Wednesday, September 30, 2009


Dear Grayson,

In 9 days you will turn three. My heart stops a little bit just writing that sentence down. Three is an actual age, it's no longer months, it's no longer babyhood. You are all little boy now and so much so I cannot hear my own thoughts at the end of the day. Or in the middle of the day, who are we kidding? You are noisy. You love to be noisy. You are kind. You like to throw yourself all over the people you love and wrestle, kiss, and hug like there's no tomorrow.

You like flashlights. You love your baby sister, your daddy, your mommy, and sometimes Sadie. (Those are your words.) You are afraid of the dark outside but not inside. You love scary shows but ask me to turn off Popeye when Olive Oil won't let Sweet Pea out of her crib. You said she was mean. Agreed, she was mean so we turned her off. You know what's right and what's wrong. You forgive easily but you don't forget.

You have a very good head on your shoulders.
You get that from your father.
You spill shit constantly.
You get that from your mother.
You are funny.
You are hilarious to your little sister no matter what you do when you do it.
Sadie is scared of you (with good reason) and Sadie is not scared of anything else in the world.
You talk on the plastic phone to your grandparents when you think I'm not looking or listening.
I'm always looking and listening.
You are a very picky eater but eat everything in sight when it's just us and we're chatting.
You are sensitive and shy, just like so many wonderful men in your family.
You are an artist, through and through. It even comes out in the way you talk ("I think this new house is too small. We should blow into it.")
You love music, singing, playing piano and harmonica and have wanted drums "from the real drum store, not the pretend one," for quite some time.
You are currently very into: bugs, planes, dinosaurs, my ipod, scotch tape, firetrucks, costumes, superheroes, Nonie crackers (Cheeze Itz), milkandjuice, The TickleMonster, Patty Cake with Abby Cake, carrying 4-5 selected VIP toys for the day in a plastic bin everywhere you go, then dumping those VIP toys under your pillow before your "rest", chocolate milkshakes, pinecones, sleeping with Mommy & Daddy at night, being cozy, scissors, driving, and knowing where we're going and what we're doing next and then next and then next after that...

You can say contrail and etymologist but ask me every morning where Daddy went.

You. You. Beautiful Almost Three Year Old You. Always my firstborn. Always my son. Always my Diggy Boy. May I soak in these next 9 days as much as I can before you are filling out college applications and a marriage license. It must go that quickly because there I was yesterday staring at your newborn face wondering how I ever could've questioned whether or not there is a God. There is. You are proof.

I love you.

Four Peas in a Pod

Since we moved closer to my "home" I've been able to reconnect with many old friends. I have to admit, however, it looks like I'm not the only one reaping the benefits...

*A few hours later all these boys were still playing. The husbands went fishing and jet skiing for three hours. The toddlers continued their sword fighting and couch diving until their mommies had to peel them from one another for a forced television "resting period." (that lasted all of 2 minutes before they were wrestling and making baby cougar rowls at each other again.)

It's always a good thing when the big boys get along just as well as the little boys. That means the big girls can plan more dates together without the guilt of torturing the rest of the gang. And by dates I obviously mean cocktails and cheesecake.

Monday, September 28, 2009


Let's start with my weird dream last night: Joan Rivers giving me fashion tips and helping to get me coiffed for some kind of art show debuting striped cotton mini-shorts. For babies. So weird.

Then I woke up, did all mom things to get three people ready for our morning outside in the real world. Abby had a date with a sharp needle or two. Immunization day. All bad.

We get to the doctors. I'll preface this with this: military insurance-while it's been excellent for our family in coverage it does have a one-size-fits-all mentality in some facilities. You may proceed.
We get to the doctors and I decide ad hoc-ly that it would be "so much easier" holding the 9 month old rather than having her in her carrier. And oh yeah, herding my meandering toddler while trying in vain to get him not to touch a single germy sneezed on thing. So easy.

Obviously and thankfully, we look pathetic enough to inspire people to open doors for us and we fumble up to the check in desk. Or I guess it's the check in desk. There is no sign (again, military) but it's close to the entrance so one can assume. We check in 10 minutes early and I survey the waiting area to find that we are probably number 59 in a room of at least 60. So much for easy.

We find two seats next to the aisle. Good mom move. I balance Abby on one knee while corralling Grayson to the window seat so he can give a squirrel play-by-play. For thirty seconds.

I balance Abby on the other knee, check my watch and see it's been less than a minute since we sat down. I'm already exhausted. The angels hear my cry and the nurse calls us next. Wow, that was fast. Okay, perhaps back to kinda easy?

