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January 2009



When letting babies cry it out I thought there were only two outcomes. 1) Baby eventually falls asleep. 2) Parents eventually can't take it anymore and rescue baby. Molly, however, chose a third option. After howling nearly an hour, she was strangely quiet. Could it be? we asked ourselves hopefully. I gingerly tip toed upstairs and into the bedroom aaaand there was Molly, wide awake and grinning at me.


I bought my mom a computer game at Target. And because I knew she would want me to show her how to play, I had to open it up and try it myself. I'm kind of disappointed. It's a murder mystery game (I'm Hercule Poirot!) but instead of hunting around and figuring things out, it's more one of those Find Twelve Million Objects In This Room kind of games. With a small helping of Ask These Characters These Specific Questions and a dash of Ridiculously Easy Puzzles. I am a big fan of the Nancy Drew games where you feel like you're actually sleuthing instead of hunting for the Elephant and the Egyptian Eye and Twelve Marbles and A Suit Of Armor in a Where's Waldo-type screen shot. I wish the Wii had some kind of detective mystery game. Think of all the time I could waste!


I really want to buy this (in red) (even after I told you I don't like Pottery Barn). I think it would take care of my scary kitchen corner issue, but come on! Sixty bucks? Seriously? And that's ON SALE. Boo hiss.


I also want to buy this. In white, for my bedroom. I swear, every couple of months I think up some way to improve my bedroom and every time I think THIS IS IT. This is the piece of furniture or rearrangement or plant or curtains or duvet cover or picture that is finally going to make me love my bedroom, but it never happens. I think this bookcase thingy could be it, though. Really. It's more storage AND a way to break up my vast green wall. If only Phillip thought it was the perfect solution too. And wanted to go to his favorite store, Ikea.


Well oh my stars and garters, people, my daughter fell asleep on her own. She was up and down fourteen times tonight and on the fifteenth time I reached the place I was at yesterday, the place of There Is Nothing Left For You To Do But Cry. So I put her down, turned on her noise machine, popped in a pacifier (which, of course, she promptly spit out) and left. She didn't make any noise. At all. I waited. Read blogs. Listened to husband detail the myriad number of ways my parents' computer, which he is trying to de-virus, is well and truly messed up. Told husband to check on baby. Verdict: Asleep. I am fully expecting my 7th quick take to be: Baby awake again.


I said a bad word in front of Jack today. I was trying to get his shoes on to go outside and I didn't have anywhere to put Molly, so I propped her up in the corner, on the floor, in the cement-floored entry way. (Rotten Mommy Strike One.) Jack wouldn't sit still to get his shoes and coat on, so I yelled at him (Rotten Mommy Strike Two) and then Molly, naturally being a bit annoyed, kept arching her back and kicking her legs out and oh my goodness I was afraid she was going to scoot so far away she'd crack her head on the floor. So I said, "EXPLETIVE!", jammed Jack's extremities into their proper casings and whisked Molly off the floor, just as Jack said, "EXPLETIVE!" (Rotten Mommy Strike Three!) I said, "Jack! Don't say that!" which only made him say it a dozen more times. And the fact that he was saying it in his barely understandable toddler accent doesn't make things any better. Yeah, I'm feeling pretty trashy about this one.


I'm growing out my bangs. It is driving me CRAZY. I cut my bangs right after we got married and I had them ever since. Know why? Because growing them out makes me CRAZY. But the last time I went to the girl who cuts my hair, I let her decide. I was banking on bangs, but then she asked me a practical question: Do I have time to get them trimmed every other week? And, upon hearing me guffaw in response, suggested I just grow them out instead. HATE.

Oh, and the baby's still asleep. Shall we pop the champagne?

Read more quick takes!

Dear Molly

As I type this you are upstairs, screaming in your closet bedroom. Your dad and I are letting you cry because we don't know what else to do. You don't want to eat, you don't want to be held, you don't want to be rocked, you don't want a pacifier and you certainly don't want to hear my melodic and soothing rendition of My Molly Lies Over The Ocean for the six hundredth time. It's nine o'clock, which, in my opinion, is way past your bedtime. But maybe not, since last night was the one and only night you have ever gone to sleep before midnight. Your dad and I keep looking at each other, half hoping the other one will say, "Oh, let's go get her." Because this is hard, letting you cry. We just don't know what else to do.

