Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Sugar, Spice & Everything Nice

That's what little girls are made of. The poet left out the part about the sass, drama, eye-rolling, foot-stomping, meltdowns, Oscar-worthy moments, etc. But, I guess all that wouldn't fit the tempo.

I have a little girl that is 100% girl. I am slowly learning how to live with her. I "get" her, and am trying my best to learn to live with more estrogen in the house. Pretty soon we will have a nice little balance of boys and girls, and I am hoping that I can "learn" the girl before that little boy gets here. Whoa nelly, am I scared. It is no secret. I openly tell everyone. I am scared of the boy. I am sure I will learn it in time, but I don't know what to do without all the pink and frilly and fanciness. Testosterone and bugs and dinosaurs and trucks and cars and such just are not my for-tay. As long as there will be no bringing of snakes or alligators into the house, I *think* I will make it.

I mean, you know you are the Mom of a girl when your drying rack looks like this.

How many tutus does a girl need? Seriously. Sad part is, this isn't all of them. They were just the ones on the surface when I swept through her room earlier on a laundry rampage. And you would have thought I was breaking her arm with my bare hands when I gathered them all and put them in the wash. She screamed and squealed and cried and protested, etc. Geeze.

But, little girls can also be cute as can be in their girly-ness. One night, Louisa said she was gonna get "busy to cook you dinner." And while I was cooking, I could hear her back in her bedroom and was only imagining what sort of mess was being made as I heard banging, stomping, singing, etc. Well, this is the table she set us. I almost couldn't clean it off to put our "real" dinner on it. Too cute. She was so proud.

And another girly moment that I am relishing in. She loves sewing. Do you even know how proud that makes me? She loves to be right smack in the middle of everything in my sewing room. She wants nothing more than to sit on my lap while I sew. She watches me cut, iron, sew, serge and perfect. This has also taught me some as I have had to learn some G-rated versions of the 4-letters that sometimes accompany me in my sewing room. Schnizzle-fronds is my new fave. This is how she watches with amazement as I sew. Do you see the excitement in her eyes?

I am currently looking for a machine for her. I have been researching and all the "kid" sewing machines are apparently crap and not worth the money according to the reviews. So, I am looking for a "real" machine that maybe is a fun pink or purple or something child-like. It will work as a back-up for me in most times, but when I am there to supervise, she will actually get to sew. I think this will be right up her alley. So, if anyone out there sees a machine that is pink and sparkly - let me know! Check her out here with her iron, which apparently isn't hot enough

and her "fred" (thread) and "fabwic." I mean, the cutest thing ever. Man, if I can get her sewing... I could really bust out some brownie-goose. Ha, just kidding...I think. :) Also notice how she has gone through the trash and accessorized her dress with a piece from a brown top. Ha. I just noticed that. Oh, and the stickers all over her ironing board. I am certain Murray the striped-kitty put those there too.

Who wants a Cedric update? I know you are all just dying to know. Well, he did not escape before Byron sealed the garage. Just what I figured. But, as usual...he was sneaky. The first sighting after the "sealing of the garage" happened on Sunday afternoon. Of course Byron was in Boston by that point - Murphy. I had just gotten back from a run with Lou and the jogger (which is a whole other blog in itself, but I just can't go there right now) and got back to the house and thought that I needed to put the trash cans and recycle bins on the street before dark. I had to tinkle, but I wanted to go ahead and get it all done while outside. Guess where this is going??? So, I get the trash can out to the street and go to grab the recycle bins which are IN the garage. Well, I grab them, pick them up and immediately see Mr. Cedric who has been coiled up underneath staring at me. Holy JUNKERS, let's just say I dropped the bins and had a moment in which pregnancy-induced-incontinence was not on my side. That is all I will say about that. I then proceeded to grab the shovel and beat the recycle bins in hopes that I was squishing Cedric underneath. I then pushed the bins outside with the help of a shovel and slowly got my blood pressure back where it was supposed to be. The next day, I stalked the front windows for the recycle guys to come down the street. I ran outside when they got to the house and asked the guy to lift up the bin and let me look underneath. After he looked at me like I had lost my shiz-nit, he did so and don't you know there were NO remnants of a snake that had been beaten and smushed. Crap.

So, life goes on in our house and I dread each time I have to walk outside. Well, this morning I walk into the garage because I am about to go outside to photograph some inventory for brownie-goose. I push the button for the garage door to rise, and something on the door catches my eye. There he is, riding the door all the way up. I cannot stop it (since we have one of the original automatic garage door openers that wont stop mid-way or stop if there is something in the way, etc) so I watch in horror as he rides it all the way up, and then CLOMP falls onto the roof of my car. I think, perfect. I have him cornered. I am going to pull him off with the shovel and beat him to a pulp when he hits the ground. But first, I want to photograph him (of course, right?), so I turn to grab my camera which is right inside and by the time I walk back to garage (not even a minute) he is GONE. What the crap? Then, when telling my friend Summer about this only minutes later she asked if my windows were all up and then I had a momentary panic-attack when I realized that I couldn't remember if I had closed my sunroof. I was freaking out. Well, thankfully it was shut - but I still have NO clue where that dern fool is, and I am so scared he has somehow worked himself into my car so that when I leave in a few hours to go get Byron from the airport he will be along for the ride. I want to barf just thinking about it. I have searched my house up-side down looking for the spare keys to Byron's truck so I can take it instead. Hopefully - I will NOT be blogging tomorrow about a ride in the car with a snake. EEEEEEKKKKKKK!

Okay, as I am blogging...I have realized the toddler is quiet, but giggling. When she requests my attention (over her play microphone, not kidding) I turn around and thank my STARS that my camera is in hand. Man, I love this child. She just couldn't STAND to not have her tutus. I sure hope Broadway is ready for this one.

Until next time...


Saturday, September 25, 2010

Snakes and Snails...

Okay, so while she may not be her Momma's child in the cleaning department (see previous post), she is definitely mine when it comes to being prepared. I am a goob, a nerd, a dork...you name it. I have to be prepared when I am going somewhere. I like to know where it is I am going, what kind of place, I need to make sure I have directions that I have looked over a few times, etc. That is me. Love me or hate me. But, today we had a ballerina birthday party to go to and when I finished blow-drying my hair - I went to the tot's room to check on her as it was mighty quiet. And we all know Louisa + Quiet = BAD. But, she surprised me. Instead, this is what I found.

