Tag Archives: Mishaps

Feeling Good

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I’ve been working really hard on keeping really good habits, though I’ve realized that I have to do it at my own pace. I figured it out after a few dozen organizational websites or motivational Pinterest thingies that I can’t just follow someone else’s idea of what will work, not even really if I get to adjust things and “make it my own.”

I’m not sure if that made any sense at all, and I’m sorry if it didn’t. My brain is currently working on tangents and run-on sentences. 🙂 I’ll do my best to explain…

You guys may remember my post back in March about how gung-ho I was about following a little printed-out binder full of cutesy reminders of what I should be cleaning each day and then magically at the end of 20 days, my house was supposed to be perfect and I was supposed to have the skills and habits of a swell housewife who probably even took off her husbands shoes as soon as he got home from work everyday to give him a nice foot rub. Yeah, that happened.

Well, I did the first two days, not the foot rubbing part, but then I gave up completely. It was probably something ridiculous like, “But I don’t want to clean the bathroom today, I want to organize my closet!” and then I just decided that the whole thing was stupid.

Since then, I’ve tried a ton of different ideas and “systems” – and I even considered spending a couple buckaroos on the Unfuck Your Habitat app because it just sounded like something that would be right up my alley and it would probably share the same disgruntled views of this housey job that I’ve got. Would that be an Unfuck your Habitapp? Either way, I digress, as I do, and that’s why we’re here anyway… But I didn’t want to waste a valuable dollar and ninety-nine cents on an adorable app that would likely only keep me going for a day and a half.

So last week a good friend of mine (another stay at home mama) said something about putting her shoes on to get ready for cleaning the house earlier that day. Uh, what? So she started talking to me about this Flylady thing that a friend of hers had told her about, and that it was really helping her. Apparently one of the main steps of the day to keep your house feeling happy and clean is to get dressed first thing in the morning, including your shoes, I guess to keep you from completely relaxing. The whole, you wear shoes to “real” work outside of the house, so help your brain associate that with work at home, and only take off your shoes and relax at the end of the workday. Man have I been doing it wrong this whole time! 😉

Well, I tried that for a day, as well as a few other steps that I found on the website, like shining your faucets after every time you use them??? But I still wanted to sit on my couch after I put in a load of laundry and stay there until WAY PAST when the dryer went off. Facebook, blog, all sorts of super important things to do, it didn’t matter that I still had on my knee-high lace-up leather and fur boots on, I was going to relax if I wanted to. I just kicked up my boots onto my cluttered coffee table, and went about my lazy day.

Ok, so screw this, I can figure this out on my own! For the entire past week, since the day after I wore my apocalypse boots all around the house, I’ve managed to keep dirty dishes out of the sink entirely. They go straight to the dishwasher, and the dishwasher gets run (gets ran, is run, I don’t know…) as soon as I can’t fit the next thing in it or as soon as all of one thing (like plates or something) is dirty. Then, as soon as the dishwasher is done, everything gets put away immediately.

Also, all trash is thrown out as soon as it is made. It really helps that Doodle LOVES taking things to the trash, so I’ve gotten him to where he’ll actually call me out on putting a small piece of trash on the coffee table or leaving the mac&cheese box on the counter, then he’ll happily take it to the trash for me.

Our normal, have-to-use-daily clutter now goes into a canvas box basket thingy that we originally got to hold Doodle’s cloth diapers. The box stays on the coffee table, and is a convenient “I don’t know where to put this right now” spot. And every few days, or whenever I notice that it takes more than a few seconds to find something in it, I just clean it out. Mainly, I end up fishing out random toys Doodle hid in there or cleaning out Jake’s work pocket trash that he dumps in there every day after work. Hey – at least he’s not leaving it in there so that it ends up in the washer every time… I’ll take what I can get here. 🙂

Speaking of the washer – I spent a whole day catching up on laundry, and now I’ve got a small basket downstairs in front of the washer and a small basket upstairs in our room. Upstairs laundry goes in upstairs basket, downstairs laundry, downstairs basket. As soon as one of them is full, they’re both dumped in the washer, and they get washed, dried, folded, hung, and put away right then.

I also moved my furniture around and was able to vacuum everything that hasn’t been accessible since we moved in two and a half years ago. I didn’t exactly move the furniture around just to vacuum – I’ve been seriously feeling stuck, and rearranging the living room helps me feel like I’m in a new place. That’s the wanderlust gene my loving father passed down to me. Thanks, dad. But the living room is super fun (I can’t wait for Jake to get home tonight to see what he thinks) and the entire floor is super clean – or, you know, as clean as my awful vacuum can make it.

I need to overhaul the bathrooms tomorrow, but it really wasn’t that long ago that I did that anyway, and we’ve actually been doing really good at keeping up on that without even really thinking about it.

