Thursday, July 31

I got stuck in traffic.....

So Tuesday night Sophie's cold jumped from her to her Daddy to me. The second I closed my eyes to sleep I started coughing and my nose instantly plugged up. I didn't have any cold medicine, so I had to tough it out by propping my head up with pillows which about broke my neck.
I decided in my sleep deprived delusion to come on downstairs and catch up on some blogging. The only problem with that was that when I did, I got stuck in blogger traffic. Apparently all of my favorite blogs have a million fans who also like to catch up in the middle of the night.
After the third---high traffic ---request for blog denied--- I turned off the computer.
Yesterday I took a good old Claritan D and chucked the other weight loss inducing drug for a shot of easy breathing. The claritan gave me a frantic amount of energy so I managed to clean my house, although the fumes from the pine sol made my throat feel like I was swallowing razor blades.
Good times.
When Sophie came home from Grammy and Papa's we each loaded up on some night time cold medicine and hunkered down for a long summer sleep. Ahhhhh. Even though I woke up this morning in the same condition as yesterday, it's a lot easier to handle with a bunch of hours of sleep under my belt.
So, maybe this is payback for my perfect Wednesday that I shamelessly bragged about. At least my house is clean.
Has anyone else ever had trouble getting to their favorite blogs?

Tuesday, July 29

GNO and the NEW Dukes of Hazzard

Well, sort of a GirlsNightOut-except we stayed in, and it was just the two of us and Jack who is NOT a girl. Sophie and I got to play yesterday when her Daddy-O went up to Milwaukee for the Brewers/Cubs game. He had amazing tickets so Sophie and I got to see him on TV several times. It was really exciting--doesn't take much to amuse us.

Anyway, in the meantime, Sophie and I had some girl-bonding time to tend to. We hung out with Grammy at the pool, and then after a rock star nap for Sophie, a workout and long, highly anticipated hot shower for Mommy, we had some good old-fashioned fun.

First, we went outside to wait for the pizza guy to bring us only our favorite treats. While waiting, Sophie found a new way to get in her car.


Now, the Dukes of Hazzard was my all-time childhood favorite show-next to the Love Boat of course, and Bo and Luke Duke were number 1 on the crush list. You can imagine my pride when I saw Sophie practicing for her audition for the new-millennium version of the TV show. Not sure if we can find another little girl to act as her country cousin, but this should be a good start on her way to be one of the good ol' girls. Last week she discovered that she might want to try out for the part of the NEW Sheriff Rosco P. Coltrane. Jack can be Flash-although he doesn't resemble anything like a basset-hound. I wonder if Waylan Jennings will write a new song and narrate the new show?


Any who-after the pizza man showed up we started our little GNO party and had a fantastic time. We played babies, watched Daddy on TV, caught our favorite episode of Wonder Pets, and then headed upstairs for a much needed Skittle party while watching our favorite princess, Giselle. Pretty much a perfect night if you ask me. Of course, Daddy wasn't around so it was only near perfect, but even on his best night-there is no way he could take that much sap.
Now I know why girls are so much sappier sweeter than guys.

Being 3 is SO MUCH FUN!
Being a 3 year old's MOM is even better!

Sneezing going to stop this 3 year old? I think SNOT!

Sophie did opt for some playtime over the weekend in spite of my nervous ramblings about her potential doctor office inducing sore throat.........

This is her sniffling screaming through ski ball at a local kid place called Haunted Trails. We had never been, but I think Sophie will want to go back!





Sunday, July 27

Sound the alarms!

Saturday early morning ~4:30am: Sophie calls out, "Mommy, I'm thirsty!" (gave her some s/f koolaid)
5:15 am-- Sophie sneezes!
5:15 am and 10 seconds-- Sophie yells "Snotters!" which is code for Mommy, wipe my nose!
5:45 am --Sophie says, "Mommy, go downstairs!"
6:30 am--Sophie cries out, "my throat hurts!" as boogies are dripping down her face. eewww. gave her some more s/f koolaid.
Mommy falls back asleep.
8:30 am--Mommy, wake up! I need to blow my nose!

Sophie has a cold. OK world, stop moving please. I said, SOPHIE HAS A COLD! Life must come to a complete stop--do not pass go, do not collect $200--just stop!

Yeah, I know I'm overly dramatic, but I can't help it. I hate it when she is anything less than 100% of her perfect self and right now she -just -doesn't -feel good. So far it's the sniffles with a tiny sore throat. Hopefully it won't get any worse. I pumped her full of liquids and freezie pops for her throat yesterday. She was all up for a picnic at the pool with Daddy, but only lasted about an hour or so. She spent the rest of the day in jammies.

I admit I am a giant wuss. One little cold and I'm contemplating the doctor. Well, we all know how wound up I am, so is anyone surprised? I'm wondering though why I immediately feel the need to find the source of this cold and blame someone or something for Sophie's current discomfort. Why can't I just automatically accept that kids get sick and it's no big deal? I think it's because I spend my life trying to keep her safe from all harm, and when she catches a germ I automatically assume I am the one to blame.

I guess this is a good lesson in how to be a little nicer to myself-not to mention those poor folks who had Sophie in their presence over the past week or so.
Kids get sick. It's no big deal.
I'm writing this so I remember.
Kids get sick. It's no big deal.

OK, so I guess our life can move on. It's just a cold anyway. We all trudge through with stuffed up noses and silly little coughs from time to time-it's not a big deal. The summer colds are the worst though-especially when the weather is so good. Oh well. Today I am going to let Sophie do whatever she feels like doing or not-eating or not-playing or not. She can watch TV or go out and play. It's just a cold after all, and with the weather as gorgeous as it is, I really don't think sunshine could possibly do anything but help an icky summer cold.

Of course, if it gets worse, well then, I really will do whatever it takes to make the world stop--and wait for my little mouse to get better. We don't want to miss a moment of life in three-year-old land. We only have about 6 months left.

(doesn't she look like 6 years old in this picture?)

Friday, July 25

Photostory Friday and an Ahhh, I needed that!

