Thursday, February 26, 2009

867-540 Ni-ee-iine

I know I missed Weight Loss Wednesday again, and I had all intentions of waking up early this morning and doing a Weight Loss Wednesday-Thursday installment. But Something happened last night as I was preparing for bed that I'd like to share, so it will have to be a Weight Loss Wednesday-Friday installment instead.

On Tuesday, Bonehead had to have some sort of lump removed from the bottom of his foot, resulting in stitches and pain. He came home and promptly informed me that the doctor said he should take it easy. When I asked for how long, I saw his facial features contort into something that can be considered as sly before he answered, "Three months. And you're supposed to feed me grapes."

Yesterday was the first full day with the stitches,and needless to say the pain killers don't seem to be working very well for him. He's got this freaky metabolism that means when they try to shoot him up with novocaine he has to get AT LEAST 5 shots before it starts to have any effect on him, and usually he's so sore from the shots he says, "Forget it just do what you need to do." So yeah, ouch.

Last night as we were preparing for bed, he went up a few minutes early. Just as I was turning off the TV, the phone rang. I looked at caller ID, and it was his cell phone number on the screen.

Now have I mentioned that Bonehead makes it his calling in life to pick on me? I saw that number and knew, just KNEW that he was calling me from our bedroom upstairs and asking me to bring marshmallows up with me when I came. And me? Well I was onto the boy. I wasn't having any of his shenanigans last night, by golly.

So I answer the phone in my best I'm not taking any crap from you tonight buddy voice and say, "WHY the hell are you calling me from up there?"

The response I got was some stuttering. And then a voice that sounded so unlike my husbands I thought he might actually be dying before my brain caught up with the events unfolding in my ear and filled me in on the little secret that the person on the other end was in fact, NOT my husband on his cell phone.

It was his boss on HIS cell phone. The numbers are virtually identical.


Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Mirror Mirror on the Wall

My older son is 7 years old, and although he tries his best to be as adult as his daddy, he is long past the monkey see, monkey do stage in his development. My younger son, however, is not.

We live in a 1930's Bungalow. It's small. Along with the charm of the original 5 panel doors and glass doorknobs comes the ability to speak to other members of the family from entirely different rooms with nothing more than a raised conversational voice. No yelling required.

On Sunday morning, as I sat in the kitchen feeding Critter his scrambled egg breakfast, I had a conversation with Smoochie, who was in our living room getting his second weekend installment of the mandatory PBS cartoon fix. As I was feeding my baby bites of egg, Smooch would ask me something and I would answer.

Critter began responding to his brother from his high chair as I fed him. It's not unusual for Critter to spout off gibberish clearly directed toward his big brother, but this time was different. After each question posed by Smoochie, Critter would turn his head toward the kitchen wall (the one that separates the kitchen from the living room), tip his chin up a bit in the air, and respond with his preferred method of drawn out gibberish.

On Sunday morning as I was feeding my one year old breakfast, I had a mirror held up in front of me. There is nothing like seeing how goofy your 'every day behavior' truly is. But judging from what I saw, its freeking hysterical when I talk loudly to my kitchen wall.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

I'd Like To Thank The Academy...

I am an avid fan of The Pioneer Woman's Blog. Hers was the very first blog I ever read. You see, I have this thing for butts. Especially my husband's. "Leave my butt out of this" is another common phrase in my household. So about a year ago, my husband started talking about this blog he'd been reading. He talked about the recipes, and how he thought I might enjoy reading her blog. I blew him off. I had not yet discovered the joys of blogging, and he's reading a WOMAN'S blog? Uh, yeah....I'll get right on that.

And then one morning when I was weary eyed from the late night and never ending screaming shenanigans of my newborn son, my dear sweet Bonehead sent me a link. I felt a kinship because she's fond of her husband's backside as well. Fond enough to photograph it and post it on her blog for the world to see. And all this time I thought I was an oddball for being so devoted to my husband's physical attributes.

From that moment, I was hooked. I began devouring back chapters of 'Black Heels to Tractor Wheels' during my late night endeavors with my son. I drooled over recipes, and loved every one I tried. I even adapted her green bean recipe for the grill and we had them hundreds of times over the course of the summer.

