Sunday, December 30, 2007

Christmas Eve Will Find You...At Circuit City!

Mr. Daddy and I have both been off work since the Friday before Christmas. Can I just say that if we hadn't taken our trip, we would likely have all killed each other by now? At the very least, one of the kids would surely have been eaten. I've always said God made kids cute for a reason -- so we won't eat them!

Since the kids fell asleep in the car on the way home from my MIL's house on Christmas Eve eve, they rose bright and early on Christmas Eve. We ate a leisurely breakfast and as soon as the stores opened, we went to spend the Christmas cash that was burning a hole in our pockets.

See, the thing is, we have very little spending money for fun things. I'm not trying to poor mouth or make y' all feel sorry for me, but when you spend $300 a week on child care (as we do), there's usually not a lot a left over for "extras." So, the money that my MIL gave us was a little like manna from heaven and Mr. Daddy and I both immediately went on a spending spree in our heads. Fortunately, we were both buying the same things and so didn't have to duke it out when it came time to spend the real stuff. When we got home we took some test shots with the camera.

Yes, I think he's going to the movies because he's picking his seat!

It's a rare appearance of the Christmas gopher!

Around 2:30 we headed over to my mom and stepdad's house. As I've mentioned before, Christmas Eve was when my family always gathered. This year my mom offered to keep the kids at her house while Mr. Daddy and I went to mass. Since I haven't been able to sit through an actual mass in, oh, about two years, I took her up on the offer. (I usually sit with Punkin' in the cry room but the place drives me so nuts that it's almost better that I don't go at ALL). BUT, when we got to mass, everyone was there with their families. Kids were everywhere, including a few of Bubba's classmates and I really wished that we had our kids with us.

After mass we went back to my mom's house for dinner and to open our presents. My brother and SIL were there with their kids. Their daughter, whom I'll call Birdie, will be 6 in January is one of Bubba's dearest friends. I know that as they get older they probably won't stay close, but for now they are and it makes me happy.

Here are Bubba, Birdie, Punkin and Birdie's little brother. I've blacked out the faces of the other children because I forgot to ask their mother's permission to publish them:

Both kids made out like bandits. Bubba got the Black Knight and the cool tent partially pictured below. My mom and I thought the Black Knight could be the bad guy, but according to the literature that came with him, he's actually the best and bravest knight of all. Go figure.

He also got several Magic Treehouse "chapter books," about which he was super excited. He also got an Air Hogs airplane that he's been talking about for over a year. I had no idea what in the heck he was talking about all this time, but fortunately my step-sister did! I know I'm leaving out several things he received, but suffice it to say that he was one happy little dude.

Punkin "got her princess on" this Christmas. My mom, whom we call MeMe, gave her a gorgeous Tinkerbell dress, which we somehow have NO pictures of (yes, I'm ending that sentence in a preposition, but it was already so convoluted and frankly I was just too tired to rethink it!). Hopefully someone else there took some pictures and will be kind enough to share with me because you have never seen a little girl so excited in all your life. MeMe also gave her these:

Everyone told her how pretty she was and she just pranced around the room, pausing periodically to peek at her pretty feet.

And can I just tell y'all that I covet these shoes. They are the perfect shade of pink and so! sparkly! I would have killed, KILLED, for these shoes when I was a child.

In addition to all her princess finery, Punkin also got a fun bathtub xylophone, some books (always a favorite!) and some Ariel blocks.

And I, of course, got the jeans. My step-sister gave me a gorgeous smelling candle and some books about how to take time for myself. Wonder how she knew I needed those?

All in all it was a lovely evening, though there were some slight meltdowns at the end of the evening. Two year olds just don't understand that every present is not for them. And it was a battle royale trying to take the princess dress and the shoes away from the princess at bedtime, BUT, Madame Queen prevailed, as she usually does, and the children were soon nestled snug in their beds.

Again, I'm running long...tune in tomorrow to find out what Santa forgot!

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Have Yourself a Pukey Little Christmas....

