Monday, July 31, 2006

Overheard at bedtime

As recounted by M:

C: "Daddy, my scissors cut a hole in my favorite shorts."

Daddy: "Oh really? And who was controlling the scissors?"

C: "My hand."

Daddy: "And who was controlling your hand?"

C: "Um, my arm."

Daddy: "And who was controlling your arm?"

C: "My shoulder!"

It's a nice voice...

I have spent much of the past week listening to myself talk, but apparently I am the only person listening. For example, today, after I mopped the front stairs, I very clearly said "Stairs are wet. Do not go up. You will fall." Pretty much just like that, in a loud "do not argue with me" voice. Both kids nodded. I headed to the sink to dump the dirty water. In the three seconds my back was turned, not one but two children headed straight up the wet stairs. And then right back down again on their backs.

After ascertaining that there were no broken bones, etc, etc, etc, I very calmly asked "And what did I just tell you about the stairs?" Both children looked at me blankly. "Did I not just tell you that they were wet and not to go up?" Shrugs all around. Finally C piped up with a "I needed my lunch box. For the trip to Maine." Which is in five days.

I don't know why I even bother to issue warnings. I can scream "Car, car car" in a parking lot, and C will look right through me and the oncoming car. I can say "There will be no TV until the playroom is picked up, and everyone will continue to sit on the couch staring at the blank TV asking where Dragon Tales is. My favorite, "It is time for breakfast/lunch/dinner," which you would think would send kids running for the table, is ignored until I take the food and put it back in the fridge. At which point there are whines and tantrums to end all whines and tantrums.

Is it just me? Am I the only one who hears what I say? Because if I am, I'll just shut up. I mean, I like the sound of my own voice, but not that much.

Friday, July 28, 2006

Officially crazy

It is 2:44 am and I am prowling around the house trying to find the source of the water I swear I hear running from the upstairs bath, but can't hear anywhere else. I have really and truly lost it.

Update: The source was found, apparently our water softener regenerates (whatever that means) at 2:30 in the morning. But, thanks to my prowl, I have been up since 2:31 am anyway. And have I gotten anything useful accomplished? No, not really. Although I did make $26 on eBay today, whooo!

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Bets anyone?

Every night after dinner for the last two or three years, we have watched a TV show (or two). Tonight, for some reason, my children have discovered their toys. I keep pointing out that it is getting close to bedtime, and they might want to start picking up so they could start their show, they keep telling me they are having too much fun. So I finally told C, "OK, but I don't want any tears if there isn't time for a show before bed." And he cheerfully told me "OK, there won't be."

Any bets on how many minutes of hysteria there will be when I announce bedtime without a show?

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

A bit of a dry spell

Have y'all noticed that there isn't much going on here at Chichimama's place? Yep, my brain has been officially fried by worry and stress and have I mentioned the water that is still seeping into my basement? So forgive me for the blog drought. Perhaps Lubbock, TX will pray for me too.

Anyway, if it makes you feel any better, I have spent the past three nights sitting quietly at the dinner table with nary a word to say to M either. And he has started to get a bit concerned with my lack of verbosity both online and in person. I believe he asked my no fewer than ten times tonight if I was "OK." I am, I think. I just can't really put together a coherent thought, so I'm filling in with dribble. Or is it drivel. See, I can't even decide which words to choose. So, on that note, forgive me if I continue to post drivel (I made a decision, yeah!) for a while. Perhaps once we get to Maine my ability to complete a sentence will return.

Only in Texas

So apparently, if you lives in Lubbock, Texas, you need to start praying. Can town councils actually pass resolutions telling people to pray? I have nothing at all against people deciding to pray on their own for rain, but I have always been pretty hard-core on the separation of church and state thing. And this strikes me as a pretty obvious breech of that. But then again, I tend to thing that presidents shouldn't be sworn in using Bibles either. So maybe it is just me...

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Who knew?

Yesterday we had a lovely blogger meetup with Liesl and Liam (otherwise known as Zeph). There was much excitement Chez J-E to meet a new friends, and many questions about how we knew this new friend. Which led to somewhat vague responses as we are trying to teach our very outgoing four year old about strangers...but that is another story.

