Tuesday, August 30, 2011

the brownie rules

Confession:

I have a few things that I am snobbish about (depending on who you ask), but one of those things is using cake mixes. For some odd reason, it is ingrained into my subconscious that by using a mix- no matter how doctored up- it is "cheating" at cooking. Perhaps this is due to my recent cake decorating fetish...perhaps this reflects on a dark childhood memory...perhaps at birth I was given the curse of unnecessary guilt by the evil fairy...

Whatever the reason, I have to be in a very tight pinch to use a cake mix, and then I make all kinds of lame excuses to whoever is forced to eat the boxed dessert, no matter how beautifully decorated.

Bakers guilt. It's a serious thing that therapists should spend more time curing.

But, for another odd reason, I have no problem using a brownie mix.

In fact, on a calm, almost fallish evening- such as tonight- there is almost nothing better than whipping up a pan of "fake" brownies and indulging in the still warm tasty treat while catching up on some evening TV shows conversation with your spouse.

But in order to use a brownie mix and not feel guilty, there are a couple of rules.

1. The brownies MUST be slightly underdone. There is a magical window of appropriate bake time for brownies. If left in for a second too long...said brownies become too cake-like. and are ruined. ruined. (not being over dramatic. just stating a fact)


When the tester fork goes in the middle of the pan, it must come out slightly sticky, so that as the brownies cool, the middle layer sinks into a dark, wet like, fudgy consistency that soothes away all guilt of using that mix instead of mixing up brownies from scratch. It's hard to feel guilty when your stomach is that happy.


2. The brownies MUST make a 9x13 pan. I love the concept of some of these super duper fancy brownies mixes, but there are few more dramatic let downs than realizing that your pan of brownies is half the size of what you were imagining. The fancier the brownie mix, the smaller the pan you're supposed to bake them in. The doubled chocolate, swirled fudge, complete with nuts and large chunks dipped in more chocolate and fudge crusted in a separate brownie mix entirely??? yeah, you might as well just bake it in a custard cup.

3. The brownies MUST be served warm (preferably over vanilla ice cream) Seriously, it should be a crime to offer a cold brownie. The warm, melty texture of a perfectly baked, fudgey brownie as it settles down under generous scoops of creamy ice cream that melt into the chocolaty goodness in an almost sinful way is enough to make your heart go pitter patter and your eyes light on brownie fire.

Exception: Of course the leftovers may be served cold the next day...settled down in their fudge-like ecstasy with a cup of coffee...

If these rules are followed- happiness is not too far behind.

I do realize that some people might prefer a cakey, fancy, cold brownie- and I'm certainly not one to judge.

but really?

note #1: each brownie session should be followed by an hour of zumba to really shake things up (boy, I do miss zumba class)

note #2: if you're cursing me right now for unintentionally tempting you to break a carefully planned diet with a pan of deliciously gooey brownies...just be thankful that I'm not whining about still being pregnant....trust me. This post is the lesser of the two evils.

note #3: if you do make a pan of deliciously underdone brownies and can get to my house before they've cooled down...I will talk you out of the guilt that you might feel by eating them, socially, with me, of course. (I'll even provide the ice cream)

note #4: I made a pan of brownies tonight. And let them cook slightly too long because of the amount of time it took me to get off the couch once I heard the timer ding. They are too cakey. And disgusting. If that is the kind of brownie you prefer, check out the heaped crumbs on my front step tomorrow morning...first come first serve.

note #5: this is a Chubbs approved post. she loves brownies and will do almost anything for one (except walk...)

What are your brownie rules?

Monday, August 29, 2011

Addison's Ad

WANTED:
PLAYMATE
Must be around 8 pounds, have lot of hair to pull and answer to the name "Addison's brother"
Also, would prefer that playmate to unselfishly NOT want to play with any of my toys...but I do need someone to smuggle some more in for me...you can see that I am just a deprived, hurting child.
Out of the goodness of my heart, I will allow said playmate to occupy the room next to mine (which doesn't look completely done to me, but hey, at least there is now a bed in there) as long as applicant doesn't interrupt my 12 hours of beauty rest each night.
and whoever ends up sleeping here is lucky...because the room looked like this a couple of months ago...
Just to be clear, I will still be the one in charge of the house known as "Addison's", but it would be nice to have another child hangin' around here...you know, to do my dirty work and for me to boss around...
 Interested applicants please be prepared to face THIS face during your interview:

Let me know when I might expect you.

Sincerely,
Addison

(What do you think...Craigslist ready???)

Friday, August 26, 2011

Already impressing the ladies...

I need to start this post with an apology.

Normally, I keep this blog very clean- screening out any potential "scandalous" information or language.

But as I was only able to sleep for like three hours last night, can barely walk due to hip pain, and have been cranky more than usual today due to pregnancy woes...my judgment might be a touch off...just warning you (feel free to discontinue reading at any time...I promise not to hold it against you)

Yesterday, I had my 38 week OB checkup. Because merely two weeks ago he was breech, they wanted to do another ultrasound followup to make sure that he was still head down.

Fine by me. I was anxious to perhaps glimpse another shot of his face...spot his waving arms...see those kicking legs.

But at the same time, because the first hint that something was wrong with Addison's pregnancy came via ultrasound, the wand and jelly probing my swollen belly also makes me incredibly nervous.

The sharp intake of breath from the doctor, the extra careful zooming in, the lingering around certain body parts to see if the abnormality was truly there or if it was just a shadow across the screen- the startled comment from the professional that was clearly not expecting to see such a deformity on a healthy, average 25 year old's unborn child, the leaving of the room to "consult" before actually telling you what was going on....

I have been there- gotten the bad news- cried the tears.

So yes, ultrasounds make me nervous even though I was quite anxious to check in on the manchild that is starting to suck the very life out of me.

Yesterday as I lay on the table in the OB's office, my doctor stood there with the magic wand along with a medical student who was there to observe and learn.

I was forcing myself to stay relaxed and not panic when all of a sudden, the doctor says

"Oh my!" and zooms the camera in.


What? What's wrong? What is she looking at?


The doctor motioned for the medical student to take a look.

"Oh my goodness!" she exclaims.

WHAT? WHAT'S WRONG WITH MY BABY?

"You know the gender, right?" My doctor asked with a slight smirk on her face.

"Yes, why?" My heart started racing, my palms were sweating, stars were forming over my eyes.

Something was clearly wrong with my baby.

"WOW." the doctor states again. "I'm sorry, but WOW this little boy has a HUGE scrotum."

I'm sorry, what?


The medical student was murmuring the impressive size, the doctor was staring wide eyed, in appreciative awe. I lay on the table, confused.

Did she really just compliment my son's junk?

