Burr-Yup!

So much has happened since we last spoke. We bought a truck. We went to FL. I ate two caramel apples. We went to Disney World. I sewed stuff. I got a nanny. We moved her into a bedroom upstairs. I was introduced to two fun new board games. I flashed several people at Downtown Disney. And I doggedly refused to think about the fact that I would have to go back to work soon.

Two weeks ago we set out at midnight to drive down to FL to see my family and bring my little sister back to live with us to be Baby G’s nanny. We drove through the night while G slept and only had to make one baby related stop. We made good time down to Gainesville and were relieved that Baby G’s first road trip was pretty uneventful (with the exception of the fact that I didn’t sleep AT ALL on the drive and spent the rest of the day in a sleep deprivation stupor).

The car ride home, on the other hand, was just as heinous as you would expect a 600+ mile car ride with a 5 month old to be. The trip should have taken between 9½ – 10 hours. It took us 12½. Between stopping to nurse every two hours to several stints of blood curdling screaming, I don’t think I’ll be doing such a trip again any time soon. It was horrible for everyone involved.

But the space in between the car rides though was wonderful. The other members of my family finally got to meet Baby G and I got to see my Grandfather for what probably will be the last time. God blessed us with a “good day” of his where he was mostly alert and interested in us being there. He seemed very interested in Baby G and my 2½ year old nephew (who is a total card).

So speaking of my nephew. He is 2½ and crazy smart. And very very loquacious. He comes up with the funniest things. Most of them are real words. Some of them are not. Like burr-yup. My brother and SIL have no clue where he came up with this word but he came into the house saying it one night. It is most effectively pronounced by putting your lips together in an exaggerated “b” and flipping your lips out as you say the “burr” part. And the “yup” is actually a mix between a “yip” and a “yup.” Maybe you had to be there. Maybe you’re just saying it wrong. Anyway, it was pretty funny.

Another thing about my family, as I’ve mentioned before, is that we’re all slightly insane. But in a good way. We like to play games; one of our favorites being Apples to Apples. If you’ve never played it you are severely deprived and should immediately go out and buy it. It’s so much fun. Introduced to us this visit were two new games: Castle Panic and Ticket to Ride. Both are non-traditional games and both a lot of fun. Ticket to Ride is a game of trains which gets a little hairy the more people that play. Castle Panic is a cooperative game in which everyone plays together to try to beat the game (and the monsters that are trying to knock down your towers). Both were lots of fun. But Apples to Apples results in the most hilarity; often rendering us to tears after laughing so hard. But games aside, we can still generally find stuff to cut up about.

We also went to Disney. Disney with a 5-month old, you say?? Yup, we took Baby G to meet Mickey. I have some friends from college that live in Orlando who had offered to take us to Disney for the day. G rode the Carousel, Dumbo (which he slept through), and Pirates of the Carribean (which he nursed through). He got his picture taken with Mickey and Tigger and Pooh. He even got his very own “1st Visit” button. All in all he did very well. Will he remember it? Of course not. Did he care one way or another? Not a bit. But I had a good time visiting with friends and he will have some fun pictures to look back on. Oh, and did you know that all the parks have Baby Care centers? Well, I didn’t either. The one in MK was really nice – a room just for nursing mothers, a room for the rest of the family with a TV (playing Disney movies of course), a room full of massive soft vinyl changing tables and a little shop where you could get a drink of water (free) or purchase any number of baby related accouterments.  I’m sure a pack of wipes ran about $17 but hey, they made the effort.