Actually, everything turned out okay, but when Punkin threw up Thursday night and all day Friday before Christmas, I was reminded of the Christmas Bubba turned one and came down with a very bad case of the flu on the 19th of December and I was felled by it only two days later. That year I spent Christmas Eve alternately monitoring his 103 degree fever, on the phone with the pediatric nurse/doctor on call, and sitting on the sofa sobbing "I just love him sooo much" a la Holly Hunter in Raising Arizona. As I did a thousand loads of laundry Thursday and Friday I envisioned us all toppling like dominoes under this insidious virus, but thanks to a gigantic can of Lysol, Clorox wipes, and OCD-like handwashing, I managed to keep it contained to just Punkin.

On Saturday she was back to her old self and Sunday we traveled to South Carolina to visit Mr. Daddy's mother and several of his siblings. We hadn't seen one of his brothers in almost 3 years and so were quite amazed at how much his kids had grown. His daughter has recently started living with him full time (he and her mother have been divorced for years) and she recently moved from Ashland, KY to join him in Huntington, WV. Now if you know anything about Ashland, you know that's where Billy Ray Cyrus is from. And guess what? My niece is dating Miley Cyrus/Hannah Montanna's first cousin. She had a photograph of herself with her boyfriend and Miley backstage at one of Miley's concerts. Too bad Bubba and Punkin are really too young to appreciate the fame by association!

Small digression here -- Miley/Hannah used to really get on my nerves, but the more I see her, the more I read interviews with her, and especially in light of the whole Jamie Lynn debacle (and YES, it is a debacle), I'm starting to like Miley with her wholesome, fully clothed, non-pregnant self.

The kids received several nice gifts, including Punkin's very first tiara -- Disney princess of course.

My MIL gave us some cash, which was great. We used it to buy ourselves a new digital camera so hopefully that means the quality of the pictures on these pages will improve. I won't vouch for the composition of the photographs, but the quality of the pictures themselves should be MUCH better.

We also bought something else -- something I have very mixed feelings about. We bought a DVD player for the car. One one hand I think "WE didn't have DVD players in the car when WE were kids and we got along just fine. WE sang in the car. WE played road games. WE stood on our heads in the backseat" -- okay, maybe that last one was just me. On the other hand it's nice to have some peace and quiet. There comes a time in every trip where the kids just get sick of being in the car. Being able to pop in a DVD could definitely come in handy. So we got one. And it was nice. However, when we got to the mountains we spotted a group (a pride? a gaggle? a what?) of wild turkeys on the side of the road and Bubba missed it because he couldn't tear his eyes away from a DVD that he's seen a gazillion times. So, as soon as it was over we turned it off and made the kids look at nature. And we actually saw just a teeny amount of snow and some icicles hanging off the rocks so we officially declared that we'd had a white Christmas.

I've got many more tales to tell, but don't want to run on an on. Tomorrow's installment....Santa's showing the first signs of Alzheimers.

Friday, December 28, 2007

Home Again, Home Again Jiggety Jig!

We are home. The mountain was traversed -- to nauseating effect -- in dense fog and much rain. The dirty clothes are washed -- or are washing as I write, if we're being technical. The groceries have been shopped and put away. The Christmas toys played and put away (thanks to the direction of Mr. Daddy).

And the hallelujah jeans? Just as wonderful as the day I tried them on. Just ask the people at Dollywood who saw them every day!

Stay tuned....stories to come!

I missed you guys!!

Thursday, December 20, 2007

A Gift from Me to You

Okay, I know I said I was done, but I lied. But really, you'll thank me for this.

I just finished baking 4 dozen chocolate chocolate-chip cookies -- FROM SCRATCH! (applause,applause). Thank yuh. Thank yuh verruh much!

Anyhoo, I also just made the most delicious hot artichoke dip ever created. I can't take any credit for it or anything. It is one of the easiest recipes on earth and I'm just following the directions. But I thought I would share it with you guys because I love you so much. If you don't already have this recipe, you MUST try it.

3/4 cup mayo
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
1/2 cup jack cheese
1- 4 oz can of chopped green chilies
1 small jar artichoke hearts, drained.

Mix together. Bake at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes. Eat with copious amounts of Fritos.


By the way, if I keep eating like I have over the past couple of days, there's no way I'm fitting in the Hallelujah Jeans, as Burgh Baby's Mom has so aptly dubbed them!

Monday, December 17, 2007

And I Heard Her Exclaim as She Drove Out of Sight....

....why on earth did I wait so long to do this stuff??