PhotoStory Friday
Hosted by Cecily and MamaGeek

The temperature was 80 Degrees; the wind was calm with a cool little breeze blowing some fresh air around every so often.
The sky was a crystal clear blue with a speckle of clouds.
The towel smelled like fresh clean linen right from the laundry. The iced tea was passionately delicious from Starbucks. The tan was Hawaiian Tropic with a little Banana Boat SPF. The tunes were Bubblicious on the IPOD.
The view from the deck chair was gorgeous. The neighborhood was silent. The Hubby was in the home office bringing home the bacon and the Baby was happily playing at Grammy and Papa's house.
The Mommy had herself one. perfect. day. period. Whoohoo! and an Ahhhhh, I needed that! Sooooo grateful for summer days and a little relaxation.

Thursday, July 24

continued from PSF and Boo Radley

To Kill a MockingBat!


Chapter Two: Livin' with Boo


Chapter Three: It's a sin to kill a mockingBat.

This is the part of the story that really reminds me of the book. I can clearly see the image of Atticus in my head with a shotgun, armed and aimed at a dog foaming at the mouth wandering around the street. It's the foaming that scares me the most.

We were on the front porch trying to relax a little as the animal control officer drove up. She was really nice and said she was surprised that we were able to catch him. She went on to tell us that most of the time if the bat doesn't make it out of the house it just ends up dying somewhere and people find it by the smell. NICE! So glad that didn't happen here. We had caulked up the entire house (literally one of the rooms upstairs looked like my gingerbread house from Christmas covered in frosting) but I didn't care-I wanted no more animals finding there way inside. So Boo had no where to go except to torture us in the basement.


As she goes to leave she mentions that someone will get in touch with us in a couple of days.
"Wait, what?" I asked. "Why?"
"Oh, well, they are going to test this bat for rabies and will let you know if you need treatment," she was so non-chalant, like this is routine for her. Rabie shots are common amongst wild animal workers.
"WHAT????? Why would we need treatment?"
"You've been exposed if this little guy has rabies."
"Come on, he didn't bite us! (Images of Dracula popped in my head.) We would totally tell you that I swear! I probably wouldn't be living here right now if he did anyway." I was starting to get all hysterical again. My voice gets nice and shrilly when I'm panicked.
"A bat's claws are so sharp that when they fly by you quickly you wouldn't even feel it is they scratched your arm or something in the middle of the night while you were sleeping. Chances are you wouldn't even wake up. Do you notice any scratches on you?"
"NO!" I totally did have a couple on my arm, and had no clue where I got them. No WAY were they from a bat-I simply refused to believe this possibility.
"Anyway, bats don't come out during the day unless they are in the last stages of the disease. This one was literally going crazy when he fell in your basement, so my guess is he does have rabies--or did anyway. We'll be in touch." And with that happy note, she left.


Within a week the news reported findings of rabid bats in our county- and we get all the credit for it. Thank God the news didn't have our exact address. I guess the county is required to report these kind of things to the health department when they find diseased animals like Boo. It was so nice of us to find them for everyone else's safety and awareness. Glad I could help.


When animal control called us to let us know they were insistent on getting treatment immediately. (Because -- of course -- Atticus showed his big brave self by stepping in the street alone to face the rabid dog. Guess who is the dog in this scenario? ICK!) That was the first thing that popped in my brain when I took the phone call.
How in the world do you get treated for rabies? Will I foam at the mouth too before I die? I couldn't help but think of the most gruesome things.
The clinic they suggested was too far away to make all of the necessary trips, so we did the next thing and called our doctor--had to have him paged because animal control used words like urgent, immediately, and don't wait until tomorrow. Don't worry, I'm freaking out pretty good, no need to harp on the gravity of this situation--I'm not going to let Atticus get me! I wanted to tell them that but I didn't.


My doctor was clueless. He just said, "I've never come across this one." No kidding? "If the health department is too far away, just go to the hospital ER-they'll know what to do."


Great.


Off we go. It's about 6pm on a Monday night when we get to the ER for rabie shots. Boo is getting his revenge from the grave. See? It really is a sin to kill a mockingBat. Thanks buddy.


When we finally saw a doctor about 2 hours later, he actually laughed. Laughed right at us-because he thought it was so bizarre-and then I started to cry. I just wanted to go home and this guy is getting his comic relief from my horror story. Jerk.


Long story short, (well not really, oh well) we had to get the post-exposure vaccination which means we needed to get two doses that night and then come back on the 3rd, 7th, 14th, and 28th nights following. The first dose was the vaccination and the second was a rabies immune globulin shot as if we actually had the disease. The amount you get goes by your weight so I was lucky enough to require 3 separate shots for the second kind and wouldn't you know it? they didn't have enough left to give my husband his dose! He would have to come back. (*pre-exposure only requires 3 shots and they are not as potent as the 5 shot course--lucky us!)


We left that night after 4 hours and 4 shots in my derriere and about 40 people giggling about it. Oh and Nate had nothing except a sandwich he requested be sent down because we neglected to eat dinner before we went to the hospital. Good for him. He actually ordered food from a bed in the ER! The nurses thought he was just soooo funny. jerks.
**sigh**
Two days later I was back. This time they were ready with all of the globulin for Nate and they had they rest of the vaccination shipped over for the rest of our courses of treatment. We had to go to a special outpatient area upstairs so that we could quickly walk in, get the shot, and walk out. Unfortunately, Nate couldn't make it because of work, so I had to go it alone. The nurses upstairs in the outpatient wing were totally intrigued with the hot-pink serum that had arrived about an hour before I did. When I told them the story they were fascinated. Truly glad I could be so entertaining-oh you bet I was.


The shots itself were no big deal--they could even put them in my arm --thank God for that. It really was a pretty color pink too-a nice hot pink. It felt hot going in too-so weird. I left and told them I would see them Sunday (day 7.) They were very nice and it made the process a little easier, but I actually think they were looking forward to it.

Animal control called the next day to yell at Nate to get it done. Apparently the hospital also reports to the health department who has gotten rabies vaccinations? I don't know. I have no idea how else they would find out he hadn't gotten the shots though. He didn't go for like 2 more months, but he finally went. They were really upset with him and wouldn't stop calling.

In the meantime, I didn't feel so good on the 4th day. No big deal, but I noticed on that Thursday that I was a little achy and my arm hurt like I had just had a booster shot. Ouch!


