Monday, March 31, 2008

VERY important questions!

Why is Calliou bald? And while we're on that topic, does he in fact possess a Big Boy voice? Rooooooosie! Oy!

Where are Max and Ruby's parents?

Why do Charlie and Lola each only have three fingers?

When Cookie Monster "eats" cookies, how come they fly all over and never actually end up in his mouth?

What does Rocket do for fuel? And aren't the Little Einstein's freezing in their little outfits - until they magically appear in snowgear?

Where did Ketzel the Dragon learn to speak Spanish?

Is the Man with the Yellow Hat getting it on with Professor Wiseman? And why isn't she Professor Wisewoman?

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Sugar and spice and...super glue?

Can someone tell me exactly what Little Kid Snot is made of? Because I'm about to break out the power tools. Oh, yes I am!

Sage has had a runny nose for about a week now. It's the thick, green STICKY variety. So it's not really traveling down her face, just loitering right around her nostrils. Which she then wipes.

She ends up with a lovely crust on her nose. And her cheek. And above her eye - wherever the gooey gunk landed and then dried for all eternity.

I can't get this stuff off. I soak a washcloth in warm water, add soap, and scrub (insert sound of cat being poked in the eye with a pin and you will have a teeny idea of what Sage sounds like during this procedure). The offending crust seems like it's gone, but within a few minutes, it reappears. I swear I could use the stuff to grout the tile in the bathroom.

Or maybe I could sell it to NASA. They'd never have to worry about those pesky tiles falling off. A little Sage snot will hold 'em through re-entry. And Lord knows she makes enough of it.

I'm pondering revving up the sander. Cause seriously, there's nothing more appealing than a child will dried snot of their face. Especially when you throw a little playground dirt on it too, or perhaps a couple orange goldfish crumbs.

Luckily, I have a nice green barette that she can wear during this unforunate illness. You might as well accessorize!

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Loose Lips

It is a scientifically proven fact that children are completely incapable of keeping a secret. Especially if you tell them "Don't say anything to Daddy because it's a surprise."

Asking a young child to hold in information is like drinking two gallons of water and not being able to pee.


Or they will, physically, burst.

And so, despite this knowledge, I took Sawyer with me yesterday to pick out a birthday gift for Daddy. I was hoping to get one of those cool mortar and pestle bowls for him to make guacamole.

We headed to Williams-Sonoma at the mall. They had a really cool one made of lava rock, but David would flip if I spent $50 on a bowl, even if they had to repel down into Mauna Loa to carve out the material.

I decided to go to the Nike store to buy a new sports bra. I literally have just one I use for running, which means I wash it constantly. Then I figured David needs some running shorts to add to his collection - all of which I'm sure were purchased circa 1987.

Sawyer was VERY excited and proud to carry the bag to the car. And he mentioned how he couldn't WAIT to tell Daddy. So we had the whole talk about how it's a SURPRISE and that Daddy's birthday isn't til TOMORROW.

He agreed to keep it a secret.

And hey - we were home for 4.3 seconds before he raced over to tell David "DADDY, WE GOT YOU RUNNING PANTS FOR YOUR BIRTHDAY!"


Hey, when you gotta go, you gotta go.

Happy Birthday, David!

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Absence makes the heart grow fonder

David and I escaped from prison went away overnight - sans kids - for the first time in forever.

That time, while pregnant with Sage, I took David on a surprise trip to Vegas for his 40th birthday. Three years almost to the day, we were on our way to Vegas again.

We were both pretty amped about it. Then Sawyer came down with an awful cold and was up all Friday night. We thought, for about half a second, about staying home.

But this trip was too important. This time, it was for my friend W's wedding. There was no way I was going to miss it.

Even though it was in Vegas. Cause the thing is, I DETEST that place. The cigarette smoke alone is enough to choke a herd of cattle. ANd that's just in one small casino. I'm not into gambling, and my drinking, staying-up-all-night partying life is long gone.

But I heart my friend, and we were excited for her and for us to leave our children have some much-needed alone time.

We drove and stopped at the outlet malls along the way. My first store? Gymboree! I couldn't help myself. I mean, a Gymboree Outlet shop! You girls know what I'm talking about!

I did manage to stop in Banana Republic and found an adorable casual dress. For $35! And yet, I found myself having to completely justify spending money on something not 1) for the kids or 2) not a necessity.

We finally arrived in Vegas with an hour to spare. My friend C loaned me her cool curling iron that makes spiral curls. So I whipped that baby out and did my hair. David LOVED it and W kept complimenting me on it, so I'm going to grab one on eBay.

