Wednesday, June 27, 2012

The Bug Story

Let me preface this tale by saying that some people may have unreasonably high expectations for this story.  All I said was that this story existed, and that it was gross.  Both truthful statements.

I further preface with a warning: If you have arachnophobia, you will probably not want to read this.

I personally do not have arachnophobia.  Do I like spiders?  No.  Do they creep me out?  Certainly.  But there is no universally accepted term for arachnocreepmeoutia.  Perhaps there should be.

Lewis is in grad school and as such spends much of his time studying.  Saturday morning was no exception, and while he worked I was trying not to interrupt him with any "honey-do"s or the like.  So when I saw a spider waddling across our living room floor (this should have been my first warning.  Spiders don't waddle.), I resisted the urge to yell for Lewis and instead grabbed one of his shoes to take care of this little beast myself.

Wham! went the shoe on the spider.

Out spewed forth the bajillion baby spiders the waddling menace was pregnant with.

Just remembering the sight so that I could write about it here made me throw up in my mouth a little bit.

I don't remember doing it, but Lewis said I screamed.  I do remember calling for him to come to my aid which he did, post haste, thinking that something was seriously wrong.

I still maintain something was.

My alleged scream woke Jack up from his nap, so I took him downstairs to get a snack where I saw...


Yep, some ants had found their way into our home and were snacking on a piece of cereal on the floor.  Lewis investigated and found their point of entry.  Eliminating that effectively would entail replacing the weatherstripping around our back door, getting some bug spray and ant traps, and quarantining the area from Jack for the rest of the day.

Lewis did not end up getting much studying done at all that day.  And just when I was thanking him for being such a sweet spouse and sacrificing so much to protect Jack and me from the creepy crawlies, he decided to creep me out further by talking about how he probably didn't kill all the baby spiders and they would probably grow up in the vacuum cleaner and then come after me all at once.  So I made him empty the vacuum canister right away for being so rude.  AND I DIDN'T EVEN SAY PLEASE.

But seriously, Lew.  Thanks for making our house pest-free.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

A Gray Hair Day

When I told Lewis that I was going to blog about today, he told me that it didn't seem believable.  To that I replied, "All the more reason."

The events that transpired today could each take up their own post.  But I want the world to know what my day was like and how I am positive that even more of my hair has turned gray because of it.

Allow me to explain.

At Smith's the other day, a smiling lady handed me a bag of samples from P&G.  Included in this bag was a travel-size bottle of Old Spice body wash.  Upon smelling it I determined that it was the same scent an old boyfriend and possibly one of my brothers uses and therefore could not be used by Lewis.  That would be weird.  It stayed in the bag until Jack decided to pull it out and play with it.

It being body wash and all (not exactly potable), I kept my eye on Jack while he played.  Should I have taken it away from him immediately?  Probably.  But I didn't.  He doesn't know how to open bottles like that yet.

Or should I say didn't.

As soon I saw him flip open the top I rushed over to take it away from him before he ingested any.  Before I got there, though, he turned the bottle upside down and squeezed.

I now have Old Spice-scented carpet.

As I was cleaning up the floor, Jack crept into the bathroom and did this:


My family is coming to town this week, so I have been trying to get the house ready for them.  One of the things I have been putting off is giving our guest bathroom a good once over.  I tend to not clean that bathroom as often as I should, for a number of reasons.  1) It's really only used for bathing Jack.  2) I do most of my cleaning when Jack is asleep and it is right next to his bedroom so cleaning it then would surely wake him.  3) The bathroom is right at the top of the stairs and up until this weekend we hadn't bothered to buy baby gates so I couldn't very well do it while he was awake.

I knew it had to get done, though, and today seemed as good a day as any.  So I dragged one of the baby gates upstairs.  As I tried to put it up, however, I noticed a problem.  It's a pressurized gate, so to work properly it has to be pushing into the wall in a straight line on both sides.  Well we have these lovely five-inch baseboards all over our house, so the gate has to go at least five inches off the ground.  But then at the top of the stairs the bannister thingy has a layer or something - You know what?  I'm just going to go take a picture to show you what I mean.  Here you go:

As you can see, there is plenty of space for a baby to slide under, particularly a baby with a small head and an intense desire to go down the stairs all on his own.  This would not do at all.  To compensate, I put a couple of boxes in front of it to block the gap.  I wasn't super satisfied with the results, but Jack tends to follow me around, so I figured I'd be able to stop him if he did try to move the boxes.

I was wrong.

