Wednesday, March 31, 2010

This Is Not the Post I Intended to Write

Given Halle's sheer delight in balloons and her tolerance of the movie Cars (Pixar), Brad and I decided to watch this year's Best Animated Film Up. It seemed like a winning choice. The one with all the balloons? Yeah, Up was a shoo-in.

Ahem. The short story is this: Up is a moving, fantastic movie that may have scarred my baby for all time.

If I can relate it to my own experience for a minute, we got as far into Up as I did with The Ring. A horror movie. A horror movie so... horrifying after 15 minutes that I not only slept with the lights on, I moved my television and my upstairs home phone to the bottom of the stairs of my parents house. I made our elderly family dog, Cory (aww, good ole Cory!) sleep ON the bed with me. And I played The Jackson 5 softly on repeat, just to keep things lively.

Halle is sleeping in the other room right now, I hope. She became hysterical after Brad and I enthusiastically pointed out the BALLOONS! Look, they're making him FLY! At first, she got a little tense. Then she whined. Then she looked back at us with a look that can only mean AND YOU'RE OKAY WITH THIS?!

We paused it. I tried to console her and figure out what exactly struck her with fear. Was it too many balloons? She hesitated.... Is it scary because the balloons made his house fly away? "YEAH...." The idea that something she loves so, so dearly had caused something (she interpreted as) horribly wrong was a deep thought for us to observe in her. Those colorful balloons have been nothing but helium friends, lining the grocery store and brightening her day like carats at Tiffany to a trophy wife.
 Will balloons join the ranks of suburban passive-aggressive presences with the dust-buster, blender, and can-opener? Probably for a little while. But let me tell you! We've seen a lot of Elmo balloons in our day and a glance at Google Images for "elmo balloons" will confirm: balloons can be freakin' scary.
 Is that Elmo or is that an angry tornado of vienna sausages?
Toddlers are so innocent... 'cause all I see in this picture is:
Om nom nom!

Friday, March 26, 2010

And the winner is...

Rather than pay for a service like, I chose to use the good ole' paper-slips-in-a-hat method. See how many potential winners are in Brad's hat? Yay-uh. My blog is like, so popular. Impressed?

Congratulations, Fisher! You are the proud owner of a $50 shopping spree to! Thanks to everyone who entered - hopefully there will be plenty more giveaways in the future.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Win a $50 Shopping Spree!

It's funny how quickly Halle grows out of her toys. How does time speed up the second one becomes a parent? Geez, Father Time, you just take, take, take.

It's only a matter of time until we turn in the crib and invest in a toddler bed. What a bittersweet day it will be when we trade in her crib bumpers and baby quilts for kids bedding with pillows and top sheets. Before that, perhaps, we'll have had to trade out the changing table for her potty and a tiny stepping stool in the bathroom. Her room could transform by this time next year! It feels like alchemy, folks. There's just something so wrong about growing up.

Yet so right. Halle's personality is blossoming like the popcorn trees outside and she's quickly becoming a truly unique person. A funny person. A cheerful person. An agreeable person. She's growing too fast for my own shutter speed, but that's life for you. In celebration of Springtime and the chirpy baby birds outside and the cruel magic of it all, I'm hosting a giveaway!

The winner will receive a $50 shopping spree to Toys and Games 
To enter, fill in the form below. Visit their site before you do, and find a toy or two that makes you wish you were a kid again (no purchase necessary, just mention it in the entry form). You must fill in the form below and your information will not be shared.  
For an extra entry, leave a comment on this post. Your comment or comments count as ONE extra entry.
For another entry yet, write a blog post about this giveaway with a link to this post. (Make sure to email me  or comment with the address of your blog and the post respectively.)

Time is a-ticking! You have until 12:01AM EST Friday March 26th to enter for your chance to score, so hurry hurry! The winner will be announced at naptime o'clock on Friday.

**Note: Open to US & Canadian residents only.**

Monday, March 22, 2010

Babies: The Movie Trailer

Can't wait to see it!

Saturday, March 20, 2010

We Be Jammin'

That cheap plastic xylophone was a good investment! Halle was doomed to be a creative type - DOOMED I TELL YOU! What with Brad's musical chops (here I go again!) and my writing inclination, how could she help it? She thoroughly enjoys music, especially rap and hip hop (imagine that!), dancing and ballerinas; drawing, whether with crayons, markers, chalk, or aqua pens; we're in constant awe and can't wait to see how her creativity manifests itself next.

There was one day this last week when Halle was jamming out on her xylophone, singing Twinkle Twinkle and her ABCs. By the time I got the camera out, she was ready to move on... but I tried! You will never, ever, see me become a stage mom (like this crazy b*****) and I avoid pressuring her to perform, but this was just so darn cute... The second part of the video is Halle at Gabby's house, drawing on a miniature magnadoodle. She threw herself into her art and dude, it was intense. All of her muscles were tense, her jaw clenched, and she shook as she dotted and scribbled. The lighting does her no justice, but take a close look at her and you'll understand why I'm torn about allowing her to use paint. 

Wednesday, March 17, 2010


It all started with the word "flip-flop". Who knew? Her first encounter with a flip-flop, dug from underneath my bed, she belly-laughed for a half hour. It's a funny word, I agree! Instead of "night night!" she says "flip flop!".