Sunday's shot was more potent. The amount of serum increased as I went on--or just got stronger--I can't remember, but the effects afterward got worse. The nurses-again-were fascinated by what was happening to me.


That Monday I went to school (I taught 4th grade back then) with aches, chills, and a slight fever. I was telling my principal what had happened when the jr. high science teacher walked into the office (k-8 school.) After he heard my story he was the one that told me he saw the report on the news. Oh, great. Yeah, well, that was me--DuPage county has rabid bats and the proof was living in my attic--for weeks. Then he asked why I was at work that day.


"What do you mean?" I asked him.
"They didn't tell you how sick you are going to get?" he was actually smiling when he asked me this. Again, glad to be your amusement! GOD! What is wrong with people?
"No, and how do you know? and HOW sick am I going to get?????" I was--again--starting to get a little shrilly.
"Welp, you'd better arrange sick days for the last two treatments. It doesn't last long, but you will feel worse after each shot, and by the last one, you'll wish you were dead." Fan-f'ing-tastic! "But it only lasts for a day or so, " he quickly added, and chuckled again as he left the office. I bet he doesn't get out much. weirdo.


It turned out that we had Veteran's Day off on my day 15 (and I did feel sick and achy for most of the day but it was manageable-like a bad cold that you can work through), so I only needed to use one sick day for day 29.


By the last Sunday on the 28th day of treatments and my last shot, the nurses said they would miss me and the hot pink serum. That's what they called me btw-the hot pink shot girl. Nice. I guess I somehow brought them joy and laughter with my miserable shots preventing a wild, serious disease. They were nice though-and like the people pleaser I am-I played along. **sigh**


The science guy was true to his word too. I wanted to die on the following Monday after my final treatment. It. was. awful. I could barely move. I literally didn't get off the couch from about two hours after the shot until bedtime the following night. I had never felt so sick in my entire life. Thanks Boo.


So sorry we killed you. Didn't mean to. But well since you gave me rabies and all, I guess we just had to--you filthy animal. But I get it. You don't kill a mockingBat. Lesson learned.
Oh, and because Nate missed the second round he had to start all over with the 5 doses and the big shots for that first visit. He got sick too. So much fun--good times.


So glad we bought this house. This is only one of about 9 MAJOR problems/accidents/acts of God in this house. Only one! 632 N Brainard needs to be condemned and torn down! Seriously. I feel so bad for the guy who bought this house from us-unless he has the money to start over.


We moved out about a month before Sophie was born, so thank the lord she never had to set foot in it. I'm sure I will get a chance to write the rest of the stories-and they won't be as long as this one, at least I don't think they will. Thanks for sticking with this ridiculous one though and seriously, if you have bats in your neighborhood, make sure there are no holes ANYWHERE around your roof.
Use this story as a warning to keep all bats OUT! You just never know!

Monday, July 21

continued from Photostory Friday and Boo Radley

Please click here for Chapter One: What's all the Racket? If you haven't already read it!

Chapter 2: Livin' with Boo
Life at 632 N Brainard calmed down for a couple of weeks. Life with Boo wasn't so bad. He usually only made appearances at night, so I just made sure I didn't drink anything right before bed that would require a midnight visit to the water closet-or the WC as so commonly referred to in England. (not that I'm English, just think it's funny) Anyway, Boo didn't like me as much as Nate so he only played peek-a-boo with him and I was left in peace. Phew.

I need to paint you a picture of our basement so as to truly capture the next moment. When you walk down the stairs, there is one 9ft hallway, that had been finished, as well as half of the rest of the basement. The first room on the left was used as an office and was teenie tiny but finished. The next room was on the right and used as a laundry/storage room that housed the furnace and access to the crawl space under the addition to the house. This room was not finished so the ceiling was open with all sorts of cords dangling and pipes coming down from all different parts of the house. It was the biggest room in the basement stretching the entire length of the house. We usually kept the door to this room closed, but today had it open because we were working down there had moved a bunch of stuff in there from the workout room.

The next room off the hallway was another bathroom-to the left. Yeah, no bathroom on the second floor by the bedrooms, but there was a full bathroom with the house's only shower in the basement. (What were we thinking when we bought this house?)

Finally at the end of the hall was the family/workout room that Nate and I decided to wall paper. After the flood (WHOLE 'nother story there), we figured before we replaced the carpeting we would wallpaper for practice and so as to not ruin the new carpeting going in. We used it as a workout room, but we had an old couch down there with a couple of little cozy things including an old vintage TV to make it a nice cool summer haven. My parents had given us their leftover grass cloth wallpaper so we decided to practice hanging the paper and try to make this room pretty.

Now we had to move the couch out of the room to make room for the saw horses to lay out the paper. I was not strong enough to get this couch up the stairs and it was too big to turn it into another room so we just left it in the hallway-sort of trapping us in the workout room. I mean we could still crawl over the couch to get out, but there was no room to go around. The couch was huge though and took up the entire hallway-blocking all doors and the entrance to the stairwell.

OK, so now that you have a picture of what this scene looks like, you can probably guess what happens next. Yes, that's right. While Nate and I are semi-trapped in a room covered in wallpaper paste, Boo decides that this would be a fabulous time to try a daytime game of peek-a-boo.

He fell from the rafters somewhere in the laundry room and landed on the floor with his wings SPREAD wide (about a foot? maybe 6???? ) with the most God awful screeches I had ever heard. Seriously, it was like a bat temper tantrum meltdown. The floor was just cement and I can't get the sound of his body smacking it--hard, like dropping an encyclopedia from 7 feet. IT. was. awful.

Boo was in the laundry room, not the room we were in (THANK GOD!) but the door to the laundry was only about 3 feet from the door we were standing at. I know I peed a little as I started to instantly and involuntarily scream at the top of my lungs--and I MEAN SCREAM!!!!! I was trapped in a room and the only way out was to crawl over a couch right next to Boo who was screaming right back at me.

The next part of the story happened in slow motion.

