March 14, 7:56 a.m.
7 lbs, 14 oz
My friend Alison is waiting right now with baited breath for her second son “Scrumplet” to arrive. If I remember correctly, these last few weeks have been full of sleepless nights, irrational (and rational) fears and it’s probably impossible for her to get comfortable unless she’s suspended in water.
Since Alison lives in Malaysia, the Interwebz – named Stasha, Ado and Erica – are throwing her a virtual baby shower.
You’re totally invited, by the way. Write a post with your favorite baby photo, tell everyone why you love it and then include your favorite quote about motherhood. Or, guess Scrumplet’s birthday, length and weight. OR share a gift from Pinterest that you’d give Alison.
Or, you know, do all three. Like this.
Your mama is a pretty tough chick. She’s nervous right now, so I’d appreciate it if you’d cooperate and arrive on May 7 before lunch, and weigh a perfect 3.3 kg and be 49.5 cm long.
If I could afford the shipping, I’d send this to your mama to have waiting for you both. ‘Cause she does, and I’m sure you will be. After all, over the last year I’ve watched your big brother turn from a baby to a boy right along with my little guy.
Your Mama calls your brother Monkey, just like I call my son.
This is him when he was a few months old. It’s one of my favorite pictures because his hair is hilarious, his eyes are so blue, his dimples are on display and his nose is tinted just the tiniest bit orange because he wouldn’t eat anything but sweet potatoes and carrots.
My Monkey is a handful. He is smart and ornery and mischievous. He is busy and intense and hilarious. When he gets into trouble, I have to put him in time out and step out of the room so he doesn’t see me laughing. I’m not sure how I will hide this laughter from him when he gets older, only I know I have to so he doesn’t grow up to be a brat.
I’m sure your mama understands what I mean, and I bet she’s probably familiar with this quote:
“My mother had a great deal of trouble with me, but I think she enjoyed it.”
— Mark Twain
Get here soon, Scrumplet. Safely, please, and go easy on your mama. We’re pretty fond of her.
When I saw Mama Kat’s list of prompts in my inbox this week, I was immediately drawn to this one:
“Ask a sibling or close friend to guest post on your blog for a day. Have them share a story about you that we might not have heard before.”
I’ve never hosted a guest blogger, mostly because I blog by the seat of my pants and am terrible at planning and scheduling. But I knew I had to ask a special person to share a few childhood stories with you.
That person is my little sister. She’s three years younger than me, and I was not thrilled when she arrived on this earth. She wasn’t particularly taken with me either, and we spent the 14 or so years we lived under the same roof alternating between brutal battles and shaky truces.
We were just so different.
As adults, we’ve come to accept and even embrace our differences. I know that I can trust her and rely on her to do things I cannot. I appreciate the effort she puts into our relationship, like when she drove overnight 736 miles with an infant of her own, just to meet my son, who, in a hilarious twist of fate, looks just like her.
My sister is smart, witty and she tells it like it is. Cindi, thanks for taking time out of your hectic evening to tattle on me to the Internet. I’m glad we have each other.
Growing up with a sister you’re going to have the usual fights. But when you grow up with my sister, it’s not a “usual” fight.
Looking back now I can laugh, because she was creative when she decided to get back at me. A few stick out as my favorites.
There’s the time when I was in first grade and woke up from a nap to discover she had tied me to the bed with a jump rope. She wouldn’t untie me until my mom was driving up at home.
Then there’s the time she got mad at me for messing with her stuff and rearranged my whole room while I was over at a friend’s house.
But the best one and the one we both laugh about was when she wrote “BOO” on the bathroom mirror in hairspray so when I got out of the shower the fog made the word appear. I remember screaming and running out of the bathroom. Boy, was I mad.
My sister is not someone you want to cross. But later in life she has gone to bat for me several times. She’s always helped with my kids and been the most awesome aunt ever! She’s always there to let me “vent” when I’m mad. And she has become quite good at calming me down when I’m on a tear. So I have to say she has more than made up for being mean to me as a kid.
As an added bonus, here’s a letter my sister wrote to me when we were teenagers. My mom kept it in my baby book, and I’m so glad she did.
So there are eight people in my one-bathroom house this week. Awesome, I’m loving the company. But it’s a little hectic because half of those people are children and half of those children are toddlers.
We’ve cooked and played and laughed ‘til our bellies hurt, slept a few hours then got up to do it all over again. My mom commented how effortless I made everything look – the cooking, the housekeeping, the care of children.
I was feeling pretty fancy and it’s been just perfect. Until today.