I had to get there early for pictures. W had asked a bunch of us to wear black, and then gave out Tiffany-blue pashminas. The effect was gorgeous!I'm third from the left in both pictures, which are tough to see but at least you get the idea. Isn't W GORGEOUS?

David took some of just me and W but somehow our camera erased them. Grrrr...

I was incredibly thrilled to meet W's birth mom (who is at the end on the far right), P. It was a bit disconcerting to speak to her, as W looks just like her. They even make the same facial expressions, which is so amazing since W was given up for adoption at birth and they didn't meet again for 24 years. And this weekend, P got to watch her daughter get married. I can't even begin to imagine her emotions.

David and I thought about our kids a lot. Of course. We missed them and talked to them on the phone quite a bit. He and I laughed discussing how Sage does a crazy dance that is a carbon copy of her brother's silly, finger-pointing, booty-shaking moves.

I was thinking how lucky we are that we have two children who are so full of personality and are so much fun to be around.

Then we arrived home.

And the whining was in full force. As was the not listening to Mommy, bickering with your sibling, and generally being little jerks. Did I also mention Sage's faucet of a nose?

Talk about a buzz-kill.

We couldn't WAIT to get them to bed. Which is sad, because we missed them so much. Apparently we just missed the cute stuff. What's also sad is that my tension level was immediately ratcheted up, and David and I fell into our sniper mode with each other - something that was absent in Vegas.

David has also caught whatever virus the kids have.

Not the best welcome home.

It could be worse, though.

It could be Vegas.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Princess and the P

P, as in pigtails, that is.

Sage's hair is just a flyaway mess of baby fluff. I can't quite bring myself to cut it again. I am willing her hair to be thick and long and am refusing to acknowledge the aforementioned fluff.

I decided that the only way to contain the monster was to put it in pigtails. Her hair seems to want to fly out to the side anyway (kinda like my boobs after having two kids, but that's another post)so I figured I'd help it.


I sat her down, and with my hands, gathered her strands on one side. This was accompanied by SHRIEKING. You'd have thought I was sticking a pencil down her ear canal. The screaming. The crying. My neighbors who live across the street AND up a house heard her.

Of course, this makes the process even more enjoyable. She puts her hands up to stop me from touching her hair. Mind you, I haven't even started with the elastics yet - which just brought the caterwallering to a whole other level.

Finally, I got the piggies in.

And you know what she did? Ran into the bathroom to admire herself! She even posed for a picture (this, apparently, is her "smile for the camera" grin).

I have gotten a bit better at getting them in. The crowning glory was last night, when David took her to pick up dinner. He had rolled her window down, and at a stoplight, a woman in another car rolled down her window to get David's attention.

"I just have to tell you your daughter is SOOO cute!"

That's right, folks. My baby stops traffic!

Friday, March 21, 2008


So when you have a blog, and things are humming along perfectly in tune, the words are flowing, the ideas are stacking up, it's a symphony. And then you take a day off because maybe you're busy or tired, and then that one day turns into two, then three, then a week, and suddenly your unposted blog becomes its own entity.

It is there, in the back of your mind. You are aware that writers need to write, and so since you are clearly not writing, you are now not a writer.

The blog takes on a life of its own. It is lurking. Empty. Tormenting you. It is a living, breathing THING that knows that you are, obviously, NOT writing. Loser!

Then you notice that you are purposely NOT writing. You have nothing interesting to say (as if). You know no one cares of your daughter gets pigtails for the first time, and is SO pleased with herself she ACTUALLY POSES FOR PICTURES! Or that your son's favorite thing to do is, when you give him a kiss, he wipes it off because he is too BIG for kisses.

You understand that you are as boring as the piece of lint or your shirt.

You start feeling bad because you know you have people who actually check this blog. If there's never anything new, these people will go away. Your blog will die a slow death.

So you are recommitted! Re-energized! You won't play seven hours straight of Scramble, even though you were 17th out of 289 players last night!!


Thanks for all who have hung with me.

I'm back!

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

First Crush

My good friend JenC started a great post on MommiesWithStyle about first crushes.

Do you remember yours?

Mine was in preschool. His name was David Snyder (it was a Jewish preschool, of course) and all I remember is he had brown hair. I'm not sure why he was so dreamy, but there it is.

Then in first grade, there was a boy - I kid you not - whose name was Shaun Cassidy! He really liked another girl better, I think, but he kissed me on the nose when we were on some kind of rocking chair thing and, you know, it rocked my world. I guess. I mean, it must have, right? I don't really remember much else.

Sawyer already had his first girlfriend, but her mom went a little cuckoo on me and now they don't see each other anymore. Just today he asked when he was going to have a playdate with her. I feel bad, but I need to spare him from future MIL drama!

