in june 2010, our lives got turned upside down in the best possible way: the birth of our awesome kiddo, john. in october 2013, brother charlie charged into our life to change the status quo again. and june 2016 brought us brother ben to round out our trio.

i'm proud to have "mom" at the top of the list of titles on my resume, but i'm also still a hard-working professional. how does a working mom juggle work and family? ride along with me and see if i can figure it out!

Friday, November 30, 2012

trying out the big boy bed (room)

for months now, we've been thinking of moving john over by one bedroom and moving him to a big boy bed. the room he's in now makes more sense for a nursery, and when we got pregnant we thought would be the impetus ... but since we're not having a baby now, it sort of fell by the wayside.

until this weekend. john had been (reluctantly) down for a nap for about 45 minutes when i heard him squawling in his bedroom. he sometime cries, occasionally yells, but rarely is there quite as much ... umph to his protestations.

as i walked down the hallway to check on him, he stopped wailing long enough to yell, "mommy, put me back in my cot!"

and i knew: he'd finally escaped from his crib.

sure enough, there he was, standing on his bedroom floor. he was hysterical because i think his exit was more tumble than graceful escape. he was, fortunately, unhurt ... and just as fortunately, a little scared. he hasn't climbed out of his bed since. but i still think it's only a matter of time.

meantime, in his soon-to-be new bedroom (once we clean out the old entertainment center. and buy a new mattress that isn't going to bouncily launch him across the room. and rearrange. and move the stuff out of the closet. and ...) there is a twin bed set up right in front of the old entertainment center with the old tv and dvd players still set up. so lately, we've been watching movies in "the big boy bed" in "that other room."

makes for some pretty awesome snuggle time, actually ...

Thursday, November 29, 2012

my heart swells with pride

if you know me, you will know why this particular video makes me the proudest mama in town:

i'm sorta partial to the cello, you see. that's my ax he's playing, actually. and while i certainly don't know if he'll ever want to pick up my passion and play for real, it's pretty freaking cool to see his little self jammin' on the old girl.

too cool.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

the dreaded catching up post

i have started and abandoned this post about 42 times. it shouldn't be so hard to write - there's no big news or bad news or excitement. just a moderate little apology for disappearing of the face of the planet, and a modicum of catching up to do.

but here's the thing: i hate catching up posts. they feel like boring ol' essays on "what i did on my summer vacation." no life, no vim, no vigor, no excitement. so - you get no catching up. what you do get are these fine videos of our crazy monkey dancing to the floats and bands on the macy's thanksgiving day parade.

clip 1: breaking it down

clip 2: interpretive dance (to the oh-so-striking strains of the native american recognition float)

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

i want to go back night night

the difference is night and day: yesterday evening happy on the couch.
this morning, miserable leaning on it.

i have learned one thing about john: he is not really a morning person. and i can't fault him - he comes by that honest. daddy and i aren't so hot about jumping out of bed either.

to be fair, john actually wakes up pretty cheerful. he plays in his bed and sings songs and hangs out. when daddy or i go to collect him, he's usually happy to see us and often greets us with a gleeful "i'm awake!"

but it goes downhill from there quickly. he's ok if he can hang out and watch some of a movie, drink some milk, maybe have a snack. but when it's time to get ready to go to school or church or whatever, the tears break out.

big. fat. bawling. tears.

it's so sad. and it's usually accompanied by repeated use of one phrase: "i want to go back night night."

(and i always think, me too, kiddo, but we're out of luck on that front ...)

fortunately there's another transition in the car, and by the time we pull up at the school he's happy and ready to eat breakfast and start his day.

but i can totally relate to wanting to go back night night instead of starting the day.

