Monday, August 31, 2009

7 Years of Bliss

Our wedding day
Photo by Mandie's mom

Seven years ago today, Mr. Bean and I tied the knot. Happy anniversary, babe!

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Football Widow

The football season brings great joy to Mr. Bean. He can often be heard singing, "It's the most wonderful time of the year...." as he dons his Chicago Bears jersey. Sunday afternoon naps are scheduled around the game times.

Phone calls to Mr. Bean's brother are frequent during games. Boys are invited over to our house to watch the festivities. And I can't carry on a conversation with any of them except possibly during the commercials. It all depends on how horrible or awesome the play was before the commercial break.

Halftime is my saving grace, but is occasionally trumped by a quick snooze to prepare for the second half.

The final preseason game is on tonight. Its conclusion marks the beginning of the football season and brings along with it temporary widow-dom for me and millions of wives across the nation.

Should I start a support group for this?

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Date Night?

Lets see...the last time Mr. Bean and I went on a date was Christmas 2008. Can any of you other parents relate?

Thursday, August 27, 2009

This is Nuts

Well, String Bean's allergy is nuts that is. We found out last night that she's likely allergic to pecans.

During our live Fantasy Football draft, String Bean got a hold of a brownie that a friend brought over. I was eating one, too, when I discovered there was a nut in it.

--interruption to story to give some background--
Back in May we were on vacation and String Bean ate something with a (non-Peanut) nut in it, choked and puked a quarter size puke into my hand. We figured it was choking and didn't think much of it.

She loves peanut butter granola bars.
--back to scheduled programming--

I leaned over to Mr. Bean and said, "There are nuts in this we should watch to make sure she does not choke." About a minute later, sure enough, she started making the choking face. We watched and waited. She sat on my lap and proceeded to puke. A LOT. Everything that was in her stomach.

Once the puking stopped, the crying began. Her hands were full of it (as well as my pants and socks) and she began to rub her face. We threw her in the bathtub and when we got her out everywhere the puke had been was red and blotchy. Pretty quickly we could tell they were hives.

Luckily, she did not start coughing and going into full anaphylactic shock. It stopped at the hives. We went to the allergist this morning. Besides stating the obvious that String Bean was fully recovered from the incident, he suggested we come back in a month to do testing for nuts. Because we had given her Benadryl, they couldn't do the testing for a week and the doctor is going on vacation.

Expect an update on how serious the allergy is in about a month.

It is a little ironic that String Bean is allergic to nuts since her BFF is Cashew.

P.S. Mr. Bean asked me if I was going to blog about String Bean's nuts to which I gave him a confused look and then started laughing. It was at that moment he realized how odd his question was.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Make that Museum, not Zoo

Well, due to the weather, we ended up not going to the zoo, but to the Children's Museum instead.

String Bean and friend Grace tore the place up. Among String Bean's favorites were the wind tunnel (Nothing is cuter than a toddler in goggles!), splashing in water, and putting clings on a plastic "window".

Wouldn't it figure that since I took her diaper bag to the car after lunch she'd decide to poop within minutes of resuming play?

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Visting the Ducks

String Bean watching the ducks at the zoo.
Photo by Mr. Bean

Our babysitters (we have 2) took String Bean to see the ducks at the local zoo two days in a row last week.

The last two days when we ask her what she'd done with Lexie (one of the sitters) her answer has been clicking and opening and closing her hand which is her sign for "duck." Both days we've asked Lexie if she took String Bean to see the ducks again. Both times, the answer has been no.

I guess the visits to the ducks last week really made an impression. Luckily for String Bean, we are planning a trip to the zoo tomorrow!

Monday, August 24, 2009

Customer Service is Dead

Our T-Mobile bill arrived today. Boy was I (insert sarcasm here) thrilled when I read the customer alert that said, "Starting September 1, 2009, it will cost you $1.50 to receive paper statements." Nothing compares to a two week notice!

I get the whole "go green" concept, but I also like to pay my bills on time. I have a system for my paper statements. They go in a pile and I pay them all at once. I'm just not seeing myself doing as great of a job with a non-paper system, so this really put a bee in my bonnet.

I was completely (insert sarcasm here) overjoyed when I logged onto the T-Mobile site (which took some work, let me tell you) and found my other billing option: Detailed billing statment $1.99 per month. Starting September 1, 2009 this option will be $3.49 per month.

Way to go, T-Mobile. (insert sarcasm here) You're really making life easier for all your customers!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

A New Chair

Our friend Rob has adopted String Bean as his own niece. In the past she's gotten wonderful gifts from him. The most noteworthy is her red wagon that is a much smaller size than the typical wagon so she can carry all her treasures around the house.

