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Tuesday, December 30, 2008

thank you

Thank you Emilie Manhart for the best Christmas present.

A day to myself. A personal day. A day without kids. A day to do whatever I want.

And what did I want to do? Everything! It went by impossibly fast but included an hour of uninterrupted exercise, a long, lingering shower that involved an actual razor and hair removal and no children crawling into the stall, lunch with a friend, a hot cup of chai tea, a leisurely trip downtown and to the grocery store and a mad dash removal of old toys and the putting away of new ones (I know, I know not so much about me but it makes me feel better, PLUS no one could complain about the 2 + trash bags that I will take to Manna tomorrow.) A quiet house. Music I wanted to listen to. No one's needs but my own.

And rumor has it my girls were absolute angels. Thank you girls. Momma appreciates it.

At bedtime tonight, Ella told me she was nervous at first but that she is a big girl and had a great time (a great time that allegedly includes some cool dance moves, playing freely at the open gym, talking up a storm and generally coming out of her shell in my absence.) Then she told me, "I'm four. That is four fingers with the thumb down. Someday, I'll be five with the thumb up. In a really long time. Like 8 minutes."

For photos of their day, and Emilie's account of it, visit www.manhartfamily.blogspot.com.

Thanks again, Em. You're the best. And really, thank you to all of you have shown me just how deep friendship runs and just what loyal and loving people we are surrounded by.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Piper Mountain 2008

On a Christmas tree hunt with Mindy, Charissa and Emerson.




Mindy found these two instead of a tree...
















Failed attempt #2 for a Christmas card photo.


Till next year Piper Mountain. Thanks for the good times.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Proportionate?

Maya had her one year check up and this is how it looks:

Height- 50th percentile
Head Circumference- 90th (!) percentile
Weight - 10th percentile

So what this means, basically, is that she is an average sized toothpick with a gum ball head.

You know they say that if Barbie were a real woman she would have to walk around on all fours because her proportions are so skewed? Maya would need some sort of head support, like a cane for the head. Maybe this is why she is slow to fully walk and only takes these occasional steps. Her head is just too big for her little legs! Perhaps I should start her on quad extensions...

Good thing she's got those redeeming adorable dimples.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

A downed limb

The pine tree, as statuesque and picturesque as it is being the emblem of the state of Maine and all, just can't hold its muster.

That unbelievable storm we had the other night made this fact apparent to me, not just in all the downed pine limbs littering the yards all over town while their sturdier counterparts of spruce, birch, maple and cedar stand proud and unruffled, but because of the fantastic light show we had when a massive pine limb interfered (quite rudely I might add) with our electrical line.

We heard the large bang in the night and wondered at its origin. The morning light reveled an ice laden branch cracked and leaning a tad too heavily on the power line. Shortly after we woke, the branch snapped all the way, met with hearty protests from the electrical wire in the form of shooting sparks and arching electricity.

The best part? We have to pay to have the line fixed because it is on our property. Who knew we were actually "responsible" for this portion of the power line? Luckily our electrician was in the neighborhood and strung the line up with rope so no one would get electrocuted. Now Monday, the power has to be shut off (joy!) and the line restructured. (And sorry for anyone who lost power, and HEAT, for hours during that storm- I don't mean to complain TOO much about my scheduled power outage- you know when I'm alone with the girls for a four day stretch.)

So now, in addition to 2 eight foot blow up characters on the front lawn, we now also have a pine tree graveyard. I think I might just give into the tacky theme this Christmas and go pay $450 for one of those revolving, snow globe, Santa on ice skates, Rudolph on a Ferris wheel, the elves performing actual Broadway show tunes kind of blow-up decorations. Maybe I'll nix my classy white candles in the window after all...

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

The birds and the bees

The other day in the car, Ella asked me, "Will I be a kid forever?"

It was impossible to answer her through the tight ball of sadness that had lodged in my throat. She posed the question again. I answered, with a broken voice, that no she would not. "Why are you talking like that?" she asked of my emotion-filled voice. I told her it was because I was sad that she was going to grow up and someday wouldn't be my little girl anymore. Then I told her that growing up was also fun and that she had a really great life of growing ahead of her (not wanting her to misread my tears.)

