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Wednesday, February 25, 2009

the call from Mensa that won't ever come...

This morning Ella and I had breakfast alone. Sandi was asleep after a brutal four days in the most critical of critical care and Maya was still asleep because she decided that from 3 to 4:30 a.m. she would grace us with her wakeful presence.

What do you do with a four-year-old at breakfast once the cereal box backs have been mastered?

You work on Highlights for Children magazines. Apparently this isn't just for the 4-7 crowd as indicated on the worksheets.

Okay, I could get the "what's wrong with this picture?" just fine, but, I started having problems when we moved on to the hidden picture segment. Seriously, I was SEVERAL minutes hunting for the brown ladder in the book stacks in the library picture. I was even having doubts about its presence and the possibility that they had made an error. I was even thinking of writing a letter about the rudeness of torturing young minds.

OMG. My brain cells are gone. I found it after about (no joke) 4 minutes and I thought about running to the computer to whip out a quick resume and get a real job- one that doesn't involve snot and limit setting and playing games like find the stuffed animal when it is sitting on the sofa. I was overcome with jealously for my teacher friends, my social worker friends (okay, no offense guys but a little less jealousy-only because I went through premature social worker burnout), and Sandi and her super smart nursey mind (even though her patients die and mine only ever scream or whine.) But, seriously, I'm afraid my brain will atrophy.

Even this blog is about the kids!!!

So...I will tell you a little bit about me. I have started running and I LOVE IT. This is remarkable because I used to say the only good thing about running was stopping. I have officially decided to do the Bar Harbor half marathon (13.1 miles!) in September. It's official to the point where I have running mixes (they are actually called that) on my ipod.

I just finished the last Harry Potter book. Scoff if you want. It was awesome. I have an enormous amount of respect for J.K. Rowling. I think she is brilliant. And I think she did the series justice in the way she wrapped it up. Okay, and I even shed a tear or two.

I think I have a hero. An actual hero. I have never had one before, or maybe I used to but I don't remember because my brain is so saturated by dirty dishes, diapers, crayon marks on the wall and pretending that eating plastic play food is enjoyable. I am going to come on out and say that (PRESIDENT!) Barack Obama is my hero. Never seen anything like him before.

My friend Jeanine is on vacation and it is just not the same blogging without her, knowing she will not be reading. This is aggravated by the fact that she and Maria are in the Caribbean I think. Dammit. I want to go to Mexico so badly that I can smell the salt on the lip of the margarita glass... but we are going to see Brandi Carlile in concert in early April and have a night away in Portland with friends. Super excited about that...

Tuesday, February 17, 2009


Despite the recent ups and downs of our household, I must admit that I often believe there is a slight advantage to the two-girls-head-of-household model. No toilet seats left up, no roaming testosterone, no Monday night football (usually), no feeling of gender disparity. Then, conversely, you've got the empathy, the good communication, the bonus second wardrobe, the tandem hair color appointments, the shared love of a good chick flick, the easy decorating decisions, the love of a good cuddle, and the each-parent-able-to-give-birth extra credit.

Now, apparently I'm not the only one that thinks this. My only niece told her mom the other day, "I want to be like Aunt Suzanne when I grow up." Now this rocked my world because I think Michaela is pretty much as awesome as it gets and to think she might think the same of me was the best compliment ever. But it gets better. "Yep," she says, "when I grow up, I'm going to have a girl move in with me, too."

Okay, she was kidding. Please don't call the Christian Civic League...

P.S. I. Love. You.

Ella loves to snuggle- when she is tired, when she is lonely, when she gets hurt, when she goes to sleep, or just because. Who can blame her?

Her more recently acquired four-year-old expression of emotion (especially love), in conjunction with her super snugly sleepy bedtime self, has made putting her to bed and exercise in building my self-esteem.

For instance, the other night...

Me: Goodnight, sweetheart. I love you so much.
Ella: Goodnight, Momma. I love you so much too.

Hugs, kisses and more hugs.

Ella: Momma, you love me always- even if I poop or pee in my pants, even if you are angry with me or I am angry with you, right?

Me: That is right, honey. There is nothing you could do that would make me stop loving you.

