Friday, October 29, 2010

Friday with Finn

Today, as the leaves fall furiously off the trees and push us solidly into a new season, I'm mourning the loss of the summer.  This was quite possibly the most jam-packed summer in Hefter History: we spent some quality time in Minnesota for Sarah's graduation hoopla (hooray for Baby Sister!) and a wedding shower for Emily with the aunties and girl cousins; then there was the flurry of activity that surrounded Emily and Jerad's wedding festivities (my first brother-in-law!), and a Fourth of July visit from my cousin and his best girl was spur of the moment and much needed.  Those last few weeks and days waiting for Finn to arrive made for a wonderfully full and exciting summer.

It's cold now and to be honest, fall feels a little bit like a let-down.  The grass doesn't look soft and green anymore, nor does it hold the promise of 7 weeks of "vacation" as it did 3 months ago.  Our deck is empty of plants and outdoor chairs and full of crunchy leaves instead.  I have planted the tulip bulbs, but it'll be months before we see those little green heads poke through the soil (as long as the stinky squirrels don't eat them first).  My rose bush has been cut back to practially nothing and is mulched more looking out the kitchen window and seeing cheerful pink blooms in the yard.  The tree branches wave their bare arms at Finn as he looks at them from the toasty confines of our house.  I have had to turn the heat on a couple of nights already, and then have had to remember to turn it off in the morning amid the chaos that surrounds trying to get 4 people out the door at 3 different times. 

This new season will bring with it it's own set of changes - some of them will without a doubt be exciting.  There are some teeth brewing in Finn's mouth and Abby is going to turn 11.  I think we'll tumble into a moderately mobile, rolly-poly baby this fall and a much more independent tween who wants to stay up later and stay outside with her friends longer.

I never thought I would miss summer.  It's so hot here and the humidity wraps around you like a wet hug every time the door opens.  But already I miss the feel of a little sweaty baby body curled up next to me in the wee small hours of the morning; he's got too many clothes on now and he sleeps through the night.  It gets dark so much earlier and that means Abby's signal to come in (the street lights coming on) happens almost before six o'clock news is over and before Wheel of Fortune has started.

I'm feeling a little glass-half-empty today, thinking more about the things that are past instead of anticipating the moments that are to come, like Finn's first Halloween this weekend and the fact that Abby gets to spend the night with her Aunt Megs tomorrow, which means Uriah and I (and baby boy)  have found ourselves, once again, with an evening to ourselves. 

I promise to be in much better (ghostly) spirits tomorrow...

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

3 month pictures

Yesterday Finn had his 3 month + one week and 5 days picture taken.
And let me tell you...

He. Is. CUTE!

I wanted all of the pictures of him but it would have set me back about $500 and I'm pretty sure my husband would frown upon such blatant disuse of our monies so I settled on one.  One sweet little baby boy face.  I will share it with you once my Mama gets her copy in the mail.  She should see it first, after all.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Monday can suck it.

  • Woke up to dogs barking next door.  Clock said 4:21 am.  Should stop by QT and get them a king-sized Hershey bar on my way home.  Might be bad Karama added to an already crap day, though.
  • Was still awake at 6:00 when Finn started talking to his animals.  He fell back asleep.  I did not. 
  • Cut my leg shaving in the shower...further proof that shaving (and showering) are overrated, especially on Monday.
  • Finn was still sleeping this morning when I was getting ready for work.  Could have left him sleeping, but I had to wake him up to see him for a little bit this morning.  Got him dressed, then left him with the dad to eat breakfast and go to daycare.  Won't see him again until 7:30 tonight.
  • Rude email awaiting me at work.  Colossally rude.  Would have bellied up to a bar at 8:45 in the morning if there had been one nearby, that's how rude.
  • Spilled soup on myself.  White shirt.  Red soup.  Balls.
  • There is still wedding cake at home.  I want to eat it.  And wash it down with a bottle of wine.
  • The day is only half over...which means it still has the potential to get worse.  Or better.  But I'm glass half empty today, so I'm not holding my breath.
Monday is going to end like this, though: time, snuggle time, book time...this makes everything better (this makes the day more bearable).  And hey, he has a fashion sense already, sporting that sweet, fine Man-Bracelet.  It makes me think of the episode of Friends where Joey gives Chandler the man-bracelet so that they can be Bracelet Buddies...I guess I just need to find a bracelet buddy for Finn.

Anyway, Happy's to a better day tomorrow.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Friday with Abby

Once, a couple of years ago, Abby tried to convince us that we should have Abby Day.  She thought there should be a party with family and friends and probably a clown and pony rides.  She thought there should be presents and that we should do all of the things that she wanted to do, including, but not limited to: going out to eat, going shopping and buying whatever she wanted.  We should make all of the foods that she loves the most.  Abby Day would be like a birthday, but on a random day of the year.  We told her to go clean her room. 

This week, however, she got an Abby Day.  Uriah has been on stay-cation this week (like vacation, only staying home) and on Wednesday after school, he whisked Abby off to an afternoon that was all about her.  

