At least they haven't robbed us yet.
Alex was his usual sweet self.
Scotty and I are stuck in the house today as there are workmen here repairing the hole in the garage ceiling. As is the case with any workman-in-my-house situation, I'm never 100% convinced that they are not going to rob/murder/assault me, so I had some friends over for a play date. There is really nothing quite like having five children under the age of three run around your house while men operate heavy machinery in your hallway.
At least they haven't robbed us yet.
Alex was his usual sweet self.
Samantha had a lot to tell Scotty.
This was the best shot of Jackson I could manage. That kid is fast! He's like a ball of lightening. And he must have fallen over about six times - I mean, full-on, hands on the floor-wipe out. And yet, he bounced right up each time like nothing had happened. He's quick and made of rubber. Amazing.
Carson got himself into a spot of trouble. FYI, Carson: weight limit on the jump-a-roo is 25 lbs, max. And I'm pretty sure you've surpassed the height requirement, too. Sorry, buddy.
I'm not sure what the twins were doing, but there appeared to be some kind of baby pile-up in the corner that required Deana's involvement.
Scott wasn't quite sure what to make of anything, so he supervised.
And kept an eye on the work men.
Good job, Scott.
Explosion of language around 18 months?
They weren't kidding.
In just the past week, Scotty's mumbles have turned into full-fledged words. They are coming at a rapid clip and with a slight Southern accent, which is absolutely bizarre to me. When he says "ball!" it sounds more like "Bowel!" My Chicago accent barely lingers, and Brian certainly has no accent at this point, so I'm not sure where this Southern drawl is coming from. Maybe it's a result of all the BBQ I ate while pregnant? Does sweet tea cross the blood barrier and pass into the placenta?
Anyways, new words this week include: boobs (of course), belly, bee-bo (belly-button), booty, burp, and baby. All 'B's' as you may notice. I'm not sure if he's working his way through the alphabet or what, but B seems to be a stand-out favorite for the Bear. And there is a major emphasis on body parts. He loves to shout "Booty!" and smack himself in the, well, booty. When I ask him "Who's Mama's baby?" he replies with, "Bay-BEE!" and pounds on his chest. He's quite the little performer. We're up to a million body parts, too. I mean, seriously. The kid knows everything on his head, from hair to cheeks to eyes to nose, mouth, teeth, ears and chin. And as we travel further down, he's got the rest, too - arms, hands, fingers, chest, belly, legs, knees, feet, toes, etc. At this rate, I'm going to have to pull out my old Anatomy & Physiology textbooks to give him additional body parts to learn ("Scotty, show me your tibialas anterior...")
Also fascinating are bodily functions. Tooting is giggle-worthy, as is a good burp. He wrinkles his nose at me when he's making "stinkies." And for the past three nights, when I've taken his diaper off right before bathtime, he has promptly peed on the floor while watching the stream of urine with absolute stillness and awe. I'm not going to read into this -- potty training will not begin until August, at the very least -- but at least he's thinking about this stuff.
Ironically, I cannot get the little Bear to say, "Bear!" He will point to himself (we should probably start calling him Scotty more frequently), but he won't say it. And he also won't say "Bye-bye"...it's still just a very energetic wave. I hope he doesn't move on to the letter C without mastering these two critical words...
Hope everyone has a great weekend! Buh-bye!
The terrible two's are here.
Not officially -- but I am noticing a change in Scotty's little personality. He's more stubborn. He's opinionated. He wants it his way, and that's it. There is an independence growing in him - a move to autonomy, if you will - that makes me think his little brain is launching its own Tea Party movement.
Please kill me now.
I feel this strange urge to create a pie chart or something that highlights the number of tantrums this month (38) compared to number of tantrums last month (3). And this is a shorter month, too. Conclusion? He's finding his little voice, no matter how crazy it may make his mother.
