Saturday, June 30, 2012

GrUVyWear swimsuit Review

There's a new post up over on my Review Page. If you'd like to hear about UV swimwear, head on over to see how Josephine liked GrUVyWear!

Friday, June 29, 2012

A Peek Into Our Marriage AND An Opportunity to Pass Judgment! Double Win for You!

Jeremy and I have an argument over something very silly. We are diametrically opposed on this topic, and each of us believes our viewpoint is flawlessly pure and "correct." I would like YOUR opinion, dear readers, to see if this is really a split issue or if one of us is clearly in the wrong (hint: not me). 

In the interest of getting the most impartial and scientific results, I will obscure the identity of the individuals in question. I will most certainly be referring to me and Jeremy, but I will cloak us in the mysterious noms de plume "Spouse A" and "Spouse B." See if you can keep up.

Okay, so the issue in question is little gross things (boogers, long hairs where people hope to not see hairs on your body when they look at you, horrifically smeared make-up, things in your teeth, etc. etc.) -- should you point them out to your spouse?

SPOUSE A believes he/she is being helpful by pointing out "Hey, booger" before we walk into a public place or making sure Spouse B knows about long hairs coming out of his/her nose. SPOUSE A believes that Spouse B would be embarrassed to later learn that others had seen him/her in this condition, and therefore SPOUSE A believes he/she is doing a large favor for Spouse B. SPOUSE A would appreciate being told these things and is enraged when he/she discovers gross things in the mirror hours after having been seen by the general public. Much arguing ensues.

SPOUSE B believes pointing out these little things amounts to pointing out imperfections in Spouse A, and would therefore be construed as SPOUSE B calling Spouse A less than perfect or undesirable, and that is something he/she would never do, and believes Spouse A should behave in the same fashion. SPOUSE B takes significant offense to having these things pointed out and does not believe Spouse A does it in the best interest of Spouse B. SPOUSE B becomes embarrassed and angry in these moments, and believes Spouse A is belittling him/her. Much arguing ensues. 

So, PLEASE, FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, cast your votes. Who is right? Spouse A or Spouse B?? Settle this war once and for all! You have the power!

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

And Then She Showed You Something You Could Have Gone Your Whole Life Without Seeing

It's funny. Every time I think to myself, Bravo, Veronica, you aren't NEARLY as moody and erratic and emotional as you could be, being a pregnant woman and all! I realize I am totally wrong. Now, Jeremy is going to read that sentence and think, Oh, she's about to apologize for yelling about (fill in the blank) and then sobbing immediately afterward. 

Ha. Nope. I don't even remember doing that, silly.

Today I went to the grocery store (ALONE!) (And only had to get eight bags of groceries instead of 28 bajillion!) and as I was heading back to my car to unload, the car next to me had a mom and two daughters (a teen and a tween, who looked close in age) loading their groceries into the car. The sisters were yelling at each other, flinging accusations of spilling the blueberries back and forth, and shouting about where the fruit should go, all while the mom ignored them with a zoned out look on her face, like It's not worth it; at least they're helping. And what did I do when I happened upon this scene? 

I teared up. Yes, I started to cry while looking at the screaming and bitching. I thought, OH, SISTERS! Sisters who are probably exactly two years apart, just like my Josie Belle and little Baby X! One day my girls will be teenagers and be GROWN UP SISTERS. I even had the overwhelming urge to say to the mom as she wheeled her own cart over to the corral as I did, "Hi! I'm pregnant with my second little girl, and isn't it great to have TWO GIRLS?! Aren't you glad you gave your daughter a SISTER to love?!?!" 

Seriously. I almost said it out loud. Like that time a few months ago in Meijer when I heard a dad call his daughter by her name (a name Jeremy likes but I don't, because of the troublesome issue of no pretty nicknames), and I actually said, "Oh, my husband loves that name but I always worry about the nicknames. Do people call her ____?" Perhaps this man was a licensed psychiatrist or was otherwise used to dealing with crazy people, because we had a lovely conversation about his daughter's name in the dairy aisle. What a sport.

You see, I think I am doing alright because I'm not sitting around sobbing all day, which is what I did for the majority of my first trimesters with both pregnancies, but it turns out I am just as ridiculous these days.

