A Very Layne Moment

on 30 December 2008

So, I have been sorely missing my Bradley shaped friends. So I have a very Bradley story for you all.

Sarah and Layne were dating when I moved to Georgia. They became engaged in the Fall (right about the time that the Husband and I were getting serious) and then they got married on Valentines Day.

Sarah and Layne went on their honeymoon and whilst they were away they ordered pizza.

They went to pick it up.

Layne, ever the gentleman, carried the pizza out to the car for Sarah. But he carried it like it was a book. Under his arm.

Very much like this guy:

Naturally, at this point in the story, Sarah starts laughing. The way she tells it, she asked Layne what he was doing and he looked down at the pizzas totally oblivious to the fact that this was NOT how one carried pizza. They then open the box and see that all of the cheese and toppings had indeed followed Newton's law of gravity and slid into one melty puddle at that end of the box.

My favorite part of the story (and the subsequent point of this post today) is that a year later when they were pregnant with Alayna, Sarah kept reminding Layne that "She is NOT a pizza! You can't carry her like that." At which point in the story I always start to laugh uncontrollably.

The Husband and I have been friends with those lovely Bradleys for a long time now. We've heard this story more than once (I love to request it, besides the fact that it's funny to watch Sarah's face when she tells it, it's also funny to watch Layne squirm in embarrassment) , so you would think that I shouldn't have a picture of this:

Husband! He is NOT a pizza!

Try to look beyond my child's obvious joy at being carried like a pizza.

Sleep is for the WEAK

on 26 December 2008


Ok, I don't usually do this which should imbue what I am about to do with EXTRA significance.

I just finished this book: Sleep is for the Weak. I opened it Christmas morning, I read the first half Christmas night and I finished it this afternoon. I HOWLED with laughter. The Husband will tell you, I laughed UNCONTROLLABLY until TEARS rolled down my cheeks.

It also has these wonderful moments of reality where I found myself nodding vigorously and saying YES! out loud.

What is it? You ask. I will tell you, it is a collection of essays by the best of the "mommy bloggers." Some of whom I have read and loved for a long time now (cough, Amalah, cough) and some of whom I had never heard.

Seriously. Run, do not walk, to your nearest book seller and obtain this book. Suddenly, I don't so much care that I'm living with a teething, napless little dictator, I love him and at least I'm not alone.

Moving on.

Well.

There's that for Christmas and we're done until next year. I love Christmas, I do, but I love it so much that by the time it's over with I'm pretty relieved.

We had a lovely day together. The Boy was a napless monster but otherwise adorable. He's teething in earnest now so you'll please excuse me if I'm not verbose, I have a screaming little dictator living in my house at present. [The Husband is currently lecturing on the value of an "indoor voice" and expostulating on how unnecessary the screaming really is.]

The Husband ordered a Wii online yesterday. The insanity should end in 6-10 days. And a whole new breed of insanity will commence. Yay for us.

And since we DID remember to document the Boy's first Christmas, I present you with superfluous blog filler. Enjoy! I'm off to put the rest of my house in order.

Christmas morning taking the new booster seat for a test drive.

Christmas night in his Christmas clothes from the Aunt Nancy
and his booster seat waiting on applesauce and apricots.


The Boy with his Grandma opening his present from the Aunt Susie.
He's rather impressed, no?


Of all the toys on the exersaucer, what are his favorites? The tags.
Behold the power of tags.


Here's hoping you all had a lovely Christmas.

Insanity continueth.

on 23 December 2008

The fruitless hunt for a Wii continueth, but this time with only the Husband. It turns out he can move through the same 6 stores faster when not bogged down by toting his wife and child.

And the Cottage Cheese Principle is up over at Ye Old Creamery. And I find myself homesick for Seattle today.

In other news. The Boy has been awake since 4:30 this morning. I got up at 5:30 to oragel his gums and give him half a dose of Tylenol. My only rational guess is that he tortures us because his gums are a-paining him. He's otherwise a very cool kid.

My parents are coming over today for more chocolate covered madness. We're making more fondant today, caramels and dipping them all. It should prove interesting given the current sleepless state of at least 2 of the 3 primary inhabitants of Burnstopia, I shall be documenting this event and blogging about it later.

Stay Tuned.

Our Brand of Insanity

on 22 December 2008

First up! I totally forgot about the Orange Julius Clause. Am a bad Minion. Will repent and return to the epicenter of CREAM.

Second, we, at Burnstopia, are ALL kinds of INSANE. It is 3 DAYS before CHRISTMAS and the Husband and I are scouring our little area for a Wii console that DOES NOT EXIST. But have we stopped running hither, thither and yon? Oh no! That would make SENSE. We are continuing to poke our sleepy heads into the same 6 stores at ridiculously early hours of the morning in the hopes of procuring this stupid little white box on which to play far-fetched games that also make no sense!

Send help.

Christmas Traditions or A Conversation Heard in Burnstopia

on 20 December 2008

Wife: What are you doing on the blog? You never write on the blog.

Husband: Well, I did write that one time about something.

Wife: You wrote about the birth of our child because I was incapacitated.

Husband: Right. I wrote on the blog once. Tonight, I was going to take a poll.

Wife: A poll of what?

Husband: Now that The Boy is here and this Christmas is our first together, I feel the need to try to start some traditions.

Wife: We have traditions whether you are conscious for them or not.

Husband: Oh yeah. The Christmas Carol. We...well...you read that every year. I try to listen but somehow fall asleep towards the end....middleish...beginning of each chapter. Its a great book though.

Wife: And we read Luke 2 on Christmas Eve.

Husband: Riiiggggghhhhtttttt. I'm the one that does the reading for that one.

Wife: And my mom just taught you how to make the homemade chocolates so we can start doing that every year. And toffee. And the presents wrapped up with brown paper and red string. And the oranges for the stockings. And the Christmas music that starts in November.

Husband: Huh. I guess we do have Christmas traditions in Burnstopia. I still want to ask what other people do though. I'm not above stealing traditions from other people.

Wife: Just because you want to steal from other people does not mean we do not have traditions! You're just asleep for most of them!


