25 August 2010


What are my favorite things about Ben these days? Let me count the adorablenesses:

1. When we ask where his bellybutton is, he picks up his shirt & squeals like a banshee. He's learning anatomy & just as importantly, he's just about ready to earn some Mardi Gras beads.

2. When you ask him where his nose is, he starts to point at his ear then pulls up his shirt & squeals like a banshee. We may have a bit more work to do with that one.

3. If you say "Awwwwww" he'll stop what he's doing & hug whatever he's holding, whether it's a stuffed animal or a magazine. If he's not holding anything he'll quickly grab whatever's nearby.

4. He's learning to misbehave - he knows that when our backs are turned he can hit the power button on the gas heater as many times as he wants, dump water/raisins/anything messy everywhere & when we come back around he doesn't actually stop what he's doing, he just does it more quickly so he can get more trouble done before we stop him.

5. He loves Tom Hanks as much as I do. Well, to be more accurate he loves Woody from Toy Story. And technically, I think he likes Buzz better but I refuse to fully believe that because Tom Hanks is our guy not Tim Allen (no offense to Mr. Allen). He carries the Toy Story DVD case around & every now & then will put it in my lap & just point at the characters on the cover. He's only seen each of the movies once but he loves them.

So that's our life these days - the boy seems to be learning so much so quickly now & he's so much freaking fun! Still not sleeping well but as I pointed out on Facebook that lack of sleeping may have prevented us from being robbed so I'm taking a break from complaining. And my doctor's appointment was canceled last week, thanks to my doctor getting sick so we're going on Friday instead. Should be fun ... Nnnnot!

I can't remember what else I was going to write about so I'm just going to go. Need to do a lot of cleaning now that I'm feeling healthier. Heading back to the gym tonight where my nose will run all over me, which will only add to my exercise appeal - snot + beet red face + clumsy jogging + having no idea what I'm doing with the machines = all around awesomeness.

Okee dokee, I'm out of here. xx

19 August 2010


Do you hear that noise? It sounds a bit ... hmmmm ... tooty? It's ME! I'm just tooting my own horn, don't you mind me. I have accomplished things today & I am darn proud of it.

We actually went to IKEA this morning as planned and while Ben didn't bother to sleep until we were in sight of the actual store, he was gorgeous and well behaved and we had a grand time. He laughed his butt off through most of the store for no particular reason, which cracked people up. Well, I'm pretty sure some of them thought he was a little special because he would pull a sock off, stare at it then cackle but we were having fun. And in the rug department (we were just passing through, I wasn't trying to replace the roach's rug or anything), he actually leaned out of the cart & grabbed a gentleman who looked remarkably like Confucius's older brother and then laughed hysterically. Luckily, Brofucius found it amusing and didn't put a spell on us or anything. Wait, I think I have Confucius and Merlin's skills mixed up.

This story is already taking way too long so I'll put it in fast forward - good drive, good parking spot, fun shopping, bought lots of stuff, skipped the meatballs, Ben slept on the way home & we spent much of the afternoon putting together adorable things.

So, the whole point of the trip was to get some new furniture for Ben's room. Sadly we're not replacing the crib that looks like it's been attacked by badgers (ever since watching Ernest Goes to Camp, badgers top my list of predators) due to Ben's teething issues. I've moved his bookshelf into the office, where we've also moved his dresser/changing table so that he can have more room to play in his own room. I wanted to get him a table & chairs so we can start doing some crafty crap & eventually read/write there.

IKEA & every kids store have a million choices of kids tables but none of them thrilled my soul so I just dug my feet in & bought the good old standby LACK side table. They have some cute colours for it now but I couldn't decide on one so just got the dark brown to match his gnawed-upon bed. Also couldn't decide between the chairs or stools & all the gorgeous choices of colours in each so fiiiiinalllly just grabbed two yellow stools & one green chair. I was also going to buy a tiny rocking chair that Ben thought was the greatest thing on earth but they were sold out of it. I already had an awesome striped rug from a much earlier IKEA trip (I got a few in different colours at the time).

