Wednesday, January 30, 2013

My new oldest friend

I have a new oldest friend now. 

I have a friend from when I was 15/16 that I'm in regular contact with, but I saw an old friend from high school last night, thanks to the magic of reconnecting through fb, that I've actually known since 2nd grade!

That's a lot of beautiful history together. 

It was positively glorious catching up but try cramming the last 17 years of your life into the span of two and a half hours and see what sh*tstorm develops in the part of your brain that used to house your ego.

Why is it. That everyone you went to high school with. Is either a doctor, or lawyer, or married to a doctor, or lawyer. Or they are both doctors and lawyers together raising their national champion children on organic foods?

Oh, and we have some computer science out-liers who write an app and then take six months off for an exotic vacation to Micronesia while they come up with another app.

I usually have no trouble with my ego. My mama always told me:
"Someone may be prettier than you, and someone may be smarter than you, and someone may be more talented than you, but no one will be as pretty, smart, AND talented as you."
[no wonder I'm so f**ked up]
What can I say, I had her fooled from day one.

I think this is why I like triathlon. I can always justify a "win" in either swim, bike. Run, T1, T2, age group, Athena group...you don't have to settle with just telling everyone your finish time.

And then there's the old:
"Yeah, but does that woman biking past me with the Ironman tattoo peeking out over her shorts have TWINS??"
YOUNG twins?
Did she tour Europe?
Was she toasted by the cultural minister of Austria?
Was she in the New York Times?
Is she married to her best friend?
Can she quilt a quilt in 12 hours?

No, but she probably saves lives...
Or makes six figures...
Can keep herself from eating 46 Pringles in a seating...

This friend of mine, was not keeping score. 

She was super sweet, beautiful, successful, fashionable, loving, 
and welcomed at the bar with equally loving friends and servers.

I hate heart her.

Thank goodness, life is not a race.

And even if it was, it doesn't have to be pretty..


Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Flying with twins. Alone. On an airplane. That's two 4 -year -olds and one 30-something. Do the math.

With twins and only twins, every birthday is a milestone. 
At one, I felt that we were passed the SIDS/preemie/reflux/breastfeeding stage and were starting to be real people. 
At two, I felt that they were real people who could start to communicate and hubby and I could get away for a few days without there being a crisis every half hour.
At three, we were talking about preschool and we were almost through potty training and I was leaving the house with them and a wallet [most of the time.]
At four, well, let's give flying a try. I want to see your faces when you fly with Peter Pan and sing "It's a Small World."

You can see the story play out in the photos below, 
but I'll also write a few notes to clue myself in for next time.

I am having a love hate relationship with the stroller at this age. I was just bringing a single umbrella, for backup; to carry my bag and our drinks; to have with us at our destination. Most of the time the kids didn't actually sit in it, but had there been a delay or the airport been crowded or someone be a little tired, I couldn't have lived without it. Most of the time they were running back and forth with me to the restroom and I was pushing the stroller with our stuff and they were literally running along side me. I left it outside the bathroom stall while we three crammed into one. It was lovely. Four times over. But like I said, might've saved my shoulders a few bags...

I was crushing on the Cheetos. My kids are developing my chip addiction, so when I went to the gift shop to grab gum [major miss: twice the price of course; some woman asked to buy a stick off of me rather than buy her own pack but I just gave her one.] They took this opportunity to pick out some snacks, and I told them they could have one; and they both picked the super-size-me individual bag of Cheetos. Super messy orange fingers, but seriously; that bag lasted ALL FLIGHT. I'll take the win.

We were having an affair with the iPods from our regular lives, since before now the kids didn't know I had "extra phones" and they are only allowed to play angry birds with daddy (him) and cake doodle when we get our hair blown dry (her). I told them the surprise was coming, but only after the pilot said we were ok to take them out, so we had to be "up, up, up" and couldn't use them on the ground. So little boy kept asking me "Are we up yet?" while we were waiting our turn to take off. Um...can you not SEE that we are not UP yet? Dude. DUDE. Seriously. So instead of enjoying the fantastical experience of taking off on an airplane and watching your city vanish beneath you, he just kept turning to me and saying, "can I play with your phone yet?" But once the 'phones' DID come out, I didn't see/hear from the children except at twenty minute intervals for potty breaks and one lollipop break.


In love with eachother on the taxi ride to airport. Gotta love twins.



