Sunday, February 28, 2010

Moving Out

(If you came from SITS looking for music/video, click here. My link got messed up! Thx!)

Today I had a wild hair.

No, not THAT kind of hare. I said HAIR.

Close. But not that one, either.

This is when you are suddenly struck by an idea so crazy, so impetuous you want to act on it immediately.

Are you ready?

I told David it was time we moved X's crib out of room.

I KNOW! We're inSANE around here.

Stop snickering and listen. This is a BIG deal. Because X was born in our room. He's spent every night of his life there. But now that he's almost one, I'm ready to have our space back.

This morning I spent almost an hour sorting through laundry (yes, David, we DO have an ottoman in there, thanks for pointing that out once I took the pile of clothes off it, hardee har har), filling two bags for Goodwill, throwing out some stuff - basically everything that I can't do on a regular basis because there's a small child sleeping in our room.

I've tried to do it while he's playing on the floor, but, well, you all know about his affinity for feminine products, so I spend most of my time grabbing things out of his hands (or mouth) and usually just give up being productive.

He still, most days, takes two naps. And he goes down for the night around 7. I can't remember the last time David and I watched TV in bed. Forget about anything else that *might* make noise, because this child is the lightest sleeper ever. He wakes up if I so much as sniffle.

We were waiting for him to sleep through the night before we put him in with one of his sibs. That finally happened when he turned 10 months. I just got up and left the room when he cried and went downstairs to sleep on the couch. Once I'm out, he gives up and goes back to sleep.

Now he's rarely up in the night. He wakes up for the day around 6:15 a.m., though, which is usually at least an hour before anyone else. Including me. At least, I'd like to sleep longer. He then proceeds to nurse off and on for an hour while I summon the energy to lift an arm to make sure he doesn't fall off the bed.

I also worry that he won't sleep well once he's moved because the bigger kids will wake him up when THEY go to bed. They are like night roosters: they are SO LOUD while they pee, brush their teeth, get into pjs, etc. I'm surprised you all can't hear them.

We still have to make space in Sawyer's room. An old set of storage bins and an empty aquarium need to be taken out and thrown in the garage. That was supposed to get done today (fail). Our house has teeny bedrooms. I mean, TEE-NY. It's going to be a tough squeeze to fit the crib in there.

But when it gets down to it, these are only logistics.

The real reason I haven't moved him is me.

I can't imagine not having him near. Those first few weeks of his life were spent sleeping in bed with us, and I admit I loved having him so close. Then he moved to a co-sleeper because David was afraid he'd roll over on him, and I was barely sleeping.  He was still in bed half the night nursing anyway, but at least I got a couple hours of sleep in between (although I'd wake up with a start SURE I'd forgotten to put him back in his co-sleeper and he was somewhere under the covers). He soon got too big for the co-sleeper and graduated to the crib.

He can look over the top rail and see me. I'd like to say he then calls, "Mama!" but he might be the only almost one year-old who has never said that word. Daddy is an entirely different story. He's got that one down.

He just wails. Until I sit up and look at his sweet little face.

I mean, could you resist so much cuteness?

His breath is the last thing I hear before I fall asleep (unless someone else's snoring drowns him out).

It's been 355 nights.

I will miss him.

But not tonight. Because he's still in our room. The wild hair thing only goes so far. Maybe tomorrow.

Okay, probably not. Soon, though.


Thursday, February 25, 2010

Things Your Mother Said...

...that you swore you wouldn't. Mainly because it annoyed the bejeebus out of you as a child. And you just KNEW you'd never do that to your own kids.

Except you do. Because it's part of the momologue.


"I am not running a restaurant." Well, this was certainly true, because based on my mother's cooking, it would've gone out of business in about two days. But now I get it. It's used in response to your child, who, after declaring she does not want PASTA for dinner, says she wants macaroni and cheese. When she is informed that macaroni is in fact pasta, she then asks for hot dogs. Or chicken. Maybe pancakes. *This saying is often uttered just before its cousin, "I'm not a short-order cook."

"No. N. O." Do you really have to spell it? Yes. Y-E-S. You can now congratulate yourself on reinforcing your kindergartner's emerging reading skills.

"Knock it off right now or I'm going to pull this car over!" This one is actually from my Dad, who perfected the art of reaching behind the seat while driving and flailing his arm, hoping to smack someone. Anyone. We would wildly duck out of the way, but once in awhile he connected. Usually with a knee. Our SUV's third row makes that maneuver extinct. But roads still have shoulders. And sidewalks.

"I am not made of money." This one is just plain silly. Because everyone knows parents are made of plastic. Just ask my kids every time we go to Target.

"Your face is going to freeze like that." Really? Is that what happened to YOU, Mother?? (No, I didn't actually say that, because then my face would've hit the mailbox at the end of the driveway on the fly.)  I once lived next door to a woman whose face actually froze. It was some sort of weird nerve thing that happened when she'd go from a super-airconditioned car out into the heat. It was temporary for her. But it left a permanent impression on me. So I'm just trying to keep my kids safe.

