Saturday, April 26, 2008

SERIOUSLY?? We Need This?

How Do You Explain Mommy's Nose Job?
Click HERE for the whole NPR article
What are children to think when their mother's nose suddenly gets smaller, her breasts bigger, or her belly flatter? How should parents explain the changes?

Some prefer fantasy — "it was a mysterious gift from Santa Claus" — or lies — "Mommy needed a smaller nose in order to breathe better, Honey."

But Dr. Michael Alexander Salzhauer, a plastic surgeon from Florida, is a fan of honesty. He has written a children's book, My Beautiful Mommy, that bluntly explains it all.


Um... thoughts?

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Butterfly Boy

I'm not a fan of Anne Geddes. Something about dressing infants up as food items is a little... disturbing to me.

But this picture of Eli is my favorite at the moment:

Before the "Elevator Incident"

A Small Series of Unfortunate Events

Sunrise from the balcony
Originally uploaded by BookMamma
So, we're back. sigh
I'm glad we went, and nothing TOO terrible or life-threatening happened, but it's good to be home.

Home... where we have a refrigerator and silverware, and a washer and dryer. And beds for both boys. All things we didn't know were absent from the condo. Home... where I can hop in the car with the boys if we get stir-crazy and head to the park or the dinosaur gardens. Caleb needed the car to get to hs meeting - the whole reason we took the spontaneous six hour drive to begin with - and that left us stuck at the condo. Did I mention we had no fridge?
Milk? Nope. Cold drinks? No cooler.
Okay, so we can just take a walk to grab some food. Ummm... crossing a major highway with a toddler and a three year old is not wise. Plus there was no sidewalk.

Add two peepee accidents with limited changes of clothes (again, no washer & dryer) and boys who were still in Grandparent Mode from the previous week. All this was manageable, however. Hey! We're flexible! Spontaneous! Go with the flow, man!

Then Came Small Unfortunate Event #1
Finn's obsession with locking doors culminated when he locked the bedroom door that he & Eli were staying in. All their clothes were in there. Luckily, Eli was not. It took me all day long to figure out how to open it, and that was after three calls to the condo owner, a frantic key search, and much cursing and sweating on my part. I had the number in my hand for a locksmith when I came across a paperclip in my purse. That did the trick, but my poor plastic Chattanooga aquarium membership card took one for the team.

I had an hour of respite after the discovery of the locked door when
Not-So-Small Unfortunate Event #2 Occured
As lots of parents know, juggling two small children is no easy feat. Now grease the kids up with sunscreen, throw in a heavy beach bag, and try to wrangle them in a place riddled with New & Exciting! buttons to push and fragile glass objects to shatter, and tall balcony ledges to scale. This is what I was up against, and I had no Caleb to help me herd the cats.

So, we head to the beach and I'm struggling to put the condo key into a little lockbox for the workmen to use and I can't get the thing open. Here's where I went wrong: I put Eli and the heavy beachbag down to get a better handle on the lockbox.

In the literal span of 2.5 seconds, Eli pushes the button to the elevator, the doors open, and I turn to see the doors closing in front of him.


I am at the top of a 16-story building with my not-even two year old heading to god-knows-what floor all by himself.

What would you do? I went ballistic.
I frantically pushed the elevator button (like that's going to help) over and over, speechless. Scooping up Finn and the 3-ton beach bag, I barrelled down the stairs in my cheap flip-flops and swimsuit.

Then my mouth was screaming Eli's name and my mind was rasing through all the scenarios:
- If the elevator opened on the 1st floor, could Eli leave the building and run out onto the highway? No - he can't open the exit doors.
- Who else is staying here? What will they do if they see an adorable baby boy by himself in the elevator??

14th Floor

- If he pushes that toddler-tempting big red 'alarm' button in the elevator would that be a good thing or a bad thing?

11th Floor. Oh my God, Finn is heavy. I hope I don't fall!

- How will I know what floor he gets off on?? What if he pushes other buttons?
- Is he scared? Is he crying?
- What if he gets off on a floor that has a place in the railing where he could fall off?

8th Floor. I'm sobbing now, and Finn is pretty freaked out.

- Could Eli wander out by the pool and fall in?
- How am I going to know what floor he gets off on?

4th Floor. I'm out of breath from screaming and running.

- I need to find someone to help me.

2nd Floor

- If I keep screaming, maybe whoever finds him can hear me in the open-air hallways.

I tear out the stairwell onto the ground floor and.... no Eli. My brain switches to logical mode. I look at the floor the elevator is stopped on.

Three. Then it goes up again to Five.
My brain switches back to frantic mode and I start screaming again. I blubber out the scenario to the cleaning lady and she calls security to help. The infuriating thing is since the elevator is tied up it won't come back down to the ground floor. And I just know there's someone up there with Eli, trying to find who he belongs to, so I start bellowing again.

