Thursday, April 30, 2009


I woke up on Monday, April 20th with a sore throat. That's always the first sign that I'm getting sick. All week I drank plenty of fluids and went to bed early. I managed to fight it until Friday. Getting ready to go to Tucson and then actually going to Tucson was enough for my body to give up. After a very busy weekend, where I didn't take care of myself, I was officially sick.

I woke up at 4:30 on Wednesday morning to Spencer crying. I was too weak to even pick him up. Michael and I decided right then that he had better stay home from work because I was in no shape to be a mother.

I felt better last night and thought I'd be OK to go to work. Wrong. I picked Spencer up from the baby-sitter an hour later and off we went to the doctor. The doctor heard me coughing before she came in the room. She walked in, looked at me and said "you're really sick". My diagnosis. Bronchitis. I've never had it before. It's not fun. I'm glad it's not pneumonia though, which was what she thought before listening to my lungs. I'm also glad it's not swine flu because I would have exposed a LOT of people if it was.

Since I spent the whole appointment chasing Spencer around the exam room, the doctor recommended that I get some help with him and rest as much as possible. Once again Michael is staying home with us tomorrow.

This is what I plan on doing for the next 3 days.

I am really very attractive until I eat in bed. That bronchitis is brutal.

For the time being I'm on sick leave from the blog.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Bathtub review

We had no idea what we were doing when we registered for baby items before Spencer was born. How can you really know what baby items you will need and will actually use until you have a real baby in your house using them?

This was our first baby bathtub. The Safety 1st Bathtub with built-in shower. It was pretty pricey.

We used it for exactly 1 bath. We don't even have a picture of Spencer bathing in it. There is video, but I still haven't figured out how to add that to the blog.

It was awkward to fill, awkward to put a newborn in and awkward to empty. And the shower attachement was a joke. A plastic cup would do a better job.

We give this bathtub 2 thumbs down.

Our second bathtub was the Safety 1st Space Saver Fold Up Tub. It fit over the kitchen sink so we could use the pull-out faucet. We'd put a space heater on the counter next to the sink and stick Spencer in here. He would cry only when the bath was over- that's how much he loved it. We used this for baths until he was 7 months old and went in the big boy tub.

Look at this little chicken baby. I had to crop this picture to make it G-rated. Spencer's belly button no longer looks like that. He had an umbilical hernia, which sounds scary, but is really common in newborns- it's just the hole from the umbilical cord that hasn't closed yet. He has a beautiful "innie" now.

This mom is a little too excited about folding up and putting away the tub. It is nice though that the folded tub doesn't take up much room.
We give this tub two thumbs up.

Monday, April 27, 2009

The Zoo

We did not go to Tucson very often during Spencer's first year of life. He has hated the carseat since birth and it was too gut wrenching to spend 90 minutes in the car with him screaming and crying for, literally, the whole time. And I'm not talking just fussing- I'm talking full on baby wailing like he was getting a shot every 5 seconds from driveway to driveway.

Once he was about 9 months old we could keep him occupied for at least part of the time with snacks- mostly Gerber puffs and cheerios given to him one at a time. When he was 14 months old we broke down and bought a portable DVD player. It has been our salvation. I don't even care that before he was born I said I would never be one of "those moms" who let their kids watch movies in the car. If it means we can get to Tucson without vocal trauma to Spencer and hearing loss for me, Michael and Ginger, I'll take it.

Since the ride is so much more pleasant we find ourselves in Tucson way more these days. We were just there 2 weeks ago for Easter and went back this past weekend too.

On Sunday morning we met Spencer's furture wife Lilly, her baby brother Zac and their mom Chelsea at the zoo. Chelsea and I have known each other since 3rd grade and have been good friends since 7th. In addition to being educational for the kids, the zoo was a good time for the mommies too. Michael didn't have a daddy counterpart, but got a kick out of looking like he had two blonde wives.

Chelsea brought the double stroller so Lilly and Spencer could cruise in style. We did not discuss what the kids would wear ahead of time. What are the chances that they would both be wearing blue and green plaid? 1 in 100,000? 1 in 100,000,000? Should we start playing the lottery?I think Lilly and Spencer were both a little shell-shocked that we just threw them together in this stroller and immediately started looking at animals. Shell-shocked kids are really well behaved.
Hey Spencer- take a look at this duck!

