34 entries categorized "Family"

Those Blanton Studios People Did Quality Work

To my mother, there is no greater sin than throwing something out.  Back when we all lived at home, it was not unusual for one of us to dispose of something--say, a half-empty bottle of shampoo--only to find it mysteriously back in its place a couple days later.  Apparently to Mom, the only thing more absurd than going through our trash was the thought that four ounces of Herbal Essences might go unused.

This phenomenon was not limited to bath products, though; clothes, shoes, and all sorts of miscellaneous discarded objects would all make Lazarus-like reappearances in our rooms, usually without any spoken explanation from my mother.  If we did happen to challenge her on the bizarre reappearance of an item, we would be given one of two responses: "That cost good money," or (if it was something like an "Earth Day 1990" pin), "I'm sure one of your siblings could use that."

Thanks in part to this practice of domestic Dumpster diving, my parents' basement has become home to a lot of bizarre crap over the past couple decades.  Since I moved out of my parents' house, my mom has taken to occasionally surprising me with boxes of random junk that she salvaged over the years.  Recently, for example, I was presented with a Looney Toons mug containing some old keychains, my ninth grade photo ID, and my old retainer.  This little terrarium of uselessness has been sitting in my car ever since, because while I have absolutely no use for any of the items and refuse to bring them into my house, I am also strangely unable to throw them out.  This leaves me to wonder if it is my genetic lot in life to hang on to such things, maybe until I have a child of my own to bequeath them to.  Because honestly, what future descendent of mine wouldn't want this?

One-Year Nephew Update, Plus Some Other New Pics

My nephew turned one yesterday, and we celebrated over the weekend with a party at my sister's house.  In his first year of existence, Caedan has transformed from being similar in size (and activity level) to a Chipotle burrito--
My sister is a pretty mom

--to a real, honest-to-gosh human with a personality.

Riding into the wall
Maybe it's because he is the first human baby that I have been able to observe closely over an extended period of time, but even after seeing him every week for the past year I still do not entirely get where all this little person-ness came from.  I am fairly certain there is a significant amount of magic involved.  I mean, there was a time in my very recent memory when this kid did not even understand what his own hand was, and had to be protected from his own fingernails--how did that same kid figure out how to take said hand, pick up a pretend phone, and say, "Hellllllllloooooo" into it?!  If I was still learning at that speed, I could probably cure cancer on my lunch break tomorrow.

Hit him up on his cell

Anyway, I put up some birthday pics of the neph here, including shots of the awesome present I got him.  I had Etsy seller CrashCanStudio custom-make him the most awesome stuffed felt electric guitar.

Rock star

Also up on Flickr: pics from Matt's 26th birthday, and a couple shots of Pancake's dog park outing with his BFF (and obedience classmate) Tucker.

Parenting by Natural Selection

Every Sunday night my siblings and I meet at my parents' house for dinner, and since my sister had Caedan in February the dinner talk has understandably grown more baby-centric than ever before.  The best part about these conversations is when a typical baby-related topic--toys, nutrition, safety hazards, etc.--leads my mom to reveal some slightly sketchy glimpse at how we ourselves were reared.  "Oh, Dimetapp always knocked you kids right out," she might say during a conversation about fussiness, or, while we're all wondering about the safety of a particular toy, "Yeah, those seem dangerous, all right . . . but then again, you kids always had them."

These comments are usually presented as an aside, but they always bring the conversation to a screeching halt.  "You DRUGGED US with DIMETAPP?!" we'll shout, incredulous.  "What were you thinking?!" But rather than respond to our indignant cries, she just smiles and says something to the effect of, "You all lived, didn't you?" 

For this reason, we've taken to speculating that there were in fact 18 of us kids at one time, and that this number was gradually whittled down to the current four--the hardy survivors.  This would make sense, except--as my younger sister points out--for one flaw: me.

"There's no way you would have been one of the strongest," she says every time we mention the Survivor Theory of Parenting.  "Not unless the other 14 were absolutely pathetic."

She has a point.

She's also a bitch.

