April 30, 2007


So yesterday was our first public melt-down - it was horrific. The day started off great. DD slept until 10:30 a.m. (she's usually up at 8:30 a.m.), much to our satisfaction and we thought - wow, this is going to be a great day! We won't have a cranky baby (as we did on Saturday) and we will all go out and have a great day. So we pack up and head out to breakfast. It was great, she was patient and saying "hi" to everyone in the restaurant. We had a few snacks for her to munch on while we awaited breakfast and everything was going very well. The food arrives and all hell broke loose. I don't know what happened. She starts going buck-wild. Grabbing at daddy's plate, just making a huge mess, screaming at the top of her lungs. So, DH takes her outside to calm her down a little and when they return, she refuses to go back into the high chair. Kicking and screaming. It was quite a scene!

We decide to just pack it all up. Aside from the fact that she's having this melt-down, we simply felt too embarrassed to stay. Everyone was looking at us (very judgmentally, I might add) and without much understanding. DH takes Lady Day out of the restaurant and heads to the car and I'm still feeling quite embarrassed. People are still staring at me, and I felt so bad that I just wanted to get out of there as fast as I can. What I couldn't understand was why all the women looked at me and this situation with such disdain? Haven't they all been through this? Shouldn't they have been more understanding and empathetic rather than disgusted? We've discussed this before and it's just so amazing how tough we are on each other.

Anyway, we head home and she's still a hot mess.....still cranky and miserable. She doesn't take her normal nap and let's not even talk about bed-time. It was an absolutely horrible day in the Smith household. Let's hope that we don't have any more melt-downs (yeah...right?).

April 26, 2007

Just Call Them Jed and Granny

I actually like washing the dishes in my sink. And I like washing them because it lets me spend time looking out of my kitchen window. Especially during this time of year when flowers are blooming and squirrels are scurrying and children are riding their tricycles up and down the sidewalk while screaming like wild banshees and hubby is riding his overpriced ride-on lawnmower around the yard. Looking out the window is calming and heartwarming and I am usually so excited that warm weather is finally here.

Except this year.

Our wonderful neighbors moved to Florida to enjoy their retirement. Selfish wretches. And so new neighbors moved in. They seemed nice enough - a young couple and their dog. But let me tell you. I see right through their "oh we're lighting the outdoor fire pit this evening and having some friends over and we'd love to have you join us for a beer" and their "oh thank you so much for the cookies, these are our favorite" lines. They are just trying to butter us up. So that they could build AN ATROCIOUS MONSTROSITY OF A "VEGETABLE GARDEN" RIGHT ALONG THE EDGE OF THEIR YARD THAT BORDERS OURS.

It started off with an ugly rectangle of bricks that was uneven and tacky. They must've realized it because the guy told hubby one day last week: "Oh don't worry about the garden - we're gonna fix it up so that it looks nice." But worry we did. Every day hubby and I would meet at the kitchen window for another episode of "Did They Fix That Bleeping Garden Yet?" It's mind boggling. Our previous neighbors had a lovely lawn. It's was beautifully landscaped and oh if "Abuela" could see her backyard now she'd surely fall out. Why make the vegetable garden that big? Why do it so soon? Don't you want to see how you're gonna use your new yard first? Why would you use ugly bricks? There are just so many questions folks.

So this past weekend they "fixed" it up. They replaced the brickwith plywood. Imagine our confusion. Oh and then they covered the planted earth with black plastic to prevent weeds from growing in. Sound pretty yet? I would take a picture of it for your viewing pleasure, but I don't want to get caught doing it. Just imagine the awkwardness:

Neighbor: Hi there! Um, what are you doing?
Me: Oh hi! I'm, uh, just taking a picture of your ugl-I mean adorable vegetable garden.
Neighbor: Really? Why?
Me: Uh...I think I hear my husband calling me. Love your hair cut by the way. Gotta run!

The real tragedy in all of this is that it makes me apprehensive to look out of my kitchen window. I know that each time I look out and see that thing in their yard, my blood pressure will go up just a little bit more.

I'm not calling them hillbillies or anything. I just wish they had flipped through a few Better Homes & Gardens before embarking on this ambitious endeavor. Hear that neighbors? It's called Better Homes & Gardens.

And while you're at it, put your KAYAK away too.

April 25, 2007

Brownie Points

Me [doing laundry or whatever]: "Aw man...I'm missing America's Next Top Model!"

