Monday, January 28, 2008

Here are some pics from a park outing over the weekend. We had such a great time -- J was FASCINATED by the guys playing basketball; he kept breaking away from TH and trying to run into the game. When I look at pictures like this, I CAN'T WAIT until we move and finally have a backyard!! Vegas does not exactly have alot of greenery - this park is about as lush as it gets around here.

(BTW - if you're wondering why the pics are so small and are randomly arranged - my camera isn't working so these are pics off of my phone. I was surprised they came out this well.)

Let the moving games begin.

The last few days have been so busy in the E house, I just realized it's been almost a week since I posted. We had our inspections on Friday and everything looked great, no mold behind the wallpaper or walls caving in from termites. So now it's just dealing with all of the mortgage stuff and the dreaded....packing. I HATE MOVING. TH and I have moved together five times before this and every time I dread this part of it. We've accumulated so much crap, and to be perfectly honest most of it is a result of having J. There's all of his stuff now to pack up in addition to ours. Furniture, clothes, toys, books...we're going to have to upgrade to a bigger truck for sure.

It amazes me how much baby stuff becomes "obsolete" within a year of buying it. Pretty much everything we got at the baby shower is now in storage or awaiting the consignment store or Goodwill. The swing, high chair, bouncy seat, boppy, bottle warmer, bottle sterilizer, Snugli, Exersaucer, infant carseat,
activity mat, breast pump and all of its paraphenilia, Angel Care monitor, infant bathtub....all totally useless now less than 2 years later. That is, until the next one comes along.

Sorry, next kid. You're doomed to a life of hand-me-downs already.

Note: Sorry for the lack of pictures recently. My camera has been acting funny. (TH, if you're reading this -- remember the link I sent you before Christmas with that camera I wanted? My birthday is coming up....)

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

And the no's have it by a landslide.

Like most almost 21-month olds, J has discovered how much fun it is to say "no!" to everything. EVERYTHING. Even things he really, really wants. I knew it was getting bad when his daycare report last Thursday said, "J was well-behaved this week as always. However his new favorite word is no." Last night it was kinda funny, kinda sad watching him struggle with this newfound independence at the dinner table. We had ravioli with chicken meatballs, which he usually likes. He got into his booster seat on his own and kept saying "eat!" while I was cooking. But when I put the bowl in front of him, before he even looked at it he pushed it away and said, "NO!" Then he watched me intensely while I ate mine, and pulled his bowl back over. And then pushed it away again. "NO!" So I started to run down the list of things that normally are sure-fire favorites.

"Do you want cereal?"
"How about a hot dog?"
"No! (pause to think about it). No."
"Green beans, mac n' cheese, yogurt?"
"No. No. NO!"

"Seriously? You're saying no to juice? Your own personal crack? And you're saying no. How conflicted you must be...."

Finally we settled on "cocoa" which is basically warmed up chocolate milk. I know. He had chocolate milk for dinner. But how do you force a kid to eat? He's already picky to begin with, so hopefully this phase won't last long.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

The best 7 words we've heard in a long time...

were from our realtor yesterday when he called and said, "Well, you've just bought yourself a house!" WOO-HOOOOO!!! Finally, after 6 days of waiting to hear back, our offer was accepted. No counter-offers, or requests for more info, or additional required paperwork. have no idea how great this feels for us. This is the FOURTH TIME we have tried to become homeowners in the past 3 years. First was the horrible KB Homes Rip Us Off and Steal Our Money scandal (that's right, KB, I called you out by name. We haven't forgotten.) Then there was the Oh My God Las Vegas Homes Are So %^&$*! OVERPRICED episode 1 1/2 years ago, where we basically retreated in horror to wait out the inflated market. Then there was the "Dream House" that we put an offer on 2 weeks ago only to be out-bid by someone who apparently found the house even dreamier than us.

We're so excited but it's also one of those waiting for the other shoe to drop moments. It seems too easy so far. The seller is giving us what we want. The mortgage company approved us for the amount and interest rate we hoped for. Even the closing date (Valentine's Day) works out perfectly for us. So after running around the house yelling and jumping up and down, we stopped and said a very thankful prayer this morning. Thank You, God for whispering in our ears to "wait a little while longer" when things didn't look promising. Thank You for making us go through money struggles 4 years ago which forced us to grow up and get our financial act together already (can anyone say, "budget?"). Thank You for leading us to a nice house with a decent-sized backyard and a safe neighborhood for our little family. Thank You Thank You Thank You. Amen.