Oh, and speaking of emotions, when Jeremy read what I wrote about him saying I looked "pretty freaking pregnant," he said I made him sound like an ass. Did you guys get that impression? Because, for the record, I was totally not offended by that comment. I thought it was funny, and actually kind of sweet. What with my slow belly progress compared to the last time, it has kind of crept up on us, and lately we are like, Third trimester? Really? How? Can that really be right? 31 weeks? That seems close to 40 weeks! And to be fair, when he came upon me in the kitchen, I had just pulled up my shirt to adjust my pants, so he got a full-on view of the majesty that is my big ol' belly in maternity jeans. It is a sight to behold, for sure.

Okay, I guess you deserve to see it too:

Pretty GD glamorous, right? (I'm not gonna lie. That's Josephine in there. But, you know, no camera and it's all the same this time -- big belly and stretchy pants.)

Right. So, recap: I am a basketcase, Jeremy is NOT an ass, and my elastic pants make you all wish I were writing a fashion blog.

Signing off,

(Very) Pregnant Veronica M.D. (aka, VPVMD) (Yeah, I think I'll start using that one.)

Monday, June 25, 2012

Updates Galore

I finally had the doctor's appointment I have been nerved up about for the past two weeks since my doctor told me to do the whole bed rest thing to prevent pre-term labor. Remember how exciting and not at all freaky that day was? Yeah, me too.

Thankfully, this week was much better. First of all, I didn't have to wait TWO HOURS (hallelujah!). Then, the doctor checked me all out, and there was good news. The baby's heartbeat was 156 (excellent!), my blood pressure was 110/70 (bravo!), and I was measuring one week ahead (expected!). Thankfully, the problems I was having two weeks ago are looking exactly the same; that, coupled with the fact that I have been able to keep my contractions in check over the past two weeks, leads us to believe that my child is just being snotty and NOT, in fact, making a break for it. So, BIG RELIEF, OBVIOUSLY. The doctor said I should have no worries unless the contractions come back regularly, so that works for me. I still have to take it very easy (boo!), but I will definitely do the best I can.

Last week we did have one contraction drama, where it reached the "call-the-doctor" point of minute-long contractions every five minutes for an hour, but I told Jeremy, "NO. I can do this. Give me five minutes." I did more deep breathing, got Jeremy to rub my lower back, and FOCUSED, and damn if I haven't had a contraction since then. BOOM. Contractions roasted.

In other baby news, Jeremy broke the bad news to me this morning that I was looking "pretty freaking pregnant." Since I have been doing that whole "looking in the mirror" thing, I was already aware of it, but you might not be, since I never take pictures anymore.

Here is me, looking "pretty freaking pregnant":

In other-other baby news, Josephine was a flower girl in a family wedding this weekend (SQUEE! and also GAH!), and she was adorable yet exhausting, but ... I am officially that person. I DON'T HAVE A SINGLE PICTURE OF ANYTHING OR ANYONE.

I took my camera, took a million pictures of Josephine before she walked down the aisle, then took a few pictures of the bride and groom, realized the reason my pictures were coming out so crappy was the battery was dying, then I SET MY CAMERA DOWN AT THE CHURCH AND LEFT IT THERE. 


"Hey Josephine, remember that time you were the flowergirl in Uncle Luke's wedding?"
"No, MOM, because I wasn't even two and you didn't take any pictures."

Well, at least she made it all the way down the aisle. Hopefully there will be pictures I can steal from other people and then I will do a whole big recap, because I KNOW you are dying for that, am I right? I knew it.

And there you have it. Consider yourself updated.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Josephine's Current Favorite Books (22 months)

Oh, how I wish I had had the foresight to do something like this every so often once Josephine became a book lover! I mentioned a few of her current favorites in the Holiday Giving Guide for the Wee Ones, but it was something I should have kept writing down. I am hoping to keep it up from here on out, because it has been so much fun to see which books stay in her "favorites" rotation and the new books that come out of nowhere and must be read ten bazillion times a day. It has been a lot of fun watching her choose her favorites, and I definitely want to remember them! So here we have what is hopefully the first installment in "Josephine's Current Favorite Books!":

Moo Baa La La La was one of the first books that Josephine "memorized," and she still loves to "read" it to us. Sometime if we're in the car and just say part of the book, she will go off on a big long recitation of all the animal noises in the rest of the book (in order!). She knows what's coming before we even turn the pages. Kills me. My favorite might be her rendition of the three singing pigs who say "La la la!" Love her little La Las.

