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Thursday, August 28, 2008

Sort of Big. Sort of Brave.

Leo had his four month check-up yesterday. He weighed in at 15 pounds and was 25.5 inches long. This puts him in the 57th percentile for weight and the 74th percentile for height. Last time it was reversed (71st percentile for weight and 52nd percentile for height). So basically he went from short and fat to tall and skinny. Although from the way the nurses were going on and on about his chunky thighs, I don't think anyone would call him skinny.

Then he got a couple of shots:

You probably heard the screaming.

And by the time we left he was fast asleep. When he woke up he thought it was just a bad dream.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Rainy Day Blues

My grandma said to me, "It looks like from Leo's pictures that he's always happy!" I said, "Well, I never take pictures of him when he's crying."

And I thought, "Why don't I ever take pictures of him when he's crying?"

So I took some today. Now I know why I don't take pictures of him when he's crying.

It makes him really, really mad.

Month Counting

If you are among the 85% of the population who count months inefficiently, this is your lucky day. I am about to save you a lot of time and frustration.

First, a mini-quiz:

Let’s say you were wondering how old Leo was and I told you his birthday was April 30th, 2008. How would you figure it out?

Think about it and then read on.

If you’re like most people (the 85% I referred to above which, by the way, is just by guess. I bet it’s really more like 95% but I was trying to be nice), then you get out your fingers and say, “April to May,” then hold up one finger, “May to June,” hold up your next finger, “June to July,” hold up a third finger, “July to August,” hold up a fourth finger and then say, “Just about four months!”

While you would arrive at the correct answer, you’ve really wasted a lot of time. Here is the way you should be doing it:

Say out loud, “April” but don’t hold up a finger. Then assign a finger to every month after that, “May, June, July, August.” By eliminating the first finger, you’ve saved yourself the trouble of having to say, “May to June,” “June to July,” etc. Try it. It’s really much faster.

You might say, “That won’t save me that much time!” But guess what. It applies to years: How many years ago did I graduate from college? Instead of going “99 to 2000,” “2001 to 2002,” “2002 to 2003,” You simply say, “99,” no finger, “2000, ’01, ’02, ’03, ’04, ’05, ’06, ’07, ’08,” assigning fingers to each. The answer is nine. Wow. I’m old. But I would be older if I had done it the first way because I would have lost so much time.

It works on time too: How many hours until 5:00pm? No need to say, “11 to 12,” “12 to 1,” “1 to 2.” Just say “11” and then don’t assign the first finger.

If you’re confused about how to do it correctly, just remember, the key is to skip the first finger. Then you can drop all that “to” talk.

I hope I’ve helped you. If you want to thank me, please do so by Monday. That’s in…five days! It works for days too!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Leo and the Fishies

We unintentionally outfitted Leo's life with fish paraphernalia. He’s got fish on his tummy time mat, he owns the kick and crawl aquarium, his bouncy is in a fish theme and even his bath tub is in on the aquatic action.

So we decided that since he’s surrounded by fish we might as well take him to the Georgia World Aquarium, which is the biggest aquarium in the world.

He was somewhat interested in the fish but after awhile he fell asleep. Guess he thought it was just like home.

Maybe he will be a marine biologist. Or at least a fisherman.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Just goofin' around

I think we may have a future class clown on our hands.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

The Olympics: Taboo at our House

If you see Frank, don’t mention the Olympics. There are two reasons for this:

1. He’s likely to get inspired and show you his photos from his trip to China in 2005. They are amazing pictures. 572 amazing pictures.

2. He doesn’t understand why people watch. He says of people who get excited about the Games, “They don’t follow swimming for four years and then suddenly, they’re all into swimming? And track and field? And gymnastics? It doesn’t make sense! And they know all the lingo!” He goes on and on. In fact, it’s such a soap box I end up saying, “Hey, can we look at your pictures from China again?

But then last night he stayed up later than usual, hoping to watch the women’s beach volleyball. He’s a big fan of Team May-Treanor/Walsh. It was on too late so he didn’t catch it. This morning when he turned on the news he said, “I hope they don’t give away who won the women’s volleyball!”

So in the final days of the 2008 Summer Olympic Games, a young man caught the spirit. He must have been feeling patriotic and moved by the dedication of the athletes. Or maybe he just likes their teeny-tiny volleyball outfits.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Mothering gone too far

Frank was giving Leo a bottle last night and I said, "Wait. Let me get a bib!" I went to get the bib and when I returned I un-velcroed it, opened it and up and started to put it on Frank! "What are you doing?" Frank asked. "Oh my gosh, I tried to put a bib on you!" I said.

What can I say? I like to take care of my boys!

But if I try to put a diaper on my husband, somebody help me.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

The Generic Blog

Have you ever had generic Mac N Cheese? I do not recommend it. I would have thought it would be tough to get Mac N Cheese wrong but Kroger managed to do it. That got me thinking, what other items are private label losers?

Saran wrap: This stuff is tricky enough to deal with but at least leave it to the experts at Cling Wrap. I’ve got some generic “plastic wrap” in my pantry and it’s a nightmare. It clings before it’s supposed to and it’s difficult to cut.

Aluminum foil: Same situation as above. Stick with Reynold’s.

Soup: Only Campbell’s can get chicken noodle right.

Pimento Cheese: Price’s all the way. Off-brand is bland.

Health and Beauty products: People, do not buy your shampoo, conditioner, soap or toothpaste from the white aisle. You’ll be cursed with flakey scalp, tangles, a rash and plaque. It’s not worth it.

