Saturday, December 4, 2010

I was getting dressed this morning to go walking with my friend Michelle. As I was putting on my workout pants I noticed on the inside back, next to the label, the words "Take a long walk!". Great. So now even my pants have expectations of me that I'm not sure I can fulfill. But here's what I'm wondering: my pants are size XXL. On the XXS size does it say "Have another cookie!"?

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Valium on the Rocks with a Prozac chaser. For Starters.

Brian has been in Vancouver since Saturday morning. That means we are on Day 5 of "Adventures in Single Parenting". Five days of whining, crying, temper tantrums and meltdowns. And the kids haven't been a whole lot of fun either.
Once again I find myself amazed that my mother managed to do this for over 10 years and did not kill us, not even once. Never put a pillow over our faces, never held our heads under the bath water. Never even dropped us off on a random corner with $20.00 and a "Good luck to you!". Not that I think about things like that. Much.
So to mom, and to all the other single moms out there, fighting the good fight, day in and day out, in what has to be the most thankless job in the universe: Thank You. THANK YOU. THANK YOU. THANK YOU.
And to Brian, the love of my life and co-parent of these weanlings: If you die, I WILL KILL YOU. So you can just put down that bacon right now, 'kay?

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Just Another Day in the Life

My son is dancing around naked wearing a dog collar. Please tell me this is just a phase.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

The Poop Chronicles: Episode 587

Brian: Dude! You smell like poop! Is there poop in your pants?
Jack: No. A little.
B: You gotta stop doing this. Did you poop today?
J: No.
B: Yesterday?
J: No.
B: When was the last time you pooped?
J: None-day.
B: None-day? Does that mean you don't remember the last time you pooped? OK, then that's too long. Dude, you need to poop EVERY DAY.
J: I don't want to poop every day. Pooping every day is AWFUL!
B: Not as awful as not having friends because you smell like poop, buddy.

Hard to argue with that.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Cue the fireworks!

I would like to announce to the world that my child (Cate) was given the choice between chocolate milk and "reglear" milk and ........... drum roll please ............ she chose the "reglear"!

On second thought, perhaps she is NOT my child.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Thing #456 I Never Thought I Would Have to Say

"Please don't put things in your butt!"

I'll leave you to imagine the context on your own.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Navel Gazing

So. How are you? I am fine. Hanging on by my fingernails, frizzled hair whipped into a frenzy by the howling winds of chaos that threaten to consume my very being and lay waste to all I have achieved, but fine.
My children are in kindergarten and loving every second of it. When I come to pick them up at the end of the day they leap enthusiastically into my arms and then as soon as they are done kissing me begin shrieking that they can not possibly leave yet! They haven't finished coloring their tree frogs! They are still playing Foosball! It's Dot-Art day!! Have I no sense of decency!?!
But I am glad. Glad they wake up every day wanting to go to school, glad that they have teachers who really like them and want them to grow and learn, glad that they do not want to leave at the end of the day.
I myself am going through an introspective season in my life. I am reading - devouring - books on streamlining and simplifying my existence, casting off the unnecessary to make room for the things that really matter, figuring out exactly what those things are. I wonder if this is what they mean by a mid-life crisis? The timing certainly seems right, although the crisis part does not ring true. Not so much crisis; more re-evaluation, retrospection, introspection, speculation. What matters to me? What do I love? Why me, here, now? WHAT? These are the questions of the day. They are harder to answer than I thought.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

I am rapidly falling out of love with Blogger

That last post? Took me 2 hours. I cuss you not. I haven't done a lot of blogging, so maybe this is true of all programs out there, but I must say that I am finding Blogger to be an incredibly unwieldly program. Weird html coding, no easy defaults, and loading pictures, at least out of iPhoto is a cussing nightmare.
I think I'm going to have to shop around and see if there are greener pastures out there to be had.

Just had to get that off my chest.