This story is all Liesl, Liam and the turkeys. Liesl lives suprising close to us, who knew? We arrived almost on time despite a rocky start out of our household. Liesl and Liam were as lovely and smart as they seem in their blog (and although all blogger meet up stories seem to start that way it is really true! I swear!). C was highly impressed by Liam's train table and rocket collection, and A quickly found the doll house.

After a little negotiation, I managed to drag my kids out of the house for our planned outing, a trip to the local turkey farm where one can also pick corn and peaches and other such wondrous things not found in our congested neck of the woods. We saw the turkeys first, and I, farm girl that I am, exclaimed "THAT's what a turkey looks like?" It was skinny and white, very plucked chicken-like. Not at all like the pictures one sees around Thanksgiving. And the gobble gobble? Yeah, they actually quack. I swear. Who knew??

Because the fields were wet, we were advised against picking, which bummed me out but C and A could have cared less because there was - a playground! On the farm! With slides and swings and tricycles! My monkeys clamored all over everything while jet-lagged Liam looked like he just wanted to go home, poor thing.

Anyway, Liesl was a doll for hosting us right after getting back from Chicago, and C can't stop talking about Liam and the "sneezy dog." And while this blogger meet up went much better than our last, as I learned my lesson and stayed clear of a museum, there was still much chasing and kid reprimanding, and not much opportunity to find out all the burning questions I had about Liesl.

Thanks again Liesl, and if we ever sell our house and move, you are welcome to come up to visit us anytime! Although all we have to offer is a small patch of lawn and a 7-Eleven on the corner. No apple picking or turkeys around here. But I'll make you some bread...

Monday, July 24, 2006

And this was all before 9am...

C: Why is there a baby in her tummy?

Mommy: Because they wanted another member of their family.

C: How did the baby get there?

Mommy: When mommies and daddies get married, they sometimes decide to start a family, and so they make a baby together.

C: How?

Mommy: Remember how there are eggs in mommies' tummies? The daddies have seeds that join with the egg to make a baby.

C: But HOW does the seed get into the mommy's tummy? And how does it know it is supposed to go to the egg? And where do the seeds live?

Mommy: Those are great questions, but they will take some time to answer and we are running very late, can we talk about it tonight?

C: I'm not going to forget.

Mommy: Trust me, I know you won't.

I did it JUST like the books said folks. He was supposed to be happy with the egg and seed thing. Now I'm going to have to keep going, aren't I? I'm going to be the mommy who gets the 50 billion phone calls from preschool because her kid told the whole 4 year old class about sex. I know we should have had the conversation right there, but we WERE running very late...

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Ah, to be four

A: "Mommy, I need milk."

C: "I need ice. And water. And some more ketchup."

A: "I need a new diaper. And a wipe."

Mommy: "Hold on, I can only do one thing at once."

C: "Good thing I am going to grow up to be a human octopus."


In lieu of a real post, here are some pictures of the old house (just in case anyone is inspired to move down the street from me and be my neighbor) and the new house.

Old sun porch, not a good pic really but I'm too lazy to go take another :-).

Old family room....

Old dining hallway...

New playroom...

New kitchen....already cluttered.

New backyard...

New mudroom, otherwise known as the whole reason we bought the house. Already being used to house items other than coats and boots.

And, a gratuitous photo of the fat lazy cat.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

To read or not to read

So I know it has been a while, but is anyone interested in continuing the book club? I have about two weeks before I head to Maine for much of August, and I am starting to look for reading material. I've been on a biography kick lately, but after my choice last time I think I am going to hand off the choosing responsibility to someone else if there is still interest. Although there was this book that I tried to skim while chasing my kids at the bookstore eons ago.

Let me know if you want to continue and what book/type of book you would be interested in reading.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006


It's raining. The water will never, ever, ever leave my basement. We are. so. screwed.

And the temperature isn't even dropping.

Nuf said.

Too hot

It's too hot to blog. It is too hot to do anything but whine and flip PBS channels. I don't know how my sister does this every day in Texas. It was 101 today according to my car, and when we ventured out to pick up fish and veggies for dinner we were pretty much the only people in town out and about. I have never seen the place so dead. At least it made for easy parking every place.