Before I go any further, let's go back a couple of weeks, shall we, when Uriah and I first took Abby shopping for some new fall clothes.  It was getting to be that time of year when the summer shorts and tank tops get replaced with jeans and long-sleeved shirts and turns out Little Miss grew over the summer and didn't fit in any of her cool-weather clothes from last year.  So we took her to Old Navy and gave her the run of the place...

"Pick out whatever you want," we said.  
"Anything?" she asked.  
"As long as it's cool-weather appropriate - long sleeves, sweaters, jeans - anything you want."

And so she looked.  And she ran her fingers over sweaters and fleeces.  She looked at different colored shirts and some jeans and pajamas.  And then she decided that none of it would do.  

"Nothing?" we asked, looking around astonished.  "Not the cute fleece pullover?  Not the blue shirt with the owls printed on it?"
"None of it" she said, crossing her arms and tapping her foot.  "I don't like any of it."
So, we took a collective deep breath and moved on to Target.  Surely, we would find something to pique her fancy there.  She moped through the aisles, not picking up a single item.  I threw up my hands and left her with Uriah while I took Finn to shop for baby clothes.  I came back to an empty cart.  

Not. One. Thing. 

"What are you looking for, Abby?" we asked.
"I want it to be me." she said, shrugging her shoulders and pouting in the back seat of the car.
"I don't know what that means." we said.
"I'll know it when I see it.  I want something blue, but not too blue.  I like prints but not wild prints.  I just want it to be my style."  She paused.  "I want designer clothes."

So that was it.  Target is no longer cool.  Target is not designer.  We went home; everyone was frustrated.  Everyone except Finn, that is.  Finn got two new shirts, a new pair of pants, a sweatshirt and some socks.  Finn does not care about designers; he would be naked all day if he could.

So, on Wednesday, Uriah took Abby first to get her hair cut.  She got to tell the stylist exactly what she wanted.  She, of course, had a long discussion with the very patient girl and when the scissors stopped snipping and the hair dryer stopped drying and the dust had settled, she looked like this:

And from the back, she looked like this:

Uriah took her to Marshall's, where their slogan could be Brand Names For Less and Abby got to pick out her "designer" clothes.  Uriah just stood back, like the good and patient Dad that he is, and let her pick out a couple of new outfits.  I got a fashion show when I got home from work...she was so proud of her choices and so excited about her hair.  She couldn't stop bouncing through the house and she talked non-stop about all of the things that she looked at when she was shopping and how she decided to get bangs, but not full bangs and how she was going to wear the brown shirt with the skinny jeans for school pictures.  

Outfit #1

Outfit #2

I nearly started crying when I saw her.  This little kitten looks so grown up!  I know she's going to be 11 in a couple of weeks, but I also remember when I first met her.  She was a teeny little 7 year old with a squeaky voice and long hair.  She still carried some of her baby roundness and she was high energy - bouncing around and talking constantly and wanting to perform for the video camera and heaven help us if someone was taking pictures...she wanted to be in every single one!  In those days, every other weekend was an adventure...playing Barbies, going miniature-golfing, swimming, making cookies, biking, reading books.

Wednesday I caught a glimpse of what she's going to be like as a grown up.  She has such confidence and she couldn't stop swinging her hair.  She was so proud of her clothing choices and so excited about her new skinny jeans.  For the first time in a couple of months, I really looked at her...I mean flat-out stared at her... and it hit me, all at once, that this period is going to be so short lived.  Pretty soon she's going to want to hang out with her friends more and she's going to want a cell phone and going places with her family will be so boring and her parents will be so uncool.  As much as Finn changes every single day, so does Abby, and I really need to be more in the moment with her so that I can wrap myself up in these good memories when she hits the teen years with both feet running.  

Today I am enjoying Fabulous Abby and her Fabulous New Self.  I hope you find something equally fabulous to enjoy this weekend!

Thursday, October 21, 2010


I'm constantly talking to Abby about accountability.  She has certain things that she needs to do:  homework needs to be done before she can go outside to play; she needs to come home when the streetlights come on; she needs to take her laundry downstairs on Saturday morning before the TV gets turned on; her bed needs to be made every morning.  If these things don't get done, there are consequences, which usually involves taking away her read time before bed.  This is quite possibly the worst punishment that I can bestow on her.  You would think that I had just blinded her and told her she's moving to a Third World country to live out her days digging toilet trenches.

My point is that she is accountable to me and her Dad, although he's abides by more of a "live and let live" philosophy and I'm more of the "live and let (everyone) live (just like I tell them to)" philosophyWhen it comes to my writing, I am accountable to...well, me.  And I can always find something else to do, not necessarily more important, just something else (read: laundry, dishes, toilet scrubbing, day-dreaming, solving complex equations).  Why is it that right now I have decided that I need to write?  This is shaping up to be the busiest time in my life, what with two kids and working full-time and keeping my house semi-non-disgusting and maintaining some sort of relationship with my husband that involves conversations about more than our son's daily poop.  Why the need to do this now?   It's not even a need, really, it's more of an urge.  In the same way I feel that if I don't read at least one thing a day - magazine article, someone's blog, a couple of pages in whatever is sitting on my nightstand - I feel like my day has been a failure, I'm starting to feel that way about writing.