It happened so quickly.  One moment he was playing happily in the doorway of the laundry room while I loaded it with towels from the linen closet and the next he was gone.  I rushed out of the laundry room in time to watch him tumble down the last few steps onto the landing in front of the window.  Thankfully he only fell down the top part of the stairs, before it turns and goes the rest of the way down.  That worst part was that I could have caught him after only the first three steps if that gate hadn't been there.

As soon as Jack stopped his rapid descent he rolled over and started wailing.  I gently picked him up and made him move everything to make sure he wasn't hurt.  As soon as he was in my arms he stopped crying and, in fact, started giggling.  He must think that his mother sobbing is funny.  Oh, did I not mention I was sobbing?  It was the scariest mommy-moment I have every had.  And he wasn't even hurt!

Once I was satisfied he was fine, I just held him close and rocked him, apologizing over and over (while he chuckled).  Then he abruptly pushed off of my stomach and took a flying leap towards the rest of the stairs.  He was evidently ready for round two.

Heaven help us.  We have a thrill-seeker.


Around the time we were expecting Lewis home from school, he called to say he would be late.  While he was at school, someone stole his car's catalytic converter from the commuter lot by the bus stop.  Fantastic.  Jack and I arrive just in time to see a police officer taking finger prints.  Jack's first crime scene!  What a milestone!  I hope the thief steps on a Lego.


Other fun things, scattered throughout the day:

- I let Jack eat a tissue because it was the lesser of two evils.

- Jack discovered that Chex make a delightful sound when they hit the floor from the height of his high chair.

- Jack dumped the contents of his toy basket all over the floor.  Twice.

- Jack pulled over a trash can containing poopy wipes, effectively distributing the wipes throughout the bathroom.  I was holding him at the time.  I still haven't worked out how he did that.

It was certainly a day during which I had to keep reminding myself to laugh instead of groan.  Mostly I compromised by just sighing.

If nothing else, I feel confident we will look back on this day and laugh, although perhaps with an eye roll or two.  Except the catalytic converter part.  That part will always suck.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Adventures in Churching

Until yesterday, Jack hadn't spat up in months.

Okay, that might not be entirely true, but it has felt like it.

He was never a big spitter-upper, but even the little bits here and there were not missed when they went away.

Until yesterday.

Yesterday we, being the good Mormons we are, went to church.  Throughout our first meeting - Sacrament Meeting - Jack acted like he had bees in his head.  He wanted to be held.  No, he wanted to be put on the ground.  Just kidding, he wanted to be held.  He tried to eat the tissues someone left under our pew (yuck).  He ripped some hairs out of the head of the little girl sitting behind us.  Twice.  He stuffed handfuls of puffs in his mouth.  He threw handfuls of puffs on the floor.  He tried to eat the program.  He tried to escape.  Again and again and again.

The only redeeming thing about this behavior was that he was pretty quiet.  Which is weird for him.

This look of innocence is just a ruse.

Lewis took him to the back to crawl around and let out some energy.  Didn't work.  I took him to the mothers' lounge to nurse him and try and calm him down.  Didn't work.  Finally I just took him to the foyer and let him go nuts while I listened the rest of the meeting on the speakers.

I let Jack be until he tried to climb into another baby's car seat - with the other baby still in it.  I'm sure he just wanted to grab her face and give her kisses, but still.  Car seats are not made for two.

So I picked him up and hauled him over to the chair I was sitting in, hoping to distract him with one of his toys (and when I say "toys," I really mean recycled garbage that he likes better than any of his actual toys).  Suddenly I felt something warm in my lap.  Crud, I thought.  He peed on me.

I immediately snatched him from my lap to see how wet he was.  Much to my surprise, he was not wet at all.  But he was laughing hysterically.  I looked down at my lap and discovered a lovely white pool of spit up, splattered all over my skirt.


My first thought was to grab my phone and text Lewis to come save the day.  But of course I had left my phone - and everything else - with Lewis in the chapel.

Did I mention we were sitting in the front?  Yep.  Fourth row.

By this point the spit up had soaked into my clothing enough that I was not in any danger of getting in on the church floor (it had also cooled off considerably) so I just held Jack in front of me and made my way back to our pew.  As soon as we arrived, I deposited Jack in Lewis' lap and hissed at him to get me the keys and my church bag.  I held my bag in front of me and hightailed it out of there.

Thank GOODNESS we live so close to our church.  I was back home in no time at all.  My plan was to just put on a different skirt and hope no one noticed, but of course Jack had managed to get some grossness on my blouse as well.  It would have to be an different outfit entirely.  I changed quickly and was soon on my way back.

