Thursday, February 26, 2009

Don’t Let Your Baby Watch ‘The House Bunny’

What, have I got cilantro on my head or something?

Not much new or exciting to report, just the same ol', same ol' here at Le Maison de Bonbon Mou (close as I could get with Babel Fish). Since I'm a terrible mother Jenny and I watched 'The House Bunny', and now she ADORES the Avril Lavigne song 'Girlfriend'. It's one step away from listening to Marilyn Manson and getting a tatoo. At least there's lots of swearing and a terrible message in it.

I realized last night that I have the same two thoughts every night now when I go to bed (WARNING: CHEESE ALERT). The first is 'Ohmagawd-I'm-so-freaking-happy-I-get-to-go-to-sleep', because, well, I love my bed and these cold nights are great for the sleep and, for a mother, sleep is the most precious commodity on the planet, above oil and renewable resources and closely tied with bacon. The second is, 'I get to see my baby in +/- 7 hours!' I warned you it was seriously sappy. But really, that's what I think. Who knew that I'd love my baby so much that I'd be excited to see her in the morning when I went to bed at night, like it was Christmas Eve or the night before my birthday or something? It makes me a little sad that there are people out there who don't think this, either because they are too tired or having a hard time or have a devil child or don't have their baby quite yet. Every new day is a reason to be happy when there's a Jellybean!

I found a third car seat (one for my car, one for Nanny's car, now one for The Ta's) on my new favorite game, 'Wheel of Craigslist'. I am truly my mother's daughter, because I talked someone down from $35 to $30. For a BRITAX. Ridiculous. Rich people don't know what they're doing on CL. I also bit the bullet and ordered a patio set, just something cheap from Wal-Mart. I don't want to run into problems with something being delivered late if I get too close to Jenny's birthday, which in my head is like 3 days away instead of 3 months. That's what happens when you're a planner.

I also finally and painfully divided up the rest of my tax money – paid for the next year of Nanny payroll/tax services in advance, paid off one of my many exciting loans, threw some money at my viciously circling Amex bill, and ordered some baby gates since I now officially have two crawlers in the house. That doesn't leave me as much as I'd like to sneak into savings, but it's better than blowing it all on a stupid fence. Or meth.

Jelly has a new hilarious habit that may or may not be intentionally cruel. She and Cade, like any babies, constantly fight over toys and want what the other has, even if it's quite literally THE EXACT SAME THING. However, when The Bean has successfully retrieved a toy she knows Cade wants, she promptly waves it directly in his face tauntingly, before snatching it back and chewing on it/shaking it/dropping it somewhere out of his reach because she's already bored with it. I'd like to think she is attempting to 'share' the toy, but I really think she's just learned a super-early version of 'nyah-na-nyah-na-boo-boo'. Also, she bit him for the first time the other day, totally unprovoked. Cade may SEEM like the rough-and-thuggy boy, but Beaner apparently can hold her own.

In 'check this out it's AWESOME!' news, I saw an article in Parenting about Animoto. It's a video service that allows you to upload pics and music and creates either a free 30-second clip, or has a pay-for-play service that is extremely reasonable ($3/each or $30/year). I made a test video of Jellybean and totally bawled my eyes out (misted up a little bit), it was so freaking precious. It links to YouTube so is way convenient, and is faster than I thought it would be. Both videos I've created so far are in my toolbar on the right if you want to see them. I want to make approximately 847 million more. I am already thinking of maximum cuteness impact songs/pics combos that will slay people in their tracks.

No big plans for the weekend, I'm just excited that swimming lessons are done so we don't have to race out the door by 8am on a Saturday morning for the first time in months. There's a consignment sale we might check out, and I think we're going to go with Ta to get her SECOND dog (Beau's brother), and Aunt C. has invited us over for some Rock Band goodness. I also need to come up with a smart and witty post for the Triangle Mommies blog, since I volunteered to be the 'Club 35' writer. Somehow I don't think bacon porn and constant consignment sale reviews are going to cut it over there.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Milestone Update

She can crawl! I forgot to mention, as of this morning she can crawl FORWARDS. Go, Jenny! Go, mama, putting up baby gates!

