Sunday, August 31, 2008


Oh man, if there's one single thing that's perpetually insane in parenthood, it's sleep.  Either my sleep, my two-year-old's sleep, or the baby's sleep.

We've yet to experience a night where the three of us sleep soundly for the entire evening.  On the other hand, Shaun sleeps all night most nights. Hey, at least one of us does.

Update from the other night:  C did wonderfully in falling asleep at Michelle's house and slept until I got there to pick her up.  She stayed asleep getting into her car seat, and then into the house but woke up when she got into her bed.  So I fed her and put her back to sleep, thinking that perhaps we would at least have enough of a repeat of the previous night (where she slept twelve hours), for me to get a good night's rest.


Um, no such luck.  She woke about 3 times besides that.  The following night she woke twice.  Last night, she woke 4 times.  I just don't understand why some nights she sleeps through, and others, not so much.  Anyone?

No correlation with daytime sleep.  In fact, let's not even talk about daytime sleep.  That's all over the place.

Which makes napping rather difficult for me.  I'll snuggle down on the couch when both girls are asleep and inevitably, one will wake up OR I won't be able to shut my brain off to fall asleep, fearing that one of the will wake up.  Vicious cycle.

However, there are perks.  C is putting herself to sleep fairly regularly, with minimal fussing.  Every day she gets more coordinated and thus, more easily able to soothe herself back to sleep.

Today, both girls fell asleep in the car on the way home from church and I managed to get them both into their beds where they each took a 2.5 hour nap.

More delightful?  So did I.

Bean is completely potty trained, including at night.  For awhile, it was making her wake up a bit earlier in the morning, but lately, she's been sleeping her regular amount at night and still somehow procrastinating in the morning from going potty.  I swear, I don't know where the kid gets her bladder control.

Her naps have been sporadic for a week or so due to random circumstance (and fun outings).  Her behavior became atrocious as a result.  I had thought that she had reached a point where she could go napless and be OK.  Maybe once and awhile, but in actuality, she needs naps as much as she ever did.   The tough part is getting her enough exercise and activity for her to take a nap early enough in the day so that she wakes early enough in the afternoon to go to bed easily at night.

(Now there's a delicate operation).

Anyway, as much as it ever was, sleep is important to me.  It's important that I sleep.  It's insanely important that my kids sleep.  And when it works?  We're all a lot happier.

When it doesn't?

Ooooo boy.  It makes for some of the most frustrating days.

But I know it won't last forever.  I try to remember that it's not so much the single days as it is the culmination of what the girls are learning about sleep through all of the days.  One day, they'll all fall asleep easily, stay asleep all night, and sleep late, late in the morning. 

And that's when I'll know I have teenagers.

Friday, August 29, 2008

C-Rex: 4 Months

Dear Little C-Monkey,

I stumbled on that little gem of a nickname one day. It made me giggle. Punny. I'm sure that it'll make you want to crawl under something big when you're a teenager. Fear not, this'll probably be the only time I use it. In public. At least until I figure something else out.

But embarrassing aside, it's starting to be a bit true. You like to arch your back until you're almost rolled over, then you pop your fingers in your mouth and fall fast asleep. It looks like the most uncomfortable position for sleep that I can imagine. Ok, not quite that bad, but still.

Those fingers of yours. There was a time when I feared that perhaps you weren't going to be a self-soother after all. You'd shun the power of having your fingers at your disposal for the easily displaced pacifier. And then you'd inevitably pull it out of your own mouth, resulting in much wailing and gnashing of teeth.

But you seem to be catching onto the fingers again. Thank goodness.

You're also starting to slowly settle into a comfortable routine. The eat-wake-sleep rhythm that I worked so stinkin' hard to get Bean into when she was a newborn has come naturally to you. It didn't always, but that was OK, especially since it is now. Makes for much saner days.

You're incredibly affectionate and snuggly. Up until a few days ago, you'd happily let me rock you and your blanket to sleep in my arms. But recently, you fuss until I lay you down and then you sort it out on your own. Hey, ok, whatever works, baby girl.

You are a bit more serious than your sister and much more selective with your grins. But when you grin? Watch out. It's your whole face thrown into a happy place. We can't help but grin back when we see it. There's no halfway.

