Tuesday, December 31, 2013

13 pictures of 2013

I saw this today:

And who can resist pictures?

I have become about as interesting as furniture when Daddy is around.

Our friends had a kid and let us practice having two before we actually did. It was hard. 

Titus' last time being worn. At least he had a drink for the occasion.

I built that.

In reality: this picture is just an example of how sunglasses make you look like a super model. The face I was making was outrageous.

Nine months pregnant. In August. In Florida. 

What could be better than a little indoor swimming?

This is not 3 minutes before that peeler stabbed Ariana's eye.
But the point is he's somewhat helpful now.

These ladies are the answer to years worth of prayers.
Can't you just tell by their faces?

Flirting with the ladies. Adorable toddler friendships- this year has been my first time seeing it.

Her joy here says it all.

This is only here because Titus insists on taking one every. single. day.
And 99% of them are this bad.

Family outings require much more running with a toddler in tow.

This year we finally recovered from Titus' birth. We are fun again!

Saturday, December 28, 2013

The Honey Incident

Good news! I'm not dead! (And neither is my blog.)  I've been visiting family for Christmas, which means I must spend ALL THE MINUTES talking. And visiting. Oh, and uh, talking. But! My parents are having a party, so you all get me. Without further delay, I relate: "The Honey Incident of 2013."


Our scene: The kitchen. One grumpy (teething?) baby, finally, finally asleep after the worst morning of her life. One ...uh... helpful toddler, unpacking groceries. One frazzled mama, attempting to get the family ready for a 10 day leave the next day and do twenty things at once. One being getting melting food and warming meat finally put away.

Titus started out his normal helpful self. Putting nuts in the pantry, using two hands, et cetera, et cetera. But, just as a I turned away to get the sausage in the freezer (at last!), he grabs the honey. This honey is an organic, local, raw, in glass, $13.99 jar of honey. We are not $14 jar of honey people around here. My husband is a Catholic school teacher folks. I only justified the purchase because the screaming baby meant another errand stop was out of the question and hey, the glass jar was cool.

Having completely forgotten that that honey existed (it had been four grueling hours since we returned), I gave Titus a rather urgent command to DROP IT RIGHT NOW. In the slowness of the following second, I'm not sure whether he threw it or dropped it like I said, but that glorious golden goo hit the tile. And in my relaxed, loving, peaceful parenting way, I of course handled the situation in a totally calm, logical manner.

A picture taken at the exact moment of the drop.

As I watched the gleaming overpriced liquid seep out of the broken jar, I may have lost my mind. After sending Titus to the other room to prevent further screaming (me not him) I made one of life's tough choices. To follow the five second rule or not to follow the five second rule? It was a sticky liquid, but I had mopped recently...right? (Wrong.) Raw honey, uh antibacterial, right? The result: A cereal bowl of honey on the counter and a ruined day. I cannot describe how dispirited I felt for DAYS after this event. I cried cleaning honey, I cried making dinner, I cried on Adam when he got home. In retrospect, it's actually pretty silly. It was honey. Fourteen dollars for a cup and a half. But honey. But no glass chips have been eaten. (Update: I chomped one the first week of January. It was rather scary.) No one even got sliced in the break. Heck, I even got a three hour chunk to myself that evening while Adam took the kids to a park.

So the moral of this story is: My husband is a saint.

PS: Titus still talks about this a week and a half later "Honey break. Mommy sad. No throwing."

PS2: I just found this link up. It seems totally related. Check it out!

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Orders From A Wise Person

Make these:

Eat them every meal for the rest of your life.

You will not regret it.

(I've done it for a week now.)

Thursday, December 12, 2013

7 Quick takes: Weird Things I Do (Week 5)

Check out everyone else's here


Have you ever thought to yourself, "Golly, oil all by itself has such a lovely feel to it, I think I want to keep it in my mouth for 20 minutes"? If so, you are strange. However, swishing it you mouth for that time, now that can actually be quite good for you. I may or may not have eaten so much Halloween candy one night that even my brushed teeth felt sugary; thus began the oil pulling. After the first five minutes of hating my life, it's actually not so bad. 


With the rain recently, this is a pretty accurate depiction of how Titus' feet look on a daily basis. Unfortunately for my floors, you can't take off your feet before you enter the house. 


While I would love to join my kids in barefootedness, I do realize I am an adult and have to look socially presentable when I'm out and about. Thus I have these lovelies for all my grocery shopping needs:

Well, somewhat presentable: they look even weirder on.
I would even wear them to Mass Sunday Mass (ok, they've made it to daily), but people would be all distracted by my gorilla feet instead of praying and I suppose that's no good. I do not so secretly believe in barefooted church, but that's a theory for another day.


