Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Too Early for Flapjacks?

Sadness. My Precious is sick. He woke up with considerable evidence that his little snoot had been running all night long, and his eyes were red and teary. Never has there been a more pitiful sight, especially when a sweet, gummy smile surfaces through the mire. I'm starting to notice a trend: Leave baby in church nursery, baby gets sick. Keep baby out of church nursery, baby stays full of heath. I hate to start thinking of my church nursery as a festering cesspool, but hey, you do the math.

I know, I know. It's not recommended to keep your baby in a bubble ... he's got to build up his immune system ... you don't want to turn your son into some kind of unsocial weirdo because you never let him enter the presence of other children .... True, but my baby feels rotten, and TCBINW should never feel rotten! Hopefully it will be as short lived as his other little colds. Phil and I are the cesspool keepers this Sunday, and Phil might up the pitiful ante if he's left tending the disease-ridden nippers alone.

Interesting thought: I never consider the possibility that my own sweet bairn could ever carry a germ and infect others. Huh.

So anyway, today we pretty much just hung around home where the tissues live, though we did find it necessary to take a long walk in this 70 degree weather.

Spine update: It has now made it's way off the street and onto the driveway. It's working it's way to the front door. I have determined that the people living there are droids.

Finally, I need some advice. Phil has decided that he wants to be more fit (as if that were possible). When he goes all Mr. Goodbody on me, he doesn't like to have sweets hanging around the house to tempt him - all well and good, except that I also live here and have no such convictions. So here's the question of the day: Would it be wrong for me to bake a large batch of fattening, fabulous, fudgy brownies while Phil is off at work, then store them strategically so as to meet both our needs?

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

This Place is a Tomb. I'm Going Over to the Nut Shop Where It's Fun.

Andrew has been exploring his administrative side these last few days. On Sunday afternoon, he decided to give Dad a hand as he prepared for a couple business trips (Philadelphia on Monday, Boston today). Then yesterday we visited my old office (Keller Williams Realty in Sandy Springs) so that I could show him off to all my buddies.

Here he is with Ashley, the new and improved me at The Bunch Real Estate Group. For some reason I have yet to discern, Ashley decided to become a licensed assistant, something I was never remotely interested in doing. I was content to sit at my desk all day with my cup of tea, doing 1 part work to 5 parts harassing those around me. The day of our visit, Ashley was preparing to go to a closing. This means she had to wear not-jeans and sit in a lawyer's office while very important documents involving trillions of dollars were signed. The thought of me ever doing such a thing makes me laugh, mainly because I still feel about 12-years-old inside. The day Phil and I closed on our own home, I had to pick up the check from the bank for the wee bit we were paying up front - maybe $7000? In a bizarre fit of obsessive compulsive behavior, I continued to look in my pocketbook every 10 seconds or so to confirm the money's existence. It might as well have been carrying a half million dollars. Once it's over 100, it's all the same to me.

This is Precious having a bit of a fuss with Nannette and Nan (actually their names, as much fun as it would have been to make that up). He enjoyed Nannette's keys (especially gnawing on the little flip-flop charm that was attached), but got worried when they declared him to be "Under Contract."

And no visit to Keller Williams is complete without popping in on Jill and Christine. There was an extended discussion about eating Andrew's cheeks, after which Christine gave Jill lessons on the football hold to calm the terrified child. Don't you love how Andrew's hair comes to a perfect point in this shot? Now there's a widow's peak that could rival Eddie Munster's!

Ok, I have to be honest. I don't miss working at all. Not even a little bit. Not even when I'm changing a diaper at 4 am and Precious does his wetties all over me. However, I was reminded yesterday that I worked for a really great guy (Michael Bunch, who was busy doing real estatey things when I had the camera out) and really enjoyed being around all these (and other) really wonderful people. I cannot begin to describe all the ways I was loved and supported by this group. I do miss them.

PS - Last night I dreamt that I went to the Olive Garden with Ryan Seacrest. I hope this doesn't taint my American Idol viewing experience this evening.