We battled thrush for most of this month but thanks to good drugs and a rigorous sanitizing routine, I think we're finally past it. I think. Never say die when it comes to resistant yeast bugs.

You're fully enamored with your sister now and she pretty much can do anything and get a smile from you.  It's pretty cute.

You're starting to babble and make noises, particularly when you're playing or excited.  You have to keep up with your sister, right?  Oh, ok... and Mommy too.

You're growing like a weed.  A big, round, chunky, delicious weed that I can't help but nibble.

Just the way I like you.

Love love love,


P.S.  At 14 lbs, 8 oz and 25 inches long with a 90th % head size, you're making me look good :)  keep it up.  

Thursday, August 28, 2008


I said to Shaun yesterday, "Oh, I don't mind taking C somewhere else to fall asleep, even if we have to get her up and put her in the car to bring her home to put to bed here because she's not sleeping through the night yet. So really, what does it matter?"

So we made plans to do that tonight. 

And what did the little stinker do last night?

That's right, slept right through for a full 12 hours. 

I'm telling you, she KNOWS.

Hot Gossip in Toddlerland

I have a confession to make.

I have a somewhat secret obsession with the personal life of a certain handsome cartoon character with a skilled hand, a soft voice and a heart of gold.

And I'm not alone.

Handy Manny?  I just want you to be happy with the woman you so obviously love.

Disney's Handy Manny is a local fix-it man, similar to (but so much better than) Bob the Builder.  He always has to run to the hardware store for supplies.  The hardware store is managed by a woman named Kelly.  She always has everything.

Manny has the hots for her.  It's soooo obvious.  The slow flush that creeps up his face when she touches his hand, the fact that he probably already has materials in his truck yet he goes to get stuff from her anyway.

Anyway, I can't even begin to count how many conversations I've had with my friends over the obvious attraction that Manny has for Kelly and the equally obvious love she has for him.

(Yes, we know this is a cartoon...  we have toddlers, this is as edgy as it gets most days).

So the other day, Amy and I had this conversation:

Amy:  WHO THE HECK IS CARAMELLA?  She went to school with Manny, called him handsome, and took him up to her studio!

Me:  WHAT!??!  What about Kelly?

Amy:  Manny stayed behind to clean up the studio while SHE went to the hardware store for supplies.

Me:  OUCH!  Poor Kelly.  :(  Right in her face, too.

Amy:  Yup.  Hopefully she's just a one-episode old flame.

Me:  But the damage to Manny and Kelly's relationship might be long-term.

Amy:  Wait!  Kelly just saved the day (again) and Manny invited her to the art show.  She was super nice to the new little hussy.

Me:  Kelly's above all of that.  That's why she's who Manny will return to when he's seen the error of following said hussy's wanton ways.

All I'm saying is that Manny and Kelly are meant to be.  MEANT TO BE, PEOPLE!


That is all.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Happy Birthday Amy!

Today is the birthday of one of my nearest and dearest friends.  She makes me laugh when I'm sad.  Heck, she makes me laugh all the time.  She's encouraging, creative and kind.  She loves people with abandon.  She's devoted to her friends and family.  She's always looking for ways to help others out.  She's a terrific mom.  She's a wonderful friend.  She likes to do nice things for people on the sly.  She is a fantastic cook, (and she feeds me frequently, and really, you can't beat that).  She is a gracious hostess and always willing to be hospitable.  She makes me a better person and I'm extraordinarily blessed to call her my friend.

Happy Birthday, Amy!  I love you!

(So, so sorry this didn't go out this morning.  I'm a space cadet.  Then again, you know that and love me anyway).

WFMW: Cradle Cap Solution

  Oh, how I love babies.  I love most things about them, (aside from their uncanny ability to wake me just as I fall asleep).  My particular favorite?  Their peaches-and-cream skin.  There's nothing like a perfectly smooth baby cheek to nuzzle. 

Unfortunately, what few people tell you before you have your baby, is that when your delicious baby is a newborn?  Their skin pretty much resembles that of an adolescent boy.  Not so pretty.

First, we battled the worst case of baby acne I'd ever seen.  More recently, I noticed a particularly wicked case of cradle cap cropping up on my wee one's scalp.

