Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Halloween 2007

The Bug, Speed Racer, and Sweet Pea

Sweet Pea, Speed Racer, Moose (Speed Racer's little brother), and The Bug
Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

There's Something in the Air

Tonight after dinner we got lazy and allowed the girls to stay up a little too late. Once I was finally rounding up the children to herd (can you call two a herd? Probably not. Hmm) them upstairs, Slipshod jumped off the couch saying, "Earthquake." I said, "I don't feel it." I could tell that it was happening - the house was clearly moving, based on the creaks coming from the walls. It kept going and Slipshod couldn't believe that I couldn't feel it. He watched me during the rest of it - the quake lasted for a while - and I never felt a thing. It registered 5.6 on the Richter scale. Not huge, but we got calls from lots of family members asking if we felt it, because they did.

It's been this way with almost every earthquake I have ever experienced. When I was growing up in Wild, Wonderful West Virginia, one summer Saturday I left the rest of the family in the back yard (we were all out there doing yard maintenance - seriously - one of our more Norman Rockwell moments, perhaps) and went inside to get myself a drink. The kitchen table was empty save for the glass I set upon it, into which I poured some lemonade. As I turned to replace the pitcher in the refrigerator, I heard a sound and when I looked back at the table, my glass of lemonade was jumping and dancing around. I went back outside and asked my mom if our house could be possessed. Turned out we'd had a 3.4 earthquake. I hadn't felt a thing, despite the house clearly moving.

I didn't even feel the 1989 quake, and I was in San Rafael at the time. I knew something was happening because everyone I was with (we were outside, walking to the dining hall on our college campus) reacted - one friend even said she felt like she almost fell over. Oh, and I also had an inkling what was happening because somebody across campus yelled, "EARTHQUAKE!"

When we got to the dining hall friends who had already been inside told me that everyone had dived under their tables when the quake hit. But I didn't feel it. I'm serious. What I noticed was the shivering sound in the air as all the tall, old eucalyptus trees we were walking under shook. And of course the ensuing shower of debris (leaves, shredded bark & fruit) from the trees confirmed that something was not quite right. But I didn't feel the earthquake.

I think I did feel some of the aftershocks, but probably only because I was sitting on furniture that moved when they hit.

There was another earthquake I remember happening when I worked at the college. My boss came running out of her office asking if I had felt it and I said, "oh, is that what that was? I didn't feel anything, but it sounded like they were moving very large furniture in the office above ours." Nobody else had heard the noises I had heard; but they had all felt the quake. Again, I felt nothing.

There was one a number of years back that I did feel. It happened at 7:30am on a Saturday and we didn't have kids yet, so of course Slipshod and I were in bed. I woke up because the bed was shaking. I couldn't figure out what was going on, then decided that Slipshod must be getting out of bed despite the fact that pre-kids he would never have gotten out of bed that early on a Saturday. Or on a weekday, for that matter. I turned to look, but he was snoozing, unmoving, next to me. I looked into the open closet and some hangers were swinging gaily back and forth and since I was not very awake I started to freak out a little because I couldn't figure out what was going on. I poked Slipshod, whimpering, and told him that the hangers were swinging. In his characteristic high-functioning half-awake state, which ensures that he will not remember a thing once he truly wakes up, he said, "oh, it's just an earthquake. Go back to sleep," which he rolled over and did himself. Ha ha ha!

This seems so weird to me. I should be able to feel the earth move under my feet, right? But I only feel quakes when I'm sitting or lying on furniture that's moving. If I'm actually in contact with the ground or the ground floor of a building, I don't feel a thing.

Once years ago, in an effort to explain this phenomenon to myself, I remembered the Medieval Theory of the Humors which I had learned about in Shakespeare class during college. I think I did this after that quake I felt a work. I knew that my element according to the Medieval Theory of the Humors was Air, and it turned out that my boss' element was Earth. I extrapolated that she could feel earthquakes because her element was Earth, and that it made sense that I heard rather than felt them, since my element was Air. Never mind that my extrapolation does absolutely nothing to explain why given that I think most people do feel earthquakes, people whose elements are Fire and Water should also feel earthquakes, though their elements wouldn't necessarily give reasons why they should feel them.

