Sunday, December 30, 2012

Mommy life

If you had told me 5 years ago that I would be happy about finally getting a toddlers finger nails trimmed I would have laughed at you.

But today, after a week of trying to coax her into letting me trim the razors that were growing out of her tiny hands I was able to get all ten fingers back into order.

I used the same strategy that worked with Peter the cat. The beast is most easily manhandled during or after a nap.


Ok, back to your regular lives.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Day care camera

Reading Corner

I don't think I like this guy.

I'm pretty sure I don't.

Bubble Table
Ice Table
Hello Kitty

Sunday, December 16, 2012

A long video of us playing.

For the record, when the Legos are thrown all over the house, I'm the one who has to find them. It's a "great" game.

The Lord's Prayer

I'm going to get spiritual.  Calm yourselves.

The Lord's Prayer is something that as a kid I worked hard to memorize.  I didn't do it because it was important to my faith or because I understood the meaning I did it because I felt awkward  not knowing the words and I felt that if I had it memorized that I would fit in better.  Oh the mind of a kid in 6th grade.

I was well into my adulthood when the meaning of the story of the last supper and the Lord's Prayer finally clicked for me.  Hold the phone... Jesus was a real person (unlike Santa) and these are words that came out of his mouth.  Whoa.   I'm pretty sure this was my exact thought.  Granted, Jesus likely didn't speak English and thus what we have today is a translation.  Regardless, when I think about that it really says, for me it holds some very powerful concepts.

I've often thought that if I was ever to write a book it would be a book for kids explaining what the Lord's Prayer means.  The thing that holds me back other than time is that I don't think of myself as qualified to comment or interpret something to integral to the Christian community.  I mean, who am I but a sarcastic gal with a biting sense of humor?   Who knows, I might do it anyway and run it by my liturgical friends.

The thing about The Lord's Prayer (TLP)  for me is that the meaning of it hits home in different ways.  At first it was the idea that it is a connection between Jesus and my modern world in the same way that when I read a passage from Shakespeare I find it amazing that those actual words were spoken 400 years ago by far better people than me.  It may sound silly, but saying TLP and forming the same words is connective for me.

I find that aspect of it interesting because while I am attracted to the Jesus story, my spirituality is with God and not a specific person in the Bible.  I always thought that the attention given to the Mary's by the Catholic faith was odd, but the Lutheran's and Presbyterians do the same thing with Jesus.  I guess we need the actual people to relate to instead of a "dude on a cloud". Anywho, just a tangent.

Life is happening all around us.  There is joy, there is sorrow, there is excitement and boredom.  Life goes on and on and on.  There are times when passages of TLP don't mean anything, and others when they speak to me deeply.

Over the course of the last year the line "forgive us our trespasses as we forgive others" struck me as really appropriate.  I've lost a friend and the forgivenessneeded in that scenario is layered.  I need to forgive her for her opinion of me.  I need to forgive myself for my part in the death of our friendship.  I need to know that the transformation of our friendship from an active part of my life to someone whom I read about on Facebook is how life works and that is ok.  I mourn it but I forgive the hurt I feel.  (Pretty sure Jesus doesn't care about Facebook - but you get my meaning.)

Today, that same line spoke to me differently.  Forgiveness.  I send out prayers of forgiveness for the families  in Connecticut who I can't imagine how they are functioning.  I pray that they are able to find forgiveness and that it helps heal their sorrow.  I don't mean straight up "no harm no foul" type forgiveness, but I hope in time they are able to let go of any anger or hate this terrible event has brought to them.  I pray that the next person who is out in our world who is contemplating a similar act can find forgiveness and it eases whatever is driving them towards a dark act.

I also see for the first time that the line 'thy will be done on earth as it is in Heaven" isn't a statement that our earthly place is so great and amazing, but a plea for a change in our world.  It's an acknowledgement that life is rough and influenced by more than this omnipotent and benevolent being.  It isn't God's will that this young man took the lives of these people - I don't believe that God was anywhere in that act. This line implies our hope that "God's will" is peaceful and good and wishing for that in our real live world.

I do pray for those families.  I pray that they are able to heal in a way that I don't think I could.  I hope they have people who will help pick them up and that the learn how to live in this new world. I hope we never see this type of event again (but accept that it likely will.)

