Friday, August 31, 2012


My parents had a strict no ear piercing policy.  My mother said she didn't want to be bothered with cleaning and twisting and infections.  I think my father thought earrings would make us susceptible to the wiles of the devil.  Neither of my parents ever signed a permission form for ear piercing.

At least one of my older sisters begged on multiple occasions but to no avail.  As the fifth daughter I accepted my earring-less fate.  I never even asked.  Truth be told I was never interested in ear piercing. I had more important battles to fight.  For example; short skirts.  I love me a short skirt.

Even after I turned 18 I didn't bother with piercing my ears. My friends asked why and I told them I knew I'd never wear earrings and I preferred unscarred lobes to bare holes. 

 I struggle with accessories.  I like a good strong outfit that can stand on its own two feet.  Accessories are a burden, a hassle.  If I chance to wear them I strip them off the minute I get home so I can breathe.  For this reason my earlobes remained whole even after I had my navel pierced.

At the age of 25 I was accessorizing more than ever before.  I decided maybe I would wear earrings if I had the ability.  So I got my ears pierced.  Most of the time I wear bare holes exactly as I expected I would.

Eventually it came time to make a decision about my girl's ears.  Here is my stance; I am not opposed to  childhood ear piercing as long as the child in question has put some thought into whether or not earrings are actually something she wants.  If she only wants the piercing because all her friends do, I don't think that's a good enough reason. If I put an age limit on it then It becomes a rite of passage. She'll want it as a symbol of growing up, not because she likes earrings and what they'll add to her wardrobe and personal style.  So the rule became, once she's old enough to think things through and make decisions I'll let her do it as soon as I've seen evidence that she has actually thought about it and decided that it's something she'd like for herself.

Moo's ears were pierced while she was away from me.  She didn't get to make the decision.

Since Moo's been back Ziz has vacillated between envy, indifference, and complete disinterest toward earrings.

Moo's ears got really icky last December. It was not pretty. ("boy am I glad I don't have pierced ears!" said Zizza) She hadn't worn earrings again until yesterday.  I was actually wearing some (miracle) and she asked if she could wear some too.  I was pretty sure her ears had closed up as they healed from the horror in December but I told her we'd give it a try.  Surprise surprise, the earrings went right in.

Today Ziz wished aloud that she had some too.  We happened to be on the way to the mall at the time. The Mr and I had a brief conference and then I turned and asked her if she really wanted them.  If she did, I said, she could do it today as an early birthday present.

You might not think the spur of the moment offer is fitting with the stance I outlined above.  Here's why it worked; She's been weighing this decision for a year and a half now.  I knew she'd already put the thought into it.  I've told her in the past that she could do it as soon as she was sure about it. Her wish carried the weight of all of that.  

She spent the rest of the drive considering.  "I want to do it." she told me when I rejoined the family after completing the return that took us to the mall in the first place.

She and I went to Claire's alone.  I told the lady there why we'd come and as she showed us the selection of piercing studs I saw the look on Zizza's face.  The one where she's really excited but also nervous and she's trying to play it cool.  She doesn't want her smile to betray her but she can't keep the corners of her lips neutral so she has to open her mouth to keep them in check.  I was looking forward to that look.  I was glad I didn't miss it.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Date night

My kids have the day off from school tomorrow so our weekend started this evening when we went on a date.  

First we went out to dinner and then we went and picked out my new phone.  My old one was a little bit wacko.  It started to fade a few months ago and then during the 3 weeks I spent in Utah with an over-tired Duke who would only be consoled by my phone and/or keys it went down hill fast.  I've been counting the days ever since until I became eligible for an upgrade.  

This was a definite out of the ordinary for us.  Our date nights usually start with a quick peek in Sephora or Ulta (looking at makeup without kids!) but only a quick peek because I'm not the only one on the date you know.  Then dinner, book store and Target.  We are party people I tell ya.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Carnivore day

Zizza's class is studying Dinosaurs.  Last week they had herbivore day. Select students were asked to bring a plant based snack to share.  This week they're having carnivore day.  Ziz has been asked to bring a snack fit for carnivores.

I wonder how the groups were selected. Was it a random drawing? Alphabetical?  Was it based on the dinosaur they're doing their reports on?  Zizza is reporting on a carnivore so that would make sense.

So, meat.  Meat fit to send to school for second graders to enjoy.  The only meat Ziz really enjoys is a pork chop.  In fact, when she brought the paper about carnivore day home to me she suggested that I supply the class with a pork chop apiece.

What second grader wouldn't like to nosh on a pork chop at 9:30 am?

The paper from her teacher suggested lunch meat, hot dogs or beef jerky.  I've been desperate to think of something better than any of those things.  I thought about meat balls.  I could make little one-inch meat balls and pack them in a thermos to keep warm.  That would be messy though, because meatballs need some kind of sauce (in my opinion) Also, Ziz doesn't even like them.  Why would I go to the trouble to make mini meat balls and send them to school when my kid won't even appreciate it?

