Wednesday, December 22, 2010

What Child Is This?

Santa (my dad) brought Parker an early Christmas gift this past weekend.  The big boy bed mentioned here,
J and I explained to P that the bed was too big to fit on Santa's sleigh, so he had to drop it off a little early.
Our explanation was met with blinking and a blank stare from our 2 and a half year old.  If he had the wherewithal to say, "HUH?"  he would have.  I'm not sure why we felt such pressure to explain it to him, but we did, so we did and there it is.
Operation: Nap was our first mission on Sunday afternoon.  After quite a bit of squealing and bumping around, the room fell silent and we assumed P was sleeping.  When Josh went to get him, P was in fact in the bed, but his wipes were on the floor, as were all of his PJ's.
That night, all was quiet all night.  Project: Big Bed-Success (?)
(You big bed vets stop laughing.  I was hoping for beginners luck.)
The next day, I put him down for nap time, or what has now turned into-exploration time. 
We left the crib in his room for now, in case he really was not ready to sleep in the bed.  Also because to get the crib out we need to take it apart and after putting together a captains bed sans directions, we did not feel like tackling the crib.
Pman's crib has about a 6 inch hinge that can be released so mommy or daddy and easily reach in and pluck out the caged in kiddo. We left the hinge down so he could climb in if he wanted to.  However, he has instead taken to lifting the heavy wooden hinge up as high as little toddler arms will allow and then, SLAM, release it so it bangs on the front of the crib.  Sort of like a giant door knocker.
As I sat in the living room and listened to a few rounds of this, I yelled, "HEY!, Stop that!"
Then I heard the little sound of a toddler fist knocking on the inside of his bedroom door.  This was followed by his sweet voice saying, "Come in Mommy."
After a bit that too stopped, and then there was silence.
I let him sleep for about 40 minutes, and then I had to go wake him because we were meeting up with friends.
I tiptoed up the steps, slowly turned the knob.  I tried to open the door, but it was stuck.  I realized Parker was sleeping up against the door.
I said his name a few times in that comforting mom whisper.  Then I realized the room smelled like poop.  No surprise really, this is a typical post-nap occurrence.  However, as he woke up and rolled over and I was able to crack to door a bit more, I realized he was not wearing any pants. 
Or a diaper.
My little bundle of toddler joy was curled up by the door wearing only a shirt and white tube socks.
In the middle of his room was a poo filled diaper full of poo’ed wipes.  My amazing child took off his diaper, wiped his own tush, very well I may add, and put everything in a neat pile.  His hands were a
little messy and some of the diaper contents were on his socks, but all in all nothing too gross.
He started to cry and I said, "Do you think you are in trouble?"
"YeEeeSss" he wailed as tears fell from his eyes.
I said, "Actually, I'm totally impressed with this."
We hugged it out, washed it off and changed our clothes.
It's a Christmas miracle.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Tidings and Such

Confession: You may have already realized this, but I have been a bad
blogger as of late.

No worries, the blog still fills me with bloggy glee and bliss and I have no
plans on shutting down business anytime soon. 

The holidays and the end of the semester just have me bogged down something
awful.  My last class takes their final on Friday and then I am free and
clear of all things teaching (and paychecks) until the end of January.

In the meantime, I have been busy trucking Pman around to look at every
strand of Christmas lights in the Tri-State area.  Be it, a stray string
of blinking lights twisted around a chain linked fence, tasteful white lights
and evergreen wreaths or the life size bright pink flamingo down the street, P
is in love with them all.  He ooo's and ahhhh's with the best of them and occasionally
throws in a, "SOOO PITY!" 

Josh also has been keeping me occupied. 

For example, the other day he got the bright idea to make pizza using the
Pillsbury pizza dough in a tube.  You are suppose to open the tube, as you
do with any Pillsbury tube o' dough, which is carefully followed by gingerly
rolling the dough out evenly on your work surface. 

You Pillsbury veterans will know when one edge of the dough touches any other
dough-like area, you are instantly left with a sticky ball of useless.
Josh found this out the hard way.

He opened the tube.  The dough rolled out onto the greased sheet. He
balled it up in his hands and started pounding and slapping it like you
see every stereotypical Italian do in any movie involving a pizzeria.

I could see where this was headed, so I pulled some thawed
chicken out of the fridge and a box of helper.

In the time it took me to cut raw chicken and cook it, Josh worked that
dough into about a 6" rounded square.  It was suppose to about
12".  He tried to fit it into 3 different pans, each one smaller than
the previous.

While I added the water, milk and powdered cheese seasoning to my
dinner.  Josh had nearly half a jar of pizza sauce on the counter and the
other half on the semi-stretched out dough. (success?!).

My dinner was almost finished congealing, he was just starting the sprinkle
the cheese on his...well I don't even know what to call it.  I do know,
pizza is not the word.

After about 15 minutes, because that is the part of the directions he did
read, he pulled his tomato/cheese/olive/pepperoni loaf out of the oven. He
looked defeated.  I did not want to rub it in, so I put my dinner in the
fridge saying that we would eat it the following night.

The three of us sat down to enjoy daddy's homemade pizza. 

The crust was crusty. 
The cheese was melted. 
The sauce was so hot we all got third degree burns on the roof's of our

The center of the pizza was fresh out the tube raw.  It was so raw you
could not pick up the pizza, in order to eat this, a fork and knife were a
must.  I choked down one slice.  Same for P.  Josh soldiered
through and I'm not sure how much he ate, but there were no leftovers.

So as you see, I've been busy.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Thankful for Board Games

Pman's school did a cute little Thanksgiving program the Tuesday before turkey day.  The show was your run of the mill impromptu tears, screaming and utter toddler chaos that comes with previously organized and rehearsed activities.

Parker did not cry, although he was close.  He also did not sing, dance or move in anyway.
I loved it.

On Thanksgiving Day P, J and I hung around the house and watched football, fried oysters and ate deviled eggs and ham.  Just like our Forefathers.

Then we headed to my parents house the next day for a more traditional dinner.  While we were there P got a hankering to play board games. 

That's my boy!

When Josh and I were dating sweethearts without a care (or a kid) in the world, we used to spend our Friday nights eating the most fattening yummy fried food and drinking cheap beer or wine.  While we dined on our scrumptious feast we would listen to music and play a variety of board games.  On many occasions, the thoughts of our Friday nights would make the looooong work week a bit more bearable.

So when my baby boy voiced his need for board games, or more specifically, "Iwannaplay GAme!" I happily obliged.

My mom and I shuffled him off to WalMart to purchase a few toddler friendly games.  We came out with Don't Break the Ice and a barnyard version of Uno.  He loves them both.

On Saturday night, after the dishes were cleared, cleaned (and some broken) and the pies were cut, my mom, sister, brother (potential SIL and BIL) and I all played Apples to Apples- for about 2 hours.  Games are in our DNA.  I'm glad to see Pman has picked that up as well.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Holiday Commercials

Confession: I LOVE Christmas time.  I found a station on my car's radio that is already playing Christmas carols.  It was a chilly, gray, rainy day today, so holiday cheer was just what I needed on my somewhat long drive to meet some friends for lunch.

This time of year just make me feel sparkly inside- like I'm filled with strings of multi-colored lights and tinsel and warm homemade chocolate chip cookies.

My favorite commercials are the Hershey kisses as Christmas bells tinging out "O Christmas Tree", The Cheerio ones where Grandparents are enjoying the breakfast cereal with the grandchildren they rarely see and the Pamper's one where someone is singing a hypnotic version of "Silent Night:" while various babies sleep. I am a sucker for sleeping babies.