So, you can see, I'm a running a little behind on my Christmas to-do list. Because of that, I think I'm signing off until after Christmas.

We're heading out to Dollywood and Pigeon Forge on Christmas Day. We'll be back on the 28th and I'm sure I'll have plenty of excellent blog fodder. Ooh ooh, maybe I'll get to see Dolly herself. How awesome would that be?!

I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas. Be safe. Eat well. Hug your loved ones. Or call them on the phone.

Merry Christmas!

My Little Grinch Heart Grew Three Sizes Today

So, about a month ago our church sent out a call for kids for this year's Christmas play. We asked Bubba if he wanted to be in it and of course he said he did (the kid is meant for the stage, I'm telling you!). And then we found out that rehearsals were TWO HOURS every Sunday for a 6 weeks and we immediately set about trying to change his mind. (We're a terrible influence, I know.)

Every Sunday we'd say "Are you suuuuurrrreee you want to be in the play."

And every week he'd emphatically assure us that YES, he wanted to be in the play.

Mr. Daddy took the brunt of this, really. Every week, Mr. Daddy and Bubba would head back to church while I sat here in the blessed quiet while Punkin napped. At the first rehearsal we found out that Bubba was to be a stable animal, though we didn't yet know what kind, and would only sing two songs yet was required to stay for the entire rehearsal.

"Whose bright idea was it to have a bunch of 4 and 5 year-olds sit around for two hours, waiting to sing two songs?" I asked.

"I don't know," Mr. Daddy replied. "But it was torture!"

On it went for several weeks. And then finally last week we got our animal assignment. We were a cow.

"Oh," Mr. Daddy said. "And we have to have his costume by next week. It has to be black or white sweats with coordinating cow spots."

"WHAT?" I had been under the impression that the church was going to be supplying the costumes. But even if not, they shouldn't wait until the WEEK of the performance to give us our costume assignments. We've been meeting for 6 weeks, for pete's sake.

So. I made a cow costume. It wasn't that hard really. I had been most concerned about being able to find appropriate colored sweats, but those were fairly easily located at Target. And then the ears had been a little bit of a conundrum, but Karen, our resident sewing and cow expert, told me exactly what I needed to do. And despite the fact that last week was somewhat hectic, I managed to get the costume completed. What do you think:

(For the record, I think Bubba is starting to exhibit the traits of the "can't keep your eyes open in a photo" gene that I passed on to him).

I thought it turned out rather well, if I do say so myself! Especially the ears! (Thanks, Karen!!).

And then so Saturday was the dress rehearsal. I ended up taking Bubba and when we arrived at the church, it immediately became obvious that I was one of about three mothers who had been required to make a costume. All of the other costumes were being supplied by the church. WTH? My frustration and pique were somewhat -- okay, a lot -- assuaged by all the compliments we received on our costume, but STILL.

As we were leaving, the lady in charge told all the kids to leave their costumes at the church. I spoke up and said "Well, I made his costume myself. It doesn't belong to the church. And also, he wore it here so he doesn't have any other clothes. "

"Oh. Well." she replied, looking a little perturbed. "Okaaaay. Just don't forget to bring it tomorrow!"

No duh, lady. I felt like saying "Like I've gone through all this effort to make the d-a-m-n thing and then we'll just oops! forget it on the day of the actual performance." But since it was church I let it slide. Also, she didn't really seem like she would catch the sarcasm.

And finally the day of the performance arrived. The play was the story of a modern day family, re-discovering the joys of being together for the holidays, intercut with the story of Mary and Joseph and their journey to Bethlehem.

And I watched Bubba, up on that stage, and I felt all the frustrations and irritations associated with the endless rehearsals and costume drama slip away. There was not a child in the production older than 12 and it was heartwarming to see them bring this age old story to life. Even though it was not the most tuneful production I've ever heard, it was really wonderful to hear all those little voices singing together, singing their little hearts out. It won't be long before they're all too self-conscious to sing, before some grinch tells them they're no good. But at that moment, they were full of love and pride and happiness. And they were making a joyful noise.

And there I was, Mr. Daddy on my left, my mom and step-dad on my right, Punkin alternating laps as she deemed necessary. Family. All around. And then we sang "We Wish You a Merry Christmas" and it there it was. My Christmas Spirit. Returned.

