Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Ode to Abby

This is a picture of the K-9 lady of the house dressed up in her Christmas gear. She is a very tolerate dog.

Josh and I adopted Abby a little more than 3 years ago. After we got married, we knew we wanted to expand our family, but were not ready for parenthood; at times I'm still not sure we are ready for parenthood. We knew two things as we began our dog hunt- we did not want a puppy and we wanted to adopt a dog. After a long search, we found Lillian, Abby's foster mom, in Northern Virginia. She told us that Abby had been with her for a year and she was rescued from a shelter that was about to put her down.

Abby was found on the side of the road and had scratches on her front legs, she now has deep scars, and most of the teeth were nubs. Lillian was not sure, but she thought Abby was a hunting dog who got away from the pack and likely stuck in a trap and tried to or successfully chewed herself out.

Abby quickly got very comfortable with us. Jumping up on the couch and stealing entire halves of Josh's sandwich became standard protocol. She seemed to connect with me the most- curling up next to me in bed, following me around the house, peeing a little every time I came home from work. She and I would go for 2 to 3 miles walks about 3 to 4 days a week. I pooh-poohed my doctor ordered bed rest in my final weeks of pregnancy and drove Abby to the boardwalk and we would walk 1 mile at a very slow pace. She did not seem to care, as long as we were out- together.

Then Parker came.

Abby has quickly become Josh's dog, so much so that, I now call her his girlfriend. If she has an accident, which happens with more and more frequency as she gets older, I will say to Josh, "Tell your girlfriend to quit peeing in the hall."

When Pman was a wee-bot Abby did not seem to care about him at all unless he was wailing, in which case she would run and hide. Abs hates loudness of any kind. When he learned how to roll over she watched with caution. When he started eating solid food she fell in love. When he started walking she ran for the hills.

Now, Pman realizes that she is a being the house and he loves her. She will stand very still as he tries to crawl under her. She sprawls on the floor like an area rug as he attempts to use her as a race track for his toy cars. She allows him to snuggle up in her tiny dog bed for a quick cuddle. She never nips, bites or even growls at him as he watches her (very closely) as she eats. When she spills her food on the floor, Pmonkey picks it up kibble by kibble and puts each piece back in her dish. I just hope P's (very) future siblings are as accommodating as Abs.

Ever since I was pregnant Abby has been banished from our bed and instead sleeps on an oversized doggy pillow on the floor of our room. Last night around 2a.m. she was hacking on something, likely a hairball, so Josh went to get her a bowl of water...maybe to wash it down, I'm really not sure. She drank some of the water and then proceeded to lick herself all over herself. If you do not have a dog, this will not make sense, but trust me, that is a VERY loud and EXTREMELY annoying noise. After about ten minutes, Josh shoots out of bed and says, "You cannot take a bath in here!" and promptly took Abby downstairs. I stayed in bed and chuckled at his retort.

He apparently let her out and then told her she would be sleeping in her dog bed in the living room for the rest of the night. She had other plans. Minutes later, as Josh and I are trying to go back to sleep, we hear Abby in the hall- curious since the baby gate was suppose to be up. We then heard her throw up in the hall.

I laid in the bed like a sleeping slug, even though I was wide awake- hoping Josh heard the puking noises too and would handle it. SUCCESS! Josh again pulled himself from the bed. He let Abby back out and began the cleaning process. After a few minutes I came down to see if he needed help, although I was hoping he would not.

In the glow of our multi colored Christmas lights, I found Josh in the hall. He was wearing boxers and his winter coat- a military style gray pea coat. He was on his hands and knees with his dress shoes on his hands as gloves as he attempted to pick up plastic grocery bags full of doggie puke.

He told me he had it covered and to go back to bed.

I love him.

This morning as he was leaving for work I said, "Tell your girlfriend if she pukes in the hall in the new house she will find herself with a one way ticket back to Lillian."

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Pre- Christmas Miracle

From the hours of 9a.m. to 12p.m. today Parker and I had one of our most trying mornings. This time, Pman and I were a united front against all things ice and snow related.

In all honesty, our adventure actually started on Monday night. P had another high fever for the second time in his life- 104. I freaked a little, took off all his clothes except for his diaper, gave him beaucoup Infant Tylenol and some ice cold apple juice. My plan was to give the Tylenol and hour to do its’ thing and if it didn't we would be headed for a late night trip to the ER. Thankfully, it worked. Slowly.

The next morning he had a slight fever. I gave him some Tylenol again, assessed his mood and condition after an hour and then we met my sister for lunch. By 4 that afternoon the fever was back up to 103.7. This time I called the doctor and got an appointment for Wednesday morning, just in case. Through the night the fever broke and when he work up it was a normal 98.5. Excellent! I cancelled the doc appointment, threw on some gym clothes gave P a bagel. Then we began to make our way to the gym so I could start the day with a good sweat.

I had to run to WalMart and Giant for last minute ribbons and dinner items. On the way to the gym I waffled between running my errand pre or post gym visit. I decided that going before the gym was best and made a right turn instead of a left. (You are welcome fellow WalMart shoppers.)

WalMart was uneventful- for once.

As I pulled into a parking spot at the Giant, I thought to myself the spot looked sort of icy, but the edges looked fine and I reasoned my car will likely cover the icy part, so no problem.

I got out of the car, successfully walked around to retrieve Pmonkey and as I was carrying him up to the store, we slipped. If I were alone, I know I could have braced myself and evaded the inevitable fall altogether. However, I had a very precious P in my arms. In the slow motion spin to the ice, all I could do was try to grab him tighter. The more I squeezed the further away from me he got. It was like trying to hug a lump of Jello. He was just ungraspable.

His sweet blonde head slammed on the icy pavement. I saw it. I heard it. My hands and arms were in shock and I felt like I could not pick him up fast enough. It took him a good 15 second before he started to cry, then about another 3 for me to start crying. I saw he had three large-ish bruises on his left temple and two of them were bloody. Not bleeding, but bloody.

There was a Giant employee right next to us and he walked away. I found out later he is deaf and did not hear the fall hence the lack of reaction. Two other employees came over along with a nice black lady with corkscrew curls and hot pink lipstick. They all asked if we were ok and watched as I sat on the ice in work-out clothes holding my sobbing son. They stayed until I assured them we were okay. The lady with the bright lipstick helped me stand up and then handed me my $5, now broken, Target sunglasses. Then she walked P and I to the Giant front door. The employees got the manager for me. I filed a report was given a number to call, as well as many sympathetic looks. I got what I needed from the store and called the pediatrician just in case. I kept thinking of Natasha Richardson- oh how a scared mommy's mind wanders.

We went to the doc and she said he got himself good, but she expected him to be okay. She suggested I give him Tylenol because he probably does or will get a big headache.

She also suggested that while he was there, she might as well check him out (ear, nose, eyes) in relation to any fever issues. All was well until she looked in his right ear. As she peered in she said, "Oh this one looks infected." Then after a beat or two she said, "Oh no mom! His ear is extremely and severely infected." That is a direct quote. She faxed a prescription to the pharmacy. In my defense, Pfunk never pulled on his ear or showed any real signs of ear issues. I did not connect a potential ear infection to the fever.

On my way to pick up his medicine, I called the number I got from the manager at Giant about the fall. I wanted the powers that be, to pay the $10 co-pay for the doc visit. It's more about the principle of it, their lot was terribly icy- I just wanted to make someone aware.

After being transferred around and finally getting my "case manager" I was told by Raul that my claim will stay open for a bit in case any underlying injures related to fall surface within the next few days. He also told me he will be mailing me a $25 gift certificate to Giant. So I guess I will be going know sometime this summer, when it is not icy.

On the way home from all of this, I was reflecting on our morning. The fall was a blessing because he got to see the doc and get meds he needed for his apparent profound ear infection. Thankfully we will not have to spend the holidays with a cranky (read: undiagnosed) Pman.

I have a few friends who are going through some difficult things with their babies. We are lucky this fall wasn't worse. We are lucky nothing bigger is looming over our Christmas celebration.

He is basically ok. His mom is a klutz. He is SO not a winter person.

Friday, December 18, 2009

I Will NEVER Do That!

Being a parent has shown me a different side of my own childhood. Things I thought I would never do, say or think are now commonplace. This entry is a collection of just some of the things from my childhood, that I see creeping into my daily routine with Pfunk.

