Thursday, January 31, 2008


This video is probably so funny because my kids are both misbehaving.

Here's the transcript:

Lindsay: Lauren! Quiet down.

Lauren (whispers): Be quiet.

Lindsay: Lauren!

Lauren (shouting): What?!

Lindsay: Here. Lauren!!!

Lauren: What?!

Lindsay: Here.

Lauren: Lindsay, you're hurting my ears. And it's not very nice.

Lindsay: Lauren!! Quiet!! Quiet!!

Lauren: Shh! You want me to be quiet?! You be quiet!!

Lindsay: Quiet!!

Lauren: Lindsay, you're just telling me to be quiet so you can be noisy. It's not very nice!! It's not even fair!!

At this point I lose it, not because of the argument, but because there is an infestation of cats.

Early morning conversation

I don't really talk to the girls until after I'm showered, dressed, and on the way to retrieve my coffee. I say the rote instructions, "It's time to brush teeth, get dressed, turn off the lights..." but no real conversation until there's at least the promise of caffeine.

As I reach the bottom step, I say, "Good morning, my girly girls!"

Together they respond, "Good morning, Mommy!"

Today, Lauren adds, "I hope you are in a better mood than you were last night."

"Me too," I say, "Last night was very trying."

She smiles. "We'll work on it."


Tuesday, January 29, 2008


One of the things I was most entertained by about Alec when we met was his ability to make songs up about practically anything. I realized today that our daughter Lindsay has inherited that trait:
Skin-a-mar-rinky dinky dink
Skin-a-mar-rinky doop
I made poop!
"You made a poop?"

"Yeah! I made a poop in the diaper! Yay, Lindsay!"

Well, oookay then.

A little white lie

Lauren and Lindsay are in Lauren's room, jammied up, and ready for storytime. I'm lying on my bed with my eyes closed, a container of baby lotion rests on my forehead.

Lauren says, "Mommy said she is upset because she feels like no one is listening to her today." Her voice becomes higher, "But I am listening. And I need her."

Lindsay grunts in agreement.

"I'm going to go talk to her. You pick out a book or two for storytime, OK?"

"Ok, Lar-ren."

"Lindsay, you select two books and wait here with them and I will go talk to Mom."

"Ok, Lar-ren."

Lauren runs in, and flops on the bed next to me. I open my eyes slowly. "Hi."

She smirks. "You have a bottle on your head."

"Yes. Yes I do."

"It's a little bit funny."

"Oh?" I ask. "Just a little bit."

"No, actually it's pretty hilarious but I didn't want to hurt your feelings." she says, chuckling softly.


"So I told you a little white lie and said it was only a little bit funny..."

Monday, January 28, 2008

Do Nice

The line between hitting and petting continues to elude Lindsay. She will excitedly smack her sister on the head, grinning broadly, only to hear Lauren howl in pain and a parent or both scolding, "No, no. No hitting."

It is to the point now where Lindsay will excitedly raise her hand to "pet" and then say, "No hitting!"

This morning, Lindsay is running back and forth around the living room while I am working at my laptop. As she walks past, I stroke the top of her head.

"No, no, Mommy. No hitting," she says, wagging a finger at me.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Back into it

If you read Worst. Mama. Ever., you already know I posted this morning that I'm committing to posting 5 days a week here. This week I am refocusing on life balance, because, as it has been pointed out to me recently I tend toward extreme commitment or rejection and moderation would be very good practice. I was reading my archives yesterday and I thought, wow, my writing used to be tighter and freer when I did less navel-gazing. So, in that spirit, I will try to give you some more of my life vignettes.

At the moment, both Lauren and Lindsay are sitting on the stairs. Lauren is in time out for having held Lindsay's naked doll (I have no idea why the plastic dolls can't wear clothes, but there you go) above her head, and then when asked to give it back to her sister, dashed it at the floor.

Lindsay snuggled her doll and glared at Lauren as she sat down. Only about a minute later, she was sitting next to her sister on the bottom step, legs dangling, her blonde head resting on her sister's shoulder whispering about...I don't know...they are always whispering and plotting these days.

"Ah wuv you, Lar-ren." She put her snot-sticky face near Lauren's, humming at her until she got kissed.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Fleeting Moments

Because some day she's not going to be content to sit in my lap eating graham crackers.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Where do they learn this stuff?

Lindsay at 20 months, January 2008

"Mom? Need ice." Lindsay points to her ear.

"Does your ear hurt?"

"Yep," she replies. "Need ice."

"Did you bump it?"


"Does it need a kiss?"

She pulls a face. "No, Mama. Need ice."

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Living the dream

James Austin of So Long, Davey

You're way too cool to be my little brother, y'know. You totally rock.

Letting go

Some say love is holding on
and some say letting go
Some say love is everything
and some say they don't know
lyrics by John Denver

I lost my job yesterday. I'd felt for a while it was coming. The company has grown, departments formed, and they don't want independent contractors anymore. I guess the combination of this and a phone call from my sister's frazzled case manager left me feeling really unbloggable. I'm struggling a bit today, knowing that another day just makes it easier to avoid.

No, I don't know where she is. I'm not her keeper. I am barely managing to keep myself these days.

