Category Archives: My girls

No picture of them will ever top this one

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Filed under Little lion man, My girls, Not even kidding, Photo essay

There are worse ways soap operas could have screwed me up, but I guess I’m only on my first marriage, so there’s still time

As I said on the Twitter last night, we’ve got PINWORM all up in our house. All up in one very small part of our house, anyway, and that one very small part is Roo’s bottom. I’m hoping that’s the only spot, anyway. PLEASE LET THAT BE THE ONLY SPOT. I mean, we already all got the HAND FOOT AND MOUTH DISEASE, so maybe this can be the one highly contagious thing only one of us gets? Ha. Ha.

Let me pretend.

Well, no, if we only get ONE of those passes, then I’m saving it for the HEAD LICE.

It took me way too long to figure out. She’d been sleeping poorly for weeks, but I thought it was just the holidays. Then a growth spurt. I didn’t even associate it with the hands-down-the-back-of-the-pants we caught her doing a couple of times, because, well, 3-year-olds just DO that sort of thing. Then yesterday she actually complained about incessant itchiness, and my Mom Brain kicked in. Thankfully the pediatrician trusted my assessment and called in medicine without us having to scotch tape her nethers. (Though we did, the two of us, go in there with a flashlight last night to check things out, and I don’t ever want to do that EVER AGAIN IN MY LIFE except I have to again TONIGHT so we can keep an eye on Vio to see if she needs to be treated as well. AIN’T NO PARTY LIKE A TAPEWORM PARTY.) So anyway if around 10PM tonight you’re wondering what Matt and I are doing, think of us fondly with a pig-shaped flashlight trying not to wake the children with the cries of our 21-year-old selves who really had no idea what hilarity would befall them.

I like to think if our life were a movie, there would be shots of us in our carefree college days, doing the typical college student things — jigsaw puzzles at 4AM and going to movies at the student union on Friday nights and drinking way too much Dr. Pepper, whatever we were totally awesome — mixed in with flashes forward of all the poop-related hijinx associated with child-rearing.

Except I don’t really do that just with flashes forward (I keep wanting to call them FLASH FORWARDS, but NO, DIANE. NO.) Especially with things like this PINWORM situation. There must be a moment, out there in space and time, where Roo picked UP the PINWORM. I keep seeing things in slow motion, as though there is some magical camera that RECORDED the moment that they would then use the footage of in a sitcom or something. Slow motion as she wipes her mouth while sitting in the grocery cart! A (canned) gasp from the (fake) studio audience! Or after holding hands with her friend down the street who unknowingly has the same affliction! AUDIENCE GROAN. As I’m trying to launder everything in the house (I NEVER STOP DOING LAUNDRY LIKE I SAID LAST WEEK AND I EVEN CAUGHT UP ON IT AND THEN BRAGGED [TO ROO, FOR SOME REASON] THAT I HAD CONQUERED IT AND NOW BLAAAAH) I keep picturing stills of two microscopic PINWORM eggs resting within the tangles of Rapunzel’s hair or wafting gently through the room (THEY CAN DO THAT) and settling on one of Leo’s biting toys.

I also do it with lost items. Whatever I’m missing, I’m imagining someone at home is getting a shot of the item, panning out and fading to black. The back to my earring! LOOK UNDER THE BED, DIANE! IT IS UNDER THE BED, JUST BEYOND WHERE YOU CHECKED BEFORE!

You guys, I do this ALL THE TIME. And the worst part is, part of me ACTUALLY BELIEVES IT. I seriously, a tiny bit, believe that I could find that thing I lost if only I could see the FAKE SURVEILLANCE VIDEO.

Of course, applying the Temerity Jane Rule of the World, I can’t be the ONLY one who does this, so out yourselves! We can have a crazy little party up in here!

I just pictured shots of each of you calmly closing this tab and finding something better to do. You are all SO screwed when I get my hands on the footage.

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Filed under Motherhood uncensored, My girls, Not even kidding

New year quick takes: now with less quickness!

1. I tried to do that questionnaire thing that was circulating involving year-end recaps and blah di blah, but by the time I was 2/3 of the way through, I couldn’t stand the thought of reading it back over. And if I didn’t want to read it, I knew YOU didn’t want to read it, so you can go ahead and thank me for that when you finally make your way to the bottom of this post and the comment form. Not yet, obviously, because you don’t want to miss any of the rest of my piercing wit. BUT! When the time comes, you can feel free to thank me. 2011 was a DOOZY of a year, to put it mildly. I’m trying to focus (now that it’s OVER MUAHAHAHA I WIN 2011!) on the blessings from last year — like the ice cream that came in the mail from Maureen and, you know, the baby — instead of plotting ways to destroy the life of Evil Pharmacist.

