Monday, August 31, 2009


A is going through a growth spurt which means many things but one thing specifically is that she is sleeping more. In turn, G and I have been catching up on toddler stuff. He's been a patient lad and has given his parents over to the world that is bringing up a baby but now I'm happy to say he is getting his undivideds more than infrequently too.

One unusual toddler quirk I've noticed is that recently G has been saying "Honk" whenever he wants your attention. Again, he says honk which is so much stranger than him making the goose sound. While this is wildly obnoxious when he is interrupting an adult conversation, it really does have a way of endearing the child to whom he has interrupted. Oddly enough, The Honk makes things forgivable.

So today, as we were reading under a tent of Thomas the Train sheets, his belly grumbles. He looks at me, makes an "Oh" face and smiles. I smile back and ask the obvious, "Was that your belly?" To this he replies, "Mommy. It was my honk. My honk is hungry and it would like two sam-wiches. It will eat a peanut butter and jelly and a gwilled cheese."

"It was your honk?" I ask through large puffs of laughter.

"Mommy," Mr. Serious as a Heart Attack admonishes, "Don't laugh like dat. It was my honk. My honk is hungry. Don't laugh. Now you say it."

"Say what?" I ask him with strangulating giggles bubbling over one another in my throat.

"No," he inside-voice yells, "You don't laugh. You say dat my honk is hungry."

And so it went until finally I mustered enough will power to make it through that exact sentence without laughing irreverently.

Seriously, you try it without laughing. Say that your honk is hungry. See? Not just me.

By the way, his honk really was very hungry. Poor thing ate one PB & J, chicken soup, crackers, and some of mine. These honks don't mess around in the kitchen. When they growl, you say how many sam-wiches.

Friday, August 28, 2009


Two posts in one day. Can you tell I'm a cooked slab of charred up people meat this afternoon? Smoked. Jerkied. Extra blackened southern style crispy fried is me.

But thank you dear sweet McGod for these two blessed words: Vanilla latte.

I just ordered both a hot and a cold. One for each hand. One for each side of my gooey brain. One for me now and another for the three hours from now me who can't stop the constant desire to run and keep running as far away from this din of whine and bra-pulling as my sad pinkcheetahprinted summer sandals will take me.

McCafe, you are the wind beneath my wings. Figure out how to babysit, help with laundry, pick up toys and I'll have no choice but to tell my husband about us.

Ready to Mingle

Okay. We've lived here for almost two months and we still don't know anyone in our neighborhood. I think it's time I do some purposeful walking and stalking. There is one family I have in mind; the mom goes to work and the dad is a stay-at-home parent like me. They have a boy Grayson's age and a young girl about Abby's age. I was hoping to bump into them on one of our daily walks but it's been too humid for anyone to be hanging out in their front yard (much less the end of their driveway where I'd likely feel brave enough to strike up a conversation.) Let's just hope this family is playing outside when we walk by in our double stroller today to invite him and his children over for a dip in our fountain pool. Yes, I'll probably be the scandal of the neighborhood but I'm ready to take on some housewife gossip in exchange for another adult with same-age children to hang with for a while. Here's hoping he doesn't already have enough friends with fountain pools and/or an exorbitant amount of time to kill during the day. On second thought, I think I'll take my nonplaydating self elsewhere and leave this poor unsuspecting neighbor alone. I actually abhor nothing more than a playdate (post on that soon to come) Playdates are for those "other" parents who don't spend the entire time saying, "Oh my God, I'm sorry my son just stabbed yours in the eardrum with a plastic sword," or "Honey? You have to stop pushing your new friend down the stairs." They are awful and I'm going to expose my already deflated parent ego to them as little as possible. Don't get me wrong, we can certainly get together for coffee while the kids romp around side by side at a park but that's where it has to end. I'm okay outdoors but indoors is the third base of playdating and I'm just not that kind of girl.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

The Day That Unfolded Itself

You know how sometimes you just have to leave the house by 9am or else your insides feel like rotten peaches still wearing their pajamas? Today was not one of those days. Today I let the day unfold itself. The children steered. I sat in the back seat with my hands over my mouth and my foot off the imaginary brake. And you know what happened? We are having a most lovely time of it! It's already 3:30 and I have more energy left in me than I've had in four years.

