Five Finger Discount

3 Mar

Emma has developed a bit of a nasty habit. Some call it “stealing”, but I’d like to think of it more like “borrowing without ever returning.” Sounds nicer, no?

It started like this: Two weeks ago we were leaving a friend’s house after a fun-filled afternoon playdate. I strapped Emma into her car seat and started driving down the road, when Emma said, “Mommy- look.” She held out her open hand containing a small plastic toy that belonged to her friend. I said, “Emma! That’s not yours! You can’t just take someone else’s toy from their house. That’s called stealing.” She replied, “But Mommy, I love it.” She carried that toy in her hand for three days until I was finally able to pry it from her grasp and return it to its rightful owner. And by returning it, I mean sneaking into my friend’s house and placing the toy back in her daughter’s room without anyone noticing. What? It was my first time dealing with this, ok?

Last week, when I picked Emma up from school I noticed that she was wearing a new accessory- a light-up pink jelly ring. The thing was enormous. I asked her, “What is that?” She said, “It’s a ring. Look- it lights up!” And so it did. So then I asked, “Where did it come from?” She said, “It’s Natalie’s.” Natalie is not her real name btw- I have a reputation to protect-Emma’s of course. I gave up on mine years ago. Back to the story….

So then I said, “Did Natalie give that to you?” Emma replied, “No, she brought it for sharing. I found it.” What?! Not again! So I said, “Honey! You can’t take Natalie’s sharing! Imagine how sad she is right now. She brought that for sharing because it is special to her and now it’s gone!” So then Emma said, “But I found it.” I replied, “Yes, but the right thing to do would have been to return it to Natalie. Just because you found it, doesn’t mean it belongs to you. You are giving it back to Natalie the next time we see her.” That seemed to sink in, except Emma has since broken poor Natalie’s ring, so if you know of a place where I can get a pink light-up jelly ring in a pinch that would be great. *cough*

Why does my little kleptomaniac have such sticky fingers? I am mortified. I can assure you though, I am on it. I’m not sure exactly what being “on it” entails, but I’m going to figure something out. I the meantime, please consider this post a disclaimer.

To all potential future playdates: You lock away the silver and your jewelry, and I’ll give my daughter a full pat-down before we leave your house. Deal? (Please still invite me over for play dates I swear my daughter won’t steal your stuff well maybe she might but I swear that she’ll only take the crappy stuff but if it’s really nice stuff I promise to bring it back except if she breaks it and then I’ll do my best to replace whatever jelly light-up contraption it is because if I don’t have play dates scheduled I might lose my mind or what’s left of it and then the only thing I’ll have left to do is shop at Target and if one more toy from the dollar bin makes its way into my house I’m going to need to be committed.)

The Requisite First Birthday Birth Story Post

2 Mar

It’s official: Annie is a year old. Her birthday was on Saturday and we celebrated by having a few friends over for tacos and cupcakes. It was about 95% less work than Emma’s insane first birthday bash and I think I had a better time. NOTE TO ALL YOU NEW PARENTS: Do not spend a lot of time, money, or energy on your child’s first birthday. All you really need to do is take pictures of them eating cake and you will still get an A+ in the birthday portion of the life test known as “Motherhood”.

The entire day of Annie’s first birthday I was trying to recall the events surrounding her birth. Can I be honest here? I don’t remember that much of it. She was just over three weeks early, I had been in and out of the hospital a few times with early labor, and it’s hard to distinguish the hospital visits from each other. I thought I best write down what I know about that day now for future reference.

I know not everyone is as fascinated by my child’s birth as I am, so don’t feel bad if you don’t feel like reading this one. It’s not really for you guys anyway. It’s something I hope to read to Annie one day. *tear*

The Day Anne Margaret was Born: February 26, 2010

Here you are inside my belly four days before you were born:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Crazy, right?

The day you were born Emma and I went to the zoo. I remember someone asking me when you were coming and I replied, “Any day now!” Boy, was I right! That afternoon I started to feel some contractions. I had been having them almost the entire time I was pregnant with you, but the doctors were able to stop them. I was actually kind of annoyed that the contractions were starting up again because going to the hospital is kind of a pain. Instead of waiting it out, and risking the potential of going to the emergency room in the middle of the night, I decided to go to the hospital to get things checked out while it was still early in the day. Your dad was home from work early (it was Friday) and he watched Emma while I ran down there.

The doctors tried and tried to get the contractions to stop, but they just wouldn’t let up. They finally decided that your birthday had arrived. Your dad dropped Emma off at Mimi and Papa’s and he came down to the hospital to be with me. While we were waiting for the doctor to come, your heart rate suddenly dropped. The machines they had me hooked up to started beeping like crazy and the nurses were rushing around all over the place. A bunch of them rolled my bed right out of Triage and took me right up to labor and delivery. When we got up there, your heart rate went back to normal, which was such a relief. We were really freaked out though!

