Friday, September 29, 2006


Yesterday the kids and I had a fabulous meet up with Suzanne (Mimilou) and Liesl (Come, Mommy). It was everything a bloggy meetup should be. Good company, well behaved kids, and good conversation.

Liesl was as wonderful as ever, and Suzanne bears such a resemblance to Rebecca that threw me for quite a loop. So Suzanne, please forgive me if I kept staring at you, because it was a bit odd knowing that you weren't really her with shorter hair.

I have to say that I was not at my finest conversation-wise, and kept getting sidetracked by random thoughts such as "Damn, did I call the floor guy back?" and "Boxes, I need more boxes. Must get boxes." But as Rebecca consoled me this afternoon via my favorite thing ever, Skype, I can be rather flaky and do tend to ramble on incoherently, so hey, you got to see the real me. I still felt bad that I couldn't quite wake up enough from my moving induced fog to follow a conversation through to the end and to ask the pressing questions weighing on my mind such as "How DO you manage to finish a book let alone write about it" and "What did you think of Little Earthquakes because I just found it unread in my bedside table?" Or for Liesl, "How was Gran-Gran's visit" and "How are the new ferrets settling in?"

Anyway, thanks again, sorry for the flake-factor, and I hope we can do it again! Maybe y'all can shlep up to the new house, if I ever make it in there without being institutionalized someplace.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

I guess things don't actually stay the same

You've Changed 76% in 10 Years

Compared to who you were ten years ago, you've changed a great deal.
In fact, you're probably in a completely different phase of your life - and very happy about it!

It's actually kind of scary how different my life was ten years ago...especially since I tend to be someone who doesn't like change.

As seen at Mimilou .

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Apparently spelling is hereditary too

I have a spelling issue. Which anyone who has read my comments/emails/posts without a spell check readily available knows. I believe (and Nana will correct me if I am wrong) it was determined very late in the game that I had mild dyslexia, but had compensated enough that it wasn't worth doing anything about except insist that I type all of my papers and have spell check available at all times.

Over the past several weeks, C has proudly shown me his writing. Which is perfect, except that it is backwards. In that if you held a mirror up to it, it would read perfectly correctly. I can't replicate here, but imagine that "baby" was spelled "ybab" with the letters facing the opposite direction. The first time I shrugged it off. The second time, I was ready to race him off to whoever you race off to if you suspect a learning disability. At age 4 (and a half as C would say.) Really, I'm not that type of parent, but I suffered through this, and want to nip it in the bud if I can to save him the suffering I experienced until I got my own computer.

So do I freak out at this point? Am I over-reacting?

Just for kicks, once I spell check this, I will tell you how many errors I had in this short little post. And the answer is...twenty-three. I had twenty-three spelling errors. And that isn't even counting the ones I caught with a quick once over.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Damn those genes anyway

As many of you (OK, all of you) know, A has some sleep issues. She can't stay up much past 7pm, and awakes ready for the day at about 5 or 6am, despite our best efforts to shift her schedule. Some helpful scientists have now determined that "morning larks" (gee that sounds perky) are that way because of a mutant gene.

As no one who knows M would call him a morning lark, I am clearly the guilty party in the genetic roll of the dice on this one. I guess this means I have to stop moaning about it, huh?

Monday, September 25, 2006

Riddle me this

C and A have discovered the childhood mecca of stupid jokes. Over the last few days, I have Googled joke after joke, and tried to teach them the basics. The standard knock knock jokes, the chicken jokes, the how do you jokes. A few of them they have finally mastered. Many of them have been mangled beyond belief.

C: "Knock Knock"

Mommy "Who's there?"

C: "Pizza"

Mommy "Pizza who?"

C: "I want pizza for dinner!" Both C and A burst out laughing and fall off of their chairs.

Or there is my current favorite:

C: "How do you get a mouse to smile?"

Mommy: "I don't know!"

C: "Say pizza!"

Mommy: "Uh, I think it is supposed to be 'Say cheese!"