Hawaii, Part 1

Yes, yes, I know. We've been back for almost a month. You thought I was never going to write about our trip. I KNOW. We had an amazing two weeks in Hawaii, and I thought about writing about it while I was there, but then that crazy voice in the back of my head said "Don't write about your vacation while you are still on vacation. Then all the millions of people who read your blog (insert hysterical laughter here) will know you aren't at home and they will break into your house and rearrange your furniture and hide your salad forks and then what will you do?" So I didn't. Then when we got back I was going to write about it, but I was at my computer and all the pictures were on Brian's computer. Way over there. All the way across the room. I think I remember someone saying once that computers can talk to each other and exchange information and such, but I'm not buying it. And then there was all the unpacking, and the laundry to do, and then the repacking and the leaving on yet another glorious vacation, this time up to San Francisco and Mendocino, and if you feel like punching me in the face right about now, well, you'll just have to take a number sister. I know. I know. I KNOW. So here it is, FINALLY, the first installment on our trip to Hawaii....look for the others in a few months. We spent 2 lovely weeks in Hawaii and I must say it was one of the best trips I have had in recent memory. Five years old is the *perfect* age for kids to travel – they are pretty much voice-controlled, they respond to threats of bodily harm and revoked privileges, they have a modicum of common sense so you can turn your back on them for more than a nanosecond without the threat of immediate disaster, and they are actually a metric ton of fun.

We started our vacation with a trip out to see a lovely woman named Mary Jo, who raises miniature horses and trains them to pull carts. Mom's friend, Judi, knows Mary Jo from back in the day and thought the kids might enjoy meeting the horses. Yeah, you called that one Judi. Mary Jo was wonderful, and let the kids groom the horses and help hitch them up to the carts. Then she took them each for a ride around the neighborhood.

Then as a grand finale she turned to me and said “What’s your experience with horses?”. Well, let’s see……my first time on a horse was when I was 12 and we came to visit some friends here on the Big Island and took a horseback tour. My horse decided the tour was boring and went off for a solo gallop, neglecting to let me off first. That was great. Then, when I was in college I stayed with my cousins for a summer at their ranch in Escondido where I did a fair amount of trail riding. I was just beginning to get comfortable in the saddle when I was riding around the ring one day and the mare I was on decided she had had enough of my fat ass sitting on her and threw me off. As I lay prone next to her with the wind knocked out of me she stomped her massive hoof about a centimeter from my head just to make sure that we were clear. Good times. So, yeah, horses and me. Me and horses. “Have you ridden before?” “Yes. Yes I have.” “Great, then you can drive the big cart and I’ll take the little one”. Super. So suddenly there I was, Jack on one side and Cate on the other, driving down the road, following Mary Jo and Ava. Mary Jo had been wise/kind and given me Jubie, the oldest and best trained horse, and I have to admit that driving her was like driving on automatic pilot; I really didn’t have to do much of anything except stay out of her way and let her do her thing. We went out of the neighborhood, quickly up on to the main road (!!!) and then on to a more rural road Mary Jo called “Ginger Road” because of all the ginger growing wild there. It was spectacularly beautiful, especially when we reached the end of the paved road and drove up a rough dirt path to the top of a hill where we could see the whole valley below. Awesome.

But my favorite part of all came next: turning around and going down the hill. Mary Jo’s horse, Miracle, was acting up so she told me to go first while she calmed him down. Now the “path” was really just two semi-deep ruts cut through the thicket of grasses growing on the hill. And it was pretty steep. It didn’t seem so bad going up, but going down is another matter. As I worked with Jubie to get her in the right position to descend Jack grabbed my waist and said “Mom I’m kind of scared”. Yeah, I know buddy. You should feel my pulse right about now. But you can’t say that can you? So instead I said “It’s okay. Jubie knows what she’s doing. And I won’t let anything happen to you.” To which my son replied “I know mom. You always keep me safe.” And then I died.

Is that not the best moment ever in the history of moments? I want to remember that moment for the rest of my ever life. The next time I am being ungrateful and bitchy and dissatisfied with life will one of you please remind of that moment?

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Cue Muffled Laughter from the Living Room

This is what happens when Daddy is DONE. FOR. THE. NIGHT.

Brian: What are you doing out of bed?

Ava: I have to go to the bathroom! Really!

Brian: Then hurry up and go. You don't want to pee yourself when I spank you.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Iced Coffee and a Slice of Heaven

That's what I'm having for lunch today. We are Spencer's beach, about 20 minutes from my mom's house in Kamuela. It's a shallow, sheltered beach - almost akin to a lagoon - with hardly any waves, soft golden sand and water that is warmer than the air. It is a post card day, warm but not hot, a lovely temperate breeze blowing in from the surf. Jack and Ava are frolicking in the waves and Cate is collecting lava rocks and some kind of seed pod from a nearby tree.
We may never leave.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Shhhhhh! Don't Tell!

