Friday, October 29, 2010

Two truths and a lie.

Ever played that game? Someone shares two true things and one lie, and everyone has to guess which one's the lie. Since it's Friday and I don't feel like going to work and I'm sure you don't feel like going to work, we're going to play!

And then we're going to go to work.

Ugh.

To make it a little harder, I've doubled up and made it four truths and two lies. Fun, right? (Humor me, please. It's been a loooong week.)

Here we go:

1. I've worn leggings three times this week. Twice outside my house.

2. I'm an award-winning artist.

3. I drink more coffee than Diet Coke.

4. Calvin is dressing up as a spider for Halloween. I'm going as Little Miss Muffet, Nate will be curds and whey.

5. I haven't started listening to Christmas music yet.

6. My hair is naturally curly but it used to be almost completely straight.

Feel free to make your guesses in the comments section. Winner gets my leftover Halloween candy!*

Happy Friday!

*Should there be any. Outlook not good.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Pom.

Where are all the cute hats? Last year we had so many options it was hard to pick just one (which is why we had three). This year we have this:




It wouldn't have been my first choice, but the kid needed a hat. And, let's face it: children don't care what they have on their heads.

Or do they?

Monday, October 25, 2010

Let this be a warning.

Three things hairdressers should refrain from saying to a mother during her child's first haircut:

1) "You really can't keep the curls. I can do it, but it would look weird. Like this. Do you want it to look like this?" In response to my request to just trim up the back, leaving some of his baby curls.

2) "No, they won't." In response to Nate's reassuring "Honey, they will probably grow back!"

3) "Are you going to be okay, Mom?" Sarcastic and patronizing, in response to my curt "Fine. Cut it."*

I could have punched her, but instead I let her chop off Calvin's baby curls because I don't want him to look "weird." And of course he still looks adorable and his shaggy mane is much more manageable.

But I still could've punched her, and she would have deserved it.

You don't criticize the curls. For some of us, they're all we've got.

Before:




During:




After:




*For the record, it takes a LOT for me to be rude to someone in a service position. I pride myself on having good manners. This chick pushed me over the edge.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Mil.........k.

Mr. Bub is growing like a weed. I'm pretty sure he gets taller, faster and much more mischievous by the hour. Which is all fine and good — for the most part, we're keeping up. I attribute this to our excellent parenting skills and also to Baby Gap's adjustable waist pants. Without which we'd be up a creek, since he is longer than he is wide and only gets taller and skinnier every day.

While I'm amazed by his physical achievements of late, the verbal ones have blown me away. I was in Cleveland last weekend for what, two days? Somehow in that incredibly short amount of time he managed to learn all sorts of new things.

He learned how to say "milk" and "book" – both of which have a long wait between the first part of the word and the k. As in Mil.......k! Boo.......k!

He pointed to a door and said "door!" He pointed to my nose and said "nose!" He pointed to my phone and said "baby!" (Don't worry, it makes sense. My screen saver is a photo of baby Calvin.)

He put two words together at dinner on Monday night: "More milk!" (Hoping to add a "please" to that phrase shortly.)

He's started using "yes" and "no" appropriately.

He's begun attempting just about every word we ask him to say — which he wasn't doing a week ago.

And finally, during my incredibly moving rendition of the ABCs Sunday night, he started making hand motions. So I went back and started again....and he did them again. I think they must be teaching him to sign the alphabet at school, because I have no other explanation for that. Unless he was just waving wildly at me to shut up...?

I'll admit to feeling pretty put out over being the second person to witness these milestones (if you can even call them that). I believe my exact response was "WHY IS HE DOING ALL THESE NEW THINGS WITHOUT ME I WAS ONLY GONE FOR TWO DAYS I CAN'T BELIEVE I MISSED IT NOT FAIR NOT FAIR!" To which Nate coolly replied, "Really? You haven't seen any of that before? He's been doing it for a while now."

It's true, what they say. Mom puts in all the work and gets none of the glory.

(I kid, Nate. You're an amazing hands-on dad and have clearly imparted great wisdom on our child. Perhaps I should leave town more often. Say, two weeks from now?)

It's been really fun to witness these changes in our sweet little boy. Never thought I'd say this (and I'm sure I'll retract this statement within the next month), but I'm loving loving life with a toddler. I'm not loving the tantrums and biting issues (I jinxed myself yesterday, btw — but it was minor and didn't require an incident report. His teacher said things are going much better.), but this is definitely my favorite phase of parenting so far.

I say that about every phase, of course...





Thursday, October 21, 2010

Breakthrough.

Calvin and I have the same talk every morning before I leave for work. Today's went a little something like this:

Abby: "Okay, Calvin. Mom has to go to work now. Remember, no biting at school today! No biting! We do not bite our friends. Biting hurts."

Calvin
: *gives Mom a big hug*

Abby: "Calvin, do we bite our friends at school? Do you bite Mommy's finger?" *holds up finger*

Calvin: "NO!" *kisses finger*

Abby (to Nate)
: "Wait- did he just say no? And use it appropriately in a sentence? Like, in response to my question? IS HE BEGINNING TO UNDERSTAND??"