I went to the store today.  Last chance for inspiration.  Carnivore day is tomorrow.  Hebrew nationals were on sale.

I'm making mini cornmeal muffins with a hot dog slice inside.  I know I know, corn bread breaks the rules but how many sliced up hot dogs do you think are going to offered in that buffet?  Besides if the assignments were based on the dinosaur each child is reporting about I'll have you know that Troodon is believed by many to have been an omnivore.  So put that in your pocket and take it home to your mom.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Sometimes titles are a major drag

I was all prepared to tell you about Duke's recent head injury this evening.  That is to say I had one good descriptive sentence and a photo from which I had hoped to build a post.  Sadly, I'm having technical difficulties in regards to uploading the photo and I don't think the one sentence will pull me through on it's own.

Complaining about the dilemma, now there's a post!

Today I delivered a lecture on recipe reading to a group of eight and nine year old girls.  I caused one of them to gasp and stutter in horror as I poured vanilla, unhampered by measuring implements of any kind into our burgeoning batter.

It would seem that the girl's grandmother and previous baking instructor is one for precise measurements.  Sorry grandma, hopefully I haven't ruined your your pupil with my wild disregard for the written recipe.  I think she's probably safe since the brownies didn't turn out that good. If they'd been awesome she may have thought I was on to something and follow my lead.

I also introduced the girls to the wonderful world of Chinese jump rope. I can still jump kneesies provided the knees holding the rope belong to those well within the 4 foot range.

Did you play Chinese jump rope when you were a kid? Is it even actually Chinese? I remember trying desperately to figure out a way to play by myself with the rope suspended between 2 chairs. (it didn't work)       

Monday, August 27, 2012

The doll class

Ok Friends, here's the skinny. I'm going to be teaching a class on Waldorf style doll making. The class will be held Wednesday evenings at 7:00 starting September 19th and ending October 24th so it's in plenty of time for Christmas.

 The cost of the class will be $75.00 which will include all the supplies needed to make a 16" doll (though you may elect to bring your own fabrics for your doll's clothes.) Plus when we're done you'll know how to make even MORE dolls! As many as you want!  A quick look around Etsy will show you that buying a doll like this ready made will set you back at least $120.00, so I think you should come over and make your own instead.

I'm also amenable to holding a class in the morning while kids are in school if there is enough interest.

Email uniquety (at) gmail (dot) com to register

Sunday, August 26, 2012

rollin' with my homies

Home made crackers were all over the internet this spring. Either that or I had them on my mind so I noticed every mention I encountered.

After receiving a new food processor for mother's day (lucky me) crackers were my first food processing endeavor. I used this recipe for home made wheat thins. My shiny new cuisinart cut the butter into the flour like a champ and then I was foolish enough to add the water all at once. Sadly the recipe called for way too much water for my baking conditions that day.

 What I found when I opened my processor bowl was about the consistency of wet biscuit dough. So, basically at that point it was ruined. Never one to give up, I charged ahead. Adding more flour would ruin the texture of my final product but I didn't see another way to go so I thew in a bit more flour. Just a smidge to get the stuff dry enough to roll out. Then I did by best to salvage the project from there. This is how they turned out.

For what I believe are obvious reasons, I called them "Wheat Thicks"


They were tough and chewy.  They got tougher and chewier as time went by. Zizza loved them. "Oh mama they're soooo good. When are you going to make more wheat thicks?" At least they didn't go to waste.

 After an appropriate mourning period I tried the recipe again. This time I carefully added the water one tablespoon at a time. With the added care my results were much better. I even went so far as to call them "thins" rather than "thicks."

Zizza wasn't impressed. She asked me to make thicks next time.

 With no intention of fulfilling the request of my small daughter, I set out to simplify the painstaking process of rolling out the dough to the required thinness.

These eight years a pasta rolling machine has inhabited the forgotten cabinet above my fridge. Today I finally used it.

And it was fantastic.


Saturday, August 25, 2012

A snuggling miracle

On Thursday morning I was snuggling Moo when Duke came over and maneuvered his way on to my lap. He didn't try to push her off, she didn't try to push him off, they both sweetly snuggled me and by extension each other.

 Very carefully and without moving I whispered to the Mr. "Can you get the camera?" Any movement in the room had to be carried out with utmost finesse so as not to disturb the miracle that is siblings aged one and three snuggling one another.

Moo's birthday is coming up.  The Mr asked her what she wished for a present and she said "another baby," Follow up questions revealed that she did not mean a baby doll.

 That was a few weeks ago.  We laughed, said "Oh how sweet," thanked out lucky stars that her request is going unfulfilled for the time being and moved on.

