Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Month 5 Update - C

Dear C,

Oh baby girl, this has been quite a month...  you quit sleeping... well, you'd sleep... but only in 2 hour increments.  It's been mentally and physically exhausting. 

But just in time, you seem to be emerging from the wasteland of sleeplessness.  Ok, well, it's been one night with only one waking, but that's enough to give a tired mother hope. 

But you know?   I'm trying to take it slow this time around in babyhood.  I know that these sleepless nights are going to pass soon.  And while my whole physical being will cry out in thanks when that day comes, there's a pretty considerable part of me that is going to miss the quiet of night where I can tuck your head under my chin and breathe in that essence of baby that still floats around your head.  I'll miss your contented sighs and full body limpness that come from a full baby belly.  I'll miss your frantic scramble to get your hands in your mouth after I lay you in your bed.  I'll even miss that squawk of total indignation if I dare leave the room before you're completely settled. 

But I'll get to trade that stuff in for some pretty awesome stages in your babyhood.  Like hearing your laughter.  I truly think you're the most ticklish baby that ever was born.  Even approaching you with my "tickle fingers" elicits a grin and the lightest touch can send you into a deep throaty laugh that's so uniquely you. 

And then there's your newfound curiosity.  You're rolling easily from back to front and definitely prefer being on your belly to check out the world around you.  Specifically, to check out your sister.  Already, she pretty much hung the moon in your eyes.  You'll track her from one end of the room to the other and crack a grin just by seeing her walk into the room.  I hope you always look up to her and she always gives you reason to do that. 

You LOVE being carried.  It works out pretty well since I pretty much adore having you next to me.  Thanks to a generous friend, we were lent a sling that you've started to live in.  From birth, you've enjoyed being "worn" by me, but with this sling, you seem to be the most content, able to look at the world from your perch while still having the security of me nearby. 

When you're not in the sling, you love rolling around the floor trying to find things to eat.  I'm in SO much trouble when it comes time for you to crawl. You eat everything.  Every.Thing.  The other day, I was holding you in the kitchen with you facing outwards and you strained forward until you were bent at the waist.  You actually managed to wrap both little hands around the top of the kitchen chair and shove the corner in your mouth.  I would have imagined that this would have hurt but instead of being the cranky kid that I had been holding, you were suddenly happy as a clam.  Sadly, I couldn't stay there all day, to your dismay.

You're a tough cookie.  Shots don't make you cry, (or at least not for more than a second or three).  Toy shopping carts on the run (driven by your sister) make you mad, but you don't stay upset for long.  You can cling onto my shirt for dear life when you want to.  And you're perpetually smacking me while nursing.  I think I have bruises.  Tough, I say.

 I'm officially over the moon about you, kiddo.  I never thought that I could love another kid as much as I love your sister.  But it's as if your very existence made my heart overflow with more love for you both than I ever thought possible.



(And oh how I'm counting down the days to hear that word come out of your mouth)

Monday, September 29, 2008

When She's Thankful, She's THANKFUL!

Bean, at the dinner table the other day, burst into spontaneous prayer,

"Thank you awesome God awesome [what she calls God, presumably from singing "Awesome God" with Shaun] for the potatoes and for mommy and for the chick-a-lay, and thank you for boogers.  AMEN!"

 I clapped.  I couldn't help it!  That was pretty much the best example of "Give thanks for everything to God the Father" as I've ever heard.

Politics According to Miss Bean

Shaun to Bean a few nights ago,

"Who do you think should be President... Obama or McCain?"

Bean looks thoughtful and then says,



"Ok kiddo, who should be Vice President?"

No hesitation, she points to herself, "MEE!"

Now that's a ticket I can get behind.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

On Football...

Why is it that the cornerback, (who is supposed to be guarding the wide receiver), cheers and dances around like a loon when they tackle the guy who just caught a pass to complete a 38 yard reception?


Then you might be able to celebrate, tough guy.

I'm just sayin'

Friday, September 26, 2008

Depends on How You Look at It.

A rare Mama-Baby pic... please pay no attention to how much I look like a doofus.   
Hello from Fogville, where normal thoughts and postings can not be guaranteed because the author of this blog is walking around in a slight sleep deprivation fog. 

Yeah, C's not the best sleeper.  I think I've finally resigned myself to that. 

However, I've been doing the best that I can to try to keep perspective on the whole thing.

