A Gimp Foot, A Granny Sock, Unfabulous Drugs, and the Poop on the Bus (that made it all worthwhile)

So if you have a kooky foot fetish or a dude-that's-so-not-cool french bulldog fetish (ewww) get ready to be really turned on...

Long story short: my foot has been killing me for a week and I woke up today and it was 10x worse.

It turns out Urgent Care on the Friday before Halloween is 100% a freakshow. I wish I'd taken pics of the geisha who checked me in or the neon haired sexy kitty cat who took my blood pressure because, well, because.

I was excited that they were playing Taio Cruz's "Dynamite" in the xray room. I love that song. Oh, and no broken bones, another bonus!

Meanwhile, I was hoping the doc would prescribe me Demerol or Percocet. I mean really, I go to the doctor once every decade, I deserve a magic carpet ride. I got Ibuprofen - yipeeee...

The Poop on the Bus...

I went back to work, then had leftover pasta with Otto for dinner, we did bathtime and amazingly he was asking for a "nap" (aka bedtime) at 5:50pm. Like 30 minutes early, hells to the yes!

Every night at bedtime he makes song requests. Sometimes he'll ask for "The Digger Truck Song" and we have to make something up on the fly. We've got a mental library of songs we've made up like that, including "Otto is a Helicopter Pilot" which is my personal favorite.

Tonight he asked for "The Wheels on the Bus" which is like his go-to song of choice lately. He likes to prompt us with who is on the bus, then we get to sing. He'll say, "the daddy" then we sing, "the daddy on the bus goes I love you."

Tonight it was "mommy" "cat" and then "poop". Awesome. I definitely cracked a smile, but didn't miss a beat. So in case you wondered, the poop on the bus goes "poop poop poop, all through the towwwwn"

Love that kid! So. Much.



Mummy Tummy November - Rock Your Body!

Same pic for months, still not me, but slowly making progress!
#MummyTummy is my online workout club for moms (or anybody) on Twitter. I send you 4 dedicated #mummytummy tweets per day - each one a reminder to do a set of 20 crunches, situps, or whatever ab workout you're comfortable with.

And Then There Was #MumBum
One day abs, the next, SQUATS! That's right, the dreaded squats, deal with it whiner, and you'll be glad you did! You can thank Jenny from Jenny Loves This for your soon-to-be-firmer butt.

Rock Your Body!
In honor of #MummyTummy and #MumBum November I'd like to veejay a song for you. Because I want Justin Timberlake to want to rock my body (ahem, don't you?), but right now he so wouldn't want to rock my love handles (I mean, Jessica and Cameron so do NOT rock the love handles).

You could even add cardio by dancing to a JT song every day. What? It's a thought. Be a go-getter.

Sign up For MummyTummy November! Bring Your Sexy Back!
Just comment below with your Twitter name and from now through November 30 I'll tweet you 4x a day! And don't stress it, we're all busy with lives, there's no penalty for skipping a set or a day. This is just a fun way to motivate each other and even make new Twitter connections.

Take my order cause your body gonna be like a Carry Out!


Escaping the Tucson Metropolis (haha) For a Harvest Festival Kind of Day

On Sunday we loaded up the radio flyer wagon, dressed Otto and his dad in matchy farm-esque button-ups, were joined by my in-laws (aka Nana and Papa), and headed south down Mexico way (but not quite south of the border) to Agua Linda Farm. Hurray!

We were kicking a** and taking names at the hay maze!

I chose that dishevelled looking pumpkin up front ---> the one who thought the Purell I put in his hand was hair gel & styled himself up with it after touching a goat's butt...

In other animal news, Otto went on his first pony ride and was like an instant equestrian pro. Nana kept calling the horse "Whitey" and every time she did I died a little of internal laughter. "You love Whitey don't you?" haha! Gets me every time! ps. Nana was being sweet and sincere and I am just a bonehead with a lowbrow sense of humor.