I am trying to figure out how to get some accountability into my writing life.  This is, after all, what I spent 4 years of my life aspiring to do...okay, if I'm being honest, I actually aspired to write a really good (#1 on the NYTimes Best Seller List, can't keep it stocked at B&N or at Amazon) book, go on a book tour, chat it up in Chicago with Lady O, have a movie made of said really good book and retire in the lap of luxury living of off royalties and guest appearances and teaching the occasional class at Oxford.  Where is Oxford, by the way?  I should probably find out before I go there.

But first I suppose I should get my random post-it notes and half-filled notebooks together and make a list of what short stories/poems/memoirs I actually have half-started that will be worth my time to fully finish.  Stay tuned for what will probably prove to be another interesting adventure.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

My new best friend

Meet Beverly.

She was my anniversary present and is my new best friend.  I came home from work on Saturday afternoon to find her sitting on my counter, begging me to play.  I obliged.  I realize that getting a stand mixer is not on everyone's list of highly prized gifts, but let me just tell you little bit about this sweet fine piece of machinery.  First of all, Bev is industrial strength (this is what comes of having a husband who is a chef...we may eat hamburger helper occasionally, but we do not half-ass our kitchen appliances).  Second, third and fourth: she has a paddle attachment, a dough hook and a whisk.  I have dreamed of a stand mixer for years and now it is all I can do to stay away from my cookbooks, looking at all of the things I can make.  I have lists in my head of what Beverly and I are going to create together in the kitchen. 

We started out right away on Saturday afternoon.  I made some coconut infused cupcakes using the paddle attachment.  It made the smoothest cupcake batter and they baked beautifully.  I have since frozen them for Abby's birthday party because I cannot, under any circumstances, eat cupcakes right now...they are not going to help me loose any weight.  Plus, my mother-in-law made us a cake topper for our anniversary, so I've been nibbling on that this week and subsequently not losing any weight because of it.  The Wii actually heckles me.

After I finished the cupcakes, I realized that I had some egg yolks left over and instead of saving them for scrambled eggs, I made an egg bread using the dough hook.  First of all, they were farm fresh eggs, so the yellow color of the yolks is amazing; they have so much more depth than store eggs.  The dough came together in a way that cannot be done when I do all of the mixing by hand.  It made the most gorgeous bread dough I have ever seen; it rose amazingly the first time and then when I punched it down and left it to rise again, I was amazed at how good the dough looked.  And it baked into this:

Crusty and golden on the outside, chewy on the inside...and with butter, it makes a great snack!  My house smelled heavenly on Saturday and Abby could hardly contain her excitement.  I used to make bread every weekend.  I liked the idea of something homemade and wonderbread, while good in a pinch, just does not have the same texture and fill-factor as homemade bread.  And there is something cathartic about kneading dough and watching it rise and have that yeasty smell fill up the entire house.  Abby got used to homemade bread and told me she was kind of disappointed when we stopped doing that every weekend.  I don't think I'll go back to making bread every week because we just don't eat that much bread in our house, but maybe once a month I'll pull out that dough hook and go to town! 

In the meantime, I have a recipe for honey rolls that I want to make for Thanksgiving.  And I want to make some cookies with Beverly...some Rocky Road cookies, to be exact, and Christmas cookies are going to be so much fun to make this year.  And I have to use the whisk attachment yet, so I guess a lemon meringue pie is in our future - or I'll make a pumpkin pie and whip some fresh cream or I could make a pecan pie...I found a recipe for pecan pie with a ginger crust, so I'll add that to the list.   I also want to make a mashed potato casserole with some really smooth, whipped potatoes and cheese...together Beverly and I are going to have a long and lasting relationship.

And this is my sous chef:

He's very helpful in the kitchen.  He likes to babble and suck on his fingers and wiggle and squeal.  He keeps me company and he does not tell me what to do.  Together Finn and I are going to have a long and lasting relationship.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Happy Anniversary!

She woke to him holding her hand in his sleep.

What a gift it is to have someone
who can't even dream of letting you go.

Quote courtesy of The Sweaterie

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Finn...4 ways

This is the picture that I started with.
It was taken by Uriah's sister a couple of weeks ago
and is my current favorite.

I boosted the color, added a "sixties" theme and I messed around
with blurring the edges a bit.
I like how bright the frog looks and how rosy his cubby cheeks are.
Small pause while I kiss his cheeks.

Then I did this one...
I think the sepia tone kind of makes him look like an old-fashioned baby.
Well, except for the frog shirt. 
They probably didn't have frog shirts in the 1800's.
He'd probably be wearing a flour sack baby dress and milking cows already. 
I'm glad he was born in 2010.

Then, because it's one of my favorite things to do,
I made everything black and white and boosted the frog color. 
Very trendy, don't you think?