I pray/hope (it is the same thing for me) that we learn something and that the people who use this terrible event to further their own agenda know how much they are hurting us.

I hope that even if you aren't a spiritual person that you are able to find comfort and peace in your own way throughout these terrible events.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

We three

  I ordered new return address labels and added these cute "images" of us.  We don't look like this in real life, but I thought they were fun.

Monday, December 10, 2012

The Mommy Koolaid

Hi, my name is Terri and I'm a mommy-aholic.

I can no longer fool myself into thinking I'm a balanced person anymore.  I post stories to Facebook about my kid, I take pictures of Lego creations she has made with my husband and I even posted a picture of her on this blog in a diaper.  Sure it was an Instagram photo so it looked vintage, but still it was nothing more than a kid in a diaper and rain-boots standing by a Christmas tree.

I follow a blog called "STFU Parents"* and it is a place for all people to post online parent fouls.  Things like when someone posts a "Remembering D-Day, thanks for your service." on their Facebook page and some clueless mom adds her own comment like "Oh yes, it was a great day when Dylan was born."  Uh... D-Day - not about your kid!

Or, when someone posts that they are super tired because they have been working really hard, some mommy will add "Try doing that with four kids at home."  Hey lady, just because parenting can be an energy sucking vortex doesn't mean you have the market on all 'tired' or 'busy' situations.  

I find the site amusing and a bit of a touchstone.  I am relieved to see that I am not guilty of many of the parental offenses in the public social world  but I give myself licence to perpetrate all sorts of parental over-sharing in this forum. 

The diaper picture however made me stop and think about my attitude and judgement.  I am aware that a certain fog of brain damage occurs when you become a parent.  Brain damage like secretly thinking that other people's children are nice, but your own are PERFECT.   It also includes thinking that taking the picture of her with poop on her hands or spaghetti all over her head is funny.  For the record, your children are also perfect and I have not photographed poop.  Spaghetti head - guilty.  I have the parental brain damage.  There I said it.

Before my own child came into our world if you asked me what the words that came to mind when I saw a kid running around wearing just a diaper and I was being honest my own social prejudices would spew out of me in an ugly way:  Trashy, Unkempt, Welfare, Bad parenting, Child Neglect Trailer park, Spaghetti-O's  (ooh, the honesty... it hurts me.)

I have a child who is well cared for, clean fed and we are attentive. She lives in a nice place, she can pay her rent (with assistance from the tall people) and she also likes to be NAKED.  At the end of the day her parents like to change out of their day clothes into what we call "squishy pants" - essentially pj bottoms, good cozy socks and tops.  Lucy likes to rid herself of her glitter and water based finger paint stained shirts and toddler jeans and be free.  There isn't much difference between squishy pants and a clean diaper.   I apologize for any judgement I may have passed on random naked toddlers.  I have been informed by a specific toddler that there are times when she will flat out do what she wants.

We are able for the most part to keep her clothed when other people are around and when we're out in public.  However, there was nakedness at Thanksgiving.  I can see where she might have felt comfortable.  After dinner there was a palpable vibe of "oh, I wish I wasn't wearing these tight pants" going on in every corner of the house.  Lucky Lucy, she was able to pull off her dress and be done with it.  I bet Uncle Marty was a bit envious.  Thankfully, he doesn't wear a diaper so the pants stay on.  WHEW.

I will keep monitoring STFU Parents to keep my public parenting infractions to a dull roar but if you see them know that I AM holding back way more than I post.

Speaking of things I wanted to share:  

Last night we sang "Old MacDonald" in the bathtub.  Her 'EIEIOooo" makes up for the fit she threw in Target.  Well, not totally, but I forgave her for my having to carry her out of the store while she screamed and tried to get away.  These battles are rough, but she will learn that safety things are NOT negotiable.   I was thankful to receive thumbs up and nods of encouragement from other parents as I manhandled her out of the store.  Funny how a "you can do it" or "it'll pass" from a total stranger with calm kids in tow helps.

I drank the mommy koolaid, but thus far I'm not posting pictures of her 'art' to Pinterest... yet.

