Sunday, November 23, 2008


Because Mike and Brett are boneheads, I confiscated both of their iPods promtly after they got them, lowered the volume level, and then set a four-digit-passcode on it to prevent them from blowing out their eardrums. They both occasionally ask if I'll raise the limit on them, and despite my adamant refusals, they don't seem detered. Tonight at dinner Michael asked me what the code was, because he'd tried my anniversary, my birthday, and his birthday and none of them worked.

"I tell you what Mike, if you guess it you can blast your questionable taste in music as loudly as you'd like."

Naturally, Brett perks up and joins in. "Score!" he says. "Can you give us a hint?"

"I'll tell you this much. It's not a birthday or an anniversary, and it's not a random number."

All throughout dinner, they continued to pepper me with questions, looking for clues.

"Is it your age and Curt's age?"


"Is it the day you and Curt met?"

"Brett, I'm not even sure what the date was when I met Curt."

"Jeez, we'll you'd better hope he doesn't either or that could get ugly."

"Is it the first four digits of our phone number?"


"Is it the numbers in our address?"

"Not even warm."

He looks stymied as we clear the table. "I've got it!" He says. "It's the number of times you predicted Michael and I would ask you what the code is!"

Friday, November 21, 2008

The big one-five

This morning after Michael left for school I dug through some old pictures until I found this one of him at his first birthday.

He rarely claps with gleeful abandon these days, but it's amazing to me how much like that little dude he still is.

Happy Birthday my first baby, I love you.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Age appropriate

Last night to save time, Curt hopped in the shower with Evan. They were scrubbing off when I hear Curt start to chip away at the wall Evan's put up about potty training.

"See, Evan has a pee-pee, and Daddy has a pee-pee. Only Daddy goes big boy potty with his."

Evan's tiny voice echos out of the shower. "I don't want to. Yours has stuff on it."

Curt laughs, "Yes, Daddy's has stuff on it, but you're too little for that."

They finish showering and Evan runs into the bedroom where I'm sitting with Ellie, grabs himself and proclaims "I'm too little to get some with my peep!"

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Brettism Hump Day, naughty or nice

I've come to the point in my elf'ing where I'm just plain stumped on what to get the older boys. They're in that weird age where things like Power Rangers aren't cutting it, but Mommy's not shelling out the dough for a snowmobile. Brett was helping me make dinner when I decided to pick his brain and asked him what he wanted.

"A baby brother."

I almost chop the tip of my finger off. "Are you high? The three brothers you have aren't enough?"

"Oh, they're plenty, but I just want one that doesn't suck."

"Sorry, but Santa closed that factory. Next item on the list?"

"Well, the next obvious choice would be a Dunkin Donuts in my bedroom."

"So, Nintendo it is?"

"Sure, sounds great Mom."

Saturday, November 15, 2008

The gift that keeps on giving

Yesterday on a whim as I was changing Evan, I asked him if he'd like to sit on the potty before I put the new diaper on. Oddly enough, he agreed. Curt and I followed him back to the bathroom, sitting with him, chatting.

He sat there for a good 15 minutes, not once showing any signs of impending productivity. I decided to try and seize the moment anyway.

"Hey Evan, did you know that if you start wearing big boy underwear, Grandma will mail you a present?"

He perks up. "A big one or a little one?"

"I don't know. You have to decide what you might like."

He screws up his face, you can see the wheels turning, completely aware that the world is his oyster at that moment. "A basket." He finally answers.

"A basket?" I'm lost.

"Yeah, a basket" he says, firmly.

I look at Curt, he looks as confused as I do until it hits him. "Ohhh, I just had to take the laundry basket away from him again. He was dragging it over to the counter to get into everything."

I blink and look down at Evan, dumbstruck. He smiles. "Nice, Ev. Nice."

Friday, November 14, 2008

Looking into home schooling

Yesterday as I was changing Evan's morning diaper, I was suddenly so disgusted and frustrated with the whole ordeal. Seriously, if I were to add up the number of diapers I'd changed in my life time... I don't even want to think about it. And I guess I got a little cranky, because Evan's a smart kid. If he had any desire he could have been potty trained months ago.

