Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Princesses do it better

One of the posts languishing on my dashboard discusses my ambivalence towards A's discovery of the world of princesses and fairies. Maybe I'll finish it one of these days, and maybe I won't but for now I'll share this.

This morning, her posse of girl friends came over while the older siblings were at school. These are the girls responsible for the introduction of all things princess into our lives, and when they come over they arrive in full princess regalia and spend their time twirling and granting wishes. Today was no exception.

About half an hour into the playdate, A arrived with a princess dress and the highest pink heels in her dress up wardrobe in tow, requesting assistance in snapping the dress. As I was helping her, one of the other mommies asked "What kind of princess are you today A?"

A looked her up and down and then very seriously replied, "I'm not just a princess, I am a doctor. A VERY GOOD doctor. I just like to wear my gown to work. Because why shouldn't I?"

Somehow, the whole princess thing doesn't bother me quite as much anymore.

Monday, February 26, 2007

Note to the school administrators

Just because there are five snow days built into the schedule and it hasn't snowed all winter does not mean that you can just cancel school after a week off to use them up. I mean, the roads are BLACKTOP folks. The plow came through once at 6 am and the roads were cleaner than they were four days after the last "storm."

On the upside, it only took me an hour to shovel out, and I am so totally counting that as a cardio workout.

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Blame it on M

The reason why winter weather is on its way to the tri-state area? The reason I can almost guarantee we will be getting the 7+ inches of snow the weather folks are hyping? The reason why there will be no fricking school and I will have to deal with the phone chain headache again? It is because M is on his way to sunny and warm climates for the week. He has successfully missed EVERY SINGLE STORM since we moved from the city. Every one.

I deserve some sort of hardship pay. Or I want to move back to the city where shoveling is not. my. problem.

Saturday, February 24, 2007

A (Not So) Lazy Afternoon

I am apparently living in an alternate universe right now, as both my children have been entertaining themselves for almost an hour straight. I have only had to step in twice, once to clean up a botched potty trip and once to insist that a few things get cleaned up before another activity began. I'm afraid to step away from the computer in case it disrupts the time-space continuum and I am suddenly required to play referee or entertainer or ....

See, I jinxed myself just by typing that, I started this post three hours ago. Sigh. But least the peace lasted for almost an hour, right?

Friday, February 23, 2007

Overheard on the way out the door

C: "Do we have to run any errands today?"

Chichimama: "Yes, and you need to behave better than you did yesterday."

C: "What kind of errands are we running?"

Chichimama: "We just have to go to Trader Joe's."

C pauses and reflects for a few seconds, then responds: "OK, I can behave in Trader Joe's."

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Picky Picky

Rebecca's last post scared me. It never ever occurred to me that some day my kids might eat dinner at someone else's house and the thought horrified me as all of their friends eat "real" food. You know, roast chicken, lasagna, tacos, rice and beans. And my children used to, they really did. But somehow over the last year they have moved from "adventurous eaters extraordinaire" (Empanadas? Bring em on. Sesame Thai tofu? You betcha.) to children who eat the same five or six foods day in and day out. Our list is fairly similar to Julia's, except we do have chicken (nuggets only) and quiche. Sometimes tofu.

So, in a massive panic that C might soon be asked to dinner at someone's house and my children's lack of dinner repertoire might be found out, tonight I braved the introduction of a new food, "Pizza Chicken Nuggets." Known to the rest of the world as Chicken Parmesan. As a side I served sweet potato "fries," as the bane of Nana's existence is that my children have lost their taste for sweet potato.

After the initial temper tantrums subsided, there was much interest in the concept of "Pizza Chicken Nuggets." Everyone oohhed and ahhed when it arrived on their plates, and a few bites were even consumed. Following Susan's advice, I studiously ignored their interest in the food, and occupied myself with cleaning under my fingernails. Which were astonishingly gross. I must remember to clean them on the days I manage to catch a shower....but I digress.

At the end of the meal, C had consumed all of his sweet potato fries and asked for more, and (maybe) a few bites of "Pizza Chicken." A consumed one bite of "Pizza Chicken" and one bite of sweet potato fry. She deemed the chicken "Yummy" and the sweet potato fry "not so yummy." Which kills me because the other day she ate my entire sweet potato off of my plate. It remains to be seen whether a sudden hunger develops right before bed, but I would consider this meal to be moderately successful. At least everyone tried something, and no one left the table upset.