The day started softly as we ate a leisurely breakfast where everyone ate (including poor Sadie who is not at all fooled by the stirring in of extra chicken to mask the medicinal flavor of Panacur). We played upstairs in the office while listening to Metallica on youtube (a surprisingly fun way to begin a day). After a stress free getting-toddler-and-baby-dressed session (never happened before in my life) we set out for a walk around the neighborhood, followed by a nice tandem swing at the park. Tandem as in Grayson allowed me to cram his tall limbs in one of the baby swings so I could push them both without running between them like a tennis ball but way fatter. Then, without tantrum or even partial argument we strolled home, had lunch where hallelujah everyone ate again (2 sandwiches for G even!) and we played some more.

Grayson found a costume which kept him busy for an hour.

Not because he was healing or giving shots but because he was taunting his little sister with the end of the stethoscope and then ripping it from her grasp at the last possible second. You'd think, "mean!" but she loved it. She laughs, Grayson repeats. It's their thing. Who am I to stand in their way of some demented game of cat and mouse? I'm diggin the back seat, you guys. Maybe it is better to let go of the proverbial reigns more often and just see what happens. I bet you ten dollars I wake up tomorrow, forget how unrushed and unmanic this afternoon has been and decide we must absolutely must take everyone to the dentist on a Friday. For the first time ever. Poor, poor mommy brains just can't let go entirely, can they?

Wednesday, August 26, 2009


Wordless Wednesday has great timing again this week. My brother, Eric is quietly, solitarily, and subtly fighting for his life. He is going through his own version of "chemotherapy" this afternoon and for the next two days. Crazily enough, he has to eat a pill that will activate the iodine injections in his body thus making him radioactive and unable to be around another soul for three days. Did I mention he'll be at home, in his house, alone? That's crazy, isn't it? To me, it's insane and science fiction and ridiculous that this type of treatment is not monitored in a hospital but I know Eric prefers it this way. Home is where he is happiest. So, for today, I post this picture and thank you all for sending along good juju to him while he beats off the boredom, loneliness, and stir-crazies with calendar writing, guitar playing, and plenty of bad movie watching. We love you, Pecor! May the next few days go by quickly for you, Christie and Landon.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Maryland, I'm Coming Home

It's a Vonda Shepard song and it's a perfect theme for today. Maryland, I'm Coming Home. Just a quick jaunt up 495 and bam, boom, bang I'm back from where I came!

First, I loaded up the two legged and four legged creatures and we all went to my old work at the animal hospital in Bethesda. Sadie still has the mystery 4am pukefest living inside her. Andy and I are tiring of camping out in the sunroom so she can go in and outside for three hours to relieve her gut in the grass instead of on our carpet (our landlord's carpet, more accurately). I decided not to listen to Doctor Google as he is a fatalist with nothing but bad news and possible heinous maladies a lab like Sadie could have at her age. Seriously, all it took was typing in, "dog coughing only in the morning" and out pops congestive heart failure. I'm sticking to fecal exams from now on.

(Oh, get's an upper for today- SO, went to my old work unannounced and the doctor for whom I worked hadn't one sneaking suspicion who I was. I guess the extra two dependents and easy twenty pounds makes me look like the older, more mommyer version of myself. Wait, that is myself. Damn. Forgot that part. You should have seen her face. I smiled (all giddy with surprising my old friend) like the cat who ate the mouse and she smiled back like the doctor who had NO CLUE who the hell I was. A complete stranger I was! It took an entire awkward two minutes of me smiling maniacally for my (water retentioned) face to sink in to her familiar file. Then her jaw dropped and she admitted that she was blown away. Sweetly, she tried to cover for her shock by stating it was my hair that threw her (it is tres long now and I had short hair when I worked there fifteen centuries ago.) Again, she was sweet but you're right, probably not so much the hair.)

Back to Sadie: The morning sickness (she's spayed, it would be a baby Jesus puppy) for Sadie is still a mystery but at least now we have medicine to help her if she a.) has worms (lovely) b.) has acid reflux (dogs can take Pepcid, did you know that?) or c.) just really digs white cocaine looking powder sprinkled over her Beneful once a day for five days. We shall see. I was just happy to learn that her lungs and heart sound good and quite probably she's been eating a cow's worth of grass that could be making her so vomitose. Why just the wee hours of the morn only? Andy thinks she likes to commune with the moon, the stars and the crickets at that hour; her alone time with the universe if you will. I think Sadie is trying to kill me by way of sleep deprivation to shorten my life span by 40 years so we can be buried together the way nature intended. She has separation anxiety. So does her mother.

