Month: September 2011 (page 2 of 2)

The Batter Bandita

Lucy stood next to me on the step stool at the counter to sneak tastes from the batter bowl while I flipped pancakes on the griddle. I’d caught and scolded her twice when she decided to take another approach.

“Mom, hey, it’s like a learning thing. Do it like this: You tell me, ‘Finger one,’ and I’ll dip finger one, like this,” she raised her thumb dripping with batter from the bowl. “See?” She licked her thumb clean. “And now, finger two!” She plunged her index finger into the bowl.

“But Lucy, you’re still dipping your fingers in the bowl and eating batter when Mommy told you not to,” I said. “That’s disobeying.”

“But it’s a learning thing.”

“Like an educational opportunity?”

“I’m practicing piano,” she told me. “FINGERRRR THREEEEEE!” She once again shoved her hand in the bowl and brought her middle finger to her mouth leaving a drippy trail along the counter and up her shirt.

“Okay, that’s enough piano practice for today.” I hoisted her from the step stool and wiped her batter splatter with a wet dish cloth.

“Alright,” she pretended to give in, knowing full well she earned herself a few extra tastes with her genio del mal (*translation: evil genius.)

*If you haven’t discovered it already, you totally need to tool around with Google Translate. We now know how to say fart in about ten different languages. You can, too!

Remember that song by Big Country called In A Big Country? Imagine it’s Cross Country. That’s what I’ve been singing all day.

Julia ran her first cross country race today.

Juila gets ready to run her first cross country race!

Running cross country, dreams stay with you! Like a lover’s voice, fires the mountainside! Stay aliiiiivvvve!

Ready to cross the finish

Is it me or are they starting this earlier than they did when we were kids?

Daddy and Lucy watch Julia run

Dave ran cross country in high school, but today he stood on the sidelines, cheered and kept Julia’s time for her while Lucy pined for the play area.

After the Garaway Race

Julia ran her mile in about ten minutes.


It wore Bee out. You can tell by her “Come hither, Sandman” faraway gaze.

There are no photos of me as I prefer to be heard and not seen.

Neeer neer neer neeeeeer neer neeer neer neer neeer!*

*That’s the guitar part of In A Big Country.

Cuteness is a Survival Mechanism

I was standing at the sink doing dishes when I heard Phoebe start to stir from her nap.

“Oh, sounds like Bee is waking up,” I announced.

Lucy scrambled from her station on the step stool next to me and bolted up the stairs. I dried my hands and began to make my way after her when I heard her burst into the room through the baby monitor.

“Bee!” she cried. “You’re up! You’re up! Do you know I love you? I love Mommy and I love Daddy and I love Julia and I love YOU, Bee! I LOVE YOU!”

I paused to watch the monitor screen as my two girls engaged in a giggly little game of peek-a-boo. I put my hand over my heart to contain the swell in my chest and called out, “Dave, did you hear that? Dave, come look at this. Look at this.” He came near and I pulled him close. “This is what it’s all about. This is what makes it all worth it, you know – the toy snatching, the ‘She’s touching me,’ the hair pulling – uh oh, she’s pulling her hair…”

I ran up the stairs shouting, “NO THANK YOU, BEE!” rounded the corner and there was Phoebe with two fistfuls of hair, one still attached to Lucy whose face was smashed against the bars of the crib and jostling with every squealy Bee bounce. I unfurled Phoebe’s hands reminding her to ‘Be gentle’ as I removed the hair, freeing Lucy. By then, they were both crying. I picked Bee up and drew Lucy close.

Dave sauntered in and I put my hand over my heart to communicate my silent fight for breath.

“Still worth it?” he asked.

“Of course,” I said and doled out some kisses.

He didn’t ask me again later when Lucy unraveled an entire toilet paper roll and Phoebe actually ate some in the space of time it took me to pee. Or when Phoebe was screaming and clinging to my legs while Lucy flung herself over my feet as I made dinner. And when Lucy decided to use baby lotion to “wash” Phoebe’s hair…and also the window.

They’ll do something cute again soon.

Their cuteness is proportional to their naughtiness

They’re pinching each other right now, but they’ll do something cute again soon.

The odds aren’t in my favor. There are 12 of them and just one of me.

The question isn’t
“Walk or not?” The question is
“Walk or get doughnuts?”

I’ve got something to show you.

Parents magazine’s website – – has this great Back to School page with strategies, tips, ideas and advice – oh, and Julia! They had seen her first day of school picture and asked to feature it on their site. We said yes, of course, because that’s, like, “the really real internet.” The photo (along with a link to my little ‘ole blog) will be there until Thursday, September 15th. Julia and I are pretty excited about it so, please, won’t you check it out?

Lucy, on the other hand, is just a little less excited because she can’t find her picture on there. So, here she is blowing paint.

Blowing paint

It may not be the “really real internet,” but it’s not chopped liver!

Now, here’s a photo she took of Phoebe and me.

