Thursday, September 30, 2010

Apple of our eye


Fear not, little apple eater. There may be a new baby on the blog, and sure, she may not douse her dad's phone with coffee or take off her shoes and socks every darned time she's in her car seat, but rest assured that we still like you best. 

This, of course, is provided that you keep up the cute behavior. Because once the cute is gone, all bets are off.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Alexandra Ann

Welcome to our beautiful niece, Alexandra Ann Jones! 

Alexandra arrived at 9:20 a.m. on September 28 (Papa Thole's birthday!), weighing in at 9 lbs., 6 oz. and measuring 20.5 inches. She has perfect features, ruby red lips, a shock of dark hair and the chubbiest cheeks you ever did see. 

Sherri and Brian are doing well, and Brennan is slowly warming up to his new little sister. Actually, he would probably be all over her if it weren't for the fact that the second he goes near Alexandra he's greeted by a burst of flash bulbs.  

I am delighted by my new niece, and can't wait for Chip and Mary Clare to meet her. And, of course, I am thrilled to add the "Alexandra" tag to Team Botanical. Brennan and Mary Clare are currently neck and neck at 105 tags each, so you've got your work cut out for you, baby girl. Considering her mother has already commented that Alexandra can be a bit vocal at times, I know she'll do me proud.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Saturday, September 25, 2010

The date, it is set

Sherri is scheduled to go in for an induction next Monday evening. I shall be an aunt again in just a few short days. 

I simply cannot wait to meet Baby Jones. This weekend I'll be washing the pink sleepers and gathering other girly odds and ends, just in case Brennan is right and it's a little sister.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

No, seriously, he's ready

Have I mentioned that Brennan is ready for Baby Jones to get here already?

You may be thinking, "Oh, that's so cute, he talks about the baby."

Um, we're way beyond the casual mention.

As you can see, the old Time Out Bear is now serving as the unofficial Baby Jones. Brennan carries his baby everywhere. In addition to spending some quality time in the car seat, Brennan fed, rocked and then tucked the baby into the crib -- complete with an admonishment to Sherri that "Shh! Baby is sleeping!"

Don't even tell me that this isn't the cutest thing ever. I don't know how it's possible, but it makes me love that sweet, sensitive little guy even more. Melting heart, right here.

We might, however, have a problem if Brennan insists that the real life Baby J go everywhere with him as well.

Luckily, Brian and Sherri make sturdy babies.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Raise your hand if you love your sock octopus

It has arrived. 

She loves it.

Even better, despite being completely tantalized by the tentacles, Buddy has managed to play nice with the newest resident of the toy basket.

Unfortunately, Mr. Octopus' new owner has looked like a street urchin almost every day since his arrival, so this is the most presentable shot we have to date. She really does love to carry him around the house. If you ask me, I think she's equally enchanted by those eight arms.

Thanks again to Jocelyn of The Nesting Spot for sending this little lovely our way via Prudent Baby.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Avast, me hearties!

Ahoy, mates! It's International Talk Like A Pirate Day. Wrap a bandanna around your head, slap on ye ole eye patch and get ready to whoop it up like a true scalawag. 

Team B is once again celebrating TLAPD in high style (because nothing says I'm a pirate like a wine glass* with Captain Cannonball on the stem), so you know if we're doing it, it has to be cool.

Now go get hopped up on the grog and throw out a bunch of Arrs! and Avasts! and let out your inner pirate. And since it's Sunday, feel free to swap the "amens" out for some "arrrs!" Jesus will understand. He had a beard, too, after all.

*Wine glasses compliments of the Hehmeyers, the saltiest band of pirates you ever did see. 

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Tiger time

Hooray! College football season is in full swing. Do I follow football? Hell no. Do I love everything that goes along with a good game day, be it in Columbia or St. Louis? You betcha.