Sit in a comfortable cross-legged position, open palms rest on your knees.

I don't even know how you struggle against that. That's just yoga. I was late today after I realized my car was nearly out of gas, and a mile from the gym the alarm went off that I had 10 miles until empty. I stopped at the gas station at the corner. I had exactly 7 minutes to get filled up (in Jersey, we can't pump our own gas), park, get Lindsay signed into babysitting, and unfurl my cold yoga mat. I made it breathless to the third floor, kicked off my Converse All Stars, peeled off my coat, and sat down still wearing my socks.

So many things I need to think about...

To rethink.

Doors have to close for other ones to open. I know this.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

My new bike

I totally heart my new bike - a Trek Navigator with a matching helmet. We went riding today in the park, and I didn't even fall off! Would you believe it? I got on, and it was just like riding...well, you know.

Thursday, January 10, 2008


Once a week, Lauren's class has a guidance period, where they meet as a group with their guidance counselor and discuss some subject. This week, they made collages and talked about people in the hospital.

"Mrs M said that people in the hospital probably feel a little bit sad and lonely," she said. She took out her collage, a sun peeking out over the horizon colored bright yellow. "So I made this for Juliana."

"That was very thoughtful."

"Can we mail it to her?"

"Sure." I said. "Did you talk with Mrs M about Juliana being in the hospital?"


"You can if you want to..."

"I can talk to anyone about anything I want to," she replied.

"Yep. I was just wondering if you told Mrs M you were making that for..."

"I said it was for my Auntie and that she's in the hospital."


Later at bedtime, we talked about her trip this weekend to my in-laws to spend an overnight with her sister. She's not thrilled about it because, as she says, "I don't get to do everything I want to do when my sister is there" which we talked about a bit, but also, "The stairs are very slippery there and I worry my sis might fall down them. I fell down them when I was littler and it hurt."

While it's sweet she thinks it's her job to look out for and protect her sister, I saw too much of my own situation reflected in this - it's a big scary world she's too little to actually save her sister from, so she's powerless to do anything but worry that the people in power will do their jobs, and she doesn't have a lot of confidence in them.

Sunday, January 06, 2008

Epiphany on The Epiphany

Those magic men the Magi
Some people call them wise
Were Oriental, even kings
Well, anyway, those guys
They visited with Jesus
They sure enjoyed their stay
Then warned in a dream of King Herod's scheme
They went home by another way

Yes, they went home by another way
Home by another way
Maybe me and you can be wise guys too
And go home by another way
We can make it another way
Safe home as they used to say
Keep a weather eye to the chart on high
And go home another way
lyrics by James Taylor

You want to ask me how I know it's the Epiphany? I went to church today. Seriously. I didn't even catch on fire.

Why did I go to church? Well, Lauren asked, "Can we go to church?" She wanted to go because all the kids in her class are always talking about church.

My friends attend the local Reformed Church. I don't know anything about the Reformed Church, other than I'd met the pastors at the pool and they seemed nice enough. Because we chose The Epiphany, which marks the day that the Magi visited Jesus, the service was a bit longer than usual. It was also the first Sunday of the month when they receive Communion, and the day they were indoctrinating their new elders and deacons. About an hour into the service, Lauren beamed and said, "Can we come back next Sunday?"

"Sure." I replied.

I'd love to say that there was something about the experience for me that changed the way I feel about being at church, but as all the other services I've attended (maybe about a dozen), I felt like I was the only one in the dark about what happened next despite having the program, Bible, and hymnal. I also felt like people were trying very hard to be inclusive and yet that only made me feel more awkward and anxious.

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Your fake dad doesn't buy you cigarettes

One of the most popular New Years' resolutions is quitting smoking. I personally am on my sixth quit. I could probably tell you within reasonable certainty about four of them because they corresponded with positive pregnancy tests, but this time I really have no idea. After I had Lindsay, I had the occasional cigarette - one every two to three weeks. I'd have weeks where I'd have one every night. Suddenly when the opportunity was there, I just didn't feel like it. A couple months passed and I realized I wasn't thinking Oh I can't wait until a week from Thursday when I can smoke a cigarette! it just was no longer part of me. It felt weird because smoking consumes a lot of your thinking when you do it. How many cigarettes do I have in my pack? Do I need to stop to get a pack? Do I have my lighter in this pocket? Do I have time to have a cigarette before I go to work? It was constant planning from the moment I extinguished one until I lit the next one up.

I have 3 siblings and each of us at one time smoked or still smoke. We all smoke(d) the same brand of cigarettes. I think that's an odd fact since we didn't do it together as teenagers. I had long since left when Ben started, and Ben lived with my dad and his second wife as a teenager while James lived with my mom and her husband. My dad also smoked them, though he's been quit at least a couple years now.

It helps I have very little exposure now to smokers. It was pretty hard the first time I quit when I was working in the restaurant and the entire staff would light up on break. When I went back to work after having Lauren, it wasn't that I worked with a lot of other smokers, but it was just part of my work routine. But no one lights up here waiting at the bus stop. The smoking moms I've met have been few and far between.

I should probably just pick a date. I know I quit before the spring because the last time I smoked it was cold. March 10th? It just seems sort of arbitrary.