Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Friday, December 21, 2007

The Poopie Diaries Continued

"Oh look, T is crawling over to me. What a cute baby I have. Aw, he put his little head in my lap, I'm so glad I decided to have kids. What's on the carpet? Is that a popcorn kernel? Oh geez, it's poo. Oh ... it's under my thumbnail. Where's it coming from? Let's check your diaper kid. Oh man, poo all the way up the back. Alright then, let's go upstairs.

Stand up little man, I need to take your shirt off. One arm, now the other. Now the pants. Ok, let's lay down. Get some wipes ready here. And, off with the diaper. I'll put it behind you on the changing table. No, T, don't grab at that. T, I said no! Oh geez, now there are poo wipes on the floor. This just gets better and better. Ok, one hand on the baby, one hand picking up the wipes. How do I wrap this diaper? Whew, into the trash with you. Alright naked baby, let's go downstairs and take a bath.

Try not to pee on me, Ok?"

OK, just kidding

I went out to do the Christmas grocery run today. Oh, my, goodness ... not only was the store packed, what is normally a 20 minute drive home took nearly 40. When I said I missed the Christmas craziness, I was just kidding. Seriously.

Many Mini Meltdowns

Tucker has figured out how to throw a tantrum (aren't you all excited you decided to come see us now?). He's really interested in an outlet by our television. While he can't really hurt himself since the outlet closes as soon as you pull the plug out, it's not something I want him to play with. Today he kept pulling on the cords, even after a stern "no". When he actually pulled it out, I would pick him up and sit him across from the room and tell him "I said no". This prompted a tantrum that lasted about 60 seconds (until he found something else to pique his interest). I'm excited for him figuring out that tantrums don't work.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Because he's not fat enough

Chief ate my Chex Mix leftovers last night.

The Anticipation is Killing Me

For the first time this year, I am finished with all my Christmas shopping. In fact, I've been mostly done for several weeks now. I'm currently in some kind of strange holding pattern until family begins arriving on Sunday. I won't start the cleaning/grocery shopping for guests until tomorrow. This is a really unfamiliar feeling for me. For the past several years, I've been rushing around with all the other crazies trying to finish my Christmas shopping. This year, I'm done. There's nothing to do but wait. Do you remember the day before your birthday when you were a kid? This has been my feeling for the past week or so, made worse by the fact that Ry was out of town most of the week. It's killing me!!

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Shweaty Balls? It must be Christmas!

Every year, Saturday Night Live does a Christmas Special showcasing some of the funniest SNL skits from the Christmas season. Every year I watch it for one skit: Shweaty Balls. This skit is, in my opinion, one of the funniest ever to come out of SNL. With lines like "I can't wait to get my mouth around your balls" and "If you order now, you can still get one of our Shweaty Ball Sacs", how can you keep from laughing? I was going to link to it from the blog, but with all the copyright crap, it's nowhere to be found online anymore. Here's to hoping you caught the skit this year and have your very own Shweaty Balls!

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Some random thoughts

  • My baby poos what seems an unnatural amount. Lately it seems like every time I pick him up there is poo to be changed. It's a shame I didn't keep track of the diaper count, because it's nearing what it was when he was a newborn.
  • Daytime TV is scary. I generally watch Rachel Ray or The Price is Right when I get to work out in the morning. The other day, the TV stayed on after I finished yoga. Who are these people? A sampling of topics on Maury and Jerry Springer: "3 Babies, 1 Daddy", "The Secret Sex Lives of Teenage Girls" and "Deer Hunter" (a particularly spirited debate between two hunters about who was going to keep the woman they appeared to be passing between them). Also, the commercials on Rachel and Price are generally for Target, Power Chairs, life insurance and Pampers. Guess who the target audience is? Commercials on the others are for accident lawyers and payday loan places. While it was an interesting study, from now on, I'll be turning off the TV after yoga, as per usual.
  • Christmas trees make me happy. It's hard to be in a bad mood when you have a cheerfully decorated tree that makes the house smell like a pine forest. It's a shame they have to die for my happiness, but I really hate fake trees.
  • It's an ugly day. I used to wake up and dread these days because I still had to get out of the house and to work. Now, T and I get to hole up and play snow day.
  • Last night, Ry made dinner. :)
  • I'm really looking forward to having a house full of people for Christmas. It just doesn't seem like a holiday without more people than you have places for them to sit.
  • T is 9 months old today! How is this possible?

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Ho Ho F@#*ing Ho

The Christmas season really brings out the best in people. In what should be a time when people reflect on the blessings in their lives and choose how to share those blessings, most people are more stressed, uptight and angry than at any other time of the year.

Case #1: In line at Michael's to buy candles for my advent wreath, I saw another mother with a little girl a few months older than T. I smiled at her and T gave her a big, toothless grin. We started a little conversation when the mother turned around, gave me an evil glare and pushed her child and cart in front of her so we could no longer see each other. I have a baby for goodness sake! I'm not a creepy old crank staring at your baby.

Case #2: We were driving through a parking lot, apparently too slowly. The car behind us honked at us. How dare we drive through the parking lot?

For anyone who might be stressing about gifts for us ... don't. We have everything we need. Thank you for the thought, but we'd rather have your company (or phone calls) than anything you could buy for us. Have a wonderful Christmas remembering the real reason for the season.

