Saturday, December 29, 2012

Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree

Listening to the Trans-Siberian Orchestra

Mommy: Who can name a wind instrument?
Cracker: Trombone!
Olive: Tuba!
Daddy: Whoopee cushion!

Monday, December 10, 2012

Elf with a Shelf

(Everyone knows Dick in a Box, right? Because you should.)

Wednesday, December 05, 2012

Thank You, Weird Al Yankovic

Me: Good morning, Olive!
Olive: (giggling) I'm about to get medieval on your hiney!"
Husband: She just said...
Me: Oh I heard her.

Turns out she had no idea what a "hiney" is, but she does know all the lyrics to this:

She sang it all the way home for my dad today. To quote him directly, "Damn, she can be a lot of fun when she's not doing time in the naughty nicho." True dat.

We all agree, it's a nice change after a two year obsession (shared by her brother) with alternate lyrics, supplied by their father, to Cake's "Never There"

You never wear, your underwear!
You never, ever wear your underwear!
Dun dun dun dun dun dun HEY!

Yeah. Awesome when they break out in song at a restaurant.

Or that Sublime song she and her brother swear has a reference to male genitalia. (It does not!) Or that James' "Laid" is currently getting heavy play on satellite radio and the baby is in luv. Eeeeeee eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee eeeeeeee!

I can't wait until she discovers her new favorite Pink song unbleeped in my workout mix.

Monday, December 03, 2012

Homework, Fourth Grade Style

You hide your homework folder because...yeah.

You hide your agenda so you can argue that you can't do your homework because you don't have the assignments written down.

You hide you English and math book because you need them to get your homework done.

You even hide your completed/ready to turn in homework because you hope that it will keep the next assignment from being assigned.

You got us on this one: we don't know why you don't turn in test corrections.  Enlighten us?

(PS  It's time for a new hiding place.  I found behind-the-curtains-in-the-baby's-room the Friday before Thanksgiving.  Good one!  I do thank you though because knowing where to go has made my life a little easier these last few weeks.)

Monday, November 26, 2012


I often look at my children and wonder, "Where the heck did that come from?"

Oh yeah, I get it now.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Eighteen(ish) Things I Love About You

I love the way you always happy shriek every time you step outside, even when you were only inside for 30 seconds.

I love the way you follow bugs and insects around with an endless string of "Hi! Hi! Hi!"

I love how much you love animals, and the happy noise you make every time you see one.

I love that it happens even when it's just a picture of an animal on the cover of a book. I love how you hug and nuzzle said book because your emotions overflowth.

I love the way you park yourself in front of the bookshelves, clearing them ever so slowly as you thoughtfully study each page.

I love how you say "Awww" when you hug.

I love your love of music. I love how your whole first year you never just babbled, but always sang your babble to your own original tune. I love the way you sing along to the radio now. (Your current favorite: Some Nights by Fun.) I love that you simply cannot keep your mittens off your dad's guitar. I love the obvious thrill you get when you help him play it.

I love how your babbling includes and abundance of trilling and rolling r's, especially when you are deliriously happy. (Btw, wtf super white boy?)

I love your amazingly stinky feet, that look exactly (but smell nothing) like your dad's.

I love your often impossible to tame thick blond fro. And your curls. I want to eat your curls.

I love that your favorite toys are play silverware, dishes, and fake food. I love the way you spend countless hours setting the table and playing kitchen. I love the fact that you totally do not remotely understand the fascination other boys have for all things vehicle.

I love the way you rescue unappreciated treasures from the recycling and turn them into toys.

I love that you think that spaghetti noodles are far superior to any other noodle shape.

I love the way you try so hard to be patient and control yourself when you know dinner is cooking but omg you wanted it like 5 minutes ago.

I love the way you ask for seconds (and thirds, and so on) by presenting us with an empty plate, a hopeful expression, and "Eh?"

I love how you clear your dishes from table without ever being asked, even though your brother and sister frequently forget. I love the way you patiently try over and over on tippy toes to get your plate/bowl/cup up to the counter above the dishwasher until someone finally comes along and helps you. I love how you are happy to keep trying even when it takes us a really long time to get there.

I love the fact that you have a full catalog of iPad moves you try to use on the tv screen, even though kids aren't really allowed on the iPad and neither of your parents have a smart phone. (Again, wtf?)

I love remembering how when you were just a few weeks old you figured out how to get onto your side by lifting your legs straight up into the air and locking your knees, folding yourself into a perfect litle right angle, and then letting gravity take you down. I love how we knew if you did that right away you weren't going to fight sleep. I love how you continued to do it when we put you down to sleep even after you had mastered rolling and crawling and way fancier moves.

I love that when I ask if you are ready for milk you always giggle and take off running for your room, slaming full speed into our nursing chair, even though milk is always followed by a nap or going to bed for the night.