Big Man helping mommy push the carry-on.
Entertaining each other. Again, thank you GOD for giving me twins.


That's what I'm talking about! Big plane-fascination.


Mommy's Sun Chips + Cheetos = Healthy appetite
As Jodi Foster's character in Contact would say, "[We're] okay to go!"


"What mommy? There's a mommy on board this flight?"
And then, the pay - off ...


We'll see how the return trip goes. I still had more tricks in my bag, but on this flight the magic formula was:
 2 bags of Cheetos + 2 lollipops + 2 iPods
=
Happy Traveling


Friday, January 25, 2013

More sh** I didn't know : sick edition

While I was on my "time off" [sick upstairs]

Veggie Tales is religious-themed.

How you can help me while I'm puking, is to do the dishes.

Because there are always dishes.

And the last thing I need upon recovery is to smell more of what I just puked.

Apparently our kitchen was completely in need of reorganization and this can be accomplished by junk being dumped in multiple piles throughout the house. 

Also, by adding a sponge cage.

Moves in Candy Land are up to the players' discretion.

And candy preferences.

There's no actual reason to take down a fake little Christmas Tree.

Ever.

I didn't hate Frasier, I was just too young for it before now.

And too well.

Hard-wired smoke alarms prefer to misfire at 4 am.

When you are sick.

And can't be disconnected. 

Ever. 

The interest in your well-being  is directly proportional to how well you are looking. It's not until you are feeling better and out in the world that people actually ask how you are doing just to make you wonder how awful you must actually still look.

There are too many photos of food on Facebook.

Nyquil [taken by me] insures the children will sleep through the night. 

Or at least, insure a morning's earful of stories from Daddy, the new night watchman.

Best insurance.

Ever.







Wednesday, January 23, 2013

i'm doing it

I originally wrote the bulk of this post in October.
Then, signed up for the race yesterday.

I'm signing up for a Half-Ironman for 2013.
I've wanted to for the last two years.

After my last two Olympic-length tri's it was just staring at me in the face: 2 months away and only 1 1/2 hours drive. Perfect timing. But I didn't do it. 
I think that I could physically finish it, tomorrow, if I had to.
But of course, it wouldn't be pretty. At all. 
Not that it's going to be pretty next later this year...

I've always thought in my mind that the Ironman training/planning/finishing would be a 3 year cycle in my life, so if I say that I'm signing up for a Half in 2013, I'm kinda starting the clock on the Ironman. Which is also good, or maybe just inevitable, because I've also always said I wanted to do this thang before I was 40, and that's coming up in 4 years. Primarily - actually ONLY - because my neighbor in my condo building, with whom I shared our tiny gym as she was training for her first Ironman, and I was training for my second sprint, told me once,
 "Do it before you're 40, because I have physical therapy for my physical therapy."
She had just turned 40.

Doesn't mean I can't still do it before I'm 50. Or 80. Pretty sure I'm going to do it someday.

As I mentioned in my previous post, I rarely finish one project without starting another, and I have been seriously looking through the schedule for 2013 to find a race that works with my training patterns, my husband's work schedule, and any other life stuff we usually have going on.

Also needed the hubby's 'nod.' [of approval/exasperated sigh that there's nothing he can do but stay married to the crazy woman because then he can talk about said crazy wife and gain the hearts of many.]

Could be a nightmare. School schedules? Do I have to start considering that?? Maybe I should wait until they hit kindergarten and their schedule will be a lot more consistent. Well...for all I know I could be going back to an office job at that point so there's no telling about that time in our lives.

There's no telling if the 3 year cycle will prove fruitful. It could be a 2 year cycle. Knowing me, I could want to knock it out within 6 months of finishing the Half, and I end up flying to South America to find one that fits in my schedule and isn't full. I just figured, getting to know what my body could handle, and trying and failing, and giving space for life happening in between, better give myself more than a year to plan ahead.

Pretty sure it's also going to take a village to do this thing, even before the full. Hubby was on the way out the door two mornings ago and I said, "going to have to do the half in 2013." He just grinned. That's pretty much end of discussion. He doesn't question my determination. Just my methods! Which, truth be told, are quite faulty.

I didn't train enough for the half-marathon, so I suffered in recovery. For about a week. And maybe I could have shaved 5-10 minutes off my time. But I'm still glad I did it. And I know if I sign up for a 70.3 and can't fit in all my training, that I will still finish, and that's the most important thing. I'm still learning to race, and it's not necessarily my priority to race; but just to finish.