Saturday, February 24, 2007

I'll Just Run This Through Again on "Pots & Pans"

Phil's out with the guys tonight. He should know better than to leave me unattended - I've just finished a huge piece of pie with ice cream and am currently watching America's Next Top Model. I am so glad I decided not to do that show. Tyra would have gotten all over my nerves.

The weather here has been lovely, so Precious decided to take Shiloh for a walk. We've recently graduated to the jogging stroller, a hand-me-down from (who else?) the Peabody's, and I'm already a huge fan. It's so easy to push, and Precious loves being able to see everything (the other stroller was the kind that the car seat snaps into, so all he got to look at was me). He could ride around for days just taking in the great outdoors and stroking one of the stroller straps against his cheek - so cute it makes my heart ache.

There is something distressing about my neighborhood that I feel the need to discuss. There is a spine that has been lying in the street at the top of someone's driveway for at least two months now. It's just sitting there, 5 feet from a clump of fur and ick. Could you possibly drive to and from your home each day, coming mere inches from a SPINE, and not do something about it? Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh! Just typing the word makes my toes curl up. What is wrong with these people? Move the spine! If it freaks you out (understandably), pay lots of money to have it done for you. Do not, under any circumstances, leave it to haunt innocent passersby and their dog.

Well, Caridee is America's Next Top Model. I hope she decides to eat something in celebration. Sigh. An hour of my life I'll never get back.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

The Castle Ahhhhhhhhhh

Today Andrew and I ventured out and visited dear Emily and her twin girls, Thelma* and Louise*. The idea was that Em and I were going to get a friend's mission letter ready for mailing while our babies laughed and played and read each other stories, but there were other forces at work. While I was warming carrots and Em was folding a blanket, Louise quickly tapped out a message to the others on her tambourine, "The Big Ones have let their guard down. How can we best play with their minds?" Andrew blew bubbles that spelled out, "Refuse nap and freak out." I think he could smell the carrots, vindictive little creature.

In the end, somehow Emily managed to fold all 150 letters while also preparing meals for her girls and soothing pitiful cries. I sat in a chair and watched her. Since Andrew had come up with the "freak out" bit of the plan, he felt he should do it with all his might. When I finally got him to drift off, I was afraid to move, so I sent Emily helpful vibes. I know she appreciated it.

Taking one for the team, Andrew continued to freak out sporadically throughout the day. In truth, I'm quite baffled. Normally he's an extrodinarilly laid back, happy guy, but three times today, out of the clear blue, he started bawling his eyes out. Every trick in my bag failed to appease him - most actually made him cry harder - all except one. Food. Nursing him was the only thing that calmed him, even when it was hours from his normal meal time. And then he was just fine and dandy. It was all very, very strange. As I mentioned in my last post, the baby plague is roaming about, so I got anxious (my favorite thing) and called the doctor. You know what they told me? "He's probably hungry." Funny doctor.

And maybe they're right. TCBITW has been doing all kinds of new things just in the last couple weeks. He started rolling from back to tummy, then only a few days later I find him pulling his little knees up under himself and rocking like he wants to crawl. He's gotten extremely loquacious, going from howling vowel sounds to the much more sophisticated "babababa" and "lalalalala". He's almost sitting up by himself and has become completely obsessed with drinking water out of my cup. Perhaps he's also hit some massive growth spurt and needs to eat every 90 minutes. I half expect to find a 5'9" baby in the crib tomorrow.

In closing I must humbly thank my friend Amelia for the absolutely beautiful quilt she made for My Precious. I love it!!! Just look at the bunnies! I cannot, in my wildest imaginings, figure out when she had time to do this. This woman is currently working as a nurse - full time, night shift - is the mother of a busy toddler - no nannie or day care - and is in her third trimester of a twin pregnancy. She's quilting for friends. I'd be sqatting in a dark corner, rocking and humming "Tainted Love" while waiting for the nice men in white jackets.