Tonight when I tucked her in I reminded her again that her birthday is coming right up and she squealed with the joy of anticipation "and then we'll get a new baby!"  This time I made sure I told her directly that there will be no new baby on her birthday.  We don't want her fourth birthday to reek of dashed dreams. That can wait until she turns 15  (A staggering percentage of my friends had dismal 15th birthdays.  It might be inherent to turning 15)

I guess she just likes babies that much.  Enough to share my lap with the one she's got and wish for another.  I had no idea.


Friday, August 24, 2012


Man, I'm out of shape.  I did this dress marathon style.  The bride has been steadily losing weight so we put off work on the dress until the last minute.  I did nearly all the work in one sitting this afternoon. My sewing leg is tired and achy.  How sad is that?  There was one summer where I sat at a machine working 12 hours a day, six days a week. My sewing leg never got tired then. I suppose it all comes down to conditioning.

On the sick Zizza front; she has an ear infection and probable strep.  Fun times.  She was up every half hour last night itching. She had hives, see?  So we spent all night chasing the hives around her body.  We'd treat one, get a few minutes sleep and then she'd be up with a new patch somewhere else.  Right leg, left shoulder, tummy, tummy, left foot, face. On and on all night.  I think I must be desensitized to the smell of the essential oil we were using because we went through enough to steep the whole house and yet I can't smell a thing right now.  

Thursday, August 23, 2012


Sick Ziz and a wedding gown to finish by Saturday.

I must sew like the wind only with frequent breaks to convey teetering piles of used tissue from the sick bed to the trash can.


Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Enzo in Kindergarten

Today Enzo made it out to the pick up line before the rest of his carpool group.  I pulled up and he was just standing there a few steps to the side of the crossing guard waiting.  His own little person.  Not a part of a group of kindergartners, not an extension of his mother, just himself. Enzo, waiting for his friends to come out of school, waiting for his mama to pick him up. It was one of those defining moments where you realize your child has an identity independent of you.

Last Friday, the scene at pick up was nearly identical.  Enz, on his own, waiting by the crossing guard.  That day, he looked like my poor lonely baby.  I wanted to scoop him up, hold him tight and assure him that all was well. Sadly, parents are asked not to leave their vehicles during pick up so I had to content myself with pulling up to the curb and pressing the open button on the van door so he could hop in.

Apparently something changed between now and Friday.  Was it him, or was it me?  
He is such a different kindergartner than his sister was.  For her school  is practically effortless. Every so often she encounters a challenge, and sometimes she complains about it, but once she takes a few minutes to think through things she's back on top.

 Enzo is different in that I can see the effort he's putting in. I guess his learning process is more external than his sister's. I volunteered in his class and I could see his concentration as he listened to his teacher. He begs everyday to do his homework. If I'd let him he'd finish his whole packet for the week as soon as he got home Monday.

 While he works he pays strict attention to the task at hand. He's an excellent and thorough colorer. He moves his pencil slowly and carefully as he forms his letters. He's gotten in the habit of writing all the letters of his name as tall as the capitol at the beginning. I mentioned it once, asked him if he could try making the other letters shorter next time, and he's been dedicated to that goal ever since. Those lower case n's are getting shorter all the time.

 When Ziz brought home a sight word list to memorize I sort of forgot about it. When the teacher put a reminder to practice in the class newsletter I had to ask for a new list. By the time I got it Ziz already knew them all and the next list as well.

Enz brought his list home last week and he is working on it. When he spots a sight word in a book he looks up with a mile wide smile and jabs his finger at it until he's sure I've understood that it's a sight word there on the page. He is working his little heart out and the result is he's learning and growing in leaps and bounds.

 There are so many different types of fantastic out there, what a joy to be sampling a new variety.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Dinner fail

My plan for dinner tonight was simple. Spaghetti squash with alfredo and garlic bread sticks. Duke even napped late so I didn't have to worry about him unloading all the cabinets and stacking their contents on the sofa while I worked.

I have no excuse for the horrors I inflicted upon my alfredo sauce recipe.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Conflict in pink

Remember 2 years ago when my neighbor gave me a piano and I decided to paint it pink? Yeah I haven't done that yet. Just as soon as it's not death outside I'm going to drag that piano out to the garage and get painting.  In the mean time; my sofa.

It is old.  It is ugly. It's a good quality piece that's in very nice shape once you get past the torn dingy slip cover and the awful upholstery underneath.

I want to reupholster it in a nice soft velvet.  I've even found an upholstery service (done by inmates) But I can't decide on a color.  Ok, the actual problem is the only color I can decide on is pink but if both the piano and the sofa are pink then neither of them will have the wow factor they're entitled to as a large pink piece of furniture. 

On one hand, we'll move at some point and then I can just put the two in different rooms.  Problem solved. On the other hand, I don't have any idea when this hypothetical move will take place and it the mean time that's a whole lotta pink in one small-ish room.  

