Tuesday, December 27, 2005

a slight misunderstanding

Charlotte has asked the same question the past two mornings, upon waking. "Did Santa come last night?" I think she's not quite grasping the whole one night per year visitation.

Wouldn't it be swell to get Christmas every day? It would, if you weren't Santa. Heh.

Sunday, December 25, 2005

a minor christmas miracle

ChaCha woke up at about 5.30am, fussy and unhappy. By the time I got there, the big girls were kind of awake. I said, "Why don't we all go back to sleep for a little bit? It's still very, very early." Without any complaint, on Christmas morning, my kids went back to bed. And slept until almost 9.

Honestly, it was just the Christmas morning we all needed. We all seem to be on the mend, Santa stopped by, and now it's almost time for dinner.

Saturday, December 24, 2005

have yourself a merry little christmas

If you're familiar, this is the saddest, most poignant of all Christmas songs. It's from "Meet Me in St. Louis" and, while melancholy, is also a little hopeful.

This has been a fine year for us. But the past week of illness, hitting right before Christmas, has left us all a little glum and down. Would we get everything done that needed to be done? Will we feel well enough to even enjoy Christmas?

"Until then, we'll have to muddle through somehow..."

Friday, December 23, 2005

ping pong

So, as we all recuperate, what better thing to do than watch the original "King Kong"?

Cha kept calling it Ping Pong. And, when Kong was fighting all the people at the end of the Skull Island sequence, Bebe said, "Why is he so mad?" And ChaCha answered, "Because the monkey wants his woman!"

I may still be a tad feverish, but I think my 3 year old has come up with the perfect tagline for "King Kong": Because the monkey wants his woman.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

fever 2: electric boogaloo

Whee! We're all sick. After I picked Bebe up from school yesterday, I started to feel shaky and unsteady. By an hour later, I had a fever and the chills combined with a nasty cough which forced Archie, who was also getting sick, to get the kids fed and off to bed.

Today, Lulu was running a fever again and Bebe was complaining of having wibbly wobbly legs. So, I loaded my own sick butt in the car and took their homework down to the school and picked up their holiday homework. Cha would come over to the couch and ask me to play -- I felt badly but I just couldn't.

I'm starting to feel a little bit better, but not much. I hope we can pull Christmas together. I think we can, but Arch and I are going to be fairly miserable, I think. We may have to save the annual Christmas dinner for another day when we all feel better.

Monday, December 19, 2005


Lulu has a fever. She's so hot and flushed. And just worn out, poor thing. Usually, she's a firecracker, with her orange hair and her too-loud voice and her endless energy. Today she's been limp and anything she says is a whisper.

I hate when any of the kids are sick, but Louisa always worries me. She's so skinny and when she's ill, she seems so fragile. I worry when Bebe or ChaCha are sick, but they're so solid that I feel as if they can weather an infection or a fever. With Lou, even a cold can seem like a battle.

I'm a fairly pragmatic parent -- I don't call the doctor or after-hours care for any little sniffle or sneeze. But I can be a doctor or nurse's worst nightmare -- a parent with a high-speed internet connection and a browser with built-in Google. Last year, I was convinced that Lulu had meningitis and the night nurse had to talk me down.

When I put Lulu in bed for the night, I mentioned she'd probably need to stay home tomorrow. She quietly said, "But Mama -- my perfect attendance! Can't I just go to school and then come home in an hour? Then I can still have my perfect attendance." Even when she's sick, she worries about that damn award. I told her I was more concerned that she gets a lot of rest and that her fever will come down as her body fights off whatever infection or invader has gotten in.

So, I'll be up and down all night, taking her temperature every few hours and giving her some more Motrin in a while. Making her take a few sips of juice. Uncovering her when she feels too hot and covering her up when she starts to shiver. Sitting on the edge of her bed, stroking her hot, flushed cheek as she sleeps fitfully. It's one of the times when I'm needed most and the one time when being needed makes me feel awful.

12 anniversaries

Some have been romantic, some have been forgotten in the chaos of children and life. One was mentioned, briefly, just before midnight in a rented minivan somewhere in Indiana. Last year, we commented on being married for 11 years and then spoke about our undying hate and I asked for a divorce. (All a joke, in case you don't know us.)

So, here comes the sap. I love you very much, sweetie. I can't believe it's been 12 years. I would do it all over again.

Thanks for the candy! (He just gave me 2 boxes of See's candy. Ain't he sweet?)

Sunday, December 18, 2005

not ready for christmas

I haven't bought a single gift. I haven't been to the grocery to buy the necessary stuff for dinner and desserts for the big day. We do have the tree up and decorated. But everything else is, most decidedly, not done.

What have I been doing? Looking at clothes and stationery online. And shoes.

And I've watched "How the Grinch Stole Christmas" roughly 400 times in the past week.

Thank goodness there are a few days left to shop and wrap.

Saturday, December 17, 2005

small comfort

She was standing on the sidewalk in downtown Palo Alto. It was around lunchtime -- lots of people walking past. She was almost a fixture -- the crazy lady with the shopping cart and the baby doll, mumbling to herself. But this day, she was crying and begging, "Leave me alone! Leave me alone!" Yelling at the voices that only she could hear.

Archie walked a little past her, and then turned and said, loudly, "Leave her alone!"

As he turned and began to walk on, he heard her say, "Thank you."

Friday, December 16, 2005

everybody hurts

We're all sick, to some degree. I have a low-level case of the blahs with a cough for added excitement. Lou and Archie are getting over fairly evil colds. Poor Bebe is right in the miserable stage of the cold. Charlotte seems mostly OK, except she has a little cough and has been sneezing like crazy. (I always say, "Bless you!" when she sneezes and she always says, "Thank you!" But if I'm not paying close enough attention, she'll say, loudly, "I sneezed, Mama! Bless me!")

I hate when the kids are sick. But at least they can all tell me where and what hurts, now. It was terrible when they were babies and toddlers. I still remember Christmas 2000, when the twins were about 17 months old. Archie was very sick for several days leading up to Christmas. This meant that I was completely responsible for the kids all the time and I had to do all the Christmas shopping on my own, too. Then the girls and I got sick -- fevers, aches (I think the girls were ache-y; I certainly was), coughs, and general listlessness. Archie went back to work, and the girlies and I camped on the couch and watched Nick Jr. all day. Every time I had to change a diaper, it took a tremendous effort on my part.

The capper to the week of sick was New Year's Eve, when Archie went out to get some food and I had to call him on his cell and beg him to come home. I'd put the girls to bed, but Lulu was crying about an hour later. She had vomited in her crib. I got her out and cleaned her up and changed her pajamas. Then she started walking around and crying and puked on the move. When Archie finally got home, she was in her fourth pair of jammies and all I wanted to do was get out of my soaked clothes.

Thankfully, no puking right now. Just the general crabbiness that comes from nasty colds. Maybe Santa should bring us all some Ny-Quil.

Thursday, December 15, 2005


We're watching "Everybody Hates Chris". It's the Christmas episode and Chris wants a Walkman. The year is 1982 and they show a guy singing along to the Tears for Fears song "Shout".

"That's wrong. I don't think that song came out until several years later -- like 84 or 85." Archie said, "I think you're right." And, through the power of modern technology, I now know "Songs from the Big Chair" was released in 85.

Several questions arise:

1. Don't TV shows have someone who checks these things?
2. Why do I have this crap stuck in my head?
3. Why do I care?

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

space chicken!

In March of '94, Archie and I drove to Austin to visit with his good friend, Joel, and to enjoy SXSW. (Why, yes, this was when we were both still in our 20s and under the illusion that we were semi-cool in our musical taste. Currently, I'm 40 and under no such illusions. I was excited last week when I actually could identify a song by a current popular group.) We stayed with Joel and his roommate Steven and ate lots of good food and attended concerts and drank lots of Shiner Bock. We slept in late (SXSW coincided with Spring Break and Joel and Steven had the week off since they were a teacher and librarian, respectively) and watched some movies in the late mornings/early afternoons. On VHS. On a tiny 13 inch TV. Remember 1994?

One early afternoon, we decided to watch "A Brief History of Time" -- an Erroll Morris documentary about Stephen Hawking. Keep in mind the 13 inch TV and also that it was a sunny afternoon. The movie starts with a field of stars and a voiceover in Hawking's IBM-manufactured voice. "Which came first -- the chicken or the egg?" And then a large chicken appears in front of all the stars.

Now, the appearance of the chicken may have been a tiny bit alarming in a theater, where it would have been extremely large. But on a small TV, it was just kind of amusing. Yet, when the chicken appeared, we all heard this squeaky gasp, and we looked to see Steven clutching at the neck of his t-shirt, and then he sort of fanned himself. We were all a bit confused and asked him what was wrong.

"The space chicken frightened me!"

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

woe. misery. sadness.

Anyone who has read along for a few months (or worked through the archives), may remember that I am a slave to the deliciousness that is Diet Vanilla Coke (or Vanilla Diet Coke or Heroin in a Can). It is, really, precious, life-giving fluid.

Lately, I haven't been able to buy a case (OK, OK, several cases -- happy now?) from our local grocery. Archie has even been searching and can't find any. It has been a puzzle. One I wasn't overly concerned about because I am easy and will consume any Coke version, if the need arises. But, still.

And then I read a blog post where a person was also bemoaning the lack of Diet Vanilla Coke. Hmm.

A quick Google search determined that the evil pushers at the Coca-Cola Company have discontinued my beloved fix. I am still a little in shock. I may never taste perfection again.

Except that in 2006 they'll be debuting Black Cherry Vanilla Diet Coke. Maybe I'll live.

Sunday, December 11, 2005

does nokia know about this?

We have a fabric Nativity set that my sister-in-law made for the girls. The main attraction is that the Baby Jesus is removable from the manger. After dinner this evening, Bebe came into the kitchen, clutching the replica of the newborn Messiah to her ear.

"Baby Jesus is my cellphone!"

