Wednesday, August 31, 2011


This little guy is my best friend.
There is just one teeeensy-tiny problem with my best friend. It takes him three-and-a-half minutes to get all yummy and ready for my toddler to devour. If you're a mom and you're reading this, you understand perfectly that three-and-a-half minutes could just as well be three-and-a-half months when it comes to food.

Maybe you have a kiddo that wakes up all goo-goo, ga-ga. Or maybe you have a kiddo like mine.

Who wakes up like the giant in Jack and the Beanstalk.

Three-and-a-half minutes? It gets tricky, folks. I've found that it's all about listening for the stir--that initial, small whispering of the sheets. It's all I need to fly like a bloody Englishman to the kitchen, rip the top off of the mac n' cheese, throw it like a touchdown pass into the microwave, and hit my knees and beg God to keep him asleep for--you guessed it--the next three-and-a-half minutes. :)

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Mother's Day In

I hopped out of bed this morning as soon as I heard the toddler on the monitor. Today was his first day of Mother's Day Out!

Backpack? Check!

Lunch? Check!

Woke up with a fever of 102? Check.

Mother's Day Out just became Mother's Day In.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Bubbles in the Fridge

I'm pretty sure I wasn't the one who stuck a yellow bottle of Miracle Bubbles next to the bagels...

More than my concern over who put the bubbles in the refrigerator (I'm pretty sure we know who the culprit is), is my concern that this little fellow was able to open the fridge. In the words of John "Biscuit" Cage (seen Ally McBeal?), "This troubles me." :)

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

And The Verdict Is In

This morning, I took the toddler in for his allergy testing.

I was positive of three things:

1. He looked like a wreck. Four days on no Zyrtec was not good to my little guy.
2. He was allergic to dust.
3. He was allergic to dairy.

I didn't know how much the doctor would be testing him for, so I tried to stifle any worries of 5 pricks or 50 pricks? The other side of me was glad that he was having it done so young, because he wouldn't know what was going on. It would be over before he was afraid.

His allergist is one of our long-time family friends that has known me since I was only a few years older than my little guy. So sweet. I love her to death and totally trust her.

The nurse came in and pricked him ten times. Not so bad. We can handle ten.

And then came the bad part. Having to restrain him for twenty minutes so that we wouldn't have to redo the test. Yikers. Yeah, everyone in that entire office could hear my poor child screaming his lungs out for twenty solid minutes (that, and me singing "Mr. Sun" over and over and over).

The doctor came back in, took one look at his back, and delivered the verdict:

Not allergic to anything!

What!? That's not what I was expecting. My mom sense doesn't fail me often, but it sure did fail me today!

I feel two emotions. I'm happy that my child (at least at this point in his life) isn't allergic to any major food/environmental things. Really happy. I don't have allergies, I never have, and I'm not sure I would know how to handle that. The second emotion is that I feel like once again we're hitting a brick wall.

And I know, I know, I know that I could be struggling with something a bajillion times worse than this. In fact, I thank God every day that this is all we're having to deal with! In the big scheme of things, this is no big deal!

But it still feels frustrating. We keep getting the same news. He will struggle with this for a while, maybe years. I look at his sweet little face, arms, and legs, and I feel guilty. I feel like it's my fault. And I get so sick of people asking what is wrong with my baby--MY BABY! My precious child that I would do anything in the world for. I would die for in a second. I would run fifty marathons for. My child that I pray for every day and that I love with every ounce of my being--and that I've loved before I ever knew him, ever knew my husband.

That kills me. I cannot imagine going up to anyone--and especially anyone's child--and saying, "What's wrong with his face? What's on his arms?" Or whatever. Time after time (except once, I'm going to be honest, that I walked out of the room) I just smile and say, "It's just dry skin." And you wouldn't believe how many people say, "Have you tried Vaseline?"

No. Vaseline. That hadn't occurred to me.

We've only seen eleven doctors, five of whom are specialists, and tried about fifty million creams/treatments/medicines.

