Saturday, May 31, 2008

6 Months



I cannot believe that you just finished your 6th month old already. Honestly, where has the time gone? It was just yesterday that I was sporting a huge round belly that I couldn't keep my hands off of just so that I could feel you kick and roll. I was in awe every step of my pregnancy because my body was no longer my own: it was your home. That's a very strange, magical, powerful thing and I still can't quite believe I grew you - a beautiful, complete human being - inside of my body for 9 months. Life is miraculous. You are miraculous. This picture of you absolutely melts my heart. You are a beautiful baby and I don't just say that because I'm your mother and am supposed to say it. I really, truly mean it. Your eyes just take me in and make my heart do flip flops.

You've accomplished a lot over the past 6 months. Your Daddy and I recently looked back at old videos from when you were only 8 or 9 weeks old and you couldn't even lift up your own head back then! Now you sit up like nobody's business (even though just now as I was writing this you flopped over onto your side with a big Bump! and scared the crap out of me, but you're fine and "bababaing" and "geiching" happily on the blanket again). You don't really like tummy time much, so I don't know when the crawling thing is going to happen, but that's okay. You'll do it when you feel like it (just like you weaned yourself from the swaddle blanket when you decided it was time). You're eating solid foods that your Daddy and I make for you regularly now (two times a day, in fact) as well as Mama's milk, of course. You started on rice cereal (tastes pretty boring to me, but you seem to like it just fine), then went on to carrots, sweet potatoes, green beans (which make you rashy, so we're done with those for a while), pears, applesauce, bananas, and this morning you tried an avocado (Daddy said we just need to add a little lime, cilantro, and jalapeno and then you'll be all set!). You enjoy being read to, which both your Daddy and I do a lot. In fact, just last weekend the whole family went to a used bookstore and you and I shopped in the children's department the whole time. We got 8 or 9 books for under $12. That was awesome. You love playing peek-a-boo with us and smile the biggest, gummiest smile in the world when we do it. You got the beginnings of two tiny teeth last weekend - but they seem to have disappeared again. Are they playing peek-a-boo too? Your hair is growing thicker and thicker and is a beautiful blond (Daddy thinks it's got some red in it- where'd you get that?). You took a bath with me for the first time this month which was a fun splashy event. We went on a run in the park using your new jogging stroller which was a great time. We plan on doing it again tonight so that we stay in shape and have enough energy to keep up with you as you get bigger. I've spent quite a bit of time with older kids lately (toddlers, they're called) and I realized that I'm not a kid person. It actually made me cry to admit this because I'm afraid that when you're a toddler I'll be exhausted like I am around other toddlers, but your Daddy reassured me that I don't have to be a "kid" person, I just have to be a Claire person. And I am. I'm totally, completely, and joyfully a Claire person and I always will be.

I love you baby girl. You're my sun, moon, and my stars.



Posted by Bird On A Line @ 1:11 PM

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Get In Shape Girl!

I've said before how much I love Craigslist because I get great deals there: I've acquired free U'Haul moving boxes for the move from Chicago to Nashville, I've sold a dryer, I've purchased a bouncy seat for $10 that is just now getting too small for Claire, among other things. So, I've been scoping it out for a few weeks now in search of a gently-used jogging stroller so that Huz and I can pursue aerobic exercise while Claire comes along for the ride. I was almost ready to spend $100 on a 5 year old stroller (because that's how much people ask for these over-priced things) when I found a listing for a BRAND NEW, still-in-the box stroller that just so happened to be one of the top-rated ones on a consumer's report article I had just read. How fortunate for me that the woman listing it was a self-proclaimed "stroller whore" who had a vast collection of strollers (read: wealthy and bored) and was only asking half the retail price. Through our email negotiations, I asked if I could buy it for a bit less and ended up getting a $300 stroller for $130. I picked it up on Saturday and it's nice and shiny and new and ready to roll!

So, now I'm really proud of myself - not only for my savvy cheapskate skills treasure hunting, but because it's been over a year and a half since I last went on a run and the whole family just got back from a workout at the park. I ran 15 minutes and then walked the last 5 and it felt really good. Of course, I had to practically duct tape the sisters to my chest, lest they slap me in the face with every stride. My secret was something I learned from an article a few months ago: wear two sports bras to keep the milk jugs as jiggle-free as possible. It worked pretty well, I must say.

I kept running a little ahead of the stroller that Huz was pushing so that I could see Claire and she was smiling at the world flying by her the whole time. My God, how I love that gummy smile and those shiny, blue eyes. There's nothing like that face. Nothing like it in the whole wide world. That alone gave me the adrenaline and energy to keep running - that and the thought of getting a bit thinner in the middle. Go me!

