Friday, December 31, 2010

Ladybugs In His Eyes

Oh boy. It's not even January yet and already I have cabin fever. I am 7 months pregnant. I am a tiny bit grumpy. I know from experience that endorphins will do wonders to chase those grumps away. But I think I'll be even grumpier if I have to spend the next 1800 seconds of my life on the treadmill, so even though it's only 15 degrees outside and snowing, that's where we went. "We" being the punk and me. Sorry punk.


He wore his warm hat, puffy coat ("too big!"), soft striped scarf, snow boots, and shark gloves. I wore under armour and a beanie. When we began our walk, there were a few snowflakes falling lightly all around us. The punk was not amused. Before we even left the border of our yard, he started whining. I asked what was wrong and he said he had a ladybug in his eye. I'm guessing it was a snowflake, but he probably knows best.


Due to complaints from inside the stroller ("Go home, nice and warm?") and the increasing snowfall, we took the shortest route possible.


Despite the freezing temps and cold precipitation, we had a pretty good walk. The punk is actually an encouraging cheerleader sometimes: "Up a hill. Almost there!"

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

B&A: Kitchen

My house was built in 1962. I have a tiny oven in my kitchen wall, over the stairs. A little weird? Yes. But it works just fine and for now, it stays, along with the rest of the cabinetry and tile that I don't love. (Who in their right mind installs WHITE tile in the kitchen? A masochist, that's who. Someone who loves to sweep and mop multiple times a day. A crazy psycho.) But we've dressed up this wall a little bit to help me feel more at home in my kitchen. And to help the oven look like it belongs there.

BEFORE:


AFTER:



The great thing is, we had all the furniture and accessories already. The cabinet came from our master bedroom, which is in the midst of its own remodel. The prints (from a tiny shop in the Tuileries Gardens in Paris!) and frames were sitting in a drawer. The chalkboard had been in hiding in the basement ever since we moved here 16 months ago. And all the vases, pots, etc. were in the hall closet, unseen and unheard. Just like Buster. (Anyone get that?)

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Scared of a Little Bean

When I was 15 years old, I had surgery to remove a grapefruit-size gremlin from my insides. Okay, it was a cyst. But gremlin sounds cooler. And according to my very curious dad, who insisted on examining the specimen after it was removed from his eldest daughter, it looked like a gremlin. Too much information? You just wait. I'm about to describe the devastating aftereffects of childbirth.

Are you still there?

Anyway, about two years later, I had surgery again, for the same thing. As I arrived at the hospital, I was extremely nervous. Shaking, I changed into the flattering, breezy robe and met with the anesthesiologist. I told him that I was having a very hard time remaining calm. I was thinking about the last time I had allowed surgeons to slice an 8-inch gash into my abdomen, and how much it had hurt when I woke up. (This was probably due to the fact that, according to research, redheads have been found to need more anesthetic than others. That's my professional opinion.) I had come out from under the anesthesia to the sound of a nurse telling me it was time to wake up, and I immediately started crying. With tears streaming out of my closed eyes and down the sides of my face, all I could say was, "It hurts! It hurts!" I heard my mom telling the nurse that I was in pain, and then thankfully, was given more medication which put me back to sleep.

Remembering the pain from my last surgical experience made me wary to willingly mount the gurney which would take me into the O.R.

This is how I feel now, in anticipation of the birth of the little bean. Actually, it's not the actual birth that concerns me. I truly enjoyed labor and delivery of the punk, especially after receiving my epidural. (Mmmmm, delicious drugs.) It's the first month with the newborn that terrifies me. The mind-numbing lack of sleep. The mutilated lady parts. The gigantic, extremely sensitive boobs that I'm going to have to willingly let the bean suck on, EVERY 2-3 HOURS! The crazy hormone imbalance that will make me question why in the world I decided to do this to myself, especially when my man is CLEARLY the superior parent because he isn't resentful about letting a tiny human suck on HIS ouchy boobs.