You were a very easy newborn, which we appreciated, thank you. I was afraid I was going to have another Nursing Situation on my hands, like I did with your brother. That was no fun and I had the bottles and formula ready to go because I wasn't going to put our family through that again. But you were a champion eater, you knew just what to do. And at two months you slept from midnight to seven in the morning and we thought to ourselves, "This one is a keeper."

It's funny how what was fantastic at two months became difficult and frustrating and baffling at four months. You have the misfortune of being matched up with a very neurotic sort of mom, the kind who so desperately wants to do right by you that she spends fifteen minutes deciding if she'll take a shower before or after your morning nap. Deep down I know that I know what's best for you, that I'll figure out how to give you what you need. But I need to do a lot of whining and worrying and puzzling and throwing up my hands in the meantime.

Your dad blames your finicky-ness on the fact that you're a girl. You don't really like him- did you know this? You prefer me. So many times I've taken your howling self from your father's arms and instantly quieted you. He feels bad that he can't help me, that he can't help you. The first time we sent your brother to the nursery at church, your dad finally had a few minutes to hold you in one of your calmer happier moments. Later he told me how much he enjoyed holding you close while you slept. You don't often give him that opportunity.

You sleep so well in the daytime, falling asleep all by yourself. You're super strong. When I have you sitting on my lap, your chunky little legs dig into mine and I know you want to stand. You stand on my lap and crane your neck all around the room, looking for your favorite person in the world: your brother. He kisses you and hugs you and burps you and the bright open-mouthed smiles you make when he does those things make me sigh. Happy deep this-is-what-life-is-about sighs. I didn't think you would play together so soon, but Jack likes to pull himself into the blue chair in his room, the place I prop you when I have something to do, and read you stories. He holds your hands and dances in front of you and you laugh so hard. I'm not sure anything has made me more happy than watching the two of you interact. You're so much more expressive than your brother was at this age. Your smiles are bigger, your laughs are louder and originate deeper inside. And you're angrier and fussier and screamier than he was, by a long shot. Maybe it IS your girl-ness. We are an emotional bunch.

You're quiet now- I wonder if you've given up. If you've fallen asleep. If this is what it takes to reset you.

Today a friend of mine was holding you and you followed me wherever I went, your eyes trained on my face. Making sure I wasn't leaving you? Just keeping me in sight? I'm not sure what it is, but sometimes I get past the tiredness and frustration and allow your needing me and only me to make the rest go away. You won't always want me. I give you, oh, ten years? Maybe eleven? You'll think I'm the meanest person alive and tell your diary how awful I am and swear up and down that I just exude unfairness. Hopefully later on you'll like me again, but I try to savor these moments when you like me now. For now I am the one you love most and I know better than to wish that away.

love mama

To read about Jack and his exploding vocabulary, including his new favorite word (any guesses? how about "NO!"), head over to Parenting and say hi.


In the interest of not driving more readers to blinding distraction with another screed re: Desperately Tired Baby, Pls Send Wine


in honor of my brother, who returned home after six-ish months of crawling around in the sand taping broken CAT-5 cable together in Iraq, and who, whenever this website is mentioned, finds a way to work the word "narcissistic" into every sentence

I present you with Seven Random Things About Me. As instructed by Manda. Who tagged me, uh, a while ago? And while I pretty much never do these meme things, please see the above.

Random Thing Number One
I keep thinking about vacation. I think this means I would like to go on vacation. Unfortunately there is no way I can go on any of the vacations I'm thinking about which are: 1) Hong Kong, with my kids and my father-in-law to show us around, speak the language, order the food and introduce us to his friends. 2) Hawaii, because there is sand and sun and fruity drinks and a beach bag full of novels. 3) Italy, because I am really missing Italy these days. Is it sad that I have been to two of these three places? And that I would pass up, say, Thailand, to go to Italy again? Oh wait: 4) Greece, because Mamma Mia! has filled my head with romantic and glorious visions of sparkly blue water and whitewashed hillsides. Actually, we are probably most likely going on vacation this summer, a vacation for which I will need copious amounts of internet advice as it involves the words "road" and "trip".

