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Monday, June 30, 2008

Amelia Bedelia works at the Great American Cookie Co.

Today is Frank’s b-day. It’s also Leo’s two month b-day. I had this great idea for a cake. I would incorporate the fact that Frank is 372 months today and Leo is 2 months. And I designed it so they could share the “2.” Make sense?

It didn’t to the dude working at the Great American Cookie Co. “So my husband is turning 31 and my baby is turning two months,” I told him. “I figured out that my husband is 372 months so it could look like this.” I then showed him my design:

"But this says that your husband is 37. I thought you said he was 31?" The male Amelia Bedelia said.

"Well, it actually says 372 months. See, that's how many MONTHS he is. I see that I did leave a little gap between the 7 and the 2. Maybe that's why you're confused. Let me close it up."

I then re-drew the design but made the spacing tigther between the 7 and the 2.

"Well, which one do you want?" he asked.

"The bottom one," I said. (Keep in mind they are the SAME thing.) He then scribbled out the top one and said, "Better just throw this one away or you won't get the right cake."

Okay, Amelia. You do that.

Anyway, even after all that our cake still looked a little awkward. (Turn your head because my blogger keeps flipping the pic):

But we didn't care because it tasted awesome! Amelia could have written "Writinggal Sucks" on the cake and I would still devour it in two days.

This was the boys' reaction:

Frank was excited because he was going to eat cookie cake. Leo wondered why I got him a cake when he can't chew yet. Sorry, I forgot! I think when he's old enough, he might get me a cake that says "Writinggal Sucks."

Leo's been here two months

He's decided to stay. That's good because we've decided to keep him.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Good friends. Good times.

Leo loves to hang out with his good buddy John from the neighborhood. They share a lot of common interests: breast milk, poopy diapers and a love of ceiling fans.

And when John got a little tipsy, Leo said, "That's okay, buddy. You can use my belly to break your fall." That's what friends are for.

The Dyson Addiction

I hope you’re not sick of hearing about the Dyson because I still have more to say:

Yesterday I did the stairs. For some reason the wand is more maneuverable so it didn’t hurt my back at all. When I was done with the stairs I thought, “Well, as long as it’s out I might as well do the couch real quick.”

That turned into taking off all of the couch cushions, vacuuming each of them, vacuuming under the cushions and vacuuming the pillows. That turned into me vacuuming the under the couch which turned into me vacuuming under the recliner/rocker which turned into me vacuuming under the regular recliner. Since I was on the floor anyway I decided to vacuum under the entertainment center too. This was the scene when I was done:

Oh, and this is the other part of that scene (notice the Dyson manual behind him):

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Thea’s Most Expensive Tip

Frank and I were in the market for a new vacuum. We realized the other day that we had never bought one. The one we have now was given to us as a wedding present five years ago, and the ones we had when we were single were hand-me-downs from our parents. His was even from his neighborhood’s club house. I know because it was written with a black marker: Property of Governor’s Place Club House.

We’ve bought all sorts of other random floor cleaners: The Dirt Devil Broom Vac, the Swiffer, some special wet/dry vac, the Dustbuster and another hand-me-down from his dad that we use on our cars and is held together with duct tape.

But we were never pleased with them. And every time we use our wedding present vacuum we say, “This thing sucks. Well, actually it doesn’t suck. That’s the problem.” And then we giggle. And then we get frustrated again.

We knew we needed to just invest in a nice vacuum. But nice ones are like $500. I’m serious. Or maybe you knew that.

Then two Saturdays ago I spoke with Tips from Thea and she gave me her ultimate tip: we should buy the Dyson DC 15. She bought the Dyson DC 15. She loved it. It sucked for real. She brought it to her parents house and they were so amazed that the whole family was fighting over whose turn it was to clean. So they bought a Dyson DC 15.

“But those things are like a million dollars!” I said.

She agreed but said that she got hers refurbished on Amazon for a fraction of that cost. Plus, it had free shipping.

Since Thea's tips had never failed me before (Kashi, How I Met your Mother, The Real Housewives of New York City, Bam), not 24 hours later, I, too, bought a refurbished Dyson DC 15 on Amazon with free shipping.

Eight days later, my Dyson arrived. We tried it last night.

