On Her Flying Trapeze

Tuesday, February 28, 2006

February 2006 - Tip Archives

  • 02.28.06 Babysitter-Free Date Nights
  • 02.21.06 Losing Weight - No Crazy Diets
  • 02.14.06 Repressed Passion Movies
  • 02.07.06 ALL Day LONG
  • Tip Tuesday - Date Night without a Babysitter

    Before proceeding with Tip Tuesday, I would like to address some questions on your minds lately:

    1. Do we really have Daring Family Freestyle Rap Battles?

    Answer: Yes, we do. We just did. Don’t get me wrong, yo. It’s no 8 Mile over here. There’s very little graffiti and people hardly ever get shot. We don’t even wear bandanas or hoodies most of the time. It’s just some good old fashion rhythm and rhyme. We let the lyrics fly when we feel so moved. We do take turns though so it’s more like a Freestyle Rap Cooperative.

    2. Am I writing a book?
    Answer: Yes. I’m working on a few, actually. My NANOWRIMO project pretty much bit rocks so that’s on the back burner, the way backburner, the burner on our camp stove that we’ve never used out in the garage.

    I’m also working on a few other fiction projects but my main project is a non-fiction book written in my blogging style about setting up shop as a new mom, organizing your life and finding ways to be easier on yourself and make life more enjoyable for everyone. I’m pretty excited about that one.

    So, the tips, the tips. Today’s Tip Tuesday is brought to you by Susan of Friday Playdate. She has asked for ideas for fun date nights without a babysitter.

    I’ve got a couple.

    1. Go on a scavenger hunt in your own house. See who can find the most Barbie shoes or puzzle pieces in the course of an hour. Every time you find enough pieces to make a complete puzzle or enough shoes to fill Oprah’s closet, you get a free 10 minute back massage from your spouse.

    2. Drive to the best make-out spot in town, your own garage. Who cares about the view anyway, really? Although it’s fun to pretend. He sneaks his arm around your shoulder as you admire the vista of canned chili and disassembled Exersaucers from the backseat. You then re-enact your fateful first kiss. Depending on the size of your house, most baby monitors will pick up a signal from within the car, if you want to invite the kids along on your date (or at least listen to them stuffing their mouths full of marshmallows when they know you’re not looking).

    3. Play a board game as a team so there are no hurt feelings when someone loses. For the other player? Just use Loganov. You can borrow him from my family. He is the imaginary player in any game where we don’t have enough players. The human players take turns drawing a card or whatever for Loganov and he aaaaalmost always loses.

    What do you do for a fun date night when you don’t have the time, money or planning skills to hire a babysitter?

    *Random sidenote. Please go look at my dad's blog today. He cracks me up and I miss him when he posts stuff like this. OKAY, I miss him all the time.

    Monday, February 27, 2006

    I Can’t Carry her Around Forever

    Like nearly everyone in America, I’m trying to lose weight. You may have guessed this from last week’s Tip Tuesday or from looking at the lovely pictures I post of myself on the website. Anywho, not much success happenin’ around here.

    Lame excuses for this:

    1. I’m slowly weaning Magoo. My body is still used to eating bigger portions but I’m burning fewer calories.

    2. Emotional eating – I’ve made no secret of my PPMD junk and when I get stressed or excited, I grab something to munch on. (No. It is not carrots.)

    3. The BLOG – I’ve heard people say their blog makes them fat. Who said that? Tell me so I can credit you. Anyway, sitting around typing and reading things online is not active. When I’m on the computer, my kids wig-out. When my kids wig out, I get stressed. Please refer to excuse #2.

    4. I like to sleep and hate to exercise, until I'm actually doing it.

    So, today I slept through my gym workout window. I decided to have a dance party this afternoon with the kids to get some cardio in. We rocked. We grooved. It was a blast.

    Laylee prefers to "dance" while being held in my arms. I can only do this for so long before I have to put her down. That girl is HEA-VY.

    What hit me as I was repeatedly telling her she was too heavy and putting her down was that I have more weight to lose than her total body weight. I am essentially carrying extra weight equal to the total weights of both of my children around - at all times - every day. I’m seriously surprised I can walk at all. Saturday's little scare also got me thinking about my heart and health.

    The dancing was so fun that I decided my reward for losing the first 25 lbs will be to take a Hip-Hop or Jazz dance class for big fat clumsy dorks adult beginners. I told DYD my plan and his exact response was “Kat-izzle in the Hizzle! Yeeee-aaahhh!”

    Very supportive as you can see.

    So I may or may not keep you all updated on my progress. When I win, you’re all invited over for some sweet dancing. I’m sorry that I WILL dance better than you…the class and all….

    Goal Progress 0 (This is the number of lbs lost. Bigger numbers mean YAY!)

    Sunday, February 26, 2006

    There’s Nothing Wrong With Me? Don’t be so Hasty

    I was recently talking with a friend who said she was suffering from “blogger’s block.” I told her that all she had to do was continually embarrass herself in public and she’d have plenty of blog-fodder to spew forth.

    It’s yesterday. I start experiencing sporadic tightness and pain on the left side of my chest. I don't worry too much about it. It's more annoying than painful and besides, I'm too young to have a heart attack, right?

    For a bedtime story, Dan decides to read to me about Richard Feynman and his romance with his terminally ill wife Arline. It's funny, sweet, poignant and thought-provoking. The thoughts it starts provoking are, "Am I terminally ill? What if I die in the night and they ask DYD if I was having any symptoms and he says 'no' so they never find out what was really wrong with me? I must tell him about the chest-pain."

    So, as he kisses me goodnight and rolls over, I say something like, "I've been having chest pain off and on all day. It's on the left side so if I don't wake up tomorrow, tell them to check for heart disease or something. Goodnight."

    He rolls over with this crazy look on his face, has me describe the pain and asks if I'm okay. I say I'm fine and I feel dumb for bringing it up but I just thought he should know. We go to sleep.

    I wake up this morning, still the tightness, only now it's constant and gets worse when I breathe in deeply. So what do I do? I breathe in deeply as frequently as possible, just to make sure it still hurts. This starts to freak me out. Dan and I decide to call the nurse hotline at MegaCorp and ask their advice.

    They calmly ask me several questions and then tell me to hang up and call 9-1-1. I laugh.

    "I'm sorry. I can't do that. They'll make fun of me. There's really nothing wrong, I'm sure."