Friday, January 18, 2008

I heart Michaels.

So today is my day off, and as usual by 10am I was running out of non-TV activities to do with J. After breakfast, "helping" me with the laundry, coloring (crayons not markers!), reading a few books, and torturing me with the Fridge Farm banjo music for 20 minutes, he was listlessly thumbing through his flash cards looking like he wished he was at daycare where at least there are other kids to play with. It's usually around this time that we have some kind of Outing. Instead of my usual Have to Get Out of the House So Now We're Wasting Money at Target Outing, I decided to go to the craft store and wander around with J until we found something that struck our fancy.

Instead of keeping him in the cart like usual, I threw caution to the wind and just followed him around to see what he was interested in. As soon as we hit the sticker aisle, he stopped dead in his tracks, staring at the toddler Holy Grail -- an ENTIRE WALL OF STICKERS. I let him pick out whatever he wanted -- Diego (of course), letters, numbers, foam animal stickers, and some glitter hearts (can't wait to hear TH's comment on those). Then we proceeded to stock up on pipe cleaners, modeling clay that promises to be kid-safe, and felt.
When we got home J was so excited to get into the Michaels bag, and no surprise he went straight for the stickers. I opened a couple of packs and let him go to town -- and he played with stickers for FIFTY MINUTES. I'm not kidding. Now I can't wait to break open the other stuff this weekend. I'm envisioning (almost) whole days without TV, and for that alone I heart Michaels.

Is it just me, or does J look really grown-up in these pictures?

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Before I had a kid...

Before I had a kid there were a lot of "momisms" that I didn't understand, that escaped me, or that I just plain dismissed. One that I just couldn't bring myself to believe was when parents describe these seemingly impossible feats that their kids performed "when my back was turned for just a minute." I heard of kids taking apart small appliances, shaving the dog, covering entire rooms with baby powder, soundlessly breaking all of the Christmas ornaments, etc. And of course, kidless me, I would think, "Yeah, right. That 'minute' was probably more like an hour."

Fast forward to January 16, 2008. Here's the scene: I'm cooking dinner and J is happily coloring with his markers that a friend gave him as part of an art set for Christmas.
(of course he was so cutely engrossed in coloring that I had to take a picture):

The above picture was taken at around 6:31pm. Right after taking it, I went into the kitchen, turning my back just for a minute to stir my risotto. When I went in the kitchen J was sitting just as pictured above, in his PBK chair in the playroom. When I turned back around maybe 2 minutes later, J was standing right behind me in the kitchen and he scared the crap out of me. (I kid you not this child can sneak around like a frigging ninja. I should put a bell around his neck like we do for cats. Anyway.) Then I saw that one side of his face was covered in purple marker like some kind of Mike Tyson tribal tattoo. About one nanosecond later I looked over his shoulder and that's when I saw THIS (picture taken at about 6:35pm):

That's right. While my back was turned for less than 2 minutes, J colored all over his face, climbed out of his chair without knocking over the art set on his lap or making any sound, came into the kitchen right behind me, and COLORED ALL OVER THE REFRIGERATOR IN PURPLE MARKER. THE REFRIGERATOR THAT WE DON'T OWN. BECAUSE WE DON'T OWN THIS HOUSE.

And being the good mom-blogger that I am, after a little lecture (well, yelling) at J about how we don't color on anything but paper, and look what he did to our fridge, and wait til Daddy sees this, etc...I took a picture of it. What else can you do? Obviously there will be no more markers in this house for a long time.

(Thankfully the markers were true to their advertising and were completely "washable." That is, after about 5 applications of 409 and twenty-seven paper towels.)

Monday, January 14, 2008

Okay, okay, I know it's been awhile but...we've been having too much fun. Finally the Great Sickness has lifted from our house, and J is back to his normal sweet self. I have to admit for a week there I actually wondered if he would ever be my nice, happy toddler again. Granny from Alaska (my mom) has been visiting for a few days and J has amazingly been a PERFECT ANGEL the whole time. I think it's because of this little conversation we had the night before she came:

Me: Were you naughty today at daycare, J?

J: Yeah.

