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Oh, the times they are a-changin'


Ahhh....books. I love to read. Frequently, I've got my nose stuck in a book. Eating breakfast? You're likely to find me reading the cereal box. And I love all kinds of books. It doesn't matter what it is; if it has pages for me to turn, I'll probably read it. I may even continue to read it even though I HATE it (re: Twilight) just to see how it ends.

Within the last year, I've rediscovered the library. D and I don't have the expendable income that we used to (Thanks, Lex!), so in order to satiate my need to read, I started checking books out from the library. Books on Tudor history (I really like Alison Weir), books on jewelry, novels...and *gulp* parenting books. Let me repeat that...PARENTING BOOKS!?

As I said, I'll read anything, and 90% of the time I will read it cover to cover even if I full-on disagree with the method or whatever. This weekend I read a book based on a website I've never even heard of mamasaid.net or mamasaid.com or something. All I know, is if I thought I was going to find any kind of real insight in there, I must not have been looking hard enough. It was cute and funny, but it wasn't what I'd been looking for in a parenting book. And honestly, I must be a helicopter parent because some of the anecdotes that were listed in this book ('it was too quiet in my kitchen while I was on the phone, and before I knew it my son had dumped an entire bottle of maple syrup on the floor') absolutely unbelievable. If it's quieter for more than 30s, I'm checking to see what Lex is up to because if it's too quiet, he's probably doing something he shouldn't be doing. I guess in all reality, the book wasn't a parenting book like I thought it would be. It was more along the lines of, "Well, we've all been there" regardless of what 'there' was.

About 99% of books that I check out of the library have to pass the amazon.com test. This where I read about 10 reviews from people to see if this is really what I want. Now, every time I log into amazon.com, I'm greeted with nothing BUT parenting books. Come on, Amazon! I'm not a one trick pony here; at least offer me SOMETHING other than 'We all Potty' or 'Potty Training for Dummies'.

So, just like my life has changed (in bed by 10:30p every night, never going out, not seeing movies in theaters anymore, etc.), so have my reading habits. Don't get me wrong, I'm still finding time for reading novels; I'm in the middle of 'The Secret Life of Bees' right now, but my library checkout list looks like I'm taking Developmental Psych all over again ;-)

Lex's 18 month letter


Dear Lex-

In the last month, your ability to understand simple directions (that YOU want to follow) has become better. I've been able to request that you pick your shirt up off of the floor after you've flung it down and put it into your hamper. You've taken quite a liking to hiding in our kitchen cabinets










You're also understanding more words every day. You can point to vacuums, rocks, the sun, clocks, and a multitude of new words! It's amazing how quickly you're picking up new words. I was quite surprised after hollering for Bailey that you started to imitate me. The word is not there, but the beginning sound of the word, and the inflection in which I called for her was mimicked in your voice. Of course, you know me, I had to get it on video.

One of the best things you did in the last month was at McAlister's. Your daddy and I were enjoying our deli sandwiches as were you. At some point, you dropped part of your sandwich; you watched as it tumbled to the floor, and began to yell "Da da da" loudly. Your daddy and I began to howl in laughter at your thought that Bailey was going to come running to clean up after you like she does at home.

You're also turning into quite the little bookworm *sniffs* You make mama so proud ;-) You'll drag over one of your books and sit in my lap to repeatedly ask, "Wazzat" in one of the books so that I can tell you what each word is. You're sort of counting now too. You can say, "uuhh...oooo...eeee" when you go to throw a ball which you picked up from your Aunt Mel-Mel. You've learned the sign to 'all done' and you've taken to putting your arm across your face when you're not interested in whatever it is that I'm trying to feed you.

And speaking of feeding...Oy, kid, can you put away the food! And anytime I come at you with a fork, you'll almost always eat it. You're a huge fan of corn (which, let me say that your father and I are not excited to change THOSE diapers), applesauce (who ISN'T?!), chicken/turkey franks, scrambled eggs...the list is endless. Ninety percent of the time if we take you out to a restaurant, you're well behaved, provided we don't hang out too long.

From what I can gather, you and daddy are having a great summer off together. You get to go to the grocery store, run errands, and hang out at the park. You spend a lot of time hanging out around the house and going for walks. Mommy is quite jealous that she doesn't get to spend nearly as much time with you as daddy does, but that's ok. When I am home, I think we have lots of fun!

You popped another molar out on the 5th of July, and you're working on an incisor right now. It's causing you to drool profusely, and we try to keep you comfortable at night with either the teething tablets, or if it seems really bad tylenol or motrin. You love to stand on the counter (with us right there) to brush your teeth at night. It's very sweet to watch you squat down to turn the water on, run your brush through the water, and the brush your teeth. You have a lot now, so we have to take good care of them.

Ok, mommy's lunch is over, and I think I've covered all of our bases for this month. I hope you and daddy are having a good day vegging or parking it or whatever you do today!

Love you!

Mommy

The 100 push up Challenge!