Fast forward to breakfast this morning when she asked me, quite pointedly and before I was truly awake, "How do babies get in people's bellies?"

Followed by: "You were sad the other day about me being a grown-up but you said it was fun and you didn't want to share the fun with me."

And finished with: "I can't have a baby when I'm four years old. But I can when I'm older. Like when I'm nine."

How does a two-mom family give the birds and the bees talk? Sure, it's easy if you can stick to the dad parts meet the mom parts in the dark of night tucked under the arms of love, but how about, "Well, you see there is a special bank where they have, not money, but sperm! Mommy and Momma pick through a catalog, scanning for eye color, hair color, genetic defects, education, personality and maternal grandmom's allergy to cats like we are choosing a new coat from the LLBean catalog. Then FedEx, not the stork, delivers the microscopic half of the life equation in liquid nitrogen to the Dr. and we go to the ultra-romantic exam table at the doctor's office and viola! A baby gets in the belly. If you're lucky. Or if you took your Clomid."

You see what I'm getting at? It doesn't quite have the same ring to it.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

A little too far???

The other day at gymnastics a mom (and a very nice woman- I don't mean to assume she is only a mom and not also a human being) told me something that put a little quake in my step.

It was about self-esteem and it went something like this:

"Yeah, we used to tell Isabel how beautiful and lovely she is and now she is so entitled we can hardly stand her."

Yikes, maybe we ought to tone down the compliments on our front. We've always been believers in dosing out the high self-concept building remarks. Perhaps we should start telling Ella, "Well done honey. Really mediocre job" and "You look average today."

I fear I got my answer today when Ella, kind of whiny and testy all day anyway, donned a fairy outfit and with it a whole new personality.

Suddenly it was "this is my castle and haven't I decorated it so nicely?" and "what I lovely supper I made for myself" (um, that would be me...) and "Maya doesn't know to do that, but (insert grand gesture at self with the arm) I do" and "look at my beautiful Christmas tree that I got and decorated" and on and on, each comment more obnoxious than the last.

Lately she has been wanting to play "mom" with all her friends which is a game basically comprised of her bossing people around (lending to some existential crisis for me personally wondering if that is what she thinks being a mom is all about.) Not surprisingly, her friends grow weary after approximately 5 minutes of this nonsense and they want a turn being the mom/mob boss. I try to explain about how they don't want to be bossed around and the whole turn-taking concept, but she literally turns into a puddle and cries. She is really into taking care of babies (dolls) and even told me today, "I read the directions and it said to feed him everyday so I do."

Is this a stage, a gift, an obsession, an early warning sign of a personality disorder or simply normal? Have we created an dynamic, self-assured, go-getter or an entitled, Priamdonna, diva monster??

Crown thee

I am in the process of being crowned.

No, not in the fairy princess/jeweled headdress fashion.

Think numbing Novocaine, juggled children, drilling to China via my left molar, teeth and saliva being sprayed onto the portion of my face not covered by the giant eye gear, me gulping in oxygen to calm my rattled nerves.

Enter in the news that I need to return to have the prized crown placed atop my newly whittled molar. With the girls. When the shock of this and the Novocaine begin to wear off so do two not-so-thrilling realizations.

One, I will have to return with the girls and I am not sure I possess enough exciting snacks to keep Maya busy in a stroller while I am crowned new molar mom. And, two, the molar waiting for it's betrothed porcelain cap, is no more than a jagged ant hill of tooth surrounded, with somewhat of an inferiority complex, next to the majestic pillars of a rear molar and forward eye tooth. Oh, and third, I can't really eat. Now, until 4 p.m. I am a hungry, one-tooth-less, child toting dental patient. Bring it on.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

The 12 Days of Sickness

On the 12th (really the 49th-no joke) day of Sickness, my true love gave to me:

12 bags of cough drops
11 boxes of tissues
10 doses of Omnicef
9 tubes of Desitin
8 days of Amoxicillin
7 bottles of Nyquil
6 days of Zithromax
5 doctor's visits
4 ill girls
3 sick call-ins
2 ear infections
and a nasty, wet, choking cough.