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Saturday, July 31, 2010

Day Spa

How badly do I need to have a weekend spa retreat? I submit the following as evidence of my neediness:

1. As I was preparing for surgery on Thursday (don't worry, I'm alive and kicking as I type), they mentioned that I would be getting general anesthesia so I would be totally under instead of a different type with which you are more easily aroused. I said the following: Oh good! A nap!, to which the nurse replied that I need to get out more.

2. They inserted my IV and I got a little wobbly over the fact that it took 3 tries. In response, my extremities turned into ice cubes. As they brought me blankets, fresh from the warmer, I became positively rapturous. I believe I even shivered in anticipation.

3. When they wheeled me into recovery they said I could have family back immediately to see me, or I could stay a little longer and take a nap. I chose the nap. Shhh... don't tell!

I will be starting a fund to send me to a day spa - I'm thinking of calling it something along the lines of SAVE THE PATHETIC MOTHER. I'm looking into getting non-profit status so that you can deduct it from your annual taxes. Just think about it. That's all I ask.

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Friday, July 30, 2010

Unicorn Hair

Milady continues to be afraid of nighttime. It brings up all of her abandonment fears - I'm afraid you're going to leave me in the night. I'm afraid I won't wake up. Last night was no different - Mommy, I'm too scared to go to sleep. I'm scared of the nighttime.

I got the brilliant idea to tell her about how nighttime was a wonderful, peaceful time - that all of the "hoomans" and animals were busy growing bigger and getting stronger. Not convinced she tried the angle that something would come in our house and get us. And, not to be dissuaded by the door and window locks, she went on and on.

It was then that I concocted my most brilliant story. I told her that when the house was built, they put magic in the walls to make everyone in it protected. Chick loves unicorns and knows that they are magical, so I decided to throw them in for good measure. When the house was built, they used unicorn (Oh, crap! I can't say they took off their horns and put them in the walls! That's too gruesome) uh...uh... hair from their tails. The hair is magical and it protects everyone in our house.

For those of you that have been reading since the early days, this was a fatal mistake. My girl has always had a phobia of hair - stray hairs that is. Her fear has mostly gone underground, but yes, that's right, I managed to drive it right back to the surface.

There's hair in the walls? Lots of hair in the walls?!? I don't want hair in my walls!!

Uh...unicorn hair isn't made out of hair. It's made out of rainbows. It isn't like we have hair in our walls at all. No hair! Just lots of pretty, magical rainbows. With lots of pink in them! And sparkles!

I slept on the floor next to her.

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Thursday, July 29, 2010

Talking In Code

Ana's "Ging" is currently visiting us from Houston. Super excited to see her grandmother, Ana announced that she had to go potty, but that she wasn't going to go. I told her that was okay with me as long as she didn't potty on my floor. We agreed that we had a deal.

Someone did not keep up their end of the bargain. Someone also apparently realized that they had crapped out, but tried to hide the fact.

I was standing next to Chickie at the fridge, getting myself a glass of water from the automatic dispenser. In hindsight, being exposed to that was probably her last straw.

At any rate, as I stood there, and she stood there, she must have realized what was about to happen because she looked over at me and asked, Uhh... so... can you go get some raisins?

Somehow, and it must be because I have been around her enough, I knew immediately that this was code for - Mommy, I just pottied on your floor. Also, because I have been around him enough, I can guarantee you that anytime I get up from the couch to go to the bathroom, Scott's going to ask me - Are you going to go get some raisins?

I love my little loonies.

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Wednesday, July 28, 2010

The Nutcracker

Ana continues to obsess about getting married. She has jilted "Prince Leo" and has decided that she will marry a nutcracker.

Me: Do you mean a man like the one that wears the Nutcracker costume in the ballet?

Chick: No. I'm going to marry a real nutcracker.

Me: There aren't really real nutcrackers, Honey. They are people dressed up in costumes.

Chick: NO. There ARE real nutcrackers. I'm going to marry a real nutcracker. Not a man.

I am now much less worried that she will be moving out of our house sooner rather than later. My new worry is that she will be moving out of our house much, much later. As in never. Anybody know of a nice 4 year old block of wood that I can invite over for a playdate?

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Tuesday, July 27, 2010

A Loud Voice

A loud voice will get you noticed, but it will also get you... noticed.

My girl is not a shrinking violet. Especially when she is in an echoing room - such as a public restroom.