Well, that's it, really: My inability to feel earthquakes is such a curiosity to me that I had to tell you all about it, and my pet theory. Hee. Oh - the epicenter of tonight's earthquake was about 5 miles from our house in the South Bay so I talked with one of our renters (a longtime friend) and he said the place is fine. The earthquake woke him up and spilled a can of Sprite on the floor; that's about it for that house. But it must have felt quite a lot stronger there than it did here.

Let me leave you with something silly for Halloween: A picture of a friend and I the last year Slipshod and I really dressed for a Halloween party (I even made the dresses - we used to be so into that sort of thing). I'll even tell you a secret: This picture was taken mere hours before Sweet Pea was conceived. We're pretty sure it was the green wig that helped us finally conceive after 21 months of trying.

Friday, October 26, 2007


I love my Sweet Pea. Sure, she thinks it's funny to pat my stretched out belly to make it jiggle and then she asks why it's jiggly, but today she came home from school and told me that I have a small bum. What's not to love?

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

United Nations Day

PLEASE click to see this picture bigger. She's got the cutest little look on her face. Ha ha!

Sweet Pea's school doesn't celebrate your everyday, run-of-the-mill holidays; they substitute a set of their own. Their first big event of the year is the music program on United Nations Day, and their answer to kids dressing up for Halloween at school is instead to have the kids dress on United Nations Day in something traditional from their culture. That is how it came to be that today was the day on which Sweet Pea donned my childhood dirndl, sent to me by my godfather from Germany I don't know how many years ago. We've both been bursting with giggles waiting for her to get to wear this dress. I couldn't believe how perfectly it fit her when she tried it on recently, especially because I, who was a small child until age 12, wore this dress when I was a full year or two older than Sweet Pea is now. I keep thinking I wore it when I was 6, but it doesn't seem possible that she could be that much bigger than I was at age 4.

ANYWAY - it was a really fun day and we even got to penetrate the "inner sanctum" that is Sweet Pea's classroom (parents always drop off and pick up the kids at the door and are generally not invited into the classroom) for a potluck after the music program. The show was really really cute too. There were at least two classes of the little kids, though I think it might have been more like four, and then there were some older classes too. They sang about six songs, I think, and signed most of them as well. I videotaped the whole concert except for about 10 seconds when I turned off the camera in a panic because I didn't know where The Bug was. Turned out she was just on the other side of the lady next to me, but it was scary there for a second. At one point I looked down to check on The Bug and saw that she had taken the bigger kids' signing as an indication that she should pull out every sign she could think of, so while they sang and signed the words to their songs, The Bug signed "baby," "truck," "apple," "cat," and every other word she could think of for which she knows a sign. That totally cracked me up.

We had a great time in the classroom afterward during the potluck (we took potato pancakes and applesauce - Slipshod and I were up until 1:30 this morning cooking the pancakes), and then were invited to leave early because there were too many cars in the parking lot and the administrator wanted to be sure that the parents of the older kids would have somewhere to park when it was time to pick up their children. Ha ha!

I quipped a few times to fellow parents during the potluck that what with our broad cultural background, Sweet Pea might be able to wear outfits and bring food from a different culture every year without repeating. I think next year we'll go with Irish and make soda bread. But what is a traditional Irish outfit? I'm not buying her one of those dresses unless she actually takes up the dancing. You know what I'm talking about.

Guten tag!

Posted by Picasa

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Haiku Friday

Haiku Friday

Blue Potato Bush
Little tomato-like fruit
This plant's a Nightshade

Naughty baby holds
bitten orange fruit in hand
Feigns another bite

Mama looks it up
Page online says "poisonous"
Big sister freaks out

"Will she be okay?
I don't want baby to die!"
"Calm down, sweetie pie."

Call Poison Control
Fruit is only poisonous
if lots is eaten

Worst case for baby
is a bad taste in her mouth
She nurses it out

Baby acting fine
This one is far more trouble
than her big sister

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Just A Few Pictures

(As always, click on any picture to see a bigger version - helps especially in cases like when you want to actually see what The Bug is holding in the last picture - ha ha)

They're just so cute. There's no denying it. Sweet Pea is starting be a little more playful with The Bug again. After she started school her interest in her sister faded and it was kinda sad and there was much yelling and screaming when The Bug would try to play with Sweet Pea. But Sweet Pea has taught The Bug to sit in her lap, and The Bug loves to do that, and sometimes they're both happy with the arrangement. Cute snuggliness follows!