While I was walking I remembered that Lewis had been asked to say the closing prayer.  Great.  If I didn't make it back in time, he would have to take Jack with him and everyone would probably hear less praying and more Jack grabbing the microphone, trying to eat it, and then growling into it.

As soon as I walked into the building, I heard the closing song playing.  Excellent, I had made it.  I speed walked into the chapel and all the way to the front.  As soon as my bum hit the bench the song ended and Lewis stood up to pray.  Perfect timing!  And with any luck no one noticed that I had changed outfits.

No such luck.  Right after the he finished the prayer, the second counselor in our bishopric asked him if Jack had peed on me.

And then our neighbor and I had a good laugh about how perfect my timing was in getting back right before the prayer (Lewis had arranged with the people behind us to hold on to Jack in case I didn't make it, but still).

Pretty much, everyone knew something was up.

Stinking kid.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Tidbits o' Jack

Exceptional Baby

I've always had a dream that my children would be exceptional.  It doesn't matter what they are exceptional in (well, it matters a little.  I don't want them to be exceptionally good at drugs or something), I just simply hoped for them to be exceptional in some way.

Jack, in his ever-constant desire to be ahead of the game, has already proved to be exceptional.  Exceptionally skinny.   For his age he is in about the fifth percentile for weight.  For his height, he does not even approach the chart.  

I can't decide if his skinniness is nature or nurture.  On the natural hand, my mother tells me that all of her children were skinny ones.  On the nurturing hand, Jack moves all the time.  All of it.  To the point that he has actually very nice muscles in his arms and legs.  I think Lewis put it best when he said, "Jack's fat is like our bank account.  As soon as any is deposited, he spends it."

That's not a roll in his arm.


Slowly but surely, Jack has been destroying his crib.  Whenever he is awake and in his crib, he is snacking on the inside of the railing.  I didn't anticipate this happening until he got some top teeth, but he has been apparently unsatisfied with how sharp his one tiny tooth is.  And of course our local Walmart does not sell crib rail protectors.

Jack after a mid-morning meal.

Suspiciously Quiet

As is the case with most children, the only time I really need to worry about what Jack is doing is when he is being quite.  Much like his inability to be still, Jack also has an inability to be quite.  Unless, of course, he is making mischief of one kind or another.  Naturally, I never notice the silence until it is too late.

One such quite time occurred this morning.  When I located the troublemaker, he was under the kitchen table with a bag of bread in his lap, snacking on one of the pieces.  Between yesterday and today, Jack grew just enough to pull stuff off the table.  Thankfully he got the bread bag with only two pieces in it (heels, both of them) and not the full bag.

Apparently the crib did not offer enough nutrition.

Mom Can be Sneaky Too

Jack recently decided he does not want to eat vegetables anymore.  Up until last week he had been having vegetables every day without issue.  Then he abruptly decided eating them was more than a little torturous.  He will still eat some as finger foods, but absolutely none are acceptable on a spoon.  Fruits, however, are just peachy.  (Pun.)  So today when I was pureeing some pears for him, I threw in  several handfuls of spinach.  He had a bowlful for dinner and I've never seen him eat anything so quickly.  As a bonus pears and spinach create a lovely hue just the same shade as peas, so maybe I can trick him into eating some of those sometime.

Mom: 1 Jack: 0.  For now, no doubt.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Be a Jitter Bug, Not a Litter Bug!

There is little in this world I hate more than littering.  Ooh, it really cooks my grits!  It's one of those things that I am honestly surprised people still do.  I thought we had all figured out that it's not okay.  Like smoking.  How do people in this day and age when we now so much about how crappy smoking is for your health get into it?  I'll never know.

Last Saturday we were at Costco.  I know, bad idea.  Going to Costco on a Saturday is like going to Disneyland over UEA.  It's crowded, smelly, and there are a lot of crying Mormon kids.  While we were on our way out, this toddler sitting in the cart in front of us dropped his napkin on the ground.  Obviously he didn't know any better.  But his father - who watched the napkin fall and made no attempt to catch it - did.  So did his mother who glanced over to see what her husband was looking at and frowned slightly at the napkin before stepping over it.

Now I don't know about the rest of the sane world, but if my kid drops garbage on the ground, I will pick it up (or make him do it, if the circumstances allow) and show him the proper way to dispose of it. Just leaving it on the ground is absolutely, positively not cool.

You may think I should go easy on this family.  After all, we were in Costco, and on a Saturday!  There were a bajillion people around and picking up that napkin could have proved difficult with the surge of people all trying to leave the store at once.  Oh except, wait, it wasn't.  Cause I picked it up myself, causing no significant break in the exodus.

