Monday, September 29, 2008

How to smell

Ask the kiddo to smell something, and this is the face he makes:


It's not overly succesful, since he usually ends up blowing out his nose, more than actually inhaling.

And if that doesn't work, ask him again and you'll get this face:


Which, coincidentally is pretty much the same look when he's rocking out to Toby Keith...

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Not Me Monday

We had a bit of a crazy week with three close family members having surgery. Which in turn led to some unusual schedules and coping mechanisms.

It wasn’t me who fed Itty Bit dinner from the hospital vending machine. Half a bottle of strawberry Fanta and 43 peanut M&Ms later, he was running laps in the waiting room.

In taking the kiddo potty, he stood next to the toilet and flushed it as we were getting his diaper off. The sound made him start to pee instantly. It wasn’t me who let him keep peeing all over the floor so he wouldn’t get his clothes wet in trying to move him. That would be totally unsanitary – you know how spotless those hospital bathroom floors are, right?

And I totally did not use 1,700 pieces of the non-absorbent paper towels trying to clean up the above mess. Cause that mess didn’t even happen, remember?

It wasn’t me who let Itty Bit play with the buttons on the hospital bed – the one containing the patient who’d had back surgery. Up and down and bend and straighten – really good for recovery, eh? (Actually, that really WASN’T me… and he figured out the “Nurse Call” button now… thanks a lot you silly goose, you know who you are :)

It wasn’t me (or Mr. Daddy) who taught Itty Bit that it’s fun to jump up and down in moving elevators. Uh yeah… but only when they aren’t chock full of hospital staff!

It wasn’t me who stole an unattended walker in the hallway and gave Itty Bit a ride.

I most assuredly was not the one who took Itty Bit to get his haircut and decided to get a trim myself… in a children’s hair salon. And when Mr. Daddy did not tease me about which seat I wanted (the Barbie Jeep or the Cop Car), the pretty young hairdresser did not say “oh, you’d fit… I just sat in the airplane one last night”. And I’m not telling how many pieces the airplane seat is in now… Nope, not me.

It wasn’t short little me who clambered onto my 15.3 hand horse today and rode her under the apple tree so I could pick the ones I couldn’t reach. And surely it wouldn’t have been me who freaked out when a bug crawled out of a rotting apple and onto my hand. I’m not that prissy. And if I’d freaked out, nearly jumped out of the saddle, screamed and thrown the apple – man, that would have been really dumb to do on an arab…

And it certainly wouldn’t have been me who parked near the barn and let Itty Bit hang out in the front seat so I could feed the horses. It couldn’t have been me – cause I didn’t hear the non-stop honking or see the lights going nuts. Gee, it really would have bothered all the neighbors if it had…

Check out what everyone else has not been doing!

Saturday, September 27, 2008

A Distracted Little Song

Itty Bit was a tad distracted while I was trying to capture how he sings the "Chug Chug Toot Toot" song. Please give me a little grace here and remember that I am deaf and therefore logically exempt from the "wow, she's off key" stuff. The only reason I would post something so embarrassing is because what he now does in this song is cute enough to share.

You need to know this before you watch: I obviously do not know the second part of this song. I've just been throwing in a "ba-da-da-da-dum-dum" excuse for the tune to get us to his favorite "chug chug toot toot" part.

Little did I know that the kiddo would pick it up as an actual part of the song. Listen carefully and you'll catch him doing the "ba-da-da-da-dum-dum" too!

For some reason the high chair became insanely interesting in the middle of the song. Sorry - at least he still kinda sorta sings along. You know how kids are when asked to perform, right?

(p.s. - if anyone knows the actual words... I'd love to hear 'em!)

Friday, September 26, 2008

SOOC = straight out of camera (take 4)

I adore the boys in my life.
Especially when the little one is asleep
- with absolute trust in the big one.
Is there any better feeling than seeing those you love share a bond like this?


Here's more Straight Out Of the Camera shots!
Slurping Life


It was an odd realization.

At my age, my mother was raising a 15-year old.


I cannot even begin to imagine what it is like to parent a kid who is smack in their teens.

