Friday, December 25, 2009

Sunday, December 20, 2009

You Never Told Me About Your Cat Milking Days In Motown

I'm so excited that my Nibblet has finally grown into her fancy fur coat with bunny ears. "Thank you, Aunt Jessie and Uncle Jeff! It's good to look divine and stay warm all at the same time."

Seeing The Precious in his flannel shirt makes me happy as well. I told him he was my Brawny Man and he was pleased, announcing several times that day that he really liked being "the brownie man." I think the face he's wearing here makes him look just like his daddy. Not that either of them wear this expression often ... there's just something about it that screams Phil to me.

There's something else that screams, "Phil!" around here. Andrew, when he's calling him from across the house. At all other times he's Daddy, but if Andrew is upstairs and daddy is downstairs, he'll stand at the top of the stairs and yell, "Phil! Come here!" I haven't the foggiest idea where that came from.

Other wacky Andrew-isms:

1. His favorite state is Nevada. He's never been, but we have a US map puzzle, he fell in love with the Nevada piece, and now it regularly comes up in conversation. Today I told him the capital of Nevada was Carson City, and he asked me what the lower case was. That question took me a minute.

2. His favorite time on the clock is 7:17. I have no explanation for this one.

3. This evening he asked me what holds his skin on. He asks a lot of great questions. I end up saying, "I have no idea" and "Jesus made it that way" a whole lot.

Andrew and I made quite a load of Christmas cookies last week (I guess I should have realized it would be a large batch when the recipe started with 3 sticks of butter).

I read that you could make cookie icing by simply mixing powdered sugar and milk. Seemed too easy, but it worked! We added a little food coloring and used paint brushes to decorate and Andrew loved it. It was way better than my old plan - having Andrew shake sprinkles on the cookies before they went into the oven. Oddly, few of the sprinkles actually stayed on the cookies with that method (I'm still finding them in various kitchen crevices).

Christmas shopping in a mall, an activity I once delighted in, has never sounded worse to me. Right now malls are for strolling when it's cold/rainy, train rides and Chick-Fil-A lunches, so I'm extremely grateful to the USPS, Fed Ex, and UPS for their role in my gift giving this year. We did do one mall run with Daddy to take in the lights and the crowds (and to avoid an exorbitant Macy's shipping fee). Andrew loved the decorations and begged to experience each elevator and escalator we passed while Elsbeth soaked up all the excitement from her little perch on my back - it was a great outing! Having Daddy around makes quite the difference.

I think the last thing I mentioned about my Nibblet and solid food was my hope that she was taking an interest in sweet potatoes. That was short-lived. The last couple times I tried to feed her anything (even applesauce!) resulted in her crying, spitting it out, and pushing the spoon away with considerable force, so my 8-month-old is still on a 100% milk diet. I'm not too worried about it. She's clearly keeping plenty of weight on, and frankly, it simplifies things. No messy bibs or trying to work clods of squash out of her nose or remembering to pack food when we leave the house. I'll just keep giving it a try every few weeks, and one of these days she's bound to take interest.
Oh - and speaking of surprising rejections, Els has also passionately rejected the pacifier that until now was a key part of her going to bed routine. She has instead opted for ...

... her sweet, wee thumb.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

I Am A Martyr To My Own Generosity

I've recently figured out a few things about myself - you might want to sit down and take some notes ... this gets pretty deep. Ready? I am a introverted pessimistic spaz, and there's nothing to be done about it. Doesn't that make you want to come hang out? These personality traits intensify exponentially every hour the later it gets after 9pm (Phil has devised a formula determining what shall henceforth be known as the Freak Factor). Here's a fun conversation we had at 2am Friday:

Christy: (rushing into the bedroom with cooing baby in arms) Phil, Elsbeth is really hot. What should I do?

Phil: (bleary-eyed, rolls over and lays hand upon his daughter) She feels fine.

C: She's burning up! I mean, feel her feet! Seriously, open your eyes and feel her feet! She's on fire! (baby grins at Daddy)

P: She doesn't feel all that hot to me. Maybe she has a little fever. You should just put her back to bed.