That is unless the sleeping babies are in a Kay Jeweler's television marketing ploy.

I loathe the Kay Jeweler's commercials.  These cheesy uncreative advertisements are on with such frequency during this time of year, it makes me want to throw a wad of mistletoe at my television or scratch out my own eyes with my dull blunt fingernails.  The one that most recently sent me reeling was one involving a young mother, her sleeping baby and an inconsiderate man.

Scene: Mom rocking the infant in front of an unlit Christmas tree.  She makes a point to whisper to her husband, as he enters the room, to be quiet because it's 2 a.m. and junior finally fell asleep.  So what does hubby/daddy do?  Plug in the tree and give his wife a small box.

I saw this while sitting on the couch with Josh.  We both laughed, then looked at each other.  I said, "Why are you laughing?" 
Josh replied, "Because the idiot plugged in the tree! If I did that you would punch me or kick me or at the very least threaten my life verbally and sincerely."

He's right.
And that is exactly why I was laughing too.

If he's going to risk waking up a baby it better be for 2 carat diamond stud princess cut earrings.  Or something like that... 

What moron plugs in a Christmas tree that is next to an infant who has just been described as  finally falling asleep?

Then at the end of the commercial, it is revealed that the gift was a watch.

Without any prompting, Josh said, "Humph! He risked waking up the baby for a watch!"

The unrealisticness- it's a word...- of the commercial is annoying.  However, I know that at some point I will see the commercial again, but the gift will be a ring, or a mother and child bracelet or heart shaped earrings.  It will be the same exact commercial expect for the end.  I find this annoying and because of this will not shop at Kay.

This entry was not sponsored by any sort of retailer, even the ones I spoke fondly of.  This is how I spread holiday cheer.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Everyday is Hammoween

The day after Halloween, Parker woke up and said, "Trick or treat?!"

Ahhh no SweetP, we only get to do that once a year. Sadly.

As the child of a blended family, meaning my biological parents got divorced when I was about 1 and both were remarried by the time I was about 3.  I have three sisters and two brothers, but they are not all part of the same family and range in age from 33 to 19.

This means just about every holiday I have celebrated from the time I was old enough to know the joys of birthday cake, the wonderfulness of Santa and how perfectly paired cranberry sauce and turkey can be, I have blessed with the pleasure of pulling double duty holiday-wise. 

Santa visited both my mom's and dad's houses in addition to my Magraw's house and occasionally an aunt or uncle's house. 

That Santa is good people. 

My Christmas would start on Christmas Eve and end sometime around June, which was perfect since my birthday is in July! 

Throughout my childhood, nearly the entire month of November was filled with turkey, family and pumpkin pie.  I never tired of it because each family had it's own tradition, it's own take on gravy, it's own rules about who gets the wishbone.  There was a sense of similarity, but overwhelming uniqueness.

Now that I am married with a family, we are developing our own traditions, our own gravy and we eat ham on Thanksgiving, so no wishbone rules here.

As I was thinking about all of this-life as a series of celebrations- I thought of how lucky I was/am.  I mean my biological parents did me a HUGE favor in ending their marriage.  They work best when they are not together.  I have a enough siblings to never be alone- ever.  I know and am related to a ton of amazing people.

It dawned on me though, the only holiday I never got two of was Halloween.
Trick or treating at my mom's neighborhood on October 31 with that set of siblings was super fun, but if I had ever gone to my dad's house the following day and tried to trick or treat, I probably would have gotten Charlie Brown's leftover rocks.

It is the only holiday I can think of that you absolutely cannot celebrate twice.

Even the Fourth of July can be celebrated at different times of the month without too much eye batting at your hot dog, firecracker Popsicle and the slightly misplaced bombs bursting in air.  Just this past 4th my home town had at least 3 different celebrations.

I know Ptreat LOVED Halloween, but I have a feeling days of endless Christmas presents; our house, my parent's house, P's aunt's house, my uncle's house (the list goes on), will help him get over the post-trick or treat doldrums.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Smoke and Mirrors

Confession: I am a Halloween costume GENIUS!

Last year I made Parker's costume using a long sleeved onesie and puffy paint.  He WAS Pman.

This year I used an apron and chef's hat he already owned and created the cutest costume in the world, (part 2) again using mostly puffy paint.  He was the head chef of the to-be-hit show- "Cooking with P!"

I took him around our suburban hood while Josh stayed home to hand out candy (I still have 5 unopened bags left...). 

I thought Psizzle would only last a dozen or so houses for trick or treating, but I was wrong.  Parker's newest hobby is trick or treating. 
He lasted about an hour and walked the entire time. I set up our little red wagon with juice and a blanket because I just knew he was not going to walk the whole time.
Wrong again. 
Instead of sitting in the wagon he used it as a dumping station when his loot bag got a bit too heavy. 

When we got home, he took 1 bite out of several different pieces of new-to-him candy.  We found out that he LOVES Mike and Ikes- the candy I thought only old men and the homeless liked.  He can, with expert precision suck the chocolate off a Raisinet and spit out a perfectly whole raisin. Smart kid, raisins are the devil's candy.

Sadly, he does not seem to like Reese's peanut butter cups.  I say sadly, because I think they are delicious  and he got a lot of them.  I guess I will have to eat them all.

Because P's costume was so spectacular, Josh demanded I make him one as well. Using a Sharpe, leftover sparkle puffy paint and a white undershirt, I created this masterpiece:

As a family, this is what we looked like at a neighbor's Halloween party. 
Aside from the people throwing the party, we were the only family who dressed up.  That is just how the Phillips' roll. 
Hope your Halloween was Happy!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Official Announcement

I was at the MVA (or DMV- depending on your geographical location and/or your generation) earlier this week.  After removing my belt in front of 4 old men I did not otherwise know, I walked through the metal detector and made my way to a chair to wait for my number to be called. 

While I sat and counted ceiling tiles, I also eavesdropped on an old lady and her relic of a mother have a conversation, at one of the service cubicles, with the MVA employee.  The older old lady was so old she did not even have a standard birth certificate. 

I heard the employee ask the cotton haired lady, if she had any hearing or vision impairments.  She immediately- well as immediate as she could manage- looked at her old lady daughter through her thick as a coffee table eye-glasses and said something that makes, "HUH?" sound eloquent.

I mean I understand old people do not want their driving rights taken away, but it frightens me to core to think of this 142 year old on the road.  She was also very short.  If you live in my area, be on the look out for a white fluff of hair peering through the steering wheel of a very old Buick going the wrong way down the highway.  Or possibly the median.
Why was I at the MVA where time and life stand still?  I had to turn in my tags.  My Santa Fe has moved onto a land free of toddler hand prints and lollipops.  She served us well, but her time has passed.

There is no easy way to say what I am about to say, so I will just supply you with a picture:

I am OFFICIALLY a minivan lover.  She's a nice sensible basic model.  No DVD player.  No GPS.  I have a year of free satellite radio, but so far, I'm not that impressed.  I have counted 452 cup holders at this point, but I have yet to venture into the third row of seats, so that number may go up. 

Right now, Parker cannot reach the windows so they are hand print free.  The CD player has yet to be jacked up by my sweetP.  And my two favorite features are I can control the radio from the steering wheel (!) and I can hook up my ipod without using the old skool cassette tape connector method.

