Saturday, September 27, 2008

When Peanut Grows Up...

He wants to play music. Tonight Daddy and Peanut were playing and Peanut started banging on a tin can like a drum. Uncle James said that he was going to get P a real drum set someday and I said no way. Daddy mentioned that this was not a bad idea, as he could potentially become a star and be famous, rich, etc. Not too bad a future. Then Daddy said that Peanut was probably going to play football and be some giant linebacker, or else a baseball player.

Me: Peanut, do you want to play football or baseball?

Peanut: No, thanks.

Me: Do you want to play music?

Peanut: OK!!! (resumes banging on the can)

Daddy: Great. Son, you're going to be in the band? Not cool.(just kidding)

Later, Little P wanted to play Uncle James' guitar, so he got to pluck the strings on that for a while before going to bed. He had a great time and was quite upset when it was time to put the guitar away. We are all for nurturing Peanut's musical side; I just hope he is more coordinated than I was in that area. I played the flute for several years in elementary school, but I was never any good at keeping time on my own and songs usually got jumbled up when I practiced. Daddy did not play instruments in school, but he has a great voice and can sing well when he wants to. Hopefully Peanut takes after Daddy!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008


Peanut's dream of living outside is coming closer to reality every day. A few days ago our next door neighbor gave us his kids' old playhouse, since it had just been sitting in the corner of their yard for years. P adores it because it is a little house, only it's outside and exposed to the elements. He sits on the little chairs inside and moves his furniture around; he puts his little groceries on the shelves inside then goes out to play. The world of make believe is indeed sweet. I am not looking forward to winter because I do not know what I am going to do with my child, although I am sure he will have his share of time in the puddles.

Mommy's dreams, however, are nowhere close to coming true... I am speaking of the dream to lose 10 pounds and the dream to have another baby. I have been working out EVERY DAY for the last five days and I have not lost so much as a pound. I have been eating right and exercising and I have, in fact, gained weight. I am stuck here and I am sad. The baby is not going to happen either. I won't expand too much on the mechanics of that one, but I must say that I have to find a way to get my husband interested in something other than football and ESPN (that channel is the absolute bane of my existence, just so you know). Anyway, pray for me. I am sad and I just want to cry every day. I am going to take a nap with P, if I can get him inside!

Friday, September 19, 2008

Lunch With Peanut

Little P loves to eat. He will eat pretty much anything, although he is becoming a little more picky in his old age. One thing he still loves to eat is Mommy's Perfect Peanut Butter and Jelly sandwich. A sandwich and a cup of milk usually satisfy my little monster when he is hungry for lunch, and since he is a self-proclaimed vegetarian, he will only eat cheese or PB&J.

The perfect peanut butter and jelly sandwich is prepared by taking one piece of bread and spreading a very thin layer of peanut butter (crunchy is preferred, but creamy will do). Next, take a knife and spread a very thin layer of strawberry preserves. Jelly is no good, and jam just barely passes the test (unless it is grandma's homemade plum jam, which is most divine). The key here is the thin layers of peanut butter and jelly because it is less messy to eat and that means easier for mommy to clean up. Fold the slice of bread in half and cut it into thin strips perfect for little fingers. I do not remove the crust; if he is willing to eat it, I am not going to waste any bite, as bread is quite expensive these days. Serve with dried blueberries, a little string cheese, and a cup of milk for a very happy baby.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008


While we were camping last weekend I had to take extreme measures getting my Peanut to go to sleep at night. By extreme measures I mean I took a flashlight that we had in the tent and showed Little P his shadow. He loved it! We looked at the baby and mommy on the tent wall, made shadow figures with our hands (well, I did, anyway), and generally had a great time.

And now he is obsessed with his shadow. He walks around the house or outside, and if he catches sight of his shadow he must point at it or give it a kiss or a sip of milk from his cup. He loves how it looks just like him, only stranger, and gets bigger or smaller depending on his distance from it. It is totally impossible to explain the mechanics of a shadow to a two year old, so I am going to just let him enjoy the magic of it while I laugh and laugh.