I began to enter her contests, because she's got great ones. I was always shocked at the sheer volume of entries she recieved for each contest (I can only dare to dream to get that kind of traffic here) because after all, a one in 10,000 chance really is better odds than winning the lottery. And besides, if you don't play, you can't win. So I'd enter. And enter. And enter.

This past Wednesday she had a Name That Photo Contest. I entered my suggestions dutifully within the alloted amount of time, and then waited to see who the lucky winners were. I was away from home from Friday afternoon to Saturday night, so imagine my surprise when I came home to check the winner's announcement that I WON!

I was one of the lucky winners chosen from her several different photos. And trust me, my prize is somethin
g I've been drooling over for an eternity but never would have purchased for myself. I even got to pick the color I wanted, so I chose the red one. Thank you, Pioneer Woman! I'm going to love it like a third born son!

And I owe a thank you to my Beloved Bonehead, because without him I would never have known I'm not alone in my passion and devotion to the derriere.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Fridaylicious Snippets

* I hit the jackpot. I have to tell you that fate smiled on me today. I had to go to the DMV because I needed to renew my license (Actually I've been a bad bad girl and postponing it since November because I absolutely DREDDED the thought of waiting for over an hour with Critter in tow. So I'll go tomorrow became I'll go tomorrow became February 20th before I bit the bullet and went.) I walked in, and THERE WAS NO LINE. None. I walked up to the counter, and the gentleman behind it WAS ACTUALLY PLEASANT. He smiled genuinely at me, talked to Critter, and had me taken care of inside of 1 minute 30 seconds. The longest part of my visit was waiting for my license to print and be laminated or whatever it is that they do. I was in and out of the DMV in under 5 minutes, which I think may very well be equivalent to winning the lotto.

* Lately I have taken to calling Critter 'Little Dude', which when properly said sounds like 'Litoo Dood' because it is so much fun to say. And because he's still little, so little in fact that I haven't turned his car seat around yet because I am afraid he might not have met the 20 pound requirement. I'll find out for sure on Monday at his 1 year check up. It really is fun to say. When said really fast it comes out 'LittooDood'. I enjoy saying it so much I would call everyone Littoo Dood if I knew for sure they wouldn't attack me with a straight jacket.

* I have had to check the weather online no less than 3 mornings this week to assure Smoochie that yes, in fact, it will be too cold to wear shorts to school. For some reason, even though he can look out our window and see snow on the ground (Hellooooo, we live in Chicagoland and it's February), he does not believe me when I say it will be cold without checking the all knowing internetz. The ironic thing is that I did in fact wear shorts to my Private Catholic School once when I was his age, and my Grandmother had to come save me. I have no idea what I was thinking- I was supposed to wear a plaid jumper. I have absolutely no clue where the shorts came from. And yes, it was the middle of winter.

* I finally just unloaded our minivan from the Birthday party. We have the kiddo's birthday parties at my in-laws house because our home is pretty small and because we live at least an hour away from the rest of the family. Unfortunately now my kitchen floor is full of bags, boxes, and ironically enough, a 12 pack of Scott toilet paper.

* As soon as I am done with my post, I have to crop and print out a picture of myself. I can not tell you how badly I wish they had double chin crop technology.

* Jason Mraz was in town on Tuesday and I could not attend. I was sorely disappointed because I happen to have an extramarital crush (don't worry about Bonehead too horribly much- my crush pales in comparison to his crush on Winona Ryder) on this particular smooth talking crooner. And I was sorely disappointed Tuesday night because, alas, he did not have an emergency need for Corn Flakes that he had to run to Schnucks for coincidentally at the same time I had to pick up milk. I came back from the grocery store one gallon of milk heavier and one singing sensation shy of proving that dreaming it will make it happen.

* I am aware that I skipped Weight Loss Wednesday entirely this week, and it was not truly my intention to do so. I did step on the scale and I was at 0. I neither gained nor lost. I kept postponing it and then forgot, and decided on Thursday morning when I remembered that I would just wait until next week. Weight Loss Wednesday will be back next week no matter what.