So, about 2 weeks ago, I was in Melanie's wedding. Every picture that I saw was very unflattering, and after about the 10th picture that I untagged myself on facebook, I started to realize that it just wasn't the lighting or the angle...it was me. The nail in the coffin was a picture of me out of my dress back in regular clothes dancing. It's awful and I LOOK awful. I'm at the minimum now 15lbs over the weight that I was when I got pregnant. It's no secret that I had a baby (18 months ago tomorrow), but the secret is I am not as fit or healthy as I used to be. It's a shame. So, for the last two weeks I've been walking somewhere between 1.5 and 2 miles on days that Dennis isn't teaching I try to get Lex out and around the neighborhood...even if it's just around our block (which is huge, btw).

I know that I posted something similar in the past (maybe on myspace? FB?) Who knows...what I do know is, not unlike me, I didn't stick with it. This time I'm doing it; I'm sticking to a plan that includes dailyplate.com tracking my caloric intake and expenditures (which I'd toned up quite a bit the last time I did this...right before I got pregnant, of course).

So, while tracking my calories I came across challenges on dailyplate: walking for at least 20 minutes, 100 push ups in a sitting, etc. 100 push-ups?! I've never been good at push-ups! And it's set up to train you like you would train for a 5k or a marathon...based on the skills you already have it helps you achieve your goal by completing a set number of push-ups per set, per day (set 1= 5 PU, set 2= 5 PU, set 3 = 7 PU, etc). I think I can do it. No, fuck that, I KNOW I can do it. My strength has always been in my legs and my arms, shoulders, and chest have always been weak; well, no more. The plan is to do it in 6 weeks, and the great thing about push-ups is you don't need any equipment. Here's the link: http://www.hundredpushups.com/index.html

So, tonight I'm going to take my initial test to see my skill level. I'm guessing I can probably muster about 10 real push-ups. And then I'm going to keep track and post it here so that I can kick my own ass and be accountable for what I'm doing. And when I reach my goal weight I'll post the miserable electric slide photo and a new photo of me so that I can see how far I've come!

Lex's 17 month letter


Dear Lex,

After a whirlwind month that included Bailey having a toe/tumor removed on her left front paw, finding out that the cancer from the tumor had not spread, to your mommy knocking the side mirror off of your daddy's Element...well, I'm finally getting a chance to blog your letter.

In the last month, you've received 2 new molars. Those have not been fun for anyone involved. The copious amounts of drool is unbelievable and your attitude sucked.

You've started to be able to point out body parts (belly, nose, teeth...teeth is the best because you chomp them), and you're generally more observant. You've started to notice the photos we have displayed in the stairwell, and you want me to tell you every single person in the photos.

Recently, you've started to say, 'I see it!' Yeah, I take full responsibility for that one, because as you would point to something that would be my response. So, now, not unlike "My shooo", "I see it" is the big one now.

You've also discovered the wonders of climbing on the couch by yourself now. Which means you're on the couch and running...and falling a lot now. Before I know it, you'll be repeating my mantra, "SIT DOWN OR GET DOWN".

I do see you're learning though. Thanks to Aunt Mel-Mel, you are now counting to three. It's not clear, but you're definitely saying it with our inflection. You're also calling "Dog" over to feed her whatever you don't feel like eating.

So, there's my lame update, kiddo! I hope you have fun hanging out at Stacy's house today :-)

Love,

mommy

Jessica Biel


From Allure:

She also thinks her beauty prevents her from being taken seriously as an actress.

“Yeah, it really is a problem,” she admitted. “I have to be blunt.”


Yeah, Biel...it's definitely your beauty and not your inability to be able to act your way out of a paper bag that prevents you from getting jobs.

Man, I really have it in for Jessicas. http://kimberly-327.livejournal.com/21213.html

They're all stupid twats.

Out!


Lex,

Tonight, you turned your nose up at your sippy cup full of milk and tried to throw yourself on the floor screaming when I tried to give it to you. In a huff, I put you in your crib and walked out. After a couple of minutes, I came back upstairs with the sippy cup and handed it to you in your crib. You drank it, smiled, drank some more...then you laid down, sat up, took another couple of drinks. You stood up and then handed it to me. You smiled, sat down and pointed at the door. And when I continued to stand there, you pointed with more emphasis and grunted. I turned towards the door and walked out. When I got out of the room, I turned around and looked back. You had grabbed your blanket and laid down.

I guess you don't need me for bed anymore. That kind of makes me sad...

Love,

Mommy

Cleaning up


This morning I turned around to throw something away and was sort of surprised at how messy my bulletin board is. It has a couple of the animals I made for our bulletin board on our office door board that I had a hard time throwing away, some 2-D ultrasound pics of Lex (hello...old), some photos from the last time my mom and I went to Gatlinburg, and various other things that are pretty outdated (an Adam Dunn bobblehead...he was traded last summer).