Monday, November 19, 2012

we're going crazy

left: john outhams santa and steals his throne
center: john outhams mama and steals her slippers
right: have you ever seen such a well-dressed little monkey?

hi, there. it's been far too long since i've shared much of anything. nearly every day i think, oh, i have to tell that story about john! and then nearly everyday the day gets away from me and i never share anything at all. and you know who will be the saddest about that? me in 15 years. so. i'm going to jump back on the blogwagon.

one of john's favorite expressions lately is, "i'm going crazy!" this is accompanied by crazy dancing, or running around, or generally acting wild. best i can tell, it traces its roots to 'yo gabba gabba!', where at the end of the dancy-dance segment they say to do whatever you want to and "go crazy!"

sometimes buddy "goes crazy" in the backyard. sometimes we "go crazy" in the living room when there's good music on. but lately, i think we mostly "go crazy" because what the heck else do you do when the holidays are approaching?

to be fair, i don't think our home life is much crazier than usual. but since i work in retail marketing, this is the hay-making season, which means this is the marketing season. which means my days are filled end-to-end with work. it's work i love, but it definitely is work ... and sometimes it makes me "go crazy" too.

take friday, for example. we had a taping for a commercial, where we had a bunch of kiddos out to sit on santa's lap and make it look like the santa photo set was already open. and john came with me to be one of my ringer kids. (that photo above is from the shoot - john wasn't sure what to make of santa, but he was happy to steel santa's seat!) 

all was well except that john also started running a fever that day, so he couldn't go to school after the shoot. i thought he might take a nap in the little office adjacent to mine, so i even brought his pack-n-play to set up for him. he played quietly in the pack-n-play for about 45 minutes, but then i heard a big thunk. i walked into the office and not only had he climbed out (only the second time ever) but he'd also climbed up on the desk and piled his stuffed animals and blanket up there as well!

so ... we packed up and mom worked from home the rest of that day.

saturday we went to auntie c's house to watch the football game, and sunday i took part in the coolest event i think i've ever done here at the mall. with families helping families, a local non-profit, we hosted 22 families with special needs children so that they could visit with santa claus. we turned down lights and music, and it was before the mall opened, so the sensory environment was very low-key for kids with stimulus issues (which is a lot of them). it was amazing, and gratifying, and awesome. the families were incredible, the kids were beautiful, and some of them took photos with santa for the first time in their lives. it was truly a special thing to be a part of.

then sunday afternoon was nap-grocery shopping-dinner-prep for the week and now it's monday again. 

don't know how everyone ELSE is doing these days, but we're going crazy!

and a little crazy time bonus: john jamming on auntie's piano on saturday. you might not be able to hear, but he's singing the alphabet song and twinkle twinkle little star while he plays. look out, world, we've got a star on our hands - ha!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

all aboard!

this truck will probably be joined with
some boxes to make a train. just wait.

one of the most frequently uttered phrases in our house of late has been this: "all aboard!"

john has been a big fan of thomas the really useful engine for a while, but just recently he's taken a shine to trains in general. he chugs around the house with his yellow dump truck, which he uses to push boxes and laundry baskets and what ever else around. he loves to chug-a-chug-a-chug-a-chug-a chooo chooo. 

so when i was in the bathroom this morning - which shares a wall with john's room - and i heard through the wall, "all aboard!" i wasn't too surprised.

but there was extra glee when john came running into my room with a train whistle that i'd forgotten he had. he was all excited because it had a train painted on the side ... so imagine his joy when i showed him that it actually makes a train sound. he struggled with it at first. couldn't quite get the grasp of how to make the sound, and even made train sounds himself while holding the whistle for a little while.

but then ...

choooo choooo!
you know what's the only thing better than the grin he kept giving me?

the grin i just *know* we're going to get when he gets his train table and train set for christmas this year. being a parent is freaking great.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012


my be-hoodied goof eating strawberries.
yesterday after school/work, john and i went to stride rite to get him some new shoes. my husband and i were beginning to suspect that his size 6.5 mediums were getting too small for him, and i just couldn't shake the memory of taking john in thinking he needed a 4.5 to discover he needed a 6. mom of the year moments right there.

stride rite is in the next town over in a direction john and i don't travel very often. in fact, i think the last time we were over that way was when we went to the balloon festival back in september.

so imagine my surprise as we were getting off the interstate when john said, "i see balloons here, mommy."

thinking he saw some balloons flying over a store or sometime, i said, "where, john? i don't see them."

and he said, "no, i see balloons here one day."

at this point i was a little amazed that he remembered the balloon festival at all. but his next words left no room for doubt.