Other than that, all I really need to work on is getting in a good method of keeping cooked meat things available for the carnivorous hubby who isn’t home at typical meal times while also providing my vegetarian self and my picky little man with nourishment, all without spending the entire day everyday in the kitchen. I recently realized that I’ve got one of those 3-part crock pot guys in my garage, so I think I’m going to try to figure out how to use those without burning down my house, and I think I’ll be able to do a decent job at just making different versions of whatever I may be cooking all at the same time to appease all of us.

I haven’t touched the coffee cup sweaters, and I’m fairly certain that it’s a completely lost cause to finish them and get them to my friend in time for Christmas shopping. But I’ll keep them sitting here, just in case, you know, I get the intense need to crochet one day after I’ve finished cleaning everything, while my pots are crocking, and I’ve already gone through all of the Facebooking, blogging, and youtubing that I’ve needed to for the day.

This is becoming a long post, sorry, deal with it. Or don’t. Either way. 🙂

Doodle ’bout freaked me out the other day when I got off the phone and found this:

Look mama - I got Link's ears on!

Look mama – I got Link’s ears on!

He had taken it upon himself to use every last drop of spirit gum to get his elf ears on by himself. Nevermind that we used every drop of the spirit gum remover it came with to get off the teeny amount we used on Halloween because THAT SHIT DOESN’T COME OFF! Jake took one look and said, “Oh god, we’re going to have to cut it,” in the most calm and collected (and obviously overcompensating for the incredible surge of emotions going through him) manner with this pale face and deer in headlights look.

A quick and frantic google lead me to a possible solution, so I grabbed the leftover baby oil (that we kept since his baby shower when he was an infant and we never actually used it – see, it pays to keep things forever!) and doused him. It was listed as a “maybe, it might work, you could try it and hope for the best?” kind of solution in the forum I happened upon – but holy goodness that stuff practically DISSOLVES spirit gum. He had giant globs of it on his jeans, I squirted some baby oil on it, rubbed it in a little, and it was GONE – incredibly oily, but gone nonetheless. After a pretty intense hair-brushing session and several baths to get residual oiliness gone, his hair is TOTALLY intact, the spirit gum is gone, and we have learned our lesson of putting prosthetic accessories away and out of reach after we’re done with them.

‘Til next time, folks. It’s been fun. 🙂

Adult Words (Warning: Adorable Profanity Inside)

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Doodle was watching the National Geographic Channel as some wildebeests were running through a creek.  He, apparently unsure of what kind of animal they were, yelled at the t.v., “Those horses are a bitch!”

Immediately Jake and I look up at him, and I say to him, “Excuse me?”

He says again, more timidly this time, as though he understands his violation, “Those horses are a bitch?”

Calmly, so as not to bedazzle the word any more than necessary, I respond, “That’s not a very kind word.”

“That’s an adult word?”

I giggle a little inside as I confirm his question.  I’m not sure if he’s made the connection that only adults should be able to use that word or if he’s just stating that adults in general are “not very kind.”

He responds, “And then summer I say it?”

We have no idea where he’s going with this.  It is currently summer, and I’m sure the word has been tossed around enough for him to understand it – though he has not yet used it in context – so I assume he thinks he can say the not very kind adult word when it is summertime.  I say to him, “No.”

He flips out.  “Summer… say… it!” comes out between frustrated tears.

Jake gets an idea and asks, “What do you mean summer, bud?  Do you mean the season, or the Hugglemonster?”

Between more tears, “The… Huggle… monster!”

Summer Hugglemonster is Henry Hugglemonster’s big sister.  She’s sparkly, she dances and sings, and when she’s not making her brother’s life difficult, she supporting him through his problems.  She most definitely does not, however, say, “bitch.”

Instead of correcting him and drawing anymore unnecessary attention to the not very kind adult word, I say to him, “Well, you do not say it.”

“Ok!” he happily responds as he trots off to roll around on the rug and watch more NatGeo.

I can only assume his thought process was: “Adults can say the not very kind adult word, I am not an adult, I cannot say the not very kind adult word, adults are bigger than me, I’m about Henry Hugglemonster’s size, Summer is bigger than him, Summer is bigger than me, Summer is an adult, she can say the not very kind adult word… so, when I’m as big as Summer, I’ll be an adult and then I can say the not very kind adult word.”

Big.Dumb.Dog

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Another wonderful Ash post. This time, she’s driving me nuts. See, she’s got some crazy OCD issues that drive us crazy, and now she’s gone and OCD’d her way into costing us money. Ugh, dogs.

