Saturday, December 19, 2009

Friday, December 18, 2009

Bell ringers

Big D doesn't understand the Salvation Army bell ringers and I have to say that it is a little understandable. 

Who are these people?  They stand in front of Hyvee and Walmart and ring bells.  They just stand there.  Mommy says they ring the bell so people will give them money.  But if you give them money, do they give you the bell?  No.  That would make sense, but no.  They don't give you anything. 

Then, this year they are in orange jumpsuits.  While the orange is bright and (some would say) cheery, they don't really match all the decorations around them.  In fact they clash pretty horribly with their red money buckets.  Last year at least they were dressed like Santa and thus created in tiny minds a connection to Christmas.  This year they look like hunters who are just out trying to earn some extra cash. 

And while the bell seems fun when we are getting out of the car 200 feet away from the building, by the time we are walking past it, our eardrums are bleeding from the volume.  And heaven help us all if we have to stop at Redbox.  We basically have to dodge the bell the whole time we're praying that the stupid machine stops whirring and DISPENSES OUR MOVIE BEFORE OUR BRAINS ARE VIBRATED INTO MUSH!

Anyway, all that to say that D is fascinated/horrified by them.  Yesterday he was standing by the Christmas tree ringing one of our ornaments that makes a tiny, lovely bell noise.  He stood there, perfectly serious and slightly morose saying:

"I'm a bell ringer. I'm ringing my bell.  And standing in front of Hyvee.  And I have some money....... Yup, just standing....ringing my bell....with some money."

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Following the star?

"Let's play with the manger.  Here's Mary and Jesus, but where's Joseph?  Oh, I know!  He's in the spaceship!"

Friday, December 11, 2009

Baby sitter

I have a sitter!  As in my baby sits!  Who knew?

I am constantly amazed at the developmental leaps that little people make.

On Monday I set Belvedere up in the sitting position, she smiled at me, drooled a little then toppled over - not changing her happy expression one bit as I caught her and let her lay down.

On Tuesday I confess I did not ever try to help her sit.  When Big D was her age he would have gotten help about a dozen times a day on whatever skill he was working on.  Not so Bel.  She gets fed then plopped on the floor while I feed and generally care for the other people in the house.

On Wednesday, I sat her down and voila!  She sat for about 2 minutes before reaching for something far away and face planting.  How do you gain a skill that quickly?  She can now sit quite well.  Not unsupervised because she still leads with her head when she falls, but she'll stabilize herself very well as she plays with a toy in her lap.

As a mother these leaps make me feel a bit neglectful.  Shouldn't I have known she was close to sitting?  Seems as though I should have.  Like I should have known she could get all the way across the room like I posted about before.

But at least my ignorance won't scar her.  It seems worse when your child is older and more aware.  Like about a year ago when D started talking about the helicopter he'd seen and I kept assuring him that there hadn't been a helicopter while he kept insisting there was, adding increasing levels of detail to convince me.  After this went on forever I thought I might as well make him tell me about when he saw this helicopter that I was SURE he hadn't seen.

"It was in the hallway, mommy!"
"The hallway?"
"Yes!  It was green and it talked to me!  And we played!"

Oooooooooh!   An IMAGINARY helicopter.  Huh.  Apparently he had developed an imagination that I didn't know about.  So instead of just being surprised about his new ability to sit, I had spent the last 15 minutes crushing his newborn imagination!  My poor little boy was experiencing the wonder of imagining and his troll of a mother kept saying, "That just didn't happen, honey, I'm sorry."  Nice, mom.

Thankfully, judging by the outlandish story I heard yesterday about the shooting star that came into his room, offered him a ride and zoomed him through the sky to Gus' house, I'd say I didn't damage his creativity much. 

D imitating Bel as she scoots herself legs first under the couch.

Bel in her "I'm in the giggling pink mafia" jogging suit.

Ready to Jazzercise.

Friday, December 4, 2009

To sleep, perchance to dream...

To sleep:
Setting aside for the moment the suicidal meaning which Shakespeare first gave this quote while not belittling how wretched sleep deprivation makes a person feel, I thought I'd share some of the many sleep issues that we are having in this house.

