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January 2011
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February 2011

In which I sleep all day long

Today was SO WEIRD. I pretty much slept until one in the afternoon, which: BEYOND WEIRD. 

See yesterday we dropped the kids at Phillip's parents' house so that I could - and this was REALLY IMPORTANT - hang out at my sister's apartment an hour-ish away and watch the Oscars. We had about nine different versions of how we were going to accomplish watching the Oscars, and most of them did not involve Phillip, but things were changing until the Utter Last Second but it was all okay! Because I got to see the Oscars! With my sister and together we are the poor man's Fug Girls. Also, she went all out and had appetizers and candies wrapped in gold paper and ballots and, I swear to God, a brand new television. Too bad the Oscars SUCKED, am I right? Phillip had SUCH A GOOD TIME!

No seriously, it was super fun. Everyone should be so lucky to watch an awards show with my sister and me. Anyway, I tell you all that to make sure you know that today: NO KIDS. We drove home after the Oscars and went straight to bed (well, I went straight to bed and Phillip worked, HORK) and no one had to get up in the middle of the night for a potty run or a Kleenex or a bad dream. 

This isn't a SUPER rare occurrence at Camp Cheung. With two sets of overly enthusiastic grandparents nearby, we benefit from a lot of overnighters. Usually I plan my Free Days to the gills. Shopping by myself! Coffee and books! Uninterrupted internet surfing! Friends! Basically doing anything BY MYSELF! I like to start my kid-free days early, the better to take advantage of the kid-free hours and besides, I'm a morning person. I like the morning light. It's just NICE!

So last night I was taking inventory of the things I should get done today. Not anything too ambitious, mind you, but I haven't made dinner in a week and the floors are looking kinda gross and someone needed to throw out the moldy thing in the fridge, etc. etc. But you know what I did this morning? I woke up, said goodbye to my husband, and then went back to bed. 

I woke up an hour later, looked at the clock, scrolled through Twitter on my phone, and went back to bed. 

An hour later I woke up, ate two giant bowls of Rice Krispies, wrote a blog post... and went back to bed. 

I was basically in my bed until one o'clock in the afternoon, which is the latest I could justify staying there, what with knowing my children (AND IN-LAWS) would be arriving sometime in the afternoon. I had to FORCE myself to take a shower, and I LOVE SHOWERS. And then I got right back in my pajamas. It was truly TRULY pathetic, people. And I promise I wasn't just being a lazypants, I WAS THAT TIRED. 

Honestly, I think I could have stayed in bed ALL DAY LONG. 

The guilt was tremendous. I made extra sure to do the one single thing I mentioned I would do in front of Phillip (empty the bathroom trash) and then I made a dinner I knew he really likes because COME ON. Phillip has been working his butt off, he was taking work calls all weekend, he stays up till God knows when doing WORK, and wakes up at six to GO TO WORK, and his wife is sleeping the day away while wearing his favorite sweatshirt. I mean, I would be offended. 

I kept telling myself, "AM PREGNANT" but it was not helping. I just felt even more useless, like, "what if I feel like this TOMORROW TOO?" Gah. 

Anyway, I snapped out of it eventually. The kids came home in stinky un-napped moods (and now won't go to sleep, WTH) and I had to be On Top Of Things, and now I am taking deep breaths so I don't march into Jack's room and shout, "IF YOUR EYE HURTS, SHUT IT AND GO TO SLEEP!"

The deep breaths are not working. I have to go lay the smackdown on a not sleeper. And THEN I get to tinker with the Blathering website. SO! EXCITING!


Why Lady Gaga reminds me of my sainted father

We did a lot (A LOT) of driving yesterday and since the kids slept through their assigned hour in the car, we got to listen to whatever we wanted on the radio. Phillip and I have pretty varied tastes, but one thing we can agree on is dance music, you know, thump thump club stuff. I sat there in the passenger seat listening to songs that probably everyone else knows but are new-ish to me and thinking about how they ALL sounded like the music we used to dance to in Italian discos in high school. All of it. Is American dance music 15 years behind the Europeans? 

It reminded me of yet another Italian mystery novel I just finished. It was tangentially about kids and drugs in Venice, and there's a quick paragraph or two about a handful of kids who die when they leave the disco at three am and their car wraps itself around a tree. 

