Monday, July 30, 2012

Pet Shop

We found a house. A beautiful, (almost) perfect, house. In the search for a new home - as it always is - it sucked. The weekend we went to Ohio, we did so by way of driving. If you map St. Louis to Cleveland it's a strong and solid: 9 hours 43 minutes. This does not take into consideration:
  • Traffic
  • Bathroom breaks
  • Where the hell is that binky breaks
  • Meal breaks
  • Bathroom breaks
  • Diaper changing, good lord what is that smell, breaks
  • No seriously, where the hell is that binky breaks
  • Some kind of law that states it is inhumane to strap children into car seats for any amount of time that exceeds reasonable expectations
After stopping on the way in to catch a few hours of sleep, we drove straight to our first appointment, Friday morning, and spent the next two full days looking at houses. I didn't count, but my best guess is we saw at least 20 different homes. House Hunters, three houses, this was not. In a surprise twist, by in large, the kids were fantastic. L showed off her all too familiar knowledge of home tours, opening doors, exploring, including audible "oohhs" and "ahhhs" in all the right places. At one point, she noted that, "this kitchen has a lot of space. It opens right into this room." If she said, "great open floor plan" I would have died right there, but I don't know - I feel like her sentiments were right on target and close enough. Anyway, there were a lot of houses, and a lot to remember. The house we went with was the first we saw on Saturday morning, I wouldn't expect her to remember it exactly - though I wouldn't have been surprised if she had. 

I had found the house, listed on a website, that had pictures attached to it. I found the link again, and had her look at the pictures to jog her memory. As she skillfully flipped through the pictures on the phone, she got to the last picture - that was of the back yard. This is what I heard.

"Oooh. YEEEEESSS!!! This house comes with pet deer!"

Final picture of the house.
I'm already tearing her away from a home she loves, and friends she will miss. I was not going to take away her new pet deer. So I may or may not have corrected her. Instead, I said, "Um. Yea, but they only visit sometimes and we can't pet them. They are the kind of pets you just look at. Sometimes."

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Accidents Happen

Epilogue: Jessie has had a rough start. Sure she was cuddled and loved the whole way home, but shortly after dinner began her first night home there was a bit of an incident.

We're sitting at the dinner table talking about our day - the adventures we'll have before the move - the adventures ahead in Cleveland.

L raises her hand, high.

Me: "Um. L, do you have a question?"
L: "No. But I have to tell you something."
Me: "OK, go ahead."
L: "Well. Jessie fell in the toilet. Before I flushed. That is all."

I mean, at least she is organized, raises her hand, and comes CLEAN before she continues to snuggle with Peepee Jessie? Bright side, silver lining???

Did I mention, I'm not going to survive this kid?

Saturday, July 28, 2012


So. We're moving. And this time seems to be exponentially more difficult than the first (million) time(s).  We love it here. I'm not sure when I'll post this, because right now the moving news isn't social media friendly - but we've known for 48 hours (ish) that we are moving for sure. 72 hours if you count the call giving the ball & chain the unofficial official news. (Edited to note: I wrote this two weeks ago).

We've started a Farewell Tour of the STL. Much different than our first farewell tour. The night we told L that we were moving we made a list of all the places we wanted to visit one last time or see for the first time, before moving. We got started, right away. We told her Friday night, only hours after receiving the news. If I know one thing about my kid is she needs to know what's going on and have a plan. I don't know where she gets that from (sarcastic font). Saturday afternoon we were off to the races. Well, not so much the races, but the farm, Grant's Farm.  It's one of our favorite places.
  1. It's free (well parking is 15, but for the lot of us, it's free). 
  2. It's fun. There are all kinds of random animals, a train ride to get to the farm, for 5 bucks you get to feed goats with two bottles, a carousel ride and a snow cone. It's like a mini-zoo with all kinds of animals. It's just good ol'fashion fun. 
  3. It's owned by Anheuser-Busch- so you get two free samplings of beer. And it's on the honor system which I get a kick out of each and every time I think about it. We've never tested that honor, but I love that there are always the same two old men slinging beer behind a beautiful bar. 
  4. You get to see Clydesdale horses. They are friggin huge. They are the horses from the Budweiser commercial. 