Temperature fine, weight same, head circumference great. "Please go back to the waiting area." Really? Are you sure? You want us to go back to The Land of I'd Rather Be Grocery Shopping in My Underwear For Reals? I want to trade lives with that woman behind the check-in desk. We all begrudgingly walk back to the waiting room like whipped puppies. Damn, we almost made it.

At least this time G has somehow confiscated a bowling alley pencil and can now occupy himself with constructing an entire underwater scene straight out of a Shel Silverstein drawing- a scribble of a shark, a dark line of a boat, and a few concentrics of a big whale. "Do you like sharks or whales, Mommy?" I opt for whales. They will take longer to draw.

10 minutes pass. Abby goes from clutching my purse straps to mouthing my vanilla mint lip gloss. Mmmm....Safe.
20 minutes crawl past. Grayson is rocking the chair back and forth asking (loudly) who is "that orange kid (red hair, orange stroller) and what kind of sick did he might have." We later found out his name is also Grayson. That is the best news we get for the rest of the day.
30 suicidally long minutes later and yahoo- finally we hear our name again. This time we are ushered to the back room where the actual doctor makes an entrance soon after the nurse leaves and we are in business. He's friendly, he's chatty and he sing-songs words to Abby so she is inquisitive instead of afraid. Grayson even high fives him - twice! Who is this guy?

That's where the honeymoon ended. At the end of the exam, doc asks to see her immunization booklet. I don't have one. That's why I gave the nice person at the "front desk" (remember the one that could've possibly been some kind of NetFlix kiosk instead?) Abby's records to copy. Thought we covered that. So doc leaves in somewhat of a huff and I have a sneaking suspicion he is not coming back. Really? I'm being punished for not keeping my own little black book of shots for my kids? How did I eff this up already?

I will not bore you with more details other than to say the doctor did not come back for quite some time. The nurse actually clued him in that we were still there and waiting so we were quickly escorted from one "nurse's station" (fancy word for yet another room in which to wait) to another and nobody seemed to know just why the hell we were there. I remember my dream from last night and realize that no, this day unfolding itself in the form of metal chairs and public restroom visits is the true nightmare.

TWO HOURS LATER I am pissed. I am waiting in yet another waiting room wondering what the hell this is all about. My toddler couldn't have found another ounce of patience in his little fidgety body if I paid him in Hershey's kisses and peanut butter cups. And my other baby couldn't go one more second in my arms - so painfully close to her stash of warm milk - if I paid her in air bubbles and belly raspberries.

So I time out. Completely and utterly max out. Grab purse from petri-dish chair, scoop up droopy children and walk my mad self to the fake ass front desk. I demand (read: asked for in a whisper) our records without much fanfair and walk right the F out. Ha, screw you waiting room blackhole!

We awkwardly schlep out into the parking lot. Grayson is holding on to my pantleg as I skooch Abby further up on my hip. I'm sure we look like a clump of people who just spent the night in the airport but we are standing tall with the wind at our backs in triumph and personal victory. Then, Irony sucker punches me in the throat.

I turn one way toward my car and Grayson who is still dutifully clinging to my pantleg turns the other. My pants hit the deck. They. hit. the. deck. Undies included. That's right: big girl undies and black yoga pants all around my ankles. It doesn't get better than that now does it? There I was making my big exit and FLAM, I'm showing approximately 174 cars and minivans (some occupied, some not) two twin cheeks and some stark naked ghostly white thigh. (Really should consider tanning cream.) The best part? I was so flustered by spending over two hours in that doctor's office without ever receiving immunizations for my daughter that I did not even blush when this dropping "trou" occurred. That's some kind of pissed. That is go home and disenroll yourself from this particular military facility kind of pissed. Oh yes we did. Take that, doctor's office! You will never get to see this full moon again. You lucky lucky bastards.

(Truth be told, I'm quite sure they never even missed us. We'd still be rotting in that waiting room playing Eye Spy until my insides drowned in their own miserable cries of helplessness and woe.)

Military Facility with Your Hands Totally Up Your BumBums? Unfollow.

Friday, September 25, 2009

This is the Jam

It's Friday and what better way to celebrate 1:47 in the afternoon than to rock out to some acoustic soul in our kitchen? Poor Grayson, I really need to put some heavy metal or classic rock back into rotation lest he grow up thinking music is plucky guitar (or bass as was this song) and a smoked-out female voice.

But check it out, look at the conviction. And this kid has rhythm! Don't let the index fingers fool you.

