Sunday, December 28, 2008

More Good Stuff

Random Thoughts, Observations, Stories and Ianisms

Hard Core - Not everyone can pull it off.

- okay, so here is my lame christmas shopping story that i know you have all been waiting for. originally andrew and i weren't going to give each other gifts this year - but we (or i rather) changed our minds. i got him some cologne in new york a few years ago and it is almost out. so, i thought i would get him something new. i sample smelled several of the higher end ones; dolce and gabbana, armani, cartier, jean paul gaultier, etc... and they were pleasant. the guy at the mens' fragrance counter was doing his best to sell me on something, anything. he even told me some stories about how fabulous this one or that one smelled on his male "friend". i don't know why he didn't just say boyfriend...but whatevs. so anyway, i told him i was going to look around. he then stuck his nose in the air and practically ran away from me. okay, here comes the lame and embarrassing part. i had one fragrance and one fragrance only in my"woods" from abercrombie and fitch. now, i realize that in middle school you could smell a cloud of this when the guys sat together in the cafeteria or walked by in a cluster and it is a bit lame that i miss that smell. all i know is i loved "woods"! and "cool water" for that matter. they melted me then, so why not now? and so, i ventured into abercrombie...pushing my new baby in a stroller and trying to act like i went in there alllll the time. (as if i could even probably fit in anything in there - okay sure, maybe some of the guys stuff...). so i pushed little owen all the way to the back and starting looking for "woods"...and looking...and looking. then i went up front and started a conversation with the sales man - or boy rather.
-"hey", i said, "do you guys not sell woods anymore?"
-blank stare. "you know, woods? the cologne? it was like abercrombie's signature fragrance.."
-blank stare. "uh...i've never heard of that."
-"oh." awkward pause "well it was HUGE when i was in middle school and high school". awkward silence. "i feel old".
and out i walked, went to a few cool teenager places; hollister, american eagle, etc... and smelled their colognes. went to american eagle twice - their cologne was okay and i was considering buying, but af seemed cooler than ae to me. anyway, started talking to the guy in american eagle. -"oh my gosh!" says i, "i feel soo old! i was just in abercrombie and was asking them about woods and they don't even carry it anymore! and not only that, the kid didn't even KNOW what i was talking about!" and then i laughed out loud. and then i received yet another blank stare. followed by an awkward laugh from salesboy number 2.
-"umm...i've never heard of it either."
and then i realized that while american eagle sales boy was much taller than me and had a football players physique, that was probably because he played high school. you see people, tall does not equal older in case you didn't know. and so, i awkwardly laughed my way out of the store. and realized that while i may feel 17 or 19 or even 21 inside, i am in fact inching ever closer to 30. yikes - that's scary to write. and so back to a&f i went, with my shoulders slumped in an i'm-30-in-2-years' kind of way. and bought "fierce", which - fyi - smells very similar to woods. andrew is wearing it today and i want to bury my face in his neck. then ian asked me to smell his little skinny neck - apparently he is now sporting "fierce" as well, which makes it waaaayyyy less sexy let me tell you.

Andrew Stapf and Brittany Krallis Stapf Christmas Day - Idaho - 2008

- so, thank you to jen and fam for our christmas gifts. ian has taken over owen's caterpillar book and every time we turn the page - makes me turn it back again and again and again to see where the caterpillar went... most of all, thank you for the best truffles i have ever had. magic truffles, i like to call them. a christmas miracle if you will. i forgive her for addressing that particular box "to the whole family" and ask you to please send those only "to brittany" the next time around. that's right, i'm putting in an order. i have never had better chocolate. andrew totally stole one of the bags and i may have called his work and told whoever answered to please tell my husband that i know he is a thief and i want "my" chocolates back. you would think a 5 pound bag for each of us would suffice. you would be wrong.

Owen Marshall the night before Christmas.

And Christmas morning.

That's right, he goes through two sets of pj's in that time.

- yesterday andrew and ian were wrestling and andrew pinned down ian and yelled, "who do you work for??!!" which i thought was pretty funny since he's never said that to ian before. ian didn't miss a beat and yelled, "I WORK FOR BOB KWALLIS - BEEF JEWKY! i guess while we were in nc he heard my dad answer his phone one too many time, "Bob Krallis"...

- a few days ago ian, owen and i were hanging out on my bed. ian needed to go get something and said, "mom, you keep owen happy - i'll be wight... back." good thing i have him around to tell me what to do.

Cheryl Gerzine and I
About to have Christmas Dinner at their house.
If we look extra happy,
it's because we were about to eat!

By the way guys, I totally dig your Elk-plates.
Mmm...yams on scenic elk-ware.
Can you beat it?

Cheryl and Lily and Lily and Owen
please compare the thighs...

Seriously, Owen doesn't stand a chance against this girl! She's only a month older, but she is about to flatten him in a 'steamroll' - See him smiling? That's because he has no idea the crushing weight he is about to feel..
No offense Lily-pad.
Ian was given two Harley Davidsons. Todd definitely knows the way to Ian's heart. Two toy motorcycles and a couple of gas sounds and Ian considers you a friend for life.