Somewhere in there I tell the security guy and the small crowd of vacationers that's formed what he's wearing and how old he is. We all tear up to the third floor.

No Eli.
I look to my right down the hall. I look to my left down the hall, where a door opens to a gaggle of women.
"Are you looking for a little boy?" I think my panicked face answers their question.

Directly in front of the elevator another condo door opens, and two older ladies in swimsuits bustle out... with Eli walking behind them. A literal flood of relief washes over me and I'm crying and shaking and thanking the ladies over and over.

Eli saunters to me and gives me a tight hug, with his arms squeezing my neck.

Those gorgeous ladies said they were headed to the beach too when the elevator opened and this little guy walked out. He was super-cute in his swimsuit and cap and Thomas the Tank sunglasses. He had his pacifier in his mouth and was carrying a bucket full of beach toys. When they asked him his name he just looked at them and tried to open the door to their condo. Their place was positioned exactly where ours was from the elevator, and Eli thought he was going in to find me. The sweet, beautiful ladies said he wouldn't talk but nodded yes and no to their questions.

They walked down the hall to see if he belonged to someone else on that floor but nobody knew. They had gone inside to call security when they heard me. I think the whole thing took maybe 9 minutes.

The angelic ladies asked me if I was okay and told me how this happened to them too when their kids were young, and did I need anything? Before I could even think I blurted out, "Yeah, a big drink." I NEVER would have said something like that to someone I didn't know but my brain was not processing anything other than Eli at the moment. They said they had that and could make me one, but I regained my wits finally and told them no thanks. If this is what happens to my kids when I'm sober, there's no way I'm going to add a drink to the mix.

Today I'm sore from the adrenaline rush of stair running with 80+ pounds.

In between the door locking and the elevator chasing and the 13-hour round trip night drive, it was a gorgeous day to be on the beach. The sand was like sugar, there was no crowd, it wasn't too hot or too cold. And the boys had a great time.

And I am much, MUCH wiser.

Monday, April 21, 2008

San Diego Soothed Our Souls...

Steph in San Diego
Originally uploaded by BookMamma
San Diego was so beautiful and we had a great time! I have much to blog about and will... just not now.

Because I'm crazy, we decided to take a spontaneous trip to the beach. Tonight. As in, oh... leaving in two hours. Coming back a few hours later.

Because I'm crazy.

So be content persuing the Flickr page, and hopefully I'll take along iBook and can catch up with all you'ns whilst on the sands of Destin.

Because I'm a lunatic.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Not Dead... Yet

I'm here, just crazy busy. We're going on that fabulous kid-free vacation in less than 24 hours, and have I packed?
Um, no.

Have I prepared everything for my mom (who is the most wonderful person on earth I might add) since she agreed to come stay with the boys in our house?

Have I cleaned the house?

Have I run the thousand and one errands that are always required before leaving town?
That would be a big NO.

Have I stocked up on groceries?



Sunday, April 6, 2008

The Thing About Eliot

Like many siblings, my two sons - born 19 months apart - are completely different from each other. At the moment, Finn is definitively the Type A Personality. He's more high strung, intense, bossy, always looking for something to get into, and very affectionate.

Eli is... none of those things.
Think a toddler-size Matthew McConaughey. Laid back, low-maintenence, completely adorable (right down to the beauty mark under his left eye), Eli rolls with the punches and lives in the moment. He's very aware of his unorthodox cuteness and its effect on those around him.


The boy is seriously smooth. He LOVES women of all ages and sizes, and will seek them out wherever he goes. If we're at a restaurant, he flirts with our waitress. If our server is a guy, he will zero in on the nearest table full of ladies and spend the duration of the meal making eyes and cooing at them. He never fails to get their attention.

Recently we checked out a book at the library, and I'm afraid I'm going to have to replace it. He would be heartbroken if I ever forced him to part with it. It's the Star Wars Visual Dictionary. In it there's a double page spread of Princess Leia in all of her various costumes, and Eli is absolutely riveted...

... on this particular picture, of course:
Princess Leia

How soon do you think we can lock him up?

Saturday, April 5, 2008

We ALL Scream for Ice Cream!

The weather is warming up here and we've been able to spend more time outside - hurray! I'm taking some time off work before things get really hectic and packing in as many fun things as we can in the next few weeks.

Have Fun or Else To-Do List:
back to the beach
Finn starts T-Ball
Finn starts Swim Lessons
Hit the Nashville Zoo with friends
Lake Winni
Many more trips back to the Botanical Gardens

And the mother of them all..... a kid-free vacation!

Caleb has a business trip scheduled in Cali-forn-i-a, and we tacked on a few days so I could go. I have never been to the west coast, never seen the Pacific. I am SO EXCITED!! Especially because we get to stay here... we could never swing it if it weren't on The Office. I'm up for suggestions of travel tips and things to do in San Diego if anyone has any!

