Thursday, March 31, 2011

My Eternal To-Do List

I have a friend, Tiffany, who had some hand-me-down clothes for me because she is kind and generous. She told me I was welcome to them, I told her I'd come pick them up next Tuesday.

Only next Tuesday I forgot.

And then the next Thursday I forgot.

And then it rained.

And then it snowed.

For 4 months.

Somewhere in there Tiffany had a baby which I thought was why I hadn't made it over there.

She just brought them to me and although she didn't say it out loud, I'm fairly confident that she was thinking "OK, it's been on your to-do list for 4 months, it's going on my to-do list now". It only lasted on her to-do list for 4 days.

I answered the door wearing my running pants and the largest t-shirt I own. I hadn't yet put on makeup, and "doing my hair" lasted for nearly 30 seconds today before I gave up and let it curl. Actually all of those things are still true about me, so hang on and I'll take a picture, then you'll really know what I'm talking about.

OK I answered the door like this:


Minus the lips - I did not do the lips as I was busy hanging my head in shame and apologizing profusely for my extreme lack of responsibility.

She graciously didn't comment on my clearly disheveled appearance and instead had a real conversation with me.

Bless her heart.

And mine. Because as I understand you're always supposed to bless the heart of the person who looks the shabbiest. Especially if you're gonna point out the shabbiness. And well....it's too hard to ignore isn't it?

Developments

A couple of weeks ago Tommy learned how to climb up onto the couch, which connects to the lovesac, which connects to the chair, which connects to the end table, on which sits the potted plant.

Go ahead and ask why I haven't been blogging, I dare you.

Monday, March 28, 2011

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times

I think that this winter just might have been the most difficult one of my life.
Could you tell?
What with all my whining and crying and tv on dvd watching?
I could.

But I also thought that last summer might have been the hardest summer ever. And now I'm looking at summer photos thinking "things were better then. I'd like to go back to last summer and do it again."

Logically, either this winter was really that bad, or last summer really wasn't as bad as I thought - which would likely mean that this winter really wasn't as bad as I thought either. Only time will tell.

So, I'm tired of the funk, and in an honest attempt to pick-me-up, put on your walking shoes, and we'll stroll down memory lane. Also, I have it on good authority that putting on your walking shoes and strolling in real life will make it better. So....do that too, OK?


2007 - My brother brings his family to Utah so naturally we must erect an enormous swingset.  That is my adult brother whose toes are hovering above the telephone pole. Perspective...but still!

2008 - Josh and I go on a cruise to Alaska. Josh forgets a tie apparently....

2009 - Josh & Amy (and baby in the belly) go camping.

2009 - Remember back when I took regular photos of my growing abdomen?  Even with the blurry face, this one might be my favorite.

2009 - Our first family picture.

2010 - We take 3-baby pictures at Thanksgiving Point! (Thomas & Lucy in back, Taege in the front.)

2010 - Wave running at Deer Creek with the Reilleys.
See? Don't you feel better about life now?

The Last Week

When you're mormon there are a few really big birthdays.

When you turn 12 you graduate from Primary (the kids class) and become a Young Man or Young Woman. And if you're a Young Man you receive the Priesthood. Graduating from Primary is a big deal because you don't have to sing in front of the whole ward on Mother's Day anymore.

When you turn 8 you get baptized. That's a big deal.

But when you turn 18 months the best stuff happens. 18 months is how old you have to be to go to nursery. If you're the kid you don't have to be reverent for the last half of church anymore, and you get snacks and songs and toys instead of spanks, cheerios and ornery parents. If you're the parents instead of weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth, you get peace and quiet and (if you're Josh) perhaps even a tiny nap during church and (if you're Amy) a lesson. A real live lesson from an adult. This is a win-win situation. Unless of course you're the nursery leader. And then you get 8-10 whiny over-tired kids with no parents. That is probably not so great.....

