Wednesday, February 27, 2008

What's the bathroom?

A couple of nights ago Wayne was giving Marissa a bath while Lindsey and I were still downstairs playing indoor hopscotch. (It can be done, especially in Minnesota!) Lindsey suddenly announced that she had to go potty and ran upstairs to the bathroom Wayne and Marissa were in.

From downstairs I hear her enter the bathroom and announce her intentions. A few seconds later, I hear Wayne say loudly, "Lindsey, are you going poop? Don't go poopy while other people are in the bathroom! We don't want to smell your poop. Go use the downstairs bathroom. Oh, ugh, P.U!"

To which I hear Lindsey's musical voice reply, "Toooooo late!" as the toilet flushes.

I hear the water in the sink run, then down she comes, skipping down the steps, ready to resume our game with nary a care of the stinkbomb she just left in the bathroom for Marissa and her daddy to smell.

I laughed my ass off.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008


Marissa and Lindsey's cousin Paulie has glasses due to far sightedness. His glasses are cute little toddler glasses, perfectly fit for his face.

Both Marissa and Lindsey like to try on our glasses at various times. I'm surprised by how well mine actually fit Marissa's face. Just a little wide, not too much!

She liked looking at this picture of herself and then the one of Paulie on our fridge. She would say, "I wear glasses too!" very excitedly.

Fun with Vocabulary

This past weekend I couldn't believe how much Marissa's vocabulary has improved. Not just sentences, but full sentences, 5 and 6 words each. She can very clearly articulate what she wants and is learning new words every day.

She still has a few idiosyncrasies, though, that I just love. She still drops the "s" when it is paired with another consonant at the beginning of words. So she says "tool" for stool, "tink" for stink and so on. The other one that she does is she substitute "p" for "c" at the beginning of words. I found this one unusual and it took me some time to find the pattern of the substitutions. But now it's clear as day.

"Mommy, help me put the pap on." (Holds out a bottle of milk and cap.)

"Pomming, Dinzee!" ("Coming, Lindsey!")

The best one came last night when I was making wild rice soup for a potluck at Wayne's work. She wanted to see what was on the stove in the big pot, so she held up her arms to be picked up and says,

"I see poop?"

Happily, the soup did not taste like poop.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Slowly starting to warm...

We may finally be getting out of the deep freeze. A couple of things have tipped me off to this...

1. This morning was the first time in I don't know how long that the temp was in the double digits when we left the house. As we walked to the garage Lindsey took a deep breath, breathed out and looked at me excitedly. "Mommy!" she said. "It doesn't hurt to breathe!"

2. This afternoon as I was driving around doing errands over lunch, I cracked open the sunroof on the Civic. It was so nice to smell fresh air, and at 24 degrees, it didn't seem that cold!

Sad, but true.

Monday, February 18, 2008

My Avatar...

Would have changed, by the way, had anything of interest happened. But it is still effing cold, and that fact currently presides over Valentine's Day and St Patrick's Day.

It was 8 degrees BELOW zero at one point this weekend, windchills in the -20 zone.

WTF?!? Where is this global warming thing?!

Can't wait to start reading...

East of Eden.

I just got done reading "Heyday." It was...mediocre. It's been on a lot of best seller's lists, I read an excellent review of it, I couldn't wait to dig in.

I didn't get in to the character until halfway through. Actually, I couldn't keep the characters STRAIGHT until about halfway through. Then when they finally all joined up and went on their adventure together, which happens about two-thirds of the way through, I finally became intrigued.

I couldn't decide which way the novel was going to go -- a tragedy or no? As it turned out, it was a tragedy for some of the main characters but some got what they wanted in the end, so the ending in my mind was overall satisfactory. But even during the most tragic parts my only sentiment for the one main character who bites it was, "Gee, that's too bad."

At any rate, so I am now starting "East of Eden," a book I have never read, and I cannot wait.

I had to read "The Grapes of Wrath" in high school, and to be honest, I couldn't tell you a damn thing about the book. I also read "The Red Pony" in jr high, but both, being required reading, were approached with some tedium and trepedation.