    The nurse then makes me promise to go into the ER. I so swear. So, we pack up the kids and all head off for a day of fun at our favorite house of sickness. I'm humiliated. As soon as we get there, I get the distinct feeling that nothing's wrong with me and it's all I can do not to flee the building. But we've driven this far and I made a blood oath and all, so I start filling out paperwork.

    I beg them not to bring me a wheel chair and they relent. They walk me down a hallway full of people wearing gas masks and moaning. Everyone looks horrid and I'm just bouncin' along.

    So, 4.5 hours, several tests and multiple consults later, they release me with a diagnosis of musculo-skeletal discomfort. I love when they come up with big words to make you feel better about wasting an entire afternoon and an ER visit on a strained pectoral muscle.

    I say, "Okay. That's weird since I don't even remember doing anything to it."

    Nicest ever ER Doc says, "Oh, sometimes you don't realize you're straining something. It could be as simple as that you were standing in a funny position when you sneezed."

    There you have it. I sneezed funny, straining a muscle and I went to the ER because I thought I was dying. If that's not embarrassing, I'm not sure what is. The worst part is, we were JUST IN THERE.

    (An Update - We've been back to the pediatrician every couple of days since the burn but as of this weekend Magoo is officially bandage-free and doing well. We check back in with them early next week.)

    I am really really not one of those people who wants to go into the ER all the time, hoping something's wrong with them. What that X-Ray guy diagnosed me with in the Urgent Care may be a real sickness but I got over it in second grade.

    Now I have a goal to make it a full year without going in to the Urgent Care or ER. I just don't want to become the "Norm from Cheers" of the ER, "where everybody knows your name."

    I can see it now, "HEY! It's Kathryn! What's wrong this time, Daring One? Did you break your femur while stubbing your toe on a My Little Pony? No, no, let me guess. You have really bad pain in your left pinky finger so you want us to check for cranial failure?"

    caprisThere was a highlight, though. This came unexpectedly from the most patient man I have ever known, AKA my husband. After dropping me off at the emergency loading doors (Rush, rush, rush. We've got a sneeze-strained-musculo-skeletal incident here!), he drove around for 2 hours with the kids sleeping in the van until Laylee woke up and had an accident in her car seat. He calmly changed her into the outfit I had put in the diaper bag, cleaned up the car and then brought both kids in to see me.

    From the second I saw her, I could not stop laughing. I had almost not packed those pants as the spare outfit because they were bordering on way too small for….MAGOO, who is now wearing 12-18 month clothes. Laylee was wearing a very cute pair of capris, AKA 6-9 month boy's jeans.

    We needed some humor to brighten up our day and there it was.

    Another laugh came when Karli sent me this:


    I was gonna go to the website and have it changed to say "Daring Young Mom is a Hypochondriac" but that still hits a little too close to home.

    Saturday, February 25, 2006

    That One Post

    I just wrote a post. I really liked it. It is gone. My computer has committed suicide, taking the post with it. It was a longish post. It was a post about being in the ER all afternoon. It is gone. All gone. Everything is gone. My computer is gone. There is nothing, nothing but tears.

    That is all.

    [note from DYD: DYM's hard drive is dead. I tried the freezer trick. Nothin'. We do have everything backed up to last night, so she only lost today's post. So sad, but it could be worse.]

    Friday Night Ketchup

    So, I've got a bunch of blogging stuff to catch up on. It's almost Saturday and I haven't even posted Thursday show and tell. So here's my meal, roasted sweet potatoes and potato-potatoes and fork-tender roast beef:

    Three days out of the week, a friend delivers a hot delicious meal to my door.

    I pull it out.
    Dish it up.
    Yum. Yum. Yum. I'm supposed to add something green, but this one already had something orange so I figured I was okay. Still taking those prenatal vitamins so I think I'm good.

    Now a meme from Beth, the fabulous:

    10 years ago: I was finishing my senior year of high school in the great state of Texas. I was working 20 hours a week as a geophysical technician, planning on having the oil company I was working for pay my way through college to become an engineer. A few months later I decided to study film and English instead. I was teaching piano lessons and working as a checker at a grocery store, the worst checker in recorded history. I weighed 40 lbs less. I had 2 fewer kids and much more sleep. I went to prom with Jessica's husband.

    5 years ago: I graduated from college, got a job as an Associate Librarian for a public library, supervising their Media department. A professor once joked that I was the only film graduate he knew that was working in a job in the "industry" with steady pay and benefits. I was still working freelance as a marketing person for a big Denver-based library supplier, traveling around the country talking about their digital products. I met Dan, fell in love and got married…in a very short period of time. I stopped going to prom with Jessica's husband.

    1 Year ago: I was pregnant with Magoo, feeling great, excited to be having a boy. We started "aggressively" potty-training Laylee. Hm…she's ALLLL-most there now.

    5 songs I know all the words to: I am a lyrics maniac. I know the words to a LOT of songs, songs I like, songs I abhore. It sort of freaks DYD out. I could even do a stirring rendition of Baby Got Back for no reason whatsoever. Um…eeewwww.

    5 Things I'd do with a million dollars:
    Sorry to be boring. I'd pay off my house and invest. That is all. With the investment revenue…that's a whole OTHER question.

    5 places I'd run away to:
    -My mom's house
    -small eastern townships in Quebec
    -Cape May, NJ

    5 things I'd never wear:
    -See-through pants. BETH, WHAT THE HECK IS WRONG WITH YOU???? :)
    -Taper-legged jeans.
    -Anything showing my midriff - Magoo was a MONSTER and Laylee loves my tiger-stripes. The rest of the world is gonna have to live without the tankini version of the Daring One.
    -A onesie. I will wear nothing that buttons between the legs.
    -I can't think of a 5th. Being a mom and a married woman, there's not much I cannot see myself wearing in some situation.

    5 Favorite Toys:
    -Purses and Bags - of all kinds
    -Phones - Cell and Land

    5 Favorite Books or TV shows:
    (I'm gonna do the shows because I think I've talked about books on here before.)
    - Little House on the Prairie
    -The Cosby Show (especially the early seasons)
    -The West Wing
    -The Office

    5 Greatest Joys:
    -The Spirit in my life
    -My extended family on both sides

    Kim asked me to do a meme that I've done before but it's been morphing and so I'll do the parts I didn't already do. That woman amazes me. How does she have time to raise and educate all those kids and maintain a great blog too? Wow.

    4 places I've vacationed
    -Gaspe, Quebec
    -London, England
    -Key West, Florida
    -"The States" When I was little, growing up in Canada, I would always tell my friends we were planning a summer vacation to "The States." So very cool.