A picture of Todd, Cheryl and Lily Gerzine I took in our back yard.
They are nauseatingly cute.

This was also taken in our yard. I think it is awesome and that I should win some sort of award for this picture. It helps having such a photogenic subject as well. About 60 seconds later Lily totally ate it - as in - faceplanted in the snow.
But we all feel her sacrifice was worth it.

Ian eating an Octopus. This kid will seriously do ANYTHING that Todd does. It almost ruined me and Andrew's meals. What 3 year old eats octopus???!! Oh he also ate SEVERAL crawfish - like fully in their shell with their little eyes begging for mercy. Ian said (and i quote), "they almost look like animals". Oh sweet boy, if only you knew...

- lately i have been worrying about my child outsmarting me sooner than anticipated. for example, he asked how when i order a movie on the computer (pay per view) - how it gets to the tv. i think i said something about satellites and technology. he totally bought it - phew. then that night he we were lying next to each other in his bed and as i was kissing him goodnight he said, "mommy", (and started touching above my eyebrow and around my forehead) how do dreams get right here?" "uhhh..", i said - "well, close your eyes. do you see the grinch? do you see the christmas tree? (the last movie we had watched) do you see mommy? well, that's in your brain. and even when you close your eyes and go to sleep, your brain keeps working." i was pretty impressed with my answer i must say. i should probably write a book entitled, "how junk works: explaining the complexities of life with a three year old mind...i mean, TO a three year old mind" so, here's my concern. he's three and i'm having a hard time answering his questions. what happens when he's 8? or 13? maybe i will use the, "how do YOU think it works?" answering his question with a question. then i will appear wise while encouraging a 'seek-your-own-answers' facade. yes, i totally have this mothering thing down.
Andrew and I. You don't know this, but he threw up approximately three times before we took this picture. What a good sport!
(Now you know why we aren't kissing in it).

Thursday, December 11, 2008

"i want to go to there" - who's with me?!

When you're poor you hang a blanket over the piano
and borrow your dad's camera for a photo shoot.
Just way too cute.

Ian and his Papa. Boy do they love eachother.
Ian has called our neighbor "Papa" by accident exactly three times since we've been home.

I love that hair swirl on the back of his head. Not crazy about the bald patch.

Brittany Krallis Stapf and Owen Marshall Stapf

Ian, Mommy and Owen

Me and the boys - "all the boys are here" - as Ian says.
Sometimes he tells me about when Mommy was a little boy.
Ian Robert Stapf and Brittany Krallis Stapf back home in good ol' NC.

So cute it's a little disgusting.

I never got around to taking a foot print - but I'm crazy about this picture.
i should finish cleaning. the house looks pretty fantastic - my room on the other hand looks like a clothes-bomb went off. in my desperation to find a migraine pill, i MAY have dumped a few perfectly packed and folded suitcases. never did find the pills - i think i left them in nc. not to worry. the pharmacy took mercy on me once and my doctor took mercy on me today. small town living does have it's benefits.

so, rather than try to connect my random thoughts and stories i'm going to number them so that i will not have to segue from one thing to the next.

1. went to the creche (or for those of us who are not awesome enough to use "creche" in our everyday language would say), the LIVE NATIVITY at the church in raleigh. apparently the night before we went, 2,000 people came thru. way to go raleigh. more people filtered thru the stake center there than live in my whole county. so the live nativity was outside and the million little nativity scenes were set up in the cultural hall and the primary room had some cute stuff set up too. tried to get ian to dress up like joseph or a shepherd or an angel and have his picture taken, but he was not feeling it. anyway, in the center of the gym was one really big nativity scene - almost life sized. i bent down next to ian and said, "see ian, that's joseph and mary and baby jesus"...then i explained about the wise men and gifts and why we give gifts on christmas. i knew he had a pretty good grasp about what was going on so i thought i would test him. "see the one in the back ian? do you know who that is?" "yeah", he said very confidently, "it's the tooth fairy". as you can see, i'm doing a bang-up job on my eldest child. i relayed the story to some people at the "creche" and scott moore said it well when he confirmed that, "ahh..yes, the tooth fairy was there to usher in the birth of Christ". so i guess ian wasn't totally off.

2. ian and i did some decorating with our meager christmas decorations today. if ian doesn't become a professional wrestler i think he may have a future in decorating. we hung our dollar store bells from the tree and he kept saying, "okay mommy, stand back and look"...we would then step back to make sure they were balanced. i told him gold bells on the tree and silver ones in a bowl. next time i went in the living room he had put two gold christmas trees on the wood burning (not burning at the time) stove. symmetrically. then later moved them to the dining room windows. again, symmetrically. then he came in the kitchen and said he needed a bowl for the silver bells. gave him a christmas bowl (another dollar store find - because that is how we roll).. and forgot about it. later i was walking around the living room looking for it - and thinking "there is no telling where he put that bowl and the bells" - and was surprised to come across it on our kitchen table, which i had set with our christmas dishes earlier. it was perfectly centered. i was pretty impressed and may have gushed over him a wee bit. but just so you know, he is well-rounded, he can catch, throw and kick a ball better than almost any kid his age. i'm just sayin'...