In high school.
Begging to drive everywhere with their learner’s permit.
Asking to go to Homecoming.
Applying for scholarships and deciding what they want to be “when they grow up”.
Lugging a backpack that weighs more than my little 2-year old himself.

It makes me appreciate my parents all the more.
Somehow I am so not getting the “with age comes wisdom” thing… I feel unprepared and out of my element. How much more so if I was a young parent?!

I’m far from perfect, but I think these folks did a bang up job with the neurotic kiddo they had to work with. To their credit, much of what I think is good about parenting comes from them. I love you Mommio and Papa.

Thursday, September 25, 2008


I live in a world of perpetual goofiness.

I guess in some ways it's hereditary...

My mother is the type who will sing "I've Been Working On the Railroad" in the produce section, then race the grocery cart outside and ride it all the way back to the car.

My sister is no less crazy. She is a famous pincher of unsuspecting rear ends, and has an ongoing food fight with a family friend at any gathering (Hi Mike!)

My dad... he's a bit more reserved, but his deadpan humor is spot on. He "tolerates" the silliness, but in truth we know he loves it. He is the #1 source of airborne antics.

The in-laws? Grandpa on the floor trying to teach an 8-month-old Itty Bit how to crawl was one of the funniest scenes of my life. His Donald Duck imitation is outrageous. And Grandma is one of those always-upbeat women who love a good joke.

I'd like to think Mr. Daddy and I are fun parents... there is lots of singing, dancing, and laughter in our home.

Is it any wonder that Itty Bit is finding his own sense of humor?

He was squirming on the couch the other night (as only little boys can do) and sticking his feet in Mr. Daddy's ribs about 492 times too many.

Mr. Daddy finally had enough. "QUIT TOUCHING ME!"

Out popped a little grin, and Itty Bit furtively leaned back and snuck his hand to Mr. Daddy's shoulder... tickling him.

Four diapers' worth of retaliation later - they were both tickled and giggled out.

For once I didn't rush for the camera. I simply stayed and laughed along. It's these moments I'll remember when the kiddo is too big to lay sideways on that loveseat. Boy, this growing up is hard work... for moms!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Wordless Wednesday

Can you guess what's happening here?


Monday, September 22, 2008

A bit of help?

In this time of continuing to recover from “the accident”, I’ve been loathe to take risks with my back. So I’ve mostly just been hopping on Kona for a while when my back feels good.

Without tack.

No saddle, no bridle, no hackamore.

Just me, a big beast, and a halter and leadrope.

When I’m not feeling so great and want to just lunge her for a bit of exercise, I’ve been reminded of that fine line between buddy and alpha.

I’m not naturally a dominant character when it comes to a 1000 pound pet who could accidentally seriously injure me.

Kona is rather passive-aggressive. Instead of turning into a psycho horse and rearing and bucking… she’ll just make something as choppy and unenjoyable as she can, until both of us have had enough. In realizing that EVERYTHING is a teaching moment, I have been trying hard not to let her get away with things.

My trainer was a big believer in lunging before riding. Since Kona is usually so mellow, the only reason we do it is to warm her up and get her focused. She is absolutely pushbutton… does everything by voice commands or clicks and kisses.

She’s just gotten a bit lazy lately and is not enthusiastic about cantering clockwise. So she likes to turn her head in and do that crazy “running sideways” thing that drives me nuts. If she really doesn’t want to canter, she chops it up while running sideways until she pulls her front up and is facing me. Even a lunge whip doesn't seem to do me much good at keeping her faced to the side.

I usually keep her in a good circle – but find myself chasing to stay behind her driveline during the clockwise canter. I don’t think pain is an issue (she’s fine while being ridden).

It’s a scary thing for me – and I struggle to be the Alpha in those situations (my first horse reared AT me – groundwork scares me more than anything). You can tell from my body language in this picture that I am intimidated by my horse. You don’t hear me yell at her, or see me again get behind her driveline and make her canter. I did – and I made sure to end on a good note.

On another note… she LOVES working with trot poles! I would absolutely love to find her former owner (most likely a dressage rider) and find out what her training included. She becomes a different horse when she sees them – it’s obvious she is eager to work and enjoys it.