I also passed by the bulletin board that I 'created' for Contracts & Grants when 'C&G' still existed. It's a sad, pathetic looking bulletin board that I keep meaning to update, but I just don't think about it until I see it. And often, when I get home, I just want to stay downstairs and try not to wake the baby whose room is directly across the hall from my crafting room. I'm not exactly quiet when I'm in there, and the neither are the things I use when I'm in there.

So, where am I going? Oh, yeah...So, yesterday when Melanie asked me to help her design and create the invitations she wants to send out for the rehearsal dinner, I figured this would be high time to clean up my bulletin boards since I'll be in that room working anyway. So, I think over the next couple of weeks I'm going to revamp my C&G (now ORA) bulletin board...I have no idea what I'm going to put on it, though, since I don't think that they have handouts anymore. Pretty much everything is online now. Maybe just the website? Who knows, but I guess I'll figure it out.

Lex's 16 month letter


Hey buddy!

Woo, have we had a whirlwind of a time lately...My goal was to write this on Friday, but since you threw up a handful of times early on Friday morning I didn't really feel like doing it while you napped...because while you were napping I was trying to do the same. I probably got a combined total of 2 hours of sleep that night. I slept, like I always do, on the floor next to your bed when you're sick. It's better that way, so I can reach in the bars of your crib and rub your head when you start to fuss...it's also helpful so that I can pick you up quickly and run you into your bathroom to throw up. Poor thing. And then, to top it off you're getting THREE molars, you got a vaccine at the doctor's office, and you've been running a low-grade fever. The molars and the vax will do that to you.

We found out that you are now 31in tall and you weigh 25lbs 10oz. You're at 23 months of development which we attribute to your ability to run and the fact that you know more than 6 words (that does not include 'mama' and 'dada'). Although your father does not find it amusing, I watched you push the remote control off the couch yesterday and proudly exclaim, "Oh, shit!". I'm giggling thinking about it, but your father is, I can assure you, cringing. The best, really, is when I point at your shoe, and say, "What's that?" and you say "ma shoo". Makes me laugh every single time!

You're getting better at following directions with the exception of "Lex, don't". Which is usually following you jacking with the glass doors on the entertainment center. If I ask you to bring me a toy, you pretty much know the name of the toy and retrieve it for me. You'll also play fetch right along with the dogs. Your new thing, speaking of the dogs, is playing keep away with Bruin. Bruin lived with mommy and daddy for almost 2 years before we got Bailey, so he's never understood sharing. So, it is downright hysterical to watch you two fight over the same toy, and then watch you throw yourself on the floor when the dog takes his OWN toy back from you.

Tooth count is now at nine, I believe. I'm pretty sure you're missing one of the bottom teeth on the outside of you front bottom teeth, but you're getting the two molars on the top and working on one of the bottom molars. You were chewing pretty hard on the right side this morning which makes me wonder if you're starting to get the molar on the bottom on that side too. Poor thing. Seriously.

This morning started the official elimination of bottles and switch to sippy cups for milk now. You're no longer getting your milk the second you wake up, which pisses you off, but you'll get used to getting it with breakfast from now on. We're still trying to get you to venture out from hot dogs and chicken nugget-y type things, and as long as I put it on a fork, you pretty much eat it. Although, you don't really care for fresh bananas. You'll eat freeze dried bananas, but I have to keep trying to get you to take the banana before you'll actually eat it.

So, that's the 16 month letter for you :-)


Love,
Mommy

Well...


It's a mast cell tumor (which = cancer). So, we're consulting with a canine oncologist and surgeon next Wednesday. The consult, alone, will cost us $115. We have to have a chest X-ray and one of her lympth nodes needs to be aspirated to see if it's spread.

On a lighter note, I'm going to try to do Lex's 16 month letter today since he's 16 months old...today.

Full plate


I have a lot on my plate right now. Dennis had an MRI last Wednesday to see how extensive the damage to his right knee is. Apparently, the cartilage is calcifying, and then breaking off in his knee tearing up what GOOD cartilage he has left (which I understand is not much). So, we're looking at knee surgery number five for him.

On Saturday, what should have been a routine yearly check-up for Bailey. Wait, have you met Bailey? If not, internets meet Bailey :



Anyway, what should have been a routine yearly appointment has turned into something scary and terrible. I noticed a lump on one of her paws that seemed to go up and down in size about 3 weeks ago. We knew her appointment was coming, so we didn't schedule anything assuming it was a bug bite or whatever...turns out it is much more nefarious than a bug bite or a cyst...they're thinking that it might be a mast cell tumor. http://www.vetsurgerycentral.com/mct.htm

Which typically means cancer. So, best case scenario it's benign, they'll remove it and we'll be cool. Worst case scenario it's cancer and we'll have to deal with that...which could be anything from surgery that would completely remove her right front paw or something much more invasive, dangerous, and awful. This couldn't have happened to a sweeter more well-adjusted dog. It makes me sick. She's an awesome dog; a loyal and faithful companion, and the weirdest little chick I've ever met. She rocks hard.

So, if you care enough, positive thoughts are welcomed.

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