Wednesday, December 31, 2008


If you know where I live (in a friend-type way, not a stalker type way) and you can get here by this evening, come on over, we're planning to try out the doughnut machine we got for Christmas and could use some help consuming the results of our experiments.
I'll also be making my secret recipe hot cocoa (I'll totally show you how to make it) so come on by!
Leave me a comment if you're coming so I'll know if I should change out of my jammies before we get the party started.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Well, here we are

Our Christmas rush is almost through. We have a party with my family this afternoon, a party which involves sledding.
I don't so much want to go sledding.  Cold is really not my thing and being as how I don't have any boots or snow pants and, will thus be participating in my sneakers and jeans, cold will be unavoidable. I could opt out of the sledding part of the day were it not for the resolution I made to spend more time doing active-outdoor type activities with my kids.
Resolutions, I hate those things.
We made it through the drive up with only one unexpected barfing. We forgot to bring a bucket but luckily Enzo's car seat is slightly reclined so all of the icky goo was collected on his own chest which made for easy clean-up.
We spent a day rushing around buying last minute gifts. Another rushing from party to party, to party,   a party for every meal on Christmas eve. And a third sitting contentedly in the house while the world grew whiter and fluffier around us.

Christmas was the mellowest day we've had in weeks.
Zizza's congratulating her grandma on her exceptional icicle cultivating skills,

The Mr is outside shoveling and throwing out his back, Enzo is reading "Goodnight Gorliia" the New One is sleeping away the morning as is her habit, the dog is shivering and cursing the day we brought him to this awful cold white place, and I am realizing that the mellow is done, there's a whirlwind waiting and it;s time I got up and faced it.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Enough with the puke already!

It would seem I need to create a whole category here for vomit related posts.
That's right. It happened again tonight.
We were at Panda Express, the favorite of both my children. I was waiting at the table with Enzo when, out of nowhere, he started the tell tale gagging cough.
This time I caught it in my bare hands. Lucky it wasn't more than a handful.
There I stood with my prize an no one around to help but my Zizza. "Run and tell Pop (who was in line) that Baby Brother threw up" I instructed.
Meanwhile, I shook my hands off into the near by garbage can. I had wipes but they were deep in my bag and no way was I reaching my wretched on hands in there to find them. At any other restaurant there would be a stack of napkins somewhere near by, not Panda. They are stingy with the napkins there. They give you one per person with your order and that's it. If you want more you have to go back to the counter and ask. We always ask for a few extras up front but since we hadn't made it that far yet, I was napkin less.
Zizza came back from relaying my message, the Mr's response was to look at me and shrug. Helpful. (In his defense I don't think he knew my fingers were dripping with stomach acid)
Just then, a Panda employee came out to wipe down tables, ah salvation!
"Excuse me" I said. "can I get a, a...something?" (as the boy begins to wretch again)
She was back in a flash with a whole roll of paper towels off which she had kindly ripped a fistful for my immediate use.
She left me the roll in case I needed it and I sat there holding my hands in the air away from my body and as far from my nose as possible until the Mr could relieve me of my child supervision duties so I could wash them five times over in the bathroom.
All the while Zizza begged "Can I have apple juice? I would like apple juice for a drink, are we getting apple juice" and I said to her "Do I look like I can buy you apple juice? If you want juice you need to talk to Pop, right now my only job is to sit here not touching anything" and she would say "But can I have some apple juice?" We had this exchange at least five times.
In case you wondered, yes, I was able to eat my food when I got it. I have what you might call an iron stomach(when I'm not pregnant).
Enzo, taking after his sister, seemed to feel just fine after his gastronomic demonstration and proceeded to eat three plates full (You know the little ones for egg rolls and such) of steamed rice.
He never gave up trying to snitch orange chicken off my plate either. I had to pay close attention the whole time. If I let my guard down, even for a second, I'd turn back to find a plump little hand sneaking a fork onto my plate.
Seriously folks, what is the deal with this? People who puke are supposed to be sick. They are not supposed to want orange chicken five minutes after the fact, not unless they're preggers any way.
I pray that we wont have any of these surprise vomit attacks during our coming drive. I think we'd better take a bucket along just in case though.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

A little bit of yuck

What is it about vomit that makes such great blog fodder?
Every time one of my kids starts blowing chunks I have the essay written out in my head by the time I'm finished cleaning it up. I don't always post these jewels, but I always, always, compose them.
It's coping mechanism, I think. If I can think of a way spin the situation into something funny, or even just mildly entertaining, even as I'm dealing with the gross reality it becomes easier to bear.
That being said...