Ot and I were both sporting new kicks, too. How hip are we? (Don't answer that unless you think we're super hip.) His were a gift from Nana and I'm madly in love! Mine were a probably irresponsible impulse buy but I went all summer without any new shoes & I've been drooling over these "house shoes" since I first saw them in the slipper bin at Target (why do I feel like Mrs. Roper after saying that?). Anyways they're on sale this week for $15! I promise to wear them inside and out, every day, all winter. So far I've been good to my word.

ps. Rob HATES them; that makes me like them just a little bit more!

A few more pics for your Harvest Festival and/or Otto-lovin' enjoyment...

Oh, and mark your calendars! It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown airs on Thursday, 10/28 at 7pm (at least in AZ it's 7pm). We'll be ringing in the holiday season that night with some close friends, a very informal pasta night, and letting 3 toddlers (Otto included) watch the special for the first time. It will be Otto's first time watching TV!



Full Moon

Tonight Otto was wound up like an 8-day clock. Rob gave me a little shit for saying that earlier. He told Otto (for my benefit), "wow, sometimes your mom really says cool things like she's from the 1800s."

"It's a saying," I defended. And I'm right, it IS a saying. (But I think it might be from the 1800s.)

So here we are at the end of Otto's first week at preschool. Le sigh. But really, let's raise a glass! It's gone well. On Wednesday and Friday he did get stressed and cry a bit as we were dropping him off. His teachers suggested we bring in a photo of our family for him to carry around during the day for reassurance. We did that for today and they said he carried it around alllll day long. There's even a picture of him laying down with it propped up next to him at naptime. (I can't wait til they send me that pic) Very sweet.

I think Ot may have hit max capacity today on the adjusting-to-preschool thing, though. He kind of went apeshit berserk this evening. I took him to the grocery store with me and he was like a wild, yowly little squirrel monkey freakshow. Like a mogwai that ate all kinds of fried chicken after midnight. Not whiney, not even sour, just completely freaking bonkers. He pulled my hair, which I can't even tell you how much I hate that. Mother-effing-ouch! He pulled my hair like six times. Each time I was so dead serious, "let go." And then I'd tell him, "that really hurts." I told him, "pull your hair to see how it hurts" and here's where you know someone snuck your kid crack, he looked at me with this crazy, wide-eyed smiley face, grabbed a chunk of his bangs, and pulled as hard as he could for like 30 seconds, totally smiling the whole time. 


I was like, "Stop, Wild Thing, I don't want you to hurt mommy or yourself!"

In the parking lot we spotted the full moon up in the sky, and pointed to it, and Otto said, "moooon," and I thought, "well that's probably part of it." Full moon night, plus a tumultuous week with a new schedule, new environment, and new people (without mom and dad there) to adjust to, and add in a teeny pathetic little nap today...

But dinner was peaceful (maybe a little extra goofy) ... and bedtime was by-the-book ... and now he sleeps. And I smile. Goodnight moon.



Wordless-ish... Otto Starts Preschool and My Heart Bursts (With Love)

Oof, I kept it together until the second I was out of his sight, then lost it. Not just crying but like hyperventilated a little on the car ride home and almost threw up in our driveway. My heart breaks and I panic all over again thinking about taking him back tomorrow. And yet, I know this is going to be such a positive new adventure for him. And he handled it really well. In fact...

I did all kinds of creative photo editing to highlight my gorgeous child and hide the fact that he's sitting on the world's messiest floor completely surrounded by my shoes. But then I realized that's exactly what the picture looks like, haha! Anyways, the point is, look at that face. That's the face of a sweetheart and a survivor and he's going to do great at preschool! Like beyond great! I think it's going to be amazing for him. It is a wonderful school and now my little boy goes to school. Whoa. I kind of want to cry again thinking about it but I'm also so full of pride - he's turning into such an awesome little dude.



CLOSED - CSN Stores $35 Gift Card Giveaway!