The doctor came about an hour later and the nurses prepared me for my c-section. You see, Emma was a c-section (she was a breech 9 lb baby) so that meant you were also going to be delivered via c-section. It all happened really fast. I actually don’t remember much of that part. But here you are being born:

Here you are again:

I love this picture so much.

As soon as you came out Daddy started shouting, “She looks just like Emma! Oh my gosh- she looks just like Emma!” That later proved to not be true, but you did look like her- for about five minutes.

This is me on drugs. I know I look happy here, but that’s because I love you- NOT because of the drugs. DRUGS ARE BAD.

Here you are being measured and weighed. You were 7 lbs 2 oz, which is a really good size for a 36 weeker. Considering your sister was 9 lbs, this wasn’t really a huge surprise.

Look at your little chicken legs!

This is how I remember you looking the day you were born:

The nurses and the NICU team started working on you because you weren’t breathing that well. You were early and your lungs weren’t fully functioning. They decided that you needed some extra help, so they took you down to the NICU. You got intubated, which I thankfully never had to see, while I was in the recovery room resting up. When I had recovered from the anesthesia, they wheeled me down to you and I got a chance to nurse you for the first time. You were pretty sleepy and not super interested in eating. That changed quickly though.

Both of us were in the hospital for the next three days. You stayed in the NICU and I was upstairs. I came down every three hours to feed you. You were a really great nurser. You ended up getting a septic infection while you were down there and they couldn’t figure out what was wrong. They gave you two spinal taps and a round of antibiotics. Here you are in the NICU. How cute are you:

You recovered quickly and they let us go home together. Seeing all the tiny and sick babies in the NICU gave me a new appreciation for you. I am so lucky that you got better so fast and that I was able to take you home with me.

Here you are the day we went home:

And here you are meeting your sister for the first time. Seriously? This one makes me cry every time I look at it:

And now look at you:

My darling baby girl: you are one of the brightest lights in my life. What would life be like without you? Thank you for making my days full of laughter, snuggles, kisses, games, hugs, and giggles. Happy birthday!

Housekeeping

28 Feb

I did some housekeeping on ye olde blog this weekend and I thought I would share some of the updates with you:

  • The chickens have their own blog. Yes, I know. It wasn’t my idea. They basically bitched and moaned and wore me down until I finally caved in and gave them a cyber space of their own. It’s called Ruling the Roost.
  • I have a professional blog now too. I’m trying to be all legit and stuff.
  • Finally, here is a link to an article I wrote about trying to track down some Girl Scout cookies. Don’t worry. I was finally able to secure some and they’ve been devoured. I’m just trying to do my job as a supporter of the youth, you know?

If you manage to find your way over to my two new blogs, could you let me know if anything looks wonky? I’ve been staring at my screen for the last three hours straight and I’m not sure I can read English anymore. Thanks guys!

How was your weekend? Have any of your own news to share with me?

Top Ten Things My Baby Wants for Her First Birthday

24 Feb

Annie turns a year old on Saturday. I’m sure you are all asking yourselves, “What do I get the girl who has everyhing?” Well, you are so sweet to ask. To make it a little easier for you, I’ve compiled a list:

  1. A ledge upon which she can throw her body off of, which would result in her 87th near death experience, thus giving me yet another mild heart attack.
  2. My purse. But only if it’s filled with small coins, sticks of gum, and electronic devices.
  3. Handfulls of human hair. Preferably not attached to Emma’s head.
  4. Teeny tiny Barbie shoes and Polly Pocket accessories.
  5. An experimental surgery that would return her back to her original residence (aka: my womb).
  6. A pair of magical legs that help her keep up with the big kids at the park. Sort of like Forrest Gump’s, only way cooler and more stylish. Bonus points if they come in pink or purple.
  7. A drawer full of tupperware, hairbrushes, credit cards, cell phones, sunglasses (designer only please), old shoes, and magazines.
  8. A basket full of freshly folded laundry that she can tear apart.
  9. An apparatus that would permanently affix her to my right hip.
  10. A time machine that would allow me to relish in the very last moments of her babyhood before she turns into a full-blown walking and talking toddler. *tear*

What uncommon gifts would you purchase for a one year old?

This post can also be seen here at Rated by Mom.

Wordless Wednesday: Can She Just Be Three and a Half Forever?

23 Feb

So, This One Time I Bought Some Chickens….

22 Feb

It’s official. We own chickens. Four of them. Meet the girls:

Saturday morning I woke up and thought to myself, “We are going to buy some chickens today.” And so we did.