"Because I'm the Mommy. That's why." Hm. I knew it then, and I really know it now: it's what you say when you have no good reason for whatever decision you've just made. Other than being too exhausted to want to explain to a three year-old for the gazillionth time why he can't have just one more cookie.

"Don't make me get up and come over there." I still remember when I got fast enough to outrun my Dad. I actually know now he just didn't feel like sprinting up the stairs. I figured this out because frankly I'd rather just sit on my butt and tweet about how my kids are pulling each other's eyeballs out then get up and pry them apart. So I issue the threat. When it's ignored, I stand up and the kids stop. Until I sit back down. At least it buys me some time to figure out what I'm going to do once I DO go over there.

There is a line I just won't cross, however. It was a one-word utterance that my mother used when she was, I guess, tired of the whining of her three kids. It drove me crazy. My sister and I still snicker over it. Because it's meant to stop us in our tracks, to tell us life isn't fair, and all that, but it just made us twitch.

I'll tell you, but only if you PROMISE never to use it on your own kids. It will scar them for life. I mean it.

And it is


That's right.

Remember, you promised!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

My Ovaries are Quivering

The thing about having a baby is sometimes you're so busy just trying to survive the day it's tough to sit back and really, really marvel over how amazing - and amazingly cute - they are.

I mean, one minute they're helpless, smushy little blobs and the next they're pulling Tampax out of the box they found in your bathroom cabinet and are walking around gnawing on them. Or maybe that's just my kid.

Anyway, I cannot WAIT to see this documentary from Focus Features entitled, simply, Babies, which will debut in theaters on Mother's Day weekend. I received the trailer Sunday at the La Moms/Bit Defender conference and was enthralled. And sad, too, as it's a reminder that my own baby's first year is rapidly coming to an end.

The documentary follows four babies from four different places: San Francisco, Namibia, Tokyo and Mongolia, from when they are born til they are a year.

Take a look. And don't be surprised if you find your OWN ovaries tingling.

Sunday, February 21, 2010


Oh yes. I'm speakin' tweet, baby. Does it sound natural?

I just got back from the Silicon Valley Moms blog group kickoff of its Orange County chapter (website coming soon). It was at the lovely Ritz-Carlton in Laguna Niguel. Have you been there? No? You should. It's up on a cliff and overlooks the ocean and it's just gorgeous. Plus they have a wine and chocolate tasting thing. Surf lessons, too. 

Anyway, there were a ton of bloggers, PR flaks and sponsors at the event today.

I got there in time for a Q&A about bloggers and brands and how to work with them. Many of the women chimed in, so I learned that "we all get TONS of product pitches."


They were a-creakin' for me, people (that IS me in the picture, if you can believe it, despite the makeup and fancy dress. Know how you can tell? Cause no matter how put-together I'd LIKE to appear, my freakin' nursing-bra strap is showing. GAH!).

I guess most of the bloggers there are already well-established. They tweet. They facebook. They market themselves. They get companies knocking on their portals, asking them to review, publicize or otherwise  try out their products - because their blogs get a lot of traffic. Or maybe the blog writer has a huge following on twitter. 

It's all about the numbers. Brands go on blogs and check out how many comments you have. (And since most of you guys comment directly on facebook, it looks like no one reads me. But you DO! I heart you all!)

Clearly I'm a little behind the times in embracing social media. Hey, I'm a former print journalist. It's in my blood (see newspapers: why they are dying).

So you're probably wondering why I was there today. I was invited to join, entirely due to my friend Ciaran of Momfluential.  I got to meet the truly awesome founders of the Silicon Valley Moms Group, the sponsors and, of course, some of the other bloggers. It was a little like being the new kid in school. I was just trying to fit in and not inadvertently nail someone with my bags stuffed with products. I was not entirely successful with either.

Anyway, my little bloggity blog blog will now be part of a bigger group. It's growing up (sniffle, sniffle).

What does this all mean? I'm now a member of the Orange County Moms Blog. I'll probably get more traffic. I'll be invited to some cool Mom Blog events in the OC. Like today's. 

I really have to think about - and answer - the Big Questions: What is the purpose of my blog? What do I want to do with it? Should I rename it? How do I market it? What the hell is it about, anyway?

See, I'm just emerging from the black hole that is the first year of a baby. I feel my energy coming back. I'm able to occasionally think a thought through to its conclusion. I'm a little less tied to the house, as X can go longer in between nursing and will soon be introduced to some sort of milk that I don't produce.

I'm ready to start paying a little bit of attention to myself again (Hey, self, 'memba me?) Really, as moms, we are always trying to redefine ourselves, aren't we? Especially after adding another baby into the mix.

I just didn't expect my blog to have an identity crisis.

But there it is. 

Lots to ponder.

In the meantime, I'm still giggling like a loon over the parting gift tonight. Let's just say I was glad one of my kids didn't grab it out of the bags I brought home and show it to my mother-in-law. Here are a few hints: it has batteries. It's small. And it has a silicone bunny that goes over it.

Membership has its privileges. 

Friday, February 19, 2010

Let's Hope it's Always Just Toys

Every morning before my son leaves for school, I have to frisk him. We're talking a full-body pat-down.