3. went to my friend kim's house yesterday. you remember kim - the one who i was in the "band" with and also the one whose son cade came over my house only to have his feet mildly burned in our fire pit... anyway, you know what they say about payback.. so, kim has this beautiful house that she and her husband built. it has an amazing view and the yard is pretty much a boy's paradise. tire swing. big hills for sledding. dirt bikes and motorcycles, a dog that looks exactly like a wold, and all the fun toys a boy could have. now cade is roughly ian's age but the kid is tough. like fall-on-your-face-onto-the-concrete-off-a-tall-trampoline-and-not-shed-a-tear tough. so he and ian and another little boy went outside to play in the light dusting of snow we had. (don't worry, we're due for a blizzard this weekend). anyway, i was hoping they would just run around. but cade had bigger plans. he decided they needed to go sledding. down a very big hill in the yard. oh and did i mention the ramp? yeah, there was a plywood ramp - because sledding down a huge hill at three years old without catching so cade goes a few times. and he is good. his first run he gets a running start and belly flops onto the sled. he knows how to kind of steer it and he always hits the ramp dead center and if something gets in his a tree orr...let's say... a parked car, he bails. and so ian decided he will go too. i was nervous. i tried to tell him to start half way up the hill (brittany-style as i call it) and work his way closer to the top. he didn't agree with my method. apparently he is a "jump into the pool all at once" kind of kid. little did i realize that the sled ian was hauling up the hill was waaay heavier and thicker and faster than cade's sled. so ian starts at the very top and comes FLYING down the hill and hits the ramp - fast - and literally and i do mean literally, takes flight. he landed it - thank heavens!! - and eventually came to a stop with a slightly panicked look on his face. (even now as i think about it i can't stop giggling out loud. it was soooo awesome and scary). "okay", i thought - "that was good, let's call it day" - but i really didn't want to be THAT mom. you know, the kind of mom with tissues in her coat pocket so she can wipe her child's runny nose? he needs to do these boy things - i convinced myself. and so he goes again. same sled. flying down the hill at lightning speed. and i was standing with this little two year old kim was watching at the bottom of the hill to make sure he didn't get in the way. ian hit's the ramp again - but this time at a slightly different angle - and instead of going past us towards the left, he is going right. "right" toward my parked jeep and kim's beast of an suv. as i turn to see him blow by, i realize there is NO WAY he is going to stop before he gets to the car. and he has no concept of bailing. so he goes under the back left side of the car and comes to a jarring stop when the sled rams into the tire. i was running towards him - and he was sitting very still. i was sure his face was broken. his nose broken and bloody, his teeth gone, his cheekbones shattered. and by some MIRACLE and had cocked his head far enough to the side that somehow his face didn't ram into the bumper. i took the fast sled away after that. his first run on the slow sled he came to a stop on the wooden ramp - a very slow stop and he very gently rolled off the sled and onto the ramp. for some reason that brought the tears. a little bit later i went inside to check on owen and not a minute later i hear ian bawling. he had run into the cars again, but this time bumped his head. it was on the slow sled, but he had a little marble sized bump sprouting up. we went in the bathroom while he cried and cried and finally pulled it together. and shortly after, we left. "i am torn", i told kim as we left. "part of me wants to come over here all winter and hang out with you and let ian play with the boys and do fun winter things. and part of me wants to keep his arms and legs in one piece". it's a tough call.. ps. just for a description of kim's family...three boys and one girl. they are all like little action heros. they should have their own reality show. they take the kids rock climbing and white water rafting with them and the five year old is apparently amazing on a motercycle. oh and did i mention they are all beautiful and obviously super-fit? needless to say i feel spectacularely awesome about my chubby, clumsy coolness when i'm with them.

4. ian saw santa at k-mart while we were home. for $2 you can take a picture with a polaroid camera of your kid with santa and $1 goes to st. jude's childrens' hospital. ian sat with santa - who incidently has NO idea how to talk to children and smells like cigarette smoke and may have been on case you were wondering. he asked ian what he wanted and ian asked santa if he could buy a transformer. as in, he asked santa's permission for ian to buy a transformer. he really does not get the santa concept. everytime he asks for something i say, "let's ask santa for it and see if he brings it" - ian counters with, "no. lets just go buy it at the store".

5. FINALLY get to see andrew tomorrow after 5 weeks apart!! i missed that guy. i am making a very special ribs and sweet potato dinner for him. and since my culinary skills rarely please him, i'm hoping very much to hit a homerun.

6. just checked on owen - who has been VERY fussy lately with an ear infection and not eating much. never kiss a sleeping baby. even though you think you want to. even though your lips start itching to kiss that little cheek or forehead or lips, DON'T DO IT. because then they stir and moan and change positions and you back out of the room tiptoeing, but it is often too late.