On the lunging issue - any tips from you horse-lovers out there? I don’t consider Kona to be dangerous – she has NEVER displayed aggression toward people. The refusals are just bratty, but I don’t want her to fall into the habit of bossing me.

Here’s what the lovely scene looked like:

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Not Me Monday!

Here’s a new fun link going around… “Not Me Mondays” from My Charming Kids.
Check out her post this week!

We’re a day early, but play along!


It wasn’t me who cleared the dining room table by brushing the crumbs onto the floor.

It wasn’t me who handed the kiddo my vanilla frappucino on the way home so he’d quit hollering.

It wouldn’t have been me who started signing to freak the mall survey guy out so he wouldn’t ask the list of questions.

And I certainly didn’t polish off a whole bag of white cheddar popcorn during Itty Bit’s naptime.

Not me who bought a spinning light-up remote control car for my two-year-old because I wanted to play with it...

It couldn’t have been me who started patting the little guy’s mouth so his whining turned into Indian whoops ~ in the store ~ LOUDLY.

And it certainly isn’t MY kid who has been sitting in his high chair for the last hour with veggie puffs and Jay Jay the Jet Plane…

(this little NOT ME better go get him into the bathtub)

Oh, is that for ME?

Awhile ago we went "horse shopping" and decided to go visit Bogey. He was beautiful and bigtime friendly.

The seller's friend warned us repeatedly not to let him rub on us.
I kind of took it with a "yeah, yeah, uh-huh" (I'll admit I like an affectionate horse).

She said again, "don't let him rub his head on you".


So I went up to meet him and the first thing he did was start to rub on my arm.

"Don't let him do that!"

She saw my look and motioned for her daughter to come over.
Apparently, Bogey had gotten too friendly... with a bridle on.
The metal had torn into the teenager's upper arm and left a nasty scar.

Now, my horse doesn't usually rub. She's super about respecting your space. The most she'll do is put her head down and lean into your touch.

Cassie on the other hand... is all horse.
She swings her head around to look at things - without giving a thought about what might be in the way (like say... YOUR head). So you can't be too subtle with her. She gets pushed away and swatted frequently when she gets a bit too close. Not a mean girl at all, but can leave a mark when she's not paying attention.

She had me trapped yesterday. Got curious about that little bag of carrots in my hand. And probably thought the one in Itty Bit's hand would be an easy score.

Here she is making sure I can't get away. Good thing she's not aggressive - how much of a chance would I stand against a horse built like her???



Saturday, September 20, 2008

SOOC = straight out of camera (take 3)

Howdy - it's another Straight Out Of Camera Saturday!
Here's Itty Bit sharing secrets with Jade...


Check out more great shots at Slurping Life!

Slurping Life

Friday, September 19, 2008

A bat. A bat? Yeah. A BAT?!?!

I ran inside tonight after Bamber made a comment about that swooping thing by the trees.

Uhh, what swooping thing? That bird?
No, that's a bat.
a BAT?

But that's not why I ran inside.
I ran inside because I remembered that I had one of those stories.
About a bat.

And I needed to write it out before the post slipped away into Mommy Brain.

You know the kind of story.
They were TERRIFYING at the time, then gradually you begin to join in when others chuckle at the retelling.

Till it's almost as funny to you as it seems to be to everyone else.

Here's the scene:

I'm at deaf camp (yeah, they have a camp for everyone these days, don't they?)
I'm 10-11 years old and a really small kid
Though I have a big mouth on me, I'm not overly brave about all things camping.
Especially not the fact that the girls bathroom is down a trail from the cabin.
And little Miss Mini-Bladder is dreading the night she wakes up and has to take that walk.

So it's something like 2am, pitch black outside except for the scattered orange lights on the buildings. I gather my courage and step trembling onto the dirt path.

I admit that if they'd had laundry, I would have just peed in my undies right there. Except they didn't. And no one wants to hang around the kid whose backpack smells like pee.

I digress. All is quiet at the camp. I scurry to the bathroom and push the big door open. It is so dim inside, that when I close the stall door I am almost completely in the dark. Through my hearing-aid, the few sounds I hear are jarring. The loud door hinge protesting the early morning intrusion, the toilet roaring with the flush, the water pounding into the sink with enough force to spray everywhere.

