Monday, April 30, 2012

Thomas, Cranky & Sir Topham Hatt



I'm not going to lie to you, a lot of shite has been going on.  LO and I were going to St. Tropez next month to meet DH but I decided to go to the Caribbean instead over the holidays but didn't book it.  Now I am rethinking the Caribbean and shooting for Australia. A fun trip to meet DH for our anniversary has gone haywire. 

DH wants to move to Raleigh so that has been taking some brain power.  He has done a lot of the leg work but the idea of moving is taking up a lot of space right now.  Where, When, How, What.  I'm a bit lost, I am the one who wants something a bit different but moving across the country seems so drastic.

So I leave you with a video that was supposed to be a picture of our trip to see Thomas the Train this past weekend.  LO was very excited even though Thomas was a bit stifling hot.  There were some cool trains to play with and LO pretty much held her ground at the tunnel leaving some little boys pretty miffed. 
When we finally boarded Thomas and rode out of the station to a junkyard and back, LO couldn't resist yelling and waving at the non-existent people along the way.
We also purchased LO's first real bike.  We went to Toys R Us and she was able to pick out any trike that she wanted.  Yes, that is a Thomas the Train bike that plays music with NO OFF button.  Some days, I am less sad to leave the house.
A lady came up to us as LO was trying to convince me to BUY a scooter in ADDITION to the bike and asked LO why she didn't want the pink bike.  LO and I stared at her blankly and the woman asked if she was a tough girl.  LO simply told her that she wanted a BLUE bike.  So she asked LO if LO was against pink.  Then LO started yelling, "NO PINK!" sigh.  I am not anti-pink or even anti-anything, but I want LO to CHOOSE based on what she wants not what someone tells her to want.  I would have bought the jeweled pink bike if she had wanted it.  I encouraged her to TRY all of the bikes but once she found one that played a song, it was a DONE deal.

At checkout LO engaged in a "DON'T TOUCH MY BIKE," with a little girl who was telling us about her new paints and colored bubbles that she intended to use outside but the story took forever as she had a stutter and kept repeating herself.  I felt trapped by the story and afraid to disengage in case there was a smack down regarding proximity to the bike.  Finally, after LO gave her the business again about looking at the bike she said, "I am TWO and FOUR months." LO was actually impressed and offered to share her bike.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Crazy Pants

I am not feeling that inspired lately so I will regale you with short stories.

LO has been fascinated lately with tails and pockets.  I guess she was under the impression that the cats were kicking her with their foot when their tails touched her.   She screamed at one of the cats, "Stop kicking ME MEKA!" For some reason, both cats are Meka when she is angry.  So I explained about tails and she has been trying to determine who has a tail and who doesn't.  She is a titch disappointed that she doesn't have a tail and has checked many times.  We were walking along discussing tails and she realized that she had no pockets on her jacket.  She likes to stroll with her hands in her pockets, so she told me that she would buy a tail and pockets at the store.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------- 
We picked DH up from the airport on Saturday night and grabbed an early sushi dinner.  John and I were debating the presence of Jews in North Carolina and LO announced to the owner of the restaurant and hostesses that she was JEWish, "I AM JEWish." It was pretty awesome.
------------------------------------------------------------------------
I have swung the complete opposite direction on the house search as in, I'm not interested in spending money.  I feel like everything is just out of our price range like we can almost get there but can't.  It feels like POOOOOP.  We could over commit OR we could go rogue.  I feel like giving up and moving to another city.  LA is just beating me down these days.  I feel like we are spending A LOT of money and energy for the WEATHER.  But what if we just went rogue and moved to a dicey neighborhood, not a cool dicey neighborhood but really immersed ourselves in a different way of life.  What if we stopped paying a ton of money and going to preschool with people who talk about their trilingual, ballet, relay running, RIE, Reggio geniuses and went rogue. 

We were at a different playground on Saturday and one of the kids pushed LO off of a toy.  99% of the time, the parent mumbles something and cites whatever wisdom we are all being force fed.  This mom snatched that kid and came back 5 minutes later and told that kid to apologize.  She stood there and apologized, I almost fell over.  I am not saying that is the "right way of parenting," but hot damn if it didn't remind me of my childhood.   Maybe there are parents out there that don't sit through weekly parent circle time to talk about issues like potty training and sleeping.  I could be missing something and LO is almost guaranteed to need therapy but I think it should be a lot simpler.  I haven't met any 12 year olds that wore diapers or still cried in the middle of the night from their cribs.  What if there are OTHER people out there worrying about larger issues that we could all discuss NOT focused on our kids??!
---------------------------------------------------------------- 

