Friday, September 29, 2006

Haiku Lament

Sunny, beautiful Friday
I'm inside working
Please, Lola, trade me places

Thursday, September 28, 2006

There's Hope Yet

Last week I was feeling a bit down with people regarding the letters listeners sent to NPR about their series on being Muslim in America. Today I am pleased to announce that NPR reported the "vast majority" of letters they received in the past week were complaining about the anti-Muslim hate mail from the previous week. I feel a little better about my species knowing that.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006


Nary a day goes by that Kate doesn't have some sort of smoothie or yogurt beverage. I feel that she is now mature enough to assist in the making of said treats. Sure, she still poops in her pants, but some of the most mature people I know do that. Kate has taken to this new activity like a pig to mud. Now, if we're going to make a smoothie, I'm not allowed to do it without her help. She insures this by going over to the step stool, which is kind of heavy, and starting to pull it away from the wall, sending me the message "let me help you or I will seriously hurt myself by pulling this thing down on my head!"

I measure everything out for her and help her dump it in the blender. Often, she reaches in and eats things she's just put in there. Lola waits below Kate for the inevitable treats from above. Sometimes she even gets to lick yogurt off the cabinets. OK, a lot of the time she gets to lick yogurt off the cabinets. The process is somewhat time-consuming and the mess frequently blankets the kitchen, but these things are meaningless when it comes time to turn on the blender. For some reason, this is thrilling to Kate, and she always looks like this:
Totally worth it. Here's the smoothie Kate was making in the photos, it's rich in vitamin C and beta carotene!
1 C fresh carrot juice
1 C frozen strawberries
1 C mango
1/3 C red bell pepper
1 T flax seed oil
fist-full wheat germ

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Sarah at 2 Months

Sarah survived her first 2 months. Here we are chatting about all the exciting things she's learned. Today she went to the doctor where the horrible woman in cute kitty cat scrubs gave her 4, count `em, 4 shots! I thought the nurse was very nice, but Sarah hated her and I'm pretty sure she thinks I'm a traitorous she-devil now. The good news is, Sarah doesn't seem to hold a grudge. I'm sure we'll be buddies again tonight. Shots aside, her doctor's visit was a good one. She's now 10lbs, 14oz and 22 and 1/4 inches long. She's in the 50th percentile for all that stuff, so all those strangers that tell me she's huge can just shut up.

Sarah still doesn't consistently sleep through the night, but I have the sense she will soon...I have to believe this. Her little personality is starting to show, too. She's very smiley and giggly. She thought it was hilarious this morning when she spit up and peed on me simultaneously. I'm not sure how I feel about her sense of humor.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Kate's an animal!

I don't know what this thing is supposed to be, but lately when she gets to daycare, Kate rushes over to the little box of dress-up clothes and puts on the fuzzy bunny-looking ears and matching vest. They look like bunny ears, but are zebra striped on one side and leopard print on the other. The vest is reversible - zebra and leopard, with an indecisive tail. Joy* looked up animals of the Serengeti and claims to have found a long-eared zebra, though I cannot duplicate her research. She suggested that perhaps it's one of those being attacked by a leopard. Welcome to Harsh Reality Daycare, Kate.

Her teacher, Miss Rose**, tells us that she's very careful to remove the vest when sitting on the potty so as to avoid defiling the tail in the toilet. Mr. Langston says convincing her to take it off at meal times is like talking a guy off a ledge.
* Kate refuses to call Joy by her name and instead calls her Jo-Jo. We don't know why, as "J" words don't seem difficult to her, she manages "Jennifer" with aplomb. Anyway, Joy is Jo-Jo. In the spirit of this, we're trying to teach her to call her Aunt Sonya "So-So".
** When did we start teaching kids to call their elders "Miss" or "Mister" and their first name? Is that a southern thing? I think it's weird.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Special Anniversary Edition

Today Jeremiah and I have been married for 6 years. Finally, we've been married longer than we've been dating.

Last January while boarding a flight for work I spotted the most extreme mullet I've ever seen - on a woman, no less. A femullet. I thought " I wish I had a camera phone so I could send a shot of that hair to Jeremiah". How lucky am I, that the one person I think of, when spying such a thing, is the man to whom I am married?