I look strange in the mirror. Everything has an orange hue and the shadows make me look paler than usual. Suddenly I see something.

A flash of movement in the mirror from behind me.
I am suddenly terrified.

I have no idea who/what it is, but I am certain it is not earthly.
So I let out an unearthly scream.
Raw and loud, it floods my hearing-aid and rattles my head.

There is nothing behind me.
My heart is pounding and my chest feels tight.

Then again. From the corner of my eye.
It is airborne, speeding directly toward me.
It doesn't register. I am shrieking again and whirling to track its flight.

Again, the beast divebombs me from the left, then heads to the safety of the rafters.
Through my panic, its identity is finally clear.

I am in this dark freezing bathroom with a bat.

This does nothing for my panic - instead I flee to the door and slam against it.

Instead of cool air and sweet freedom, I am greeted with a bone-cracking rebuff.



I am stuck in this place.

I turn locate my enemy. He is hiding in the rafters.
I bolt across the room to the other wall and clamber atop the benches.
I stand on the tips of my toes and attempt to reach the windows.
They are too high.

They are open. Why doesn't this freaky thing just FLY OUT?!?

I begin to scream.
And scream.


Over and over again.
No response.

The reality of the situation begins to fall into place.

I am too little to reach the windows to climb out.
I would surely break my neck on the dismount if I could.
It is far too freezing to stay in the bathroom much longer in my pajamas.
My screaming is getting me nowhere... this is a deaf camp. Even the counselors can't hear.

I start to cry. Scared I-want-my-mom-cry. But I can't close my eyes. The bat might come at me again. It's hard to cry with your eyes propped open.

By now I'm praying. Out loud.

I gather myself for one final assault on the door. I hurtle all measly 72 pounds of me at it and am rewarded with a groaning budge. A good smack and another budge.
I finally am outside - where the air feels strangely warmer.

Pampers never looked so good...

Score 3 - Etsy!

I'll admit when I first found Etsy, I headed straight for the kid stuff.

Isn't it frustrating that you find the CUTEST clothes for your kiddo... right after they're too big for them? Case in point: there are a million infant cowboy outfits now.
I found exactly ONE before Itty Bit was born.

Well, now that we've been introduced to Itty Bit and the gotten used to the idea that he's a TRACTOR man - his closet contains a decent number of John Deere items.

Here are his first three scores from Etsy:

(from Crea8tiveMama)

(from Baganus)

(from giltgoods)

Here's the scoop:
The first one was super cute - and still fits the kiddo. The official John Deere print is priceless.

The second one is SO vivid! The original shipment was actually lost in the mail, but the seller immediately sent another one. The tractor is bigger on the front, but I love that it is repeated on the back in a smaller size! It has not faded one bit.

The third one is one of my favorites. And you won't know why unless you come over or get one of your own. This is hands-down the softest shirt I have ever put on my kid. It has faded a bit (check out the fresh pictures on Etsy), but is an insane combination of soft and wrinkle-resistant. It's organic to boot.

A little secret is that most of these sellers include a little something extra in your shipment. I got some great notecards from giltgoods and marching ants magnets from Jaime (previous post).

I think all three of the above t-shirts started out as listings for onesies. Most sellers are delighted to make another size. I've gotten custom colors too and more choices than are originally advertised. It's like being the boss of your own little boutique!

ps. don't tell Mr. Daddy that I've already got another shirt on order for the little guy...

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Score 2 - Etsy!

I discovered Etsy a while ago and soon tried their “custom item” feature. Lots of sellers are willing to tweak their product or make a different color/size by request. And many of them are stay-at-home moms, so it’s a double bonus.

One of my very favorites was a custom order of refrigerator scrapbooks from Jaime
. They are made from altered tins.

Altered tins” you say???

Oh yes!

You know those purse-size mint tins? This cool mom orders them directly and turns her creativity loose on them. She adds her scrapbooking skills and creates mini photo-albums.

“Gotta see it” you say?