Since she started school, Sweet Pea is no longer drawing ONLY kitties. She will draw just about anything you ask her to, and also does drawings of whatever comes to mind. Above you'll see a picture she drew in a card for her grandparents. The picture shows me changing The Bug's diaper! I was astounded when she showed this to me, because you can tell that The Bug is lying down, and even on a changing table! The drawer on our changing table has two knobs, which are the two circles you see below where the baby is lying. Plus, suddenly out of nowhere she's drawing clothes, hands, feet, etc. It's wild! I have seen her draw hands like she drew my feet above, and you'll notice that my feet look like toes but The Bug's look like little circles. I love to see the evolution of Sweet Pea's drawing style.

Of course, she does still draw mostly kitties, and now she is also writing on every picture. She can write forward and backward but these days she is choosing to write backward and thinks it's funny. I don't know if she's doing that because she's left-handed and it feels better that way, or if this is just a phase, or what. I don't know if I should try to encourage her to write forward or not. My teacher-sister told me a while back that writing backward is normal until age 9, but she is also making the letters in mirror image, which you can't tell from the "Mommy" written above simply because those letters can look right either direction (cat, as you see, is written forward, which is nice - but she writes it both ways). My teacher-Mom tells me that sometimes if kids learn to write letters backward it is really hard to get them to fix that later. For now I think I will just wait and see what happens, though. I do every so often tell Sweet Pea that in our language we read and write from the left to the right, and since she writes on everything she puts on paper (that is to say, she doesn't just draw pictures anymore), I know her teachers are seeing this too - so I'll wait and see if they say anything, or I'll ask about it at her parent-teacher conference next month.

Grapes, kitty?

Continue reading below for last night's post.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007


Dear Bloggety Blog:

I just want you to know that I think of you often, and nearly every day compose a thing or three to post - but my musings almost never leave my head and gets typed in here.

Daily I am left exhausted (that's only the best word I can come up with right now - but the feeling is much more intense than that) and absolutely confounded at the thought that some people actually have clean, clutter-free houses and children who have regular bedtimes and have a bath and read books every single night.

Some days I really don't know if I can make it through The Bug's teething to those seemingly far off days of glory when I shall sleep more than three hours at a time. Yes, I did make it through Sweet Pea's equally difficult teething, but she was my only child then. Raising two through this is enough to grind me into sand. Every day.

However, despite the extreme difficulty and frustration of last night (The Bug woke up VERY often and at one point when she was actually sleeping, her big sister inexplicably woke me up and kept me awake for a fracking hour and a half), somehow today I made it through with no yelling at all, and only a few stern noises at the girls. You've still got to use your Mom Voice when the 16-month-old climbs up onto the dining room table and then smiles at you, rather than moving her little butt backward and onto the chair, when you tell her to get off the table.

Today was Picture Day for Sweet Pea's class, and omigod she looked adorable. We went clothes shopping for her, uh... last week? Well, recently, anyway, and the outfit she wore was just super duper cute and it spoke to me and said, "I am the one she must wear for picture day." And she agreed, and I can't wait to see the pictures. When we got home today we were on our way to ring our friends' doorbell across the street when Sweet Pea tripped in their driveway and started crying really hard, and blood started leaking through the knees of her tights. So we went home through the sudden downpour which I swear started the second Sweet Pea fell, and stayed at home instead, doctoring Sweet Pea's knees (they're really not that bad off but she hasn't had many injuries so to her it was a big thing) and doing laundry until dinnertime. And playing, of course. Always playing.

If there's anything else I'm too pooped to think of it right now.

