see him tumble! (And if I can get some cheapy knock-offs at Ross, then all for better!)

Do I want The Wiggles or CSI on TV? Nothing is better than watching him 'dance' to The Wiggles. (But I'll turn to CSI when he's asleep.)

I enjoy my nice, long, hot shower on my kiddo-free days, but I also miss him. There is too much free time, too much silence**, too much too-much. My life doesn't seem as fulfilled or as meaningful without Bjorn with me. Is it an easier day? Oh yes. Much. But easier isn't what makes me happy. Easier doesn't crawl into my lap at night, throw his food to the dog and laugh, and refuse to put on pants or a shirt. Easier doesn't play in the dog's water bowl, grab my hand when he steps off a curb or make me press all the buttons on his Scout doll. Easier isn't better.

I'll take harder. I'll take being cumbered. I'll take my baby boy. (But I'll also take the occasional day care days, too. Nothing like having your cake and eating it too!)

*I've been talking about getting a tattoo since I was pregnant with Bjorn. Something to
commemorate my little baby. While I was pregnant, I, thinking I was going to have a girl, drew the perfect tattoo of my little girl's initials and had it all ready for ink.

Then Bjorn was born, and, well, I was wrong about having a girl, so I went back to the drawing board.

I finally came up - again - with the perfect tattoo, and today was the day for inking. Except my Hubs had to work and my friend had to cancel (no baby-sitter), and since I need someone to hold my hand as I get it done, well. . . it will just have to wait a little while longer!

**Too much silence? Oh yes, it can happen. After a few hours of kid-free, the house seems to be too big and too quiet to bring any joy. Unless you're sleeping. And then it's perfect.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Ten Years From Now. . . . . .

10 years ago today, I met a boy.

(Well. . . it might have been 10 years ago yesterday. Or tomorrow. I'm not very good with dates. It was sometime around this time. . . . . )


10 years ago today(-ish), I met a boy.

It wasn't the first time I had met this boy. The first time was a year earlier, my what-the-hell-is-college-all-about freshman year, when I saw this blue eyed, sorta wild looking boy playing guitar and singing at my church's praise & worship. I leaned over to my roomie (who I had known all of about three days but was (yay!) Catholic and (double yay!!) had a car) and whispered "I want one just like him".

I thought it was such a great line - like Jodie Foster in Maverick when she asks who is that "tall drink of water".

So I saw this boy from a distance and six months later when I was hired on campus I showed up to work. . . . and there he was. We talked a bit, but nothing more.

Fast forward a few more months (which bring us to 10 years from today-ish) and we met again. (For the first time?)

This time we talked longer. He laughed at all my jokes and came back with a few of his own. We swung our legs off the tailgate of my pickup, talking, much longer than was necessary to wait for his car battery to charge.

Little did I know that 10 years later I would be married to this boy, living in another state, living the (ha!) glamorous career as a flight attendant, with a little boy who looks just like his Daddy.

10 years ago, if I would have known what the future would bring, I would have never bought a new car, never bought a house in AZ, and tried harder to pay off my credit card.

I would have studied abroad in London, taken that trip to Australia and learned to surf in Hawaii.

I would have driven to that antique junk store outside Houston I love to search online and I would have continued ASL classes.

I would never have gone for my masters in Education and I would definitely not have spent any of my school loan money for waaaay too many trinkets in Hawaii.

I would have still married that man I met 10 years ago. And gone to Houston and Phoenix and wherever else he wants to go. I would still have that little boy with him and would still love to have more kids who look just like him.

10 years ago, I could never have expected so much to happen in what seems like a very small amount of time. And 10 years from now. . . . well, I have absolutely no idea what to expect. That is what makes this all exciting.

Because 10 years from now. . . . is still going to be the best time of my life.

****Happy 10 Year Day-I-Met-You (I Think) Anniversary!****

Friday, August 13, 2010

Well, it IS football season

We are now in the stage of "throwing things".