C: "Silly mommy. If people smile at 'Say cheese' then mice must smile at 'Say pizza!'"

Mommy: "And how do you figure that?"

C: "Well, mice love cheese and we love pizza. Get it?"

Mommy: "Not really, no."

C: "A, do you get it?"

A: "Oh yeah. Silly silly C!"

Apparently, my sense of humor is sorely lacking.

Menu Week Two

A little late, I know. But M is late tonight, so I didn't have to really plan anything for tonight (Hey! Chicken nuggets are a totally respectable meal I tell you...). So without further ado...

Tuesday - Turkey Tenderloins with Cornbread Stuffing (side of some veggie out of the freezer)

Wednesday - Potato Crusted Red Snapper, Caesar Salad

Thursday - Turkey Burgers with Sweet Potato Fries

Friday - Chicken Fajitas

Saturday - Chicken Pot Pie (a special request from C)

I know, I know, heavy on the poultry this week. But I am trying to use up my freezer stash of random crap before we move so I don't have to beg space from other people's freezers while the deep freeze is out of commission, and I seem to have accumulated a fair amount of chicken.

Saturday, September 23, 2006


Every so often over the last six months M has asked me "Are you going to miss this house?" I look around, and honestly answer "Not really, no." To which he sniffs a bit and huffs and puffs about the charm and the historical yadda yadda and then we move on to rehashing the decision to buy the new house all over again.

But his question is a good one. Will I miss the gorgeous, 1771 original, hardwood floors with little grooves that make it impossible to get the bits of dried peas off the kitchen floor without a pair of tweezers? Not so much. Will I miss the wood beamed family room that oozes charm, but never gets a drop of direct sunlight? Nope. See ya. Will I miss C's gabled bedroom that screams "George Washington slept here!" but everytime I walk into it, I hit my head? Can't say that I will. Will I miss the creaking floorboards outside the kids' rooms that wakes them up every night, the pipes that freeze every. single. winter., or the bathroom sink that only runs cold water? Again, I don't think so.

But, right now, even though 90% of my stuff is now in residence at the other house, this house is home. It is where we have slept and played and cried and yelled for the last four years, longer than I have ever lived anyplace except my mother's house. This is where C learned to talk, A learned to walk, and both kids learned how to climb up and down stairs with ease. It is where we looked forward to returning to after every trip, and where I curl up when I need to get away from things.

Soon the furniture and books and toys will all be installed at the new house,but it isn't going to feel like home right away. When the light streams into the playroom, and I sip my coffee and watch the kids play with a smile, it will seem odd. When I walk across a thick, tacked down runner to check on the kids at night instead of creaky floorboards, it will be not quite right. When I drive home from the grocery store, the playground, a playdate, I am fairly confident that I am going to miss the turn and have to circle around the block for months to come.

I'm not quite sure how long it takes to make a house a home. Or if there is some magical ingredient that will speed the process along. Probably not. So to answer M's question more specifically, I'm not going to miss the house itself, but for the first few days and weeks and months, I am going to miss the comfort of having a home.

Friday, September 22, 2006

Overheard at Bedtime

C: (staring up at the kitchen ceiling instead of lying in bed) "Look! There is a hole in the ceiling."

Mommy: "M! There is a hole in the ceiling!"

M: "Look at that. There is a hole in the ceiling. Not good. How did that happen?"

Mommy: "C was jumping in his room today."

M: "We need to get out of this house."

Blogging lite

I'll probably be following the blogging lite plan for the next few weeks (not that I have been doing such a stupendous job of keeping up recently anyway). We have finally set a move date (and no, we haven't sold the old house, thanks for asking though) and the logistical details of moving a household around the corner seem to be eating up my life. Especially since we decided to do as much of the move as possible ourselves after seeing the quote from the movers. So the kids and I have become our own little moving outfit. Yesterday was the crystal, today is the china. This weekend I think I will tackle the deep dark recesses of the crawl space attic. Shiver.