Me: I heard you were hitting and pushing people.

J: Yeah! "No no no!" (wagging his finger at me.)

Me: Well guess what? Granny's coming to see you, and I suggest you get it together and be good while she's here. You know why?

J: (Blank look.)

Me: Let me tell you something about my family. It's a bunch of women, and well, we like to talk. About each other whenever possible. So if you're bad while Granny's here I can guarantee you she's going to call your aunties and talk about you. I'm just letting you know how it is. We like to gossip - I'm not proud of that fact, but there it is. And of course if they talk about you, they're really talking about ME. Which is very annoying. So long story short good behavior would be appreciated.

J: Wow, that was quite a speech Mommy. (well actually he said, "Diego!" and jumped off my lap to go watch Go Diego Go on the computer.)

Whatever the case, it worked. J and Granny have gotten along famously the last few days. They have a very symbiotic relationship. Granny spoils the crap out of J, J accepts the spoiling and throws her a kiss or hug every now and then. We've been out shopping, to restaurants, to the park, and even the bank without one single tantrum or meltdown! J has been strangely obedient, too. If he was like this all the time I wouldn't have anything to write about on this blog LOL. Me and TH were actually able to go house-hunting for 5 hours on Saturday while Granny stayed with J and according to her they had a great time. It was SO GREAT to be able to leave him with someone that isn't charging us by the hour. That's the big drawback to us being out here in LV with absolutely no family around - J never sees anyone except us and daycare, and our one dependable babysitter - she's worth every penny but it's not the same as grandma, ya know?

Note on the house situation: So the house we REALLY REALLY REALLY wanted that we put an offer on last week - nope, we didn't get it. There were 4 offers put in on the same day, and I guess we weren't willing to bankrupt ourselves enough so (sob) it went to someone else. Oh, well. I kind of wish we hadn't even seen that house because now every other house we look at I just compare to that one, and of course since we really liked that one they don't quite measure up. Well actually we did find one we really like so we're putting an offer together today AGAIN. We'll see how it goes. It's a little discouraging but hopefully this time it'll go the way we want.

p.s. Happy Birthday Granny!!

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Guess that's why they pay me the big bucks.

So a lady calls today FREAKING OUT because she just picked her dog up from the groomer's and she says his eyeball is hanging out. Yep. His eyeball. So of course we tell her to come in right away so we can look at said eyeball and see what (if anything) can be done. She shows up an hour later with a little Shih-Tzu type thing and at first glance, yes, his left eyeball does appear to be...bulging. My tech rushes the dog into the back so I can take a look at it and the first thing I notice (besides the bulging eyeball) is that the hair over his eyes (I guess you'd call it his bangs) is tied up really tightly in a little topknot with a bow. So I undo the bow and lo and behold the eye starts to look better - his topknot was too tight and a piece of hair was pulling the eyelid back and making the eye bulge out.

After undoing the topknot the eye was still bulging a bit so...I just pushed it back in with my thumb (stop laughing). Now looking absolutely normal, I take the dog back into the exam room and the lady is of course overjoyed that we somehow got the eye "back in." This is quickly followed by her raising a stink about me taking the topknot down, and she asks ME to redo the knot. Not having a little girl, I'm at a complete loss as to how to get the little bow back in this dog's hair. I try, and try, and I end up with a tangled, lopsided mess. After about 10 minutes I give up and the lady gets all huffy and actually says, "Geez, what kind of vet are you? You can't even do a decent topknot!" And has the nerve to storm out without paying her bill!

The moral of this story is, next time you're thinking about flying off the handle because your hairdresser messed up your hair, keep in mind that it could be worse. Your eyeball could be hanging out.

Saturday, January 5, 2008

My pitch for a sitcom pilot.

Do you ever have a day where you think that your life could be an episode on a TV sitcom? That was us today -- kind of like an episode of "The Cosby Show," only without the cool brownstone in New York and with more cursing. And more vomit.

(Disclaimer for my mom who I know reads this blog: When I say that there is a lot of cursing, it's true but NONE OF IT IS IN FRONT OF J. Or at least when it is, it's under my breath.)

So I wrote yesterday about how we've had this nasty cold/flu bug and finally it hit J last night. This morning he was coughing and had a runny nose, but was still running around like usual. I started to realize that something was amiss, however, when he was ready for a nap by 9:30am and then stayed asleep for almost 5 HOURS. [Cue audience gasping - need I remind you J is not exactly the King of Napland].