My questions / answers are [basically, my inner monologue]:

1. Why isn't the Poconos one ever filled? Is it crazy hilly? It's around a lake. I love lakes. I know they had to cancel the swim portion the first year, and so this year will be the testing ground. I'll wait and see.
Hmm. Poconos is canceled for 2013.  [They did do the swim in 2012.]

2. When does registration for Eagleman start? You know those Columbia triathletes can't be out-registered.  I used to marvel at this one almost 10.years.ago. Before it was actually an Ironman event. Can't believe I'm finally moving up the ranks to consider it.
Heard this is too tough for newbies. And yes, registration is done.

3. I don't want to fly with my bike, but what race(s) would you recommend?  
Forget it: not going far. Signed up for Delaware's Diamondman Challenge

4. Are the kids too little still? Will I be able to push them in the swing at the end of the day?
This will be at the end of the summer. It will be tough. But maybe they will start running with me. They need to be RUN anyways.

5. Aren't I enough without this? Why must.I.do.this?
I don't know. But you keep talking about it.
6. Does it have to be an Ironman brand event? Seems like there are a lot of fun Half-Iron distances out there...Quakerman is located at my fave Steelman grounds; Musselman is named for my fave food...
Nope; just try out the distance, then get picky if you survive.

7. Oh, DiamondMan is a trail run. Is that going to mess with me? 
Coach says it's actually good. Shady, less about speed...

8. Do I need a tri coach? To join a tri club? Just a buddy to race with?  
Have buddies...but a coach? I have a lead on one of those... 

9. What if I get a job or a new gig between now and then? What if the ETSY shop goes viral?
What if. So you wake up at 5 instead of 6. Or you lose the registration fee, which was half of any other Half out there... 
Nothing to it...but to do it...

It doesn't have to be pretty...

Friday, January 18, 2013

Disney terms I didn't know I should know

Yes I'm making up for missing our MK day on the DCL (that's Magic Kingdom and Disney Cruise Line to you non-Mickey-ites) and we are headed on a little excursion to the World. 

The Disney World. 

I know I'll be the best mom ever in the gyspy apocalyptic takeover, but as for my Disney mom status, I'm already failing.

I'm learning through the Forums...which maybe I should have started following a year ago...or 6 months before having children... because I've never felt more out of it! There's no real way to get indoctrinated slowly! 

MSEP:  Main Street Electrical Parade. Since I grew up in Florida, we only always went for the day, and were gone by any light show spectaculars. Also, I'm pretty sure they didn't exist back in the day, or at least that may be what my parents told me...will I make it to one? I can't say my experience MUST include it...it never did in my 18 years of Floridian childhood!

DVC: Disney Vacation Club (members.) I guess I could have figured this one out, but it stumped me. Do they even need an acronym since they have a homing instinct towards all the right lines, shuttles, rides, and food??

DAK: Disney Animal Kingdom. Seriously, this didn't exist before. I remember when Epcot was born. I'm supposed to know about its long lost little brother?? Yes, it's male. It's an animal.

How am I supposed to respond to a person whose post-signature lists their trips so:

CBR 4/00, YC 12/02, ASSp 6/05, AKL/BWI 12/06, ASSP/POFQ 6/07, POFQ/AKL 12/08, PCC 1 5/09, Dolphin/POP 2.0 12/09, POFQ/BCV 04/10, PCC 2.0 12/10, POR 12/11, ABD BSM 7/12 PCC 4.0 12/12

That's quite a resume. I will listen to you. But only about PCC or POFQ. Not about DAK or PVC. [just trying to throw you with that last one.] 

If someone can translate this one in its entirety, you'll surely be FOTL for an ODP from YT.
[yours truly. Look, I can make one up, too.] 

P&PD we arrive safely!


And if you are a better mom than me and already knew them all, then you know this site of abbreviations. 

And if you are a better mom than me and have older children who have a penchant for hoarding, then you already know this special list of pin trader abbreviations.  

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Adult Bullies

I'm just now realizing I've been the recent victim of adult bullying. 

It's sometimes rather sneaky, and often times masked in humor. 

But it still gets to you...even if it takes a few days..or even months to realize you were the butt of  the joke. 