Nate grabbed the broom (I think we used it to put the wall paper up) and jumped the couch like an expert hurdler. He was so valiant in saving his newly married damsel in hysteria distress. He got into the laundry room as Boo had gotten back up and started flying around the room. Nate was swinging the broom like a bat at the bat, and then finally closed the door to the laundry so I could escape. I was dripping with tears sweat when I got up to safety. I heard two crashes and a pop. The pop was almost like stepping on a balloon-and had left Nate standing in the pitch dark room with a bat. He swung and hit the light bulb while simultaneously killing Boo. Then he called upstairs for me to call animal control and get a shoebox. Phew. Boo had moved on-saw the light-and left our world-for good. THANK GOD!!!

Nate scooped him into the shoebox and we went out to the front porch to wait for the officer. I had permanent goosebumps and a huge urge to hurl at any second, but I did manage to get brave enough to take a peek at him and said a quick "rest in peace little Boo." He wasn't any bigger than a tiny little field mouse. Poor thing.

No. Wait--he invaded my house! Oh yeah. Damn bat-haha! You will soon find out the real reason for my attitude toward Boo.

Please stay tuned-again--I know this story is soooo long. You are NEVER going to guess what happened next! Oh, and my final analysis of why I am reminded of the book will come with the final chapter.

Surprising Saturday and a Sweet, Simple Sunday

We have not only had the best weather lately, but everything that we have been doing on the weekends just seems so much fun and so completely normal! When Nate worked out of the house, he was gone for long hours and traveled a TON. Therefore the weekends usually consisted of him relaxing on Saturdays, and Sundays we scrambled to see people-go places-do things-basically stay very busy. Then it would be Monday and he would be gone leaving me and Sophie to do whatever it is we do.

Now that he is working from home---to use a term from mamageek WOWZA! Wonderful weekends. Blissfully, delightfully, NORMAL!!!!! I seriously used to dread them because they were so busy-NOT NO MORE! whoohoo!! Oh, and as a bonus, we keep finding more and more time to spend just talking. It's so crazy good-I had forgotten how much we make each other laugh. We're a couple again, hooray!

Saturday Nate surprised me by taking Sophie and Jack out to play for awhile while I got organized-I told them I would clean but I actually played on the computer and took a long shower. WHOOHOO! Then he did even better when he decided he needed some Daddy/Daughter time and took her out for the afternoon! Whoohoo! House to myself? That never happens. I was left with oh, nothing to do. Yeah right. BUT, instead of chores, I relaxed. I listened to music, read a bunch of blogs, and just played all afternoon long. IT WAS AMAZING! whoohoo again.

Sunday, we went for a drive. No big deal, but now that I no longer need a diaper bag it just seems so simple to hop in the car and see what happens. Nature called Sophie in the middle of the drive so we stopped at the first available place: Burger King. When done, we are back in the car and she goes, "I'm hungry. I've never had Burger King before." Say no more sweet pea! How fun. We had a little burger/milkshake party in the car as we continued our drive around town. (We looooooove to look at houses that we someday may want to buy.) whoohoo for Burger King! (I'm not so sure about the crown shaped chicken nuggets though-that did freak me out a little-Sophie too because she only ate 1/2 of one-jack got the rest. oh he was with us too.)

When we got home though Nate and I felt kind of gross after all that grease, so we went for a power walk around the neighborhood. It's like a million degrees out and 100% humidity, but it felt really good to sweat until we got the chills and drink a ton of water. Poor Jack was dying on the walk (we made him come with because he ate more junk food than we did--surprising I know~!) so we decided that we would let him swim in the ponds by our house to cool off. (we had to give him a bath anyway, so why not?) Got some fun pictures! He loves to swim. Sophie got a huge kick out of watching him. She had never seen him swim before.

Sophie was all excited because Nate just told her that she could skip rocks while Jackie swam. Jack was just about to jump in. He loves water!

I love that he is sticking his tongue out on this one!

Wow, two firsts in one day: Burger King and watching Jackie swim. Yeah for us.


I now officially LOVE the weekends!!!!!!

Friday, July 18

Photostory Friday and Boo Radley

PhotoStory Friday
Hosted by Cecily and MamaGeek


632 North Brainard was an 74 year old Sears Catalog home, The Vallonia, with an addition built on it sometime in the 1950's. This was our first house. The best part of this house was that it was down the street from the house me, my sister, and my mom were born in: 839 N Brainard-my grandpa had given the house to my parents, so my first house was on the same street as theirs-I don't know why that is significant, but it just is. Anyway, it was my dream to someday have my own daughter be born on the same street, and when we bought this house I thought for sure we were on the right track. Well, Sophie was created in this home, but THANK GOD she wasn't born here. Looking back on this house I realize that almost every story is fantastically funny, gross, ridiculous, or just plain stupid. At least to me. So every once and awhile I will, like today, throw in a story about the house that just wasn't meant to be Sophie's. Again, Thank GOD!
I took the picture below with an actual Polaroid camera back in 2001, and will use it for every story- adding a new element to represent whatever the story is about.......should be a completely full picture by the time I'm done! So here goes. Oh and this story will be broken up into 3 chapters (posted separately because I tend to be long winded)



To Kill a MockingBat!*
Chapter One: What's all the racket?
Nate and I woke up one night to the sound of very loud scuffling going on in the room next door to our bedroom. This room could only be accessed through a tiny service door in our closet and it gave way to an unused, unfinished attic, that had once been almost turned into an upstairs bathroom. You can imagine our surprise when we heard the sound of what we thought were a bunch of feet dragging across the floor. I was instantly scared, as I am the biggest chicken on the planet, and Nate just laughed and said it's either the wind or a bird. Oh My God! I made him check it out immediately.
Once he crawled through the tiny 3 foot door, he fumbled for the string attached to the light bulb. While fumbling, something did a fly-by close enough for him to feel the breeze on his ears, and close enough for him to abort turning on the light and run back to our bedroom.

"Yep, it's a bird," he told me. "It just about clipped my ear as it flew by. Totally freaked me out."

Great. So there's a bird. A bird doing fly-bys in my attic. Nice. OK Tweetie, game on!
Well, about two weeks later, Nate was on his way back upstairs in the middle of the night, (there was no bathroom on the second floor) when he thought he saw something fly through the living room. He told me about it the next morning, trying to be casual enough not to alarm me, that the bird has somehow made it out of the attic into the house. I got alarmed. Very alarmed.

