Wrapping Paper Continued...

Karl and I took Nate to his 18 month well check up at the doctors this morning. I, ah, confess: We let Nate play with the nasty toy table thingey in the waiting area... something that, every time I have visited the doc office, I swore I would NEVER do (ha. never say never - my one piece of parenting advice!) until I had a loud, rambunctious and uber wiggley 18 month old boy that I would give my germ-infested right arm to if it meant he would stop moving for twenty seconds. Aforementioned table was in the "well child," ah, section of the room (Because the germs can not travel from the blue chairs to the red chairs in the same room. Clearly.). It kept him entertained briefly. Surely it's fine, right? I washed his hands the second we got to the exam room. (I swear I try not to be a germ phobe but the pedi's office makes me NERVOUS. We all have our things! I promise I let him roll around in dirt and eat sticks and jump in puddles on a regular basis.)

Anyway, once we got into the exam room, we let him rip up the paper on the table and throw it in the trashcan. He thought it was the best. thing. ever. It was JUST LIKE CHRISTMAS! (Er, well opening Christmas presents from other people, because we didn't actually wrap our gifts to Nate.) The appointment was nice and boring - just the way I like them! Nate is 26 pounds and 33 inches. Tall and skinny. Huh. Weird. Wonder where that's from. He is meeting and/or exceeding his 18 month old milestones. Since we had delayed a few vaccinations, he did have to get shot up a bit, but stopped crying with the help of some, um, Wintergreen Altoids, my new bribery technique! (That totally works. Don't judge.)

Happy and Healthy. Thanks for listening (er, reading?)!


crunchy yum yums

I've been performing a little science experiment on my own pretty little head.

I have been patiently waiting for my (dove) shampoo and conditioner to run out, so I can go 'poo-less.' Today is Day Seven of the NO SHAMPOO and NO CONDITIONER experiment. Let me rephrase that. I have been washing my hair. Just not with your, ah, typical shampoo products? For shampoo, I have been using a mix of baking soda and water (1.5 tbs to 1 cup of water). For conditioner, I have been using a mix of apple cider vinegar (1tbs) and water (1 cup). I found the ratios here. (Thanks to Maria and Brooke for inspiration!)

I have to say my hair has not behaved this well in YEARS. I finally feel like I am doing something right with it! This excites me to no end. It hasn't even had much of an "adjustment period" and it's WAAAAAAAY less frizzy than normal. It feels a little heavier but it is behaving so much better and it seems to dry MUCH faster. Additionally, my scalp has been a tad itchy, but nothing terribly noticeable and I expect that to go away soon. SERIOUSLY I can not express to you how awesome this is for me and how I wish I had tried it earlier. (My hair is thick and frizzy and dry and THERE IS A LOT OF IT. As a general rule, I only wash it every other day. And I don't use a blow dryer very often.)

With the poo-lessness you are supposed to be able to wash it less and less and less (I am washing everyday right now.) and some people eventually are able to just rinse with water, but I'm not sure I will ever get there. My only future concern is the smell - like you know how when you have been playing outside/running and your hair gets that (metallicey? outdoorsy?) scent to it? How do I avoid that? Anyone? Anyone? Maybe I shall cross that bridge when I get to it - YOU WILL TELL ME IF MY HAIR SMELLS, RIGHT?

Now I can't decide if I should cut it all off like I intended to do at the first of the year!
This experiment has made me want to wear it all long and hippy dippy for awhile! I'm going to give it at least two more weeks before I decide.

Self involved hair post ends NOW!



well thank god that's over with!

Nah - I am teasing.

Christmas eve and Christmas day were both wonderful. Absolutely wonderful.

...Even when my father-in-law and his wife called at 4:00 on Christmas Day (after we had been celebrating all day) to push Christmas Day dinner back from 5:30 to 7:30. Thanks for the notice. My cranky, overstimulated 18 month old child would LOVE to start dinner at his bedtime! Honestly, it wound up being fine. Karl and I gulped down a LARGE glass of wine each and made do. Nate was (surprisingly) better there than he was anywhere else - Karl and I were kind of hoping for a tantrum or a meltdown so we could be all SEE? IT'S PAST HIS BED TIME!?! WE HAVE TO LEAVE!, but that was not the case. He ran around all happy like for an hour and even ate dinner. Sigh.

It's just A THING with Karl's dad and his wife.


One Christmas several years ago, they were over two hours late to a Christmas dinner - I believe it was the week before Christmas actually - at a restaurant here in Little Rock. By the time they arrived at the restaurant (never called to say they were running late) (and all the other patrons were leaving), Karl and I had consumed two bottles of wine and were working our way through a third. I don't remember much about dinner BUT I do remember when we got home that Karl left me on the kitchen floor where I wanted to cuddle with Arlo (I'm sure I was being obstinate about it; Karl doesn't make it a habit to leave me passed out places...not that I do that, erm, often.) and I woke up completely alone (thanks ARLO) and freezing on the floor around 4 a.m and spent the next day alternating between sleeping and puking. MERRY CHRISTMAS FOLKS! Hahaha. Ah, holiday memories!

