Thursday, August 31, 2006

Lady Epiphany, Iron Chef

I'll admit it. I kind of enjoy those days past when I should've gone grocery shopping because it really encourages creativity.

It started Monday night when I realized that I didn't want to cook anything in the freezer and had no meat thawed. I pulled out a package of tofu, a can of black beans, some salsa, torillas, and shredded cheese and made some vegetarian soft tacos.

Alec took a bite of the taco and looked inside at the cubed tofu. "What the heck is that? Tofu?! I didn't know we even had tofu."

"Is it ok?"

"Well, it could really use some ground beef," he said, as he gobbled the 2 tacos on his plate and went looking for seconds.

I'd saved about half the can of black beans and half the tofu package. So last night for dinner (because Lauren talked me into McDonald's on Tuesday night) I made chili with black beans, adding to it some red beans, onions, and green pepper, and stuffed some potato skins with it.

Warming the leftover chili and scooped out potato in a skillet, I added 3 eggs and some cheese and made us a Mexican frittata for lunch.

Tonight I plan to cook a stir fry with the leftover tofu, green beans, carrots, and green peppers, and serve it over some brown rice.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006


I noticed this morning that Lauren no longer has those pudgy little toddler hands and dimpled wrists. Her hands are slim, smooth, and cool to the touch. She climbed in my bed this morning at 7:30 to give me a hug, and entwined her fingers with mine.

Lindsay woke at 8, just as Lauren and I finished brushing our teeth and making the beds. When I picked up the cooing, gurgling Lin, she put her open hand on my shoulder - round, dimpled, and warm.

What a couple of cuties...

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Two cute

Our nighttime routine is we three take a bath together. Lindsay gets washed up first, and then Lauren. When Lauren is done washing, Lindsay and I get out so Lauren can play for 10 minutes. Lindsay gets a baby massage with lavendar baby lotion and jammied up.

Then Lauren gets out and gets jammied up. She brushes her teeth, and has her fluoride.

Depending on the time, we then read between 1 and 4 stories of Lauren's choosing. Since she recently received a dozen Dr Seuss books from Scholastic, often it's one of those. Tonight it was Eric Carle's The Grumpy Ladybug, then 2 Dr Seuss books: The Cat in the Hat and Horton Hears a Who.

By the time the Wickersham family were trying to rope up Horton and put him in a cage, both girls were snoozing. I finished the book and tucked Lindsay into her crib, then came back in to Lauren's room to turn off her light and on her fan. Besides the excitement with the 3 police cruisers, the fire chief, and one lone engine at our house, our day was pretty quiet, but apparently enough to tucker those girls right out.

Excuse me, it's pronounced Dooo-mas

We had a visit today from the very fast and diligent HPPD today after Lady Epiphany aka Mrs Dumbass ran the dishwasher. I threw an empty pitcher of iced tea in there without checking to see if the tea bags were out of it. During the dry cycle, one of them started smoldering on the heating coil.

I went into the kitchen to look for smoke, and realized it was the running dishwasher. I turned it off, grabbed my kids and my cellphone and stepped outside to call 911. Verizon emergency was much better at getting me connected to the local dispatch than either of our previous carriers, however, I did have the advantage of knowing what town I was in at the time and being able to provide a street address.

Three police cruisers arrived about 2 minutes after I was connected to their dispatch. The fire chief followed, but at that point, the police officers had located the smokey teabag and took it out of the house with a pair of kitchen tongs.

So the whole escapade took about 15 minutes and fortunately, none of my immediate neighbors were home so they didn't get to see the spectacle.

Sunday, August 27, 2006


Lauren is Lindsay's favorite person by far. Whenever she sees Lauren, she smiles and squeals.

Today at bedtime, Lauren was singing a song, and Lindsay tried to sing along.

Friday, August 25, 2006

Good morning

The sleep deprivation has risen to a brutal crescendo these days. Sentence formation in both the written and spoken word has declined to nearly unintelligible gibberish.

But still when I hear those cries at 6 AM, like every morning, I get up and feed the little smiler. This morning, Lauren had snuck into our bed in the middle of the night, so I found her lying between us with one arm thrown over her toussled head. When Lindsay saw her sleeping sister, she squealed and waved her arms. The early morning reunion once Lauren woke up was very sweet.

"Goo goo be bada. Uh huh." said Lindsay, smiling.

"Hi, little sis. I love you." Lauren replied sleepily.

Thursday, August 24, 2006


Lauren, August 2006

My beautiful Lauren,

In the 1440 days we've shared together, my daughter, you have taught me more about determination than any other person in my life. I can be strong-willed and stubborn, yet it pales in comparison to you digging your heels in and insisting you're right. You're usually not, little girl, but some day you will be and I hope you know that same conviction then.