Yes, I am a little worried about our first month with the little bean. If last time is any indication, it's going to rock our world. If only I had an anesthesiologist to give me the "happy drugs" I got the last time I needed them, causing me to smile and slur when being rolled into my second surgery, "Mmmmmm. This feeeeeeeelsss guuuuuuuuud."

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Jingle Bells

'Twas the week before Christmas
And all through the house
The punk's singing Jingle Bells
A little louder than a mouse.


video

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Skinny Meili

I've reached the point in my pregnancy when I've started to daydream about the day that I can run again. I think all runners would tell you that running is pain. Especially in the days when you are starting from scratch, yet again. I know I'll have to go through that after the little bean is born and it will be miserable. Just running one mile will be a torturous battle of wills between my psyche and my weakened muscles and lungs. But when I see people running outside now, I must admit, I am a teensy bit envious. In reality, I guess I could attempt to run now. But it wouldn't be pretty. Just walking on the treadmill is tough. I guess I'm just looking forward to the day that I can feel in control of my own body again.

Of course, even after the baby arrives, part of my body will still belong to him. My gigantic boobs. Sigh.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Jammin'

And now for our second installment of non-traditional Christmas music,
the punk presents
Ode on the Harmonica.


video

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Itsy Bitsy Spider

Move over Jingle Bells! Itsy Bitsy Spider is taking over.

video

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Feeling Sentimental

My sweet punk will celebrate his 2nd birthday next week. I am currently in the process of putting together our 2010 family photo album. In it, he goes from this:

(January 2010)

to this:

(November 2010)

He is no longer a baby. He is a little boy, almost ready to give up his crib for a big boy bed. He takes my face in his hands and says, "Hi Mommy." He has started calling my little sister "Rachel" instead of "Aychoo." Just today, we asked him to say "wet and dirty," which he used to pronounce like, "wack-a-diddly." (View video here.) Now he says it correctly. Boo. The other day, I actually heard him say, "pleased to meet you!" when he was playing by himself.

Punk, I'm so glad you're mine. Grow away, sweet boy.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Homemaking Skillz

About two years ago, I had an identity crisis freakout session. Really. See rant here. I was concerned that I wouldn't have the capacity to enjoy the everyday life of a stay at home mom. (I still haven't found a suitable alternative to that title.) Well, if my 2008 self could see me now, she would see...

1. How much fun I had making a Cafe Rio taste-alike chicken salad for my bachelor brothers when my man was out of town. It took hours and lots of ingredients, but I now find so much fulfillment in cooking for other people (especially when they are as appreciative of homemade goodness as bachelors can be).

2. How obsessed I became this week over my new sewing project. The only other project I've completed besides the ugly felt Christmas stocking I stitched in 7th grade home economics was a quilt I made two years before I even became pregnant with the punk. I made it with two other girlfriends as a fun activity, and we were heavily supervised through the entire process.

This time, I'm completely on my own. I have armed myself with an entire paycheck-load of darling fabric (isn't it a requirement to use the detestable word "darling" when discussing a baby quilt?) and my mom's sewing machine, which used to be my Grandma Venna's.


I was supremely happy for two hours today: sewing, drinking Diet Coke out of a fancy glass, enjoying a shortbread cookie that I made last night, and watching Julie & Julia, the film that inspired my friend Brittany and me to begin a monthly cooking group (and blog) with our fellow food-loving friends. I combined two homemaking enterprises today that may have intimidated me two years ago. Look at me now! Meatloaf in the oven and sewing machine at my fingertips! I'm a totally awesome housewife!


This is my grandma (my dad's mom). She passed away when I was only one year old, but as I've been working on this project with her machine, I feel like she's watching over me. Thanks Grandma! I need all the help I can get, even if it comes from the Beyond. What am I saying? ESPECIALLY if it comes from the Beyond!