Me and my Bee (taken by Lucy)

She’s very proud of it as well as a slew of other images she captured. Unfortunately, I’m all Boobies! McButterball in them, so you just get to see me as No Make-Up Magoo, the limp-haired meaty arm monster.

Julia says, “You’re not a monster, mom. You’re beautiful!”

She’s making up for the “really real internet” comment. (Speaking of which, have you gone there?) I mean, generally, I look better than that. I like to believe I look better than that. And if not, I’m usually holding a pretty cute baby. So, there’s that. And this. (That would be my firstborn featured on Just in case you missed it.)

Lucy and her dad have something in common.

The surgical glue they applied in the E.R. when Lucy cracked her head open finally came off…

Lucy and her dad have something in common.

…along with some hair.

The good news is it should grow back. Shouldn’t it?

Looking for an open door

After school, I send Julia directly to her room to change out of her school clothes and into play clothes while I prepare a snack. (Today I will serve English Muffin Pizzas and Frozen Grapes!) One day this week, she came downstairs in nothing but underwear and her Snuggie.

Me: “Julia, why are you just wearing underwear?”

Julia: “Well, I was hot.”

Me: “But you’re in a Snuggie.”

Julia: “Yeah, ’cause then I got cold.”

Me: “Go put some clothes on, please.”

Julia: “These are clothes!”


Julia (stomping up the stairs): “You just don’t get it.”

I just don’t get it. That’s what she said. I have no idea what the it was that I wasn’t getting, but it really doesn’t even matter – what matters is that she thinks I don’t get it.

I’m already getting a whole lot of, “Nothing,” when I ask her what happened at school each day. The next thing she’ll be saying is, “You just don’t understand me!” And before I know it, we’ll be at war – at least in her mind, because she doesn’t get that I’m on her side. This is how it starts. Believe me, I know. I did nothing but make my mother cry for the entirety of my twelfth year. On purpose.

So, I left this under her pillow yesterday.

Our book

(Thanks to Angela at Fluid Pudding for the inspiration.)

And last night, I found it tucked under my pillow. She had written three sentences about what happened at school yesterday. And just like that, nothing turned into something.

Swearing Off Swearing

If the swear jar isn’t enough motivation, you could call the “Bad Words Guys.”

Or just remember that sad and disappointed little face in the last frame of the video. Geesh. I’m a #@%# bad mom.

Oh, look at all the lonely people.

Last week, Lucy made a bird’s nest.

Lucy's Bird's Nest

We had gathered items for it from nature during one of our morning walks, and later, she glued them to a rolled down paper sack. After it was dry, she placed it outside on our porch railing just in case some bird was in a pinch for a place on the quick, but after a while (i.e. approximately 45 seconds) there were no takers and Lucy became aware that caterpillars are frequently in need of a place to crash. And so the nest instead became a layover for larva. Lucy was pleased with this development. I watched her joyfully kidnap and fuss over her “guests,” rearranging leaves and providing them with tiny plastic treats she’d stolen from her Lalaloopsy dolls. And I thought about nests and nesting, nest eggs and the empty nest, killing two birds with one stone and what would happen to my little birds if the two that were killed happened to be Dave and me considering that we don’t have a third contact.

I know. What?

On Julia’s emergency form for school, they ask for three people to contact other than us in case of an emergency. The first is my mom. The second is my dad. The third is we don’t have a third. NO BIG DEAL, right? Right. It’s been this way since…pretty much always. Who needs a back-up for their back-up? Well, I’ve been thinking. Maybe, me. I started to consider it when I had shingles. Specifically, the point at which my fever reached its highest point and I was weaker and sicker than I ever remember being and both my mom and Dave were about an hour away, him to the north, her to the south and me in the middle with the girls sequestered in their bedroom – the only 100% child-proofed area of the house. I figured it was the safest place for us to be as I fought to stay conscious (you know, when I wasn’t vomiting). I couldn’t hold my cell phone, let alone my baby, and there wasn’t a single person I felt I could call.

Then, we watched Life As We Know It. This is pretty much the worst movie for parents EVER. I couldn’t sleep after that and so I pressed Dave to discuss our emergency plans, if by discuss our emergency plans I mean panic, cry, rend my garments and tear my hair because if we died in a car crash, there’s a very good chance my mom would be with us and then there would be no one to demand my kids from the custody of child protective services because they need to be with someone who cares about them, dammit – not strangers!

I may have made Dave solemnly swear to an agreement in which at least one person in the line of succession for guardianship of the children can’t be present with the rest, just in case. I think the President and Vice-President have an agreement like that. Or maybe I’m thinking of mafia bosses.

The fact is, when there isn’t even a third someone who could pick Julia up if she barfed in the cafeteria, I feel really lost when I think about who would pick up all three of my girls if Dave and I were gone. And my mom, too. Also my dad.

Okay, so maybe it’s not as dire as it seemed at 2 a.m.

Here’s what I’m curious about, though: If you are a parent, have you nominated a guardian for your children in your will? Do you have a back up? Do you have a will? Do you have a third contact?

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