time for a nate update, yes?

I haven't done a Nate-centric post in a while which is, well, sad for YOU because this kid is hilarious. It does seem like the older he gets, the less I want to blog some things about his life. Clearly, I don't blog EVERYTHING EVER but I can definitely see the fine line getting clearer.... privacy, discipline issues, growing pains and the like aren't in my personal plans to share many of the details. (At least at the moment. Or until I need your help or advice.)

Here are some Nateisms from April 2011 specifically 2 years, 10 months and 3 days old.

Meal time has gotten trickier with Nate. Some days I feel like he eats two goldfish for his day's total caloric intake. Seriously. Other days he eats more than me, mainly of the chicken to the finger variety. I try not to worry and stress about it - I was picky as a child and am not as an adult. We continue to expose him to a variety of foods and he is still a lover of all things fruit, the occasional veggies and, oh, right THE CHICKEN. (Which I personally have not been able to eat since I've been pregnant. That's right. NO CHICKEN FOR ME. Pregnancy with Nate? No Mexican. This pregnancy? No lasagna and NO CHICKEN. Please god no chicken. Okay, stop saying chicken.)

What else? So the whole potty training thing. I know I've mentioned it before and I won't go in depth but HOLY EASY with this child. It's been months and months since an accident of any kind - day or night. Over one of our snowed in fests this winter, Nate spent several nakey days with the heat cranked up and the pants cranked down...er... off. As mentioned, he's weird about clothing and refused to wear Pull-Ups. Flat out refused. We told him he didn't have to if he went like a big kid and BAM. Done. We had about three or four night time accidents but he makes it all night just fine. He goes sitting down, standing up, little kid potties, big kid potties, at home, out and about, in the bushes at the park (WHAT?! It's a little boy ADVANTAGE, right?). Please don't ask me advice because I'm still slightly shocked at the ease and have no idea how (HOW?) it happened.
We love with puddle jumping.

Most of you who have been around Nate know that the child DOES NOT STOP talking. His imagination is going full tilt and we often converse about turkey pirates, walking the plank, algae eaters that eat storm clouds, Nate's insistence that he is, in fact, Cinderella, power outages that require HOT CANDLES! (say it with EXPRESSION!). We are often chased by dinosaurs at the park and hide from camels under the covers. He loves to be outside and pretend to grocery shop - bringing me grapes and apples oddly shaped like weeds and blades of grass. Today he told me he was a 'monster truck lion' and he was going to ROAR to the grocery store. Yesterday he wanted to look under the couch and came up in tears because he thought a rogue sock was a mouse. This morning he called me both "Kat" and "Babe" in complete seriousness. (As in: "Hey, babe, where's Daddy? and when I didn't respond then, "Hey, Kat, where's Daddy?)

Despite being terrified of sock mouses, he LOVES the thunder and lightning right now - which I will forever be grateful for as we have spent NUMEROUS nights in our teensy bathroom and hallway because of tornadoes and storms that have recently ravaged the South.
Stormy nights in the interior

He continues to have a strong Daddy-preference. Which, in all honesty, can be hurtful at times since I spend the majority of my free time with him (which, I realize is part of WHY.) But, in all honestly, it mostly is a relief and a happy thing. Karl is an involved kinda dad

And plus he buys him shit like this:

Which I only let him eat for a few minutes. MEAN MOMMY.


we're alive

We made it back from our road trip safely. Though if I hear my husband say "we'll just have to punch through this" (referring to a band of weather) ONE MORE TIME, well, we might not be married much longer.

Punch, Punch, Punch YOU IN THE FACE

Easter was worth it.

rocco patrick, nate patrick, joseph brian, wendy ann, isabel kathleen, mylee jayne, daniel patrick

And the babies, Lucy on the left and Ace on the right:


the terrible, horrible, no good, very bad trip

So, it's Easter, right? Right. Easter makes you think family, right? Right. So, though Karl and I have a trip planned to St. Louis in May, we thought we might go and see my family. My sister was flying in from Milwaukee. My mom hosts Easter lunch at her house and I thought we might be able to help. My grandma fell last week and broke her wrist (and, after having a bunch of tests, a benign tumor was discovered in her brain that was causing her frequent dizziness so there's that. Treatment to be determined.)