And when I say "things" I mean everything. (Including fits.)

On one hand, the kid has a great arm and I am super excited to start teaching him to play football and baseball.

On the other hand, I no longer give him my phone, the remote control or anything else I may ever want to use again.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Motherhood: The Great Equalizer

In the book "Little Earthquakes" Jennifer Weiner writes (through her lead character) that she always thought "pregnancy was the great equalizer" where skinny women get fat and fat women are fat and finally there is no competition between the two.

Which we all know to be a load of bunk.

Pregnancy is not equal among women. In any way.

I gained 51 pounds. In the last two weeks a road map of purple and blue lines appeared across my belly and hips.

While a friend gained 30 pounds, had no such road map and can happily and easily still wear her old bikini.

My skin cleared up completely from the adult acne I was so accustomed to dealing with. My hair was thick and gorgeous - but the hair on my legs barely ever grew.

While a (different) friend had acne that took over her face and chest and didn't diminish until after she finished breastfeeding.

I didn't have a lick of morning sickness. We all know that there are thousands of women who do. Badly.

There is nothing fair about pregnancy. There is nothing equalizing about it.

Except. . . . . .

Now that I have what I know to be the most adorable, gregarious little boy E.V.E.R. I feel validated in a way that making lead in the school play could never do. I made him and he's pretty awesome, so, by default, that makes me pretty awesome.

That makes me feel equalized with those other moms.

Those moms who were beautiful and popular before and are beautiful and popular after (can you be popular at the age of 30?!?!).

While I was awkward and silly before and am awkward and silly still.

Because I don't care how "cool" they are - I care about how they got their littl'un to stop sucking her thumb or how littl'un liked his first day of school. I care about how they feel being a SAHM and I commiserate with how hard it is to find a sitter for date night. Or the right heels for date night. Or a friggin' time for date night.

Pregnancy may not be the great equalizer among women but it definitely leads to something that is.

Because when it comes to motherhood, at one time or another, we will all have Cheerios in our hair, spit up on our shirt and a poopy diaper leaking all over our brand new white capri's. And poop is a great equalizer.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Best Advice Ever

While I was pregnant, all my Mommy friends dumped loads of advice on me. Whether I wanted it or not.

And I never understood some of it. 'Til now.

"Enjoy going to the bathroom by yourself." said a friend with a rambunctious 2 yr old. " After the babe is born you will never be alone in there again."

I laughed, thinking that was a strange thing to say. Of course I will be going to the bathroom by myself. No one wants to be in there together when you're doing bathroom things!!!

But it's true. I have not gone to the bathroom by myself but maybe five times since Bjorn was born. And each of those times he has crawled, walked or ran to the bathroom door and pounded on it until I relented.

So, Preggo Mama's, as crazy as it sounds - enjoy your bathroom moments alone. Bring a book. Play games on your IPhone. Whatever. Just enjoy it.

It won't last long.

Monday, July 26, 2010

My Dog Named Hoover

Yesterday my friend Megan was crazy nice enough to invite Bjorn and I over for some quality swim time. Besides one small tantrum, my good-in-public baby lived up to this nickname and made me look like a big fat liar for saying he throws fits. He does, I swear.

I don't worry about bringing Bjorn to Meg's house like I do other people's. Her house is baby-proofed already. See, I have never seen a house as organized and stream-lined as hers.

Not stream-lined as in "modern". No. Just simple. If they don't use it everyday, it is not on the kitchen counter. (No Kitchen Aid mixer. No bread maker. No pasta machine.) Their computer desk holds a computer and a printer. (No bills waiting to be filed. No recipes cut from magazines. No %20 off Bed Bath & Beyond coupons.)

It's nice to not be surrounded by stuff.

Don't get me wrong, I like my stuff. I can tell you where I bought it, for how much and the original price. (Colonel Mustard in the Library with the Candlestick.) Usually I enjoy my stuff and can't imagine not being buried alive by it.