She wants to surprise Tutu, but her big kid tooth is coming in fast, so I'm afraid that cute little space won't be there by the time we arrive.......

I feel pretty.....

..... oh so pretty!

Ava was feeling especially lovely this morning and requested that I take a picture of her so that Tutu could see. So here you go Tutu!

Sunday, June 27, 2010

She's Crafty!

So. Mimi took the Mighties Saturday night, with a promise to bring them home late Sunday afternoon. Delirious with the infinite possibilities that a child-free night/day offered, I racked my brains for what to do........Work? No, too obvious. Clean the house? No, too responsible, besides: have you met me? Craftiness? Ah, now you're talking my language! But which to choose? Make picture frames? Knitting? Dig up that baby blanket kit? Or maybe the towel bag thing I had been wanting to try......

In the end I settled for an evening of mindless TV-watching and knitting (thanks to an NCIS marathon and a project I need to finish by the end of July). After a very restful night's sleep, I started in on the towel bag project. Essentially it consists of attaching a smaller towel to a beach towel in such a way that when turned inside out, it forms a bag in which the towel and other sundries can be carried. I thought it would be a fun way to trick the kids into carrying their crap to the beach/pool. Am I not the best mom ever?

I found the initial instructions online here, and made a few modifications. Namely, I used 2 hand towels instead of one because I wanted the carrying straps to be longer. Also by using a folded hand towel for the pocket, as opposed to half of a hand towel the final product has the bonus of another pocket. I am really happy with how they turned out! I've included the instructions below in case anyone is interested in making one:

1 beach towel
2 hand towels

Step 1:
Make the bag: Fold 1 hand towel in half, right-sides together, and pin to the WRONG side of one of the narrow sides of the beach towel, centering it. Sew along the right side, bottom, and left side of the hand towel, leaving the top open.

Step 2:
Make the handles: Take the other hand towel and over about 1.5-2" of the long edge (again, right sides together). Do this on the other side as well. Sew both seams, cut away excess fabric (in the middle), and turn straps right-side-out.

Step 3:
Attach handles to bag: Pin one strap to one side of the hand-towel bag about 1/5" in from the seam, being sure to pin the RIGHT side of the handle to the WRONG side of the bag. Attach the other half of the strap to the other side, again about 1/5" in from the seam. Do the same with the other handle on the other side of the hand-towel bag (DO NOT attach the handle to the beach towel!). Sew.

Step 4:
Fold the towel: Lay the towel out, RIGHT SIDE up, and fold the long way in towards the center. Starting from the bottom, fold the towel up in lengths approximately equal to the length of the hand towel bag. Once you have folded it all the way to the top, grab the bottom corners and invert the bag.

Et Voila!

Now grab some sunscreen, your shades and a trashy magazine and head for the sun!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

High Jinx

When the kids finished their swim lesson last night Miss Angie said they could jump off the diving board, as usual. As NOT usual she gave them the choice between the "low" board (the one they usually jump off) and the "high" board, which they never jump off of because it is about 4 times higher than the "low" board (which is pretty darn high to begin with; if they hung from it their toes wouldn't touch the water below). Clearly she had been smoking crack, because no SANE person would encourage mere babies to jump from a height of 1,000 feet to their most certain deaths, water or no. ARE YOU LISTENING TO ME MISS ANGIE? ARE YOU???? Not that I was worried, mind you. My children are sensible people who understand the limitations of their fragile bodies, not to mention the frailty of their mother's mental health.............yeah.

Jack was the first up the ladder. No hesitation, just up, out to the end and.....SPLASH! His goggles came off with the power of the impact, but it didn't even faze him. Did I mention they are the youngest kids in their class?

Ava was next. I made her promise that she wouldn't try to dive in (as she has been diving off the "low" board lately). "O-kay mooooooommmmm! O-KAY!"

And then Cate. Cate, who for most of last summer refused to go anywhere near the low board, and had to bribed with promises of sugar-coated goodness to get her to give it a try. She climbed up the ladder, walked out to the end of the board and jumped off. When her head popped out of the water she screamed "That was AWESOME!!"

