Monday, March 30, 2009

Nasty.

A diaper found its way into a basket of dirty laundry.

Correction.

A used diaper found its way into a basket of dirty laundry.

You can guess what happened next. I emptied the full content of the basket into the washing machine this morning. As I pulled the clothes into the dryer, I was befuddled. Remnants of the diaper covered each article of clothing. The feeling dissipated when I discovered the fully absorbed diaper at the bottom of the heap.

Gross.

I suppose it could have been worse. The diaper hadn't been soiled with *ahem* poop. But still!! The soggy specks of diaper made contact with my bare skin as I went through the wet mass of clothing. Most assuredly, I will be having nightmares for weeks. The need to screen pockets for loose change and pens has been replaced with an even greater need to be on the look out for any disposable foreign object that belongs in a landfill.

I swear, the Laundry Gods are out to get me.

Happy Monday, all.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

The simple one-liners

While shopping at Hobby Lobby this afternoon, Eliza was released from the confines of the shopping cart due to the need to make room for acquired merchandise. The freedom thrilled her. As she darted through the aisles, she squealed with delight,

"Mama! DON'T GET MY BUMMY!" Tempting me with the challenge, she boisterously repeated herself. Her legs accelerated as I made my approach, laughing. As of late, Eliza's one-liners are 'out of the blue' and humorous.

While buckling her in after an errand she held up her finger and declared,

"Hey! Wait a minute. I've got an idea!" I'm still waiting to hear what her idea was. Nevertheless, I'm thrilled that she officially had one. Yesterday, I asked her to retrieve a clean diaper for Henry.

"Okay Mom. I'll go as fast as I can." In record time, I was ready to complete Henry's diaper change.

When I kindly correct a misunderstanding, she feels the need to apologize; even if she did nothing wrong.

"Oh, sorry Mom." (pause) "Never mind."

This afternoon I asked,

"Eliza will come sit by me for a picture?"

"No, thank you." She's a diva that knows how to throw a fit. But in her defense, she's the most polite diva I've met. Her "You're welcomes" and "Thank yous" are pretty much standard in our daily interactions.

"Good morning Eliza. How did you sleep?" Ignoring my question, the first thing she told me this morning was,

"Mom." After making eye contact she continues, "I want to go to the temple with Talon and wear my Cinderella dress."

After falling down and getting hurt, I ask her if she's okay. Her tender reply,

"I'm alright." These sentences seem ordinary and plain. However, hearing them come from her mouth makes my heart burn with happiness and elicits an automatic laugh on my end. For the most part, I love knowing her thoughts. Talking to herself, I overheard this conversation as I let myself into the car,

"No that's not a hippo. That's Mama!" True story.

Speaking of things I love, I'm in love with Henry's crooked smile. Exhibit A:Exhibit B:
Oh, Henry.

He had a doctor's appointment yesterday. He weighs a humble 16 lbs 4 oz. His height is in the 5th percentile. His head size, the 50th percentile. At least his brain is growing! I promise, I feed him. He eats well and eats frequently. We're monitoring his weight gain each month and take his health seriously. He is happy, active and reaching all of his milestones on, if not ahead of, time.

At his appointment, Eliza started to cry as she witnessed her younger brothers reaction to his shots. Rather than comforting one child, I had the task of comforting two. But when the reason stems from pure empathy for a siblings pain, I lovingly will oblige.
What do you think of our couches? They were a Craigslist steal. The sofa, ottoman, love seat combo are leather, ridiculously comfortable and definitely "used" which means I have no problem watching Eliza bounce from cushion to cushion. It's nice to finally have a couch (our former one) in the front room of the house.

If you love my kids, you'll enjoy this video. And yes, I eventually removed the sucker stick from Henry's mouth.
video

Monday, March 23, 2009

Hint: "Life is like a box of chocolates"

When this blog was in its infancy, I posted a poll asking who you thought Andrew resembled: Peter Parker or Harry Potter ("Neither" was also an option). If I were to ask that question today, I would add a third person to the mix. Based on the following photos, can you guess which character I have in mind?


Saturday, March 21, 2009

Time On My Hands = A Lot of Words

I'm sure Andrew's Friday night shenanigans were far more interesting than mine, but considering he's still not home, I'm afraid you'll have to allow me to suffer through my boredom with a mundane post to help battle the total amount of nothingness that's going on at the moment.

