Tuesday, September 30, 2008


Big Daddy and I were taking the girls to story time at the local Barnes and Noble on Saturday morning. It's sort of become a tradition with the kids. We go get coffee and cookies at Starbucks, and then head off to the children's section to listen to a story (this week's story was My Little Girl, Tim McGraw's first book, which was perfect for my girly cherubs). After the story and craft, we take the girls over to the Thomas the Train table so train-obsessed Cakes can have her fill of train time.

Anyway, we were on our way to story time, driving on one of our one-lane, country, back roads, when we saw these:

Big Daddy whipped out the camera phone, saying, "Look at the size of those turkeys! We have to send Grampy a picture of those!"

I replied, "Um, I don't think they're turkeys ..."

We got a little closer. They paused to curiously observe us as we took pictures. I think they were emus. Or baby ostriches. The point is, what the hey are emus/ostriches doing on the side of our one-lane road?

I mean, I expect turkeys, skunks, horses, goats, possums ... But emus?!

Friday, September 26, 2008


I grew up in the Northeast. So, we endured regular blizzards and Nor'easters as I was growing up. Of course, since these blizzards and Nor'easters were regular, the Department of Transportation was very efficient at getting the roads cleared within 24-48 hours of the storm hitting. And anyone who lived in the area knew that.

The funny thing is, every time the weatherperson said there was a winter storm coming, these same people would head out to the grocery stores in droves, buying out all of the bread, eggs, milk, and (inexplicably) ice cream in the store. It seemed a little ridiculous to me. I mean, it wasn't like we were living in North Dakota in the 1800's. I'm sure that these people were not going to starve to death in the 24-48 hours it took the Department of Transportation to clear and salt the roads. And, I think I would buy something tastier than bread, eggs, and milk if I were going to be housebound for a significant period of time. Tastykakes, anyone? The ingredients for Pioneer Woman's enchiladas and chocolate cake?

You know what else the populace at large bought in mass quantities? Snow shovels. What happened to all the snow shovels that were bought during the last panic before the storm hit? I mean, Big Daddy and I had the same snow shovel for five years.

Anyway, I'm sure you've heard on the news that Hurricane Ike has made gas a little scarce here in the South. But, really, people are taking it a little to the extreme, if you ask me. It's not like we're never going to have gasoline in the South again. But, just like in the Northeast during the snowstorm, people flocked out to gas stations with their largest vehicles packed full of gas cans, trying to horde as much gasoline as possible. There were two-hour lines, fistfights, and extra security at all the gas stations in the area.

Big Daddy happened to be trying to get into Home Depot when he witnessed the Great Southern Gas Scare of 2008.

So, poor Big Daddy amused himself with his camera phone while he waited a ridiculous amount of time to pull into the driveway of Home Depot to get some plywood.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008


I think everyone is a wonderful parent before they have any kids. I was no exception.

I wasn't going to allow any screaming in grocery stores.

I wasn't going to let TV be a babysitter.

My kids would always look presentable ...

... and well-dressed.

And, they would never, ever wear matching sailor dresses!

Yeah, that's how life goes sometimes.

Saturday, September 20, 2008


Who would have thought that poo would incite such enthusiastic celebration? As you know from previous posts, Bean is working hard at pooping in the potty. Each poo has been a bit of a struggle, with lots of protest, lots of "I can't do it," lots of "I'm a little scared," lots of "I'm only three." She's quite the reluctant potty-pooer.

Tonight, Bean excused herself from her turkey enchilada and sauntered into the living room to watch some "Little Bear." The rest of the family continued eating.

Suddenly, we heard Bean yell, "Hey! Hey! Everybody! I'm here!" Big Daddy followed her voice to the bathroom. Bean, of her own volition, had gone to the bathroom and pooped on the potty! Big Daddy called the rest of us in. Grampy triumphantly proclaimed, "Let's get a flashlight for a better look!"

We formed a line; Cakes, Grammy, Grampy, Big Daddy, and I all took turns admiring Bean's ... um ... handiwork as she shone the flashlight into the toilet bowl, beaming proudly. Then, we stood around cheering while she flushed.

Friday, September 19, 2008


Here is another wonderful idea from The Toddler Busy Book. My girls have those ride-on toy cars that play irritating music until they get left outside in a downpour. It really was an accident, but I'm not complaining.

