Tuesday, September 30, 2008

He Also Said He Invented Aluminum Foil. He's Delusional.

Since none of my normal human pants fit me (yes, I'm only 11 weeks) and things labeled "maternity" make me look like I knocked over John Candy and stole his clothes, I'm living vicariously through Andrew's fashion these days. Doesn't he look smashing in his little silk Chinese wambones? Phil got those for him last summer during a missions trip and he's finally grown into them. I'm so afraid he'll leak wetties on them during the night that I haven't let him sleep in them, which seems like such a shame. Perhaps I should lighten up. I mean, what's worse - letting them get wet or saving them for the grand purpose of hanging in his closet?

Andrew's snake shirt gets multitudinous complements whenever he wears it - fabulous birthday gift from his friend Spartacus. Though he usually just stares down at the shirt when people ask him what's on it, he will oblige with a great hiss when asked what the snake says.

While Phil was traveling for work last week, I spontaneously decided to meet up with my parents and Bradley in the Great Smoky Mountains. Nibblet's first road trip! We only got to stay for about 24 hours, but it was such a lovely spot and wonderful to spend even a little time with the family. My mom and dad are thoroughly enjoying having Bradley home for a spell before he flys out to Iraq in a couple weeks (we're trying not to think about that much).

Here's The Precious watching some good old Andy Griffith with his Pa (that's what he's calling my dad now) after a spectacular bubble bath in the mountain cabin.

We hiked to a small waterfall - it was all so beautiful and peaceful. Made me want to pack my bags and leave city life in the dust. This picture was taken after Uncle Bradley climbed to the top of the fall, then unceremoniously slid down that super steep rock face (right behind my head). A man approached as this was happening and ran up trying to catch him - I'm sad I didn't see the whole thing (Mom and I were trying not to watch him as, oddly, he tends to make us nervous), but I'm pretty sure it was hilarious. In the end, Bradley wasn't bleeding much and appeared to be quite pleased with himself.

Oh my heavens, I look like a man. Why don't people tell me these things?

Here's Andrew with his Nana (or Nina) sipping on some cranberry juice and taking in all the glorious nature.

Inspired by his first viewing of Andy Griffith, Andrew decided he absolutely had to take his shoes off and put his feet in the cold mountain stream. He didn't enjoy the water quite as much as he'd anticipated, but he did not want those shoes back on and so walked the trail for while like the hillbilly boy he is in his heart.

In other news, Andrew has been eating much better - trying new foods and everything! And I'm feeling much better, so much so that I went in to see the doctor to make sure my sweet Nibblet was OK. He is! My paranoia scored me an extra ultrasound, and I got to see him jumping around in there - the best.

And I'm really excited about autumn. I'm going to make myself wait until the weather drops below 85 degrees before I run out to buy pumpkins and fall leaf arrangements, so until then I guess I'll just have to enjoy watching the creepy spiders spin themselves all over the yard.

Monday, September 22, 2008

All I Want To Do Is A Zoom Zoom Zoom

Here they are - the reason I named our local mall "The Booty Mall." I asked Andrew to smile and, as he is prone to do these days, he squeezed his eyes shut. I think he was trying to block it all out. Prepare yourself for my Ode To The Booty Mall.

Oh Booty Mall, oh Booty Mall, your belt buckles are so flashy.
Oh Booty Mall, oh Booty Mall, you don't require much cashy.

Alright, I won't torture you with more rhymes. Not my gift. But I'm pretty sure any of those belt buckles would make a mighty fine garnish to the booty pants.

Going out fancy? Trade in your pants for a booty dress. I don't know if you can make out the ads in the background, but they're appalling. Kind of a switch from the Disney Store that used to occupy this space back in the good old days.

This is my very favorite ad of all times. It's been hanging in one of the store windows for years.

Macy's, our classiest store, really let me down this week. Just look at what I found displayed in the middle of the first floor. LOOK AT IT! I was all confused for a second. "Hmmmm," I wondered, "I thought it was only September. Why am I wearing shorts? What the heck month is it, anyway? Where have I been? What is my name?" Then I saw Martha haunting the display and realized it must be for Halloween.

With all it's quirks, this mall is such a great spot to roam when we need to get out of the house on a rainy day. Shockingly, it's never crowded, but it's still a great place to meet a new friend. (He cried when she had to go.)

The Reactrix (floor video game thing that responds to movement) is always a big hit ... when it's working.

Our new Kohl's has wonderful sales on children's clothes and provides the best mall bathroom ever.