7. today dr. gustafson checked owen's ears and he started bawling, his hurt/mad cry. a few minutes later we heard a loud grunt/pouty sound and looked over at ian who was sitting in a chair with his arms folded across his chest, and clearly sulking. "ian! what's wrong?" i asked - in a you-are-being-rude kind of way. "doctor hurt my brober and i don't - like that!!" i love that kid. he is awesome.

8. almost this whole thing is about ian. i swear i have my own stories. my own life. really i do. as soon as i can think of something from it, i will share.

9. thank you again to annie hardison moody for our books from ghana. love the "fly, eagle, fly" book. it's a great story and the best part about it is that ian has fallen asleep three out of the four nights we've read it before i get to the end. does it make me a nerdy that i continue to read it all the way through so i can see how it ends?

10. while i was home i read "the invisible wall" - LOVED it! and the one that came after that. can't remember what it's called. "the dream" or something like that. this guy wrote them at 92 years old! his memoirs from england and then as an american immigrant. i highly recommend them. also started the 1000plus page "world without end" in nc and finished it today. i really like the stories and reading about the lives of these medieval peasants and royals and priors, etc... but follett's writing is kind of juvenile at times. every once in a while he throws in a big word for you, but his descriptions make me roll my eyes sometimes. still, i really did enjoy it. not every book has to be ayn rand i guess.

11. have a christmas shopping story i am looking forward to sharing. but as it will ruin andrew's present, i will wait. let's just say - i realized my age while out buying him a present. and it is not 17 my friends.
brittany. out.

Saturday, November 22, 2008


i am currently in north carolina visiting my
family for a month. i wish i could have come just a little earlier, when the state fair was in town. does it make me a redneck and a wee bit trashy that going to the fair is one of my favorite things to do in the whole world? i'm pretty sure it makes me cultured with sophisticated taste - but i can't really back that up. mmm fair corn dogs...funnel cakes...scary rides...corn dogs...fried oreos...livestock...people in overalls with racist bandannas...people with big chains and racist t-shirts...corn dogs...bears in horribly small glass cages...corn dogs...and the list
goes on and on.. i have yet to go to any other state's fair. a) i believe it would make me a sell-out and b) perhaps some of you would say the food is the same - it can't be! says i. southern fair food is on a whole other level - again, can't really back that up.

ian has pretty much had the time of his life. i think he just realized that daddy is not with us about two days ago. he is starting to really miss him. today he told me he was sad and missed daddy and that he needed to cuddle. but he has also claimed that EVERY day has been "the best day" or "a GREAT day". ian has been to the movies with papa twice, played at the indoor mall playground twice and jumped on the crazy harness trampoline at the mall once, eaten out, had more (mostly caffeine-free) soda than any child should, eaten out a few times and had what he called the best rice with soy sauce ever at a sushi place, gone out on the boat one last time before the boat retired for winter, caught a fish, bought a few new cars, played with papa's huge remote controlled jeep, watched transformers with papa (mommy wasn't going to let him but papa fast forwarded thru all the war stuff and scarier stuff and did a great fake laugh to let ian know it was indeed funny.. ian is still begging to see it again). ian will only allow memere to put him to bed - they have a pretty good routine going. basically he is going to go into lack-of-fun-shock when we get back to idaho. not that watching the snow fall and fall and fall and staying away from the wood burning stove aren't exhilarating activities.

owen marshall is getting bigger and starting to laugh a little and drool a ton. wish i could tell you more about him - but he has yet to do much more than that. he is rolling onto his side (not all the way over) but still - that's pretty exciting no? uhhh... his nails are like little razors and his hair has some random long patches. and... i'm out. that's all i got.

speaking of hair, as you can see i chopped mine off. the guy who did it was awesome! he was trained by vidal sassoon and lived in scotland in some kind of program with them. he is pretty high up in the hair biz but on tuesdays he does hair for half off - you know, to keep it real and hang with the not so elite clientelle. and that is why i got to go to him - thanks for keeping it real scott. this is what i know about him: he is straight, grew up around salons (his dad owns several and his mom did hair, loves amsterdam with a slightly obsessive level, wants to move there but couldn't leave his parents so he goes four times a year. i found this out when i said "oh, so do you try to go once a year?" to which he said, "i usually go about four times a year." to which i thought - "wow... you know you're poor when your mind doesn't even go to the place of people traveling to the same place abroad more than once a year."

highlights for me so far:
-hanging out with my sister-in-law tia ria (or aunt maria for those of you who no speaky espanol).
-going to d.c.
-madame toussand's wax museum - straight up high class yo.
-hanging with kim h.
-getting a free stone massage!!! can i get a whatwhat?!
-window shopping - ahhh...if only where i lived had windows for such a purpose...
-watching a few movies with my dad - who may be the only one is as into movies as me.

i can't think of any great stories right now. will post again soon. hopefully hanging with the following people soon:
-annie hardison moody
-annie howington
-emily williford black
-tammy edwards -can'trememberherlastnamerightnow-somethingwitha"y"i think
-juli helmer kilgore
-brandon fields
anyone else want to get in on that list??

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Hot Feet

Some random pictures before we begin...