Today when we arrived at daycare, 4 of your friends were playing house. Linnea invited you to play while the others feigned sleep, and told you you had to be the baby. You tossed your head back, stamped your feet, and replied tersely, "Gawd, I am SO sick of this. I do not want to be the baby. Some one else has to be the baby."

How I admire you. When I was a little girl, I would've swallowed that lump in my throat and said, "OK, Linnea."

You're starting to piece together this crazy world we live in. That people and things die hasn't eluded you. When we were so worried about telling you about those little tetra in your fish tank that just didn't make the transition from the fish store to your little 10 gallon tank, you merely said, "Fish die". Today you asked me about my grandfather, and I told you he died when I was a teenager of lung cancer, you replied, "My Grandpa Arthur died too".

You're an amazing person, Lauren. I love you.


N-O spells no

Lauren has learned to spell a couple of words in the past week. She apparently learned to spell no at Nanny's house when she stayed overnight 3 weeks ago. I can't really imagine what the application of that was, however, its result is that every time she sees a traffic sign with "No" on it, she says "N-O spells no". And I usually say, "Yes. And that sign says 'No parking when road is snow covered' or 'No left turn'." She has learned her left from her right with the practice of talking about it every time we put on her sneakers, and so now she recognizes that an arrow to the left inside a red circle with a slash through it means 'No left turn'.

After a couple of days ruminating over a particularly annoying email from everyone's favorite stepmom-in-law, I finally managed to say no in a firm, but polite reply. I received a call from her today. She actually did not bring up the event in question that I said no to attending in a firm, but polite way, which was what I expected. But complained about the last line of the email where I refused to let Lauren stay at her house the weekend preceding my birthday because that was when we planned to celebrate as a family.

Says she, "I can't believe your stinkin' (not the actual word used) birthday is that weekend. And why your kids have to be there for it is just beyond me...and..."

"I was here first." I said simply.

"Well, there is no need to get snippy."

N-o spells no, I thought. But said, "No, you're right. I'm sorry if I seemed snippy."

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Aspiring actress

Lauren was in her first play today. It was called Caps for Sale, and she was a monkey. Here the monkeys are doing some sort of modern dance that involved a lot of jumping. They are wearing caps.

Lauren, August 2006

Little sis Lindsay is just a monkey.

Lindsay at 13 1/2 weeks, August 2006

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Lindsay at 3 months

...weighs 11 pounds, 2.2 ounces and is 22 inches tall.

At the moment, she is not pleased to have gotten 2 vaccinations today. Poor little.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Dropping by on their way through

James, Claire, and the girls
James and Lindsay

Married bliss tip #57

When you're on a business trip, don't point out to your wife that you really really must get to sleep because it's after midnight and you have to be down in the hotel lobby at 8 AM. The next feeding is at approximately 4:30 AM, honey. When someone calls you at 7:30 AM to roll out of bed into a quiet, hot shower, they will probably bring up a cup of coffee. Maybe even a scrambled egg, a couple slices of toast, and some cantalope with strawberries. If I'm lucky, the baby won't spit up half her feeding on my shoulder.

Oh, right. I'm not lucky.

Monday, August 14, 2006

Clone baby

Lauren at 12 weeks, December 2002

Lindsay at 12 weeks, August 2006.

The girls

Lauren, a month from her 4th birthday, and Lindsay, 12 weeks.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Overheard in the tub

The farmer in the Dell
The farmer in the Dell
Hi ho the dairy-O
The farmer in the Dell

The farmer takes a shower
The farmer takes a shower
Hi ho the dairy-O
The farmer takes a shower

Saturday, August 12, 2006

The little lion roared

Lauren is staying with her Poppy and Nanny this weekend. We spend all week looking forward to a little quiet time, and then spend the entire time she's gone talking about how much we miss her.

We managed to venture out early this morning to some garage sales, and then realized what we really need to do is have a garage sale, not buy stuff at one. So we both got our hair cut, and we came home and lugged all of our sellable stuff into the sun porch. We didn't manage to sort through our books yet or Lauren's toys, because it is the sort of task that after a couple of hours, you're completely exhausted.

We're trying to stay up long enough for Jess to arrive to watch Lindsay so we can enjoy our dinner at Nova Terra in New Brunswick. I'm glad we weren't planning dinner and a movie tonight, because I don't think we'd make it.

Lauren is due to return tomorrow morning at 11 AM.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Poker, anyone?

The pink kitty purse was named Poker. Notwithstanding that's an odd name for a pet...