Monday morning dawned bright and clear. It was a day we all look forward to, Dog Grooming day.
On grooming days The Mr drops the pup at the dog wash in the morning before going in to work.
The rest of us get up, dress and follow them in to town. We run errands, meet up with our Mr for lunch and then pick up a clean fluffy dog. These are good days.
Monday morning Zizza came down and laid in my bed while I styled my hair. She got up and went into the toilet/tub portion of the bathroom. I heard choking. "You ok babe?" I called to her. "I'm going to throw up" was the reply I both expected and got. I opened the door and found her sitting on the toilet rather than leaning over it. This concerned me. I couldn't yank her off and turn her around. If her tummy's upset and threatening spillage on either end, the bottom end is the one I want on the toilet. I would have to find an alternate receptacle for the spew.
I flung open the cabinet door, hoping against hope that the cleaning bucket was in there. It wasn't I knew it wasn't but I'd looked anyway on the chance I was wrong.
I didn't find the bucket I was seeking but I did find salvation from mopping vomit off my floor. There, in the back of the cabinet were the hair clippers, clippers stored in a rubbermaid container. Another gagging noise erupted from the throat of my four year old and I plucked that rubbermaid from it's cozy corner and dumped the contents none too gently on the floor.
I was just in time.
Thing is, after all that drama with the bucket she hardly even puked. I actually wondered if she was just testing herself to see if she could do it.
She was chipper as could be once she finished, ate breakfast, ran around, made me fear for my sanity should she take a fancy to faking sick.
So, I took her out that day even in spite of the vomiting, and we had a lovely time.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Scrub a dub dub

My Tiny Enzo boy loves the bath. He always has loved it. It's nice that he's big enough now I can go in the other room while he plays in the bath, so long as I'm within ear shot.
Tonight a weird thing happened. He actually got tired of the bath and wanted to get out before I deemed it necessary. I don't think that's ever happened before. Sure, a time or two he's climbed out himself and come running to find me dripping and naked, but to stand there in the tub, calling for me to come and end the bath is really unheard of.
I went in to get him out and... I don't know if I should tell you, but I'm going to. Take a deep breath and get ready for it folks, this is unpleasant. The toilet brush was in the bath tub with him. I guess our actual bath toys just weren't cutting the mustard last night.
He did not appreciate the scrubbing I gave him next. He didn't appreciate it at all. In fact, even after he was clean, dry and diapered he continued to voice his displeasure. He went right on voicing it until I showed him his new dinosaur jammies. After a look at that dino he stopped the crying and started roaring. Then his pop got in on it and he was a happy boy again.

It took a little more than that to make me a happy mama again. A little more by way of a healthy amount of Clorox and some tub-ward elbow grease.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

This is why I don't generally clean.

For the past six to eight weeks I've listened to Zizza sing "Winter Wonderland" and "Rockin'Around the Christmas Tree" when I picked her up after her dance lesson. She wouldn't show me the dance though, she was under strict orders from her teacher not to spoil the surprise.
The week finally came. I took her to practice 3 days in a row leading up to the big day. She fretted over my not having made her skirts yet, and I assured her they were a five minute job. Here's the thing though, If, in a massive sewing room clean-up extravaganza, you accidentally throw out the pre-cut skirts you were provided, that adds a lot of time to the project total.
I was finally setting out to make the skirts on Thursday morning when I found the bag of skirt bits had gone missing. After thirty minutes or so of searching the house I established that the bag had been mixed up in the trash and threw the children in the car for a last minute run to Joann for new materials.
Luckily the two colors of foil-dot lame I needed were still in stock, as were the red and black 1 inch grosgrain ribbons. We made it in and out of there in record time. I did have to rudely assert my place in line with an older woman at the cutting counter who was not accustomed to the new-ish "take a number" service approach, but I was racing the clock to get the Girl back in time for Joy School and had no time for niceties with senior citizens.
Actually, what happened is, I was hurrying along and hopped right up to the counter, with a confident "Seventy seven?" as soon as I noticed the cutting lady approaching the counter after putting the bolts from number seventy six's order on the return rack. Then I noticed the "wasn't it my turn?" look on the woman's face and felt sort of bad but I'd already claimed my place in line, so that was that. Still I want the record to show that had that woman known to take a number when she approached the counter, she would have been after me in line anyway. I was totally there first.
Anyway, I got what I needed, fed the Girl lunch in the car, and delivered her to Joy School 15 minutes late, oh well.

