Wednesday, October 31, 2007


Oh my, what a time was had by all!

Lindsey and Marissa both had Halloween parties at their school today and came home with bags of goodies. We ate dinner (or at least three of the four of us did, Marissa was too excited to), and then the costumes came back on again and the girls went out trick or treating.
This year Wayne took them around and I stayed home and handed out candy. Last year the temperature was 36 degrees and Marissa stayed home. She was a bit too little for trick or treating anyways back then, at just slightly over age 1. But now she was really getting into it and even said "trick or treat" at all the homes! She also says "Happy Halloween." What a smart kid!

Even Wayne donned his pirate gear, and I stayed in my "award winning" costume (we had a tie at our costume contest at work, I tied with Pedro from Napoleon Dynamite.) A few of the neighbors knew that I was Amy Winehouse, others were a bit confused. But it was fun all the same.

By 7:30 the girls were back home from trick or treating, a neighbor stopped by for a little bit and the fun was already done.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Marissa and her Baby Doll

I finally figured out how to upload video from our camcorder onto our computer! Unfortunately we only have a 32MB memory stick (top of the line 4 years ago when we bought the camcorder!) which can only record 60 seconds of video in the roughest possible format. So here's a little ditty from Marissa and Lindsey tonight, sorry that the video is so choppy but hopefully you'll get the idea.

I think we need to invest in a 256MB memory for our camcorder now. Or are they even bigger than THAT now?!

Monday, October 29, 2007

Horror Movies

It's that time of year again, when all the old horror movies make their rounds on the cable stations.

As a teenager I used to LOVE horror movies. I would rent them from the local video store (remember VHS??) and curl up under a blanket which also served as a blind through which you would watch the scariest parts. I got to the point when I could tell when someone was going to be surprised, could tell what was going to happen next, who the next victim would be, because I watched the genre so often.

As I've gotten older I've lost my taste for horror. I thought for a while that perhaps it was because I'm older and thus a little more conservative than I used to be. Or, now as a parent, I want to protect my children from such awful things, so why support them by watching?

But this weekend, as I read the newspaper with the world happenings, I came upon a new reason why I dislike horror movies now: because if someone can think of a new way to debase another human being, that means that somewhere in the world it is happening to real people.

The depravities that occur in Africa, with young children being recruited and drugged to carry out a military regime's hate crimes, has to be some of the saddest events within human history. And I realized as I read of some of the descriptions of the torture that they are eerily similar to the carryings-on's of some of the horror movies, which came decades before these armies were put together.

So when I see new movies like "Saw" and now "Saw IV" inventing new ways to torture and humiliate humans, it makes me sad because I know that somewhere someone will see this and give it a try.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Ready for Colder Weather

While I don't love winter and I truly love the warm weather here in Minnesota, there is something about the first chill in the air in autumn that is refreshing.

Our trees have been turned for some time now; some leaves are on the ground, some are still in their brilliance on the trees. This past week I wore my first sweater to work. There is something so comforting about opening up your sweater drawer from last year and finding it full of old friends. (Some older than others!)

Our diet expands in the fall, moreso it seems than in the summer, when we can start making all those lovely comfort foods that heat up the kitchen, the ones we didn't make all summer because it was so hot.

On Sunday I made stuffed pork chops for dinner and tonight we had beef roast that cooked in the crock pot all day while we were at work. It was wonderful walking into the house tonight after work and smelling the warmed spices in the kitchen. Aahhh!

And it's also not so cold out yet that we're cooped up -- we'll be spending time this weekend at a Halloween Parade at the "Halloween Capital" of Minnesota, Anoka. I plan on having my hands around a cup of HOT coffee.

Yes, I have to admit, I do enjoy autumn.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

A New Fall Arrival

I was just going back through older posts and came across the one from Sept 22nd when Lindsey got excited about it being fall, because that means our neighbor Jenna is going to have her baby!

Well, our neighbor Jenna DID have her baby. It was 3 weeks and three days AFTER Lindsey predicted it, but a whole 10 days before her due date.

She had a little boy they named McTaggart Thomas. (He'll be called Mac for short.) He weighed 7 lbs 5 oz, and was 20 1/2 inches long at birth. Pretty good for being 10 days early! Jenna had an easy labor and looks like a champ already.