In reflecting upon this week, there are definitely moments worth remembering.

I have a solid total of three southern friends; well, technically they're from Utah, Minnesota & the Ukraine... but that's beside the point. One of the above mentioned girlfriends gave birth to her first child, a baby girl, on Tuesday. Not only do I share a birthday with this sweet baby, but I've secretly self appointed myself to be her fairy Godmother. Lucky for me, they live three doors down which gives me the opportunity to sneak down when I'm in need of a baby fix. Truthfully though, Henry is still "baby" enough for me and is more than generous with his cuddles. Not to mention, I sincerely enjoy sleeping through the night.

Thursday, Andrew and I "hired" a baby sitter for the first time, ever. Previous to this, we were in the position to free load off the kindness of family members and/or friends (I love you, Keersten) when the need arrived. It was more than a "good thing" to go out with my husband, child free. Sure, I still have separation anxiety when I leave my kids and confess that we arrived home an hour earlier than we told the babysitter. I learned that I'm that type of Mom that leaves notes of instruction all over the house for her benefit: how to use the remote controls, how to match the valves to the appropriate sippy cup, Eliza's bathroom routine, etc. Andrew was nearly pulling me by the ear to to get me into the car.

The dinner out was - dare I say - romantic? It's true. Andrew chose well, in regards to the restaurant. As for me, being eternally smitten with the fellow, have to say that I likewise... "chose well." I'm in love with him. Moving on.
Contrary to what the ultra white tone of my skin professes, I've been spending a lot of time in the sun. Earlier this week we fed the ducks & picnicked in the park. And since we're keeping it real, while we were there I forced my daughter to use the filthy public restroom after watching her do the "potty dance" for ten minutes. She screamed loudly. The echo made it possible for everyone within a three mile radius to be reluctant participants of that particular tantrum. She still struggles with the idea of using foreign toilets. And to be honest, judging by the state of that restroom, I can't blame her. She should still be soaking in a tub full of sanitizer.Maybe next time I will forgo the disease infested stalls and simply allow her to pee her pants.

I probably should be highlighting my week sequentially, but I'm too lazy to make the paragraph changes. My apologies to my OCD friends.

Last weekend, Andrew bought a riding lawn mower. It's "hot" - pictures will be forth coming. He's turning into quite the social butterfly. The couple he bought it from, have a four month old daughter. Andrew, stepping out of his comfort zone, bonded with the family. Two phone calls later, we have our first date with them this weekend.

Married couples know, the dating game doesn't end once you say "I do." Before your minds fall into the gutter, let me explain. It can be tricky making friends with other couples. The (non-sexual) chemistry has to be right with four people instead of two. Have you had a friend marry someone you didn't particular mesh with? As a result, the four of you don't hang out... like, ever?

When you're able to bond as couples, you create life long friendships. Getting to know each other as a couple can be awkward at times, but when you do find a connection, it's worth it.

So the male counter part of our potential future friends called last night, twice in fact. He and I made plans, he then talked to his wife and immediately called me back to change them, etc. Lesson learned, the wives should always do the planning. Anyway, we're planning on building a bonfire. That decision led him to ask this question...

"So what drinks do you like to mix?" Panic hits. I'm guessing this is an alcohol related question. I nearly put him on hold to call my martini mixin', alcohol consuming friends to confirm. I'm not that lame...so I stutter & stall. Finally I reply,

"Sprite and grape juice." I wait for him to laugh. He doesn't. The pressure is on here. We have to get passed the "We're Very Mormon" obstacle when making friends. If they were smart, they'd make us a sign a document that says: "We can be friends as long as you don't send the missionaries to our home." Mwa-ha-ha. So far, we haven't been shunned... but you never know. It could happen. Wish us luck.

As for Andrew, he spent Friday night on a "Father & Son's" camp out. He forgot to take Henry with him. Sad. Maybe next year, Henry!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Happy St. Birthday

March 17, 2009

8:30 a.m.

"Happy St. Patrick's Day, Eliza! Talon's on his way over to play. We need to find you a green shirt or else he might give you a pinch!" The idea of exchanging a pinch with Talon doesn't phase her.