Nephew Update

Because there's not much else for an almost-two-month old to do, my new nephew has mainly been concentrating on growing one crazy head of hair.  This is a picture my brother-in-law took after he and my sister gave Caedan a bath last week:


I bet there are metrosexuals out there who would kill to have his naturally-occurring faux-hawk.

In other news, I started a new project at work and don't have Internet access yet at the client site.  It was so weird not being able to get online.  Like, what happened in the world today?  Can someone tell me?  I have no idea.



My nephew was born yesterday at 9:46 a.m., a month early.  He weighs 6.5 pounds and is doing great.  His interests include sleeping, wiggling, and rocking the free unisex beanie from the hospital.

My sister is doing well, and she and her husband are exhausted and exhilarated.  They are also parents.  Parents!

I got to hold him yesterday--clearly the best moment of 2008 so far--and as I looked at his little froggy face I could only think two thoughts; one, he's beautiful; two, he's wrapped up exactly like a Chipotle burrito.

Welcome, little burrito!  Can't wait to know you.

Don't Bee Ridiculous

I am in the process of planning a baby shower for my eight-months-pregnant older sister Kelly.  The baby shower I am hosting will also be the first baby shower I've ever attended, so naturally I'm doing a lot of preparation and research--and by "preparation and research," I mean I am intrepidly making my way through the great, sugary clump of Comic-Sans-heavy sites on the Internet that claim to make planning a baby shower a fun and enjoyable activity.  I'm beginning to understand how this works.

7053008 For example, it is my understanding that apparently, nothing celebrates impending birth like visual metaphors and uninspired puns.
Just about every single available baby shower theme, favor, or decoration on the Internet involves some sort of cutesy reference to peas in pods or other crap.  You can give out "Mommy to Bee" honey, for example, or candles shaped like cinnamon buns fresh out of the oven.

Unfortunately, I haven't been able to find a set of miniature doors with "Knocked Up" stenciled on them, which I think would be tasteful.  Maybe I can make little bundles of corn seeds and tie them with a ribbon that says "About to Pop."

Most baby shower websites include playing a bunch of wacky, baby-themed games, like this one:

Have each         participant take a bottle filled with a liquid and suck the bottle as a baby would. The         woman who drinks the most in an alloted time wins the baby shower gift. This baby shower         game gets everyone laughing!

I'm sure this game would get everyone laughing--at me.  As in, "Ha, ha.  If you think I am going to do this, you are insane."  Maybe the women I know are different from those in other regions of the country, but I cannot picture a single one of them voluntarily drinking out of a bottle in an attempt to win a lame favor.

Another one of our favorite baby shower games is the baby shower version of Pin The Tail on the Donkey. Blindfold each participant and then give them a paper baby to then approach the mom and place the baby as close to the tummy as possible. The one who gets closest to placing the paper baby on the pregnant tummy wins.

What? How hard is it to find someone's stomach, especially when it has become expanded enough to accommodate an almost-fully-formed baby human?!?! Also, what's in it for the pregnant lady?  Sorry, but I doubt my sister is game for standing around and getting poked repeatedly in the stomach.  Next.

Yet another game (Guess the Gerber's!) involves blindfolding people and feeding them baby food, then having them guess what they are eating.

What is the obsession with eating and drinking like a baby?! That's like saying the best way to prepare for getting a dog is to eat dog food, or the best way to buy a car is to first drink a quart of gasoline.

This game is one of the funniest and most popular baby shower games. Have the baby shower host or appointed person moderately melt 5-10 different candy bars separately, placing each one in a diaper to be viewed by everyone. Mark each diaper as A, B, C, D, etc. Have everyone guess which candy is in each of the diapers. Make sure to use some candies that have nuts, toffee, caramel, etc. You are sure to get great laughs!

Let's not forget Diaper E, in which I will place the remains of my brain, which just exploded.

Now, I should be clear and say that I actually do not hate the task of planning this baby shower at all; I'm glad to do it.  However, I'm going to do it in a way that doesn't involve fake poop.