* My cold left and a stomach bug moved in so no exercise happened due to the severe cramping. I'm still fighting it, and hoping it will let up soon. I am growing weary of not feeling well.

* I was making Critter's oatmeal for him this morning after placing him in his booster seat when I turned around and found him chewing on something. Upon thought I realized he was eating a piece of steamed carrot which had fallen into his seat and I forgot to pick up and throw out after the finish of dinner last night (how our dog did not sniff out and devour this little left over morsel I will never know). Realizing that it would be gone before I could get to him, and not wanting to make him angry (he truly has a hairtrigger Irish temper) by attempting to fish nothing out of his mouth because he'd swallowed before I got over to him, I opted to let it go. I know it's gross, but after I thought about it, the piece of carrot had been in his chair for just a matter of hours, really. I've seen food at pot lucks consumed after sitting out longer. I think he'll be OK in the long run, unless some day he reads this particular snippet online and then decides its worth a therapy session.

* I will most likely not post again until early next week since I will be gone until late Saturday night. I fully expect Sunday to be taken up with sleeping in laundry and preparing our home for the week to come. Maybe I'll even put on my headphones and pretend I got to see Jason Mraz live and in person. Have a good weekend, everyone.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

The Bike of Freedom

It was a force to be reckoned with. All chrome and wheels mixed in with a delicious blend of cherry red and creamy custard yellow. A banana seat and high streamer capped handle bars designed to work with me and the pedals to take me to the moon and back. Whenever I would step on and begin the pedal sequence, to my 7 year old imagination the wind in my hair was the feel of sweet freedom pushing me down the block.

With my bike came rules. I was only allowed enough freedom needed to ride to the corner of the block. Faithfully, with my imagination racing, I rode that path past the point of memorization. I knew every bump and every crack as well as the location of every deep edge off to the side of the walk. My little world began and ended with a multitude of daily pilgrimages to that little corner of my universe.

I was only allowed to ride on the sidewalk unless I was along on a ride with my mom. On rides with my mom,we took to the road single file behind her. And oh, how I looked forward to those mother-daughter rides around town. My sister and I followed behind her like little ducklings, learning the rules of the road and responsibility of handling ourselves in a mature and civilized manner. Our world became exponentially larger when we were allowed to explore with her.

Within the protective reach of or mother, we learned the route to family member's homes, how to cross busy roads, and more importantly, how to enjoy riding on tree lined streets. When we were allowed the luxury of a ride with her, there were no bumpy, cracked and peeling sidewalks marring the way and no corner boundaries. It was just the three of us,the breeze of freedom at our backs,and the steady smoothness of the unlimited expanse of road ahead of us.

Whenever I rode with my mother, I tried to be more grown up than I was. More importantly, when I was allowed to ride on the road I felt grown up. I felt at least 10. I soon began to recognize and know my way around town, the various routes to different locations and destinations. One morning after a trip to the town library and much begging, my mother agreed to let me lead the way home.

With two people riding single file behind me, I ruled the world on that bike ride. I puffed up with importance like a pride filled pastry. I led the way down the street, maneuvering out and around various parked cars, now and again glancing back to be sure my ducklings still followed. Of course they did. I was a brilliant leader and there was nothing to fear.

About half way home I looked back to say something to my mother behind me. The next thing I remember, there was a crown of stars spinning above my head and I was sprawled flat on my back on the road. A family full of people outside in their back yard were staring at me like I'd grown a second head. It took me a moment to realize what had happened.

Amidst all my puffing and bloating and leading, I'd glanced back just a little too long. I rode myself without slowing down into the back end of a parked car, smashing myself like a bug onto it's early 80's steel bumper before bouncing off and winding up in a deflated heap on my back on the road.

I wish I could say the first inclination of my beloved mother was to find out if I was OK. After all, this was the early 80's, a decade before the bounce-off-able bumpers of the Saturn car. Bumpers were there to stay. No budge, no give, no cushion. And I'd found my precious bike of freedom in a stand-off with one in all it's shiny glory and lost. However, that was not the case.

