Hi everyone! Long time. Please join me at the soapbox.

Gird up your pocketbooks, people. If you’re not debt-free, get that way, and get an emergency fund in place.

Everything’s about to get really expensive when the taxes go up drastically in January and all the ObamaCare regulations roll in on the businesses you work for and buy from (some already have, and companies have already stopped hiring full-time workers so they don’t have to pay the massive ObamaCare tax of being required by the government to buy health insurance for their employees), and the less debt you have, the better you’ll be able to deal with it!

We’ve been working through Dave Ramsey‘s baby steps since May 2011, and you should too. We’re almost done with our emergency fund, and then the real fun starts. We haven’t had any non-mortgage debt since March — no car payments, student loans, credit cards. We only have the mortgage. How much money could you save every month if you bought cars only with cash, paid off your student loans and credit cards, and quit buying things on credit? We have a significant amount per month more now that we’re out of debt, and we’re putting almost all of it into savings. After the emergency fund is in place, we will start chucking a ton at retirement and college funds, and the rest will go toward paying off our house. Can you imagine not having a mortgage? Can you imagine having that extra thousand, 2K, 3K a month? I can (for us it’s $1200). That’s when the real fun starts. That’s when you get to take big vacations and buy stupid things (only with cash, though!), and give a lot more to charity (real charity, not prison-enforced “charity” that you pay to the IRS), as long as it’s in the budget.

Eat beans & rice and cut out the luxuries (including eating out, alcohol — really, look at your alcohol expenditures and see how much money you’d save if you cut that out, tobacco, expensive clothes), and GET ON A BUDGET. Frank and I each still have an allowance. We each get a small amount every month that we can spend on anything we want. And that’s all. We don’t say, “Oh, I really want this, though, and it’s only $30, and we have $30, so I’ll just buy it.” If I don’t have enough in my allowance right now, I wait until I have enough saved up (we carry balances forward month-to-month, and I just make sure I mark in the budget that the full allowance amount was spent). It’s frustrating when I want something *right now* but it’s necessary. I live in a 1st-world country, so it’s all luxury. I’m not suffering if I have to wait until next month to buy the next Harry Potter book for my Kindle or wait two months to buy my Big Shot. We started with the allowance system back in 2007 when we realized that we weren’t making any headway with our finances, and that’s when everything started turning around. We also take 10% from any extra money (bonuses, royalty checks, etc.) that happens our way, and we put that in our “fun money” fund. We use that for eating out and non-fancy vacations, and if we don’t have money in our fun money fund, we don’t eat out, I don’t make sushi, and we don’t go anywhere that isn’t free. We have a small amount budgeted for vacation savings each month — yes, this is a luxury, but we need to visit family every couple of years, so we budget that. We also budget a small amount for Christmas savings each month so we don’t get hit with the whole thing in December — and it is a small budget. We don’t buy a lot of gifts for each other or for other people right now. It’s not in the budget. We occasionally splurge (for Buttercup’s birthday, we bought her a doll house), but only after both approving the splurge and putting it in the budget. Yes, we get each other’s permission to spend money that isn’t budgeted, because we’re married.

Set a limit for yourselves on money you get to blow, and you have a lot more money for the more important things, like life insurance, gas, saving for your next car (we’re about to save for a minivan so that when the new baby comes, we’ll have a nice used van for me to haul the kids around in), and groceries — which are about to get even more expensive. I’ve seen my grocery prices at least double in the last 4 years, and I expect them to skyrocket when we hit the fiscal cliff, which is coming, and it’s not racism telling you that, it’s math. January should be fun and/or horrific for everyone, especially people dealing with debt payments they can’t afford.

And teach your kids about living on a budget so perhaps the next gen of politicians can understand the importance of not spending more than you make and of saving money. And that people will vote for fiscally sane politicians in the future.

the ball song

ME: I’ll sing two more songs, and then you go night-night. Which song would you like?
HER: The ball song.
ME: The ball song?
HER: Okay.
ME: I don’t know the ball song. How does it go?
HER: Ball ball ball ball…
ME: Okay.

So I had to make it up, you see. I call it “The Ball Song.”

I had a red ball
It was very tall
I gave it a call
And it said, “Hey, y’all!”
I had a red ball
I had a red ball
I had a red ball
And it said, “Hey, y’all!”