Wook, Mommy

A few days ago P discovered that if he says "Wook, Mommy" then his mommy will go where he wants and look at his discoveries with him. Tonight after putting on jammies and brushing teeth, Peanut ran around the house forty-two times, as is customary before bed. During one of his trips through the kitchen he discovered the vent under the sink (which does not currently have a cover). "Wook, mommy!"

Me: Yes, Paul?

P: Wook, a hole!

Me: A hole?

P: Wook, ina kitchen.

Me: Oh, I see.

Now he is singing some song in Paulinese, but there is a distinct lyric that mentions "makin' a hole."

Kids are too much fun. I guess I need to find a cover for that vent... before toys start disappearing...

Driving Forward

Last year for Christmas Daddy and I got Paul a Cozy Coup, which he totally loved, but he was only just barely a year old and could not drive it by himself. This did not deter him from playing with it, because instead of driving it himself, he simply demanded that one of his many servants push him around. Over the last year this car has been well loved and well used, but today Little P and his car hit a milestone. Peanut has been practicing his driving a lot lately, and became an expert at backing up, but today he perfected the ability to push himself forward with his feet. I was so excited to see him propelling himself forward I did what any self-respecting blogger mommy would do: I screamed for Daddy to get my camera so I could take pictures of my darling son while cheering him on. So, here is my little man, working on getting his driver's license.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

We're Back.... phew!

Our vacation was totally exhausting, as usual. We had fun catching up with friends and family and meeting new people, and Paul had fun playing in the "sand box." My son's dream is to live outside, I am sure, and that dream pretty much came true for him this weekend. He woke up promptly at 7 every day and was outside playing in the sand less than 30 minutes later; he refused to even consider laying down until it was dark outside, and even then it was under extreme duress. I will not bore you with all the busy details, but here are a few pics of our get together this weekend.
I will tell you about my single bad experience, which has never happened before and I cannot believe the whole scene took place at all.
We drive up to the registration booth and I get out of the car and walk happily up to the window to get our registration sheet.
Check in Lady (C.L.): Hi, fill this out (referring to the registration paper).
Me: OK
C.L.: Does your tent trailer have an N.C. tank?
Me: What's that?
C.L.: A toilet or sink and a tank for them to drain into?
Me: Oh. No.
C.L.: Are you sure?
Me: I have used it lots of times. There is no toilet. If there was, this trip would be loads better.
C.L.: It is important to dump your gray water in designated areas.
Me: I will remember that for when we have a toilet, which this trailer does not.
C.L.: So, your trailer does not have an N.C. tank.
Me: No, it doesn't.
I go back to the car to write down the license plate numbers of the trailer and car, then go back with our money to pay for our stay. Another lady has joined the first in the booth.
C.L.: So, I just want to ask one more time if your trailer has an N.C. tank.
Me: (trying not to blow up at this lady) No, like I said before, if we had a sink and toilet I think I would know.
C.L #2: We are just trying to make sure people know that it is against the law to dump gray water in the campsite.
Me: Well, if I had a tank, I would not empty it here, but we don't.
C.L#2: are you sure?
Me: (At this point I am just staring at the both of them. Why do they keep asking me this? Do I look like I am going to purposely going to dump toilet water all over Dillon Beach? Do I look like the kind of person who would not know if her tent trailer had a toilet. I am not sure what the interrogation is about, so I just ignore the question and give them the money)
C.L.#1: (Gives me my change) Just remember that it is against the law to dump in the campground.
Me: What the hell? I swear to you we do not have any tank and will not be dumping nasty water in the campground.
C.L.#2: (Gives me a paper) Here are the rules for the campground. Make sure you read them because there is really important information regarding preserving our land.
Me: OK, thanks.
I am so pissed about this and proceed to yell at Daddy that I just want to go home, and what are these ladies thinking? I have nenver been given the campground rules and interrogated before. Daddy says maybe they did the same thing to everyone, but we got to our space and asked our fellow campers about this. Nobody else got a paper or lecture, and every single one of them has a toilet/sink/shower in their giant RV. We have a stupid little tent trailer and we get a lecture, but people who actually have the opportunity to dump gray water or ruin the environment by bringing their entire houses camping with them do not get one word, not to mention a paper with the rules. Why pick on me? No idea. Anyway, after that the rest of the trip was great. I think I was mostly upset because these ladies hurt my feelings; they obviously thought I looked like someone who does not care about the environment. I do not have a clue as to why they would think that, but I hate being judged on any level and I just wanted to cry. Lame, I know, but geez. I just wanted to go and have a good time at this lovely campsite. If I was the kind of person who wrote letters, I would write a letter; but I am not, so I will just let my feelings be hurt and vent to you....