You may ask "Where's your husband in all of this? How does he feel about all this pink being thrown around?" I'll just say this.  He's man enough for a pink sofa. 

Actually I had a few colors I was considering and for me it came down to fuchsia or chartreuse.  He landed firmly on the fuchsia side of that equation. See, I had a little run in involving green and our bedroom walls.  It didn't go well.  He's now supremely wary of green in any form.  I suppose I could try and sell the chartreuse as yellow.  It's really a pretty even game between green and yellow, chartreuse is.

Here's a funny story about Chartreuse.  Ok, maybe it's not funny but it's a story.  

I was at my friend's house watching "Who Wants to be a Millionaire" her siblings and cousins were there too.  The question was "Chartreuse is A)purple, B)green, C)orange, D)blue," and I was like "B,B!" The contestant was floundering I think he used up 2 life lines on the question.  You know how it's really aggravating when you know the answer and the contestant is sitting there going "Hmmm, maybe I'll ask the audience," Anyway in addition to this my friend's cousin is arguing with me "No, no he should guess A, anytime you don't know what a color is just guess purple." and I was telling him "Sure if you're a dumb boy who doesn't know his colors that could be a good rule of thumb, but I am not a dumb boy and I am not guessing. Chartreuse is a shade of green. You will see that I am right."  Then the contestant made his guess (I don't remember what he guessed) and Meredith confirmed that I was right and I was like "IN YO FACE!" and cousin boy was like "wha? you knew that?" he apparently hadn't listened to my argument at all he'd been too busy declaring his confidence in all obscure color names=purple.

Anyway, back to the problem at hand.  Pink sofa, pink piano what do I do?  I think it's a hard question because for the majority of the population either would be too much pink.  Lucky for me I'm not the majority of the population.

Sunday, August 19, 2012


I've been thinking of teaching a class on doll making this fall. This means I have to figure out the cost of supplies on a per-doll basis. Ugg. Planning is not my forte.

 The class will be an hour or so a week for six weeks starting mid-September. Let me know if you want to come make dollies with me and I'll let you know how much it's gonna know, as soon as I figure it out.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Call me toady

Years ago as I first ventured into the world of blogs I often times found myself caught up in jealousy as I read posts about nature tables in peoples homes, and nature walks they'd taken with their children. In my freshly built neighborhood with it's crushed granite and zero-scaping there was no room for nature.  All the nature had been pushed back by the bulldozers and warned to keep out.

 On walks with my children through our world of concrete, stone and deliberately placed cacti I was discontented.  Thinking to myself "why can't we have any nature?" 

On Wendesday I set out to run.  My running partner wasn't with me so I steered my double jogger along a less traveled route opposite of the direction I'd head to meet my friend.  

The path through the park was littered with rocks. I was concentrating.  It's hard not to step on things when there's a stroller between your eyes and the view of the ground before you. Then one of the rocks hopped, and then another.  Rocks? No, these were bitty baby, thumbnail sized toads.  

I stopped the stroller, I hauled Moo from her seat so she could see the weeny little things.  She was glad to chase them off the sidewalk to their safety in the grass.With the way cleared before me we headed home.

On Friday Moo, Duke and I stopped in the park again.  There weren't so many toads that time, I expect  the birds have been busy thinning the population, but there was still a smattering.  This time Duke came out of the stroller to see the little guys. He was delighted, but I'm pretty sure the delight came from running free in the out of doors.  I don't think he took note of the toads.


Today,(Saturday) Ziz and Enz finally got the chance to come toad watching.  There were even fewer toads to be found on the toady stretch of sidewalk this morning. We did manage to find a few, and with Zizza involved, the watching quickly progressed to catching.
Nature guys! In my neighborhood! It only took 8 years to find some! How about another exclamation point? OK! Seriously though, I was really happy about the toads.

Friday, August 17, 2012

A chance of showers

Yesterday Zizza was sure it was going to be nice out.  She argued against The Mr and me up until she left for school.  She may have argued with him even after that as he drove her there.

"It's cloudy," she kept saying, "it will be a cool rainy day!"  Yes, cloudy it was, but in Arizona's August cloudy does not equal cool.  It's a nice change, not so glaring, but really not much better. That searing feeling that tightens your skin as you step out on an average day is lessened but it's exchanged for stifling oppression as the sun hide's it's face above.

Try as we did, we could not convince our daughter of this.

Later in the morning I went out to bring the trash can in from the curb.  The Garage was hardly bearable as per usual but once I stepped out...I was amazed.  It was nice.  As far as I know this has never happened before.  I immediately regretted that Thursday is not a running day.  If it weren't for the fact that I was already dressed and about my business I would have declared it a running Thursday.  As it was, I hurried in and checked the temperature so I'd have the facts to share in this post. It was only 82.

