Saturday, October 30, 2010

Gag Reel

I got alot of funny pictures with "what the what?!" faces. So, in no particular order, here they are:

Hey Big Sister, have we ever told you about how that baby's getting out of there??

Oh, you didn't know that? Huh....hindsight really is 20-20, isn't it?

Let's see how Monster's taking the news of not being the baby anymore...

Oh, not good. Not good at all....

Mom may be adding a little more whiskey to her punch everytime someone tells her she's going to be a grandma....but we won't tell.

Those bottles are designed to eliminate air bubbles so the baby won't get gas, but I think Big Sister's a bit put off by the idea that Baby, who is a girl, would even get gas....because girls don't fart, you know.

Uh, oh. Someone just told her about the warzone that is baby's diapers.

I guess she wasn't aware that poo up the back or diaper blow outs weren't an urban myth.

I suppose Daddy will be handling those.....

Conversation got off topic and we started talking about books, specifically Justin Bieber's new autobiography.

This is Big Sister's reaction to Justin Bieber's autobiography being a best seller, especially among middle-aged women:

I know... I, too, was scared for humanity when I heard that.

And that's a wrap for the Mommy Shower Chronicles.

Now what ever will I blog about?!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

They came bearing gifts

Holy cow you get alot of stuff when you're pregnant!

Let me tell you, Baby has a cuter wardrobe than me, and that's hard to come by!

Here's a look at all the loot:

A cute crab hooded towel and crab-themed washclothes...for when Baby's feeling crabby.

A super-soft and plush purple blanky. If Baby is anything like her mama, that thing will accompany her EVERYWHERE until it's nothing more than bits and scraps.

This was one of the cutest little outfits Baby got, a cute denim overall dress...I'm seeing this paired with white knit tights and a sweet little henley onesy.

Big Sister's work friend and her daughter put together a laundry basket filled with stuff for baby. My guess? The laundry basket will see the most work :)

This cute red gingham number was one of the gifts in the laundry basket and is another top cute outfit that Baby has. See those brown mary janes on the arm of the chair? So cute!

And a swim suit for next summer.... how do we feel about babies in bikinis? Judging by that smile, I'm thinking it's a winner!

Little Sister was quite taken by this singing dog toy for Baby. Here she is confused by the question "where is your nose?" Little Sister might need some help....

A pretty purply-pink dress that I have an idea will be Baby's outfit of choice for Christmas this year....

Anyone want to take a guess at what this awkwardly shaped gift is?

It was a really cool carseat that is suited for up to 40 lbs and swivels so it can be rear-facing when Baby is young, side facing when Mommy's in the car next to her, or front facing when she's a walking talking toddler. Pretty neat.

This was my gift, it's a monster hooded towel that makes me laugh everytime I see it. I imagine it will only make me laugh harder when there's a baby in it...

Baby wanted to try on this ballerina-inspired number from Monster. I think this will be another favorite. It's a tu-tu dress with a cute white cardigan....soo pretty, I wish they made it in my size.

Baby is so set for life, she's even got next year's Halloween costume all ready to go. Speaking of which, Happy Hallow's Eve, readers!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

You know what you should do...

I think it's a given that when you're a new parent, you walk a fine line between wanting to ask for help as you forge along the path of parenthood and regretting what you wish for in the advice department.

So, to eliminate Big Sister's need to ask any of us experts for tips we had all the guests take an opportunity to write down their best pieces of parenting advice.

We're hoping that Big Sister will keep them handy or preserve them in an album to pull out when she needs a boost of encouragement or a reminder that she has such a huge supporting cast behind her.

Here's a few of the parenting advice highlights....

From Aunt CoCo: "When they hit middle school, always have long talks when they cant see your face- when driving, walking at night, or after the lights are out....they won't know how shocked you are!"

From Grandpa (Baby's Great Grandpa): "Love that baby and spoil it. Give it everything it wants, or that's what grandfathers and great grandfathers do."

From Grandma Maddie: "Ask for help when you are feeling frazzled."

From Hailey: "Go with the flow. You can't predict what is going to happen and every child is different. Books can freak you out."

From Auntie Em: "Remember to let her surround herself with people from different cultures and backgrounds so she can have a better understanding of individuality. It will help her to find herself and where she fits in."

From my mother-in-law Mary Lou: "Always kiss them goodnight."

And this is where the tears start... not from Big Sister but from moi.

For some odd reason, that bit of advice struck me, it was totally unlike the normal advice that you hear for new moms.

It was simple.

It seemed like a no-brainer, but to me, it was such a beautiful thought, that a mom wouldn't allow their baby, no matter how old, to go to sleep without a kiss goodnight, a reminder that they are loved before they drift off to sleep.

And I lost it.

I quietly left the room to wipe away my tears, before anyone else saw me, but when I returned to my seat, Big Sister looked up and said "are you crying?!"
"No," I lied, but she could see right through me, she began to pout, her face screwed up and just like that, she started to cry too.

When I stood up to get her tissues, Mom was also crying.

It's no secret my parents broke the parenting mold, and it's evident in the way they treated us kids, the constant reminders of how proud of us they are and making sure we feel loved. Now that we're older, it's evident in the advice they pass down to their children who are preparing for children of their own.