(and you know I deliberated on whether to post this pic because of its locale. the absolute worst view of the entire house (nice plastic tablecloth, martha. oh and 1976 called and wants its dishtowels back. and while we're at it, do you think i have enough shit on my counters? p.s. that coffee has been in that pot since monday- true story. my goodness so much material here the children are almost secondary. but those fingers. that face. the rolled back eyes. i had to.)

Abs hanging out by the dog food wondering what happened to all the normal preceding this confused flailing and spinning about in her kitchen. Really, people, there are boundaries.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Sandbox Surprise

Yesterday we found this little beauty (okay, that's the Australian version but still) in our sandbox out back.

I have been suspicious of this sandbox since we moved here and especially since a friend of mine recently remarked, "Oh, you have one here!" She was surprised because she explained how her sandbox was too much a haven for bugs, spiders, and larvae (um, no!) to have in her backyard, much less plop her beloved daughter right down in the midst of. Evidently ours had gone the way of the arachnids too but yesterday was the first time we became aware that we were not alone.

"Grayson, we're going inside."

"No. I'm going to play a couple few more minutes, Mommy."

"No, Honey, we're going inside now." I tried to convey my seriousness to him without fear or alarm. I figured I had about point 20 seconds before my freak out face gave me away.

Quietly and quickly I collected baby, telephone, and sunscreen..."C'mon, we're going inside now, Baby."

"Why, Mommy, we just got out here and I want to play in the sand."

"Because," I glanced over to the looming venomous deathtrap who wasn't even trying to hide himself from the humans, "Because OhMyGodLookat that thing it's huge, holycrap would you lookat that thing!"

"What? What is it, Mommy? What? What?"

"Holy Fight, that thing is huge and it's just waiting there wanting to eat us, it's huge! Look at its legs (shudder shudder) eeeek!"

"It's going to eat us, Mommy?" Way to go Einstein, now it'll be purple mong'sters and carnivorous spiders. He's totally sleeping in our bed until his feet dangle over the side and he has acne.

"Let's go Mommy, let's get out of here!"

That's my boy. We never looked back. And come to think of it, we didn't even close the lid.
Uh oh. Now it's big, venomous, and free to roam its skinny little violin body wherever it so chooses.

So today we're off to Home Depot. I'm in the market for caulking, lots and lots of caulking.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

" You want fame? Well, fame costs and right here is where you start paying, in sweat!" Dance Teacher

Baby look at me
And tell me what you see
You ain't seen the best of me yet
Give me time I'll make you forget the rest

I got more in me
And you can set it free
I can catch the moon in my hands
Don't you know who I am

Remeber my name

I'm gonna live forever
I'm gonna learn how to fly

Credit to Irene Cara (and PJMom for the stealing this idea from her post a few days ago.)

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Game Night

I've never followed sports. This has only been inconvenient a few times in my life. One when I was in high school (unrequited love, don't ask) and the other was when I went to a college that lived, ate, and drank (and drank and drank) football. So the other night when the Cowboys were playing the Giants I climbed into bed with the husband to watch a little. Here's the conversation:

Me: "Did they score?

Him: "Who?"

Me: "The Cowboys? Who are they playing again?"

Him squinting to see the score on the flat screen...someone needs to wear his glasses: "Those are the Giants. Cowboys scored, I think."

Me: "I'm cold."


Me: "I wish I had their long underwear on right now. Mmmmmm, it looks very warm. Don't they get hot? God, you'd think they would completely roast in those longsleeves running around like that. Whoa! He dropped it, he totally dropped that ball, I need to see the replay. He completely dropped that ball in the endzone. There is no way he caught that ball, look at it all bobbling about like a football that's going down.

[After watching replay]

"Wow, I can't believe he caught that. That's incredible. These guys really know what they're doing. There is no reason that ball shouldn't have hit the ground. He's a freak of nature. Great job, Freak of Nature Football Man, bravo Honey!"

Him: (turns his head toward me while wearing zero expression)

Me: "Can you show me who Tony Romo is?"

Him: "Why?"

Me: "Because everyone says how hot he is. I want to see the hotness for myself."

Him: (makes some kind of disgusted male exhale)

Me: "Is that him?"

Him: "No."

Me: "Is that him?"

Him: "No."

Him 2 seconds later: "That's him, right there."

Me: "How do you know? They all look alike behind those face masks. Ahhh! That guy just took out a Cowboy cheerleader! Oh man, did you see that? That was great, I love football."

Him: "What's wrong with you?"

Me: "I had another coffee at the salon."

Him: "And there it is."