Running errands, all the ins and outs of the car were a pleasure.  I even made unnecessary stops.

Ziz has not let me forget that I was wrong.  "It only got up to 96!" she told me almost first thing as I picked her up from school. She's reminded me of it again and again since.  That child has mentioned the number 96 more in the past day and a half than in all her previous life, but you know?  I don't mind.  I was pleased to be wrong.  The best part is, it was cool again this morning and Friday is a running day.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Here are the BANGs

Seriously folks, I haven't had bangs this thick since I was five years old. Theses are seriously intense bangs. Also, have you ever noticed that it's remarkably easier to take photos of yourself if you're making faces?
Moo likes to make faces too.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Baby hairs

Not the hair of a baby, but baby hairs.

The little wispy ones around your hairline.  Are they called baby hairs because they're baby, hairs, because they're similar to the hair of a baby or because they're often a result of child bearing?

Ok, let's back up.  After I had Ziz I noticed my hair falling out at an increased rate.  I was not worried because I'd read that I should expect as much.  My study informed me that during pregnancy increased blood volume means extra blood flow to the scalp which translates to that folkloric pregnancy hair.

I think the blood volume thing is also responsible for the stronger nails and extra snot. (It's true.  a runny nose is a symptom of pregnancy because those mucus membranes are benefiting from the extra blood volume as well) Anyway, what I read told me that a month or so postpartum my hair was likely to start falling out but I shouldn't be alarmed because it was just my body normalizing. All the extra hair from my pregnant scalp was dropping out because my non-pregnant scalp couldn't maintain it.  This was cold comfort when I discovered parking spaces in my hairline.

In a panic, I called my sister "My hair is falling out!" I fretted, "oh, that's normal," she assured me.  "Yeah, but I have BALD SPOTS!" "Oh," she said "Oh, dear"  Apparently she didn't have the postpartum baldness issue.

I told my still single bestie about my problem and she was horrified.  "Why don't they tell us these things?" she demanded. She did a fantastic job of commiserating with me over my baldness. In return I gave her the knowledge that after she has babies she's likely to undergo some temporary balding along the hairline. She will not be caught off guard as I was.

To deal with the patchiness I cut bangs.  The bangs hid the bald spots and then helped to blend the regrowth with the rest of my hair which was quite long at the time.

Enzo was born and my hair was even longer, about waist-length I believe.  A few months later with the thought of bald patches and summer heat leering over me I had my hair chopped into a spikey pixie cut.  I hardly noticed the baldness amid the spikes.

When Moo was born my hair remained as thick as ever.  Having a baby without ever being pregnant really is a pleasure.

This time the baldness happened, the regrowth happened and I managed to deal with it for a good 15 months without the use of scissors.

At the beginning of the summer  I noticed the baby hairs getting out of control but who want's to cut bangs at the onset of summer?  Not me, that's who.

A few weeks ago I looked in the mirror and observed that Duke and I had matching wings on the sides of our faces. The main difference was, Duke and his wings looked adorable, Like this;
My wings and I looked...less so. I didn't take photos of my wings. You'll just have to take my word for it that it was not a good look for me.  A look that meant I couldn't afford to wait for the heat of summer to pass before I took action. 

I had a hair appointment today. I cut bangs. And when I say bangs I mean  Bangs with a capitol BANG! Anyway, Duke really liked the new bangs and it's a good thing since they're his fault and all.

I wanted to show you my new do so I just went through, literally minutes  of work to add a photo from my phone to this post.  Once it was all done I looked at it and decided it was no good.  Sorry you'll have to wait to see my new BANGs until tomorrow when I take a new photo.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Where are your shoes?

I noticed something this afternoon. Enzo's school shoes were put away in his closet.  I hadn't asked him to put them there, that's just where he put them when he took them off after school.  I thought about it a little more and remembered being surprised to see them there on more than one previous afternoon.  When I really thought about it I realized that he puts his shoes away everyday when he gets home.

You know what else he does?  Unloads his lunch box and puts it in it's place in the pantry.  During the first week of school I asked both kids to do that every day.  I walked him through it a time or two but now he pretty much just does it.

Zizza on the other hand would prefer to keep all of her shoes in a pile inside the door.  I ask her to take care of her lunch box and she gets it out of her back pack.  I ask her again and she sets it on the table. I ask her again and she says "oh, yeah" and brings it to the counter.  When I ask her again, she huffs and does it right because by that time I am huffy too and I stand there and make sure it gets done.

Different children have different strengths.

Also, Ziz is a product of the past two years during which I faithfully packed and unpacked all her school stuff everyday.  I can't abide an untidy backpack.  Not that you'd know that by looking around my untidy house but its true.

I really wish this story was leading somewhere but it's not.  All I really had to say was "Hey, my son has somewhat of a natural tendency toward tidiness! Who knew?"  And now I've said that.  Twice.  