What's the proper way to respond when your OB gives compliments to your unborn child's genitalia?

Do you go with a simple classic:
"Um, thank you?"


Do you try to be witty?
"Why yes, I grew it myself"


Do you throw in some sass?
"Tell your unborn daughters"


Do you take a naughty approach?
"You're welcome, America"


It was super weird. (Although, it was reassuring to hear that there is NO question of the gender)

What did she expect me to do about that information? Toss the newborn diapers and skip straight to 2s? Brag about it to all of my friends? Put a HUGE SCROTUM sign up in his nursery?

She can't pause long enough to get a decent picture of his face, but this she feels important enough to pass along to me?

Whatever her intent, my doctor got quite the chuckle out of it...along with the medical student...and I consoled myself

that nothing seemed to be wrong.

just impressive, apparently.

(what's the oddest thing that you've ever heard at an ultrasound? someone please top this story...I'm still not sure how to process this.)







Wednesday, August 24, 2011

second perfect baby

As I am about twenty months pregnant, ready to pop at any second (but in all reality, I have a couple of potential weeks to go. YAY for week 38!), I have been spending a lot of time thinking about this human being currently residing inside my uterus.

I feel the kicks. I cherish the squirms. I felt the pain of him flipping from breech to head down.

There is a tiny person growing inside of me.

Because of my somewhat unique pregnancy history, I have to confess that more than once I have wondered

"Will this baby have Down syndrome too?"

Towards the beginning of the pregnancy, this thought terrified me. Not because I was afraid of Down syndrome, but because I wanted Addison to have a "normal" sibling. I wanted to know what being the parent to an average child would be like as well. Because of all the extra health needs that I've had to deal with Addison, I felt like I deserved a lower maintenance child this time around.

Normal health. Normal intelligence. Normal number of chromosomes.

As this pregnancy has progressed, and I've spent a significant time on my book and contemplating what truly defines the "perfect baby", my perspective has changed.

As I have felt him moving, living and growing inside of me as he prepares for life on the outside, I stopped wondering if his eyes would have the oh so familiar almond slant. The fear that Addison wouldn't have an advocate in this sibling has decreased.

Because I know that he is perfect. Just the way he was created and miraculously placed into my life.

We didn't have testing done on this baby. Everything looked totally healthy at 20 weeks, but that really doesn't mean anything when it comes to testing for a genetic disorder like Down syndrome. I wanted to not worry and fret this pregnancy. I wanted to enjoy the thought of my baby growing and flourishing inside of me without fears whispered into my ear by overly concerned doctors.

The miracle of producing another life- of growing a baby- I wanted to enjoy every moment, thinking of the new life that I was being blessed with...I barely remember Addison's pregnancy. I only remember tears, heartache, fear that my life was over. ruined.

And honestly? I have enjoyed this pregnancy. Yes, my hip issue has been very painful, and this has been a very hot summer and I complain about having to carry around Addison around in the heat with my swollen body.

But I wouldn't change a thing. Because while I carry around my one perfect child who delights me more and more every day watching her grow and develop from baby into an amazing little girl...I also get to grow a little brother for her- who might have some of the same struggles...or who might not.

But what does it matter? He's my second perfect baby.

There's something so mysterious about being pregnant. You can see blurry pictures on a screen where the doctor attempts to get a glimpse into what's going on inside the baby cocoon. But you don't know anything about the person inside. Cheerful baby or cranky? Is he a sleeper? Will he love Addison immediately or take a while to not loathe her constant murderous attempts? Healthy or is there something that the doctors have missed? Why doesn't that picture show how many chromosomes he has?

So many questions.

And yet that perfect gift that was given to me to take care of and grow these past months was designed JUST for me no matter what the answers to those questions are. And that's exciting.

While the unwrapping of said gift is a mite painful...I am looking forward to getting to meet this little guy and watch our family grow by one...such an amazing experience. (don't worry, I will try to keep the gory birth details to a minimum...)

Meeting that baby for the first time is like a surprise birthday party combined with Christmas (except replace the awesome food with a throbbing IV line and try not to think about the cute party outfit being replaced by that embarrassingly revealing hospital gown) But the overall emotion is the same. Anticipation. Excitement. Joy. Over-the-top-I-can't-believe-I'm-so-blessed happiness.

Seeing his face for the first time. Kissing his slightly reddened forehead for the first time. Will he have Aaron's awesome head of curls? Will he have my humongous feet (unlike little miss Addison who still wears an infant size 2) Will he be 10 pounds or 7? (please oh please just somewhere in between) Will he be a cuddler? Will he do the breast feeding thing? (unlike Miss G-Tube)

Soooo many questions that I am thrilled to soon be learning the answer to.

The only question that remains to be asked?

When's this party starting?

(I'm due Sept 8th...any guesses as to when this guy will actually be born...and how big he will be? If a bunch of you say over ten pounds we might not be friends anymore...just warning you)

And this has absolutely nothing to do with having a baby, but check out what I saw out my front door the other day:
If a rainbow signifies a promise, then I felt like the promise being given to me was that....

I would have a baby soon...(-:




Sunday, August 21, 2011

the tattoo

Yesterday I went out to lunch with friends. Food was delicious, conversation was wonderful...and the best part of it was? Aaron was home watching Addison. Because of his extremely busy schedule in the summer, usually if I leave her it has to be with her PCA because I just can't count on him having the time free because of his work demands.

So I was excited. What would he do with the valuable time that he had to give to Addison and our house?

Perhaps he would put trim back up in the nursery? (Last step before I can "move in")

Perhaps he would pick up the oh so many scattered objects throughout the house that Addison had spread and are just too difficult for me to keep up with as my belly continues to expand by the second?

Perhaps he would load the dishwasher or do some laundry?

Perhaps he would wash and set up Addison's new outside Fisher Price play station?

I was excited that my husband finally had a chance to be home...with Addison...and get SOMETHING done. I didn't care so much which item he chose, I was just excited to get one of those things crossed off the list...and to spend time with Addison simultaneously.

I was gone for about three hours....I knew Aaron could get at least one of those things accomplished (and I dropped many not subtle at all hints about each item on that list)

Walking in my front door carrying some baby boy presents from my very sweet friends, I had an anticipatory smile on my face as I was thrilled to see how Daddy time had gone.

Scene: If it could be on the floor it was....toys scattered, clothes and diapers piled, random food items splattering the floor...Daddy was collapsed on the couch looking exhausted and overwhelmed. Addison was happily cruising around the living room.

Hmmm, he looks pretty tired. He must have gotten more than one item on the list done.

"Did you work on the trim?"

"No."

"Did you set up Addison's new play station?"

"No."

Clearly he didn't pick up at all...

"So what did you get done?"

"Well, the tattoo took most of the time."

