Friday, December 30, 2005


Sing along with me, won't you? The tune's "Bingo"

And Mama was her name-o!
Apparently I have just exactly enough energy to give birth to a baby the first weekend in November, get through Thanksgiving with marginal success, and then limp weakly through the finish line of Christmas.
And now?
I want to lie down, curl up into a small ball, and die. (But not as small a ball as it would have been pre-Princess Lulu. GRRRRR.)
The fact that I 've been up since the baby's 4 a.m. feeding due to a cold isn't helping. The fact that this child isn't sleeping through the night yet isn't helping. (Apologies to all you moms out there who have mobile ones who aren't there yet, but my boys both slept a solid 8 hours starting at 9 weeks, and I got very used to getting good sleep every night. The two months of Lulu's life on the outside coupled with the 4 months of in utero sleep deprivation are taking their toll. HARD.) The fact that I still have all those decorations to take down and store isn't helping. The fact that the china and crystal from Christmas dinner are still waiting to be put away isn't helping. The fact that the only clothing options I can cobble together which fit anywhere near properly consist of some combination of track pants and t-shirts isn't helping.
And I just got a good look in the mirror, and realized that I can't remember the last time I plucked my eyebrows. And girlfriend went through the line twice the day God handed those out.
I remember when I was in high school, and would be out late, and then would have to get up early. I thought I was tired then. I was wrong. I remember being a full-time college student working two jobs. I thought I was tired then, and I was wrong. I remember working full time at an actual-job-with-benefits and being in grad school every night. I thought I was tired then. I was wrong, so so very wrong.
Tired is when it's mentally taxing to calculate when the child will eat again. Just add 3 hours you say? My brain is having trouble just doing that. Tired is when you forget, say, half the people on your Christmas list, and then it occurs to you, say, the day before New Year's Eve. (If you're one of those folks, I'm so sorry; I suck. They'll be happy New Year gifts.) Tired is when you read someone else's post saying that their wish for Christmas is a hotel voucher for a 3 night stay in a single occupancy room and thinking "Yes! Yes! That's the perfect gift!"
In light of this I have concluded that babies should not be born in the months of November & December. There should be some biological blocker that prevents conception in February and March.
I'm going to go take a nap now, and when I get back, maybe I'll have enough energy to do the post-Christmas update, because? HOLY CHRISTMAS, BATMAN did these kids hit the jackpot this year!
I'll be back.

(The music choice is ironic, no? It's meant for the post-Christmas post.)

SPF: Happy New Year

Yeah,I know. It's been a whole week since I posted anything at all. I have a good excuse, but that will have to wait for another post, because today is all about.....

Your New Year's Resolution
Your Favorite Picture from 2005
Something you'll be glad to leave behind in '05

These are the tasks that Kristine at Random and Odd asked to see today. And since I'm up at zero dark hundred thanks to a killer cold that has me sneezing NONSTOP I have the chance to look up the tasks and participate.


(Taking a break here to get ANOTHER tissue and experience ANOTHER 5 pound sneeze....)

A two-for-one:
My New Year's Resolution & What I'm Glad to Leave Behind in 2005

Sayonara, baby fat. There will be no more babies here at Casa McAustin. Maybe not EVER, but certainly not anytime in the next several years. The ol' body, she just don't bounce back like she used to, and my tolerance for wearing track pants is quickly waning.....

My favorite photo from 2005:

From September. My boys in the bath giving hugs.

Let me know if you played, so I can feel guilty about not coming to see your "stuff" or comment on how great it was....

Friday, December 23, 2005

All Wrapped Up...

Here is the last portion of my SPF: Ho times Three.
I changed one item from
"your favorite wrapped gift" to:

what I've got all wrapped up
And that would be our Christmas card. We actually got it done, printed, and sent out at only the 9th hour - as opposed to the usual 11th hour. Since Princess Lulu was born so close to Christmas, we decided to hit two birds with one stone, so to speak: birth announcement & Christmas card all in one.
Enjoy the online version!
Since last Christmas.....

...the McAustin family has grown by two feet!

We joyfully introduce our newest addition:

Elizabeth Louise McAustin

November 4, 2005 2:54 p.m.

7 pounds, 14 ounces 20 inches

Wishing you a very Merry Christmas, and a joyous 2006!

Mama McA., Daddy McA., Critter, Little Bit, and Princess Lulu

SPF: Ho times Three

" It's all about Christmas" says Kristine. For those of you new to the Stuff Portrait Friday concept, here's the deal: Kristine gives us a list of three items to take pictures of and post. This Friday's list is: your favorite wrapped gift, your Christmas cards, and something new you added to the decorations this year.