"No, purple!" We compromise on a butterfly shirt that has purple & green stripes.

9:00 a.m.

"Mama's going to make green pancakes for breakfast. Won't that be fun?"

"No Mom! Purple pancakes."
`
9:08 a.m.
While inhaling her third green pancake, I inform her that today's my birthday. I'm 25 years old.

"No, it's Eliza's birthday!!!"

As we get ready to leave to go to our Mom's club activity/potluck, Eliza spills on her striped shirt. Lucky for me, my green shirt of choice, is still on the stairs.

"Hurry Eliza! Before we can go to the party, we need to change your dirty shirt." Pointing to her green shirt I continue,

"Oh Look, Eliza! There's one, on the stairs. You can wear that one."

"Okay Mama!" Happily, she cooperates. Decked out in green and with a bowl of potato salad in hand, we arrive at the potluck. As I help Eliza with her shamrock themed craft, Michelle surprises me with this festive array of frosted cupcakes. As the candles burn, the ladies of Mom's club sing, "Happy Birthday" to me. Despite my outgoing nature, I was totally embarrassed. After Eliza's encounter with the stomach flu monster last week, she wanted nothing to do with the "yucky cake" -- I thought it tasted great!

Inspired by my friend Keersten's blog, Michelle and I adopt her tradition of hunting for gold. After spray painting rocks gold, Michelle hid them in her front yard. The two & three year old children enthusiastically collected as many as they could find before exchanging them for a bag of gold foiled candy: rolos, recess cups, gold wrapped snickers, etc.

2:00 p.m.

Eliza gives me a birthday gift.

"Mama" she says. "I want to go and take a nap." After picking up my jaw from off of the floor, I escort her to her room. That was easy. She naps every day, but volunteering to go down was totally unexpected.

4:00 p.m.

Andrew calls from work to see how my day is going.

"Eliza?" he asks while on speaker phone.

"Daddy!" She replies happily.

"Whose birthday is it today?" Andrew asks her.

"It's DADDY'S Birthday!!" She confidently exclaims. "Happy Birthday Daddy!"

As for Henry... my sweet boy still isn't feeling well. We went to the doctor's office Monday. Whatever he has is viral. We're biding our time until it passes. He wanted nothing more than to do this all day.
I was totally alright with that.

Thanks to everyone who called, left messages on facebook, sent e-mails etc. Each message added something special to my birthday. I'm the luckiest girl to have such great friends & family.

Monday, March 16, 2009

*Board* Silly

What could have led to this madness?
Andrew had a severe case of cabin fever this weekend.

Our family quarantine began Wednesday night. Approximately 25 seconds after publishing the previous entry that highlighted the events of Henry's special day, Andrew's urgent plea fills the air.

"Ali! Get up here!" As I make way up the stairs to Eliza's room, I call back,

"What's wrong?" I hate the suspense. I hear Eliza sobbing. What am I preparing myself to find?

"Hurry!" I sense panic, which is an uncommon emotion for Andrew. His face is nothing but concern as he stares down at Eliza. The shock hits me as I take in the mess that is my daughter. For the first time in her life, she has covered herself in vomit.

"It was the birthday cake."
I thought that twice. First, I was literally seeing the partially digested version of her slice of birthday cake (gross) and second, I immediately concluded that an over indulgence of cake was the cause. Certainly, she was not ill with the stomach flu. And judging the quantity that was smeared across her bedding and tiny body, she was definitely done throwing up. (I WAS SO INCREDIBLY WRONG ON BOTH ASSUMPTIONS!)

In the most heart breaking of cries, she sputters

"I'm SO naughty Mama!" she exclaims. Eliza is beyond confused and exhausted. Physically, she feels awful. Trying our best to comfort her, Andrew gives her a quick bath. I, the Mama, am on clean up duty.

Doing my best to spare you details (too late) Andrew, the hero father of our children, offered to sleep in her room. All night long, he was there to assist her with the bowl, hold the hair off her face, rub her back, etc. The poor dear was up every half hour, he estimated.The next morning, *surprise, surprise* Andrew & Henry fall victim to the flu monster. I immerse myself in the aftermath. I detest the stomach flu.

Enter the miracle... exercising a whole lot of faith (and using massive amounts of hand sanitizer), I pray that I will be spared the illness long enough for Andrew to recover. Five vomit-filled days later, I'm still healthy and well.

