Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Catch up

Happy holidays! We here at the Shoup house hope you are having a wonderful holiday season. This Christmas season has been...eventful to say the least. I suppose it's been a perfect culmination of a year that has oftentimes been the perfect storm.

I have started my fancy gov'ment job in DC. Chantilly to DC is a pretty long haul, but the Loudoun County buses make my life tons easier. I even get naps twice a day! However, I have added commuting to my list of hobbies! The job is interesting with tons of unexpected perks. I've already met a quasi-famous political figure and take great joy in googling other big names that I hear. I'm sure I'll know what's going on by the time I retire in 30 years.

TIC is racing towards her third birthday. She's already head and shoulders above many of her classmates in height. Her legs have started to grow to match her torso and the result is a little girl who no longer looks like a toddler and more resembles a little girl. *sigh* Where did those three years go??

In the transition from baby *sob* to preschooler *shock and awe*, TIC has grown into typical little girl interests, despite my best intentions. My family and close friends will all tell you that when I found out I was having a girl, I was INSISTENT that there would be NO pink. Now, it's hard to find something that's NOT pink in her wardrobe!!! And the gifts for Christmas! PINK everywhere. And Barbie stuff too! Her favorite gifts were her Barbie Jeep and her Barbie vet set. She got a puppy in a bag that needs to be cared for. On Christmas morning, as she had her "puppy purse" in her pink Jeep, she looked like a tiny replica of Paris Hilton, sans suspicious "white powder".

TIC recently received a well loved pony replica. Mommy found it on freecycle and POUNCED! Miss Sarah gave Buttercup one of her pink and white dressage ribbons and TIC was over the moon. She rides her pony every day and loves it. I thought it was going to be a toy that was fun for like five minutes and then she'd be done. I was oh so wrong. So, I see some fur real pony rides in her future, for sure. Still waiting for her to decide hunter/jumper or dressage, but I'm trying to be patient. She's got at least another six months before she needs to decide. Who knows, with her love for Woody, she may surprise me and choose barrel racing. We are currently looking into schools where she can take her horse with her...*snicker* In all seriousness, Daddy is considering getting a saddle and bridle for this "toy pony." Nope, we ain't crazy in the Shoup house at all.

Looking forward to a quiet New Year's and a quiet 2011 for that matter. Minus that whole training for the Avon Two Day in Boston. I know, I know, I bring it all on myself. Wishing you a happy New Year as well! See ya in 2011!

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Momma's little helper

I'm not sure the phases of childhood, honestly. TIC has pretty much always been independent or working towards her independence. What has been great recently, is her absolute willingness to help. We don't even have to ask for her help and she's right there helping us. Some of her new duties include letting the dogs in from the backyard, getting herself (partially) dressed in the mornings and putting her coat away. She may also assist in other duties as assigned.

The funny part (the part worth mentioning in the blog) is when she helps with the "big people" stuff. We hosted a bridal shower today and the whole famjam, plus my friend Jennie, got into the coordination of the event. Since we have five crazy dogs (whom I adore greatly) who don't always listen when we say "sunshinechiefgilliganwellietinogetofftheguestsrightnoworsohelpmeiwillbeatyouuntilyourchildrenareborndizzy", we tend to stash them in the garage with space heaters until the event is over. Since two dogs, who for the purposes of this blog shall be referred to as Havoc and Mayhem, love to spread death and destruction when unsupervised, this means being crated in the garage. Today, Brent was breaking down the crate to put into the garage. TIC, who is very familiar with the mechanics of this action (far too familiar for someone younger than the age of 9), said "Need help, Daddy? I help you!" Before Brent could even blink an eye, TIC was right there to help him with the heavy lifting. We do what EVERY parent does which is play right along with it. We let TIC think she's doing the heavy lifting (literally, in this case), while we really bear the brunt of the weight. The funny part is the grunts and groans that accompany her actions. Today's episode with the crate earned a "unh, ugh, grunt, groan, phew" from TIC. Then she dusted off her hands and said "I ready to go shopping, Mommy."

On another occasion, I was picking up a momma cat and her babies from the vet. When I made motion to pick up the crate, TIC said "No mommy turn, my turn!" I was willing to play along so I said "Okay, baby, let's take the kitties to the car." TIC put both hands on the handle, bent at the knees (good girl), attempted a squat lift and then looked at me and said "It's heavy, Mommy, you do it!" The form was excellent, the mechanics were willing, the strength...just not quite there yet.

Another thing that has come into play is the toddler logic. Unfortunately, the toddler logic is unshakable. I'm going to pose this dilemma to you and actively request feedback on how I can outsmart my child.
As I do every year, I purchased a new hat and gloves to go with TIC's new winter coat. Probably before it was appropriate, I asked her to put them on. She told me no. As it wasn't a big deal at the time, I let it ride. A week or so later, we took the hat and gloves to school. I told her that if she was going to play on the playground, she would need to wear the hat and gloves. TIC thought about this for a moment and said "I wear this hat, Mommy" and she put her hood on her head. Impressive! I said, "Okay, you can put your hood on and keep your head warm, but you'll have to wear your gloves to keep your hands warm." Without even THINKING about it, she said "I put my hands in my pockets, Mommy. No gloves." I was speechless. How can I complete with that logic?? Now, you may be thinking as I did, that this child SURELY will not be able to retain this logic. Alas, we would both be wrong as she has successfully applied the logic not only to her daddy, but her teachers at school too. You may think, as I did, that bribery would change the tide. I am here to tell you that I bribed her with a Dora balloon and was snubbed! SNUBBED! If a Dora balloon can't get her to put her hat and gloves on, then I ask you, what can???? Candy bar to the person with the successful suggestion!

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Say whut???

It's amazing the amount of imparted knowledge you forget as you raise your child. I don't know how many people told me to take a look at what I said or did in front of Kaitlyn, because one day, that was going to be parroted back to me. I remember solemnly nodding and agreeing with it. But then I got forgetful and thought, how much could a two year old POSSIBLY be able to remember and say at the appropriate time? She's still trying to learn to string sentences together. I know all you parents reading this blog are shaking your collective heads right at this very moment. Here's how your lessons have been reinforced and never ever forgotten again.

Now, before you get all riled up, know that I don't say this to TIC or her daddy at all. My momma taught me it was a bad word. I do, however, say it to the dogs when they are obnoxious about say, a leaf blowing across the sidewalk. One night, TIC said something that was not nice. To show her that I didn't think it was nice, I started fake crying. Her response?? "SHUT UP, MOMMY!!! NO MORE TEARS!!" I said "TIC, that is not a very nice thing to say to mommy." "SHUT UP, MOMMY, SHUT UP!" I mean, honestly, I was impressed with her correct usage, but wow! We made up in the store after I gave her the silent treatment until she said "Sorry", but I have sincerely tried to limit that phrase around her.

I am happy to proclaim TIC 100% potty trained. I think it was relatively easy once she got the hang of it. We have a stockpile of glow bracelets to reward each "poop" in the potty. I still announce when I have to go to the bathroom to continue to promote success in that arena. One night, I announced I was going to the bathroom. When pressed by TIC, I admitted to needing to poop in the potty to which TIC asked "You need a glow stick, Mommy??" While I should have explained that Mommies like stuff like Prada bags and Gucci sunglasses, I instead declined the offered glow stick mostly because it would have required explanation and while I am proud of my ability to poop in the potty, I don't think everybody else needs to know. ;-)

I'm not really sure why TIC asks me for things any more. I'm very lucky in that she's very respectful when I tell her she can't have something and she needs to put it back. However, if it's something she REALLY wants, the conversation goes like this:
TIC: "I have this candy, mommy?" (nodding her head)
she doesn't get the response she seeks fast enought
TIC: "I have this candy, mommy?? G'head? G'head?? Okay, mommy? Okay??"
by this time, she's hoping the subliminal messages will work and I'll say yes
Me: "Okay baby, go ahead"
TIC, with a big, beaming grin on her face "THANK YOU, MOMMY! THANK YOU!"
I swear, you'd think I starve the kid!

That's all for now folks! Huge thanks to those of you who read this and came out for Brent's birthday. He had a great time, I enjoyed seeing everyone and was happy we were able to pawn leftovers off onto almost all the guests!

Until next time, my nugget of wisdom to you: Reward yourself for going poop once in awhile. ;-)

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Oy vey

So, I realized that it's been awhile since the last blog post. Things took a very scary, and sometimes tragic, turn in the animal health department. My days (and nights and weekends) have been consumed with keeping cats alive or getting them healthy enough to adopt. The benefit is that I realize I have been incredibly blessed with relatively healthy fosters until this point. The downfall is the amount of time spent on these guys. In the end, it's definitely worth it, but the journey has been very slow, extremely painful, and unbelievably expensive. Would I do it all over again? Yes I would. Are there things I would do differently? Absolutely. Am I ready to say I'll sign up again? Not a good time for that question. Come back in a year or two or ten.

On the TIC front, we've done a lot of really cool things. We went with our favorite boys (Josh and Jeremy) to see Disney's Toy Story 3 on ice. Kaitlyn was so excited about everything! Seeing the boys, going to an event. She literally sat on the edge of her seat the entire first half. As an adult, I felt like I was truly able to appreciate the effort that went into the show. As a parent, that place is a RACKET! I refuse to divulge just how much we spent on food, accessories, etc, but good golly miss molly, I swear someone could have bought a clunker for what we spent! Midway into the second half, we were all ready for the show to be done...even the actors seemed to be phoning it in! But we had a wonderful time and have the million dollar posed photos to prove it.

Halloween was a hoot! TIC's school had a Halloween party that daddy attended. The children were confused as to why their parents were there and they were not leaving. I watched on the web cam, and even though there is no sound, I can assure you TIC was VERY vocal about her annoyance. Once the treats and candy started being distributed, there was a different tune. I can definitely relate. A little chocolate goes a long way towards improving my mood! The whole shebang was awesome because it gave TIC a prelude to the main event, so when it was time to go Trick Or Treating, she hit the bricks like an encyclopedia salesman! She was gonna get her canday wasn't about to let anything stop her. Uncle Chris and I were the ones who took her around and there was minimal collateral damage to the other children that we celebrated with brownies!