After that party was over, I ponied up for an impromptu visit w/my beloved Uncle Jimmy and his beautiful family who live close to the animal hospital. We took their back porch by storm and before five minutes was up their cat had been nearly mauled by my canine, their adoring smiles were met with baby cries plus toddler attitude and their grass was hurled on by -again- awesome house guest pooch. We really know how to charm the pants off a place, no?

Luckily for me, I have the most patient and kind-hearted family and they took the entire Situational Hurricane in stride. They all "ignored" Moody Blues frontman Grayson long enough for him to finally cave and make the actual human gesture of eye contact. Aunt Mary even broke through to the other side and had him watering her flowers (his idea) and eating chocolate chip cookies (hers). While Grayson made nice with everyone, I got to sit back (okay, continuously remove sticks and dirt from Abby's mouth but still) and have a chat with my family. It was amazing. It was healing. It was chaotic. WE were chaotic but they were so very gracious and acted like it was nothing to have their home turned inside out in the middle of a (working) afternoon. Unlucky for them, we live a mere 15.7 miles door-to-door so we can have an encore performance of today's live show. Or I could have some tact and invite them to our house instead.

I am so happy to live back here this close to my family. It's been too long but Maryland, I'm Definitely Coming Home.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Caught in the Middle

As I finished tapping away on this here bloggity late last night, I heard a rustling behind me. Assuming it was the Sadiedog, I barely flinched. Then it rustled, sighed, and fake coughed. Sadiedog hasn't been well but even she isn't that slick. It was Grayson. Grayson who had snuck into our room and curled himself up on Sadie's dog bed.

"What's the matter?" I ask him in a whisper so as not to awaken Andy whose hand was still on the remote, channel surfing in his sleep.

"I don't like my room," Grayson begs. "There is a monster in there. It is puh-puh-(gulp, swallow hard) purple. And in my room and so I don't like my room. I am afraid of this monster. It is purple and it is the same one as last night in my room."

"Oh, Honey..."

"Mommy? Will you come with me to my room?" Oh boy. A big scary purple monster and you think I'm the best man for the job? Should I grab the Febreze bottle before we go? The dog? The Daddy?

"Yes, of course I'll go with you. C'mon now."

"Will you read me Cord-ooh-woy (Corduroy) and two more stories with more stories too?"

"We'll see. Let's go together back to your room and see what we can find that's good."

In between reading "two more stories with more stories too" we giggled and chatted and nuzzled noses (which is the real reason I love Corduroy. He rubs noses with Lisa at the end and that is an excellent lead in for nuzzling with my favorite little nose around.)

Then, when I was about to kiss his forehead and say goodnight he says to me, "Mommy? Are you a little girl or just my mommy?"

Struck by the weight of this question, I hung in midair for a second longer than necessary. My body vertigoed and all of the sudden I wasn't sure. I am taken back 30 years to when I was a little girl reading stories with my mommy wondering the exact same thing. Was she only my mommy because I was becoming suspicious that she might be other things too. There was this awareness that she was many things and not all of them were just for me. She was a playmate, a daughter, a wife, a secret keeper, a reader, a glossy smile, a macaroni and cheese maker, a hair brusher, a monster squasher, a real life and a fantasy. All of it was her and she was all of it. Now, here we are a million miles from that life and I can still remember how it feels to not be sure. I am grown, this I know, but not too grown to forget that little girl with all those questions. Now, here we are in real time and my own little boy is sitting right here, having those same thoughts about me.

"Good question, Bud. I am both. I am a little girl. I am a big girl. And most of all, I am your mommy. This will never change."

Whew, crisis averted. This time.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

More Than Meets the Sledgehammer

Transformers. Completely overrated fifteen dollar toy. Or at least the one I finally bought for my son today after weeks and weeks of hyping it up. You see, I bribe my son to use the potty because when it comes down to it, I'm not above paying for potty training. I will sell a few Graco strollers on Craigslist if it means I don't have to dole out Gummy Bears like a Pez dispenser every time he takes a leak or makes a charlie in the john. I saw an opportunity when G responded so well to the gigantic Transformer at the Air & Space Museum. Since that day he has been a walking-talking advertisement about "the scary one with the face."