*STFU means "Shut the f*ck up"

Tuesday, December 04, 2012

Chicken Soup

my soup

I was inspired by a recipe I read yesterday, so after I dropped a well rested and pleasant Lucy at Day Care I zipped to the market to pick up chicken, celery, carrots and onion and came home to make soup.

I love the cast iron pot because it does it all.   I heated olive oil in the pan and then browned my onions and chicken thighs (bone on) added seasoning (salt, pepper, poultry seasoning) and then added chicken broth.

If I was a better cook, or had lots of time on my hands I would make my own chicken stock, but the stuff from Swanson's is lovely.  I like to mix the regular stock with the lower salt version.  I'd like to think that I'm honoring my grandmother a bit when I use something like Swanson's that she thought was a marvelous time saver for her.

I added celery and carrots and let it cook for about 2 hours.

I then pulled the chicken thighs out and removed the bones.  Now it is all nicely marinating in the pan.

Later on this afternoon I will add noodles, likely pastina.  Pastina??? Yes, that is the fancy name for 'stars'.

Jason has a desire for biscuits with this meal so I will also be serving up some fresh baked blobs of bread.  Now, again noting that I don't have loads of time these too will be cheater rolls.

I've learned a few things over time.  As much as I favor chicken breast meat, when cooking a 'meal in a pot' thigh meat offers more flavor and responds better to the extended cooking time.  If I need more meat, I can add white meat towards the end of the cooking process.   Also, browning the chicken in the pot with the skin on helps leach out the flavors of the chicken.  The bones and the skin will be removed before eating, but are a key step in the development of a deeper flavor.  I also chopped up the entire celery stalk - including the leafy bits.  Those don't add much flavor but they sure are pretty floating around in my soup.

The pot of soup is large, so I'm sure there will be enough to save for a different rainy day.  I hope Lucy likes it - from the samples I've had it is savory.  I'm looking forward to dinner.

Friday, November 30, 2012

Santa Pictures

Like a Shark, Santa is Just as Scared as You

Santa, So Concerned, So Considerate

We're thinking of taking Lucy to get her picture with Santa. Unlike the cute Easter picture I fear it won't turn out well:
It Never Stops Santa, Never
Get us the f*ck out of here!

Santa's death grip

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Questionable Parenting

I still feel like this blogging thing is a nice creative outlet.  However when I am inspired to share my deep and meaningful inner thoughts I tend to find myself knee deep in crayons, apple sauce or life safety issues for a toddler.

I'm not complaining (much).  This parenting gig is pretty great.  She thinks I'm awesome and wants me to play with her all the time.  My heart melts when she grabs my hand or when we're talking with someone new (to her) and she hides in my legs.  I do recall when I was a kid how there was safety in those parental legs.

Lucy knows she's supposed to sit when she eats and she knows where the "jellies" are.  Jellies are fruit snacks made with fruit juice - essentially candy with the idea of fruit to make us parents feel better.  When we enter the kitchen she plops herself on the floor in front of the pantry door and sweetly asks 'jess pees' this translates to "May I please have a jelly snack; I'm quite hungry and you were put on this earth to meet my needs." Note her excellent use of the semi-colon, an art lost on most toddlers.

Last night I gave her the little bag of delightful treats and decided to sit with her while she ate them.  Yup, I'm the kind of mom who will plop herself on the floor.  It serves multiple purposes, it shows her that the floor is for all people and helps me find the dust bunnies that I can't see from my staggering height.  Ok, 5 foot 5 inches tall is not staggering per se, but it is hard to find all the dust bunnies from that altitude.

We were sitting on the floor with our backs resting against some cabinets. Her feet were stretched out in front of her as were mine.  As mine are a tiny bit longer than hers (see above noted paragraph) my feet were resting on the bottom rung of a nearby stool.  She and I were deep into a conversation about the merits of grape vs. cherry jellies when she started to skootch forward on her bum.  I was about to ask her where she was going when I figured it out.  She slid forward until she could prop her feet onto the foot rest where my feet were.

I know... trite parenting stuff.  GET A ROOM.  But wait, this is my room.  So I get to tell you (if you're still here) how it made me smile, but also made me take a mental note that this little jelly filled being is seriously paying attention to what is going on around her.  No more off color sarcastic jokes that "she doesn't understand".  The last thing I need is for her to make a "dirty sanchez" comment to the teachers at school.

