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...