Brent's big 4-0 is coming up so we're in battle mode until that passes. Mom is coming up to help out with party planning and preparation, so no posts for a bit (unless I get bored at work, in which case, all bets are off). Speaking of work, I will be starting a new position with the federal government on 11/29. I won't advertise said position in this blog, but if you're curious about it, send me an email and I'll be sure to respond.

That's all until I get my hands on a scanner to show you the story that is Kaitlyn's school pictures. Let's just say someone inherited her momma's attitude.

Friday, October 15, 2010

What's yours is mine, but what's mine is NOT yours

Daily, I'm reminded of how dumb my toddler thinks I am. I require constant explanation for things a person with even minimal intelligence would not. Today is a classic example. I am putting on her clothes. She says "My unnerwear." I playfully say "No, MY unnerwear." This goes back and forth a couple of times until the underwear is successfully in place. Kaitlyn stands up on her turn to say "No, MY unnerwear" and pats my butt instead and says "Dis Mommy's unnerwear." That pretty effectively ended THAT game.

Of course, some of the stuff TIC comes up with is downright cute. We are working on her saying "Excuse me" instead of "MOVE!" I find it to be a polite way to achieve the same effect as "MOVE!" Especially with the animals, when accompanied by a subtle nudge, the desired result is obtained. TIC, however, has made a new phrase that she thinks is far more effective. Instead of saying "Excuse me!", she will say "Move me, Tino!" And the speech mistakes are adorable! "Weabe it awone!" (leave it alone). Very cute, but definitely makes us realize we perhaps use that phrase a little too much! Amazing what kids pick up!

Tomorrow we're going to paint pottery with a friend and her son, who happens to be one day older than TIC. Here's hoping that we come out the same color we started (no red, purple or blue please) and that we'll be invited back. :)

Have a great weekend!

Friday, October 8, 2010


I think it's easy to not appreciate what you have right in front of your face. Advertising, neighbors, our own wants and desires make it easy to want more, or at the very least, something else. My friend Hira keeps reminding me that the grass isn't always greener, and it's generally true. But buying into the American dream is far easier than making the payments on the American dream.

I'm blessed to have friends in varying life stages: single, engaged, married no kids, married and pregnant, married with kids, married kids are out of the house, etc. It's so easy to look forward to the next stage of your life instead of appreciating where you are now. "I can't WAIT to have children" or "I can't wait for baby number 2" or "I can't wait to be retired." Friends whose children have left the nest often tell me to enjoy the moments spent with Kaitlyn as they happen instead of looking forward to the next "phase", whatever that phase may be. It's hard. You feel like you've been in this "phase" forever and want to know what life will bring next.

I could go on and on about the things I wish I did before I (got married, had a kid, etc). What I will say is that I hope that people reading this blog feel like they are living their lives to the fullest and that they are enjoying life as it comes. Seize new opportunities for travel and doing new things where you can. You never know when your life might change in ways that will prevent those things and you never know what doing new things will open you up to.

Onto the fun Kaitlyn stuff. This morning, when Kaitlyn woke up, she decided she wanted to build a castle for Elmo. Since her lego supply is limited, it didn't take long for the construction AND the demo. The next item on her agenda was a castle for Mommy. Blink and you would have missed the magnificence that was my castle. The "boom", aka gun, hung around for much much longer. Priorities! LOL

The cat population in the house continues to dwindle much to the relief of the hubster. Opportunities have presented themselves for me to acquire additional cats, but I have been able to resist thus far. We've lost three in the past three weeks, so I think I'm sufficiently traumatized to the point that I need a break. TIC is THRILLED to be surrounded by kittens and has started to hone her vet skills, but the rest of the household needs a break and it shows.

I have accepted a tentative offer for a new position with the federal government. It's contingent upon me receiving certain clearances, but I'm excited about the opportunity. I'd tell you more about the opportunity, but then I'd have to use that fun little mind erasing laser. Since TIC was last seen using it as a toy for the kittens, I'm ill prepared and therefore can only speak in vague generalities. However, just know that it's a COOL job in Washington, DC supporting some pretty important people.

Next month is Brent's 40th birthday and retirement party! If you'd like to receive an invitation, please let me know. The date is 11/20. In lieu of gifts, Brent is asking for donations for the Wounded Warrior project ( or Fisher House ( We are fortunate that we didn't need the services of either organization, but Brent feels very strongly about supporting others who weren't as lucky as we were.

Whew! That took all my brain power for a Friday. I'm ready for a nap!!

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Don't ask me, I don't know what I'm doing!

When I do homechecks for people adopting puppies from HART (the rescue group I volunteer with), they often ask me for tips and tricks on housebreaking their puppy. I tell them the best advice I can give is to not ask me for tips and tricks on housebreaking their puppy. Seriously. It took us two and a half years to housebreak Noelle and I'm STILL not convinced she's 100% housebroken. Either that or she's just spiteful and I choose to think the best of people...and dogs.

Now, I recognize it's unfair to compare housebreaking Noelle to potty training Kaitlyn, but it feels a little bit like the same routine. Yeay! Lots of forward progress! Lookit that! Poop in the potty! Lookit that! A whole day with no accidents! Next day, five accidents! I had to go buy underwear in a bulk pack of 100 so that we can make sure we have enough "unnerwear" to cover us through two days. An exaggeration, sure, but man, this potty training thing is kicking our collective butts! And you can say to her "Kaitlyn, the pee pee goes in the _____" and she will very nicely finish with "the POTTY!" Same with the poo poo. She wants to do well, she wants to wear the unnerwear, but she most DEFINITELY does not want to stop what she's doing to go potty. Unless what she's doing is boring (like waiting for mommy to finish her conversation or going to bed earlier than 10 pm) in which case she has to go RIGHT NOW and as OFTEN as possible!

On a medical front, TIC had a massive ear infection in the earlier part of last week. What I thought was her eardrum bursting was her eardrum pushing out her tube with a big fat "ptoooie!" A follow up with the ENT yesterday recovered the tube (I have it stashed securely between two dixie cups...yup, we're high tech) and cleared fun gunk out of TIC's ear. And I mean FUN! And brought tidings of comfort and joy. Prognosis is we're looking at another set of tubes, within the not too distant future. I don't know what the issue is (genetics) but I'm seriously over this nonsense! And I'm guessing TIC is too, but I could just be projecting.

TIC also learned a very important lesson this week: If you hold your hand out without giving anything in return, you will continue to have a very empty hand. We encountered a fat toad on our walk one evening. I goaded her into trying to pick it up. Her version of picking it up was to walk towards it with her palm outstretched as if hoping the toad would decide to jump nicely into the palm of her hand! The toad did not comply, but I don't think TIC was too disappointed. In truth, I'm not entirely convinced that it wasn't just a way for her to appease me and that she really DIDN'T want to pick the toad up. I get. I don't want warts either! ;-)

Until next time...don't ask me! I don't know what I'm doing. At all.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Conversations with Kaitlyn

I'm stealing the title from my friend Julie, but these are some snippets of conversations I've had with Kaitlyn so I can't think of a more appropriate title.

The proper name for a movie burned onto a disc:
Me: Kaitlyn, can you put that piece of paper back into the DVD case?
K: No, MY paper.
Me: No, Kaitlyn, the paper belongs to the DVD?
K: Paper goes to DBDB?
Me: Yes, the paper belongs to the DVD.
K: No paper.

Promises, promises:
Me: Kaitlyn, you can have the toy when you poop on the potty.
K: Poop on the potty?
Me: Yes, you need to poopoo on the potty and you'll get the toy.
K: I poopoo on the potty mommy. I promise.
(C' cute is that??)

In TJ Maxx:
K: I have a booger
Me: Kaitlyn, you have a booger?
K turns to look at me with her finger up her nose: Yeah, I have a booger (giggle)

No shame in admitting we are struggling with pooping in the potty. We put the "product" of the accident in the potty and then dispose of the underwear or pull-up. The following conversation happened after putting the poop in the potty.
K: Put poop in the potty?
Me: Yes, Kaitlyn, mommy put the poop in the potty.
Me: *Sigh* Yes, baby, there is poop in the potty
(How do you explain the difference?? LOL)

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Labor?? What Labor??

For Labor Day weekend, the Shoup House was abuuuuuuuuuzzzzzzz with activity. Nothing new there. Momma took the term "Labor Day" to heart and labored...all weekend long! To escape the madness, Daddy and Kaitlyn went to see a really cool live butterfly exhibit at the Smithsonian. It was so "live" that butterflies could actually land on you and we have pictures to prove it! It was also, so "live" that by the time they came home, Daddy and TIC both were ready for long naps! But when she woke up, the Toddler in Chief was excited to tell me all about the butterflies.

Sunday night we attended a barbecue at a neighbor's house. I was unsure of how TIC would do because 1) she was cranky from her late nap, and 2) there were no children to distract her. She did great and sat in the patio chair and ate her dinner like a little lady. What surprised me was her intense interest in the corn on the cob. She's been eating corn for awhile, so the concept of corn was not new to her, but eating it off the cob is. Brent broke off a piece of his cob and she chowed down like we had never fed her before. By the end of the night, I think her cob was cleaner than mine! I wasn't even considering giving her corn on the cob until she was like 30 and I could be assured that she wouldn't fling corn stuff everywhere, but apparently she's ready and I better assume my seat on the bandwagon.

