Friday, December 30, 2011

From booze cruise to Blues Clues

Well I haven’t gotten any hate mail from the last post, so I’ll continue filling in for Courtney a little longer.  There were a couple of requests (albeit from the same person) for me to kick off storytime with my tale of the cab driver shooting.  Well, Tiffany, that will come in due time.  You see, one thing I have learned about the fairer sex is that, if you give them everything they want on the second date, they aren’t going to value you as much later.

And that’s all this is after all.  We’re in the bliss phase of the blogger-blogee(?) relationship.  I’m still getting a kick out of the novelty of blathering on to complete strangers, and you’re bemused by the sudden change of pace.  If my relationship analogy holds up, after about six weeks, I will have depleted my finite stash of interesting stories, and you’re going to want Courtney back.  We’ll try to remain friends.  It won’t work, and after a couple of late-night drunken blog posts that we’ll both regret the morning, we’ll move on.  It’s not you.  It’s me.

Today I want to highlight some symptoms of old age I have been noticing in myself lately.  For starters, completely against my will, I turned 30 last month (pause for groans from anyone who is older than me).  Like it or not, 30 is that magical age when you are forced to release your death grip on the argument that you’re still in your 20s, which is technically still young.  Furthermore, I’ve recently taken to listening to the 90s on 9 channel of XM radio.  Do you remember when our parents would listen to the oldies channel in the car, declaring to anyone within earshot that they were one hip replacement away from starting to buy adult diapers?  Bam.  I’m that guy.  When did Third Eye Blind become oldies?  Around the same time that I got my Middle Age Club membership card in the mail.

Getting older is not all bad though.  For instance, being married rocks.  There is something incredibly secure and peaceful about coming home to someone who knows all of the less-than-glamorous stuff about you and loves you anyway.   I can honestly say that I am more excited about starting a family with my wife than I ever was about going to prom or pitching in a big game or any of the other things around which my young life revolved.  Luckily for me, I don’t have to wait too long for that, since she is due on New Years Eve.  We’re having a girl-or as I like to call her-karmic whiplash. 

So I’ll get to the crazy stories of my immodest days gone by, but for now, I’m just sitting back and watching this new chapter in my life unfold.  Besides, if I had told the cabdriver shooting story right away, do you think Tiffany would have called me the next day?  I doubt it.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

when a guy guest blogs.

Indy is in powder blue. I offer no explanation.

What’s up?  I’m Indy.  Courtney pulled me out of the bullpen to write a couple of blog entries for her now that Henry is here.   I am not a blogger or bloggist or whatever the politically correct term is for those unemployed narcissists who regale us with the minutia of their lives on a daily basis.  I think she asked me because she and I have a similar sense of humor - albeit mine is without any sense of decorum.  I figure the best first entry I could write would be how I know Courtney and Brandon and the evolution of our friendship. 

I first started hanging out with those two during Brandon’s and my intern year.   I was their perma-third wheel.  They had been married for probably 5 or 6 years at that point, and they tolerated the seemingly endless line of floozies that I dated that year.*  I was the kind of train-wreck, alpha male moron who had no business raising a fichus all by myself, let alone working as a physician.  My schedule consisted of going to work, working out, and going out.  Gym, tan, anesthesiology if you will - though anyone who knows me understands that the middle word is an utter and baseless lie. 

I looked up to the stability that Court and Brandon had together despite still being “cool” enough to keep up with me when we went out to bars.  Before Harper came along, we went out.  A lot.  My liver still has not forgiven me, but we are back on speaking terms.  C and B were the type of people who could lovingly laugh at my shenanigans with little to no judgment and give me advice only when I asked for it.  I was very much like a new puppy who followed them around.  

Ridiculousness seemed to happen all the time that year, and Courtney has asked me to write about some of those times.  Since that year, I settled down and got married to a girl who is way too good for me and have since learned that when a woman asks you to do something, she is actually telling you to do it.  Guys out there, you might want to write that down.  That pearl of knowledge is the male equivalent of the discovery of penicillin. 

