Friday, September 28, 2007

I am woman! Smell me!

So, I know I've commented a few other times about the identity struggle that we girls go through when we become a mom (not to mention turn 30) and although we wouldn't trade our lives now for anything in the world...every once in a while we miss being young(er) and thin(ner) with more time and money on our hands and not much else to worry about other than what outfit to buy next or what movie is opening this weekend. (I know it was a run-on sentence.) I was telling a friend this week about a moment I had this summer where I was reliving that little internal struggle. I was in California with my parents and Carson, visiting our wonderful relatives. One day my beautiful teenage cousin was out by the pool with another young, beautiful teenage family friend. When I went over to them (they were showering Carson with attention) one of them said to me: "You smell nice. What kind of perfume do you wear?"

To be honest, I can't even remember what I actually mumbled out, but I do remember all the thoughts that went through my head. I was thinking first: wow-SO glad I at least showered today! But also I was a little embarassed, concentrating really hard to remember if I had even used perfume once since Carson was born! If I have, it certainly would not be enough to use the present tense of a kind of perfume that I "wear," but rather, "Well, once I wore ___________ on New Year's Eve." Also, perfume is approximately #382 on things I need/want to spend my precious pennies on. I can't afford present-tense perfume wearing! I've thought about that a lot since that day, kind of putting the act of perfume-wearing up on this pedestal of things that a woman who has her act together would do. I mean, a woman who is in her sweats all day doing laundry with no make-up does NOT need perfume. But I don't WANT to be in my sweats all day doing laundry every day. (some days...OK.) So, I have made it a goal of mine to have myself together enough to want to wear perfume at least a few times a week. That means, I'm bathed, clothed and going OUT of the house, where I will experience social interaction with other adults. Howie--thanks for giving us that little bottle of Abercrombie and Fitch perfume as bridesmaids gifts five years ago. I'm using every last drop, and it makes me feel like an active part of the adult world again!

Monday, September 24, 2007

One more Birthday post

First, I want to say that nothing I post right now will be as awesome as the most recent pictures of MY NEPHEW! So, check that out first if you haven't already.

Carson got some pretty cool gifts from his loving family. I hate to highlight one and not the other for fear of hurting feelings. So, I'll highlight the one from his mommy and daddy! ;) It actually came a couple weeks ago: we got him a tricycle. He's been asking for a "bike" for quite a while. You'll see in the video, he doesn't exactly know how to work the pedals yet, but when he actually tries (and doesn't abandon the vehicle as in the vid) he seems to be pretty close.
OK, I lied: here's one gift highlighted. Cute hat, huh?

Sigh. He's such a big boy!

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Elmo has left the building.

We had a really fun day today for Carson's birthday. We had a little party this afternoon for just our families, but that turns out to be a decent-sized group of people who spoil C-dog. Plus, you know, I had my heart set on some seriously cool Elmo cupcakes and decor. But there was only one way to provide this amazing little celebration for my beloved child: send him away. That's right--I had my inlaws take Carson last night and this morning so we could properly clean and prepare. It was a lifesaver! I will say, it is so much more fun when the child really begins to understand what is going on! I'll try to post more pics of the general family merriment, but here's some pics I took with you blog readers in mind.

Here's the Elmo hats you heard about in the video the other day. Doesn't he look happy!?

The finished product! Goofy and fun Elmo cupcakes. Not exactly bakery material, but perfect for a 2 year old's birthday and some very encouraging friends and family.

We start with some furry cupcakes. Actually, it started WAY before this picture, but this is when I got the camera out. These little babies were ridiculously time consuming, and the learning curve for cake decorating is pretty steep, but I still had fun. Have you ever tried to get a true red frosting? I hadn't. When decorating a few sugar cookies at Christmas, I'd settled for a holiday pink. It is insane! Not to mention, it is a MESS. Somewhere between staining my hands orange (the nose), getting red spots on my shirt and turning my sink black (Elmo's mouth) I began referring to the food coloring as The Devil's Paint.

Then we add some little eyeballs made out of marshmallow fondant. If you have made fondant, you know what a joke that is.

Little orange noses also with MM fondant.

And voila! Tower O' Elmo!

