Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween!

Have you ever seen a cuter little monkey? Hope your Halloween's a happy one!

Moooooooooom, can I take it off now?
How 'bout now?
No, son, it's only 7:45am and I fully intend for you to sleep in that tonight.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Maybe he can fix our dishwasher

I think Dean may have a future career as a plumber.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Can't help loving that man of mine

I have to tell you that I originally wrote this post yesterday (and it was brilliant! Brilliant, I say!) but it was sucked into the black hole of the internet by some kind of freak keystroke error, so here's my second, less brilliant shot. Boo.

It's funny how things change over the years. It's even funnier how they stay exactly the same. Marcus and I are still essentially newlyweds, but we have a ten-year history together, so sometimes the past peeks around a corner and reminds us of where we came from. Back then when we were just starting to "spark" as we say in the south, we were so pre-occupied with things that seem so trivial now. He would always make sure his long hair was freshly washed when he knew he'd be seeing me because he knew I liked the smell of his shampoo. I would wear green a lot because it's his favorite color (even though it does NOTHING for my skin tone). When living in NY, Marcus would do sweet things like making sure I had an umbrella or a metro card and I'd make sure the fridge was stocked with Coca-Cola and sharp cheddar cheese. When I was pregnant, he would take me to the diner at 11pm to satisfy a craving for a reuben, which must have disgusted him. (Ever seen a pregnant woman devour sauerkraut in the middle of the night? It ain't pretty.) I once chopped olives for him. I HATE olives. But he loves them and I love him, so there ya go. Since Dean's come along, we've become quite the team of care-takers and playmates.

Yesterday, Dean was sick. He had a cough and some sinus drainage and was really lethargic all day. He woke up from one of many naps and I tried to feed him a little lunch. He didnt' really eat much, so I put him on my lap on the couch and gave him a couple of Cheerios. Marcus had just made his lunch and was sitting down next to us to eat. Suddenly without warning, Dean started vomitting. I've never seen a baby throw up like that. It JUST KEPT COMING. It poured out of him over and over. And you don't even get the courtesy of a gag. It JUST KEEPS COMING. On me, on the couch, all over the place. Marcus calmly set his sandwich aside and ran for a towel, while it JUST KEPT COMING all over me. He put Dean in the bathtub and got him cleaned up while I peeled my clothes off and cleaned the couch. (thank GOD we got the microfiber sofa!) Once things had calmed down, I went into the bathroom to check on Dean and Marcus turned around, met my eyes and flashed me a smile. There I stood, half dressed, covered in baby vomit and sporting a nasty cold sore on my lip (YOW) and there he sat soaked with bath water, little baby hands clinging to his collar and hair, yet we were giving each other the same look as we have so many times before. It's that smile that reminds me how much he "gets it." He understands exactly what I'm thinking so much of the time and all it takes is that look to let me know we are on the same wavelength. I saw it when we were dating and it told me "I think you're cool." I saw it on our wedding day and it said "I'm so happy you're my wife." I saw it when I was in labor and it said "I wish I could take away the pain." (fortunately the epidural man took care of that one.) I saw it the first time we held Dean and it said "Look at what we have!" And I saw it yesterday. It said "Wow, baby vomit is gross. And there's some in your hair."

I'm sure we have many vomit-filled days in our future, not to mention other nasty things. It's so comforting to know that we can look through the sludge and still see each other.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Vacation, all I ever wanted

You know how sometimes you say you need a vacation at home? I got one! (more or less) My mom and dad brought Dean and me home with them this week to Oxford, MS, where we have been loved and pampered since our arrival. I have had 2 consecutive FULL NIGHTS OF SLEEP! I feel like a new person. I've only had to drink 2 cups of coffee in the morning to get going! And Dean? He's in the lap of luxury! He has his Grammy and Papa to entertain him so mommy can do things like work on her syllabus for next semester's classes and SLEEP!