"Excuse me?"


"Yeah, the tattoo took forever to put on her. Do you realize that she doesn't sit still for very long?"

Really? I had no idea...


I looked down at my sweet daughter's back, and was horrified to see this:
Apparently a tattoo sticker came in one of his landscaping magazines representing a type of mower...

are we playing a humanized version of tic tac toe?

It struck Aaron as the most brilliant use of his Daddy/house time...

and left me reeling with disappointed expectations, an even messier house and an annoying tattoo that I have yet to get off (OK, I just saw online to use cooking oil).

Addison was pretty torn up about it too...
(OK, fine, that last pic might have more to do with Klondike hour being over)

but that is exactly why unsupervised Daddy time is rare at our house...

(and why my push present demands requests have now escalated...)

You know, when the prince comes riding into your life on his white horse...it seems like he should come with some sort of warning label

WARNING: NEEDS SIGNIFICANT TRAINING. HANDLE WITH CARE. MAY CAUSE DEATH BY FRUSTRATION. KEEP OUT OF THE REACH OF CHILDREN UNTIL TRAINING IS COMPLETE.

but to his credit, he has put up rather graciously with ME these past nine months...so I've decided to cut him some slack...but seriously...a tattoo????

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Mean Mommy at the Pool

Today I woke up. Fed Addison breakfast. Went to a 3 minute chiropractor appointment. Played/Read/Therapied with Addison. Fed her lunch. Put her down for her nap at 11:00.

And was exhausted. Done. My energy for the day had been completely depleted.

I'm inclined to blame this large man child that I am now dragging around everywhere I go.

After a two minute snooze on the couch, my mother-in-law came over and painted the walls of the nursery while I worked on the woodwork. Yes, I was super tired, but I knew this must get done before this man child makes his appearance into this world. So, we faithfully painted away...getting that much more done on the room work that just never seems to end...

After she left, I collapsed on my bed with a banana and a strawberry/banana greek yogurt, hoping to find some strength there. Nada. (but for the record...that is a delicious combination)

I looked around at the disaster that my house had morphed into ever since Addison has decided to tear everything apart room by room, taking advantage of the fact that I just can't get down to pick everything as fast as she can scatter it...

I thought about the piles of laundry that I should be taking care of...

I wondered what I would fix for dinner and thought I should go investigate the pantry...

Dishwasher that needed to be unloaded, floors that longed to be swept, counters that cried for wiping down, clutter that necessitated disbanding...

the thermostat read ONE BILLION DEGREES.

the more I pondered it, the more exhausted and overwhelmed I felt.

So I did what any responsible, proactive mom/housewife would do.

I ditched it all and took Addison to the pool.

Now, the pool water was refreshing, and watching Addison laugh and splash was indeed endearing, but I did have a hidden motive for taking her to the pool.

We have been working so hard on getting her to walk. She will cruise around VERY comfortably, holding onto furniture lightly with one hand...taking step after step quickly with ease and skill. BUT as soon as you try to get her to take steps FORWARD toward you or perhaps push her dolly stroller, she will take ONE step and then sit her stubborn hinny down, REFUSING to take any more steps even though she has proven that she has the strength and ability due to her constant cruising.

so frustrating. Up until today she has been winning this little battle, because despite my best efforts I COULD NOT get her to stay standing and step forward.

Enter: Mean Mommy at the pool

Taking my beautiful daughter into the pool, I found a depth that she could comfortably stand in, but was too deep for her to sit in.

I sweetly asked her to stand and offered her my hands to hold onto. She only allowed me to hold one of her hands. Fine.

"Walk towards Mommy" I coaxed. She gave one halfhearted step towards me, assumed her stubborn "don't want to" look and started to sit down.

As soon as her little legs were collapsed, her mouth and nose started to sink into the water.

I have never seen her shoot back up to a standing position so quickly.

At first she continued to just take one step and then attempt to sit down, jumping immediately back up because of the water height. Then it was two steps...then three...After a few minute she learned that she had just better stay upright if she didn't want the water on her face and she took step after step after step forward...with ease and skill just as I knew she COULD.

I felt mean. and knew that I had tricked her. and felt sorry for all of the hard work that she was doing...exhausting herself, knowing that this didn't solve our problem.

But it was a "step" in the right direction, and certainly helped build her confidence level.

We'll be definitely going back to the pool as often as we can in the next few weeks to practicing walking some more...

...most likely just when everything else needs to be done as well...but this is pretty important too...and Addison needs the "only sibling attention" while I can still give it to her...and it totally tricks her into walking practice...

don't judge. I'm dealing with a VERY stubborn child...soon to be joined by a no doubt stubborn sibling...and I can only carry one of them, so this walking thing is just going to have to start happening soon...


Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Maternity Photo Shoot

I recently made a new friend who is an absolute sweetheart and newly immersed into the photography world. This new friend graciously offered to do my maternity/newborn shots as a chance to build her business portfolio. I am amazed at the gorgeous pictures she took considering the somewhat questionable subjects that she had to deal with (excluding Chubbs, of course)

Check out the maternity shots that she took of us...please keep in mind that I am all of 37 weeks pregnant and am a bit lot self conscious of my current size...but there is nothing I wouldn't do for a friend. (-:

After you've finished perusing these shots and gasping over how bloated Deanna looks (yes that is for my two sisters...and mother)....check out some of her other work.

Aw yes, the belly. I love this picture because it shadows half of my arm and cuts out my bloated face. Pure photography genius.
This pic shows more of my flaws, but it captures Addison's curiosity with my belly. Sometimes I can almost hear her asking, "When are you going to come out and play?" as she lovingly pats my belly.
This picture showcases Addison's favorite little place to rest- the belly. It is her own person pillow, kicking/punching bag, soft stool on which to rest...she will most likely miss the belly more than I will.

Classic family shot. Aaron and I being ourselves to a fault and Addison secretly wondering why she got stuck with such crazy parents...
Yep, the crazy parent diagnosis has been confirmed...
This is how I normally hang out...in my front yard...looking reflective while all dressed up...I say this is awesome photography that somehow hides my awkwardness with posing...
OK, I am so in love with this picture. Seriously, I can't stop staring at it in awe. This is a very classic father/daughter shot as Addison is definitely a Daddy's girl.
And this picture? Oh. my. word. I love it because I'm just a blurry shape in the background while Addison takes center stage with her contagious laugh...cracker in hand...seconds after she flashed a belly peek-a-boo show to the photographer. Now that is truly great photography.
If you need pictures for ANYTHING please give my friend a call (assuming you live in the 802). I was seriously so impressed by her and her work...I can't WAIT to do newborn shots!

