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Friday, June 18, 2010

Keeping it real.

I used to be a neat freak, I will admit.  I loved to come home to a clean house and just relax.  I would waste my weekend cleaning and organizing.  Then one day, I said, to hell with it all.  I mean, I keep my house somewhat presentable, but I don’t fuss over it much anymore because I know it’s an exercise in futility.  With an active toddler, a messy husband and pets, it’s nearly impossible to keep your house clean on a daily basis.  At this point, I’m just happy when I’m not stepping on squashed grapes.

So, to make everyone feel better about their own lives, I’m posting pictures of my living room and what it looks like most days.  If you can relate, send me some pics of your own mess, and I’ll do a follow-up post about what a real mom house looks like. 

June 2010 007

Believe it or not, this is actually on a good day.

June 2010 005 

This is what it used to look like.  :cries:

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Men are blind.

On the days I work from home, I usually spend a lot of my time trying to wrangle a cranky almost 2 year old.  There’s only so much Yo Gabba Gabba she can watch before she gets fidgety.  So, it’s extra nice when Joe has the day off or doesn’t have to go into work until the evening.  I point Anna in his direction and close my office door.  Ahh, peace and quiet. 

Sometimes peace and quiet isn’t a good thing.  Moms, you know what I mean.  Picture it, your house, 2010, your child is in another room while you’re typing away on your laptop.  You think to yourself, ::self, I haven’t heard my child say anything, make a noise or cry for the past X minutes, what gives?::  You go into the room where you last saw your child hoping and praying that s/he’s quietly reading Beowulf while simultaneously brushing up on his/her language skills with a recorded copy of Rosetta Stone.  Instead, you find this:

June 2010 003 June 2010 001

June 2010 004

Anna has decided to utilize our stove glass as her newest chalkboard.  The good news is that she used bathtub crayons, so this was easily fixed.  Just think it she’d gotten into that open tub of paint that we’d left lying around in her room.

(Just kidding about the tub of paint – just making sure you were paying attention.)

What makes this even more unique is that her father was supervising this whole thing.  He pushed those bathtub crayons on her and told her to go to town.  So, I decided to write psycho in graffiti on our oven as an ode to my husband and his amazing ability to keep our child quiet.

I also drew a flower.  Anna wrote her own name.  She’s a genius.

(Kidding about that, too – still here?)



Anywho, to be honest, this is super fun, and super easy to clean, so now it’s an activity that we will do often in our house.  Hey, it’s only a house, it’s not a museum.  We have fun here, and that’s always how it will be. 

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Happy Mother’s Day.

Yes, I know I’m over a month late on this, but who cares.  Moms should have Mother’s Day on a daily basis.  If you don’t agree with me, you must be a dad.

On Mother’s Day, here’s my peeping Tom, golfer wannabe, Top Chef.  Yes, she wears a hat with many feathers.  We’re training her up to be successful in life so she can support us in our old age. 

First, here’s the peeping Tom Anna.  This is NOT something we endorse.

May 2010 085 copy This is my child peeping through the cracks of my mom’s neighbor’s fence.

May 2010 084 copy She was a little embarrassed to get caught red handed.

May 2010 081 Figuring that there’s more money to be made in the golf industry, she picked up her best whatever that club is called and tried it out.  With her Paw Paw’s training, Anna will be Tiger Woods in no time (sans the lack of a moral compass). 

May 2010 069 Those pine cones better watch out!

May 2010 091

Tiring easily of the mundane sport of golf, Anna decides to give cooking a whirl.  Fully equipped with oven mitts on BOTH hands, she’s ready to conquer Gordon Ramsey and the rest of his donkeys. 

May 2010 094 Baby chef extraordinaire.

May 2010 097 She laughs when I tell her that I can cook.  I get no respect.

So, it was a fabulous Mother’s Day full of fun, family and relaxation – just the way mama likes it.  I hope all of the mothers out there had a great day, too.  If not, leave me a message, and I will send Anna to your husband’s house to hit him with a plastic golf club.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Chimney sweeper.

This is why I don’t have white furniture in my house. 

May 2010 021Anna decided to test out her chimney sweeping skills that day and play in the old soot in our fireplace. 

May 2010 023

Mommy, hold my hand.

May 2010 025

I’ll just lick it off.  No biggie.

May 2010 027

This is what Anna looks like when she says, “EWWWW.”

Also, does anyone recognize this “shirt”? 

We like to re-purpose things in my house.  All of Anna’s old dresses are now her shirts.  I love being a cheap bastard! 

Monday, June 14, 2010

Hips don’t lie.