My grandmother declared my wardrobe unfit and sent me shopping with her Belk credit card. Y'all...I bought a whole new wardrobe. And everything fits! It's not "Oh, I'll buy this six dollar pair of pants just to get me through until I lose five more pounds." It's clothes that fit my body now. And they are CUTE. And my shoes are not from Payless! I even sprung for new underthings. I'll post pictures soon.

It's been a good few days. Aside from the SLEEP, I've gotten to spend good, quality time with my mom, dad and grandmother, see lots of old friends, show Dean off to everyone, and I FINALLY got to meet Bradley, my mom's kidney donor! He's tall and red-headed. Dean loved him. It was great to finally get a chance to meet him and his wife, Nicole and give them both a big hug. I only cried on him a little, which I'm sure he appreciated.

Dean has been HYPER since we arrived and got so excited the other night that he spit up peas on me and my mom's white bedspread. Nice. He loves playing peek-a-boo with his Papa and his Grammy has taken excellent care of him at night. (So I can SLEEP!)

We'll be heading home on Saturday, so you'll hear more from me then. Right now, I'm going to get another fresh-baked cookie and cup of coffee. Because my mommy loves me. ;)

Monday, October 13, 2008

Yes, but it's MY rut...

What I have had to eat in the past 2 days:
Apple Cinnamon Cheerios
V8 Fusion
3 meatballs in a bowl with marinara sauce and cheese
Coke Zero
Turkey sandwich on sourdough with lacey swiss, honey mustard and lettuce
a few Ruffles chips
Pibb Zero (like Coke Zero, only Pibb! Who knew? It's so good! And on sale even! ! )

Apple Cinnamon Cheerios
V8 Fusion
Turkey sandwich on sourdough with lacey swiss, honey mustard and lettuce
a few Ruffles chips
Coke Zero
Turkey sandwich on sourdough with lacey swiss, honey mustard and lettuce
a few Ruffles chips
Pibb Zero

We see a pattern, yes? I was going to make a pizza for dinner (I'm a dang GOURMET, I tell ya), but Marcus and I got caught up digging through still-packed boxes trying to find the Netflix movies we brought with us from NYC and still have not watched. (Still haven't found them, by the way) As we did this, we decided to eat sandwiches (again) in shifts so someone could entertain Dean while the other dug through boxes. We only stopped for a minute to put a Band-aid on Dean's finger when he somehow managed to tear his little cuticle. He didn't even tell us, he just started bleeding on everything. Ever put a Band-aid on a 9 month old? Well, DON'T. They try to EAT them. Should have known that one...

My plans for tomorrow include getting an estimate to repair our car, dusting and eating something that's NOT turkey and lacey swiss. I'm out of sourdough bread anyway.

PS: For those who are interested (and some of you are! You are goobers like me!) the Publix penny item this week was Chex Mix. A whole bag of Chex Mix for a penny! Woo hoo!

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Next year we're getting fireman hats

Today was the annual Fire Prevention Parade in Montevallo. It is a TRIP! All the fire trucks in the entire county come to town and parade down Main Street blasting their sirens, flashing their lights, throwing candy and waving to the crowd. There were about 50 trucks in this year's line-up and they held everyone from the mayor to local Girl Scouts. Marcus and I were really excited. This is the reason we moved back to the to the south--community-wide events. (And SEC football, of course) After a quick bite at McDonald's (we went there solely to collect Monopoly pieces--the annual McMonopoly game has started!), we rolled Dean's stroller out to the sidewalk and waited for the parade to start. Dean found a girl baby to flirt with and seemed really excited about whatever was coming.

(Hey, look! Jen posed for a picture! Pay no mind to her lack of make-up...)
Suddenly, we heard the sound of a drum line and soon, the Montevallo High School marching band, majorettes, dance team and flag corps came marching down the street.

