Thursday, June 30, 2011

Sweet Monkus

I somehow managed to make it home from work the other day despite the awful, awful migraine.
I handed Chunkus Monkus off to Chris so that she could have her bath and begged him for no less than twenty minutes to myself.
I found a comfy change of clothes, my meds and these sticky, cool, pain reliever thingies that promise to take the pain away, grabbed a cold washcloth for the back of my neck and retreated to the couch, all the while praying that I wouldn't throw up.

When Chunkus made it back downstairs,she saw me on the couch and started to get upset.
She has a thing about bandages when they are on the face or head.
It completely freaks her out.
So as soon as she saw me, I had to take it off.
I gave it to her in an effort to calm her down by letting her touch it and telling her that it was OK.
She walked into the kitchen, found Chris and started pointing at the water dispenser on the fridge.
Chris grabbed a cup, helped Addie get some water and instead of her drinking it, she brought it to me.
She then patted her head in empathy and "asked" me to help her put the strip on her forehead.

She took it off and had to examine her head to make sure that the strip didn't actually cause any damage before she had me help her put it back on.

Just pitiful.

Molten Lava

That's what it feels like we are surrounded by each time we walk outside. It - is - so - HOT!

Yet, we decided to torture ourselves and headed back to the Montgomery Zoo for the day.

It was so hot that even the leopards couldn't get cool enough.
They couldn't get enough of the water and the one kept completely submerging himself.

We managed to make it to the pavilion and cooled off for a little bit

before heading back over to the Giraffe's.

This time Julien got to feed them too, but only the Baby Giraffe.
They are not shy.
It was a pretty uneventful day. 
The heat just makes almost everything just miserable, but it's too pretty not to be outside. 

June 26, 2011

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

So Sorry It Took Me So Long...

We get so caught up in focusing on the "important" lessons for Chunk-Chunk, that sometimes we forget about the simple, everyday lessons.
I think it has been about two years now that Chunk has been helping to throw things into the trash can. 
Each time, I either open the trash can for her or she lifts the lid with her hand.
For the past two years, it has been the same routine.
This past weekend when Chunk threw a paper towel into the trash and went to walk away,  I picked her up and walked back over to the trash. 
I told her, "Mommy is so sorry that I haven't taught you how to open the trash".
I really was.
For the next few minutes, we worked diligently on a skill that so many people take for granted
It took Addie a while to understand that the top would open if she pressed with her foot on the bottom.  
It may have taken a little while, but she finally understood
wanted to work extra hard to make it happen all by herself.   

I just don't realize how disgusting the trash can looks until the lovely streaks show up in a picture.
Whoever created stainless steel appliances and kitchen accessories should come to my house just to witness the error of their ways.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Sorry To Burst The Bubble...

Since my little emotional breakdown over the weekend after finding yet more gray hair on my head, it seems as if I haven't had a moment to focus on much of anything except all the necessary stuff that is contributing to the gray hair, freakin' crows feet and yet more lack of sleep.

Tonight, my husband wasn't feeling well.  Since I was up until close to 2 a.m. with one of the worst migraines I have ever had, I decided that although he wasn't feeling well, I really needed for him to help me get Addie to sleep.

I got her all cleaned up, cozied in her pajamas, found her baby and put her into bed next to Chris.  I went downstairs just about the time that my phone was ringing.  It was Julien telling me that he was ready to come home, so I left to go get him from a friends house down the street.  On the way back, we realized that City Ordinance 368-69 was being violated - yet again.  Me, being the person that I am, called Chris (who was in bed) and asked him to meet us out front

(skipping over info here)....

and as we were walking through the front door, Chris was so excited and told me that Addie "went right to sleep" for him!  I was following him up the stairs to check on Addie, as he continued to tell me how she put her head on his shoulder and how he was talking to her as she lay looking at the television and all of a sudden, went right to sleep....and it was at that moment that I turned to look at what was on the television...

it was -


...Completely explains how Addie immediately "went right to sleep"...

(I love my husband)


Don't let Addie know that I'm typing this, although I am certain it was an isolated episode.

Addie was completely quiet on the way to school this morning, except when she said:

"train", as we slowed to go over the tracks

"doggy" as a couple walking their dog waited to cross the street

"tractor" as we approached construction

"horsey" as we came upon the horses in the field

"come on" as we sang, "Give In To Me"

and then I heard the sweetest little voice ask me, "baby?" as I went to get her out of her car seat.  She was concerned that we would leave her baby in the car.

