Friday, May 26, 2006

Pigtails

When I picked up Maddie today at daycare, I found her looking like this with the cutest little pigtails:



Ms. Tippi loves to do all the girls' hair, but I couldn't believe Maddie sat still long enough for it. Her barely there hair is fine and very short!

She knew she was hot stuff with her hair done, and wearing her little peasant skirt. She twirls around on command when you ask her to show you her outfit.


She was in such a good mood this afternoon, I took some videos and will try to post them to putfile (see the link on the right) over the weekend. In the videos she giggles like crazy, falls off the couch, sings her ABC's, dances, and talks.

Happy Memorial Day weekend, and a special thanks to my grandfather, Pops (a WWII veteran and POW who reads and enjoys my blog daily), and others who have served their county and lost their lives for our freedom. Thank you!

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Boobies

I was trying to figure out all the ways to spell booby before this post because I have a really funny story to tell about what Maddie thinks about boo bees, or boobs, or boubies.. Anyway!

Maddie is interested in boobs, any old boobs will do, but she is a little more interested in mine. I guess it's because they kept her alive for over a YEAR, that's why! AND don't you ever forget it, girlfriend!

If you ask her where her boobies are she will usually lift up her shirt and point to her belly, but if you ask her where Zak's boobies are, she will point carefully dead on until she pushes his nipple flat. If you ask her where mommies boobies are, she will yank down my shirt from the top, and smack her hand on them and say, "BEE BOOS!"

Bee boos? Doesn't she mean boobies? This morning, Zak took pride in telling me she is getting her syllables confused and mixes them up. Okay....

Now we just started calling boobies, beeboos for fun!

That way, when we're in a restaurant or church or another place where you're not allowed to talk about Boobies, we can go on and on about everyone's BEE BOOS! Who's got little ones? Who's got big 'ens? Who's had a little help? Who needs them jacked up more?

No one would ever figure it out, you know, like, Pig Latin!

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Overheard at work today

A colleague at work, who shall remain nameless to protect the completely stupid, was having a conversation with another colleague. I was just in the room using a computer, and one person said, "I am totally psychic, you know, telepathetic!"

I looked up to see if any one else noticed he called himself telepathetic.

Nope, everyone just kept on with the conversation while I tried not to laugh out loud.

Sunday, May 21, 2006

NOT at the San Diego Zoo:

We went to the Brookfield Zoo today. IT WAS BEAUTIFUL, a cool 65 degrees. Last year I bought a family membership to the zoo because I thought we would go at least twice, and that's what we needed to do to make the membership worth the price. That's me...always working to get a deal. Our membership expires on Memorial Day, so we HAD TO GO this weekend. Zak made fun of me for it all day, saying we saved at least $4 bucks. Not really, I saved at least $30.

My problem with going to a zoo is that I grew up going to the San Diego Zoo, and I assumed that all Zoo's were like the San Diego Zoo. Let me tell you, all zoos are NOT created equal. It's not that this Zoo is bad, but it's probably like the San Diego Zoo was in the 1950's. Small, brown, fake trees and rocks with one or two animals per exhibit.


We did have fun, but I think Maddie is still too young. I'm sure she didn't think the animals were real, mostly because they didn't really move, but mainly because she wasn't all that impressed (kinda like her mama). She would rather run around in the grass, eat M&M's and watch the real monkeys--all the millions of kids that were there.



She paid a bit of attention to a lion and a tiger, and we got her to growl a little "grrr" when we were looking at them. She had more fun saying "zoo," which sounds like "shhooo." Not to be confused with "shoe" because that's usually plural like "schooes." She had no interest in the elephants, but did try to climb in the exhibit. As evidenced by this photo:

Zak and Maddie played in the grass after I ate a terrible $7.00 fake-scary chicken sandwich, a mushy apple, and french fries (which was all Maddie would eat). We saw many families out here picnicking and wish we would have done the same.

Maddie would run towards Zak laughing with her arms spread wide open, and Zak would do the same and he would pick her up and spin around. Cute, even though this picture looks like she was crying, I can assure you she was laughing her head off.