Hubby: "Honey. You are America's Next Top Model. And don't let anybody tell you different."

This guy thinks he's slick.

April 24, 2007

Giddy Laughter on Aisle 3...

Can I just tell you about this wonderful wonderful thing I've found? On Saturday, after we spent the morning watching Hubby's flag football games I took the kids to the grocery store...Right. Around. Naptime. And yes, I know better but I was already out and about and it was sunny out and therefore so was my disposition and I thought "How bad could it be?" And it wasn't! At all. And it's all because of this wonderful little shopping cart that lets two kids ride in their own car attached to the front of your cart. It was my first time using it with both kids and it worked like a charm. There was no screaming. No crying. No kicking. No attempting to jump out of the cart by twisting and turning their way out of the safety belt. No reaching into the cart trying to eat the unwashed grapes. They were happy as larks "driving" the car around the store. The safety belts kept them strapped in and the metal grate beneath their feet kept them from losing their assorted toys that they couldn't leave home with out. This picture doesn't show it but the cart I had even had safety rails that came down on either side so I even felt comfortable putting my 13-month-old in the car.

It was amazing. I didn't have to rush through the grocery at breakneck speed like I usually do. And not once did someone ask or "grunt" at me for snacks. Granted, this particular grocery with this fine apparatus wasn't in my neighborhood, but I have noooo problem driving the extra couple miles if it means peace of mind. In fact, I will probably tell them as much the next time I go.

As I was searching online to find a photo of the cart to show you kind folks, I came across the manufacturer's website. Besides the website being pretty cool, it claims that storeowners who provide these carts to their customers drive up their sales by 20% beccause moms are able to shop longer. I can totally see how this is true. I love how the business world is finally wisening up and realizing that if Mama ain't happy, ain't nobody happy!

And friends, this Mama's happy.

April 23, 2007

Reasonable Doubt

(This post was originally posted on 11/30/06. In a cheap way to avoid having to draft a whole new post, I'm just updating this one. Read below for the latest.)

I never thought I would say it, but nursing seems to have a lot of pitfalls. I nursed all three- well still nursing #3 actually, and I do believe that "breast is best" but... there seems to be sound reasoning behind the occasional, if not more frequent, use of formula to provide baby some supplemental feedings every now and again. Nursing is just really hard and Mama needs a break after 6 + months. I'm not ready to throw in the towel to the whole concept, I just think that breastfeeding can be extremely difficult, time consuming and sometimes, hard on your health.

First, we all know, the first few weeks are traumatic for mother and baby. I can only think of one case in where it was a totally beautiful, stress free, pain free experience for both mother and baby(J. Smith). Every other woman I know has had some sort of drama and trauma when it comes to it. If it's not the first few weeks, then it happens at some point during the process. For example, my cousin who has a 5 month old, nurses 24/7. Her baby "refuses" the bottle, so she's her only source of food. During months 2-4, that nursing mama suffered from thrush for almost two months straight. Luckily, her baby never had a full blown outbreak. But, as some of you may know, it can cause extreme pain or discomfort in the mother. I know since I've had it with all three babies at some point or time and believe me, it's no fun. We're talking sensitive nipples, painful letdown, and full blown pain- much like the first few days of nursing. She would cry and nurse at the same time. How is that supposed to be a beautiful/bonding experience for mother/daughter?

On Monday, I was diagnosed with "acute mastisis of the right breast." Translation, you feel like your dying but really, it's just a clogged/infected milk gland, that if it goes untreated, will require immediate surgery. I hadn't felt that bad since I had Congestive Heart Failure. Anyhow, after reevaluating the whole situation, I'm proud to have breastfeed all three of my babies, but I can't help but think, how much easier my life would have been if I just gave them formula. And to make this even a little bit more interesting, my oldest baby who I supplemented with formula much earlier than my other babies, is my smartest and healthiest of the bunch. My youngest on the other hand, who never has had formula (except for the half ounce the nurses tried to give him while we were in the hospital since they claimed my milk was not yet in - another issue on it's own) has the sniffles on a weekly basis. So what gives?? Has my exclusive breastfeeding for 7.5 months been in vain? Should I just supplement now, or what? I'm starting to have doubt.

Update: Hip, hip, hooray!! I made it to 12 months. This was my goal, and I am so proud of myself, despite the pitfalls and struggles. Since I worked part-time, for the most part, it was much easier to maintain my supply. But I'm still proud of myself. At one point I thought I was done, so I tried to introduce formula again. My mom got him to take it a few times. Then I had a freezer of pumped milk. So I stopped the formula. Anyhow, now there's a new issue, of course. It's getting "B" on board with my weaning plan, for the most part. Here's the problem.