Monday, September 21, 2009

What We Have in Common

I have a mommy blog obsession. And not my own either. I read about six other "parent" blogs (not always the mommy) pretty religiously and they are relevant and lovely to me for many different reasons.

These make me laugh every time:

These make me think:

These make me laugh and cry:

(And this one just has some very pretty things I love:

Through reading these blogs and pieces like these I've found a common thread. Whether you are a stay-at-home parent or a work outside (or inside) of the home parent we all struggle to live in the moment. It seems like we all want to and we all try to but life gets in the way. We're all either so busy with the minutiae of Clorox and chicken fingers (but not the two together, dear God) or just plain old distracted by deadlines and 529s that we can't be in the now. This is not to say these things are not important or paramount; they are. It is just a shame that so many of us find it really quite difficult to juggle reality with whimsy. While we are busy doing our job or jobs as the case may be, and let's admit that taking care of our children and their well being is in itself a full time job, we all seem to struggle with the guilt of not truly being present without preoccupation often enough for them.

I suppose it's been this way for generations and Cat Stevens sang it best with Cats in the Cradle. It seems to be the one cruel irony of having young children: they are mystical creatures of quirk and circumstance while we, their tired parents, are their spent and anemic counterparts. No, not always. There are those magical moments when we aren't living in the past or future tense. Not preparing, cleaning, or predicting. There are those times when we are listening to the soloist that is our child and not the chorus that is the long list of chores on "repeat" in our brain.

Sometimes it's one hot second when you find yourself able to use your mind's zoom option and be exactly on top of the moment. Case in point:

Abby awakened this morning at 5 for a diaper change and nursing session. She was snoozy and fuzzy. I worked silently and respectfully, trying so hard not to assault her senses with lights or noise. As my reward she snuggled deeply into my arms while we rocked. Quietly she peered up at me with her eyes barely open. I bent down to kiss her sweet little closed mouth and I watched her face melt into a gentle and most appreciative smile. This smile is one I'll never forget. She was there with me and I was there with her. She held me so strongly in those few seconds that an entire calamity could've been going on outside her door and I would have been none the wiser. Thank goodness the only thing going on outside her door was a snoring Grayson who now sleeps the entire night in the hallway with a sheet around his entire body (head included). It's scary but I digress.

Back to A's smile....I'm going to remember her engaging expression all day long. I'm also going to encourage myself to slow down and take both of my beautiful babes through a day not filled with hustle or bustle. It's not going to be easy. It's so tempting to push through the day with my dust buster and car keys while my brain is at least 10 minutes ahead of itself with what G will wear, what A will eat, when will I ever walk poor dear Sadie but it will be worth the effort. What we all have in common is the need to absorb and for today at least, I am their sponge.

Friday, September 18, 2009

As Well as to be Expected

First dental exam for G today.

It went well.

(If by well you mean spitting, clenching, writhing, screaming, hissing, and yowling as if he were a feral kitten left in the dredges of an Oklahoma oil spill to fend for its very life.)

And that was all before the doctor came in. True story.

I held shell shocked A (she was appalled that her bro was being tortured and I was standing in as a cold and calculating accomplice) with one hand and G's head down w/the other. Next time, I'm asking for the nitrous. And then maybe some for G.

Friday Bonus: Zero cavities.

Friday afternoon Bonus: There are openings in local preschools. God loves me.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Hazard Pay

The Omitted Spiderman Slide Warning: Any attempt to open plastic airhole contraption with teeth and/or accompanying part of mouth could result in rather unattractive blood blister on bottom lip....go ahead and find husband's tool box and get those tong looking doohikies to help you out, Princess.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

The Yin, The Yang


Chocolate chip pancakes
Sweet baby "ahhh-gees!"
Tide sticking the toddler
Are those dead bug wings?

Up before the sun.
Down before Flipping Out.
Morning latte at 8
2pm: Scream & Shout

Crackers, cheese, blueberries,
oatmeal, grapes, gummy things,
yogurt, milk and sometimes "Please"
and then the same for dinner.

Post office, Target, Dry Cleaners,
McDonald's drive-thru - They know us.

Playdates, tantrums, "Don't say hate,"
"Shoes go there," "Pick up your plate,"
And that hair?" Comb or Nair?
Don't even get me started.

Sunroom toys then backyard,
Kitchen Arts, a homemade card?
sidewalk chalk, banana slide,
park and walk or scooter ride?
We are busy. We run amok.
We stay right here, G says, "Fu...."

"Faster Mommy"
I swing him low and then wild
He grins then falls, I love this child.

Eyes that shine
Up at you
Hands that clutch
Your shoulder too.
Little voices, funny faces,
Happy in the wheelbarrow races.