By the time I shook off the daze and got around to looking at her, I found her shaking uncontrollably with laughter, barely able to hold her own bike up. Apparently when her darling daughter rode her giant sized ego into a parked car without slowing down, it was funny.

Once I realized the humor of the situation, I was able to laugh right along with her. Running myself at full speed into a parked car WAS funny. And not just funny, but priceless funny. The kind of funny you still reminisce about occasionally even as many as 30 years later.

To this day, every time my mom brings up the parked car incident, the whole thing replays in my mind with the vintage tint of age. On that day, to this little girl, my beautiful bike of freedom truly took me to the moon and back, and allowed me to see stars. I even managed to learn a few life lessons.

Leadership means you must provide the way for yourself as well as others.

Worry more about the road ahead of you and less about what lies behind you.

It's important to be able to laugh at yourself on occasion.

Never let your ego get too large, for it will most certainly be deflated for you without your consent.

Finally, and perhaps most importantly, even something that appears as benign as a parked car can pack quite a punch.

*Michelle at Scribbit graciously hosts a Write-Away Contest each month with a new topic and prize for each new month. The above blog entry was written as an entry for this month's competition.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Valentine's Day: A Celebration of a Year of Firsts

Tomorrow is officially Valentine's Day. I usually try not to get too worked up over what is essentially a Hallmark holiday (Although I am technically female and do wind up getting caught up in it because what female doesn't grasp desperately at the one day of the year when romance is not asked but demanded from her better half? The important word here is TRY.) but not this year. This year(Second only to last year) is the do-all, end-all, of Valentine's Days.

This Valentine's Day is Critter's First Birthday. I'm officially sleeping through the night, I'm officially "nursing" free, and I'm happy about these things. In honor of this milestone event, I present to you "A Year of Firsts" in pictures.

Critter's first days with us in the hospital. Little did we know how soon he would begin ruling over us with his beautiful blue eyes, his iron fist, and a readily available screech that can shatter glass.

Critter's first day home. And the first time meeting our loyal four legged family member who couldn't come to the hospital, Kepler. Clearly, this picture shows just how early he began perfecting that screech.

Critter's first pair of overalls. I love little boys in overalls. I could eat them up. I'd still be putting Smoochie in overalls but a: he won't let me, and b: it might just send off "Children of the Corn" vibes. I'll stick with Critter for now.

First Easter Celebration. First corduroys AND first argyle (which Critter interpreted as, "Why ON EARTH did you put me in this crappy scratchy sweater, mom?" Smooch would have shown his little brother what Easter celebrating was all about, but he woke up sick and running a fever on Easter morning, so he wound up showing Critter how to be a pitiful, non-moving lump.

First Birthday invite for cousin Leyna's celebration. This was at her first birthday party. The first time I held Leyna I fell in love, and was inspired to say, "Lets have more." Critter blessed us 9 months later.

The first time Critter fell asleep while playing. This was MONUMENTAL because it was the first time he actually sat and played without screaming for me to pick him up. I think he just may have given me the time to empty the dishwasher for the first time in months. He looked so beautiful I wanted desperately to kiss him, but I was afraid I would wake him and face his wrath (and screech).

First day with the new Bumbo Seat. I loved, loved, loved this seat. It's the best purchase I've made in his entire first year. We were able to take it with us to different places so quick and easy, and he always had a place to eat, and to chill out and play- no matter where we were. Picnics, BBQ's, relatives who weren't Grandma and didn't come equipped with their own high chairs. Have I mentioned that I loved this seat? I loved it right up to the point after Christmas when he discovered he could wiggle out of it, and it was no longer safe. Now I mourn it and life will never be the same. - This endorsement was in no way paid for by the makers of Bumbo.

Critter's first obsession. I can't say I blame him. Those little dimples on his toes are so cute I could eat them myself.

First Halloween. Every year we make a trip with Family and friends to the Pumpkin farm. It is a tradition we all look forward to, which includes grilled corn on the cob and a yearly camel ride with daddy. Also- first acquired taste. Maybe next year sitting on a pile of mini pumpkins will be more fun (or mom and dad will come to their senses and realize how uncomfortable it is).

First Thanksgiving. Turkey leg, meet Critter. Critter, meet Turkey leg.