I distinctly remember my dad and younger sister taking part in something I could only describe at the time as vile when we would go on long-ish car trips. My dad would get a big red juicy apple and eat it in the car. He would also bite off big chunks and offer them to my sisters and me. I, of course, never...EVER took him up on his offerings. It was already in his mouth with his tooth funk* all over it. Ick. This really should come as no surprise to most of you. My sister Lynsey, the same one mentioned here, OF COURSE took him up on the offer and would even ask for another bite after she finished the one she had. I would be sitting next to her in the back seat, dry heaving because I was just so grossed out by their absurd behavior.

Just yesterday, I was eating an apple in the car. Pman can say, "apple?" (always with the question mark). Want to guess what I did? Bit off a huge chunk and without the slightest hesitation gave it to him.

My mom is a nurse and when we were growing up she worked a couple night shifts during the week- smart lady- there were 4 kids in our house! On these nights my dad was in charge of dinner. He only really ever made one dinner- over and over. Flank steak- burn it, baked potato (sometimes sweet potato) and broccoli. Once in a blue mood he would throw chicken into the mix.
About 10 minutes before dinner, the noises in our house consisted of the clanging of silverware as an 8 year old me and a 2 year old Lynsey tried to set the table. My brother taking on drink orders (usually milk).  If we were having chicken, my sister- Megan- was in charge of white verse dark meat distribution. I'm not sure if a typical 8 year old knows the difference between white and dark meat on a chicken. I did. White meant you would need a little something to dip it in.

I think the need to dip is an inherited gene. Also, since I consumed mass amounts of broccoli in my childhood I think I have a broccoli gene too and Pmonkey got it. That boy will choose broccoli over just about anything- except cake.  Now, if I can only get him to take my drink order...

When I was in college...and well anytime post-Pman, I would also judge the mommies in the grocery store with the screaming baby. (I regret that now.)  I believe I would even come home from the store and say the following words- out loud, "If I'm ever at the grocery store and my baby starts crying, I'm just going to leave. I don't even care if my cart is full." I also said something to the effect that I would not bring snacks to the grocery store because a kid should be able to make it through a shopping trip without a snack. Childhood obesity is a problem in the U.S. 'yall.  I also had strong feelings against opening food stuffs in the middle of the store- E Gad! Oh naive, childless, single Nikki.

Now, I gleefully open anything, right in the middle of the store, that will keep P's mouth occupied and generally not screaming. When the snacks do not work and the wailing starts up I say, "Let it out kiddo. I have had months of practice drowning out your drone, and I'm quite good at it." Sorry fellow shoppers, I need to buy this tot some nuggets and ketchup or there will be a mutiny at my house.

Finally, when I was a tot myself, I liked my ponytails to be high on my head and very tight. My dad used to accomplish this by having me flip my head upside down and would then twisted something resembling a hair tie around my hanging locks. I also liked my shoes to be tied very tight- in my adult years I'm aware of how odd this is and I do not blame my parents. While Parker does not wear ponytails at this juncture in life, he does where shoes. Recently, I bought him a pair of tennis shoes that tie. The other day I was helping him put his shoes on and as I was tying them Psizzle reached down to his foot made a hurty face, whined and wiggled his foot.

*It should be noted my dad does not have funky teeth. At that time in my life, I was just being...well, let's call it difficult.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Spider P

Parker was sick last week. Now, like good, dutiful parents, Josh and I are sick and Parker doesn't give a crap. When he was sick, I sat on the couch with him in my arms, neglecting the gym and watching copious amounts of Sprout. By the by, The Wiggles are just wrong- not in a Yo Gabba Gabba kind of way, more in a your hair is gray and you look like middle aged idiots sort of way.

P drank juice. I did not make dinner. He coughed. I worried. (He once had bronchitis and I kept putting off going to the doctor because I did not want be one of those mothers. Poor P!) His nose ran, I wiped- you know the drill. Below is a picture of a sick Pmonkey who was so NOT in the mood for a photo shoot.

Day Two: Why is it when kids are coughing up internal organs, they still feel the need to climb?  Why can't we eat chicken noodle soup and watch movies?  Incidentally, one of his favorite words is up.  While he was climbing the chair he was chanting, "UP UP UP UP UP"  It's not the least bit annoying...

Day Three: After successfully figuring out how to climb the chair without assistance, he has found a new favorite spot.  That spot is on top of the table.  I'm thinking he likes the vantage point this perch gives him.  Our house is sort of U shaped and from this table located in the corner, he can see all. Also, this is a good place to throw things at the dog- leverage.  Poor Abby.

Day Four: This is one of the Monster TV's Josh bought,  for the new house,on Black Friday.  Since it is roughly the length and width of our entire wall, we are not opening it until we move.  Psizzle sees, or saw rather, this as his newest climbing challenge.

Challenge: COMPLETE

I ask, have any of you ever been up for a climb when your sinus are full of snot?  I've been coughing like an old man for the last 72 hours, I think I need higher altitude.
This boy is cra-Z

Here is proof that he is feeling a-ok now. Although, he did shrink. This is actually a bowl of Trix cereal. Just kidding! With aid from the humidifier, a Vick's plug-in thing and some saline solution and nose suction thing, P is a-ok. Also, a good friend suggested that I rub baby vicks vapo rub on P's feet and then put his socks on. The idea is this would help with his cough. I'm not sure if this sped up his recovery, but it was funny just the same and P laugh every time I rubbed the goop on his feet. The giggle alone was worth it. I highly recommend this remedy.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Extreme Christmas Decorating

Fair WARNING: Tampon applicators will be mentioned in this entry! Not described, but mentioned.

I began decorating the house for Christmas today because we are planning on picking up our tree on Friday. Nothing amazing, we just go to Whole Foods and buy a 3' tree that is bolted to the stand, which is basically the size of Abby's food bowl. The whole shebang fits in the garbage can.

I was also in a decorating mood because I was home with a sick Pmonkey- just a little cold. We went to his doc and she said, "Keep doing what you are doing, if he gets better, great! If not, call me and we will call in a prescription." It's a cold, but not one bad enough for drugs...God, I cannot WAIT until he can have cough syrup. I just KNOW a little Tussin would knock the phlegm right out!

Anyway, I have all my Christmas decorations and other crap in this cubby hole of a storage space that is in my half bathroom on the main floor of my house. A piece of the wall pulls out and ta-da a Cave of Crap is revealed. I have lived in my house for nearly 7 years and I just...JUST realized there is a light in this cave. As I am pulling out Tupperware containers full of Yule tide cheer, Psizzle is taking it upon himself to unpack the containers and check things out. By the time I got back to the living room portion of the house, P had broken a candle holder that was nearly as old as me and taken a good sized bite out of a sparkly green candle.

The decorating continued thusly- I would put trinkets around and P would rearrange (read: hide) them. For example, I have 3 separate candles that spell out the word joy, again nearly 30 years old, and P took the O and hid it in the spice rack.

I had nearly emptied one tub o treasures, but when I looked around I realized I must have another container in the storage cubby because items I knew I had were missing. I put on my spelunking gear and head lamp and dove back in the cave. Ok, I'm kidding about the spelunking, but I would be lying if I said I did not break a sweat during this decorating process. I felt like a real tubby when I wiped sweat from my brow and was breathing at an increased rate after climbing the couch to hang lights. I swear, Pmonkey was looking at me like "OOOoooOOO you're gonna get in trooouuubbbllle!!"

As I dug around the cave, I figured P was unrolling the toilet paper or eating candles or hiding nearly all the decorations in the spice rack. However, I was wrong.

Remember I said the cave is in the powder room? Know what else is in the powder room? The toilet and the trash can full of gross- snot rags, possibly some toenail clippings and yes, tampon applicators when appropriate.

As I emerged from the great beyond, I looked up and saw something that can only be described as horrifying.

There he was, happy as a clam- holding...a...tampon applicator that he very obviously got from the trash.

He was holding it up like a torch.

I'm not even going to speculate about how long he was holding it or where he possibly could have put it during my time in the cave. I just looked at him and said calmly, like a police office trying to negotiate with a bank robber about the safety of his hostage, "Parker, honey, that's yucky. Give it to mommy please."