One night not long after that we were watching TV in the family room when the bird decided to come on out for another little game of hide and seek. This time we saw it -plain as the couches we were sitting on-this was NO bird. It flew way to fast, but not in a straight line, and it's wings were crooked. At least that's what we thought. I had insta-chills and involuntary tears ran down my face when we realized we had a bat in our home. It was a bat. A real live bat, mocking us every once and awhile-literally playing peek-a-boo. OK, so Tweetie is renamed Boo. A real live Boo Radley in our own home. Good times.

Not really. I totally freaked out. I mean completely melted down. I couldn't stop crying and there was no way I was going to fall asleep. We called animal control and asked what to do. They said to literally sleep with a tennis racket within reach and keep the lights on because bats typically don't go in bright places. They would be there in the morning to help us catch it.

All night long the lights stayed on in the entire house. All night long I slept with tennis racket on my face like a mask. I'm not kidding. All night long. I was so freaked out. Thankfully, Boo was done playing for the night.

When animal control got there the next morning, they said that a bat can fit through a hole the size of a dime and can even hide behind a picture hung on a wall-they are that small. They have a wing span of about 12 inches though when flying. **shudder** So, they searched the house,but told us it was like finding a needle in a haystack. They took a tour outside and found a hole between the wall and the roof the bat probably used to get in. I have that spot marked in the picture above. They then told us, in order to find out if there was more than one! (HOLY CRAP), we had to watch the outside of the house and wait at dusk to see if any bats came out. More than one? OMG! They said if it was a colony, they would come out at dusk. (A colony is anywhere from 20 to 30 bats. Yes, that's right a small colony that is...20-30 BATS!!!! ~OMG again.)

Stay home to see if a colony of bats lived in my attic, or have a drink with my cousins at girls night out. Hmmm. Yeah. Poor Nate. He was sitting in the side yard, flashlight in hand, waiting for dusk as I kissed him bye bye--going to have drinks with the girls. He just sat there in a lawn chair staring at his own house. I can't imagine what our neighbor's thought of us. He stayed that way for 3 hours.

After all of this he saw nothing. No bats in; no bats out. We concluded no colony. Phew! But Boo was still there and still playing peek-a-boo. For two more weeks..........we started to get used to it....we even put the rackets down, and eventually I was able to turn the bedroom light off to go to sleep, but I always left the TV on.

to be continued.


*I don't mean to steal the famous title like I'm some sort of Harper Lee author myself, but every time I remember this particular story I think of the book To Kill A Mockingbird. I can't help it. There are a couple more references to the book as the story continues, basically just playing on the metaphor that the title itself suggests.
Every single story from 632 N Brainard is a true story btw; I'm not creative enough to make this stuff up. Scout's honor! hee hee

Thursday, July 17

Otter Pops or Fla-Vor-Ice?

Cecily just reminded me of a part of my freezer I forgot to photograph when she mentioned the Otter Pops that her household enjoys:

In addition to the sugar-free and Dora Popsicles, we always keep an unlimited supply of Fla-Vor-Ice which we affectionately call Freezie Pops. I can fit a case in at a time in this space instead of the ice cube trays the freezer was designed for and always have a back-up case in the pantry. Both of these products are owned by the same company and we even have Jel-Sert factory in a neighboring suburb, but we cannot get Otter Pops unless we buy online--which I am about to do! Hooray! (I'm so excited to taste Poncho Punch!)

Now, my question is....which ones does your family eat? Do you eat them at all? Are Popsicles or frozen pops a staple in your home? Only in the summertime?





Wednesday, July 16

WW: Feast or Famine?

Not so wordless today............

Yep, that's my freezer. Almost the entire door is dedicated to our favorite nighttime treat. (the Dora ones are special for summer time only-in the fall they will be replaced with more sugar-free) Notice there are two boxes of each kind of Popsicle. The lifesaver ones are our favorite. I have tried, tried, and tried to finish what we have before buying more, but just can't do it. I always freak out when we get down to two or God forbid one box-because they might stop making them!?! Who knows. Fear isn't rational, right? Oh, and the veggies and the healthy choice have been in there since um, last October. for real.

Sophie and I have a sugar-free Popsicle every night while we read her bedtime stories. Every night. Seriously. I'm such a child.
Oh, and spellchecker wanted me to capitalize Popsicle. The word Popsicle must be a proper noun and not just a 'thing.' It's proper in this house, that's for sure.

Tuesday, July 15

Make-up Monday Part Two: Sunday

Sunday morning I made Mickey Mouse waffles and had lots of yummy fresh fruit so we had a good old-fashioned waffle breakfast. Then, we took advantage of our rockin' good weather and took a break from the pool to walk around our favorite little downtown area. It was so fun. There were about a million people out because the day was so gorgeous. Sometimes it's nice just to be in the middle of so much activity without really having anything to do. We people watched and sat at an outdoor cafe with big giant diet cokes munching on chips & guacomole (my fave) for lunch. Then we just took a little stroll around town. They have these butterfly statues all over the place and Sophie was having tons of fun splashing in the dirty water. Normally I wouldn't let her because I'm all uptight about staying clean (I know) but today I finally said OK and let her be. This was a big step for me.



I wanted to see her face for a picture so I said, "Hey Soph, look up for me will ya?" Nice. She got a cute neck huh?


Yeah, I finally get a candid shot where she is actually motioning what the title of this blog is all about. Of Course I cut her head off. Nice. The pink bows are my favorite too. Oh nuts!
That was pretty much it for our day. I felt so blissfully normal -it was fantastic. We just hung out-all day long. I can't remember the last time just the three of us had such a fun, relaxing weekend together. Pretty perfect and it feeeeeeeeeeels good!

Monday, July 14

Make-up Monday Part One: Saturday

I wish I had a picture of Sophie's little baby Barbies that she took to dinner on Saturday night. She colored their faces with the crayons the restaurant gave her and proudly looks over at me and says, "Look Mommy..Make-Up!" How fitting for today's post. But I forgot the picture. oops

We had a fantastic weekend. Saturday we managed to sneak in the pool for a couple of hours in between storms. The sun even came out for most of time we were there. Sophie is starting to really love swimming. She wears her little floaties all over the pool and just thinks she is 'Joe Cool Swimmer.' It's fun to watch. Now, if I can just get her to put her face in the water we will be on our way to actual swimming. She goes under water when she jumps in, and even though she doesn't breathe, she can't close her mouth because she is smiling so much. She loves it. But she won't voluntarily stick her head under. She's so much fun to play with though. I love going to the pool and now have an official Jamaica-Me-Tan!