Although, perhaps I should have sprung for the GPS model.  I recently got lost on the way home from a baby shower that was about 90 miles away from my house.  Normally for me, a 4 hour trips take 7 hours and a 7 hour trip usually requires an over night stay at a seedy motel and possibly a Sherpa. 

Truthfully, it was a difficult bullet to bite.  I feel like I've crossed some dividing line and I need to confess and introduce myself to the others. My name is Nikki and I drive a minivan. 

I will do my best to stay as cool as I can, but I have a feeling it is all slipping away.  After officially purchasing the car I texted a picture of it to my older sister and she said, "Oh, it's not that bad.  It looks more like an SUV than most minivans."  My sister is good people.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Panty Ho

I have written previously about my love for the show Designing Women. Mix together Suzanne Sugarbaker and Anthony Bouvier.  Stir in the sarcastic wit of Julia and Mary Jo with a dash of Charlene's innocence and who would not swoon with delight.  A heartless, humorless sap that's who.

One episode in particular still makes me laugh to myself a little when I think about it. Charlene just had a baby.  She was a tired, lactating, sobbing mess- you mama's know the drill  She was telling the ladies of the Sugarbaker Design Office about her new mommy woes and how she tripped in a doctor's office and dropped baby suppositories all over the floor.  The tripping culprit? Twisted up pantyhose. 

She said, "My pantyhose are so twisted I've been walking like John Wayne all day."

Now, I am 100% against pantyhose.  A few years ago I gave myself a pass to never have to wear them again after an unfortunate butt chaffing incident that no one wants to hear about. 

They squeeze in on the wrong area on an apple shaped girl like myself.  They snag and run way too easily and they are generally very itchy.  Also, as Ms. Charlene points out they can get all twisted up and make you walk like you've been riding the range a wee bit too long on a horse that was a wee bit too wide.

So, there I was Friday morning not a thing to wear (because nothing is ironed).  Despite the fact that it is almost Halloween, I picked a summer dress and a sensible cardigan.  No pantyhose.

However, it is dreadfully chilly at 7a.m. and I did have to stop by the grocery store for something else I gave in.  I bought pantyhose.  Stockings. Tights.  Whatever.

I teach at a local community college.  My plan was to go into one of the typically empty bathrooms and pull my hose on in the privacy of an ill lit, very small potty stall.

The building is fairly new and the toilet are the automatic flush kind...they flush ALL the time.  When you open the stall door-flush.  When you sit down- flush- and gross.  When you reach for toilet paper- flush.  You get the picture. 

All the twisting and pulling and tugging and yanking was making that toilet flush like a reverse Old Faithful.

I finally wrestled the hose on and hoisted the "wasitband" up to my bra region, but some how the crotch part (sorry, I know it's a bit crass, but really what else is it?) was will some where near my ankles.

What seemed like hours later, I emerged from the stall- hose, mostly, in tact and in place and proceeded down the hall to my classroom.

About half way through the class I looked down.  It seems there was a stray plasticy thread thing on the inside of my shoe, shoes I have worn a million times before and never noticed any sort of plastic thread, had worked a hole in the heel of my hose.

Six dollars and one hour later- the damn things are torn.  They are still some what, if not mostly, twisted around my hips and thighs.  I have never wanted to comfort of sweatpants so badly- well...a pantyhose chaffed butt will make you want sweatpants in the worst way too.

The pantyhose band is back ON!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Post Race Stats

Saturday, October 16, 2010 I woke up at 4:50a.m.  I did not need to get up until  5:45a.m., but once I was up the race was in my head and the adrenaline was flowing. I got up, brushed my teeth, looked at my clothes, pulled my hair into a ponytail- all actions of a normal day.  I was not going to let myself waste energy and enthusiasm on the getting ready process. 

Jenn (2nd leg runner), Josh and I got in the car and drove to Baltimore.  We talked about finding the other team members, where we would park and our post race plans, but we did not really talk about the race.  We met Tina and Scott in front of the M&T Bank stadium and stood, talking to each other in short, hushed and halted sentences.  We tried to coordinate who would meet where after each leg of the race. 

Jenn made her way to the bus that would take her to the beginning of her leg.

Scott, Tina and Josh followed me to the start of my leg- the first leg of the race.  The crowd got thicker and thicker the closer we got to my starting point.  Eventually I just said my good byes and good lucks to them and made my way to my starting point alone.

It was a little moment of zen.  I tuned out everything around me and gave myself a little pep talk.  "You can do this."  "You have worked so hard for this and here you are."  "You don't need to go to the bathroom one last time." "Don't let that hill psych you out."

As I settled into my starting point, I chatted up (surprise!) a couple next to me. They gave me some pointers, we wished each other good luck and took off on our own.

Confetti was flying through the air as I officially began the race running through the balloon arch.  Running themed songs were blaring over the loud speakers, cow bells were ringing, strangers- hundreds of strangers- were cheering the runners, me, on. 

As we started up the street the runners around me started to figure out their place in the race.  Some people blew past me and I never saw them again.  Others sort of hoovered around me in a group. 

A friends' husband, who has run quite a bit, suggested that I pick someone ahead of me and just keep pace with them- always have them in my line of view.  I picked a girl in a gray t-shirt. 

Then I passed her.

I missed the first mile marker.  I was running and thinking that this first mile felt terribly long and I was not going to be able to make it through my entire leg.  Then I looked up and saw "MILE 2" written in red on a white sandwich board.

Mile 2?  Great!  Oh.  Wait- THE HILL is on mile 3- it's coming!

Shortly after seeing the mile 2 marker, I dropped the timing chip.  This means that our team's time would not be recorded past my first two miles.  In a sense my team would not be official.  Once I realized the chip was not on my wrist, I immediately went into panic mode.  I froze.

Then I turned around and frantically scanned the ground with my eyes.  A lady shouted, "It's just back there a bit further!" 

I ran for about 40 or 50 yards without the chip, so I had to go back about 40 or 50 yards to get it.  Then I was just praying no one stepped on it because if the chip was crushed, again no tracking time.

I found it and it was in tacked.  I put it back on my wrist and made myself forget it and focus on the race again. 

Mile 3- 245 feet above sea level- THE HILL. 

I crushed that hill.  Two hundred forty five feet above sea level? I spit in your face.

Mile 4-down.

Mile 5- peace out!  Only .7 to go.

Wait, there's another hill?  The last bit of my leg serpentined through some sort of gravel sand lot and then I saw it.  A hill.  Not a big hill, but a steep hill.  You've got to be kidding me.  I'm not walking across the finish line.  I will not let Jenn see me walking when I ran the whole thing.  I will finish running.

As I came up the top of the hill I saw her.  Dressed in black, wearing an Adidas hat, just like me, and a bouncy blonde ponytail- Jenn.  My finish line.  I pushed the timing chip into her hand, took her jacket and she was off. 

After an unexpected adventurous bus ride, an impromptu mile trek to the end of Jenn's leg (and the beginning of Scott's), followed by about another mile to find Josh, we finally all met up again after Tina finished her leg.  We had our medals.  We accomplished our goal.

I ran my entire leg in about an hour.  My team finished in just over 4 hours.  I am not a runner.  When I was asked to do this I initially said no.  I'm so glad I changed my mind.  The work that went into this was beyond worth it. The support of my family and friends make me feel so very lucky. I am overwhelmed by all of this. 

There are events in your life that kind of stop you in your tracks.  You are forced to realize their impact and power- your wedding day, finding out you going to have a baby and then meeting that baby, setting a goal and achieving it.