And he's only in kindergarten. I don't want to think what'll happen when he's in high school.

This is because Sawyer likes to sneak snuff out of the house.

It started with Bakugan. He'd shove them in his pockets. And his father (in these sorts of topics, I refer to David as the kids' dad and NOT my husband) allowed this to go on, as long as Sawyer handed him the toys once he got to school. Which didn't always happen.

This past week it was his new Zhu Zhu pet. He came out of his classroom, opened his snack bag and whipped out Chunky, much to my surprise. And grinned when I gave him The Look.

Sawyer also snuck him to Little League practice, where I found him in his bat bag. But he did learn a hard lesson when a teammate threw the white toy onto the field. And now he's no longer completely white.

So he moved on. Yesterday David brought home a Squirmy, which is a little fuzzy creature on a string.  It comes in a little plastic case. Perhaps you had one of these as a child?

This morning, before Sawyer left for school, I asked him where Blueberry (his Squirmy, 'cause he's blue) was.

"In my closet."

"Really. So if I go up there and look I will find it."

"Well, it's kind of down in my closet."

"Where I will look for it and find it. Right?"

"Okay, okay."

And Sawyer reached into the side of his UNDERWEAR and pulled out the plastic case with Blueberry in it.


He didn't realize he was dealing with the Master.

Maybe some day I'll tell him about the time I was in high school and hid an entire case of Budweiser behind a couple trees in the front lawn. Or about how my friend and I used a pulley system to sneak beer into her room.

Or maybe about the time I was out with a friend and got my car stuck in the mud at a place I wasn't supposed to be. And my parents never realized I didn't bring the car home that night (we got it out early the next morning before school, but I don't think the transmission was ever the same).

Then again, I probably won't.

I don't want to give him any ideas. I'll just let him think there's no fooling Mommy - so I can always be one step ahead when it REALLY matters.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Fruit. It's NOT what's for dinner.

The past couple posts have been so serious. I want to change it up a bit.

Let's talk about fruit.

Sure, you say. You love fruit. You can't get enough of it. You eat it for snacks. You eat it with meals. You even eat oatmeal raisin cookies, because you have this insane notion that fruit belongs in desserts.

Clearly, you and I are just too different. Because I have a fruit issue. An aversion, if you will.

Excuse me? Fruit?  I'm just not that into you.

You would think with my no dairy/soy/wheat restriction I'm on while nursing X I'd eat vast quantities of apples, pears, grapes, strawberries, cantaloupe, etc., to complement my steady diet of Lay's potato chips.

You'd be wrong.

I'm not at all opposed to the idea of fruit. I really, really wish I liked it more. I have tried. I was an extremely picky eater as a child, but as I get older, I'm making an effort to try new things. Like sushi, for instance.

And fruit, too. I mean, aside from its obvious health benefits, there's nothing prettier than a lovely fruit salad, all those vibrant colors dancing together in a bowl. And I'll put some on my a plate - then proceed to pick out the one or two things that I actually eat (sorry pineapple, honeydew, strawberries).

My kids LOVE fruit. Especially Sawyer. The boy could eat an entire mango. Meanwhile, I can't even clean off the cutting board because that particular fruit is just a tad too slimy for me.

See, my problem is texture. I tried an apple that looked appealing recently - and gagged. I tried a strawberry when the kids were picking them at a farm - you can't get much fresher than that - and I just couldn't get past that bumpy skin (don't even get me started on peaches).

I will eat bananas - but only if there is no green on the skin and no bruises on the fruit. And OMG - why must we be subjected to all those strings? And that awful seed on the bottom that I STILL remember accidentally biting into when I was, like, 7?

Grapes are good as long as they are not mushy. Or hard. Watermelon I'm pretty good with, unless it has that granular feel to it. Blackberries and raspberries usually work well - as long as they are not hard, or worse, moldy.

Dry oranges go right in the trash. Same with clementines (but when they're sweet, they really are like candy, aren't they?).

Don't even get me started on tomatoes. They come in all those fancy colors to entice me, to say nothing of all the different shapes and sizes. And how cute are those cherry tomatoes? Yet I will only eat them if they are pulverized into a smooth sauce or salsa. Because otherwise they're all squishy and squirty and just plain icky.

That's right. I said icky. I'm 41 years old.

I'll continue trying to change my ways.

In the meantime, I'm guessing that those Princess fruit snacks my daughter eats do not count. Because I could eat those all day. Not that I do. I'm just, you know, saying I could. Hey - some actually come in fruit shapes!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Heaven is Daddy - and rainbow sherbet

It was bath time for X.

He practically leapt into the tub he was so excited. He has these two ducks that light up in the water, see, and he can hold one in each hand and then even CHEW on them. It really doesn't get much better for an 11 month-old, does it?

So he's in there, and Sawyer and Sage decide they want to watch. The four of us are in the tiny bathroom, X happily splashing, Sage making faces at herself in the mirror, and Sawyer perched on the edge of the tub.

And then Sawyer asks, "How many days til Daddy dies?"

Did you also hear the EEERRRRR sound of a record being scratched or was that just me? (Then again, does anyone besides me even remember records?) 