Four weeks ago, Little "B," aka Baby Brother, started day care. The first two weeks he was on a hunger strike. He refused the bottle and any solid foods. This had me very nervous and on edge the entire time. I called the pediatrician a couple of times. She assured me he would make it, without IVs. "Give it time. But he's a stubborn one!" is what she'd say. Seeing as how he was only two weeks away from turning one, (his birthday was Thursday), I figured he would adjust fine in day care after he got used it. Not. Four weeks later, he eats, but not so much better. Just enough it seems. Some days he'll eat decently. Others, his infant gram (daily log of bottles, naps and poops) is full of "refused lunch" "refused bottle" "refused sippy cup." Usually on Mondays and Tuesdays. When we start the whole traumatic thing again. Anyhow, at his 12 month well child he dropped weight. Not good, I'm not happy.

Prior to day care, he was doing just fine with solids. In fact, he was eating mostly table food and would have a bottle or nurse three times a day. During the hunger strike, as soon as I picked him up from day care, it was a nurse'a'thon. I'm sure it was part starvation, part need for comfort. Even at home, he would not eat solids well. It was very frustrating.

Even though he eats better, he has not taken a bottle since mid-march. He will not take milk any other way except from yours truly. Not even from a sippy cup. So now if I stop nursing, he will not get any milk. That's not good. A growing baby needs milk! Yes, I can give him yogurt, and that's his favorite thing to eat at day care, but he needs milk, and a balanced diet. Yogurt is not balanced. Then my pediatrician tells me how hard it is to break an older infant from their habits/routines. I knew this, but just didn't think I would be in this boat. I nurse only in the AM and at night. Okay, sometimes during the day. But only after nearly having my shirt ripped off by the child, and him screaming and having a meltdown. This was not the plan. I suppose I don't mind, for now. But I would love to just give him a nice warm bottle of whole milk and call it a day. At least I stopped pumping some time back. That helped, greatly.

My point is, your damned if you do, damned if you don't. Believe me, I'm grateful, but geeze.

This is Interesting

Check out this blog. Any advice? I'm guessing some of us have been there at some point. Hopefully not this bad.

Just Call Me Tardy McRusherson

Ok seriously, I can't take it anymore. No, not the extremely slow start to this season of the Sopranos, I.AM.TIRED.OF.RUSHING. Lately I am feeling like my life is one big rush. I rush to get everyone out of the house in the mornings. I rush to get to work. I rush to get home. I rush to make dinner. I rush to get everyone to bed. I rush to get to church. I rush to get to events. It's really ridiculous. So yesterday, as I was busy rushing to wrap a baby shower gift and signing the card IN THE CARRABAS PARKING LOT, hoping I didn't arrive so late as to ruin the surprise, I decided this was going to the last time I was caught doing this. This time last month you could have found me in the same place doing the same thing. In my car, wrapping a gift before running into an event. Call it poor time management if you want, but I just feel like I don't have enough time.

And then, to make matters worse, when I show up at the baby shower someone inevitably has made a homemade gift of a thoughtful and personalized photo album complete with photos of the mom-to-be at various stages of her pregnancy inside. When in the world do people have time to DO these things?

Is it just me?

April 20, 2007

Well, She Can't Be That Dumb...

Is it bad that I am loving Jessica Simpson's new line of shoes?

April 19, 2007

Cheers to Sanjaya

I felt so bad for Sanjaya last night. (I wanted to post to the blog, but I was already in bed, so that wasn't happening). Anyway, back to the point at hand.....I really felt bad for him. As they went to the commercial break, he was happy and smiling and he even cheered the crowd on - he seemed quite oblivious to the fact that an elimination was about to occur. I wondered whether he didn't care at all or whether his upbeat attitude was because he had been in the bottom three on previous occasions and had lost the fear that he was going home. Needless to say, when they announced his name, he broke down in tears. Oh.....my heart went out to him.

I will admit that I loved Sanjaya at his audition. He was just the sweetest thing and I loved and admired his humility and care for his sister (for those of you who didn't catch that episode, both Sanjaya and his sister auditioned, but Sanjaya went after his sister. His sister qualified to move onto the next round and after he sang (and he was pretty good) the judges asked him who was better between he and his sister and he said that his sister was better and they told him that he was better. Furthermore, after he qualified to move on to the next round, the cameras followed him outside and he and his sister shared their stories and his sister asked him whether the judges compared the two and he told her that they did and said that she was the better singer between them - how sweet!