*Names have been changed to protect the innocent.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

It's Pretty Much My Favorite Animal ... Bred For It's Skills in Magic

I did a very brave thing yesterday. I babysat Consuela*, an adorable little wisp of a 9-month-old who enjoys bouncing to music and using her 4 teeth to gnaw festive designs into table legs. You wonder why I consider this brave, and I will tell you. Consuela possesses within her tiny frame a frightening power ... Consuela can crawl. As I prepared for her arrival, covering the jagged edges of the fire place hearth and moving the family AK-47 to a higher shelf, I envisioned a day of frantic races to every electrical socket in the house, me coming in 2nd with Andrew slung upside down over one shoulder. I figured if I paused long enough to blow my nose, I'd turn to find Consuela scrambling herself some eggs in the kitchen. And what about the stairs?! Blast those deadly stairs!

Well, I have to confess, it was sooooo much easier than I had anticipated. First of all, Phil stayed with me long enough to put Precious down for his morning nap whilst I acclimated Consuela to her new surroundings. (Have I mentioned how much I love that man?) Then she also took a nap, leaving me with about an hour of complete peace and quiet. This confused me at first, but I was glad for the time to update Shiloh's pedicure and catch up on some Jerry Springer. Even when both babies were awake, it was totally doable. They were good as gold and quite adorable. Andrew stared in fascination at Consuela's comings and goings, and Consuela had a glorious time chasing Shiloh from one end of the room to the other. And she never did shift into warp speed or figure out the stairs. Maybe she was lulling me into complacency so she can really freak me out next time.

I was brave again today and hosted the mommy/baby playgroup Andrew and I attend every week. We had a delightful time with the 2 mommies + 2 babies that were able to come - this down from the guest list of about 14 or so, since the baby plague has apparently come to Atlanta.

Speaking of disinfecting things, I noticed this warning on the back of a bottle of Lysol Food Surface Sanitizer: Hazardous to humans and domestic animals. So I guess if you're sanitizing a food surface for, say, a zebra or a hydrangea bush, then this is the product for you.

Why do I even try?

*Name has been changed to protect the innocent.

Monday, February 19, 2007

I'm Not Saying I'd Like to Build a Summer Home Here, But the Trees Are Actually Quite Lovely

On Saturday night, Phil and I went to the Shakespeare Tavern to see Romeo and Juliet in celebration of Valentine's Day. This evening of romance was made possible by dear Uncle Robert who took care of The Precious for us. And though we didn't come home 'til around 11:30, and Andrew decided that eating supper and going to bed was for girls, Uncle Robert was nothing but gracious. Uncle Robert is awesome. Uncle Robert is the kind of guy you meet for the first time and 10 minutes later think to yourself, "I think I'd like to give this man one of my kidneys." Not to say that he looks sickly or anything - I'm certain all of his internal organs are in fine working order - it's just that you quickly determine that this is one heck of a human being and you'd like to do something rather fabulous for him so that he'll be your friend.

Lucky for us, all it took was an Almond Joy.

Anyway, the play really cool. You have to eat English tavern food, which is unfortunate (I ended up consuming something that looked like one of Sofie's hairballs wrapped in pastry), but all was forgotten when we saw ALTON BROWN SITTING BEHIND US! Who is Alton Brown?! Gasp. Why, Alton Brown is the host of the Food Network's Good Eats as well as the Iron Chef's play-by-play guy. You may now conclude that we are geeks beyond measure, but we think he's crazy funny. Actually, it's pretty obvious that Phil has a non-romantic-man-crush on him. (True Story: When we discovered that Alton Brown lives and films out of Atlanta, I asked Phil if he was conscious of the fact that he might actually run into him at some point. "Why do you think I floss everyday?" he replied with a straight face.)