It sounds silly, but as I was running and people were coming out of their houses to cheer us on, when I ran up that hill I was scared of moments before, when I saw some of my best friends at the end of the race and knew we did this together- all these moments, brought tears to my eyes. 

Final verdict: It was SUPER fun and I WILL do it again- maybe even the half day...

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Pre- Race Stats

Confession: I am super psyched about the race this Saturday.

Despite my recent amazing running time (5K at 29:30 winning me a second place medal for my age group thankyouverymuch) I am typically a 11 minute mile.

I am running the first leg of the Baltimore Marathon this Saturday. At 5.7 miles, my leg is the shortest. This kind of disappoints me because I have been training for this for nearly a year. I can run further than that.

When I agreed to do this, I would have begged for the shortest leg of the race. About this time last year I weighed about 15 pounds more than I do now and struggled to lightly jog a 14 minute mile.

When I agreed to do this two of my best friends (one of whom is running the race) were pregnant with their babies, who are now here.

I now have pants I can't wear unless I have a belt and I can run 7 miles if needed (not quickly, but running the whole time). There are a couple different play lists on my ipod specifically for running- long runs, fast runs, I just can't go another second and am in desperate need of motivation runs.

The use of an iPod is discouraged during the marathon.

Participants are encouraged to immerce themselves in the race and enjoy all that Baltimore has to offer. Runners are supposed to be alert and ready in the event a race facilitator needs to redirect them or something. In fact, if you are running in the hopes of earning a reward, you cannot get the reward and accolades if you use an ipod or any other "crutch".

I'm bringing mine anyway. It's a necessary tool and I'm ok with it.

Despite being the shortest leg, my portion does have the highest peak at mile 3- 245 feet above sea level. This is freaking me out a bit. I don't even know what 245 feet above sea level is, in the same way that I don't know what the square footage of Oprah's house is and what 103.5 million dollars looks like.

I know it's a lot, but I have no tangible reference. Knowing that IT'S THE HIGHEST POINT (cue thunderous music) is enough of a psychological blow.

I will do it. That hill is MINE!

Side note: My leg is not the hilliest.  That is leg 3, which we happily gave to Scott because he has already run the whole marathon before and is really the driving force behind all of this craziness.

At this point I am most worried about logistics- will I find my team member quickly after my leg so I can hand her the tracking device? Will Josh and I be able to find each other after my leg? How will we all find each other after the race to have a congratulatory fatty Frappiccino or Mimosa or 64 oz beer?

Promises to myself: I will run my whole leg. I will not beat myself up about my time or how many people may pass me. When I feel like the hill may, in fact, beat me, I will think of all the people who have supported me during my training and who have started running (in some cases again) because of me.

Tina? Scott? Jenn? Let's do the damn thing!!

Monday, October 11, 2010

Under Pressure

Confession: Long weekend make me itchy.

Josh works a compressed work schedule (CWS) which means he works about an extra hour every day, but he has off every other Friday.  This is mostly a pretty sweet deal. 

Except when P and I are at odds and there are still 3 hours to kill before J gets home.

This past week Josh had off on Friday, and Monday so we were staring down the barrel of a fun filled four day family weekend.  Whenever we are faced with this uninterrupted family time we get excited, but plan way too much, which means we usually get snarky and snappy under the pressure of making each moment perfect and fun and amazing.

When I returned from work on Friday we headed to the barely there Farmer's Market and then to the store for some wine.  Josh was tired.  Parker was cranky.  I was feeling sticky and was quickly developing a monster headache. 

Saturday morning brought bright new beginnings.  P and I made coffee and pumpkin French Toast.  We ate together as a family, then Josh cleaned up our mess.  At some point though, things started to unravel.

I can't even remember what was said, but it was not a positive conversation.  We pushed on and loaded ourselves and the supplies for the day into the family truckster and headed to a pumpkin patch. 

It was unseasonably hot while we trolled around the patch, making our October Fall day more like a mid-August heat wave. 

We had $20 cash and made a strict agreement to not take out any more.  Somewhere along the way, we had a disagreement about who should be doing what and how to spend our last $10 (we ended up buying 2 beers- parents of the year). 

Last year we went to this same pumpkin farm and it was truly one of the best days of the year.  This time around, the day was just filled with this pressure to make it perfect again. 

We pulled P in our little red wagon, he got out, I let go of the wagon to chase him, leaving J with a run away wagon full of pumpkins, mums and slew of other crap not worth itemizing. 

We were sweaty and frustrated.  It was not like last year.

Then we had plans to hit up a cool German themed restaurant for dinner.  While we ate we played along and sang the songs and, despite missing his nap, we were able to coaxed P into happy baby mode.  We drank Gugunshinmen beer and ate uderbraten soaked in drunkenbrstein.  (I'm pulling out my creative spelling license here).

It was not the same as last year.

Sunday we spend the better part of the day- from 10:30a to about 3p searching for my car keys.  They were in my hands then they weren't. 


It was maddening.  I told Josh to just take P, who I was convinced hid the keys, out of the house. 

I needed to search on my own without someone following me around saying, "Mommy train?  Mommy train?" or "Did you check here?  Did you look there? When did you have them last?"

In the end we found them- in a drawer. 
More specifically, in one of my drawers. 
Most specifically, a drawer that is way too high for P to be able to get into. 

I truly have no clue how they got there.  I was stressed.  I was not very nice.  I felt terrible and if Parker was a wee- bit older he would have taken full advantage of my profound guilt.  I'm talking junior mints for dinner followed by popcorn and Yo Gabba Gabba till midnight guilt.

Today P and I cooked almost all day.  He's awesome.  He will stir gentle, pour carefully and taste anything.  He is a forgiving soul- thankfully.  Josh does not hold a grudge- thankfully.

I learned that when faced with a four day family weekend- not every moment has to be fun-filled and your keys are not in the last place you look, but in the last place you THINK to look.  (These are very different things.)

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Every House Should Have One...

Also.  How the HELL do you get two pictures to be next to each other?

Friday, October 1, 2010

This is Why...

I think that as a family we have weak bed making skills.

I HATE making the bed. 
  • Fitted sheets fill me with rage. 
  • Uneven quilt lines make me itchy.
  • Mismatched pillowcases send me reeling with frustration. 
It is because of these reasons that bed making is no easy task for me.  Josh is not good at it because everything I just  mentioned, the things that make the very skin on my arms melt off, is exactly what J does when he makes the bed.

The above picture is what happened when P tried to "help" me make the bed.  This is actually a mattress on the floor in the front room of our house- no one really or regularly uses the mattress or room.  It's just an extra mattress. 

If you get drunk at our house and cannot drive home, you will sleep on this mattress.

I was hoping my children would have better bed making skills than J and a deeper passion (or were at least less neurotic) about bed making than me.

So far that is not the case.  I have high hopes baby #2 will be a bed making fiend.

Sunday, September 26, 2010


If you ask Pfunk what Santa is bringing him for Christmas, my little chumbawamba will tell you, in a very direct and distinct voice, "Big.  Bed."

I'm not totally sure if he gets that big bed = no crib, but meh. He'll figure that out soon enough.  We've been reading books about saying bye bye to the crib and how big boys sleep in big beds.  I honestly think he is more or less on board with this plan. On Christmas Eve he will be two and a half- perfect BB time in our minds.

My parents live near a state that does not have sales tax, so this weekend we packed up the family truckster and headed to Grammy and Pop Pop's house.  On Saturday J and I left Pman with the G'rents and went bed shopping. 