3. How giddy I can be over a scrumptious lunch at home. Today it was turkey, swiss, cranberry & arugula on a parkerhouse roll. Oh yeah, and half a banana. The punk stole my other half.


4. How I haven't swept the kitchen floor in at least a week nor changed the bed sheets for... too long. Some things never change.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Thankful

I am thankful for my family, immediate and extended. Also: the changing seasons, my warm house, my loyal friends, and dark hot chocolate.

Punk, what are you thankful for?

video

"Grandmas, papas, and Bogey (Grandma Lynn's dog)... and Aaron too (his uncle)!"

Happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Be Awesome

Mama: "Punk, do you know what that bird is called? It's a vulture."
Punk: "Hi vulture! Hi vulture! Be awesome. Bye."


Then, addressing his socked foot like a telephone: "Hi sock! Be awesome. Bye."

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Sunday Faux Pas

My brother David and I attended our little sister's Young Women Standards Night this evening where we heard an entertaining guest speaker talk about the recently added Young Women value: virtue. She first addressed all the other Young Women values, saying that if only she could be considered a woman of faith, or a woman of divine nature, individual worth, etc, then she would be content. When she came to the value of knowledge, she said, "I would love to be a woman of knowledge. Not only spiritual knowledge, but sexual knowledge."

Huh?

All the heads in the congregation snapped up. She had our attention. We wondered what the next slide would be in her PowerPoint presentation. Images from the Kama Sutra? Are we in the wrong meeting?

Silent pause.

Crickets chirping.

"Excuse me, I meant secular knowledge."

This faux pas was the highlight of my Sunday. That and the fact that my brother brought a fork with him so he could scratch his itchy foot during the meeting. He just carried it right in with him. No wallet, no keys. Just a fork in his hand.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Weight Room Mishap

I anchored the midpoint of my exercise band behind the door, above the top hinge. My mission: reverse squats. Pull down on the band while squatting into a 90 degree sit position, and then return to standing. This provides two-fold resistance: from pulling the band on the way down and from the ever-present force of gravity on the way back up.

As I settled into my first squat, I said, out loud, to no one in particular, "I hope the band doesn't break!"

Aaaaand: SNAP!

"Huuugh!" I was suddenly flat on my back with the band in one hand and a loose handle in the other. The handle had become separated from the band.

I heard chuckling in the other room. My man was laughing at the timing of my unlucky prophesy. I'm sure the image of a big-bellied chick sprawled on the floor may have also contributed to the evil giggling.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

And the Mother Of The Year award goes to...

The mama who let her punk watch too much TV...


Then eat pizza for dinner (with no fruit or vegetable supplements) while displaying abhorrent table manners...


Then top it all off with a fat/carb/calorie-filled chocolate cookie!


I am awesome.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Punk Funnies

1. When we were staying with our friends the Garretts in California a few weeks ago, my man told me of this experience he had with the punk. I've briefly mentioned our method of trying to get him to behave appropriately on furniture by uttering the reminder, "Knees or bum!" when he tries to stand up on the couch. Anyway, the man was supervising the punk's outside playtime with the Garrett kidlets, their dad, and the dog Cruz. Daddy Garrett was showing the punk some of Cruz's tricks, including his obedience of the command, "Sit!" He was saying, "Cruz, sit!" over and over, but the puppy wasn't cooperating. So the kids joined in, "Cruz, sit!" without success. So the punk took it upon himself to give the command in a way the dog might understand: "Cruz, knees or bum!"

There are a couple punk phrases that always make me wince and look around, just in case there is a stranger nearby who might misunderstand:

2. The punk loooooves his train table that he inherited from his cousin James. Happily for me, he will spend a good hour supervising the progress of his blue engine and the many train cars that occupy the track. But when the blue engine (the one with batteries) is made to pull too many cars behind it, the load is too heavy and it becomes stuck. Frequently. All the time. So I hear this phrase frequently. All the time. "Uh oh! I suck!"