Ash started chewing on her feet a few days ago. It was kind of annoying, but a quick “Ash! Knock it off!” was pretty sufficient. Until she started leaving a little blood trail on the carpet (that we, less than a week ago, just shampooed). We inspected the main foot in question last night to see what the issue was, and more than half of the pad was completely gone, with other pieces pulled off almost entirely. **Eye roll**

So off to WalMart at midnight I was. (I love getting in Yoda-speak every once in a while.) With totally great intentions, I set off for some gauze, bitter bandage stuff, and Neosporin. I also needed to get some carpet cleaner stuff to fix those annoying red spots all over the house. I get home, start opening up everything to get going on wrapping her foot, and I realize that although I thought I was doing the right thing buying the larger size of animal bandages (she has a history of chewing and eating anything and everything, so we knew one round of bandaging would NOT cut it) it was actually just over-glorified regular old bandage stuff with no bitter coating. Great, this is going to last a little less than an hour. And, crap! I totally forgot the carpet stuff – I probably got a little sidetracked when I was looking at yarn….

So Jake and I get her all cleaned up, Neosporined, and bandaged and head to bed. We woke up to more little blood trails (I should REALLY go back and get the carpet stuff…) and little pieces of blue (NOT BITTER) bandage all over the house. Where’s the gauze, you ask? We’ll probably find it in the rocks where she relieves herself in about two days… I check on her foot, and there’s even more blood, even less pad, and she just won’t leave it alone! I needed to call in an expert.

We were able to get her in to the vet this afternoon. She apparently burned her foot on the hot rocks or concrete (it’s been, like, 102-103 degrees here lately, which totally sucks because it’s just going to get hotter), so they put some medicine stuffs on her and re-bandaged her up.  They said our bandage job was perfect, and we did everything we needed to for her. We figured we’d also take care of some other stuff while we were there anyway – shots, heartworm stuff, basic check-up type stuff. They tell me to leave the bandage on her foot, that we need to come back in a week to make sure it’s healing alright and there’s no other issues. I laugh in their face, telling them there’s no way in the world that thing is staying on her foot for a week, we’d be lucky if it stayed on her through the car ride home.

They offer to spray the bandage with bitter apple stuff, I laugh again – even though that was what I initially set out for last night, I knew it still wouldn’t be a permanent fix. We’ve used it before for just this issue, and we later found the entire gauze/bandage all twisted and “digested” outside amidst her other landmines. (This dog has seriously EATEN an entire can of oysters before – CAN and all.) So we have to settle on an Elizabethan collar.

And now my big.dumb.dog has a giant cone around her head, and she cannot go through the door, eat her food, lay down on her bed, or even walk on the grass outside without catching it at least a dozen times on something. It’s quite endearing. I can’t wait for the neighbor dogs to see her and poke fun at her. You might think me a bad dog-mama for saying that, but after the midnight trip to WalMart, the blood stains on the carpet that still need to be cleaned, and the $200+ dollars I just forked over for her, I’m ok with being thought of as a bad dog-mama. At least she seems totally happy. 🙂

Big.Dumb.Happy.Broken.Expensive.Dog

Big.Dumb.Happy.Broken.Expensive.Dog

Who Needs Mornings Anyway?

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Ok – now don’t think me a child abuser or anything… But we typically keep a lock on Doodle’s door. It’s one of those plastic things that clips around the handle with the holes in the sides so big people with good dexterity can still squeeze through the holes and open it. Like, it’s on the inside of his door. Like, he can’t so much get out when he’s in…

Really though, I have a very valid reason! See, our rooms are upstairs, as is the bathroom, the spare room, and the coat closet. And in the middle of the doors is the smallest hallway in the world, directly followed by a half-a-staircase leading straight down to a life-sized Gumby, an overfilled bookshelf and a stand-up globe on a teeny-tiny landing, then a 180 turn to the whole rest of the staircase. To make this worse, there are zero, ZERO, outlets in the entire hallway/staircase/landing/Gumby area to plug in a light, and there are no windows either. Danger, Will Robinson, seriously.

And to make this even more worse – ok, I have a really hard time sleeping if I can hear absolutely anything at all that isn’t a constant sound. The dog storing, the neighbors playing their awful music, even my husband breathing. Not even snoring, just breathing! And it’s not like I can make him stop breathing so I can get some sleep, I wouldn’t so much have a husband when I woke up. So we keep a fan on through the night. And it’s not even that it’s that loud, but it’s really hard to hear much of anything with that thing on.

I mean, we can hear things, like when Doodle woke up in the middle of the night screaming BLOODY MURDER because he got the stitching from his blanket wrapped around his finger – purple finger, had a nice indentation for two days, seriously scary stuff! Alright, but anyway…

So, I’m absolutely terrified of a lot of things Doodle waking up in the middle of the night or even in the wee hours of the morning while it’s still dark – I can just imagine him being the little sneaky ninja punk that he is. His little door slowly creaking open, his little feet going over the squeaky floorboards without a sound, his little face glancing back at our open door, his little silent giggle as he realizes that we can’t hear him… But then, in my sneaky-ninja-punk-imagination, he tries to grab the hand rail but can’t see it, or he thinks he has another few inches to walk on the floor before the steps start and he loses his balance. Ok, sure, the life-sized Gumby (at least I assume he’s life-sized, who really knows how big Gumby is??) would provide a decent cushioned landing after thumping down those 6 or so steps…