Because I want to make this blog helpful for other mothers, I'm going to take the bold step and break the omerata that is Motherhood by sharing two tried-and-true-ideas that really work...I was pulling my hair out prior to the discovery of both of these things, and now, at least I can grease the wheels for part of my day (while I continue to struggle with the other parts.) Motherhood is just like a game of Angry Birds - not only do you need to know what you are working with (blue bird, red bird, boomerang bird), you also need flawless execution. It doesn't matter how many birds you are given; if you can't hit the wood with the yellow bird, you're never going to kill the pigs.
Think of the following two items as your "Eagle."
(yes, Brian and I paid the .99 for the Eagle...and he was useful twice. Best .99 I ever spent.)
So, without further adieu...some secrets of surviving Toddlerville from someone currently in the trenches.
Also known as "Nature's Candy"
(or catsup, for you purists).
I know, I know. You all hate ketchup. It's full of sugar and sodium and stuff. Blah, blah. No, it's actually great, because it provides the impetus for even the fussiest toddler to consider eating a tiny morsel of food, while offering additional calories during those long stretches of self-imposed toddler starvation. Tomatoes are a vegetable, right? And while we may bally-hoo that sugar, I personally believe it prevents my toddler from going into ketosis as a result of his baby-Atkins-like diet (eggs, cheese, hot dogs...and that's it.) It's a winner, anyway you slather it. And slather it on eggs, salmon, medicine, his toothbrush, etc.
I know, you were probably expecting something a little more sophisticated. But this idea sprang to me when I was vacuuming the couch the other day and Scotty seemed to love rolling on the pillows I had just set on the carpet. I threw a couple more cushions off the couch, and viola! A couch fort was born.
The kid couldn't get enough of the pillows. He jumped in them, rolled in them, hid his animals in them. It was great. I joined him eventually and we giggled for a long, long time. It was a really nice break to all of the books we read, blocks we build with (well, I build with and he subsequently destroys with) and puzzles we put together. It felt like good, organic family fun.
This is also a useful way to kill approximately 45 minutes of your time. Perhaps you need to get dinner started before the spouse comes home? Or your toddler has determined that nothing will entertain him sufficiently, so he's decided to wrap his arms around your legs and holler? Loudly? Make a couch fort. It's free, it's easy, and best of all, the kids love it. All that is required is a large couch...
and a child under the age of 5. Or 35. It's fun. Try it.
Anyone else have any tips? Ideas? Secrets?
Bowling for Babies
Let's file this story under "Parents of the Year."
On Monday, Brian was off of work so we headed to the park as a family. We had done this on Sunday, too, and brought the red kick ball with us. Despite the fact that Scotty showed about 3% interest in kicking the ball (and 97% interest in wandering through the park's field), Brian and I had so much fun with it that we wanted to repeat the experience again. And who knows, maybe more appropriate modeling by his parents would help him develop an interest sports.
Different park, different ball on Monday. The blue soccer ball came with us, along with a health competitive spirit. As Scotty meandered through the grass and examined trees, Brian and I kicked the ball back and forth. I need to point out that I have zero athletic abilities and no soccer experience, so when I say "kick," what I really mean is "heft my foot at the ball and pray it goes in the right direction."
And not surprisingly, it didn't. When we were about 40 feet apart (with the little Bear pulling on some low-hanging tree branches nearby), I accidentally kicked the ball completely in the wrong direction. Brian thought I did it on purpose, and I could hear him swearing under his breath as he jogged to get the ball back (ironically, it rolled into a picnic for a youth soccer team.) He then kicked the ball really hard at me. I kicked it hard back at him. He slammed the ball in my direction. I slammed it back, making him run even more. See? We are your standard, mature, type-A couple. When one person gets competitive, we put our game faces on and immediately attempt to one up the other person.
This went on for quite awhile.
And then, during my turn, I put extra effort into my kick and heaved my leg back, then forward, and watched the ball go flying forward...in the air...and headed directly at Scotty, who was still innocently examining tree bark. (he's quite the little botanist.)
It was like one of those slow-motion moments. Brian and I both realized what was happening at the same time and started running towards him, and we watched as the ball took one bounce...two...and then smacked him in the back of his right knee.
He went down like a ton of bricks.
Good thing he has some ample padding.