He's actually saying "it's stuck," but you wouldn't know that, would you?

3. The punk has learned to identify the American flag, and gets very excited when he sees one. He'll even put his hand on his heart (really, his tummy) and sometimes we recite the pledge of allegiance together. As the grand-daughter of a sailor who served in WWII and the sister of a Marine who served two tours in Iraq, this makes me happy. But when he points to these red, white, and blue standards, he yells, "Flag!" without the "l." I can't even bring myself to type this horrible word. I just hope no one ever hears this exclamation and gets offended that I've taught my toddler to be a complete jerk.

4. "Mac and cheese-aroni."

Monday, November 8, 2010

Peculiarities of Pregnancy


I shall now give you a short list of the weird social peculiarities that a woman is forced to experience during pregnancy, interspersed with a series of photos of the punk. They really have nothing to do with each other, except that I was pregnant with the punk once. And this is what he looks like now, while I am pregnant with his little brother. Besides, you'd rather see photos of him than me, right? Well, that's what you're going to get because I'm better with the camera than he is so if there is any photo-taking around here, I'm the one doing the shooting.

Shall we begin?


1. Tummy touching.

When I was gestating the punk, the amount of annoyance this act created in me was surprising. I really, really hated it. Especially at work. "Hello, person from Accounting that I've never actually had a conversation with. I've never even shaken your hand, but yes! Feel free to place your hand on my protruding abdomen. That's not invasive at all! Better yet, why don't you stand behind me and we can spoon!"

This time, I'm not as annoyed. Maybe it's because I've already been through it once and I know that some people just really love touching the tummy of an expectant mother. It makes them feel close to the magic or something. Or maybe it's because I know that being annoyed isn't going to do any good because tummy-touchers will be tummy-touchers. Either way, I'd rather you didn't invade my personal space if we don't have that kind of close relationship. (If you are a friend or family member that I regularly hug, you're in the clear.) But if you insist on rubbing my belly, I will try not to karate chop your wrist.


2. Gender expectations.

When I found out that I am having a second boy, I was genuinely thrilled. I felt like I had all the fortune in the world. I have high hopes that the punk and his little brother will have a close bond. It's not that he wouldn't have a great relationship with a sister, but I get excited thinking about two little Bell boys running around together. Some other people, however, seem to have different ideas.

When a close relative found out about the second male, she smiled a sad smile and said, "I'll bet you would have liked to have a girl this time, huh?" Um... no. Not really. I found it a bit strange that having two of the same gender was a cause of grief for this person. Is it that once you have one of each, your family is complete? Will I be an incomplete mother if I never have a variety?

At another time, someone else said, "Oh, well I guess you'll definitely have to have another baby. You have to try for a girl next time, right?" Um... no. I'd be completely happy with all boys. Maybe we'll have another one, maybe not. But if we do, it won't be so we can "try for a girl." How would one go about doing that anyway?

I find it very amusing that people even have opinions about this sort of thing, and that they share these opinions with me. Which brings me to number three...


3. Unsolicited opinions.

Especially when it comes to names. We all know someone who has decided on a name for their little bundle months before the birth, but refuses to share the name with anyone. I used to think this was kind of silly, but after hearing a few stories, I have a new respect for this method. If you tell someone the name(s) you are considering for your baby, you WILL receive a positive or negative assessment, even if it's just an accidental facial expression. Usually, the general public will hold their tongue if they don't really love the name as much as you do, but occasionally, you'll find someone who just has to tell you why you can not, under any circumstances, give your child this horrible name!

I especially love the concerns regarding possible nicknames or childhood taunts. Yesterday, my friend told me that her friend was considering the name Tate for her baby boy. Then some loud-mouthed character blurted out, "Tate, Tate, masturbate!" And that was the end of that.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

So Cute

My man, the punk and I went out to breakfast early this morning. After the man paid the bill and left to catch a flight, the punk and I lingered to finish our pancakes. (I may die in the next 5 minutes of early morning sugar overload. Farewell.)