2009 was much less dramatic. As mentioned in previous posts, we stayed in town, so there was no packing (hooray!) and no driving (hooray!) and no flying. There was no snow (hooray!) but there was much rain (eh.). We didn't really "do Santa" with Nate. I don't know, I mean I guess we did? As in we gave him some presents when we woke up Christmas morning, but we didn't necessarily say "these are from Santa" or build up the whole Santa thing too much. He is obsessed with his Little People (that are NOT so little anymore by the way!) Farm. He got some other fun stuff, we got some fun stuff, we had fun with our families. (Dare me to use the word FUN again? FUN.)

We were able to Skype (video chat) with my family in St. Louis quite a bit, including a nice loud call with EVERYONE on Christmas Eve. Here is a photo of Nate showing my sister his new track hoe. It was real fun teaching him to say track hoe. I don't really know what a track hoe is or what it does so I hope he never asks. Please excuse our outfits. We were cleaning. That is my imagetcrazywithsomecleaningproducts shirt.


head: it's like an orange on a toothpick

so one of my favorite things about Nate going to 'school' once a week is the CRAFTS that come home with him. (Allegedly, he makes them.) This beaut (pictured above) graced his diaper bag last week - it was wrapped and everything. I tore that christmas wrapping right off the second nate was buckled in his carseat. Needless to say, I laughed out loud. (LOLed ya'll.) It's not so much the craft that got me - it's a perfectly adorable foamy ornament. It's the picture. EXTREME CLOSE UP. Like, it kind of looks like a drivers license photo (no smiles allowed!), or maybe a mug shot. My son, the future dexter columbian drug dealer OHGODLETSNOTEVENGOTHERE. Clearly, my (non-columbian) child will forever be a model, law-abiding citizen. (Not that if you are Columbian or in any way related to or friends with anyone from Columbia are you a drug-related criminal. For the record. Ahem.) ANYWAY: Nate will (obvs) file his taxes correctly and will not even steal so much as a pack of gum in his lifetime. CLEARLY.

Anyway, the point is: I LOVE THIS FREAKING ORNAMENT. It invokes many a So I Married an Axe Murderer quotes (It has its own weather system!) (That's a HUGE noggin!). It has a place of honor on this year's tree (and by place of honor I mean it sits higher up than he can reach it!). Some days he will point at it and say "Nate" and I'm all - that's YOU!!! (and your HEEEED.) Snicker.

Here are a few more shots of Nate and I just mere hours ago: (breaking pictures! alert your friends and family!) Please note the lack of Christmas presents (those bags are empty and left over from our party!) under the tree. This is partially so Nate will not get into them but MOSTLY b/c not one (other than those ordered wrapped) is wrapped. And some (shhhh) are not even purchased yet. GASP. THE HORROR.

eh, we're not too worried. there is still time, right? HA.


no blonde jokes here

so, I know I need to cut Nate's hair (again) BUT I JUST CAN'T.

First of all, when I envisioned my little boy (because i knew it was a boy KARL.) back in the days when a baby was just a glimmer in our eyes and not a string of NONONONONO cusswordcusswordcussword LETMEWIPEYOURNOSE STOPRUNNING, I always thought he would have this GORGEOUS, WAVY/CURLY (not too much of either) perfectly brunette toddler hair. (I also allowed it to have the ability to look perfectly tousled after hours of playing or fresh from a nap. Clearly.) Fast forward to, uh, NOW. So not the case. This child's hair is straight as the straightest straight line (too many straights?). And, you may have noticed, it is SUPA blonde. Like, it keeps getting BLONDER (if that is possible?) Karl was blonde as a child but didn't have as much hair, and I was blonde-ish. I shall find photo evidence to show you. And it grows SUPA fast. It keeps growing and growing and growing and we keep cutting it here and there (and every week) BUT I DONT WANT TO cut it anymore. I don't care if it's falling in his eyes. It makes a cute little emo sweep. PLUS, I know it is not going to be blonde forever (surely not, right?) and I want to giggle at that shock of blonde as long as possible. (Additionally, I BUTCHERED the back a few weeks ago and am terrified to try again.)

