Saturday, December 31, 2005

Please help! My parents make me eat canned peas!

Dear Internet,
Please hear my plea. My parents have gone crazy. They have been home with me and NOT gone to work for over 7 days, and they still have 4 more days to go. Due to their insanity of being inside and not using their brains for so many days, I have been forced to eat weird things.
I took this photo by myself to illustrate my pain. Picture above is what I had for dinner last night:
  1. wheat pasta spirals--I mean, really, who eats wheat pasta anyway!
  2. avocado--these wouldn't be so bad if they weren't GREEN and MUSHY!
  3. Dark Kidney Beans--like they eat in chili, but I have to eat with no flavor.
  4. Cheese--This is the only thing I really love here.
  5. Unsalted canned peas--need I say more? These are plain gross!
Please also note my unbrushed hair and a Halloween bib! Hello people, it is December!! Why would I be wearing a bib that says "boo!"? It scares me just to look at it, plus orange is NOT my color.

Please help!

Thursday, December 29, 2005

Christmas Loot

The Girl had a very merry Chirstmas!Thanks to all of you who sent great and very generous gifts. Maddie got books, clothes, toys, and stuffed animals. She really had the most fun with any cardboard or ribbons that you included in the should have saved your money!

Most of these photos were taken on Christmas morning, hence the PJ's and bed heads.

The photo on top (with the colorful star looking thing) was actually a dog toy for Miles. Maddie decided she liked it more as her own chew toy for her new teeth coming in!

Her favorite toy (or at least the one she plays with the most) is the giant plastic house and her car (pictured above with Zak pushing her). She REALLY loves those loud toys! She plays the music over and over and bee-bops her head up and down to all the songs. I never thought our house could be filled with giant-musical-colorful-plastic things, but now my dream has finally come true!

NO MORE, por favor! Or for those of you who don't speak Spanish.... X-Nay on the Astatic-play O-oys!

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

For Francie

I was not on the phone, but listening in to Zak and our friend Francie having a conversation that probably went something like this:

"Amanda has not been updating the blog enough."

"Well, she's been sick."

"I don't care, I want a daily blog, or at the very least a picture. EVERYDAY."

This one's for you Aunt Francie. If you look real close, you can see Maddie in my belly. That is the reason I didn't get drunk with the rest of the yahoos at your wedding.

I think, my dear Francis, you owe me a DRINK! Now, fly your ass to Chicago, and oh yeah, bring David too.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Miles gets "corrected"

As an avid reader of my blog, you would know that we have a crazy dog, Miles. He's so crazy he is on puppy prozac. Medicating him really did not do what we hoped. We hoped it would magically transform him into Lassie. Okay, we knew that wasn't going to happen, but at least we could wish. We wanted him to just chill out and not be such an anxious shit head. He was on his last straw with all the barking and the biting.

We decided to try electric shock therapy, not really, but kinda.

We bought one of those shock collars for dogs that give them a little zap when they bark. To begin with, I have a few issues with this. First, it's like electrocuting your dog, HELLO. Second, I am 100% okay if he barks at normal things, strangers, the mailman, people outside. The shock collar doesn't know when a bark is okay and when it isn't. So, I've known about these collars for a long time, but really didn't think it was right. Short of giving him away (which we tried unsuccessfully, twice), it was the only thing left we could try.

I went to the pet store where we bought Miles, a little mom and pop shop we love, that rents the collars. The lady answered my questions and explained that anytime Miles barks "he will be corrected. "

"You mean, electrocuted."

"Ummm, well, not really, its a minor shock that will correct his behavior."

"Hmm, oookkay."

I took the device home, and put it on the lowest setting. Then we decided to test the unit by doing something that would set Miles into a barking frenzy. The opening of the coat/shoe closet. Miles let out a high pitched bark followed by a high pitched yelp after he got electrocuted, um, I mean corrected.

I was freaked out a little, but ultimately was VERY happy that it worked. Over the course of the next few days he would only cry when we left the house and maybe do a minor little bark. He stopped acting like such a spaz, and hasn't bitten us since.

Finally, something that works! We had the rented device for 7 days, and just returned it because we decided we needed to buy one. Turns out that Miles isn't as dumb as he looks. He KNOWS when he has the collar on, and can't bark, and knows when he doesn't have it on.

Ruff....zzzzzap. Yay!

Saturday, December 17, 2005

Party Girl!

We threw a 1st birthday party for The Girl. Not because I felt the need to do so, but because I felt guilty for NOT doing so. It's not that I don't like to entertain, but it's SO much work. Cooking, cleaning, setting up, cleaning, ordering the catering...a mothers job is never done.