Any suggestions regarding what I should try next? What would you serve a visiting child for dinner?

Tuesday, February 20, 2007


I've been neglecting my blog as of late (Hi, mom, we made it back from Florida just fine, no worries!). I don't know why it is that I can't quite commit to writing down the posts I have in my head. I think it is probably because I am a fundamentally lazy person. So, for example, on the plane ride back today, I composed several posts in my head, as my laptop was otherwise in use as a portable DVD player. But did I write them up when I got home? No, I did not. I did laundry, and went to Trader Joe's, and watched American Idol. Because I couldn't commit to writing about the problem with princesses or the amazing lack of parenting ability on display at an airport near you.

You should see my Blogger dashboard. Littered with half finished posts. The demise of the nap and the advent of the travel season has wreaked havoc on my ability to focus for more than a minute at a time. Plus, one can't blog and knit at the same time, and I've sort of been on a knitting kick recently. Has anyone invented a really workable audio blogging device? Because I could chat your ear off while I knit...

Anyway, don't mind me and my lack of content. One of these days I'll commit to a blog post of consequence, or not...

Friday, February 16, 2007


Dumb Cat located? Check.

Arrived safely in Florida? Check.

Children well behaved on flight? Check, check.

All bags and belongings accounted for? Check.

Children thrilled to see grandparents? Check.

Grandparents thrilled to see children? Check.

Alligator in the backyard? Check.

Snake on the patio? Check.

Lizard in the bedroom? Check.

There is a reason why I refuse to live in Florida, much to my husband's dismay. I like northern critters and creepy crawly things, thank you very much.

This whine is brought to you by the letters C and D

Why is it that Dumb Cat goes missing EVERY. SINGLE. TIME. we are about to go on vacation? Rebecca can attest, she has spent hours hunting for my cat while I have been off gallivanting around. Except unlike the other trips, which generally take place in the summer, this one is taking place when it is fricking cold outside, and icy and snowy and windy. And I am more concerned than usual. Because Dumb Cat is not a fan of the cold and icy and snow and wind. So that fact that it is 2:30am, and I am up, the lights are on and he is not home? Not good. AND, since Rebecca is, well, living in another country, she will not be around to hunt for the missing feline. Poor Lovely Friend, who I am quite sure is wishing she never met me right now, is going to get stuck with that job. Because for all my blustering, I will be rather upset if something happens to that cat.

And, it is supposed to be cold in Florida. Right up until the day after we leave. Whaaahhhh.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

It's a fricking roller coaster

Wheee! The deal is on, no it is off, no it is on but with a contingency, wait! But what about this!

As of right now, it is back on. But don't expect to hear of it again until the keys are officially handed over. Because clearly, I am a major jinx factor in our lives.

Too good to be true

Our lawyer just informed us that we are not out of attorney review. Instead, we are in the midst of watching the deal disintegrate around us. Our real estate agent was perhaps hoping if she spoke the words, they would magically come true. I am familiar with that feeling, heck, every time I offer up a green bean to A, I commit the same offense. But somehow, announcing that green beans are yummy and telling someone they are through attorney review on the piece of real estate that just.won't.sell. seem to be of different magnitudes. Not that I am bitter or anything.

I'm going to crawl into a small hole and hibernate until this is all over. We are officially on school vacation for a week plus, I might just stay in my pajamas until school resumes. Because there is something very, very comforting about living in one's pajamas. In fact, I think I am going to go find them. Right now.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Late Breaking News

We are officially out of attorney review on the old house, and the closing is set for the end of April. I'm just going to dance myself a little jig over here. Don't mind me.

Thanks to all for all the support during the house drama. I would claim that I will now be an upbeat and cheerful blogger, however, I would be lying. But at least I'll have one less thing to whine about, right? And just maybe if I'm not constantly in a semi-panic state, I'll have more time to ponder the wonders of the universe. Like how some people manage to be on time to school every. single. morning. With all members of their household dressed in weather appropriate clothing.

The Diary of a Phone Chain

8:15 pm: Huh, it is actually snowing a little. Yeah! I don't have to clean for playgroup in the morning. I can curl up and work on my knitting instead of mopping the kitchen floor.