A few pearls of my mother's wisdom, that never fail to make me cry:

- "Read aloud to them - they love to cuddle, even in their older years." (You'll remember this is true from this post about my dad)

- "Take pictures of the naughty things they do- someday it will be funny!"

- "Hug & kiss them often, even in high school."

- "In middle school, remember that you might be the only one that talks nice to them that day."

And finally, what really makes my parents good ones is this: "Love their father! And the daddy needs to love you a lot. It's the best gift to give your children."

It was Mom and Dad. It was...

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

The Games We Play...

You know how you go to some baby showers and it's all "eat this poo-like substance out of a diaper, because it's fun (!?) and not at all degrading or gross," or "let's measure the big, fat pregnant lady who already feels like a whale, but let's show her in string just how huge she's gotten! Because that's fun for everyone!"

Yeah, well, you'll find none of that here...

Instead, we played games like Are You My Mother? in which our guests had a celebrity mommy's photo attached to their back and, somewhere at the party, was another guest with their celebrity baby and they had to find each other by asking yes or no questions.
I have no photos of this game, but it was fun for pop culture fans and fuddy-duddys alike, trust.

One of the favorite games of the day was the baby photo match-up game. When I sent out invitations I asked everyone to bring a baby or childhood photo so other guests could guess and match the baby picture to the adult. The most fun was seeing all the cute baby pictures and trying to guess who was who.

Most of the guests had trouble matching us Apple girls to our baby pictures. Of course, we all look similar, but people were mistaking me for Little Sister and Monster for Big was fun to see us through their eyes.

Here is Monster in the throes of a killer staring contest with picture number 13. Don't tell her, but I think 13 has the edge in this one....

Next up, and honestly one that I was kind of excited about because I was sure people would be stumped, was a baby food tasting game. I purposely chose the typical and a few not-so-typical flavors of baby food including peas, carrots, sweet potatoes, chicken and apples, green beans and macaroni and cheese thinking that, number one, they'd be gross and number two, mommy or not, the guests would never be able to guess them.

Especially judging by their faces, I was certain I had them:

Some people opted to forgo the tasting of pureed veggies, fruits and chicken (?!) and opted instead to sniff out the specimens:

L doesn't look too sure about the Apples and Chicken entree.... Can't say I blame her, judging by Monster's reaction:

Little Sister wanted to share hers with me, I kindly declined

I was way off... everyone got 100%, except one person who mixed up the green beans and peas. So she won the gift for that game.

Is it more sad that I was TOTALLY bummed that I hadn't stumped everyone, or that I'm pretty sure if I had been playing, I probably couldn't have guessed what foods I was eating??

Remember the game Memory as a kid?? You laid out tiles with pictures like farm animals or something and had to match the sheep with the sheep, the pig with the pig by flipping over only two tiles a turn and remembering where your opponents had revealed tiles??

We made a baby memory game with pictures of a baby smiling (first smile), a naked baby bum (for diaper rash), a rattle and other baby-centric occasions or items.

Please note this was the ONLY baby-centric game of the party.... and I only allowed it because we gave gifts that were adult versions of the baby things.

Confused? Take a look:

Lisa matched baby's first smile. Her gift? Chapstick!

Hailey matched sippy cup, so she won "mommy's sippy cup" aka two mini bottles of wine!

George Ann found the rattles, so she got the grown up version- bangle bracelets.

This is Monster, kinda bummed about matching carseat and winning a car air freshener when she doesn't have a car...

And the irony is not lost on Little Sister, who, for matching mobile, won eye shadow when she gets make-up samples galore for working in the Macy's beauty/fragrance department...

And for matching diaper rash, Ellen is shocked at her big girl gift:

Thong underwear!

I think people were impressed by the entertaining games and were pretty delighted by the fact that nearly everyone went home with a fun gift just for them.

**Up Tomorrow: Unsolicited Mommy advice. Were there tears? You'll be shocked by the answer...*

Monday, October 25, 2010

Baby Mommy Shower

On Sunday, the younger sisters, mom and I threw a shower for this crazy couple:

O.K to be fair, the shower was mainly for that minx on the right and that pumpkin she's smuggling under her dress.
For those who don't grasp sarcasm, that's not a pumpkin, but my niece who's due next month.

As the most opinionated of the hostesses, I was adamant that this shower be adult and not crawling with babies or children.

Politically incorrect? Maybe, but I desparately wanted a fun party that everyone would enjoy; young, old, married, single, mommy, not... you get the drift.

From the decor, to the food, to the games we played, the party was meant to say "Welcome Fall...and a new baby" and not scream "BABY!!"

Mission Accomplished if I do say so myself:

Here's a close up of the piece de resistance, the diaper cake:

Those poufy things are tissue paper ruffly globes that mom and monster little sister made, we thought they added the perfect amount of whimsy and pop to our adult party.

Here's also where I give a big shout out to my fabulous husband for hanging them just so, even when that meant rehanging, retying and getting yelled at by a stressed out wife. (Who, me?!)

This is a little station for the fellow moms in attendance to write down their best piece(s) of parenting advice. Because what does every new mom need? Unsolicited advice!