So my dream kitchen (which WILL HAPPEN one day and for which I have a scrappy notebook full of clippings from Martha Stewart Living and the Williams-Sonoma and Pottery Barn catalogues) is big and open and "in the French style" with huge, individually-paned windows looking out onto a big back yard where there is a cherry tree & it's always spring and drizzling and the tree is always blooming. It's verrrrry shabby and fairly chic and the focal point is an oversized island where my family can gather around & chat while we each sit on a gorgeous, antiqued (or antique) bar stool, and I can roll pie dough while I guzzle apricot ale & gaze outside through my giant paned windows while someone* else cleans it. (*I don't know who, probably George Clooney, and he also gives me back rubs.) It looks something like this:

I found this image on the blog Dream Within Reach and, well, I die!

But wait, I need to focus - This is a CSN Stores Giveaway! 

That's right, the lovely people over at CSN Stores have offered TidbitsParenting readers an opportunity to win a $35 Gift Certificate! The winner can use it towards gorgeous bar stools like these...

Or cool wooden kids toys like this set I recently ordered from CSN Stores for Otto (getting a jump on holiday shopping for the first time in my life)...

Or anything else they may find. The CSN Stores world will be their oyster.

How to Enter The Giveaway...

Many Entry Opportunities (none of these is mandatory; pick and choose the modes of entry that you like, and enter as many times as you like!):

- Tell me what you think you might get from CSN Stores if you won the gift certificate

- Follow CSN Stores on Twitter (2 entries)

- Follow TidbitsParenting via Google Friend Connect (see right sidebar) (if you already follow that counts too) (2 entries)

- Follow @OttosMomBlogs on Twitter (if you already follow that counts too)

- Tweet the following and in your comment, put a link to your tweet (up to 3 bonus entries per day / 1 per tweet / 30 min apart or more please):

Win a $35 @CSNStores Gift Certificate - ends 11/11 http://tinyurl.com/2eu5qsg @OttosMomBlogs #Giveaway !

- "Like" TidbitsParenting on Facebook (if you already like us that counts too) (2 bonus entries)

- Grab the TidbitsParenting badge (on the right) and in your comment leave a link to your badged up blog homepage (3 bonus entries) (if you've already got the badge that counts too)

- Vote for this blog on Picket Fence Blogs (by clicking the Picket Fence Blogs icon in the right sidebar) you can do this once per day (unlimited bonus entries, well ... 1 per vote til the contest ends)

Please Note:

Remember to leave a comment for EACH entry. For example, if you follow CSN Stores on Twitter, since that's worth 2 bonus entries make sure you leave 2 comments for that.

Make sure that I can reach you if you win - please put your email address or Twitter name in each comment so that I can reach you if you win. I will contact the winner at some point on November 12 and they will have 48 hours to claim the prize or we will choose a different winner.

Giveaway will be closed for new entries at 11:59pm Pacific Time on Novem
ber 11. Open to US & Canada. I will use Random.org to choose a winner and will verify that the winning entrant has played by the rules so it only makes sense to be honest! Note: I was in no way compensated for this post other than CSN Stores generously prov
iding a gift certificate to the winner. The opinions are my own.



Babysitting for our Sweet Nephew and Rethinking Baby Number 2

A few weeks ago I was lucky enough to take a WEEK off of work, pack up myself and my kid, leave my husband in the Tucson dust, and head up to the Phoenix dust to babysit our (then) 3mo nephew, King, for 4 mornings... 
I wish the pictures weren't so blurry. Technical difficulties transferring to computer
& can't seem to get the original quality back. Boo! Still, cutest babies ever!
I can't even begin to tell you what an amazing time I had cuddling, cooing, and bonding with my nephew in the peaceful environment of his own home, just the 3 of us (me, King, Otto) and one day just the 2 of us (me, King). This is something that never really happens as most visits involve multi generations and many many people, which is wonderful, but doesn't lend itself to the quiet, peaceful bonding that happens on a morning of babysitting...

Tummy time... haha, oh boy, tummy time! Meanwhile...