So after the pool if was out for a family date. The three of us have not had a normal night out for dinner and the bookstore (our fave thing to do) in FOREVER! We decided that it was time to treat ourselves and just have a little fun. So, off we went. Now, I have nothing good to say about the restaurant,so I can't mention the name because that would be indiscreet (outback. outback steakhouse.) But, Nate and I had to be those people and send our dinners back to the kitchen. It was the worst prime rib we had ever tasted. Seriously. Shame on them for serving it. By the time the plates were cleared Sophie was done with her dinner, and once she finishes we have about a 10 minute window before she will literally start doing laps around the place. So we didn't have time to get something else. Wahh! We left hungry.
We headed off to Barnes and Noble to salvage the night. Once we got over our disappointment I reminded Nate that now instead of wasting money on dinner (the manager didn't make us pay for them) we can fill up on lattes and buy Sophie a new book. Hooray! I was excited; Nate wanted his steak. At least one of us was happy.

Sophie refused to go potty when we first arrived, but once I had my hands full of coffee, 2 books, milk and a cookie for her, she decides she has to go. Great. I left the books and the little duck Sophie wanted on the table, scooped up the drinks and cookie and off we went. By the time we got back to the table, the books and duck were gone. Sophie was devastated. She really, really, wanted the duck. Really. I didn't mind because it was on clearance for like $2.00, but she was so sad that someone had taken it away. We didn't know where either, because she found it in a place it wasn't supposed to be. She proceeds to start collecting every stuffed animal she saw and said, "I'll just get this one instead." Oh no you won't. I'm not going from a $2.00 duck to a $15.00 elephant. I grabbed the books off the shelf and tried to distract her, but it didn't work. A kid who worked there finally came over by us and asked if we needed anything. I told him what happened and sent him on a mission around the store to find the duck. He made Nate laugh when he goes, "Wow, they took your duck. That sucks." It was the way he said it. So nonchalant, but to the point; I guess you had to be there. Anyway, he found it, and the Widloe family date was salvaged! Phew!
Sophie was so happy she tried to climb a tree:


Nate: Soph, you can't really climb it; it's a wall.

Sophie (sitting back down): Yeah, I guess you're right.
Whenever she says something an adult would say we crack up! She then proceeded to sing at the top of her lungs on the little stage they have and recite one of her favorite books. I got some of it on camera, so I will get that on youtube shortly and post when it's ready.

All in all, we had a good time. It had been months since we all dressed up a little and went out together. We really needed it. Oh and the books we picked up were: Fancy Nancy's Favorite Fancy Words (the 4th in the series and an ABC book); and Harry by the Sea (she has all of the Harry's and just loves that little white dog with black spots.)

Stay tuned for Part Two: Sunday








Friday, July 11

Photostory Friday and some M&M's

Today's photos are of me, this one taken by me -yesterday. Now, let me tell you that I am totally and completely camera shy. I don't like taking pictures and hardly ever let anyone see them if they are taken. (I am totally sunburned btw after a way too-long day at the pool.) I'm posting this picture because of the next picture you are about to see of me. This is HUGE for me that I am posting this today. My sister is probably about to pass out--she knows my fear. Anyway, you'll see why it is important that you know what I look like today--not that I think I'm some kind of super model by any means, it's just that when Sophie was born.....**sigh**....it's very important that you know that is NOT what I look like in real life. It wasn't pretty OR fun.

After posting the story of Bunny Bear, I was reminded of all of the glorious pregnancy memories I have. Except that my story is not as much glorious as it is glamorous--NOT. You see, when I was pregnant I had the pleasure of pre-eclampsia along with gestational diabetes. Good times.
By the time Sophie was born, I had topped out at a whopping 241 pounds! and I was gaining one pound a day.

here we go......










(sucking in breath) Ouch! Every time I see this. **Sigh** Her being born is still my # 1 greatest lifetime achievement though--even though I weigh the same as a small kindergarten brownie troup. The picture was taken the day after she was born. I know I lost at least 7 pounds 7 oz. but I don't think much else. I WAS HUGE!!!!!!!! Look at how perfect little Sophie looks though. What a doll, right from the start. I figure the sicker I got, the prettier she got and was born spectacularly beautiful!

Here's my story:

