Search This Blog

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Funny Frank

Frank turns 32 today. I told him this morning, "32-year-old Frank is funny." Here's why:

I forgot until about ten minutes after we woke up to tell Frank happy birthday. I was too busy telling him about this crazy dream I had about losing Leo in a mall. Anyway, finally I said, "Frank, happy birthday!"

He said, "I can't believe you took this long to tell me happy birthday."

I said, "I didn't remember until I looked at my phone and it had the date, June 30th."

He said, "And then you thought, 'Oh! All my coupons are gonna expire! I better get to the store!'"
And here's the only recent pic I have of Frank where he's by himself (well, except for this inflatable pool).

Leo’s been here 14 months

Leo was very cooperative during his 14 month chair photo session. My secret? I took the pictures first thing in the morning, hence the bed head.

These days Leo’s more about talkin’ the talk than walkin’ the walk:

On the move:
He takes a few steps at a time but is still content to do his “proposal” crawl where he scoots around on his left knee…always his left!

Chattin' it up:
Now onto talking: I’m going to make the word list cumulative so some might be repeats from past blogs: mama, dada, ball, hat, backpack, lion, hi, bye-bye, cup, pool, dog, car, eyes, duck, tar (as in guitar), Elmo, hug, Claire (John’s mom, although he says “Cuh”), egg, cheese, nana (as in banana), cado (as in Avocado), boo-buh (which is his word for the rubber spatula in the kitchen).

And misc. cute stuff:

When we say “brush teeth” he puts his finger over his mouth and does the teeth-brushing motion. In fact, he does this whenever we go into a bathroom.

He goes to music class where the teacher sings, “Bah bah bah” and when Leo hears this on the music class CD or if I do it, he sings it back—“Bah bah bah.”

He can point to his eyes, head, feet and belly button but still gets mixed up with ears, nose and mouth.

He loves to come around a corner or around a door and say, “Hi!”

He’s STILL a sucker for peek-a-boo!

When he throws his sippy cup or food on the floor he shakes his finger and says “No-no” but it sounds more like “nuh nuh.”

He’s really good at the “Where is so and so?” game. He can point at Mama, Dada, his friend John and Claire. He can also point out people in pictures—everyone but himself:

Leo, who is this? (pointing at me): “Mama”
Leo, who is this? (pointing at Frank): “Dada”
Leo, who is this? (pointing at him): Giggles.

He gives kisses by coming right at us with his mouth open and his eyes wide…I need to get a video of this; it’s too hard to explain!

He doesn’t have stranger anxiety. In fact, sometimes I think he has stranger preference!

When I’m doing core exercises, he jumps all over me. And when I hold the plank, he climbs up on my back and sits on me like he’s riding a horse.

His favorite "toy" right now is his bucket of books. He takes all the books out and scatters them around and then acts like he's reading them. I just need to teach him how to put the books back in the bucket.

He's into his stuffed animals and he brings them on the chair with him when we read him stories. His favorites are Huggy Bear, the lion and the chicken.

He’s pretty good at puzzles…well, the one puzzle he has. It has shapes that you have to put in the right spot. When I show him how to do it I’ll hold up the circle, put it on the place for the square and say, “Does it go here? Nooooo” and so on until I get to the place for the circle. So he does his own version of this, holding each shape over a place, shaking his head and saying, “Nuuuuuh” until he gets to the right place. But when he gets to the right place, he puts it in there and then picks it back up and bangs it together with another shape, saying “Yea!”

Yea for Leo who is 14 months old today! And a special yea for dada who’s been here 384 months today!

Friday, June 26, 2009

Deep Thoughts on Dead Celebs

I swear I had this thought yesterday afternoon at around 5:45pm, before I heard about MJ:

It’s weird that Farrah Fawcett died. I mean, she’s like from the 70s. So we’re almost getting up to celebs from my childhood. Like when George Harrison died, I thought, “That must be weird for my parents.” Same thing when Paul Newman died.