C: (wild-eyed, chewing her nails and trying to decide between tossing baby in the car and racing to the ER vs. calling an ambulance) I really think we should take her temperature.

P: (lets out a huge sigh, takes a look at the time and does a quick Freak Factor calculation, then knowing there's nothing else to be done, stumbles off to find the thermometer)

C: (takes temperature of baby now annoyed at being on changing table while rudely probed by thermometer ... temperature reads 105 ... Freak Factor shoots through the roof) HA! Look! (said in a voice laced with an even mixture of panic and gloat)

P: There is no way her temperature is 105. She would be glassy-eyed and limp as a dishrag if her temperature was 105.

C: (uses last shred of sanity to entertain the thought that husband might have a point) I'll take it again. (baby loves this idea ... thermometer reads 107 ... shows thermometer to husband, not sure whether to scream and run in hysterical circles or laugh and throw thermometer away)

P: She'd be dead.

C: Alright, I'll take it one more time. (baby totally TO'd, thermometer reads 102, feeling totally insecure about how to react) Maybe this is more likely?

P: Oh, so now you're going to start believing this thing?

C: Well, what do we do?

P: Give her some Motrin and go back to bed.

End of story: I gave her some Motrin, rocked her until she felt cooler, she slept all night and now appears to have a little cold that, other than occasionally causing her to sneeze unearthly amounts of bleck out of her little snoot, hasn't really bothered her all that much.

In other news ... it's almost Christmas, and we're having all kinds of Christmasy fun 'round here. Here's a picture of Family Movie Night where we ate pizza and watched Rudolph. Andrew loved it but has since announced that he's not a fan of the movie because of Abominable and the head elf that fusses at Herbie.

Elsbeth, Andrew and I also went out, picked out a tree, got it inside, and decorated it all by ourselves as a surprise for Daddy. I made the mistake of mentioning to Phil that the guy at Pike's that helped me was named Andrew and also happened to be really, really ridiculously good-looking, and now all day long I hear comments about Andrew the Tree Guy and how he probably would be really good at doing the dishes, and though supper was good, it probably would have been better if Andrew the Tree Guy had been here, etc.

And here's a picture taken during my Christmas card photo shoot ... I didn't use it since you can't see Elsbeth's face, but I love it still.

Last weekend me and my Nib had a girls' weekend in North Carolina. We stayed with my Aunt Amy, Uncle Mark and cousin Ashton and had the most amazing afternoon tea (Martha Stewart has nothing on my Auntie). Many members of my beloved family were in attendance ... 4 generations of Glendenning women represented ... it was so wonderful. So, of course, I forgot my camera. Ahhhhhh! What's wrong with me?! But Elsbeth did so well - flew well, slept well, and gave everyone big grins from the safety of my hip (she's gotten a bit attached to that spot). I was so thrilled that she traveled well and have hope that our Christmas visits in South Carolina will go so smoothly.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Yes. I Am Relieved To Know That I Am Not A Golem.

My Nib in the hat Aunt Gillian made for The Precious, all set for the park. Don't you just want to reach through the screen and kiss those rosy cheeks?!

Andrew and Elsbeth occasionally have moments of sort of playing together - usually one is trying to play with the other, and the other is busy doing something else, but it's really sweet. A few days ago I went into Andrew's room to get him up in the morning and he saw his sister and said, "Elsbeth looks so beautiful. I love her." Be still my heart.

We were on our own for Thanksgiving this year with Phil running a half marathon in the morning and our extended families spread around the world, so our dear friends the Peabodys came over in the evening to share a meal and lots of chaos and laughs. (Gillian there next to me is the one who made the hat in the first picture). The most amazing moment for me was when both babies were down, Andrew and Eunice Chantilly* where entranced with a video and the four adults sat down and played a game together. It didn't last long, but we got in 1.27 rounds before a baby needed to eat and it was delightful!

A couple fun Andrew tidbits.

1) He has started calling me "sweetie" - hilarious! It usually comes out when he's a little annoyed with me, like when I'm coming over with a glass of milk ("Sweetie, I wanted some juice!")