I HATE furniture shopping.  Everything I like is too expensive and everything we can afford is...o...k...but I fear for the shelf life and durability of "affordable" furniture.

We visited 4 stores and (I) likely pissed off several furniture store employees- No I don't want your help, No, I don't care about your sales if I don't like what I see then financing really does not matter.  We finally found a bed we liked:
The one we got is similar to this.  However, our does not have a roll away bed that could also serve as a hotel in some Asian cultures.  P's will have 4 drawers in lieu of another mattress. Sleep over schmeep overs- bring a freaking sleeping bag- that's what we did.

All of this leads up to the real reason for this post. 

On the way home from the rando furniture store, that incidentally was in the middle of no where and had a huge fake cow on the roof, we stopped to get a bottle of wine- tax free!  We picked a generic "Beer Wine and Spirit" store in a strip mall.  Granted, it was a newer strip mall- maybe 3 years old.

We saw a line of people- men, women, black and white- standing outside. There were several police cars lined up in the parking spots immediately in front of the liquor store. 

As we walked in we saw two large muscle men holding metal detecting wands and wearing black hats that read, "GUARD" in bold white lettering.

They were wanding (is that a verb) everyone as they walked in. 
No explanation. 
No eye contact. 
Just these huge men, unsuspecting liquor store patrons and metal detecting wands.

An elder couple looked horrified as they shuffled in and were wanded.  The woman clutched her seashell purse to her chest while the man reached toward his back pocket for his used handkerchief to wipe the shock of drool off his chin.

Another man walked up with a 3 year old boy and was told his son could not come in to the store.

Inside the store there was a camera with 4 large white swirly bulbs aimed toward a Hennessey backdrop.  A woman was all set up with a Hennessey bottle and several tiny shot glasses- for a tasting(?)

It was all very eerie and mysterious. we were leaving the store we heard two people in line talking.  Ludacris (see photo below) was making an appearance at the liquor store.

In a strip mall.

Located more or less in a field.

Oh Luda

I know what you are thinking.  The answer is no.  We did not hang out at a liquor store in a strip mall at 2 in the afternoon on a Saturday to meet Luda. 

I hope I can pick up the pieces and move on with my life.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Down Hill (?)

Confession: Josh is a beer snob. Since graduating college, I have not seen Josh drink Miller Lite, Bud (of any kind) Coors etc.  He likes to drink beers that are so fancy they come in their own single bottles like wine. 

I think there is a beer gene.  I think Josh passed it onto our little Pweiser.

When Parker was a wee-bot the doctor told me I would know he is ready to try solids when he starts looking at, and going for, our food.

The first thing he went for was my Guinness.

Then at a his first Super Bowl Party I caught him dancing on the bar in a friends basement in his monkey butt pants.

On his first birthday, two of my uncles helped him celebrate...

So I suppose I should not be surprised that on Monday in the grocery store at around 4:00p.m. my two year old announced, for the whole shopping public to hear, "I want beer!"

I relayed this story to a friend and she said, "Oh, what did he mean?  Like root beer?"

No.  Sadly.  He actually meant beer.

Please understand, he has never actually had beer.  We have given him sips of coffee in the hopes he would hate it and stop grabbing at our mugs in the morning.  Of course, he loves it.

We went to the RenFest over the weekend and he got a "tattoo" A snake tattoo.  On his face.

Such and innocent face, but isn't it always the ones with the innocent faces?

Oh dear.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Confusion and Aggression

Confession: Parker has been behaving in a way that does not make me happy.

In the last two days my sweet boy has had two aggressive incidents, which he provoked, that required us to leave play dates.  In both cases, we do not know the families very well, but I foresee, or foresaw, blossoming friendships that would stick around for a bit.  I hope that is still the case with both sets of people.

I'm brave enough to tell you that much. I am too upset to go into too much detail about the specifics of the events. I will say hitting was involved, well hitting was all that was involved.
This is new territory for me.  He is usually on the receiving end of aggressive behavior.  I have rescued him from quite a few bullying sessions.  I have dried his tears when his feelings were hurt.  I have kissed his boo-boos, told him he was okay and sent him back into the world to play.

I am taking this bad behavior personally.  Like a X caused Y situation.  We don't hit Parker and we don't hit each other- we don't even play hit.  I am puzzled by where this is coming from, seemingly, out of the blue. 

Kids are not always a product of their parents, I know that.  There is a degree of nurture and nature in all of us.  Toddlers go through stages and sometimes those stages involve testing new boundaries.  Part of it is he is way in to babies (read: anyone remotely smaller than him) and does not truly understand "gentle" yet.

As I caught him being a prick to these two kids, I immediately snatched him up, made him say sorry- which he did, thankfully- and marched him straight home. 

I told him he was not being nice and when you are not nice you don't get to play with your friends. 

We...discussed, as much as you can with a 2 year old...what nice was, how to be gentle and how if you want to have friends you have to be both nice and gentle. 

Then we painted quietly together with watercolors. 

I do not want to be one of those parents who seem uninterested in disciplining their children.  When he acts like a brat, I will remove him from the situation.  However, I am someone who lets things cut deep and then I let them fester.  I pick and pick and pick at the emotional wound until I am consumed by it.  Parker got over it once we kissed and made up.  The kids he hit probably got over it before P and I were even in the car.  The parents probably think I overreacted by leaving so quickly.

However, I'm sitting here on the couch on a Saturday night- hours after each incident- blogging because I just need to get this out.

Things I know:
I am a good mom. 
My son loves me. 
He is testing limits and seeing how much jerky behavior I will tolerate as the parent- which is damn near none.
Parker is still sweet.
This will probably happen again.
I need to do what feels right to me as Parker's mom.
I do not need to pull him out of pre-school.  (Yes, I actually considered this.)


Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Run Nikki Run

Confession: I am not a runner.

There are two categories of people in the arena of running. 
One group is made up of people who run. 
The other group is made up of runners.  These people carbo load and run regardless of shin splints and side cramps.  They have special running shoes that look like this:

I am a member of the first group and wear normal size 11- yes 11 Asics. I started running about a year ago in preparation of the Baltimore Marathon RELAY, which is a month away!!  I couldn't run for more than 5 minutes when I started.  I can now run 6 miles- 6.5 next week. 

When I mention I just went for a run or am planning on running later or am running in a race, I notice people's reaction.  Generally they smile, look me up and down, slyly.  They seem to be in a a state of amazement and disbelief.  Like -She? Runs?  Or, "Yea, uh-huh. It's like what a walk run, right?" 

Ok maybe I'm being meaner to myself than anyone else has ever been.  I never thought I was capable of running like I have been lately.  I still have a hard time believing my pedometer at the end of a run.

This past Sunday, I ran a 5K in 29:30 in the rain.  In the POURING rain.

The race it self was unorganized.  I was told things like, "They are meeting somewhere over there behind the portapots." The course was not marked very well either.

During the race my cotton capri's were so weighed down that they became pants.  Shiny pants.  When the race was over, I changed into dry clothes, but I was so wet I had to go buy another set of dry clothes on the way home.

I have three sisters.  They are all awesome.  My younger sister, Lynsey, ran this race with me so at the moment, she is the most awesomest.  The rain worked to her advantage though.  She did not register for the race, but no one could tell because everyone's race number was covered up by their rain coats.  Except me, I was not wearing a raincoat. 

Thankfully the course was wide open and no one seemed to give a flyin flip that she was running.  She is an All- American Athlete. She is good at any sport she does.  She is tall and thin and has a body that makes other girls hate her.  Instead of speeding ahead and blowing rain and gravel in everyone's face, she hung with me the whole race.  I usually run a 12 minute mile, but because I was trying not to hold her up too much, I ran a 10 minute mile.