Mommy, what is this for? (Poke, poke, poke)

Ooh! Baby! Don't touch that!

Why? What is it?

Don't worry about it.

What is it?

It's a Mommy trashcan. Only for mommies and it gets extra dirty, so we don't touch it.

Oh! A Mommy trashcan. I'm going to use it when I'm a big lady and then I can touch it every time?

Yes, I suppose you can.

Mommy? Why is that lady laughing?

Because she's listening to us, Baby. She's listening to us.

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Monday, July 26, 2010

When I'm Big

Ana has a running list of things that she will do when she is "big". Some are things that could happen in the near-ish future, some when she is a teenager, some when she is an adult, and some she can never, never, never do:

1. Jump off of a cliff like the swan in Swan Lake
2. Wear makeup everyday
3. Wear fancy shoes and all of Mommy's jewelry
4. Chew "gummie" (gum) all day every day
5. Marry a prince
6. Take Ariel's mermaid tail and wear it to a ball
7. Drive a bus
8. Live in Cinderella's castle at Disney World
9. Eat dessert before "brekest"
10. Ride on Papa Bear's motorcycle
11. Paint our house by herself
12. Marry Daddy

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Saturday, July 24, 2010

Not Fancy At Heart

I am a creature of comfort. I like my shorts. I like my jean skirt. I like my black flip-flops.

I do make an effort though - I try to pick out a nice shirt, my flip-flops have little rhinestones on them, and I make sure my hair is done and at least mascara is applied.

Yet, I am still a disappointment to Ana. I know she dreams of a very "fancy" mother. I know this because each day she implores me to wear one of the dresses I have hanging at the back of my closet. Of course I decline. I am not about to go out in an evening gown. I do have some casual dresses, and in fact she found one for me back there that I had even forgotten I owned, but there is just something too something for me about wearing things like that. I like my ability to bend over and not worry about who I am flashing with my granny panties.

I decided to make an effort yesterday, however. I called Ana into my closet and told her she could pick out any shirt for me to wear with my jean skirt. She was not pleased and tried to put me in my brown skirt with sequins, but I told her the shirt that went with it was dirty (lie, lie, lie). She finally picked out a flowery, lacy shirt.

I thought I would impress her by putting on shoes other than my black flip-flops. I chose a pair of flat-ish black shoes with a silver buckle-y thing at the top - the equivalent of shoe jewelry. Nothing doing. My lady declared them not fancy at all and did it in such a truly disappointed way that I bent to her choice - high heeled black shoes with a flower-ish thing in the middle of criss-cross straps. She about swooned.

This is why I will never let her dress me again. 5 minutes into my errand running I had almost twisted my ankle twice and I was sure I was forming a blister somewhere under those criss-cross straps. 10 minutes into my errand running I could have drawn a multi-colored map of my blisters. 15 minutes into my errand running I was hopping through the Whole Foods parking lot with said "fancy" shoes in hand, preferring the 95 degree asphalt to the pain of being fancy.

Tomorrow I am considering going out in jammies and slippers.

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Friday, July 23, 2010

Mens' Lady?

What is the opposite of Ladies' Man? Mens' Lady? I think that typically they just refer to a Mens' Lady as a slut, but I prefer not to use that term on a 4 year old.

Banana has made a splash at preschool - the boys, all two of them, love her. She also has no qualms about reciprocating. Both times at pick-up from school this week we have to turn back to give big Italian grandmother style hugs, lasting until someone seems like they will go down for the count.

For those of you that have been following our story since we moved to Austin, you might recall the early days filled with creative threats such as I'm gonna poke you in the eye. So, you might also understand why I do not mind one tiny bit that she seems to prefer the boys already. Hug away, My Lady, hug away.

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Thursday, July 22, 2010


To the person whose idea it was to put those plastic doggie doodie bags outside of the apartment pool area, thank you.

To the people whose apartment we "went" by, I tried my best to hold the towel around her as I realize we were right outside of your window.

To the people driving by on the street that got the other side of her, which I was not able to shield from view with the towel, I apologize.

To the person whose bright idea it was to put a lock and key code thingy on the outside of the women's restroom, damn you.

To whomever in my genetic line-up gave me my iron stomach and lack of a gag response, God bless you.