2) He can READ! I just discovered this new skill last night, and it totally blew my mind. He's been fascinated with letters and words, so a few weeks ago I picked up some reading flash cards at a yard sale thinking he might find them interesting. Last night I asked him if he wanted to play with them and as he handed them to me, I thought I heard him try to sound out the word on the first card. Now, he's been giving me the sound of the first letter in words for a bit, but never the whole word. I showed him a card and he sounded out the whole thing, but it didn't occur to him that he was saying a word (like when you play Mad Gab). Then the light went off. You could see it in his eyes. He got a new card, sounded it out, triumphantly announced the word, I started yelling, he started yelling and jumping around, we terrified Elsbeth ... it was a moment. Then he wanted another card, then another, then he wanted me to put them into sentences. I was blown away.

Forgive me my bragging, but what else is a mommy blog for? :-)

Friday, November 13, 2009

Warum Tragt Dein Vater Lippenstift?

Elsbeth is sitting up! Doesn't she look so pleased with herself? I still keep something soft behind her as she will occasionally pitch backward, but she's really enjoying her new found skill. Such a big girl!

I am enjoying her other new found skill ... sleeping through the night (as in 11 - 12 hours straight with no snacks). Whoo hoo! It's only happened the last 2 nights, so I'm trying not to get used to it quite yet. Andrew was over a year old before he did that consistently, so she may just me toying with me. But it's been a nice couple of nights.

Let's see, what other disjointed bits of information do I have to share? Ah, yes ...

So I made a rather half-hearted stab at getting some exercise into my system by scanning through the Exercise TV section of my On Demand cable thingy, planning to try out something pilates-ish. Naturally, Andrew was fascinated and did some of the exercises with me for a while (I thought of Emmy doing the "one hundred" with you, Rhianna). Then he decided it would be fun to jump on my legs as I tried to lift them (and I wasn't all that great at getting them in the air before the 30-lb ankle weights). I decided to explore some of the other excercise options, thinking The Precious might enjoy something bouncier. I was right. I'm so sad now that I ever deigned to select something called (and I am not making this up) "Cardioke" because it is now his favorite on and he begs for it ("I want to do the one where the guy jumps off the stage!") I'm one of the more uncoordinated people you will ever meet and can't follow any of the steps (especially the ones that come after I'm encouraged to "get funky") ... and it goes on and on ... and it's just so painfully stupid. I once tried to fast forward through some of it when I thought Andrew wasn't paying attention and he was devastated.

In addition to Cardioke, Andrew has been really into picking out his own outfits lately - they often add spice to our day. Here's what he decided to wear to gymnastics a couple weeks ago. It's actually one of his less shocking selections, and he was pretty sure that his teacher, Miss Amy, would really like the necklace. Fortunately he wasn't too upset when I explained that wearing a long string of pearls while tumbling could cause some problems, so they ended up waiting for him in the car.

I really enjoyed it when he strapped Elsbeth's bouncey seat to himself like a rocket pack. I think it was a little tougher to walk around like that than he'd anticipated.

I still haven't done tons with solid foods yet with my Nibblet. She just wasn't that into the rice cereal or the butternut squash. I did give sweet potatoes a whirl this week, and it appears that she might have actually given half a hoot about them!

In closing, a Phil story to delight the soul. He was getting measured for some clothes this week by an old Italian tailor who's been in the business for abolutely ever. His first shocking discovery was that one of Phil's arms is a full inch different in length from the other. Freak! He then moved on to take a measurement for the, ah, gluteal region. He looked at his tape measure, shook his head in astonishment, then took the measurement again. Realizing the first numbers were accurate, he shook his head again and muttered, "Unbelievable." :-)

Monday, November 2, 2009

There Are Two Ingredients In Candy Corn: Wax And Nasty

Oh my, Halloween was such fun. My wretched camera battery dared to die as Andrew was getting all dressed up, but Dave came to my rescue and got a family picture. Phil saw this and said, "Elsbeth looks like she's desperately trying to remain dignified." :-) I love my hilarious little farmyard family.