Repeat with every other color (taking requests). The ball can be tall or small and can say, “Hey, y’all!” or “Don’t fall!” or “Don’t crawl!”, etc., etc.


BC: Go walk Daddy and Rowie?
ME: Oh, not right now. Daddy has to go to work.
BC: Rowie go work right now?
ME: No, Daddy has to go to work.
BC [with, I promise you, a skeptical look on her face]: Daddy sit on da couch.

around the house

Random stuff:

Buttercup has this creepy serial killer look that she gives people. She also loves snacking on cereal. So one day she gave me the look.
ME: Hey, stop with your serial killer look.
HER: May I have cereal please?

Whenever she wants to be held, she says, “Mommy, I wanna pick you up?” When she wants one of us to rock her, she says, “I want Daddy to rock you.” And when she’s trying to avoid her bed, she says, “Rock you a little more one more song.” She may have us trained.

When she wakes up from her nap, or first thing in the morning, she says, “Mooooommmmmmmmyyyyyy! Cup-Cup all done in the bed!” Only bed sounds like “bay-ud”. Pretty sure she’s getting my Texas accent. Anyway, it’s cute when she does it, except one night when she was awake from about 1 until 5, and at around 3:30, I heard, “Mommy! I turn on da light. Cup-Cup all done in da bay-ud.” That wasn’t so cute.

For two weeks every two years, I watch every minute of the Olympics I can. I weep for most of it. Frank mostly says, “Huh?” and pauses his video game every time I say, “Did you SEE that??” I’m a good patriot but a bad wife, so I make him watch things like McKayla Maroney’s perfect vault (near-perfect my pinkytoe) and perfectly synchronized dives.

This morning, BC asked for more “do do do”, which is what she calls Brahm’s Lullaby. So I told her it’s called Brahm’s Lullaby, and she started saying, “May I have mo’ luddaby, pease?” She kills me at least once a day. She picks up everything so fast. She’s a little regurgitating sponge.

We’re doing gymnastics classes now (her, not me). She, of course, wants to do the scariest things, like walk all the way down the high balance beam with mom hovering and spotting and having panic attacks. But she’s pretty good at walking in a straight line, so I’m getting used to it. She hasn’t yet done a successful somersault and can’t yet jump, but it’s hilarious and adorable watching her try.

I’m learning to sew. Last week, I made a t-shirt. I’ve also made a skirt and pajama pants. It’s nice being able to wear clothes that fit. Next I’m making myself a dress, and I’m so excited about the prospect of wearing a dress that fits on top and bottom. And t-shirts and tank tops that are long enough.

big girl

My little Buttercup is getting so big. She’s 19 months old now and does the following:

*Sings entire songs on key. Her toddler songs, her Bible class songs, the lullabies I sing her at night. She is really good at the ABCs, Twinkle Twinkle, Brahm’s Lullaby, Moon Moon Moon, The B-I-B-L-E, and Ally Bally. She has the sweetest little voice.

*Counts to 10, though she often skips 4 and 5.

*Knows most of her colors – wed, yewwow, bwown, peek, geen, bue, gay, aw-en (orange), pupple, and white.

*Speaks in sentences. That’s a new one this week. Today when Frank left for work, she fussed a little, and when he walked out the door, she said, “I no want Daddy go.” She recently learned “I no want to”, and now she says “I no want _____.” Hooray. She also says things like “All done nuh-see [nursing]” and “All gone no-mee [oatmeal]“. “I Mommy’s water” [I have Mommy's water], “Daddy’s shoes!”, “Mommy, medewede cracker, please?” [Mommy, may I have a cracker, please?], and “Daddy pee-pee ah poddy?” are current faves. Also, “Hat on!” and “Shoes on!” which sound like “hadon!” and “shooson!”

*Constantly cracks us up. I give Buttercup countdowns to nap time. “Buttercup, you have ten minutes till nappy time.” “Five minutes till nappy time.” Two minutes, one minute, you get the picture. So today, I said, “Buttercup, you have two minutes till nappy time.” Then “Buttercup, you have one minute till nappy time.” And she looked at me and said, “Two minutes.” Hahahahahaha. I didn’t even know she could say “minutes”. But she says pretty much all the words, tries to repeat everything you say. Shows you things and either says, “Es dat?” or identifies them and nods her head confidently, looking for your agreement that she has identified them correctly.

*Loves spicy food and anything pickled. She gets that from me.

*Makes me smile.