First Christmas and the tradition of the Santa Suit. My Mom has had a Santa Suit which all of the grand kids wore for their first Christmas. It looked like Smooch was going to be the last (he was 6, after all, when Critter arrived), so the suit was "altered" as a Halloween costume for Mom's new dog, Shelby. Unbeknown to me, my oldest niece, Amber, was insanely jealous that Critter would not have to endure the sheer embarrassment that is the Santa Suit (she is 14, so appearing within 15 feet of her in public is also considered an embarrassment). She glowed with happiness when she saw the newly purchased Santa Suit for the newest member of the family.

Tomorrow, the newest member of the family is turning 1. The journey of the past year has been challenging, to say the least. But I have also come to know an expansion of my heart, the most magnetic blue eyes I have ever seen, and an unending gratefulness that my ear drums are, in fact, still intact.

I love you, Critter. Happy Birthday, Little Dude.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Weight Loss Wednesday

I have been attacked, infiltrated, and body slammed by cold germs. Or virus. Or whatever it is. Needless to say, when my head feels like it's been filled with eternally expanding goop, the motivation for exercise seems to escape me. I did get two work outs in this past week, but other than that, I have put things on hold.


I did lose 1 pound. And I have come to the conclusion that, sick or not sick, I need to hop back on the exercise train this week. Critter's first birthday is on Saturday, and we will be celebrating. I most certainly do not intend to gain weight, nor do I plan to duplicate my 3 day Super Bowl celebration.

This week, my two biggest goals are the following:

1. Getting back into the exercise routine.

2. Learning how to celebrate in moderation.

I'm hoping it will be a good one.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Sweet Dreams Are Made Of These

There seems to be an overabundance of germs in our household these days. Bonehead is beginning to feel better due to antibiotics, but the germs have moved on to greener pasture- the other three members of the house. I think they're playing the world domination game and are winning. I picked up cold medicine (s) for us a couple of days ago, and wisely chose Alka-Seltzer cold medicine for me. It was an easy choice, really. All I had to do was remember how quickly it kicks in compared to other medicines, and although I hate it, I have to shout out a ginormous kudos to its "effervesence" ability to both clear my nasal passages and knock me out with its beautiful antihistimine.

Last night, after the cold medicine kicked in, I dragged myself up the stairs to bed and quickly fell into lumberjack land while Bonehead read his book next to me. I'm snoring away peacefully when I am snapped back into the land of the awake by the following scenario:


(As I fully jump 3 inches off the mattress and begin shaking) "What?"

"Critter's awake."

I take a nanosecond to process, look at my beloved Bonehead amidst the blinding glare from the overhead light, and begin laughing. "You have GOT to be kidding me."

"What?" With all the innocence he could muster.

"Did you just wake me up to tell me Critter is awake when YOU WERE ALREADY AWAKE?"

"Yeah but (You're not fooling me buddy, I can see your gears spinning desperately here) I don't know what it is you do."

" I go down, walk into his room, and give him his binky. That's it."

Bonehead gets out of bed, puts his slippers on, and throws me one last desperate glance, "Fine, but if I fall and break my neck on the way downstairs, it will be ALL YOUR FAULT."

As I roll over and drift back into dreamland, it's all I can do to keep from thinking,"If you do, I'll miss you terribly. Starting TOMORROW morning."


Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Weight Loss Wednesday

It's not good this week, but I had a feeling this was going to happen. In fact, I had such a strong feeling, I haven't stepped on the scale since Saturday. I will make no excuses. Here are some of the indicating factors I recognized - some I should have been able to control, and some I have no control over. When mixed all together they spell a weight gain of 4 pounds.


I didn't exercise as much. Only 3 days, and not as long as I had been.

I cheated on my diet, not one day but 3 days. Apparently I felt the need for a pre-Superbowl and post-Superbowl splurge as well as the actual game day. What? Not everyone makes it a three day affair? Trust me, this chick is going to do every thing in her power not to allow that to happen again.

Bonehead was generous enough to share his germs with me, so the past 5 or so days I've felt pretty rough.