Well, kiddos, that's all I've got today...really using my time wisely!  The hubs is at work until late, late, late.  The chicken is marinating for chicken fajita salads later this evening.  The bread dough is rising on the counter.  Finneaus is playing on his play matt and talking to the whale and the pink lady frog (what's with this kid and frog stuff?) and Yo Abs is across the street playing with the neighbors until the street lights come on (our new rule since her watch broke and I haven't gone to Wal-Mart to get her a new one). 

And if you want to waste some time with your pictures (but in a good way), go to Picnik.  It's a free website, but you can purchase a premier package, which I have not done - all of these picture edits were done with the free applications. 

Happy weekending...

Friday, October 15, 2010

Friday with Finn

I got busy, y'all.

I did absolutely nothing on my list of things to do this week like laundry and vacuuming and dusting (dang, do I really need to dust!).  Instead, I spent my Tuesday off breathing deeply after being in the Combat Zone and self-medicating by putting Finn in weird positions and taking pictures of his face.  I would have liked to self-medicate in the traditional-let's-shake-a-martini way, but I refrained considering there were approximately 9 hours before an acceptable happy hour time.  And it was Tuesday...seems like that might be asking for a trip to visit Betty Ford.

This week has started off what seems like an exceptionally drool-y period in Finn's life.  I like it when he drools...not so much when it happens on my clothes in the morning as we're getting ready to head out the door, but usually his little drool bubbles are cute.  Except, I guess it's not so cute that his little drool bubbles have left his chin kind of chapped and red looking and I have to put lotion on it and make sure that I'm constantly wiping his drool away for his little red chin.  But other than that his drool is cute.  Although, I guess it's really not that cute that I have to keep a bib on him pretty much all the time so that he doesn't have drool on his shirt resulting in a permanent wet spot.  But other than that, his drool is pretty cute.

Wednesday rolled around and Wednesday is Sad Day because by the time I get home from work I barely have enough time to play with Finn before it's time for bath/bottle/snuggle time.  And then two short hours after I've walked through the door, he's spread out in his crib and I've barely gotten a chance to get my fill of this:

My BFF Rachel (who is technically Uriah's BFF, but I have claimed her for Poland) came over to play on Wednesday night.  She was having a tough day dealing with stupid people, and since I can relate to that on occasion, I told her to come on over and squeeze on Finn.  He's good for that.  It's nice to have a place to go to escape for a bit, and I like it when I can provide that service, makes me feel useful to the greater good.  She stayed late and Uriah woke up with a headache on Thursday morning...such is the way of things when Rachel comes over (no complaints from me - I wish she lived closer, because 20 minutes is just too far!!).  But visiting with Rachel meant that I sacrificed another night of writing.  And working out did not happen either.

Thursday came and went with amazing speed.  I got the baby from daycare because Uriah had some work stuff going on and wasn't going to be home until late.  Abby was up the road playing with some new found school chums when Finn and I got home, leaving a hastily scrawled note in her wake stating that she would try to be home around six.  We had a discussion about "trying" - there is no "trying" there is only "doing."  I am grateful that she has a new group of friends to play with, though, since her friend across the street doesn't always get to play outside after school.  Before I knew it, I'd made dinner (the most amazing chicken pot-pie I have ever experienced in my whole life.  I'm half tempted to go home tonight and make it again because it is truly all I can think about today), I'd finished a online survey (which took a hour and 15 minutes!  But it was paid, so I sucked it up and put in the time), played with the baby a bit, fed my family, bathed the boy, fed him, snuggled him and put him to bed.  Uriah and I watched our story, The Mentalist.  And another night of not writing.  And not working out.  And basically sucking as a human who sets goals for herself, but can't be bothered to keep them! is Friday and it's a Finn day.  He made footprint artwork at daycare (his first art project), and we got proofs for his school pictures back (totally the funniest, fattest looking kiddo ever!), and yesterday I got a text picture from his daycare teacher of him sitting in his little chair reading Clifford the Big Red Dog...he was holding the book himself and looking at the pictures and he just looked so content and happy to be hanging out reading...the apple did not fall far, I guess.

And I sat in my little corner at work and looked at that tiny picture on my phone of my boy and his books and willed myself not to cry.  I reminded myself, as I do daily, that I am lucky to have a job in these tough economic times.  I am lucky to have a healthy, happy baby.  I am lucky that I get to squeeze on him and smother him with kisses.  I am lucky that I can hear the gurgling noises he's started making and I am so lucky that he recognizes me and smiles the biggest, toothless smile just for me. 

Lucky me...

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Holy's not even 8:00!

If someone had told me that parenting a tween was going to be anything but kittens and picnics, I probably would have laughed the off the planet.  Don't get me wrong...I read the books and I know how girls can be (I'm persoanlly responsible for 1/5 of the grey hairs on my mother's head) but up until about what seems like 30 seconds ago (or over the summer) Abby was so sweet.  Even up to last year, she was such a good girl; she was enthusiastic and willing to try just about anything and she had a good attitiude and she woke up happy.  And then this summer came and she tipped over into The Dark Age.