One of these days I will have something of interest to write about. But for now, a random C quote of the day.

As C was inspecting the pictures hanging in our living room...

C: "Mom, is that a picture of the city?"

Mommy: "Yes, it is."

C: "The REAL city?"

Mommy: "What is the real city C?"

C: "New York of course."

He makes a parent proud that boy (sorry Nana).

Saturday, July 15, 2006

It is all about the sales, stupid

I think the thing that is killing me most about owning two homes right now, beside the "Oh my God, I will NEVER be able to save for retirement/private school/college/weddings" factor is the fact that I am missing out on the summer sales. Because, you know, everyone needs to start buying boots and mufflers in July. There will be no need for tee shirts and shorts in August or September...and if your child happens to hit a growth spurt or you know, color on themselves in non-washable marker, well, it's almost winter, right?

Anyway, I have decided to share with all of you all the bargains I have found, so at least someone can reap the rewards.

First up, for the boys in your life, (and this one is good for fall too!) a long sleeved rugby by Polo in orange, white and blue. Originally $49.50, it can now be yours for only $19.99. Sizes are going fast, I think we are down to 2T and 3T. But it would look great on Evan!

Also from Polo, a color-blocked fleece hoodie. Available in blue or kelly green, in sizes, 2T, 3T 6 and 7 at last check. SO cute. And again, originally $55, yours for $19.99. For the girls at Polo, this pretty ribbed tank, in a variety of sizes and colors for only $9.99. If you prefer a tank with a wider shoulder, here is a nice one, still $9.99 and lots of color choices. Or this basic long-sleeved shirt. A steal (for Polo at least).

Unfortunately, we have missed the Mini Boden and Hanna Andersson sales, everything of interest flies off those sites within hours of getting the email. But sign yourself up both places so you don't miss the winter sale, especially Mini Boden, their stuff is adorable, washes well, and the sales are great. I'm not a huge Hanna person, but others love their stuff, it is all a matter of taste.

Over at Gymboree, my personal favorite for boy summer clothes, they are at their 40% off sale right now. In a week or two it should be 60%, but the selection gets progressively smaller at each price point. With Gymboree, you have to play a guessing game as to what will sell out on which sales. I have gotten screwed more than once, so the stuff I really want I tend to get at 40%. Anyway, with no further ado, here are my picks.

A version of these shorts were C's favorite last year. $9.99 in a variety of colors. And lots of sizes left, so my guess would be that you could wait until the 60% off sale. But don't quote me on that. C LIVES in these shorts this year, I actually bought them early in the season with a promo code, and he wears them as fast as I can wash them. A bit heavy for the dead of summer, in my opinion, but he begs to differ. Only available in 2T and 3T for $8.99, so if you want them get them now. I love the color combo on this shirt for $7.99. Lots of sizes left. This orange and brown one would be great for early fall to replace all the summer stained shirts...

I am less of a fan of Gymboree for girls, I find it rather frilly and cutesy. But my sister swears by these shorts ($9.99) for Baby C. There are other colors available if you look around the shorts section. That is what I hate about Gymboree's site, you have to dig through to find the color options because they group by line instead of style...I also think these shorts are adorable at a rather pricey $13.99, although I don't know how comfortable. And we are all about comfort here at Chez J-E.

Here is a winter bargain alert for you. If your second missed the sizes on your older ones winter boots, or you need to by for your first, Lands End overstocks has some serious deals on boots right now, if you don't mind some funky color combinations. Take these boots, only $14.99 if you like orange (which we do). And these are only $9.99, but only go up to size 8. And this long sleeved shirt is adorable for $6.99. C wore a Lands End small last year, but he is on the tall side.

Ah, I could go on, but it is time to start my day and think about breakfast for the troops. Enjoy, and think of me as you shop the sales this year....

Whoops, I almost forgot something for the grownups! These flip flops from Old Navy are the most comfortable, ever. I used a credit to buy myself a pair and I live in them. Only $4.99! How can you go wrong???