Anyhow, today was Tommy's last hall-wandering week. Every time we ran into someone we made sure to let them know that we would be going to nursery the next time we were at church. Everyone breathed a heavy sigh of relief with us and Sister Royall even did a happy-dance with us in the hall. We're all really looking forward to Tommy in nursery.

Of course I'm also really nervous for the meltdown - Tommy's scared of strangers and alarmingly clingy. I'm confident that he'll scream his guts out, but I'm also confident he'll stop crying eventually. What I'm not confident in is our nursery leaders not hating our guts by the end of it.

But our fingers are crossed. Perhaps the finger-crossing combined with some delicious bribery treats will do the trick.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Rockin' Out

The boys' new favorite pastime is sharing the iPod and rockin' out.

"I'll make a man, out of YOOOOOOUUUUUU"


I don't know if I'll ever get over how much these two love each other.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

To Be His Mother

There are a lot of days during which I am simply overwhelmed by motherhood.

The neverending chores and responsibilities.
The realization that for the next 16.5 years I will not have a day off. Ever.
The crumbs on the living room floor.
The constant contact with another person's bodily fluids.
The whining and crying and moping.
The complete lack of logic and understanding.
The inability to feel adequate.

It's all quite exhausting normally.

But every now and again:
I decide that Wendy's is an appropriate dinner.
I do the whole day by myself, I look around the bedroom, the living room, and the kitchen at night and decide to forgo the traditional "putting away of the toys" ceremony.
I allow the child to throw the washcloth in and out of the bathtub over and over again soaking everything in the room (including the library books) simply because the "plop" of the soggy washcloth makes him giggle and  his giggle makes me smile. Laughing almost as hard as he is, we both collapse on the bathroom floor for lack of oxygen.

Then in the quiet lullaby moments of the evening, that exhausting, noisy, dirty, stinky child rests his head on my chest and says "more, more, more" at the end of each song. So I sing, more more more, while he snuggles his head and his lovey bear deeper and deeper into me because there is no hug tight enough.

Those are the moments I am so overwhelmed with the honor it is to be a mother. The vast amount of love purely flowing between the two of us brings tears to my eyes. I put my hand to his forehead while I sing "You Are My Sunshine" and gently stroke his forehead the way my mom did to me. I say a silent prayer thanking my Heavenly Father for The Experience. Because right now, in this moment, surrounded by the mess and endless signs that would normally scream "failure" to me, I simply can't imagine anything better or more overwhelmingly beautiful.

Those are the moments, when I wonder why, and give thanks that I was chosen to be his mother.

Noggin Juice

Tommy has this Spot on his head on which his hair is constantly matted.

We bathe him every night and he goes to bed with a clean non-matted noggin, but somehow by morning he has The Spot of matted hair.

Josh asked what was up with that (actually I think he asked why I never wash Tommy's head), so I confessed my suspicions that his noggin' is leaking from the inside out. He must have a hole in his head and his noggin juices are leaking through it causing the matted spot. We should probably get him in to see a specialist. It seems the only reasonable explanation to me.

Until this morning anyway. When I watched Tommy stick his hand in his bowl of oatmeal then very gingerly reach up and touch his head with one finger. Right. in. The Spot.

It isn't a stretch to say that there is daily some kind of gunk on his hands which would cause matting upon contact.

It is nice to know his brain isn't leaking out of his head though. Also it's nice to know that I haven't completely lost my ability to panic at an unreasonable level.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Cars

Josh and I went to St. George on our honeymoon. In July. St. George, Utah. I know, stupid. But who cares, we were away and we were together so we were happy.

Every day we'd head to the movie theater (they only put the best air conditioners in movie theaters) and spend loads of cash on popcorn and drinks and watch a movie. One of our favorites was Cars.

I cried.

Tommy wanted to watch Cars yesterday so I turned it on, and snuggled up with him on the couch. And by "Tommy wanted to watch Cars" I mean "Mommy wanted to take a nap".