The Poopie Diaries

When He Was 9 Months Old, There Was A Very Big Poo

It was a very big poo ...

Today T was in his exersaucer playing. I left the room and when I came back, Ry asked if I smelled "that". I did indeed. I pulled T out of the saucer and took a quick inventory. Whew, I thought, it wasn't exploding out any clothing ... that I saw.

So upstairs we went. I put T on the changing table and was about to get down to business when I saw what appeared to be poo on the bottom of his socks. A quick sniff confirmed my suspicions. Then I pondered ... how did he get poo on the bottom of his socks? Just about that time, I heard Ry coming up the stairs.

He said that the smell didn't leave the room with T and he discovered poo all over the bottom of the saucer. Now ... remember there was no noticeable poo coming out of any clothing. When we peeled off his pants we discovered that he pooed down his leg enough to cover the bottom of the saucer in poo. Truly, one of the more disgusting moments of my life as a mother. He went straight from changing table to bath.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Today, I'm Calamity Jane

It's been one of those days. I ordered a Christmas present online to be picked up at the Circuit City near us. When I arrived, there was one other guy waiting in line, but it still took the woman at the register no fewer than 20 minutes to acknowledge my presence and get my purchase. Then, they had to go looking for the rebate for the item. All told, I was at Circuit City for 30 minutes. I could've walked to the item and purchased in in less than 5. Yeesh.

Then I went to Wegman's for a quick lunch and to do some grocery shopping for Jo's visit this weekend. I bought my meal and managed to wrangle it, my soda, my shopping bags and T upstairs to eat. After I got him strapped into the highchair I realized that I forgot to get napkins and a fork. Luckily, the staff must've had a meeting in the room because there were cups of utensils and napkins at a nearby table.

I finished my meal and refilled my soda, only for it to crush and spill soda all over myself, the floor and T. A very nice man from Wegman's cleaned up my mess, walked me downstairs and refilled my soda for me (I think he was just afraid of what other damage I would do). I grabbed the soda from him right about the time that T decided to puke all over himself, me and my shoe. Ah, the balancing act of parenthood. I was finally ready to do my shopping when I realized the cart I had chosen didn't have the baby tie-downs in the front. I had to pick a new cart and transfer all the aforementioned items into the new cart. Meanwhile, the line of impatient shoppers waiting for carts was growing long.

Somehow I managed to do all my grocery shopping without further mishap. I thought about stopping to pick up a bottle of wine for the weekend, but thought better of it when I imagined the mess red wine could make in our car.

I'm not leaving the house again today.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

T - The Thanksgiving Edition

We had a great time in Illinois over Thanksgiving. Everyone ooohed and aaahed over how big T has gotten. He's starting to crawl now, mostly backwards. He hasn't gotten crazy mobile, but I'm afraid we aren't far from it.

I also got a chance to reconnect with 2 of my friends from high school. It was really nice talking with them and catching up on what is going on in their lives. I also realized that they pass the beer test and it's a shame we all live so far apart.

Thanksgiving dinner was yummy as always, and T got his first tastes of turkey, stuffing and sweet potatoes. For the most part he liked them, although this was often the first face.

Laurel and I went out in to the Black Friday craziness. We were only out for about 2 hours, which was plenty long, but it was actually pretty fun. Best Buy was wheeling employees through the store hawking the best deals. It was like live E-Bay. I also got some Christmas shopping done, which is good since our Christmas budget is wee this year.

We went back to NJ on Saturday. It's always hard for me to leave. I miss you, Oz.


I'm really tired of dealing with insurance companies. At the time T was born, we had 2 health insurers: BCBS and Aetna. One might think that with double insurance we might not have anything to pay out of pocket. One would be wrong. One might also think that the insurance carriers could work things out between them. Again, one is a horribly misguided soul.

Our biggest problem has been that we never added T to BCBS, so they are denying any claim having to do with him (even the hospital/birth stuff). Aetna is denying the same claims, saying that BCBS is responsible since the charges have to do with the birth and I was insured. I think we finally got this worked out with many hours spent talking to both carriers and the hospital. Why they all can't talk to each other is beyond me.

We've also learned a valuable little lesson about marketing and plan language. Aetna's 2007 brochure said something along the lines that all maternity was covered after the first doctor's visit and that women can stay in the hospital for 48 hours after birth. Seems like everything is paid for, right? Wrong, the brochure also says that the copay for a hospital visit is $500 per day. Sneaky how they leave that out of the maternity section, eh? When we called Aetna we might as well have talked to the automated service. The reps kept repeating themselves over and over without actually listening to what we were saying. So we're on the hook for about $430 we weren't expecting.

What amazes me is what the insurance companies actually pay for any given service. One of the bills for T's birth was over $19,000. BSBC paid $2,010. That was the contracted rate. Seriously, they paid a little over 10% of the original bill. How do people without insurance get along? One might think they get screwed. One would probably be correct.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

PSA: Carbon Monoxide Detectors

My mother has been experiencing some strange symptoms over the past several weeks. The other day she had her furnace serviced only to be told that it had a crack and had been leaking. Her symptoms were likely caused by CO poisoning. They didn't have a CO detector.

Please please please, if you do not have a CO detector, go out today and get one. Remember when you install them that CO is heavier than air and will sink. Make sure your detector is on the floor, not the ceiling. CO is scary scary stuff. Go today.

