Monday, May 30, 2011

a productive (if a bit rainy and cold) Memorial Day weekend

We are sadly saying goodbye to a nice long weekend.  Our weather did not cooperate with us for the usual Memorial Day activities this year, but no big surprise there.  As you know, the weather isn't real cooperative ever around here. :)

Never the less, this family was busy.

Guess where my daughter has slept the last three nights?

Upstairs, in her bed, by herself!  We were all prepared for this to be a miserable transition, and while I refuse to count any unhatched chickens, it has so far turned out to be quite the opposite.  Every night, I have taken her up there, washed her hands and face, brushed her teeth, turned on her nightlight and sat in the rocking chair with her as she dozed off, put her in her crib and gone back downstairs - prepared for our familiar old 3am wake ups, bringing a kicking screaming  kid back to bed with us, all of the good things we have been subjected to for the last 16 months.

But they never happened.

We never heard another peep from her until after 8am the following morning.  My terrible sleeper has been not just sleeping, but sleeping IN.  Whose child is this? Certainly not mine who has never slept past 7am in her whole life. 

I cannot tell you how happy this makes me - but i also cannot tell you how silly this makes me feel.  all of this leads me to believe that she has been playing a trick on us, clever little girl.  Like she has been capable of sleeping all night and even sleeping in, but has been choosing not to because we are conveniently right close by to play. :-/

In other news take a look at this:

My husband has been a busy painter this weekend, hasn't he? Don't you just LOVE the hot pink stripes in the window seat nook!?  I do!  And it is the prettiest  shade of green!  I made the little pompoms over the crib while he painted on Saturday night after we put Hayden to bed - we were commenting that we hadn't been up past midnight in years, party animals we are. LOL It is so cute, I can't get enough of it - and I can't wait to find a dresser, make some artwork, buy the bedding, ect.! 

Hayden has been busy too.  Her Gramma and Grampa bought her this little four wheeler, and in between thunderstorms, she has been buzzing allover the yard on it.

She has not really figured out turning yet, so there are a lot of rescues by her pit crew (aka: Dada):

Here she is practicing for when she wins the race:

She has recently become aware of bugs, and finds them to be fascinating, yet terrifying.  The one is this picture is the tiniest roly poly (you probably can't even see it in the picture) but it had her screaming and giggling.

She suckered her Daddy into pulling her in the wagon during one brief moment of sunshine, and as you can see, it tickled her pink:

We wrapped this up with a private (indoor) barbeque for 3.5, prepared  for us by our favorite guy.

In the midst of all of these things, we also enjoyed a really fun (also indoor) barbeque with friends on Sunday night, a trip to the nursery, visits from Gramma and Grampa, and a lot of great time together.  so yeah, busy weekend.  Every second has been so full, and I am sad to see it end!  I hope that you all had a nice Memorial Day weekend, enjoying good company - and hopefully someone enjoyed better weather than we did! :)

Happy Memorial Day 2011!

Friday, May 27, 2011

Nothing in life is "mess free"....

My child loves a good art project.
She comes by that honestly – after all, I do too.  I am sure that I have mentioned this before, but as a little girl myself, my dad and I had the following conversation almost daily:
Me: (sitting in a heap of glue and markers and scissors and scraps of paper) Hi Dad.
Dad: (coming in from outside) Hi. What are you making – besides a mess?