We had a lovely chili dinner with the McSchnazzys and the Leathers, then went on an early jaunt around the neighborhood. The kids were so adorable! At each door, Andrew would hold up his new candy and yell, "Look Mommy!" Then he'd ask me what it was. His most prized possession was a ring pop, and he'd check on it between houses.

We had fun pumpkin carving as well. He didn't relish pulling out the guts like I thought he might (personally, I found it exhilarating), but he enjoyed my very elementary face carving and, of course, watching it glow.

I love autumn.

Friday, October 23, 2009

My Armpits Have Never Liked You

Andrew came up with his Halloween costume all by himself - I'm so excited! Mr. Literal usually doesn't get stuff like that, but when I asked him a few days ago what he'd like to dress up as, he announced cheerfully, "A pig!" He has also declared that Daddy will be a pig like him, Mommy is to be a sheep, and Elsbeth a cow. This is going to be the best Halloween ever.

And the pig noses came in the mail today. I'm giddy.

Monday, October 19, 2009

The Elks Bugling At The Caldera

Food, glorious food! This girly has been eyeing our pancakes and pork chops for some time now, so a few days after her 6 month appointment, I busted out the rice cereal. I think she knows we're holding out on her, though. Rice paste is just a bit anticlimactic as a first food experience when someone has been longing to get in on some brownie action. At this point she still gets more excited about chewing on her washcloth during bath time.

Speaking of the 6 month appointment, the doctor walked in, took one look at her and exclaimed, "She looks like a 9 month old!" :-) She weighed in at 17 lbs. 4 oz. (75th - 90th percentile) and checked out beautifully. She even blew some raspberries at the doctor for extra credit.

Andrew has been having fun with the skads of tree frogs that love our house. This little guy was vacationing with a friend on the sandy beach of his sandbox. I went to water the plants the other day and one had wedged himself in the spout. It makes me happy - I love tree frogs! The bright green skin, the sticky feet, the eating of the bugs ... what's not to love? I just hope Uncle Mark won't avoid us like the plague.

Yesterday we had a fabulous family outing to Southern Belle Farms about an hour outside of Atlanta. I LOVE fall. Even more than tree frogs. And every year I pine for some sort of fall festival experience, and this year I got it. Here we are on a hay ride . . . all together in one shot!

We had to work really hard to convince one of the fat goats to come eat our pellets.

A corn field maze! Sooo cool! Phil and I were a little disturbed to discover we were no better at finding our way through than our 3-year-old.

My little Els had a good time, too. I think her favorite part was the pig race.

Phil and Andrew on the "cow train."

Andrew declared this slide to be his favorite part of the farm:

And finally, totally unrelated to fall, is my sweet, silly boy who was desperate to wear a pony tail just like mommy.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Hairy Legs Are Your Only Link To Reality

I'm constantly thinking, "No, THIS is my favorite picture ever." I don't know how many favorites one is allowed to have, but my girl in her crocheted hat is on the list. And boy howdy, she can make some awesome faces.

I can't believe she's going to be 6 months old tomorrow. I feel like I just brought her home! She started rolling over a couple weeks ago ... here's a clip of her mad skills. (Disclaimer: I'm posting this video for my mom, and perhaps an auntie or two who haven't yet had the opportunity to see it in person and who want to be updated every time I wipe her wee nose. The rest of you ... both of you ... might find a 2.5 minute video of me waiting for my baby to roll over less than riveting.)

Just so you know, Andrew does occasionally wear pants. I find about 50% of my pictures of him and 75% of the videos show him in his underwear. Every day he begs to run about in his skivvies (or less) and I usually give in at some point in the afternoon.

There's a little park in Decatur that I love, and we met Gillian, Eunice Chantilly and sweet baby Cracka' (who you can see in the background) there last week. This was Elsbeth's first time in a real playground swing - she wore that same concerned expression the whole time (about 30 seconds).