Tucker's Christmas List

A bunch of you have been asking what Tucker needs for Christmas. Here's his list:

  • 529 Contributions
  • Any Disney Classics – DVDs
  • Veggie Tales DVDs
  • CDs – Any non-obnoxious baby CD to play in the car
  • Clothes – 12 months for fall/winter – 18 months for spring/summer
  • Shoes – Sizes 4 & 5
  • Snowsuit – Small 12 months
  • Books – Rhyming books, especially the “touch and feel” variety
  • Toys –
    • Fisher Price – Any of the “stack and smile” series. He’s already getting the alligator from us.
    • Large Size Legos
    • Tub Toys – without paint, especially the leaded kind
    • Radio Flyer Wagon
    • Whatever looks interesting
  • Backpack carrier accessories from Toughtraveler.com (sun shield, rain shield, etc).
  • Weather shield (rain shield) for Schwinn M3 jogging stroller.

Monday, November 05, 2007

What to exhaust next?

Since I quit my job, I'm starting to feel like the baby did, indeed, eat my brain. I've been reading a lot of fiction, including Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides. This is an eye-opening look at intersex (formerly hermaphrodite) individuals. It's truly a shame that our culture feels a need to "fix" babies who don't look typical instead of allowing them to make their own decisions down the road. A seriously excellent read. I can't loan it to you ... borrowed from the library.

I feel as if I'm really getting my tax dollar out of our fair city's shared spaces. I walk in our little "Central Park" nearly every morning and frequent the library. It's funny that the fewer taxes we pay, the more we utilize the benefits of those taxes.

But I digress ...

I'm looking for a new topic to investigate to death. Previous interests have included neaderthals, mormonism and slavery during pre-civil war New Orleans. I need to feed my brain with some non-fiction, but nothing has peaked my interest as of late. Any suggestions? As a bonus for you, you'll probably get to hear all about it the next time we see each other. I'm going a meandering through the non-fiction section of the library during my next trip. Maybe something will jump at me.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Monday, October 29, 2007

Fun with pumpkins

We carved pumpkins this weekend. T wasn't much help, but he had fun.

Marketing at its finest

As you may or may not know I try to buy organic/free range food whenever I can. Organic cheeses at the grocery stores near us cost private school tuition. When I saw this package, I thought, OK, sounds good. Then, I got home and read the fine print on the back:

Our 3rd Limited Edition Cheese is Pasture Grazed Cheddar, which features authentic cheese taste that results that graze on pasture. To capture this wonderful flavor, we selected two special dairy farms in Southwest Wisconsin this past spring. Their Holstein, Swiss, and Jersey cows went out to pasture for several months -- and they enjoyed life on the open range the whole season long. The rolling, lush green hills, sweet green grasses, calm summertime breezes and cool, clean well water - all combine to make a Cheddar cheese with a smooth, rich, cream and slightly sweet, yet earthy flavor.

Well, thank goodness they got a whole SEASON of life on the range. Are you freaking kidding me? That's like taking veal on vacation and calling it free range.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Dear Jennifer

Dear Jennifer,

Thanks for contacting us regarding our return policy. I'm sorry that we're unable to assist you with a return or exchange.

Target requires a receipt dated within 90 days for all returns or exchanges of new, unused, or defective items. If you have trouble finding your receipt, we have the ability to look up that receipt's information for a return on most purchases made by check, Target GiftCard, credit, or debit cards within 90 days of purchase. We can also reprint gift receipts during that same length of time when you bring in your original receipt.

As a guest service your local store may accommodate two no receipt returns a year for you, which are intended for small gifts under $20. I apologize for any disappointment this may have caused.

Thanks for sharing your concerns with us. Your feedback will be useful in our continual review of our return policy.

We hope to see you again soon at Target.


Target Guest Relations

Target's response? Eh .... screw you. Am I coming back? Eh .... not freaking likely.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Your daily dose of cuteness

49% of NJ wants to leave.

Duh! Read here.

Missing: One Flat Giraffe

I have exhausted myself looking for said Flat Giraffe. If we have been at your house in the past 3 months, could you do a quick sweep if to see if you can find the aforementioned mammal? Sadly, no reward is offered, but Flat Giraffe's boy would be very grateful.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Dear Target

Today I went into your Lawrenceville, NJ Target for my weekly Target run and to return a bottle sterilizer I received as a gift at my baby shower. Imagine my shock when the clerk at customer service informed me that because the gift cost more than $20 and I didn’t have a receipt I could not return it. The justification I received for this policy was that if someone stole an item they couldn’t return it for the cash or store credit. I always hear Target rhetoric about giving back to the communities they serve. How about giving the benefit of the doubt to the great majority of your loyal customers instead of crafting an asinine policy to punish the tiniest minority? I have already been shocked by your practice of discontinuing an item only to bring it back in a different color to justify returning a tenth of the value of the item. These policies highlight a base and money-grubbing leadership. I am a weekly shopper, and usually spend $70-100 per trip. Please be assured that I will no longer be purchasing any gifts from Target and will do my utmost to dramatically decrease or eliminate the rest of my Target shopping as a result of this policy. I have long not shopped at Wal-Mart due to the way they treat their customers, suppliers and employees. Today, Target demonstrated a similar allegiance to the almighty dollar over common sense, courtesy and trust. Please don’t lose any sleep over the loss of this customer, but do know that I will tell everyone I know about the ill-advised policies of Target Corp and counsel them to find somewhere else to shop.