10:07 pm: Wait, if there isn't school, how will I know?

10:08 pm: Phone chain! I remember now, there is a phone chain!

10:09 pm: Where is the phone chain?

10:15 pm: Ah, the phone chain. Who do I have to call?

10:16 pm: Who IS that person? Is her child actually in C's class? Where is the class list?

10:18 pm: Ah ha! The class list. Huh. This is the class list from last year.

10:20 pm: Ah ha! The real class list. Why was I looking for this? Right! Who's mom am I calling? Now where did I put the phone chain?

10:21 pm: There is the phone chain...I should really file this stuff somehow...huh. I thought her name was Jane. Man, I hope I haven't called her Jane to her face. Why did I think her name was Jane?

10:22 pm: It doesn't seem to be snowing that much. I bet we will have school. I guess I should go to bed.

10:23 pm: I should bring the phone chain upstairs just in case.

10:25 pm: Where is the upstairs phone? Oh God, in A's room.

10:26 pm: Phew! Phone and phone chain on my bedside table. I didn't even wake A up.

10:28 pm: Damn, I missed the weather. Oh well. Clearly, there will be school. Just look at it outside. Barely any snow.

1:17 am: Have to pee. Is there much snow yet? Nope. I guess I need to dig out the juice boxes for the party in the morning. Gee, I hope I have enough. Gah, I never mopped the floor for playgroup.

5:28 am: "Mommy! I had a nightmare that the Valentine's party was canceled because of the snow!" "Don't worry, look out the window, no snow. Go back to sleep."

5:53am: Is that the phone? Where is the phone? Why is it ringing? Who is calling at this hour? "Hello? Really? But there is no snow! Ice, huh? OK. Bye."


5:55 am: Wait, I'm the coordinator? What does that mean? Am I supposed to call everyone under me? It says I have to call everyone under me. But the woman who called me said to just call the next person on the list. Why is this so complicated? It's a freaking preschool phone chain. What happened to waking up and watching the news?

5:57am: "Hi, this is Chichimama from preschool. Yes, I know it is early, but they told me to call. OK, bye."

5:58 am: Crap. I didn't say anything about calling the next person on the list. And the list says I am supposed to call everyone, so I should really call the next person.

5:59 am: Well, I'm not calling anyone else this early. I'll go back to bed an call at a more respectable hour.

6:03 am: I can't sleep. What if I oversleep and someone heads off to school and gets into an accident and it is all my fault? I should get out of bed and start calling.

6:05 am: But is is only 6:05 am. No one on that list is up at this hour. Even my kids are still sleeping.

6:11 am: I am never going to be able to sleep unless I call. I'm just going to call. I was called before 6 am, this is so not my fault.

6:15 am: "Hi, this is Chichimama from preschool. Yes, I know it is early, but they told me to call. OK, bye."

6:16 am: Damn it, I forgot to tell her to call the next person on the list. I'll just keep calling.

6:17 am: "Hi, this is Chichimama from preschool. Yes, I know it is early, but they told me to call. OK, bye."

6:18 am: "Hi, this is Chichimama from preschool. Yes, I know it is early, but they told me to call. OK, bye."

6:19 am: "Hi, this is Chichimama from preschool. Yes, I know it is early, but they told me to call. OK, bye."

6:20 am: I should really mention to someone at school that they could start the phone tree at a more respectable hour. "Hi, this is Chichimama from preschool. Yes, I know it is early, but they told me to call. OK, bye."

6:21 am: Phew. All calls made. NOW I can go to sleep.


6:28 am: Next year, I have to remember to put my name at the VERY LAST SLOT on the list.

Monday, February 12, 2007


Nothing makes me feel like an underachiever like reading an email from my alma mater about a graduate who accomplishes something important and meaningful while I am wiping yogurt streaks left by little fingers off of my computer.

I think there should be an alumni award for the most impressive waste of an education. I could be a contender I tell you.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

In case you wondered why my drivel has dried up over the last few days

I present to you, the finished bunting.

It's a little reminiscent of an unfortunate bridesmaids dress (which was thankfully never worn), or a certain McDonald's character, but it is done.

Done, done, done (just don't look too closely at how the zipper is sewn in, OK?). I hope Baby C2 wears it at least once. In fact, I hope it fits Baby C2 by the time it makes it to Texas, the child is growing like a weed.

