Sunday, March 30, 2008

How It Went Down

In my mind:

I walk, head hung low, into Target with the stolen items in my hand. I walk up to the customer service desk, offer up the contraband and put my wrists out for the metal bracelets. "Miss Winters? Please come with us," say the large, intimidating security guards. I lug the heavy baby-laden car seat with my wrists cuffed together to the back interrogation room (all stores have such a room, right? Oh, right. Only in my imagination.) and am questioned for the $12 outfit I lifted. "But I didn't mean to, honest," I whine as they look back at me with cold eyes and shake their heads.

In reality:

I walk up to the customer service counter with a Target bag in my hand, Huz and Claire at my side. I say that I want to return a shirt I bought and that I accidentally left the store without paying for the baby clothes, as they were next to my child's car seat and I didn't notice until too late. I add that I was mortified about it. The clerk doesn't even blink. She simply scans the shirt, scans the baby clothes box, and says, "okay, do you want to just apply the shirt to this then?" I say yes, pay the $6.00 difference and walk away.

Kinda pales in comparison to my imagination, huh? I'm glad it's over - my conscience was unsettled.

Posted by Bird On A Line @ 2:38 PM

Saturday, March 29, 2008

The Accidental Thief

I feel awful. I accidentally stole something today. I went to Target this morning to buy a few mundane household items (laundry detergent, toilet paper...the usual) and I happened upon this adorable baby outfit by the new Dwell Studio line. It wasn't exactly on my list of things I needed so I stuck it in the cart next to Claire's car seat to mull it over before deciding whether I really wanted to buy it. And, you guessed it, I completely forgot it was there until I was in the parking lot and had already loaded Claire and all my purchases into the car. Now, an ethical person would have turned around, taken the child right back out of the car and lugged her (what is she now? Probably 15 or 16 lbs?) heavy little body back across the parking lot and into the store to the customer service line. I, however, did not. I was really hurrying because I still had one more store to run to and Claire was about to scream at any moment, as her 2 hour awake limit had been met and she was hungry. In an attempt to rush her back home, I didn't bring back the stolen goods. I have every intention of going back to Target tomorrow to pay for the item, but in the meantime I'm a convict on the loose and feel really shitty about it. This happened once at a grocery store when I realized in the parking lot that I had a jug of bleach on the bottom rack of the cart. But for some reason this feels a lot different - maybe because I'm a parent now and am supposed to be an example for my child; maybe because I'm not that kind of person and the item was something for Claire, which made it worse.

What would you have done?

Posted by Bird On A Line @ 2:09 PM

Monday, March 24, 2008

Easter Baptism

I hope you all had a lovely Easter weekend. We did, despite the fact that it was really cold (following a 70 degree day on Friday made it worse). How did Claire's baptism go? Pretty much as I expected: it was way past her bedtime and she was too tired for all the religious shinanigins. The picture says it all.


Poor baby. She started off okay - in fact, she was all smiles when we left the house.


But by the time we got through the Easter Vigil service, which was beautiful, it was a good hour past bedtime. We're really grateful that our priest has done this for 42 years because a screaming baby didn't faze him one bit. We were also delighted that our good friends became Claire's God Parents (and we their baby's!).


On Sunday we enjoyed a fabulous dinner with lots of friends. It was a most memorable Easter!


Posted by Bird On A Line @ 6:11 PM

Friday, March 21, 2008

Happy Spring Day

I took the day off today since it was a beautiful sunny 70 degree day. I really wanted a fun family day since Huz was out of town last weekend and because we needed to celebrate a few things, namely his successful dissertation proposal defense (he's now ABD! Way to go, babe. I'm so proud of you!) and Claire's 5 month birthday which was yesterday. We enjoyed the day by taking Claire to the zoo for the first time. It was splendid - she was an angel.

First we tried on the sunglasses from her Grandmo to see if they fit yet. They don't.

Trying on sunglasses from Grandmo - still too big

She enjoyed most of the zoo from her stroller - napping on and off. (Mom, you can buy lots of cute jumpers like this one - she's adorable in them!)

Claire enjoyed most of the zoo in her stroller

We saw the elephants taking a mud bath.


And some cute-faced monkeys hanging out.

Cute faced monkey

And a Bongo (that thing in the background).

Mommy and her girl at the zoo

She enjoyed a fist snack while we were there.

Daddy and his girl at the zoo

She napped on the way back home.

Sleeping in the car after the zoo

And when we got home, there was a lovely floral arrangement on our doorstep from my Mom. It's for Easter and for Claire's baptism which is tomorrow night.

Lovely gift from my mom for Easter/Claire's baptism

All in all, I'd say it was a perfect day!

Posted by Bird On A Line @ 5:29 PM

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Walloping Mongoose

I love my darling Claire. She is so adorable, so cuddly, so precious, so very loud.

