Sunday, October 31, 2010


and Happy Halloween!
More to come-- Mary Bullock's ranch hands are tired.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Sunday Drive

We watch a lot of The Wiggles around here.

It started out innocently enough. MB used to have zero interest in TV at all, which was great in some ways--we could smugly feel like we weren't caving and using the TV as a babysitter.

But then, in other ways it was a pain. Like, when we needed to use the TV as a babysitter.

As in, when I need to take a shower while she is awake. Or when Lee needs to get dressed for work without Mary Bullock dragging every pair of shoes he owns out of the closet and into the middle of the floor.

So when we realized that she loved The Wiggles, we were pretty excited. They're not terribly obnoxious. They model polite behavior. They sing and dance and have cute accents.

But now. Well, now MB's Wiggles mania has reached truly outlandish proportions. As in, she wants to watch The Wiggles every time we get into the car, even if we're driving three blocks away.

I used to try to reason with her about this, but then she just figured out how to turn the DVD player on herself, and my efforts became futile.

But today, for some reason that I could not figure out by looking at the DVD player backwards and upside down from the front seat, the DVD would not come on.

Widdles, Mama?
Sorry, Bug. I don't know what's wrong with it. We'll be home in a few minutes.
Widdles, Mama! Widdles! Widdles on? 
Sorry, sweetheart. I know you want The Wiggles, but they're not working right now.
Widdles, Mamaaaaaaaa! Widdles! 
And on and on she goes.

Lee is driving. I put my hand on his back and rub. Poor Daddy. He has been working like a slave in his own house the last few weeks-- putting together play kitchens, painting nursery furniture.

Mary Bullock observes from the backseat.
Daddy pat Mama back?
Lee takes her suggestion and pats my back.
Everybody smiles,  and the car is quiet.
Then a little voice from the back:


Saturday, October 23, 2010

Happy Toot Day

Mary Bullock calls birthdays toot days. I can't really explain how this confusion has occurred, but she seems pretty confident that we're all saying it wrong and she is saying it right.  I don't argue. I think I'll be kind of sad when she actually starts saying birthday instead.

Her big present was a play kitchen, which I've been dying to give her ever since I burst into tears a few months ago watching her pretend to fry an egg with no pan [Give me a break! I'm hormonal!].

So far she is enthralled! I'm hoping she's somewhat less enthralled when we move it into her bedroom, since I'm hoping she continues to sleep at night, but for right now it's fun to watch her get busy with her food stuffs.

The cupcakes for her play date turned out well, for my first time making strawberry icing AND my first time using a pipette. Some of them were neater than others. [Perhaps I should have thought to move the messy ones to the back? ;)]

Have I mentioned that we have the best babysitter like ever? Adriana is one of my former students and has been helping us out once a week. When she read about my sugar cookie troubles, she brought over a pipette and instructed me on how to use it.  Then she texted me encouragement and tips on making the icing. I couldn't have gotten through this job without her. :)

We ended MB's toot day with a play date at the park.  It seemed appropriate since it's my baby's favorite place in the whole world.

In the car on the way home, I asked her if she'd had a good birthday.
Uh-huuuhuuuh. Happy toot day, she said.

And then she was two.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Dear Buck Buck,

Happy Birthday!

Last year we were your caretakers. This year, you turned us into parents. Thank you for being patient with us while we learn what all that means. 

So far, we know:
Tooting makes you giggle.
You are a master negotiator when there are N&Ms at stake.
You can rock some cow-boo-boots.
You are fickle with your kisses but generous with hugs and back pats.

The rest might take a while.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Pretty Pretty Pumpkins

Today, I am tired.
It's not a complaint, just a statement of fact. Can feelings be facts? Hm. An internal debate for another day. When I'm not so tired.

Lee is probably going to read this and think: If you're so tired, why are you blogging and not napping?
I wonder this myself. But have you ever tried to nap with a to-do list the size of your arm?
I prefer to knock out my to-do list and then nap with a clear mind.  Of course, this means that my nap and going to bed tonight might be the same thing.

Yesterday I posted pictures of my favorite pumpkin, but there were all sorts of beautiful pumpkins at our patch this year. It's a good thing that every available surface in our house is already pumpkined-out, or some of these would have jumped into my car.

Have you ever seen a pink pumpkin?

I would have taken this one home, too, but I think her mama would disapprove of this plan.

Sadly, my love of pumpkins does not stop at admiring their beauty. As if I need any more weight on my hips, I've also been baking. So far, pumpkin bread and chocolate chip pumpkin muffins. And this week, I'll add pumpkin blondies to the list.