That's the ENTIRE band. If you didn't believe we lived in a small town before, betcha do now! We have seen the band practicing on the field a couple of times and we noticed how few people there were. I told Marcus "Oh, maybe they're practicing in sections." Not so much. At least everyone's marching on the right foot.
Soon, we heard the squeal of sirens. Make that the deafening squeal of sirens. And horns. It was really fun, but I worried that Dean would be scared. He seemed un-phased by the loud sounds, so I held him close, putting a hand over his ear when the noise got really loud. Marcus took some great pictures and caught a good amount of candy.

The parade started with this cool vintage engine, incidentally driven by one of the nice fire and rescue guys who checked Dean and me out after our wreck on Tuesday. It was followed by several Volswagons from the Montevallo Volswagon Club. Yes, we have a Volswagon Club, complete with "Sweet Pickles Buses" as we used to call them.

We call that one "Roll Tide Bug." Anyway, there were a ton of very cool trucks. Marcus was having a blast. He grew up in a family full of firefighters, so this parade really hit home for him.

Marcus wants the boat.

This image made Marcus and me cry. We are sappy.
At about this point in the parade, I noticed Dean had laid his head on my shoulder and started to relax. I turned him so Marcus could see his face and...

ASLEEP. Never mind the BLARING SIRENS, HONKING HORNS and crazy children running around screaming. Can you tell he's a former New Yorker?

All in all, it's a cool event, completely unique to Montevallo. After the parade, we went over to Orr Park where they had booths set up selling everything from Tupperware to shaved ice (yes, I got one!). The local drug store was giving out free shopping bags full of loot. Ours contained Alabama Lip Balm (Roll Tide!), an energy drink, a calendar, some magnets, about 20 individual packets of Excedrin, some candy and a Slim Jim (the sausage stick, not the thing you use to unlock your car). It was a fun way to spend a Saturday morning in our new home town.

Dean remains unimpressed.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

If ya can't beat em, join em

I started blog entries 3 times yesterday and ended up ditching all of them due to lack of interest (from me). I've already told you everything Dean can do, and after talking to not one but two claims adjusters, I have no desire to talk about my wreck again. EVER. SO, I'll take it as a sign that several (like, a weird, uncanny amount) of my favorite bloggers wrote about music in one form or another over the past few days. I cannot tell you my absolute favorite song in the world. It doesn't work that way for me. Music has always been super-important to me, thanks to my musical parents, and certain songs define certain periods of my life. Nothing can evoke feelings of nostalgia in me like hearing a song from my past. So, in no particular order, here is a list of some of my favorites. Remember, I grew up in the 80s and was a teenager in the 90s, but had parents and uncles who grew up in the 70s and early 80s, so that has definitely informed my musical tastes. It doesn't help that I married an 80s alterna-guy.

Song I wish I'd written: "Who's Gonna Ride Your Wild Horses" by U2. Anyone ever heard this one? Because it's awesome. OH, Bono, how I love thee... I really love all U2 songs. Their lyrics are amazing.

Favorite sappy lyrics: "Bed of Roses" by Bon Jovi. I mean, come on, who doesn't love the line "Tonight I won' t be alone, but you know that don't mean I'm not lonely." I used to like listening to this one when pining over boys in my single days.

Song that immediately reminds me of my husband: "Ring of Fire" by Johnny Cash. He once sang it with the band at a Mexican restaurant, but he forgot the words to the second verse. So, in true Marcus form, he yelled, from the stage and into a microphone "Baby! What's the second verse?"

Song that immediately transports me back to high school: There are so many of these, but the first one that comes to my mind is "Friday I'm In Love" by the Cure. Every time I hear the opening riff, I feel like I'm back in my old Dodge Shadow driving to Bronco Belle practice. (The Bronco Belles was our dance team. We rocked it. I was much thinner then and looked hawt in my sequined leotard.)

Cassette Single my 8th Grade best friend, Paige, and I wore out fastest: It's a tie between "Blaze of Glory" by Bon Jovi from the "Young Guns 2" soundtrack and "To Be With You" by Mr. Big. Dean and I just heard the latter on the all 90's music TV channel. He was unimpressed that I knew every word.