Monday, August 13, 2012


Ziz has been assigned a report on Troodon.  She and I found most of the info she needed in about 5 minutes with the help of our good friend Google.  There were a few things though that took a bit more digging.  I did that digging today.  Now I just have to sit her in front of the pertinent articles and see if she can glean the needed info.

One thing I learned in my studies is that there's a scientist who did all sorts of research and concluded that if not for the K-T extinction event Troodon may have evolved into this guy

All I have to say about that is thank heaven for that meteorite cuz that dude is creepy.

Anyway, Ziz and I will soon be constructing a terrarium mimicking the habitat of the Troodon.  What do you suppose Montana looked like 65 million years ago?

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Dapper Dan

Last night I had the kids pick out their clothes for church. Enzo got way into the exercise. He's had a lot of opinions about his dress clothes of late. He seems to think he's grown too big for dress shorts.  I would think he'd cling to the dress short for as many ridiculously hot summers as possible but apparently he values appearance over comfort.  He chose long pants, a yellow dress shirt, blue and yellow striped tie and a navy cardigan.

This morning after breakfast he headed up the stairs and dressed himself all on his own initiative. As I was applying my eye liner I heard him call "Mom, will you iron my shirt?" and thought "whoa, he's really taking this seriously."

Turns out, he wanted the shirt ironed, not because it was wrinkled but because he thought that would cure his shirttails of hanging down below his sweater.  I explained that I could iron the shirt but the shirttails would still show, they'd just be showing a bit crisper, and than the cure for his problem wasn't ironing but tucking.  "ugh," he moaned "I hate when you tuck in my shirt.  You always get it in my underwear." Sorry about that, son.  I'll try and be more careful.

A little later on, after I'd seen that all 3 older children were properly dressed, offending shirt tucked into the pants but not the underpants and hair combed, I went to dress Duke.  All that was left after that was to put on my own shoes and head out the door.  Then I heard the last words a mother in such a position wants to hear.  "Mom, I accidentally peed my pants."

Apparently Enz was too wrapped up in the process of getting dressed to attend to other matters.  I was not very sympathetic.

With his long church pants peed, Enzo was forced to wear the dress shorts he'd earlier shunned and since his shirt was neatly tucked in peeing his pants also meant peeing his shirt.  The whole ensemble he'd worked so hard on was ruined.  His tie didn't match the alternate shirt in his closet and without the tie the cardigan lost it's allure.

 If you ask me this was all for the best when you consider that my car's thermometer (which reads consistently low) reported it 106 as we were leaving church.  Enz, however was not thinking of comfort (as you'll recall) also, this was happening before church so the day had not yet attained that level of heat.  He was beside himself "I don't even look handsome without a tie!" he bellowed as he descended the stairs so we could (finally) leave.

If he wasn't so adorably tragic I would have had absolutely no patience with his ongoing hysterics.  As it was I fetched a tie for him from his father's closet.  He resigned wearing it however as he was sure it would be much to long for him.  I guess this means it's time I start consulting him before I buy his clothes. Darn it.


Saturday, August 11, 2012

Who What Where

I took a linguistics class in college. I loved it.  Between that and the French class I had that semester I could phonetically spell the pants off anything said to me.  Unfortunately my phonetic spelling skillz faded with disuse and by the time I had small children pronouncing things in funny ways I didn't remember how to write them.  

Anyway, in that class we talked a bit about childhood language development.  I don't remember any of the technical terms but I learned that sometimes kids say something correctly but they don't know it's correct so they may move on and try a few other things before coming back to saying the correct way.   

What I just wrote; is that nonsense? I'm not sure.  I tried so many different ways of saying what I mean that I can't tell anymore. What does this say about my linguistic development?

Anyway, Moo.

She points at people in the store and asks me "What's that?"  My standard answer is "I don't know his/her name,"  Either that or I try to creatively turn the conversation in such a way that the person to whom she was referring will not realize that they've just been called a "what" rather than a "who." 

Next she started asking when I'm on the phone "Mom, what's that?" I, being myself, can't just answer the question I know shes trying to ask, instead I answer the question she actually asks. "It's a phone." I say. After a few repetitions of that she come's back with "NO what's THAT!" and eventually I act surprised and say "Oh, you mean who's that? You want to know who I was talking to?"  So we've had a chat or five about how peoples are whos not whats.  Then we had a new development.

I was changing a diaper when she walked into the room. "Who's that smell?" she asked me.    

Friday, August 10, 2012

A pineapple post

Our internet connection has been spotty today.  Luckily The Mr is home now so I need not fear an interruption in my posting schedule due to technical issues.

Technical issues did interrupt the kids' daily dose of power rangers this afternoon.  Half way through, so probably about the time the rangers were meeting the monster face to face fort the first time, before they retreat to regroup for the battle royale with the zords and the giant monster, netflix shut down. My poor children distraught not knowing how it ends.

