"A Christian should be an Alleluia from head to foot." - St. Augustine
I'm about 12% Alleluia on any given day, but I'm working on it.

Guest post from you-know-who


Feline contemplation
Originally uploaded by Dorian Speed



Hiiii! Hi! Hi hi! Mom seems to have forgotten all about this blog thing because she is so busy with my brother’s First Communion and the houseguests and the cooking. I also heard her say something about how she and Daddy are going on a trip but I haven’t packed my suitcase yet, so she must be wrong about that. I mean, there is no WAY she would go to New Mexico and leave me behind! What kind of tourist experience is that, with no baby to point out all of the COWS! COW! COWW!

Anyway, so guess what I saw? You will not BELIEVE this. We were cruising in the van, and I was looking all around and stuff, because I finally get to face forward like a real man in my carseat. Anyway. So, we’re driving along, and I look to the right, and all of a sudden there is this DOG right next to me, and he’s in a TRUCK! Seriously! A dog AND a truck! I just did not know what to say, you know? I mean, I was all like “DOGGEEEE!” “GUCK.” and then I just had to kick my feet, you feel me? It was crazy.

And THEN this morning – I look out the front door, and there are these TWO dogs, chasing a truck, and driving the truck is – DADDY! How is my life not downhill from here? It literally took my breath away, and then I gulped a big belly breath and yelled “DOGGEEEE! DAYY! DOGGEEEE!” and totally forgot to mention the truck, of course, because – I was just floored.

So now, I’m wondering – what’s next for me? Daddy chasing a truck full of dogs? A dog driving a truck, chasing after Daddy? Is Dr. Seuss writing the script for my life? Does it get any better than this?

That was rhetorical, y’all. IT DOES NOT.

Guest post from the 18-month-old


Cookie baby
Originally uploaded by Dorian Speed

Wuddup, everybody! Toddler in the HOUSE! Put the plants up high, ‘cuz the toddler in the HIZZOUSE!

My mom hates it when I talk that way, but she needs to understand that I’m not some little baby anymore, you know? I can get anything off any shelf I choose. I can launch myself out of the playpen like a rocket. And I can take apart a Lego guy like nobody’s business.

Anyway, what concerns me is the language barrier between me and Mom. That’s what I call her – “Mom.” She keeps looking around for my big brother, because I make my voice sound all grown-up and stuff, but it’s just little old me, calling her “Mom.” That “Mommy Ma-ma” stuff is for babies.

I think I make myself pretty clear. She puts those veggies in front of me, and I say, “Gooogie,” and she’s all like, “Not cookie. Broccoli!” and I’m like, “RIGHT I KNOW THAT now get me a cookie like I asked you, lady!” What is the point of learning to talk, if they’re not going to do what you tell them?

And then we have these whole conversations where I show her a doggie, and she says, “Kitty!” And so I clarify – “Doggie. MEOW.” But she’s still all, “Kitty!” and “Kitty cat!” in that chirpy voice of hers. When what I’m trying to say is that we should get a doggie to play with the kitty. What could go wrong?

But mostly, I have to hand it to her, because she keeps me in diapers as best she can, despite my new trick. This is awesome, y’all – what I do is, I run off like I’m going to play quietly in the corner while she’s blogging or whatever, and then I undo my diaper from inside my clothes, so she picks me up and is like, “Where’s your diaper? Why are you wet?” and the joke is on HER, y’all, because it’s down by my foot! Isn’t that AWESOME? Neither of the big kids ever did that, I’m telling you. You have to keep these old people on their toes. Innovate.

Anyway, my grandmother is coming to visit today, and boy is SHE going to be surprised when she sees all I can do now! I hope she leaves her reading glasses out. I know just where to put them.

Seven quick takes

Thanks to our hostess, Jennifer at Conversion Diary, who has a snazzy new, bookish profile picture.

1. We got our tax refund. This is the first time we’ve actually gotten a refund in…well, anyway, we got our tax refund.

I know that, were I following Dave Ramsey or Clark Howard or various other authorities’ guidelines, I would be thinking, “Shucks. The government earned interest on our money while they borrowed it from us in the form of excess withholding.”

I’m not thinking that, though. I’m thinking, “We have a new bed! We finally bought a bed! After (almost) ten years of marriage, we have a new, non-handed-down bed!”

Wow…that refund was fun while it lasted.