Holy crap, I hope so. I'll let you know in about four hours.

DIY.

Earlier this year — in February, I think — I had a BRILLIANT idea: buy a plain grapevine wreath.

Why was that a brilliant idea, you ask?

Oh, it wasn't.

I love having a wreath on the front door — it's happy, and welcoming, and shows that you take pride in your home. It's kind of like the bow on a present — the wrapping paper is plenty cute on its own, but the bow makes the package. Which is why I buy a lot of grosgrain ribbon. It's inexpensive and there's really nothing cuter than a perky little knot on a present.

Anyway, the problem with wreaths is this: there are some REALLY bad ones. And it's not worth having a wreath at all if it isn't well done. Who wants to be greeted by drooping fake flowers, plastic-looking berries, and wads of poorly-hidden super glue? Kind of negates the whole point of having a wreath, dontcha think? But the bad ones are all I can find! Even the wreaths at Pottery Barn and Restoration Hardware have been a little questionable lately, and besides that — I'm not spending $100 on a seasonal wreath. No matter how cute it is.

Which is why I decided to start making my own. The first time I did this was out of necessity — these tiny, adorable twin Boy Scouts from down the street asked me if I wanted to purchase a Christmas wreath. I hate the Boy Scout wreaths — three pinecones, all frosted with fake snow, and a large red bow. Almost everyone I know has one of them at Christmastime. Probably because Boy Scouts are cute and irresistible and did I mention the ones who came to my house were tiny adorable twins?? So, I bought an ugly Boy Scout wreath, and when it came I couldn't bear to put it up as it was. So I cut off the bow and the pinecones, leaving me with a pretty decent plain green wreath. To which I added a big green ribbon, springs of real juniper and red berries, and a sparkly little ornament — all of which I had on hand, minus the juniper. It turned out really cute.

So I went ahead and purchased a plain grapevine wreath for $3.99 at JoAnn Fabrics. Thinking — hey, I made that Boy Scout wreath pretty cute, why can't I just do that for every season?

Well, to be frank — because I'm just not that creative. The first two versions I "decorated" by tying a ribbon around them. And that was after some heavy thought.

Luckily, my friend Martha is never short on creativity. I saw a snake wreath tutorial in Martha Stewart Living and decided to give it a try (but without the snakes, because, well...ew.). The ghost was pulled from another craft tutorial in her magazine, and was originally meant for a mirror.


Not bad, huh? A $3.99 wreath, a $3 can of black spray paint, a scrap of ribbon, some Halloween junk I found in my basement, a piece of cardstock, and about five minutes of my life = a pretty cute (and spooky) front door.

Here's hoping Martha comes up with some good ideas for Christmas, too, because I've got nothing.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Twelve years ago.

Twelve years ago, as a sophomore transfer student at Taylor University, there was a lot I didn't know.

I didn't know when I moved into Bergwall Hall, room 306, I was about to meet my lifelong friends.

I didn't know the group of girls living next door — girls I admired and thought both pretty and fun — would soon welcome me in as one of their own.

I didn't know that we would spend the next three years living together — swapping clothes, telling secrets, sharing meals, having dance parties, taking millions of pictures, and learning to love each other.

I didn't know that way too soon college would end and we'd all be living in different states, with daily interaction limited to emails, letters, and phone calls.

I didn't know that things would slowly begin to shift and we'd find ourselves on different pages when it came to relationships, jobs, money, and children.

I didn't know these differences between us would become the norm, and that we'd have to let our friendships shift and change a bit, too.

I didn't know that life would be so hard at times that we'd have no idea how to help one another through it.

I didn't know that through our fumbles and failures in friendship we'd learn new ways of communicating, of supporting, of accepting, of loving each other.

I didn't know that despite time and distance, these women would continue to be the first ones I turn to in both joy and struggle.

I didn't know my dorm room neighbors would become my sisters, my confidants, my support system, my role models, my teachers, my best friends — for years well beyond those spent at Taylor.

I didn't know any of this, but God did. He brought us together as young, silly college girls, and He's kept us together ever since.


I am so grateful for my beautiful friends, and the weekend we just spent together — swapping clothes, telling secrets, sharing meals, having dance parties, taking millions of pictures, and learning to love each other even more.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Voyeurism.

You know the whole "one blog leads to another blog leads to another blog" thing about reading blogs?

No?

Well, it's a thing. Believe me. Because one blog has led to another blog and now I'm obsessed with a new (to me) genre of blogging.

Check it:

I drove by a new boutique on Grand Ave one day and wanted to know what it was, so I did a google search for it. I didn't find the boutique; instead I found a local blogger. A blogger who posts photos of her daily outfits.

I read the entire archives of her blog in one day.

When there was nothing left to read, I got bored and started clicking on her links, which led me to another blogger. Who also posts photos of her daily outfits.

You guys, it is REALLY fun to see what people wear every day. A little like when I try to look in the windows of all the mansions on Summit Avenue as I drive by at night...except this is less creepy because they are actually posting their outfits for the world to see. And then, you know, wearing them for the world to see. So maybe it's not really creepy at all. Bad analogy, but a similar rush.