So, despite his horrible performances since the audition, I really felt his pain last night. Here's to Sanjaya's spirit and his resiliency!!!!

Keepin' It Real

Is it Friday yet?

I was visiting DeeDee at "It Coulda' Been Worse" and saw that she tagged everyone with the following meme, which I thought was cute. So here are my thoughts on what it takes to be a Real Mom:

  1. A Real Mom can pick her child's cry out of a crowd in the even the noisiest of places.

  2. A Real Mom will eat leftover scraps from the refrigerator so that her kids can have the last of the casserole.

  3. A Real Mom will endure her toddler bouncing up and down on her bad back for 15 minutes, just so she can play "pony."

  4. A Real Mom will read "Mr. Brown Can Moo" eleven times before bedtime. And not [intentionally] skip any pages.

  5. A Real Mom will never get tired of kissing her child's cheeks. And forehead. And hands. And feet. Repeatedly.

  6. A Real Mom will let her kids have chocolate Easter eggs for breakfast. Just once.

  7. A Real Mom will understand, and not roll her eyes, when another mom's child throws a temper tantrum in the middle of the grocery store.

  8. A Real Mom will wear jeans and t-shirts everyday if that meant her kids could have cute outfits.

  9. A Real Mom can't wait for some "alone" time and once she has it, she can't wait to get back to her kids.

  10. A Real Mom can't watch the news everyday because her heart hurts for all the tragedy in the world. Especially those involving children.

  11. A Real Mom never sleeps the same after she has her first baby. She's always listening.

  12. A Real Mom can carry a baby, a diaper bag, a purse, the mail and groceries while talking on the phone.

  13. A Real Mom feels guilty when she keeps!forgetting!to!clip!her!child's!nails!

  14. A Real Mom knows exactly what "3 ounces" looks like.

  15. And finally...A Real Mom gives thanks to God for her children. Every. Single. Day.

Leave me a comment to tell me which ones I missed!

April 18, 2007

Works for Me Wednesday: Neat Sheet!

Do any of you have a Neat Sheet? I got one about 2 years ago during an impulse buying spree in the "Sucker" "Seasonal" aisle at our local CVS. [Those aisles will be the death of me] Now that we had a baby, it just seemed like something we could use. And it reminded me of the ground sheet that I used to use all the time camping as a kid in Brownies, Girl Guides, etc. Oh and it was pink. So I bought it. And let me tell you it was worth every penny of the 7 bucks that I dished out for it. We use it all the time! There are tons of uses for it -- check out the website for 101 uses, but so far we have used it as a carpet/tile cover when we're doing crafts; as a ground cover on our deck so that Youngest doesn't get splinters in her hands while crawling around; as a place for the kids to eat their snack while in the family room; as a picnic blanket; as a beach blanket -- just to name a few. We have the standard Neat Sheet and it's a generous size. They also have a family size one too. And there are small flat weights inside each corner so that the sheet doesn't blow away (since it is so lightweight). And it's machine washable.

Works for me!!

For more WFMW ideas, visit Rocks In My Dryer.

Wordless Wednesday: Your Tax Dollars Hard At Work

This is the condition I found my precious May issue of In Style magazine in when I checked the mailbox last night. Does the postman not know what sacrilege this is?

For less upsetting Wordless Wednesday pics, click here.

April 17, 2007

Especially for Heather

Some of you all may already know about Especially Heather's unfortunate brain tumor diagnosis that she received last week. Well, in true sisterly-blogger form, BooMama is organizing a web-a-thon to bless Heather and her family in this challenging time. Take a minute to learn all about Heather's story here and also read about the miracle that her family witnessed in the past few years with the life of Heather's daughter, Emma Grace. It will truly move your heart.

Heather is scheduled to see a neurologist at the end of the month at the Mayo Clinic, the number one neurosurgery hospital in the country. The goal of the web-a-thon is to help Heather and her family with as much of the expenses as possible. So, if you would like to help -- the minimum donation is only $1 -- please click here. You'll be glad you did.

April 16, 2007

Gimme a Tall, Caramel, Nonfat, Whipped Cream, Xtra Hot, Caramel Macchiato. With a Shot of Rudeness, Please.