So Alton Brown was there to perform the prologue, and did a mighty fine job. Then he watched the whole show from a table 4 feet to my left. Phil and I plotted ways to get him to notice us, certain that if he became aware of our charm and wit, he'd hasten to our side and ask us to be on one of his programs. I loudly discussed my meal using my most impressive culinary vernacular ("I think my meat pie just moved. Please pass me your knife.") while Phil visualised scenarios that would allow him to shake his hand and still look cool. In the end, Phil got to meet his hero and I got apple strudel. It was a good time.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

It Sounds As Though He Eats an Alarming Amount of Custard!

Andrew was baptised one week ago today. Phil and I were both surprised to have gone that route, both leaning heavily towards Believer's Baptism until recently, but after much reading, praying and talking with church leaders, we felt very peaceful about this decision. Those Presbyterians will getcha! It was a very lovely time for us as a family, and we were so pleased to share the time with Nannie and Papa (Phil's parents) as well.

This Sunday is also a milestone in that it's the first time The Precious used his highchair! We started solid food with him a few weeks ago and have been using everything from laps and bouncy seats to the exersaucer to contain him during mealtime. I was sure he wasn't ready for the big boy high chair, but as is often the case, I was wrong.

We did make a few modifications. You see, we were fortunate enough to procure the wooden highchair Phil used as a baby from his parents. Beautiful at first glance, but upon closer observation we found it to be just too classy. "What this bad boy needs is some ducks," we exclaimed. "Big ones. And maybe a little fringe." Ultimately, I'm just thrilled not to be sitting on the kitchen floor next to the exersaucer trying to keep Precious from sliming the entire apparatus with oatmeal fingers. Thus far, he's not been a huge fan of my cooking. He tolerates oatmeal, hates squash, likes sweet potatoes and hates carrots. Ironically, I find he does like to stow away any extra in his left nostril, just in case.

Saturday, February 17, 2007

It's Pretty Soon To When I Get Here

After considerable self-analysis, I am vowing never to vow anything again. I'm just not good at it. Example: Years ago, after attending my 185,422nd baby shower, I vowed that I was never stepping foot in a Babies 'R' Us store again. This rash statement was made after spending 3 hours wandering around looking for Fairy Princess Baby Girl Burp Cloth # 12-B17. I had a headache, had lost one of my contact lenses, and was with my husband, who transformed into Joseph Stalin upon crossing the threshold.

I shared these feelings with several friends, stating piously that no one needed 6 rows of receiving blankets to choose from - simplicity is best! - and that Target alone would be enough for me. Each friend smiled knowingly, patted me on the knee, and declared that I would most certainly change my mind when I had my own papoose on the way. This only stirred the fires of my hatred for this store. It now represented everything that was wrong with humanity with it's excess, it's anxiety-inducing safety equipment, and it's row upon row of hideous plastic toys. I referred to it only as The Bad Store and it became my mission to prove that one could actually birth a child in this country without registering there. I succeeded and marveled at my own asceticism as I proudly stacked my Target gift receipts.

And then it happened. I foolishly tried to buy a changing pad from Target. Apparently Target babies don't get their diapers changed, because 7 weeks and 12 stores later I was still changing Andrew on the floor. They also carried only 3 pieces of boy clothing, had never heard of burp cloths, and mysteriously cancelled one of my online orders. I hated Target.

Out of desperation, I sheepishly entered The Bad Store, and as the electric doors parted, angels sang. This store was amazing! I skipped through row upon row of beautiful receiving blankets. I spent hours perusing the boy clothes. They even had changing pads! Lots of changing pads! I took a moment to mourn the glorious items I might have requested had it not been for my pride, then moved on to caress the diaper bags.

Instead of learning my lesson, I vowed in deep and ominous tones that I was never going to own one of those wretched Excersaucers. Only a real git would allow their entire living space to be eaten by one of those disgusting toys. Now look to your left (my right, as I am actually inside your computer right now). My dear friends Allen and Gillian parted with their very own piece of odious plastic and it now sits proudly wedged in the doorway between our kitchen and the dining room. (I tried but failed to think of a more awkward place to put it.) Now, instead of holding Andrew on my hip while cooking molten hot meals, I put him here, in his lab, where he gets a very serious look on his face and swivels around in his seat, pushing a variety of buttons and pausing only to deeply contemplate his next move. I can almost hear his thoughts: If I could just get my hands on Mommy's iPod, a bit of string, and the antenna from my monitor, then my time machine would be complete.

