Tag Archives: babies

Babies and Books and Boots – Oh My!

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library
My name is Angie and I’m a book addict. I once gave up fiction for Lent. It got ugly quickly. Since I haven’t had the money to buy books in a while I don’t actually need a rolling library ladder, but I still want one. There are books in every room of my house except the bathrooms, and I have huge boxes of books that need shelf space. I already gave away the ones I didn’t want to read again. Perhaps instead of crown molding in every room I’ll have a shelf. And a light-weight ladder I can move myself. Along with the bazillion books I have on Kindle that should work out just fine. (Note to self: check Pinterest.)

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Speaking of books, I have a lot of shelf space devoted to Stephen King. I don’t read other authors in the horror genre, but his style of writing just entrances me.  Whatever he writes I’ll read. I’ve had to borrow his last several books from the library instead of buying first editions, but I’ve read them all. This Sunday evening, thanks to my fabulous husband, I’ll be in the audience with a friend while he talks. We’ll all get copies of his new book, which he may read from. Since he’s never been to Kentucky before for a signing or a speaking engagement I don’t know what to expect. But it will be over ninety degrees and humid, and he’s getting on in years and is used to the weather in Maine. We’ll be at an outdoor amphitheatre, so I’m just hoping he doesn’t suffer heat stroke.

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I also hope I can make it through the event. I have concocted a special ice-pack that lasts  a full eight hours (I promise to post about it later), I made a special trip to Goodwill for all-cotton, loose, breathable clothing. I’m even taking extra meds since my friend Lisa volunteered to drive. I’m taking a hat and a cane and chairs so we can sit or lie down in the line at the Ampitheatre.  The chairs can’t go in, so I’ll just leave them at the door and pray some asshat doesn’t steal them. They were Goodwill purchases as well, but I’m rather fond of them. We’ll get there early, since only half of the seats are covered, but it will be worth it. We’ll take food and drinks for the “in line” portion of the evening, tossing out whatever’s left when we enter. Then after we listen we’ll be called up by section to pick up our books (not sure why they aren’t just doing this at the entrance, but no one asked my opinion).

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Sorry I’m a day late, but I tend to do my writing before bed, and if I wait too late (and have already taken my muscle relaxer) even I don’t know what I’m talking about when I read it!

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Last night was baby-sitting night, which I look forward to all week. The 18-month-old and 5-month-old boys I co-sit with their GiGi are just the most handsome, brilliant, well-behaved children ever. Yes, I love my own two boys dearly, but Aaron never slept and John was completely fearless, a quality best appreciated much later in life. But the smells, sounds, snuggles – if someone could bottle that and sell it we’d never need anti-depressants. There is something wonderful about young children that I’m quite sure God designed to keep their poor exhausted mothers from just locking them in a closet for an hour so they could take a shower and eat a sandwich.

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Of course God has a different plan once children hit seventeen. Then he makes even the most perfect and angelic child “borrow” your wallet and forget to put it back in your purse on a day you are going shopping. Or tell you they will be home at midnight and not be home yet at three (that was last night). My theory is that we, as parents, are supposed to get so annoyed with them that we aren’t quite so upset when they go away to college or move out of the house. Good try, God, but even though the furthest away my baby will go is one hour and forty minutes away (closest one hour) I’m not going to be ready for it. *sigh*

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On the up side, I am now the proud owner of these gorgeous boots!boots
which I’ve been stalking at a consignment store for about three months. I thought I could get them for 25% off during their Memorial Day sale, but evidently Yippee Ki Yay is part of the Old Gringo brand, and therefore designer, which they never discount. But this past Thursday they held a three-hour Ladies Night sale with 30% everything in the store – including designer accessories! There were women who’d been there for two hours, clutching the designer bags locked to the endcaps. With the two laundry baskets of too-big clothes I’d taken in over the past several months applied to store credit I nabbed these $300 boots for $10. And when I put them on I feel like Miranda Lambert and Prince combined. Only fabulous things will happen when I wear these boots!

For more Quick Takes, visit This Ain’t The Lyceum!

That Time I Babysat

I love babies. I love toddlers. I pretty much love all children unless they’re going through one of those sullen, mouthy stages. Both of my boys skipped that stage because they already knew they wanted to live to adulthood.  Well, I got an opportunity the other day to babysit for my friend’s grandson, little Anthony Davis. That’s not his real name, but that what my friend, a huge UK fan, wanted her daughter to name him, so we’ll go with that. Anthony Davis is at what I personally consider the perfect age. He can sit up, but not for long. And he can’t get around by himself. It’s a very brief, magical age, and I remember actually being able to take Aaron to the pool once during that stage. I think John skipped it entirely.

Anyway, Anthony Davis’s momma, who I also consider a good friend even though I’ve watched her grow up, had left me neatly written, precise instructions on what to do when as far as bottles and food and so forth. I must admit I was a bit relieved when she produced actual mushy baby food from the fridge. They were pears and peas, so she may well have mushed them herself, but that’s beside the point. I think this whole baby-lead weaning trend is fabulous, but not for a babysitter. I didn’t want to open the fridge and wonder what the little fella would like to try that evening. The closest I ever tried to baby-led weaning was when I was busy and cut up a banana and put it on Aaron’s highchair. He promptly put it all in his hair. I have a picture to prove it.