"Well," I tell him, "Not for a very very long time, when he's very old."

"Like, 20, or something?"

"Older than that. Much older."

"What about heaven, Mommy?"

"That's a place where you go when you die. You get to be with people who have died before you."

"Is Michael Jackson in heaven?"

"I suppose he is, Sawyer. I suppose he is."

"And Grandpa."

"Yes. Grandpa, too."

When I came downstairs after putting X to bed I saw Sawyer and Sage sitting silently next to each other on the couch. I figured they REALLY wanted ice cream, because they know they have to be quiet while X is getting ready for sleep and usually they are, well, not.

Then Sage said Sawyer was crying.

"I'm sad because I'm going to miss Daddy when he dies," he said through his tears.

I ran over, sat on the couch and pulled Sawyer into my arms and just held him.  Because, really, is there any thought more scary when you're six and you think about losing your best friend? I didn't tell him that we never know when we're going to die, that the thought of one of my children dying before me is like a sucker-punch to the stomach.

"Who's going to take care of me?"

So I told him Daddy isn't going to die for a long, long time. And by then, Sawyer would be a grown-up and have a family of his own, just like Mommy and Daddy do now. He should just have fun and enjoy all his time with Daddy. I said he shouldn't worry.

There were more sniffles. Then, quietly, with tears still straining his voice, Sawyer said into my neck:  "Mommy? I think if I had a little dessert I'd feel better."

And what do you know. Rainbow sherbet on a cone made my little boy smile.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

What We Learn

Here's the thing. I can't get this out of my thoughts, and any post I would've written tonight would've just been so trivial.

So I'm just going to link this blog.

It's about a mother of three who is losing her two year-old baby girl to Neuroblastoma, a terrible, terrible cancer. In today's blog, the mom, Shanna, is listening to the quiet in her house as her daughter sleeps.

Most of us would love to have a few moments of silence in our house, where we're not being tugged on and whined at or called upon to break up a fight over legos.

After reading her post, you might reconsider.

You might just savor the noise.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

A Valentine for You

I love you! I really do!

I want you to be happy. I want you to feel warm. Happy and warm.

Because I know you're freezing. If you take off your Snuggie and go look out your window, you will see a big pile of snow. Cold, cold snow. Plus your window is probably a little drafty. It's got to be like, what, 21 degrees outside?

You poor thing.

I guess this means you didn't get to go to the beach today. Your kids weren't wearing shorts and a tee shirt, unless it was under their snowsuit.

And that is why, as a public service and as a token of my deep, abiding love for all of you, I will now present a small gift.

I call it, simply, Our Valentine's Day at the Beach Where It was SOOOO Warm and Sunny and We Had a FABULOUS Time - and Did I Mention it Was 82 degrees?

Here we have X taking a little walk. In his beach shoes.

Sage sends her love. Through gang signs.

Sawyer wishes he was throwing snowballs. But he had to go with what was around.

X also wanted to mention that sometimes Extreme Cuteness can cause a state of well-being, which can leave you feeling like you just had a nice cup of hot chocolate.

Just to show we weren't just standing around looking adorable, I give you our scientific expedition to a tide pool. If you look carefully, you can see an orange starfish on the rock on the side of the rock across from Sawyer.

And look! Sea urchins!

All good days eventually come to an end. We sure hope you enjoyed these pictures. And just think, in about four months, you, too, can feel warm on the inside AND on the outside.

Happy Valentine's Day!

Saturday, February 13, 2010


So today Sage and I went to the mall because I needed a dress. I've been invited to an event, and by that I mean I'm going somewhere without kids to a thing where people will be meeting me for the first time.

I do not need them to know I usually walk around in "comfortable" clothes which, more often than not, have some sort of food item or snot on them, courtesy of one Small Child or another. Or that I rarely wear makeup and it's been so long that I wore anything pretty I wouldn't recognize it if it walked up and slapped me across the face.

(Oh, Clinton and Stacy. I love them. But they would SURELY knock me upside the head if they saw the yoga pants/Uggs/fleece getup I often wear to walk Sawyer to school.).

I want to look like a grownup. A stylishly dressed grownup. For a change.

Sage was very happy to pick out a few things for me to try on at Nordstrom. And then the saleswoman brought a few more.

Now, my shape is not what it was when I got pregnant, when I'd just run a marathon. Having three kids in five years isn't so kind to the body. X's pregnancy gave me a wonderful parting gift: back fat.

But I've been working out. I'm within a few pounds of my pre-pregnancy weight, if not the fitness level.

That's why I'm going to share with you a little tip, and believe me when I say that you will thank me for this: When you start feeling that maybe you will recover, that you don't look completely awful, that you may actually be able to get back into that bikini again someday, DO NOT get in a dressing room with a 4 year-old.

The mirrors and florescent lighting are bad enough.

We're in there, Sage and I and a hopeful pile of dresses, and I start pulling off my tee shirt. Sage's eyes got HUGE.

Mommy! You're going to take off your clothes? I can see your boobers!

Well, yes, I have to try on the dresses.