So every Saturday, whether we're working in the yard, running errands or engaging in family fun time, we try to work a little black and gold into the ensembles. And of course 4039 is always flying the black and gold. Because if there's one thing the good old patchouli-burning, social justice-loving Shaw neighborhood needs, it's more meat head college flags flapping in the breeze.

flying the black and gold

praying for a win
ready to roar
That's right. TB is Tiger proud. As Mary Clare likes to so say, "rawrrr!" Feel the claw, baby.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Bomb pop

The other night, Sherri sent me this picture with the caption: Enjoying a pre-dinner popsicle. And the boots are back for fall. 

Of course I loved to see that B still likes the fireman boots he received for his birthday last year. And that they still fit. And, of course, I was entertained by the pre-dinner popsicle bit. Of course they're having popsicles before dinner. This is Sherri's house. 

Fast forward to last night, when Sherri calls to mock me for caving into Mary Clare's demands.

S: Geesh, Debbie. A cookie and you gave her milk back? Just because she cried?
D: Really, Sherri? Miss Pre-Dinner Popsicles is lecturing me about nutrition and child rearing? 

You can imagine the response.

S: Tsk. Popsicles are just frozen water. And the baby really likes banana popsicles, so I usually have a popsicle when Brennan does.

D: Of course you do.

Brennan, as you can see, prefers the power of the bomb pop. Although Sherri says he has enjoyed a banana popsicle or two. Pre-dinner, of course.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Manipulation monster

I am a total sucker for crocodile tears.

Mary Clare is a crazy sippy cup thrower, and it drives me batty. I asked Miss Betty once if she does this at school, and I got a very emphatic, "She most certainly does not!" to which I unconvincingly responded, "Oh, yeah. Not at our house, either."

So, after yet another meal where she pitched her sippy cup several times, I finally made good on my threat and took away her sippy cup. Crying ensued. And not just any crying, but the kind with big fat crocodile tears rolling down a face that screams of betrayal. The second I saw those big fat crocodile tears, I asked, "Do you want a cookie?"

Boom. The crying stopped, but the crocodile tears remained.

Curses. Fooled again by the toddler.

crocodile tears = cookie time

Just so you know, we're not okay. But the cookie is a good start.

Who knew toddlers could gloat?

While my attempts at discipline may be pathetic, what's really worrisome is that I'm the tough half of this parenting duo.

So. Screwed.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Breakfast isn't going to make itself

When your mom isn't a morning person and all your dad cares about is coffee, sometimes you have to take the bull by the horns and make your own breakfast. This can be a bit of a problem as almost everything in the kitchen falls under either the "hot hot" or "sharp sharp" categories and is therefore off limits to the short set. So when she's in a pinch, Mary Clare just whisks some dog kibbles* into her yogurt or tosses some gravel** in with her Cheerios for an extra bit of crunch.

*Friday I had to once again ask her to return Buddy's dog food to his bowl.
**Saturday I pried gravel out of her mouth. Again. The girl is way into rocks. I blame Aunt Sherri.

Friday, September 10, 2010

I'm a real winner

No, seriously. I won something on the internets. Something super awesome. Go on, get jealous.

Honestly, though, how much is Mary Clare going to love this adorable handmade octopus from The Nesting Spot? Better yet, how much am I going to love having to make sure she doesn't give it to Buddy to fling and death roll every which way? Actually, forget both of them. This is just the splash or color and bit of whimsy the guest room needs.

Best of all, I won it for commenting on one of my favorite blogs, Prudent Baby, because hey, we all know how much I love to give my two cents when it comes to being prudent and having a baby.

So, who cares about last week's floral fracas, or the fact that the woman at TJ Maxx defiantly threw away the plastic bag I declined because I had my own, or that my sister keeps pointing out that Mary Clare seemingly always wears the same giraffe print romper? I'm a winner!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Make up your mind already

Are we taking pictures, or are we going for a walk? I don't have all day, you know.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

What a difference a year makes

Lately, every time I look at Mary Clare, I can't help but wonder where our baby has gone. She just seems so grown up. And tall. She's grown like a weed this summer, and half of those 28 dresses are now downright indecent. She's keeping the talking around 20 words or so, with a reluctantly said "sorry" added just today. She may be short on words, but the girl understands everything. And the mimicking is out of control. Definitely don't do anything you don't want to see her imitate, as it can be rather humbling.