But thank you for your Vaseline suggestion.

Yikes! Okay, rant over.

All that to say, I'm glad that my little guy isn't allergic to anything! Thank You, God! :)

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Better Hurry!

One of the most important skills of any parent is the ability to move quickly!

Because one second, your toddler is innocently playing on the slide...

Then suddenly, he makes it to the top...

And then, he takes off like a rocket, and that's when you better get your hiney into gear!

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Free Time!?

The hubbs has been in Virginia all weekend. I haven't worked. I've gotten all of my school work done. There's nothing much on the calendar.


What to do? What to do? I actually turned the television on. It's exciting, people. Really.


When the little guy was about ten months old, he hit an absolute language explosion. By the time he went to his one-year check-up (two weeks late...oops!), he could say twenty-one words, and after pointing up to the light and announcing "light," and pointing to the picture behind his pediatrician's head of some flowers, and saying, "flower," his doctor said, "He's at the language level of an 18-month old."

Shocking. My son likes to talk. Who would've guessed? :)

But, I am love, love, loving it!

We were in Babies R' Us on Thursday, and he started saying, "Uh-oh! Uh-oh! Uh-oh!" I was in the mom zone*, so I was ignoring my poor child and doing my usual shopping routine of finding what's necessary, and then wandering through the clothing. When we got to the check-out line, I finally said, "What? What is the uh-oh!?"


Sure enough. I looked down and he was only wearing one "chew" (shoe). I had to back-track through the store to where the uh-oh's began. :) I was so grateful for communication, because knowing me, I would've never realized that my child was only wearing one shoe!

The other night at dinner, I said, "Elephants are gray. Pigs are pink. What book is that from?"

His response: "Color." (From A Color of His Own)

"Very good!"

Then my hubby chimed in. "Red bird, red bird, what do you see? What book is that from?"

"Baa-boo, Baa-boo." (From Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?)

This has been the most fun and exciting stage! Now, he can actually let me know what he wants to eat or drink. We can communicate, and it is making me so happy! I know I'm just going to soak up this phase of life where he's so curious about everything and learning about new words and ideas. I can see the little wheels just turning in his brain. Three cheers for finally having a small glimpse into what is going through that kiddo's head! Hip, hip, hooray!!

*The "mom zone" is that other world that moms occupy when they are able to completely zone everything else out in order to accomplish what needs to be done. :)

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

How to Eat A Flower

Step 1: Make sure that Momma is distracted. [NOTE: If you do not complete the first step, give it up. There will be no flower eating happening for you today.]

Step 2: Identify the flowers.

Step 3: Pick the exact flower that you want to dine on. Make sure that it looks nice and yummy.

Step 4: Quickly shove flower in mouth.

Step 5: Let the taste of the flower sit in your mouth; let it linger on your taste buds. Savor the moment.

Step 6: Realize that in no way does a flower taste even remotely delicious. Spit that sucker out.

Step 7: Forget the flower. Move onto the next menu item: Dirt.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Lowering the Crib...Again

Tonight my husband lowered the crib for the third, and final, time. It doesn't go any lower than this...

The guys were all excited to get to use some power tools...

And they quickly got right to work!

There you have it, folks! We've answered the age-old question: "How low can ya' go?"


What Does the Monkey Say?

One of the toddler's favorite things is his monkey that he sleeps with every night and drags around the house with his other lovey, Bear-Bear, all day (except when Mommy sneaks them off to the "bath"...aka, the washing machine). But Monkey serves another purpose outside of favorite lovey #2...

When my son was little, he used to ham. it. up. for the camera.

But not anymore.

So, I have a new way to get that precious smile that I love oh so much. I just ask, "What does Monkey say?" To which he always replies, "E! E! E!" It's in the middle of the E's that I've learned to snap the camera...

