Wednesday, September 28, 2011

This is the proudest moment of my motherhood

There were a lot of things I didn't expect before I had a baby...locking myself in the bathroom to get a little peace, having someone rip out my eyelashes, being plagued by sleep crawling.  But what happened today has been the biggest surprise of all.  The joy  I feel at this very second has been so unexpected that I must record it for all posterity.

This is the proudest moment of my motherhood so far.  It kicks the pants off of rolling over and walking.  I am actually quite shocked that this milestone is not listed in every baby book on the market.  Heaven knows it should be.

Today, friends, is the day my son learned how to blow his nose.  Like actually move air forcefully enough through his nostrils to cause boogers to come out of them. 

It was a beautiful moment; I wish you could have been there.  As he was getting out of the bath tonight, I held up a tissue to his sweet little nose, and said, "blow."  Dutifully, he blew.  But much to both of our surprises, stuff came out.  A lot of gross, green chunky stuff.

He looked at me with wide eyes, then smiled and proceeded to blow over and over and over again.  I almost cried.

This is a skill I have been wishing he would learn pretty much since the day he was born.  You see, I find boogers to be the grossest of all the substances that come out of an infant.  So gross that the only time I've found something gross enough as a mother to gag, it was a booger.

But today, with great pride, I can retire the trusty little green snot sucker that has been the bane of my existence for 18 months.  You've served us well, ol' bulb syringe.  Now, put your feet up, have a beer, and relax.  You definitely deserve a vacation.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

I bet you didn't know I was a poet!

Do you ever get so busy that you feel like you don't even have time to think?  That's been my life lately. 

As I sit here typing, there are toys strewn about my house, there is a load of wet laundry just waiting to grow mold in the washing machine, and there's a half gallon of milk that's been sitting out too many hours for it to be safe to drink any more. 

So, I'm going to share a poem I wrote several months ago.  I don't share my poetry's mostly a private enterprise.  But I like writing it.  Hopefully you like reading it.

Also, I should note that I am the kind of poet who only knows how to write one kind of poetry - the kind that rhymes.  I know there are other kinds, and I have nothing against them.  But I don't write them.  So, you'll have to put up with my obsessive need to rhyme.

Just after the baby falls asleep

I've never known a stillness
like the quiet in a mother's home
just after a baby falls asleep
and she finds herself alone.

Her ears still ring with the sound
of a baby's little hand
pounding on the coffee table
like the proudest drummer in a band.

Echoes of tiny giggles settle
like a dusting of snow on the ground,
and shouts from a mouth of toothless grins
fade to a new peace found.

The suddenness with which it comes
makes this quiet quite a shock:
as if the world forgot to spin,
and time stands still on the clock.    

It is in these moments of deafening silence
before my mind turns to laundry piled
that I worry most – and wonder most –
what this life will hold for you, child.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Mommy Fail #141: Taking my toddler to a sports bar

I generally try not to take my baby to places that aren't really for kids.  But sometimes, I don't have a choice.  Like a couple nights ago: we got busy, and then had to run to a friend's house who is in the middle of serious renovations.  Before we knew it, it was 8 p.m. and nobody had eaten.  So our friend suggested the place that's right down the street from his house, which happens to be a sports bar right across from the local university.

I was a little surprised to see that they had high chairs, especially considering that all of the tables in the entire place were bar height with stools.

Little Spaghetti wasn't too thrilled with his short seat, but I found it very convenient to just be able to push him under the table when the server came with the food.  That way I didn't have to worry about hot food getting spilled on him.

Don't worry: I took him out of there to eat dinner.  I'm not THAT mean.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

My laundry utopia

I mentioned a little while ago that I was up to my elbows in taupe paint because I was remodeling my laundry room (I may have referred to the shade of paint as "u-taupe-ia," if you can believe that).  Anyway, I want to share with you the fruits of my labor.

As a (mostly) stay-at-home mom, I get to play pretend a lot.  I pretend to be a teacher, a maid, a gardener...But my favorite thing to pretend to be is an interior decorator.  Though, a handyman comes in close second.  You see, I've had LOTS of practice at those two jobs since we've basically renovated our entire house since we bought it just over a year ago.  For proof, check out the time I transformed the "bruise wall" into a magical sunroom retreat.

Back to the laundry room: it was old and horribly gross, but I knew a couple cans of paint and some new floors would fix it right up.  Take a look!

The wood laminate flooring is a huge upgrade from the cheesy linoleum that was supposed to look like bricks.  And was suspiciously missing a piece so you could see the subfloor.

The cabinets were updated with a fresh coat of white paint.  And the handles that did not match with each other at all were replaced with handles that were all the same.

I love how it turned out!  Now I have my own personal laundry utopia.

And, the best, most awesome part of this whole remodel?  Making my own stainless steel countertops.

