Tuesday, February 28, 2006

To Little Bit on the Occasion of Turning 2

Two years ago, on February 27, 2004 you were born at 3:14 in the afternoon. It was a Friday, 8 days after your due date, and you were expected to be BIG. Since you apparently had no intention of leaving your cozy home on your own, we had to use some pharmaceutical encouragement. You came out screaming, and you've not been quiet since.
You and your brother have had a mutual fascination for one another from the beginning, and you are still the best of buddies.From the start, you were a good sleeper, although it took FOREVER for you to learn how to put yourself to sleep. It is a challenge for you still : every night while trying to settle into sleep, you put on "The Little Bit Variety Show" complete with singing, clapping, and nursery rhymes. You smiled and laughed very early on, and rarely seem unhappy to this day. You came out with tons of personality, and it just continues to deepen.
You are our comedian, and it's nearly impossible to stay angry with you for anything.

I'm fairly certain you know this.

You are a lover of animals of all kinds. You delight in giving Pascal 'teats', and are the only family member Mimi allows to touch her.
You are the consummate 'little brother'. If the Critter is able to do it, playing with it, or going to it, you steadfastly believe you should too, and you give it your all.

You were always a great eater, and eat most anything edible and a few things most of us don't consider to be. It still takes you an eternity to finish a meal, and then it takes us another eternity to clean up the mess you've made. You are our little monkey, but we are glad you've branched out from eating just bananas to other fruits including all members of the berry family: "black babies", "rass babies", "staw babies" and "blue babies".

You are an extremely affectionate child, and love to give and receive big hugs and kisses. No one can leave your presence without getting both. You really seem to enjoy having a younger sister, and play with Lulu very gently. You were an early talker, and have been speaking in complex sentences for several months now. You still have trouble with consonant blends, and this sometimes raises eyebrows in public when you're talking about your favorite subject: trucks.
You are passionate about everything you do, and I'm sure you'll take the job of being a two-year-old very seriously.

Happy Birthday Buddy, I love you!


Friday, February 24, 2006

SPF: Bedside Manner

This week Kristine is dreaming of relaxation and wants to see the drawer in bedside table, our favorite lamp and a good book.

The drawer:

a bunch of lotions, chapstick, vitamins, pens & pencils, Sudoku book and my Lakehouse Spa gift certificate that I haven't used yet.

The lamp:

One of a matching(ish, as they're handmade) set of Tiffany lamps on our bedside tables. Love.them.

The book (haven't read it yet, but it awaits me):

Did you play? Leave me a comment so I can relax with you vicariously.

Have a great weekend.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

I'd be a wealthy woman...

...if I had a dime for every one of these our freaky cat has destroyed.
Lulu doesn't even like them that much, but I like to have them around for those times that nothing else seems to satisfy. I am so sick of finding them in pieces.

Little Bit was a 'pacifier baby' as soon as he started teething. He LOVED the things, and I was CONSTANTLY buying new ones to replace the ones the cat ate. We never went anywhere without at least two of the things, as sometimes that's all that would comfort him. I'm still finding 'his brand' stashed here and there, kind of like finding the secret JD stash of an alcoholic.

I once was watching an episode of one of those nanny shows, and one of the kids was a paci-addict, and I saw our future if we didn't do something about Little Bit's addiction immediately. About that same time, he decided that he simply couldn't live without the things. I had been working up to the idea of breaking the habit, and about a month before had started confining them to the bed only. I would hide that one under a blanket and not call attention to it when bedtime arrived. He would ALWAYS dig around until he unearthed it, pop it in his mouth and happily drift off to sleep. After watching that episode where the kid was FOUR and still using the thing, I decided it was time to go cold turkey then and there. He was almost a year old, and that was the hardest week of bedtimes ever, before or since. As it turns out stubborn really is his middle name, and there were several nights when I almost gave in. Daddy McAustin was traveling so I was alone, and I just wanted the screaming to stop. I held firm however, and after the fourth night he didn't cry at all.

I worried when Lulu came along that he might start up again using hers, but he has never shown any interest in her pacifiers. But you better believe when I find one of 'his' it goes immediately into the trash without him ever setting eyes on it.

If only the cat problem was as easily solved.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Random Stuff

A random day of answers and questions.

As I look through the photos from the Blogger Blowout, I am struck by how completely and perfectly photogenic some of you ladies are. Gorgeous! It just doesn't seem fair. Carrie did a fabu job of compiling most of the photos (with names!) into one spot, go check it out here. And go eat something.

