Thursday, December 18, 2008

No guns, no roses

Driving home from Target today, I was in bumper-to-bumper traffic due to a tractor trailer crash on a main road. The normally 10 minute drive took 45, and to keep my sleepy toddler awake until we got home, I was playing the radio and dancing along, which she loves. She danced to Britney Spears, Nickelback, Katy Perry, Kanye West (which was funny to watch), and so on. Then, "Welcome to the Jungle" by Guns N' Roses came on. I was dancing in the front seat and lip syncing along (I was born in the '80's, after all) and about mid-way through the song, I glanced back at Addison to see if she was still dancing. Much to my surprise, she had both of her index fingers in her ears and was glaring at me.

Needless to say, I abruptly changed stations. I guess even old Axl Rose isn't for everyone.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

The Misrepresentation of Popeye

My daughter has turned into a cartoon.

For the last several weeks, every time Addison is mad, annoyed, tired, confused, hungry, thirsty, bored, or breathing, she makes this face. The first time I saw it, I said "she looks like Popeye, how cute." Now, the comparison has become a verb, as in "Addison, stop Popeye-facing me!"

In this photo, she is upset because I finally got a cabinet lock for the "dry goods" cabinet; I had tired of finding packets of oatmeal in my dresser drawers and boxes of pasta in my closet. You can see, however, that this does not create a shortage of toys for my little princess... there are 3 visible in this photo, which represents only about 4-5 square feet of space (I'm not counting the white item as a toy-- that is her potty, which she had relocated from the bathroom to the kitchen for a reason she refused to disclose.)

Cute as it was a few weeks ago, Popeye-face now makes me instantly fantasize about jumping through the nearest window and/or stabbing myself in the eye with a fork. I am hoping that it suffers a hasty demise, going the way of potato-face (her former "I'm going to cry" expression) and "the flying v" (her pre-walking habit of holding her feet up by her ears while in the stroller. In public.)

Monday, November 24, 2008

My no good, very bad day

My day has given every indication to me that it is going to be a terrible one, and yet I have ignored every sign thrown my way to just crawl back into bed and start again tomorrow. A costly error.

My day started in a panic, as Dan informed me that he had gone back to sleep after the alarm went off and we were now about 30 minutes behind schedule to get Addison to a doctor's appointment. Score one for me-- I showered last night, anticipating little getting-ready time, although I obviously hadn't realized HOW little. We pulled together and were walking out the door a mere minute later than we had planned-- as we're leaving, the fire alarm for our building starts to go off.

Side note-- our fire alarm frequently cries wolf. Not sure why it does this, but it's scary to have a fire alarm that no one takes seriously. About a week and a half ago, while I was in PA, my husband had to go outside and sit on the curb at 1:30 in the morning because it was going off. It is the kind of fire alarm that makes your ear drums want to burst, and no matter what room you're in, it is still the loudest, most painful shrieking sound you've ever heard. I'd rather have an actual fire truck parked in our living room with its siren blaring.

Anyway, we exchanged annoyed quips with our neighbor down the hall (taking his obviously noise-sensitive dog outside to escape-- no word on the infant also sharing that apartment) and drove Addison to her appointment. This, fortunately, went as usual-- she screamed her way through a lot of the measurements and the shots, but was relatively pleasant for the rest.

After the appointment, Addison napped for about an hour and a half while Dan and I hung out and ate lunch. Dan had to leave at about 12:30 to go to school, leaving me at home with a grumpy toddler (and a grumpy self.) He took the car that currently has the car seat, after I assured him several times that I would not be going anywhere.

Around 2:00, the fire alarm went off AGAIN. Addison starts wigging out and I have no choice but to start bundling her up to take her outside. At this point, a plan starts to form in my head-- I'll walk to the city to get the car! That way, if the alarm is still on when I return, we can just drive to a store and walk around! Excellent thinking! It's cold, but not too cold, and not windy-- it'll be fantastic! I strapped Addison into her buggy without a single thought to the prior events of the day, or how everything was almost guaranteed to go wrong.

About 15 minutes into our walk, Addison dropped her blankie. I didn't notice until we had walked about 100 feet away from it-- I had to go back and pick it up. Blankie is now dirty, but we keep on going, crisis averted, still with no thought in my mind that this might be a good time to turn back and give up on this idea.

About 35 minutes after we left the house, we arrive at the parking garage. I confidently take the elevator to the 4th floor, knowing Dan is a creature of habit and that he will be parked in the same spot he always parks in.


The car was not on the 4th level, so I got back in the elevator and went down to the 3rd. Still no. So I walked all the way down to the bottom and then made my way back up, level by level, pressing the panic button on my keys.