It's not even 8:00 this morning , I have not even put on a pot of coffee for Lord's sake, and I feel like I've been to war.  She's surly and she has an attitude and she is so stubborn!  It's too early for the Corn Child Blank stare that I get when she knows that I'm right, but doens't want to accept it.  I think I need to go to Barnes and Noble and get anther book...Countdown to College:  How To Curb Your Excitement For Your Kid's 20s and Get Through the Teen Years. 

Finn is still blessedly sleeping, so I'm going to take advantage of this quiet al one time to get in a work out and make a huge pot of coffee and pray that the rest of the day smooths itself out.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

This weekend could have been so good...

In retrospect, I probably should have just stayed home this weekend, since it turned into kind of a Goat Rodeo, but we all convince ourselves that what looks a little crazy one minute can quckly change the next.  That was not the case this weekend. 

Abby was gifted with a weekend with the Grandparents, which in turn meant that Uriah and I were gifted with a weekend of semi-alone time (Finn stayed with us; he's too little in the boots yet to be too far from me).  Uriah and I dropped her off on Friday night after work.  I guess I should have had a snack before we left for Blue Springs, but we were in a hurry to get her weekend started and everyone was ready to go when I got home from work, so I quickly changed out of my work clothes and off we went.  Our plan was to drop Abs off, visit for a few minutes and then find some dinner (my plan was sushi - I have been thinking about sushi since we stumbled into the sushi buffet a couple of weeks ago).  But, as luck would have it, Uriah's sister brought her two kiddos over for a visit and before we could blink, it was 9 pm.  One cocktail does not a dinner make when you're 30 and my crabbiness started coming out.  We left quickly after that because I was about to go Angry Hungry Girl on my husband, and since it was too late for sushi, we ordered a quick appetizer to go on our way home.  Finn, of course, was without his bedtime routine (bath, bottle, snuggletime) and felt it unnecessary to go to sleep until around 11:30pm.

I woke up at the buttcrack of dawn on Saturday morning and went to work where I was productive for a couple of hours.  Finn spent the morning with The Dad and had a good, long morning nap, so he was ready for a wild rumpus when I got home.  Uriah had a wedding at the club, so he was out the door almost immediately and Finn and I were left to our own devices.  I was bound and determined to go to the park yesterday afternoon.  First, because it was beautiful outside and the leaves are just starting to change and second, because I'd never been to Loose Park and wanted to take the perfect Saturday opportunity to meander aimlessly with my camera. 

In order to get to the park from our house, we have to take a rather unsavory route through a seedy area of the city.  It's the kind of area where you make sure your doors are locked, your windows are up, and you're wearing an extremely dark pair of sunglasses so as not to make eye contact accidentally with anyone.  I crossed the streets that make the news every night.  For homicides.

And then we crossed an invisible line and suddenly the houses were crisply painted, the yards were freshly manicured and the dogs were groomed.  Cars had all of their wheels and Tom Sawyer had clearly been working the neighborhood fences.

Loose Park was all I thought it was going to be.  Rose garden, green grass, ponds with geese, leaves just starting to change color.  There's a playground full of kids who were laughing and having a good time and every single breed of dog imaginable was being walked.  I snuggled Finn into his baby pack and we struck off down the walking trail to explore the park.  Here's what I love about parks: the people.  Every single person that I passed said hello or smiled.  Some commented on the "little baby" and asked how old he was; most just nodded a greeting and continued on their power stroll.  Finn and I took the time to stop and smell the roses and admire a bride and groom having their pictures taken (made me think fondly about our own wedding last year).  We made a wide loop, played in the grass for a bit and then came back to our car.

When I turned my car on, I noticed that my gas light was on.  Somewhere I heard that you can drive a certain number of miles once your gas light comes on, and I really think that I have 30 miles, once my gas light comes on, before I have to get gas.  I said a quick prayer that we'd make it back to our own neighborhood and I promised myself (and the guardian angel who was watching over me) that I was going to fill the car up immediatley.  I crossed my fingers and pushed the pedal down through the blocks between The Passeo and Troost Ave.  We got back to our neighborhood, but I decided that first we needed to stop at the grocery store and I'd get gas before we went home.  Finn and I meandered up and down all of the aisles, looked at some random bottles of wine, laughed at the names of the Ben&Jerry's ice cream, and read some cards.  I made a mental list in my head of what we could have for dinner this week and decided to go through my cupboards before I did a big shop.  And then we checked out.

And the clerk told me that my card was stolen.

Excuse me?  Stolen?  But I'm holding it right here, IN MY HAND, and it has my name on it.  Do you want to compare it to my driver's licnese?  The name's the same, honey!  She did not care.  She just wanted to be paid for the groceries, preferably with a card that wasn't hot.  I paid for my groceries, while calling my bank and freaking out at the exact same time - you know that feeling you get in your stomach: like a bowling ball has been dropped into it and if this is truly as bad a situation as your overactive imagination is making it out to be, a bathroom is going to necessary ASAP.    But it's Saturday evening and there was nobody at my bank, so I left them a message (it's a credit union, they'll be working on Sunday).  I went home, unloaded my baby and my groceries and logged on to my bank account.  All my money was there; the same amount that was in there last time I checked.  Clearly nobody had stolen my card, but I called the card company anyway, where the nice customer service worker, we'll call him Stu, told me to hold onto my panties while he checked into it.  (I may have been using my raised voice at the time, partly because I was freaked out and partly because Finn was crying in the background and I needed to talk over him).  Stu told me that there were no holds on my card, there weren't any unusual charges on it, nothing had been reported stolen and it looked good from his end.  The only thing different, he said, was that although my card had my married name on it,the account was still in my maiden name.  He said to call my bank on Monday and have them change that.  And then Stu told me to have a good weekend.