Then I head over to Meg's, where any stuff she might have automatically makes itself back onto the shelf, instead of lying on the floor for three days until someone steps on it. Where plates magically fly from the kitchen table into the dishwasher, and then are put away. (Not used directly from the dishwasher because putting them away takes too much effort.) Where little babies don't have anything to pull off end tables and don't find pieces of the last craft project still on the floor to eat.

So, I do love going to her house. It's a nice haven for my kiddo.

Except they don't have a dog.

Which is fine. Not everyone is a dog person. (I never actually thought I would meet one of these non-dog people persons; I thought they were a ghost story or a fairy tale. But I not only met, but befriended one, so I can tell you - they do exist.)

But we have a dog. A very greedy dog who acts as if she has never been fed. Never. Every day we roam the backyard seeing what treasures she has taken out the doggie door. (Yesterday was one sippy cup, two snack cups that were full of Kix and veggies, a stuffed bear - starting to fray at one ear - and a ziploc baggie that used to have some kind of food product in it.)

Picture from 5 years ago when she looked like a puppy more.

Bjorn has become used to his doggie. When I'm feeling casual and we have lunch on the living room ottoman, he takes half his sandwich and gives it to the dog, laughing the whole time.

When he is finished at the dinner table, he covertly drops the rest of his meal on the floor for her to enjoy.

For this, the Dog loves him.

It is a problem when we head over to non-dog friend's homes for dinner. While half of the yummy smelling pork roast and pasta salad heads into Bjorn's mouth (all at once, of course!), the other half goes to the floor for the dog. That they don't have.

I spend most of my after-dinner glow cleaning up on my hands and knees.

Think it would be ok for me to bring my dog everywhere my kid goes?

Picture taken Dec. 2009. He still loves her, but now they are both so fast, I can't get a non-blurry pic together!

Sunday, July 25, 2010

My Son Can Beat Your Honor Student

My son is sooo smart.

(Chorus: How smart is he?)

He is so smart that English is not his first language.

Yes, he says dog, mama, daddy, and a few other randoms in English, but they are not his main form of communication.

My son knows Chinese.

Or maybe it's Vietnamese. I don't really know, being as I am not fluent in either. It is some kind of foreign, Asian language and when he is walking around the room on his little cell phone blabbering away, he only speaks in this language. I think he's brokering some major deals on electronics.

All I know, I'm taking him with me the next time I get my nails done. I know they are talking about me while they fix me up. (Yes, I bite my nails. Get over it and make me have pretty ones!)

My son is sooo smart.

(Chorus: How smart is he?)

He is so smart he got the Terrible Two's at 14 months.

While other babies wait until they are a whopping 24 months to throw themselves (and sippy cups and remotes and papers and. . . ) on the floor and scream as if someone is pulling out their toenails, my smarter-than-yours son has started doing that now. Yup, that's right. 10 months early for the Terrible Twos.

His favorite tantrums include asking for milk only to launch the cup across the room (preferably at the head of a parent or dog), silent scream with his face all scrunched up, and throw himself into the lap of the nearest person, screaming so loudly you expect tornado alarms to sound.

Don't you wish your kid was as smart as mine?

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

A promise to my son

Dear Bjorn,

Someday in the way, way future I expect you to give me some grandchildren. (That, or become a priest, but we'll talk more about that later.)

Yes, that's right. I expect to have some cute little boogers who look just like you and the beautiful, not-quite-as-good-as-your-mama Girl you will someday marry. And they will be just like you. . .except I won't have to pay for 'em, change 'em or spend days working my schedule around their nap time.

That being said, I will not become a crazy Jewish mama who wants you to get married already. (Partly because I'm not Jewish. Mainly because I just. won't. rush. you.)

Not like some people.

