Monday, November 30, 2009

O, Tannenbaum

Our Christmas tree has been purchased and is soaking up some water before her make-over. Lee put her right outside the window to the study, so I have looked at her a lot. What kind of a Christmas tree did she dream of being when she was little? I hate to disappoint her. After all, she was chopped down for our benefit. The least I could do is give her a pretty farewell. Right?





















This is our Christmas tree from last year, not that you'd know the difference if it were 2007. Or any other year since we've been married, actually. We've decorated our tree the same way every year. So I was thinking of possibly doing something different this year.

Of course, the main difference will be that all of our ornaments will be at least 3 feet off of the ground.  But you know, other than that.

Change #1: more lights. Lee and I always intend to use more lights.  But it takes absolutely all of our combined willpower just to get the tree in the house, unpack the ornaments, and untangle the mess we made last year without saying rude things to each other. [Our A Charlie Brown Christmas CD helps. You really can't fight to the soundtrack of A Charlie Brown Christmas.] Anyway, we usually give up before we have the really AMAZING gaggle of lights that we intended.

Maybe this will be our year.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Not quite ready for our close-up

So last year, our Christmas card doubled as Mary Bullock's birth announcement. This was convenient because it featured a picture of her and not a picture of me. I allowed very few pictures of my post-postpartum swollenness [which in all honesty lasted about six months after her birth and which still sort of lingers in certain areas]. But I had one friend, who is not yet a mother, complain that all us breeders [her word, not mine] stop putting our own faces on Christmas cards as soon as we have children.

So Kate Wiggins, if you ever read this, I would like for you to know that the hardship I endured in attemping a family Christmas card photo with a 1 year old was all for you.
















Not quite. 

It's hard to take a picture when the subject never sits still


I love blurry pictures, don't you?

In the end, Mary Bullock had her own plans for the afternoon.


Do you know any babies who want to go for a walk?


Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Me, too.

[Post today inspired by Rachel.]

I didn't quite catch onto the Facebook daily thanks thing, but when I saw others posting, it started my little wheels turning. What am I thankful for this year? And more often than not, that question turned into: what am I not thankful for? Because honestly, my list could go on forever.

Mostly, I'm thankful for all of the wonderful people in my life. If you're reading this, and you're thinking to yourself, is she talking about me? The answer is: yes.

Really. Thank you.

Monday, November 23, 2009

In other yumma news...

I saw this last week on Urban Grace and about died. I have never made a trifle before, and in fact I had to run out and buy this trifle dish in order to make this recipe, but once I saw it, I was determined that it should be done.

Now, I had to take some liberties because either Target does not sell gingerbread mix or I am a total idiot [entirely equal in their possibility, I admit], because I could not find it. And I don't know about you other mothers, but embarking on a wild goose chase for gingerbread mix was NOT an option. So I used spice cake mix instead.
















Yumma. Lee and I have decided that it's definitely better served with gingersnaps for some added crunch. We like crunch in our trifles.  Want some? Come on over.

So now I'm all in the mood for Thanksgiving. I'm not quite in the mood for the Christmas onslaught that will soon follow, but I'm working on that, too.

Choo! Choo!

I swear, Mary Bullock does actually have toys. It's just that she prefers old diaper boxes and dog leashes.

This is what happens when Mommy is making breakfast and it's Daddy Daycare time: diaper boxes destined for recycling get turned into trains. It's more like a wagon, but we call it a train because wagons don't make cool noises, now do they? Choo! Choo!

[Ingle looks pretty sinister in this one, right? He's all: Give me back that leash or the girl is my lunch.]




Friday, November 20, 2009

MB's first lesson in sharing

Me: Mary Bullock, can I have some of your goldfish?
MB: [eyes me suspiciously] oh, alright. [This was non-verbal, but very clearly communicated.]
MB: [digs in her snack trap, brings out a handful.]
Me: [with an open palm] Thank you, Mary Bullock! You are so sw...
MB: Sucka!! [shoves them all in her mouth]

Must. Protect. Goldfish.


Uh-oh. Cornered. 


Ruuuuuuuuuun!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Uptown Snuggie

So, I have been kind of miffed for the last few years that somehow all Christmases, Birthdays, and Anniversaries have passed and I am still not the owner of a snuggie. If ever a person was born to own a snuggie, I am. I don't like being cold ever, but especially not when I'm watching TV or reading a book. I use blankets on the couch even in the summer. This is a no-brainer gift for me.

But now I'm sort of glad that I didn't get one of those "As Seen on TV" ones, because I just flipped through the Brookstone catalogue and saw this:






















The snuggie has gone lux. Maybe I'll give it one more year and see if anyone loves me enough to ensure that my tootsies stay warm and toasty. 