We had our fun. The train ride, the walking around (side note: I am going to miss a lot about the STL, the heat? Not one of them. Not by a long shot), we got attacked by goats, rode the carousel, saw the horses. Good times had by all. Oh, and of course, partook in some sampling. Lord knows I needed to "sample" the Bud Light. It was glorious.

When it was time to leave, I wanted to stop at the gift shop. We love Christmas ornaments and I thought perhaps there would be one that we could take with us. We have thought about it a few times, this is likely the very last time we'll be here. Most likely the last time in St. Louis, absolutely (likely) the last time we'll be at Grant's Farm.

We found the perfect ornament (good thing, cause there were only two choices) and as I walked to the cashier I noticed a pile of stuffed animals. You know how they place them right by the cashier so the whining kids throwing a fit get their way - spoiled to the hills getting to take home a stuffed animal they don't need?

Well my kid is well trained. Sometimes she'll ask, but it's always with the idea of testing the waters. She'll say, "I can't get a X, right?" So when we say she is right and the activity itself is the treat she doesn't throw a fit and knows that she gave it a shot. Nothing gained, nothing lost.

This time? She didn't even ask.

But me? A Clydesdale of her very own. I don't know if I'm going to survive this move. I'm sad. And to fill the hole in my heart, I'm buying stuffed animals. Apparently.

The best 9.99 I've ever spent, Jessie (the horse's name) came home with us and I get it now, why parents buy their kids crap while they are on location. It's adorable. It's a habit I'm sure we don't want to continue, but I'm not quite sure if I'll be able to help myself.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

1 year.

Our littlest baby girl one years old. One year ago, you made us all feel slightly more whole. Surprisingly, when you love your child with your whole heart and another child comes into that heart? There is plenty of room. It's almost as if, there was something missing before - even if there wasn't. Confusing?  Maybe. But so are you. You are always a surprise. Your arrival was slightly surprising, your name surprising, your personality? SURPRISE. Come to think of it, even being knocked up was a surprise.

You are the best kind of surprise.

You (still) only have a few teeth - but that doesn't stop you from tearing through food. You have two bottom teeth and your two eye teeth are coming in. So basically, you are an adorable little vampire. We used to call you a vampire when you were little because you were always hungry - and let's just say it wasn't pretty.  Your favorite food seems to currently be mac & cheese, but you do love avocado, pasta (with sauce), and we haven't tested it - but we are fairly sure you would eat Chinese food everyday, all day - if it were up to you. Oh and pizza. Good lord, you love pizza. You love fruit - especially melons & peaches.

You are walking and it blows our mind, every day. Sometimes, it makes me cry. Not a bad cry or sad cry. I just can't believe how big you are. You are were my itty bitty baby. Fitting in newborn clothes, and even today - you are just getting to your "age" size. And even saying that, you still wear some 9 month clothing.

We are pretty sure you are a genius - answering yes or no questions or understanding 90% of what we say and reacting to it. Every time you learn something new or show us something different - we are surprised at how fast it is going. I have a feeling there will always be surprises in store for us, with you.

As always, and this should go without saying at this point - you are loved. Loved hard. And loved most by your big sister.

Happy birthday, JBird, JJ, JossyB, Pest, PleaseStopScreamingForTheLoveI'mGettingYouYourFoodAsFastAsPossible.

Love you much. Love you always. 

Mommy, Daddy & your adoring big sister.

Monday, July 23, 2012

The Moment

The night we told L we were moving was a major moment for me. I didn't know it would be, until it was happening.