For instance,

Situation:  This morning, in the wee hours that shouldn't really be called morning, C was up and squelching for someone to come see her.  After the previous 3 wakings, I decided to poke Shaun and see if he'd go.  After 15 minute trying to get her to settle down and go to sleep, I hear him come back into our room and before I knew what was going on, he handed the little purple fuzzy package to me so he could go to the bathroom.  I put her beside me where she popped her right hand in her mouth and started patting me on the face with her left hand.  Then she stuck a finger up my nose.  And grinned. 

Cons:  She was awake.  Again.  Enough said.

Pros:  She was possibly the cutest thing in the world next to me, grinning like a little imp.  I also received an impromptu nose cleaning.  And of course, it always makes my heart a little happier knowing that no matter what, I can be exactly what my little one needs to smile.  

See?  So long as I maintain perspective, I think I'll come out of this alright.

I just keep repeating that she won't be doing this when she gets to college, she won't be doing this when she gets to college. 

And that?  That's a happy thought and a sad one all at once. 

Thursday, September 25, 2008

The Gerbil Wheel of Why

Sometimes I feel like talking to a toddler is a bit like running on one of those gerbil wheels.  A lot of work and not a whole lot of getting anywhere. 

"Bean, go get your shoes on."


"Because we're going to the park and you need your shoes."


"Because you don't want your feet to get hurt."


"Because-- ACK!  Just go get your shoes on!"


And she'll happily trot off to get her shoes on.  It's not defiance.  I've heard her ask "why" out of defiance and generally, that sounds far more like,


Just a smidge of a whine to it, wouldn't you say?

The normal "why" happens all day long...

"Bean, you worked really hard to color that house, nice job!"


"Um, because you wanted it to look pretty?"


"Uh...  because you like pretty things?"


"I don't know kiddo, why do you like pretty things?"

"Because they're pretty!" 

Well, ok then.

Before I had kids, I was the world's most patient future mother.  I'd answer the "why" questions of neices, nephews, siblings, any kid with a sense of amusement and a genuine intention to teach.


I try.  I really do. 

But I have to admit, the phrases, "Because I said so!" and "Because I'm the MOMMY, that's why!" come out of my mouth sometimes too.  Granted, it's mostly when she's being whiny and stalling about things. 

It's fun to realize how something so seemingly benign is so productive to her development.  Her vocabulary is increasing.  Her reasoning skills are improving.  She's beginning to understand more about cause and effect. 

I love it, but man, it can be exhausting. 

My own mental gerbil wheel.  We often don't get very far in conversation, but it sure is good exercise for both of us. 

Now, I need to go be productive. 


Because I said so! 

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Again, I Have No Words

Oh dear me.

Hershey's already messed with chocolate...  now the Crazies are attacking ice cream.

Back up off, man.  Back up off. 

She Says It Better

And I don't have the energy.

Been reading Her Bad Mother since a bit after C was born.  She has a son about 3 weeks after I had C.  I was instantly drawn in by her post on the difficulties of nursing when I had just barely dragged myself through the same experience.  A lot of her latest post could have easily been about my life. 

Anyway, read to get a sense on what life's been like for me lately but also to witness the work of a woman who can seriously capture a feeling with some amazing wordsmithing. 

Monday, September 22, 2008

Clearly, She's Not a Visual Learner

The other day, Bean was rooting around in her toybox and pulled out a foam star.  As she climbed up on the couch to show me, she said,

"Mommy, when stars get really, really, REALLY big, they make SUNSHINE!"

Well holy cow, my kid is well on her way to knowing more science than I do.

Anyway, I got a kick out of the fact that she knew this and told her so.  Then she asked me where the moon was and where the stars were.  I told her that when the sun is out during the day, you can't see the stars, and often can't see the moon.  It's like they're sleeping. 

She seemed very interested so I decided to go with it.  I picked up a rolled up pair of Shaun's soccer socks.  The way they were rolled, one side was white and one side was orange.  I figured this might be a good way to illustrate how it's dark on one side of the world and light on another.

So I launch into my explaination, using my rolled up socks as a guide.

Bean is listening to me intently with a very serious expression on her face while I finish my explanation.

"... and the sun is way up high and our big world goes around and around it and it makes it light in some places while it's dark in others.  What do you think?"

She looks at me for a minute and then says, quite seriously,

"Mommy.  Mommy!  That is NOT the big world.  That is Daddy's socks."

Apparently, visual aids aren't really her thing. 

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Mini Vacation

Things have been quiet around here because for a couple of days, C and I went away for a girls' weekend with some of my oldest friends.  It's been going on 12 years that the 9 of us have been friends, (some longer!), and the weekend away has become a tradition. 