So I’m going to set out at random and unexpected time intervals, recounting the fun and awkward times we had that year.  I will do my best to protect the innocent, which will be easy, since those people were few and far between.  Some upcoming blogs will surely address; the time I got shot by a cab driver, the Halloween party in July, New Years Eve (oh yes, Courtney, I went there), and more.

Occasionally I will write with the kind of stream-of-consciousness ramblings only intelligible to schizophrenics, so if I lose any of you, I will have C attach an addendum explaining what the *&^% I am talking about.  After all, she is the blogette, not me. 

*If you are reading this, and you dated me during my intern year-don’t worry.  I’m not talking about you.  You were the one exception, and I look back at our time together with misty eyes.**

**If you are smart enough to realize that I couldn’t possibly be speaking to any one specific person, then I definitely did not date you during my intern year.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

henry's birth story

I struggle with how much detail to include, here.

Like, do I say that 'on day two of week 40, I had a doctor's appointment and shortly thereafter I went into labor?'

Or do I say, "Well, I waddled into the doctor's office, huffing and puffing, two days overdue, and - despite my best tricks - couldn't get my blood pressure to go down to normal, so the doctor (un)mercifully got things moving with a procedure during which I - a woman of great composure -  involuntarily exclaimed, "holy crap!"

I'll go with the latter until the details become something from which you can't recover:

After the terrible awful that made me holler at around 11:00 a.m., he proclaimed that I would be induced this day.

Then I cried, because I really, really didn't want that. lol. (not in front of the doctor)

So I sucked it up and waddled home to get my bag and blow dry my hair betwixt trying to make a 2 year old understand where I was going and putting her down for a nap.

At around 2:00 p.m., Brandon and I headed for the hospital and not a minute too soon, because by this point, I was in full blown gonna-have-the-baby-this-is-not-a-joke labor. The words I was saying at this point were much, much less gentile than "holy crap!"

They were, in fact, the very worst words I'd use, but were mostly drowned out by AC/DC's Back in Black, which Brandon and I agreed was awesome enough to take my mind off of most anything for the 15 minute car ride. Even in the Mustang. Ugh. The tight suspension. I die.

Luckily, Dr. Bighands had heralded our arrival and we were in a room by 3:00. 

In a stroke of luck, friends kept us company* for what I assumed would be a long, yet civilly medicated process. Other friends who work at the hospital also stopped by our room for quick chats, which totally kept my mind off the fact that the epidural, which I received at 4:00 p.m., when I was juuuust about to begin cranking out some seriously ugly facial contortions/cussing, was only working on one side of my body.

*I would recommend having friends around to any woman who thinks she's in danger of throwing some kind of embarrassing monkeyshine fit at the onset of contractions, because seriously.. are you going to do that in front of people you're gonna have to look in the face for years to come? No.

Shortly after realizing I'd rather not suffer through it all Scarlett O'Hara style, I spoke up and got some additional drugs. Because that's how I like my deliveries. Numb. I'd be lying if I said I wasn't terrified it wasn't going to work and my hands were so sweaty that I felt the need to explain it to anyone who shook my hand - which everyone who comes into the room seems to want to do. A dear friend likened them to that of a small mammal. Anyway.

At around 5:00, a doctor came in and assessed the...err.. situation (don't worry..our friends left the room) and proclaimed me 'ready.' 

So, a whole gang of people flooded into the room to stock it with all kinds of baby-having "stuff" and drape it all up...kinda Dexter-esque, honestly, while I pretended to be impeccably collected about the whole thing, continually bantering with Brandon and the nurses and doctor and probably saying unfunny things that I punctuated with nervous, too-loud laughter.

I only nearly lost my marbles once, when the doctor said that Henry might be 'sunny side up' and it might take a while longer to get him out.. and I was catapulted back to Harper's labor and birth and lord, I knew I did not want to go there, again. Because that 'there' is hard to get over.

I warned Brandon one last time to keep his eyes above my waist and we started that there.