Andrew slept with Eliza two nights straight. I offered, but he encouraged me to sleep, to keep my resistance up - so that I could keep up with the insane amount of dirty laundry :) and the care of our family. His compassion didn't end there.

He was nearing insanity with all of that "free time" away from work. In fact, on Saturday, he actually went into work to begin to make up for the days he missed. He spent his sick days trying his best to occupy Eliza. He painted her finger nails, played "Thomas the train" with her on the computer, built towers with blocks, measured our windows for blinds (we're retiring our post of being the neighborhood fish bowl) and cut Eliza alphabet shaped letters, a bus, a car, a hat and adjustable glasses - out of cardboard. Here comes the cheese filled Hallmark inspired line for today's post.

The illness was ugly. Our teamwork was beautiful.

Now who's the nauseous one? Sorry about that. Seriously though, when you're dating you don't spend much time thinking about the way in which you and your potential spouse are going to handle a nasty case of the stomach flu together. The way we served and cared for our sick kids was more fluid than normal. The misery of their situations didn't allow us to indulge in a moment of selfish behavior. And so it is, life really is better when you're in the service of others. A lesson, I know I'll forget the moment everyone is well and happy again. I'm a slow learner.

The worst has passed, with the exception of Henry. He is eating well, but woke up with a fever this morning. :(

As for our dear friends who came to celebrate Henry's birthday last week; as a party favor, they left with the the horrid germ. Before being slammed with the illness herself, one of the above mentioned friends, picked up a few items for me from the store. Thanks Michelle for the Pedialite, Gatorade, chocolates (you know me so well) & the surprise present for Eliza (she lit up like a Christmas tree when she discovered it). Your act of kindness means a lot. I am SO SORRY you're sick. Get well soon.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Here He Is


The man of the hourEvidence that he's being fed a calorie enriched diet:


As a result of this moment, Henry spent the rest of the evening wearing his...


BIRTHDAY SUIT!!


This adorable birthday baby was brought to you by:
his daddy, Andrew J. Flegal and co-producer Mama Flegal.

Happy Birthday Henry!

Today my sweet baby boy turned one.
He was spoiled with a day of fun.
I held him longer before each nap.
And discovered a new way to make him laugh.
We spent time in his rocking chair.
Then participated in a race, crawling up stairs.
I gave him kiss after kiss.
Knowing this stage will be incredibly missed.

I'm going to pretend it's his birthday again tomorrow.

Dear Henry,

You spent your morning playing with your sister. I spent my morning cleaning & decorating the house. Eliza played with the pink balloons. Dad picked up the pizza, I picked up the Nemo cake. We played on the grass while we waited for the Hendersons & Blazers to come over and met a new neighbor. Your sister obsessed over your cake. She instantly took a swipe of frosting once it was removed from the box. She insisted all day that is was her birthday and was horribly disappointed when I failed to remember the party hats.

You gave your cake a massage before inhaling it. You aren't one to demand attention, but I enjoyed the way you happily soaked it in as we sang to you and watched you play with your new gifts. Thank you Nana, Talon & Colby for thoughtful selections. You smelled like icing when I put you to bed. You probably will for the rest of the week. Your hands were dyed green by the frosting. I hope that rubs off before seeing your Pediatrician tomorrow.

We're ridiculously in love with you. All of us. Eliza misses you when you nap. Even in your earliest days, she's always accepted that you were apart of us. She remembered you from before, I think. Thank you for coming to our family. Lets have another great year, shall we?

You have my heart,
Mama


video

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

A Year Ago Today

I made Eliza french toast for breakfast.

Watching her, I felt my heart break. I knew that our days as a pair were numbered.

In the afternoon, our family of three took a walk to the library on Evergreen avenue. It was sunny, but Eliza still insisted on wearing her Thomas the train boots.

I begged my husband to push the stroller up Millstream avenue. He happily obliged.

That evening, I paid serious attention to my contractions. My due date was two weeks away. I wonder what we had for dinner?

I took a shower.

Eliza and I read books in her rocking chair, sang songs & prayed with Daddy. I kissed her goodnight.

"Not ready to go yet... give me another hour to see if they stay consistent."