She told me she was studying for her ballerina party. Yes, that is a ballet book in front of her. Melted me instantly. What a doll. Well, then I sat down in the chair in her room and watched/photographed her studying. Notice her holding her mouth JUST right in most pictures as she is a true Morgan lady.

It amazes me how a child can go from driving you cuckoo to where you want to pull out all of your hair and bang your bald head against a wall to absolutely having your heart in all she can. Granted, her sleep last night was AWFUL and I mean AWFUL (to the extent she was subdued at the birthday party...my friend Katie even said - wow, Lou looks almost sedated) but this just made up for it. Two nights ago I decided I wanted to rock her to sleep. Not sure where the idea came from, and I knew I was probably starting a very bad trend, but there was nothing more I wanted than to sit in the chair in her room and snuggle with her. She actually obliged, which won my heart since she never, ever snuggles with me. It was great. After about 15 minutes she informed me that she needed "her own space" but I had my moment and my fill. Well, last night she came to me and asked if I would do it again. Granted, I knew she was probably just putting off her bedtime, but it meant the world to me, so of course...I obliged. We rocked and she told me, "Mommy, I jes lubs you. You are my most fabritest Mom eber." Oh dear me. She could have torn her room from one side to the other after that and I wouldn't have cared. Sweet thing. Good thing too, since we were getting ready for a night of about 2 hours of sleep. Grrrrrrrr.

Anyways, enough gush and mush for me. I have spoken enough mush that I am giving away these crazy hormones that have surged me. Oh well, speaking of....I spy a rubber band that is struggling for his life. Can you spy it?

Yikes. Baby boy is making his way out there and pushing my pants to the limits. :) I will give photos of belly now, and take your ganders...because once the face starts to be pregnant and all the fun swelling and such occurs, I doubt I will be in the sharing mood.

Changing the subject completely. Let's talk about Cedric. Who is Cedric? Well, he is the ribbon snake (I guess that is what he is, that is what he resembles the most on the internet) that has taken up home in my garage. Cracker. I DO NOT DO SNAKES. Repeat, I DO NOT DO SNAKES. I don't care if it is a "good" snake or what, they are all bad to me. I found him on Monday. I was walking to my car to get something out of the back and when I turned to make it back into the house, there he was. Between me and the door - just staring at me. I swear he was like 2-3 feet long. Black, shiny and striped. And my heart started to slowly begin the rise up my esophagus and the hairs on my body started to stand on end. We stared at each other for what seemed like an eternity while I racked my brain of what I could grab to bludgeon the nasty thing before he slithered off all quick-like. Let's just talk about how freaked out I was. Mostly because just hours earlier Louisa and I had BOTH been in the garage while I was running on treadmill. Seriously, I was freaking out and losing my shiz-nit. So, I did what all girls that don't "do" snakes do, I screamed bloody murder and ran inside and slammed the door shut. Well, of course I couldn't locate a shovel - so I grabbed a broom and a rake and headed back out to the garage to beat the phooey out of this thing. So, I opened the door, raised both garage doors and went to bludgeoning everything in sight and screaming and running with a rake in one hand and broom in the other. As I made my way from door to the driveway, I stopped to look and of course there is a neighbor staring at me like I had lost my mind. Great. So, I explained myself and he kindly came to relieve me of this slitherer. Of course, Cedric didn't show himself. And, so I looked like a loony tune with my "weapons." Whatev. So, I still had to go somewhere...so I prepared all my things I needed in car, grabbed Louisa and did the hopping from kitchen to car that you do as a child when you think monsters are under bed. You know. you start off at your bedroom door and then make the largest leaps possible to have as little contact with the ground and then leap like a giselle onto the bed. Phew. Made it to the car. But then, I had visions of Cedric crawling out from under my seat while I drove. I want to barf just recalling it.

So, anyways...on to sighting numero dos. I walk out into the garage to grab a water out of the beer fridge and there he is...just staring again. Grrrrrr. He only shows himself when I am unarmed. Because of course I turn real quick-like and grabbed the broom I have set by the door and turn back to the garage and he is gone. Gag. So, Byron comes home and don't you know how Cedric and Murphy have paired up and now he is not showing himself to Byron. So, Byron is convinced that the snake is gone. I think otherwise.

Cedric sighting numero tres. I am pulling in the driveway from taking Lucy to her one month post-op follow-up. Well, I am on the phone so I sit in the drive and push the button to open garage door. There he is. In the middle of the garage just staring. I honestly put thought into ramming it in drive and taking him out...but knowing how Murphy and I are buds I knew I would certainly be in the paper the next day for driving into my house, literally. So - I just shut the door again and continued my conversation. Nasty. And you know when I opened the door again he was gone. Gag.

Well, today I go to the car to put the birthday present in my front seat so I don't forget it. It has been a few days since I have seen Cedric, so I figure he is gone. Well, I hear rustling. And stupid me goes over to inspect and I see it....his long snakey tail. Well, I think - you know...we've got him, Byron is home and he is gonna get him. Well, I scream bloody murder for Byron and by the time he comes into garage...Cedric is not to be found. Cracker. So, I leave for birthday party and I get a text from Byron later saying he spotted Cedric and that he has the garage sealed. Now, what I need to know is...did he seal it AFTER he got Cedric out?? Since he said he got away before he could do him in, I am wondering. And I haven't had a chance to talk to him as he is en-route to the UGA game in Starkville. Heebeegeebees.

I don't do snakes. Snakes or alligators. I hate them. Why are they so sneaky and nasty? Ewwww. For all of our sakes, I don't have a picture of Cedric for you to get chill-bumps. I won't be photographing him...unless I know for SURE he wont be moving any time soon. And if that is the case from my hands - he will probably be in a few thousand pieces. Eeeeeeeek.

Until next time...

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Not Her Momma's Child

This is what happens when all I hear is CLOMP CLOMP CLOMP CLOMP and her vacuum's voice saying, "let's clean up, wow...this place is a mess!" and see Mallard, Murray and Lucy all running in the opposite direction with their ears back and looks of panic on their faces.

Her Mom may not vacuum in high heels, but...

I love my child, wedgie and all. She definitely marches to the beat of her own band. I just wish the band was a little quieter.

Until next time...