Then I feel those itty hands
At my pantleg, She demands
to stand and stand and stand some more
Gravity yanks her to the floor, that floor,
that floor all crumbs and stuff and nonstop yuck
"Didn't I just clean this up?"
And yes you did but it comes back
To make sure you're right on track.
Squat here, lean there
You're at the "gym" where
We sing the hot body

It's all for them, not all for naught.
It's where I fly, not where I rot.

Parenthood is yin and yang.
It's big, it's small
It's boom and bang.

I'm not pretending it's not hard
To be here daily, OhMyGawd!
But truly there's no other place.
I'd rather be than in this race.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009


For the past two weeks or so we've had an extra bed partner. In addition to the four-legged one that is (she's a given).

It's G. He has been ghosting his way into our bedroom after we read him stories and "tuck him in" each night.

His new favorite story is a flip book of Noah and his Ark. This is ironic because yours truly doesn't even really know the whole ark story other than Noah had two of each animal. Lucky for me those are the important details for G and we can spend nothing short of 45 minutes flipping the flaps and talking about aardvarks, chisels and blocks of salt. G doesn't care where they're going or why they are packing weeks worth of edibles and tools. All he cares about is that the story never ends. In fact, to avoid the ending part altogether he always stops me at the second to the last page and says, "No. Not that one," and proceeds to conjure up half a million questions about his eye color or why that freckle on my arm is there. Finally, after I call him out for stalling, inform him I'm going to put the covers on and kiss him goodnight, the truth shoots out of him like a bad piece of gum.

"I don't want to sleep in my room."

But this is where you sleep, Honey.

"No. I can not sleep in this room. There are mong'sters in here."

Here we go. Every three weeks or so it's about the Mong'sters.

We've tried it all:

The Rationalizing Approach- "Monsters aren't real. They are only in story books and on television." But I can't help but feel it's like telling your mom that you'll be back before curfew when you were 18. They want to believe you. Part of them does believe you but then when it's dark and quiet they just sit in a room with a light on unable to go to sleep until you show up wreaking of smoke and hairspray. Same thing applies except it's a little boy sitting up in a dark and quiet house with his light on until something "shows up" that is every bit as ominous and doom worthy as an 18 year old club goer.

The Eradication Approach- We've taken spray bottles of all sorts and aromas to spray away these fictitious creatures to no avail. All we're left with is carpet that smells like Febreze and furniture doused in lemon water. While our house smells lovely, our little boy is still afraid.

The Tough Love Approach- Putting G right back into bed every time he shuffles into our room like a Halloween costume.

He comes back every single time. I counted six times one night before we all expired in our bed out of exhaustion. The thingis, it may take G ten minutes per voyage down the hallway as he is stealthily silent in addition to being completely veiled in his sheet du jour. Last night it was a flannel sheet of sled dogs and pine trees. Very pitiful in a universally pitiful kind of way.

The Self-Defense Approach- Because I can appreciate how it feels to go to sleep with one eye open (I am my mother's daughter) and just how much that sucks, I dress G in superhero pjs

and supply him with many defense tools. Okay, plastic weapons of death and destruction like samuri swords and pirate knives but that didn't have the desired result either. They all suffered under the nervous hands of G who cracked, splintered or simply broke in half these devices that were hidden under his pillow to protect him.

So we all slept together in our bed last night just so we could all get some sleep. It's wrong, we know this. It's uncomfortable (well, not so much for me because I love G's little warm noggin snuggled up to mine) and it's got to end soon. So if you have any advice or words of wisdom, please impart. We're tired. We're confused. Most of all, we have mong'sters and a little man who would rather sleep in a heap of sheets next to our bed than to be alone and vulnerable in his.

P.S. In case "nightlight" is on your mind you must know that G has a lamp that is on ALL NIGHT LONG and fills his room with enough light to host a birthday party complete with moon bounce. It's bright in there.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Embrace the Race

The light outside is soft but there as I wake up to the sound of Abby crying to get out of her crib. It's intermittent which tells me I have a few more minutes before she cranks it up to communicating with the dolphins in the Atlantic. I scan my bed to find G curled up next to Sadie. They're both snoring. Andy's side has been empty for at least a half an hour I would guess, covers still dogeared like they expected him back any minute. I can't wait to scoop up the warm loaf of bread that is my daughter so I hop out of bed and patter to her room. I love these mornings that start like a slow waltz and curtsy their way into breakfast.

"Mommy? I'm cold."