The search commenced and after much bumbling and fumbling around town, I finally find (and the angels sing) ... a Target. There I bought G "Soundscream" or some such terrifying amalgam of plastic. It was the only one that morphed into two elements that looked awesome instead of into just one element that is a regular old car or a dump truck or a pot of yellow tulips. G is ready for that level of challenge. His parents, however, clearly are not.

Do you KNOW how hard these emmer effers are to transform? Seriously, there is a problem when I need to find the nearest four year old as my tutor. I can see it now:

At the Local Park-
Me: "Hi. How old are you? Five? Four's better but five will do. You think you could help me turn this into a rocket launcher, honey?"

I'm sure that will go over big with the judge and the five attorneys it will take to get me out of maximun security prison. All for this small city of plastic parts that taunt me with their rotating joints and flexible wingspans. It's like a Rubik's Cube for NASA junkies. Like a puzzle ring for gifted children. Like a sharp pain in my left bum bum cheek.

In my opinion? They should come with directions that tell you how to burn it without emitting noxious fumes into the ozone because that's the exact only thing left to do after twisting and torquing that SOB for three hours under a yellow kitchen lamp. I'll have you know that my husband and I both have Masters degrees and neither of us could get the wing thing to fit into the sword thing (sexy.) Humbling is not even the word. In fact, he was so consumed with transforming it into Space Cruiser Mode that he left me hanging during bath time with one hostile baby (wild orangutan) desperately trying to jump back into the tub in which her brother (gangly waterbug) was wading. And of course this leads to a scene from "The Time a Boy Hyperventilated and Died Because his Face Got Wet with Exactly Four Drops of Water." (I think it's swimming lesson time. Another blog.)

Anyway, I digress. In Review: Here is what I think of Transformers. AKA The reason my husband won't be letting me pick out the toys with which we bribe the children. Gummy Bear aisle, here we come.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009


Sometimes I am my own proof that nothing is perfect. On a day when everything could have been and already was going so smoothly...

(ie: Grayson playing nicely with new friend while not making satanic growling noises from the depths of his soul (although there was this for a good portion of the day)

new friend sits down with Abbaganoosh to chat:

old friends (the mommies) get to visit
dog isn't trying to alpha new visitors' leg
husband is still presently on leave and being Father of the Century by building forts, making play-dough everythings, and ordering pizza when the one I tried to serve tasted like stale bagel seasoned with basil, nasty, and mulch (and not the deep delicious dark brown kind either).

...I realized at the end of it? I had my shirt on inside out. All day long. With the tags and seams showing.

Not a huge deal considering I never left the house but still. Really? Can't even put my shirt on? I'm afraid to see what will happen on a bad day, when the stars aren't aligned as they were today. I'll be the girl strolling along at the park with toddler, baby, dog, and toilet paper streamer snaking hundreds of feet back to the house from which it came. Yep, that's what's next ya'll.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Snail Tongue

When she gets excited about what's going on, Abby's tongue goes a mile a minute - on the outside of her face. Here is the AbbySnail experiencing a fountain pool for the first time. Watch her enthuse-o-meter jump to red as she becomes more engaged in the new experience.

Picture 1- Still on dry land. No snailtongue to speak of.

Picture 2- Smack in the middle of fun slippery rainbow thingies. Snailtongue to speak of...

Picture 3 &4- Euphoric cool splishity wonderment and familiar Mommy leg combined. Full on snailness!

But where oh where did she ever get this ridiculous nuance??

It's all quite puzzling really.

Friday, August 14, 2009


So I haven't been completely honest with you guys. There has been a noticeable lackluster in postings lately because I am preoccupied with something. Preoccupied with someone really. It's Eric. He's okay, so we'll start there. A good place to start I think. It's just that he's been experiencing some bad symptoms, lots of pain to be exact, since his thyroid was removed a few weeks ago. Things got much worse two days ago and to protect their privacy as much as possible all I'm going to say is that some really scary stuff happened for both he and Christie and the Pecor seniors who happen to be staying in an RV just a few feet away. The other morning, when I was unaware that all this horrifying crap went down, I called Eric to see how he was feeling because he wasn't doing so great the day before. I heard something off in his voice. Something in me told me to worry. Not my OCD but the other thing. It was the same thing that tells you your kid is in imminent danger before you hear him or her cry in pain. I'm not claiming to be clairvoyant although that would be cool but I do know I couldn't stop thinking about him after talking to him on the phone the day before. Anyway, as it turned out the morning I called him, some serious scary shit ensued and he and Christie were in the hospital getting him checked out. So my inclination to worry was right on.