Don't Let the Pigeon Stay Up Late is one of the books I was all excited about ordering for Christmas, and was CERTAIN she would love. And she does! This is another book she has memorized. It is a "bedtime only book" (we have a stack of books in our bedroom that are half all-time "bedtime only," like Goodnight Moon and half that I rotate in a out. Jeremy picks up a stack and lets her pick which to read that night. This is ALWAYS one of the choices!). My favorite parts of her recitation are when the pigeon shouts "I'M NOT TIRED!" and Josie throws back her head and shouts along, and when the pigeon starts yawning mid-sentence. Josie knows EXACTLY when the yawns are coming, and does a great yawn! There is also a page where the pigeon says, "I know, let's count the stars!" and Josie leans back her head and looks to the sky to count the stars. 

The Pigeon Has Feelings, Too!
She also loves Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus!and The Pigeon Has Feelings, Too!
 She also has these memorized and will randomly shout one of the lines during the day and then we recite the rest of the book together. It's pretty much the greatest thing ever.

One Drowsy Dragon
We got One Drowsy Dragon as a first birthday present from an Aunt and Uncle of Jeremy's, and I had never heard of it before we got it. The basic premise is one dragon really wants to sleep while the others are being noisy. Josie seems to like the voice I use for the Drowsy dragon, because I make him really disgruntled. She stares at the book until it's time for the Drowsy Dragon to shout something, then she whips her head around and looks at me and laughs. She has requested this book MULTIPLE times a night (also a "bedtime only" book) for the past few MONTHS.

Oh, Dr. Suess. Jeremy loves to tell the story of how I begged him not to read her any Dr. Suess right before bed when she was younger because it got her "riled up." I only wanted him reading sing-songy books to soothe her, but now that she's older, I guess she can handle the zany bouncy rhythms of Suess right before lights out. :) I was shocked the first time she sat all the way through this book (it's LONG!) but she asks for encore performances most nights, and sits quietly listening. Amazing!

How Do I Love You?
This is a sappy, rhyming book that I bought Josephine for this past Valentine's Day, and it has made its way into the "bedtime" pile because she was requesting it. She sits very quietly while we read this to her, and I have to admit that I can make it all the way through to the end, but the last page? I choke up every time and have a hard time getting out the last few words ("I love all that you will be and everything you are" SOB). 

The first time I read this book after buying it for Josephine, I was like, Huh. Kids like this? because it is simple and also a little mean (that poor hippopotamus gets left out of EVERYTHING!). The first time I read it to her, however, it was a HUGE hit. The last pages read "Yes! The hippopotamus! ... But not the armadillo" and we have a new left-out animal. For some reason, this is HILARIOUS to her. She loves to recite those two sentences, and her "not the armadillo voice is low and gravely and she shakes her head while saying it, and then she laughs and laughs and laughs. She does it out of nowhere, all the time. In the grocery store, in the bath, you name it; all of a sudden, the hippopotamus and armadillo will pop into her head, and it's all over.

Thanks for taking this very booky journey with me. There are lots more books Josephine loves, but these seem to be our can't-miss hits these days. I love how much she loves them. :)

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Now We're Back to Watching Lots of Mickey Mouse Clubhouse

My mom read my plea for a Sister Wife and come over Monday and Tuesday. In that time she helped with the munchkin AND helped me with a big (secret, for now) sewing project that I was stressing over. I was kind of hoping she would also potty-train Josephine while she was at it. Alas, that was not in the cards.

On both of those days, my cousin also brought her little girl over to play with Josephine. 

On Monday morning I relaxed in my bed (ALONE!) for 45 minutes while a storm raged through open windows (amazing), then I heard Josephine calling my name and went back downstairs. But it was AWESOME. Then the little girls played dress-up, scattered every single toy we own throughout the living room, and stole each other's snacks. I'd consider that a pretty successful day.

Tuesday was supposed to be as hot as the dickens, so my mom and I set up the two pools, put up a big canopy my mom lent us, and put out lots of different traps to keep the bees/wasps/yellow jackets/whatever they are away from the babies. They love the water and the fact that half of our yard is wild strawberries. After we put out all the the homemade traps, the number decreased greatly, but there were still a few flying around. If you have any tips, I would LOVE them, because we are going to have to spend a lot of time in that backyard this summer. We did notice that they were more attracted to the little pool that was in the sun, so we will put both under the canopy in the future, and when I dumped out the little pool and refilled it, TONS swarmed the wet grass. If that gives you clues with what we are dealing with and can now better help us get rid of the dang things, please let me know!