Uh oh, this is never good. When he's cold it's usually because his diaper is more swollen than a water balloon and has already begun to burst inside his Marvel superhero jammies. If only they were made of steel and able to hold a single gallon of urine in a single bound.

"And I pee pee'd on your bed."

Awesome. I had barely begun to nurse Abby when G arrived with his announcement that changed our soft and azure morning into Scurry-Hurry-Rush-a-Dilly-Square:

Back in my room. Lights on.
Put snuggly baby down and on so very unsnuggly hard floor (I'm so sorry Abs, be back soon).
Bedding stripped and thrown on floor, next to sad baby.
Sad baby crawls to playground otherwise known as dirty bedding.
Mean horrible Mommy moves just recently happy baby two feet away.
Now pissed off baby mourns like she was just about to shake hands with Beyonce at the VMA awards.
Histrionics, tears, back-arching agony, Grayson asking for milkandjuiceandmaxandruby, more tears, Sadie walks in and walks right back out.
It's 6:12.

I was still muttering incoherently to myself about doing laundry before my eyes were opened and isn't this what potties are for when a little boy voice breaks through my rant:

"You wear me out," G says. "Sometimes, Mommy, you wear me out."

"With what? My words?" I ask the middle aged person trapped in a three year old's body.

"Yes, your words. Can I have cheese for breh-fast?"

And so I was once again reminded how unimportant messes are in the life we are so lucky to have with these particular children. In fact, it is because of these many messes I am reminded how lucky we are to love and live with these particular children.

*noontime update*
Lest I forget:

Five minutes into our shopping trip at Target, Abby picks up the latte (I propped next to her "briefly" before finding a trash can) and proceeds to pour the stainable remains all over herself, the diaper bag, and aisle 7. There are not enough wipes in the world to clean up that kind of motherly stupidity.

Friday, September 11, 2009


On our way to a friend's house yesterday, we stopped at Shopper's Food Warehouse to pick up some cookies and seafood salad. Admittedly a sorry combination. The cookies were for her kids but the seafood salad was probably because I skipped breakfast. The trip into the store went surprisingly well as Abby had just been rudely interrupted from her nap to find herself parked in front of the produce section. It's how I'd like to wake up from a nap but I guess not so much fun for a nine month old who can't eat the skins off of anything yet.

So, after spending about 2 minutes in search of red cookies (Grayson's asserting his opinions through baked goods this week) I saw a pee-pee dance happening and I asked if he had to use the bathroom.

"For what?"

To go to the bathroom, I replied.

"For what?"

I could see where this was going so I made the decision for him and off we went in the direction of the red and white restroom sign. Once inside G got with the program and started to undo his shorts. Just then he stopped and looked up at me to say, "Mommy? I'm going to be shy from this potty." And I thought to myself how much like his Uncle Eric he is. Uncle Eric can't use public restrooms either. Performance anxiety? Unfamiliar surroundings? Scratchy cheap industrial TP? Who knows but I gave a pat on his shoulder and encouraged him to go.

Because I'm so accustom to using the facilities myself (been pregnant ad nauseaum for years it seems) I didn't think that what happened next would scar my child for the rest of his life.

The toilet flushed on its own, automatically.

This little boy jumped back 6 feet while naked and shivering. He looked up at me with these big brown saucer eyes and sniffled, "What happen?"

It flushed, sweetie, on its own because you were done.

"How did it know?"

Hmmm, I don't know. Good question. Something I've actually wondered about myself from time to time. The sensors wouldn't have picked up on him as he was standing to the side so it's a mystery.

Poor kid, I should've known that would scare the pirate out of him. Maybe that will cure him from ever loitering in the restrooms in his high school during lunch to avoid the social scene that will be complicated, overwhelming, and a lot confusing. Maybe he won't ask to go to the bathroom during theatre class and not come out until the bell rings. Or do this for several weeks and get his feelings hurt not because he wasn't brave enough to do the monologue but because his teacher never noticed he went missing. Maybe she won't... I mean he. Nevermind.

Side note: When we arrived at the register, the cashier lady says, "Oh, you have two boys?" I'm typically not overly sensitive about this because before they grow hair or have their ears pierced girls really can look like boys and vice versa. This lady surprised me though, because Abby was all pinked out and couldn't have looked girlier with her pink bow and fuchsia patterned frillyshirt. Here, you decide. She does look exactly like her father so I forgive.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

A Little Slow

So this morning Grayson and I were diligently working on some things for his dinosaur party in a few weeks.

We busted out the paint and brushes and an hour later he delivered this brontosaurus beauty:

I completed these:

After putting the finishing touches on the last one of mine I ask G is he liked them.