We had a good time, except for Zak who spent the majority of the party upstairs puking and pooping his guts out (hi honey!). Maddie did GREAT. We expected her to be a tethered to me for the entire party, but after The Girl had some sugar, she was a party girl. She opened her presents, played with the 40+ balloons my dad blew up for her, showed off for the company, and stole other babies pacifiers.

We did the chocolate cake all over her face routine, and it wasn't as messy as I thought. She got great gifts from our generous friends. We ate lunch. The Girl took her afternoon nap after her sugar crash. Zak puked in the kitchen sink (after the guests left, thank god).

All and all, a good day.

12 months old

Dear Maddie,
Today you are 12 months old. You've been in our lives for an ENTIRE year, but it has gone by so quickly. Never again in your life will you grow, learn, and develop at a more rapid rate than you just did. You are 19.5 lbs. and 28 inches of joy.

You were due on December 14, 2004, but apparently you weren't ready to face the world. I don't really blame you, it's not always fun out here. Your daddy and I went to the doctor on December 16th to make sure you were still doing okay and the doctor said we could induce that very night if we wanted. "YOU BETCHA!," I said. I couldn't wait another day to meet you. I was SO anxious and SO uncomfortable. We went to Clara's for dinner, where I couldn't eat, NOT because I wasn't hungry, but you were really cramping my style and taking WAY more than your share in my belly. After dinner, we went strait to the hospital and checked in at 7pm. The next morning they gave me Pitocin, a really mean drug that makes contractions start. It worked! By 1:00, I was in unbearable pain, and the medicine man came and gave me a version of crack for laboring epidural! Ahh, heaven. Being in the blissful state I was, I was ready for a nap, then my water broke, then off to sleep I went. I didn't realize then, but that was the last uninterrupted nap I will ever take for the rest of my life!

I woke up at 4pm, feeling like I had to poop. Well, my dear, it was not poop, but YOU I felt! I told the nurse I was ready to have my baby, and she looked at me like, "I'll tell you when you're ready to have that baby!" She checked me and I said what I always like to say, "told you so." I pushed for about 30-40 minutes, and you came out, waved at your daddy, and started to scream....

I cried and cried in awe and disbelief. I am a mother.

I only wanted to hold you, and the doctors and nurses were making sure you were okay, but I kept saying, "GIVE her to me!" They finally did, we cleared the room, and the three of us got to know each other.
CAN YOU BELIEVE THEY LET US TAKE YOU? Your dad and I drove off, and I kept looking back at the hospital wondering why the police weren't chasing us! "Hello people, we just took a BABY from the hospital!"
You are all ours, and we are so happy to have you and can't wait to show you the world.

Happy Birthday, Maddikins. We love you.


Wednesday, December 14, 2005

MyEls is not Dada

Maddie is learning new words all the time, and we can usually understand her or know that she "gets it," and is trying to mimic us. For example, "tank tank" is thank you. She is picking them up quickly, except for one, one very important word...


Today she called the dog by his name and said, "MyEls." She did this right when we walked in the door and I was calling for him. She repeated it several times with various tones, sing songy, harsh, loud, whispered. Then later that night, we pointed at Miles and said, "That's Miles." She also pointed at him and said, "MyEls."

I pointed at Zak and said "That's Dada." She smiled and walked away.

Monday, December 12, 2005

Christmas Card Hell

I don't know about you, but Christmas cards are a pain in my butt. The great Christmas Card fiasco started with getting our pictures taken. That didn't work because the girl wasn't liking the 'vibe' in the room. Then, the two photos we did decide to buy both had our heads at the VERY edge of the picture.

I decided to take my own Christmas picture of Maddie because I knew I could do it better... EXCEPT for the fact that my camera sucks and has a shutter lag. That means that the camera doesn't take the picture exactly when you press the button! Sounds dumb, right? That's what I'm saying! It takes another 1 second for the actual photo to take. (I think I've blogged about this before, but I am too lazy to go look and link.) This means that every perfect photo I took, really resulted in Maddie blurred or otherwise looking drunk. I don't know any grandparent that would be happy about that. I took, like, 50 pictures and ONLY ONE was good enough to go out, but even that one did have a bit of The Girl's head cut off!

SO, when I did go to the grocery store to illegally reproduce the three pictures, I cut off our faces/heads by just a centimeter or two with the Kodak Picture Stealer. In these photos a centimeter is having half your face, or your whole face out of the picture. Again, not a good photo for the grandparents. I finally asked the photo girl to help me make illegal re-prints and she willingly did so, and it came out okay. We still have a minor top of the head out of the picture issue.