PS - I know she will kill me for this one day, but I think she owes me. :)

Monday, September 20, 2010

Yardwork and Water Nozzles

Okay, sorry ahead of time...but this post comes with no photos. I did not have the camera handy when these moments occurred, and I am kinda glad on that one mostly because it was getting dark and I would have needed flash and I have somehow become a flash snob. Geeze. Secondly, I got to experience these moments first hand, with my eyes and not through a lens. It is amazing how much you "miss" even though you are right there. I feel that sometime when I have the camera to my eyes I only get a small snapshot (no pun intended here) of what goes on. I don't get to experience the moment wholly. Does that make any sense? So, no photos of the actual occurrences, but I think I might be able to find one that might can make your Monday.

Yesterday afternoon after Louisa woke up from her nap - holy moly, did you just choke upon reading that? Because I almost fell out typing it. Yep, she napped. I think a lot of it was due to her extreme dramatics that occurred since the moment upon wakening. But anyways, she napped. Yay. So, when she got up, I turned off all of my machines and my irons and said, "Let's go play outside with the doggies." Never mind that it was 350 degrees outside and the humidity was about 150%, but it was nice to get out. I sure know that Lucy enjoyed the change of scenery. So, we were outside and I was suddenly hit with a momentary lack of oxygen to the brain and decided I would rake the yard. WHAT? I don't rake. I certainly don't do yard work here (I used to really enjoy it at our home in Macon, but for some reason here this yard just overwhelms me), especially not raking while I am baking in the heat. But, it was one of those jobs (kinda like painting) it was WAY fun for about 10 minutes and then it got not so fun...but you have to finish. I started to look down the street and realize that we were the only yard that was orange thanks to pine straw, granted...we are about the only yard that doesn't have a yard-man as well - but the resident's salary doesn't exactly allow for those bonuses. Louisa of course did not want to help me, but insisted instead on crying and fussing and carrying on the entire time which I am sure made for quite the scene for people doing their afternoon Sunday walks. I am sure they thought as they walked by my house, "Hmmmm, look at those sweet dogs eating pine cones (that will later be varmited on my floors) and rolling in the dirt. Awe, that girl is soaking wet raking her yard...and why is she ignoring that sweet little child that is stomping and throwing a fit in the middle of the yard?" Well, if they were ever parents, they got it. :)

Anyways, the raking finally ended and Byron got home from the hospital in time to help with the rest and blow off the driveway. So, our yard is no longer orange, but brown instead from the grass that needs some rain. And, we can deal with that. I made a threat to my pine trees when I finished last night that I would cut them if they even thought about dropping more needles in the grass, think they listened?

On to the funny parts - you know how a toddler loves nothing more than some water? Well, once I finally sat down I decided to let Lou roll up the hose as she was requesting. I thought this would certainly bring some entertainment and possibly some toddler tantrums that I might find funny at the moment. Well, she decides to play with the water first, and the events that occurred next will certainly not be as funny today as I try to explain them - but I laughed and laughed and laughed so hard when it happened. I still giggle just thinking back to it. So, she grabbed the nozzle to pull the trigger to let the water go - and the water pressure was NOT on her size, nor the fact that the nozzle was pointed directly to her face - but it happened. The water squirted out with force straight into her eyeball. She jumped and stepped back so quick and here I was laughing and falling off the swing. It was hilarious...then, not to be fazed - she turned the nozzle around to not squirt herself in the face but to water the grass and when she pulled the trigger the pressure got the better of her again and I felt like I was watching a scene from the old Steve Martin movie "Roxanne." The hose immediately sent her flying backwards on onto the ground while she continued to struggle with it I laughed again, and almost wet my pants as the hose was squirting the windows, roof, treetops and such. It was hilarious. She finally gained control of the hose and all I heard was, "Ooh geeze, dat was scurry." And that just topped it off. Yay for me in teaching my child my ghetto talk. :) I became a sweet mom at that point and turned the hose down so the pressure wasn't so overwhelming. But honestly my cheeks felt like I had just gone through sorority rush...after all the smiling, they hurt. It was classic.

On another note...I am off to do the dreaded maternity shopping for some clothes that fit. Although I am quite content with my uniform (see previous post) I just cannot seem to wear this to every place that I go. Case in point...getting ready for church yesterday morning. After a shower, I was already sweating and looked down to see that my entire closet had thrown up all over my bed and floor and here I was, crying and defeated as I had popped a few buttons off of pants and a skirt and still was sitting with nothing to wear. I finally found a pair of pants that I managed to squeeze into and button, making a mental note that I really needed to make an effort in finding my nude-colored belly band so that I would be able to breathe the next time I wore these particular pants. As I slowly made myself presentable breathing very small amounts at a time, as I walked into my bathroom to brush my teeth....POP went one of the buttons. Crap. Oh well, it was time to go. I had no more time to cry or try to find something else, so I had to make-do. The whole time I walked to the alter for communion, I thought...please don't bust, please don't bust as I had double-squeezed to make the metal snap-closure work. Later, when I got home I walked back into the bathroom and don't you know my high heel caught that stupid button I had popped just hours earlier and sent my tumbling to the floor. At that point, I had to laugh. Because I just didn't feel like crying again that day. So, off to find some roomier clothing...on about a $50 budget. We shall see how this goes. So, note to public - if you see me out today - I probably wont be the sweet little sugar cube that Dr. Smith always joked about me being. If you see my crying, just let it go. One would be amazed that I have a boy growing in the expanding belly because one would think with the level of my crazy-hormones I would have twin girls (teenagers at that) huddled in there. Whoosh...but it makes it all better when I feel that sweet little thing noodling around in my belly. Ohhhhh, and I will have tow-headed fireball helping me shop. Enough said.

UPDATE: I cannot thank my fabulous friend Phoebe more, as I had forgotten she gave me a box of gold. AKA a box of maternity clothes. Wahoo, that makes my day!!

So, to end this post, I will enlighten you with this little ball of personality and energy that I just cannot seem to stay mad at. She is a nutcase. Where does she get that?

Oh yeah, a quick question for those who yard work. I have always, and I mean always had Kimberly Queen ferns on my porch in urns for as long as I can remember. However, I have been less than attentive to them this summer and gasp have not even Epsom salted them once. Needless to say, they are S.T. Rugglin. So, I am thinking about doing something different in the urns as I feel I won't be wanting to haul them in and out when the belly gets larger and the temps start to drop. Any ideas on what to put in urns that will be easy and pretty?