Today I felt like I was running two hours behind all day. It left me a little frazzled toward evening time and dreaming of an early turn in, but when my husband came home with the news that he’d received a bonus at work, I loaded up my mom, sister and the little kids and we headed out to do some last minute Christmas shopping.
In hindsight, this could have waited until tomorrow.
We had the brilliant idea to take the toddlers in for haircuts first. The place was deserted, so we congratulated ourselves on our brilliant timing and stepped into the salon area for a quick shear.
My son immediately revolted against the booster seat.
Fine, I’ll just hold him.
Then he thrashed about when the stylist draped the cape around his shoulders.
Cool, we don’t need a cape. He can sit on my lap and we’ll just shower off the hair when we get home.
Suddenly, somebody switched my sweet dimpled boy for that obnoxious kid we all see while out in public – the one who screams and carries on, caterwauling so loudly that it sets off the car alarms in the parking lot.
Mortified, I just held on to him as best I could while the stylist darted in and out with her scissors, attempting to tame the giant hairy mushroom on his head.
He threw himself forward, she slid to the side effortlessly. Snip.
He faked left, she was waiting for him at the right. Snip.
His head all but spun around and she danced quickly to keep up. Snip.
When she had finished, I apologized profusely, tipped generously and slunk out, vowing to never return. I wondered, on our way to finish our shopping, how many hair salons and how many haircuts we had before we would be blacklisted in the cosmetology world.
We were twenty minutes into our shopping before I noticed that I was covered head to toe in hair clippings and that there was sticky sucker-drool in my own hair. I was that mom now.
We finished up what we set out to do, headed home, and decided to hell with cooking dinner, we’d just order some pizza.
Hubs and I headed out to pick it up, but first we had to stop for gas. As my husband climbed out of the truck to take care of this, a strange look crossed his face.
He had forgotten his debit card in his car, and of course I’d left my purse behind.
Back home. Get the card. Back to the gas station. Fight holiday traffic to get to the pizza place (which doesn’t deliver but damn their pizza is good) then head back home to triumphantly feed our brood.
I put my newly, albeit crookedly shorn kid in his high chair and handed him a piece of pizza before chowing down on some cheesy goodness myself.
“We made it,” I celebrated in my head.
Prematurely, as it turned out, because right then my sister shouts “He’s choking,” and I turn to see a river of garlic-scented vomit pour from my son’s mouth.
He stops. He breathes in sharply, screams, and then lets loose another helping of hork.
We ferry the Baron of Barf to the bathroom where I bathe him, dress him and head back downstairs.
He’s happy as a clam at this point, and hungry, so we give him a few crackers. Later, he drinks a small cup of milk. We all decide that the puke was a fluke and get everyone settled for bed.
As my husband is rocking him, there’s a gag, a split second, a caught breath – and another presentation of putrescence. Only this time it’s…chunky.
It took my husband about three heartbeats to realize he was covered in homemade cottage cheese before he himself began to gag and sputter. I grabbed a towel, wrapped the kid in it to prevent the mess from getting all over the carpet and followed my husband to the bathroom where he finished retching right along with the kid.
The toddler got his second shower of the day. Fresh pajamas. Another bedtime song.
So now he’s in bed, but we’re keeping a close eye in case he gets sick again. We’re all sprawled out in the living room – my mom, my sister and I – while my husband and the big boys hang out upstairs.
We’re tired, kind of smelly and a little wary of the pizza in the kitchen that’s yet to be eaten. I am no longer feeling fancy.
But it’s peaceful, and we’re so thankful to have done this day together. So maybe what makes this holiday merry isn’t picture perfect days a-caroling and a-wassailing, but just being able to be together after spending so much of the year miles apart.
I’m in junior high now. I have super cute hair. I got my period. And I have B cups. B’s!
I totally need some extracurriculars besides band on my record.
Volleyball looks cool, but those shorts? My underwear covers more. And what if it’s that time on game day. No way.
You know what would be awesome? Cheerleading. Yeah, and I could wear that sweatshirt with the megaphone on it to school on Thursdays and everyone would think I was pretty rad.
All signed up. This sweatshirt really is awesome. The skirt isn’t too short either. Huh, we have to wear special underwear called spankies?
First practice! So pumped. I’ll go stand next to Jessica. She’s really nice, plus she’s shorter than me and wears glasses, so I’m going to look cute.
Ok, so I can’t do a cartwheel. That means I get to stand in the middle with one knee up and shake my pom poms. Or pon pons? What the hell are these things called?
Ack! We’re starting.
“HI, HELLO, how do you DO? We’re the Dolphins welcoming YOU. With a BIG H and a little bitty I, OH, HEY, How do you do, HI!”