See, there are Mamas out there, dear Bjorn, who are over-bearing and pushy. We call them 'Buttinsky's'. And whether you choose to marry at 20 or 40, I will do my damnedest (sp??) to not become a Buttinsky.

Because I would rather you remain single until 40 then that you marry the wrong person.

I would rather you learn to love life on your own than need someone beside you in order to enjoy life.

I would rather you wait until it is absolutely right for you than settle.

You are worth the best. You are worth waiting for someone as great as you. And no one (yes, no one - not even your Mama) will force, maneuver or guilt you into dating or marrying someone who may or may not be the perfect woman for you.

That being said. . . . I may falter sometimes.

Like when that cute flight attendant smiles oh-so sweetly at you. I may wind up talking to her and in the course of that conversation work in that you played baseball at Stanford and now do non-profit work for the homeless. I may mention the dimples when you smile and your ever-ready laugh.

But I won't push. It's not my way.

And I promise, wonderful little boy, I will never. ever. ever. create or log in to a website that will get my son a date. Talking to prospective daughters-in-law is as far as I'll go.

So, good luck. Dating isn't easy. But dating with your mother at the wheel is even harder. I'll spare you that.

Love always,

Your (Non-Buttinsky) Mama

Mama's Losin' It

This has been a part of
Mama Kat's Writing Workshop. Now head on over and check out what my friends had to say!

This too shall pass. . . ..

In the lottery of babies, I won the jackpot.

He's cute (of course!), nearly always happy and he loves my dog. He;s almost as good as a million bucks.

But I also feel that I haven't really gotten into "parenting" yet. Up to this point, my job as a parent was to keep him alive. I was to feed, bathe and nurture. Survival. Those days are long gone.

No longer am I the one he turns to for food or comfort - he can feed himself and soothe himself to sleep. No longer do I have to carry him from one place to another - he walks over to the table himself to grab everything off it and throw it to the floor.

Now I actually have to parent him.

Teach him that electrical cords are not for eating.

Teach him that dogs ears are not for pulling.

Teach him that veggies are good for you and yummy.

And I'm not sure I'm ready for parenting. Lately my parenting choices have been in the form of . . . . well, waiting to see if it changes on its own.

And wouldn't it be nice if it did?


In other words, loudly and screaming/crying. Every day. Every naptime. For two months.

It began when he had an ear infection, so I understood it. He would cry when he awoke because all of a sudden he would leave his perfect little dream world and realize 'Hey, my ears hurt. Ouch!'

But now? He's perfectly healthy. And yet he still screams.

I've pretty much just ignored it, hoping this was just a phase. Wishing and hoping. Hoping and praying.

Not so much. And I'm getting really tired of it.

I asked the pediatrician, who merely chuckled, brushing it off as a phase. I tried not going to him when he cries. He continues to scream (even for as long as 15 minutes) until he is rescued from his crib. I tried getting him up before he starts crying, when I first hear him stirring and grunting.

And nothing works.

I'm at my wits end, people and I need your help. WHAT DO I DO to get my kid to stop screaming awake? How do I get him to realize that a simple "Mamamamamamamamamama" would work just fine?!

And while we are at it - share your thoughts on thumb/finger sucking. I'm not anti-fingers, as he is only 1 and he only does it when he's tired. But Miss Daycare thinks we need to put a sock on his hand to stop him now. Is it really that important now or can I pretend it's not happening until he's like two or three and then deal with it?

Which is kind of my standard for dealing with stuff anyways. . . . .

Thursday, July 1, 2010

A Snappy Comeback: Writer's Workshop

Among other things, I am a writer and an actress.

Those two combined = Trouble.

Because when things don't go my way (and even sometimes when they do!) I write a script in my head of all the characters (ahem. . . people) and what they are probably going to say and what I should say in return and how I should say it and exactly which Diane Von Furstenberg dress I will be wearing as I say it.

And of course my hair and makeup always look fabulous.