Anyway, The Toddler Busy Book suggested having a mini car wash. I sent the girls onto the deck with a bucket of soapy water and a couple of rags. They spent a couple hours detailing their toy cars and not fighting with each other. Priceless!

Their toys get clean, they get clean. It's a win-win situation!

Thursday, September 18, 2008


A friend of ours gave us a professional photo session in our home as a gift when Cakes was born. The photographer got some beautiful shots. He also got some shots that aren't going to be put in any photo albums any time soon.
"Do you smell something?":

"Get this kid off my lap!":

"You're poking my eye":

"Move your arm, Dad":

"You're ... choking ... me ...":

Of course, there were some beautiful photos, too. Here's my favorite, with my cherubs looking particularly angelic:

For more fun photos and blasts from the past, check out We Are THAT Family.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Monday, September 15, 2008


Let me start at the beginning. Two weeks ago, one of my girly-girls was enthusiastically brushing my hair with a hair clip. Said hair clip spiraled out of control and ended up in my right eye. Excruciatingly painful? Yes. But this is not the first or worst eye injury I've ever had.

Back in 1997, I was at my third college. My roomie, Tanya, her younger brother, and I commuted to school every day, and we spent our time between classes hanging out at the campus bookstore where Tanya and I both worked. One morning in the beginning of the semester, I was pulling my syllabus out of my work folder to see how many papers I would be writing throughout the next three months. Anyway, I pulled out the syllabus and promptly stuck it right into my left eye. Fortunately, the school's athletic trainer was in the bookstore at the time. He took me back to his office, flushed my eye out, and patched me up until I could see a doctor. So, I spent the day with a patch on my eye. It only took about an hour for me to tire of explaining why I had a patch on my eye. So, I got a Post-it, wrote "papercut on eyeball" on the Post-it, and taped it to my eye patch. Various people would walk up to me, read my Post-it, and carry on with their lives.

The pain was pretty bad by the time we had finished classes for the day, so we headed straight to the emergency room after we left school. Where I got a shot in my rear end. And Tanya got asked out on a date. By the male nurse who gave me a shot in my rear end. They gave me a fresh eye patch and some Codeine, and sent me on my way.

Since I only had one functioning eye, Tanya drove to school the next day. Since I only had one functioning eye, I didn't bother reading the label on the Codeine that said it should be taken with food. Soon after taking my pain pill, I realized that I should've eaten something and hurriedly scarfed down a Twinkie. It was too late, though. My nausea began to increase steadily, as Tanya's brother sang loudly and off-key in the back seat of the car. For some reason, that made my nausea worse. By the time we reached the school parking lot, I yelled to Tanya's brother to stop singing. Then I opened the car door, threw up in the parking lot, and we continued on to find a parking space.

Since I only had one functioning eye, I also didn't read on the label that Codeine caused marked drowsiness. So, I spent the day asleep on the couch in the student body president's office.

To this day, when I rub my left eye, it squeaks. Loudly. This makes my husband nauseous. I think it's a pretty cool parlor trick, like my double-jointed elbows and clover tongue.

But, I digress. Today, I was putting shoes on Cakes so she could play outside with Bean. Cakes was excitedly grabbing at my head for balance while I wrestled her squirmy feet into the sandals. Then, I felt Cakes' thumb in my right eye. Yes, the same eye that was injured two weeks ago. This time, my mother took me to the emergency room. No shots in my rear end this time, and no one got asked out on a date. They did put a patch on my eye. I was going to take a picture of myself all patched up for the blog today, but I was walking like a drunken sailor at the pharmacy and still had vivid memories of vomiting in the parking lot at college, so I took the eye patch off. And called Tanya to reminisce.

Thursday, September 11, 2008


I realized tonight that I haven't given a weaning update. Here's a quick rundown:

Day 1: Screaming throughout the day. Begging for "bed booby" at regular intervals. Ninety minutes of screaming at bedtime. Sleep from sheer exhaustion.

Day 2: Moderate screaming periodically throughout the day. Several requests for "bed booby." Ninety minutes of screaming at bedtime. Sleep from sheer exhaustion.

Day 3: One to two requests for "bed booby." Accidental breastfeeding while distracted by Bean, resulting in one tantrum. Thirty minutes of screaming at bedtime. Sleep after several minutes of calm.