Posted by Bird On A Line @ 6:03 PM

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

caption contest!

This is a hilarious picture of Claire with my Fodder Friend and her daughter. Can you come up with a funny caption to go with it? Mine would be, "You can pick your friend, you can pick your nose, but you can't pick your friend's nose!"


Posted by Bird On A Line @ 2:22 PM

Sunday, May 25, 2008

two visitors at once

Oh my goodness! Guess what I just found? Two tiny little white bumps on Claire's gums! She's got TWO teeth coming in a the same time! One on the bottom and one on the top. No wonder we've had some rough nights this past week!

Huz doesn't quite believe that's what the bumps are, but I can see and feel them so what else could they be!?

Posted by Bird On A Line @ 3:51 PM

Saturday, May 24, 2008

swaddle addiction

Well, folks, it looks like I may not have to sell my baby on eBay after all*. Even though Claire has had four nights of "difficult" sleep, it seems that she has weaned herself from her swaddle addiction, which is crazy awesome because we have been scratching our heads trying to figure out how to get her off the swaddle habit for a few months. After the other night (Scream Fest 2008) she has napped normally in the daytime, but hasn't slept normally at night. She wakes up after an hour or two with either a load of sweet potatoes in her diaper (you're welcome for sharing), because some sirens can be heard in the distance, or for no reason at all. Without fail, each of the times we go to stifle the screams with a pacifier, she is completely busted out of the swaddle blanket - normally with only one foot stuck in the bottom loop. After trying to pacify and re-swaddle her a few times last night, I finally decided that maybe she was trying to tell me that this swaddle thing? It's getting old. Yeah, for me too, kid. So, I took it off and put her in a sleep sack instead. AND.SHE.SLEPT. Without the swaddle. And she's napping now without a swaddle. I'm in shock. We tried to wean her of it last weekend and it failed miserably. I guess she wanted to be in charge of her own destiny. Her will is setting in already at 7 months. Pray for us.

*I'm totally kidding, by the way. This is such a sad story - a joke gone terribly wrong.

Posted by Bird On A Line @ 9:47 AM

Friday, May 23, 2008

opinion friday

p.s. If anyone says "eh," I'll have to hurt you. Oh, and someone at work saw the picture on my desktop and told me to sell it to Hallmark, hence response option one!

Posted by Bird On A Line @ 8:22 AM

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Good blogging story

Read this, it's really interested. Makes you wonder how much over-sharing to the public you should do. I won't stop, but it's interesting to think about.

Posted by Bird On A Line @ 9:15 AM

The Good, the bad and the ugly

The Good:

The contractors started prepping our house for exterior painting yesterday.

The Bad:

This entailed pressure washing all windows (which, without storm windows, leaked water into the house) and trim on the house which is loud and keeps babies from napping properly.

The Ugly:

Scream Fest 2008. Location - our house. Time - last night from 6p.m. - 11p.m. Details - Claire cried (hard!) every 10 minutes for 5 hours because she was overtired and couldn't get to sleep.

The Prayer:

Lord, please let the actual painting of the house today be a QUIET endeavore so that Claire naps properly and sleeps like an angel tonight. Amen.

Posted by Bird On A Line @ 9:04 AM

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Everything and the kitchen sink

Are you sitting there at your desk with your hands on your hips wondering when I'm going to post?

hands on hips - oh no you didn't!

Sorry. I've been super L-A-Z-Y and Pee on a Stick Tired. That's my new term. I'm so tired that people are starting to wonder if I'm pregnant. My response? Do you want a knuckle sandwich? What kind of condiments do you prefer? No, I haven't peed on a stick to confirm; I'm in denial of such nonsense. I'm convinced it's the ol' hormone hay day trying to make it's grand reappearance after a year-long hiatus. Good times.

For those of you (you know who you are, mom) who have been pestering me about posting pictures of our awesome new counter tops, here you go. They are awesome and make the kitchen look brand new.

But first, here are the old, nasty, baby blue, marbled laminate counters.

kitchen - light fixture to be replaced

old counters go bye bye

And here are the new LG Hi-Macs counter tops.

new counter tops

New sink with no seams whatsoever!

new sink

And here are two happy little pots I bought at a garage sale for 25 cents a piece.

My new 25 cent happy plant pots

Posted by Bird On A Line @ 10:01 AM

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Oblio is a dog

Oh man! I've just got to go see this! I grew up listening to the record overandoverandover again. I love this story!