So, readers of the blog, as you can see I would like some Christmas traditions from you that involve things with a low likelihood of falling asleep. By "things" I would like to hear stories about food (like cinnamon rolls every Christmas morning or a dish that is made only around Christmas time), spiritual endeavors (yeah, besides Luke 2 I can't think of examples--I apparently need lots of help on this area), behaviors (Santa putting a candy cane in the child's hand during the night, gift opening/giving habits, having a pickle ornament on the tree), service (caroling, working at a food kitchen), or any other traditions that you are willing to share that don't fall into any category. The purpose of this exercise is many: 1) So I can steal some ideas, 2) to try to return the Christmas Spirit to Burnstopia (see angry post below from The Wife), and 3) to help you think about the pleasant things that happen in your family (we all have horror stories about holiday gatherings with family--this is not the place for those--unless that is all you have--in which case, please steal the happy ones from the responses).

On a side note--I really want to make another batch of homemade chocolates (chocolate covered cherries, orange creams, toasted almond and cherries covered with chocolate and fondant, maybe some mint flavor, caramels, and toffee). If you are going to be in the area and would be willing to let us share some of these with you (we really don't need to eat an entire batch by ourselves), please also let us know that in the comment section. Or, if you are already out of town, you can express remorse at not being able to have any delicious, sugary, calorie-laden goodness. But, before you do that, please share some of your traditions first.

A Question

First, yet another Law of Cream is up and oh so appropriate for this morning's question.

Second, I have a question for you.

How is it possible that I have received DOZENS of packages from amazon.com and YET they CLAIM that the package containing the Boy's Christmas presents is considered UNDELIVERABLE because of the address? How is it possible that there can be this many INEPT people at one corporate conglomerate? How is it possible that an intelligent being, such as myself, has NOT learned my lesson and has continued to do business with this MegaInternetBastard?

[I'll tell you the long and drawn out version if you'd like, but I am that MAD right now that stringing together that many complete sentences would be impossible.]

Needless to say, I AM DONE. I will NOT do business with amazon in a train, I will NOT do business with them in the rain, I do NOT like them Sam I AM. I am going to Barnes and Nobel today, I will join their frequent shoppers club, I will ONLY do business with them in the future and amazon.com can kiss my sales revenue good-bye.




We will now resume our regularly scheduled Christmas Spirit.

Happy Families.

on 19 December 2008

First and Foremost: Something about Orange Juice. And there really is something about Orange Juice. I am about to write a whole post about very Orange Juicy people.

The Husband and I live in a big apartment complex. We also lived in a big apartment complex when we lived in Athens, GA (whilst I was in grad school). We do not have the greatest record of living in big apartment complexes.

In Athens, we lived, admittedly, on Fraternity Row. It was in the middle of things and in walking distance to everything (including campus), but it meant that there were A LOT of Frat kids who didn't want to live in their Fraternity houses, but DID want to get drunk every night.

One night, shortly after moving in, we heard our upstairs neighbors come home at a very small hour of the morning. We heard some shouting--loud enough to WAKE us from a sleep. And then...um, we heard quite a lot of ruckus as they beat each other up. And then, some more screaming. And then, the Husband (full of brilliant ideas) decides to go upstairs and ask them to please keep it down. Which he does, all the while I am poised to call 911 on his behalf.

Short story: We got them dumb folks EVICTED. You mess with Burnstopia, you get the HORNS!

Long story: We called our leasing manager--she LOVED the Husband because he is a GOOD tenant who always pays his bills, takes care of the property and doesn't get into fist fights with his roommates! So we called them, told them what happened and they called the renters. One roommate moved out (can't say I blame him, he was just beaten up by his roommate!) and the CRAZY one, was the one that stayed. He got a new roommate and less than a month later they were having drunken musical evenings that involved the guitar and CONGO drums. I called the leasing manager again and she EVICTED his sorry a** post haste. For which we were most grateful.

Fast forward to HERE. Where we live in a big apartment complex. The building we live in has 2 sides to it. We live on the left side where things are fairly quiet. There are some smokers I don't so much approve of, but hey...at least they're QUIET. The right side is another matter. Those folks on the right side are just TRASHY (as my grandmother would say). And we know because share a wall with some of that trashy.

You will remember that when I was pregnant our neighbors were selfish, thoughtless and LOUD at entirely inappropriate hours of the day? Well, we still have the same neighbors and they have not changed. Only now, instead of playing BAD music at BAD times of day, they fight. And I mean Jerry Springer-esque fighting. Screaming, cursing, stomping and maybe some blows. They've woken me up around 1 or 2am with this sort of behavior and this morning at 7:30 it was more of the same. Only this morning it carried out into the parking lot! In pajamas and bathrobes and one of the roommates with a baby on her hip! Because nothing says, "I'm a good mother" like a screaming fight with your roommate in your bathrobe with your child watching.

I can't wait to own our own house.

The sad thing is, that for all of thier misery, they make us happier. The Husband is watching them scream at each other and dive into cars and peel out of the parking lot and he turns to us and smiles and kisses us each on our forehead and tells us that he loves us. And maybe Tolstoy was right that happy families are dull, but if THAT'S what interesting looks like...I'll be dull and happy thankyouverymuch.

An Excess of Christmas Spirit

on 18 December 2008

First and foremost, Cream Knows Cream is up. Go forth and know us better!

Second, what can only be described as a gratuitous amount of pictures (of the Boy, of course!) from the candy making of yesterday at my parents house.

Mmmmmm, delicious Christmas ribbon.

My dad has an electric train that they set up around their Christmas tree and the Boy's reactions to it were, in short, HILARIOUS.

And after the present, the candy making and the toy train, there was a much need nap on top of Grandma.


Upcoming: Actual Content.

It's What's for Dinner

on 16 December 2008

What are you having for dinner?

I'm having sticks of butter topped with chocolate.

So every year, my sister makes cookie plates for their friends, neighbors, and coworkers. And the past couple of years the Husband and I (and my parents) show up to help out (it's quite a production). Every year my sister makes these cookies called Cherry Blossoms.

They are delicious beyond description. They're essentially a butter cookie flavored with almond and cherry and topped with Hersey kisses. And I CANNOT STOP EATING THEM.

Might I remind you all that I lost approximately ZERO weight while nursing. So now that I am no longer nursing I am attempting finally to lose the pregnancy weight and get back into some sort of Wife Shape (as opposed to the Puddle of Goo shape that I currently am).

Will I be able to lose any weight whilst these cookies are baked and warm and staring at me with their great chocolate kiss eye? No, I will not. I will continue to eat them LA LA LA because they are so buttery and creamy and delicious.

And in the meantime, who needs pants?!?

Updating

on 15 December 2008

Well.