Random Thing Number Two
I will do a lot of crazy things for weight loss (see: buy a Jillian Michaels DVD, give away my chocolate chips, use nap time for treadmill time) but I will not eat low fat cheese. Low fat cheese is one of the most repulsive things I have ever put in my mouth. Not that I am in the habit of putting repulsive things in my mouth (I am an embarrassingly picky eater I'M SORRY) but still. Low fat cheese is not worth it.

Random Thing Number Three
Lately I am finding myself challenged to care about certain things. Like, perhaps I should do something about them. Maybe even get involved. And these are controversial things, so they are hard to care about publicly, like on one's personal website. I am wondering what God wants me to DO about these things, seeing as how I am Teeny Tiny Me and also Poor and Not Famous. No one is going to attend my Benefit Concert or book me on a late night show. And so I find myself saying, "Really God? MUST I care about this?" and unfortunately God is not saying, "Oops, I meant for someone ELSE to be thinking about those things, my bad!"

Random Thing Number Four
I keep waiting for gray hair. I've had a few, here and there. Always single strands that stand out in my very dark hair. I yank them out immediately, but I am waiting for the day when I can't pull them out because there are too many. I wonder when this will happen. I am ALMOST THIRTY you know.

Random Thing Number Five
I wanted to be a journalism major. And I wanted to write for a Nationally Renowned Publication when I grew up. Basically I wanted to be Rory Gilmore. Except I hated Journalism 101. And I hated the university paper newsroom, where I spent several miserable hours writing my one and only article. And I never quite figured out how to write news. Do you just go somewhere and write down what happens? Do you think up something scandalous and then go see if it's happening? How does an investigative reporter figure out what to investigate? How does the average city beat reporter know what to emphasize? My college paper experience tells me that the mean nasty editor is the Boss Of You and tells you where to go and what to write. And I might I have learned more had I taken more journalism classes and/or stuck it out on the college paper. But by that time I had discovered the joy of being an English major at a university that did not require math classes and my Rory Gilmore dreams were long gone. (Not before I had a nervous breakdown about The Blank Slate Of My Future in a friend's dorm room, about which she STILL makes fun of me.) In short: good thing I am not a reporter.

Random Thing Number Six
I've been meaning to make this bean and sausage casserole thing for two weeks, but I keep forgetting to soak the beans overnight. Oops. I am on the hunt for low-ish carb, easy and filling dinners. Preferably the kind Phillip can take to work the next day for lunch. Got any?

Random Thing Number Seven
I don't like Pottery Barn. There, I said it. I do own some things from Pottery Barn, mainly serving dishes I found on sale, but I'm not so much for the Pottery Barn look. I do, however, want to marry Crate and Barrel. Make of that what you will.

I'm not tagging anyone because tagging gives me hives. And don't think this is a replacement for Seven Quick Takes. I'm sure I'll have seven more randomish things to throw at you later this week BE STILL YOUR BEATING HEARTS!

I know, I know, if YOU think it's getting old think about how I feel

I know this is getting to be a really tedious theme around here, but I need Molly to go to bed earlier. I just do. Molly has yet to comply with any of our demands, and Phillip and I are starting to disagree on how to proceed. Last night was one of those especially draining Mommy As Pacifier nights, with heaping amounts of tears if Phillip so much as picked her up. This schedule was awesome at two months, manageable at three months, annoying at four months and we're coming up on month five here and I hope to God we're not doing this at month six.

I hate being the pacifier. I don't know if I can accurately describe how frustrated and angry it makes me. Oh, and guilty too. Because, you know, it hasn't even been five months of breastfeeding yet and it's ridiculously easy and convenient (and free!) and STILL I am eagerly (desperately?) looking forward to the day I get my body back. I get so tired of being the only way to calm her down.

ANYWAY. Like I said: tedious.

So! Did you know today is Chinese New Year? Me either! In our Pre-Baby days, Chinese New Year was sort of a big deal. As in we'd drive up to Richmond BC and meet Phillip's extended family for a seven course dinner. And even after we had Jack we still got together with Phillip's parents for dinner or dim sum. But this year it wasn't even on our radar ("I think it's sometime in February!" we told each other) and then Father-In-Law called us up wanting to go out to dinner and we were all, "Huh? Already?"