2. Which … did I even talk here about Evil Pharmacist? From the Evil Compounding Pharmacy? If you follow me on Twitter, you saw me have this breakdown involving probably seven straight hours of shouting. <LONG RANTING RANT REDACTED> I just deleted a good 600 words that basically boil down to: the pharmacy said they were giving us corn-free medicine, but they were not. We stopped giving him the medicine, his eczema stopped flaring up constantly, he caught up on motor skill milestones, and now I can eat almost anything so long as it’s corn-free (so almost nothing but it feels like almost anything). I wish I could somehow get that pharmacist to understand what she put us through. MONTHS of eating the way I was eating, and it was all because he was continuing to ingest corn. I’m furious, more furious than I have EVER BEEN, so furious I can’t even think of an ironic sort of thing to put here in second place, like AND I AM A JOSS WHEDON FAN SO I KNOW ANGER WAH DOLLHOUSE or whatever, because I AM JUST THAT MAD. I almost quit nursing him! DEEP BREATHS WHILE ALSO FANTASIZING ABOUT FORCE-FEEDING THE PHARMACIST THREE MONTHS’ WORTH OF RICE AND OATMEAL.

3. Don’t we all feel better now, having that off our chests? Let’s just relax for this quick take. You don’t even have to read this one. Me mentioning Dollhouse got me thinking about Paul Ballard, though, so that’s another thing you can thank me for in the comments.

4. The actual reason I sat down to write this post today is that the housework is just out of control now. It’s smacking me in the face with its not-doneness pretty much constantly. Every time I think, “Let’s do all the laundry!” I start with the kids’ laundry, because they get one hamper between the three of them, and of course it is always full. Especially in “winter” which means putting one of our two long-sleeved t-shirts under a short-sleeved t-shirt and applying one (1) extra hoodie/sweater for each 10-15 degree drop in temperature, meaning we dirty all of the things on each of the days. [ASIDE: Where would we even be as an internet right now if not for Allie Brosh giving us the phrase “CLEAN ALL THE THINGS”? What would we even SAY? She’s defined a generation! Or at least an internet meme cycle!] Anyway, I always start with their laundry, but by the time I get to the end of their laundry, there is no more time to do other laundry. Then the next day I feel like “WOW! I did so much laundry yesterday I won’t need to do any today!” so I don’t do any and then the next day I STILL feel that way because I’m still folding the 900 pairs of pants and socks and onesies that fit into a single hamper at which point the laundry is even more out of control and I think “NOW LET’S START WITH THE CHILDREN.” If I keep putting their laundry’s oxygen mask on first, I’m going to be naked and WITHOUT AIR.

5. The actual reason I sat down to write Quick Take #4 was to tell you the actual reason I sat down to write this post today and I am now actually going to tell you what that reason was which is that I think maybe it’s gotten to the point where I need to make myself some sort of CHORE CHART. Like I am five. But basically breaking down the things that need doing and then assigning them to days of the week. For the most part, I manage to keep up with the kitchen and sort of the laundry and a good chunk of the tidying, but you don’t want to know how long it’s been since the mopping or the sweeping or the other deep-cleaning things that need doing FAR more often than we do them. So something like a laundry schedule where I always do linens on Tuesdays and whites on Wednesdays and then always do floors on Fridays and dust on … well, let’s not get out of hand. Do any of you do that? Or are you just really awesome at remembering what needs doing? WELL GOOD FOR YOU I NEED A CHART.

6. Another thing we’ve had going on around here lately is teething. I am not even talking about THE BABY exclusively, because all three of my children are cutting teeth right now. All of them. How. How did they coordinate this? I mean, for the love, Vio is cutting her first 6-year molar at the age of 5, and Roo is cutting her last 2-year molar at the age of 3, so they really REALLY had to work to line that up. AND AND. They are in the same place (upper left) in their mouths. Leo is working on cutting his first tooth, one of the bottom front ones as babies are wont to do, which is the exact tooth Vio just LOST, so she is cutting her first ADULT tooth in that EXACT SAME SPOT. I can make Venn diagrams with overlap on the teeth my DIFFERENTLY AGED children are cutting.