Until next time...


Thursday, September 16, 2010

Confessions of a Housewife

Wow, another post - yep, can you tell I have a thousand other things that need to be done. Umm-hmm. My child is off at school and I have a quiet house and I am supposed to be sewing, but I am not. Just not in the mood to listen to my fluorescent lights sing right now.

First and foremost...how about a birthday shout-out to the most high-strung, spoiled rotten little chocolate lab in all of history? My Mallard Brown turns 9 today. Oh my gosh. I still remember the day I went to pick him out, and the first night he spent with me and cried all.night.long. I think getting him out of his kennel and putting him in the bed with me to stop crying started the viscous cycle. But, having to do over again - I would do the same thing. He is a snuggle bug, and he loves this short girl right here and that is all that matters. I forgive him for all the shoes, designer jeans, and rugs that he chewed as a puppy...and I still forgive his "old enough to know better self" when he gets into the trash can (which is guaranteed to be animal-proof by the way) and eats raw chicken and chicken carcasses and glass pie dishes and such. I even forgive him when he drinks too much water in the mornings and comes and varmits it all over my feet and when he chews up pine cones on my freshly vacuumed floors. I just love him to pieces. Bad, bad Mallard Brown. Happy Birthday Brownie!!

But, on to the point of this post. Last night I lie awake in bed (and of course my child was actually asleep, grrr) with an awful headache that had graced me with it's presence about 8 hours before. Let me just tell you - had I been able to take Advil, it would have been gone within 30 minutes. However, I am limited to Tylenol which is just about as effective as banging my head into the wall. So, I finally just got out of bed after laying there for an hour. I figured I might as well be productive, so I came to sit down to answer some emails. I quickly got bored with that and decided to do some blog-stalking since I hadn't in a while. Well, I found this one off of another off of another (you know how that goes) and I read and laughed and wondered what kind of ganja this woman was smoking. I will not give away her blog, mostly because I don't remember it but also because I am slightly embarrassed for her. Anyways, she claimed herself to be a domestic goddess...a word that I am still not sure exactly what it means, but know for SURE that I do not fall into this category. In just one of her posts, she was talking about how she baked 2 different loaves of bread, a batch of cookies, a pie (duh, how fitting), a roast of some sort and then made some flavored tea. Of course she did. But, on top of all of that cooking (which I couldn't even get past the part of thinking how many freaking ovens does she have?) she also was doing laundry and of course doing art projects with her children. Have you barfed yet? Because I almost did. Then the kicker...of course she has all of these beautiful, happy, colorful pictures of all of her talents and creations of the day (remember...this is just ONE post) it shows a photo of her in an apron, NOT kidding (I couldn't see her shoes but I can only imagine she was wearing heels...and I bet she doesn't define Danskos as heels like I do) ironing. How fitting. You know, that is what I do after I have cooked enough desserts and bread and such to feed an army, I iron with a big smile on my face. Ha. Then, I looked closer and thought, what the crap is she ironing?? Then, I scrolled down, read more and almost fell out of my chair. This self-proclaimed domestic goddess was ironing her SHEETS. Yes, my friends...the sheets that probably just came off of a clothes-line in a gorgeously sunny backyard with hills and picket fences and a tree house and they probably smelt like lemons. I was speechless. So, if any of my readers do this, I mean absolutely NO offense here, but really? Ironing sheets? Oh my stars. I usually pull them straight from the dryer, throw them on the bed and then hope my husband goes to bed before me so he has to put them on. Oops, did I just admit that? Well, of course the next picture (I don't know if she has a photographer following her or cameras set up in her house, who knows) showed her folding more sheets that she probably just pulled off the line. And then, the kicker...she was folding fitted sheets. Oh dear me. And this is when it all hit me, I must stop reading before I wake my entire family from laughing so hard. I just couldn't do it anymore. She had worn me out already, and I ventured back to bed and then came up with the idea of this blog post. Doubt she will ever find mine, but if she does...I bet I will appall her as much as she did me. :)

So, here we go. Confessions of this housewife. This is how we roll at my house. I must start by telling a short story. When we were in Georgia a few weeks ago while Byron was interviewing for jobs when he finishes residency, we were in Macon and having dinner with the ENT group there. We used to live in Macon, and I worked at the Children's Hospital while there, well - so I knew one of the guys in the group and when I saw him he asked if I was working at the Children's Hospital here. I told him no, that I was being a housewife at the time, and he smiled and asked how that was going. And before I even had a second to think about it, I openly admitted something that had been nagging at me for quite some time. I easily said, "Well, I am afraid I am a much better nurse than housewife." He laughed, and so did I...but I also sat in my chair afterward and finally had clarity about something that I guess I always knew, but never admitted. And you know what, it is okay. I actually felt better about it all after I said that. Whew, I suck as a housewife. And it is fine. Because at the end of the day, I almost treat it like nursing...I marvel in the fact that everyone under my care is still breathing. So, mission accomplished, right? Well - that is how I make it all okay. Ha. Then I remembered something a friend had told me when I was pregnant with Louisa, because back in the day I rocked as a house-keeper. She told me that she thought of a clean house as a sign of a bad mother. Well, I know this is a bit extreme, and while I never really understood - I now happily accept it. Granted, I am not the best mother out there as I lose my cool easily, have a temper, no patience, etc. but if I can look at my house at the end of the day and see if messy and think I am a better mother for it, bring it. :) You know, it goes with my motto for mothering...whatever works.

So, here we go. I will share some of my house-keeping secrets with you, and you can laugh at me, be grossed out or just simply smile...or better yet - share with me some of yours. But, you wont find me baking bread or ironing sheets or vacuuming in high heels. And, as I have said before, come on over...but leave the white gloves at home. :)

Folding Fitted Sheets. Okay, I don't. In fact, I think my Mom actually posted an article from Martha Stewart on the inside of the door of my linen closet, but I haven't read it. This is how I fold fitted sheets.

See, just ball them up. If it bothers you that they will be wrinkly when done, bring out the apron, iron and heels and fix that up before you put them on the bed. Or, take my outlook - once you stretch them out on the bed, cover with a comforter and a large, heavy Labrador...it will straighten out just fine. See. Phew, disaster averted.