So the table & chairs are cute enough as presented here in Exhibit A:

And Exhibit B, which is short for Before. 
As in before Ben fell over in the chair as predicted by his gifted mother.

But I am a fan of clutter and not leaving well enough alone so I also purchased some vinyl sticky animals to dress up the brown/black table. Then I couldn't resist sticking some on the chair & stools too. If you were here & made the mistake of standing still, I would have stuck one on you as well - that's just what I do. So Exhibit C & D are the finished product:

Yes, I got carried away with the stickers but once we need the table for actual writing, I can yank those suckers right back off. No harm done. I also got carried away with the whole Exhibit A thing but that's just because I actually forgot the word exhibit and had to google "court terms," then had to make it worth my while. C'est la vie. I'm not googling that to see if it's spelled right.

I was going to brag about my affordable, adorable solution but I just checked my receipt & those stupid stickers were twenty-five ding dang dollars!! Luckily, there are plenty left so Ben's room is going to be a sickly sweet jungle when I'm done with it. We're going to put shelves on the wall above the table (waaaay above, out of a certain toddler's reach) for all of Ben's books & we'll hang up the pictures that were on his old bookshelf. I'm just happy he has more room in his room to actually enjoy & we can move more of his toys back in there instead of most of them living in the den.

I also managed to get some gorgeous felt food for Ben's cute little kitchen but I think I might save those for Christmas, which gives me a little more time for him to lose all the kitchen accessories he already has before he has new ones to lose. AND they had finger puppets!! So I got two packs for the great plane ride, which is now less than 2 months away. I figure they'll entertain them for about 5 minutes then I can throw them, one by one, at people who give us the stink eye. 

Okay, I need to go get my son some food. Even though we didn't visit the IKEA cafeteria this go 'round, I still managed to get sick this afternoon. Not sure what gave me the funk but I'm hoping Ben's tummy doesn't follow suit tonight. We have no grand plans for tomorrow - just a doctor's appointment where I will leave frustrated because the doctors keep refusing to hand over the magical Toddler Awesome Sleep Syrum that I know has to exist!! The medical community will rue the day they decided Ashley Moore Eisele Who Still Hasn't Legally Updated Her Name Because She Is Tired of Paperwork could deal with sleep deprivation. R-u-e the d-a-y.

18 August 2010

humming along

It's after 11pm & I really ought to be in bed but I had some caffeine tonight & it turns out that after years of it not having any effect on me, it suddenly does. Apparently when you don't have it often suddenly the little bit you do have really hits you. Did that make any sense? Oooh, I should have just asked "Savvy?" I'm going to try to bring that word back. I tried to do it once back in high school (hello Matt Shafer by the way if you're out there) but it didn't catch on. The world wasn't ready for a savvy reemergence yet.

Marcel is in Papua New Guinea now. Poor boy had to get up at 3am to get out the door to catch a 6am flight out of Sydney. I feel bad about that but I was actually already up at that hour, feeding Count de Fussy Britches, but at least I didn't have to face the airport stress today. I still come close to hyperventilating thinking of my flight almost 2 months from now.

Ben only woke up once last night but it took a while to settle him back down. Actually, I never did get him settled again so I just left him to amuse himself. I fully expected to have to get back up 5 minutes later when he caught on that he was alone in his bed, awake but he must have conked out when I left because I woke up 3 hours later. That was at 6am & I was beyond exhausted & couldn't convince him to go back to sleep so I summoned my best Mother of the Year material & just threw a bunch of toys & books into his bed & went back to my own bed. Again, I fully expected wailing a few minutes later but he let me have another hour of sleep. I actually felt rested, energetic & what's that word? Oh yeah, HUMAN today. I had energy - organized, bought groceries, cleaned my car out, got a new phone since I broke my other one, played with the neighbor's new puppy & had a great time with my son.

