Posts tagged motherhood

Birds as Decor?


It’s true. Everywhere I look in magazines, birds are a central design motif.

We are so lucky to have natural birds in our decor. I know, right?!


The long and the short of it: bird perp flew into our house AGAIN the other day when I let Jude out to play in the backyard. The door didn’t shut all the way behind him, and I was folding laundry in the laundry room. All of a sudden, Jude was back, and chattering incessantly about birds. I finally focused on what he was saying and he wanted me to come with him to show me a bird. WHAT?

Yup. Back in the house. Flew all over the living room, and into the dining room.

Pooped on its way out the door, too. Clearly this bird’s mother never taught it any manners.


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Of blizzards & birds

snow bird

Friday: 72 degrees and sunshine.

Saturday: 30 degrees and blizzard.

Monday: 65 degrees and glorious sunshine.

Oklahoma is weird.

succulents in snow
I’m kinda surprised my succulents have survived the winter and all our snow. Shows how much I know about gardening. Zilch.

The snow is nearly almost melted now and so we took the opportunity after having the pukies & poops all weekend to go do something fun. We have a window into our garage, and when Jude and I came back from running around, I noticed a big bird flapping around in the window. In the garage. I pointed it out to Jude and he looked really vexed. “Hold this bird,” he said in his faltering Jude-speak.

Uh oh. Luckily, that bird flew on out once I opened the garage door so I didn’t have to go shooing it out of there with a broom. Trust me, it wouldn’t be the first time in our family. Someday I’ll have to recount the story of Simon rescuing me when we were in college from a wounded, bleeding bird who bled and pooped all over my apartment one long day while I was out.

Anyway, it’s a glorious day so while Jude napped, I was snapping pictures of things that I wanted to blog about and cleaning up the enormous mess that is our house, and I had the back doors open, airing out the house. We have two backdoors in our open living room/kitchen because at one point, they were actually two separate rooms, walled off from each other. While I was in and out, I noticed the same bird that was in the garage, perched on the ledge, watching me through the glass in the kitchen. Weird.
the perp
Here it is. The perpetrator.

Then, about an hour later, the bird actually worked up the nerve to hop in the door and take a perusal of our kitchen and living room. In a way it was kind of sweet. In a Snow White/Cinderella/birds-as-cute-helpers and not as harbingers of disease and indiscriminate poopers. Uh oh. Ummm, ok. Now is not the time to panic or freak the bird out. Then he flew on into the living room and perched on this big Moroccan star lantern I have. Oh man. PLEASE PLEASE DON’T POOP ON ANYTHING!

Finally I was able to calmly whisk the bird on out of the house, but foolishly I left one of the two doors open. Jude began to cry, so I went upstairs to get him up from his nap and I told him about the bird flying in our house. “HOLD THIS BIRD!” he proclaimed. As if this was just the best thing that has ever happened in his young life. As we came downstairs into the living room, doggone it if that darn bird wasn’t BACK IN THE KITCHEN. Eating crumbs off the floor, under Jude’s chair.

Now wait. Hmm. Maybe this isn’t such a bad idea, I think to myself in a moment of perhaps-clarity. But no. No no no. Jude’s eyes are huge at this point. This is probably as close as he’s ever gotten to a bird, and all the better that it is in his house. But then it flew onto the stove and looked like it might peck at some leftover pancakes we had made earlier this morning. “BIRD EAT PANCAKES!” Jude hisses. “NO!”

Oh dear. I don’t know how we got it out, but we did. We let the dust settle, searched for wayward bird poop to clean up, and then I let Jude put his shoes on and go see the surprise waiting for him in the backyard. I had put the legs on his plastic flamingo that we bought at Walgreens last week, and stuck it out in the remaining snow, so once the bird was dealt with, I pointed to the flamingo. “MY BIRD! MY ‘MINGO!”
flamingo on a snow island

Boy & Flamingo

And as we ran outside to inspect our newly-placed flamingo, I saw the bird. Sitting there on the roof. Staring us down. SO FREAKY. With three of his little bird friends. Now how freaky is that.

