My boobs were my tools of the trade for almost 20 months.

Once my youngest daughter weaned herself from the Magical Boob Juice, the fun really began!

(And by fun we all know I mean chaos!)

Pull up a chair, sit a while, read a few pages.

Keep and open mind and a joyful heart and you too can get pumped into the world of The Milk Maid.


Best Laid Plans

The best-laid plans of mice and men often go awry.

Of course the best-laid plans of a mom and baby are never set in stone TO go awry.

As I mentioned yesterday-- Jef is working, Faith is gone, and it's just me and Ava (and the cat, but he's being snooty today). I was thinking about going to the Flea Market and getting a free ice cream from dad's booth and deal hunting, but I have quams about bf-ing there (think circus-side show). Plus, to put it ever so kindly, Ava's pissy as hell today so forget that idea.

I need to go to Walgreens and grab some teething tabs for her, but I haven't gotten dressed yet. It's only 1:30 ya know (hehe). There was something else I needed from there too, but I can't remember it so that would be a total waste to drive for 15 minutes then get all the way back and THEN remember what it was.

If you havent heard of the Teething Tablets, and you have, or will have, someone who will teethe at some time in their life near you, then listen up! These things are all homeopathic and help "calm" and "soothe" the grouchy baby. In fact, under the directions for usage is a line that reads "May cause drowsiness in children who have been upset or crying". Heather, who is Faith's tutor, gave me a few to try on Ava. They are far from having the "benadryl effect" but it gives a mom a break and makes baby pretty happy too. (Benadryl Effect: Faith + 1 benadryl = asleep in 5 minutes... perfect for long car trips and nites she's up until after 2 am).

The Vamp-torney incedent ispired some nice adult time last nite. I'm sure my strategic bedroom manuvers are not the Oprah's Book Club list, so I'll refrain from details. We slept very well though. And would you believe I dreamed about buying OPKs? Odd!

Speaking of babies... I was reading Michelle's blog today and went to the baby name genie. All the names I got were Young & The Restless related: Lauren, Shiela, Victoria! Yikes!! Of course I don't need another baby name, right? Haha, never know. Maybe Jef can be preggo next... I'm still too tired from this one.

Ava just dozed off, so I'm going to lay her down and try to eat lunch in peace! Later~


Pay Day!

Ok, so just because the loan I'd been working on finally closed today, it's still not quite pay day for me. Ha- But it's close-a-darn nuff!

I had to drive an hour to the attorney's office. I got there as my client was pulling up in her BMW (now I understand the $700+ car payment), and we walked in together. The sellers walked in behind us. The attorney was at the door greeting us- and let me just say- he was HOT!! Let me repeat, H-O-T. Think Brad Pitt as Louie in Interview With a Vampire. Piercing blue eyes, hot bod, sandy blonde hair, killer cheek bones (cold shower anyone?). He was so convincing as a Louis look-a-like that I checked to see if he had fangs. I was fantasizing about him biting me as he announced he would not be doing the closing... his geeky partner would (think Mo Rocca on a bad hair day). Oh well, at least they had chocolate on the table and they gave me a coke. I was content in my day dreams.

We had all the papers signed in less than 30 minutes. Then it took another hour and a half for the lender to fund the loan. That meant that I had to sit there, talking to these people that I barely know, for an hour and a half, as my boobs steadily grew larger and larger and larger. I pumped before I left, but after a few hours (and, quite frankly, dirty-nasty-rude thoughts about Vamp-torney... or attornapyre) my cups were about to runneth over. Luckily I made it home without any leakage.

Well, that's about it for me today. I'm gonna kick back and enjoy a glass of pinot grigio. Jef works tomorrow and Faith is gone, so there's no telling what adventures will find me.


The Learning Curve

You learn a lot being a mom. I'm not telling any of you anything, whether you are a mom or not, I know. Sometimes it's not that you learn, or what you learn, it's all how you learn it.

My lesson this past week was that you never hold a baby above your head. Especially right after they eat. And if they've been gassy and burpy all day. You wanna know WHY you don't do this. You already know, right! Because (say it with me now) you get puked on. In my case, I not only just got puked on, Ava barfed right in my eye and my mouth. I was blinded, and couldn't talk...And was stuck holding a 16 pound baby over my head. I couldn't call for Jef or Faith to come help, so I made a lot of "HUMMMMPPHHH" noises, and Jef dispatched Faith to get something to wipe me off with. Faith runs off, I hear her approach so I hold my hand out to find she has one square of toilet tissue to offer me. I made a lot more guttural grunts, Jef notices the lack of aid Faith is delivering to her incapacitated mother, and he gets a real towel for me.

Now I've re-learned the "don't hold the baby over your head" lesson, and added to that the "9 year olds don't understand proportions" lesson.

Jef thought he would add the "husbands will laugh at you" lesson, until I reminded him that I professionally teach the "You'll get your ass kicked for that" class at the local Fight Dirty School.