Owen looking tough kid gangsta. That's right, he could totally beat up your two month old... Go on... test him...

Ian took this picture. I think my face looks weird, but Andrew likes it.

This was taken way back in April - that is Cade on the far right, and again below. Just so you have a visual for the story you are about to read...

I should be sleeping right now. Everyone else in this house is sleeping, but I would rather make "the people" (that's all my fans out there) happy by giving them a new blog.

Today I hung out with my friend Kim and her youngest son Cade. (For those of you keeping track, Kim was on electric guitar in our band - scroll down several entries for some rad band pics). Anyway, Cade and Ian are the same age - although, Cade is a wee bit tougher than Ian. Okay FINE!! He's a LOT tougher than Ian - happy now?? But he has three super tough older siblings so it's to be expected. Anyway, Kim left and Cade stayed to hang with Ian. They were having a great time; running around the yard, taking turns on the bike and making pretend fires in Ian's little tent. (FYI - Cade may be tougher but his pretend fire was WEEEAK! Ian's on the other hand could have won a merit badge. I'm not kidding. He formed a rock circle, had a huge flat rock in the middle and crossed the little sticks for appropriate oxygen levels to get the fire started. So live with that

I was in and out of the house and thank goodness I was outside when the trauma happened. Last night Andrew and Ian had a fire in the fire pit in our yard. So I'm talking to Tillia on the phone and the boys run towards the fire pit to get a Frisbee and I thought I saw Cade jump and the next thing I hear is horrible screaming/crying. I think I dropped the phone in the grass and went running over to find Cade (out of the fire pit thank goodness), but sitting down with his feet completely covered in dirt and ashes. And even worse he had on those sandal/sneakers with no socks. I pulled off his shoes and scooped him up (he is heavy, but I had the adrenaline and strength of a bodybuilder at that moment) and ran over to the hose (or spicket rather) and ran ice cold water on his feet. Then I picked him up again (this time he felt a little heavier - he is seriously a solid kid!) and carried him inside. By the time he stopped crying I realized my legs and hands were shaking a little. No permanent damage...maybe some psychological, but hey that's what therapy's for right? And hopefully he's young enough that he will not remember it was me and blame his mother instead. I spent the rest of his time here trying to make it up to him with the last Otter Pop, watching Dora the Explorer, letting him eat in the living room, coloring with chalk and making goofy faces at him which by the way, did not bring a smile to his face.

So, two valuable lessons learned here:
1 - do not jump into a fire pit... ever. even if it looks soft and sooty and inviting.
2 - little boys are... well, kind of stupid.

Alright, I don't want to be one of those annoying moms who thinks their kid is hilarious and tells stories that no one else thinks are funny... it just so happens my kid is in fact hilarious. Like, universally funny. He makes awesome faces, he can dance for reals or to get a laugh and when the time comes I am pretty sure the delivery and timing of his jokes will be dead-on. So, I just wanted to add some Ianisms (as i like to call them) that he has said in the past few weeks.

If you don't find these funny, then you either:
A) hate children
B) have no sense of humor
C) have been jaded by the world and/or my superior sense of humor.

And now I present...


1) a few days ago a friend talked me into adjusting/cracking my neck. something i never EVER do and am kind of against... (anyone who knows the hendersons knows what i'm referring to.) But, I am constantly hunched over the baby and my neck and shoulders are, i agreed. And Dan (who is coincidentally Kim's husband, Cade's dad) adjusted my neck. He was sort of shaking it around to get me loose (because I could NOT relax it) and Ian RAN over to us and got in between us and said, "What are you doing to my Mommy?! YOU'RE BREAKING HER HEAD!" I was pretty impressed he tried to protect me.

2) the other morning i made ian and i this carnation instant breakfast/banana shake. you know how sometimes when you eat ice cream or milk - it can make you phlegmy and you start coughing? well, ian started coughing a lot. then he walked up to me and said, "this makes me cough. what is it?.... coffee (coughee) or somethin'?"


3) i was holding owen - who was sleeping - and ian wanted to wake him up. when i asked why?, ian said he needed to show owen something. he was holding up one of owen's shirts and and looking at the tag and said, "see mommy! it has baby owen on it!" - it was actually a picture of the Gerber baby on the tag, but obviously the adorableness factor is the same.

4) this one is embarrassing...i know everyone in both my and andrew's families will judge us, but yesterday we were all sitting around in the living room with Seinfeld on in the background. andrew was laying on the floor, i was sitting on the couch with owen, and ian was building a city with his blocks. you know those progressive insurance commercials?
here is the link if you haven't seen it:
it came on and no one was really paying attention - ian was completely focused on his blocks, but just as she says, "yeah, or a big tricked out (pause) name-tag", ian says "name-tag" in perfect unison with her. andrew sat up as fast as possible and we looked at each other while ian continued looking at his blocks. in fact, he never once looked up. yes, yes.. i know, i get it.. will be cutting back the tv time...

and in the interest of getting to bed relatively soon i will only share one more.