He handed it over. Thankfully.

After we both washed our hand- vigorously, I continued Operation: Decorate. One of the items I discovered on my quest was a little P-man sized snowman that is actually a toilet paper holder. He is packed in an old box and Styrofoam. As I was disinfecting the bathroom after the tampon incident, P-Claus took on the responsibly of pulling apart the Styrofoam and creating a snow-like effect.

Giving up all hope, I grabbed my camera, stood on the toilet and took these pictures as Dave Matthews Band's "Christmas Song" played in the background (incidentally, this is one of my favorite holiday songs):

I knew instantly though this would be one of those moments that I won't forget- the year Parker decorated with tampon applicators and Styrofoam snow.

Incidentally, when I relayed this story to Josh he asked, “Was it a used one?!” He went through the same denial process as me. Instead of confirming anything or saying what I’m sure a lot of you are thinking P- a teething toddler- likely did with the tampon applicator, I just said, “Well, he got it from the trash, so yes, it was likely a used one.”

The conversation ended there. Thankfully.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009


In our quest to fill our new house with shiny new items, Josh took it upon himself to purchase 2 new TV's and our washer and dryer. I specifically picked out the washer and dryer and emailed him links, so I know exactly what they are and everything about them.

I have no idea what the TV's look like, how big they are or any special features they may have. Oh, Josh told me, but really...huh?

Will it turn on?

Can I watch Glee, Modern Family, It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia and...One Life to Life (still immensely embarrassed that I watch this on the regular)? Yes, you say? Great!

High Def..wha? Blu Ray? Who's that a new jazz singer?

Honestly, I would not even care if the new TV's were black and white. One of my all time favorite shows is I Love Lucy and I'm sorry, I know they have colored version of the show now, but I refuse to watch it that way. There is something very...easy and traditional about black and white shows. Why mess with it?

Growing up we did not even get cable until I was about 12. My younger sister spent the better part of that first year watching all things Nickelodeon. Seriously, she had a little pop-up tent thing and she would camp out in front of the TV, mesmerized and hypnotized. She was even willing to forego trick or treating one year because she entered some Nickelodeon Halloween raffle thing. The Nickelodeon people were going to call your house if your name was drawn. You had to say something ridiculous into the phone like, "Nick or Bust!" or “Nick or Treat!” then your name would scroll across the bottom of the screen and you won some thing.

I'm not sure what the real prize was, and here is why. My parents saw their pitiful 6 year old daughter sitting by the TV one hand on the phone, the other blocking the remote from possible confiscation. She was like that radio contest obsessed uncle in the Demi Moore and Jon Cusack hit One Crazy Summer. I'm pretty sure she was foaming at the mouth and possibly sweating- I can't say for sure though because I was out trick or treating like a normal kid.

Mom and Dad had a friend of theirs call Lynsey and tell her she won. They then bought her something Nickelodeon and mailed it to her. I'm not sure how they explained why her name did not scroll across the TV screen, again, because I was out being normal. I’m guessing they distracted her with candy I had just brought home. Her three loves at that point were Nickelodeon, all things candy and soccer.

Just to finish out the story, until about 5 or so years ago, Lyns actually thought she won. It was one of those things she would tell people, "I never win anything, except this onetime..." I'm not sure how she found out the truth, but she will tell you it still hurts a little to know she was not an official winner.

When I was in high school, my parents put one of their old TV's in my room. I was excited at first- my own phone (no one called), a stereo (with record player, 2 tape decks and a separately attached CD player!), a desk and then a TV!- it was like an apartment...or something. I ended up taking the TV out. It was just too cluttered for my liking.

So here we are with 2 huge TVs, I'm guessing here as I have not actually seen them, for our new house. Josh is excited, so I'm happy for him. I'm sure the High Def WiFi DVR DVD BluRay monstrosities will be truly amazing and generally awe inspiring.

I do have to admit, DVR is the BEST B. E. S. T. thing ever- TV accessory wise

Now, get me in a Bed Bath and Beyond with my many 20% off coupons parents better be on hand to distract me with candy should I get a little out of control. And I will get out of control. And it will likely be more than just a little.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Randomness Times 7

Need to get away from the family for a second?

Turkey in the oven and have nothing to do now(ha!)?

Need to look busy without actually being busy?

Read 7 random things about me. A good friend, follower blogger, and goddess like myself, sent me the following chain letter/blog thing.

Let's Go:

1) The day before my 21st birthday I was riding my bike and a Mazda Miata hit me. The old lady driving the car turned right into me.  She was coming off a stop sign. I fell in the middle of the interscetion and the car behind the Mazda just drove around me as if that was totally normal. I walked my bike home and still went to work that night. I was a waitress. I made twice as many tips that night because I played up the sympathy card big time- truthfully, I was fine- it was a MIATA!

2) I am TERRIFIED of whales- real ones, pictures, calendars, cartoons- does not matter. I'm nearly 100% sure this stems from an early childhood viewing of Pinocchio.

3) When I went on that cross country trip my sister, our friend and I stayed in a hostel on a vortex in Arizona that was owned/run by a guy named Lavern and his girlfriend, Frenchie. Lavern played the ukulele.

4) The Great Barrier Reef is overrated as a snorkeling spot.

5) I have zero desire to sky dive or bungee jump. I also have never dreamt about flying, but I do frequently fall in dreams. Is this a bad sign?

6) I love cooking and I am fairly decent, but cannot make chocolate chip cookies from scratch to save my life. I have tried several times with several variations and they all suck.

7) Tina, Aarti, Jenn and I have been friends since high school. We all turn 30 on our next birthdays. We have a girls trip planned to celebrate, but Tina posed another challenge to us. First, it should be noted that going to a NKOTB concert was her idea, a pure genius idea. Anyway, she suggested in October 2010 we all run the Baltimore marathon as a relay team. While I do go to the gym on the regular, I am no runner. However, after a lot of excuses and self-doubt, I have agreed to her latest idea. NKOTB was sheer amazingness, how bad can this run be? right?

I'm both terrified and excited. Currently, I can run/walk 4 miles in 55 minutes on the treadmill. If I become some crazy runner, wearing only spandex jumpsuits and talking about stretching out my quads and carbo loading, you have my permission to slap me.

Awesome bloggers I just LURVE

1. Lynsey at
2. Nancy at
3. Alison at

I'm suppose to put links to other blogs I follow here, but I don't follow a lot, sadly.  Instead, I willl link you to sites I like.  It counts right?



Please take the time and check out these talented and funny writers.

If you are interested in doing this yourself here are the "rule":
1. Link to the person that tagged you and post the rules on your blog.

2. Share 7 random and or weird things about yourself.

3. Tag 7 random people at the end of your post and include links to their blogs.

4. Let each person know that they have been tagged by leaving a comment on their blog.

Monday, November 23, 2009


I have a long feud going with the innards of chickens.

I go to the store, pick out a chicken and come home and place it in my freezer. This is a typical, normal rather predictable pattern of events. However, what occurs mere days later in my kitchen in nothing short of a MMA fight- me vs. frozen chicken innards.

I have taken a frozen chicken and placed it in my sink at 7a.m. and come back at 5p.m. to a thawed chicken and still frozen solid sack of innards.

I have run hot water in the chicken-- innards, still frozen.

Every time I try to prepare a chicken for the oven I end up giving it some sort of twisted gynecological exam. I have ripped and pulled at the bag of gross, only to end up with a hand full of innards. Sensory memory still gives me the pleasure of remembering what a raw, cold, chicken liver feels like in my hand . The words that come from my mouth, as I performing this vile act are unfit to be heard by another human being.

Sadly, P is usually within earshot. Thankfully, he is usually watching Yo Gabba Gabba or chasing Abby around the house.

Because of this, and for a few other reasons, we are not having turkey at our thanksgiving. Instead the Phillips fam will be noshing on; ham, mac and cheese, collard greens and oyster stuffing. Have I mentioned that Josh's family is from Tennessee?

Since we are not having turkey on Thanksgiving we decided having chicken on Sunday would not be too redundant. Josh took on the chicken tackling and cooking efforts. Here is the conversation we had as he prepared the bird. It should be noted that in our house, if someone is in the kitchen and the other person is in the living room, the two people cannot see each other, but can easily carry on a conversation.