Friday, July 14, 2006

Spoken like a true woman

A: "I want my quiche hot. No, cold. No, hot. No, cold. Hot. I want my quiche hot."

C: "A, you keep changing your mind."

A: "I do NOT change my mind."

There is a higher being, and it loves me!

No, the house didn't sell. And yes, water is still seeping into my basement. But for the first time in several months, both my children are in their rooms, asleep. At the same time. In the middle of the day. This totally makes up for everything else, it really does. Excuse me while I go enjoy the silence...

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

I can still pass

In order to graduate, my alma mater insisted that I had to pass a typing test. It took me four long, long years. Via Cityslicker mom, this link proves I can still eek by, with a word to spare. And M, I don't even want to hear your score.

A dinner for champions

M is still at the hospital with his dad, who made it through the surgery with no immediate issues, thank you all for your well wishes. So instead of having the tandoori chicken for dinner as originally planned, I have moved onto nachos and BBQ chicken pizza. Ahhh, I feel better all ready.

Have I mentioned that I've put on five pounds since we bought the new house? Swimsuit season can't end soon enough for me.

The one in which I put my head down and cry

Although it might be hard to tell over the internets, I have actually done a good job (for me) of keeping the stress over the whole house selling situation in check. I have (sort of) cheerily gone about my business tossing off lines such as "Nothing to be done" or "it will all be fine" to those dumb enough to ask how things are going. Our real estate agent has commented several times over how unstressed I have been.

Ever since we actually purchased the new house, however, my facade has been cracking bit by bit. My voice has starting hitting the upper registers when talking with the real estate agent. I have started crying at the drop of a hat; the poor man at the deli counter yesterday spent 20 minutes searching the back cooler for low-salt turkey breast after I burst into tears when he told me he only had honey roasted. I have started obsessing about minor and not so minor things, like the peeling paint on the kitchen ceiling or the water that seems to be leaking into the basement.

Did you catch that? Yes, water. In my basement. A week after the last rainstorm. Which leads to the unfortunate conclusion that the continued presence of water seeping in through the foundation is caused by some other source, namely a burst pipe of some sort. A buried burst pipe. Somewhere in my front yard. I spent most of the night sitting on the steps of my basement willing the water to go away. Unfortunately, it appears that a watched basement still leaks.

As soon as it got light this morning, I joined the cat on his morning prowl to see if I could somehow disprove my theory. Instead, I quickly discovered that the mulch in the front flower bed that we just recently had relandscaped was sopping wet. So I sat on the front stoop and stared at that, willing it to dry up. Again, no such luck. When M came downstairs to get ready for work, he found me pacing and muttering, clutching my suddenly queasy stomach.

He seemed much less concerned than I about this turn of events, but then again his father is going into the hospital today for another heart procedure, so a leaky basement is probably not all that high on his list of things to worry about. He did inspect the basement and front bed, nodded his head and said "Yep, looks like a problem. We'll call someone to come take a look. There are much worse problems we could have. Don't stress over it. " Which is easier said than done for those of us who obsess over such things.

So as C whines about his hanker sore, and A races around setting up an early morning tea party, and M heads off to work and then the hospital to be with his dad, I continue to clutch my stomach and will the water away. And hope that someone, anyone, will come look at my house and buy it, unidentified leak and all. Excuse me while I go put my head down and cry.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Hanker Sore

Poor C has developed what I believe is his first canker sore. And I must apologize to him for his lousy genetics, he got it from both sides of the family. But as he was whimpering and showing me his mouth boo boo, I had to keep from laughing as he insisted on calling it a "hanker sore" instead of a canker sore. I really need to write down their cute sayings now while I remember them, because we have some doozies. Maybe tomorrow...

Wife Swap

Out of desperation and a need to veg out, I spent last night watching Wife Swap. I found myself entranced by the fact that someone would willingly air all of their dirty laundry (literally) on TV for all to see and judge (and generally be found lacking, as that's what makes good TV). Why oh why would anyone admit their flaws - their inability to control their children, their anal-retentive cleaning obsessions, the fact that they allow chickens or goats to roam free through their house, pooping on the kitchen floor? Do they volunteer for the show because they think they are perfect, or because they are so desperate to enact change and can't figure out how to do it on their own?