I love the way you love your blankies.

I love the way you love your blankies even more now that they are starting to get holes because you now have a place to hook your finger.

I love the way you walk around with a blankie hanging out of your mouth.

I love the way we can tell how tired you are by the speed and quantity of blankie you shove in your mouth.

I even love the way you always pick less than perfect moments to go on a kissing rampage, like red sauce for dinner vs. white fabric couch I've just bleached. I hope you know no one else can get away with that. (And what is it about the couch that makes it so damn kissable?)

I love that on Halloween you kept stealing boxes of Nerds from the candy bowl because they made most excellent maracas.

I love your super unwavering friendliness that makes us feel the need to apologize to strangers all the time. (But seriously, please stop asking people we don't know to pick you up.)

I love the fact that you have never been startled, frightened, or overwhelmed by loud noises. (We've had your hearing checked. Multiple times.) You are so brave and used to the chaos that is being the youngest of three.

Or crowds, even rowdy, uncontrollable ones.

I love that when I tell you "Too far" you always make an immediate u-turn and come running back.

And last but certainly not least, I love the way you stop whatever you're doing and run to comfort your sister when she is crying. I love the fact that you accidentally tackle her as you wrap huggy little arms around her neck. I love the way you come back up to check her face, and then lay your cheek down on her shoulder, and toggle face-shoulder-face-shoulder until she is better.

Happy Eighteen Months! Don't change.

Monday, November 12, 2012

At least it appears she's given up on my debit card. For now.

Tap tap tap tap! Tap tap tap tap! Tap tap tap tap!

Grandpa: What are you doing with your mom's iPad? Are you supposed to have that?
Olive: It's okay, I'm just trying to figure out her password.
Grandpa: Give me that!
Olive: No thank you, I can do it by myself.

Friday, November 09, 2012

My Very Own Four Year Old Art Critic

I am drawing a rainbow with all 3 available colors of sidewalk chalk: red, yellow, and green. I am Blend Master.
"Um, Mom?"
"You forgot indigo and violet."

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Laughter Before Coffee

This morning I was royally cussed out, in tantruming baby babble, for taking his earwig away. But then I pointed out last night's kitchen fly still buzzing around and BAM! all was forgotten distracted. So he toddled around after that, greeting it with the friendliest little "Hi!" each and every time it landed, until I turned my back long enough for him to get at the cat bowls and make cat food soup.

Life is good.

Tuesday, October 02, 2012

Olive on the Presidential Election

Out of nowhere ...

"Yes, dear?"
"Do you know why I'm not gonna vote for Mitt Romney?"
"Because when he was a kid he holded down another kid and cut his hair! That makes him a bully! I'm not voting for bullies!"

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Never Forget

Yesterday a part of me almost died.

I could share with you a long list of really good reasons why it was by far the most atypical day in years, but all that matters is that I forgot to bring my 16 month old in from the car during the hottest part of the day.

Ten minutes later, when I absentmindedly asked my husband "Where's the baby?" and he bolted for the garage I was lazily thinking "Wrong way, he's going to be in G's room with a Lego in his mouth."

And while I was completely aware that the door to the garage didn't immediately open and close again signaling his return it still didn't register. When he returned with our little guy, ever so slightly flushed and just a little bit warm, but totally fine, I think I went into shock.

"Why wasn't he crying? I would have heard him crying!"
"He was."

I do not know how close we came, but I do know that while yesterday the garage was just lukewarm less than a month ago it would have been unbearably hot.

I've never arrogantly claimed that I was a better parent than that. A broken routine, a small distraction... I've read the same story dozens of times with the worst possible ending always knowing it could have been me, so pay attention Heidi.

Yesterday it was me.

Any little change, a different day or one more distraction, and he wouldn't be...alive. No baby giggles and drunken milky smiles to mix with my tears.


Friday, August 17, 2012

First Day of Pre-K (+ Boys and Food)

Excuse me, but weren't you just a baby, like...yesterday?

I swear it's not that I'm getting older, it's the teachers who are getting younger. (Yet still old enough to have gone to grad school and gotten married, and then taught for a few years, and then have children of their own.)

(Good gawd.)

(See young but not too young teacher?)

After we dropped her off the boys and I ran into one of my shorter friends, and after last week's most insane growth spurt ever my 9 year old is closing in on 5 feet and some adults. Pretty sure those size 12 school pants I bought on super clearance earlier this summer are going to waste.

Then after school they had like 48 snacks, including appetizers that ran into dinner, because omg they couldn't wait another 20 minutes for 5 o'clock. In less than an hour they consumed 2lbs of blueberries, 3 apples, some grapes, 2+ lbs of yogurt, 1.75 lbs turkey meatloaf, 1.5 lbs of mini carrots, and an entire Costco 6 pack of romaine hearts.