Tips To Keeping Your House Smelling Like You Cleaned All Day. This one cracks me up. I learned it from a fellow Facebook friend that has 3 kids and no time to worry about cleaning. I am blessed with a husband that will NEVER walk in the door and make mention as to what condition the house is in...clean or dirty. He will never come home to a dirty house and ask what I did all day. I love him for that. So, this tip is more for me than anyone. First ones first...bleach in the toilets.

Pour some bleach (bleach is so inexpensive that it is a no-brainer) into the toilets (please close the lid if you have animals or kids, in my case, that like to drink from the vessel) and viola. Your bathroom automatically smells like you scrubbed it all day. Bonus points - if you have a bathtub that you wont be using that day, fill it up with some water and add bleach. Close the curtain and enjoy the smell of a "sanitized" bathroom. Genius, right? Next tip, this one is new to me and works wonders. I cannot stand to polish my hardwoods. Since I have about 2400 square feet of them, it is exhausting, then someone always tracks some sort of mess all over them. So, I reserve this trick for when the president visits. Instead, go get you some inexpensive disposable Tupperware bowls and fill with Pine-Sol. Place in locations high enough for tots, animals, etc not to reach, and of course out of visible eye-sight, you can't be giving away secrets now - and enjoy the smell of a freshly Pine-Sol'd house. Mr. Clean would be so proud.

To Give the Appearance of Slaving Away all Day Over Laundry. Always, and I mean always keep some sort of towel in the dryer. Pop in a dryer sheet and run the sucker and it will have your outside exhaust smelling like you are doing laundry and just the sound and smell in your house will have the appearance that you have been doing clothes all day.

Thankfully, that sweet husband of mine I talked about earlier recognizes that his bride is incompetent when it comes to laundry, so not only does this not fool him - but he also resorts to doing his own laundry. I think he might fall out if he came home every day to the dryer going. So, I save this trick for friends and such. :)

UPDATE: as I just sat down to proof-read, I just laughed aloud as I am obviously having a laundry faux-pau which just further shows my incompetence with the laundry. Note the bright pink towel in with the whites and tans. Whoops, hehe.

Yes, Honey... I Cleaned All Day. Always, and I mean always...keep the broom and vacuum out in sight at all times.

This drives said sweet husband nutty, but in some weird way - it makes me feel better. Even though I haven't vacuumed in days, if I just see it propped up against a wall somewhere, I feel accomplished. And, if you have visitors, as long as they don't inspect your floors for the dust-bunnies and layer of fur that always graces mine, they will never know.

The Uniform of a Housewife. Forget the heels and apron and dress, pearls and full face of makeup. Instead, put on your best cleaning gear so that you look like you've been busy all day. PS - bonus peek of the little boy for those that have been needing a belly fix.

This is my everyday attire. It always works well, since if I decide to run, I can just go as is. Or, if I "clean" all day, I wont ruin my clothes. As for showering, we average every other day here usually. So, a little trick I learned in college for those sporting the blond locks. PS - disregard the brushes that need to be cleaned of all hair. Gross.

Rub this into your scalp and it will absorb the grease and make you hair not look as greasy. Bonus, it also makes you smell nice. If you freak out about not bathing, grab a package of baby wipes, or Clorox wipes...whatever seems to be handy and wipe down the exposed parts of arms and legs. Go heavy on the deodorant and viola, you are ready to face the day. Turn those hot rollers off and give the curling iron a vacay (along with the vacuum). They will thank you.

Phew. Now that I have shared some secrets I may have some wondering...what in the world do I do all day? Well, apart from sewing and putting out fires with the toddler - I am not quite sure. The jury is still out on that as I often find myself wondering the same thing at the end of the day. But hey, at least my house "appears" clean. Right?

So, out with the pearls, irons, high heels and casserole-baking...and in with the hustle-bustle of putting baby powder in the hair and showering with baby wipes. On to more important things...like making sure all parties involved are still breathing at the end of the day. :)

Until next time...


Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Let the Craziness Begin

So, I am fairly predictable. I am not much for change, I like routines and I don't much care for surprises. So, therefore I am pretty easy to read. At least I think. And I think it is fair to say that you can learn a lot about me and my recent events by the way my sewing room looks. Isn't that sad? Just take a look at this one.

When the floor around my sewing chair is as cluttered as this - let me give you a hint. It means I have been working so hard that by the time I am "done" for the day in my sewing room I don't even have the energy to clean the floor. And this next one.

There is a cutting table somewhere in the mess, maybe hidden under the uber-dead hydrangeas. And since I have narrowly escaped losing digits numerous times from that cracker of a rotary cutter - he is usually blade in and hanging from a peg board. Well, not now. Because honestly - time is money. And since I have been so out of the loop from sewing while I was sick with baby boy, I had forgotten how to get my grove on in my sewing room. I am slowly trying to get back to the machine that I was in the past - and it needs to come sooner rather than later as the poo is about to hit the fan with what I have named "BG Get Your Fall On" otherwise known as my fall line. We had a photo shoot this past weekend with Katie of Mary Moment Photography who you all know I think hung the moon. Well, this was the first time that I had a professional shoot my clothes. Can I even begin to explain how nervous I was? I am not sure why, since I knew that Katie would make it the bees-knees, but I was nervous. And a busy bee trying to get things made and lined up so that each and every part of my line was shown and shown in a way that people would like to pair up an outfit, etc. I hadn't realized how I had fallen back on Louisa dressing herself (no matter how she looks) and hadn't had to worry about pulling looks together in a while. You see, I no longer have fashionable clothing for myself. I usually bust it out in an old ADPi t-shirt and running shorts that I have had since high school. The hair is always in a pony (not to mention I desperately need about 4 inches chopped off) and the bangs are usually pulled back with a clip. You will be lucky if you see me with the make-up on. Remember this post...when I promised to make myself more presentable? Well, I did really good for about a month or so. And now, I just give up. My clothes are tired, and yes...they don't fit anymore. When I was preggo with Louisa, I was working at The Children's Hospital, so I had no need for anything other than scrubs. I even went as far as wearing men's suspenders under my scrub tops to hold my pants up since they wouldn't fit over my belly. Wow, I was that girl. It always ended in disaster when I had to go potty, but at least my pants always stayed on. So, if you see me out and about in scrubs, no...I haven't gone back to work - but they fit. So, in a nutshell - I was just nervous about it all coming together and looking good. Well, let me just say - when I saw the first photo in a sneak peek, I started to cry. I was so amazed that it was my work that I was looking at that it just took words out of my mouth. I was so proud of all that BG was at that moment and how the genius Katie had captured it to a t, although I never had any doubt about her doing just that. So, all that worrying went out the window with one photo. Oh my gosh, and I will share with you the photo I am talking about.