The poor little guy was twisted around his beloved tree, laying on the ground on his side, more startled than hurt. By the time we reached him, we were both laughing so hard it was hard to breath. Because we were laughing, he immediately started laughing too, looking from one face to another, like, "I get the joke! I get it! Wait, what are we laughing about?"
Glad he's got a good sense of humor. Bowling over my child like a 33-inch bowling pin was enough to quash the "friendly" competition for the day, needless to say. We dusted him off, put the soccer ball away and headed back to the playground equipment like good, responsible parents.
That is, until Brian wants a rematch. Game on!
The Bachelor: How Many Studies Does Chantal O's Home Have?
The Bachelor: Food Looters Report to Madawaska, Maine; They Use the Honor System
The Bachelor: Calling the Tiger Mom - Your Services are Needed in Charlotte, NC
I have no quippy comment for Shawntel, because putting your potential boyfriend on a prep table in a funeral home is just poor form. Poor, poor form.
This show has totally jumped the shark for me. Everything Brad does irritates me - his drawl, his expressions of mock surprise, his demeanor as he listens intently to future in-laws give their daughters away after meeting the potential suitor for less than six hours. I mean, I think Chantal O's father would have thrown in a couple of bags of wool and maybe a cow or two if Brad had proposed that night. I got the distinct feeling he was looking to unload his daughter (again) to the next available guy. Maybe she comes over to dinner too often? Boca pees on their very expensive rug? Who knows.
Anyways, the hometown dates were what we all expected. Brad started in Seattle where he did not run into Molly and Jason (shocking!), but he did get a chance to talk with Chantal O's mother, who has clearly had some work done. In fact, I'd be willing to bet her dad has, too. Those foreheads did not move an inch. The car business must be fairly lucrative, considering their house boasts the much-envied double staircase entry. After dinner, the family retreated to different wings of the house to converse - Brad and Mr. O in one study, and Chantal and Mrs. O in another. The family seemed nice, they exchanged pleasantries, and drank wine out of large glasses. Overall, it was pretty standard.
Then Brad traveled to the northeastern most part of the USA - Ashley's hometown. They bounced up and down upon greeting, exclaimed how cute each one looked in flannel, and promptly headed to a diner for some cheese fries with gravy. I find this gravy thing very interesting. See, I've never had anything except maybe some mashed potatoes or a slice of turkey covered in gravy. Yet my husband, who comes from a northernly state like Ashley, has eaten just about everything covered in gravy. Gravy is all over the menu - on fries, meatloaf, sausage, donuts. (ha! Just kidding on the last one.) Is it once you hit a certain latitude, gravy becomes an acceptable condiment? Food accessory? Personally, I think it's gross (and unnecessary), but Brad was a good sport and ate his fries smothered in brown gravy. And probably did about 600 extra sit-ups to make for it.
Ashley then dragged him to her house where she greeted her family as though she had been kidnapped 20 years ago and just recently found. Again, the family was wearing copious amounts of plaid, but seemed genuinely excited to meet a person from Texas. They even gave Brad the big lobster. I'm starting to wonder what the tagline for Madawaska, Maine is...home of high cholesterol? Heart disease? Seriously. Good thing the fruits and veggies are free - oops, I mean, distributed on an honor system - to combat all of that bad food.
After Maine, Brad headed west to Chico, California to visit with Shawntel and her family. But did anyone catch the commercial that aired directly before this segment? It was for the Newton Funeral Home. Shawntel's family. Maybe it was only a west coast thing, but really? This is a Bachelor first. Shilling for business while your daughter is a contestant. I don't know whether to be appalled or commend them on their savvy business smarts. And it's not like they are in the car business...it's a funeral home. Anyone outside of Chico and the neighboring areas, are we really going to use their services?