There were no tears.  No screaming.  No crying.  AND, no traffic.

It was awesome.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Summer Camp - Week Three

June 22, 2011

Chunkus was pretty irritated at the thought of a dinosaur nesting in her hair. 
I can't say that I blame's extremely dorky.
When she looked in the mirror, she finally decided that it was kind of neat...
and she even agreed to ROAR for me!
I would personally like to thank Gymboree for having this dinosaur shirt on clearance for under $3 and for saving it for me by hiding it in the middle of a rack of boys clothes. 
It only took me half an hour to find it. 
Chunkus will wear that shirt until she is busting out of it like the Hulk.

Talk About Feeling Special!

My friend, Jenn (in Canada) has the most amazing family.
They are beautiful, talented and extremely kind and loving people.
Although I knew this, it didn't prevent the tears coming to my eyes when I opened a package and found these hats inside.
Jenn's Mom made these hats for Addie...just because she wanted to and just because she could.
We are so blessed that they are a part of our lives!


I was born in 1977.
Thanks to the other 555 gazillion Mommy's out there who thought that "Jennifer" was an awesome name, my name topped the list as the most popular for 1977.
I was already well aware of this, but felt the need to clarify for any of you who might have missed that little fun fact.

"Jennifer" was so popular that I learned early on to completely ignore anyone calling that name, kind of in the same way that most Mommy's don't answer when "Hey Mom" is heard in a crowd full of people.

My life has so many Jennifer's in it that all of them have made up last names in order for other people to identify exactly who they are, as you may have noticed when I refer to, "Jenn, my friend in Canada".

So, the next time you stop me in a random hallway somewhere and say to me:
"I was calling you.  You didn't hear me?"
and I respond:
"No. I'm sorry.  What do you need?".
That means that I really didn't hear you due to years of intentional selective auditory blocking.

If you don't believe me, just ask Michael, Jason or Christopher.
They'll back me up.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

It Just Wouldn't Be As Fun

If I called her "Parrot" instead of "Monkey". 

Apparently, that is what Chunkus Monkus has become. 

Addie is picking up on new words and does remarkably well repeating words.  She doesn't do quite as well when prompting her to say a word....but regardless...

The majority of Addie's friends have already moved up to a new class at school.  This means that Addie has a ton of new children in her class, which means she has all new names to learn.

When I picked Chunky Monkey up from school today, her teacher told me that Addie knows the names of all the children in the class and knows who their parents are as well.

I think that is really exceptionally awesome and sweet.  Addie is so observant and it makes me feel good to know that she is excited about meeting new friends and makes the association on who people are.

One tiny little step at a time...progress continues.

Water Play

Slackerville 2011
Things have been so hectic that we have yet to make it to the pool this summer.
The only water play for Addie so far has been minimal.

She does participate in water play at school on Fridays and absolutely has the best time!

She is beyond thrilled when I force her to pose for pictures before we even walk out the door for work and school in the mornings. 
She should know by now that is just part of life for her.
Regardless, she refused to look at the camera...she's rotten.

Chris and I did have a few free hours last weekend, so we removed all of the sand from Addie's sandbox, moved the sandbox out to the other part of the deck and are now calling it a pool
Addie didn't seem to notice that the water was literally freezing cold!
She had a really fun time...I can only imagine the fun she'll have when we take her back to the big pool.
In the mean time, she is being a big helper with filling the baby pool and keeping the deck clean.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Summer Camp - Week Two

Week Two - Safari Week

It absolutely and totally counts if safari animals adorn Chunk's clothing. 
Just for additonal lack of creativity, I added in a "safari" hat and leopard print glasses. 

...and a stuffed Monkey.

June 15, 2011

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

It's Like Swimming in Quicksand

I'm barely keeping my head above water and feel like I'm getting nowhere.
The good news is that it is going to get better so very soon.

Father's Day weekend was a blur.  It was so exhausting that I didn't take one single picture of anything.  I feel way guilty about that, but I'll post something soon to make up for my slackerness.

As a side note, my friend Jenn's Mom made Addie three awesome, sweet and beautiful hats.  I took one picture last Monday as we were running out the door for work and have failed to take any other pictures. I have been telling Jenn since last week that I would post pictures and I will, but in the interim....

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Those were the days

Easter 1977 - Detroit
I can only assume that I was frozen solid and not actually sleeping.
Not a clue where we were or what exactly was in the bottles. 
Considering that was back in the good old days when it was perfectly legal to load your kids up with Paregoric for "teething" and "colic", I'm sure my parents had no problem driving out to the middle of nowhere to tromp through a field of wild flowers.   
Here I am, the black sheep of the family, they only took me out in public from time to time when they were quite certain I wouldn't be recognized.

