Monday, April 30, 2012

Botox By Abby

When I was eight or so I tried to do a cherry picker on a swingset by myself and broke my arm.

I wore a cast forever.

One night in my sleep I accidentally hit my mom in the face with my cast.

My poor mom suddenly burst into adult words and flew from the bed like her nightgown was spontaneously honey-coated with bees.

Guess what, Mom?  Karma has visited your daughter.  And her name is thy Abigail.

Let me preface by saying Abby does not have a real handle on her gross motor skills yet.

She doesn't quite know where she ends and other people begin.  It's sweet but so very unruly and usually ends up in things dribbled all over the house (yes, I'm still working on the Glitter post).  And every single day there are tiny fists in my eye because she is an enthusiastic hugger.

We're kind of hoping she needs glasses, actually.

So after receiving an Abby skull to my chin during dinner (don't ask) and then a subsequent Abby fist to my left eye after brushing teeth (I'm not even sure) I felt like I earned a nice relaxing evening.  We made it through the hard part with minor bruising and abrasion.

Little did I know, the best was yet to come.

Princess Battleship and I were reading a story right before bed and just as I was mouthing the very last word of the very last story she walloped my face with her head.

Once again, I was Abigailed.  Only this time it hurt.

I cursed, she ran crying to her dad.  Apparently my lip hurt her skull.

I had an utter mommy tantrum of my own and ran to a scalding hot shower, crying about how I won't take anymore abuse from anyone in this house anymore, not even the dogs! (Take that you dogs you who do nothing but love, honor, and cherish while protecting me to the core of my being.  OH THE ABUSE!)

I need therapy.

Or a very long session in Nepal with a monk who sees through my fat lip and bitter root attitude.

Oh yes, I was mad enough to snap a shot for the cops when Abby's 16 and threatening me with taking the keys to my car.  Sure, I'll have to age the picture a little but then again, maybe not.  I'm kind of liking the way Botox looks.

Black and white to save you from the extreme close-up.

 Color brings the lip to life though so Hello nostrils!

I wonder if I could get her to zero in on my other side tomorrow?

Bright side:  Some NeNe earrings and we are ready to attend a fundraising event!

So there you have it.  My night brought to me by that b*tch, Karma.

Sorry, Mom.  I'm sorry for not having great gross motor skills years ago and believe me, now I know how much all those years of Dizzy Lizzy hurt.

I hope I was worth it.

Maybe I need glasses?

Thursday, April 26, 2012

He Sees

 Circa Before Time's Ugly Maw Set In to My Face  2005

You know how you can't see the people you're around all the time?

Like when your spouse walks through the kitchen door with a brand new haircut but all you see is the tone of his hand gestures swiping at his forehead.  You skip right over the physical and straight through to mood.

It would be days before I noticed if Andy's eyebrow fell off.

(Okay so maybe not his eyebrow, look at those luscious creatures.  His ear perhaps?) 

Only happens with people you see  Like your significant other.  Like your kids.  Not like your super cute Starbucks drive-thru guy.  (There isn't one, I just like to mess with Andy because he thinks there might be.  I just really like lattes.)

Today I was on the receiving end of being ignored, then discovered, then "complimented" in a husband-y way.

Andy was on travel for a bit and returned today.  Like most couples we don't look into each other's face when we speak anymore.  That might've ended in '06 or was it '09?  So yes we are sink starers and mail flippers while exchanging status updates about the day's events.

"Good day?"  *dishsoap, dishsoap, clink, clank*

"Mmm-hmm.  Wha?  Ummm no....not really...crazy day...worked through lunch."
*bills, bills, Athletica catalog, police donation scam envelope*
 "I'm starving."

"Grayson's head has been hurting since morning, Abby's still got the yuk, Tillie ate a headband, dinner will be ready in a few, don't eat that, dinner is almost ready." *dishsoap, dishsoap, clink, clank*

"K.  His head still hurts?  Abby's headband?"
 *munch munch munch*
 Where are the kids?"

"Downstairs.  They're beat.  I'm broken.  Dinner in 30, stop eating Wheat Thins." *clink, clank*

That's how it usually goes and for all I know Adam Levine could've waltzed through the door with Andy's voice and I would be none the wiser.  And Kate Beckinsale could've been the one with dishpan hands.  We just never look anymore.

But then Andy took me by surprise.

He looked.

We were in the driveway, under the unforgiving natural light of le sun, and he took my face in his hands.  "What!"  I demanded like he accused me of eating Funyuns. He tilted my head down so my chin hit my chest.  "WHAT!" I freaked out because of course there had to be a tick or some kind of blood sucking bat bug nestled in my hair.

"I'm looking at your grays," deadpanned the man I married.

"You are looking at my grays." I repeat to my boobs.