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Wednesday, July 21, 2010

The Vet

We took "furry brother" to the vet yesterday for his geriatric check-up. Poor guy, he's now being called geriatric. I also brought my sidekick to help me out, mostly because I had to, not so much for the help factor.

She did turn out to be very helpful in the information sharing department, however:

Coopy is not very nice. He likes to try to bite kids, and dogs, and kitties, and squirrels, and sometimes me when I have a snack. He also toots sometimes. Sometimes a lot of times.

Out of the mouths of babes...

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Tuesday, July 20, 2010


I know someone who is not very good at keeping secrets. Her name rhymes with Banana.

Yesterday was Scott's birthday, so Ana and I attempted to bake his most beloved childhood cake. He knew we were going to be making him something, so Sunday night he kept trying to get it out of Ana. Luckily she took to her training well and would reply with:

Uh, uh, uh, Boy! It's a secret! (picture a finger wag and hip jut to go with)

Sadly I did not coach her on keeping mum in general. Monday morning, in the bathroom with Daddy, she says:

Mommy, when are we going to make Daddy's cake? And when do we get to eat the cake that we make him?

She also didn't get the meaning behind my sushing. She took it as a cue to talk louder, that I must not have heard her:

The cake! Daddy's cake! When do we eat it?

Happy Birthday, Daddy!

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Sunday, July 18, 2010

Conversations with God

We had a bit of a tragedy at our house. I accidentally closed a little bird in our hot garage and he/she perished. This led to a long discussion on our stroller walk this morning.

I, of course, could not play the part of Mommy. I was asked to play the part of God. I feel a bit blasphemous when she asks me to do this, but I try my best to answer in a loving, kind, non-stick-in-a-lesson-about-why-we-should-pick-up-after-ourselves-kind-of-way.


(deep God-like voice) Yes, my child?

A birdie died in our garage today. Mommy closed him in and he was too hot and he died.

I'm so sorry that that happened to the birdie and to you.

It happened to Mommy too.

Oh yes, I'm sorry for Mommy too.

But it didn't happen to Daddy. He was at work.

Yes, I know. I'm not sorry for Daddy right now.

But you can be sorry for him when he gets home from work.

Yes, I will. I will be very sorry for Daddy.

Okay, goodbye now, God.

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Saturday, July 17, 2010

San Marcos

For those of you who are not Texas residents, San Marcos is a small town about 45 minutes South-ish of Austin, population of around 55,000. Known mostly for it's rivers which are highly conducive to floating with beers or vodka spiked watermelon, it's other claim to fame is a couple of outlet malls.

It is because of the outlet malls that it has won Ana's heart. Specifically because of the mall that contains the Disney outlet. She and I have been there only twice, but that has not stopped it from having a shiny gold space in her world. Take the following, for example:

Mommy, can we go on a fancy date to a fancy restaurant one day? We can get all fancy and wear fancy dresses and fancy jewelry and fancy headbands?

Sure, Baby. Where do you want to go?

To San Marcos. To the fancy restaurant in San Marcos.

(Mind you, both of the times we went we ate at Subway).

And Mommy? When I'm married can I go on my honeymoon to San Marcos?

I guess. If that's what you want. What would you do there?

I would go to the Disney Store in San Marcos and my prince would buy me all of the things that I want.

God love him. If she actually finds a guy that will marry her and take her to San Marcos on her honeymoon to the Disney Store and Subway, she has my blessing. I'll even spring for the combo add-on. Oh hell, throw in the cookie too.

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Friday, July 16, 2010


You know you are seriously heading towards curmudgeonly when you find yourself uttering the following:

You know what? Cupcakes just have too much frosting. I used to like them better than cake because they are the right amount of cake, but they just have too much frosting. They have like 3 times more frosting than cake, but they would be good if they had double the amount of frosting. Cupcakes are really starting to bother me.

Seriously. That's what I said. Verbatim. "Cupcakes are starting to bother me." What's next on my hit list? Puppies? Santa Claus? I might be strapping myself down to the couch for a weekend Pollyanna marathon to bring myself back. No, on second thought, that would probably just throw me over the edge...

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Thursday, July 15, 2010


The good thing about 3 year olds is that they are anything but subtle, or quiet for that matter. They also tend to rat themselves out. The sneak/rat count today fell at 3:

1. Ana: Crash! (chair falling over) Giggle! Move Cooper! Sound of Ana throwing herself back in her chair.
Me: Ana? What were you doing?
Ana: I wasn't trying to sneak that lollipop.