A little while after this picture was taken, Andrew asked to swing in the big kid swing - you know, where you have to hold on? Yeah, well he didn't. He was swinging fine one minute, then fell flat on his back the next. Apparently he just let go! I guess I didn't go over the big kid swing rules in enough detail. Only days later, our playgroup met at a different playground and Andrew fell to the ground while climbing a very tall slide. That fall made my heart stop for a few minutes, but while it could have easily broken his leg (or worse), the only injury I could find was a palm that turned pink from the impact. This won't make sense unless you've seen that slide, but he really should have hit some other (metal) playground equipment on his way to the ground. I envision angels guiding him through the air and allowing him to land softly in the wood chips.

Other than crashing into the ground, Andrew's big news is that he's started taking gymnastics. I had a less than satisfactory experience trying to get him signed up for a class a few months ago (a pox upon the Tucker Rec Center!) and found that the Atlanta School of Gymnastics is actually quite close to us, and as a special bonus, the people there are competent and seem to actually like children. Weird. He's gone to 3 classes now and loves it. It's just him and his buddy Skeezix and his teacher, Miss Amy. Parents aren't allowed out on the floor, and the gym is huge, so I don't have any pictures of him during class yet, but I have many of him gymnastisizing around the house.

Here he has dismantled my couch and built himself some sort of jumping obstacle on top of a chair. He jumped so high I lost the top of his head in the shot. I think this picture really gives you a sense of what it's like to be around this energy-laden gymnast these days.

And let's throw in a hand-stand for good measure. Miss Amy would be proud.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Lord Humongous

Well, I did it. I bought bows. They're bigger than I thought they'd be when I ordered them - I was sort of planning to start out slow with a "Oh, there's a bit of lint in her hair" look - but heaven help me, I like them anyway. I ... can't help myself.

And, just for fun ...

Phil has just started speaking to me again. But I think if he decides to go off to work and leave me on my own and "in charge," he's just asking for it.

My girl is growing up so fast. She's started wearing the little duck wambones her brother wore a few years ago ... snif. He was a wee bit older, though, sitting up and all, so I'll be interested to see Elsbeth's measurements come her 6 month appointment.

Els sportin' the ducks at 5 months

Andrew at about 7 months

To continue our journey down memory lane, we borrowed the Intellitainer from the Peasmacks once again. She totally digs it, as did her brother. And check out her sweet leggings! I saw my friend Christi's little girl in some a few months ago and thought they were so cute, and such a good idea! Just pop them on ... you've got warm legs, no need to remove to change a diaper, and all the while you've made quite a stellar fashion statment. I found myself wondering where these were back when Andrew was a baby, but I guess even covered in trucks or puppy dogs they'd be a smidge girly. (And I'm violently opposed to girly things on little boys.)

And we got a fun, if very quick, visit from Nannie and Aunt Sallie to brighten our Monday!

Fortunately we'll get some more Nannie time at the end of this week, and we'll get to see Aunt Sallie again in a couple weeks.

As I type, Phil has one football game being projected onto a sheet hung over our fireplace (fancy equipment from work) and another on the TV right next to it. He's threatened to start streaming another one on my computer and also bring up the tiny TV from the basement for game #4. I feel I've been sufficiently punished for the whole bow thing, don't you?

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

I Am The Chief, So Everybody Hail Like Crazy

We enjoyed a glorious visit from Nina and Pa this weekend. Things got a little crazy, as they are wont to do when Nina's around.

My playgroup met yesterday at the playground of a local Catholic church, and on my way I noticed a sign listing times to go for confession. I've been thinking about it ever since. To me going to confession sounds like something only done in movies or books, but people go in real life. Apparently.

I'm going to have to chat with my Catholic friends since, for the life of me, I can't figure out what it's supposed to accomplish (unless I'd, say, previously thrown a stink bomb into the little box with the priest in it, then I admit it would be quite appropriate for me to be in attendance). But until I can locate Brooke and Dave's e-mail address, I thought I'd try out some confession here to see if it enlightens me. This is just an experiment and thus I declare that none of this information can be used against me in any form or fashion.

