Thursday, February 25, 2010

Praying for a puppy

Brennan called me up the other night and asked me to post something for him. Because I cannot say no to those big brown eyes, I was only too happy to oblige. Here goes:

Mom gave me this to me and said it's very important.

She's having a puppy!
(Well, she said baby, but I'm sure she meant puppy.)

Wait a minute. I don't see a tail.

Curses. I bet it is a baby after all.

Oh well, puppy or not, I'm going to be a great big brother.

While Brennan is still pretty certain that's a puppy on the ultrasound -- he's even called it Holly on occasion -- Sherri assures me that it is, in fact, a baby, which is scheduled to arrive sometime in late September. We are obviously thrilled, and Mary Clare can't wait to have a new little cousin.

Congratulations, Jones family!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

We should definitely be a one shopper family

I called Chip this afternoon to check in, as we are like ships passing in the night on the evenings when he has class.

C: Your ears must be burning. Well, Mary Clare's ears. I'm picking up something for Mary Clare.
D: Um, really? Is Shelley* with you?
C: No, I'm by myself.

He wouldn't tell me what he was buying. I tried cajoling the information out of him, but he is a stubborn one. I made one last attempt before we hung up.

D: Well, at least tell me where you are.
C: Red. Bud. Illinois. [click]

Heaven help us. I just know it's going to be some sort of camouflaged swag. Or require ammunition.

*Shelley is Chip's business partner, and a bit of a shopper. A shopper with really good taste. Her three boys are always perfectly dressed and coiffed, yet she clearly loves shopping for little girls and has showered Mary Clare with all sorts of frivolously perfect gifts, including a micro pair of Ugg boots.

UPDATE - 8:30 PM
Mary Clare and I arrived home to find a dozen post-it notes sprinkled throughout the house, directing us to Chip's surprise purchase. I was intrigued by the trail of notes, and Mary Clare was thrilled with the paper because, hello, it's paper. We finally found a tiny little size four pair of these amid Chip's size 11 shoes:

The material is pearlescent and ridiculously cute. Say what you will about Crocs, but I love them on kids, and they will be perfect for the summer. The right size and everything.

Clearly, I underestimated my husband. And Red Bud.

Monday, February 22, 2010

I parent with reckless abandon

That's right. I let Mary Clare stand unattended on our window sill as she watched Chip and Buddy play outside. It's not like I left her there while I switched out the laundry. Just long enough to get a full-body shot. Which is still too long for some people.

You see how Chip is waving? That's not a friendly wave. In fact, I'm pretty sure he's signaling to our neighbor to call DCFS on me.

Whatever. She had a nice wide stance established.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Toothy tiger

Every morning I ask Mary Clare, "What does a tiger say?" in the hopes that I'll get a grrr and a hand swipe. (Feel the claw!) We've got the hand swipe down. Sometimes. Okay, twice. Most of the time she just starts panting, thinking I have asked her "What does a puppy say?"

We'll get there. In the meantime, all of you Mizzou fans will just have to make do with a picture of Mary Clare in Chip's winter hat. I really want a grrr, but I guess that gap toothed smile isn't so bad.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Baby in a box

Growing up, Sherri and I loved to play in cardboard boxes. Loved it! My dad would bring home large refrigerator boxes, and I'm telling you, it was better than if he had come home with an armful of Matchbox cars or Legos. We seriously dug on cardboard boxes. We would cut out windows with shutters, color all over it, pile it full of blankets, slide into it and roll it around the yard gerbil wheel-style once it had given us all it could. One time my dad even came home from work to find an extension cord running from the garage to the backyard. That's right, we were watching cartoons from the comfort of our cardboard box.

So, of course, I decided it's time to start showing Mary Clare all that cardboard boxes have to offer. For now, an Amazon box works quite well. Which is good, because I have no idea from where we will procure a refrigerator box once she outgrows the packages that hold my online purchases.

Well. We've certainly never done this before.

Seriously, you do some crazy stuff when Dad's not home.

I can see there's no reasoning with you. I must plot my escape.

Like Gretel, I shall eat my way out of my prison.

I can't wait that long. Freedom is just a tumble away.

As you can see,
she didn't dig on the cardboard box quite as I had hoped. That's okay. Love affairs such as these take time. I'll be patient.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Fry it up

So, for all you Catholics and Catholic lovers out there, today marks the start of the Lenten season. And you know what that means. We give up things. Bad things, like coffee, dessert and meat on Fridays. And yet, giving up the latter -- abstaining, if you will -- gives us a free pass to gorge on the equally bad fried fish. And we do it all in the name of Catholicism. And supporting the Church.

Glory, glory, how I love it.