Oh, wait, no I'm not: Last night Slipshod and I finished the final Harry Potter book. I didn't mention anything about reading it before because while everyone else was devouring book 7, we still hadn't even begun book 6, so we read them both straight through and just kept our heads down so nobody would blurt to us about either of those books! We started reading the Harry Potter books out loud together with book 3, and it has been nice to have that as one of "our things" to do together. I think that reading book 7 immediately on the heels of book 6 made the last book far more intense for us, and there were several points during the story in book 7 when we were both actually crying and having trouble reading. Slipshod has been reading HP to me almost every night while I do the dishes (every so often he washed and I read, but mostly it was the other way around - at least we were spending time together) but over the past week we've been moving to the couch with the book and forsaking our TV shows to keep reading the book. Last night we stayed up later than we normally would so that we could finish it. We enjoyed the book, and indeed the whole series immensely, but it had to end and we were not disappointed. But NOW - I'm rather bereaved tonight and haven't even started washing the dishes at 10pm because, there's no more Harry Potter left to read! Whatever will we do? I suppose there are other books out there, or we could just talk instead, der, but... it was so much fun having that story to look forward to every night! Oh well. I saw something on about how "There IS Life After Harry Potter." I guess I'll have to figure out where to go from here. Not ready to move on yet.

That is all and I hope that at least some of it made sense. I'll be back at some point, and maybe I'll even have something interesting to say. But right now, I am the servant of the teeth. I was all pissed off last night/this morning about how much The Bug woke up last night, even though I knew it was teething related, but later this morning I got a look at what we're dealing with, and then I felt rightfully sorry for her and held my grumpiness in check. At one point she was nursing and I removed her from one breast simply to move her to the other side. She started crying a lot, which was strange because usually she knows I'll just move her over to the other side, but I took advantage of her open mouth to get a look, and saw that her two upper one-year molars are cutting in tandem. She must be in a whole helluva lot of pain, poor thing. But part of me is rejoicing that the bottom two molars have (I think) finished cutting and these two are coming in at the same time. I am REALLY hoping that we'll have a week of good sleep before she starts cutting the eye teeth. And then, hopefully we'll be in better shape for a number of months until she cuts the two-year molars. Here's praying... 'cause Mama needs SLEEP!!!!!

Friday, October 12, 2007

If Only We Had a Picture

Yesterday The Bug and I caused a laugh riot amongst the teachers and parents, complete with lots of pointing, when we went to pick up Sweet Pea from school.

First you have to understand a couple things. 1) The Bug has turned into one of those kids who will struggle like a little tornado to get down if she's being carried but wants to walk. Once she gets down, she runs away from me, laughing, and never looks back. This has become a problem in the school parking lot, as you might imagine. She's really hard to hold onto once she starts struggling, especially if I'm holding Sweet Pea's hand with my other hand - so - 2) this week I started carrying The Bug in the Baby Bjorn during drop-off and pick-up at school. Luckily she still LOVES her Bjorn and actually still asks for a "whee!" (ride) in it every day if it's inside the house where she can see it. She grabs it and brings it to me and says, "I wanna whee? Mommy whee!"

So - yesterday on the way to school The Bug took a book full of pictures of babies, and "read" it quietly in her car seat. When we got to school I opened her door and donned the Baby Bjorn, and she still sat there, reading her book, only looking up to show me the babies in her book. When I picked her up to put her in the Bjorn I suggested that we leave the book in the car. She shook her head adamantly, refusing to let go. "Okay," I said, "but you'll have to hold on to it!" So I popped her into the Baby Bjorn, facing out, book and all. She just kept holding it in front of her with both hands, looking at it, seemingly oblivious to everything around her, completely engrossed in the book, as I locked the car and walked through the parking lot and into the school. One of the teachers on one of the play grounds pointed our way as we neared the front of the school and she leaned to another teacher and said something. Then she walked over to the side of the fence where we were walking and said something to me about The Bug being ready for school. Ha ha! As we continued in the front door, parents pointed and laughed and said, "look at that!" I really wish we could have had someone take a picture; we must have looked really comical. Oh well - there will probably be other opportunities. We'll have to try for a picture next time.

Happy weekend, everyone!

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

The Great Breast Fest Montage

This was the first thing I saw online today when I checked the Queen of Spain's blog - and it made me cry. AND - The Bug is in it. You'll see her toward the endish, wearing a rainbow striped shirt, looking right at the camera. I'd post links but just don't have the steam. Maybe later. In the mean time, credit is given (er, taken) at the end of the video. Enjoy.