Vowing to fight back, I slathered her head with baby oil and let her play for about a half an hour before her bath.  When I got her in the tub, I gently scrubbed her head with a washcloth and some baby shampoo. 

Once she got out?  Not only did she smell fabulous, but the cradle cap was practically gone.  Tougher cases require another application or two, but this should be a quick and painless solution.

Oh, a quick application of baby oil also works REALLY well for those behind the ear crusties that inevitably form on your babies AND your toddlers. 

And that, my friends, works for me.

For more Works for Me Wednesday tips, visit Rocks in My Dryer

Tuesday, August 26, 2008


Yesterday, we got some pink, strawberry milk from the farm for our pink-obsessed first born.

Having been delighted by the wonderful glass of chocolate milk I had earlier, I decided to try a glass of the pink milk.

And it was good.  And an immediate throwback to childhood.

But after a few moments, I realized why.

It tastes EXACTLY like the pink medicine we used to be prescribed for ear infections.

Now there's a taste I never thought I'd need to relive.  

Mooo! MOOOO!

Yesterday we went a little cow-crazy and took a day trip to South Mountain Creamery, a working dairy farm where you can see the cows being milked, tour the farm, see the baby cows, feed the baby cows, and buy ridiculous amounts of dairy products. 

Come on... copious amounts of cows and delicious dairy products in one place?  I'm so there.

Anyway, we came, saw a cow or three, and immediately got ice cream.  Priorities, people. 

Then we went to see the baby cows.  Bean got a HUGE kick out of the fact that the calves (are they calves like our legs?  or calfs?  Neither look right.  But I digress...) started mooing like crazy things as soon as we got close. C was just delighted to be there and awake.

They were housed in one long  barn with cows on both sides.  Bean had a good time dancing around and getting close enough for them to start to sniff her and then she'd run away.

Shaun and I were much more daring. 

Who knew that cow tongues were so stinkin' limber?  Not me.

Limber enough for one cow to try to take a chomp out of my shirt.  Apparently, he got confused and thought he was a goat. 

We laughed a lot at the silly cows.  And ourselves.  Because really, they were only so funny because we kept doing ridiculous things like, you know, standing near enough for them to lick us or give us the crazy eye.  

After a bit, the farmhands finally arrived with the bottles to feed the spastic, hungry cows.  They were insane when the milk came in, mooing and shoving and lowing.  C doesn't do all of that, but when she latched onto my cheek tonight in a fit of hunger, I definitely thought of the calves (calfs?) and saw the similarities.  Hungry is HUNGRY.   
Bean did a great job feeding her baby cow. I was really impressed since the bottles are pretty much bigger than she is.  And again, those cows?  When they're hungry?  INSANE.
One sucked the top right off a bottle.  Yeah, don't get near that mouth when she's eating.
Anyway, we had a really nice time there.  In need of a good laugh?  Go get licked by a cow.  So worth it. 

Monday, August 25, 2008

Hair Raising

I knew it would come one day.  When I found out I was pregnant with a girl, I looked forward to this day with great anticipation.

"Can I do your hair, Mommy?"

Ahhh, music to my ears.  I love having my hair played with.  Shaun and I have a compromise.  I'll watch endless games of baseball with him if he'll let me put my head on his leg and play with my hair. 

(I'm not sure he's figured out that I actually like baseball and sometimes I'll even watch it when he's not around.  Shhh, don't tell).

Anyway, when Bean asked me that the other day, it was all I could do not to trip over the laundry on the bathroom floor to get her a hair brush.  (No, not this hairbrush...  that one went to trash land).

I sat down on the couch with C in my lap to nurse and she climbed up behind us.  She gently moved her hand over my head and sang me a little song.  (A nice touch...  hair dressers might want to pick that one up.  Then again, maybe not).

Then she said, "Mommy...  I have to pick your hair up and look for something."

Um, ok...  "What are you looking for?"

"YOUR HEAD!  Now, hold still please."

And it started to get a little crazy at that point.

"OUCH!  Bean!  You're pulling my hair!" 

"Mommy, I have to find your head.  I can't see it.  You need it!"

(Little does she know, I lost it long ago).

She continued pulling my hair up towards the ceiling, a bit more gently at this point. 

