Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Katie: A Play in One Act

Katie: I've decided to give up sleep for Advent.

Her mother: You can't give up something you never really had to begin with, first of all, and secondly, you give stuff up for Lent, not Advent. Third, it's not even Advent yet.

Katie: Well then.  Bet you're really regretting not taking me to church more often, every day at 4:30, aren't you?


Sunday, November 27, 2011

Well, but with less pigs' blood.

You know, at the end of Carrie*, when she's killing the entire prom with her brain?  And in the back of her mind, she notices that some kids are escaping, but she's so busy dropping beams on everyone else and lighting them on fire that she decides she just can't address that, and so she just lets them go?

I think that is kind of what it's like to raise two kids.**

*- I wish I hadn't read that wikipedia article.  the part where he talks about the girl finally changing her outfit really, really breaks my heart.  Because that girl was TRYING.

**-without the massacre, I mean.  In case that isn't obvious.  Like, I"m too busy keeping one kid from eating coins to worry about the other one who's unfurled an entire roll of toilet paper into the toilet, just so she can say it's plugged and use the plunger.  Because nobody ever died from using a plunger***.

***- maybe they did.  if they did, just...don't tell me, okay?

Friday, November 25, 2011


Nine months ago today, I was rudely awakened at 4:something by a baby who wanted to get born.  I left work early and when I came home, found Stephen had fallen asleep on the couch instead of going up to bed.

Today, I was rudely awakened at 4:something by a baby who wanted to get the day started.  I left work early and when I came home, found Stephen had fallen asleep on the couch instead of going up to bed.

Thankfully, that is where the similarities end, because I wasn't really in the mood to spend the day having a black hole open up just beneath my belly button.

Katie: loves eating (hates veggies, loves meat and beans and fruit), doesn't particularly care for sleeping, cruises, crawls, shrieks, squeals, squirms out of her tub ring and stands up in the tub all. tubby. long., screams with rage every time she has her diaper changed (woe be unto you if there are extensive crotch/leg snaps), hates her car seat, loves her sister, never naps, always smiles.

I think we shall keep her.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

I am thankful for

so, so, so many things.  But especially:

Running, which keeps me sane and gives me something to obsess about besides my children, keeps me healthy and makes me feel accomplished in a way that I never, ever have.

Having two steady jobs in our household, especially these days.

my December mamas, who also keep me sane, make me laugh, make me feel like part of a huge family, and always, always, always know that I am never alone.

peanut butter-chocolate chip oatmeal.

my oldest friends, who are my other pretend-family, who will always be there and always be them.

my amazing, funny, all-around kickass husband.

my hilarious, kind, brilliant older daughter.

my happy, inquisitive, sweet younger daughter.

my FAMILY, my real actual family, who have all saved our lives a million times since Gabba was born, proving that there are no small families, only small actors.  Or, um, something like that.

my stupid smelly dog


and sunshine.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Oh no she di-int.

So Gracie goes to a play group every tuesday morning- just kids, no parents/babysitters.  It's only an hour and a half, but gives her time with other kids her age.  She really loves it, has become so much more outgoing since it started, and her speech has absolutely exploded since she started going.  It's all-around awesome. 

The teachers have their work cut out for them- they've got a few criers, and a few spitfires, who seemingly spend half their time in time out.  So far, we've been really lucky with Gracie.  She's always been fine with me leaving, and the teachers always talk about how sweet she is with the other kids.  Apparently, she saves all her turdiness for home.

This week, I went to pick her up and found her playing with legos with another little boy.  I mean, kind of- he had his back to her.  This is important to the story.  Trust me.  She did not notice that I had walked in, as her back was to me.  She picked up a chunk of stuck-together Duplos, and whacked the little boy in the back of the head.


For no reason!  wtf?!

I actually jumped and gasped a little bit.  Her teacher did the same.  She almost spluttered, "I...wha?  Gracie!!!  We don't hit!  What do you say?!?!?"  and Gracie cheerfully said, "Sowwy!!"  I was still frozen.  I could not even react.  Where on earth did that even come from!? 

Yeah.  I still don't know.  Honestly, she wasn't mad or having a fit or anything.  I really think she just wanted to get his attention, or see what would happen.  Something similar happened when Katie was brand-new and we were playing at the park.  Suddenly she decided it would be fun to run up behind other kids and push them.  It was totally mortifying, but also completely bizarre. 

