Monday, December 22, 2008


With all the holiday preparations and family things going on, I haven't been able to spend much time in the blogosphere lately. But, I did come across something festive, a "ghost of Christmas past," in all of the bustle.

I lived in Africa from 1976 to 1980 (the reason I am not allowed to give blood or donate my organs).

There I am, with my brother and some of the local kids. I don't know what I was looking at.

On Christmas, we would go to the home of the American Ambassador for a Christmas party. Santa would make an appearance, bearing gifts for all the kids - you know, the usual. What was unusual was that Santa would ride into the yard on a camel.

Here I am in, I think, 1978. I'm getting my gift from the recently cameled Saint Nick.

I got a wind-up plane that spun in circles on the floor.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008


Was it just me, or was Friday an insane day for everyone? Being pregnant, I'm already a little ... um, shall we say unsteady ... emotionally. Add to the mix four small, hyper dogs and two small, dramatic children. And Friday ... Wow! Grammy, who was kind enough to help me stave off a total nervous breakdown that day, and I kept looking at each other and saying, "What is going on?!"

I found out later that Friday night was the largest full moon in fifteen years. Usually, the moon is approximately 238,000 miles from the earth. Friday night, it was only about 221,000 miles from the earth. I don't care what anyone says; there is something about the moon that affects behavior, at least of dogs and humans.

I used to work at a rehab center for adults with traumatic brain injury. After about a week of adjustment, I really enjoyed the job. I have such a soft spot in my heart now for physically and mentally challenged people. I hate that there is such a stigma placed on them. They were great! But, I'll tell you what. On the day before a full moon, chaos reigned in the rehab center. There was a general grumpiness and uncooperativeness about the clients. But, the frontal lobe injuries (those with poor to no impulse control) were most noticeable. It was okay, as long as you kept a good sense of humor about it. It's kind of like being out with a toddler who blurts things like "Mommy, does that man have a baby in his belly? Then why is his belly so big?"

And I've lost my train of thought. But, yeah. Friday was pretty crazy. Any thoughts?

Thursday, December 11, 2008


After the inexplicable popularity of Cakes' Dora birthday cake among my two children, Bean was requesting a character cake for her birthday as well. Her first request? Uniqua from the Backyardigans. Well, that certainly wasn't going to happen. Neither were any of the characters from Blue's Room or Yo Gabba Gabba. No Wonder Pets, either. So, I hopped onto Nick Jr.'s trusty website to see if I could find something doable.

I found this (photo courtesy of the Nick Jr. website).

It's round, it's almost monochromatic, and it doesn't require copious amounts of drawing with icing. Easy, right? Well ....

It's like some Backyardigans bizaaro world - it looks familiar, but is just off enough to be really creepy. The first thing Big Daddy said to me was, "Why didn't you mix the icing? The color's all uneven." Yes. In spite of stirring until my arm hurt, the icing still looks like a satellite photo of the Pacific Ocean. I can't seem to get away from grotesque skin texture. And, I don't know where they found their Oreos, but the ones I found made Pablo's eyes ... um ... a bit oversized (to say the least). The hat looked really easy in the picture, but mine looks like a multi-colored pile of poo.

At least it's not as bad as Dora was.

If it weren't for my children's undying gratitude and sheer awe of my cake making ability (not to mention good blog fodder), I would be buying stock in Carvel Cakes.

Check out more photos that won't be in any scrapbooks on We Are THAT Family.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008


It was pretty hard to get Cakes to stop nursing. I kept hearing about "self-weaning" and stuff, but that didn't really seem to be something she was interested in. I think she would have happily nursed until she went to college.

But, after about a year of effort, I finally got Cakes weaned a few months ago. Now, if I could just get her to sleep through the night ....

Which leads me to my Momma Love post this week. I, as usual, had ended up in bed with Cakes in the middle of the night. Good parenting? Maybe, maybe not. Good for getting a full night's sleep? Absolutely! So, Cakes started moaning and groaning, and I hopped into bed with her before she woke up Bean.

Cakes, eyes still closed and half asleep, wrapped one sweet little arm around my neck. With the other hand, she grabbed my hand and began to "nurse" on each of my fingers. Of course, she was disappointed with each one, and moved on to my knuckles, also with no success. Then, still holding my hand, she lay there smacking her lips, as if dreaming of nursing. Since Bean never showed any interest in nursing, it's funny to see how profoundly it affected Cakes. Months after weaning, she's still finding comfort in "nursing" in her sleep (and in digging around in my cleavage every chance she gets ... but that's another post for another day).

For more stories that remind us all how great it is to be a mom, check out In the Dailies.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008


My friend Tanya started this carnival to highlight those wonderful Mommy moments that we have in the midst of all that fun stuff like disciplining and enduring tantrums, etc. You don't have to have kids to participate; any feel-good story is welcome.

Bean is at that age where she takes things very literally. Since I've been in the throes of morning (afternoon, evening) sickness, my mom has been kind enough to cook for us and spare me the horrifying sights and smells that make my stomach churn. One night, we sat down to a tasty and particularly creative meal. We were all showing our appreciation to Grammy for her culinary prowess. I piped up with something like, "This meal was a great idea, Momma!"

Bean's head shot up and she said, "Momma?"

I said, "Yes."

She said, "You're talking to yourself?"

This led to a discussion of the abstract concepts of all the different roles that one person can have. Which led to a discussion about who my children resemble. Grampy looked at Cakes and said to me, "She looks like you for all the world. I just can't get over it!"

I said, "I know. And Bean looks a lot like her Daddy. She has his nose."

Again, Bean's head shot up from her plate, and her little face was twisted into a horrified expression. "I have Daddy's nose?!" Then, her voice cracked a little and her eyes welled with tears. "I don't want Daddy's nose!"

I can only imagine what was going through her mind as I laughingly assured her that Daddy's nose was safe and sound on Daddy's face, and that Bean had her own nose.

I love watching their little minds develop, and hearing their original thoughts!

For more mommy moments, and to leave a nice mommy moment of your own, check out In the Dailies.

Monday, December 1, 2008


So, it was some time in the wee morning hours this weekend. I had been up most of the night, because about five trains went through the neighboring town, whistles blowing and wheels rumbling. Of course, all the country dogs were barking like crazy. That many trains in one night was weird. Usually, we hear one or two roll by, but five?

As the rumbling faded away, I heard some weird sounds coming from the woods across the street from my house. A couple of men were yelling in a foreign language. Then, a whole group of people started chanting in a foreign language while someone played a tambourine. Everything would get quiet for a minute or so, and then it would start again. This went on for about twenty or thirty minutes.

I've been looking up all kinds of things on the internet, trying to figure out what in the world could have been going on out there in the woods, but I keep coming up empty-handed. Any ideas?