"i see football balloon, and purple balloon, and eagle balloon ..."

as we discussed the balloons, i was struck by something even more amazing: not only did he remember seeing those balloons, but that memory was triggered by an exit off the interstate

so maybe john will have his daddy's innate ability to navigate - if my husband has ever been anywhere even once, he can find his way back pretty effortlessly. and maybe john will have my innate ability to associate places with memories - as i drive around town, i am flooded with memories of things that happened other times i was in this location, or that one.

or maybe this will develop into some other innate ability that i can't predict. but i know one thing for sure:

it is dumbfounding and humbling to watch this little man continue to hone his understanding of and appreciation for the world around him. how amazing are human beings - and how amazing is the privilege of helping him grow into an awesome one?

*   *   *

a little comic break: video of john and i playing the noise game. this was probably our third or fourth effort to record the game for grammie. so by the time he got to the end ... he was done. in a very cute way.

Friday, November 9, 2012

like mother, like son

is there such a thing as too many pics
of a child in grownup shoes?
when i was in middle and high school, i was blessed to find a group of friends who shared my ... we'll generously call it a creative spirit. sometimes that manifested itself in high-minded word games and interesting musical compositions. sometimes it was witty jokes and scripts for our student-directed odyssey of the mind sketches.

and sometimes we made funny noises at each other for hours on end. grunts, beeps, shrieks - nothing was off limits. i make a noise at you, you make a different noise back at me. ad nauseum. (try it sometime. it's surprisingly entertaining, and passes the time on long bus rides quite nicely.)

yesterday, i made perhaps one of the awesomest discoveries of motherhood. john likes to play the noise game.

the whole way from daycare back home (ok, that's only 10 minutes but that's a lifetime for a two year old!) we made noises back and forth to each other. john is a surprisingly creative and resourceful noisemaker. from hisses to clicks to monkey sounds to roars to giggles to eerie whooshes, he covered all the bases. and although i never explained the "rules" of the noise game, he instinctively got it. and loved it.

i may be ultimately be showing my own narcissism here, given my love of the noise game ... but that makes john a pretty cool kid, don't you think?

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

on the art of play

this is perhaps the silliest milestone a mom
has ever discussed, but this picture shows
the first time john ate a "banbana" without
me taking the peel off for him.

i have always wanted to be the kind of mom who plays with her child. yes, there are often grown-up-y things that need to be done like laundry and cooking and dishes and the like, but i want john to remember his parents stopping to take time and be silly with him, not just working while he played in the other room.

and since john and i drive to and from work/school every day, that time in the car is an awesome opportunity for us to play together. granted, it has to be verbal play that allows me to stay focused on the road. but we talk a whole heck of a lot, and john tells me all about his day and who he played with and what they did.

so this morning on the way to school, john informed me that he wanted to go on an airplane, and i saw an awesome opportunity. i told him our truck could be an airplane, and we would fly to school.

john thought this was an awesome plan. so we "took off" with no turbulence, and traveled across baton rouge in the air. john pointed out the sites as we flew over them, and i periodically checked in with air traffic control so they could vector us in to our landing approach at the school.

that kiddo loved it every time i got on the "radio." he giggled when i asked for permission to land and laughed outright when i warned him about the bump when we hit the "runway" (driveway). and when i informed him that he had to stay in his seat until the captain turned off the fasten seatbelt sign, he said, "i stay here mommy! keep my seatbelt!"

and you know what? that was probably the most entertaining drive to work we've had in a long time.

and now, we're cleared for takeoff again, so i better go!