"Wow, Honey.  You have a lot of them."

radio silence.

Would you like to leave the room and come back again to calm down, Dear Reader?  I know.  I'll give you a minute to collect yourself.  Lawd knows I needed one myself.

"It's cute!" declared the man I almost divorced in my driveway and just like that we were happily married once again.

Because now I know, he sees me.

He really sees me.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Straight Up DNA

Tonight Grayson helped me get his lunch ready for tomorrow.  He cut up the strawberries.  "I can do that, Mommy.  Daddy taught me how." 

So I handed him the (softly serrated) knife and scooted over to make sandwiches.

He ever so slowly and meticulously sliced off the green tops of each berry then quartered each one by one without once asking for assistance.  I think I could hear Tom Colicchio and Padma cry.

"See," he says proudly when it's all finished, "Daddy taught me how to cut strawberries!"

 Yes.  Oh, yes he did.

  (I could not draw a line so diagonal if I had a ruler and a T square.)



The Two Week Rule

Yesterday my gym partner and I tried something new with our trainer.

We tried TRX Suspension Bands which might sound a little masochistic and it is.

This system of bands helps you use your own body weight as resistance and forces you to use more of your core to balance while you do each rep.

Imagine yoga mixed with push-ups and planking, all on a rubber band.

It hurts.

A lot.

But it's fun too.  If you think pushing yourself beyond where you were yesterday is fun.

I do.

Our trainer also told us something that helps me to ease up on my need for immediate results.  She said, "We do things now that will benefit us in two weeks' time."

Two weeks?  Not tomorrow? Not even next week??

Two weeks.  Not tomorrow.  Or next week.  It's the week after that.  And not one day sooner.

What muscles we are working on at this hour will increase and show that work via strength in fourteen days.
 We all wish it happened immediately but that's impractical and impossible.  

Our bodies need time to harvest results from the work we put into it now.

It's my job not to jump into a dressing room to try on fitted shirts and dresses (we're getting there, still have a little more plump in my badonk that I'd like) on Day Three of anything. 

It's hard to wait the two weeks but I'm trying to incorporate patience as a new virtue (so new  that it's still in its cellophane).   Sometimes I want to regress to my old way of approaching fatigue but I remember four cups of coffee and skipping meals is pushing that two week goal even further down the timeline.

That said, I've used The Two Week rule as a metaphor for other things like learning to play guitar, growing older, parenting well, and eating better every day not just when my husband sees me eat.
  • put in the work now
  • have faith it will benefit you
  • the results are worth it
  • you will be stronger
  • you will be better
  • you will be healthier
  • you will be able to do the Bm chord without borrowing Grayson's finger to bar the second fret
  • you will be able to fit into skinny jeans by the time they're out of style
  • sweat and tears beget transformation 
  • two weeks only seems like forever when you're in the midst of the pain (or finger callouses)
  • stop cussing at yourself
  • don't forget to breathe

So hang in there and remember no matter how much pain is seering through your system now, in two weeks it will seem less grueling because you will be stronger and more equipped to crush it like the history it has become.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Gratuitous Grass Roll

Today is gym day which means I can't skip breakfast which means I can't post.  Yes, most days I skip breakfast so I can post on this blog.  It's sad and anti-productive and now you know, when you're reading a new post I am walking around with low blood-sugar levels and eying up the vending machines like they're filled with malted milk balls and Twix.  Wait, they are filled up with....See?  So dumb.

The other day when it wasn't winter week here in Virginia, the kids would not come inside.  I know, I should be saying it like, "The Darlings!  They so enjoy their outdoor sport and fitness!!"  But really I was quite befuddled because I had to start dinner and they were way out of visual that I couldn't both burn the tacos and still make sure Abby wasn't serving tea to her babies in the street.  The sidewalk was bad enough.

So I tucked the salsa back into the fridge door, and played outside too.  With my camera.  And the kids.  And the Tillie Topenga.  Sadie Lady was sitting pretty and far away - so over the years of photo shoots she has endured but I snagged a couple of her anyway.

Hope you enjoy, hope you ate your breakfast, and and now I'm off to snarf some protein which I really hope doesn't mean cold leftover pepperoni pizza by the time I get dressed and ready to go.  But it might.

These two have become quite chummy.

(The look that started it all...)

Mmmmm, sun on mah belly!

Sunglasses, have you seen my sunglasses?

aHA!  I eat you now!
I tries eat you but you sippery mean red string.
 Now I all mess up.
Mmmmm.  Sun on mah back.

Oh.  You still here, Food Lady?

Yes, yes.  I am the hungries.

And kinda seepy.

Do you has cookies?

 No?  Ok, I ask someone else, den.

Umm, eskew me, Sis?


