October 28, 2010


Me:      You better sit down in that chair, Stella Rae!
Stella:   No!
Me:      Stella! Sit down! Sit sit sit!
Stella:   No! No, sit!
Me:      Stella Rae, you are about to be in big trouble!  I am serious!  Sit DOWN.
            (She looks at James).
James:  Oooh, Sissy.  Big trouble. And Mommy serious.

October 26, 2010

Give Me that Sweater!

So I work with a girl who wears a leopard print cardigan every so often. I am friends with her.  And I love this cardigan. 

I have asked her nicely to hand over the sweater to me several times. 

She refuses.

Not only that, she doesn't tell me where I can find one.  It's about to get ugly.  Any suggestions about how I can get this sweater from her....without causing a physical altercation (read: HR nightmare), please email me.  I need this cardigan!  I need it!

If I take a lesson from my kids, I should just walk up to her, snatch it off her back, and then run in circles around the office, saying "I take it! I take it!" 

Or, I could pop her square in the forehead with a plastic bear, and when she is surprised, pull some Three Stooges manuever and take it. 

I could offer a lame bribe, like a half eaten banana, "Here, lady. Have my banana for sweater."

I'll keep you posted.  But I expect to have that cardigan by Christmas.

October 25, 2010

Baby Food for Thought

I gave up a long time ago on fixing healthy, delicious tasting anything for the kids.  I tried vats of spaghetti, chicken, mashed potatoes - all freezed to perfection and ready to go.  I hid baby food in the sauces, and the kids used to like it.  Seems like when both kids hit about twenty-two months, they gave up on everything.  And so did I. 

Nothing will send a working mother into a state of "who cares" like a plate of uneaten, homemade spaghetti thrown at freshly laundered clothes.

So, slowly I gave up.  Dinnertime became a total crapshoot.  Yes, they loved chicken.  Yes, they hated chicken. They love broccoli.  Then they hate broccoli.  On Mondays, we love quesadillas.  Tuesdays, no way. 

Well, enter the Expert.  King of all knowing everything. Because I have given up on the cooking, he steps in.  A God-send, you say.  Yes and no.  He picks up the Jessica Seinfeld cookbook and starts with the Mac & Cheese.  Except our recipe is the one that substitutes a can of white beans for something that is otherwise delicious.  All day Sunday, it's healthy cook-a-palooza for the kids.

The Expert emerges from a cloud of flour with blueberry muffins made with yogurt, whole wheat flour, squash puree (!) and flax meal.  There's a loaf of banana bread with cauliflower puree and banana baby food.  There's some sort of Crockpot chicken dish.

Turns out, the adults (me and the Expert) actually like the food.  I am gobbling up baby food muffins. I am licking the bowl of the bean puree mac & cheese. The Expert ate a half loaf of banana bread standing in the kitchen.

Unfortunately, the kids are less than thrilled at the vitamin packed booby prizes. (Surprise, surprise).  And I believe the quote of the day comes from James:  I no like those muffins. Yucky.  While Stella looked at her chicken, saying, no no no no. 

Next stop. Spam on toast. I'm sure spam has some redeeming qualities.

October 24, 2010

Big Boy Bows

After adding a bow to Stella's hair, James insisted on one as well. 

And he asked for the red one.   I told him that bows are generally for girls, but he insisted.  And insisted.  And insisted. 

I'm hoping we can convince him to take it off before Publix.  If not, I guess a little Big Boy Bow never killed anyone.

October 23, 2010

Big Boy Bed

Today was out with the crib, in with the toddler bed.  James officially turns three on Monday.  Time to get out of the crib.  I guess.

Apparently, one toddler bed equals zero nap. 

A toddler bed also equals random jumping, singing of songs, pulling open of drawers and no less than fourteen attempts at escape.  Okay, just fine for naptime.  Annoying, but not fatal. So long as said toddler bed does not equal zero nighttime sleep, we shall survive.

At least I was smart enough to put the doorknob guard on the inside of the door.  Ole Houdini is, at least, contained.  Lest my ultimate fear of two beady toddler eyes staring back at me in the middle of the night become a reality.

So the toddler bed was in place.  Which meant the crib was out.  One day in parenting you're in...and the next day, you're out.  Sorry, I cannot wait for the Project Runway finale... 

Anyway, we had some initial trouble with the crib takedown.  First, the screws on the crib, a little worn, stripped, rusted, and beaten down. Then a near arm amputation when Stella decided to assist.  I told the Expert, look, just go get your Skil saw and get this thing outta here

At that point, one of us mentioned that maybe we should save the crib, just in case.  At the mere mention, I broke out in some sort of rash, and that was that.  Crib is in the pile for the weekly trash pickup. Unless someone wants it (email me now).  But that thing has to go, one way or another.