The moral to this story is your damn Christmas card is on the way. Don't say a word to me about any heads being cut off at the forehead or you WILL NOT be getting a card next year.


Friday, December 09, 2005

One year ago

I can't believe I am publishing this picture for the Internet to see. However, I cannot get over the hugeness that was once my belly just one year ago. This photo was taken just before Maddie was born. I actually got even bigger, but this was the best picture. My belly is all shiny from the oils and lotions I slathered on with the hope of no strech marks. Look at how my back arches to support the weight of the Girl and all the fluids she required. At this point, I was SO ready to not be pregnant anymore. I have photos like this of every week of my pregnancy, wearing the same ole tired hip hugger undies. Zak took a picture every Sunday night from week 14 to week 40.

If you put the pictures together, and fan them out, you can see me grow, and grow, and grow. I'm surprised I never exploded.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Monday, December 05, 2005

It ain't easy being cheesy

Oh, man. It's not easy being a baby photographer at Christmas time. Screaming babies, demanding mothers, bored fathers, fighting children...

We took the Girl to get her Birthday and Christmas photos taken on Sunday. (One mustn't ever combine the two totally separate events). We had an appointment at the Picture People at the local mall. I think they usually do a great job, and they are surprisingly quick. NO ONE with a baby wants to wait...for anything, especially as they try to entertain their gremlins to keep them from crying/getting dirty/fighting.

We showed up for our appointment at 10:20...right on time, and we were taken in immediately. Our photographer was a teenage boy, maybe he was of drinking age, but his was young. He CERTAINLY did not hold a bachelor degree in photography, or a B.S. in How to Make a Baby Smile.

He was a little creepy and the Girl WAS NOT impressed. She stared at him, on the brink of tears.

Did I ever mention how she doesn't like males? Secretly, I am very thrilled that she wants nothing to do with boys, especially the teenage variety.

Anyway, he kept coming over to her trying to get her to smile. It was like he had never seen or spoken to a kid before. I swear looked just like Napoleon Dynamite. He was just as charming too. I said, "she needs you to be silly and loud and animated to make her smile." This was the complete opposite of this guy.

"Oh, I can't do that. I worked for, like, 12 hours yesterday. My vocal cords feel like they are bleeding today." That was an exact quote taken during my Christmas photos.

Needless to say we only made it through the family photo, you know, the one where Maddie is glued to my chest. For her own Christmas photo, she would not pose if it meant standing by herself. That meant we didn't get any birthday photos either.

I think she didn't want to be anywhere near the teenager with a camera.

SMART girl.

Friday, December 02, 2005

Dumbest Song I've ever heard

There is this new song out by the Black Eyed Peas. It's called My Humps and the lyrics are moronic. Fergie sings about her lovely lady lumps (and hump), and how she'll get you love drunk off her hump .

Zak came home one day asking if I ever heard the song. He couldn't get it out of his head, and sang a few lines of it for me. I couldn't believe this band would put out a song like that. It competes with other one hit wonder songs like "I'm too sexy.." and "The macarena" in the shear retardedness of it. We think it may be a Saturday Night Live sketch waiting to happen.

In a related story, there is this website called the Daily Dancer. He records himself dancing to songs, and he is featured here dancing to the My Humps song, or here if you prefer a girl dancer. You MUST turn up the volume for full effect.

Don't say I didn't warn you.

Funny noises get attention

I make funny and silly noises, a lot. I do this mainly to get The Girl's attention. Any weird noise will work, and she will be fascinated by your mouth for a whole 3 seconds. I don't mind doing this in public places when I am with Maddie (although Zak gets totally embarrassed) because it's fun and makes her laugh.

The problem is that I do this in public when I am without the Girl too! I don't always realize I am doing it, but I find myself walking down the hallway at work clicking my tongue, blowing raspberries, growling like a monster, singing, or squealing.

So far, I have not been reported to Human Resources.

Hi, my name is Amanda, and I'm a dorky mom...and a strange employee.

Hi, Amanda!

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Maddie The Marketer

Maddie may be a born marketer. She has this thing with product placement. She can capture the essence of a product in almost any picture. Here and here are examples with Cheerios and an Oral B toothbrush.

I actually tried to send the picture of her and the toothbrush to the Oral B people. There wasn't a way I could link the photo, so I wasn't able to.

I did, however, send this close up picture to the Nestle people. Nestle makes Coffee-Mate creamers. This empty bottle is now Maddie's new favorite toy. She carries it with her aroud the house, rolls it on the floor, hits Miles on the head with it, chews on the lid, and throws it.