Edited to add
I found the bag with the pre-cut dance skirts in it. Where? Hanging on the back of my sewing chair. It had been hidden by a number of the Mr's shirts which I had ironed during my cleaning extravaganza and draped carefully over the chair back owing the the lack of hangers in the room.
Too bad I didn't get around to putting those shirts away a little sooner.

Dancing Girl

Zizza had her first ever Dance recital last Friday. You may remember her starting Ballet last January and think that's a long time to carry on with no recital. What happened is, after 3 or so lessons last winter, we decided she'd enjoy it more if she waited until fall to get started. Turns out we were right.
The recital was fantastic. She danced better than I'd seen her all week. Something about having an audience there made her focus. Her eyes never left her teacher, who danced at the back of the room the whole time so the girls could follow along.
What a proud mama I was watching her. I'd like to tell you whether or not she was the best one but I had my zoom lens trained on her the whole time so I honestly didn't see any of the other girls.
Sad thing though, my camera setting got bumped without me noticing and I was holding a very wriggly Enzo on my hip so none of my pictures turned out. Nice.
Look at how heart breaking this is.

That would have been a killer shot if, a; I knew how to use my camera and, b; I wasn't restraining a little boy who wanted nothing more than to run screaming to the front of the room and attack the stereo while I took the photo.
After Zizza's numbers were over and I took my seat, Enz discovered that he loves, loves, to scream into my hand. I clapped it over his mouth myself a time or two and then he relieved me of the responsibility and spent the remainder of the event squashing his face into my palm as he screamed. I think everyone was glad we were there.
At least she was glad.
She was also glad that her Pop brought her flowers, they were bigger than she was.

He always has had a problem with practicality when shopping for his girls, not that any of us are complaining.

P.S. Zizza refused to wear her ballet slippers in the recital because they are pink. "Pink doesn't match anything else in my outfit, Mama" she told me. And I nearly burst with pride.

Thursday, December 11, 2008


We made these again last night.
This year Enzo is big enough to "help"
When Zizza was just over two she unwrapped hugs and put them obediently in the bowl, eating only the few we granted permission for. At just a few months under two Enz ate every candy placed within his reach.

How much of this has to do with the months age difference and how much is the difference in the children, do you think?
Zizza took her responsibilities very seriously. She's an old pro at this now, it's her third year on the job. She even gave me a few pointers.

Then Enzo ate up the broken pretzels while Zizza and I placed the hugs on their unbroken brothers...and I didn't take any photos of the finished product. They look the same as they did last year. Check that link up yonder if you want to see.

Soup with stars, please

On Saturday I looked in the refrigerator and noticed something. It was a massive hunk of foil, sitting there filling most of the main shelf. It was almost as though it had been there forever, so long I'd stopped seeing it when I stared into the abyss wondering what to fix for dinner.
It hadn't though. Been there forever that is.
It had only been there since Thanksgiving. Granted, that is a pretty long time for a thing to hang out in a refrigerator.
I didn't throw it out though. No sir, or mam. See, turkey bones only come around so often and when they do you've got to fix them up right or you'll be sorry. Sorry to miss out on the deliciousness that is Turkey soup with home made noodles.

I made the soup on Sunday. It was a last minute whim that led to the star shaped noodles. I have a set of different sized star cookie cutters, and plain old straight noodles sounded so blah.
The stars were a raging success. On Monday around the time I usually start the abysmal stare I mentioned before, Zizza came into the kitchen and asked, no, begged. "Please mama, please can we have left overs for dinner?"
True story.
So we had left overs and they were delightful. We had leftovers again for lunch the next day and dinner tonight. Every time it's been served the soup has been well received. I think I'll use those cookie cutters more often. I shouldn't give them all the credit though, it was my best turkey frame soup to date.


This came in the mail the other day.

After my last bathing-related post I poked around online a little more and found a listing on e-bay. Six glorious bottles, all mine.
While I was out this evening, the Mr bathed all three children in that magical stuff. I've just made the rounds, sniffing each sleeping babe. It was wonderful.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Just realized I sent them to bed with un-brushed teeth. oops.