There are a couple of things that I would blog about but, well, they're private and I think it would annoy the Husband and I'm trying NOT to annoy the Husband so instead, look at how FANTASTICALLY unproductive I've been today!

This is as far as we've gotten in getting the boy dressed. That is a mostly clean diaper he has on...and SOCKS! He has on socks! But he had spit up all over his early morning pajamas (and now that he's eating food morning and night the spit up is much less spit up and closer to THROW UP), so I had pulled them off of him and gotten out clean afternoon pajamas (the green and yellow stripes courtesy of Sarah) but I haven't quite gotten them on his body.

Also there's a load of clean but WET clothes in the washer. A load of clean and DRY diapers in the dryer. The dishes were done by the Husband this morning and he has FLED the disorder to go hit golf balls.

Me? Why, Wife, why haven't you finished these piddly tasks? This is NOT like you in the least! You're quite right, internets. It isn't like me in the least, but I find myself distracted today. And also very tired because there was a certain miniature person who woke up 4 times last night and didn't nap this morning (AT ALL) and did a lot of screaming and crying and now he's lying semi-naked but completely happy and I'm snatching the 10 minutes or so to type out this blog entry lest you think that Burnstopia has imploded with all the family togetherness.

We haven't. Kristin was right. The Husband is settling in. It helps that it's warm enough for him to go and hit golf balls. And now I feel terrible, having confessed the half accomplished tasks of the morning and my not quite dressed child. So I'm going to go dress the child and finish the tasks.

Such a Husband! Such a Wife!

on 12 December 2008

It's been 4 days. 4 DAYS!!! The Husband finished his finals 4 days ago and now he's bored. Frustrated with being home and irritable.

4 DAYS!!!

I think it's humorous that in our modern age with all our modern sensibilities we still suffer the same contradictory feelings that people have suffered for ages past. The desire to be home, the desire to be away. Trying to enjoy peace and quiet and lazy calm and longing for action or at least something to do.

I've been reading the Aubreyad by Patrick O'Brian (it's the Husband's very favorite series of books, he's read them all through 3 or 4 times, I think). And in the 4th book the main character Jack Aubrey (he's a captain in the British navy during the Napoleonic wars) is married and at home because he doesn't have a command. He pines (PINES, I tell you!) to be at sea and away and in action and his wife, while trying to enjoy having him at home also longs for him to have a ship and be at sea and be happy. He soon is given a command and will be leaving to go to the Indian Ocean and as soon as the command comes, she begins to fuss over him to get him to delay a few days.

I was reading it last night and thinking about myself as a Wife. I LOVE having the Husband at home. He's my best friend. It's lovely to have some one who actually talks back! Who participates in a reciprocal conversation! Who laughs at your jokes! But he's tense and grumpy and restless and I know that he's bored with our quiet little life here. And so there is a part of me that thinks he needs something to do to take him out of the apartment and away from us, even for part of the day. And then I get tense and grumpy and restless because I LOVE him, I want him to be home! I want him to want to be at home. To enjoy being at home.

And there you have it. Thousands of years of human marital relations summed up in 1 sussinct paragraph.

And since there is no solution for this problem--not until January rolls around--I give you a picture of familial bliss from last night.


And yes. While a few days ago the Boy needed the most awesome hat that money could buy, now it's warm enough here that he can hang out in only a diaper with the door open and the fan on! (We actually turned the air conditioning on last night! In DECEMBER!!! What is this world coming to?!?)

Gratuitous Baby Grief

on 09 December 2008

What happens when I leave the room:


It would be all kinds of sad and pitiful if it weren't so wonderfully funny. Look at him! It's like I told him I was leaving him on the cold hard streets of London for Christmas!

What I LOVE right now...

on 08 December 2008

Well, for starters...this thing:

It's a gum massager. I know. How in the world I managed to grow my own teeth without one of these things amazes me as well. But let me tell you, Fussy McFusserson here thinks this thing is the world's greatest thing ever. Even better than his taggie blanket--and that's saying something! And yes, he could just chew on my fingers, but frankly he's got quite a bite now and it hurts. Also, I am a pansy. Who needs her fingers periodically for doing other things. Like typing this blog.

Also, this hat.

Now, I have NO knitting skills like the fabulosa Whimsy who is a mad-hat-knitting-machine right now. In fact, my left hand is really only here for decoration. I am hopelessly right-handed. And so what are we non-dexterous people supposed to do when our children need a hat to cover their overly-large and chilly head? We go shopping. We find something with stripes. And if we're very lucky there will be pom-poms involved.

And the third thing that I love right now (because lists like these should always have three parts) is the Boy's reaction to our Christmas tree, which borders on bliss...

I leave the exersaucer by the tree because the tree distracts him enough for me to be able to leave the room without a total meltdown on his part.

I have no idea what we'll do after Christmas when the tree comes down...la la LA, I'm not going to think about that right now.

Now you tell me, 3 things that you LOVE right now!

More Curse of the Baby Monitors and Christmas Came Early

on 05 December 2008

I have decided that our baby monitors are possessed of the DEVIL.

And yes, I considered the OFF switch and also chucking them out o' the window BUT I really do need them at night when I'm asleep because if I catch the Boy when he's merely fussy as opposed to the COME AND GET ME RIGHT NOW, WOMAN screaming then he goes back to sleep SO much easier. And if I don't turn them on when he first goes down...well, then I sort of forget to turn them on at all...so until he's happy going to bed (HA! I hope I'm not still using these when he's a teenager) I think I might be stuck with the Surround Sound Screaming...although, I might make it the Husband's job to turn on the monitors before he comes to bed! That is a brilliant idea! Delegation!

Anyway, last night I heard baby fussing at 2:30 and 3 and 3:30 and 4 and EVERY time I got up to check on him he was sound asleep. So either we're picking up some other fussy baby or the monitors are possessed of the DEVIL.

And since the Husband is studying for finals and I am still under the weather, but the BOY is now going strong; we opened and assembled his main Christmas present today. We really needed him to occupy himself so that the Husband could study and so I could lay wrapped up in flannel and whining.

We bought him an exersaucer. And lo, he loved it.


He loved it with a love that was more than love, it was cross-eyed love...


The only problem being that his feet don't quite touch the bottom of the thing...ooops.

The Curse of the Baby Monitor

on 04 December 2008

Well.

Whether it's because he's been sick or because we've been out of town and his routine is all kinds of messed up, the Boy has been a serious pill lately. And whoever invented Baby Monitors HATES parents.