One of my friends joked that she's practicing for when she starts dating.  Like, "HELLO, are you LISTENING TO ME?!!" 

Yeah.  Works for me.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

The Return of the Car Nap.

This is my own fault.

A few weeks ago, Gracie woke up exceptionally early.  Katie was still sleeping and I was just flat-out not ready to face the day.  I pulled out a trick from my mom's repertoire, asking her "Would you like to come watch tv in my bed?!?!"  as if I were offering her the opportunity to color on the walls with Sharpies or eat an entire package of oreos.  She, of course, leaped at the chance, and snuggled under the covers with me, quietly watching tv while I half-slept for another twenty minutes.  Genius, I told myself.  I am a genius.  Surely there shall be no repercussions for this behavior because these things never backfire ever especially if you are me.

So of course, in a shocking and amazing development, she is now waking up every day at 5am, asking to watch tv in my bed.  (oh, and did I mention I also let her use my strawberry chapstick while we watched tv?  And so she also wakes up asking for red lips?  Yeah, look, I never said I was smart.)  Aside from the fact that there are few things I hate more than waking before 6am (I used to hate waking at 8am.  let's all pause a minute and laugh and then weep.), it also means she's exhausted by 10am.  And since her sister still needs a morning nap, we never leave the house before 11am.  Which means...THE RETURN OF THE CAR NAP OH MY GOD SUUUUCK.


This past week, we took my mom to lunch for her birthday.  Both girls fell asleep on the way there, and I thought, "How odd.  Of course, Gracie has a cold, surely that is why."  And since she was a little bit of a troll the whole morning, I decided to just let her sleep.  Of course, that meant she took no afternoon nap and if I thought she was a troll that morning I was sadly underestimating her abilities.

I figured it was an isolated incident, and so we attempted to go to Lincoln Square, about twenty minutes from our house, to pick up our packets for the Turkey Trot (and Gobble Gallop!) on saturday.  Traffic was light, we didn't have anything else to do, Lincoln Square is a cute neighborhood, I had high hopes.


We got about halfway there when I noticed the steady stream of jabbering had slowed and then disappeared. I peeked in the mirror and saw Grace with her head lolling off to one side.  No.  No!  No no no no NOOOOO!!!!!!  So I did what any rational person would do.  I aborted our mission, rolled down her window, and started screaming bloody murder.  You guys.  Oh my god.  I was screaming so freakishly, trying to wake this kid up.  I mean, the full, throaty kind of screaming you do when your dog chases a squirrel into four lanes of traffic.  And did I mention I rolled down the window?!  I seriously cannot even imagine what people were thinking as I weaved in and out of traffic on Irving Park Road on a saturday, screaming, "WAKE UP GRACIE NO SLEEPING NO SLEEPING NO SLEEPING WAKE UP!!!"

It....didn't work.  She slept all the way home.  I whipped the car into the garage, opened the door, and woke her up.  She started sobbing, which is pretty much what she does after a car nap, except she kept saying something, over and over.

Oh.  Did I mention?  I was a little nervous about how she'd act at packet pick up?  And I bribed her by telling her we'd go to Starbucks for cake pops if she was good?  And all she knew was that we were driving somewhere, and then we were back in the garage, and there was no cake pop?  WOOPS.

So, I mean, yeah, ok.  We went back out for her cake pop.  But the closest Starbucks is on Irving Park Road, the same heavily-trafficked road we'd been on earlier.  And it was also the only place where we could find parking, a block from Starbucks.  Grace was SHOCKINGLY good, holding my hand, walking nicely up the street.  When we got there, she got her cake pop and even sat nicely on a chair while I waited for my latte.  And said hi to every. single. person. who walked in (and a LOT of people walked in.) Finally! Win.

By then it was gorgeous and sunny, so we went home and played in the backyard.  And everyone took a nap.  All's well that ends well.  (even if the same damn thing happened on the way home today and now we're gonna be back on house arrest DAMNIT.)

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Four Years Ago...and today

Stephen and I exchanged gifts when he got home this morning.  That was pretty much the extent of our celebration today, since we're celebrating over the weekend.  We were standing in the dining room, spacing out, kind of leaning into each other, and just as I looked over at the girls and thought, wow, who would've thought?  Stephen said, "That's what you wanted, right?"  And I thought, wow.  That's a little deep for 6 in the morning, and anyway, how did he know what I was thinking???  Then he said, "I mean, that's the link you sent..."