So, a lot going on.

Additionally, Nate was sick last week and missed two days of school (strep throat yo!). By Friday, Karl and I were pretty exhausted and on the fence about actually getting in the car. But the bags were packed (well, things were thrown in a pile next to and one top of the suitcase waiting to be shoved in) and the dogs were kenneled and we had been promising Nate we were going to Grandma and Grandpa's house, so we decided to give it a go. Karl got off work late (of course) and we hit the road, nasty fast food in hand.

Here is some of what happened:

1. My sister's Friday afternoon flight gets cancelled b/c of mechanical difficulties and rescheduled for Saturday morning. A tornado hits the St. Louis airport, blowing out windows and roofs and the airport closes (!!) for the weekend, canceling her flight and many, many others.

2. Nate is so excited to be on a road trip he can't stop screaming TURKEY PIRATE! and causing general mayhem in the backseat. He's been singing a song about scurvy pirates lately and I must share it with you soon.

3. Somewhere around New Madrid, MO (what? you don't know where that is?! Me neither!), we had to stop to pee. (Pregnant lady + recently-potty trained toddler = lots of pee stops!) WE GOT PULLED OVER!! If you've even driven in a car with Karl, you know he is quite possibly the world's safest driver. For real. I don't even know that he's ever gotten a ticket. Def not since I've known him. Apparently off this particular exit there was a stop sign we missed (aren't there generally yield signs off exit ramps?). We apologized and the cop was pretty nice about it and complimented us for having our child in a car seat. Um... yes, is that a problem in small town MO? Perhaps.

3. We stopped at another bathroom (mere miles down the highway! ha!) and attempted to wait out a band of the storm. It was intense. But possibly MORE intense was the chick in the gas station bathroom who walked out, tripped over a Wet Floor sign, screamed "FUCK YOU SIGN!" (literally, just like that!) and KICKED it across the room. No one picked it up. Little shocking, little hilarious, little sad - I don't think her mama would have been proud to see her do that.

4. We hit an armadillo. There were a SERIOUS amount of frogs on the road after the storm and we had been joking about the world's end and plauges and BAM! ARMADILLO. Karl SAYS we just grazed him and that his shell is hard, but, um we were going 70.

5. We stopped several more weather-related times and didn't get to my parents house until around 2 a.m. Most of you that know me know that I don't like driving. Nighttime and storms? Cause for panic attacks. We were pretty exhausted walking through the door.

I know it all sounds ridiculous but it is what it is. We MAYBE should have thrown in the towel on Friday afternoon and MAYBE just stayed home. But we didn't. So now we are thankful that we are here safe and, though my sister won't be able to join us, we're glad she is at her home safe and sound. And, despite a massive amount of damage to the St. Louis metro area, not a single person was seriously injured or killed in the storms.



Believe it or not this post is NOT actually about me bitching and complaining about throwing up.

(Though I sort of wish it were.)

INSTEAD, it's about my Secret Weapon. Mostly the throwing up has not so much been spontaneous but has a trigger because my nose is NOT NORMAL. Read: Super Sniffer. (As in I can smell the FOOD you're eating RIGHT NOW. Kindly put it down, k?) So, mostly it's triggered by the usual things - food smells, dishes, potty-trained-but-non-butt-wiping toddlers (What? SORRY!) and (sadly) my new car. (Yep. Got a new vehicle at Christmas... can't ride in it without the windows down. New car smell? It's a baaaad, baaaad thing. I miss my 12 year old smelly cloth seats.) It's also triggered by some not-so-normal, non smelly things - like certains textures. For example, um, TOWELS that get too close to my face. I KNOW, I KNOW. So not normal.

Whatever you don't care. This post is not about the vomit, it's about AVOIDING the vomit.