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Interview with a Toddler

I like to try doing little interviews with Carson. It's always a fun challenge and even when the results are not what I wanted, they are pretty cute. I mean, to get him to answer or repeat what I want him to is usually an exercise in futility. Also, he really only sits still for the camera if I turn the little LCD screen to face forward so he can watch himself. But what he really likes to do is grab the camera, especially putting sticky fingers right on the lense. This first one was the third try of that morning, and the longest he sat still without reaching....

You'll notice I tried a new interview technique: tape when the kiddo is strapped in! Carson is two days short of two years old, and we've been getting him excited about his birthday. He always just calls it "Happy." In case you can't understand, he's stoked about his Elmo cake, or "take" as he says. Don't you worry--mommy is working hard on Elmo, and he will be highlighted on the blog by next week.

Monday, September 17, 2007

I'd like to make a dedication... vol. 3 my new favorite show, and EMMY WINNER: 30 Rock. I know I've chatted up many of you about this show, because I started loving it when it premiered last fall. I think that creator/writer/lead actress Tina Fey is one of the funniest women in show business, and this show is my new comfort television. We bought the first season on DVD and I've already watched the whole thing once and some of my favorite episodes twice. Last night the show won an Emmy for best comedy series, and I literally gave them a shout-out. Really, I shouted. You need to check it out, because many of the laughs are of the "you-had-to-be-there" variety, and when I describe to you how funny it was when Isabella Rosellini declared her love for Arby's Big Beef and Cheddar, or when PeeWee Herman cameod as a inbred Eastern European's just not as funny as seeing it yourself.

Here's one of my favorite scenes:

Saturday, September 15, 2007

More Paint

Different night. Different color paint. Same fun results.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Another fun first

We have some dear friends with three kids with whom we have gone camping a couple times. Their kids have SO much fun, and get SO dirty. The mom, Michelle, and I talked about how she is totally fine with this, and almost feels like the dirtier they get, the more fun they are having. Doesn't bother her at all. I love her! She's so laid back! I am NOT like her. Let me clarify: I am not a neat freak. My car and my bathroom are notoriously unclean. I WISH I were more of a clean freak in some areas of my life, because I love when things are clean, especially my offspring. I just have a hard time letting Carson get down and dirty. People tell me this will change with subsequent kids. But my uptight nature in this regard is probably why I have never consented to letting Carson paint. So last night we took the dive! We started slow...just one color, huge paint shirt and doing it outside. He had a blast, so I know we'll do it again soon.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Horse Play

My apologies to Henry, because I pulled the camera out after he and his mommy left Jenna's suprise 30th b-day party the other day. And it was one of the first times he was WALKING around with the other boys! The three remaining boys were having fun running around and playing with each other, and being very funny.
I even got a little video of Carson and Nate tormenting Ethan. Obviously, the parents were quite entertained.

I am so BUMMED that I stopped filming, because right after I stopped, these guys turned into Larry, Moe and Curly. Ethan stopped dead in his tracks and all three fell down like dominoes, only to get back up again and chase and fall some more.

Friday, September 07, 2007

Reader Warning: potty talk to follow. Continue at your own risk.

I've often heard the phrase "I need another hand" or something along those lines when someone refers to a specific task. Well, I've thought that before, but never truly, TRULY ached with the feeling until recently in my life. I've run it by a few other moms of toddlers, and they too feel my pain. Imagine first, if you will, a toddler who is so lacking in reason and logic that he is worse that the most annoying and clueless Survivor contestants ever. You know the ones. You yell at them through your TV set because they are beyond the touch of reality and common sense. Also, aforementioned toddler is freakishly strong with an attitude to rival the most rebellious teens. Now imagine the RANKEST smelling poopy diaper, which makes up in QUANTITY what it lacks in pleasant odor. To continue painting this pretty picture, you need to know that said toddler fights diaper changes like I'm about to pull a Jack Bauer and torture the living daylights out of him. And one more thing, I'm sorry, but if you are really walking in my shoes you need to know: this is no solid poop. I have lots of fun sentences to describe the consistency made more horrifying by its mere mass, but I will spare you my fancy wording this time. You get the idea. OH. And one more thing. This is a BOY toddler, whose favorite new pastime is innocently--yet comprehensively--exploring his newly discovered body part between his legs.

