Monday, March 30, 2009


a very lovely friend of mine recently looked at mason and offered this compliment:

"i just love how you do his hair."

its obviously time to clear some things up...

for the record, i don't "do" his hair. in case there are more of you out there wondering why it is i comb his hair straight forward and leave it there, all wispy and wild-ish. i don't "do" that. God did when he made him. i certainly don't "do" mason's hair.

not anymore so than kevin bacon once did his hair.

yeah, i do think mason has kevin bacon hair. and this is not a good thing.

i mean, footloose is a fun movie and all, but most certainly have i never, EVER, had that crush on kevin bacon. it could be the creepy movie rolls he has played from time to time, but i really think it has more to do with that 80's hair that really just needed a little gel or something...

we (anthony) have tried product on mason's hair. no luck. its too fine and thin to stay in place. so until it grows in a little thicker, thank you to all you footloose fans who just might think my son is adorable with sorta 80's hair.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

confessions of a baby whisperer drop-out

you know how in the movie Matrix, if they needed to know something, the guy back at command central (or whatever it was called where their heads are plugged in), would just upload the information into their brain? like when they needed to know how to fly a helicopter within 5 seconds? yeah, so that is what i was wishing for last night.

only instead of operating an apache, i needed all the baby whisperer's secrets... like NOW.

the only way to get mason to sleep is by nursing him. precious, sweet and enduring and a little like my own private prison with a chain attached to me that i can NEVER escape from. and seriously, you are 6 months old now so lets fall asleep on our own.

some babies come out of the womb able to do this. not my children. don't judge me. its not my fault. i'm just trying to survive here.

i like the baby whisperer because i think she likes children. i agree with her philosophy. but i'm kinda wondering where i can get me one of those babies she is talking about. the kind that are "settling" as they fall asleep instead of contorting in rage. or who will cry until you pick them up and then are miraculously calmed by your presence... instead of frenzied rage that escalates as they pull your hair and beat their head against your chest. hmmm.... maybe its just me.

so when i put mason to bed last night, this whole "pick-up/put-down" method worked. pick them up when they are upset and then put them down once they are calm and repeat until they fall asleep on their own. lovely.

1 am rolls around and after filling his tummy, i get a little confident in my sleepiness and i think, hey, he should go right back to sleep.

ahh haaa haaa haaa haaa... ahhh haaa haaa haaa haaa haaa

funny, funny me.

as mason is in his frantic fits of hysteria i'm thinking, now what did the baby whisperer say about this, again? he's supposed to calm down at some point, right? i'm picking him up to "comfort" him but i'm sure that if he had a knife in his hand he'd stab me. i mean, that kid was MAAAADDDDD!!!!

so then i think, if he's this mad, i should just lay him back down. he can't get worse???


now what was it she said to do when your baby doesn't calm down? EVER?

and what do you do when he doesn't stop pulling on your hair and screaming in your ear?

funny how "patting his back" and softly whispering, "mommy's here" doesn't seem to calm him in the slightest. in fact, i'm pretty sure he would be swearing at me if he could talk. i mean, even when i hear myself saying, "mommy's here" over his wails, i almost chuckled. this is borderline ridiculous.

i'm thinking, isn't the title of her book, the baby whisperer solves ALL your problems? somewhere in there has to be all my answers.

i sorta remember her saying something about some of those tough cases taking an hour or more. and hour? no problem. well guess what, i have a new record for you. 2 hours of non-stop crying. in my ear. my head is pounding and all i can think is, why didn't i just bring him to bed with me?

wow. he may be in counseling when he's older... they'll be trying to figure out what's wrong with him and then he'll say, "i do have this vivid memory of when i was 6 months old and my mom, who was on the very edge of losing all her sanity, decided to mess with my sleep to make her life easier. she tried to torture me. and i'll never let her forget it!"

so after no such thing as "settling" and plenty of "picking up" and not as much "putting down" since he never "calmed himself," i gave up.

that's right, I GAVE UP.

i'm not afraid to admit it. 2 hours of desperation expressed in escalating shrieks in my ear and a mommy can't take it anymore. he got another bottle that put him right to sleep. (that is what ms. baby whisperer calls a "prop" and also "accidental parenting" that creates bad habits)

(accidental... yeah right. it was very intentional.)

maybe part of the problem is that "calm" should be a sort of baseline to begin with.

in the midst of this madness, i was thinking to myself, maybe we can cash in our 401(k)s and hire this famous baby whisperer to come to our house and do this for us... since it always seems to work for her. then i realized we don't have much in those 401(k)s anymore... and i think the sweet lady actually died a few years ago. what a shame. i'm confident i would have been that chapter she would add to her book titled: my method always worked... and then i met mason.

my friend robin did this with her daughter and it worked. i'm looking forward to discussing my options with her. maybe i can hire her to come perform the magic on my precious angel.

robin, what i want to know is:
1. did your daughter feel comforted by your presence? or just tormented?

2. was there ever a calm moment?
3. when you tripped over the scotch-tape dispenser strategically placed in the middle of your baby's bedroom floor by your 4 year-old, did you startle your already hysterical baby and make things worse? (oh, never mind, you don't have a 4 year-old. scratch that question.)
4. did you ever "put down" your baby and "pick up" a bottle? i mean, like, for yourself? like, i don't know, maybe tequila?

through the years of babyhood, i often think of some very wise advice my sister gave me shortly after ella was born. "when its nap time, just get yourself a good book, get comfortable and let 'em nurse."

i'm off to read...