I honestly had forgotten what life felt like - sleep deprivation has made me feel like I'm on cold medicine all the time or something. I always feel disconnected, sluggish and bitchy. Mind you, Ben is teething again so he was well drugged up last night and I may never hit that perfect balance again. Pray for me. And no, not really drugged up - just good old Panadol & Nurofen, which is exactly what the doctors have told us to do. And seriously, how many freaking teeth does this child need? Yes, yes, I know he needs a mouthful but it seems like he is ultra-sensitive to it & at the rate we're going he is going to have a constant cycle of teeth like sharks do, they'll just keep coming & he'll lose one here & there when he bites an unsuspecting surfer (that's totally possible around here by the way)(and yes, there are some good looking surfers ladies so it's time for you to book your Australian getaway).

I've got big plans for us tomorrow as well. Cleaning, cooking & a field trip to IKEA. Ben likes meatballs, I like housewares, we both win. And Marcel wins by being in another country so he doesn't have to suffer through another journey through the Swedish wonderland. And I get a bonus point because walking through IKEA is a workout in itself and I need that since I can't go to the gym while Marcel is away. When you pay $19.95/month for a gym you don't get the luxury of a creche/nursery/whatever.

Seriously, I need to sleep but I am buzzing. I should harness this energy and do some push-ups & sit-ups or take a bath or something that adds to my quality of life. Maybe a bath would mellow me out a bit too AND I could do some push-ups or sit-ups while it's filling up. But will the water running wake Ben up? And how many stinkin' toys will I have to empty from the bath first? Maybe I should just go to bed & read for a while to let my eyes tire out. Holy crap, are you still reading this?

I'm cutting myself off now. I have no idea what I'm going to do but you can't bet it's not going to be exciting so don't hold your breath or anything. Have a fabulous Wednesday if you're in that timezone and over here, we'll take care of Thursday until you're ready for it.

And if you're in Tennessee, wish my mom well because she's having another eye surgery today. Stupid retina.

09 August 2010


Okay, I really didn't want to go into it but I need your help. I've joined a gym & am getting quite serious about slimming myself back down to size. I'm not going to whine or wonder how I've managed to gain weight instead of losing it even with almost 15 months of breastfeeding! I know how it's happened - I've been my lazy self and have been improving my culinary skills. Bit me in the ass obviously.

So I'm gymming now & I quite love it - have an hour or so to myself about every other day at this point but I'm stepping it up & attempting 5 times a week. Currently doing cardio & weight machines & am actually pushing myself but don't really know what I'm doing. Will probably break down & do one of the gyms free personal training classes where they go through the machines with us dummies but I'm interested in what has worked for you! I'm doing lots of fast walking up hills on the treadmill & am attempting to start a bit of jogging, which is just sad. Have any of you started from nothing & managed to become runners? I am pathetic - give me a minute of it & I'm puffing but I guess that's how it goes. Also doing a circuit of weight machines that are leaving me nice & sore, which is a good thing. Should I be focusing on more weights & less cardio or the opposite or keep it kind of balanced? I'm just guessing as I go. It's been about 2 weeks & I am confused as to why I haven't dropped 3 dress sizes or anything. *sigh* Something tells me this is going to be a long, annoying process.

And yes, I'm accepting the fact that I will have to stop eating whatever I like whenever I like. THIS IS GOING TO KILL ME! Again, I want to know what has worked for you. I am going for longterm changes but I'll be honest, I want to know what will give me halfway quick results so I have incentive to keep going! Are carbs really the true evil or is it the cupcakes I made today?

Going to America in October - is it even possible to noticeably shape up by then or am I dreaming? And how on earth do I keep myself from gorging at all my favorite restaurants while I'm back there? And do I have to give up frozen Cokes? Can I cut back to one a week instead of two? I do drink lots of water already but even that could use a boost I suppose.

I do solemnly swear to not spend every blog post talking about the size of my caboose or how much I hate sit-ups (but seriously, I haaaate them) so don't worry. If I make any progress, I'll let you know or if I need to vent a bit I'll warn you first so you can skip it.

Anyway, back in the world of Benjamin Hewson, his sleeping has been a tiny bit better. And by better I mean it's back to what it was before the 6 weeks of molar hell. So he's waking up twice a night then either getting up around 5 or 6am or we drag him into bed with us for a few extra minutes of snoozing on the boob.