Anyway, the kids didn't care about all the flying yellow and black bugs, and Josephine stayed in that pool for two and a half hours, until we pulled her out kicking and screaming to go to dinner.

Today is another hot one, so Josie and I are sitting by the air conditioner this morning. I have to work later tonight, so I am saving up all my energy for driving and the (minimal) walking I will have to do when I get there, so the kid is back to boring mom doing nothing, but hopefully she will survive. Oh, I also have about a million dirty diapers to wash ... crap. (pun!) What a fun-filled day we have ahead of us! :)

A special thanks to my two temporary Sister Wives! Too bad you have lives to return to, because you guys rock! :)

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Thing #214 About Having a Toddler

... your angel child can go from ...

... happy and occupied, to ...

... screaming and flailing arms, to ...

... covering face and (fake) sobbing, to ...

... (if you're lucky) happy and calm again, maybe even funny.

All in a matter of fifteen seconds.

God helps us when puberty hits.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Book Review: A Lighter Shade of Gray by Devon Pearse and GIVEAWAY!

First of all, NO, this book is not related to the Fifty Shades of Gray Trilogy. Just unfortunate on the timing (or fortunate?) is all.

A Lighter Shade of Gray, by Devon Pearse:

What does it feel like to stare into the face of madness? Or to anticipate your own? Would you drive away your only love? Could you pretend it didn't matter? How far would you go to protect a friend, or to avenge a death?

Ten years ago, Devon gave up the love of her life, fearing she would one day fall victim to the mental illness that has slowly ravaged the mind of her mother, who is now being cared for in a private facility.

Just when it seems Devon might have a chance to make up for past mistakes, her best friend Cass becomes a suspect in the murder of her sister's drug-dealing boyfriend. Devon knows Cass is lying about the details of her involvement and the lead detective on the case, convinced that Cass is guilty, is relentless in his pursuit of justice.

When her mother's young, emotionally disturbed roommate insinuates she knows something about the night of the murder, as well as details from Devon's own life that no one else is privy to, Devon becomes desperate to uncover the truth before Detective Lake does. As the investigation continues, Devon is led down a path she never expected and forced to face her greatest fears of life and love.

Tangled in a web of lies, regrets and questions, can she find a way to let go of the past and start again? And, once the mystery is solved, can she live with the secrets she's uncovered?

Join author Devon Pearse in this semi-autobiographical journey through the most heartbreakingly beautiful and deceptively mysterious events of her own life and the lives of those closest to her.

I wanted to like this book. I really did. Reading the back cover promised lots of interesting twists and turns, but when I sat down to read it, it was all just too much for me. Everything felt heavy in this book: the language, the plot, the descriptions. It felt like work to get through each page, and that is not what I was in the mood for, for sure.

But that's the thing really: it's not like I can only read "beach" books right now or anything, but I'm not in the mindset to pick up Tolstoy either. Maybe if I were ready for something a bit more dense and dramatic I would be writing a glowing review of A Lighter Shade of Gray. I can tell you that Devon Pearse can write. She is not just slopping the words on the page; she obviously has quite a gift, and her brain must be working in overdrive all the time to put together a novel like this. 

I can't give this a bad review, because I don't believe there are "bad" books, per se. This book was not for me right now.

BUT ... maybe it is the right book for you! Right now! Would you like a free copy of this book? Then you can read it and agree with me or come and write a big long letter about why you loved it. Here's how!

1) Be a follower on Google Friend Connect
2) Leave a comment telling me either your favorite "light" read or your favorite "heavy" read (or both!)
3) Leave me your e-mail address (if it is not connected to your account) in case I need to contact you to let you know you've won
4) Optional: If you want another entry, tweet about this giveaway or post on facebook along with a link to this post, then leave me another comment with a link back to either of those

The giveaway will stay open until Monday, June 25th, and let me tell you, I have gotten free books in blog giveaways TWICE that the blogger didn't care for and I ended up loving. So there you go. Good luck!

