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!