Anyone want to babysit the kidlette so I can go??

Posted by Bird On A Line @ 2:20 PM

damn, i'm doing a lot of mini posts today

(I guess I need Twitter, but I don't like it.)

I'm so glad that I work at a hospital because my breast pump broke this morning and I can just walk across the courtyard to use the hospital grade ones while I wait for my replacement to be overnighted. Phew! Otherwise, the sisters would be HUGE and PAINFUL!

[Okay, so now Madela is telling me that my pump isn't under warranty because I bought it from an individual on Ebay, as opposed to a company on Ebay, EVEN THOUGH I specifically called them and asked them PRIOR to purchase if it would be covered. They said as long as it was brand new in a sealed box it would be covered. I'm so pissed right now. I just left a voicemail for a manager at Madela. They BETTER freaking replace this thing. I'm not about to drop another $250 on a new one.]

[Okay, awesome. I just got another call from Madela and they are going to honor the warranty because I was told by one of their customer service reps that it would be covered. Good thing because I was gonna have to woop some breast pump rep ass!]

Posted by Bird On A Line @ 9:58 AM


My heart breaks for all of the parents. Please say a prayer for them today.

Posted by Bird On A Line @ 9:45 AM


Q: Who goes home early because they are feeling exceedingly tired and then, instead of napping, eats kidney beans in bed?

A: Me, that's who. I'm a different duck, what can I say?

Yeah, so I've been wicked tired all week and kinda bitchy. Is this PMS? I have no idea. I haven't gone through that in over a year now so I don't know what to expect.

Posted by Bird On A Line @ 8:17 AM

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Happy First Mother's Day To Me!

What a lovely day I've had. My darling husband made me homemade Belgian waffles with fresh strawberries and whipped cream for breakfast and then gave me a gift certificate for a manicure/pedicure at a local spa. And, as I type this, he's making steak with grilled mushrooms and blue cheese, mashed potatoes, carrots, AND the dessert I requested that the house elf make! I love you Huz. Thank you.

We were going to go on a hike but it was really windy and chilly today so we went to the mall instead and found some sandals for him and a bag for me (except mine wasn't $10! Not fair!). I also bought Claire a cute little sun hat and pair of embroidered socks at The Children's Place. We were going to go to the art museum but I was pooped after our sojourn to the mall (I'm not a mall person - they wear me out) so we went home and everybody took a nap. It was blissful. This was followed by Huz and I looking over all the home movies we've made of Claire so far. We both got teary-eyed over how small she used to be. It's amazing how quickly the time has gone. She's such a wonderful baby and I thank God every day for the blessing and gift that she is. I had no idea how strongly I could love until I became a mother. It's vast, overwhelming, powerful, life-changing. I love every minute of it and would have it no other way. I love you Claire.


Posted by Bird On A Line @ 6:56 PM

Friday, May 9, 2008

Friday Freezer Reveal

I have declared that today is Friday Freezer Reveal Day, so take a picture of your freezer and show the world!

Here's mine. I've got TONS of boob juice (you're welcome for sharing) so I don't think Claire is in any danger of starving any time soon, homemade chicken stock, homemade ragu sauce, homemade baby food (carrots, green beans, sweet potatoes), bread crumbs for a future bread pudding (I hope it magically turns itself into habanero bread pudding - house elf? are you reading this?), and best of all, Huz has a martini glass ready to go - complete with a lemon peel in it. He cracks me up.

The contents of my freezer

Mommy's Milk

Posted by Bird On A Line @ 9:28 AM

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Idol on Ice

So Idol is about to start and before I watch I just want to proclaim to all of you that if Castro isn't eliminated tonight, I hereby boycott AI. He was horribly bad last night, didn't even appear to try, and I'm tired of him. Little Archie impressed me despite my best efforts not to like him. David came in 2nd place in my book. Overall, though, my love for AI has chilled significantly as the season has progressed. I think I'm bored and just ready for it to be over. I cannot wait for "So You Think You Can Dance" to start, though. I love me some dancing!

Yesterday was a shitty day for me, or as my Fodder Friend would say, it was an "ass pancake" day. I think I'm going to start having a "Fodder Friend Tidbit" and give you something crazy funny that my friend tells me each week. I know it sure brightens up my day, so it's bound to do the same for you.

This morning didn't start off so well either. We're getting a lot of estimates on the remaining housework we want to get done (exterior painting and new counter tops put in the kitchen - can't wait!). Apparently Cambridge is against having a certain company do our painting because she vomited all over his estimate and I found it this morning on my way to the kitchen to make breakfast. On my way back from throwing the entire cat puke on estimate sandwich away, I stepped in another pile of cat puke with my bare feet. Thanks a lot, Cambridge. That was just a lovely start to my day.

