Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

It was a very wonderful Christmas! We did Christmas eve at our new home, with a large chicken, stuffing, party pots and broccoli, and a 9pm mass. I even made cookies for Santa and we made a big deal about setting it out. The next morning we opened all the gifts. My family was very generous to us! Addie was adorned in Princess gear from top to toe. And if you are wondering what my husband ended up getting me...

It was liqueur! I have everything I need to make an Irish Russian, its quite a beautiful heritage.

Breakfast was pancakes with Vermont maple syrup (c/o the Bouleys, yum!!!) and eggs and bacon. Then we packed up (it seriously takes like 2+ hours to get packed up for any amount of time spent away... why, WHY?) and drove to mom and dads... hey, notice nowhere in this did our plane get delayed in Chicago where we had to sit and wait for 5 hours at O'Hare with babies while our parents drove up to get us and then drive back... oh yeah, that's because we didn't!

We ate, again, this time ham. And we opened presents there. The best part was spending time with family! We stayed overnight, and the next day we ate a Kringle breakfast danish thingy. Then Jeremy and I took Addie to her first movie, The Tale of Desperaux. She loved it! Sat through the whole thing, which either says she has a great attention span, or she watches too much TV! I'll go with choice no. 1. Friday evening we went to see our good friends Kurt, Amanda and Elsa in CR.

Saturday morning was the Rudd family Christmas. Don't even get me going on the amount of food that was there! We ate ourselves sick and had a great time. Emily really got into opening her presents. The best present was the wrapping paper!

On Monday was Tara's shower which was a lot of fun. I liked the games, but I couldn't concentrate to save my self because Emily was in the other room playing half the time and grumpy the other. I hope Tara's not scared by the "war stories" of labor. T, you're going to be just great! You've got a good doctor, you've been taking care of yourself, and millions and millions of women do this every day! May it go quick and smooth at least 2 weeks late!

Now we are home! So that's that. Watch for pics soon. Next up is New Years! Cheers!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Why do they make it so hard?

My brother brought over a ginger bread house kit for us to do. Looking at the box it looked like a cake walk. But they like to challenge you with warped, uneven, brittle bread and frosting that only sticks after holding it in place for 20 minutes.

Is super glue edible?

Anyway, one mommy, daddy and 2 year old later, with lots of creative ideas, laughter, and a destroyed kitchen with a floor strewn with hundreds of brightly colored 1/2 cm diameter candy balls (because I never thought the bowl of them could fall off the table and scatter!), frosting EVERYWHERE (like on top of the fridge, on multiple counter surfaces, and on the butt of my pants...), here is our master piece!

After all, since we're not going to eat it, I give it 30-40 years before we'll need to make a new one!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Christmas Cheer

I have a present under the tree. I didn't really ask for anything this year, I have been SO BLESSED with everything I have received this year, like a beautiful healthy baby, an ever growing smart 2 year old, a solid loving relationship with my husband, a house of my own and wonderful family, near and far! Who could ask for anything more?

But Jeremy has been mopey and Scroogey. Every year he plans and plots for the ultimate surprise. I don't ever get what I put on my list, which is okay, because, like I said, I'm not lacking anything. He cannot rest until he finds the perfect surprise.

This year after sort of deciding we weren't going to buy anything for each other, he fell into a little slump. He could not figure out why he was sad. And then he happened across a surprise for me!

Suddenly he was all aglow! He announces as he trounces through the door that he has found a surprise for me. He didn't realize what a huge effect getting his loved ones the perfect surprise for Christmas had on him. And now the fun begins, for both of us. He is the worst waiter when it comes to a surprise. There has never been an event where he has played it cool and waited patiently.

He then says "When do you want it, when can I give it to you, should I wrap it, do we have to wait for Christmas?"

And then the hints "I should go get them from the car. I don't want them to freeze. You should open them before or on Christmas Eve, you could use them before then." So I know it is a multiple something that might freeze outside that is usable for Christmas and was purchased somewhere in Dubuque on a Friday afternoon... (Can 20 proof liqueur freeze?)

So, as we torture each other, him giving more hints to confuse me and me resisting my curiosity to rip open the package until the last moment, I am now faced with a conundrum...

What do I get the most wonderful husband in the world?

Friday, December 19, 2008

Emily the animal lover

When I was pregnant with Baby 2, my mother, who was in the throws of completing a very complicated, very beautiful cross stitch of Pooh for Baby 1, asked me to help her decide what Baby 2's "theme" would be so she could make her some pictures. We looked and talked and thought, but what really stuck out was an animal theme.