My internal dialogue went something like this, and it was really all I had time to think:

Wow, my own legs are heavy. I can't believe they're making ME pick them up.
Hush about the pushing already! No need to go all crazy on the first one, y'all.
We've got many, many more contractions where this one came from.
Can I get a break, here?!
Does someone in this room of 95 people have a water bottle they can squirt into my mouth?

I thought that, surely, I had run upon the most overzealous team of 'coaches' in history and I was dreading, with all my might, the next two hours, because 45 seconds in, I had already left it all on the field.

Little did I know. . .

As unceremoniously as the day had begun, it was punctuated in just one contraction and four pushes.

With Henry,

the newest little love of my life.

5:55 p.m. 8 lbs, 7.5 oz. 21 inches. 

He arrived in record time, and I am so glad, because now I know I couldn't have gone another second without knowing him.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

The funniest/most awkward thing that happened to me in 2011.

I'm jumping the gun here, hoping it absolves me of some kind of horribly awkward birth story.

But, I'm pretty sure some of the oomph will be lost in my necessity to protect anonymity.

Cause, Lord, if you knew who did this, or I could just tell you more about them, it would be so much funnier.

So back in March, before I found out we were going to have Henry, I thought that we weren't. And it bummed me out. Little did I know, just a few days later, we'd get some happy news.


I have a friend who has two children and, thus, not a lot of time to spend with her husband.

So when I started bellyaching about the fact I wasn't pregnant when I thought - surely - I should have been, she sent me a texted song to cheer me up*, adding the text "This will make you feel better about not being pregnant."

*this is when you need to know more about her to realize how out of character this would have been. She's a pragmatist and would never go here. Not on her most hormonal day:

And so I listened to it. And through most of it, I'm thinking, "Did she have a stroke?" Because it was a Faith Hill song, but not just any Faith Hill song. A racy, im-fixin-to-rip-tim-mcgraw's-clothes-off-and-i-dont-care-who-knows-it song.

Poor girl musta been desperate for a date night. 

And, at first, my plan was to ignore it.. but.. can you really ignore something so genuine and heartfelt from a friend? Perhaps a disguised cry for help? Something that obviously took lots of forethought to find and..guts to send? I mean.. it was such an intimate audio file. I just.. couldn't ignore it.

Especially after two hours, when she texted and asked, "Did you get what I sent?"

(and here's where it gets so awkward that you're gonna want to look away, and as my good friend Elizabeth says, 'you can't unread this.')

I typed the most awkward response in history, "Aww, that hits the spot. Leave it to Faith Hill."


WHAT THE HECK? "Hits the spot?!" Who says that?! My face is red in the retelling. Cringing, I tell you.

As fast as lightning, she's texting back...blowing me up, y'all:







So with each text, I got a little more giggly - wondering how that could have actually happened to: a. the pragmatist, b. the perfectionist. c. why is a Faith Hill song on your phone?

And then she sent the file she meant to send. . . her two children hollering to beat the band.. at the same time. "This will make you feel better about not being pregnant."

Indeed, my friend. Indeed it did. I'd even say that it..yes...hit the spot.

Of course, everyone has a story at least this good once a year.

Wanna know why this wins my prize for 2011?

C. It wasn't Faith Hill doing the singing. Mid frenzied type-a text freakout, she let it slip: She had recorded herself singing a racy, im-fixin-to-rip-tim-mcgraw's-clothes-off-and-i-dont-care-who-knows-it song while she was driving and had accidentally sent.. it.. to.. me.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

38 & 39 weeks: like John Nash, in a less smart way.

1. Nosy neighbor, don't interrupt my porch sweeping frenzy to ask how dilated(!) I am. I'll just stare at you and stutter. PS. Because you did that, I'm significantly less horrified that Harper and Gwandma picked your very last late-blooming rose. Have you ever heard of such? A rose in December? Yep. They picked it. And now it's in our kitchen.

2. I've about had it with all of these sale emails in my inbox. Don't bother, unless you have something better to show me than your Pottery Barn Anywhere Chair for 30% off.