After J got up from his nap, I was doing dishes and suddenly water was flowing out from under the sink cabinets and not from the faucet. You guessed it, major pipe leak in the kitchen sink. So we started pulling out all of the stuff under the sink to investigate. Meanwhile J was quietly, for some unknown reason, opening kitchen drawers behind me. I went to stand up from under the sink and WHAM, gouged my back on the corner of one of these open drawers. (Seriously it drew blood and left a gouge 4 inches long). I had to bite my lip not to scream and scare J so instead I did the Stubbed Toe Dance around the kitchen, only clutching my back instead of my foot. [Cue audience laughter].

About 2 minutes after impaling myself on the drawer, TH and I both heard J...ahem...let loose in his diaper. We both looked at him and suddenly he looked kind of pale and nauseous. So TH picked him up to take him upstairs and change his diaper, when about halfway up I heard TH say, "um, come quick, the baby's vomiting everywhere." I ran up the stairs and OH...MY....GOD....when he said "everywhere" he was not kidding! Poor TH was covered from head to toe in gross curdled milk vomit and it was also all over the stairs and wall. I kid you not, it was the Mt. Vesuvius of vomit. And J kept going, spewing all the way into his room and continuing onto his bathroom floor. [cue hysterical audience laughter].

The sink leak, me gouging my back, and J's vomit explosion all happened within 5 minutes. You tell me, with a good Hollywood writing team (meaning someone probably on strike right now), would this not be a great scene in a sitcom? All we need is some wacky neighbors or something to flesh it out and we're number one in our timeslot.

Friday, January 4, 2008

Some "vacation".

I know, I know, I made a resolution to post more often but this has been a strange week. I'm supposed to be on vacation for the week, and TH took the week off as well, so we had all of these grand plans for what we were going to do. We decided to take J to daycare for 3 days this week so we could get some stuff done and go house-hunting. Beyond that we had each day mapped out with fun activities because we got a bunch of restaurant and movie gift cards for Christmas that were burning a hole in our pockets. Sounds like a fun week, right?

Here's how the week actually turned out:
Tuesday (New Year's Day) - called into the clinic for an emergency, ended up being at work for 3 hours. Started to feel a little itch in the back of my throat.

Wednesday - Little cough in the morning but nothing major. TH and I went out to lunch and then to a movie. By the end of the movie I was hacking my brains out every 5 minutes and developing a pounding headache. I also started to feel nauseous. I had to go home and lay down while TH went to pick up J from daycare, and I was in bed (still coughing) at the same time as J, around 7:30pm.

Thursday - Woke up with a severe cough, a migraine-level headache, and pain in my chest from coughing so much. I tried to get up when J woke up and I felt so light-headed that I almost fell down on the way to his room. While TH was getting dressed, J basically wandered around our room getting into whatever he wanted (thankfully it's pretty well baby-proofed) while I "watched" him from my prone position on the bed. We were supposed to go look at houses that day, but I ended up sleeping until 2pm (!!). I thought I felt good enough to go pick up J from daycare, but by the time I got back I was wiped out and had another splitting headache so again I was back in bed before 8pm. [side note: I was actually supposed to have jury duty on Thursday but THANK GOD when I called in the day before they didn't need me to come in. I would have been screwed.]

Friday - Feeling much better in the morning but still coughing a bit. We went out and looked at houses and then had lunch. Of course when we went to pick up J....he was coughing. He also got his very first "bad report" from daycare, which was kind of a shocker because he has NEVER gotten a bad report. Apparently he was "grumpy" today and was "playing rough" with the other kids (hitting and pushing). Our daycare lady was nice enough to tell us that it didn't really worry her but she thought she should let us know because it's "so out of character for J to behave this way." After reading the report, I turned to J in the car and said, "Were you being naughty today? Hitting people?" To which he replied "whoo! Yeah!" (I'm not kidding. I don't know where he got this but he likes to say "whoo! Yeah!" all the time. Probably another daycareism.)

J continued to cough all night tonight, and I'm pretty sure he's going to be sick all weekend. Sheesh. Some "vacation" this turned out to be.

Oh yeah - we also put an offer on a house today....