Anyway, I'll give updates as I can, and once we are in I will regale you with the details and pictures. If I can find the camera that is.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

M is such a good sport

So today's culinary misadventures are a result of chef error rather than equipment malfunction. Apparently, Cod Poached in a Spicy Tomato Broth is spicy enough without doubling the amount of spice in the recipe. Just in case anyone other than the Kleenex box was wondering. In my defense (because one must be defensive about such things) M and I generally think that recipes require much more seasoning than called for. And I was using a crushed red pepper that I had found in the depths of my cabinet and I swear must have been there for four years. So my assumption was that it was not nearly as potent as a newly acquired spice would have been.

M: "Wow, it has a bit of a kick to it." Then "This is spicy, my pallet is clearly out of practice." Finally "I get a home-cooked meal AND clear sinuses without taking my allergy meds. Two for the price of one." He every bite, bless his heart.

So, for the record, Cod Poached in a Spicy Tomato Broth=Good, but don't tamper with the seasonings. Just don't.

Not an auspicious beginning

Well, last night I did indeed make the Indian curry (recipe will be emailed to those who asked for it). And it would have been rather good, if my new crockpot had in fact functioned appropriately. I popped the food in at 9 am, headed off to start our day fully expecting that I would come home to the smell of dinner wafting through the house. Instead, I returned home to the smell of burning potatoes. Apparently, the new "high-tech" crockpot I asked for for my birthday last year doesn't actually operate like a "normal" crockpot, or so customer service told me. It heats food really, really quickly, and then reduces the temperature. But sometimes the thermostat is "a little temperamental" so I really need to check on it every so often. Umm, correct me if I am wrong, but isn't the point of the crockpot that I don't actually have to be paying attention while my food cooks? Needless to say, I'll be returning to the "turn the dial to low and forget it" model for future culinary adventures.

M was a great sport and ate it, but the leftovers were not saved for lunch. But I did have all the ingredients! I did! And dinner was on the table at the right time, even if it wasn't quite edible. That has to count for something, right? Right?

Monday, September 18, 2006

The ultimate bedtime stall

C; (Emerging from his room for the 700th gazillionth time) "Mommy, I just want to have a happy talk."

Mommy: "You have one minute for a happy talk."

C: "OK, when does the one minute start?"

Mommy:"Right now."

C:"I just wanted to say that I love you and I am happy when you are happy. That makes this a happy talk. Because I am talking about being happy. How much longer do I have?"

Mommy: "About 30 seconds."

C: "Well, I don't think the time we spent talking about how much time I had left should count because it wasn't actually happy talk."

Mommy: "Your one minute is up. I love you, now go to bed."

C: "Oh, OK. But we are going to talk about this in the morning. I don't think it was very fair."

All good plans

I am challenging myself publicly to put together a weekly meal plan, buy groceries ahead of time and then actually make the meals that I planned. As part of my problem with meal planning seems to be finding the plan once it is made, I decided that if I post it up here I'll at least be able to find it. And perhaps if I can find it, and I know I have to report back about the recipes selected, I'll really make them.

For my first week, I wasn't actually able to figure out a whole week worth of menus before I had to do the shopping, so I figured I would ease myself in a bit. Plus, I've already lost the menu and had to recreate on the fly at the grocery store. Hopefully I remembered correctly or else I'll be scratching my head on Friday wondering why on earth there is a bunch of cilantro and a head of broccoli in the fridge. Anywhoo, here it goes.

Monday: Leftovers, M is working late

Tuesday: Indian Curry with Chicken in the crockpot (side of brown rice)

Wednesday: Cod Poached in a Spicy Tomato Broth (side of salad and roll)

Thursday: Turkey Empanadas (side of black bean and corn salad)

Friday: Grilled Chicken in a Cranberry Marinade (side of grilled veggies and some rice to be named later from the pantry)

Saturday and Sunday: TBD.

OK, now it is out there. I have to do this right?