 Last week I mentioned my sugar vampire and now I'm considering giving up refined sweeteners on a permanent basis. After going a week and a half without, I had chocolate chips Wednesday and was so fog headed that I couldn't even be mentally present and enjoy at ladies night. Are cookies really worth giving up being the fully-engaged-mom-still-has-energy-when-husband-gets-home-emotionally-balanced woman I've been? Doubtful. Unless of course, there is a plate within arms reach.

Sugar vampires: kinda like this, only lethargic and mean


I read fanfiction. Well, I read this, anyway. I love me some Harry Potter, but you must know: This story is far, far better than the original. If you haven't read it and have booku spare time, click the link. If you have read the story- please tell me! I would love to talk to fellow dangerverse-ians. Also, just sayin'.


Despite the dire warnings against drinking during pregnancy, I really enjoyed having a few glasses of wine whilst baby #2 was cooking. Said baby is WAY more easy going than #1 and her sleep is measured in hours instead of minutes I'm looking at you Titus. Coincidence? I think not.


I like butter in my coffee. Don't knock it until you've tried it.

So what about ya'll? Anything weird that you do that you'd like to share?

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

An Exciting Topic - Weather

Them's the facts people.

However, I do need to report that after a very strong wind this morning (during which, I exclaimed "Oh no! The cold front!"), it's down to a bone-chilling sixty eight degrees here in good ol' North Florida. Us poor, poor Floridians, freezing buns off now.

Friday, December 6, 2013

7 Quick Takes: Holy Toddlers Batman! (Week 4)

Check out everyone else's here


I've experience road, road toddler rage, being all the rage, but only this week did I experience Mass rage. Not one, two old folks after Monday Mass asked if I had ever considered the cry room! For daily Mass! And, it's not as though we come everyday and my kids are horrible. 95% of the time, they are distraction free. Monday there maybe 3 fifteen seconds boughts of crying and Titus escaped to the front pew during the consecration. BUT, he was silently walking, only out of my reach. The rage!


On the flip side, nothing is more adorable than reaching back to grab your stationary two year old as you rush in late for Mass (again), only to find him genuflecting properly with Holy Water.


I FOUND MY FAVORITE SHIRT! For reference, it's been missing since winter 2011 and we have moved twice since then. It turned up under my in laws guest bed over Thanksgiving weekend. It was an far more exciting moment than the event warranted.


In order to keep him still, we recently starting giving Titus a crucifix to hold while we pray in the evenings. His assessment: "Jesus, put shoes on." Deep Theological insights from a two year old.


I got to watch my favorite showtune on television (yes I am 100 years old) last night. "No Way to Stop It." 


I wrote that last take before actually watching Sound of Music. My biggest impression is now Julie Andrews rolling in her grave. Then I realized she's still alive.


My honest and helpful malicious and lying husband informed me this Monday that I become a vile creature whenever I wean myself off of sugar. Guess what I did this week? 

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

How To Make Your Neighbors Think You Are Crazy In One Easy Step: Our Homebirth

This is me at 39 weeks pregnant. Some fool asked if I was carrying twins.
When you oh-so-caring midwife orders herself pizza at 9.5 centimeters during the arduous labor of your firstborn, you know you need to find other options for your second kid. So, after such a grisly experience with baby #1, we knew something had to change for #2. We had tried the only birth center in town and the hospital was right out (Because nothing says "Welcome baby!" like an MRSA infection). Enter Diana... But wait, we lived in a small apartment not conducive to birthing, so moving to a new house right before the due date is an excellent idea. It meant I didn't have to do any of the moving!

Ariana's due date happened to fall in Labor day weekend (haha, yes I heard the same joke 100 times), which meant that not only was it a three day weekend, but my husband had a half day on Friday. We naturally began informing all of our friends that Friday is baby day. In fact, Friday afternoon is, so that Adam could get the delicious free lunch offered by his school, thank you very much.

I happen to be on of those super lucky women who start Braxton-Hicks around 13 weeks, which in turn makes it so delightfully difficult to tell when labor begins. However, I remember squatting to help the two year old on the potty after morning Mass on Friday and thinking, "Hmm... that's pretty a uncomfortable pulling; maybe I should go to Lowe's" Mind you, the fourth trip at 40 weeks pregnant, because I (and several employees) still had not been able to find the piece that connects a hose to a shower head. Meaning at that moment, I had no way to fill the birth pool. Yes, I am a procrastinator.