It turns out it is quite fitting. Baby 2 has fallen in love with fur! Her motivation for moving, by deliberately scooting across the floor on her butt, is the cats. She sits on her own, flaps her arms and bounces as she rocks and this advances her at a speed of about 3 inches a minute. Ever so slowly, she can creep up on an unsuspecting kitty, cooing and gurgling sweet nothings, until finally she can reach out her slimy drool coated meat hooks and grasp the fur. Then either the cat or a fist full of kitty hair goes into her mouth. I will be nominating Samuel James for kitty sainthood! Myles however is not taking any chances, I think he has learned from the last one.

Recently I discovered she treats stuffed animals with the same love and affection. It may look like she is mauling the teddy bear, but she smiles and nuzzles and babbles as if to say, "I love you little animal!" This is thoughtful little Emily's baby passion.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Why I'm ready to go back to work.

My 2 year old pulled my hair, on purpose, and I'm sorry to say it, but it really pissed me off! I had been with them all day, cooped up in the house because it's cold, I had been barfed on more times than I can count, and the rotating nap time prevents me from taking a break. Nap time is for me! So is BEDTIME!

My tiny terror, after being escorted back to bed for the 15th time (that's right, 3 HOURS of tucking her in, time after time after time!), she asks to snuggle and as I lean down to give her a kiss, she grabs two fist-fulls of hair and yanks. And as she does this, what does she do? She LAUGHS!!! Can you believe it? And she keeps pulling, so that I have to pry her hands off me. I felt myself regressing to a grade schooler, stomping out of her room, huffing and pouting and refusing to go back in. The next time she got up, 1 minute later, Jeremy took away her juice and her teddy bear in retaliation. Take that, two year old!

So, I feel it is time to go back to work so that I can continue to like my children. I'll always have that undying unconditional love for them, but hanging out with them 24/7 is starting to grate on my nerves worse than fingers on a chalk board. I enjoy teaching other people's babies, filling their heads with wonderful knowledge, and then shipping them off to their parents, so I can go home and enjoy how wonderful my babies are!

I need to get away! I have not given into sucking down liquor during the day, but I know where it is, and I can hear it from the fridge!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

It's begining to look a lot like Christmas!

Addie and I made this... no really... we did! We tore apart cotton balls and rolled them and glued them onto a paper plate, and then I cut up old halloween puffy stickers for the face, hat and buttons, and then I punched a hole and slid a paper clip through to hang it up.Addie was terrified of Santa... as well she should be given her terrible two behavior as of late! But she did manage to squeak out a list. Princess stuff, shoes...
HAIR!!! I get to pull Santa's HAIR!!! Santa was terrified of her!


The final result....

Emily supervising.

More decorating

Put that beast to work!!!! The first real snow, and she was in the thick of it!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Another Poopscapade

So we were playing a hot game of Skipbo and I was about to win my 3rd (count 'em... 1, 2, 3! Tara, you're goin' down New Years!!!) game, and Addie says from across the kitchen, "You guys stay there and play cards, 'kay?".

And I think, what does that mean? Where's she going? But in 2 year old language, it's not exactly where is she going, but what is she doing? I turn around and she is huddled in the corner next to the cabinets with an unmistakable "I'm pushing poop out" look on her face.

"GO GO GO!" my husband and I leap up, grab the kid and rush to the bathroom. With the skill of an elite commando team, one of us whips down her pants, the other shoves the training seat on the potty, but as I hear the velcro ripped from her diaper, visions of a turd rolling out gives me pause and I scream "STOP! IT'S ALREADY OUT!"

And my husband screams "SHE'S STILL POOPING!!! GET HER ON THE POTTY!!!!"

And I scream "NO!!! IT'S GOING TO FALL OUT!!!"

And he screams "I GOT IT! I GOT IT!! 1-2-3 GO! GO! GO!".

And I slide the full diaper out from between her legs and he lifts her onto the potty as the second poop drops in... just in time. I'm left with a steaming baseball in the diaper in my hand, waiting to put it in the toilet.

What an ordeal. Yeah, you guys just sit over there and play cards... never mind me dropping the deuce, 4 feet away!

Friday, December 5, 2008

He's a Norman.

While living at our first apartment in New Bedford we encountered Norman. Norman was the crotchetiest, grumpiest, old curmudgeon, armed with his shovel and sharp tongue. Being new to the east coast, I couldn't parallel park to save my life. As a matter of fact I think that's why I was required to do the written test AND the driving test to get my license, the driving with a trooper being reserved for the delinquent drivers ed students... yeah, that was me.

Anyway, while attempting to squeeze into a small spot near our apartment, on a 2 way street that only has room for one car to pass at a time and was notorious for missing side mirrors, ( remind me to tell you sometime of my husband's outrage over this and then taking out someone else's in a drunken incident) I ended up on the curb, which not only is easier because I can't p. park, but gives other cars more wiggle room to pass through. Unfortunately, this spot was right in front of Norman. Who was waiting inside for this very moment.