If you want to hear what other bloggers on the TLC book tour had to say about this book, click HERE for the full schedule of reviews.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from TLC Book Tours in exchange for my review, but was not compensated in any way. All opinions expressed are my own.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

On Fathers

There are many great fathers out there, to be sure, and there are many fathers I love, but I am particularly partial to two of them.

My own, who taught me about love, loyalty, and laughter:

It really hit him that I was his daughter when he saw I had his enormous feet

And my husband, who taught me it WAS possible to love someone more than you knew:

When I heard women say they loved their husbands more after seeing them as a father, I always thought it was horrible. They obviously didn't love their husbands all that much before that then, did they? How wrong I was. Seeing him look at her for the first time, I fell in love all over again, in a whole new way. And I love him more every single day.

Then I finally realized how much my father really loved me. I remember looking at Jeremy when Josephine was very tiny and saying in shock "Is it even POSSIBLE that our parents love us as much as we love her?!?!" And now I know they do. Thank you.

Thanks, dads I love. You are amazing.

Friday, June 15, 2012

And Then She Did A Meme

I am feeling ick and tired and want to write a real post because writing is very cathartic for me, but the energy/creativity? She is missing. I thought it might be the perfect time to fill out this old meme that pretty much every blogger I read has done. The last person I remember having seen do it was Sarah from Home Sweet Sarah, and that is where I went and copied it; sorry if I didn't link to you and you have done it, but I would be searching blogs all day. If you also did it, you are clearly also awesome.

A. Age: 30. Still having a hard time writing that.
B. Bed size: King.
C. Chore that you hate: Vacuuming the stairs. Close runners-up: Cleaning the microwave and scrubbing the tub.
D. Dogs: Beautiful Cleo!
We had just had another toddler over. And she thought ONE was tiring! 
E. Essential start to your day: Normally I would say coffee, but I had cut down to 1/2 a cup in the morning and now have gone two days without it ... I feel rountine-less.
F. Favorite color: Probably blue if I had to choose one. I feel like everyone says this, though, so I find myself disappointing.
G. Gold or silver: SILVER, SILVER, A THOUSAND TIMES, SILVER. Gold brings out the tones in my skin that make me a shoe-in for playing a deathly ill person in any TV show or film (YES, I've considered the career change).
H. Height: 5' 10".
I. Instruments that you play: I can still play a few songs on the piano, and I cannot WAIT to have a real home and buy a piano.
J. Job title: Stay-at-home mom during the day, College English Instructor by night, Crazy Lady 24 HOURS A DAY.
K. Kids: The Bean (Josephine Isabelle) and working on cooking Baby X.

L. Live: Lansing. (I REALLY like how that whole "L" thing just worked out)
M. Mother's name: Arlene.
N. Nicknames: V, Ver, Ver-Ber. 
O. Overnight hospital stays: Just when I pushed out that child. I had never even been admitted to a hospital till I had that babe.
P. Pet peeves: Sigh. People who don't know/don't care about the difference between simple words like "your" and "you're," walking in puddles and getting my shoes wet (especially work shoes), changing a word in a weird way to seem funny (Ex: "edumacation"), SLOW WALKERS, people who don't know basic traffic rules, like TURNING INTO THEIR OWN LANE AND NOT INTO THE SIDE OF MY VEHICLE THAT MY CHILD IS RIDING IN, people who make scowly or confused faces when my child says "hi" to them in public. There are more. There are so many more, but my headache is getting worse just thinking about this.
Q. Quote from a movie: "It came with the frame" (identify this and be my Internet bestie for life)
R: Right or left handed: Right, but I do a lot of things left handed, like use a sewing machine. Also, did you know there is such a thing as a left handed swimmer? My swim instructor said I came up for air like a left handed person.
S: Siblings: Lots! Two older half-sisters, Lisa and Tracy; younger brother, Thomas; younger sister, Victoria; lots and lots and lots of in-laws.
T: Travel favorite: Well, we obviously love Mackinac Island, but I am itching to get out to Cape Cod, especially the tippity-tip, Provincetown. I was hoping for this summer. Maybe if Baby X takes a chill pill we can hop in the car and get out there still.
U. Underwear: Oh Please.  
V. Vegetable(s) you hate: In the past two years, my body has decided it hates cucumbers, which is a crying shame. Oh, and I for real hate brussel sprouts.
W. What makes you run late: Josephine trying to escape to the backyard to play as I carry her out to the car. And then when she flails and screams and reaches for the backyard while I try to strap her in. Happens EVERY time. 
X. X-rays you've had: Teeth, foot, ankle, lungs ... maybe more? But no broken bones!
Y. Yummy food that you make: Depends on who you ask. I love my nachos and salads; Jeremy likes my chicken parmesan, chicken and dumplings, and lasagna.
Z. Zoo animal: Tigers!
If you have already done this or do it in the future, leave me a link to yours and I will check it out! 