And what about their spouses and children? I can't imagine M's reaction if I announced at the dinner table that a host of cameras and another woman were coming to live at our house for two weeks and change everything that he holds dear. And for those families with teenagers, I can only imagine the fights that would ensue there. Or do they too suffer so from whatever the household inadequacies may be that the embarrassment of watching mom and dad on TV is the better of two evils? I even checked the website, thinking that perhaps the size of the cash payment would make it worthwhile, but found that no prizes are awarded as couples participate on the show for the "opportunity to re-discover why they love each other and decided to marry in the first place."

Despite myself, as I watched the featured women head up another household and change all that we, the viewers, think is wrong with the other, I found myself wondering what someone would change about my household. My guess is someone would clean much more thoroughly than I, and insist that my children put clothes on much earlier in the day. Wait, do you think someone would work through A's sleep issues for me? Wouldn't that be nice, to come home from a two week stay with someone else's family and find that my daughter slept. Ahhh. Perhaps I'll audition after all.

Saturday, July 08, 2006

Everyone has a talent...

Today I got a standing ovation and two perfect tens on my parallel parking abilities from the crowd sitting in front of the bakery downtown. Straight in folks, straight in. I have to say, it was a perfect job.

Hey, at least I'm good at something :-).

Mommy/C day

Today, after the lawn is mowed and the house is cleaned and Daddy and A are installed over at the new house with a video, snacks, and some toys, C and I are having a special Mommy/C day. When I asked him last night what he wanted to do, he thought very hard, and finally said "I want to snuggle, read the rest of Runaway Ralph, and then go to the library to get the last Ralph book." As an after thought he added "Oh, and ice cream. Because it isn't a special day without ice cream."

So C and I will be snuggling, reading, and eating ice cream. Life doesn't get much better than that...

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Parenting Failure

I think my biggest parenting failure to date has been my inability to help A get enough sleep. Yesterday, as M alluded to in his post, there was a total and utter meltdown of rational thought, and A became a hysterical puddle of tears and exhaustion. Everything resulted in a temper tantrum of massive proportions, and she was so tired that she couldn't calm herself down, or even really be calmed down.

As I watched her muddle through her day yawning, weeping, and rubbing her eyes yet unable to go to sleep or stay asleep, I wished I could go back in time and figure out where I went wrong. You see, she was in fact a fabulous sleeper between three and six months. She went to bed when we put her in her crib, she stayed asleep all night, and then took two nice long naps with no fuss. Then, just as abruptly as it had started, it ended. And I have spent the two years since then trying to remember what happened to make it stop and failing miserably.

Since the day your baby is born, your parenting abilities seem to be judged by your child's ability to sleep. From the day you introduce your child to the greater world, the first words out of someone's mouth is "How is she sleeping?" If you reply "Like a dream!" you get smiles and nods of approval, if you admit that she sleeps like crap, you get a frown and hours of unsolicited advice.

Now that A is older, it is assumed that we have worked out our sleep issues. So when I feel obligated to warn the lovely ladies at Mother's Morning Out that A hasn't napped in several days, and was up at 4am, they look at me wide-eyed and concerned. "Well, she HAS to sleep! She needs MUCH more sleep than she is getting." Yes, thank you. I am well aware of the issue. Trust me. Even our pediatrician, who I love, gives me subtle looks when I relay A's sleep habits to her. While she at least admits that you can't MAKE a child sleep, she has frequently commented that sleep deprivation could be the root of many of our other issues, and perhaps if we could get the sleep thing under control the rest would sort itself out.

I just want to get on the rooftops and shout "I'm doing the best I can here folks! Do you think I am deliberately keeping my child from napping, waking her up in the middle of the night, and forcing her to get up before the sun in the morning?" I'm literally pulling my hair out over the situation. As I sit outside A's door at night and run my fingers through my hair, it comes out in clumps which my Dr. has reassured me is stress related. "Try to get more sleep" she suggested as she finished up her exam.