So, please no fancy toys for Christmas or her birthday, just send your recyclables to us! We will accept your discarded boxes, jars, containers, newspaper, and any old kitchen items you don't need. You will make The Girl very happy.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

New Moms

There is this thing in "mommy world" where moms never talk about the challenges they face as mothers. There has been many books written about this phenomenon. I've read several of them. I read some both before Maddie was born and after. Of the books I read pre-Madster, my thoughts were kinda like..."oh, that won't happen to me." Of the books I read post-Madster, my thoughts are...."say it sister!" and "so, it's not just me that feels this way."

I swore never to be one of those mothers who says to pregnant ladies..."oh, yes motherhood is wonderful. It's very easy." and "Oh, no, my life hasn't changed that much since the baby came." I promise to tell the truth.

I quickly learned that you can only tell the truth to your very good friends, and only when they ask. Even then, they won't listen. After their babies arrive, I get calls and emails saying...."You were right! This sucks/is hard/isn't what I thought!" Then we commiserate together. Sometimes they ask me (as I did all my mommy friends), "why didn't you tell me it was going to be like this?" The answer, "I did, but you didn't want to hear me" isn't easy to give. I mean who likes to rain on the pregnant lady parade? I want them to enjoy every free blissful second of it because I know what happens next. Moms almost keep the secrets of motherhood, well, a secret. That doesn't do anyone any good, however it's true. Pregnancy is bliss. Unless you're pregnant with #2.


I do find myself around oogles of pregnant women, and oogles of women who are trying to become pregnant. One I know just came back to work after a 8 week maternity leave. She had that look in her eye. "Uh-oh," I thought to myself. "I know that look."

Haggard. Late-Twenties, and haggard-looking already.

"How's it going?" I asked, preparing myself for both the truth and lies she may tell. I listed for 20 minutes as she went on and on about her truth of motherhood. It wasn't pretty. Another woman under the trying to get pregnant category was listening in and says, "You guys are making it sound so hard to be a mom."

"IT IS," I snap. Annoyed that she is making this other woman feel shitty for expressing her feelings.

"Well, I just don't think it will be that bad. You guys are exaggerating."

I betcha I will be getting a call from her in about 12 months wondering why I didn't tell her what it's really like.

Those first 3-5 months are the darkest days, dear friends, it gets better everyday after that.

I promise. I wouldn't lie about this.

Thursday, November 24, 2005


Zak and I have always, for as long as we've known each other, lived a pretty great distance from our families. That means we rarely see them on the holidays. We used to practically kill ourselves driving the State of Texas trying to squeeze everyone in. Texas is a big state, in case you haven't seen a map recently. That would only cover 3/4 of his family, and 1/8 of mine!

It doesn't help that all of our parents are divorced, live in different cities, and don't live near our grandparents either. This means it could essentially take 6 years to make a full family Thanksgiving rotation! This doesn't rank as one of the most fun activities on my top 10 list...sorry family.

The good news is that planes do fly into Chicago too! Yay! COME SEE US. WE'VE GOT A BABY.

Because of this fact, and also that we refuse to short change ourselves in the Holiday Feast department, we have always celebrated together. Most of the time it was just the two of us.

Now, it's the three of us.

The three of us had a holiday feast with an 8 lb. Honey Roasted Ham (from Zak's work...thankuverymuch), green bean casserole, mashed taters, gravy, rolls, vodka, and pun'kin pie! It was a very relaxing holiday (partially due to the vodka)...just like holidays are supposed to be! Sorry family.

A quick word about the green bean casserole: My mother used to always brag about her "Famous Green Bean Casserole" that she would make for special family occasions. She boasted about how everyone looved it, and it was her signature dish. God forbid if anyone else tried to make it and bring it to a dinner. Mom, I hate to break it to you (you don't read my blog anyway), but your recipe has been stolen. I found it on the green bean can, the can of mushroom soup and the can of crunchy onions!

Nevertheless, it was delicious! Thanks.

Monday, November 21, 2005

Translation: You have a fat face.

Well, Zak really didn't say I have a fat face, but that's what he meant. I was laying on the couch and letting my head hang over upside down, looking backwards, making faces at The Girl.

"WOW! You can actually see your jawline when your face is upside down! It looks like Maddie's!"

"No, you did not just say that."

"That's not what I meant (laughing). I just mean you have a really pretty jaw..."

"When my fat face isn't covering it?! Oh, that is SO going on the blog tonight."

Sunday, November 20, 2005

11 months old

Dear Maddie,
You are 11 months old, and I simply can't believe it. You have FIVE teeth! Three were discovered just in the last week. You didn't even complain about it.

You're growing too fast. Please slow it down a bit because sometimes I don't have time to take it in. It takes my breath away. I see the things you can do, and it's startling. Just a few months ago you were completely helpless, now I think you could drive a car if I gave you the keys.