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

strange conversations

look! he's (half) dressed!
this morning when john woke up, i whisked him into the bathroom so he could go pee pee in the potty. (that's still never happened, but one of these times he's going to accidentally go while he sits there and boy what a potty party that will be!)

we've been talking lately about how when he sits on the potty, he needs to make sure his penis is pointing down. (hey, mommy does NOT want to get peed on.)

so he leaned forward a little and said, "i point my penis down, mommy!" and he was oh so proud.

"great job, baby," i said. "that's good work. can you go pee pee now?"

and he looked at me as i leaned against the counter, and he pointed to my crotch. "your penis in there, mommy?"

i said, "no, baby, mommy is a girl. girls don't have penises."

he looked at me curiously and said, "your booty in there?"

and i pointed at my rear end and said, "yep, my booty is in there."

and he looked at me curiously again, the wheels spinning. and finally he said, "but no penis?"

sorry to disappoint, son. still no penis.

*   *   *

it was all i could do not to laugh hysterically at his earnest questions.

Monday, November 5, 2012

how to relax on a weekend

mmm, baby for breakfast!
every week, like almost every human being i know, i look forward to the weekend. and every week, i find myself so utterly overwhelmed with weekend - mostly awesome weekend stuff! - that i start the next work week less rested than i was on friday.

each activity that our family does is wonderful. but the sum total wears me out.

this weekend started easy - delicious breakfast cooked by my husband, then off to tailgate at the lsu game. my husband had scored some awesome tickets, my cousin and her husband were in town from new york, lots of family was going to be around, it was going to be AWESOME!
close enough to the bench to see that those players
are BABIES. infants, i tell you.
and awesome it was. but it was also something close to 10 miles of walking, up until nearly 3 a.m. (which even with daylight savings is still 2 a.m. ...) and then up to teach sunday school and do laundry and etc. etc. etc..

so. how do you do it? how do you make sure a fun weekend is still also a RELAXING weekend? how do you get to monday morning feeling like you've had a break?

comment below. because i have no clue.

*   *   *

what i DO have, fortunately, is a little bug who has been exceptionally snuggly lately. and although this was a crazy weekend, we still found time for two things:

1: a john burrito on the couch
2: some extra snuggly snuggle time
(complete with bedhead for both of us)

Friday, November 2, 2012

you have a stinky booty

such a charming little fellow
daddy and john had an awesome afternoon today - since dad gets off early on fridays, he picked john up early and john got to ride his tricycle and stack box blocks up higher than daddy's head and generally hang out and enjoy a fall afternoon.

so by the time i made it home from work, there was some snuggling to be had on the couch (we watched yo gabba gabba, which is actually quite entertaining ...)

and after daddy picked up some papa murphy's pizza, we were all hanging out when i smelled a certain ... funk.

i said to john, "did you poo poo?"

he said, "yes mommy."

i said, "time for a fresh diaper - you stink!"

and john said, "peeeyew."

and i said, "that's right --

and john interrupted and said, "no! wait. not pee you. pee me! peeeeemeeee."

guess we're getting the hang of those pronouns ...

Thursday, November 1, 2012

trick or treat!

four little wild ones trick-or-treating -- sorry for the eyeshine, but it IS halloween!

last night was john's first time really trick or treating. his first halloween he was only four months old, and last year he came to our halloween event at the mall and had no clue what the heck was going on.

but this year we joined some friends for an awesome night of trick or treating and halloween fun, and john was awesome.

things i learned:
1) my son calls it "truck or treat" and i don't want that to change
2) trick or treating is VASTLY improved by a go cup of wine in hand.
2a) having a total of six parents for four kids makes you feel not so bad about that go cup
3) ten houses is enough for the under seven set
4) john will be done after about five houses, take off his tigger hat, refuse to carry his bucket, but still want to visit every person he sees at a house and say truck or treat
5) mommies should take far more pictures, and try taking some where there is actually some light
6) wagons. WAGONS. 'nuff said.
7) the energy a foursome of kiddos will find on halloween night is mind boggling, and inversely proportionate to the energy of their parents.

all in all, we had a blast. thanks so much to our friends p & r, and p's brother & sis-in-law and mom. we were welcomed into a very cool family for a very fun haunting.