3. Wow. I really thought Henry would be here by now - It's not like he hasn't practiced enough. I've been timing and charting painful contractions in my head like John Nash for two weeks. Like him, because I can make a PB&J for Harper and hang clothes at the same time and not lose count.

4. The first thing I want to drink after Henry makes his debut is the saltiest margarita on the (many) rocks that I can find...and I don't especially love margaritas. The (un)fortunate thing is that I will forget all about that margarita and probably drink some room temp, hospital-grade cranberry juice from a plastic cup whose aluminum, pudding-cup-like lid I'll shakily, exhaustedly & thoughtlessly peel back and not bat an eye... and not long for anything with such ferocity besides elective sleep for the next 6 - 8 weeks.

5. I could not be more excited about Harper's Christmas presents - one in particular - which almost guarantees an epic failure and subsequent blog post.

6. I bought some really heavy stocking hangers at last year's Target 90% off sale.  I was very excited to use them this year, and when I put them up, Harper reached for her stocking - suspended by a reindeer with particularly sharp antlers - and told me she "is quite fond of this one!" (Seriously..that happened.) And then, as fast as lightning - maybe...unless I stood there, stupefied by the vernacular and failed to recognize the imminent and obvious danger - she proceeded to jerk it down from the mantle, creating an inch-long gash (ok...impressive scratch) in her temple, smashing her foot (no, really. she smashed it.. good) and splitting a piece of her toenail. She cried for 30 seconds then got off of my lap and yelled baby obscenities at the crashed reindeer for the next 30 seconds. What a champ.

7. Our girl is an enigma, because a few days ago, Brandon and I stopped at Dunkin Donuts for a latte and I asked her if she wanted a bagel and she said, "No bagel, yuck!" so I rolled my eyes at the moment of general brattiness and didn't order the bagel. And then she screamed in the back seat for the next 30 minutes (and into the next day when she would think about the injustice) because I didn't buy it. Even yesterday, when we were on our way to the grocery store, I heard, "Oh noooo! I no have bagel! Waaah!" from the back seat. O.m.g.

8. It's important to know that with all of these indirect John Nash references, I'm talking about the genius portrayed by Russell Crowe in the 2001 blockbuster A Beautiful Mind. Because when I first looked up John Nash because I couldn't remember his name because pregnancy and general toddler antics have stolen my feeble brain, I was all, "Wait.. the South African-born, yet Canadian NBA player?" No. That's Steve.

9. I can not think of a single thing I want for Christmas. I never understood this about adulthood when I was little.

10. Harper and I will now attempt a Dunkin Donut run for cream cheese because I can not bear the thought of waddling through the grocery store with a toddler for cream cheese. Hopefully no one in the car decides to lose it based on travesties of the past.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Getting rusty.

I haven't blogged in 10 days - and it shows - b/c I can't think of a single interesting thing to say.

Except that I dragged my creeky bones out of bed this morning for an OB appointment, waddled through the hospital and arrived just in time. For my appointment on...Wednesday.

But I'm glad I did, because since I was already there, I waddled up a few more floors to schedule a different appointment and they were able to squeeze me in for my regular twice-weekly quick and easy non-stress test.

Except Henry had a temper tantrum, which earned him most of the morning on a monitor, a bag of IV fluids, an exam, and multiple threats of an induction. Good. Times. I bet he'll think twice before he decides to do that again.

So when I'm not pleading with Henry to behave,

Bob Ross in 'paintin' in duh kitchun':

'Woking' with her friends AC and....DC:

and generally acclimating herself to Henry's impending arrival:

That is, when she's not "wunning fast in da yawd":

All kinds of heartfelt holiday posts forthcoming..

Thursday, November 17, 2011

It's my aeroplane.

Actually, no, no it's not.

I just read an article on Yahoo! where parents are bellyaching about airlines creating 'baby ghettos' on the back of a plane so that the crying and general shenanigans won't upset other passengers.