As usual, I must put my own spin on these directions, and work with what I have. Thus I will begin with the second item:

Our Christmas Cards

Our new decoration

Since we've added a new person to the celebration, we had to add a new decoration!

As for my favorite wrapped gift......I have to take some creative liscense, because.... well .....I haven't wrapped a single gift. There. I said it. The gifts are bought, the wrapping is ready, just haven't had time to actually DO it. It will get done in time for everyone to rip off the lovely wrapping tomorrow.

So. My version of this item is my favorite item I've wrapped up

And you will have to wait to see it until later in the day, as Blogger was not cooperating with me this morning.....

Until then, thanks for looking, and let me know if you played so I can come check out your "Stuff".

Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Just because everyone does it doesn't make it right ...

I don't usually use this site for ranting, but oh, my pet peeve just about does me in this time of year! I'll make it short....

If you're unsure about how and when to use an apostrophe go here:

or here:

The McAustins

or I could have written:
Love from the McAustin's house to yours

The McAustin's

Happy Grammar Thursday!

Friday, December 16, 2005

Stuff Portrait Friday: All decked out in Red & Green

"Not just Christmas, so everyone can play". This statement from Kristine, who asked to see:
something red something green something you decorate
Something RED:

My sons' cheeks during the Poonami/Spewnami of Christmas '05. (Scroll down for the riveting accounts of that.)

...but seriously, this is my favorite red ornament.

Something GREEN
(or at least something that's supposed to be green!)

The frog prince ornament we got last Christmas in Santa Fe.

Something I decorate:

The chandelier in my dining room.

Did you play? Let me know so I can stop by over the weekend to see your stuff. Have a great day!

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Is He Feeling Better?

Well enough to play hide and seek with his little brother.
Well enough to surf down the kitchen stairs head first with a gift bag over his head.
Well enough to pull aforementioned little brother down aforementioned stairs by his hair when aforementioned gift bag is snatched.
Definitely better.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

While the Cat's Away....

Hola, Internet!

Princess Lulu here. Mama is busy cleaning up that terrible mess the boys made last week, and my brothers are interested only in playing outside since they were cooped up indoors all week.

Can you see how bored I've become just sitting here without anyone to entertain me? So in the interest of self-amusement I've decided to take over the computer and update you all on the goings-on the last few days from my point of view. Come along, won't you?

Oooh, look at that!

My parents FINALLY got that huge, green plant-like thingy in the living room finished, or so they say. It's all very sparkly, twinkly and golden, and there's the prettiest little doll sitting right up on top. If I could only reach it, maybe she would play with me.... They say it's the 'pre-lit' tree they got for half price last January, whatever that means. Anyway it is lovely, but Mama keeps mumbling something about Mimi the cat not making it through the holiday if she doesn't leave it alone....

And speaking of that tree, we all had to sit in front of it Sunday and there was all this shouting of "cheese!" and "look at the Wiggles!" and bright flashes of light. The living room was completely rearranged, the laptop was set up under the camera playing those 4 annoying dancing men who talk funny, and the camera was on that menacing 3-legged contraption they keep dragging out to take my picture for my birth announcement. (Yeah, I'm like 5 weeks old, and still no birth announcement. I can only hope they get their act together before I'm walking. And let's not even get into the piles & piles of thank-you notes my Mom is STILL working on. My advice? Be patient, they'll get it sorted out at some point surely...) I overheard someone say this was for our Christmas card photo. It lasted for what seemed like my whole life. Forever, I tell you. Finally I just had to go to sleep, as it had spilled over into my scheduled naptime. So, if you are on the list to get a card, you'll know why I'm sleeping: it was just more than I could bear.

Here, let me show you:
See what I mean?
This is just one of the thousands of really bad shots. Notice that Little Bit and I are the only ones looking at the camera? Why can't everyone follow directions? These people just wear me out.

I also wanted to let you all know that while Mama & Daddy have had a really tough week, I'm doing my best to make it easy on them. I have taken to sleeping from 10:30p.m. until 4:30a.m. I need my beauty rest you know, and these people are really NO FUN in the middle of the night.

And finally, I wanted to thank all you nice Internet people who've been so concerned about my family during the Poonami /Spewnami. We really appreciate all the kinds words and encouragement, and sincerely hope no one else gets it!

I must go, now, as I feel a nap coming on. Or maybe it's gas. Anyway, ta-ta!

Love, Princess Lulu

Monday, December 12, 2005

It'll Just Blow Over.....

Thankfully, it appears the violent virus that had us in it's grip for the last week has FINALLY gone. This marks the first time that my children have been truly sick, and it scared the hooey out of me.