Today, Lauren held up a drawing on a pink sheet of paper with large circles drawn in green crayon.
"Is it a face?"

"No, Mommy. It's frogs."

"Oh, sure. Green frogs."

"Yep. Playing poker."

Bad mommy

We continue our bad mommy theme this week, where Lauren and I discuss that it's time for her to get herself dressed and undressed. Everytime we have this conversation, it leads many tears and much screaming.

Finally today, after the megatantrum, I helped her get dressed. But I will admit, I was annoyed with the precious little urchin. I dressed her in matching clothes because I knew that would rile up her Virgo sense of style. When she gave me a dirty look for making her look like Barney the Dinosaur, I replied, "Well, maybe next time you'll get yourself dressed like I asked you to..."
"I can't get myself dressed, Mommy."

"You can so get yourself dressed, Lauren. But if you decide not to, I hope you like what you're wearing, because you'll be wearing it a very long time."

She wrinkled her nose.

"And it will start to smell..."

"Oh Mommy."

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Explosive situations

I've shared with you, dearest Internet, that I swear prolifically. At my last job, it was remarked upon occasionally by my Quaker cubemate. Considering my boss swore like an Armenian sailor, I wasn't too concerned about the impact it might have on my job. I mean, really. Everyone has potty mouth in advertising.

I try to curtail my R-rated language around my kids. I don't always succeed.

My parents almost never swore in my recollection. My mother's language only becomes colorful after a few drinks. She relished to tell the story wherein your heroine drove home from her job in the City with 2-year-old Lauren in tow yelling "Hafta potty! Hafta potty!". As soon as Lauren's feet hit the driveway, she piddled into her shoes. Looking down at the growing puddle, she muttered, exasperated, "Oh...shit."
Lauren at age 2.

Today, we walked to daycare hand in hand. Lindsay was asleep in the snugli. She recounted a story about how one of her teachers said a bad word and told a student to shut up.

"We know that's not a very nice thing to say," I replied.

"Right." Lauren said. "Which is why the next time she does it, I'm going to fuck her up."

Now, dear Internet, I will admit to dropping my fair share of F-bombs, but I can't even think of a single time I've used that particular expression. So the first thought I had was Good usage. Lauren says "telled" instead of "told" and "holded" instead of "held", but she hit this one solidly. Oh, right. I am supposed to be parenting. "That isn't a good thing to say either," I said. "It isn't polite."

"Oh. Ok, Mom."

Here's where we usually have a conversation about what we say politely instead. As for the first example where it is impolite to tell someone to shut up, we might politely as them to be quiet, please. I said, "In that situation, rather than messing her up," I didn't repeat the offending word here, "you might remind her to ask someone nicely to be quiet."

"That's a good idea, Mom."

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Lauren learns about life from Chion

I missed this moment. The photography is spectacular.

"Ooh. What's that?"
"My tongue is pierced."

"Can I touch it?"

From James and Claire's going away party

A few photos from my brother James' going away party. He and his girlfriend, Claire, leave in 8 days for San Diego.Dad and Lindsay, after their marathon feeding session.

Alec, my brother James, and James' friend Brian enjoying the Yuka-Yuka. A bottle of Kettle One infused with several lemons and limes and left to ferment overnight with a half box of sugar. The resulting lemontini was passed and enjoyed, and Yuka-Yuka-Yuka chanted as the mix was shaken vigorously. It's Alec's turn in this shot.
Lauren playing Hide-and-Seek with G

My sister Juliana and Claire's brother Neil

Thursday, August 03, 2006

That's Doctor Quack to you

"Little Bear's doctor is called Dr Quack."



"Is he a duck?"


"Is she a duck?"

"Yep. She likes it when you call her 'Doc Quack'."

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Lauren at daycare

Alec brought Lauren into daycare today while Lindsay and I waited in the car. We were on our way to drop him off at Newark so he could fly to, you guessed it, Miami.

The daycare is in a converted house about the same vintage as ours. There are 3 rooms downstairs converted into a single classroom with a galley kitchen for the two- and three-year-olds, and up a very steep flight of stairs, three bedrooms have been converted into a classroom and a kitchen for the four- and five-year-olds. Lauren plays with the older kids.

Alec walked her upstairs and got her situated at the large craft table they have with those miniature chairs around it. She began drawing a picture for him.

"See, Daddy? I drew a beautiful picture." said Lauren.

"Yep, that is beautiful."

"No, it's not," offered one of her classmates.

"Well, that is your opinion," Alec said. "I think Lauren's picture is beautiful. And yours is very nice too."

"No it's not, " retorted Lauren.
"I had to get out of there," Alec told me as he recounted the story. "Those girls are meeeean!"