Friday, October 05, 2007

Catching Up... Yet again

That time thing - it just keeps going, so without access to the Tardis, I just have to try to keep up.

Last Saturday Sweet Pea's school had an all-school picnic in the park. We walked over, partly beause we can - the school is only a 17 minute walk away, and the park is right behind the school - and partly because last Friday my brakes nearly failed completely when The Bug and I were on our way home from dropping Sweet Pea off at school. We walked to pick her up that day.

Saturday was a beautiful day for a walk and a picnic, and The Bug was beside herself with giggles when we showed her that she could ride the Bjorn on Daddy too! She's far more used to being strapped to the front of me.

BAD MOMMMY. BAD DADDY. In our usual style we were late getting out the door, so we went as fast as we could and I didn't remember until we got to the park that I had meant to bring our wide-brimmed sun hats. Sweet Pea fared just fine, porcelain skin and all, but The Bug's poor little face got completely fried sometime during the afternoon. By bedtime it was that awful, painful blue-red of a deep sunburn. Boy did Slipshod and I feel awful. Sigh.

Slipshod has been in Portugal this week - he is currently on a plane on his way home and we will see him tomorrow morning when we wake up. I may see him or at least talk to him when he gets home late late tonight (or early tomorrow morning), but the girls will have to wait until they wake up. I know he'll be loopy from the time change, but I hope he doesn't have any delusions of sleeping in, because both girls have missed him something fierce and will be all over him as soon as they wake up and see him. The picture above is a drawing Sweet Pea did at school on Wednesday, depicting Slipshod on the airplane, wearing earphones. ha ha! (Click on the picture to see more detail)

For most of the week The Bug seemed to be convinced that Slipshod was actually here somewhere and he was hiding from her. She repeatedly asked, "Where Dada?" and kept looking in his office, or in the bedroom when we were in the bathroom, or thinking that when she was sitting in her chair at the table in the dining room, surely Daddy was in the living room... but yesterday when she woke up she had had enough of the game. After waking up and saying, "Hi, Mama! Hiiiiiiiiii, Mommy!" to me for a while, she sat up with her back to me and said, "Want see Dada." Poor thing. Both girls have missed him so much. Yesterday we managed to be home when Slipshod called on the computer, so we got to talk to him before dinner. He was up packing in the middle of the night (1am) in Portugal. I hope he gets some nappage in on the planes today. Sweet Pea was so excited to talk to Slipshod that she kept opening her mouth at me in a big excited face, and shaking her arms to show how excited she was. It will be so nice to have Slipshod home!

The Bug had a really rough evening yesterday. Part of the problem was definitely that she was tired - she did a little more running around yesterday than she has done for a while - and part of it probably also had to do with teething - the second lower molar is partway through the gums and this morning at breakfast it was bleeding and she kept sticking her fingers in her mouth, crying - but I have to wonder if her grumpiness yesterday evening might also have had to do with Slipshod's absence. She definitely had a different attitude about the situation yesterday. She didn't ask more than once or twice where Dada was. And she is absolutely missing him.

Oh well - we just have to make it through today and then we'll get to see him in the morning. Yay!

As far as surviving around the house without Slipshod, we've done just fine this week. I was really good about actually cooking (when he's home I far too often ask him to pick up dinner on the way home), keeping up with the dishes and laundry - even the litter box. Of course we've got our usual clutter, but I did attack one or two little clutter spots, and keeping up with the laundry is a huge deal to me because we had a ton of extra sheets to wash last week. I never got my grocery list written last weekend and Slipshod had been going to do a shopping trip for us before we left since he usually does most of the grocery shopping, so I was a bit worried about attempting a big trip with both girls, but we did it on Monday and everything went really well. So I'm feeling pretty darn good. We had a good week despite Slipshod being out of town.

Okay, now I feel like I'm babbling, so I'll stop now. Last night I completely forgot to cut the veggies for tonight's dinner, so I'm going to do that now, as well as get Sweet Pea dressed for school and all that good stuff. Wish me luck! Eep!
Posted by Picasa