Monday brought us a playdate with classmate Allison. TIC was a gracious hostess and showed off all that her basement had to offer. I think she was excited to have someone her size to play with and she and Allie are good friends at school As the playdate wore down and Allie and her mom went through the motions of going home, I noticed Allie didn't have her shoes. I asked TIC to get Allie's shoes for her. TIC located the shoes, brought them to Allie and gave them to Allie's mom who was very surprised. She clearly is unaware of Kaitlyn's obsession with matching shoes to the right person! The entire rest of the world can be chaos, but Kaitlyn will know where everybody's shoes are. She's coy about it. When you ask her "Kaitlyn, where are your shoes?" She'll reply with an instant "Ionno" and shrug. However, less than a minute later, she'll give you the location and you'll be on your merry way. This clever child of mine...I'd better be careful whose house I let her loose in. She'll have their shoes catalogued in no time.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Parental Dos and Don'ts

This is just a wrap up of the things I have learned as a parent the past two weeks:

* Do not laugh hysterically, while naked, as your child slips and slides their way to the potty in the midst of an accident, no matter how cute they look when they land on their tushy. For one, it makes your wobbly bits even more wobbly, and for two, the child does not appreciate you finding humor in their situation at all. You may also lose some neighbors and or be visited by a law enforcement official (Hi, Officer Dombrowski). It's best to cover up while rushing to the potty emergency.

* When running errands while potty training, always have a complete change of clothes and two back up pull ups just in case. While nakedness on an infant is cute, apparently nakedness on a toddler is not. (Hello again, Officer Dombrowski. So nice to see you twice in one day)

* Do not, for a SECOND, leave a toddler unattended with a fish in a jar. Toddlers don't understand the big ruckus as they try to feed the "fishie" 'Nilla wafers. For all I know, the fish enjoyed it, but if I can't have any, neither can he.

* Know that your toddler's endurance far EXCEEDS your own endurance. After thirty six rounds of "This mine? This mine?" you will cave. Learn to pick your battles. Should you cave on the pocket knife? Probably not. Can you cave on the butane lighter? Iffy. Will you cave on the thirty six bags of Nemo treats loaded chock full of high fructose sugary goodness? Absolutely.

* Get used to the fact that you are dumb. Your need to repeat everything to the resident toddler in chief "Nooooooo. No. NO. NO!!!!!!!" only reinforces this fact.

* Learn to appreciate the value of poop in the potty. Doesn't matter if all of it landed in the potty or if it was a half and half, you'll never praise a bowel movement so much in your life ever...if you're lucky.

* DO NOT, under any circumstances, make a comfortable chair as the time out chair. When faced with X (the "unpleasant thing they want to do", like get dressed for school) or time out, time out will ALWAYS win, thereby defeating the purpose of the time out. Also, a time out chair near the TV is just as ineffective.

That's it for now. I'm sure some more parenting tips will smack me upside the head later.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

What a wonderful weekend

This weekend was a very exciting weekend for many reasons. The highlight of the weekend was Aunt Terri's visit from Tennessee. I'm thinking after this weekend, Aunt Terri ain't stoppin' by until TIC is potty trained.

So, earlier, I reported that school gave us the greenlight for potty training Kaitlyn. I, for one, couldn't have been more excited! Due to Aunt Terri's visit (Hi, Aunt Terri!) it was scheduled to be a low key weekend. We could be as close as we wanted to be to a toilet ALL WEEKEND LONG! Starting with Saturday morning, Kaitlyn would be wearing UNDERWEAR! We were all excited! When I picked Terri up from the airport, I filled her in on the plan.

Saturday morning came. As I'm changing Kaitlyn I brought out the special Dora underwear. She got so excited about it she put it on herself and told EVERYONE she put on her "unnerwear all by myself". We got down to the basement to watch tv and hang out. Every five minutes I ask Kaitlyn if she has to go to the bathroom. Nope nope nope. Suddenly, K comes over and she's wet. She has had an accident. Later, she shows Aunt Terri where the accident was...Apparently Kaitlyn got excited about going down the slide and peed at the top of the slide. We switched from underwear to pull ups for pretty much the rest of the weekend.

On Saturday I got my hair 'did'. As soon as I got home, Terri and Brent complimented me on my new 'do. Kaitlyn excitedly exclaims "Mommy!!" She turns around and sees me. I reach out my arms to hug her and she completely bypasses me heading for the kitchen towel. She grabs the towel, comes over, tries to scrub my hair to her specification. My hair does not comply. Kaitlyn says "I be wight back, K?" and goes upstairs muttering about a towel. Two seconds later, she comes down with a BIG towel from my bathroom and attempts to scrub my hair again! Soon after, she stops. I'm not sure if my hair did what she wanted it to or if she simply gave up because it was going to take to much time and effort to make it "right." Then, and only then, did I get my hug!

I decided Saturday night to go out to Michaels to get stuff for tie dying t-shirts. While at the check out, I see Silly Bandz. What a perfect reward for going potty! We get home and I pull out the silly bandz explaining what they are for. Kaitlyn immediately has to go to potty. No successful attempts until later that evening when Mom (that would be me) completely misread the signs and pulled her off too soon. Quickly rectified and we had a truly successful attempt. There was big fanfare as we let Kaitlyn pick out her silly band. Five minutes later, the Silly band was ditched in a cushion somewhere. Apparently Kaitlyn hasn't gotten the memo about how cool Silly bandz are.

Sunday brings us tie-dye t-shirts (Thanks to Jenny Fischer for the idea) and a very cranky toddler. No underwear this time, only pull ups and a very early nap. Since this potty training stuff is so exhausting, Terri and I both took naps while TIC napped. We had a visit from a prospective kitty adopter who decided to adopt another kitten and then we were off, with a still cranky toddler, to Hellburger for a late lunch/early dinner. Thank GOD for glow bracelets because that was the ultimate saving grace for our meal that day. Not even a new George DVD could satisfy K. Shortly after arriving home Kaitlyn has a blow out of epic proportions. She went straight into the bathtub, that's how bad it was. It was a three person clean up effort! Kaitlyn was kind enough to show Aunt Terri all the places she pooped on the carpet and her toys.

Finally, Monday arrives. This is the day that we are going to be in FULL cahoots with the day care. She went to school wearing underwear and only had one accident all day. She was duly rewarded with two silly bands for her two successful potty attempts (both of which were promptly ditched). Kaitlyn, Aunt Terri and I go to Dulles Town Center for some birthday shopping. All day long we're stopping to allow Kaitlyn to go to the potty. I think she's overwhelmed by strange places for potty so she doesn't go. I didn't think to bring a pull up with me, but I do have diapers. Despite bribing her with a turn on the Merry Go Round, there is no potty at all. We sit down to have dinner and five minutes after placing our order (and five minutes after the last potty attempt), Kaitlyn peed in her chair. Aunt Terri to the rescue! While I clean up TIC, she retrieves a diaper and I think, but am not certain, cleans up her third potty accident of the weekend.

This potty training stuff is exhausting, both for TIC and the village that raises her. I think by the time we recover from this, Kaitlyn will be dating. Maybe we should keep her in diapers if for nothing other than to deter potential suitors! for thought.

Monday, August 23, 2010

My child did WHAT?!?!?

There will be a much longer post later to discuss the collective plan for whirled peas, poverty and the Gulf oil spill. For now, I will simply crow about what a GENIUS my child is and how her GENIUS is obviously a reflection of the collective GENIUS between Brent and I.

The collective decision was made for TIC to start potty training on her schedule. This was borne out of sheer lazinees, to be perfectly honest. Neither Brent nor I did any research on methods, rewards, etc. My thought was that peer pressure would be our guide. She'd see the kids at school going to the bathroom and she would want to get in on the action. This course of action DID cause me a bit of worry. What would happen when she was 30 and not potty trained because her parents were too lazy to perform a search followed by a couple of clicks on the interwebs? I didn't reallylet it consume me as they make Depends for that kind of thing and if she hadn't succumbed to peer pressure to pee and poop in the potty, then nothing I could say or do would change the outcome at that point.

We have encouraged potty time to no avail. Then, the skies opened up and God smiled upon us. Well, okay, that's a little dramatic, but it's like a switch was flipped. Brent went to pick up Kaitlyn and the teacher said Kaitlyn had at least one successfully potty attempt and we should bring her wearing underwear next week. When the hubster told me that, I am not ashamed to admit I doubted him. I asked him if he was sure if they were speaking of OUR bebe child. He assured me they were.

Lo and behold, Kaitlyn peed on the potty once on Saturday. No attempts on Sunday. Two successful attempts today at school, two accidents (one at school and one at a restaurant) and a successful attempt at home. WAHOO!!!! Here's hoping we keep this trend!

Monday, August 16, 2010

Toddler Trainwreck

This weekend was a hectic one, with lots of activities. However, Toddler In Chief continues to battle the nasty day care bug (not sure if that's the medical term for the crud coming out of her nose, but I'ma use it), so we decided to scrap her weekend plans in favor of a restorative weekend. Generally speaking, a snotty TIC means a cranky TIC come Monday drop off. As if I didn't already dread Mondays for work reasons, I now have the opportunity to dread Monday drop off.

Last night, TIC came to our room in the middle of the night clutching Woody and wanted to climb into bed. While this is not a new phenomena, what is new is that she spent the rest of the night in our bed. Usually she gets fed up and goes back to her bed. So, I was especially dreading this morning. I know *I* didn't sleep very well and assumed Kaitlyn didn't either (foolish, foolish me. She wasn't the one with the foot upside her head all night long).

Fast forward to drop off. We got to the classroom right after a new little boy. I didn't pay attention other than to "pity the fool" as Mr. T used to say, though I recognize I'm not using it in the proper context. Formerly new parents (me) recognize the newbies in the way the children cling to them to prevent mommy or daddy from leaving. Obviously, this tactic fails and the child is left wailing and the parent leaves broken hearted. The new little boy was no exception to the rule. What is FASCINATING is that MOMMY was in the car and made DADDY do the drop off. That's cold, man. Anyway, as soon as we get to the classroom, Kaitlyn pulls up a seat at the table and sits down to one of her least favorite breakfasts. I clearly took advantage of this to do my administrative stuff (love note, status report, etc). Bebe child wasn't even LOOKING at me. I finish up and go to give her several kisses on the neck and she BRUSHED ME OFF! She was looking at the new little boy in all his writhing, crocodile tear producing glory. My child has learned, at the tender age of two and a half, the entertainment value of watching a trainwreck.

