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Thursday, October 28, 2010

Two-and-a-half means no tears!


At Leo’s last few doctor check-ups he’s been a terrible patient. He barely let the doctor look in his ears and mouth and when he got the stethoscope out, forget it. He cried and cried and of course, screamed when it came time for shots.

But this time, for his two-and-a-half year check-up, he was all smiles:



His doctor does all these cute things like, when he looked in his ear he said, “I found a pumpkin in there!” And when he was done looking in his eyes he let Leo “blow out” the light.

Leo didn’t even mind the stethoscope!




Here, the doctor is telling Leo that he must have drank some “tickle juice” this morning.


He didn’t even flinch when he got the flu shot!!

As far as his stats, he’s 27 pounds, 35.8 inches tall.


Here the doctor is telling Leo he has “stinky toes.”






And here are just a few other pictures of almost two-and-a-half year old Leo this past weekend.


Meeting new friend Jacob: IMG_3091 

 With mommy and daddy in our burnt orange:


Hogging the football from new friend Luke:


Tuesday, October 26, 2010

For the Love of Facebook



A while back I talked about my different Facebook pet peeves—the people who give broad invitations to go out (anyone want to go to happy hour?), people who use FB to promote their pyramid schemes and people who think any of us care what they’re doing on Farmville.

I realize now I left off a really important one: People who use Facebook to have a relationship. Some examples with fake names:


Sally Smithers posts on Jason Smithers wall: I love you, honey! You’re the best husband in the world!

Jason Smithers comment: No, you are the best wife in the world!

Sally Smithers comment: No, you are the best, ya cutie!

Jason Smithers comment: No, you are, you pumpkin butt!

Sally Smithers comment: Okay, fine. It’s a tie, my dimpley-do!


Carl Mitchell to girlfriend, Missy Hartwell: I hope you have a day as beautiful as you are, honey!


Jan Salsbury (I’m getting really creative with these fake names!) to her husband, Tony: Thanks for the wonderful meal tonight, Tony! You are the best husband in the world!

Jason Smithers comment: No, I am the best husband in the world!


I’m all in favor of love but do you really need to play it out on Facebook? Even a simple “I love you,” did you really have to write it on your beloved’s wall? Or could you have put that in an email? You might say, “Why should I hide my love? I want to shout it to the world!” That’s my point. Are you trying to tell everyone or just that person? It all seems a little show-offy to me. Kind of Tom-Cruise-Couch-Jumping, don’t ya think? In fact, I’d be willing to bet you’re more affectionate on Facebook than in real life. Soon they’ll have to add “virtual love” to the Five Love Languages and change it to the Six Love Languages.


She says: “I really prefer to show my love on social networking sites. I also like tweeting about it.”

He says: “But I prefer quality time!”

She says: “Hey, virtual love is my love language! Whaddya gonna do? If you want to know how much I love you, check your Facebook wall.”

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Pumpkin Recital

We went to the pumpkin recital last weekend. I mean the pumpkin patch. I just call it a recital because it has that same effect as recitals: are the kids really there to entertain and put on a show or are the parents just taking a bunch of pictures? At the pumpkin patch, are kids there to have fun and pick out a pumpkin or are parents just there to snap photos of kids seemingly having fun in the pumpkins?

Here are some pics of Leo and friends performing--I mean playing--in the pumpkins. (They really did have fun even with our lenses all around!)



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Impatience runs in the family

My grandma had no patience for picky eaters, even if they weren’t picky by choice.  If she were serving a meal and somebody said, “No, thank you, I can’t eat those cheese grits, I’m allergic to dairy.” She would say, “What? You don’t like grits? You haven’t even tried ‘em!” And the person would say, “No, it’s not that I don’t like them. I love them. I’m just allergic.” And again she would scoff at them. And forget being on a diet. That’s simply not allowed.

Sure, that’s ridiculous (on grandma’s part) but I find myself losing patience too. For me, it’s sick people, I—knock on this synthetic wood that my desk is made out of—rarely get sick. So when people give me the excuse that they’re under the weather, I get a little annoyed. Isn’t that awful? I get even more annoyed when they start describing their sickness: “I’ve had a cough for a few days and then last night, I woke up at 3am and my nose was stuffy and I had to put four pillows under my head and then the snot drained down—“

And that’s where I stop listening.