Issue 1: Medman
Medman is in his internship year of residency.  "Intern" is from the latin "to deprive of sleep" and resident is from the greek and roughly translates to 'live in the hospital".  Stay there all day.  Stay there for call over night.  Spend your weekend there.  The extra sucker punch of internship is that since you are technically a doctor, albeit one with very limited experience, you are constantly being either condescended to as though you know nothing or berated for not knowing everything.  So the few hours of repose you are allowed are spent staring wide-eyed at the ceiling above your bed wondering if anyone bothered to check the meds you prescribed for Mr. Heart Failure and was he the one that was on the blood pressure meds that would cause a lethal reaction?  Or how long it is going to be before you get to sleep again?  Or how can you fake a hunting accident to take out a few of your more aggravating superiors?  Or what other career you are suited for besides medicine so you can just drop out?  And sleep.

Issue 2: Belvedere
Actually, I am ecstatic to say that Belvedere has in the last several days completely ended her sleeping problems.  Up until then she was waking up 3-4 times a night with at least one time being over an hour of chatty I-would-like-someone-to-play-with-me time.   The only thing that saved her life is that when she wakes me up some sort of instinct must kick in.  It tells her "If your room is pitch dark and mom shows up looking disheveled and taking deep breaths as though to calm herself from being woken up AGAIN, smile a ridiculously big smile and reach out to her.  If she so much as reaches back, squeal in delight and grab her hand.  Continue rolling around as cutely as possible until she smiles.  Then you are out of danger."   Bel has had a magical transformation though and now sleeps straight through the night.  No idea what happened, but I love it.

Issue 3: Big D
I've always had this fear in the back of my mind that potty training isn't really a good thing for the parents.  I mean really, changing a diaper isn't that big of a deal.  Getting up twice a night with a disoriented, crying 3 year old who has to pee but doesn't have the wherewithal to get himself to the potty is a big deal.  Not that I want him to get up by himself, really.  He has no regard whatsoever for getting his pee in the potty at night.  None.  It takes constant reminders.  "Make sure the pee goes in the potty.  Aim for the water.  DON'T LOOK BACK AT ME--LOOK AT THE POTTY!"

Issue 4:  Mommy wonders why, even though she is the only one in the house with no sleep problems, she is up the most of everyone?

Perchance to dream:
Big D has started talking about what I assume must be dreams.  For instance last night while he peed in the general direction of the potty he looked over his shoulder at me ("WOAH!  WATCH WHAT YOU'RE DOING!!!") and said, "The big fish came towards me.  It talked to me.  It said everything to me and I said something back."


More questioning at breakfast revealed that the big fish did in fact come out of a fish hive.  Which I had suspected all along.  Oh, and D and the fish had a big problem because there were no car tables there.

Me: Where were there no car tables?
D: (blank look)  I don't know.  Do you know?
Me: No, it was your dream.
D: Can you tell me?  Can you?
Me:  In the hive?
D: No. Mommy, you are silly.
Me: ???

For having a three year old with a vocabulary of a 15 year old, its amazing how little actual communication happens sometimes.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Well, Thanksgiving is over and my family has all returned safely to Colorado after their travel-for-longer-than-the-visit-is trip to central Missouri.  I believe that only lunatics travel for 4 days for a 2 day visit, but I do understand that my new daughter is an irresistible lure.  Whatever the reason they did that drive, I'm glad they did.  It was the first time in quite a while that we've all been together.  All together in my sister's smallish duplex!  It was cozy.  (Come to think of it, I guess I don't KNOW that they all returned safely.  My family takes the opposite approach to calling to let people know you've arrived safely from every other family in the world.  No news is good news.  If I were to call my mother the second I got home from a trip it would give her a heart attack because she'd be sure it was state patrol calling with dire news.  If you're safe, don't call.  Not sure what sense that makes, but it's how we roll.)

I think Big D, who doesn't get to see his Colorado family nearly enough, is slightly confused as to which aunt and uncle go together and who lives where.  Not that he really cares.  It's his cousin Conner that he was fascinated by.  Even though Conner just turned 7 and Big D is 3, the two of them seemed to have a very good time.  They played football, Conner let D hold the other controller while he played Wii, and they made play dough creations together.  It is clearly Conner, not the aunts and uncles and grandparents who made an impression.

