Monday, November 30, 2009

On the First Day of December

G found where I was hiding his Christmas presents (the guest bedroom, I lose points for unoriginality). When I broke the news to him he'd have to wait until Christmas to open these treasures he simply scurried his little body away from the loot and out of the guest bedroom. Much too easy. With a raised eyebrow and suspicious heart, I peeked around the corner to see him happily pouncing on the couch.

Untrusting Soul of a Mom: Where are you going?
Innocent Youth: To the couch.
Jackhole Mom: Why?
Sweetness On Earth and Goodwill Toward Man: To wait for Christmas.

Have mercy. Am I going to have a big stinking pile of coal in my stocking this year or what?
Merry First Day of December, you guys. Only 34,600 more minutes to go.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Microphone Check

As I understand it, we've been experiencing some technical difficulties on this here momma blog. Please accept my apologies if this site has caused your computer to hiccup once or twice. I have hopefully figured things out on this end to no detrimental effect. We shall see. Let me know if you are still experiencing some wack things on here. You know, more than the usual wack.

Love and Pine Trees,
One Sided Momma

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Thankful for Trivets

I am thankful for trivets,

for pirates,

for surfers,

for those who think they blend in,

for strong backs and tired shoulders,

and I'm thankful for each and every one of you. Thank you for coming to One-Sided Momma and Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family. May you eat your face off and burn calories with laughter.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

My Thanks


I've waited.
I've pined.
Cried out and then in.
Awakened from a dream you were finally here.
Thrown stuff away looking for you.
Bought things for the same reason.

You've been quiet.
You've been steady.
Awakened, nudged, and left alone.
Almost thrown away
And then decorated
All the while standing not there but


right in the middle
me to see you
I see you.

You are here.

I am asking you in.
You may stay as long as you'd like
and then longer
because I'm sure we will be here again
but not soon.
No not soon.
I am asking you in.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

So You Had a Bad Day

I'm hiding right now. Ran away upstairs to the comfy cozies of my computer screen because I'm having one of those days. I told the rest of the family that I'm getting Abby's pajamas together so I have approximately 1 minute and 56 seconds to pull off the fastest, most incoherent string of bitching ever slopped down in print.

So today. Nothing extraordinarily wrong. Just one of those days when you don't particularly feel like being the mom. Or just the parent in general: the one in charge, the one to cling to, the one whose neckline on every shirt looks like it went over an entire linebacker before hitting the shoulders.

I know, I know. I'll miss these days and believe me, I hate myself for even admitting how filled with grump I am.

It's just that today, right diggity now is when my brain and my nerve endings are begging for some space even if that only means a stairwell and a gate.

So, time's up. Thanks for letting me run away to your house for a few minutes. It's nice to have a change of scenery. It did wonders. Think I'm ready to start the night routine (that hopefully will not last as long as this crap day of crapness which means absolutely no way no how will the Backyardigans or Max & Ruby be turned on after bath.)

Oh right, Abby's pajamas. Thanks for the reminder. That could've been a close one.

P.S. Is it wrong that I'm taking great pleasure from listening to the Daddy speak "sternly" through his teeth to the toddler that is acting like he'll explode the instant he isn't screaming, running, jamming his feet into Abby's face or giving his "sharp claws" to his parents? I'm going to do what I can to snap a picture of these obscenely sharp claws. They are Grayson's superpower, his protection from villains. And lately rules. Apparently, they are very sharp and we are to bow to those imaginary razor-like blades or... he'll cut us.

I'm guessing Montessori is out.

Japanese Chicken Salad

Taking a page from a few favorite blogs of mine, I wanted to write down a really good and quick recipe for a nice kid and husband friendly (how often does that happen?) meal. I think I got it from a recipe swap ages ago and can no longer remember the woman whose name is on top of the recipe so to protect her privacy I will just tell you it's from Karol. Okay, here's what Karol says to do:

Japanese Chicken Salad

Toss together:
  • 2 Breasts of chicken (baked or can chicken)- I baked fresh cutlets (salted and peppered at 350 for 30 min.) and they were succulent!
  • 1 head of lettuce- I used iceberg but imagine it would work w/others.
  • 3 scallions- A little dab did us fine.
  • Can of Rice Noodles - Couldn't find a can so bought the dried, cooked 'em up and they were really good.
  • Sliced Almonds (brown them)- I cheated here and bought the bag of Almond Accents you find next to croutons.