I can pretty much guarantee that in my weight loss endeavor, every 4-5 weeks there will be some sort of weight gain, which will be mostly water. It's a fact of life for me, and it happens like clockwork.

This week I am picking myself up, dusting myself off, and working on the things above that I can control. Exercise, Food Choices, and Water- in that order. Now if you'll excuse me, I suppose I should get Critter down for his nap and begin working on my February mileage.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

The End Of An Era


It's hard to believe Critter's first birthday is less than 2 weeks away. When I look at Smooch in all his 7 year old glory, I see how fast the time goes, but now that I am facing Critter's inevitable growth into toddler-dom I realize it's not supposed to go quite THAT fast. It seems like just yesterday I was begging for a full night's sleep. And really, now that I think of it, last month isn't that far removed from yesterday.

He's reached some very important milestones on his journey to the big zero-one. He's sleeping through the night now, granted he's up at 5 freeking thirty every morning, but I am eternally grateful that it is indeed technically considered morning. He has three teeth, and his hair is almost long enough for his first haircut. To be realistic, this mom is probably going to attempt to keep her baby a baby long enough for him to look a bit like a girl before caving into that first haircut.

He's my last. I'm going down kicking and screaming when this one tries to grow up on me. I enjoy watching him roll around on my livingroom floor and growl at his toys. I find it endearing that he still tries to pick everything up with his feet. I could watch him plow his face across the carpet with his butt in the air all day long, and I never ever get tired of his chatter which doesn't have any words but contains immesurable meaning.

Although I am trying desperately to treasure every moment of my baby being a baby, we reached a milestone yesterday that I have been anxiously awaiting. The "I'm almost not nursing anymore" milestone.

Let me begin by sharing that this child has been biting me since the hospital. And he's always been unpredictable about it. He'll be all nice and sweet and snuggly until you are least expecting it then CHOMP. Believe me I have been firm with the boy. I may be an all around push over, but there are certain areas of my life where I have a zero tolerance policy. Biting and whining just happen to be two of those areas. And although he hasn't felt the need to gnaw on his buffet table lately, I'm pretty sure he's just waiting for the perfect moment to leave a lasting impression.

Needles to say, I am highly motivated to have this boy weened by the time he celebrates his first birthday on Valentine's Day. With Valentine's Day just under two weeks away, I'm on the ball. As of yesterday morning I dropped the daily feedings down to one per day. I gave him a bottle when he woke up in place of his morning feeding from mom.

And then I Google Chatted with Bonehead that the ungrateful little dude didn't even miss me. So Bonehead planted the seed of "then give him a bottle tonight too, and you'll be done." Now, to give Bonehead due credit, he does not own the equipment (which ironically was the very same excuse I gave when it was time to potty train Smooch-That's YOUR job, honey. I don't own that equipment.) so I tried to explain that it wasn't quite that simple. I explained that due to supply and demand, a mother needs to slowly lower the number of feedings until her body has had adequate enough warning to stop. But I did tell him that I'd play it by ear and see how I was feeling when it came time for the evening feeding.

And at 7pm, when it was bedtime for the toothy little Critter, I felt good so he got a full bottle instead. By 9pm I was beginning to feel the error of my mistake but I figured all would be fine.

I had a fitful night of dreaming about cannonballs being strapped to my chest. And did you know diapers these days can EXPLODE? I guess giving the kid 8 ounces of milk just before bed wasn't the best executive decision I've made recently. There were these little silicone beads everywhere. So I cleaned up the baby, and trotted him off to wake up his brother. They like to hang out in bed together for a minute in the mornings to play, so I used that time to clean up the bed. This included removing the mattress and propping it over the top of the crib for easy changing accessibility. As I was changing the sheet, the darn thing somehow snapped me in the 'cannonball' and made me drop the mattress onto the top of the crib, creating a ripple of "boing, boing, boing" (again) right in the 'cannonball'.

When the tears faded, I promptly went and picked up Critter and nursed him like there was no tomorrow. And after making a pot of coffee without putting any coffee in the filter, I am calling a 'do over' on my day.

After facing cannonballs, urine soaked silicone diaper confetti, and a 30 minute wait for coffee, I feel strangely entitled.