9-month Checkup

My friend and yours, Ms. J.J. Jellybean, had her 9-month checkup this morning and is doing great. I was worried her ear infection had come back since she was tugging on her ears again lately, but no, the little princess just doesn't like the feeling of her newly-grown hair tickling her ears. I see a baby headband in her future. Or, as her Ta suggested, a fullet.

Doc Awesome said that people need to stop screaming 'OHMAHGAWD SHE'S ENORMOUS!' when they see her, because her weight is leveling off and she's healthy and happy and I should stop worrying already. He said not to mess around with next-stage formula, and that only two bottles a day was fine, and that everything I was doing (putting a little milk in her scrambled eggs) was just fine, which is why I luv him so much. So I will stop worrying for two seconds.

How cute was it that he tested her reflexes for the first time, and I got to see her fat little leg kick up?! He said her reflexes are great. He checked through all the fat folds to make sure there weren't any Cheerios or Buicks hiding in there, and she got her final Hep B shot. She was a brave little camper, and very happy despite the fact the nurse totally forgot about us and I had to go hunt her down.

This weekend was good, we went to the new favorite park both days and got our swing action on. We hit a really crappy consignment sale Saturday, which was disappointing. And Jenny was practically mobbed at Kroger, where everyone from 4-year old kids ("Momma, I want that baby!") to teenaged girls ("Look, she's still smiling at us, she is so pretty! Can we take a picture?!") to little old ladies ("Those cheeks! How do you not pinch them?!") fell all over themselves to play peek-a-boo, blow her kisses, come up and hold her hand and walk beside the cart talking to her, etc.. It's tough being the mother of a celebrity, now I know how Katie Holmes feels. Except fatter and with worse hair and no short gay husband.

Tomorrow we have a play date with a boy/girl set of twins who are just a little older than Jellybean and Cade, which should be lots of fun and chaos. Then Wednesday there is a free Gymboree class. Busy, busy, busy!

Have a good week, everyone!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Pay it Forward, Blog-Style

I saw this contest on my favorite photographer's blog, and thought it was pretty cool so am going to do it!
Here are the rules...

1. Be one of the first THREE bloggers to leave a comment on this post, which then entitles you to a handmade item from me - something crafty or yummy!

2. Winners must post this challenge on their own blog, meaning that you will Pay It Forward, creating a handmade gift - anything!- for the first THREE bloggers who leave a comment on YOUR post about this giveaway!

3. The gift that you send to your 3 Friends can be from any price range and you have 365 days to make/ship your item. This means you should be willing to maintain your blog at least until you receive your gift and have shipped your gifts. And, remember: It’s the Spirit and the Thought That Count!

4. When you receive your gift, please feel free to blog about it, sharing appropriate Linky Love! If you are not one of the Top Three Commenters on this post, you can still play along. Go ahead and start your own Pay It Forward chain, and encourage your blogging friends to do the same!
SO, REMEMBER...Pay it forward! Please feel free to comment even if you're not the first three, I would still love to hear from you.

Visit Went Well, Send Old Sleep Schedule

So tired. Jenny's schedule got totally trashed. Great to see family. Missed those that weren't here. Jelly LOVES her Uncle Dancey.
Will post more later when recovered.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

A Post For N

Here's a fun video, and it doesn't show me abusing my child. Well, indirectly, at least. 'Drunken Noodles', by the way, do NOT have alcohol in them. Sheesh, I'm not THAT bad of a mother.

And, since N felt guilt about the clothes I buy for my niece and nephew, I wanted to share with her the reason why she should never, ever feel like she should buy clothes for Jenny.

A few closet pictures say it best;

The first two are the two sides of Jelly's closet in her room. The other is the spare bedroom closet. Thankfully I have not had to move to my office closet yet.