It was refreshing.  (Albeit tiring as my sweet little C decided she didn't really like sleeping away from home).  

Anyway, I'll be back with some regular scheduled craziness tomorrow. 

For now, a picture from this weekend:

I love those girls :)

Thursday, September 18, 2008

A Moment in the Midst of Madness

We've had a tough couple of days around here.  Someone traded my easygoing sweet baby for a cranky, needy, sleepless 4 month old.  Every so often, I get flashes of her usually sunny self, but for some reason, the poor kid is going through a rough patch.

And it's totally wearing me out. 

There are times when I totally feel like I'm a brand new parent with no idea what to do.

After trying just about everything with C yesterday to get her to go down for the night, I finally decided that perhaps she should just lie down and put herself to sleep.

Not. Happening. 

A few minutes later, I picked her up and tried to rock her.  She kept crying.   I tried to nurse her.  Still crying.  I tried the swing.  And the crying continued.

After about 20 minutes, it was both of us in tears. 

She was SO exhausted.  But would. NOT. sleep.

In my head, I knew that this wouldn't last forever.  That she's going through a stage and eventually she'll sleep and eat and play like she used to.  In my head it all made sense. 

In my heart, I was wrecked.  My baby was crying and I couldn't fix it.  I'm the Mom... I'm supposed to fix it.  If I can't, who can? 

Two hours of off and on crying, and I finally held a calm baby in my arms.  She wasn't sleeping.  But she had her trusty two fingers in her mouth and she lay there, staring at me. 

Slowly, her face crinkled into a smile behind her fingers and she reached one hand up to touch my face.

She trusts me, she wants me, she loves me.  

No matter what. 

And that?  That's balm for a weary mother's soul.  Every time. 

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

WFMW: Best Booster Seat Ever

 Before I had Bean, I was completely overwhelmed with how much baby equipment existed out there.  Being completely obsessed with knowing as much as I could about any one topic, I spent hours researching what the best would be for the best price.

Then I banged my head on my keyboard fifty seven times and ran away.

Fortunately, I have good friends that came to my rescue.  My friend Amy sent me a comprehensive list of baby stuff she couldn't live without and baby stuff that she would never buy again if given the chance.

Over the course of Bean's first few years, I made revisions and additions to the list and passed on to other first time moms.

One thing that remained on the list time and time again was the Fisher Price Healthy Care Booster Seat

Why?  Oh, why not!  This thing is wonderful!

*At $27.00, it's highly affordable
*It's easy to clean - no weird nooks and crannies.  The ENTIRE thing goes into the dishwasher for sanitizing.
*Folds for easy portability.  It's light and compact, perfect for the trunk.
*It's not garish and gaudy.  The colors aren't crazy and it looks fine in an average kitchen for everyday use.
*The height adjusts easily so that you can fit under the highest and the lowest tables.
*The harness is easy for an adult to buckle, but totally tough for a kid to get out of.  (A major boon)
*It's adorable when everyone in your playgroup has one:

(That's only four kids in that pic that have one... at one point we had at least 6 in the room)

I love it.  If you didn't gather from the picture, everyone loves it.  And for you new moms (and even veteran moms!), hopefully this is one less piece of baby equipment that you have to research to buy.

And that?  That works for me.  For more WFMW tips, visit Rocks in My Dryer.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Bad Mom Confessions - Part 1

Sometimes I tell Bean that things are too spicy even when they're not just so I won't have to share.

Bad Mom Rating: ?

1 - Bad? Of course not.
2. Not so bad, but a little onery.
3. Bad. Get lectured.
4. Badder than simple bad. Timeout corner.
5. BAD MOMMY. Totally grounded.

Weigh in, folks.

Why Naptime for Mommy Doesn't Mean Sleeping

Due to a late night out for Shaun and a late night in for me, the two of us decided that once we got the girls down for a nap, it'd be our turn.

I got C settled into her swing (because that guarantees a much more lengthy nap) and Shaun took Bean into her room.

We turned on the monitors and retired to our room. Silence.

Oh that was a blissful sound.

We looked at each other and grinned before sinking our heads into our pillows.



I should really know better, right?

I don't. I never will.

Anyway, about 5 minutes in, I hear C happily chattering away. I ignored her. She went back to sleep after a few moments.

Easy enough, right?


My body was crossing that weird threshold between wakefulness and sleep. Suddenly, I started hearing a weird whispering sound.

"Mommagotaboogiegetit. Mommagotaboogiegetit."

