Wednesday, December 31, 2008

My, how things have changed...

I was never a partying kind of girl, that's not my thing. But I never knew my New Year's Eve would come to this:


Craft project with the kiddos.
Ok, it was actually fun, and while they look pained and miserable, that is how my darlings look when they concentrate. These sticky backed foam pieces don't stick themselves you know.
Oh, and yes, I'm aware that Elizabeth is topless. She's into nudity lately and, while I try to give you a good picture of what life is like for the four of us, I can't post any pictures of her (now) everyday sprint around the house shouting "I'm a naked girl! I'm a naked girl!" Because I would go to jail. So, now you know. And I would like you to also know that she does not get this from me.
That's right, I'm looking at you, David.
Oh Lilli, we love you. You're a silly little girl though.

There's nothing like a foam crown to celebrate the New Year, right?
Thanks for the idea, Tahra! You rock!



"Come see the Forces of Darkness"

So, my friend C sent the girls a completely awesome Christmas present. It's the CherryBlossom Marketplace or something like that, and I've yearned for it (or anything in the whole line actually) for quite a while and have been very unfulfilled. Well, no longer! It arrived in a fear-inducing sized box which thankfully was more bark than bite, and the girls almost passed out from excitement when they saw the front of the actual box. Which meant that I had some unnecessary help putting the thing together.

Side tangent to inquire why I am always the one who puts the stuff together? I think someone is taking advantage of my need to control the process.

Anyway, despite the help I got it put together (which was a fascinating process- you end up kind of zipping the whole thing up in a slipcover) and out on the lanai it went, at least until we do some rearranging inside. The girls happily played out there until it got dark. I was cooking dinner and missed the whole "sun going down" thing, but suddenly a panicked sounding Elizabeth sprinted into the house shouting "Come see the forces of darkness! Come see!" Apparently, while to me the corner we had stashed the "ice cream store", as they were calling it, looked like this:


To Elizabeth it looked more like this:

We later determined she was actually saying "Forest of Darkness", which is a quote from the Backyardigans and involves singing a song that goes "Gotta be brave, gotta be brave, gotta be brave in the cave".

It was lot more fun when I was out on the lanai looking for the "forces" of darkness.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

I asked her to smile...









There. Finally. Sort of....







Princess Elizabeth


Thank you, Disney Store, for finally putting your princess dresses on clearance. And then having a sale on top of that. You made a Cinderella wanna-be very happy.



Friday, December 26, 2008

Just Stopping By...

I've spent the majority of the day reading another blog and all her posts are pulsating around my head so vigorously that I want to write about so many things that I am unable to write much at all. At least not the poignant post-Christmas entry I had in mind. Man, she's good.
I will say, though, since you can never entirely silence a rambler, that we survived Christmas (it was actually pretty fantastic. Oh, and so was the ham.), although my living room floor now has a thick coating of toys. I thought about inserting a gratuitous picture of Santa's idea of being "frugal" this year (monetarily, yes! Check my receipts! Just somehow the numbers got out of control), but it shames me.
There were a few snafus, mainly related to the fact that Elizabeth got a new soccer ball and Lilli didn't and she wanted one, and Elizabeth got a doll sized umbrella stroller and Lilli didn't and she wanted one, and Elizabeth got a Thomas the Tank Engine phone and Lilli didn't....you see where I'm going with this. Lilli thinks she's AT LEAST three-years-old, and possibly 16. Actually they spent a lot of this morning playing with each other's toys quite happily, it was just yesterday that was punctuated by screeching. Oh, the dulcet tones of my little one. They remind me of silver bells, and bird songs AND A WAILING SIREN. I have to remind myself that it is quite normal for a 17 month old, who now regularly speaks in two word sentences (More books! I go! Baby up!), to dissolve into a wordless shrieking puddle on the floor when things don't go her way, but I am new at this. I don't know how I avoided it with Elizabeth, but I did, and I am grateful, grateful, grateful.
In fact, here Elizabeth is being particularly angelic while pajamaed and bed-headed with what she thought was the coolest thing EVER that she found in her stocking.
Some may call it a giant lollipop, others may call it an edible magic wand.
Anyway, I am exaggerating both the frequency and the severity of Lilli's outbursts (at least according to witnesses), but, once again, this is new for me.
But lest you think that Lilli was slighted by Santa, I assure you she was not, it's just that Elizabeth's new toys are much more fascinating. Except for Baby Belle. If you touch Baby Belle without specifically being required to fix her "crown", prepare to have your eardrums pierced. That is because Baby Belle has a very full schedule that must not be interrupted. She eats hundreds of times a day, she shares her food and her bottle with her Lilli-mama, she is put to bed and woken back up moments later over and over, she waits patiently while her "cousin", Elizabeth's big baby doll, is tossed from the new umbrella stroller so she can ride in it, and she actually comes in the car with Lilli. I hear you saying "So?" This is some sort of significant something, I assure you. We call toys you take in the car "car friends". Elizabeth always takes at least one, sometimes more, and they could be anything from her "Effel" to a leaf she picked up. Lilli never takes one. Sometimes she ends up with one because Elizabeth thinks she needs one and will carry one for each of them, but Lilli tries to travel light. But Baby Belle came with us to Sweet Tomatoes. That is major love, trust me.
See? Here's the feeding. Pardon the funky angle, I was trying to take pictures while lying on the couch. And since in reality my head was near Lilli, these are all pictures-taken-at-the-full-extension-of-my-arm. Plus zoomed out all the way.