So at Lowe's, I finally found a woman who believed this piece exists, then promptly took about 25 minutes to find it and check with 2 coworkers that it's really the right connector. Meanwhile, Titus played with light switches and I stood and swayed (oh-so-very subtly) through contractions. I really didn't want all the Lowe's men employees in my birth business. I still didn't think labor could be happening because I told everyone it was going to be Friday and for it to be happening would be ridiculous.

I arrived home around 10am, put Titus down for a nap, tried to sleep with him to stop those contractions, gave it up because those darn Braxton-Hicks were just bothering me so much, and got up to send text messages. One to Titus' babysitter, one to Adam, one to my mom and one our midwife. I told them it's probably a false alarm, but just in case...

The midwife, Diana, happened to be on my side of town doing prenatal appointments so she stopped by around 11:30 or so. I cheerily greeted her and her student. She offered to check me and holy. moley. Five centimeters already! Get moving! Fill the birth tub! Call ALL THE PEOPLE!  All of my friends recently (I was the last in a string of seven babies) had had really SLOW labors, so I just assumed I would be at one or so centimeters this early. The midwife said she would dash home to get her birth supplies and be right back.

I started filling the birthpool, really, really glad for the morning shopping trip. Can you imagine carrying buckets between contractions? Awful. I texted the babysitter letting her know to leave work and get Titus. I texted Adam but since he hadn't gotten that lunch yet and the birth ball was being such a great birth partner so far, I delayed telling him to come until 12:30, when I was all "Get home right now before I strangle the living daylights out of you."

Susan, the sitter, joined me shortly after the texting and sat and chatted with me between contractions. I snapped at her asked her politely her to stop staring at me during them. As time wore on and we waited and waited for Adam, I was starting to get antsy. Fill birth pool, fill! As it turns out he stopped to get my sister from her college campus on the way home. The little sister who passed out when I gave blood because she's so medically woozy. Great choice. (I found out after showing this to Adam, he thought she was going to watch Titus. I apparently neglected to mention that Susan, who had a car, was taking care of that. Excellent marital communication here, folks.)

They arrived, Adam started to eat and Titus finally woke up. He dragged his bleary eyed self down the hall and There. Is. A. Pool. In. The. Living. Room. How could his day get any better?! But wait, he's not allowed to go in this delectable pool and is suddenly being whisked away from Mommy and Daddy  AND THE POOL by the normally friendly, but now evil because dang-it-I-want-to-be-in-that-pool Susan-monster.

He didn't suffer too much.
Meanwhile, I am dying to get in that pool, knowing the glorious buoyancy awaiting me, but I can't due to a toddler staring me down. After finally shimmying Titus out of the house (around 1:45) I jump (Ha! I'm nine months pregnant and in labor) heave my girth in and immediately am a far happier person. I dole out orders (You- resheet the bed! You-get the birth supply box! You-get water boiling!). It's a great feeling to be queen.

A queen who has to stop every few minutes and really focus. Not to shortly after, my order becomes  "Adam- get in here now and rub my shoulders! I don't care if you've finished that lunch." Although, in all fairness, may or may not have commanded him to eat that sub five minutes before.

We do our labor thing, Adam being a STELLAR helpmate. At one point, someone poured boiling water on my foot during a contraction. Bad aim. Things get more and more intense and sometime around 2:10, I wonder aloud where the heck the midwife is. Just as we (not me) are about to call her, she gets there at 2:20, sees me and starts to unpack her gear real quick-like, Danielle helping her. Her birth assistant is still an hour away.  This leaves poor Danielle to, gasp, "dip her bare hands into your hideous cesspool"(her words) to take out extra water every so often, instead of hiding in the office making no noise and pretending she doesn't exist as she would have liked to do. She was so very traumatized by this experience that at the time of writing no less than a dozen people have endured her rant.

Around 2:30 (looking at the clock really helped me. I like knowing what time it is. All the time.) We try to start a round of antibiotics (woo GBS+!), right as I head into transition. Excellent timing. Needless to say, it didn't work. That contraction happened to be the most awful experiences of my life. Apparently my warning that things were about to get loud did not make it out of my mouth. So as we enter transition, my sister pops in with her assessment of the situation:

"You sound like the undead"

Thanks, that was very encouraging.

As transitions go, this was pretty short. I could not stand (thank goodness for water!) because there had to be less than 15 second between contractions, if there even was a break. Sometime around 2:50 I finally, finally had a break after that last contraction turned "pushy." As I lay there in the lull, I distinctly remember thinking very calmly, "This is terrible. Why would anyone do this to themselves? I am never having another child. Ever." But then we got down to business.

Having pushed for 2.5 hours last time, I was hoping for something a bit quicker. Boom: baby pops out facing sideways at 3:16.

