Saturday, January 24, 2009

25 Things

I did it on Facebook--so figured I'd re-post it here, for readers who are not on Facebook...

Rules: Once you've been tagged, you are supposed to write a note with 25 random things, facts, habits, or goals about you. At the end, choose 25 people to be tagged. You have to tag the person who tagged you. If I tagged you, it's because I want to know more about you.

1. When I was six years old, my sister slammed my pinky in the bathroom door at my Grandpa’s house. She got in trouble, but it was totally not her fault because I stuck my pinky in there on purpose when she was about to slam the door shut. Morbid, irresistible impulse.

2. I have never seen my husband without a beard, and we’ve been together for nearly ten years.

3. I really want to vacation in Italy. Without my children.

4. Coconut is my enemy. Unless it’s in Thai food.

5. I’ve had my nose pierced twice. I want to do it again.

6. I’m a joiner. I hate to be left out. (Which is why you can almost always count on me to perpetuate these memes.)

7. I cannot wiggle my ears, flare my nostrils, or roll my tongue in any direction.

8. I do iron clothes occasionally—but I don’t think I’ve EVER done it without burning myself.

9. I also have a tendency to cut myself (at a rate higher than the average person, I think) when using a knife in the kitchen.

10. I have never, however, broken a bone in my body.

11. I have four tattoos. The second one is covered up by the fourth, so only three are visible.

12. I believe in the power of a corndog.

13. Though I read labels at the grocery store to avoid buying foods with trans fats and high-fructose corn syrup, I fantasize about (and occasionally indulge in) Sonic (see #12 above) and McDonalds.

14. I worked for John Hughes (the movie director) for about 3 months in the spring of 2003, as a gardener (growing organic vegetables) on his private estate. It was the worst three months of my life.

15. I also once worked as the caretaker of a 17-acre estate with a private beach on Lake Michigan, just north of Chicago. The owner of that property, my former employer, is now in federal prison on charges of racketeering and insurance fraud.

16. I make a better door than a window.

17. I would rather be on my scooter.

18. I can keep a secret.

19. I am Actually Afraid of Halloween haunted houses, haunted barns, haunted hayrides, and the like. As in, it is not fun for me because I am terrified, squeezing my eyes shut and screaming. Exception: the Haunted Mansion at Disney World. Not scary.

20. My husband is a horticulturist. I used to be a garden writer, and could practically CLEP out of a two-year hort program. Still, our own garden is a mess! Hip-high weeds, ad-hoc plant arrangements and an out-of-commission compost bin. Babies make it hard to find time in the garden!

21. I adore asparagus. When it’s in season, I cannot get enough. I even get an inexplicable sense of satisfaction from the weird-smelling you-know-what that results from eating a plateful of spears.

22. I really want to take up camping.

23. At any given time, I probably own about 23 tubes of lip balm.

24. I am a neat freak at heart, but a slob in practice. I adore order but have trouble attaining it. Sometimes I resent the factors in my life that make it difficult to maintain order. (See # 20 above.)

25. I wrote more words on this “assignment” today than I wrote for actual work assignments.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

All Much

Yesterday morning, Arlo crept into bed with us after my alarm had gone off, while we were still snoozing and lollygagging.

As he folded himself into the half-moon curve of my body and wrapped my arm around himself, he closed his eyes and said, "Do you know how much I love you guys?"

"How much, Arlo?" I asked.

"ALL MUCH," he smiled.

Needless to say, I hit that snooze button at least twice more before I could tear myself away from a morning snuggle with the Sweetest Boy on Earth.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009


Maybe this song struck a chord with me today because I spent my lunch break preparing for a New Pi board meeting, and won't be home until well after my children go to sleep tonight.

"Even when I'm a mess, I put on a vest with an 'S' on my chest, oh yes..."