We love a good mess project around here – it is in our blood.
I don’t really mind Hoots making a mess sometimes.  In fact, I think that making a mess is an important thing to let kids do. I like finger painting and play dough as much as the next mom, probably more.  But sometimes, I am looking for something, shall we say, lower maintenance.   Sometimes, chasing a marker wielding toddler around the house (my girl LOVES markers), shouting, “ONLY ON THE PAPER!” isn’t sounding that appealing to me.
So I thought I would try this out:

How could i resist those big, gorgeous words "MESS FREE" shouting out at me, reaching the very soul of any mother who has scrubbed paint from everywhere you can imagine?  Not me, that is for sure.  So we rushed home to give it a try.
Aaaaaannnnnddd..........  well, I have mixed feelings about it. 
A good thing: It is clear, and really only shows up on the special paper, so there is no paint on the furniture, walls, or dogs.
A bad thing: It is clear, so it was almost like she had a hard time telling it was on her finger and that she should wipe it on the paper now.  She would just get a glop on her finger and  get mad that I wouldn’t let her stick her finger back in there for more.  Then, because it is a weird jelly-like consistency, it was so sticky and weird as it dried on her hands - so, I feel like while there was no color on my stuff, the mess-free mess was still there.  Also, it was $8, which seems like a lot of dough to shell out for so little paint.  Okay, that was more than one bad thing.  LOL
We did end up with a masterpiece:

(Sorry for the crappy photo.  Garrett ran off with my camera this morning and I took this with my phone.  Yuck.)
I will say that we are going back for some Color Wonder Markers for my budding artist to try out.  I think that the markers might be a better fit for Little Miss Independent (she hates me giving any kind of help or suggestions during  her creative time!) and that way I can stop screaming, “ONLY ON THE PAPER!” for a little while.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

"What would Lady Gaga wear during pregnancy?" for $500, Alex.

Yesterday I went to Carson to see my doctor for my regular monthly appointment.

I explained to him that I was having a ton of pain in my pelvis that I never had last time.  Rolling over in bed, lifting my legs to get dressed, (especially) hoisting myself in and out of my truck are all excruciating.  It honestly feels like my crotch could fall off.  Is that possible? Probably not, but it sure as heck feels like it might be.

After asking all of the obligatory questions, he tells me what I expected - there isn't much that can be done for me, that having had a kid already my body is different than it was last time, my bones and ligaments are separating and blah blah blah.  Great. 

I had done a little bit of research and pretty much knew this already, so I guess it wasn't a huge surprise, but still - just what I didn't want to hear.

Then, as if he is mentioning some wonderful miracle, he recommends that I go home and Google a Prenatal Cradle, which is a thingy you wear that will  hold your belly up and take the pressure off of your pelvic girdle. 

I felt like I had seen a holy light!

I rush home and settle in to search out my life saving Prenatal Cradle.

And then, I nearly DIE when I see this picture:


This is the contraption that is supposed to save me from my pain?  This thing has a friggin' COD PIECE, amongst other obvious issues.  Wow.

I began to wonder if i was just being a jerk about how ridiculous this thing looks, so I post on Facebook that this is what I discovered, which results in these comments:

  • "Lol! Are you going bungy jumping!?!"
  • It's like a baby bjorn before birth."
  • "Omg that's hilarious! Nice cod piece."
  • "There are at least 21 people who bought that torture device!"
  • "Maybe it can be used for something after baby is born....hmmmm... looks swing like.."
  • "Only 3 left but u do have the option to purchase a USED one! A little cheaper..."
  • "I'm not sure what is making me laugh more. The torture device or this conversation. I'm laughing so hard it hurts!"
And that is just a sampling...  so I am not alone - this thing is nuts. 

Maybe I will order it and wear it to a Lady Gaga concert or something. All that is missing is some bedazzling. :-/

In other news, my doctor says that everything is still perfect and that this has been "a rather unremarkable pregnancy."  Oddly, that is just the kind of pregnancy I was looking for. LOL Embarrassingly, I was chided by Dr. Chacon for a big jump in my weight in th past four weeks...  I have apparently been power eating, because I gained a whopping 11 pounds this month.  Wow. Embarrassing.  He swears it is no big deal, that i am "right on track at 20 pounds so far" and that I shouldn't get too worked up, that I just need to "be aware". 