Who always has just the right Simpsons quote? Who can make me laugh even when I'm running a fever of 104? Who do I miss while I'm at work during the day? Who seems to genuinely find me attractive even when I'm 8 months pregnant and can't go 24 consecutive hours without ice cream? That's right - my babies' daddy.

I am lucky. Not only do I get to be married to my very best friend, but I can breathe a sigh of relief knowing that my daughters will grow up with extremely high expectations of the men in their lives. They will settle for nothing less than a man who is smart and witty and who respects them and other people and is kind, because that's what their father is like. They may develop a fondness for jam bands that I find boring, but I can live with that.

This is definitely a day worth celebrating. Speaking of which, I think I'll get back to doing just that.

Monday, September 18, 2006

I like the nightlife, baby

It doesn't seem that long ago that 10pm was the time of day at which I was getting ready to go out. Singing in the shower, open beer next to the shampoo bottle...the weekend started on Thursday. These days, if I'm not in bed by 10pm I panic. Not to worry, I still have an active nightlife. Here's an example from last night:

9:40 - Sarah has finally passed out after 2 solid hours of screaming. Sometimes I wonder where her little soul must've been before she came to us, that she would scream herself to sleep at night...war zone? Excited about the quiet, we go ahead and get in bed.

10:15 - I can't sleep.

10:45 - Why am I still awake? I'm exhaust....zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

11:26 - I am awakened by the house-shaking sound of Kate attempting to cough up a lung. I lay in bed a few minutes hoping Jeremiah is tortured by it, too, and will get up and give her some cough medicine.

11:31 - Either he is asleep or he is doing the same thing as me and I admit defeat, get up, and bring Kate some medicine. She is laying in bed, eyes wide open, watching me. I think she's awake but when I try to get her to sit up and take the cough syrup I realize she's not. Creepy.

11:53 - Somehow that took me nearly half an hour. I fall back to sleep, wondering if nighttime minutes are shorter than daytime minutes.

3:30 - Sarah wakes up screaming (flashbacks?) As I am changing her diaper I think "this is fine, I can feed her and get another hour of sleep before the 5:00 alarm"

3:45 - She's done with her bottle in record time - yessss!

3:55 - She's spit up her entire bottle on me, herself and the floor. I put her in a clean onsie, wipe myself off and lay her down. I climb back in bed

4:00 - Sarah starts crying again. I pick her up and it turns out that wasn't the entire bottle she spit up last time. New onsie. We bounce on the exercise ball together until she settles down, I put her back in bed

4:15 - Jeremiah is quietly snoring when Sarah begins to cry again. I briefly consider jarring him awake with a knee to the back. What? I didn't do it!

4:41 - I put the restless Sarah, who it turns out still had a little of that bottle in her, in her swing and turn it on. I sneak away thinking I can catch a 20 minute nap before the alarm goes off.

4:49 - No, there will be no napping. She's crying again. She has a serious case of stinkbutt. I change her diaper again.

5:00 - Sarah is not crying, just making noises like she's thinking about crying. I change into sweats while Jeremiah gets out of bed. I grab Lola's leash and she and I head out into the darkness for a walk. I use my face to clear away the spider webs that crept up across the sidewalks overnight (yuck). I wonder if that guy I see inside the U-Joint is still at the bar, or already at the bar.

Party on, dude.

Sunday, September 17, 2006


Kate was consuming so many of the Stonyfield Farms YoBaby drinkable yogurts that we were starting to have to dip into her education fund to keep them in stock in our refrigerator. (I believe I've mentioned Kate's fondness for dairy before.) I decided to start making her yogurt drinks. I found a recipe for the Indian yogurt drink, lasse, made a couple tiny adjustments and served it up to her. I was surprised, because the drink is kind of exotic for a 2-year-old and bears almost no similarity with her Yobabies, to find that she loves the lasse. She'll knock back 4oz (the amount of the YoBaby) and ask for more.