Anyway, again with the reading of the archives in one day and the boredom and the links, which led me to another local fashion blogger, which led me to a non-local really adorable nerdy fashion blogger, which led me to one final blogger of whom I am just a little (okay, a lot) jealous. Don't worry, you will be too. I just keep trying to remind myself that she's only 21 and when I was 21 I was also skinny, although nowhere near that fashionable, perky, and cute.

The good news? There are about a million more blogs like this out there. All you have to do is follow the links.

The bad news? There are about a million more blogs like this out there. All you have to do is follow the links.

You're welcome.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Indian Summer.

On October 12, 2009, we woke up to this:


Exactly one year later, it's beautiful, sunny, and 72 degrees.

This concludes my argument for the validity of global warming.

We're having a warm streak here in Minnesota. As we all know, warmth is not my favorite feeling, but it's been so beautiful I can't really complain. Although I'm getting pretty anxious to wear my new sweaters.

Anyway, Nate was home this weekend and we spent some quality time with each other and Nate's family and our yard. Saturday morning we headed to Gerten's, where Calvin got to check out some animals and his belly.



Though we shoved four massive cornstalk bunches into our car, Calvin enjoyed a comfortable ride home. I wish I could say the same for the two of us.



Saturday afternoon was spent playing cards and drinking sangria on Jon and Mary's deck while Calvin ran around their yard without pants — thanks to the first blowout he's had in months. Aunt Mary washed his shorts, put them back on him, and not 10 minutes later he had another blowout. (I will be monitoring Calvin's raisin intake from here on out.)



Sunday we headed to the pumpkin patch with Nate's mom and dad. Here we spent a lot of time feeding the animals.




Kissing the animals.


Picking up random pieces of corn from the ground, wiping them off, and then running back to feed them to the animals...only to find more corn on the ground right there next to them. (I would say 99% of our time was spent running back to feed corn to the animals.)


During the other 1% of our time there, we did some silly things — like wear matching striped shirts and Converse sneakers.


Stick our heads in lots of holes.



Take artsy photos ruined by Mom's big ol' shadow.


And pick pumpkins too big to carry.


The end result of our Indian Summer weekend?



A house that's begging for fall.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Counting our blessings.

There's been quite a bit of biting in Calvin's daycare classroom since he started in mid-September. He's bitten three times, and he's been bitten twice. While I'm still deeply disturbed/upset/frustrated by this behavior, last week I gained a bit of perspective on the whole thing.

On Friday we got an incident report saying Calvin bit another child, and an accident report saying Calvin was bit by another child.

The incident report said: Calvin bit another child in a struggle over a book after the bookmobile came.

The accident report said: Calvin was bitten on the face while trying to give another child a hug.

So it seems I have an affectionate bookworm on my hands.

It could definitely be worse, my friends. Much, much worse.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Cute things my kid is doing.

1) Pointing out all of his body parts: Hair, eyes, nose, mouth, ears, fingers, toes, etc.
2) Pointing out all of those same body parts on us.
3) Sitting down on the floor, legs crossed, as soon as I ask if he wants a snack.
4) Shooing Mattie away with his hands anytime he gets a snack. He is no longer interested in sharing his food with her.
5) Putting on eyeshadow. Not really, but he takes my shadow brush and smushes it on his eyelid.
6) Wearing shoes at all times, even with footed pjs. And often requesting a change of shoes from one pair to another.
7) Making animal noises (monkey, cow, sheep, cat, dog, duck, tiger).
8) Signing the words more, all done, water, dog, cat, milk, sleepy, and diaper.
9) Pushing over the baby gate at the bottom of the stairs, sticking his little toe in the hole and hoisting himself over it, then scurrying up the stairs.
10) Saying "amen" after prayers — without being prompted.
11) Sighing "yeah..." after I sing Jesus Loves Me to him at night.
12) Doing the hand motions for the Itsy Bitsy Spider with me.
13) Giving us hugs by squeezing us tight and then tapping his fingers twice on our backs.
14) Climbing up on the couch to "read" a book nearly as big as he is...all by himself.
15) Putting all of the remotes in his Cozy Coupe car.
16) Identifying what's mine and what's Nate's by pointing to it and saying "mama!" and "dada!" (He's got an impeccable track record. Makeup is mama's. Sweatshirts thrown over the banister are dada's.)
17) Walking around with my hair dryer making blowing noises.
18) Saying "bye bye!" and waving every time he leaves the room.
19) Having long, rambly conversations with us in his native toddler jibberish.
20) Offering open-mouthed kisses...pretty much to anyone he meets.

The following is a video from our trip to the zoo last weekend. Calvin is obsessed with this book called Tiger's Adventures. And by obsessed I mean...OBSESSED. Carries it around the house going "TIGER! TIGER! TIGER!" He loves reading it so much that I ended up hiding it behind the couch because it was driving me nuts. And I have no idea where he learned this, but the first time I read it to him he turned to me and whispered "roar!" with his hands up in the air.

Which we were delighted to capture in the video below.

video
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