My brain was too fuzzy to register much at that point, but when I felt something brush against my cheek, my eyes flew open.

A half an inch in front of my face were two big hazel eyes, staring me down. She was brushing my face with a kleenex.

I was totally confused and more than a little weirded out by the proximity of her face to mine and the fact that facial tissue was being used to tickle my cheeks.


"wha? What's going on? Aren't you sleeping?"

(Isn't it obvious that I'm really quite good at grasping the facts of a situation?)

Stage whispered, "MOMMY! I GOT A BOOGIE! GET IT!"

What the heck, man? What happened to nap-time? Her nose was booger-free. I looked over at Shaun to see if he could be the one to redirect this little booger-free munchkin back to her bed. (Boogers = a ruse to escape her bed). Of course, he's drooling into his pillow, oblivious to the world.

Nap time - thwarted. Again.

I swear, she has sonar. Or nap-dar. Either way, she knows.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Sunday School Conversations

Today, I picked Bean up from her Sunday school class and asked what she had talked about. 

She said, "I played with the kitchen and the dolly and the shopping cart oh and there was food and I colored and then we had a snack and it was yummy and I ate it all and I had my own cup and Hannah was there and it was the LITTLE POTTY class!"

Right-o.  (I kid you not, she does NOT breathe when she's talking sometimes). 

Anyway, when I finally remembered that the lesson was "God made ____", I asked her about it. 

"Hey Bean, who made the sun?"

"GOD!"  She looked mighty pleased with herself. 

I was impressed that she retained the lesson and proceeded to ask her about a few other things like the birds, trees, strawberries, doggies, etc.  Same answer, each time.

Then I asked her a new one,

"Bean, who made the lasagna?"

"God, Mommy, God did!"

Oh man, if only. 

Then I'd have dinner taken care of for eternity.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

I Can't Breathe, I'm Laughing Too Hard

And you thought your church service was cheesy?  Check this out:

I am not 100% sure they're serious.  But oh man.  Stick with it until around 1:50 in...  the dance solo is way, way worth it.  Holy cow.

Still laughing.

(Hat tip to Days to Come for the link)


What I intended to accomplish this weekend:

Steam clean carpets
Do laundry
Put laundry away
Organize playroom
Put unused toys away
Write up lesson plans
Grade papers
Clean out my car
Plan some sort of menu for the week
Make a grocery list
Reinstall Photoshop on my computer
Eat more vegetables
Drink nothing but water
Catch up on blog posts
Clean out refrigerator

What I actually accomplished as of the time of this post:

Steam cleaned carpets (oh my word, the grossness)
Snuggled with the baby
Did two loads of laundry
Played potato heads with Bean
Ate ice cream
Drank two sodas and a sweet tea
Watched Bring It On
Put one load of laundry away
Loaded dishwasher
Tickled baby until I got belly laughs
Pretended to be sick so Bean could "doctor" me
Fed the baby
Put baby down for a nap
Fed the baby
Put baby down for a nap again
Fed the baby (ad nauseum)
Looked at my school bag. 
Put school bag in closet
Pulled school bag out of closet
Put school bag in car.
Took school bag out of the car.
Let baby give me kisses (i.e. slobber all over me)
Updated my fantasy team
Watched football
Lamented the fact that my quarterback choice was AWFUL.
Cried over the fact that Peyton Manning seemed to have forgotten his Wheaties this morning.

Not a whole lot of overlap, but you know?  I'm kind of ok with that.

Friday, September 12, 2008

This One's for AmyB (No Tears This Time, I Promise)

I think I've remarked about how shocked I continually am that Bean is such a stinkin' girlie-girl.

For the record, I am not girlie.  I possess very little grace.  I can't walk in high heels.  I have a hard time accessorizing.  My attempts at ballet were laughable at best.  My favorite color is certainly not pink.

My oldest girl?  Oh man.

Think of the most pink, sparkle-laden princess that you can and you have Miss Bean.

Yeah, I don't know where she gets it from either.

Anyway, I've been wondering how different the girls are going to be from each other.  Is C going to be a bit of a tomboy like mom?  Or is she going to follow in her sister's footsteps?

Apparently, I don't have much of a choice, it seems...

Yes, that's drool...  apparently there's a bit of hope for me yet...
Or maybe not... pink and a crown...
But no one said she had to be a demure princess...  I think the tongue is a nice touch.

I just love that one. 
She cracks me up.  I love it.

Having girls is awesome... princess or tomboy.  And hey, why can't they be both?