Coincidentally this family was parked right next to us.  I kept shooting glares at them through the backseat window while I buckled Jack in.  I was secretly hoping they wouldn't put their cart away (another thing that bugs me) so I could judge them more, but a parking lot attendant happened to be collecting the carts from the closest corral as they finished up loading their car and took the cart for them.

But seriously, world.  Don't litter.  It's rude.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Big, Bad Dad and Uncle

Every week Lewis heads down to Provo to play a hockey game on a team with my brother, Daniel.  Their games usually start at some ridiculous hour like 9:45 at night, but occasionally the scheduling gods smile mercifully upon their team and grant them a 7:30 game.  Such was the case last night, so Jack and I came to support two of our favorite guys.

Shortly before the game started, Lewis poked his head out of the tunnel that leads from the locker rooms to the ice, so Jack and I went over to say hello.  Since the game was about to start, Lewis was in full gear: skates, monstrous shoulder pads, beefy socks, a helmet with cage, and of course, his stick.  As soon as we greeted him, Lewis said hello to Jack and offered him a big smile.  I turned to Jack just as he was opening his mouth to give his pop a cheeky grin back -

And watched him scream in terror instead.

This was a noise I had never before heard escape my baby's throat.  Not to mention one that I hope to never hear again.  Jack did not appreciate something about Lewis' getup.  Thinking it might be the helmet cage, Lewis took that off, and Jack was just fine.  Until Daniel came out of the locker room.

Lather, rinse, repeat.

In the future, when Jack love sports like his mommy and daddy do,
we are going to show everyone this picture and tell them this story.

Jack was as happy as a clam during the game.  He flirted with some of Daniel's friends that came to watch.  He tried desperately to catch the eyes of the fans sitting behind us (no luck - they were serious about the game).  He giggled ferociously as his uncle Andrew tickled him.  He blew zerberts on my cheeks.  In other words, he was regular Jack.

Then the game ended (in victory) and Daniel skated over to say hello.  We were sitting about seven or eight rows above the penalty box, so Daniel skated right in to that.  Apparently the distance, glass wall, and fact that Daniel had already taken off his helmet and cage didn't matter to Jack.  He absolutely, positively freaked out.

As Lewis was going into the tunnel, he waved us over.  He apparently did not see Jack's reaction to Daniel mere moments before.  I took Jack over cautiously.  Instead of meeting him at the bottom, we looked down on him from the top of the bleachers.  That was still too close for Jack.  As soon as he spotted his father, he made a sound I've come to associate with banshees and began sobbing uncontrollably into my shoulder.

In the lobby we waited for Lewis and Daniel to change back into their street clothes.  After all he had been through that night, as well as the fact that we were now multiple hours past his bedtime, Jack was more than a little clingy.  He wasn't crying anymore, but you could forget about anyone else holding him.  That is until Lewis came out of the locker room and joined us.  As soon as he saw him, Jack dove into his arms and snuggled right in.

Here is our theory as to what brought on the fear: We think Jack saw his dad in all those pads and gear and maybe thought something was attacking Lewis.  All he could see of Lewis that was familiar was his head.  When we were up close, that was enough to settle him.  But when we were far away, looking down on Lewis from above, all Jack could see was his daddy's face on top of fatty pads.  And then when Lewis came out of the locker room after the game, Jack went to him for reassurance.  He needed to see that his dad, his buddy was okay.  It was a heart breaking, and then heart warming evening.

Except Jack was still scared of Daniel.  We'll work on that.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Constructive Compliments

So... Pandora.  It's great!  I use it daily.  Jack and I love rocking out and dancing like crazy people and Pandora provides the music, for which I am very grateful.  We would look pretty silly rocking out and dancing like crazy people without music.

And far be it from me to criticize something that is offered to me for zero dollars, but... I'm going to anyway.  Call it constructive.  File these away into your suggestion box if you ever feel the need to improve.

1. When I thumbs up a song, I expect to hear it more often.  And yet there are some songs that I have thumbs upped that I hardly ever, and others that I have not thumbs upped that play daily.  Sometimes more than once.  I know that I can thumbs down such songs and not have to listen to them anymore, but it's not like I hate them.  I just don't need to hear them that often...

2. ...Which brings me to my second point.  Didn't Pandora use to have a "play this song less frequently" option?  Where did that go?  It was so handy.  Is it just not on the tablet app?  Somebody tell me; I'm too lazy to go check.

(Bee tee dubs, I just hit the command button right before I typed that semicolon, fully expecting it to make my keyboard switch from letters to numbers and symbols.  The mischievous iPad, messing me up!)