On this Father's Day, I am thinking about all the good things my Dad taught me,
including but not limited to:
how to clean, load and fire a wide array of perfectly legal firearms;
how to change a flat on my car, all the really important parts of the engine and the need to properly maintain a vehicle;
how to drive a boat;
how to gut a deer;
to never, ever put a car in gear without first having my seat belt on;
that just because it's Chinese Food in China Town, doesn't make it right;
how to do minor home repairs;
how to tie my shoes;
how to bait a hook;
how to understand that when the A/C goes out in the car in the middle of Las Vegas, that it is just a part of life;
how to act in an emergency room while getting all stitched up
how although my children never met him,
he watches over them
and he would have been so proud of them.
Maybe not so much the green hair, but everything else about them would have made him proud.

Friday, June 17, 2011

What Ever!

I guess it takes us a year to talk about more than just cutting down a couple trees because this discussion started in the Summer of 2010.

For those of you who have yet to figure it out, I am one of those Mother's that try desperately not to get all bent out of shape over the smallest of things. 
I am very honest and straight forward and I don't believe in sugar coating - just about anything. 
I tell it like it is and I figured out a long time ago that if I don't treat my children like breakable little objects that never do any wrong and if we live our lives the way we see fit instead of sticking our noses into everyone's business and spending every available moment gossiping about other people and the "oh my god, can you believe they let their children...." type of business, that we do pretty well.

SO, last year Julien somehow got it in his mind that he wanted to put a red streak in his hair. 
Personally, I think it's rather stupid and invites ridiculous snarky comments and obnoxious judgement to be cast upon us, but I made a deal and stuck to it.

See, that's one thing about me. 
If I promise you something, I have to follow through, no matter how much it royally stinks to have to do it.  

Last summer when Julien asked about the stupid red streak for his hair, I told him that if he still wanted one "this time next year" and "you meet the criteria that I decide upon, then you can get it".  

Well, a year has passed. 
Julien still had the desire to put a streak in his hair, but had decided that he would go with green, in representation of the local team colors.

Chris and I came up with a list of extra chores, including painting the landscape timbers in the yard and told Julien that he had to earn every single penny of the money it would take to color his hair.

Wouldn't you know it?
Julien upheld his end of the bargain and we upheld ours.

His green streak is semi-permanent, meaning it will be gone before school starts back.

On the way to the salon, I told Julien that I agreed on this deal because this is something that does not permanently alter his appearance. 
I reminded him for the 500 time that if he ever thought - for one single second - that he was ever going to get a tattoo or a piercing of any kind - that he was absolutely out of his mind. 
I reminded him that no well-respected employer (or girl) for that matter would look highly upon  permanent "crap" visible all over him. 
I think my ranting went on for long enough because when we pulled into the parking lot of the salon, Julien said, "I know Mom.  I hear you.  I understand.  I got it.".  

I also reminded him that the "do as I say and not as I did" rule is in full force...and by that time, I was tired of hearing myself talk.

When we left the salon, I was pleasantly surprised at how Julien's hair looked. 
It actually looks pretty neat. 

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Intermittent Fungus

Fungus Monkus adores loving on Julien and absolutely loves pestering him to the point where he will pester her back, resulting in Julien chasing after her, while she screams with delight.
On the other hand, nothing gets them both in trouble faster than running through the house...and screaming...

But on this day, she found Julien,
gave him a hug,
scooted up next to him and she began to shove him until he finally just gave up and moved out of her way,
so that she could make herself comfortable.
That's when I knew that something just wasn't right.
We never have peace and quiet in our house.
Never knowing what it is that is causing Chunky Monkey grief, I called and made a doctors appointment.
After a long, quiet weekend, Chunk was feeling better and I was able to cancel her appointment.

It must have just been the intermittent fungus, which just so happens to be first cousins with the fever virus.
You know, the diagnoses for otherwise undiagnosable funk.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Summer Camp - Week One

Chunky Monkey's school is having an activity packed summer camp this year.
Each week has a new theme and each Wednesday is dress up day.
Last week, the children were to dress up as a cowboy or cowgirl.

Keep in mind that my creativity level is the exact polar opposite from every pre-school teaching, dress-smocking, cupcake decorating Mommy on the face of the earth, so my children just have to suffer through it.