This goes out to all my friends who are amazing parents (especially the moms, but the dads get mad love too) and who try to also have ambition, a social life, passion, creativity, and something left to give your community. This, I think, is exactly the call to action that we heard in Obama's Inaugural address yesterday... and I salute all of you are out there being superwomen (and men), each in your own way. This is how we build a better future.

Friday, January 16, 2009

I promise you, we will not make these comparisons when the girls are in high school.

Mara and I grabbed a quick taco (Mara, a taquito) for lunch today and then went to Kidworks to powershop for pants for her 6-month-old, Nora, since she's outgrown all of hers. Mara reported to me that Nora now weighs (according to our shared daycare provider) twenty-four pounds. Twenty. Four.

I mean, that is one large helping of Baby Goodness:

For the record? Macy (who is just shy of 16 months now) weighed twenty POINT four pounds at her last doc's appointment. As in, twenty-and-a-half. She's in the tenth percentile for weight, which does vex me a little, considering the copious amounts of food that she gobbles up every day. But hey! that was, like, a month ago! I'm sure Mae has been packing on some weight since then. She'll catch up!

Macy is nearly a year older than Nora, and yet we are in a peculiar situation where Nora could, concievably, start handing down her outgrown clothes to Macy. That is, if her mom didn't have to hem them all up to accomodate the much-shorter legs of an infant in toddler clothes--because Macy is at the 90th percentile for height.

Look at Nora's thighs in the photo above, and then check out the wee gams on my daughter here. This photo was taken at Thanksgiving. Oh, and wouldn't you know that Mara's comment on my flickr page when I posted this photo was, and I am quoting verbatim, "such slender little thighs."

Ah, if only someone would say that about me. If only.

When I asked Mara if she minded me writing a blog post about the girls and their respective sizes, her exact quote in the instant-messaging window was: "you can also refer to my daughter as any of the following: piggie, la gordita, full-figured, Rubenesque, etc."

So yeah, I guess you could say that Mara has come to terms with having a Giant Girl Child. (Oops, did I have permission to use that term?)

Just promise me, Mara (and Rockne), that you will abandon the "Piggie" nickname before young Nora is old enough to have body image issues. I love your big, beautiful baby, and wouldn't have her any other way.


Thursday, January 15, 2009

Dance Party

Here's my baby girl, showing off some serious dance moves. Arlo shows up at the end, outside the window. He was blowing off some cabin fever by shoveling the snow off of our deck (which we sometimes like to call "the kid run").

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Speaking of... speech

I've had conversations lately with fellow parents wherein we lament the adorable mispronunciations that have been lost in the mists of time as our toddlers have grown into preschoolers, and as they approach (GASP!) school age. Ted and I always agree that one of our fondest discarded mispronunciations was the way Arlo used to pronounce Cookie Monster. He would say, "Turkey Butter." We still laugh about that one, and I think he's been pronouncing it correctly for going on two years now.

Just in the past day or two, I was desperately trying to remember one of the current speech glitches that I really hate to see go by the wayside (See??? It's almost gone already! Like sand slipping through our fingers!) but I just couldn't bring one to mind.

Today, I thought of two.

One: Arlo still calls his fingers "ningers." Awwwwwwww.

Two: When Arlo's not feeling well (or playing at not feeling well), he says he has a "tummy ick" or a "head ick." Truth be told, I think his words are a little more accurate than the "right" ways of saying tummy ache and headache (especially in the case of the tummy). I'm thinking of instituting his pronunciation as the new official pronunciation in our household.

Maybe if we do that, we can hold on just a little bit longer. Here's hoping.

A Much-Needed Reminder

I've been enjoying the blog of a friend from high school, who is now all grown up and a mighty fine writer/blogger. Today was an especially resonant post for me, so I am compelled to share. Enjoy this post, and think about bookmarking Jill's blog as a daily favorite.


If you want to buy an album on iTunes, it's gonna cost you $9.99. If you want to buy someone a gift card so that they can purchase an album on iTunes, it'll cost $10.

I wonder how much extra money goes into the Apple coffers because of that penny difference. I think I'd like to sign up to have those pennies deposited into my own personal checking account.

