Friday, June 25, 2010


I don't have time for a real post, and I definitely did not have time to make a movie. That's what happens when you're the second baby. But believe me when I tell you that you are the sweetest, dearest little angel baby girl that I have ever known. This year has been difficult, it's true, but oh, your little face. And toes. And delight in the world around you.

Happy birthday, Sweetie Angel Baby.







Wednesday, June 23, 2010

It sure beats biting

Tips on how to stop your baby from biting you:

1. For the love of all that is holy, don't pretend to chew on your baby. I know it's hard to resist the chunka chunka thighs and cheeks, but mixed messages, people. Mixed messages.

2. Stress KISSES not biting. Side effect: The cuteness will slay you dead.

Nora gives kisses from Maureen on Vimeo.

(Please disregard my weirdo hairdo. I am suffering from a terrible - yet very expensive - haircut and it was the end of a long muggy day.)

One day a week

Latest post up at The Bump.

Andrew and I are blessed with an unusual work arrangement. He works long days four days a week leaving him free to stay home with the children on the two Thursdays a month that I work. We’ve been doing this pretty much since Jack was born; the only thing that has really changed is my own work situation, but the point is that Andrew has been solo-parenting one day a week for three years. If there is any way you can arrange something similar, I highly recommend you try it. Not only does this arrangement give me the sanity that comes from getting out of the house without kids to do something mentally stimulating, it gives Andrew the chance to do some solo parenting once in a while. And when I get home on Thursday afternoon, we both have a new perspective on things.

Read the rest at The Bump!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

The Glamor of Parenting

Today found me and my friend gathered around a toy shovelful of sand mixed with largish brown clumps. We were sniffing the clumps.

(They were just dirt.)

Saturday, June 12, 2010

A random number of quick takes

I have some thoughts rattling around in my brain, but I don't think there are seven of them. So here goes.

1. This past week was stressful to say the least, and the stress manifested itself in my dreams but my subconscious exhibits a startling lack of originality. On Monday night, I had a dream that involved public nudity, a dance performance for which I was unprepared, and a dissertation due in a week which I had not yet started. That's right: one dream, three cliches.

2. If you think that's amusing, consider that I have a recurring dream in which I am driving a car with no brakes. My subconscious may as well hold up a sign reading, "YOU FEEL AN ASPECT OF YOUR LIFE IS OUT OF YOUR CONTROL."

3. I just watched the season finale of Glee and the previouslies showed scenes of Jesse St. James returning to Vocal Adrenalin. I swear I watched all of the episodes from this season, but I don't remember that happening at all. I can only assume I fell asleep during some critical scenes. Anyone?

4. I finally got a new phone. I lost my phone at least a month ago, and we used this excuse to upgrade both our phones and sign on for a new contract. Since Andrew's Palm Pilot stopped working six or so months ago and you can't them anymore (Seriously! They're obsolete! OBSOLETE! I still consider them a new product!), he really wanted to get a smart phone because he used his Palm Pilot all the time for work. Long story short: For a few days, we were misinformed about price plans and thought we could afford to get smart phones for both of us, but we can't. Well, technically we CAN, but I can't justify spending that much money so that I can use Twitter at the mall. So Andrew got to get an awesome cool phone and I had to get a stupid boring normal phone. Which TOTALLY isn't fair since I'M the reason we're getting new phones in the first place. Shouldn't my carelessness with technology be rewarded with even better technology? I think so too.

5. Yeah, I also lost my mp3 player. Three weeks ago, I think. It VANISHED. But I'm not allowing myself to buy a new one because how will I learn?

6. Yup. There were only five.

Friday, June 11, 2010

We're all fine here. How are you?

Thank you all so much for the prayers and thoughts. They worked! Jack is fine! We got an early time slot! He was SO BRAVE!

The lump is a BENIGN "lymphatic abnormality" which means his lymph vessel/vessels are swollen up. This is a thing that happens, in the sense that the surgeon who specializes in the lymphatic system was all, "Oh, yeah, one of these." But it's a weird one of those because it's not squishy. She thinks that maybe there's a blood clot in there or something. And since it is BENIGN BENIGN BENIGN we can give it a month or so to be resorbed and if it is, we get to do nothing! If it doesn't go away by itself, he'll have to have surgery, but the surgery will be no big deal because it's really close to the surface.

Seriously, guys, he was a super trooper. He got put under at about 12:10, and he didn't start complaining about being hungry till 11:00 or so, and it was only a few complaints at that. He got a little scared when they put the gas mask on him, and *I* got a little teary when we walked away from him lying there, so small on the gurney, surrounded by scary medical equipment and such. But I was otherwise a super trooper also. As was Andrew. And Nora, who spent her longest time ever away from me and apparently didn't give her respective grandparents much trouble at all.

So thank you so much everyone.

I need some wine.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Prayer request

I hadn't told the internet this yet, partly because I thought I had plenty of time, but for those of you who pray, can you please say some prayers for Jack and us tomorrow (Friday)? Jack has a growth of some sort in his right arm, below his elbow. He had it when he was an infant, and it was diagnosed as a "subcutaneous hemangioma" which means, essentially, "birthmark under the skin." He has a cutaneous one in the same arm, just below it. The subcutaneous lump went away and came back three or four times before his first birthday, and we had a surgeon look at it a few times. He said no surgery was needed. Then it went away and stayed gone.

But then about a month ago, it came back. It got bigger then smaller over the course of three weeks, and then on Memorial Day it suddenly got huge. I swear it doubled in size that day. So we brought him back to the pediatrician who sent us back to the surgeon who re-ultrasounded it and recommended an MRI and maybe surgery. The MRI is already very stressful because he's three and therefore needs to be put under because you can't ask a three-year-old to hold perfectly still for a half hour.