...The parents complain that their seat assignments get screwed up and they're constantly at the mercy of  other travelers to help their families stay seated together.
...They complain that spacious seating - best for privacy in diaper changes and facilitating squirmy toddlers - is too expensive for families to afford.
...They complain that they get the stink eye too often from other passengers.
...and that the airline won't check their big stroller, only their small one.

Allow me to introduce a foreign concept:

Don't. Fly.

Duh, emergency situations will present themselves where 'it' (the fresh hell that is flying with a toddler) can't be helped. Where you have no other choice. And friends, you'll just have to white knuckle it through, but...

Did you not think your life would change when you had children?

Did you think you'd be able to do everything you used to do as a goofy, stink-eye-doling, cheap Chardonnay-sipping, business class-flying single or couple, whose heads you skim with your diaper bag on the way back to the 'baby ghetto' at the back of the plane?

Seriously, shut up.

If you're flying for 'convenience' to be where you want to be for the holidays or for vacation in a timely manner, suck it up.  You're making the choice to go there. And while, yes, you did acquire three super human abilities shortly after the birth of your child - an impervious shield to the atrocities of poop, vomit and screaming - others have not. And those three things? Bad for business.

Don't tell me you haven't winced at the sound of a crying baby before you had one.

Yep, I'm lookin' at you.

...If you want to avoid the small quarters, the hours in the airport, the stink eye, the 'no privacy' for diaper changes, pack up your big ass minivan, arm yourself with juice boxes and Goldfish crackers and drive to your destination. If you do it just right, you might even have enough space for that mobile home you like to call a jogging stroller.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

where I draw parallels between pregnancy and those fainting goats

The 36th week of pregnancy. The week that separates the men from the boys. And fainting goats.

Common sense and experience have been forsaken in the name of tallying up a laundry list of first-world problems I'd really love to rattle off to anyone who'll listen, but I don't usually... b/c:

I'd be remiss in not mentioning this not-so-rare jerk. Do you know her? She's at the grocery store, Target, the park. . . .

Jerk says: "How far along are you?"
Me: "36 weeks."
Jerk: "Oooh, you're almost there!"
Me: "He can come anytime he wants!  I'm ready to meet him!" (I swear, I'm delivering this line as good naturedly as possible..not all Gilda Radner/Wendy Whiner)
Jerk: "Oh, you'll be so tired in those first couple of weeks, you'll wish he was back in there ((motions to my stretched-beyond-all-recognition womb))."

Don't say that, ok? It doesn't help and could get you punched in the nose. Pregnant women be crazy.

With that in mind, I'll carry on.

I'm officially out of room. Wanna know how I know? Henry just kicked my sternum and it popped. Audibly.

And yesterday morning? I had to get low on a hospital bed because Henry's head is so far down that the ultrasound tech couldn't get a picture of it.

That, of course, came after a med student tried to measure the size of my uterus with ye olde tape measure. Mid-palpation/comfortable rhetoric about the exact location of my pubic bone, Henry punched him so hard that the med student yelled, "Holy crap!" and dropped the tape.

Speaking of breathing, every time I bend over, all of the air rushes out of my lungs and my "extremely long! how tall is your husband?!" baby cuts off all circulation below the waist, and I feel like I'm going to pull one of these:

I've developed a prehensile foot for picking things up off the floor.  Or when I can't be motivated to do that, I'll just stare and cuss. Nothing good happens after a 45 degree bend at the waist.  
Melissa & Doug, I've had it with your Velcro pepperoni. HAD IT. I'm thinking about firing up the outdoor fireplace just so I can bask in the glow of your wooden block pizza, wedding cake, realistic food groups and educational puzzles.

My friends Braxton and Hicks are coming hard and fast and unpredictably. They leave me uncharacteristically breathy and very Marilyn Monroe. Except not hot. At all. Maybe more like this:

There are no comfortable sleeping positions left. I compensate by falling asleep sitting up, then falling over (goat-like or drunk-like), waking up to my own snore/drool/dead arms and waddling through the house at all hours of the night eating extra strength peppermint Tums. I'm living the life of a Golden Girl.

I have only two shirts and two pairs of pants that fit. 