7. Today is my half-birthday! I mentioned that on Twitter this morning, and it is something that stupidly excites me (on the years I actually notice the date, anyway. Usually I’ll find myself on January 7th or 8th REALLY REALLY bummed that I missed it.) Another reason I love my half-birthday is that it is on TOPSY TURVY DAY. If you don’t know what Topsy Turvy Day is then you aren’t as big a fan of Disney’s Hunchback of Notre Dame as I am which basically means you don’t know what Topsy Turvy Day is because I have never met ANYONE ELSE who actually liked that movie and SO WHAT if I was 14 when it came out IT SPOKE TO ME GOD HELP THE OUTCASTS etc. etc., but in one of the songs they sing, “Scurvy knaves are extra scurvy/on the 6th of January/all because it’s Topsy Turvy day!” Really though the best part about it being my half-birthday is that that means tomorrow is Leo’s half-birthday, making him a ripe old One Half years old. I am really really excited about age one-half, you guys. So! Be extra scurvy for me, won’t you?

(More quick takes here.)

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Filed under Little lion man, Motherhood uncensored, My girls, Not even kidding, Quick takes

So maybe it sends a horrible message to the children, but whatever, I really love that Bumble

Last night in an attempt to get the girls to SETTLE DOWN ALREADY JEEZ after they had their dinner so we could eat OUR dinner, I put on Rudolph. You’ve all seen Rudolph. You don’t need me to tell you what happens in Rudolph, but what I should tell you is that Roo asked me what my favorite part was and I answered her. But then I had to change my answer, and I had to change it AGAIN after that, and I realized I love this movie so damn much it doesn’t even make sense.

I mean, it’s AWFUL, this story. Rudolph’s father is unarguably the worst ungulate father ever to set foot on claymation earth. Santa is portrayed as a HORRIFYING snoutist with a murderous streak (OH YES) and an eating disorder. Poor Hermey is laughed at for wanting to be a dentist by a bunch of cavity-ridden elves in matching clothing. (We know the four elf food groups! No chance those clowns have decent chompers.) Then the abominable snow monster has them all ready to eat, and Hermey YANKS OUT ALL OF HIS TEETH. How does he even DO that? He doesn’t even have his LICENSE TO PRACTICE DENTISTRY YET.

But all of it, every last bit of it, is excusable in the face of Yukon Cornelius, THE GREATEST PROSPECTOR IN THE NORTH. I … well, I find myself proclaiming MYself the greatest prospector in the north fairly often. Whatever, Florida is north of some stuff. I could be a prospector. You don’t know me.

I told Roo the Bumble was my favorite part. I mean, Bumbles BOUNCE. That’s pretty impressive. He goes over a huge cliff, and then just BOUNCES. But also my favorite part is where they are all holed up in the cottage and turn off the lights to go to sleep and the second the lights are out THEY ALL JUST FALL ASLEEP INSTANTLY. It’s grand comedy!

BUT THEN I am completely forgetting the Island of Misfit Toys! That doll, there is nothing wrong with her. NOTHING. I have wanted one for my entire life, so much do I love that doll. And the spotted elephant, too. And the Charlie in the Box. HIS VOICE. His is the voice I use for any of my children’s stuffed animals I decide need an OBNOXIOUS personality. Let’s be honest, though. Some of those toys actually do suck. They DESERVE to be on that island. They probably all signed up to be there, even. Sent in audition videos and compete in challenges and I bet the squirt gun that shoots jelly wins EVERY single time because, seriously. How are you going to beat that, boat that can’t stay afloat? HOW?

Honestly, though, my favorite part. My absolute FAVORITE thing to come out of that movie. When Rudolph’s father shouts

HIS BEAK BLINKS LIKE A BLINKIN’ BEACON!

You guys. YOU GUYS. It’s brilliance. Read it back over. Take it in slowly. Yell it at the top of your voice.

So, yeah. Rudolph’s family shuns him and makes him wear a fake nose. He is only accepted back into the community when he SERVES A PURPOSE.

Santa manages to go from emaciated to fat in under 10 minutes (as do we ALL during the holidays, except for the starting out emaciated part.) The Misfit Toys get all emo around the campfire and assume Santa has forgotten them again.

But he picks them up! Happy ending!

OR IS IT?

Because then he delivers them via PARACHUTE. MISFIT TOYS! He is not giving you to children! He is HURLING YOU TO YOUR DEATHS. Everyone knows Santa goes down chimneys. He doesn’t just throw crap examples of shoddy workelfship out of the sleigh with toy parachutes on their backs!

See? MURDEROUS STREAK.