Best song for skating: "Mickey" by Toni Basil. This is the only song I ever remember them playing at the skating rink. I'm sure there were others. I vaguely remember hearing "Karma Chameleon" at one point, but "Mickey" was definitely the most-played at our particular rink.

Most played slow song at high school CYO dances: Again, a tie. Growing up in Louisiana, we had a lot of country fans, so "The Dance" by Garth Brooks was a constant fixture at our dances. For the rest of us, Asher the DJ always played "Everybody Hurts" by REM.

Favorite song we did a Bronco Belle routine to: "If" by Janet Jackson. We actually had to change the choreography right before the pep rally. (Scandalous!) My friend Jessica, whose father just happened to be our assistant principal, choreographed this one and it was a bit, um, risque in her dad's opinion. We toned it down.

Favorite song from college: "Turn My Head" by Live. My roommate, Charlie, and I used to listen to this and classic Aerosmith for HOURS.

Favorite song from grad school: Ok, so this song was not written or recorded while I was in grad school, but I played it on the juke box every single Sunday night at Bumpers, the place we went to sing Karaoke. (Karaoke with theatre folks, by the way, is amazing. They actually added a second karaoke night just for us.) I digress. The song is "Come Monday" by Jimmy Buffett. We all liked it because Monday was our day off.

Song I wish I could sing really, really well: ANYTHING by Dusty Springfield. GAAAAH! She's amazing. "Song of a Preacher Man?" Awesome! "Wishin and Hopin?" AWESOME! Heard her version of "Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow?" Cause guess what? It's awesome!

Favorite song to hear at Karaoke: "Kiss" (The Prince version). I should add a disclaimer that I only like this when it's done well. There's nothing worse than bad, off-key falsetto, you know?

Song that reminds me of my dad: "When A Man Loves A Woman" by Percy Sledge. Because my dad can sing it JUST LIKE Percy! (I'm sure he will appreciate me sharing that with the internet) Dad, Mom and I once saw Percy Sledge in concert in the lounge of a casino in Tunica, MS. It was surreal.

Song that reminds me of my mom: "Breakin' Up Is Hard To Do" and "Build Me Up Buttercup." We like to sing them in harmony. We sing them to Dean sometimes. I think it confuses him because our voices sound alike. He seems pretty underwhelmed. But dang it, we've been working on these songs for 20 years and planning to sing them to a baby and you are going to listen and love them, Deeeeeeeeeeean. Yeah.

Non-baby song that Dean likes: "Pour Some Sugar On Me" by Def Lepard. Seriously, there are nights when Marcus and I have to sing it over and over just to get him to eat.

So there's a sampling of my, uh, eclectic taste in music! Share your favorite song in comments!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Well, baby

Dean had his 9-month well baby visit today. Here are his stats:
Weight: 20 lbs. 11 oz.
Height: 27 3/4 inches
Head: 18 1/4 inches
He is a healthy, happy little guy. He got a flu shot, so the happy may wear off later tonight, but so far, he's ok.

On the way home (hold onto your hats) we got rear-ended. Those of you who have followed my blog for a while may remember the last time I got rear-ended in July. That time, I was in the middle, crunched between a Stratus and a Mini-van. (The guy who hit me fled the scene and we've heard nothing ever since.) Today, I was sitting still on the highway, waiting to turn ONTO MY OWN STREET. There was a lot of traffic coming from the other direction, so we were sitting there for a while, Dean starting to fuss because he was hungry. Suddenly, I heard it. SLAM, SLAM, and felt it SLAM. Compared to last time, the bump was nothing, but the sheer horror was much worse because this time I had a passenger. Fortunately, Dean started crying immediately, so I knew he was ok enough to yell. I pulled over and jumped out of the car to get to him. When I opened the door to the backseat, he saw me and giggled. Then he started trying to climb out of his carseat. I got him out, which I wasn't sure was the right thing to do or not, but I NEEDED to hold my baby. The guy from the third car had it worse. He came toward us, worried about Dean, but I noticed he had a big red mark on his head. I told him not to move, remembering my bout with whiplash. By the time the EMTs and police got there, he had to be put in a neck stabilizer and strapped to a gurney. The man behind me also had to go to the hospital. Four different EMTs checked Dean out and he's just fine, Thank God. I called Marcus, who was in class at the time, and he got to us quite quickly (yay, small towns, and thank you Zach for driving him!). Anyway, we're both fine. Our car isn't so fine. The bumper had to be completely taken off and the car looks even worse than before. (Our car's 11 years old and has kind of been through the ringer lately.)