Now, having recently read, "Travels with Charley," a semi-autobiographical account of John Steinbeck's travels across the US in the 1960s, I feel like I know him as a person. I'm more interested in what he has to say as a writer. I realize that the 60's weren't in the same time period as the dinosaurs, as I once thought as a youngster. I realize that they are very recent history, that he is a very recent author, and that he is writing about America, a relatively recent country in the history of the world.

I am one chapter in, and cannot wait to get back to it. I'll let you know if my enthusiasm holds.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

First Dental Appointment for Lindsey

I finally got Lindsey in to the dentist -- about a year after she should've had her first visit. Hey, nothing like starting to postpone those dentist appointments early in life, right??

It was an 8:30 appt and she, Marissa and I hit Bruegger's Bagels first for a special treat, then ate our bagels on the way. (Also a good idea, eat lots of chewy bread before going to your dentist -- dental hygienists LOVE that!)

To sum up the visit, Lindsey was a DREAM. She sat very still in the chair, she did exactly as they asked her to do, she was incredible. She was a little scared at first but when she realized that I wasn't going anywhere, she sat very still and just held my hand. Marissa was having fun looking into Lindsey's mouth with the big light on it, and the hygienist let her play with the suction tool -- she thought that was lots of fun!

The best news of cavities.

I was so proud of her!

Yeayyyy Lindsey!

Monday, February 11, 2008

Request for housekeeping advice

Marissa had an accident at Kindercare today, the kind that hurts her pride and not her physical being.

She's been doing so well on the potty that they forgot to put a pull-up on her at naptime today. She awoke from her nap with a poop in her pants.

Except this time her "pants" were underwear.

So they did like any good caretaker would do, they changed her poopy clothes, put her in other clothes and sent her dirty stuff home in a bag.

It wasn't until AFTER I saw the poop floating around in the washing machine that I realized that they did not actually REMOVE the poop from her underwear, they had just wrapped it up in it. I, of course, had just dumped all the clothes in the bag into the wash without even looking.'s my request for advice:

We no longer keep bleach in the house as it is not environmentally friendly. I've been using vinegar in my laundry along with a laundry detergent when I wash clothes. So...what do you recommend I use in the laundry tub to make sure it is fully sanitized before my next load of laundry??

Or should I go knock on a neighbor's house and ask for a cup of bleach?


The girl took the house!

She won for the ultimate irony.

Amy Winehouse "cleaned house" at the Grammy's, taking 5 of the 6 Grammys she was nominated for, including:

  • Record of the Year ("Rehab")
  • Song of the Year ("Rehab")
  • Best New Artist
  • Best Female Pop Vocal Performance ("Rehab")
  • Best Pop Vocal Album ("Back to Black")
If you haven't heard the song that won the most, the chorus goes, "They tried to make me go to rehab and I said 'no no no.'"
Ironically, she could not attend the Grammy's as she was recently released from rehab in London. She has a phenomenal voice if you haven't heard it and if you can get past all the crappy celebrity trash on her. You go girl!

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Frozen Grand Central

What an awesome experiment! This was fascinating to see ordinary people's response to this.

A Marissa Moment

Tonight I was reading Marissa "The Very Hungry Caterpillar" while sitting on the couch. We got to the page where the hungry caterpillar eats all the junk food, including an ice cream cone. Marissa climbs down off the couch and goes over to the big bin of playfood, searches through and finds the play ice cream cone.

She comes back over and holds it up to the page -- it is almost the same exact size as the ice cream cone on the page. So we pretend to eat the ice cream cone, we pretend to lick the lollipop, etc.

Pretty soon she pops the ice cream off of the cone part (they come apart and go back together), and I put the cone part upside on Dax's head as he lies next to me, perfectly still. Of course it stays there, and Marissa starts to sing:

"Happy Birf-fy to you...happy birf-fy to you...happy birf-fy to Dax, happy birray to you!"

And she leans forward and "blows" on his ice cream cone hat, which also bears an uncanny resemblance to a candle.