It will be really weird when someone really big from my generation dies…like Will Smith. We’ll tell our kids, “He was a big movie star,” and they’ll be like, “Who cares?” And we’ll say, “It’s really surreal that he’s dead.” Ooh, Will Smith dying. That’s freaky.

So later when Frank got home he said, “Have you watched the news? Did you hear who died?”

I said, “Yes, Farrah Fawcett.”

“Someone else,” Frank said. “Wanna play the guessing game?”

So here’s how the guessing game went. It’s sort of like the dead-celeb version of guess-who’s-pregnant:

“So it was someone surprising? Someone young?”
“Not real young but…”
“Too young to die?”
“And it’s bigger news than Farrah Fawcett dying?”
“Yes, way bigger.”
“Celine Dion?”
“Way bigger.”
“Bigger than Celine Dion? Oh my gosh!!”
“No, bigger than that.”
“Bigger than Cher?”
“Tina Turner?”
“What makes you think it’s a woman?”
“Oh, it’s a man! Not Billy Joel!!”
“No, but you’re getting closer.”
“Oh, no. Not Elton John!!”
“You’re on the right track…as big as that.”
“Am I a fan of this person? Am I going to be really sad?”
“You probably used to be a fan…like in the 80s.”
“George Michael?? I just saw on the news this morning that it was his birthday! Did he die on his birthday?”
“No, I said he’s bigger than Cher…so he’s definitely bigger than George Michael.”
“Oh, tell me it’s not Harry Connick, Jr.”
“WAY bigger than that. Harry Connick, Jr…please!”
“Michael Jackson?”
“Michael Jackson is DEAD?”
“You’re telling me that Michael Freaking Jackson is dead?”
“Yes, cardiac arrest.”
“Now THAT is weird!!”

Then Leo started crying. I said, “Oh, Leo is upset about it.” Frank said, “He’ll never even know Michael Jackson.” But that’s not true. I mean, I was a baby when Elvis died and I not only know him, I once had a poster of him over my bed.

Ooh, I hope Leo doesn’t want a poster of Michael Jackson over his bed. If he does, I might need to get him one of Will Smith and tell him it’s Michael Jackson.

Will Smith is still alive, right? Okay, just checking.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

I'll hug when I want to

Leo loves to give hugs...he hugs me, Frank, his friend John and his bear...only he doesn't always do it on command:

Monday, June 22, 2009

Ode to Pimento Cheese

Pimento Cheese, pimento cheese, you’re good cold, warm or warmer
People either love you or hate you and I fall into the former

To me you are a wonderful, delicious cheese spread
I like you on crackers, tortillas but especially on white bread

You’re chunky yet creamy—something peanut butter can’t claim
Other cheeses like cheddar, mozzarella, they’re just not the same

You come in a plastic tub and although I would look like a loon
I’d very much like to eat you with nothing but a spoon

Mrs.Stratton’s, Price’s or Kroger brand, I’m not picky
But fat-free or light PC, well that’s just icky

I love you as a snack but also for breakfast, dinner or lunch
You’re good with jalapeños, lettuce or celery for a little crunch

My grandma in North Carolina eats you nearly every day
Your nutrients and calcium keep her going, come what may

I thank her for introducing us and helping me get to know
the tasty perfection that is you, oh, cheese of pimento

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Dada's Day

Leo LOVES his dada. He talks about him all the time. And when I say "talks about him," I mean that he says "dada" periodically throughout the day while Frank is at work. And when I come in to get him in the morning, he always points out the door and says, "Dada" as if he expects Frank to walk in right behind me.

This morning, as a Father's Day present to Frank, I took Leo out right when he woke up and took him on a stroll (brought his breakfast to-go). Frank got to sleep until 9:15am! Woo hoo!