I got a new nail polish.  Essie's "No Place Like Chrome" It goes on nice and opaque.  This is a good thing but it will take some practice to get a smooth finish.  I always have trouble with pale opaques.

I put it on my fingers this time because my toes were already in good shape.  I think I'll save it for toes in the future though.  It doesn't compliment my skin tone well enough to wear on my hands.

Like women everywhere, I have a love hate relationship with fingernail polish.  I love it for the first day and then it inevitably gets flawed and I hate it until I spend the three minutes to take it off. Someday I'll try a shellac manicure.

Today in the car Duke answered the Beatles with a "hello" of his own every time they said "hello, hello"  He never got sick of it, just kept shouting out those hellos for the duration of the song.  Maybe I should have turned it on repeat to test his limit.

I guess this was a very tiny can of pineapple because those are all the tidbits I've got at the moment.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Guess who had his first time out today?

See that toy behind his right ear? It's his favorite. It's similar to this one. The four balls are what he likes most about it. I've confiscated the hammer because other things kept getting pounded with it and even when used as intended it was awfully loud. Also, it was beginning to splinter.

 So what Duke likes to do is put the balls in the holes like eggs in a carton, admire his handy work and then take the balls out again. He has a ball in his hand approximately half the time he's awake.

This afternoon he looked at the blue wooden ball in his hand, then he looked at his sister lying on the floor. He raised the ball over his head stretching his arm to it's upper limit. Then with his arm still stretched, he walked around to the opposite side of his supine sister where he had better access to her head and smacked the ball down on it with all his wee might.

I think  Moo thought it was worth it just to see someone else in a bear-hug style time-out for a change.

 I'm pretty sure his motives were purely scientific. Duke-boy's a lover not a fighter. Of all my babies he is the snuggliest. Moo was rather snuggly, but in a different way. Duke's snuggles are more intentional some how.

 Bearing that in mind I wasn't surprised to find that Duke is also much more interested in baby dolls than any of his predecessors were. He discovered Moo's baby, Polka-polka, a few weeks ago. He carried and snuggled that baby doll for a good ten minutes before I got the camera out to take a picture of the sweetness at which point he lost interest.

I tried to bring his focus back to the baby by showing him how the diaper goes on and off. Duke loves to take off his own diaper so you'd think putting the diaper on the dolly would be a surefire way to draw his attention back. It sort of worked.  As I suspected he was very interested in taking the diaper off but the baby wound up taking a back seat to the thrill of the velcro.  Ah well you win some you lose some.


Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Hot to trot

My run this morning was killer. It started out good but the back stretch nearly did me in.  My feet were burning through the soles of my vibrams, the heat was pressing in on all sides and it was all I could do to sustain my slow sloppy jog through the last minutes of my prescribed training time.

Once I finally made it home I had to get my sweaty babies out of the stroller and carry/usher them into the house.  I didn't think I'd make it, but I did.  The burst of cool air when I opened the door was one of the most welcome experiences in memory.

Five minutes later, after cooling down some I let the dog in.  The effort required to open the perfectly functional patio door was enough to spike my heart rate afresh.

My theory on why I was so beaten down today is heat.  I guessed that today was dramatically hotter than days past.  I just now tested that theory.  Monday's high was 111 today's was 116. I'll be honest.  I was looking for a bigger margin between the two days.  I'd feel better about being so thrashed today if the gap was bigger.  

Then again, today's run was a bit more strenuous than the course we ran Monday.

Ok, I just looked up the temps on the last day we ran the same course as today.  That day's high was only 104.  I'm feeling better already.

By the way, I run in the mornings well before the day achieves its high temperature.  Not that it's pleasant even then but I most certainly wasn't out in 116. 

Tuesday, August 7, 2012


The highlight of summer always seems to involve wading in a mountain stream. At least it used to, there have been quite a few more recent summers that didn't involve mountain streams at all. Then came this summer.

We did manage to go on the one hike this year.  When we happened upon an ideal wading spot I called a halt and started stripping off socks and shoes immediately.  The first three kids made their way down the bank and into the water before I got the chance.

I had to unstrap Duke from the baby carrier, remove both our shoes and roll up my pant legs before I could follow.

Finally I got my feet onto the pebbled bottom of the tributary we'd picked to wade in and found I'd already had enough.  The quickest refuge from the frigid water was a rock just one step further along.  I got myself up onto that thing as fast as I could and there I was stuck.  I have apparently acclimated to Arizona's climate better than I'd realized.  In so much that a stream fed primarily by runoff from the winter's snows was too much for me.

I stayed on my rock for quite a while trying to work up courage for the two step trek back tot he bank.    I'd taken Duke with me out to my tiny makeshift island with the idea that I'd dip his wee toes in the pleasant stream.  Instead I passed him back to The Mr and the bank where those toes could enjoy warm sand as opposed to freshly melted glacial runoff.