Friday, September 15, 2006

Failing in my wifely duties

I have apparently been failing in my wifely duties. While Groomzilla, Ridiculous Chick, and Rebecca appear in my blogroll, M's new blog does not. For which I greatly apologize. But in my defense, he was having some issues with identification (i.e. his first and last name were appearing on posts) in the beginning, so I was rather underwhelmed by the prospect of linking to him. But now that the technical issues have been fixed, I am happy to direct you to M's blog, and take complete control of mine back.

Happy blogging M...

Overheard at Bedtime

C: "Mommy, it's so nice to have a nice Mommy."

Mommy: (swooning) "Aww. thank you C. That is so great to hear."

C: "Well, you're not always nice. But you were nice tonight."

Thursday, September 14, 2006

And then there were two

I think we need to reevaluate the whole pushing of bedtime to 8pm thing, don't you?

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Nap Shmap

This is what happens when you try to push a non-napping toddler's bedtime an hour later to try and get her to start sleeping past 5am.

She is still asleep on the dining room floor. I'm unclear on how to proceed. If she sleeps, she'll never go to bed. But despite both C's and my best attempts, she refuses to open her eyes and move.

Overheard from the back seat

C: "A, who are you talking to on the phone?"

A: "Your teacher."

C: "Why are you talking to my teacher?"

A: "I'm telling her that you can't go to school."

C: "What? But I want to go to school!"

A: (Holding up a finger) "Shhh. Hello? C's teacher? Yeah, hi. C can't come to school today. Uh huh. Yeah. Because I want to play with him. Okay, bye."

C: "Mommy! Mommy! I want to go to school. A, call them back and tell them I WANT to go to school."

Mommy: "C, she doesn't actually have a working phone. It's a pretend one. And she doesn't know your teacher's number. Calm down."

C: " Oh, right. A, were you just pretending?"

A: "Yes silly. My phone is out of juice."

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Bullets of forgetfulness

  • Today I got the November issue of a cooking magazine tooting the joys of roast turkey. I also received a reminder from my dentist of an appointment in November. I'm sorry, am I missing a month or two here? Last I checked it was early verging on mid-September. If the dentist thinks his reminder will do me any good, he will be unpleasantly surprised when I don't show up on November 14th. In fact, I bet none of you will remember to remind my on November 13th of my appointment on the 14th.

  • To prove my utter inadequacy in the remembering things department, I dragged C to the pool today for his second swimming lesson of the fall. I sent him in, the swimming teacher gave me an odd look and sent him back out again. "Uh, Chichimama? You missed his lesson. It was half an hour ago." See? If I can't remember the one activity I have my children signed up for in a week there is clearly no way I will remember an appointment seven weeks from now.
  • I went to the grocery store twice today and both times managed to forget honey, the one item we really needed because my children will only eat things dipped in honey right now. Chicken in honey, grilled cheese in honey and, get this, Cherrios in honey. Do y'all think I should just break down and buy the sugar cereal? Cause it would probably be a lot cheaper.
  • I can't seem to remember the name of one of C's teachers and C refuses to tell me. I know it begins with an F, but is it Flynn? Fowler? Fluffer-Nutter? Who knows? Apparently not me. And, in my defense, she was a last minute switch in for another teacher whose name began with an F so I spent the whole summer thinking her name was something else.
  • While I am on the topic of names, do you know how many women I know in this town and can't for the life of me remember their names? They tell me, I forget, then they know my name and I am too embarrassed to ask theirs again. Please tell me I am not the only one. I generally remember their child's name, does that count for something?
I'm sure there are more bullets of forgetfulness, I just can't remember them.

Friday, September 08, 2006

So long and thanks for all the sushi

While Rebecca and I had planned on saying a last goodbye this afternoon, life got in the way and instead of a tearful in-person farewell, our last conversation for a while was a flurry of "I need Joyce's phone number" and "Don't forget to get the brisket out of the freezer after we leave" via cell phone. I actually think it was better that way. After our last take-out sushi binge last night I cried enough tears to send their "by boat" container halfway across the Atlantic, and probably would have sent it the rest of the way this afternoon had we had our last exchange of hand-me-downs and hugs.