I couldn't be prouder, despite the residual anxiety that kept me up until 1am this morning. Now let us all light a collective candle and pray that they don't develop a predilection for bungee jumping.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Pomp and Circumstance

Yes, they actually played it.

You know what I love?

Students who email me asking "I got XYZ on the exam, can I still pass your class?". Sweetie, all the points are listed in the syllabus. Do the math. And if you can't do the math? Then, NO, you can't pass my class.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Our Small World is Getting Bigger

Last night the kids had their closing program at school. Mrs. Barillier's class did a number called "It's a Small World" in which each of the children dressed up as a different country and said hello to the audience in their country's language. My Hawaiian fans (I'm talking to you, mom) should note that Hawaii was included as a different country. I thought about making a scene, but then decided against it. For the sake of the children. Years from now when they claim I don't love or care about them I will bring up this very incident as proof of my love for them.
But I digress. Jack was Germany, with a cute little leiderhosen costume, complete with hat. But not complete with shoes. I thought a pair of hiking boots would look good, but alas he has outgrown the pair he has. Then it hit me - Sandals! With socks! Nothing says GERMAN like sandals with socks. Am I right? When it was his turn he marched to the center of the stage and bellowed "Guten! Morgen!" like the good little Aryan boy he is.

Ava was Ireland, and wore a white dress with green polka dots and a big green shamrock, with a green frock coat over it. The best part of the costume though was the beribboned yellow daisy headdress. Again, we weren't sure what to do about shoes, but then I remembered that last St. Patrick's day Auntie had bought them all Leprechaun socks, so we put those on her and let her go shoeless. Perfect. She skipped across the stage and sang "Magen Go Brach!", which I think was supposed to be Irish (Gaelic) for "hello", although I think "hello" is actually "dia dhuit" in Gaelic. But what do I know?

Cathryn was France, and the costume they sent home consisted of a purple knitted tam, which I'm guessing was supposed to be a beret, and a painter's smock. Yeah.....NO. I riffled through her closet and found a navy-and-white striped shirt, a ruby pleated school-girl skirt with suspenders, blue knee socks, and this time we actually had some appropriate shoes - blue leather t-straps. I splurged on a real beret ($6.50 on Amazon!) and her costume was complete. Et Voila! She pranced out to the middle of the stage, put her fingers in her mouth and whispered "Bonjour?".

Other countries represented were Italy, Mexico, Japan, America, and of course, Hawaii. But let's not start that again.

Afterward we all went out for frozen yogurt, and about half the class showed up - INSTANT PARTY! The kids all sat at a single table and chattered away while the parents took advantage of the relative quiet to eat our yogurt in peace. A lovely end to a lovely day.

Monday, June 7, 2010

One Man, One Vote

We were sitting at the dinner table this evening when the phone rang. It has been ringing a lot these days, as the local and state-wide elections are tomorrow. We've stopped answering our phone, instead letting all calls go to the answering machine and only picking up when we recognize the voice on the other end.

So the phone rang, we let the machine get it, and after a pause a crackly voice comes on the line, introducing itself and hoping that it wasn't bothering us. "You are! I'm making a list of all the people who call us and I'm not going to vote for them" growled Brian. "Is that a stranger?" asked Jack. Brian explained that yes, it was a stranger and they were calling to get our vote in the election. And then we were off to the races.

"What's a vote?"
"What's an election?"
"Why do the strangers want our vote?"

"Remember in church how you talked about everyone having a vote?"

Blank stares.

"When you vote for someone it means you are choosing them. The person who gets chosen the most wins"

Blank stares.

"Voting is how we choose our leaders."

Blank stares.

"OK, let's pretend. Let's pretend one person in our family is going to go to Ice Cream Street to get ice cream for everyone."

"Is this for real?" asks Cate

"No, it's pretend. Who should go to Ice Cream Street?"

"Auntie Kate!"
"I want to go! I never get to go to Ice Cream Street!"

"Cathryn. I said this was pretend. And I meant someone who is here right now: Cate, Ava, Jack, Mommy or Daddy. Anyone who wants to go raise their hand."

They all want to go. No surprises here.

"Okay, but only ONE person can go. How do we choose? Here's how: we vote. Everyone who wants Ava to be the person to go, raise their hand (Ava and Jack raise their hands). Everyone who wants Jack to go, raise their hand (Jack raises his hand). You can only vote once, buddy"

"Unless you're from Chicago" says Daddy.