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Vacation Time

I am exhausted! It is so much work for this family to go on vacation, it is almost not worth the effort... almost. Every year we go to Lawson's Landing at Dillon Beach and camp on the freezing cold, windy, sandy seaside. It's awesome! Daddy has been going all his life, and I have been going for the last nine years, as I have thrown myself heartily into this family tradition. We went for a couple days in July with just a few people, but our big get-together happens every year in September. It used to be just a matter of throwing a few things together and grabbing the tent, but now that Little P has joined the family and is not a tiny baby, a lot more preparation and planning is necessary. I think I told you back in July that we went and we forgot Peanut's sippy cup and therefore the night from Hell ensued. I will not make that mistake again, and I am trying to be over prepared without going overboard; there is a delicate balance that must be met.

Anyway, I have been packing all day and cleaning house (I hate coming home to a messy house after spending three days in the dirt), and I am so tired. Hopefully I will get to relax for a few minutes after we get there and set everything up, but somehow I think I will end up chasing P the whole time again. Oh well, that's what mommies do, right?

I will hopefully have some great pics of Paul at the beach to show you when we get back.

See ya!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Fly Away and Reach the Moon

Paul was playing outside a few minutes ago with uncle James when he came running inside suddenly, saying "mom, reach the moon!"

Uncle James came inside after him and informed me that my son would like me to come outside and get the moon down for him.

For you, baby, I will try.

I went outside and tried to reach it, then I tried to lift him up so he could reach it, then he tried to jump (bounce on his tippy toes) to reach it, but it was just no use. The moon is really far away.

We needed Daddy.

Daddy came out and lifted Paul up to the moon and he still could not grab it. Just too far away. Too bad. The moon is awesome.

Since his Mommy and Daddy failed to get him the moon, Little P decided he would try something else.

"Mommy, fly away reach moon." And my son began flapping his arms and running in circles.

I seriously almost started crying because my son was pretending to fly away. I need to get a life, I know, but it was pretty emotional. I am always astonished by my Little P's ideas and words, and happy that he is learning and becoming independent, but.... my baby!

I am going to go read him Goodnight Moon, and maybe I can keep him with me on the ground a little longer.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Bye Bye Baby Group

I have come to realize that I just have too much on my plate, and it may be inhibiting the child-bearing process. I try to do so much and be the very best mom/wife/sister/daughter/employee I can be, and I have made body sick with stress because of it. So today I cut something out: my baby group.

Six months ago I organized Auburn Mommies and Babies so that Paul and I could make friends and have fun. It was fun, and we did make friends, but I also jumped in to something that took many, many hours to organize, carry out and follow up with. Sometimes I would spend four or five hours on the computer each night looking up events or looking for ideas, posting pictures and comments, recruiting members and keeping things in order. Then I would spend money making/buying snacks, craft materials and toys, so that we could carry out an event that sometimes nobody showed up to. Don't get me wrong, I loved it (mostly because I am an absolute control freak, and what could be better than my very own group to organize and run?), but it was so time consuming.

In addition, I was struggling to find time to work on the house repairs, and working tons of overtime so we could afford the house repairs. There was just no time for anything relaxing. No relaxing means a sad body, and a sad, tired body means no baby. No time with Daddy also means no baby, and that was a whole other issue I won't go into here.

I closed down the group today with the promise to keep in touch and still get together so the babies can play, and I look forward to all the time I am going to get back for other things.

So why am I sad? Besides missing all the great moms and kids, I am going to miss everything that made it too much for me. I thrive on stress. It is my drug of choice and it is hard for me to have nothing to do, even on purpose, even if it is only a few hours of nothing. I always have to have every second of the day filled.

Maybe I can take a yoga class or something...