Side note. We love the Peabodys (that would be Allen and Gillian). They not only have lent us a considerable load of baby paraphernalia (including the totally fly onesie Andrew is sporting at the top of this post), but have also been the kind of dear friends to us that make Atlanta feel like home. Allen is in medical school and has just finished interviewing for his residency placement. I have just discovered that they have yet to decide which location to rank as their #1 choice, and I'm thinking Atlanta's the ticket. I feel this so strongly that I've decided to write the haiku in their honor in a shameless attempt to sway their decision.

Peabody don't leave

Vanderbilt's a sack of trash

We'll bake you a cake

I encourage all of you out there who know and love the Peabodys to post your own haiku. Actually, even if you've never met Allen and Gillian and you think Peabody sounds like a made-up last name, feel free to contribute. Don't been intimidated by mine, which I realize is quite good. All that is involved in haiku-making is 3 lines, the first being 5 syllables long, the second 7, and the third 5. Now off with you, laddies, and be lively.

Friday, February 16, 2007

Like Flaming Globes, Ziegmun!

Let me explain. No, there is too much. Let me sum up. This breathtaking bit of Internet space has been created specifically for Nana, Nannie, Great-Nanabai, Auntie, Auntie & Auntie. And perhaps a smattering of other relatives, but only for when the cable's out, the car has 4 flat tires and all other reading material in the house has suddenly burst into flame. If you were innocently googling "scooter bicks," happened upon this page, and you're not immediately overcome by the pictures of THE CUTEST BABY IN THE WORLD, feel free to back out as quickly as your mouse will allow. Or, if you've been sent to this site by, say, me, because you have been personally introduced to THE CUTEST BABY IN THE WORLD, and yet you have a life and find that you can't bear to look at one more blog, you also have my permission to leave. I probably will never know.

Ok, now that that's out of the way, on to the juicy stuff. Andrew (also known here as TCBITW or Precious) went in for his 6 month checkup this week. Thankfully, he continues to be as healthy as an ox, though he complained bitterly this morning when I attempted to hook him up to the wheel barrow to haul some (very small) sticks from the front yard. Lazy loaf. Anyway, he is now weighing in at 16 lb. 9 oz. and is 26.25 inches long. This is like, 25th percentile people! You'd think from the comments I get that there has never been such an enormous baby in the history of the universe. Just 'cause the kid has some cheeks doesn't mean that we have to go to the Big & Tall store to get his onesies. He handled his shots bravely - only 30 seconds of mind-blowing screeching until Daddy fixed it all with some flying and a gumdrop (what we call his pacifier). I was also relieved to discover that I had not, in fact, turned his crib into The Realm of Death by Asphyxiation by putting in a bumper pad. Whew.

In other news, I would like for the world to know that I am personal friends with Chris Sligh, of American Idol fame. Yeah, he and I are like this (I'm holding up 2 tightly wound fingers). And if you also know him and you mention my name, don't be fooled by the blank look. He's funny like that.

Ok, so not exactly like this, but he is really good friends with my husband's sister. Really. And his mom. And I hung out with him some, like, maybe 5 years ago at Phil's family's house, and he sang for us and stuff. AND (you might want to sit down) he put out a CD years ago ... and it has my name in it. Yeah. I'm practically famous. If you come over to my house and pay me money, I'll let you see it. But you can't touch it. I'm planning on funding Andrew's higher education by selling it on Ebay.

I need to end this delightful entry and go save my son. He's rolling closer and closer to a massive pile of laundry that might be even more dangerous than the bumper pad. A huge "thank you" to Nana and Nannie who sent the most adorable Valentine's Day cards a little boy could ever eat.