I felt great post-run.  I felt even better and way tired after our celebratory beverage post race.

Thanks Lyns. 
Thanks self-confidence. 
Thanks to the poor quality photo, which aside from my race shirt and a cheapo ribbon that declares RUNNING! in gold lettering, is my only proof of running this race. 
The actual "high" quality 4x6 photo is $8.99 +shipping- meh.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Four Years Ago, Today

Today Josh and I celebrate 4 years of wedded bliss.

We met when we were 17 and 19, began dating when we were 22 and 24 and got married when we were 26 and 28. I want credit for the dating years.

I was thinking about the week leading up to our wedding and, sometimes I'm amazed we were both alive and well enough to actually sputter out the words, "I do."

You see Josh's birthday was a few days before the wedding, so we went out to Ruth's Chris to celebrate. I got salmon, which I have gotten from RC many times before. Well, actually I have only been to RC a handful of times and I've gotten salmon about half of those times. My point being their salmon is usually yummy and causes no reaction what so ever- gastro intestinally speaking.

However, that night after dinner- 3 nights before the wedding, I found myself on the bathroom floor in the midst of a very violent vomiting session. After about 10 minutes when the retching subsided, I dragged myself to the couch. My sinuses were throbbing and felt twisted from the pressure- a migraine was fast approaching. My eyes were on fire (a later glance in the mirror revealed several burst blood vessels in each eye) and my rib cage all but busted through my torso.

Salmon really do swim upstream. And they are apparently very angry about it.

The next day we were suppose to meet with the lady from the wedding location to finalize everything.

While I was throwing up food I ate in 1982, Josh was laying in bed, catching a terrible cold.

When we met the wedding lady, we looked like death. Josh fought to keep the snot in his nose and I could not look directly into any sort of light and my throat was very raw leaving me with a gravelly drag queen type voice. However, my migraine had downgraded to a splitting headache (!)

She looked at both of us, clearly unsure about what kind of bender we were coming off of and what kind of clientele would actually be attending our wedding. Should she have puke buckets at the ready? Do the local authorities need to be notified? Perhaps an open bar is not such a great idea.

We assured her we would be ok within the required 3 days. Josh and I then stumbled up the hill that is Annapolis, to a restaurant called Cafe Normandy. If you have never been there it's awesome. We each got soup. Neither if us finished it. We went to an amazing French restaurant and did not even finish our French onion soup.

True to our word though, we were somehow both a-ok on wedding day. My photographer edited out my remaining burst blood vessels and all was well.

Although, Josh drove himself to the wedding and when he pulled up to the nuptial site, 5 minutes before go time (not his fault- we got married on a busy Friday in a small city) the valet informed him there were no spots left. Josh tossed his car keys in the general direction of the valet stand and said, "I'm the groom and I'm getting married in 5 minutes. Find a spot."

(Still) Happy Anniversary! In sickness and in health

Friday, September 3, 2010

She's Crafty

Confession: Organization makes me irrationally happy.

I swoon at color coded file folders.  Binder clips make me weak in the knees. 

There is a special and specific place for every thing from potato chips to slivered almonds to tomato paste in my pantry and when they are not in their designated location, it makes me itchy.

Even my junk drawer is organized. Seriously.

So, I created an epically organized calendar for my 2 year old son.

Here's how I did it-
1. On you can create a sheet of 20 stickers for about $5.
  • I did 4 sheets- Pman and Mommy, Pman and Daddy, P and Gramma (she watches him every other Friday- WAY awesome), and another of his school.
2. I bought a $5 calendar from Target.
  • I had paper clips and index cards at home
3. I put a paperclip on the index card.  Then I stuck one of the stickers on top and cut around the index card, so each picture fit on the day square on the calendar. In the end I had many reusable papercliped stickers featuring the above mentioned people and place combos.

4. Then I cut slits in the top of every weekday.  I slipped the paperclipped picture into the slot so that when you look at the calendar you can see who P will spend his day with- every day for the entire month.

Here's what it looks like:

After dinner each night we go to the calendar and talk about what we did that day.  He pulls off the current picture and places it in a bag. 

Then we talk about who P will be with the next day.  He is learning how to tell today from tomorrow from yesterday AND he always knows what's coming next.  It's working! He woke up last Thursday (yesterday) and said, "Skoooo." (translation: school)  He remembered! (Or that's what I'm telling myself anyway.)

There it is.  I'm an organizing freak and I am passing the obsession onto my son- it seems. 

Monday, August 30, 2010

Judging the Dutch

Confession: I generally do not like amusement parks. 

I get horrible motion sickness if I even sit in the backseat of a car- hell I've even gotten sick while driving a car.  When you introduce whirly twisty rides to a lady like me, bad bad things happen.  For this reason, I usually avoid amusement parks.  However, Josh loves them.  So now that Parker is getting older we have taken him on a few rides and so far he seems to love them as well.  Just after his 2nd Birthday he got on a non-kiddie version of the Scrambler with Josh.  As his little body was whipped around and whizzed by me, I stood watch, gnawing on each one of my fingernails.  He was squealing with delight, I was gripped with terror.
I have family in Lancaster, PA, which is near Dutch Wonderland- a kiddie focused amusement park.  Josh and I drove to my family's house on Friday and Saturday we headed to DW.  Here are some photos, but first a quick review:

Cost- a ticket for anyone 3 and above is $31.95, unless you can pass for a senior citizen, then it's like $25.95 or something.

Rides- there are rides the 2's and 3's can do alone and tons of rides they can do with their parents.  There is also a great selection of rides for kids up to about 10 or 12 years old I would say.  There is a waterpark as well, but P was coming off a fever, so we did not venture over there.

Food- crappy and expensive

Location- it's super easy to get to and there are a ton of hotels around it.  I've heard there is a kids hands-on museum a few miles away from the park and a train museum close by that is pretty cool.  We only went to the park though.

Overall- we had a great time.  The park was not so big that we felt overwhelmed and we were able to do all the P appropriate rides.  Most of the park is shaded, which is great.  Save for the collective toddler 2p.m. meltdown performed simultaneously by the hundreds of kiddos at the park, it was a fun family trip and we will be going back for sure.

On the trip P discovered a love for Strawberry Pop Tarts, fell off a bench and hit his chin-typical, thoroughly enjoyed the log flume(!), slept without incident on the air mattress- guess he is more ready for a big boy bed than I thought. (He is currently still in his crib. Santa is bringing him a big boy bed- stay tuned...)

Thanks to Anne and Uncle Herpman (Herman) for hosting this super fun weekend!

Mom. Dad. Just pull the wagon and please stop talking to me directly.



Anne and Uncle Herpman

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

I'm Fine (For Now)

Pman reporting for duty.

On Monday I did not set up any play dates.  We did not go to the gym.  It was just P and me.

Monday morning we dicked around the house until we were bored then we went to the park. 

On Monday we ate Arby's french fries (and only french fries) for lunch. 

Monday's nap was was barley 30 minutes.

On Monday I packed up his Batman backpack and wrote his name on everything inside. 

We sat on the floor of his room and listened to a CD I used to play when I rocked and fed him late at night while the rest of the world slept.  Parker read books to me. 

This scene is burned in my memory.  I already know when he hits other milestones in his life, I will automatically recall this image- us on the floor, books everywhere, soft rain forest type music in the background peppered by the sounds of his toddler babble. This is the first time I am sending him out into the world and simply trusting he will be ok.