I wish YOU a Merry Christmas.

Friday, December 14, 2007

The Tell Tale Cough

Thanks for all the well wishes for Punkin. She had a better night and seems to be on the mend, though now the croupy cough sounds a little more congest-y. We'll see.

But y'all. This coughing thing has got to stop. If the U.S. Government wants to break some terrorists, forget waterboarding. Just put them in a room with a bunch of coughing toddlers and pre-schoolers. They'll snap within five minutes and spill all their secrets.

At my house, someone, and sometimes someTWO, have been been coughing since October. We've been struggling to get a handle on Bubba's intermittent asthma since early fall. Finally on Tuesday I took him to our pediatrician and pleaded with him to have mercy on my ears and my sanity. He finally diagnosed him with persistent asthma and put him on Singulair. And I have to say, so far, it seems to be working -- though I probably just jinxed everything by saying that.

So one well, or almost well. Only one more to go!

Thursday, December 13, 2007

In Which I Obsess in the Middle of the Night.

It's 1:35 am and I'm blogging. That's rarely good. I've just got 1000 things on my mind and too much to do over the next 3 or 4 days. Plus, Punkin has croup and is restless. Not sure what to do about the childcare situation tomorrow. I've been out so much recently with sick children that it's starting to feel embarrassing.

I've taken a sleep aid and am waiting for it to kick in. In the meantime, do any of you, lovely readers, know how to make a cow's ear out of felt? I have to make a cow costume for the church play that Bubba is in this weekend and frankly, right now, I can't even think what a cow's ear LOOKS like, much less how to make one.

Help me, oh internets. You're my only hope. You and The Google.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Hallelujah! Hallelujah!

What's that sound, you ask? Why that would be the Handel's Hallelujah Chorus. Why you ask? Well, one because I love it and it reminds me of my childhood when my mom would sing it every Christmas in a local chorus, BUT, also because today, I found the perfect jeans.

I know you're probably thinking, "Yeah, right. There's no such thing."

But there is. Yes, Virginia, there IS a perfect jean. I have found them and I love them. And I owe it all to Burgh Baby's Mom. She told us about these jeans weeks ago and then she kept teasing us, dropping little hints, but never actually telling us what they were. It was starting to be like Joshilyn Jackson's Crazy Farm Plan. But I guess there were enough of us bugging the heck out of her in the comments that she finally realized how desperate we truly were.

Tonight I went and tried them on. They were perfect. Not too tight. Not too loose. Not too high in the waist. Not too low. Just the right amount of fabric around the middle. The perfect color. They're called the "Curvy," which I much prefer to "Can't get rid of these last 15 lbs of baby fat." They make me look more like my pre-baby self.

One of the hardest things to deal with post-baby were the changes in my body. I never had an awesome body -- though now I look at pictures of myself in high school and college and weep -- but I had a nice figure and a small waist. Waist? What is this waist you speak of? Now? Now I have the perpetual muffin top. When I shop for bathing suits I feel more like this:

Than even this:

(Which is totally NOT fat, by the way!!)

But the hardest part is what I call the "c-section shelf." After two c-sections, I have a "Dunlop Belly." What's that, you ask? My belly has done lopped over my c-section scar. It makes wearing a bikini nigh on impossible.

The frustrating thing about that is that if we had stayed in Savannah, my doctor would have taken care of that for me after Punkin was born. He was known around town as being the doctor who would do modified tummy tucks after c-sections. He would only do them if you were pretty sure you weren't having any more children and before sewing you up post-baby, he would just remove a little extra skin. Sigh. I swear I briefly thought of having him deliver Punkin as well, even though he was four hours away. Vanity, thy name is Madame Queen.

So my search for the perfect jean is really all about my search for my pre-baby body. But to get that body means I'd have to work really hard and go to the gym more than twice a year. So I don't know about you, but I'd rather get my pre-baby body at the Gap.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Ten More Things AND a Meme!

Lulu tagged me for a meme the other day. Thanks, girl! The Rules are:

-Link to the person that tagged you, and post the rules on your blog.
-Share 7 facts about yourself.
-Tag 7 random people at the end of your post, and include links to their blogs.
-Let each person know that they have been tagged by leaving a comment on their blog.