18 months

we’re still here

We’ve just been insanely busy and not sleeping because of teething and stuff.

baby book day

Today seems to be a whole day for the baby book. Buttercup and I are both sick, but she’s still my hilarious, happy girl, with far too much energy for a sick baby with a sick mama. We watched The Sound of Music all morning, because she loves the music from it, so I thought it would be nice to show her where it came from. It was fun to watch her watch the movie. We don’t let her watch much TV (and never cartoons), so this was a treat for us. She still played with her toys (our living room is basically set up as her playroom, with toy bins and a big foam play mat) while the movie was on, but during songs, she would look up at the screen and watch. When Maria twirled, Buttercup twirled. When Maria ran through the hills, Buttercup yelled, “Go go go!” When she heard the songs she knows, she sang bits and pieces. My favorite is “Do Re Mi”, because when we get to “mi”, Buttercup points at herself and says, “Me!” (on key). And during “So Long, Farewell”, Buttercup sings, “Cuckoo! Cuckoo!”

During a break from the movie, I folded a basket of baby laundry that’s been sitting in my bedroom for a few days. Buttercup “helped” until she came across a mattress pad for her bed. It’s white and fluffy, so naturally, she wanted me to put it around her shoulders like a shawl. And then… she said, “Muh!” I didn’t know what that meant until she walked over to my closet mirror and said, “Preee!” Yep, she already has a word for “mirror” and thinks she’s pretty. I have no idea where she got that.

After she bored of being pretty, she noticed two baby books on my floor. It’s starting to sound like my bedroom floor is a dumping ground for lots of things, isn’t it? Hmm. She brought me a book called Hush, Little Baby. She said, “Huh,” and handed it to me and turned the pages while I read it to her. Then she handed me Goodnight Moon and said, “Nigh-nigh.” I was amazed! She’s learning the names of the books we read her. Probably because we read to her a lot, and Frank always reads the title page to her, including author name.

When we were getting ready for lunch, Buttercup sat on the kitchen floor and entertained herself. Eventually she stood up, and I thought she would run off to find a new toy. Instead she held her hand out to me. “Dere go!” This means “there you go”, so I knew she wanted to give me something. Indeed she did. She was giving me an ant she found marching around the floor. I guess spring is on the way.

I’m going a little stir crazy being stuck inside all day, but I could have worse company.

it’s a ball

I made some cards for my father-in-law’s birthday this week. One of them was from Buttercup to her Papa. I had just gotten my new set of Stampin’ Up gnome stamps and decided that since Buttercup was a gnome for Halloween, I had to somehow work this into the card. Add my FIL’s love of football, and an idea was born.

First, the inspiration…

Cutest gnome ever

Now the card…

It's a ball

You can’t tell from the photo, but the gnome is flat, and the football pops up on a foam sticker. I love how the football is bigger than the gnome. Just like in real life!

I CASEd this beautiful card for layout.


Me & You & We

Warning: You may die when you see this.

Buttercup likes to sing.

whadaya think of that

I think yesterday was my blogiversary. That makes 8 years! My favorite things blogging has brought me: a husband (and hence a baby), wonderful friends, and sweet, sweet cash.

Thanks for sticking around, even though I’m spotty with posting. All 50 of you. Unless that’s just you, Mom. But thanks even if it is just you, Mom.

Cold outside

I decided, oh, around the beginning of December that I would consider making my Christmas cards this (last) year. The likelihood of them actually going out was very small. For one thing, I’ve never ever mailed Christmas cards. I’ve bought them, yes. I’ve addressed them, yes. I’ve never actually made it to the stamping and mailing part.

I stink at snail mail.

But this year, I got really into stamping and cardmaking. Add that to the scrapbooking, and it turns out that I LOVE papercrafting. So much.

Around the 2nd week in December, I decided to do it. Just do it, SarahK. And I did. I took really crappy pictures of all the cards I made, and I’ll post them later. I made about 80 cards in 2 weeks.

I had my cards ready, Christmas letter typed, and address labels printed on December 21. Whatever, by that point, I’d been working through every naptime and from the time baby went to bed until after midnight to just get the silly things done. So they were going out, and I didn’t care if I mailed them on December 26. They were going out. Frank was on board with this, too. He knew I’d been working hard.