D: "When I turen 16, Daddy is going to get me a car."
Me: "Really?  What kind of car?"
D: "A green on with green wheels."
Me: "That sounds nice."
D: "And Daddy will come in it too.  And you too.  Ooh!  And Conner will sit in the passenger seat and I will sit in the driver's seat!"

Mark your calendar, Conner.  Keep July 2021 open. 

I realized that this blog has been rather Belvedere-heavy lately. So to make up for it, here's a list of things I love about D:

  • How when I ask after a suspiciously long silence from the bathroom, "What are you doing in there?" I get, "I'M NOT GOING TO DO THAT ANY MORE!!!"
  • How he can change the first letter of every word in a song and still sing it full speed, "Dinkle, dinkle dittle dar, dow die dunder dat dou dar."
  • How when he calls out FIVE minutes after he's been put in bed to say he has to potty, and when only about 3 drops of pee comes out he turns his big brown eyes to me and says, "See?  I did have to pee!  Are you happy?"
  • How fascinated he is by everything around him and how incredibly fast he learns things.
  • How the ONLY word he consistently mispronounces is "hospital". As in "Did Daddy have to go to the hopistal?" And now Medman and I always say "hopistal."
  • How he will keep a cheerful dialogue up with the entire line of disgruntled people in line at the post office while we are up front at the counter.  "Hi man, is that your package?  It's brown.  This is my package.  It's white and it has THREE pillowcases in it.  It's very heavy.  They have candy here.  That man behind that counter gave me a candy one day.  It was called Butterfinger.  It's my dad's favorite candy.  Hi girl.  What is that?  A lock? What do you lock with it?  A bike?  When I'm five I get a bike.  Can you spin that lock around?  Hi everyone!  Mommy!  I said hi to everyone and some said hi back, but some didn't.  Mommy, can you sing a song for me so I can dance?  Can you sing 'How Great Thou Art' so I can dance to it?"   ----I did not make any of this up.  He said it all.  
  • How his cheerful chatter (see above) can make even a beaten down Walmart cashier smile. 
  • How he prayed at dinner, "Dear God, thank you for this day.  Please help mommy to be quiet while I'm on the phone."
  • How he thinks that chewable vitamin C is the greatest treat in the world.
  • How he turns everything into a picture of his family: "Mommy, look!  Potato chips!  A big daddy chip, a middle sized mommy chip and a little D chip!"  "Where's Belvedere?"  "She's this LITTLE TINY crumb."
Well, she is pretty tiny...

Monday, November 23, 2009

Bear Naked

Not bare naked, bear naked.  C'mon people, this is a family friendly blog.

Creepy, huh?  And oddly armadillo-ish.  Apparently there is a zoo in Germany where all the female bears are afflicted with baldness. They don't know why.  This is Delores and this picture is just too odd not to post.  Besides, six months out from childbirth I am losing so much hair that a picture like this strikes fear into my heart.  We will not be sending out Christmas pictures if I begin to look like this bear.

So in the spirit of Thanksgiving I find myself unexpectedly thankful that God created bears with fur.  Because this is how Dolores would look if she still had her God-given fur.

On a bearly less weird note, I am coming to grips with the fact that Belvedere may have some sort of baby-transporting fairy.  Or a trans-location superpower.  It is a goal of mine to discover my own superpower.  Currently the front runner is the power to telepathically communicate to Bel that I want her to sleep a couple more minutes so I can finish something.  Unfortunately my powers must be a little off because that message always wakes her up.  I also have an uncanny gift of picking the slowest checkout line in Walmart.

But I digress.  Belvedere has begun rolling around.  We plop her down on the floor and she rolls a foot this way, two feet that way, then gives up and lays on her back and goes pththbbbbbbbb with her tongue.   That is when we are watching her.

But the other day I set her down in the foreground of the following picture, right between the white blanket and the baby gym.  I then went into the kitchen and emptied the top rack of the dishwasher.  It took maybe 2 minutes.  When I turned around to look for her, she was trying to eat the couch!  Do you see her little head all the way over there?  And her feet are tucked away between the couch and coffee table.  