    4 of my favorite dishes
    -Rogan Josh - Indian Lamb or Beef stew
    -Any pasta dish, especially those containing sun-dried tomatoes
    -My dad's Chili
    -White Chicken Cilantro Chili

    For anyone who cares...I promise to post a real-ish post sometime soon. I've been a bit distracted and blah about blogging lately. I'm sure it will come back, that burning need to describe my personal life in detail on the internet in a semi-interesting non-list-format sort of way.

    Wednesday, February 22, 2006

    Wherein the Root Beer is Confiscated...


    I will not post a picture of Piglet and Pooh's milk bath which I had the misfortune of confiscating, putting in an obscure corner of the kitchen, and then finding only after their bodies had been cemented in the gelatinous blob that their dairy spa ritual had become .

    I was too busy retchin' to be fetchin' my camera (hey, that has the beginnings of a sweet piece for our next Daring Family Free-Style Rap Battle).

    From that moment on, all citizens of the Hundred Acre Wood were banned from bathing in anything other than water or mud.

    Tuesday, February 21, 2006

    Yeah. They're Different.

    Men and women, boys and girls.

    I see in my kids a very interesting case study in gender identity. Laylee, the ever dainty one, who cries if a droplet of water enters a 3 inch radius around either eye and begs for a towel. Who demands a napkin at the beginning of each meal and uses it after every bite, also pointing out when I have a stray crumb of food on my face. "MOMMY! Please wipe that OFF!" How embarrassing!

    Magoo is the manliest of men. He is all physical and quite acrobatic in his movements. He crawls along smoothly, going over rather than around any items in his path - be they toys, furniture, steps or fallen comrades (read this: Mom laying in a drooling face-plant in the middle of the living room floor at the end of the day).

    Earlier today I was watching him charge over a small children's couch and I told my friend, "He looks like that space thing, the module…the Mars Rover thing, just bouncing over things and adjusting and overtaking everything in his path." He has no fear of injury.

    Tonight some friends had us over for dinner and were watching him go and the husband said, "he's like that lunar….module…thing."

    "The Mars Rover?" I piped in.

    Yep. We all agree. That's our little buddy. Sheesh! He's crazy. In the past I've referred to him as a psycho-bot, but I think Mars-Rover is more appropriate.

    Laylee, on the other hand, keeps getting more and more girly. In my recent book club book, we learned about the differences in the way men and women communicate with each other. While men will seek to find a solution to a problem that's presented to them in conversation, women are more likely to identify with the speaker and try to share a similar personal experience to make the speaker feel better about herself.

    I thought this was something learned over time. Not so, my friends.

    I was standing in the kitchen the other day when, for no apparent reason, I inhaled my own spit and went into purple-faced convulsions. I gasped for breath and grabbed for the counter to steady myself. I thought I was dying as one does when one inhales one's own spit for no apparent reason. I'm sure you've done it yourself and, if you're a woman, you'd tell me about that experience and we'd all be comforted and feel the love.

    Laylee asked, "Are you sick?"
    Me: No
    Laylee: Are you okay?
    Me: Yes. I'm (gasp) fine. (yorkle-snorkle-gasp) I just have a (gurgle-dy-gasp) a silly cough. (balgerloojie-hack)
    Laylee (very seriously): It's okay Mommy. I had a really silly cough sometimes too.

    I did not make that up. As soon as I could catch my breath, I called Dan and said "HA! It's innate. We ALL do it."

    Boys, on the other hand, are whirling-churning-psycho-bot-Mars-rovers-of-destruction. But we like them. And instead of comforting you with stories of their own near-death experiences while you asphyxiate yourself, they may actually get you a glass of water.

    Tip Tuesday - Losing Weight without Crazy Diets

    For the sake of this Tuesday's discussion, we will consider all "diets" to be crazy. I hate them. I want to lose weight. I don't want to eat cabbage soup, count my calories, assign a complex scoring system to each food item, or work out more than 30 minutes per day, capiche?


    Here are my tips:

    1. Don't graze (I stole this tip from Kathy Peel). Cows graze. People sit down to eat. Kathy says never eat while standing or while doing another activity. Being a mother, I can see that this means I will likely never eat again and will therefore lose tons of weight.

    2. If you're currently pregnant, give birth. This TOTALLY worked for me.

    3. Don't buy anything that tastes good. If the food is lame, you won't eat it, right? I think that's Dr. Phil's entire diet plan. Oh yeah, he had all that other stuff in there too.

    4. Don't get mad, stressed, annoyed or sad. This will cause you to eat a ton of Trader Joe's whole-wheat spiral pasta with red sauce and shredded cheese while simmering in a hot bath and crying. The sweat and tears lost in the hot bath will not make up for the calories gained by eating the pasta. Try to remain calm.

    5. Blow your nose before you get on the scale. I actually came up with this tip for myself one night, which sent me over the edge. That very night, I put this topic in the Tip Tuesday queue.

    I need your help.

    You HAVE to have better ideas than these or you're a lot dumber than you look.

    Update: check out The Bloggest Loser.

    Monday, February 20, 2006


    Lately we've been reading a version of Sleeping Beauty FRE-QUENT-LY.

    Laylee (wearing big pink wings): Magoo can be the wicked fairy. (to Magoo) You can be the wicked fairy.
    Laylee (slamming Magoo's head between two pillows): You're the wicked fairy and I'm the good fairy. (slam slam)
    Magoo: WAAAAHHHH!!!!
    Me: Laylee. Please stop hitting your brother.
    Laylee: He's the wicked fairy!
    Me: Not anymore. He doesn't like being the wicked fairy.
    Laylee: Then YOU're the wicked fairy.
    Me: No I'm not.
    Laylee: Yes you are the wicked fairy.
    Me: No I'm not.
    Laylee: Okay, I'm the wicked fairy.

