31 January 2007

from the onion

Osama Bin Laden Found Inside Each Of Us

The Onion

Osama Bin Laden Found Inside Each Of Us

WASHINGTON, DC-Osama bin Laden was found hiding deep inside the darkest regions of our souls.

"I see dead people"

The other morning, I was walking down the stairs with Blue in my arms and we stopped to look out the window. It was very misty and still outside; everything was covered in frost.

We have a very wooded lot that is adjacent to the Fredericksburg Battlefield on two sides. The part we were looking at actually has a trench that runs along our property, parallel to our house.

"Who's that, Mommy?"

Blue has been mixing up the words who and what. Which sounds pretty spooky sometimes. Like when I am upstairs in her bedroom tucking her in at night and she says, "Who's that at my window?" (It's always the moon.)

I looked around for anything she could be talking about. I didn't see a thing. No deer, no squirrels. No signs of life.

I told her, "Those are trees, baby."

"No," she said. "Who's that?"

"Who's what?" Now I was really confused.

"The people," she said.

I looked again. "What people, honey?"

"All the people. Who's that?" she asked again, pointing.

By now I was getting a little creeped out. It's very easy for me to look out at the yard sometimes and imagine Civil War soldiers back there. And it was, as I mentioned, a very cold, still morning.

I hugged my Blue and dashed down the stairs and said, "Let's get some breakfast!"

How freakin' creepy.

25 January 2007

i knew it

I just received this email from Andrea in response to my house rules post:


i was checking your blog, as i do everyday, and had to stop halfway. you TOTALLY called me out. i was literally thinking THANK GOD, and then you told me to shut up. i didn't even finish because i was laughing so hard.

i love you and i am so happy for you guys. (btw...10 pounds is awesome)

my mom cares

house rules

I guess it's time for an update on the London Diet. As of this week, I have only lost 10 pounds of the 35 I am trying to shed. But (and this is a big fat, morbidly obese but) Jonathan and I were checking our BMI last night, and at my current weight I am in the Normal range for my height! Yay, me! A mere month ago, I was in the Slightly Overweight range.

I had to laugh, though, because one website we checked said my BMI

...falls within the normal range, which is good news for you! It means that your attention to your weight and physical fitness has helped to minimize your risk for diseases like...
and that really cracked us both up because I pay absolutely no attention whatsoever to physical fitness! I am trying to move a bit more, though, and I have hopes of one day being much more active than I am now.

I am also no longer doing the ol' coffee-and-Lean-Cuisine diet. Jonathan has been reading the new book by Dr. Oz which focuses more on the amount of abdominal fat you have than how much you weigh. His advice is basically to eat healthier, and so we are. I can hear Andrea heaving a huge sigh of relief. I can hear you, Andrea. Shut up!

I must admit I am a complete moron when it comes to nutrition. (So much of a moron, in fact, that I spelled nutrition two different ways on this post--neither of which was correct.) It's way too much like math or chemistry for me to follow. So Jonathan has been giving me a few basic rules to follow. Like, for example I am at least reading part of the nutrition label on all the foods I eat. I am cutting out all trans fats and saturated fats from my diet.

No Trans Fat
No Saturated Fat

And so far, I've been eating very much the same as before! I can still eat little frozen entrees for lunch, but now I buy Kashi ones or Amy's organic. And, let me just say, they are deeeelicious! We switched to whole grain bread and pasta and organic peanut butter and for dessert every night we each have a piece of dark chocolate that is at least 70% cocoa. So it's been pretty easy--and not only have I lost these 10 pounds, but I feel a little better. Which may just be partly because I know I am treating my body with a little more dignity, but whatever...

Anyway, that's the London Diet update.

Baby update:

Blue is really asserting her independence lately (i.e. testing my patience)! For a while there, I was sticking her in time-out practically all morning. So now I have picked my battles and they are:

No Hitting
No Yelling
Eat Your Dinner

so if she breaks any of those cardinal rules, she sits on the step. Any other lesser misdemeanors and Jonathan and I just grit our teeth and try to be patient. The hardest thing is trying to set a good example. The No Yelling rule only makes sense if Mommy and Daddy don't yell either. Which is very hard. Especially for Jonathan. He is a very excitable guy and he tends to yell a lot. Now he just turns red and speaks very quietly and ominously, which prompts Blue to tell him to "Be happy, Daddy."