So I'm not a coffee drinker. [GASP!] But I do like to have a Starbucks latte every now and then because, well, they're yummy. Although as far as I'm concerned, Starbucks is just a place with a bunch of different hot chocolate flavors. I don't go there often enough to be one of those caffeine-junkie afficionados who have the menu memorized and are fluent in Starbucks. But I do go enough to know something about ordering a dang cup of coffee. I mean I do have a professional degree and all. So why is it that each time I venture inside one of them I leave feeling like my womanhood has just be stripped away from me??

First I get the "hurry up and order you pathetic coffee ignoramus, you" look as I approach the counter. I guess because the regulars come in barking their usual order as soon as they step foot in the door. I, however, like to peruse the menu and see what's new. Maybe I want to try the special of the day. Or maybe I want to see all the different kinds of syrups they have so that I can try something new today. Or maybe I feel like having a [GASP!] tea. But, no. I always end up ordering the same thing because I feel pressure to hurry up and order lest I come across as a member of the shunned non-coffee drinker caste.

Then, come the "eye rolls" when I order my latte "skim...with whip." WHAT.IS.THE.PROBLEM? I get the skim so I can have the whip! Duh. And yet the barrista can't help but make me repeat my order and have a pained look on her face like I just broke a sacred Caffeine Code or something. Oh, and did I mention that I order it decaf? That really sends them over the edge.

But this last time, on Saturday when I was freed from my shackles had a moment to myself to leave the house and get my hair done (woo hoo!), I decided that I felt like a latte. And so I made my way to the counter -- slowly, so that I could have my order ready by the time I reached the register -- and my eye caught the special of the day: "Dulce de Leche" Perfect! And, just to make it extra sweet, I decided that I would drum up the courage to ask for caramel syrup too. Well. If it were only that easy. Silly me. I asked for a "Shot of Caramel" which elicited a look of sheer disgust from the stringy-haired college kid serving me. She said "Do you mean a shot? Or do you mean syrup?" Dammit, I don't know! Just get the caramel flavor into my cup. WHY is this so difficult?? I shamefully mumbled "Syrup. Yeah, the syrup." Once my order was up I grabbed it and high-tailed it out of the cafe with my head hanging low. I just knew the entire place was rolling on the floor in peals of laughter at the dumb-girl-whose-hair-was-a-mess-and-didn't-even-know-a-shot-from-a-syrup.

That's IT. I refuse to subject myself to this humiliation ever again.
Until they come out with a banana or coconut latte, that is. Best believe I am studying up for that day. And when it comes, I'll be back. And I'll be ready. Y'all just better watch out.

[And for laughs, you've got to read this post by a disgruntled Starbucks barrista. It's priceless. And it shows that it's not all in my mind. Warning: includes profanity]

April 13, 2007

Kiddie Etiquette

Tomorrow is my New Member's Class for the church I recently joined. The problem is that we don't have a babysitter and my husband has to run his sports league so that leaves the 2 kids with me. I just spoke to the Pastor about it and she told me that they "understand kids, so if I have to bring the kids, then bring them" but I sort of got the feeling that they weren't thrilled with the idea. Should I just miss the class? Should I go to the class with the kids? How will I be able to keep them occupied/calm/quiet for 5 hours? Is bringing them to the class rude?

Oh how I long to live close to some grandparents.

All Hail the Queen...

[Congrats Jones! You wrote our 200th post!]

So last night Oldest starts complaining that her hand hurts. As far as hubby and I can tell, she may have hurt it only slightly -- doing whatever it is that toddlers do -- but let me tell you that she is milking this "injury" for all its worth. Of course if we thought for a second that she seriously hurt her hand we would have taken her to the ER right away, but we are 99.9% sure that she is faking. And oh the dramatics. I think she figured out that she would get a lot of attention with a hurt hand. Last night we let her crawl into our bed and "rest" her hand on a pillow while watching tv with mom. Then she "fake cried" when we put her in her bed to go to sleep and was clutching her wrist. And lo and behold, this morning after drinking her milk, she "remembered" that her hand hurt. And so it began. Hubby was quite the patient dad, taking his sweet time getting her dressed and doing "exercises" to test the mobility of her little hand. He quickly realized that this was all a ruse but played along nonetheless.

And this is how we sent our little patient to school today:

She is tickled pink at the wrist wrap, let me tell you.

According to reports from her daycare teacher, she is eating, playing and terrorizing just fine and has not mentioned her hand once. But I'll bet you $20 that the "injury" will "flare up" once Dad goes to pick her up.