That's all for today. It's time for me and Harper to run to Blockbuster so that I can knock over another candy display with my belly.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Possibly Unpopular Opinion of the Week

Today, I'm thankful for all of the people who show their thankfulness in November by, each day, writing how thankful they are for frivolous things and publishing them on Facebook. Thank you. And thank you again. I am thankful.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

how to tame a black cat

We've been practicing for a week, now.

We've watched many showings of the Dora Halloween special.

We bought ears and tail two weeks in advance so that she could warm up to the idea. Mainly, this manifested itself in my own (and Brandon's..which was infinitely more entertaining) wearing of the ears and tail. She liked for us to meow, also. "Ooooh! Deh's duh scawy bwack cat! Meooooow bwack cat!"  ((cue uncontrollable giggle fits))

We planned the costume with her normal clothes - not scratchy, not strange. Familiar. Unassuming.

Brandon was a doubter, "She's not gonna go!"

But, I talked it up all day.

We started putting on the costume one piece at the time at 5:30.

Black pants.

Leopard socks.

Black tutu.

Black shirt with cat face.

We had to appear apathetic - because Harper rarely wears anything I want her to - but with the successful donning of each piece of black clothing, my excitement grew.

When she let me paint whiskers on each cheek and a black heart-shaped nose and she started to meow and smile at herself in the mirror instead of scream in horror, I knew we were getting somewhere.

And as soon as the first princess and pirate came to our house for candy, she was ready to hit the trail.

I barely got her coat on in time - in a clutch & coordinating play, Grandma just happened to arrive yesterday with a double-breasted black pea coat that completed the outfit.

Stealthily and unbenownst to Harper, Brandon pinned a long black tail on her coat as we headed out the door.

I threw on her cat ears headband while she was busily examining the two pieces of  'starter candy.'

As our rookie stalked across the grass with her lime green pumpkin and up to the front door of our most friendly neighbors, we rehearsed, just as we had for a week:

me: "What do you say when they answer the door?"

H: "Twick oh Tweet!"

me: "Great! And how many pieces of candy do you take?"

H: ((silence))

me: "One."

me: "And what do you say after they give you candy?"

H: "Dank you! Happeh Hawwoween!"

Our girl had this down cold. She was so, so ready.

And much like her momma, the girl went on auto pilot as soon as our neighbor greeted her sweet and soft little knock at their door. Much to my (and Brandon's...and every neighbor's) delight, our rehearsals went out the window in favor of instinct:

She excitedly sat her bucket at their feet (I do not know why... but it was fantastic.) and said, "Hiiiiiii! Put duh candy, pwease! Dank you!"

Our plan was to go to 3 houses...

And after the 11th, she began to slow - weighed down by the considerable booty she insisted on carrying herself.

At the late hour of 7:15, a small, tired, 'scawy bwack' kitty cat - a seasoned pro - trudged back through our yard and proclaimed that she would like a few "de-wish-us tweats."

Happeh Hawwoween, indeed.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

When Brandon went to get a juice box and came back with a Miller Lite,

I knew it was time to go home. 

But really, we had a great time at Disney.

In an elaborate dinosaur-themed restaurant at Downtown Disney, I turned 28 and got the very best birthday present I could have imagined: Harper fell asleep in my arms (y'all...this just does not happen) and I got to hold her like a baby for 30 minutes.

Lowlight: Harper got the pants scared off of her in a ride at Hollywood Studios. I'm still not sure B and I are back in the circle of trust. The best part? The brochure warned us that it might frighten small children. Epic parenting fail. We did not commemorate this with a photo. Honestly, I don't even know why I'm telling it now.  Except maybe to say this...

After she had napped off the horror of the scary ride and after Brandon drank that Miller Lite, he convinced her to go on a different ride by calling it a 'gondola.' He's not the type of guy who says 'gondola,' either, which I think was the highlight of the trip. Him. In a deeply persuasive conversation with our 2-year-old about a 'gondola.'