Okaaaaaay - to be honest, all I heard was, "Have a little self control, chubby." LOL Garrett swears that isn't what he said. LOL

According to my calculations, there are only 98 days until my due date.  It seemed like I was pregnant for a decade when I was pregnant with Hootie - this time it is flying by.  Baby Carly will be taking her place in the family before I know it... 

26 weeks down, 14 to  go.

Holy crap - I still have so much to do...  I had better go get started on bedazzling my Prenatal Cradle. :)

Sunday, May 22, 2011

My big girl is at her Gramma and Grampa's house right now having a sleepover, which leaves me more or less idle for a little bit.  Sure, I could do some laundry or mop a floor while my "assistant" is gone, but I have opted instead for watching a movie and blogging.  Who needs clean clothes, right?

Last week sometime when my mom asked if Hoots could spend the night I looked forward to sleeping in this morning, which totally didn't happen.  For one reason or another, I was wide awake before seven.  What the heck? 

I am wearing regular (non-maternity) shorts, as I haven't had the opportunity to buy any for my burgeoning belly yet and these fit alright if I wear them down low (and preferably unbuttoned) on my hips.  I proudly announced to my husband when I put them on this morning, "Great news! My ass isn't any bigger! Just my huge belly! Yay!" He didn't have much of a response.  I guess he is smarter than the average bear. LOL

The funny thing about it is that as happy as I was in regards to the size of my rear-end in my nearly 26 weeks pregnant state, my nearly 26 week old baby doesn't seem as impressed.  She hasn't been still for a single minute since I put the shorts on, kicking at the waistband (and my bladder or whatever else she can get to) and carrying on like she is actually being squeezed in there.  What a kid.

Things are so quiet here with HootOwl, but look at what fun she is having, helping in Gramma and Grampa's garden!  Little girl loves the dirt! Grampa sent up this picture from his phone:

Tuesday, May 17, 2011


She is more fun every day,  I swear.  I have said it before and I'll say it again - my cup runneth over.  :) 

In some ways I never want her to get any bigger - but everyday is something else new and fun, so it isn't true.

How'd we get so lucky?  :)

Monday, May 16, 2011

The Terrifying Incident With the Meatball

We are a Sesame Street house.  We really love those fuzzy little muppets. Hayden loves them because they are cute and friendly and sing catchy little tunes that make any 16 month old bust a move.  I love them because they are sweet and age-appropriate, not to mention familiar (I was also raised up on good old Sesame) and they keep my child entertained long enough for me to shower or use the restroom without a little helper there, too.

Haydie has never seen a Sesame segment she doesn't like - until now....

Yesterday, I started up this DVD for her:
Looks fairly harmless, right?  Well it was for a while... in fact, it had her mesmerized for quite a while, which I was grateful for because I wanted to do some dishes and clean up some toys.  She was dancing and clapping along in the living room, happy as a clam. 

That is, until The Terrifying Meatball rolled through.

There is a scene with Snuffy, singing "On Top of Spaghetti" and chasing after a wayward meatball.  This storyline runs throughout the 45 minutes of the show, coming to a terrifying climax in this harrowing scene where Elmo is nearly crushed by the menacing ball of meat:

This scared the crap out of my poor daughter.  She was climbing up my leg, trembling and sniffing (she can't say "Snuffy" and she thinks his name is "Sniffy" so she makes a sniffing sound for him) and pointing and crying.  Poor little thing!  Scared to death of a meatball!! 

I am not sure if she was scared of the music, or worried for her BFF Elmo, or just scared that the meatball would get her, too.  Even after we turned it off, she was asking me, "Elmo bye bye? Night night? *SniffSniff* [aka Snuffy] bye bye? Night night?" and pointing at the TV! 

I guess that since I have the weird kid who is scared of a rolling meatball, we will be putting that particular DVD away and sticking to safer, meatball-free viewing!

Friday, May 13, 2011

Carly's Nursery, Phase One = COMPLETE

With Hayden's room squared away, we have moved across the hall to Carly's room, and plans are in full  swing.