Again, he is okay now and the doctors are still doing testing but this doesn't make his pain go away. And for some reason he is all I can think about because when someone you've known all your life and have loved as much as your own beating heart is hurting that much it's all you can do to go on washing dishes, folding laundry, or answering question after million question from a toddler who knows his mommy is not focused solely on him. I understand Eric's pain is probably a direct result of the dosage of thyroid medication he is on right now. The doctors probably need to tweak it a few hundred times before they find the correct recipe that will make him more comfortable. Right now, however, he sits in his house wondering what the hell just happened to his completely healthy and robust body. What kind of horrible Boogyman snuck in his room at night and stole his youth and his ability to leap tall buildings on a pogo stick?

I won't even go into detail about how unfair this is or how much can a person (and a wife) go through before hulking out because that is seriously another seventeen pages long. This one is short and to the point. The point being if you know anything about thyroid cancer, medication, symptoms of all, please email me or comment on this post. My personal email is Thank you in advance for anything you might have to say. Maybe just maybe I can collect a few informative tidbits for Eric so he has some arsenal to bring with him to the next doctor's visit. Or at the very least some ammunition to point at that effing Boogyman who seriously needs a good asswhooping if you ask me.

Forward March

Watch your bookshelves, picture frames, and tip-able treasures everyone, Abby is mobile. She learned to crawl forward today. About 12 minutes ago to be exact. She had been doing a nice reverse downward dog motion for weeks but this morning was the first time she moved forward. And boy does this change our universe. No longer can I lazily plop her down on a soft blanket and run to the kitchen to prepare a sleepy breakfast for Grayson.

No longer will she be complacent with sitting in her Exersaucer, car seat, or high chair for any length of time. Hell, she probably won't even be able to sleep because moving forward and having things within your reach at all times is the baby equivalent to us waking up one day and realizing Holy Batnuts you can fly! All I know is that you too would probably find flying a lot more interesting than your crib bumper. And probably practicing those novice gliding skills from state to state is a tad more invigorating than a carousel horse on a stick. No bruise or scrape would stifle your newly acquired freedom of the skies; you'd press on with a vigor so passionate that it would be weeks before you'd remember that perhaps you should come back down to your earthly home and feed, bathe, or rock someone.
"Where to next? Baltimore Aquarium? Eiffel Tower? Galactic planets not opressed by space, gravity or time? Possibilities are endless and sleep would not be one of them. All worth it to see this face on this girl who, minutes ago, learned she can fly.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

To Be Small

Two nights ago I found this barely there guy right before tucking Grayson in to bed. It's amazing how perspective works. This little frog made our own little frog seem like a giant human tower of face, arms, and legs. I went to bed that night wondering if its mother thinks the same thing when coming across a meal worm or a breadcrumb. "Look Papa Frog," she would say, "Frauberto (Italian frogs are prolific round these parts) is simply a turret of huge proportions next to this preciously small dust mite!" Probably she kissed his little Frauberto face, turned on his buglight, and wished him the sweetest of dreams because no matter how big he would seem in their world or ours, he'd always and forever be her little froglet.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Thick as Thieves

Wordless Wednesday's Winners:

Not sure if this is the sweetest thing I've ever seen or the saddest. You might not be able to tell from the angle, but this is a picture of two horses in different stalls who are facing one another. Their heads are touching through the wooden slats. And they were both leaning forward with enough weight to crush a brick wall.

We either witnessed equine bonding or a slow, steady, and masterful prison break.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Some Cold Hard Truths

Grayson: Though convenient, the kitchen table is not your dirty laundry basket. Your socks should not be next to your plate. Pretty much ever.

Laundry: You are formidable, determined, and tireless. I have tried to anticipate your next move for years and yet you outrun me every time. I'm going to have to ask you to leave. Tomorrow is fine. No hard feelings.

Computer: I'm breaking up with you during the daylight hours. It's not you, it's me. My children miss their mommy and my husband is on to us. He knows I can't possibly need to "go to the bathroom" this much.