Now we've got a newborn right next door to us! I hope they don't mind if I start stopping by uninvited to just get some tiny baby cuddle time in. It goes so quickly!

So in case you all forget, here are a few photos of my little ones, when they actually WERE little ones. Can you guess who's who?

4-year-old Shenanigans

This past weekend was a rough one for Lindsey. I think that getting off of a week of staying home due to illness made it difficult all around. It started with her refusal to go to KinderCare on Friday. It culminated in Saturday's scream fest, in which she 1) bit Marissa 2) cried at the slightest parental rebuke (i.e. "Lindsey, don't bite your sister!") and 3) refused to do anything requested of her. We started her bedtime routine at 7 pm. because she was such a little shit we didn't want to deal with her anymore. But she didn't get to sleep until 10 pm because of the screaming and crying she had to do for the next 3 hours. Busy busy!

On Sunday, Wayne and I both awoke before the girls and thought, "OK, it's a new day, let's go do something fun as a family. Pretend yesterday never happened." So we decided to go to the Mall of America. While Marissa doesn't like the rides she has a good time taking in the sights, and the rides are Lindsey's absolute favorite.

We get there around 10:40 am, about 20 minutes before most of the stores and the amusement park opens. There's one store nearby that's open: Sports Authority. Wayne needed a new pair of athletic shoes so it was the perfect time to get that shopping out of the way until the rest of the mall opened.

We barely walked in the store when Lindsey ran off. She ran off so quickly Wayne didn't even know that she wasn't with me. He hit the shoe department and Marissa and I start casually walking the store, looking for Lindsey.

I figured Lindsey would be too scared and shy to leave the store, so I didn't panic. There were very few people in it besides ourselves and the employees, so I also wasn't concerned about someone grabbing her. And, after the previous day's behavior, I wasn't so sure I wanted to find her anyway.

After about 10 minutes of looking, I go back to where Wayne is still trying on shoes and ask if he's seen her. That's when I find out that he thought she was with me the entire time. (And I thought he was being as calm as I!) So he quickly makes a selection and we all set off through the store, looking for her.

Wayne finds her 5 minutes later trailing behind two employees who were leading the way, trying to help her find her parents. She was visibly upset and the minute she saw Wayne she clung to his neck, crying.

We settled with her and didn't scold her -- clearly she was upset by the situation and didn't need scolding. However, we did tell her that she was not going on any rides because she ran off. We almost left the MoA right then, but poor Marissa was being so good and having so much fun, and has so little clothing that we had to pick up some pants and long-sleeved tops for her. The girl can't wear shorts and halter tops all fall and winter! So we hit a couple more stores, with Lindsey the entire time trying to convince us to let her on some rides.

We even had lunch IN the amusement park right next to the rides, which Lindsey could see but couldn't ride on. We made it home without giving in to any of her requests.

Monday morning was more of the same -- we ended up depositing Lindsey kicking, screaming and in an all-out temper tantrum into her room because I wouldn't let her wear her sandals to KinderCare. (It IS only 50 degrees out, not exactly sandal wearing weather.) The center director ended up removing her from the classroom until she could calm down.

By Monday evening when we picked the girls up everyone seemed back to normal. We had leftovers for dinner, which left lots of time for hide-n-seek and doggie-doggie-where's-my-bone. Marissa's not very good at hide-n-seek yet (she comes out at the same time that the person counting finishes) and just likes having the blankie put on her for the doggie game without ever looking for the bone, but it was all good family time.

Even better, both girls were asleep on time and appear to be back in a routine now. Thank heavens!

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Woman's Human Nature

Here's a question for you that many of my female friends will relate to:

Why is it that when women go to the bathroom, we don't want to sit on a toilet that was just occupied?

When I use the bathroom at work, if I see a co-worker leaving the bathroom and I happen to pick the stall that she just vacated (which you can tell by the still swishing water), I'll make a point of going to a different stall. Why is that? What's the difference if someone's butt was on the toilet two seconds ago or two hours ago? Do we think that the germs die in the two hours between when someone last used it and we sit on it?

I got into a discussion with some women at work about our work bathroom habits which was rather amusing (at least to us it was). It came to light that some of us go to a different floor if we have to "make stinkies," while others wait until they get home and try not to go at all while at work.

