Drew comes up with at least three hilarious things a day. I have got to start keeping a record of them, so every now and then a little post will show up with some quotes by Drew. Hope you like them as much as I do!
"I'm going to wave bye-bye to you, Daddy, but when you get back I'm still going to be frustrated at you!"
When we moved here 4 1/2 years ago, I was excited about all the special events that happen in a big(ger) city. Around October of that first year here, I started seeing commercials for the Radio City Christmas Show, playing at the Grand Ol' Opry. I begged Big Dan to take me. "The Rockettes!!" I pleaded. To which he said, "Yeah, the Rockettes. That's why we're not going." How could anyone NOT want to see the Rockettes. It was mind boggling. Every year I bring it up again and every year it gets a little laugh. I had kind of forgotten that I wanted to go, what with all the baby fog hanging around.
Then my birthday came. And Big Dan gave me a hilarious letter letting me know that I had "will call" tickets to the Radio City Christmas Show waiting for me on December 23rd!!!!!!!!!!!! He also let me know that he made arrangements for my sister to go with me because he was afraid "his bad attitude would ruin the experience." Ha! Also included in the fun birthday package was dinner out for the two of us. The heavens opened and a light shone down on me in that moment. Katy and I actually get to see each other a lot. I'm SO thankful she's here. But our time usually consists of passing around babies, handing out snacks, refereeing playtime and trying to sort out the kid issue of the day. There is rarely time to sit and talk-about whatever we want. I couldn't wait.
The evening did not disappoint. Katy lives in a very cool part of town, so I made her be in charge of figuring out a place to eat (I'm bossy that way.) She, because she's awesome, sent me an email with several choices, complete with links to each restaurant's website. Niiiice! I chose the Eastland Cafe. And it was, well, spectacular. I'm thinking this should become "our" place, me and Kate. Of course, we won't be able to frequent it much as it's on the pricey side, but I'm sure we can find all manner of occasions to go. The meal was delicious. And leisurely. And delicious. We both cleaned our plates as we talked over all of life's intricacies. And then...dessert. We were stuffed, but it was an occasion that called out for dessert. So we ordered (prepare yourselves) blueberry beignets. Did you get that???? BLUEBERRY BEIGNETS for crying out loud! A beignet is pretty much a perfect food all on its' own, but with blueberries? Lying on a bed of white chocolate?? Whoever had this idea is my hero. A culinary genius. I tried to get a picture of the beauties, but because my photog skills are seriously lacking, they just looked like gray lumps on a plate. And I just couldn't do that to the beignets. It just wouldn't be fair.
After our fabulous dinner we scooted over to the Grand Ol' Opry along with the rest of the southeastern population! It was crowded. And we had to park far away. I tried to sass it up by wearing my high heeled boots. Like most of my fashion choices, this one was a whammy. Too far to walk in a pair of streetwalker boots!
I didn't know much about the show going into it. All I knew is that the Rockettes were going to be there. THE ROCKETTES! And they were there. And they were fabulous. I couldn't get enough. What I could get enough of was the in between "vignettes". The Santa Clause and weird dancers in obnoxious sweaters-it was all a bit much. And, please, no offense if you or someone you love had a part in making this show. The people around me loved it. It just seemed like an SNL skit to me. I fully expected Will Ferrel to be sporting that sweater and giving it the jazz hand treatment. Or for Justin Timberlake to pop out and say, "Give it on for Christmas-ville."
And there were little people in the show. And I don't mean kids. I mean those who are not average height. I have to tell you it was uncomfortable. In the "Little People Big World" era that we live in, it seemed kind of wrong. (My hands are sweating just writing about it!) There was a palpable tension when they appeared on the stage, like no one really knew how to feel about it. Please, let it stop, and bring back The Rockettes!
The show ended with a grand nativity scene. I was not prepared for this either. Don't get me wrong. I love the Baby Jesus. I celebrate the reason for the season, but I have to say it was an odd transition. And very reminiscent of our childhood church's Easter pageant. During the narration, any time the Baby Jesus was mentioned someone in the audience would give it a big "Wooooo!" Only in the south does the Baby Jesus get a big redneck "Woo!"
So, in summation:
More leisurely, kid-free dinners. Less lame photography.