Add Dressing:
  • 2 Tbsp. sugar
  • 1 tsp. pepper
  • 1/2 cup oil
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 4 Tbsp. vinegar
  • Bottle of poppy seeds- I didn't have this and it was still delicious. Also, I added a little more vinegar (rice vinegar at that) b/c my dressing came out so oily. Tasted much better the second day so I'd recommend making the dressing ahead of time and letting it sit for a bit.
Something to break the monotony of turkey salad, soup, and sandwiches for the next few days to come. Hope you enjoy!

Monday, November 23, 2009

We Have Liftoff

Abby just took six steps unassisted over the weekend. We were at a dinner party and she received such a voracious round of applause from the hosts of the party that she stopped dead in her tracks and fell down sideways in response.

She's been working toward this for a month now. One step here, another there. Just last week I called my husband all excited because G and I witnessed Abby's first three steps away from the vertical thing holding her up. Before now there has always been a vertical thing holding her up whether it was her walker, me, or the flimsy shower curtain. But last week, right before I was ready for it, there she was in the middle of the room giving her first Frankenstein walk across the tiles without her vertical thing.

For some reason, having our son made me feel young, protective and vulnerable. For some other reason all together, having our daughter is making me feel mortal, powerful, and brave. And not ready. A whole lot of not ready to say goodbye to this tender phase where precious things happen every minute of every day.

Combine it all together and now I am their weathered oak tree: strong (with some missing bark), experienced (only one or two carvings), able and sturdy (police officer standing by). My limbs there to catch, encourage, show, and release. They are that beautiful yellow tree behind me with limbs and leaves that blaze (show off), flutter (try and try again), mimic (say bad words), and grow (and grow and grow).

So crap, not even one year old yet and she's taking her first brave flights out of the nest.
I'm a proud mama bird though and realize this is what nature intends so I will (try to) happily encourage her from the sidelines and not wear her on my hip like a koala bear.

But oh my little koala bear. I still love her baby smell, baby breath, baby giggle, baby socks. The baby is still in there but she is quickly growing and becoming....and becoming. She laughs when I nurse her like it's a secret between girls.

"Isn't this just the coziest thing ever, Mom? I love it when you talk just to me."

She cackles aloud with her parents when she (probably?) doesn't get the joke. She even sings to her doll babies in her crib when nobody comes to rescue her in time. She is comforting something smaller than she is. It breaks my heart that there actually is something smaller than she is. Time is pushing her forward and leaving me behind all at once. Bringing up babies is a constant ocean of tug and pull. We tug them onward with support and love. They pull away like a soft wave reaching for greater and more exciting terrain. It is exactly how it should be.

It's my honor to show them how and my heartache to watch them pull away, unassisted.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Friday Irreverence

One class act.
We raise them right in this house.
Between Abby's sign language and Grayson's recent adaptation of the F word (friggin so it could be worse) we are certainly the parents to avoid at the playground.
Happy Friday!
(p.s. sorry about the disgusto globs of peach smoosh over her entire being. bet you won't be having any cobbler after seeing this, right?)

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Parking Garage & Elevators

Yesterday was full. Just a nice big fat full day with very little fluff in the middle. It was a good day that really had all the ingredients to be much less. It involved schlepping both kids to an impromptu doctor's appointment. So impromptu, in fact, that there wasn't time for a proper lunch or any nap to speak of. I did what I could to throw snacks, bottles and sippy cups together before bolting the door behind me and said a prayer that we'd get to at least the beltway before Abby unleashed the banshee within. She never did. The banshee slept instead. And the hungry toddler looked at me through lazy eyelids and said, "Mommy? I'm like you. I'm very tired. I will rest for a long long time when we get home." Amen to that dear child.