Side Note 1: If you can see my painted toe nails in any of these pictures...I want the world to know that I painted them myself an hour before the shoot. I feel that I deserve a small bit of credit for being able to pick myself up off the floor without assistance...it was a lot harder to accomplish than it might sound since it was as though I was assuming the "pregnancy pretzel" position...and no, that should most definitely NOT be a thing.

Side Note 2: The nursery is now completely dry walled, mudded, sanded and half painted. Hopefully I will be able to post some progress pictures soon.

Side Note 3: Yes, I know I'm too bothered by pregnancy weight gain. I do appreciate the life that I am growing more than I am bothered...just in case you were wondering. Every pound is worth it to create little brother. Vanity aside...I feel so blessed and humbled to be given another chance at motherhood, and am loving every minute of this pregnancy. 

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

High Risk Pregnancy vs Normal Pregnancy

I have been pregnant twice. Once with Miss Addison. Once with this little guy who I have yet to meet.

I have noticed a dramatic difference in the two pregnancies. One was considered a high risk pregnancy because of an abnormal ultrasound and an amnio that tested positive for Trisomy 21. The other pregnancy has shown no concerns (thus far), providing a normal pregnancy that any 27 year old might face.

Looking back, I can't help but compare the treatment from the doctors...and laugh just a little bit. Let's just say that I was spoiled with pregnancy number one...

High Risk Pregnancy: Doctors constantly asked me if I wanted to speak to "someone who understands" and gave me concerned stares, tilted head and widened eyes in sympathy. The entire office knew me and my case, and I was a bit of a celebrity every time I came in.
Normal Pregnancy: I have far fewer appointments, and am totally forgotten by the time the next one rolls around.

High Risk Pregnancy: I got many, many ultrasounds. Some just normal, some in 3D. Everyone seemed anxious to show me mug shots of my little girl.
Normal Pregnancy: My last full ultrasound was at 20 weeks. The 36 week ultrasound lasted 30 seconds as the doctor merely checked for the baby's position. (he's currently breech, btw...yikes)

High Risk Pregnancy: I called in panicked with cramps and concerned doctors rushed me to the hospital for observation and all the free juice my scratchy little throat could possibly desire.
Normal Pregnancy: I call in panicked with severe hip pain that takes away my ability to walk and they tell me that walking is overrated anyway.

High Risk Pregnancy: I had non stress tests twice a week just because starting around 33 weeks. This included being served ice cream while I sat in a comfy chair with my feet up, listening to my baby's heart steadily beat for an hour.
Normal Pregnancy: I complain that I hadn't felt my baby move much at all that week, and after a 20 minute cursory listen, the doctor slaps a brightly colored band-aid on my stomach and says I'm fine.

High Risk Pregnancy: My husband had the nursery ready by the time I was 30ish weeks pregnant because we were told the baby would come early
Normal Pregnancy: I'm sitting at 37 weeks pregnant and the room isn't even ready to paint yet because the new drywall on the ceiling still needs to be sanded.
(I realize that isn't about my doctor, but I couldn't help but throw that in)

High Risk Pregnancy: I called into the doctor hotline at 1AM complaining that I couldn't sleep, and the doctor offered to sing me a lullaby in the key of my choice.
Normal Pregnancy: I call into the doctor hotline at 10 PM and complain of the severe contractions keeping me awake and the doctor says that she really doesn't want to be bothered unless I am dying or am about ready to push.

High Risk Pregnancy: I was put on bed rest at 36 weeks because of high blood pressure by a doctor concerned that I was overdoing it with my part time work schedule.
Normal Pregnancy: I told the doctor how the day before I primed 4 walls of the nursery, cleaned out my deep freezer, froze 6 meals, chased around a 1 year old, jogged 3 miles, and did 10 loads of laundry. The doctor suggested maybe trying some prenatal exercise classes to keep me more active.

High Risk Pregnancy: I got treated like royalty on the labor and delivery floor because I had already had FIVE stays there previous to being induced at 39 weeks and everybody knew me and was anxious to meet sweet Addison.
Normal Pregnancy: Well, I just don't know yet...but I'm sure I'll have to fight just to get a room and a bed since laboring in the stairwell would seem more fitting for my currently healthy condition.

High Risk Pregnancy: I just wanted to have it over...to meet Addison...to fall in love with the little girl that I only knew by a label due to an extra chromosome...I willed her to come early because I couldn't stand the suspense any longer.
Normal Pregnancy: I keep thinking of new projects I want to finish around the house first...and put off the labor thing just a little bit longer as I feel inspired to redo my house...baby will come when he's good and ready...right?

Yep, the two sure are different. If you were ever dreading the possibility of having a high risk pregnancy...now you know some of the perks. Me? I was feeling a bit ignored this pregnancy...

...until I realized...

...that's normal...

Hmmm.....not sure I care for this normal thing...I have really been enjoying my bit of extra special via Addison...whatever will I do with normal???






Monday, August 15, 2011

Update on QUINCY, the bat

Sorry to leave you "hanging" about our bat evacuation plan.

No doubt you figured that
A. Quincy miraculously reproduced himself and our house was flooded with bats, one of them commandeering the computer, cutting off my blogging access.
or
B. After countless bat bites, we turned into a family of vampires, and we were out exercising our new powers.
or
C. The rabies got me...fast case....

Truth is, I had a bit of a weekend meltdown. Too much heat, a misplaced critical comment from the hubby, a stubborn baby, a nursery that is nowhere near done and nothing I can do about it, a stomach ballooning out by the minute, stress from the bat, and just overall exhaustion= Deanna's weekend meltdown.

But lucky for you, I have picked myself off the floor (figuratively, of course...no way I could get up off the actual floor) and am updating you on our bat...Mr. Quincy himself.

So, Thursday night after my slightly over dramatic post, we didn't see Quincy AT ALL. We slowly wandered out into our living space area, expecting to be attacked at any minute by the flying black bomber, but...NOTHING. Lured into a false sense of security, we assumed that he had somehow snuck out of our house.

We lounged back in our living room comfort spots, watching TV, working on computers on the opposite sides of the room, jumping at even the slightest sound or overgrown fly barreling us down.

He was gone. Phew. But since we hadn't SEEN him leave, we kept our "bat free zone" all sealed up, still nervous from the experience.

The next morning, Addison had a therapy appointment. I didn't know if I should say something to the therapist...

"by the way...a bat MIGHT try to attack you during today's appointment"

I couldn't think of a good way to subtly drop the information into the conversation and for all we knew, Quincy had left, so I said nothing.

Addison cruised all over the living room, followed by her dutiful therapist while I sat on the couch literally holding my breath and praying praying praying that Quincy wouldn't come out to join the therapy. (Perhaps he needed a few flying tips...you never know)

No Quincy. Thank goodness.

