Thursday, January 8, 2015

That's a Fine Looking High Horse

It was getting to the point where I didn't want to go to Target or anywhere public because my eyebrows looked so bad. I had neglected them for too long and they were too far gone to attempt any DIY trimming. So I made an appointment online and it was so great to not have to interact with another human during said appointment making. I told Stephen, "I wish a robot could wax my eyebrows so I could avoid smalltalk altogether." Little did I realize how ominous that statement was. 

Yesterday I dragged Ivy to my 11:15 appointment. I apologized to the stylist for having brought my child, and she said "That's okay" in a way that indicated it actually wasn't. And then, to make sure Ivy would sit still, I had to turn Netflix on my phone. The sounds of The Nightmare Before Christmas (Ivy's current fave) soon drowned out the Enya meant to add a relaxing, sleepy vibe to the experience of having hair ripped from one's face. But whatever. Ten minutes and we'd be out of there. OR SO I THOUGHT. 

Amy, I think her name was, finished the right eyebrow, and then things got weird. I was all the sudden burning up. Not wanting to be a bother, I quietly asked if I could remove my jacket. But that didn't really help. Part way through the left eyebrow, I had to sit up. And then I thought I might throw up. And then I was convinced I would deliver a child right there on the eyebrow waxing table. I apologized, stood up and made a bee line for the restroom, my confused toddler trailing behind. Turned out a quick walk was all I really needed, and I was able to get that left eyebrow finished without giving birth or passing out. I left a giant tip, tried my best to say sorry for being the most dramatic client ever, and felt sad that I can clearly never return to that salon because Amy did a really killer job on my eyebrows.

As embarrassing as the whole ordeal was, I think it was just what I needed to get jolted into the reality that this child is in fact coming, and that I had better prepare. Yesterday I packed my hospital bag and the diaper bag. Today I washed and organized all those tiny newborn clothes. I've been having braxton-hicks for the last seven hours, and I'm wondering if Ramona will show up ahead of schedule, or if all this preparation will keep her at bay. Probably the latter. 

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Let the merry bells keep ringing

We live in Utah now, so for the first time in Ivy's life we had Christmas morning in our own apartment.

When 9:30 rolled around and our child was still asleep, we couldn't stand the excitement any more and woke her up. I used to think being a kid waiting for Christmas morning was exciting. But having a kid and waiting for them to experience Christmas morning is a whole other level of great. 

She wasn't thrilled to be nudged into the waking world, and when we asked her if she thought Santa visited, she said no and tried to fall back asleep. But with a little more coaxing she eventually got out of bed, only to stop at the window and exclaim "snow!" over and over.


Sure, the snow was beautiful and a Christmas miracle and blah blah blah, but Santa had stayed up late wrapping presents, cleaning, and perfectly arranging the living room, and it was starting to feel like all that hard work might go unappreciated and be totally one-upped by nature. 


However she did finally find the presents and it was snow shmow for the rest of the day. 


Of all her presents, the Doc McStuffins undies were probably what she was most excited about. Go figure. 

It's been a little bit of a post-holiday adjustment for Ivy in the days after Christmas. She keeps singing Jingle Bells and talking about Santa Clause. She also unwrapped a few presents that weren't for her. Quitting cold turkey is hard.






Monday, December 22, 2014

Just like the ones I used to know

Wait, what's the date? Seriously?

I've been feeling a little...overwhelmed this Christmas season. As with most things in my life right now, this is probably 70% pregnancy hormones. And then a good 20% stress over whether or not my child needs to visit a restroom, and 10% normal life stuff like work and laundry and trying to feel the Christmas spirit and make our house magical and Christmasy for our kid, and feeling like I'm just not doing a great job with that.

So by yesterday when it was time to head to church I was feeling a little frenzied, guilty and tired. Being the Sunday before Christmas, it was our ward Christmas program, which is my favorite Sunday second only to the Primary program. It was a pretty standard Christmas program with some ward choir performances, a couple Luke 2-themed speeches and the congregation singing Oh Come All Ye Faithful. But just when I thought we were coming to the end of another perfectly pleasant Christmas Sacrament Meeting, they brought in a closer. A guy I had never seen before stood at the pulpit and started singing Oh Holy Night. The thing about that song is that not a lot of people can sing it well and most shouldn't even try. But when someone nails it, it's the most beautiful song in the world. This guy nailed it and hammered it and built a freaking house out of it. I cried, which, again, give my condition is not remarkable. In fact I cried in the zoo cafeteria the other day for absolutely no good reason at all. But this was like a moved-to-tears by the majesty and beauty of performance kind of cry, and it felt really nice to just sit and enjoy something so beautiful and not feel frenzied or guilty or tired. For about three minutes I remembered that Christmas doesn't have to be perfect and no one really cares that I never got around to putting a wreath on our door, and pretty much all the things the Grinch feels at the end of How the Grinch Stole Christmas.

In other news, Ivy has warmed up to Santa this year.


It could be because we took some time to explain the concept of Santa instead of just throwing her into a bearded stranger's lap without warning. 

Also, have you seen this?