Then she got the hairbrush.

"OOOOOOWWWWWWWWWWWWW!  What are you doing?"

"Brushing your hair!  Ohhh, Mommy!  You look so beautiful!"

I showed her how to put the brush against my head gently instead of beating me with it like she was trying to club a caveman.

She peacefully continued on for a few minutes and then apparently got inspired.

"EEEEEEEEEK!  WHAT THE HECK!  AHHHHHHHH!!!"  My head was on fire. 

C pulled away from me and burst into tears.  Bean fell over my shoulder and landed on the couch behind me.

"MOMMY!  I need to fix you!  And I need to find YOUR HEAD!"

I reached up to find that the brush had been rolled into my hair.  And it was stuck.

"That's very nice.  But I'm done.  No more hair fixing today!  Mommy is D-O-N-E, DONE."

"But MOOOOMMMMY!  I waaaant to!"  And a touchy Bean started throwing a temper tantrum.  C was still crying.  And at that point, as I tried to detach the brush from its nest on my skull, so was I.

Somehow, this wasn't what I had in mind when I thought about a relaxing session of mom-daughter bonding.

I'm just glad the doorbell didn't ring.

Sunday, August 24, 2008


Sorry for the brief absence...  it's been nothing short of insane here lately.  Between crazy toddler antics, crazy baby antics, and a just plain crazy me, it's been...  well?  Crazy.

Anyway, I'll be back starting tomorrow with the regularly scheduled programing.

For now, check out my friend Amy's blog to get a chance to win tickets to the upcoming movie, The Women.  Leave her some comment love.  She rocks.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Peach Picking

A week or so ago, the four of us were without a thing to do on a Wednesday morning. So when we got a text invite to go peach picking, we jumped at the chance. Last year was so much fun and the peaches were DELICIOUS.

This year promised to be the same.

And it was, except, what I didn't realize is that when you take a guy to something like that, they're on a mission. They want to get the fruit, put it in the box, pay for it all, and get out. Last year I think we were there for like 2.5 hours. This year? Shaun had the peaches picked in 25 minutes.

Right as Shaun was chomping at the bit to pick some blackberries and get home to eat stuff, C fell asleep in the stroller. So I offered to walk to the blackberry patch while Shaun and Bean drove.

Halfway there, this big ole hound dog came right out in my path and let out a series of low, growly barks. He obviously belonged to the people in the house right on the road and he was wagging his tail like a maniac, but I wasn't chancing it. So we sat on the side of the road waiting for Shaun and Bean to finish with the blackberries. No pictures of that, but I was tempted.

That was the extent of our drama. Bean and Shaun soon arrived and we headed home. Shaun immediately whipped up a peach blackberry cobbler that was DELICIOUS. When that was gone (the next day), he found a recipe for peach bread. It was quite good! Surprisingly too, since he ran out of sugar and forgot the vanilla... but that's ok. It tasted good. No pictures of that either.

I do have pictures of one of the cutest duos out there:


Tuesday, August 19, 2008


"Judge not, lest ye be judged" - Matthew 7:1

Oh, how I hate venturing out into public sometimes. Everyone has an opinion. Especially about how you're raising your kids.

Ever experienced this?

You're in the grocery store. Your 4 month old is contentedly watching you shop from the confines of her car seat when someone comments from behind you, "Aww, you're such a sweet baby! Why doesn't mommy take that silly pacifier out so we can see your pretty smile?"

Because I truly value the sound of silence, lady... so could you put a sock in it too?

Or you're making small talk with the woman standing in line with you at the bank. She looks down at your toddler who is eating goldfish, and says, "I read that non-genetically modified, organic, natural, humble, fell from the tree fruit is what we should be feeding our kids. It's all I feed my Kip and he's never been sick a day in his life."

OK, so when you start funding my food budget, I'll start buying the best of the best.

I'm sure most moms have heard something like these:

"You're going to breastfeed for that long?!"
"You're going to give her formula?!"
"You don't have her on a schedule?"
"You don't rock your kid to sleep?"
"You let her watch TV?"
"You feed her on demand?"
"You're going back to work?"
"You don't work?" (That one makes me laugh and laugh... not work. *snort*)

I think I've been on the receiving end of most of those in some variation. And boy, nothing can deflate the already fragile ego of a parent than someone judging your choices.