Some (grammatically incorrect) lessons that were learned during this knitting project...

  • Much like on a wall in your living room, colors that look good in small swatches take on their own life when knit into a large item of clothing.
  • If I ever do a zipper again, I'm buying a sewing machine.
  • Picking up stitches is not nearly as difficult as it sounds.
  • When sewing something together, double check that you have pinned it together correctly BEFORE sewing around the whole piece.
  • Stockinette is a really boring stitch when done for long periods of time.
  • When knitting in boring stockinette stitch, never, ever pick a pattern that dictates increases and decreases by row number instead of inches.
My next few projects are hush hush, so don't be looking for any knitting updates over the next few weeks. But once the surprises have been sprung, I'll post pics.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

There is something so wrong about this

So I haven't blogged about this, not wanting to jinx anything, but we finally had an offer on the old house. The inspection is this afternoon. I went over this morning to turn the heat up and low and behold, the pipes, they were frozen. Solid. I called Lovely Friend in a panic (and I mean a full-fledged, hysterical "OH MY GOD. I'M GOING TO HAVE A NERVOUS BREAKDOWN RIGHT. NOW" panic. And, because she is so much calmer and, well, saner than I, she came over armed with heat guns and fans and portable heaters, and most importantly, snacks for the kids.

And as I paced around the kitchen querying her on exactly which anti-anxiety medications she might have lying around her house, she went about setting up the heaters and fans and heat guns and, bless her heart, got them unfrozen. I wish I could be that kind of calm person, instead of the kind that runs around with her head cut off in the middle of a crisis. I always thought I handled crisis well, but I have been proven wrong time and time again this year. So if you have a crisis, don't call me. Unless of course you want Lovely Friend's number.

I think I will bring her wine. And perhaps knit her some new mittens. Seriously, how do you thank someone for saving your real estate deal? I somehow think that wine and mittens are not quite enough.

Oh, and the part that is so wrong? It is now almost 10 degrees warmer at the house in which we do not live than it is here. Wrong. Just wrong.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

The magic number

Apparently, 70 is the temperature that my house should be at today to keep me warm. And I did in fact set it that high for half and hour or so until the fear of sky-high energy bills scared me into turning it back down to 64. But the half hour was blissful. Unfortunately, I discovered that it should have kept it warmer for a bit longer as the sandwich bread we are in desperate need of for tomorrow has decided not to rise.

I have also discovered that the downstairs powder room is about five degrees warmer than the rest of the house because it is so small, and because for some odd reason the air blasts out of the vent in there more more forcefully than in the rest of the house. So I spent much of the day knitting in the bathroom, and will be rising my bread in there from now on. I know, it is an exciting, exciting life I lead.

Monday, February 05, 2007


I am cold. I cannot get warm. I am wearing long johns, fleece pants, a turtleneck and a fleece sweatshirt. Wool socks and down slippers. I have even broken my cardinal rule of energy (and money) conservation and turned the heat up to 67. Unheard of in this house. But do I feel any warmer? No, no I do not. Even the cats have spent the day following the sun from one spot to another, and have now buried themselves in the middle of our bed, snuggled under pillows.

The arctic chill without any snow to make it all pretty? Not fun. Not fun at all. I am off to join the cats in their search for warmth under the covers in the bedroom. Come find me if I haven't emerged by spring.

Sunday, February 04, 2007

It's a small world

Today, I totally forgot about the birthday party of a classmate of C's until 20 minutes after it had started. Stupidly, I mentioned this oversight to C, and somehow found us racing over to the local gymnastics studio with no socks and jackets on in 20 degree weather in order to make it "in time for the cake!" We screeched into the party, C flung himself into the fray of 25 five year olds playing some bastardized version of statue, and A burst into tears as she realized she was going to spend the next 45 minutes watching her brother and his friends have fun.

All of a sudden, a piece of paper appeared in front of my eyes. I looked up, and there was the knitting pattern I had been begging the internet to help me locate. Before me stood the woman in the funky scarf, who was almost jumping for joy.

"I got home and realized that the pattern was at Berroco, not Bernat!" she exclaimed. "So I printed it out and have been carrying it around in my bag hoping I would see you! And I did!"

It is a small, small world. And now I have a reason to finish that bunting for Baby C2.

