Friday, November 30, 2007

Rain, rain, DON'T go away..

Despite the overpowering aroma of wet ashtray that is permeating this area, I have thoroughly enjoyed our Day of Rain. Living in Southern California has made me long for a change - ANY change - in the weather. So when Sawyer arrived on my pillow at precisely 6:17 this morning, I could hear the rain above the monster roaring noises he likes to make.

The house got a little chilly while the kids were napping this afternoon, and it almost made me get up and bake something, just to have a warm, yummy smell in the house. Note, I said ALMOST.

It sounded like a good idea but I just didn't feel like cleaning the kitchen, then messing it up, then having to clean it again. By the time I calculated how much work I would have to do around the actual baking, it lost its attraction.

So instead I helped myself to some mini tootsie rolls left over from Halloween. Not exactly the same allure as a hunk of homemade chocolate chip pumpkin bread, but at least I could dispose of the wrappers easily.

The fog rolled in about an hour ago, and now it's dark. Really dark, because half of our "holiday" lights did not go on in the front yard. No animated reindeer. No snowman. No penguin. Just dark.

I went to the side of the house where the timer is supposed to be operating said creatures. I had to navigate through mud and a large puddle to get there. The rain-drop covered timer didn't look like it was alive. I called David.

He said I had to unplug it, then plug it in again.

Hmm.. Dark vs. Electrocution.

Sorry, Mr. Snowman!

Thursday, November 29, 2007

This is hilarious!

I watched this twice and laughed so hard I cried! Make sure you play it with the sound on! Totally makes me wish we had done something like this...


Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Our new camera

David's first day with his new camera. He particularly likes this shot of his little mini-me.

He's the Barf Man

Poop on me. Bleed on me. Bloody poop on me.

But Do. Not. Barf. On. Me.


David is the Barf Man in our house. He has been known on several occasions to catch the projectiled mass in his hands as skillfully as Torii Hunter makes a diving basket catch out in center field. He's saved the carpet, the couch, etc.

I, on the other hand, race out of the room at any sign of regurgitation, leaving my poor child to barf on Daddy.

Today, my little girl spiked a 103 degree fever. Her face was really flushed and she kept crying and saying that her head hurt. I called the phone nurse, who suggested we bring her to KidsDoc when they opened at 5 since our regular pediatrician's office was completely booked.

I "planned" to take her, but secretly was hoping David would volunteer.


Because I'm a terrible Mommy who has a severe aversion to vomit. And I just knew it was coming. That, and Sage is in a Daddy phase now anyway and totally prefers him. Maybe it's because she knows I run from puke and would leave her there like a plate of yesterday's brussel sprouts.

Anyway, he offered. I accepted. He luckily was first in line, when they finally deigned to take a patient half an hour after they were supposed to open. They then tested for strep.

You know where this is heading. Ever had a strep test, where they stick a ginormous swab down your throat? Sage didn't like it so much. So she gagged and barfed. All over Daddy! But hey - he made a nice catch before it hit the floor!

Meanwhile, I was snuggled on the couch at home, nice and dry, watching Meet the Robinsons with Sawyer.

Hey - I DID take off her pukey clothes when she got home and put them in the wash!

And, in my defense, I have been spit up on by both kids when they were babies several times a day for months, including the awesome yurks that splat on the floor behind you, but not before leaving a trail of delight down your back, legs and socks.

The good news is the strep test was negative, and after David OD'd her on Motrin, she was acting almost normal (she tried to hit Sawyer over the head with one of those popper toys that you push around by the handle)
and was nice and cool.

(While I'm thinking of it, what is up with pediatricians and their diagnosis of "virus"? Why don't they just say "We have no effing clue what's wrong with your child" and spare us this catchall thing that tells us nothing.)

Here's hoping for an uneventful night's sleep for all - and that my next post will be about something other than bodily functions!

Tuesday, November 27, 2007


So, like, where have I been, you ask?

I wish I had all kinds of thrilling tales of wild adventures, but clearly that's not possible. I don't even have mundane stories about ordinary places.

I guess I've just been overwhelmed lately with mommyhood stuff. Like screeching at the head of Sawyer's preschool about why it's necessary to serve honey nut cheerios in his classroom when he's allergic to nuts, forcing him to be segregated to another table. Or checking out another preschool that is nut-free, but is a 20-minute schlep away.