It was awesome.
I am on my way back to Minneapolis after an interesting trip out west. I don’t often get a chance to go west, and honestly don’t usually enjoy it, as the two-hour time difference really screws up my sleep schedule. (Oh yeah that’s right…what schedule?)

I got to spend a lot of time in Las Vegas, a city I have successfully avoided up until now. I don’t enjoy gambling, and the “shows” in the past have been more like peep shows that entertaining shows.

For once I had some free time on this trip. My traveling companion’s husband flew in to town, so they went their own way and I got to spend the evening on my own.

I walked up and down the strip a little bit. I felt like a little kid, so small compared to the buildings. I couldn’t believe all the people walking up and down, taking photos of “fake” architecture. Because that’s the only way I could describe it – a “fake” palace, a “fake” pyramid, a “fake” canal.

I felt small in comparison to the buildings, to the expanse between them. Even the sidewalks made me feel small – the city no longer allows pedestrians cross at the intersections; you have to take an outside escalator and go on bridges across the strip – large, wide bridges with glass walls so that the walls do not obstruct the pedestrians’ views of the rest of the strip.

Caesar’s Palace looks like a palace, but the “architecture” is made of cement, painted to look like granite. Instead of the architecture being made by artisans it’s churned out by machines and then put up by low-paid low-skilled workers, not like the true artisans who made the original works.

When I was a little girl I liked to play with toys that made me feel like a grown-up – a BIG playhouse that I could actually walk into without hitting my head, a pretend kitchen that made me feel like I was really cooking. I think that the tourists walking around Vegas get that feeling again, of being a child in a playland that is just a bit oversized for us.

This was evident to me as I people watched during my dinner. I ate at a restaurant called Canaletto, and it was set up as a patio just outside the “canal” at the Palazzo casino. To keep this fakery theme going, when I approached the hostess station to be seated, she asked if I wanted to eat inside or “outside, on the patio.” Keep in mind that the patio is actually a large shopping center, with fake building all around to be the Palazzo in Rome. There is a fake canal that runs through it, and the ceiling is painted like the sky, blue with puffy white clouds and a sunset beginning in the corner of the sky. Outside?? Um…yeah, let me leave the building then…

Anyway, while I was sitting there, enjoying my quiet dinner by myself, I saw two elderly Chinese men walking around, licking ice cream cones. They had pure white hair and shuffled while they walked, wearing matching tan Members Only jackets. They were so happy, the pleasure on their faces was evident for all to see as they walked around the square, taking in the sights and sounds of the fake Venice. After all, had we really been in Venice, the canal water would have been muddy brown or green, not sky blue, and the stench would have put the restaurant I was eating in out of business, or at least farther removed from the canal.

So then the question begs to be asked, “Is happiness at fakery authentic happiness?” And I guess the answer is “yes,” because these two men were taking in the human-made marvels that honored an older time, artisanship that is mostly lost, and preserved it in a sad, pathetic, commercial way. But they were genuinely happy and perhaps that is all that mattered.

Saturday, February 02, 2008

Counting my blessings

Today we took the girls to the Mall of America, just to get out of the house and get into some large open areas where they can really move. Lindsey isn't as enamored with the rides as she used to be -- she now wants to hit all the little toy stores around the amusement park and beg relentlessly for us to buy her product x, y and z.

But I did get her to go on the merry-go-around. She was all settled on her seat ready to go when I had to move over to make room for a mom getting her son on the horse next to us. He was probably 6 or 7 but was obviously suffering from low muscle tone as she had to lift him into the seat. He was blind and she was "showing" him the horse by putting his hands on it. He never spoke, he never showed any emotion, and the longer we were near him the more I realized how profound his issues probably are.

The ride started and the mom did all the things any mom does with her kid, asking him if he was having fun, pointing to family members along the way every time they went around. "Look! There's Grandma and Evan!" I look to see who she's pointing to, and there's a slightly older lady with a baby in a stroller in front of her, waving emphatically. The baby very clearly has Downs Syndrome.

I held Lindsey tight and counted my blessings, while praying for their family to have the strength to deal with theirs.