I was in the living room. Josh was in the kitchen.

Josh "What is this, the neck?"
Me: "Yea...there's more too. Haven't you ever done this?"
J: Uh-huh, but ...really is this the neck?
M: That's not all that's in there. Keep digging.
J: Do I take it now or after
M: After what
J: After it cooks
M: ---
J: Oh opps, I was at the wrong end.

After my silent giggling from the couch subsided I asked for clarification. It seems Josh was aware that innards were in the chicken, just not clear on exactly how many innards. He was also trying to pull them all out of the top of the chicken, not the butt portion.

Oh sweet Lord.

After bit I went into the kitchen to actually see what is going on. By this time he had removed the innards and he was seasoning the chicken.

On it's back.

When I pointed this out he said, "Oh, I thought that was the breast part..."

So many things are wrong here.

In the end we were making beer butt chicken, so the seasoning issue was a non-issue since all areas of the chicken were exposed.

Josh took his violated, seasoned dead, raw chicken to the grill. Then he ran out of propane.

I cannot make this stuff up.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009


Today is Wednesday, which means we are three days deep into this week- the week before Thanksgiving.

I have had a naggy, can't get it out of my head, frustrating type thing happen every day this week.

Monday- P had a very high fever last Friday and Saturday. When it broke on Sunday he got some weird rash thing, so on Monday we went to the doctor to make sure everything was on the up and up. Incidentally, every time Psizzle now sees the doc, he screams, cries and is generally pissed because he is sure she is going to stick him with yet another needle. Everything is fine with Pman. She said this rash is how some kids' systems react to their first high fever. No worries. Not contagious. As you were.

By the time we left the office it was too late for the gym, but too early for the next thing in our day, so I took P to the beach to play and kill some time (and energy).

He went over to a little girl about his age and picked up a shovel that was not being used. I asked the mom if it was ok. She said, in a snappy tone, "Is he sick?" I said, "No. We actually just came from the doctor and he got a clean bill of health." She said,"....ok...." I get the Swine Flu hype and everything related to the hell that is a sick child, but what, do you not believe me when I say my son is not sick?


I let the weird tension pass with the stranger as our kids ate sand together. Finally the other mother mentioned that her daughter's pants were too big. I make some lighthearted comment about needing baby belts. She replied, "Ha, yea. That would be neat if, you know, they weren't a choking hazard."

I do not see a friendship in our future.

Tuesday- I was at the Grocery Store Schmoregesborg with Pfunk near the yogurt. I was singing a made up song about the yumminess of yogurt. This lady said, "Oh isn't it so good! This kind is my favorite!" 

Looking back I should have just said yes, grabbed some yogurt and rolled out.  I did not though.

Instead, I replied, "Actually, I don't like yogurt, but he does. I can't deal with the sourness of it." She told me I needed to get over it and that yogurt was some kind of power food and that if I take a lot of antibiotics, I need to eat more yogurt because medicine strips your body of nutrients. I said, "Huh…" and walked away. Do I look like someone who takes a lot of antibiotics?  If so, perhaps this is something a day at a spa could cure, which sounds worlds better than yogurt, to me.

Wednesday- I have a student, who due to his own laziness and lack of awareness of the world around him, is failing my class. Let's say you sign up for a class called, Learn to Fish, wouldn't you expect that at some point you would have to actually fish? Wouldn't you expect that if you did not fulfill this requirement there is no way the teacher could give you a passing grade? When you found out you were going to get an F in Learn to Fish, would you then send an email to the teacher stating, "Yea, I know how I'm going to proceed. I'm not going to take any more classes you teach."

Hypothetically speaking, if I were that teacher, I would say, "Thank you! You are too much of an idiot to take any of my classes. Also, no one cares that you are a professional floor hockey player. I'm not even really sure what that means."

Hypothetically speaking of course.

I hate when these kind of things happen. My mind cannot let them go for some reason. It's not really that I wish I had responded differently, but negative interactions really have an impact on me. To combat this blah-ness I am listening to Christmas carols on my TV. Right now it's "Two-Step 'Round The Christmas Tree" by Suzy Bogguss- you know that old classic right? Bogguss, indeed. (I swear I did not make that up.)

This is my favorite time of year, between Halloween and New Years Day. I like the chill in the air, the homey smells, the general cheeriness of it all- I just hope that writing these thoughts down will get them out of my head and I can enjoy this time of year.

In other news, I need 2 more followers by next Thursday to reach my arbitrary self-imposed goal of 25 followers by Thanksgiving.   Read. Enjoy. Share!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

100th Post!

This is officially my 100th public post! Some part of me is surprised it took this long, another side of me is telling the previous side to shut up and enjoy this small accomplishment. A third side is pointing out that I still need 3 more followers to reach my 25 by Thanksgiving goal. A fourth side wonders if it is too early for wine.

Until I realized this was my 100th post, I was planning on calling this entry, Grocery Store Schmorgesborg.

Pfunk's trips to the grocery store have gotten more interesting (read: challenging) as he gets older. If you did not read the blog when we took Psizzle on his first grocery store trip you can read about the adventure here. Basically the trip involved a sleeping P in the baby holster thing, a nervous me and a frantic Josh. We left the store without making a scene and forgot nearly half the items on our list. Productive? I answer with a confident yes.

More recently though, P takes on a more active role during the grocery shopping ventures. Well, any venture really that involves a cart.

When I was younger, 10-ish, my mom would take me to the g-store with her, give me one of those little red riding hood type picnic basket things, a few coupons and send me on my way through the store to find bargains. When my basket got full, I would find her, unload the coupons and goods and stock up with more coupons and head back out. Looking back I realize I was a real sucker.

Aside from the sheer safety hazard of letting my child roam freely in the local g-store, there is another reason I do not foresee myself doing with with Pmonkey when he gets older. That reason is because he will eat all the food before he has a chance to unload the goods into the mother cart. No pun intended.

Even now, everything I put in the cart needs to pass the Pman slobber of approval. Food stuff or not, P needs to bite it, sniff it, kiss it (?), and generally destroy it thereby leading to my HAVING to purchase said item. He once picked up 2 granny smith apples and nibbled them both. I hate granny smith apples, but I came home with two of them that day.

If I buy anything in a box like pasta or rice by the time I reach the checkout line it looks like a gang of field mice attacked the boxes in my cart.

I bring him a cup of his own juice and a container of his own snacks, into the store with me every time, but they are not good enough. He prefers that I pull something off the shelf, even if it is the same damn thing that I brought from home and he still has plenty of, and open it right there in the middle of the store and give it to him.

Nearly every time we go to the store I have to explain to the checkout girl that a box/bag/bottle etc is open and to be careful and that no I do not need to return it or get a new one because I myself opened it for my demanding son. I say all this as P tries, desperately, to pull at the York peppermint patties or gum or batteries, or whatever his short little arms and grabby hands can get to.

Once I bought Sun Chips. Thankfully they are in one of the last aisles at the g-store. I threw them on the top of the cart figuring I could make it to the check out, and if I distracted Pmonster with some cheese, perhaps the chips would be safe. I did make it to the checkout, but as soon as I put them on the belt, he pulled them off. Finally, after a couple rounds of this fun new game, we paid for our stuff and got to the car. For reasons I still do not understand, I put the grocery bag containing the Sun Chips next to Pmoney's car seat. In the short ride home he managed to pull the chip bag out and OPEN IT!

Grocery store shopping is now a full contact sport in our house. You will sweat and there may be tears from everyone involved, but I promise when we home, he will not eat any of the things that were so tempting whilst they were in the back of the cart.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Beef with Teeth

An Open Letter to Parker's Teeth (the exposed and non-exposed.):

You are driving me crazy. Do you know how utterly terrible it is to be ripped out of a, very rare, perfectly good sleep be a screeching, screaming 16 month old? Don't you try to blame tummy trouble, a stuffy nose, or nightmares, I can hear that Pman has his little fingers in his mouth in an attempt to self soothe- making you the only culprit.

Come through or don't, but stop making my life hell and my son's mouth sore. Or at the very least have some consideration and succumb to the pain dulling powers of legal infant drugs. I would even tolerate one, just one, cranky day at home for a full night of sleep. Please understand, I am just willing to trade one for one, you do not get to make him cranky multiple days in a row.