Everyone says that one day I'll miss the baby time, the cribs, the pacis.  I love these kids, and I adored them as babies. But I am ready for adult children. Only fifteen or so more years to go. And then, they are not really adults, but eighteen year old babies who think themselves big and bad and grown up.

Someone really ought to pass a law that requires a disclaimer to be attached to every single bed sold in the United States.

WARNING: The activities on this piece of furniture are life changing and may cause loss of life and significant memory loss. While it's fun to say "yes yes yes," most likely it will lead to twenty years of saying "no no no" in some other-worldly screeching voice, directed towards people in your house who, clearly, are not listening. You have been warned.


Watching James all tucked in at naptime (for sixteen seconds) was tad sad.  Just a tad.

October 22, 2010

Old Married Life

I am in the bedroom with my iPad, watching a new law drama on the DVR, and chilling out with my snack of choice: Goldfish and cab sav. The kids are in bed after a ridiculous attempt at a dinner at the loco Mex joint. The Expert, who I have barely seen this week, is holding the living room television hostage with "Underworld: Rise of the Lycans" after grumping about how he never gets to watch anything he wants to watch (yes, while the credits of Ultimate Fighter are rolling in the background).

So I grabbed my pile of junk and staked out the bedroom.

After nine years of marriage, are we finally at the point where Friday night constitutes a break from anything and everyone, spouse included? I think I would be just fine if I had known the great old married people wall was being built so soon. I thought I had at least five more years before the retreats to separate corners commenced. But I must admit, I am enjoying myself just fine. But I wouldn't mind his stinky butt sitting next to me about now. Rubbing my stinky feet. This situation must be remedied quickly. I'm not giving in to old married life yet...

October 21, 2010

The Strong Hug

I come from a long line of strong huggers. Same goes for strong handshakes. I was taught to shake a hand, even as a young girl, and not offer my hand like a limp fish. I hate that limp lady handshake. If you are out there teaching your daughters the sissy shake, you better forget her succeeding in any man's world career. I can't imagine meeting opposing counsel in a deposition and offering him the limp wrist girl greeting. Bye bye credibility. One can be a lady and shake a hand. My rant for the day.

Back to the strong hugs. I like bear hugs. Bone crushers. When my children are gasping for breath, I know they've been properly squeezed for the day.

I worked late tonight. Didn't get in to see the kids before bed. But I wandered upstairs to peek at them, and breathe in their little munchkin scents. I was quiet, but James caught me, and whispered, "oh, Mommy." I immediately scooped him up. And just as I started to sink my mama bear claws into him for the brute force hug, he wrapped his baby bone crushing arms around my neck and squeezed the life out of me. First. Beat me at my bear hugging game. I love that boy.

As I peeked in on Stella, she was snorting and snoring the night away. I touched those little chunky cheeks and wished I could wake her up to hear, "hi" and "cheese" and the combo of miscellaneous words that make up her whimsical sentences.

Oftentimes I feel my life and the hustle of the everyday closing in on me. I worry that what remains, what I have left to give at the end of the day, is not enough for the babies, the Expert, my career. All these worries, all the time. But one night missing those baby bedtimes, and I can't bear it. While I may have been in denial about all this motherhood stuff, apparently I have sipped the Kool-aid and I am a mom. All I need is right in front of my face. Finding the time to give credit and attention and focus where it is due...that's the great full court press.

At the end of the day, family is the real deal. Family is the giant smothering bear hug that somehow gets us from one day to the next day...alive.

October 19, 2010

Happy Anniversary & Application to the CIA

Wedding vows are funny words. For better or for worse. For richer or for poorer. After nine years of marriage and two kids checked off the list, I can think of so, so many more relvant vows. 

I promise to love you even when you leave a dirty diaper on the couch.. to steam and fester and permeate the air....all night long. 
I swear to love you, even when you show up, serious as can be, for a middle-of-the-night baby emergency... wearing nothing but your birthday suit and knowing completely well that no "real" emergency can be tended to in the nude.

And you swear to love me when my normal voice has actually morphed into a constant screeching and I have blown up to size of giant sumo wrestler.

This blog entry serves as our 9th anniversary tribute, as well as our official application to the CIA.  I figure that we are as good a spy couple as any, considering the photos submitted contemporaneously herewith. 

Over nine (married) years together and thirteen total, the Expert and I have changed individually and together. And I am proud to say - most often we have changed for the better. Sometimes not so much.