No prob…

Here’s the one for my sweet niece with her affectionate nickname:

It was personalized free with an adorable font that fits her personality. The colors are perfect for a little girl and I had fun filling the “pages” with pictures of her favorite people. The backside is also free for pictures, although I left it blank to let her include some school friends. I ordered some matching magnets so she can display the whole set when she’s not carrying it around in her backpack.

I also got one for our little guy. He goes by “Bugsy” around here, so that was perfect for his personalization. Sorry for the bad pics – the actual item is far more vivid and sharp. There’s even a tiny “rope” on the inside!
The real test came when I asked Jaime if she had any black/red combinations that would go with my mom’s Mary Engelbreit kitchen. A cherry pattern would be perfect. I had no idea the lengths this woman would go to have a satisfied customer.

She searched her local stores and offered to order cherry paper. She found the perfect combination – then I threw a wrench in it. I asked for matching magnets. She found a little cherry stamp and did them all by hand. Can you say ADORABLE?

Here are her pictures of an additional one currently listed:

I was dumb… I didn’t get pictures of another one I ordered for my mom. It was a Christian one with classic crosses and swirls in rich tones. Jaime put a custom verse on it. I’d try to get a shot of it, but it currently resides in my mom’s purse!

Anyway, it was a great experience meeting someone (who I still keep in touch with!) who was creative and willing to go the extra mile. Stay tuned for more Etsy finds!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Who is this elf and why is he calling me "Mommy"?

We have an elf in the house.
One who is barely tall enough... but on his tippy-toes can reach the light switch.
Which means it now looks like we are having constant power surges.

light on
light off
light on
light off
Then the elf confuses himself and realizes he's in the dark.

The same elf that hides food... grapes in the cushions, crackers under his blanket (crunch).
He firmly believes that all toys should have the right to be indoors or outdoors depending on his mood = wheelbarrow inside, bath ducky outside.
Once both are sufficiently dirtied; back inside, of course.
He can close doors, but not open them. Ergo:
(again) "MOMMYYYY!"

And would someone please tell me who is giving this elf coffee before bedtime??? It certainly wouldn't be me, right?

Does anyone else have a kid who does that weird second wind thing when they are actually tired? Like running around in non-stop circles until they suddenly stop and look at you cross-eyed and giggle "dizzy!"??
Or walk around for an hour with his pajama bottoms on top of his head? Acting for all the world like it's completely normal?

(yes, those are pliers in his hand... don't ask)

Far past bedtime tonight, the kiddo looked at me with those ocean blue eyes and said,
"dance, Mommy?"

I melted.

I really did.

I'm only popular for so long. Until my kid figures out that is not cool to dance with Mom. But for now, I'll put Toby Keith on and spin him around and around. And kiss his rosy cheeks while he half-laughing resists.

This little elf is mine. Sleep can wait.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Score 1

This post has been in the works for awhile…

I’m still kicking myself because I’m missing one more picture.

A few weeks ago (okay, seven to be exact), I was the lucky recipient of a great giveaway
. Stacy is way cool and she manages to showcase her sewing/jewelry/cooking/photography/cute kids without being obnoxiously braggy. I love that she has her own sense of style and packs some serious wit into those blog posts.

So I was delighted to learn that I was the lucky winner of this:

I had been in the process of deciding whether or not to keep shelling out for that outrageously expensive moisturizer at the department store (one of my few luxuries remaining from pre-mommyhood), or find something cheaper.

To be honest, my decision was less about money than the salespeople who were getting a bit too snobbish for my taste (I mean, come on… you are all dolled up in your white little lab coat and are looking down on ME? I’m the one in jeans who gets to hang out at the mall with my precious kiddo at 2 o’clock on a Tuesday afternoon. You just aren’t gonna make me feel bad about that. No offense meant to you NICE salespeople out there).

I wasn’t too keen on going back to Proactiv. I hate being in some kind of program where you get stuff in the mail before or after you need it – you either end up with a huge stash or running out.

I have combination/sensitive skin. The worst type (as solemnly pronounced by the pageant administrator – who also happened to be a Clarins rep).

My favorite in the Skin Medica was the Rejuvenative Moisturizer - I found that I had really been missing the extreme moisture. All those “sensitive skin” ones are pretty thin or medicated to the point of being oily. This stuff rocked. It was a treat to feel like I was doing something good for my skin (which is suddenly deciding to show my age… Is that when you hit your thirties or when you have a baby, or both?)