And, might I add, Sage produced a poop of such immense proportions that it not only came out the top of her diaper and partway up her back, but it came out the bottom, too. We're talking a blowout not usually seen from a child who is not under 3 months old. This was as we were getting into the car in the parking lot of the new preschool so we could hustle to swimming lessons. I tried to carefully remove her shirt so as not to get any poop in her hair - which I succeeded in, but instead the poop smeared up to her neck and on her arm. But at least her hair was clean! Ten minutes and about 47 wipes later, as she stood in the back of our SUV, I finally got her (mostly) cleaned up. We went to the pool, so I was able to soap her down in the sink while Sawyer had his lesson. This is when I noticed the big blob of poop on the arm of my shirt.


Perhaps you'd all rather that I just didn't post?

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Fear Factor

Sawyer has always been a cautious child (First-child syndrome of an overparenting mom. Discuss.). But now that he has a huge imagination and the words to describe everything in minute detail, he has become terrified of some very specific things.

Examples, you say? Fine. Here we go. Hopefully I haven't posted this before, but I'm too lazy to search my blog. Skip this one if you must!

Months ago, during a trip to the mall, Sawyer spotted a poster that featured a frightening-looking woman on it. I can't remember if it was an ad for a movie or what. I don't even think I glanced at it for more than a millisecond.

Sawyer, however, used it as a launching pad for an incredible scenario that is still going strong.

He named her the "Dragon Lady."

She lives in the Black Forest.

When our dogs bark, he asks if they're waking up the Dragon Ladies.

He makes David drive him to this canyon, er, I mean, Black Forest, near our house, where David parks, rolls down the window, and they scream at the top of their lungs before high-tailing it out of there with the Dragon Ladies in hot pursuit.

THANKfully, the DLs cannot keep up with the car. So Sawyer is safe.

After the recent fires burned the trees in the canyon, we told Sawyer the DLs had to leave. They went so far away they had to take a plane and a boat to get there - there, being the Green Forest.

"I want to take a plane and a boat!"

Sorry. You can't.

So pretty much every night, Sawyer asks about the Dragon Ladies. And the Green Forest.

But wait. There's more.

The doors to David's office must be closed once the sun goes down. He will cry until one of us shuts them. He's even got Sage in on the act. She'll put her hands over her eyes and shriek "Daddy's office! Door!"

Any tiny little noise sets him off. The wind. One of the dogs knocking over something. Last night it was "Mommy, what's that sound of someone walking up the stairs?" Since we were all upstairs, it was likely the footsteps of my sanity - which was actually fleeing down the stairs, searching for a more reputable host.

We try to explain to him that he's always safe in the house, especially since we have two large dogs who will bark like there's a gazelle on the front porch if, say, something as threatening as a neighborhood child walks past our house - on the other side of the street.

Sawyer's not buying it. He eyes those dogs with suspicion, as if they're in cahoots with the Bad Guys. Or the DLs, as the case may be.

He was interested, though, when I told him that when I was Little Girl Mommy I also used to be afraid of scary things like the dark. Unlike when he is a teenager and I will not POSSIBLY be able to relate to ANYTHING that he might experience because I am SO OLD, he took a little comfort from hearing that Mommies can also be scared.

And I was scared, but not at his age, as he is clearly more precocious than I ever was. I think I was probably 10. We lived in a house with a long staircase that led to the upstairs bedrooms. There was a hallway at the top and my room was at the far end. I remember standing at the bottom and being afraid to go up because the light was on in the hallway, and since I didn't turn it on, it was probably those crazy murderers who like to SEE what they're doing before the kill.

As an adult, the fears are different. I'm the one who locks the doors when David is away, as he's been for much of the past two weeks. I don't start at every little noise (remember my dogs?). Instead, I worry about whether I wasn't patient enough with Sawyer, or if Sage's recent bout of hives spell a dairy problem.

When I lie in bed, in the dark, I can fill my head with a vertible Momapalooza of horrifying images of someone snatching one of my children, or of them getting a deadly illness, or of losing my husband in an accident, until the tears flow.

Then there's the dread that gets my heart sinking into my stomach. My own mortality. The unthinkable fear that I might not be there to watch my children grow.

Grown-up fears that I'd trade in an instant for the pure childhood fear of the dark.

And the Dragon Ladies.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Free things aren't necessarily the best things in life

Sawyer has been going to swimming lessons twice a week since this summer. He loves the water and has no fear of it, so we wanted him to be safe. We take him to a small indoor pool that has a pirate theme.

