Sunday, May 28, 2006



Tuesday, May 23, 2006


I know a really nice person whose birthday is today-o.

Today is Katie's birthday. (Happy Birthday, Katie!) I can always remember Katie's birthday because it is EXACTLY three months after mine. I have boasted, on at least one occasion, that I would never ever forget Katie's birthday as long as I live, so help me God. I now realize that this was an incredibly stupid thing to do, mostly because it gives me absolutely NO excuse for being unprepared for, um, Katie's birthday (what with the three month's warning and all), but also because I invoked God. And when you're a procrastinator who insists you will never forget a birthday, the supreme being, who through her omniscience knows otherwise, has a tendency to deal with you.. and does so the night before by causing you to have a horrific sex dream involving Ozzy Osbourne. *shudder*

So, to recap, I did not forget Katie's birthday. I did however fail to get her gift ready in time and was stricken with a bad sex dream. And I'm so sorry. It's still the thought that counts, though, right? At least while I am readying your gift? Maybe? Think about it. Get back with me.

In the meantime, I stumbled across a chap earlier today by the name of Paul Sadowski. A bit of a nutter, but he passed along some information regarding Katie's happy day, so I thought I'd share. For instance, per his calculations, Katie's date of conception was on or around August 30, 1977. Always good to know because it's often fun to think about the one time your parents had 'relations'. Katie was born on a Tuesday, (you Gemini, you!) and her life path is an eight (whatever that means). He says, in a voice at regular volume inspite of my insistence that he whisper this bit, that Katie is twenty-eight as of today. There are 365 shopping days (which still probably won't be enough for me, alas) til her next birthday. He pointed out that she will then be 29 (again with the not whispering). Smart guy, that one.

So, Paul and I wish you the happiest of happy birthdays! You are one of my oldest (no pun intended. really.) and dearest friends, and a complete stranger to Paul, and I love y'uns very much. See you tomorrow for the fondue feast!

Sunday, May 21, 2006


Sulky Girl

Friday, May 19, 2006


First thing in the morning is waaay too early to argue about the Name Game

"Now what's that weird rule about dropping letters?"

"If the first two letters are ever the same, you drop them both and say the name."

"But you don't. You don't say the name."

"Well, you DO, just without the first letter. Bob would be Bob Bob drop the B oh 'ob."

"Okay, do it."

"Bob Bob Bo ob..."

"But you didn't say 'oh'."

"You don't have to. You just say the name. Without the B."

"But you just said.."

"Well, that's the only rule that is contrary."

Thursday, May 18, 2006


Birthday Girl


The Cake

Things kind of got worse before they got better. By the time I got home yesterday afternoon, the cake, the perfect cake that we slid onto a plate and safely tucked away in the microwave the night before so the ants wouldn't turn it into a midnight snack, had become a little less than perfect. It split along Dora's neck and tummy during the transfer from the plate back onto the cake board. As the day progressed, Dora's face mysteriously split from the top of her head to her mouth. Oh, and her arm broke off. So, I did what I usually do. I got all end-of-the-world and panicky (Hey. YOU stay calm when you think you're single-handedly ruining your child's second birthday).

Eventually, the panic subsided. We filled the cracks with icing, reattached Dora's arm, smooshed her back together again, coverd her with a kazillion stars, and had the cake ready to go with a little time to spare. I called Maya into the room, pointed to the cake as she got closer and asked, "Maya. Who is this?" "Dora!" she said, and tried to sink her finger in the cake. And all was right with the world again.

Happy Birthday, Little Girl!

Wednesday, May 17, 2006


Let them eat cake (so long as it's not one of mine)

If I make it through today without throwing up, I'll consider it a success. I made it back from Bartlesville last night a little before 7pm (I stood in the cake decorating section of Hobby Lobby for a good twenty or thirty minutes trying to convince myself that, yes, I CAN make the Dora cake, and then another twenty minutes or so the next aisle over trying to decide which Dora paper plates to get (the big ones or little), how many, which napkins, and whether I wanted the streamers and banners and the cover for the table. Turns out I didn't. I ended up with no streamers, the smaller plates and napkins, and the cake pan) and was amazingly optimistic about the cake experience I was about to have. How hard could it be?

My confidence started to waffle a bit when I pulled out the cake mix, the cake mix that had been sitting in our cabinet for almost a year but that my mother assured me was fine because the date on the box was 6/06 and this was just 5/06, and, besides, taste it! Seeee? It's fine. So, we mixed up the almost ancient cake mix, set the oven to 350, greased the Dora pan, covered it in flour, put more grease on the parts we missed, sprinkled more flour, poured in the cake batter, put the cake in the oven, and crossed our fingers, toes, eyes, and anything else that could be crossed that the cake would turn out all right, or at least somewhat recognizable. I think I checked on the cake every three to five minutes, each time reporting back the progress of the cake to anyone within earshot. Each report was the same: um, the cake doesn't, er, look right… exactly. To which my mother repeatedly replied: It's only been such-and-such long. It will be fine. Now get out of the kitchen.