Last night, though, he decided to throw us for a loop. Crazy boy woke up about 10 minutes after we fell asleep then stayed awake but groggy for about 2 1/2 hours!!! I almost went crazy - every time I put him down, he'd scream. I let him cry some but no good, I fed him but no dice, rocked with him but nothing worked. If we're entering a new phase of teething or something, I will have to go into therapy I'm afraid. That last round where he was waking up 5, 6 or 7 times a night was too much for me. I got very depressed, lost all confidence and really wasn't sure how I was going to cope for much longer. Oh, this motherhood stuff is terribly cruel sometimes. I do love my boy and wouldn't never give up a moment of it but I never imagined we'd be approaching 15 months without me having a full night's sleep! The first several months when we co-slept but before he decided to permanently attach himself to breastfeed, he slept all night but, of course, I never did.

Anyhoo, I'm off to get my clothes in from The Lanai where they are drying. We had such a gorgeous sunny day today & spent lots of time in the backyard - reading to Ben, doing those blasted sit-ups, putting out the laundry, yelling "GET OUT OF THE FLOWERS!" & "PUT THE DIRT BACK IN THE GARDEN!" Ahhhh, life is good.

04 August 2010

Confessions, part 18

I have a confession to make. I am an uptight traveller. You might not think that's a big deal so I'm taking a deep breath *right now* before I tell you that I have already started packing my carryon bags for a trip we're taking to America. In the middle of October. I know, I know. But to be fair, let me put it into context. Ya know how we all have a stress dream - that one scenario we always go to when we're very stressed in our lives? When I'm wound up, anxious, etc. I always dream that I'm running late on my way to the airport. Sometimes I've forgotten my luggage, sometimes I can't remember where my passport or ticket is & sometimes I find myself actually worrying that I won't have time to fill out the little luggage tags for my bags. I'm sure you realize that this girl is the kind of girl who already has her luggage tags affixed before I leave the house (with every destination typed up, printed in & in the tag holder so I just have to switch them out before each leg of our journey). I haven't yet printed out this journey's luggage tags yet but that's only because I'm not sure where we'll be staying for one leg of it.

This trip is extra stressful because I will be flying to America alone. No, not alone. With Ben. Ben & me. Alone together. On a plane. 14 hours. One seat. A toddler who likes to run, squirm, squeal, jump, scream, flirt, wiggle, make eye contact with as many strangers as possible then laugh at them & ya know, be a toddler. And with him comes diapers, wipes, snacks, sippy cups, toys, books, a stroller. We have to share a bloody seat. Every couple of days, I find myself thinking "Maybe I should get to the aiport 3 hours early instead of 2 so we have a better chance of getting the bulkhead seats." Sometimes I share that thought with Marcel & he looks at me like I've lost my  mind so I'll probably just keep it to myself from now until the day before we leave.

I also find myself staying awake at night wondering if I can put the airline headphones on a 17 month old. And if you've ever travelled with a toddler or just happen to have a child of any age, I've probably already interviewed you about whether it's okay or not to sedate a child while flying. Is it more evil to chase him & probably break down into tears (I know it will happen & then I'll be that crazy B who can't handle her child OR her nerves) while he wiggles, worms, runs & screams or to drug him so our travelling resembles Weekend at Bernies?

Luckily, my dear sweet gorgeous mother is flying from Nashville to meet me at LAX & we're going to take a 3-day break on that side of the country then she'll fly with us back to Tennessee. Then a couple of weeks later Marcel (who should be well rested & refreshed after his return to bachelorhood & childlessness) will join us in Washington for his half of the family how-do-you-do's.

I'm very excited & can not stop thinking about the trip in happy ways too! My very best friend from freaking 7th grade is getting married!!! And I get to be in the wedding!!! Blessed be to Facebook for reuniting us!!! And Ben gets to celebrate Halloween in a country where it actually exists!! And we're flying over on my 31st birthday (10-10-10 might I point out) so I get TWO birthdays with the timezone changing - one with Marcel here & one with my mom over yonder!!!

Until then, I will continue to organize & reorganize the baby supplies in my shiny diaper bag & buy new little toys & books that Ben is not allowed to see until he's on the plane (if he is indeed conscious). I will not mention to you the semi-matching neck pillows I bought us last week - his may or may not be black/white stripes & mine may or may not be green/white stripes. And I will not mention the beautiful bronzey document/passport holder & luggage tag that will look beautiful with my bronzey diaper bag that I could not live without. Whatever.