Are you going to take off your underwear?


I can see your private parts! Okay, well I can't see them. But maybe a little bit.

Then don't look. It's private.

Mommy? Why is your butt sticking out from your underwear? I mean, your underwear is kind of in the middle and I can see your butt. It's sticking out.

Sage then proceeded to walk behind me and pat me on the rear end.

She was having fun. This is the same girl who, while watching me run on the treadmill last week, said "Mommy! Your butt is bouncing up and down when you run!"

I lacked the energy to corner her in that tiny dressing room today and yell SEE THIS MESS?? IT'S BECAUSE OF YOU AND YOUR BROTHERS!! I didn't even warn her that someday when SHE has babies, she has this flabalanche to look forward to.

I didn't want to scare her. Because she'd just seen half my ass. And THAT is frightening enough.

By the way, I bought a dress. And wouldn't you know, it's one Sage picked out.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

What I Didn't Say

This weekend my girlfriend, Elise, had her first baby.

It was a long wait. Not the labor. Although that was 18 hours.

The becoming a mother part.

She turns 41 in July. She's wanted to have a baby forever. But it didn't happen, and she needed help. She was rejected from a fertility clinic because they were sure she'd never conceive. She's lucky she has a well-paying job and lives in New York City. She had options, and found another clinic who took her.

She had a failed IVF.

She tried again.

And now she has her beautiful baby boy.

I couldn't wait to hear how it went.

Part of the conversation went something like this:

E: "The contractions? They really hurt!"

Me: "Yep. They sure do."

E: "I felt like there were like 10 knives stabbing me in the uterus."

Me: "Only 10?"

E: "So then, well, you know that ring of fire?"

Me: "Oh yes. Yes I do."

E: "And then they put him on me. And he looked right into my eyes."

Me: "Amazing, isn't it?"

E: "I knew being a mother would be great, but now I really, really get it."

I told her how proud I was of her. How great she did. To enjoy her new baby and stop worrying whether her kitchen is clean. We talked about positioning of the baby during nursing. We discussed his almost-white curly eyelashes and his Angelina Jolie-esque lips. We sighed, me in SoCal and her in NYC, about how sweet he is.

There was a lot I didn't say.

I didn't want to tell her that this parenting stuff? It's really hard. I mean, REALLY hard. That she will love this tiny creature so much it will ache. That there will be moments where she might fantasize about throwing him out the window. But she won't.

That she will lose herself. That she will never be the same person that she was. And it's okay to mourn. Because you can't go through something as life-changing as becoming a mother and NOT change. And it's okay. Mostly.

That she should hold onto each moment like it's the last. Because you never know. And anyway, even though it seems like each day lasts forever, it doesn't, and it's memorizing the little stuff - the way your baby's face lights up when he sees you, the curve of his ear, the toasty smell of the top of his head - that means the most. Especially later on, when he's two. Oh, the twos....

That motherhood is crazy, impossible, wonderful. It's going from being a ferocious Mama Bear one minute to wanting to throttle your beloved child the next. It's worry worry worry. It's beating yourself up because you're not perfect, and your child deserves perfect.

I wanted to tell her that we were all much better mothers before we had kids. That list of things we swore we'd never do? Yeah. It's okay to give him a non-organic french fry. Even a cupcake for dinner. It's okay to be mind-numbingly bored after a marathon session of rolling matchbox cars around the table. And to buy sneakers with Elmo on them.

That a kind child is more precious than diamonds.

I wanted to make sure she remembers she's building memories. She's a caretaker of his only childhood. She will spend sleepless nights, wondering what she could've done better that day, if she said the right thing, if she yelled too loud, if she didn't speak loudly enough.

She will wonder at times, as we all do, if she's fucking it up. She's not. Because she'll never try harder at anything in her life. And that's the best any of us can do.

(Our kids' therapists can decide later if it was good enough.)

But I don't want to burden a new mother with all this. Let her enjoy the simplicity of the newborn phase, where all you need to do is feed him. And figure out why he's crying. And wonder whether he's breathing. If he's hot. Cold. Swaddled tightly enough. If he wants the binky. If you should even GIVE him the binky, because doesn't that lead to speech impediments and buck teeth and what if he's the only four year-old on the playground with one?

This motherhood stuff? It's hard. Really, really hard.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Eleven Months


We're almost there, you and I. Or is it you and me?

Eleven months. The reality that I'm going to have a toddler any minute is just now seeping into my brain.

Bye-bye, baby.


Did you hear me yell that? Yes? Is that why you're still talking in your crib instead of napping?

I'm sorry. I'll be more quiet.

I'm not ready.

And that's okay. Are we really ever ready to see our kids grow up? I mean, the days that we're changing yet another poopy diaper or cleaning vomit out of our hair or answering the eternal question of "why" for the bazillionth time, we might dream a little dream about when THEY will be away at college or out on their own and we will be left alone to think complete thoughts for the first time in more than 25 years.

Then I proceed to grab my kids and hold them even tighter.

Because, really, they're only little for a blink of the eye. This month really has been sweet. X is just a delicious baby (yes, I'm still calling him a baby!) and is at a very fun age.