I just have to say that I am so sorry to anyone who has ever walked on my floors. I didn’t realize that they were so grainy. Now they’re so smooth I practically slip on them. Other good things about the DDC15:

--It’s twistable and flexible so it can maneuver into hard to reach places
--Speaking of hard to reach places, the nose (head) of it is so flat it can get under my kitchen cabinets
--It’s on a ball so I think that’s ideal for some reason
--The DDC15 is a subtle sucker. Yes, it gets up crap but it doesn’t suck in a way that sounds like it’s in pain because it got a scrap of paper. (The old vacuum smelled like something was burning when it picked up even a thread.)
--Look at all the stuff the DDC15 picked up in just two rooms. Either it's a great sucker or we're just gross.

--While you're looking at the picture, please note that it is cute. It's also pretty lightweight (which you'll have to take my word for).
--It’s got a super long cord so I can practically do my whole house from one outlet.
--Apparently there are all sorts of attachments you can use but I haven’t tried those yet. About to tackle the stairs.
--It’s cute!

Bad things:

--Because of the ball I guess, it doesn’t make those cool lines on your carpet.
--It’s not very loud. Tried to use it to get Leo to sleep. Didn’t work. Might need to save the old vacuum for those purposes.

So thanks, Thea. Although you're most likely not reading this; you're probably busy holding negotiations with Dyson to be their next spokeswoman.

Monday, June 23, 2008

He likes us. He really likes us!

This weekend Leo made a decision: he likes these people who call themselves mommy and daddy. Every time one of us would come into view, he’d smile. Sometimes he’d even laugh. And just the sight of us would distract him from daily activities like eating and pooping. Of course—just like in the womb—he didn’t cooperate so well when the video camera came out. So this is what we got:

Friday, June 20, 2008

I have twelve friends

My friend Jaime convinced me to join Facebook. I didn’t want to. It reminded me of IM and texting and all those other technologies I’m against. Other reasons I didn’t like it:

--it seemed to be time-consuming
--everybody can read the messages you send to people and messages people send you.
--I’d feel pressure to update it with pictures and other random things.
--I’m too old.

I joined anyway. And now do you know what I think about it? All of those things I just said! They’re all true. I mean, I already have two blogs, two email accounts and a cell phone. I can’t keep up with anything else!

But the worst part about Facebook is that you have to have friends. And some people have like 79 friends. How do they get all these friends? I only have twelve. I’m not even sure what to do with these friends. Sometimes they send me things like quizzes and strange messages but then FB makes me “add an application” just to view them. So I apologize to my twelve friends in advance for not responding to those invitations.

Maybe instead of feeling like a loser for only having twelve friends, I’ll make it like an exclusive club—like Elsa’s twelve disciples. I’ll say that I only WANT twelve. I won’t accept anymore. You have to like, audition, to be my Facebook friend.

Yes, I am definitely too old for this.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Our Little Longhorn

While all the other kids here in Georgia are into bulldogs, Leo is loyal to his horns. Good thing orange seems to be his color.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Aunt Elsa

My grandma makes this dessert called Aunt Sue. It's like whip cream and graham cracker and chocolate and nuts. It's basically awesome. She always makes it when I come to visit. And the first time Frank came to visit her he tried it. He mentioned that he thought it was pretty good too.

"Guess what?!" Grandma announced to everyone. "Elsa LOVES Aunt Sue. Frank LOVES Aunt Sue. It was meant to be!"

We figured we had to stay together after that.

Oh, but my point is to tell you why it's called Aunt Sue:

Many, many years ago (I'm talking the 80's) one of my dad's cousins brought his girlfriend, Rhonda, to grandma's house. She brought this dessert. Everyone raved about it and of course asked what it was called. She said, "I don't know. It's my Aunt Sue's recipe." Thus it was dubbed Aunt Sue.

Rhonda's long out of the picture. Aunt Sue is not.

Today I made a dessert for Frank that was officially called the Cookies and Cream Freeze.

Frank ate it and said, "It's like a different flavored Aunt Sue!"

"What a compliment!" I said. "What should we call it? Aunt Suzanne?"

"Sure," he said, still chowing down on it.

"Or Aunt Cookie?" I suggested.

"That's fine," he replied, not paying attention.