I'm so proud I may cry.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Didja get my good side??

I was never so good photographically as when the digital camera became affordable. I tried so hard as a kid to take good pictures, but inevitably, there was a blur indicating I didn't hold the camera still long enough to get the ideal picture. I'm sure I've got some really great shots of some wonderful people having the time of our lives, if only I could identify SOMETHING in that picture that would trigger my memory. I wish that statement was an exaggeration, but it's not.

Fast forward to the digital age, especially the series of cameras known as the "point and shoot." Unlike in real life, you get do overs with point and shoots. Well, for still pictures anyway. For anything else, you better have your game face on cuz trying to catch a picture of your friend on the zip wire doesn't really lend itself to do overs. I, for one, am a huge fan of do overs, and take advantage of them every second I can. I don't know (nor do I care) how to frame the perfect shot so that the light hits the drop of water and makes it look like the perfect bead. I DO know how to point and shoot at bebe child and that's all I need.

Today, the toddler in chief and I went to the library to pick up a book. While there, I went to the online catalog to see if there were any books about Toy Story. Kaitlyn, without my initial awareness, was emulating me. She sat right down at the computer next to me and was looking up books on the path to enlightenment (silly me, I thought Toy Story books were sufficient). When I happened to notice what she was doing, I immediately took a picture with my camera phone. Kaitlyn, being very tech savvy, came over to see the picture I took. We both agreed it was not the best it could have been, so wordlessly, resignedly, she got back up in the chair and posed again. Again, I took the picture, we consulted on the results, and decided we were satisfied. Spontaneity? Out the window. But, you have to present your best side when auditioning for the Ford agency, or so bebe child tells me.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Teens already??

There has been a moratorium on stickers in the Shoup House. Not because they get everywhere, but because the plan is to use them as rewards when we start potty training in earnest. When will that be? I have no idea, but we're prepared!

Anyway, this morning, Kaitlyn found a sheet of stickers and went on a sticker binge! When she came upstairs, as I was getting ready, she said to me "I findit stickers, Mommy!" I looked at her, and indeed she had. She had happy face stickers from her thigh to her toes, but only on one leg. Interestingly enough, there was a "puddle" of happy face stickers right at the top of her foot where her foot meets her leg. She also arranged them in such a way that the colors went from brightest (yellow) to darkest (purple). It was very pretty and very well executed.

While I was in the shower, I heard "Oh NO, Mommy, I droppit stickers!" So I did what many parents do and I parroted back what she said and phrased it as a question: "Oh NO, baby, you dropped the sticker?" To which she replied "I KNOW, Mommy, I DROPPIT sticker!" We all have our lot in life, and clearly bebe child's lot in life is to be saddled with a mom who isn't the brightest bulb in the box. Poor poor baby child. Thankfully, she didn't hear me giggle, as I was in the shower, but honestly, if the attitude is starting this early, I might consider medication for the teen years...for me.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Survival mode

Things have been kind of crazy for the Shoups lately. With my new job, long commute and Kaitlyn's new school, our world has been kind of pushed, crammed and squeezed like never before. I've mostly been in survival mode, moving from one activity to the next. It's hard to stay coherent some days, much less upbeat and positive.

I celebrated my 34th birthday a couple of weeks ago. Not a big milestone birthday and the day passed as an ordinary day. I kind of had an odd feeling going into it, so I wasn't surprised by the slight vanilla feel to the day. Next year is the big 3-5! That's the year I plan to become an adult! I heard it's important to have goals so that is mine for next year.

The animal population continues to shrink gradually. We're no longer having the fire sale we once were and are slowly introducing the kittens into the general population. They get the run of the house once we are home and have the run of the basement during the day. I keep saying this will be the last batch of kitten fosters for awhile, for reasons too great to number, but who knows what the future holds? I have a dog foster waiting in the wings that I will bring in once some of the kitten population has dwindled, but for now, we just have our three dogs and that's good enough for me.

Brent continues to be the glue that holds the household together. While I worked long hours last week and played host for a couple of days to an out of town friend, he kept the household running smoothly. He continues to excel at work to the point that he is being given additional opportunities, so that's been really exciting for him. He found out that the big race he wanted to do this year sold out very quickly, so he won't be doing his 50 mile marathon this year. Instead, he'll focus on more centrally located marathons to build his speed and stamina.

Kaitlyn is growing in leaps and bounds. We are still struggling with potty training, but she's just not showing that much interest. The poor thing is currently dealing with her first bout of pink eye ever (after I was JUST bragging to my friend Emily about the lack of presence pink eye has had in her short life) and is super cranky as a result. She loves her new school, is excited about her friends at school and the waterworks are turned down low for the most part. This is good news as your child's heartbreaking sobs can render you useless for the rest of the day, despite the fact the web cam says she's forgotten all about you. She loves to give hugs and kisses, and is generally pretty mild mannered. She will stare at you like she doesn't know what language you're speaking when you tell her to do something she doesn't want to do, but otherwise, is a very well behaved child. It's good to know that SOMEONE can stay grounded amongst all this craziness!

If you have kids and you're reading this blog, give them an extra hug and kiss tonight, no matter their age. A friend of a friend recently lost her little girl, very very suddenly. We always say that life is precious and we should cherish every moment of it. Life with your kids is precious beyond measure. If you don't take this time to appreciate everything your child has to offer (yes, I mean the good and the bad) now, you'll truly miss out on so much. Be thankful that your child is a pain in the butt and can tell you no. Some parents will never hear their child speak. As your child runs away from you in the department store, take a moment (while in pursuit, of course) to rejoice in the fact that both of their legs are fully functioning. And when they throw their food back at you, be thankful that they have food to throw at you. There are so many things in this world that just don't reward you the way being a parent rewards you. Appreciate your family and love them with all your might. Who knows how long you'll have that privilege.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Just another weekend in the Shoup House

Last weekend, Brent went to Ohio to attend a surprise celebration for his grandmother's 90th birthday. For various reasons, I was not able to attend and it was determined that it would be too difficult for Brent to take Kaitlyn on a 16 hour round trip car ride all by himself. That meant mommy and me time all weekend! We had a ton of stuff to get accomplished while daddy was gone and Kaitlyn was a trouper through it all. She charmed the pants off the florist, who told me I needed to let her play with more stuff in the store. Very few shopkeepers say that, so while I appreciated the sentiment, there were a LOT of breakables. Like half a year's salary worth of breakables. We did a lot of running around outside to preserve mommy's bank account.

While we were "shopping" at the florist, Valentino was having a spa treatment. Kaitlyn was very upset about leaving 'Tino behind and 'Tino, in turn, was upset about being left behind. After his spa treatment, 'Tino leapt into the truck with all the grace an almost 60 lb beagle can have (he'll tell you it's all muscle, I say he should stop camping out around Kaitlyn's table), Kaitlyn said "BoTino all done shower?" I mean honestly! How smart is she??

After picking up 'Tino, we went to Petsmart to meet a lady who was interested in an elderly cat I rescued last year. It was love at first sight for which I'm eternally grateful because he has waited a long time for his forever home. Kaitlyn was awesome, as usual, so I told her we'd go to the movies and eat cake after her nap. It would be Kaitlyn's first trip to the movies and I was excited! What she remembered though, was the cake. So upon waking up, her first words were "I have cake??" I managed to gloss over that part and get her to eat her dinner with minimal fuss. Once we were done, off we went to the 6:40 showing of Toy Story 3. We got there right as the previews were going on, so the dark theatre and noises scared her. I managed to get her in and get her seated on my lap. I can't begin to describe her excitement and joy when Buzz came on screen. It was like she realized I wasn't showing a complete lack of intelligence taking her to this random dark room, there was a purpose! At one point, the screen went black and she said "NO!" It was cute.

On our way out to the parking lot, the theme for the weekend emerged. She looked at me and said "I likea da Buzzzz!" I don't think I've laughed that hard, well, ever! All the way home "I likea da Buuuuuuzzzzz!" When we got home, we called Daddy to tell him "I likea da Buzzzzzzzzz!"

The final cute Kaitlyn story happened on Sunday when we went to the cat adoption event. There was a quite a bit of yowling on our way to the event. It was a little overwhelming in the car. Kaitlyn kept channeling mommy and saying "I know, I know, shhhhhhhhh, I know, I know". You could tell she was over it by the time we got to the event. When we started offloading the kitties, Kaitlyn was FINALLY able to watch "The Backyardigans" with no kitty interference. However, once we got in the store, my usually shy child would tell ANYONE who would listen "Kitty need a HOME." Many people thought this was the most adorable thing they've ever heard, but I truly suspect she had ulterior motives! "Get the cats out of my house so I don't have to be bothered when watching TV...kthxbye!"

I don't know if it's apparent, but I love that little girl!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Cracking the toddler code

I often wonder, as Kaitlyn talks toddler to me, if other toddlers understand what she is saying. I mean, beyond the obvious words like "MINE!" and "SHARE!", which are pretty universal, do they know when she says a string of syllables and consonants, what that means? Or do they act like miniature adults and smile and nod? For Kaitlyn's part, it seems like she grasps a new concept or word each day. She is confident in what she is saying and her poor parents can only hope to keep up with it. To wit, here are some of her new words.
"Cuppy" - and no, she's not asking for her cup, she's asking if we want coffee.
"Gurdy" - could she want to engage in a little hurdy gurdy? Nope, her hands are dirty.
"Glah" - maybe if mommy can see better, she can understand toddler requests better! here mommy, have your glasses.
"Poohwup" - Sounds adorable each time she says it, I wish she ALWAYS wanted a pullup.