The ball&chain got the official word Friday night (Edited to note: a week or so before posting this). The kid likes to plan, and we like to have her be apart of the plan, so we told her hours after finding out. Knowing this was a possibility for the last few weeks, even if only a small possibility, we'd begun to talk about the inevitable move. If not for this situation we'd be moving on in a year or so. While I consider her the smartest damn 4 year old I know, she is 4. If she were older, she probably would have picked up on my (not so) subtle hints that something was brewing. Every once in awhile I would weave into conversation the topic of moving. The topic and conversation would be benign and would normally go a little like this.

Me: "L, what do you think? We will move someday - this isn't our forever home. It might be in a few months, maybe 6, maybe a year, maybe more. What do you think?"
Her: "I hope we move to San Diego."

Alas kid, San Diego is not in the cards, but at least I got her thinking about it.

The night we told her was this weird moment in time I don't know that I expected. As we told her about the exciting news, we were all smiles. We told her about Daddy's new job, that there would be less traveling, that we'd be moving like we did last time.  We told her about Cleveland and all the fun things to do. We told her that she'd help us look for a new house, that this time she would come with us to find our next home. She took it all in, all smiles. Then there was this moment, where I may or may not have been near tears. It all flashed in front of me. I realized that this is it. For real. And it was going to happen fast. Even though I have been mentally preparing that it was likely to happen, it now very was real. I started to think more about the first time we did this. And how hard it was for her. This was going to be worse. My little girl would obviously survive, but this wasn't going to be all smiles for her.

I am near tears, and it's at this moment, this weird moment in time I realize I've stopped looking so excited and she is staring me down. Trying to figure me out. Trying to figure out how she is supposed to feel; how is she supposed to react.

I identify being a mother probably more so than I identify with any role I have in life - but how weird is this: at that very moment in time I felt like a mother so clearly it was as if I never felt like a mom, parent, protector - ever. This little person, looking to me. Depending on me, on us.

Have I mentioned, I'm not going to survive these kids?

I'm going to do my best to smile my way through this hott mess of a situation, because she's watching. She's looking to us on what steps to take and I'd like them to be the easiest steps.

In related news: this parenting thing is freaking hard.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Life lesson: Don't get too comfortable.

We love where we live. While we are far from family and friends, we are making our way here in our little neighborhood in St. Louis, Missouri. The people are great, our neighborhood is what hometown feel good movies are made of, the kid has some good friendships, and I'm making good connections with some locals. It's nice. It's comfortable.

We love our home, our landlords are wonderful, the house is put together. It's our home. We are happy. While the ball&chain travels more than I would like, it isn't (always) so bad. We are in a great routine, I get to work from home, the kids are well taken care of. The baby is walking now and starting to form a little personality and this comes with a nice and reliable schedule. Basically? Everything has fallen into place. We have hit our stride. We are happy.

Don't you feel warm, fuzzy, and all calm inside?
Yeah, I do did too.


Long story short: a few short weeks ago the ball&chain gets a phone call from his manager. He is doing well in his role, and while the plan was for him to stay in this role for two years, there is an interest for him to interview for a new role. In a different section of the company. This is a great opportunity for him, and by all accounts, who wouldn't be thrilled to be thought of for an exciting role, one that would afford him continued career advancement? By all intensive purposes there is a feeling of pride for my husband. He is good at his job kicks ass. He is sought after. It isn't a bad place to be. Speaking of place to be, where might this new and exciting role be?

It isn't in the comfort of our aforementioned lovely and comfortable home. And not even in this state. And not even in this region of the country (I don't think). Note: we've been here for a year. One year. One month.

Of course, we are moving (quickly) to another state I have never been to.


Cleveland, Ohio.

I know. Cleveland, rocks.

And if that doesn't get you pumped, perhaps this will.*

Yeah, this is what is sent to me. Because, I guess... my friends rock. 

This is not a drill. More later, when I scrape my brain from the walls because BOOM. Head.Explodes.