The Tom Hanks movie where he and his girlfriend move into a beautiful two story house and then everything starts falling apart?? My favorite scene in this movie is when the tub falls through the floor and a pit-stained Hanks just starts laughing maniacally.
This morning I walked downstairs with the baby and was barely awake. She actually slept great last night, but when she woke up I was right in the middle of a super weird dream about a kid from my youth group. I haven't thought about him in a good twenty years, which is nice because he was rather obnoxious. Anyway, all that to say, that I was sort of in a stupor. Which is why I didn't notice the GIANT PUDDLE OF WATER in front of the fridge before I stepped in it. Do you ever notice when you encounter some sort of situation that appears bad, about 155 things run through your mind all at once? In the span of 30 seconds I had come up with about 15 reasons why there might be a giant puddle of water on my kitchen floor, and none of them were good. I finally realized that there was water pouring out of the water dispenser on the front of our fridge. This particular water dispenser has not dispensed one single drop of water in well over a year. Apparently, it was ready to make up for lost time.
I grabbed several towels and tried to slow down the accumulation of water. This conjures the image of the little kid putting his finger in the dam, and more water just keeps springing out. So, I had to wake up Big Dan. I had big plans to let Big Dan sleep in today. He's been home this week and has been getting up early with us. He had golf plans and I thought, "Wouldn't it be great to get to sleep in and then go play golf?" I tried, honey, I really did. It's just that the house has declared war on us. Obviously.
Big Dan got the water shut off (and I won't even go into the amount of funk that had accumulated under the fridge...) and figured out what had gone wrong. Next, we got on the phone with my dad, who handy enough, is an appliance parts salesman. Owns a whole store of them, actually. He is, by this point in my life, not at all surprised to get a call from me first thing in the morning about some broken down piece of my house. So, the part is on it's way.
This is about the fifth thing to go wrong around here in as many days. And, I SWEAR I did not break any of them! The handle on my microwave has been broken for a while and finally, during the Christmas party (naturally) the whole dang thing just pulled right off. All the while, the toilet upstairs was clogged. We were suspicious, what with all the short people running around. We would not have been surprised to find all manner of objects in there. We have some plumbing issues. Shocking, I know.
I fixed the microwave door with some Mighty Putty that I picked up on a whim at Target about two years ago. I was feeling rather smug at my accomplishment. I should've known better. Today I pulled the handle to open the door, and off it popped. Oh, Mighty Putty how you've failed me. Now, not only is the handle broken off, but there is also a big glob of cement stuck to the door. It's lovely.
And finally, during a particularly windy night, a complete section of our fence blew down. We figured this out when we came home from some shopping to find our dog, Barney, tied to our front porch. Our neighbor kid found him wandering around and was nice enough to bring him home and give him some water. So, now, I'm in charge of my dog's bodily functions as well. That's a whole lot of bathroom in my life right now. It's amazing how frequently he needs to go out when I'm involved.
The washing machine has a slow leak and the gutter came unattached from the roof again.
I'm gettin' ready to order up a big ol' case of duct tape.
Coming to you live from the land of the Christmas hangover!! Both family and home are officially ragged out from the amazing amounts of holiday fun we have had for the past 4 days! We have had a complete blast and there is NO WAY I could ever sum up all the festivities without writing for the next week and a half. I'm not that dedicated, and I'm pretty sure you don't want to read it all, so I'll give you the greatest hits.
We spent Christmas Eve with Daniel's dad and brothers. There were all sorts of activities taking place around the house.
Christmas wrapping paper cutting:
Making cookies for Santa:
And, of course, napping:
Continuing the Hamilton family ritual, Big Dan and Drew waited at the top of the stairs until I was ready.
Drew was slightly excited...
You should have seen the living room. It looked like we had 10 kids instead of 1 and a half! There is something to be said for being the only grandchild/nephew on one side of the family!!
Drew was wild as a buck all morning/day. And while the grown-ups were all down for the count Drew was going strong!
And just in case you think Emily was left out of the fun, don't you worry. Drew made quick work of the present Santa left for her!
Hamilton family Christmas Party
My side of the family came down on the day after Christmas so that we could all celebrate together. You can imagine the energy level. I'm pretty sure the house was vibrating!!
The big kids made birthday cakes for Jesus and we sang to Him.