Monday evening, after Pman was in his crib for the night, I made his lunch, wrote him a note (I know I know stop rolling your eyes) and put a special treat in his lunch box.

On Tuesday I woke him up gently.

Our morning was filled with comments about how exciting the day was going to be because he was going to get to go to school.

On this Tuesday morning, the first- first day of school- he gave me a kiss on the porch of the school because I didn't want to have to make a big deal about leaving once we were inside.

Monday morning was tear-free and so was Tuesday.  Parker ran right up to the playground with the other kiddos and did not look back. 

I'm told, by someone I hardly know, my son had a great day and even slept during nap time.  The teacher-stranger told me my son was sooo sweet and she could tell some kids just have old souls and she thinks P is one of them.  She told me how when she handed him scissors, to check out his cutting ability, he looked at her like, "I'm not sure my mommy would like this." According to this perfect stranger my preciousP said please and thank you. 

As we left the school Parker enthusiastically told this new person, who will play a big part in his life, "Bye! See Ya Thsisuaohyyy!" (Thursday)

This school is a little one- maybe 2 classes of 7 to 8 students total.  I signed him up in February knowing this August date was looming, but when you are celebrating Valentine's Day it is hard to even conjure up images of the end of summer.  I was easy breezy about the whole thing really because, "August was sooo far away."  I expect the next few times to go a little bumpier than this first day.  He knows what preschool is now- that is all day and mommy is not there.  Maybe he will be a-ok, maybe not. 

People keep asking how I'm doing.  It's funny, I never really know how to answer that question anymore.  I am feeling how ever Parker needs me to feel.  He's cool with it, so I'm following his lead.

A part of me is sad though- only because I know he is growing up and I wish sometimes I could slow it down.  I think back to times when I lost my patients with him or talked on the phone while he played by himself or fed him dinner early so I could get him to bed so I could just- get- a- break.  Apparently none of these things caused any permanent damage because my Pman is a happy camper.  When he is not it only takes a few quick easy tricks- gummy candy, playing with scissors (apparently), going outside or racing his cars to make him happy.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

That's How That Happened

Confession: I have greatly been neglecting my blogging duties, both in posting and commenting. I apologize.

I am closing out the class I taught this summer and finalizing (read: starting) the three syllabi's for the three different classes I will be teaching this semester.  While I am doing all of this, I am trying desperately to not calculate the amount on my paycheck verse the amount of hours I'm clocking in on my couch grading, coordinating and planning. 
That conversion chart only brings me to tears and causes me to eat all the Oreo's Safeway has to offer.

As I channel the brilliance that make up my in-class activities and graded assignments for all students to enjoy, I will leave you with this short story that pretty much sums up my last couple days:

When I want Psizzle to, "Come here." for any reason, he will run to the farthest corner of the room we are in.  He wants me to stretch my arms toward him and say, "Reeeaaadddyyyy?! GO!" Then he runs into my arms as fast as his little chicken toddler legs will allow.

(It makes me sad to think he may get in trouble for this when he starts school NEXT WEEK.  I feel an uncontrollable need to tell the teachers about this habit and encourage them to play along because I think it is cute.  Also, Pman does not drink from a cup without a lid and has questionable skills when it comes to boxed drinks.  I fear he will be judged thusly.)

Anyway, as we are in P's room for a postnap diaper change/potty visit, I asked him to, "Come here please."

He took off for the far corner, which is also where his windows are.  His windows with curtains that go all the way to the ground.  As he launched his little body in my general direction, he also pulled the curtains and the curtain rod right down- out of the wall, leaving a series of holes and a gash.

After a quite a bit of deep breathing and counting to ten, P got the message that mommy needed a minute.  I said, "I'm mad right now. I wish you knew to be more careful.  Let's go calm down and have a snack."

Snack?  Snack you say?  Let's go.

A bit later back up in P's room, brandishing a power drill, I climbed up on an ottoman so I could attempt to fix the curtains.

Did I mention it was a rocking ottoman?

Yea.  Well.

I'm not sure what happened or how.  I was up, trying to drill the screw into a stripped hole of sorts while cussing quietly through my teeth and plotting against the stupid guys who design curtain rods and the ones who built my house because clearly they all had a hand in this mess.

Within minutes, I was on the ground, firmly gripping the power drill (thank God).  My fall was not graceful.  When it was done, no one was bleeding, the window itself was still in tact and Parker had learned some new combinations of some very bad words. 

I did somehow end up with a bruise the size of Montana on my calf.  It's not cute, but I'm hoping strangers think I got it in some mountain climbing accident and not while standing on moving furniture with battery powered tools in my hand- in my 2 year old son's room.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010


When your teeny tiny infant child picks out a lunch box- blue, or "booo!" and a backpack- Batman to take to his first day of preschool you become more aware of time and quickly it moves and how quirky it can be.

My infant son who I now squeeze desperately every time he gives me a chance, goes pee-pee on the potty about 3 times a day.  He did this on his own.  I swear I am not pushing him. 

One day he said, "Peeeeeeee?!" 
I said, "Do you want to try the potty?"
As a grin stretches across his face "Esss." He replies full of self confidence and excitement. 

Without too much detail, mostly because I'm sure most of you can fill in the blanks about how this whole thing goes down, I will say as Parker fills the pot his face- his whole being-is beaming with pride.  His confidence is contagious.

He does sit on the potty, in lieu (ha get it!) of standing and every time he goes, he grabs for the toilet paper- perhaps too much potty time with mommy. 

His new found pee-pee in the potty talent is coming at an interesting time.  When he goes to preschool he will be there all day and they will start working on potty training with him.  I expect a little regression when school starts, but I think we are on a good road.

My precious baby boy who has been going to the gym with me 4 to 5 days a week since he was 2 months old is now...just now...2 weeks before his first day of school ever...starting to cry, no wail, when I leave the kiddie room at the gym. 

He clings to my legs and says, nay sobs, "No Mommy.  No Mommy." 

Why now?  Why couldn't we have gone through this clingy stage earlier and been through the woods by this point?  The ladies at the gym tell me he is over it within minutes.  I know he will be fine at school.  Josh and I picked this school because we know he will love it. 

I picked this school because I loved it. 

Pman is ready.  I am ready.  I wish I could transfer that "pee-pee in the potty" confidence to "first day of preschool" confidence.  I would gladly make the switch.

Another recent discovery in the world of Pfunk is french fries.  He knows what they are and he LOVES them.  Of course this comes as I am entering peak training mode for the Baltimore Marathon.  Of course his affinity for all things fried potato comes just as I am hitting my goal weight.  Of course I will take him to get some after his first day of school.

Sunday, August 1, 2010


Confession: I am 30 years old and I think, in my lifetime, I have maybe- maybe spit out 5 pieces of gum.  My general practice is to just swallow my gum once I have chewed it, or tired of the chewing all together. 

I do not believe the hype about your body not digesting gum, because if that were the case, I would have like 40 extra pound of undigested gum in my large intestine alone.  I'm sure it takes a bit longer to process than some other food items, like cucumbers or a bran muffin, but I mean if a dentists' drill bit will "process through my system" why not a hunk of Hubba Bubba?

I should mention, I'm not a huge gum chewer.  If I need to freshen up a bit I prefer to nosh on a York Peppermint Patty or Junior Mints- hell, I nosh on them even if I do not need to freshen up a bit. In the last few months Parker has also demonstrate a love for all things minty.  He also has a new hobby of copying everything I do.