6 days before she was born, I was sent to the hospital until I had a baby in my hands-the docs thought I had at least 3 weeks to go. (I had high blood pressure, questionable kidneys, and a potentially failing liver. Nothing like organ failure to really make childbirth exciting!)
4 days before she was born, I. was. starving. I know, it's hard to believe, but really starving. Because of the diabetes, they put me on a totally restricted menu and didn't give me enough food to feed a bird. Each night, the kitchen would send around a menu with options for the next days' food. I would circle ALL of the options for every meal-even though I was only allowed 1 choice. I was so pissing off the kitchen. Ha ha ha--I'm allowed to have my fun.
Anyway, they would have to call up right before each meal because they were confused. "do you want the jello or the 3 oz orange juice? We can't give you ice cream or all of them-you're a diabetic."
Me: No sh*t! You don't say? Well, it's only cuz I'm preggers. I want ice cream.
Kitchen: Sorry you are not allowed.
Me: Says who?
Kitchen: Um, well, hang on, let me find out. (obviously confused)
(hehehehehehehe that's me giggling like Garfield--if they don't feed me I might just be a little hilarious, make that hysterical!)
Kitchen: Doctors orders.
Me: Which one?
Kitchen: Um, oh, (which one she wants to know--he's asking someone right next to him) Your doctor--We'll just choose for you.
Me: OK you do that.
From then on someone went through the menu and crossed out all of my choices.
Yeah, the kitchen loved me. Well, my MIL smuggled in some homemade banana bread, and the nurses just couldn't figure out why my blood sugars were so off. Heheheheheh. More Fun.
The next day my husband snuck in some M&M's for me after the stupid non-breakfast they served. I was so happy I saved them until it was safe. Around 11AM I figured I had 15 minutes before another nurse came in (yeah EVERY 15 minutes to check my blood pressure--for 6 days-including all night long!) The doctor had already been in earlier so no worries there. It was just me and my mom at the time, so I pounced on the candy. MMMMMMM MMMMMMMM GOOOOOOOOD!
Well,
I had an unexpected visit right as I was about to throw a handful of the yummy goodness in my mouth. (I was hiding the bag in the nightstand) It was the head doctor of the NICU (um that's neo-natal intensive care) -pretty important guy. He wanted to talk to me about what was going to happen with Sophie, what they do, who HE was, why he was in my room, blah blah blah. He talked for like 20 minutes. All I could think about were the M&M's in my hand, that I couldn't eat in front of this guy.
The nurse had come in and taken my blood pressure all the while I had my other hand clenched in a fist to hide the illegal candy.
Finally this doc says, Do you want to take a tour of the NICU so you are more prepared?
Me: Um yes, but I would like to wait for my husband to come back so he can be with me. (Thank GOD he wasn't there right then.)
Doc: Well, OK, but this afternoon I'll be in surgery, so if you want to wait until Monday, that would be fine too.
Me: Thanks for stopping by. I know my daughter will be in good hands. (Even though I also know she won't need your good hands to help her! Now please go away so I can eat my M&M's!!! Dammit~!
He finally left. Finally. I started to cry. Again. I had cried a bunch over the last couple of days. My mom just looked at me and said, "Don't worry the baby will be fine-are you sure you don't want to just go now and see the NICU while the doctor is still here? He seems really nice and concerned that you don't freak out."
Me: That's not why I'm crying Mom.
Mom: What's wrong?
Me: They DO melt in your hands. Look! I held out my hand and all of my precious yummy deliciousness had melted into a tye-dyed puddle of goo in my hand. I contemplated licking it. But I didn't.
My mother was too busy rolling on the floor laughing to help me wash my hand off.
Damn Doctors!!!

I am so self-conscience about these pictures, I'm sure! Let's compare a little bit; I played around with picnik so I had to throw in this picture too. See the hands? Soooo puffy that they had to call in an anesthesiologist to put in my IV's. About 5 nurses tried to find the vein, but after a million pokes they couldn't, so a guy came in to numb me up good so they could literally dig with a giant needle for the vein. GOOD TIMES!
The thing that struck me the most (besides the size of me and my greasy gross hair,) was my glasses. They are the same ones I am wearing now.

Yeah, I'm thinking contacts too! Or at least some new glasses for God's sake! Ugh. If you comment, please be kind; my self-esteem thanks you.

PhotoStory Friday
Hosted by Cecily and MamaGeek

Thursday, July 10

The going on's of our summer.....

It occured to me this afternoon as my mind was wandering while trying to get Sophie to nap that you may not really know what we are up to this summer. I was thinking about a couple of my fave bloggers and I totally know what you are up to: YOU are recouping from a move away from the famous acre; YOU are preparing for an unexpected vaca after recovering from brutal surgery; YOU had a lovely 4th of July party and finally got to see your oldest guy come home from the beach before heading off for a mini-vaca; YOU are upset because you didn't get to quack and had a non-reportable holiday even though the grand-p's were around and your little one made out for the first time (hahahaha--that makes me laugh!!--oh and i got this little blog technique right from you.) YOU are ..... well the question for you is what are you NOT doing with your clan -you are so busy I get tired just reading about it, but you do have a fantastic 4th of July tribute going on; and YOU are having lots of green (adorable )and public (hysterical) tinkle troubles while dressing your kids in the cutest patriotic digs; and YOU have finally blasted back on to the blogger scene with a little humility, a picture of the cutest haircut in the world, and even some compliments for me-whoohoo! You rock too !!!)

So the question is...what in the world am I doing? Not much. Sophie and I have had one lazy summer-so far-...........
Our days usually start around 10 AM. I am most likely up earlier having fun on my computer chugging my morning joe. Once up and brushed, we either head to the pool, head outside to the park, or if on Wednesday we head over to Grammy's so Mommy can have a day to herself. That's it. Nothing else. Now, with the holiday over the past weekend we threw in a couple of bbq's and a carnival with fireworks, but nothing really exciting.
We have made quite a few BIG changes though. Sophie still naps occasionally, but they are definitely on the outs. Today she fell asleep holding my hand and I swear I could feel my heart bursting because I know these days are numbered.
We are officially potty trained and all grown up. Sophie's favorite part of the whole undees thing is she gets to pick them out each morning. She still wears diapers at night, but today informed that she no longer wanted to do that. We went out and bought her some 'big girl' underJams just until her bladder gets a teenie bit bigger--or she starts sleeping in her own bed--so I can save our big bed from having to be changed everyday.
So for the rest of the summer we are going to concentrate on two things: swimming and reading. Sophie wants to learn how to write her letters AND she has told me she wants to go to school. **sigh** She's trying to be like all the other kids-I can't blame her for that-but jeez she is growing so fast!
I've already mentioned the bike riding, gum chewing, and play dates without mommy, so that should just about wrap things up.
There you have it. One long boring summer for us. I am absolutely not complaining though. I wouldn't trade jobs with anyone in the world -for any amount of money either. I really love the way things are right now. If I could just figure out a way to get my skin from peeling after my wicked burn, I'd be perfect.

Sophie's vocabulary is started to take a very fun little turn and I'm trying really hard to remember what she says, but we laugh too much to write it all down.
Last night was this:
Daddy: Soph, what did you do at Grammy's today?
Sophie: Daddy, I just pooped in her toilet.
whoohoo for underwear! whoohoo for no more diapers. *sigh* I honestly never minded them.

OK, that's all I got. Photostory Friday is up and ready. Be nice-please. That's all I've got to say on that one.
TTFN!

Wednesday, July 9

awww poor baby!

