Showing posts from October, 2008

Why do they call those little candy bars "fun size?" Wouldn't the big ones be more fun?

Halloween-related activities have kicked into high gear. We attended a community event last Saturday and another one this afternoon. Tomorrow, of course, brings the big denouement: trick-or-treating in the 'hood. One of us will stay home to dole out the goods while the other takes A down the street. Then we switch and hit up the neighbors in the other direction. Remember as kids we'd always hear that rumor that some house was giving out full-sized candy bars? I wonder if that rumor still gets around today. And, more importantly, where IS that house? A's school is also having a "harvest party" on Friday. Some parents at the school don't want their children celebrating Halloween, so we all received a notice about the "harvest party." The party is being held ON October 31st and oh yeah, she is supposed to dress up as her favorite character. Dress up, as in, you know, a c-o-s-t-u-m-e. And we are invited to send treats along. But please note that this is

This, That, and the Other Thing

I've been sort of preoccupied with the whole "hey, you're adopted" thing, but last week had other highlights (well, some are more like lowlights). Wanna hear it? Here it go: My new nephew was born on Tuesday the 21st. He arrived a day early, via cesarean section. My sister laments that with two c-sections under her belt (literally), her career as a bikini model will likely never kick into gear now. I will be meeting the new pipsqueak next month when A and I visit Oklahoma (where the wind comes sweeping down the plain) for Thanksgiving. I have been assured that the new kid does have red hair and is thereby eligible for Christmas gifts from Auntie Claudia. My friend's husband has a lump in/on his quadriceps muscle. They've just learned that the mass is malignant. It's in a very precarious spot, frightening close to the femoral artery, so surgery is going to be a bit dicey. I have to say that Kris and Paul are, generally speaking, as upbeat as two people hav

The Deed is Done

She cheats at Candyland, but we like her anyway. The book I ordered from Shutterfly arrived yesterday. My stomach was in knots as soon as I saw the package. I showed it to P so that he would be aware of its contents before we sat down to read it to our daughter. We took A to yet another Halloween event (Meemaw made the costume and by gum, we're gonna make sure the general public has ample opportunity to see it) and then came home to have dinner. After dinner, we sat her between us on the couch and read the book to her. The story begins with how her dad and I met and fell in love. I wrote about how much I wanted a baby in my tummy, but that no baby came to live in my tummy. I teared up at this point because the pain of my four lost babies is still not that far beneath the surface. I have been richly rewarded with a beautiful firecracker of a child, so it's not a matter of any sort of regret. It's just that those were dark days and at times I really felt I might go under. Nex

Just Waitin' for My Macaroni Art

During my long, long struggle to become a mom, my own mother kept my spirits up by telling me, "It's only a matter of time until you'll have macaroni art on your refrigerator." You know you're a parent when the short person who lives in your house hands you a paper plate with uncooked macaroni glued to it (another variation is the macaroni necklace, strung on colorful yarn). Most schools have a long-standing tradition of using pasta as an art medium. When my youngest sister was in preschool, she brought home a macaroni frame with her smiling wallet-sized photo glued into the middle. The best part? The macaroni frame had been spray-painted gold. I sure hope it's still in a Christmas box somewhere at my parents' house. Though I have not yet received any macaroni art, I think I am getting close. I received this: Ain't she a beaut? There is at least half a pound of glue holding those goldfish crackers in place. My refrigerator (or fridgelator, as the artis

My Kid's Meemaw is Better Than Your Kid's Meemaw

The crown kept falling off her head so we gave up after a while. Like 94.7% of all three-year-olds girls, A decided to be a princess for Halloween this year. It's the first time I let her choose, because it was really the first time she had a grasp of what was going on. Last year, when I took her trick-or-treating, she tried to enter every neighbor's house when they opened the door. The whole concept wasn't quite coming together in her mind yet. But now, she knows what's what. I feared that if I asked my mom to make a costume, she might hem and haw a bit (Get it? Hem? Oooh, I kill myself). I knew that if I put her adorable granddaughter on the phone, however, a costume would be in the works as soon as Meemaw could beat a path to the fabric store. "Meemaw, would you make me a purple princess costume so that I can get some candy at the YMCA?" I have no idea why she mentioned the YMCA. She goes there for swim classes and, as far as I know, they are in the busines

A Sudden Fit of Modesty

Perhaps someone can explain this to me. My daughter is not at all shy. She chats with strangers and waves at passersby. Proud of her body and all that it can do, she announces every fart and every burp loudly and with great enthusiasm. At home, she can often be found in her birthday suit. The other night I came upon her standing in front of the open refrigerator, sucking apple juice out of her Little Mermaid cup, wearing nary a stitch. She also thinks it's hilarious to put her hands and feet flat on the floor, throw her hinder into the air and yell, "Butty-butt-butt-butt-butt-butt!" Why is it then, that when I find her sitting buck naked on the potty (with the bathroom door wide open), she yells, "DON'T LOOK AT MY POOP!" and attempts to cover the open bowl with her hands? Does she really think there is anything left that I haven't seen? I've been tending to her bodily output since she was born. I've caught every cold she's ever had. I've


For months I've been been trying to figure out the best way to tell my daughter that she was adopted at birth. It's exactly as hard as you'd imagine it would be. We have children's books on the topic. Jamie Lee Curtis wrote a great book called Tell Me Again About the Night I was Born . We also have one called A Blessing from Above and another called My Family is Forever . We read them to her, but we haven't come out and said, "Oh, by the way . . . " She recently became aware of where babies come from (well, she knows that a baby grows in a woman's tummy - she doesn't know the mechanics of how such a thing happens). So, we have known for a while now that the day draws nigh (you like the way I went all Victorian on you there?). In preparation, a while back I started telling her the story of how her dad and I met and how much we wanted a baby. I always say, "They wanted a baby girl and they wondered: 'where is our baby girl?'" And m