But he doesn't, he could care less. Well, that's not true, he cares very much about not going on the potty. We've explained that you cannot go to preschool in diapers. He has talked about going to school like a big boy for over six months now, but replied with a very firm, "I'm not going to school now." when we tried that tactic. And, he's completely unperturbed by the nastiness of it. One day last month, he woke up and immediately wanted breakfast. This is rare, and the kid is tiny, so I jumped all over it; sitting him at the table with a cup and his food right away. He stood up when he was finished and walking away, he was making squishing noises. Smelly, squishy noises. The little snot sat there and leaked all over himself and it never even registered to him to request help or be cleaned. He didn't care.

So, yesterday I figured that I'd just take the hard line approach with him, which is usually the only approach that works with the stubborn little man. I told him I didn't have any diapers for him, all of the ones in the box had Ellie's name on them. Insanely enough, he didn't argue this point. He flailed and whined as I wiggled him into his Thomas undies. All morning long, I sat him on that damn potty. Finally, I just dragged it into the kitchen, figuring it couldn't be any less sanitary than the breakfast incident, and because leaving Ellie unattended is like posting your bank account info on the web. It is going to cost you.

It finally worked. After lots of snacks, toys, reading, crying, whining, and bitching he went. Once. And not since then. He had nap time right after he used it, and I'm motivated and all, but not suicidal. Looking inside one of his dirty diapers is bad enough, I really don't want to see that mess all over his room.

The energy I spent fighting him on this yesterday literally gave me a migraine, and with Curt leaving mid-day for work, it was a battle I couldn't fight alone and still make sure that everyone ate something besides stale pretzels for dinner. So, I'm tabling it. Again. At least until Curt has another seven day break and we can tag team the brat.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Must be the winning smile

I grabbed the younger four and headed over to the school to pick Michael and Brett up, fresh from their defeat at the dodgeball tournament. Brett is sitting in the back seat, describing the games in vivid detail, only he's directing it all to Ellie, complete with baby-soothing dulcet tones.

"And then I saw a five-month-old baby today Ellie! I patted her head, and talked to her, but she just stared at me blankly." he pauses, and tilting his head to the side adds, "Actually, I get that reaction from most people I talk with too."

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Brettism Hump Day salutes the vets

"Hey Brett, did you know that today is Uncle Mathew's birthday?"

"Yup, he's a veteran."

"Oh, yeah, what is he a veteran of?"

"Growing up with you, obviously."

"Well played Brett, well played."


Monday, November 10, 2008


Part of the genius that is geekie brother is the fact that several years ago, he was smart enough to find this woman.

Who not only tolerates living with a man who thinks "the floor is the biggest shelf in the condo", but amazingly doesn't smother him in his sleep after he says it. Aside from being gorgeous, and well on her way to saint-hood, she's insanely talented. An editor by day, she's now written a book, which she is hoping to get published through a contest. She sent me this link this morning, to give everyone an idea of the rules and of the book. She's also giving away a $10 gift certificate to anyone who copy and posts the following on their blog. So, please click the links below to go to her blog, her interview, and then most importantly vote for her! Pretty, pretty please??


The American Title contest is a joint project between Romantic Times Magazine and Dorchester Publishing. Each year, Dorchester selects a handful of submissions to compete for a publishing contract, and YOU, the readers, get to choose the winner.

To spread the word about the contest, finalist Jessica Darago (author of The Serpent's Tooth, a gothic historical), is raffling a $10 bookstore gift certificate to anyone who copies this message into his/her own blog. You don't have to vote for Jessica, or vote at all, to win. (But Jessica sure hopes you will!)

The winner may choose a gift certificate from Amazon, Powells, Fictionwise, or even iTunes (because audiobooks deserve love too).

To enter, copy this message to your own blog and leave a link to your post at

To vote for Jessica, send a blank email to with "The Serpent's Tooth" in the subject line.

Visit Jessica at for more information and a link to read all of the American Title entries.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

The last time she wants to hang out with me

All this week I had prepped Emma for our very special "girls night" on Friday. Em got a Kit doll from the American Girl catalog last year for Christmas, and when the movie came out, she, of course wanted to see it. Naturally, no theater within 30 miles of Bumfark carried it, so she had to settle for the promise that we would watch it on DVD.

I didn't tell her that the movie had come out, just ordered it, and procured some Cheesecake Factory cheesecake-goodness from Sam's club, in preparation for our big night. After dinner and baths, I sent her to her room, popped the pop corn, dished the cheesecake out on the good dishes, put the movie in, and then led her into the living room.