I felt better knowing that someone was not enjoying a leather bustier on my dime.  I felt even better knowing that I had panicked all on my own and figured the situation out and had not called Uriah and vented my frustration (which is what I almost always do - this usually involves me having an anxiety attatck on the phone and Uriah telling me that there's nothing he can do about anything right now as he's at work providing for our family and could I please just wait until he gets home and then we'll figure it out together?).  I felt so relived and grown up, in fact, that I though it would be a good idea to rent a RedBox and enjoy an at-home-cheap-ass-date-night with Uriah once he got home from said evening of providing for our family.  So, I loaded Finn up in the car again, and down the street we puttered.  Literally. 

See, in my haste to get home and check my bank account and call the credit card, and have an anxiety attack and not call my husband about it, I'd forgotten to put gas in the car.  And that 30 mile thing...that's a myth that was proven false last night.  We got to the end of the street before the little Civic died.  I guess coasting into the gas station on fumes is also a myth.  So, I took Finn out of his carseat and hauled his sweet, fine 12 lbs bum back up the street to the house.  Where I called Uriah and told him what happened in an only semi-anxious voice - probably I was just out of breath from having to walk up the hill with the baby.  Uriah left work early to put gas in my car; we did not watch a RedBox, we did not even watch SNL, heck, we barely made it through the news.

And Finn was up and ready to go by 8 this morning, with nary a morning nap in sight; Abby came home from the Grandparents, feeling all sorts of spoiled and full of tween attitude complete with snotty voice and pouting face.  And I am ready to have an anxiety attatck on the deck.  Is it Monday yet?

Friday, October 8, 2010

Friday with Finn

It was a week this week.  It seemed as though work was full of patients who felt like taking their own frustrations out on me.  I, in turn, took my frustrations out on my SuperHusband, who would not allow me to pick a fight with him.  I have faults...I'm working on them, and one fault is that sometimes I just like to have a good argument.  I think it comes from growing up in a big family with a small house (one bathroom for 7 people?  Tell me that's not asking for a fight!); we used to argue a lot.  And loudly.  Uriah does not like to argue and will not give in to my baiting.  Ever.  Which frustrates me even more.  But, we kissed and made up and moved on with our lives.  Maybe I need to join an Adult Debate Club to get my argument fix.  Or go to law school. turned from fall earlier this week to Indian Summer.  It's going to be up in the 80s this weekend, so Finn will not need his super cute new hat (courtesy of Auntie Emmers).  He's still sleeping through the night and a couple of morning this week, I actually had to wake him up to take him to daycare.  He's pretty good about being rudely taken from dreamland, although I try to ease him into it as gently as possible.  He smiles when he sees me, he's happy while I change him and he eats his breakfast like a good boy while we watch Good Morning America.  Then he proceeds to fall asleep in the car on the way to daycare.
We played outside for the first time this week.  Summer here is too hot to play with a baby in the back yard, but now that it's cooler, we were able to actually play outside instead of just looking at it from the windows.  Finn had his first taste of grass and it tickled his little fingers, but he liked looking up at the clouds and he jabbered a lot at his new surroundings.
Finn has been working on sitting up.  His head is still pretty heavy for his little body, but his neck is getting stronger every day and he's able to hold it up a little bit longer every day. 
He was finally able to get his thumb in his mouth and keep it there this week.  This has been an on-going challenge for him; when I was pregnant the ultrasound tech told us we'd have a thumb sucker and somewhere I have the picture that shows him sucking his thumb while he was still on the inside, but once he came out, his hands were too jerky to keep his little thumb in his mouth.  It frustrates him to no end.  I like that he's finally able to self-sooth.  We tried the pacifier, and it works sometimes, but more often than not he spits it out and then I'm stuck trying to figure out where he had it last and then crawling on the floor to find it.  
This is what Finn looks like most mornings when we go in to get him.  He's scooted up to the corner of his crib and he talks to his hanging animals.  And then he sees us and it's like his world is complete; he smiles and talks to us and his arms wave around and his legs kick.  He doesn't care about stupid people at work or picking a fight or arguing over stupid stuff.  He's completely innocent of all things stressful.  And that helps me to put my day in perspective and start it off on the right foot.  

He's my happy pill.  Happy Baby really does make for a happy Mama.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

This little piggy cried Wii! Wii! Wii!

See those baby fat rolls on his thighs?  So cute!
Finn and I are suffer from the same chub.  Except that his is cute and mine is not.