So we arrived at the gate (military facility), got the obligatory lost, and then found our way to the tallest parking garage on the east coast. No way should that be legal. The pigeons were two floors below straining their thick necks up to see us. And because it was evidently Everyone Needs A Medical Exam Wednesday, there wasn't one available parking spot on floors zero through five. We went up. And up. And up some more until Grayson's little voice peeked, "I can't see the trees anymore. What is this place, Mommy?" Finally six floors and many many feet above sea level we found an open spot to park and unload. Goood. Only fifteen minutes late. Even with the extra thirty I left myself as a kid-cushion we still managed to be that late. Should make us popular at check-in.

Building 8. We were next in search of some building named 8. I saw 9 and even 10 but no 8! Ah, we're here so let's roll anyway and ask when we get inside. Because we were Jack and The Beanstalk high above the world we had to find an elevator to even take us into the building, be it the wrong numbered building. I glanced down to see the top of Grayson's head looking around like he'd lost something. "You okay?"

"Yeah. What is this, Mommy?"
"Oh, an elevator, Honey."
"What does it do?"
"It's like a little room that goes up and down."
"Where are the handles?"
"No. It won't go quite that fast."

Dear Baby. My big boy's first experience on an elevator and I didn't even prep him. Actually, he's been on them several times before but not often enough to remember the experience. I think this one will stick. He sunk his little grip into my fleece so far that his fingers disappeared. I patted him on the head and pulled him close so he wouldn't be afraid. He jumped a little bit when it started to go down but looked up at me with a smooth grin when things got going.

"This is cool."
"This IS cool."

And it was. Very cool to watch a little boy experience something different and new for the first time.

The rest of the appointment went well and the doctor made mention of how lucky I was to have two well behaved kids to keep me company for the day. Hey Buddy, I get to hang with them all week.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

The Daily

Whew- that was a long one. Almost three full days without really posting. Yeah, I told you guys about the "ordeal" on Saturday but I couldn't see a daggone bolt of lightning inches from my face while hunting and pecking the keyboard and the next two posts were just pics with no swagger so hopefully we're back in working order.

Which brings me to this: working order. What does that mean in your house? It's not that we don't have a routine here. We do. It's just that I constantly want to know what other people are doing and how well their routines work for their household. Could be the age of our children but some nights (or weekends as the case may be) it feels like The Husband and I are playing one collasally long volley of tossing the children back into the other one's court. It's a silent match and we don't talk about who actually "has" the ball but it's there and it can sometimes go on for hours unless one of us calls timeout to check our racket (pee). I'm guessing it's all the same whether you stay at home with children, work from home or work outside of the home- responsibilities lurk and divvying up time spent on the floor with little people dangling from (practically) every appendage is what must go on. Goes with the territory and our territory is Playmobile farm houses and plastic kazoos for now. It won't be long when it will be DMVs and ProActive so believe me, I'm not complaining...just curious and wanted to throw it out there to see what maybe we can incorporate here to shake things up a bit or at the very least change up the serve.

Zero Eye Contact

Someone's pissed I stole his eye patch.

Company B

The best part of recovering has been the constant companionship of one member in our family. She hasn't left my side much the past 72 hours even though it's been unseasonably balmy outside. The only nursemaid who gets as many kisses as she gives.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

The Night That Never Was

She looks harmless enough, right?

Not when you combine her little baby hands with her mommy's eyeballs right before a very important evening out with her husband. A night that's been the reason for not eating all that Halloween candy or consuming anything past six (okay maybe 8) pm? A beacon of light for this house frau who was beyond the moon excited for such an excuse to dress up and enjoy the night without having to worry about feeding, clothing, burping, or soothing another for at least five hours until her husband might need a designated driver. Those Marines can drink.

What do you get? You totally get a corneal abrasion to your right eye and a trip to the ER instead of a night out at the fancy shmancy Gaylord Hotel in our nation's capital.

That's right. I accomplished the impossible: canceled our one date of the year.

Did I mention that we had this date planned FOR A YEAR with actual babysitters named Nammy and Pop who love our children and our dog and know the routine without us having to use reams of paper to describe what doesn't eat what and what and who will try to sneak cookies into the living room by way of backpack (both Grayson and Sadie in case you're not sure.)