I might as well have gotten an actual wedgie in front of the whole room! And I didn't even realize it!!


Well, I'm completely sick of that sh**.

I'd much rather be stuck in my version of hell, which is a room of 250 female non-equity auditionees hiking up their sluttiest attire, spraying hair, perfume, and flat high C's up in my face. 

At least when one of those girls shot you an intimidating look, you knew what they wanted to do to you: psych you out of the audition room. [Only, you are not tone deaf.]

But adult bullies...they are just like kid bullies!! They are usually insecure in their jobs, lifestyles, maybe even their marriages...and they want to bring you right down with them. Or lift themselves up over you.

I can hear Nelson's "Ha Heh" echoing around my skull right now. 

There is the person at work who somehow manages to throw that task right back at you...even though historically it was in their department, and as of late, you revealed how they may be failing to execute it properly. They respond by manipulating up and down the line of hierarchy to somehow get it back to you. 

And are you going to be the chump who just does it, because you can? 


It ain't right. 


There is the mommy who pokes fun at your wayward children, maybe makes a loud snide comment to her friend about their mismatched clothes [they chose them], untamed hair [they play hard], and loud chatter [they are future opera singers.]

Are you going to laugh at your own children along with them, because you can? 


It. ain't. right!

Mass media and cyber bullying. There's the case of Aaron Swartz, an innovator in all-things-Interweb who took his own life at 26 after being, what may as well be called, bullied by federal prosecuters. And look at Jodie Foster. People are most afraid of what they don't understand. It makes them afraid of what they are not, or maybe even, what they are.


Not right.

And then's there the gym. That person who has to elbow you out for the best spot in class, do all the extra hard moves the teacher offers, and run straight to the treadmill afterwards while you are stumbling out the door, grasping at your chest to make sure your heart did not fall out of its pocket? 

Well actually that's just a very athletically competitive person. I don't take that sh** personally.

I post my times - I'm not shy about it - I'm not winning any races. You can have the best spot in class. 

Just don't hate on my jiggle. 

That's one thing, I know I got right.

[f**k you, bullies.]

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Am I the last mommy standing?

Sometimes I feel like I'm the only one doing this all by myself.

I'm sure I'm wrong; I almost always am, but if you're with me, doesn't it feel like, sometimes,


you're all alone??

I do not have a cleaning lady. Am I the last one? I understand my house is a disaster and I only do the floors before guests come over (and bathrooms 3 & 4 for that matter), but wasn't I hired as "housewife"? Well, no, that wasn't my original job description, but when the twyns were brought into the company I was, shall we say, the victim of 'reorganization.' Said reorganization did bring me to a job where I can wear my jammies all day long and sing songs, so I can't whine about that.

I do not have a regular sitter. Am I the last one? I actually greatly benefited from one last year during my gig at Motherhood: the Musical; but that was only because my salary went directly towards said sitter and I was relying on her should I actually be called for a Wednesday matinee. Which, thankfully, after the first four weeks of the show opening, happened only one other time throughout the nine month run. Now that we have preschool, and the cost of preschool, I can't really justify this expenditure again. My poor favorite sitter now has a full-time 'real' job and gets booked a month ahead of time by me for occasional date nights. I can't quit her! The kids absolutely adore her and I'm no longer on sittercity.com like it's my own personal hiring facebook. So because I did once enjoy this luxury, I can't complain.

Hubby does not do dishes. Bless his little heart.  I do have a friend whose husband does them after she goes to bed at night, but I cannot rely on this. Sometimes hubby is not home, and therefore there are no real 'adult' dishes to do [especially considering on these occasions I tend to eat the kids' leftovers off their plate as dinner] [oh, you don't?]...sometimes I just can't rest unless they are done and the dishwasher is a 'runnin as I leave the kitchen in which I live and breathe. Which makes me think of the previous generations of moms who had no dishwashers to finish the job...bless their little hearts! I should stop complaining.

I don't do dry cleaning or fluff n fold. Ah to relive my single days when it worked out to be almost as cheap to do fluff n fold rather than sit in a ratty laundromat for hours. Sure, occasionally I got a wayward pair of panties, but they were always high end panties, so who am I to judge? Seems like my life was looking up to my fluff n fold ladies.  But now...I do about six loads of laundry a week. I like to start on Monday, and sometimes, lo and behold, I finish on Monday. But usually, it takes me until Wednesday night or Thursday night or even Friday night to get everything folded and put away. But I refuse to do laundry on weekends. I like the weekends 'off', so I see Monday through Friday as my work week. This works out fabulously until it really takes me all of five days to get around to washing, drying, folding, and putting away the laundry in the midst of other 'projects' and then I'm like, "why don't I just do one complete load a day?" But I cannot abide. It's a mental thing.