Just yesterday he decided that he can actually walk if he wants to. He's started going from station to station: from the wall to the chair, from the chair to another chair, then on to a sibling, then over to the couch, then halfway across the room. He's finally making that transition and I know it won't be long before he's running.

He also loves to dance. I hope he always will.

He's still a little guy. My scale has him at about 20 1/2 pounds, and unless he puts on a major growth spurt in the next month, he won't come close to tripling his birthweight (he was 8-2) by a year. But he's so healthy and alert. He has beautiful soft skin. He has rolls on his legs. He's happy.

We've introduced a few new foods. We tried wheat and the six poops the next day told me it didn't go so well. He now is quite enamored with kidney beans, broccoli and polenta. We have no shortage of fiber. We just haven't quite figured out how to fatten him up.

He is starting to get some words. Up is a favorite. He also waves and says "Hiiiiiiii" without any prompting. Like when Sawyer bounced into our bed this morning. X's face lit up and he treated Sawyer to a HUGE Hiiiiiii. He says daddy and doggie. He can point at the bear in his book. He really notices stuffs:  today he grabbed the Wii remote off the couch, turned to look up at the TV (which wasn't even on) and started shaking the remote. I'll have him playing Marios Bros. soon!

He does not say Mama.


Does that really matter, though? It's clear I'm his fave. He has not crossed over to the Dark Side, aka liking Daddy more than me like the other two. This possibly might be because I'm still nursing and he feels he needs to stay in my good graces.

Don't worry. You always will be, Bubs. You always will be.

* You might be wondering where all the pics are. Thing is, I had some fun video I wanted to post. But for some reason blogger on the mac is not letting me do that. So they're over on facebook. Check 'em out, those of you who link here through there.

Monday, February 08, 2010

He is my Sunshine (well, not really MINE. Just using the song title, okay? Work with me!)

I saw Dr. Sunshine today. That's right. His name is Sam Sunshine, MD.

He was as lovely as his name implies. I was DYING to ask such original questions as, "So, what happens when you're in a bad mood? What do people say to you when it rains? How many sing to you? Like, 'Sunshine, on my shoulder, makes me happy?' or 'Walking on Sunshine' or 'You are the Sunshine of my life?' What kind of name is that, anyway?"

Because I'm 12.

Then the (ahem) mature part of me resisted. That's right. I didn't ask a one. I was thinking them, but they stayed safely enclosed in my thought bubble.

He checked out my neck and, thankfully, I have no major issues. Just the stiffness and soreness of minor whiplash. When I turn it from side to side, the rice crispies noise you hear is just the inflammation.

He wanted to know if I wanted meds to help me sleep. It was tempting.

Oh, it was tempting.

I left the office with a parting gift: one of those cuffs you wear around your neck. The idea is it's supposed to support your head so that your neck can relax. My head is particularly heavy because of all the brains inside.

Sure it is.

I went home. And made dinner (leading my husband to question whether I did, in fact, scramble my brains in the car crash).

I even made something new.

Tilapia. Polenta, too.

And you will not believe this. Really.  BOTH of the bigger kids ate it without complaints. AND they asked for seconds.

Clearly a meteor is going to land squarely on my house.

It will not smush any of the kids, my husband or the dogs.

It will, however, bruise me just enough.

So that I can see Sunshine again.

Sunday, February 07, 2010

We're Safe

There's a reason we drive a Toyota Sequoia.

I'd like to say my gas pedal got stuck. It didn't. Our car isn't even part of the recall.

What happened is I hit a car as it was turning in front of me.

Sawyer and Sage were in the back. In the calmest voice possible I asked if they were okay. They were strapped securely in their car seats (Sawyer is old enough and big enough for a booster. I am grateful we still have him in a five-point harness). Xander was safe at home, napping.

Sage was scared. She asked if the police were coming, if we were going to be arrested and put in jail.

I assured her we were not in trouble and the police would help us. We got out of the car and onto the sidewalk. We were less than two minutes away from our destination, but we weren't going to make it that day.

The driver of the other car was fine, physically. But shaken up. Her kids were NOT in her car. Thankfully.

The impact somehow ripped the front passenger-side wheel right off her car. We saw it later under our car when the tow truck guy drove it out of the intersection. Yes, our car still drove. But the passenger-side bumper was scraping the tire. It was leaking fluid.

And, um, yeah, it didn't have much of a front end.

Nice grill, huh?

The car is made to crumple on impact. And it did. My airbags did not deploy, however, even though the ones in the car I hit did. Maybe this accounts for the whiplash I have this morning?

Two incredibly nice women who were at the light when the accident happened pulled over and waited with us. I have to say my kids were awesome. They got stickers from the firemen and a policeman. We got the car seats out and they sat in them on the sidewalk. I found two blankets in the car and covered them. It had been pouring but the whole time we were there the sun was peeking through.

I couldn't stop shaking.

The whole gamut of "what-ifs" ran through my mind like a locomotive. What if someone had been hurt? What if I had left two minutes earlier or two minutes later? What if the other driver had done the same? It wasn't like I was on the phone. I hadn't turned my head to talk to the kids. I don't know exactly how it happened, to be honest. Still don't. Went over it again and again and again in my head.