*disclaimer, I'm not hating on the Cleve. We are really excited. I hear great things about it and it seems to be a really family friendly city with warm neighborhoods, wonderful towns, and all that a young family would like to see offered. I am not, however, excited for everything else that will come with moving. We are excited to explore our new city, just incredibly sad to leave the one we have grown to love in such a short amount of time. I guess I lash out when I'm sad. I have issues, if you've been here before I'm not sure this is a shock. Because if you didn't get the hint - WE JUST FREAKING MOVED HERE. 

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Mommy (dearest) Moment

Sunday was a tough day. Can't (don't wanna) go into all of the details (yet) but long story short: it sucked. A big ass stress ball of suck. It was nap time for the kids, and as it happens when they are both going down at the same time - sometimes it's easier to put L in our room and JJ in their room. No distraction, JJ doesn't try talking to L - sometimes gaining a second wind, thus nap time being a colossal fail. And this particular Sunday, I wanted them to nap. I wanted to sit on the couch and do nothing. I didn't even have the TV on. Just sitting. In quiet.

They haven't been feeling well, so that doesn't actually help matters - everyone is a scooch too whiny and cranky. It's awesome. I put L in our room and JJ in hers and all was right with the world.

For 5 minutes.

L comes down stairs about 5-10 minutes later saying she can't sleep without the smoke machine. Meaning her humidifier, which is in the girls' room - not ours. Which is where she should be sleeping in that moment. It doesn't make sense for me to go in their room, try to unhook it, and move it at this point.  I tell her to shake it off and go to sleep, but she's whiny and cranky - and to be fair - stuffed up. I concede; she can go in her room but we have to SO quiet because we can't wake up the baby.  She agrees and creep into the room we go.

I set up the humidifier and L starts whining saying she wants her cat stuffed animal that is currently in our bed. Home girl has about 49,865,374 other stuffed animals in her room - so I tell her to choose one of those, I'm not coming in and out, the baby is sleeping. Be quiet. She asks again, the same kind of exchange - we are whispering - and at this point I'm hissing at her to be quiet. Right as I go to leave, a 3 foot tall stuffed raccoon comes crashing down on the stupid ass smoke machine and not only spills water everywhere but wakes up the beast JJ. Somehow she falls right back to sleep (first time ever) and I turn to leave, hissing to L to be quiet, go to bed, and stop with the cat. Go to sleep.

5 minutes later I hear the bitter patter of lead foot L coming in and out of their room into mine, doors are slamming (accidentally, but slamming none the less) and the baby wakes up (shocking). I go to run up the stairs yelling "L, that BETTER NOT BE YOU!" And I hear something drop, like plastic to the floor.

I go in the girls' room and survey the scene.

The baby is screaming and crying. L is (pretending to be) sleeping. And positioned as only road kill can be positioned, the f'ing cat is laying out on the floor. That was the plastic dropping. She heard me scream, panicked, and left the cat on the floor as road kill.

I picked up the cat and launched it at her, not hitting her with it (because I have horrible aim) and hissed something about "are you happy now?"  I took the baby out, brought her downstairs and starting making her a bottle. Before I fed my poor over tied, sick, and hungry kid I marched up the stairs on a (crazy mom) mission.

I busted into her room like a bat out of hell - dropped JJ in her crib (crying) and took crazy mom to a whole 'nother level. Muttering in angry phrases like:
  • You want to not listen to me? 
  • I'll show you to not listen. 
  • You wanted the cat, and now you will snuggle with NOTHING!
  • Wake up your sister. Are you kidding me? 
  • Unbelievable. 
As the crazy words came out of my mouth I took armfuls of stuffed animals, toys, and dolls and took them all out of her room. In my crazy haze, I even took whatever was in JJ's crib out. I launched them into our office. The strange thing (well, actually there was a lot of strange going on - if I'm being honest) was that she didn't even really freak out. It's like she knew she was lucking out. She knew she messed up, so while she teared up a bit - she wasn't melting down that all of her beloved animals and dolls were being forcefully removed from her room.

She can earn a few animals back at a time and our office will look like the toy aisle for a bit, but I believe my point was taken. Apparently parenting like a lunatic really works, who knew?