Chips: I’m mainly saying this out of loyalty to Frito Lay but come on, off-brand Doritos? It’s un-American.

Diapers: I’m not gonna risk a blow out to save a buck.

And here are some of my go-to generic products:

Milk: I see no reason to pay $1 more for Borden. Sometimes I splurge on 8th Continent Vanilla Soy though.

Ice Cream: My friends at Kroger make yummy Private Selections flavors.

Eggs: okay, basically anything in the dairy aisle. Even cheese is okay by me (with the exception of pimento as discussed above).

Cereal: Kroger wins again with Muesili which I just had this morning. Between that and my milk, it was quite an affordable breakfast. But I still love expensive Kashi.

Generic Fiber One Bars: Now, they’re not as good as Fiber Ones but I do like me some Active Lifestyle Bars. If they’re on sale, I go with them.

Bread: Again, my hat is off to Private Selections at Kroger for their line of breads like the flax seed slices I’m loving right now.

Water: Your bottle won’t look as cool but it will taste the same.

Cookies: Frank actually prefers Chip Mates over Chips Ahoy.

The only thing I’m on the fence about is soda. Since I don’t drink it I’ll have to leave that up to the caffeine connoisseurs. Whaddya think? Dr. Thunder? Mountain Lightning? Goes against my rule about not drinking anything named after bad weather.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Caught with his pants down!

Leo decided he'd prefer to hang out with mommy instead of napping so I put him in the papasan chair in my office while I worked. I kept him swaddled in case he felt inclined to snooze.

But when I looked over at him a few minutes later, the bottom half of his swaddle had come loose. He looked like he felt exposed:

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Bear Necessities

Every baby needs a teddy bear. And that's what Leo has now that Uncle Mark brought him one. He loves it.

In fact, he loves it so much that he wanted to get the bear's fur as wet as his onesie.

That’s how you look

When you’re looking at a picture with someone else and that person says, “Oh, that’s a terrible picture of me,” your first instinct is to say, “No, that’s a good picture of you.”

That’s not what I say.

I say, “You’re right. That IS a bad picture of you. You look much better in person.”

Because if you say “No, that’s a good picture of you” then you’re basically saying that they look like that all the time.

I posed for a picture with a pregnant friend at her baby shower and when we reviewed the shot she said, “Oh my gosh, I look huge!” I had to laugh because she DID look huge in the picture. So I told her, “You DO look huge in that picture! But that’s not how you look in person.” It was true.
Frank, on the other hand, has a different approach. When I say that I don’t like a picture of myself he says, “That’s how you look.” He says it very matter-of-fact so you can't tell if he's saying, "that's how you look and it's not good" or "that's how you look and it is good" but I suspect it's the former.
His theory is that the camera doesn't lie. At least he's honest. Because, really, when other people say, "No, that's a good picture of you" they're either lying or they're essentially saying, "That's how you look."
And by the way, if someone looks at a group picture and says, "that's a bad picture" they really mean that THEY don't look good in the picture. They just looked at themselves. In fact, they probably didn't even look at the rest of the people. The others could have perfect expressions but if their own eyes are closed then they'll say, "Oh, what an awful picture." Or is that just me?

With this picture, Frank had a different reaction, though. He said, "Leo looks cute. You look crazy." Thank goodness. I don't think I could have handled a "That's how you look" for this one:

Friday, August 08, 2008

The Great Escape

I started to think maybe Leo was getting too old for swaddling (or "the burrito" as Thea calls it). I didn't actually get any clues from Leo that he was done with it; it was more that I was tired of doing it. I read online and heard from other moms that a good way to transition out of the swaddle is to leave one arm out.

We tried that. Here's what happened after about 30 seconds:

Oh, well. I guess it's back to the burrito.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Taking Over

In our house the beholder of the remote is the king of the castle. We're now at his mercy.

Monday, August 04, 2008

The Dad List Recap

I'm very pleased with the results from the Dad list. And while they didn't get around to hanging a towel rack in my kitchen cabinet, they more then made up for it by doing at least four additional projects that weren't on the original list.

The biggest project that wasn't on the original list was changing out the stair balusters. It's a long story why we needed it done so I'll give you the Cliffs Notes version:

  • Our white wooden balusters weren't to code

  • I didn't like our white wooden balusters

  • Bringing the white wooden balusters to code is a huge, expensive project when you hire someone to do it. (I checked.)

  • Having your father-in-law and husband do the huge, expensive project themselves sounds impossible. I didn't think it could be done but as long as they were going to try, I preferred iron balusters.

  • They tried. They did it.

  • Now our balusters are to code. I love our iron balusters.

A lot of sweat went into creating our new staircase:

Frank and his dad showing off the "afters" of their weekend projects:

Stairs (not on the original list):

Ceiling fan in guest bedroom (not on the list):
A dimmer for my kitchen (not on the list):

An improved kitchen cabinet and faucet which used to not open and leak, respectively:

A gate in our back fence (on the list)

I felt a little guilty that Frank's dad spent his vacation fixing up our house but he assured me that he loves nothing more than to do projects with his son. Good thing because I've already got the list started for next year!

Bigger and Braver

Leo has more than doubled in size since this day:

He started at 7 pounds, 1 ounce and at his 3-month visit he was 14 pounds, 10 ounces!

Oh, Leo would like me to note that he was weighed with his onesie, bib and socks on. Please adjust accordingly.