I hear nothing.

Where IS my chariot?

Are you okay?  Did that puppy hurt you?

I no hurt.  I busy babysit.

I good dogga.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Dream Catcher

Abby's been having bad dreams again lately which cause my poor husband to sleep on the couch.

(Maybe I should have her stop sleeping on the sidewalk?)

Sometime between 1am and 4am Abby shows up at our bedside, orders Sadie off the bed, and climbs Mt. Bedrest to finally situate herself between my shins.


Actually, I don't feel a thing but Andy says she flips and flops like a beached salmon so much so he can't get back to sleep.

To help her with her bad dreams and my husband with his too-too early wake-up call,  I told her we'd make a Dream Catcher to snag all the bad dreams before they float to her mind.  

But I keep forgetting to collect sticks and find yarn so last night when she asked for the Dream Catcher while I rocked her to sleep I couldn't disappoint.

Had to improvise.

Really really badly.

Guess what?

It worked!  Dear Abby slept in her room all night last night!

Obviously I am the Van Gogh of Dream Catcher sketches.

Or just maybe one of our guardian angels was on watch.

I think we might have a few around here, you know. 

We are surrounded by them in fact.

Some we can see like black ink against a clear sky.

Some stand tall on electrical boxes while orating the elements of earthworms and dandelion seeds.

Some stand guard high up on a hill.  Someone else's hill but that's just fine print. We have very understanding neighbors.

I'm not sure if it was the drawing or the double-header birthday party we had Sunday but girlfriend slept well last night.

Because this morning, she is bright-eyed and feeling ready to take on the world.

And perhaps the red carpet too should Bruno Mars need a date for the night.

Thursday, April 19, 2012


There was a book sale at the the kids' preschool last year.  I restrained myself and only bought two.

One book is about 7 million pages long so was added to the leaning tower of unreads on my bedside table, the other one called Spousonomics, was relegated to the bathroom.

Being that it lived in the bathroom, it wasn't long before Andy found it and began to dogear.

Evidently it is a marriage resuscitator.

For me it is the Chris Angell of self help books:  I don't even see it but it's full of awesome tricks.

Since it showed up on the scene there have been random love texts from my husband (who did not even own a cell phone a year ago).  Granted, most texts are in acronym form that require mental gymnastics from me who is washclothing blackboard paint out of our daughter's hair or opening the garage door for the third time because I forgot Grayson's lunch box. 

"W. U gt gd sleep?"  says the text.

"Double U?  I got God sleep?" says my slow morning brain.  And so on.

But he is thinking of me at 7am and that is the point.

Then, just when I'm about to unleash my WHY MUST WE ALWAYS EAT THE DINNER fury on my children who still believe I am absolutely existing to "Watch this!  Look at me!  See what I can do with my finger!" whilst also scouring my Pinterest board for some kind of edible meal containing a box of rotini and thawed ground chicken, my husband calls.  Offering to pick up dinner.

I repeat.

Offering to pick up dinner.

It's like he can see us.

And then there's this other thing of magic happening.  According to Spousonomics it's called, Moral Hazard.

I learned about it the night I almost tore my spouse's arms off while he sat innocently scrolling through some car site online.

"Can you PALEASE go make their lunches or something?  I am so tired I could spit on you for sitting down.  I haven't sat down since last Tuesday.  I still have to take a shower, shave my legs, go make lunches, dry my hair, let the dogs out to pee, brush my teeth, floss, check the garage door, lock up...." Neeh-neeh-naneeh-neeh-neeh I nag off into the sunset with copious needs to be accomplished before setting foot near our comforter.

Instead of going on the defense, Andy whispers, "Moral Hazard."

"What?  What is that?"

"Moral Hazard, Honey.  It's in Spousonomics.  It's when there is a lack of consequence that drives negative behavior.  Like, for example an accidental moral hazard -  Me getting on the computer when you still want help."

" is that an accident?"  I ask with every possible jaw muscle visible to the outside world.

"I didn't know I was making you mad because you never told me."

And there was the magic.  Immediately, I was a deflating balloon hissing from ceiling to floor. I never explained myself.  He could not read my mind after all. Every night was a personal assault for me while (on the other side of the male universe) he was just chilling at the computer by 8pm.

"Ok then," the fight in me gone, "Consider yourself told."

And he did.  Because of the language used in Spousonomics, my husband does not sit down until we can both sit down.  Or close to it.  It's only been a week but we have both tried to even out the night time responsibilities.  I still have my tedious rituals that can't be ignored because I refuse to go to bed icky..  Men can do that.  Men also don't seem to get cavities if they don't brush.  Forget about flossing.  Show me a man who flosses and I might just hide my wedding ring. 

I'm so grateful Andy found our bathroom book.