Needless to say, this is not how we wanted to spend our day. Or our money, since we'll almost certainly be needing a new car. Ugh. I'm looking forward to getting the accident report (in 3-6 days) to see if the guy who started it all was drunk. I have a bad feeling he was. At 9:45am.
But the bottom line is that Dean's ok and that is truly all that matters.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Happy Happy, Joy Joy

My cousin Heather "tagged" me on her blog to write about six things that make me happy. That will not be hard and feels like a good thing to do on a Sunday morning.

1. Dean. He's better than I could have ever expected my child to be. I love him in a way I never understood was possible until he was here. He's nine months old today and it's hard to remember what my heart felt like before he was here. He amazes us every day with his new skills and bright smile. Good things do, indeed, come in small packages.

2. Marcus. I could not have picked a better life-partner, father for my child, or best friend. He is the perfect blend of goofiness and sensibility. He's practical and patient. And he makes really good tacos.

3. Weekends. Working in the theatre, weekends are usually the busiest time of your week, since you usually have two shows on Saturday and a matinee on Sundays. (Our day off is usually Monday) I had honestly forgotten how good it felt to have two whole days to just do what you wanted to do. Since moving to Montevallo, we've enjoyed our weekends SO much. We get up early (thank you, Dean) and visit garage sales, parks or community events. We watch football and eat good food. On Sundays, we read the paper, clip coupons, eat donuts and do our shopping. Today, we'll be planting an herb garden. I do love this slow, southern life.

4. Coffee. OH, how I love coffee. I totally lost my taste for it while I was pregnant, but am very much back on the bandwagon now. I wish I had back all the money I spent at Starbuck's while I worked at Lincoln Center, but oh, well.

5. The outdoors. I didn't grow up in a particularly "outdoorsy" family, but I have come to really appreciate the great outdoors. In New York, you are outside a lot by necessity, since you pretty much have to walk everywhere you go. Also, you apartment is so small that you will often do ANYTHING to just get out of there! I spent a lot of time in Central Park when I lived there. I would also sometimes get off the subway one stop early to walk and explore new neighborhoods. Now that we're in Alabama, we're enjoying the parks and downtown areas and are hoping to get out and hit some of the hiking trails this fall. And, of course, we like to spend time in outdoor football arenas. ;)

6. Christmas. This year's gonna be better than ever!!!!!!!!!!!

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Picture pages, picture pages!

Before we get to the pictures, I have to tell you that Dean kicked me in the nose so hard tonight that I saw stars. No blood, thankfully. YOW.

Mr. Hey Look At Me I Can Crawl. And I can eat Mommy's flip flop! Gross.
Don't be mad at me for eating your shoe or almost breaking your face, Mommy! Look how cute my eyebrows are! They almost meet in the middle...just like yours!

I have decided there is nothing in the world cuter than baby jeans. I mean, look at this little bum bum in baby jeans!

So sweet, I think I have a cavity!
Here are the ghosts we hung in our trees, on our mailbox and on our porch posts.

The 12-ghost kit was only a dollar at Publix. That's a deal, I tell you. Marcus made fun of them, but I don't care. Dean thinks they are HILARIOUS and bursts out laughing whenever we see them and I say "BOO!" He sat in his stroller playing with a leaf while I strung up said ghosts.