Adding to my vast knowledge, I've also learned this week that it takes over an hour to use the CD burner at the local pharmacy. So, I don't have birthday pics of Faith yet. But I have some pics, and in lieu of something more recent I'll share this one of the girlies at Christmas!
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Sure, Faith's hair isn't brushed, there's still a gap in her bangs where she did a DIY trim, and Ava looks like "What thaaa??".... but that's typical for this crew. Haha!!


The Alpaca Files

My horse, King, died last Thursday as I mentioned previously. Being one to believe that nothing happens by chance, his death has opened up a whole realm of possibilites for me to dream about. Like being an Alpaca farmer. I know, you think I've flipped my lid here. No, no.... let me reassure you, I'm just as sane as I ever was (That's not saying a lot some days).

It's like this: There are a limited number of alpacas in the US. No more will be brought into the country from their native South America (Peru, mainly). There fiber is warmer than wool, hypoallergenic, has no lanolin on it which can trap smells and be itchy, and is right up there with cashmere in cost.

Before I go any farther, some of you may not have gotten your Exotic Farm Animal Magazine this month and have no clue what the heck an alpaca even is! Think little llama... a member of the camelid family (yeah, like camel). They are between 32" and 39" at the shoulder (withers) and are gentle, loving animals that rarly spit at humans. Yes, I said spit. Dont get into their squabbles over food and you wont be hit in the face with the putrid stuff.

Long story short here-- I'm looking at buying a few alpacas to raise, breed, and sell. If done correctly, it can be a money maker. It takes a while to build a farm up with good breeding stock, but hey I have nothing but time, right? They're great with children, so Ava and Faith can tag along to the barn and help. I've even heard rumors that 3 adult alpacas will fit into the back of a mini-van. Maybe Jef wont mind too much if I borrow his VW bus for long joy rides with my new friends.

In different news: Faith's birthday party is this afternoon. I'm going to my mom's house in a but to try my hand at cake decorating. Luckily, Faith is less than particular so even if I mess up my attempted Pikachu Pokemon thing on her cake, she knows mommy tried. As soon as I get pics from the party I'll post them here!


Highs and Lows

This has definately been a week of ups and downs.

Let's get the downs out of the way:

  1. My horse that I'd had for almost 15 years died.
  2. My loan that I have been working on for 2 months now has been going back and forth between circling the drain to A-ok, making me CrAzY!!
  3. They dont make Pokemon cakes at my local grocery store anymore.
  4. Jef's car (the WV) is about to crap out.

And now for the good stuff:

  1. Jef is driving my dad's VW cabrio while his is in the shop.
  2. I have almost enough artistic ability to be able to draw a Pikachu on a cake with frosting- I think?!
  3. Because the horse died, I of course have to replace the void left in my life with another animal... like an Alpaca. More on that another day!
  4. Oh yeah- the whole reason for baking a cake and decorating it- and the highlight of my day... FAITH'S BIRTHDAY IS TODAY!

Yes, my big baby is 9 years old. She was the pee-wee of the bunch when she was born, weighing just 5lb 14oz. She lost down to 5lb 7oz before we made it home, had slight jaundice, and scared the hell out of me with a heart murmur (that later healed itself). She's done nothing but grow, eat, and make silly jokes ever since. She's got a knack for saying the silliest things at all the right times.

Let me share some of my favorite "Faith-isms" with you:

After watching an episode of Who's Line Is It Anyway, Faith sang a line from the "Hoe-Down" for weeks: "That's what you get for marrying your sister's brother's cousin!!"

When going to a random relatives visitation at the funeral home, she said "I'm sure gonna miss Uncle Daddy Beauregard". She was 4, by the way. And the person wasnt her uncle, her daddy, or a Beauregard.

She called Jef "bird-man" for a year when we first got married. We still dont know why!

After using the restroom (and doing a #2) in Gatlinburg at the Western Sizzler, she proudly exclaims to Jef (who's half-way across the restaurant), "Hey Jef, I let one go!"

"Mom, you have the greatest eyebrows. Don't pluck them all off like Aunt Sue-- I like them furry".

"Mom, I've got two words for you: You're great with kids!"

And last, but not least... Last nite she was commenting on how she was born on the 9th, and Jef and Ava on the 19th and I was born on the 6th which is an upsidedown nine... "That's so neet that everything has a 9 in it... it's like were all related or something!".

That's my girl... Whenever I wonder where she gets her personality from, I just pop in an old tape of me when I was her age... bless her heart!


Ava's Story

Ok, so most of you think 4 month olds cant type. Or read. Or steal the computer from their mothers!! You are all wrong. Move over Mama... it's time for me to speak up and speak out!
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To begin, this weekend was not my cup of tea. My dah-dah was home, and he totally threw off my karma. Now, I like to get up around 7 or 7:15 in the morning, help mommy take sis to school, come home and snuggle, down some boob-juice, and grab a morning nap (mom's participation is optional here). With dah-dah home mommy wants to catch a few extra Zzzz's without me (dunno why!) and so I get up and me and dah go play a while. When I'm so darned ticked I cant take it any more-- not to mention starving-- we go hunt for moms wake her up. Dah-dah usually goes and gets moms breakfast around this time, and I snuggle and laugh and smile while drinking up all the milk I can (and not spew). The rest of the day is nothing but mommy and dah-dah watching TV (usually Family Guy reruns... that Stewie has it going on I say!) interlaced with them trying to get me to sleep. Haha- joke is on them. My schedule is off, so anything goes.