The other kids though, seemed to enjoy the adventure just as much as I remember doing.  Ziz and Enz did tend to stick to the rocks hurrying through the water only as it was necessary to gain access to bigger and better rocks.

 Moo on the other hand tromped back and forth through the still little pool where my own exploration ended.
I suppose in a way, wading in the mountain stream really was a highlight of my summer. It's just that my enjoyment was vicarious. I guess I can live with that.

 At this point I feel I should note that The Mr was a way better sport about the cold water than I was, and wading in it wasn't even his idea.

 And now, because I can't think of a good conclusion for this post, and because I had a hard time narrowing them down, here's another  handful of photos from that day.


Monday, August 6, 2012

Thoughts on Chicken

While running errands in the car today Moo related past horrors.  Memories left skirking around shadowy corners of her brain were pulled out and examined in the light of day.  Hopefully said memories will have lost their haunting power after their exposure to the sun.

"Mom," she said "I like Chick-a-lay but I don't like panda bears."  At this point I thought we were doing a compare and contrast exercise between fast food establishments we'd passed in our morning travels.  She talked for a few more minutes about not liking panda bears finally calling my attention back with the following question. "We hide inna bafwoom right mom, so the panda bear no get me?"
That's when I realized there was actually only one fast food establishment under scrutiny in my car this morning.

About a year and a half ago we were at Chick-fil-a as a family eatin' us some nuggets when a person in a cow suit began to make the rounds from table to table in an attempt to delight children.

Moo was far from delighted.

Her terror became louder and louder as the cow-man, one table at a time, approached. Finally I took her and sought refuge in the bathroom.  Cow man by this time had noticed that he was in fact the cause of the hysterics and left the dining room.  We returned to our table and Moo resumed eating.  A few minutes later the polyester cow made an attempt to finish his rounds.  This time I took Moo and fled to the parking lot while the Mr. rounded up the other children and met us at the car.

Today the time finally came to talk all this out.  First I clarified with her that the beast lurking in the chick-fil-a dinning room was not a panda bear at all, but rather a cow. No need to villainize innocent bears when it was a bovine who wronged her.   

After she grasped the cow vs. panda concept we went to work on the cows motivators.
"The cow wanna git me so we hide inna bafwoom, right mom?"  "No baby," I said. "The cow didn't want to get you, he just wanted to say hello.  He didn't know you'd be scared."   After a few repetitions of that conversation she seemed to catch on that the cow was indeed not after her. She moved on to another explanation.

"The cow wanna eat my chicken. He wanna eat my chicken and my fwies! We hide inna bafwoom and the cow git my chicken and my fwies!" The idea that our flight may have enabled the brute to burgle her dinner left her newly enraged.

There was no reasoning with her on this point.  She could accept that the cow meant her no bodily harm, but that his presence was in no way malevolent was just to much for her to accept.  We discussed at great length the diet of cows (hay) pandas (bamboo) and various other herbivores (horses, zebras, cows again) but in the end she was sure that cow was after her chicken.

As long as we're on the subject of Chick-fil-a, I'm going to break a precedent here at Uniquety.  I've never talked before about issues that involve more than myself and my family., But I guess there's a first for everything.

 Today I'm going to try to express why last Wednesday as I perused Facebook my stomach sank and sank and sank as friend after friend posted photos of themselves and their families gobbling chicken. "Do they know?" I asked myself. "Do they have any idea what they're saying by posting that?" I wondered.

I think what those people who's chicken posts I viewed we're trying to say was "I support free speech"  or "I'm against gay marriage," but what I saw, was my friends saying to other friends of mine, "This is how I hate you. This is how my baby hates you.  Here's my whole family smiling and eating chicken because we hate you."

I don't think those friends of mine meant to say that. I have to believe that they didn't realize that's what they were saying.  Still I wish they'd been able to see the full message that chicken sandwich was sending before they launched those photos out into the world.

I don't know if what I'm trying to say here is coming through clearly.  Here's a post that summed up my feelings to perfection.  My thanks to Mr. Turner for writing it.  


Sunday, August 5, 2012

November is off the hook

I've had a little rivalry going on with the month of November these last few years.  Some years I've won, other years November has almost beat me.  Today I'm writing to tell November that it's off. There will be no struggle to settle the score in 2012.  This year I'm eschewing the official" Mo" of "NaBloPo" and having my daily post fest all by my lonesome right now.
That's right folks.  Starting today, August the fifth I will post daily for 30 days or lose the right to call myself "blogger" (if I haven't lost it already)
Now, what this post needs to wrap things up is an anecdote from my life.  Sadly I'm a little rusty what with my extended blog neglect and all.  I can't currently come up with a single anecdote. Here's hoping I can get my writing legs back under me soon otherwise this will be a long month for all of us.