Friday, May 19, 2006

Good things happen

I am one of those people who actually believe and expect for good things to happen. In fact, I'm often surprised when they don't.

I win raffles, I think positively, and I consider myself lucky. I'm sure there are far more times that I lose than I win, but I just don't see it that way.

I used to not be like this. I remember during college I would fear that if too many good things happened, sooner or later, something bad would happen to even things off. I don't know what made me change that thinking. I guess I just made a choice one day.

For the most part, I expect good things out of life, and I've been lucky enough to get them. Although my dad would attribute it to "hard work." Maybe it's not luck, it could just be karma. Here's a story about my weekend of good karma:

We've had a very warm early spring in Chicago. It was in the 70's in April, which is very unusual. May has been much colder, and this week we went back into the 40's which forced us to turn on the heater. ...(waiting for my Texas friends to stop gasping).....

I turn on the heater, and air blows, but it's not warm air. Zak goes to the basement to look at the furnace and determines, in his non-handyman way, that the "flames aren't working." Okaaaay.

"MAKE them work, it's cold!"

Neither of us know how to make the flames work. Just for the record, I KNEW the pilot light was out and I didn't even have to go in the scary basement to determine that. Duh.

I, of course, was assigned the task of "calling someone" to fix the flames. That is apparently a chick job. When I was at work the next day, two handyman looking men were working on the thermostats in the building. I casually undid one top button on my blouse asked if he could listen to my story and diagnose a broken heater and tell me how to fix it.

The guy confirmed the pilot light was out and came by the house later that afternoon to re-light it. While he was there he also cleaned all the filters and installed our digital thermostat that's been sitting in the box for a year. He did all this for three crisp twenty dollar bills! Yipee!

My second example of my good karma involves losing a way too expensive earring that I should have never bought in the first place because I knew I would lose it.

I discovered it was missing during my haircut last weekend. The salon manager even took apart the hairwashing sink to look in "the trap" to see if it was in there. It wasn't.

I scoured the entire salon, the sidewalk outside the salon, in the parking lot, all around my car, and FOUND it in the front seat. Plain as day.

Good luck or good karma, or did I just jinx myself?

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

17 months

Dear Maddie,
Today you are 17 months old, I think. You were born in December 2004, but I think you know that if you can read this. The problem with 17 months is that I can't calculate that number in my head. For the entire month, I've been telling people you were 15 months old, thinking you were going to be 16 months old today. I even corrected your PaPa yesterday when he told me you were 17 months old. Now, I'm confused. I really don't know how old you are now. Once you get passed 15 months, you should just be considered a year an a half. Refer to the New Rules here.

Counting time in months kinda reminds me of car commercials when they say, "Apply now for a 60 month loan for only 1.5% interest rate!" How am I supposed to know how long 60 months is? It sounds so short and great, like "sure you can afford a $600 car payment...it's just for the next 60 months!"

So, I will try again:

Dear Maddie,
You are about a year and a half old. You're pretty cool. You are getting to be a bossy little girl, just like your mama. You tell me what you want to do, raise up your little index finger, hold it close to your face and tell me what to do. You end your sentences with enthusiasm and authority. You are confident that you know what you are talking about and YOU. MEAN. BUSINESS.

I am able to decipher full sentences. Only Ms. Tippi and I have the super power to do this. Your dad pretty much ignores you when you talk and blabs on about his day when you're trying to tell us about your day. He's a man. He loves you, but he can't help it. You say things like, "I want to go outside," only it sounds like, "I anna o 'side!"

You also tell me things you see like "There's a rabbit!" which sounds like, "hairs a abbit!"

OR

"I want to go down the slide." which sounds like, "I o down 'side!"

Notice that everything you say ends in an exclamation point! Listen to me! I'm talking! Hello!?!

You get SO exited, and let out a little sigh of relief when I translate what you say. It's like you're thinking, "Finally! These people understand what I'm talking about," then you smirk this little closed mouth smile. I haven't been able to get a picture of it yet, but it's funny. You look like you are trying to suppress laughter.