I'm just going to state right up front that I'm going to cheat on this meme. Since I'm supposed to list 7 facts about myself, I'm just going to combine that with another 10 things in my trek towards "100 Things." Multi-tasking, if you will. If you really want to see blog multitasking at its finest, check out THIS link -- a haiku and a meme!

Also, I'm not going to tag seven people. I just did a meme and tagged several of you, and I just don't feel comfortable tagging anybody else right now. If you want to do this meme, please feel free to tag yourself. I'm probably breaking all kinds of bloggy rules, but hey, whaddaya gonna do?

So here we go. Ten more things.

80. I have a Bachelor's degree in English from the University where I am currently employed, but I had never actually used that degree until I got my current job.

79. When I was in school, I had about 3 or 4 different majors. They weren't all official, but I changed my mind many, many times. I was pre-med and pre-nursing for a while.

78. I almost went to grad school at the University of Vermont. I drove up from Georgia -- BY MYSELF -- and visited the school, met with professors, etc. The trip itself was awesome. But when I got to Vermont there was still snow on the ground in March. Me? I'm not so much a cold weather girl. I ended up staying in Georgia.

77. A friend and I once got embarrassingly, snortingly, hysterical at the English honor society induction ceremony when the Sigma Tau Delta advisor told us we could all qualify for an STD scholarship.

76. My great-grandfather fought in the Civil War. Weird, huh? He was 72 years old when my grandfather was born.

75. It causes me a little bit of anxiety when my kids take the paper off the crayons. I don't stop them from doing it but I really wish they wouldn't.

74. Same with mixing the play-doh colors.

73. I was only the second junior editor ever of my high school yearbook.

72. I took 4 AP classes my senior year. I only got credit for 2 of them -- English and Biology.

71. I used to be able to type about 90 wpm with about 95% accuracy. Now I'm down to about 60 wpm, but my accuracy is still pretty decent. I can type by touch without looking at the keyboard.

So there we go. Ten more things. I hope you guys are continuing to find this interesting.

Oh, and you have to check this link out. See, she used to be pretty. And I still love her. Thanks to All Adither for her comment or I never would have gone looking for her -- or even known where to start!

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Like Mother, Like Daughter

Posting about my awesomely rad fur coat the other day made me start reminiscing about my childhood. I was a little bit of a contradiction even back then. I was kind of tomboy but definitely loved my girly stuff.

My brother is 6 1/2 years older than I am, and of course I always wanted to be doing what he and his friends were doing, which meant that I had to be rough and tumble girl -- and I have the scars to prove it! In fact, the second time I had to have stitches after playing with my brother, my mom told him that if I had to have stitches again and it was his fault, he was going to have to get the same number in the same place whether he needed them or not. Brilliant threat = no more stitches for ME!!

BUT, I also had my box of dress up clothes. This was in the days before the Disney Princess marketing extravaganza started, so there were no princess dresses in my costume repertoire -- only castoff dresses of my mom's, some of my old tap/ballet costumes, my mother's belly dancing costume (this requires a post in and of itself -- remind me!), and a gorgeous pink, dotted Swiss dress that my mom made for me. I was ALWAYS in costume. One of my favorites was a navy blue polyester dress that had a full, pleated, circle skirt. When I twirled around in that thing, I could get full expansion of the pleats and have that thing spinning in a complete circle around me.

But oddly enough I was never really into dolls. I had some Barbies and I would play with them sporadically. When the Cabbage Patch Kids came along I HAD TO HAVE one (Angus Alfred, is in fact, featured on this page. Try not to stare, he seems to have picked up some kind of skin condition over the years.). But most of my dolls got short shrift. The family joke about me is that all of my dolls usually ended up naked, in a box, under my bed.

Except Audrey. Audrey was a favorite of mine. My family likes to joke it was because you couldn't get her completely undressed. But Audrey met with a

See, Audrey got left on top of a heater. And her hair, being the lovely auburn plastic strands that they were , melted so that it stands STRAIGHT UP on top of her head. As a child I did everything I could to get her hair to lay down. I wet it. I combed it. I cut it. I put barrettes in it only to have them fwwwwp stand straight up, still clasped firmly on her hair. I honestly can't even remember what Audrey looked like in her BEFORE state. I can only remember her after.