One of the things that makes me sad about the toilet training thing is that we have to say goodbye to one-piece outfits. This saddens me immensely. My Critter looks like such a ....BOY...in pants and shirts, it makes me cry. And those rompers are just too cute!

Several people have asked about or commented on my hair. It's naturally curly - a good thing here in Austin, and also naturally red but got darker with my first baby. It gets a bit of color help since. Also? A complete and utter pain in the tush, and I've always dreamed of having lovely, glossy, straight-as-a-board hair like Asian women do. For the record, I can force it to be straight: give me less than 30% humidity, 1850 watts of hot air on a round brush for an hour....yes, an hour..., and a very hot Chi, and I can work miracles. As you can imagine, this doesn't happen often with the three 3 and under around here. I am also personally responsible for Bed Head/Tigi's great stock prices. Curly or straight, it takes TONS of product to get it to behave.

And finally, in addition to this affliction, I have been infected with "pretty girly clothes" syndrome. This rep sees me coming and starts counting on that new car she's been eyeing. I am a sucker for the smocking, and it is a disease, and I know I must refrain.....
...but could you, when she looks this adorable?

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Recipe for a Happy Nap

Start with one drizzly and gray February day.
Combine with the following:

one 12 pack of economy paper towels
1 stir-crazy Critter

1 energized Little Bit

Stack gently, then knead, pound, battle and roll.

Let simmer for at least an hour.

Garnish with a little Lulu practicing her mad head-holding and weight-bearing skills.

These tired children will be out the rest of the afternoon. I'm off to tackle the laundry....
Happy Tuesday!

Sunday, February 19, 2006

Hi! Who Are You?

That was the way most conversations began at the Austin Blogger Blowout last night. Despite the frigid weather, last minute emergencies, and changes in plans, a good-sized group of ladies showed to do the meet and greet and snap pictures with all the fabulous gals from inside the computer.

It's funny, really. I went not really knowing anyone, and having met just one person IRL prior to last night. We share so much online about our lives: our families, what stresses us out, our senses of humor, our problems, etcetera. We've seen the insides each other's cabinets, know whose kids have had diarrhea lately, and gotten a peek at many of you half nekkid. But as I was walking in I realized that we really don't know one another, not really. Some were exactly as I expected, others were a surprise. It was kind of like a blind date with a room full of mutual stalkers, albeit very lovely stalkers! I wish I'd had more time to talk to most of you, and was disappointed that I never got around to meet others of you. I left feeling like I want to get to know you all better online, and IRL, also.

Bottom line: we all should crawl out from behind our monitors and socialize again soon.

I'll bring the nametags.

Enjoy the photos.

Friday, February 17, 2006

Welcome to Stuff Portrait Friday!

Go see Kristine for the directions....
This week she wants to see:under the bed, the pots & pans and the stereo.
I cook a lot, so I have a lot of pots and pans:

The ones I use most are on a rack...
...these are for the grill and cornbread...
...and finally the double-boiler and crepe pans.

Under the bed we have....

...a few fallen Duplo blocks, and a random sock stolen by the cat.

And finally, the stereo/tuner.

All the tv/dvd/music stuff goes through here.

Did you play?

Happy Austin Blogger Blowout Weekend, y'all!

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Lost in Translation

"I'm so proud of you!"
From the Critter to Little Bit when LB finally climbed up the playscape using the "hard ladder". This makes my soul smile. I say this to the Critter every time he uses the toilet or his good manners.

"GO AWAY!!!"
Uttered by one brother to another (the initiator changes). This makes me cringe. I say this to the dog, in the same nasty tone of voice coincidentally....or not.

They all can't be winners, but I must remember that my little pitchers do have big ears.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Way Back Wednesday: Cheesy Love

Welcome to Way Back Wednesday, the day where we take direction from The Kept Woman and dig up photographic history. Last week she cast a depressing pall on the entire World Wide Web, and so this week she has switched to a lighter topic: cheesy love.

This is the only picture I have scanned in, and don't have time to go dig, so you'll have to make do with this one you've already seen. And I won't be getting any extra mullet points.....

He was a senior, I was a sophmore; it was definitely cheesy, but also a ton of fun.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

The Princess and the Peeved

You're gonna put me WHERE?

Settle in now, it's time for today's story.....

Once upon a time, in a land called Texas, there lived a little girl named Lulu with the cutest smile, the unruliest hair, and the most uncanny ability to spit up what appeared to be gallons of...well... spit up.

Lulu was such a good baby! She naturally fell into a fantastic napping and eating schedule, and slept for 11 hours at a stretch overnight when she was 12 weeks old. She was a great eater, very flexible, and almost never cried.