And let me go on another note since I am not known for staying on one page with my blogs. To all of you readers out there...PLEASE, I beg of you - the next time you have a photo shoot set up with a photographer, THANK the mess out of them afterwards and appreciate all that they do. Let me just tell you. Katie blows my mind. Not only did she tote around a camera that weighed at least 25 lbs for 4 hours, but she was on the ground, laying on her stomach, running after kids, being sweet to children that were not cooperating (ahem, Louisa Kate) sitting and squating and then helping to accessorize and set up shots. Holy molies. This girl did it all, and THEN she left to go shoot more after that. I don't know how she did it. So, just for all of you out there - your photographers work their ARSES off to get those fantabulous pictures that you frame and put on walls and such. I know for my personal self, I have a much better appreciation of all that goes into it. Holy cow. I am still amazed and just speechless when I look at the photos.

But, hmmmm...where was I going with this post? I think I have forgotten completely by now. Shoot. Anyways, for the next couple of months since my maid just so happens to also be my seamstress and mother and wife - my house will be in disarray, the hardwoods will be covered in fur, the vacuum will be enjoying a vacay, laundry will be overflowing from the baskets and the sink will probably be overloaded with dishes. And not to mention what the sewing room will look like as it is turned into a sweat-shop complete with packing and shipping. But, would I have it any other way...I don't think so. I am so stinking excited about this fall line that I could burst.

Wondering about the little tow-headed fireball? Well, she is still out in full effect. She is at the moment chasing Murray around the house and I think I just caught a glimpse of her pulling her by her tail. Goodness. Don't feel pity for Murray - she won't run away from Louisa...instead she just takes it. I keep telling her she needs to run or growl or scratch Louisa to teach her a lesson, but it still hasn't happened. Meanwhile, Mallard is over in the corner being as still as he can in hopes that Lou doesn't catch sight of him and I think this is ONE time that Lucy doesn't mind being confined. :) Last night before we went to bed I asked Louisa if she wanted to sleep in this morning, and she was so excited. And, so was I since I can honestly sleep for about 15 hours straight and then still need more sleep. Well, I heard Byron leaving around 6 this morning and was glad to know I got to stretch out over the entire bed and go back to sleep. And then I hear it....the footsteps hitting the hardwoods and then the squeak of her door. Cringe. Maybe if I lay really still she will just go back to bed. The footsteps get closer, and I can tell by the way she is clomping that she is trying to "sneak" up on me which has the complete opposite effect as she is louder when she is sneaking than usual. Then it happens, the finger in the eyeball. Well, I continue to lay still and hope she goes away. Finger in the other eyeball. Stay still....and the finger in the ear and giggling to follow. Grrrrrrr. So, I open my poked eyeball and say, "Lou, Mommy wants to sleep in. It is still dark outside therefore we do not need to be awake." More giggling, "Otay Mommy, wells I am not tired anymores. I fink I want to wake up." "No mam, go back to your bed and shut the door and don't come back until it is light outside, Mommy is tired." So, I hear the footsteps retreating back to her room and then I hear the door shut. So, I smile and snuggle back in the bed and invite Mallard to jump up there with me. Ahhhh, pure happiness. So, I begin to drift back off to slumber land until I hear bam-bam-bam-bam in her room. Crap. I continue to lay there and think that if she needs me certainly she will cry or come and get me. Nothing, so I figure she is just playing instead of sleeping and try to drift back off. No passing judgements here...we know we have all been there before. As I am starting to slip back into dream land, I begin to hear what can only be jumping on the bed. Crap. So, I get out of bed as Mallard growls in annoyance (I know, right?) and walk to her room only to catch her mid-jump as she sits quickly on the bed and then lays and pretends to be asleep. Oh my gosh - are you kidding me? "Louisa do not jump on your bed. I have told you before and remember you will fall off and hurt yourself big-time. You need to go back to sleep, understand me?" "Oh, otays Mommy. I wasn't jumping I was just looking at the fan." And then I stumble back to my room only to find that Mallard has now stretched out across the bed so there is a small space for me if I lay sideways. Whatevs, I crawl back in bed, Mallard growls and I try to drift back off. And then, the door squeaks and footsteps on the floors. Heavy sigh. "Mommy, I jes can't seep in my bed right nows because my room is so messy." "Fine, get in my bed and DO NOT make a sound or move or anything, Mommy is tired Louisa and all I want to do is sleep until the sun comes up." Well, she crawls up in the bed and proceeds to whisper-sing the monkeys jumping on the bed song, then she starts to irritate Mallard, then she starts to kick me in the back, then she jumbles around in the bed, etc. I mean, you know the drill. I peek out of my eyes and look at the clock and it says 7. Well, I guess we could get up now but my body is screaming for more sleep - too bad both of my children don't agree. So, I roll over and face Louisa and open my eyes and don't even have a second to breathe before this comes out, "OOOOOhhhhhh Mommy you are wake! Yippee, I so happy. I sept so good last night and was ready to wake up dis morning and wanted to come and suprise you and den get in your bed but Mawward was bothering me and I couldn't seep so I was trying to sing him a song to get him to seep too, and den he was tickling me so I couldn't sit still and den..." and I just help up my hand and said, "Lou, let me drink one cup of coffee and then we can talk okay?" Well, I am sure you can imagine how that went as I had BARELY even swallowed my first sip when she comes running from the den to find me hiding in the office with Lucy, "OOOOOOOOOOOOHHHH Mommy, are you finished wif your coffee. Oh yay, what are we going to dos today? Oh I am so cited." Sigh. Guess I will go ahead and get up and start the day.

So get this...as I am sitting down to the disaster also known as my email inbox, she comes to me and lays her head in my lap and says, "Oh Mommy, I so tired." I just roll my eyes, run my hand through her hair and just laugh. Is there really anything else you can do? Oh, life with a toddler. She has now moved on from Murray and is running full-speed in the house pushing TWO baby stroller and squealing at the top of her lungs, "Hurry, hurry we are in a hurry, its an mamergency." Wonder how I can get confinement like Lucy. Hmmmm.....but as I said, she is just so cute. Good thing.