Andrew decides to "wait" in bed. He falls asleep.

Contractions continue. I blog surf to pass time. Yes. I think it's time to get ready.

I flat iron my hair. I can't help but smile. I can't help but cry. Everything is going to change.

At 1:00 a.m. I whisper the classic line to my sleeping husband, "Andrew. Wake up. It's time to go."

We call his Mom to come and stay with Eliza.

*A tender mercy* An overly-emotional, version of myself worried intensely about saying "goodbye" to Eliza when the time came. I felt thankful that she was asleep when I left. Her daddy would be home the following night to tuck her in. I'd never spent a night away from her.

Excitement is oozing out of Teresa as she wishes us luck. She takes a picture of me by the front door.

Andrew asks, "Do you want me drop you off at the door before I park?" I decline. Nothing hurts. Casually, I walk into the maternity ward.

"I think I'm in labor."

The nurses look bored. "Okay my dear... let's hook you up and being the monitoring process."

3:00 a.m. Good news. You dilated another centimeter. You're at a five. Let me take you to your delivery room.

SHOCK. COMPLETE SHOCK. I thought it was going to be deemed a 'false alarm.' I had been apologizing to Andrew for keeping him awake so late when he had class the next day. I withdraw each apology.

The anesthesiologist arrives. God bless him. I relax. My water is broken. Andrew falls asleep. The night turns into day as I stare out my window, unable to sleep.

I whisper to a sleeping husband. "I think I'm going to throw up - find me something quick." My apologies to the nurse who showed up 30 seconds too late.

My unattractive, covered in vomit, patient sheet-of-an-outfit is switched with a clean one. I'm transitioning. My O.B. arrives. I like her a lot. The nurse (again) is M.I.A. My O.B. starts shouting for help. "Whether they arrive on time or not... this baby is coming!"

The Nurse arrives. At 8:49 I start pushing. Six minutes later, our son is born. My heart grows another size bigger.

Tomorrow, we celebrate the birth of our sweet Henry. Today, we celebrate the beautiful weather:

Monday, March 9, 2009

2 Cow Wife

Andrew had plans to spend Saturday in Columbia with the youth of the ward, serving in the temple. Compared to temple trips in Utah, the time it takes is more involved. Simply put, we left the Church at 9:15 a.m. and didn't return home until 5:00 p.m.

Not wanting to spend Saturday without Andrew, I invited the kids and myself to tag along. After clearing it with other leaders, we added three bubbly teenage girls to our car and set off. Until a conversation with one of the girls, I've never labeled myself as being "old." I'm a young, still with-it, Mom.

"Can I put this picture of Henry on my facebook page?" the camera happy teenager asked.

"Sure thing. Just make sure you add me as a friend and then tag me in the picture. It's a cute one."

"Sister Flegal?! You actually have a facebook account?" Like really? You even know what facebook is?!

It made me laugh. I'm not outdated yet, am I? As a parent, you hear yourself saying phrases that your parents used and laugh to yourself as their mannerisms begin to manifest in your own actions. And now, Andrew and I see ourselves evolving into the leaders that used to shuttle our own little bums around. It's weird to be on the other side of the coin.

I dropped off Andrew at the temple. With the GPS in place, I safely navigated the children to the zoo. It was a glorious day. The weather hit 81 degrees. With that being said, the zoo was PACKED. I'd approximate that 40 minutes passed before we actually made it in. Parking was a nightmare. Not wanting to take my eyes off of my kids, I didn't make picture taking a priority while we were there.

We met Andrew two hours later, went out for pizza with the youth and then made the drive back home. Despite the happiness of the day, my children's health began to deteriorate. Eliza had plenty of energy for the zoo, but their identical coughs and runny noses seemed to worsen as the weekend progressed.

After our marathon day in the car, Andrew wanted to take a walk around the neighborhood. Our friends, Gabe & Melissa, joined us for two laps. Plans to BBQ on Sunday were made, which meant that I needed to make a quick run to the store that night.

As I waited for Andrew to come downstairs to take over the care of our children, I finished making my shopping list. Rounding up my purse, I hear my cell phone ring. It was Andrew.

"Ali!" He breathes with excitement.

"Aren't you upstairs?" I question.