So we did great with the meal portion of the evening. There are some other aspects in which I may have fallen a bit short. This, for instance:
bottle warmer
This is a device into which you pour a measured amount of water, then pop in a refrigerated bottle of breast milk, and push a button. It heats the milk to the proper temperature. Kinda like when we used to put them in a big cup of hot tap water, only more alarming. Because it spews steam like a volcano about to erupt. And when I pulled it out it was really hot at the bottom, causing me to swear, the baby to cry, and the dog (have I mentioned the dog) to squeak his Aflack duck in disgust at my pitiful babysitting skills.
duck
I was later to find, however, that the dog (who absolutely loves little Anthony Davis and could probably babysit on his own if he had opposable thumbs) just really likes that toy. And wanted me to throw if for him while the bottle was heating. Lesson learned. I was excessively proud of myself when I got multiple burps up (there’s a secret Ballard family technique I’m not allowed to share) and when I realized that disposable diapers haven’t really changed at all. That was quite a relief!

Actually, the only real scare of the evening was when I thought the house was haunted and they hadn’t told me. We were all three lounging on the floor, having a great time, when a heard a sinister voice in my ear say, “I love you, Anthony Davis.” Holy hell! My first response was anger, because I truly would not mind babysitting in a haunted house, but be up front with me about it, m’kay? Then I found this green dog-bear sort of thing with symbols on its paws. They were not Satanic. In fact, I recognized one as the on/off button on my computer. One of his ears said Leap-something, and that’s when I knew it was one of those “learning toys” designed to drive parents bonkers. He sat in the corner the rest of the night.

I did have a frustrating few minutes trying to get the swing to work (the controls were hidden under a blankie and are more complicated than my car’s dashboard)
swing
But once I found them and got it set to slow-rock and play a medley of night sounds Anthony Davis was quite happy. I have to admit I was a little jealous. Yes, I have a Sleep Number bed, but it doesn’t rock me or play soothing night sounds. And about the time Anthony Davis went down the dog decided it was his turn for some attention. And me not responding promptly was not an option, as I soon found out when he decided my toes were chew toys. I’ll be prepared for that next time, so little Anthony Davis doesn’t learn any new vocabulary words! But let me tell you – any time you’re feeling stressed go borrow a baby. There is simply no substitute for that smell, that warm weight in your arms, those gorgeous rolls of fat and super-long eyelashes. It gets me every time.

And if you have a little one don’t hesitate to ask for help. If your kids are good people will stand in line to spend time with them. If they’re not . . . hang in there. I couldn’t get anyone to watch John, either, and he’s turned out wonderfully!

The Statue of Liberty Isn’t That Big

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I didn’t do this last week, so you get a full two weeks’ worth today! John went on his band’s trip to New York (thanks to all those who helped financially – he’s still working on his notes and calls) and had a great time. But I have no pictures. Why? Because, as he put it, “Everything we saw you can look up on Google.” I admitted that yes, that was the case, but I wanted pictures of him and his friends at those places. “Then Photoshop us in,” he replied. He’s still alive . . . for now.

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 I did get to FaceTime with him once, from the base of the Statue of Liberty, which he said really wasn’t that big. Why both of my sons insist on Facetiming with me when I look like the wrath of God I don’t understand. A man invented FaceTime, I guarantee it.

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The buses they took there and back had wifi, so all the teens wouldn’t get twitchy. One parent was complaining rather extravagantly about how bad it was to be on the “drumline bus”, how he was going to “add to his stick collection”, and so on. I let it go for a while, then I posted.

Angie Ballard I married a Waggener HS snare drummer; gave birth to a Ballard HS bass, snare, quad drummer and Morehead quad drummer, and my youngest is on that bus, tapping on something. Every surface in our house is tapped on regularly, including the dogs (they like tummy triplets). Drumming sounds like home to me, and I love it when the drumline comes over! If my spinal column could take the trip I would be THRILLED to take your place on the “drumline bus” Jim Daniel.

I got three Likes and he didn’t post any more complaints.

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It’s been raining here for two weeks straight. Roads are washed out, homes and businesses are flooded. But my neighbor is still mowing his grass every other day. He mowed one day through a downpour. He did go inside when it started to hail, though. It’s gonna be a long summer.

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I went out to dinner with friends the other day at KT’s. In case anyone else in Louisville didn’t know, they have been bought out and will be shutting down and turning into a steak place in early May. The menu has already changed, but it’s still good. Go while you can.

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I want to draw attention to my friend Kerri’s recent posts on Obstinate Hope. We’re supposed to be sharing blogging duties, but she’s obviously carrying me. Her Easter post is wonderful, but her Velveteen Rabbit post put into words things I’ve felt for a long time, but couldn’t pin down. She’s a marvelous writer – truly blessed!

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Gotta go now – I get to go babysit!! I hate that it takes a friend of mine getting sick for me to get some baby snuggles, but I’ll take them whenever I can get them!!

For more Quick Takes, visit This Ain’t The Lyceum!

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