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My current plan is not to tell her when it’s her birthday, thus keeping her two forever

It’s not like she can look at a calendar, right? Except she SORT of can, and her big sister definitely can, and she’s a blabbermouth, but maybe it could work. Two is the absolute sweetest age. I don’t know that it’s the BEST age or even my FAVORITE age, but it is the sweetest. She still wants snuggles in my lap and she walks around the house dragging one of my old tank tops behind her. (She calls it her MMCH, formerly “lunch”, and bites on the strap while she falls asleep. It’s her last holdover from weaning over a year ago. She also sometimes calls me “Yum” or “Yummy” instead of Mom, and I pretend I don’t love it but I really really love it.)

It is impossible for me to talk about this child without sounding like I’m bragging. And FINE, maybe I AM bragging, but not in any sort of “don’t you wish this were your kid?” or “don’t you wish your kid did this?” way. I am just in awe of this child. The things she knows and says blow my mind on an hourly basis, and I can’t wait to see what her little brain becomes capable of in the next couple of years.

See? the sweetest age

She knows most of the states by shape, and she insists on checking out a book on a different state each time we visit the library. She draws like a big kid and writes her name and her sister’s name and she’s memorized the words to every book she loves. She wants to be a Kindergartener more than anything and pulls up her little chair and a piece of paper to do her sister’s homework with her. Mostly I’m sharing that because I am going to forget all those things she learned when she was just two. I can’t remember what Vio could do at two, because it blended in to what she learned at three and four and now she’s in school and it all happens so quickly. Surely the first six months of their lives lasted longer than all the years that have gone by since.

Her love for her baby brother is ENORMOUS. I was so nervous she would be jealous, and I’m sure that will eventually hit (I know it often waits for age three, which, as I’ve mentioned, WE ARE JUST NOT DOING), but for now she chases me around the house while I carry him, shrieking, “Baby, come back! PWEASE, baby!” She thinks he is HER baby and refers to him thusly. As soon as she sees him, she tells him, “Oh, you are such a cute baby. I never knew a baby could be so cute. I MAY kiss you!” And then she kisses the top of his head and his whole face lights up. Then there are the times she lovingly pats him and tells him, “I didn’t know you would be a boy baby. I really wanted a girl baby.” So, you know. It evens out.

She calls Vio her “Sweetie”, and she can’t stand when she’s out of the house. Of course, as soon as Vio gets home from school, they are fighting like cats and dogs. Or whatever is worse than cats and dogs. Sisters, pretty much.

The very best part of my day right now is the hour or two we have in the morning while Leo takes his nap. We sit on my bed and play board games and ipod games and giggle. She routinely beats me at all versions of Memory (“Membery”) and excitedly chants “Come on, Donalds and cwubhouses!” while she shakes the dice for Yahtzee Jr.

She loves the color yellow and elephants, they’ve been her favorite for over a year, but now she’s suddenly telling me pink and giraffes. I just jam my fingers in my ears because that sounds like growing up.

She is fierce and fearless and everything I am not in so many ways and I love that so much I cannot even get out more than a measly run-on sentence about it.

I’ve never cut her hair. I call her my baby Rapunzel, and I’ll probably WEEP the first time it needs a trim. Well, the first time I admit it needs a trim. She’s asked for a haircut, like her big sister gets, and I’ve been telling her “when you’re three! when you’re three!”

So, really. It’s for the best I don’t tell her, right? I think one day she’ll understand.

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Filed under My girls, Nothing but love, Photo essay

Thoughts that might run through your head at 3AM when both of your children spike a symptom-free fever

I mean, if you’re a really reasonable lady like me. If you’re unreasonable, probably you just give them some Motrin and shuffle off to bed and go back to sleep. But that’s not what a NORMAL person does. No no. It goes more like this:

IS SOMEONE GOING TO VOMIT? OH MY GOSH, THEY ARE, AREN’T THEY. They don’t have sore throats or stuffy noses or coughs WHAT IS LEFT I ASK? Is … is my stomach hurting? No no, that’s just the baby rearranging my ribs.

I BET IT WAS THAT VISIT TO THE PEDIATRICIAN’S OFFICE LAST WEEK. You take them in for an inflamed bug bite and they bring home an Actual Ailment. It was probably the damn sticker bin. NO MORE STICKERS. SHOULDN’T THEY HAVE A SPECIAL WELL CHILD STICKER BIN?

Wait — NO. After that visit we were told to give Roo some Benadryl … did we WASH the dosing cup super well after the last time they were sick, or did it just get rinsed? I HAVE TO GET BETTER ABOUT THE ACTUAL WASHING. HOT WATER IS NOT ENOUGH. I can’t believe I was so stupid! Sick from old medicine cup germs!

Hmm. My dad was sick last week. And we went over there this weekend. These children lick everything. But he had a sore throat! They don’t have sore throats! PLEASE DON’T THROW UP.