So I mailed them. And two days later, I got a stack of them returned to me. “Non-machinable.” Since an actual human had to actually touch them, I had to add 20 cents postage to each of them. I cried. I texted Frank and told him I might have a breakdown (DRAMA ALERT!). I was also out of budgeted money for sending cards, so I wasn’t sure where that two dollars was going to come from. Of course, as soon as Frank got my texts, he texted back. “They have to go out. You worked so hard on them. I’ll pay for the extra postage out of my allowance. Whatever it takes.” He’s a sweetie pie.

I only got about 10 of the cards back, so I had no idea what happened with the rest of them. I took the returned ones to the post office and saw a person and got them in the mail. Nevermind that an actual person had to touch them the first time to tell me they were non-machinable and then an actual person had to drive them all the way to my house and touch them again, and oh, I could go on, but we’d just end up in a place where I’m ranting about the government’s inability to run anything efficiently, and why do I want them running my retirement account and health insurance again? So I won’t go on.

I got more back a day or two later. This time, I went to the post office and used the little automated postage thing to buy the extra postage, and oh yeah, I got a little passive aggressive and paid with my debit card but had the machine run it as credit. You know, so they had to pay the credit card fee. Small, petty victories and all.

Oh, I also found out that while most of the cards made it to their destinations safely, at least one that wasn’t returned to me arrived postage due. Hi, Caltechgirl, Merry Christmas, here’s your card that you have to pay for. I hope she put the 20 cents in her mailbox in pennies.

Had I not spent two weeks cranking out cards and felt an enormous sense of relief over their completion only to have my calm diminished (ha, you thought I was going to say shattered because of the drama factor), I might try the same thing again this year. Popping them out all at once and all. But I decided to actually get started early this year. Like this week.

I’ve made three cards already, and I joined the Christmas Cards Challenge over at Splitcoaststampers to keep me accountable. My goal is 10 per month.

Here is my 3rd card:

Baby, It's Cold Outside

Baby, it's cold outside

I did this for Sketch Challenge #368 at Splitcoast and added the twine for Technique Lovers Challenge #360.

Card base: Bazzill Basics (card size is 4.25 x 5.5)
Cardstock: White (some value cardstock from Jo-Ann), light green (The Paper Studio)
Patterned paper: Holiday Dots (The Paper Studio)
Stamps: The snowman is Studio G, the snowflake is one of my favorites, from Winter Snowmen by Stampabilities
Inks: Stazon jet black (snowman), Stampin’ Up! lucky limeade (sponging around edges), Versamark (for embossing the snowflakes)
Markers: Tombow brush pens (N15, 847, 925)
Embossing folder: Victoria (Cuttlebug)
Embossing powder: ZING! red (glitter finish)
Twine: Martha Stewart baker’s twine
Rhinestones: Studio G
Christmas tree punch: Fiskars
Cuts: Sentiment tags cut w/ Cricut using SCAL & 09 KutUps font


I know, if I want to just tell you what I’m eating, why not just say it on Twitter? (amiright? high five!)

But I’m telling you, it’s a revelation of a sandwich.

Fresh basil
Goat cheese
Fresh-baked french bread (made with coconut oil, which makes an amazing flavor difference)
Sriracha, as needed

You try it and tell me it wasn’t blogworthy.

Okay, babe

Oh, my husband. We’ve been together for seven and a half years, and we’ve called each other a number of things. There are the unisex nicknames that we call each other: Sweetie, Monkeyface, Bad Sweetie, etc. Then there are his names for me: Sweet-Sweet, Huggy Boodle (my least favorite), Sweetie Peetie, Princess, Huggy Snuggy, etc. I mostly call him Bad Sweetie, so I don’t have as many names for him.

So yesterday he was about to leave to go back to work after lunch, and I told him I’d see him later.

“Okay, Babe.”

That got my attention. My gut reaction was to immediately make fun of him. “Babe?” I smiled a little incredulously.

“Yeah. Babe.” He could barely keep from smiling himself, but he tried to play it cool and serious, like, “Hey, Babe, I’m the man. I am masculine and aloof, and I now call you ‘Babe’.”

Not that he’s ever had any problems with low testosterone levels or anything like that — he’s definitely the man of the house. All kinds of masculine up in here. But still. He was over-aloofing things, and it was soooo cute. Possibly sexy. Definitely sexy.

“Okay… If you say so.”

Tonight I was laughing about it atwith him, and he told me where this Babe phenomenon came from.