Here's the cool part - I woke up while Lightening and his girlfriend were taking a long slow drive through the countryside. For those of you who aren't familiar with the show, that's sortof the grand finale. Big speedy racecar learns to take life slow and falls in love.

So, yeah, I slept through the whole movie, and Tommy snuggled with me through the whole thing too. He might have been sleeping, or he might have been watching I don't really know (or care) because snuggling with my little man to a movie that me and my big man used to snuggle to makes me happy.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

St. Patrick's Day

We started with green pancakes in the attempted shape of a clover. That didn't really work out. They looked gross, but there are only a handful of ways my boys won't eat pancakes and green and misshape is apparently not one of them. 

I dyed Tommy's milk green which nearly made Josh lose his disformed green pancakes. Fortunately Josh left for work and didn't see the green lunch creations. 

But for dinner, we had a very green salad, green bean casserole and green chicken alfredo which didn't look as green as teal. 



I have to say, I was pretty proud of my celebration of this holiday since all I really wanted to do was make some ramen noodles and watch 24. So, go ahead, tell me that I'm wonder-mom. I'm listening.

Art

Remember the time my brother-in-law who is a REAL artist made me this beautiful real art? Remember how it's probably my most prized possession and possibly the most beautiful thing in this home? (Minus the adorable man-child who probably the most beautiful thing in the whole world so he's automatically out of the running.)

Well this weekend he invited us to the opening reception to an art show he was invited to be in.



I made him pose for a dorky "by your art" picture because I think it would be a shame if 25 years from now when he's rich and famous he had no evidence of his participation in art shows "back before the big money started rolling in."

I think if you're an artist you're supposed to be proud of the "poor starving artist" time of your life, and what if he had no evidence of that? A cryin' shame. That's what it'd be.

Anyway, if you were wondering if you'd feel more cultured after walking through the Rio Gallery at Gateway Mall. The answer is yes, you probably will.
And if you know Randy you'll be all "hey! I know that guy! I'm famous too!"
And if you don't know Randy you'll be all "whoa, there is some incredible talent on display here."
Either way you'll be glad you went, and so will I.

Hawaii babies

I've never been to Hawaii, but I can only assume that they have wide babies over there. The evidence (onesies the grandmother's have brought home from trips there) speaks for itself, but this is my blog and I'm probably not gonna leave it at that.

This is a onesie from Hawaii (you can tell by how it says "Hawaii" on it). Size 12 months. I took this picture yesterday. Tommy is 17.5 months. The length of the onesie is close to right for him, but the width? See those tiny baby shoulders? Me too. All day long I saw them.


This is Tommy in a 12 month onesie from Utah. The sleeves come up to his elbows and getting it on over his head is a bit of a battle, but I love it so much I haven't put it away yet. See those tiny baby shoulders? Me neither.

So I find myself wondering, do Hawaiians just like their babies in looser clothing? Is this a fashion statement? Or are their babies really wider? Is there a Hawaii baby-child out there whose shoulders are truly that broad, and how did his mother survive childbirth? It seems to me that the only way to find out would be to visit Hawaii and examine all their babies. A job I'm willing to take.

As an added bonus for listening my rant, you get to see my non-Hawaiian baby open his mouth to show where the carrots go. 

video

You're welcome.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Why I Don't Need a Dog

The list of reasons we don't currently have a dog (or any other pet) and probably won't in the future begins with Josh's allergies and ends with the lack of backyard. The reasons in between aren't really that important, but they do exist.

But the list of reasons I don't need a dog anyway, is pretty short.

1. I have Bubbah.

Are you thinking "is he always eating?" the answer is yes. And however much  you feel like he's eating, imagine preparing and sharing all of those meals with him, and then you'll know how much I feel like he's eating.

This morning while lounging lazily on the couch, I threw a ball across the room. He ran after it, retrieved and expected me to throw it again. We played what can only be described as "fetch" for a solid 20 minutes. I'm not kidding.