Here's the sharing of the food. A bite for me, a bite for you. I was getting better with my angles. It's an experimental process you know, this taking pictures without being able to see what you're pointing at. Also pardon the red eyes. I only remove those through Snapfish. Anything stored on my computer is only available in its natural glory, and both the girls and I have red eyes in every picture that involves flash.

Oh, let's see if you can guess what she's saying in this picture?

Yep, "MINE!!!!"

David would like me to insert at this point that she only does this because (we're ignoring the normalcy of this age-related behavior again) of Elizabeth's habit of realizing that Lilli is playing with a toy that she was previously ignoring and zooming over and ripping it out of poor Lilli's hands. He would like me to tell you that it is a defense mechanism.

But seriously, don't mess with Baby Belle.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

It's all about Meeeeemeeeeeeee

It's funny how some people hate to be tagged, and I go out of my way to tag myself. I suspect it's my love of enlightening quizzes, but since I also love to read other people's it's not 100% about self-discovery, just good fun.



This one is called the 25 days of Christmas. I saw it on one of the blogs I read regularly, and liked it and decided to do it, but when I went back to the site the next day to get started on it, she'd taken it down. Maybe she didn't like what she'd written, I don't know, but I was like, "HEY!!!". You know who you are...



I still wanted to do it though, so I've made the joyous discovery that if you google "25 Days of Christmas meme", that's exactly what you get. Ahhhhhhhhhhh. Thanks Grasp the Love for being number one on my Google search! I hadn't read you before, but now you have both helped and entertained me, and I will be back!



So, here we go as I have fun:

1. Wrapping paper or gift bags? I normally consider gift bags a pretty cop-out or the wrapping of last resort, but this year I'm actually doing some. I'm sick of fighting with metal ties and things that are screwed to the box with a toddler trying to "help" me because she's so anxious to get at whatever it is. So as I've been helping Santa I've pre-opened some of the toys while I have the time and a reasonable amount of patience. All those little pieces? Right into a gift bag. I should also add that this year I'm cheating on gift tags and to save my hand cramping up I created stickers of the girls faces on Snapfish and I'm just slapping them on. And I'm just doing the stick-on bows this year, no pretty ribbons. Yes, I know, I'm no kind of mother. Except maybe a relaxed one.

2. Real tree or artificial? Artificial. I'm not really a fan of pine scent. Although I like to visit other people's real trees. Also, we have three cats and I envision them climbing right up so they can munch on the needles. They are greenery munchers.

3. When do you put up the tree? The weekend after Thanksgiving or close to that.

4. When do you take down the tree? Sometime after January 1st. We try to have it down by Easter.

5. Do you like egg nog? I like the first couple of sips. Then I remember that it's too thick for my taste. What I like is Nestle Very Vanilla milk. Partially frozen into a slush. And I'll eat that at any time of year.

6. Favorite gift received as a child? I'm torn between two. One year I came down to find an unwrapped present for the first and only time. It was a stuffed Benji dog. I loved that dog. I'm sure it's still around. Another year I received a play set that was an ice cream shoppe. Complete with a little hat and an ice cream freezer that had a place to put the ice cream cones. Hmmmm. I think that was probably my favorite. I have an unhealthy fondness for play food. Every time we go down that aisle I invariably see something that makes me say "When I was little I would have killed for that." Quite frequently now if I even pause at something that catches my eye, say a complete plastic birthday party, David will say "Yes, I know, you would have killed for that". Takes all the wind right out of my sails.