Tonight we're headed out with some friends so I won't be hopping around blogs. Cheers to the Weekend Blog Hoppers!If you're looking for some company tonight, grab a cold one or a glass of shiraz and head over to see all the fine folks that Busy Dad brought together.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

My First Meme

At my age, it's not very often I get to experience another "first". Thanks to McMommy, I got tagged for my first official meme!

Memes kind of remind me of those Slam Books we used to have in junior high, with each page of a spiral notebook a different question and each line numbered down the side. Everybody who signed up could list their favorite color, or favorite song, or even (gasp!) if they thought Josh Campbell was the Hottest Guy in Eighth Grade.

So... here's my meme.
For the record, my favorite color is green and if I had to pick a favorite song I would say, at the moment, "Hot Stuff" by Donna Summer.


First, the rules (and oddly, only two of them...why not five?):
1. Each player answers the questions about themselves.
2. At the end of the post, the player then tags five people and posts their names, then goes to their blogs and leaves a comment letting them know they've been tagged and to ask them to play along and to read your blog.

what i was doing ten years ago...
This was interesting because I couldn't remember. So... I took a look in an old journal to jog my memory and was surprised to see the first entry dated April 2, 2008. Can you believe that?? EXACTLY ten years ago! Very weird.
1 Turning 21
2 Moving from Birmingham back to my parent's house. This was not my finest hour. Actually, I think I can honestly say this was the lowest point in my life to date.
3 Taking a trip out west with my Dad to see the Grand Canyon, Vegas, and The Damn Hoover Dam. It was my first plane ride and lobster dinner. It was the first time my Dad and I regarded each other as adults. It was a great trip that we still talk about.
4 Applying for massage therapy school in Nashville.
5 Getting re-aquainted with a friend from high school. Whom I married the next year. (Abandoned all thoughts of Nashville.)

five things on my to-do list today...
1 Return mass amounts of phone calls & emails from earlier in the week
2 Organize the finer points of a Reader's Theater happening this weekend
3 Get my butt to my gym class
4 Catch up on The Riches
5 Post this meme

five snacks i enjoy...
1 chips & guacamole
2 hummus and pita from Fresh Market
3 M&Ms mixed with hot popcorn, so they get all melty in the shell and burst liquid chocolate in your mouth. Throw in some salty popcorn and you've got heaven
4 a skinny dirty chai at Stearns
5 red seedless grapes, a little on the tart side

five things i would do if i was a billionaire...
1 Share it with my family and friends. Specifically, host our entire family reunion on a cruise ship for at least a week.
2 Take care of college tuition for my kids. And these guys. And my neices. And myself and my husband.
3 Buy that pub on the Dingle Peninsula. Double the current staff's salary, and live there during the summers.
4 Donate some to the library, for Technology & Outreach needs. (And other needs that I won't list here.) Donate a huge chunk to charities that I could think about for hours before detailing here but I'm not.
5 Pay Clinton & Stacy to go shopping for me and fill my closet with all stylish new clothes that fit me perfectly. I want a new wardrobe. I hate actually shopping for it. Stole this one from McMommy, abridged a bit!

five of my bad habits....
1 I let dishes sit in the sink overnight after dinner. I'd rather blog instead.
2 I'm a terrible gossip. At least I know it.
3 I hatehatehate mating socks. Hate it. We have a huge basket of single lonely socks because I hate pairing them up.
4 I'm not the best at returning calls/text messages in a timely manner.
5 When I'm in a group setting, I tend to dumb myself down to make others feel comfortable.
This from my husband when I asked him about my bad habits. Is this an egotistical bad habit?

five places i have lived.... (all of them in Alabama)
1 Birmingham - wild child days
2 111 Oak Street -childhood home
3 A sixty-plus year old dorm room that smelled like unwashed booty
4 starter home Rancher wwaaayyyy out in the stix during our first years of marriage
5 squatted for a month in my grandparents empty house while we closed on our new house

five jobs i've had....
1 waitress at not one, not two, not three... but SIX different restaurants in my lifetime
2 therapy tech at a chiropractic office, ie: EMS, ultrasound, Xrays
3 bookseller at Barnes & Noble
4 children's librarian
5 barista at Starbucks - you want a venti-skinny-tripleshot-extrahot-white-chocolate-soy-mocha? I can do it.

Tag, you're it!!
1 Amy's Brat Pack - love Amy and her brood!
2 A is for Aardvark - fellow Rocket City girl with #2 on the way.
3 PB&J in a Bowl - a sassy Nashville blogger with her sassy sweet girl
4 My girl Lee Anne - great friend and mother of a tiny bird
5 Artist Unplugged - new blogger and multi-tasking mom

Thanks McMommy! It was fun. And a bit weird to look back on after many years...
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