Ever since she could stand on her two legs, Anna has loved dancing.  She started out with a simple sway back and forth - most similar to the uncomfortable way you used to dance with your crush at the Junior High dances.  Then once she had more control over her extremities, she upped the ante and became the Solid Gold dancer that she is today.  Now that we finally have our very own video camera, I have visual proof. Shakira, watch out.

Here's old school Anna dancing to some MJ! She was almost 9 months old here.

Anna’s mad dance skills today!

So, I’m pretty sure that once she can pee in a toilet (ahem, potty trained), I’m going to enroll her in dance classes just to see if she likes ‘em.  I’m kind of thinking she will, but it’s just a hunch.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Pure genius.

I truly felt bad for passing along my bad math gene to my offspring.  I had awful visions of Anna counting to two on her fingers and thinking that long division was the latest boy band.  So, it always gives me a feeling of pride when she does something unique and, to be quite honest, one brain cell shy of genius!

As a 20 month old going on 15, Anna is always trying to think of cool ways to make herself appear older.  Ahem, apple boobs.  Her latest invention is pretty darn cool, if I do say so myself.  Since she’s almost able to drink out of a big girl cup but not quite there yet, she’s improvised.  She obviously had to use her brain for this one.  Makes mama pretty proud. 

June 2010 022 May I introduce you to the sippy cup cover.  Now all of your friends and family will really think you’re cool when you drink from a big girl cup.  They don’t have to know that you’re still drinking from a sippy.  It’ll be our little secret.

June 2010 023 Mmm, this beverage is delicious.

June 2010 030

The girth of the cup also helps Anna show off her painted fingernails. 

June 2010 032

At this point, you can just tell everyone that that is a big, silly straw, and they’re none the wiser.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

They meet.

So, I’m a little behind with posting lately.  For that, I apologize.  Take a trip with me in the way back machine to the first day that Anna met my little nephew Jackson.  May 23, to be exact.  Oh, and for the record, we’ll be on this way back machine for the next few blog entries, so don’t feel like you’re a crack head when I post about Mother’s Day months after the fact.

Jackson Photoshoot 002 This is Anna’s first glimpse of her favorite cousin.  She greased her hair with Crisco just for this special occasion.

Jackson Photoshoot 003 She tries to eat the baby.

Jackson Photoshoot 004 We tell her no.

Jackson Photoshoot 009 She points and laughs at the baby.

Jackson Photoshoot 010 Jackson doesn’t care. 

Jackson Photoshoot 131 Then she decides to crash his photoshoot and take a letter off of his name basket (see below).
  editJackson Photoshoot 135
editJackson Photoshoot 058 Then she decides to steal his hat.

Jackson Photoshoot 184 I’ve decided I need an action lens to photograph my child from now on.  She’s too quick!

So, all in all, it was a good first meeting.  I can already tell they’re going to be great buds – as long as Anna will quit stealing his stuff!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Apples to apples.

Now that Anna has discovered the wide world of kitchen table climbing, she has become obsessed with my centerpiece of decorative apples.  I usually find the fake apples strewn about the living room in random and odd places or sitting on one of her plates as if she plans on dining on them for lunch.  Or I find them stuffed down her shirt in a glorious attempt to propel herself into puberty.  Le sigh, folks.  Le sigh.
  May 2010 296
I guess she didn’t get the memo that since she’s my child she should probably be stuffing grapes down her shirt. Apples are a gross over statement.

May 2010 293 I promise you she did all of this on her own. 

Friday, June 4, 2010



As promised, I’m going to share my sister’s birth story with all of you (she gave me permission).  Since I got to take part in the whole process, I figured I’d post about it on here (for memory’s sake).  Here goes!

I get a text message from my sister at 5:45 a.m. on Thursday, May 13.  Unfortunately, I’m a loser and deleted it from my phone by accident, but it basically said that she was in labor and on the way to the hospital.  I called her immediately to confirm.  She said her bag of water had broken, and she was having steady contractions, very close together.  She was only a little over 37 weeks at the time, so none of us were expecting Jackson to arrive so early.  Then again, Anna was impatient, too, so it all was eerily similar. 

I started running around my house like a mad woman (just like I did the morning I went into labor).  I was throwing stuff in a suitcase and hurriedly getting ready.  My sister lives an hour away from me, and her hospital was an hour away from that, so I still had 2 hours of driving to do.  Since her contractions were timing so close together, I was in panic mode that I wouldn’t be there in time. 

Fortunately, Joe was off of work that day, so he stayed home to watch Anna.  I drove as quickly as I could without getting arrested and picked my mom up from her house.  Then we made the hour long trip to the hospital.  It was the longest drive ever!

We finally arrive at the hospital and run like mad women to my sister’s labor room.  The hospital was HUGE and terribly confusing, so we spent a good 15 minutes just trying to find her room.  By the time we got there, she was in the midst of contraction hell, and I could tell by the look on her face that an Epidural wasn’t far off.

