Monday, January 31, 2011

A Semi Finalist!

I am bursting at the seams to tell everyone the BIG news!! 

A few months ago I entered Lily in the American Baby Magazine cover contest, along with 34,863 other people!  One of her photos was chosen as a "readers choice" weekly finalist.  Many, many, people voted for her on facebook but she did not make it into the top we basically forgot about the whole thing. 

Until today! I received the following email: 

Dear April:

Congratulations on being selected as a semi-finalist in the American Baby Cover Contest!

You must respond to this email TODAY with your name, telephone number, and home address.

You must also confirm:
1)      You comply to the contest rules (
2)      Your entry photo is taken by entrant, non-professional, unpublished and may not have won any prize or award (
3)      Your availability to travel to New York on or about February 15-17, 2011
4)      Your child’s date of birth
5)      You are a legal resident of the 50 United States, and the District of Columbia, 18 years of age or older, who is the parent or legal guardian of the child depicted in the entry
6)      Your ability to provide five more non-professional photos to the judges via email by TODAY, January 31. Supplementary photos must be taken between January 9 and January 31, 2011Make sure in two of the shots your child is smiling and looking at the camera.

If you are chosen as a finalist, you will be notified on or about February 1, 2011. We wish to thank you for your interest and participation in our contest.


Viki (we're on a first name basis) also called the house to confirm that we did get her email and apologized for the last minute notice.  I was so nervous and excited on the phone I said my name was April Flynn, whoops! You can click on the second link that appears above to see the original photos that I submitted. 

Lily was down for her afternoon nap when we got the call that we would need to submit FIVE addition photos taken in the last three weeks, haha.  First of all we took a million pictures at Christmas (which can't be used). Second, my kiddo has been sick for a week, is still sick, and has one if not two teeth coming in!!! Some days Lil sleeps until 4 in the afternoon, which would have given us 1 hr to throw together a photo spread worthy of a contest.  I paced around downstairs laying out clothes with the baby monitor pressed to my ear.  At the first peep (luckily 3:30) I raced upstairs to get the show on the road. In short, it was sort of a disaster. Lily was so unimpressed by Matt's antics, it was actually sad.  We had to take frequent breaks to wipe tears and pop snot bubbles. Three costume and four location changes later we had taken 300 pictures. 

Here are the five we submitted.

If Lily is chosen as a finalist we get an expenses paid trip to NYC to have her pictures taken by a professional photographer at the magazine and $1000. It is all very exciting.  I recently read this blog post at finslippy that I thought really applied to this situation. The writer makes a really great point about "getting too excited" and how we all tell ourselves not to do so, which is stupid.  I am going to be disappointed if she isn't chosen as a finalist whether or not I allow myself to get too here I am, super excited!! 

Friday, January 28, 2011

First Fever

This is the first time Lily and I have both been sick at the same time so I guess I should count my blessings but holy hell, this really sucks.

It all started Tuesday night, Lily woke up around midnight crying.  It was the kind of cry that sets off some crazy internal alarm moms don't know they have, until it goes off. I immediately sprung awake and rushed in to check on her.  Sure enough she had a fever of almost 102.  There is nothing in the world more torturous than watching helplessly while your child is in pain...frankly I don't know how we are going to make it through high school.  We brought Lily into our bed (where Dingle resumed sleeping almost instantly) and I lay awake with a 102 degree heating blanket clinging to my chest.  Lily was just plain pathetic, in the most endearing way ever.  She snuggled and sighed and whimpered...until 2am when she finally surrendered to sleep and I put her back in her crib.  Every hour on the hour like clockwork I woke up as if I had been hit my lightning, blame it on the internal alarm.  Yet another joy of motherhood!

Lily's fever hovered between 102 and 103 all day and into the night on Wednesday.  Wednesday night was basically Tuesday night the sequel only with more snot.  All the books say not to medicate a fever under 104 so our poor little muffin just stuck it out.  I will say she was a pretty good sport, there was minimal screeching and only twice did she flail and claw at my face as though she was possessed. Her fever finally broke on Thursday morning and she resumed normal activities just as my temperature began to spike. Last night I was the one whimpering and sighing.  Not wanting to be a hypocrite I refrained from medicating my fever with an OTC and opted for beers instead! Sadly, the effects didn't last long and at 2am I woke up feeling as though my sinuses were filled my hardened concrete. Let the whimpering commence.

So here I am, having not slept through the night since Monday, drowning in a sea of snotty tissues. In the next room I can hear my bouncing baby, refusing to take her morning's going to be a good day!

Friday, January 21, 2011


This is a job.  People who think it's not are idiots.  90% percent of the time it is the best job I have ever had.  But like any job it has it's drawbacks, and sometimes that other 10% is soul crushing.

It is hard to describe the isolation of being a stay at home mom, especially since Dingle works from home.  I guess the part that is so isolating is the fact that Lily's care consumes my thoughts, all of them.  I am the only person in the world who thinks about her needs all day, every day.  So even when we are not at home, as the job title would indicate...I never get a day off, there is no such thing as Monday or Saturday.  It is hard to be the only person in the world.  On the one hand I am FIERCELY protective of this role, but there are definitely times when I wish I could turn it off...pass her off to someone else and go get my nails done.  "Go do that!" - I just heard you all shout in unison, ha. Do you know how much planning that takes?  Oh the post-its I would have to write!! I don't have a babysitter down here yet.  There is only one 15 year old in the world that I would even consider leaving Lily with (a former student) but she is busy being awesome and still waiting to get her drivers license. Plus I hate doing things by myself, always have. Trickier to navigate than the logistics is the guilt. Stop right not roll your eyes at me.  Guilt is real.  Guilt is powerful.  Guilt makes it not worth the hour long "break".  Guilt makes moms say things like, "is my life really so terrible that I need a break?" No, no it sure isn't and I sure as heck don't need a break, forget I said anything. sigh.  No one told me I would feel like that.