I just walked downstairs to take out the trash. He whined until I scooped him up and brought him with me. (He might never learn to go down the stairs. That's OK with me.) After walking out to the trash can in my pajamas and bare feet I started to bring him in and he whined some more. He hand't been let out all day long. So I literally stood in the doorway and watched him run up and down the sidewalk for a while, because kids and dogs must be let out at least once each day.

He eats crackers off the living room floor. In my defense, they were the crackers he dropped there earlier in the day...wait - that doesn't really help my case. Nevermind, I have no defense. I simply allow my child to eat off the floor.

He doesn't talk - he whines, and screeches and sometimes even barks. It's like talking to Lassie. Where did the ball go? Good bo-oy. (that says boy....)


There is that tail-chasing business. Of course Tommy thinks it's "dancing".

Anyway, I always thought I wanted a dog to play with and take for walks and something that would bark at intruders. I especially wanted a lab because my friend Matt had one and he laid on that thing like it was a pillow. I wanted that. Now I lay on Josh like he's a pillow, I have enough mouths to feed and people to take for walks and Tommy's "stranger scream" is more frightening than any dog bark I've ever heard.

So I guess I'm set.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

My Pleasing Personality Takes a Brief Hiatus

Dear Oprah,

Your trip to Australia was pretty incredible, but the moment that left the biggest impact on me was when you were standing on top of the bridge throwing a fit about the helicopter running out of gas after waiting for all 300 people to climb to the top of the bridge.

Remember when you were narrating how you (in your pleasant voice) said "coming up next, my pleasing personality takes a brief hiatus and we set the world record for....." blah blah blah blah?

That just makes me laugh every time I hear it in my head (a lot) and I'd like to put it on a t-shirt. Mostly because I think my pleasing personality is in the middle of a rather prolonged hiatus. And wouldn't it be nice if I had a t-shirt that explained that to people who don't know I'm not always like this. (Or maybe I am?)

It just seems like a good idea. But if I do it, are you gonna collect royalties and stuff? Because I don't think I can afford you.

Please respond,
Amy

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Home Work

The thing about working for yourself is that when you decide you want to call in sick or pink eye or skiing your boss doesn't really care enough to reprimand you.

The thing about working for yourself is that when you take a day off, nobody else covered your job.

The thing about working for yourself is that when you haven't finished your work before dinner, you have to stay up after bedtime to finish.

The thing about working for yourself is that when it's running smoothly you feel guilty for taking people's money for such an easy job - then you spend 4 hours on the phone with 3 different insurance companies and at least 7 different departments for a lousy $2 paycheck.

But the best thing about working for yourself is that nobody thinks less of you when you show up in your pajamas.

Daylight Savings

I know, I know we all hate it (or do we?) but the thing is that Tommy's previous sleep schedule (7pm - 7isham and only napping once in the morning) was killing me. Really I think it was.

The child just couldn't go the whole morning without a nap, and the mommy couldn't go the whole afternoon without one and life was just plain too hard.

Enter Daylight Savings Time.

We were busy on Sunday night, and then we were busy on Monday night, and Tommy didn't really notice that the clock said something different when we put him down at sunset just like every other day.

Magically his sleep schedule has shifted just shy of an hour and suddenly afternoon naps are cool.

He happily stayed awake until after lunch (Manwich anyone?) and when I put him down he slept HARD for nearly two hours.

As a result the time period that I have come to not-so-affectionately call "The Seven Hour Stretch" vanished.

Poof.

Gone.

It's only been 2 days, but I have high hopes for the rest of our lives.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Teeth

The thing about baby teeth is that they're just going to fall out anyway.

Plus my baby seems to be doing fine with the 6 teeth he's had for months now. If he couldn't eat or something, I would understand. But he can. He's fine.

So why are we all going through the pain of teething again/still? I just can't imagine a world where molars are THIS important.