It was a grand time standing out there, waiting for David.

I had called him right after the accident and got no answer. I knew he was on the treadmill and couldn't hear the phone. I called my neighbor who went down there and pounded on the door.  When David then called, the conversation was full of long pauses. His. He was not happy.

But when he and my neighbor arrived 20 minutes later, he was actually impressed. He didn't realize that when I said the car was creamed, I wasn't speaking in hyperbole or being dramatic. For a change. He was very relieved everyone was okay.

(If the cop in the yellow jacket moved a little to his right, you'd be able to see the front end of the other car, missing its tire.)

We finally got home (the big kids rode with our neighbor). Then we had to figure out how we were going to fit three car seats in the back of our sedan. Not happening. We got Sawyer a new booster, since the ones our car seats deconstruct to are too wide. Sage is back in her old Britax (she's not quite 40 pounds yet), and Xander's Britax is in the middle.

All five of us piled into it to go to a party last night.

They offered helpful tips to David as he drove.

Don't go too fast, Daddy.

Don't hit any cars.

I had to smile. They were right.

Best part? I could reach back and touch all my kids.

They were close.

Most important, they were safe.

Friday, February 05, 2010

We Heart Rocky Road


It sprinkled this morning. And that's being generous. The sky was, indeed, grey. Moisture did fall. But you didn't need an umbrella or anything for our walk to Sawyer's school.

Nevertheless, I got X all prepared. Just in case the heavens opened and dumped buckets right on our heads once we turned the corner.

Because when you live in Southern California, this is how we roll. And I suppose you can see little droplets on his rain shield, but that was about the extent of it.

The sad part is I didn't even wonder how he could breathe in this plastic cocoon. I just assumed, since he was still alive when I got to wherever we were going, that he had enough oxygen. I've used it a few times before, and it was only today when I realized there are little holes in the side. Good to know, good to know.

Meanwhile, the sidewalks, usually filled with tons of kids and parents walking to school, were deserted. Why? Because, as I might have mentioned previously, it was sort of sprinkling. And out here, it might as well have been a monsoon.

The line for curb-side drop off in the parking lot was actually backed up well into the street.

I really enjoyed the walk. Well, I would have if Sawyer hadn't dawdled in the house while X and I waited for him outside. He was supposed to be finding his umbrella, but instead I caught him leaning against the couch, staring at whatever show Sage was watching while she waited for me to come back to take her to school.

We were late. So I made him run. And he had the nerve to say his legs were tired. Tired? Are you kidding me? Those legs are barely six years old! Try going on 41 year-old legs that have run two marathons, to say nothing of supporting great weight through three pregnancies and then sprinting after kids all day.

Tired? I laugh at tired! BWAHAHAHAHAHA!

This reaction did not impress Sawyer. He continued to complain and walk as slooooowly      as       posssssssible   all the way to his classroom.

Maybe it was the low pressure system messing with his emotions.

I think rain for people who grew up out here must be like if you're used to having vanilla ice cream every day and then WHAM someone gives you Rocky Road. At first you are a little nervous, but you try it, and you kind of like it, but it's a little exotic. You're not quite sure what to do with it. You're all Whoa, I had this Rocky Road today, and it was different, but I really don't want it tomorrow. That would just be too much. You really, really miss vanilla. And as you know, a lot of people are afraid of the unknown. So you do what all those FOX news viewers do when confronted with something unfamiliar: you panic.

That's right. Never drive here during the rain. It's worse than driving in West Palm Beach in January behind an old lady from Canada. It's insane. Lots of slamming on the breaks. Lots of driving too slow. You get the picture.

So I walk to school when it's not raining hard and hope no crazy-ass driver hydroplanes onto the sidewalk. We also walked home after school. And who do you think was running up the hill?


I still had my other little guy to keep me company. He loves being out in the rain. He loves his plastic.

How do I know? Because he even allowed me to capture his elusive wave hello on my iphone. You can even see he's saying "Hiiiiiii!"

I bet HE'LL like Rocky Road.

Thursday, February 04, 2010

And how was YOUR morning?

Wakey, wakey!

Good morning! Time to get up!

No, don't pull the covers up again. No. You have to get up. You're going to be late.

Brush your teeth. BRUSH your TEETH! I know it's exhausting. There is nothing on the planet more life-force sucking than brushing your teeth. Unfortunately the sugar bugs never get tired of eating them. So you must get rid of them. Now. NOW!

Get dressed, please. Are you dressed? You're not wearing that. No. No. No. It's 45 degrees. You're not wearing a tank top. You need long-sleeves. Or a sweater. Don't come downstairs til you change. Get back upstairs! Upstairs!

What's for breakfast? We have toast or waffles. Not eggs. Not pancakes. I don't have bacon. I'm not cooking. Okay, cereal. You can have cereal. You cannot have Daddy's cereal. That's junk food. And put that juice box away. You can have orange juice. In a glass. Nothing in a pouch. Put Daddy's coffee down!