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

I'm OPEN, Is What I'm Really Saying

Okay, so apparently I left you with a terrible cliffhanger yesterday (according to some! ;)), and I'm actually not going to give you any details, because that would involve the use of many words and references to my body parts that some might find unappealing. Plus, I'm trying not to think of those details much. To sum it all up, I am on modified bed rest (under the threat of "real" bed rest or a hospital stay) to avoid preterm labor. It is not ideal, but it could be much, much worse, so I am trying to keep things in perspective. If you want more deets because you are family, going through something similar, or are just nosy, feel free to shoot me an e-mail and we can chat about it.

So, "bed rest." I have not enjoyed it, mainly because Josephine has not enjoyed it. She dealt with it rather well yesterday, but this morning after breakfast, she sat on the stair she always sits on when we put on her shoes. She kept asking for her shoes over and over, in an increasingly confused voice, until I told her we couldn't go anywhere today. In response, she put her hands over her face and sobbed. 

It was at this moment of having my heart scraped out of my chest and stomped to bits that I thought, "I could really go for a Sister Wife right now." 

Seriously. I am 100% on board. Give me a Sister Wife, and while I sit on the couch and feel guilty, she could entertain my kid, do the laundry, and start dinner. Also, we are out of Josie's almond milk, so she could grab that for me, right? Thanks, Sis Wife.

Except, maybe this woman could, like, not actually be married to my husband? And, you know, not be in love with him or have sex with him or anything. TOTALLY still open to the Sister Wife idea, but I would just change those tiny things.

Maybe you're saying right now, "What you want is a nanny, Veronica." No. A nanny is an employee. I want a live-in bestie who will care for my child like her own but NOT require any payment or compensation of any kind and has no family or concerns of her own to deal with. Also, hands off my husband.

So, consider this a classifieds ad, will you? Live in friendship, help, child-rearing, housekeeping, and errand-running needed. 

If you know anybody, just pass this along, will ya?

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

*UPDATED!* Tricks and Tips: The Long Wait at the Doctor's Office

Yesterday I had my first appointment with a new OB/GYN. The reason for that is a long story, and I haven't been able to get it all out yet. I'll get back to you on that. This new doctor gave me some news that I pretty much already knew (since I know my body), but I REALLY didn't want to hear. Still processing all that. 

What I CAN talk about is the fact that I waited two hours ... TWO HOURS ... to see the doctor for fifteen minutes. This was all after driving two hours, dropping my kid with my mom, then driving another half an hour (again, I realize all this driving needs explanation, and I will get to it. I swear). I was in NO MOOD to sit around, emotionally or physically. I was an aching mess at the end of this cruel experiment.

Thanks to all the time I had to think, I have for you, dear readers, some highly advanced techniques in getting the doctor to come to your exam room when you have been waiting too long. Mind you, I tried all of these yesterday, to no avail, but in my experience they have a 99.8% success rate. You can take that to bank!


1. Do something that is clearly "prohibited" in the office.

This is actually how I got the nurse to call me back. Sitting amongst no fewer than three signs asking me not to use my cell phone in the waiting room, I whisper-called Jeremy to ask him what his social security number is (I know, I know, memorizing it is now one of my goals for the week). As I was writing down the last digit, the nurse called my name. Presto!

Later, while imprisoned in the room at hour 1.5, I began making calls with impunity, even though my battery was almost dead and no one could hear me over the too-loud horrible music blaring over the speakers. No go. Maybe it just can't work twice in one day and I wasted it?

2. Peek in drawers or cupboards in the exam room.

I've done this out of necessity before, with an unhappy Josephine in tow, when I needed something -- ANYTHING -- novel to distract her. Oh look, a TONGUE DEPRESSOR! HOW FUN! I have since moved on to opening a drawer, taking stock of the contents, then having the doctor walk in as I am almost done quietly closing the drawer. Works like a charm. 