Especially parents who live in small apartments.

We moved the Boy into his crib (and thus, out of our bedroom) when we got home from Savannah. So, once we walked through the door, my priority was feeding, bathing and getting the Boy ready for Bed--the Husband's priority was figuring out the baby monitors.

He gets it hooked up and they work great, we can hear everything from the space heater to the modem whirring oh, and also the Boy. The problem is that they work...a little too well.

I put him down to bed early last night since he hadn't napped well that day and he slept for about 40 minutes and then he woke up protesting. And he PROTESTED volubly for an hour. When I put him down I turn on the monitor in his room and in our bedroom because you can hear him everywhere else in the apartment. But the downside is that with the monitors on it's Boy Screaming in High Definition Surround Sound.

We have a very small apartment. Maybe too small.

So I listened to this for an hour. I rocked and cuddled and sang and he was determined to be displeased with every thing so I eventually put him to bed and said, "See you around 2am, Dude." And he cried for 15 more minutes and fell asleep (he actually slept until 3am, but I deserved that extra hour since he had taken years off of my life with the SCREAMING).

I seriously contemplated chucking the monitors out of the window.

Intermission

on 02 December 2008

I know I should be blogging about something interesting, intelligent OR funny--but, we are all sick here.

All of us. The Boy has been rubbing his wee nose all day long and it's dripping something undesirable right this moment.

So, in place of actual content please accept pictures of the Boy from Savannah--where he found his feet.

Paci? Check! Taggie? Check! Feet? Check!

Look at the size of those stompers!

Home Again Home Again

on 30 November 2008


We are Home and we are glad.

We started leaving Savannah yesterday around 10am. We left the low country around 3pm. We got home around 9pm. The Boy was a pill. We stopped to feed him and eat some dinner in a town called Lumberton. We ate at a Subway and the girl who helped us was COUNTRY. I couldn't even understand some of what she was saying, which her accent was that thick.

All said and done the trip was a success. The Husband particularly got to do everything that he had wanted to do and I consider it my job to make sure that the Husband is happy.

The Boy? He was charming and adorable and well-behaved. He was particularly charming with his uncle the Jefe...
He was absolutely fascinated by that big beard.

And yes, yes, he's wearing Baby Carhartts. They are almost the cutest thing I've ever seen...


And as proof that even the cutest boy will eventually wear down his mother after a whole week with family...


Yep. He's eating a traditional French baguette...I know. It's WHEAT! And he's only 4 months old! He's only had rice cereal! We don't know if he's allergic! I'm over it. He gummed that piece of crust until it was unrecognizable. He sucked and slurped and made his happiness known by completely ignoring the rest of us. It was adorable to see his little face light up at food that actually taste like something other than paste. And he LOVED it. Who can blame him. It was a great little French bakery on our way out of town. I myself ate a pain au chocolat that was worth every dripping calorie.

But after it's all said and done, we are glad to be home. And the Husband had a realization on our drive home wards...where we are--it's HOME. Much as he loves Savannah, that's just where the family lives.

Here, we are home.


*All pictures courtesy of the Jefe's iPhone. Thank you, Jefe!

Mid-sojourn

on 27 November 2008

Greetings from the low country!

So far so good. When we left, the Husband wanted to spend an afternoon downtown with his best friend, go shooting in the country, eat lots of food, visit with family and catch up with some friends.

I just wanted us all to make it out alive.

Tuesday we spent the day downtown with the Best Friend of the Husband (aka The Jefe). We had lunch at this great barbeque joint--I ate the sides (some mac and cheese, fries and some rockin' collards--and I don't like collards but these were awesome). We lazed around Forsythe park, we broused E. Shaver's for books. We caught up and had a lovely mellow afternoon in the warm sun.

Aaaaaaaand we forgot the camera.

Wednesday the Husband and the Jefe gathered up an alarming number of firearms and ammunition and we drove out to a pine plantation where they did some shootin' and the Boy and I hung out in the house.

This time we brought the camera aaaaaaaaand forgot to take it out of the bag.

Today. Well. Let's just remember that Thanksgiving is not the Wife's best loved holiday. The Husband ate all of his favorites and played Guitar Hero with his brothers, sister in law and nephews. Me? I walked out to the end of the dock. The Boy and I went for a walk through the neighborhood. He had a nice nap and plenty of entertainment from his cousins.

And the day was sufficiently hectic that we also didn't take any pictures. Yep. The Boy's first Thanksgiving and we FAILED to document it. We are AWESOME parents.

I am thankful for many things and among them, I'm thankful to be past Thanksgiving. I'm really looking forward to Christmas, New Years and the Husband making a trek to Boston for my birthday. Keep him in your prayers we're hoping for very good things from this trek.

As for tomorrow, we're having lunch with Chris' grandmother and I think he's hoping to meet up with another lovely friend from school and then pack up everything for the trip home. We're set to leave early Saturday morning so that we can get home, do laundry, prep a lesson, go to a birthday party for one of our lovely friends and, in short, return to our normal life.

Thank you and Good Night

on 23 November 2008

First,

Thank you all so much. I am truly overwhelmed by all your kind words and encouragement. And Molly called me! Not even 2 weeks postpartum and she CALLED me on the PHONE!!! I was so touched when I hung up that I cried. [When I was 2 weeks postpartum I was still whining to my mom and sister everyday and I don't recall that I even answered my phone, let alone picked it up to make a phone call. Which just goes to show you all how AWESOME that Molly is.]

And for the record, we're going to gradually wean him...he's getting one bottle of formula a day and we'll gradually replace the nursey works with bottles through December so that he'll (hopefully) be weaned by 6 months old. We'll see.

As for us, we're all headed down to Savannah for Thanksgiving. Well, not all of us, the Cats shall remain behind to take command of Burnstopia in our absence. Leike can't wait. A whole week without the mewling infant. So, if you don't hear from us--that's where we'll be. I will try to post at least once whilst sojourning in the low country...but I can't make any promises.

For what it's worth here's what I'm grateful for this year:

The Husband was busy napping, but I'm still really grateful for him, even when he's asleep.

And one of these:


The Boy, overly tired and therefore wired but I love him just the same.

Gestures

I have been remiss in taking note of the lovely unconventionally romantic things that the Husband does for me with his own version of quiet regularity.

This week it was poached eggs.