It's not just the hair either. He keeps getting TALLER and TALLER. (but not chunkier; never was a chunky one. boo.) And he can reach doorknobs and he says things like "Up please." (which sounds like APEE APEE but whatEVER - i know what he is saying!) And he does things. Like I will say "Turn in a circle" and HE WILL. Or "Fall down" and HE WILL. Or "JUMP!" and he will... well he doesn't actually leave the ground. Or "Dance!" and he will. (There are more but these are the most entertaining - particularly 'FALL DOWN' as it is usually accompanied by some log rolling.) Sometimes I am amazed at the words he says (donkey?!?!) He can point out and say A, B, M, O, Y, I solidly and will repeat pretty much every other letter. He likes to point at letters on signs (see above photo) and papers and say them outloud (well, often, he just says 'M' but, hey, he recognizes they are letters and that's good, right?) He knows yellow, blue, and green and will repeat other color names when prompted.

Shit, let's face it, he will repeat WHATEVER you say.

(What? Is shit not an appropriate word there? Am I going to have to start SPELLING cuss words?! S-H-I-T!)

I don't have a lot more to say today, other than it's REAL happy and REAL sad to see your babies grow and I felt like documenting some of it on the ole bloggity today. I am having a low-key week this week - trying to get out Christmas cards and pretend to Christmas shop online whilst Nate naps. It's been a bit of a long week (Happy Wednesday!), and I am already looking forward to the weekend.


tradition: more than family

The weekend is, sadly, coming to a quick and exhausted close.

Karl and I (and Nate?) hosted our annual friends christmas party this year. It is in its fourth year of existence and the dirty santa presents continue to get more and more amusing! I do love how some traditions extend to more than just family, because, let's face it, sometimes our friends ARE family.

We coupled the party this year with an anniversary celebration for our dear friends kristen and JR. The ever-so-talented Leah created this:
(um, wow, right? AND it tasted A-mazing.) (If you didn't figure it out, Kristen and JR got married in Vegas.) She also supplied us with other varying forms of desert deliciousness including something called Elf Bites which are like these little mini, super-itty short bread teensy tiny squares of heaven.

Here are some of the females in attendance:
The Happy Couple, married Christmas Eve 2004, with their "wood" 5 year gift:
Nate conked out within the first hour of the party and didn't make a peep all night (even when the Weezer concert began happening around 1 a.m. in the Living Room.).
Audra with her Opposum that she won and proceeded to carry around petting all night (with the creepy tail wrapped around her arm!) The tag on the possum said that they are "friendly, non-agressive creatures" which, according to the majority of our party guests (who have, apparently, combated possums head to head, er, mostly with brooms) this is NOT the case. Whatever the case is they are a little creepy, yes? The tag attached to this little guy was SO ridiculously positive that I imagine there is a creepy possum loving population out there advocating to change the images of possums EVERYWHERE.
Elizabeth taking her pick of the pile (additionally, her Trash the (wedding) Dress pictures from the Arkansas State Fair are on her site. If you have a minute, you should REALLY check them out.)
Right before our final guests left:
I feel like the party was a SUCCESS. i had some pre-event jitters prior to the start of the party, which is weird because we entertain pretty frequently. I guess I just felt the CHRISTMAS PRESSURE here too, because everyone there has definitely seen my house DIRTY.

OH, AND AND, if you didn't believe me about the whole I'm a TERRIBLE wrapper thing, allow me to present to you Exhibit A:
THIS WAS MY FOURTH ATTEMPT and after half a roll of wrapping paper (the same ONE roll of wrapping paper I have had for, oh, three years!) I quit!! There was still a ripped corner, and I had neither scotch tape nor bows. I might need lessons.


it's official

October 09:
June 09: (N's first birthday, Brooke about 20 weeks, Maddox a newborn.)
Jenny's baby shower in April 09. (there are two inside babies here.):
October 08:
We are multiplying.


well lookey there, the grinch mananged a tree


Thar she is.

Christmas Tree 2009.

Straight from the Home Depot. (We literally bought this thing in, ohhh, 15 minutes. EFFICIENT.)

This is my take on tree decorating (when I do it. I think this is the first tree we've had in a while? I can't remember...I know we did not have one last year.):

1. real. 2. lots of lights. 3. old school, non-matchy match ornaments like this:
4. ridiculous tree topper such as this elf humping sitting at the tip top.
also, i did buy a few of these star garlands, but used them on the curtains. i'm thinking of keeping them up year round cause i kind of love them.

So, it's up! Does that mean we are done with Christmas now?!?!

As for the presents under it, well, we haven't bought any yet. Sigh. I AM THE WORLDS WORST PRESENT BUYER. Seriously. Some people are NOT talented gift-givers and I admit to being one of them. I'm also not that great at receiving gifts either. I'm also REAL REAL bad at wrapping gifts. Sigh. SEE?!? THIS IS WHY I AM BAD AT CHRISTMAS. (Having visions of Karl and I shoddily wrapping gifts on Christmas Day LIKE EVERY YEAR.) If we could skip the whole present aspect, I think I might just love Christmas.