I couldn't stop laughing to ask what his ringtone is.

doin' da butt

"Hey, Charlotte! Guess what?"
"Chicken butt!"


"Guess what?"
"Duck butt!"


"Cha, guess what?"
"Snake butt!"
"Mama. Snakes do not have butts. Snakes only have tails!"


"Mama! Mama! Guess what?"
"Charlotte butt!"

(Child pulls down her pants and wiggles her backside. We're oh, so very sophisticated around here.)

Saturday, December 10, 2005

popular -- in a good way

When I went to the girls' parent-teacher conferences, Bebe's teacher asked me if I had any concerns. I asked if she had friends; if she got along with the other kids. I said I often watched the girls when they dropped their backpacks off at the classrooms and Beebs would just stand there, looking a little sad and lonely and it worried me a bit. Her teacher laughed and said, "Oh, Elizabeth is very popular. All her classmates like her, she's helpful, and she makes them laugh. Yeah, she's really popular with the other kids."

Now, as someone who was most decidedly not popular, I am both comforted and concerned. I knew kids growing up who were popular and kind of mean and nasty. And I don't want my kids to be that kind of popular. But the teacher's comments lead me to believe that maybe Bebe will be popular in a good way -- liked and also kind and open to all kids. I hope she'll be like a classmate of mine -- Laura Sass.

(I'm putting her name here because maybe she'll Google herself and see that I thought she was neat-o. Heh.)

I went all through school with Laura. She was pretty, with long blonde hair and blue eyes and freckles across her nose. I was so enamored of those freckles that I tried to give myself some with my mom's eyebrow pencil. As we went through school, she always invited me to her slumber parties -- I felt like the odd person out, but she was so kind and friendly to me when lots of kids weren't. In high school, she was a cheerleader and had a completely different circle of friends from me.

But one day, I saw her do something that I thought was terribly sweet. The cheerleaders would make up these mascot things, one for each player and they'd tape them to the wall in the lobby on Friday before the football games. Before the first class, girlfriends of the players would take the ones for their boyfriends and put them in their lockers (the girlfriends' lockers, that is). Girls who liked certain players would take down the ones of the boys they liked. Of course, there were always players whose mascots would be left on the wall -- no one wanted them. I came late to school one morning and saw Laura taking down the leftover decorations. As I was signing in at attendance, I watched her walk to her locker and stick them inside the door to display them. She could have thrown them away. But, instead, she displayed them as if those boys were worthy and deserving. Which, of course, they were and she recognized that. That one small act by a very well-liked and popular girl has stuck with me.

So, I hope that my Elizabeth, if she continues to be popular, can handle that with as much grace and charm as Laura. There should be no shame in being well-liked. Especially if you deserve to be.

Friday, December 09, 2005

a mysterious plot.

Last night, Archie picked up a little notepad left on the floor. He read the writing and said, "Oh my God! What in the hell is this?" He seemed genuinely upset. He handed me the pad and written on the first page was the following:

Prtend to be dead. Ues handcuffs. Distact him.

(Translation: Pretend to be dead. Use handcuffs. Distract him.)

Archie was freaked out and concerned about what this could possibly mean and why a 6 year old would write it. I joked that he was so worried because it was obviously about him -- what with Archie being the only male in the house. I was unconcerned because the list was obviously not referring to me. "Been nice knowing you, honey. Sorry one of the girls is out to get you."

Being a dad, Archie did take the time to note that there were only 3 spelling errors.

This morning, I asked the big girls which of them had written the list and what it meant. Louisa 'fessed up that it was her handiwork and it described ways to get Lance. Lance is the current focus of that time-honored playground obsession of chasing a member of the opposite sex. So, she could play dead and lure him close to her so she could "get" him. (I believe "get" means grabbing him and squealing in his face.) Or she could use handcuffs (although I don't know where she's gonna get those). Or she could distract him and then pounce.

Don't be fooled, Lance! Run like the wind!

Thursday, December 08, 2005

my mother is a genius.

When you get married, people love to give you advice about how to have a successful relationship. The most popular one is, "Never go to bed angry."

The night before the Big Day, I mentioned this bit of wisdom to my mother. She laughed. "Kate, a good night's sleep trumps everything. A fight'll keep. Brush your teeth and get some rest, I say."

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

why do i remember this?

When I was in college, I had two friends I goofed around with -- Joe and Milo. (Milo wasn't his real name. I just called him that because he looked like the illustration of Milo in "The Phantom Tollbooth".) Both were from the suburbs of Chicago and they were smart and funny. Joe was the next to youngest in an Italian-American family with 9 kids. Milo was the third in an Irish-American family of 4. They had a lot in common, including a love for the Cubs and an obsession with The Who.

We were in the dining hall one night in the first week of school. Everyone was eating spaghetti. We were all chatting and suddenly, Joe laid down his fork and spoon and said, "What in the hell are you doing?" Milo looked around and said, "Are you talking to me?" "Yeah. What are you doing?"

Milo looked down at his plate. "I'm cutting my spaghetti."

Joe looked as though he would have a stroke. "Why would you do that? Don't you know that cutting the noodles changes their molecular structure? You are messing up your food on an atomic level!"

Milo looked unconcerned. "Yeah. But it's easier to eat if I cut it up."

Joe shook his head. "You can never come for dinner at my folks' house. My mom and dad would kill you."

Saturday, December 03, 2005


This morning we took the girls to the Christmas party at Archie's work. They had a blast -- cookies and Goldfish crackers (red and green!) and juice. A craft. Pictures with Santa. Plus, the twins were ecstatic to see their new friend (the daughter of Archie's colleague). The party was winding down right about lunch, so we invited the other family to have luch with us at a local restaurant. That went swimmingly. Charlotte got a bit squirrely after she finished eating, so she and I beat feet to the car where we listened to some tunes on the iPod (hooked into the car radio). She fell asleep. Archie came out with the big girls about 15 minutes later and by the time we got home all the girlies were snoozing.

We had dinner and got ready for slumber party night. The feature presentation was "Babe". About halfway through the movie, the girls were goofing around and I heard a thud and then a scream. Lulu had pushed ChaCha, who hit the floor and bit into her lip. As I picked her up, blood splattered on the floor. I hustled her into the kitchen and hissed at Lou to sit on the living room couch. She had bitten up her bottom lip (I thought at first glance that we'd have to make a trip to the emergency room for stitches). Once she'd had some Motrin and Archie and I wiped up the blood on her face and hands (and everyone admired the gore on my sweatshirt), things looked a little better. But, ow. Poor baby. She passed out on the family room floor shortly after sitting on my lap and saying, so very sadly, "Louisa pushed me and I bit my lip and it was bloody. It was terrible, Mama!"

I guess we had a little more rodeo than slug around these parts, today.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

i wish i had plumbing knowledge.

We got our first quote to fix the plumbing problem and it was $7K. We got our second quote today -- a smidge over $3K. Is the first one what it will cost and the second guy is just a loser? Or is the first guy scamming us for lots of extra cash and the second plumber an ethical operator who is making a small profit, but not trying to gouge us?

Who knows. We're getting another estimate or two and then probably going with the cheapest. And then we will all pray that the plumbing never does this again.

rain, rain, go away.

But it won't go away. The rain, that is. It is now officially winter because the rain is here to stay. I hate winter in California. It just doesn't feel very winter-y. I crave snow and actual, real cold.

In other news, I have been called a bad mother by my kids. One of their friends had a birthday party on Sunday and guess who forgot? That would be me. And every day I've been reminded that we forgot Nikki's birthday and we didn't get to go to the party and oh, the sadness. The misery.

Bebe and Lulu have become real readers. This makes me so happy. A few weeks ago, we bought the latest Lemony Snicket book and Lou was wondering if she could possibly read the series. I thought the sentence structure alone was too complex for a six year old -- all the rambling and description. But I said she could try. And she started with the first book. I would occasionally ask her what was going on, plotwise, and she could tell me. Also, she would giggle and come to me to point out a joke. I was very impressed. She's on the fourth book and Bebe has started the first one. All the girls go to bed at the same time (and share a room), but I'm letting the big girls read in bed for a bit after smooches and squeezes. They love it. Santa's bringing some book lights, I think. Lou is borrowing Archie's and Elizabee stretches out by the door and reads by the hallway light. I think they'll be thrilled to have their own reading lights.

Thursday, November 24, 2005

best thanksgiving quote of 2005.

Archie's friend brought a turkey deep-fryer. We were all in the kitchen, watching him inject a seasoning mixture under the turkey skin with this large syringe-like thing. Charlotte said, "Mama, why is the man hurting our

gobble, gobble

Happy Thanksgiving to all and sundry. I hope everyone who celebrates is having a fantastic meal with family and/or friends and enjoying the day.

I am very, very thankful for plumbers who work on Thanksgiving since our pipes backed up late last night. What is with our plumbing and major holidays? But, guests are expected any moment and we have toilets that work and I got a shower so I didn't have to offend anyone. Yay!

We're deep frying the turkey this year. Archie baked all the pies last night. There's just some last minute things like making mashed potatoes and gravy, heating up the scalloped corn, and opening up the can-berry. (That's not a typo -- you know the cranberry gelatin stuff that you get in the can? Archie must have it on the table -- in the can shape. Can-berry. Heh.)

Well, it's almost time to kick off the holiday season. Gobble, gobble.

Sunday, November 20, 2005


Mondegreens are messed up song lyrics. Like "Jose did you see?" for the start of the US national anthem. With little kids you get a lot of these.

Today, we were at the schoolyard and ChaCha had a great one. There's this TV show called "Peep" about a chicken (Peep), a bird (Chirp), and a duck (Quack). It's an animated thing that is really funny and cute and deals with themes for preschoolers about science. The theme song starts, "Let's look around/What will we see/'Round every corner a discovery/Who-o-oah/There's no place I'd rather be". Bebe used to sing, "'Round every corner is a submarine". That was funny. But today, Cha was singing, "There's no place I'd rather pee!" Ah, a song about toileting. Who knew?