Friday, March 11, 2011

The Sissies at the Zoo (Photo Overload)

Sounds like the title of a Bones episode no?

Well, there are no dead bodies in this post.

My brother and his adorable wife came down from Logan to go to the zoo. (Let's hear it for Spring Break!) And sortof randomly Josh was working close by and had a break to come with us. Add that to the exceptionally fine weather we're having and if that isn't a recipe for a super-fantastic day, I don't know what is.

The men in my life were ridiculously happy to see each other.

Taege (sometimes we say it "Tay-Gee" because we're cool like that) couldn't get enough of the pointing and laughing and looking and animal sounds. This kid was born for the zoo. 

Bubbah couldn't get enough of the walking around. He loved it. We were there for at least 3 hours and he walked around for most of it. Sick of winter anyone?

For the first time this year it was warm enough for the elephants to be out (and also the crowds....)
Nate, Wendy & Taege and the big old elephant
Tommy was more interested in the elephants than the camera. Weird.

Me and the back of Bubbah's head.
Some nice lady took a picture of all of us at the Scary-Carousel.
Nate's forehead, Taege, Wendy, Amy, Josh, Tommy's butt.
The brave people picked an animal and got on for the ride.



The sissy-people sat in the grandma chair. Also they are title of the post. So....go us.
Amy & Nate - Nate probably isn't scared of plastic animals who are more than 6" off the ground -  just aware that his child WILL want to get off before the song is over. He gets a pass for being responsible. I have no excuse.
I think Taege would've gone on that thing for the entire 3 hours and never been bored. He really REALLY loved it.
If my mom is reading this, she'll tsk tsk tsk at the next picture because she went to BYU and she knows better than to walk on the grass - or maybe she'd be conflicted because she also grew up on a farm and probably knows about how great it is to chase chickens. Either way, I tsk-tsked and giggled a tiny bit inside when I saw Tommy drag Daddy across the lawn to point at the chickens.



A quick stop checking to see who is most ape-like (Nate!) and we were off to feed our children to the lions.

Taege, Nate & Wendy

Taege & Nate, Tommy & Josh
But my favorite animal of the whole day was this. 

Tommy (and Josh) loved playing with the gigantic rolly-ball. When we grow up and have insane amounts of money to waste on things like this, we'll probably blow it on something else, but every now and again we'll wonder *why we never put one of these in our front yard. Because lookit how fun! 

*The reason is that water features are a pain to maintain. And enormous balls of rock weigh A LOT and any repair or maintenance work on this thing would be so expensive that I can't even think about it. And if we're in the business of blowing money on unnecessary things, I'd rather those things require less work than the necessary things we already have. THAT'S why we'll never put one of these in our yard. 
Maybe we can trick one of the grandma's into tricking one of the grandpa's into doing it. It's probably a really good investment! (pppshhhaawww!)

I'm taking bets - how many zoo-posts before I stop narrating our entire trip and post every photo of the day? Winner can come with us next time and experience it live!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Spring Break Means

Another season of 24. Will you judge me if I tell you we have every intention of starting and finishing Season 2 before Spring Break is over?

Josh coming home EVERY night. Probably even before dinner.

Bike rides in the middle of the day.

Sleeping in (only when combined with the newfound freedom in DST).

Taxes. I loathe taxes. I don't know enough about the rules. Josh only knows that he wants to claim everything he can. I only know that I don't care as much about the end result as I do about the number of hours I spend finding paperwork, justifying expenses and warily watching the refund number adjust with every entry. (Wait? Did we actually earn that money? Do we have to put it in?) This is an enormous source of contention for us. Seriously. Putrid feds.

Lunch dates. With friends and sisters and Josh. It doesn't really matter, because I'm not preparing it.

Chocolate covered cinnamon bears. When Josh is home, I eat more. Also when he's home at night, we eat more sweets. Because cuddling up on the couch watching a show and snacking on something delectable is flat-out heavenly. And we save things like that for occasions like this.