2. Properly dressing a bed is an investment. Even when one shops around, as I always do, it’s expensive to get all the stuff for a bed. My poor, poor husband, who thought I *liked* the minimalist approach we’d formerly taken to not buying anything for our room…at all…is somewhat alarmed by all the pillows.

Oh, but I need more pillows. The picture that came with the comforter set ($80 on Overstock.com! Even though it is somewhat taupe-ier than pictured, it was $80!) shows 12 pillows on the bed. We have half that.

Are they called “throw pillows” because you throw them on a chair at night after they sit politely on the bed all day?

3. The first time these pillows are appropriated for tent/fort-making purposes, someone is going to be in a world of hurt. I don’t care how cheap they were at Tuesday Morning (GO!), they are for impractical purposes only.

4. Our having a new bed means that the baby has a new bed, and I don’t mean our bed, although – yes, the baby is in our bed, and I echo some of the sentiments expressed by the more articulate MrsDarwin on that topic. I’m giving up on the crib. We could try to train him to sleep in the crib, only to train him to sleep in a Big Boy Bed once he can launch himself out of the crib, or we can just skip that part and stick the baby monitor right next to his head on the mattress on the floor when he’s sleeping, and intervene when he awakes.

You have to remember that intervention part, though, as today’s nap ended silently and found him happily exploring his sister’s dollhouse while I read my Entertainment Weekly.

5. Do you know, in 34 years of living indoors, I’ve never put window treatments on windows? At any location? Part of it has been that we’ve always lived places that we knew would only be for a couple of years. I couldn’t bring myself to invest in window dressing, and I mean that both literally and metaphorically, I think. But tax refund + eBay + sewing machine = big plans, with big mounds of fabric.

6. So, there have been a lot of packages arriving at our house, and I can tell the children think this is going to be The Way We Live Now. At first, every day brought new excitement. “Is that fabric? For me? Are those picture frames?” Now, it’s just part of the routine. “Mom. UPS man at the door for you.” Funny how the thrill wears off. At least, I hope I’m interpreting that correctly, because the last item (shower curtain for the kids’ bathroom) arrives Monday, I think.

7. Goodness, this has been materialistic. But, you know what? It’s okay to enjoy the making of a home. I am really pleased to have a bedroom that looks like it was decorated “on purpose,” as my husband put it. I’ve always tended to treat our room as the go-to storage area for junk I was going to get around to dealing with. And I’ve always been a terrible sleeper, even before I was being interrupted infinity times a night by a squirmy so-and-so. To the point that, lately, I’ve been feeling apprehensive as bedtime nears, knowing I would just have another crummy night of sleep and begin the coffee-Excedrin-anger cycle again in the morning. So I’m going to renew my efforts to not spend hours on end reading about politics and sewing on the computer after everyone…or mostly everyone, save the baby…is in bed.

See? Signing off now.

Oh, shoot SHOOT. Tomorrow is Block of the Month at the quilt shop. I didn’t do my block yet. Well, I guess watching a movie while sewing is still more relaxing than bloggy-tweety-click-click.

Goodnight, all.

Back – with 7 quick takes

Thanks to our hostess, Jen, at Conversion Diary. Go read everything she tells you about Kidsave.

1. If you wait long enough to let your thoughts about a topic come together, someone else in the blogosphere is going to say it better than you. And sometimes they are right next door, link-wise. I have been thinking about Sandra Tsing Loh’s article in the July/August issue of Atlantic Monthly for weeks since I read it in “dead tree” form, and then Darwin has to go and say what I might have been going to say if I got around to figuring out what I thought. I may try to come up with something else, if you’re willing to wait three more weeks.

2. The little sleeve that comes with the Blackberry is actually just the right shape to hold the trackball thing in, should you locate it. It’s less conspicuous than a Ziploc baggie, too.

3. My baby is going to be one year old in five days and I DO NOT LIKE THIS ONE BIT.

4. I keep seeing people here whom I think I recognize, and then I realize that their faces remind me of students from a decade ago in another city.

5. One good thing about moving somewhere new is that you can go to the grocery store anytime you want, wearing anything you want, and the risk of running into the Alumni Association president is greatly reduced.

6. Jetskis and carpal tunnel do not a happy marriage make. I am feeling the hurt a week later. In related news, it may be impossible to tump over a stand-up paddleboard, but that does not mean it is impossible to fall off. Teach your children that water safety means staying put when Mommy busts a move into the bay for the detached amusement of the Destin Harbor Millionaire Yachting Club.