We didn't do the requested dinner last night, as we convinced the other adults involved that Jack and Molly are sort of impossible at dinnertime and we didn't want to deal. Especially in front of the other guests, including FIL's Microsoft millionaire friend who keeps wanting to meet Phillip for... we're not sure. Networking? Helping out his friend's son? Anyway, he might be the sort of person for whom you'd like to make a good first impression, which would be hard to do when you are wrangling a boy who is done with his sticky rice and wants to play outside.

BUT. I have a friend (who is Korean, and to her it is LUNAR New Year, none of this CHINESE New Year) and she has been nagging me about eating hot pot for weeks. And on Saturday she called and said she was at the Asian market buying all the meat and we would be having hot pot at my house on Monday. And I was all, "Excellent!"

So I'm looking forward to it, if only because we don't often have friends for dinner anymore and I really miss it. (Have I told you I am missing my pre-baby life a little more these days? Oh dear, that's a whole other post.)

Anyway. Gung hay fat choy! I have to go get the kids out of their beds (well, MY bed in Molly's case) and Start The Day. I have some cheerier news at Hot By Thirty.

Seven! Quick! Takes!


I had to go to the grocery store tonight to pick up some baby Zantac. (Not because I think she needs it, but because she MIGHT need it and if Zantac is what she's been needing all along I'm going to feel REALLY BAD. So this was really just an Assuage My Guilt kind of pharmacy trip. Anyway.) I am telling you this because my grocery store has two levels. I usually park at the top level and ride the elevator down with a cart, but you look kind of stupid taking the elevator if you don't have a cart. Which is unfortunate because MY LEGS ARE NOT WORKING. I am so incredibly sore. I walked down those stairs like I was either 1) nine months pregnant or 2) senile, decrepit and about to die tomorrow. I was very careful hauling my babies around today, and every time I had to sit down I kind of stuck my butt out and tipped myself backwards until I fell onto the couch. PA. THETIC.


I am loving this local blog. Cupcake installation art!


Jack was a royal twerp today. ROYAL. Most of the time he's his regular almost-two-year-old self, but other days I want to lock him under the stairs Harry Potter-style. It was one of those days where every time I tell him not to do something, he keeps doing it. Like, "Jack, don't touch the fireplace." And instead of moving away from the fireplace or simply dropping his hand to his side, he just stands there looking at me. Touching the fireplace. Waiting for me to do something about it. And I DO do something about it. I can be a very not nice Mommy when I want to be. But other times I am feeding Molly and therefore COMPLETELY IMPOTENT. All I can do is yell, right? I yelled. I shouted. I snarled. Jack was affected by it, sure. His face turned red and his gaze dropped and he knew he was in trouble. BUT HE WAS STILL TOUCHING THE FIREPLACE. I swear, his need to keep doing whatever I tell him not to do is PATHOLOGICAL. Every inch of him knows he's grounded, but it's like his finger is superglued to the glass screen. I was going out my mind. Even Phillip put him in the corner today and of the two of us, Phillip is the patient easy going one. GAH! (Of course, putting him in the corner seems to have no effect. It just makes us feel better, which: good enough for me.)


We are getting our house refinanced by the Chinese Mafia. (WOULDN'T YOU LIKE TO KNOW.) That means an appraiser is coming over Saturday morning to... appraise. I'm not really sure what he is going to do, but he said he needs an hour. Do I need to clean? I mean, I'll put away the toys and vacuum up all the hair I'm losing, but REALLY clean? And do I want him to appraise for more or less? That may factor in to the amount of cleaning.


We haven't watched Lost yet. It's there, waiting on TiFaux (which is still sort of broken, boo hiss), but we're just not up for it. We were all, "Should we watch Lost?" and then we were all, "Two hours? Too much of a commitment" and now Phillip is iPhoning and I am Seven Quicks Takesing. I know I've probably asked you this before, but DO YOU WANNA BE FRIENDS? We are SUPER FUN. Anyway. All that to say: DON'T TELL ME ABOUT LOST.


In a week or two I would like to start attending something for which I will need a babysitter. So I emailed some friends and asked for recommendations and a few of them wrote back saying THEY would watch my kid. Which I totally didn't expect. And then felt sort of stupid, like, did they think I was passive aggressively asking them to babysit? I wasn't! But then I was sort of excited because this could totally solve my 1) babysitter problem and 2) total neuroticness about leaving my kid with some high school kid I haven't met before. And I guess you could boil this one down to say: my friends are awesome.