3. Adele.  While she is lovely and undoubtedly talented, I found that I can only listen to her in small doses.  And you, Pandora, seem to be having a love affair with her.  No matter which station I select - lullaby, Disney, Billy Joel, MoTab, Muppets Holiday (word) - she shows up.  Frequently.  Except not anymore cause I got so sick of them, I thumbs downed all her songs - but really I just wanted to listen to them less frequently.  Hmm, I feel like there is something that could have been done about that.

4. Why, oh why have you let the Shane Company be one of your sponsors?  I know, I know, they sponsor everything.  I have received a beanie, backpack, chap stick, and beer bottle cozy all emblazoned with their logo at various sporting events.  But I will never, ever, EVER purchase anything from the Shane Company.  Why?  Because I absolutely, positively loathe their commercials.  I don't know who their spokesperson is (Is it Shane?  I feel like it should be Shane), but he has the most grating, irritating voice I have every heard.  I frequently play Pandora while I am in the shower and the last thing I want to hear while I'm scrubbing my bum is that voice.  I would take the creepy Cars dot com confidence falsetto voice than Shane's.

5. You know what, Pandora?  You deserve a compliment.  A nice surprise to pull out of you suggestion box at your suggestion box meeting.  So here goes: Yours is probably the app I use most frequently these days.  For the most part, Jack and I just love you.  Keep up the good work.

Love from,


Monday, June 11, 2012

Everything But The...

The following is a conversation Jack and I had.

Me: Jack, say da da da

Jack: Da da da

Me: Say ba ba ba

Jack: Ba ba ba

Me: Cough, cough

Jack: Cough, cough

Me: *Blowing raspberries*

Jack: *Blowing raspberries*

Me: Da da da

Jack: Da da da

Me: Ma ma ma

Jack: Da da da

Me: Hey!  Pa pa pa

Jack: Pa pa pa

Me: Ma ma ma!

Jack: Pa pa pa

Yep.  My son is a twerp.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Time Paradox

Jack is nine months old today.

Here's the thing.  I was pregnant that kid for an entire nine months.  And now he has apparently been out and about and living in the world for just as long.  Or so the calendar tells me.  Cause there is no way that those two events represent the same amount of time.

I always scoffed at old people talking about how fast time went by.  Psh!  I thought.  Time is time is time!  I thought.  It's the same for everyone!  I thought.

And then I had Jack.

Holy cow time goes by so much faster now.

In my brain I was pregnant for about the gestational length of an elephant and Jack has been here for maybe - maybe - three months.

Hmph.  I do not approve.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Jack's Nemesis

Jack and the vacuum have a complicated relationship.

When we first got our new vacuum, Jack was mildly curious about it.  Not enough to really do anything.  Just enough that he tentatively rolled away from it whenever they were in the same room.

And then we turned it on.

I am still somewhat convinced that the noise from that vacuum is what motivated Jack to learn to crawl so early.

It got to the point that I couldn't vacuum unless either Lewis was home and could occupy Jack in the opposite side of the house or I let Jack cling to my neck the entire time.

Then Jack grew up and got a little braver.  Suddenly he was okay with hanging out in baby jail (the pack 'n play) while I vacuumed.  And by "hanging out" I mean glaring daggers at the vacuum and tracking it all over the room we were in.  Oh, and screaming if it got too close and insisting I pick him up so he could cling to my neck some more.

Then one day, after I had vacuumed the living room and left it sitting there off to one side, Jack went up to it.  He touched it.  He tried to chew on the cord.

And he pulled it down on top of himself.


You would think that the whole reason Jack was scared of the vacuum cleaner in the first place was because he thought it would hurt him.  And then when it actually did hurt him (nothing serious), his fear would return anew.

You would be wrong.

I can no longer leave the vacuum out.  As soon as it is shut off I have to put it away or Jack will go after it again.  Maybe he thinks this time he will fall on top of it?  I don't know.

Today was a big step in the evolution of Jack's relationship with the vacuum.  Today when I vacuumed the TV room, Jack just sat there in the middle of the room.  He didn't even move when the vacuum came close.  Which turned out to be kind of a problem because I needed to vacuum the carpet under him, too.  So I gently nudged his bum with the front of the machine, fully expecting him to shriek in terror and to be clinging to my neck in no time.

Never has being wrong made me so proud.  Jack has matured, you see.  Instead of reacting out of fear, Jack merely gave the vacuum a withering look and crawled haughtily away to play in the kitchen.

Sometimes my son kind of acts a little bit like a cat.

Next step?  Jack will vacuum for me.  He will be the master of the vacuum.
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