...when she had to have a bath.

Those early sponge baths seemed to be quite enjoyable, and when Lulu graduated to 'real' baths, she seemed to like the shower just as well as the baby tub or big tub with her mother. And then, one day, an evil spell was cast by the Wicked Witch of Kohler, and she suddenly HATED baths of any sort.

Little Lulu's mother thought maybe it was the echo in the shower that first time she freaked, so when it was next time to de-spit-up-ify Lulu, she used the baby tub. Screams and crying ensued, and did not cease until Lulu was safely ensconced in a towel far, far away from the evil water.

Maybe it was a bit too cool? thought Lulu's mother. So prior to the next bath, the bathroom was preheated to the toasty temperature that makes Lulu's mother sweat buckets whilst bathing the little lass, but alas, the results were the same: an extremely unhappy, but clean, Little Lulu.

Maybe too much water in the tub? Water too hot/cool? Maybe too close to naptime? Too close to mealtime? Following each torture session an alteration was made in the process to try to figure out what it was about the bath that reduces the child to a lip-quivering, appendage-flailing, bundle of tears and screams. But to no avail.

The conclusion? She HATES having a bath. Period.

The End.

Yeah, I look cute now, but you should have seen me 10 minutes ago!

Happy Valentine's Day from Casa McAustin!

Monday, February 13, 2006

Happy Valentine's Day....hand over all your cash!

Today I have a commentary on price-gouging for dining on holidays.

So we went out to dinner on Saturday for our Valentine's Day date, as Daddy McA will be traveling on Tuesday. He had made reservations at a local, well-reviewed spot which we had not previously been to, and was told there would be a special Valentine prix-fixed menu. OK, fine. I would expect there to be a special menu, and prixe-fixed seems to be the theme for holiday dining lately.

We get there, and notice that the parking lot is remarkably empty, save just a few cars - one being a Rolls - that should have been our first warning. We enter, get seated, and are handed our menus. They did the gentleman/lady menu thing where the prices are only on the man's. Interesting note: every couple that came in that I could see switched menus so the woman could see the prices. Too funny!

YIKES! Can you say sticker shock? We were tempted to get up and leave, and probably would have if we had been paying for babysitting (thanks! Nana & Papa!). They were asking an exorbitant amount of money for a 4 course meal, and didn't even offer wine pairings.

We witnessed several couples come in, get seated, and then leave. After a while we noticed that the waiter was handing out regular menus along with the holiday menu. A smart decision on the part of the management, but we felt jipped! We would have ordered from the regular menu, had we been offered one, but were unlucky enough to be some of the first people in. I know why they do this - because they can....I guess we're the poster children for the over-priced-prixe-fixed menu....but it still chaps me.

Despite the outrageous prices and the fact that we felt like we were robbed, the food was excellent. All except for the dessert, which was too dense, and we were too full, but everything else was really good.

The moral of this story? Reservation-maker beware! Ask the price of that special menu.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

To the Critter on Your 3rd Birthday:

Today you are three years old. At 9:54 p.m. on Sunday, February 9th, 2003 you entered this world screaming your big pointy head off after 12 hours of labor and 2 1/2 hours of HARD pushing. I wasn't sure I could do it! We had a mirror set up so I could see you and I stared at a coaster-sized circle on the top of your head that kept appearing, disappearing, then re-appearing over and over and over again. But finally, you arrived, and you were perfect.
You have come so far in 3 years. From rolling to sitting to walking to running to jumping, riding a tricycle and using the toilet, all those standard physical milestones you hit along the way.
You also learned to do some things that don't always make it into those charts: sorting EVERYTHING into categories, saying "please" and "thank you" most all the time, and making sure to know who everyone is so you can call them by name.
You can match pitch perfectly and repeat songs that you've heard just once. You are also quite the daredevil: you love coasting down the steep hill in our backyard on the tricycles fast enough to run into the fence on the opposite end....and successfully steer clear of the stone retaining walls and trees in the process.....at least so far!
You love your brother and sister so much! You kiss Lulu practically everyday, give Little Bit big hugs, and are always concerned whenever anyone cries. You have such a good heart.
You still hate haircuts with passion, love broccoli and blueberries, and delight in deviling your little brother on occasion.

This year your world will widen: you will start preschool next September, and spend part of the week away from me. You will experience so many new things, and grow in many ways I'm sure I'm not even aware of yet. But one thing I am certain of:

You'll always be my baby.

Happy 3rd Birthday, my boy! I love you,