But my mind keeps going, and I see my clumsy-sneaky-ninja-punk rolling off Gumby, into the bookshelf. The bookshelf then starts to topple over (as it’s crazy overfull, you see?!) and books and shelves start to fall on my discombobulated Doodle. He falls further over and into the stand-up globe. Then, in like Looney Tunes fashion or something, Doodle tries to run up on the top of the globe as it falls down the stairs. He ends upside-down at the bottom of the stairs, covered in bumps and bruises, with ripped up book pages and stuffing from Gumby falling all around him like snow. I know, my imagination doesn’t so much count on laws of physics or probability or anything… But anyway…

So there’s a lock on the inside of his door. And he’s always been so flippin’ cute about it when he wakes up – he’d just knock on the door with a sweet little “Hewwo? Hewwo-o?” until we’d get up and rescue him. (He’s actually able to open the door if he tries hard enough, he’s just REALLY GOOD about sticking to boundaries we’ve set for him and he leaves it alone.)

But, night before last – he’s been working on his two-year molars (I know, he’s almost three, leave me alone!) and he wasn’t sleeping very well AT ALL. Jake was up late (like 3 in the morning late) working on a final paper for one of his classes, so it was mainly up to me to get Doodle back to bed. Well, none of us really got to sleep until about 3, so we were pretty darn exhausted. So I wake up to a slight noise of, “Whoosh! Brrrr! Zhoom!” Jake looks at the alarm clock as I go to check on Doodle. He frantically looks at me, “What time is it?! The clock says 12:40!” Doodle sounds fine, so I don’t even open the door to check on him real quick. I check the digital heater box thingy, it says 11:40, but I can never be too sure about it since we don’t typically change it with daylight savings and it’s really difficult to decide whether it was spring forward or fall backward and was it right before that or after it and do I add an hour or take an hour away to figure out what time it is when I’ve just woken up. So I go downstairs and check the microwave and stove. 12:40.

I go back up, whooshes and zhooms are still going in Doodle’s room. I crack the door open, and Doodle has taken every article of clothing out of his dresser and made a huge pile of it. He is laying on said pile of clothing, fully dressed in a mismatched set of pajamas that I did not put him in the night before, and he’s got a pair of socks on his hands. He’s holding an old hat of his (we typically have all of his special baby clothes folded neatly in the bottom drawer of his dresser for safe-keeping – we should probably do something about that now…) and he’s playing with it as though it is a rocket or airplane of sorts. “Whoosh! Brrr! Zhoom!” At 12:40. In the afternoon. We just woke up. I have NO FLIPPIN’ IDEA HOW LONG HE’S BEEN AWAKE!

So Jake and I feel like awful parents, obviously. We’re neglecting our poor son, what would happen if he silently (yeah right!) hurt himself or needed something?! How will we ever work on nighttime potty training if we leave him locked in his room for hours after he wakes up?! We should be working on letters and numbers and crafts with him, not sleeping the day away as though we did not have a small person who depended on us for all of his upbringing. We’ve GOT to get that lock off the door and just be able to hear him if he were to get up. I’ve got to throw out my fears of him falling down the stairs, try to get some kind of nightlight set up in that hallway to where he can see if he does happen to get up in the middle of the night. We can do this, right?

I promptly forget to actually take the lock off the door as I get him dressed in something other than the inside-out and backwards pajama “set” that he’s gotten himself into and get him downstairs for some milk and brunch. We go through our day without a hitch (or a nap, because, you know, who flippin’ knows when he woke up and I don’t want to put him down for a nap an hour after we get up with him…) and I put him to bed at the end of the night. I don’t even think about the lock on the door when I put him to bed, but then Jake gets home, we hang out for a few, and we start heading to bed. We giggle again about our random sleep-in day, and I luckily remember at that point that I should probably take off the lock from the door as I go in to check on him.

I get in his room, notice that he’s laying sideways on his bed all wrapped up awkwardly in his blanket, and he’ll likely fall off his bed at some point if I leave him in this position, so I adjust him nicely, tell him I love him, re-tuck him in his bed, and proceed to take off the lock so I can close the door and he won’t be trapped in there when he wakes up. Only, a funny thing happened. The lock was not on his door.

I go and ask Jake, “Did you take the lock off his door earlier today?” “No, I haven’t touched it. Did you maybe take it off when you got him this afternoon?” “No, I can’t remember touching it since a few days ago when Ling and Hippie Mama came over to play and I took it off so they could play in there and not be locked in…”

That’s right, people… My son was NOT locked in his room, and he stayed IN HIS ROOM all morning, until 12:40, and likely would have stayed there for GOD ONLY KNOWS HOW LONG had we not heard him whooshing and zhooming his airplane-hat. UNTIL 12:40! In the afternoon! Fully able to leave his room and come wake us up whenever the eff he wanted to.