5) the other morning ian climbed in bed with me and i said, "morning buddy. did you have good dreams last night?" now, usually i don't ask him about his dreams. i used to, but he would always say he dreamed about snakes - i have a feeling he was lying because no one dreams about snakes every single night. anyway, he said - "yeah, i was THERE!" and i said, "you were where?!" and he said, "NOO Mommy, IAN was IN my dream!! iiii was there!!" it never occurred to me dreaming about yourself could be a brand new experience. and last night he said he had a dream that sweetie pie (for anyone who isn't familiar, again - scroll down and find sweetie pie entry) turned into a giant white a transformer. it's his first real weird honest-to-goodness dream that he could articulate. those of you who really know me know i have the most vivid, crazy dreams anyone could imagine. and for some reason i am oddly proud of his cat to bunny transformer dream.

i know this entry started out with words being capitalized, but i got lazy... just deal with it people.

ps kim, if you read this...sorry i burned your kid's feet. and sorry i publicly called him (and all little boys) stupid.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

useless dribble and palin

i feel the need to write - or purge - but i've not much to say. usually i have a little outline of what i want to write about before i blog. (don't you love using blog as a verb? or is it just me?'s just me??) but tonight i come to you with no agenda. just me, in the dark, and the humming of the fridge and computer. speaking of.. i was lying in bed (laying or lying?) and really TRYING to get to sleep earlier - i turned off the tv at midnight, said my prayers and was determined to make tonight the night i get to bed before 2am. however...i kept hearing this buzzing/vibrating sound. like a cell phone vibrating rapidly and repeatedly, over and over and over. i checked the floor, my bed, me cell, andrew's cell - which he left here on accident - the tv, the nightlights around the house, the baby monitor and - nothing! couldn't find the source! so then i thought, maybe it's just in my head and i tried to listen to the fan and focus on that sound, but it was to no avail.... the buzzing continued. then i started hearing other sounds. then my heart started beating fast. then i got up and turned on the tv (because that always makes me braver). i checked on ian and sat down at the computer. i was on for a minute when i realized - the computer was vibrating!! this weird, barely audible sound that i SWEAR i was able to hear and feel in my room. if i were a superhero i would probably have supersonic hearing (i don't even know what supersonic hearing means or entails, but i'm pretty sure that's what i would have). one time i was living somewhere where i could hear this ticking - fast ticking that felt like it was in my brain. no one else could hear it but it was driving me insane. finally i found the was one of those things that you plug in with this high frequency that humans aren't supposed to hear to drive away spiders and insects. "brittany", you say - "surely you jest". "no", i tell you. "this is a true story!"
i am starting to feel this blog is going downhill at supersonic (ha! didn't think i'd be awesome enough to use that word again so soon did you?...) speed. next time i will return to my outline.

what else can i write about?....

it's 1:15am exactly. i just fed owen a bottle that i "expressed" - i think that word is so lame. it's trying to make pumping milk from your breasts sound cool and smart so you don't feel like a farm animal hooked up to a contraption. so, having cleared that up... i just fed owen a bottle that i PUMPED and got him back to sleep. but now i can't sleep. i'm in the bad habit of napping everyday. andrew works nights, comes home and sleeps. then i wake him up sometime in the afternoon and i crash. it's a pretty sweet system we have going. i really need to make a change.

i signed up for some new features with our house phone today. and our bill for phone and internet will be $20 less a month. i now will get call waiting, 100 minutes long distance a month and most importantly... caller i.d.! that's right fools - i'm ascreenin'you now! now i just have to train ian to recognize certain names to not pick up the phone for. ian loooves to talk on the phone. he calls my parents and anyone else he can think of everyday on my cell phone. he knows that memere is #3 and papa is #4 and aunt t.t. is #6. it's been a great way for him to learn his numbers. however...he thinks all phones are programed like my cell and gets upset when he picks up the house phone and hits 4 and nothing happens. and when he sees a 3 or 4 on a paper or remote he says, "hey that's memere's number!" yesterday it was raining. we looked out the window and ian said, "wow, it's really raining". and i said "it sure is". and he said, (in a very serious and burdensome voice - like the weight of the world was on his shoulders), "hmmm... i better tell papa..." i'm sure my dad was pleased to receive the weather report from idaho while in north carolina.

ian has this big, super loud and obnoxious robot that walks and shoots little discs that my mom got him for $8. (thanks again mom...) the other day he was holding it with one hand under it's head, and one hand under it's back so it was parallel to the floor and he said, "mommy, this is how you hold someone when they die". to which i said, "where did you learn that???" to which he said, "in boise." it's sort of his fall-back answer when he can't remember something. "ian, where did you hear that expression?" "in boise". we don't go to boise often as it's an hour and a half away. and i'm pretty sure ian has never learned an expression or seen a dead person held there. but when in doubt, "in boise".
andrew has a trap set up on the back deck for a raccoon. it includes dog food, a plastic cup, a huge cage like thing and a long piece of twine that comes into the house for one of us to pull if something actually climbs in there. here's the problem. you would have to be in the laundry room to watch it and pull the string...a place we aren't in the habit of hanging out. and also...i don't want to catch a raccoon.