Rarely do I ever get the chance to actually use any of these conversations. But they are there if ever I find myself in the exact situation my insane brain created. And sometimes I get to pass my script on to someone in need. See, I'm just being altruistic!

A few weeks ago my friend Nicole was eating lunch on free samples shopping at Big Savings Mart for some much-needed items. Her 10 month old daughter had been restless all day - not sleeping well, not eating well, teething. . . we've all been there. The whole works.

But life doesn't stop because baby is mad.

So Baby Girl was fussing in her stroller, sometimes crying, but mostly whimpering and whining. Again, we've all been there.

When out of nowhere The Wicked Witch of the West an old woman came up to Baby Girl in her stroller, leaned over as if to pinch her cute little cheeks and babytalked, "Awww. . does someone's Mama not know when Baby Girl's naptime is? Does your Mama not care? Does Mama think shopping is more important than letting you sleep when you're tired and not make you go out in public where you cry?"

To which my incredibly nice (and now humiliated) friend left her cart in the middle of the store and walked out. I think maybe with tears in her eyes. (In my script, it's that lone tear snaking its way slowly down her cheek. . . . . )

Nicole is a good mom. Very good mom. And I was so angry that some wrinkly old bat had embarrased to the point that she second-guessed herself and tried to put a baby (who didn't want to sleep) to nap rather than buy the toilet paper and chicken nuggets she needed.

"Did you tell her to go f*&k herself?" I asked, as I will use any situation to throw out the F-Bomb.

"Nope. I just walked out. What could I say to that?"

Wrong person to ask, Nicole. Because then I began to create my scenario.

A Snappy Comeback: A In-My-Head Script

I am walking around Big Savings Mart with Bjorn in a cart loaded with groceries. Although Bjorn is fussing - whiny, drooling, generally being a bit of a pain, I have it all held together. I talk calmly to him, every once in a while even gently coaxing a giggle. Until he goes back to fussing his way through his front teeth popping out. (I also have it all pulled together appearance-wise. No sweats for this Mama! A Mui Mui dress and simple accessories from H&M create the perfect blend of high design and affordability.)

When out of nowhere The Wicked Witch of the West an old woman comes up to Bjorn in the cart, leans over as if to pinch his cute little cheeks and babytalks, "Awww. . does someone's Mama not know when Baby Boy's naptime is? Does your Mama not care? Does Mama think shopping is more important than letting you sleep when you're tired and not make you go out in public where you cry?"

To which I say,"I'm sorry. What was my name?"

"Ummm. . I don't know your name." the Wrinkly Old Woman replies.

"And what is his name?" I ask politely.

"Ummm. . I don't know his name, either."

"Ok. So you don't know me. You don't know my Baby. We don't know you. So mind your own f&*king business." I spin around on my gorgeous Stella McCartney flats and say sweetly over my shoulder. "And f%*k you."

Snappy or not, here I come.

End scene.

This is part of Mama Kat's Writing Workshop. Head on over to check out what my friends had to say!!

Friday, June 25, 2010

Who does Number Two work for?!

Let's preface this to say that I am a huge CSI fan. So much so that when I found out a co-worker's nephew works on the set, I begged her to get me the fetal pig that always sat on Grissom's desk.

Yeah, I'm that weird girl.

I've seen the CSI team find trace evidence in a month old barrel of human goo, a house filled with blood, shoe prints and some bubble gum wrappers, and a go-cart that traveled with a decapitated body.

I have never once seen them find evidence in a pile of poop.

So why is that I think I can super-sleuth my way into CSI fame-dom by searching through Bjorn's diapers?

I don't remember the last time I went Number 2. But I can tell you what time (7:45), consistency (dry, stringy), color (creamed spinach), odor (dirty pig mud-sty) and how many times (6) that Bjorn has pooped today.

I can tell if he ate chicken, apples, bananas or blueberries just by looking inside his Huggies.