The car was on the 5th floor. Which I should have known-- creature-of-habit Dan would have driven to the 4th floor and, failing to find a spot, would have driven up to the next level. Creature-of-habit Dan would never have taken a closer spot.

I strapped Addison into the car seat, tossed the buggy in the back seat, and sat down in the drivers seat. At this moment, what should have been a sigh of relief was replaced with a feeling of dread as I realized a crucial piece of information that had escaped me all this time-- Dan no longer kept his parking pass in the car. It was on his lanyard with his badge for his school, because he kept leaving it in the wrong car when he'd switch vehicles.

I burst into tears. I called Dan's phone repeatedly, hoping the vibration in his bookbag would be audible enough for him to sneak out of class and answer. Fortunately, on the third call, he answered. He listened to my whole story and, probably because he realized I was already in tears, he was very kind and without a hint of annoyance in his voice informed me to stay in the car and he'd bring me the parking pass.

About 10 minutes later he arrived. I drove him back to the school, telling my story AGAIN, and promised to drop everything and pick him up whenever he called to tell me he was ready.

Fortunately when we arrived home, the fire alarm was off. I think I may have blown up the building if that alarm was still blaring.

Adding salt to the wound, however-- with Addison in my arms, I stopped to get the mail on my way into the apartment. A mailer full of coupons fell out, and all of the coupons scattered. Being a consciencious person, I picked up all of the junk mail, muttering the entire time and trying not to drop my toddler or my keys.

Things can only get better.... right?

Friday, November 14, 2008

The Joys of Fall

For many people, the thought of "fall" reminds us of times when we were young, running around in our backyard or at the park, red-cheeked, laughing, jumping into piles of leaves.... and then there's Addison.

Addison and I recently came back to Pennsylvania for a 2-week visit, getting our stuff settled in and situated for our impending move to the area while my husband finishes grad school. Excited at the thought of being able to take my daughter outside to play (we currently live in a large city in Massachusetts, which doesn't allow for a lot of outdoor exploration), I got her all suited up on a mild fall day and took her outside. I believe her expression in this first photo betrays her true feelings about the season, the outdoors, and the leaves on the ground.
Another day, we went to the middle school where my father-in-law teaches, and on our way back to the car, Addison was trying desperately to pick up the leaves that had fallen on the walkway and move them back into the grass where, in her mind, they belonged. I finally had to carry her out to the car, fearing that we would never make it there if she was left to her own devices.
After her nap, I took her outside to try again. My dad was home from work for the day, and was more than willing-- even eager-- to jump into piles of leaves with his grandchild. I hope he enjoyed playing in the leaves himself, because Addison was less than thrilled with this turn of events, as demonstrated by the following images:

My diva-princess-girlygirl was very upset, even appalled, by the bits of leaves that were clinging to her coat, pants, and shoes, and painstakingly removed every tiny leaf fragment as quickly as she could. She watched in horror as my Dad buried himself in leaves, covering his hair, face, shirt, and pants. She kept muttering "no! no!" and trying desperately to free herself from the pile without actually having to touch anything.

I'm beginning to get the feeling that, if she doesn't get over this "I don't want to be messy" thing, I'll be seeing a repeat of last winter:

Monday, October 27, 2008


I've been fighting a losing battle with my daughter... you see, at 18 months old, I feel like she should be saying "mommy." Or at least "mom" or "ma" or "mama" or ANYTHING like it. However, she continues to refer to me as "da-yee", which is Addie-speak for "Daddy"-- she uses it for her Dad, but uses it for me too when Daddy's not around.

Adding insult to injury, she periodically says "Tim," referring to a friend of ours who spends a lot of time with Addison. Although I think it's cute (Tim is probably her best non-family friend), it's discouraging for me, who wishes to be addressed by name as well.

A couple days ago, I looked Addison right in the face and said "Mommy, I'm Mooommmmyy" while pointing to myself. "Say Mommy," I pleaded... Addison smiled and burped in my face. Addison 1, Mommy 0.

I tried again today... we were in her room, and she handed me one of her doll babies and said a string of babbles, one of which was distinctly "mom." I smiled and said "Yes! Yes, I'm Mommy!" Addison looked at me sadly, shook her head, and said "Da-yee."

Here's to hoping third time's a charm... maybe another day.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Well-Balanced Toddler

I was checking my email on the computer in the living room... Addison is running around, playing with her toys (i.e. moving toys around from one room to another). After replying to an email I received from my Mom, I looked up to see what Addison was doing-- I knew she was in the room with me, but she was being AWFULLY quiet.

The sight that greeted me made me laugh out loud (as she often does.) Addison was leaning slightly forward, legs spread apart and arms flailing, as she tried desperately to sit on the tiny foot-rest ledge on her high chair. While she did this, she never once took her gaze off of the TV, which was tuned to the PBS show "Martha Speaks."

