Friday, March 30, 2007

Terror on East Lake

The rain stopped and the sun came back out. When the girls got home from daycare, as usual, Kate wanted to play outside on the front porch. There was Fun With Chalk, Throw the Shoes Down the Steps and lots of Jump on the Glider. Neighbors jogged by with their "doggies!" and the sun began to set on another day. And then...we spotted it. Something so terrifying...

So monstrous...

It absolutely would not be appeased with a nice, green leaf as Eric Carle and I suggested.

No, the only thing to do was to seek refuge in the house, door safely locked. And even now, while we duck below the windows, peering out periodically to be sure the creature hasn't found a weak spot in our fortress, it lurks on the porch. Poised for attack.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Sarah at 8 months

Sarah's 8 months old now (as of Monday). She's all over the place. Kate pulled up for the very first time exactly 10 days before her first birthday. She waited until she was 1 day shy of 15 months old to take her first steps. Sarah's been pulling up for a couple weeks now. This kid's not messin' around. She'll be tackling Kate prior to her first birthday, I feel certain of it.

While Kate's not especially wild about having a mobile baby around the house, she still seems to love her kid sister. The other day they were playing together on the alphabet mat in the kitchen (they both enjoy chewing on the giant letters) and Kate was feeding Sarah fake food. "Here you go, Cutie Pie" I heard her say, handing Sarah a plastic chip. Then she gave her a kiss on the head. Good stuff.

Look at this baby standing up! Having only had one before that felt she should be carried everywhere by her giant servants, this is shocking to me. Also, kind of annoying. She can't be contained! She's trying to eat my food magazines off the bookshelf! She's trying to eat...what is that? Who knows?!? I can't watcher her incessantly. I feel certain this is only going to get worse. She'll be driving before I know it.

Meanwhile, Kate's been getting some artsy shots for her debut album -

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

I once was blind, but now I see...

Got me some new specs! I had to wait a whole week for them, it was killing me. I like them because they're brown. I like brown. Also, it's nice to not be wearing my seemingly permanently pollen-encrusted contact lenses right now. This is the highlight of my day. I made our programmer take this photo of them with his phone. I realize you probably don't care much about my new glasses. But it's my blog; you can go write your own blog all about how boring mine is. See if I care.

Monday, March 26, 2007

Sorry for the delay, Mom, here's the Baxter update!

As Tuesday eased into Friday morning Jeremiah (now as interested in the driveway activity next door as I) and I feared Catherine must've ended up having a c-section. When we arrived home from an outing to Mezcalito's Friday night, Mike was outside getting the mail. We saw him from a block and half away and Jeremiah yelled "got yourselves a baby?" Indeed they do. I'm sure they'd find it a little freaky to discover I'm blogging about them to total strangers, but we're happy for them, so here are the stats:
John Baxter Hernankie (not sure how to spell his last name but Jeremiah thinks that's it) was born on Tuesday, March 20th, along with Spring. He weighed in at 8lbs, 1oz and as we feared, ended up being a c-section.

Catherine came out with him to introduce us. Nice thing about c-section babies, they don't look all roughed up from fighting their way through the birth canal. He's adorable. I gazed in awe at him, not believing that just 8 months ago Sarah was smaller than that. Catherine claims she's feeling fine and, after some initial panic regarding Baxter's respiratory health, he's just fine, too. I'm thrilled to have another excuse to make some bread. We've decided we'll wait to make them food, though, until the non-stop stream of cars from out of state in their driveway (I'm not even trying to spy on it now) slows down considerably.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Go runners go!

First, let me just say I'm sorry for going so long without a post. I have no excuse. I've been lax. This weekend we've been busy. I spent nearly all of yesterday baking bread, cookies, congo bars (a la Margie), lemon pound cake and the dough for biscuits for today. "What's today?" you ask? Today was the first annual ING-sponsored Georgia Marathon. Joy and I took advantage of the moment to have a bakesale to raise funds for the 3-Day. We raised $43. Not bad for a couple hours' work that commenced at 7AM on a Sunday. I got up at 5 to bake the biscuits so they'd be all fresh and scrumptious as the cheering neighbors arrived with their coffee.