Since I knew I could call it anything I wanted at that point, I announced that this fine dessert, that wasn't actually my own creation, would be Aunt Elsa.

Here is the recipe. If you and your significant other both like it, I don't think it means you were meant to be. It just means you like awesome desserts.

Happy Father's Day

Friday, June 13, 2008

The Mommy Show

I got the okay to exercise at my six-week checkup this week so I started lifting weights on my Bosu while Leo watches. I say, “Go, mommy, go. Strengthen those biceps!” He thinks it's amusing.

Today I played Hall and Oates in the background and Leo loved them as much as I do! And while he enjoyed Sara Smile, he seemed to like Private Eyes the best (must be all the hand-clapping).

This is Leo watching the Mommy Show from the papazan chair:

I'm not sure he's ready for Pilates though:

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Dentists. The New Chiropractors.

Thea made that up. Not me. But I believe it.

Here’s the new scam in dentists: not cleaning your teeth.

This happened to me a few years ago at a chain dentist in Austin. I went in for a regular teeth-cleaning appointment and had the x-rays, talked to the dentist’s assistant (because you never really see the dentist unless you’re there for major stuff), and then they said I should schedule an appointment to have my teeth cleaned. “Oh, I did,” I told them. “It’s today. I came in today to have my teeth cleaned.”

The dental assistant said, “Oh, this is just an appointment to examine your mouth and create a “treatment plan.” You need a separate appointment to clean your teeth.”


Since we moved to Atlanta we’ve had three dentists.

The first was okay but they stopped taking our insurance. So we had to start all over with a new dentist. For Frank this is usually no big deal. He never gets a bad report at the dentist. Why does that piss me off? Because he does minimal home dental care. He brushes in the morning. He brushes at night. If the mood strikes him or he’s got something stuck in his teeth, he’ll floss.

I, on the other hand, brush after every meal, floss every night and use one of those scraper things on my teeth like the best dental assistants use. Oh, and I go to the dentist four times a year. Yet every time I go to a new dental office, they bombard me with accusations about not flossing and not doing it correctly. So when I went to our new Atlanta dentist I wasn’t surprised to hear they wanted me to have a gum cleaning. I said I would schedule that later but could they first just clean my teeth?


They wouldn’t clean my teeth! They said I HAD to do the gum cleaning that day and then I would have to come back to have my teeth cleaned. I cried. I actually cried. After jaw surgery,
gum surgery, and veneers, I was so tired of dental work. I had vowed to stop letting them talk me into all these procedures. But it’s like they were holding the teeth cleaning over my head and I didn’t have a choice. She showed me my treatment plan which was going to cost me all this money. That’s actually when I cried. But I figured they were right. I always do have gum issues. Plus, I was pregnant at the time and she said it would hurt the baby if I didn’t get the gum cleaning. How could I argue when she played the baby card?

Then Frank had his first appointment with the new dentist. But instead of coming back with his usual, “I have no cavities. They said my teeth were perfect. My gums are perfect. I’m the picture of oral health,” he said, “They want me to get this gum cleaning!” He then showed me his treatment plan which looked exactly like mine. In fact, I pulled mine out of the Simcik files and compared.

That’s when I knew it was all a scam. I called the insurance company and they said it’s so common that they’re tracking how many customers call in to complain about it.

So what did we do? We switched dentists. Again.

Instead of going to a chain, we went to a one-man operation. Frank went in and had his usual teeth cleaning and got a glowing report.

I went in and got the usual ridicule:

“No way. No way you floss every day. Are you doing it right? Like this?” (they then show me the “wrapping” technique and I so badly want to tell them that I do it better than they do it).

“And you say your last cleaning was in January? You mean January of this year?”

“Why don’t you try rinsing after every meal?”

This all went on for awhile. But at least they cleaned my teeth. It’s good to be back to normal.