Granted, I don't expect people to agree with everything I do. That'd be dumb. And presumptuous. And wrong. But to look at someone with disdain for the choices that they make? That's worse.

It's so very easy to get all riled up about this. "Don't judge me! YEAH! I can do what I want! YEAH!"

Right. That's fairly true.

And yet, when I look back over my day, sometimes I just want to kick myself because I'm no different than those judging me.

Granted, I'm a lot less verbal, but still...

In the grocery store, I'm watching a mom get completely exasperated with her screaming child as she tries to find a specific box of pasta.

I judge and think to myself, "Get control of your kid or leave... I have a headache."

I don't know this lady's situation. I don't know a thing about her.

Or, I see a lady with a four year old in diapers.

Easy to assume I know her deal, "Why is he not potty trained? She must be lazy about it."

Or he might have a disability. Or be ridiculously stubborn. But, it doesn't matter.

Neither of them are hurting me... why am I so quick to judge them? Even if it's in my head. No one needs that negativity coming at them all day. And I'm sure that if I thought it? Someone has probably said it.

I'm so sick of the "Parenting Wars." Who the heck cares what Jimmy's Mommy does in her parenting? So long as it's not hurting anyone and it's working for them, why do we judge it?

Don't get me wrong, we can disagree with each other. And better yet, we can learn from each other. And we have the freedom to change. But we don't have the freedom to make someone else feel like dirt because they're not like us...

Do me a favor: stop focusing on the bad. Start focusing on the good.

And the next time you're out and you see some frazzled parent doing their best? Give them a hand or a smile or a kind word.

Both of your days will be better because of it.

That much I know is true.

Sunday, August 17, 2008


Here's how to make a toddler giggle:

Let her feed a horse...

Then let the horse give her a snarfle...

And that should do it :)

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Land of the Miniature Horses

Yesterday, we had a family day trip as part of Shaun's "staycation." After debating a bit on what we wanted to do that wouldn't be too far away to drive or too boring for Bean or too much chaos for C, Shaun suggested Land of the Miniature Horses.

Knowing my oldest daughter as I do, I figured she'd go bananas over them.

We were so right. "FORSEYS!" (Why she calls horses, "forses," I still don't know. It's one of the few wildly mispronounced words that she says... but it's so cute that I'm not in a hurry change it). She was running from side to side inside the park calling to the horses, "HI forseys! HI HI!"

At one point, she and Shaun were chosen to lead "Star," one of the horses, around the indoor ring to be pet by all of the people. Except, she was FAR more interested in the barn cat that kept eluding her grasp.

Whatever, whatever... animals are her thing. We had fun talking about all the animals and especially enjoyed reciting Llama, Llama, Red Pajama after seeing the llamas.

She also got to take her first ride on a real live horse. She was completely nervous at first but warmed up quickly and totally lit up every time she caught my eye.

Shaun surprised me by showing me he actually knows how to lasso. Like, really. See?

Me? Born and raised near the city in the upper South. Not exactly the cowboy my husband is.

He's cute though.

I just look a little insane.

C spent the majority of the time napping in her stroller or looking at the horses. Would you believe that I didn't get a single good picture of her? Poor kid.

Anyway, we had a ball. Anything that makes my kid's face look like this must be good.

May Chick-Fil-A Reign Supreme

I've never been a huge McDonald's fan, (though I once tried a snack wrap and thought that was pretty good).

Anyway, as far as fast food goes, I totally dig Chick-Fil-A.  I CRAVED it while pregnant. (OK, I still do sometimes). It's a darn good thing there's not one within a few miles from where I live.  Because I would be large.  Large, and broke.

Anyway, unless you don't have TV or you're a lucky one who has Tivo, you've probably noticed McD's new sandwich: a southern style, all white meat battered chicken breast with two pickles on a buttery bun.

Right.   What's Chick-Fil-A's signature sandwich?  A southern style, all white meat battered chicken breast with two pickles on a buttery bun.

Boo on you McDonald's.  Boo. 

(Or yay?  There IS a McDonald's down the road...  oh no, nevermind).