Did you even know there was such a thing as stainles steel paint?? Or someone crazy enough to paint it on their counters?  Oh, yes, I did.

But, to see the details (and the stunning results) of my countertop transformation, you're gonna have to check out my guest post at Momma Bird.  Hope you enjoy! (And say hi to Michelle while you're there.  She's awesome.  And crafty.  And reads stories on video.)

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Why are you offended by my GPS?

I have a GPS.  And I use it.  Not to get to the grocery store down the block or my son's pediatrician, but if I'm going to a shop I've never been to or an office in a different part of town, you better believe that thing's up and running.

Especially when I'm out of town, I have a tendency to program every destination into my GPS when I'm the driver.  Lately, I've noticed a trend that I find quite confusing among my friends and family: there are a lot of people who seem to be offended by the GPS.  They sit in the passenger seat, sneer at the pretty little black screen a few times, and then say something like,

"Wow, that's a really stupid way to go.  I NEVER would have told you to go that way," or

"You could have just asked me, I knew where this place was all along," or

"I know my voice might not be as charming as your British robot's voice, but I can give directions."

They act like I'm insulting their knowledge and expertise just by using my turn-by-turn navigation.  Like I don't trust them to get me where I need to go.  Frankly, I just don't get why it's such a big ego blow for me not to ask for directions.  

Perhaps I don't understand it because I like to chat with people as I drive, and I'd rather just let the conversation flow than have to ask every three seconds, "Am I supposed to still be going straight?" or "Am I in the right lane?  No, I know I'm in the left lane.  I didn't mean the right lane, I meant the correct lane."

Or maybe it's because almost every time I'm responsible for giving directions, I get too busy jabbing away at the driver and we end up going two miles past our on-ramp before I declare, "Oh crap! I should have had you turn a while back.  I guess we'll be taking the scenic route."

All I know is that I like my GPS.  And I don't plan on giving it up any time soon.  So, should you ever be in the position where you need to ride with me and I type in the address to your house when we get in the car, just let it go.  If you're nice, I'll even let you change it to the sexy Australian girl's voice instead of the British guy.  Cheerio!

Monday, September 12, 2011

Can you explain something to me?

Would you believe that me winning Blogger Idol was not a good enough reason for my son to stop the obnoxious habit he's developed of finger-painting whatever happens to be for dinner on the table? Then when I told him he better get with the program and learn to use the big boy potty or I'd put my people in touch with his people and the results would not be good, he smiled at me and peed on the floor. Finally, I had to come to grips with the fact that this new-found stardom was not going to be my personal easy button when I woke up at six this morning with a 25-pound toddler sleeping on my head.  On top of my head.

So, it turns out that it's back to real life for me. And I'll be the first to admit that there are just as many things I don't know now as there were four days ago.  I'm hoping some of you have the answers to life's deep questions, though.

First, there's Katy Perry's new song: "Last Friday Night."  It's not the song itself that I take issue with, just a couple lines.  You see, she says, "Think we kissed but I forgot," but just a few lines later, "Then had a ménage à trois."  My question is this: how do you remember a threesome, but not a kiss?

Next up we have drivers (particularly those from the great state of California) that drive in the left lane.  All the time.  Even when there are no other cars for miles except me driving behind them, wanting to pass (in the left lane like the law says).  Are they actually unaware that they are supposed to drive in the right lane?  Or are they just being jerks?  Or is there some joke that I'm not cool enough to know about?

Last but not least, how does Mother Nature know exactly when I'm getting sick of my summer wardrobe?  This morning, the temperature had dropped about 25 degrees, the smell of fall was in the air, and I got to bust out my sweaters that I'd just started fantasizing about.  The timing could not have been more impeccable.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Can I say thank you again or will you stop reading my blog?

I'm going to keep this short and sweet because I've been so nervous that I haven't eaten in three days, so I'm desperate for a sandwich right now.  Between this and the cotton candy, I think I might have a marketable diet plan on my hands here.

Anyway...It's official, folks!  The Spaghetti Westerner is the 2011 Blogger Idol (and, it just so happens, the first Blogger Idol ever!)  Woot!!

You can watch the official announcement video here.  It's long, but there's some super funny vlogs from the other contestants included, and it's worth a watch if you've got the time.

I really and truly mean it when I say that I could not have done it without the support from all of you.  I'm not just trying to give some cheesy speech where I pretend like I care about everyone who needs to be thanked...I honestly just really DO care about everyone who DESERVES to be thanked.  And that's all of you. So, thank you. I want to give a special shout out to The Mommy In Law, who called me after I watched the video because she figured I'd be alone (I was) and want someone to celebrate with (I did)!  How awesome is that?

I'd love to be able to give back to any of you that I can, so let me know if there's a way I can help or down the road. And, in the spirit of giving back, if you have a few minutes to spare, check out this post.  The organizer of Blogger Idol is helping a family in Pennsylvania who lost everything in a flood a couple days ago, and I wanted to help spread the word!