"Everyone who wants Cate to go raise their hand" (no raises their hand, not even Cate)

"You know, you can vote for yourself sweetie"

"I want to vote for you and me to go together mommy!"

"That's sweet, but that's not a choice." (Although I suppose the ones who really change the world are the ones who see the options that haven't been offered)

"OK, so Ava has 2 votes so she wins. Ava gets to go to Ice Cream Street. See how that works?"

"I never get to go to Ice Cream Street! You never let me do anything! I hate voting!"

"I vote that Cate should get a time out" says Ava.

I guess 1 out of 3 isn't bad.

Friday, June 4, 2010


Found this little tableaux in the living room this evening..........can you see the bunny? Here's hoping the lions won't either.........

Thursday, June 3, 2010


My good news for the day, week, month, year: I officially have tenure! Woo-hoo!
Time to break out the paint and gussy-up my office. They'll never get rid of me now. Or, as my more seasoned colleagues like to say "Now you can never leave."

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

My Girl

I've been meaning to post this picture I took of Ava:She's wearing a top I made for her from a vintage pillowcase. I took the picture with the Hipstamatic iPhone app, using the John S lens and Ina's 1969 film. I love the vintage look of this picture and I think it captures the spirit of my carefree girl perfectly. She reminds me so much of my mom.

Saturday, May 29, 2010


Three days in and I've already failed. Crap.

Does it count for anything that the reason I didn't post yesterday was because I was having such a great day that I got caught up in the fun and forgot about everything else?

Had a lovely lunch with friend Sue (Indian food! Yay!), a little bit of impromptu shopping, followed by a complete disregard for work and other grown-up responsibilities, some leisurely needle-work and then dinner at an Ethiopian restaurant with Brian and Mimi. Mmmmmmmmmm.

Erin-the-marvelous came to baby sit the Mighties, much to their delight. When I picked them up from school the first question Cate asked was "Is Erin in the car?" No, sweetie. I don't keep her in the glove box. Sorry. Jack asked if they were going to have a sleep-over with Erin, and when I told him that NO, Daddy and I were just going out to dinner and we would be home later that night, Ava suggested that perhaps we should go out for dinner more often. Like every night.

We had dinner at this awesome place called Tana in Anaheim. I guess it has been there for a while, but we had no idea even though we had been searching for an Ethiopian restaurant closer than LA. We went with a group from our church: the "Foreign Foods Friday" bunch. Normally I'm not a big participator in extra-curricular church activities, but the lure of Ethiopian food was too strong........however the group turned out to be full of charming, interesting people and it was really nice to get to know them a bit better. It turns out that they don't meet during the summer, so we will have to wait until Fall to get together again, but I must confess I am looking forward to it.

Look at me getting all churchy on you! If I write about joining a bible study group y'all know what to do.......

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Plan for the Day

Today I am playing hooky from grown-up obligations. Instead, this is what I am going to do:

1. Sleep late (check!)
2. Eat waffles for breakfast (check!)
3. Enjoy a leisurely morning noodling around on the internet (check!)
4. Meet Lauren and Vi for lunch and shopping
5. Get a pedicure
6. Pick up kids
7. Have dinner -I'm thinking this would be a good evening for take out
8. Play Candyland and eat popcorn
9. Watch the Daily Show with my husband and do a little recreational needlework. (That kind of reads like I'm planning to shoot some heroin. Actually I'm just embroidering a dress for a friend's kid.)

I know. You wish you were me. And, for once, I really can't blame you.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Land of the Lost

It's been a while since I last posted, a fact that has been niggling away at me. In an effort to turn over a new and more productive leaf I am going to commit to posting something every day for the month of June and we'll just see where this leads us. As I want to post every day I will warn all those who are still reading my blog (are there any such people? I mean, besides my mom?) that the topics of discussion will stray away from THE CHILDREN from time to time. Which might actually make it a little more interesting, who knows?

So here is the topic for today: Should I dye my hair?

I know, it's really more of a question than a "topic", but feel free to chime in and leave your opinions. Here are my thoughts and counterthoughts:

1. I want to be BLONDE! Or, maybe not truly BLONDE!, but at least lighter than I am now. I'm thinking this will help to disguise the ever growing number of grey hairs and thus make me look more young and vibrant. Like something out of an Anthropologie catalogue.
REBUTTAL: I'm not sure a lighter color will really help with the inevitable greying of my pate. And besides, even if my hair was lighter I would still not look like the young, vibrant image I have in my head. She weighs about 100 lbs less and has better cheek bones.