I have to brag about my Craigslist find - a gently used white Ikea crib + mattress + white book shelf = all for $75!!!!!!!!!  Score!  I love a good deal....

Garrett picked all of it up in Reno on Wednesday afternoon and we set to work assembling the crib, putting our treasure trove of little girl's clothes in the closet, and making a game plan.

$50 crib and mattress:

$25 shelf:
Cute fabric Hayden and I picked out to cover the window seat cushion:
A close up of the cute mobile!  <3

(I added some accessories for the sake of picture taking, to help you follow along with my vision... LOL)

And now, on to Phase Two!!!!!

  • Order bedding (picture from Carter's website):

  • Paint:

  • Some little sewing projects with these:

Hootie's Nest and a loose plan for using it....

We have lived in our house for a year now and we have never really done much in Hoot's room, aside from putting her furniture in there and grabbing laundry or something for her to wear from up there occasionally.  As you all know, she doesn't sleep up there and never has.  Naughty parents. But that all has to change before September 1st (or there abouts) when we gain a sister - unless I lose my mind and crate a "family bedroom" for all four of us like Garrett suggested....  I don't want it to come to that.  LOL

So we have started phasing Hayden's room into less of a receptacle for her clothes and more of a space for her to play and relax in. 

We took some toys up there and we decorated a little bit and now she is obsessed with going in there. She wants to spend all day in there.  She can go up an down the stairs now, which freaks me out and we keep it gated when we aren't watching like hawks.  While it is scary, it is a good thing that she can safely navigate the stairs, though, because she has snuck up there on occasion when we forget to re-gate the entryway...  :-/ Again, naughty parents. 

You all know how I hate to spend a ton of dough on things I have or can do myself, and I am proud to say that this little spruce-up cost all of $0 so far.  Go me!!  This is thanks to a combo of creative rearranging of things we had, some cute hand-me-downs and gifts - and of course that darling bookshelf from Grampa.  I still have some little ideas that need to be taken care of (which will no doubt change the $0 price tag, but not by too much) but for now I want to show you our Garden Girl's room.

This crib turns to a toddler bed for when she figures out how to climb out of it.  I am hoping that is when she is 10. LOL Okay, that won't happen, but for now, she has no clue. 

I also need to find some cherry frames for these pictures.  They were passed along to Hayden by my cousins Amy and Christina.  We were going to paint a tree on this wall (we may still someday) but when Amy and Christina brought these pictures over, they were perfect!!  I love Peter Rabbit, and we are aiming towards a Garden-ish, girly theme in here. :)  Thank you, Amy and Christina!!

These are the pom-poms from her birthday party...  I think we need some over the crib, too.  They are super easy and cheap to make and make an adorable statement.  (Look HERE to see how to do it yourself.)

The little (okay, huge) Piggy bank in the corner was something that Garrett's family had in their house when he was a kid.  We have had to sitting in the garage for a year, and every time we would come or go, Hootie would say hi and bye to it, stick her fingers in his nose, and kiss him.  We decided what better place for her friend than in her room.

These are Garrett's dishes from when he was a baby.  What a happy coincidence that they are also Peter Rabbit!!

 The famous dollhouse bookshelf, now housing toys and books.  She likes it. :)

So, that is the (mostly) completed big-girl nest. 

Now the plan is to spend time up there playing and hanging out an next week start taking naps up there, followed by sleeping up there at night.  It is time.  She is not a tiny baby anymore and the pack and play isn't gonna cut it forever - and we are not having a "family bedroom" no matter what my husband tells you.  LOL  I am actually hopeful that someday in the future (maybe not until both kids are like 12 and think we are uncool losers because we are their parents, but someday) I will be able to sleep without a little person joining me in my bed to spend the remainder of the night kicking me in the kidneys, punching me in the eye, and yelling "MAMA!" three inches from my face in the dark of night. 

A mom can dream, can't she?

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Happy Mother’s Day!