It's kind of a silly story - we have an entire community of Fisher Price Little People. They are pretty cute and have come into our home on airplanes, trucks, buses and the Super Friends transportation system.   They are quite the ethnically diverse group and we have named each one and made an effort to keep the names in line with their heritage.  Lele is on her way to visit family in Hawaii, Jamal is the airplane pilot.  Pat is the androgynous tourist.   Madeline is the token disabled kid (glasses AND a wheelchair.)  Mr. Sanchez is the school crossing guard. It's a toss up as to whether he is Hispanic or Indian but Lucy cannot pronounce Gaurav or Chandramouli just yet, so Hispanic he shall be.   Well, last night Lucy took a diaper off one of her dolls and gently placed Mr. Sanchez (and a rather fresh Lego lady) into the diaper and we, the inappropriate parents, made a Dirty Sanchez joke.   I guess at this point you're either eye rolling at our horrid child rearing  skills or running to the Internet to look it up.  For the record knowledge of what a Dirty Sanchez is does not imply participation or acceptance of such activities for this household.   You may do what you like - but ick.

Madeline and Mr. Sanchez

"Dirty Sanchez"

Gosh and now that I've written Dirty Sanchez into my blog four times it will pop up whenever someone does a search for it.  What a boring shock that will be.

I would like to note that at no point was the DS phrase mentioned out loud in front of the child and we have always spoken of all the little people with the utmost respect.  Other than influencing the origins of their names they are all equal in our eyes.  I'm however ashamed to admit that pretty little Lego woman is a problem and we do find her in many compromising positions with her two Lego men friends.  If it keeps up we may have to send her to readjustment camp to focus on her morals, if she can't change her ways that little girl slut may have to move out.

On a more acceptable parental activity front. We put up our Christmas tree and took the strategy to install the tree (pre-lit) one day and put up soft kid-friendly ornaments the next and then fill it in with all of the other special items the following day.  She is naturally drawn to the tree, but after explaining that we look with our eyes and not our hands, and then a quick round one, round two of time outs for grabbing items on the tree she seems to appreciate that we're not messing around with our statement that she isn't to touch the tree.    We have left off the delicate antique glass ornaments this year and the candy canes are still up for debate.

That's where we are this week.  I'l check back in later and I'm sure there will be pictures of the kid in the future.

Saturday, November 24, 2012


You'll be surprised to learn that holiday shopping with a toddler is a pain in the ass. It's strange how someone so cute and small can be so loud and grabby.

Merry Christmas!!!

Monday, November 19, 2012

Arts & Crafts

before the mayhem
creepy eyes in mid blink shot (oh, and a pen up her nose)
do I have anything on my face?
art work

Friday, November 09, 2012

How to piss off a toddler

Over time Lucy has warmed up to Auntie Chelsey, but Chelsey does not get the same baby lovin' from Lucy that I get from her daughter.  Sure, sweet JP is working me for my access to treats like crackers and chips, but I'll take my baby love where I can get it.

We were over at their house last night and after dinner had moved to the floor in the living room.  The girls had every toy out and were busy moving between the toy kitchen, the puzzles, and the baby dolls.  One of JP's dolls had a sound box in her back and I just had to turn it on.  You know me, can't leave anything alone.

The creepy little doll had barely enough battery to sustain the weak but never ending cry.  It was frightening to me and I was expecting it to make noise.  Lucy on the other hand freaked out.  She cried and ran to the nearest adult who seemed safe.  THIS WAS NOT MOMMY.  I made the situation worse by trying to get the damn doll to shut up but in doing so hugged it and gave it a motherly pat on the back.

I believe it was that exact moment that I became Mama-non-grata.  Lucy wanted nothing more to do with me for the rest of the night.  She sat safely in Auntie Chelsey's lap and played with puzzles but wouldn't come to me.  When Chelsey moved closer to me (with Lucy in tow) Lucy simply stood up and went over to the safety of dad.  NICE.