Seriously- they look like twins. As we were leaving we even heard a man tell his wife to look at how cute the twins are.

Baby Zac slept until right before we were leaving.

Spencer's favorite part was running around on the grass by the snack bar.

Chelsea and Zac
We will be going back to the zoo for sure. Unfortunately it probably won't be until it goes below 100 degrees again, which will be around Halloween.

A big thanks to the Yagers for a fun morning at the zoo. Thanks also for sharing your "get into the zoo for free" pass. A fun, free morning at the zoo is even better.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

100th Post

I never even considered that I should mark my 100th post with something special until Maryellen did her 100th post on her blog.

I'm going to use my 100th post to introduce a new blog feature: a product review. On no particular schedule I'll be reviewing a variety of different things- baby products, kitchen tools, books, food, wine, beauty products, etc.

Frederic Fekkai Glossing Cream
From Get silky, shiny hair! This light styling cream gives your hair brilliant shine, eliminates frizz, and adds manageability. Made with pure olive oil.

You can buy this cream at Bath and Body Works. 4 ounces costs 20 dollars. I use this on my hair almost every day. I have been using the same tube for 8 months and have used probably an ounce. That's how little you need to make your hair shiny and smell good. It really tames the frizzies too.

2 thumbs up

Friday, April 24, 2009

List Friday

Yet another week that I don't have a decent idea for a flashback.
My last list was a summary of everything that annoys me. I think it was a little negative. I'll go to the complete opposite end of the spectrum and list some of the things that make me happy. This is by no means comprehensive....just a few of the things I can think of before going to bed.

(Have you ever wondered why my posts always show up during the 5 am hour? I write them before bed and schedule them to post in the morning. I am NOT up at that time)

* When I wake up early in the morning and find that Spencer is sleeping soundly, Ginger is snoring lightly and Michael is sacked out. Then going back to sleep myself.

*Enjoying a perfectly medium-rare steak with a nice glass of red wine.

* When the phone rings and I see on the caller ID that it's a friend calling unexpectedly.

* Sitting at the island at my parents house and talking to my mom while she cooks.

* Taking a walk with Ginger and Spencer where Spencer doesn't whine and Ginger doesn't stop to sniff or try to eat something gross every 14 seconds.

* Getting a greeting card in the mail.

* Finding a good deal on anything.

* That moment when all the dishes are done and the kitchen is clean.

* Finding a random good movie on TV when I didn't think anything watchable would be on.

* Ice cream

* Reading a book that I've been wanting to read and finding that it was actually really good.

* Spencer laughing.

* Watching Ginger sleep. It's very relaxing to watch a dog sleep.

* When I'm driving on a freeway that is at least 3 lanes and every move I make "works".

* Touring model homes and critiquing the good and the bad designs.

* That feeling you get on the way to the airport when you're going someplace awesome. And then the feeling you get when you finally get there.

* Hearing a song that reminds me of being 16 years old. Or 17 or 15 or heck, even 13.

* Iced coffe.

* Date night with Michael- no babies allowed. Doesn't happen very often.

* Finishing a project that I've been putting off (usually paperwork at work).

Wow- that was a lot. And it didn't take very long. I guess I'm feeling happy tonight.

These pictures don't have anything to do with the post.
Spencer has a new place to play. He loves sitting on the bar stools at the island. I think it makes him feel like a big boy. He insists on eating his afternoon snack here too.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Like father like son

Every night after dinner Michael puts his hands behind his head and stretches.

Spencer has started imitating his Daddy.

He got a little distracted from the stretching and started scratching his head.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

I have a confession to make

Pride and Prejudice is the only book I never actually read before writing a paper on it.

There.... I admitted it.

I had to read Pride and Prejudice for my British Literature class during my Junior Year of High School. I know that many, many people consider this book to be their favorite, but I found it to be boring, tedious and monotonous.

In lieu of actually reading the whole book, I read the first chapter, the last chapter, the Cliffs Notes and I watched the movie.