Those are only a few words out of the Kaitlyn dictionary. I feel smug each time I am able to decipher what Kaitlyn is saying. I feel sure that when I meet other toddlers, I will be able to decipher them too. Except when I do meet them, and they have their own version of "Gurdy" that I don't understand, both the toddler and the parent shoot me a look like I clearly should have picked up on what was just said! I think the toddler code cracking is specific to the individual toddler and cannot be applied globally. Just my experience, but then, it could be that raising a toddler has zapped my last living brain cell, rendering me incapable of coherent thought beyond "MINE!" and "SHARE!".

Beyond just the language, the hijinks in the house are ever entertaining. Or terrifying. Depends on which view you take when raising children. Yesterday, my two and a half year old cut herself shaving. *collective gasp* However, she didn't cut herself shaving the parts mommy shaves (a bandaid on the leg would have been FAR easier to explain away). No, no, she cut herself shaving the way daddy shaves. Imagine my dismay, when Toddler in Chief comes down the stairs, minus the temper tantrum worthy shorts (not a shock in the least) but blood smeared everywhere grinning a maniacal grin. Knowing the tools for animal sacrifice were locked safely away (just kidding....we leave 'em out in the, seriously, we don't have any animal sacrifice tools), the next logical conclusion was that the blood was coming from TIC herself. Closer examination revealed that TIC had performed a classic rite of adolescence and had cut her lip shaving. A Dora bandaid made everything better (not that she was crying anyway!! and she was suspiciously compliant when I put her shorts on) if not an awkward story to tell when we got to day care. Fortunately, the day care is full of moms who have their own razor stories and my "Bad Bad Mommy" burden was lifted.

One of these days someone in our house is going to go certifiably insane and someone else is going to wind up in a straight jacket. Wonder if they make 'em in toddler sizes...

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Sharing is caring

So, how do you teach a two year old that it's important to share, but then tell her that she should keep her stinky, yucky cold germs to herself? You can't. They aren't old enough to make the distinction. Which is how mommy is a heckuva mess and TIC is off playing happily with her friends. That's right, momma is sick, TIC is fine and daddy is apparently immune. Despite my best efforts to breathe all over daddy, he's been able to skate by without so much as a sniffle! Lucky lucky man.

Cute little Kaitlyn-ism. With the school and the interactive singing and playing that they do, Kaitlyn has been singing more nursery rhymes. I guess a fan favorite at school is "The Wheels on the Bus." Stubborn, just like her momma, Kaitlyn won't sing on cue, but if you're listening very carefully and very closely you'll hear:

uppydown, uppydown, UPpydown
mumblemumble mumble
all tru da towwwwwwwn"

Our next stop will be on "America's Got Talent" cuz clearly, American ain't seen nothing like my kid!!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

2 is the new 12

Well, last week, Kaitlyn started her new daycare. It's been rough for both mommy and baby. Kaitlyn misses Lida and it shows. I think she misses the comfort of Lida and the kids at Lida's. Once I leave, Kaitlyn is fine and settles into the daily routine. How do I know this? It's got webcam!! And my productivity shows it. LOL

Kaitlyn does know when we are going to "'cool" as opposed to Lida's now and will ask to go to Lida's. This is how the conversation went this morning:
"I want Lida's"
"No Lida's baby, okaaay?"
"Okay." sniffle...
"Momma, I want shopping."
"Baby, you want shopping?"
"Yeah" (all pitiful like)
"Okay, we'll go after school, okay?"
Kaitlyn sees we are turning into the school and starts sobbing.
"What kind of shopping do you want to do? Food or clothes?"
"Okay, baby, clothes shopping."
By this time, we had arrived at the school and the crying stopped until we reached the classroom. My crying started once I left. If she's this into shopping at 2, what are we going to do when she's 12 and actually has an opinion on what she wears??? Momma is in a whole heap of trouble!

Some exciting news on the Brent front. After this weekend and an obligatory Christmas dinner in December, no more military obligations for him! It's weird to be discussing retirement when you're not yet 40, but there you have it. We're both excited to put military obligations behind us and not have to worry about scheduling around military weekends. Now...about that "honey do" list....;-)

Friday, May 28, 2010

Mommy's in the Doghouse

Oh, sweet, docile child of mine, where did you go? Are you hiding? Were you switched at daycare? Surely the terrible twos CANNOT be this bad...can they?

We'll start with, mommy got a new job and the commute for mommy has tripled. This means no more lazing about in bed until 8:30 am (7:45 am for Toddler in Chief), no more leisurely mornings as mommy putters around the house and even less time to watch Curious George. Kaitlyn is much like her momma in that she likes her sleep. She doesn't like to go to bed on time, but she likes to make up for the deficit on the backend. With mommy's new job, EVERYBODY has to get up earlier, dogs, babies and mommy alike. This has created some epic meltdowns in the house. Mommy's emotions go from smug patience to exasperation to just being emotionally drained. Toddler in chief's emotions range from "I love you mommy, mwah mwah" to "I don't wanna (insert action, article of clothing, food item, really anything here)!" to meltdown of atomic proportions. Monday, my first day of work, witnessed such a meltdown. I knew the cause, worked on the solution and we sailed along fairly well until today.

Kaitlyn doesn't fully know how to express what has upset her. Instead of "Daddy won't let me have another piece of cake", when daddy takes away the desired item, it becomes "MOMMY! Daddy HIT me!" As the other parent is witness to the non-hitting, the statement is generally shrugged off. This morning, my crime in the TIC justice system, was to force her to get dressed. An earlier than normal wake up time threw TIC off her game just enough that we went from Meltdown City to Meltdown Nation.

This is the hilarity that ensued:
I finally got Kaitlyn's last shoe on. To lighten the mood of "I don't wanna", I tickled her. This was BEYOND unacceptable as she dove into the cushions to get away from me. TIC came up for air, crying hysterically. She spies the nearest dog and says "Tinooooooooooooo....mommy hit me!" 'Tino, who is just trying to get comfy for his morning nap, is completely disinterested in the entire exchange. Kaitlyn, seeking any kind of comfort she can get, wraps her arms around 'Tino and hugs him. By this time, 'Tino is thoroughly confused. He's not really sure what he's supposed to do in this situation. Mommy has dissolved into giggles as this is really the cutest thing she's ever seen. I try to give Kaitlyn the comforting hug she seeks and am shunned. She goes back to clutching 'Tino for dear life, which in turn, causes him to shift away from the drama (I would have too, quite frankly). Finally, I'm able to give her a hug and we make our way out the door with more tears and more hysterics.

All this before 8 am! I'm amazed I was able to stay awake after all that! Talk about an energy zap! Mothers of children under 2 let this be your public service announcement. When you look at your angelic child and think NO WAY will the terrible twos be terrible for you, think again. We're living proof! But, we have lived to see yet another day, and all in all, I consider that a HUGE success.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Celebration of Independence

This morning, as with many mornings recently, I casually opened Kaitlyn's door as I went downstairs to let the dogs outside. I heard her happy chatter as she came downstairs and cabe back to the stairs to greet her. What I saw was beyond description. The pajama pants she went to bed with were not in sight. Okay. Not a new phenomenon, we can roll with it. Oh, hey look! Kaitlyn put her shoes on. Awesome, they are even on the right feet! Then my eyes moved up to see that she was wearing her Dora the Explorer bathing suit. Not only was she wearing it, but she put it on the right way. I know grown women who can't even put on their bathing suit and I personally struggle with which side is the front and which side is the back. Kaitlyn's ingenuity is just beyond comprehension....especially at 7:30 in the morning! Seriously, if I could bottle her energy and sell it, I'd be a rich woman!

There are some big changes coming up in the Shoup House. Momma Shoup starts a new job in Arlington next week. I'm looking forward to the new opportunity, but sad about the people I'm leaving behind. I've met and worked with some amazing people who have pushed me to acheive more than I had ever imagined. But ultimately, the title I hold doesn't fit as well as it once did and I'm ready to move my career in a different direction. My greatest hurdle is the three hour round trip commute. I'm definitely not looking forward to that. I'll just take it one day at a time and appreciate the opportunity I'm being given.

The next big change is Toddler in Chief is moving from an in home day care to a day care center. It's a really nice center not far from home. It was not an easy decision to make. She loves Lida, Lida loves her and she's comfortable where she is right now. But the goal was always to transition her to a center and I think it will be really good for her to experience new people, new things and endless learning opportunities. And hopefully, there will be minimal tears shed by me the day she starts her new school.

Finally, Brent is officially done with military duty. He's got a couple of days here and there that he will be doing, but he turned in all his gear last weekend. I know he's happy to be done with it and we're happy with the flexibility of not having to plan around drill weekends. It will be interesting to see how long he lets his hair get. Maybe I'll take a picture each week so we can see the progression. In other big acheivement news for Brent, he completed the Capon Valley 50K a couple of weekends ago. It was a brutal race, but he's got another state done. The next race is currently in the works, so stay tuned for details.

That's all folks...until next time!

Friday, May 7, 2010

Who's in charge here?

Early wake ups. We've all been there. The ones where you groan, roll over and hope the crying baby is either a) a figment of your imagination or b) part of your dream (nightmare, same thing). When you realize that it is a part of your reality and you need to address it posthaste, then there are delusions of delaying the inevitable. This was the scene in my house this morning.

6:15 am Toddler in Chief wakes up sobbing. As she had woken up twice in the middle in much the same state, I got up and rushed down the hall to see what was wrong. No obvious damage to the furniture, so I'm thinking she wants some snuggle time. Trying to delay the inevitable, I enticed her with a "Hey, Kaitlyn, wanna get in Mommy and Daddy's bed?" She snagged her blanket and off we went.

6:20 am Well, that was fun and very short lived. Kaitlyn is no longer content to be in mommy and daddy's bed and would rather be back in her own. Awesome. The sleep fairy smiles contentedly upon us and I look forward to returning to bed.

6:21 am SIKE! We're back in mommy and daddy's room, in mommy and daddy's bed with TIC screaming "DON'T WANT" when I try to cover her up with our covers.

