I rarely think things through.

You know how most people come to a decision after carefully weighing their options and possibly discussing their plan with others? I don’t. I can probably most accurately be described as the type of person who jumps into things headfirst without looking first. When it comes to home improvement projects, I generally think, “Oh, I can do that,” start the job, then have the “oh crap” moment. Or, even more likely, I never have that moment and continue plowing forward thinking I’ll figure it out as I go.

So how does this pertain to my current panic attack situation? I’ll tell you.

Mitchell has developed a fondness for birds. He watches them, he chases them, he talks to them, and he giggles at them. Basically, he loves them. So, like the totally indulging parent I am, I spent the Menard’s gift card I got for Christmas that was earmarked for carpet in the basement on five new bird feeders, bird food, and a couple bird feeder poles. (True to form, I ignored the recommended tools to install the pole and it’s now a little crooked. Or a lot crooked. I don’t think the birds mind.) Anyway, Mitchell and the dogs are very much enjoying themselves watching and chasing ¬†the swarms of birds and squirrels descending upon our yard.

Here’s the problem. I’m a little iffy about birds. Specifically, multiple birds. Especially black birds.

I have no idea why, I’ve never even seen the Alfred Hitchcock movie. As a kid, my little sister had some evil birds and I accidentally killed the one nice bird she had, so I bet that affected me somehow (it’s all her fault). But really, nothing traumatic or anything. And it’s not like I think they’re going to hurt me. But…oi…I get pretty tense when birds are around.

Basically, when someone else looks out my window, they probably see something like this:

I, however, see something like this:


There are these big black birds that keep starting fights with each other and all the other birds. I keep hearing a commotion from the backyard, and when I venture to the window, I see a swarm of birds flying around. Every time, I get a mild panic attack. But Mitchell giggles uncontrollably. So the birds stay. And I’ll just avoid the window.

By themagnificentms

Mitchell has a friend

I watched a friend’s little girl this morning. She is exactly one year and three days younger than Mitchell. And she is ADORABLE. She’s very easy-going and happy. We had a blast. That being said, I learned a few things today.

1. People who intentionally have their children one year apart are either crazy, gluttons for punishment, or heroes. Or maybe a combination of all three.

2. Mitchell is mildly territorial/possessive/jealous. I pulled out several of his younger toys that he hadn’t played with in months, but all of a sudden when his friend had them, they were the most interesting toys he’d ever seen.

3. While I don’t think Mitchell is very scheduled, it turns out he is particular about certain things. Mostly food-related things. And hugging me every two minutes.

4. It is nearly impossible to go to the bathroom with two babies in the house.

5. In just one short year, I’ve completely forgotten how awful baby vomit smells. I remember finding spots of spit-up on my shirt after I got to work, but now I can’t imagine not knowing there is spit-up somewhere in my house.

6. Rocking two babies is probably the most adorable thing in the entire world.

7. Mitchell is LOUD.

8. There’s a reason second children are typically easy-going. They have to be. I have rose-colored memories of feeding Mitchell as these glorious bonding moments. Trying to give his little friend a bottle? It was an exercise in “how do I hold her and a bottle while leaving one arm free”.

9. Babies are FASCINATED by one another. Within a couple hours, she was pulling on him whenever he got close and he was trying to give her hugs. And both of them watched each other intently.

10. OMG BABIES ARE CUTE. Oi. So adorable.

By themagnificentms

Foodie in the making

Mitchell absolutely insists on helping in the kitchen now. He has his favorite spatula and he uses it to help stir whatever we’re making. Like a true foodie, he tastes as he prepares. Even if the only thing in the bowl so far is flour. That was pretty hilarious. He likes to help pour ingredients into the bowl, and most of the time the ingredients actually make it into the bowl.



In addition to wanting to help cook and eating while cooking, this kid has had an insatiable appetite the last week. I generally try not to give snacks throughout the day, but it hasn’t affected his meal time eating whatsoever. And he is STARVING. He’ll finish a large dinner and ten minutes later eat an entire orange. Then a breakfast bar. Then a cracker. I’m having nightmares about our future grocery bills. Growth spurt, here we come!

