Monday, January 28, 2013

I've changed 4 light bulbs . . . and had lots of Starbucks coffee.

We're almost one month into January, and I've been busy, busy, busy changing those light bulbs and flossing my teeth . . . and doing some other things that I'll get to later . . .

Mimi has been doing a lot of this . . . 

and this . . .

and of course this . . .

and FINALLY, finally, finally, finally sat still long enough to write her name.  Geez, this girl could care less about things such as that.
Yesterday I was struggling to get her to sit down and finish her what should be a 10 minute assignment from preschool and something hit me . . . I was a lot like her at this age.  I jumped from toy to toy to coloring page to cartoon to puzzle and could give a crap about learning to write letters or numbers or even think about reading.  Why should I learn to read when I like the way my mommy does it so much?  Yep, she and I aren't too different.

But her "family project" for the month was to dress up a paper doll for cold weather.  Oh, my!!  I was so excited about doing this!  Um, I mean I was so excited about doing this for with Mimi!!  And guess what -- she was so excited about it too!!  

We may not have loved our letters, but we love making clothes.  Whatever, she'll eventually learn to love David Sedaris and 1,000 page Ken Follett books like her mommy.  And get an English degree . . . and do absolutely nothing with it.

Anyway, it's close to Valentine's Day, so I made this dress for her that she wears like every other day.  She's starting to be more opinionated about her attire, and I've gotten a lot of, "Mommy, those pants with the floppy things (ruffles) on the bottom are soooo not cute.  Nobody will like those.  Can I just wear my pajamas?"  So I had to learn to sew a knit dress.  And she loooooves it!  

Knit dress at Starbucks.  Mimi also loves overpriced pastries like her mommy.
Comfy pleather chairs are awesome!
This guy likes Starbucks, too.

After playing in the snow Saturday, Mimi told me we deserved a treat, so she rolled into Starbucks on a sled.  Fun stuff.

Seriously, I have a bit of a problem with this coffee joint, but they are EVERYWHERE and it feels like I'm giving myself a break when we go.  I need to find a cheaper obsession.  Like bubblegum or collecting rocks.

Do you see this pic?  I'm not even kidding.  What do I do about this????

She has no idea that she's supposed to think boys are yucky.  She LOVES them.  Like kisses at least one of them every time I drop her off for school.  It's not in a lovey dovey kind of way but in a, "Oh, you're a boy like my cousin Nick and will let me play with your Lego's and electronics and race car tracks and I associate that with giving you a kiss."  I have tried to explain that she should ask before kissing them, and she looks at me like I have four eyes.  I apologize to the moms and nannies, but they tell me that their boys love her and don't mind.  Whatevs.

I took a photo of this a few days ago, and oh my goodness she looks so old.  By the way, here's the link to the pattern for this top -- oooooh, how I LOVE it!  
When there's no snow on the ground we have to find something to do, and the Nature Museum is one of my faves.  There's a fun butterfly/sauna-type area that makes the whole trip worth it.
See this cute little thing on the left?  Guess what she says . . . y'all and ma'am and adds extra syllables to words! That's right!! Mimi has a southern friend in the city whose momma is from Mississippi!
She may polite, but she's a whole lot of fun, isn't she, Mimi?
This guy loves to color now.  Like sit for at least ten minutes and color.  I'm in shock.
Actually he's done a lot of things that have shocked me lately such as walking in his preschool class by himself with a sneaky, sneaky smile on his face.  Of course we still have to work on his not standing on tables or stealing others' snacks or throwing toys absolutely everywhere, BUT we're making baby steps.  And I'm okay with that.
I could stare at these blue eyes allllllllllll day . . .

His sister taught him to eat snow.
 She's even trying to eat it off of him . . . at least it's not the sidewalk, right?
 Mack also loves to dance.  Get low . . . 
 and lower . . . and lower . . .
 And he's smitten with his daddy.
 He's so bad, bad, bad, but I am still head over heels for him.  And I think he kinda likes me, too.

In other news, I had my first spray tan and IT. WAS. AWESOME.

I highly recommend one for all your important events.  A wedding, a formal party, Sunday brunch, a play date . . . I mean, why not?  If you're fat, who cares?  Tanned fat looks better.  If your teeth need to be whitened, the tan makes them look even whiter.  Need to work out?  I think the good places can even draw in some definition.  I'm not even kidding.  Forget the tanning beds and lather on the SPF 40.  You no longer need the sun.  Just see the girls at Buff Beauty.  And you're welcome.