Now I need to Clorox the house. Again.


Jude in red crocs.

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insert appropriate title here

It was an abrupt drop back down to the real world on Monday, after a wonderful Valentine’s evening with Simon (side note: you know, you could be following him on Twitter, too! Him here, me here). He was busy all weekend showing houses to some prospective buyers (friends from church). That night, we dropped off Jude with Simon’s parents, and headed off to the dollar movies to see Fantastic Mr. Fox, based on the Roald Dahl book. As a fan of director Wes Anderson, I thought this was such a fun movie, and Simon thought it was hilarious too. Afterwards, we went to the Cheesecake Factory where we indulged in late-night snacks and then a piece of red velvet cheesecake. We got home late, probably the latest I’ve been out after dark in quite awhile. ::sigh:: That’s what parenthood does to you. You don’t see the light of dark for months. Ha!

Monday …  I can’t even remember what happened Monday. Oh yeah, the grocery store. We did that. Then that night, Jude came down with a high fever completely out of the blue, and started coughing up a lung. He was completely out of it on Tuesday morning, and just laid in our bed for most of the day, watching movies on the laptop. He wanted me to stay right there by him  (which I could get really used to. I don’t like it when he’s sick, but it’s nice for him to slow down and let me just hold him like when he was little). I think he could have gotten used to all of it really fast. It’s a total treat, to him, to get to be in “the big bed.”  We’ve not ever been co-sleeping people; Jude has always been in his own bed, and us in ours. We all do better that way. Anyway, I was convinced it was the flu, but we went to the pediatrician and it turns out it was yet another round of ear infections. Poor kid. He perked up a lot afterward because I told him I’d take him for cupcakes and a Coke since he was so brave. I think the sugar gave him a total rush because I called Simon and told him that Lazarus had been raised from the dead over here and that all was well on the homefront.

arranging the quilt

I kept him out of mother’s day out, and then from BSF today, so we’ve been enjoying the sunshine, and eating Chick-fil-A.

In other news, I’m two weeks out from my final surgery up at the Mayo Clinic, and it cannot come fast enough. I’ve been keeping busy with various projects, including wedding invitations and some product packaging, but I’m ready to be done with all this surgery business. I’ve been feeling absolutely fantastic, healthwise. My energy has exploded; I think I probably haven’t been operating at full-tilt in quite awhile. But now I feel like I want this final surgery behind us so I can really focus on work projects. I think I feel guilty to take on too many things right now when I’ll have to pause mid-way through for surgery. Doesn’t exactly build confidence in your clients, you know? ::sigh::  That’s what I get for being transparent about it all.

I’m ready for spring. I’m sick of rain, wind, cold, and snow. I wish we were going somewhere tropical. Anywhere but Minnesnowta!

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I knew it was only a matter of time before Jude started saying funny things. As the vocabulary comes together, with it comes the inevitable snafu or misunderstanding.

– After staying with my parents at Christmas, Jude became very aware of coffee. My mom would get up with him every morning and they would take coffee to my dad. Now it’s like he’s a Starbucks junkie in the making. Anyway, I bought a jug of chocolate milk the other day and poured him a cup. He shrieked, “Coffee milk!!”  And then he asked for it last night when he was stalling at bedtime.

– After his nap today, I picked Jude up out of his crib and carried him downstairs. For whatever reason, he stuck his hand on my chest and patted me. “Mommy naked,” he told me. Oh really? Huh???? For the record, I was definitely NOT naked.