Wait your turn to introduce yourself. First it’s Dina then you, then Jessica. Don’t bring your knee up too high. Don’t want anyone to see this white cotton underwear peeking out from underneath these spankies. GOSH, mom, white cotton? Really?
My name is Julie. Say Julie. Julie.
Why did Jessica just say my name?
Oh. My. God. I said the wrong name. I said Jessica’s name. Everyone is laughing at me.
Laugh with them. Laugh with them.
For funsies, I’ve linked up with Lovelinks! Vote for me, pretty please!
Update: I won! Thanks for reading, commenting and voting. You guys make my days such a blast.
I have six or seven half-finished posts sitting around, but I’m so unfocused right now I can barely function. Thank goodness for my friend Rach and her Friday Life’s Lessons meme. A list is just what I need to get my mind in the mood to accomplish some things.
So here’s this week’s Life’s Lessons: The glutton for punishment edition.
1. I don’t like to be bored. When I’m bored, I think up awful ways to amuse myself, like becoming a runner.
2. Which is hilarious, if you think about it, because I’m the least athletic person ever. I’m so uncoordinated I fell down walking a straight line on flat ground in broad daylight. And no, I wasn’t chewing gum.
3. Hubs and I decided to try the C25K program to prepare for our first 5k on Thanksgiving. Which is awesome, because the couple that runs together stays together, if for no other reason than they are too tired and worn out to fight.
4. It’s kind of not awesome, though, because he’s eight inches taller than me, and all of that extra length is in his legs. So he’s striding along beautifully, and here’s stubby little me bouncing along taking two steps to his one and trying to keep up without bruising my chin with my ginormous boobs that can’t be tamed even with two sports bras and a support tank.
5. Hubs is the playlist master though. Give him any occasion and he’ll sit down to his massive iTunes library to crank out the perfect collection of music for the situation. When I don’t think I can pick ‘em up and put ‘em down for one more stinking quarter mile, here comes some Katy Perry and baby, I’m a fiiireworrrk.
6. In other, somewhat related news, I guess that the Monkey was jealous of Mama and Dada’s newfound aches and pains and thought he’d join in on the fun, so he developed an awesome cold over the last 48 hours.
7. With lots of snot.
8. I hate snot.
9. But then he started wheezing after his nap today, so we’re taking him to see the doctor.
10. I hesitated to make the appointment, because I know there’s not much they can do, but he just looks awful. He’s stuffing his face as usual, but he’s not nearly as enthusiastic about it!
*Update: Monkey has strep! Gahh. My poor little guy. He’s laying in his Daddy’s lap right now getting his snuggle on.
What about you? How was your week? Tell us about it then link up over at Rach’s!
Not just from all the compliments (sincere, I hope) about the ruby hair, but from some awesome bloggers who thought I deserved an award or two.
I got my first award back in May from Rach, who writes Life With Baby Donut. She gave me the Kreativ Blogger Award!
That was followed by Germaine over at Kiddothings who bestowed upon me the Versatile Blogger Award.
Now, I said thank you back then, but what I wasn’t aware of, because I am stoopid, is that I was supposed to write a post sharing a few random things about myself and pass the award on.
I realized this earlier this week when Laura at Catharsis was kind enough to also give me the Versatile Blogger Award.
So, Laura, thank you. And Rach and Germaine? Oops. I’m really sorry I biffed it earlier.
So without further ado, here are a few things about me you may not know.
1. Before I can drink a carbonated beverage out of a bottle, I must first blow into the bottle and clear out all the air. Otherwise, it tastes funny and makes me do that burp where your nose burns.
2. I cannot stand to be cuddled while I sleep, and my husband is a total snuggle slut, so we’ve arrived at a mutually agreeable solution: foot cuddling. My left foot and his right foot whisper sweet nothings to each other all night long. So sweet, unless you hate feet. (I’m lucky, hubs has nice feet.)
3. I’m the world’s worst backseat driver, but only with my husband. I can’t help it, the gasps and remarks are completely involuntary. As a result, he makes me drive. It’s something I’m really working on. He’s not even a bad driver, just absentminded. He missed the exit to our house once. Or twice. No lie.
4. I brush my teeth in the shower while my conditioner sets. Is that weird? It seems to save time.
5. I can’t watch Poltergeist alone. I had a babysitter once who let me watch it, and it permanently scarred my psyche. My mom had to watch the damn movie so she could figure out why I kept screaming “Red fingers! Red fingers!” I seriously just got chills writing that. Hold me.
6. I dream all the time about being able to move things with my mind. Perhaps this indicates a need for power, but I think it’s just that I’m so damn lazy.