I think I'm going to go on a writer's strike until I get more comments on that hilarious post about Huz on the roof. I'm simply not satisfied with 3 comments and think it was way funnier than any of you apparently did. Hmmph.

p.s. Claire did fine with her shots. I didn't cry! Either I'm getting really calloused or having her sit on my lap facing away from me did the trick. Not seeing her sad little face drop those tears of pain helped.

Posted by Bird On A Line @ 8:03 PM

Monday, May 5, 2008

The Man I Love (alternate title: Book Smarts Does Not Equal Practical Smarts)

Okay, there's no way I can't blog about an incident that happened Sunday afternoon. It will totally embarrass him, I'm sure, but I have to tell you a Huz story.

So, I was pulling up to the driveway after doing a few errands with Claire Bear (the usual - going to a few stores like Target*, etc.) and I was admiring the freshly mown lawn that Huz had just done when something caught my eye. I glanced upward to our roof and what do you think I saw? A bird? No. A squirrel? No. It was my husband. He was all the way up there hanging onto the chimney in what appeared to be a bear hug. Oh my gawd. As I pulled further into the driveway, the scene got worse. The reason he was up there was because he clearly got sick of the huge, tacky antenna and decided to take it down. The only problem was he forgot to move the car below and the antenna came crashing down quicker than he thought it would. I pulled to a stop with my mouth wide open as I looked at the huge metal antenna dangling mere inches above the Saturn. It hung from a single wire still attached to the chimney where Huz was sitting. I grabbed the car seat and brought Claire inside, snatched the Saturn keys from the key hook, ran outside and carefully got into the car (fearful that the huge metal spider was going to come crashing down on my head any minute) and backed up out of harm's way. I helped support the ladder as my inconveniently scared-of-heights husband came down and assessed the situation from the ground. Unfortunately for him, he had to go back up there and cut the remaining wire to release the metal beast which came crashing down to the now (thank God) car-free driveway.

*Don't worry, I didn't steal anything this time.


Note to self: book smarts does not equal practical smarts.

Another note to self: good thing this man is kind, a kick-ass chef (he just made me pepper-crusted steak in a bourbon cream sauce, sauteed green beans with walnuts and lemon, and roasted olive oil rosemary potatoes on Friday), and good at you know what. Otherwise, I'd be seriously questioning my decision to marry such a retard! Love you, hon! :)

Here's the antenna post Huz demolition:

The dreaded antenna

Posted by Bird On A Line @ 2:42 PM

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Friend Fodder

I have to tell you guys about my crazy new friend, Trish. She is hilarious, in your face honest, and perfectly herself, no matter what. I have really grown to admire and respect her in a very short amount of time. Here's a few reasons I like her:

1. She just ran a half marathon, even though she was injured and stopped training a month before the race. I watched her video and cried at the end. She is my new hero and for the first time in my life I feel the desire to run a race.

2. She inadvertently gives me great nicknames for Claire because I steal them from her. She called her baby "Widget" and so I called Claire the same when she was first born. Of course, it evolved to "The Owiginal Widgenator" and "Widgy Widge," but it was totally her word. The other day I found myself calling Claire "Kidlette" and I had to call Trish to ask her if she used that name because all of a sudden it was in my vocabulary. It was totally hers again.

3. She comes up with the greatest lines. For example, the other day she called me to let me know that our mutual friend was ill. We decided I could make a dinner for her while Trish volunteered to clean since she can't cook*. I agreed and she said, "you know you don't have to go all crazy and make a roast lamb duck caramelized fruit loops or anything." Then she laughed at herself and claimed that watching Top Chef made her say "caramelized." I laughed hysterically, thinking to myself, "and you think the word 'caramelized' was the strange thing in that sentence!?"

*She keeps threatening to invite Huz and I over for Chef Boyardee Prego and bagged salad.

4. She leaves the craziest, laugh-out-loud voicemails on my cell phone. If only I knew how to transfer a message I've been saving to a digital file to upload for you. It was a song that she made up, on the fly, that rhymes*, for me. It mentions that I'm delicious and nutritious, then at the end she clearly doesn't know what else to say, pauses, and just hangs up. I died laughing.

*Such a Mom thing!