– Earlier in the week, Jude and I took Forrest to lunch at Shartel Cafe and Simon met us. One of the waitresses was a really long and lean girl, with a very short pixie haircut. Forrest and I had just been talking about kids saying funny things that are semi-embarrassing. Anyway, the waitress went over to the table next to ours and started cleaning it up. Lately Jude is obsessed with if people are men. Or boys. Or girls. The waitress was, to be fair, a wee bit androgynous, and he started shrieking, “MAN? HELPING! MAAAAAAN?”  I tried to ignore it. Forrest said my face turned bright red. “MAN!  MAN! MAN! HELPING!”  Jude likes to keep nagging persisting until you respond to whatever it is that he’s saying, so I tried to redirect his focus, but to no luck.  He talked about the HELPING MAN all day.  :-\    Forrest is STILL laughing about it.

– Favorite phrase that Uncle Forr has taught him: “cash money.”  Oh dear.

– In the car the other day: “Jesus loves. Jesus loves…”  This is his version of “Jesus Loves Me.”  A few minutes later: “Jesus loves Santa Claus.”  Um, I’m sure He does.

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Six Weeks

Sorry for the blogging absence over last week. It was a DOOZY. Let’s see, where to start …

As of this upcoming Wednesday, I’ll be six weeks out from surgery. Which means I’m halfway to the next surgery! Hopefully, that is. I don’t have it officially scheduled yet. But still … I can’t believe that the time has flown this quickly. Another thing to be thankful for is our health insurance. We got the bill from Mayo for the surgery this past week. We will pay 1% of the overall bill; the rest of it is completely covered. That is awesome.

I’ve lost 15 pounds, and I’m finally feeling like me again. After all those months and months of prednisone and other meds, I wasn’t myself. It’s nice to be back to nearly my pre-Jude weight!  It’s funny, though – it’s like I keep waiting for my ulcerative colitis symptoms to return. It’s like waiting for the other shoe to drop. But it won’t!

This past week was hard. Jude had come down with an ear infection and pink eye. UGH. So it was like a false start to the new year, in a way – no mother’s day out (which meant no haircut for me – rescheduled) and then no Bible Study Fellowship on Wednesday. I was really disappointed about both, but he needed to stay out; he was just too sick.

He’d been sleeping in his “big boy bed” all week, and it was just difficult. He was getting in and out of his bed all night long, on top of being sick and not sleeping well to begin with. So none of us got any good sleep. We are not a co-sleeping family by any means; it’s sweet to wake up with him, but he is a thrasher. He tosses and turns all night long, so we just don’t do well when he’s in bed with us.  Last night, he was back into his crib, and everybody was the happier for it.

To top things off, he’s knee-deep in the terrible two’s. He is trying to assert himself and I have determined that it is very similar to being in a foreign country. You are trying desperately to speak the language, but the locals just don’t understand you. So then you get angry and frustrated, and so the only way you can express yourself is to throw yourself on the ground point to what you want.

Despite the Two’s, he’s still pretty sweet. He likes to sing “Jesus loves me” and “Jingle Bells” and he is, of late, obsessed with Alvin and the Chipmunks. I took him to the movies last week to go see the sequel, and he was in complete awe. Now every morning, he says, “MOVIES! ‘MUNKS!”  He does a hilarious fake sneeze, too. Then he says, “Bless you, Momma. Bless you, Daddy.”

In a fit of parenting frustration, I went to BabiesRUs and purchased more childproofing accessories. I honestly thought those days had passed, but it seems the best/worst in babyproofing is to come. He has been into EVERYTHING lately. I’ve found him wiping my concealer all over his face, and squeezing lotion onto the rugs. At one point this week, I decided to put a special childlock on his door and I inadvertently locked myself into his room.  Hmm. Ok. Well, maybe that was the point??? I guess I proved that he couldn’t get out of his room…  So then I had to completely disassemble the door handle and childproof thing. FAIL.

I felt justified and rather validated, though, when we took a trip to Target with my parents on Saturday. This poor mother was trying to get her cart of stuff out the door along with her two daughters. I guess she had crossed the younger daughter in some way because the kid started to have the biggest tantrum ever. The entire store could hear her. As they were going out into the parking lot, the girl was screaming, “GET AWAY FROM ME! GET.A.WAY. FROM. MEEEEEEEEEE!”  Mom looked at me and said, “Honey, you are not alone. See?”