No one told me that I would want "mommy friends" either...but that is a whole other post.

Luckily for me the crushing moments are often interrupted by a giggle or grin that fills my heart with so much love that I think it might actually break into a million pieces. Mentioning that I thinking about Lily 100% percent of the time makes me sound like a crazy person.  On the contrary, I would argue that having Lily has done nothing if not mellowed me out, Dingle might say significantly.  I eat leftovers now (many heads just exploded), there is no significant increase in my blood pressure if I am only 10 minutes early, and today I found a Cheerio in my I ate it.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

A series of unflattering pictures

Today Lily got her first boo boo.  She was in a bar fight.  Needless to say she kicked a little you know what, momma didn't raise no sissy girly girl. Unfortunately she was arrested.  Here is her mug shot.

Ok, she actually slammed herself in the face with a wooden puzzle...needless to say she is so done with that mean old thing.

Is it just me or does she look a little like Robin Williams?

We think she might finally be teething, there was a lot of chewing and drooling today.

Also, she ate cat food. It was a big day.

Monday, January 17, 2011

I put my hands up in the air sometimes

Lily has a few new tricks for the new year!

First on Christmas Eve she decided that she would like to be a grownup girl and now pushes herself to sitting.

Almost overnight something clicked in her brain and now both, "wave bye bye" and "clap your hands" make perfect sense, like duh mom.

A personal favorite is "dancing".  She happily sits on her bum and bounces up and down.  It started with commercials and has evolved into hours of  the "tot tunes" channel on TV...we listen to it until my brain turns to mush and starts to leak out of my ear.  Lily loves it.  I have started throwing my hands over my head when I dance, she loves that even more.

Lastly she has learned to pull herself up on the side of the couch.  Some people and quite pleased with themselves, some other people are screwed.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Baby Genius

I really do think Lily is a genius, I know, eye roll.  It's okay, I think all babies are geniuses, double eye roll.  Seriously, babies are so amazing.  I am especially impressed whenever Lily figures something out on her own.  Need proof?  

1.  Lily got a toy fishbowl with some fish in it for Christmas, it is her favorite new toy.  Without any assistance or coaching Lily started putting toys other than the fish in the bowl.  Amazing! 

2.  Lily drags herself across the floor (army style) rather than crawl, often with a toy in each hand.  When she wants to carry three toys...she puts one in her mouth!  Are you kidding me?!?

3.  If she is holding a toy while we are getting her dressed she passes it from one hand to the other when it is time to put her arm into her sleeve.

Think about it, those things may seem small but she figured them out all on her own.  The other day Dingle was trying fix the fireplace flue and I was the flashlight holder...after looking at it for a few minutes I knew exactly how to fix the stupid thing.  I was really proud of myself.  Dingle and I are smart in very different ways and it's not every day that I get to exercise my skills.  I really hope that critical thinking is hereditary...

Three cheers for my mini problem solver! 

Monday, January 10, 2011

A letter to the Grownup Fairy

I will not make any excuses for my absence.  I was on vacation...from the internet.  It was nice to be off the grid for a little while.  When we returned from visiting our families for Christmas I spent an entire week hiding out, Lily wasn't the only one overstimulated from the constant socialization!  I do apologize if you missed me or if I didn't return your call, email, text, or fb post!  Please don't take it personally for I am back now, recharged and full of witty banter.

So, Happy 2011.  This is a big year for me! You guys, I am turning 30 this year! I will be in my thirties...which brings me to the title of my post.  Picture someone sitting on their couch at 11:30 on a Monday morning wearing purple pajama bottoms with little yellow chicks, blankie on lap, goofing around on her laptop. I know you are cheating and picturing me but I think you get the point...surely the person described above in not a grownup! 

There is a letter from our mortgage company on the counter, I can't believe those morons at the bank approved a loan for a couple of kids!  I mean I know that lenders at the time were giving out loans like candy but seriously, what were they thinking?!?  I look down at my wedding ring and laugh!  Ha. What kind of minister lets two kids get married (two and a half years ago!)?  Don't even get me started on the dress-up-play-thing sleeping in her crib right now.  They sure do make these dolls lifelike nowadays!  

I am totally turning into a grownup.  How the hell did that happen? Or maybe I should ask, when will I feel like this growup life is really mine? Maybe on my 30th birthday I will be magically transformed by the Grownup Fairy, which none of you other adults have told me about because at the time of your transformation you were sworn to secrecy.  Yeah, that's it.  It is the only logical explanation, clearly.  Well Grownup Fairy, you sneaky minx, I am on to you.  The way I see it you have been running around blindsiding people for years! Giving out grey hair and saggy boobs.  Well not to me, I will not be duped.  In lieu of your traditional gifts I would like the following things for my transformation:  First, the continued ability to sleep past one needs to be up at 4am, no one. Second, thick shinny hair like a shampoo model (preferably brown but I am open to reasonable alternatives). Lastly, leave my boobs right where they are! Seriously, the Puberty Fairy was stingy so hands off and show some mercy. 

Thank you in advance Grownup Transformation Fairy, or whatever it is that you would like to be called.  I am looking forward to your visit!  For now I have to Lily poop and pee dolls needs a diaper change.