Anyway, I got a kick out of reading this.  Enjoy :)

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Toddler Rambles

Today, in the car with Shaun:

Bean:  "Daddy, you're the KING!  And I'm the Princess!

Daddy:  "Nice!  What's Mommy?"

Bean: "Mommy's a SPOON!"

(And apparently, C's a Knife)

 *********    *******    *********

Later, Shaun called me and handed Bean the phone so she could tell me what she had said.  Somewhere during her receiving the phone, she pushed the hold button but kept talking.

Bean:  "Mommy?  You are da spoon."


"You are da spoon!"






 "Daddy?  Mommy is NOT listening!"

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

How I Became a Monkey

Each anniversary, Shaun and I trade the responsibility of planning what we'll do to celebrate.  By far, Shaun is more creative and more inventive as to what we tend to do. 

This year?  This year I win.  Because this year, we did this:

Yup, that's Shaun up there.  No, not in the pink pants. 
We went to trapeze school.  We learned to fly like circus monkeys.  And we loved it.  Here's my graceful flight to fame:
I think we might have a future as a circus troupe.  Wouldn't you say?
That's my family in the rest of the pictures.  They came along and flew with us.  It was amazing...  if given the opportunity?  Take it.  As they say, "Forget Fear, Worry About the Addiction"  Word.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Possessive much?

In the car on the way home, I'm sitting in the back next to Bean.  She looks towards me and I notice that she has something on her face.  I move to wipe it off and the following conversation ensues:

"Mommy, NO!"

"You have something on your cheek, lemme get it."

"What is it?"

"I think it's a boogie.  There, I got it"



Some kids are possessive of toys.  Mine?  Boogers.  Oh boy.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

They Make Me Smile

There's a lot of love there. 

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Potty Training Success?

I think we're finally amongst the potty trained.  (Well, I have been for awhile... but Bean's now joining the ranks).

She's had several days with no accidents and increased awareness of when she has to go.

But I've noticed something peculiar. 

She's able to hold her pee for longer than I can. 

Today, for whatever reason, she refused to pee from 2pm-6:30pm. 

Part of this is because of some strange aversion to the potty that developed from before her nap. 

Anyway, we're done diapers, so I figured she'd go in the potty or she'd go in her pants. 

At 6:32pm, for the first time in 3 days, she went in her pants. 

On the floor. 

I sent her to the bathroom with instructions to take off her peed-in pants and to sit on the potty until I got in there. 

Now, when I got in there, she did none of the above.  Which made me mad.

But what made me madder?  Apparently, she still had to pee.

And so..

She did.

ON MY HAIRBRUSH.  (No, it wasn't on the floor.  She put in there). 

(Oh the things that are funny in hindsight that aren't funny at the time)

Anyway, when I peeled myself off of the ceiling, we had a LONG talk about appropriate places to pee and I think we're well back on our merry way. 

I'm pretty proud of the kid.  I'd like to take credit, but I didn't have much to do with it.

Now, so long as she doesn't pee on any more of my hair stuff, we're good to go. 

Friday, August 8, 2008

A Whole New Brand of Kitchen Appliances

Bean has an imaginary friend.

It started a week or so ago when she'd start mentioning this friend by name as if they were around the house or in the car. Because she generally has a habit of imagining things and talking about them, I didn't think anything of it.

But she kept mentioning this one particular person (?)

Her name? Grandma Toaster.

I kid you not.

After a brief interview about Grandma Toaster, it has been revealed that Bean met her outside while playing in her wagon. Grandma Toaster is nice and while she is good friends with Bean, she's not Bean's best friend. (That is currently Daddy. C is still her favorite friend. I am currently none of the above... ) She doesn't eat noodles, but likes peas and beans. Sometimes, Grandma Toaster likes to take baths.

And Grandma Toaster doesn't live here but has her own house.

It's a darn good thing because Grandma Toaster?

Grandma Toaster's a dragon.

That's my girl.


When we moved, we left behind a nice cozy little suburb with a mall, a Target and every restaurant imaginable  within minutes. 

We moved to where the closest store is a good 15 minute drive.

But I wouldn't trade it.  Because when we leave our house, we get views like this from across the street:

Who would have thought I'd be a country kind of girl? 
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