In happy news, Archie found an alternate ESPN channel which was showing the OSU game yesterday. This made the girls very unhappy, though, as I'm a little too involved when I watch sports. Every time there's a great play (or a horrible play or a great play for the other team), I scream or moan or whatever. And it always startles the kids. I like to think I'm just getting back at them for all the screaming and yelling they have subjected me to. Heh. But the Buckeyes beat that team up north very dramatically at the end of the fourth quarter, so I'm a very happy girl. I love you, Troy Smith.

Friday, November 18, 2005

correction: super proud.

We left the award ceremony early because, even though ChaCha is much better behaved, almost an hour of sitting relatively still was about her limit. So we left right after they finished with the first graders.

Well, the science teacher gave out "Outstanding Scientist" awards and Bebe and Lulu got those, too.

In non-related news, I am royally pissed that our local ABC affiliate seems to think they don't need to air the Ohio State v Michigan game. Being a Buckeye fan and living in California bites. If I have to keep refreshing ESPN, I may have to kill myself. My poor mother may be relating the game to me over the phone.

i'm a proud mom.

Today was the academic award ceremony at the twins' school. The awards are for perfect attendance, organization, and outstanding citizenship. Louisa and Elizabeth both earned all three. There were several kids in Lou's class who got all three. But Bebe was the only child in her class to get all the awards.

Beebs was completely goofy and was all wiggly and silly. (Also, when her name was first called, the other kids in her class all cheered, which was cute.) Lulu was all business and seemed very surprised to get each certificate.

I'm really very proud of them and how hard they're both working.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

the less than perfect halloween.

Our post-trick or treat pictures will be a joy for years to come. Lulu was in tears because she wanted to come home about five minutes after Archie took them out. And, her stupid costume shoes gave her two blisters, so there was a pain factor going on. Cha wanted the flashlight and then refused to join in the photo session. Beebs was very happy and chatty and posed fetchingly, though. Memo for next year: Take photos before leaving the house!

Everything was great about five minutes later when they got to dig in to the loot. Plus, as some late beggars came calling, Lou was thrilled to help pass out some candy. Then, because we are terrible parents, the girls settled in with their daddy to watch the Simpsons Treehouse of Horror.

The best thing was after the girls were passed out from excitement and sugar (I did make them brush their teeth and wash their faces -- we do have a thin veneer of civilization coating our savageness), Archie answered the door to see not one, but two Darth Vaders. He said, "I'm terribly sorry, but I don't give candy to a Sith Lord!" Well, we thought it was amusing; the little Darths didn't even wheeze out a laugh.

Monday, October 31, 2005

happy halloween!

Ooo, spooky! Scary!

We carved our pumpkins yesterday afternoon. When did my kids get all prissy about pumpkin guts? Since last Halloween, apparently. ChaCha got her pumpkin a few weeks ago when her preschool class went to the pumpkin patch and it's kind of small. So we made a makeshift Plankton out of it, with one eye. She fussed because he doesn't have an eyebrow or antennae. So, next year we'll get a taller pumpkin and kit it out with MacGuyvered clothes hangers, I guess.

Someone donated a truckload of pumpkins to the elementary school and each of the kids up to third grade got a free one. I received a phone call Friday before lunch and Lou asked if I'd bring a stroller because she had a big pumpkin. Bebe had a good sized one which I had to carry all the way home. Lulu's was enormous! I had to jam it into the umbrella stroller and I made Lulu push it home. They will look very cute all lit up tonight.

Why do I have boring, girly girls? The twins are princesses -- gone is the Halloween when Elizabeth was the cutest Sully monster in all the land. Charlotte is Minnie Mouse. I swear, we should just give all of our disposable income to Disney. Next year I'm going to make them be ghosts or something. Well, if I can get motivated to actually create a costume. There are benefits to being a whore to the Empire of the Mouse for parents, too, I guess.

And I'm betting I won't use "pumpkin" in a sentence again until next Halloween!

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

twenty random facts about me.

1. I am the only girl in my family -- I have four brothers.
2. I breastfed twins for 18 months. I think I deserve a medal.
3. Even though I've given birth to three children, I have never felt a painful contraction. Don't hate me -- recovering from a c-section is more than a little painful.
4. I met my husband online. We both posted on a music BB on Prodigy -- the strip mall of online services! (I don't know why they didn't think that would be a good slogan.)
5. I play the viola.
6. I only have 24 teeth. I have very large teeth and a small mouth and I had a lot pulled so the remaining teeth would fit.
7. I got glasses when I was 10 months old. You people who complain about getting glasses in elementary school are poseurs!
8. I have had four surgeries and threw up on my mom after three of them. Sorry, Mom.
9. My favorite comfort food is chip beef gravy. Shut up.
10. I broke a kid's nose with my viola case. I'm hard -- don't mess with me.
11. I was a nanny for over five years.
12. I had a powder blue, 1965, Ford Galaxie 500 convertible. It came off the line the week I was born. It was my car twin, I guess. I loved that car.
13. My first date was to see "The Muppet Movie". Yes, I'm old.
14. I adore reality TV. I will harm you if you try to come between me and "America's Next Top Model", "The Amazing Race", or whatever the reality show of the moment is. I am even watching "My Fair Brady". I may need an intervention.
15. I'm a Cubs fan. This has been a character-building experience for me.
16. I have an English degree and a teaching credential. The earning potential there is dizzying.
17. I wore Doc Martens at my wedding reception.
18. I talk in my sleep.
19. I can start a fire with my glasses. And I've done it -- it was a big hit when I was a kid and went to camp. Sometimes being far-sighted is an asset, I guess.
20. We moved into our house in January 2001. Most of my books are still in boxes in the garage.

Thanks, jenijen, that was fun. I have no one to tap, however. Oh, well. Life will go on.

lulu joins the club.

Louisa lost her first tooth! She apparently did not fully believe in the Tooth Fairy, because this morning she said, upon finding money on the saucer, "Wow! The Tooth Fairy is really real!"

five songs...

...I know all the words to:

"American Pie"
"Baby Mine"
"Rock Lobster"
"The Battle of New Orleans"

And, because it kills my husband (in a good way, I think) I know every lyric to Pink Floyd's "The Wall". Not the song -- the entire album. Right after we were married, Archie put on the CD of the Berlin Wall performance. I was folding laundry and singing along. We were about halfway through, when Archie paused the CD and asked, "Do you know all the words? To the entire thing?"

"Yeah. Duh!"

"Kate, why? Pink Floyd is such a guy thing!"

"Remember, I have four brothers. And most of my friends in college were guys. I think I heard this album, conservatively estimated, once a day for about six years. Also, lots of The Who. But some song or another from this was always being played within my hearing about every day."

"Do you like it?"

"Well, like probably every 14 or 15 year old, I thought it was brilliant and speaking just to me -- an ordinary, well-adjusted teenage girl in Ohio. By the time I was 18 or 19, while I still appreciated the music and lyrics and performances of a lot of the songs, it began to seem like the biggest extended whine in all of rock music. Especially when I realized that Waters was a grown man in his 30s when he composed it. Jesus Christ, dude! Grow up and stop spitting in fans' faces and try to move on."

For the next week or so, Archie told all of his friends about how I knew all the lyrics to "The Wall". Every guy was shocked. I found it all amusing.

Monday, October 10, 2005

insane squirrel explained.

The Sun (so take this with a huge grain of salt) is reporting that squirrels are finding hidden stashes of crack and behaving strangely.

And, of course, you know where I immediately went with this information. We had a crackhead squirrel last week!

All is explained.

note to jenijen:

Was it enough fun for all the mothers? It was a huge burden, but I think I may have been up to the task!

my beautiful weekend.

This was not my beautiful life -- but it was my beautiful weekend.

We left Friday night after dinner. We joked that the scenery was beautiful -- what a shame that we couldn't, you know, see it, in the dark.

Our hotel in Calistoga was very 60s and retro. The room was clean and a strange mishmash -- cinder block wall, wooden beam ceiling, wallpaper with a watermark imprint over a stripe pattern. But look -- a double bed just for me with eight pillows!

I woke up at 8am. While this may sound early, keep in mind that I'm usually up by 5.30 or 6am and have to jump right in fixing breakfast. I had a shower all. by. myself. We had a nice breakfast at a little cafe and then programmed the GPS in the BMW (it's nice to have a friend with a fabu DINK lifestyle -- and is everyone else loving all the acronyms? I love the acronyms!) and proceeded to a few Napa wineries. Hey -- everyone should ocassionally start drinking at 10am! Cuvaison had a very adorable twentysomething redhead boy pouring and I had to bite my tongue to not ask him to wait a couple decades and then marry MY redhead. So I could guarantee ginger grandchildren. Heh. Very nice, huge cabarnet. On to Twomey. ("How did you find us?" "Your sign. We wondered if it was 'Too-me' or 'Twu-may'?" "It's 'Too-me' and that was some money well-spent!") A superfine pinot which I had to buy -- $40 be damned. I'm thinking of inviting my friend and her lovely husband for a meal of duck and jasmine rice and drinking that. So good.

Back to Calistoga to get ready for spa experience. Amy said we only could arrange a 30 minute massage at our hotel's spa, so before we went down, she called another hotel down the street and got us both in for an hour massage there. No, you can't have her. At our first place, we had a mineral bath, a steam, a blanket wrap, and massages. The treatment room with the mineral and mud baths was very stinky. And the mud was scary and we congratulated ourselves on not going that route. While the steam room was very ultilitarian it was still a steam room and we had a great time sweating and chatting. More of life should be spent naked and sweating, I think. The blanket wrap bed was very uncomfortable and made the massage a must. Heh. I was non-commital about the native American chanting music, but my masseuse was quite good and she worked out some heavy-duty stress from my shoulders and my ass. (Who knew my ass was full of stress? But it was!) Then we had to walk back through the smelly treatment room to shower. Not a great layout. But overall, I was pleased.