Sleeping in didn’t happen for me this morning…  I got up to use the bathroom at around 6:30 (no surprise when you have someone tap dancing on your bladder) and I  left Daddy and HootOwl and the Pug-dog asleep in bed.  By the time I got back, they had all shifted and somehow (in our huge king-sized bed) there was no space for a mama.  How is this possible?   I always joke that as soon as Garrett falls asleep, he is like kudzu – he can somehow spread out to cover the entire space of any size of bed… apparently his daughter is a kudzu sleeper, too. LOL
I decided not to bother them and to trade my sleeping in for a few moments by myself to watch some trashy TV (Real Housewives, anyone?) and eat a little snack uninterrupted and alone.  Being alone is one of motherhood’s great luxuries, you know.  Mothers don’t even get to use the bathroom alone 98% of the time.
I have done a lot of reflecting on motherhood since becoming a mother, and I have done a lot of reflecting on motherhood publicly via this little old blog since I started it.  So now, I sit here on my second Mother’s Day as a mother myself, the people who made me a mother sleeping down the hall way, feeling the newest member of my family bouncing around in my belly, and reflect a little more.
I went to a baby shower yesterday for my cousin, Erin, who is due to have a little boy on June 8th.  He will be named Callen Daniel – and of all of the great-grandkids in our family, Mr. C will be the only boy, with five bossy girl cousins.  He is gonna grow up tough.  LOL  Erin and her husband Dan have had a very long road to becoming parents, and after plenty of heartache and worry - and thanks to some help from modern medicine and a lot of prayers - Erin will also enjoying Mother’s day as a mother herself.  This family is truly blessed to welcome this little guy.
It was a lovely baby shower and something that was especially neat about it is that all of the girls who were bridesmaids at Erin and Dan’s wedding were there, all six of us.  And of the six, three of us are expecting new babies in the fall.  Add Erin to that number and we had four pregnant ladies there, eating sandwiches and cake (oh my god, that cake was to die for) and talking about impending childbirth and motherhood and what was to come. 
They are all on their first baby, and I have been in the trenches for 16 months now and I am by no means an expert at being a mom, but after talking to them, I got to thinking about what advice I would give a new mom.  Like I said, I am no expert (not even close) but I know a couple of things for sure.
#1.  Never say never.  All of the things that you think you will never do with your kids (letting them watch TV, letting them sleep in your bed, feeding them XY and Z, whatever) are things you might discover are back on the table when you are faced with a situation first hand.  Especially when babies are new, and you are just learning the ropes, you are in full on survival mode.  And that is okay – do what works in the moment to get you all through the day.  Tears will be shed and plans will be changed, and you will all be just fine.
#2. Tomorrow is a new day.  You will undoubtedly have days where you feel like you have failed your children and/or your husband.  You didn’t get this and that done, you don’t feel like there are enough hours in the day to give them all what they want or need, you became frustrated with one of them or another, you are wondering who that man you vaguely remember marrying is, you fed everyone a burnt dinner or a Happy Meal, you didn’t shower until 4pm, etc.  It sucks.  But, it is okay.  Tomorrow is a new day – you get to wake up fresh and start over again.  You have a new opportunity (every single day!) to be Supermom.  And hell, if you don’t get it done tomorrow, this advice can be recycled.
#3. Ask for help and don’t worry if it isn’t always “amazing” and “beautiful”.  Just call.  I will come right over. J There is no shame in needing help or even just an ear to talk to and a person to say, “Yeah, you’re right, that sucks.” There are countless things that aren’t pretty or fun about being a mom.  Sometimes you will cry right along with your baby (take it from the hormonal pregnant woman who has been walking through Teething Hell for the last two weeks – tears have been shed!)  and that is okay.   The hard parts are worth it.  When you look at that little face, you will smile and you will forget the tears.  Being a mom is hard, that that is okay to say out loud, because we all know that it doesn’t make you a bad mom to say so – it makes you human.  It IS hard, but it is worth every minute when that little kid looks up at you and you remember that you are the only Mama they will ever have.
#4.  Trust yourself.  You can read all of the books in the world, you can read all of the internet advice (like this) that your brain can hold, and you will still not be ready for that tiny little person to turn your life upside down.  You have to trust that you are that tiny little person’s mom, and you and only you know what is best for them.  Do what feels right, and do it the best that you know how to.  Babies are all different, families are all different.  Take it one day at a time, do what comes naturally to you.  You can do this – and you don’t have to rely on anyone else’s opinion.  You are the mom, and you said so, that’s why! LOL
#5.  It really does go by as fast as they say it does.  For real.  Take a lot of pictures.  And soak it in.  Stop and look and cuddle them and kiss them, because seriously, they will not be exactly like this tomorrow.  Before you know it, everything is different, so learn to spend some time right in this moment with your little one, because it really does fly by.  Also remember that when it is hard, and you have been up all night with a screaming baby for too many nights to count or you are cleaning up puke for the 15th time in 18 hours that (thank God) even the bad parts pass by quickly and tomorrow you will be on to new adventures.  Also included in this is that while you may be looking at a week old baby and saying, “I don’t want you to get any bigger!”  or at a new crawler or walker or talker or Pre-Calculus whiz and thinking that you don’t want this to pass because this stage is your favorite stage of their lives – try to remember that every day has something amazing in it.  It only gets to be more fun as they grow (quickly) into little humans beings.
That is all I really “know” about being a mom. 
Oh, and that “alone time” is never long lived.  I hear the sound of little feet coming down the hall way. 45 minutes.  Wow, a new record.  I had better go kiss my girl and her dad and thank them for letting me be the mom.
Happy Mother’s Day again to everyone who has a part of their heart walking around on the outside of their bodies.  It is an amazing ride, and today is our day.  J