I got exactly zero pictures of Hamilton family present time. I was playing elf and handing out presents and trying not to drown in all the wrapping paper! Things started out nice and orderly and slowly starting unraveling sometime around the time a sleigh was fashioned from a big box and a jump rope! Like every get together with the Hamiltons it was nuts...and perfect!
Emily insisted on wearing a party outfit. What could I do but oblige? I mean, it was Christmas afterall!
We wrapped up Hamilton family Christmas at Katy's house on Sunday late morning. The kids had a great time playing. Well, until they all hid in Lyla's new tent and colored on themselves with markers. And for the grand finale, Drew chucked one of Lyla's high heels at her and left a Christmas welt on her face. What's Christmas without a little cousin abuse??
I hope your Christmas celebration was as full of life as ours was!! We are blessed beyond measure and so thankful for our family.
So. I was watching the movie "Four Christmases" the other night. I lo-ove Reese Witherspoon and I thought the premise of the movie was promising since Big Dan and I have joked about taking a tropical vacation during Christmas to avoid the hub-bub. We would never do that, of course, because we love our families too much, but watching Reese Witherspoon and Vince Vaughn do it (or attempt to) seemed fun.
Anyway, I was watching the movie and during the part where Vince Vaughn goes to his dad's house-a redneck place with everything inside stuck in the 70's, where Vince Vaughn's sister-in-law serves Ritz crackers and Easy Cheeze-there was this:
And I am not lying when I tell you that this is the EXACT advent calendar hanging in my kitchen!!!!!!! I laughed about this for around two hours!!!!! See, this advent calendar has been around for as long as I can remember, hanging in my childhood home. I have no idea where it came from-in my mind, it's just always existed. When I was a senior in college I got my first apartment with my college roommate. At Christmas time we were excited to decorate our new place. Of course, we were broke, so our decorations were a hodge-podge and the mousie advent calendar hung proudly in our apartment. Yes, it hung proudly, but was mocked by all of my college friends relentlessly. This particular Christmas season was when Big Dan came back into my life. Little did he know the mousie advent calendar would be a part of his life 10 years later!!!!!
I love the thing. It takes me back to the Christmases of my childhood. Which, by the way, were a lot of fun. My mom was a tireless Christmas elf, always wanting everything to be magical. So when I look at the mousie, I remember. I remember listening to my Amy Grant Christmas tape on my ghetto blaster-stopping and rewinding "O Little Town of Bethlehem" practicing what was sure to be a masterful solo someday. I remember the year I got my pink and purple ten speed bike. I remember my sister, Kristin, screaming at every gift she opened. She's the kind of kid you want to have. I (and my son like me) was always a little more reserved with my excitement, but she was wide open and so much fun. I remember yummy lip balm in my stocking every year. The smell of it now always makes me think of Christmas.
So even if my mousie advent calendar was mocked in a movie, I'm keeping it. I'm standing by it. We will faithfully move that mouse every day of December for as long as I live...or until it falls apart. Because it's Christmas to me, man, it's Christmas.
Emily had a rough night. Don't run screaming-I'm not going to bore you with more tales from the troubled tummy. I only wanted to set the tone for today.
When I got up this morning (I would say woke up, but let's face it-I'd already done that about 25 times...) I was in the bitter barn. I am tired and I'm tired of my baby struggling. And it was raining. And Drew had that look in his eye that said, "I'm going to give you a run for your money today!" 3 year olds can sense weakness, you know. They are like predators in nature. My bleary eyes and disheveled hair were his signal to kick it up a notch. He was in time out before 8 o'clock.
Anyway, where were we? Oh yeah. The bitter barn.
So, I decided to take it easy today, let myself off the guilt hook and take the time to do some things I haven't done in...well...a while. We'll leave it at that. First stop-remove the funk. I took a shower. A long one. I'm squeaky clean now! Second, I used an actual hair dryer on my hair. Then a hair straightener. Then a (gasp) curling iron. I even dabbed in a little product. And then I realized I'm in serious need of a hair cut considering 1/2 the length of my hair is split ends.
The next item on the agenda were my feet. I don't think my feet have ever been this dry. Really, "dry" doesn't even begin to describe it. One of my favorite things to do is get a pedicure, but both time and money have been scarce for things like pedicures. What, with all the smashed garage doors and all. Don't worry though, because I have some fabulous Burt's Bees coconut foot creme and some bee socks to put on over the cream. This stuff works magic, but given the state of my feet, I may need multiple treatments.