I love you, my darling Expert husband.  When we first started dating, you had not a single gray hair on your head, and I had not a hideous stretch mark on my body.  You are now covered in gray hair, and well... we'll just leave off that last part about me.

Back in the beginning, we had big dreams and loud mouths (oh, wait...that still applies). Just now our dreams are a even a little bigger and our mouths a little louder, but really that reserved for the kids: you sit down now, stop hitting your sister, give that back to your brother, dear God, stop that!
We have gotten fatter and thinner together, and fatter again. I am hoping that this will be the year of getting thinner again, because the fatter thing is getting to be a little boring.

I like that you can still make me laugh, even when I'm so stinking mad I could spit nails. Into your eyeballs. And then re-spit them into your ears. And you make me so mad, you do.

But because of you, I am happier and more content that I ever thought possible. Although you say I am too much of a grouch to ever be completely happy, I assure you that I am as happy as I am capable of being. So give me a break, already. I'll never be that "hooray!" or "goody!" girl with squeals of zealous excitement. I missed out on the goody gene.

That being said, if I were capable of saying the word "goody", I would say it for you.  I love you so, I do. You are the strongest, sweetest, smartest, silliest, and most supportive man I know.  

Happy anniversary!  I can't wait for another nine years of skinny bliss.

October 17, 2010

Three Years of Frenzy

Yesterday, our dear boy was nearly the first kid in the world to have his third birthday party cancelled due to inclement behavior. That little monkey rang in his birthday loud and clear, with an epic tantrum that lasted most of the morning, proving to all the world that the Terrible Twos may be over, but what's in store could be far worse.  The birthday party was scheduled for around 11:30, and by 11:15, I was still wandering around in "house clothes" muttering  to myself and trying to get the house in some sort of order.   

Things calmed down, and the party went off without a hitch.  And the cake, oh the cake.  A fabulous friend at work put together the Toy Story masterpiece. James went immediately for the little toys on the cake, and after three pieces in one day, I have gained about sixteen pounds.

To my dear boy: 

Three years ago, you made me earn your birth with the world's longest documented labor.  Now, three years later, I am still earning every day with you.  Being your mother is the farthest thing from easy...but loving you, crazy stubbon spirit and all, remains effortless.  When you are difficult, no one can rival you. When you are sweet, no one in this world is sweeter. And funny. Oh my, you are so funny. I cannot imagine my life without you, and I look forward to another year with you.  I am thinking there is no such thing as the Terrible Fours, so if we can all make it through one more year, we should all be alive, and golden.  After three years of frenzy, dear boy, I love you more than words can express.  

October 12, 2010


James was playing with his you-know-what in the tub. It was a little too much.  But that's a toddler boy for you. It was getting late. Tub time was wearing me down. I was tired.  And without thinking, I said, "Hey, dude, quit that playing with your wiener." 

Well..... the kid started giggling uncontrollably, repeating "Wiener! Wiener! My wiener! I play with my wiener!" He is lauging like crazy, and I am dying, thinking Dear God, this is what he is going to say all day at school tomorrow. He's that kid! Noooooo!

A+ parenting.  Yet again.

October 4, 2010

Shock of my Life

I am still in shock and awe of the last five minutes.  I may have just experienced one of the biggest surprises of my life.  By the way, happy Fall everyone!  My favorite time of year!  We had a nice little pumpkin patch action this weekend....

Anyway, just a few minutes ago, I watched as Stella threw her first Terrible Two worthy tantrum.  Complete with writhing on the floor and kicking and wailing. I was thinking, nice, I was wondering where your spunk was, Stella!  Usually, James will join in.  If there's a Fit Throwing Parade, James is typically, the baton-waving Grand Marshal.

He looked at Stella for a few seconds, and then went over to her.  She was laying on her back on the floor near the fridge, screaming at the top of her lungs (something about "cheese") as I scrambled to heat up something for them to eat.  James knelt down next to her and patted her head, saying, "No, no, Sissy. You no need to cry."

I stopped and watched.  He touched her arm and patted her hair, saying,  "It's okay, Sissy.  It's okay. You okay, Sissy."

And the best part?  She listened and sat right up.  She looked at James. So James threw his arms around her and said, "See, it's okay, Stella Rae. I love you. And I give you kiss." 

And he did. About fifteen times, he hugged and kissed her, until she was in stitches with giggles, and my eyes were full of tears. 

I am immeasurably blessed.  Not just for surviving yet another tantrum from the next child in line, but for that Grand Marshal son of mine, coming to the rescue.  That little booger showed me just the size of his heart and not just the size of his voicebox.  And it rocked my world.