You're smart, funny, and just plain silly. You're a flirt...with anyone, as long as they keep their distance. You love to discover new things, then show me what you found. You're very proud of yourself. You grin when you complete some physical walking or clapping. You think it is funny to point at my eyes and try to pull out my eyelashes. You stick your finger up my nose, scratch my teeth, and pick at my fingernails. You are beginning to mimic things you see. If I blink my eyes hard, you will blink hard back. I will sniff my nose, you will stick your finger up it. My favorite is when you look me right in the eyes, touch your forehead and nose to mine and give me sweet Eskimo kisses. It's our special thing.

You're definitely becoming a mama's girl. Probably because you're still breastfed, at least that is what your daddy says. You've been cling-y lately, and will only go to me, daddy and Mrs. Tippi without a tear. You literally want to be touching me at all times. I am your human jungle gym. Daddy is patiently jealous. He's waiting for you to be daddy's girl.

You're biggest milestone last month was walking. My little drunken sailor. So funny. Because of this increased activity, you are eating like a teenager. Literally TWICE as much as you did just last month. You're a vacuum, and will even eat leaves off the floor if I don't pick them up! I wonder if people think we don't feed you. As an example, this is what you ate today:

Morning mommy's milk
12 oz formula (8:30)--that's a record
Jar of Turkey/Sweet Potatoes
Jar of Apricots
Piece of toast
6 oz of formula
5 oz of formula
Jar of mixed veggies
Tofu pieces
Pineapple pieces
Night time mommy's milk

You love to play in the upstairs hallway. I think it is because you can see all the way down into the foyer. You shake the bars of the gate and railing like you're in jail. I got this picture of you minutes before your bath. After this photo was taken, we went over to run the bath. You LOVE to watch the bathtub fill with water...the anticipation of a bath makes you squeal with delight. While you were naked watching the bathtub fill with water, you peed on yourself. All the way down your leg, all over your toes, on the side of the bathtub, on the bath mat, then on the tile floor. You weren't really sure what it was, and you looked down at your legs, squatted to see where the liquid was coming from, then lifted each foot to shake off the pee. Then you looked at me, and we laughed together.

Being your mama is amazing, hard, interesting, stressful, fun, frustrating, rewarding, painful, and heartwarming. All of the above. The emotions are thick. My feelings can change instantly with your moods. I am so happy to have you in my life, even if you do make it a roller coaster of a ride.


Friday, November 18, 2005

Don't be fooled by his good looks.

Do you know anyone who gets by solely on their good looks, like Paris Hilton or Ashton Kutcher? Well, add Miles to the list too.

Miles will be four years old next month. He and Maddie are exactly three years apart.

Perfect sibling timing you say? Wrong....Miles is a DOG. I didn't really believe that he was actually dog before Maddie arrived. Miles is our first born, our baby, our sweet and cuddly puppy...

Turned Jackass.

It's bad parenting, we know. We learned our lesson. We spoiled him rotten, let him get away with everything, and now we've got a monster on our hands. Dad, you were right...again.

He's bossy.

He bites when you leave him.

He shits and pisses on the floor.

He is angry.

He steals things (socks, undies, shoes, paper).

He is deprived of attention.

He barks like mad.

He loves Maddie.

Our dilemma is that we screwed him up, mentally that is, by not treating him like a dog. Then when Maddie arrived, he was not top dog in the house anymore. His acting out continues to get worse. When visitors come, we are SO embarrassed by his behavior. He only gets by on his looks. Like any ladies man, he knows when to turn on the charm.

The only thing he has going for him right now is that Maddie is fascinated by him. As soon as she wakes up in the morning, she turns her head to see where he is. When we get home, she kicks her legs and laughs as he runs around to excitedly greet us. He's a protector of her, he'll sleep near her, and he even used to sleep by my belly when I was pregnant with her.

But now he brings us no joy...only stress. So, now what?

Leona, one of the girls who cleans our house (yes, we have housekeepers. No, we're not rich--just lazy) wants to adopt Miles. The last time she was here, I joked that we gave him away in an "aren't you glad he isn't hear to mess with you while you work?" kinda way. She looked heart broken, and when I told her I was only kidding and that he was at the groomers, she was relieved. Later, she came up and asked me if I were serious about getting rid of him, and if I were, she wanted to adopt him.

I told her I'd need to think about it, and Zak was ready to ship him off the next day. I think it is time....Leona has a house, boyfriend, and another dog. She really likes playing with Miles and has really seen him at his absolute worst too. We're going to talk to her later this week to find out if she wants to adopt him.