She was beside herself with joy. She giggled for the first ten minutes, and we snuggled, our hands bumping into each other in the popcorn bowl. And then I brought out the cheesecake. I savored my first few bites and then looked over to ask Emma how she liked hers. She had inhaled it in a way that would have put the Cookie Monster to shame; I had to stop her from licking the plate.

We went back to the movie, but after about 20 minutes she turned to me and told me she didn't feel very good. I chalked it up to gluttony at first, but after three trips to the bathroom, and a thermometer reading of 103, it was clear she was really sick.

I tucked her into bed, brushing the hair off of her face, and told her how sorry I was that our girls night hadn't gone as planned.

"That's okay Mommy." She snuggled down into the pillow and then looked up as an afterthought. "Next time could you not make me eat all that cheesecake though?"

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Brettism Hump Day spells it all out

Emma is sitting at the table, scarfing breakfast, reciting her spelling words for the week while I pull bits of mushed banana from Ellie's hair.

"I can spell Ellie's name too mom, E-L-L-I-E. And Evan is E-V-A-N and Brett is B-R-A-T-T. Wait, no that's not it."

Michael snorts, "No you had it right."

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Did you do it yet, did you?? Hunh, hunh, HUNH????

Judging by what I'm seeing on the news, the voter turnout this year is record breaking. Everywhere that is, except for Bumfark. When Lucas and Emma got off of the bus this afternoon, I loaded them up and headed to our local community building to vote, all 150 square feet of it. In the five minutes it took for us to get out of the car, go in and vote, and then leave, I didn't see a single other voter.

Lucas and Emma got a huge kick out of it anyway, I showed them how the card went into the machine, how mommy pushed the buttons for her choice, and how amazing it was that all across the country millions of people were doing the very same thing to have a voice. It was so cool Lucas felt moved to announce the room at large just who I had picked.

Civics lesson, check. Discretion, FAIL.

Hope springs eternal

With my addiction to Project Runway, Curt caught quite a few episodes by default. I don't think he minded too much, especially since Heidi Klum turned up in every episode looking very much like a goddess incarnate.

Last night as I was baking the cookies, Curt was in the living room with Mike watching the Steelers game. I walk in, between batches, to catch some of it. "Honey you just missed it! Heidi Klum was doing a commercial for Guitar Hero and she was dancing around in a white men's shirt like Tom Cruise in Risky Business." He's awestruck.

"Well, I'm sure it was much more exciting for you than it would have been for me, babe." He grins.

We continue to watch the football game and moments before we're ready to turn it off and go to bed, he yells again. "Here it is!! Look!" And sure enough, Heidi slides into a living room in a white Oxford shirt. Only this time she proceeds to strip down to a very revealing black bra and panties before gyrating around the room.

"Whoa. Maybe I should stay up and watch some more, maybe next time she'll do it nude."

Monday, November 3, 2008

Ginger Molasses PATRIOTIC cookies

A couple of weeks ago I made some of Jonah Lisa's fabulous Ginger Molasses cookies, and in an effort to still fit into my jeans after the holidays, I sent quite a few of them to work with Curt.

Apparently, they were a hit. One of his co-workers even remarked that for a dozen of those gems, he'd vote for the candidate of my choice. A sure stab at Curt, since we occasionally clash on politics.

I've never met the guy, have no idea who he was planning on voting for before he first tasted cookie nirvana, and no clue who he will indeed vote for tomorrow; but if those cookies induce him to get to the poll, well, I'm firing up the oven.

I'd obviously love it if my candidate wins; but more importantly, I think it's essential that every adult in this country votes. You may feel lukewarm about both presidential candidates, and yeah, the electoral college is a bit *ahem* outdated, but that's not all that's at stake. Tomorrow you will elect local government, vote on propositions, you will effect how your community is run. To eschew such a privilege is a huge slap in the face of those who fought and continue to fight for our right to choose.

So, bake some of these amazing cookies, and VOTE, dammit!

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Like father, like son

The other day as I was sitting on the couch with Evan, folding laundry as he watches some Noggin, a commercial for Barbie comes on. Ev walks over grinning.

"Mom, naked Barbies have boobies."