Now, ya’ll, don’t get all jealous-like. Last night we didn’t get to bed ’til about 2 as Jake was working on another final paper and getting a speech ready for some classes this morning. 7:45 in the morning Jude was bright-eyed, bushy-tailed, and opening that door, begging me to get up and get him milk and bananas and yogurt and a bagel and a “shandwich” and an apple and every other type of food he might want first thing in the morning. He’s so sweet, though. “Mommy, you make some coffee first?” Yes, I make some coffee first, I’m freakin’ tired.

Excuses, Excuses

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Sure – I’ve been absent for a few. I wish I could tell y’all that I’ve been super busy on these awesome projects.

Excuse #1: So you guys remember my 20 days of cleaning?  And remember how quite a while ago I told you about my good intentions not always leading to results…  Yeah, I cleaned REALLY GOOD that first day, then it was the weekend – whoever thought to give a procrastinator like me two days off???  Then Monday and Tuesday I forgot, I finally did Monday’s thing on Wednesday, and after that I just completely gave up. That’s just how I roll.

Excuse #2: So then I’ve been trying to knit. I’ve had a project for one of the amazing midwife apprentices who assisted in my homebirth/hospital birth on the back-burner since August – maybe September? But I was in the process of making my Doodle’s Halloween costume at that point. She totally understood – no worries if it took a little while. Then I was working on Christmas tutus and marshmallow guns – no big deal, she had tons of Christmas-y projects to work on as well. But when Christmas didn’t happen ’til Mid-March, I stopped making tutus and marshmallow shooters, but still didn’t make her project because I forgot. (If you’re curious why I’m not actually saying the specific project, it’s because it’s a knitted uterus, and I just didn’t want to explain why someone might need one. If you’d like, go Google “midwife knitted uterus” and look it up your-own-damn-self. Otherwise, stop making me explain myself !) 🙂

The reason I now remember that I was supposed to knit this thing is because I have been knitting things for myself. I knitted a beautiful headband.

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I also made an ADORABLE hat!

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And I even managed to learn how to crochet just enough to start on some adorable letters for Doodle. I got the J and the H done. Go me – 1/13 of the way there. I have no idea why I did the H, though. Seems silly, I should’ve gone for the U, or just started at A like a normal person. But the H and J are done, and that’s what really counts here. 🙂

So I posted my lovely creations – not the letters, they’re not done yet – on my facebook to show everyone how awesome and crafty I am. I mean, if they’re my friend on facebook, they are probably already aware of how awesome and crafty I am, but I still have to remind them every once in a while. Wouldn’t you know it, my lovely midwife apprentice friend has to go on there and “like” both of them – and then even ask me if I can make her a few of those headbands – as though to tell me “I know you’ve been knitting, where’s my flippin’ uterus?!” (Please note how much I’m completely kidding here. I love her to pieces and would knit anything in the world for her until my fingers fell off.)

Excuse #3: Then, I think, oh, it’s end of March, Spring has started, should be a good time to start on some plants, right? I’ve always had a very brown thumb. Like, dead, wilty, maybe even a little slimy from over-watering after it’s long gone, thumb. So last year when I decided to beat this issue and grow some damn plants, nothing that I started from seed (other than my wonderful herbs) actually sprouted, so I just skipped that part and bought a bunch of baby plants that should’ve been easy, right. Well, my cherry tomatoes worked great, and Doodle ADORED them – and I did get two giant banana peppers.

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But other than that, I said good-bye to two other tomato plants, two pumpkin plants, a cantaloupe plant, more peppers, I think some carrots, and maybe peas or something? So I think to myself, next year, next year I will redeem myself!

So yesterday, we’re at the store, Doodle’s had nothing to eat for dinner other than ice cream, and to get him to settle THE EFF DOWN I tell him that if he’s super good, we’ll get to dig tomorrow. (You heard me right, I am not even a little bit beyond bribes!) Doodle LOVES tractors, dirt, getting dirty, gross fingernails, you name it. Digging is an awesome bribe, and it actually kept him totally distracted while I found some seeds and other beginner gardening paraphernalia. Then, as I put him down for bed the moment we got home (he passed out in the car, didn’t take a nap earlier that day and had only ice cream for dinner) I gently remind him that we can dig when he wakes up as Daddy will be at work and we’ll play all morning in the dirt and planting the seeds.