It makes me sad, and I feel incredibly guilty. It's like I've said, "oh, never mind, now I don't like you, so I am giving you away." It just doesn't seem right, but I worry about Maddie. Soon, very soon, she'll be playing with him and I have no doubt that he will bite her (if he thinks she is leaving) or push her down too roughly.

I just don't know what to do. I feel like an awful dog mom.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Me and the Chicago Police Department

My friend Ann and I went to lunch on Friday. Ann and I work together and she was my boss when I first started, like almost 7 years ago. Ann used to be a lawyer (like another lawyer I know) and she can talk a mile a minute, I mean WAY more than I do, and WAY faster than I do. I know, you didn't even know it was possible! Anyway, after lunch I asked if we could stop by my bank to so I could make a quick deposit.

As we approach the bank, there are two other customers standing at the door trying to open it. We all wonder out loud why the bank doors are locked. I say,"Just swipe your ATM card on that thingy and the door will unlock so we can at least get to the ATM machines." So, a dude swipes his card, and a Chinese lady, Ann, and I walk in still trying to figure out why the bank doors are locked.

"Look, here are the bank's hours," she said pointing at the door, and directing her attention to the annoyed Chinese lady. "It says Friday, open 8:00-6:00. Then, why are they closed? Do you think the bank just got robbed and all the employees are sitting locked in the vault?"

"I doubt it, but maybe..."

"All the lights are out too, do you think they're at lunch?"

"Probably not, last time I checked bankers didn't close for lunch."

"Where are they?!"

"You know," I say proudly, "I've been known to contact the police whenever I see things that don't seem right. Kinda like they tell you on the news...'report suspicious behavior.' Well, that's what I've been known to do."

Secretly, I believe that everytime I "report suspicious behavior," I am singlehandedly thwarting terrorists. I'm usually quite proud of myself, and Zak usually just rolls his eyes at me.

Ann and I walk the two blocks towards work, and we spot a Chicago police officer standing on the corner.

As a side note, cops are everywhere you turn in downtown Chicago. Seeing one on a street corner directing traffic isn't a bit unusual, but one wonders why a real police officer needs to waste his/her time and my tax dollars doing this...but I guess it's the world we live in today.

So, I say to Ann, "Should I tell the officer?"

"If you think you should, here's your chance."

"Um, excuse me officer, um, I've noticed some suspicious activity, and I um, felt the need to tell you about it so you could investigate. Um, the bank, on the corner, um, there's no one in it, and um, it's in the middle of the day, and um, the lights are out, and um my friend and I found that to be a bit odd."

"It's Veterans Day."

"Oh. Sorry."

Monday, November 14, 2005

My mother would be proud

My mother never allowed me to eat sugary things like cotton candy. So, of course, I did it anyway, and always ate so much cotton candy that I made myself sick. Had I been under the supervision of my dental hygenist mother, I doubt I would have binged.

Zak's mother plain out lied to him about food and sweet treats. He thought chocolate milk was Carnations Instant Breakfast, and didn't know what a cookie was...until he went to a friends house! He also discovered sugary cereal at a friend's house, and now he still eats that crap! All these parent tricks eventually back fire, so I really don't want to use them. I'd rather let her try something, then only let her have a little.

Yes, you can stop laughing now.

You can see by the photo that I am attempting to have Maddie practice using her toothbrush. She loves it, but gnaws on it more than she brushes. When I brush for her, she just grins like it tickles her. While brushing today I found her THIRD tooth, upper big tooth on the left side!

If you look closely at the picture you won't see her tooth, but you will see the shiner she got today at daycare on her right eye. She got in a turf war battle with another kid and they went to fisticuffs.

Just kidding, I really just wanted to say fisticuffs.

Maddie actually just crashed and hit her head on a toy. She walks like a drunken sailor, and looks like a sailor does too. Last week, she had a scuff mark on her forehead, a scratch on her nose, and a bump on her chin. I think this one might actually turn into a black eye. I think it's kinda cool...she looks tough, like her mama.

Saturday, November 12, 2005

a conversation

I never thought this conversation would happen. Okay, I thought it would, but I didn't expect it so soon.

"Maddie, where are you?"

"She's over there by Miles' food and water. Looks like she wants to eat his food."

"Maddie, please don't eat the dog's food."

"She ate it?"

"Yep," as I dig out three pieces of drool covered dog food from her mouth.

"oh well."