Now that Mary Clare is old enough to nosh on all things fried from the sea, you better believe we'll be trucking out to some local parishes for the next seven Fridays. Sadly, St. Margaret of Scotland doesn't do a parish fish fry, but luckily our south city neighborhood is a treasure trove of all things fried, canned, buttered and right with the world. Oh, and let's talk about the buck fifty cans of Bud Light. I'm not an A-B girl by any means, but even I must admit that its light, icy coldness is the perfect accompaniment to a sodium-laden dinner.

Friday can't get here fast enough.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Womp womp womp

At the risk of driving you away with my Debbie Downer-like attitude, I'm going to put it out there that this was another doozy of a week.
  • The job. Well, the job itself is good, but I hate doing large client shipments because if FedEx can't find a street address they call back and make you spell things, ask if it is a lane/road/drive/street/meadow, request multiple phone numbers and do everything short of demanding a physical description and social security number. Oh, and they consider Canada an international shipment. I get that Canada is another country and all, but I want to laugh every time they say, "Oh, it's international. Please hold while I transfer you to the international shipping group." Please. I'm shipping plastic leis to some hoser in Ottawa, not sending medical supplies to a Peace Corp worker in Uganda.
  • The sickness. It has hit Team Botanical. Chip and I are okay, but Mary Clare scored a double ear infection which effectively ended her 13 month healthy streak. I had to pick her up from school on Tuesday because her temperature was 100.3, and honestly, I thought it was just because she was teething. Needless to say, I was thoroughly befuddled when they told me she could come back on Thursday if she wasn't running a temp. I was like, "What? We can't come back on Wednesday? Even if she's fine?" Duh. At least the teachers were nice about it, even though one suggested that I record the first time Mary Clare was sent home from school in her baby book. Such jokesters. Anyway, Chip took her to our awesome doctor first thing Wednesday morning, picked up a prescription for some antibiotics and I'm happy to report Mary Clare is on the mend.
  • The money. Stupid, stupid me told Chip on Sunday that I really wanted to start saving more money. Why, I don't know. I'm sure I read something in Time, got all concerned and then promptly forgot it the second I saw something on sale. Because then three Gap packages appeared on our doorstep. And then I found these super cute Polo shirts for Mary Clare (on sale, natch) at Macy's. And then I requested to get away for a long weekend. And then I requested a real deal vacation. And then I became downright infuriated when Chip said we weren't going to Europe anytime soon. And that, my friends would be the straw that broke the Chippy's back and made my even-tempered husband say, "Remember when you said you wanted to save more money ... four days ago? Let's talk about that." So, word to the wise ... if you don't want your words to haunt you the next time the Gap is giving away their clothes, don't be a hero and suggest that you want to start saving more money.
  • The pee. That's right, I said pee. Mary Clare peed on me. On my birthday. I took her out of the tub, swaddled her in a towel and plunked her on my lap. And then my lap was warm. And wet. And I thought, "Wow, I guess I usually shake her off more after her bath?" And then I realized that Mary Clare gave me the birthday gift that thankfully, does not keep giving.
So, there we go. My week. Not really bad by any means, but dammit, I am not equipped to handle stuff like this two weeks in a row.

Curse you, seasonal affective disorder. Curse you.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Renaissance man

I am just delighted by everything Brennan says and does these days. He Skypes with Mary Clare, requests the Black Eyed Peas' "I Gotta Feeling" the second he gets in Sherri's car, tells me he loves me over the phone and is generally hilarious. Oh, and his fashion sense is second to none. He can rock a headband, T-shirt and sweatpants tucked into rain boots like no one.

Clearly, Brennan is shaping up to be a Renaissance man of the highest order.

He cooks.

He sings.

He fixes things.

What is not to love about a handsome two year old who helps around the house and can still find the time to entertain his mom? It makes you want play "I Gotta Feeling" and "Boom Boom Pow" until your ears bleed.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

An expensive lunch

So, this week. Icky. And it's only Wednesday.

Monday was Monday. Nothing notable, just you know, Monday. Tuesday I was short about 1,300 dimensional items for a promotional mailing because hi, I have a journalism degree and cannot do basic math. Even with a calculator. So I spent the better part of Tuesday calling carnival supply stores and ferrying cheap plastic leis around the greater St. Louis region. And that brings us to today, when I received a speeding ticket that turned my $8 Russell's roast beef sandwich into a three-figure lunch.

The bright side of today's little episode was Chip, who, rather than complaining about having to shell out $100 or whatever for this ticket, just listened as I ranted about the red headed elf who pulled me over. That was it. No groaning about an unplanned expense that could have been avoided, no questions about the fact that I honestly have no idea how long the little guy was following me. The only thing he asked was that I tell him again about how I caught the officer paging through a manual of some sort as he wrote out my ticket.

That Chip. Thank heavens he loves me and all my little wonders.