Month: July 2010 (page 2 of 3)

And when you get your second set, that’s all the teeth you’ll ever get. So saith Dr. Seuss.

Her tooth had been wobbling for ages and after four months of, “Maybe it’ll fall out today?” I was convinced it was never going to. And that was fine with me. Baby teeth mean she’s still my baby, right? But the night before last, it happened. Julia lost her first tooth.

She was so excited. She squealed and jumped and ran around showing it to anyone and everyone – human and feline alike – in our house. She was naked, of course, as her tooth had come out just as she was about to take her bath, but it didn’t matter. After all that waiting, her tooth was finally free.

When I caught her and plunked her in the tub with her sister, Lucy immediately grabbed Julia’s face and said, “Let me see!” She drew in close, squinted and declared, “Julia! Your tooth fell out!”

“One day, when you’re all grown up, you’ll lose your teeth, too,” Julia told her, her chest puffing with pride.

After the bath, I pulled out a little Tooth Fairy Kit I’d purchased from one of those crazy school fundraisers that included a tiny satin pillow with a pocket for the tooth, a collection box for the money from the Tooth Fairy and a booklet for recording the dates each baby tooth was lost. We set it up on the headboard of her bed while Lucy sat on her toddler bed gagging as she tried to pull one of her own teeth out.

I sang the girls to sleep and patted myself on the back for my preparedness. But once I lined up the Tooth Fairy visit and settled myself into my own bed and the nook of Dave’s arm, I couldn’t hold back the tears. “I remember the day she got her first tooth. She wasn’t even a year old. It was the first day of Spring,” I told him. “That was yesterday, Dave,” I added. “Tomorrow, she’ll be moving out and leaving us forever.”

“No she won’t,” he said. “We’re not letting her leave. She’s just not allowed.”

“I’m not sure that’s how it works.”

In the morning, it was revealed that the Tooth Fairy had visited. She left behind four quarters and one tiny, glittery note.

Note from the Tooth Fairy

Also a gap in Julia’s smile, proof that my baby is disappearing, and my girl is growing.

Julia lost her first tooth

In Which I Will Be Forced to Consume A Vile Concoction and Then, They Will Suck My Blood

Today, I will go to my obstetrician’s office for the Glucose Challenge Test. Don’t you love how they make it sound like it just might be fun? It’s a challenge! Are you up for it?

Here, drink this disgusting liquid. Don’t throw up! Now, let’s poke you with needles. If you don’t pass the test, you’ll have to come back and drink the stuff again, but this time, we’ll poke you with needles every hour on the hour for an entire day. What can you win? Gestational Diabetes!

Who are they fooling, really? They should just call it the Glucose Torture Experiment.

So, what are you doing today?

Lucy, The Lightning Bug Princess

lounging in the poolWe had spent the whole day outside in our bathing suits. The girls had been running from the paddling pool to the playset and back, stopping now and then to pick and bring me flowers or play with the kittens. I had soaked up some sun and read Olympia Dukakis’s autobiography between rescues from the playset (a.k.a. “the tower”), pushes on the swing, drinks, snacks and splash battles in the pool. The moon was growing brighter as the sun began to set and I was teaching Julia the rhyme for wishing on the “first star I see tonight,” when Lucy climbed into my lap.

Rubbing her eyes, she asked for her story. This is what I told her.

“Once upon a time, there was a beautiful baby princess who lived in a big white castle on a hill. She was so bright and special, her mom named her Lucy, because Lucy means “light.” Lucy’s heart was pure and good, and every moment she was happy or kind or sweet, a lightning bug would be born. Every night, when the sun would start to go down, all the lightning bugs of the world would travel to Lucy’s castle to pay homage to the princess who gave them their light. Look! Here they come!”

The lightning bugs had just begun to appear and they were everywhere. As we gazed over the corn fields, there seemed to be millions blinking on and off. “They’re saying, ‘Thank you, Lucy.’ and ‘We love you!’ See them?” I said.

“I see them! I see my bugs! Look! Look at my bugs!”

She sprang from my lap and ran around, pointing and shouting at her lightning bugs. “I a pwincess! I a lightning bug pwincess, mommy!”

She was most certainly is.

The Back Yard

Back yard

I remember the first time I saw the back yard from my childhood as an adult. I couldn’t believe how small it was. As a kid, it seemed to stretch on for miles. It was perfect for kickball with the evergreen I planted in Kindergarten serving as first base, the butternut tree as second and a fiery bush as third. The pictures of my broken down and rusty swing set don’t match the image in my mind. I never noticed a dent, though I played on it faithfully every sunny day.

I wonder how my girls will remember our yard. I look at it and see mowing and trimming and landscaping that needs to be done. I see all the things I want to do, all the things I haven’t done and it just feels…insufficient.

I bet they don’t see it that way.