Day 4: No requests for "bed booby." Ten to fifteen minutes of screaming at bedtime. Sleep after several minutes of calm.

Day 5 through 13: See "Day 4."

Day 14 through present: No requests for "bed booby." Declarations of "My don't wanna go to bed," followed by a resigned sigh of, "Alright." Sleep after several minutes of calm.

Now, to be honest, I am still nursing her in the middle of the night if she starts to squirm and fuss. But, I make sure that she is not fully conscious and, thus, not fully aware of the fact that she is being nursed. Plus, it makes the transition easier for me. How many of you have read Pioneer Woman's blog when she talks about the mama cows being separated from their calves for sorting and ... um ... fixing? Those teats don't look too pretty!

But, I think we've reached a turning point. Last night, Cakes actually slept through the night! This is the first time she's ever slept through the night in her entire life! Yes, I am blessed with children who don't sleep through the night until after their second birthday. I don't know what I'll do if I ever get a full 8 hours of sleep again. It seems like such a distant dream!

Aaah. I remember those times when I was single, and it was Saturday, and I would be in that "sweet spot" in bed. You know what I mean? That perfect position with the perfect blanket coverage that makes your whole body tingle with relaxation? Of course, my cherubs are worth the sacrifice, but now I'm beginning to think I may be able to experience that again someday! Now, if only I could find someplace here in the South to get a good bagel ...

Hey, go to my friend Tanya's website and vote on her next hairdo!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008


Big Daddy and Grampy are building a workshop in the shed out back. Bean and Cakes enjoy watching them work with the wood and power tools. Last night, Bean came running in from the shed, yelling, "I'm going poopy! I'm going poopy!"

Now, let me preface with the fact that she has been announcing that for the better part of two days, but her toilet efforts have been fruitless. So, I wasn't in a big hurry until I looked at her. She was doing the classic "poopy stance," bent forward with her rear out. I quickly got her onto the potty, where she screamed hysterically for a few minutes that she wanted a diaper. Then she started trying to reason with me by saying, "I'm only three. I'm not big, I'm little." She ended by simply stating, "I can't do it. I'm scared." I pulled her off the potty, steeling myself for another screaming attempt later.

To everyone's utter surprise, there was a poopy in the potty! Somewhere in all the screaming and reasoning and self-doubting, Bean had managed to go on the potty again!

We cheered, we had everyone come to the bathroom for a good look, we baked a cake in Bean's honor. Whatever it takes to keep the poopy in the potty and out of the diaper!

Tuesday, September 9, 2008


Grampy was walking his dogs last night when he spied flames shooting up over the treetops at a property across the street from our house. He came inside to get Big Daddy. Of course, Grammy and I followed out, cherubs in tow. We couldn't think of anything that would make such a large fire except a house that was burning down. And we didn't hear any fire trucks. So, Big Daddy went into the house, got the phone, and dialed 911.

He walked outside with the phone, which was ringing. Then, Grampy made an astute observation: "Shouldn't we know where the fire is before we call 911?" Good point.

Big Daddy hung up the phone, and he and Grampy hopped in the car to drive to the fire location. Grammy and I stayed outside with the girls, watching the flames lick the sky. A few minutes later, Grampy and Big Daddy pulled into the driveway and let us know all about the fire.

Apparently, a few miles away, there was a big auction being held. Rather than rent spotlights, the auction company built an enormous bonfire to draw attention to the auction. Yes, we live in the country.

We all went inside, and saw on our caller ID that we had a call from the local sheriff in response to that aborted call to 911. I returned their call and explained the situation, and the dispatcher thanked us for calling back to let them know. About 10 minutes later, a car pulled into the driveway. One of our town's five police officers had come to check on things. As Big Daddy was explaining the auction bonfire to him, yet another one of our town's five police officers pulled into our driveway. Big Daddy explained the auction bonfire again. The cops were very gracious. I'm sure it was more action than they'd seen in quite a while.

I wonder how many other people called 911 last night about that bonfire ...

Saturday, September 6, 2008


We last left our heroes in Books-A-Million with successful pooer, Bean. Bean and Cakes hugged their "Potty Prizes" close as we walked to the register to pay. After we loaded the children into their car seats, I opened their toys so that they would have some distraction on the 30-minute ride home. Then Big Daddy said the words that every wife hates to hear: "Do you have the keys?"