His is a result of the fact that he's not mobile yet.  Mine is a result of the fact that I'm lazy really busy with important things like cooking and cleaning and bringing home some bacon and playing with my pal and my time is very limited (because I'm tired, like, all the time).  But all of that has changed because Uriah bought me the Wii balance board this week.  I played with it pretty much all day on Tuesday while Finn watched happily and encouraged me with his baby jabber.  He's my Bob from The Biggest Loser.

And left...and right...don't forget to breathe!
My arms hurt yesterday (boxing).  So did my bum (step aerobics).  And my thighs (warrior pose).  And my sides (hula hooping).  And my hair (lack of shower).  

This thing is the Thighmaster, Buns of Steele, and Tae Bo all combined into one fun butt-kicking toy.  And I can do it from the comfort of my own home.  In yoga pants that should not be seen by the public at large.

Finn has a new exercise toy, too.  His makes music, just like mine.  His works his arms and his legs, just like mine.  He can use his laying down.  I can use mine laying down, too, but then I have to do stomach crunches and I hate stomach crunches, so I avoid laying down.  Together we are going to adios the baby chub...well, I'm going to get rid of mine.  I kind of like his; it's squishy.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Did you know...

...that it's possible to love someone so much
that it can take your breath away
and make your chest feel full at the exact same time?

Monday, October 4, 2010

Baby Bath Time

I could not wait to come home tonight to give my pal a bath.  It was all I thought about during work today.  It was all I wanted to do.  That and take a nap, but I wanted to give Finn his bath more. 

It was a long day and and for some reason, an even longer commute.  I came home and I fed Finn and I chatted with my sister-in-law, who had come over for dinner.  And after she left, Uriah got the bathwater ready and I spent 20 minutes giving Finn what we refer to in our house as a Baby Bird Bath, which is a bath with no soap.  We do soap every other night, but a warm bath relaxes him and he really likes it.  This is where we catch up on each other's day.  It is my favorite time. 

Once Finn was clean and smelling like only a fresh baby just out of the tub can smell, we snuggled a little bit and watched The Dad play with my new present...the Wii Fit Balance board.  Let me preface this by saying that I have very good intentions!  Every day I think: This is it!  This is going to be the day that my life magically comes together.  However, my son is almost 3 months old; I struggle to fit 684 hours into a 24 hour span and "that day" comes and goes with alarming speed.  I've been trying to find a way to fit in a visit to the gym a couple of times a week, but time and energy seem to be sorely lacking (becaue Baby Bath Time has taken precedence over Heather's Exercise Time).  And I'll be honest, I feel a little guilty being at work all day and then going to the gym after and missing out on family dinner time and baby bath time and light's out for safety time. 

So Uriah brought the gym to me.  Because he thoughtful and he loves me and he just wants me to be happy - with life and with myself.  I'm very happy with my life.  I am not so happy with myself.  And now I'm very excited to meet some weight loss goals that I had set for myself a year ago...before I had a baby....but still be home to give said baby his Bird Bath!

Sunday, October 3, 2010

I need a weekend for my weekend


We ran our bums off this weekend and I. Am. Tired. 

I love my weekends off (since a full weekend only happens once a month...), but it seems as though we cram a heck of  a lot of stuff into two very short days.  We put lots o' miles on the little Civic this weekend.  Abby, Finn and I drove to Napoleon, MO last night, picked E&J up on the way; enjoyed a fire and some mallows and some custumes and visted with A2D.  Abby met a boy (I guess The Conversation this past week came none too soon!).  Remember when you first realized that boys (or girls) were interesting and not just bike riding booger pickers?  I don't, I still think that's what boys are, but Abby realized this weekend that boys do exist who will talk to her for reasons other than to borrow a pencil or copy her homework.  It was fun (and pretty funny) to watch...and they went on a hayride together (OMG. Can you, like, even believe it?!  This is soooo crazy!).  But not before she got a stern talking to from her godfather (her Dad was working, but would have approved of the conversation, I'm sure). 

Today we were in Blue Springs for Uriah's step-dad's birthday.  It was loud.- as only Uriah's family can be.  And fun - sort of like a circus: you want to watch all the acts at the same time.  Our nephew Cooper is a load of energy and he loves his cousin, Finn, although he calls him by his full name: Finneaus and it sounds so sweet coming from Cooper.  He wanted to hold his hand and probably would have played cars with Finn if Finn had any dexterity.  He had to amuse himself playing Barbies with Abby instead.  From there we headed over to E&J's for some grilling.  Emily and I realized that we hadn't had a Sunday Post visit since before Finn was born. There was a time that we did it about once a month or so, but life gets in the way sometimes.  Calendars have to be brought out and dinners need to be scheduled in advance now!  We introduced Finn to his four-legged cousins, Gus and Ruby; luckily Uriah had some chew toys for our crazy hound friends and they were immediately won over by the baby.  They'll probably expect treats every time they see Finn from now on. 

We got home at a relatively decent time...usually it goes much later when we are at E&J's but I am tired tonight and Abby has school tomorrow and Finn needed a bath and plants needed to be brought in (it looks like a jungle in here again).  So, kittens, I am off to bed.  I hope this football game gets over soon, so that the human furnace warms up the bed and I can turn the real heat down (we have a baby in the house or the heat would not be on!).  Nighty-night.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Sneak Peek...