But more than myself, the person I feel most sorry for in all of this is C, as he has to live through the daily tantrums, the nightly battles, and generally bears the brunt of my short temper. While I try very hard not to yell at him while I am trying to handle a situation with A, I frequently find myself snapping at him to "Just hold on until I can deal with A." His special mommy time that used to take place while A napped has been abruptly halted and replaced by an afternoon of listening to A wail. At bedtime I almost always need to leave his room in the middle of a chapter to place A back into bed, which frequently takes upwards of 45 minutes. C sits patiently on his bed holding his place in the book, waiting for me to come back. And when I do return, he snuggles in tighter and asks me if A is really asleep this time in a sad little voice.

I know someday her body's need for sleep will decrease and the situation will hopefully resolve. And as my sister pointed out yesterday, when A is 15 at least I won't have to soothe her back to sleep at 3am (I hope). But I also think it is going to be a long, long haul until we reach some sort of equilibrium. And I am unclear if all of us will survive mentally unscathed until we reach that point. One can hope I suppose.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

She Loves Me (Not)

Chichimama came off the worst day ever with the kids, particularly A, who was evidently happy to snub me too. When Chichimama was done brushing A's teeth and I was reading to C, I heard this conversation:

Mommy: "Say good night to daddy."

A: (in between sobs)""

Mommy: "Okay...say good night to the cat."

A: (Perky again) "Good night cat!"

Seems I rate somewhere above potty training, but below the cat. At least it's the smart cat...

The great mouse massacre of 2006

We have two cats, one who is smart but lazy, and one who is dumb but frantically active. The smart one rarely leaves the house, and if she does venture out the door she only heads to the nearest pool of sunlight and settles in for a little nap. The dumb on goes out in rain, sleet, and snow, and roams all around the neighborhood for hours on end. He has also turned out to be quite the hunter, and has brought down birds, chipmunks, and even a bunny once. We try to quickly dispose of his prey both to avoid the flies and the questions that are bound to arise from C and A about the fate of the poor woodland creatures.

Yesterday afternoon I looked out the window onto the back stoop, and there lay dumb cat in all his glory, surrounded by six very dead mice. I must have gasped, as C and A quickly arrived next to me and stared silently with hands pressed against the glass. Finally C spoke up.

"Mommy, those aren't real mice, are they?"

"Uh, they are sweetie. I think dumb cat got them."

"You mean killed them. He killed them."

"Yes, I think they are really, really dead."

Silence settled again as C processed this. Finally he spoke slowly.

"Mommy, none of them are Ralph, right? Dumb cat didn't get Ralph, right?"

"No, Ralph is just pretend C. He's a character in a book."

"Oh. OK. I think you should have a talk with dumb cat about his behavior. He can't go around killing mice and eating their tails. It's not very nice."

"I'll speak to him C."

"Thanks mom."

Last night as we were reading Runaway Ralph, C seemed to pay much more attention to Catso the cat then he had previously. And as Catso entered the craft shop to attempt to do in Ralph, C snuggled in closer and closer. When Casto was distracted by a watch, C visibly relaxed and gave a big sigh of relief.

"Mommy, I didn't understand what Catso was trying to do before. He wants to eat Ralph's tail so Ralph can't ride his motorcycle anymore."

"That's right C. Does that scare you?"

"No, because I know there is another Ralph book when we finish this one. But I'll be scared when we read that one."

I am always amazed at how his mind processes things.


I have a bug bite on the instep of my right foot. Could there possibly be a worse place for a bug bite? OK, I can think of a few, but practicallyspeaking it would be quite hard to get bug bites there unless one was cavorting naked in the woods, and then, well, you were just ASKING for a bug bite now weren't you?

Generally, bugs don't like me. M can be swarmed by every mosquito on the East coast, and I can sit happily and watch him swat. But this summer, the little buggers have decided that I might in fact make a tasty snack after all. And let me tell you, it sucks to go from person non-grata to life of the bug party. Really, I didn't need to join this particular circle of love.

While swatting furiously and itching constantly, I've been trying to figure out why it is that I've become such a prime target, seemingly overnight. Perhaps it is the new body wash I am using? It DOES smell yummy, much better than the stuff I was using before....Or perhaps it is the new sunscreen? Because a girl should never leave home without her SPF 50 you know. The new laundry detergent? The dryer sheets? The possible suspects are endless.