I took all of the children with teeth to the dentist today. Actually, I took the one without teeth too but she didn't get an exam.
If you'd been at my house in the hours leading up to the visit you would have thought I was taking them to Disney Land.
Zizza was soooo excited. "Do you know what my favorite part is mom? It's drawing Butterflies" (magna-doodles are furnished at each exam chair for the patients doodling pleasure) She talked my ear off about the drawing. Also, she described in detail the tooth shaped stools in the waiting room play area. She wondered aloud what kind of toothbrush she would get and which prize she would choose.
She explained to her brother all that would happen and how the Dentist would tickle his gums with the tooth brush and then, he could choose a bouncy ball like hers from the prize center. She took the responsibility of the older more experienced child very seriously. I think the only thing she forgot about her first visit to the dentist six months ago was the fact that Enzo came along and watched it all go down so he maybe didn't need all the coaching she gave him.
And how did the actual visit go, you ask?
They each have excellent dental health. They each enjoyed the event. They were each delighted with their new tooth brushes and the prizes they selected. Neither of them put up any sort of fuss or, in Enzo's case, even made a peep during their respective exams.
We scheduled another visit in six months time and will surely be drunk with anticipation waiting for the day.
I guess it shouldn't come as a surprise, my kids loving the dentist. I love going myself. Sparkling clean teeth really are a thrill.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Chez Uniquety December 4, 2008

Zizza vacuumed,

Enzo laughed,

and all the while, there was napping going on.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Why, Gerber? Why?

One fine and fateful day in the final stages of my first pregnancy I came into possession of a bottle of Gerber Grins 'n Giggles oatmeal scented baby wash and the accompanying lotion.
I didn't care for it. It smelled good enough, but I found the scent rather pungent for a wee babe. I decided to use it for myself and forget it.
Eventually though, I ran out of the Johnson's baby wash and lotion I'd found appropriately bland for use on a new born and we gave the Gerber a try.
It's true, the stuff smells strong in the bottle. Put it on a baby though, and magic happens.
It is the single sweetest fragrance in existence upon the face of the earth today. It is the smell of my babies, you see, I never tuned back...
Until March, when I ran out and couldn't find anymore. I looked on Gerber's web site and it was still listed in their products, but none of the stores in my area carried it.
Then I got a little busy and tried not to think about it until today when I was once more in the market for baby wash.
This time I decided to give Johnson's oatmeal scented wash a try. It's the best I've had since the Gerber ran out but it's still not the same.
After thinking about the Grins 'n Giggles smell all afternoon, I really needed a fix so after bathing the new one in the Johnson's wash I swathed her in the Gerber lotion. I have one last bottle of that, I keep it for emergencies. Last time I used it was the day Little Bitty came to our house.
I honestly almost cried when I cracked open the bottle and smelled the intoxicating scent of fresh baby.
The New One is in bed now, every time I walk in the room I lean over the bassinet and sniff her luxuriantly.
I checked Gerber's web site again. The Grins 'n Giggles line isn't mentioned there any more. I did find this in a desperate google search. You know it might actually be worth the $9.95 plus shipping?

Monday, December 1, 2008


Here's the deal folks. I like to run. At times in my life I've even loved to run.
I've been meaning to get back into it these four years since I've become a mother, I just can't figure out how. Not how to run, I know how to do that, I've even done it a time or two. I can't figure out how to do it regularly, with children.
I ran occasionally with just the one child, I still had trouble fitting it into the day, but it was possible.
Then came the second child, and he didn't bring a double jogger with him so that complicated things. Still, I got out a time or two while the bigger one was at joy school.
Now there are three. If I bought the double jogger I could run with the smaller pair while the older one is otherwise occupied, that would be an improvement to what I'm doing now. I could only make it out 2-3 times a week that way though, not enough to constitute an actual training program for any of the races I hear about and aspire to run.
So, friends, friends with children who also manage to get out there and run. How is it done?
My guess is that you have to do it early before the children are awake. I've never given that any sort of an effort. Two reasons, I love my sleep and the morning sleep is the absolute best, and mornings are dark. I think it would compromise the safety of my person to run all by my lonesome in the big dark world.
What I need is a buddy. Does anyone want to volunteer? Come out in the insane hours of morning and run with me so we can protect one another?
Seriously, call me. (or, you know, e-mail)