    Later today -
    Laylee: We're having juice for dinner.
    Me: Yes
    Laylee: Did Jesus make this juice?
    Me: Well, Jesus and Heavenly Father made the earth and they made the plants that grow on it. So they made..
    Laylee: And goats?
    Me: Yeah, goats too. So someone squeezed the apples to make juice.
    Laylee: So Jesus made this juice?
    Me: Okay.
    Laylee: It's easier to walk if you have feet. We have feet and so we can walk. Did Heavenly Father make us our green couch?
    Me: Not really. He made the trees and then we used the wood to make the couch.
    Laylee: Penguins are supposed to have wings.
    Me: Yes, they do.
    Laylee: So they want to fly.
    Me: Yeah, but they can't fly with their wings.
    Laylee: Do penguins have fish on their movie (been watching 'March of the Penguins' lately)
    Me: Yes, they eat the fish.
    Laylee: What do the baby penguins eat?
    Me: You know how Mommy eats food and then it turns into milk in my body like magic and Magoo eats it out of my breasts?
    Laylee: Nods
    Me: Well, the momma penguins eat the fish and then it turns into special baby food inside of them and then they feed it to the baby penguins out of their mouth
    Laylee (attentively): So it's like magic. And the fairy godmother uses her wand to make a magic dress for Cinderella to wear. She can’t wear her pink dress if it gets ripped.
    Me: Yeah.
    Laylee: But now Cinderella's not lost.
    Me: Oh? Where is she?
    Laylee: She's in the cupboard. See. (Runs to cupboard and pulls out the dvd case)
    Me: Ah.
    Laylee: Up please.
    I lift her up.
    Laylee: You are the strongest girl in the WORLD!

    You Are My Family

    Sorry. That may have been misleading. Not YOU, the internet world. Let me esplain. Nope. There is too much. Let me sum up.

    My fabulous Uncle "Jay" used to always say:

    You can pick your nose
    And you can pick your friends
    But you can't pick your relatives

    I blindly believed this little "nugget" of knowledge for many years but today I will lay waste to Uncle Jay's conclusions.

    1. You can not pick your nose, not all the time, not in public, not without a tissue, and MOST especially not in front of your mom, who (if she's me) will tell you how yucky and germy it is. She will then make you wash your hands and sing the entire alphabet song while rubbing the soap in.

    2. You can sort of pick your friends. Sometimes you pick friends who don’t care to be friends with you. They publicly mock you in Junior High because you still listen to New Kids on the Block so you go home and burn all of your Jordan Knight posters and destroy your Hangin' Tough cassette, only to continue to be publicly shunned and have your name immortalized on the bathroom wall in permanent marker along with a word your mother told you NEVER to say. (Incidentally, I did find Hangin' Tough in mint condition at a Value Village in Quebec one summer during college so I'm doing better now.)

    Sometimes they pick you when you don't want to be picked.

    3. Once and only once in your life do you get to pick your relatives.

    Yesterday was a day of slovenliness. If Sunday was a day of rest, then Saturday was a day of dead-cheese-laying-on-the-couch-in-a-bathrobe. Seriously. I didn't eat lunch until 3:45 and didn't shower until the evening. I cleaned nothing. We played and chilled all day.

    At about 9pm, I got the bug of productivity and started cleaning like mad. We stayed up until 3 in the morning, me cleaning and watching the West Wing Season 1 and Dan stirring up newt's eyes and toad's fingers on his computer to create a new program to help with the administration of the Cirque des Mamans.

    At some point around 1 am, I was taking out the recycling when I realized I was looking like a piece of hud and was mumbling some sort of incoherent half-song, half-baby-babble-chant about "Ooo-blah-bagga-bladda-ya-dadda-wa-joojie" aloud to myself, while shuffling tin cans in a house that had been a disaster all day.

    DYD sat in his pajamas unfazed. He looked up at me and smiled and continued to work.

    I was babbling like an idiot in a strange made-up language, watching left-wing propaganda in his living room and keeping us up until 3 am because I wasted the whole day and he was smiling at me with love, while working on a program I asked him to write for me.

    I would never EVER have felt comfortable in this state with ANY boyfriend I ever had. It hit me like a ton of bricks. Do you know who this guy is? He's my family. This should have hit me on our wedding day when we were sealed for time and eternity and everyone told us we were officially a family now, no matter how small. This should have hit me when we had our children. It did, in a way, each of those times.

    But for some reason last night, it hit me the hardest. Life is strange. Dan is my family. We are a family. He is my closest relative and I got to pick him. Uncle Jay, you don't know what you're talking about.

    Saturday, February 18, 2006

    My House Smells Like Fish

    It's probably because I live too close to those Pike Market guys.

    Or maybe it has something to do with the massive amount of tuna I prepared for dinner group and some wandering missionaries last night.

    Achtung BabyThe dinner smelled like fish, not the missionaries…well maybe they smell like fish now. Oh, and they were Mormon missionaries, if you must know. They weren't wearing their "identification" at the time so it took me a while to ferret it out. (Please see picture to the right. This graphic was sent to me by someones hilarious who classified it as an "S&E Fish and Chips Award FOR MORMONS ONLY, GOSH!" in the category of Good Sportsmanship While Being Absolutely Hilarious. It made me laugh…for a really long time.

    Thursday I made a conscious decision to tackle the most "taxing" item on my to-do list and work on that one thing at the expense of everything else I had to do.

    So, um, yeah.

    I spent ALL DAY working on our taxes.

    I've done them in the past, no real problems, but we have way too many complications this year. A second child tax credit, a refi, thoughts of starting a home-based business to support my blogging habit. (Can I itemize a deduction for just thinking about a home-based business? It did take a lot of time and effort on my part and I think I should be compensated.)

    So far the only things I have right are our social security numbers and W2s. Everything else will require a redo this weekend. When Dan came home, he had to pry the 50 million documents from my fingers so we could spend some time enjoying the finer things in life, things such as reading through your billions of supportive and often hilarious comments.

    I'm sorry I can't respond to each one. I really enjoyed ever single comment and hope to slowly make the trek out to each of your blogs, if I haven't already.

    I have this funny thing with reading new blogs. I always hope they'll be lame so I won't have one more cool blog to check in on. You people are very disappointing in that regard so far.

    dance boysI have been campaigning for months to have an 80's dance at church and the time finally came last night. The attendance was sparse at best but the music was great and the dancing even greater.

    Have you ever seen a 3 year old do the Robot? Yeah, me neither. Laylee was way uncooperative last night, spending most of the evening hovering around the snack table, nursing a cup of what appeared to some sort of sherbet punch, spiked with Gak. Punch and cookies vs. learning cool new dance moves? We've got to get that girl's priorities straightened out.
    laylee dance
    She did get her groove on a couple of times and was heard chanting "Too Legit! Too Legit to quit!" so I think she'll be okay.

    By now you should know that I really like posts about hair. REALLY REALLY like them. I also really enjoy show and tell. This week we're supposed to be showing something close up.

    hair close-up

    Beauty, thy name is Aquanet! Who knew the mullet was so versatile?

    big hair

    When I finished this exquisite creation, Laylee asked, "What kind is that hair called?"