We figured it would be less intimidating than the place he went the summer before last. It was an Olympic-sized pool with a big tent over it. He did okay the first lesson, but at the second, the other child decided he didn't want to share the teacher and he went ape shit. He was so hysterical that he set Sawyer off.

The next time we tried going to a lesson, Sawyer cried so hard in the car in the parking lot he almost threw up. He then refused to get in the pool. So we decided to wait another year.

It's made a huge difference. He was doing really, really well and advancing pretty quickly. Until last month. Suddenly he started telling the teacher that he was scared. He didn't want to roll over from his back to his front. It got to the point that we decided to go once a week for the month of November, and then take a few months off.

I was actually looking forward to no more trips to the pool.

His lesson is on Thursday, so we went today. His regular teacher is away for a few weeks. His new instructor is the director of several programs and is supposed to be fantastic. I asked a guy standing at the front, who I through was another director, what the new instructor's name was.

We got into a conversation about how Sawyer is regressing, how he just fools around now and that we went to once a week because it was, frankly, a waste of money.

The guys says, "Oh, no, if they regress, you have to go twice a week. I'm the owner. I'll give you a free second day for this month and see how he does."

Then he looks at Sage, who is standing next to me. He asks when she's getting in the pool. I told him I'm waiting til the summer, when she's close to 3.

"Oh, no, the sooner you start the better. If you can get her to learn to hold her breath, and Sawyer to be safe in the pool, then you can just take the summer off from lessons."

He proceeded to give me free twice-weekly lessons for Sage for the rest of the month.

So I go from one lesson a week to four in the span of about 10 minutes.

Why is it so tough to turn down free stuff?

I think Sage is going to HATE being in the pool (thankfully it is NOT a mommy-and-me type deal where I would actually have to get into a suit and into the water with her). Plus it's a bit of a PITA to do the whole swim diaper thing.

Sawyer has been saying that he wants to stop swimming lessons and try something else. He has no clue he's back to twice a week, poor guy.

I could have turned it down. But that would've been, like, un-American or something. Four lessons for the price of one is a fabulous deal. If I found a bargain like that at, say, Nordstrom's shoe department, you can bet your Prada pumps I'd be all over it!

I figure it's only for a few weeks. Then I can gracefully slither off into the land of "December is SUCH a busy month!"

Unless, of course, there's more free lessons!

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

The best news

I was in Target the other day (I know, as if there's a day when I'm NOT in Target) because when your kids are snotty and playdates/preschool are out, where else is there to go than the wonderland that is Target?

We were looking at all the "holiday" decorations (although props to Target, they're carrying Chanukah stuff this year), and for some reason I thought about the Coble Family.

They were the local couple whose three kids, all under the age of 5, were killed when their minivan was rear-ended by a semi.

Today I got an email from my friend Maria. And this is what it said:

The Ladera Times has learned that Chris and Lori Coble, of Ladera Ranch, who tragically lost their three children last May in a horrific accident on the I-5 near the OSO Exit, are having triplets.

"Yes, it is true. I am six weeks along and they expect me to deliver in early to mid-May," Lori told the Ladera Times. "We had to do it by�in vitro fertilization and it worked the first month. They extracted 14 eggs from me and out of all of those after all sorts of genetics testing, three eggs were good, two girls and one boy. We took that as a sign and we put all three in."

The odds of all three eggs attaching were only 10 percent, according to Lori who added, "It turned out, we are one of the lucky 10 percent."

Although the Coble family is very excited about the pending birth, Lori said it is a bittersweet blessing. "These children will never take the place of Kyle, Emma and Katie, but it does give us some hope for happier times in the future."


I have thought of this family often over the past six months, wondering how they were holding up, trying to imagine... but I'm sure nothing I could conjure would even come close to the horror of losing not just one, but all of your children.

I've pondered whether they smile, or if they do, are the overcome with guilt? When does the grief become slightly less smothering?

As over-the-top thrilled for them as I am for their news, I'm also nervous. Triplets are high-risk. If heaven forbid something happened, could they cope? Pregnancy in general is such a crazy time, with so much worry even under the best of circumstances. I remember when I was over 22 weeks and hadn't felt Sawyer kick yet. I became convinced that he was being strangled by his umbilical cord. He was, of course, fine.

That they are having a boy and two girls, is, from someone who is not religious, surely more than just coincidence. I don't have the answer to why, anymore than I had an answer to why the unthinkable happened in the first place.