owen just woke up. so now i am holding him and trying to type with one hand.

i really like alec baldwin. i know he called his daughter a "rude little pig", but you need to hear his side of the story. he makes me giggle. and tina fey makes me laugh out loud. she is awesome. and tracy morgan makes me chuckle. pretty much i heart 30 rock. speaking of 30 rockefeller place, did anyone else watch that 20/20 or dateline or whatever it was about that french guy who pretended to be a rockefeller and jipped all those wealthy americans out of millions? it was pretty absurd and funny. he was french, people!! the french don't make rockefellers! did you know that the expression "jipped" is actually an ethnic slur? it relates to gypsies - and people saying they got "gyped" out of money. so i almost never use that term - except now, so that i could teach you all something. you see, when you come to my blog you get an anecdote and a lesson. you are all welcome.

my friend rachael and i fantasize about being the personal assistants to one - kathy griffin. we're pretty sure she would treasure us and our humor. and also we would laugh at all her jokes to make her feel good about herself. because often times comedians have low self esteem.
there is so much more i could go on about and give the masses who read my blog (thanks honey...) insight into, but my left arm is cramping up from holding this baby boy and my right arm is getting funny shooting pains and my milk is coming in right...this...very...second...

so, goodnight and God speed. no wait, i don't exactly know what "God speed" means... i think it means God Be With You, but i'm not willing to put money on that. which is good because one shouldn't gamble on something like that.

ahem (clears throat)... goodnight and - good luck.

also, will ferrell really cracks me up.

ps i will add some pictures to this tomorrow.... or "foomonow" as ian says.

pps every - and i do mean every - guy i have asked about governor palin seems to have a crush on her. is she universally hot? i mean, she's attractive, but she's no - jessica simpson. speaking of jessica simpson (you guys like that segue?!) i can sing better than her. i may not have the hot bod, or blond hair, or mental capacity of an 8 year old, but i am a better singer. this i know for sure.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Welcome to the World, Owen!

Okay, I am finally blogging the story of Owen’s birth…
Owen Marshall Stapf 7lbs 4oz 20 inches
It all began on a warm July day (insert magical, hazy imagery here) when I began having contractions every 8 minutes. Since I was not scheduled for a C-Section until August 4th and that was a week early AND my doctor assured me that it is very uncommon to go into labor before a scheduled C-Section, imagine my surprise.

Baby Girl's Room...all packed up now!

I called the hospital that evening and spoke with my Doctor who was on-call in the E.R. and I assured her that I did NOT want to come in that evening. She told me if they became more frequent or more intense to call back, otherwise take a Benadryl and go to bed. I one upped her and took a Benadryl and a Tylenol PM. I slept pretty well, but every time I woke up I would have another contraction.

The next morning, Andrew was supposed to go fishing with our neighbor and good friend Todd (who Ian calls Dot because he can’t say Todd). Andrew offered to back out but I didn’t want to over-react and told him to go ahead…especially since he assured me they would only be 30 minutes away (liars) and would have cell reception.
Talking to Andrew on the phone and telling him to get home...I may have been a wee bit misty eyed and a wee bit panicked...

Later I got up and let’s just say more was going on then I thought…I told my mom to call Andrew because I thought I was losing my plug. She called and told him not to come yet but we may be going to the hospital soon and he may need to get back but she would keep him posted. Unfortunately for the guys they had only cast their lines about 4 times at this point… my bad…actually, Owen’s bad. Then I hopped in the shower and I was positive something more was going on so I told my mom to call Andrew and tell him to get back immediately. More than AN HOUR AND A HALF LATER Todd and Andrew finally showed up. Andrew kept calling and telling me to go to the hospital (which FYI is about 40 minutes away) but I told him I was NOT going without him and I wanted him to shower so he didn’t smell like fish on our special day. It’s all about priorities people.

We finally got to the hospital and they hooked me up to a fetal monitor and sure enough they were anywhere from 6-10 minutes apart, “Yes! I’m not crazy!” I thought. However…they weren’t sure if they wanted to keep me or send me home. If you are FORCED to have a C-Section because of hospital policy then I personally think it is completely unfair to have to experience ANY labor! 4 hours of monitoring later I BURST into tears in front of a nurse because I thought, what if they send me home? I know I will end up back here, only this time we will be rushed and I really don’t want another horrific emergency situation like we had when Ian was born. The nurse went on the offensive for me and called my Doctor and then came back and said, “Dr. Gustafson is trying to assemble a team”. (Gotta love small towns...)

Daddy and Owen Marshall

A little while later the nurse came back and said, “Okay, you are scheduled for a C-Section today at 4:30pm”. At this point I had been having contraction still about 8 minutes apart for 24 hours. I was relieved and nervous and SOOO glad my mom had surprised me and flown in 4 days early!! Thank goodness she was there to take care of Ian and help us with everything.

Mommy and Owen

Soon after the nurses announcement they began prepping me for surgery. I may have been more nervous for the Spinal than the C-Section! They brought me into the O.R. and the head nurse, Dan and the anesthesiologist rolled me on my side and gave me the shot. It hurt. But it wasn’t as terrible as some others I’ve had.