The best part? It happened literally two hours before we were supposed to go. Two ridiculous hours. 120 minutes. It's so sad and pitiful that I am having a hard time describing just how close we were to leaving the house. (Also having a hard time writing literally b/c a glowing computer screams obscenities at a dilated pupil but two sunglasses and lots of squinting are doing wonders here.) But no. Abby and her sweet little fingernails had other plans.

Abby has been playing a game called, "Poke Eye," for days. I correct her. As much as an 11 month old can be corrected but she laughs and giggles regardless and thinks it's a party anyway.

As I sat to nurse her, two of Abby's little baby fingers and their corresponding baby fingernails made direct contact with my right eyeball. Why my eye didn't blink is beyond me. It let me down when I needed it most. We're still not speaking. It did not blink. In fact, it took actual conscious effort for me to blink that damn eyeball once it had been assaulted by those tiny pokers connected to a very pleased baby girl. Who was laughing.

"No Abby, no poke eye. No poke eye."


"No Abby. Not funny. Hurt Mommy. No poke eye."

"Gaaa! Eeeegableeeeheeeheeeheee."

Clearly I wasn't sending the right message. So I scooped her up, sent her to the arms of a person with visual acuity and went to the solace of a wet washcloth. It'll be fine, just a poke, it'll be fine. Ten minutes later and my eyeball is puffing up the size of the baby fist that tried to fit inside it moments befire. More washcloth, some FreshTears (liquid love for the cornea), and some pacing. Crap, this is starting to feel familiar. (I had just endured this same exact injury at the paws of my dog a year ago wherein I hobbled from door to door like a lost Avon Lady to find someone oh dear God anyone to drive me and my toddler to the doctor.)

The rest went a lot like you can imagine. I gutted it out for the first hour knowing I'd be fine in a few minutes and the night could carry on as planned. Then, the second hour approached and every time I moved my eye even one millimeter it sent seering pain to every nerve ending in my skull. My eyeball was on fire and no amount of Murine was putting it out. Still I refused to believe I screwed things up this much and showered, blow dried the hair, put the dress, jewelry, and shoes on and started the make up. The make up. Oh the dreadful eye powdery make up that reminded my eyeball why it wasn't going to let us go anywhere but the hospital that night.

(Notice the wincing? Cute. Just what my husband wants to bring to meet the Colonel and his wife.)

So I changed out of the dress, the shoes, the earrings, et al. and into clothes that would inevitably get H1N1'ed on and my husband and I went off to spend the evening in a triage at INOVA ER instead of the Gaylor Hotel. A bottle of percoset (untouched, that stuff is worse than the unforgiving firepit that is my eyeball- and there are people who want to feel that way on purpose?)

I am trying to forgive my accident proned self and maybe take away a lesson from the past 48 hours. It's not working. I cannot find one teachable moment here to save my life. It's just the Night That Never Was. Not many redeeming qualities other than forced bed rest and keenly acute senses kicking in since seeing isn't happening. Come to think of it, I have had a blast listening to my family carry on without me and a number of times today fell asleep listening to them play, sing, and chatter away.

Next year? I'm wearing wrap around your head safety goggles all freaking day long. And giving any poking baby fingers a wide berth. And perhaps going to wear the same red dress so pretend you never saw it, k?

Friday, November 13, 2009

Family Tree & Its Nuts

My Dad (Lonnie), My Grandmother (MiMi), My Aunt Donna

So my Dad's been scanning some old pictures lately. Upon receiving this one, I looked immediately at the little boy. It's like looking into the future. That looks like an older Grayson! I mean, check out the resemblance for yourself. I tried to pull a few from the same angle but you get the idea. I'm certainly not denying the "Andy" in him but there is definitely a strong Pecor thing going on here.

Gene pool, you are a very fickle beast. You first surface as one grandfather, then turn into an uncle or a brother and before you know it, you are having me raise my own dad. I think there is therapy for this. Yes, yes. It's called tequila.