Anyway, she was one of the few dolls that didn't end up naked under my bed. Maybe it was because she was a challenge!

Over the past couple of days, I noticed something around our house. See if you notice anything. Take a look at this:

And this:

Notice a pattern?

And last but not least:

Nature vs. nurture? No contest. It's in her genes, baby!

Friday, December 7, 2007

Thank God it's Friday!

Can I just tell y'all that it's been a rough week? It started out good, but then it went quickly to you -know-where in a lovely, handwoven handbasket.

I had to attend a work event Tuesday night, so Mr. Daddy picked up the kids. I called home to check on how everybody's day went. Turns out, Punkin started crying at daycare and got herself so worked up that she threw up. The teacher is not quite certain what got her so upset. "Oh," the teacher said, "she also has a low grade fever." Great!

Quick aside: When I picked Punkin up on Monday, I had a lovely little note telling me that Punkin "got frustrated while she was playing and bit two of her friends." Trying to get information out of a 2-year-old about why she bit a friend is like trying to get blood out of a turnip. Our conversation went something like this."

"Punkin, did you bite somebody today?"

"Yes. I bite Hailey."

"Why did you do that, Punkin?"

"Hailey get ice pack."

"Yes, I understand that. But WHY did you bite Hailey? Were you upset about something?"


"What were you upset about?"

"I bite Hailey."

Okay then. That clears everything up. We did that same round of questions and non-answers about three more times before I gave up. BUT, in light of the fever on Tuesday, I'm thinking the oncoming virus is what made her go all bitey on Monday. Maybe. Hopefully.

Back to main story: Let me also note for you that every time, literally every time, I have to go to a work related event, Punkin somehow manages to get sick, and she usually throws up while I'm gone, which absolutely freaks Mr. Daddy out. He does not have my awesome throw up handling skills. He has been known to call me in major panic mode about what to do.

Fortunately, she didn't throw up while I was gone, but her fever was pretty high by the time I got home. I ended up making a pallet by her bed and sleeping on the floor Tuesday night. Amazingly, I actually slept pretty well.

Wednesday night, though, was like having a newborn in the house again. I was up about every two hours, going in, calming her, finding her higgie, her bear, her Ariel blankie, her cup.

And now I just spilled coffee on my cream colored corduroy pants. And no, I'm not organized enough to have Shout wipes or some such in my desk or in my purse. So, thank God it's Friday. I know Sunday is the traditional start of the week, but do you think just this time we could start over on Saturday? If we could work it out, that would be great.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Ladies and Gentlemen, We Have a Winner!

And the winner of the 28" tall Miffy from Ty's Toy Box is... (drumroll, please).....Burgh Baby's Mom! Thank you all so much for playing! BBM, your ginormous Miffy should be on its way to you shortly.

And speaking of Burgh Baby's Mom, she tagged me at least a week ago for a meme she created. And it is a good meme, too. It made me do some thinkin'. But, I had so much going on over the weekend, which I still haven't gotten around to telling y'all about, and then I had the Miffy giveaway that I was committed to, and then I had to post about Bubba's birthday.

So. Finally. Here we go! My mission, should I choose to accept it, is to list my favorite childhood gift, my favorite gift I received as an adult and a gift I would like to receive in the future.

This one was the hardest for me. I had a lot of great gifts as a child. My dollhouse, my walkman and my camera all came to mind. And then it hit me. The greatest, most wonderful thing a girl like me could have ever hoped to have. My fur coat. My rabbit fur coat to be exact. It looked just like this:

This is obviously not me in this photo, but man, when I wore that coat I thought I was hot stuff. I don't remember exactly which Christmas I got that coat, but I was probably about 8 years old. I've always had delusions of glamour and champagne taste (on a beer budget these days!). There was nothing more sophisticated and glamorous in my eyes than a fur coat. I wore the thin until it was way too small, along with a pair of black, extremely high heels that my mother found at a yard sale for me. Looking back, I probably looked like a very small prostitute, but I was in heaven wearing that coat.

The year that Bubba was born, Mr. Daddy bought me a Timex watch with a very thin, black band. I wore it every day until the band broke and have been watch-less ever since (hint, hint). He also bought me a very lovely pair of pearl stud earrings that I still wear almost daily. I liked both gifts because they're classy and understated and I don't really have to think about them. They go with everything.