2. It's just hair. It will grow back. Why not have fun?
REBUTTAL: Yes, it will grow back but I always underestimate just how long and *painful* that process is. We're talking years.

3. Don't be so serious. Be wild. Be daring.
REBUTTAL: Wild and daring are both good (not that serious is bad, mind you). But is coloring my hair really a good measure of this? Or is it just vanity? Is this a behavior I want my children, especially my girls, to see me practice? Doesn't it just reek of dissatisfaction with myself? Not exactly a positive attitude. Perhaps the more daring and wild thing would be to flaunt society's notion of what constitutes a "beautiful" woman and go with what I've got. Perhaps I have better things to do with my time and energy?

As I said, feel free to share your opinions. Although, I might have just talked myself out of it. Sigh.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

This Just Out!

We don't know where the tooth is, but we sure know where it's NOT!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Soccer Mom

Now it's official.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Letter to Violet

Dearest Violet,
Welcome to the world, littlest. I am your Auntie Jenn and I will forever love and adore you. It is my solemn promise that as long as I am around you will always have cute hair accessories and red shoes. Because a girl needs those things, no matter what she does in life. And your life? Is going to be awesome. How do I know? Because I was there at the beginning, and I can tell about these things.
You were born on a perfect day, not too sunny, not too cloudy. A lovely warm breezy day, the kind that makes people want to move to California. The room you were born in had a view of Newport Harbor and the ocean beyond, and we watched the sailboats go by in between contractions. I wondered what adventures the people on those boats were having, what adventures you would have in your life.......
Your birth was one of the most memorable, magical, peaceful experiences I have ever had. Your mother and father were generous enough to let me be in the room with them for this moment of moments, and for that I will be forever grateful. I love your parents like they were my own family; in a way they are. They are the family I chose, and thus are more dear to me in some ways than my birth family. You are a part of that family now too, and I will always be yours to lean on and turn to when you need an ear or a hug or the face of someone who loves you no matter what. I am so glad your mother and father are who they are and that they are your parents. They are good people, as I am sure you will come to know. You also have a very sweet and gentle older brother who is probably going to be one of your very best friends. Be nice to him; he will be your biggest ally.
But back to the day you were born. Your mother was so calm and happy, it was hard to believe she was in labor. Birthing a child is a huge undertaking, something akin to running a marathon. It taxes a woman mentally, emotionally, and spiritually as well as physically. For most women it is the most intense physical experience they will ever have. I can't imagine a more emotional experience either. All to say that giving birth is a momentous event, one that can easily become overwhelming.
Your mother was awe-inspiring. I have never seen her so strong and purposeful, so intensely beautiful in her concentration and determination. As your father held her hand and encouraged her she gave herself over to the process of labor and brought you into this world. What a moment! Suddenly there you were, pinking up right before our eyes, letting out that first delicious cry. We gobbled up every detail: your perfect fingernails, your long toes (monkey toes!), your surprisingly blond hair, your rosy mouth and delicate nose. You were perfect. You are perfect. You are you and from the moment your were born you have been loved. Always remember that. You are loved. The love you receive from us will not be perfect, as none of us are perfect. But we will love you the best way we know how. And we will love you forever.
I will love you forever.
Auntie Jenn

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Really? Must We?

Cathryn, though very much a princess in other ways, refuses to eat with utensils, especially forks. And while I do sympathize with her on occasion (who eats pizza with a knife and fork for God's sake?) most of the time I find myself playing the part of the evil witch:

"Cathryn! We do not eat peas with our hands. Use your fork!"
"But mo-ooommm!"

"Cathryn! Noodles are eaten with forks, NOT fingers!"
"Fine! Yessssssss moooooooommmmmmmm!"

"Cathryn! *That* is exactly why we use a fork to eat macaroni and cheese. So that it DOESN'T get all over our hands, and then in our hair."
"Oh mom!"

And so it goes, meal after meal, night after night. Until tonight. She finally came upon a food that she could not help but eat with her fork........


........wait for it...........

ALMONDS. Of course. How did we not see that coming?