All that to say, later in the day the pest elimination guy FINALLY came by. I figured that even if Quincy was gone, we should check to see how he got in so that we could avoid it in the future.

Brandon, the pest guy, gave me a long speech about how bats are almost IMPOSSIBLE to find in an open house like ours....he must have said ten times "like finding a needle in a haystack"

That made me nervous because if he didn't find anything...didn't necessarily mean that Quincy was for sure gone.

Long story short....FIVE MINUTES into the "needle" search, I saw Brandon widen his eyes while shining his flashlight behind our flatscreen TV mounted on the wall over the fireplace and say in a conspiratorial whisper

"He's here."

I'm sure he wasn't expecting the melodramatic gasp from me or my immediate grab for a pillow to cover my face and the leaning into the hallway wall, hoping to disappear.

While we were watching TV last night....he was there. During Addison's therapy appointment...he was there. All the while I was finally walking around my house, starting to feel safe again...he was there.

creepy. creepy. creepy.

Brandon had on his thick gloves, and he climbed on a large ladder to grab the bat, having the foresight to turn off the overhead fan and take the screen off the DR window and open the front door first...(that's why he gets the big bucks).

He grabbed the bat and I could hear squeaking. Taking the bat to his truck in a bag, he promised to let Quincy go back at his office so that Quincy wouldn't just try to come back in. (Aaron think that was just a line and that Brandon didn't REALLY let Quincy go...but why would he lie to me?)

As Brandon searched the house, he found a couple of small places where a bat MIGHT come in that he suggested we seal up come October. Fine. Done. (he also said that it was almost impossible that the bat had gone back and bit Addison sleeping in her crib before attacking us in the living room...I had been worried.)

I felt as though Brandon had just given me my life back. The fear was gone. He found the bat.

What a relief. As I wrote him the check for $50, I considered it to be the best money I ever spent.

My house was now bat free.

Thus concludes the story of Quincy, my short bout with rabies, and the almost-vampire twist on my life.

Some pics from the weekend that helped hold my sanity together:
Addison showing off her balance during bat observed therapy

Addison putting back a maple cremee at the Addison County Fair
 I had a craving for a fresh cherry pie...so I spent way too long making one, but it was beautiful...and delicious, so it was worth the effort. (-: (Anyone want to come over for pie and coffee to my bat-free house??)
Addison, sensing my meltdown distress, actually FELL ASLEEP cuddled up with me...what a sweetheart...

Happy Monday. Watch out for black flying objects...and always keep a pillow nearby...

Thursday, August 11, 2011

THE BAT

I have a small problem. Really more of a problem pet situation. A pet I did not ask for and DO NOT want.  Remember my whiny post about a fly problem a while back? Multiply that by 100 and by 100 again...and you might be able to fathom the depths of my current problem.

Allow me to explain.

Yesterday was such a beautifully profitable day. I put primer on the walls in little brother's room (I had been waiting for the dry wall to be finished, so I was excited to be able to take this next step). I froze up several meals and bags of homemade chicken broth, made yummy chicken enchiladas for dinner, worked on a newsletter for my husband's customers, successfully semi-picked up the house (and got to visit with several friends throughout the day...lovely)

After getting Addison in bed, I was tired, but I cleaned up my mess from the freezer meals and crashed on the couch with my computer and TV remote. I couldn't feel my legs and was exhausted.

While watching Big Brother out of the corner of my eye (yes, guilty pleasure) and rewriting the newsletter some more, I was startled by what appeared to be part of the fan breaking off and flying towards my head.

What the-

Surely I was imagining this.

I called for Aaron who was working diligently on the other side of the room on his computer (yes, we are one of those couples) to see if I was just hallucinating.

There- it happened again. A black blur flying at a rapid speed past my head, circling my head, getting closer and closer.

I couldn't see what it was because it was moving SO FAST, so I put a couch pillow on my head and started screaming.

Don't judge. When you're attacked so viciously on your couch of comfort after a day of hard work, a little screaming is OK.

When Aaron started freaking out (in his own manly, quiet way, of course), I knew that something weird was up.

I ran into the hall way and started at the black blur doing figure eights between the living room and dining room. After a couple of rounds, I started swatting at it with my pillow.

Aaron told me not to hurt it- it was just a swallow he thought and we needed to just get it to fly out the door.

Next thing we knew. Silence. The flying stopped, but hadn't gone out the door. Where did the swallow go?

It was then looking in the DR, that I saw this:
Yes, that is a bat.

I then super started freaking out. Hysterics- pre-labor screaming...whatever you want to call it. I scream at large spiders and whine about flies. This was a whole new level of grossness to my pest list.

Aaron called his dad to help him capture the bat and set him free outside. I hid out in our large bathroom connected  to our bedroom and shut the doors firmly so that the bat couldn't come in our bedroom sanctuary. (I also moved Addison to the pack 'n play in our room)

I called Animal Control. They informed me that they only take care of dogs. Ummmm, hello? Then why are you called Animal Control?

I then called several Pest Elimination places- leaving messages with some and being told by all that they perhaps could get a technician out tomorrow. Tomorrow? How was I supposed to sleep in a bat infested house?

I heard yelling and bodies dropping to the floor as the "capture" was apparently unsuccessful. Ugh. I called more pest places. No one could help us.

 I contemplated calling 911.

Next thing I knew, all was silent in the living room, so I went out asking if the bat had been caught.

I was told rather sheepishly by my husband that not only had it not been caught, but it was now hiding in the living room somewhere, and HE HAD NO IDEA WHERE. Apparently these little boogers can make themselves super tiny and hide out in the oddest of places....never to be found until they wake up and start their demon flight once again.

I started freaking out. I had read online the risk of rabies if you are bitten by a bat, and I immediately went back into our haven of a bedroom, placing towels over the crack under the door, and googled "rabies symptoms"

Fever. Yes, I was starting to feel a bit hot.
Scratchy throat. As I read the words, my throat started to tighten and close.
Headache. Immediately my head started to pound.
Tiredness. Of course.

I had rabies. A bat hidden in my beautiful living room. and rabies.

I read that rabies shots normally cost $3500 and all of my symptoms immediately intensified.

I was going to die. and of course the bat probably somehow bit Addison. She was probably going to die too. And could an unborn child survive rabies? My googling was on fire as I sought answers. Google gives you the answer to every life problem imaginable. Crying hysterically, I wanted to go to bed, but felt creepy crawly things all over my tender skin. Was that a symptom of rabies as well????

I finally fell into a troubled sleep and dreamed that Aaron came to bed late telling me that the bat had bit him in the face.