We had a light lunch at another cafe -- I had a mixed green salad with plum vinagrette, delicious tiny tomatoes, plum pieces, and lightly toasted brioche croutons with a smidge of goat cheese. Amy had a lobster bisque that she said was quite tasty. On to the second round of massage!

This spa had a very fancypants atmosphere -- all beige and white and candles and classical music. (More spas should have soothing classical music -- I have decreed it.) It was very resort-y in feel. We compared notes afterwards and I was just OK about that massage -- the masseuse bent my legs in a weird, semi-painful way and I think she ruptured my kidney at one point. Amy said her masseur had gigantic hands and kept telling her she should pretend to be dead but not stiff on the table. And that he made her ass hurt. So, our conclusions were that the first place had no atmosphere but better, although short, massages while we loved the resort feel of the second place but disliked the massages. It was stinky vs painful. Can we complain about anything? Apparently, yes.

Totals? Two meals, two wine tastings, two massages, three showers. We were very clean and mostly relaxed and pampered. Then we went to Sterling Winery, rode a tram up a mountain, and had a breathtaking view of the Valley. And bonus -- the wines were quite nice. I'd had a Sterling pinot at an anniversary dinner a lifetime ago and they had a special -- 3 bottles for $45. Very smooth and drinkable and not super-expensive. Give me the 3 pack, please.

We went to get ready for dinner. On the way, I picked up presents for the girls. I almost went too crazy and got them music boxes which were very sweet but very expensive. Then I saw the necklaces. Little resin insects on pretty cords. (Not realistic insects. Although that could have been very cool.) Bebe got a bee, Lulu got a ladybug, and ChaCha got a butterfly. And they loved them when I handed them out. I hit the gift jackpot with those.

Dinner was the highlight. The restaurant was amber lighting, had a ginormous bar, with lots of wood and leather. The place was hopping -- lots and lots of people. The reason became apparent -- the food is absolutely divine. We split an appetizer -- a baked polenta cake with cheese, herbs, and mushrooms with a reduced burgundy sauce. The cake was light and fluffy without any grain-y-ness and we both confessed that we could have happily licked the plate. (We were only semi-barbaric and sopped up the remaining sauce with some bread.) Amy had a hanger steak with more of the polenta as a side and I had rabbit (all off the bone and like a thick stew with mushrooms) with a risotto cake. It was crispy on the outside and smooth and creamy inside and was fabulous with the rabbit.

As we were finishing our main courses, Amy said, "You know what the perfect dessert would be? Warm chocolate cake!" Oh, yes please. We were hoping something like that was available. Our French waiter asked us if we wanted dessert? Um, hell yeah. He said they had ice cream, sorbet, poached pears. Oh, and if we could wait about 15 minutes, the kitchen could make up a warm (check), chocolate (oh pleasepleaseplease) souffle (dingdingDING!). Amy and I both started touching our noses. This confused our waiter. "Why are you touching your noses? What does that mean? Would you ladies care to share one?" "Oh, NO! Two, please!" "Of course, very, very good."

About 15 minutes later, two warm, chocolate souffles (with coffee ice cream) were placed before us. "Are you going to touch your noses again?" Heh. No, we are going to stuff our faces. Angels sang, Jesus wept, and we moaned. Perfection.

Stuffed, we rolled back to our room, read a little, and were asleep before nine. We were exhausted and full and I needed every one of those pillows!

Sunday morning we were on the road by about 10. We stopped at my favorite winery -- V Sattui. I needed a gamay rouge and their amazing champagne. (They now have a gamay rouge champagne and I may have to order some online later.) Seriously, I highly recommend both of these wines. We're going to drink our champagne for New Year's and the gamay is already gone. Heh. It's like summer in a bottle -- light and smooth and just a hint of sweetness. It's perfect with a light summer meal. And a glass after when you bathe the kids you haven't seen in two days.

I haven't been to Napa since right before the twins were born. So, imagine my surprise to see a Dean & DeLuca right across the street! It's good that there isn't one too close. I could easily bankrupt us. Pretty packages.

We hit Freakmont a little after noon. My 40th birthday was six months ago, but this weekend was fantastic. And I was reminded how close and fun wine country can be. I think Archie and I may go for an overnight stay when my brother comes out for the holidays. We'll need some more wine by then, for sure.

Sunday, October 09, 2005

i'm back -- now completely relaxed.

This weekend was the best. I will write more about it later. Fantastic.

Thursday, October 06, 2005

i know it's wrong...

...but I really, really want to take the kids to get ice cream and call it dinner. Because I'm tired and have a yucky cold and I had to take a precious hour out of the six allotted to me per week without kids to drive my husband to work (hear me whiiiiiine).

I'm really glad it's Thursday. This is the last night of homework for the week and I am really starting to hate supervising homework. Especially when my nose is running and I have a headache and I'm just dragging, the last thing I want to do is listen to two kids complain about doing a couple of math problems and a word search.

Tomorrow, a friend is coming over for dinner and them I'm blowing this popstand to go to Napa and do spa activities, hit a wine tasting, maybe do a bit of window shopping, and relax without small people who don't give a damn about the state of my health.

I just hope they don't tie up their father and burn down the house while I'm gone. That would be a bummer.


Yesterday was all excitement. We went to the dreaded Disney Store and purchased Halloween costumes. Bebe is Jasmine, Lulu is Belle, and ChaCha is the cutest Minnie Mouse. I foresee wearing these costumes every day until Halloween. Oh, yeah, and we picked up a DVD of "Cinderella" because we are slaves to the Empire of the Mouse.

Elizabee lost her first top front tooth. After rinsing and rinsing and rinsing to stop the bleeding, her first activity was to say some "s" words -- you know, like Chrithmath, Louitha, and Thanta Clauth. Very cute. When the neighboring tooth comes out, the new lisp will be even more pronounced. We'll have to start working on a rendition of "All I Want for Christmas (Is My Two Front Teeth)". And, for the record, the Tooth Fairy was a little short on quarters, so Beebs got a Sacajawea dollar and a quarter and one of the new nickels. The new nickel was a huge success. Take note, other Tooth Fairies.

Also, yesterday was picture day. So Bebe's new toothless smile will be recorded for all time. Hee.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

one year ago.

Well, it was pretty much the same as now, except with added diaper changes because Charlotte wasn't toilet trained yet. The big girlies were in kindergarten. I was initially a little anxious and concerned -- but then we fell in love with the kindergarten teacher and fears are always quieted when the teacher tells you what fantastic kids you have. Heh. You love my kids? You are my new best friend.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

silly lulu.

Louisa just informed me that pandas eat up to ten hours a day. I replied, "Wow. I guess that's why a panda has never won a Nobel Prize in physics."

And because she's whipsmart and a total goofball, she laughed and said, "Because they don't have any time to study and work, right? Because they're eating all the time!"

Sunday, October 02, 2005

the whereabouts of the fish.

The other day, I was reading "How the Grinch Stole Christmas" to ChaCha. I know, I know, but it's a year-round favorite in our home. Anyway, I've probably read this to the girls several hundred times (and by "read" I mean "recite from memory"). Cha pointed out in one of the illustrations that the Grinch took a fish. I had never noticed the fish before. A few pages on, the fish had its head sticking out of a bag on the Grinch's sled.

We had a fun time making up stories about the fish. Where did it end up? Did it join in with the Who Christmas sing? Was it a course in the Who feast as a counterpoint to the roast beast? What happened to the fish?

Inquiring minds want to know.

five years ago.

2000. The twins were about 15 months old and we were living in a smallish two bedroom apartment in East Palo Alto. They were sleeping through the night, both had been walking for months, and Archie had left WebTV and joined another start up. We were looking for a house. (A fortuitous stock sale was the down payment.)

The house search was a nightmare. In our (admittedly insane for the rest of the world) price range, I saw houses that needed to be scrapped. Design and decorating nightmares. (Let us never speak of the house that will forever be known as the NASCAR house -- it started with the mailbox painted in black and white checks and extended to the bathrooms that were tiled in psychedelic colors that apparently were racing colors for specific drivers. The horror!) When we extended our search to the East Bay, we started to see much better options and found this house by the end of the year. And there was much rejoicing until we realized just how much money we were paying for a 50s ranch house. Ugh.

We also discovered that our real estate agent was an alcoholic and there were many strange phone conversations. If we ever buy another house, I'm insisting on a drug and alcohol screen. Because I don't ever want to have anything approaching those conversations again.

Saturday, October 01, 2005

ten years ago.

So there's a little survey going around, and I thought I'd take one question per day. Yeah, I'm lazy and time-strapped.

1995. Archie and I were coming up on our second anniversary. We were living in Phoenix, where I had somehow adjusted to the insane heat. And Archie was preparing to move to the Bay Area for a job that one of his best friends had arranged an interview for. I was stressing about being responsible for packing up everything so that Archie could come back and we could move all the possessions and me to California in a few months.

We were sad because we couldn't take our dog, Oliver. So I was trying to find a home for him. I was terrified to move to California after it had taken quite a while for me to feel comfortable and more at home in Arizona. I had a decent job and was making the most money I'd ever made in my life. But the salary for the new position was more than double both our salaries. (Little did we know that double our salaries was not that great for the area. But that was later.)

I was 30 and wondering when we were going to start a family. I knew it wouldn't be too soon, with a new job and a move and all of that. So I was basically sad and stressed.

I had no idea that we were on the very cusp of a new life and adventure.


Tomorrow: Five years ago. (And maybe some talk of my evening out. Ooo, the excitement! Ooo, the glamour!)

Friday, September 30, 2005

you never know what will impress them.

We're watching Cartoon Network -- because I am having a hormonal time right now and I can't face doing anything but staring at the TV or the computer -- and this song starts to play:

I sing the body electric
I celebrate the me yet to come

Since I am a huge dorky dork, I start singing because I watched "Fame" about 300 times, listened to the soundtrack LP (oh, yeah people, I'm so old I had vinyl!) once a day for two years, and even watched the TV series.