In order to make everyone miserable, I had my husband climb into the attic in an effort to find a hat that Chunk could wear to school.
I knew which box it was in, because I put it there almost ten years back.
Chris just had to find it.

It just so happened to be this hat:

The hat that my sweet Baby Boy wore when he was two.

I don't know why, but I wanted Sweet Addie to have her chance to wear it too.
She felt so special wearing Julien's hat and she didn't seem to notice that she wasn't wearing real cowboy boots like her friends...

We were trying to get a picture of the horse on her shirt and to show off her "bandanna" a.k.a, my hair scarf, but when we took the baby's towel away and asked to the hold the baby, things started to get a little tense...
so we caved to the little evil monster and let her have her way.
It wasn't a fight worth fighting.
I justified the outfit by saying that the horse on her shirt and the corduroy skirt totally made her worthy of the title of cowgirl for a day.
Now if only I could teach her how to rope and ride...
In case  you must know...
the towel was for baby to wipe her face after she brushed her teeth.
I can only assume that was going to take place in the car...???
June 8, 2011

I Suppose It's The Thought That Counts...

For times when a boo-boo ice pack, a bag of peas, a cool wash cloth or a good old slab of meat just won't do.

In steps my husband with an ice cold Yuengling.
Our hero.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

What Did The Fish Say When He Hit A Concrete Wall?



Not to sound ungrateful or anything, but Chunk's balance issues can be the cause of a lot of grief.
We are so incredibly thankful for her mobility, despite now owning stock in 3M's Nexcare line of band aids (made in the U.S.A. and latex free, what more could anyone ask for?).
Chunky Monkey falls - all the time.
All the time.
Water play started last week at school and I ended up receiving a telephone call due to the number of times Chunk fell. 
Her teachers are accustomed to her falling, but add in a wet, slippery surface and we are guaranteed to end the day with two bloody knees.
That telephone call prompted my new find and apparently, a permanent part of our lives.
This is the Lil Melon knee pads and so far, have been absolutely wonderful!
The knee pads are incredibly well made and just as cute as can be!
To top off the awesomeness, they are also vented in the back - a helpful extra touch in the 3000 degree Alabama heat and I got them within just a couple of days!
If you are in the market for knee pads, I would absolutely recommend these.
Now that I know how beneficial they truly are, I have to order more.
Chunky Monkey insisted that I take the picture of the band aid and refused to let me take a decent picture of the knee pads.
She's a mess!

Thursday, June 09, 2011

She Has Yet To Figure Out

That crawling up the steps with something in her hands usually never turns out the way she expects.
There will be many more art projects to replace this one.
Her heart wasn't completely broken, probably because she looked just so incredibly cute.

They are working out splendidly!

Wednesday, June 08, 2011

I Cannot Tell You...

just how painful this was.

My pure awesomeness resulted in a visit from FedEx this p.m.

My precious Baby Boy told me on the way home tonight that he really wanted a couple new ring tones for his new phone and I replied,
"and I really want to look hot in a bikini".
He didn't think it was funny.
However, I found it quite amusing.

Have I learned my lesson on hiding things?
I learned that next time, I will have to send myself a reminder email so I'll know where to retrieve the item when the time is right.

We are officially on countdown to gaining back a small piece of sanity in our lives.
We are making all kinds of changes
all of the changes are positively awesome!

Monday, June 06, 2011

Giraffe Loving Adventure

Seeing as how we were not on our home turf and I was pretty certain we would not see anyone we knew, I decided to take Chunky Monkey to feed the Giraffes.
I figured that just in case there was some mega-meltdown or just in case we somehow managed to do bodily harm to the Giraffes, we would not have any personal witnesses to pass on the storytelling drama.

The Giraffe Feeding Adventure was extremely neat.
This was the first time that Monkey has been that close to a Giraffe and she thought the Baby Giraffe was remarkable!

I was beyond thrilled to be that close to the Giraffes as well.
Initially, there was only two other people on the deck with us and when they left, we had the place to ourselves.

It was a really neat experience and we got to take our time feeding the sweet little Baby Giraffe and the Mommy Giraffe.
We were face to face with him.
I truly was in awe.
The food kept falling onto the deck, so we took our time sweeping it together with our hands so that we could give more food to the baby.
Chunky Monkey loved helping.
Then, the Big Daddy Giraffe (or so I have named him) walked up and frightened Monkey to the point
that I really thought she was going to jump out of my arms!
They are amazing animals!!!
We will have to go back if for no other reason than to feed the Giraffes again.