Up

I'm up because it's time to go running.

Tommy's up because he's lonely. (I'm making that assumption...)

Josh is up because Tommy's lonely and I already bailed on the morning cuddles.

Just one of us is fine with being up right now. Guess who?

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Building a Dead Snowman

Well, I can't claim to be a snow-lover and never go out in it. So Tommy and I bundled up and went out to play.

Don't let my hat fool you - it wans't cold. I simply didn't do my hair today. That's OK. You can't tell. 
I don't really know what you're supposed to do when playing in the snow if it isn't tubing or having a snowball fight which caused a bit of a problem today.
I live in what used to be the bottom of a lake. No hills for tubing. 
It's mean for a grownup to snowball fight with a baby. No snowball fight. 

So I decided "we'd" build a snowman. Only Tommy wasn't helpful at all. He just sat around watching me do all the work. Typical.


And when I realized that I could roll a ball bigger than I could lift, I decided a dead snowman was more appropriate for March anyway.


Tommy was thrilled with the whole experience.


But when I let him poke the snowman in the eye, he really was happy. What a strange little boy I have.


Eventually I tore him away and we did some snow-sliding. 


Oddly enough we were the only ones at the park today.
  

If you had watched Tommy reach up to hold my finger while we both walked snow-pants-ed and straight-legged home, me with a sled carelessly slung over my shoulder, your heart would have melted.

I know because mine did at the mere glimpse of our shadows.

Playing

It's 10am and so far today we've played blocks, legos and clip-ons.

We colored and "drawed" and wrote.

We watched and talked and giggled.

We sorted and stacked and destroyed.

We read and listened and pointed.

We sang and rocked and talked.

We've blown stuff up and raced cars and handcuffed each other with links.

We've been bad guys and good guys, builders and destroyers, and cowboys and indians.

We've played in every room in the house, we've done as many chores as we can handle and we watched the snow pile up outside.

It's only 10am and somehow we have to fill the rest of the day.

There's nowhere else to go, and there's nothing else to do, and my poor brain simply can't handle coming up with something new.

What else do you play with someone whose attention span rivals that of the dog on Up?

Sunday, March 6, 2011

On Why We Don't Go Out

Well, the obvious reason that we rarely leave the comfort of our own home is that Josh is never around and I'm a homebody.

But yesterday we remembered the somehow less-obvious reason.


I really don't want to be one of those moms who blames everything bad on their kid....but if the shoe fits!

We went out to dinner yesterday. Well technically we were there so early you could hardly call it dinner. It was too early for even Old People Dinner and too late for even the least scheduled teenagers' lunch.

Still we were not the only ones at the restaurant.

Which only added to the pleasure of having our grabby-little-one with us.

"Would you like a high-chair or booster?" the kind hostess asked.

I suppose I was being overoptimistic when I asked for a high-chair, because the child has to let go of a parent in order to sit in a high chair. Also because the parent's butt does not fit in the high chair.

That was OK though, we eat a lot of meals with The Baby on the lap. But most of our meals aren't served on piping hot plates, featuring uncovered glasses full of water and other horrible weapons within arm's reach of The Baby.

But the real problem was The Baby's ability to stare a person down. If you've ever been on the other end of the stare, you know that Elder Scott has nothin' on this kid.

Do you know Elder Scott? He's a leader of my church, and I swear he can read my soul THROUGH the tv screen or even through a magazine. As you can see, he mastered the Soul-Stare in his younger years.
Tommy can soul-stare with the best of 'em. During the Christmas season I would tell people that he worked for Santa and that's why he had to watch them so closely. Now that it isn't Christmas anymore and his staring most certainly won't precede gift-giving, his staring is just plain rude.