Until next time...

Friday, September 10, 2010

A Tribute to My Salt-Water Roots

For those of you that live on the coast, rivers, creeks, marshes, etc that are constantly changed by the beauty of a salt-water tide...you will totally get this. Those that don't cannot even begin to understand. And, that is not saying anything bad about you, but if you haven't lived in the setting, you just have no clue the effect it has on you. The smell of the marsh, the salt in the air, the constant humidity and all the time need to know the tide...I miss it like every day. However, I am now land-locked in Jackson, MS and the only "water" that I have here is a man made lake that provides the city's water. Ummm, not my idea of water, but it is better than nothing. At least I can take a drive over the spillway and on the Trace every now and then to just look, and I happen to love the way the sun shines off it in the mornings.

Anyways, where am I going with this? I grew up in Savannah, GA one of the most gorgeous towns in all of America. Never been? Please go. It will take your breath away. Growing up in this town was amazing, there was ALWAYS something to do. I never thought twice about how easy it was to jump in my car and drive to the beach, or how I could go sit on a dock somewhere and watch the sunset and look for dolphins. I never really understood the awesomeness of fresh seafood and the endless supply of it. Crabbing was something you did in the hot, hot months of July and August and you would always find yourself on a boat covered in goo from chicken necks and backs and mud back in a creek that never seemed to have a breeze, but how great to go home that afternoon and pick (and eat) crabs. Yum. Or shrimping...timing the tides JUST right to ride up in the marshes to throw the net and dump on the bow of your boat then scramble to pick up all the hopping shrimp and hope you don't get poked too many times by those prickly things on their heads. Wow - back on focus please Amy...as my mouth is watering and in dire need of some blue crab dipped in butter.

Anyways, I miss it. Lots. But, just recently a good friend of mine who also has a website that specializes in all sorts of things known to the coast came up with the brilliant idea to have a line of smocked children's clothing that features things from these wonderful memories. Don't you know I jumped at the chance to have that! If I cannot see it and live it everyday, why not be able to look at it on my fave tow-headed little fireball?

PS - check out the curled-in-top-lip-teeth-showing-smile on this one. This look showed up in like every photo I took, grrrr. This is her new smile. Great, especially when I have a photo shoot lined up on Sunday with Mary Moment Photography for brownie-goose Get Your Fall On, lovely.

I mean, love them...granted I never saw a mermaid in all my years growing up in Savannah...I knew that Lou would just want that one. :) But, she has tons more. Blue crabs and a sailfish are just to name a few.

BEST PART - if you order before midnight Sunday, and you order 2 or more...you get free shipping. Yep, must get on it.

UPDATE - Kristen just added especially for you another discount code for $5 off your order. Discount code, enter FIVE at checkout. Wahoooies!

You also just might find some other cuteness you cannot live without whether or not you are in Savannah or land-locked like me. So, check her out at Savannah Jacks and get your hurry on if you want some of these cutie pie smocked goodies.

On another note...thank you to all that emailed me or commented in my reach out for some help with a toddler that is out of control. I have some great ideas from what everyone sent in. I am trying some new things, but finding it so hard to keep my patience. I really think it has a lot to do with the hormones and the pregnancy - but I am trying. We haven't had complete success, and last night I texted a friend to tell her I was one meltdown away from admittal at Whitfield, and this was probably true. But, a very wise pediatrician told me that this too shall pass...and it will, but whether I have hair on the top of my head when it passes is beyond me. :)

As for the pregnancy...we are trucking along just fine. The belly is starting to prove to be a challenge for my running which is never fun, but I am also starting to feel the little bean poke and kick around in there and that is one of my all-time most FAVORITE things in the world. We had another ultrasound yesterday, and I had the girl check...and yes, it is still a boy. I thought maybe it might have changed you know with all my fear and anxiety of the anatomy and all that comes with it. But, still a boy. Oh boy.

How about an update on my sweet post-op Lucy-Goose? Well, she is doing so well. Bless her, she is so OVER being confined, and I cannot say that I blame her, but doing well with her exercises and walks and bearing weight. I am so proud of her. :)

Until next time...

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Worth a Thousand Words...

Okay, so it is no secret that I love my camera and love to take pictures of things. Just anything, but mostly my child and my animals. My pictures did not always make me happy, but now they do. Granted, for every ONE good photo I have, there are probably about 10 others that were edited out that didn't turn correctly with over-exposure, under-exposure, missed focus, etc. But hey, we learn through experience...right?

Anyways, I have had tons of people comment and email and ask what kind of camera I used. This blows my mind because I was that girl that always commented on other blogs and researched and tried to figure out what cameras people were using for such clear pictures. I am NOT a professional photographer, let me repeat...NOT a professional, I just happen to enjoy it. By the way, I have a Nikon D40 (they no longer make this model, I have had it for 3 years) and primarily use my prime lens that is 35 mm with a 1.8 aperture. Greek to you? It used to be to me.

Well, I have some great news for you out there who have been wanting to take amazing photos, learn more about their cameras and how to use them and capture beautiful moments in life. The girl who taught me everything there is to know about my camera and how to use it is now offering an online course to teach you as well. I know you have heard me talk about her, she is Katie Stafford and she is the photographer and genius behind Mary Moment Photography. She takes the most amazing pictures and I swear I could look at her work all day long. Okay, so she is now offering a 6 week online course in how to use your camera. Most of the class will be taught around digital SLR cameras, and teaching you the importance of aperture, shutter speed, ISO, how to and how not to pose, etc. This course is being offered for $75. Girls (and guys if yall are reading) this is a STEAL. Trust me. She is brilliant when it comes to children's photography, and I am not in doubt that her genius will rub off on you. Best part for me, Katie explains it in terms that are easy to understand for those of us who aren't born camera smart.

Seriously, $75 for an online course to help you take gorgeous photographs...you cannot beat it with a stick.

I am proud to say, that after lessons from Katie...my camera has been in manual for about 4 months now. And to my amazement, it hasn't blown up and neither have I. :)

So, check it out....sign up today and get your lens ready to fire off some amazing photos. You will not be sorry. For all of you out there with Nikons (this is what I shoot) and Canons (this is what Katie shoots) here is the chance to see what that camera really can do.