3. Do something embarrassing.

I once summoned the doctor by freshening up my deodorant, but this technique is limited only by your imagination. Pregnant, old, or otherwise incontinent? Check for dampness! All the quiet time and mirrors give you time to contemplate your nose hair situation? Pluck away in the doctor's mirror!

4. Contort your body into a highly strange arrangement that requires explanation but will likely be unexplainable.

Related to #3, but in actuality, very different. My favorite variation on this method comes about when I cannot, CANNOT sit any longer, especially on that exam table the nurse told me to wait on for "just a sec!" and I need to stretch, ASAP. I suggest moves that involve squatting, making a "cat back" or getting on your hands and knees.The doctor will bust in, lickety-split, to find you sputtering out an incoherent explanation for being on your hands and knees with one leg extended behind you.

UPDATE!! My mother contributed a number five to the list!


Bravo. Bold and effective method, indeed!


1. Asking the receptionist if they "forgot about you."

Yesterday I saw THREE people do this and were then called back moments later, but I promise you, this is a trick. Even if it works for someone else, it will never work for you. NEVER!

2. Going to the bathroom "real quick."

Yes, this works in restaurants while you are waiting for your food, OBVIOUSLY, but if you try to run to the bathroom, I guarantee that the doctor will not be sitting in the exam room, patiently waiting for you, like your tasty meal you were dying for. This technique can backfire by having the doctor show up, find you gone, and move on to the next patient. You will surely be able to hear the doctor speaking with this patient in the next room and this patient will require at least an hour of specialized attention. Makes your bathroom break totally not worth it, right? 

There you have it folks, the guide to uncomfortably-long waits at the doctor's office. Use this information wisely, and best of luck to you all!

Friday, June 8, 2012

Happy Friday, Bibliophiles

It really warms my heart that, these days, when I have to assemble my big bag of can't-fail items to keep Josephine happy on a long car ride (which is anything longer than 20 minutes to her, unfortunately), at least 75% of those items I know will make her happy are BOOKS.

Okay, there are also a lot of snacks in there. She is my daughter, after all. And if there's one thing I've learned from monitoring my own behavior having a toddler, it's that if you think you have enough snacks, you DON'T. Pack more. Then pack even more.

But the books, you guys. She loves books. And I love that. 

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

I Love This Crazy Toddler of Mine

To continue on the Josie theme from Monday's post, let me tell you about a few things Josie has been doing lately that baffle me, make me laugh, and otherwise fascinate me.

Thing the first: Her newest defense mechanism.

Lately, she seems to get her little hands on things she shouldn't have ALL THE TIME, especially since she got so tall that she can basically reach everything in the GD house. When I spot her holding something she shouldn't have and make mention of how she shouldn't have it or how I'm going to take it away (or sometimes just give her the stink-eye), she immediately clutches said object to her chest and collapses to the floor, face down, to protect her contraband. She is also amazingly strong, so she can stay in that position and keep you from getting whatever is under her chest for a surprisingly long time. Punk.

Thing the second: her insane memory.

Her memory is excellent lately, and I used to just shake my head or smile at how she was not a baby anymore and all that, but lately ... it is actually FREAKING ME OUT. 

Excellent example: yesterday we were headed to Joann Fabrics and drove past Petco. Josephine immediately started shouting "FISH! FISH! FISHIES!!!" and frantically pointing at the sign. I said, "Yes, they have fish there. Maybe we can go see them sometime soon." Okay, we have been in that store TWICE. Once was two months ago (when we did, in fact, look at fish), and the other was at least six months ago. I mean, come on. I know it wasn't a coincidence, because the only other times she shouts "FISH!" with such urgency are when she actually sees a fish and when we pull up to Meijer, because she knows there are fish there to been seen as well.

That would freak you out a little too, right?

Thing the third: weird vocab shifts.

You'd think with that insane memory of hers, I'd be bragging about her language explosion here, but it's the weirdest thing: She is learning tons and tons of new words and phrases, and she is identifying lots of letters, but at the same time, she is almost (I hate to say it) regressing with a few words.