It was a lot of fun. Our friends Brendon (Steve & Joy's next door neighbor seen above, giving the thumb's up. There's his family and other neighbors cheering him on), Rusty (seen here training in his gayass running shorts. Hey, I think he's wearing the same ones in today's run...), Jennifer (I missed her when she came by because I was hocking biscuits) and Cheryl (seen here, supporting another 3-Day fundraiser with her husband, Karl), all ran the full marathon. There were a lot of runners. We cheered ourselves hoarse at the Oakhurst cheering section. Yes, my neighborhood is technically East Lake...but the marathon didn't go through it so I had to cheer in the next best spot. Kate showed up late with Jeremiah and Sarah, but still supported the marathon with her ING-orange balloon and our bakesale, by eating a cookie. She's a giver. Bakesale and marathon complete...we closed up shop and headed out for a training walk. Can't be outdone by those runners!

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Baxter, is that you?

The SUV that lives in my next-door neighbors' driveway has been absent for over 24 hours. Marley, Lola's barking buddy who lives there, is also absent. This is significant because Mike & Catherine's baby boy is due to make his entrance this week.

Back in November, when we were chatting with them as they cleaned up the extensive graveyard they'd built in their front yard for Halloween, they asked us what we thought of the name Baxter. I immediately thought of the beloved Baxter Black - Cowboy Poet and Retired Large Animal Veterinarian. Jeremiah and I both exclaimed "what a great name!" Evidently, though, their other friends and neighbors insisted it was a horrible name for a human and meant, primarily, for dogs. "Everyone else you know if wrong" Jeremiah and I agreed. We were pleased to hear one of their other choices was Miles - the name we'd selected if we'd had a boy.

To my delight, Mike later told Jeremiah they'd decided to name the lad John Baxter. "We'll call him Baxter" Mike said "and if he turns out to be too much of a weeny we'll revert to John." When Jeremiah reported this conversation to me I thought "These are people who definitely should be reproducing". We're excited to meet John Baxter. So yeah, I've been spying on the house a bit. More than just when I come and go...I keep peering over there from Kate & Sarah's windows, or even poking my head out the door. I'm hoping to see Mike wearily dragging ass into the house to collect something for Catherine. Or better, to see them coming home with a bouncing baby boy. I hope all went well with the delivery. Hurry home, Baxter!

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Real Moms

I've been tagged! Heather wants to know how I define "real mom", so here we go.

Real moms are willing to put humiliating cranial decorations on their children and take pictures of them for their own amusement. Just look at them. They know.

I'll keep printed copies of these on hand for this to bring to their therapy sessions, don't worry.

It gets much worse, though.

Yes, real moms are so completely exhausted that they will entrust their little darlings to their relatives for an entire night even though said relatives can be expected to:

1. Teach them to play with fire.

2. While drinking. (I have to admit, that is a perfect black & tan).

3. Feed them pure sugar for dinner and... who knows what else. 4. Leap ahead a holiday (while still observing the previous one) in order to pull out more humiliating cranial decorations.5. Photograph the entire debauchery.

Real moms don't mind and neither do real dads. Our sticky children were returned in one piece (well, technically two pieces. It's not like they're Siamese twins), seemingly happy and we slept nearly nine hours in a row. Best St. Patrick's Day ever.

Seems like I should tag somebody else, but all the rest of the mommy (and daddy) bloggers I even know of can be found right here.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Saturday morning was bitter cold, with arctic winds. We decided to take everyone on a walk regardless. So of course everyone had to be bundled up. About 5 minutes into the walk Jeremiah and decided it was too dang cold and our hats weren't blocking out that wind. So, we cut things short. What might have taken 90 minutes was abridged to 20. During that 20 minutes, Sarah fell asleep. Usually she wakes up when I take the backpack off, but this time she didn't. So, I decided not to poke the beast. After all, they say it's best to let sleeping babies lie. Or, in this case, remain bundled up into an unrecognizable mass while propped upright in a backpack. Whatever, she seemed content.

An hour later, she still was.

And still, another hour later...we periodically checked for the sound of breath.Finally, 3 hours after passing out, Sarah awoke in good spirits with a big red blotch on her face where she'd been resting it on the backpack. She was ready for food.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Oh Gross

I arrive home with my two adorable eating and pooping machines in tow. In my hand I carry a small plastic bag containing one of Sarah's stool samples on a formerly darling onsie. It is nasty but doesn't hold a candle to last weekend when, again attempting to escape naptime, Kate pooped in her pull-ups and then made them pull-downs and created art all over the place. Say what you will, that child can poop on command.