Okay, confessional closed for today. Hope I haven't jinxed you into having your own stress dream tonight. If I have, feel free to tell me about it so I can laugh at you & not feel so loony myself.

03 August 2010

Happy Thoughts

To balance out the often always crazed ramblings, I decided to keep this one simple & positive. Don't get too comfortable - I'll probably be back to my usual maniacal mama mode soon.

What Makes Me Happy:
1. Ben has started feeding us. Sometimes I think this is because he doesn't want to eat his own food but gosh darnit, it's adorable when he waddles over with a huge smile on his face & a single raisin clutched in his fingers to shove into my face. Sidenote: I haaaate raisins but I have a firm policy to never turn down anything that he feeds me in such a loving manner.

2. Ben has also started clapping hysterically out of the blue, which is hilarious. He has clapped in the past but suddenly he seems to understand what it's about so out of the blue he'll start clapping enthusiastically and squealing like a loon. It never fails to make me start applauding as well - an instant pick me up.

3. To round up the Ben trifecta, he has discovered belly buttons! I may have had a part in this, yanking up Marcel's shirt & yelling "There's Dada's belly button!" but now Ben yanks up shirts himself and jams his tiny finger in our bellybuttons. Not the best feeling on earth and always reminds me to do my sit-ups but it's hilarious and makes the boy's day.

4. I can't believe I'm going to include an ad for lady personal products but this guy delights me to no end. If you can watch the bit where he jumps out from behind the couch without laughing out loud, YOU ARE A ROBOT. This guy is gorgeous to me & reminds me of my lovely husband & I seriously hope Marcel does this sort of thing when I'm not around.
(ignore House at the end, he does not make me happy)

5. We watched Sherlock Holmes this weekend in our everlasting quest to catch up on movies that we can't go out & watch in the theater. Lordy, I loved this movie! Two of my biggest movie crushes, Robert Downy Jr. & Rachel McAdams. HA! Bet you thought I'd say Jude Law but I adore Miss McAdams & I have serious issues with anyone who doesn't love RDJ. And yes, Jude Law is wonderful in this as well. It's fun & fast-paced & gave us a nice break away from sleeplessness and eatlessness (that should be a word) & dirty diapers & yelling "Get out of the trash!" or "Where are your pants??"

So there, a few dollops of happy from my day. I probably could find some more but I need to go clean that kitchen that I've been yammering on about for 2 days. Tomorrow I'm going to try to post some of the recipes I've been playing with recently - some really yummy things in our house is always a good thing.

02 August 2010

Why The Face?

I have just had the weirdest couple of hours. Seriously, if I wasn't hopped up on Dr. Pepper (bless you, weird little store in the mall full of overseas delights) I would declare it the worst afternoon ever but the caffeine has been a good friend today. I don't even drink Dr. Pepper in America but because they have it in one tiny store I get excited.

Went to the mall where I got said Dr. Pepper & when I got home I was feeling mighty Super Mommish so I thought to myself, "Hey self, what say you to finally organizing that kitchen cabinet? And we should totally make some fried rice for dinner because Marcel would like that." So Super Mom plops Super Son into his highchair and plops some Super Josh Pyke onto the iPod speakers & up up & away we go. Yes, I'm stopping the Super stuff now - it got old surprisingly fast.

I gave Ben a snack, popped some rice on to cook & get a load of laundry to wash just to make me even more awesome. Around the time I opened the washing machine & saw a load of laundry that had apparently been sitting in there wet for a few days (I shall not point finger, I shall not point fingers...), Ben had thrown his snack on the floor & started whiiining. Fine, I can handle this. Start washing wet laundry again, try another snack for the boy who has no need for food, still dancing to the music. Ben throws new snack down along with the toys I've given him & starts throwing a fit. I free him from the highchair to let him run around & start organizing the closet. He is smart enough to know when I am distracted so he starts taking his toys over to his favorite container of mystery, the trash can. With my keen eyes-in-the-back-of-my-head vision, which every mother receives before they discharge us from the maternity ward, I whirl around to stop him & throw the toy across the room. Normally this is an excellent distraction for him and he chases it but today it was a toy that clattered loudly & he melted down at the noise so I scooped him up to comfort him. All this time I am holding a glass jar that I keep our spaghetti in & somehow I bump it every so slightly on our granite countertop & the jar shatters into a trillion gazillion tiny shards, showering both of us in the process & adding to the filthy kitchen, still unorganized cabinet, still dirty laundry, toys still scattered everywhere & still uncooked dinner.