First you come way late, he nearly celebrated his first birthday toothless, although the process did seem to start in October when he was 3 MONTHS OLD. Then you take forrreeevvver to finish the job. I know I know, the later you come in, the healthier you are. I need you to know I think that is a load of crap. You teeth must have some sort of in with pediatricians across America and those that make generic infant tylenol. Do you get a nice fat kickback check every time one of us mommies buys yet another bottle of baby teething pain killer?

Orajel does not work on Psizzle, as you are well aware. However, because of the seemingly nightly intense pain you cause him, he now smiles, waves his arms and is generally excited by the sight of that eye dropper full of sticky sweet purple liquid. The mysterious tiny white powdery teething tablets, mentioned previously in my blog, get the same reaction. You, teeth, have made my son an addict.

I have looked on the eight of you who have had the guts to show yourselves, but I see no phone number for a complaint department. Please understand I still fully expect you to complete the job you have started. I expect you to be healthy despite P's inability to properly brush at the moment. Hopefully him sucking the toothpaste off the brush is enough for now. You know I have tried to do my part and encourage the actual brushing motion, but he has other ideas.  However, he does seem to enjoy gnawing on the bristles of my own toothbrush, which I find totally gross, but he does a lot of things I find totally gross and therefore will not take up any of your more time.

Let's call a truce and just get P through this and allow me as much nightly sleep time as possible.

Thank you,

(A very sleeping) Nikki

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Elimination Communication

Ladies and Gentlemen, I present to you Pman!

On Halloween our neighbors, and Josh, all sit outside and hand out candy to the kiddies, and not so kiddies. Josh hands out the candy because he says he loves it, but secretly I think he likes having the power to deny candy to uncostumed teenagers. Either way, while he is out there he chats and trades candy with the neighbors.

On Sunday we were hanging around the house watching football when Josh asks me when we will potty train Pman- no pun intended. I said that I was thinking we would get a potty for him when we move (in about 3 months!!!!) and really start working on it this summer when he turns two. Josh said, "TWO!!!? This SuMmER?"

I had no idea Josh felt so strongly about potty training.

Apparently he was talking to one of our neighbors who has an 11-month old daughter. The neighbor said her daughter tinkles in the potty and they are working on poo-pooing. He immediately, in a very unJosh-like way, went into panic mode at the fact that our little P was nowhere close to potty training outside of playing with toilet paper.

Josh wanted to get the training started and now.

I explained we were on track and she was a bit early and I've heard girls are a bit easier in the potty training department.

About an hour later we were trying to remember if Psizzle had a BM at any point in the day. (See you non/ not yet parents, these are the fun conversations you are missing out on...) Just as we decided, no he had not, P comes running on from the kitchen, looks me dead in the eye, grunts, turns red-faced and then laughs.

He looked right at me as he poo'ed! Such a boy!  He then went over to Josh and handed him a book, like Pman needed a little something to read as he finished up.- just. ew.

This reminds me of something I read about Blossom- you know Mikelaiaianmam Baliakananabsn. She is now an eco-friendly, tree hugging, compost heap having mommy of two boys. The article I read was about something she called Elimination Communication. It seems this is a form of potty training whereupon the child does not wear any diapers- at all- even infants- NO diapers ever. Instead, the mom and child create a sort of communication pattern awareness, so the mom can "tell" when junior needs to use the facilities. She said they use diapers, cloth, when they are in public, but at home it's free-balling style all day. I thought this was sheer madness and you would have to be smoking a lot of the good stuff to be able to deal with that much human bodily fluid...and other stuff...being all around your house as you learn to communicate with your infant about their pee schedule.

Then P proved me wrong with his previously mentioned antics- although, thankfully, he was wearing a diaper, not cloth.

I'm still putting potty training on hold for now, but I am trying to pick up on his potty cues. The poo thing, I got. How do you tell is a 16 month old needs to or is peeing?

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Is My Face Red?

I forgot to welcome my newest followers! Your thank you gift is in the mail being sent from a far off place in another galaxy. Spread the word, my goal is 25 followers by Thanksgiving!

I used to think my parents were embarrassing. As I reflect back on my childhood, I cannot think of anything in particular that stands out as an embarrassment. I think it was their sheer existence. Like many pre-teen girls, and maybe boys too, I wanted the general public to think I was hatched from an egg on my own or dropped on earth by a spaceship. For reasons I still cannot put my finger on, my parents were actually pretty cool, I did not want to be linked to Marian and Bob, especially in PUBLIC.

All this aside, I can distinctly remember going to the mall on any day at any time and demanding to walk 10 paces ahead of or behind them. They could only talk to me if they were purchasing me items, but as soon as we left the store we needed to resume stranger status.

I once lost my jacket- brand new jacket- at an ice skating rink and my dad went back with me the next day to help me look for it. There we were, a 12-ish me and pissed dad digging through the lost and found- KILL ME NOW!

After the birth of Parker, I am constantly reminded of we, the kids, embarrass our parents probably more than they EVER embarrass us...well mostly.

This past weekend we went back to the pumpkin farm where Psizzle rode a pony. (look at me with my links!) It was insanely crowded and wet and muddy making for difficult walking conditions. No problemo. Pmonkey just grabbed random legs, butts...what have he passed by total strangers. He got to know some of these strangers in a very intimate way. I just followed behind him with my head hung in shame and apologized. Why didn't I just pick him up? Well, A: his feet were terribly muddy and B: See A. and I wanted him to burn off some energy. I was embarrassed, but I know this is only the beginning.

Recently a friend who is a high school teacher told me about her 4 year-old granddaughter and their trip to Target. It seems, this adorable little girl asked her Ma to buy her "Kiddie Porn" like she saw her Ma using in school to play bingo. My friend is not evening news-worthy the wee lass meant candy corn, but how do you come back from that? There is no explaining.

My grandmother apparently had big boobs. One day my grandmother took my, at the time, very young cousin, Angel to the grocery store. While my grandmother and Angel were waiting in line for their order to be rung up, my cousin noticed and said out loud, "Gramma, he's looking at your boobs!"

This same cousin could whistle before she could speak. She used to sit on my grandmother’s lap and whistle at people. When the complete strangers would look around to see who fancied them they would see a grown woman with a very young child on her lap. Thinking there is no way the child could have whistled at them, they would look at my grandmother strangely, likely thinking she was a few marbles short.

Angel indeed.

Another friend was playing with her nephew when he looked at her and said, "You're fat." The boy's mother, my friend's sister, replied that he was being mean and needed to apologize. The sweet child said, "I'm sorry. You're big."

So far I have been able to contain Pman and redirect any potential embarrassment. When P was an infant I used to get embarrassed when he cried in public. I laugh at that now, but I'm so very afraid of what my future holds.

Thursday, October 22, 2009


I am NOT pregnant. Nor do I expect to be anytime soon, but I want to be clear that the subject of this entry has nothing to do with any pending babies.

Since before Josh and I were even engaged I made him play impromptu rounds of the Name Game. This involves me (usually...ok always the leader and instigator of this game) spitting out names rapid fire style until I feel the round is over. The game is never over, we just take momentary time outs- the game is always going. On Josh's end, he is forced to weigh the pros and cons of each name thrown at him and God help him if he says no to a name I like. In the event this happens, I practically make him submit his reasons on writing complete with a PowerPoint presentation as to why the name is not suitable to him. If he should happen to throw out a name I do not favor it is shot down immediately without explanation- well that is not entirely true, if I think the name is particularly terrible I will tell him- over and over.

Don't you wish you could play this game?

Anyway, we have a girl name picked out should we ever have a girl. Her name will be Peyton, spelling variation to be determined. We both agreed on this girl name before we knew Parker would be a Parker.

Now I have made it our mission to focus solely on boy names. We have a few in our back pocket, but we (I) am still thinking on it.

One of the gems Josh came up with was Joseph Ker Phillips. I was suspicious of this name from the beginning. I even said, "I need to say no to this, but I do not know why." Josh proceeded to try to convince me of the benefits of this name. I kept saying that is sounded innocent enough, but I need to veto it.

As you look at the name, do you notice anything about it?
Q:What do you call someone names Joseph?
A: Joe
Making the child's name JoeKer Phillips
See what I am working with?

I also suggested the name Harvey, Josh said ok only if the middle name was Dent. Harvey Dent is Two-Face from Batman.

