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.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Type B vs. the manual transmission

 When I was 8, Dad taught me how to drive a stick-shift car.

I'd like to think I was the only 3rd grader to know how, but. . . we lived in the country and some of my friends could probably drive tractors by the time they were 8.

And then, like most things I learned in 3rd grade - except for those multiplication tables - I forgot how.  Well, I have to sing the 8s. For some reason, they don't stick, otherwise. Which is fine. Unless you're taking the SAT in a quiet room.

I digress.

So when I was 18, I went to one of Brandon's baseball games a few hours away from home. And then he got a concussion and had to drive himself all the way home because I didn't know how to drive his car. True story: he actually fell asleep at some stop lights.

In between poking him and praying we'd make it home, I silently vowed I'd learn.

When his brain wasn't swole anymore, Brandon tried to teach me. But he yelled at me after I cut off three times (in 30 seconds) and I stormed out of the car and walked home... which was fine, because the car had only moved two feet.

And so it gnawed at me - the same gnaw when I realize I don't know the newest CPR guidelines -  all strange and un-type b-like.

What if I had to drive somewhere and I couldn't? Useless!

Later that same summer, I taught myself to drive my dad's truck while he was at work and prayed I didn't strip the clutch, or if I did, that he wouldn't know it was me. For the life of me, I have no idea why I didn't just ask him to teach me. Probably because I was a teenager and, therefore, dumb.

Like most things I learned in my teenage years, I forgot how. Again.

After we got married, Brandon bought a manual transmission car and on the 5th day he had it, he taught me to drive it in the parking lot of his medical school. And this time I wasn't as spastic. And his brain wasn't damaged. And I learned. For good.

Sort of.

Well enough to get the car from Wisconsin to Maryland. Well enough to be a designated driver and not make anyone hurl. Well enough to drive my boss's BMW on my third day of work in DC and not get fired. My palms still sweat.. just thinking about that.

Then, Brandon brought home a brand-new Mustang 5.0.

And while I am content to have my head pinned to the passenger seat on a regular basis, I have no interest in doing it to myself.

Not even 'back it out of the driveway so I can mow the grass' interested.

And Brandon teases me. Mellowed by old age, he doesn't care if I cut off. Or burn out the clutch. Or just do general dumbness whilst attempting to relearn.

But I'm a momma bear now and I'm happy to give him side-eye over a latte on Saturday morning when he asks if I want to drive. My cargo is too precious.

However, my trusty Accord forsook me with a flat tire yesterday morning and there I was, again: Sweaty palms. Knowing I had to drive Brandon to the airport in a few hours.

He called a practice* around 11:00 a.m. (just to ensure I wouldn't concuss all of us on the way to Baltimore).

*Albeit on the rare occasion, my cat-like reflexes, timing and quick wit have been known to forsake me when I'm pregnant (sometimes all at the same time), which would equal one mother of a stall-out.

After a quick Allen Iverson impression that swayed no one, we were out on the road. Harper, too. Her commentary was brilliant:

"easy, easy. go go go. punch it, momma!"

And I'm proud to report that only my timidity got the best of my husband  - who in just 24 hours was scheduled to give a presentation at a NATO conference out of the country -  when he lovingly bellowed, "Make the clutch your bitch! The sooner you realize you're not on a romantic date, the easier it will be!"

I'm not sure there's a better ending to any story than that, so..

The end.