It turns out that Devon on Chuck calls Ellie “Babe”, and that’s why I have gained a new nickname.

I have a feeling he thinks I’m going to start calling him Captain Awesome.

Moo Moo Moo

I was nursing Buttercup this morning, and she suddenly stopped, looked up at me, and actually sang, in key, “Moo, moo, moo.” So I started singing “Moon, Moon, Moon” to her. When I got to the end of the song, she again stopped and sang to me. “Moo, moo, moo.” I sang some more, adding new kinds of pies for the moon to resemble. Over and over, when I would stop, she would urge me to continue. “Moo, moo, moo.”

I can’t think of a better way to start my day.


That’s when Buttercup does her cutest things.

Last night, Buttercup was at her grandparents’ house playing with her cousin for a few hours while I put Frank to work cleaning bathrooms and I took on the living room. Frank went to pick her up while I vacuumed, and when he got her home, she was sleeping. She still doesn’t weigh enough for her convertible car seat, so Frank just brought her inside in her infant seat and put her in her room. I went in to transfer her to her crib, and when I picked her up out of the seat, she lifted her head, looked at my face, threw her arms around my neck, squeezed tightly, and said, “Awwwww.” I about died. She’s been awwing recently, because any time she hugs a person or a stuffed animal, I aww, and she picked up on it. After that, she stuck her face in my cleavage to signal that she wanted to nurse.

I nursed her and changed her diaper and put on her jam-jams, and then Frank came in so we could both say goodnight. When we put her in her crib, we usually sing Laurie Berkner’s “Moon Moon Moon” before leaving the room. So last night, I laid her down, and before either of us could start, she sang, “Moo moo moo. Moo moo moo. Moo moo moo.” And she was still singing it after we finished and left the room. “Moo moo moo. Moo moo moo.”

She’s squeezable.

Grandma Shirley’s pecan pie filling

What you need:

1 cup corn syrup (I use light, as if that makes it all better)
1 cup sugar
1 t. flour (I use GF all-purpose flour)
3 eggs
1 t. vanilla
2 T. butter or margarine (I use vegan “margarine”, but I’ve used any number of buttery things)
1 cup pecans (whole or chopped, I usually use halves)
1 9-inch unbaked pie crust

What you do:

Preheat to 350. Beat eggs just a little. Add sugar & flour. Add corn syrup, vanilla, and buttery stuff. Add pecans, stir really well (I use a fork). Bake on bottom rack for 45-50 minutes. Keep checking your crust throughout, though, and if it starts to burn, put foil over the crust for the remainder of baking. It’s done when it’s nice and brown on top, and you can lightly push on the top with a fork, and it bounces a little but isn’t obviously still liquid underneath. I know you love my scientific instructions.

This is happening…

Frank’s ebook, Obama: The Greatest President in the History of Everything, dropped (yo) on Tuesday. On Wednesday, he busted into the top 100 paid Kindle books on Amazon and the top 500 on Barnes & Noble. We’re still kind of reeling from that. We were thinking it’d be great to hit the top 1000 on Amazon, and there he goes, right to the top 100. It’s been an amazing couple of days.

So. It’s been an insane week, and whew, are we glad he took the week off from his day job.

Radio. Well, he was on the Jay Thomas show Tuesday, Central Wisconsin Morning News Wednesday. Today he’s on with Michael Medved, scheduled for an entire hour from 2-3 MST. Saturday he’ll be on with Bruce Lefavi, his uncle who has a syndicated radio show. Then he has more interviews next week and the week after. Crazy.

Of course, we have no idea what it all means. We have no idea if top 100 on Amazon means we’ve sold 100 copies or thousands. Or millions. Kidding, kidding. But seriously, we are completely clueless on how this translates to book sales. It doesn’t matter. I’m just so proud of him. He’s worked so hard for so many years, writing IMAO day after day, cranking out column after column… And then this summer his writing career cranked up in a big way.

So if you haven’t bought his book, I hear it’s hilarious. No, wait, I know it is. I’ve read it and am currently reading it again.

Ah, but she makes it all better

I don’t feel well. It’s day 7 of my sore throat, and I feel like I was up all night, probably because I was. Buttercup’s nose got runny yesterday, and by bedtime last night she was all sneezy and snotty. Also, she’s teething molars right now, and she does not handle teething very well. So she was up quite a bit, which means I have a sleep-deprivation headache.