1. I hate women's retreats. There, I've said it. Whew! You know, I DO feel better.

I'm basing this vast judgement of all women's retreats everywhere on my personal experience of having attended, hmmmm, maybe 2 retreats in my whole life, and those many years ago. And if you're reading this and you actually attended one of these conferences with me, please be assured that it wasn't your company that sent me to the dark side. It's the toxic levels of estrogen in the air.

Cutesy gift baskets in the hotel rooms are nice. Bow-bedecked tables laden with books like "Quieting the Demons in My Ovaries" and "Pray Away Your Cellulite" I can deal with. The manicured snipers positioned and ready to take you out if they sense you might not cry while listening to the speaker ... that's when I run away. Maybe you could get a pass if you teared up during the music. I don't know. But I think for it to be considered a truly successful event, clumps of women clutching mascara-laden tissues have to hug each other all the way to the parking lot, promise to hold each other accountable, then make plans to stop by the outlet mall on their way home to shop for Capri pants.

I don't think I'm manly ... am I? I mean, I can chat it up about childbirth and crock pot recipes with the best of them. I love Jane Austin and perfumed lotion and am currently crocheting a baby blanket. The whole thing might benefit from a couple of dudes on the panel - that's all I'm sayin'.

2. I once fixed a cup of tea for Phil and used breast milk instead of cream to see if he'd notice. He didn't.

Nina was determined Elsbeth had to have a turn on a slide. She loved it.

3. For a time while I was in high school, I kept a framed picture of Jonathon Brandis (torn from a magazine) on my desk. I know, your first thought is, "Hey, I did that, too! In THIRD GRADE." Yes, you see, that's why this is a confession and not just a bit of random information about me. Your second thought, "Who the heck is Jonathon Brandis?" I thought he was cute, so sue me. And it wasn't like I was dating a whole lot through high school (and by "a whole lot" I mean "ever"), so the day dreams had to suffice. Aren't y'all glad Phil took pity on me?

Els forgiving Nina for the whole slide incident.

4. I have named my baby fat tummy flap "Kat Von D" after the tattoo artist on the show "LA Ink." I have this compulsion to name everything, I think Kat Von D is a super cool name, and it's nice to imagine the fat flap is something separate from myself. I think Phil is a little disturbed by how often conversation includes her, as in, "Kat Von D is starving and really needs a big bowl of ice cream" or "Kat Von D hates those pants 'cause they pinch her face." He asked the other day how long Kat Von D would be staying with us. I think she was a little hurt.

5. Yesterday I poured myself a glass of milk, then a while later when I went to pour some for Andrew, I couldn't find the carton. This morning I discovered it neatly tucked away inside one of my kitchen cabinets. I'm pretty sure this is the kind of thing people find themselves doing just before they're diagnosed with a bad case of dementia.

6. I currently have a mild-to-moderate crush on Zac Efron. This means that though I do not have a photo of him framed anywhere in the house, I would most certainly make a gigantic fool of myself if I happened upon him in real life. Phil had made big fun of me and cruelly intimated that I could be his mother (which I couldn't ... I don't think), and really I don't think he can talk since he has had a mild-to-moderate crush on Katie Couric for years, and she could totally be his mother.

Cozy with her Pa

7. I once accidentally took a naked picture of Phil and didn't realize it until after I had it developed. It was during our first year of marriage and I was trying to take some daily life photos of us around our first apartment. There was a strategically placed mirror that I hadn't considered .... This was pre-digital, so I actually had to go to CVS and drop the film off, and when I went to pick it up, I was assisted by a girl who had recently begun attending our college group at church. She was very chatty (and smiley) when handing over my pictures and made sure to mention details about several of them as she had done the developing herself. It was quite a moment for me, standing it the kitchen alone sifting through my cute newlywed snapshots when I saw it. I clung to the hope that it wasn't too obvious, that perhaps no one but me would have ever noticed, so I left it out on the counter. My hopes were dashed when Phil got in from class, picked up the print, and said with a horror-tinged voice, "You took a naked picture of me?!"

That's all I've got for now. How cleansing! Gotta go now - Kat Von D has requested some peach cobbler before she hits the sack.