But either way, Shawntel took it upon herself to drop the news to the family - on national television, no less - that she may not continue with the family business. This is after the crew toured the funeral home, got some good shots of Brad on the table, and even showed the (ewww) creamator. (is that what's it's called? The creamatorium? I don't know this...) Dad did not appreciate Shawntel's sudden declaration of independence, and took it upon himself to shame her - again, on national television - about how she wasn't there for the tragic accident that claimed the life of a local high school teacher's son. Tragically. What? Really? That's his argument? "You weren't home to comfort a grieving parent; you need to stop this search for love and pick up your scalpel. These dead bodies aren't embalming themselves, you know."
Oh holy cats.
Thankfully, Shawntel managed to stand her ground with Daddy Death and smoothed things over. You could tell Brad was a little skeeved out by the whole thing - not the death/dying stuff, but the family drama. Because we all know Brad can't handle any kind of family drama. ("I never knew my father...")
And then, it was on to Charlotte, NC where the crew made time to film a couple shots of the NASCAR stadium. Ah, subtle. ABC is a classy operation. Brad met Emily (Madison) in the park where she was hanging out with Ricky Bobby and awkwardness ensued. For like, hours. Or at least, that's what they wanted us to believe. Brad gave little Ricky Bobby a kite, but per Brian: "A kite? That's it? Buy the kid a bike. You are making a big impression. Pull out the big guns." Ricky Bobby handled it like any five year old would - there was some shyness, some hiding, some passive aggression, and then finally, she took the damn kite. I think the Tiger Mom would have been a welcomed relief in this scenario, since she would have kept the kite herself, told Ricky Bobby to obey her new father, and then promptly shuffled her off to practice the piano for the next four hours.
Once Ricky Bobby was safely tucked in bed later that night (again, how do you go from "I don't want my child to meet of my boyfriends" to consenting to have her bedroom filmed for a national TV show?), Brad turned into a total mush-ball and declared he couldn't kiss Emily since her daughter was sleeping upstairs. God bless Emily, who clearly hasn't been tainted by the traps of fame and can still speak her mind, since she replied, "This is what it's gonna be like if you pick me. This is my life." Thank you, Emily, for inserting a tiny bit of reality into this reality show. Brad relented, they smooched, and he left.
At the rose ceremony, it was Shawntel who didn't get a rose. Chantal should have been cited by the fashion police for wearing red satin (soooo not flattering) and Ashley looked worried the whole time. It's off to South Africa for the gang next week, and here's hoping they run into Simba, Nala, and the whole gang. Cross-promotion, ABC??
Unbelievable to me, but the little Bear is now 18 months.
Wasn't it just yesterday my sister was ghost blogging for me as I sat in the hospital, hugely pregnant and really grumpy? Scotty made his grand entrance at 1:53am on the morning of August 18th, and Cousin Ben quickly joined him later that day. And 18 months have gone by since then. Feels like yesterday, no?
The Bear and I trouped off to Dr. Awesome's office for a visit. I'm going to have to downgrade her from "Awesome" to more along the lines of "Kind of Irritating Me." At Scotty's 12 month well-check, she asked if he was walking. I said yes. She replied with, "Finally!" (huh?) And yesterday, I told her about all of his skills - fine motor, gross motor, cognitive, language, both receptive & expressive - and her only comment was, "Is he potty-trained yet?" Um...no. We haven't even touched that one yet. At 18 months? I have friends with four year olds who are not 100% there yet. So...no, Dr. Kind-of-Irritating-Me. I'm pleased with how he is doing, and stop pushing me. (and him.)
Anywho...back to the good stuff. He weighed in at 30 lbs, 7 oz (93%ile), is 33.5 inches tall (78%ile) and head size is still 20.5 (+100%ile.) Big kid. And getting bigger by the day.
What is it like living with an 18 month old? Well, he has an insatiable curiosity about the new camera.
He has a solid 12 words. There was an initial flurry of language around 12 months, but that slowly went away as he started walking. And as his attention can shift from motor skills back to language, he's babbling away again. Favorite words include "juice," "ball!" and "da-DA!." His most recent word is fast becoming a favorite of his as well, though not a favorite of mine. He says it every morning when I change my shirt. He looks at me, points, and very clearly says, "Boobs!"
I'm going to blame this one on Brian.