Sage hangs with the twins up the street, who are a year older than her. But I wouldn't call it love. Yet. We're hopeful. They're going to be very athletic, they're cute, have great parents, and they also have a little brother in case she's looking to rob the cradle.

I took this picture at the beach the other day. These two aren't crushing on each other, but hey - Sawyer could do a lot worse! This is the same girl who was reading books with him on his Race Car Bed back in the day.

Of course, while boyfriends and girlfriends may come and go, their hearts will break, but Sawyer and Sage will always have their true best friends: each other.

Monday, March 10, 2008

What was the word again? I don't think we got it the first time

Snacktime conversation

Sawyer: "God is a bad word."

Ms. S, Sawyer's preschool teacher: "God isn't a bad word!"

Sawyer: "Yeah, but God Dammit is."

L (another classmate): "Yes, God Dammit IS a bad word."

Sawyer: "Yeah, Mommy and Daddy told me God Dammit is a bad word."

L: "You're not supposed to say God Dammit."

Sawyer: "Because God Dammit is a bad word."

Other kids were speechless.

But I bet they had a good story to tell THEIR Mommy and Daddy about what they learned in school today.

We're so proud!

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Redshirting aka Holding Them Back

You know, considering that I spent the majority of my professional career covering sports, I just assumed redshirting is what college athletes do in their first year, especially if they're injured.

Which just shows you what I know.

It seems that redshirting refers not to 17 or 18-year olds, but to FIVE year olds. It's the term used when you hold your kindergarten-eligible child, usually a boy, back a year.

This, despite research that shows that it makes absolutely no difference academically. Because it's not about no learnin'. Nope, it's about social readiness. Meaning, boys usually mature slower in that area (NO!) and can use an extra year of preschool.

Of course, it doesn't hurt that they'll be a year older than many of their peers and perhaps bigger, stronger and better athletically.

But what's frightening is that my daughter, as a high school freshman, could conceivably date a 20 year-old senior (over my husband's dead body, obviously).

I never realized what a common thing it is to hold your child back. When I started school, in Connecticut, the cutoff date was Dec. 31st. Which is also my birthday. So I started kindergarten when I was 4.

Being held back was for the dumbasses. I remember when a kid in our class got held back in fifth grade. All us big-time sixth graders were riding the bus when we saw him walking to the elementary school. Using our new-found maturity, we opened the windows and shouted "LAKE STREET SUCKS", to which he responded with a raised middle finger.

Good times. And yes, Lake Street was the name of our elementary school.

I graduated from high school at 17 - which is also how old I was when I started college.

Luckily, the fake ID I got turned me 21 a year ahead of my scheduled birthday, so all was not lost.

I am glad I didn't have a choice with Sawyer. He missed the cutoff date by 11 days. What if his birthday fell 11 days before it? There is a lot of pressure out here to hold your child. I have enough angst about where to send him to preschool. Deciding if he was ready for kindergarten (am I rushing him? is he ready? will he hate me later if I send him/don't send him?) would make my head pop off and helicopter around the room.

Today I took him to check out a new preschool. It's a pre-k program run by the local school system and is a quick walk right across the street. It's five days a week, for three hours a day, and costs exactly the same as what we will pay to send Sage two days a week at the preschool where Sawyer is now.

I THOUGHT the most important question I had was what their policy is on peanuts in the classroom. Frankly, that's one of the reasons I want to move Sawyer (aside from the expense). The school he attends now allows peanuts on campus. There aren't supposed to ever be any in his classroom, but there have been three occasions when this was ignored.

I am tired of worrying about it. I'm no longer up for screaming at the director until a third eye pops out of my head.

So while he checked out the room, I interrogated the teacher about their policy. I was elated to find that not only are they nut-free, but she and her two assistants are all trained in the use of an epi pen. In fact, they probably are more qualified to use it than I am.

That lifted a HUGE weight off me. Unless you've ever sent your child off to school every day wondering if he was going to die because of someone's oversight, you can't comprehend what a relief this is.

There was another mother there checking out the school with her daughter, who will turn 5 in November and so would be eligible to go to kindergarten in the fall. But she's holding her back.

The teacher said that kindergarten is much more academically stringent (thanks to the ridiculous No Child Left Behind bullshit). Parents might want their child to have an extra year of play. Because heaven forbid we try to make kindergarten just a tad bit less militant.

The preschool also has its own cutoff date. You have to be 5 by February to attend. Sawyer won't be the youngest nor the oldest in his class. I think he'll do well there. He's #1 on the waiting list (which, incidentally, is 75 pages long. I put the kids on it when Sage turned 9 months). We find out in May.