My children take notice of me for the first time this afternoon (other than to ask me for food, bathroom assistance, or to change the channel). "You know this song?" I nod my head as I continue to sing along. "That's so cool, Mama. You know the cartoon song!"

Go, me.

"steinbrenner creates a partial vacuum with his mouth!"

You know, he sucks. Which is what the Yankee faithful chanted in 1982, when former Yankee hero Reggie Jackson smashed a home run after the Yanks let him go to the opposing California Angels. "Sucks" was too risque to print in Sports Illustrated, so they rephrased it for publication.

Now, over 20 years later, the Red Sox organization is asking fans to turn inside out shirts that say, "Yankees Suck!" Which I have no problem with -- private business and all that. But it's interesting that the word still is seen as sexually vulgar.

I remember saying, "That sucks!" ages ago and my mom busting out my first and middle name to show her disapproval. (All three of my names were hissed when I was 18 and let loose the F-bomb in her presence.) I think I was 13 or 14 and I really didn't know why it was supposed to be so awful. To me, now, it seems like it has been cleared of all the sexual connotations and just means something really, really stinks. (Like the Yankees.)

I have been known to refer to the sexual meaning by embellishment, however. I said, "That sucks like Monica Lewinsky!" for a while. That's making a definite sexual reference, to me. Probably somewhere in between inoffensive and offensive is, "That sucks like a Hoover!" Although I might have to change that to "Dyson" in this day and age.

Thursday, September 29, 2005

more squirrel!

When I went outside to go collect ChaCha from preschool, the crazy-ass squirrel was still on our porch, scrambling on the support post. I told Cha we had a nutty (ha!) squirrel and we wondered if it would still be there. It was! We could see the bushy tail from the driveway. We walked up and the damn thing just climbed to the top of the post and then seemed stuck. He wouldn't climb down, either.

We went inside and I told Archie that it was still there. We looked at it through the stained glass in the front door and then Archie went out on the porch to take a look. The squirrel freaked out and fell onto the sidewalk. Archie said, "Hey, little squirrel! Are you OK?" The thing ran across our front yard and bumped into the fence. Archie said, "Why am I talking to a squirrel?"

We watched it run down the sidewalk away from our house. Maybe it was brain-damaged. I don't know what the deal was, but I'm glad it's not on our porch anymore. I was kind of afraid it would jump on me -- and its claws looked kind of dangerous.

"i meant to do that!"

I was just unlocking the front door to come inside and something fell off the roof and into the flowerbed by the front steps. And then there was scritching and the plant started to move around. I flattened myself against the door, a little freaked out.

A squirrel jumped out of the flowerbed and onto the support post and scurried halfway up. It stopped and stared at me. Then it scampered up onto the roof.

A squirrel fell off the roof. Maybe it was out all night drinking. Or its name is Pee Wee.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

you have to be tough to be the mom.

Bedtime tonight was not a very fun time. The girls are too big to dump them all in the tub together, so the twins each take a shower and Cha takes a bath. And I have to supervise the showers or there would be lots of shampoo left in hair and two little someones would forget to wash their ears and I don't want to have to register my kids as potato fields. So, bathtime is not the fairly relaxed time it has been previously.

After the scrubbings, it was on to combing the hair. All the girls have bobs that are ear-length, so that's not too bad, but they all were energized from the washing and were going a little crazy. Finally, everyone was clean and combed and dressed for bed. Bebe and Lulu were drawing and being silly and ChaCha was playing with one of those popcorn popper toys -- they have a handle that ends on a bubble with popping beads and wheels so you can push it around and make a lot of noise and drive your parents nuts.

Except Cha was swinging the damn thing around. I think I've told all the girls to cease swinging various toys about, oh, six billion times. And you know where this is going, right? The thing connected -- hard -- with my lip. I cursed because, fucking hell, that hurt. Archie took the popper and raised his voice to Charlotte. She started to cry.

And I'm clutching my lip and trying to comfort the sobbing three year old.

I guess no one ever said it would be fun all the time.

my drug of choice.

Diet Vanilla Coke. I'm seriously considering buying it from Price Club in bulk. Coffee would serve my needs as well, but I'm too spacy in the morning to work the coffee maker. So, I stumble to the fridge and grab a can and down some life-giving caffeine.

I know it's bad when the kids try to sneak a sip, and if the can is empty, they go to get me a full one. Because they know I'll drink another one. Oh, yes, I will.

Not being able to have caffeinated beverages was one of the worst things about being pregnant (especially the second time). I couldn't completely give up caffeine -- I still had chocolate because not having chocolate would have been insane. But there was much rejoicing when I could ingest caffeine again.

Mmmm. I think it's time for my lunch pick-me-up. Pardon me while I go get my fix.

Monday, September 26, 2005

monday morning thoughts.

Today has started off very well. I was awake and ungrouchy about 20 minutes before there were any stirrings from the kids. I cracked open a Diet Vanilla Coke (shut up -- I'm never awake enough to work the coffee maker) and watched a little TV news. Lulu came out, sleepy-eyed and smiling. Since I was planning on going to the grocery store, we were low on acceptable breakfast foods, so I suggested pancakes. This alone prompted Lou to jump into her clothes so she could help.

While we were geting a bowl and a spoon and the pancake mix, ChaCha pranced (I swear, the child prances like a show pony) out -- complete with fantastic bedhead. She wanted to help, too, so they helped measure and mix and I cooked up the first batch. Bebe stumbled out and asked, "What smells so good?" "Pancakes!" She was dressed in a flash. I was congratulated on my mad pancakes making skillz. That made me laugh and reminded me of Calvin Trillin and how his daughters thought he made the best cornflakes EVER. As in, not just pouring them in the bowl and splashing some milk on them, but that he was involved in the manufacturing process in some way.

I emptied Archie's wallet for the girls' lunch money and we drove over to school. Today was one of those days where I watch those two tall, grownup girls walk to their classrooms, greeting friends as they go, and I flash on a memory of them at about six months old. They were standing at our coffee table, across from each other laughing like mad. Screaming, squealing laughter. And, at the time, I remember thinking that this is why parents get all teary as their kids get older -- they still see the chubby, laughing babies, before anything has marked them.

ChaCha and I did a quick grocery run. That was marred only by the fact that I must use the SUV version of a grocery cart. You're familiar, right? It's a smallish cart with this huge area in front designed like a fire engine for the kids to sit. The thing is impossible to steer and heavy and Charlotte loves it. Oh, well, it wasn't even 9am and the store was fairly empty, so I managed. Cha helped bring in the groceries and put them away.

Archie told me I was turning into that kind of wife, stealing money from his wallet. "Yeah, except I wasn't taking it to go spend it on me -- it's so your daughters can eat lunch for the next two weeks!" "Oh, the children! It's all about the children, right?" Heh.

Still on the to-do list is some laundry, unloading the dishwasher, a little cleaning. I can't believe I cleaned the counter of doom this weekend. This probably sounds like the most boring day except it seems like a great one so far.

Excuse me. I have to go change my name to Pollyanna.

Sunday, September 25, 2005

oh, the hilarity.

The girls and I were watching a show, and the final bit of dialogue was, "Babies don't come from New Jersey! Everyone knows babies come from Philadelphia." I laughed and Lulu giggled. "That's funny, Mommy. Babies come from Philadelphia and New Jersey. And everywhere else."

I said that was right -- babies are born wherever their mommies are. Then Elizabeth asked, "How do babies get into the mommies?"

Now, I think we're open and honest in age-appropriate ways with the girls. The twins, at two, loved to tell people that Charlotte was cut out of my belly -- and they were, too! In fact, our doctor was pregnant when Cha was born and at their appointment, the girls asked her if she was going to have the baby cut out or push it out. We'd talked about eggs and sperm, but it hadn't gotten very technical -- until just tonight.

"Sweetie, remember, women have eggs and men have sperm. And when the sperm and the egg get together, it grows into a baby."

Bebe looked a little stumped. "But, how does the baby get out?"

"Out of the mommy? Well, there are two ways..."

"No. How does the baby get out of the daddy?"

"The baby doesn't come out of the daddy; the sperm comes out of the daddy."

Big sigh. "OK. How does the sperm come out of the daddy?"

In the calmest, most neutral voice I could muster, "The sperm comes out of the man's penis."

Bebe stared at me. Hard. And then she laughed. "Is that a joke, Mommy?"

"No, honey. It's no joke."

"But it is funny. Sperm comes out of the penis! That's funny!"

things you never expect to hear.

Charlotte had just used the toilet and came out into the kitchen. She was wearing a little sundress. Suddenly, a look of horror crossed over her face and she said, "Oh, no! I forgot my underpants!"

(A note to all you scary search engine users: Go away. Nothing to see here.)

cute phrase #734

Recently, ChaCha has taken to talking about the things she'll do when she's grown up. The phrase she's chosen is of her own invention, however.

"When I'm adulted, I won't ever eat green beans!"

Adulted. So cute.

Monday, September 19, 2005

chacha's new 'do.

I was taking a shower. Cha was playing in the cabinet and reordering my moisturizer and futzing around with some old toothbrushes. She was very chatty as I washed my hair. I was almost ready to get out when I realized she'd been really quiet. Not for a long time, because I don't take very long in the shower, but still, quiet.

As I grabbed a towel, I noticed she was kind of hunched over and she was giving me her sneaky look. "Whatcha doing? What do you have?" I assumed she'd squeezed out some lotion and smeared it on her arms. Or found the dental floss and unwound it. Something that was a pain, but no big deal.

She gave me her best "I'm-very-cute-and-remember-how-much-you-love-me-and-my-cuteness" look and held out a pair of nail scissors. Oh, God. I slapped my glasses on to assess the damage.

Her bangs were untouched. But there was a big piece of hair on the floor and little pieces on her neck. I took a brush and brushed out big hunks. All on one side. I think she "texurized" and took out layers on the underside. Except for one area right at her part where there's barely an inch left.