When asked to say "car," he always replies inexplicably with "bop-bop." We drive in the bop-bop. We see lots of bop-bops on our walk. There is a bop-bop in our driveway (mainly because we still can't park in the garage yet. Damn you, garage shelving!) Brian and I have even started saying it. Just yesterday, as I left for the gym (sans Bear), Brian asked me which bop-bop I was taking. (I replied, "Yours." He has a way nicer bop-bop than I do.)
Scotty loves his bop-bops.
I like to think he likes his mother.
He definitely loves his bear. I asked him to give his bear a hug and kiss, and this was the result.
And finally, remember that nice little stuffed cat that Scotty posed with during each of his monthly pictures? (we call him Jelly Cat) I brought the cat out again for the big 18 month one, and Scotty wasn't having any of it. Oh, well. Thanks, Jelly Cat. Your time of service is over.
There you have it. 18 months and going strong.
Brian completely surprised me on V-day with an unexpected gift -- the highly coveted Canon EOS Rebel T1i. I have been drooling over this camera since early 2010 when it came on my radar. But at the time, I had a totally functional little Sony Cyber-shot that fit all of my needs, so no need to upgrade. But then Scotty got ahold of the Sony and all went to hell and this past Monday, the Canon walked into my life...and changed it forever.
So I know virtually nothing about photography. And even after reading the entire booklet provided by the good people at Canon, I still know nothing. Regardless, I trotted the Bear, my new camera, and a chai tea latte out to the park for a serious photo shoot this afternoon, and here are the results.
Also, you might notice Scotty's new haircut...it is waaaay short. The barber got a little clipper-happy, and before I knew it, Scotty was shorn like a little sheep. It took a few days for us to get used to it, and now I kind of like it. He looks like a Marine. Or a bouncer. We've started calling him "The Enforcer." ID's please.
My little photo journal:
On the drive to the park, as we stopped for gas.
At the park. Small bear in a big world.
Scotty analyzing the gravel.
Peering out from the train.
The Mayor, waving to voters.
Let's play with as much gravel as we can, and then truck it home and rub it in Mom's couch...
More photos coming soon! I LOVE my new camera!!!
I have overcome my grievous illness to blog for all of you.
(not really. The cold medicine I took today, combined with 20+ hours of sleep, has provided me nothing short of a miraculous recovery. Well, that and the healing properties that are found in Jason's Deli's chicken pot pie soup. Num.)
Back to "The Bachelor." Ahem...
The Bachelor: Breakin' All the Rules
The Bachelor: When Group Dates Become Group Therapy
The Bachelor: The Thrilla in Anguilla
(the last one is my favorite)
Okay, so before I begin to discuss this week's episode, one that involved lots of ugly tears from Chantal O and more "special" time for Emily (who I desperately want to call Madison...she looks like a Madison, no?), I first need to tell you a story about this past Saturday. See, I volunteered for a Junior League event that involved making Valentine's Day cards for a retirement home. We had to churn out 250 cards in about 3 hours, and there were three separate tables of women working with construction paper, doilies, stickers, tissues paper, etc. You know, your standard Valentine-card-making-fare. Anywho, about two cards in, out of no where, Deana (who as at my table) all of a sudden holds up her beautiful card and declares it a tribute to "English wedding hats." WHAT? Brilliant. Just brilliant.
At that moment, the standard of quality cards at our table was just raised about six notches.
I found my shoulders hunch a little lower, my gaze shift, and my concentration sharpen. I began glancing at other people's card and start to compare...how did mine match up? Better? Worse? Needs improvement?
I put my game face on.
In short, I got competitive.
And I pulled out all the stops. I began constructing 3-D rose bouquets out of red tissue paper. I used the fancy scissors. I even created and dedicated one card to the Cubist movement. (I so wish I was kidding...)
And so I sat at the table, laboriously, for hours, making these damn cards. The other two tables were drinking champagne, slapping a couple of stickers on a slice of construction paper and calling it a day, but I wouldn't let anything go out without some serious thought, craft or wit. I was exhausted (and covered in glue) by the time I got home. (and sick, as I found out later.)