Soooo, I rush Ben out of the room to change him out of his glass-littered clothes & figure what they hay, I'll change his diaper too. Put him down, no diapers, pick him up, go down the hall, get the diapers, put him down, change diaper, change clothes, put clothes in hamper, devise elaborate wall of chairs to keep him out of the glassy kitchen because we don't have one of those handy gates. Well, we had one but our trip to the mall today was to actually return it because it didn't fit. Would have been handy but apparently my foreseeing disaster vision hasn't been switched on yet.

Climb over chair wall, stretching my groin muscles to their limits, realize I still have rice cooking. Rice is now sticking to the bottom of pan but that's okay because I always make 17 times more rice than ever could be needed so most of it is okay but getting dry while still crunchy (I am obviously an excellent cook) so I add some water. Then clean up the glass slowly & carefully but all the while knowing Marcel will walk into the kitchen & immediately zero in on some humongous shard that I overlooked. Then he'll turn around slowly with it in his hand & sunglasses will magically appear on his head just so he can pull them down & look over them a la Horatio on CSI: Miami & we all know that's a look of serious disappointment. *sigh*

So anyway, by the time I finish with the glass the rice on top is now gluggy and the bottom is burnt. Whatever, I'm going to fry it so that I'm willing to accept defeat on that one. Yeah, I'm fine with screwing up literally the easiest thing there is to do in the kitchen. The old load of laundry is done washing & thankfully doesn't have that lovely mildewy smell anymore so I take it to the drier. I'm not sure if I ever explained our weird little house but our drier is in the garage & our washer is in the kitchen because the people who lived here before us were British & also didn't believe in driers so only put a washer in. Fair enough, I don't mind it all. But as I took the laundry out, I received proof that this wasn't just a weird afternoon - it was obviously the doing of God himself or one of his cronies. It was a perfectly sunny day today but as I stepped out the door I thought I saw some sprinkles hit the pool, which could not be possible then when I took my very first step down off the covered porch, the sky burst open & it started POURING rain. So I scampered into the garage where another mysterious load of laundry was waiting for me in the drier (luckily, completely dry) so I switched everything out. Back into the house, pouring rain stops immediately. Of course it does.

So now I sit on the couch with 3 loads of laundry that need drying, fetching or folding, a crap pot of rice, tons of dirty dishes, a kitchen cabinet that has been so hastily organized that some shelves are practically empty while one is overflowing & a floor that looks okay to me but Marcel will think it's sparkling like the time Tobias stole George Michael's diamond cream to use as camouflage. Yes, I talk about TV characters as if they are real friends of mine. And I would post pictures of these TV characters but I've just visited Google Images & it won't let me save pictures as picture files!!! WHY DOES THE UNIVERSE HATE ME???

And since all of this has been going on, Ben has been intermittently shouting "Daaaaa, DAAAA!" & I'm choosing to assume that means something else but in all actuality, he can probably tell that I'm only hanging on by a what's left of my Dr. Pepper caffeine boost & is hoping if he yells loudly enough Marcel will swoop in & save him from the insanity.

I will update this if I remember anything else because I think a lot more happened than I care to remember at the moment. I am calming down but now need to actually make the fried rice. Then we'll get Ben to bed, eat, then I'll go to the gym for my hour of peace where I will myself not to sing along with my iPod (I challenge you to find a better treadmill song than Justin Timberlake's Senorita by the way) & tell myself that people are looking at me because I look hot on the weight machines not because I may or may not be sitting in them backwards.

How was your day, by the way?