The kicker is I was going to take her to get a haircut tomorrow after preschool. I don't have the car today, so I can't get her there now. So she'll have to go to preschool with the results of her handiwork.

big weekend.

The mother of a friend of the twins asked me on Thursday if we wanted to come to a birthday party on Saturday. She apologized, but she'd forgotten to send the invitation with her daughter. I said sure, sounded like fun.

When we got home, I recalled that we'd been to a birthday party for the daughter late in the spring. Huh. The party had been great fun -- the parents are immigrants from Mexico so there was a pinata and weird (to me) Mexican candy. (Like the candy pollo asada -- a lollipop that looks like a chicken. A whole, raw chicken. Bebe assured me it didn't taste like a chicken, however.) And the food was glorious! Homemade tamales and refried beans and rice and a casserole dish full of homemade hot sauce. I called Archie that day (he was staying home with ChaCha) and said, "Dude, you should be here. Tamales. Homemade tamales!" He was appropriately envious.

Turns out, the party was for the older brother. Much, much fun. Cha got to beat on the pinata. (Archie said, "Ooo, you're angry at the pinata! Use the anger! Use the anger!") The twins just ran around with their friend and played in the bouncy house the family had rented. Arch and I ate delectable grilled carne asada and drank Coronas and chatted with other parents. We just hung out for several hours and watched the kids have a ball. When we finally came home -- about an hour past bedtime -- ChaCha shooed me out of their bedroom. "Go away, Mama. I'm tired. I need my rest!"

Sunday was very relaxing. The girls ran around and goofed off. Archie watched football and did some yardwork. He also bought Krispy Kremes and I think we all fell into a sugar coma for a brief period. As I got ready to start cooking dinner, Archie said, "Let's just get something. I mean, unless you really want to cook." You don't have to tell me twice. Go and kill some takeout, you brave hunter. Heh.

It doesn't sound like much, does it? But good food, cold beer, happy and tired kids, no cooking, Krispy Kremes, and football? The recipe for a great weekend.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

i spoke too soon.

It's courting disaster to not worry about your kids. You'd think I'd know that by now.

I was all "Charlotte is social and sweet-tempered and preschool will be a breeze." I've had to have little "talks" with the head teacher every class. First, Cha decided after snack that she wanted to go home and she screamed for half an hour. The next class, they had a circle time and were singing "Itsy Bitsy Spider" and little miss had a bit of a fit because she didn't want to sing that particular song. Today, I had to go and manhandle her to get inside from the play yard. Miss Pauline had told her several times it was time to come inside and ChaCha simply refused. (She said, "I want to be alone!" to me and I said, "You're not Greta Garbo and I'm your mom and you're going inside now.")

I seem to blank on the fact that my youngest is not only sweet and gregarious, but strong-willed. She is also very charismatic and charming and is trying to use her smile and looking up from under her lashes to get her way. Manipulator, thy name is ChaCha! At our first talk, Miss Pauline said, "Charlotte is completely different from her sisters." I tried to play up the positive of that, but she is. She seems to expect things to go her way and is not shy about demanding things she wants. Oy.

Archie and I were talking about this last night, and he said something very funny. "Charlotte may just be our Rooster." If you are familiar with David Sedaris, you know exactly what Archie was saying.

(And if you aren't familiar with Sedaris, Rooster is the nickname of his youngest brother who is kind of the oddball in the family, but the oddball with a good heart. While I have no plans to allow Cha to swear and do drugs in the house, she is spoiled rotten by her sisters and this seems to tip all the control away from us, as parents. I'm sure it's just a matter of time before she institutes a bucket of candy.)

Sunday, September 11, 2005


The girls are in bed, Archie went out to see a movie, and I went out on the deck to have a beer. The sun is barely reflecting up onto the clouds. The palest blue and the clouds are an orange-y pink. It looks like a Turner painting.

four years.

I was going to write about all the details of my day four years ago. But it really doesn't matter.

Planes flew into buildings. Two of the buildings came down. One plane was downed by its passengers so it wouldn't reach the intended target. Many people died.

It was a horrible day. And four years later, I still can't quite believe it happened. But it did. And I grieve for those who will grieve for the rest of their lives.

Four years.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

completely spoiled rant.

Considering the past week, any complaints I have are ridiculous. Yet I can still find something to complain about.

I was all excited to watch the Agassi/Blake match this evening. I set the TiVo (since the evening coverage is from 4-8pm here on the West Coast and that is dinner/bath/bedtime) and I even added the three hour buffer in case the first match of the evening went long and the men's match went more than three sets.

So, the first match went to three sets. I hunkered down and patted myself on the back for being so extra-special-very-smart to set the TiVo. (I was rooting for Andre, for the record.) And Agassi loses the first two sets. Then he comes back to take the third. Then he takes the fourth! And, because of the miracle of TiVo -- with which I have no association whatsoever -- I can fast forward through the commercials and the replays and by the end of the fourth set I'm watching in real time.

As Andre pulls ahead in the fifth set, US-fucking-A ends coverage to show a "Law & Order" repeat. The fans on the East Coast can switch to the CBS late-night coverage to catch the end of the match, but I can't do that. I have to constantly refresh ESPN and the fifth set goes to a tiebreak and ARGHHHH! Because that damned repeat is so very important. Seriously, refreshing the live score is completely unsatisfying. I know that Andre won, but I have no idea what the points looked like. How the crowd was responding. Everything is ashes and I have to wait until after the news to see the end of the match.

I am a super-whiny baby right now. Commence the mocking.

my little hypnotist.

Archie and I watch a show on BBCAmerica called "Little Britain." It's a comedy program where two guys perform a host of characters. The Chav Girl, the overeaters anonymous-type meeting, the ever-patient caregiver and his charge who is in a wheelchair but gets up and does things when the caregiver's back is turned. My favorite set pieces is the British Prime Minister (played by Anthony Stewart Head) and his completely-over-the-top assistant. Mostly because I love ASH and his perfect portrayal of world-weariness.

There is a character who's a hypnotist. Mostly, he seems to hypnotize his mother. "Look into my eyes. Look directly into my eyes. And you're under." And then he proceeds to tell his subject what to do. The joke is that he's a very bad hypnotist and his mother (and sometimes a stranger at a boot sale, say) are just going along.

ChaCha seems to think she is this character. Whenever she wants something, she'll come up to me and say, "You are getting very sleepy. Very, very sleepy. I want a cookie. Get me a cookie!"

The funny thing is she's never seen the above-mentioned show; she just seems to channel this character. And she gets just as ticked off when I refuse at some point to play along with being hypnotized.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

not a seamless transition.

When I arrrived to pick up ChaCha from preschool, there was a lot of crying and screaming when the teacher opened the door to the classroom. I couldn't hear Charlotte's unmistakable cry, so I thought all was well. I asked the lead teacher, Miss Pauline, how Cha did. She kind of frowned and said, "She screamed for half an hour. We just let her be and she calmed down after that."

When I dropped her off, she was very happy and kissed me and turned her attention to her clay masterpiece. Apparently, at snack time, she wanted me and wanted to come home and then the screaming began. Oh, and she also wanted to take off her shoes to ride the bike in the play yard and had a snit about that.

And you know what? I'm really not overly concerned. I have certainly suffered hearing loss because of extended scream-o-ramas. And I just kind of ride them out, too.

On a good note, she did make several new friends and the other teacher said ChaCha spent a lot of time trying to comfort some of the kids who cried for almost the entire class. Way to go, sweetie!

And the twins are loving first grade. They don't want me to walk them past the playground in the mornings, I'm forbidden from standing near the classroom doors at dismissal. They are such big girls.

Monday, September 05, 2005

cuteness alert.

While taking her bath, Ms. Cha was scooping up bubbles and putting them in a plastic container. She said she was breaking eggs. "What are you making with those eggs?"

"The best souffle ever!"

and then i laughed.

"Efforts by Hollywood actor Sean Penn to aid New Orleans victims stranded by Hurricane Katrina foundered badly overnight, when the boat he was piloting to launch a rescue attempt sprang a leak.

Penn had planned to rescue children waylaid by Katrina’s flood waters, but apparently forgot to plug a hole in the bottom of the vessel, which began taking water within seconds of its launch.

The actor, known for his political activism, was seen wearing what appeared to be a white flak jacket and frantically bailing water out of the sinking vessel with a red plastic cup.

With the boat loaded with members of Penn’s entourage, including a personal photographer, one bystander taunted the actor: “How are you going to get any people in that thing?""


Thank you, Sean Penn. You have given me a good laugh with your cup-bailing, motor-failing, entourage-laden boating misadventure. The above quote doesn't mention that the motor didn't work and Penn and his compatriots had to paddle the boat down the street. Probably using the cup all the way. Considering the horrible, tragic stories coming in Katrina's wake, I'll take a laugh anywhere I can get it.

Sunday, September 04, 2005

and then i cried.

I watched a piece on the news showing a woman clutching a handful of Polaroid photos. She said she'd given birth (she was still in a hospital gown) and her baby had been placed in the NICU. That's sad, right there. Then her baby was evacuated -- without the mother. She had no idea where her brand-new baby was. All she had was that handful of pictures.

Friday, September 02, 2005

two things.

I have only two things to say today, both relating to the devastation following Katrina.

1. If you've made a donation or are planning on making a donation to any agency or charity which will be aiding Katrina's survivors, please check in with your HR department and see if they are doing a matching program. It will only take you a moment or two and it may double (at least) your contribution.

2. I am greatly comforted by the promises of support and messages of sympathy from other countries. Most especially, Sri Lanka, whose president has pledged $25,000 to Katrina relief. That is genuine empathy and true generosity. I have resolved to vacation in Sri Lanka before I die.

Wednesday, August 31, 2005

school and stuff.

It's almost time to pick up Bebe and Lulu from their first day of first grade. Today has been unexpectedly upsetting. No, I'm not tearful or sobbing -- I just feel a bit off-kilter and stressed.