Waking up this morning, no movement from our pet bat. All of the lights were on in the living room as well as the TV (regrettably, BB was over and I never got to see the ending)

I fed Addison VERY quickly and we left for our first appointment of the day, jumping at shadows and every fly. (thankfully, we had 3 doctor appointments today)

Between every appointment, I was on the phone to different pest control places- the only times they could come look at the house were the times that we would be gone for the appointments that had been scheduled for 6 months. UGH.

One lady told me that a bat once hid in a vase at her house. A vase! Oh my goodness, that bat could really be anywhere!

Really hoping that the bat wakes up tonight, and flies out the open front door.

Please, please, please. please.

I swear any more of this tension and jumping at every shadow, I will go into labor. And I can't go into labor yet.  Baby brother's room only has primer on the walls.

Stupid bat.

Stupid rabies.

Stupid comfy couch that I'm too scared to lounge in now.

I need bat removal advice. It's getting dark fast.

We need to safely remove Quincy (what, I'm not allowed to name the pet bat?)...and no, that's not the baby's name...

I CANNOT coexist with a bat....and pretty sure the bat can't afford the mortgage, so we need to come to an understanding...and soon.





Monday, August 8, 2011

birthday pouting/musings

Today I turned another year older.

At first, I approached this annual milestone with dread and loathing. Not only am I making the slow upward climb towards 30 entirely too fast, but I am currently fat, lack my usual  motivational drive, and definitely feel off my game physically. Effectively convincing myself that by the time that I actually am 30 I probably will be functioning more like the 80 year old that I presently feel like, I was depressed.

My attitude towards my birthday could be compared a lot to Addison's after she is REALLY tired of being told that she MUST keep those bulky plastic things ON her face:
And honestly? I was struggling because the ONE gift that I had asked for MONTHS ago, I knew that we just couldn't get right now.

With our anniversary being days before my birthday, AND Aaron owing me another push present (yes, that is a real thing), I very thoughtfully said that he could combine all three into one gift.

A bigger, stylish (I would say trendy, but I entirely overused that word in the last posts) vehicle in which to haul around my two children. My tiny, very old Honda Civic which was my very first car has almost 180,000 miles on it and is dinged in more than one place (I might have in the past had a tiny problem with backing up). I have to bend over double to get Addison in her carseat as I am too tall for the short car, and there just isn't enough room for the additional child/stuff/stroller etc.

My dream is for a small SUV that gets decent gas mileage and looks the part of a suitable momobile (but not a minivan)

Anyhoo, I suggested this months ago, and Aaron took it under consideration. Long story short, with me making the transition to staying at home, and him being self employed, we just decided that a purchase of that nature isn't the smartest plan for us financially right now. Hopefully within the next six months, we can start to shop around. But just not right now.

And I was bummed. 

I felt poor and deprived of something that I rightfully deserved. Between that and reaching the ripe old age of 27...and being dreadfully fat (I realize it's for a good cause, but sometimes it can still be depressing) I approached my birthday this year as mad as a hugely pregnant woman pitching a hissy fit slighted of everything good that life has to offer can be.

Yes, the word "spoiled" and "brat" could also be applied.
I didn't have any dramatic plans for today. My plan was to do nothing but hang out with Addison and force myself to rest, relax and just enjoy the day- trying not to think of the present that I wasn't getting. 

Addison and I began the day with pancakes liberally covered in Vermont maple syrup, topped with luscious whipped cream and sliced fresh strawberries. Addison decided that she liked this very much. Her chubby hands two fisted the pancakes into her mouth as quickly as possible (flinging more strawberries on the ground than I would have liked, but when it comes to Addison feeding herself, I take what I can get) 

(couldn't help but think of the doctor who put in her g-tube telling us that hopefully in a couple of years she would eventually be able to eat just a little bit of real food....guess she showed him)

While she napped, I watched a movie during the middle of the day and refused to feel guilty. (OK, yes, I still felt guilty...but enjoyed the movie and putting my feet up nonetheless)

After naptime, I took her to a nearby kids wading pool. Little miss chubbs was in water park heaven. She smiled, splashed, laughed at the other children, crawled into the deeper end and then got confused when the water attempted to pull her down. She cackled at the mushroom waterfall and cruised along the edge of the pool socializing with a one year old who was cruising right alongside her.

I beamed to see her so blissfully happy. She was glowing with the look of a child who had everything her heart desired. As she looked at me and held her arms up from the pool, at long last ready to go home, she flashed a special smile reserved just for me that suggested that no other baby had it better.

Aaron got off work early (I know, WHAT???) and took us to Moe's for dinner. I had been craving a basket full of nachoes, covered liberally in queso sauce piled high with many veggies and ground beef. Addison got her very own cheese quesadilla, drink and cookie.

She sat up like the big girl that she is, ate most of the quesadilla, threw small bits on the floor and craned her neck to see where the pieces landed. Using her teeth to actually CHEW and fed herself, enjoying every bite with relish, she looked so happy and content, looking back and forth lovingly between her two parents. When the cookie obediently followed the meal, she crammed it into her mouth as any 18 month old would.

She was vibrant. She was alive. She was with us.

How many times had we gone to this same Moes while she was in NICU without her. Longing for the day that we could just take our baby home..hoping and praying that she would live?

After she was finally finished eating and was no longer reaching for her lemonade, Aaron cleaned her up and cuddled with her for a few minutes while I sat and watched. Father and daughter. Their heads close together whispering and no doubt plotting mischief.

My eyes filled with tears and my heart swelled with pride. and joy. and thankfulness.

This year has been overflowing with so many blessings that I don't deserve, the two biggest ones sitting across from me at Moes- one of them flinging her glasses into the air and the other one patiently catching and replacing them.

Who cares about a stupid car that I can't get RIGHT now?  While I wasted all of that time pouting about my car, feeling poor and deprived, I forgot about the biggest gift that I have been able to enjoy all year.

Addison is healthy. happy. just like any NORMAL baby her age rockin' the diaper off life (yes, she literally just did that).

and she is mine. Far more than I deserve. How did I get so lucky to get such an amazing daughter?

Humbled, I stopped whining about my car and stared with longing pride at my little girl. Earlier in the day, during some blog wanderings, I came across this music video. (warning, don't watch unless you're prepared to cry)

It really put things back in perspective for me. It's so easy to forget the truly great things that I've already been given because I waste  time bemoaning the fact that I don't have the lastest possession on my "to acquire" list. 

This day was full of innocently small moments that blossomed into gigantic baseball bats, powerfully flinging themselves at my head, bringing about the realization of how blind I was being about my life.
Someday I'll get my car, but for right now? I get to be mom to the amazing Chubbs McPhee, AND deliver a brand new life within the next few weeks. Seriously, what more could I ask for?

So excited to be wrapping up this year, my 26th year of life, and looking forward to what 27 holds.

a new baby...more Chubbs goodness... and even if that is it?