Guess who is still awake.


Go visit Conversion Diary to read more Quick Takes posts!

Banner day

Molly rolled over yesterday.

Post-roll over position. Wardrobe by Elephant Ears. (Which was then promptly pooped on. Sorry Elizabeth.)

And in the last several weeks Jack has added dozens of "words" to his "vocabulary", including "Uh! Bah! Mah!" which I think is adorable. Some of these random bursts of vocalization are coherent only to me, but some of them actually make sense. The day he tottered over to the kitchen, pointed at the fridge and shouted, "WAWA!", instead of just howling in thirsty despair, oh, that was a good day. I wasn't really freaking out about the no talking thing (well, freaking out in a very controlled and "eh, whatever" kind of way) but I do have to say I'm relieved to see some progress. He's even saying things without us prompting him first, which I thought was NEVER going to happen. So. Yay.

The last funny thing he did I wrote about here. It involves toilets, for those of you who find that kind of thing exciting.

I know. My children are brilliant.

So, continuing with the Achievements theme, Phillip worked from home yesterday and made it possible for me to try out the 30 Day Shred, which I wrote about here. And now my entire body has gone on strike.

AAAAAND. Some Chinese aunts were going to visit yesterday. Phillip's entire extended family lives in Canada, all of them in Vancouver except for one aunt and uncle in Toronto. The Toronto aunt was visiting (along with her two sisters, who we are not related to, but of course they are aunties anyway) and  Phillip's dad wanted to drive them up to Seattle so he could show off his grandchildren. (And eat at the best dim sum restaurant. That was probably the point of the trip.)

The last time Toronto Aunt visited I was a Nervous Wreck because 1) we had just bought our new house and 2) I was still wigging out about how I am supposed to behave around the older members of Phillip's family. Being that I am 1) not Chinese and 2) SO VERY NOT CHINESE. It was... hard. Because I didn't know how to talk with them (the older family members only speak English if they're speaking directly to someone they know doesn't speak Cantonese) and they combed over every inch of my new house. Stressful!

So yesterday I was running around sweeping the floors and cleaning the kitchen and basically acting like my mother was going to come stay with us for a week. And then they came EARLY. Gah.

But you guys, should you ever find yourself in need of a good pickmeup, I suggest bringing home a few Chinese aunts. There was endless, and I do mean ENDLESS, fawning over my kids. So beautiful! So smiley! So sweet! So handsome! He could be on the cover of a MAGAZINE! He's so FUNNY! She's so PRECIOUS!

The best part, though, is when one of the aunts who is not really an aunt went on and on (and I do mean ON) about how skinny I look. So, you know. FAVORITE AUNT EVER. And of course I am probably twice her size, but older Chinese people don't say things like that unless they mean it. SCORE.

Later on they were trying to get Jack to perform (he's a pretty snazzy dancer) and he was standing in the middle of the room while everyone else was lined up on the couch. He was just sort of staring flirtatiously at the two younger aunts. They said something quickly to each other and then burst out laughing. "Maggie! Do you know what we are saying?!" I shook my head no. "We are saying that a man has never looked at us this way! It makes us feel so beautiful and special! Jack has made our day!"

So. Banner day, all around. I'm off to soak my weeping muscles in the shower.

Inaugurating my kids

My first memory of the United States being The United States, My Country Tis Of Thee has something to do with President Reagan and the Challenger blowing up. I read something a while back that said people tend to associate the country with whichever president was president when they were small. I was glad I saw that because I've always thought the way I automatically associate a map of the United States with President Reagan is a little bit weird. Anyway, there must have been something on TV and I saw it and bam! That guy must be in charge.

I don't remember the first President Bush at all. I remember the election: I tape recorded conversations between myself and the girl down the street, pretending to be television reporters. I believe I was arguing for Bush and she was voting Dukakis (and now you know how our parents were voting) and I found these tapes many years later and promptly died an excruciating death of embarrassment.

Now President Clinton, I remember him. VIVIDLY. Not his first several years, but later on, when he started sending Important People to my very small Italian town. I was living next to an airstrip filled with fighter jets, the ones that flew the missions over Bosnia, so he wanted to make sure we were happy, I guess. The Secretary of Defense and his wife came to visit. Mrs. Clinton and Chelsea showed up too (as a member of the high school band I got prime seating at those festivities, directly behind Sinbad's giant head.) My favorite memory of President Clinton is when he and Mr. Gingrich couldn't agree on a budget and government shut down. Do you know what happens when you are living on a military base and government shuts down? NO SCHOOL!