I, apparently, love to buy kids' clothes. Who knew?! Do you need me to be a professional shopper for your child?
EDIT: If you happen to click on the photos to zoom in and see what kind of insanity I buy, please do not judge me when you start to count the number of 'sailor' outfits.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

A Good Burger and a Good Baby

The sweet new 'older baby' layout, courtesy of Craigslist

Yesterday was one of those 75-degree, blustery warm spring days that you don't see until May in Canada but are gifted with in North Carolina in early February. I couldn't stand to be at my desk one second longer, so called The Ta to go to lunch. We risked eating at a Café near her house, since we both had early afternoon appointments, and despite our last visit there ending in pain and misery, had great meals.

Did you ever, as a kid, get fries from a beach snack bar? The kind of place that wasn't big enough for a tall person to fully stand in, that for certain didn't have proper refrigeration or was up to any health codes. The kind of place that served fries, piping hot and perfectly salty-greasy-crunchy on the outside, and moist-mealy steaming on the inside? And maybe, you got a burger too, and it was flame-broiled and perhaps a little overdone but doused in ketchup and relish so it didn't matter? The bun was soft and fresh, and there was American cheese, all gooey-melty, and a handful of perfectly crisped pieces of real bacon? That was my lunch. It was perfect for a day like today. Yes, it is sitting in my stomach like a lead brick, and I'm still belching onion, but oh, was it good. And, uh, the bacon was deep-fried. PERFECTION ACHIEVED!

And have I mentioned lately that I have a really good baby? The kind of baby who has slept through the night for quite some time now, who sleeps from 8p-7a, and lays quietly in her crib cooing while waiting for me to get her? She's a good baby. I have fed her Thai, watermelon, part of a Greek-grilled lamb chop, and peanut butter this week. And orange juice. So basically, she has officially had everything on my carefully researched, written up, and posted-on-the-refrigerator 'Do Not Serve Before 1 Year Old' list. Except for the obvious 'duh' things, like hot dogs and popcorn and poisonous blowfish. The only problem is that she has decided she doesn't want an afternoon bottle or sippy cup of formula any more, and doesn't really want a snack, so she's RAVENOUSLY HUNGRY OMG FEED THE BABY BEFORE SHE DROPS BELOW 25 POUNDS at exactly 5:30. Which means mama needs to stop working at 5 and cook a super-quick dinner, if she doesn't want to enjoy the dulcet tones of a screaming child the whole time. I'm looking forward to the long weekend (in addition to my family being here) since I will actually be able to prepare meals earlier and Ms. Fussybottom will be entertained by other people. That's almost enough of a reason to get married.

So yes, despite the new whine I have a good baby. Did I already post about where she picked up her new favorite noise? She got a terrific irritated grunt from The Nanny's baby, which cracks me up, but the champion is a high-pitched, 'Aaaaaaaaa' sound, which the little drama queen works up to with a long indrawn breath. She got it from The Ta's dog. I thought it was a passing fancy, but I guess she figured that if it works for him it will work for her. It's both pitiful and hilarious. And makes me want to jam something into my ears.

The good baby had a busy day yesterday – she went to storytime at the library, and the local consignment shop, and the park, and then sat outside looking at books and playing with toys while Nanny blew bubbles. Once again – so lucky to have Nanny. It's awesome that it's nice weather, because my office overlooks the back yard and I can spy on them playing and see Nanny being absolutely adorable with Jelly. Which today made me a teensy bit sad, to see Jelly look at her that way and giggle. But you know what? WAY better than the alternative.

Have I already said I have a good baby? I can't remember any of the specifics I was going to post about why, exactly, she is such a good baby. Maybe it's because, despite being a despicably cheerful early-morning person, she still likes to wake up slowly with a good long snuggle in a warm bed with her mama. Or because she already has a sense of humor, and will laugh at the randomly stupid things I do to entertain her. Or because she loves, LOVES music, and will wiggle and bop to just about anything with a tune and a beat. And she doesn't seem to mind, sometimes, when mama reads only one book instead of five, or gets her out of the tub early because it's been a really long day. She doesn't cry when you wipe her face after a meal, or when it's bedtime, or when mama changes her clothes 11 times, or takes yet another picture. She's just a good Jelly.