Mind you, I was aware of a pending Winter (Spring) storm coming in, but I was naïve and figured that, as we live in a canyon, we actually might have a nice day like the week or so of nice days we’ve recently had. Well, we woke up to about an inch and a half of snow, it’s been snowing the whole morning (although there really hasn’t been any more accumulation – weird, I know) and the wind is blowing all of the snow off the rooftops and such making this horribly frigid white outside world today.  I’m not entirely against sacrificing the integrity of my kitchen floor to do the digging and planting – but, due to my brown thumb, I kind of want to make sure that I have some good sunshine to throw my little seeds under THE VERY SECOND they get all planted and watered, just to give them that extra umph and let them know that I really like them and would love for them to actually grow this year.  🙂

So instead of cleaning, or knitting a uterus or extra headbands, crocheting more letters, or starting my seeds…  this is what Doodle and I have been doing all morning.  🙂

Blooper Reel

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Sometimes when we put Doodle down for the night, he doesn’t quite stay down.  Many nights we have to deal with incessant trips back upstairs to send him back to bed, to get his sleeping buddies back in their proper places, and to get his blanket back on him perfectly how he needs it for good dreams.  But every once in a while he figures out how to get to sleep on his own…  he just hasn’t mastered actually getting back in bed.

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Birds-eye view. I could barely fit the camera through the door!

Yes, sometimes he just hangs out by the door waiting for us to come rescue him from the dreaded night-night until his little body gives in and he passes out wherever he was at that moment.

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Yes, the door seems to be the best place to fall asleep.

While laying down right next to the door has been a recent favorite for him, we have found him in some other great positions.

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Here he is seated at the changing table. Those things make for great shelves, by the way!

We often joke about whose turn it is to go “fix him” before we go to bed.

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His left hand was actually stuck in between the side of the car and his mattress.

Makes me curious what goes on in his little head – how he’s positive that he doesn’t need to go to sleep, yet he gets in these relatively uncomfortable positions and stays in them long enough to actually fall asleep.

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This was from a good three-week stretch of him falling asleep next to his closet door.

I’ve even gone up there to find him on the floor right next to his bed haphazardly tucked under his blankets, complete with pillow, buddies, and water, almost as though I had intentionally tucked him in there myself.

When he was little, we’d even join in on some of his awkward sleeping positions.  We are very much a sleep-loving house, and not much will keep us from trying to catch a few winks whenever and wherever we can.

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Sleeping in his crib in the pediatrics ward, 7 weeks old, 10-day hospital stay.

Those nurses got such a kick out of seeing me in that crib every time they came in to check on him.   🙂

Not all sleep needs to be silly or awkward, though.  Sometimes we just need some soft sweet cuddles to slowly fall into a deep, comfy slumber.

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Best nap ever, he was about a week old.

Making Christmas, Making Christmas, La La La!

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Doodle’s been absolutely hating naptime lately, so today we decided to send him to bed with the award of helping Mommy and Daddy with “something special” when he got up.  Now, this may be one of the last years where he won’t know what we’re talking about – until he starts understanding all of those context clues like snow, the parade of lights, and all of our neighbors getting to it before us – so we figured we’d go for it.  Freaking A, it worked!  He was so stoked, however, that his typical 2 hour nap was only about 45 minutes.  You can’t win ’em all.

So he wakes up and bolts down the stairs, unsure of but crazy excited for the special something…

Let me first interject, however, a little game of I Spy

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Ok, have a fun peek at some of my world: my garage.  Enjoy a vast array of random crap strewn about including, but not limited to: a pack and play, lawn furniture, Spider-Man, a child’s potty, a coffee maker, a bicycle, a bookshelf, a blowgun, crutches, a cooler, a rake, a teddy bear, a 3-part crock pot set, and a pen.  If you can find other definable artifacts, let me know.  I probably haven’t seen it in a year, and I may have even forgotten about it.  You may have noticed my lack of mentioning the giant elephant in the room.  World’s easiest game of Where’s Waldo, eh?  Yes, that’s a fully erect, fully decorated Christmas tree in my garage.  Yes, it’s been there since mid-January.  Yes, it was Jake’s job to put it away.  No, he has not heard the end of it.  Now that I’m completely humbled and my hoarder-esque garage has been shown to the world (or 10 people, or, you know, whatever), let me get back to my story…

So anyway, I loved having Doodle help us set up the tree last year, so I didn’t want to just pull it out of the garage as-is, fluff it up, and call it Christmas.  Instead, for 45 minutes while Doodle napped, I disassembled the Christmas tree, placed ornaments in a box and tree pieces in another box, and waited to put it all back together.  Yes, I did this exclusively for pictures.  Don’t judge me.

I showed Doodle how to put on a few pieces then walked away to see what he would do.  I came back to this:

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He was concentrating so hard on snapping those pieces into their little slots, it was darling!

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We got everything straightened out, though, and he started helping us match the right color pieces to their corresponding slots.  They had letters on the colored tape as well, which totally rocked.

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“Find the yellow ‘C’ piece, Doodle.”  “How many black ‘A’s are left?” Hooray for learning opportunities everywhere!  Exciting, see?

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We get all of the lights and garland up, then consider a nontraditional tree topper.

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Maybe that will make it a little too top-heavy…  hmm…

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That’s better!  Now what to do with this spare garland?