Thursday, September 11, 2008

September 11, 2001

I was snoring in my dorm room when the phone woke me up. As soon as I saw Shaun's name on the caller ID, I groaned, debated throwing the phone at the wall, and answered, fully expecting to yell at him for waking me up early even though he knew full well I had an hour left to sleep.

The first words out of his mouth were, "Wake up, we're under terrorist attack."

To which I responded, "SHUT UP. Not funny! I have another hour--"

He cut me off and told me to turn my TV on.

I remember staring at the screen, my stomach churning and wondering what kind of joke this was. What I was seeing couldn't be real.

But it was.

And it kept getting worse. I saw the live feed as the second plane hit. I watched as the towers fell. First one, then the other.

I remember losing the connection to Shaun on the phone and panicking when news of the Pentagon was broadcast, knowing he was just across the river at Bolling AFB.

I couldn't dial numbers on my phone because my hands were shaking so much.

The phone rang and I jumped. It was Shaun. He was fine, but he could see the damage across the water. Shaken, I asked if he would be safe.

"I hope so."

Not exactly comforting.

He promised to check in periodically and get to me as soon as he could.

I called my dad and heard his voice crack and choke as we listened to the news reporter speculate on the number of firefighters still in the buildings as they collapsed. His brothers-in-arms. He was a firefighter too.

I didn't cry before then. But hearing my dad break was enough to tear through my numbness.

I watched the city become engulfed in smoke.

I turned the TV off, horrified. Three seconds later, I turned it back on. Couldn't look away.

Eventually, I ventured outside to the courtyard, meeting friends who looked as shaken as I felt. We huddled in groups, talking over the morning's events. We discussed things we could do to help. We wondered if we should pack up and head to NYC.  What could we do?  We felt helpless.  We felt scared.  We felt numb.  We felt impassioned. 

I remember the eerie stillness of a sky devoid of planes.

We all donned our best Americana gear, hoping to convey in our small way, support for a nation grieving.

No one thought of class. No one cared. For once though, no one was celebrating the vacation.

It brought us all together. Within days, benefits were organized, blood drives were put together, people were raising funds. It didn't matter if you were Democrat, Republican, whatever... everyone was united to support our Nation.

The way it should always be.

It's just a shame such a great price had to be paid for that.

I remember feeling like my little bubble of a world was suddenly unsafe. Every plane that would eventually fly overhead made me cringe.

I was terrified to fly. I still am, most times.

I was scared every day of turning on the news to hear of some other great atrocity. Because we weren't immune to them any longer.

Because terrorists managed to break through our impenetrable exterior and strike us at the heart.

And strike they did.  They struck fear into our hearts.  Then anger.  Then determination.  

We were determined not to let this divide our country.  Red and blue, we united together to cry out for our nation. 

We were Americans.  We ARE Americans. 

And we won't forget. 

Hide and Seek, Toddler Style

When do kids go from "toddlers" to "preschoolers?"

Just wondering.

Anyway, today I played a little improv game of hide-and-seek with Bean.  At first, it totally involved the scare factor where I hid in random places, jumped out and scared her into giggles.  

Then I suggested that she hide and I would find her.

The first time she "hid", she stood upright behind our ottoman.  Which is a good foot and a half shorter than she is. 

Hmmm, ok.  Might want to try again.

I closed my eyes and told her to hide again. 

This time?  In the open corner.

I cracked up.

Funnier was how she stayed perfectly still with a look of breathless anticipation until Shaun and I looked at her and said, "WE FOUND YOU!"  Then she'd squeal in delight and run around the room.

Apparently, we have some work to do on the definition of "hide"

Wednesday, September 10, 2008


There's nothing like the sound of rain to make one completely relax. 

Unless you're cooped up with a toddler who has the energy of 12 sugared-up spider monkeys.

Then then sound of rain can make one quite insane.

Such was the story this morning as we realized our trip to the farm was going to be cancelled due to poor weather. 

But we improvised and had quite a lovely day anyway.

This morning, we gathered up the troops and went to a local bounce house to let Bean bounce away some of that energy.

She bounced enough to practically beg for a nap on the way home.  Music to my ears. 

Actually, both girls took deliciously long naps.  While they were sleeping, I managed to get a ton done which freed me up to play when they woke up. 

Both of them woke up in delightful moods and we had a good time puttering around the house. 

After I put C to bed, Bean and I decided to bake cookies.  Mmm.

Well, she made them, I watched and did the oven part. 

They were fabulous.