Ahem.

Welcome to my [next] crib...

I love this crib.



I love the whole picture, actually.  Mary Bullock's crib is also a Jenny Lind, but it's just off-white. In fact, there are no bright colors in her nursery at all. I gravitated towards everything muted and soothing when I was pregnant, which was the opposite of how I actually felt for most of my pregnancy.

But this yellow is kinda kicky. And I like it.

I guess I'll just have to make an excuse for a do-over.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Ajumble

So, yeah. My sister so lovingly pointed out in her comment on my last post that my last couple of posts have been lacking. Sorry.

I have had a lot on my mind this week, but I feel like if I start writing even though my thoughts are ajumble [like that? I think I made that up--"ajumble": adj.], a takeaway might emerge, so here goes:

First, Mary Bullock has been a challenge this week. And I don't say that as a whine, but just as a fact. There has been a lot of unexplained crying, some temper tantrums [she has mastered the jelly maneuver in which Mommy cannot pick me up if I just go completely limp in the middle of Target/Publix/the front yard, etc.], and some very short naps, which of course exacerbates all other problems.  As Lee left for work yesterday morning, he actually backed out the door and said, "Yeah. Good luck with that!" And that was only 8:30am.

So I have had that on my mind. The next 18 years loom large in the face of one willful 13 month old. And all of my friends with older children scoff: just you wait. Am I up for this challenge? I've never raised a human being before. The don't come with instruction manuals, you know. Kinda scary.

And then, Jen [hi Jen!] has been struggling lately with a few things, and I don't know if it's like this for all siblings or maybe it's especially like this for twins, but when she struggles, I struggle.  And it's especially hard to live so far away and to feel powerless to help.

But anyway, I'm sure [if you're still reading] you're thinking: what does any of this have to do with anything? [See? Ajumble.]

But I'm compelled to tell you about this book I've been reading called The Power of A Positive Mom. I've connected so much with this book [uh--there is a whole section on worrying. The dedication may as well have read: For Suzanne.]. I'll skip the synopsis, and just give you the goods that helped me yesterday:

"This is what the Lord says to you: 'Do not be afraid or discouraged because of this vast army. For the battle is not yours, but God's.'" [2 Corinthians 20:15]

And if you know me at all, now you are checking the url to see if you stumbled on the wrong page. Then you are saying to yourself: Self? Did Suz just quote scripture?

I did. I did do that.

And this is what I'm telling you has been going on in my life. Some days there are Birthday Things that don't translate well to a picture or even a wittily worded coffee mug that can be purchased on Etsy. Knowing that the resolutions to all the world's various problems, and even the resolutions to my own problems are not up to me? That's a Birthday Thing. 

I did spend a lot of yesterday searching for something to communicate that to you, but I clearly failed on that attempt. Hopefully words worked better. [If you are still reading.]

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

One pretty thing



  Found here.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Yeah Yeah Yeah

What she said.

How it is November when it should be May: A Demonstration

I can't believe it's already mid-November! Where does time go, seriously? Perhaps it is sucked away by such endeavors as trying [kind of obsessively] to replicate this Vineyard Vines kids outfit that I happened upon over breakfast:

I love this little outfit, but
a) VV doesn't do baby sizes [why the baby hate, vv?] and
b) it costs $114.50 [not including the turtleneck, which I would never buy because it's still 80 stinking degrees here]

So. I found this little sweater at Target this morning for $9.
















And this little skirt at Old Navy for $14.50




And if you're going to twist my arm for the truth, I bought a few other things. All necessities.


[Who doesn't need Christmas PJ's?]

And whatever time I had left after all of that shopping was then of course sucked dry by downloading [or is it uploading?] all of these pictures so that I could demonstrate my time suckage to all of you.

You are welcome.

Friday, November 13, 2009

TGIF randomness

What a week! It's amazing to me how a three day out of town trip can turn into five days worth of mess when we get back home. Can anyone explain this to me?

Allow me to start again, minus whining. Ahem.

I love Fridays! There is so much to love, really. First, Mary Bullock and I are looking forward to two whole days of DADDY TIME.

Secondly, Fridays are the days when I have someone come to help me with my nightmare of a house. Most days during the week, I wish there were at least two of me [Lee is now choking on that little thought]. But on Fridays, that wish comes true, at least for a few hours. So someone else cleans while I put away the toys, clothes, socks, books, and random bits of daily life that are strewn about the house.

