in parenting win news...

You wanna talk about a parenting win? Oh I'll give you one.


The above picture is the aftermath of what was one heckuva a ten minutes. Arguably Sam and my finest hours. I apologize that I do not have other pictures to accompany this story but really what am I supposed to do, tell Sam - mid urination on the carpet - to hold please while I get a quick pic?

I'm getting ahead of myself.

Here goes.

Sam and I decided on an impromptu trip to the zoo. We had nothing going on and that makes for a time-ticking backwards day in stay at home motherhood. I couldn't face what was ahead of me and needed a full day game plan fast.

He woke up from his nap, I said "what do you want to do today?" He said "huh huh huh" (because he's super verbal and so full of language - head shake) so I assumed he said "zoo".

I believe with all my heart that Sam thinks "zoo" is actually Dicks (for the non Seattle folk - Dicks is the place where the cool hang out so sayeth Sir Mix A Lot. It's also the place where cheeseburgers are cheap and delicious). We have yet to complete a zoo trip without going to Dicks to he's melded these two concepts into one. I support it and enable it.

We had a lovely day at Dicks/the zoo. Walked our butts off, played our hearts out, saw some questionable monkey behavior and headed home for second nap (yes, Sam Allison does still take two naps. In other news, there is a God and he loves me).

Sam was exhausted.
I was exhausted.

Nap time was going to be amazing for everyone involved.

EXCEPT. Sam elected to reject nap time upon arrival at home. I have no idea why and have yet to determine the cause of the rejection. But, I was busy making dinner / taking my union break so sorry, not sorry Sam. Enjoy some time in your crib alone with your thoughts, prayers, tag blanket and teddy dog.

After 45 minutes of solid rejection time, I had no choice but to spring him from his baby jail and face the acceptance stage in my nap loss grief process. We (I) decided we should at least do a little rest time together on my bed with the help of a water bottle and Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood. We had a lovely 15 minutes of reflection and peace.

Again, I was exhausted. I cannot stress this enough.

Sam had had enough of the quiet reflection bull and decided we should play the "nigh nigh.....WAKE UP" game. Fine fine. I did't have anything else going on except mourning the loss of nap time.

At some point during the "nigh nigh.....WAKE UP" game, I failed to wake up.

Uh huh.

Look. I am pregnant. I don't sleep well at night. We had spent a warm day at the zoo. I was exhausted. Judgy wudgy was a bear and probably a questionable parent too.

What I would like to know is how long Sam waited for me to WAKE UP before realizing the freedom windfall he had just been granted. Tough to tell. I was asleep after all.

So, a few minutes later I wake up to giggle boy running back into my room in true jubilation looking elated, proud, and wanting to share his excitement with BFF Mommy. It was at this moment I realized his adrenaline rush of happiness was from taking his own diaper off for the first time.That wiener was just a flapping in the baby wind, swaying with uncaged pride.

Good visual, huh?

I flew out of bed a la Home Alone and chased his little naked buns down the hallway, past the forgotten diaper, and into his room.

He was laughing so hard he began peeing and really, is there anything more distinctive than the sound of urine hitting carpet? Urine is now firing all over his room and I'm taking in the view of what should have been his room.

During his alone time crime spree, he had opened every drawer in his dresser, removed 90% of the toys from his basket, and all of his remaining clean diapers were strewn about. A baby rave had clearly taken place during Rip Van Mommy's time away.

So. The above picture. That was taken after rediapering him - learning a valuable lesson that cloth diapers with Velcro tabs need pants on them at all times - and after hauling the carpet cleaner up the stairs for de-urinefication. Behind him is evidence of the disaster I found in his room along with the very proud owner of the mayhem.

From now on, I'm going to try really, really hard to not fall asleep during the day shift. It sounds like a simple goal, doesn't it? One would think.

[monday meals mashup]



Oh my god. I have a blog?

News to me apparently.

I'm so stoked looking out my window that the leaves are showing some Fall signs. Light turning signs. Minuscule signs... ok ok, I'm grasping at fall colored leaf straws, but I'll grasp at what I need to. We are so close to being out of the summer heat I can almost taste it.