The twenty or so Mommy blogs I "follow" that are freaking hysterical: I will see you tonight. No one else has to know.

Abigail: You will, in fact, have to get your face washed with a napkin, tissue, or washcloth after you get bananas and peaches in your eyebrows and/or up your nose. This will happen several million times in your young life and I promise you will be able to breathe through the entire process.

Daddy: I am never going to get everything on your grocery list. I try but after 2 hours, walking those aisles, I cannot keep up the search for smoked almonds and Crystal Light. They are elusive and I am new here.

P.S. While I'm on the subject, I'm pretty sure SurvivorMan's camera crew - and there so is a camera crew- sneaks him smoked almonds and Crystal Light (and matches too). Sorry but I think we should move on. Mike Roe needs us.

Sadie: We come home every single time we leave the house. It's never turned out any other way for you. Not sure which part of this is confusing but we'd appreciate the red carpet treatment more if it was without the dumpster diving.

Grayson again: You will probably, at some point at school or at home, have to eat something. Milk and Juice does not count as breakfast, lunch or dinner no matter how far you push your belly out to show us that you are "so full from the grilled cheese you ate last night." That wasn't last night. It was two weeks ago. I'm guessing you're hungry by now.

Mommy: Peppermint patties and olives don't count as breakfast, lunch or dinner for the record. And it probably won't kill you to sit down while you consume things either.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Delicious Surprise

I can still remember the day I found out that Abby was going to be an Abby and not a Cole or a Noah or a Ryan. My dear friend, Marni (pictured left with Abbyworm) went with me to that ultrasound (Andy didn't want to find out the gender -read about that here) and we were all giggly like two girls on our way to Neimen Marcus with someone else's wallet. We stared at each other in the waiting room with that sisterly face that says, "This is a big deal. Today. This. All big." Then my name was called. It was time. We made jokes with each other and laughed like cats. We then tried to absorb the technician into our Girl Club but she wasn't into us. We were cheerleaders and she was black lipstick and ceramics class. She was officious and Marni and I smelled blood. We had to make her laugh. We made tasteless jokes. Nothing. Not even a giggle. We made even filthy jokes or as bad as we could come up with on a day like the day you find out the most important bit of news you'll ever want to know and were met with that same flat expression. This Ice Queen would not crack!

Then it happened. She asked if we wanted to know the sex.
"YES!" The two mommies said. C'mon the entire scene was funny but she continued to temper us with her whispery voice and big words. Then the humorless tech waved her magic goth-wand over a certain part of my nonexistent oblique area and there they were!

"Look, Marn, do you see the testicles!" I announced. Because I'm a doctor. And because I was SO sure this was another boy baby. Would have bought an entire wardrobe of dinosaurs and dump trucks sure it was another boy baby.

"Those aren't testicles, ma'am." Says the technician. Who is finally smiling a winning grin like she was the wolf and we were the canaries. Two delicious air-headed brunette canaries.

Needless to say, I spent the next several seconds spinning into a vortex of disbelief. I did not even look at Marni who was already crying. I could hear her sweet muffled tears from my distant land of make-believe. Marni who had been saying I was going to have a girl the day we announced we were expecting. Marni who always gets things right. Seriously, somehow this girl is never wrong about these types of things so I should have known too. I should have believed her. But I did not.

"Those are her girl parts," says the technician who was reveling in her glorious trump card.

"Her? A girl?" I ask from a universe away. Still not sure I'll be able to stand up without falling right back down like a gigantic piece of soap in a very small shower.

"A girl." This time it was Marni's voice. I caught her eyes and locked into her expression. I fell to earth with her warm tears and beautiful told-you-so eyebrows.

"Are you sure?" I asked to two people who were clearly amused at my reaction and absolutely positive about what they saw.

"Funny," says the tech, "people never ask me if I'm sure when I point out a hand or a foot but when it's a girl or boy part they always ask me to check again."

And there we were. All four girls in a room with nothing left to say.

Abigail Kate. You are my delicious surprise and you continue to delight me with your sweet self every single day. You are my Smiley Rousse. You are my Boom Boom Bow. You are my Sassyass and every moment I spend soaking you in or making you smile is a memory that I store in a place that is locked. I won't forget this baby girl you. I am holding on to your sweetness like it might vanish in your crib one night. Every time I lay you down for your nap I see less of the tiny mattress and more of your delectable doughy arms and legs. You are stretching into a new little person by the second. A little person who is still so much baby and yet so much little girl with a carefree personality, engaging even and individual desires all your own. I am looking forward to knowing you tomorrow, don't get me wrong. It's just that I cannot let go of you today.