    Me: Do you like it?
    Laylee: It looks like the hair a monkey would wear.

    There you have it.

    Friday, February 17, 2006

    Do I have to Wear the Arm Band Every Time I Blog…

    moroniOr can I just tattoo the Angel Moroni on my forehead instead? It would be a lot less itchy and would cover up more than a few…shall we call them "imperfections" on my face.

    When I woke up this morning, my first thought was "What a great day to be a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints!" I rolled to my knees and said a very humble, sincere, spiritual and heartfelt Mormony prayer.

    I then got breakfast for my two little kids - yep! - they're big fat Mormons too, both of them. So's my husband, my mom, my dad, my 3 sisters and my brother. What a big family! Woo-hoo! We Mormons just LOVE families. (If you want to know more about what Mormons think about families, click here)

    I just thought I'd make it a little easier for the bounty-hunters of discernment to find me and put me in a column somewhere.

    This is an example of how certain Christians would prefer that my blog be written. Having a link on my sidebar to Mormon.org is not enough. Periodically mentioning things about my religious life is not enough. Giving back a Christian award for Humor when I found out that I was considered an evil interloper in the world of internet Christianity was not enough.

    Now the person who exposed my blog as the "pea" underneath the legitimate Christian winners is at it again. She has called on her friends to go to Heather's awards site, check out each of the nominees and put them into columns of Christian, Mormon or "Other."

    I am not making this next part up.

    She is offering a reward for these bounty-hunters of faith. She says she thinks it's fine for people to read each other, we should just all know what everybody is…

    Hello. I am a human being.

    What does knowing I'm Mormon have to do with caring that my son's hand just got scorched or laughing at the way I chastise Ducky? Um…um…still thinking…

    Casting Mormons and several other groups who believe in Christ out of their little club is not enough for her. She now has to seek out a group of awards that are dedicated to NOT labeling and classifying people and ruin their fun too.

    Heather started the awards to recognize and reward us for the things that bring us together despite our vast differences. She wants the awards to be about "sharing the love."

    The writer who is concerned about the awards just makes me feel sad and tired all the way down to my bones! She writes that Mormons and others who are "not Christian" are sneaking their way into Christian circles by doing things like quoting C. S. Lewis on our blogs. Heck, I think Muslims should use C. S. Lewis quotes on their blog. He is just a fantastic and faith-filled man. Period. His words should be in as many places as possible. I also love the writing of Ellie Weisel and Gandhi. Am I trying to trick you into thinking I'm Jewish or Hindi? Um….no!

    She says that we're trying to convert you by weedling our way into your friendship groups. She wants bloggers to be much more clear about their "worldview" so that when people are reading you, they can take your writing with the right grain of salt.

    So here are a few things you should know about my world view before you decide whether or not to read this blog any more:

    -I am LDS, a card-carrying Mormon (had you gotten that yet or was I still being too sneaky?).
    -I am not affiliated with any political party.
    -I love being a mom.
    -I don't mind the Seattle rain that much.
    -I give birth in hospitals.
    -I like strawberry ice cream.
    flames-I eat meat and vegetables, classifying me as an omnivore.
    -I was raised white but Laylee has informed me that mommies can be blue or brown too.
    -I cheer for the Calgary Flames hockey team. Any questions?

    Run away. Run away now Edmonton Oilers fans!

    canMaybe I'll carry this philosophy of making sure people are aware of everyone's worldview into the way I speak with my friends in real life.

    "Hey, my friend Shanna wrote me the sweetest note. I should warn you she's a Republican."

    "Don't you think Karen's doing a great job on the PTA, besides the fact that she was a Girl Scout in junior high?"

    "Come on Scott, we should be a little wary of your stance on the environment. You eat Chunky Beef Burger Soup with a FORK!"

    Come on! Yes. I am LDS. I believe in LDS doctrine. If I did not, I wouldn't put so much effort into my religion. It is sacred to me. A lot of people don't believe in modern day prophets, Christ as their divine Savior, or read the Book of Mormon. Guess what!? They can belong to other religions or none at all.

    THIS IS NOT A RELIGIOUS BLOG. It is a blog about my life, my kids and whatever the heck I want to write about. Sometimes I want to write about my mullet. Sometimes I want to write about my daughter's prayers. Some people want to write a lot about their religious beliefs on their blogs and that's fine. I read several "religious" blogs from various faiths and I enjoy them.

    This blog is written by a person who likes you for your wonderful qualities and for the stories of your kids' vomit and vandalism, that make me feel better about my own exciting mommy life.

    It is written by a person who does not want to stamp labels on people.

    It is written by a person who is sick and tired of this whole subject.

    It is also written by a person who is purposely not linking to my past posts on the subject or to the blog of the woman who questions your discernment for even reading this far.

    One last thing - I know that LDS people differ in belief from other Christian faiths just like other Christian faiths disagree with each other (This links to a great post by DYD about defining Christianity. Man, I like him!). I know some people don't categorize us as Christians. I also know what I believe and anyone who comments on this blog to tell me "what I really believe but just don't know it, even though I've been a member for 27 years" will be deleted.

    I'm sick of the drama.

    Wednesday, February 15, 2006

    LoveFest Part 2 - Red Hot

    So, as I was taking the picture of my lovely flowers, I heard this hideous wailing like Magoo's arms were being cut off. My first feeling was annoyance, "Give him back the toy already and we can all carry on to lead productive lives!"

    heaterI openned the door to find Magoo standing, supporting himself with his hands against the electric wall heater. As I ran over, he dropped to the ground and wouldn't stop wailing. Laylee has never been burned by one of these heaters. But then, she's a girl.

    I ran his hands under cold water, put a wet washcloth on his palms and called the Urgent Care Facility 10 minutes from our house. Nope. They don't mess around with hand burns on little kids. I'd have to take him to the hospital ER 30 minutes away.

    I'm usually pretty good in emergencies and tend to break down AFTER but this was not one of those times. I kind of started freaking out. I called Dan at MegaCorp and he said he'd meet me at the hospital. But what about the car trip over there? Who would hold the cold cloth on his hands?

    I had this picture in my mind of his hands curling up into permenant fists as the skin contracted and healed taut on the drive over. As I was voicing this concern to DYD, the doorbell rang. It was my mother's helper. This week we'd changed the day and she was here to help with whatever I needed.

    "Get in the car. We're going to the ER and I need you to hold a wet washcloth on Magoo's burns."

    "Um……I brought you these sugar cookies."