We stayed in a hotel that reminded me so much of being on Bald Head Island. Had it not been for an extremely merciful military discount, we could have purchased Bald Head Island for the price of 4 days in this hotel. The front desk was extremely attentive to Harper's every need.

The fountain drinks with ice in each park were spectacular. Seriously. It was perfect ice. I am in total withdrawal.

The food? Meh. Just before we left, I hastily threw together a bag of lightweight, non-perishable items to eat in our hotel room - because I am the child of Billy Butler - and I'm guessing that bag saved us at least $200.

We randomly happened upon Boyz II Men performing at Epcot - to both of our disappointment, we just missed them rocking the house to Motown Philly, but wheeled Harper up right as they were cranking out End of the Road. Y'all, there were some really really excited late twentyandthirtysomethings spilling $8 beer - but you wouldn't know it from the picture. It's b/c we were in the thick of the ruckus. And the Boyz' microphones were jewel-encrusted. Harper loved their groove beyond measure, which shocked us, b/c she's more of a disco-era girl when it comes to unexpected arms-in-the-air stroller boogying.

In other famous person-spotting news, I thought Burt Reynolds was in a pontoon boat next to us at one point, but it was just Brandon telling me that our hotel had boat rentals..

In general, it's impossible for a toddler to fully catch up on sleep each night, so Disney kinda turns them into glassy-eyed zombies who fall down a lot. True story: After we got off of It's a Small World in the Magic Kingdom, a 4-year-old girl in a Snow White princess dress tripped over her little brother's stroller and she sprawled out on the pavement in a huge, stiff royal blue and yellow polyester heap and was so tired she just lie there for a few seconds, to which her mom said, "Dammit, I think you just broke the iPhone! Get up!" ...the most magical place on Earth, indeed.

Just to get through, you have to ply them with sugar, or this happens:

Even if they take a three and a half hour nap in the middle of the day:

For example, Harper ate an entire Mickey Mouse ice cream bar by herself. I do not think she dropped a single bite, which is impressive, because sometimes she still misses her mouth with a spoon.

We won the battle of memorabilia, unless you count all of those $5 drinks where I really just wanted the ice - we came home with a mouse ears ball cap and a spinny, light-up Tinkerbell toy that Brandon is taking to work after Harp tires of it to mesmerize horrified children into doing his eye exam bidding.

Overall, the biggest hit with Harper was the Animal Kingdom.

She almost lost her marbles when this giraffe ambled up to stick his nose in our safari jeep:

She liked the petting zoo, but didn't actually do any petting. Fine. By. Me. Those goats had no space bubble:

She enjoyed trains of all sorts.

She really liked the characters and wasn't shy at all. She had brief chats with Jiminy Cricket and Chip & Dale. To Jiminy, she said, "Come on! Wets go pway!"

Enjoyed a conspicuously Dumbo-like dinosaur ride:

Loved the jumpy water fountain at Epcot:

And by our last night there, Brandon and Harper, loopy from sleep deprivation, took to taking self portraits..

And then we got on a plane and went home. And maybe one day, when she's 28 and has children of her own, I'll share with her the story of the plane ride home. So she won't completely lose hope in her parenting abilities and continue to procreate.  Apparently, the stress literally crossed my eyes..which particularly disturbs my husband, but I laugh every time I see it..with my one good eye.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

practice makes perfect

We twick-oh-tweet at Hah-puh's house, Momma!/In this installment of "Harper Dresses Herself":

Friday, October 14, 2011

The one where my most favorite pregnancy craving is ruined forever.

1. I hate it when people crunch ice with their teeth! Other than someone chewing with their mouth open, I can not think of a more intolerable offense. Except maybe people who chew ice with their mouths open. Intolerable = I'd just as soon jump out of a moving automobile as listen to it.

I'll move on now.

2. Strangely, in my third trimester, I crave ice*. Terribly. Like it's going out of style. Maybe two cups a day, but that's two more cups than I'd ever consider in a non-pregnant state. Two more cups than I'd punch someone for eating in a non-pregnant state. Thank the sweet Lord it doesn't bug Brandon like it bugs me.