Thankfully, I saw Parker's name on credits of some movie, plus I love Parker Posey (she's a girl, but whatever...)  When I mentioned to Josh and he needs to get off the Batman themed names he said something to the effect of Pman being named after Spiderman-- Peter Parker.
See where this is going?

Josh's dad passed away about three and a half years ago his name was Lemmeul D. Phillips. Before he passed I asked him if he would like us to carry on his name. Mr. Phillips reply was, "Hell no. Lemmeul is a terrible name." Ok.

I asked what the D stood for, maybe we could make him middle name our son's middle name or something. The D stands for D, as in there is no name attached to the letter. His middle name is the letter D.


Ok fine then, maybe there is a nickname Josh's dad would have liked us to carry on. Well his nickname was Catfish.

Oh I give up!

In a Parker update: His newest trick is to put his hands on his ears. He usually does this when he is sitting in his carseat. Just the other day he was sitting back there with his little ankles crossed and his hands on his ears as I sang The B52's "Love Shack". This makes me sad.

It should be noted that I have the speakers set so they are only loud in the front of the car. It is possible my singing ability continues to take a downward turn.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

DIP- 3 in 1

Parker is a boy after my own heart. He loves and lives for condiments. Chicken nuggets, fries, chips- these things were not meant to be eaten naked in our opinion. Instead, we would prefer if you have several dips available for us to sample using the above mentioned food merely as spoons for our dipping pleasure.

Psizzle has recently discovered the joy of making ordinary food taste oh so much better by completely drenching it and occasionally your fingers (although in Pman's case, more than occasionally and more like entire hand than fingers) in savory marinades, sauces and what have you.

This very morning I put a handful of Fruit Loops in one section of his kiddie plate and 2 tablespoons of Banilla yogurt in another section. He COVERED each Fruit Loop in the yogurt until it was one soggy blob. He sucked the yogurt off and plunged the very same Loop into the yogurt again. DISCLAIMER- My son is a double dipper and he does not care who knows it. He most certainly did not learn this from me. Josh??

Pmoney's new obsession is not really why I called this entry DIP. I was actually referring to Josh. You see, my husband likes to do this Stupid Husband Tricks. Occasionally he is able to receive compensation for the tricks, most often he does not. Meaning he acts like DIP on his own accord, causing me (and I'm guessing eventually our children) to hang our heads in shame. He also, unfortunately, is not drunk when he performs these...tricks. However, if he was drunk, at least there would be a reasonable excuse.

The Flaming Land Shark
Quite a while ago when J and I were just beginning our courtship, I was at his house. It was just J, his best friend Eric and me. E and I were sitting on the futon (seriously, a futon?) when J excused himself to use the facilities. After quite a bit of time E and I realized J was still in the bathroom. One or the both of us commented that it is not a good thing for J to be in the bathroom that long. Either we were going to have to vacate the premises immediately due to toxic fumes OR we were about the see something we never could have imagined.

It was the latter. I'm not sure if I am thankful about that.

Eventaully, Josh came streaking out of the bathroom- yes I mean both quick and naked. Yes naked.

Oh well, he did have a flaming length of toilet paper coming out of his butt.

He burst through the bathroom door, past E and I and out the front door while screaming, "FLAMING LAND SHARK!"

He he jumped off the front porch and landed in a puddle as it had just rained...or snowed...frankly I can't remember. Does it even matter, really? The flame was out- I mean that in many ways.

Drinking Brine
More recently, Josh has developed the habit of pickling things- okra, peppers, carrots, cucumbers...anything really. He loves them. I hate them. This allows him to get creative with his pickling excapades. About two weeks ago he made one with some random veggies, peppercorns, chili oil, apple cider vinegar, and what he describes as a TON of salt.

He brought the jar o' gross to a friends house where we were going to eat dinner and watch some football.

After dinner, after all the pickled veggies were consumed I saw something that still makes me gag a little. I was talking to the lady of the house and we were both behind Josh. I saw his head tip back and the pickle jar go up in the air. He was drinking it.

I thought it was just going to be a sip. He does this occationally, I guess to just taste the brine flavor (?)

I was wrong. He (as in it was his idea) made a bet to drink all the brine left in the jar- about 2 cups worth for...

TWO DOLLARS!!! Two freaking dollars!

He did it too!

He threw up the rest of the night. He may have done some other gross things too, I did not ask. I do not want to know. At 8:45 that night he was finally able to hold down some soup. I then made him do the dishes. I have no sympathy for someone who is sick because of their own DUMB actions. (I took the $2 too.) He then ate some ice cream.

Hands off ladies, this cowboy is all mine.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Photo Journal: Pumpkin Patch

Last weekend the Phillips pham went to a pumpkin pharm (sorry, I couldn't help myself!), Homestead Gardens if you're interested.  They had a petting zoo type thing, pony rides, pumpkins, and games.  This is a photo journal of that day.  Josh and I are going to visit my sister this weekend, so there are many clothes to be laundered and packed.  I would hate to leave you without a post for this week.  Also, nothing like pictures of a cute kid to boost a bloggers follower numbers (hint hint!)

Here's a picture of an actual goat, not our dog Abby. Although, if you have ever seen Abby, you will note the resemblance, yes? I'm thinking that is why Psizzle looks so happy in this picture, maybe he thinks we got another goat. Unfortunately Pman is way into tails, which typically are located close to the…exit door portion of animals. Thankfully, nothing untoward happened.

In these pictures you will see Cowboy Pman. He LOVED this pony, Casey is her name. I'm not sure the feeling was mutual. Note the lack of enthusiasm on Casey's face. If you find yourself going to Homestead Gardens, I have a few bits of advice- 1. Pay the $4 for the pony rides, it so worth it. 2. DO NOT pay the 4 extra dollars for the picture. We did thinking that meant we had to pay to take our own picture of our own son on the pony. It does not. If you pay the extra $4 they will take a picture and print it our right there. Don't be a sucker. Ya know, like us. 

On my hard drive this picture is vertical, but it will not show up on the blog that way (go figure!).  No matter, this is a picture of the corn maze.  It was waist high to an adult so we could see our children.  This is one of the funniest pictures ever.  Can you figure out why?
(In the mean time I will work on getting it right side up...)

In the top picture he was suppose to throw a ball into a cup.  He did less throwing and more dropping and won a yo-yo.  Confession: I am defeated by the yo-yo.  I have no clue how to make it yo-yo.  Every time I try the little plastic part just plummets to the ground and then I am forced to wind it back up again by hand.  No. Fun. This middle picture Josh says looks like Parker is grabbing his balls.  Nice, dad. The last one was at a play date whereupon he tried to eat the little pumpkins like an apple.  All the other moms seemed concerned, but when I just sat back and let him nosh, they all took pictures.  That's the Phillips- always happy to entertain.

How do you end a day at the pumpkin patch complete with pony rides? You go to an authentic German restaurant and watch a 3 (?) the accordion and yodel. There are 3 people in this band, but I could not get the fat old lady in the picture. Rest assured you are not missing much. Every time she stood up off her stool she had a TERRIBLE dress wedgie- NO PHOTOS PLEASE!

Carry on with your Octoberfests and pumpkin picking!

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Rock, Paper, Scissors

I feel the need to begin with a disclaimer.  Something happened recently that made me rethink this whole blog thing.  My plan was to write still, but not making it public.


I love that I have 17 followers.  I can't believe people I do not even know read this blog!  When you tell me that I  made you laugh, I am over the moon.  However, this blog is more or less for me and my family.  I started it to created a timeline of event, milestones and feelings I have in my journey of being a wife and a mother.  If some thing offends you, I'm sorry, that is not my intent.  I feel censoring myself takes away from the orginial intent/spirit of this blog. 

I've spent too much time explaining myself already.

Moving on-
Last weekend Josh and I had a Parker-free weekend.  He went to my parents house for boat rides, cotton candy (for dinner) and SunFest.  J and I had to pick out doors, knobs, countertops, faucets, flooring, appliances, lighten fixtures andthe list goes on- for the house we  will be moving into.  When the design center called to make our color appointment they said it took all day and no children are allowed in the building.