6:25 am TIC has had enough and gets out of bed. I pleadingly ask her if she would like to get back in bed. "All done nigh night, Momma, ALL DONE!" Even I can take a hint. I ask one more time if she wants in mommy and daddy's bed and hold out my hand. At this point she attempts to pull the covers off and pull me out of bed. She gives up and goes to her room saying something about "I NOT!" I groan and sink back into the pillows.

6:27 am "Momma?? Mommaaaaaaaaaaaaa? MOMMA??? 'ere ARE youuuuuuuuuuuuu?? Momma??" I thought this was just a game at first but quickly realized she really didn't know where I was! I mumble "Kaitlyn" and she has just discovered the greatest toy ever!

6:32 am I'm up. I'm done, we're done, we're going downstairs.

So, between this morning and Kaitlyn trying to make sure I got dressed in a timely fashion yesterday, it's clear that if TIC wasn't around, MIC (Mom in charge for those unfamiliar with the "lingo") would get nothing done.

I am happy to report that I completed all 39.3 miles (and then some probably...I think the hills of Georgetown should count for double distance) this weekend. I had some great motivational support from my walking partner. I did not come out of the weekend unscathed...I have a "soft tissue" injury (ie We don't know what you did but we're sure it hurts) that is on the mend. It was a scorcher both days, but it was for an excellent cause and I'm glad I did it. When you walk and you see the survivors of breast cancer walking with you, it's a pretty awesome feeling.

This weekend is Mother's Day. Make sure you give thanks to the good Lord in heaven above for the mother that brought you into this world. She may not be around, she may be in the next town, but no matter what, you wouldn't be here today without her. Shout out to the MOMS!!!

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Mommy's, Daddy's and Baby's

Well, those of you who have children know that the first two don't really apply. In the eyes of the child, it is ALL theirs. As sweet and nice as she is, Toddler in Chief is a strong supporter of the "MINE" principle. Especially when it is in her principle residence.

Some examples to support my statement:
Conversation while on the potty:
TIC: "My towel"
Mommy: "Okay. "
TIC: "My potty"
Mommy: "Okay."
(this is the part where mommy starts egging Toddler in Chief on)
Mommy: "My 'Tino"
TIC: "No, MY 'Tino"
Mommy: "My 'Tino"
TIC: "MY TINO!" She proceeds to lay a hand possessively on 'Tino who is oblivious.
Back and forth three times more
Mommy: "My Wellie."
TIC shakes her head and says something to the effect of I can have Wellie cuz she doesn't like her anyway (That was my interpretation...take it as you will)

Second incident:
Mommy has a ring box at toddler eye level (which will be rectified TONIGHT) that has been the source of debate as to the rightful owner. In it, I keep several rings and a couple pairs of earrings. TIC pretty much has access to anything in the bathroom while I get ready in the morning and today was no exception. We are all set, ready to walk out of the house when Kaitlyn starts to load up her "BOCKPOCK" (backpack for those of you not familiar with the TIC lingo). Once she has loaded up the items from the family room that she felt were essential for Ms. Lida's, she started emptying her pockets. Guess what was in her pockets? Yup, all of my rings and half of each set of earrings. She was just going to take them to Ms. Lida's with her. When I snatched them up from the floor where she had dropped them, the ensuing "My rings" "Mommy's rings" conversation ended with me as victor and TIC in meltdown mode. All I could think was, we moved up from the penny ante stuff (change from someone else's house) to full blown HEIST in the span of a couple of weeks. What do you do with that kind of talent???? Thinkin' a trip to Tiffany might be in order!

This is my last post before the Avon Breast Cancer walk. Daddy and bebe are on their own once again, but this time, they can come cheer mommy on! YEAY! Wish me luck, peeps! I'm gonna need it. I got all the tools, it's time to put my mouth (and legs) where the money is! If you haven't already added me, follow me on Twitter so you can catch all the hilarity.

Thursday, April 22, 2010


Nothing too exciting to report other than I felt like the last post didn't cover enough of the whole family. It's just we're so boring!

Brent is doing well. For those of you who don't know, he retires from the Army National Guard in June. 22 years of service to the National Guard. Just thinking about that kind of commitment is making my hands sweat! Anyway, I'm so proud of him I could bust a button! Lifetime commissary privileges, here we come!!!

Kaitlyn continues to awe and amaze her parents. She's so tall! And so cute! And so smart! I know that parents say the same thing about their kids, but really, she is super smart. Next hurdle to tackle will be potty training. I *think* she gets it, but mostly she just likes to sit on her potty and hang out. 'Tino usually joins us so she winds up talking to him and trying to get his attention. For his part, he guards the door from intruders (because, of course, potty time is sacred) and ignores her. But it's a ritual and we all enjoy it! She's heavily into Curious George (have you watched it lately? Seriously, the adults around him have lost their minds! "George, you mind the store while I go get more supplies." A monkey??? minding a store??? I give up), jewelry, purses and her mommy and daddy. She's got her favorite boys (Josh and Jeremy) and her favorite girls (Emma and Anna Joe (though the feeling isn't mutual on AJ's part)), her favorite fish (Nemo) and her favorite monster (Elmo). She loves it when the dogs play around her and loves to play with the kittens at adoption days. If you have done something she doesn't approve of, she'll wag her finger, shake her head and jabber at you until she feels like you've gotten it. She's the apple of her daddy's eye and the center of her momma's universe and that's the way she likes it!

The pets are the pets. Tempers flare, teeth get bared, feelings get hurt and then we move on. Mostly Brent and I look at each other and say "Do you know what that was all about??" "I don't know (said in a resigned tone)" "Yeah, well, it's over, so I guess we're good". "Yup, guess so." Sunshine's had a rough go of it lately, so there may be a trip to the internist in our future. Gotta love canine diabetus.

I continue to pound the pavement in search of a job that makes lots of money with very little work on my part. Haha! Not entirely true. Some significant nibbles recently, so we'll see what the universe brings my way. This weekend I'm going to have a mini vacay (in the form of a wholesale abandonment of the Shoup House) visiting Terri in Knoxvegas, TN. Looking forward to seeing her new house and seeing TN in the spring. Almost as much as I'm looking forward to a trip to L'il Dollys. Need a quilt? Hit me up!

Next weekend, as I mentioned in my previous post, I will be doing the Avon 2 day walk. Thanks so much for all the donations. I really can't express just how much I appreciate the love and support. In preparation for the walk, I have my stuff all packed! HA! Just kidding. Those of you who know me well were probably shocked to your core! In true Kelly Anne Hughes Shoup fashion, I still have a lot of things to get settled before the event. HOWEVER, I took care of a major component which is the communication portion. I signed up for Twitter (hence the title). I'm Czech it out if you tweet yo!

That's all for now folks! See you when I get back from the bible belt!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010


Growing up, I had an Uncle Sonny whose nickname for me was "Criminal." When visiting my mother's parents, we had a penny ante game we played called Michigan Rummy. When all was said and done and it was time to close out the game, whatever money was left went to the person with the best poker hand (I am certain that this is what started my poker playing). The max you were looking at was $5, if that, but that's a lot of pennies! I wouldn't say I regularly won, but I won enough that Uncle Sonny gave me the "Criminal" moniker. It's kind of a family legend to be honest and a title I wear proudly, as odd as that may sound.

Fast forward to the present. Kaitlyn and I had a long weekend filled with a lot of activities last weekend. From soccer games, to shopping, to visiting with friends, we were joined at the hip (yup, you guessed it, Brent had military duty). Kaitlyn weathered most of the whirlwind weekend very very well, especially considering on at least one of the days, she had no nap. During our outings, we stopped by my friend Heather's house. Heather has two girls which equals a lot of fun toys for Kaitlyn. I told Kaitlyn it was time to go and got distracted. I turned back to see why Kaitlyn wasn't leaving with me only to see her furiously stuffing the money she found amongst the toys in her pocket!!! Heather saw it too and said it was fine. We got home and counted the booty and Kaitlyn had appropriated 80 cents!!! She later gave her daddy 30 cents, which I grumbled about. I was the one that drove her to and from the heist! I should have been the one to get the cut, not daddy!! Now I've got my own little "criminal".

I'm less than two weeks away from the Avon 2 day! Lots of preparation and training left to do. I haven't made the time to do a long distance walk, so we'll see what kind of shape I'm in after the walk!! Wish me luck cuz lord knows, I'm gonna need it!

Monday, April 5, 2010

Poker, puppies and picking up eggs

We had a fabulous weekend in the Shoup House (I use that a lot cuz it rhymes). Saturday was kicked off with a community Easter egg hunt. The community separates the egg hunt in two age categories: 3 and under and 4-8. I am glad because it takes a lot of the pressure off of the kids to compete. Our initial strategy was to have Kaitlyn and mommy conduct the search while the paparazzi (daddy) took pictures. At the last minute, the Todder in Chief decided she wanted daddy to help with the search. Mommy was relegated to taking pictures. I gave daddy the strategy I overheard while waiting in line: Go straight for the middle cuz you'll get more eggs. You can't see it in the picture above, but the strategy netted at least 20 eggs. Toddler in Chief's general attitude was one of puzzlement: why would anybody randomly drop a bunch of eggs on the lawn and why in the WORLD does she have to pick them up?? Once we left the hunt and started checking out what was in the eggs, it suddenly made sense...there was CANDY in the eggs! I think next year, we'll have a couple of dry runs so she understands the importance of candy gathering. Momma needs her sugar fix! ;-)
To show respect for this blessed weekend (Christ was resurrected after all), I hosted a ladies poker night! To be honest, I didn't really relate the weekend to the event, other that it was one of a few Saturday nights I had free! A good time was had by all and the winner took home $70! Not bad for a first time event. Maybe it will grow in popularity and the prizes will get even bigger!
We had visitors in the form of puppies all weekend. It was a great diversion during breaks on Saturday night, but overall, I'm relieved that they are back in their regularly scheduled foster home. Somehow, it's more daunting to take care of neonate puppies than actual human infants. More mouths to feed? I dunno. I just don't have a knack for puppies. However, in 8 and a half weeks, there will be four ADORABLE puppies available for adoption! Spread the word!
Sunday was a nice quiet day. Toddler in Chief discovered the Easter basket the Easter bunny left her and opened the eggs the Easter bunny forgot to hide. (better luck next year, Easter bunny). Kaitlyn and daddy planted a tomato plant of her very own and generally had a lazy day. Mommy and Kaitlyn went for a 6 mile walk (two hours Kaitlyn tolerated in the stroller very well) and came home to a wonderful ham dinner. All in all a lovely Easter weekend with wonderful weather and a beautiful family! Hope everyone's Easter weekend was just as lovely!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Bbbbaaaaaaaaad....Bad to the bone

What can I say? My daughter is bad to the bone! And too cool for her parents!