Characters in the Park

Every morning T and I go for a walk at a nearby park. We're there for about the same 45 minutes to an hour each day. During our daily perambulation we see the same cast of characters. I've begun to speculate about the regulars. Who are they? Why are they free to walk at 10 am on a week day? For your consideration .... Characters in the Park:

Mali” The Crazy Dog Lady – Mali emigrated from Thailand with her husband 30 years ago. They were unable to have children, so instead she bought a fluffy little dog named Precious that she loves like a child. Precious often sports jackets, sweaters and slamming pink hear-shaped sunglasses. When Precious is just too worn out to walk any further, Mali will carry her in a backpack on her stomach. Nothing is too good for Precious.

“Butch” The Little Dog Guy – Butch works as a diesel mechanic in the afternoon and weekends, so he gets to walk Twitchy, his wife’s dog, who recently won the title for World’s Sissiest Looking Dog. Butch is surprisingly unashamed of Twitchy, even talking to her in a baby voice during walks.

"Mervin" The Sweet Old Guy -- Mervin still lives in his house after his loving wife of 40 years passed away 4 years ago. To keep in shape and fight off boredom, Merv walks from 9 am - noon everyday. His children and grandchildren take turns having him over during the evenings, but they're all in school or work during the day.

"Earl" The Horse Racing Guy -- Earl spends most of each day avoiding his 4th wife, Tammy, at the horse track. Earl spends his mornings meandering through the park choosing his picks for the afternoon. He's always surprised to see anyone else when they walk up behind him.

"Susan" The Other Mom -- Susan is a stay at home mom of a 6 week old baby. We only ever see the baby's feet because it's always covered up in the stroller or the baby bjorn. Susan is a sweet woman who walks every morning to get out of her house.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Ha ha hahahaha

The Flash O Lantern, courtesy of extremepumpkins.com .

I'm sorry ... what?

Why oh why does Al Gore deserve the Nobel Peace Prize? Has he done something to actually promote peace that we don't know about? Who were the other contenders? Michael Moore and Britney Spears? Without debating the merits of the movie, how does a man who doesn't practice a lot of his preaching win the Nobel Peace Prize? Ug.

On Henna and Body Art

Mom and Greg were in town this weekend. We went to Lancaster, PA to Amish country and the Renaissance Faire. It was a really fun trip and Tucker was really really good. I'm impressed by how well he handles traveling to be honest.

At the faire, I had this henna body art done. I love it. I've always been afraid of getting a tattoo because I always think I'll hate it in a few years. At 18 I would have probably gotten a butterfly, which I would hate today. At 21 it would likely have been an angel or something egyptian. Wouldn't hate the angel, would hate the something egyptian. Now this would be my choice. I'm sure in 10 years I'll hate this too. I also worry about how something will look when my skin is loose and wrinkly. There really isn't any part of your body that doesn't sag and wrinkle at some point in your life. Just need to find someone who will do this for me every couple of weeks.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Work Dreams

I recently found out that the person hired to fill my position when I left has already packed her bags and moved back to New England. The reasons I heard ranged from "overwhelmed" to "a complete disaster." This has sent me off on a new series of work dreams and late night anxiety about work. I thought when I quit my job that the job anxiety would quit with it. Instead, I've started worrying about my co-workers who have to pick up the slack for the missing position. I'm having dreams about being late to work and missing important meetings/training sessions. Why am I crazy?

I'm going babyless

Tonight, Ryan's hanging with Tucker, and I'm going out for an evening of babyless entertainment. A couple of girlfriends and I are going to have dinner and maybe do some shopping, all without baby wrangling. Ahhh.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

What is butt dust?

Courtesy of Frank. I had read the butt dust one, but not the others. Ha!

JACK (age 3) was watching his Mom breast-feeding his new baby sister. After
a while he asked: "Mom why have you got two? Is one for hot and
one for cold milk?"

MELANIE (age 5) asked her Granny how old she was. Granny replied she was so old she didn't remember any more. Melanie said, "If you don't remember you must look in the back of your panties. Mine say five to six ."

STEVEN (age 3) hugged and kissed his Mom good night. "I love you so much
that when you die I'm going to bury you outside my bedroom window."

BRITTANY (age 4) had an earache and wanted a pain killer. She tried in vain
to take the lid off the bottle. Seeing her frustration, her Mom explained it was a child-proof cap and she'd have to open it for her. Eyes wide with wonder, the little girl asked: "How does it know it's

SUSAN(age 4) was drinking juice when she got the hiccups. "Please don't give me this juice again," she said, "It makes my teeth cough."

DJ (age 4) stepped onto the bathroom scale and asked: "How much do I cost?"

MARC (age 4) was engrossed in a young couple that were hugging and kissing in a restaurant. Without taking his eyes off them, he asked his dad: "Why is he whispering in her mouth?"

CLINTON(age 5) was in his bedroom looking worried. When his Mom asked what was troubling him, he replied, "I don't know what'll happen with this bed when I get married. How will my wife fit in?"

JAMES(age 4) was listening to a Bible story. His dad read: "The man named Lot was warned to take his wife and flee out of the city but his wife looked back and was turned to salt." Concerned, James asked: "What happened to the flea?" (my favorite)

TAMMY(age 4) was with her mother when they met an elderly, rather wrinkled woman her Mom knew. Tammy looked at her for a while and then asked, "Why doesn't your skin fit your face?"