There is a feed store about 40 minutes away that sells young hens that are already laying eggs. Most of the other stores I contacted only sell baby chicks, and well, considering I already have two baby chicks (and a husband) to take care of, the thought of mothering four baby chicks sort of put me over the edge. It also takes chicks about seven months to start laying eggs, and considering the fact that I don’t even like waiting for the laundry to dry, I decided to go for instant gratification.

It was a totally surreal experience- buying the chickens. We just drove to the feed store, asked for four hens, the clerk put them in a box, and then we drove away. The entire transaction lasted about ten minutes. I couldn’t help but think it was about as anti-climactic as losing your virginity. I kept trying to ask the clerk questions and engage him in conversation, but he was totally over me. I even felt compelled to give him my email address in case he wanted to keep in touch or see how the chickens were doing down the road. I felt bonded to this poor guy and he couldn’t wait to get me out of his store so he could take a smoke break.

I’m sure you are all wondering about the names. Emma wanted to name one of the hens “Kitty”. Ok- no problem. I wanted to name one “Lulu”, after a character in one of Emma’s favorite books Goodnight Lulu. Whitney was set on “Dagny”, one of the main characters in Atlas Shrugged. He actually wanted to give that name to the baby before she was born (he got a big hell-to-the-no from me on that one), so I conceded and let him give the name to one of the chickens. All things considered, that was very generous of me. Don’t you think?

We couldn’t really settle on a fourth name. Emma wanted to name the fourth chicken “Emma”, but since there is a good chance we might eat these chickens one day, I just couldn’t get on board with that. Whitney didn’t really care, so I named the fourth one “Sunny” after my great-aunt. I’m sure you are all asking yourselves, “What is with “Gnocchi” then?” Oh, I am too my friends. You see, Emma is stuck on watching this Curious George cartoon and one of the cats in the show is named “Gnocchi.” Despite explaining to her over and over that the fourth chicken is named “Sunny”, she insists on calling it “Gnocchi”. It seems that the fourth hen is destined to be named after Italian dumplings, so “Gnocchi” it is.

Once we decided on the names, it took a few days for us to assign them to the hens. I have to admit- they are hard to tell apart. Gnocchi has more white feathers than the others, Lulu has a lighter neck, Kitty has a redder neck, and Dagne is lighter all around. I’m glad I’ll have this post and the photo collage as a reference for later. It’s all a bit much to keep track of.

I could go on and on about what life is like at The Little Hen House right now, but I know you guys are all busy. If you want to keep tabs on the hens I’ve dedicated a page on the blog to them. You can find it here- The Literal Hen House. I’ll periodically update it with ramblings about poop, feral cats, broken eggs, and my various misadventures in urban farming. Don’t worry- I won’t be offended if you don’t read it. It’s not for everyone.

Well, enough about my weekend. What did you all do?

Big Questions From Little People

17 Feb

This post was featured on the Studio 30 Plus magazine yesterday! How cool is that?  If you blog, and are 30 and over, then you need to join the coolest club in town. It’s just another reason why being in your thirties is awesome. Stop by and check it out!

Big Questions From Little People

Emma and I were driving the other day and singing along to one of her favorite kid songs “Found a Peanut”. I’m sure you’ve heard of it- it’s a classic. It goes like this: “Found a peanut, found a peanut, found a peanut just now…” And then continues on to the narrator eating the peanut, getting sick, dying, and then waking up only to realize the saga of the rotten peanut was just a dream. About thirty seconds into the song, this is what Emma says to me:

Emma: Mommy, why does Daddy have a peanuts?

Me: Ummm. Do you mean a penis?

Emma: Yes. Peanuts. That’s what I said.

Me: Well, he’s a boy and boys have penises.

Emma: I have a peanuts too.

Me: No. You have a vagina.

Emma: Why?

Me: You are a girl, and girls have vaginas. Boys have penises.

Emma: Why?

Me: That’s just the way we are made. Does Mommy have  vagina?

Emma: Yes.

Me: Does Annie have a vagina?

Emma: Yes.

Me: Do you have a vagina?

Emma: Yes.

Me: That’s right. We all have vaginas because we are girls. Daddy is a boy. What does Daddy have?

Emma: A peanuts.

Me: You got it.

Emma: But I don’t have a hole like Daddy. Daddy has a hole.

Me: You do have a hole. Yours is on the inside of your body and Daddy’s is on the outside.

Emma: Why?

Me: Because he is a boy and he has a penis, and you are a girl and you have a vagina.

Emma: Ok Mommy.

Omgomgomgomg. Can I just stop time, or reverse the clock? When did my baby turn into a little person who asks questions about peanuts and holes? She’s three, people. THREE!

In totally related news, I bought these last night:

Because I was raised by a hippie and a psychotherapist, these books had permanent spots on my nightstand. Did any of you have them too? I have to say, that seeing these again brought back very fond memories of learning about the birds and the bees. In fact, it almost makes me excited to start this new chapter in life. Almost. But not quite.