I just never know what the kid will eat until I give it to her. We had a pasta dish that involved grilled salmon a couple weeks ago. I made her just the pasta, thinking she'd avoid the salmon (no point in wasting that). She ate a few bites of her pasta then set to work picking all the salmon out of my serving and eating it. Then, of course, there's the day she ate nearly her own body weight in Gorgonzola. When she was 1 year old she ate some escargot and seemed to like it (One year is too young to A) ask what it is or 2) be grossed out at the thought of eating a snail). It was trial and error that taught her she does not like wasabi. Well, mostly error on that one. I do enjoy standing in my kitchen thinking "what can I get the kid to eat today?" Most days the answer is "something white or yellow" but the salmon days are enough to keep me going.

Kate's Lasse
1 cup lowfat plan yogurt
1 1/2 T sugar (or to taste)
1/2 t rosewater
1 t ground cumin
couple pinches ground cinnamon
5 crushed ice cubes (my fridge dispenses crushed ice, so I just guess at it)
Throw it all together in a blender and blend until you feel good about it. (If that doesn't happen in a minute or so, seek professional help, it's more than the blender can handle.)

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Mommy & Sarah

Here I am with little Sarah. I was trying to convince her that crying wasn't going to do her any good, she's stuck with us. She appears to have paused in her diatribe for this photo, but I assure you, she got right back to it as soon as the paparazzi left.

Friday, September 15, 2006

A Return to Bathtime Glee

For months, the mere mention of a bath would cause Kate to scream as though she were being slowly dipped in burning acid. Fortunately, these were warm months and, although she feared and hated the bath, she loved to be sprayed with those hose (see, there she is happily taking it in the face from her buddy Evan at her birthday celebration). We would just let her get naked and soap her down, thus avoiding the horrible bathtub screaming.

I am pleased to report that Kate seems to have recovered from her bathtub fear. We combine bathing with showering. First, we wash her hair and rinse it with the handheld shower head, then we fill the tub and let her soak in a homemade chamomile/oatmeal bath (for her dreadful eczema). She's been tolerating it for some time but last night she announced to me, giggling, "I like to take a shower!" Then she laid down in the tub on her tummy and started singing about how fish go swimming in the water. I have no idea why she was afraid of the tub (it's not like it's a cup of coffee) and I am equally mystified about what made her like it again. Her timing couldn't be better, it's just starting to get too cool for bathing in the hose in the driveway.

Thanks to my friend Heather for telling me how to get that text up there hyperlinked.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Brain Fart

Warning: Rant.

As part of their 9/11 remembrance NPR did a series on Muslim Americans. It gave us a chance to hear about life from normal Americans who are Muslim. Today is Thursday, the day they read to us from our letters. Several listeners wrote in with scathing comments about how horrible NPR was to do this series around the anniversary of the attacks, complaining that the attacks were carried out by Muslims and it was just in poor taste to give those people air time when the rest of us (the real Americans, I guess) are still grieving.

It's not just that those listeners missed the point of the series -that the attacks were carried out by terrorists who claimed to be Muslim, not all Muslims, just like abortion clinic bombings are perpetrated by terrorists who claim to be Christian. What really bugs me is that those listeners missed the point because they are either incapable of or too lazy for critical thought. They're intolerant because they haven't bothered to do a couple simple syllogisms.

I am of the opinion that a major part of my job as a mom is to teach my daughters how to think (not what to think, which will be tricky because I'm awfully opinionated). If either of my kids ever pens such an ignorant, hateful letter I will consider myself a failure as a parent.

Monday, September 11, 2006


It's been a few days, so I thought I'd post an update on each kid.

This weekend Kate received a Kate-sized shopping cart from Uncle Kevin and Aunt Jude. She adores it. In fact, I've already come to dread having to leave the house with her if she's playing with it. One of us generally has to manhandle her away from the cart...hilarity ensues. In other events this weekend we enjoyed a cook-out at Rusty & Jennifer's. Kate played croquet. OK, she didn't really play croquet, but she did rearrange some of the balls for us, which kept the game nearly as interesting as when Alice played it with hedgehogs and flamingos. I mean, sure we had no wildlife, beheadings or tarts, but we had beer.