Ok, that’s enough randomosity from me today. I need to choose a few bloggers and pass on these awards, yes?
So, for the Kreativ Blogger Award, I choose:
Jenn @ Fox in the City
Ruby @ Sarcasm 101
Galit @ These Little Waves
I’d like to pass on the Versatile Blogger Award to:
John @ Daddy’s in Charge
Guys, if you’ve already gotten this award before, lucky you! Now you have two! (I don’t want to hear it if this is your third time. Nobody likes a braggart.)
Also, for the next three hours, voting is open at Blogger Idol. I’m still hanging on, and I wrote about another group of awesome bloggers that you might want to check out. (And, *cough* voteformamamash.)
*Ok, maybe not quite. But I did find an awesome new frizz-fighting, youth-restoring treatment for my hair. Nobody paid me to do this, I’m just really excited about it. Also? I’m so not a graduate of cosmetology school, so take everything you read with a grain of salt. Stand back – I’m about to give beauty advice.
I decided last week to color my boring, tawny tresses a ravishing red, and while I was doing my research I ran into something even more exciting.
When you mention that particular country, most people think super models and waxing. However, the Brazilian I discovered had nothing to do with ripping out the hair on your lady bits and everything to do with repairing the hair on your head.
Brazilian Keratin Treatments have been around for awhile but most non-celebs and wives that do not fall under the category “trophy” have never heard of them. Sure, we’ve seen relaxers or straightening treatments that permeate the hair, often causing more damage than good. But this is different.
Or so I was told.
Then I began to read, and it turns out that Brazil, in addition to being known for great wax and women with perfect proportions must also be the worlds chief supplier of formaldehyde, because that’s what’s in this stuff.
No, thank you.
But, oh, do not fret, my frizzy-headed friend. There are options. If you’ve got the budget, many salons offer a formaldehyde-free keratin treatment, sometimes marketed under the name “Coppola.” You’re going to shell out about $300 for this fancy fix, but your strands will be in the hands of a professional.
If you’re like me, and are a little more budget-conscious and lot more adventurous, you can try this at home with an Ion Keratin Smoothing Treatment Kit. Big fancy name, small plain price.
For $30, I brought home this little box containing a clarifying shampoo, a bottle of treatment, gloves and a funky-looking rattail comb/bottle brush.
The man at the beauty supply store said he’d sold a few, but he was curious because he’d never gotten any feedback, and would I let him know how it turned out?
Psh, dude, I’m a blogger. I’mma let everyone know how this turned out.
First, I had to color my hair. It turned out well, but anyone in their 30s who has colored before will tell you that the older you get, the less keratin your hair contains. Thus, the bright, shiny, supple waves we sported in college give way to fuzzy, frizzier locks that usually end up in a ponytail or a bob once you bid farewell to your 20s. So while the red was indeed ravishing in most spots, my hair felt a little crunchy in others.
To begin the treatment, I washed my hair five times (yeah, five) with the clarifying shampoo to “open the pores.” When I stepped out of the shower, it looked like I had a pile of bloody hay on my head.
Gross. (There are no pictures of this. No way.)
Next I had to dry my hair completely. This required me to comb out the hay, which involved half an hour of careful strand separation. It was lots of fun, especially considering our lack of air conditioning at this point.
I began to sweat.
Once my crispy hair was dried, I had to section it into tiny pieces and apply the treatment using the bottlebrush end of the comb. Then, I had to comb it down each section until it was saturated.
After letting it “cure” for twenty minutes, I had to blow dry everything again, then take a straightening iron, set at 450 degrees, and iron each section flat to seal in the keratin.
The whole process took just under 3 hours, and my arms were sore. I highly recommend enlisting the help of a friend or curious spouse to spell you out here and there.
Now, the important part – how did it look?
My hair, dried naturally before coloring:
After coloring, blown dry, before treatment:
Immediately after treatment:
Looks pretty good, eh? At this point, it felt thick and still a little rough. But I had faith and followed the instructions which clearly stated that not only was I not allowed to wet my hair for 72 hours, but I also couldn’t kink it in any way. No ponytails, no clips, no sunglasses in my hair.
During the peak of summer.
Somehow I survived, but this morning my hair was so greasy I could have rubbed the skillet I used to cook our eggs on my head instead of using Pam.
When the Monkey went down for his nap, I jumped joyfully into the shower and scrubbed my scalp. When I got out, I was pleased to find that the comb ran easily though my hair. By the time I was dressed, my hair was almost dry, all by itself.