I can tell you with all honestly that my daughter does not have the rolling skills to maneuver her way around the baby gym, cross the room and back herself into that little space.  Big D was sleeping and Medman was at work.  She has not done any movement of this magnitude since.  Clearly there is some supernatural force at work.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

A drive around the 'ville

The other morning I had dropped Big D off at a friend and taken Belvedere to the doctor.  When we were done it was 45 minutes before I needed to get D and Bel fell asleep within 30 seconds of being buckled into her car seat so I decided to let her sleep and cruise the 'ville for a while.  Here is a photo essay of my travels:

Stop 1: Dyed Hyde Tattoo parlor

Oh, there is just soooooo much to say about this.  First of all, a note of astonishment that the owner of Dyed Hyde Tattoos went to the effort and expense of making a permanent, professionally made sign to express his displeasure with Woody's Tire and Auto.  Second, this would be completely ineffective in a large city where no one would know who Woody was.  Not so here.  The half dozen car repair shops are well known by everyone.  My curiosity lies in the question of whether people will see this and think, "Wow, I'll think twice before taking my car to Woody's," which is my city girl response.  But the more I think about what the people in town will think, I'm not sure this is going to sway public opinion.  I'm fairly certain that with respect to this sign there are two groups of people.

Group 1:  Takes their car to Woody's every couple months whether there's anything wrong or not because they're old high school buddies. While there they make all sorts of rude jokes about the loonies who run the tattoo parlor.

Group 2: Wouldn't dream of taking their car to Woody's, but not because of how he fixes cars.  They just remember that he dropped the pass that lost them the game in the semi-regional Northeast Missouri football championship in 1989.  And no one is about to forgive him for that yet. 

And really, all that aside, I can not stop giggling at the quotation marks and exclamation points.  All followed by the modest, professional "inquire within."

Stop 2-Flamingo village

Then I ran across this house.  Yes, those are all plastic flamingos.  The optimistic part of me wants to think this was some equivalent of TP-ing, but that voice that's been observing small town life for the last four years just rolls it's eyes and mutters, "Sure, they'll all be gone next week.  Just drive by and check."  And you know I will.

Stop 3:
Lest you think that this town is all tackiness, I'd like to point out that there are some truely beautiful things about it.  When we moved here this house was a hollow, broken down husk of a building.  About a year ago I saw people working on it but haven't driven by it since.  I have to say they did a beautiful job.  I'd love to see the inside.  The opposite side of the house from here has a beautiful porch.  Love it.  The picture doesn't quite do it justice.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

American Academy of Pediatrics

The American Academy of Pediatrics warns that you should not leave a baby in a crib with a blanket because "They can cover your baby's face,even if she is lying on her back."

 Good call.  They didn't warn me not to leave a baby within 6 feet of a blanket on the floor.  Belvedere has a new amazing talent of grabbing the corner of a blanket, putting it in her mouth, then rolling across the blanket effectively mummifying herself in it.  Before you think she is scared in this picture, when I moved the blanket she had her mouth wide open trying to eat it.  She grinned at me, grabbed the blanket and stuck it back in her mouth.  

I don't think we'll get her a blanky to sleep with for a while.   

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Happy Birthday to Bel and etsy whirlwind

Happy 6 month birthday, Belvedere!  Well, Happy Birthday yesterday.  I did start this yesterday but the birthday girl had a rough day since her first tooth is in a full fledged war with the surrounding gums.  That tooth has been fighting for its freedom for OVER THREE WEEKS now.  Apparently her gums are incredibly good at staying shut.  Some company that designs safes should study her for new bio-technical safe technology.  Really, if you could keep a thief from opening the safe for three weeks, seems that chances are good he might get caught.  And we know that biotechnology is the way of the future.  It's in all the movies. 

I was also hoping to have a cute picture from yesterday to post but I can't photoshop out a scowl. So the one at the bottom of the post is a week or two old...

She did get her first taste of cereal!  And while she was happier then than any other time throughout the day, I think that she thought that the whole purpose was for the family to stand around her and push a spoon into her mouth so that she could shove her tongue out and let the cereal dribble down her chin.  Any tiny cereal molecule that actually reached her stomach must have been baby cereal's version of Indiana Jones, doing the digestive equivalent of jumping out of a crashing plane with a raft, sledding down a mountain on it and then falling over a cliff to land in a rushing river.