As of yesterday she's been practicing the ol' vocal cords and all I can say is, Claire, if that's your singing voice, you should try out for American Idol and join the ranks of this fine singer. She likes to talk. And then talk some more. Huz called her a dying hyena and a walloping mongoose, which pretty much captures it. She did it all yesterday afternoon, some more that evening, and then again at 3:00a.m. after I fed her and laid her back down. It came blasting through the monitor on my nightstand right by my ear. But I didn't mind. I just laughed and fell asleep and she soon did too.

Don't you just love how her fingers are laced together half way through this? As if to say, let's all join hands now and sing - out of key and really loud.

Photo Sharing - Video Sharing - Photo Printing - Photo Books

The love I have for this child, it's utterly amazing. I had to force myself to leave the house this morning. All I wanted to do was stay and nuzzle in her downy neck hair all day, even if she was braying like a sick goat in my ear the whole time.

Posted by Bird On A Line @ 9:50 AM

Sunday, March 16, 2008



Does anyone like the new header? I played around with adding texture to a photo for the first time yesterday. I like how it makes it looks vintage (despite the very modern print on the bouncy seat). Does it work for you?

I also made this one (my first attempt).


I need to take more pictures - especially since they are all of Claire and it's hard to add texture and a "dark" look to a cute baby face, no?

I struggled for the longest time trying to make the header photo into a rectangle without cutting out too much of it (hence the largeness of it). If anyone has any suggestions on how to make a photo into a more skinny rectangle banner, please let me know.

Posted by Bird On A Line @ 8:25 AM

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Missing You

You don't know what you have until it's gone, the saying goes. It's so true. Huz has only been away for 24 hours and I miss him terribly.

I have missed him many times: yesterday afternoon before two friends made spontaneous visits (thanks Lauren! thanks Trish!); last night as I put a frozen pizza in the oven to eat alone; when I had to prematurely pop Claire off my breast and put her in her crib (upset and crying) in order to take the pizza out of the oven and turn it off before it burnt the house down; when I climbed into a cold bed by myself; at 1:00a.m. when I got up and put a pacifier in Claire's mouth; at 2:45a.m. when I got up and changed Claire's diaper and fed her; at some point in the night when I rolled over and put my hand on his side of the bed only to find it empty; when I got up at 6:30a.m. and changed and fed Claire; when I got up at 8:15a.m. when Claire wouldn't sleep anymore; when I prematurely popped her off the breast again this morning to push a puking cat off the rug; when I tried everything I could (and failed) to calm Claire down (she got overtired and screamed bloody murder for 30 minutes) this morning.

I think Claire is sick of me saying "I miss your Daddy," but I do. Parenting is hard by yourself, plus I miss my best friend. It may sound pathetic and overly needy, but I really like my spouse, damn it, and I miss him when he's gone.

Posted by Bird On A Line @ 12:38 PM

Friday, March 14, 2008

Put That on a Plate and Smoke It

We need some new dishes. Ours have many problems: they're old, chipped, and stained from something in the dishwasher - not sure what, but it almost looks like silverware have scraped the plates and made them not so much white anymore but gray. Weird. I think I'd like to get some good quality porcelain or buffalo china - must be white so that the food is what stands out (natch). Basically, I want a durable, modern (read: not country), round (read: not square) set that is of good quality and good price. Any suggestions? I'm looking at the Crate and Barrel catalog (no such store in this lame state, I'm afraid) and think these look nice, but it's hard to tell from a photo. Pier One has these, but I need to see them in person. And Williams Sonoma has these.

[Erg! I literally just shook my fist and whispered "stupid cat" to Neville because I just got Claire to stop crying and to go down for her nap when he goes and tests gravity again (it ain't gonna change, buddy) by pushing a glue stick off the desk onto the hardwood floor - "CRACK!" Back to Oceala Drive, Neville! Back to Oceaola Drive. (This is my ongoing threat to him lately.)]

Speaking of food and it being showcased on a plate, Top Chef started again this week. How I love that show. I wish I had the culinary prowess to create some of the seemingly mouth-watering dishes these people put out. As I predicted, it looks like we have our token cocky 20-something (Dale and Andrew are yet another Hung/Marcel/Stephen), African American (who's already eliminated), and gay chefs again this year (with a twist, though, as they allowed a couple to compete - should be interesting!). The F-bomb was used liberally, which I found hilarious. I'm looking forward to this season wholeheartedly. And, admit it, who amongst you really knew what chicken piccata was? I have to say, I didn't.

I'm supposed to be working from home today, but seeing how I just wrapped up a tremendously busy week, the students are on Spring Break and not needing anything from me, and Huz just left for an out of state conference (putting me on Claire duty)...I'm pretty much doing all I can to avoid working. Thus, you have a blog entry. Oh well. I worked my tail off this week. I'm due for a little Internet fun. Says who? Says me.