Bean didn't quite understand having to wait for the cookies to bake after we mixed the dough.

"Mommy, I would like my cookie now."

"Baby, they have to bake for a little bit"

"Ok." *2 second pause*  "Mommy, I want my cookie now, please."

And so on, and so on, and so on.

Anyway, she finally got her cookie, a bath, some bedtime stories, and some snuggles and is now fast asleep, probably dreaming of pink cupcakes as is her norm. 

I'm sitting here with the sound of rain floating through the window behind me.

And I'm completely content.

WFMW: Saving Money at Target

I love Target.  Oh, how I love Target.  Let's just say it's a darn good thing for our bank accounts that we don't live within 5 minutes from one anymore.

Anyway, when I get a chance to make it to a Target, I have found out that I can save a considerable amount of money with very little effort.  And in order to preserve marital harmony, I try to do that.

Target runs decent sales.  They're not great.  But they're not bad.

You can capitalize on these sales by using coupons.  That's a fairly obvious trick to saving money. Target takes manufacturer's coupons and they often send out their own coupons in the mail.

However, what I didn't know up until recently was that you can use the manufacturer's coupons AND the Target coupon on the same item!  

The other day, I noticed that my favorite brand of diapers (Huggies) was on sale, (and this is a brand that I don't buy often because they're regularly expensive).  Then, I had a coupon from Target AND a coupon from the paper.  Diapers that were regularly $10.49 for a jumbo pack were reduced to $6.49.  I got a pack of premium diapers for close to the same price as the generic.  Nice :)  Also, you can apparently use Huggies coupons for any Huggies product, not just the product on the coupon.  So don't toss those coupons for pull-ups even if your kid is nowhere near ready for them!  Use it on diapers!

Cool, huh?

It makes me happy.  The other day, I spent $22.50 and got the following items:

1 Jumbo pack of size 2 Huggies diapers
1 16 oz container of Mr. Bubbles
1 pack of Huggies shea butter wipes (we really needed a new case)
1 shirt for Bean
1 pink plastic pencil box for Bean's crayons
2 Huggies clean team wipes
1 box of band aids
1 pack of 5 notebooks
1 plastic big kid cup for Bean
4 decorative kids' plastic plates

Some people really get into the coupon game.  I don't necessarily have the time to spend on getting too involved, but I like that I can save a considerable amount of money on the big things with very little effort.

And that?  That works for me.  Visit Rocks in My Dryer of more Works-For-Me-Wednesday tips.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Phil & Teds Dash Stroller in Travel Bag

**For the actual instructions, scroll down**

I'm spoiled.  I'm going to go ahead and say it now so you don't have to think it later.

Anyway, when we sold our old house, I wanted one thing.  I wanted the stroller that I had been looking at and salivating over for almost a year. 

The Phil and Teds E3

However, that's the only one that was available when I looked initially.  Almost a year later, there were three other models in addition to the E3.  The sporty SP, the swanky Vibe, and the streamlined Dash

A few months ago, when we were in a position to consider making this purchase, the Dash was actually being introduced in the stores with a free doubles kit.  That made it only a smidge more than the SP with way more features.  Check!  We'll take it.

So we did.  And it's as fantastic as I imagined it would be.  I only had one major gripe.  The instructions?  They are AWFUL.  The makers of the stroller are witty, innovative, and fun, but they are not even remotely clear when it comes to their manual.  The pictures aren't large or colorful enough to be clear and the words are sparse.

No big deal, really.  The stroller was relatively easy to figure out and we didn't have any trouble getting it together. 

So we've been happily using it.  Bean loves it.  C regularly falls asleep in it.  (That's a boon, for sure).  We're all happy.

In preparation for our trip to TX, we ordered the travel bag.  We'd been forever happy with our Combi stroller and carrier bag for trips and always noticed how protected our stroller was.  Because we'd seriously invested in this stroller, we figured we should get the bag for ultimate protection. 

I mean seriously, has anyone seen the beatings that suitcases take when they're checked?  Yeah, exactly. 

(Come to think of it, airplane sturdiness has been a deciding factor on several pieces of baby equipment.  More on that another time).

Anyway, true to form, I opened the box with the bag enclosed and no directions were enclosed at all.  Not unclear ones, just... none. 

Not that huge of a deal, right?  Because this is just a stroller bag, right?

Haha...  no.  It was like rocket science.  After two unsuccessful calls to the sweet people at Regal Lager, visits to countless websites, I decided to go at it alone.  And I had success!