Ella: Is there anything I could do to make you love me more?

Me: Nope. Except that I love you more and more everyday. Not because of anything you do, but just because I keep loving you more all the time.

Ella: (big grin I can hear in the dark) I love you all the time too, Mom.

Me: Okay, goodnight then, baby.

Ella: Momma? I will tell you goodnight and I love you every single night. But if I forget sometimes, is that okay?

Me: Of course.

Ella: Okay.

Me: Goodnight, love. I love you so much.

Ella: Goodnight, Momma. I have a wedgie.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Child vs. Swine

We went to the Olive Garden with the Carvers last night to celebrate Sandi's mom's birthday. We planned well and went at 4 pm- perfect to beat the Friday crowd and perfect for the young and the restless.

There we were- all 11 of us, eating and enjoying the great company- Ella and Brevan trying to keep their exuberance to a tolerable level for other dinners, Maya sucking on a very obscure pacifier whose front was two giant buck teeth. There she was, full on scowl and looking like bucky the beaver for all the world to see.

Anyway, after we ate, I was surveying the still nearly-full plates of our youngest dinners and commenting on just how much food is wasted on these little eaters everyday. We compost and grace the dog with the occasional scraps, but still the waste (and the cost) is considerable.

Seemingly out of nowhere Kristi offers, "You would be money ahead if you just got pigs."


Perhaps it was my mind being tangled up with the regret that I hadn't ordered the Pina Colada or the Long Island Iced Tea I had been considering, or perhaps it was my lack of sleep, but this made absolutely no sense. I knew Kristi's Mensa-like mind must be saying something of value but I just could not put it together.

My confusion and horror must have shown because she quickly filled in, "I mean for the table scraps- you feed them to the pigs all year long and then at the end of the year you eat the pigs. Your money ahead."

I'm glad she clarified. For one freakish minute I thought her pregnant brain was actually saying that pigs would have been a better choice than kids. I have to say, I pondered this thought in the wee hours when Maya woke with a fever at 2:45 a.m. and I only caught another broken 40 minutes of sleep for the rest of the night...

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Finally... photos

It's been a while... in case you forgot what they look like, here are our girls...

Smaller than a bread box?

She takes her outfits seriously, but then, you already knew that.

Can't you see the mischief?

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

first steps, second words and deep thoughts

Maya walks now. Sorry to not have told anyone. It's super cute.

She waited until she could climb, scratch, bite and jimmy her way to the top of anything and then she decided, at her 15 month mark (and exactly on pace with her Mommy) to walk - a mere 2 months after she took her first actual steps.

She also says "Ma-ma" (utilized equally for Sandi and I) and this morning debuted word # 2- "uh-oh." Now, I cannot help but chuckle at the irony of that...

Ella has been all about the nose lately- the picking, the thinking about it and the idea of what it contains. My apologies but these must be noted. Here goes:

Regarding not playing at Skyler's because she was sick: "Well... maybe if Skyler doesn't pick her nose while I am there she won't share her germs with me. Kind of like how I only pick my nose at home."

Noting the presence of broccoli at the tip of Maya's nostril, "Oh, yuck! There are boogers in there!" (And she would know.)

Today at lunch with Sandi at the hospital:

Me: Ella, please take your finger out of your nose.
Ella: But there are crusties. Momma will you pick it for me?
I decline. "Mommy, will you pick it for me?" Another refusal.
And then once we are in the car, with a hint of exasperation, "Can I please pick my nose now?!"

If anyone remembers from last year how I had to enter a year's worth of our check book into Quick Books for our taxes, you will be impressed to know that I finished all of 2008 before the end of January of 2009. Okay, well if you're not impressed than I will be for you.

And lastly, if any of you have heard me talk about our godson, Reed Manhart, dive into a pool and swim underwater, you must go to Emilie's blog and see for yourself. It is hysterical. And this little swimmer will only just be turning 2 tomorrow! This brief documentary is proof that the Manharts do in fact have tadpole genes in them somewhere. Go to and if you scroll down a little you will even see some pictures of my very adventurous and daring girls night out and a slight modification I made to my body...
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