Saturday, February 03, 2007

Overheard from the disgruntaled

A: (muttering under her breath after a sibling battle over TtFTE) "When I am da mommy, I am going to give you time outs C. Yes I am. Long, long time outs. I can't wait to be da mommy and give you time outs."

Friday, February 02, 2007

Going for the Jugular

As C sat perched on a stool watching me frantically sweep and clean the kitchen before the arrival of our playdate (because of course I decided to procrastinate the cleaning)...

C: "Playdate Friend's mom's house is always nice and clean and white. She is a very good cleaner." He looks around critically, then adds "You're not such a good cleaner."

Five's a Crowd

I woke up this morning with four small bodies crowded around me. Two kids, two cats. No husband. I lay there and wondered, "How did I get here? Where oh where did I go wrong?" Clearly, we should have bought that king sized bed when we replaced the full after C was born. But at the time, the queen seemed so huge, and C was so small! Plus, he would soon be sleeping in his own room, in his own bed. So a queen would serve us just fine. Hah. Yet another fatal error in parental judgment.

While the kids start the night off in their own beds, somewhere around 1 C has started migrating into our bed. He migrates back to his own around 2 or so, just in time for the cats to arrive. At 4, A tries to wake up for the day and generally can be convinced to snuggle in bed with us until 6 or so. But C must have some sort of fairness radar that goes off the minute she climbs into bed, because he arrives shortly after demanding the opportunity to snuggle as well. After a few minutes of two children and two cats squirming around trying to get comfortable and carve out their own space, M generally gives up the ghost and starts his day. I try to eek a few more minutes out of the kids, but the sound of the shower alerts A to the fact that it is time to start our day, and so ends our night.

When talking with my mom a few days ago, I mentioned that my sister, with a toddler and a newborn, seemed to be getting more sleep than I was as Baby C2 already has day and night figured out, and is only getting up once or twice a night to nurse. My mom paused, and then finally commented, "Well, she is not quite as quick to go to them as you are. They have to really mean business before she heads in to them. Not that there is anything wrong with what you do!" And it is true, I have always gone with the "Cut the crying off at the pass" philosophy in hopes that the child would quickly return to a sleeping state.

So last night, I tried not to run up the stairs the instant A woke up. I sat and finished my row, and even debated starting another one. But then she climbed out of bed and stood in the hallway screaming "I want my MOM-MEEEEEE! I want my MOM-MEEEEE NOW!" By the time I made it there, she was lying in the middle of the staircase, about to roll the rest of the way down and crash land on the tile floor below. And then she continued to scream for an hour and half. So much for that experiment.

I really, really wish we had gotten that king sized bed. If you glean any advice from my blog at all, let it be this. If you are in the market for a bed, and you have more than one child, and you are of the "whatever works" style of parenting, do yourself a favor and get the king.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Bullets of Randomness

  • I should be working on the bunting for Baby C2. But since I am almost done with it, I have instead spent most of the day pondering my next project. This is why I find it hard to actually FINISH a project.
  • My hands are so dry and cracked I look like I am well over 100 if you look at my hands. Really. I need to get better at moisturizing.
  • It is supposed to snow tonight. Which would generally be fabulous, but M isn't going to be home tonight and there are two houses to be shoveled out. Sigh. Double sigh. At least I won't have to worry about not getting to the gym.
  • The Jello Pudding 100 Calorie Devil's Food Cake thingy's are perhaps the best invention ever. Although if you eat three of them in a day, I suppose the 100 calorie thing is not so relevant.
  • We are supposed to have a playdate tomorrow with a child who was exposed to strep on Tuesday. Is it bad of me to hope that it snows enough that we won't be able to have the playdate? Because if he was exposed on Tuesday, he is ripe to be coming down with it on Saturday, and will be nice an contagious tomorrow. But what was I supposed to say, "Oh, no, we won't play with you because you MIGHT be getting sick?" I would have been much happier if she had just not told me at all. There is indeed such a thing as too much information.
  • I guess I need to clean if there is a playdate coming over. But do I clean now? Or wait until the last minute because it might be canceled? Decisions, decisions.
  • Despite the playdate and cleaning thing, I think I am still hoping for a lack of snow. Because all that shoveling, shiver. So I am off to ignore that weather alert blinking at me at the top of my browser. Weather alert? What weather alert?