I love poached eggs but I do not love them enough to actually make them for myself. They are a pain. But I had made a big batch of crumpets (for eating with jam because what could be better than a warm toasty crumpet with jam?) and the Husband, rightly so, thought that a warm simple dinner of poached eggs and crumpets would be delicious and so he made it for me.

And it was.

And then he did the dishes.

I am the luckiest girl in the world.

Confession. And a Crossroads

on 21 November 2008

So, I have a confession to make.

I love this little boy.

I love him with a love that is fierce and protective and primal. I love him enough to want better for him than for myself. I want to make everything happy and easy for him even though I know that in the long term that would be bad for him. I love him to the point where I wish I could wrap his little heart in bubble wrap to protect him from the world.

And yet, I am done breastfeeding.

I know. Believe me. I have read and researched and read some more. I know it is what is absolutely best for him nutritionally. I know it fills him chock full of antibodies. I know it's the perfect balance for him. I know. And yet. I am still done.

I would like to take a moment to bid adieu to any male readers I might have. Adieu, male readers, this one is for the ladies.




Are we down to just us girls now? Ok.

I'm done with being sore all. the. time. I'm done with being exhausted all. the. time. And I'm not talking "Oh, I'm feeling a little tired, I'll take a nap and feel 100%!" No, this is bone-weary, mind-numbing exhaustion. This is the kind of exhaustion where you can't keep up with conversations any more. I'm done obsessing over supply issues. I'm done fretting over every single thing that I ingest into my body. I'm super done worrying about every bite that I eat and oh--will this upset his sweet little tummy? Most of all, I'm done dreading those 5 times a day when I have to feed him. And I do. I watch the clock and I dread it.

I would like to qualify. I have loved breastfeeding him. I love having my time with him when it's just him and me. I love snuggling him in close and I especially love that he's discovered textures and runs his little hands over my face and neck. I love the whole earth-mother-natural thing that we've had going on so far. But I sat down today to feed him and I sighed and wished in that moment that I was anywhere else. And then I covered his face with kisses because I felt small and mean for wishing to be away from him when he needed me. We had planned to breastfeed for a year. And then dealing with the low-supply drama train we shortened that to 6 months. And now that he's getting the hang of food I'm thinking--I'm done.

And so, I am at a crossroads. Do I continue to breastfeed him, knowing that it's what's best for him and all the while secretly resenting that he demands this of me? Or do I leave breastfeeding while I can still say that I have loved it and will absolutely do it with all future children and accept that I was raised entirely on formula and lo, I turned out all right in the end?






Comments: Please be nice. It's been a long day at the end of a long week--he's also not sleeping so well right now (we're talking waking up 3 times a night thinking it's time to play and then not napping during the day and being Super Foul) which means that I'm not sleeping right now so try not to pick on the Wife while she's down.

Destination Discouragement

on 18 November 2008

There are a number of things I could talk about. The Husband is now 8 for 10 as far as rejection letters go for Fellowship applications. The Boy was up from 1am until 3am and then again at 6am for no apparent reason at all. Thanksgiving is next week and I hate Thanksgiving. I'm all for being grateful, but I hate all the hoopla, it's just too much--too much food, too much football, too much shopping so that by the end of it everyone is over-full, broke and irritable.

So, instead of my whinging and worrying I will present you with the one ray of light in all this autumnal gloom:

Deja Vu

on 14 November 2008

When the Husband and I were dating, in the early days, when he wasn't the Husband he was just This Guy that I Think I Might Like but I Can't Tell if He Likes me or Just Thinks I'm Odd--well, we used to go to lunch. I was horrifically poor, choosing to buy books for a special project (on Anna Akhmatova) and put gas in my car to get to school rather than buy food. And the Guy that I Think I Might Like but I Can't Tell if He Likes me or Just Thinks I'm Odd, he would meet me on campus and we would walk up to this lovely Indian restaurant (Bombay Cafe) for their excellent lunch buffet. Many days it was my only meal and the Guy that I Think I Might Like but I Can't Tell if He Likes me or Just Thinks I'm Odd, he LOVES him some Indian food. So we would eat and talk and eat and talk and gradually meander back to a bus and back to his apartment where we both grab our homework--I was usually reading some enormous book and the Guy that I Think I Might Like but I Can't Tell if He Likes me or Just Thinks I'm Odd was usually studying Chemistry; or rather, we would read and study until we both fell into a food induced coma. This was the sum total of our dating experience.

Today we revisited that lovely time. We went for Indian buffet lunch and came home and the Boy was sound asleep so I laid down for a lovely nap and 15 minutes later WAAAAAH!!! The Husband tried valiantly to explain to the Boy the sacred nature of this sequence of events in Burnstopia. He cordially refuses to adhere. We have hope that as he ages he comes to recognize the magical blessing of Indian food for lunch followed by a lovely nap.

Boy Update

Remember this post on Sweet Mary? Well, she's not alone!

The Boy had his 4 month check up today and he's squarely in the 50th percentile for height and weight** and 80th percentile for head size!

I'm telling you! Look at the size of that noggin! It's like Sputnik, spherical and quite pointy in parts! There must be something in the water down here--or else it's all the colleges in the area, we just grow big brains.

Otherwise, the Boy is doing great, he shredded the tissue paper on the table, he smiled and laughed and spit and was otherwise totally and completely charming. I? Well, I had my first First Time Mother Neurotic Paranoid visit with the pediatrician. Nothing is wrong, he's perfectly normal, his mother however has been rendered pants-on-head crazy from sleep deprivation.

So, it's a rainy Friday and I'm going to attempt to stay awake today. Our plans for the weekend include grocery shopping and cleaning the apartment. Oh, and I might corner the Husband and make him take me out to lunch.

What are your plans for the weekend?






**He's 15 and half pounds and 25 inches long. Too bad they don't measure foot size, I pretty sure he'd be in the 80th percentile for that too!

Awesome; NOT Awesome

on 11 November 2008

So, Whimsy started doing this thing where she breaks down situations into Awesome and NOT Awesome, and it's been a sufficiently awful day for me to openly STEAL the idea from her. Sorry, babe. If you had drawn your child's blood today, you'd be stealing ideas from other people too.

Awesome: Getting 9 of the Boy's RAZOR sharp claws cut while he was sleepily eating this morning.
NOT Awesome: Cutting a chunk out of his thumb on the last cut, drawing blood and a horrendous SHRIEK of pain from him and spending 30 minutes soothing him and apologizing over and over and over again.