The other thing that took up my whole day was an electronic rush on turkey shirts.  My friend Bethany requested a turkey shirt for her adorable little boy.  She had seen the hundreds of them that are for sale on etsy and graciously decided to let me make one instead of getting someone who probably does not have to sew right on their kitchen table, praying that they got all the peanut butter and jelly cleaned up before putting their fabric down.  I was as surprised as anyone that it came out cute so I thought, "What the heck, let's spend the 20 cents and list it on etsy so it can mingle with the gaggle of other turkey shirts.  Certainly no one will find my little turkey amidst the herd, but maybe he'll make some friends and have a nice time."

But lo and behold, someone bought one.  Than another.  Then on Monday night apparently all the procrastinating fashionista moms got online and I got SEVEN orders.  I'm feeling a little like a turkey with my head cut off.  One lady was even kind enough to say mine was the cutest on etsy.  Now I'm fairly certain she didn't look through all 243 turkeys, but it was still very nice to hear.

So, between turkeys and teeth I missed posting about Belvedere on the momentous day when she turned six months old.  Sorry babes!  I do think you are the most beautiful, sweet, funny, wonderful 6 month old girl to ever live!

Monday, November 9, 2009

Finally! Definitive proof that I am growing more stupider!

There's been this fear lurking in the back of my mind for, oh, about 20 years now that I am not as smart as I was as a child.  I vividly remember having a good memory.   Like when you had to read those 2 page articles during Library Time in elementary school about fascinating things like the history of pinwheels then answer 8 multiple choice questions.  Not only were the answers to the questions easy to remember, I could remember where on the page that information was and often the exact wording.  When I read books in junior high I didn't use a bookmark because it was simple to remember "I'm on page 243." 

Fast forward to today.  I think, "I'll remember I'm on page 243."  But 15 minutes later, when I pick the book back up I'm flipping aimlessly through it thinking, "Does this page sound familiar? Have I read that??? Is this even the right book?" 

Since my memory is coming into question, it makes me wonder if I'm actually remembering my childhood correctly.  Was it really so easy to remember things then?  Well, recently I had proof that it was.

Big D has foam letters that stick to the side of the bathtub.  He has one of each letter and each one is one of four colors.  Or maybe 5 colors.  It is sad that I don't know how many colors the letters are when you hear the rest of the story. 

So the other night D was telling us about the letter of the day on Sesame Street and decided, as is his usual teaching method, he needed to get us a visual aid.  Mid-sentence he runs off to the bathroom interrupting himself with, "OH!  I will show you the letter of the day!" and we hear him rummaging around in the bath letters.  A minute or two later he comes out grunting and lugging the entire box of letters. 

"Mommy, can you help me find the letter of the day?  The letter of the day is the letter F."

Amused I take the box and start to shuffle letters around.  "What color is the F?" I say, not really expecting an answer.


And there it is, a purple F.  "Huh," I think, "Good guess kid."  Always curious to test the limits of my child's intellect I say, "What color is the L?"


"The M?"


And so on through the entire alphabet.  He got everyone right.  Color me impressed.  Apparently when he looks at something, he actually sees what it looks like as opposed to me who files it under "colored foam letter."   Still interested in testing I say, "Stand way over there and tell me what color the magnet letter F is on the fridge."


Yes, you guessed it, all the way through that alphabet of colored letters.  And these are not the kid's favorite toys.  They are things he tinkers with now and then. 

"How many penguins are there in your number book?" "Seven."  "Did Calvin have a hat on at the Conservation Department?"  "No mommy, Belvedere did."  "What did Telly's favorite triangle look like on Sesame Street last week?" "It was gold with a big boulder on it."  Ok, granted I'm not sure what that means, but I'd imagine if we saw it, it might make sense.  All I remember is that Telly had some triangles (three maybe?) and one of them was his favorite.  Unfortunately Cookie Monster turned it in to a cookie with his cookie touch.  But don't worry, it all got sorted out in the end. 

So all the propaganda about teaching children to "live up to their potential" is pretty much crap.  They're at the peak of their game right now.  It's all downhill from here.  Good thing we learn to read and write so we can jot ourselves sticky notes to prop up our failing memories. 

Oh shoot, forgot I was going to sew a turkey shirt while Belvedere is asleep -

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Small town-iness

I did not ever expect to live in a small town in rural Missouri.  Let's face it, no one who grew up in Colorado has Missouri on their radar as a possible homestead.  Especially a town of under 20,000 that is 3 hours from any major city.  And although it does contain a university it would never be labeled a 'college town.'   But this is where I've hung my proverbial hat for the last 4+ years.  (Not a real hat since my head is unnaturally small so I have to shop in the kids section for hats and I don't want a Hannah Montana does Hannah Montana keep making it into my posts? She really is everywhere.) 