Now, when you dive into a battle situation like this, it's not like you haven't pulled out all the stops. Bribes. Promises. Threats. Tears. But it's like putting out a fire with a squirt gun. It just continues to rage. So, you buck up, camper, and just do it. (Holla to my Nike boys.) First, pants and shoes off. I've learned from past experience that trying to save time by keeping those on just backfires, and who needs poo on their Nikes? Next, hold toddler down with left arm, and unfasten diaper with right hand. Then while toddler is squirming, no: writhing, no: FLAILING with shocking strength, I am trying to hold his ankles with my left hand (you have no idea how strong my left fingers have become in the last year) and keep his twisting to a minimum with my left elbow. I am holding those little legs so tight that I'm praying there are no bruises. My friend Diane works for CPS. Please don't turn me in! With the right hand, I take the actual diaper, which seems to weigh as much as this child did when he came out of me, and try to use the small, untainted portion of the front of the diaper to wipe as much of the offending substance off the bum as possible. This is PRECISELY when screaming, thrashing toddler decides to explore--DOWN THERE.

"NOOOOOOOOO!!!!" I scream, dropping the diaper on the changing table in my hurry, smearing fecal matter on at least the following: changing pad, clean diaper waiting to be worn, child's leg, container of wipes, baby powder, cute little basket holding clean diapers, AND MY OWN ARM. My frustration is quickly evident and transferred to my offspring, because he resumes his physical protest of the current situation. (Like I WANT to be here?) I'm in the middle of a sumo wrestling match, and all I can concentrate on are his hands, because his expedition is in a land that is UNCLEAN, people. I abandon all hope of doing something remotely resembling the initial objective with my right hand (although left hand still has death grip on kicking ankles in the air) and dive for the wipes. New objective: must. clean. little. hands. before. going. in. mouth. And then it happens.

Well, actually, one of three things happen. A) and most common: one wipe comes out of the little container, and the rest fall down to the bottom, and can only be retrieved by pressing a clasp and unfolding the wipes, which I dont' have to tell you requires both hands. B) While trying to take one wipe, I get about ten, and they are all connected to each other in a long line, like old school dot-matrix printer paper. Again--need both hands to separate. or C) NO wipes left. At this point "I need another hand" is an understatement like when I read that contractions are like a "slight tightening" in my abdomen. Doesn't quite cover it. Forget another hand, I need ten hands, a new diaper, new clothes for both of us, a stiff drink and a nanny. My frustration and anxiety completely errupts, but by the grace of God (and I'm truly not using that term flippantly) I decide that a room covered in caca is better than an abused child or an acoholic mother. I let go of my death grip, thus getting poopy bottom over changing pad, shirt, me and everything else. I let the child squirm, smearing even more poop, and I do whatever necessary to get those golden tickets: a handful of clean wipes. Or, as has occasionally happened, I ditch the room altogether in whatever state it is in and head for the shower to hose this kid off. (BTW--multiply this horror by 10 if you are on the floor of a changing-table-less bathroom in a fast food restaurant.)

As maddening as scenes like this are, there's usually a very sweet one to follow later so I don't completely lose my marbles. Like the other day when I was absent-mindedly singing a song in the car, and when I stopped singing, Carson erupted in applause, yelling, "Yeah, Mommy!" And it's moments like that when I remember another phrase like "I love you" that is also a tremendous understatement and it keeps me going through the rest.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007


For those of you who dabble in country music stations, have you heard a song by Martina McBride that has a lyric about "waking up laughing"? I've heard it a few times, and although it is a nice, feel-good song, that line always ruins the song for me. I can think of a few (could probably count on one hand) times when I have woken up in a very nice mood, happy to face the day and ready to go. Even considering those rare occassions, I can NEVER remember waking up laughing. Who DOES that?

Also, on a totally separate note, Carson started saying two new things this weekend while we were camping with Trent's family over at WiNeMa. First, and I think he picked this up by hanging out with a bunch of other toddlers, he started calling us Mommy and Daddy instead of Mama and Dada. But my favorite new thing is that he would come over to my chair, hunch over and hold up one finger with his eyebrows raised and say "I be yite back." This was a clear instruction for me to let him go on his own, because if I was suspicious and started to get up to follow, he would hold up his hand with the international sign language for "stop right there" and say "No! Stay!" I have a feeling we're going to have to add "Stop being bossy" to our repertoire of instructions. Although...he comes by it honestly. :)

Monday, September 03, 2007