After gingerly opening the plastic bag and dumping its contents into the hamper for later discovery and re-grossing-out, I head to the kitchen to wash my hands (again) and prepare dinner. Kate declares she'd like apple juice and I open the refrigerator to find an already watered down Take n' Toss cup with cover full of it, looking for all the world like a urine sample. "Here you go, dear!" I say, and cringe a bit as she takes a big sip.

Once Kate's dinner is served, I pick up Sarah who has been waiting patiently for her afternoon affection. She locks my entire cheek in a wet, vaguely spitup-scented kiss and slobber actually drips off my jawbone. Then she sticks the fist she's been gnawing on in my mouth before I can lock it closed. Precious.

After dinner, it's time to take Kate upstairs to use the potty (hooray, time to dump the cup of pee out!) and brush her teeth. Did she just drop her toothbrush on the floor, pick it back up and stick it directly back into her mouth? Repress, repress, repress. Potty and toothpaste successfully employed, I usher Kate to bed in her room that smells of Desitin. Seems the cantaloupe I fed Sarah the other day was as unpopular coming out as it was going in. Desitin stinks.

At last both girls are tucked in and quiet. I can head downstairs for some wine and decompression. What on earth is that on the sofa?!? Repress, repress, repress...

Monday, March 12, 2007

Afternoon at the Park

Yesterday the weather was nothing short of stunning. We took our little family unit on a picnic in Piedmont Park to celebrate the weather. So did everyone else in the city of Atlanta. We drove to the park, drove practically back to our house and parked, walked to the park, up a big hill and laid out our spread. There was my fresh-baked baguette, smoked gouda, chicken salad and the red pesto and sour cream lemon pound cake I made Jeremiah make while I was off on a training walk with Joy. To my surprise, Kate rejected the gouda. That is the first cheese she’s tried that she said she didn’t like. She refused to try the red pesto outright. Instead, she dined on a healthy menu of yogurt, bread and pound cake. Sarah stuck with her apple-pear puree, though she made several grabs for Kate’s cake. Lola, who behaved impeccably to our surprise, enjoyed her giant doggy biscuit. She made eyes at the cheese, but her fantasy was not fulfilled.

I tried to teach Kate how play Frisbee. She got the whole throw-it-to-mommy bit but once I caught it, she’d run toward me while I said “no no no no no stay there, I’ll throw it back!” So, I started running away from her to get distance between us. She’d run after me, I’d run away again. And that was the game. Kate loves Frisbee. Sarah, who was nearly bonked on the head several times as a result of Kate’s throw, thinks it’s too dangerous. After the rousing game of Frisbee, there were some rounds of Tackle Daddy and Look I Can Do A Summersault. The debate regarding whether Kate can actually do a summersault, it seems, is one of semantics.

After we ate we rolled down the hill and to the big pond where Kate and Lola enthusiastically watched the ducks do what ducks do. Then we walked across the park, down some steps and under the railroad trestle to the dog park so Lola could run free. Kate walked the whole way. When we left the dog park and headed back to the car, Kate walked nearly the whole way again. The only times she was carried were at our instance because she was so freakin’ slow. It was difficult to carry her because she spent the entire time squirming and yelling “leave me alone!” I fully expected her to start screaming “this is not my daddy!”

We made it back to the car and home just as the sun was beginning to set. Then it was time to bathe and put on some sleepin’ T-Shirts and settle into the sofa for some Muppets’ viewing.

Kate wanted Sarah to sit on her lap, which worked out just fine.

After some hair-pulling.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

The morning after

I think the girls must've had quite a party in their room on Thursday night because when Sarah got up yesterday morning her hair looked like this.

And when I went up to get Kate out of bed I found her like this.