"No. I'm not. I saw out our window two of those Rhino ATVs. " He probably provided me with a detailed description of the exact make and model of the ATV but that information most certainly flew in one ear and out the other.

"The two riders FLEW down our street. They could have easily taken out a small child."

"Okay." I wait for him to continue.

"Gabe's on his way down to talk to them." Our neighborhood has a second phase that's about to open for future building. The mounds of cleared land appeals to off-roaders.

"Good for Gabe. Please come home. I need to get to the store. The kids need a bath so they can go to sleep."

"Ali." His tone implies that no matter what my request, his mission to be the neighborhood hero is more important.

"Gabe might need back up." And with that, our melodramatic conversation ends. Andrew proceeds to seek out the rebels. Mentally, he prepares a firm lecturing. Looking somewhat sheepish, he returns home a while later.

"And? How did it go?" I ask. He doesn't respond.

"Well? Did you find the guys?"

"Ya."

"Did you get mad at them?"

"No, not really."

"Why not?!" Genuinely, I am surprised. He had meant business before.

"They were girls." I start to laugh. That explains it.

"We told them not to go fast on our street and warned them that the cops had most likely been called on them. Gabe told them that he hoped they had a good exit plan."

"I guess Gabe didn't need to use his golf club after all." I laugh.

Later on that night, I reflect on the minor incident.

"Were the girls hot?" I bluntly ask.

"Girls?" Confused by the question, Andrew looks over at me. "What girls?"

"The girls you confronted tonight with Gabe?"

"Oh" The expression in his face gives it away. They were good looking! I knew it.

"They weren't bad looking." He quietly says. Worried that I'll be jealous, he downplays it.

"Oh come on! They must have been really cute for you to have come home with your tail between your legs."

"Well, it's like... they had mud on their faces and stuff." Beautiful girls, off roading in the mud. How could that have not appealed to my husband! Don't worry, he's as faithful as the come. But, I'm not ready to let the conversation die.

"On a scale of 1-10, what would you say they were?"

"A six." He follows up with, "Compared to you Ali...you're like a nine... nine and a half."

If I had been drinking milk, it would have come back up and out my nose. I'm a nine and a half? Aren't all husbands supposed to lie and tell their wives that they're an eleven on a scale of 1-10? All night, I kept thinking of Jonny Lingo. I'm like, the two cow wife. Or maybe I'm the wife that just looks like a cow? I'm not quite sure :) I appreciate the man's honesty. We had a good laugh.

Friday, March 6, 2009

A Plug for Adoption. I am an Adoption Advocate.

Without question, tromping around in the snow was the best part of Eliza's week.For Henry, nothing fascinates the child more than to watch the laundry spin in the dryer.
"Hey Mom! Can you please make it spin again?"

Andrew's happiness is found in the simplest of acts. Our nightly walk around the neighborhood serves as an appropriate example.
I have to include the following picture in Eliza's honor. As her eyes gazed toward the heavens, she began squealing with delight."MAMA!! Look!" As I adjusted my view to the sky I heard her sweet voice exclaim, "It's the Little Einsteins! They're in ROCKET!!"

As we arrived back home, we solemnly sang the childhood classic, "Once There Was A Snowman!"
"Oh no! He's gone!" She was devastated.

In the sun he melted, melted,melted. In the sun (*sniff, sniff) HE MELTED! small small small

70 degree weather is NO place for a Snowman! R.I.P. sweet Frosty. Until next year.


.........................................

As an addendum, I'd like you all to know that I am an adoption advocate.

A good friend of our family works for the adoption agency, Heart to Heart Adoptions. They have more babies than they have families. If you or anyone you know is interested in the adoption process, please refer them to the above site or contact me and I'll put you in touch with right people.

This blog offers insight from the birth mothers to those families who have who have added/found a member of their family via the adoption process. These shared experiences are heartwarming and incredibly moving. Miracles happen as these amazing families are created.

Please feel free to add this link to your blog. You never know whose lives may be blessed as a result of coming across it.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

I'm So Worldly.