And now, I'm getting a sandwich.  But, I promise to be back (and to actually have the brain capacity to write on my own blog now that Blogger Idol is over!)

Oh yeah, did I mention: THANK YOU!!!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

If I were a hooker, would I be worth more than $25?

There's at least one person in this world who doesn't think so, but I'm not going to tell you any more about that. If you want the whole story, you're going to have to go read my post on Blogger Idol this week.  And don't forget to vote for me while you're there!

You ready for more shameless begging?  To be honest, I'm surprised nobody took me up on my offer to pluck their great aunt's eyebrows from last week.  I promise I'm a whiz with the right pair of tweezers!

Seriously, though, I am honored and humbled to have made it to the FINALE of Blogger Idol.  I am one of just TWO contestants left standing, and I know with 100% certainty that I wouldn't have made it here without you guys.  Thank  you.  I am not joking when I say that I want you to let me know if there's any way I can ever help you in return.

So, one more time...will you please vote for me?  And share the link with your friends, your neighbors, your secretary, your dog (hey, his vote counts too as long as he has his own Iphone).  You can vote once per device per browser (laptop, cell phone, ipod, desktop, Firefox, Safari, Internet Explorer...the combinations are endless!)  Make sure you vote in both polls.  And polls close at midnight on Thursday, central time.

If you're curious what I had to write about this week, I've got great news for you!  I had to write on two topics.  First, I had to write a letter to my future  blogger self.  One judge said it was totally uninspiring and only good for "mommy bloggers."  Do you agree?

Then, I got to pick whatever topic I wanted.  I chose to write the highlights of my dating history (like the guy who offered me the $25...).  There's also a picture of me in my dance costume from the fourth grade.  If that's not enough to get you to read it, I don't know what is!

And, finally, because I'm trying to think about something other than Blogger Idol...Have you ever grown potatoes in the garden?  This was my first year, and I loved it!  I got to dig in the mud for treasures like a kid yesterday to find all the pretty little potatoes buried deep in the dirt.  I've come to the conclusion that potatoes are the most satisfying of all plants to harvest.  Look at these little beauties!  Now what should I do with them??

Monday, September 5, 2011

Mommy Fail #132: Using the dryer

I let my son wear Crocs.  I know that some people consider that a fail in itself, but it's not the one I'm going to address today.  No, the story I'm going to share today involves a pair of shoes my son will never wear again.

He had this adorable pair of orange Crocs, but they started getting quite dirty.  Someone told me that I could run them through a cold wash, and they'd clean right up.  Being the kind of person who avoids work at all costs, it sounded like a great idea.

And it was, they came out all squeaky clean.  Well, one did at least.  The other was wrapped somewhere in the king size sheets I'd washed it with.  I decided to just run the dryer for a minute to see if the missing shoe would come loose instead of digging around in the damp, twisted sheets (did you catch the part about me avoiding work at all costs?).

Except...I forgot to turn the dryer off after just a couple of minutes.  Instead, the poor little shoe went through an entire dry cycle.  This was the result.

That's no camera trick.  One shoe is significantly smaller than the other.

Well, at least I can hope I save someone else from the same mistake.  Learn from my fail: don't put your Crocs in the dryer!

Saturday, September 3, 2011

You probably think this post is about you...

First, thanks to everyone for your support this week: I made it to the top two in Blogger Idol!  Next week is the finale, and it's going to be an intense showdown between me and Justin from Daddy Knows Less.

Now, onto the good stuff.  This post is a follow up to a post from a few weeks back called, "Nevada, why are you so vain?"  (Hence the  title...come on, sing it with me!)

I think I might be a little loopy from the paint fumes.  You'll have to bear with me.  You see, I decided that now would be a good time to remodel my laundry room.  Perhaps I really have been going through withdrawals since I'm no longer party planning.

For the paint in the laundry room, I went with a color called "perfect taupe." But the longer I spent in that tiny room painting, the more I started thinking that if you're going to declare a color to be the perfect shade of taupe, you really ought to call it "U-taupe-ia."

Get it?  Where's my 17-month old to crack up at my corny jokes when I need him...

Sleeping, that's where he is.  Which is where I should be, so I'm going to stop talking and get on with the vanity license plates.  I'll catch you on the flip side!  And by flip side I mean tomorrow...not the afterlife.  Just so we're clear.

Spiteful wife or obedient husband?
Well, I suppose you do.
See, now some people do know how to be clever...
I can't think of anything classier, actually.
I might have believed you were British...if you weren't driving a Geo Tracker.
Just goes to show that no matter what regulations the Nevada DMV
puts in place, people will still find ways to have X-rated license plates.
Do you have any good photos of vanity license plates to share?  Send them to me, and I just may feature them in my next edition of the license plate game!

Photos courtesy of my good friend Dan.  Thanks, Dan!