I KNEW GOING TO THE PARK THIS AFTERNOON WAS A BAD IDEA. NO ONE EVER LISTENS TO MEEEE. What about heat exhaustion? That can come on hours later, right? Probably I should google it. It also has an elevated pulse rate as a symptom … let’s check pulses. OMG THAT NUMBER IS HUGE IT IS HEAT EXHAUSTION hmm wait they are pretty small what is the normal pulse rate for a 4-year-old? Oh.

That takes us up to … well, now. Where I continue to wonder about the origins of the fevers, because my brain just NEEDS ANSWERS for these things. Incredibly REASONABLE answers, if I do say so myself.

(8 hours later, still fevered, still no other symptoms, unless staring glassy-eyed at episode after episode of Dora is a symptom, in which case, I AM ILL AS WELL.)

 

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Takin’ it quick in a number of times approximating 7

1. Well! I am 35.5 weeks along with this here baby boy, and I have yet to take a single belly picture. I keep MEANING to, but then I think, “It’s not an actual week marker! I’ll do it on Tuesday when the week rolls over!” But I think Tuesday must be my Dirty Day. (We’ll pretend it’s just Tuesday and not that I feel too gross for pictures every single other day of the week. Also huge.)

2. Seriously, with the hugeness. This baby is up in my rib cage. And also doing headstands on my pelvis. My midwife was all “yeah, he’s gonna be long” and then I cried because HAVE YOU SEEN MY HUSBAND? He is nearly a foot taller than I am. Let’s just hope it’s a SCRAWNY long baby, to match him. (Vio was super long at birth, too, but Roo was smaller. I never felt like I got all that gigantic when pregnant with her. I assumed this was because I had DONE the whole pregnancy thing and was totally an expert and knew what to expect and yada yada but GUESS WHAT NO SHE WAS ACTUALLY JUST SMALLER.)

3. I’m going to be shocked when this baby is unlike both of his sisters in whatever ways in which he decides to be. We keep saying things like, “Oh, I hope he sleeps more like ___” and “I hope he nurses as well as ___ did!” without regard for the fact that he may do these things in a completely different THIRD way. Really, are there three different ways children can be? You have one and you assume they’re all the same; you have two and you realize that opposites exist. I don’t know how to find a third opposite. That involves, like, triangles. It sounds pointy.

4. I cannot even talk about how bummed I am about not going to the Blathering. Cannot. Too bummed.

5. The girls’ latest favorite pastime is putting on shows for me during the day. I’m guessing this is a result of Vio practicing and practicing at school for the graduation program and now having no outlet for her NEED TO PERFORM. (In front of us. In front of everyone at school I held my breath the entire time because she kept flashing the Panic Eyes and I was convinced she was being scarred for life.) They all begin with Roo standing up on a bin shouting, “Ladies and gentlemen! Boys and girrs! Presenting …” Then they argue.

6. I had to get up about 12 times while writing this, but it was for a VERY GOOD REASON and now I will share it with you for making it all the way through the billion takes above … the Most Delicious Peanut Butter Cookies I Have Ever Personally Consumed.

Peanut Butter Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

(adapted from Food.com)

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
  • 3/8 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup (heaping) natural (read: gritty) peanut butter
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 3/4 cup white whole wheat flour (all purpose would be fine)
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
  • 3/4 cup quick cooking oats
  • 1/2 cup raisins (I’m guessing … I tossed in a few handfuls)

1. Preheat oven to 350. In bowl of stand mixer, cream butter and sugars using the paddle attachment. Add heaping half cup of peanut butter and mix again until fully incorporated. Add egg and vanilla and beat until smooth.

2. In a separate bowl, sift together flour, baking soda, and salt. Add to the wet ingredients and mix on low, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Stir in oats and raisins. (I threw them in with the mixer going as low as it would go. I didn’t want smoosh raisins.)

3. Drop 1 1/2-inch rounded balls of dough onto cookie sheet. (I baked mine on a Silpat and used a medium cookie scoop. If you don’t have either of those things but like to bake then WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR GO BUY THEM. Those aren’t, like, affiliate links, by the way. I’m way too lazy for all that nonsense.) Bake for 12-14 minutes, until lightly browned around the edges. Allow to firm up a bit on the cookie sheet before moving to cooling rack. (Twelve minutes will make a pretty soft cookie, and they will crumble if you try to transfer them without letting them sit a few minutes.)

Yield: 2 dozen

7. These cookies are for realsies amazing. I added raisins specifically to scare away all the tasteless people who think raisins in cookies are evil. RAISINS IN COOKIES ARE DELICIOUS.

(More quick takes here.)

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