    Helper sang songs to Magoo as he screamed bloody murder the entire way. The singing was good as it camouflaged the nasty things I was saying to the incredibly lame and insensitive drivers I was passing in the retchin' fretchin' rush hour traffic.

    I would like to take this moment to yell at the lady who drove in the fast lane, boxing me in at 62 mph on the freeway while the lane in front of her remained clear as far as the eye could see.



    Aaahhh. I'm glad I got that off my chest. There should be some universal symbol for "I'm not just a wacko who's driving like a crazed maniac because I'm late for a tennis lesson. I'm taking my kid to the EMERGENCY ROOM. Kindly move out of my ever-living way." She had me blocked in for fully 5 minutes people, all the time shaking her head and maintaining a constant 62 on her speedometer, all the while I'm sure my son will never have the use of his poor disfigured hands again.

    So eventually we got there. Helper ran in the front doors with Magoo while I went to find a parking spot. She then sat in the lobby with Laylee while DYD and I went back to triage.

    Magoo got to splash in some water.

    This was the first time in his life he didn't want to splash in some water.

    v therapy

    But, being the over-prepared-for-usually-all-the-wrong-things mom that I am, I had a measuring cup and water toys in my diaper bag, along with a change of clothes for after the splattering.

    v hand

    They wrapped his hand in a bandage with ointment and told me to try to keep it on. Ha HA! It didn't last 2 minutes in the car.

    v off

    I had him back in to the pediatrician's office this morning to check in. We go back on Friday and on Monday to check for infection. In the meantime, I'm supposed to keep him bandaged, while he pulls at the gauze with his fingers, teeth, toes, charred gimpy stump, etc.

    v burnReally, it's not that bad. He has 4 long skinny blisters on his palm. What the doctors are really worried about is the chance of complications caused by infection because he crawls on all fours like a dog, licks the bottom of shoes, and splashes in the toilet if I ever leave the bathroom door open a crack. I think they're also worried about that poor lady and what happened to her to make her such an unfeeling wench.

    We drugged the Magoo with Ibuprofen, put the kids to bed and finished a lovely Valentine's Day with a game of cards and some shnuggling.

    LoveFest Part 1 - Heads In the Clouds

    v needleMeet me at the top of the Space Needle on Valentine's Day?

    Okay. I just did. Where were you?

    So Valentine's dinner in the rotating restaurant atop the Space Needle will run you a flat $95 per person before tax and gratuity (A tip is what you pay at Denny's.)

    We thought this would be quite romantic but decided to go for lunch instead. Lunch is reasonable. At lunch, a burger only costs $24 dollars and it comes with free french fries and a bed of lettuce. I think they even throw in a tomato. Very doable. I'm surprised we don't go there all the time.

    v menu

    Dan and I drove downtown, listening to Kelly Clarkson sing songs of teenage pop star angst and betrayal. Mucho romantico. We used the sweet Valet parking at the foot of the Needle and headed in to the front desk where we were given our "boarding passes" to the Sky City Restaurant (I know, very "George Jetson-esque" was this date.)


    We then rode up 520 feet in the glass elevator with a be-purple-vested man who described himself as our 41-second tour guide.

    v view

    Once we were seated, I started taking pictures like mad. The main problem I had was trying to get a good shot of the skyline. For the life of me, I could not find the Space Needle. It seriously took me a couple of seconds to realize I was in it.

    v look

    Our waitress said she recognized me from somewhere and my immediate thought was…."She must read my BLOG!" Um….I'm glad now that I didn't suggest that. I can just imagine it. "What's a bl-og?" "Um…never mind." I don't know. Hundreds of people world-wide read this blog. There's a chance that my waitress was randomly a reader…right? Okay, I'm a loser. Moving on.

    v drinkWhat's the deal with Ciabatta bread? It's everywhere and I have no idea why. A year ago, I had never heard of the stuff and now it's taking over the world. I don't even think it's all that great. Let's put it this way - If Ciabatta bread were running for President, I'd probably vote for Ralph Nader.

    Dan asked if the burger was anything special and the waitress said, "It's made with premium GROUND beef." Ooooo, the big sell. This burger is made with GROUND BEEF! Get OUT!

    She then sealed the deal by saying, "Everyone's gotta try a $24 hamburger once in their life, right?"

    Yes, yes they do.

    v burger

    I chose the Rare Ahi with Wasabi Mashed Potatoes and Baby Bok Choy. Delicioso. Delicioso and Daring. This menu option had an asterisk that warned that eating it would increase my risk of foodborne illness.

    v ahi

    It also had a Wasabi garnish around the outside which I took to be some sort of avocado paste but was actually a burning goo of torture and death. DO NOT EAT A LARGE FORKFULL OF WASABI - EVER.

    v salt

    The waitress brought us a small bowl of salt with a tiny spoon (I guess shakers are things you use at Denny's).

    v view2

    During the course of the meal we rotated twice around the space needle. The lady at the table next to us was wearing the same red turtle neck I was planning on wearing but decided against last minute. Phew! That was close. Instead I went with a black ensemble with subtle pink highlights.

    v view3

    v karliLater last night Karli came over to deliver a Valentine's treat and medical supplies (see LoveFest Part 2), wearing THE SAME THING. No, this was not planned. Weird, huh?

    During the meal, Dan noticed what looked like some WI-FI antennas so I tried to hack into the Space Needle secret death ray detonation system with my PDA. It was a no-go. Seattle is still intact.

    I resisted the urge to make "that noise" on the rim of my crystal glass.

    Dan and I discussed whether it was better to tip your valet before or after he takes your car. If you tip him before, he may take better care of it. When my parents lived in South America as spies for the Canadian government (Oops! Was I not supposed to mention that?) people used to always offer to "watch their car." This meant, "if you don't give me money, you will no longer have a car when you get back."

    If you tip him after, then I don't know what, but I think you're supposed to tip him after. Who knows? Is it you?

    Dan gave me some chocolates and a card that made me cry in a good way.

    v couple

    We ordered the Exploding Fog Lunar Module Sundae desert which is ice cream with a whole lot of theatrics and a peppermint sprig.

    v lunar

    v flowersI dropped him back at MegaCorp and headed home where I found lovely flowers waiting for me on the doorstep with a note that read, "I love my sweetheart!" Delivered flowers are just so uber-cool.

    What a fun and romantic day!

    Whilst taking pictures of said gorgeous delivered flowers on the doorstep…….(please see next post)

    Tuesday, February 14, 2006

    Tip Tuesday - Repressed is Best

    Repressed passion in a movie really does something for me. The theme of today's Valentine's Tip Tuesday is "movies that rule because they contain steamy repressed passion".