As I've talked with family & friends in recent days; my plate has been full of things to share. Hot topics of conversation include:
  • The weather. Going back to an unusual Southern storm that yielded a fair amount of snow; I have to say that the disbelief and amazement I've felt regarding our communities (over) reaction to the weather continues. Andrew was among six (out of 150) employees that braved the highways to attend work on Monday. He was stunned as he parked his simple, yet always reliable, Honda Civic, in a nearly deserted parking lot.
  • Other conversations have been spent trying to persuade family members to come visit. I wish I knew more about my state to help with this endeavor.
  • And in speaking with Grandparents, I do my best to keep them up to date on the humorous conversations Eliza's been imagining.
The other day, Eliza picks up her toy cell phone and places a call to someone new."Hello" she pauses. "Professor?" Hearing her ask for "the professor" really made me laugh. This morning, I watched as she picked out a favorite pair of purple pants. Enthusiastically stated,

"My purple pants! I found them." Smiling she looks up at me and blissfully adds, "It's so wonderful!"

The expected, regular subjects, like the ones I just mentioned have been replaced by a topic that is generating excitement and demanding totally unneeded attention. As of today, my hidden (until now) guilty pleasure is up for discussion.

The Bachelor
A recap
a.k.a. a total waste of my time
I hope Andrea and Liz enjoy it anyway.

Here's the part where you roll your eyes, decide that you officially think less of me and click out of my blog... OR... you hope no one's paying attention to you because you're pretty much dying to know what I thought of, "The most shocking and dramatic conclusion in all of Bachelor history!!" - Thank you, Chris Harrison.

This season's bachelor, Jason Mesnick, is being ripped to shreds online due to his "difficult, yet best for everyone involved" decision to call off his engagement to a woman that all of America fell in love with. Her name is Melissa.

Rather than walking away from the failed relationship, like 98% of other bachelor/ette hook-ups... he has the audacity (or courage, I would argue) to ask Molly to forgive him and "Oh, I don't know. Go get some coffee or something." Bottom line; he's still in love with Molly.

By now, if you're still reading this post, you've seen the footage. You watched Melissa's face fall as Jason declared that they weren't right for each other. You cheered her on as she called him a name that we're not allowed to say or type at our house (*ahem* it rhymes with gastard). You wiped a tear as she scolded him in the most heartbreaking of tones,
"You took that from me!" - meaning, the once in a life time, engagement experience was for nothing. The awkward tension felt by that poor host as he told her there was a limo waiting for her outside, seeped out of your television and into your living room.

Did anyone else feel like a major intruder?

"I shouldn't be watching this. I shouldn't be watching this. It isn't my place, this isn't my business!" SO THEN WHY ARE MY EYE BALLS STILL GLUED to the screen? Because I'm shallow. But then again, so are the 15 million other viewers who were watching.

It isn't hard to find an entertainment article or blog dedicated to defaming and criticizing Mr. Mesnick's choice. This inspires me to play devil's advocate for a moment and tell you why I stand behind him.

I agree that the way in which the "news" was delivered to Melissa was uncalled for. That level of drama was most certainly a producers dream come true. Despite my personal weakness for soaking in every miserable second, I think it crossed the line. According to Jason, he was obligated by contact to break up with her in that manner. Contract, Shmontract. That was harsh.

It was clear, however, that Melissa knew to an extent that their relationship was on the verge of extinction. She wasn't wearing her ring when she took the stage, there wasn't an audience and as Jason explained, he had voiced his concern in private conversations with her that their chemistry had changed. And in ABC's defense (not that they deserve one), let's keep in mind, that when you sign on to do a reality show, you are forfeiting your privacy to an extent. You have to know that there's potential for a major let down.

Enter the Molly dynamic. I was happy, yet weirded out, to be apart of their tender moment of reconciliation. Her face, as she realized that Jason was suddenly (as in, three seconds ago) a free agent and still in love with her, was CLASSIC. Her face expressed total shock and excitement. And for a brief moment, it seemed to be tinged with a little bit of sadness for Melissa's sake. Reconciliations are awesome (unless your Chris Brown and Rhianna), but what was awkward about witnessing theirs was knowing that a devastated Melissa was somewhere, absolutely humiliated and destroyed, in a limo.Jason didn't want the opportunity to love and be loved by Molly to slip away. He risked looking like a total jerk in an attempt to salvage whatever might be left between them. That's hot. And romantic. With all of America throwing pitchforks, he took a chance. It paid off in the fact that they are now together and happy. But it sucks for them that his place in Bachelor history will forever be tainted by the gruesome and highly public break up with Melissa. Any takers on when or if he'll ever be a free agent again?