Monday, February 9, 2009

70 Degrees and Rising

Jelly tries valiantly to stand for Nanny
If you are as tired as I am, you probably shouldn't read this post because you'll have to take a nap afterwards. I was really planning on a quiet, stay-at-home-and-relax weekend, honest, but since the weather got up to 70 degrees we just couldn't stay in the house. Don't worry, Jellybean was slathered in sunscreen and wearing a hat at all times.

Friday – The monthly hacker meeting. Jelly and I hung out and talked about new technologies and sexy sensor keyboards and played with a cool robot computer panoramic picture-taking thingie (from GigaPan, the same kind that was used for the inaugural address photo), and JJ realized that being out at night past her bedtime with all the neon signs lit up and the light evening breeze blowing was COOL, even if she was with a bunch of nerds. Then The Ta picked her up and I got to go and make several rookie mistakes (bars that have $4 Long Island Iced Tea specials should not be allowed to sell nachos that come with chips, French fries, ONION RINGS, chili, and nacho cheese) but had a lot of fun and was in by midnight.

The Bean is stealing your identity right now

Saturday – After 8:45am swimming lessons (where I learned that Baby Jesus doesn't only punish teens for drinking, he punishes mothers who have to get up early and scrape off mascara and get into a bathing suit as well) we picked up Ta and went to a church consignment sale. It was kinda crappy but we got a few things, notably the best-ever guitar for $2.50. After that was lunch, then a visit to the local park, where I almost got into a fight with the people hogging the baby swings with their bratty 4-year olds, but Jenny finally got a turn and it was a gorgeous day. She did, however, have a chemical spill out her diaper and up her back that almost made Ta sell her house. Then, because I'm a crazy person, we got home and I decided to wash the car while Jelly ate dirt. That night my baby smelled like a mix of chlorine, coconut, Johnsons & Johnsons, and sunshine, and it was glorious. I collapsed into bed.

A well-deserved TV-watching break from all the fresh air

Sunday – After doing two loads of laundry we were out the door and running errands by 10, stopped and got subs and then home again to unpack the groceries and purchases just before noon to get a picnic lunch packed up. Went to the other park, had a nice lunch and ate some sand and played on the swings, then home for a quick nap. After the nap we went and picked up a Craigslist toy shelf, realized it wouldn't fit in the car with the next item to be purchased, so drove home and unloaded it then went back out again to the OTHER side of town and picked up the Craigslist sandbox. Came home, trucked several bags of sand around to the back of the house and filled the sandbox, sanitized the toy shelf and filled it, made some tofu-and-veggies for Jellybean and a ribeye for mama out on the grill (yes, Jenny actually cried until I gave her bits of my steak), unpacked all the picnic stuff, cleaned the kitchen, watched 'Akeelah and the Bee', had a good cry (stoopid movie! stoopid LF and his sexy, sad voice!) and collapsed into bed.

I am exhausted.

Notice that nowhere on the list did I mention 'clean house in preparation for parent's imminent arrival'.


In exciting 'omg my baby is such a PERSON now' news, she is starting to wave! I thought it might be just good timing on her part, but The Nanny confirmed this morning that yes, Jellybean is doing a super-cute open-close handed wave (not just the hand-shaky wave, which is much easier). She is also starting to pull up on stuff, which I learned when I loaded up the new slightly rickety toy shelf and put lots of bricks and barbed wire in the top. Her other new thing is to bounce when she's very happy, or listening to music, or eating pretty much anything. And while I knew she was very empathetic (she hates it when The Nanny's son cries), she will 'whine' when The Ta's Beau-dog whines. She likes him a lot, it's very sweet.

That's enough for Monday. Start practicing your heart-shaped pancakes!

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Wednesday’s Child is Full of Woe. And Fritos.