Awesome: The Boy totally forgot about the thumb cutting incident and forgave his slatternly Mother for her ineptitude after those 30 minutes of soothing and yet more MILK!
NOT Awesome: The HORRIFIC guilt I felt ALL. DAY. LONG.

Awesome: Getting the Boy to nap for 2 hours this afternoon.
NOT Awesome: He napped in MY bed. On top of ME. My nap for the day? Um. Not so much.

Awesome: Our neighbor brought us leftover sandwiches from his workplace for dinner tonight!
Not Awesome: My dirty dishes from lunch are still sitting in the kitchen sink.

Awesome: Finished my book! Never mind that I had read it several times before (Northanger Abbey for those curious), I still finished it!
Not Awesome: Not knowing what to read next.

Awesome: The Husband is almost done with school for the semester!
NOT Awesome: Oh, we still have to slog through 3 more weeks of classes and FINALS and lo, he is DONE.

Awesome: The Boy has a doctor's appointment this Friday and I have a LIST! A loooong list of questions (along the lines of, "He does ____, is that NORMAL?") for the doctor!
NOT Awesome: He also has to get shots.

Awesome: The Husband is setting up a lovely picnic for us in the living room.
NOT Awesome: um...

um...

Ok. I can't think of anything that's NOT Awesome about that.

Question

on 07 November 2008

Will someone please explain to me how this kind of behavior is justified?

[See disclaimer and following note below before you STAKE me alive in the comments section.]

Several points:
  1. 52.5% of Californian voters approved Prop 8. The entire Mormon population of the state of California isn't 52% (it isn't even 2%), and YET--we are the ones bearing the brunt of the protests.
  2. I can't seem to recall anywhere in the bill of RIGHTS that says that all citizens have the RIGHT to life, liberty and the pursuit of marriage. Given that our nation has the highest divorce rate in the world, I find it difficult to support yet another group obtaining the right to marriage. Indeed, I think that all people should THINK (with their brain) before they decided to get married.
  3. Marriage is a sacred as well as a secular union, irregardless of whether it's a judge (pull out a dollar bill and read the back if you have any doubt about the nature of God and this country) or a priest/pastor/bishop etc. performing the union. Those protesters have only proven that they don't hold anything sacred so what is the point of their marrying?
Disclaimer: I don't generally talk about things of this nature on this blog because of the Burnstopia motto of Live and Let Live--however, when people attack innocent people in the streets because of the Church they belong to, I take great exception. Since there's no way of knowing how (or IF) those individuals voted then the only logical assumption is that they were attacked because they are Mormons. And here I thought that we had made some progress in the last 100 years. In additon, lest anyone think that this post is driven by homophobia of any kind, I have many gay friends and I love them dearly. We cordially agree to disagree on this topic and remain friends at the end of the day.

Now if we can return to the purpose of this entry which is for you all to explain to me how the aforementioned behavior is justified, I would really appreciate it.

[Note: All smarmy comments will be summarily deleted. It's my blog, it's my right of free speech; if you don't like it--don't read it.]

Gestures

on 06 November 2008

As part of my continuing series on unconventionally romantic gestures I must admit that it's becoming difficult. Not because the Husband hasn't done anything this week, but rather that some of the gestures are personal and I'm not willing to share them on the blog.

What's that? You didn't realize there were limits here. Well, there are.

Anyway. Since I can't decide on one that I'm willing to share, I will say this.


Know that he has peppered my week with generous mercy and kindness. Know that I adore this man and am so grateful that he's a part of my life. Know that he cracks me up. Know that he gives a lovely, relaxing back rub and that he loads the dishwasher. Know that he gnaws on the Boy's ribs until the Boy squeals in delight. Know that, as exhausting as life is right now, life is still very good.

And MORE Done.

on 05 November 2008

Well.

That was exciting, now wasn't it?

The Boy says, "Pleeeeease stop talking politics now!!!"

Aaaaaaand DONE

on 04 November 2008

Well, there's one less thing to get done today. Incidentally, after I took this picture, the Boy horked up his entire breakfast all over my pretty "I Voted" sticker. I think it's a sign.

A Story

on 03 November 2008

So, my nephew is 6 and his favorite thing in the world is to ask me, "Tell me a story from when you were a little girl." He's done it often enough now that when the Husband is bored he looks at me and says in his best imitation of JV "Tell me a story from when you were a little girl."

We were driving up to see my parents (who am I kidding? We were chauffeuring the Boy up to see his grandparents and were happily rewarded with yummy dinner and some awesome fleecy pajamas for the Boy) and the Husband turns to me and says, "Tell me a story from when you were a little girl."

So this is what I told him.

When I was a little girl we lived in Tennessee. And my grandpa lived in a tiny town about an hour or so away from the other town where we lived. I remember (vaguely, I was really little) that we would get in the car to drive out to visit my grandpa. East Tennessee is really hilly so there are lots of hills that my dad would race up and then we would drop down over the top so that our tummies plummeted a bit. Anyway, we would turn on to this country road and then onto a little dirt lane that went up hill a bit. We would tumble out of the car and up to the porch and into our grandpa's house that smelled of old fashioned peppermint and tobacco smoke, up into his lap for the hugs and kisses and the quarter he would give us to buy a Brown Cow down at the Piggly Wiggly.


And then us kids would sort of scatter...for my part I usually ended up out in the barn or on the back porch and here is why. My grandpa always kept cats for keeping mice out of the barn so as a child it always seemed like there were kittens. No matter the time of year, there were always kittens. And further more there were lots of kittens. As an adult I look back and know that there were probably only 6 or so kittens at a time, but as a child it seemed like hordes of kittens. And they were small and sweet and so friendly (usually because I had snatched some milk to give to them) and I would sit out there and chase and hold and pet kittens for hours. (Never mind that they were probably flea ridden and wormy and half feral, I was a child and it was positively wonderful!)

I suppose it's the fall weather that brought this to my mind this past weekend. The leaves have all turned here and are starting to fall industriously to the ground. It is my favorite time of year. Aside from longing to be back in school again, it's just full of wonderful things. The leaves turning red and orange and gold and then that wonderful crunch crunch crunch under foot and think of the lovely smell; the cool crisp air, the crunchy apples and the short days which make for wonderful evenings reading.

Which reminds me, I have the last fifty pages of my book to finish and Bed Sweet Bed is calling.

So tell me, what's your favorite part about fall?

Halloween and a Haircut

on 31 October 2008

Happy Halloween, y'all.