And in the middle of the mall is an ah-ticka-ticka that overlooks the fountain. Andrew would be thrilled just to ride this up and down for hours. There's also a Chick-Fil-A and a great sit-down restaurant called Crescent Moon. What's not to love?

Monday, September 15, 2008

They Say I Smell, But That's Not My Fault. It's The Dirt.

I'm so excited to share with you the very first picture of my Nibblet! Yes, Andrew is going to be a big brother!! He now points to my tummy (already expanding at a astounding rate) and says "baby," and I'm pretty sure he knows exactly what's going on. I'll be 9 weeks along tomorrow, due April 21st. Since the photo above, Nibblet has been busy growing an appendix, eye lids and elbows, and just generally wearing Mommy out. I've felt a little greener this time around and find myself drawn to anything double-dipped in sodium. (Food eaten so far today: Toast, Ramen noodles and Saltines ... By the way, did you guys know they make low-salt Saltines?! What freak came up with that idea?) Shiloh, already prone to do this occasionally, now takes every opportunity to sit next to me and lick my arm. He'd do this for 30 minutes straight if I let him, which makes me a little worried that I'm turning myself into a human salt lick. Deer and Guinea pigs are going to start pouring out of the forests to follow me, glassy-eyed.

Andrew is much recovered after the excitement of last week, though still not much of an appetite. In fact, he gets quite put out with me suggesting he eat anything other than chocolate pudding or raisins. Here's a photo shoot from supper last night to give you an idea what meal-times are like at the moment:

No, I didn't give him liver and onions. It was, in fact, fish sticks (one of his ...used to be ... favorites) and broccoli (a vegetable he actually tolerates) and he never ate it. Not one bite. I saved it and tried again at lunch today because I'm so tired of throwing away food. Strike two. I plan to pull it out at tea time today, as I'm feeling committed at this point, but I have to say I'm getting pretty sick of looking at it. Not to mention the pitiful cries of "All done!" as soon as he looks at it. Kids can live on chocolate pudding, right?

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

A Little Mouse With Clogs On

Well, Monday wasn't my favorite day ever. The picture above was taken at about 8pm after spending the entire afternoon in the emergency room.

It all started innocently enough. We were having a lovely zoo date with our friends Holly and Connor. The little guys were quite taken with a small playground area that had tunnels you could crawl through while pretending to be naked mole rats (by the way, Holly's expression at seeing the actual naked mole rats was the highlight of my whole day - thanks for that, Holly!) Then Andrew fell and bumped his head. It looked like it really hurt, but it wasn't a big fall - most likely just from one of the tunnels to the landing ... maybe a foot high. I gave him a juice box to help ease the pain, and within a minute he was asking "try again?" and got right back in the tunnels. No problem!

A few minutes later, while gazing lovingly as some gigantic snake, Precious threw up his juice and breakfast apple all over me. Concern. Otherwise, he seemed OK, so I didn't totally freak out, but I did call Gwen, our friend and PA, who said, "One throw up - fine. If he throws up again, go to the ER." OK. I put Andrew in his stroller and we sit down to have lunch. Not only does he have zero interest in his grapes (!), he starts acting like he's going to fall asleep. In the middle of the zoo. At 11:30 am. Not normal. I started feeling uneasy and decided to head on home, calling the doctor on my way out. They were closing for lunch, but wanted to see him at 1:30.

Then he throws up again. A lot more than the first time. Panic! I think it would be pretty funny to have some video of me running (as well as I could) across the zoo parking lot with Andrew draped over one shoulder and me dragging his stroller with the other arm. I am not coordinated, so it must have been a sight. Anyway, I think my most frightening moment was driving with considerable speed down I-285 while desperately trying to keep Andrew awake (patting his legs behind me and begging him to sing the "ghetto" song from the Elvis CD that he loves) while also talking with the ER nurse on my cell phone. Pay attention when you're driving, people! You never know when some nut like me might be driving next to you.

So I risk life and limb to get us to the ER (across town from the zoo) so that we can sit there and wait. And wait. For hours. They did tell me it was alright for him to sleep, so that was a relief. He sat for hours, listless in my arms or sleeping. When we finally did get seen, our doctor was super nice. Everything he was able to check on the outside looked fine as far as head injury was concerned, he just wanted to see if he'd perk up and eat something and play. No dice. He took a couple little sips of juice and nibbled pitifully on the corner of a graham cracker, then put his head down and fell asleep again.