2. Ana comes out of the bathroom. Mommy? I rolled all of the toilet paper back up, so it's okay. I remembered to wipe! Coopy helped me roll the toilet paper, he was funny. Upon inspection, Cooper's contribution to the project was to eat several of the strands that were left behind on the floor.

3. Mommy? I pulled out all of the floss, but that's okay. Nobody is perfect. Everybody makes mistakes. Even the angels.


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Wednesday, July 14, 2010

School Part 2

Our drive to school went smoothly...until we got there. I didn't realize that Ana thought that she was going to her old preschool in Austin.

This isn't school! This isn't what school looks like!

Oh, Baby, this is your school. That other school is closed for the summer. This place has a school and you will have fun. Miss Robin will be there and you will play and do lots of fun things.

I don't think I want to go...

(Ahhh!!!) I can come in with you and stay with you until you feel okay for me to leave. And if you never feel okay for me to leave, then I will stay the whole time. Okay?

Okay... (I open her car door and she hops out into the parking lot). Okay! You can go now! I'm ready!

Not into child endangerment, I did walk her in, but I had to chuckle first at the thought of her navigating the whole thing herself. Somehow, knowing her, I think she could pull it off.

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Tuesday, July 13, 2010


The little biscuit is trying out preschool again today. Granted, she'll be in a class of only 5 kids with 3 teachers on hand to help with every interaction. Granted, it's being held at her OT place. And, granted, she's only going tomorrow to try it out. But, WE'RE GOING BACK TO SCHOOL! This is amazing progress. We didn't think we'd be able to try out even this special school so soon.

Ana loved her preschool in Pittsburgh, and I'm hoping for the same love at this school. I know that she will have 3 great people watching out for her and taking good care of her. Ana is excited - we set out her backpack, picked out her clothes (including Ana-chosen accessories), and talked about what her day would be like. So what's my deal?

I feel like I have 1st day Mommy syndrome all over again. She has been a real pain in the booty sometimes (and somedays a lot of the time) here in Austin, but my muscles are still locking up at the thought of dropping her off - away from me - tomorrow. The non-stop princess play also seems to have turned my brain to mush - I can't think of a single thing to do with myself tomorrow. Okay, that's not true - I could clean the house, paint, or weed the front bed, but that's not going to happen!

I think the thing is that I know how much love I pour into her each day and I can't imagine her being as cared for without me. But, I know we have chosen well, and while it might not be a Mommy's love, it will be another kind of love. We are piecing together the village that will raise our child and she will be stronger for the experience.

Off to find my Kleenex now... (only slightly exaggerating, by the way)


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Monday, July 12, 2010


There is something about a 3 year old ball of life that doesn't let you wallow in self-pity. It is rather hard to sit like a lump when you are being called on to color, play the part of the headless Ken doll, or play tea party, which means pour water from cup to cup until it is all on the floor, thereby ending the game.

I think that is part of her design, part of the lesson that she is teaching me - one of the many lessons that she is teaching me. Life is too full and too joy-full to sit in sadness for long. Don't get me wrong, my adult heart still finds a way to float in sadness while I cut out my 50th Strawberry Shortcake, but the trick is that sometimes it doesn't. Sometimes it forgets to wallow.

When she squashes her cheek against mine, rubbing it around, and declaring that she is giving me an Ekimo kiss, it forgets. When she wants us to pretend that she is a baby and clearly soaks up the love we send her way, it forgets. When she cries at Nana and Papa Bear's house that she wants to come home and spend the night at Mommy's house, it forgets.

That is the amazing thing about these little people. They teach us far more than we will ever teach them. Ana has taught me about resiliency - if I came from her background I would be a mere shell of the strong, amazing person she is. Ana has taught me about love - I see her figuring out what love and family means each and everyday. I see how much it truly is a choice and how you can choose to love more strongly and better if you consciously make that effort everyday. Ana has taught me that life is what you make of it. I had read this about a million times and given it a half nod every time, but until Ana I had never known what it was like to see it in action.

Scott sent me an apropos quote: It's not about weathering the storm, it's about learning to dance in the rain. My Ana does that, each and everyday.