Toy (story) graveyard. Where good toys go when their is girl is bad.

Monday, July 2, 2012

He says v1

I wish my husband had a twitter account, or updated his Facebook - because he says funny sht. This has been in my drafts for close to year - so I need to (clearly) get better at posting his random thoughts- cause lord knows he won't.

I'm sure he's thrilled {sarcastic font}.

We were discusses how EVERYTHING is in 3D know.

"Why 3D, why now? I live my whole life with 2D. Keep the other D."

I thought parrots were smaller?

Lately L's been a bit more dangerous to be around, in terms of what she repeats. Some things, you wish she wouldn't pick up, she does and others she can't grasp - you wish she would. Pretty much a typical parenting conundrum. 

In my last post, I mentioned that my kid may or may not be working on a British accent. Maybe this is a Midwestern accent?  This happens lately. She sees something or hears something and tries to replicate it.

The day of the video she was bombarded with accents. In a commercial she watched on a loop for 10 minutes, watching Nanny McFee, and then later on Brave.

Side story: a week or so ago, L became obsessed with a commercial. I don't know when she saw it or how (see: terrible parenting trend), but I needed to find it. She kept talking about it. I HAD to find it on YouTube to make it stop. Here's how she explained it: "He throws the mail at the door. Well he opens the door. And then the man says 'Oye!" I took it to Facebook and got my answer. Here's her reaction to the commercial.

Here's the thing, beyond the accent. She repeats things too, sometimes with the accent sometimes, without. Sometimes she repeats things wrong.  All times, it's hilarious. 

Examples include but not limited to:
  • Her new go to word is, "Oye." Thank you {sarcastic font}, Richard Branson and your Virgin Mobile commercial. I thought it was annoying when she just kept repeating over and over again the barely descriptive description. "You know what I'm talking 'bout, Mama? He throws the mail at the door. Well he opens the door. And then the man says 'Oye! You know???" NO, I DO NOT KID!!!!! Now? Everything. Is. OYE. She drops something, "oye." She wants something, "oye." She uses it as a replacement to words like: so, but, the, huh, what - really the list goes on.

  • I was watching Bunheads. It's The Gilmore Girls, with ballet instead of post-teenage pregnancy. It's about teenagers in ballet (and other stuff) and it's on ABC Family. So of course they talk about sex {sarcastic font}.  Awesome.  L was in the other part of the living room, I thought she wasn't paying attention.

    10 minutes later, she's playing pretend - I hear her conversation.

    "You have sex. Don't have sex. They had sex. Sex. Sex. Sex."
    Fine that last part didn't happen, but she was talking about sex, a lot. I asked where did she hear that (full well knowing where she got it).  Of course, she said the television, to which I could do the only thing I could.

    "NO! They didn't say that. They said SIT. Don't sit! They are sitting. Because they are dancing, and they don't want anyone to sit."

    "OHHHH, that makes sense, Mama."

  • We saw Brave the other day. It is a lovely movie, a bit scary at parts, but great. It takes place in Scotland, the visuals are amazing - but the accents were hard for her to follow sometimes. It's all about a princess who wants to change her fate. She seeks out the help of a witch to help with a spell. A spell is cast on her mother - to change her fate. On our way home from the movie, this happens:

    "Mama. I'm curious. Why did she ask the witch for help? Why did she want to change her mom's feet?"

    The whole time, home girl thought it was about the Queen's feet.  To be fair, if you look at it literally, the spell did change the Queen's fate & feet.

  • We drove to a pizza place the other day. And despite being there a 100 times, I still have to use my GPS. As I opened the door for her to go in and grab dinner, she waltzes into the restaurant and screams. "We have REACHED our destiny!" in the perfect GPS voice.

All of this is to say, watch yourself around my kid. She has a memory that is long and she is not afraid to use it (against you). I shudder to think that she's running around camp telling people to not have sex. I mean, good message, kid but perhaps not the best one for you to be delivering.

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