---------------------------------------------------------------
I had a crazy dream last night where I was looking for a bathroom, which happens ALL the time in my dreams.  I need to stop with the glass of water before bedtime.  BUT I was following someone to the bathroom who had a KEY and then we were in a crazy maternity ward with women birthing babies.  We finally found a bathroom which was OCCUPIED as we all know what happens if you actually use the bathroom in a dream BUT the bathroom was outfitted with a PACI cleaner.  Maybe because we were in the maternity ward?? I was able to preview the paci cleaner but not use the bathroom. 
-----------------------------------------------------------------
I finished the Language of Flowers and Maisie Dobbs this weekend.  Both were pretty darn good.  Maisie Dobbs is like Downton Abbey in a book and the Language of Flowers is hmmmm a little bit about the foster care system and a little about flowers and a little bit about love and a little bit about motherhood.  I get my books from the library so I tend to be a bit behind.  I also read False Friend which was entirely meh for me and Diary of a Mad Fat Girl which was a mindless beach read.
----------------------------------------------------------------
We visited Grandpa Irv yesterday and he was in really good spirits which was great to see.  Thanks to everyone for asking.  When asked what we should bring him, LO thought a birthday cake appropriate and possibly one of the cats. 
---------------------------------------------------------------
We are on our final attempt at a wean for LO's medication.  We have been dairy free and it seems to be helping but the next two weeks will be the guide for our next steps.  All of her doctors are set on additional tests, I continue to hold out hope that the final wean will work. 

Friday, April 20, 2012

Something NICE for me

I just said that I was going to go do something nice for someone else but then I bought a Groupon to a spa for MYSELF.   AND, AND now I am going to ask you to do something nice for ME AGAIN.  LO had some awesome pictures taken from Katie B.  Will you go check them out and post a message on her blog.  I could WIN a 16x24 print if I get the most comments.  The title of LO's post is Characters Welcome, ain't that the truth?!

Disappointment

I could launch into a description about what happened with the house or how pissed I was with what went down or the text I sent DH about leaving the state or the extremely unbecoming things that I said in a loudish voice.  I was disappointed.  I didn't want to hear that I had a beautiful, healthy family or there would be other houses.  I wanted to wallow for an evening and stomp my foot and eat melted chocolate.  I spend so little time disappointed or unhappy, I wanted to just be grumpy.  I woke up this am and I am over it.  It was a house, it wasn't like I lost something truly important.  Sometimes, I feel like we aren't allowed to feel disappointed or it says that you aren't grateful for your BOUNTIFUL life.  It made me realize that I want to teach LO that it is OK to be disappointed as long as you keep your wallowing to a reasonable amount of time.  Oh and you should follow-up any self pity by doing something nice for someone else. 

How do you handle disappointment? What are you teaching your kids?

Thursday, April 19, 2012

For Those of You Following Along at Home

I had a boyfriend in my younger years that BROKE up with me all the time.  But I LOVED him and took him back and then I finally figured out that we weren't right for each other.  But damn, each time he decided he needed more time with his friends, it hurt like a dagger through my heart.   I felt like my heart was aching and I needed to talk about it excessively, drink my feelings and then make out with another guy.  When I am advising the younger generation on love as they turn to me so often for my wisdom, I always tell guys to make it clean.   A clean cut is so much easier than a guy who comes back to be friends and wants to hug.   Break up with that person and NEVER talk to them again, in a YOU are DEAD to me type of way. 

The house had multiple offers and someone came in just at asking price. We have not been officially rejected resulting in the feeling of we may still have a chance and causing me to EAT my feelings but it is NOT looking good.  AND, AND as we are digesting the news, DH is talking about a maintenance tip on the HOUSE that we are NOT buying.  This is the first house in six months that we even liked enough to make an offer.  There is no inventory in our poor people price range and I am frustrated.  I also paid $350 to fix my front DOOR yesterday as we have been unable to ENTER the house for the last three months.  WAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH. My pity party is NOT complete yet but getting close.  When I feel sorry for myself, I immediately feel guilty so I'm going to highlight some great things that my fellow bloggers are doing:

K is walking for Team Iris on April 28 and she is just shy of her goal so go donate, cuz Iris is a badass.

Oh, I thought there were more....