I'm not sure what it is about itching that makes me so out of my mind crazy. As a kid, while I avoided the bug bites, I inevitably got several cases of poison ivy a summer, even after several hours of instruction from my father on plant identification and avoidance techniques. And despite stern warnings from my mother and pediatrician not to scratch, I always did. Even caked with Calamine lotion, the insistent discomfort of the itch would preset and I would scrape my skin raw, leaving the tell-tale pink flakes under my fingernails as guilty evidence.

The scratching makes it feel soooo much better, if even for a few seconds. And even though I know it is a false hope, I find myself thinking that if I just scratch one more time, the discomfort will magically disappear. To dispel the evil itch without scratching I've tried ice cubes, self-hypnosis, and my personal favorite, sitting with my feet in the kiddie the pool for hours. Which helped in the short term, but eventually led to raisin like feet.

As I sit here trying to focus on something other than the big red welt on my foot, I would like to apologize profusely to everyone out there who I laughed at and teased about being a bug magnet over the years. If I could take back my meanness, I would. Can I send you some bug spray or anti-itch cream instead?

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

One for the record books

C and A troop upstairs and come back down again with C's collection of Rescue Heros.

Mommy: "What are you guys doing?"

C: "We're just playing a game."

A: "Yeah, playing game."

Mommy: "Games are good. What type of game?"

C: "It's a game we can only play if no one is watching. Why don't you go into the other room?"

A: "Yeah, go other room Mommy."

Mommy: "OK then! Have fun!"

In in the space it took me to write this, it is all over. I am off to investigate the wails from the other room now....

Monday, July 03, 2006

Oh the Whine

Mommy: "C, do you actually think the whining will get you any place?"

C: "No, not really. But it makes me feel better."

Mommy: "Ok, as long as we're clear that it is not actually an effective negotiation technique..."

Overheard in the morning

A: "Mommy, I want go back to bed."

Mommy: "Alright! Let's go get your babies and go tuck you back in!"

A: "Uh, actually, I think I want another show. Dora and the choo choo."

Mommy: "Really? No bed? Bed sounds nice...."

A: "Umm, no. But mommy go back bed. I be OK."

Sunday, July 02, 2006

Welcome to the neighborhood

On Friday afternoon I took both kids over to the new house thinking M was there building his to do list. We arrived in the driveway only to discover that he had gone around the block the other way and headed home. We only had one key at that point, so I had no way of getting into the house, and I had made the unfortunate mistake of unstrapping the kids from the car seats and allowing them to ring the door bell and run around to the back door to see if we could find Daddy.

After it became clear that he was not in fact there, I tried to pack everyone back up to head home and get the key and some lunch. Both kids rebelled, and insisted that they wanted lunch RIGHT NOW at the NEW HOUSE. NOW. Crying, screaming, and much hysteria ensued from my overtired and emotionally drained children. In the middle of A throwing herself onto the front stoop in a serious snit and C screaming at me that he hated me, a man appeared from the house to the right of us.

"Please be the landscaper or housepainter coming to offer up his services" I silently prayed. "Please, please don't be the new neighbor."

"Hi! Are you the new owner?" he asked with hand extended.

"Yes..." I cautiously replied while keeping an eye on A, trying to will her to stand up and look cute.

"I'm CP! Nice to meet you! Do you need any, uh, help?"

"No, no, we're just fine. My daughter has decided she doesn't want to climb into her car seat."

"Ah. I, see. I guess with the police and all you can't just put her in the back anymore huh?"

"Ummm, yeah. We're a pretty big seat belt family." A picked this moment to begin wailing even more hysterically, and C began chiming in from the back seat as well.

"Right. Anyway, just wanted to say hi...what did you say your name was?"

"Oh, nice to meet you." I watched as he headed back across the lawn to report the details of the encounter to his wife and college-age looking daughter.

"I wonder how long it will take for them to report us to CPS?" I wondered under my breath. "At least the kids were losing it because I was trying to get them into car seats...right?"