In the meantime, a couple of guys in our office can be seen on their way to the bathroom, sports section in hand, ready for a nice long sit.

The difference between men and women when it comes to bathroom habits is rather amusing.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Marissa's Vocabulary

This may be more interesting to me than to others, but I always find it fascinating how our children's language changes so subtly over time that you don't realize all the cute little ways they used to say things are gone, replaced by more mature language.

So I thought I'd write down here some of the funny little things Marissa says, because some day they will be replaced by the appropriate words and we'll say, "What did Marissa used to call...??"

Pinky: This refers to her "pink blankie," which everyone else calls "pink blankie" but she has shortened to "Pinky." It goes with her EVERYWHERE, it hasn't been washed in two weeks and looks like it.

Sassa: I've said this one before, it's her name for herself. Pronounced "SAH-ssa."

Nuggle: Snuggle.

B'ana: Banana. (Not much different from how Lindsey said it.)

Poppy: The potty.

Fah fah: Flowers. Used in a sentence: "Oooo! Pretty fah fah."

Geen: Green

So now you know if you come to our house and she runs up to you with her pink blankie in hand saying "Sassa pinky nuggle" you'll know what she wants.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Martha Stewart I'm Not...

...But I did hear a great laundry tip the other day that I have to share.

One of my co-workers was trying to figure out how to salvage her husband's jeans that had been soaked through with gasoline (by accident, of course, he was not re-creating the gasoline fight scene from Zoolander). She read online to try using a cup of white vinegar in the wash, after airing out the jeans as much as possible.

Not only did it save the jeans, but she also began putting it in every load of laundry with her regular detergent.


So I tried it tonight and maybe it's just a placebo effect, but I have to say that my laundry appears whiter. The pee stains on Marissa's mattress pad are no longer visible and the acidic vomit smell is almost out of her pillow. Now I can't wait for Dax to poop on something so I can try it out on that, too!

Brief Rant

Scientists believe they have found the purpose of the appendix, though its use is primarily unnecessary in modern times.

Within a CNN article published October 5th they stated that 300 to 400 Americans die EVERY YEAR of appendicitis, a perfectly preventable end.

In contrast, each year 36 children die by being left in vehicles by their forgetful parents. Yet each time that tragedy happens, it's the headline on the evening news.

In contrast, 61 people die every year from e. coli bacterial infection. Yet every time there is a food recall, or a high e. coli test that results in a public pool being closed, it makes the news. (Okay, so maybe the fact that e. coli is only found in POOP has a reason why we're so fascinated and disgusted by this.)

Where are the charities raising money to battle appendicitis? Where are the testimonials of family members, mourning the loss of their family to an unnecessary illness? Where are the millions of dollars in research, patient outreach centers, armies of scientists trying to find a cure?

Oh yeah, because all it takes to prevent those 300 to 400 deaths is for someone to go to a COMPETENT DOCTOR. Gotcha.

Sickeningly Sweet

Today there is finally an autumn chill in the air, after a hot and humid weekend. So this evening after everyone was home from work/daycare and fed, we decided to start a fire in our fireplace.

We had recycled most of the papers yesterday so all we were left with were the comics that Lindsey had set aside (and had read and reread several times). So I balled up the comics and we started the fire with them. I hadn't known that Lindsey was going to be so traumatized by watching the comics go up in flames. After the fire was established and roaring, she came over to me trying to hold back her tears. It took me a while to figure out what she was upset about.

So I sat in the wingback chair next to the fire, holding and rocking Lindsey as she mourned the loss of her comics. Marissa saw us and immediately grabbed her blankie and ran up to Wayne. "Up! Up! Snuggle!" she said. So he promptly sat down as well, cuddling Marissa who needed some one-on-one time too.

As we sat holding our two adorable girls, you will not believe this, I know, but the song "Wonderful World" by Louis Armstrong came on the radio.

It was silent for a while as I took in the moment, finally broken by Marissa looking around and all of us and saying, "This our home."

Now I know you all know how sappy I am, but I have to say I couldn't help but tear up at this moment. It was pretty damn sweet.

Monday, October 01, 2007

a bedtime story

Two little monkeys jumping on the bed...
One fell off and bumped her head...

Mama called the doctor and the doctor said, "No more monkeys jumping on the bed!"

Or as Marissa said, "Sassa faw dow."