Adam gets a text from Susan around 3:20 asking if she should send around a prayer request for our labor. His reply: "Well, I'm holding the baby..."

In wrap up, I was quickly shipped off the the hospital via Danielle's driving to get stitched up. In the words of the doctor/nurses working on me: "What kind of tear is this?" "Do we have a name for this kind?" "No, um, let's call it second-degree." Very reassuring.

Adam sat at home wearing his new daughter, rocking in a chair and reading his book, in surreal land. Eventually, he took a walk. Some of our new neighbors came to coo over the baby. "Oh, how old is she?" "Oh about two hours..." Oh the faces they make...

It's still absurd to me that she came out right when we said she would. May Ariana always follow directions so well.
Still not over the placenta incident.

Monday, December 2, 2013

Friday, November 29, 2013

7 Quick Takes: Thanksgiving (Week 3)

See everyone else's seven diddy's here.


It was a small Thanksgiving at my parents house, as only half of their kids showed up. Total people present: 12.


While writing up my birth story, I asked for my sister's input. She responded that she hated holding my uterus in a bowl. I don't remember that. I would think that I would, given that she would have had to rip it out of my body to do so. 


My mom's response to my girl's ridiculous talents (sitting unsupported this week- she does NOT know she's only two months old!): "Oh, my friend's baby crawled at three months." NO! NO! THAT MUST NOT HAPPEN! WORST NIGHTMARE EVER! CRAWLING THREE MONTH OLD!


I discovered the reason that people have more children. It's the clothes. I cannot imagine Ariana's ADORABLE little clothes passing out of hands before stuffing another sweet little body in them. 


I can't think of anything funny to say about this article. So, instead, here are some facts about me: I am a visual learner. I love charts and graphs. We haven't vaccinated our kids. Yes, we researched it. In fact, my mom calls me the "reading queen." I like that title. 


If you ever think to yourself, "This sewing project will on take 4-5 hours, no worries." IT IS A LIE. Do not believe yourself. In other news, after about 40 hours of work, my wedding dress was converted into an adorable baptismal gown.


I was introduced to these dancers on Thanksgiving. I got chills.

Friday, November 22, 2013

7 Quick Takes: Poop, Pizza, and Quotes (Week 2)

See everyone else's seven diddy's here.


There is nothing like the look on your husband's face when you carry in a poopy cloth diaper that's been sitting in the car for a week instead of the pizza you were supposed to remember to pick up.


Yesterday, someone asked me when my due date was. I had the baby two months ago. Thanks stranger, thanks a lot.


You know you are hearing your own words back at you when your toddler (while looking at a book about cats), starts talking about how the fish is hungry and should eat his vegetables.


And another Titus quote while looking at the photo album: "Susan look angry. Maybe. She should. Take a nap." An excellent solution for all problems, M'boy.


While driving today, I saw the car in front of me had peeled off their Obama sticker. It's ok buddy, a lot of people made that mistake. Make better choices next time.


I absolutely cannot wait to use this quote in conversation: "Between impulse and action, there is a nebulous realm of curtsey that is begging to make your acquaintance." I will feel so very cunning. And pray they don't figure out it's a Star Trek quote.


This man is my hero.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Just a quick reminder

Never forget:

Let me tell you, Morning Girl just loves the 4:30 am toddler wake up.

Monday, November 18, 2013

The Worst Idea In the World

So if anyone has been following FSU football, you know by now that the team has been dominating the competition. Shut outs in the first quarter, discussions of mercy endings, crying coaches from rival schools... Really, winning has become so blasé that it's really not even worth watching. Don't tell my husband I said that! When faced with a "game watching" situation and time to kill, I was forced to come up with more exciting entertainment. Enter the Worst Idea Ever:
Competitive Mothering
Because being in charge of little people all day is a multifaceted undertaking, there will be many judged categories. Kinda like a biathlon, except that there is no end. Let's put some purely hypothetical mom-friends people in the ring. Enter our first three competitors:

Alyssa, a still adjusting mom of two, who sometimes hides in the closet to eat chocolate and catch a break.
Susan, a mom of one, very punny.
Haley, "the ever patient," mom of three, who may or may not have introduced Alyssa to blogging.

After much thought from a purely unbiased judge, here are the results for each round:

Competition Round
Cleanest House


Worst Morning Sickness

Chillest Kid


Best Baker

Worst Cook

Most Child Chatter Tolerated

Most Bodily Fluid Cleanup

Cutest kid(s)

Cry it out vs. Parent to Sleep Championship Round
Just kidding! We are not going there.