But I cut the little locusts off, promising them more food in an hour, because let's just stop for a moment and give your brain a chance to catch up with your stomach, 'kay?

(Sorry dear, they ate it all. Again. Can you heat us up some soup?)

Tuesday, August 14, 2012


He swore it would not happen, but I think playing Kelly Clarkson's "Stronger" over and over and over again on the guitar for Olive, albeit with a metal pedal, suggests otherwise.

Wednesday, August 01, 2012

Fun With Compound Words

"You know what goldfish are made of? Gold! And fish!" says my son, age 9.
"You know what rainbows are made of? Rain and bows!" says a friend, age 6.
"You know what peacocks are made out of?" says my daughter, age 4.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

1-2-3 Not It

I love the way she always holds her own, and fits right in with the boys.

They don't know her, and yet they never question her presence, or give her a hard time, because she is...


Sunday, July 08, 2012

Do Not Wake the Parents

"There is cat poop behind the cowch. It looks like it is fresh. If you need my help I will be in my room. 8:15"

We especially love the time stamp. Yes, we are lazy motherfuckers who sleep way past 8:15am on weekends. Yes, our life is hard.


As we all piled out of the car into the hotel the baby was thrilled. Adventure!

Teeth x 3, jammies x 3, tucked in x 3.  Exhausted parents x 2.

Even in the dark in a hotel crib Callum was still having the time of his life.  Thrilling!

"AAH DA NAH-NAH!  AAH DA!  AAH DA!  NAH-NAH AAH DA!" and so on, for a good 20 minutes.

For those of you who don't speak our baby, that would be: "All done night-night!  All done!  All done!  Night-night all done!"

Giggling kids = 3, laughing parents = 2.

Good road trip times.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Olive in a Nutshell

Her:  "My angle hurts."
Me:  "Your ankle hurts?
Her:  "NO, my anGLE! hurts."

Wednesday, May 09, 2012

Go Ahead and Stroke My Ego

Presenting us with charts of developmental milestones for 3, 4, and 5 year olds, Olive's teachers place her solidly into the 5 year old category page after page. She is only 4 years and 22 days old.

"Honestly, both her peers and the preschool curriculum are really holding her back. She is one smart little cookie!"

(Again, NAEYC accredited school, not someone's grandma running daycare out of her living room blowing smoke up our asses.)

Which is good, because we can continue to devote all of our energy to her...ahem...behavior at home. At school she is a perfect little angel.

Tuesday, May 08, 2012

Living the Dream

Husband: "I love the way you dress, but I am so tired of seeing you in the same thing over and over again. Go buy some new clothes!"

Thursday, May 03, 2012


Teacher: Olive told us a wonderful joke over lunch.
Me: She did?

Of course the punch line involves urine.

Olive on Evolution

(Used as greeting) "Did you know I used to be a chimpanzee?"


(Sensing 'dult placating bullshit.) "No! Really! Gwam told me. It was a really long time ago, before Pappy was born."

"Oh! Okay. Actually, humans..."

"You mean people."

"Fine. People evolved..."


Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Lessons in Object Permanence

He's always loved the bath, and diaper changes, and naked time.

He is all boy.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Eleven Months Old. Also, Hair.

Yesterday, during a diaper change, Mr. Stinkermuffin Pooper-Doodle grabbed his hair brush and was like, "Momma, this is a hairbrush, and this is how I brush my own hair. See?"

Oh, melty heart! Momma needs to write that down!

(Except that I forgot. Until the next diaper change when there was an encore presentation. And then I forgot again. And then he did it again again. Third time's a charm.)

And now a picture of the back of my kid's head.


I never thought I'd be that mom, but hair + teething necklace, and strangers, who always knew he was a boy before, have begun telling what an adorable little girl we have. Plus that picture is already three weeks old. Ahem, length is not helping.

So how long can I hold out? Scary question. Olive has never had a haircut, and she's turning four next week. Husband doesn't care/is scared of crazy baby-loving woman, so no pressure there.

If only they'd stop growing for just a little while.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Olive's Rules of Order

"Actually, it's not ladies first, just boys second."

Wednesday, March 28, 2012


Oh March, you emotional bastard, you.

Tomorrow I will celebrate my mom on the two year anniversary of her death. The very next day I will celebrate my son as he turns nine.

Two years.

Time moves faster now. I laugh more, I laugh harder. I save less for rainy days, I eat way too much dessert. I am quieter, a better listener. I internalize more, I am less argumentative, and I do not want to talk politics with you. I try not to say "I don't know how you do it" because I know you don't know either.

I love more.

Most days I know I'm lucky to have had my mom as long as I did.

Because on Monday, a friend who'd already lost her mom to cancer, lost her dad, too.