Here is the link....tell her I sent you, but hurry! Mary Moment Photography Online Course

Here is one of my faves I took of Louisa after a lesson in lighting from Katie. I heart it. As I said, worth a thousand words. Please don't miss out on this!


Saturday, September 4, 2010

Double, Double, Toil & Trouble

Hello Wit’s End…it’s me Amy. I am here. I am currently looking for my sanity. Have you seen it? I can’t even remember the last time I have. If you find it, please send it my way. In fact, it doesn’t even have to be mine. If you see any sanity just running around – send it my way. I am about to lose it. Big time.

This about sums up everything since my last post. I know I promised cute pictures of Louisa and funny stories, well…they just didn’t happen. It is much easier for me to deal/blog about the funny things, so I would much rather have those too – but Louisa has a different plan I see.

I have a toddler. A 3 and half year old little girl with fire running through her veins. She is spunky, she is wild, she is manipulative and she is bad. But, on the other hand, she is sweet as pie. I just don’t get it. But I do know this…there hasn’t been one day in the last 2 weeks in which I didn’t want to string her upside-down in the backyard by her toes.

I think first and foremost is her sleeping issues. I wont go into detail here since I just don’t feel like it and I have talked about it before a dozen times, but if I could just have one night of sleep, maybe just 6 hours – I think we would both have different perspective. Over the years, I have learned to live with not much sleep, but now I am pregnant – and so far the only thing I have been craving is sleep. And, I don’t get it here. Louisa, on the other hand functions just fine other than turning into a fragile-meltdown-waiting-to-happen every day. She has napped maybe twice in the last two weeks. Most people would say since she is this age she is just phasing out her naps. And that would be fine…IF she slept for more than 3 hours at a time at night. She NEEDS this nap, I NEED this nap and when it doesn’t happen and then we have bad nights…we have bad days.

Byron has been in Honduras this last week and is coming home today. I cannot even begin to express my excitement over him coming home. I don’t know if it is just maybe to have someone else on my side, or to see the damage or just to help with the discipline. Which, discipline is a whole other story. I still have yet to find a technique that works for her. People tell me over and over, you need to be consistent. Trust me, we are consistent – Byron and I are both disciplinarians and we don’t play. But, she could care less. The one thing I am big on is not having empty threats, when I threaten, I follow through. In fact, I sometimes have people stare at me when I discipline my child and I know what is going through their heads, and I just want to scream at them…you have NO idea. None. Here are the things I try and implement on a daily basis and how she reacts to them. Please, any suggestions or ideas are wanted here.

Time Out – this one is just about the least effective. She will sit in a corner and make it fun. She will sing, and I tell her to stop. So, she hums…well, I tell her to stop. So she moves her hands like dancing, I tell her to stop and she does and then moves her head…do you see a pattern here? The manipulation kills me. Usually, time out ends in a spanking because she is being so disobedient.

Taking Away Privileges – I remember this one being big for me as a child. When you are young, you know the things you enjoy and when you cannot play or have them, it is awful. Well, at least it was for me. Louisa on the other hand – just finds it a way to bring her sass to the mix. For example – I take away her crayons and markers as punishment for something she has done. Do you know what happens then; she crosses her arms and says, “Well, I don’t likes to color anyways.” These are the moments when my toes curl in my shoes and I find my fists clinching and I need to go count to 10. She is 3, why is she so manipulative? I just don’t understand. I could get it if she ran rampant with no rules, but that is not the case here. She has rules, and she is punished. Ugh, it is so frustrating.

Spanking – an oldie, but not necessarily a goodie in our house. I made a decision when I had a child to only use spanking as a last resort. And I do. However, I use it in threats and it seems to be effective, ie. “Louisa if you talk back to me that way again you will get a spanking and you will sit in your bedroom in the corner.” I’d say I only have to spank 1 out of 3 times. Well, one time when I did…she turned to look at me and said, “dat din hurt Mommy.” I mean, what do you do at that point? Honestly, I wanted to spank harder, but that was beside the point at the time. I would only be spanking again to prove myself, and if I did…I would only be stooping to her level and ultimately feel bad about it later. Other times when I spank, one would think a lashing was occurring with the amount of dramatics that follow. In the words of my Grandmom Kay, Oh dear me.

The whole “I am disappointed in you” talk – this one is one I have implemented just recently. I figured if she is going to act like she is older, she may understand this more. After bad behavior, I will sit her down and have this talk in which I almost make her feel guilty. Is this wrong? If so, I guess it doesn’t really matter since it hasn’t seemed to work yet.

I mean, wits end. End of the rope, you name it. Just recently it has been awful, and not just since Byron has been gone. I remember him having a talk with her before he left about listening to Mommy and being on her best behavior, etc. It just seems that nothing goes through to her. I am just so tired, impatient and over it all right now that I just have no tolerance left. I asked myself one night as I lay wide awake in bed if I was setting too high of standards for her as I tend to do so with myself sometimes. But, I don’t really think so. I understand completely that toddlers will test their boundaries and that is just part of life and I get that. What I don’t get is the obvious lack of respect, bull-headedness and sass that comes forth from this sweet little thing. I know I am not the only one out there with a child that can sometimes drive them crazy, but I seriously have no clue what else to do. I get so tired of getting on to her. It is like she sticks her fingers in her ears when I talk to her. I wouldn’t know what to do if I went just one day without having to yell at her, punish her or get on to her about something. It is just wearing me out and making me scared to death to think that come February I will be bringing a second one into the mix.

So, other moms…I am reaching out big time. What do you do? What do you find that works? I know there are other readers out there with sassafras-drama-queens because you comment to me about them, please help me out here.

So, to end this I will give you 2 pictures from the last week. The first is a picture of something I cherish, my child asleep. Nothing better in the world, especially not when she sleeps about as often as a blue moon.

The second makes me smile. My two sweet doggies waiting for handouts of boiled peanuts from my Dad. Don’t worry – Lucy was not dis-obeying her confinement rules, we had her on the leash and she stayed seated in front of the peanuts. :)

Until next time…when I REALLY hope to have funny stories again, but you know…you take the good with the bad.

Oh, and PS – today is my birthday. My birthday usually means 1 of 3 things. Hurricane evacuation, SEC football debut or Labor Day. Today, the Dawgs play. It is gorgeous outside and I hope to get out there and enjoy it. So, happy 29th to me (again) and here’s to a great football season, Go Dawgs!