And the clear winner of this contest is:




Mary, who is actually the best mother.

So what do you think folks? Should we get this tournament going in real life? Any other ideas for  rounds?

Friday, November 15, 2013

Quick Takes: Week 1

See everyone else's seven diddy's here.


Have you ever created something viral? At a mere two and a quarter, little Titus has his first. It all begins with me mentioning his baby friend was learning to crawl. Suddenly, every time Gus breathed moved, he was "Ler-ning!" My friend started saying it. Her Mother-in-Law started saying it. The MIL's coworkers have picked it up. Basically, it's coming to a neighborhood near you at any moment.

And another quote:
"No. Clip Nail. Mommy. Bad choice."


This girl doesn't know she's two months. Yes, she is standing in that picture. No I did not photo shop my hands out. Other tricks include rolling over both ways by four weeks, sleeping for blissfully long stretches every night, and waiting patiently when I say I'm helping her brother and will be there in a moment.


It's impossible to make it through the first three (or more) reviews of this without laughing. Try it.


This is my fourth atempt to start a blog. I even have old opening posts to prove it. They aren't very good.


Five is the amounts of seconds I hesitated before hitting publish on the first post. What kind of crazy person starts two HUGE projects at the same with two kids? This one, that's who. I've pledged to go through all my cookbook/homemaker type ebooks Did I mention there are about 100 of them? (and cook the new foods for dinner/lunch/breakfast) to make a "mom-binder" full of all the stuff I've learned, recipes, meal plans, organizational goodies, unicorn hunting tips, home pirate defenses, and other such helpful things.  And blog 2-3 a week.


1 crazy person= 2 projects + 2 kids + 1 huge batch of unfamiliar recipes

Six is the approximate number of times a week I get toothpaste on my shirt necessitating: a change of shirt Let's be honest, that never happens- who wants to do more laundry? A careless shrug of the shoulders, thinking "I have two kids with me, strangers will understand," or "eh, glad I'm still in my PJs at noon" but now I have third option. It's jacket weather! If you ever see me in my coat sweating because it's seventy, now you know why.


My husband has had has pinkeye. Don't get 7 year olds get that? Also, some fool put her head on his pillow to nap. Updates to follow.  Despite blood-red vampire eyes, he's still extremely handsome. Edit: He wrote that.

Monday, November 11, 2013

In Which I Create a Blog

What do you say in a first post? It’s almost more awkward than a first date.
“Hi! I’m Alyssa and I like to eat cheese.”? Too mundane.
“Welcome! I like to run around barefoot in public places!”? Too hippie.
“Hello reader! Please, PLEASE read my blog! Leave comments!”? Too honest.
And while all of these may be true, none may be right for the moment.
So, in the absence of a stellar opener, let’s just move on, shall we.
I suppose you might be wondering about the title of my blog, MarchandMinute. Here’s a bombshell: My last name is Marchand. And just to prove how ridiculous the english language is, it’s not minute, as in 1/60 of an hour, it’s minute: “extremely small, as in size, amount, extent, or degree: minute differences.” But of course, you could tell that just by reading it, right? I think everything funny that happens in the details. So that’s what I’ll be talking about here: the deets.
Speaking of which, here’s a rundown of important stats about yours truly. I, Alyssa, am an extroverted Catholic and reluctant geek, who bakes frequently, cooks adequately, sings joyfully, walks barefootedly and lives hippy-ly (Some things are just hard to alliterate, OK). I am wife to Adam, and Mommy to Titus and Ariana.
The rest of the crew:
Adam. Age: twenty-mumble. Part teacher, part DJ. All introvert. Favorites include: Watching Sci-fi, having men’s poker night, and being in his room making no noise and pretending he doesn’t exist.
Titus. Age: two and a half. Favorites include: Curious George, Being a monster, and pushing the shopping cart as fast as possible while looking at his feet.
Ariana. Age: Tiny baby. Favorites include: Nursing, Daddy, and well, more nursing.
Things I like and you are likely to hear more about: Babies (specifically my babies), Baking delicious goodi...I mean... cooking real, healthy food, my toddler’s many adventures, stepping on glass walking around barefoot, Catholicism,  Philosophical musings on mothers contributing to society via grueling hours and dirty jobs, and, well, anything else that strikes my fancy, hence the minute title.
Things I do not like, that you are also likely to hear about: mosquitos. Our enmity cannot be overstated.
You can expect to hear from me 2-3 times a week, depending on the level of crazy happening.

Oh and don't forget to pass this on to a friend to brighten both their day and mine.
PS. That’s our most recent family photo, so you can get a clear visual as to what we look like while perusing this blog. :D