Today, Rob brought her a "pipe chair." It is one of those little 3-legged stools that folds up so you can take it with you wherever you go. She's in heaven enjoying the chair. Sitting. Folding. Unfolding. Repeat.


Friday, August 21, 2009

Free Advice

On your first day at a new job, do not lie about something and get caught in the act, show outrightly that you are unimpressed with the system, or point out that you are lazy. These do not make good impressions on your bosses and it makes your co-workers mad.

That goes for new college freshmen, too.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

More Crying Ensued

Beach ball. Fall-like weather. Sidewalk. Excitement. These are the perfect ingredients for a head injury, no?

After kicking the beach ball across the grass, String Bean, who was on the sidewalk, took a turn but her foot missed her target, the sidewalk tripped her and her forehead took the brunt of the fall. Now, she has a lovely black-and-blue egg-shaped bump on her head just above her right eye.

This would be the night that neighbors have their doors open and are outside and bear witness to this phenomenal event. It isn't like they could miss the drama with the screaming that quickly followed the fall.

Sidewalk - 1
String Bean - 0

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

...Much Crying Ensued

Baby's first lip bite, much crying (and blood) ensued. This was quickly followed by baby's first complete somersault down a (very small) flight of stairs, much crying (sans blood) ensued.

Everyone's shoes were piled by the front door and tried on over and over.

Croutons were the only food consumed by the toddler despite ice cream being one of the choices.

While the boss was carrying on a conversation, String Bean decided it was time to say goodbye. After saying it and waiving 3 times, she yelled, "Bye!" at the top of her lungs. Yeah...that got his attention.

Not sure we'll ever be invited to a work social again and if we are, we might just need a babysitter.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Sewing Madness

There are times sewing can be sew not fun. I crack myself up.

My mom gave me her old sewing machine which she must have stored in dust. I did not know that storing it in dust was the preferred thing to do and it was polished on the outside so nicely that I just sat down to use it.

Two broken needles later, my mother-in-law came over to look at it. At my mom's suggestion, we looked at the inside to see if it needed cleaning. We pulled out clump after clump of dust. We think we found the culprit wedged deep inside one of the moving parts. I was a long piece of black thread with several knots in it. Mom, when was the last time you used that machine with black thread? (Clearly before you stored it in dust.)

The machine appears to work fine now.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Memory on Display

As I've mentioned, we have been going through our storage items and finding old treasures these last few weeks. One particular item we found last week String Bean was playing with and I forgot about it. Last night, my father-in-law greeted me at the door with it.

It is the bouquet from my BFF from high school, Amy's wedding (not my co-blogger Amy). Amy would probably be surprised to know I have kept those flowers all these years...9 to be exact.

We have proudly displayed this memory on the end table next to my favorite chair. It is a visual reminder of our friendship!

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Back to School

String Bean is much too young for school, but Mr. Bean and I both work for the college in our town. We are in the midst of the hustle and bustle of preparing for students to return.

Many of you are working on trying to get your children ready to go back to school. Having been a teacher in the past, here are my back to school tips from an elementary teacher's point of view:

1. Your child's teacher does not want to start off on the wrong foot with you and you don't want to start off on the wrong foot with your child's teacher. Stick to the school supply list. Don't send little extras like race car pencil sharpeners, cutesy but non functional erasers, or pens if they aren't on the list. You can imagine what is going to happen to your child and that race car pencil sharpener. Vroom, vroom.

2. If you're sending your child to school for the first time, it will break your heart if your child cries at the classroom door. Teachers are used to this. Give them a hug and move on. More often than not, your child will be just fine in 5 minutes, but prolonging the drop off only causes stress for the teacher, you, your child, and the class. It is not a good way to sart off the school day.

3. Junk food in your kid's lunch (or for a mid-morning snack) will only make your child hyper immediately following lunch and then crash after that. Please don't do that to your kid (or their teacher)!

4. Remember that your kid's teacher wants to work with you-not for you. In the end, the teacher is there to assist you with your child's education. Ultimately, you are responsible for supervising your child's education. This includes helping with homework, practicing reading and math facts at home, teaching character and citizenship at home year-round, and supporting what is happening in the classroom.

As you sing "It's the most wonderful time of the year" down the aisles of Target, be determined to help your child have the best school year ever!

Friday, August 14, 2009

Fish Oil

I just watched a program on the History Channel about Alaskan Pollock. I'm really grossed out now by the fish oil pills that Amy's husband, the chiropractor, insist that I take. Blech.

Dear History Channel:

I do not need to know what happens with every part of the fish. Just seeing you catch it was enough entertainment. Excuse me while I go and puke.