7. Do you have a nativity scene? I have several. I sort of collect them. Just not rabidly. Normally I put them all out, but for some reason I wasn't motivated this year. Oh right. Because I would have had to clean off my breakfast counter since that's where they go.

8. Hardest person to buy for? One of my friends who shall remain nameless.

9. Easiest person to buy for? The girls, of course. The hard part is stopping myself.

10. Mail or email Christmas cards? Snail mail all the way baby. What else am I supposed to do with this Christmas card holder?

11. Worst Christmas gift you ever received? It was probably my freshman year in college when I received laundry detergent, a huge multi-bar pack of Dove soap, and socks from my grandma. It was well meant, but quite a depressing come down from the days of stuffed animals and ice cream shoppes.

12. Favorite Christmas movie? The 1991 TV movie "All I Want for Christmas". Possibly due to Thora Birch's rendition of "Baby, It's Cold Outside". I don't really know. I just know I love it. And for some reason I don't own it. I will have to see if I can fix that. I'll also tell you my least favorite Christmas movie: "It's a Wonderful Life". I hate that movie with a passion. Except maybe the Buffalo Gals musical number. But all the rest of it is pure misery.

13. When do you start shopping for Christmas? The day after the last Christmas.

14. Have you ever recycled a Christmas present? No, but I keep meaning to.

15. Favorite thing to eat at Christmas? HoneyBaked ham. I have to have it. Have to.

16. Clear or colored Christmas lights? Colored. They're the best. And they'd better not be the blinking kind. I wish they still made the ones that had the removable plastic caps that were the same colors as the lights. I used to create my own colors on the tree by mixing them all up. It was fun.

17. Favorite Christmas song? "Oh, Little Town of Bethlehem" or Faith Hill's version of "Oh, Holy Night". Which is a little odd since I'm not particularly into country music. But I appreciate talent in whatever genre it exists. And her version will give you wild chills up and down your spine.

18. Travel at Christmas or stay home? I'd much prefer to stay home now that we have girls. I grew up going to my grandma's every year. The one year we had to stay home because my dad had bronchitis it didn't even feel like Christmas. But now I want to create traditions here at the house for the girls and don't want to lug...force Santa to have to try and find us with all the gifts...

19. Can you name all of Santa’s reindeer? Of course.

20. Angel on the tree top or a star? It has to be a star. I never understood the angel thing. And ideally the star should at least partially light up.

21. Open presents Christmas eve or morning? One Christmas eve, the rest in the morning. Tomorrow we're doing stockings when the girls first get up and then the rest of the presents when Grandma and Papa come over. Nana and Grandpa are coming the next day and we'll do it all over again!

22. Most annoying thing about this time of year? There are good sales and yet there is no place to park so it's hard to get at them. Also the fact that we have tried SEVERAL times to go visit Santa and the lines have wrapped around his little house or you've been required to go in the morning to pick up a pass so you can come back 8 to 12 hours later. So no picture with Santa this year. *sniff*

23. Favorite ornament theme or color? Things that have some significance to us or that I just think are pretty. And as I said, always colored lights and at least 2 boxes worth of candy canes. The year you could also say the theme was "breakables at the top of the tree, unbreakables at the bottom!"

24. Favorite dinner for Christmas? Again, HoneyBaked ham. I will accept no substitutes.

25. What do you want for Christmas this year? I kind of want a Wii, but I will accept World Peace since I think that is easier to come by.

Apparently my rut has a name, and it's "Eeyore".

I'm not sure how I ended up with so many magazine subscriptions, but every month they pile up on my nightstand and I wander through them. At the moment I subscribe to Rachael Ray, Martha Stewart Living, Real Simple, Redbook, Parents, Parenting, Woman's Day, Taste of Home, Simple & Delicious (I think that's what it's called), possibly something I've forgotten, and (don't mock me) Ladies' Home Journal. Yes, I'm pushing 30, not 50 and I have no idea how I ended up with this subscription, but I have it, so I read it. I read pretty voraciously, so I need lots of material. That's my story and I'm sticking to it. So there.