Sage won't be able to go there. She has a September birthday, so at 5, she should be starting kindergarten. My neighbor has twin boys almost exactly a year older than her (I gave birth to her on my couch while the twins had their first birthday party going on up the street). And she's holding them a year, so they will be in the same grade as Sage.

After listening to the teacher, I'm starting to think. Sage's tall for her age. She's tough. Her speech should be much better by then.

Why wouldn't she be ready?

But could she be MORE ready if she waits another year?

I have two years to think about it.

To hold or not to this moment, I'm letting her go.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Is she... DANCING??!?!?!

Sawyer knew from a very early age the dangers of stepping into the street. The first time he tried it, I screamed and acted incredibly terrified so he'd associate it with something that was dangerous and not something fun to do to get a rise out of Mommy.

I never worried about him going off the sidewalk after that. I could leave him sitting on a curb at the park while loading Sage into the car and knew he wouldn't budge.

Just recently he's been fighting me a bit about holding my hand in the parking lot, because he's a Big Boy. He knows his choices are 1) hold my hand 2) be carried 3) sit on the curb and not go anywhere.

Generally he's good and I really don't worry.

His sister, on the other hand (notice she is his sister and not my daughter when the occasion merits), is an entirely different matter. She either tries to dash into the street or, if holding my hand, decideds to go all jelly-legged so I'm practically dragging her.

It makes me crazy.

It makes her smile.

Today I took the kids to the park. It went great. Sage had a fabulous time climbing everything and going down the highest slide. Sawyer did not whine to go on the baby swings and instead got on a big kid swing and practiced pumping his legs.

No one argued when it was time to leave. We got to the end of the sidewalk, and Sawyer took one hand and Sage the other to cross the parking lot. That's when Sage decided to do her little spaghetti routine.

So I made her go back and sit on the sidewalk while I got Sawyer into the car. As soon as we got to the car, she stood up and hopped into the parking lot. I yelled at her to get back, and she did, but she just stood there.

I ran back over and sat her firmly on her butt. And as soon as I got back over to the car...there she was, back on the blacktop. I chased her back again.

She sat down. I walked over like I meant business.

And you know what she did?

She stood up. Stuck out her booty. And started shaking it, complete with Wild and Crazy Guy finger pointing. Grinning from ear to ear.

I kept a straight face. Somehow. How could I not admire her moxie? Meanwhile, my thought bubble was shouting "ARE YOU FREAKIN' KIDDING ME? YOU'RE DANCING IN MY FACE!"

This time, she came along with me nicely. I put her in her seat.

She'd already put me in my place.

Saturday, March 01, 2008

I'm (not) effing Matt Damon

Movie stars never really moved me. I never got all atwitter over the new hot thing that was up on the silver screen. In fact, I was quite faithful to one for years. But then, he got kinda weird and things just weren't working out. So I had to move on.

Let's start from the beginning, though: my very first love.

I had an oversize poster of Shaun Cassidy's face in my room in fourth grade, but that was because this girl Tracey in my class had one too. And, just like her, I HAD to kiss his ginormous poster lips each night before bed. Da do ron ron ron, da do ron ron (what the hell does that even MEAN?). But since the cool paper didn't smooch back, I gave it up shortly. Hey, I was 9!

Wait - he wasn't a movie star. So I probably didn't need to share that particular gem from my childhood.

Now, when I was in high school, I met my first true love. Risky Business came out. Followed soon thereafter by All the Right Moves. I LOVED that movie, with my boy all muddy in his football uni. My friend's dad owned a video store and got me the poster. And so Tom Cruise was my first Hollywood crush. And it went on for years. Until, you know, he went all Scientolocrazy on me. The couch-jumping, Matt Lauer-insulting, L. Ron Hubbard-loving man simply forced me to dump him. I mean, what's a girl to do?

Luckily, I found someone new to heart. If truth be told, I think I had feelings for him even when I was still kinda involved with Tom. It started the first moment I saw Good Will Hunting. If you haven't seen this movie, slap yourself, then go get it. Why? Two words: Matt Damon.

He then of course went on to the Bourne movies and was voted Sexiest Man of the Year by People (They're so, like five years ago. I could've told them that!). Now, his manlove Ben Affleck is TALLER, which is appealing, but he just can't do the crooked smile like my Matt.

And so, when I saw this video for the first time, I about died.

I want to be Sarah Silverman!!!

So Jimmy Kimmel did a nice response, which is equally as hilarious. I hope you all laugh as much as I did. And I didn't even RECOGNIZE Brad Pitt!

Oh, and don't be surprised to find yourself singing these at odd times!
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