And while I'm ashamed to admit it to anyone but you Bloggy Mama's. . . . I have actually picked up the diaper, walked it out to the Hubs in front of the TV and said 'Look at this one!' Not only have I done it, I've done it more than once.

He's sick of the poop talk. I'm sick of the poop talk. But when the baby doesn't speak, ya gotta let his poop speak for him.

Which is why you'll still see me examining his poop with every change. Because that's what Mamas do. But don't worry, I stay away from Number 2 pictures. With a mom who blogs, a kid has to have some kind of dignity.

They don't have to talk to say something. . . .

There is nothing like your baby boy playing drums on your tummy just to watch your belly jiggle to make a Mama head back to the gym.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

All Good Things Must Come to an End

Dear Twix,

You know you are the caramel to my chocolate, the biscuit to my satisfying crunch.

But this has gotta stop.

This incessant need you have to keep drawing me in, begging me time and time again for just one more little taste.

The way your chocolate melts so quickly in this AZ heat so I must (must!) gobble you up in mere seconds.

The way your caramel is stretchy and gooey - but not too stretchy like some of those other caramel-y treats (ahem, Milk Duds).

The way your biscuit crunches deliciously. Like an apple. But with a much tastier taste.

So, yes, baby, I love your ways. Everyday. (Yeah-eh-ah.) But this is too much.

Do you know how many calories you are? And, since I have started my food journal, how many times you, dear Twix, have appeared on the list?

Too many to count. So many I'm embarrassed to send the number into blog-world. Me - the girl who posted her weight. Yup, that's right.

So it's over, Twix. We had some good times you and me. (Remember that time at band camp?!) But those times are no more.

Every good thing must have an end, and while your end usually comes with a lip-smacking "Yum!" and the ever-present milk chocolate melt on fingertips, now you will hear the crunch of a celery stick. Or maybe carrot if I'm feeling crazy.

Good-bye gooey, melty, lovely Twix.

Forever in my Tummy,

Me Too

P.S. Can you also send this over to your friends, Peanut Butter M&M and Rolo?

Mama Kat's Writing Workshop. Head on over to check out more o' my bloggy friends - and add your own while you're at it!!!

The Prompts:
1.) The Love List. Write a list of 50 things you look for in a man.
2.) Write a poem about a picture.
3.) What does your child do that reminds you most of yourself? How does it make you feel?
4.) Write a letter to whatever is stopping you from losing the extra weight you’d like to lose.
5.) What summer means to your family.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Remembering a Year

Today is my birthday.

I don't say that for celebrations or presents (although I will take both) but to explain why it is that I am feeling so introspective.

Today is the beginning of the end - of my 20's, that is. The last year I can be considered a twenty-something.

As I look back over the past year, I can't believe how much I've grown and changed. At least, internally. I'm not sure that anyone would consciously be able to see it, but it's there. I've changed.

I started Year 28 with a a baby boy. . . and what I now recognize as mild depression.

Call it postpartum. Call it hormones. Whatever you call it, it was depression.

And that sucked. It sucked to have this awesome baby - really, he was remarkably easy - and still be depressed. To have this baby and still cry every day for weeks. I have many pictures of my newborn baby boy, but very few of myself with him. I ran from being in pictures - ashamed of my fat body, my unwashed hair, the circles around my eyes. The few pictures I do have, I am smiling, but not my smile. Not the one that crinkles the eyes and in thirty years I will regret for all the lines around my mouth. No, this smile is a caricature of my smile.

I'll never know if I would have felt the same had I had a vaginal birth. But I didn't - I had a c-section; a horrible, painful c-section. I know that this was a large part of my depression.

I cried whenever I talked about it. Whenever I thought about it. Whenever I looked in the mirror at the scar I thought would never heal and the belly I had heard would never go away - all because I had a c-section.

I cried when my cousin, after hearing that I had a c-section, said, "Oh, you won't pee when you sneeze like other moms do!" as if that is supposed to make me feel better.

