Wednesday, May 21, 2008

My Daughter Hates the Vacuum

It's true! At first I thought maybe she was just tired. And then maybe just annoyed. But every time I run the vacuum cleaner, she totally freaks. She doesn't get mad or even just upset - she screams that scream that makes big crocodile tears stream down her face, the scream she screams when something incredibly painful or scary has happened. Most children love the sound of the vacuum - it's soothing. I will give her this, our vacuum is remarkably high pitched and jolting. Maybe the sound just grates her nerves. Who knows. Either way, the dog hair is definitely winning the vacuum war on our carpet.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Dinner's Ready

Today, as I was getting off of work, I was thrilled to get a text message from Justin that said, "Dinner is ready!" Justin's idea of "dinner is ready," apparently, means, "I've boiled three hot dogs and there's bread in the pantry."

Monday, May 12, 2008

Back :)

This past Mother's Day weekend was a big event for us; we hosted both mine and Justin's family in our apartment for the weekend to celebrate Mother's Day and Ari's baby dedication. In preparation, I laid off blogging and any other "extra curriculars" for over a week to prepare. But now I'm back!

Justin had a "social" at his junior high last weekend. I went for moral support ;) and it was pretty fun. Not a lot of Jr. Highers showed up, but the few that did looked like they were having a blast. I caught Justin on video dancing with his daughter. :) We're having technical difficulties right now, but I'll upload it later.

"Uncle Jerd" (Justin's brother, Jared) loved playing with his "fluff" (Talsi). He really just needs to take her home with him. Except I think she might go insane without Toby around. She really does love Jared, though. Goes crazy whenever she sees him. I mean, look how happy she is!

This IS her happy face. I promise.

Toby was pretty hyper the whole time. He gets REALLY excited when he sees my we "short leashed" him. (I.E., tied him to the couch.) He was very confused.

On Saturday, my brother James head butted Justin. You can see the bruise on his left eye lid. The kids at his school kept asking if he was wearing eyeliner because it really looks like he is! Not the cute girl kind, but the punk rocker kind. You can't see it well here, but it's pretty funny. In response to his kid's questions about eyeliner, Justin said that he says, "No, my brother [in law] head butted me." I told him I was glad. That's a much more manly answer than "Yes."

My brother is morally opposed to Senior pictures, so the fact that we were able to get even five minutes out of him for a few shots was a miracle. I think I'm going to be able to convince him to let me take him on an actual photo shoot while I'm in Dallas for his graduation. I'm looking forward to it, it should be fun. :)

Ari's baby dedication went well, the video is on Facebook and YouTube. My mom took over a hundred pictures, but the camera is BRAND new and she wasn't used to working it. (Anyone who has ever switched to digital from film will know what I'm talking about!) Anyway, there was a technical malfunction and we don't have any of the pictures, but we do have a few to make up for it. :) This is me and my pretty newly-dedicated baby. The bib may be off-putting, but it's better visually than the puddle of saliva that had already collected on her dress from picture taking. ;)

Here is Grandma Linda with her grandbaby. I think Ari was a bit sick of being passed from person to person and was making sure we lodged her official complaint.

Here's her Grandpa Joe singing to her. It's the first and last thing he always does around her. She has no hope at NOT being a musical child. ;) She really loves some of his songs (and really hates others! ;)

After everyone had gone and the bustle had died, me and Ari settled down to put her to sleep. Her bedtime story tonight was "The Secret Garden." She was a bit worried at the part when Dicken was introduced, but she settled down after she found out he was okay. :)

Today I put her to sleep in her bassinet. I promise she was right side up when I left her!

No story with this one, I just love this picture.

Tonight I made homemade pizza with mozzerella, pepperoni, green peppers and a whole wheat crust. It was absolutely fantastic.

And THEN, I remembered why I don't cook like that very often. This was only one table! It's clean now...after an HOUR!

Well that's all for my update for now, I'll be posting more about the past couple of weeks of my haitus as it comes to mind and as media becomes available. In the meantime you can check out my YouTube or Facebook accounts for more. (Though my Facebook videos are set to "public," my YouTube videos are private, so email me if you want permissions to view them.)

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Being "The Mommy"

I'm used to working with kids, all sort of kids. Small kids, big kids, young kids, old kids, happy kids, screaming kids. Most of them like me, ask for me to come back as their babysitter, run around the house in excitement when I show up. They curl up with me on the couch at bedtime, ask for me to read them stories, and fall asleep in my arms. But there is one thing that all of these kids had in common: I was not the mommy.

There was always someone that ranked higher in their minds than me. No matter how much they laughed at my jokes, loved running around and playing with me, begged me to read them a story, there was always someone who made their face light up, their voice change, their steps a bit lighter. Someone else. I was not the mommy.

I remember when this first hit home with me. I was "babysitting" a nine month old boy, the son of a friend. I put "babysitting" in quotes because there were about five of us girls hanging out and we were all watching him, so it really wasn't that big of a task. We fed him and changed him and played with him...and when it came time for bed, we tried to put him to sleep. Nothing would take. We rocked him and sang to him and walked around with him; we talked to him and hummed to him and all he would do was scream. Scream his little head off, scream like the world was ending, scream so loud I was genuinely concerned he might break something. We were helpless. And then, after about 20 minutes of desperately trying to figure out what was wrong with this child, his mother came back through the door. I apologetically handed him to her, saying that we had tried to get him to calm down. The next thing I witnessed was miraculous. This screaming, livid child hit his mother's arms...and was silenced. He instantly settled into her breast and fell asleep. It was then that I matter how "good" at taking care of this child I was...I am not the mommy.

I remember the first time I really felt like Ariana's "mommy." We were at Justin's school and we were showing her off to all of his teacher friends. After a while, I guess she just got overstimulated and started fussing. The teacher who was holding her at the time said, "Oh! Guess it's time to go back to Mom," and handed her to me. It was one of the greatest moments of my life. I am the mommy.

Ari has started sobbing, and I mean really sobbing. I'm talking big teddy bear tears, red eyes, monster pout, quivering lower lip, and that characteristic and desperate half-shaky gasp in between wails. And I love...I love...that I am the one that gets to comfort her. There is no comfort that trumps mine, no higher earthly power to which she can plead. Sitting on the couch at 6:00 and just rocking her, I am not waiting for Mommy to come home. I'm not watching the clock wondering if I should just feed her or wait...I'm not reaching for my cell phone to call for backup or see how much longer they're going to be...I'm just rocking her. Because she's mine. Because there isn't going to be a Mommy to walk through the front door and take her away from me. Because I'm the one who comes home to her. Because I'm the one she smiles at when she wakes up. Because I'm the one whose sleeve she grips while bouncing in my arms. Because I'm the one whose lips she tries so hard to trace and follow with her own, whose face she can now awkwardly and clumsily grab for, whose voice makes even those teddy bear tears and desperate sobs fade away. Because she calms to my voice, settles into my arms, and slows her breathing when she feels my breath. I'm the one who gets to hold her, because there is no one else to hand her to. Finally...finally...I am the mommy.

Thursday, May 1, 2008


OH, did I forget to tell everyone? I married Jamie from Mythbusters!


I "promised" Justin I would share this picture with the world.

We were in Wal-Mart and we saw these hats...these Fedoras...just lying on the shelf. Just LYING there! Poor hats...they were so...lonely...without some kind soul to wear them...

Seriously though...doesn't he look sexy?!?!