I would not have thought I would have become a townie so quickly.   I grew up in Denver.  I spent 5 years in the Chicago area.  How can that level of metropolitan-ism disappear from your system so quickly?  How can it take me about 30 minutes of driving on a busy highway in a city before I stop thinking "WHY ARE THERE SO MANY CARS SO CLOSE TO ME ALL DRIVING LIKE MANIACS?!?!?!?!?!?"

Don't get me wrong, the real locals would never call me a townie (which could possibly be hate speech, but I'm not enough of a townie to know how insulting it is...) because I don't leave my car unlocked and running in the parking lot of Walmart while I shop just because it's cold out or have all of the people that I see in Walmart comment that they saw my old ford running and did I get new mudflaps?

But I never get through Walmart or anywhere else without seeing at least one person I know and usually I see a handful.  And I did run into the lady who is the receptionist at our car repair shop when she handed me a happy meal at the McDonald's window.  And then I saw her the next day at the lake taking photographs of her high school aged daughter.  She kindly didn't ask me about our cars.  The last time I called the shop she said, "Hi Janice!  Are you bringing in the Jetta or the Taurus?"  Then she sounded genuinely excited when I told her we had a new car.  I bet her daughter knows now too.  In fact they probably checked it out in the parking lot at the lake.

And when I decide to vent at Girl's Night Out about the hated creepy halloween decorations at Walgreens, it turns out that out of the 8 of us there, the one new girl is married to the Walgreens manager.  She didn't come back the next month.

And I use phrases that normal city folk would use, but are wildly inappropriate here.  For instance I have said many times with complete honesty that "I don't get all the way down to JC Penney's very often."  Which is sad enough since we have essentially no other source of clothing in town besides Walmart, but is much worse when I face the fact that according to Google Earth, JC Penney's is 1.89 miles from my house.  I timed it on Friday and it took me 3 minutes.  And I was aggravated to have driven so far only to find it closed.  When was I gonna have time to get back down there? 

Surprisingly there are many things I love about living here.  I love that we can get to any friends house for a playdate in under 5 minutes.  I love that if we go to library story hour or Kneehigh Naturalists at the Conservation Department or any of the wading pools or to see the snakes in the biology department at Truman University that we know 75% of the other people there.  I love that Medman works about 8 seconds from home.  I love that we fill up our cars with gas approximately every 6 weeks.  I love that 3-year-old Big D knows how to get pretty much anywhere in town and can give me detailed directions while we drive.  I love that I can run to the bank, the post office, the library and return a movie all in under a half hour.

And it is all good since if I don't feel like shopping at Walmart, the world wide web is at my fingertips and I can order absolutely anything I want on line.

Hmm, I bet I could order JC Penney's online and save my self the trip all the way down there....

Monday, November 2, 2009

Ladybug: Friend or Foe? (and cute footwear)

Exhibit A:  Ladybugs as friends.

Here is Belvedere covered head to toe in innocuous hot pink ladybugs.  Even the feet of her pj's are in the shape of ladybugs.  Anyone who saw this would say, "Awwwww."

But the ladybugs are merely masters of public relations.

Exhibit B:  Well, I have no picture, but just imagine, if you will, you are seated at your kitchen table on a lovely October afternoon in Missouri.  The sun is shining brightly on the western, light colored wall of your house when you hear thwaaaap thwaaap thwaaaap.  And then you think, "Oh no, it is a lovely October afternoon in Missouri  and the sun is shining brightly on the western, light colored wall of my house.  Dang." (and yes, I know it's November but this post was a bit delayed due to the computer cord issue...)

You say dang because you know that the thwaaaap-ing noise is the sound of a ladybug hurling its crunchy little body repeatedly against your kitchen light.  And you know that about 1000 of its best ladybug friends are on their way to hibernate in your western-facing light colored wall.  Technically these little beasts aren't ladybugs, they are some sort of Japanese Lady Beetle.  Like they should be wearing kimonos or something.  Or have a movie "Memoirs of a Lady Beetle".  But they are little, round, reddish with spots.  They're ladybugs people.  Only people with too much time on their hands to watch Animal Planet would say differently.  And they come in droves.  I think when they are out in force, if I were to look outside my kitchen window, I would see an enthusiastic crowd of ladybugs lined up waiting to squeeze through the little hole at the corner of the screen and throw themselves against my kitchen light.  Like twelve-year-olds waiting to get into a Hannah Montana concert.