I cried when, after asking to hear my story, my friend said,"But isn't it just important that you have a healthy baby?" as if I shouldn't be feeling this way.

I cried when other mothers talked about their natural births, and when I asked how they could do it without drugs, they replied,"Oh, I had an epidural. I just didn't have a c-section." as if the way I did it was so un-natural.

I still cry sometimes thinking about it. But now I cry because of all the time in the past spent crying. (Crazy, eh? But that's the nature of feelings! There is no rhyme and reason.) I am upset that I don't feel like my friends did after their babies. I never felt like harming my baby or myself (as so many postpartum mothers do), and I was never a danger to anyone. But that feeling of overwhelming love and devotion, that solid glow of happiness - I didn't feel that until much later.

Much later. Months later. It took until I went back to work, and stepped outside of Mommy-dom for me to look at myself and my life and say "I was depressed." And to began to pull myself up.

But depression isn't like the sadness you get after your boyfriend breaks up with you. It doesn't last for two weeks of eating ice cream and watching 'Clueless' on repeat. Sometimes it swallows you up completely while other times it lingers, not completely gone, but far enough away that you might not even see it in the background of your Christmas picture. It mutates with your life.

But no one talks about it. I told a friend recently that I think I might have been depressed and she looked right at me and said, "Yeah, I thought that, too."

I wanted to scream at her "Why didn't you help me?" but I know I wouldn't have listened. I didn't listen when my husband wanted me to see a doctor, to talk to someone, so why would I have listened to her? Another friend felt bad because she didn't see it - she didn't know. But that's the thing about having out of town friends. It's easier to hide the tears over a telephone. Or a funny blog post. You can hide anything behind humor, can't you?

As I look back over this year, unfortunately, I see depression. But looking further, I see a whole lot more.

I see a husband who stood beside me even when the sadness lasted far longer than he could have ever expected. Who let me take things me at my own pace and didn't get upset or angry when I repeated the same feelings and behaviors over and over. I know that this is what marriage is all about - not the date nights or the cuddly Sundays, although those are great too. But marriage is about sticking through when things are rough and coming out shiny on the other end. It's not all fun and games, and I have a man who realizes that, and wants to be with me for me, not because I am always happy or silly.

I made some pretty good friends after I had Bjorn. Some of the friends went through situations similar to mine and felt pretty much the same that I did, and because of that, I felt that I didn't have to pretend with them. Because, you see, no one wants to ask a new mom how it's going and hear 'OK, I guess.' They want to hear how great motherhood is, and how you're not getting any sleep, but that's OK because your baby is just beautiful. Hearing that you cry when your baby breastfeeds and you can't even get into a car because your stitches broke open again and it's been three months and you can't even talk about your birth story are at the bottom of the list of things others want to hear. But having someone who wanted to hear how bad it was because she felt that bad too actually helped. It's true, misery does love company. And for me, miserable company helped in a way that a sympathetic friend who had never experienced postpartum couldn't. I am grateful for my friends.

I have a baby who I appreciate so much, partly because I know I didn't appreciate him as much as I could have at the beginning. I can see that each day I spend dwelling on the past takes away from a day spent playing with him. I also can see that by being a SAHM, I was being buried alive under diapers and self-doubt, and the best thing for both of us was for me to go back to work. I love my kid more than I ever thought I could. But I wish mothers knew that it's not a Hollywood movie - that wonderful mother-son love doesn't always come in a rush right at once. Sometimes it is gradual and flowing.

So yeah, I've grown. I feel I have had to grow up this past year. Becoming a mother. Struggling with postpartum. Those are two very very big things, and while I'm not glad for the depression, I am glad for what it taught me. And for what I know about myself now.

All in all, even with everything, Year 28 was a good year for me. I got to see my baby grow and walk, babble and laugh. That's enough of an achievement sometimes. And I can't wait to see what Year 29 has in store.