Here's Dean in the pumpkin patch at the church down the road. They have their entire lawn covered in pumpkins, which they sell. All the proceeds go to the Safe House, a shelter for abused women and children. He had a really good time seeing all the pumpkins and we brought one home for his official Halloween picture in his costume. (Sorry, you don't get to see that one yet! Gotta wait til Halloween!)

Dean got new shoes this week. Dean HATES to wear shoes or socks. I saw these on major sale and thought "Hey! Those are cool! They have flames on them and little toes on the bottom! SURELY Dean will WANT to wear them!" Not so much. He does, however, enjoy eating them and throwing them at displays in Walgreen's. (Ok, and what's up with him playing with diapers? See it there, to his left? He takes them away from me when I go to change him, so I have to get another one to put on him!)

His 9 month well baby appointment is on Tuesday. I cannot believe he's already almost 9 months old. It seems like only two minutes have passed between this:

and this:

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

This is how I post when Dean keeps me awake all night

I will start by telling you that I have some kind of bizarre thing going on under my wedding ring. I don't know what has happened, but the skin is raw, almost like it's been burned. Marcus is certain I have a chemical burn from using too many Clorox wipes. Maybe so. It's better than it was, but still hurts a lot. The annoying part has been not being able to wear my ring. I finally just put a bunch of lotion on my finger and put the ring back on today. So there.

So, we grocery shop at Publix. I love it. It's a nice store and you can find whatever you need. They carry the right kind of baby food (Dean's a fan of some of the Beech-nut flavors) and my yogurt (soy, because I"m lactarded. It's not nearly as gross as it sounds.) My favorite thing they do is offer a penny mystery coupon in Sunday's paper. You clip it, bring it in and then find out what the mystery item is that you get for a penny! Last week it was Pringles chips. This week it was peanut butter. I didn't really need either of those items, but you better believe I grabbed them up for a penny! Ok, I digress. The one thing I don't care for as a part of my Publix shopping experience is the freaky, over-zealous baggers. Sometimes they are fine. Other times, like today, they are waaaay over the top. I suppose it's the store's policy to have the baggers bag your groceries (duh), then push your buggy to your car and load them up for you. They wear buttons saying "Don't tip." I always feel bad not giving them a dollar or something. Marcus HATES this practice. He likes to bag and carry the groceries so they will be easier to unload when we get home. He says the baggers make him feel unimportant and like his job has been taken away. I think he's being over-emotional about it, but who am I to judge, right? MY problem is that sometimes, the bagger finishes loading the buggy then just takes off to the parking lot WITH MY BABY IN THE BUGGY. Today, for instance, an older woman was my bagger. Y'all, I had 9 jars of baby food and some parmesan cheese. It all fit intot one bag. I was planning to push the buggy to the "lobby," take Dean and my bag out and walk to the car. She threw my one bag into the buggy and proceeded to take off with my buggy, bag and BABY. And I went all New York crazy in the Publix. (This is what all those years of "if you see something, say something" does to you. And it's not a bad thing!) I, quite loudly, screamed, "HEY!" She looked shocked. I noted my tone, smiled a little and said "I can get it." She said "No, ma'am! I'll take it for you!" and took off again. I ran up beside her, muttered something about wanting to stay near my baby and put a hand on the buggy, gripping it so hard my knuckle was white. Dean is fine with these people, who are always lovely, pushing him in the cart. And, truth be told, I very seriously doubt the Publix bagger is just going to take off with my kid, and even if they did, I"ll bet I could catch them, considering they'd almost certainly be slowed down by the weight of my groceries and my 20 pound child. I just wish they would at least ask "Ma'am, can I push your baby?" instead of taking off and giving me a heart attack.

Perhaps I'm over-reacting and this is just one of those small-town things I'm going to have to get used to again. Marcus is amazed by the number of people who come up in stores and restaurants to touch Dean. That doesn't bug me. What do you think? Would the baby in the buggy with the bagger thing freak you out?