Sidenote: If I had told Josh, "Hey the design center called about our color appointment..."  I bet he would have thought I was forcing him onto some version of "Extreme Makeover" thereby causing him to run and hide like a woodland creature, never to be seen again.  Go me for not wording it that way

Leading up this meeting, the only other time we have really had to pick things out together was for our wedding.  We pretty much planned the whole thing about 3 months, not because we had to, but because it was that easy.  Because of this, I was not at all nervous about picking things out for the new house.

Once we got to the design center we zoomed through the outside items- brick, door, windows. 
Flooring- a breeze! 
Kitchen? Puh-leeze, mere childs play for us. 
The master bathroom- easy squeezy.

After picking everything we liked, we saw the new price of the house and elimiated some things. With the smoothness of a hot knife cutting through butter, we shaved about five grand off the final price.

Four hours after we walked in, we were getting back in our car.  All day you say? Not for the Phillips.
No Josh and I are not so in sinc that we immediatly agree on everything.  No I did not bully Josh into hot pink counter tops. 

For this (and our wedding, and picking movies and whether or to have chinese or pizza for dinner) we played a round of rock, paper, scissor. One, two, three shoot.  No 2 out of 3, no do-overs.  It's a one shot deal.

For example: I wanted darker counter tops in the kitchen, Josh wanted this sage-y color.  Both looked nice.  One, two, three shoot.  Sage-y counter tops it is.

People are always shocked when they see us do this and stick to the choice or the winner.  It is as if they don't really believe what they are seeing. To me the amazing thing is that nearly every time Josh and I do this, we throw the same thing out first- be it rock, scissors, or paper.

The key is to respect the RPS.  Once a choiceis made, it's made.

Another good hint is to not do this about major issues or if you have strong opinions either way.  If you HATE Thai, but your honey wants to go to Lemongrass for dinner, RPS, won't make you like Thai.  I also do not recommend RPS to say, decide whether or not to have another baby.

It relieves tension. It's quick and avoids a potenial arguement.
In the words of the DJ Lance and he alien-like toy things on Yo Gabba Gabba- Try it! You'll like it!

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Time to Kick Some Ass

We recently had a run-in with a kid who is older than Psizzle- 2-ish.  We have been to two other places with this kid and I observed behavior that I did not like.  The most recent encounter involved this kid being mean to Pman.  The kid pushed/grabbed from/hit him several times until P was crying.  I'm actually really (REALLY) upset about this.  I like the mom, but the attendance of the future outings makes me question my own. 


Rather than dwell on it or rehash the entire thing, I will post a story from my past that speaks volumes about how some people close to me, not me, but those I know, handle conflict.

WARNING: This is a true story and therefore I will be telling it as it actually happened. Harsh language is involved- an F-bomb or two. Honestly, saying Fudge! or Fiddlesticks! does not have the same impact. Proceed with caution.

When I graduated from Salisbury with my undergrad, my older sister- Megan (M), a friend of ours- Meghan (H) and I went on a cross country trip together. The trip lasted a month and we put ten thousand miles on the car. There are many stories, this is one of them.

We were on the return portion of our trip and planned to stop in Wyoming to visit friends of M's and camp out in Yellowstone National Park. Of course, as we are pulling into the Park, it starts raining- not pouring, just a heavy drizzle to rain. We decide to forge ahead and camp anyway. After finding a proper location, we popped up our tent. Even though we had camped before on this specific trip, "us" popping up the tent usually meant H did the major portion of the work, while M and I watched and pretended to know where this pole or that stake belonged. After the tent was up we figured it would be best to fashion a sort of canopy over it using a blue tarp and several bungee cords. I wish I had a picture of this because there are no words that would do this masterpiece justice. Attempt to picture it though- the tent was just big enough for the three of us and over top was a HUGE blue tarp that was bungeed to the surrounding trees with various colored cords in a spider-web pattern. We threw our sleeping bags in and though we were wet and more than a little muddy, we headed over to the dining hall for some grub.

While there in our sweat suit finest, we were invited by one of the cafeteria employees to a "party" later than night. Having nothing else to do we took him up on the invitation- he had a kind face- and decided on a meet up time.

Since we were camping and going to a "party" thrown by someone who works at the Yellowstone National Park cafeteria we figured muddy sweats were perfect attire. We were wrong.

These kids got decked out for this party, which by the way, ended up being about 30 people sitting on soggy logs in the shape of a square with a bonfire that gave off the same glow as a 5 year olds birthday cake. There was one guy with a guitar and a CASE...A- case...24 beers being passed around. M, H and I looked at each other and nonverbally decided drinking wine out of the bottle in our dark, wet tarp covered tent was better than this.

We thanked our host for the invite and headed back toward to road that led to the parking lot where our car was parked and head back to our tent. As we walked away we heard warnings of buffalo and bison and deer- Oh My! (or was it elk?  no matter)

The walk back involved walking through an fairly empty field and up a very steep hill. M and H walked side-by-side and I was about one step behind them. It was very dark, but not pitch black. A spindly guy in an oversized fatigue jacket walked passed us. He was headed in the direction of the party and said something to the effect of us heading in the wrong direction because the fun was about to begin at the "party". The three of us more or less ignored him.

Soon after, we passed a tree- in my memory, it was the only tree around, but logic tells me that cannot be the case- H grabbed a branch off the tree. M asked, "Why did you do that?" And for reasons I still do not understand I replied, "Don't worry, she'll use it." It should be noted the branch just happened to look exactly like a gun.

After what felt like seconds, but was likely longer, I heard something behind me. I turned to look and it was that spindly guy running toward us. He was running so fast his jacket was flying behind him. Truth be told, I was the shortest of the three of us and I was taller than this guy. His waist was about the width of my thigh- pre baby- dude was small. Anyway, I see him running toward us, so I yell, "It's him!" while pushing through and past M and H. I did not stop running until I was up the hill, which at this point was just a few feet away. I must have pushed my sister on the ground because when I got to the top of the hill I saw her on the ground like a dead bug.

I saw H crack this guy twice in the head with her gun stick. While screaming, "I'LL FUCK YOU UP MOTHERFUCKER!"

While the man's defenses were compromised, H ran up the hill to meet me.

By this time M was getting up and saying to the stick victim, "Look, you're just freaking us out."

He's freaking us out? This tiny douche bag just got cracked in the head with a stick, TWICE for running in our direction. He didn't say anything. He never made any threats (up to this point). We were all taller than him by at least 5 inches and outweighed him...well by some amount of poundage. There were three of us and one of him and HE is freaking US out.

M steadies herself and meets H and I at the top of the hill. As she is running toward us, stick victim is calling us crazy bitches and telling us he is going to find us. Now, if you have never been to Yellowstone, it is HUGE- it was dark, it was rainy. Aside from knowing we were from Maryland, there is no way he or anyone really could "get us". Not to mention our tent was surrounded by many others and was mere feet away from the bathroom. If anyone attempted to "get us" they would not be successful for the simple fact of the very public location of our tent. Plus H still had her stick.

We ran to our car and headed back to our tent. After a conversation recapping the recent events, we drifted into quietness and each thought the others were sleeping. However, we were all in a frozen state of paranoia. We eventually each thought we heard either footsteps, breathing or whispering- which we probably did, I mean re-read the previous paragraph about the location of our tent. Instead of toughing it out we folded up the tent, tarp, bungees and sleeping bags and threw it in the back of the car and rolled out.

I got pulled over for speeding and I must have seemed very freaked out because the cop wrote down my story and told me to watch out for bison and let me go despite not being about to produce my licensee as it was in the mud tent heap in the back of the car.

The next morning as we told our story to M's friends we realized, perhaps we reacted, or overacted a bit. Maybe he was running for another reason. We were headed in the direction of the mess hall, where he likely worked. We envisioned him the next day serving crappy chicken parm nuggets to some Yellowstone cafeteria go-er with two huge welts on his forehead.

To the Yellowstone guy I say, sorry.

To the kid who is mean to P, I say- please keep your hands to yourself.

Monday, September 21, 2009

A Photo Journal of a Rainy Day

Last Thursday it looked like it was going to rain at any point.  I had an appointment to get my hair cut (it looks the same despite paying more than 50 dollars) and I had to do some work.  I had a sitter set up for Pman for the afternoon.  Since the gray clouds were looming overhead, I decided to dedicate my time to Pmoney for the morning.  This is a photo journal of that fateful (read: very tough) day. 