There must be some sort of burly ladybug bouncer that stays at the screen hole and paces the bugs because there are only about a dozen at a time in the house.  But if you kill those, fifteen minutes later there are a dozen more.  And even left to themselves they only live a couple hours in the house that is too dry for them.  Then they expire and plummet to the floor tp lay there all crunchy under your feet when you walk. 

And this is how we really feel about ladybugs:

On a different note, without a computer last week I did get boots made for Belvedere.  They came out cute, if  I do say so myself.  The brown and pink ones were for her.  Then I made another pair in the hopes of selling them at a craft fair this weekend, but they had several ugly flaws.  So Bel's little buddy Stella is now the owner of cute-but-not-perfect grey boots...

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Switched at (3 months past) birth?

Big D was an angelic baby.  Overdoing the research as always, I had read every baby book ever published before he was born and during his infancy.  I kept finding reference to this mysterious 'colic' stage from 6-12 weeks that babies go through.  No one knows the cause or a cure.  No one knows which babies it will affect.  Weeks of inconsolable crying with only old wives tales for treatments.  But six weeks came and went and no increase in crying.  In fact there was barely any crying at all.  Just this gummy smile at all hours of the day.  Without daring to tell it to any mother of a colicky baby, I was pretty convinced that 'colic' was just the result of bad parenting or perhaps the sign of a terrible personality disorder.

But then Belvedere was born.  And for about six weeks there was peace.  Did I fear the approaching colic storm?  Did it ever occur to me that I was like some tropical island dweller blissfully soaking up the rays of warm sunlight, not knowing that the puff of cloud on the horizon was the edge of a category 5 hurricane?  No.  She came from the same parents, right?  And we did the same things with her, right?  So it stands to reason that she will be the same baby as Big D.  Right? RIGHT?????

Wrong.  The hurricane did come and there was absolutely nothing we could do to calm the storm.  Who knew a tiny thing could cry for soooooooooooo long.  In spite of anything going on around her.  Nothing made it stop.  Not holding, cuddling, singing, swinging, car rides, entertaining, yelling, cajoling, bribing.  Sometimes not even nursing.  (Yes, you read correctly, 'yelling' was part of the list.  Judge not...)

It took the hurricane six weeks to blow through the house.  But now we come to the weird part.  At 3 months she became the most pleasant baby I've ever seen.  Cheerful, cute, cuddly, QUIET.  I discovered that she was likable.  That in fact I liked her.

Case in point: Last night Medman and I went over with the kids to some friends house.  We were going for dinner and I thought for sure we'd be home pretty close to Belvedere's 7:00 bedtime because I would be tired of holding a crabby, tired baby.  We were there until 10:00!  At night!  And Belvedere only fell asleep for about a half hour in my arms.  The rest of the time she stared happily at me and sucked her thumb.   It was vaguely unnatural.

Which leads me to the subject of this post.  I think it is possible that someone switched out that screaming baby for the one I have now.  I have no idea why they would want to do that but if they ever come back, even if they can prove with a DNA test that the screamer they have is mine, I'm fighting tooth and nail to keep cheerful Belvedere.  And I think any judge in the country who heard Screamer would punish the kidnappers by making them keep her.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Lost out of cyber-space

I'm in a sort of cyber-withdrawl.  Last Friday, the very day after I began this blog, that tiny little golden pin inside the power cord for my computer fell out.  Just fell out.  Apparently someone at Dell had just gently nestled it into its protective-seeming plastic tube instead of actually fusing it to any wires that exist inside the cord.  My computer has 54 days of warranty left on it so my dutiful husband contacted Dell.  The representative from Dell, in all their hindi-accented wisdom, declared that such a problem is classified as accident, not wear and tear.