Tonight as I lay you down for the third time (it's not your fault, your foot was stuck) I kissed that little puckery peony pink mouth of yours, risking waking you up. You didn't wake up. Instead you sighed that comfortable baby exhale and snuggled further into the corner, next to your blue bird and pink giraffe. I stared at you for a few minutes to memorize the shape you made in your bed. A lower case "k." All rosy and hair damp from when I rocked with your little head on my shoulder. How hard it was to leave you and know that already tonight, I have one less night to remember you this way.

My delicious surprise, Abby Kate. There's nothing in the world that is more divine than you. Now or tomorrow or thirty years from here. Go get 'em baby.
And tell 'em Mommy sent you.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Kitchen Karma

Yesterday was just one of those days when my patience dried up like an earthworm in the sun before my feet ever hit the deck. There wasn't one thing about the morning that didn't irritate me:

Baby cried to get out of the high chair. Annoying.
G asked for the kind of toast we didn't have. Ugh!.
Sadie stalked her cookie bin. Grrrr!
The tissue box had sand dollars on it. Ahhhh, the injustice of it all!

To cement the notion that I could not deal, after breakfast I tried to catch and clip little darting fingernails. Twenty of them. Believe me, don't try that one if you're feeling the least bit provoked. One more fingernail and I'm pretty sure there would've been flames shooting out of each stretch mark and injured pore on my body. I was spitting bullets before 8:30 a.m. and this was just a typical morning.

Definitely has to be hormones. Hormones are usually to blame for most of my issues (the others are from the mountains of insecurities brought on by being human and female) This one is probably due to dropping night time nursing. For some reason, when my body undergoes any shift in hormones whatsoever it acts like someone poured tar all over the nice-nice part of my personality. All that's left is impatience and her half-sister Moody.

Because my husband can relate (he has had his own trials and tribulations causing some weird physical side effects ) he wasn't harassing me to "chill out" like he totally could have been (and surely would've been dealt were the shoe on the other foot.) He simply grit his teeth and picked up where I left off. I locked myself in our bedroom (aka: ran away from home) for 5 minutes, showered, dressed and we ended up having a really lovely afternoon.

I think there are times when admitting you need a break is the hardest part. As a stay-at-home parent, there's some kind of innate shame in not being able to be on duty every second of every day. I expect myself to be able to function like a mommy robot and be amazing when amazing starts like a hangnail on a splinter first thing in the morning. Well, yesterday I did better to realize there is a time to turn the wheel over and take a back seat to parenting. Oh how I hate to admit that I can't do it all because on a good day, I CAN do it all and I do. I am proud of that. Anyone in my situation can probably relate. On those other days, however, when the mood is all wrong and there's someone else to pick up your slack, let go. It's all right to let go of the controls for a bit and ohm out. I did and even G had a good time watching.

Here I can be seen rocking out to Grayson's balloon musak
P.S. Those are his Bob the Builder safety glasses; I'm not trying a new look

And here we are reconnecting with our chi or some beatnik thing like that:

Monday, August 3, 2009

Fire Drill

Evidently they teach a Martha Stewart Living class at Officer Candidate School. That is the only way to explain this anomaly. My husband, the Marine, was giving me a break from entertaining the eldest of our troops here yesterday. The two boys were looking for something fun to do in the garage (nevermind that it was crayon melting hot in there and oh yeah, we have an actual air-conditioned sun/playroom with every toy ever invented in it).
We have tons of boxes left over from the move so I suggested maybe they could make a fire engine out of one. Well, when you lead a (higher than average achieving Clydesdale) horse to water, this is what you get:


(Plain old cardboard box, plain old tape, plain old husband. Love jab, it's all good.)


So not a plain old firetruck with flames and a firehouse and paper plates for wheels and a little boy's head peering over top of it.

The best part???

This model also doubles as a Hookah Lounge.

And lest we forget, what good's a firetruck without The Chief??

But what's this she's doing?

Not sure who her supplier is but I'd have to guess it's one of the uncles. I'm so going to have to be better at hiding her father's tobacco.