I sure hope they don’t.

And it happened on the day I had to move up an underwear size and my ego was already a little bruised.

Yesterday, I hauled Dave and the kids to an awesomely huge Kids Stuff Sale in hopes of scoring Julia some second-hand jeans for school, which I did and more. I was still feeling a little high from the knowledge that I was only going to hand over half the cash in my pocket for the armload of stuff I was carrying when a woman who was working the sale approached and said, “Wow, you must be due any day.”

She was referring to the size of my pregnant belly.

“No, September,” I replied without making eye contact, knowing where this was going.

“WOW! Then you must be having twins!!!”

“No,” I said firmly as my entire body grew tense. “I’M JUST REALLY BIG.” I gave her a hard and deliberate stare. Dave later told me that I actually clenched my fists, which is weird. Why would I do that? I’d never HIT anyone. I might dream about it…but hit someone? No. Never. Not really.

By then, Dave stepped between us and tried to make a joke. A lady at the next table laughed nervously and added, “Oh that’s nothing, you should have seen me when I was pregnant. We kept thinking there were two in there…”

They all tried to make it better. Because 80% of the people standing there had the presence of mind and common courtesy to NOT marvel at the size of the giant pregnant woman. IT’S JUST NOT NICE.

I think it would be useful if the President issued a proclamation about it or something. I wouldn’t even complain if he broke into Hell’s Kitchen to say something like, “Those of you less-evolved idiotheads who think it’s appropriate to treat pregnant women like circus sideshow acts will be shipped to Siberia.”

I get it. I am big. If anyone in the world knows this, it’s me. But it’s not like I’m so big, I’m terrorizing Japanese cities or anything. And it’s not like getting a big belly when you’re cooking a kid is something new. It’s sort of how nature works.

Why are some people jerks?

I think the next time someone comments on my big belly, I’m going to fake labor. What would you do?

How to Connect Your Techie Kid with Nature

We’re living in a digital age and kids are getting more screen time than ever. The time a child spends sitting in front of a screen is time taken away from other activities that are necessary for healthy physical, intellectual and social development – like moving, playing, reading, learning and interacting with adults and children. But these days, it takes more than switching the television off and shooing them outside to give them a media break. With laptops, portable DVD players, iPods, iPads, and DS’s, kids can easily go from one screen to another, whether they’re indoors or out.


Well, we’ve found an activity that will satisfy your kid’s technological cravings and your desire to keep them well-rounded and healthy. It’s a high-tech treasure hunt called Geocaching. The basic idea is to use a GPS device to locate hidden containers, called geocaches, outdoors and then share your experiences online. Here’s how to do it.

  1. Visit and sign up for a free membership.
  2. Click “Hide & Seek a Cache” to search for caches in your area. I searched using my Newcomerstown zip code and found 333 caches within 25 miles of my house.
  3. Each cache listing is given a rating based upon the level of difficulty and terrain. Choose one that meets your needs in an area you’d like to visit and enter the coordinates in your GPS enabled device. We purchased a GPS just for geocaching, but chances are, you could just use your cell phone!
  4. caching gps

  5. Head out to find the cache. The cache listing on the geocaching website will give you many clues about where you’re headed and what to look for. Once you find the cache, sign the log book. Most caches are filled with small items – stickers, toys, coins, keychains. The general rule is, if you take an item, be sure to leave an item. Then, return the cache to its original location.
  6. cachepic

  7. Geocaching promotes the cleaning up of any trash or debris that may be on the way to, from or around the cache. Be sure to pick up and dispose of any litter you may find. This is called “Cache in, Trash out,” and is a standard practice for geocachers.
  8. Log your find on the geocaching website and be sure to share your stories and pictures about your adventure! Geocaching can take you to many beautiful, interesting and historic places. You’ll want to capture the memories.
  9. caching-mary-campbells-cave

Originally written for and posted on the now-defunct My OH! Momma website.

My Brainy Kids

On the way up to bed, after I accidentally knocked Lucy over (for the third time today) with my giant baby belly, I told her, “I’m so sorry, honey. My big belly has a mind of its own.”

“Literally,” Julia chimed. “There is a brain in there. Phoebe’s!”

Check it, yo. I’m kind of a big deal.

$100 Question Promo GraphicSo, Blogher has this thing called the $100 Question where the cool bloggers ask questions and if you answer the question in the comments and the randomizer likes you, you win one hundred bucks.

I’ve answered many questions. But, I never ever EVER thought I’d be cool enough to be the ASKER.


I bet this is how it feels to be the variety of queen – homecoming, maple festival, dairy, what have you – that waves and rides in a convertible in a parade. I’ve never gotten to do that, so I’m really enjoying this.

Won’t you please go answer my question?

The question is: Are you competitive? If you’ve ever been here before ever, you likely know that I’m not competitive at all. On opposite day!