Ah, my daughter the Drama Queen. I can't imagine where she gets it from.

April 12, 2007

Randomness Roundup

Random Tidbit No.1:
Don't forget to watch "
Notes From the Underbelly"! It premieres tonight.

Random Tidbit No.2:
Tuesday, April 17th is Free Cone Day at Ben & Jerry's! Sure to be a treat if you aren't snowed in.

Random Tidbit No.3:
Has anyone heard of
Mommy Makeup? I can't believe I am just finding out about this today. I'm so on it.

April 11, 2007


What a week! Actually, what a past few weeks! The end of the semester is approaching, I have midterm papers that I'm still grading. My students are doing their oral arguments and home stuff has been keeping me really busy. My shoulders are really wound up, my hair is a ragged mess. Speaking of my hair, I decided last week to do something different. So I had it dyed "dark brown." Hello, it's jet black. At first I was not sure if I loved it or hated it. But it was a thin line. I've decided I hate it. To make matters worse, my hair dresser works only Wednesday- Saturday. My only available day is Thursday this week and I have a real hair emergency. This Friday we are taking a small family vacation to Miami to visit my family for a big celebration for my grandparents who are celebrating 65 years of marriage (amazing!). My Grandfather is 96 years old. He is a cancer survivor and suffered a stroke about 10 years ago. Yet he is very active, very alert and loves to dance still. We learned about two months ago that his cancer has returned. Considering his age, and the fact that the mass is very small, the doctors have recommended that we do not pursue any sort of aggressive intervention. In either event, they estimate he's got a few years ahead of him.

My family has taken a very positive attitude about the entire situation. The man is 96. He has lived a great life. He has traveled the world, he has 8 children, 22 grandchildren, and at last count, 15 great-grandkids (there's probably almost twenty actually). Amazing. We are going to celebrate him this weekend. He has no idea. I have a very large family (if that's not already clear) and most of us will be there this weekend. Should be tons of fun and it's been years since I have seen some of my cousins. Can't wait!

Between now and Friday morning I've got to pack for myself and the three kids. Get hubby "started" on his packing because clearly, I have the time to pack for FIVE people. Fix my hair (can't go to a family reunion looking like a vampire), do laundry so that I have stuff to pack, and oh yeah, grade some of these papers so they are not hanging over my head the whole weekend. Piece of cake.

Last but not least, yesterday I arrived to work to find this beautiful arrangement in my office. I thought it was from one my stalker students (don't ask) and was actually very frightened. It wasn't my birthday, it wasn't our anniversary, it was just a Tuesday. My heart actually stopped. But then I read the card and it was from Hubby! Wishing me good luck at my oral argument rounds. Talk about sweet. I have attorneys from my old firm acting as judges for the arguments and I really want my students to impress the attorneys. You know, kind of like how you want your children to make you proud? I feel the same way about my students. Anyhow, I was so thrilled about the flowers. We really have made great strides in our marriage. It took us about 5 years, but hey, I'll take five years for a lifetime of happiness with the person I love.

Have a great week everyone!

April 10, 2007

Wordless Wednesday

Yes, those are marigolds. Yes, they are inside our house. Yes, that's snow. We had to bring them in on Saturday so that they wouldn't freeze! That no-good lyin' rodent.
For more Wordless Wednesday photos, click here.

April 09, 2007

I Never Thought I'd See the Day When a Show on MTV Would Make Me Cry...

Did anybody watch the season premiere of "Run's House"? I just loved that show's first season. When I heard last year that Run & Justine's baby died at birth I was devastated. Watching their close-knit, fun-loving family during the first season made it feel like you "knew" them. I didn't think they would continue with the show because of what happened...but they did. And this first episode of the new season shows right before, and right after, Justine gave birth. So sad. But they way they handled the tragedy is so heartwarming. So if you get a chance to see a re-run (no pun intended), watch it! Actually, I think you can watch it online too.

And now back to the mindless drivel MTV calls original programming.


April 06, 2007

Keepin' It Simple

I've been reading a bunch of mommy-blogs this week and hearing about everyone's extravangant Easter plans. Well, I am tickled pink to say that this is going to be a stress-free holiday for the Fergies. And I'm excited about it. [Remember MamaLaw #2?] Don't get me wrong, it will still be tons of fun for the girls, but no not much extra work for mom. Tomorrow the girls have been invited to an outdoor Easter Egg Hunt which should be fun, snow flurries and all (gah!), and then Sunday we'll have our own egg hunt at home and then after church, I'm making a an easy but yummy Easter dinner of Salad, Rolls, Paella and Cake. That's it. That's all. And of course Auntie Lisa is town so the girls may as well be at DisneyWorld.