Pause. "No. Don't you have them?"


Now, Big Daddy is notorious for getting me all worked up about the keys and then whipping them out of his pocket and laughing at my panic. So, I repeated, "Don't you have them?"

"No! I gave them to you!"

"You gave me your phone and your wallet. You didn't give me the keys. If you gave me the keys, I would have the keys."

It was decided that I would sit in the car with the girls while Big Daddy retraced his steps (men's room, cafe, drum magazine section, home improvement section, kid's section). He came out of the store about ten minutes later looking rather dejected. No keys.

The next step was to tear the car apart, just in case he set the keys down somewhere while getting Bean out of her car seat (an oft-occurring scenario). We went over that car with a fine-toothed comb. No keys.

The next step was to take the cherubs, who were getting a little rammy at that point, back to the Thomas the Train table. I thoroughly searched the store while Big Daddy watched the girls. I searched everywhere. I even searched the men's room. And I got some strange looks. No keys. I dug through garbage cans. Again, I got some strange looks. No keys. I crawled down each aisle of the store, looking under the shelving. More strange looks. No keys. We talked to the manager, who made an announcement over the loudspeaker. The wonderful Southerners who were already shopping joined in the search, regaling us with stories of their own key-misplacements. Three hours later, no keys.

We finally admitted defeat. Big Daddy called Uncle Matt and Aunt Tracy. They came to pick us up. In their compact car. With a donut on it. A flat donut. A donut with 5 pounds of air pressure in it instead of the recommended 60 pounds of air pressure. A compact car that seated five people. Did I mention their were six of us? And two car seats? And "Potty Prizes"?

After a harrowing drive, filled with the gentle sleeping breath of one child and the hysterical screams of the other, we made it home.

I started making calls to dealerships and tow companies, finding out how we were going to get a new set of keys (the spare set disappeared sometime during our move this past March, so the set that was swallowed by Books-A-Million was our only one) and how long it would take and how much it would cost. Let's just say that it would be a lot of hassle, a long wait, and a load of money.

We hadn't heard back from Books-A-Million, with whom we had left every possible way of contacting us, so we assumed the keys were gone for good. But, just before I spent hundreds of dollars and hours of my life getting new keys made, I thought I'd give them a call. Just in case.

They had the keys!!!! Where did they find them? I don't know. When did they find them? I don't know. Will Big Daddy ever use my keys again? I think we all know the answer to that ...

Friday, September 5, 2008


Bean potty trained herself a couple days after her third birthday with one notable exception: poo. She refused to poopy on the potty. I tried and tried to force it. I would leave her pantsless and then carry her to the potty when she started to go, only to have her straighten out her body like a board and scream hysterically until there was either a diaper on her bottom or a pile on the floor next to the toilet. I finally gave up, figuring she would eventually decide that she didn't like having poopy diapers; I just hoped that she wouldn't be in high school before that happened.

Then, three days ago, my perspective changed. After wrestling my stinky toddler to floor and changing her diaper while trying to keep her from kicking me in the head, followed by two hours of screaming that she didn't want a diaper change, I decided that it was once again time to force the issue.

Cakes had already poopied on the potty twice. So, in an attempt to reward Cakes' behavior and encourage continued potty-pooing, and to light a fire under Bean, we resorted to bribery. We told the girls we would take a trip to Books-A-Million so Cakes could pick out a "Poopy Prize." It did the trick; Bean was determined to poopy on the potty.

At Books-A-Million, Cakes picked out a train (of course - the girl is obsessed with trains) as her "Poopy Prize," and went on to join Bean at the Thomas the Train table for a leisurely afternoon of play. Big Daddy and I took turns watching the girls while the other wandered the store, looking at books and periodicals.

About an hour into our play time, Bean suddenly started to waddle and say in a panicky voice, "I have to go poopy! I need a diaper!" I swooped her up and carried her to the bathroom, explaining that we don't use diapers anymore and that she was going to poopy on the potty. I encountered surprisingly little resistance, I think due mostly to the fact that she had begun to expel her excrement before she was securely seated on the potty. My girl did beautifully, and she is officially out of diapers!

We ran back to Big Daddy and Cakes, waiting for us at Thomas the Train's station, and excitedly gave the news. Bean picked out a puzzle as her "Poopy Prize," and we gathered our things together to pay and go home. That's when the bad news hit ...