    Back in the day, my roommates and I would sit around and watch "look" clips. These were clips from films where the characters were deeply in love but the only way you could tell was by the "looks" they gave each other.

    There was no passionate kissing, just a deep and repressed Pride and Prejudice-like passion. Something about the longing, the love without resolution was so romantic and so moving.

    During the viewing of these clips, we screamed a lot, held hands and many tears were shed.

    Some of my favorite moments include:

    rp darcyPride and Prejudice (A&E) - the look Mr. Darcy gives Miss Bennet when she goes to straighten the pages of his sister's piano music. AAAHHHH!!! Then he goes back to the same spot in the drawing room and relives the look.

    The new Pride and Prejudice - Mossy columns…proposal…in the rain…
    rp prideandprejudice
    Sound of Music - The scene where they dance out in the courtyard and her face blushes and they can't stop staring at each other. This portion of the musical is worn out on my DVD. When she ends up back in her room with evil Baroness Shrader, time to rewind.

    rp sound
    Jane Eyre (A&E version) - Samantha Morton who plays Jane comes to save Mr. Rochester from being burned alive in his bed. He asks her to stay a moment and hold his hand…
    rp jane eyre
    An Affair to Remember - See Rita Wilson's stirring rendition of this one in Sleepless in Seattle.
    rp cary_grant4
    Riverdance - There's a scene where a couple sings a love song and at the end she turns away and then he grabs her by the hand and they look in each other's eyes and my roommates LOSE THEIR MINDS. Yes, Riverdance, with the dancing. That is correct.
    rp remains
    Remains of the Day - Emma Thompson and Anthony Hopkins, the love, the inability to express emotion, the physical and emotional closeness that can never be.

    What are your favorites? Share - for the love of the season.

    Sunday, February 12, 2006

    This is Not an Art Blog

    Please do not nominate me for anything in that category of blog awards. Leave that to the experts. I think I should be allowed to post about my artistic and martial arts skills from time to time though, without really crossing any major lines.

    It starts with a little mishap the other day where I accidentally knocked over a folding chair in front of my family. I'm not sure if it was the Buster Keaton, the Jackie Chan, or the Hulk Holgan in me that made me try to pull this off as a sort of slapstick fall, leading into a martial arts turned WWF chair-throwing move.

    Once I had picked the chair up and slammed it to the ground, I proceeded to give it a flying hammer.

    "Look Laylee," I said, slapping my hand to my elbow and jumping as high into the air as my post-Magoo body would allow. "This is called a flying hammer."

    yellow beltDan, who believes that knowledge is power, that with great power comes great responsibility, and that the responsibility of knowing how to administer the flying hammer is too much for a three-year-old in possession of a younger brother to handle, advised me against carrying on with the lesson.

    What does he know? Who wears the yellow belt in this family?

    That's right.

    It's me.
    (Yes I realize that is the ugliest picture I've ever posted of myself.)

    Alas, once more his wise logic won out over my crazed need to teach our children WWF maneuvers.

    But his victory does not mean that Laylee doesn't know which parent bears the swirling fists of fury at el rancho de los Darings.

    Laylee and I were having a friendly coloring smackdown the other day. We drew pictures of each other (Although Laylee wanted to fill in her own face. I cannot take credit for her amazing face drawing skills. I think she spent an hour just shading her upper lip.)

    laylee drawing

    mommy drawing

    What do you notice about these pictures, besides that her drawing of me is better than mine of her, that my hair is actually orange and green (I usually fix it in Photoshop before posting), that her skin is the color of cherry-flavored mud and that my ears are as big as my feet?

    That's right. She was somehow able to capture in the wax medium the incredible speed and reflexes of my swirling fists of steel and fury.

    I don't mean to brag, but my friends do tell me that I am quite skilled at mixing it up in the ring. I won't even go into my performance in cage matches.


    After many requests from readers, my parents have officially started blogs.

    Okay they didn't start them.

    I did.

    BUT they've both posted at least once. They may not post again.

    But then they might.

    And if they do, it will be well worth the read.

    Introducing Grammy and Papa Daring.

    Manliness, Thy Name is Magoo

    park1You empty everything... faster than I can refill it.

    Today you snapped the wooden handle off a basket that Laylee has played with peacefully for 3 years.

    You put everything in your mouth at all times.

    You flail and splash like a water-churning-psycho-bot in the bath tub, never caring that your face is so covered in liquid that you can barely breathe.

    You want the blinds to go DOWN in a blaze of glory.

    You see it as your mission in life to have your hands sucked up in the whirly part of the vacuum cleaner and live to tell the tale...hopefully live. From what I have observed, you do not fear death.

    You knock over chairs, big ones.

    You eat twice as much food as Laylee, who is 2 years older than you.

    You get injured frequently and while I'm distracted attending to your wounds, you move quickly on to the next venture of destruction.

    You dismantled the door stopper the first time you came in contact with it…in 10 seconds flat and started sucking on the little white choking hazard tip at the end.

    Breastfeeding involves sucking for 10 seconds, unlatching, laughing hysterically and attacking me for 60 seconds. You want to WRASTLE!

    You also want to ingest my laptop and seem willing to use any means necessary to achieve that end.

    But you know what? You've started crawling around the house at lightning speed, looking for me, and chanting "Ma ma ma ma ma ma ma MUMMMMM!"

    I like you. You are a boy. I'm a bit scared. But I still like you.

    Saturday, February 11, 2006

    The Truth

    Well, I'm surprised how few people guessed the truth, especially since my parents both came on gave the correct answer.

    1. As for The Apprentice, I never auditioned but I did think about it. I'm sure I wouldn't have made it to the third round of auditions though. But it's fun to think about. What I really wanted to be on was Survivor…until I had kids…and a life. I've even downloaded the application and started filling it out.

    3. I can play the piano well, the guitar and the flute semi-pathetically, but can make no music with my navel. If you count making percussion sounds on various hard surfaces in my home, it may come close to eight, but not ten. Yes Maki, I was a band girl and am currently teaching piano.

    4. When I lose weight, it definitely comes off the "top" first. My feet are only affected by pregnancy. I made up the little "ham feet" thing as a tribute to Magoo, whose feet look like little puff pastries with grapes for toes.

    5. Also, I have used an umbrella…a couple of times…when we first moved here…and were basically tourists. Real Seattleites don't mind a little "moisture."

    So it looks like Lauren and may parents (duh! They were living with me at the time) are the only three who succeeded at our little guessing game.

    When I was 17 years old, I went to the DPS in Houston to renew my driver's license. I entered the office wearing my National Honor Society t-shirt, carrying my Franklin planner and I believe my hair was in pigtails.

    They took my license behind the counter and ran it through a scanner, at which point the dot-matrix printer went nuts, spitting out a page that labeled my license as "red-hot." "Hmmm," I asked, "what does that mean?"

    "It means there is a warrant out for your arrest. Please stay where you are."

    "What is it for?" I asked, amused. I had never so much as been pulled over for spitting out my car window.

    The computer wouldn't say why I was supposedly "red-hot" but I had a warrant out for my arrest for unknown reasons. They explained that I was not being arrested, but instead "forcibly detained."

    They sat me in a back room with a police officer at a desk and a young teenager who was handcuffed to his chair. I found the whole thing incredibly exciting. I chatted to the "prisoner" who was unwilling to engage in banter. I spoke with the police officer.

    "Does this happen a lot? Do lots of people have warrants out for their arrest by mistake? Are you going to handcuff me? Could you take my picture? No one will BELIEVE this happened to me. No, seriously, do you have a camera? How long have you worked here? This is so weird. I've never even had a ticket….."

    Eventually I think I annoyed them into letting me go. The officer looked at me with his most stern expression and said, "It looks like this may have been a computer malfunction. We'll look into it but if the warrant is legit, we WILL find you."


    So there you have it. A warrant out for my arrest in the state of Texas. And they never were able to find me. My youth group toured a police station later and I asked our tour guide to look up my criminal record in the database. He said that my record showed that something was there but had been erased. Hm.

    Thursday, February 09, 2006

    Lies, All of It

    Today I take a break and do a meme from the very talented and lovely, I imagine, Lauren.

    Meme Directions:
    Write five things about yourself with only ONE of them being true. The other four are fiction, and everyone else gets to guess which one is not fiction.

    1. I made it to the 3rd round of auditions for the second season of The Apprentice. Not enough experience, my Aunt Fanny! No, seriously, I think I didn't get chosen because my butt was too big and my hair was too small.

    2. I once had a warrant out for my arrest in the State of Texas. Luckily, I was too smart, fast and tricky for Chuck Norris, the ultimate Texas Ranger, to track me down.

    3. I can play 10 instruments (not including the spoons, washboard and my belly button).

    4. When I lose weight, the first place I notice it is in my feet. When I gain weight, the tops of them puff up like little hams.

    5. I have lived in the Pacific Northwest for 3 years and have never used an umbrella here. It's a good thing too, because mine's broken.

    Leave your guesses in my comments section and in 24 hours, I'll post the answer.

    I don't love tagging people because a lot of people HATE the memes. If you hate the memes, no prob. If you like em, please play along. Here are a few of my newer blogging friends I'd love to hear from:


    Anyone else who wants to play, consider yourself tagged. Please let me know and I'll come and guess on your site. This was really fun for me. Me like games.....and cookies....me like cookies too.

    Share the Love

    Valentine's Day isn't just about smooching and eating loads of extra calories. Sometimes it's just about generally sharing the love.

    Heather, the Blogger formerly known as Pieces of Cheese, has launched a beautiful new site, One Woman's World, and is having a sort of inaugural awards competition.

    She is looking for nominations of female bloggers in the following categories:

    1. Best Humor
    2. Makes Me Want To Have Kids - This one is baffling people. I guess I mean the most Optimistic Mother. The kind that encourages other people to feel great about being moms!
    3. Happiest Blog
    4. Best Writing
    5. Best Site Design
    6. Most Inspiring
    7. Most Meetable, In Real Life
    8. Most Thought-Provoking
    9. Best Discussion
    10.Learn Something New Every Day
    11. Best Commenter

    They're called "Share the Love" Awards and I think nominating a special blogger in your life is a great way to show you care and to let the rest of us know about cool new blogs. Take a minute and send some nomination love Heather's way. The nominations are open until Valentine's Day. Have fun!

    Holding up Three Fingers

    In the Past Three Days, this is the person:

    sleepreadWho read herself to sleep.

    Who breastfed her ducky…with a blanket…because they're her "private breasts."

    Who got married, moved into a castle and went house hunting because she and her prince needed a "home" to live in.

    Who reported that the washcloth was dead because it was dried out and crusty. She then told me that if she put it in the water, it would take all the dead off because Jesus gave us the water AND the bathtub.


    Who jumped up into her car seat and proudly told me that she is the "fastest person in the world."


    Who just ate a tablespoon of butter before I had a chance to stop her, grinned and said, "Now it's stuck in my body and you can't get it."

    pony spikeWho told me Jesus wants me to let her wear big-girl underwear all night long (she knew I'd never go along with it if SHE asked me).

    Who asked if "Bob Marley is a little girl."

    Who says she's "pretty nervous about the moon."

    Who struck up a conversation with our be-pierced Target cashier today and as we left told me, "I think she pretty loves me."

    In the Past Three Years, this is the person:

    Who made me cry like a baby the first time I saw her.

    new baby

    Who makes me giggle with glee and delight every hour she's awake.

    Who makes fun of the way I dress.

    Who, when asked what she's doing, answers, "Just Chillin'"


    Who started "giving rock" when other people's kids were giving "five."

    Who knew over a hundred words at her 18-month check-up.

    with dad

    Who says "okayluvyoububye" and hangs up on you when she doesn't feel like talking anymore.

    Who is a princess.

    sad oneWho went pee in the potty for the first time in July of 2004 and became potty trained…mostly…last week.

    Who has her moments.

    Who won the hearts of everyone in London to the extent that a proctor in Westminster Abbey (where no photography is allowed) took us behind a roped-in area and let us take a quick picture on Queen Elizabeth's chair because Laylee was such a "gorgeous baby" (insert British accent here).

    queens chair

    Who asks me if I'm "saturated" when I finish eating a big meal.

    Who has the best imagination around.

    Who spontaneously tells people she loves them.

    Who scares me.

    Who loves and cares for her brother.

    graduationWho makes me work harder, play harder and care more than I ever knew I could.

    This is a terribly incomplete list of all the things that make Laylee who she is. Since we don't use our kids' real names or exact birth dates on this blog and she "turned 3" January 1st, this is her "birthday" post. We love her. She is darling, hilarious, sweet and wonderful. We couldn't have picked a better one.


    Yes, today was better.