"who, me?"

Sunday, March 22, 2009

our daily bread

we generally don't eat crust at my house. and we (minus anthony) don't eat the heels of the bread. i don't like them and i'm certainly not going to force my kids to eat them. and i know there are starving children in africa but i don't think my stale bread heels are going to do them much good.

however, there are starving ducks at the pond we can help. and help we do.

look at the smile on this face. why deprive him of this joy by forcing him to clean his plate?

Thursday, March 19, 2009

what happens with daddy...

you never know what happens around home when you are out getting a haircut...

...not until a random browse through the picture files.

i love that their personalities are so expressed in this picture that i can guess what was being said:

daddy: hey, lets climb in the big hole and i'll take your picture.

ella: umm... i don't think that's a good idea. it doesn't look very safe. daddy, i'm scared. i don't really want to...

daddy: daddy's got you. it will be fine.

ella: well, be careful.

bennett: WOO-HOO!!! i climb in the hole!

at the river

throwin' rocks...

it ain't for sissies.

but, then again...

Sunday, March 15, 2009


no wonder the kid doesn't sleep.

at least he's cute.

Monday, March 9, 2009

the thing she treasured most

*author unknown. but most certainly not written by me, lest your little eyes should deceive you.

"In 1141 AD Weinberg Castle held more riches than any other single location in all of Europe. If any army could capture this prize, it would be wealthy beyond imagination. Many armies tried, but the men of the castle were fierce and strong and not easily defeated. But one spring the magnificent castle met its match.

A mighty army laid siege of the castle and cut if off from the outside world. The army was patient and its stranglehold deadly. As the months passed, food and water within the castle’s walls grew scarce. The defenders gave their rations to the women and children, but starvation could not be held back much longer. Soon death took the gentlest infants and the frailest grandparents. Sorrow soon touched every family.

The defenders now knew their cause was hopeless, so they agreed to negotiate with their foe. If the women and children were allowed to leave the castle untouched, the men would lay down their weapons and surrender their fortress with its massive storerooms of untold wealth.

The attacking army agreed, but as they moved forward the women of the castle asked for one additional concession. They asked that they each be allowed to take with them as much of their valuables as they could carry. The attacking army pondered the request, and since the treasures of the castle were so great and what the women could carry would be relatively insignificant, they agreed.

What happened next brought emotion to the heart of every soldier who laid siege to the castle. Out the heavy gates the women came, dressed in their finest gowns. Each woman carried in her arms that thing she treasured most—her husband."

happy anniversary, my love. to many more...

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

ahoy matey!

*mommy tip: a princess dress doubles as a "girl pirate costume" when you only have 2 bandannas.

Monday, March 2, 2009

things i am currently fighting:

1. a cold.
2. a strong-willed, whining 4 year-old with a cold.
3. my eyelids... drooping very low as i try very hard to focus on candyland and queen frostine...
4. an obstacle course of clean laundry piles in my family room silently screaming "fold me! put me away! so i can get dirty again and we can repeat this cycle in a few days!"

5. a 5 month old with possibly a cold. or teething. or just plain fussy.
6. crunchy cheerios underfoot and the need to vacuum.
7. a very stinky diaper pail and the sheer exhaustion (and laziness) preventing me from changing it.
8. chocolate cravings.

in light of #'s 1-7, i have decided to hold off on battling #8 until some other day. and really, its less of a craving and more of an addiction.

when faced with certain scenarios throughout the day, i often find my solace in chocolate.

ella isn't feeling well and everything, EVERYTHING, is causing some serious tears... have some m&m's.

the dishes never seem to go away and the dishwasher is always full, often with clean dishes, which is actually worse because now i have one more "immediate" task... maybe after some left-over chocolate valentine hearts.

i desperately need a nap and its only 9:30... didn't i buy some easter candy and hide it in one of these cupboards?

bennett refuses to eat anything but yogurt for lunch and has taken to crying hysterically on the kitchen floor...
i swear we have some left-over reese's from around christmas.

ella is ready to "get up" from her nap that she didn't take and will stand at her door and whine until i let her out or threaten her. a battle i just don't feel up to today... i think its time to make some brownies.

mason is already up from his nap? its only been 20 minutes... brownies should be done soon.

fussy baby time prevents me from making dinner, cleaning up, playing with my kids, or even going to the bathroom... i know there is chocolate chip cookie dough somewhere in this freezer.

ahh... chocolate.

its like mommy crack.

and i am hooked.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

wardrobe malfunction

ella's chosen attire for church:
our compromise:
and since i'm her mom, i'm going to brag for just a moment about how i think she is quite beautiful. and i think i'm going to post just a few more pictures. you know, since it's my blog and i can...

pictures i begged her to stay still for, now being our chance since "the boys were still sleeping."

"you mean those two boys who still poop in their diapers?"

yep. those are the ones.

side note: the other day on our walk, we saw some of our friendly neighbor kids, had a little chat with them and then were on our way. as we were walking away i heard one little boy say to a group of girls, "so-and-so has a crush on ella." i started to chuckle and then i abruptly stopped myself and fought the urge to turn around and exclaim, "she's only 4!" but i thought better of it. like the 1st graders are really going to care what i think.

and besides, its not like she's leaving the house ever again anyway.