He came barreling out shouting and waiving his fists in the air. It was very effective. If you've ever seen the animated movie "Monster House", he looked and acted exactly like old Mr. Nebercracker. You'd think it was a matter of life or death that I not park on HIS sidewalk!

So I moved, went into my apartment and began the stewing process that you know I do when someone pisses me off. Thinking of what to say, how to get even, imagining his comeuppance that would do justice for his unfair treatment of me.

And then I decided to do the opposite. I had found that people out there really went for the sweet, innocent, Midwesterner girl, so I wrote up a little sorry note, grabbed some cookies I had made, and went over to take on the grouch. He melted like "butta"! Norman and I became good friends, visiting about once a week and being neighborly. He even gave me a whole bottle of rainex for our car before a drive home to Iowa.

So this lawyer, who everyone had the same reaction to it seemed like, "oh, him? Yeah, that's just the way he is, a real jerk. But he's okay he's our/so-and-so's/the commercial club's lawyer, everyone's delt with him at one time or another. All bark and no bite." And he was. We chatted him up, even pulled out our secret weapon: well behaved cute kids (I don't know what happened to our demon spawns, but they didn't show). By the end of the conversation he was patting my arm, winking and joking with us. We had no problems signing the water agreement and paying 1/2 the lawyer's fee.

So, as Jo Jo the clown announced yesterday morning before I shut the tv off to walk out the door, "Things don't always go as you planned... sometimes they go even better!"

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Taken over by a farmer ballerina

There she is, in all her glory. Who knew overalls and a tutu were in fashion? Goes to show what I know, as I sit at my kitchen table in baggy jeans, t-shirt and slippers, drenched in my signature sent of "eu de bebe vomet". I am wearing something else... a blond terror, wearing a pink ribbon, babbling about playing on pbskids.org.

She has taken over the computer. Since I have instilled the no tv during the day rule, except when Uncle Mike comes over, my husband wants to snuggle with the ball of fury and that's the only way we can sedate her, or in a desperate situation like sickness, body or mind (I haven't resorted to it yet!) she has incessantly pleaded to play the mouse game, which is insanely mind numbing and slow. I will begrudgingly admit that it teaches shapes, colors, critical thinking skills for 2 year olds... but I have to run it, which means I get to learn my shapes and colors and critical thinking skills. I will lose my mind to this rat with silent sidekick named Binoo (which sounds like Beano... which is funny).

How am I typing this you ask? She is in my lap, Emily is taking her morning nap, and I am reaching over the flailing arms, constantly backspacing over typos that occur because fingers are being pulled from the correct keys. But she seems to enjoy it, so hey, whatever.

I accomplished much yesterday. I called a lady in town who could become a potential friend, and asked about sitters in town. She then called me back today to invite us over for drinks next Friday... YAY! A friend! I also called the sitter. She is 33, and worked with severely disabled children until she had kids and decided to do day care in her home so she could stay with her own. We have a play date this Friday to check it out. I need to ask about cost, and if I substitute and don't get called, do I need to pay if they don't come.

I also got a hold of that lawyer. I left 2 messages, and when he finally called me back, I answered the phone and he said without introduction, "Yeah, what do you want?" Who IS this guy? After I explained what I wanted, we were trying to comply with his ridiculously timed letter (over Thanksgiving holiday) where he only gave us 10 days to come in and pay or he will shut our water off, he said, "I'm late for an appointment, I'm going to pass you back to the girls." By girls, I suppose he means his secretaries? Once again, who does this guy think he is? So we get to go in and sign and pay tomorrow morning.

I know, I know, just let it go! But it's just not fair! I did nothing to be treated like this! And it wouldn't be so bad except he appears to be an influential person in our community, and the biggest Catholic High School in the area where I might like to get a job, and he treats me like some kind of criminal! What? I am waiting for Karma here... Think good thoughts, attract positive energy. Okay, I'm done now.

Today it is snowing and it's so beautiful! We took a walk up to the church. Addie seemed to enjoy it but Emily could have left it, a little too windy for her. I would like to go play in it a little while later. I will be chugging down coffee for the heat and the energy!

Monday, December 1, 2008

I did it all by myself!

So, okay, Addie helped...

This is our advent wreath! Yay!

Some other things I made with Addie's help...

Cookies that we ate way too fast!

A blanket tent! Thanks for the idea Auntie Carrie!

The thing about making stuff, the thing that gives me pause, chaining my inner Martha, if I have one, is my fear of messing it up, aka perfectionism. The more steps to something, the more chances to screw it up, the less I want to do it. So you see why I do well at simple but fatty recipes I am known for: party pots, easy lasagna, mac and cheese... and you can see why the home crafted advent wreath was a biggie for me... lots of complicated, difficult steps, even if it was finger painting, cutting and gluing!