Congratulations to Molly for her unconventional happy beginning with Jason. At one point, she sat rejected in a limo, heart broken. Before long, Melissa will be in love with her Mr. Right.

I also applaud Jason for only inviting five of the ladies to Seattle when he had a sixth rose. Not wanting to lead a lady on who he knew wasn't a match, he opted not to use that rose. And with the exception of totally kissing Jillian the night before sending her home, he didn't engage in much lip play with ladies he felt sure he'd be sending home.

All in all, it was one of the best seasons I've experienced. What made it a 'best' is that there was such a high level of drama. I am a sucker for all things romance... even if I gag at the outlandish circumstances and wrongly judge genuinely good people who have real feelings along the way. This totally proves how horrible of an individual I am.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Our pear tree is doomed.

In the midst of the holy chaos that accompanies Sabbath Day mornings, I paused at my window to admire the blossoms on our pear tree.

"I ought to take a picture. After church, I will." I mentally promised myself.

*cue the violins*The footsteps on the left, lead to the pear tree.

My plan to share the excitement of our blossoming tree was smothered by a thick blanket of snow. Unlike our first batch, it seems that this dusting may in fact linger past noon before it disappears. Other than feelings of massive guilt for not purchasing Eliza a pair of snow boots this year, I love the wintry scene. Whether the pear tree will recover is yet to be determined.

In happier news, check out what Andrew's been growing in our kitchen. Oh come on! It's legal and it's not what you'd classify as being a 'substance' - for crying out loud. It's broccoli. Sheesh, what kind of people do you think we are?! He was wise in his decision to wait a while before planting it outside in our garden that doesn't yet exist.

In true Southern style, schools are canceled, our pediatrician's office has been put on a three hour delay and Church... get this... Church was dismissed an hour early yesterday due to the impending storm. What the? We drove home in the rain, giggling. There was a true sense of alarm as we gathered up our belongings and left the building.

Friday was "date night (plus Henry)." I hope that I continue to type that sentence weekly. Date nights are crucial and have been highly neglected as of late. With our friends, Jimmy & Michelle, we left Eliza & Talon with an incredibly honest baby sitter and indulged in some stellar German food. I had to laugh when I heard the waitress attempt to pronounce the word "spaetzle."

I'm the last person that should be allowed to cast stones after a summer of being laughed at for my weak attempts at proper pronunciation, but I confess, a laugh did escape my lips. The humor escalated when Andrew requested an apfle schorle (spelling?) aka a sparkling apple cider, and the waitress looked at him in total confusion. Hoping to recover, she handed him a list of beers. Correct me if I'm wrong, Michael Auras, but apfle shorle is as common as water in Deutchland. The ambiance brought back feelings from Bavaria.

It was a great night. The baby sitter, as I mentioned, was blunt in her assessment of how the night with Eliza and Talon went. In the prime of my baby sitting years, I sugar coated everything. I remember a child locking me out of her house and STILL telling her Mom, who was a teacher by profession, that I would have graded her child an "A-" when she was totally worthy of something less! As a parent, absolutely I prefer the truth so that I can adequately apologize.

Other than a trip to the library, Saturday's activities aren't worth mentioning considering my attention was sucked away from all things relevant and directed into a fictitious thriller of a mystery novel. Thanks to my Mom, I discovered a great author and ended up devouring one of his books. The author, Harlan Coben, is one that I highly recommend to anyone looking for a legal, drug free, escape.

Andrew pulled out his toy cars this weekend. Make no mistake, they are his. He messes around with them, tool box in hand, until they're motorized and able to climb stairs. Anyway, he left them out and what do you know - Henry found them and LOVED them. He sat for an extraorinary (for him) amount of time, tinkering, in his own eleven month old way.


Making his Daddy proud, Henry perfects the art of "piddling"

Speaking of my eleven month old, I'm doing the best I can to keep tabs on my fingers before they betray me and begin a sentimentally fueled tirade on why I adore this child. The happiness I garner from him is overwhelming. He turns one next week. On an incredibly cliche' note, I'll end by say "Where did that time go?" - Seriously, fastest year of my life.