The Letter 'A'

I have been working with little man on the letters in his name. Well, we started off with 'A.' I decided it would be a good idea to put an 'A' in one of the cup holders in his car seat, and that way we could talk about all the words that start with 'A' while he was trapped sitting in the car.

Soon enough, he got it! As soon as we would get in the car, he would pick up the letter 'A' and announce, "A!!"

It made my mommy heart happy. :)


Now he thinks that every single letter is the letter 'A.' We've tried to move on to 'N.' He just won't have it. Every time I ask, "What letter is this?" I get the same stinkin' answer. Oh well. It's cute. :)

A Different Attitude

I know you're probably laughing at me (you should be), but I'm going to really try to have a different attitude about this semester of grad school. It is--after all--my last, except for my thesis. I'm going to try really hard to get swept up in the autumnal, pencil-sharpening, crisp air, fresh-start attitude that school brings with it. I'm going to soak it up, because I know that I will miss it. All I've ever known is school; I've never been without it.

So, I'm going to stop thinking/stressing/worrying/complaining about the bajillion things on my plate, and (I'm good at this in the kitchen, at least) I'm going to ENJOY the bajillion things on my plate! :)

Friday, August 12, 2011

Nostalgia and Insanity

Nostalgia and insanity. I feel I've been swinging between the two lately. As a mom, I've learned to take everything one day at a time and to try to never let anything be that big of a deal. Clearly, if you know me, I'm failing miserably at both of these things. But I'm trying, people, I'm trying. :)

This pretty much sums up the situation:

Why am I teetering on the brink of insanity?

Well (jury duty, grad school, thesis writing, mommyhood, job aside), the toddler has been uuuper-super-duper clingy lately. Like, whoa.

We're talking, I can be playing with him in the playroom for twenty minutes, and I get up to change the laundry to the dryer, and he will start screaming hysterically. We're talking he doesn't like to be in the highchair because it's simply too far away from Mommy. Every morning, we walk with two of my friends and their babies, and every morning we let the kiddos play for thirty minutes or so afterward. Nope. He won't have it. If one of the other toddlers gets too close to me, he goes. to. pieces.

I'm just about ready to rip my hair out.

But, I know this--like the rest of my very limited parenting experience tells me--is just a phase. (Oh Lord, please let it just be a phase.)

This morning after our walk, we met some friends at The Painted Pig to make Grandparent's Day gifts.

This is how that went (in case you haven't already guessed):

Being ready to rip your hair out by eleven is never a good sign. In fact, it's a sign that a verrrrry looooong day is headed your way.

But enough complaining about that. It's a phase. It's a phase. It's a phase.

I'd like to end on a positive note. So, why am I nostalgic?

Here's why:

Yes, that is my son's new backpack for mother's day out.

I know it's silly, because it's just one day a week, but I am seriously getting teary-eyed just thinking about it (also, I'm getting fearful of the phone call that my son simply will not stop crying, and I need to pick him up, and of course I cannot get what precious little money I have back).

I know I'm going to get more work done. I know it's going to be good for him (duh, did you read the first part of this post??). I know that it's the first step in the MDO, Pre-school, (sniffle, sniffle) HALF-DAY Kindergarten road.

But still.

It makes me sad that he has a little backpack, and that I'm going to pack his little lunch, and that I really, really am going to miss him alllllll day long.

So, here's to nostalgia and insanity. Two emotions that probably are not too far separated for most mothers out there. :)

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Buffalo Chicken Casserole

I wish I could take credit for this a-ma-zing casserole, but my friend Christi gave me this recipe (I tweaked just a few things, because I used more meat than the original recipe). If you make this for dinner, you will be oh so glad that you did! I haven't made a main dish this good in a long time! And it was super easy to prepare!