I applied lotion to the rest of my dried out skin and then got to work on my eyebrows. And I do mean work. Facial shrubbery runs in the family (somehow Katy escaped it) and today the hedges needed trimming. I HATE plucking with a burning hot passion and I like having my brows waxed only a teeny bit more than I like plucking. But, I have this fabulous little tool that does a great job and is pain free! Finishing Touch, it's called. You may have seen it as a Sold on TV product. I got mine at Walgreens.
During my "beauty" regimen Drew kept looking at me like I had two heads and saying, "Will you PLEASE put your pony tail back on?" Poor kid. Seeing mommy perty up ripped a hole right in his little universe!
I'm just popping in to tell you that my friend Laura is having a fantastic give away on her site. Laura is a super talented artist, and in a land of a million moms making burp cloths, her work is far superior to most of what you will find out there. It is cute, fun, unique and comes from a good heart.
So, go now to Pitter Patter Art and leave a comment on her give away post. And if you win, buy me something perty!!
For pity's sake, it's like I have the reverse Midas touch. Everything I touch, or even talk about, somehow falls to pieces. Sometimes literally.
When Big Dan goes running and screaming from our home never to return, I don't want you to hold it against him. There's only so much one man can take. As I've mentioned, my brain has left the building. I swear I used to be a bright, capable person. Now I can barely string together a sentence. When I do manage to put words together, you can bet that somewhere in there will be the words "poop", "RIGHT NOW!", and something along the lines of "Please don't cover your sister's face up with Ribbit."
I have messed up A LOT in the last few months. Some are real screw-ups, totally my fault, and because my body has to do 90 mph while my brain will only go 10. Like, using the wrong debit card at the grocery store, thus accruing fees on an account I don't use. Among other things. Things way too embarrassing to post here, which should tell you something, since I've pretty much embarrassed myself repeatedly here.
Other things, though, are just bad luck. Like getting rear-ended in the car Big Dan had for less than 24 hours. I was just sitting there and wham-o! Or the fact that EVERY string of Christmas lights I plugged in this year did not work. Naturally, I figured this out after winding them carefully around the banister garland. The icing on this particularly bitter cake came when I bought two brand new window candles (because two were broken of course) and straight out of the package THEY WOULD NOT TURN ON! Seriously? SERIOUSLY?
And finally, today.
Let me back up. Our garage door has had a serious problem for, I'd say, around 3 years now. Especially when the weather gets cold, the door will not close. One has to keep pushing the button repeatedly in order to get the door all the way down. This is really fun when you're trying to get your toddler to preschool, or you have a screaming baby who just wants you to go already.
Apparently, today, the garage door appeared to be all the way open, but alas, was not. As I was backing out, I heard a big crunch. I COULD NOT figure out what I had hit. Had someone pulled in behind me in an invisible car? I hopped out of the car and ran around to the back (while the baby wailed) and just stood there. I could not see a single thing that looked like the sound I had heard. And then I looked up. The rack on the top of my car hit the bottom 1/16 of the garage door. It knocked the metal band off and the rubber stopper was just sort of hanging there. Fantastic. I got the door to raise a bit, so I could back out and when I went to close the door it became apparent that the door had been knocked off the rails. Um. Right.
And just to add that touch of something special to my already fabulous day, the key I have to the dead bolt on our front door does not work. Which means, I had to climb under the bum door in order to get into the house. A sight all of you should be sad you missed.
Welcome back to Not Me! Monday where I try to find the humor in the idiotic things I do-all in an effort to avoid curling up into the fetal position and sucking my thumb. Don't forget to visit all the other perfect moms linked up over at MckMama's site!
Last week I did not RSVP to a Mom's Club event thinking it was happening in the morning, when it was really happening in the evening. At 7:45 p.m.-also known as "almost bedtime". I did not go ahead and attend said event because it was a project get together and everyone had to pay their share of the project. And the host definitely did not miscalculate the individual cost by $7. Lucky, or else I would've been out way past bedtime and out $12 instead of $5. Good thing none of this actually happened to me.