And why? FOR NO REASON. There was no prize. No award. Nothing. Not even an acknowledgment. And yet, it hits on an age-old phenomenon...people can just get competitive for the sake of well, competition.
And when the ladies of the Bachelor sat there and listened to Chris Harrison read them the rules for this week's dates, that very thought crossed my mind. Because what is the prize here? If Brad is as big of a d-bag as USWeekly wants us to believe (read: huge), then they are just wanting to win for the glory of winning. There is no end, no prize, no finish line. It's just a bunch of glue-covered Valentines on a Saturday afternoon.
I'm just going to skip over Emily's date, since it was on an "island" (read: sandbar) and Brad got all serious, telling her he was giving her a rose. She flashed her pearly whites, sipped wine from a gigantic glass, and batted her eyelashes. Brad is smitten, clearly, though Emily's not sure if he should meet little Ricky Bobby. (in the previews...cat's out of the bag. She gives in.)
Then Brad and Shawntel N. go for a date with the locals. It was weird, needless to say, and I wonder what poor PA had the unfortunate task of asking every single Anguillan on the island to sign a release. The two dined among goats (a clear highlight of the date...who knew baby goats were so darn cute?) and then Brad arranged for a special serenade by the #1 recording artist on the island...who to us, is virtually unknown. Okay, make that "completely unknown." I didn't even know who the guys were who played with Bob Dylan at the Grammy's, so I'm not exactly your go-to source for music related questions. They kissed, stood where the producers told them to stand, and drank the requisite beer out of bottles. ::yawn::
Back to the dates...Brad then took out Britt, who had clearly been on some kind of hunger strike until she landed a one-on-one date. I mean, c'mon Britt, eat a sandwich already. That girl was nothing but skin and bones, and I'm very hesitant to even say anything about it. If she does have a problem (as she is clearly significantly below a healthy body weight), then she needs to seek treatment. I didn't mean to, but the therapist hat came on during their date, and several times she referenced "having control" over things in her life, pricking my interest. I hate to get nit-picky, but this screams "eating disorder," or at the very least, disordered eating. It's never about food, it's about control...or attempting to find control in a disordered world. I really do hope everything is okay with Britt, but it's not like she was horribly traumatized by Brad sending her off on some dingy with a random man in the middle of the night, because the "spark" wasn't there. Um...okay. Best wishes, Britt. Doughnuts are good...seriously.
And then, the group date from Hell. What was Brad thinking? If anything, I think this points out that he has no flipping idea what women want. I mean, let's wake them up at 2am, tell them they are posing in swimsuits with no advance warning, and oh, by the way, you are also doing it in front of your competition. And this is "every girl's dream"? I would require at least three months warning for this type of date, and he gave them all of three seconds. I bet all of them were cursing all of the carbonated beverages they may have consumed recently. (read: bloat).
Not surprisingly, it turned into ugliness on the beach. Chantal and Ashley decided to take their tops off, so not to be out-done, Michelle made out with him in the surf, With Chantal and Ashley watching. This then evoked all kinds of unpleasant emotion, including each of them bemoaning to Brad about how maybe they shouldn't be here anymore, and left a very bewildered Brad to wonder how the heck he landed up sh*t creek. He then clearly tried to feed the women some kind of green beverage, which I believe to be absinthe, which worked on Ashley, since she got all glass-eyed and giggly (but it also might have been because he gave her the rose.) Chantal was left to weep uncontrollably in her red lace bikini and Michelle glowered to the camera. Fun.
Finally (finally! I felt like 6 days had gone by since Emily-Madison's date), it was time for the cocktail party/rose ceremony. Except there was no rose ceremony! Breakin' the Rules Brad told a surprised Chris Harrison that he had already made up his mind, so there is no need for any more pretension. Um, okay. He does know show he's on, right? But anyways, he ended up leaving Michelle behind. She played the victim right up to the limo, refusing to talk to him, and then displayed some kind of arrested development by promptly curling up in the fetal position in the backseat having lost the powers of speech. God speed, Michelle. God speed.