The part that of your communication skills that is so cool is that you have full command of verbs, pronouns, and adjectives. I can't even do that yet! All of your sentences revolve around your needs and wants, but what else is new?! You have yet to ask me about my feelings, needs and emotions. I yearn for you to say, "What makes you tick, mommy?" or "Can I pour you a cup of coffee?"

Just today, you've added a verbal filler to your repertoire. It's the worst and most valley girl thing to say, and I have NO IDEA where you got it from. Um. Um. Okay, maybe you got it from me. It must stop, um, now.

You've said "Um" four times today. It's actually very cute and makes me laugh. It's like you're thinking of what you need to say next. Normally you'd just scream "NO!" or say, "Yeah." to any question I ask. Now, you say, "UM" think think think "yeah."

Here is a photo of you doing your best to ensure you dad doesn't go away for a business trip:
I took this picture of you just today because I was amazed at how tall the tulips in our yard are. Okay, I was also amazed at how short you look too. For the record, you are taller than your average 12 inch tulips, but not much taller than these 30 inch monster tulips. Just to confirm you dominance over the tall tulips, you rip off their petals (which are bigger than your hand!).

Yes, we know you are the boss of the tulips...and you are the boss of my world.

Mama loves you! I can't wait to see you in the morning with a big mushy poopy diaper that you made just for me!

loves,
Mama

Monday, May 15, 2006

When dad shops

While I went to get a haircut on Saturday afternoon, Zak and Maddie went shopping. Maddie calls it "choping," as in, "Maddie do you want to go shopping with daddy?"

"Yeah, choping!"

They were supposed to pick up diapers, wipes, diaper rash ointment, and Maker's Mark whiskey (for us, not her).

I came home to a sleeping baby (yea!) and a very excited Zak. He couldn't wait to show me what he bought at the store.

"I spent over $100."

"On whiskey?"

"Noooo. Other stuff."

"You spent $100 on plastic dinosaurs?"

He bought lots of other stuff to equal $100, but forgot the Maker's Mark and butt ointment.

Maddie loves her new dinosaurs and Zak is so proud that he bought them for her. He was trying to tell her all the names, but the only two we can identify is the T-Rex and Taradactyl. She walks around carrying them, chewing them, making them fly, and my favorite...making them growl and eat each other. This is no doubt something her dad taught her.

"grrr, ahha, grrrr! 'SORUS! Gghrrr! 'SORUS! "

Friday, May 12, 2006

Traffic

We live 26 miles from my office in downtown Chicago. With NO traffic, like on a Sunday morning at 6am, it would take me 35 minutes to commute one way. When it's traffic-y, like all the time in real life, it takes 45-60 minutes. I really don't mind the traffic, and am happy to be a roadrager in recovery. Clean, since January 1999.

I used to drive a stick shift Honda Civic, and would sit in traffic from Dallas to Bedford (kinda between Dallas and Fort Worth) for 15 miles. I thought that was really bad, and my left thigh would just burn from clutching and clutching. The only reason I traded in that car was because my one thigh started to resemble Chyna, the wrestler. I used to get so frustrated with the traffic, but something came over me one day and I realized I had NO control of it.

It was really the first (and maybe last) thing that I have ever succumbed to. Just totally given up control. I CANNOT CONTROL TRAFFIC. Today, I just cruised along a rainy Chicago freeway at 5 miles per hour for two hours listening to Howard Stern on Sirius satellite radio, and burned a hole in the ozone layer. It's not so bad. But TWO HOURS?

I try to rationalize it by comparing my drive to my other commuting option, The Metra. That's the train that takes all the Chicago surburbanites into the City. This is different from the "EL" train that takes the city dwellers all around the city. If I were to take the Metra, I would first have to take bus (yes, Mother, a bus) from my street corner--where I wait right next to the high school kids for pickup--for a 30 minute ride with 25 stops to the Metra station. I would then wait there for 10 minutes to board the train, which is a 35 minute ride to the city. THEN, I would have to walk for 20 minutes (exercise!) or take ANOTHER bus to my office all the while shelpping my purse, work bag (and maybe a lunch bag and maybe a workout bag). If you were doing your math, that would be 1.5 hours door to door, and about $15 per day. If I don't bring a lunch (likely because I look like a big dork carrying so many bags), that would be another $7-15 per day. Total = $22-30/day.