This week the house has been especially disorderly because of the ongoing nursery closet project.  Because of the previously discussed banshee/sleeping banshee conundrum, my friend Leigh suggested that I drag everything out to the den and organize it while the girl naps. So genius.  The downside of this idea has been that every article of clothing that Mary Bullock owns has been in the den for the last several days. The upside is that having that mess in our primary living space has increased my motivation on this project by about 75%.

Now if only the end result of this project would look like this.














Although, I'm kind of doubtful that anyone who actually has a baby takes the time to hang sleepers. But if such a person exists, I would be glad to have her trot her OCD self over to my house for a spell.

Enough rambling. Happy weekend everyone! Wishing you a clean house, sleeping babies, and snuggles from someone you love.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Cross Fingers for Breakfast Pizza

Have you ever gotten a wild hair and decided to make a dish that you haven't made in a long time and which is typically reserved for special occasions [like house guests] but then you thought: I love my husband, I will make him breakfast pizza on a random week day?

And then because you have made this dish many times before, you were all "I've got this" when you should have been all "reviewing the directions"? No? That just happens to me [and possibly also my mother]?

















Hope it works out! I guess we'll find out in the morning.

Breakfast Pizza
1 8oz. can crescent rolls
1 lb. hot ground sausage
1 32. oz. pkg. frozen hash browns with onions & peppers
1 c. shredded cheddar cheese
4 large eggs
1/2 c. milk
1 tsp. salt (to taste)
1/2 tsp. pepper

Unroll crescent dough and press onto bottom and up sides of 9x11 baking dish. Press perforations to seal.
Bake dough at 375 for 5 minutes [**This is the step I skipped. I'll let you know how important it was in the morning! :)][UPDATE: didn't make a difference. You now have my permission to skip this step.]
Cook sausage over md-high heat. Drain well and sprinkle over crust.
Prepare frozen hash browns according to directions. Spoon over sausage.
Sprinkle shredded cheddar over hash browns.
Whisk together eggs, milk, salt, pepper. Pour evenly over cheese.
Bake at 350 30-35 minutes.

What I'm Getting You For Christmas

I know, I'm ruining the surprise. But if you get one of these from me this Christmas, it means I love you. If you don't get one of these from me this Christmas, I could also possibly love you. Don't get discouraged. You just never know.







































Most of these would also apply very nicely to my life, so if you're giving me a gift, feel free to steal.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

I heart closet

No, I'm not just saying I heart things because I see them.



I really heart this closet. It's not over-the-top fabulous, it just works. I mean, for those of us who don't have room for a chandelier and an ottoman in our babies' closets.

In fact, my goal for this week [ok, maybe this month] is to make this




look more like that. 

And lest you think that this is a done-in-a-day sort of task, let me explain: organizing a baby's room is best done WAY BEFORE YOU HAVE A BABY. In fact, Mary Bullock's room was at its most organized when she was around -3 months old. Once you actually have the baby in your house, it is:

a) impossible to organize the closet when she's awake because she's running around the house like a banshee wielding her toothpaste/your high heels/a remote control bigger than her face.
b) impossible to organize the closet when she's asleep because HEAVEN FORBID you wake her up and she resumes the banshee-like tear through the house.

And since there are only these two types of time in a day [banshee/sleeping banshee] it sort of makes for difficulties in baby room organization.

So, yeah. It might take me till the end of the month year.  [In case you were thinking of holding your breath.]

Sunday, November 8, 2009

We's Not Here

[You'll have to forgive me for the title.]

We just made it back from our whirlwind NC trip to see my family and then my college friends at UNC homecoming. As you may have heard, I made the trip up with MB by myself. There is very little good to say about those eight hours of my life except that we physically survived. I thought I might have been experiencing a little PTSD afterwards, though. The trip home today was much easier since Lee was with us. He likes to think he is a calming influence.


Anyway, sorry for last week's absence. But I do have some pictures to make up for it. I left the earlier in the day pictures up to my friends with awesome cameras, so I'll skip to He's Not Here*. [Wouldn't it be nice to be able to do that in real life? Just fast forward to He's Not? Like this: blah blah blah...Blue Cups. Ahhhh.]

These are my best girls [minus one, who must have wandered off]. This is why I love them: because even though our lives have diverged practically and geographically, when I'm with them, I laugh so hard my cheeks hurt.  And it's not just the beer.

[Ok, ok, I will back up just a bit, because these pictures make me laugh.]

There was also some sort of athletic contest this weekend? We went briefly, and took the girl [hence the briefly]:


Pre-goldfish: all good. 


Post-goldfish: time to go.


It was a great weekend, if a little hectic. There never seems to be enough time to see everyone or do everything that we want to do. I guess we'll just have to make another trip soon!



 *He's Not Here= Chapel Hill's finest [only?] beer garden.