Because if it had happened, I might be so nuts by the time I got home that just getting my supplies together for the night would have proved overly challenging. I might have dropped my phone off the bedside table, forgotten about it, and spent a good 15 minutes walking around with Big Dan's phone trying to find mine. If any of this had happened, I might have heard my phone downstairs, when, in actuality, it was upstairs...under my bed. If these events had taken place, it might have dawned on me 15 minutes later that I remembered dropping something earlier. It might have been my phone waaaaayyyyy under the bed. Good thing none of this happened, or I would've had to wedge myself waaaaayyyy back under the bed to reach my phone, and then my husband would've caught me and said (something along the lines of...) "What on earth are you doing?" Not me! My life runs like a well oiled machine, so none of this would have ever happen to me.
Finally, last night I did not realize at the last minute that Drew was out of overnight Pull-ups and have to run to the store to get them AT bedtime. Not me! I am not so obsessed with my new couponing madness that I did not buy a new brand of nighttime sleep wear just because it was on sale and I had a coupon. My dad might, but not me! And since I did not buy the new brand of sleep wear, I definitely did not get the wrong size, leading my son to come downstairs in what looked like an adult depends on his skinny body. I did not laugh really hard, because it did not happen. So naturally, my husband (who was definitely not exasperated, and definitely did not say repeatedly, "I just don't understand...") did not have to go BACK to the store to get the right Pull-ups. AT bedtime.
I would just feel plain sorry for anyone this happened to.
It is only THREE days until my first baby turns THREE!! Pardon me for a moment while I go sob. Can I be honest? I'm not a baby person. I do not love the baby days and on Drew's first birthday I felt like I had finished a marathon. But, man oh man, do I ever LOVE a toddler/preschooler. It's my favorite and I've taken to asking Drew if he will stay little forever. He tells me no, that he has to grow up, (and that he wants to be a daddy when he grows up!), but I think he secretly likes me to say it.
Today we kicked off the birthday shenanigans with a little celebration at school. I got to hang out with Drew in his class for a little bit and then we handed out Wild Things masks and donut holes. Kids are hilarious. I could get really annoying wanting to hang around his classroom. I miss being with other kids on a regular basis. And what could be a more appropriate description of a 3 year old class than "Wild Things"?? My favorite was the one little boy who kept saying, "But these monsters are only pretend", reassuring himself not to be afraid!
At the end of our little party the teacher said, "Tell Drew's mommy thank you." And the kids all said "Thank you, Drew's mommy!" I love being Drew's mommy. Drew looked at me and said, "Thank you mommy. This makes my heart happy."
I just must say that I cannot take credit for the above photos. A couple of weeks ago, we had a family photo shoot with my friend Kristin. She completely outdid herself and I will now commence spending us into the poor house buying photos to cover my walls with.
Last week, Emily had her two month check-up. Much of the appointment was dominated by her continuing digestive issues, but we also did all the normal check-up things.
So, Em, at two months:
*You weigh 10 lbs. on the nose. You are 22 inches long. You are growing, but you are still a little peanut compared to your brother!
*You smile all the time! Especially at yours truly and your brother. Twice you have spontaneously started giggling, which is cute, but also, honestly, a little weird. However, just a few days ago, you laughed AT me! It was probably the best sound ever! And now, I act like a total moron trying to get you to do it again!
*The formula has, so far, worked wonders for you. You eat more at a time, sleep better, and have not had any hard crying jags in the evenings. In fact, last night you went to sleep on your own in your bed. You still fight sleep like none other, but you are learning to soothe yourself. And, now I'm sure tonight will be a complete train wreck since I posted this!!
*You are very alert during your awake times and you love playing with your taggie blanket.
Just a few more weeks until that "magic" 3 month mark. I am living in full anticipation of the fog lifting. Each day feels a *little* more normal. Daniel and I will celebrate the anniversary of our first date in a few weeks. And, if I can take a moment to be a sap, I am overwhelmed at the life the Lord has gifted us with. As you know from my stories, our life is crazy, dirty, and hard at times, but it is real. And I love it.
Surely you didn't think the putting up of the Christmas Tree would be uneventful did you? You didn't think we had finally learned anything from all of our mishaps did you?