Fortunately the 20-something year old dudes at a table way too close for comfort, didn't mind that he thoroughly checked them out for the last 20 minutes of their meal.
"He likes your tongue ring." one said to the other
"naw, he just thinks my mowhawk is awesome. Just wait till he sees your ink."

Tommy did see the ink.
And the mowhawks, and the green streaks in the hair.
And the black nail polish.
And the tongue ring, and the lip rings, and the eyebrow rings.

He was fine with the men, until the nice old lady walked in. He could smell the grandma all over her and panicked. I think she might have looked in his direction and he clamored up Josh's body trying to get away and started to whimper. (Tommy doesn't like old people and by "old people" I mean older than 35.)

He only flirted with the Latin waitress.

So the scary-men were probably irritated, but acted like they didn't mind being stared at all through dinner. The nice old lady didn't look in his direction again. He probably hurt her feelings. And the Latin waitress thought he was adorable never stopped refilling our water.

Dinner was lovely, and not having to do dishes was lovelier.

Not that it wasn't delightful to worry about which faces he was making at which people all through dinner, but it's simply easier to feed the child at home where he can only make faces at us. What is the appropriate thing to do or say when your kid does something embarrassing?

That opinion is what makes me a homebody.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Oversleeping

Last week the alarm went off so I would get up and go running with Jess (for the first time in a week....ouch).

But then the phone rang and Jess is the only person who calls at 5:30 in the morning so I answered it. May (her adorably baby girl) was sick and up all night again and she was going back to bed.

So I snoozed the alarm 5 times, then beat it within an inch of its life, and it never went off again. Strange

But when I finally did get up, I had a message from Jess wondering where I was this morning and hoping I was alive. I assured her I was alive and reminded her of our conversation earlier. Which she adamantly denied having.

Dreaming. I was dreaming.

Unfortunately I've had no such dreams this week and have instead had to face the fact that I am SLOW. I feel like maybe I'm starting all over with the running thing because I'm just. so. slow. But that's OK there's a neighborhood 5k coming up, and by then Jess and I will be fast again.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Pajama Day part 2

There's a certain kind of freedom that comes with a commitment to wear pajamas all day.

Freedom to eat ice cream for breakfast.
Freedom to catch up on tv instead of cleaning.
Freedom to play very involved games like "I'll lay on the floor reading and you climb on me like I'm a jungle gym but don't get between my eyes and this page" with your kid.

That's why I was so looking forward to Pajama Day: The Rerun.

Only Tommy wrecked it by deciding that today was the perfect day to remind me that he's the boss around here and that some parts of motherhood really stink.

Today was the first (and hopefully only....what? a girl can dream.) "poop diaperless in the crib" experience of my life. Wow. What a pleasure that was.

Clearly that led to hot showers and getting dressed for everyone.

Oh well, there's always next week.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

That'll Teach Me

After having spent the last 3 months hibernating, I finally joined the sun outside for a lovely little bike ride.

We rode to Flying J to meet Josh so he could fill up my wintery-flat tires. Everything around here gets soft in the winter. He kindly obliged. I know what you're thinking "You can't fill up your own tires?" and no. I can't. Because I'm a sissy little girl and I know that I will overfill them and they will explode and I will get a rocket-shaped piece of rubber lodged in my retina and be blind for the rest of my life. And then what will I do? Stranded at Flying J with one exploded tire, one blinded eye and one (presumably) sad baby, I would probably just melt into the sidewalk and die. 

I also don't close the blinds after dark. Go tell your husband how brave you are, he'll love you for it.

So with fully-blown tires Tommy and I rode to the trail and I got all excited about being "back on my bike". As if I were Lance Armstrong returning to my epic career of cycling after beating cancer, and not a squishy mom on a 20 year old bike dragging a parachute baby in a bike trailer returning to what can only be described as a hobby, I rode with my head held high and my lungs-a-burnin'.