And later, I remember sitting in a hotel room somewhere with my parents (London? I think?) watching the impeachment stuff, my mom nagging my dad to get his shoes on and get going and my dad watching in disgust.

The Bush/Gore election was the first in which I was allowed to vote. And the last eight years, oh, I feel that there are lots and lots of blogs that have gone over that.

Jack and I are watching inauguration coverage. Molly is still sleeping. We had a better night last night, since we weren't TRYING to get her to go down early, merely attempting and hoping and shrugging when it never worked out. And now I've decided to let her sleep through her morning nap because it's not like waking her up has made any difference. Jack is eating a waffle. I'm drinking coffee. I'm about to switch the channel from MSNBC in search of commentators a little less... entertainment reportery.

Jack and Molly are going to grow up associating the shape of the United States with President Obama. I wonder what will form their awareness of America. I grew up with National Review on the coffee table and the McLaughlin Group on television and my dad's Air Force brat stories. Jack and Molly will remember cable news because their mother likes a constant current events chatter in the background. They'll remember my magazines. They'll grow up (hopefully) in a city that pretty much wants to marry Obama. I hope their memories of their first president, like my memories of mine, are simple and good and tinged with a childish red white and blue patriotism. That they know this is a good place to live, and President Obama is in charge.

Monday Therapy Day

We put Jack in the nursery this morning. You'll be surprised to note it wasn't the life changing and world-spinning event I talked it up to be. He was fine. I was fine. I can't remember what the priest talked about, and I realized that if I put Jack in the nursery I no longer have an excuse for not remembering what the priest talked about. I was waiting for someone to slap a big FAIL sticker on my forehead once it was obvious Jack wasn't sitting with us, but no one did. And I didn't either. On the other hand, I missed him.

Next week is Catholic Schools Week, which means the Distinguished Graduate will be regaling us with Tales From His Youth for longer than anyone wants to listen. I think Jack will most definitely be going to the nursery next week. And from there? We'll see.

On the Molly Front the new strategy is Who The Hell Knows. Here are the things I have tried with Molly over the last several weeks:

  • swaddle
  • no swaddle
  • partly swaddled
  • 10 different kinds of pacifier
  • nurse to sleep
  • rock to sleep
  • put down awake
  • white noise machine
  • mobile
  • moving the crib to the closet
  • putting her down at six
  • waiting to put her down till midnight
  • putting down at every time in between
  • rushing up to soothe her every ten minutes
  • letting her stay up
  • lots of blankets
  • cosleep
  • sleeping as long as she wants in the day
  • waking her up in the morning and from every nap
  • singing
  • pleading
  • making Phillip do all of the above
  • asking the pediatrician
  • asking friends
  • asking our moms
  • giving up

Pretty much the only thing I haven't tried is putting her down on her tummy, and if I didn't think I'd run upstairs every two minutes to make sure she was still breathing I totally would. A friend emailed me today and asked about Molly, wondering if she was still feeling the pea in her mattress. Which made me laugh out loud because that? Is a perfect description. If we are so inclined, we can spend the hours of six till midnight putting our girl to sleep, only to have her wake up ten to twenty minutes later because of some mysterious invisible-to-us pea. As far as we can tell, it honestly does not matter what kind of day we have or how we try to manage or manipulate or structure or ignore her schedule, she doesn't go to sleep AND STAY ASLEEP until midnight.

And so: we give up. I mean, as much as a perfectionistic control freaky Type A neurotic such as myself can give up on things. I felt very much like the "you" in Swistle's post today.

AAAAAAANYWAY. Nothing really made me cry this weekend, unless you count my TiFaux totally acting out and butchering all my shows. I suppose that's what you get when you have a TiFaux and not a TiVo and the Creator Of The TiFaux is too busy taking the GRE and doing the other things you want him to do, like feeding and dressing and entertaining the children, to fix it.