By themagnificentms

Where’s Mitchell?

Mitchell has taken to hiding places. His favorite places are the cabinets, closet, and behind curtains. He can also open the fridge by himself now, and has started trying to hide behind the doors. We have a freezer on bottom fridge, so all he accomplishes is hiding his head. It looks pretty funny. If nobody is playing with him, he’ll start telling for attention. Then he’ll start sticking his toes out from under the door/cabinet to be tickled. It’s really funny.




An old standby is behind the crib. He hasn’t forgotten about that one yet!


By themagnificentms

Great-Grandma’s Birthday

It was Great-Grandma’s birthday a couple weeks ago, and we decided to make it pretty special for her. We decided she needed a seafood feast! So last Thursday she and Brooke drove up to Topeka. First we went to the zoo to see elephant painting (it was a lot less impressive than it sounds…no paintbrushes were involved). It was fun to see the elephants doing tricks afterward, though.

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The tigers must have really enjoyed the elephant painting, though, because they were VERY riled up. Even though I completely trust the strength of their enclosure, every time they lunged at the glass or jumped up there, I did cringe a bit. Mitchell just giggled, though. Because the boy has NO fear. Unless you count toys that sing at him. Then he has a lot of fear.

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As usual, he loved feeding the llama and the goats. Unfortunately, it seems that he’s discovered how to lure the llama and goats to him with the food, then keep the food to use again. The goats are stupid and fell for it every time.

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And of course, no trip to the zoo is complete without a picture with the gorilla.

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And then, SEAFOOD! I made my very first lobster tail, crab legs, corn on the cob, and potatoes. It was all finished off with a large amount of Billy Vanilly cupcakes. Mitchell, it turns out, loves crab legs.

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By themagnificentms

My, how things change.

Earlier this week, Justin and I celebrated St. Patrick’s Day at a parent/child workshop at the library. St. Patrick’s Day used to be such a holiday for me that this felt like a mighty change. Of course, being the sober one watching the drunk ones in Aggieville fit the parade felt very weird, too.

But I got another jolt of change today. 5 years ago, I polished off the entire Fablehaven series (young adult fantasy at its finest) during the first week of spring. I camped out on our (then) back patio every evening with a beer in hand and didn’t move until it was too dark to read. Today I decided the weather was perfect and I had a hankering to reread the series, so I camped out on our (now) back deck and cracked open the book. The beer was replaced by an iced tea and I was quickly joined by a sleeping baby, but other than that, it was dejavu. But just those three minor changes (location, beverage, baby) are enough for me to think just how much my life has evolved in the last five years. I think “evolve” is a better word than “change” for it. But the last few days have really driven home how great my life is right now and how much I have to be thankful for. Don’t get me wrong, Justin and I have worked/are working very hard to get where we are, but at this moment, I can’t help but feel like the luckiest gal in the world.

By themagnificentms

My child, the comedian.

Everyone excels at something. Some kids are great at obedience. (Not my child.) Some kids are great at sitting quietly and occupying themselves. (Not my child.) My child seems to excel in being hilarious. Granted, some of his antics (we’ll call them jokes) are an acquired taste. And, as all comedians know, some jokes crash and burn. For instance, peeing on the freshly-mopped bathroom floor right after Mommy got done bathing a fox-scented dog and then scrubbing the entire bathroom from top to bottom? Not funny. But trying to wear said dog’s collar? Very funny. If not a little troubling. But we’ll focus on the funny. He was even trying to buckle it. Don’t worry, he quickly moved to trying to put it on Kingsley.


By themagnificentms

Hello little birdie!

Mitchell has recently become obsessed with birds. At the park every night he chases them. At PetSmart yesterday, he decided he wanted a bird. Disclaimer: if anybody gives him a bird, know that it will be promptly released. I dislike birds. A lot. Except doves and finches. But I think the dogs would eat them.

By themagnificentms