Otto actually had a pretty difficult time adjusting to "sharing" his mommy with King each day. What can I say - he's an only child and he's used to being the center of my universe, so it threw him a little that I wasn't at his instant beck and call. I know, I know, this is a lesson he'll have to learn eventually, yada yada, but please shut up, because honestly, it broke my heart to see the way he was looking at me like, "what's going on, Mommy?" ... He didn't understand why he'd lost a part of my attention. I started to panic - what would a supermom do? How could I handle this without Otto getting upset or acting out? I found myself balancing the needs of both boys and just knew that the amount of attention either was getting wasn't the 100% they deserved. Obviously that's math, 1 person can't give 100% to 2 babies, but I felt like I should have been. And I wondered how moms of more than 1 child do it!

Otto actually handled it like a champ, but by the end of each morning he was whining, throwing little tantrums, and demanding a "paci" . Well, in our house he is only allowed to have a "paci" during naptime so I made a special nap spot on the couch for him and told him that whenever he wanted his "paci" he would need to rest on the napping couch. This was my compromise - what do you think? It was all I could come up with on the fly. So, he opted to do this fake-napping a LOT. For little 3 minute intervals over and over again. Yeah, it's cute the way he puts his feet up and reads, but it still made me sad. He never throws fits for a "paci" ... he rarely throws fits at all. 

From 2004-2008, when we were going through our infertility crap, I told myself that I would be happy with one child or ten. Some of the injections we were taking increased our chances of multiples and I was totally on board with that. I would say, "three is better than zero, pump me full of whatever you got!" Then when Otto was conceived I was just... I was joy. Like I equalled joy. That was it, me = joy.

And since they never really figured out what made us infertile in the first place... there were quite a few mentions of the possibility that this pregnancy could kick start us into Normalsville and we might conceive naturally from then on. So I got all enthusiastic about that idea. I stopped breastfeeding Otto right at a year in hopes of conceiving a sibling for him. And so that was 10 months ago and it's starting to look like Rob and I may be back to Infertilityville and here's the funny thing - I'm ok with that.

Otto tries on his Aunt Kari's kicks.
She's the coach for ASU's gymnastics team
and so her sneakers are like extra cute & sporty looking!
It's not like babysitting was this horrific experience by any means. Just the opposite - I loved it! But it also put all of these thoughts into my head about balancing parenting Otto with parenting some new little being and I think I realized I'm not entirely joyous at the thought of it. I don't know what this means; it's not a fully formed thought. But I do know it means that Rob and I won't be heading back down the road of fertility treatment. I think I came to an understanding about myself and it's that I am not going to go through that again. It was too much, too hard, too miserable, and too disappointing for too long, in order to go through that again while I'm busy trying to be the best parent I can be to Otto. This isn't a judgment, no mean replies please, but for me, I'm just saying that I think I've made my decision.

If we get pregnant again naturally (which I honestly kind of doubt is going to happen) but if we do... I'll be thrilled! Shocked and thrilled! But if we don't, I really don't think I'll be disappointed - not at all. I love being Otto's mom and he's perfect and social and well-adjusted. I don't think "not trying" is doing him a disservice.

And then the longer blog post that I don't think I can write right now because this is getting pretty wordy already - well, that one is about how in three years or so I think I might look back into adoption. That's a ball that we just barely started rolling right before Otto was conceived and we didn't pursue it any further. But I think we might, someday, when Otto is older and we can have the conversation with him about a sibling. And then I think it might be nice to adopt a slightly older child. 

I'd love to hear what you think. I know I babbled but it all kind of goes together. And it feels good to put it all down and kind of digest it. Hmmmm, and thanks for lending an ear! 

Be sure to tell me how freaking cute my nephew is! And Otto, too, of course!



Easy Cheesy Chicken Biscuitwiches! (Wholesome & From Scratch-ish)

Let me just say... I invented this recipe! It's super easy. And I love it!

We've been going through some difficult money stuff lately and there have been quite a few times where we can't afford to buy groceries and we know it's going to be days before we can and I've needed to get creative with what we have around the house in order to make sure Otto gets healthy, hearty foods in a wide variety of recipes. These little biscuitwiches were the product of one of those occassions and really turned out great. It's a loosey goosey interpretation of a Joy of Cooking biscuit recipe that I just ran with and the end product is delicious, wholesome, and Otto approved. It would also become vegan instantly by subbing out the chicken with a vegan substitute & using nutritional yeast + herbs instead of the cheese.