You can comment on the $100 Question as many times as you want. You just have to do it by 5 p.m. on Wednesday, July 14th to be eligible to win. So, please go comment! I’d love it if YOU won.

How We “Survived the Crash” (Julia’s words)

I live in Tuscarawas County, Ohio. Obviously. (I know, I know. Good-bye anonymity! As if I ever had it…so while I’m at it, if you live here, too, be sure to come to My OH! Monday. I’ll be there in all my round and pregnant glory!) And when I head for the highway, I always pass this county road sign.

TUSH. Hehe.

The abbreviation for our county on those kinds of signs is TUS. Someone added a letter H. So it says, “TUSH.” Hehe. TUSH. I can’t really explain why this makes my heart feel so good. All I know is, my kids believe the only way we can access 77 North is to sing the intro to the ZZ Top song.

And so began our journey yesterday. We were heading to Canton after I made the strategic decision to take my van, Stella, because 1) she has air conditioning (and it’s broken in we own) and 2) she had enough gas for the trip so we wouldn’t have to put more in Dave’s car before our next payday. And Lord knows, a tank of gas can make all the difference when money is tight. The children need milk, after all.

We made it to our exit and were sitting on the downhill exit ramp at a red light when it happened. Our brakes went out. Dave later said that it felt like a bubble popped under the peddle, it went to the floor and SMACK! We hit the car in front of us. I started freaking out, OF COURSE. It’s what I do. And the way you freak out when you’re pregnant is to grab your belly and scream – because that’s what nature tells you to do! DANGER means PROTECT THE BELLY. Dave quickly wondered VERY LOUDLY if I was in labor and by then the kids were screaming and crying. But then I realized I had a job to do, I took some deep breaths and said, “Okay. Okay! It’s okay. We’re alright.”

The light turned green and the man in front of us – you know, the one whose ass we were up – gave us a wave and took off. A man we spoke to later said, “That’s lucky,” but I don’t know, considering I’m waiting for the cops to come break down the door and get us because we crashed into someone and didn’t hand over our insurance, our bank account and Julia to make it right. But the thing that really matters in this story right now is that when the dude took off, we had nothing holding us back and so we started to drift into the very busy intersection ahead. Dave used the emergency brake, which stopped us. Sideways. And in a cloud of smoke, which may have been cool in a Dukes of Hazzard kind of way had my children not been poking out into oncoming traffic.

At that point, we had a decision to make: turn left to go up the very steep hill or right to go down the very steep hill. We had to move and there was no place to pull to the side. So, we went uphill. Lucy had gotten distracted by then and was singing “Mama Mia…here I go again! Ma ma, how can I resist ya?” Julia was shrieking that we were going to die. I kept saying, “We’re fine. We’re fine. Daddy will get us out of this.” And he did. We made it to the nearest brake shop. Fifteen minutes after it was closed.

We spent the next hour in a Subway restaurant with no air conditioning waiting for a tow truck for Stella and a ride from my mother…in her car…with no air conditioning. And now, $250 later, a tank of gas doesn’t seem all that pricey.

At Least She Didn’t Sing, “You’re a Fatty Bombolatty! Fatty Bombolaaaateeeee!” She just implied it.

Julia is becoming increasingy concerned about my pregnancy weight gain. The way she approaches me leads me to believe she’s afraid I might explode. I’m tempted to start making a ticking sound when she’s around.

Yesterday, she outlined her ideal workout regimen and invited me to start doing it with her after the baby comes. She told me, “If you want to look like me, and not….um…well, if you want to look like me, you have to work out like me.”

Oh, Jules. I’d have to do a lot more than that. And it would involve a time machine, a plastic surgeon and a Voodoo spell.

Anyway, here is her regimen.

Julia's Workout Regimen

Let’s start with the left-hand column. These are her exercises. First up, Jumping Jacks. She does 5 of them. Next, Hand Stands. She does 3. Then, Lunges. She does 5 of those, followed by 5 Push-Ups. She scratched out the ellipitcal machine after I informed her that she’s too young to use it. Last, but certainly not least, the Wii Fit.

Beside her list of exercises she has drawn two people. Dave is on the right. You can tell it’s Dave because of the arrows pointing to his bald spot. Also between his legs…maybe because he’s male? I am on the left saying, “What!?!?” I’m sure it has something to do with the arrow.

Dave thinks the arrow below him is meant to signify that he is jumping.

I just checked with Julia. She informed me that the arrow is to direct you to turn the page upside down for Hand Stands, which makes sense, I guess, and is a lot less obscene than my idea.

And my chorus to her verse: crying. This made me cry. Because it doesn’t matter how many times people tell you you’re not that big, when your six-year-old turns all Jillian Michaels on you, you know you are ENORMOUS.

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