I present: The Secret Weapon.

Oh, why yes! The secret weapon IS some Burt's Bees Chapstick! WATCH OUT.
Here's what I do:

Step 4: Pray it works and Nate doesn't try to "spit in the potty" like Mommy.


pregnancy and the weiners circle

First baby #2 pressie from Jenny - who clearly knows me well

So, yea, about this whole PREGNANCY thing.

First of all, thanks to all the comments and emails and texts and hugs and facebook comments (because schmancy blogs have FB pages, didn't you know!?) and Twitter @s! I copied and pasted them all into a document and, if I ever get around to making a baby book for ANY of my children, I shall print them and include them.

SEVERAL of you have called me out on the whole "accident" factor of this pregnancy (Hi Mom!). My friend Shannon and I were talking the other day about it and I admitted it wasn't necessarily an accident in the true sense of the word. Not that you want to know The Details of my charting and/or birth control methods but I wasn't really paying attention. Intentional? Perhaps. Ish. Not necessarily. I guess if I'm honest I was hoping that it would just happen at some point. That being said, I am STILL in shock about how much it TOOK MY BREATH AWAY. It honestly surprised me. And it happened during a month I was already feeling somewhat dissatisfied with the world around me so it's taken several months to ADJUST to the idea of our family getting bigger and my sleepy time hours getting smaller.

So what made me take a pregnancy test? Oh, you know, THE WEINERS CIRCLE.

Let me explain. The Weiner's Circle is a hot dog stand owned by two white guys in an affluent area of Chicago. (Clearly you see where this is going, right? NO?!?) ANYWAY, this hot dog stand was featured on an episode of This American Life w/ Ira Glass (If you don't know, TAL is a Chicago radio show that is syndicated on public radio and had a couple of documentary-style seasons on Showtime - available via streaming on Netflix if you are interested.)

So, Karl and I are watching the show one night and the narrator, Ira Glass, starts talking about this hot dog stand and how 15 years ago they started being rude to the customers as a gimmicky type thing, right? And I'm laughing and all, "That's hilarious! Let's go to Chicago and eat hot dogs and yell curse words!! I love ALL those things!" AND THEN the segment goes on to showcase how the stand stays open until 5 in the morning and the horrible, awful things the late-night crowd say to the (predominately black) men and (mostly) women that work there. Here is the full clip if you would like to be disgusted. Somewhere on that clip (right before 6 minutes) the patrons are banging of the glass windows and demanding chocolate milkshakes which are, in fact, NOT on the menu and NOT a request for dairy deliciousness.

By the time the clip was over I was sobbing uncontrollably. And I mean UNCONTROLLABLY. We turned the show off and I literally went straight to bed because I was so upset about it. Don't get me wrong - maybe I'm over-dramatizing or I should hold off judgment until I experience it myself but I just (AND STILL DO) felt sad and angry and SO EMOTIONAL about the whole thing.

All that being said, I am an emotional type of gal as a general rule SO being upset about it didn't shock me but THE LEVEL of tears? That surprised me. Enough that I thought..... Hmmmm... that's maybe not so normal. Maybe that's a bit, perhaps, um, OVERLY HORMONAL. I woke up the next morning still feeling emotionally unbalanced (READ: WATCH OUT FOR THE CRAZY LADY.) and decided my morning pee should take place on a stick.

And, well, you know how that turned out!
I am going to attempt weekly pregnancy photos (maybe?) in this type of format which I have seen several places but most recently loved here.


inquiring minds WANT to know

Also, on Saturday at lunch my friend Sarah brought up a conversation she had with her husband re: teeth brushing and WHY she got her toothbrush wet first and THEN put the toothpaste on it and I was all "Wait. What? I put my toothpaste on and THEN dunk it under the water. And some one else was all, "I do BOTH!"