The ladies left for the home town dates are: Ashley, Chantal, Shawntel, and Emily-Madison. I kind of wish Brad had taken Michelle to the home town date phase, since you totally know she has a weird uncle who practices taxidermy in the basement or some crazy aunt who hasn't taken off her wedding dress in 30 years. But it looks pretty milquetoast from here, so let's hope little Ricky Bobby kicks Brad in the shins, just to the keep the drama up.
Thoughts? Concerns? Questions?
this review was brought you courtesy of Walgreen's Cold Multi-Symptom Relief, nighttime. Now pseudoephedrine free!
Sorry for the lack of entries lately.
A hectic few days combined with a recent illness (me) equals little time to write. I will let you know I have been composing various entries in my head (with working titles such as "He Makes Me Laugh," "Running with Fiddlesticks," and "Music Lesson Mayhem") but simply lack the time (and now energy) to actually type them out. But I have made a vow this week to write more, sneeze less (hopefully) and that means more blog for you.
There is also a 0% chance that I am going to make it through the entire episode of 'The Bachelor' tonight, so I will try to get my review out by Wednesday. Sorry, sorry. I know Brad is captivating and all (not), so work with me on this one.
On a side note, I will tell you what's on my mind at this very moment...so I left my cell phone in Scotty's nursery. He's napping right now. Do I dare open the door and run the risk of waking him, or do I simply pray no one calls/texts me for the next two hours? Argh...Motherhood. So many decisions.
Oh, and Happy Valentine's Day! Scotty and Brian were kind enough to give me a beautiful pot of red tulips (living, not cut...my favorite) and they are thriving on our kitchen table. Thank you!
The Bachelor: When Humidity Attacks
The Bachelor: Brad Womack Finally Grows a Backbone
The Bachelor: Welcome to Jurassic Park!
Okay, was anyone else a little creeped out when the camera panned the island and the helicopter in the first shot of this show? It was similar to the opening of "Jurassic Park" with the music and all, and I half expected an elderly man to hobble out to the heli‐pad, bejeweled‐amber walking stick and all, to welcome Brad to "his" island.
Chain up the goat, the Bachelor has arrived!
There were no T‐Rex on this island, sadly (if you don't count Michelle) but there was plenty of rain, drama and giant bugs. For the first date, Chantal scored the first one‐on‐one and big surprise, it rained. Again. You just know that if she's the final one left standing, they are going to make a big deal about how rain is their "thing." Yeah, yeah, every time it rains, you are going to think of your love for each other. Blah, blah. And everyone knows it's good luck to have rain on your wedding day (a weak excuse to console the bride, if you ask me), so if she is the lucky gal, she'll be hoping for a Jason‐Molly‐like downpour. (note to Chantal: wear waterproof make‐up.)
And yes, she got a rose. She was a "good sport" who had to follow Brad to his hotel room, change out of her wet clothes, and don on of Brad's white button‐down shirts. ::yawn:: I would blame this turn of Chantal's good fortune on the producers manipulating the weather, but at last check, I don't think they are that powerful. Yet. Perhaps Mother Nature will be cast in the next round of lucky Bachelorettes. We could be only so lucky.
The rest of the gals minus Alli were on the group date, and it was one of those "don a helmet and rappel down a waterfall" kind of dates. In other words, just the kind of thing to send --
OMG blog update: Brian just interrupted me to announce there is a new Angry Birds game after the final level...yes, Angry Birds fan, grab your phones/Ipads...there are more pigs to be killed —
Michelle into a pouty, angry stance. Because after all, she and Brad made a "promise" (I use that word very loosely) to each other that they would never rappel down another wall without each other.
Brad spoke with each girl during their hot tub time - pardon, their "natural hot springs" time (sounds delish, no?) and Emily scored zero roses for dunking under the water and then coming up with massive raccoon eyes. Again, wha? You wear a glopping load of mascara, and yet on a water date, you forget to put on the waterproof kind? While I was fairly happy to find out that Emily, Ye of the Slender Legs was really, truly human, I was kind of bummed she would pull such a rookie stunt. Emily, we've come to expect more from you. Because you have slender legs and all.