I'm also quite grateful it has graphs, industry terms, and very few shades of gray.

The best part is I'll never have to read it myself.

Okay, you're right, I should and probably will but I'm still totally not shaving my legs if he doesn't pack a lunch.

Graph that, Spousonomics.

Holy Smurf!

This happened in the sixty seconds it took me to leave a voicemail on the phone.

Sixty seconds and Abby had already smurfed herself.

At least it was only permanent marker and not Mommy's Purple Rain nail polish or Daddy's sport's cream.

She is light blue three days later but nobody at her preschool even noticed.

They are all tiny (light blue) people from the same Smurf village.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012


 Found an old poem I scribbled on a small piece of notepad paper.  Creased like it hurts and aged almost see through.

It was dated 6/1/02.

A decade ago.

Before Sadie, kids, and marriage. 

It's like visiting with a different person.

But not so different I don't recognize her.

I didn't name this poem then but I will now:


Squared off sunrise leaves
rocks in splotching spirit holding onto
the day with their last breath,
each night a dangerous undertaking.
Who will catch the light when it spills
downward, tumbling over dirty trails
minding the fall away from its personal summit?
It took all day to climb.
Yellow moss grew once and bakes itself off
for the rest of time.
Everything that lived here long ago leaves
no more of itself than it is supposed to.
We see success of the successors,
perfectly nonlinear, plutonically dependent
on activity and motion of the winds.
We are separate unto no one
alone for no time at all.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Control Freak

If only I had more arms.

A bigger brain.

Additional feet and legs.

I could tie shoes, teach letter sound awareness, clean toilets, give the dogs their Interceptor and still unload the dishwasher.  I could remember to pick up toothpaste and dental floss at the 5 Below store I was just in today instead of the Giant I won't be in until the weekend.

I could:
  • put away the clothes still stacked on our bureau.
  • make room inside the drawers so we wouldn't have to stack in the first place.
  • call my mom, my dad, my brothers, my aunt, my Otter (I miss you too, K!), my friends.
  • practice guitar chords.
  • plan a menu for the week on a Sunday, not panic on a Wedensday.
  • vacuum.
  • walk the dogs around the neighborhood, not the cul-de-sac.
  • make that dentist appointment for that root canal I've been putting off since 2010.
  • try yoga.
  • write instead of post. 
  • teach Abby the alphabet.
  • teach Grayson how to ride his bike without training wheels.
  • read anything other than headlines.
But I know that time will come.  That I should just be sitting back and soaking in the sunshine that is a five-year-old boy and his three-year-old sister.

I know this yet I still cannot slow down my brain.  Like there is a FJ Cruiser (Tonka blue) at the end of this never ending To Do list.

No new car.  Not even a clean kitchen. 

How do you pull in the reins of a stuttering, adrenalized, oh-so-pushy brain?

Or is it Domestica wearing her skull cap rowing to the next island for the vote off ceremony?

Maybe an organizer.

There is new Staples down the street.

I should at least stop there to smell the Sharpies.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Full Proof

Cadbury Eggs are still in the house.

(I love them so.)

Extreme measures not to eat them were taken..  I'm talking extreme measures.

Today's Purchase:

Location of purchase until I can ascertain definite and certain extinction of Cadbury Eggs.

The End.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Moose Eggs

Growing up my uncle made us scrambled cheese with eggs. So much more cheese than egg that we knew the Food Police would surely cuff him to Jane Fonda and make him do thirty laps around our Slip N Slide.

It was liberating to eat so much gooey cheese for breakfast that we needed an equally unlawful name for such an infraction.

We called them Moose Eggs.  Figured nobody would go around eating the egg of a moose so what could be naughtier? 

Now, twenty okay whatever thirty years later (when we have time and coffee) I make them for my kids.

And it brings me right back to that eraser pink rotary dial telephone and teacup wallpaper in our 60s kitchen so many years ago.

In honor of great memories, I give you.....Morning Moose Eggs (Click here.)

Thursday, April 12, 2012

At the End of the Day

At the end of the day, I hang back a few minutes while Andy ushers the kids upstairs for a torturous affair bath time.

It's only ten minutes but enough time to hear everything in the background instead of the foreground; to sit next to an open window away from dishwasher noise and closer to the revving up of chirps and twills outside in their trees.

I take a few deep breaths and tune out the domestic side of me.

For a few minutes I am with the crickets, crows, and blue layered sky.  (It goes dark all before I'm ready.)

Lately, someone has been enjoying these slippery minutes with me.

She is very entertaining company.

Alert, super sweet, and still puppy drowsy.

Together Miss Tillie and I go to the end of our day with the moon in our eyes and the promise of snuggling up in the stars on our minds.

It's so good to be together.