Thursday, November 12, 2009


chilly with a slight chance of seafood bisque and warm cheese bagels

Locks of Love

It's about the hair.

Someone (c'est moi, oui) keeps chickening out of taking someone else (c'est le petite prince, oui) to get a haircut.

The problem now is that I kind of like it.

His hair is not pretending to be something he's not. It's not pretending he is neat, tidy, or uniform. It's not pretending he is either organic or euro. It's advertising exactly what's inside the box, no assembly required. It's a mess of curls and lines, of gold and copper, of Johnson's baby shampoo and 2 o'clock nap.

It is feisty yet tethered.

It is bouncy yet mild.

It is Grayson and I can't seem to lop it off quite yet. Maybe tomorrow.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Passing the Torch

We scored today. Got the baby her H1N1 vaccine without much more than an "eh" and a Snoopy band-aid. The nurse was solid. Love that. What I couldn't help but notice was the new mom and 6 month old who went before us. Since our pediatrician is offering H1N1 vaccines clinic style we were ushered into a small conference room where two more babies were awaiting their lightning fast puncture wound. We watched and listened as one little white-bow-in-her-hair sweetie pie cried so mournfully it made me, the veteran mom, tear up. It made Grayson worry. It made Abby crane her head sideways to see. We all sad-faced on sympathetically as the grandma rolled baby's pant leg back down and scooped her off and up the stairwell. Then New Mom was up. She gingerly plucked her smiling baby boy from the warm nest of his Baby Bjorn and leaned in to observe the fine print on the nurse's paperwork.

New Mom: Could you please write down the serial numbers? Thank you.

Nurse: Yes, I will.

New Mom: This is the H1N1 vaccine?

Nurse: Yes. It is.

New Mom: Thank you. I just want to be sure. Thanks.

Nurse: unwraps the alcohol swab

New Mom: This is not the seasonal flu shot, correct? You are going to give him the H1N1 vaccine?

Nurse: Yes ma'am. It is H1N1, not the seasonal flu vaccine. We are not giving those out at this time.

New Mom Interrupting: Because you offer both here and I have to be sure ...

Nurse of the Awesomest: Yes. I understand. Can you please hold his arm this way and...

New Mom Still Freaking Out: I'm sorry. I just have to ask one more time and verify that you said this is in fact the swine flu vaccination, the H1N1?

Unfathomably Patient And Professional Nurse: Yes. Swine Flu, H1N1 vaccination. Yes ma'am.

New Mom with Feet of Clay: Okay. Thank you. Thank you for your patience. This is my first time.

You don't say. Poor new moms. I remember that phase. Not until watching this parody unfold in front of me did I realize I myself was definitely past this new mom phase. There I sat with my two little wiggling gypsies (rather quietly if I may boast) and the only thing on my mind other than hoping Abby wouldn't cry too much was if I should try to squeeze in a quick shopping trip to Giant after this appointment. My how quickly the tides change, don't they? It wasn't that long ago when I was checking and rechecking the fine print. Asking obnoxious and horribly accusatory questions to qualified professionals. Making a complete and utter mommy buffoon of myself and not caring because this precious new start in life was in my arms and I couldn't screw one minute of him up.

God bless you new moms. You hold your babies close. You throw your hair back in a ponytail but make sure your little bundle has on matching socks. You are tired. You are raw. You are gloriously protective (rightfully so) and when I am lucky enough to be in your presence I am reminded of how much of that I have already lost.

Then I look at these two perfect goofballs and am reminded of how much I have gained.
The torch burns brightly on both sides.

Monday, November 9, 2009


All right y'all. Though I do sincerely appreciate your skepticism, here's proof of the jowls. I'm all about fairness and it's only fair that my dear readers get the full picture. No comments necessary. Me and my "flews" can handle things. I will simply walk around w/my bi-level haircut and fool people into looking at the very tip of my chin instead of the, well, you know.

jowly, jowly, jowls.

And you guys thought I was making sh*t up.