Because two weeks ago marked the 4 year anniversary of my former brother-in-law taking his own life, leaving behind my then 8 year old nephew.

Because another of my son's friends, 8 years old with a 6 year old brother, just lost his dad to kidney failure, joining three more of his peers and their siblings who already lost their dads to cancer, all in the very small circle of people we know.

I am grateful for the thirty-two years we had.

On the hard days I look at my two youngest and I am ungraciously jealous.

There's the enchantingly feisty granddaughter she so badly wanted and didn't really get to know, who has doubled in age and has hair on her head and opinions and says something brilliant every day; my little girl, who dreams out loud about how wonderful it would be to have a grandma, just like Max & Ruby on tv. The baby, and oh did she looove babies, especially mine, who uses his security blanket and smiling eyes to drag random strangers in games of peek-a-boo from 25 feet away, who is so charmingly himself that admitted non-baby-loving people are constantly stopping to tell us that for him they'd convert. And for my almost nine year old, who told me again recently that he can no longer remember her voice, but remembers how she made him feel.

I am so very lucky for all that I have, but tonight my heart wants more.

Monday, March 26, 2012

First Words

Last week it was "up," which I pretended was my mind playing tricks on me, screw the witnesses. Yesterday it was very clearly "ballballball!"

Ten and a half months has gone so fast...

Friday, March 16, 2012

First Year Bellylaughs

In the sandbox:

Whiplash recoil. What the?!
Tilt head, raise eyebrow.
A moment to ponder.
One finger test.
Sit back, think.
Light touch, five finger test.
Again. And again.
Threat assessment complete.
Hysterical, maniacal laughter and squealing.

Looking to me and his brother,
OMG YOU GUYS! Did you know that our sandbox has...wait for it...a bottom?

Monday, February 27, 2012

Like Grandmother, Like Granddaughter

Sometimes, when her hair is down, a little of her curl lost at preschool, the profile of her cheeks, her nose... Just for a split second, from the side, she is my mom.

Thursday, February 09, 2012

Olive, 3, and the Overturn of Prop 8

"Boys can marry boys, but you can't marry chocolate cake. Or noodles."

Thank you, Betty Bunny.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Heavy Hearts

(Part One)

The verdict is in, and I believe it is right.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Lessons in Olive

At Olive's glowing parent teacher conference last week we were told, "She can read," and we were all, "Yeah, she has a lot of sight words," and they were like, "That's not what we mean." Apparently she has also already reached many end-of-the-year goals for the pre-kindergarten program she will attend next school year. (They are NAEYC accredited.) This, they emphasized, is especially mind-blowing since she only goes two mornings a week and has missed more than two months of school due to illness and her mother being a mysophobe. They asked us for goals, and we were like, "Can you make her scream at us less? Be a little more reasonable about, say, everything?" And, of course, they were like, "Whaaa? She's a delight! We've never seen her cry! Or have a tantrum!" She also doesn't swear, or yell "Don't pee on my leg and tell me it's raining!" Oh, I see, she's not comfortable there yet. No problem, we'll stick our apologies back into our pockets and save them for next time.

Tonight Jason pulled out a book she'd never seen before, buried deep from her brother's learning to read days. She read the first 4-word sentence with 100% accuracy, and then the 5-word sentence that followed, and so on, until she realized Jason and I were making holy shitballs our 3 year old can read faces at each other.

She immediately threw the book aside and bellowed, "I don't know how to read!"

It sure was fun while it lasted.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Burn Notice

Olive has a doll that we are to refer to as her baby. It goes everywhere, except school.

"I was talking with your teacher today. I told her about your baby..."
Horrified whining. "MOOOOOOOMMM!"

Fuck invisible friends. We've got spies, y'all.

That's My Daughter

So I'm getting out of the shower and over the baby monitor I hear 3 year old Olive raging @ "Gwam":


Forget my strict no name-calling policy. Way to raise the insult bar and rip him a new one, dear.

I say a lot of things, but she didn't get this one from me.
(I think.)
And my 3rd grader thinks "darn" and "heck" are punishable by death naughty.
(He doesn't swear at all. For reals.)
Just finds ways to casually mention that he has a penis.
(All the time.)
(Like his father.)

My hands are full.

(Jason, not with penis, but I thank you in advance for the offer that I know is coming.)
(I know...hehe...coming.)


My Little Licker

Know what else she licked that week? Bugs, off the front grille of my dirty minivan.

Finally one of my children gives a frick about penmanship.

And so declares Olive "I am going to practice my s's!"
"Knock yourself out."

Blessed quiet for 3 whole minutes, suddenly interrupted with mad scribbling.
"What happened?"
"I don't like this one! It looks like a dumb 5!!!"

Tears. The end.