Anyway, the MRI was supposed to be on July 21, but the thing has been growing in size since then and a new one has emerged above his elbow, so we got moved up to next Wednesday. But today it got ENORMOUS and started to look a little red, which is a sign of infection, so we called back and we have to bring him in tomorrow.

So we need lots of prayers. He can't eat anything before we leave because of the anesthesia, so we need prayers to get us a miracle early MRI slot and avoid having to get him admitted because the only time slot available is in the middle of the night. And we need the doctors to be wise and able to read the MRI results clearly. I will say that the pediatrician and surgeon both used the word "benign" several times each, so there's that relief. But I'm freaking out over here, so throw in some prayers for me that I may remain a calm and soothing presence for Jack.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

I also hold the internet responsible for that time I failed to look at a map and was ninety minutes late to a wedding

Last week, Emily tweeted about a delicious pizza that she makes from scratch which she and her husband look forward to eating all week long. Naturally, I demanded the recipe. “Flour, yeast, water, salt, sausage, tomato paste, peppers, a bunch of spices… I have all that stuff!” I thought. “I’ll make it this week!”

Emily uses The Pioneer Woman’s recipe for pizza dough, and TPW says making the dough a day or two ahead of time improves the flavor, so I did. It seemed very… wet. I was supposed to “form it into a ball” and “turn it into an oil-lined bowl.” Yeah, that was impossible. I could POUR it into the oil-lined bowl, but there wasn’t any “forming into a ball.” going on. I put it in the fridge anyway, hoping that it would dry out over time.

Pizza Night arrived as Pizza Night inevitably does, and the dough, it had not dried out. But by the time I took it out of the fridge, I had already mixed up the spicy sauce and cut up my expensive yellow pepper, my expensive organic sausage, and my expensive fresh mozzarella. Also, it was 4:00 pm. I was committed to this pizza. Throwing both caution and common sense to the wind, I plunged my hands into the doughy fluid and tried to shape it into a crust.

It did not go well.

When Andrew called ten minutes later, I was glad that I had let Nora play with the phone because it was still on the floor and I was able to answer it with my feet. I returned to the kitchen, and with the liberal addition of extra flour, I was able to turn the goo into something vaguely crust-shaped on the baking pan. Once I got my hands clean I turned to Twitter in order to complain about the recipe. I was EXTREMELY indignant that my friend had suggested what was obviously a terrible, unworkable recipe, and it was only my concern for her feelings that kept me from accusing her outright.

I finished building my pizza, complete with hippy toppings, and put it in the oven. After 10 minutes, I turned on the broiler because Emily says she likes her cheese toasted on the top, and that sounded like a good idea.

The end result was an edible, but very very disappointing pizza. And all of it was clearly Emily’s fault. It was Emily’s fault that the dough recipe didn’t work, Emily’s fault that the sauce was too spicy even though she did warn me, Emily’s fault that I left the pizza under the broiler too long and the cheese burned, and – well, OK, it wasn’t Emily’s fault that the sausage I had on hand was apple chicken flavor instead of the spicy Italian she told me to use. Apple sausage does not mesh well with spicy marinara. I had really, really been looking forward to that pizza and now it was ruined and IT WAS ALL EMILY’S FAULT.

We ate the pizza anyway. Jack even politely told me it was really delicious in an obvious attempt to make me feel better. (Really! He really did! And he was lying! I know!) After dinner, I went back to Twitter to complain some more about the pizza dough. Emily claimed not to understand why it didn’t work because it always works for her, but I didn’t fall for it. Diane agreed with me that TPW’s recipe was disappointing, although she didn’t have the wetness problem. And Arwen pointed me towards a different recipe. I compared the flour to water ratio of Arwen’s dough with TPW’s and tweeted back, “But it’s the same recipe!” Because there it was, plain as day, 4 cups flour, 1.5 cups water…

Oh. Wait. 1.5 cups water. Hazy memories of the day I mixed up the dough began to surface, and they definitely indicated that I had added 2.5 cups of water, thereby increasing the water by 75%. Which is sort of a lot. So. Oops.

You want to know the best part of this? Well, the best part after the part where I blame the internet for a faulty recipe that was perfectly fine if followed correctly? I totally had ready-made Boboli crust in the pantry. And I knew it was there.

No, I cannot explain myself.

Note: Arwen’s dough recipe is not the same. It has different yeast and salt amounts. But the flour to dough ratio is still 4.5 to 1.5, because that, apparently, is the correct flour to dough ratio.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

It's like I've never seen a baby before

Question: Why would a person with three years' worth of motherhood under her belt think it was a good idea to change the baby into clean clothes and then immediately feed her a waffle smeared with blueberry jelly?

Dress the baby AFTER the jelly. AFTER.

Sunday, June 6, 2010


Harry Potter is a trending topic on Twitter, so I got all excited to think that the next movie is coming out. I followed a link to a trailer and called Andrew in to watch it with me. "Why is this trailer number 4? Haven't we already seen this?" he said. "Shhh! Why are you trying to ruin this?" I told him.

We watched all the way through, and as soon as the release date showed up at the end, I said, "OK. I'm calling our babysitter now."

"Hon?" said Andrew. "We've already seen that movie."

"No we haven't!" I said. "Look! July 17!"

"That's July 17 of last year," he replied.

We fought about it for several minutes, and then he stalked off to the living room for reasons unclear to me while I went to IMDB to prove him wrong. Just as I pulled up the page for Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (release date: July 17, 2009), he arrived back at the computer with the DVD that I had given him for Christmas.

Dudes. This is worse than how I forgot everything that happened during the middle 45 minutes of the fifth movie. At least that was because I fell asleep. Yes, at the movie theater. I WAS TIRED.