The Lion has 7 teeth now! He is still not showing any inclination to stand without hanging onto something or to walk without pushing Blue's baby stroller. Which is fine by me. I am really in no hurry for him to leave babyhood--especially when I see how crazy toddlers are!

I do feel like I have been very lax in trying to teach him to walk, though, so for the past few days I have been holding his humongous hands in mine and pulling him to a standing position. Which gets us nowhere, because he refuses to stay in a standing postition! He just squeals with excitement and bounces up and down. He's wild! He used to do this a lot whenever anyone stood him up on their lap. Every time the Lion would bounce up and down on my brother-in-law, Tim's lap, Tim would say, "Drop it like it's hot! Drop it like it's hot!"

22 January 2007

beautiful snow

This is Little Lion Man:

This is Little Lion Man admiring the falling snow:

Jonathan did take him outside for a moment so he could feel the snowflakes, but Lion didn't seem that impressed! Which was fine with me, since he is finally (knock on wood!) getting over the two ear infections that have been plaguing him since Christmas.

Blue played outside with Jonathan, which must have been exhausting for him! He pushed her on the swing, set her up on the top of the slide about a billion times, dragged her around the yard in her red wagon, pulled her around the driveway on her Dora bike, kicked a ball at her (and then chased after it whenever she kicked it into the woods) and just ran around the yard with her like a giant goofball while the Lion and I watched them from the warmth of the kitchen.

19 January 2007

BIll O'Reilly Defends Pedophiles

be happy

More blueisms:
dark - darken or sometimes darkinhere (as in "It's darkinhere outside.")
pancakes - peakins
coffee - cuppy
office - ossis
zebra - doobop
I'm stuck - I suck

and then there is her personal mantra which she says about a zillion times a day - Be happy.

We have no idea how or why this habit began, but she is always asking, "Mommy happy?" "Daddy happy?" and she is always telling us, "Be happy." Which makes me wonder, Do I seem unhappy to her or something? Where on earth does this come from?!

It seems at least one blueism goes extinct every day. I could have cried yesterday when she sang Twinkle Twinkle Little Star (about 60 times) for my friend, Shannon, and she was actually saying "twinkle" instead of "tinkle." When did this happen? Call me melodramatic, but she is growing up so fast! I want to grab onto her and tell her to slow down! Sing Tinkle Tinkle Ittle Sar if you want to! Damnit, it's cuter! Somehow, in the midst of making bottles for Lion and wiping bottoms and making grilled cheese sandwiches, I am missing these little milestones. She can recite the entire Spooky Old Tree. She does a mean elephant impression, complete with a little trunk-swinging interpretive dance. My Blue can even say "twinkle" now. Crazy.

At least she still sings Happy Bardy to One. That's Happy Birthday to You, in case you haven't heard Blue's version.

I know, I know, get over it. Drink your cuppy, Mommy. Be happy.

16 January 2007


I just love these girls! DWAFS, if you recall, stands for the Dead Women Authors Film Society. We meet again at the end of February at the new apartment of my friends, Olivia and Katherine. Olivia sent out an evite to remind us of the correct date and time, and these are the responses posted so far:

Olivia: You must allow me to tell you how ardently I admire and love DWAFS......and food.

Barbra: I will attend this fine assembly if I can find someone to sit on a small boy child.

Diana: If my services are not required for sitting on a small boy child, I will be heartily pleased to attend.

Adrienne: There are people who the more you do for them, the less they do for themselves....I'll still bring food as I am an enabler.

Katherine: The Captain of Team Wentworth will surely be present, as it is partly my home at which the party is.

Erin: It is a truth universally acknowledged, that I must be in want of party food. And Darcy. It's a tie.


You can

die for it --
an idea,
or the world. People

have done so,

their small bodies be bound

to the stake,


an unforgettable

fury of light. But

this morning,

climbing the familiar hills

in the familiar
fabric of dawn, I thought

of China,

and India

and Europe, and I thought

how the sun


for everyone just
so joyfully

as it rises

under the lashes

of my own eyes, and I thought

I am so many!
What is my name?

What is the name

of the deep breath I would take
over and over
for all of us? Call it

whatever you want, it is

happiness, it is another one
of the ways to enter

Mary Oliver

15 January 2007


Blue spent the night with Jonathan's parents last night.