Anyway, there was an extremely interesting article in the January issue called "Step Outside Your Life". All about how women get caught up in day-to-day life and routines and forget to try new things and become creatures of habit (I'm sure you can see where this is going), and some ways to try and break out of that a little. Well, there was an accompanying quiz, and I've loved those since my Seventeen days. I was reading at the dinner table (no mom, you never succeeded in getting me to stop that, sorry), so David took the quiz with me. It was called "How Curious Are You?" I'd link you to it now that I have linking skills, but they don't have it on the website. I know because I checked. I'd put the whole text in here, but I'd rather not have the writer (thank you Ms. Renkl, I enjoyed your article) fuss because I'm sure I'd be infringing on something. If you also enjoy quizzes to an abnormal agree, you can find this issue on newsstands, or that's what the library is for.

So a sample question was : If I had an extra hour a week, I'd: A) Actually read the selections from my book club, B) Take a class- maybe learn Italian or try Kickboxing, c) Sleep.

Answers that demonstrate your quest for knowledge or new experience get you more points. At the top of the heap in the 25-33 point range were the Curious Georges. They pretty much throw caution and planning to the wind and go nuts. I congratulate them and think they must be secretly very stressed out. Then there are the Nancy Drews in the 16-24 point range. They seem to be hip to trends and a bit quirky and up on the gossip. They are encouraged, if they love sushi, to learn how to make it. I assume, knowing how these quizzes work, that this was the healthy answer that we should all strive to be like. Experimental, but not wacky in a jumping off a building holding onto a balloon type of way.

In the 15 and under point range are the Eeyores. I know we're Eeyores because I had 14 points and David had 13. This is what it says about Eeyores: "It seems everything you needed to know you've ignored since kindergarten. Maybe you're just stuck in a rut, or maybe you're too stressed to have a thought to yourself, let alone a question for someone else. But it takes only a second to open your eyes and look around- you'd be surprised at what you may find."

It's a bit depressing to know that after spending time striving for a comfortable routine to give our girls the stable foundation that will give them the confidence to branch out and become their own little selves, as recommended in a whole lot of parenting and psychology books, we have apparently stifled ourselves in sacrifice.

And we are very happy that way.

And the one time I DIDN'T Have my Camera...

Leaving BJ's, on my way home from work, I was behind a middle-aged gentleman with excess self-confidence. He was wearing a pastel green suit (jacket, vest, and pants) and a bright red shirt and shoes. The security lady shook her head and told me that he comes in there in similar get up all the time, his most memorable outfit being bright purple from head to toe. From the hat to the shoes. She seemed a little disgusted, but I was delighted. He was walking with a spring in his step that just shouted joy in the day, his attire and himself in general.

And that is something to strive for.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Rachel, Destroyer of Innocence

Last night David and I were talking about what Christmas traditions we want to follow as the girls get older. In passing, he said something along the lines of "Oh yeah! I thought it was so great when we'd go out with my parents on Christmas Eve and we'd come back late and the presents would all be there. I was always amazed by that." I, supposing this was the direction the conversation was headed and mentally thinking ahead to how this would be great to do for our girls someday said "Oh yeah, they had your neighbors do that."

Well, apparently he didn't know. His mom had told me that, but never mentioned it to him.

So in one blow I managed to ruin a great mystery, taint a happy childhood memory, and crush his innocence. And that last one is a quote.

Not a bad day's work FOR AN EVIL PERSON. *sigh*

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Lean Green Broccoli Eating Machine




She's an unusual child.


?????

I'm a little confused, but I'm glad I had my camera.



Don't mind the dirty windshield.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Interview With a Vam...3-Year-Old

video

I was trying to get her to sing again, but she thought it would be more fun to hide in her shirt.

For translation purposes, the things she liked to do were blocks, build towers, play the piano, books, puzzles and to play at the library. I should clarify that by "play the piano" she means "hit two different notes alternately and sing various songs to the plunking". It's a start, but she's no Mozart.

We love her anyway.

Friday, December 19, 2008

He Said You'd Better...What?

Well, my "big" video plans have been partially thwarted by my piece of poo camera, but that's not really going to stop me. Elizabeth will now sing what we call the "Canoe Song". We're teaching her the girl power thing early. Does anybody who went to Girl's Camp with me remember it? I realize that she's recently three, so what mostly sounds perfectly clear to me is probably pretty garbled to you. So I have thoughtfully provided the lyrics below the video. At least the lyrics as we think they are supposed to be sung. If we're wrong, well, you'll just confuse us by trying to get us to change.

video

Just a boy and a girl in a little canoe, with the moon shining all around

And as he dipped his paddle in, you couldn't even hear a sound.