I got an A on that paper.

Have you heard about this new book, Pride and Prejudice and Zombies? I think it's going to be the next book I read. A little zombie action might be just the think to spice up that vapid Bennet family.

I feel like I owe it to Ms. Markum to read the whole thing through, even if it's 13 years later and even if the original book has been injected with brain eating zombies.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Socks and hair gel

Spencer likes to wear my slipper socks. He also likes to raid the drawer where I keep hair products.

These pictures just make me smile. Spencer makes legwarmers look chic again. He should be in Flashdance.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Our Saturday night

Last night we drove around some areas far, far, far away from our house. We're trying to get an idea of neighborhoods and houses if, in the future, we're able to get out of our house.

Spencer needed a break from the car seat so we found a neighborhood park and got out to play. They had a little riding horse on a big spring that he enjoyed.
After our house investigating we went to dinner at Sweet Tomatoes. Spencer got to eat his first ice cream cone. He's had ice cream before, but never in a cone. He was amazed when I showed him how he could bite it.
It wouldn't be a night out without a trip to Target. We had been there on Friday night but, of course, we forgot like 8 things. When we go to Fry's grocery store Spencer gets to ride in a car grocery cart. Basha's has rocket ships. Target has these new carts with a whole riding area built into the front.

Doesn't Spencer look like he's about to go on a ride at Disneyland? I like to imagine it would be Pirates of the Caribbean. I'm truly happy anytime I'm about to go on Pirates of the Caribbean. Even if it's the 12th time that day. I want to jump off the boat and live in that little town.
He liked it. We give this new cart two thumbs up.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Whooo Whooo

Spencer is well on his way to a career in bird science, poultry farming or aviary management. He makes four animal noises and three of them are birds: quack quack quack-duck, cluck cluck cluck-chicken and whooo whooo whooo- owl (the other non-bird noise is a moo moo moo- cow). The boy loves birds.

His owl impersonation is particularly lovely. I think it's hilarious that of all the animal noises he could do, he enjoys hooting the most. What part of the brain is responsible for that?

I bought Spencer a new book about owl babies last night. He was sitting on our bed when I handed it to him. He took it, crawled up to the head of the bed, sat down on a pillow, pulled the blankets up over his legs and started looking at the pages. All on his own- we didn't tell him to do that. It was too cute.

Now if we could only find a way to have him sit still during the reading of a whole book. He lets us read one page, then takes the book and throws it away or closes it and says "all done".

Friday, April 17, 2009

Flashback Friday

The year was 1999. Or 1998. Or 2000. I don't remember exactly. It was springtime in Tucson. Michael was my boyfriend and we were hanging out at my house. (It's weird to think that what was my house is now referred to as my parent's house.) (It's also weird to think about Michael being my boyfriend. It seems like we've just always been married.) Nick came home from somewhere and parked the car in the garage.

This is the conversation that ensued about 35 minutes later.

Natalie: Do you smell something?
Michael: Yeah, it smells kind of smoky.
Nick: Like someone is making bbq or grilling.
Natalie: Yeah
Nick: Actually, it smells really smoky.
Michael: Hmm, almost like something is on fire.
Natalie: Oh, my god! Smoke is coming out of the garage!

The three of us went out to the garage where smoke was pouring out of the door. We didn't see any flames. Interesting. We went in and saw the smoke was coming from under the car. Michael opened the garage door while Nick looked under the car.

When Nick had come home he had parked the car on top of one of the dog's beds. One of the dog beds made out of fabric, cotton batting and cedar chips. The catalytic converter was sitting on the bed. A catalytic converter operates at 1,200 to 1,600 degrees (I googled it). That's a lot of heat to be sitting on top of cotton and cedar.

Nick grabbed the bed and threw it into the driveway. The rush of oxygen caused the bed to go up in flames.

This is a pretty accurate representation of what that looked like.

Nick: Oh my god the bed's on fire!
Natalie: Go get the hose and turn it on!

We blasted that bed with full power hose water for a good 5 minutes. We turned off the hose.

Michael: Oh my god! The bed is on fire again! Get the hose!
Nick: Turn it on! Full power!