So I decided to document it best I could for all you other new Dash owners who wanted to pulverize the stroller bag into a million tiny pieces because of the frustration. 

Don't worry, I'm here for you.  I'll even give you a hug if you need one.


Anyway, here goes:

How to Fit a Phil & Teds Dash Stroller in the Travel Bag

1.  Unsnap wheel guards on the back wheels, the front child bar, the canopy, and the front wheel.

2.  Put the handle in the middle position, just above the position that will lock the brake. 

3.  Fold the stroller and lock it into the closed position. 

4.  Open the stroller travel bag and place it on the floor with the labels down.  Open the top flap completely.

5.  Place the stroller into the bag with the handle on the bottom of the bag and at the widest part.  The wheels should be at the wide end of the bag.

6.  Wrap velcro pieces around wheels and fasten.  

7.  Place front wheel into the small well made on top of the handle. 

8.  Nestle wheel guards under footrest.

9.  Place canopy on top of the handle end of the bag.  Place child bar wherever you can fit it.

10.  Fold the seat on the doubles kit and put it face down on top of the stroller with the narrow side towards the narrow end of the bag. 

11.  Zipper bag, fasten velcro, and boom, there you are!  You can now wheel the bag wherever you need it to go. 

This is VASTLY different than the instructions for the SP or the E3, which is what made it so ridiculously confusing.

12.  If you've reached the gate and you'd like to store the wheels when you check the bag, detach them from the stroller by depressing the silver button.  Continue pressing the button while holding the silver stick and you can take them out to store in the bag.  Store the wheels with the front wheel and zip the bag. 

It's a lot to do to store the stroller, but to me, it's totally worth it to protect an investment we hope to keep for years to come. 

If you've stopped by searching for these instructions and you have questions about specifics, please comment and I'll get back to you as soon as I can with the answers. 

Saturday, September 6, 2008

More Sister Moments

Every once and awhile, Bean asks to hold her baby sister. The event requires cosmic timing as it has to be a moment where Bean asks, where I don't have a million things in my hands so I can be on "catch" duty, and where C is ready to be manhandled. (Because Bean is sweet, though not always thoroughly gentle).

Anyway, the other day provided some magic moments.

And of course, I took pictures. Why wouldn't I?

C was remarkably compliant and even cracked a smile...  I think that had a lot more to do with her sister than it did with me. :)
But by the end?  She'd had enough.  It's ok though... still a lot of love.

Friday, September 5, 2008


Nothing but love.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

They Call It Co-Sleeping But There's No Sleep to be Had.

Oh my word.  I don't know how some of you do it.  Co-sleeping is like a middle of the night gymnastics fest where the audience is required to participate against their will.

Bean's been a bit sick with a cold, and for her, colds inevitably turn into a cough and the like.  The cough makes her sleep terribly, and last night, after wrestling with her pillows and trying to find a spot where she wouldn't hack so much, she asked to come snuggle with us.

I scooped her up and put her between us.  I told her to shut her eyes and try to sleep and she did. 

Well, that was easy, right?

Then the Olympics began.

She lay there quietly, holding her blanket and trying to stave off the coughing.  After awhile, her breathing steadied and deepened and I assumed she was asleep, so I closed my eyes as well.

Apparently, when she is asleep, she is taken over by some highly energetic limb flailing creature.

I had just crossed over into that half sleep phase when out of nowhere-


Her arm flew across her body and smacked me square across the face.  I sat up and stared through the darkness at her.  Her eyes stayed closed and she didn't move again.  I gently moved her arm back to her side and rolled over.


This time, it was Shaun's turn.  I couldn't help but giggle when I turned over to see Bean smacking Shaun on the back over and over with her eyes closed.  He looked at her and then at me.  I shrugged.  Bean mumbled something and rolled herself over.

Shaun and I fell back asleep.

Awhile later, I woke up to find her head trying to burrow its way into my lower back and her feet propped up on Shaun's side.

Shaun and I each had an approximate millimeter of space on the two sides of the bed which Bean comfortably stretched herself across the width.

Add to that her sleep talking and we had ourselves quite a circus.

I moved her back to her pillow in the middle of the bed.  We all drifted back to dreamland.

11 seconds later, (or that's what it felt like)-

"MOOOOOMY!!!"  She was screaming at me with her eyes closed which is the only excuse I'm giving her for screaming even though my ear was about 2.3 inches from her mouth.  "MOMMMMY!!!!  I WANT MY CUUUUUUP!  MY CUP!"  I grabbed her water cup, held the straw so she could drink, and began to put it back on the side table.   "NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!  NOOOOOOOO!  YOU HOLD IT!  HOLD IT RIGHT THERE!"