Time for a CT scan. Fortunately, they didn't have to sedate him. Unfortunately, this did perk him up and he screamed and begged to be "all done." :-(

But no head trauma!! We are so grateful that the Lord spared us that pain. As completely bizarre as this is, it appears our Precious hit his head, it hurt, then moments later he began presenting symptoms of a virus. This diagnosis was confirmed as Andrew spiked a fever while we were waiting for his results.

Yesterday we recovered while trying out our new finger paints.

Today, his appetite is much improved and he hasn't felt feverish at all. We even went on a thrilling outing to the post office and Kroger.

Just for fun, let me give you a couple examples of recent conversations with my boy:

Mommy: Hey, let's go to the zoo today!

Andrew: Go pa?

Mommy: Yes, we can go potty while we're there.

Andrew: Fush?

Mommy: Yes, you can flush.

Andrew: Wass han?

Mommy: Yes, you can also wash you hands.

Mommy: Would you like to go to the grocery store with me?

Andrew: Walk?

Mommy: Yes, you can walk this time.

Andrew: Go pa?

Mommy: Yes, you can go potty while we're there.

Andrew: Fush?

Mommy: Yes, you can flush.

Andrew: Wass han?

Mommy: Yes, you can also wash you hands.

Mommy: Would you like any more toast?

Andrew: No.

Mommy: OK (moves to throw it away)

Andrew: Ahhhhhhhhh!

Mommy: Do you want to eat it?

Andrew: No.

Mommy: Well, then I'm going to throw it away.

Andrew: Ahhhhhhhhhhh!

Mommy: Are you sure you don't want your toast?

Andrew: No.

Mommy: If you're all done with it, I'm going to put it away.

Andrew: Ahhhhhhhhhhhhh!

Mommy: Hey, look at this toast. Do you want to eat it?

Andrew: signs "please"

Mommy: Alrighty, then I'll put it right back here on the table.

Andrew, pleased with this, ignores the toast and runs to play with Shiloh.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

They'll Explain It All To You At The Betty

It has begun. College football season is upon us, and I'm finding myself full of dark fantasies involving total destruction of Phil's blackberry. I thought constant access to work e-mail was bad, but constant access to Gamecock Central is an evil I know not how to battle. Except maybe with a hammer.

I have wanted to shield my son from this freak obsession, dreaming of the day I'd hear him say, "No thanks, Dad. You can fill me in on the game later. Right now I'm really engrossed in this classic novel, then I think I'll practice my violin." Yesterday we were playing in the living room, and The Precious looks up at the dark television, then looks at me and says, "Football?" Sigh.

Side note: Andrew's doing lots of eye-closing when I ask him to smile for pictures these days. Hilarious.

He still has lots of love for the pets, often wanting to give them kisses. Sofie actually let him give her one the other day. So sweet.

All day long now, I hear a little voice asking, "Do it self?" and "Help Me?" (which means he wants to help me), and he collapses into a puddle if it's something he can't do (or if I don't have 20 minutes to wait for him to do all the buckles on his car seat without assistance). He opens and closes the garage door, helps move laundry from the washer to the dryer and turns it on, drags his little stool around to reach lights to turn off and beds on which to crash, and he is fascinated with anything going on in the kitchen. Here he is helping daddy make Labor Day waffles.

We got to spend another weekend with Uncle Bradley, by far the best crash player ever. His best friend from high-school met him here, so he spent most of his time gallivanting with Gordon, but he did take time out to read Andrew's new favorite book "That Pesky Rat" before nap time. I'm so glad we've gotten to see Bradley so much these last few weeks - he deploys again in October and I don't think we'll get to see him again 'til he's Stateside again. Boo.

Current Nighttime Routine: After bath in the evenings, I wrap Andrew in his bear towel and the two of us go over to the mirror to admire his cuteness. Then I brush his teeth using the kitty toothpaste and he brushes his teeth using the train toothpaste (his word for toothpaste sounds remarkably like "poopy" which can be disturbing until you get used to it). We get into cozy wambones, then curl up with a cup of milk and Beeden (his blanket) and read. Finally he turns on his white noise CD and turns off the light and I have to sing "ABC," "Tinysingoowee" (what he calls a song that contains the line "tiny nursing babes") and "Deep Deep" (Oh The Deep Deep Love of Jesus). It's quite a procedure, but such a sweet time. It can be tough when I haven't started supper yet and every time I try to get up he pleads "One more Deep Deep?" I can be a bit of a sucker. Also, his nursery chair is super comfortable and sitting there often has more of a draw than chopping raw chicken.

Finally (I know, the mind reels that there could be more), evidence of how much fun there is to be had with a with a chair and a make-shift ball pit.