How To Replace A Bathroom Floor

Just in case you were thinking of replacing your seriously outdated bathroom floor because the toilet is leaking and has caused the floor to rot and sink down, I have outlined the following steps:

1. Hire somebody else to do it for you.

In the event that you cannot afford to hire somebody to do the work for you, or you are feeling especially bored and adventurous and have nothing better to do with an entire week of your life, here is outline B:

1. Remove the toilet. This involves turning off the water, flushing the toilet, and then syphoning out the remaining water. Next, place the toilet in the bathtub to get it out of the way (note: this only works if you have another shower or can bother the neighbors to use theirs for a few days).

2. Grab a crowbar and hammer and do a few muscle stretches because you are about to get a major workout. It is incredibly difficult to peel up linoleum that has been stuck in the same place for a million years, so hopefully you have some great arm strength and a strong back. If you are really adventurous you can pretend to be oblivious to the fact that you are working in very close contact with a cancer-causing substance (our linoleum is lined with asbestos underneath and I will probably be dead by this time next year) and not wear a dust mask. After you remove the linoleum, use a hammer and crowbar to pull up the rotten sub floor, and a saw to cut out the rotted joists under that.

3. Measure and cut the new joists and sub floor and install them using really long nails to hold everything together. This is the easiest part of the whole job, especially if you have your husband do it while you take pictures and blog about the process.

4. Caulk around all edges, especially around the toilet or anywhere there may possibly ever be water. This will not protect the floor or sub floor, but it will help keep the joists from rotting, should this ever happen again.

5. Take a break for three days. You can use the excuse that you have other things going on such as multiple playgroups, fantasy football draft, etc if you feel bad.

6. Install the wood laminate flooring. This is probably not the best thing to put in the bathroom due to it's relatively low tolerance for water, but if you happen to have some left over from installing the kitchen floor (and your husband promises you can remodel the entire bathroom in the future), then just go with it. Anything is better than cracking, wet, yellowed asbestos-lined 1950's linoleum.

7. Move the toilet from the bathtub to its proper place and turn the water back on. Celebrate when water does not immediately start flowing from the base.

8. Install the baseboards (we have not done this yet, and considering the rate of baseboard installation in this house, we probably will not get this done until some time next year).

9. Have a glass of whatever you like best to drink, and try not to think of your next home improvement project.

Good luck!!!

Friday, September 5, 2008

Basket Racing

I think it is funny how all the toys in the world are not as fun as riding down the hallway in a laundry basket. Maybe it is the whooshing, grinding sound as the basket slides down the poor, dry, cracking wood floors; maybe it is the illusion that the basket is going to crash into a wall or door as it careens down sixteen feet of hallway at 1mph; maybe it is the fact the laundry baskets are usually off limits and therefore more fun... whatever the reason, not much gets Little P laughing like this particular game.

I guess this is his version of a roller coaster, as that is the closest thing I can think of that might be so scary and fun at the same time. Perhaps he does not think it is scary at all, but I think if I were being pushed down a hallway in a basket without breaks I would be (besides self-conscious) a little afraid. Little P is not afraid of much, though. I guess that is one of the great things about being a kid; one can discover all the great things in life without being afraid of the dangers... Don't worry, I have enough fear for the both of us. While my brother pushes P around in his makeshift car, I must call out (involuntarily) "be careful," about every five seconds, just to remind him that he has my only, dear, sweet, precious baby in his care (all the while Little P is laughing hysterically).

Monday, September 1, 2008

Labor Day

We went to Little P's aunt and uncle's house today to hang out, since we have not been there in a long time (which is just awful because we only live 20 minutes from them). We all had a great time swimming and watching movies and playing with the dog door... well, only Little P had fun with the dog door, but if P is having fun, we are all having fun.

Aunt Becky made Chili Rellenos for dinner, and it was most fantastic; if I could cook half as well as her I would be pleased; her meals are truly scrumptious.

It was nice to go and visit and to take some time out from fixing the house and working, and Mike and Becky's house is truly a sanctuary. I wish we could spend more time there, but life calls and there are things that need to get done before we can play.

I hope everyone had a peaceful and safe Labor Day, whether you had the day off or had to work.