Another 5 minutes.

Natalie: Oh my god! The bed is still on fire! Go in the house and get some baking soda or baking powder or something!

We dumped as much powder as we could find on that bed.

Nick: Help! The bed is the son of Lucifer. It's still on fire!
Michael: Someone call 911 and a priest!

We ended up leaving the hose inside the bed for a good 20 minutes. It finally cooled off enough and got soaked enough that it didn't reignite when we cut the water off.

This is the actual bed that caught on fire. Sam, thank goodness, wasn't on the bed when Nick parked on top of it. No beagles were injured during this incident.

Maybe next Friday I'll tell you about when 16-year-old Nick tried to brew beer in his closet. It was going to be a Father's Day present. The results, which included a lot of broken glass and an insurance claim, were not exactly Sam Adams.

Thursday, April 16, 2009


In the past 2-3 months we have bought a lot of stuff that came in big boxes- the water table, the slide, diapers, etc. Those boxes have been piling up in the garage. A few days ago I could barely get out of the car and walk in the door without tripping over an empty box. I told Michael he wasn't allowed to watch TV, watch TV on the computer (he loves or play video games until he cut the boxes apart and put them in the recycle bin.

He glared at me and said that if he wasn't allowed to watch TV or play the Wii until the boxes were done, then I wasn't allowed to blog until the boxes were done.

As retribution for his totally outrageous and slanderous claim that I am addicted to the blog, I'm posting this picture of him cuddling with Ginger.

That's the same look he gave me about my no TV or Wii proposal.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Monday, April 13, 2009

Easter wounds

Nathan and Kendra gave my mom some sunflowers on Friday night. My mom handed them to my dad and asked him to cut the stems and put them in water. My dad, being a lazy frickin' bum, decided he'd save 5 seconds by not getting a cutting board and would just use a butcher knife to cut the stems in the air. He cut something all right. His pinky finger. He acted all nonchalant, like he hadn't just nearly cut his finger OFF and excused himself from the room.

When he came back we insisted that he show it to Kendra, who happens to be a doctor. Dr. Kendra advised that he go to urgent care for some proper irrigation, a tetanus shot and stiches. My dad went out to the garage and came back with a stitch kit from the Vietnam war so Kendra could stitch him in the kitchen. After much arguing back and forth about the need for sanitary conditions and anaesthesia (and that a shot of bourbon doesn't count as anaesthesia), my dad went to urgent care. Irrigation and a tetanus shot were given. Stitches weren't required, but proper bandaging was performed.

The next day my dad noticed that Geech had split open his nail all the way up to the quick. Geech and my dad headed off to urgent care, the canine edition where the vet removed the whole nail.

Now my dad and Geech have matching bandages.

Easter fun

Easter morning started out with a good, old fashioned, plastic egg hunt. The grass outside was still wet from the rain on Saturday, so the hunt took place in the dining room, living room and office.

Spencer used his new bucket from Gramme and Granddad to look for eggs.
I was sure Spencer would drop one egg for every one he picked up, but he actually did a great job of collecting and keeping all the eggs.

After the egg hunt Spencer got to investigate the basket mommy and daddy got for him.
There is nothing like spending $15 dollars on trains for your son and then having him be thrilled with and play with the paper inserts from the train packaging.
I confiscated the paper and forced him to be thrilled with the trains. Choo Choo!
Foam puzzles from the dollar section at Target. Can someone explain to me how something in the dollar section can be $2.50?
A new aloha swimsuit. Hawaii here we come! (In spirit only)
Once he forgot about the paper he really loved those trains.
I'm sure it's only a matter of time before this new bucket goes on Spencer's head.
Whoa! Did Spencer just turn into Benjamin Button and age in reverse?
Here we are on Easter Day, 2008.
And Easter, 2009.
Nathan, being a good uncle.
And Nathan and Kendra pretending to be parents. Spencer looks more like Nathan than anyone, so it is believable.

All my aunts. Aunt Janis, Aunt Kathy, Aunt Karen and Aunt Jan.
Kendra tried to kidnap Ginger.
Spencer hanging with my Uncle John.
And his Uncle Nick.