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Chickens Hatched & Stuff

I need to address the rumors that Tom and Gis (that is what the neighbors call her) will be our neighbors. Nobody asked.  Yes, it is true.  Their new home is really not close at all to our not yet, probably won't get house.  I have drawn a map so you can see.
Also, do you believe me now about the COUNTRY?! What do you think all of that green is? That is filled with snakes and wildLIFE.

So we put in an offer on the house that will most likely not get accepted and do you know what DH and I discussed last night?! I should say heavily argued discussed? END TABLES! AND when we can invite people over.  DH doesn't want me to invite people over to our current place ever as he hates living there.  It is a lonely life when you can't have people over but our place is SMALL so I get it.  BUT he is saying no one can come over UNTIL we get furniture at the NEW house.  WE WILL NEVER agree on furniture.  So this is me worrying about his suggestion for end tables on a house that we will most likely not get.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Farm Living is the Life for Me?

Insert me hyperventilating. The house that started the whole house hunt is BACK on the market.  The family took the house off the market for the holidays and then we got a few calls but kind of forgot about the house.  I was worried about the lack of parking but found that there is actually three spots plus the two car garage and I think you can get permits to park on the street in case of a party.   Also, the neighbor has a big driveway that they lend out for parties.  What is the point of buying a house if you can't throw parties ALL the time!  I might finally have my pie party.  BUT the biggest issue for me besides the MONEY (don't forget to send me your pennies y'all) is that the house is in the COUNTRY.   I am being totally serious like with rattlesnakes and wildlife.  They discuss issues like brush clearing.  I needed to tell the insurance agent about how many feet of brush clearance and ummmm I have no freaking clue. 

I am city folk with sidewalks and liquor stores.  There are people with HORSIES up there.  This house blows all my preschool plans for LO.  ALL of them.  There is a large play structure in the back yard but really no where for LO to go during the day.  I would have to bribe Jen to come to my house and give nature lessons.  I would also plant things like food stuff except that may attract the wildlife so I am really unsure at this point on that whole exercise. The realtor pointed out the spot for a bouncy house?!! I never thought of space for a bouncy house being a selling point but we like to bounce.
All of this hand wringing has led to me being very chicken alfredo lasagna for lunch and very scratch my neck obsessively.  We are putting in an offer and I just can't think about it anymore.  Will you come visit us in the country??

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Stories

LO has become a master story or reciter of skewed facts up in here.  She was repeating words and letting us know what she wanted but now she is telling me what to do and telling me stories about her day and what happened EVEN if I was there or it happened TWO weeks ago.  We had a bird trapped in our garage that was upset and LO talked about that bird pretty much non-stop until I told her that the bird was no longer upset as he flew away and found a tree and was happy or was dead and we hadn't found him yet

She has also started ordering me to "SIT DOWN" in the middle of the night when I go in her room in the middle of the night to make sure this is no pat on the back waking but a hold me and rock me moment.

The best story that she has been telling lately is that she asked Gigi (the nanny) if she could watch TB for FIVE minutes and Gigi said NO WAY.  She tells me like she thinks I am going to be outraged that Gigi wouldn't let her watch TB for five minutes.  I actually can't get enough of this story as it is hilarious that she would ask to watch for five minutes as she has no concept of time and the TV has been turned on a total of one time for her.  She watches Elmo on the iPad when she watches.  Gigi told me that she later heard her telling her Dolly, No WAY.

She has been killing me with her stories.  On an unrelated note as I like to skip around, I read a blog post that was awesome and really had me thinking about my wanting another baby but not necessarily another child.  Does that make sense?  I would like a redo on the baby part to be not so baby death & disease is around every corner, enjoy more and realize how quick it all goes BUT they grow up to be kids that don't appreciate you either and leave you wanting another baby.  I would love to revisit different baby times with LO but that doesn't mean I want another baby.  I like this life and I feel like it is all so manageable 90% of the time. 

It does feel a bit selfish not to have another one but I enjoy LO SO MUCH.  I am sure that I would love a second one like CRAZY as in why would I doubt for a second that I didn't run into a second baby but maybe it is just this one insanely amazing, take my breath away, lovely child.  Ahhhh, turning 29+ is just really so midlife crisis ALL the time.  When did we all get so DAMN old? It would be so much easier if I was a titch younger and had more time.  Damn these scientists spending all this time on things like Viagra when we could be researching eternal youth and stuff.  What a bunch of dumbies.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Fair

Oh, how many times were you told that life isn't fair as a kid? You either had parents that counted presents and candy to try and be fair or parents that told you life wasn't fair so deal with it.  I find that most adults aren't fair and kids definitely only see their way.  City or suburbs, people don't play fair.  They say and do hurtful things without regard for other people's feelings or seeing something from another person's perspective.  I count myself among the people that judge too quickly, stubbornly keep quiet when a sorry or kind word is needed and take an extra long turn.  I rationalize my behavior by not  asking for help or taking anything from anyone that doesn't want to give it freely without strings.  This is all fine for a 29+ person with a job and home in good health.  Unfortunately, I have a two year old that I am responsible for teaching about the world, life and people.