Immediately they made me straiten my legs and switch beds so that my brain would know my legs weren’t still bent before I lost all feeling. Then my ribs began to tingle and slowly it spread downward until I couldn’t feel anything. I tried with everything I had to wiggle my toes (you know, just to make sure it was really working!) and to move my knees, but they were dead as could be. What a bizarre feeling. Finally, they let Andrew back in and everyone began getting into place. 3 doctors (one for baby, two for me), 4 nurses, the anesthesiologist, Andrew and myself – it was a packed room.
Looking over his little boy

Everyone asked what we were having and I confidently said, “a girl.” Then I told everyone how we had heard that the hospital had been wrong twice in the past six months about the sex of a baby and I may have said something along the lines of… "if this is boy we will sue!" To which the entire O.R. went dead quiet and I learned one should never say the word “sue” before a surgery to a bunch of doctors! I tried to cover after Andrew squeezed my arm and said, “Or at least I will have a strong talking to with the tech that did my ultrasound”.

The anesthesiologist then looked down at me (he and Andrew were by my head and the only people I could see) and said, “I’m happy, you know why I’m happy?” To which I said, “Why?” “Because they have already made the incision and begun”, he said. Then I was happy because I hadn’t felt a thing! A little while later the pressure began. I found out later I had a band of scar tissue that they couldn’t get the baby past. So this nurse was pushing (and I mean PUSHING) down just under my ribs to force the baby out. Andrew said that at one point she actually came up off her feet. Today, 11 days later is the first day I’m not aching where she pushed.
Memere and Owen

The anesthesiologist grabbed Andrew’s elbow and made him stand up to see over the curtain so that he wouldn’t miss seeing our baby for the first time. Andrew said, “I see her head! Ohh.. she’s so cute Brittany”… (again, I am looking up at Andrew’s face) then I see the he looks confused for a second – he kind of cocked his head to the side and furrowed his brows… then he GASPED and his eyes got huge and he put his hand over his mouth and nose. I said, “What? What?!!” although, oddly enough I knew it wasn’t something really bad… I think a part of me sort of knew from the puzzled look.

Ian and his little brother (who he is still referring to as "she")

The anesthesiologist looked at the baby and looked at Andrew, looked at the baby again and looked at Andrew and said, as serious as could be, “You need to tell your wife”. Other than hearing the baby cry once it was COMPLETELY SILENT in the O.R. – NO ONE was talking! Andrew said, “the baby is fine, it looks great, but… it’s… a boy.” Then, all the emotion I thought I would have at the birth of our child was sucked out of my body and all I could feel was SHOCK! I think I said some things like, “but we have a girl car seat! And a girl room!! And everyone has spent so much money on girl clothes!! And Rachael has been working of girl accessories for months!”

Owen was having a hard time breathing in the mean time, so Andrew went to be with the baby as they sucked out his lungs and worked on him. Again, other than the things they had to say to carry out the surgery, it was SILENT. Kind of like a black cloud settled over the Operating Room. I think everyone was worried I would freak out and start thrashing around or yelling “I sue you and I sue you and I sue you!” About ten minutes went by, which I needed to process everything. Part of me felt like I had been bonding with a little girl this whole time and I didn’t know this boy they were about to show me, but when they lied him down next to me and I kissed his little head I was fine. Until they took him away and then the freak out continued as I thought of all the people we had to tell – first and foremost, my mom - who had her own freak out!

Daddy and his little men

But here is the one really special thing about what happened. The first 19 weeks of my pregnancy, before I had the ultrasound, I told Andrew and my family that I KNEW we were having a boy! I felt as strongly as I’ve felt about anything that a little boy was waiting to come into our family. I told Andrew I just felt like I knew him and that if I was wrong, I would NEVER trust my intuition or spiritual inklings again! I do not claim to have strong spiritual insight into many things – it is VERY rare I feel 100% confident about something along these lines, but I was sure it was a boy. Until the ultrasound that is… Andrew and his parents can testify as to how shocked I was. And I thought, “I am in idiot – I have no more insight into matters of the future or answers to prayers or spiritual matters than… I don’t know… a duck.” (I’m on Oxycodone right now and duck is the first thing that comes to mind).

And now, I LOVE that I have two boys – not sure we will have any more little ones, but for the time being, my family feels complete. Two boys sound just right. I think maybe I was more excited about the clothes, bedding (as you can see!) and accessories that went with a girl then in actually having a girl. Andrew, although he has always wanted a little girl, is THRILLED to have another boy! He adores his little boy and is a phenomenal dad. He thanks me everyday for giving him Owen and he may have said, “I think he is the greatest thing to ever happen to mankind” (in addition to Ian of course!) …. Which makes me laugh~

So, that is the story of Owen Marshall (middle name named after Rita’s father, her maiden name) Stapf. Not Mya Stapf or Anderson Stapf like we thought, but Owen – who rode home from the hospital in the girliest car seat you’ve ever seen.

Another FAV!!