In attendance were good friends who are practically sisters, like L, shown here with the monster

Aunts and work friends who attended with their grown up daughters:

This is BIL's aunt George Ann (center) with Big Sister's work friend Ellen (right) and Ellen's daughter Megan (left).

Big Sister was a regular tourguide showing off the nursery and all the cute things she has ready for Baby (Post on the nursery later maybe?).

These are two of Big Sister's neighbors, I have an idea they'll be a big help when Baby (I know the name, but I'm sworn to secrecy by penalty of we'll just call it baby) comes:

When she wasn't up running tours through the nursery, Big Sister just sat in her chair and glowed.

Pregnancy looks good on her, wouldn't you say?

***This starts a weeklong series of the Mommy Shower Chronicles. Up tomorrow: The games we played***

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Love, Loss and What I Wore

Has anyone else fallen in love with this book turned off-broadway show concept?

If you haven't heard of it, it's exactly what it sounds like. People sharing memories of love, triumphs, grief and how those memories are permanently linked to the clothes they were wearing during those moments.

Husband has often found my ability to recall at the same time a moment in my life and what I was wearing absolutely fascinating, mostly because he cannot do the same.

I find it impossible to separate the clothes from the memory because I think that's the fundamental point of our wardrobes, it's the art that we live our lives in.

Much like you'll never forget your wedding dress or the sweater that comforted you during a breakup or failure, or, heaven forbid, the dress you wore when you heard that a loved one had died, I find the same to be true of the events in my life no matter how great or seemingly small.

I remember the sundress I wore to school on Sept. 11, 2001 and, after watching the second tower collapse and, feeling more vulnerable than I could ever remember, wishing I could cover up.

Hanging in my closet still is the cranberry red sweater I wore for my senior portraits finally feeling comfortable and beautiful in my skin and for the first time ever, eager to have my picture taken. I have only had a few of those moments since, but never as wholly as I did having my senior portraits done.

I'll never forget choosing the simple khaki capris and black boatneck T-shirt I chose to wear on the first day of school just days after getting married. I remember walking on campus as a 20-year-old feeling more grown-up than my peers and that suddenly my life had taken on a whole new meaning (yes, I'm aware just how very 1950s that sounds!).

I can still recall every outfit I've ever worn to a job or internship interview, mostly because they were selected very carefully to portray a certain image. One of responsibility, maturity and hopefully, professionalism.

I know exactly how heavy and suffocating my favorite hooded sweatshirt felt when a favorite dance teacher told me that the dance company I had aspired to be a part of for the 4 years of my college career would never happen, simply because she didn't think I was right for it, or when my doctor prescribed me antidepressants a few months later.

Some of these outfits I got rid of long ago, not because they didn't fit or were no longer my taste, but because I was reminded of the memory everytime I looked at it. On the other hand, many of these outfits I still have in my closet regardless of whether or not they fit, for precisely the same reason.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Apple Hill Day Pt. 2

At one of the Apple Hill orchards, I believe it was Larsen’s, we toured their farming museum. The museum itself was in an old barn and had memorabilia dating back to the 1800s.
Out front was this cool wheely thing

Inside there were little scenes set up so we “modern day” folk could see how rough life was as a farmer, but you know my family, we find any opportunity to turn a perfectly good museum into a laugh factory….

For example, I pointed to this and, not using my inside voice, said “I just love this knob!”

Mom, realizing the name of the game and stepping up to the challenge, grabbed my arm and thrust me towards this and said, “I dunno about that, I just really love my sausage stuffer.”

Peals of laughter ensued. Husband rolled his eyes and said “Inappropriate.”

By the way, that photo yesterday of the boys by the Coke cart? Yeah, well that took 3attempts to get a good shot because of this monster of a little sister:

Charming isn’t she?

Out behind the museum was a graveyard of old farming machines like this old truck:

And this train-looking thing:

At one point or another we all wistfully said out loud, “If grandpa were here he could tell us what all these things did.” Mom also thought that grandpa on-the-farm could have a graveyard of his own.

This is Dad telling Husband that he doesn’t think StarWars was all that good of a series, but that Ghost Rider was robbed of an Academy Award:

With 2 photographers in the family and one poseur (that would be me) you get used to seeing this all the time:

Even strangers like this guy who happened to be wearing the same sweater as yours truly. Yeah it’s J.Crew men’s what’s it to you?

When you see a sweater twin, you have to take a picture amIright?

Also when you see a toddler with a mustache face painting you must get a picture

Anyways, we ate our body weight in apples, apple donuts, apple fritters and fudge, but did I get any pictures of that? No, no I did not because I was too busy eating.

What I did get a picture of, for posterity you know, is that monster of a little sister eating a pot pie. We went to what many people call the “gem” of Placerville as it’s a tucked away cafĂ© that serves only pot pies or salad, but who gets a salad from the “gem” of Placerville? No one, that’s who.

Anyways, normally this is how the monster feels about pot pies

She don’t like ‘em…she’s crazy.

But this particular pot pie? Got her stamp of approval

Why you ask? Because she said it tasted like Pizza…Ohkay….