You will need:
  • 1 1/2 lb. of chicken tenderloins
  • 1/2 cup of wing sauce
  • 2 lb. bag of frozen, southern-style hash browns
  • 1 cup of ranch dressing
  • 1 1/2 cups of shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 (10.5 oz.) can of cream of celery soup
  • 1 1/2 cups of crushed corn flakes
  • 6 tbsp. of butter, melted
  • salt
1. Heat oven to 350. Grease a 9x13 dish.
2. In a medium bowl, stir together chicken tenders and wing sauce.
3. In a large bowl, stir together hash browns, ranch dressing, soup, and cheese. Sprinkle with salt.
4. Spoon potato mixture into dish. Place chicken tenders on top, drizzling remaining wing sauce over chicken.
5. Stir together corn flakes and melted butter. Sprinkle over casserole.
6. Cover with foil and bake for 55 minutes. Uncover and bake another 15 minutes. Enjoy!

Craving Fall and Football

In the midst of this scorching southern summer, I find myself craving fall and all that comes with it! Fall is my favorite season because of football (and Halloween, and fall decorations, and cooler weather, and pretty hiking, and my favorite holiday Thanksgiving)!

Football is practically a religion in my family. Every single Saturday, we drive over to my parents house and dine on cheesedip, hotdogs, and beer for twelve straight hours. Yes, it is a season of pudginess. But it's so worth it. My favorite teams?

The Razorbacks...

The Baylor Bears...

And the LSU Tigers (calm down, people, I'm from Louisiana)...

My list of most-despised teams? Ohio State--never have I ever, ever, ever hated a team more. Yuck. I cannot even talk about it. Ew. Second, Texas A&M for obvious reasons--they're Baylor's #1 rival. They're pretty stupid. I almost feel sorry for them. And finally, Tennessee. Yucky, ew, disgusting. Hate, hate, hate Tennessee football. I love to see all three of these teams lose each and every time. :)

Come on, football season, get here already!!

Pudlumps Turns 18!

Yesterday was my brother's eighteenth birthday. We all went out to Kobe's to celebrate the big occasion!

[Side note: We all call my brother "Pudlumps." This is short for "Puddle of big, fat, hairy, ugly lumps." My sister and I named him that probably a decade ago. The name stuck.]

So, happy 18th birthday, little bro! I love you to bits and pieces!

Also, on another side note, we are teaching the toddler "TOUCHDOWN!!" for when the Razorbacks score a million touchdowns this season! He's pretty good at it, right!?

Monday, August 8, 2011

Wedding Fun

On Saturday, one of my best friends got married! The wedding, which took place at Broadway Baptist Church in Fort Worth, was beautiful. It looked like something out of Father of the Bride. And Kacie looked stunning!

The first night we got in, we went out to dinner at The Cheesecake Factory. I had never been before, but I'd heard amazing things. Well, it did not disappoint! The food was so good!

Then, that night was the bachelorette party!

The next day, we went to the bridesmaids' luncheon at Brio. The food was delish! I had a wedge salad and the brick chicken. Then, we had cakeballs for dessert. Yum!

Right after the luncheon, we went to--I kid you not!--a pampering party. Now this is my kind of party! We painted our nails, ate scrumptious food, and got professional massages. I thought I had died and gone to Heaven!!

After a lovely rehearsal and rehearsal dinner that evening, it was officially buckle-down time! We stayed up late that night planning all the last-minute details, and then the wedding madness began!

The church was so breathtakingly beautiful, that I had to snap a few shots before the ceremony.

The wedding was so sweet. While the ceremony was just perfect, I will take away the most precious memory from before the wedding. The pastor had just come in to pray over Kacie, and we all held hands and bowed our heads. But during the prayer, I looked up and watched my sweet friend. I thought about our friendship, and her relationship with her (now) husband, and all of our memories together. And her face was priceless. There was so much hope and excitement. Her lips were quivering and she had tears in her eyes. She looked exactly like a bride should look: a little nervous, stunningly gorgeous, and absolutely brimming with love. It was truly one of the sweetest things I've ever seen in my entire life.

After the wedding, we headed over the Colonial Country Club of Fort Worth for the reception. All I can say is: great music, great food, great fun!