So, they talked and they talked till the moon grew dim,

He said "You'd better kiss me or get out and swim"

So what ya gonna do in a little canoe

With the moon shining all a-

Boats floatin all a-

BOYS swimming all around!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Spin Cycle: The Rambling Begins

I called this blog “The Ramblings of Rachel” because that’s what I do. I ramble when I write and I ramble when I talk, and I love to suddenly switch topics, and occasionally my train of thought jumps the tracks. So it’s a perfect title for this blog.

In retrospect I realize that, while perfect, it’s not a very clever name. I actually realized this the first time I spun for Jen and there was a long list of participants (all of whom I am now hooked on which is no good, no good at all!) and most of them said things like Casey over at Half as Good as You (no matter the origin of that name I'm still a fan), and HeatherPride over at Riding the Short Bus . And there, on the list, sticking out like a sore thumb, was The Ramblings of Rachel. It just didn’t fit in. No "Rachel of A Cleverly Named Blog”. Apparently nobody uses their actual name in the title of their blog except for me. This was a bit of a wake up call.

So I’ve been thinking, what else could I have called it? And a list comes to mind…

The Adventures of Tweedle and Lillibit

Burning Up (and other things one does in Florida)

Tales of a WoW Widow

The Podcast Hunter

Creatures of Habit

An Eggless Life (it occurs to me that most of you aren’t going to get that one since I haven’t done any posts on this. That’s okay though, there are so many mysteries in life, what’s one more?)

Two Toddlers Each Day Keeps my Sanity at Bay

Death by Children's Television

and my favorite:

Planned Spontaneity

All pretty decent, all going unused. You can bet that if I ever start a blog in another life it's going to be wittily titled.

But in the meantime, I'll just keep on rambling.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Ready Made

All you need to know for the sake of putting the following AIM conversation in context:

1)The best ham in the world can be found at the Honey Baked Ham store, and

2) C is a veggie. Or what normal people call an ovo-lacto vegetarian.

Anyway...

...Me: and it is usually the ambrosia of the ham world
C: ah
Me: you'll have to trust me on that of course
C: I must admit I am not a hamspert so what you say goes
Me: I like hamspert
Me: that is a great word
C: lol
C: for your blog
C: I read horridious
Me: aha! yes, I make up all sorts of fun things by trying to talk too fast. But seldom are they even better than two actual words. Well, more descriptive better anyway
C: what triggered that word?
Me: a really bad joke on the radio that I can't even remember. It was both horrible and hideous.
C: loll
C: not funny and obscene
Me: funscene?
Me: o-bunny?
C: unfunscene
Me: oooooh
Me: it was definitely unfunscene. Just horrideous
Me: ahahahahaha
Me: I enjoy this
C: and this is how the english language is ever growing
Me: do you object to this conversation appearing on my blog?
C: lol
C: so long as you use the usual discretion
Me: of course

Nothing like a blog post that does the work for you.

Which is a good thing since my video related "big plans" came to nothing tonight due to the fact that Elizabeth's cooperation quotient is pretty much negative when she doesn't have an afternoon nap.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

In hopes of a freebie...

This is a shout out for one of my favorite podcasts which is called The Instance. You can find their website here. At least I think so. If that link works, we all have to thank Melissa for getting me on board with this linking thing that I should have already figured out how to do. I'll thank her now, just in case. Thanks Melissa!

Anyway, the hosts, Scott Johnson (who also does the ExtraLife Radio and ExtraLife TV [especially episode#7!] podcasts that I also love) and Randy Deluxe are holding a contest for their fans to spread their names far and wide over the interwebnetosphere in return for a chance at what can only be called phat loot. Well, I think you'll only call it that if you or someone you love plays World of Warcraft as you can see here that we do. (Seriously, Melissa, thanks!) But anyway I want it. So I'm shouting.

LISTEN TO THE INSTANCE!

FOR THE HORDE!!

BUT USUALLY FOR THE ALLIANCE!

An Experiment

If this works to my satisfaction, I have plans.

Big plans.

video

By the way, that mysterious substance is cottage cheese.