I am truly rich far beyond what I deserve.

Friday, August 5, 2011

anniversary/belly pic

I've heard it said that one of the hardest things on a marriage is to start your own business.

Also commonly stated is that one of the hardest things on a marriage is to have a child with special needs (why does no one ever talk about this?)

Aaron and I are blessed to claim both of these "marriage obstacles".

Why do I bring this up? Today we are celebrating 5 years of wedded bliss, and honestly? Every second hasn't been perfectly blissful. Marriage is a lot of work, especially aggravated by such "hard times"

I'm not a sappy person, but I just want to say that even though at times things have been tough, I love this man so much more than I did 5 years ago, and am overwhelmingly thankful that through every struggle we have come through stronger, ready to face whatever might be next. Through every step, the Lord has provided for us- through all of Addison's surgeries and paying to keep oxygen in our house 24 hours a day for 9 months to allowing Aaron's business to expand to the point where I can stay home after the birth of our second child.

Thankful.

We certainly have more struggles ahead (2 kids under 2, anyone?), but I can't think of anyone that I would rather face them with.

Happy anniversary to my wonderful husband!

On a side note...the only thing really bumming me out for this year's anniversary?

How much skinnier I was August 5, 2006 than I am today...
36 week belly shot...

An update on the glasses:
Thank you so much for all of your wonderful suggestions and ideas. I am especially taken with these glasses:
since they are made out of flexible plastic and hopefully will be much more durable for a learning to walk toddler. I called back the eye place this morning, and the lady who helped me was right next to us yesterday, listening in on our entire conversation. She was SO NICE and offered to do all sorts of extra paperwork to get our insurance to pay for these glasses and lens even though they weren't on the insurance's list.

The biggest question on my mind now is...what color should we go with?

please excuse the simplified post..I spent all day painting watching my mother-in-law paint trim and such for the nursery and I am exhausted.....

Thursday, August 4, 2011

NO TRENDY baby eyewear...

This morning after Addison's OT appointment, we set off to drop off her pink pair of glasses to get lens put in (we have to wait two weeks for those to be finished) and to find a second pair for little Miss Chubbs since the eye doctor highly recommended to have several pairs due to the nature of toddlerhood.

We all know that I am struggling with an attitude adjustment towards these glasses...so I very carefully maintained a positive outlook, determined to enjoy shopping for Addison's newest accessory...

Well, long story short, it turns out that my hope for trendy eye wear is proving to be rather difficult to achieve.

My eyes were opened (haha) when the saleslady brought out ONE PAIR that she had to offer that would fit Addison. Now, I didn't take a picture of this pair because I was too horrified to move at the very thought of putting those gargantuan plastic replications of evil on my daughter's face.

But just so that you can get an idea, I very thoughtfully drew a little picture of what those glasses looked like: (you're welcome)
I did not care for them AT ALL. (All Addison needs now is a huge curly wig to simulate a perm and that's my 4th grade mug shot. Horrible memories that I REFUSE to subject my daughter to) 

I knew that my extreme dislike of the ONE PRODUCT that she offered me was showing on my face. Trying to remain polite (and calm), I asked the saleslady if she had the ability to order any other frames since we were looking for something a bit trendier.

She gave me the evil eye and informed me that since "normal kids" don't get glasses so young, there were absolutely NO TRENDY options available until she was more "toddler-like". 

I stared in awkward silence at the pair she had offered, and then made the mistake of calling them "super ugly" and saying surely there was something else (anything else). Evil eye darkening in intensity, she managed to find two other pairs in a catalog that were almost identical and cost $200 more. Um......

I refused to be impressed and was insulted that she thought that this pair of glasses was cute enough to offer my beautiful daughter (as she kept referencing that only "normal" kids who didn't need glasses so young got trendy options)

Needless to say, she ushered me out of the store VERY quickly telling me that I was being "unreasonable" and that I should go back to the pediatric specialist and beg another pair off of them because I would never find what I'm looking for. (pretty sure she kicked the door behind me and shouted "good riddance" to our retreating backs.....OK, not really, but that's what she looked like she wanted to do)

So here I am, frustrated.  I have gone to great lengths to dress my little princess in the cutest wardrobe possible (but of course...now within reason)

And now this saleslady has the NERVE to tell me that now Addison's little face has to be covered by UGLY plastic monstrosities until she reaches the age that "normal" children get glasses?

WHY isn't trendy baby eye wear a thing? Someone needs to come up with better options than the ones I'm finding online- surely there's a market for them. I have yet to find a pair that makes me truly happy.

Since the saleslady labeled me as unreasonable, I have taken the liberty of drawing up a few sketches of what I consider to be trendier eye wear. 

Who's being unreasonable NOW?

Evening wear glasses
Special Occasion Glasses
What could be trendier than a Vermont girl who recycles???? 
Playdate glasses
Going Out Glasses

Perfectly reasonable requests. And yet I found NONE of these designs or ANYTHING REMOTELY FUN surrounding the pair that I was offered (in case you forgot):
Yeah, that's just not going to work.

Ugh.

In all seriousness though, I am looking for a pair that looks more like this:
all plastic, black or brown...rectangle so that Addison can look as smart and intelligent as we all know that she is....

I cannot find this anywhere. Why is this so hard?

Help?

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

I Can See Clearly Now...

Laundry needs to be folded; the kitchen needs to be put back together, but instead I find myself here at my computer typing about our morning because I could use the encouragement that my humble little blog always seems to bring while allowing my tired body to rest for just a second before beginning my chores.

This morning, Addison had an eye appointment immediately followed by her 18 month checkup with a bunch of shots. Both appointments overlapped into her naptime, but both were difficult appointments to schedule as the Pediatrician is going on vacation at the end of August and this was the last chance for these appointments before baby brother is born.

We left early so that we could run across town and hit up an amazing diaper sale at Kmart that I had seen advertised. Armed with my coupons, Addison and everything for both appointments, we set off.


I should have known that it was going to be rough when we were on our way and I realized I forgot to put in my earrings- it just signaled a bad omen for some reason. Then, when we finally reached the store oh so far away, I saw that the the diapers on sale for the boxes of 96 diapers, NOT the 252 ones like I thought had been advertised. Waste of time- not worth the drive over here.

I was also annoyed because all people did in the store was stare awkwardly at me. Sure, stare at the big fat pregnant lady...you could at least comment about how cute Addison is or something- what's with the staring? Until we got to the car and I realized that while holding Addison she had taken the liberty of entirely unbuttoning my dress which extended well below appropriate by even the most liberal standards- allowing quite the boobalicious show for all those gawkers in Kmart.

Excellent.

