Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night….

October 26, 2004

I went to Wal-Mart on my lunch break today. In the rain. And I was driving Deputy Dad’s truck because my car is in the shop. Which means my umbrella is in the shop, too. So I go to Wal-Mart, in the rain, for four small items that I totally could’ve waited until tomorrow for. But I would not, could not wait until tomorrow because (Warning: The following revelation may lower your opinion of me, not that I care one iota.) I am a Wal-Mart junkie. Seriously. I can’t go more than two or three days without my ‘fix.’ I don’t even mind dragging all three kids there, if that’s what it takes to get my hit. (Hit? Is that right? I don’t really know proper drug lingo.)

Anyhow, I went to Wal-Mart at lunch. And….you know that thing ‘they’ say about not shopping on an empty stomach? So. Completely. True. I went in for these four items, only one of which was food-related; yet I spent the majority of my time walking up and down the food aisles, eyes glazed over, randomly plucking things off the shelves and putting them in my cart. Oh, hey, that looks good. Little Debbie snack cakes?!? Geez, I haven’t had those in forever! I should get TWO boxes! Oh, and I’m sure we need this and that and…..holy crap, I was unstoppable. Pathetic. By the time I went to check out, even the tabloids looked good! Why yes, I DO want to see “The Pictures Celebrities don’t Want You to See!” And of COURSE I want to know how poor little Mary-Kate Olsen is doing! And the longer I stood in line, the more the magazine racks taunted me….why, I didn’t even KNOW there was a Country magazine, but now I MUST see that photo layout of Kenny Chesney. I drew the line, though, at Martha Stewart Living. I knew there was no way I could stomach Martha AND all the junk food I’d tossed in my cart.

If that wasn’t bad enough, I stopped at Sonic on my way back to work, to pick up some chili, cheese and grease for lunch! WHAT was I thinking? I don’t even like those things! I’ll probably be sick all afternoon. I should’ve just had the Little Debbies for lunch.



Tourist Trap

October 24, 2004

I mentioned a couple days ago that I was driving Deputy Dad’s truck ’cause my car was in the shop. Why is it that driving someone else’s vehicle is like visiting a foreign country, where you know neither the language nor the currency exchange rate? I mean, I’m a smart gal, I’ve been driving for oh, [hrmph]-teen years or so. So, why do I get in my hubby’s truck, which I actually HAVE driven a few times before, and all of a sudden I’m like a senior citizen, weaving back and forth in the left-hand lane, with my right blinker blinking “Stupid, Stupid, Stupid,” and the windshield wipers swooshing at full speed?

I just don’t speak the language. How do you say, “Turn off the damn wipers” in GMC? ‘Cause I think? What I ACTUALLY must have said? Was “Make me look like I’m learning to drive a stick-shift when I step on the over-sensitive brake.” Yep. I’m pretty sure that’s what the truck HEARD, anyway.

And when we picked my car up from the shop, as I walked away from tour-de-GMC, I’m pretty sure I saw Deputy Dad’s truck roll its headlights and mutter, “Damn Foreigner.”

Baby Boy 4-Month Newsletter

October 18, 2004

Dear Baby Boy,

Last Friday you turned four months old. Wow…FOUR. MONTHS. OLD. Incredible. I see every single day how fast you are growing, and it seems your baby-hood is disappearing all too quickly.

We took you to the pediatrician for your checkup, and you weighed 17 pounds, 6 ounces, and were 25 inches long. A big, healthy boy, to be sure! You had to get four (FOUR!) shots, you poor little thing. So you’ve been a little fussy and clingy the last few days…and who can blame you? I’d be fussy and clingy too, if I’d had all those immunizations pumped into me with very sharp, pointy, sticking-type things. Your sweet, chubby little legs were so tender and sore; and you just wanted Mama to hold you and nurse you all weekend.

Ordinarily, though, — that is, when people have not recently stabbed you with needles containing foreign substances — you are an absolute joy. Constantly grinning, laughing, and cooing. Interested in everything and everyone around you. You smile at almost anyone, but save your biggest grins for your Daddy, your sisters, and me; and that makes us feel VERY special. You absolutely ADORE your sisters, and they are totally crazy about you, too. Miss Attitude is learning how to be a big sister; she loves to stroke your face and head and says “Heeey Baaaaaaby” in the highest-pitched voice EVER; and you grin and coo at her and let her know what a great big sister she is. The Drama Queen plays hand games with you, sometimes pat-a-cake and other times just clapping your hands along to whatever song or cheer she happens to have on her mind; and you are sooo fascinated with her, you just grin and stare at her in wide-eyed awe. I think it’s because you look JUST LIKE HER. And you and The Drama Queen both look just like your Daddy. And I am very lucky and blessed to have married such a handsome man who has fathered three exceptionally beautiful children.

Baby Boy, you have turned our lives upside-down, and we couldn’t be happier about the change. We could, however, be a little more rested. Really, now….we need to have a talk about your SLEEPING habits. Because we KNOW that you can sleep NINE. WHOLE. HOURS. In a row! We’ve seen you do it. We’re on to you. But lately you INSIST on sleeping only 5 1/2 to 6 hours before you wake up to nurse. Then you usually go back to bed for another 3 hours or so before you’re up again. And when you get up that second time….I always know exactly how it’ll go….you nurse, and I put you on my shoulder to burp you, and you reeeeach over my shoulder for my pillow, and start with the Scratching of the Pillowcase. Every time. Every night. SCRITCH. SCRITCH. SCRATCH. Then you start cooing and talking and then….Hello, People! It’s time to play! You grin and talk and raise your eyebrows (Have I told you how ADORABLY expressive your eyebrows are? I AM IN LOVE WITH YOUR EYEBROWS!) and generally make yourself wonderfully charming and utterly irresistible until we have no choice but to surrender to your wishes, forget about sleeping, and cover you in kisses and raspberries. And then the tickling begins….Oh, the tickling! Child, EVERY INCH of your body is ticklish! Top of the head? Check. Face? Check. Arms? Check. Legs? Check. I can’t even CHANGE YOUR CLOTHES without you squirming and giggling and jumping around, you’re so darn ticklish. You are downright delightful.