Driving usually takes me on average of 45 minutes one way (saving one hour of "Maddie time" per day). I think gas costs me about $8 per day (and, yes Dad, wear and tear on my car) plus $10 to park. When I drive, I always make my own coffee ($2 per day savings!) before I leave. I couldn't do this if I took the bus/train/bus because I just can't juggle that many things at once with a steamy cup of coffee. I also don't have to bundle up so much in the winter, and don't sweat like a piggy in the summer because the closest parking lot is just across the street from my office.

When it comes down to it, this decision is not about how much it costs, but it's really about that one extra hour with The Girl. Before I had Maddie, I took the train to work most days. I napped or read a book (okay, an US Weekly) and became another one of the other dorky commuter women who wears tennis shoes with socks and panty hose with a suit (oh, GOD!). On the way home, Zak would often pick me up at the train station so I didn't have to take the stinky bus (which makes me queasy), and we would get home about 6:45 every night.

First of all, Maddie must be picked up by 6:00, and even then I feel guilty, so I try for 5:30. And, she wants to go to bed at 7:00!

"Baa?" (BATH?) "Nite Nite, peease!" she begs at 6:55 every single night.

So, thanks for listening, Internet. After thinking and writing it out, I guess my decision is clear, DRIVE. Save an hour. Burn more oil. Rack up miles on the car. Watch my butt spread from sitting for so long.

Be with Maddie...for just one extra hour per day. It's worth it.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Emeril and Lindsay Lohan

My favorite magazine in the world is US Weekly. I'm not embarrassed to admit it, but I am a little shy to tell you that I usually read it cover to cover in the first 24 hours that it arrives in my mailbox. I'm a junkie for celebrity news!

Last week, a brunette Lindsay Lohan was on the cover with Jessica Simpson. There was some story about how they got in a fight in a club over a guy. Yeah, yeah, yeah, I've heard it all before. Anyway, Maddie walked up to the magazine, pointed at it, and said, "MAMA!"



"Oh, honey, that's not Mama, but you are so sweet to think so! I will be sure to tell everyone on the Internet that you think Lindsay Lohan looks just like your mama."

Later that night, when Maddie was eating in the kitchen, she pointed to a jar of dried Italian seasoning, and said, "DADA!" Confused as to why she would think a canister of dried herbs would remind her of her dad, I turned to see that it had a photo of Emeril on it! I picked it up, brought it over to her for a closer inspection.

"Who's this?"

"Dada!"

"You think your dad looks like Emeril?"

"Yeah."

"That is SO going on my blog! Just after I tell the story about how you confused your mom with Lindsay Lohan!"

Monday, May 08, 2006

Edible Toes

Maddie has the cutest little toes. What baby doesn't?


I painted them today! I couldn't resist. I used the same color that I have on my toes right now.



Maddie didn't like it much, she kept pulling her feet away and I made a big mess. She keeps bending over to look at them, and reaching down to touch the color. I am trying to refrain myself from obsessively fixing her polish, cleaning up her cuticles, and adding a top clear coat.

Oh, man, this girl and I are gonna have some really fun days at the spa!

Saturday, May 06, 2006

Texas Hold 'Em

When Zak and I were in Punta Cana last month, he was dying to play poker. There was a casino on our resort, but there never seemed to be anyone sitting at the poker table. Zak could not understand why this could possibly be, and probably checked 3 times a day! On our last night there, the "entertainment crew" set up a sixty person tournament. They only had two tables of ten going on at once. It was just a $10 entry fee, but the winner didn't collect any money, but 1st place was another 4 night vacation at the same resort.