So after being tanned, plucked, blow dried, manicured, pedicured, and Spanxed, Clint and I hopped a plane to Hotlanta and partied the night away with his amazing co-workers.  I LOVE his company.  If he ever quits, they have to hire me.  I can, hmm, I can maybe spell check all their memos or something . . . oh, wait, Microsoft Word does that?  Well, maybe I can pick up Starbucks for everyone.
 Heh, heh, heh . . . look at that white guy . . .
 I also attended my first ever NHL game, and WE WON!!!  By we I mean Blackhawks, and they beat the Redwings.  And I pretend to be a fan now.

In other news, I am having a baby.  Well, I sort of already had it, but it's very small and still keeping me up late at night and waking me up early in the morning.  I haven't quite been ready to share her yet . . . but, okay, you twisted my arm . . . but just a peek because she's still growing . . .

mimi & mack

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Happy as a Clam on a Red Trike!

Busy, busy, busy.  Holidays and preschool and cooking and cleaning and shopping and traveling and sewing (and basically just having a lot of stay at home mom kind of problems).  I'm very happy the world didn't end (I guess those Mayans just ran out of paper, huh?) and I was able to enjoy a little more of it.  

And I've really been missing the blog.

Occasionally I witness something ridiculous and share-worthy like a lady crocheting while driving and my daughter asking a total stranger if she can give his dog a noogie (and then hearing him respond, Well . . . sure!  I think that would be okay . . . ) or the mom at Little Gym who was basically encouraging her child to be a brat about having a new teacher (and you KNOW how I love to do some eye-rolling over stoooopid parents being stupid), and I think about how I might have something interesting to write about on my blog.  But then I remember I have so much catching-up and picture uploading to do that my head spins, and I just make a loaded bagel with cream cheese instead.  

Or I do something like this.  

Thanksgiving was yummy and Christmas was beautiful and New Year's Day made me grateful for another year.  Another chance at trying to be awesome.

I want to be an awesome wife, an awesome mom, and even an awesome friend, stranger, and human in general.  I am going to fail miserably, but I'm putting it out there right now that I am attempting.  For a long time I've had a very insane view of what this means for me -- I've tried to be a lot of things I am not and cannot be (which I will totally blame on Pinterest and those moms who try to make everyone else look bad).

If you're confused, I'll explain.  You know that mom who has her kids on a fabulous schedule and learning to write their names at three and turning cartwheels at two and walking calmly next to her in crazy places like an airport or a mall?  And then she married a guy who gets home at 5:00 and splits the work with her while she puts a fancy meal on the table and plans her next PTA meeting and cocktail party?  Yeah, I'm not her friend either.  And if she claims all this is true she is on Adderall and her kids are doped up on Benadryl.  And if she really does exist then I hate her and what she's doing to the rest of us.

Now that you're up to speed on my expectations for myself I should probably make some resolutions for this new year:
1.  I will try to start flossing again.  I gave up last year around June.
2.  I will change the 8 light bulbs that have gone out in the past month and are way too complicated for me to change.
3.  I will use PeaPod grocery delivery and GrubHub for ordering take-out as much as I feel like.
4.  I will act like a complete brat unless I occasionally have time to do the three selfish things I really, really like to do:  reading, sewing, and writing posts for this neglected blog.

If I can achieve at least one of these goals (I'm thinking #3 is a no-brainer), then I will feel like this guy:
Happy as a clam on a red trike!

Do you know why he's so happy?  Because he's bad.  That's why.  He's destructive and strong and silly, and maybe that's all it takes for him to grin.  He does exactly what he wants to do and doesn't run it by anyone first.  But watch out, Mack.  Speech therapy starts next week, and you WILL tell me what's going on under that big blonde hair of yours.

On the other hand, I know WAY too much about what's going on in this blonde head.  And it scares me.  I had this stoooopid meltdown a couple of weeks before Christmas about how I have one child who pretends no one else exists and another who needs everyone to know she exists, and I have no clue how I'm supposed to parent them.  They're stubborn and smart and, whew, have endless amounts of energy.  But I'm going to be awesome from now on, remember?  So I've got this.

Alrighty, time to get to family togetherness and holiday photo extravaganza.  Here goes.

"Helping" Uncle Tyler fry a turkey.  Yes, it was awesome.

With Minnie.
Darby men in the country.  Of course Clint is wearing his fancy loafers.  Of course.  
I love to hear a screen door slamming.