Thursday, May 5, 2011

like a fish

We are experiencing the most gorgeous day outside - a balmy 86 degrees! this is unseasonably warm for Cinco de Mayo in our neck of the woods, and it promises to turn ugly again very soon - just in time for Mother's Day, of course....  if you haven't gathered this from previous blog entries, we are subject to some of the most up and  down unpredictable weather ever. 

Hayden and i went to WalMart this morning to buy some diapers. 

Who ever leaves with just diapers?  I don't think it is possible.  Does WalMart have some magical power that washes over you when you step foot in the door that you cannot leave with just what you came for?

Much to the dismay of my husband, the answer has to be yes, because we also left with a swimming pool.

In celebration of this hot day, we filled that baby up after nap time and had our own little pool party.

Here is our posh set-up...  Pretty sweet, right?

And what would a pool party be without refreshments??  (As you can see, these were another piece of evidence that you cannot go into WalMart for JUST diapers...  is it bad when your 16 month old knows how to say "WalMart"?? LOL)

I would say that the swimming pool was a hit.  I was worried that she'd cry and not want to get in (and my husband would chastise me for wasting the extra $15 at WalMart on the pool that our kid hated) but I couldn't get her out!  She swam for almost two hours! 

For one reason or another, the most popular toy in the pool was this green cup.  she poured and splashed and dumped it on herself a million times....  oh, to be little again! LOL

 Even Piper Penelope enjoyed the heat - even though she pouted when we didn't give her her own Push-up Pop.  Poor Piper, always gets a raw deal. 

So now we are inside, enjoying some pre-school programing on TV (Some of us are definitely enjoying it more than others.... Have you ever seen The Fresh Beat Band?  Oh boy.  What a mess.) 

Hayden is talking so much now (she says 40 or 50 words and adds on to that every day - not to mention that she will try to say anything you tell her to) and when I asked her if she liked swimming, she nodded her head in an emphatic yes and said, "'Mimming!!!"  LOL

I will take that as a "yes."  :)