In observing the decor of the restaurant, the punk said something I've never heard him say before and it tickled my funny bone. He pointed to some flowers in a vase and said, "Flowers, so cute!" I wasn't sure if I had heard him correctly, so I asked him to repeat what he had said. "Flowers, so cute!" I laughed so loud and hard that he could be in no doubt of how I felt about his new phrase; he is not lacking in positive reinforcement. So then he pointed to the decorative plates on the walls and said, "Plates, so cute!"

When we got home, I asked him to repeat his new phrase for the camera. (The lighting in our basement is horrible, so please ignore the poor cinematography.) Enjoy!


video

Hump Day


Today, I am 20 weeks along in my pregnancy with the petit garçon. He likes to kick when I'm resting. Or maybe that's the only time I feel it. My man came with me to an ultrasound appointment last week. While the tech was trying to get some clear pictures, the little guy was wiggling, turning over, grabbing his toes, then stretching all the way out. My man asked me if I could feel all that movement, and I told him I couldn't. It was pretty weird to see the babe moving on the screen, but not feel it inside. He is only the size of a banana, so I guess he has plenty of room to move without my knowledge. You enjoy that now, little man! When you're a teenager trying to sneak out of your room at 1:00 am, I'll know of your movements! Oh yes. I'll know.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Trick or Treat!

Wet.
Windy.
Cold.
Quick.
7 houses.
Treats.
Bewilderment.
Amusement.
Acceptance.


I should publish poetry.


We just put the punk to bed. He is now lying in his crib, saying, "Halloween costume... Halloween costume" over and over again. I declare this holiday a success!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

A Thursday List

1. I was awake, listening to a crying, whining, yelling toddler from 4:00-5:30 am.

2. After I left his room for the last time, shut my door and threw myself in bed, I heard him stop crying and say in a sad little voice, "Please?... Please?"

3. Then I covered my ear with my hand and went to sleep.

4. He survived and we both slept in.

5. When I was getting him dressed this morning, I laughed when I left his undershirt on his head. He grinned and asked me to take a picture. I wonder if he's trying to look academic, or if he's just really into that book?


6. I got my workout in while the punk was on a play date this morning. That means, during his nap time, I get 2 1/2 hours to myself to eat lunch, blog, and then do laundry, clean bathrooms, mop the kitchen floor, and start clearing out our 3rd bedroom. Wait, this doesn't sound fun at all! The sentence started out nicely, but got lost somewhere along the way.


7. It's cold outside.

8. But not as cold and snowy as yesterday.

9. We went to Sugar House Park to eat lunch and observe the fowl. It was warm enough that we could leave our coats in the car, but the punk wore a hat and I wore a scarf so we had the accessories covered.


10. If there is a stick anywhere in the vicinity, the punk will find it. And throw it. Even if it has goose poop on it.


11. The punk likes sandwiches and applesauce.

12. I like hot chocolate.

13. I foresee hot chocolate consumption in my very near future. Maybe even before the house is clean. Sometimes I'm a rebel like that.

14. I have goose poop on my shoes.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

October Bubbles

Today we laughed in the face of the freezing temps. We donned warm hats, armed ourselves with a pink bottle of bubbles, and enjoyed the great outdoors.

Then we took a stroll through our neighborhood so mama could get her 40 minutes of cardio in. Stroll is a soft word. We live on a mountain. It was a hike. With a heavy jogging stroller and an ever-growing belly. And that's why I'm counting it for my cardio workout. The punk insisted on holding his bubbles the whole way.

We blew more bubbles again when we got home, until the punk noticed his hands were frozen. He asked for a hug, and we went inside and soaked them in a nice, warm sink.


Now the punk is soundly asleep, the snow is falling fast in large flakes outside my window, I have a hot chocolate in hand and Glee on my DVR. Excuse me while I die of bliss.
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