Actually, I can literally taste it since I have given up on summer cooking and have turned the corner into fall dinners. Oh I'll make it fall, dang it. I need fall. I need leggings. I need sweaters. I need to not wear these maternity shorts ONE MORE DAY. I cannot.

So, it may be 80 degrees outside today (which in Seattle-ese translates to roughly 118), but we are having fall for dinner. All.Week.Long.

Monday: Homemade Mac and Cheese. My favorite. The bestest. The bombest. The easiest. This recipe gets high marks for it's ease, the fact that I can make it in the morning and bake it later, and that it tastes just as good for lunch the next day. Oh and that I usually have everything for it sitting on my shelf. It was my favorite when I was five and my favorite now that I'm 25 (+6). {recipe card below}

Tuesday: 15 minute Herbed Chicken. It literally takes 15 minutes. This is an old Campbell's soup recipe and it's always on my shelf. Well, the one ingredient is always on my shelf as a go-to. The jist: Chicken titties browned on the stove then simmered in cream of chicken with herb soup. Fabulous with rice-a-roni and cranberry sauce. My only cooking recommendation with this one is to pound the boobies a tad thinner than how they come at the store. The really thick DD guys tend to take so long to cook that they dry out. Sometimes I even slice mine along the equator if they are just too Mae West huge.

Wednesday: Baked Potato Soup. Like I said, it's mid-November in my kitchen this week. I'm so excited about Wednesday dinner I'm already in countdown mode. This is a great fall soup and I strongly recommend making it - it's a baked potato in soup form. Fair enough, if I was working, this would be a Sunday soup not a Wednesday after work when I want to die soup. Not because it's overly complex, it just takes more than 15 minutes. {recipe card below}

Thursday: Chicken Yakisoba. Love this recipe from Pinterest. The spice can get away from you in a hurry so watch the sriracha use if you are a baby like me and need things zero-star.

Friday: No Peek Chicken. Nothing says fall like chicken cooking for 2-hours in your oven. Hello heaven.

Saturday: The final member of The Group turns 30 so we are out and about and "celebrating" the fact that we are all officially dying one day at a time. So old. I remember when he was 18.

I hope you have a lovely week cooking for yourself and your family.

Is it Fall yet?




21 weeks: baby accident is a....




GIRL!!

I don't need to ask if you can believe it since 99.9% of all the guesses we got were for girl. So I'm assuming you saw this coming? Funny, because we still didn't. But I'd say the same thing if I was typing that it was a boy.

So, Sam's going to be a big sister. I think that's how it works.

Baby Accident did great in HER ultrasound today, during which we received multiple 3-line confirmation shots that she is in fact the girl they claim she is.

She is already measuring ahead, as per Allison usual. Her overall measurement totals put her at half a week ahead (Sam was a week ahead at this point in his cook-fest) so we will see if this means big baby or if we can keep things reasonable this time. Although after measuring her leg bones, the tech definitely looked at Chuck and said "Just how tall are you?"

So there's your information on baby girl.

Oh! And a name. Want that too?

We've chosen Kate. We love it. It's simple. It's perfect. It's us. Of course, we're considered spelling it K'8 to make her more unique and fabulous...

Officially, since we are whole name/nickname type people, she will be Kaitlin Nancy Allison. Nancy is Chuck's sister and also Chuck's beloved Grandma who passed away much too early. We like the family name thing like we did with Sam's middle name so we knew this was a must for baby 2.

There it is. Happy Girl! We now have one of each and two frozen babies on the side. But that's a whole other story...

[monday meals mashup]



I want you to know that earlier today, whilst sitting on the ground in front of a mirror, I caught a glimpse of my right thigh. It was one of the most terrifying events of my adult life. I'm gonna really need summer to end and fall leggings to begin ASAP. Pregnancy looks a whole lot better through large sweaters and stretch pants.

BUT. No such luck.

It's still 800 degrees outside and I'm still sweating into rolls I didn't know existed. Or probably didn't exist until recently. Either way, yucky yucky.

Continuing with my summer meal fun, everything this week is a make AM, reheat PM type of meal OR at worst, just bake quickly then RUN from the kitchen.