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A Tale of Two Fish

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Sometime around mid-July, Jake, Doodle and I went out of town for the day.  When we returned, we had a pair of goldfish sitting in a cute little bowl on our counter.  I felt strangely violated, someone had been in our house, but instead of our “attack” dog tearing them to shreds to stop them from taking our less-than-valuable possessions, we were left with a gift while nothing had been taken.  Kind of reminded me of an old Dane Cook stand-up where he talked about breaking into people’s houses and leaving them something instead of taking everything.  How they’d look around everywhere looking for something that was missing, they must have taken something, right?

We find out a day or two later that Jake’s mom had stopped by to drop them off.  I guess she found the bowl at a garage sale and just couldn’t resist.  Hehe, ok…

So we inherited these fish.  And some fish food, chlorine get-rid-of-er stuff, and spare pebbles.  Everything we need for fish, right?  Well, except for the ability to remember we had fish…  Afterall, it’s not like we had the specific intention of owning fish, you know?

So days go by.  I assume Jake’s been feeding them, he assumes I’ve been feeding them.  Recipe for disaster, huh?  Well, every week or so, we’ll catch each other, and one of us will ask the other, “Uh, have you been feeding the fish?  Because I haven’t!”  Oops.  So we feed them, then promptly forget that they should probably eat again at some point.

This goes on for a few months and these fish are totally still kicking.  We decide they should have names.  They’ve earned it, right?  We have two thrift store coffee cups with paintings of Guatemala on them that say Leslie and Perry on them.  Good names for fish, right?  Goldfish are from Guatemala, right…?

So Leslie and Perry start running out of water every so often (darn evaporation!), and we really don’t notice.  When we do, we figure we’ll take care of it later, but then forget about being fish owners again…  Do you see the pattern here yet?  Every time friends come over, they’re completely amazed that these darn fish are still alive.

So, at some point in these months, I notice a fly is stuck in the water.  Instead of being a kind fish owner and retrieving this foreign matter from their home, I notice he’s stuck on the water surface and it kind of looks like he’s dancing.  So I grab my camera…

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Then I get totally caught up in sifting through all of my pictures to find the perfect one to post on facebook.  While I’m on facebook, I get stuck in facebook, and I totally space that there’s still a fly stuck in the fish tank.  Oops…

We wake up the next morning and the stuck fly is dead, as is one of the fish.  We could never really tell them apart, they’re effing goldfish, so we decide Leslie was the one who perished – we always liked the Perry coffee cup better anyway, so we’ll keep the Perry fish.  I have no idea who was pictured above, so I just pretend it’s our memorial picture for Leslie.

Anyway, so Perry.  We give him new water about every month or so, whenever he only has about two inches or so left, and half the time we even forget about the chlorine stuff.  We remember to feed him about every week or so, sometimes he even gets two days in a row!  It’s the beginning of December now, how in the world is this fish still alive?!

Whistle While We Bake

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So, I’ve been hanging out with my Doodle and his cousin all morning.  Jake has a friend who has recently been battling brain cancer, so we’re going to a fundraiser for him tonight and I’m bringing some baked goodies.  My little shadows are “helping” me by getting far too close to the oven, trying to get in between me and the counter, begging for muffins and cookies, and taste testing everything to make sure it’s good to bring to the fundraiser.

Now, I’ve been working on expanding my baking horizons the past several years, but there are two things I’ve been terrified of – cakes and brownies from scratch.  Not that they’re that ultimately hard, I just really hate failing at something and wasting a whole bunch of ingredients.  So, as I’m making my usual cookies and muffins, I decide to go for bad on brownies.  I make everything exactly as the recipe says (which is remarkable, as I’m always tinkering with some directions) then I put them in the pan and go for bad.  Only, I realize about 10 minutes after they should be done and they’re still gooey in the middle that the directions called for a 9×9 pan and I only have an 8×8.  I thought it looked a little thick.  :/  So once the middle was done, I pull it out to cool and all around them is crazy burnt.  Now, I’m not only out brownies for the fundraiser, but I need to make something else to fill the brownies’ place…  hmm…

I give you, applesauce muffins.  🙂  I started with a recipe here, but I can never leave well enough alone, so here’s my version:

1 cup butter, melted (so much easier to mix than softened, just make sure it’s cooled so you don’t cook the eggs!)
2 cups sugar
2 eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla (the original tsp just didn’t feel like enough for 2 dozen)
2 cups applesauce
4 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt (I just had to throw it in there!  What kind of recipe doesn’t have salt!?)
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon pumpkin spice (I did not have allspice, so my go-to combo of all wonderful fall spices was my solution)
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
A whole bunch of coarse sugar (I use Sugar in the Raw) and more cinnamon

Preheat the oven to 375.  You won’t be cooking at this temp, but you’ll see why!

Cream together butter and sugar, mix in eggs and vanilla, then mix in applesauce.

In separate bowl, mix flour, baking soda, and measured spices.