I know you’re curious about the caramel apples. I know it’s been burned into your subconscious and the whole time you’ve been reading you’ve been wondering about them. Well, I’ll indulge you. We went to Downtown Disney for my brother’s graduation lunch. Graduation was in Tampa. Lunch was in Orlando. That’s just the way we roll. So because I can’t have ice cream (there is a delicious Ghirardelli ice cream shoppe there) I decided I was going to get a caramel apple. A custom, made-while-you-wait, caramel apple. It. Was. Delicious. A lovely apple coated in caramel, dipped in dark chocolate, smothered in chopped pecans, and drizzled with a little more dark chocolate. *drools* Sooo good. So when we went back to DD a few days later I got another one. What? I needed a dessert too! Everyone else was eating ice cream. It wasn’t fair…

Oh wait… it wasn’t the caramel apple you were wondering about? It was the flashing part? Oh, silly me. I figured you just read right over that. Well that was at DD too. At lunch. I was nursing Baby G in the very crowded restaurant and felt something wet on my leg. I look down to see that Baby G had had a blowout. *sigh* Why, dear friends, does this have to happen when one is out in public? So I unlatch him and cover myself up. And then move the nursing cover. Only to realize that I haven’t actually covered myself up all the way. *facepalm* Not sure all who I flashed. Could have been all girls. Could have been some boys. That know me. Ugh. Just call me the Flash.

Sooo now we are home and the Nanny-Auntie is moved in and mostly unpacked. The suitcases are still sitting in the middle of the living room floor and the laundry that got washed when we got home (several days ago) is mostly folded and put away. I miss my family already and hope hope hope they will all be able to make it here for Christmas. I think it would be so fun to have the two boys together. Since Nephew is a pro at Christmas now he will be able to help Baby G get the hang of it. And I bought them matchy pajamas. It would be such a shame to waste them.

Happy Birthday Sister

Today is Sister’s birthday. She may or may not be 21 anymore. She is a little sensitive about the impending 60th birthday she will be having in 38 years. We’ve already had a conversation about it. You can read about it here. The DQ thing is a sore spot in our family.

Anyway.

Sister is 8 years younger than me. I’d love to tell you I was the greatest big sister EVER but then lightning would strike me and I can’t have that as I’m holding my baby. Truthfully I haven’t always been the best sister ever. There was The Incident when she was about 6, which I shall not elaborate on, which I’ve never forgiven myself for, and numerous other times I was mean to my sweet adoring little sis. I suppose I was jealous. I had been the baby for over 8 years until she came along with her little mini-me self. I mean, can you blame me? She stole my look! And then, horror of horror, she wanted to be like me! Come on! How conniving and terrible was that?? She was trying to take over my family and my friends and all the things I liked!

I see now, in my aged wisdom, that “imitation is the highest form of flattery” never quite occurred to me then. She loved me and adored me and looked up to me so much she wanted to be like me. I wish I could have appreciated that back then. It’s a little late but I appreciate it now.

Don’t get me wrong. I still loved Sister. I just didn’t always show it well. But thankfully as we got older we I moved past jealousy and moved into friendship. I love her to death and have so much fun when we’re together. We have a closeness now I wish we had shared many years ago. But I guess now is what matters.

In some ways I wish I could been like her. And in some ways I’m still jealous. But she is my sister and I wouldn’t trade her for the world. There was a reason she was my Maid of Honor. And there is a reason she is coming up to be my son’s Nanny. The reason is love. My love for my sister is great. It is made up of trust and compassion and familiarity. It is liberally injected with hilarity and silliness but always makes time for support and a listening ear. I am lucky to have such a sister.

Happy 21st (+1) Birthday Little (as in younger – she’s actually taller than me) Sister! I love you with all my heart. Hope you have lots of fun on your underwater adventure and forget your troubles for a day.

My Wedding – March 2009

The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – September 2010

Nephew’s First Birthday Party – January 2011

Sister’s College Graduation – May 2011
(She’s not THAT much taller… She’s wearing heels)

Downtown Disney May 2011

So THAT’S How They Do It!

As amateur photographers (read: people with fancy cameras who know enough to be dangerous) and broke ones at that, my Mom and I decided we would do our own baby photos. Newborn sessions are expensive and at this stage of the game with being out of work for an extended length of time I can’t afford much that’s not a necessity. Chocolate is a necessity by the way. I didn’t have any for over 7 months so I have a lot of catching up to do.