Now, as we know, I am not a Happy Halloween kind of girl. But apparently everyone else is.

Case in point, Whimsy sent the Boy this adorable Halloweeny set of feetie pajamas.

The Aunty-in-law sent the bib. Apparently it is requisite that children be dressed up for Halloween as well as gorge themselves on candy and the like.

Now, this time last year, I was getting a very weird phone call. This year, I settled for a haircut.

I know. It's still wet and you can't really tell what it looks like but it's a good 5 inches shorter and it's up off my neck and out of the Boy's reach and that's what counts.

Now if you'll excuse me I have a mess (not of my own making) that I have to go and clean up...Boy, stop spleening me!

Gestures

on 29 October 2008

So, I know that I've said it a lot--the Husband is not romantic.

I was thinking about this this morning because the Husband decided at 7am that he needed to sleep in, so I got up with the Boy and let him sleep a bit. And my conclusion, he's not conventionally romantic.

Once I started looking for them, I found romantic gestures all over the place. So I've decided that once a week I shall spotlight one of the Husband's romantic gestures and you can all go home and hug and smooch your sweethearts alight in the glow of love.

This week's romantic gesture? He bought me fizzy drinks.

Normally, we have a carbonation-free household. It's not for any good reason, it saves money and if it's in the house it's all I drink and what is best for me is water...so, no carbonation.

But! When I get sick I have a really hard time drinking water--it tastes like mucus and grosses me out, so the result is that I don't drink that much and what I need is fluids. So last night, we went to Sams to buy milk and on the way home he stopped so that we could buy some fizzy drinks. Isn't he sweet?

Now for all of you lovely people, go and do something unconventional for the one you love.

Tuesday Morning

on 28 October 2008

Update: I am still sick.

It's just WRONG. The Husband comes home Thursday night, says he's feeling a bit off, takes 2 Tylenol and wakes up fine on Friday morning. I go to be Saturday night, wake up at midnight feeling like DEATH, take 2 Tylenol and keep taking them for days on end. It's now Tuesday and I am still sick. HATE.

The Boy appears to be fine. Also has no interest whatsoever in napping. KILL ME NOW.

Speaking of boys. I knew I was in for it--being the mother of a wee laddie, my sister has 3 boys and I have closely observed her tribulations for years--and then I read this post by Jana over at the Meanest Mom. The Husband keeps shaking his head at me because lately--during bath time--I suds up the Boy and shake my head saying, "I don't know how you guys walk around with those things." His response is typical: "Pretty easily, actually."

And I have nothing further to add on this post by the Krista because when I read it (and I've read it 3 times now) I want to laugh but then I think of the Boy actually doing these things and I need to go and lie down.

Sunday Afternoon

on 26 October 2008

You know what's worse than being sick when you're nursing? Being sick when you're nursing with a cold that the Husband lovingly brought home and shared.

Niiiiiiiiiiice, huh?

Anyway, I'm sitting in the floor of the Boy's room and I was rocking him to sleep for what feels like the frillionth time and thinking about motherhood, so if you'll all indulge me--and if it's too much for you just blame the slight fever I've had all day.

So, I'm rocking the Boy who starts out wide wake, in his drooly pajamas from last night (because I am sick and the Husband sees no point in putting him in clean clothes when he's just going to drool all over them anyway) and he's all snug in his super soft car blanket with his pacifier in his mouth, eyes wide open and we're rocking away and I'm looking at his little face and thinking how he's growing and changing and Heaven be Merciful, he's starting to have a hint of little boy about him and not so much baby and I'm thinking how odd it is to be a mother.

After all, it's my job to keep him fed and healthy and clothed and reasonably content. But it's also my job to remember what his face looks like at every stage. It's my job to remember how soft his skin is and how he likes to be rocked to sleep. I need to remember his different laughs and what makes him crack up. I need to remember all the weird things we tried to calm him like sitting him in the bouncy seat on elevated surfaces (like the table or the bed--the kid loves to be tall) or how he loved to hang upside down off of the couch like a bat.

And someday he will come to me and want to know all of the names that the Husband and I called him when he was small and it will be my job to say, Stinker, Boy, Son, Little Love, Mon Petit Prince, Moy Malenkii, Moy Ciin, Mon Petit Fils, Pooper, Droolmeister, Puddles, Cameron-Man, I-Love-This-Boy, Cameron-Stop-Spleening-Me, Why-Won't-You-Sleep, Little Wrinkle, but mostly The Dude.

I'm watching his eyelids droop and pop open, droop and pop open and hoping that I remember all the things I love about every age so that someday when he asks me to tell him stories about when he was little I have plenty of happy, funny, quirky things to tell him and not just how I judged a good day from a bad day by the number of onesies he went through, or how long his naps were.

I think I need more Tylenol. Also probably more water and a nap.

I know it's terribly morbid and melancholy of me but I find myself picking up the Boy and holding him and rocking him and thinking how quickly the time is passing. He's getting so big so fast that I almost feel like he's leaving me behind. All of this melancholy is compounded by the fact that in all rationality I just didn't like being a mother so much, not at first, when I was sore from being cut open and he was crying crying crying all of the time. And now that I'm arriving at a place where I like being a mother, he's growing so fast that it almost feels like I won't really have time to enjoy it before he's out the door and on with the rest of his life.

I know. I'm over-reacting, I'm descending posthaste into sentimentality, I really need to go take that Tylenol and lay down. I need to go kiss my boy one more time while he's too small to run away.

What Worked

on 24 October 2008

Thanks for the comments/suggestions. I only got one that was somewhat smarmy (though, I'm willing to believe it was well-intentioned) and it was summarily deleted.

So the Boy slept through the night again last night and here's what worked. (Sorry, Sarah! Um, growth spurt? With James? Too much excitement in your house? It'll get better, you have great kids!)

New (thicker!) pajamas with socks and a onesie underneath and double weight flannel. He started off in a hat but he had done away with that after a couple of hours.

Also the Husband turned up the heat a notch. It's still a brisk 65 degrees in the apartment (as opposed to the 60 that we are content to keep it) but it's better than nothing.

Incidentally, Target has some of the cutest pajamas I've found anywhere. They're heavier cotton than Gerber's and they're reasonably priced. I bought 3 sets last night that are so cute that I want to wear them.

Flukes

on 23 October 2008

Well, turns out that Miracle of the Day was just a fluke. It's no big deal, it--like most miracles--was totally unexpected and provided just enough of a reprieve to give me a flicker of light at the end of a very long tunnel of sleeplessness.