7. I’m wondering if there’s a market for a blog category encompassing “reviews of books I had to return to the library before I could finish them.”

Guest comedy routine from the 3-month-old

Baby Elephant Walk
Originally uploaded by Dorian Speed

You guys!

Hi! Hi there! Hello! Hi!

So…

The changing table!

The ceiling fan!

The ceiling fan, right? Am I right? Too funny! It’s a ceiling fan!

My sister! With the song! About me!

Midnight! No – really! Midnight!

Are those my feet? Are those my FEET? Those are my feet!

Daddy!

Is that the kitty? Is that the KITTY? It’s the kitty!

My brother! With the dancing! In my face! Pushing my swing!

But, seriously.

No, I’m playing. The changing table! The CHANGING TABLE!

Thanks – thank you. You’ve been a wonderful audience.

Snaps to me

Smiling is almost as good as sleeping.
I like thinking about baby clothes. Becasue it’s part of thinking about babies, and I like thinking about babies. Even little babies who smile past midnight instead of being sleepy-sleep.

Saturday was a dark, dark day. It was the first round of “these clothes are too little now.” I do take comfort in the corollary – now we have a whole new set of cutey cute outfits to wear – but I’m always sad to have to consign the too-small ones to storage.

For the most part.

Then there are the outfits that go directly to the Goodwill box. We’ve worn them at least once, there’s no guilt, except for some guilt, because there’s always some guilt, but life is too short to deal with these fit issues any longer. If there are more Speedlets to come, I shall spare myself the wrangling with these snaps.

Exhibit A:
Weird snaps.  Or maybe I'm just grumpy.

Now, this isn’t too weird. I do find the configuration confusing in the wee hours of the morning; here I am referring, technically, to 7:30 AM, but that can feel like pretty wee hours if bedtime was past a sensible hour.

But every single outfit we have that has this little flappy-snaps-crotch configuration also features snaps that don’t snap. At least one.

I have no patience for no-snap snaps.

One perq of upgrading to a new set of outfits is reacquainting myself with hand-me-downs. I love taking out a set of pajamas and remembering the previous babies who used to be snuggly and now are busy building clubhouses and lobbying to be allowed to read Harry Potter. Most of our baby clothes have held up pretty well, but Paul was showered with so many outfits that we probably could get by just fine without hand-me-downs. That makes me feel better about giving away the dreaded Pooh Outfit.

IMG_1612

(I refuse to photograph this outfit on the actual baby, as the cuteness might seem to mitigate the insanity of the snaps).

My husband was incredulous to see that this outfit is not only still in our house, but was actually on our baby one evening. “I told Christopher to pick out pajamas for his brother, and this is what he chose.” So Paul wore this one just long enough to confirm the ridiculousness of the snaps. Do you see them? They run down the OUTSIDE OF THE LEG. Only on one side. So, to access the diaper, you must reach around and pull the other little leg through. How is this not going to enrage the baby, I ask you?

Why do we even still have this outfit? Almost all of the baby clothes were stolen when Christopher was a year old, but this outfit was somehow spared. Perhaps the Ministorage Burglar knew it would fetch nothing from the flea market. But it somehow also survived the Mary Margaret round of pajama purges.

No more. Begone, Pooh! Begone, you and your nefarious snaps! Your velour plushness will beguile me no longer!

While we’re talking snaps and creating a post that will appeal to .00000000000000001% of the population, I have to say that I’m quite impressed by the ingenuity of cloth diaper manufacturers, snap-wise.

Snappy diapers

There are myriad ways to configure snaps to allow a diaper to expand with a baby. Our favorite fancy diapers are the Mother-Ease shown in the bottom two images, which can be folded and snapped to fit a newborn or expanded out for a big boy, which Paul is not, and I am going to feed him Small Pills so he stays my sweet little baby boy.

Oooh – and look at the snaps on this outfit!

Magic converting gown snap outfit

It can be a little baby sack, and then you can snap the snaps such that it can be a footed outfit! Cool! Paul isn’t big enough for this outfit yet, so I can’t tell you how useful this configuration actually is, but I was impressed by the engineering behind this product. Have to keep the grandmas coming back for more.

IMG_1605Oh, am I boring you?

Okay, I get it. In closing, I present a Snappi, which is all you really need to do cloth diapers. Well, that, plus a bunch of plain old cloth diapers like your mother or possibly grandmother used as dustcloths, and some covers.

Snappi

I'm Batman.

Hey, who’s been using my camera?