I will tell you that I make a purposeful effort NOT to always be the one to run to Lucy's aid when a trauma occurs.  If she knocks her self down and Jason is closest he is the parent who provides the comfort.  Sure, I want to throw whatever thing I'm doing on the floor, knock over the kitchen table to get to her, but alas it is good for her to know that we both are comforting on a bad day.

Last night though, she was scared and mad.  It made me sad to be the source of that agony.  She manages to well up with actual tears all the time, but these cut me to my core.

Thankfully, as far as 'things that mommy has done me wrong" lists go, this error in judgement on my part seems to have been forgiven.  She was cuddly with me this morning and did not want me to leave her at school.  We'll see if she remembers the creepy doll next time we're over there.

Wednesday, November 07, 2012

Parents: The real walking dead

Lucy had a bad night last night.  She didn't fall asleep instantly like she usually does and was crying for us about every hour on the hour until 1:00am when we finally gave her a dose of magic sleeping medicine.  (Baby advil)

Poor little bunny was eyes wide open and tired.  This is a bad combination.  Our normal trick of leaving her alone and letting her work it out simply did not work last night.  The more she fussed, the more awake she sounded.  We tried the "go through the bedtime routine again" strategy - which usually works, but failed.  We tried the rub her back until she falls asleep method, which was fine until she woke up again.  I tried the "rub her eyes like you would a chicken" (ask my dad) and it worked until she woke up about 45 minutes later.

She did wear herself out, and thankfully woke up in a good mood and seemed happy this morning.  I, on the other hand, would love to go back to bed.

In a discussion with Jason about our night he segued to The Walking Dead tv show which prompted me to Google zombie baby images and I came up with this gem.  Thank you  How to be a Dad for this amazing and true comparison.

Zombie vs. Baby

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

The Kitchen Re-Do

Our newish house is lovely and we adore it. However, the counter-tops in the kitchen were granite tile and we did not adore them. The color was fine, the back-splash was fine, but I did not love the giant tile and the unfinished edges.

We decided to replace the counter-tops and a kitchen re-model was born.  The first thing to go was the ineffective microwave/vent hood.  We took it out (recycled it to a worthy home) and installed a very good vent hood.  

After shopping around and getting three bids we selected a vendor and started picking materials.  The first decision - granite or quartz.  I thought for sure we'd go with granite, but we found a quartz that is very exciting.  It has blue, black, tan, clear resin and some sparkle.  SO VERY PRETTY.

To keep it from going too dark we selected a cream subway tile with a stainless steel accent.  An issue with the tile heights resulted in a delay and to protect our bare drywall I put up foam core around the sink.  The only color I could find was black.  We lived with it for a day and decided that a cream tile would not do.  Back to the tile designer we went with our photos and in spite of our desire not to go "too modern" we selected a black tile that would be cut in to 3x12 tiles and set like subway tile.

In addition to the new vent hood we ordered upper cabinets for the butler's pantry -thankfully we had the name of the supplier our house builder used.  They were very helpful in the ordering process, and they were delivered right on time.  Thank you to Cousin Marty and Jason for the lovely installation.

Lastly, a stove.  This is the item that feels the most extravagant , but I love it so much.  We were going to wait on the stove, but in the end the desire to have the kitchen done won out.  We came in on budget - even with the stove and I love how it turned out.

Because we were involved there are little touches that show that a lot of thought went into the details.  We had a row of tile set below the counter height behind the stove so that it looks as though the tile goes all the way to the floor.  In the nook where the refrigerator is there is a row of tile that extends to avoid a shocking spot of cream wall behind the fridge.

In the butler's pantry, we installed wine glass hangers on the one end and our expert tile installer was able to tuck the tile up and behind the hangers.   We used bull-nose tile around the edges which makes it look so finished.  The bull-nose had to be cut and shaped on site so it is not 100% perfect, but I think it shows that it is a custom kitchen.

The kitchen before

detail by the window

the butler's pantry 

butler's pantry

Sink before

tear out begins

the awful tile gone from the butler's pantry

our kitchen lived in here for a while

drywall repair

by the stove

ooh, the new counter, tile and under-mounted sink!

the stove and new vent hood

the new cupboards in the butler's pantry

Wine Zone...where all bad moods go to die.

Looking in... not too dark!

The detail behind the stove!  SHIMMERY

Finished at the window!