Then we took Frank to lunch at a BBQ place--Leo's treat. But Leo ended up eating most of Frank's mac and cheese:

Thursday, June 18, 2009

My naptitude

So this is sort of a topic for the expanding blog but since it’s more about me than Leo, I thought I’d cover it over here at regular old Writinggal:

For about half of Leo’s life, he’s taken two naps—one in the morning, one in the afternoon. Everything revolves around these two sacred sleepy times so if we go anywhere, I turn into crazed/hurried mommy. So this is me on two naps a day:

11am—Maybe if we hurry, we could run to the bank and to the grocery store just to pick up, like, four things.
11:14 (at the grocery store): I probably should pick up paper towels while I’m here but they’re too far across the store. I’ll never make it!
11:22am (in line at the grocery store): What is this person in front of me doing? What? Does she have a coupon for everything? A coupon for eggs, come on!! They’re like 50 cents! I’ll give you 50 cents if you’ll hurry up! I’m on the clock with this kid!
11:26—(responding to the checker): “Yes, yes, he’s the cutest baby ever. He’s 13 months.” Would this guy stop asking me questions about Leo? Ugh. Now Leo’s waving at him. Great.
11:27—(glance at watch which has a low battery so I can’t tell the difference between 1’s and 7’s). Is it 11:21 or 11:27? Please be 11:21! I won’t know until it changes to 11:22 or 11:28. Darn! It’s 11:28!!
11:31am (walking out of the grocery store): Oh, shoot. There’s the roofing guy. He is such a talker. I’ve got to look down and avoid him. Please don’t see me. Please don’t see me. Yes! Avoided him! I love a successful avoid!
Now I have just enough time to get Leo home for lunch and play before his next nap. Oh, I forgot to go to the bank. But there’s no time!! The baby will erupt!

This week I tried to see how Leo could handle one nap. This changes everything. Now instead of rushing through life, I’m all about killing time. Yesterday I needed to keep him entertained from 6:30am-11:30am. We had a playgroup at 10am so I knew that would help. I also thought I could get an inflatable pool at Target. I figured we could go to Target at 9am, get the inflatable pool and leave there by 9:45am. Problem is, it doesn’t take 45 minutes to get an inflatable pool. So this was me at Target on a one-nap day:

9:15am—Well, I got the pool. What else could I do? Oh, Leo needs more pajamas.
9:18am—Okay, found some good pajamas. Maybe I’ll peruse the lamps. Do I need a new toothbrush?
9:24am—(in line at Target): What is this lady in front of me doing? Why is she only buying a mop? That’s only gonna take like 30 seconds. I need to find a longer line!
9:27am—Already checked-out. Stupid silent checker. He didn’t even wave at Leo or comment on his obvious cuteness. Now what? Oh, I have that Starbucks gift card. I don’t like coffee but I need to use it. And they have an SB here.
9:30am—(at Starbucks, almost done with my light caramel frap): Leo, look! It’s Danny the exterminator. Let’s tell him about our ant problem. “Hey, Danny! Yoo hoo! Over here!” Oh, he doesn’t see me. That’s embarrassing.
9:37am—(glance at watch) Please be 9:37 and not 9:31…I won’t know until it switches to either 38 or 32…come on…38! Yes!
9:38—Well, that was a fun game. Ooh, here comes Danny again. “Danny! Hey!!” Man, is this guy blind AND deaf? How does he catch bugs? Or maybe he doesn’t and that’s why I share my home with a large family of ants.

So as you can see, one-nap-a-day has me changing everything about myself: I browse while shopping, I wave people down instead of hiding from them, I engage strangers in conversation…I might even let someone go in front of me in line.

But as it turns out, I think Leo would like to return to his dual-nap system so it’s back to hurried, frantic, unfriendly Writinggal. In fact, he’s currently on snooze #2 and it’s 2:51…or is it 2:57?

More mysterious injuries

On Monday I went in to Leo's room after a nap to find him standing in his crib, perfectly happy...with blood on the top of his head, all over his chin, neck, onesie, sleep sack and sheet!

I was in such shock that instead of picking him up, I did the normal routine of singing his wake-up song and opening the curtains (but my voice was shaking): "Naptime is over, naptime is over, now it's time to play..." And then I thought, what am I doing? He's covered in blood!

I called my mom who helped me figure out that he had bitten his lip. Oh, and by the way, we had playgroup coming over in 15 minutes...and there was Leo, covered in blood. And did I mention that he was perfectly happy?

