Thursday, August 29, 2013


On the way to the sitter's house this morning, Jack said, "Have ickies, Mommy?"


"Have ickies?"

"I don't understand, honey, have ickies?"


"No, I don't have ickies."

"I have ickies?"

"No, you don't have ickies."

"Oh."  Pause.  "Have a hug, Mommy?"

Oh my gosh, he was asking for a KISS.  Have a kiss, have ickies.  I am a horrible mother.

Of course I gave him about a thousand kisses as soon as I got to Erin's house.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Not So Fast

While doing some online back-to-school clothes shopping, Claire informed me that she no longer likes polka dots, and that she wants to wear a lot of black because it "goes with everything."

Every single item she picked out was black or denim.

Isn't 6-1/2 a little young for a goth phase?

So if you see her walking around looking like a midget Morticia Adams, know that I tried.  But she doesn't like purple anymore.  Purple is for babies, Mom.

Also, we're growing out her bangs, and she refuses to keep any sort of barrette or bow in them for more than eleven seconds, so her hair is always in her eyes.  I get after her, constantly, to push it to the side, "you know, the way Mimi wears hers?" but it doesn't do much good.

If she gets into my eyeliner, I swear I'm sending her to boarding school.

Middle child syndrome, y'all.  It's a thing.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Mary Grace is Eight!

(I wrote this Friday night and scheduled it to auto-publish on 8/10, but I must have done something wrong because it never did.  Sorry, Kiddo...)

Dear Mary Grace,

Once a year I have a good cry about my baby being X years old, and how could that possibly be because it seems like just yesterday... blah blah blah.  But seriously, you were just born, how can you be 8 already?

Official First Grade School Picture
This year I've really started to see glimpses of the adult you're becoming.  For example, your brother had the stomach flu, and he threw up all over the new house, and you helped me clean it up!  I was stunned.  I mean, I'm the mom and I still have to put on my big girl undies to clean up vomit, and there you were helping, for real, without being asked.  It was pretty awesome.

You're going into second grade, which blows my mind completely.  You love school, you love to read, you love learning about science.  You're awesome at everything.  You totally take after your dad.

Daddy, Superman, and Mary Grace at ComicCon.
In fact, considering that Daddy didn't even think you liked him when you were a baby, you've turned into quite a Daddy's girl.  As I write this, you and your siblings are downstairs with him watching Star Wars.  You had a great time with him at ComicCon, and you're looking forward to GenCon with him next weekend.

Adler Planetarium - October 2012
When we were in San Diego, you totally geeked out over the pandas at the San Diego Zoo.  I love watching you get that excited over things like that.  We had to go straight to the pandas, because you just couldn't stand to wait any longer.  

50s day at school - Poodle Skirt Costume
I've been having technical difficulties with everything, so these pictures are largely from last year...  Sorry about that kiddo.  But honestly, I'm having a good time looking through them.

This is animated on my screen. I don't know if it'll show up that way in the post or not. Crazy.
You're just awesome, Cuppycake.  I don't write about you much anymore because you've got your own voice, and I feel like your stories are your own to tell (and let's face it, with moving and everything Mom hasn't written much about anyone in a while).  But don't think for a minute that it's because you're any less awesome and fascinating than you were the day you were born.  You get more awesome and more fascinating every day.

Here's the checklist I started doing a million years ago:

Your favorite toy for playing is: your bow and arrow (it's real!)

Your favorite toy for snuggling is: your panda bears

Your favorite foods: cheese pizza and anything sweet

Your favorite book is: Nancy Drew

Your favorite activity is: board games

Your favorite place to go is: Dave & Busters

Your best friend is: Ava

Something new that you're doing: cleaning up - for real!

Something you've mastered: riding a bike without training wheels

Something people say about you: "She's so tall!"  (they also like to play with your hair)

Something that you're saying is: you've learned to whistle, and you do it a lot

Something Dad and I are proud of you for: I can't pick just one thing.  We're proud of EVERYTHING you are, Cuppycake.

Something surprising about you: you have a great sense of humor, you make us laugh all the time

What you want to be when you grow up: you said that you want to find a cure for cancer *sniff*

I love you to bits, Happy Birthday!


Friday, August 9, 2013

My Accidental Baby

Tuesday was a work day for me, the kids were home with our awesome friend and babysitter Erin.  I had to run an errand on the way home, so I thought, "I'll take that old fabric travel crate to Natalie's on my way.  If I go without the kids, I won't come home with a dog!"

Famous. Last. Words.

I was on the phone with Amanda when I rolled up.  Got the crate out and tried the door.  Locked.  Tried the other two doors.  Locked and locked.  The sign said "open" but they weren't.  I put the crate outside the door, and walked back to my car as another car pulled in.  Two women got out with a cute little puppy.  They started trying the doors and peeking in the windows, looking a little desperate.

"Amanda, I'm going to have to call you back.  I think I'm about to get a dog."

I got out and asked them if they were there to surrender that cute widdle baby puppy wuppy.  They said that they were social workers and that he'd belonged to a client.  Social worker #1 had 5 dogs and 2 cats, and social worker #2 had 5 cats and 2 dogs.  "We just don't know what we're going to do!  We can't take him home!" they said.  They explained that their client was planning to put him in the paper for free, and they were afraid he'd end up a bait dog.

I asked if anything was wrong with him, and why the former owner wanted to get rid of him.  "No, he's a great little dog.  She's just that way, she's done this before," they explained.  "His name is Max."

Game over.

"We just don't know what we're going to do!" they were practically in tears.

"I'm going to go get that crate I just donated," I said, resigned, "and you're going to put him in my car."  We exchanged phone numbers and hugs, and they assured me that it was fate that we happened to be there at the same time.

I called BJ on the way home and said, "You're not going to believe what I just did."  He wasn't even mad.  I guess 16 years with me have worn him down to the point where he just rolls with all the crazy.

Wednesday I took Sheldon (we couldn't call him Max.  In this life you only get one Max) to the vet.  He was pronounced healthy, except for a case of fleas (and let me tell you, if vacuuming were an Olympic event, I would've won the gold after they called and told me that!).  They think he's an Australian Shepherd mix.  He's cute as a bug.  He has a sweet little personality, and even seems to be house trained.

I had him neutered and he did just fine, but now he has to be kept quiet.  We're dog-sitting for my friend Kaity, so right now I have three dogs (one who has to be kept quiet), which is a little nuts.  But they're good dogs.  It's kind of fun.  (Don't worry, Honey, I won't get a third dog!)

Oh, and the "free" dog has cost $600 so far.  

So, between the new house (which we're still unpacking), the old house (which we got ready for our tenants with 30 whole minutes to spare), the new dog, the old dog, and back to school...  Well, that's where I've been.