Combine that with last night’s idiocy at Penn State (I’m speaking of the students rioting over the firing of someone who covered up child rape, NOT the firing), and it could all make a mom a little cranky.

But I’m not.

Because my little munchkin has been entertaining me.

When she woke up from her morning nap, I drilled her on her animal sounds (that sounds a little harsh, but all I did was say, “Buttercup, what does a cow say?” etc.). She got an A+ on cow, kitty, doggie, duck, horsey, sheep, and monkey (“Ah! Ah! Ah!”).

We snuggled on the couch, me wiping her relentless nose over and over, her trying to eat toilet paper and feed me peanut butter crackers (“cack-caws”, if you ask her). Occasionally she would lay her head down on my chest for a few minutes. It’s sad but very, very sweet when my baby is sick.

Then, out of the blue, while smearing peanut butter all over her face with one hand, she raised the other arm straight in the air and said, “Daaaaaaaaahhhhh!” I raised both of my arms. “Touchdown!” She raised her one again. “Dah-daaaah!” Later, she raised them both. “Dah-daaaaah!” She kills me.

She chased various balls around the living room, all the while exclaiming, “Baw! Baw! Baw!” She stopped by to put a couple of puzzle pieces in their places (correctly), and continued her chase. “Baw! Baw!”

Then she got distracted and sat down with a book (“Boo!”) in her lap. A few minutes later, she sounded like she was whining, and I looked down to see what was up. She wasn’t whining, she was pretending to read the book.

She grabbed her stuffed lemur out of my arms, hugged him, and said, “Awwww.” This cracked me up. Because she does the hugging thing, yes, but I’m usually the one who says, “Aww, that’s so sweet.” She went ahead and awwwed for me.

And now she’s napping again, but only on and off. Now and then she wakes up and practices singing or says, “Rowie!” Then drifts off again.

She’s the most wonderful little thing.

Cheer up, Rangers fans: Here’s a picture of Buttercup!

Buttercup, 1 year old

1 year old

Observant little monkey

In music class, our teacher plays the flute near the end of class, during lullaby time. Buttercup is always mesmerized by the flute. It’s the only time during class that I know she will sit still and focus on one thing. She usually crawls up in front of the teacher and sits and stares at her. At the very least, she sits in my lap and stares. We had class yesterday morning.

So last night after dinner, we were playing on her mat, rolling balls around and drumming on things. She has this little Melissa & Doug harmonica that’s black and chrome, I guess. The chrome-ish part is shiny and metal-looking, like a flute. Normally, she picks up the harmonica, tries to blow into it, doesn’t get any sound, and then hands it to me or Frank with the expectation that we can coax some sound out of it.

When we were playing last night, she picked up the little harmonica and put it up to her mouth. But she held it wrong. I was just about to reach over and show her how to hold it when I realized how she held it. Her mouth was at the very end of it, and she was blowing on it, trying to make sound. She held it very gently, with her left hand cupped under the harmonica, fingers spread out a little. Her right hand came over the top and held it near the end.

She was trying to play it like a flute.

Somewhere in her wonderful little fascinating brain, she made the connection that the harmonica is something you blow in to make music, just like the flute that teacher plays during class.

She is a most amazing little creature.

Walk-a walk-a

Buttercup took her first two steps on her birthday. And now she’s walking a little. Sniff sniff.


1 year since this.

brand new

1st yell. She had to be suctioned first by the NICU team.

1st cuddle

It was 10 minutes before I got to hold my burrito baby. Well worth the wait. Yes, I'm tweeting.

daddy cuddle

Proud daddy.

Brand new family. Brand new adventure.

Brand new family. Brand new adventure.

Big girl.

Now she's my big girl.

Happy birthday, Buttercup.

p.s. Here’s the highlight reel.

And then what happens?

ME: I’m just not sure these birthday party invitations are kidsy enough.
HE: And then what happens?
ME: [laughing] Good point.
HE: People show up in tuxedos and top hats expecting a dinner party?

He keeps me in check.

Our world

Well, things are happening like mad in the house of J.

Buttercup is getting really close to walking, and frankly I’m surprised she isn’t already skipping and jumping. She seems to have taken time off from learning to walk so she can hone her climbing skills. Hooray? At least we’ve found a new way to tire the baby out: she loves to climb up and down the steps to the slide at any park. So there’s that.