I COULD have cried Saturday night, when we left Jack and Molly with my parents and went out for dinner (detailed here, oh yes, there is MORE of this nonsense on the internet!) A minute after we left the pub, right before I was about to enter a cafe and buy my caffeine addict of a mother a Seattle-caliber cappuccino (meaning slightly better than where she lives and horribly inferior to the cafes she used to frequent), my cell phone rang, alerting me to a Dire Situation. Molly was being a beast and Jack was beginning to freak out in response. (Those of you with two, have you dealt with the Tandem Melt Down yet? GAH.)

So we rushed home and my parents left and I proceeded to sink into my dark and gloomy place about Molly being such a pill around other people and, worse, (OMG SO MUCH WORSE) not taking a bottle.

Of course I had many dark thoughts this morning, when Molly woke up and Phillip announced that he would run downstairs and fix a bottle. Why not? He bounded out of bed all chipper-like while I groused and grumbled and Assumed The Nursing-In-Bed Position.

And then she took the bottle. GASP!

AND THEN? She took another one in the dim sum restaurant. SPUTTER!

And that is why there was no crying this weekend. Suddenly I've been given back my possibility of Breastfeeding Prison Parole.

Your turn!

7 Quick Takes- The For Shame Edition

And now for Seven Quick Takes Friday, published on a Thursday night but WHATEVER.


I've started drinking coffee again. As in, I brew it in my own house, even when I don't have company. I haven't done that in years. Phillip doesn't drink coffee and I gave it up when a Mental Health Professional insinuated that my coffee consumption may have something to do with my little anxiety problem. Except, I don't think coffee had anything to do with anxiety. Coffee ran in my veins all through college and I was never able to stay awake past ten (ask my long suffering roommates). Despite my lack of caffeine jitters, I was desperate for any quick fix and I quit coffee on the spot. I kept a coffee pot for guests, but I rarely used it- until the last couple of weeks. For some reason I just WANT COFFEE. And it's not the caffeine fix, because I only have decaf in my house (just in case!) I drank two cups this morning and I honestly can't remember the last time I just sat around drinking coffee. It's NICE! I like the taste. I like the feeling. A quick cappuccino at a roadside bar remains one of the top five, if not THE thing I miss about Italy. (It was a long time before I learned that chocolate also contains caffeine. The most not-anxious jittery I've ever been in my life remains the night I ate a gigantic vegan dark chocolate brownie. So delicious. So not worth it.)


Confession: I haven't been using the cloth diapers regularly. *HANGS HEAD IN SHAME* You know what? That is a freaking huge load of laundry. Every other day at the very least. I can't keep up with that laundry, people. I swear, mere minutes after I stuff and put away the diapers, we're ready to do another load. I thought about buying more, but it doesn't seem worth it. I already have a ton more laundry with Molly The Amazing Puking Baby and sometimes I don't have time to do our regular laundry let alone a load of diapers. I got used to using disposables over the holidays and then my father-in-law keeps buying diapers every time he sees them on sale AND CAN YOU BLAME ME? Now I hear friends with one baby talking about cloth diapers and how fabulous they are and they'll never go back to disposables and I just keep my head down so they can't see my Red Cheeks of Shame.


Sometimes, if I'm doing something on the computer and Jack MUST climb onto my lap OR ELSE, I type 'Elmo' into You Tube and let him watch some videos. Did you know that there are, shall we say, OTHER Elmo videos? As in, not (I am assuming) sanctioned by Sesame Street? And videos with other innocent Sesame Street characters that are just as, shall we say, INAPPROPRIATE FOR CHILDREN. My delicate senses were rather, shall we say, DISTURBED. For shame!


A friend with a brand new baby came to visit me today (and that is how pathetic I am, that I ask the friend with the newborn to come to MY house, gah) and we were talking all the New Mom Stuff that I honestly don't feel like I've talked about in a while. She was sharing some of her experiences with Moms Groups and you may remember my many annoying blog posts about Mom Groups: Do I Fit In With These People AT ALL and it was nice to note that I was past all of that. Really! I did find a moms group full of people I love (helps to start your own) and I have made my peace about not being the mom who does everything. We do not do Spanish classes or Gymboree or toddler preschool and I don't have a membership to every children's attraction in the city and I AM OKAY WITH THAT.