Zak was SO excited about this, and we both signed up to play. Zak was in Round One, with all the other super excited 30 something guys. He was the second one out, and played for about 10 minutes (sorry, hun, you know it's true). The winner of Zak's table would be on the final table later that night. I didn't even get any pictures of him playing!!

I played during Round Two, and I KICKED ASS! That's me in the sleeveless blue shirt....KICKING ASS! I had full houses, straits and flushes. I was lucky and got most of those hands on the river card. Zak would stand behind me trying to peek at my cards, giving me "Atta Girls" after I won a hand. He was far more exited than I was about it all. People were saying, "Hey, Dude! Is that your wife?" "Yeah, man...she's good!" He was proud.

The guy in the orange shirt was the one who beat me and won the round. I think we played for well over an hour and a half. He was so frustrated with me because he couldn't read what I was doing. At the end, when it was just he and I, he would just stare at me, and he was sitting RIGHT next to me. To be honest, I didn't really have a strategy. Most of the time, I was just winging it! He ended up bullying me with his large stack, and I went all in twice at the very end. The first time, I went all in with just a little pair, and he folded a huge pot. The second time I went all in, I had pocket aces, and he still beat me!

Even though I lost in this round, I still finished higher than any other female player there. Not that it matters because just because we're "female players" doesn't mean we get some sort of handicap! I'd rather say, I was 6th in the tourney.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Pigpen


Zak is usually the one who gets to take Maddie to Ms. Tippi's house in the morning. This is their special time together, and Zak loves it. Maddie asks for him in the morning, and Zak says she is the "sweetest in the morning, and that's when I love her the MOST." He made it clear that he, of course, loves her all the time even when she's whiney, poopy and hungry. "But, I love her THE MOST in the morning."

Morning time also means "getting dressed and ready to go" time. I have never (okay, maybe once or twice) laid out clothes for him to put on Maddie. Zak is very good at picking out clothes and mixing and matching. He is very proud how well he can do this and says, "I put a lot of thought into what she will wear everyday." I, on the other hand, do not. I usually pick the first two weather appropriate things I see and put them together. She's one....who's she trying to impress anyway?

Yesterday, she wore a real kid t-shirt....not one with ruffled sleeves or empire waste or pheasant style, but a plain ole real t-shirt with velour sweatpants. For the record, this was Zak's selection and he claims it was "cute and there was no other clean alternatives." I think she looked like a boy, and she came home from daycare smiling and full of stories about her day. She was also smelling like a boy and covered in dirt.

She's our little Pigpen.

Monday, May 01, 2006

She's a Sagittarius, and we bore her

Maddie is bored to tears (literally) with her parents on the weekend. She is especially pissy when it rains on the weekend. She wants to be OUT, doing anything but resting or playing with her toys in the living room. She will happily go out to shop, play, roam around at the grocery store, or just people watch. She isn't happy to just "be" like Zak and I.

I've always known this about her. She's been moving and shaking since she was just an infant. During the first two months, I could keep her busy just breastfeeding! It helped that she couldn't see more than 12 inches! After that, she discovered the world around her and wanted to do stuff...all the time.

Here is what her sign says about her,
"You are a gambler and an adventurer at heart, one who loves to take risks, to discover and explore new worlds, and to take the untried path rather than the safe, reliable one. You are an independent soul, freedom-loving, and often very restless. You need a lifestyle that provides opportunities for travel, movement, change, and meeting new people. A steady routine which offers much in the way of security but little in the way of space and freedom is odious to you."

Great, Maddie's dream mother is Angelina Jolie.

Here's more:

"You possess vision and foresight, and your mind is often occupied with big ideas, plans, and goals for the future. You are interested in what is possible and what is on the horizon, rather than what has already been done. You are not inclined to focus on any one practical, concrete area; you find it irksome to deal with details and particulars. You have a gambling instinct and enjoy speculative enterprises and new ventures. Business, advertising, and promotion would be good areas for you also."

This is the kind of ADULT you want to brag about raising, but not the ideal personality of a toddler you are trying to raise!