Anyhoo, I hope you all have a very happy Easter. And minimal stress! After all, that's not what this holiday is all about, is it?

It's all about the Cadbury creme eggs. Obviously.

Scene and Heard

  • Scene: Hubby wraps up a phone interview for a new job that he thinks went well. The interviewer tells hubby to call him in a couple of weeks if hubby doesn't hear from him first.

  • Quote: [Hubby] "If I gotta call you, I ain't calling you!!"

[He didn't actually say that to them of course. But, if you know my hubby, you know why I had to clarify that :)]

  • Scene: Hubby is on the computer working on a web project for a client. Is frustrated because of some technical error but soon discovers the problem.

  • Quotes:

[Hubby] "AHA! It's the Javascript!"
[Oldest, while throwing up her hands] "It's JabbaJibbs, Daddy!!"

My mini-computer nerd in the making.

April 04, 2007

"Look at me!" Is what she said.

Just when you thought the day was going to go smoothly because you were all dressed, the kids were dressed, and everything was right on schedule, your two year old found the hair conditioner and put the entire tub in her hair. This, about 20 minutes after you finished making it all pretty. And you were wearing your nicest suit because there was a big ceremony at your job. And it was really important that you were there on time. And you not only had planned on being on time, but was going to get there 15-20 minutes early to mix and mingle with your colleagues because usually you never do because when you are at work, you work, don't mingle, but rush off as soon as you are done doing what needs to be done since you have to pick up a child or children from school or daycare, or to take them to gymnastics, or to cook dinner, or whatever.

And when I found her this way, I had the baby on my hip, my purse on my shoulder and my keys and cell phone in my hands because we were all set to go.

So much for trying.

Wordless Wednesday

For less frightening Wordless Wednesdays click here.

Works for Me Wednesday: Car Edition

The theme for this week's WFMW is tips for traveling with your kids in the car. To see all the great ideas, visit Rocks in My Dryer.

I only have one and only one tip to keep me my kids happy in the car. It's easy. It's foolproof. It's magic. It's...SNACKS!

Let me break it down.

S: "S" is for "stash." You must keep a stash of snacks in the car or in your purse or in the diaper bag at all times. Your kids' favorite snack (i.e. fruit snacks) will always work best, however any snack will do. Having a stash handy will prevent you from frantically digging around in the center console while in traffic for any edible remnants of happy-meals-past. And I will admit to having once given Oldest half of a dinner mint in an act of desperation.

N: "N" is for nap. The combination of a full tummy and the lulling motion of the car will surely make your child fall asleep if the planets are aligned. A quick snack might be the only thing between you and 30 minutes of uninterrupted "Oprah & Friends".

A: "A" is for apple juice. A trusty favorite. Juice is an important part of the snack attack strategy. It can be introduced as a backup snack when the Cheetos Cheerios run out, or it can be used as a peace-keeping tactic, i.e. "Mary, it's really great that you learned about fire engines in school today, but Momma has a little headache so if you promise to stop making the fire engine siren sound, you can have some juice, m'kay?"

C: "C" is for crumbs. Unfortunately many snacks will involve crumbs. Yes, they are a pain in the behind but I'll take a few crumbs over a backseat meltdown anyday. Try to vacuum out your car every now and then to keep up. And forget the gas station vacuums - who can be bothered? A trusty handvac will do the job just fine.

K: "K" is for kicking. If you have a toddler, you'll know what I mean. Whether they are just tired or hyper, a restless child will always revert to kicking the seat in front of them. Or if your child is like my Oldest, she will kick off her shoes just to drive you batty. This is precisely when you introduce the snack. Or, if you're at the top of your game, you'll anticipate the impending assault and you'll whip out the snack before the kicking escapade begins.

: "S" is for sanity. Follow the Sacred Snack Rule and the whole family will stay sane during your car trip. Try it! I would never lead you astray my friends.

And if this sounds like a form of bribery, why yes sister, it is. And it works for me.