5. Mostly? I love my new friend because she gives my plenty of blog fodder!

Posted by Bird On A Line @ 2:55 PM

Friday, May 2, 2008

This and That (and hair and there)

So, my poor baby has her 6 month doctor visit in about an hour, which means more shots in her precious thunder thighs. I've cried every time she's had this done, right along with her, and I expect I'll do it again today. I've canceled my massage because I just can't imagine relaxing afterwards enough to enjoy it. I'll just have to reschedule because right now I'm in Mama Bear mode and can only think about getting her home safe to watch her for any (God forbid) reaction to the shots.

In other news, I am such a good wife. Do you want to how good I am? I'll tell you. Huz was away at a theology meeting last night and I didn't watch Lost so that we could watch it together tonight. How committed is that!? Way committed.

I've had lots of ideas for posts, but just haven't put forth the effort. Hopefully the muse will strike this weekend. Until then, you have to remain bored, my pretties.

Let's see. Maybe I could ask your opinion on something - we all love to share our opinions, right? I saw a girl with this haircut the other day and was tempted. What do you think? I'd probably regret it a month later (as I always do going short), but with the warming weather it's awfully tempting.

I obviously have a thing for short hair. Here's a recent picture of me with my longish hair for comparison.

[So, my friend told me over the phone yesterday that she didn't vote here, but warned me not to cut my hair, lest I be seen as getting the "mommy haircut." She said that everyone would assume that's why I got my hair cut, because as a new mother I felt frumpy and needed to sass things up. What do you guys think? I always get the desire to cut my hair - usually once every year or two - so I don't think it's related to being a new mom, plus I don't feel frumpy since I fit into all my old size 4 and 6 pants. Her other point, though, was a good one. That particular haircut looks awesome the first week and then it quickly looks outgrown. I'm not a fan of high maintenance-must-go-to-the-stylist-a-lot kind of cut. Hmm.]

Posted by Bird On A Line @ 1:40 PM

Thursday, May 1, 2008

I Just Can't Get Enough of the Many Sides of Claire

The foot grabber:




The open-mouthed smiler:



The lip sucker:



The sitter:


The one-armed duck:


The first time carrot eater:


The dress hitcher:


The dress eater:


Posted by Bird On A Line @ 8:44 AM

My Food Blog

Quesadillas and Drinks


Nurse Jackie
United States of Tara
So You Think You Can Dance
True Blood
Curb Your Enthusiasm

Book Reading



Julie and Julia
Thirteenth Tale
Kite Runner
No Country For Old Men
The Road
What To Expect When You're Expecting
Water for Elephants
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince
Baby Wise
Norwegian Wood
Rabbit Redux
Rabbit, Run
On Beauty
Cement Garden
Eat, Pray, Love
Cute, Quaint, Hungry and Romantic: The Aesthetics of Consumerism
The History of Love
Pure Style Living
All The Names
Collage Discovery Workshop
Hard-Boiled Wonderland and The End of the World
Fugitive Pieces
Taking Charge of Your Fertility
A 90 Day Guide...
The Girlfriend's Guide to Pregnancy
Fast Food Nation
The Reader
Angel's World
Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress
The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle
Black Dogs
Enduring Love
Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

Blog Reading

Blue Poppy
Bookish Bent
The Burkerts 3
Colors of My Mind
Cool Hunter
The Craziness We Call Life
Creative Musings
Fickle Feline
The Forth Clan
Geek's Pensieve
Green Genes
Holly Needs a Hobby
I Pretty Much Hate Everything
Inevitably Keely
Just Jenn
Mighty Girl
Mimi Smartypants
Modern Cottage
Mothers of Invention
My Head is Full of Stuffing
Nienie Dialogues
Possum Holler Press
Quarter Life Crisis
Say It, Don't Spray It
Self Passage
So Not Cool
Super Hero Journal
Tea and Brie
Three Girls and a Guy
Waiter Rant
Who Knew?
Wise Craft
Work It, Mom
You Go Grrrl

Kid Related

Baby Cheapskate
Cool Mom Picks
Green Mom Finds
Project Nursery/
Rookie Moms
The Soft Landing

Home Style

Apartment Therapy
Design Sponge


Amy Ruppel
Boho Photography
Daily Dose of Imagery
Deceptive Media
Decor 8
Little Purple Cow Photography
Non dairy Diary
Not Martha
Photo Junkie
Three Potato Four
Shutter Sisters
STC Craft
Tiny Showcase


101 Cookbooks
Becks & Posh
Chocolate and Zucchini
David Lebovitz
Delicious Days
The Domestic Goddess
Food Beam
My Vintage Kitchen
The Perfect Pantry
The Post Punk Kitchen
Serious Eats
Smitten Kitchen
Vegan Yum Yum