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

San Diego

We took Maddie on her second plane trip to San Diego, CA. My birthplace and location of my family on both my mom's and dad's side. Going to see family isn't really ever a vacation (sorry family), because there is nothing relaxing about it. We go go go and visit visit visit. Part of the problem is that because my parents are divorced, one must travel to MULTIPLE locations to see everyone. When we came home on Monday, we needed a vacation from our vacation! We didn't really catch up on our sleep until after several days. Nevertheless, we had a great time and was so happy that so many people were finally able to meet Maddie The Girl.
On Friday of our San Diego trip, we went to Bates Nuts Farm (or something like that) with my mom. Maddie saw farm animals for the first time and played in some hay. Since you already know what a freak-a-zoid I am about germs, you can only imagine how I felt about her touching farm animals. Who live on a farm. Who stink. Who are germy. Who hang out where they poop. Who stink. Who hang around farm birds. Who may have the BIRD FLU. PURELL!!!

Maddie did enjoy seeing the farm animals and she'd point and look at me and point again. Like she was saying, "Take a look at that stinky ass farm animal! I'm so glad I don't live on a farm!"

Maddie and her big, blue-eyed cousin, Julianna..more on them later.
We went to the beach, of course, and put the girl's legs in the 50 degree Pacific Ocean.
She LOVED it. She giggled and squealed. She squished her toes in the sand.
My brother Scott and his wife Carolee saw Maddie for the first time. They may be the most photogenic couple on the planet, and Carolee has the flattest stomach I have ever seen. We went out for Mexican food and hung out with their two big yellow labs. Maddie loved their dogs and I took tons of pictures of them (with my brother's camera!) and so I don't have any to share. You'll just need to take another look at Carolee's flat and tan stomach (after Mexican food!) instead.

This is my "Pops" and his wife Pat. Maddie's great grandpa on my dad's side. We went to Pops house to see my dad's side of the family. Pops and Pat sweetly had everyone (aunts, uncles, cousins) come and visit with us just a few weeks after they were both hospitalized for illnesses. Funny, cause I think they look GREAT.

My cousin Jacob, and his wife Teresa, had Jake a few months before Maddie was born last year. He's SUPER cute and looks more like he should be my baby than Maddie does! :) Little Jake can eat like he's a teenager and he is a fast little sucker too. He was walking and running circles around Maddie. Once Jake finally got strapped down (so he could eat) Maddie finally got even, and sole his food..right off his tray! BUSTED.

Ahh, four generations of bossy women...
That's my Granma J and my mom. Granma J makes the best chocolate chip cookies on the planet and Zak didn't just ask for a few, he told her he wanted the WHOLE tin of them. She gave in. Granma J is also a great dancer, but it's been a few years since I've seen her boogie. I just thought I'd let you know.

My mother's sister, my Aunt Diane, and her husband Dale had us over to their house to hang with my mom's side of the family. Diane has two kiddos, Brandon and Julianna. Maddie LOVES kids, so she was in heaven playing with J and B all weekend long. They doted on her, gave her toys and screamed like maniacs much to Maddie's enjoyment.

Even with all the chaos of the weekend, Maddie was a trooper. She slept and ate well, allowed a million people to hold her, and even traveled well. We may consider taking her out of the house again. Maybe. BUT, my dear family who are reading this, planes travel to Chicago too, so get your butts out here.

Sunday, November 06, 2005


We have a bunch of trees in our yard. Guess how many? GUESS!

THIRTY SIX. Of those, about TEN lose their leaves and cover our yard with golden, maroon, and brown garbage that must be cleaned up or it will kill the grass underneath it.

Guess who did it this year? GUESS!


Last year I was 8 months pregnant when the leaves fell. So that was my excuse.

What's Zak's excuse this year? (multiple choice question)
a. "I did it last year, so it's your turn."
b. "It's exhausting! I'd rather pay someone $1,000 to do this shit!"
c. Football (college or pick)
d. "I'd rather play with Maddie."
e. All of the above

If you answered "all of the above" you win!

Ding Ding Ding! For the record, choice b is an EXACT quote. Now you know why I pay the bills around here.

The big tree in the front yard looses its leaves first, so I raked and blew those leaves in early October. The rest of the trees dump their leaves all at once. YESTERDAY. Then, of course, it rained. Rain is a leave picker-upper's nightmare. That means the leaves are soggy and heavy and don't move where you want them to.

I have two tools of the trade, a blower and a rake. In my town, the city is SO kind and they don't require you bag the leaves! They ask that you rake them to the curb and they come around once per week with a giant vacuum cleaner on a truck and suck those little puppies up. It's a brilliant idea, and I'm happy that my tax dollars go to the giant vacuum on a truck and the men who operate it.

So, we only need to get the damn soggy leaves to the curb, easy cheesy. Not really. I need to move those puppies about 20 yards! Oh my achy back.