Which I totally understand because Friday I had been just walking through my living room, accidentally tripped, got my hand accidentally tangled up in the powercord that had been lying safely under the neglected ironing board, rolled accidentally to my feet, spun around out of control and just happened to gently press my hand accidentally against the side of the computer where the power cord plugs in.  After that amazing accident I discovered that the cord would not stay in and when I looked the little pin was hanging on by a thread (a metal thread?  from steel wool maybe?) and pretty much the power of my intent stare made it fall out completely.  Clearly an accident.  As Medman passionately asked the barely english speaking Dell agent, "HOW IS PLUGGING IN YOU POWER CORD AN ACCIDENT?!?!?!?!"

Anyway, (deep breath) after explaining to them how we felt about their idea of a warranty and their price of $80 for a new cord we (by we I mean Medman) scoured the internet for deals, even patiently giving in to my nagging to "Make sure we don't get a rebate through ebates for that tiny random computer parts website!"  (Side note, anyone who doesn't know what ebates is, you should find out.  It gives you cash back when you order through hundreds of websites.  I'm eagerly awaiting my $15 check in November for the last couple months of internet shopping.) And the long and short of it is that I have to wait until this Friday to get my computer cord so I can use my computer.  I'm currently using Medman's since he had to trudge out to the Critical Care Unit bright and early this morning and no kids are up yet.

My friend Cirelle from Denver was here from Friday until yesterday, so that helped with the computer-less problem.  She  brought her youngest daughter with her who is 18 months old.  It took her and Big D about a day and a half before they determined that they were essentially siblings and could argue non-stop.  Since little Brielle didn't have the vocabulary to fight on D's level, he kindly took to talking like a one year old with inarticulate screams and howls.  Good times.  After the kids were in bed, Cirelle and I had a lot of fun.

Well, I got on the computer exactly one hour ago to work on my grocery list and have done nothing but make etsy listings and ramble on this post, so I suppose I'm off.  Everyone reading this (all 3 of you) take a moment to pat your computer lovingly and thank it for working for you today.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

its Hammer Time and other cute etsy finds

If I had found this maternity shirt a year ago when pregnant with Belvedere, I don't know that I could have resisted.  Too bad none of the strange, overly touchy elderly people at Walmart would know who MC Hammer was or why it was funny.  Still, I think it would have gotten the point across.  It's a shirt from

And the next greatest find, which I actually did purchase, was the pattern for these baby boots from

Belvedere is going to have the cutest feet in rural Missouri.


Sitting here at my kitchen table wondering what momentous thing I can write in the VERY FIRST post on my new blog and I got nothing.  I should be waking baby Belvedere up so that she works well with the schedule I've decided we all must be on today.  Oddly enough, her 5 month old individuality always exerts itself in these situations as she takes naps for drastically different amounts of time than usual.  For instance for the last 5 days she has woken up around 6 am.  That would have worked well for me today.  I've been rubbing my hands together gleefully all week that she's put herself on a convenient schedule for me.  But here I sit at 7:22 and not a peep from her room.  Not a peep.  The reason I'm excited about my schedule today is that I get to drop 3 year old son, Big D, off at a friends for the morning.  The whole morning!  Very exciting.  I will get to go to the Post Office and stand serenely in line with everyone else instead of doing that incredibly loud hissing whisper that mothers do to tell their child to "Get back here!  Don't touch that!  Stop pulling envelopes out of the ridiculously overstuffed envelope display!  Don't poke that heavy lady in the butt!  Even if her pants are green!  Yes I know you love green!" 

Ah!  A peep from Belvedere's room.  Very good.  Now I can continue posting because I know she's awake and frankly sounds perfectly happy in her crib practicing her creaky-door-swinging-in-a-haunted-house noise.  She's getting quite good at it.  I'm considering renting her out to the local haunted houses.

So I started this blog because, besides the fact that it is 2009 and after starting up a blog I'm totally intimidated by the words staring back at me from all of my Customization options (gadgets? backlinks? feeds?), I also started an etsy shop and then people blog about it right?  I'm sure someday I will even learn how to put the cool little link on the side of my blog that leads to my shop.  (Until then it's

But lets face it, people.  I may obsessively dream about new crafty things to make but I am a stay at home mother of two and so 99% (if I round down) of my time is spent mothering and wife-ing.  So I'm pretty sure most of this blog will contain cute anecdotes about my little darlings.

The creaky door is beginning to sound more like a demand for food and less like a fun game of rolling in the crib, so I'd best get back to mothering.