Here's a picture I took of the happy, bloody boy. But this is after I cleaned his face and neck. So imagine him with way more blood. But just as happy.

And believe it or not, the blood did come out of his clothes! Go Dreft Spray!

Monday, June 15, 2009

The House Diet

As most of you know, I am anti-clutter. If you, too, want to live with minimal possessions, I can help. It means you’ll have to put your house on a diet. Like any diet, it will be tough. It will be a test of your willpower. But when you’re done you’ll never say things like, “Where did I put that George Foreman grill?” or “Hey, I didn’t know I owned a unicycle! All these years it’s been buried under my pile of clothes from 1993.”

First, cleanse: Celebs do it for their bods. You’ve got to do it for your house. Start with the smallest room in the house and work your way up. For instance, say you begin in the guest bathroom. You’ll go through the cabinets, hold up each item and ask yourself if you really need it. If the answer is, “I might need it for Halloween,” get rid of it. You’ll continue through the rest of the house until you’ve filled several trash bags for garbage and several more for charity.

Second, refuse: When you’re on a diet, people will try to tempt you with fattening food. You have to have the willpower to refuse them. Same goes with your house diet. People will try to bring things into your house—either in the form of presents, paper goods or just random crap. In a body diet situation, you would say, “No, thanks, I’m on a diet.” And if that didn’t work, you’d politely accept the food and then throw it out when they’re not looking. While it’s hard to refuse presents, you can put it out there that you’d prefer consumable goods and/or gift cards.

Third, don’t buy more stuff: Once when I was shopping at an antique-y/gift shop (which is basically a store full of clutter), I said to my friend Chantal, “Ooh, that sign that says “Peaches sold here” would look so cute in my kitchen. Do you think I should get it?” She said, “Here’s what I do. I ask myself, ‘when I woke up this morning did I think I needed a sign that says, ‘peaches sold here’ for my kitchen?'” Well put. Stick to the list. And if you want to buy something off the list, at, let’s say, Target, make yourself do one more loop around the store and see if you really want it when you complete the loop. If you still don’t buy it then you’ve got less clutter and you’ve burned a few calories. This diet is awesome, huh?

Finally, maintenance: You’ve got to do mini-cleanses pretty often. Don’t worry; it won’t be as hard as the initial cleanse. If I want to buy two new shirts, I make myself get rid of two. Or even better--three. And remember, aside from people or pets, anything can be thrown away.

One more comparison to body diets: The house diet is a lifestyle. You can’t cleanse, refuse, stop shopping and then go raid the antique-y/gift shop. Unless, of course, you woke up and said, “I really need a sign that says ‘peaches sold here’ for my kitchen.”

Leo Channeling George Costanza

When Frank put Leo's hat on backwards he said, "Hey, Leo, what are you doing manana?"

Now we just have to teach Leo to say, "Manana I'm doing nada."

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Storyless Scar

Leo has a mysterious scratch on his head:

I don't know how it got there which puts us in a pickle: If it leaves a permament scar, what will the story be? He needs some sort of exciting tale to impress the ladies when he's older. For now, we're going with "lion" since that's one of the words Leo can say. Plus, it's way more believable than "ball," "backpack," or "duck."

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Real Estate Rules

I think it would be awesome to be a real estate agent. But I would only show houses; I wouldn’t deal with all the financial stuff. And when I showed these houses, I wouldn’t answer any technical questions like “What kind of dry wall did they use to build the house?” or “Is the stove gas or electric?” I would just keep it on the “Look, a butler’s pantry!” level. Oh, and I would only show $1 million+ properties.

I think I’m prepared for this type of job after watching thousands of episodes of House Hunters. I know all the Real Estate agent tricks:

1. Play pretend with the buyer.
When showing various rooms in a house, never say, “Here’s THE dining room; here’s THE kitchen.” Instead say, “Here’s YOUR dining room; here’s YOUR kitchen; here’s YOUR lanai overlooking the ocean.”

2. Distract them from negatives.

If the potential buyers say anything negative about a room, make an awkward transition into the next room:
“I like this backyard but I’m not sure I like overlooking a toxic waste dump.”
Realtor: “Hey, let’s go look at the master bedroom!”