Have a grand weekend everyone!

Posted by Bird On A Line @ 11:25 AM

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Things That Make Me Go Hmm

Things that drive me crazy:

1. When people use three (or more) letter abbreviations for states. It's two letters, people! Illinois is not Ill., it's IL. Colorado is not Colo., it's CO. I don't know why this bothers me so much when I see it on envelopes, but it does.

2. Inconsistent street signs. For example, on my morning commute I pass one street sign that says "So. 4th Street" and then the next one says "S - 5th Street." Um, it should be "S 5th Street." S for South and no dashes. Thanks.

3. My utter fatigue at the end of the week. This working full-time gig and coming home to an infant is kicking my ass.

4. How bad Neville is lately. He has made so many swimming pools in the middle of the kitchen floor by scooping out all of his drinking water that we've been forced to move their water bowl to the bath tub. He also tries to run into the nursery every time we open the door. I keep threatening to take him back to the pound, but he doesn't buy it.

Things that make me happy:

1. This cute face.


2. My husband's touch, whether it be a pat on the butt or simply the press of his thigh against my cheek as I collapse on his lap watching TV at night.

3. My baby's full-faced smile. It's utterly amazing.


4. Going to sushi with friends on a Friday night.

5. The way that Claire is constantly rubbing her feet together. When I change her diaper, she becomes a little monkey and wraps her legs around my arm, holding on with her toes.


6. The things I dress Claire in.

I bought her a "boy" shirt the other day. Hey, girls can like cars too!


Her cute bear coat from my Aunt Diane.

Claire Bear

7. The lovely snow fall we got last night.


8. Taking pictures of Claire and myself, even if it makes me look like I have freakishly long arms.


Posted by Bird On A Line @ 1:00 PM

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Fantastic Four

Claire Bear,

You are four months old and I have got to say that I love you more every single day. You are so ridiculously cute, what with those cheeks (my God, the cheeks) and your big, beautiful blue eyes. You're really mastering the art of smiling and squealing in delight and I could just eat you up. Really, if your head were smaller (17 inches of big, smart brains now) I'd stick it in my mouth and eat you like a lollipop.

You're beginning to like tummy time more now that you have great head control and can prop yourself up on your elbows to see the world.


After a while it gets tiring and you let me know under no uncertain terms that tummy time is officially over. And that's okay. You are communicating and we understand you a lot more now.

Tummy Time Is Officially Over

You love using your hands - to rub your eyes, to itch that darn cradle cap that we seem to be fixing with new medicine (finally), to grab my hair, to grab your toys...just wait until you can grab the cats! What fun with that be!? I know they are really looking forward to that day.


Since I bought you a new, soft bathtub your bath time has become a real treat. It's high kicking and splashing time for you now and you no longer cry. What a relief!


You're a great sleeper, Bear. Unlike some babies who only catnap 15-30 minutes a few times a day, you are consistently ready for a nap after 2 hours of awake time. You usually take an hour-long nap in the morning, then your long 2.5 - 3 hour nap mid-day, and then another hour nap in the late afternoon. At about 7:30 or 8:00 you wilt like a little flower and go down to sleep without a peep for the night, sleeping anywhere from 6-9 hours until you wake up hungry. I think you're doing exceptionally well, my dear, especially for a breastfed baby; some of our friends have told us that their older babies still wake up a zillion times at night to eat, so good job! We still swaddle you (so that you don't wake yourself up by scratching yourself in the face) so you look like a cute little burrito baby when you're in your crib. Again, if your head weren't so big...


You had your 4 month check-up at the Doctor's yesterday. You were so flirtatious with the nurse and Dr. Miller! All those smiles - what a charmer! Unfortunately, you had more shots - I cried with you again, but Daddy was tougher this time since he knew what to expect. Your chubby little thigh is swollen today from the injection site, but I put a warm compress on it to make it better. Other than that, you did fine - no fever or excessive fussiness last night. Phew! I was worried about you, little one.

You're doing great health-wise. You're obviously alert and social and you're gaining weight like a champ! You've nearly doubled your birth weight at 14 pounds and 1 ounce (putting you in the 50th percentile) and you're a shorty (just like your Mama!) at only 23 inches (this puts you in the 5th percentile in length). And that, my dear, is what makes for a perfectly cute, chubby little baby like you!

As he left the room, Dr. Miller said that you're lucky to have us as parents, but I said, "no, we're lucky to have her." And I mean it, babycakes. We are so very, very blessed to have you in our lives. You bring a smile to my face, a laugh to my mouth, a leap to my heart, and a tear of joy to my eye every single day. I love you, Claire. Thank you for choosing me to by your mommy.


The Mama


Posted by Bird On A Line @ 9:20 AM

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