For kindergarten, at our elementary school, there is a stand-alone building that's fenced in and has a dedicated playground. Really, it felt much more like preschool than real school, I think. But today, all we knew was which of the 2 classrooms the girls were in. There was a list of instructions -- drop your backpack next to your class door, go to the large playground, line up when the bell rings, follow your teacher to class. No instruction about where the line will be, no teacher available to tell us if they collect lunch money for the week or do the kids need to bring money each day, nothing. I was just glad I made a mental note of some of the other kids in each of the girls' classes and then I sent them in the right direction. I also very sternly told them not to give their lunch money to any other kids. (At daycamp, Bebe would just give her extra cash to any kid who asked. Not a good thing when eating depends on that money, though.)

I'm sure everything is swell and we'll have lots of talking on the walk home. Bebe was a little concerned that her best kindergarten friends are all in Lou's class. I had to remind her that she made friends at daycamp this summer really quickly and easily. That seemed to make her feel a little better.

Homework tonight!

Saturday, August 27, 2005

losing a tooth.

By the way, Bebe lost her tooth the day after I posted about how wobbly and wiggly it was. She was brushing her teeth before bed, and it came right out.

She was very excited and we made a big production of putting the tooth on the Tooth Fairy Saucer on the kitchen counter. Then she was quick to try and get to sleep.

There was much excitement the next morning. And pictures of her brand-new, jack-o-lantern smile. She sticks her tongue in the little space a lot, which is adorable. And, every so often, she says, "Mommy, look at me!" And when I look, she smiles really big and then says, "I'm a jack-o-lantern!"

It's cute. And I'm surprised at how it also makes me a little bit sad.

threat with no teeth.

The girls had all been excused from the dinner table and were playing in their bedroom. Archie and I were finishing up. Lulu came out to the kitchen and said, "Sissy won't let me play in her fort. Make her let me play!" I replied, "I am not getting involved in this. You have to work out a solution yourselves."

Lou turned back to the hallway and yelled, "If you don't let me play, I won't play with you for a whole year!" Before I could even get my mouth open to say how that was a pretty extreme threat, Bebe called out, "You don't even know when a year ends!"

Yeah, I laughed. I'm a bad person.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

a changing smile.

Elizabee has been worrying her loose bottom tooth and it's been really wobbly for a day or so. And tonight, when all the girlies were brushing their teeth, I noticed that there was a little line of blood around that tooth -- it is just barely hanging on. I showed her in the mirror and she was all excited. Then I told her to smile at me because I wanted to see her smile before it changed. She got a little weepy.

"Mommy, I like my smile. I don't want it to change."
"Oh, sweetie! I love your smile, too! But, it has changed so much, you just don't realize it. I remember when there were no teeth at all. And then two little top ones. And then four. Until all your baby teeth were in. And soon, you'll have a jack-o-lantern smile and then your grown-up teeth will come in. I think it's kind of exciting."

She sniffled a little and then she whispered, "I just like things the way they are. I don't want everything to change."

How do you reply to that? Poor little girl. I hugged her and told her I have loved watching her grow up and change and I plan on loving all the changes she'll go through as she gets older. That seemed to console her a little. She's such a beautiful, crazy, funny girl.

Soon she'll have a new beautiful, crazy, funny smile.

Sunday, August 21, 2005

six feet under.

You know, the TV show.

I watched the pilot episode and had to talk myself into watching the next. Mostly because the creator (Alan Ball) annoys me and he annoyed me with the pilot. See, I hated "American Beauty", which he wrote, and I found some things in the first episode of "Six Feet Under" to be too annoying and cutesy. My biggest gripe was the advertisements for undertaking supplies that were interspersed throughout. Ugh. I'm sure Ball thought they were edgy and enlightening. Sorry -- they were simply stupid and irritating.

But, I figured the man couldn't possibly write and direct every episode of an ensemble drama, so I stuck around. I found every other installment of the first season quite good and engrossing -- with the exception of the season finale which (surprise!) Ball wrote and directed.

Then, well, I had a baby, and couldn't get too excited about a death every week and I gave up on the second season after a few shows. I should probably feel badly about this and get the DVDs from NetFlix. But I don't think I will.

Then I heard that the series was ending and there was some big stuff that was going to happen. Woo! And I watched the last few episodes. And, lo, they were good. Painful, but real and true -- well, as real and true as it can be with ghosts and all that.

The finale worried me. Because Ball was handling the whole thing. And, near the end, there was a scene with Nate all in white, lipsynching and I thought, "Here we go. Now it will start to suck." But it was a dream. And then the last, what, 15 minutes? Pretty wonderful. I think it might have been the perfect ending to the series.

And damn that Lauren Ambrose. They couldn't make her look old, could they? (I'm thinking the very elderly Claire was someone else.)

Saturday, August 20, 2005

referral madness.

2 people have visited because of strange searches. "Novocaine slug" was one. Which is not that strange, except what would that be? A bullet tinged with a painkiller? I'm confused.

Someone from Argentina came here from a Yahoo search for "friends episode ross pant". And how could this person pass up the number 5 hit, entitled, "naked"? I'm guessing it was almost impossible.

Forgive my ramblings about my referrals and hits. I'm sure I'll get all jaded and cynical and grossed out at some point. But right now it's all fun and silly.

(Does anyone like my silly reference to "Reefer Madness"? Hmm? No? Oh, well, I tried.)


My girls fight. They bicker. They pick at each other. They pound on each other. The twins are especially bad. I think they've been fighting since they were in the womb. Lulu's newborn picture shows her with a scowl, tiny fists clenched next to her face, and she looks a little beaten up. (I know those scratches are self-inflicted. But it amuses me to think that they fought even before they were born.)

Obviously, we would like for them to get along, and barring that, to avoid the punching. The kicking. The scratching. Lou was really awful about beating on Bebe. And Bebe would just kind of take it and wail -- she never retaliated. I remember Lulu biting Bebe's head when they were babies. Or biting Bebe's finger when it would find its way into Lou's mouth. I think the sentence I most repeated, even before it could be understood, was, "She's going to be bigger than you and she won't just take it forever. She's going to beat you up if you don't stop."

And, of course, that came to pass. Bebe became more defensive and Lou ended up with the scratches and bruises. So, we have been trying to teach them to walk away from their fights. To come and tell Archie or me when things are getting out of control. Probably all the things every other parent tries and which fail repeatedly because they're kids and they just can't be perfect all the time.

This morning, Lou and Beebs were trying to figure out which DVD to watch for slumber party night. They were doing an elimination game and it was going well. The spirit of cooperation was evident. ChaCha and I went into the bathroom to brush her teeth.

Lulu came in, all flustered. She said she and Bebe were arguing, so she just walked away. Wow. Good for you. Then Elizabee came in and complained because, essentially, Lou didn't stay to fight. They both agreed on what had happened, but I had to take Lou's side -- I felt she'd done the right thing by leaving instead of fighting.

Of course, that gave them fuel for another argument. I went into the kitchen and had a cup of coffee. Sometimes the arbiter needs a break.

Friday, August 19, 2005

fun lunch.

I was bored and wondering what I could do to make lunch a little more interesting. I pulled out the waffle iron and we made grilled cheese sandwiches that look like waffles! With tomato soup, of course. A big hit. Now we need a name. Weese sandwiches? Cheese waffles? Grilled weeffles? Maybe that's it -- grilled weeffles.

stupid phone number.

When we moved into our house, we got a new phone number. I guess I'd figured we might get some calls meant for the person who had the number before us.

Well, we started to get lots of calls. For someone named Jenna. And, the calls were kind of strange.

"Uh, hi. Is Jenna there?"
"Sorry, no, there's no one here by that name."
"Oh. Do you do private parties?"
"No. This is a private residence."
"So, you don't do bachelor parties?"
"No. Sorry. Good bye."

After a number of these calls, I came to the realization that Jenna was a stripper or something along those lines. And some of the guys who called were rude. One guy asked me how much I would charge to do a party and wouldn't let it go, so I had to hang up on him. Really not sorry about that, rude guy.

Those calls have tapered off, thankfully. Now, someone thinks our number is a fax number. I'll rush to answer and get a loud beep. And, those calls come at all hours. Maybe we should get caller ID so I can contact the loser who rings my number at 4am and gives me a heart attack.

Thursday, August 18, 2005


I think the loss of the very first baby tooth is near at hand. Bebe's bottom tooth is so wiggly I suspect a firm tug would pull it out. I would never do that, though. But it is exciting.

I get to be the tooth fairy!

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

theme songs.

I love my husband. He makes up new lyrics to songs -- especially TV theme songs. A classic in our household is:

So no one told you you were gonna feel this way
Your job's a joke, you're broke
You've got frog DNA

That's funny, right? Especially with the obligatory hand clap. Then last night, we watched "Rescue Me" and now we have the popular:

We have 3 kids
C'mon, c'mon
They're devil spawn
C'mon, c'mon
One day they will all be gone
Away, away, away

Because the kids are driving me a little bit crazy. I love them madly, but why must my baby play in the toilet? Why? When your sister sneaks a piece of your cheese, is the appropriate response to give her a sharp kick in the shin? Are tears the right way to deal with the, admittedly, frustrating process of learning to tie your shoes? (I'm purposely not putting names with the crimes. But I think we all know who the one who's playing in the toilet is. Oh, yes.)

Another random tidbit is that Louisa is fascinated with HGTV. She loves the home improvement shows. Today, she watched a show about new stuff while I cooked dinner and she came into the kitchen after the really cool ones to explain them to me. Her favorite was the heated bathtub. "So you can take extra long baths, Mommy. Isn't that fantastic?" I assured her that it was amazing. "Can we get one? Then you wouldn't have to put more hot water in the tub. Or make us get out just when we were starting to have fun. Can we? Hmmm?"


Although I do want one now.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

meta stuff.