Oh.  Right.  The totally kick-ass running watch he gave me.  THAT was what he meant.  Heh. 

....but for the record, he was right on both counts.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Daytime TV

There's some real winner advertising on daytime tv.  Mostly ads for personal injury attorneys, OTC yeast treatments, and shady insurance companies, amiright?

And I just want to know one thing: that ad for correspondence school, with Shannen Doherty?  I'm wondering who they think they're fooling.  Because she talks about studying on the set, and I'm pretty sure nobody actually believes she's still working.  Unless she's referring to the actual commercial she's acting in when she talks about being on the set.  But that seems a little too meta for Brenda Walsh.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Home Sweet Home

We moved into our house three years ago yesterday.  I know I've covered this before, but it's a funny anniversary.

The move was brutal.  Long and grueling for a woman who was nine months pregnant and a man who had just had a huge surgery on his shoulder.  Had to wedge a doctor's appointment in there, amidst all the chaos.  Had to go to work the next day, bright and early, after being up all night because our bed and clothes had to be unpacked.  Exhausted, hungry, frustrated, I thought I was gonna DIE.

....except ho ho ho, I had no idea how EASY that day really was.  I mean, isn't it CUTE that I thought it was hard to MOVE STUFF and MISS MEALS and GO WITHOUT SLEEP ZOMG.  And every year when this anniversary rolls around, I think about the three weeks we lived in this house as a family of two, and it makes me happy and sad and most mortified for being so very naive about what I was getting into.  I think about standing in front of our washing machine and pre-washing all the baby clothes (after removing the eight million plastic tethers from all the carter's stuff- WHY do all their clothes have eight million plastic tethers?!  wtf?!  it's so annoying!) and friends coming over to help us paint and set up baby furniture and I just kind of can't believe our lives were ever, ever that easy. 

And as much as this house drives me crazy, it was our daughters' first home.  We became parents in this house.  Grace became a big sister in this house.  It's where we really became a family.  So no matter what, I'll always kind of love this house, too.  Even in spite of our uninvited guests.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

...which is weird, because I HATE the cold

I ran a 15k today.  I was, um, nervous, to say the least.

This past week completely kicked my ass.  Also, I had not run more than six miles since the half, two months ago.  Sooo, I was not going into things in particularly good form.

My friends and I decided to drive down, rather than deal with the El, which turned out to be more stressful than I expected, when we couldn't find parking.  We FINALLY managed to find parking (in a building with a view of what we called "the dead body field", because seriously, it was so desolate and creepy) and walked over to the start.  It. Was. FREEEEZING.  They also didn't have enough port-a-potties and they started the race twenty minutes late.  Things were not off to a great start.

But then?  We started running, and it felt...really, really good.  I forgot to take note of what time I started, so I wasn't sure how fast I ran my first mile, but it felt reasonably fast.  As the race went on, I thought, hmm, that's odd, I swear I'm running sub-10 minute miles.  Surely that can't be right.  I bet the clocks are wrong.

Then I missed the 7 mile marker.  I just kept looking and looking and never did see it.  When I finally saw the clock coming up for the 8 mile marker, all I could think was, if that is the 7-mile marker, I am in big trouble here, heh. 

When I crossed the finish line, I felt like a million bucks.  I wasn't sore, walking was easy, I chugged three cups of gatorade without feeling like I was going to be sick.  I even had a cup of post-race hot chocolate (and I basically NEVER indulge in post-race treats, I usually feel way too rotten for that).  I found my official results online and sure enough, I paced 9:35 minute miles.  That is pretty slow to most people, but NOT if you're me.  If you're me, that's AWESOME. That is kick. ass.

It's the weather.  It was cold and crisp and PERFECT for running.  I can't run in the heat.  It's why I haven't been able to PR a half marathon.  It only kind of makes sense, because I really, really, really hate being cold, but I also hate being hot, and when I'm running, I'm never really cold for very long.  The annoying thing, though?  Is that I thought to myself, I really wish there were a late fall half marathon in Chicago, THEN I could get my PR.  ....Of course, there IS, and I just missed it, because sit was the weekend before Halloween.

Next year.