I had a mommy friend who estimated she spent about $400 per month on dry cleaning. WHAT. I can think of a lot of things I'd rather spend $400 a month on. For instance, unlimited personal training so that I can fit into the cheap clothes at Target that don't require dry cleaning. Do we really need to be wearing Prada to the Please Touch Museum? Just sayin'. 

Then there are the ladies who do all the above and are 'working' full-time outside the home...but I must say...your home does not get as much use as mine...but all things being equal, I know, I know, can't get really expect any sympathy there....

And the blog...I mean, I have not paid for one lick of design, button, or layout work...[I know, I know, it shows...]. But seriously, does being at home not help to afford me the time to learn these new skills so that when I head back to the workforce I'm armed with something 2000-y? I know, I know, I have people skills...I have my winning wit...I can't argue with that...

But am I wrong? Am I all alone in this world of do-it-ALL-yourself-ers?

Nope! You're not alone! 
We're all just makin' it happen every day! 
Rain or shine! 
In sickness or in health!
Til death from laundry do us part 
from this world of medieval housewifery!

Sing it, sisters.



Friday, January 11, 2013

Naphaus

Now that we finally fit into Smaland...

I would like to know when they are going to wise up and put the bed displays on the same floor.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

An Alternate Reality

"Are you saying I'm out of touch with reality?"
"Well there's no right way to answer that, is there? It's just...I come home and talk about things that are happening in the world, and you talk about things that are happening in your world." 
"It's a different reality." 
It's the kids! The darn kids! 

Yes, I am completely isolated.
YES, I am wrapped up more in their schedules than my own.
YES I focus every other bit of mental energy on diversions for myself (i.e., triathlons, quilting, part-time-gigs) rather than the daily news.

And thusly, if my kids aren't 100% well behaved, the house isn't 100% organized and cleaned, and the laundry isn't 100% done and put away, I'm kind of a failure in my reality.

But who's motivated to clean, organize, and put away when the process is going to be reversed within 12 hours?

Who wouldn't want to swim 3 miles to say they accomplished something that day?

Who wouldn't want to sew a frickin' batman applique on a panty to prove they are pleasing someone, somewhere, out there in the omniverse??

Do I get a raise if the kids have a fight-free day?

Do I get promoted if I host two holiday dinners and the house is still clean within 24 hours afterwards?

Do I get noticed even, if ???

YES I know your job sucks sometimes too.
YES I know there are bigger problems in the world.
YES I know I will be going back to an office someday.

BUT my kids will be going there too.

I will not be the same person I was 4 years ago.

I will not be able to stay until midnight.

I will not be willing to work as many weekends.

I will not be thinking about ways to make my office more efficient in my own personal time.

I will not be able to follow the rhythm of the work schedule; I will still be on the kids' schedule. Their sick days. Their school days. Their extracurricular activities. Their lives.

So just give me my time. My time, with them, now. And stay out of it.

Let me find balance. Let me create our reality that works for us.

Try to enjoy the reality you step into every evening when you come home from that other world.

An alternate reality.


Sunday, January 6, 2013

What to do when a mutual friend of the ex-friend invites you both out to lunch

1. Be honest.
Explain to her what went down without getting ghetto.
Plus: you get to tell your side of the story.
Minus: you have to re-live the story, rather than moving on like you already did.

2. Find a graceful way to bow out.
Plus: plausible deniability.
Minus: no one will know what a classy broad you are.

3. Not respond at all.
Plus: plausible deniability, or getting promoted to permanent flake status.
Minus: you may be furthering any rumors that may have preempted the invite anyway.

4. Show up and live your life out loud.
Plus: you get to be you.
Minus: you have to spend time with the ex.

5. Blog about it to see if someone else has a better idea.
Plus: you give up control to a higher being.
Minus: that higher being may be spam.

It's been a long time at #2, and I'm growing weary of being a grown-up.

So I'm going with #5.

Friday, January 4, 2013

Let's start with Do

I thought I'd give a little try to teaching the monkeys some music. 