For instance, this weekend I didn't sleep for more than 10 minutes at a time all day on Sunday. Mommy's hair is just long enough for a good pony-tail now, and by the time I got through with her she looked like an orphan with her hair all a mess (downright scraggly). She made dah-dah take me for a while (he likes to fly me around like an airplane) and we chilled for a few minutes. Then I went back into my relentless screaming fit (it totally cracks them up, I swear!). Mommy loves it so much she promised she'd send me to "Aunt Tracey's house" if I didn't stop. My mommy is SO funny- she should really pursue a career in comedy.

Well, after a day of all my silly-willy ways, I decided to relax a bit when my Pop brought my Sissy Faith home (she had spent the night all weekend! I wonder what that means?!). My Pop no sooner got in the door and I was laughing and carrying on like he was the stuff. He eats that up, let me tell you! For good measure, I laughed out at Sissy too. She is bigger than me, and I might need something from her one day, so I will stay in good graces for as long as possible.

After a very fun half hour with Pops, he decided to go back to see my Nina, even though he said "she's only got leftovers for supper" tonite. I dont know what leftovers are, but they dont sound tasty. Maybe Pop should try some milk!-- I'll have to recommed that to him (Dah thinks it's tasty- I caught him sampling my goods one nite! He thinks he's sneaky!).

After all the excitement I was feeling a little tired. I decided to snuggle moms really good, eat some boober, and maybe doze a while. Mommy came up with a fun game called "flip". She props me against her knees, grabs me by the waist and flips me over into a summer-sault! This is just hilarious- I mean, how DOES mom's come up with this stuff?! Dah is creative- he flies me around like a rocket... but this flip game- WOW!

As Mommy and I were playing, my Sissy says to moms, "Mom, I have two words for you... You're great with kids!". Now, I'm not the expert, but isn't that four words? Haha- That sissy. What a goob!!

After flip, I was totally pooped. I got one last snack for the nite, cuddled againt mommy, and dozed off to sleep. I dont remember mommy putting me in my bed, but I slept SO good until about 5:30am. Then, knowing my routine wasnt too far away, I went back to sleep with moms and dah-dah in their bed after a little early morning breakfast, and slept peacefully until it was time to take Sissy to school.

It's way past my bedtime now... I want moms to be at her best tomorrow! Ta-ta fow now... but please know-- you haven't seen the last of me!

Ava Helene


Ava's 4 month checkup

Miss Ava had her doctor appointment on Thursday- the day schools were closed due to icy weather. It wasn't too bad a drive into town-- my dad actually went with me. He didn't tell me he was going until I dropped Faith off at mom's (Ava's doctor's office doesn't allow siblings) and dad pretty much informed me he was going... "Not because I'm worried about you driving in this weather, I just want to get out". I dropped him off at the Pharmacy/Breakfast Counter/Old Man Hang-Out and took Ava in to the Wee-Care (for babies 4 months and under- very nice!).

Little Miss Thang now weighs in at 15lbs 8oz (95%), 26 inches long (75%), 16 inch head circumference (25%). The doctor was very impressed with her growth and size ("for a breastfed baby"... barf! My baby doesnt need excess calories to be a heafty-healthy girl. I digress--). She asked me if I had her on vitamins, I said no- she wouldnt take them (they smell like doodie). She asked if I had started supplementing with formula, I said NO, why would I. She asked how Ava took a bottle, I said she wont. She asked how I was going to get her to take a bottle for when I went back to work. I said, "Let's get something strait. I work from home. There is no where I need to go, or nothing I need to do in my life that I cant take her with me if I dont want to."

She smiled, and hushed. I was glad-- it just wasnt a convenient day for me to have to hide any bodies. Where do these folks get their medical degree? Wal-Mart?!

She went on- very cautiously- to say that when I was ready to start adding solids to Ava's diet that between now and 6 months was the usual time for that. I told her I would soon. I really dont want to start her on real foods just yet. We did give her applesauce yesterday, and she's had rice cereal in the past, but she's just not too hot on it. I swear, I'd get less on her if I was using a firehose to feed her. She still has the tounge reflex that pushes it out of her mouth. I'm perfectly fine letting her be a boobie-baby for just as long as she can. That means she's still a "baby". That she still needs mommy. That she isnt becoming a big girl too fast (although I know she is!).

I didnt sleep well last night thinking about all that-- I was up past 1:30. I just couldnt get that off my mind, along with other stuff. Once I did doze off, I had weird dreams about my weener dog eating the chili off hotdogs at a picnic, and baby kittens the size of mice that were dying. These were actually somewhat normal dreams-- the night before I had dreams about Lion/Tigers (Ligers) that we had to keep in a dog lot so they wouldnt eat our goats.

Well, it's super bowl day for some. I'm not a footballer, so I'm watching the Ghost Hunters/TAPS marathon on SciFi (I admit, I'm a paranormal junkie). Whatever you are watching- I hope you all enjoy!!