Combine your wet and dry ingredients just until mixed.  I’ve learned the hard way several times not to overmix muffin/quick bread batter if you don’t like eating hockey pucks.  :/

Fill almost completely your lined or greased muffin tin, then sprinkle about 1/4 teaspoon of the coarse sugar/cinnamon combo on top of each of them.

Put them in the oven, and immediately turn the temp down to 350.  This will help give them that beautiful dome and that wonderful fluffy texture.  🙂  This recipe should make you 2 dozen perfect muffins that you can’t stop eating.  First time I made them, I hauled off on 4 not 10 minutes after they came out of the oven.  Oops!

Here they are, all wrapped up and ready to go raise funds and make bellies happy!  Must resist eating them!

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What is He Thinking?

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I love my husband. I’m amazed that he wants me home with our Doodle while he labors 40 hours a week making just barely enough for us to pay the bills. I’m amazed that he doesn’t mind coming home to toys still strewn about the house even though Doodle’s been sleeping for 3 hours. He’s not even upset when he has to pull a dirty dish out of the fully loaded dishwasher and wash it by hand because I totally spaced pushing the darn start button. Seriously, awesome catch on my part, but what the heck is he thinking?

I’m not all bad. I try my darndest to make him wonderful chickeny and beefy foods, tasty snacks, and delicious sweets, and apparently I’m not half bad at most of it. At least, that’s what he tells me. But my husband will eat anything. Anything. And he really doesn’t like to hurt my feelings. The very first time I ever made him chicken, it took about ten times of me asking him if it’s good or if there’s anything he wants me to do differently for him to tell me it was actually really dry. I have no idea! I can’t taste it before I serve it. I don’t know how to cook this stuff, what it looks like when it’s done. All I know is that I feel like there’s salmonella on every surface in the kitchen!

So aside from me being a dutiful wife cooking meaty goodness for my hubby regardless of my own vegetarian diet, I mean, what else is left in being a housewife/stay-at-home-mama? I keep Doodle alive, so I guess that’s a plus.

But like, the dishes, ugh I hate dishes! It’s not even the dishes that I hate. It’s the gross ones that sit in the sink. The marinade of used food particles on them as they await loading. I know I could use gloves, but I always forget about gloves, so I never use gloves. So I try to just keep up on putting clean dishes away, that way we can just throw our dirty ones in the dishwasher and forgo the whole marinade bit. But man oh man, if I forget to put away dishes for even half a day, or if I make the mistake of cooking and dirtying up a whole bunch of new dishes while the dishwasher is going, does that sink fill up fast or what! Then my lack of motivation to do it starts to snowball along with the gross factor, and after another day or two, I’m just crazy overwhelmed and we’re all out of clean plates, forks, and coffee cups.

Then there’s laundry… with the three of us, we get about two loads a week, so it really shouldn’t be a big deal at all for me to get everything done. So I start a nice Saturday or Sunday morning with a load of Jake’s and Doodle’s clothes in the wash. If I at least get those done, Jake will have nice clean clothes to get him through the work week, and Doodle won’t look like a homeless child or stay in pajamas all day everyday, right? So I get those washed, and with my motivation in full swing I throw them in the dryer and get my clothes and the towels started in the wash. Then, I don’t know, I guess I just forget. I forget that the guys’ clothes need to be put away, forget that mine need to be dried, just forget that I was ever even doing laundry in the first place.

I can’t count the amount of times that I fluff those darn clothes in the dryer so that Jake doesn’t go to work looking like he slept in the car. Each time I figure I’ll be able to get everything out and put away. Then I remember that I’m still wearing my pajamas and I realize it’s because my clothes have been sitting in the washer this whole time. Oh man! So then I restart the washer, throw another All Small and Mighty pack in there, and hope that I remember to finish my clothes. This happens every other week or so. Seriously, I don’t understand why I can’t just do my freaking laundry when I set out to do it!

Now, we’re not altogether “messy” people. I mean, Doodle’s really good about putting away his toys and books most of the time, and we don’t really accumulate things in our living areas, so it’s never really needing to be picked up or anything, but I think that having a dog is really bad for my vacuuming. She doesn’t shed a lot, and we don’t track a lot or dirt or debris in or anything, but we do have a two-year-old. Food gets thrown, drinks get spilled, stuff happens. But my goodness, if it’s edible, there’s Ash, perfectly happy to clean up the mess. So I don’t really see too much food particle stuff on the floor, what may remain kind of just blends into the carpet. Until, of course, I get down to wrestle with Doodle on the floor and realize what I’ve been terribly neglecting… Then I remember to vacuum about two or three days later… Oops…

So, other than the occasional meal that I throw together for my hubby and the breathing child there to greet him when he gets home, I’m not really sure what he thinks I do all day while he works. I mean, I do something, right? Somehow I’m exhausted at the end of the day. Somehow I’m ecstatic on his days off so I can have some help. But what is it that’s wearing me out? What do I need help for? What do I actually do? And why is he ok with me doing it while he’s the only one “working”?