I honestly have not found any literature on teaching toddlers, although I did give it a try. 

Even now that they are 4, and it's listed as one my 2013 goals and Bucket List items, I haven't really found anything appropriate other than my own intuition. 

Even though I have had several beginner piano books in my amazon cue since the twyns were born,  those aren't really going to kick in until they can like - read - so ... [oh yeah, get on that reading thing... ]

I'm determined to give them a leg up in this hyper-focused, over-competitive world that is the majority of all suburbs in which I have ever lived and yet still manage to teach them patience, being present, and finding joy in the process of life. 


Gross. I want to vomit on myself. 

Basically, all I have to offer my children, is music. If I didn't impart a little of what I've learned in my 30-something years on this Earth as a lover of song, then they would for sure blame me for all their life's failures in future therapy sessions. I know this, because I still manage to resent my parents for not encouraging me to follow in their footsteps of healthcare/counseling. Curse them for wanting me to do something I loved! What kind of effin hippies do that?!

You gotta have an 'in' in this world, am I right? Maybe I'm wrong. Maybe that's my problem. 

Anyhoo, got the piano tuned today [woohoo! I'm like, a music person!], and started lesson #1.

Well, counting previously attempts, this would be 'music time' #462. 

Started with the girl. Showing her how to use her five fingers from C to G to do a small scale. Her fingers don't stretch quite enough, her other fingers do not want to stay on their assigned keys, and she just wants to play and sing "E-I-E-I-O." In fact, she stopped my finger-wrangling and yelled, 
"I JUST WANT TO SING E-I-O!"
"We will, darling, after we learn some scales."
Some scales? WTF was I thinking? 
I'll be lucky to get one four-year-old finger on one stinkin' key!

The girl fakes an injury, and heads to find a band-aid, or some lotion. Both of which she is adept at completely annihilating in two minutes. Flat.

Let's focus on the boy. He sees, literally, scribbles, that his sister likely penned in her early career, and wants to play this song. 
"The wave song," he says.
"It goes like this," he says, and takes his finger and hits one key at the high end of the piano, makes an arch, then hits another key in the middle of the piano, then bounces off that to make another arch, and ends on the lower end of the piano. 

Clearly, a piano prodigy in the making. 

Well, in the making of John Cage Jr. 

So I try the five-finger-wrangling C to G on him. He's starting to get it [a little], but I keep getting interrupted by the girl who is upstairs losing her mind over getting stuck in her 'scratchy' shirt [which  means more lotion will inevitably be required], then needing help with one of the forty band-aids she has now applied, because forty-one is clearly the magic number...

Back to boy. He is back to the "wave song." 

She now joins us. 

I pull myself together. Even if we do five minutes a day, I promise myself, this. will. DO. something.
"Let's start with C." 
I make them find the group of two black keys - then go under it to find the C. 
"Find all the C's, I say."
Easy, peesy, right? 

But there are many black keys, mama. Many sets of black keys. Many "two black keys", mama, and many white keys under them, mama. 
"Go to the left of the isolated set of two keys." 
JEEZ lady they neither know ISOLATED nor LEFT. Good work, though. Way to teach it.

I point out all the C's and hit them up and down the piano several times to show them, and they start to get antsy. Little girl still wants to sing. 

Hmph. Recalculating...
"Let's start with Do." 
"Remember Do, from Do-re-mi?"

They nod. I start to sing the song. Little boy wants to get. AWAY. FROM THE PIANO LADY YOU ARE DRIVING ME CRAZY! He starts to run his bug up and down the piano. I grab it from him.
"Nothing but fingers on the piano!"
"But this bug has fingers, mommy!" he shows me.
"No playing right now, I just want to do this one thing with you, ok?"
Maybe this came out a little louder than I had intended.
He starts to bolt, eyes red, welling up....
"Ok just put your finger on a DO key and I will give you your bug back and let you go play!! Ok? Bug?" I shake it at him from across the room. I'm losing him.
Doctor, we're losing him!
I shake the bug some more. Little boy immediately runs to the piano, plunks out a C and goes to bolt.  I grab him. I cradle him in my arms. Better bring back the love.
"Thank you, sweetie. Give mommy a kiss. I just wanted us to start learning piano today. You're going to like it, I promise. We're going to do a little bit everyday, ok?" 
"mmwohhhkee."
I turn to her back at the piano. Little girl plunks out a Re with a winning smile and I sigh. Again, I demonstrate all the Do's and she proudly finds one. She congratulates herself with a flutter away to 'play' as she now feels like she has won some competition. 