Finally arriving at the eye appointment, I was expecting to have to fight with the eye doctor to convince us to do some patching for Addison's crossed eyes, and was already cranky due to the loss of the sale that I had been anticipating (and the unexpected strip down)

So, Addison and I waited patiently FOREVER in the waiting room to be seen and then again as her eyes properly dilated. She got quite antsy and just wanted to go dig through this random lady's purse. It was a half hour + of struggle.

What the doctor told us I was not at all expecting. Turns out little miss Chubbs is QUITE nearsighted. -5 in one eye and -3 in the other. The pediatric specialist said that this is unusual for even a child with Down syndrome to have such bad vision this young.

She immediately whipped out a pair of tiny pink glasses which she gave to me and a bunch of pamphlets on where to get the best fitting glasses for Addison's unique face structure (as we will need to have different pairs to keep up with her nimble fingers)

As she discussed how bad Addison's eyes were, I started to cry.

Over the past months I have gotten so frustrated that Addison refuses to do ANY signs. Even such simple things as waving- she won't imitate it. I thought that I was this horrible mother that was doing everything wrong. I was somehow letting Addison down- not teaching her right because I know that other kids her age with DS are signing a lot of words already.

I have been very discouraged at her lack of progress. And then a couple of weeks ago, when her OT told us that her fine motor skills are that of a 9 month old, I thought- perfect- diagnosis confirmed...I AM a horrible mother. I'm doing something wrong- failing to help my daughter in the right way, causing her to struggle more than she should.

Turns out, she couldn't see my signs. She couldn't see me wave. Life to her is appropriating around with blurry shapes randomly moving around her.

She needs glasses.

The depressing thing is- the eye doctor said that nearsightedness with glasses will make the crossing WORSE not better. So, she scheduled us in 2.5 months to come back and see if her vision is now good with the glasses and discuss the surgery that they will need to do to fix her crossing.

Because both of her eyes randomly cross-instead of only one turning in- her likelihood of only needing one surgery to fix this problem is much higher (90% success rate)

So with tears running down my face as I thought about this new twist on Addison's life and contemplating how I could have discovered this sooner (our last eye appointment was in January where I was told her vision was fine...should I have questioned that?), we loaded back up into the car to run to the Pediatrician appointment. Addison immediately fell asleep in the car- and was quite upset to be woken up...15 minutes later...to receive three thigh shots.

The screaming was legendary.

Poor girl.

And for the record, she is 19 lbs not 20 like I have been proclaiming...so I'm sure you'll want to take back whatever sympathy you sent my way when I complained about hauling around a 20 lb baby in the heat while being pregnant. That one pound makes all the difference. (-:

So, I am happy and yet extremely upset about these appointments. Happy that she will hopefully now be able to see- happy that she will soon catch up faster with signs and such- happy that I can help my little girl fix her blurry world
Sad- that she has to have another surgery- sad that we will have to fight 24 hours a day to keep those glasses on- sad that she has been suffering for so long and I had no idea- sad that her beautiful face and GORGEOUS blue eyes will be covered by glasses

I need to find her some awesome trendy glasses. The pink ones are OK, but the eye doctor said to have several pairs...so that leaves the door open to reveal some new Chubbs style, right? Plus, the pink ones won't fit all of her red outfits.  I'm thinking something square...maybe some sequins....dark brown or black would make her look scholarly, don't you think?

Where can I find the coolest baby glasses? I think finding her some amazing stylish glasses could help cheer this mama up...I mean after all, hasn't Addison been through enough? Why can't she just have a "normal" toddlerhood? OK fine, I might be more discouraged than happy right now...but I am working on it...



Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Chubbs Update

Well, Addison's physical therapist told me today that she couldn't believe I was only a month out because I am so tiny...guess we know who our favorite therapist is now. (for now, I'll just choose for Addison)

I'll warn you that this post is slightly random...just overflowing with love for my beautiful little girl and thought I'd share....

Do you ever have those moments where you just want to freeze time, holding the memory of that smile or gesture forever? The last few days have been packed full of such memories with Addison, for the first time causing me to realize that perhaps it will be hard to share my attention between her and another child (I know, perhaps I am just a bit slow to come to obvious conclusions)

-taking a short break in Dunkin' Donuts, splitting a blueberry muffin...watching my big girl sit up so straight, hold chunks of muffin in both hands and stuff it into her mouth between giggles and outright laughs aimed in my direction (inadvertently causing job security for whoever's in charge of sweeping the floor)

-recognizing that little miss Chubbs WILL NOT clap or wave on command...but she has started giving kisses on command (watch out little boys!) and once given her requested kiss, she laughs as if it is the most deliciously hilarious thing ever, filling the space around her with lighthearted love and simple happiness.


-Hearing her talk incessantly to herself...and watching her sing and dance every time music is turned on around her. (most adorable thing ever...I am working on capturing this on video)

Lately she seems to understand so much more what I am telling her. She'll finish the carrots so that she can get a cookie, and this morning (for the first time in MONTHS) she came to our bed around 5:30, and after I told her that she could either fall back asleep with us or go back to her crib, she stopped wiggling and thrashing and actually cuddled with us. It is so encouraging every time I see her comprehend what I say- she doesn't always show the comprehension on her face, but her actions have led me to believe lately that she hears and understands....that in and of itself is enough to make me do a happy dance (but the awkward, large belly/off balance kind)

She has also begun exploring the house. She'll wander from room to room, doing her own little thing, pulling up to stand and taking some cruising steps, finding the baby in whatever reflective surface is there, coming back to find me to get a snack, and then off to explore again. Her favorite spot? Crawling to her room and shutting the door. Clearly, she needs her privacy. (-: (yes, I check on her every minute. But I love encouraging this independent streak in her.)

Tomorrow we have an eye appointment for Chubbs. Last eye appointment, the doctor told me that the crossing was an optical illusion.     Really? What do YOU think? Should I take this pic in as proof as I DEMAND ask very sweetly that she do SOMETHING?
Chubbs is really starting to rock some skills....that I KNOW are far delayed and should depress me. But, it is SO AMAZING to see her do them and to be so happy while doing them, that it's hard to care. She's doing it in her time table- and she's making it look like the coolest thing in the world to do. She's so close to walking...just waiting for her to decide that she's ready to let go with BOTH hands. (-:

Our house is torn apart with various projects right now (finally the nursery...YAY!)...but I'm taking a break to type out these random thoughts about Chubbs and checkup on the bloggy world...if a Klondike were to come walking my direction from the freezer, can't say I would say no to that either. Ahhh, Klondike break. (the best part is, Addison is asleep, so I get the WHOLE THING. That never happens anymore)

In conclusion, I'm over at Life as Mom today. Check out my post and show me some love if you get the chance. (yes, that post is much more coherent than this one)