May 2010 122

Niki in the midst of a contraction.  Poor thing! May 2010 123 Trent was a great labor partner!

My poor sister never really got a break with the contractions.  She had one contraction on top of another.  Later we would find out that’s because she was dilating at the speed of light.  She basically went from finger-tip dilation to 6 cm within a two hour span.  So, yeah, she’s pretty darn strong and awesome to deal with that intense amount of pain before begging for an epidural. 

There was a tense moment before she got an epidural.  Jackson’s heart rate kept dipping pretty low everytime she’d have a contraction.  The OB on call kept coming into the room to get my sister to change positions.  She finally decided to do a fluid immersion since she could tell that Jackson was pressing down hard on my sister’s pelvic bone.  Since her bag of water had broken earlier that morning and she was contracting so quickly, they wanted to give him a little padding in utero until he made his grand entrance into the world.  Once they did the immersion, his heart rate never dipped again.  Good thinking, Dr!

May 2010 127

Ahh, sweet relief!  She’s finally getting an epidural.  Since they didn’t give her fluids when she first got there, she had to wait until an entire saline ringer bag of fluid was drained out.  We each sat there watching it with nervous anticipation.  I kept thinking to myself – HURRY THE HELL UP!

May 2010 128 MUCH better now! May 2010 137 Now we can take a family photo – me, Niki, mom

Even after she was given the epidural, she kept progressing very quickly.  Each time they would check her, she had dilated at least a centimeter.  It was pretty amazing considering this is her first child. 

May 2010 136 Her good friend Christy came by to visit. May 2010 138 L to R: Jessica (Niki’s sister-in-law), Stephanie (mother-in-law), Ray (father-in-law), Noah (Jessica’s son, Niki’s nephew), Trent (hub)

The nurse comes in after a while and tells us that Niki is ready.  We all stood around looking at each other completely dumb founded.  Didn’t we just get here?!  She went into labor around 4:45 that morning, and here it is 11 a.m., and she’s 10 cm and ready to be a mom.  Wow! 

So, they wheel in the baby incubator cart thing (sorry I don't know the technical name for it), and we all get super excited that we’re about to meet Jackson for the first time! May 2010 132
Then the nurse comes in and starts doing the test pushes with my sister.  Jackson had basically dropped to the lowest point at this time, so we didn’t think it was going to take much to get him out.  May 2010 142 Starting the test pushes.  May 2010 147 Now it’s time to really push!  He’s almost here!

All told, my sister pushed for about 45 minutes.  It was tough, but she pushed through, and at 12:45 p.m. on Thursday, May 13, 2010, Jackson Trent was born into this world! 
 May 2010 151

May 2010 156

The proud parents setting their sights on Jackson for the first time. May 2010 157

May 2010 159 Mimi looking @ Jackson for the first time. May 2010 162 Daddy cutting the cord!

May 2010 169The first time Niki gets to hold her son.  May 2010 181 Time for a clean up. May 2010 188 Jackson was having a hard time breathing, so they gave him some O2.  May 2010 192 Teeny baby!  5 lbs. 13.5 oz.  May 2010 196 Trent finally gets to hold his son. May 2010 203 May 2010 202 May 2010 205 May 2010 208 He’s a pro already!May 2010 212 First family photo. May 2010 214 May 2010 217 Since Jackson was having a hard time breathing, they wanted to keep him in the nursery.  Trent never left his side. May 2010 220 The first time Mimi got to hold Jackson. May 2010 226 Time for a bath! May 2010 231 He was not a happy camper. May 2010 237 May 2010 256 May 2010 259 All clean now. May 2010 264 Jackson in his first onesie. May 2010 053 The first time Jackson’s maternal great grandparents got to hold him and see him.  May 2010 263 The first time Jackson’s paternal great grandparents got to hold him.May 2010 058Jackson and Paw Paw Jeff. 

May 2010 273 Jackson and his favorite Auntie. May 2010 059 First Dr. visit. May 2010 064 First diaper change – it’s a family affair. May 2010 066 Jackson snuggling with his beautiful mom. May 2010 277 The proud parents are finally home. May 2010 282 Jackson’s reaction when he sees his new home! May 2010 291

Snug as a bug his first night at home.

So, all in all, it was an incredible and beautiful experience for everyone.  I’m so honored that my sister allowed me to take part in such a special event.  Words cannot express how amazing it was to see my little nephew take his first breath of air.  I love you, Jackson.  Welcome to our wonderful (and crazy) lil’ family. 

If you’ve made it this far, hang in there a few more seconds.  Below are his newborn pictures.  He was the perfect little model!

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