Little family.
Fancy loafers on a four-wheeler.
Keepin' those evil spirits away.
Best Nixon Thanksgiving ever.  My mom knows how to cook some casseroles and turkey.  
I can't remember a football game that was this fun.  Hotty Toddy!
My two oldest nieces.  And they adore me.  Heh heh heh.  Seriously, I adore them.  They are at an age that scares me to death, but they both seem to laugh about the silly teen girl drama.
My brother is a giant.
Soooo . . . why is Betty Ann's cooking so good?
Sweet, sweet stuff.  
By the way, my parents visited not long after Thanksgiving, and Mom and I ended up at the ER.  No, it had nothing to do with the Crisco.  We had a fierce and angry stomach virus that I wish on absolutely no one.  After some Zofran and FOUR bags of fluids (what??), I was finally not about to die.  My mom of course tried to take care of me the whole time while she felt like poo because that's what she does.  Geez, they don't make them like her anymore.

One of my favorite parts of being a mom of a girl is hanging out with her and her buddies.  This is one of Mimi's faves (and mine, too).  They are so stinking silly together.
Connect Four and cupcakes at Molly's.  And then some crazy dancing (flirting) with the teenagers.  These girls are t-r-o-u-b-l-e. 

Fancy brunch with Santa.  What is that behind us?  Oh, that's just the entire city of Chicago.
So, Santa, for Christmas you need to bring a purple teddy bear that I left on a plane over a year ago, a huge bouncy princess castle I can jump in, and a long black tail like a cat.  These are easy, right?
Show me some skin, Santa.
Oh, just the tree for our den.  It'll fit, won't it, Clark?
Rice crispy treats houses for kiddos to decorate.  So stinking cute and fun with the neighbors.  (Although they did a heck of a lot more eating than decorating.
I've decided that between my two mom neighbors and myself that we could make the perfect mom.  One is crafty and a former elementary teacher, the other is super organic and up to speed on the latest studies and trends in all things baby, and I'm, hmmm, I let them watch all the TV they want.
And this was the only present Mack thought he got.  Buzz freakin' Lightyear.  Hells yeah.  He has played with little else since Buzz came into his life.  I actually lost  hid Woody, and when we found him Mack quickly introduced him to Buzz (I'm not kidding).  Now they're all best friends and have toy conversations.
I love a smiling face and fuzzy hair on Christmas morning.  
To infinity . . . and BEYOND!!!  Whatever that means.
Not too much damage.  Clint and I are trying to not go overboard.  And I have a really, really hard time relating all of this present-giving to baby Jesus.  God sent himself in human form to show us how to love each other and to save the human race.  And that means my children get dress-up princess clothes and a scooter.  Hmmm . . . Americans seem to have this all wrong, but it sure is a lot of fun to see the surprised faces when coming down the stairs!  Goooo Christmas!!  
Happy as a clam on a bench with Buzz!!
So Santa could NOT find the teddy bear at the Nashville airport, BUT he found this sweet little lavendar one!  Mimi was instantly in love and even decorated her all fancy-like.
Awwww, everybody loves a new Darby family dog.  Especially when all he does is snuggle on the couch AND his name is Chubby.  Precious.
There are no words.
Nonstop cousin madness.  So fun but where's the Benadryl?
Yay, Lalaloopsy!!!!
Yay, Beavis and Butthead boxers!
It wouldn't be Christmas without a major award.
Another surprised face!!  And he hasn't even opened it yet!!
Mimi, what are you doing to that poor dog?
Mommy, he needs to have more friends.  He's very shy.  And they want to snuggle.
Tea party with Taylor Swift and Prince, I think.
Holy moly, get the heck out of their way.  This is nothing but a bad idea.  But, my word, they love it.
My sister bought tickets for the entire Nixon clan to get hypothermia and pinky toes amputated at this thing called ICE in Nashville.  I would probably be giving it rave reviews right now with all its fancy Shrek ice sculptures and really cool ice slides, BUT the slide-keeper Nazi on one side would not let me go down (after standing in line for what seemed like hours) because my shoes didn't have rubber soles.  She called them cowboy boots, and I do NOT wear cowboy boots (not judging those who do because I'm begging Mimi to wear some, but they look silly on me) and then told me I could stand in line again on the other side where the more lenient girls were guarding the slides but she was NOT letting me go down hers.  Grrrrr . . . whatever.

Holy crap.  First of probably too many Build-a Bears.  
We traveled all of the world this holiday season and even ended up in a very tiny and gorgeous town somewhere that I will not name (to protect the innocent), to see this sweet cousin and her parents.  Oriana and Mimi are only a few weeks apart in age, and they had soooo much fun together.
The way we do New Year's Eve now.  And I don't have any regrets.  Chances are I felt a heck of a lot better the next day than some of you I know . . . (said in my very snippy stay at home mom voice).

And now back to life in 2013.  The year of awesome and happiness.  Wife, mother, friend.  Reading, writing, and sewing.  Flossing and changing light bulbs.  Let's do this thing.