Last Night

Me: Lilli, let's learn some new words. Can you say 'Happy'?
Lilli: Pee! Peeeeee!
Me: Haaappy
Lilli: Huhpeeeeeeee
Me: Haaaahppy
Lilli: Happy!
Me: Yay! Good job! Are you a happy girl?
Lilli: (Big grin) Happy!
Me: Ok, let's try 'Sleepy'. Mama's sleepy. Can you say 'Sleepy?'
Lilli: Suhpee
Me: Sleeeepy
Lilli: Seeeeepeee!
Me: Suhleepeee.
Lilli: Suhleepee!
Me: Yay! Good job! Are you a sleepy girl?
Lilli: (Big grin) Happy!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Creatures of Habit

I'm sure I've mentioned over time that we kind of get in a rut. The Wednesday library thing, the fact that we always have to eat at a certain pizza place at some point during the weekend, and a few other things.

So here are the girls at our usual spot for Saturday lunch.

Subway...

At BJs...
And somehow, as usual, I am the only person of the four of us who is not utterly content with this.
But at least I get my bulk goods shopping taken care of.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Just call me Webster...

Tonight I accidentally made up a new word: Horrideous.

I'm not sure if I was trying to say that the joke we heard was horrible, horrid or hideous, but somehow they blurred together and I've ended up with one that is even more of any of the three.

It pleases me.

Friday, December 12, 2008

And yet another...

Tonight the girls, working together, almost achieved another milestone. For the first time in their short lives they almost drove us crazy.

I am an only child and David has one sister who is 8 years older, so neither of us are very familiar with the apparent miraculous ability of siblings to push each other's buttons. And I can't say we've figured out how to deal with it. There was a lot of "Lilli, stop (fill in the blank) your sister", "Elizabeth, cut that out!" Seriously, the look of evil delight on Elizabeth's face as she yanked Elmo out of her sister's hands and waited for her reaction (naturally a piercing shriek) was frightening to see, and the glee with which Lilli was headbutting her sister in the face as they were pushed around Target in their shared cart made us fear for the future when they have access to things like scissors. This is new behavior for them that we need to figure out, and while generally they get along and play together beautifully, tonight they individually and in combination got on our last nerve.

We have never been so glad to put them to bed.

And you know what's funny? As I've said more than once I listen to a lot of podcasts. And I recently sent a nice long e-mail to one I interact with fairly regularly on how having two children is just as easy as having one. If we had planned Lilli, we might have not gotten around to more since we were so happy with dynamic the three of us had, but when Lilli came along she fit into the mix pretty seamlessly. We'd already adjusted to the changes a baby makes on your couple life, like actually having to eat balanced meals at regular times, and we were used to carrying a diaper bag and coordinating every departure from the house with military precision. So it was easy. And Elizabeth never had any problems accepting her sister. None of the things I hear about where the older child asks the mom to take the new baby back to the hospital. And Lilli was such a sweet and good natured baby, content to go anywhere and do anything. But now that she's developed her own distinct personality that is quite different from her sister's, things are getting interesting. And, I have to say, occasionally exhausting.

That being said...goodnight!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Cupcake

I just want to be on the record as stating that there is no better cupcake in the world than one made with Pillsbury Moist Deluxe Yellow cake mix (yes, I know, it's cheating, but I happily take deliciousness in all its forms) and topped off with chocolate icing.

I am baking some right this second for a friend's birthday and I want to climb into the oven to be with them, they smell that good. I know some of you agree with me and some of you don't (you know who you are), but I'm just saying...

YUM!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

There's Something About Wednesdays...

Something about Library Night always makes me feel like blogging. Maybe it's being around all those books? Or maybe knowing that I'm midway through the week gets me giddy. I don't know.

What I do know is that I think I've discovered my dream career. I've never known what I want to be when I grow up, at least besides a stay-at-home mom which isn't practical for our family. So I've had some fairly diverse careers.

Today at work, while staring at spreadsheets and listening to podcasts all day, per usual, one of them had on a baby planner. Yep, you heard that right. A baby planner. Just like a wedding planner or event planner, but specifically and only for babies, and with much better hours. Or like being a personal assistant but without having to pickup dry-cleaning. Five minutes into hearing this woman talk and I wanted to work for her or with her or BE her. I have never heard of a job before that combines everything I love. List making, babies, baby showers, gift registries, birth prep, being around pregnant women, talking about pregnancy, researching baby gadgets, making things happen, did I mention LIST MAKING? I seriously love lists. You want a vacation packing list? I can whip you out a comprehensive one in 10 minutes. A To Do list for a move or party prep? I am so there. I flirted with the idea of becoming a doula or even a midwife since I love the whole process of pregnancy and birth, but once again, the hours...and the gore. Seriously, in the absence of the possibility of staying at home with my own sweet kiddos, talking with other woman about their impending little ones is my dream career.