(Quick show of hands: How many of you were thinking 'soup'?)

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Cast of Charachters

The children are planning a 10-day (!!!) sleep-over, to which they are each inviting 3 friends. Cathryn's friends are Anna, Sadie and Lily. So far so good. Ava's friends are Ma-NA-na, Halatha, and Kreelie. OK; maybe hippie parents? Jack's friends are Knotty (Naughty?), Grotty and Ween.

This is going to be an interesting party.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Our Daughters, Our Selves

I was folding laundry in the bedroom when the dull roar from the living room erupted in crescendo. I walked in to see Ava, papers strewn around her, calmly coloring a picture. Cate towered above her, screaming:

Cate: "Play with me! PLAY WITH ME!!!! PLAY!! WITH!! ME!!!!!!!!"
Ava: "I can't."
Ava: "I can't tell you."

My God, I almost peed myself laughing. In so many ways, I identify with Cate in this situation - wanting to control the Universe by sheer force of will, and not understanding why it will not bow to her oh-so-reasonable demands. But, when I related this story to my long-time friend Michelle, describing the way Ava was just !@#$ing with Cate - just calmly sitting there and twisting the knife, pushing the buttons, slowly driving her insane, toying with her just because she COULD - Michelle said "Yeah, that sounds like you". 

So there you go. My two girls. My yin and my yang. And let the record show that......yeah, I'm sorry about that one, world. My bad.

The Bogeymom

It is 9:15pm and I am sitting at my computer trying to get a little work done before I go to bed. 

squeak padpadpadpadpadpadpadpadpadpad

"Yes Jack?"
"The sisters are not being quiet! And I can't sleep!"
"You should not be out of bed. Go back to your room. I will come in a bit and talk to the girls."

padpadpadpadpadpadpadpadpadpadpad squeak

"Sisters! Mom is going to come in here in a little bit! And she is going to talk to you in a very bad voice! And then you will be in *very* trouble!"

Apparently he has this all worked out.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Apples and Parallelograms

A typical discussion:

Me: Cathryn, what would you like on your baloney sandwich: mustard or ketchup?
Cate: Macaroni and cheese!
M: Would you like milk or water?
C: Juice!
M: Applesauce or raisins?
C: .........pudding?

I am assuming this will end at some point, right? Then again, perhaps I should adopt this strategy in my own life......

"Mrs. Carlson would you like to pay the fine or go to traffic school?"

Saturday, January 16, 2010

The Food Chain, pt. II

I thought I had posted this story, but now I can't find here it goes again:

Back in September we were at Huntington Beach on Friday night and saw Catalina on the horizon. My friend Danielle was over there doing some research, so we asked the kids if we should swim over to the island to visit her....

Jack (after much thought): No, because the alligators will eat us.
Me: Actually buddy there aren't any alligators in the ocean, so that wouldn't be a problem.
Ava (piping up): No Jack, we'll get eated by SHARKS.
Me: That's right baby, the sharks will get us. Good call.

The Food Chain

We are at the San Diego zoo, in front of the jaguar cage watching a truly magnificent black jaguar pace before us....every so often he slows down as he passes, eying us.....

Jack: I like him. I want to pet him.
Me: He IS beautiful, isn't he? But that's probably not a good idea look like a snack to him.
J: What does he eat? Does he eat meat?
M: Yep. He eats meat.
J: And we are made of meat, right mom?
M: Right buddy; we are made of meat.
J: I don't think I like him anymore.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

She of the Winged Foot

Cathryn: Why don't I ever get to be the hider?
Me: Well, you have to be the first one the find the hider and then you can be the next hider.
C: But I caaaaannnnnn'tttttt!
M: That's the spirit!
C: I don't have the fast feet!!!!

Children of the Corn

Found this on the kitchen table this morning. So, looks like we won't be sleeping soundly for a while......

Saturday, January 2, 2010

A Saturday Morning in the Mountains

We are up at Big Bear; the big boys, this time including Malcolm, are off snowboarding. I am at the cabin with Jack, Cate, Ava and Xander. After jumping off the couch for an hour Ava decided to put on a play. Cate decided to play super heroes. So what we ended up with was a series of performances interrupted by cries of "Super heroes! Quick! Someone is in trouble!"
"Super heroes never tell."

Those super heroes. So very mysterious.