I think this is my version of nesting. Since I'm pretty useless in the painting and sewing departments, my sweet husband and mother are taking care of those. I have turned my efforts toward the kitchen. Nevermind that napping would be an entirely more productive activity in these final six weeks. Logic and pregnancy just don't mix, you know?

And with that-- I'm back to the kitchen. If you need sweets, swing on by.

***Blogger has taken leave of its senses today, just FYI. Sorry for the mess.

Monday, October 18, 2010

It's the Great Pumpkin, Mary Bullock (2010)!

Mary Bullock is a girl after my own heart in so many ways: her irrational desire for cookies, her absolute defiance of all logic, and--of course--her love of the pumpkin patch.

It was hard to get a picture of her smiling, but the shrieking and running were enough to confirm a thumbs up!

Friday, October 15, 2010

Today's Lesson

Do you read Jesus Calling?

It really is an amazing book. It especially speaks volumes to complainers and whiners such as myself. I know I've skipped a few days when my woe is me attitude reaches a fever pitch and the world seems to be coming down on my head.

Today was a catch up day for me, but I also flipped through some devotions from the early part of this year, before I bought the book.

January 26 had this to offer:
Give up the illusion that you deserve a problem-free life. Part of you in still hungering for the resolution of all difficulties. This is a false hope. As I told my disciples: in the world, you will have trouble. Link your hope not to problem solving in this life but to the promise of an eternity of problem-free life in heaven. 

Which spoke to me today, since just last night I was whining to Lee: why can't anything ever be easy?

But January 26th was also kind of nagging at me. What was happening to me at the end of January? I couldn't remember.

Oh yeah.

I guess a lesson in retrospect is still a lesson, right?
Now I'll just slide this one in my pocket for next time I want to demand a life of ease.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Faking It

Woke up at 4:30 this morning. It's third trimester insomnia. Not to be confused with first trimester insomnia or the evil middle sister, second trimester insomnia.

Yes, I know they say this is God's way of preparing mothers for the months and months of no sleep that will follow a new baby's birth.

But what I really think is that it's God's way of preparing fathers for just how crabby and irrational a sleep deprived new mother can be.

Do you hear that Leeeee? Start practicing your Yes, Dears and taking deep breaths.

But back to the make-up. I really did have to use this today, so if you saw me, let me know how it worked. If you didn't see me today, you can just make stuff up.

I won't be able to tell the difference.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Birthday Cookies

I know you'll probably be shocked by this, since my planning for last year involved six million different blog posts, but Mary Bullock's 2nd birthday Friday.

We've been so busy painting furniture and planning her big girl room that everything else has taken a back seat. I knew in the back of my head that I would make sugar cookies for her class at school, but that's about as far as my planning had gone. Her teachers sent home a sheet at the beginning of the year specifically requesting cookies for in-class birthday celebrations.  I used to be a teacher, and I feel that if a teacher makes a request for a specific item, she probably has a thousand pretty darned good reasons for it.

In other words, I'm not going to be the mama who shows up with cupcakes. And I hope they appreciate my rule following, because as I discovered last year, SUGAR COOKIES ARE HARD.

So today I practiced. And now, with one thousand calories' worth of quality control around my middle, I'm considering outsourcing this particular job.

All from Sugar & Flour, which I will now proceed to online stalk daily. You know, just to have an ideal with which to irrationally compare myself.  Because who doesn't need another one of those?

My efforts were decidedly less cute than this.  Lee would argue that my efforts also did not cost $3.00 a cookie.

But should we really put a price tag on cute birthday cookies for our baby girl who will be eighteen before we blink twice? Really?

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Connor's A-Maize-Ing Acres

Yesterday, Mary Bullock and I ventured out to Connor's A-Maize-Ing Acres in Hilliard with some mamas and babies from MOPs. I thought Mary Bullock would be in heaven, and she was.

First there was a little playground. I think she would have been content to play there all day, and that was before we even got to the good part.

Lee didn't get to go with us, but he is now determined to have a pedal tractor for our backyard!

The tub o' corn [there may be an official name for this contraption, but I don't know what it is] was also a hit. We had to drag the kiddos out of there to actually get to the corn maze.

This was definitely the most common view of MB of the day. My baby loves to run, and she ran and ran and ran.  Which meant I did a lot walking. Because I am so past running at this point, you know? But luckily she didn't go too far or wander off into the corn, which was my biggest fear.

There was also a cow train, which gave me pause. I said some serious prayers when that thing disappeared around the corn.