If you need to find me, I’ll be in the kitchen with my head in the oven.

How do you approach tough subjects with little people who have big questions? Am I on the right track here guys?

Wordless Wednesday: Why I Don’t Shower Alone

16 Feb

Top Five Biggest Maternity Fashion Mistakes

15 Feb

1. Wearing your pre-pregnancy clothing a little too long.

Listen- we all want to get as much mileage out of our non-maternity wardrobes as possible. At some point you have to stop fighting the inevitable. If the seams on your shirts are working overtime and  your pant legs are beginning to resemble sausage casings, then it’s time to retire those bad boys. Don’t even think for one second that no one will notice if your fly is unzipped and you have three rubber bands keeping the button closed. Bite the bullet and invest in some maternity clothes already.

2. Falling for the illusion (or delusion) that you are “all belly”.


The thing about having a watermelon stuffed inside your abdomen is that your belly starts to dwarf the rest of your body. When I was about six months pregnant with my first baby, I remember actually thinking that my legs and arms were skinny. Of course, that dream came to an abrupt end the second I tried to squeeze my rear into an old pair of jeans. They didn’t even make it past my knees. Unless you are giving birth to a 35 pound baby, there is a good chance that some of that baby weight is going somewhere besides your belly. Leave the booty shorts and strappy tanks at home, and don’t forget to check your backside in the mirror before you leave the house. This is also the perfect time to remind you that non-maternity dresses will ride up so high on your belly that you run the risk of pulling a Britney Spears. Don’t let this happen to you.

3. Showing too much cleavage (or too much of anything).

You are going to notice all kinds of changes happening to your body as soon as you see those little pink lines pop up on that pregnancy test. The first thing that happens is your bosom starts to expand faster than Becky Anderson’s did over the summer between sixth and seventh grade. Whether you have ittie bitties, or your cup runneth over, eventually your lovely lady lumps will become so plentiful that you will have cleavage in a turtleneck. Less is more in the world of maternity fashion and you already have the best accessory in town- a beautiful baby bump. There is no need to distract from your natural glow.

4. Wearing maternity clothing too early into your pregnancy.

This is the inverse of maternity fashion mistake #1. I’ll be the first to admit that my heart skipped a beat the first time I slipped into a pair of elastic waist maternity pants. Two thoughts ran through my head: 1. Wow- this is really happening! and 2. Finally- an excuse to let it all hang out! The thing is, maternity clothing is made for women with large, round, bellies full of babies- not bellies with embryos the size of pinto beans in them. The clothing is cut larger, longer, and wider than regularly sized items. I know you feel fat and awkward with that in-between belly, but trust me- you will look a lot better in your regular clothing than you will pulling your pants up every five seconds or wearing a shirt that rivals a circus tent. Just wait it out.

5. Getting a drastic haircut.

I think pregnant women feel compelled to cut their hair for a variety of reasons. It might be because for the first time in their lives their hair is shiny and luscious, or maybe they are tempted to tame their mane by chopping it off. Pregnancy also does strange things to one’s self esteem and perhaps they are trying to regain some sense of their non-pregnant self. You also cannot underestimate how hormones, pregnancy brain shrinkage, and insomnia affect judgement. This might seem like the perfect time to channel your inner Michelle Williams and get that pixie cut you’ve always wanted. DON’T DO IT. Not only have you not factored in the shape of your new pregnant face, but you might end up with a high-maintenance haircut. The last thing you will want to do as a new mom who is running on three hours sleep is spend more than five minutes styling your hair. Have you ever tried to flat iron your hair while breastfeeding? I don’t recommend it.

What are some of your maternity fashion mistakes?

This post can also be seen here at Rated by Mom.

Top Ten Worst Valentine’s Day Gifts

11 Feb
  1. Lingerie. We both know who this is really for, don’t we?
  2. A Puppy. Thanks Jerk-face. You basically just got me another baby. Except this one will never grow up. I guess that makes both of you.
  3. A box of chocolates from the drug store. Although, they might give me such a bad headache that I will actually have a legitimate reason to withhold sex.
  4. Anything intended for exercise (this includes yoga pants). This is a no-win situation.
  5. A gift certificate for a massage. Unless it comes with a gift certificate for a babysitter too.
  6. A romantic Facebook icon left on my wall. We’re not 13, ok?
  7. A stuffed animal. Like I need another one of those dust-collectors sitting around the house.
  8. Appliances. Unless it’s a robotic maid.
  9. Something that requires assembly (by me). Do I really need to explain this one?
  10. Nothing. Consider yourself warned.

What’s on your wish list this Valentine’s Day?

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