Friday was my last day at home with Sarah. I tried to drag it out as much as possible but it went by at lightning speed. It was a bath day. I love water - drinking it, taking luxurious baths in it, swimming in it...but now that I have kids whenever they get within a few feet of it I envision their untimely demise by drowning. So bath time is made extra exciting by the peril! Don't laugh, mom always told us you can drown in a cup of coffee. Of course, lately while trying to remain awake after evenings of very little sleep...I've wondered if mom didn't mean that metaphorically. Because, lord knows I've tried to drown myself in coffee. Anyway, here's Sarah, fresh from her bath, having lived to tell about it.

Thursday, September 07, 2006


I'm slowly getting back in shape. I can walk to Kate's daycare to pick her up. I can walk home pushing her in the stroller and carrying Sarah on my chest. I can do that up steep hills. I cannot do that up a steep hill and sing Baa Baa Black Sheep. Guess that's what they mean by 'baby steps'.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006


Kate likes dairy products. She eats yogurt, cheeses of all kinds, milk and more yogurt. Gone are the days I could plop anything down in front of her and she'd eat it. I knew that time to be fleeting but I long for it. They include something leafy and/or green with her meals at daycare, but it came to my attention the other day she was avoiding those bits of her meals and going for the pale yellow to white foods. Desperate, I got artistic on her last night. I was impressed with my work. Here it is to the right, nice, no?

The sun is, of course, cheese. The grass is spinach sauteed in garlic and olive oil (and old favorite of hers), the tree trunk is turkey kielbasa and the leaves are broccoli. Naturally, she went immediately for the sun. But I'm pleased to say she ate nearly all of it. To my chagrin, it was not my artistry that convinced her to eat it, but the fact that I sat on the floor in the TV room with her while she watched the Muppets and fed it to her bite by bite. My desire for her to eat something green outweighed my desire to teach her that we eat at the dining room table.
Later that evening she surprised Jeremiah and me by saying with perfect clarity "I could go for a smoothie". For those of you without 2-year-olds, I can see how you might not find that impressive, but really, it's like having your cat suddenly start talking to you. It was a stall tactic, it was bedtime, so no smoothie followed. Still, that was something.

In completely unrelated news, here's a shot of the girls together. Oh, and my arm.

Sunday, September 03, 2006


Last night I was tucking Kate into bed (snug as a bug in a rug). I was singing her "Goodnight My Someone" from The Music Man (you shut-up, I like that play!) and she was touching my face and hair like she always does when I sing her a song. Right in the middle of her goodnight song she interrupted me and said "I love you mommy". Walking down the stairs after that, grinning ear to ear, all I could think was - where will we put the pony?

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Crazy Talk

Living with a 2-year-old is like living with a crazy person. Or maybe a stroke victim. First of all, she dresses like she's wearing the only items she could dig up from various locales. (See photo, above). Next, she frequently inexplicably runs in circles around the house, barking like a dog. Often during these jogs she will bump into a piece of furniture then hit the furniture saying "NO! [furniture item name]! Go on!" But my favorite is the crazy talk. For example, this morning when she woke up she did say 'good morning', lulling me into a false sense of normalness. But the changing table talk went like this: "Shoes! Shoes! Shoooooooooooooes! Shew-e-ew-e-ew-e-ew-oooos! No shirt! [maniacal laughter] Shoes! [insert song here]" This was followed by a rousing bout of Mimic Everything Mommy Says and more barking. Sometimes she just makes noises and dances to them. We just smile and nod a lot, it seems to work.

Despite the insanity, she is an attentive and loving big sister. When Sarah cries, Kate tells us "baby's crying" and will pat her on the back or the head and offer her a pacifier. The other day, she spontaneously began attempting to feed Sarah when she got fussy in her bouncy seat. I suspect it was that feeding that led to the gassy fits of screaming shortly there-after, but it was awfully cute.

Friday, September 01, 2006

To Sleep Perchance to Dream

Big night last night - Sarah slept from 9:30pm until 5:00am! There was some snuffling and cooing around 3:00, but she went right back to sleep. She's even napping on our bed right now, after a nice, warm bottle. I feel like I should go nap with her, but...but I'm not tired! I have just prepared a bagel with peanut butter and cup of coffee, which I am now actually eating - with the help of both my hands. Truly, it's a bright new day. Do I dare hope she'll sleep again tonight? No, it's too much. I will just revel in happiness only a night of solid, peaceful sleep can bring.