Six Weeks Report Card

I don't know how the kids do it now but in my day we were graded every six weeks. Since Leo has been alive that long, I thought I'd give him his first report card:

Physical Appearance: A+ (obvious reasons)
Weight Gain: A+ (Not sure how much he weighs but he's got a few more chins)
Crying: B- (Doesn't cry for extended periods but is pretty loud)
Eating: A+ (he loves his milk)
Spitting up: D (his weakest subject)
Sleeping: B+ (sleeps through the night sometimes but not so good at napping during the day)
Pooping and Peeing: B (the amount is worthy of an A but he gets points off for leaking on mommy)

Manipulating mommy and daddy into getting anything he wants: A+

Monday, June 09, 2008

A New Tradition

When Baby Charlie was born I got his mom, Jacquie, a cool shirt:

Every year on his birthday Jacquie wears the shirt and then in her Kodak Gallery album she shows the pic above with the caption “What a difference…” and then shows a recent pic in the same pose and adds the birthday for that year. In this case it said:

...three years makes!

I got her a shirt for one-year-old Colman too (with long sleeves since his b-day is in January).

Well, Jacquie got ME a cool shirt for Leo’s birth so we’re going to start the tradition too!

Here is his "before" shot:

I anticipate that this will be much trickier when he’s 16.

Friday, June 06, 2008

The Blame Game

I'm still getting used to this whole mom thing. Today I was walking from the laundry room to our bedroom, carrying a laundry basket full of clothes when I tripped over the bouncy chair. I screamed out in pain and fell to the floor. I stayed there for awhile, just moaning, relieved that the floor had recently been cleaned. This was the scene after I got up:

I think I sprained my second-to-last toe. You know, the one that didn't have any roast beef? Now I just need to know who to blame. I mean, who was the last person to sit in that bouncy chair? It wasn't me...It wasn't must have been that new roommate!

I KNEW it!

Bringing Beer Back

I knew that Four Beer Friday was coming up so I decided to pick up an 18-pack while I was grocery shopping. I used to buy beer at CostCo or Sam’s but really, they don’t have any better deals than the K.

In fact, the K had 18 cans for $14.99. Pretty good, right?

When I was checking out the sacker put my beer on the bottom of the cart. And when I started to push it away it fell over. I picked it up and she apologized. You think that little encounter would help me to keep the beer top of mind.

Instead, I threw all my groceries in the car, pushed the cart to the cart corral and drove off. I didn’t realize until that evening that I had left the beer there.

I knew some other Kroger shopper probably took my beer. I mean, why wouldn’t they? It’s not exactly like stealing if you don’t know who owns it. And it’s paid for. It’s kind of like finding cash on the street. You can’t go around asking, “Did you lose an 18-pack of beer?” anymore than you can say “Did you lose $100?”

But I went back the next day anyway, hoping that I could win them over with my sad story and southern charm. Whenever I want something here’s my strategy: I always first let the person know that I don’t expect them to help me. For instance, I would say, “I’m not sure if you can help me but I thought I’d try…” It immediately takes them off the defense. They suddenly want to help.

So I started with just that but before I could get to the part about how I just had a baby and my mind is frazzled, she said, “Oh, yeah. We know about that. They found it when they were bringing the carts in. We thought you’d call.”

Call? “Hi. My name is Elsa. I left my beer there. Can you bring it to my house? Sure, we can drink it when you get here.”

So she let me go get another one—a fresh 18-pack. Hurray!

Rather than this being a testament to the moral goodness of people, I think it’s a testament to the cart corral system. Clearly, with my cart all pushed up nicely with the other carts, no one could see my beer. If I had just left it out in the parking lot all alone, ready to run into another car, someone surely would have seen it.

And they would be having Four Beer Friday right now. Instead, Four Beer Friday is back on at our house. And it will only cost $3.32 ($.83 per beer) rather than $6.64 (which is what it would be if I had to BUY my beer back rather than simply reclaim the original beer).

All that math stuff was just for Frank.

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Ladies' Man

My friend Jaime and her daughter Brighton are visiting from Texas. And even though she is five months older than Leo, I am encouraging this relationship. I mean, I am five months older than Frank. I can't believe there was a time that I was that much bigger than him.
Don't worry, baby Grace. Leo is not completely spoken for. He's still keeping his options open.
Hey, don't hate the player. Hate the game.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Earning His Wings

We went to Frank's brother's wedding in Colorado so Leo got to take his first flight. Actually, if you count the connections, Leo took four flights.

I think Leo will be a pilot. He LOVED the airplane. It put him in a trance...a much deeper trance than the car or the swing or the window blinds.

Since I'm busy doing all the things you do after traveling with a newborn (think poopy onesies), I'm just going to leave you with a few plane pics: