On Her Flying Trapeze

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Are You Laughing at Me?

I guess someone thinks my tender, heartfelt sentiments are funny because I’m a finalist for a Blogs of Beauty Award in the Humor category. I really think I should have been nominated in the Best Special Effects category for my tinsel halo. I guess there’s no accounting for taste.

But now, I have a beet of a problemo and I may not be posting anything until after December le Sixth.

I have “The Twinge.”

This started years ago. I can never be funny on purpose, not really funny. I can tell jokes I’ve heard before just well enough to get a polite “heh heh” from my friends but when I try to be really funny, I can’t do it.

It can only happen by accident. Whenever I accidentally say or write something hilarious, I’m just as surprised as any of my teary-eyed chortling friends. That’s when it comes……"The Twinge."

"The Twinge" is a feeling of sadness I get right after I’ve said something funny. The sadness stems from a fear that I will never be able to think of anything funny to say again, ever. You will notice this when we meet and hang out in the real world. Right after I make you laugh, a brief flash of sadness will cross my face and we will move on with the conversation.

This is a very real disease and I’m afraid that for the first time, I have "The Blogging Twinge."

In the past, there has been no pressure to be funny. Sometimes, I’m downright morose but now with this BOB thing, I’m feelin’ it. I may never write anything funny again and I’m sorry Grandma or Uncle Billy or whoever nominated me. I don’t wanna let the family down. I just can’t perform under pressure.

My next post will be very, very depressing. (pst. I know this is true because I actually live in my life and I have the inside scoop. I am currently sitting in a very hip Urgent Care facility with a free wireless connection – details to follow. Don’t worry, it’s not the kids. Just me this time. Nothing's actually wrong but the doc just mentioned something about a "special shoe." If that's not depressing, I don't know what is.)

Ducky, this HAS to Stop – Part Deux

In the morning Ducky went AWOL.
Many tears were shed.
Many shrieks were heard.
Much searching occurred.
Hours later, the table was cleared for lunch:






Much rejoicing.

For the LOVE! Ducky, you’re usually a pretty good kid. You are almost as valuable to this family’s happiness as my biological children so I try to treat you well. The massages, the bubble baths, the trips to Madrid.....

Would you please knock it off with the in-under-concealed-beneath routine? You’re driving me mental!

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, Laylee has picked up the phrase, “for the love.”

Example: I was unbuckling her from her car seat when she asked very sweetly, “Oh, for the love Mommy, can you please carry me up?”

Ooooo, in other news, we may put a real offer on a van tomorrow. It may not be the pimped out one I will be dreaming of tonight but it will be sweet and have plenty of room to haul Ducky and his entourage anywhere they want to hide. Lookout Grand-people! Here we come.

Monday, November 28, 2005

Tip Tuesday – What to Do with the Chillins

“Seattle? It rains 9 months of the year in Seattle”
~Sleepless in Seattle~

I have a two-year-old (who this week has started telling everyone that she is three. She is not.)

Sometimes I just don’t know what to do with her, especially during those long 9 months.

Please to help me.

Here are a couple of suggestions from me to you all, with deepest regards.

1. Water – in buckets, in the sink, in the tub, on the porch, with cups and spoons and dippy, poury things. Water is nice. Water can be cleaned up with towels. Water is also good for drinking….. if it is potable (I love that word). If not, please refer to Bon for suggestions. ***DO NOT PLAY THIS GAME IN YOUR SINK IF THE OVERFLOW DRAINS DIRECTLY INTO THE CUPBOARD UNDERNEATH***

2. Cards – I did not think it was possible to play cards with a toddler until the genius known as Nantie Meg made up a card game to keep Laylee occupied at the beach house this summer.

The Equipment: Deck of Playing Cards
Number of Players: No more than 52
Object of the Game: Find the Joker
The Rules: Each player takes a turn picking a card from the deck (or having it picked for them, depending on their eptness with the opposable thumb). The player then calls out what the card is (or has it called out for them, depending on their eptness with the numbers). Laylee calls them hearts, diamonds, clovers and black hearts. All royalty are queens. I guess some are of the drag variety. All two-digit numbers are ten.
To Win: Pick up the Joker on your turn. Yell, “It’s the JOKER!!! I WIN!!” and jump up and down. Then beg to play again.

Okay, now give me your ideas before I hunt you down and make you play "cards" with me 50 times in one afternoon. I'm serious. I'll do it. I'm a mutha on the brink!

(Okay, not really, but I'd like some more ideas.....please.)

Spider-Man Undies at Preschool

So I just went to pick Laylee up from our co-op preschool. When I got there, she was nowhere to be found. The mother in charge, we’ll call her Too Lucy (all my friends have the same names), she told me that Laylee was upstairs with her son, we’ll call him Big Moses (all her male friends have biblical names but none of them are Moses so I think I’ll call them all Moses from now on).

Supposedly they were playing a game where they were pretending to be each other. Big Moses was tucking her in his bed and she was calling him Laylee.

I walked up there and found her in her birthday suit (desperately trying to avoid using “questionable keywords” here) with Big Moses helping her to put on his underwear. I guess they wanted to be each other from the inside out.

I let her keep them on and we headed home. She is very proud to be wearing “Big Moses Pants.” For some reason, I cannot stop laughing when she mentions this, which is probably why she cannot stop mentioning it.

I love using fake names on this blog. It makes everything seem so dramatic somehow, like we’re all in the witness protection program.

It reminds me of the time I made a short documentary about some guys running a pirate radio station out of their bedroom at BYU, not exactly a hotbed of illegal activity. I think their broadcast radius was around 10 feet but they were really proud to be bringing “indie music to the people.”

They wouldn’t use their real names and conducted their entire interviews wearing Strong Bad-style Mexican wrestling masks.

Ahhh......Some of my finest film work.

Sunday, November 27, 2005

Changing the Weather

Hopefully then I’ll be able to shed a few layers.

I’m still taking some “help” for my post partum anxiety with Magoo. I can miss a dose and sometimes I’m fine. Sometimes the anxiety and panic attacks come back.

foggyMy doctor explained that the pills are like layers of clothing and my life situation is like the weather. When it’s cold outside, I need more layers but if it’s a nice day, I can shed a parka, sweater, fleece, halter top or whatever.

So, in an attempt to get myself to a place where I can start aggressively weaning from the stuff, I’ve decided to work on changing the weather.

1. My hormones and chemicals – um guess I’ll move on to number two. I think this area will remain frigid for a while to come. My body has to decide on this one and according to Dr McGenius, it may be a year or more.

2. Sleep – I will do more of it. This will be accomplished by going to bed earlier and telling Magoo to stop having a cold and waking up in the night repeatedly.

3. Christmas stuff – I will not be making Christmas cards by hand this year. Sadly, the cheap lightweight cards I got for a wickedly low price at Joanne Fabrics will probably be cuter than the ones I made last year.

I am pretty much done my Christmas shopping. I will not re-buy, even if I decide I don’t like the gifts I purchased the day after Thanksgiving. Sorry family and friends. You’re stuck with what I already got.

4. NANOWRIMO – She is no more. I will post later about all the wonderful fabulous things I learned from the experience but for now I will be writing more like 250 words per day, rather than 5000.

5. I will breathe and mediate and take one day at a time and stop blaming myself for all the crazy things that go wrong in my life and the insane things my kids do.

I will allow myself to “quit” things. I will allow myself to “fail” and I will move on. I will “be who I am because somebody has to and [I’m] the closest.” (from Jack Kent’s children’s book “Just Only John”)

Random side note. I am currently the number one hit for the msn search - mom abandon kids - and - my mother is selfish. Nice!

Saturday, November 26, 2005

It Doesn’t Show Signs of Stoppage

And I’ve Brought Some Corn for Poppage
But as long as you love me so
Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow

I am working on having the words to that song officially changed, bring it a little more up to date, yo.

It’s not snowing here and not likely to be - ever - but that doesn’t mean we’re not putting a “snowman day” on the ole’ advent calendar. We plan to drive up I-90 one Saturday this month until we find snow. We will then stop and build an environmentally friendly snowman and drive home for cocoa. I am pretty stoked about this lee-tle plan.

christmas soldierAlso on the calendar will be an outing to a local mall where we can “Experience the enchantment of Snowflake Lane where each night 60 live toy soldiers, music and a light show will brighten the night and warm your heart.”

I don’t know how “toy” soldiers can be “live” but I want my heart to be warmed and hey, it’s free.

Today saw the first installation of the Christmas Palace. It looks different this year with the new paint. It looks like we painted the walls all spicy and warm especially for the season. And I think we will keep this tradition up, painting the walls a different color each season......or each mood I’m in….not sure which yet.

The painting was completed just in time too. For the first time ever, Laylee colored all over the walls with black crayon. Dan made her wash it off and she could and she did and the peasants rejoiced.

Here is the nativity, complete with shepherds and completely suckable. Let's see how many times we can lose baby Jesus and have a meltdown this year.

christmas nat

This is the place where it looks like Christmas yorched on my bookshelves. I like it in a busy sort of way.

christmas palace

christmas layleeThis is the wall outside of Laylee’s room where I placed the big funky colored lights I love but don’t want to put anywhere in the house that might be visible to people other than the children. Tomorrow morning when she wakes up and sees this, she will lose her mind. Yes, she will no longer have any mind.

These are my favorite.

christmas mantel

Look closer.

christmas mittens

"Well, aren’t those mittens the cutest ever? Where did you get those?” you ask, “You could not possibly have made such an exquisite piece of handywork!”

“Why, yes I did.”

“Shut up!”

“No. I will not.”

Now for this doorway, we really need some sweet minizletoe. Anyone know where I can git me some?

christmas peace

Any excuse for some holiday action is a good excuse. That’s what my pappy always used to say.

Friday, November 25, 2005

Since Last We Spoke:

-House painted the color of Kraft Carmels and pumpkin pie. Yum.

-Decision made to try NANOWRIMO again when my kids are old enough for me to do it AND maintain my sanity. Sigh of relief.

-Laylee taken to the ER of Children’s Hospital on doctor’s orders. No good.

-Cleaned buckets of vomit out of car. Why did we opt not to take the ambulance again? No comment.

-Release from the hospital with semi-clean bill of health. Grateful.

-Thanksgiving with good friends, none of whom have children. Good times, great food, fun conversation.

-Time for our departure signaled by Laylee spilling beverage on host’s wireless keyboard. Sticky.

-2-year-old vomits buckets on white carpet of host, one inch from hardwood front entry on our way out the door. Cleaning bill to come.

-Falling down at midnight while getting ready for big shopping day, deciding to shop rather than see a doctor about my foot. Not smart, but very typical.

-Getting up at 4:00am to shop till I dropped. Invigorating.

-The deals, the glorious deals. Yippee!

-Bed and looking forward to a day of vomit-free relaxation tomorrow. Ahhhhh!

Sorry for this pathetic list. I promise I’ll be back soon with new info and some fun stories. ER, yadda, vomit, yadda holiday blah blah, nearly-broken-foot-that-still-hurts-to-put-weight-on blah blah …. Excuses, excuses.

We have so much to be grateful for. I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving. Strangely enough, I did.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Ketchup Sauce - A Photo Documentary







Tip Tuesday – Making Time for Yourself

We all know it’s important to take time that’s just for us, to recharge, to remember who we are, to have a teensy break from our 24/7 work schedules.

Some ideas:
1. I go to desert and late night movies in the middle of the week with my girlfriends. We go after the kids are in bed so we can be crazy, eat fattening food, watch movies our husbands wouldn’t be caught dead seeing and relive those carefree high school days of girl bonding.

2. I take long hot baths. I fill the tub as hot as I can stand it, bring in a good book or a magazine, light some candles and soak until my husband feels the need to come in and check my pulse.

3. Early morning walks with a friend are wonderful once we’re up and out. We breathe in the fresh air, talk about the joys and frustrations of our lives, meet interesting people and start the day with a bang.

4. Teaching piano – I teach one student once a week while her sweet mother plays with my kids. (They pay me a fairly low amount, so it's not about the money, and should probably pay me nothing considering the free babysitting I'm getting out of it.) I love to teach and I consider this “me time.”

5. Book Club - reading the book, discussing online, meeting with friends once a month. Love it, love it love it.

What activities are important to you when you have a few minutes or a few hours all to yourself?

Why do you take this time?

How do you make it work with your family’s busy schedules?

Monday, November 21, 2005

Laughing all the Way to the Bank

I saw this picture on a website advertising home loans recently.

happy refi

Three questions came to mind.

1. Why didn’t anyone tell us a clandestine cameraman was taking our picture when we signed our first Mortgage?

2. Why did they change our hair colors in post-production and Photoshop all that extra arm hair on Dan? I mean, come on, he’s manly enough as it is. Let’s not get gratuitous here.

3. Why was no one there to photo document our recent refinance? I was laughing so hard at that signing that I couldn’t reach for Dan’s fur-covered arm in time. I fell flat on my face on the mahogany desk of our closing agent, smashing it into a million pieces and scattering papers everywhere, in a fit of hysterical I-can’t-believe-we’re-getting-such-a-great-deal-on-this-fabulous-mortgage-product laughter.

Now THAT would have been a great picture to show the joy of the home loan process, me lying in a pile of papers and rubble, snorting like a pig, while giddy Dan picked wood-chips out of my hair with abandon.

Sunday, November 20, 2005

A Vision in Pink Footy Pajammas

pink footies

She emerged timidly from her room this morning, unsure of the reception she would receive. Her face just melts me.

Love, hugs and cuddling. A serious talk about what she did, why we were upset, what the consequences will be. She lays her head against my chest and I stroke her hair.

I cried for a long time last night when she was finally asleep. I wanted my mommy.

“They” say ‘you hurt the ones you love the most.’
I say ‘you are hurt the most by the ones you love.’

If I didn’t give everything, mind body and soul for these kids, it wouldn’t hurt so much when they gave me that mocking look, the look that says, “I don’t need you. I can do what I want. Shove it, mom!”

I question everything. Everything about being a mother makes me question myself, my preconceptions, my feelings, my treatment of the kids. Am I saying the right things, being too rough, too lenient? Will some flippant comment I make be the subject of therapy years from now? Or will it be something I didn’t say or do, but should have?

We’re making people here, folks. This is serious business.

The DYM ain’t laughin’ today. I’m not crying either, just thinking.

Saturday, November 19, 2005

Who Needs a Van When I Got Me This Here Flyin’ Broomstick?

Join me fellow witchy moms and we’ll take this baby for a spin. I am so mad right now, I can hardly type this post. However, doing so will keep my sweet little this-close-to-being-sold-to-the-next-group-of-traveling-gypsies daughter from being flung from the house.

Currently I am self-medicating with Dryer’s mint chocolate chip slow-churned. Dan’s drug of choice is Tums.

I have seriously never wanted to kick someone’s trash the way I want to right now and she’s laughing at me, no remorse whatsoever.

For the past two weeks, Laylee has decided that she’s potty trained. No more duct tape at night, no more diapers. I rarely even ask her if she has to go anymore. She just does. Amazing. I told a friend on Friday that we are on the downward slope of a very bratty 3 month period. We were glad to be on the downward slope.

Tonight this all changed. She is going to be 3 years old in a couple of months. She is very mature and usually well behaved for her age. She knows what we expect. Today signs of bratishness have abounded and it has worried me greatly.

Tonight when we put her in bed, she did this AGAIN! ONLY WORSE! She ground it so deep into the carpet that in certain places, we couldn’t get it out. We’re going to need professional help (take that however you want to).

It was in her hair, under her fingernails, EV-ER-Y-WHERE! Nothing we did could stop her from smiling. I scrubbed her down mercilessly with ice-cold water. I washed her hair with it and poured it over her head (to her, the worst kind of torture).

Still the smirk remained.

We made her sit in time out while we spent ½ an hour attempting to scrub the poop from the fibers of our semi-shag carpet.

We took away Ducky.

We took away starshine (a star lamp that she loves).

We removed every toy and fun wall hanging from her room (this sounds more dramatic than it really is. The room is being painted on Monday so we had to do this anyway. Good thing too because I couldn’t get all the poop out of the texturing on her wall. I guess they will just paint over it.).

Still the smirk remained.

We told her that because she was acting like a baby, she would have to wear diapers like a baby, not just today but tomorrow too, to church, with her friends, where they would all be wearing big kid panties and wouldn’t that be sad?

Still the smirk remained.

We told her maybe she wouldn’t get to go to nursery tomorrow (to her, the happiest place on earth).

Still the smirk remained.

She now lays in a deserted whoville-esque room of sadness but there is no crying, only smirking. The whole house smells like poop. I didn’t get to take a relaxing bath, work on NANOWRIMO, get through some paperwork that’s been stacking up, cuddle with my shmoop, eat bon bons or travel to Europe.

Nope. All I got to do was be a mom. Some days it’s glorious and some days it bites the big one. Tonight I got option B.

To the Drag Queen I saw on 12th Street Last Night

Your earrings were very eye-catching and sparkly.

I wanted to tell you this but felt intimidated by your 6’5” spike-heel-enhanced height and the two miniature body guards flanking you.

I nodded to nearly everyone I saw on the street as we headed to the theatre. To some I gave a smile. To others I said “Hello.”

To you, I made no gesture, said nothing. Isn’t it strange that you go to so much effort to attract attention to yourself, only to be studiously ignored by the majority of the people you pass on the street?

I liked the earrings, although I could not pull them off with my wardrobe. I thought you should know.

Now I Want Your Mini-Van – pretty much for free

No one gave us a bedroom set and I’m okay with that. I still like all of you and I have confidence that when you are done with yours, you will pass it my way. I have confidence in sunshine. I have confidence in rain. I have confidence that some day…someone…will give us a beautiful bedroom set for free and we will sleep in luxury.

Now I want more. I wanna be where my people are. I wanna see, wanna see em drivin’, drivin’ around in a - what’s that word again? 2005-Honda-Odyessey-Mini-Van-With-Dual-Power-Sliding-Doors-Leather-Seats-Tinted-Windows-Optional-8th-Seat-and-Built-in-DVD-Player.

The catch is, I want to get it for practically no money……… because, that’s what I have at my disposal. SO, I’ve spent the morning on Craig’s List, emailing extremely low bids to people with vans of all kinds in hopes that some kind person will have pity on us and give us a great deal.

Just picture us driving thousands of miles to visit our family this Christmas, the kids in the backseat of our too small car with no chance of me going back to feed or read a story, gifts and baby gear piled up around their eyeballs (The Flying Smurf is bigger but the seatbelts don't lock at all so we don't feel safe putting car seats in there. It's also less reliable.).

We’re considering renting a van for the 2 week trip which would cost $1000. So, why not spend a few thousand more and get a not-exactly-what-we-want-but-exactly-what-we-can-afford-at-the-moment substitute.

If you’ve got one and you have pity in your soul, shoot me an email.

Friday, November 18, 2005

Mad Cow Disease Has Subsided – Now Everyone’s a Comedian

Tonight is a date night. I have a babysitter coming at 8:00 and decided to get the kids down and asleep well before she comes. This involves keeping them up past their afternoon naps to get them to go down earlier tonight. In about 30 minutes.

So this whole afternoon our house has seen a serious case of Mad Cow Disease. Everyone has been mad and everyone has been having a cow (Yes, me too. Thanks for asking.).

Suddenly at dinner, Laylee turned sweet and hilarious and ate all the food on her plate. Magoo stopped screaming and started laughing for no reason.

Laylee says, “What do we eat for dinner?” (like she’s setting me up for a knock knock joke)
I say, “I don’t know. What?”
Laylee: FOOD! Bwa HA HA HA!
Me: That was a funny joke. You got any more?

So Laylee reaches way back to when she used to say, “Peek a Boo,” and Daddy would say, “Peek WHO’S BOO?” and she would laugh hysterically.

Me: Do you have any more jokes?
Laylee: Peek WHO’S BOO? (Hysterical laughter)
Me: Oh, that was a good one.
Laylee: Peek Magoo’s BOO? Peek Mommy’s BOO? Peek Laylee’s BOO? (Choking because she’s laughing so hard.)

Microwave Skeelz You Can Only Dream Of

It ain't no thing. Don't cry ner nothin'. My husband and I are just better at the microwave than you. You're still a good person....most likely.

Lately I microwave everything for 90 seconds, regardless of what it is. I watch it while the rays burn holes through my brain and when the food is sufficiently bubbly or exploding, I take it out. I want to press clear on the key pad. I really do, but it doesn’t always happen.

micro“They” say you marry someone like your dad and maybe it’s true because this used to drive my dad nuts and now it drives Dan nuts as well. One afternoon he asked me with a smile, “Do you realize what time it is?”

Me: No. What time is it?
Dan: It’s “one” o’clock.
Me: No it’s not.
Dan: Yes - it is. That’s what the clock on the microwave says……”1”

“Why even bother to take the food out when there’s only 1 second left?” you might ask. I’ve thought about this and come to the conclusion that letting the microwave finish cooking the food and then beep is like giving away any role I had in the cooking process. If I take it out at 89 seconds, I have decided that 89 seconds is the perfect doneness for that food item after extensive research and brain-frying observation.

This quest for microwaving perfection should not be so very foreign to the DY Dad, considering he is the poster child for microwave OCD.

Dan does not like to stir and he also likes his food to be evenly heated to the perfect temperature. He normally covers his meal with wax paper, places it on a very low power level and cooks it for anywhere from 5-200 minutes. His food comes out magically warm all over and he never needs to lift a finger to stir. He always waits for the beep.

I’m not complaining about this skill. You know how recipes say to “soften” the butter first but you never do and then you have to bake something right away and don’t have time to watch butter come to room temperature for 2 hours. Dan can accomplish this with complex microwave calculations in under 10 minutes – without melting a drop of the butter. If you’d like his formula for this, you’ll have to ask him yourself.

redNow for something red. This is the soap of the godesses. If you use this soap, you become instantly irresistable. I feel unworthy to purchase this soap for myself but gave it to my monther-in-law as part of her Mother's Day present last year. It is delicious and I wish you had a smell-o-vision computer like me so you could suck it in. Yummy!

Thursday, November 17, 2005

There Was no Pride. Prejudice? Maybe.

sableLast night was girl’s night out and I think some of the girls were prejudiced against my baby-blue sedan and its lack of sweet hydraulics or woofer-enhanced system. This car pre-dates my entrance into college but it’s just so “roomy” and “comfortable.” Ladies night would not be complete without The Flying Smurf.

We cruised down Main Street Suburbia with the gangsta rap of our high school days playing on the stereo. The gangsta lean was out in force as well as the giggling. Oh, there was giggling. And also crying.

shirleyThe first round of crying occurred shortly after we arrived at Claim Jumper for desert and Shirley Temples (thanks to Karli for inciting this beverage revolution). I got a call from DY Dad.

apple pieDan: Are you at the movie yet?
Me: No, we’re just starting desert? (Mad giggling and way too fast talking in the background)
Dan: Something-I-couldn’t-hear…..crying.
Me: Magoo’s crying?
Dan: NO, EV-ER-Y-ONE is CRYING. Do you know where Ducky is?

This is the bed-time kiss of death. If everyone’s already crying, and there’s no Ducky, you are a goner. I gave some suggestions, offered some words of comfort but there wasn’t much I could do from there. Eventually he found ducky....wrapped in a blanket...in an upturned stepstool.....in our bedroom.....with a book on top of it. He is a hero of fatherness.

tearsThe second through 100th rounds of crying occurred throughout the movie. Ah! Pride and Prejudice condensed into 2 hours of romance and repressed passion. Is it possible? Is it even safe? We laughed, we cried, we grabbed each other’s arms and tried to hold in our screams of glee. It was AWESOME!

Proposal…..under pillars…. covered in moss…..in the RAIN……. with pride and anger that almost leads to a make-out session? This never happens in real life but I think it will now happen in my NANOWRIMO book.

feetWe had the best seats, seats where you can put your feet up on the railing and take pictures of them with your cell phone camera.

The cinematography was great, adaptation excellent, somehow magically paced slowly enough to maintain the spirit of the book but still cram everything into 2 hours. Go see it. Go see it now. Children, schmildren!

watchingFor this outing, I carried a purse so small it couldn’t possibly contain a diaper, wipes, sippy cup, crayons, changes of clothes, snack-foods, flashlight, Leatherman, hats, sunscreen, teething rings, half-eaten peanut butter sandwiches or Ziploc baggies.

walletIt wouldn’t even fit my wallet so I had to grab a couple of cards, some cash and shove them into the Chick’s Rule wallet. Nice!

I wore hair jewelry, piggy tales and loads of faux bling. Despite the fact that I forgot my eye glitter, the teenage boy at the counter asked me if I was a student. I so wanted to say, “Yeah, I go to Suburbia High but I, like, forgot my ID. Can I, like, get a discount anyway? Juniors rule!” followed by the mad batting of glitter encrusted eyelashes. Instead, I laughed and said, “You should ask my kids,” and forked over the 9 bucks.

Karen and a few others have recently hinted at the fact that they may be too old to wear the Daring Young Mom gear. I consider anyone a Daring Young Mom until they gracefully make the transition to Daring Young Grandma. It’s all in the ‘tude ladies, all in the ‘tude.

nosesThe scene that inspired the most crying in our group involved a painfully (in a good way) long walk by Mr. Darcy through the mist to Elizabeth Bennet where they professed their love and then consummated it by tenderly touching noses as the sun rose over the English country side.

Movies like this always remind me of Dan’s and my romantical and dramatic courtship. The repressed passion, the rain, the nose touching! It made me want to go home and just really squidge him and Eskimo kiss him for hours on end.

weddingI won’t tell you if he was awake when I got home or whether any nasal contact was made. (I will say that I live in a damp climate and had to approach the house through the mist at 12:30am).

I just really like him a lot. I’m so glad to be married to a man who Mr. Darcy makes me glad to rush home to.

(For another perspective on this evening, see Eulallia's post.)

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Daniel’s-Son, Starting Solids He Is

Boys are different than girls. My first indication of this (okay, not my first) was when Magoo started wetting through his clothes but not his diaper. Laylee did not have the gift of aim in her diaper escapades and I am fascinated by this ability.

He is also much more physically strong and active than she was at this age and has far better reflexes. This could possibly be because he was born a toddler.

solidsExample: Yesterday we started him on solids. Unlike the Laylee who took 2 weeks of daily attempts before she would swallow anything, Magoo swallowed his first bite and was eager for more. The problem is, he wants to feed himself.

You’d think I could feed a wee infant without splattering rice cereal all over the state of Washington and I could if it weren’t for his cat-like speed and reflexes. He sits patiently until I get the spoon one centimeter from his mouth and then with lightning speed, he whips his hand up from his lap and grabs the handle of the spoon just as I’m about to insert the goods. Great cunning, he has. (Did Mr. Miyagi talk like this too or was it just Yoda?)

The way he does it, the speed and concentration it takes, reminds me of the Karate Kid catching flies with chopsticks. His eyes, tracking the spoon. Wait for it….wait for it….ah HA!

And maybe he will be good with the chopsticks when he gets to the stage of maturity where children are allowed to play with pointy sticks (I’m not to that chapter yet in the What to Expect series). It’s in his blood.

I spent an entire year of college using chopsticks because I had a roommate who had been a missionary in Taiwan, had zillions of them and we were all too cheap to buy silverware. Pie, ice cream, spaghetti, breakfast cereal, you name it, we ate it with chopsticks (Actually, you don’t have to name it. That’s pretty much all we ate that year.).

daniel sonDY Daniel-Son is quite skilled with a chopstick himself. He also speaks the Chinese which makes him just about the most attractive chopstick-usin’ white guy around. We took this picture at the beach last July. Your name’s Daniel, there’s a log sticking up out of the ocean, the sun’s setting, what are you gonna do, I mean really?

Now to Magoo I have this to say:
You are adorable and I love and like you with a fervent motherly likishness, but if you keep this up I am just ruthless enough to “sweep the leg,” if yaknowaImsayin…….or at least, strap your arms to your sides with duct tape. Oh, the indignity. When we’re done with that, you can use your pent up energy and frustration to sand the floor, paint the fence and wax my car. It’s the green one in the garage.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005


We’ve been having a dance party all day because I’m making a mix CD called, “Youmaynotwannalikethembutyoudoanyway Dance Songs."

This post goes along with Tip Tuesday because you need good dancin' music to clean anything.

Laylee has been very helpful in the song selection. BeeJees good - Dr. Dre bad. Kelly Clarkson good - Sugar Ray bad, Backstreet and NSYNC both got the thumbs up as well as Carole King and Coolio. She liked Ben Folds but not for dancing. There was a big fat pass on New Order and the Pet Shop Boys. Who can account for 2-year-old taste?

I squeezed in some U2, Dido, and Bob Marley but so far no Beatles tunes have made the cut. She's ruthless and a very skilled dancer.

We’ve made it through early MJ and on to Lauryn Hill and the Fugees. We were dancing to Killing me Softly when Laylee stopped me for a correction. “NO, he’s saying WOOD!” I say, “I think it says, ‘with his words’.” “No, he says, ‘Killing me softly with his WOOD!’” I don’t think that one’s going on the mix CD.

I would kill for some ABBA, Cake or Vanilla Ice right now. How about some Beastie Boys or Sublime without any nasty lyrics?

She keeps asking for Raffi and I keep telling her, "It's not that kind of CD."

In reality, when I actually listen to all the lyrics, Raffi's probably the only thing that will make it on the CD.

Tip Tuesday – Clean the House QUICK – Somebody’s Coming.

Well, first of all, if the house isn’t clean, I just keep the blinds closed….or post pictures of it on the internet.

If someone is coming over, and I don’t have much warning, here are my top quick fixes for each room of the house:

Living room - Straighten the cushions and slipcovers. Gather up any stray items and shove them in a drawer or closet, hopefully somewhere the guest will not go.

Kitchen - Wipe the counters quickly and scrape/rinse dishes and put them in the sink. I find the kitchen looks pretty clean if the counters are wiped and the dishes are below countertop level in the sink.

Bathroom – Take a piece of newspaper and buff the mirrors and faucets. Shiny faucets distract from whatever’s growing in the sink or behind the toilet. If you have a little extra time, a Clorox wipe on the counter and top of the toilet and a quick swish with the toilet brush are great too. Throw bath toys, etc. in the tub and close the shower curtain.

Bedroom – Make beds – even if you just sort of smooth the covers and throw the bedspread and pillows on top. Also, clear off the dresser tops (this can be done in a one-handed sweeping motion).

Den – Since this is where I throw all our junk in a quick cleanup situation, I won’t venture to offer hints there.

Solarium, Game Room, Mudroom, Bonus Room, Theatre, Conservatory, Music Room, Library, Pantry, Basement, Pool Room, Attic, Toy Room, Room for Warming Up Cheese (look at the second comment) – Sorry, I’ve got nothin’.

If all else fails (or they appear suddenly), just light a match…. and get a candle going. At least it will smell clean.

How do you trick people into thinking your house is clean when it's not?

How do you clean it quickly and efficently when you have very little time?

Monday, November 14, 2005

Should I toss my cookies?

I’m not quite sure what to do with them.


I attended BYU film school in the late 90s and early 2000s and then worked for a couple of years supervising the Media Department of the local public library where all us film geeks came to get our fix. (It is an amazing library with a HUGE film collection, the perfect job for a film/English graduate who loves libraries.)

totsConsequently, I have several friends and acquaintances who were involved in the making of a certain teenage cult classic that came out in the summer of 2004.

Long story short, I ended up with several cookies, bearing the faces of the film’s main characters. According to a very reliable source, the cookies were part of a gift basket given to the film’s director by a major motion picture studio when the distribution deal was signed.

I’m not sure what to do with these. They’ve been sitting in my closet in a bubble envelope for over a year. The ink on the frosting is darkening and turning a greenish color. A few characters are crumbling (luckily Kip, LaFawnduh and Pedro are still intact. Phew!) and they’re way past the edible phase.

When I got them, I laughed for about an hour but couldn’t bring myself to eat them.

So they went in the closet.

Now I’m de-junking my house and I keep coming back to the envelope, unsure what to do.

In reality, they are just a crumbling pile of flour and sugar.

Symbolically, they’re the piece I got of all the adventures my friends are having out in the industry “making a go of it” while I make my living as the mother of two awesome kids.

I spoke to one of these friends a couple of days ago, who’s been encouraging me to get involved in my craft out here in Seattle.

So today I made first contact with a man I’ve been planning to film a documentary about for over a year. We’ll see how that turns out. I’ll keep you posted.

But back to the cookies. What should I do with them? I know there is some fanatical fan out there somewhere who’d be willing to pay mega bucks for them. After-all, people are bidding like crazy to buy things like Brittany Spears’s chewing gum.

But I can’t bring myself to sell them either. Then I’m just a sellout, capitalizing on my friends’ success and pretty much an all round dork. I also don’t like the idea of being sued by Fox.

I guess they’ll stay in my closet until I can think of something to do with them or until I finish my film. Maybe then I’ll be able to let go.

Goodbye Old Navy Hat

Hello, Daring Young Mom!

DYM Gear

I got my stuff today and I'm lovin' it. The shirt is thin (as the shop said it would be) so I think I will be layering.

The logo is a bit stiff. I chose this printing option because it is supposed to last longer and they say it will soften with washing.

It's so flippin' cute, Dan will have to pry it out of my cold dead fingers to get it into the washing machine.

But then there should be plenty of water available to wash it in because now that I have this hat, I'll never need to shower or brush my hair again. Small piggies sticking out the back should work nicely.

Sunday, November 13, 2005

Like, can I get these Cheerios to go?

church1Our church starts at 9:00am and in our congregation if you get there only 5 minutes early, you’re already late. You’re doomed to sit in the folding chairs at the back of the chapel with all the other parents of small children. The children then, unrestrained by a wooden pew with parents at both ends, escape and create a subculture of mass chaos that’s really hard to control.

We try REALLY hard to get there early so we can maintain some semblance of worship on Sunday mornings. This sometimes means that instead of fixing Laylee’s hair at home, I bring a brush and do it out in the foyer. Sometimes, instead of feeding Laylee at home, we bring her some cheerios in a bag and a sippy-cup of milk and call it breakfast.

cheeriosThis morning, I woke her up and told her it was Sunday morning and asked her what she wanted for breakfast. She said, “I would like some Cheerios in a bag …to go.”

To go? I promise we do not eat at fast food restaurants that often. So we packed up the breakfast and headed out. We were only 2 minutes early but I spotted the very front pew available.

We laid Magoo on a blanket in front of us with some toys where he proceeded to roll around and then get up on his hands and knees and growl (yes growl – like a leettle tiny tiger) at each deacon as they passed by with the sacrament bread and water. I think he was guarding our territory.

When we picked Laylee up from Nursery at the end of our meetings, her teachers told me how cute it is that she says “like” all the time. Example, “What animal is this Laylee?” “It’s, like, a parrot.” Yes, so cute. I, like, swear I don’t talk like that.

Out at the car I asked her what we should make for lunch when we got home, as if I didn’t already know. “Um, like, a peanut butter sandwich.”

“Like, totally! Do you, like, want that to go?”

Saturday, November 12, 2005

Some Randomness and a Possible Deal on the Shirts

Laylee just went into my room and came out with 3 books, one for each of us to read. For Dad, she brought “The American Chess Player’s Hand Book.” Good choice. For herself, she brought, “The Little Giant Encyclopedia of Superstitions.” Okay, she wants to know that eating chicken gizzard makes you more beautiful, that it’s unlucky to cut a loaf of bread from both ends and what the left over glumps of cocoa at the bottom of her cup mean.

For me, she brought this (a relic from our pre-married past that I can’t bring myself to get rid of):

“This is for you to read NOW mommy!”

What the heck? I’ve had two kids. I have a happy and fulfilling love life. Is she hinting at something or did she just like the picture of fluffy blue pillows on the front?

Maybe she just wants a sister. It will take more than a book to make that happen in the near future, sweet pea.

What I would really like to do is apply for a job at working for the New York Times Style Section. Now that I’ve made my photo retouching debut, working on the Tina Turner image, (WHAT? That wasn’t real? I know, my skills are quite excellent and my work exquisite.) I think I’m ready for more challenging work.

Okay, I have an option for those of you who have expressed interest in the DYM shirts. I can get a discount on any item if I order 15 or more at one time.

So, if you want the jr. pink ringer t-shirts and don’t care how long it takes to get them, email me your order with size preference (Kathryn at daringyoungmom dot com) and when I get enough to place a bulk order, I will take your payments through paypal and send the shirts to you directly. The price would be $15 total (instead of $17.99 plus shipping and tax).

For the license plate frames, I can do the same thing for $11 total (instead of $12 plus tax and shipping).

Let me know.

I Still Have a Woobie

Well, sort of. Currently the Woob is in the possession of one adorable two-year-old with the nickname of Laylee.

My mom made me the blanket when I was an infant and I carried it everywhere. It was originally made with two layers of fuzzy flannel and had a large duck embroidered in one corner. From age 3-12, the blanket was an actual need. I was terrified to go to bed at night and needed the blanket to comfort and protect me. I slept with it up through high school. At that point, it was more to be quirky than from actuall need.

The duck is gone.

Layer number 2 is gone.

Most of the blanket is gone.

woobieAll that is left is a small transparent rag that has been re-hemmed about a hundred times by a woman with the nickname of – My Mommy. I took the Woobie to college – not because I still needed it, just to have something familiar around. Sheesh!

Now when I’m allowed to use it, I roll it up and sleep with it over my eyes like a mask. I did this a lot after Magoo was born and I was struggling for every moment of sleep.

Last night, we found Laylee asleep on the floor with the Woob wrapped tightly around her like a little cocoon. It made me feel so warm and fuzzy and glad to see it passed down. You know you can never force them to form an attachment to anything. We certainly didn’t encourage her love affair with Ducky.

Friday, November 11, 2005

I Would Like to Post 3 Times Today

My friend recently used the word gelatinous in her post. I love that word. My favorite use of that word is found here. Please go look. It's worth it. I promise. Make sure your sound is turned on before you click on the link.

My Puck-Loving Canadian Ancestors are Doing Triple-Dekes* in Their Graves

Well, I don’t know if that’s exactly what they’re doing, but there’s surely some major commotion down there.

I love hockey. This was something DY Dad discovered about me 2 months after we were married when I made him watch Olympic hockey with me while wearing my Calgary Flames Jersey and periodically crosschecking him with our broom. When some kids started playing roller-hockey on an outdoor basketball court near our house, I made a point of showing them to Laylee and telling her all about the one true sport.

In an effort to tire her out one afternoon before naptime, DY Dad took her to the outdoor court and taught her a “racing game” which involves running lines back and forth across the court. The only thing that sets this apart from forced drills is that when you get to one end of the court, you touch the post and say, “Marks, get set, GO!” before running the next length.

run forest

We have all grown to love this game, especially right before naptime. However yesterday as we were playing it, she said, “This is so fun! I LOVE HOCKEY!”

AAHHH! NO! She thinks bedtime-wear-out-tactic is the beloved sport?

A closer “game” would be if I ripped off my gloves, pulled her pink bunny shirt up over the back of her head and body-checked her into her toddler bed, while Dan tried to pull us apart and sent me to the penalty box.

*I chose to use “deke” because it was always my favorite hockey term. I love the sound of it. “What a great deke” sounds so much cooler than, “What a great fake.”

deke or deking:
a decoying or faking motion by the puck-carrier; the art of making a defensive player think you are going to pass or move in a certain direction when you are not. There are shoulder dekes, stick dekes, and head dekes.

More of the "Goods" and Show and Tell

Okay, because I can't HELP MYSELF.......

They're so cute, I'm practically vomitting. Check out the new stuff from my "other" site:


"Dare to jump in puddles. Dare to eat the green stuff. Dare to sing your own song."

license plate

"Dare to love without limits. Dare to adore your job. Dare to be fabulous."

And finally..............

I really couldn't decide this week since Blackbird didn't specify hot or cold beverage. So, I picked two. For hot stuff, I love my mug I got at the Globe Theatre in London. For chilly, I like this Migo insulated cup with straw, although I'm kind of miffed because I can't figure out how to get replacement straws and there's no way I'm buying a whole new cup when the straw goes AWOL.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

My Mother is a Selfish Cripple

grammy's feetAnd yet, I love her still.

This afternoon my mom called and she had a sad tale to tell. One might even call it a gruesome tale. If you are squeamish, do not read on.

She keeps a basket at the bottom of the stairs where she puts things that need to go away on the second floor. I love this idea. I am using it in my book.

Yesterday while carrying the basket upstairs, a giant needle fell from the basket and got lost in the carpet. She found it a while later…..with her foot.

Here’s how it went down. The giant needle went EYE FIRST in at her toenail, coming out the bottom of her toe somewhere around the middle and then lodged itself in the BALL OF HER FOOT. The pointy part was still sticking out the TOP OF HER TOE and she couldn't get it out! What the heck kind of needle was this and more importantly, did she even have a permit to be carrying such a weapon? My WORD!

She had to hobble to the phone and call her neighbor (a nurse) and ask her to come over with pliers to remove the object. Are you kidding me? They had to pull it back through the foot and toe by the pointy end because that was the only part sticking out.

If I didn’t know and trust my mother, I would disregard this as another lone-gunman, magic-bullet, what-grassy-knoll?, theory. However, I know she is true and OUCH!!!! So, what’s one of the first things I ask her? “Did you take a picture of it?”

Here’s where the extreme selfishness comes in. She did not, in fact, take a picture with the needle still in her toe. She said it “hurt too much” to think about taking a picture for me to post on my blog.

Don’t people think about anyone but themselves anymore? I mean, GOSH!

The picture I have posted here was taken a while ago after Grammy had received a pedicure a la Laylee. You'll have to imagine the giant spike sticking out of her toe because someone was too busy "seeking medical attention" to photodocument.

Hit the Deck, Lazy Jack and Cougar Power at the Breakfast Table

First, and randomly, Laylee is always telling me and DY Dad that we do a “GREAT JOB!” This morning was one of the weirdest ones yet. I had just finished pulling on her pull-ups when she stopped, got very serious, inspected them thoroughly and then looked up with a furrowed brow and deep look of respect. Very slowly, emphasizing each word, she said, “Mommy! You did a really good job at that.”

“Well, thank you, small fry. I’ve had a little more experience pullin’ up the ole’ panties than you have. Mine also happen to be dry. Wanna check em for me? Can I have an M ‘n M?”

Okay, so Magoo is still at the “hit the deck” stage of his sleeping abilities. This means that if we step on a twig or creek the door hinges as we enter the room, he will stir and look up. If he sees us, we’re dead-meat. The screaming! If not, he looks around groggily and then goes back to sleep.

So, if one of us sees his head start to raise, we will mouth to the other, “HIT THE DECK!” at which time we drop silently to the ground and pray that our clothing will allow us to blend in with the carpet. Then we lay without moving for sometimes several minutes until he stops looking for prey and goes back to dreamland. “Whew, that was close!” The hardest part is to keep from giggling. When we’ve “hit the deck,” my husband and I can not look each other in the eye or all is lost. You see, Magoo is sensitive to movement AND sound, particularly the sound of his parents’ maniacal laughter.

parasailLaylee has long since passed the “hit the deck” phase. She is now in the phase where we can pick her up by her toes, rearrange the blankets, twirl her around like a baton over our heads, take her parasailing, dress her up like Tina Turner, snap a few pictures with the flash on the camera, remove the lipstick, and put her back in bed with a kiss and some loving words. She will then open her eyes a slit, smile and say, “mmmmmm,” and go back to sleep.

In other news – Jack is either the laziest or on-the-verge-of-dying-est fish ever. He lies on the bottom of the tank all day except to eat. He spoons up to the fake plants and just “sleeps?” I have a feeling he’ll be “sleepin’ with the fishes” before long.

At breakfast this morning, Laylee held up her fist in what looked like a black power sign and said, “Now you should go like this!” Usually I don’t give in to demands that don’t involve the use of the magic word but I decided to play along.

“There!” she exclaimed, “We just did ‘GO COUGARS!’”

In a burst of school spirit a couple of months ago, I decided it was a travesty that Laylee did not yet know the cougar fight song. She has the shirt, where’s the mindless singing and cheering, I ask you, where?

So we began singing it periodically and she is in love with it. She even asks us to sing it to her at bedtime, which we do, slowly like a lullaby (Does anyone else have the feeling of déjà vu? Are you ever writing a post and think, did I post this exact same thing a couple of months ago?).

Our favorite part comes at the end:

“Rah-Rah Rah-Rah-Rah. Rah-Rah Rah-Rah-Rah. GOOOOOOOOOO (hands rolling) COUGARS! (Fist up in the air)

Then we attempt to calm down enough to eat the rest of our Panda Bear Crunch cereal, saltines, and watered-down gatorade that we like to call - breakfast. Stop yelling at me! I'll throw her a banana in an hour or so.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Confessions of an English Major

I never finished Moby Dick. This may not come as a complete surprise to my American Novel professor who graded the exam where I answered that Ishmael, THE NARRATOR OF THE ENTIRE BOOK, dies at the end. (The first words of the book are “Call me Ishmael” which should have been my first clue that he lived through his dealings with the massive beast from the deep in order to record his experiences. Alas, I remained clueless.)

To the rest of you, this may seem shocking.

The truth is, I just couldn’t do it. It was so long and there was so much information about whale anatomy, I was taking a billion classes and we had only one week to read the book. So, I read until he started describing each whale species and every single atom it possessed. Then I read/skimmed the Cliff’s Notes and moved on with my life.

It is a happy and full life and I don’t really feel bad about it. I still got a B in the class and they even let me graduate.

The Mobe-ster still sits on my shelf of "great literature" and one day maybe Laylee will read it and tell me what happens. Until then, at least I can comfort myself in knowing that Ishmael is still alive to write his life story.