See where this is going?

Parker has recently found out about gum.  I will give him a chiclet size morsel and he chews on it until it either falls out of his mouth into the oblivion that is the floor of my car, or he will swallow it and happily ask for another.  Honestly, the pieces I give him are so small that they are more likely to get stuck in between his baby teeth than be any sort of choking hazard.

That is until he found another use for it...

Notice 5 Stride gum wrappers.  This was a new pack of gum, I could only find 5 wrappers.  This is not good.

That blur is Pman running away from the pack of gum and toward the kitchen.  RUN-NING. He does have about 2 unwrapped Stride sticks in his hot little hands. This photo captured his 8th (or so) trip from the pack of gum in the living, to the kitchen.

He is now hunched over a McDonald's Happy Meal toy.  It's a kitten in a basket.  It's a girl toy. It came in a Happy Meal I bought while holding P on my hip.  He was wearing the outfit you see here. Thanks Ronald, you've got some real cracker jacks working for you.

Here is the fruit of Mr. P's labor- a plastic cat nestled comfortably in a bed of made entirely of 10 or so shredded sticks of Stride gum.

The best 96 cents I ever spent.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010


You know those burning questions that seem to have no answer? Well, grab your favorite burn related ointment and your bifocals because I am about to answer a few of them.

You're welcome.

How many CDs will fit into the single CD player in a stardard Hyundai Santa Fe?

Yesterday Pman was playing his favorite game- Beep Beep, which involves him sitting in my parked car in the driveway with the emergency brake firmly in place. He pushes every button, turns every knob, and honks the horn repeatedly. It's ...great...

It seems he found the CD player, which is meant to house 1 CD at a time.  He inserted at least 5 CDs. I'm not sure exactly how many are in the player at the moment. The car refuses to eject anymore and will yell curse words at me every time I push the CD button. Guess that minivan is coming sooner than I thought.

What happens with a toddler needs to "check" his email?

You will lose a back slash key and for reasons you will never know or understand, your B button will stick, rendering it extremely difficult to log into anything since there seems to be a B in every password you ever created.

When do chocolate and peanut butter NOT work well together?

When the recipe comes from a child’s cookbook and involves powdered milk. Also the few people I allowed to tasted these Balls of Awful ,all guessed there was coconut in them.  There was no coconut.

When you spend $30 on a reversible Batman/Superman cap for your son, who will end up wearing it?

Your husband

If your husband uses spray sunscreen in a careless fashion and ends up with a terrible sunburn, what household item will he reach for first to scratch his back?

There are actually several answers, you are not going to like any of them:
• YOUR hairbrush
• Son's toys
• Any doorframe on the inside or outside of the house
• A spatula
• One of those noodle grabber things you use to pull wet noodles out of water. He will also make groaning noises with this one.

MMMBBaazzzFFArrrrbbbbmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm- What is this the sound of?

Bubble solution leaking into the motor of a bubble blowing toy rendering me helpless and P profoundly upset.

When a high strung college freshman is asked to write a 300-500 word short (SHORT) essay that WILL NOT be graded about something she is good at or enjoys doing, how will she react?

She will cry and leave the room in a huff.

Finally, what's for dinner?

No really, what? PLEASE don't say chicken again. I don't care if you put all the curry powder in Indian /BBQ sauce/gravy on a boneless skinless chicken breast, it will still- taste- like- chicken.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010


Confession: I love surprises. Well, surprises that end with water sports, sushi and wine anyway.

For my 30th Birthday Josh had a surprise weekend planned. Here are the clues he gave me:

1. I needed a sturdy bathing suit and water shoes- what a look!

2. I needed something nice to wear.

3. Pman needed to go to my parents for a few days.

4. We would be no more than 5 hours away from our beloved P, but that did not mean we would be a full 5 hours away.

I thought of whitewater rafting, which I love love love, but since Josh thinks that is what idiots do before they die, I knew that is not what the bday weekend would entail. One day, about a week before the trip I said, "Are we going tubing?"

He looked at me blankly.

A month or two before we were engaged I planned a surprise trip for Josh. I told him to take off work from Friday through Monday. He came home that night and instantly said, "We're going to Boston."

He was right then, and for reasons neither of us understood, I was right about tubing. Sometimes, we are just tuned into each like that- weirdos.

So off we went for a Virginia weekend of tubing, wine and all the yummy food we could stuff in our faces.

Josh made reservations at a little B&B called Chester in Scottsville or Scottsylvaina or Scottstown, we can't remember, but we do remember the county was Fluvanna- you just don't forget a name like that. The town had 1 BBQ place, a pizza place that closed at lunch time and all the used broke down cars a girl could want to see in a weekend. The best part was, it was a mere mile away from the tubing place, so at least I knew there were no early mornings on my bday weekend.

Friday: We Arrive.
We got to the B&B an hour early, which threw the Inn Keeper for a loop. She directed us to the BBQ place or the "restaurant with the big chicken in front..." and told us basically to GET OUT and NOW!

We ate BBQ with Scottsylvainaville's finest and headed out in search of some w-i-n-e. We found a cute winery that was also a B&B. That was cheaper than the one we booked. And the people who ran it were welcoming.

We drank their wine, ate their cheese plate and rolled on back to our weekend home base. Now, I realize the Inn Keeper must put on her happy pants at 3p.m. because when we returned it was all champagne and "HAPPY BIRTHDAY!"

Josh and I ran upstairs to get ready for dinner whereupon I dropped my blush in our recently peed in toilet. Excellent. I pulled it out. Threw it away and washed the first 3 layers of skin off my hands and arms- up the elbow.

She made an excellent dinner for us- including homemade gazpacho that Josh kept calling Gestapo. She also did a wine pairing with the food- although the wine she gave us was Spanish and not a wonderful local VA wine.

Interesting approach.

J and I capped the night off with a bottle of wine and about 10 rounds of Gin Rummy on the back patio- I won most of them, naturally, it was my birthday.

Saturday: Bumpy Ride
We went tubing in the James River and Josh kept saying things like, "I'm on the James River siiirrrr." In a bad Southern accent, which is weird because all of his family lives in Tennessee, like at the base of the Smokey Mountains- back woods Tennessee? He should have the accent down.

Josh also found (and slammed various areas of his body against) every rock and boulder the James River had to offer. We saw a drunk man puke up-river from all the other tubers and helped another drunk girl look for her camera that became detached from her tube.  After wading through a strangers river puke, we stopped looking.  We did not find it, but I bet you could have guessed that.  Despite all this, I think Josh may have turned a corner in his protests again white water rafting. Yippy!

Saturday was "restaurant night" in Charlottesville, which is where the University of VA is located and was about 30 miles away from our B&B. We dined on sushi, beef based miso soup and glowing- for real Glow-Ing- seaweed salad. Delish. (minus the beef based miso.)

On the way home we found a stray dog. We drove up and back, up and back on the dark windy country back road trying to get the dog to come to us. In the end in ran in the woods to likely be dinner for some fox or deer or muskrat. What would we have done with another dog anyway? I'm kinda over the one we have.
(I did not just say that.)

Sunday: Back to reality
We found a quicker route home to P. We dined on crabs and ice cream cake with my fam. Parker and I blew out a scented candle because my lovely sister and her surfer handyman of a boyfriend do not keep a ready supply of birthday candles in their kitchen. I did discover though, that they have a tub of strawberry icing at the ready- always.

Nice trade off.

Happy Birthday to me! Well done Josh! Much Love :)