This week's menu features some of my favorites who are so easy peasy it's ridiculous. These are perfect for those who hate to cook or have children who hate to let them cook.

Monday: Noodle Crack. Emma Lee - this is because of you. I heard the mere mention of noodle crack this morning and that's all I've thought of today. I'm going sans meat on mine tonight because I don't feel like browning any. My kitchen. My prerogative. {recipe card below}

Tuesday: Sausage Mac and Cheese = get in my baby belly. This recipe is perfection cooked in the morning and then reheated serving by serving in the evening. It's a less than 30 minute meal.

Wednesday: Taco Casserole. A friend of mine brought this over when we had Sam and we died for it. It's exactly as it sounds: tacos in casserole form. No tortillas. Just layers like a big taco lasagna. Bomb. Bomb. Bomb. {recipe card below}

Thursday: The Easiest Stir Fry You'll Ever Make.  I found this recipe roughly 37 years ago when I was in college and learning to cook. It's from an old Campbell's soup recipe book. This seems bizarre so I'll need your culinary trust here. Basically, you use a can of Golden Mushroom soup + soy sauce + garlic powder to make a really yummy, super fast creamy stir fry. It's amazing and the most time intensive part of the meal is making the rice (I don't make nearly as much as this recipe calls for). I cut my chicken in the morning and let it marinade in some extra soy sauce for the day because I'm a soy sauce junky. Aside from that, make this recipe as is and enjoy how fast it goes.

Friday: GENDER REVEAL DAY! We find out what Little Accident is on Friday so we will go to our favorite Italian restaurant to celebrate and toast to baby's health (!!!) and private parts.

Saturday: Family BBQ with my aunt in town from Portland. I think Blue Cheese Burgers are on the menu...

Happy Cooking and Meal Planning!



photo dump friday

Ahoy.

This week's photo dump is brought to you mainly by our week long demo derby visit to Chuck's Mom's house. Sam is already missing his copious amounts of fruit for breakfast (licorice), abundance of water (snow cones) and the general baby freedom that comes with being at Grandma's house. We've been home three days and he's already sick of just Mom.

It was a banner time in Sam's life this past week. He finally learned to wave. (What? He's only 15 months old. He'll get around to those milestones eventually...) He attended a cultural event at the Fairgrounds. And he learned to spray a hose at unsuspecting victims. All in all: a great week for Sam.

And here it is in pictures.
 
The day we left we swung by Fe's and he played his favorite game: President Roosevelt.
 
The joy of Grandma's house.


Loving on Auntie Shelley who became "Grandma No" over the week because she was the main rule enforcer. Someone had to.

This was his face watching Chuck with the cutting torch.

He went on a quick errand to Fred Meyer with Grandma and somehow this stuffed puppy followed him home. It's all very suspicious to me...

Spraying Grandma with the hose. Literally his favorite hobby.

Running through the yard with The Van in the back. The Van is a 1983 Vanagon that Chuck's mom has had since it's birth. It still runs and is in pristine condition. This picture is like catching Sam in happiness with your favorite Uncle watching in the back.
 
That cool kid driving the convertible.

Millie takes her first swim. She actually loved it.

Nan and I stepped out one night for a really light dinner at 9 pm. I have no idea why I'm gaining weight.

Obviously a snow cone machine was rented for the weekend. Why? Because Chuck's Mom told Chuck's sister to bring a side dish to the BBQ. So she brought an industrial size snow cone machine rented from a party store.

Reading the paper with Grandpa Mark.


Getting our money's worth out of this kid.

LOVES Aunt/Cousin Janelle.

Walking Millie.

And this is what coming home to your own bed in your own house after a week of vacation looks like.

And this is what blackberry addiction looks like.

The trophy is proudly on display.
"It's not going in our yard Russ. It's going in our living room."

Happy Friday!

19 weeks: place your bets



It's time to place your bets on what's between this Accident's legs.