I miss her.

It's nice having just one baby, though. And it's so sweet to have this one-on-one time with Lion. He gets so little of our undivided attention.  Blue is such a force to be reckoned with!

When people hear her name, they sometimes tell me, "Oh! I love that name! I had an aunt/grandmother/godmother named Bluebird*! She was a pistol." Seriously. They all use the word pistol. It's really funny.

And very, very apt. My Bluebird is a pistol, too.

So Little Lion Man got lots of time and attention yesterday. Jonathan and I went for a long walk downtown with Lion in our little hip-sling and he had the best time. He just loves being held. Then we came home and we all three took a long nap. I can do that when it's just one baby. When they are both here, they never seem to nap at the same time. It was so quiet and civilised, sitting with Jonathan in the twilight, talking about our upcoming trip to London. He said, "This is awesome, just having one baby."

"I know," I said. "I had forgotten how easy this was!"

But then I took Lion up to bed, and we passed Blue's purple room with her toys all over the place and her books strewn about and I missed her so much my throat hurt. I know she's having a great time with Jonathan's parents, but I can't wait until she's back home... driving me crazy, running around, yelling "No!" at me and bopping Lion on the head with her toy pots and pans.

My Bluebird is a pistol.

*Not her actual name.  I am not crazy.

14 January 2007


My real new year's resolution, I mean.

My real new year's resolution is to be The Best Wife Ever.

I know it sounds corny, but I am being serious. Because Jonathan rocks. And because we've been together for 8 years now and I don't want him to think I ever take him for granted.

And I don't think it's corny to want to keep my marriage strong and happy. Although some of the ways I think I could be The Best Wife Ever are pretty corny and make the feminist in me want to gag. So far, I have been meticulous about shaving my legs. Even above the knees. Even though it is January. And if you think that information is way too personal to post on the internet, check this out--I threw away all of my maternity underwear! And I bought all kinds of fun underwear from Victoria's Secret. Because The Best Wife Ever never wears granny panties.

The Best Wife Ever has ironed all of Jonathan's work shirts. The Best Wife Ever attempted to clean out the garage for her dear husband because he had been wanting to get around to it every weekend but something always came up and The Best Wife Ever would have finished cleaning out the garage if she hadn't sliced her arm open on a broken flower pot.

The Best Wife Ever is going to save lots and lots of money for her wonderful husband and will avoid hanging around Target touching all of the pretty, pretty towels.

And I know some of these things are very old-fashioned, but my husband is an old-fashioned guy. He still opens doors for me every time we get into the car and I think that is awesome. I'm not trying to morph into Donna Reed and wear pearls and say "yes, dear" and "no, dear" to everything he says. But I am going to try to make an effort to not look all nasty when he comes home from work and to drop whatever I am doing the minute he walks in the door at night to give him a great, big hug.

Because I am the luckiest woman I know. And I want him to know that I am very aware of how lucky I am.

Example: I have been cleaning out my closet (finally) because The Best Wife Ever runs a tight ship. And I found this rubbermaid full of every single little card and note we have ever given to each other. And torn movie tickets and programs from shows ... even menus from restaurants we went to on our honeymoon in Rome. I looked at every single adorable item in this rubbermaid, and it really made me get serious about adhering to this resolution of mine. Because, you see, this rubbermaid is not mine. It belongs to my husband. And he has kept all of these little mementos (many I had completely forgotten about) that add up to the story of our entire relationship stashed carefully away for all of these years.

Do you get it now? Do you see how freakin' lucky I am?

13 January 2007

Casi's Face

Sometimes, I take your features for granted,
the constant shape of your eyes.

When you were born, everyone said you looked
more like your father, though I insisted your chin was mine.

Tonight while we wait for the macaroni to soften,
we dance in the kitchen to the symphony of a priest.

As I recuperate from an ungraceful spin --
a second stilled in the light of your face --

I see me, but taller; me but prettier,
and with your father's chin.