Until this Old Guy who must have been at least 75 rode up beside me, slowed his pace pace to match mine and we chatted.
"I've done 18 miles today and only have 12 more to go!" he shared with a genuine-Grandpa smile.
He stuck with me for a mile while we had a pleasant conversation, then he left me in the dust and I slowed down to catch my breath.

4 miles into the ride, Tommy was still crying a bit, so I turned around and headed for home.

We were only a mile from home when a gunshot went off which nearly gave me a heart attack and left my ears ringing. Oddly enough at that exact moment, Tommy got 1,000 pounds heavier and my bike stopped working. I hopped off, to find the elephant which had clearly attached himself to the back of the trailer so I could tell him I couldn't drag him too, when I found my back tire completely shredded.

That's right, I rode my bike so hard the brittle 20 year old tire gave up the ghost. It were SCREAMING for mercy and when I refused to give it, the thing exploded.

I dragged and carried the bike and trailer home. I'd walk ahead 20 feet, then convince Tommy to catch up, pulling dirt and rocks and sticks out of his grubby little fists the whole way.

Remember when it took 45 minutes to walk down the street? Well you can imagine how long it took to get home.

On the plus side, spending 2 hours outside, on the the most beautiful day of the year is nothing to complain about. Plus, my cheeks are a nice shade of sun-kissed.

I like me better in the sun.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Peacocks & Marcupials

Yesterday's trip to the zoo was even better than last time.

Tommy walked around for most of the time. He followed me from one animal to the next, pointing and looking and checking to be sure I was looking too.

Tommy & the Skunk-Monkey
Here are the things you should notice about this next picture: (1) Tommy's "you can't make me smile" smile. Is your heart melted? No? Click on it to see it bigger. Now is it melted? Good. (2) Tommy looks smaller than an infant gorilla, he's not. He's almost as tall as a juvenile and his arm span reaches just above his head. He wasn't into putting his arms out like the gorilla so I don't have a clue what it looks like spread all out.

The last time we saw the monkeys, Josh and I had finally pried Tommy out of our arms and forced him to stand in front of the glass without either of us holding his hands.Then one of those creepy rat-monkeys with the arms 10 times longer than their bodies* came running from the back of his enclosure shrieking and squealing and waving his arms above his head like a maniac. He lopsidedly ran right up to where Tommy was standing at the glass and hit the glass with his hands.

I don't think I've ever seen my baby so terrified. Ever. Josh scooped him up and took 10 minutes to calm him down.

To say I was nervous about taking him to the great apes all by myself is an understatement. But I'm brave, and he's brave and we went anyway.

There was 1 other group of people looking at this big fat beast and he was chilling in the back of his cage, not paying any attention to anybody. After the other people moved on to the next window, Tommy walked up to the glass (all by himself!) and the big ape slowly lumbered over to him. He planted his butt right in front of Tommy and the two just stared at each other.


I'm not exaggerating when I say that Tommy and this guy just stood with their faces 2 inches apart for 5 minutes. Just looking at each other. 

Is it possible that monkeys like Tommy? 

Just outside the great apes building, it was feeding time for the birds. 

We watched Mr. Peacock shake his tail feather and do his best to intimidate all the birds around him. He strutted around like this for a long time and Tommy was perfectly happy to watch the pretty-bird chase all the ugly-birds around the lawn.


A quick walk up the hill took us to the camels. They were tired. So they just sat there in the snow. 


I thought of Nancy and Rachel (especially Rachel) who would've come to the zoo and wondered why the camels didn't have saddles on them, and where was the pyramid anyway? That's because 2-year-old Rachel's camel experiences looks like this.

20100511 - 010

Whattya think Nancy? Would Rachel even think the zoo was cool when she's spent Sunday afternoons floating down the Nile for fun?

While a trip to Egypt and a camel ride certainly aren't in the plans anytime in the near future, many many more trips to the zoo are.

*I looked it up to accurately paint the picture. It was a White Face Capuchin. See how creepy it is? This is the meanest picture google images had.
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