But she came back safe and sound and still sucking on her lollipop.

She sat with the big girls on the hayride, which I'm sure thrilled her just as much as petting the cows.

We'll definitely make this trip again next year, and hopefully Lee can join us. Although, I'm not sure who I'll have to drag away next time: Mary Bullock or her daddy. The Connors might want to count their tractors after we leave. :)

Friday, October 8, 2010

A Taste of the Farm

More to come from our day at Connor's A-Maize-Ing Acres!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Brain Dump

So there are lots of things I have had on my mind this week, and this is the post wherein I empty them all out tumble-bumble, pell-mell, and see where it all lands.

*Begin Dump*

I learned a very important lesson this weekend: I am no good without Lee.

The last few weeks have been crazy for him at work, so I have been what we call OMO [on my own] around here for much of it. By the end of last week, I was so frustrated and stressed, and I couldn't even really articulate why that was.

By Sunday it had dawned on me. Life just doesn't work as well when he's not around. And it's not about helping with diapers or making breakfast. With Lee around, joy is doubled and problems are halved. Actually, when he's home, some things that initially seem like problems turn into joys.

Like this: 

This, my friends, is my very first attempt at using the sewing machine that I got for my birthday back in August. In case you can't tell, it's a burp cloth. This little bit of sewing took me four hours, one trip to Laura's house, and several tearful skype calls to my mother. When I finally finished, I took it to show Lee, still sort of sniffling from my last meltdown. And we started laughing. We laughed so hard I nearly peed my pants. And y'all, I'm 32 weeks pregnant. It wasn't a long shot. I was lucky not to have wet the couch.

But knowing Lee, even if I had wet the couch, we would have laughed about it for the next decade.

So there's that.

And this: 

Just because it made me laugh.

I'm trying to laugh more at [with?] Mary Bullock.  So much of this new age is not really so funny, you know? The tantrums, the complete lack of rationality [hers and mine, I guess], the defiance-- it's enough to wear anyone out, I think. But at 8+ months pregnant, my funny bone has gone missing. Maybe under mounds of flesh. Who knows? I'm working on finding it.

Speaking of my belly, I don't have any new pictures. I'll try to get one soon. I am shocked daily by its mere existence. Every night I look in the mirror while putting on my pjs and say: WHERE DID THIS THING COME FROM? HOW DID THIS HAPPEN?

And then Lee rolls his eyes. Because we really do have this conversation every night.

The FAQ on the street is What does Mary Bullock think about the new baby?
A: It's hard to say, really. She has started calling her belly button her baby button. When I ask her if she knows what's in mommy's belly, she will sometimes say brover.  Other times she stares at me like I have three heads. Mostly, though, she will point to her own baby button.

When I ask her if she has a baby in there, she says YESSSS.
What are you going to name your new baby brother? I ask.
First it was Caroline.
Then it was Nap.
Then it was Nap Playground [which we loved and have moved to the top of our list].
She came up with something else this week, but I can't remember what it was.

Lord, I love this baby. And here is my last MB story of the day:

Perhaps you know this already, but MB has gotten a little choosy about her diapers.  Since our latest box had no Big Bird, she prefers the Ernie diapers, which she calls Burp diapers. She knows the difference between Ernie and Bert, but persists in calling them Burp diapers.  Whatever. I'm picking my battles, and anything related to diapers is already a big one.

This morning we were down to the last five diapers in the box. Four Elmos and one Burp. She wanted the Burp [duh]. But then she realized that Violet needed her diaper changed, too.

And here is where you will now melt.

She gave her Burp diaper to Violet. Even after I explained that she would have to wear Elmo if she gave her last Burp diaper to Violet.

Greater love hath no baby.

*End Dump*

Monday, October 4, 2010

One day very soon...

One day, when we have a few children in private school and consequently are completely and utterly broke, [which is different from the present only by subtracting one dramatic adverb] you all are going to discover that underneath this professionally colored hair is a mass of gray. And I'm getting grayer by the minute.

This is just a sample of my morning: Mary Bullock decided to paint her toenails before her playdate.  This was after jumping across my lap and upending my coffee* onto her head and the sofa. But before wreaking havoc in Chik-fil-a and eating a waffle fry off of the floor. She followed that up with standing on top of her medical kit and falling flat on her face.

At least parenting a toddler is not boring.
No one could ever say that.

*Don't worry--my coffee was not hot. Is there a mama out there who gets to drink her coffee hot? If so, go ahead and give yourself a high five for me.