3. I am positive that it tastes better than any actual 'food' that exists, which lets me know that I am truly crazy. A few nights ago, I lamented my station in life as I pulled from the oven a Pyrex of saucy burritos. . . .because what I really wanted for dinner was a huge cup of that ball-y shaped ice (you know..the kind at BBQ Hut in Fayetteville?) and a Blow Pop. REALLY.

4. My desire went to a strategic, desperate and ..unfortunate place yesterday, when I found out that the nearest Sonic is in Baltimore. . .which made me audibly cuss, because I had already called Chick-Fil-A. They don't have the ball-y ice. I won't even talk about how that conversation went. ...a lot like this, actually:

5. So I Googled "Fast Food Crunchy Ice" thinking, surely, someone has blogged about it or created a website.

6. My search results yielded only horror - In 2006, Good Morning America interviewed a little girl who did a science fair project on the cleanliness of fast food ice. Turns out, it's 70% dirtier than the toilet water in the same restaurants. E.coli included..for free! B/c the machines are never cleaned. B/c dirty hands scoop it out. I die.

7. Here's the link: Commode Ice

8. Don't read it.

9. Especially if you're a crazy pregnant person who happened upon my blog because you, too, have an insatiable and irrational craving for ice.

10. Unrelatedly, b/c I couldn't squeak out a decent #10: While I'm on the subject of fast food, why does KFC force you to say the words "Breast Meal" when ordering it? Why can't they just mercifully assign it a number? I can never get that out without at least cracking a smile. Seriously, "Breast Meal with two sides?" lol. Gah.

*No. I'm not iron-deficient. Just crazy.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

New Kicks

"Wook Momma! Pund up kicks! I wun baby wun, fasta dan an ewaphant!"

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Pumpkin Patch 2011

Like all other city dwellers of the metro area, we made the pilgrimage to a pumpkin patch in the 'country,' this weekend. I apologize in advance for the terrible photography.

Ok. So we took this on the way home when I realized that we didn't take a single family picture. I look kinda crazy. Very sweaty and like I want to bite someone.

A raucous great time was had by all! I feel the need to say that, because Harper isn't smiling in most of these. Again,

No, I swear. She had a GREAT time.

Harper and Brandon slid down a huge slide (loved: "swide down again!?"), she spied some chickens and ponies and goats and donkeys and bunnies (loved: "wook at dos wabbits! dey eatin!").

When I thought they couldn't possibly be more alike. . .


Fake chickens. Dancing. Loved.
We rode a hayride (loved: "so many bumps!") to the pumpkin patch (hated: "gon faw down. hugs! (pick me up)" amongst many twisty vines on the ground, leading up a very, very steep hill) and back to the other attractions (loved).

Finally, I'm going to lay this on you because I think it's one of the funniest things ever and completely and absolutely couldn't be a better representation of our child one year ago versus today:

2010                                                 2011

Thursday, October 6, 2011

still pumping, indeed

Harper's favorite person is visiting this week - Gwandma.

Highlights expectedly include expert babysitting, organizing, laundry, cooking, shopping, crime-drama television recaps, etc.

Unexpectedly? She was on a swing at the park yesterday, commenting on her ability to 'still pump [her] legs with the best of them,' when efforts waxed slightly overzealous, causing her to nervously question the stability of the industrial, 8-person swing set, at an alarming and unfortunately-timed back-swing of 10-12 feet.

..At which point, with the bulk of my attention focused on pushing Harper, I may have teasingly and offhandedly said, "Yeah, that chain looks a little weak at the top." As I waited for my joke to be punctuated with laughter, it never occurred to me she'd do what she actually did:

Which was. . .

Jump out of the swing at its highest forward point: A blur of perfectly seasonal Chico's fabric, sparkly jewelry and expertly coiffed blond hair spanned a diagonal 10 foot decent in my periphery, punctuated with a silent, uprightly cat-like landing on slippery wood chips.

Vintage Mom & Harp. ...too busy performing death defying acts to pose.