“Ew, the bathroom toilet is disgusting.”
Realtor: “Maybe so but wait till you see the laundry room!”

“There’s a hole in the ceiling in this bedroom.”
Realtor: “Have you seen the linen closet? It’s to die for!”

3. Anything--and I mean anything--can be changed.

“I don’t like that Barney-colored paint in the living room.”
“That can be changed.”

“I don’t like how there are two tiny bedrooms.”
“You could just knock down the wall and make it one big room.”

“I wish there was another bathroom.”
“There’s room to add on!”

“The neighbor’s house is pretty close.”
“You could bulldoze it down!”

4. Master bedroom closet = great opportunity for cliché joke about man v. woman clothing:
“Look at this master bedroom closet. It’s big enough for your clothes, Denise and there’s even room for Paul’s stuff!”

Denise: “I don’t know if it will hold all my shoes though!”

Ha ha ha ha ha ha.

5. Show off your original idea about kitchens being open to the living room.
“Look at this beautiful open kitchen. This way, when you’re cooking you won’t be closed off to all your guests. You can be included in the conversation!”

Potential buyers nod in agreement. Have they really never heard of this before?

6. House too small? Sell the outdoors.

“I wish there was enough room for a table in the kitchen.”
“It doesn’t matter because you’ll be outside all the time anyway.”

“Too bad there’s not a play room for my kids.”
“They’ll play outside!”

“We sure could use another bedroom.”
“You can sleep outside!”
“But we live in North Dakota.”
“Let's take a look at YOUR butler's pantry!"

Monday, June 08, 2009

Thursday, June 04, 2009

In-person headband advice!

Postcard from Boogerland

Hi! Wish you were here! I know I vowed never to take any child of mine to the soft play area at the mall after my mall-based eye doctor's receptionist told me disgusting tales and dubbed the place boogerland.

But it was too hot to go outside and I needed a diet lemonade from Chick Fila and that all added up to this trip to Boogerland.

We didn't stay long since there were several children in violation of the "you can't be taller than this hand" policy. That, and my own kid was contributing way too many boogers of his own. So grateful for the hand sanitizer pump they had at the exit.

Bye bye from Boogerland!

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

I’ve Seen Sack Lunch. And it stars Renee Zellwegger.

I’ve told you before that I don’t always pick winners when it comes to movies.

So when we discuss what to rent, Frank says, “I bet you want to see Sack Lunch, don’t you?”

I defend all my RomComs, saying they’re not Sack Lunch; sometimes they’re even witty. I really, really liked “Because I Said So” with Mandy Moore. And I’d see “He’s Just Not That Into You” all over again. Ooh, and “The Holiday” with Cam, Kate, Jack and Jude? Loved it.

Last night I saw “New in Town.” It had all the makings of a great flick: it starred Renee Zellwegger and Harry Connick, Jr. It was about a high-powered executive woman who is sent to Minnesota to run a food-making plant. Oh, and she lives in Miami. So natch, it’s gonna be hilarious when this sun-loving, convertible-driving, ball-busting lady goes to cold Minnesota to live amongst the northern losers who say, “Don’t cha know?”

And did I mention Harry Connick, Jr. is in it?

It was so bad it was like watching a high school play…no, it was more like a junior high play. Like when Renee first gets to Minnesota and this scrapbooking lady starts asking her questions about if she’s married and then asks, “Can I ask you a personal question?” Renee says, “Um, isn’t that what you’ve BEEN doing?” in a total valley girl voice.

As I watched this scene, I think I could hear her Oscar dropping his head in shame.

I only made it about 45 minutes into the film, so it’s possible it got better. But I doubt it.

I’m not sure how someone like Renee would get mixed up in a movie like this. Doesn’t she have her pick of scripts? And it’s not like the location was a big draw.

This was a bigger disaster than marrying Kenny Chesney. At least he has a house on an island where it’s warm.

So the lesson here: if I say, “That movie looks cute,” watch out. It might just be Sack Lunch, don't cha know?