Another proud moment for this Mommy.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Rest In Peace, my Beloved Frap-Trap

The Starbucks on Shrewsbury Street closes today. Dan and I went last night to get a last coffee-beverage.

I'm in mourning. If the Dunkin Donuts closes, I'm going to set the town on fire.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

My Tiny Picasso

One day last week, Dan and I went to Ninety Nine's restaurant for dinner, at which point Addison is given, and falls in love with, a green crayon (she has no shortage of crayons at home-- not sure what it was about this particular green crayon.) We let her keep the crayon as we left the restaurant, and Dan carried her out to the car. We dropped Dan off at school and, as he kissed her goodbye, he joked "Don't draw on the walls when you get home!"

Addison and I got home and I had to immediately run to the bathroom, having consumed multiple glasses of diet soda. I gave no thought to the crayon, not only because Addison never colors on ANYTHING, but also because Addie usually drops whatever she's holding when she comes in the house, seduced by the toys she has left all over the living room.
I finished using the bathroom and came out, only to discover that for the very first time, my little princess decided to rebel. She had scribbled all over the wall right outside the bathroom I had been using. Being of Miller/Rundle descent, the first thing I did was grab a camera (we like to document occasional disobedience, injury, embarrassments, etc... it's in our blood.) Being Addison, she posed proudly beside her artwork for every shot. I magic-erasered the crayon off the wall and put her to bed... I felt that yelling at her would be a waste of time, as she wouldn't understand what she had done wrong, and would only understand that she did something she felt was really wonderful and I yelled at her for it. (To quote my cousin Amy, who is now 18 but was probably about 5 at the time of the quote, "sometimes princesses color on walls.")
When Dan returned, I broke the news of our princess's little rebellion, and he revealed that she had taken her artwork to another canvas-- his white coat. I immediately treated it with Shout and threw it in the wash, as he had to wear the coat the next day to school. Luckily, it came out with no problem.
In unrelated news, when dressing Addison this morning, I found the most unusual print on her leg-- I'm not sure how she had to have been positioned for this to have happened. (**note-- the color levels of the pictures have been slightly altered to accent the pattern on her leg, but the photo content itself was not altered.) What a special girl!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008


My blog was locked for several days, while Google investigated whether or not it was a spam blog. So I apologize for the lapse in posting, and will be updating more soon.

Addison topped herself again today... instead of going for the head-bang-on-the-bed-frame, she went for the fall-face-first-backwards-off-the-push-car, putting her top and bottom teeth through her bottom lip. It didn't bleed long, she didn't cry long, so I didn't take her to the hospital or anything, but she has one heck of a scabby, bruised, fat lip. And a pink nose.

She also drew on the wall with crayon for the first time the other day. Coming soon: a picture I took of her standing proudly next to her "artwork" before I Magic Eraser-ed it off of the wall.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

The sins of the furniture

Growing up, I came from a family of furniture rearrangers. More specifically referring to my mom, although my dad always got on board (eventually). As a result, I would rearrange my room several times a year, sometimes just because I was bored, and sometimes because I felt things would function better a different way.

Then, I married Dan.

Dan comes from a family that believes "It's fine where it is, don't change a thing." Their house is set up very neatly and functions nicely, so I can see why they would be reluctant to move anything (although the stir-crazy part of my mind would STILL find a reason to rearrange if I were in their shoes, because, as previously mentioned, this is how my brain works when bored). This way of life has engraved itself into Dan's brain, and therefore it is very difficult to get him to go along with me when I want to rearrange, even if he can see the logic in the way I wish to move the furniture.

As soon as I say "I think that chair would look better in the other corner," it begins. Sweat beads burst out all over his forehead. The blood drains from his face and he begins to clench and unclench his fists. I can almost SEE his brain hemorrhaging. At this point, pasty pale, he leaves the room, not to return until the moving is done. He will not stop me, but he would be VERY hard pressed to assist me (and I am equally hard pressed to ask for help, which is why I have broken two entertainment centers). And no matter what, he never says "you know, you're right, I like it this way too" when I'm finished. It's always, "I guess I'll have to get used to it." I take it as a compliment when he can say it without his eyelid twitching.

So today, I committed the biggest sin I could possibly commit against a "It's fine where it is"-minded person-- I rearranged the living room without his prior knowledge, while he is out of the house. Not ALL of the furniture, just a few things.