It's been a busy couple of weeks. Chasing after a toddler, prepping for the Avon Two day, saving neonate there anything this mom can't do?? Oh yeah, sleep! Who needs sleep??

This weekend is Easter. We plan on doing our first REAL Easter egg hunt with other kids. We'll see how well daddy handles that. Generally speaking, when there's kids and chaos, daddy's not very happy. Plus, we're losing our number two bodyguard as Chris is going down to Virginia Beach to visit mom and dad for Easter. We'll just have to provide a ton of pictures!

As for the neonate puppies, I'm sure you're wondering if I broke my Lenten promise to not take in any new animals. To that I say, technically, no. LOL I've been babysitting them off and on since last week, but we've secured fosters for the remaining 4, so I think we're out of the woods both for fosters and for the health of the puppies. Not sure why someone would dump a box of two day old puppies at the shelter, but I'm glad Sharon Huber picked them up. I know a few people who couldn't imagine their life without these pups. :)

Happy Easter every one! Remember, if I don't answer your phone call, it's cuz I'm in a chocolate coma!!!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Lofty Goals

Recently, I decided to take on a very daunting challenge and turn it into a goal. I am going to participate in the Avon 2 Day walk to support breast cancer research. I have to raise a certain amount of funds to be able to participate and I have to be able to walk almost 40 miles. I get 2 days to walk 40 miles, but still, I have turned a corner. For many years I have looked at my husband as some sort of genetic mutant (sorry honey) for wanting to run marathons and ultramarathons and ultra ultra marathons. And here I am, attempting to walk a marathon one day and a half marathon the next day. The voice of caution must have been on vacation the day I signed up for it. But it's for a good cause and I hope the readers of this blog support me.

What I didn't take into consideration was the fact that you have to train to be able to go out and walk 26 miles one day and 13 miles the next. My idea of training and regimen is to get fired up and exercise for two days, have a setback on the third and bag the whole thing on the fourth day, consoling myself with the very same confection (cake, ice cream, Tagalongs, etc) that had me making the resolution in the first place!!! However, this time is different. This time, people have shown, and continue to show, that they believe in me. The outpouring of support has been amazing. Friends and family have contributed monetarily and with strong showings of moral support so I have taken this training seriously.

The fact that I am taking this training seriously has affected my interpersonal relationships, I gotta be honest. I look for suckers, er, I mean partners, to train with me. Failing that, I bring Kaitlyn along in her stroller. People refuse to look me in the eye as I pass them in the hallway on my way to my lunchtime walks so they won't be roped in too! Friends have stopped returning phone calls just to avoid my cajoling! However, this past weekend, I was able to find two suckers, er, I mean wonderful friends, to participate in a 5k with me. I walked a VERY brisk 5k with my friends Jennie, Megan and the ever patient Kaitlyn. We had a phenomenal finish time (nearly linking arms like sweaty Bobsey, Triplets I guess), supported a really great cause and left the race patting ourselves on the back for our outstanding race! Kaitlyn, not being used to getting up at 6 am was less than enthused. Jennie was able to capture it in the picture you see at the beginning of the post.

I know this is only the beginning of many many 5ks to come and I can't help feeling that I've stumbled onto something great. Don't expect me to run any time soon (or ever), my friends! I may have set a lofty goal, but I haven't lost my mind just yet!

Monday, March 22, 2010

Where do babies go?

I remember when Kaitlyn was an infant, wondering when she'd reach certain milestones. I never found the brand spankin' new baby part to be very difficult at all. I mean, I love sleep as much as the next guy (probably more) but I always made time for what was important. Cleaning the house could get done when Brent came home and it was his turn with the baby. Spending time snuggling on the sofa, or gazing into each other's eyes, that's what I remember most. But I always wondered "When will she smile? When will her teeth come in? Am I doing it right?" Now I know that I shouldn't have been worried about that part at all. All that is a piece of cake. It's when they find that little glimmer of out, world, here she comes!

Here's just an example. This is a dialog between Kaitlyn and her daddy:
D: "Kaitlyn, can I have that please?"
K: "Go 'way!"
D: "Kaitlyn, give it to me please. It's dangerous..."
K: "Go 'WAY!"
Minor scuffle ensues. Daddy winds up with the hotly contested item.
D: "Kaitlyn, go see mommy please"
(As an impartial observer, I have started to pay attention as I'm mildly curious to see where this is going to go)
K: "I NOT!"
Kaitlyn stomps into a room in a completely opposite direction. Daddy dissolves into giggles and I heave a sigh, knowing that we have been given a brief glimpse of the teenage years.

Later, Kaitlyn decided to put some muscle into "I NOT!" Picture a child, no bigger than a leprechaun with blonde, flyaway curls swirling madly about her head. She's got big blue eyes, a cute nose and pearly white miniature teeth. She can give you the sweetest smile, an impish grin or the steely stare of her father when she's not happy with you. This time, she fixes you with steady gaze, bends at the knees and back, bends her arms at the elbow and shouts "I NOT!" flinging her arms towards the floor. She wants you to know she means business. This wasn't done for any reason in particular, just to show that she could. This time, I am the responsible party as I kept encouraging it in order to record it for posterity (I failed, miserably).

My friend Tish always said my first child was going to be a girl. She said she was looking forward to me having a sassy, girlie girl who was going to keep my on my toes. At the time, I thought that was the meanest thing anybody has ever said to me! I play poker and race cars! What could I possibly teach a girlie girl? It's clear that Tish's prophecy came true, but I honestly wouldn't have it any other way. My time with bebe child is the highlight of my day and even when I'm at the bottom of the well with my patience, all she has to do is turn and smile at me and all is right with my world. I guess kids are just like that. You wanna squeeze 'em with all the love you've got in you one minute and the next minute, you're wondering how much longer until you can implement time out!

So I guess I'm wondering where did my baby girl go and where did this little girl come from?? A little SASSY girl at that. They really do grow up so fast. Who knew we'd grow up with her?

Tuesday, March 2, 2010


Oh the joys of motherhood. The past two weekends, Kaitlyn and I have had quality mommy-daughter time. As in prime time, all the time. No daddy interference whatsoever. And I have come to realize one very important thing: I am not cut out for full time mommyhood. Maybe I could do it if I didn't have a choice, but I have a choice and my choice is not full time mommyhood. I love my daughter dearly, but dear LORD is she a bundle of energy. In the time it takes me to crawl from my bed to the bathroom, she has rearranged her entire bedroom. As I spend time getting ready for the day (including propping my eyelids open with toothpicks as they REFUSE to stay open on their own), half of her room has now made its way into the bathroom. I am not sure how it is possible that I gave birth to this little dynamo of energy, but I heartily appreciate the fact that I get to drop her off somewhere and let Miss Lida try to harness the tornado that is Kaitlyn.

Some of my fave Kaitlyn antics from the past couple of weeks:
- It is most efficient to dry off during your shower as opposed to after the shower. One morning, while I was lathering my scalp, Kaitlyn opens the door and says "Here, mommy." I crack the corner of my eye open to see her thrusting the towel in the shower. I thanked her for her assistance, took the towel and put it back on the side of the tub. Such a helpful little girl.
- "HEY! Don't DO that!" Kaitlyn has picked this up from one of the little girls at day care. She uses it any time she's irritated with something I've done. Which, when you've got a two year old going on 12, is pretty often. Sometimes, I have only mildly irritated her, in which case I get a "Hey...don't..." 100 times a day. Not tedious at all.
- Two. The following is a conversation I had with Kaitlyn>
"Mama, I want mumblemumblemumble"
"Kaitlyn, do you want a cookie? (that was what I had on hand at the time)"
"Okay, but you can only have one."
"Kaitlyn, you want two?"
"Yeah, two"
What could I do? My child is a genius! I gave her two.
- Another conversation with Kaitlyn (if you can call it that):
Me: "Kaitlyn, I love you"
Kaitlyn: "Mwah"
I love that little girl! Of course mwah means I love you too!

In other family news:
Brent completed his marathon and was not the last one to finish! It was a tough course he said, but he had a good time and got to get away for a weekend. Thankfully, since the weather was about the same as it was in DC, I wasn't envious at all. I mean, who wants to spend 6 and a half hours running anyway? Not this girl!

My dad wound up having a double bypass surgery last week. He's doing well and is due to be released from the hospital today. Don't quote me on it, but I have a feeling the first thing he goes for is a big, fat, juicy steak. Mmmmmm red meat.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Big doin's in Shoupland

Well, I realize it's been awhile since I posted. General craziness is what I attribute it to. I'll catch you up on the "doin's" at the Shoup House:

- First off, Brent is doing really well. His tendon seems completely back to normal, though I haven't seen him attempt another Wii workout. I think his goal is to try to get some running in as the Georgia marathon is NEXT WEEK. I still don't get this whole running for 3-5 hours thing, but it makes him happy and that's what's important. (P.S. Party at my house next weekend! RSVP for directions)

- Second, and ALMOST as exciting, I went for a fish pedicure with some friends this past Saturday. I'm not really sure why it is we chose to get a pedicure in the middle of winter (with snow all around, just to prove it's still winter)...I think the allure (yes, I said allure) of a fish pedicure was like a siren's song that was too powerful to resist. The brief synopsis is that there was screaming, there was crying, no fish were harmed in the consumption of our dead skin and my feet are as smooth as a baby's butt. If you're reading this, chances are you don't have access to a baby's butt (or my feet for that matter), so you'll have to take my word for it. I would definitely do it again, just maybe not live it up quite so much next time. And if you get the chance to do it, well, make sure you start out with the small fish. I hear they have had to retrieve whole toes from the big fish! Just kidding. Sort of.