No scales - No C to G - No five fingers - no C - just: DO.

[And now, Mama needs a DO-RINK!]

By the way, this was the result of music time a while ago:

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Origin videos

So my mom went to her high school reunion last year and reconnected with an old friend who shared a funny story with her, so, in turn, I'm stealing it sharing it with you! 

Whenever he would ask his mother the infamous question, "where did I come from?" She would reply: 
"from the garbage can."
So when his kids started to ask the same thing, he replied the same thing. 

But as he had five kids, he started to get a little more creative, and made videos of each of their 'origins.' 

His kids (now my age), are continuing the tradition with their own children, and I just frickin' wished I had known about this when my kids were babies so I could have done the same.

This one is about the newest product at Ikea: 

The previous generations' videos, if you are a creeper like me and can appreciate the running commentary a la Mystery Science Theater 3000, can be found in the 2009 posts here.

If you still have a baby in your arms, get creative and get ON this project, because, apparently, it will be enjoyed by many generations (and non-family members) to come...



Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Keep the old, add the new


Feeling it a little today, folks? Does it pain you to see this photo?

Mmmmm. Not me. It was goooooooood. Lemme tell y'all ALL about it...

First, we started off the day with our playgroup's annual "countdown to noon" party. It's such a cute idea and of course if we mommies never get to midnight we feel like we did our celebratory duty.



This was great because I wanted to keep the kids out of the house so it would stay clean for our surprise guests!! Hubby didn't know his B-school friends would be joining us for dinner.

But with these friends, there is no "joining", there is DINNER.

You see, this couple includes exactly one chef and two foodies. Years ago, we were neighbors and enjoyed their dinners on a regular basis.

One New Year's Eve, in particular, we agreed nothing could best their food if we decided to go out, so we set a price, let the chef shop to his heart's content, and we ate to our souls' collective delight.

So for New Years this year, I had planned on attempting to half- recreate this gift for some new friends, and in feeling nostalgic, texted our old friends to see if they could magically join us (or, at the very least, reveal some recipes.)

As serendipity would have it, they were able to come, and we decided NOT to tell hubby.
Here's them taking over our kitchen within the first hour of their arrival.

Needless to say, hubby was pleasantly surprised. 
Funniest moment: hubby shouting from downstairs: 
"Babe! There's a minivan in the driveway! I assume this is for you??"
It was fab, fun, and food for the soul, as well as our rapidly growing tummies.

The addition of four new souls since the last time we did this, was icing on the proverbial cake.


The fact that our drunken speculation throughout the night was completely off when determining exactly which year and what menu we had experienced that last time, provided more entertainment the next morning when I was able to produce this hard copy of the menu!



New babies + new friends + old friends + old souls 
= a blissful balance.
[p.s. no sitter $$ and because of playing in the snow the kids were all down by 7!!]

New Year's Eve Gala 2012

Course 1: Baked Bried with Blueberry Chipotle Glaze
Horseradish Cheese
Pairing: Matadors a la Garces and Kir Royales from the Bar 
Mark West Pinot Noir, 2011

Course 2: Black bean soup with hamhock & tomato
Pairing: Donnhoff Riesling, 2009

Course 3: Stuffed Poblano Peppers with brown rice, fresh mozzarella, currants, pine nuts, and the very necessary avocado cream to soften the heat!
Pairing: More Riesling & *milk*! 

Course 4: Chestnut pasta with poached salmon, apples, and brussel sprout leaves
Pairing: Korbel Extra Dry Champagne

Course 5: Weisswurst with buttery mashed potatoes & carmelized onions
Pairing: Solane Valpolicella Ripasso, 2010

Course 6: Dinosaur T-Bone steak with roasted purple potatoes and fennel
Pairing: Terlato Syrah, 2007

Course 7: Butter lettuce salad with spicy beets, toasted almonds and horseradish cheese
Pairing: Finishing up Terlato

Course 8: Creme Brulee tart courtesy of our new friends 
[who sadly couldn't join at last minute :( ]
[it was delish, thank you!]
Pairing:  the one, the only, Veuve Clicquot at midnight


HAPPY 2013!! 
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