First, we ate breakfast.  He is very happy in the morning and will gladly throw his hands up in the air when you say, "Where's BIG BOY?" signaling that he, in fact, is big boy.  Beware- he will throw his hands up in the air REGARDLESS of what is in them at the time.  Food and toys have been known to go hurdling across the room.

This was taken mere moments after the previous one, but doesn't it look like I ran this kid ragged all day?  Honestly, this non-rainy rain day was no good.  I was the one who was run ragged.  Our house is small, but doing 389 laps in an hour in a 10'x10' space chasing a toddler, is surprisingly tiring.  Shortly after this photo was taken he went down for a 45 minute nap.  I figured he would take a nap in the morning, but I was counting on it being later in the morning and a bit longer.  Like at least 45 minutes longer than it was.

"Seriously, are you going to be in my face all day with that thing?"  Recharged after his (way) too short nap.  I think he looks like he is about to rip the camera out of my hands.  I know this is only the third picture in the sequence, but it was probably the 23 one I had taken.

Lego Crawl
He likes to play with legos- thank you whoever got him these for his birthday.  Well, play is probably not the correct word.  He really likes dumping them ALL out and throwing them around the room. He seems to like the noise they make- or the yelling noises I make as he lobbs them at me while I duck and cover behind the couch.

The good news is he does actually put them away.  He does this with bath toys too.  It is quite possibly one of my favorite things about him.  It comes so natural to him and it is SO me.  He may look like daddy, but personalitywise, he is all mama!

Apparently this generation is not meant to hear the word no. Apparently we parents are supposed to "redirect" negative behavior and praise positive behavior yielding a generation of rule abiding, appraisal seeking people pleasers. When I was not dodging legos I "redirected" Psizzle away from the sliding screen door that leads to the deck that he opens. I have found him a couple times on the deck digging through the recycling, plant dirt, and generally scaring the crap out of Abby, who spend most of her days on the deck (who can blame her!) After one of these deck visits he came toddling back into the house holding a beer bottle. When I yelled at him...I mean asked him to put the bottle back, he looked at me and with a completely straight face put the bottle up to his lips. In this photo he was just "redirected" away from the deck. This means it is time to walk to the front door and pull on the runner on the side table by the door. You know the one with heavy wooden box on it and lamp- yea that's the one. Redirect my ass! Eventually we were both sitting in the middle of the living room floor- crying

Snack Time!
Do you know how hard it is to take a picutre of a 15 month old eating a banana that does not look wildly inappropriate? 

After I did my afternoon errands and picked Pfunk up from the sitters, he came home and took a nap. 

For two and a half hours. 

He went down at 3:30p.m. This nap time is atypical at this stage in the Pman game.

While he slept it (finally) started drizzling out. I put some crap in the crock pot for dinner and settled in the watch my DVR'ed episode of...well I'm almost too ashamed to tell you...One Life to Live.  Around 6 Josh called to say he was almost home.  I checked on dinner as I talked to Josh. 
Know what?
If you put raw chicken, potatoes and carrots in the crock pot at 4p.m. it is not ready by 6p.m.
In fact, it is not even close.

I told Josh we would have to meet him at Neptunes (local pub) if we wanted to eat dinner that night.  I had the best intentions, but pub grub is where we ended up.  Thankfully the place can be a bit loud and the patrons are usually very wasted, so a cranky mommy and baby went hardly unnoticed.  Every thing went fairly well, but I will say Josh had a beer AND a dirty martini with dinner.  What about Pman you ask?

Well, because he apparently was not in the mood  for chicken tenders or fries or anything else we offered him and because I just could not fight it anymore, my son ate cake for dinner that night.  Go ahead call the authorities who govern obese children. I give!

Also, we skipped his bath that night- and the following night.  Sweet Jesus, please don't turn us in!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

It's a Sign

Try saying the word spoon slowly about 50 times in a row. Eventually, you will not even know what you are saying or what a ssspppppooooooooooonnnnnnnnnnnnnn is.

Do this with virtually any word- cccchhhheeeeeeeesssssee, wwwaaaaaffffffllllllllle, mamamamamamamamaand- you will have the same outcome. This is what it is like trying to teach your nearly 15 month old son to speak.

We tried doing the sign language thing. I actually used to take sign language classes and worked with some deaf children while I was in high school. I even applied and enrolled to a college (Bloomsburg University in PA) that had a great sign language program. I really wanted to be a speech therapist or work with deaf children in some way. In the end I freaked out and felt like I was pigeon holing my 17 year old self. I dropped out before I even started and went to community college for a year. All of this leads to prove that I am open to sign language. I am just too lazy, I guess.

I tried teaching him the sign for more, but that is very similar to clapping. We were going to story time at the library where clapping is a prime activity among the birth to 2 year old age group. I feel like he will clap more frequently throughout his life, than he will need to sign the word more. I gave up the signing and encouraged the clapping.

The sign for please looks sort of like patting your chest. Parker's looks like he is waving. Eh, close enough.

To tell someone you would like milk you make a loose fist and move it in a slight, but quick squeezing motion. Parker makes a (very) loose fist and kind of flicks his middle finger against his thumb. Whatever, I know what he means.

The signs for thank you and eating look similar. To sign thank you a person moves their hand from their mouth outward. To sign eat you kind of make a bird beak looking shape with your hand and move it toward your mouth. Either way, Pmonkey just puts his hand in the general area of his mouth. Good enough...

He does the sign for done pretty well. I think this is mainly because he enjoys sweeping all of the unwanted food onto the floor, which is similar to the motion for done. Good work son!

God help him if he ever encounters an actual deaf person. They will likely think he is challenged mentally. The good news is when the deaf person if calling Parker dumb, my son will likely think he is being offered a cookie or something.

Along with his make shift sign language he is starting to say a few words. He will tell you that a duck quacks- actually he will tell you everything quacks. He will say, "woof woof" if you ask what a doggie says. He was able to tell you cows moo, but apparently cows are retracting that statement because now they quack, according to Parker. Why do they regress like that? One week Parker will be all sign language and animal noises. The next week, when I try to show (off) to other parents, it's crickets from Psizzle. Cat got your tongue?

No, cat's don't quack either!

Another development I have noticed is ever since he started eating solid food, he is the BIGGEST mooch! I cannot eat anything without this kid getting his grubby face and baby hands all over it. Even if I give him a bite of what I am eating and he does not like it, he is still all grabby about it.

Every morning I sit him on the counter while I get my coffee and his milk ready. Usually he plays with a plastic spoon and a paper cup in a drum-like fashion. The other day he reached into the fruit bowl and took little mouse bites out of one of the apples. Think he liked the skin? That a big fat NO. Want to guess what he did with the bits of partially chewed apple skin? He left those slobbery little bits all over the counter. Want to guess how hard it is to pick up tiny bits of slobbery apple skin?'s not easy

He will eat noodles now- which is a new development. I mean really, what kid does not like noodles? Up until about a week ago, the answer to that question was Pman.

I have heard my own mom and many others say something to the effect of them not being restaurants and therefore the family is to eat what they have prepared or go to bed hungry without dessert. That is all well and good, but what do you do for a sometimes picky (nearly) 15 month old? I swear I make him 2 or 3 things for breakfast every morning and he will eat about 2 tablespoons worth of food. Occasionally I give him Instant Breakfast before he goes to bed if he does not eat a lot during the day, but I'm not a restaurant and he will (eventually) have to eat what I make whether he likes it or not or go to bed hungry without dessert!

That may seem like a good ending to this entry, but I have a short Josh story, which are always good!
Last night I went to dinner with a friend, so Josh was on his own for the night. Earlier that day I went to Walmart and bought packages of Ramen noodles for 16 cents each (!!!). I called on my way home and Josh said he just got back from the gym and was making dinner. When I came home, I saw what Josh had fixed. In one bowl I saw that he had prepared veggie soup for himself. IN ANOTHER BOWL I saw Ramen noodle. Just to be clear, Josh simultaneously ate two bowls of soup for dinner. There are so many things wrong with this, I can't even begin to explain. I hope I do not work nights when our kids are older and if I do, I will be sure to put a casserole in the freezer or something. I mean TWO bowls of soup? AT THE SAME TIME!?