Wasn't that a beautifully worded sentence about my child? Aren't I just the perfect picture of glowing Mom-to-be? Sometimes Chuck worries about letting this kid know it was an accident, like that implies we didn't want it. I feel like this is a badge of honor that ol' Accident is going to need to wear and own. I look at it that we didn't even know we could want you until we found out you were coming. You're a miracle. And also an accident and can thank your brother for your existence.

But I digress as usual.

To be honest and fair, I'm actually just a few days from 20 weeks but demo derby blog posting obviously took precedence over baby posting.

Sorry Baby.

I'd say "second kid syndrome" but I'm 100% sure I would have done the same thing if I was pregnant with Sam so maybe it's just "bad mom syndrome" or "my priorities are totally fine syndrome".

Wow, I am just really painting a wonderful picture of me as a mother tonight. NE-WHOO....

Officially, the baby private parts scan isn't until next Friday when I will be 20 weeks and 6 days. Chuck's Mom is coming over to see the peep show and that's what day worked best for all. Fine fine, it's been a busy past few weeks, we can wait an extra so she can cry in an ultrasound room. She will be a better show than the baby. I love her.

So...What will baby be?

Here are the answers to the standard gender related wives tales to help you make a more educated guess on this babe:

  • I'm still morning sick. Uh huh. It's so much fun, we've decided to stay together. With Sam, I was definitely what I would deem an appropriate and normal amount of morning sickness and wanting to die level. With this kid. Oh baby. I still puke at least  once a day and every time is a great time. Except not. Worst case, this will stop in January...
  • I love salty food and throw up sweets. Recent casualties to the sweets aversion: a Blizzard, Hostess cupcake, and Eggo waffle. If I can stomach eating anything sweet, it's almost certainly rejected by this baby within the hour. And let me tell you, Blizzards are not good the second time around and cupcakes burn. Write that down.
  • With Sam, I hated cheeseburgers. I could literally eat one at every meal.
  • I hated salad with Sam. I am eating at least one a day with this kid, sometimes more. I don't think I need to point out the irony or what's wrong with this picture. I am willingly and knowingly eating vegetables and it is not being done under extreme pressure (which is usually how I gag down greens). 
  • I feel my belly is wider this time than it was with Sam but I could be making that up.
  • Here's a fun one: my hair is wavy. I'm not kidding. My stick straight, thin as can be hair is wavy. It's the most bizarre symptom of all. With Sam, I left my hair long but with this baby I'm keeping it Susie length. I just had a trim and angered it. The curl is everywhere. What is this??
  • I've had two dreams where the baby is a boy and one where it's a girl.
  • The Chinese Gender calendar says BOY which is what it said with Sam too.
From where we sit, we have worked out the statistics and we feel it's about a 50-50 chance either way. I know. I hate us too.

We have no inclination or preference, really truly. It just doesn't matter to us. I thought we couldn't care less with Sam but it turns out, we can. We are aiming for healthy, because after all, that's what the 20 week scan really is all about.

So. Place your bets. What do you think? You have a week to decide. We'll let you know next Friday.

the demolition derby.

It's a struggle to find where to begin here. There is just an abundance to share and, if I'm being honest, I'm worried about you. I want to make sure you get your moneys worth here and feel demo derby satisfied by the end. God, I am just such a giver.

Hokay.

So. When I left off, I had introduced you to our beloved Ranch Wagon:



It was one heckuva team effort to get this car ready. Chuck, faux step dad Mark, Chuck's childhood friend (and fellow demo driver) Ryan, and a gaggle of neighbors all went to work. I brought waters out a lot during the week so when I retell this story in coming years, I did most of the work. I will explain the hand I played in welding the doors, rewiring the ignition system, and chaining down the suspension.

From dusk to dawn, someone was out there with Chuck working on the car. Those men were non-stop demolition machines. (pics below if you are so inclined)

Sam was dying to join them.

Where Sam spent most of the week.
Because I'm shallow and awful, my favorite part of the derby probably is the Parade of Cars where the crowd decides who is "Best in Show". I'm a skosh competitive so I decided we were going to win this or at minimum top 3. I promised myself a trophy and Monica Gellar Allison was gonna get one somehow. This was one avenue to it.