The Sermon I think this Mom will never forget.... this particular Sunday sermon..."Dear Lord," the minister began, with arms extended toward heaven and a rapturous look on his upturned face. "Without you, we are but dust..." He would have continued but at that moment my very obedient daughter who was listening leaned over to me and asked quite audibly in her shrill little four year old girl voice, "Mom, what is butt dust?"

This uninterrupted night of sleep brought to you by ...

Ahhhh. Tucker has been sleeping pretty consistently until 5 or 5:30 every morning. After nursing, he goes back to bed until 7 or 7:30. I have to tell you, after 6 months of interrupted sleep, it feels really good.

Last night

Stairs were funny again. We discovered that it's only funny to go upstairs if Daddy follows us up the stairs. Then, it's hilarious.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Baby food

I'm becoming a hippie. A larger and larger proportion of our food is organic. All of Tucker's is. I'm seriously considering buying natural cleaning products.

Last night I found myself making a lot of baby food. Every Monday Tucker and I stop at a little farmer's market after our walk. The woman who runs it has gotten to know us and started talking with me about baby food. Apparently she made all the baby food for her kids and gave me the bug. I bought a bunch of apples and a butternut squash. Butternut squash, for those of you who may not know, is one of the "decorative" winter squash that looks like a giant yellow phallus. If you bake it for a long time it gets squishy. A little cuisinarting later, and I have 4 huge bags of squash and apples and squash and corn. It's actually pretty tasty. We'll have to see tonight if Tucker agrees.

Sunday, September 30, 2007

You just never know

Today we discovered that going up the stairs is hilarious. As I was taking Tucker upstairs to go to bed, Ry followed us and T started laughing. So we went back downstairs and upstairs again. Still funny.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Thursday, September 27, 2007

On stay at home moms

Yesterday I went to lunch and shopping with a few other stay at home mothers in my area. I had the realization, not for the first time, that the US has to be the worst industrialized country in the world for mothers. The woman I spent most of the day talking to is an attorney who litigated foster card and adoption cases. Now she's a stay at home mom. I have my master's degree and now I'm a stay at home mom.

Believe me when I say that it's the toughest job I've had so far, but I also think it's a shame that there aren't more options for mothers who want to work part time or go back after a year or two. Canadians have a year of paid maternity leave, during which time their job is secure. In the US we have 12 weeks of unpaid leave, after which your job is no longer secure. Instead of going back to work, an increasing number of highly educated women are opting to stay home with their children. Indeed, in many cases they are the only ones who can make the choice to stay home. Too many other mothers must return to work to support their families.

I can only think this contributes to the general brain drain occurring from the retirement of baby boomers. I could go on about the general lack of work-life balance the US supports (2 weeks of vacation vs. 4 minimum in most countries), but I won't. I just wonder if and when this country is going to realize that there is more to life than work.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

6 months - a few days late

Tucker's 6 month checkup went well. He was 18 pounds and 27 3/4 inches long. The doctor said he is right on track developmentally. He's in the 80th percentile for height and the 55th percentile for weight. He's also the cutest baby ever.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

We'll miss you, friend

Yesterday was a very sad day.

Elf, who spent most of each day prowling the neighborhood and making friends with neighbor kids, got stuck in a storm drain last night. Some of our kind-hearted neighbors spent several hours with him, keeping him company and giving him food. When animal control couldn't come until today, they made the decision to pry up the grate and pull Elf from the drain.

They called us and we rushed Elf to the animal hospital. While the staff was terrific, too much damage had been done. Even with multiple surgeries, Elf would never be the same. Elf was only 2 and a half years old and we miss him.

So here's to our bad cat: you crammed more mischief into your two and half years than most cats do in a lifetime. Thanks for being a constant source of amusement and for being so patient with our son as he learned to pet. I'll miss you running between my legs every time I opened a door. I'll miss your awe-inspiring leaps across the kitchen cabinets and your catnip-induced floor dances. I'll miss your nightly "pet me" time and I'll miss seeing you sprawled out on whatever chair I just vacated. Elf, you are gone too soon.

Here's to the animals that were more than just our pets, they were our family:


Sunday, August 26, 2007

A story about a mattress

Ryan and I decided that it was time to be grown ups and get a queen sized bed. Since craiglist is our friend, we found a rather nice used one for a fraction of the new cost. We went and picked it up with no problems...just strapped it onto the top of the Pathfinder. Then we tried to get it in the bedroom. The mattress went up no problem. The box spring was another story. Even my engineer husband couldn't twist it in enough directions to get it into the bedroom.

So he called another engineer buddy and the discussed what to do. What he decided was to take the 3 wooden braces off the box spring. We got it to flex just enough to get it into the nursery and then into the bedroom. Now Ry just has to put the braces back on. We figured worst case scenario was that we destroyed the box spring and had to buy a platform bed frame or one of the box springs that comes in two. The funny part about this is that there are a ton of queen size box springs on craigslist from people who couldn't fit them up the stairs. Guess they didn't have engineer husbands.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Becoming a mom

Becoming a mom ...

Has given me a new sense of humor. I have laughed more in the past 5 months about poo than in the entirety of the rest of my life.

Becoming a mom ...