Tired people have bad hair and extra chins

Anyone else out there just plain tired? Tired, tired, tired. I am late on a whole bunch of work deliverables and need to give myself a kick in the pants to get going on them. I just feel very draggy lately. That's a word I just made up. It means, 'to constantly wish one was in bed and the whole world had disappeared, just for a few hours'. The antibiotics seem to be helping out Poor Jelly, as her mood has vastly improved and she's been quite chatty lately. However, she cannot be convinced to sleep past 6am, no matter what time she goes to bed or how I've tossed and turned, and I just am not doing a very good job of becoming a morning person, no matter what I tell myself. I also still have a problem with trying to cram way too much into the weekend, which means I don't get any extra rest on non-work days. Last weekend was swimming, and errands, and shopping, and some trespassing, and never-ending laundry, and cooking and cleaning… you know how it goes.

Jenny makes friends while trespassing on a nice lady's farm

I know I'm tired because of the three tell-tale signs: I fell asleep on the couch with Jenny the other night (and I NEVER nap, especially in the evening), which was terrible because then we both woke up late for dinner and hungry and cranky, and at least one of us was screaming and scarfing Cheerios but it might have been both of us; I have cried at every single blog post I've read today (tears are ALWAYS the first sign of the non-crier's weariness); I have approximately 17 half-started, half-finished to-do items on the go today. Laundry in both the washer AND dryer, plus Jelly's clean stuff piled in her glider, PLUS I dumped my last few batches of clean clothes in a convenient Rubbermaid tub in the middle of my bedroom. The dishwasher needs to be run, unloaded, and reloaded. I started uploading pictures to be printed for my Grandma and for the new frames I picked up but then mentally yelled at myself for not doing work, so started doing work but then realized what I needed to do was excruciatingly boring so I stopped doing work and paid some bills. Then I realized I didn't have my checkbook upstairs so cleaned off my desk, but didn't have a big enough garbage bag so started piling stuff on the floor, which led me to discover several projects there (unsent Christmas cards, a shadow box, odd-sized fridge photo holders, several magazine-page recipes needing to be scanned, a sailor's cap with a broken chin strap (don't even ask), THREE travel laptop bags all needing to either be emptied or re-stocked, and a pile of dirty bedding from the LAST time my family was here and my brother slept in my office. Plus all the stuff from the consignment sale tagging I did.). I'm a project-management person, and this is killing me. Forget my groove – how do moms get their damn FOCUS back?

My parents have decided to come for an impromptu visit, which is rather exciting, since they'll be here NEXT WEEK. Their excuse is that it's an enormous burden to try to ship all the clothes my sister has for The Bean, and they are concerned that I am allowing her to eat crazy things and kiss goats. They just cannot stand it a second longer and have to squeeze her, I understand perfectly. Whatever the reason, it will be nice to see them and an excuse for me to take off an extra day of work, so I'm looking forward to an extra-long weekend next week. I gave her Beef Stroganoff for dinner last night. I think at this point it's just a contest to see what totally ridiculous things she'll eat. The only downside is that I've still got a whole bunch of tasty pureed foods in the freezer which are BABY FOOD! BLAH! NO TEXTURE! NO EXCITEMENT! So she refuses to eat them and sobs inconsolably at her hardship, which N definitely warned me about.

No applesauce, thanks, I'll have the steak.

I really don't have anything exciting to write about since I am so blech this week. My toilet dooley-hickey broke (the plastic thing that pulls the chain so the water in the tank empties) and I keep buying the wrong piece to replace it, so I basically stick my hand in cold toilet tank water every time I want to flush my toilet. The house is a MESS (as you may have guess from the description of the state of my office), so I have to figure out how it's going to become mom-clean by Friday the 13th. I think I'm going out this Friday night to meet some friends who are in town, but I have to figure out what to do with Jelly – I think The Ta is going to help out, which is awesome, but I feel some guilt because she's watched her a lot lately, and she's got her own Beau Diddly-Dog baby now. I did manage to get my taxes done and filed (so fun!), but I told The Nanny that I was going to hold off on building a fence until the economy picked back up so that I could throw my refund into savings. Gully, shmully. A tumble into the crick and a snake bite or two will toughen everyone up.