She still doesn’t sleep, tiredness notwithstanding. Monday night she started literally slapping herself in the face to try to stay awake while I was rocking her. Eyes half closed, and she just started wailing on herself. Hahaha. At least it saved my breasts–she’s recently taken to slapping those to keep herself awake, so I was glad for the change. But I do keep having to stop myself from saying, “Quit hitting yourself. Why are you hitting yourself? Quit hitting yourself.”

Elsewhere in our world, Frank has written a short e-book for HarperCollins (I’ve read it, and it is hilarious). It should be out in mid-November on their Broadside Books imprint. Now he’s starting to work on his second manuscript.

Monday, he wrote his first column for the New York Post. I think it was a hit. Frank J., opinion page writer. Your mind is boggled.

Yeah, so it’s been crazy around here since about 2 months ago when the whole thing with HarperCollins started.

Not a whole lot new with me. Except my hair. I do have new hair. Mostly I’m taking care of baby and proofreading Frank. And trying to papercraft in my oodles of spare time.

Oh, and Boise got a Chipotle today. Just ate it for lunch, planning on it for dinner.


Today I was pulling out of the driveway, and the neighbor across the street (the one with the teenage son who has both a motorcycle and a monster truck and interrupts many of Buttercups naps because of his anti-muffler stance) waved at me for the first time ever. I waved back and thought, “Oh, how nice. My neighbor waved at me.”

As I was driving off, my brain processed the scene a little better, and I realized he was carrying a shotgun to his car. This didn’t seem the slightest bit out of place to me, but he was probably waving to appear less intimidating.


I just did the whole comfort-baby-then-go-laugh-in-the-other-room thing. Buttercup does pretty well drinking out of a cup without a lid on it. But with recent travel and house guests and such, we hadn’t tried it in a while. So this morning, while I was making the oatmeal, I put her in her high chair and gave her half a cup of water, without the lid.

She threw it back SO fast. Got a face full of water, coughed, sputtered, cried.

It was so funny. So I hugged her and said I was sorry and then went into the kitchen and laughed silently while I finished the oatmeal.


It’s been a month since I last posted here. I know it looks like my blog is dead, but it’s really just in a coma. Babies will do that, I guess.

So Buttercup is 10.5 months old now. That’s crazy. I don’t know how she got to be so old without my permission. She does have a little mind of her own.

My little princess is 17 pounds, 2 ounces now, and 27.5 inches long. She crawls everywhere, cruise walks a little, stands up on everything, and sometimes forgets and lets go. Then falls promptly on her tush-tush.

She can still only sleep if she’s in her car seat or being held or sleeping next to me.

Thank God for that car seat, which at least allows me to use the bathroom now and then. I still don’t get to shower much, but that’s life.

Buttercup is an inquisitive little monkey. Seriously, she has to know how everything works, what everything sounds like, what everything tastes like. People are constantly freaking out when they see that I let her chew on my shoes, but she’s never been sick, as I’ve realized that her 2 ear infections were actually teeth coming in. She’s an aficionado of both patty-cake and peekaboo.

Bake me a cake as fast as you can!

Bake me a cake as fast as you can!

Where's Buttercup?

She has 4 teeth.

Teething makes me sad.

And high heels.

And the best disposition. Seriously, I can’t tell you how many friends and random strangers have told us that she seems like the happiest baby they’ve ever seen.

Either she was born that way, or she just really likes how her parents aren’t afraid of being extremely dorky and goofy to make her laugh (not pictured).

She tries to climb everything now. Everything. She spends most of her time with one foot on the ground and the other up in the air, trying to find something to put it on.

Her hair is starting to grow, and she’s getting teeny curls. Makes my heart all full and melty.

Anyway, she’s the best gift.


Our family.

Am I? Really?

35. Yes. I really am.

Buttercup starts stepping…

Mom starts freaking OUT.

Shouldn’t U.S. military planes be made in… the U.S.??

That the administration has even proposed to have a Brazilian company make the next generation of planes for the U.S. Air Force is preposterous. To do it when our economy is this horrible? Unthinkable. Watch:

When Obama talks about all the phantom jobs he’s saved or created, maybe he means overseas. That’s the only way his math works.


You know it’s time to sweep when you go check to see what your little one is up to, and she’s waving around a clump of dog hair she picked up off the floor. (In my defense, it’s under the piano bench, and I only move the bench for sweeping once a month. Maybe I should do that more often.)