Has taught be about patience ... and frustration. Only when your child is crying for the 45th straight minute can you understand how both emotions can co-exist.

Becoming a mom ...

Has taught me about love. I love my husband in knowledge. I can explain all the reasons I love him. I love my son almost without knowledge. All I know about this love is that it fills my heart every time I see or think of him.

Becoming a mom ...

Has given me a mother's heart. Now when I see a child cry or hurt, I want to scoop them up, pet their hair and soothe them. Hearing my own child cry hurts in a place I didn't know existed.

Becoming a mom ...

Helps me to understand my own mother. I now understand why she cried through every school event, why she gets so angry when she feels I've been poorly treated, why she still calls me her baby.

Becoming a mom ...

Has taught me that sometimes doing the right thing for your child means that they might cry and

Becoming a mom ...

Has taught me that listening to those cries still hurts.

Becoming a mom ...

Makes me grateful. Grateful to God for blessing our family with such a tremendous gift. Grateful to my husband for being such a loving man and supporting our family. Grateful to my parents for teaching me right from wrong and how not to be a brat. Grateful that every morning I get to look into the eyes of my son and see trust and love shining from them.

Becoming a mom ...

Is my greatest accomplishment.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

We've raised a ham

Tucker was a bit of a crabass all day. Ryan decided to get a picture of him throwing a fit, but as soon as he got out the camera, Tucker did this. I can't believe he's already learned how to turn it off and on at 5 months old! I didn't think I'd have to deal with these kind of temper tantrums until he was much older. Too funny.

Burning up in Memphis

Tucker and I spent 11 sweltering days in Memphis visiting my mom. It was a nice trip, aside from being over 100 degrees every day we were there. I also got a chance to spend time with my Aunt Chrystal, who I haven't really spent much time with since I was 7 or 8. It's been fun getting to know people as an adult that I only knew as a kid. She's fun.

We found a ton of Tucker clothes at garage sales. I ended up with a second piece of luggage to get it all home. I probably bought $300 worth of clothes for $15. Great find!

I was glad to come home. 2 weeks is just a little too long to spend away from home and way too long to spend away from Ryan. Ahh, home.

Ignore Cathy's foot

Isn't this the best family picture? Ryan thought of having us lie on the carpet and get our picture taken from above. This is one for the frames I think.

Ryan family reunion

We spent a weekend in Marion IL visiting with just about all of the Ryan side of the family. Everyone was very excited to meet Tucker. Here is Ryan's Mummu with Tucker. He is their first great grandchild.

It was a really fun weekend. We got to hang out with all of the cousins, who have changed a ton since we last spent much time with them.

Tucker held up really well until we drove for 4 hours down to Memphis. As it turns out, Tucker's bucket limit is about 2 hours. Not a happy baby.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007


I just got full-out pooped on.

Monday, July 23, 2007

If you liked Harry Potter

There is a bitingly witty series called "The Dresden Files" by Jim Butcher you should check out (also a highly-watchable TV series on the SCIFI channel). It's Harry Potter for grown ups ... on crack. I've ripped through the first 8 in about 3 months. They're a quick read, and I usually end up laughing out loud at least 3 or 4 times.

Potter Finale

I bought the final Harry Potter book, The Deathly Hallows on Saturday at 4 pm. I had it finished yesterday by 2 pm. Say what you want about Rowlings, she has a knack for creating highly readable, engrossing prose. The final book was a great read. I won't go into detail for those who haven't finished it yet, but I was very satisfied with the ending. I'm looking forward to seeing the Order of the Phenoix when it comes out on DVD (since our little one keeps us from the theater). All in all, it's been fun to be part of the Harry phenomenon. Hopefully our kids will have something similar when they get older.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Not everyone likes to eat

This pretty well sums up our experience with eating rice cereal over the past few days. He's not a big fan. I have to assume it'll get better.

The cutest

I was downstairs working out last weekend. When I came upstairs this is the site that greeted me. How cute are they? I am so blessed.

4 Months

Tucker was 4 months old on Friday. At his checkup Monday he weighed 14 pounds, 6.5 ounces. He was 25 inches long. That made him just above the 50th percentile in height and just below the 50th in weight. Yeah! He's caught up! Doc also said that he was right on track developmentally.

We also get to start some cereal with him. I'll post some pictures of that pretty soon. It wasn't pretty.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

A giggle

Your baby's giggle has got to be one of the most beautiful sounds on the planet earth. Tucker giggled for the first time on Tuesday night. He's been making noises and cooing for quite a while, but this was the first honest-to-goodness giggle we've gotten out of him. Apparently blowing raspberries on your belly is pretty funny. It makes all the crying seem insignificant. I can't believe how blessed we are.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Just cause

He's just so darn cute. I can't stand it.

Mulch Mania

Ryan bought 4 yards of mulch and spent the better part of two days mulching our little property. It looks great ... and damn 4 yards is a lot of mulch. It was a pile about 4 feet tall and at least that far across. It's a huge difference from what our yard used to look like. Remember this?

Just so I don't get cocky ...