Thirty minutes and six checks later, the cake emerged from the oven. It slid easily enough from the pan to the cooling racks, which I mistakenly took for a good sign. And, wouldn't you know, it still just didn't look quite right. Know why? Because the cake NEVER ROSE. It was flat and hard instead of fluffy and spongy and otherwise cakelike. My mother, sensing the panic, tells me not to panic. Maybe this cake is supposed to look like that, she offered. Sure. The longer it sat, the worse it became. Smallish cracks became bigger cracks until eventually pieces splintered and fell off completely. Finally, Mom relented. I guess the cake mix was old after all, she says. Right-o. I place a quick call to Justin, who is already on his way back from the grocery store with ingredients for the icing (yeah, the whole cake decorating thing simply wasn’t enough; I had to have the homemade frosting, too), explain what has happened, and ask if he would be ever so kind enough to return to the store and grab a new cake mix, one that isn't due to expire in 6/06. And then we were back to square one. Grease, mix, pour, bake. Thankfully, the second go was a success. After thirty more minutes of baking, we had a perfect cake. But by this time it's well after 9pm. The second incarnation of the Dora cake would have to cool an hour(ish) at the very least before we could begin the task of covering it with the kazillion teeny stars. We made the executive decision to sleep on it and try our hand at decorating tomorrow. It's now tomorrow. The party is in eight hours and we still have a nekkid Dora cake.

Birthdays are harder than they look! Or maybe I'm just making it more difficult than I need to. Either way, I'm just really nervous about everything turning out okay and everyone getting along and Maya having a good time and not noticing that her mother is a basket case. I just have to keep telling myself that I get another go at this next year, and that next year will be better. Oh, and that the cake will be wonderful and tonight will be absolutely lovely.

Sunday, May 14, 2006


Look, ma. No hands!

Justin took me and Maya out for a Mother's Day lunch at P.F. Chang's Sunday afternoon, because I like to eat (especially when the meal has the possibility of ending with a great wall of chocolate). The hostess escorted us through the very crowded, very noisy restaurant and seated us out on the patio, which was nice. Plump clouds were looming large in the sky and there was a pleasant breeze. Perfect for Mother's Day dining. Maya had her Dora and a set of chopsticks to occupy her time, so she was amazingly well behaved while we ate. Dora, on the otherhand, got in trouble a few times for drumming the chopsticks on the table. As time passed, and more families filled the surrounding tables, I started to suspect that the restaurant was shuffling all the parties with smallish children outside. Which was okay. It gave Maya other kiddos to point and gawk at (baaabyyyy! baaaaabyyyy!), and it really was a nice day.

I opened Mother's Day gift two of two before we left for lunch (I weasled gift one of two out of Justin the night before - late in the evening, so it was practically Mother's day, anyway). So, I received two new toys for my camera, a Nikon remote and a heavy duty (says so right on the box) SLR tripod, which I heart very very much. I spent most of the evening trying them out, taking pictures of myself HANDS FREE! Like so.

Faaantastic! I have the bestest husband EVER! It was a very happy Mother's Day, indeed!

Sunday, May 07, 2006


Pretty Vacant

Monday, May 01, 2006


It's Educational!

My daughter watches television. Quite a lot. At least more than the pediatrician recommended viewing limit for her age group, which is, um, zero. But that increases to two whole hours once she's two. And, you know, she has been slightly ahead of the curve on other things, why not her television consumption?

All along the intention had been to severly limit the TV she watched. My husband was pushing for none at all, but I was holding out for at least some children's programming. What would a little Sesame Street or Teletubbies in the morning hurt? So, a little television it was, so long as we stuck to the educational shows. Turns out, Sesame Street is a gateway drug. Soon, that hour of Sesame Street turned into a half-hour of Doodlebops and a half-hour of Sesame Street, followed by a mixture of PBS (Jakers! Thomas the Tank Engine!) and Disney (Doodlebops! Charlie & Lola! Rolie Polie Olie!) programming. And then we discovered NOGGIN. It's like Preschool. On TV. A preschool with Bruno, Oobie, Maisy, Miss Spider, Laurie Berkner, and most importantly, DORA for your classmates. After that, there was no turning back. What started as an innocent hour of fun with the Sesame Street gang had developed into a several hour per day Dora habit (THANKS Nick, Jr - ya wee bastids). She loves her some Dora... at least two or three times a day.

I justify all this by telling myself and anyone else who will listen that it's okay because it's e d u c a t i o n a l. And, hey, Noggin is devoted to my pre-preschooler. Aaaand, it gives me a smallish break so that I can be the best (read as sane and slightly more rested) mommy I can be. Oh, and did I mention it was educational? (can you feel the guilt?)

Anyway, time passes and I'm beginning to have my doubts that the Sesame Street gang and Noggin were so beneficial after all. And just when I was starting to give up and initiate the painful process of television detox, Maya busts out some Spanish while we're playing in the hallway one afternoon. It was her turn to roll her ball back to her Dad. As I handed it to her, she hugged it and said yah-yas! Later, she said it again, yah-yas! followed by a tiny thank you! and a kiss. Gracias is now part of her vocabulary! And she uses it correctly! Holy heck! So, turns out Dora is an okay influence after all. Maya may not say a lot of two-word sentences (yet), but by golly she speaks Spanish. Er, un poco. Take THAT pediatricians!

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