Then I think about the "new" Cobles, who I'm sure will know from birth about their brother and sisters in heaven. Quite a legacy to live up to. They will know they exist solely because their siblings no longer do.

Will they be labeled? This one laughs like Emma, that one smiles like Kyle, and she's a daredevil just like Katie.

How will Lori Coble ever feel safe about strapping them into their carseats in the back of a minivan, something thousands of moms do every day without a second thought? Will they ever feel good about letting these babies out of their sight?

I have no doubt how much the Cobles will love them. They know better than most the sacredness of life. I can't see them taking for granted that they'll hear their children's voices again.

They learned first-hand the lessons the death of Kyle, Emma and Katie taught us.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007


Yes, I have stolen this picture from my friend Torrey's blog. Why? Because Torrey has made a very astute observation about Katie Holmes Cruise, everyone's favorite Celebrebot.

Yo! Can't you afford a SPORTS BRA?!?! They, like, sell them. In stores. I'm sure your nanny or anyone of your herd of servants could have picked one up for you. Because running in a camisole is really not okay.

How can anyone run with their saggy baggies hanging around? I, for one, would have to tuck mine into my hydration belt. That is, if I didn't wear a SPORTS BRA!

Maybe there's something in Scientology that says The Girls must breathe? I'm just hoping she Glided them up, because the chafing - oh my!

But I digress. Not really, as this entire blog is one big digression, but let's move on.

So KHC did the New York City Marathon in a time of 5:29:58. Clearly faster than me, but then again, she didn't walk half of it. More irritating is that her time was better than my girl Torrey's.

And, seriously, I can't believe how crazy the media (Yes, that just came out of my mouth. How the mighty have fallen!) is over KHC wearing heels a few hours after the marathon. BFD! It's not like she cured cancer. People! That's not that big of an accomplishment! First of all, according to Torrey's blog, she's 17. Second, I'm sure Tom simply turned the key on her back, winded (wound?)her up and she just starting walking. No biggie!

Yes, she had a baby just over 18 months ago. So? My friend Randi ran a 4:05 marathon at Nike - and her SECOND child is 9 months old! And Randi is still nursing her baby! Now THAT is amazing. As is, of course, NYC Marathon winner and my hero Paula Radcliffe, who busted out a 2:23 (um, yeah, one minute slower than my best 1/2 marathon), has a nine-month old and KICKED ASS!

I am impressed by anyone who finishes a marathon. Seriously. Just spare me the wide-eyed amazement that KHC's accomplishment somehow means more than, for example, that of my friends Alida and Leticia, who are both over 40 and who finished together in 5:31.

Maybe it's good to have another little thing spurring us on. Torrey is running Carlsbad in part because she wants me to have a "good" marathon. My contribution? To motivate us to Beat Katie.

If I don't have a knife in my side, and Torrey doesn't have to stop at every portapotty, then this is a VERY doable goal.

Beat Katie.

Two little words.


Saturday, November 03, 2007

Ketchup is a vegetable, too..

This morning I went running - yes, running! - with my friends Torrey and Maria. We are officially training for the Carlsbad marathon. I say "we" because Maria was on the fence, but now she's in. YIPPEE!!

We ran eight miles and though I had a little stitch in my side for a bit, it was different than my Marathon Knife of Death and actually went away. The final mile or so felt great, actually. It was such a relief to run pain-free!

I arrived home at about 8:30 a.m. I had called David on the way and he told me that Sawyer and Sage had pancakes for breakfast. When I opened the door, I found two very happy kids each holding a little fun-size bag of kissables, which are like M&Ms.

I stifled by immediate response, which was to question Dear Husband why the kids were eating chocolate before noon. (Yes, it's like alchohol. None before noon! They will get completely high. Every mom knows that! But apparently not the dads, to whom it must always be noon somewhere.)

Then I got closer.

That's when I noticed a suspicious looking orange crust clinging to the area surrounding Sage's mouth.

"David? What is that on Sage's face?"

"Oh, she had some Sun Chips with her pancakes."


"Yeah, it's like having hash browns."

At least they weren't washing it all down with a Slurpee!

Thursday, November 01, 2007

From the Signs You are a Bad Mommy files..

Is it bad that I'm counting the minutes (66) until my kids go to bed so I can eat their chocolate without having to duck down behind the kitchen counter?
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