Thinking she wasn't done, I obliged.  But then she rolled herself over and went back to sleep so I tried again to put the cup back.


Oh dear.  Once we sorted that out, we again went back to sleep.

pat, pat, pat

This time, she reached her hand out to pat my cheek and when my eyes opened she said, "Mommy?  Can we hold hands?  I need you."

Anytime kiddo, anytime.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Mom of the Year

So, in an effort to ensure transparency, I think it's probably a good idea for me to display some evidence of my fallibility as a mother.  I mean, after all, those moments are few and far between.

*snort*  Right.
Anyway, yesterday, the girls and I were driving back from errand running and I got cut off by a woman who wasn't paying much attention to her driving.  I tapped on the horn quickly to give her the heads up.

And from the back of the car, I hear a little voice pipe up indignantly,

"DUDE!"   I cracked up.  Then she continued,

"The freakin' guy is driving all stupid!" 

Oh dear me.  Dear, dear me. 

Apparently, she not only hears me when I mutter, but can pull those words out at completely fitting moments. Kind of amazing.

Annnnd, it's back to mommy jail for me. 

WFMW: HE Washer Odor

Today's the backwards edition of Works-For-Me-Wednesday where we post problems/questions and people respond with helpful hints, so if you're a fix-it type and want to help out, visit Rocks In My Dryer for more entries.

Anyway, I know I'm double posting, but I couldn't decide.

Here is my second question of the day:  I have an HE Whirlpool Duet wash machine that I got from Shaun for my birthday a few years ago.

Let no one fool you.  Women can be completely overcome with happiness over an appliance gift.  I loved it so much that I asked whether we could skip dinner to watch the spin cycle... Then again, perhaps that's just me.

Anyway, I digress.

The wash machine performs splendidly.  It takes out stains and dirt and holds an insane amount of clothing.  I love doing laundry except for one thing.

The tub always always always seems to have an slight odor... like a mildewy towel odor.  It doesn't transfer to the clothing, but it sure smells.

Any suggestions to get my beloved wash machine again smelling like... well, nothing?

WFMW: Epson Printer Issues

Today's the backwards edition of Works-For-Me-Wednesday where we post problems/questions and people respond with helpful hints, so if you're a fix-it type and want to help out, visit Rocks In My Dryer for more entries.

Anyway, as for my lovely issue.  I have an Epson Sylus Photo R380 that I actually got for free with my camera.  Anyway, I've long been in LOVE with the quality of the photos that come out of the Epson printers.  I had an Epson printer before this one too.

However...  Epson irritates the socks off of me for one reason.  Their ink management.

My printer sucks ink like it's going out of style.  And then?  When it's out in one color, you still can't print, regardless as to whether you need that color.

So you have to replace the ink.

Which leads to my issue:  I bought re-manufactured ink for the printer at at least a fifth of the price.  And now my printer won't recognize one of the cartridges.  (It recognized the other one, so it's not a complete wash).

So, I've got $50 worth of ink that's either unusable, or there's some trick to making it work.

From what I've read online, this is a very common problem.  Unfortunately, it seems that most people don't know a whit about what to do with it aside from calling and complaining to Epson.  And if it comes to that, complain I will. 

Any advice?

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

The Cuteness of Self-Expression

The four of us each got some seriously awesome Little Mismatched socks from Shaun's parents.  (Thanks Meme and Pawpaw!) 

Bean has been wearing hers ever since.  In fact, she's been wearing a pair on her hands, too.

I can't get over how fun they are.  Better yet, they're high quality.  They stay up, they're thick, and they have grippers on the bottom.  I'd buy more in a heartbeat. 

Next up?  The four of us with our socks on, all lined up.  For now, I couldn't resist sharing their cuteness.

Monday, September 1, 2008


Bean's been inventing some jokes lately.  Most of the time, they make absolutely no sense.  Which is what makes them delightfully funny to me. 

Bean:  Mommy!  MOMMY!  What is big and silly and pinkle?

Me:  Um, you?

Bean:  A SMAFFADOOBER!  *dissolves into giggles*

She makes me grin. She also makes me think of my favorite joke ever.  Check this out:

Person 1:  LOOK!  A matta baby is over your head!!

Person 2:  What's a matta baby?

Person 1:  Nothing, what's a matta with you?

Hahahaha...  I crack me up.
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