The Boy is back to getting up at least once and in the case of last night twice during the night. I think he's still cold, when I changed him at 2am he had goosebumps straight out of the swaddling and he was in a onesie and feetie pajamas.

So I'm sending out an SOS for ideas on how to keep this Boy warm. I've talked to the Husband about turning the heat UP (we've already turned it ON). I've thought about putting a flannel blanket UNDER his pack and play sheet and then swaddling him in double weight flannel. I've thought about FLEECE pajamas (he only has 1 pair, but we could get more) and THEN the swaddling in double weight flannel. I've even thought maybe if I slap some socks and a hat on him and THEN his pajamas and THEN the swaddling maybe THAT would be enough. The thing is, we're trying NOT to have a catastrophic electricity bill so turning the heat UP is going to be our If All Else Fails measure--I least that's my guess based on 4 years of living with the Husband (aka Ebeneezer--about certain things).

And now to cast a humorous light on this otherwise perplexing situation, I give you Dickens. (Dudes, I CAN'T wait to read this to the Boy this year!)

"Scrooge had a very small fire, but the clerk's fire was so very much smaller that it looked like one coal. But he couldn't replenish it, for Scrooge kept the coal-box in his own room; and so surely as the clerk came in with the shovel, the master predicted that it would be necessary for them to part. Wherefore the clerk put on his white comforter, and tried to warm himself at the candle; in which effort, not being a man of strong imagination, he failed."

Miracle of the Day

on 21 October 2008

So, I may have mentioned this before, but I cannot remember just now because I am all a-dither with excitement.

Once upon a time, the Husband and I were visiting la familia in Savannah and the FIL was flipping through the TV channels and happened upon a televangelist who was talking (in all caps) about how you have to EXPECT THE MIRACLE! BECAUSE MIRACLES ARE HAPPENING EVERYDAY SO IF YOU EXPECT THE MIRACLE THEN YOU WILL RECEIVE!!!


Dudes. The Boy SLEPT THROUGH THE NIGHT!!!!

Here's the longer story.

Remember how I am a DUMB Mom? Yeah, well, she strikes again. I'm over it at this point. I consider it a miracle we even had a child, AND kept him alive this long...so my mistakes, yeah, they're just to be EXPECTED if you know what I mean.

My lovely friend, Sarah, was extolling the virtues of having Summer babies to me when I was bemoaning the fact that I would be 9 months pregnant in JULY in THE SOUTH, and she was all, "It's GREAT!!! All you need is a t-shirt and a diaper! No coats! No fleecies! No snowsuits!" And she was very very correct. It was brilliant! Especially at the end of the day when he was all Spit-up-Stinktastic and I could strip him down to just his diaper and give him a quick wipes bath. But alas, the Summer, it has ended.

Now, the Husband and I, we love us some Fall weather. We crack the doors and windows and we bask in the cool (i.e. COLD) fresh air. And lo, we are CHEAP so we don't turn the heat on in our apartment until it becomes FRIGID (i.e. weeks BELOW freezing). So, I was a bit baffled when our lovely Boy who had been getting only up once a night started getting up every 3-4 hours (and sometimes every 2)! He's grown out of his lovely layette gowns and into his full-on FEETY pajamas, and we would swaddle him up in a single piece of flannel every night.

It has sort of maybe got down below 40 the past week of nights when he was waking up every 2-3 hours...and it only just occured to me Sunday night, that...um...well, maybe he was a bit cold. I'm no genius here, but when I get up the 4th time with my wee Boy and his hands feel like ICE, it might be a sign that feety pajamas and a single weight flannel are just not sufficent to keep him warm.

Last night I filled him fully of delicious Mama-Cream, situated him in his feety pajamas and swaddled him up tight in a DOUBLE weight flannel blanket and lo, HE SLEPT THROUGH THE NIGHT. 7 PM to 6:30 AM. Needless to say I have covered his face with kisses!

We just won't think about the kind of leaking or PAIN which occured in Bed Sweet Bed because of the Boy's neglect because OH THE JOY, HE SLEPT THROUGH THE NIGHT!!!

Now you! What's your miracle of the day?

One More for the Road

on 20 October 2008

Kristin tagged me. And she said I didn't have to do it, but just to show that the Meme GAMES apply to everyone, Whimsy, I'm a-talkin' to YOU, yo, I'm doing it anyway.

Here we go...7 weird things about me:

Right, I've done this one before!


And the Wife trots off for a bowl of ice cream, laughing maniacally as she goes!

Photo-Tagged

Well, now...Sarah over at Los Bradley's tagged me and since I am drowning in laundry and this required very little thought from me, I thought I would go ahead and post it. So, here you go...

1. What am I doing right now?

Well, the real answer is multitasking, but here's what I came up with...
Um, self-explanatory...I am drowning in laundry.

Also, self-explanatory...I'm blogging.

2. My age.

I have reached that age where I prefer not to say.


3. First name.

Again, this being the internet I prefer not to say.
Those of you who know, know and I feel no need to say again...


4. Middle Name...

No harm in admitting...

Hint...it's not Roberta.

5. Last name.

See answer to question 3.

Hint. It's not Roberts.

6. Maiden Name.

Are you kidding me?

Hint. It's not Pipe or Book. But this is a picture of my dad.

7. Favorite food.

Indian food...NOM NOM NOM.

Of course I've been too scared to attempt to ingest this whilst nursing, my kid spits up constantly anyway no matter what I eat, I'd just as soon not have projectile spit up.


8. Bad habit.

Insomnia. GAH!


9. Past pet.

I've had several cats...let me pick one.

I had a black cat that we had so cleverly named Cat. Man, I loved that cat. She lived 16 years and then left me to go and die. I cried for DAYS over that cat.

10. Grandma's name.

My Father's Mom is:

And my Mother's Mom is:


11. Past love...

Hmmm, this one is a hard one. I'll go with:

12. First Job.


13. Favorite place...

Bed Sweet Bed


14. If I went back to school...

In Comparative Literature, natch.

15. If I could visit any place in the world...


Although, right now I'd settle for anywhere without the ginormous pile of laundry I have to do today.

So, here are the directions:

Directions:
1. Go to Google
2. Do an Image search for your answer to each question
3. Pick a picture off the first page of images that best answers the question.

And I'm a-taggin' Katrina, Whimsy and Samwise. Go!