He has a big test tomorrow. My hope is that his mind will be so involved in studying for the exam, he won't care that I've turned his world upside down in a neat, better-functioning fashion.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

The Nerd Gene

My husband is a nerd. I, myself, am more than a little dorky from time to time. And then, there's Addison.
Dan and I were watching TV as Addison was self-entertaining in her play area just outside of the kitchen. We were chatting with one another when I felt Addison's presence at my right leg, and heard a strange sound: "mmum. mmummmummmuummmm."
I thought "hurray! Addison is finally referring to me as "Mom" instead of addressing me with an annoyed-sounding "ih." I look down adoringly at my daughter, only to discover that she was not addressing me at all. The sound was really just the only sound Addison could make while holding a pinwheel sideways in her mouth.
I'm so proud...

Monday, September 29, 2008

My McDonalds Blind Spot

Here's the growing list of things I wish I could remember about McDonalds before I go there to eat:

1. The fries will be lukewarm and oversalted 94% of the time, leaving me with the distinct feeling of eating cardboard dipped in yummy ketchup.

2. My Big Mac will occasionally have ketchup on it, despite the fact that a large portion of the world population can still recite "two all beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles, onions, on a sesame seed bun" without missing a beat.

3. After gourging myself on any value meal and washing it down with a Diet Coke (oh, the irony...) I will feel bloated, uncomfortable, gassy, and defeated.

4. Two hours after said gourging, I will feel hungry again, but will feel too incredibly guilty for eating the McDonalds food in the first place to possibly consider a snack, no matter how healthy.

5. I cannot complain about anything that is wrong with my food (see #2) because Dan insists it would be a crime against the disabled, as the lady working the front counter is missing several fingers on each hand. So I must simply eat my ketchupy Big Mac and my McFlurry with all of the M&M's not well mixed in, because I would embarrass my husband if I did otherwise.

I'm sure I will be adding to this list as time goes on, because try as I might, I can never bring these things to the forefront of my mind when one of us suggests McDonalds for lunch. They always arrive in a flood after the fact, when I am feeling bloated, greasy, and guilty.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Grocery Grumbles

So I went to the grocery store today to pick up milk, baby cereal, yobaby yogurt, and graduates puffs for Addison... it was raining, so I slung on the hip hammock and plopped her in it so that I could carry her under the umbrella without straining my already strained back.

I walk into the store, carrying Addison and my purse, and grab a basket to carry the groceries. I got everything together and went through the u-scan lane, hoping to get in and out with no problems.

If you know me, you will know that "no problems" is not what happened.

Instead, my coupons will not scan (they were good coupons-- deciding to not use them was not an option). So I'm standing in the u-scan lane with my register light blinking red, waiting for someone to come help me... I ended up standing there, holding my 25-lb. toddler, my purse, and an umbrella for about 5 minutes until someone decides to come over.

If you know me, you will also know that things do not get less irritating.

The lady who came over to help me has the nerve to act like I'M the one making HER life difficult. I'm trying to buy groceries with a legitimate coupon with my legitimate MONEY, and I'M inconveniencing HER?? Newsflash, lady-- YOU WORK HERE.


Moral of the story-- if you're buying groceries with coupons and you're carrying a heavy, squirming, grumpy toddler in a hip hammock slung over your shoulder, do not go through the u-scan-- it will not be faster.

Friday, September 26, 2008

How Did I NOT Know...

...that Jen Lancaster would be featured via Skype on Oprah?

Oh. Right.

I don't watch Oprah.


Maybe I would if there were more Jen?

A New Beginning

So I've decided to scrap my old blog and start fresh... It felt right, as I am no longer "Losing It In Mass." I am "Contentedly Existing in Mass for Now", which isn't as catchy a title. I'll be sticking with "The Church Bulletin" (as my last name is Church... clever, yes?) unless it becomes too confusing for people (I am a Church, I am not blogging for a church...)

Addison is up to her old tricks... she flew about 4 feet across our bedroom today to go head-first into our bed frame. For those of you catching up, this is not the first time she has done this. This is, however, the worst. The sound of her head hitting the metal was so loud, I immediately went into a panic, before she even started screaming. I picked her up immediately, held her close, and walked her out into the living room... when I finally got a look at her face, I realized how terrible it really was. When Dan saw it, he turned white. She had what looked like a huge dent right above her right eye, and it was already purple. There were spots under the skin where she had obviously broken some blood vessels, and it just overall looked really frightening. We almost took her to the hospital, but when she started settling down, Dan was able to do some quick diagnostic-type tests and we decided to just see how things went. Her mood improved and she went mostly back to normal, although you could tell she probably had a massive headache... but she wasn't stumbling, disoriented, spacey, etc., not appearing nauseous or vomiting, pupil response to light was normal, so we decided just to see how she is tomorrow. In other news, she cut one molar, is working on a second molar, and is rarely seen without fingers or toys in her mouth.