At least their date wasn't in a cemetery. Big props to ABC productions.
And my second favorite moment of the night is when Brad and Michelle heard the screaming from the girls' room about the giant beetle, and yet sat firmly rooted in their hot springs, unmoving. For all they knew, there was an ax murderer in Costa Rica. But to them, they were going to finish their conversation about the other gals and how they are all "wrong" for Brad. Thanks, Michelle. You are nothing if not consistent.
I'm happy to report Alli and Chantal were not being bludgeoned to death, but were instead fighting off a massive, crunchy looking beetle. I find this very amusing since just hours earlier, I had set my 30-pound, very naked child in the tub only to discover this very large, very hairy spider creeping on the edge. Yes, I emitted a few girly "Eek!s", but I gathered my motherly wits about me and managed to crush the spider (and all of my good Buddist karma) into a pocket of toilet paper while yelling, "You will NOT hurt my child!" before hurling the mass into the toilet. Three years ago, I'm not sure I would have been able to do this. But Motherhood gives one amazing strength and courage, and I'm happy my kid was not attacked by the not‐so‐Itsy‐Bitsy Spider while bathing. Sadly, he did not survive to climb the water spout.
I was also thinking about if Scotty had joined Brad and I (instead of Alli, natch) on their one‐on‐one date on that strange, sinking lily pad of a platform. I just saw myself constantly yelling, "No, Scotty, don't get too close to the edge...no, Scotty, no...Scotty, too close! Scotty! SCOTT! [blurg]"
[that was me jumping in to retrieve my child from the lagoon he just jumped in]
and wondering what Brad would have thought about our very short, very wet date. Alli didn't seem to fair much better, and Brad, thankfully, sent her home. I mean, I think we all knew she was going home after Brad showed up that morning with the World's Smallest Horse for her to ride. This is the same girl who once said someone broke up with her because her backside was too big? And you are going to give her a tiny horse to ride? Maybe Brad does have a sense of humor after all.
Michelle capitalized on this opportunity by seeking him out later that night (or so we were lead to believe. Shady editing.) She went through all of the girls, one by one, and explained to him why/how she is the only "right" woman for him. Yawn. Okay, producers, we get it. You casted her based on her crazy. Yup, she's proven that. You had me at "rappel." So why don't we just allow Michelle to smother Brad in his sleep and call it a day? Because that makes for great ratings.
But she didn't. And another rose ceremony went through. Has anyone else noticed the lack of voice overs by Chris Harrison, i.e "the most dramatic rose ceremony EVER," or is it just me? I kind of miss Chris. He's like that really good guy friend from high school that you don't really notice until he's gone. Come back, Chris. This is turning into the most boring season, ever. I mean, after last week's tear‐fest and all.
I was sure Michelle was going home, but Brian had it right: Jackie got the boot. Brad did the obligatory hug and then watched her car drive off, but I don't think he was sad for very long. The crew is headed to Anguilla for more surf/sand/cocktails, and Jackie is headed back to a very snowy East Coast. Bummer, Jackie. Hope you brought your scarf.
As we are closing in the home dates, I'm starting to get a clearer picture of the front runners. Emily is still a leader, but Chantal is emerging stronger and stronger. She did drop the 'l' word this week (in her cheetah‐inspired cougar dress, no less. Do these girls have gift cards to Ann Taylor or something?) Britt, the timid blond, is still hanging around, but I'd like to hope Michelle's shelf life is almost up. Ashely the Dentist was fairly quiet this episode, as was Shawntel. Six girls left, only five (four?) hometown dates. Shocking, no?
Thoughts? Concerns? Did anyone else enjoy the praying mantis montage as much as I did, in the ending credits?
"The female of the species is more deadly than the male."
Think of this as the epilogue to Bridget Jones' story. Well, mostly. Bridget marries the handsome lawyer, starts a blog while on bedrest, and decides marathon running sounds like fun. Bridget goes through a divorce but keeps running. Hilarity ensues.