How do you teach a 2 year old about taking turns when other parents allow their kids to grab toys and not share?  How do you teach your child to speak with kindness first when she hears other people say unkind words? How do you teach her to take the high road in fights when so many people are eager to engage in road rage, e-mail combat and online nastiness?

We went to our big 2 year appt yesterday and I was talking to the pediatrician about pre-school, potty training and behavior.  I told her my biggest concern about LO's behavior is her passiveness around other kids her age.  She is quick to give up a toy if someone else wants it and really just stares and tries to understand when another child acts out against her.  I see her will herself not to cry, when her feelings are hurt or when she gets a shot, it breaks my heart.  She looks to me to explain and I really have no idea what to say. I also discussed my decision to keep her home another year before pre-school due to her passiveness and her size (shout out to the 10% kids). The doctor told me that one day she will get angry enough to deal with other kids when I asked her how I should explain other kids hitting or being "unfair."  So we all have to be angry enough to deal with each other?? That answer really isn't good enough for me.  How do you explain being a "good" person to your kids when kids and adults don't always play fair?

And the shots and exam, she wouldn't even let me hold her during either, she just stared that nurse and doctor down and didn't even give them the acknowledgement of a flinch.  Crying is for suckas!

Monday, April 9, 2012

Possible Future Careers

One of my all time favorite movies is Office Space, the movie is just awesomeness squared.  One of my favorite parts is when Ron Livingston was talking about his guidance counselor in high school asking them what they would do if they had a million dollars and that was supposed to help you find your dream career.  He says that he would do nothing if he had a million dollars.  I think about that all the time.  I always thought I wanted to be a lobbyist and then I ended up as a marketing person, wtf?

LO, DH and I hit up Pretend City this weekend on our way down to Real Housewives of OC on overload San Diego.   She tried out the tow truck, phone orders at the sushi restaurant and waitress at the sushi restaurant.



I think she feels better suited for the relax and do nothing career.  I can relate.





Although, we told her that she was more of a hunt for the afikoman gal, she saw no reason not to eat all the candy collect eggs for other kids.



Thursday, April 5, 2012

Are Those Diseased Chicken Legs?

The party is over and the presents are somewhat unwrapped. Don't you feel like you always come across something the DAY AFTER the party that you WISH you had known about maybe TWO DAYS prior??! I really blame ALL of you for not informing me of the CAKE PUSH POP!  I feel the need to start testing for next year or to throw ANOTHER party so I can try the cake push pop.  I may have yelled something about not throwing a 3rd birthday but that is really prior to me knowing about the cake push pop so stay tuned.  I may feel the need for a Passover Push Pop, Flag Day Pop, Cinco de Mayo Pop or Tax Day Pop.

Anyway in the mean time, I can focus back on my second favorite subject, myself.  There is a high probability that I will have to FIND my bathing suit and wear it this weekend.  Showing my legs might not even be legal in half the country.  I really feel that I have exhausted the fake tan spectrum and I rarely wear shorts as in NEVER.  So watch out world, these bad riders are going to debut and take on the world shortly.  If you have any tanning ideas--please send them my way before I scare children.

In other highly important news, I have been doing some pondering and soul searching and have decided that we really have very little control when it comes to trying to "change" our kids.  I am really becoming more of a 90% nature/10 % nurture believer.  All of Ella's friends have such distinct personalities and I really don't believe that there is much we can do.  I believe we can lead our children towards smart choices and try to make them independent but that may be all that we can do.  Hmmmm, parenting may have just become a little easier.  

On the other hand, I know a good number of baby boomers that can't seem to get past transgressions that happened in their childhoods.  So does this mean that their parents believed that they could nurture/control their kids and didn't believe in nature or are the boomers just big complainers?? My one hope for LO is that I can raise her with the ability to move on from her childhood with no large scars.  What do you hope for your kids beyond their happiness and health?