What say you? Am I DOIN IT WRONG? How do you do it? My whole morning routine is IN QUESTION. I need answers.


saturday in little rock

This Saturday was one of those that leaves me with a deep appreciation for living in Little Rock. It was one of those SURPRISE Saturdays (making it that much better) where Karl was out of town and I thought Nate and I might be searching hard to fill our hours because we were sans "Plan" for the day.

Nate and I spent the day downtown starting at the Arkansas Literary Festival listening to local author Kyran Pittman talk about her book, Planting Dandelions (releasing late April). The session was about an hour and Nate made it through about 45 minutes before I hauled him outside to run around. We walked down to the River Market and had lunch with some friends (pizza! candy! bad mommy!) before heading to.... well our intent was to head to NAPTIME but we got distracted by the Game & Fish Center (it's free and Nate LOVES that place if you haven't been yet).

While we were checking out the "FISH MOMMY!" for the 4,000th time and I was trying to convince Nate it was time to take it to the house, I received a text from a friend with the offer of Hairspray! tickets - the current show at The Rep (our THEEE-aaater), which also happens to be downtown. The show was starting approximately 30 minutes from when I got the text. We were almost a half mile from our car at that point but managed to make it to the car, drive the 10 or 12 blocks to the Rep, park (for the free and one block away) and STILL had time to wander around the lobby at the theater before the show started. LOVE that. If we ever move to a bigger city, I shall be sad about the 10 minute commute to, um, EVERYWHERE and the ample downtown parking.

Hairspray was A JOY. For real. The cast was fabulous AND the best part? Nate SLEPT through half of it. I don't know how since it was LOUD (we were close) and I can't pay that kid to sleep most days but he fell asleep half way through the first act and made it well into the second before waking up. I was a little worried about taking him w/o a nap and somewhere unfamiliar BUT I've never been so glad I took a chance. When he wasn't sleeping he was ENCHANTED with the singing and the dancing. I'm not sure what was a bigger treat - the amazing show or the three hour of relatively still toddler in lap! What a great show! The actress who played Penny Pingleton? I would like her to be my new BFF please and thank you.

We came home to eat, bath, play with the neighborkids and sleep. (in that order) (Unrelated: Sometimes I feel like a bad parent when I can't be sure the last time my child took a bath.)


We've been LAZING it up today (Sunday) in recovery.

Karl doesn't get home until after 11 tomorrow night and has a work function all night Tuesday night so, yea, we haven't seen him IN DAYS. Since he was just in Austin for 5 days? Yea, I think we need a family vacation. Or, perhaps, just me, alone, on a beach, drink in hand? (Damn you pregnancy!) (I'll take the beach anyway!)


it feels like nothing: chemo angel

Banner Nate helped me paint; we mailed one a day for 12 days

I promise I'll write more pregnancy updates shortly but I want to talk to you about my friend Ella. She's 13 and in the final stages of hospice care. Since last fall, I've been her "chemo angel" which basically means nothing other than I attempt to cheer her up once a week with cards and letters and notes and little trinkets and stickers and whatever else I think might entertain a 13 year old girl stuck in bed all day long. I don't know a lot about the details of her cancer. Honestly, I don't know much about her life at all. I DO know she likes kitties and scrapbooking and the color pink. I know she has a best friend named Abby and parents who adore her.

I received an update on her recently and her chemo has been stopped and the note from her mom indicated she was in quite a bit of pain.

I found Ella online (I know, you're SHOCKED.) through this program - if you are so inclined to sign up it allows you to be matched with a patient undergoing chemotherapy. There are also "Senior Angels" for writing to those who are in nursing or convalescent homes. You must be 25 years old and commit to a once a week letter or gift. Assignments last 18 months (unless it is an end of life situation). You don't get a response from your patient so it's def NOT a pen pal type deal but you do get updates through the Chemo Angels administration.

So, really, the point of me telling you this is, well, it's easy and little and you might want to sign up yourself. OR you might want to send a card to Ella - which you can do by mailing or delivering to me this week (if you need my maling address email me.) and I'll make her a big package. I know it's not much but I figure any little thing to distract her at this point is a positive.