The exfoliant is totally different. You apply it to DRY skin – it is wax based and will ball up and remove the yuckies on the surface that way. Leaves your skin almost waterproof when you’re done!
I used the Calming Masque tonight - fully expecting to get razzed by my boys for the cream-pie-in-the-face look. Except... this stuff is nearly transparent. You wouldn't have known I had it on except for my squinting (yeah... I kinda need my glasses!)

I have to admit I haven’t tried the sun defense yet. But in MY defense… there hasn’t been much of a need lately!

So a big Thank You to Stacy for the giveaway. Check out her website

Stay tuned for more online scores this week!

Monday, September 15, 2008

First Goose Egg

Not a first to look forward to.

The kid finally made it to the DL yesterday... with one giant bonky-bonk and a whole lotta ruckus.

He snuck up Mr. Daddy's quad ramps into the back of the truck. Successfully.

Then attempted to navigate his way back down the ramps. Unsuccessfully.

Mr. Daddy said that he took about one step on the ramp, then tumbled down onto the gravel.

I turned in time to see Mr. Daddy pick up a screaming Itty Bit and wasn't quite prepared for the close-up.

He had one mother of a goose egg - complete with purple bruising and some cuts on his forehead and cheek. He cried like the dickens (which is heartbreaking to hear from a normally tough kid who brushes off a lot of owies).

Yeah, I'm a real problem-solver.

For some reason, the only thing I could think of that would distract him was to show him his bonky-bonk in the mirror. So off we raced to the bathroom counter where Itty Bit stared in quiet astonishment at his newly colored face.

"Bleed, Mommy?"

"Yes, honey. That was a big bonky-bonk"

"Yeah" "Red Truck Fall Down BIG Bonk Rocks"

"I'm so sorry. Let's pray that Jesus heals it"


"Dear Jesus, please heal Tristan's bonky-bonk and make it not hurt anymore"

"Yeah" "Amen"

The "yeah"s and "Amen" were said with a bit of a trembling lip, but he was so wistfully earnest, it was heartwarming.

Looking back... we've been awfully blessed. By his age, I had already had a broken wrist and my fair share of klutzy injuries. For this knot on his head to be blogworthy - it makes me grateful that it isn't worse.

He finished it off by insisting on a bandaid. On his hand... Go figure?

(and, no, that wet stuff on his face isn't from two sips of Mountain Dew... are you kidding me?!? A good mom would never give her crying injured kid something like that, right?)

Friday, September 12, 2008

SOOC = straight out of camera (week 2)

Mr. Daddy won't get around to posting this. So I'll do it and give him credit :)

This is Itty Bit picking apples in our backyard. The heartwarming moment came next when
Kona very carefully plucked them from his outstretched hands.
I love my sweethearts.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Retiring Pajamas

The other day I finally decided that Itty Bit's puppy pajamas were getting a bit too snug. Actually, the fit was decent... getting his freshly bathed arms through the sleeves was the real challenge. I swear it was an almost audible pop when his head made it through the top. So I've reluctantly decided to retire them.

So farewell to the cute pj's.

Reminded me of the recent shopping trip with my mother when I was dumbfounded by a preemie sized onesie.

Until I realized that MY KID used to fit in one of those.

The hospital didn't even have something small enough for him. He swam in the NICU standard issue sleeper.

The funny irony is that while I was pregnant, Mr. Daddy brought home exactly ONE outfit for the new baby.

It was an adorable little suit - complete with a tie and jacket. My heart silently sank when I saw the tag... "preemie". The obstetrician had already chided me for getting so big with 2 months left to go, so I was not expecting a baby on the small side. I thanked Mr. Daddy and sadly figured we wouldn't be able to fit our kiddo in the outfit.

As it turns out... even that preemie outfit was a bit big on the little guy.

Take a peek at the little guy, then and now:

(hospital issue NEWBORN sleeper)
Photobucket Image Hosting

(Mr. Daddy and the preemie)Photobucket Image Hosting

what the heck happened?!?Photobucket Image Hosting