As much as I celebrate each new achievement, it makes me sad to hear people say "she's so grown up!" or to see how much room she now takes up in what was once an enormous crib.

The same goes for Brennan. One day he's all shy and bashful, and the next thing I know he's questioning Aunt Debbie's driving and telling me all about my uncle's farm, what babies say and what you need to give babies to be quiet (bottles, apparently). I love talking to him, but again, I can't help but long for the sweet, chubby baby who would let me pose him every which way during our rapid fire photo sessions.

Lest you all think I'm going bonkers, I have proof that Mary Clare and Brennan are, in fact, growing up. No, really, apparently that's what kids do.

August 2009: Plop them on an ottoman and hope for the best.

September 2010: Trap them in a tree house, block the exits and hope for the best.

Even though I knew this would happen, and I see it happening every single day, it can still be a tad startling when you see photographic evidence. Hence, the photo comparison. So you can be as startled as me. Because heaven knows I love nothing more than a startled reader.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Laboring away

We'll be enjoying the Labor Day holiday in the backyard, so as to make the most of our freshly mowed concrete. After all, nothing says Labor Day quite like a little child labor.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Floral frenzy

So, if you read the comments from yesterday's post, you now know that I buy wholesale flowers.

I know.

I'm sorry you had to find out this way.

To bring you up to speed, yesterday there were emails exchanged, an apology offered, and, as you know, comments posted. While I'll admit it got my hackles up, possibly even more than the initial experience itself, I'd rather not dwell on it because the ol' blog has all of 10 readers, half of whom would rather see pictures of their grandchildren than listen to my thoughts on customer service.

So I'll leave you with this: Never mind which store it is. Never mind which store name they're operating under (despite being in the same building and having the same phone number and apparently the same owner). Never mind that it's wholesale. I think you must treat your customers in a courteous manner, no matter what they're buying or where they're buying it.

Which was really the whole point of the post, anyway.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Let it be known, I shall no longer suffer silently

You can blame it on the lady at Walter Knoll.

Two weeks ago I was placing an order at Walter Knoll Florist, and the woman helping me was just downright rude. You see, there was some confusion because I thought she was there to help me, but no, she made it quite clear that was not the case when she stepped back from the computer, crossed her arms and said, "I'm just here to take your order."

Wow. Thanks for clearing that up, lady.

I was so flustered, I ordered way more than I needed, completed my transaction and then fumed the whole way home. Once home, I toyed with calling to cancel my order, but I was running short on time and frankly didn't have the fight in me.

But that was two weeks ago.

And now I have the fight back. So you better believe when I received shoddy customer service at another St. Louis store, I didn't take it sitting down. Oh, sure, I silently completed my transaction and fumed the whole way home, but once I got home, I let my fingers do the talking. I fired off a short little email and went about my business. An hour or so later, I received a very prompt and courteous response from the store manager, and I must say, she did a masterful job of clearly addressing the issue, as well as apologizing without making any excuses. I was impressed enough that I don't really want to dog the business here. But not quite impressed enough that I want to march back anytime soon.

My father-in-law, however, was incredibly impressed when Chip forwarded him the email exchange. When George is wronged, he's more the type to tap on the counter and have an airing of the grievances right then and there, but I still think he was impressed. And he says he doesn't like my sass. Pashaw.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

And so he waits

Brennan is ready to be a big brother. He's pretty sure he can handle the responsibility. He rocks his stuffed animals and reads them stories. He prays for the baby. He talks about the baby. A lot.

What he can't handle is the waiting. Nine months is a really, really long time when you're not even three years old. Case in point, the conversation that took place between Brennan and Sherri while they were working on the nursery.

B: Mom, when will the baby be here?
S: Pretty soon.
B: When I get up from my nap?

So, not quite that soon, but we are getting close to meeting Baby Jones. Only four more weeks to go, and that's if Sherri doesn't con her doctor into moving things along. Considering that they have zero boy or girl names, she might be better off going past her due date, or the baby might just be named Blue after all.