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Saturday, July 10, 2010

No Dumb Blonde

My dad and sister, Ashley, came over on Thursday and took Ana off of my hands for the day. To keep her entertained and sufficiently spoiled, they took her out for lunch and then to The Disney Store. Of course the store was Ana's suggestion as she has been angling for the "Cinderella wedding doll with the prince" for ages.

Upon arrival at the store, my sister and dad realized, to their horror, that the Cinderella doll was no longer carried. Dad gave Ash the task of breaking it to Ana. Trying to let Ana down gently, my sister made up a big story about Cinderella being at Disney World, but that she was on a plane flying back and they would get her for Ana just as soon as she landed and came back to the store.

Ana just looked at Ashley for a moment, then said, Um, they're sold out. All of the other people bought them.

That's my girl. She's got her Mommy's brains ;-)

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Friday, July 9, 2010

Fancy Lady

Not in the most writing-ish of moods, I thought I would share a picture of my little flowergirl-to-be. I have managed to convince her of the fact that there will be no more dress rehearsals until the actual rehearsal, but unfortunately I showed her the magic of flowergirl videos on You Tube. I am now working on convincing her that my computer will only show 5 a day before it needs a nap.


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Thursday, July 8, 2010


Mountains are the latest things that exist in Canada. I'm wondering when my Canadian run is going to be called out. I'm also wondering if soon I will be moving from the relatively-decent-mother-category to the somewhat-sloppy-in-her-childrearing category.

Mommy, what do mountains do?
Nothing, they just stand there.
No, that's not what they do. What do mountains do?
Um, they really just stand there.
No! Do they have the dark woods? Are they scary? I'm scared of mountains. Are they far, far away? Are we safe?
Mountains don't hurt us, Sweetie. They just stand there.
No! They do! Where do they live?
You were right, they are far, far away. Too far away from here to get to.
Oh, they live in Canada?
Yep, that's right. They live in Canada.
Oh, that's okay then.

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Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Telling Stories

Yesterday was a rough day - for Mommy, not Ana. I now know why she asks me to tell stories over and over and over again. They help us to make sense of scary or tough things.

Mommy, tell the story about when the boy wanted to take my book! Mommy, tell the story about when the doggie tried to bite Cooper!

They make for the most BORING of stories, to anyone but the instigator. But, in the telling, the pain is lessened. The first time is still excruciating, the second a little less so, and so on.

My story is not ready to come out yet, but this post is a bit of the poking and prodding that helps to make sense of things. Thank you for bearing with me. The knowledge that I am not alone makes the poking a little less hard to do.


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Tuesday, July 6, 2010


Ana wanted to compare bellybuttons with me. As her stomach is totally flat with an enviable six-pack, her cute little bellybutton is right at the surface and even pokes out just a little bit. Mine not so much.

Mommy, no! Show me yours!
I am showing you mine, Ana. Mine just looks different than yours.
No, Mommy, I'm telling you - take it out of there so I can see it!
Uhhh...yeah...mine doesn't come out of there...

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Monday, July 5, 2010

Happy 4th of July

from my favorite cupcake lover!

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Saturday, July 3, 2010

Boss Man

We were having a little family cuddle time in bed Friday morning before Scott had to leave for work. Apparently we finally hit Ana's closeness threshold:

Daddy, can you just go to work now?
But I'm cuddlin' with you!
But the Boss Man is waiting for you. He's frustrated. Where is that Daddy? He needs to work!

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Friday, July 2, 2010


One company, which shall remain nameless, calls us literally every single day - sometimes multiple times. I have asked to be taken off of their call list to no avail.

They called this morning and I decided to hand the phone to Ana.

What's your name?
My name is Chris, from the X Company. Is your mom or dad at home?
No. My dad's at work. It's kind of crazy. (Chuckle, chuckle)
Oh, okay. Goodbye.

Fingers crossed that that finally did the trick. At the very least, she beat my time in getting off the phone with them easily by half.

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Thursday, July 1, 2010

Daddy's Back!

The return of Daddy from his recent work trip to Chicago was a greatly anticipated event - by both me and Ana. We made a sign with three colored-in Daddy heads. We built a block tower for Daddy to see, and we talked about what Daddy would say and do when he saw us.

Me: I think Daddy will say, My girls!, I am so glad to be home with you! I missed you!

Ana: No, Daddy will say, Hey! I got you a present! And it's a princess gown! And then he will marry me.

Needless to say, one of us was dissapointed, and it wasn't the tall one.

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