- Third, and not quite as amusing as the first two topics, my father had two small heart attacks on Sunday. I think we all accept at some point that our parents are mortal. Somewhere along the way, we stop seing them as a ginormous figure and recognize them to be more like a real life person. It's at this time in our lives that we realize that eventually our parents will no longer be around forever. We hope that they will live to be 1000 year old so we can draw on their wisdom, or learn from their mistakes, until the end of our lives. My dad will need bypass surgery and will be able to resume normal activity shortly after surgery, so he is very lucky that they caught his heart attacks so early. Not everybody gets a second shot at living, so I hope he will take this chance he's been given and appreciate it. And I hope that I will appreciate his second chance as well.

No funny ending tonight, folks. Hug your loved ones tight, because you never know what tomorrow will bring.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

You've been warned!

I recently realized the Lenten season is quickly approaching. Lent always proves to be fraught with drama (at least initially) as I try to figure out what I'm going to give up. The theory is that you need to make a sacrifice to honor the sacrifice Jesus made for you. I'm not super religious, in fact, I've probably been excommunicated from the church at this point, but I'm nothing if not steeped in tradition, and this year is no exception.

My goals for Lent are this:
1. No chocolate until Easter (hence the "You've been warned!"). This is especially painful (insert eye twitch here) as it's Girl Scout cookie season and I have stocked up on the Tagalongs. In fact, I think my Tagalong order alone has caused a peanut butter shortage for the entire East Coast (assuming that's where the Girl Scout cookie factory is). But as the hymn states, "We shall overcome." I don't recommend trying to engage me in a meaningful conversation on Easter as I am sure I will be blissed out from my Tagalong overload ("How many Tagalongs can Kelly eat in one day? A-one,! That box went FAST!").
2. No new animals. This one will also be awful hard. My bleeding heart goes out to any animal in need, but I probably am approaching animal gluttony at this point (if there is such a thing. If there isn't, well, I've probably just invented it). I had someone say to me today that it seemed as if I were light on cats right now. I won't publish the actual number here, but I was thinking "If (insert number here) is light on cats, what would be too many???" And here's where I say, I don't know, nor do I want to find out.
3. Do good deeds daily. Whether it's being honest, whether it's being tactful, polite, sincere, or helping an old lady across the street, I plan to perform one random act of kindness daily. Not to say that I'm not already kind, but there's always room for improvement.

The funny thing about Lent and my Lenten promises is that I always find myself enforcing them well after Lent. And then I realize it's okay to have that piece of chocolate and it's like a dam breaks and the chocolate longings run through! My wonderful, sweet husband says if I'm craving it, I must need it and I feel that those are words to live by. I guess I crave peace and enlightenment and hope that one day, by denying myself chocolate, I will find what it is I crave. Who am I kidding?? Bring on the Tastykake Kandy Kakes!!!! At least until the 17th. After that, cyberfriends, you have been warned!!

Friday, February 12, 2010

Owies and proper procedure

For a long time, whenever Kaitlyn hurts herself, instead of rushing to her and asking if she's okay, we'll celebrate the incident. For instance, a fall when learning to walk is celebrated with "Bravo!" and clapping of the hands. We're trying not to make a big deal of the fall since that generally seems to add to the tears, but at the same time, we want Kaitlyn to know that we saw what happened and are there for her if she truly needs it.

Kaitlyn's new thing when she hurts herself is to ask if she's okay. A knock on the noggin will prompt an "Okay, mommy?", to which I respond, "I'm okay baby, are you okay?" Today we had a couple of spills and chills. I think she's getting another ear infection which certainly isn't helping any balance issues she might have. When I went into her room to get her to start our day, she was crawling to see a cat ("KEEEETY" in Kaitlyn's world) and banged her elbow. She said "K, mommy?" to which I responded "Okay, baby. Are you okay, do you need a hug?" She came up to me so I was all prepared to give her a hug. She shoved her elbow in my face and said "Muah!" I took that to mean she wanted me to kiss it, so kiss it I did and she went about her merry way.

Later, she tumbled out of the chair she got for her birthday.. She's still learning the balancing points of the chairs, so there have been some falls as she works to figure everything out. So, the blue chair tips over, scaring her and sending her scrambling for comfort. I snuggle her, wipe her tears and she gets down to finish her breakfast (priorities, people, priorities). Does she get back in the blue chair, the chair she fell out of? No sir, says she. She gets in the red chair and reorganizes everything on the table so she can finish her breakfast from there. It was the blue chair's fault, you see, and she will punish it by no longer sitting there. That's my girl! Always figuring out a way to get what she wants!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Curse you Wiggles!

Many people know that we are blessed with a child who loves to sleep in. It's not uncommon for her to sleep until 8:30 am. I often take advantage of this and sleep in myself. I was looking forward to sleeping until at least 8 this am, as we were up late for an ER visit for Brent (more on that later). And by we, I mean Brent and I, otherwise, Kaitlyn would probably STILL be sleeping.

7:30 am, the most shrill sound starts coming from Kaitlyn's room. I should note that she is VERY good about playing in her room until she's ready for us to come get her. What was that shrill sound sending chills down my spine you may ask? None other than the Wiggles in their big red car. I groaned and rolled over, but those Wiggles persisted! They were relentless! All around they went in their big red car. They bob up and down, the wheels turn and they drive all around as long as you want them to, singing the whole time! Who is that cheerful that early in the morning??? None other than the Wiggles, my friends. Apparently Kaitlyn wanted them to be world travellers as she sent them on the journey every 30 seconds! By 8:00 am I was done. As I clawed my way out of bed, I had the brief thought that I would exile the car to Miss Lida's to disappear forever. Kaitlyn, for her part, would have been THRILLED to take the car to Miss Lida's. The anguish faded and I reconsidered. However, I will be taking the Wiggles out of Kaitlyn's room tonight and will replace it this weekend so her father can experience that particular ring of hell.

As for Brent's trip to the ER, it was the best ER trip I've ever had! It took longer for Uncle Chris to get to our house than it did for Brent's trip to the ER. 11:00 pm, he staggers upstairs, limping and gasping in pain. He was doing the EA Active workout and felt a pop. When I asked him what it felt like he said "It felt like one of the cats punched me in the back of my calf." "One of the cats?" I asked. "Yeah, it was this big POW in the back of my calf. I looked around to see what cats were in the area." (Readers, I'd like you to consider the likelihood of a cat approaching a grown man who is jumping around to punch him in the back of the calf). "Ohhhhhhhhhhkay. Do you need to go to the doctor?" "No, I'll be fine." Twenty minutes go by. "Honey, I think you're right, I think it is my achilles." "So what do you want to do?" "Well, you see, it felt like a pow and I can walk, but it hurts when I stretch -" "No, that's not what I asked. I asked what you wanted to do?" "Oh, I'll just drive myself to the ER." "K (dials phone) Chris, can you come over, I gotta take Brent to the ER."

So over Chris came and off we went. 20 minutes after arriving (and a cool hospital bracelet later), they patted him on the head, told him to take Motrin and sent him on his way. It was eerily reminscent of the time we went to hospital for Kaitlyn's birth, complete with mountains of snow on the ground. We chatted with Chris and then all went to bed. Until the stupid Wiggles. CURSE YOU WIGGLES! Until we meet again!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Stars and Bars!!

Wow! I guess it's been awhile since I posted.

Let's play catchup:
Caramel and Zula both got adopted, along with the following kitties:
Milky Way

And that's just the cats!
Dogs adopted:
Sugah Daisy
All 8 Sugah Daisy puppies

On the family side:
- Oct 08 - Kaitlyn's first Halloween - She was a lady bug
- Nov 08 - Thanksgiving at our house
- Dec 08 - Christmas at mom and dad's and I got Valentino as a Christmas gift!
- Jan 09 - Kaitlyn turned one
- Jan 09 - Brent got off active duty
- Feb 09 - Kaitlyn got her first set of tubes
- April 09 - Chris moves out
- May 09 - Kelly was hired as a permanent employee of CACI
- June 09 - Huge blur mostly due to replacing engine in Mini
- Aug 09 - Kaitlyn's first visit to the Jersey shore
- Sept 09 - Brent and I celebrate 7 years of marriage
- Oct 09 - Kaitlyn's second Halloween - She was a Care Bear
- Oct 09 - Kelly officially won Ladies Class for the Washington Region SCCA
- Nov 09 - Thanksgiving at our house
- Dec 09 - Christmas at Mom and Dad's
- Jan 10 - Kaitlyn's Second birthday

Busy busy year and a half for the Shoups. Now that you're all caught up, hopefully I won't be as remiss with my postings.

Household make up now:
Brent - Dad Extraordinaire
Kelly - A blur
Kaitlyn - no longer a baby, she's in a toddler bed and doing very well!
Mischief - Still queen B, but a little more svelte this time around
Rascal - powerful kitty in a small package
Sunshine - Still diabetic but now she can SEE!
Noelle - Still crazy. Just crazy!
Valentino - T-boogie! 'Nuff said
Patton - Foster dog. Good good sweet boy! Love this guy and hope others do too!
Elijah - Foster kitty. Hope he finds a good home soon.
Neko - Such a huge turnaround. She came to us afraid of humans and now seeks affection!!! She definitely misses her kittens, but has really come out of her shell.
Venus (aka Snoozy) - Visitor from another planet. Kind of her own kitty.

That's it. More when I'm more interesting and less into lists.