So in lieu of a tearful farewell, I hope your flight was safe, I hope Evan didn't fly the Business Class coop, and good luck on the school interviews next week. You know where to find me if you need me.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Overheard at Bedtime

Tonight as I was bawling after saying goodbye to Rebecca ...

C: "Mommy, it's not worth getting worked up over this. They're just going away for - for how long again? Two weeks?"

Mommy: "Two years."

C: "Right. Two years. It's OK. It's not that long. You'll be fine."

Mommy: "Thanks for the support C."

C: "No problem. I do what I can."

Before and After

So here are some before and after pics of the family room and dining room. The family room looks much more impressive in person, I swear. The dining room needs a second coat, and we are still undecided about the chair rail, so that is still primer white but you can get the gist.

Family room before

Family room after (the paneling is getting ripped out someday, but we just couldn't face it this year)

Dining room before

Dining room after

Maybe I should get depressed more often. It seems to be the best way for me to actually get stuff accomplished...

For the birds

This whole having to get out of the house by 8:30 to get C to school is for the birds. We are so, so screwed next year. I think I might be reconsidering afternoon kindergarten.

Perhaps if we work towards an orderly exit from the house one step at a time? My goal for today is to get A out of her pajamas for drop off....

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

The ultimate parenting failure

I am going to have to fake the first day of school picture. The camera battery isn't charged. I feel like such a loser parent.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

For the curious....

Almost a week past skunking, and seven baths later, dumb cat still smells of skunk. At least he hasn't been dumb enough to get on my bed. Perhaps he does have a brain or two in there after all...

Interior decoration question of the day

So in an effort to keep my mind otherwise occupied and my body out of bed this weekend, M and I went into overdrive working on the new house. The carpet is pulled up in the living room (and indeed, we do need to hire professionals to refinish the floor), the new banister is hung, the hallway is scraped, sanded and prepped, and the dining room is no longer fushia pink, but rather a lovely primer white. Which leads me to the interior decoration issue that has consumed our lives for the past 24 hours. What color does one paint a rather poorly installed chair rail?

We did briefly consider ripping out the chair rail and replacing it, M was all for the project but after inspecting the rail and the wall, I decided that it was going to be much more involved than it sounds, as there are actually TWO chair rails, a crappy piece of trim that would be easy to rip out, and then an original piece of molding (it might even be plaster) that the new trim is installed directly above, in a not very precise way. I'll try to take a picture today, it's hard to imagine without seeing it.

ANYWAY, below the chair rail is going to be a dark blue, and above a lighter blue. I am of the opinion that the chair rail should be the same off white as the rest of the trim. M thinks that we should paint it dark blue to match the bottom half of the room. Thoughts? Opinions? Advice?

Sunday, September 03, 2006


Apparently, the fact that my weight fluctuates based on my stress level is not only apparent to me and my fat and skinny jeans. After perusing the family photo albums, C did the following portraits of me.

Apparently, the top photo is a rendition of me now, the bottom one is a picture of me before A was born. Guess it's time to lose the baby weight, huh? Or, I could just keep eating these to die for ice cream bonbons from Trader Joes. Diet, bonbons. Diet, bonbons. Hmmm...

Oh, and my hair is not, and never has been curly. But apparently C likes women with curly hair so he took artistic license.

Saturday, September 02, 2006

And so it goes

I've been waiting for it to happen, and wake up each morning surprised that it hasn't hit. Today I finally caved to the pressures of a house that won't sell and a best friend who is moving to London. I woke up cheerful and by 4pm I was a tearful mess. This is the first time I've actually been able to pinpoint the beginning of a depression. I am hoping that the fact that I can actually recognize what is happening will mitigate the symptoms. But right now I just want to crawl into my bed, pull the covers up, and will it all away.