So, being the genius that I am and the only person on the planet that ever had to rake leaves, I got an old fitted sheet, raked 1/20th of the leaves into the sheet and drug it across the yard. I did that, like, 19 more times. Not only did I get a good workout, but it only took a little over 1 hour. Normally, this is a four hour job....JUST FOR THE BACK YARD.

Zak was proud and thankful. He made me a turkey sandwich for my efforts. He also took the photo of me above.

"I can't believe you did that. Aren't you exhausted?"

"A little, but aren't I a GENIUS for the fitted sheet trick?"

"You are impressive. "

"Thanks, I pushed a baby out of my vagina. I can do anything."

Saturday, November 05, 2005

FIRST STEPS @ 10 1/2 months old!!

Today, Saturday, November 5, 2005, Maddie took her first steps!

Over the past week or two she would just lunge at me when standing a few feet away. She finally figured out how to put one foot in front of the other to take her steps. She, on several occasions, took just one step. She also took as many as 4-5 steps before crashing. Maddie was SO excited about her accomplishment she'd squeal, laugh, and scream with delight. We got a great video of it too.

My witnesses for this milestone are, of course, her daddy, and our friends Jason and Caroline. Jason and Caroline live in Houston, and are staying with us for the weekend. Their goal was "to make the blog."

They achieved their goal!

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Cake and Uncles

We were in San Diego for a long weekend. More on that later...

My computer sucks! I took 153 pictures when we were there, and I can only download 14 of them! I am working to fix it so I can show you more fun pictures like the one above of my brother, Maddie's Uncle Scott, feeding chocolate cake to her.

Look at how she adores him! She'll love him forever for giving her the first bite she's ever had of anything sweet!

Saturday, October 29, 2005

Sweet Treat

Cornbread! like cornbread!

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Abe Lincoln

I drove myself down to Springfield, Illinois to see the new Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum. I went for a work thing, so didn't go with Zak or Maddie. I was very surprised by how cool it was.

Yes, I'm a dork, I said a museum was cool, but it WAS! If museums were that much fun when I was a kid, I would probally want to go to more of them today. There were movies and replicas of the White House, Ford Theater, Abe's childhood log cabin, and mannequins that looked real.

The movies were in 4-D Holavision (which is actor plus special effects that creates a mock reality for the audience), but the term Holavision really only made me want to sing Gwen Stefani's song, "I ain't no Hollaback Girl" for the rest of the day and yell out "Holla!" to my co-workers I was there with.

I'm not nearly as cool as I sound, really.

Anyway, of course the museum had a gift shop, because this is America people! And we must make money off of EVERYTHING, including dead Presidents. The museum had what you'd expect...lots of Abe Lincoln crap, um, I mean artifacts. However, I found something that I couldn't resist buying for The Girl. A red, white, and blue (with glitter!) sippy cup that says "Future President" on it. I can't wait to hear her one day ask for her "Presidential Cup." I wonder how old she'll be when she can say "Presidential?" We'll work on that this weekend.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

My nipples are NOT microphones!

More about my nipples in a sec...

You know when you're just being silly and there's a great song on the radio and you pretend you're Madonna and grab anything that looks like a microphone and start to sing into it? You may even do a little dance too, if you're cool like me. Well, I like to do this at the grocery store (where they play AWESOME piped in music). Zak gets SO embarrassed, and hushes me when someone is in our aisle. I'm not sure if if is because I can't sing, or he doesn't like to rock out at the grocery store like I do. I mean, life's too short not to have fun while you're shopping!

Back to my nipples...
Since Maddie is babbling all the time, she tends to do this before and after nursing too. So, babbling at the breast usually means she isn't interested in eating, and that equals danger for me. When she doesn't want to eat, she wants to chew. ON MY NIPPLES. Did I ever mention that she had TWO TEETH. No bueno.

Zak thinks its cute and he encourages her. She'll look up at him and coo and "dada" and "hiya!" When she does this her 'lil chompers are like 2 millimeters from my nipples and it looks like she's talking into them like they're microphones. Then she'll quickly look a way from him and grab my boob with her monkey paws and come at me with her mouth wide open!

Do ya think maybe it's time to wean...?

Monday, October 24, 2005

Justice Prevailed!

I went to Game Two of the World Series! Thanks MARK!

Part of the reason I went is because Zak wasn't feeling well, and you know that when men get sick (or just have a sore throat) the WORLD CEASES TO REVOLVE!

Fine by me because I WENT TO THE GAME!

Zak's weekend was not so good, not only does he have a sore throat, but the Red Raiders got their asses whooped, and the Astros lost, TWICE.

Did I mention that I WENT TO THE WORLD SERIES?

Woo Hoo!