Can you just say “I’m sick” and leave it at that? I don’t wanna hear your belly aching. And if my grandma were here, you’d still have to eat a full plate of grits, no matter how sick you are!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Potty Party

When it comes to potty training, I’m intentionally not reading any books on the subject and not asking for advice from those who’ve gone before me. If I do, I’ll start comparing our potty training to everyone else’s. “But Jennifer Mableton’s kid potty trained in one day!” or “How could that stupid kid from the Y who doesn’t even know his own name potty train himself by age 2?” or “The book said he shouldn’t have any accidents after three days! Why is my kid still peeing on the floor?”

So you see, it could get ugly.

All I’ve done so far is have Leo sit on his little potty while he watches a TV show. I figure, if he drinks enough and then sits there long enough, he’ll have to go eventually. And then, once he does, he’ll get a sticker and see how awesome it is.

But somehow he could drink cups full of apple juice and still not go. Amazing.

So the other day, I had an idea: A potty party.

I totally made it up on the fly. I hung up this “Happy Birthday” banner since it looked festive and he can’t read. The yellow sign says “Leo! Go!” and brought bubbles into the bathroom:





When he got up from his nap I told him, “We’re going to have a potty party! You can invite three stuffed animals to come with you!” He chose chicken, bear and Bevo. Then he asked, “Will John be there?”

The basic idea of the potty party was that we would make the bathroom look and feel really exciting. He drank a juice box and then every 15 minutes we’d go in the bathroom, blow bubbles and then sit on the potty. He’d try to go and then we’d play until the timer went off again, telling us it was time to go back into the potty party. The party only lasted an hour but A LOT went on.

Here are the # of times we did the following:


Played Duck Duck Goose: three

Did a potty party conga line around the house: two (I made up this chant “pee-pee in the potty, poo-poo in the potty”)

Peed in the potty: two

Peed on the rug: one

Pooped on the stairs: one

Drank juice boxes: three

Received stickers: two

Earned lollipops: two

Ate snack: one

Read books: two

Ran through bubbles: four

Had stuffed animals use the potty: three

Cleaned up accidents: two

Changed big boy underwear: two



All in all, I’d say it was a successful (although weird) party. Leo was very excited to show Frank the potty party when he got home that night.

Perhaps MY methods will be featured in a book on the subject one day!




Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Chilean Miners: The rest of the story


At press time, 21 miners are out. Seeing the first one emerge last night was something I’ll never forget, just like I’ll never forget when Baby Jessica came out of the well. There are a lot of similarities between the miners and Baby J:


--Both were trapped underground

--Both were rescued through a small hole

--Both rescues were witnessed around the world

--Both rescues turned into a media circus

And get this:


I figured that out this morning when I was thinking about how much this reminded me of Baby Jessica. Then I thought, wasn’t it about this time of year that the Baby Jessica event happened? I don’t know how I knew that. (Maybe it’s from blogging about her, like, ten times.)

I looked it up and Jessica fell into the well on 10/14 and was rescued on 10/16. The miners rescue started on 10/12 and will likely go through 10/14, 23 years later.

Darn, just saw that The Washington Post drew the parallel between Baby Jessica and the miners before I did. I’ve been scooped!

So now that all the miners are almost out, what happens next? Well, as for me, I will continue to pray the rosary every day until they are all rescued. Then I will add two more days because I’m two rosaries behind. It has been a really cool experience to pray the rosary every day. My mother-in-law, Joanne, told me that her dad made a deal with God when he was in WWII. He told God that if He let him out of there alive, he would pray the rosary every day for the rest of his life. AND HE DID!  I will probably not do it every day but I hope to get it out more often than I did before (which was never, so way more often than that).

As for the miners, I hope that they can weather the media circus they are about to endure with dignity and then get back to their normal lives. However, it seems that these stories usually go more like this:

--Victim is celebrated and given hero-status

--Victim shines during 15 minutes, receives offers of money and fame, makes the talk show rounds

--Public starts to tire of hearing victim’s story, moves on to next story

--Victim screws up: squanders the money, ruins his personal life and/or gets arrested

--Victim is scorned by the public and is no longer the victim

This seems to happen with athletes, especially Olympians (Hello, Michael Phelps, Oksana Baiul). Nancy Kerrigan is a perfect example of an Olympic-victim turned hero turned public enemy. It’s not all the victim’s fault. We love to lift people up and then knock them down.