Yeah, I've had a few mornings like that. Good times.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Raggedy Ann

Kate has finally warmed to my old Raggedy Ann doll. Just as I did at her age, she carries Raggedy around by a strand of yarn hair, which has elongated to the point that when being carried by it, Raggedy drags behind on the floor. Caveman Kate hardly notices. Raggedy seldom leaves the house, although she's been to the park once. But when Kate's home, she generally likes to have Raggedy in tow. This morning Kate was standing in the kitchen with her doll, waiting for me to produce oatmeal. I make it from rolled oats because the instant stuff never comes out the way I like it, so this is kind of a lengthy process. Ten minutes instead of 2. So, anyway, because she doesn't know there's such a thing as instant oatmeal Kate doesn't mind. She was holding Raggedy by the hair, standing between the wall to her left and a cabinet to her right. She began swinging Raggedy back and forth between the two obstacles. Each time Raggedy hit a surface with a loud "thwap!" Kate said "OUCH!"

At first I was managing to just ignore her and let her play while I stirred oats (with just a pinch of cinnamon). But after a short while I was so unable to divorce the scene from the one in Monty Python and the Holy Grail where the wretched woman in rags stands in the background, beating a cat against the wall like a rug with a resounding "MREOW" with each hit, that I found myself laughing out loud. It only spurs her on. "I'm funny, too!" She says.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Maybe she's born with it

I was afraid, for awhile, that Kate didn't really like chocolate. I thought it was weird. She's warmed up to it at an amazing pace, though. And thank goodness. She's normal. Last week I made granola bars again and this time, instead of a dried fruit, I put in M&Ms. Because I'm a health nut, you see.

Kate refers to all granola bars as Luna bars, which amuses me. But what I have noticed this week is that when she says "chocolate" as in "the Luna bars have chocolate!" she pronounces it "choc-o-late". I'm certain everyone we know just ignores that middle "O", calling it "choclit", so where did she get that? And why has she started calling me "Mama"? Choc-o-late is cute. Mama is...not quite right.

Monday, March 05, 2007

More sleep talk

Sarah's in a routine now, it's kind of nice. She goes to bed without complaint at about 7:00 each evening. Sometimes, after a particularly busy day at daycare, she's ready to pass out before 7:00. I kind of hate those days because that means I scarcely get to see her at all. For the past week or so, though, she sleeps like an angel from 7:00 to 10:00. Then, just as we're finally falling into bed, looking forward to some well-earned rest, she starts crying.

It's always the same. I trudge upstairs (there's always enough bouts of crying for Jeremiah and I each to get a turn or two), resenting her timing. I scoop the wailing baby up in my arms and she immediately stops crying. Then she nuzzles into my neck and goes back to sleep, drooling on my shoulder. At this point I have found I can put her back in her crib without immediate repercussions, but I never manage to do that. I'm always up there at least 15 minutes because she is warm, and tiny and has a sweet-scented, fuzzy head and I always think - soon, this won't happen anymore. I won't have quiet time with a sleeping baby on my chest, her fuzzy hair touching my cheek. So I rock with her, even though she's sound asleep. When I finally manage to disengage and go back downstairs, she lasts long enough for Jeremiah and I to fall back to sleep, then screams again.

Sweet, though she may be, I long for a return to the mornings when I awake feeling rested.

Saturday, March 03, 2007

Overheard this morning

Jeremiah - Kate, can I get a kiss from you?
Kate - And a hug...a hug!
[big hug]
Kate - I like to get in the hugs.

Thursday, March 01, 2007


Kate's love of the Muppets lives on. Her affection for Mary Poppins not withstanding, she comes back to the Muppets again and again. This is dismaying because there is only one season of the Muppet Show available on DVD. I hear the next season will be available this spring...I hope they mean on the very first day of spring because I don't know how much more of this I can take. She requests the episode with Phyllis Diller repeatedly. Kids love Phyllis Diller.

Most recently, though, she's developed a love of Janice, the grooooovy chick in the Muppet house band, The Electric Mayhem. She's fond of Dr. Teeth, too, but she's been talking about Janice constantly lately. Last night I was required to tell the story of Janice's entire life. It turns out she was born in Woodstock, NY to a late-30s couple who used to be stock brokers but decided to simplify and moved to Woodstock to sell crystals. That got me from the TV room up the stairs, but we still had potty time, teeth-brushing time, story time, stalling time and tucking in time to fill. "Wouldn't you like to read Goodnight Opus again?" I'd say to buy time. "No! I want to hear about Janice when she was a little girl!" What a task master that kid is. I made Jeremiah tuck her in tonight. I'm not ready to tell her about Janice's exploits in college.