This year's tree fiasco involves insulation. You know, the stuff in your attic?? And not the new fangled spray on insulation like they use on home makeover shows. Nope. The pink stuff. The pink stuff that comes in little chunks. Somehow in our rage of shoving the tree in the attic last year, it got COVERED in insulation. Which, you know, makes for a nice, pink snow effect, but is um, you know, DANGEROUS! So, I spent the better part of yesterday morning picking insulation off the Christmas Tree. And off the steps, and off the couch and off the floor. And then running the vacuum to make sure every last speck was up before my nephew came over and ate some.
Once all the toxic material was extracted from the tree, I started putting it together. Let me just say that I'm a stud, because the pieces of that thing are heavy. I think I made some very un-ladylike grunting noises while I was working. My hard work paid off though, because Drew said, "Wow Mom, you are super strong to do that." Yep. That's me. Super strong.
After the tree was assembled, I worked on the engineering puzzle that is getting all the lights to come on. As I've mentioned, the tree is pre-lit so there is a very complicated (ok, just to me) system of male and female outlets. After a while, I finally just gave up with one band around the tree still unlit. I just.couldn't.take.it.anymore. I got a second wind later in the evening and FINALLY got all the lights on.
We got out the ornaments and starting decorating. Within two minutes two ornaments were broken and Drew was crying. It was a true holiday family moment. You know, depending on the family...
Breast feeding that is. The saga of my daughter's stomach pain continued to escalate, culminating in a diaper that tested positive for blood. Her dipes were consistently disgusting and her pain continued. Her poor pediatrician called me LOTS of times and I'm pretty sure once he was on his way out of town with his family for Thanksgiving.
I took her in for her two month check-up and we discussed our options. (More on her check-up later...) After lots of discussion and thought and prayer, I decided to start her on Nutramigen formula. It is both lactose free and hypoallergenic. Because I was already on the grandaddy of elimination diets, this seemed the best option. I pumped for a few days to make sure she would take the formula and do ok with it. Yesterday, though, there was SUCH a difference in her after eating formula and breast feeding-she was miserable wreck any time she drank breast milk. I decided I would not be doing that to her anymore.
So. I told my inner lactation nazi to bite me and promptly poured some breast milk down the sink just for effect.
There is always a chance that in a couple of weeks she could start doing poorly on this formula, but clearly breast milk is not the answer. It is so nice to watch her eat peacefully and not writhe around and struggle. Cross all your fingers and toes and hope this is the answer!
Holy cow, it's December. I have no idea how this happened. Between living in the fog, and October and November switching places this year, it just all snuck up on me! It has been pretty warmish for the past few weeks, and then, on Monday-BRRRRR!! Yesterday there was frost on the grass. Drew needed to know everything about frost and why it was there. I'm learning that I'm fairly stupid. I have a hard time explaining even the simplest scientific phenomena to my almost 3 year old.
What I don't have a hard time talking about to him is CHRISTMAS!!! Oh, how I love Christmas time. And really, honestly, I love the days leading up to Christmas even more than I love Christmas. I.love.it. The decorations have started going up around the neighborhood (but not around here-Daniel has a strict Dec. 1 policy and so far we have not had time to get the decor going...) including the giant blow-up Tigger and Santa, made famous last year. Drew was so excited to see them, but had no recollection of the love affair he had with them last year. Said neighbors have added quite a bit of "decor" to their lawn this year. Here is what Drew had to say about it, "Whoa. Look at all that junk!" Well said, my son, well said. I plan to take pictures of the tackiest yards I can find and posting them here. Let me know if you see one that is particularly heinous. Even better, take a picture and send it to me!
Today Drew and I got his Christmas box down from the attic. It was like he got a whole box of new stuff! He didn't remember any of it. It's that way with all of Christmas-it's like it's all new to him again. So much fun! I think this is probably the last year it will be that way.
We are having a really hard time knowing what to get Drew for Christmas this year. The only thing he wants is the game Hungry, Hungry Hippos. Oh, and some Cars stickers. I know I should be thankful he is not greedy (yet) and isn't dying for a Zhu Zhu pet or whatever other ridiculous toy everyone is fighting over this year, but it sure makes it hard!! Every time we ask him he says something like "I want Daddy for Christmas" or he names a toy he already has. Wonder how long we can keep him in the dark about asking for presents???
Hope you make the most of the season! Drink some salted caramel hot chocolate for me!!