I really hope (and pray!) that this doesn’t happen to the miners. Take a cue from Baby Jessica, guys. When your 15 minutes is up, just enjoy life above ground.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Things I wish I liked: Gardening

I’m on a TIWIL roll! I’ve even thought of a new format, in an effort to make my point really clear:



Why I don’t like gardening:

This weekend we planted pansies in our front yard. We do this every year and every year, I hate it. I thought it would be cool this weekend but it was hot. So there I was, bent over the flower bed (a term I use loosely because it’s really just more like a patch that doesn’t happen to have a bush on it), digging, watering, planting. UGH!! I was uncomfortable, my back hurt and sweat was pouring down my face. I had to give myself a pep talk: “Okay, just try to plant these pansies as fast as you can and after each row, you can take a break and drink some water.” After awhile, I had to add in another incentive: when I would dig a hole I got to wipe my brow with one of Frank’s stinky old t-shirts that we now use as a dust cloth. Lucky me.

I really only like to sweat if I’m working out. At least then there’s a reward. The reward in this case should be beautiful flowers planted in front of my house. But when I was done planting the flowers Frank said, “Are these the old ones or the new ones?” AHHH!!

1. The “old” ones were half-dead and surrounded by weeds. Don’t these look even a little better?

2. If you think these are still the old ones, what do you think I’ve been doing here for the last two hours?

The reason it didn’t look so great is because not only do I not enjoy gardening, I don’t understand it. I’d like to include a sentence here like, “I don’t know an X from an X” but I know so little I can’t even think of examples!


Why I wish I liked gardening:

It sounds like a great idea, working in the yard. People look like they’re having fun doing it. In fact, I know they’re having fun because they SAY they’re having fun and sometimes people even list it under “likes” on forms.  There are magazines devoted to it. The G in HGTV stands for Garden! I would love, love, love to have pretty flowers in my front yard. I’d love to have the kind of yard that wins “yard of the month” (if we had that in my neighborhood, which we should). I’d love to have curb appeal! Right now, people always think we’re not home. It’s because of my lack of landscaping!


Perhaps when the weather is cooler? No, I still don’t like the uncomfortable positions you have to be in to garden plus I still don’t understand it. And did I mention that it’s just dirty?


Gardening: I wish I liked you, but I don’t.

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

A Day at the Hair


Leo talks really well but he just can’t seem to get the hang of the letter F. So he pronounces everything that starts with an “F” with an “H.”


I’m having hun.

That was hunny.

I’m doing hine.

I can’t hind my train.

I hall down.

So when we told him we were going to the North Georgia State Fair with his buddies, John and Etienne, he asked all day, “When are we going to the hair?”

It was the first cool day of fall, (or “hall”) so we dug out our jackets, brought along our Granny Jo and headed to the hair.

We couldn’t believe our little not-even-two-and-a-half-year-olds were able to ride some of the rides on their own! We moms were nervous at first but they did so well (and screamed when we’d take them off) that we just kept putting them on more rides!


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Some videos of the action at the hair:



Friday, October 01, 2010

Things I wish I liked: Antiques


Sure, I’ve got my antique kitchen table but that was totally by accident. Other than that I am an antique-free house.

As with all my “Thing I wish I liked” topics, my feelings for antiques are complex. I mean, when I see an antique piece of furniture in someone’s home, like a dresser for instance, I think it’s really cool. I might even say, “I think that’s really cool.” Perhaps I might even add, “That was your great great grandmother’s? That is REALLY cool!”

I think a lot of antiques are beautiful and charming. I love that they have a story behind them. I have a hunch they’re higher quality than things I’d find at Ikea.

But I don’t like ‘em and here’s why: People who are into antiques are hoarders. Is it possible to be have just a few antiques? Do people ever have minimalist-style homes with an antique coffee table and perhaps an antique China cabinet?

No. People with antiques always have LOTS of antiques. Their houses are covered in antique chairs, antique lamps, antique hat boxes, antique shelves and more antique end tables than they have ends. Antiquers homes end up looking a lot like antique stores (which might as well just be called “clutter centers”).

As if that weren’t enough, they’re always going “antiquing” to find MORE antiques. Pretty soon their homes are so crowded with furniture and knick knacks that it actually starts to smell like the era from which those antiques came from.

Would I like to have a few antique pieces in my home? Sure! Then I could say, “Oh, that? That’s an antique chess set I found at this little antique shop in the mountains where I went antiquing one weekend with seven girlfriends.” That would be awesome. But then I’d have to be a hoarder. And I’d have to dust a lot more often.

So, antiques. I wish I liked you. But I don’t.