Tucker is finally napping in his crib for 1.5 hours or so. It was a long couple of weeks, but the consistency seems to be agreeing with him. He is generally much better rested and happier in the evenings (which makes Ry very happy, since that's his primary Tucker time). Bedtime is pretty consistent at 8 pm, which nice cause we get some couple time. I was feeling pretty good about my parenting skills, but Tucker likes to keep me on my toes. Last night, he woke up at 11:20 and 11:40 and 3 am and 5:30 am and 6:00 am. The first two times were gas and I just had to pat him back asleep (by the way, if any of you decide to have kids, The Baby Whisperer is a must read). He ate at 3 and then wanted to get in bed with us at 5:30. In addition to him being up a lot, I couldn't sleep after he woke at 11:20 until 1:30 am. I got a grand total of 4.5 hours of sleep last night. It's like he was 3 weeks old again. There's a good chance I'm going to be out when Tucker is tonight.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Baby Power

On Wednesday, Tucker was 3 months old. He weighs approximately 12.5 pounds. We think he's going to be right handed. This is his beat stuff hand. Currently, he's pounding on his barnyard friends and occasionally his football.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Passed out baby

An open letter to US Airways

Dear US Airways Customer Service:

My husband and I recently booked multi-city tickets from Philadelphia to St. Louis and Memphis to Philadelphia on your website. The experience was nothing short of mind-blowing frustration. You see, we had to book our tickets separately since my husband was flying back to Philadelphia several days earlier than I was. We had two browser windows open at the same time so we made sure to get seats next to each other for the outbound flight (shocking I know). My ticket was booked. My husband's ticket purported to be the same price. Little did we know that your website has the same accuracy as the pathological liars we call weathermen. We clicked "purchase" and anxiously awaited our simple transaction to be completed.

Hahahahahahaha. We received an error code that politely requested we try the transaction again in a few minutes. Naively, we did just that. Imagine our surprise when the ticket was $50 more than a "few minutes" before. OK, we thought ... surely the nice people at the reservations desk will understand the situation at hand. My husband called the number listed on your error code and explained what happened. Naturally, the person he spoke with could not help us.

Apparently, the evil computers at US Airways confound the nice people at the reservations desk such that there is no possible way to change a price that the "system" spits out. Stupid "system" anyway. You would think that the "system" should be working for your friendly reservations desk people, not acting like a school yard bully. After speaking to three people at your super reservations department (none of which were the supervisor my husband asked to speak with), we asked to lodge a complaint.

My husband was given a phone number for the "customer relations" department. The "customer relations" department was an answering machine that asked us to call again later. Glad you're saving money on the "customer relations" department. This must be how you can claim low complaint numbers ... people can't actually complain. Undaunted, I clicked through approximately a dozen links on your website to lodge our complaint. I'm sure it will go into the same circular storage as your "customer relations" answering machine.

Please rest assured that you will not be receiving any further complaints from us as we will no longer avail ourselves of your services.

Your very best friends,

Jenn and Ryan

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Really amazing

We've been taking pictures of Tucker on the couch to see how much he's changed in an objective way. I recently looked at a picture from early April and compared to last week. It's truly amazing that babies grow so much in their first months of life. He's probably doubled his birth weight at this point. We don't know exactly what he weighs since he doesn't have another Dr. appointment until July. We're thinking about taking him to the do-it-yourself post office and weighing him on the scale there. My guess would be he's about 11 pounds right now. He just keeps getting cuter too!

Who's more stubborn?

I am officially more stubborn than my 11 week old. After a somewhat promising day last week, getting Tucker to nap in his crib has proved extremely difficult. We've kept at it and today he actually took a couple of naps sans arms. Of course he's also been unusually sleepy this afternoon, so I can only hope he's getting used to the crib and this isn't a fluke.

He may look more like Ryan, but he certainly gets his stubborn streak from me.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Notes on a crying baby

I'm reading a book called "The Baby Whisperer" (yeah, I know), and the author seems to have a very no-nonsense, practical approach to dealing with babies. The problem we've been having with Tucker is that he will not nap unless he's being held. The cause of course is that we've had visitors almost non-stop for the first 9 weeks of his little life who wanted to hold him all the time (not that we don't love you). The result is that when they all leave, I have an infant who needs 24/7 attention, leaving me no time for indulgences like, oh, showers.

So anyhow, I don't have the heart for the Ferber, "Cry It Out" method. Instead, she recommends that you pick them up when they're crying, comfort them, and when they're quiet, put them back down. When they start crying again (as they inevitably will) you repeat the scenario until they're confident that a crib is a safe and OK place to nap.

Since Ryan is out of town for the next 3 days, I thought it would be an ideal time to start weaning Tucker from constant holding. It took 45 minutes of crying and up and down this morning, but he took a short nap in his pack-n-play. Then, because he was so tired from not really getting a nap this morning, he went right down for an afternoon nap in his crib (and has been asleep for nearly 2 hours now). The fact that I'm blogging right now is evidence that this woman knows something about babies. Maybe it's common sense, but I sense that mostly it's about persistence and consistency. I had to be willing to listen to him scream at me for 45 minutes and pick him up and put him down many many times this morning because he wanted to be held. Had I given in and just held him for his nap, it would have made the behavior even harder to extinguish, because he would have learned he could outlast me.