Are those shorts you're wearing under your jeans? Take them off. Put the jeans back on. Not the shorts. The jeans!

What do you want for snack? Goldfish? I don't care if Kyle brings Ding Dongs every day. You can have a gogurt, crackers and grapes. No grapes? A banana, then. An apple. Pick one pick one pick one.

You have TEN minutes! TEN minutes!

Where's the baby? Has anyone seen the baby? Can someone find him? What? He's in the bathroom? XANDER! Ick! We don't eat toilet paper!


No, you can't watch TV. You have school. Do you have your folder? Is your homework in it? I don't know where your homework is. Where did you put it? Is it under the couch? Check under the couch. Use your light saber and sweep around under there.


Put on your socks. Those don't match. Never mind. Put on your shoes. And your coat. I don't care if the sun just came out. You know what? I used to have to walk two miles to school in the snow. Uphill. Both ways. And did I complain about wearing a coat? NO! Because we couldn't AFFORD a coat. I had to carry the dog over my shoulders just to keep warm. And I was glad for it. So put your coat on. Where is it? It's hanging up in the closet. Where it belongs. Imagine that.


David! Are you taking Sawyer to school? What? You're on a call? But I'm in my pajamas! I don't have my contacts in! Okay! Fine!


Okay. Let's go. Let's go let's go let's go. Wait. WAIT!

Where's the baby??

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Start 'Em Young

I was in my mid-20s and was out to lunch at the Chestnut Hill Mall with my sister and brother-in-law. I believe we were eating at Jai's, my favorite Asian place that has long since ceased to exist.

They ordered sushi. I'd never had it. I'd been out with them before and had no desire to try it, especially when once at a sushi bar my BIL did a shot that contained a raw quail egg, tabasco and who knows what else.

I liked fish. I just liked it cooked. But looking at the big boat they ordered that day, I actually found it appealing. So I tried it. Then I immediately smacked myself upside the head because what took me so long?!?!?!

Of course, being me, I'm a picky sushi eater. I can't stand the rolls. What is up with that seaweed? It reminds me of the scene in Madagascar when Alex the Lion gets it stuck in his teeth. It's crunchy but not in a good way. (And yes, I'm aware this is NOT a picture of Alex with green stuff in his teeth. I couldn't find one, okay? Just take a green crayon and color on his teeth on your screen. You'll get the idea.)

I just want the fish. Sashimi would be fine, except I do like to slather the sushi in the soy/wasabi mixture so that all that fiery goodness soaks into the rice. It is only hot enough if one bite causes the hairs in my nose burn and fall out on my plate.

You're not supposed to eat sushi while pregnant, and besides, last time I had it, I had a bad reaction (clearly the sushi had some sort of bacteria on it that my body didn't like). I'm still nursing, but I was feeling a little crazy today, and when I went to the store, they were having a special on freshly prepared sushi. I know what you're thinking, you sushi snobs. But hey - I saw the chef! He had one of those sushi chef hat things on! It was authentic! I swear! And it's not like David and I are going to sneak off to a little sushi place anytime soon. So, yes, I bought sushi at the store.

I brought it home and mentioned it to Sawyer. He was VERY interested. The boy will try anything, which I always think is ironic considering he's the one that has to be so careful about what he eats. His sister, she of the no-allergies-to-anything, took one look and pronounced it "yucky."

There was a container with rolls that had crab in it. Sawyer has never had shellfish and we decided tonight was not the time to introduce it in case he had a reaction, since David is working and I had a session with my trainer. So he just had a veggie roll. And he liked it.

But then he saw my container of sushi, tuna and salmon. He was all over it. Loved it. And when he finished eating, I told him I had a secret to tell him.

That fish? That lovely, orange salmon we just ate? Guess what? It's RAW. Not cooked. Right from the fish to the rice.

His eyes got big.

Raw fish, huh?

Can I have some more?

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Classic Play!

My uber-talented friends, Jen and Dave Cooper, have just released their new issue of Classic Play.

I can only dream of being this creative. The photography is stunning, the words are beautiful.  A lot of thought, time and energy went into this baby. Please check it out - it's all about love!

Oh, and you might just find the lovely writing of our girl Kirsten from Nilsen Life, as she remembers a long-ago childhood crush. Do you remember yours? I sure do.

In preschool I believe it was Eric Snyder. I think he had dark curly hair. Then there was kindergarten. I am not lying to you, people, when I tell you my crush's name was Shaun Cassidy. He kissed me on the nose once. But I wonder how things went for him when he was in fifth grade and the Doo Ron Ron was the hottest song on the planet. At least, it was if you were 10. We'd moved by then so I can only hope he made it out of elementary school alive.

What I really remember is my first real boyfriend. I will never forget the feeling of him taking my hand when we were walking down a street. In public. You know, where everyone could SEE. It was official: someone liked me! It was my Sally Field moment, what can I say.

For my essay, I chose to write about the love you have for your children. How it's not at all the same as the love you have for your dog, or cat, or turtle or whatever. Trust me. I know.

So now I'd like you to stop reading this blog and hurry on over to Classic Play and feel the love!
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