April 03, 2007

MamaLaw #13 - I'm every Woman

"I'm Every Woman"

You know how they say (and we know) that being a mom means taking on a bunch of different roles? I.e. a teacher, chef, laundress, nurse, chauffeur, personal assistant, mediator, groomer, psychologist, personal shopper, maid, etc.? Well lately I have totally been playing the nurse/psychologist role with my two little gals. Let's meet the patients, shall we?

Patient No. 1: Youngest has been allergic to dairy since birth and has been on a dairy-free, egg-free diet ever since. In fact she couldn't even digest the proteins in soy formula, so after I stopped nursing she started drinking a special hydrolyzed formula that is easy on her tummy.

Now in case that doesn't sound expensive, let me assure you that it is. Now I have to say that she has been doing great on this formula, but now that she has turned 12 months old, it's time to make that switcheroo to cheaperregular milk. [In fact, I just found this handy dandy chart online, "The Cost of Feeding Your Baby," and if it's accurate, parents who feed their baby the "special" formula end up spending over $1,000 more per year than parents whose kids drink the regular formula. And I know some of you are thinking that breastfeeding is the cheapest and why didn't she just do that? And let me assure you that I tried my very best and it just wasn't in the cards for us to go past 6 months.] Anway, the cost of the formula aside, it's just time for her to start on regular milk. And much to my dismay, there is no foolproof test for baby allergies. According to our pediatrician, the blood tests for kids' allergies are not really all that accurate. And so...the big, important, thirty-minutes-in-the-waiting-room-with-snotty-feverish-kids, fancy-medical-degree advice she gave us was to give Youngest a spoonful of yogurt each day for 3 weeks and see how she reacts. I am sure there is a better way. After all, mankind has FLOWN to the moon and all. But alas here I am, in Week 2 of the Yo-Baby Bonanza, carefully watching my babe to see if she suddenly breaks out into hives or takes a pistachio-green poop or something equally as delightful. Oh, and let me just mention the side battles that I have to fight to make this happen. First, you just try to feed a baby who loves to eat only one spoonful of sweet and creamy yogurt. It ain't easy. She screams at me for more, so I have to have another snack on standby to quickly shove put in her mouth before she explodes into a yogurt-driven rage. Second, hubby -- in true manly form -- doesn't see the need for the whole 3-week trial thing and thinks we should just give Youngest a FULL CUP OF WHOLE MILK NOW. And told the babysitter as much yesterday without my knowledge. Give me strength.

Onto Patient No. 2: For the past 3 or 4 weeks, Oldest has suddenly developed an intense fear of everything animal. I have no idea what triggered it. She used to love going to the zoo and seeing dogs around the neighborhood and stuff. But, now, let her come within 100 yards of a cat, dog, bird, squirrel or hamster and it's all over. Shrill screams, instant tears, heart-wrenching wails and Mary Lou Retton-esq moves to escape the MEAN!UGLY!RABID! bunny rabbit. And it wouldn't be so bad were it not for the beginning of SPRING and the likelihood of us LEAVING THE HOUSE and all. Last week, when we were in Miami we thought it would be lovely to eat outside along the docks and enjoy the weather. Negative. There were birds everywhere and the only way to get Oldest to calm down was to have Grandma restrain hold her in her lap for the entire meal while trying to distract her from french-fry-hungry birds. It was a nightmare. Poor thing. Yesterday we went by a friend's house and I forgot my cell phone at home so I couldn't call ahead to ask that she hide her dog. Well, let me just say that it wasn't pretty. Once she laid eyes on that TERRORIZING!GROWLING!CANNIBAL! fifteen-year-old family dog, she freaked out and even ripped the pocket on my jacket trying to climb up my body. Hubby and I have been trying to talk to her about how animals are our friends and that they won't hurt her and she can just say "Go away birdie!" and such but nothing seems to be working just yet. Anyhoo, I am sure that this too shall pass.

But for now, just call me Fergie, M.D.

April 01, 2007

Shall We Dance?

What is it about putting on a pretty dress that makes a girl want to put some dancing music on and get jiggy with it? Daughter LOVES wearing "peety dresses" and getting all dolled up. Today I put on one of her new dresses for church, fixed her hair all "peety" and she was soooooo excited. All she wanted to do was dance and twirl around her skirt. So she turns her CD player on, and starts doing a "ballet routine" to her lullabies. It was too funny! And she was really dancing. She was having a great time. She picked her own shoes out too. I love to dance too, so I took the party to the living room, put on some dance music, and we had a blast.

It's almost 4:30 pm, the girl is napping in her dress. She loves it! It's going to be a battle at bedtime.

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