All you need is:
- 1 cup flour (I used whole wheat flour)
- 1/2 Tbsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1/4 cup oil (olive, vegetable, or I used grapeseed)
- 1/2 cup shredded cheddar, monterey jack, or mexican blend cheese
- 5-8 chicken nuggets - prepared (i.e., heat em up)

All you do is:
- Mix the ingredients together in a large bowl (except the chicken nuggets). The batter will be thick and pastey/lumpyish.
- Drop by the tablespoon onto an ungreased cookie sheet. Drop the same number of biscuits as the number of chicken nuggets you prepared.
- Now, add a chicken nugget to each (see pic)
- Last step is to add another tablespoon (or so) of batter to top off each. Use a spoon to spread it out so the nugget is mostly covered.
- Any excess batter can be used to make tablespoon-sized biscuits (same cooking time)
- Bake at 475`F for about 8 minutes (until the bottoms begin to look brown)

We dip ours in a homemade honey mustard. We've also added peas to the batter (although if your little one doesn't dig peas the way Otto does this may be a bad idea!). We've also added basil and rosemary to the mix! So go crazy... throw whatever sounds good in there.

I hope you enjoy this easy, cheap-o, healthy, and fun recipe as much as we do!



AZ Peoples - Fun Family Event To Support JDRF on October 30 (Tempe Town Lake)

Mark your calendars for this fun & fundraising event coming up Saturday, October 30! We'll be there and if anyone would like to meet up with us to walk, playdate & do fun activities with the kiddos, dance party to live bands, and have a morning picnic just let me know. The more the merrier! ps. It's free.

Kids Interactive Activities   *   Local Bands   *   Face Painting   *   Rides

Tempe Town Lake
Registration Opens at 7:30 am
Walk begins at 9 am

A very close family friend, Jenna Smith, is the Development Coordinator for this event. Jenna was diagnosed with type 1 (aka juvenile diabetes) as an adult and became active with the JDRF as a volunteer. In fact, she became so empassioned about the cause that she eventually moved from volunteer to employee and now works full-time to further the JDRF's efforts to raise awareness and donations to fund research towards a cure.

This is a FREE EVENT. Additionally, there is an opportunity to raise money for the event by setting a fundraising goal and asking friends & family to donate. 

My family will be walking on Team Jenna on October 30. You are welcome to join us! And if you do please let me know so that we can figure out a place for us to meet up! But otherwise, please consider signing up individually.

If you have questions or would like additional information please feel free to contact me directly.

Also - Tucsonans! There is a Reid Park Walk scheduled for November 6. My family hasn't yet decided if we'll be doing that walk as well, but for more information on the Tucson event, here is a link.



21 and Over, I Need a Cocktail

Today is Otto's 21 month birthday. I'm actually super melancholy about it. Wait, I mean I'm HAPPY! Wait, I mean I really am happy. Every day with this precocious, weird, awesome, hilarious, and (imho) gorgeous child is my happiest moment on the planet.

Yesterday he was pretending to eat his wooden trains and then poop them out, complete with fart sounds. I died laughing. My child = comedy genius!

[sorry so blurry... Otto = constant motion]

But the melancholy is real too. How was he still inside my fat stomach, sharing mint chocolate chip ice cream with me just 2 years ago? How was he a sweet little glob of butterball goo, just barely crawling, 1 year ago? I feel like I'm going to turn around and he'll be off to prom or offering to buy me a drink at the [insert cool band name] show (because yes in 19+ years Otto is going to think I'm so cool he'll want to go to all the cool shows with me and buy me drinks).

Is time going to keep flying like this? Or does it slow down as they get older? I want to put my fingers together like Evie on "Out of This World" and just freeze here for a little while. Just freeze him and hold him and stare at him and preserve each second because he changes and grows so much every single day. ::sigh::

But I really am happy.