It took me five minutes to blow it dry, compared to my normal fifteen. With just a paddle brush, I ended up with some of the softest, silkiest, shiniest hair I’ve ever had.
I went ahead and ran the straightening iron through it, which gave it just a bit of extra polish.
I am being completely honest when I say I have taken twice as long to write this post as it would normally take because I keep running my hands through my hair. I cannot wait for my husband to feel it.
Was it a lot of work? Yes. Was it worth it? To me, every minute.
*It is recommended that you purchase a sodium-free shampoo and conditioner to prolong the life of the treatment.
Is it wrong for me to wish my son would develop a healthy sense of fear?
It’s not that I want him to spend his days cowered in the corner, but I’d rather not have to tell family and friends that he’s just starred in Jackass 14: Skydiving With a Parachute Attached to Your Balls.
This week, he has learned to climb, and so it is imperative that he climb every object in his path. The recliner, the couch, and today…
I had stepped into the kitchen, a mere 5 feet away, to set out lunch for my husband when I heard that sound a lightbulb makes when you jiggle it. For a moment, it didn’t register that the lamp was four feet off the ground and the baby was scarcely over two feet tall.
It’s a good thing I checked, as he was perched like an owl on the table, intent on unscrewing the lightbulb.
Yeah, 20 points toward my Mom of the Year award there.
He also has gotten into the habit of moving objects into better position to assist in his climbing. Even the baby gates are no longer a deterrent, he just slides his fire truck over and stands on it. If it’s got room for a foot, he’ll use it for a boost.
Is it too late to cancel my carpet order and just completely pad the rooms instead?
Because our house is old and terribly insulated, the dog days of summer can be very uncomfortable. This last week, with temperatures reaching and overtaking 100 degrees, my thermostat has read 85 on more than one occasion.
Chilly, if you’re a reptile. But I’m more of a waddly little penguin, so it’s miserable. I have the fans going in every room, and I’m not embarrassed to admit I’ve spent the week in my underwear while the baby roams around in just a shirt and his diaper.
Forget classy, we’re going for cool.
A side effect of the heat is an awful bout of insomnia. I suffered through it for a couple of nights, but found that I was unable to think, write, function or properly execute acceptable hygiene practices.
So last night, I was determined to fall asleep at a decent hour. I popped two Simply Sleep, which are Tylenol PM’s without the Tylenol (basically Benadryl) and sat down to read email before bed.
Only, my email was chock full o’ blog subscriptions. So I began to comment. If I got to you in the beginning, I’m sure what I wrote was coherent. My deepest apologies to anyone I visited 20 minutes post medication.
I expected to nod off in the middle of writing, praising someone’s heartfelt blog entry with, “Great posssssssssssssssssss” as my head hit the keyboard, but a funny thing happened instead.
I was AWAKE!
So I got on the Twitter. This could have been bad, but looking back, most of my posts seem intelligible, so I’m not too worried today. I talked about parenting, met a bunch of dad bloggers and learned about something called a Tripel, and I’m pretty sure I told Jessica I was coming to visit her in Nevada.
I also had this mad craving for cold noodles. I could picture in my mind exactly what they would look and taste like. I knew that Sriracha would be involved.
It became a mission.
I dumped varying amounts of soy sauce, rice vinegar, sugar, sesame oil, fish sauce and yes, the ever-tasty, always-good-in-a-pinch Sriracha in a bowl, whisked it around into an aromatic, savory nectar, and set about boiling the only noodles I had – some leftover Ramen from when my nephews were here.
Don’t judge. It was amazing. I rinsed the Ramen in cold water to chill it a bit, and ate the whole darn thing with chopsticks. Each bite was better than the one before: spicy, sweet, tangy – but most of all cold.
It was more refreshing after a hot, miserable day than any popsicle or lemonade. Ice cream pales in comparison.
What? I was high on antihistamines.
Anyway, I’m including the recipe below because after I go buy more rice wine vinegar and sesame seed oil, I’m going to try and make it for lunch today. I’m not sure if I can recreate it just so, but I’ll give it my best shot. We’ll see if it was the noodly paradise of my dreams, or if I was just stoned.
Noodly Near-midnight Nosh
1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
3 tbps soy sauce
1 tbsp Sriracha
1 tsp sugar
1 tbsp toasted sesame seed oil
Splash fish sauce
1 pkg Ramen (just the noodles)
Boil Ramen. Drain and rinse with cool water until chilled. Mix vinegar, soy sauce, Sriracha, sugar, oil and fish sauce. Top with noodles. Swish around a bit. Slurp.
*Update: It tastes just as good sober! If you’re digging it, try this recipe from earlier in the year! I love the way the flavors combine in it.