Monday, December 15, 2014

Because winning is what Christmas is all about

It's that time of year again when you, the blog readers, determine the winner of the Morley Family Gingerbread House Extravaganz-a-a-a-a!

There was only one participant who had an emotional meltdown this year, and it was not the toddler. I'd say everyone else fared pretty well, and this year's work may be some of our best yet. But there can only be one Christmas winner, so please place your vote in the poll to the right. The poll is on the right and not below the post because blogger hates me. Also, please excuse the shoddy photography, and remember to focus on the creativity and execution of the structure and not the poor lighting and candy mess in the background.

Entry A:

Roadside Farm Stand

Entry B.

A Hot Mess from the participant who had two separate tries collapse and who then spent an hour trying to compose him/herself on the couch. 

Entry C:
Chichen-Itza

Entry D:

City Skyline (Remember, ignore the background)

 Entry E:

Rockefeller Plaza (Yes, there are four diet coke cans back there. Get over it.)

Entry F:

House of Ivy featuring a special photobomb of someone's rear

Entry G:

Brazilian Favela

Entry H:

Project Runway

Entry I:

Scene from a Railroad, shot from two different angles because there's a lot going on.





Wednesday, December 10, 2014

The Nightmare Before Christmas

This morning I heard Ivy say to herself, "Don't pee on the carpet." 

It's been A WEEK. At 32 weeks gestation, we're running out of time before Ramona makes her big debut, and I knew that if I didn't get potty training out of the way now, I probably wouldn't have the energy to try again until Ivy started Junior High. Is the Christmas season an ideal time to put your family through Hell? No. But I'm only going to get more walrus-like and more emotional and what if I deliver early? So a week ago today we quit diapers.

We had three really difficult days. At the end of day 2 I called my mom in hysterics. I told Stephen that if day three still signaled no progress, we were going back to diapers. Indefinitely. But then the next day something started to click. OKAY FINE, I BRIBED MY CHILD. I bought her a Sofia The First doll, placed it on the bathroom towel rack, and told Ivy as soon as she did that which we had spent the previous 48 hours begging and pleading with her to do, Princess Sofia the first was hers. I've never seen anyone look at anything with as much longing as Ivy looked at that doll. And the next morning, she did it. And then she did it again. And then she kind of got it. And she's been making tremendous progress since. I mean, sure, it's a two-steps forward one-step back kind of progress, but she's 2. Accidents are bound to happen. Progress is progress. I'm maybe a little concerned about the psychological damage I've caused by essentially buying my daughter's obedience, but it will take her therapist years to uncover that little bad parenting secret, right?

Now I hate to get all serious and sentimental, but it's amazing how in the past week she's somehow gone from baby to small child. It could be her taking some responsibility for her actions, communicating her needs, and really doing her darndest to make her parents happy. It could be the lack of diaper bum in her now saggy pants. It could be the way she picks out her undies and matches them to her outfit (pink on pink on pink). Whatever it is, she just seems older and wiser and more capable of being a big sister. Which makes me all teary-eyed, but I am eight months pregnant and recently cried at a beer commercial, so take that for what it's worth. 

Friday, November 21, 2014

Happy Weekend

You've probably already watched this 12 times. But watch it one more.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Bird is the word

Next week we're headed to Disneyland for Thanksgiving. Wait, didn't I just return from a vacation? Yes. Isn't that a little ridiculous? Yes.

Anyway, our Disneyland Thanksgiving meal usually consists of a giant corn dog and fries, which, trust me, is amazing. But a small part of me longs for stuffing and gravy. So this year, I decided we would have our cake and eat it too, and by cake I mean turkey. 10 days early.

I really enjoy cooking. To a semi-obsessive extent. I spend more time reading recipes than I do literature. The more difficult a meal is to prepare, the more excited I get. However I've never had the bravery to attempt an entire holiday feast. It's always been something best left to the kitchen veterans. Those who have spent years perfecting their sage to butter ratio and turkey browning procedure. But all those years had to start at some point, right? I'm 28, so if not now, when? This was my year. So on Monday I made Thanksgiving dinner.

I cheated a little. I didn't make rolls or a pie because I just didn't have the oven space. I did do a turkey, stuffing, green beans, mashed potatoes and gravy. For Stephen, Ivy, and me. It's an obscene amount of food for three people, but I've had stuffing for lunch every day this week, and the turkey seems to be getting better with refrigerator aging.


Stephen looks a little Charles Manson-y in this photo, and you can't really see the huge plate of turkey in front of Ivy, but it's the only proof I have. While the stuffing was a little parsley heavy, and not all the potatoes mashed as well as I hoped they would, nothing burned, the turkey was actually pretty freaking good, and I now know that making gravy is...gravy. So let's mark it a success.

In other news, WHAT'S UP THIRD TRIMESTER?


I am very pregnant. My back kind of hurts and I panic every time fifteen minutes passes and I don't feel a kick, but other than that things aren't too terrible yet. We're at 11 weeks until Ramona's due date, which seems both a really long time and a shockingly short amount of time. At some point I should really figure out where this kid is going to sleep.