Alrighty Then

A's school was closed for a teacher in-service day yesterday ("In order to serve you better . . . we're gonna close the joint down for a day so that you have no childcare . . . you know, the service for which you're paying us? Oh, and we'll still need you to pay us for the day. In fact, we require it.") so I took the day off. I had a coupon for Build-a-Bear so I decided to indulge the kid. We headed over to the mall and she ran straight into the store. I showed her all of the different empty carcasses and let her choose one. She selected a pink bear with hearts on it. We were going to pass on adding a sound to the bear, but the nice lady had sold my kid a sound before I knew what hit me. A got to step on the foot pedal and fill the bear up with fluff. She chatted with the lady as she did so, and I listened carefully to make sure she wasn't sold anything else we didn't need. We were not leaving there with a bear on rollerskates and that's all there

In Memory of Griffin

When you serve as a foster parent to homeless dogs, people often say things like, "Oh, I could never do that. I'd want to keep all of them." Well, once you do it for a while, you really don't think in those terms. You simply can't keep the dogs. For starters, your neighbors would be pretty pissed. Plus, for each dog in rescue, there is generally another one on a waiting list who also needs a foster spot (and a shot at a "forever" home). You need to place the current one so that you can help the next one. Rescue work is a perpetual exercise in "one step forward, two steps back." All we can really do is to try our damnedest to keep up with the flow. In 8 1/2 years of fostering, I've lost count of how many dogs have passed through my door. I have to imagine that it is well over 50 dogs. Some have been adopted quickly, while others have lingered for months. Most have peed on my carpet at least once. Most have been thin. All have been beautiful.

A Moment

After a whirlwind of kid-centric activities yesterday, my daughter and I were sharing a quiet moment after her bath last night. And by "quiet," I mean that she was ordering me around like a dog while I attempted to tame her raucous curls. I gathered up the various haircare products (this is an ongoing experiment of mine - by the time she leaves for college I expect to have found the perfect combination) and sat on the floor in her bedroom. She sat between my legs and chattered away as I spritzed detangler in her hair. As I worked, she craned her neck and looked up at the highest shelf above her dresser. Like most kids, she has far too many stuffed animals. My mom, never one to think about things like "how much stuff can fit in a 1200 square foot home," bought A a huge Siberian tiger for Christmas one year. So, the tiger is perched up there (he is sporting some Mardi Gras beads, as most tigers do), along with several large teddy bears. The shelf is also home to a bow

Mama, Take My Picture!

Princess in full effect: Princess after Chloe steps on her plastic princess shoes: The alleged foot stepper on-er: "Not me. Must've been some other deaf white Boxer who lives in your house. In fact, now that you mention it, I am downright offended. I'm calling my attorney right now."

Good boy, Giddy!

I volunteered to bring Gideon to Kindercare this morning. A's class has been learning about pets, so I thought it would be fun for them to have a live specimen. I also brought in some dog bite safety worksheets (produced by the ASPCA) and handed those out. If I can stop one kid from running up to (and hugging) a dog he doesn't know, then my job is done. While still in the van, I wrestled Giddy into a Halloween costume (yeah, he was pretty psyched) and then entered the classroom. The kids were very excited to see him, and he them. I was proud of him for not jumping on any of the young'uns. He does jump on adults, but seems to know that kids will just topple over and that it's just a bad idea in general. I am hoping to bring the jumping issue under somewhat better control before having him formally tested for the Therapy Dog certification. The kids were gathered in a semi-circle on the carpet in their classroom. I talked to them (as best as I could while holding a wigglin

She'd be even sunnier if she'd take a #&%$ nap

My Sunshine, My Only Sunshine In case you are wondering, I did not partake of an Egg McMuffin after my Weight Watchers meeting yesterday. I ate a chocolate Weight Watchers muffin. Later, though, I met a friend of mine for lunch and ate garlic bread and fries. I tend to get a little splurge-y on weigh-in day and then get back on the wagon after that. Yesterday at the meeting there was a mother-daughter duo that I probably hadn't seen for a year or so. Apparently, they were back to Square One. The daughter's weight gain, in particular, was very noticeable. I felt like I had seen a ghost or something. It was a good reminder to me not to slack off quite so much. I've kept 50+ pounds off, but I continue to grapple with 10 pounds or so. I just don't want to let it get any worse than that. No elasticized waistbands for me, thanks. I stopped at a craft fair after the meeting. I need to start Christmas shopping one of these days. Our budget is pretty tight, so I've negotiate

I'm Not the Line Leader

Here is why I'm not online as much these days: She'd been dabbling on the computer for a few months, but only recently figured out how to use the mouse. This opened up a whole new world for her. A world, namely, located at . I have to say that the people who created those online toddler games knew what they were doing. My daughter can't read, but she can definitely figure out that she needs to click on a huge, throbbing, green arrow that says "Play again!" And play again she does. Generally speaking, I don't mind if she spends a little time online. It keeps her busy and, judging from what I can see when I look over her shoulder, she even appears to be learning from some of the games (choosing the object that is different, colors, shapes, numbers, letters, etc.). I may have to start limiting the time she spends online, if it doesn't dissipate on its own once the novelty wears off a little. We did reach a low point the other day, thoug