Here's the abbreviated version (to expand on Mama Duck's term)

"Poonami/Spewnami of Christmas '05":
Diarrhea starts; 24 hours later: vomitting that lasts for 36 very long hours; about 18 hours into the throwing up comes the high fever that doesn't respond to Tylenol lasting for 24-36 hours; then a couple more upchucks to make sure there's really nothing left, and then the fever breaks.
A week later? we're still dealing with the south pole....

We watched our already thin Critter go gaunt, sunken-eyed, and hollow-cheeked in a matter of hours. Both boys had fevers that made their eyes bloodshot, their cheeks crimson, and their skin searing to the touch. Their hands still feel papery and dry. I cried with the Critter as he stumbled out of his bed crying, trying to get to the cup of water that we had to ration during the worst of it. Little Bit lost 6 pounds, Critter lost 8.

Nothing is worse than looking into your sick child's eyes that plead "make it better", and be completely helpless.

We steam cleaned the carpet in the den 3 times between Monday and Wednesday evening, and finally gave up. I couldn't keep up, and decided to just wait until this thing had passed. Our house is currently a biohazard.

The good news? The boys are ok now, Princess Lulu, Daddy McAustin, and I all seemed to have dodged the bullet, and our sickness quota has been met for this holiday season!

(That sound you hear? It would be me knocking on wood and crossing my fingers.)

Friday, December 09, 2005

He Sleeps...

After 21 hours of vomiting literally every 10 minutes.
After a trip to the ER and two doses of Zofran.
After searching 3 pharamacies to find the correct medications in the correct dosages.
After a trip to the grocery store to get Powerade and more laudry detergent and more fabric softener. (Bought the honker containers at Sam's just last week. Yes.THAT.MUCH.LAUNDRY.)
After 3 days of severe diarrhea.
After bringing his fever down from 103.5 to a more manageable 101.4.
After 3 phone calls FROM the fabulous pediatrician.

Finally, he sleeps.

A shot of Little Bit from 4 am today. He's obviously feeling MUCH better.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

And then there were two...

Send Lysol.


Then WHY ON EARTH do they make it in garish colors that DON'T come out of carpeting????

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Darkest Before the Dawn

6 loads of laundry
5 square feet of carpet awaiting the steam cleaner
4 changes of pyjamas
3 strippings/remaking of crib bedding
2 parents up multiple times during the night
1 very sick Little Bit

....but still with enough spunk left to smile for the camera

Monday, December 05, 2005

We Went: The Advent Event

Saturday was our church's annual family advent fellowship event. We (along with 184 other families!) gathered to assemble and decorate gingerbread churches. This was our first year to attend and I was a little worried that the boys wouldn't be as interested as I wanted them to be, but I was wrong. (I suppose any event where you get to play with candy, slather yourself from top to toe with icing, and then spend a LONG time playing in the water trying to wash all that stickiness off would be highly ranked by most toddlers.) The boys loved it and Princess Lulu was considerate enough to sleep through the whole thing. The end result looks a bit like Hansel & Gretel's house got hit by a tornado spinning off candy debris, but the boys are proud of it, and had a great time.

The Critter ate most of the pretzels.....

It takes lots of concentration...

The Family McAustin with the (almost) finished product.

And in other breaking Christmas news...
Later that day, whilst the rest of us were busily decorating the trees (indoor and outdoor) Little Bit snagged a strand of beads from the box, and happily adorned Humbles the Hippo. He's all about the accessories, that Humbles.

Have a great Monday

Friday, December 02, 2005

Mistaken Identity?

She only looks delicate.

She passes gas worthy of any teenage boy.

Methinks the nickname should instead be Tooter McAustin.

Everyone loves the playgym.

SPF: December 2, 2005 - CSI

Welcome to another edition of Kristine's Stuff Portrait Friday.
This week's topic: CSI
I really enjoyed this week's extra mental challenge. It may not seem such a challenge to you, but I had to come up with a substitution for actually killing the loud children, as the law enforcement types tend to look upon that instead I came up with the next best thing.

1.Your Victim
2. Your Weapons
3. Your Crime Scene

The victims: the noise-making toys belonging to my children.

Just the small sampling from the den which needed to be put away yesterday afternoon. Notice the small dark red fire engine - the worst offender of all - and (of course) the favorite of the boys. Why do toy companies assume all small children are deaf? I'll never understand.

The weapons: dead or removed batteries and a small screwdriver (also, several small lengths of heavy duty tape for the speakers of the aforementioned toys, but alas, the tape is all gone - on the toys, and I didn't think of it until I'd uploaded the photos).

...because these offenders can be found all over the place.