She's rather like me in the sense that she digs certain words. It's only a matter of time before she learns the phonetically disgusting ones - the words that make you die a little every time you hear them. Like cutaneous. Or caress. Or moist. Or lugubrious. *shudder*

More recently, she's cackled about the word, "awful", which obligated me to chant the phrase from Salute Your Shorts, a show I grew up on: Awful Waffle! Awful Waffle!

Last night, when I was changing her, I told her, "We've got to put your pants on before you play! You can't just be pantsless!"

Pantsless. It's the greatest word. Right now.

Oh, and since I've got wolves at the door, here is a photo of a refrigerator masterpiece titled "Duppa Dup Dup". Ask her. (I have my own theories and let me tell you, if I'm right? This girl knows her memes! I don't care if it has to do with Penguin Pirates' waddling onomatopoeia - I'm a very proud Mama indeed. I may have to block my beloved, wicked 4chan soon!)

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Happy 2nd Birthday, Munch!

Tuesday marked the second anniversary of our little girl's survival of herself. Guess what, kiddo? Your energy and enthusiasm and fearlessness haven't proved fatal thus far! With every new day, you bring us new smiles, new wonderment, a renewal in the fundamental goodness of human beings, and a new miracle involving hopping, chair ledges, and gravity that could have gone horribly wrong.

Just a year ago, you weren't capable of walking, much less running. You knew your name, but you didn't know how to spell it, much less say it. You knew how to get attention, but you didn't know how to be convincing, much less argue logic and fairness. You knew that vienna sausage consumption would victoriously lead to fruit, but you didn't know that tuna salad, garbanzo beans, bleu cheese dressing, and corned beef brisket would become their own reward.

See how far you've come, my dear hiccup?
In utero, scheming her great escape.
 A bit prior to turning two, our clever little thing showing off how she charms snakes with those eyes.

I have my own humble theory as to why the "twos" are perhaps so "terrible". The reason? Grandparents. Two year olds are easy to spoil - hearing them laugh and seeing them smile (at the cutest age in life, hands down) are the most rewarding experiences... and if a half-dozen new toys afford many other such opportunities, then for heaven's sake, show me the way to Toys R Us.
Because T-Rexes get mad dirty, yo.

 Enjoying a birthday cupcake with Gabby, Puppy, and Elmo (before she ate him!)
 Pure Munch right here: an opportunist for sillyness and laughter. Wonder who she gets that from?

The lovely people at Brixx Pizza placed a couple of candles on a slice of chocolate cake. Mia & Gaddy and Brad and I sang before she blew out her candles... all by herself!

Happy Birthday, Baby!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Tardy Slip

Why am I posting so infrequently? Halle's SECOND BIRTHDAY was Tuesday, March 9th, but we've been celebrating all week. After this weekend, when Halle has Birthday-Fun-Time with Gabby & Puppy, I'll post videos and photos of the whole affair. It's been a blast so far!

We're having our first official play date with a friend tonight! Halle's jaw dropped when I told her she'd get to play with a little boy at our house and show off her toys. Total disbelief. I can't wait to see how that goes! He's a bit younger, but Halle is extremely giving and patient for an only child - and a toddler at that. I wonder how this will transition in her own house with her own toys...

This morning, Halle went to the Doctor's office for her 2 year check-up. As soon as they put us in a room, she wanted OUT. Bad things happen there! Needles! Poking! Prodding! Nakedness! The horror! Before getting her only shot, for H1N1, there were stickers and books about the moon to distract her, but she studied the doctor's every move from the corner of the eye.

She's 23.4 lbs (5th percentile) and is 34 inches tall (50th percentile). Our very silly & fun pediatrician told us, "the problem is, she's too tall." Years ago, my sister Robin told my Uncle Jeff, "you've grown too tall for your hair!"

Aha! So that's why Halle's hair is so short!

In her favor, though, a delicate, full-circle CURL debuted in the back of her hair today. She's becoming exactly the little girl I pictured when I was pregnant with her. Exactly. Maybe I've got a sixth sense after all? She was doomed for curls. Not just because of Brad, but also because of her Aunt Robin, whose toddler hair was an adorably floppy mop that resembled a mire of curly ribbons on a present. The answer to the question, Can Halle get any cuter? is yes. Just picture her with Robin hair.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Holi, Festival of Colors

Alternate title: "How I'd Rather Have Spent Last Monday"

Every year I tell myself, "you are GOING to get a flu shot next year!" and then I put it off until guess what? I get the flu. Well, I got the flu. For the second time this year. Halle got her flu shot months ago and luckily got away with just a cold.

But you know what? It's been a rough couple of weeks for a lot of us, I think. Brad's grandmother suffered an injury last week and is in need of your prayers. What with the earthquakes in Haiti, Argentina and Chile, talk of tsunamis, the global economy unraveling like a sweater in a Weezer song... we're all in need of a little peace and sunshine.

Allow me to hippie out here in this post. Sometimes I just can't help it.*

From Last Monday (March 1st), people in India and other countries with large Hindu populations celebrated Holi, the Festival of Colors. A welcoming of Spring, Holi is celebrated as the triumph of good over evil. Hindu devotees and others enthusiastically drop their inhibitions, and chase each other in temples and through the streets, playfully splashing colorful paint, powder and water on each other. People also attend bonfires to commemorate the story of Prahlada, a Hindu figure and devout follower of Lord Vishnu who prevailed over his father and the demoness Holika with the power of his devotion.

And I thought Woodstock looked like fun!

A fantastic slideshow from a previous Holi.

A short bit from BBC News about how Holi brings families and communities together.