Monday, April 2, 2012

The Party Round-up

The party was so much fun even if I did spend all weekend cooking/baking and gnawing on my shoulder for it to stop raining. We had two amazing friends offer their homes when they saw the rain on Saturday.  Not only did it stop raining, it was absolutely gorgeous! My aunt's house has one of those front yards that you spend a good deal of time dreaming about for future homes or party sites.  We are so lucky that she has lent her home TWO years in a row. 
I had a lot of fun decorating the cake, (thanks for asking Jesabes!) this is the exact fondant that I ended up using.  I know that there is a lot in the world of fondant but for a cake or larger item, this stuff rolls out really nice.  I ended up rolling out the fondant and covering the cake.  How to get the fondant on the cake was not really that apparent on most websites but you roll it around the pin and then unroll over the cake and cut around the edges.  I used corn starch for dusting and that worked well and was cheap at the grocery story but I have no clue where else you would use it.
Here are my issues with the cake, fondant, etc.  I lowered the temperature on the cake so the layers would be flat which they were.  The cake was SO dense as the cake doesn't fully rise with the lowered temperature.  You couldn't have put another layer on the cake as people would not have been able to chew the darn thing. I used the wilton fondant smoother, you don't need it.  I had also purchased the offset spatula which I FORGOT to use when crumb icing the cake.  IMHO, the crumb icing on top makes the cake lumpy or I am rolling out the fondant too thin. 

After this stage, I took the remaining fondant and dyed it red with this gel paste.  My hands looked like I committed a murder.  I had no food safe gloves on hand and you really need to use your hands to get the color mixed well.  A really great sales person at Surfas told me that it has to be gel paste to get a really nice color and the red that was achieved took almost the full .75 bottle.  I lacked any of the Wilton nifty tools to cut a border so I used a knife and cut a long strip and placed it on the board and not the cake.  I used a few different sized stars and a little water to attach them.  My problem at this point was my hands were red and getting red on everything that I touched so I couldn't touch the cake, making adjustments a little tricky.  Olivia is sitting on a big star but could have been a bit bigger.  I ordered the cake topper from Etsy and she did the sign for an additional $5.  There is no way that I could have made that topper. 
I had planned on making two cakes but I was extremely sick the prior weekend and with DH being out of town, I ran out of time. So I used a box cake recipe and made cupcakes in a cone for the kids.
DH yelled out that we were short a few cones and that the kids should come and get them resulting in a rush to the table.  Way to play it cool, DH.  I used very little frosting with heart sprinkles on top and the kids loved them.  I will definitely be repeating the cupcake in a cone idea in the future.  The cone gets sturdy after you bake them and a little stale but irresistible to small people.  I absolutely loved the holders and was too cheap to buy more than three.  LO dropped one of them BEFORE the party resulting in a broken top but we went with it.  I purchased them at Lowe's of all places. 

Other items that I had a lot of fun making were the sushi rice krispie treats that are not too visible in this picture but show the paper straws in the canning jar which I loved.   I used mini swedish fish on top, green fruit roll-ups complete the look but my grocery store didn't have any and I was still unsure if I was going to make them.  Other items that I made that didn't make the party were white chocolate covered pretzels with red sprinkles.  White chocolate doesn't harden very quickly so I popped them in the refrigerator when I was done dipping and I was unhappy with the yellowish tint on the white chocolate.  I meant to redo them but ran out of time.  I also made mini pigs in the blanket but I bought smoked dogs and I thought the smoked flavor was a little weird so DH ate them. 
I made jelly sandwiches with my jam for the kids and cut them with a cookie cutter into a pig shape.  I don't have a good pic of the platter so try to use your imagination on this one.
I ended up putting my gum balls into a jar with lollipops and using them as centerpieces with our homemade hats as I had a hard time believing that people would mow down on gum balls even if I loved the colors.  Also, I really didn't think the kids would wear the hats.  DH, LO and I ended up buying the more generic candy downtown which was a fun adventure. 
Lastly, the balloon artist was greatish.  Her creations were amazing. 



Yes, that is a mermaid! The bummer was that I had no idea that the balloons popped if they touched the grass.  I had visions of her making toys for the kids to play with at the party.  Unfortunately, telling a two year old not to have their new toy touch the grass which is like 10 inches away is impossible.  DH thought she wasn't making enough animals as he didn't see them but there was a lot of collateral damage. 

This year's party was sooooo different from last year and the MAIN reason was that I saw LO for about two seconds.   She was playing with her friends, going down the slide or running around.   I had my eye on her but she was doing her own thing. 

Sitting with friends

Talking to babies
And eating cake.  Cake is all she wanted for her birthday, but she was pretty happy about the car too.