OK, so I went and downloaded SiteMeter because I've never had a counter or referral log before. Is it bad form to ask some of you who you are? Yeah, probably. I think I know who my Australian reader is, but I've seen a few from Ohio. Which makes me smile because I'm from Ohio -- but I know they're not family because they're from a different area.

Also -- hi to my reader from Germany! Seriously, that is so cool.

For those of you who are reading, thanks. I hope the little things I post are enjoyable and amusing. Feel free to comment. Or not. Whatever, I'm fine with it.

Now I have to start cleaning my filthy house, even though I'd much rather obsessively reload my referral page. Hit me, baby. I'm so 1996, I fear.

Monday, August 15, 2005

oh, the cuteness.

All three of the girls are lying on their tummies on the deck, with their heads hanging over the driveway, watching an ant carry a teeny tiny piece of a leaf. And they're discussing it as they watch. Super cute.

three weeks to bliss.

Don't get me wrong -- I know I have a damn good life. Really. And I do enjoy hanging with the girlies. Especially since, as ChaCha said this morning, "Mama, everyone in our house uses the toilet now!" Aw, yeah. The diapers and the Pull-Ups have been replaced by underwear. My six year sentence is ended. Everyone in our house uses the toilet. Hooray!

But, to get back on topic, in three weeks, I'm getting six hours a week with no children. No little person droning on with, "MommyMommyMommyMommy," until my ears bleed. No reading "Olivia" for the millionth time. No watching "Blue's Clues" while brain cells wither and I wonder how Joe could be so stupid. Heh. Bebe and Lulu start first grade in a little over two weeks and the week after that, Ms. Cha will be starting preschool two days a week.

When the twins started preschool, I made it to the car without breaking into heaving sobs as I rested my head on the steering wheel. But I still had little Cha and I was enjoying the relative simplicity of taking care of one kid as opposed to three. When the big girls started kindergarten, I wasn't too weepy. We'd been through two years of preschool after all. I think I'm emotionally ready to watch Charlotte start off on her own. She's going to be great -- she tried to stay last week when we went to get an application! (Plus, all the teachers have known her since she was six months old. She was kind of like the class mascot.)

What will I do with six whole hours and no demands from my kids? I'm gonna start with a big, fat nap. I don't know what I'm going to do after that. I'm sure I'll think of something.

Thursday, July 14, 2005

they grow up so fast.

Yesterday, the girls and I were walking home from picking the twins up at day camp. We passed two teens -- a boy and a girl -- and ChaCha very cheerfully said, "He-wo!" The kids passed us without any acknowledgment and Cha was heartbroken. "Why didn't they say he-wo? I said he-wo." "Oh, sweetie, the girl was talking on her cellphone and they are contemplating their teenagerness."

Bebe said, "Teenagers like to talk on cellphones and listen to iPods and go to concerts. They also like to hang out with their teenager friends and complain."

To keep from laughing, I asked, "How do you know so much about teenagers, Beeb?"

"I just do. I'm going to be one one day, you know."

I think she might be one now, except for having all her baby teeth and being five. And the lack of teenager friends and electronics.

Thursday, June 30, 2005

rumors of my demise are highly exaggerated.

Seriously, I still eat and breathe and sleep and all the rest. I just took a nice, long time to enjoy my family and, well, basically laze around. Is that so wrong? I feel like I should be ashamed, but sometimes taking a little time to just be lazy and relaxed seems like the thing to do.

I can't believe it's already summer. The twins are in a summer day camp program at their school. This has been the first week and they are appropriately grumpy and foul when they come home. I know they will even out and be a lot more pleasant as they get used to the new schedule, but man, oh man, the first week or so is hard hard hard.

ChaCha continues to delight everyone. She now walks up to other parents and introduces herself, "Hi! I'm Charwotte! Please to meet you." And she even extends her hand to shake. She also has the small talk thing down. Her favorite topics are her age, her conversational companion's clothing choices, and what she ate for her last meal. Is it wrong to envy your own child's social skills? But I do -- she's a pro at it and I marvel at how easy and natural it is for her. Our little social butterfly.

Bebe is becoming a really great reader. She is happiest to have a book and read it to herself or her baby sister. That's really cute. "Hey, Charlotte? You want me to read this book to you? Huh?" And Our Lou is so very, very Lulu. She has more energy than the Energizer Bunny. She goes all day long. She wears me out.

Well, maybe I'll have a little more to say and more time to say it. That would be novel.

Sunday, February 06, 2005

super duper bowl sunday

SpongeBob is on. The girlies are all goofing off and we're waiting for Archie to get up so I can shower. Ooo, can the excitement be contained?

After lunch, I'm taking the kids out to Target and then to the park, if it doesn't rain. We need to get some clothes -- not just because of growth, but because we're all going to Phoenix in a few weeks and it will be much warmer there. It's Archie's dad and stepmom's 25th wedding anniversary. We're using it as an excuse to see old friends we don't get to see but every few years. Luckily, the plane ride is only about 2 hours, but it will be interesting to see how ChaCha handles it. I'm sure Bebe and Lulu will be swell -- as long as no major turbulence is involved. Needless to say, we have been going over the use and location of airsick bags. (Our last plane ride was a joyous festival of puking and then clothes changing and tears. I think this one will be less eventful.)

Also, my children have turned into destructo-fiends. I'm not sure why. There's a closet door that needs to be replaced. Gah. Sometimes I feel as if I'm just in a holding pattern until the need for breaking and trashing things stops so I can have my house back. A house free of bright plastic toys, sippy cups, and crappy furniture.

Of course, I'm well aware that we'll just be moving on to clothes everywhere, books on every surface, iPods hiding, and endlessly ringing cellphones.

But maybe the furniture will be a little nicer.

Monday, January 10, 2005

plumbing update.

The main pipe (clay and original to the house, built in the late 40s) is well and truly fucked. Last night, a plumber used a camera to seee the entire thing out to the city line and there are roots, tiny breaks, and one spot where the pipe is all bowed out and ready to collapse. The initial estimate is somewhere between $6500 and $15K.

Damn. That's a ton of money. I may have to sell organs. I may have to sell the kids' organs. What's the going rate for a kidney?

Wednesday, January 05, 2005


There's an episode of Friends where Ross has a fancypants award ceremony to go to. At the end, Rachel tells him she's going commando. And Ross gets all pant-y (pardon the pun). I asked Archie, "Is that hot? Do guys really like to be told by their partners when they're not wearing underwear?" Archie assured me that this was, indeed, very sexy. "But why? Is it because you'll sneak away to the restroom and have sex at the oh-so-chi-chi restaurant? Why?" "Because it's the idea that the woman is all naked down there. It's like the promise of sex. You wouldn't have sex on the table between the salad and soup courses -- but you could. Because there wouldn't be any underwear."

I think that's just stupid. I mean, there's no way to persuade someone that something they find sexy or arousing just isn't, but I think it's kind of lame. And since I prefer to wear undies, I've found a solution that cracks me up.

I whisper, "Honey. I am completely naked underneath my clothing!" Oddly, Archie doesn't find this hot or particularly funny. But it cracks me up every single time.

Monday, January 03, 2005

pity my husband.

Not right now. He deserves no pity of any kind, right now. But, since I am not a young mother, it is entirely possible that right about the time the girls get to become acquainted with the joys of Uncle Joe, I will be disenchanted with Communism. And, in all probability, we'll all be going through this at the exact same time every month. The poor man will be slapping estrogen patches on me and stocking up on Midol. He should probably buy stock in some premium ice cream company, because I'm sure we'll be spending a small fortune on that.

We'll be the House of Hormones. Pity my husband.

Saturday, January 01, 2005

uncle joe.

Archie and I have a tendency to refer to my period in Communist terms. For instance:

Archie: Wanna get busy?
Me: No, I'm working on my 5 year plan.
Archie: Huh?
Me: I'm Stalin? Get it? Stalin. Stalling. It's a pun and you should figure out what I'm talking about.
Archie: Ha. That's funny. Why did I marry you again?

So, we were in the car and Archie asked if I was in the mood for some love of a physical nature. (The girls were also in the car and he used our super-secret, highly-confidential code phrase. No, I'm not sharing.) I said, "Uh, imagine it's 1988 and the Wall is still up." And he replied, "Oh. Uncle Joe's in town then?"

And I cracked up because Uncle Joe fits the whole Communist theme we have going on. (And yes, I'm slightly embarrassed I have a theme for my cycle, but not too embarrassed to share it with the internet.) Plus, there's a new Cockney rhyming slang angle because Uncle Joe and Aunt Flo.

Yeah. Hi, I'm Katie. I'm silly.

happy new year! take a bunch of money!

So, the plumber showed up this morning. And the way to start the New Year right is to spend over $500 before noon. On plumbing. I mean, it's a good thing to be able to take a shower without actual shit coming up out of the drain, but I'd rather spend $500 on something a lot more fun than a length of PVC pipe.

And the news just keeps getting better. We get to donate a few more thousand dollars to the cause of plumbing, probably in the next 2 weeks. Whee.

At least the plumbers are having a good start to the year, I guess.


Today was fairly quiet. We took the girls for a walk -- the last walk of 2004. We had breakfast for dinner -- the last dinner of 2004. Then the last bath of 2004. (See a theme?) We let the twins stay up to watch the ball drop in NY. (Charlotte passed out right before 8pm.) Archie started a fire and we watched "Napoleon Dynamite."

Most of the evening was taken up with trying to get a plumber to the house because our pipes are backing up. Woo! Happy New Year! But no one could come until tomorrow. Hope the plumber isn't offended by the stinky adults.

So, Archie was making one last attempt at snaking the drain (not a euphemism!) and I was poking the fire (again, not code for something else). And the fireworks started. Hey, it must be midnight! I went out on the front porch to listen and watch the excitement.

Our neighborhood is very quiet. So it's amusing to listen to everyone go nuts. Apparently, several of our neighbors are having parties, because I could hear the noisemakers from across the street. And all the yelling. Then the car horns started.

If noise is the way to bring in the new year, my neighbors did it up right. Happy 2005.