Also, thank you for all your coffee recommendations and thoughts. I will be trying ALL of the suggestions. ::off to brew some RIGHT NOW!::


Rhode Island: neither a road nor an island. Discuss.

So I, um, have a confession to make. Maybe not a confession but more of an admission... or a SHARING if you will...a discussion for the group (you being 'the group,' my internet friends).

Here goes:

At (almost) 29, I have started drinking coffee.

All my life, I have scoffed (it's true!) at coffee drinkers. I wondered if they really NEEDED that beverage to get them going... if it truly MADE A DIFFERENCE in people's mornings or late afternoons. Also, I have somewhat of an addictive personalty (soda, cigarettes, sunflower seeds, fingernails) and little will power to resist so I have always been wary of the espresso bean. Plus, well, I think coffee tastes like ass.

UNTIL a few weeks ago.

(and I am sure the more hard core of the coffee drinkers out there will mock me and this story.)

I'm not a huge Starbucks person (because, well, as mentioned, I HATE(d) COFFEE!). And it's ridiculously expensive. I would get the occasional frappachino b/c, well, they kind of taste like a cold candy milkshake with lotsa (fattening!) whip on top. Who wouldn't like that? Anyway, my mom, THE COFFEE DRINKER OF ALL COFFEE DRINKERS, sent me a Starbucks giftcard when I mentioned this occasional habit to her. One morning before Nate's Little Gym glass (It's always on Thursdays in the early AM; girls night is Wednesday night, so I usually need a little pick me up and sometimes a breakfast soda just doesn't cut it!). The fated words were spoken (and I quote!), "Would you like to try our new Caramel Brulee Latte?" I said YES because my throat hurt and warm sounded soothing and blah blah blah. It was the most amazing thing I have ever tasted (well, that's a little much but it's REAL good.) and I was all LETS DO SOMERSAULTS and then GO CLEAN THE HOUSE and RUN FOUR MILES. Over the next two weeks, I frequented good ole Starbucks every day. (There are a surprising number of Starbucks in Little Rock!) My gift card ran out and I started to use my own funds! Addiction started!

Yesterday, I decided ENOUGH and went and bought some coffee at the store. I'm not lying here when I tell you I had to have Karl dig out the coffee pot out of the very back of our pantry. (and that it is a sad little four cupper.) I believe we have only used it once? twice? And only because company was in town. Karl brewed coffee this morning (because, clearly, I don't know how! working on that!). I definitely bought some flavored kind of bean and i put lots of milk and some caramel vanilla creammate thingey. honestly, i am not sure if it could even be considered "coffee" when I was done doctoring it, but it did the trick. Addiction is a GO!

so, suggestions of brands and flavors to buy? IMA BE A (two-headed?!?) COFFEE QUEEN. (i know, what?!!)
yes, i realize the utter ridiculousness and dullness of this post and pictures. it's just IM ALL HOPPED UP ON COFFFFFFFFFFEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE.


un-pc parenting

Santa on the pjs and a book about Indians? (clearly, it's the I book!)


I shall remove both influences immediately.

And, SURPRISE!, a picture of nate not sleeping! (aw, he's a good sleeper; just of the i-only-need-ten-hours-total variety!)

Even after we did this half the day:

i have been busy trying to not die and catching up on the freelance work that is turning out to not really be worth my time! we are in town this weekend - though nate and i might be making a quick trip (mmmmmmm QuikTrip! i'll get that too!) to Tulsa to meet Parker sometime REAL SOON.


tree. tree. tree. tree. tree. tree.

Well it sounds more like 'teeeeee' when nate says it but whatever.

Trying to keep nate distracted with water colors quickly went awry.

My mother-in-law and i started this felt creation LAST YEAR for nate - an advent / 25 days of christmas calendar for itty bitty everyday gifts to celebrate and get excited (like, uh, cars he already owns? individual crayons? grapes?). we weren't in a rush to get it done b/c, well, he was only 6 months old at the time so we didn't think he would notice. Honestly, he probably won't notice too much this year, but we are going to give it a go. Needless to say, today, december 1, 2009 (JUST UNDER DEADLINE!) i finished it! (like, literally, just now. the fabric glue is still drying as i type. i was hoping none of the pockets would slide off as i photographed it upright for this blog post!)

it was copied inspired from this pottery barn kids thingey - we thought we'd try it ourselves. i kind of love it a lot. i free-handed and cut the tree and mary kay stuffed it with batting and stitched it up. we each made pockets - about half and half. it's definitely not perfect and looks like a home made crafty craft, and that is why i love it the most. i hope nate will love it for at least a few years! suggestions on what to put inside all those pockets?

this post is mama-licious, eh?