Sunday, November 8, 2009


I've noticed something horrible happening. No, not in the world although my stomach hasn't stopped hurting since the Ft. Hood incident. There are no words for that. I can't articulate what I feel when I watch the news footage and imagine all those families (so many young families at that) destroyed by some extremely sick minded cretin. Not a man. A man would have a conscience. I hate that we can't just bottle up every ounce of crazy in the world and put it on a red shelf with a glowing barbed wire fence and 1 million rottweilers to alert us when it's starting to hop around or chip away at the drywall or show evidence of building shanks out of a nail trimmer and dental floss. No, this is a small scale something happening and just in my world. On my face more specifically. I think I have jowls. There, I said it. I am that vain to notice my face changing and I don't like it one bit. There are these little pockets forming next to my chin where nothing but face used to be and now there are jowls. It's like my cheekbones did a pike off the high dive and never swam back up the ladder but instead tread water in the deep end eternal. It's like a couple of snails are hibernating just below my frowning epidermis for the winter. It's like 10 thousand spoons when all you need is a knife. Thank you early nineties Alanis. It's like I am nearing 40. Seriously personal timeline, am I that old already? Is this why people consider plastic surgery? I always scoffed and poffed at the idea but holy eff am I having a hard long think about it now. Sorry kids, momma needs some new maxillofacial implants. No matter how short I chop off this hair the jowls remain. Yes, I got my hair cut. Again. I think I'm addicted to the process. It's so freeing and there's the shampooing, the conditioning, and the sweet sweet pitter patter of old hair falling on the nylon tunic. It helps that the salon girl is quirky adorable and I listen to her stories of dating, clubbing, and sleeping in like it's a naughty HBO movie I somehow got even though we don't get HBO. Envy? No, I don't want that time of not knowing what he's thinking or should I call (I shouldn't have) or if I passed that test on King Lear. I have graduated to jowls and no amount of hair cutting will make me wish to press repeat on that particular era of my life. I've earned the right to be here. Just can't believe "here" means my face is falling down which in turn makes any family portrait a complete and utter nightmare for all involved. I used to worry about my double chin. Even when I was 118 pounds soaking wet I worried about some freaking phantom "double chin" on my face. Now? There are these very real and tattling little numbers I have to hide by somehow tilting my chin toward the sky and cocking my head like the RCA dog just so we don't end up with handsome Marine, cute toddler, sweet baby, and HOLYMOTHEROFALLTHINGSREPULSIVE me who has ruined yet another perfectly fine family portrait. What the hell, maybe it's time to break out the big guns. The big botox filled injectable guns. No, I won't do that no matter how much English bulldog I may represent. I am going to force myself to suck it up, do 200 more sit ups daily (how about I leave out the word "more" and start with putting on gym socks, liar liar.) and stop crying in my gravity soup. I will grow old gracefully. As soon as I stop listening to this Paramor song.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Sweet Enough to Eat

If you're in the DC/Baltimore area and need a cake or cupcake fix for the holidays please keep my sister-in-law, Christie, in mind. She is starting up her own side business and is selling these little edible gems strictly by word-of-mouth.

She is very talented and her cakes are not only professional but they taste out of this world too. She made this precious little dinosaur for Grayson's first birthday.

Here are some more recent goodies she's cooked up for birthday parties and special events. Please click on the image to see the entire picture. I copied pictures from her facebook page and apparently I threw my blog html into a tizzy so forgive the typos if you will!

Please feel free to respond to this or contact Christie directly:
If given a week's notice, Christie can whip you up a homemade delectable that will be the hit of your party and with your tastebuds too. Believe me, you will almost not want to cut into your cake because you won't want to be the bunny killer (although Eric didn't seem to mind much in the picture below.) When you do slice that masterpiece, however, smiles will abound and you'll be so happy you ordered from Christie!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

A Tale of Two Abbies

There are two sides to every story.

This is the story of Abigail.
Serious, contemplative, regal

Then you reach the next chapter
The rocksta
r, daredevil, impish Abbyayaya!

I can't seem to put this book down. She is a page turner. A delicious, unpredictable cliff-hanger who is both sophisticated and blithesome in the same breath. A classic make-you-feel-good story rich in character and warmth. You won't want to put her down either. A must read.