Besides the tickling, your current favorite activities are nursing, playing in your bouncy car, and trying to fit both hands in your mouth at the same time. (You’ve almost done it, too!) Oh, and the drooling….did I mention the drooling? I’m thinking of trying to COLLECT the drool…I could use it to water the plants, and cut down on the water bill!

You also like to roll from side to side, especially while I’m TRYING to change your diaper, which is why your diapers are usually CROOKED. And you’ve even ROLLED OVER from your belly to your back! You surprised yourself the first time you rolled all the way over; I, however, was NOT surprised, since you HATE being on your belly. I KNEW you’d find a way to get yourself out of that despised position. You’re such a smart and determined little stinker.

Baby Boy, your Daddy and I are wholly and completely in love with you. Almost daily, one of us will say, “What did we ever do without him?” Indeed, what DID we do? Ah yes, we slept. And we actually kept house and did laundry. But you are oh-so-much more fun! And we thank God daily for you and your sweet sisters.

I love you, my Big Boy, my Little Man, my Sweet Baby.



October 11, 2004

“You know what they say, ‘Don’t go gobble in the woods durin’ huntin’ season.'”

THAT’S Entertainment

October 7, 2004

My baby has taken over my house. Last night I stood in the middle of the living room looking around, and thought This child has completely taken over.

Baby-related items in my living room: playpen, with fifty or so baby blankets draped across the sides, twelve hundred baby toys lying in the bottom, and a crib mobile attached to the rail; car seat and diaper bag on the fireplace hearth; portable swing, which folds up for convenience and travel but takes up WAY too much room when not folded for convenience and travel….is, in fact, decidedly NOT convenient when actually IN USE; car-shaped bouncy exersaucer-type thingy, which Baby Boy is not quite big enough for, but which we continue to put him in anyway, in our endless round of musical places-to-put-the-baby-where-he-might-stay-for-more-than-five-minutes-so-we-can-maybe-get-something-done-around-here; basket of diaper-changing items; fifty or so MORE blankets strewn in odd places over the floor and furniture; two hundred forty-seven burp cloths, also strewn in odd places over the floor and furniture just in case we happen to be sitting in just that spot when Mount St. Baby erupts.

Baby-related items actually located in the kitchen, but still visible from the living room: high chair, breast pump, and ANOTHER diaper bag.

And this is AFTER I removed TWO other baby-related items — a bouncy seat and another (not portable) swing — from the living room yesterday afternoon! I swear, my house looks like a Toys ‘R’ Us store threw up!

How did this happen? How is it that something so small (and cute! and adorable!) could cause such an upheaval? It’s been so long since the girls were babies, I guess I’d just forgotten (or mentally blocked) HOW MUCH GEAR BABIES NEED! And STILL we cannot keep the little dictator occupied for more than five minutes! Here’s a typical scene:

Mom…[Puts Baby Boy in the car-shaped bouncy exersaucer thingy]…Here you go, Big Boy. You sit here and play in your car while Mommy gets supper started. Here’s your teething ring. Who’s Mommy’s Big Boy? Huh? Okay…

Dictator…[Smiles at Mommy, for trying so hard]…Oh, looky at this car thingy….what’s a car?, and yes, here’s my teething ring, let’s see if I can get that in my mouth……okaaay…..there we go. Yes, I like that, that’s good, and look at the pretty colors, and….wait. Wait just a darn minute here! Where are the PEOPLE? The people! The people who ENTERTAIN me? How can I be expected to just SIT here and PLAY QUIETLY without the ENTERTAINMENT??? Waaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhhhh….

Mom…[Has had time to remove chicken from freezer and place into microwave]…What’s wrong with my Little Man, huh? Come here to Mommy, let’s just go get this microwave started…..there we go. You wanna lay in your playpen for a few minutes? You wanna watch your mobile, huh? Have you talked to your bears today? Here you go, Baby. [Winds mobile.] There, look at those bears dance. Now Mommy’s gonna go work on supper, okay?

Dictator…[Watching bears on the mobile chase each other ’round and ’round]…Oh, looky there…my bears!…Dance, bears, dance! I like that black-and-white one the best. And listen to that music, is that Brahm’s Lullaby? I believe it is. I like that one, though it’s not nearly as enthralling as Pachebel’s Canon. I mean, I can really get LOST in the Canon, and….WAIT! What the..? Where the HECK are the people?!? The Mommy person! The Daddy person! Why have you forsaken me, PEOPLE?? Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

And so it goes, me moving Baby Boy from one piece of baby equipment to another, while trying (TRYING!) to cook supper, or do laundry, or wash dishes, or….just go pee, for crying out loud! (pun intended) Occasionally, the little dictator will say, in his best Queen of England voice, complete with accent “We are amused at your attempts to occupy us with these simple diversion tactics. Please do carry on, and we will scream incessantly to let you know when we have tired of your antics.” (I gotta hand it to him, he does a GREAT Queen of England.)


The whole point was (I think) that this baby has totally taken over my house, which is fitting, I suppose, since he’s completely taken over my LIFE as well. But really, I don’t think I’d have it any other way.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I think I need to go to the emergency room….I tripped over a baby blanket, ricocheted off the car seat, and landed in the playpen….and the little dictator was QUITE amused.