Yours Sincerely,

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Bears Camp

Bourbonnais, Illinois. Bears Camp. String Bean high-fives Charles "Peanut" Tillman, cornerback for the Chicago Bears.

Photo by Mandie

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Animal Lovers Unite on Craigslist

My sister had a run-in with a vet. Basically, she took a friend's cat in for a gum cleaning and now the cat is barely alive. When confronting the vet, she got yelled and screamed at and "banned for life" from the vet's office. Ironically, she does not even own a pet, so this is a real tragedy for her. *Note sarcasm. (For the whole story, look here but note the video referenced has been taken down.)

If you follow the chatter on the Craigslist Humboldt Pet section, you'll see that there is a boycott/protest planned for later this week.

After a quick googling of the vet's name, I found that he was just put on probation for neglecting an animal in his care. Sounds like someone might be losing their license soon.

If you live in northern California and want to get involved, check out the Craigslist postings for details on when and where.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Outfit Change

Outfit #1: Peed in the bed.

Outfit #2: Peed in the outfit at the library.

Outfit #3: Peed during nap time.

Outfit #4: Pooped in the after dinner outfit just before going to bed.

What could the night hold?!

Monday, August 10, 2009

Irons in the Fire

Ever feel like you have too many irons in the fire? That pretty much describes the last couple weeks for me. Nothing much is going on, but too much of everything is going on.

Mr. Bean has been on vacation. We've been moving things from one storage area to another and going through and consolidating all of it. I've been putting in many more hours at work than I'm supposed to in a given week trying to get ready for the school year. Plus there are several family and extended family things going on (nothing negative). Sprinkle in a few vacations and it has been crazy.

Here is hoping the craziness settles down a bit. I believe that begins with Mr. Bean going back to work in the morning!

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Fashion for a H-O-T Day

Today is the hottest day of the summer, so what does String Bean do? She pulls all of the clothing out of the box we just brought up from storage that she should be growing into and insists on putting all of it on.

At one point, String Bean was wearing her pajamas with a swimsuit over them, a shirt that says "I get my good looks from Mom" (hey, she's got style, what can I say?) , a tutu with a long sleeve jacket and pants combo over all that. She put on my winter boots with the whole combo. How stylish and...inappropriate for the hottest day of the year.

Please, Lord, give String Bean her father's sense of style, not mine!

Saturday, August 8, 2009


String Bean at 21 months enjoying her baby swing.
Photo by Mr. Bean

A friend needed to borrow our baby things while her grandson visited. String Bean rediscovered her baby swing. This is pure joy.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Learn How to Drive

When turning right on red, be sure to look for traffic to your left and look for the oncoming traffic turning left in front of you. If you fail to look for the traffic turning left into the lane you have already started turning on and you get honked at, don't give the driver who has the right-of-way the innocent, "What did I do?" look. You're still wrong. You violated the rules of the road. When driver of the car honks at you and you hear screeching tires, be aware that the person who is about to hit the driver you are cutting off is not at fault, but you are. If you hear crunching metal, stick around like a good citizen and take your punishment for causing an accident.

Luckily I didn't get hit today, but it was thisclose to being an accident.

I wish I could say it was a teenager or a person on their cell phone or even a distracted mom trying to clam a 2 year old down from a temper tantrum while throwing cheerios at the 4 year old. It wasn't. It was a middle aged lady who was just plain clueless.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Sifting through Memories

Mr. Bean and I have been going through our storage. We have found so many old photos, letters, awards, and memorabilia from the last 30 or so years. It is amazing the junk we accumulate!

Or local Goodwill has seen more of us (and our junk) than many of our friends in the last couple of weeks. Now we are starting to list some of our nicer junk on Craigslist.

Purging our old things and making room for new memories is a bittersweet affair!

Monday, August 3, 2009

Home Again

After a fun-filled, stress and drama-free vacation, we are enjoying the 12 hour car trip back home. No doubt we will be playing the movie game, changing diapers at gas stations, entertaining a rear-facing child from the front seat, and wishing the state of Illinois were not so long.

Similarly, Amy will be wishing central Iowa and eastern Illinois were not so far apart, but she has to do it with 3 kids and no husband in the car.

Wish us luck.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Adventures with Nana and Pop

String Bean has had a blast here so far with her grandparents. Here are the highlights of the last 36 hours:

  • New toys and books (from mommy's childhood)
  • tractor ride
  • swinging
  • splashing in the water on the banks of the river
  • swimming in the kiddie pool (twice!)
  • sidewalk chalk
  • climbing stairs
  • Wiggles music in the car
  • "sleeping" alongside the dog
  • chasing the cat
  • grilled cheese sandwiches and other yummy food from Nana
We are off to a wedding today so Nana and Pop will not get time with String Bean this afternoon and evening.