So, once the car was done, it was handed over to hair and makeup, aka The Women Folk. I'm not trying to be sexist but I don't exactly know how to rewire the ignition from a key to a push button. If I did, maybe I could have helped with that. Instead, I did a dynamite job picking paint colors.


The Painting Committee: Large Marge (Susie), Janelle, and Nan. There was some light vomiting from over heating on my part and other people sweated through multiple pairs of underwear.
It was pretty obvious what this car needed to be painted like. I mean, c'mon. It's a station wagon. It's hideous. It's just a tiny bit of wood paneling away from being The Family Truckster.

I will not pander to you and provide a picture of The Family Truckster. I will assume you are old enough, mature enough, and have a level of humor sophisticated enough to know The Family Truckster. If not, pause, google recon, and rejoin us when you can. Wait, pause again, rent Vacation, and take a looooong look at your life.

Chuck's Mom hit the jackpot and found wood grain contact paper for our truckster. Why does this even exist? I'm not sure except maybe God wanted our demo car to be amazing and this was his sign.

Green paint. Wood paneling. A trim of yellow around the panels. And we were close. But we needed Aunt Edna, duh. A quick round of Good Will hunting and some Dollar Store purchases and we had officially nailed it.

But you be the judge.


Try and breathe because I'm assuming you have lost your mind like we had. Take a few long looks. Finding all the details is Derby Where's Waldo. It was a joy to send this out into the arena.

And an even bigger joy to win Best in Show. I'm not trying to rub it in the other cars' mufflers, but it wasn't even close.

Nan went into the arena with Chuck for the "judging". She's holding our trophy proud.
Sorry, not sorry, our paint job was amaze balls. And really solidified this car as a giant group effort.

As for the actual derby part....well, not so much. Each car does a time trial - that was a riot because Chuck did his two laps of glory with Edna on top, but then, sadly, they didn't do a "slowest car race" which we were hoping for. The last derby Chuck did, back in 2003, he won that race (so yes, if you are counting, we now have TWO derby trophies). We had hopes for The Truckster in the slow race, but c'est la vie.


And then in the real smash your car derby well... damn. Pretty much right out of the gate Chuck was sent flying out of the center of the arena into 3 foot deep mud and you just can't get out of that. In years past, 45-60 cars were in the derby and it lasted well over half an hour. This year, there were only 15 cars so it was only about 5 minutes long. That Cash For Clunkers thing may have helped the environment but it is ruining demo derbies.


The Hit.

The Hit that ended the derby. Fair enough, this car had a race car engine, so...

If you ask Chuck, he will tell you what an amazing week it was, that the fun of the derby is building the car and spending time with family and friends. He will say it doesn't matter when he went out, he had a great time, and loved every minute of it.

If you ask Monica Gellar Allison, I'm still not over it. There's no video of me in the stands but even if there was, it's not blog appropriate and couldn't appear here. I have problems. I'm working on them. No I'm not. That's a lie.

But he is right. It was such a great week with family and friends - even Fe and PK drove across the state to be a part of the last two days. Cousin Janelle flew in for the occasion. It was fabulous. These are the important things in life.

Do it again next year? Um... we will go and watch. Give us a few years and then Chuck wants to give it another go, but he will be in the market for something small, front wheel drive and "sporty". Won't derby that one - he wants in on the fast races now. Look alive people.

A few more pics for fun.




Chuck's friend Ryan playing with an arc welder.

Pre-bending the frame with a tow truck helps with hits later on. I said this was a science. A stupid science, but a science.


Mark guiding the car onto the trailer to head to the Fair. Shocker, the car was no longer street legal at that point.

When I said this was a family effort, I meant it. Way to go, Fe.

When I realized Nan had hopped in the car for the Best in Show competition, it was a joy equivalent to child birth. Or better.

He had the time of his life. Loved every minute of it.


Sam and Grandma watching Chuck's time trial.

Rehydrating with nuun, duh.



The family that derbies together...



My favorite idiot. I took this screen shot from the Go Pro so you could see the inside of the car. On the floor are two batteries, the wires are part of the ignition system Chuck set up and the pipe next to his leg is the shifter he built from scratch. Like I said, total idiot...
Anyone want to come with next time?
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