"No, Mommy. I yike mine better."


"Because mine is a dinosaur. Yours is turtles."

He's right. Mine is turtles. All twenty-two of them, turtles. Not one stegosaurus in the bunch. Why I thought they were dinosaurs under the neon light in the Michael's store yesterday I'll never know.

I think my mom smoked more than cigarettes when I was in her belly. I'm not judging. Hoping really. There doesn't seem to be much else to blame this on.

Before the Mums

I hope your last few days of summer are like this:

and this:

and this:

and of course with as few restrictions as possible. :)

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Can't Read My Poker Face

Along with this holiday weekend came a beautiful golden opportunity for the hubby and I to escape to dinner, to lunch, or to grab a coffee. With this newly given freedom we hemmed and hawed, lamented and deliberated until we came up with the lamest date of all, a book store.

Once there, I stood around perusing the children's reading section while the hubby visited the restroom. My exact words were, "I'll be pretty much here, honey." And then he disappeared into the world of urinals and flipped up toilet seats.

5 minutes pass. "Reading Comprehension for your Preschooler." Nope, not yet. G's just now becoming interested in letters; I don't want to burn him out before he even gets going.

10 minutes pass. Wow, that coffee must've really hit Andy. Oh look, cute pencil holders with birds and turtles. I love the combination of birds and turtles. So sweet. School supplies already. Weird. I kind of miss it. Wonder if I'll ever get back in the classroom? Probably not public school again...loved teaching private so much even if the pay isn't always the greatest. Better to be happy than to be fat in the wallet. it? Yes, we're fine. I have to pee.

15 minutes pass. Sheesh, did he get stuck in a stall without TP? Man, that's the worst. I hope that didn't happen. Ah, an entire table of brand new journals. The delicious covers are selling themselves to me a million times over...

20 minutes pass. All right, this is crazy. Did he find a secret tunnel and run away from home? Maybe I should check on him. I should check on him. Let's check the CD section first, maybe he's in there. Adele! I love her! Does anyone buy CDs anymore? I still haven't listened to my ipod yet. When the hell am I ever going to listen to my ipod? Will there ever be a time when I won't need both ears to hawk out for crying, smashing, or an impromptu dog vs. toddler brawl?

22 minutes pass. I'm going in there. He might've been held up by a book store pirate. Could've gotten himself in trouble and I'm the only one who knows where he is. Should I knock? I'm just going to go in unannounced. Why is that guy looking at me? Oh hey! Lady Gaga's new release! I'm just not sure how I feel about her. So bizarre and distracting. Is it a facade to cover up for lack of talent? But the girl has pipes so what's the deal? Probably a gimmick. With this economy.... "Can I help you ma'am?"

What? Yes, my husband is trapped in the head and is being held hostage by the Poopie Brigade. Do you think you could be a doll and check on him since you're a dude and all? Just peep in and tell him his wife is worried about him.
"No, thank you. I'm just browsing."

30 minutes pass. Seriously, this is insane. That man went into the bathroom a half hour ago and still has not come out! A public restroom!! What is going onl?!? I'm going to have to go talk to management and see if they can contact Barnes & Noble security. Something's amiss. 30 freakin minutes in a public bathroom? He'd dead. Obviously, he's bleeding at the mouth and was bound and gagged and that's why he hasn't come out to meet up with me yet. Let me go see if I can find someone with a name tag. First, I'll check the aisles again.

Lo and behold, in the magazine section I find my husband. He was 27 pages deep into a hunting magazine with mouth agape and body hunched over in total ensconcement. A kid in a candy shop. Or an older kid in a strip club, not sure which. There was this kind of sweet contentment mixed with curious lust on his face. I wasn't sure if I should interrupt or let him enjoy this moment.

"What the balls? You've been here the whole time? I had you for lost at sea and gone forever. And I've never even listened to my ipod once."

"You? Wha?" he tore his gaze from the pages.

"Nevermind. I'm going to be in the cookbook section. To clarify, that means you should walk over to get me when you are finished here." Damn, when did I become such a shrew?

So there we were, on our book store date and he was in one wing of the store and I was in another. Excellent. Wasn't it yesterday when we drove five hours each at the end of the week just to smooch and cuddle for a lazy Saturday? Wasn't it last week when we held hands while walking through the park with our newly adopted Sadie dog? Nope, it was years ago and this is what happens when a man and a woman go to a place without first talking about it. I thought we were on a fun couple outing together. He thought he was at the book store. We were both right. We were both wrong. Welcome to marriage. Now, where was that Lady Gaga CD?