Okay, I'm shooting for the moon here, but what the heck. I would like a for real and true Cashmere sweater. Something like this gorgeous number from Ralph Lauren:

Of course I want this girls figure, too. A girl can dream, right?
I also love this one, also from Mr. Lauren:

One day, it will be mine. Oh yes, it will be mine. When there are no peanut buttery, playdoh'd, M&M'd fingers to wipe all over it. Hey, at least I have something to look forward to!

So now I have to tag three of you. I know it's the supercrazy, busy time of year, so if you don't get to it right away, I understand. Hey, I have no room to talk! So, I'm tagging Sophie at A Hole in the Fence because I like hearing stories about her family, Esme at Blowtorch in the Middle because she has figured out some way to get each of her kids only one gift from Santa (teach me your ways, oh wise one!), and Tootsie Farklepants because she and I are very similar -- both in mid-thirties, both Libras. Also, I'm new to her blog, so I just want to know a little bit more about her. And finally, her childhood Santa didn't wrap gifts either.

Feel free to use the gorgeous "Christmas Past, Present, Future" button that Burgh Baby's Mom created. And then tag three more people.

So that's it. I will eventually get around to you about the awesomely fun thing we did last weekend. But I have a sick toddler. Yay! So fun. As tired as I am, it may be a day or two. But if anybody's going to cut me any slack, I figure it will be you guys.

Monday, December 3, 2007

Happy Birthday, Bubba!

Today, December 3rd, is Bubba's birthday. He is five. I cannot believe that my firstborn is now five years old. I can remember his birth like it was yesterday. And in honor of his birthday, I'm going to tell his birth story.

First a little back story. When I was in seventh grade I had appendicitis. Or at least that's what they thought until they did the surgery. Turns out I had a ruptured ovarian cyst and it was bad. In fact, it was so bad that they cut off part of my right ovary. The surgeon (who was my small town doctor) said he didn't know if it would affect my fertility or not. Um. NOT. I am, in fact, Fertile Myrtle. You can practically just look at me with a gleam in your eye and I'll get pregnant. It wasn't until I started talking to other moms and meeting a lot of women who had fertility issues that I realized how fortunate I am.

Anyway, I got pregnant with Bubba right away. Here I am, just barely pregnant:

And this pregnancy, compared with Punkin's, was a breeze. I suffered very little morning sickness, although I can remember clear as day when it struck. I was cooking chicken with balsamic vinegar and had to stop in the middle of cooking and lay my head on the cool tile countertop. Shudder. I could barely eat chicken for the rest of the pregnancy.

As we neared nine months, my grandmother fell ill and I was told she was not expected to live very long. This caused me great distress because I was in Savannah and she was in my hometown 4 hours away. I talked to my doctor about wanting to go home and visit one last time and we talked about inducing me. It was only about a week early and I didn't feel like it was pushing things. My doctor was great and he was very no-nonsense, common sense kind of guy.

So, we scheduled the induction for December 3rd. We checked in around 5:00 or 5:30 and they started me on the pitocin. My doctor came by around 9:00 and broke my water. When making out my birth plan, my plan had basically been to play it by ear. I was going to try to go "natural" but was fully prepared to cave in and beg for an epidural without making myself feel guilty. I think I lasted, oh, maybe half an hour. The contractions just kept coming one on top of the other and I couldn't get over one before the next wave hit. It was truly like no other pain I've ever felt (disclaimer in case there are any first time pregnant women reading: Pitocin makes contractions worse. At least that's what they tell me. I have nothing to compare my experience to, but don't freak out, you'll be fiiiine.)

My hospital had two anesthesiologists just for the labor and delivery floor so I didn't have to wait long for the blessed relief. My mom called to check on me --she was on her way down -- and I confessed that the entire time I had been in excruciating pain, all I could think of was Melanie Wilkes, birthing Ashley's baby in the Georgia summer heat, Yankees on the way, and only a knife under the bed to cut the pain. We both had a good laugh. I could laugh now. I was feelin' no pain.

About lunch time my doctor came and turned off my pitocin. We all sat around and stared at each other.