There are a few words in particular that she has been able to say clearly and in appropriate contexts for a very long time now (bite, baby, horsey), that she suddenly starting pronouncing differently. She says "but" for "bite," "mee-mee" for "baby" and "sie-sie" for "horsey." Weird, huh? I keep telling myself she is just experimenting with language, but she never really did this before. If she changed pronunciation, it was to get closer to the actual word, not to take a step back like that. Anyone else have a kid who did this? I'm not worried, just interested.

Then, as I was finishing writing this, she picked up my camera, handed it to me, and said "Cheeeese!"

And I figured, that's as good a way as any to end this post. Thanks, kid. :)

Monday, June 4, 2012

A Momentous Playdate. For Both of Us.

We went to the park today, which is something we do a lot, so it shouldn't really have been that big of a deal (except for the fact that we met up with one of my dear friends who I don't see often enough and her darling son, who Josephine is quite smitten with), but still, just the park. We have done this all before.

But today was insane. Perhaps the most (good) insane visit to the park we have ever had. (Yes, there was a bad insane visit, but I prefer to think that never happened). 

We got there before my friend arrived, and Josephine headed right to the play structure. It was a new one for her, so while it had familiar parts (slides, stairs, etc.), it was still new, and also had one of those crazy bouncy bridges. What do we call those things? You know what I mean. 

So, Josephine was a bit tentative at first. She crawled slowly up the stairs.

She held on for dear life while taking tiny steps across the bouncy bridge.

And when she got to the top of one of those huge tube slides, she just couldn't get herself in. It was one of those enclosed tube slides, and at the base, there is essentially a tiny step up, so a child can't just sit at the stop of the slide and push themselves down, they have to be able to maneuver themselves into the hole. I'm assuming it's a little safety measure, since if you can't figure out how to get up and in at the same time, you probably shouldn't be going down that slide yet anyway. Okay, I guess it would have been a good idea to take a picture so you would know what I am talking about, but I was too busy shouting encouraging things like "Keep trying!" and "You can do it!" to take a picture.

On Josephine's first attempt, she was just totally confused about the whole concept, but she just stood up and went to the next slide over with a "whatever" look on her face. I imagined she was thinking, "I'll just go down this other perfectly good slide and figure that one out later." The next time, she managed to get her legs in, but couldn't get her butt up and into the slide. She looked slightly frustrated, but went down the other slide again. Next, she got her whole body in, and could have gone down the slide, but she would have been on her stomach. She hung there for a while then decided she didn't want to do it, and pulled herself out. This time, however, she hung her head, dangled her arms, and looked defeated.

My heart broke into a million pieces. All she wanted to do was go down that slide by herself. She had tried and tried and had a good attitude the whole time, looking down at me for reassurance, but smiling and trying. To see her deflate like that was the WORST. She went down the "plain" slide, and we played for a while. 

Then things started happening. 

The bouncy bridge she was so tentative on? Suddenly she was running across it, not even holding the railing. 

Then, she decided she was going up one of those crazy web things, come hell or high water, even though the "big three-year-old" random kid who was also at the park kept telling her she was doing it wrong and would never be able to do it because she was a baby. And she DID.

She climbed right up, I boosted her over the lip of that tube opening, and she set off on an adventure. 

And that adventure included figuring out how to put one leg in, while standing, then sit while simultaneously putting her other leg in the the tube, and she SLID DOWN THE BIG ENCLOSED CURLY SLIDE ALL BY HERSELF!

This would be a great moment for a photo, but I was so busy clapping and hugging and NOT crying (maybe a little) that there are no photos of her triumph. But that's okay, because I will remember it. She was so proud of herself and so glad that I was there at the bottom of the slide to see her do it.

You think of these things as a parent: the growing and changing and all the things they work so hard at and one day can all of a sudden do, but to see the whole process happening in that condensed one-hour window? It was great. She's really growing up, and she's just as determined and fearless as she was when she was a baby. I predict many heart attacks for her poor, fearful mother, but I hope I can stay this mom I am trying to be: the one who knows she is old enough to try it on her own and doesn't follow behind her and put her in the slide when it is obvious she won't be able to do it easily herself the first time. I hope I can remain the mom who shouts "Keep trying!" even when I would rather scoop her up in my arms and do something safe, like color.

And it's times like these when my bitter, cranky heart grows a few sizes. There are so many moments in which I am angry, disgusted with people, and frustrated at what I consider an unfair situation. But then there are the moments like these that make me remember there is also THIS in the world. 

There is also this.
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