I've read a lot that says you can't spoil a less than 3 month old baby, but that is certainly where it begins. He's just doing what I (and my well meaning family) taught him to do ... nap while being held. As I told a couple people this weekend though, babies should be a wonderful part of your life, not dominate your life. Anyhow, it was nice to take a long hot shower, throw in a couple of loads of laundry and eat a meal with both hands. Now I want him to wake up so we can play! :) Guess I'll let him sleep.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Chubby bunny

It's gratifying to me to see Tucker getting chubby and round. Take a look at those chubby little arms. It means that we must be doing something right to be making our skinny little boy a fat baby. He has a doctor's appointment on Tuesday, so we'll get the update then on how much he weighs and how long he is. We considered taking him to the post office and weighing him on the postage scale, but decided that the logistics just wouldn't work out, since we'd have to strip him down to his diaper. Oh well, two more days and we'll have the official poundage.

A week of many babies

Autumn has been visiting since last Tuesday. It has really been wonderful having her around to do girly stuff with. I miss having girlfriends. It's also been a glimpse into our lives in about 14 months. Zachary has really been fun. He's at a great age where everything is a toy and a whole meal is a slice of deli meat and some bread. Fun times are ahead.

I have a thoughtful son already

Today was my first Mother's Day. It was a good one. Tucker got me a massage (with a little help from his Daddy). What a thoughtful son I have! Perhaps the better gift was from Ryan, who gave me 2 extra hours of sleep this morning when he took Tucker downstairs after he was awake from 5:30 - 7 am. What a thoughtful husband I have!

Wednesday, May 02, 2007


I am officially unemployed. Today I turned in my resignation letter to work. It was really nice to see everyone at my office. My boss was disappointed that I was leaving, but not surprised. It's weird to be without job ... and especially without income. Wish us luck!

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Shoes on babies are silly

Tucker has really big feet for his age. The socks he wears are 3-6 months, and these shoes actually fit. His Tantie Cathy just couldn't pass them by.

We had a really nice weekend with Jo, Mike and Cathy. It was beautiful outside all weekend and Tucker went on his longest outing yet.
Diaper Count: 498


Friday, April 20, 2007

A week of firsts

Tucker was finally big enough this week to ride in his Baby Bjorn. He also tried a bottle for the first time since he was in the hospital. I have to say that using a breastpump is by far one of the more humiliating experiences I've ever had. Anyway ... he's getting older.

How big is Tucker?

Sooo big! As of his one month appointment on Tuesday, Tucker is 7 pounds, 6 ounces and 21 and a quarter inches long. If you consider that his lowest was 5 pounds, 2 ounces, that's a pretty impressive weight gain.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Joys of Parenthood - Explosive Pooing

I swear I'm not making this up (and why would I?). Those of you who have been around Tucker know that he can be quite noisy when filling his pants. Those of you who have changed baby boys know you need to be careful when changing said pants, as they are loaded.

Nothing prepared me however for the events I'm about to relate. I was changing Tucker in his pack and play (the changing table is the blue in the picture). He had been quite gassy all day, so I was trying to be diligent about keeping him covered up. Apparently I wasn't careful enough, as he pooed so explosively that he hit the baseboard of the bed (again, see the picture for the visual). He also soiled a good portion of the changing table and the carpet below. He also got my jeans. I had no idea that a person could poo a good yard, yard and a half. I started laughing and couldn't stop for at least 20 minutes. I also decided that this was Tucker's subtle way of requesting a bath.

Saturday, April 07, 2007

Getting cuter

I swear he gets cuter each day. Yes, I realize I've become one of those people who talk incessantly about their kids, but to be honest, my days are taken up with him, so there's not a lot else to share right now.

Tucker was 5 pounds, 15.5 oz at his last check up (a week ago). He must've seen that as a challenge because he's been eating almost nonstop for the past week. He doesn't go for a weigh in again until the 17th, so I don't know how much he weighs now. I do know that a lot of the clothes that were insanely big on him 3 weeks ago are starting to fit. They really do grow quickly. They should really make disposable clothes, since they only get a few wearings anyway.

Diaper Count: 262

My kind of company

This makes me smile. The best part is that the website is www.buttpaste.com. Apparently, it's good stuff. Maybe Boudreaux's and I should get together to expand their product line. They could get behind some of my products, I'm thinking.

Monday, April 02, 2007

If I owned a baby stuff company ...

It would have a "unique" marketing plan. The first item for sale would be the Baby Box of Crayons, complete with "Angry Baby Red", "Merconium Green" (if you don't know, don't ask), "Poo Yellow", "Baby Eye Blue", "Jaundice Yellow", "Spitup White", and "Baby Bottom Pink."

Diapers would be marketed as "Doo Rags" and instead of coming in Regular, Jumbo and Mega sizes, they would be packed in Little Squirt, Streams of Poo and Sh*t Storm sizes.

More to come ... crying hungry baby.

Diaper Count: 207.

Friday, March 30, 2007

Tucker found his thumb

This had to be the cutest thing ever. Tucker is starting to be alert for a lot more of his day. He found his thumb a few days ago.

Diaper Count

Current diaper count: 158

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Our little burrito

He looks like a little russian man ... or a burrito.

Baby looks good on him

Ryan has been glowing for 4 days. He's going to be a terrific Dad.

New Mommy and Baby

They let us take him home!

Here's Tucker ready to come home from the hospital. I kept thinking they'd come running and tell us that they weren't actually going to let us take him home or I would wake up from this crazy dream that he came early. Even though he was over 3 weeks early, he's perfect. Aside from a bit of trouble keeping his body temperature in the first 48 hours, he had no problems.
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