Before I had kids, I would have judged the mom. Why can’t she control her child? Now, on the other side, I just feel extreme sympathy. I’m sure she was totally mortified.

Anyway. I’m excited for a new start to the week and I’m hoping that we will now be free of earaches and pink eyes.

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It’s a good thing he’s so cute…

Because ever since Big Red turned two last week (TWO?! WHAAAAA???), he has ramped up the … well, twos. I’m going to chalk it up to the fact that we were out of town all last week, and now he’s readjusting to life at home. At least, that’s what I’m going to keep telling myself. Yesterday, we went to his two-year pediatrician checkup. I cannot even begin to tell you how traumatic this was, Internet. Because, you know, getting weighed and measured for height is just so so barbaric! So awful! So fearsome! This is the face he made the entire time, from the second the nurse laid eyes on him. Literally:

And then, when the doctor walked in, it was all downhill from there. I was so embarrassed. He screamed bloody murder the entire time. All I found out was that he’s 29 pounds heavy, and we guess that he’s around 34 inches tall? I honestly don’t know. I couldn’t hear over the screaming. ::sigh::   He didn’t even get a shot or anything! What was the deal?!

Otherwise, it’s just a gorgeous fall here. Our neighborhood trees are so pretty. Today when I looked out the window, it was like it was snowing leaves out of the tree – they were just falling like a pretty, steady snow.

I’m excited – tomorrow Jude gets to come with me to BSF! Yay! I’m still reeling from the fact that my baby is 2. He may be throwing these crazy tantrums, but then he turns to smile at me, and I’m just melted. I think he knows it, too. He’s got my number.

I noticed yesterday when we were out playing with the neighbor kids that the squirrels have already started to squirrel steal away my small pumpkins. Do you remember last year? That was nuts. I literally watched a squirrel carry a small pumpkin up a tree last year. Poor little things – they were hungry.

At least if they’re going to eat up all my decorations this year, they waited until Halloween was over. However, my mind is turning towards Christmas. Since we’re leaving for the Mayo Clinic the week after Thanksgiving, I want to be sure and do my holiday decorating (i.e., put up the tree and inside decorations, wreaths, etc.) that week before we leave. Last year, it was just so much fun to see Christmas through Jude’s eyes, and I know I’ll be recovering from surgery this year and probably not feeling really up to doing a ton. So if I can get it all done beforehand, that would be great. We are not not having a Christmas tree or decorations this year b/c of my silly sickness!

What are you planning on doing in preparation for Thanksgiving and Christmas?

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Ohhh, Internet…. have you heard the word “mine” in your home lately? I mean, like, 50 times a day lately? We’re one month out from the terrible two’s, and yet in some ways, I think they’re imminent, if not present already.

I blame Sesame Street. I mean, whose great idea over at SS HQ was it to do an entire show on “Mine-itis”? I really think that was what planted the seed, darn it! If only we hadn’t watched so many episodes, he never would’ve heard the word “mine” and then it would’ve allllll been ok.

That’s what I’m going to keep telling myself, at least. 😉

Sometimes I think how funny it would be if toddler behavior wasn’t, um, stamped out all together. In other words, what if we as adults continued to act like toddlers? What if you saw grown men, laying on the floor at Target, kicking and screaming in the electronics department? What if you saw a husband and wife obviously trying to  come to an agreement about something, and the wife just sat down on her rear end in an apparent sit-in because she didn’t get her way? Better yet, what if I just got to throw my cup across a restaurant because the waiter didn’t bring me exactly what I wanted in the moment that I wanted it?

I’m kidding of course, but in some ways, I do see some of this behavior, buried deep down, in myself. Something to work on, non?

We’re almost to the 2-year mark with Big Red, and despite the beginnings of tantrums and terrible twos, he really is a good little boy. But to whoever thinks that we’re not all sinners, each and every one, I encourage you to get yourself a toddler!  😉

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