Gabriela Anaya ValdepeƱa

12 January 2007

lion and becks

Poor Lion is still sick. I brought him to see the doctor today for a follow-up visit. He still has 2 ear infections and he also has a sinus infection. Poor little man. No wonder he has been so miserable! We gave him an antibiotic for the full 10 days, but it did absolutely nothing. So now he is on a stronger antibiotic and (get this) a steroid! So now we can blame his massive size on steroids! I wonder if he will get roid rage... And that, folks, is all the steroid jokes you'll get out of me. I promise.

And on to the real news, (no pun intended) David Beckham is leaving Real Madrid to play soccer here! Well, in LA anyway, so my chances of bumping into him on the street are pretty slim, but still. A girl can dream.

and a few more blueisms:

strawberries: dobbies
Bert and Ernie: Burp and Ernie
thirteen: chicken

09 January 2007


The other morning, I went into Blue's room to bring her downstairs. There were toys everywhere, in a sort of controlled chaos (she's really into sorting things by type right now).

She was putting a little pile of toy french fries on a blanket by her bed. I asked her, "What are you doing, baby?"

She said, barely glancing at me, "I'm making fries for the Wiggles."

She is so funny. It occurs to me that I may forget these cute expressions of hers, so I'm going to jot some of them down now:

elephant: essss
my dad and Judi: Papa Judi
TV: teetee
jump: gump

Damn.  Little Lion Man is crying. I'll return to this glossary later.

08 January 2007

just like mommy

Bluebird had her first professional haircut yesterday!

She was such a fantastic girl! She sat very still, all through her shampoo, cut and blow dry. I couldn't believe she let them use the blowdryer--she usually runs away when I use mine at home, but she is so brave!

She looks adorable. Here are a couple photos:

Here she is on the way home, with her new haircut and her first lollipop:

03 January 2007

shorn sheep

For a new look for the new year, I chopped my hair off this weekend. No more ponytails for me! Sigh. Now I look more like a mom than ever. And it seems everywhere I look, I am surrounded by women with gorgeous long hair. What have I done?

At least I donated my hair to Locks of Love so I can comfort myself with the knowledge that I have done a good deed.

01 January 2007

all a bunch of sickos

That's us. Santa brought the plague right down our chimney for Christmas this year.

Christmas Eve--what was that, like a week ago now? Two weeks?--Blue did absolutely nothing but lay on the couch and stare into space. That night Jonathan and I were repeating, "I will not get sick I will not get sick I will not get sick" frantically under our breath.

Christmas morning, we looked at each other, at our glassy, watery eyes and our flushed faces, at the identical grimaces of pain whenever we swallowed, and we knew we were doomed. We were definitely getting sick.

And did I mention the Lion was sick? Well, the Lion was sick, too. And of course the pediatrician was closed until the 26th. So on the 26th we made appointments for the babies in the morning and then we also made appointments for ourselves for the afternoon.

Blue was just so whiny and miserable, and Jonathan and I both had awful sore throats and raging fevers while we clutched our crying children in the waiting room for what seemed like hours. And then the result: the babies did not have strep, they had viruses. Nothing to do but watch them slowly suffer it out. Tylenol, plenty of rest, lots of fluid, bye-bye and come again!

So Jonathan and I cancelled our afternoon appointments, figuring we had viruses too and so we were all pretty much screwed. Jonathan took off the entire week and he seemed to be feeling a bit better than I was, so the bulk of caring for crying, snotty, runny-bottomed babies fell to him, poor man.

Finally, on Friday, I said to him, "I feel worse every day, not better. I know it's probably a waste of money, but I'm going to the doctor." And since it was a 3 day weekend approaching, I went as soon as they could squeeze me in. And it turns out I have a sinus infection and an ear infection, if you can believe it.

So I came home and looked at Blue and Lion who were also not looking like they felt any better than I did, and who the hell gets an ear infection at the age of 31?! So, we bundled the babies into the car and headed back to the pediatrician. My Blue also has an ear infection and the Lion has 2 very bad ear infections.

Five doctors' appointments, three prescriptions, and countless bottles of Tylenol, Advil, Nyquil, and Vicks Vaporub later and we're still all miserable. And broke.

But enough whining. How was your holiday? At least we have (so far) managed to survive the new experience of all 4 of us being ill at the same time without too much crying or shouting.

Happy New Year. My resolution? To take my vitamins and drink lots of OJ. No, seriously, it's to be healthier (i.e. lose weight) and to be less catty. Happy New Year, Everyone! And to all a Good Night.