Friday, September 4, 2009

When I was a Little Boy

I love driving in the car with the kids. We have a sort of "traveling relationship" that starts with the click of their five-point buckles. Abby begins to grin and cycle her legs rigorously as if she just knows we're off to a land filled with clothing tags and warm milk. Grayson is too sophisticated to visibly show his enthusiasm. Instead he starts off with a string of questions like:

Are we going to the wegtable store (Trader Joe's)?

Will we have enough quwatahs (quarters) for the horse? (circa sad carousel incident when I didn't have enough quarters to let him ride the blue one)

Which way will we go? Dis way or sideways? (meaning turning right or left- I love this literal translation.)

...and so forth.

Yesterday while we set out for our Party Store excursion Grayson stepped up his question game. Abby fell asleep and G and I were idly chatting about stoplights, bulldozers, alligators and whales when he shot out a zinger that was like a window into his mind. It went like this:

G: "Mommy? When you were a little boy, were you afraid of something?"

Me: "Yea, Sweetie. When I was little I was afraid of things."

G: "You were? When you were a little boy like me?"

Me: "Yes, when I was a little boy (Couldn't resist...the correction will come next time) I was afraid of some things too like the dark and big dogs."

G: "Yeah. Big dogs. I'm not afraid of big dogs, am I Mommy?"

Me: "No, Bud you are braver than your mommy, you're not afraid of big dogs."

G: "What else were you afraid of when you were little like me, Mommy?"

And then I did what most parents probably would have done in my place. I paused, thought about filling his mind with fluff and bumblebees while weighing this next to a more realistic response. I went for the hybrid both:

Me: "Well Honey, I was afraid of a few things too. I was afraid of the ocean and sometimes getting hurt."

G: "Mommy? You don't have to be afraid of the ocean. There are alligators in there and they eat whales. That's all. I will make you safe. You don't have to be afraid of the ocean anymoren."

Me: "You're right, Bud. You already do make me safe, we don't need an ocean for that."

G: "Are we going home, Mommy? I want milk and juice and Max and Ruby." (what he always asks for like clockwork when he's seconds away from passing out.)

Me: "Yes baby, we're on our way. I'm taking you home and you can have all of that when we get there."

And that's when I realized that to be this little boy must, at times, feel like a giant dragon slayer in full armor stranded in a very small and sometimes not-strong-enough body. This cross is a lot to bare. He who protects his sister from the stairwell. He who protects his Daddy from routine. He who protects his Mommy from herself. (He who we find snuggled up in our bed each night at 3am after silently breaching the promise to stay in his own bed all night) Though his body is a mere hint of what he'll become, this little boy is brave, strong, and able. Come to think of it, I'm not sure I was this brave when I was a little boy. I'm not sure anyone was.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Cloudy with a Chance of Miserable

I'm sorry, I can't hear you over the screaming.

Abby is having somewhat of a difficult time adjusting to the fiery surge that are her upper gums.

I'm not going to pretend it hurts her more than it hurts me.

If only she had more in her verbal repertoire than a migraine provoking screechety shriekety succession of cries.

I'll write more after I teach her how to throw plates or drown her pain in a bowl of peanut butter and chocolate chips.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Project RunAway

Because things were going swimmingly, I thought I'd take up sewing. Until I bought a few patterns and then realized sewing is the equivalent of calculus. I should add I never made it to calculus. Almost didn't graduate high school (with a D plus) in Algebra II/Trig as I recall. And I thought I could leave all the exponents, quadratic equation and square root frightmares behind. Until I shot myself in the cranium, borrowed my mom's sewing machine, and bought patterns for sweet girly baby clothes.

First of all, who knew it took 200 trapezoidal pieces of sheer tracing paper to make a one piece for a baby? One piece is a misnomer. They should be called, A Healthy Village of Cross Stitches & Elastic Galore Pieces. (and that's without ruffles.) Also, who would've guessed those 200 little pieces of transparent tissues would have three dozen demands printed in every direction, on every latitude, with no semblance of where the equator might be? There is no legend, no compass rose, no GPS. I don't think these patters have kept up with the times very well. They wreak of your grandmother's attic and not in a charming treasure chest of polka dotted aprons sort of way.

So I'm going to the consignment store today to find a cute one piece to dissect. It will be my sacrificial lamb to the Singer Gods and we'll go from there. Think I stand a better chance knocking off an actual already sewn together tangible object than those ethereal wispy maps that mock the part of me that gets a little confused finding the bathroom at night.

Will post updates from time to time. And if you see a picture of a window with a hole in it the size of foot pedal, you'll know why.