Yesterday a mom was with her 18 month old son in the baby pool. He was strapped into one of those swimming life jackets and his mom was practically on top of him holding both of his hands. This kid was throwing a fit. He kept trying to wiggle away and fight her every move. The result of this delightful moment was a baby coughing up huge gulps of water after wrestling free and landing face first in the pool. Then the mom proceeds to say, "See? That's what happens when you don't keep your mouth closed. Let me hold your hands so it doesn't happen again."
This got me thinking. Her reaction was to blame him and tell him it's his fault for not keeping his mouth shut. Where is the "aw, poor baby," accompanied by hugs and kisses? Why is she so cross with him? (I don't know why I feel the need to use the word 'cross' like a 1912 school teacher, but it really fits.) There are a million reasons for this mom to react the way she did. It is not for me to judge, so I won't. However, I can turn it on me. Have I ever reacted that way?

Ummmm. Yep. Guilty. Why? Well, if I don't inform anyone within ear shot that it was the child's fault, then they might think I'm a bad parent for not teaching my child in the first place. Seriously! They might think _____ (anything.) EWWWWW! But unfortunately this is how my twisted brain works. It seems that every chance I get I am trying to prove just how strong Sophie is-which then by association will explain that I am an awesome mom just because THEY might think ______. I hate them.
When it's just me and Sophie, I 'baby' her and give her as much comfort as she needs. If she falls at home and scrapes her knee it's "poor thing, let me kiss it, and we'll go get a band aid (cause you know I have tons) and you can have a freezie pop until it stops hurting." Sometimes she gets 2 or 3 freezie pops to make the pain go away-especially if blood was involved with the injury.
But, in the eyes of strangers, my momma bear syndrome kicks into high gear and there are no 'poor baby's' around. Just like the woman in the pool. Out in public, I say things like, "oh, you're OK. Come on, let's keep playing." Grrrrrr. There was one instance where Sophie literally got up after falling and jumped on the swing with blood dripping down her leg-without one single tear. grunt! Of course the parents around were amazed that she doesn't cry and say things like "Wow, how strong is she?" and so on. grunt grunt
Last week at the carnival, Sophie tripped over her stroller and landed on the asphalt on her hands. Before I could even respond another mom said, "awww, you poor thing, are you OK?" and then tried to literally pick Sophie up off the ground. Grrrrrrr, groWL, ROAR!!! "Don't touch her, she's fine!" I screamed from about 10 feet away getting a-whole-lotta looks from a-whole-lotta people. Hello Mrs. Butt-in-sky pay attention to your own kid-leave mine alone! I quickly scooped her up and distracted her with a ride but not until after I told her to make sure she watches where she is going. grrrrrr. (even though it was my fault for parking the stroller behind her) But still. How dare that woman get in between a momma and her cub! Grunt. grrr.
So my new awareness of how I treat Sophie in public led me to figure out that I need to forgive myself for momma bear, and simply practice something new. I need to stop hating them too because really they haven't done anything wrong. I like to 'baby' Sophie--with kind, loving, compassionate attention, so she feels emotionally secure, until the scrapes stop hurting. I like to console her. I LOVE to mother her. I need to remember that, and not get so concerned with what other people think good parenting looks like. I guess maybe that's why the mom in the pool reacted that way--to teach ME a lesson in dealing with my own child.

Sophie must have sensed I wanted to practice because yesterday she swallowed some water and coughed a little right after I figured all of this out. We were in the big pool, so I took her over to her 'safe' zone on the stairs where she can sit by herself. I gave her all sorts of encouragement and 'you're OK, sometimes this happens, but I'm here and you're fine,' because I truly don't want her to be afraid in the pool. She then proceeded to keep coughing. Apparently she wanted the attention -so she faked it. OK, I'll play--I love this game; she's so sweet to hold and comfort. I was trying to baby and console her as much as I could until the lifeguard walked over. Then momma bear popped out. I was instantly ashamed that I let my 3 year old swallow water and instead of taking care of her I started to explain her fake coughs to the lifeguard and chastise Sophie for pretending to need attention. grrrrrrrr.
DAMN! Totally blew the chance to make the change. Why didn't I just thank the lifeguard for checking up on us? Because I was embarrassed. Because I thought he and anyone else would think I was careless. Because all of sudden someone was watching me parent her.

Oh well. Awareness is the first step. I'll get there. We have only begun our public life and I'm sure I'll get lots of chances to be the mom I am in public once school gets here. Yikes. It's coming quickly too!

Monday, July 7

Would you throw 3 one-dollar bills in the trash?

Well, that's exactly what I did when I had to toss a whole pineapple that sat on my counter and rotted. Throwing money in the garbage was the first thing that popped in my head.

Wow. I got old. crap.


Here's another little tidbit about me while I'm at it--my husband is in sales so around here it's feast or famine. In times of feast I take complete advantage and totally stock up on everything non-perishable and/or freezable--just to make sure we are covered in times of famine.



Yeah, were covered.
I love Sophie's new fascination with silly faces.


Saturday, July 5

All About Sophie

I started this blog to catalog all of the things Sophie and I do together, and the more I blog the more I realize I have a lot of stories of my own to share, but they don't really have much to do with Sophie. So, I made the addition. Now I can type all Sophie all the time, and still have a place of my own to go to. Plus adding a second blog erased all of my website woes which I will explain on the other blog soon.
So without further ado, here are a few things that Sophie has been up to over the past couple of weeks:
We bumped into these guys at our new favorite summer street festival last weekend. She was so excited to see "Pablo and the other one" as she called them. Daddy had to hold her though when she got a little too close. Backyardigans rock. stomp stomp stomp
Then she got to go on a pony ride. She liked this guy mostly because his name was 'Snickers' (which of course made me happy) but she was really upset when a kid beat her to the white pony named Cotton that she really wanted to ride. It was pretty dramatic, but we made it through. It's hard being 3 after all.
I have lots more pictures of her and even a couple with me in them (I'm still surprised that I was brave enough to get my picture taken) and I am putting them together in a new slide show. I'll post it soon for one of the photo story Fridays and talk a little more about going to carnivals with Sophie. Good times!!
Harley doesn't look like he's too excited about this tug-of-war between Sophie and Papa. They weren't really tugging, but Sophie insists on holding the leash. It wouldn't be a big deal if Harley didn't love to attack trees and chase cars. Someday she'll understand.

Thursday, July 3

I'm add it again!

No that's not a typo: I'm adding a new blog and deleted my dumb website, but I am also re-arranging and redecorating AGAIN~!

Maybe when I'm finally done, I'll be satisfied!
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