Around five my doctor came back. My contractions had slowed considerably, so he started the pitocin back up and stepped out into the hall.

"Oh, look!" I said, watching the monitor. "A really big contraction!" I was so busy watching the spike that I didn't notice the red warning lights flashing everywhere until my doctor burst into the room followed by about 6-7 nurses.

Honestly, the rest is a little bit of a blur. They threw my bed back, gave me some kind of shot, hustled my mom and my MIL out of the room, told Mr. Daddy to run into the hall and ask for "Daddy clothes."

I heard the words "c-section" and "fetal distress." There was discussion of whether one of the two operating rooms on the floor were ready. Apparently both had just finished with a surgery and the floor inside both was still wet.

We arrived at screeching halt in the operating room. The anesthesiologist administered the goods in record time and the next thing I know, Bubba was there. Screaming. Healthy. Alive.

From the time my doctor rushed into my room until the moment he pulled Bubba out was eight minutes. Eight. Minutes. By this time Mr. Daddy and I were both sobbing with joy. Fear. Release.

Here's a picture of my little man. I edited out his bits and pieces, which were, um, surprisingly large. I know now that's normal, but it was a little shocking at first.

And Bubba was a good baby. I didn't know it then, but he was a really easy baby. He was a good nurser, despite a few early latching problems. And he got FAT! Good fat. But fat.

And once upon a time, he was a good eater.

We call this photo "I can't believe I ate the whole thing!"

But this. THIS is my favorite photo of Bubba as a baby.

But of course they grow up. We hit the terrible twos. We went through our train phase. Here's Bubba in the Halloween costume I made for him when he was almost two.

Mr. Daddy drew the Chessie system Cat. Mr. Daddy is a from Huntington, WV, a real train town, so he was the expert on making the trail look real.

And now Bubba's five. FIVE! And he's such a sweet boy. He's so good to me and his daddy. He's so sweet to his sister. And he's very funny. And he loves to read. He wants to be a rock star so bad he can't stand it.

Happy Birthday, Bubba. I love you!

Don't forget to register for my contest. Go ahead and register! If you don't need the Miffy, give her to Toys for Tots. Oh, and Karen and Burgh Baby's Mom? I'm totally registering you. Give it away, but don't disqualify yourself!! It doesn't cost me or you anything to win!

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Random Blog Commenter...Come On Down!!! You're the Next Contestant

Boy this was a busy weekend, but I'll have to blog about that later. Today we have a contest. And who doesn't love a contest? Especially when you could win this:

In case you've been living in a cave and don't know who this is, this is Miffy. Oh, and THIS Miffy? She's 28" tall. That's right. I said twenty eight inches. And you can't get this Miffy anywhere else except here and Ty's Toy Box. See, Ty's knows where the real word-of-mouth power lies -- BLOGS!

I don't know about you, but I've done just about all of my holiday shopping online this year. I've used a variety of sites -- some good, some not so good. Ty's Toy Box is awesome because they have their site organized by characters and I've found that as my children get older that all of our toys are character-driven -- Thomas, Angelina, etc. But Ty's not only has the requisite Princesses, they also have Caillou, Charlie and Lola, and even Daniel Cook, who I think is a real cutie.

In case you haven't done all your shopping yet, Ty's is offering some really great deals right now. They are offering free shipping on any domestic order over $65 (and $10 shipping credit toward international orders over $65). And also, through the end of the day on December 3rd, if you use the coupon code HOLIDAY5 at checkout and get $5 off any $50+ order.

So you how do you get your hot little hands on that giant Miffy pictured up there? All you have to do is go over to Ty's Toy Box and browse around. Come back here and leave me a comment and tell me which toy your child would love to receive the most from Ty's. If you don't have children, or if your children are grown, tell me which toy you would most liked to have received as a child. Leave you comment before 11:59 pm on Wednesday December 5th. On Thursday, I will randomly pick one commenter to receive the giant Miffy doll. Even if you don't have a little girl in your life who would love this Miffy, this giant plush would be a great item to drop off at your local Toys for Tots station. Due to the size of the box to be shipped, only U.S. residents are eligible to win.

So if you want Miffy to come and live at your house, comment away! And good luck!

(Pssst: The best part about this Miffy? She doesn't require any batteries and she doesn't make any noise).