We bought some fabric for drapes/backgrounds and started with Easter pics. Since I couldn’t take Baby G to see the Easter Bunny (unwashed masses) I bought a bunny hat & diaper cover set off Etsy in order to make my very own EB. So stinkin’ cute! The first attempt went pretty well, working with the light we had. Which, this Spring, is not proving to be much light at all. The bunny hat, although “newborn” sized, was HUGE so we had to stragetically clothespin the backside of the hat so it didn’t look ridiculous. So, clothed in a diaper and diaper cover (complete with fluffy bunny tail) and a pinned-together bunny hat, we loaded Baby G into a wicker basket and proceeded to snap a bunch of pictures while continually trying to keep him from falling out. Lots of shushing and patting and tucking little feet back under resulted in a few good shots. Then we moved to another room and got a few more. He actually cooperated relatively well except for the few times he hooked his toes at the edge of the basket and tried to launch out. Squishy soggy newborn shoot this was not.

The next day (actually Easter) we took some more pictures of Baby G in his Easter outfit (which was so sweetly provided by my cousin). It was a little big as it was a newborn size so he looked a little saggy baggy in it but they still came out cute. Maybe not professional quality but still sweet just the same. We waited until the next day to get pictures with his Easter basket as the shoot had to be abandoned in order to wash his outfit which he managed to both barf and pee on. He tends to pee a lot when he’s getting his diaper changed. He also tends to pee  a lot while in the bathtub. And he waits until you uncover him to do it. Stinker. Anyway. We got several pictures of him with his basket and with his Easter toys. Again, they might not be exactly what we envisioned beforehand but I think we did well for what we had to work with (again with the crappy lighting outside).

My favorite photo session so far has been the naked booty session. The biggest thing with taking pictures of babies is expecting messes and their general noncooperation. You have to keep the room nice and warm so that they are super comfy and the photographer and any one else in the room is so hot they’d also like to run around naked. Which is much less acceptable when you’re an adult. So we just sweated through the process. We started trying to take pictures of him on a stack of towels but he wasn’t asleep enough and kept trying to launch himself off. Seeing  a trend here? He has really strong legs. So we scrapped that idea for the time being and decided to do pictures of him in my arms. I was wearing a black shirt, sitting in front of  a black drape. He had already peed a fountain all over the changing pad when I took his diaper off so I figured he was good for awhile. I should have adjusted my figures. He ended up peeing on me 3 or 4 times during the whole shoot. We ended up doing an entire load of dark laundry due to baby pee (and poop). We started with him in my arms but couldn’t get him to settle down enough to make it work. The peeing started then and he peed down my arm. Hilarity ensued. He seemed pretty content with it too. I guess if you’re a baby it doesn’t matter were (or who on) you pee. I laid him in my lap at one point (probably to wipe up pee) and we realized the way he was propped made his positioning perfect to get booty pictures. He’s still pretty small (around 6 1/2 lbs at this shoot) so he still has a tiny little butt. I wish we could have gotten pictures of his little booty when he was first born. It was the tiniest thing!! So we tried to get him to face the camera but he just wouldn’t cooperate so the pictures we ended up with are him facing away (which worked out great because he could suck on his paci that way). I would tuck his feet up, Mom would focus, then I’d move my hand away quickly and she’d snap the picture before he could shift his feet. Once during the process he stood up on all fours. The kid is not even born yet and he’s standing up on all fours. He also farted at one point, shooting poop across the room. Very glamorous. Lots more hilarity. Ok, so maybe not across the whole room but it went far enough that our cleverly placed waterproof pad on the floor didn’t cut it. *sigh* I think we laughed so hard we almost wet our own pants. We do that a lot. Not the pants wetting part… the laughing part.

In the end we got a few good shots and had quite a bit of fun. We are learning a lot as we go and each shoot we do a little better. There are lots more things we’d like to do but getting up before noon seems to be trouble for me lately and we haven’t had much natural light in the past few days either. But hopefully we’ll be able to get in a few more shots before he gets too big. Which he’s working on faster than I’d like.