That plane crash today was something, huh? And people snicker when I tell them how terrified I am of flitting about the atmosphere in an oversized tin can. The girl who was my maid of honor is getting married sometime next year in HAWAII. I have been to Hawaii. It was fabulous. One of my favorite trips. But getting there requires flying and the less frequent my plane trips the more I dread taking them. Would you believe I am neurotic about the airplane ride a whole year and change ahead of the wedding? And seeing this does not help, let me tell you. I don't know what my deal is, having flown twelve bazillion transatlantic flights before I graduated from high school, but I may need a prescription something or other if I am ever to see Europe again. My poor children. They're totally going to be the kids in school who have only been to Canada. Heh.


One of my closest friends gave birth on Christmas morning and I have not been to visit her. FOR SHAME. I've tried, but it never works out. I have two kids, she has two kids, it's complicated but STILL. I feel terrible. To my credit we've done a lot of new baby venting on the phone, which counts for something, right? Sigh.


The problem with giving your Costco-sized bag of chocolate chips to your now-enrolled-in-baking-school little sister is that you will be forced to dig into the who-knows-how-old bag of butterscotch chips, which you bought for some forgotten recipe, and you don't even like butterscotch chips, but you have to eat them because you're dying for something sweet and at this point ANYTHING WILL DO. Shameful!

What is it they say about Catholics? Something about GUILT?

If you want to see the picture of the hole in my wall, because I was NOT KIDDING ABOUT THE HOLE IN MY WALL, check out my rambling at Parenting in the morning.

Tonight I talked to the priest about sending kids to the nursery. Ooh, that makes it sound like I called him up all, "Father So and So, I'd like your permission to send my toddler to the nursery!" When actually I was in a meeting tonight that wasn't a meeting because hardly anyone showed up, so we all sat around shooting our various breezes and that was mine. I just wanted to know what he thought, and of course the other parents chimed in and hmm, that was interesting.

We DO have a nursery at our church. It's in the parish center across the street and staffed by a nice lady and apparently they read bible stories and color pictures of the loaves and fishes or whatever, I don't know. And Fr. So and So plus all the other parents made it very clear that it was PERFECTLY FINE to send my child to the nursery and FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, Maggie, no one expects your TODDLER to sit still in MASS. And then, because we are Catholic, they all offered to pour me a drink.

I think I just have it in my head that Jack is supposed to be in church. We are a family, we go to church on Sunday mornings, we all sit there together, THAT IS HOW IT GOES. No matter that I am rocking a tired baby and Phillip is wrangling a boy who wants to draw on the offering envelopes and scatter goldfish crackers across the pew and be held, no, put down, no, be held, no, put down- GAH. Jack is actually fairly well behaved compared to some other kids (OH YES I COMPARE THEM) (Sonja is an angel!) (So is Jo Jo!) (Oh and Lucy too! Did I forget anyone? Of course I'm not talking about YOUR kids! AND I'M NOT! HONEST!) and we don't always have to take him out. But it's been a loooong time since I paid attention in Mass, especially now that we have Molly.

Oh wait, I got off track. See, it just seems weird to send Jack to the nursery. That's not being a family. That's not sitting in church and learning this is what we do on Sunday mornings. And, like I told our priest, I realize that is not the main function, if you will, of attending Mass. I know that. I know that Jack is too busy playing peekaboo with the girl in the pew in front of us to pay attention to the Eucharistic prayer. I know he's too little to LEARN anything. I KNOW. But but but.

And then our priest said, "You don't have to do it every Sunday." And he said, "You can try it and see." And he said, "Jackson does very well in church," which you totally know I am writing in the baby book. And I started to ease up a little. Like, "Oh. Maybe I can TRY something! I don't have to make my Be All And End All Decision right this very second!"

I am, as you well know, a Be All And End All Decision Maker of the utmost degree. It tends to make life a little difficult.

So I think I might try it this weekend. I've left Jack with non-relatives maybe twice in his life. I have no idea if he'll dive into the toy chest and not give me a second look, or give us those puppy dog eyes and freak out when we leave. Phillip thinks he'd have fun. He's not in daycare and doesn't spend much time with larger groups of kids, so maybe it would be a treat. And I would get to hear a homily for the first time in two years.

I just reread this and WOW am I run on sentencey and grammatically stupid tonight. But Molly is yapping for food and I must say good night. (Molly Status: Bottles? You MUST be joking.)