It is a crying shame that I am a woman of more words than actions.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

A milestone I'm not so proud of.

My last post depressed me so badly I thought I'd better do a quick pictorial recap of the good parts of today to cheer myself up again. You get to be a part of that. Yay!

So, we had a 3rd birthday party to attend for the son of our good friends. You will note that none of our friends or their children who were there are pictured. The whole "forgot to ask them if they minded" thing again. So if you see a child, they don't belong to our friends, so I don't much care what their parents think. Muhahahahahaha!

Anyway, the party was held at a gym-type facility called "Pump it Up". We've been there before and we liked it (I mentioned it several posts ago. The place that the army should hold basic training at? Remember?). Knowing how exhausting it is there and the planned timing of food (party starts at 12:15, food a couple hours later when typically my children should be napping), we stopped for lunch on the way. And Lilli achieved a milestone I'm not so proud of.

Her first Happy Meal:

Although you have to admit she does look really happy.
So, the point of this place is the inflatable bouncing thingies, obstacle courses and what not. All guaranteed to wear you out. This was Lilli's first time here.
"Mama, why have you put me in this giant letter P?"
"What? I climbed in here myself? And then refused to come out? Lies, Mama, Lies!"
For Elizabeth it was all about the bouncing. And the bouncing. And occasionally the falling down. And then some more bouncing:


Why what have we here? Oh yes! My darling's posterior!

Climbing the mountain:
Not an easy feat when the baby isn't helping at all.
Well, except to demand "More Whee! More Whee!"
Wheeeeeeeeeeee!
Look at the above picture, close your eyes for a second, and then take another look. Do that about 10 more times and save me the upload time.
"Mama, why have you set me down here among these strange children?"
"What? You say I know that one in the back? Why yes, I suppose I do! I guess she decided to join us after all. I told her not to take one last run through the obstacle course, but she never listens to me."
Oh look! There's the purty Grandma who came along. Hi Mom! I was very impressed that you went down the slide. Twice!

Hmmm. This is an interesting study. On one hand, the bottle she isn't supposed to have. On the other hand, well, IN her hand, an entire slice of pizza.
Baby or Big Kid? Baby or Big Kid? I guess we'll figure it out eventually.
Meanwhile I'll treat you to an action shot of Elizabeth with cupcake:
As you can see, it takes proper concentration to lick off all the icing without accidentally getting cupcake in your mouth.
Ahhhhhh. I feel much better. I was sappily singing "My Favorite Things" from The Sound of Music to Lilli as part of her lullabies tonight. "...when I'm feeling sad, I simply remember my favorite things, and then I don't feeeeeeeeeeel so baaaaaaad". And now that I have (my girls being right at the top of my list), I don't!

*sniff*

So, today my buddy C (that I've mentioned on here a time or two) moved to another state.

And of course I'm sad, and the finality of it is especially getting to me. Another friend noted that I was talking about this like she was going to be dead. Which is of course not the case. And, as the other friend pointed out, there's e-mail and all these friendly technologies to help me feel like C is still just over on the other side of 82 instead of a couple hundred miles away. Which is what I'm pretending to help me deal. It's not the end of everything. But of course I worry that it is. Some of you who read this blog are very aware of just how cruddy I am at keeping in touch. This is not the first time I have strongly resolved that I will e-mail (write, call, whatever), and always before I have at first and then I just don't know what happens to me. I guess I get distracted and then I don't know how to explain my lack of contact were I to try it, so I don't want to call and feel stupid, so I don't... It's a vicious circle.

I'm a little bit hopeful that maybe I won't do my usual fizzle this time due to the fact that pushing 30 seems to have made me all nostalgic. Thanks to Facebook and the wonders of blogging I'm back in contact with people I haven't seen or talked to in years. And I missed them. Not that you would know it by my contact with them, but I did. So maybe, just maybe it'll be ok. *sigh*

C, you're going to have to help me. And I miss you already.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Yes Sir, She's My Baby...


Lillian has a delightful habit of rubbing food on her head. Oatmeal, broccoli, pudding, bread, cheeseburger, whatever. In this photo she is demonstrating the remarkable "holding" properties the pizza bread stuff from Sweet Tomatoes has once it's been thoroughly rubbed into one's scalp.

She makes me feel so proud.