I mean, I know it's all imaginary money anyway--what's the difference between paying $9.99 and $10, really? But why, then, don't they just make it cost $10 to download the album? What is the deal with that penny?

Friday, January 09, 2009

God Bless Olive

Mae approaches, Olive prepares.

Mae pets Olive.

Mae huuuuugs Olive.

This is a really big hug, people.
And believe it or not, Olive did not run away following this photo shoot. In fact, Mae got up and walked away and Olive looked a little disappointed that the lovin' had come to an end. What a sweet cat!

The Time Has Come

Back when Arlo was a toddler, I found this adorable knitting pattern for a hat equipped with holes--made for a little girl's pigtails to stick out. I mildly lamented the fact that I had a boy, because I so desperately wanted to parade my child around in the "Piggle."

I'm surprised that I never knitted one for myself, given my propensity for grown-up pigtails. Even though I said, many times, that I should knit a Piggle hat for any of my numerous friends who have since had little girls, I never did. Maybe I didn't really want anyone else to have one (that is, an adorable little girl in a special pigtail hat) if I couldn't have one.

Since Mae was born, I've been monitoring the hair situation, wishing that her hair would grow as quickly and thickly and luxuriously as Arlo's did when he was her age. I have pined away for my girl's hair to be long enough to attempt pigtails.


Guess I'd better get crackin.' Matching Piggles for Mom and Daughter, coming soon to a blog (and two very lucky heads) near you!

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

You Go, Girl

I am proud to report that Macy peed in the potty for the second time last night!

I've noticed that she often pees on the floor right when I take her diaper off for bath time at night--so I got out Arlo's potty chair and tried sitting her down on it right at that crucial time. My first successful attempt was three nights ago--and I made such a big deal about it, you would've thought I'd won the lottery. I squealed and clapped, laughed, cried, hugged. I think Macy was a little taken aback--but I was so proud.

Night before last, I tried again--but she couldn't hold it, and peed on the floor and all over her legs after I slipped her diaper off--but before I could get her on the potty.

Last night, it worked like a charm. Macy seemed to know exactly what to do, and as soon as she had tinkled a bit, she stood up and looked at it, and pointed in the potty with a big goofy grin on her face. Arlo and Ted came in to catch the tail end of the show, and joined me in making a big fuss over our big girl's mad potty skillz.

I'm truly not in a hurry to have Macy completely potty-trained (Arlo took about a year and a half from first interest to accident-free), but I have to admit that it is exciting to see the light at the end of the diaper tunnel. Hooray!

Friday, January 02, 2009

Pitter Patter? Not exactly.

I took a moment yesterday to relish the sound of Mae's bare feet slapping against the maple floor in the hallway. I knew she was coming to find me, because she walks more loudly than anyone in the house, and I could tell she was in a hurry.

"Mom! Mom!" she shouted as she walked. It's like she's already a teenager.

It's not exactly the "pitter patter" of little feet--more like the "SMACK! SMACK!" of little feet. Whatever you want to call it, it's something I never want to forget--and that's why it ended up here.

After the storm

Earlier this week, we had a babysitter taking care of Arlo and Macy while their usual daycare is closed for the holidays. Photo number one here shows what our house looked like each day when we got home from work. Bear in mind, I'm not complaining about the babysitter--she's sixteen, and we were very clear with her that housekeeping was waaaay down the list of priorities, below keeping the kids safe and happy. I'm just sharing the photo because it illustrates exactly what happens at our house when a grown-up is not picking up after everyone at all times.

The good news is, Sophie the Babysitter was very good at Job Number One: keeping said kids safe and happy. When I arrived home on Wednesday after work, this is the face that awaited me. Arlo was still napping, and when he did wake up (after Sophie had gone home), he was very disappointed that it was Mom and not Sophie who was waiting for him.

I'm just so proud to see that Macy now knows how to cheese it up for the camera. Hooray!
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