We got to City Market before 10 this morning and I will endeavor to get there early from now on.  Parking was perfect...we got rockstar parking right in the front and were able to walk right in.  The breeze was a little brisk this morning, but nothing that a good cup of coffee couldn't overcome.  The sky was bright blue and the puffy clouds floated above the skyline.  Fall tumbled all around us in the form of hay bales and trailers of pumpkins and twisty gourds.  The smell of smoke from the barbeque restaurants was already prominent and made me wish for a rack of ribs!  Instead we came home with a big fat pumpkin, a ginormous zucchini, 2 dozen farm fresh eggs - the really pretty brown ones, a dozen Aneheim chilis, some purple and fingerling potatoes, and a huge boquet of fall wild flowers. 

I love the invigorating feeling I get when I can pick my own produce and I know that I'm helping to support local farmers...I hope your weekend has started as productive as mine!

Friday, October 1, 2010

Friday with Finn

And here we are...another Friday and another Finn update.  And a new month!  Do you like the fall friendly layout?  We've got a fall party this weekend, so hopefully next week I will have some fall-themed pictures to share.  I love fall...the smell and the colors and the fact that this month is our First Anniversary (last year at this time I was running around getting last-minute wedded-bliss crap together and I was not preggers and couldn't even fathom what would change in a year.  I was too busy making lists and getting final head counts and calling the florist and making lists for my lists and paying a bunch of money to some fine wedding folks...).  Next month I will settle solidly into my early 30's...a fall themed birthday party has been discussed.  I love my birthday and I'm loving my 30's more every day.  I am not shy about my age, nor do I hide it from people.  If you ask, I will tell you because I have earned these years and I am proud of them! 
Calvin Klein called.  He want his model back.

Moving on.

Big news...huge news...amazing news...Finn has been accepted to Harvard Law School.  Actually, that's not true, but I have been whispering in his little ear that he wants to be a lawyer.  Or a doctor.  And he wants to take his Mama on many vacations in her old age.  In reality, he  is officially sleeping through the night, which right now is a billion times better (and cheaper) than being accepted to an Ivy League School.  By officially, it has been consistent for the past three nights, so I'm going to go out on a limb here and say it is official.  I may regret that announcement tonight.  We're also starting him on a bigger bottle...more food...more fat rolls. 

I know what you're thinking...."Seriously, this is big news?  A bigger bottle?  Feed him for crying out loud and stop calling Oprah.  She doesn't care."

Hells yes, this is big news! Bigger bottle...sleeping through the night...when I look at my Hello! Kitty alarm clock (don't judge) and see 6:30, not 3:00, it is a damn good night!

This morning when Uriah went in to get him up for the day, Finn had scooted all the way to the corner of his crib.  The bumper pad comes off tonight.  Does this mean he is going to be rolling over pretty soon?  I will have to consult the tome of knowledge (What to Expect the First Year).

I can kick your butt if I have to...but let's just play Pollys!
Abby is also going through some growing pains of her own, although hers are more school chum related.  Apparently, some "girlz" in gym class had been saying some not very nice things to her. 

First of all, is there anything worse than gym class?  I still have nightmares when I think about changing for gym, having to play group sports, sweating my ass off and then having to go back to class for 5 more hours.  And don't even get me started on the 2-week period when we had to swim!  At least Abby's gym class is just girls.  So, anyway, Abby told me this week that she'd been having some problems in gym class.  These girlz are apparently "getting up in [Abby's] face and calling [her] really mean names" and Abby took it to the teacher.  She is that kid; she has no shame in getting adults involved because she reads and doesn't really know how to stand up for herself.  It doesn't help that she's technically a year younger than all of those kids and probably an entire foot shorter and a thousand times smarter.  She could beat them up in a spelling contest.  When the teacher didn't do anything (or not enough, depends on who you talk to), Abby took it to the school counselor, who then called Uriah and told him what was going on in gym class and that she would be having a sit-down with all of the girls involved on Monday.  Now...this was not news to me (the snotty girls) but I may have forgotten to mention it to Uriah, so his reaction was to ask the counselor if Abby was about to get her ass kicked in the hallway by a group of homegirlz.  He was assured by the counselor that such a situation was not going to happen, but Uriah still felt it necessary to instruct Abby to walk away unless she was cornered; then she had permission to fight back - but not to fight first. 

I feel like we may be living out some scenes from the movie Heather's this year.

This weekend is going to be full as a tick!  It's the first Saturday tomorrow, so the office is closed (yeah!) and  I'm going to plant some tulip bulbs (hopefully) and go to a Fall party with the kiddos and make a chocolate cake for my sister's (really really really) late birthday and have dinner with her and celebrate my father-in-law's (not late) birthday.  And somewhere in all of that I'm going to try to get in some play time with my pal, some Halloween make-up application for Abby, a nap and some sewing.  And maybe cash in some snuggle bucks on the couch with my husband as we kick off Wedding Anniversary Month!