I used to be a kid who left discos at 3am, but my dad was always there to pick me up. MY DAD. I don't know if I can explain how... shocking that sentence is, even at age thirty-one. My sisters and I have talked about it a few times (they went out WAY more than my boring self ever did) and we all have the same sort of experience. How normal it seemed then, and how radical it seems now. 

People were just kind of shocked our parents let us go to the disco at ALL. And to be honest, I'm not sure why they did. It's not like they cared about what everyone ELSE got to do. I wasn't allowed to sleep over at a friend's house until my senior year of high school (though my sisters report they eased up on this once I left home.) I can't think of why they allowed me to go to discos, unless it's only because I started going as a senior (I think) and by that time they were well on their way to Once You Hit 18 You're On Your Own, and possibly because I never did ANYTHING on the weekends and they were desperate to believe I had some sort of social life. (I did not.) (I do not feel particularly damaged by that.) (Any more.) The only rule was that my dad would pick me up. He didn't even tell me when to come home. Three was just the standard going-home time. 

So in Italy the discos don't even open until midnight, and until then, if you have a social life, you are hanging out in someone's bedroom putting on way too much makeup and doing your hair. I only did that a few times - most times I went with my dad to pick everyone up... oh yes! He TOOK us to the discos and he took EVERYONE ELSE. See, if you have five children, you probably own what can only be termed a Big Ass Van and this van was WELL KNOWN around base. It was called "The [Maiden Name] Bus" and many a high school boy teased my father about his vehicle. By the way, everyone thought my dad was The Awesome for providing the transportation. (Again: NO ONE drove.) (And I can't remember anyone else's parents offering, at least none of my friends' parents.) I have to say it probably improved his reputation among high school students for years. 

So he'd drive A HALF HOUR AWAY, at MIDNIGHT, to drop his daughter and her weird friends in front of a GIANT DISCOTECA, where ALL MANNER of controlled substances floated around, not the least of them GROSS ITALIAN MEN. Seriously. It blows my mind that I was allowed to do this. 

However. I was, I swear, one of the boringest 16 and 17-year-olds on the planet. I was also deathly afraid of my parents. I knew I liked wine (which I was allowed to drink at home every so often) but the plethora of mixed drinks at the discos (which we could LEGALLY PURCHASE) (SORT OF) were intimidating. I never ever had a drink at a disco until the night I graduated from high school, and I think I only had one then because I was feeling Extra Grown Up. Honestly, the fact that I didn't know the NAMES of the drinks was probably enough to prevent me from standing at the bar and ordering one. 

There were also drugs, but this was a much fuzzier fact. I would hear, every so often, that so and so was smoking something in the parking lot, and once I was told that two guys I knew were CAMPING on this little hill outside the disco smoking inside their zipped up tent. Whatever. That did not interest me in the least and still doesn't. Perhaps my parents knew this about me. 

As for BOYS oh dear. I was either intimidated by or somewhat repulsed by all the boys I KNEW - the last thing I wanted was some drunk Italian dude dancing around me. Which almost never happened anyway, because 1) my friends were cuter than me and 2) I have a pretty powerful Stand Offish vibe that did not bode well for my dating career. (I didn't have one. I married the first boy I fell in love with in college. SNORE!) 

And then, at three am, we tumbled out of the disco, smelling like ashtrays, and piled into my dad's van to be ferried home. 

I don't know. We used to think that our parents had somehow come to their senses. Look at them allowing us to do something COOL! Sure, I wasn't allowed to sleep over at my best friend's house when I was eleven and she lived down the street and her parents WERE FRIENDS OF MY PARENTS, but now I get to dance all night in a disco in a foreign country AND THEY DRIVE US?! Awesome! 

Of course, now I realize that my parents WANTED us to have fun and there really weren't a lot of ways to have any. Everyone lived so far away from each other, no one could drive, and discos really were The Thing. Everyone went. Everyone had awesome times. And my dad was only making sure we didn't end up wrapped around a tree. I'm not sure how this didn't occur to me then. 

My dad is retired. He likes to read stacks and stacks of Military and History and Military History and Occasional Current Event-Ish books, and when he's not doing that he's reading financial blogs on his iPad. We often tease him with that "I must have my Library!" line from Pride and Prejudice. He naps. My kids exhaust him. And he was just this way when I was in high school, only then it was his own kids (and the ones he taught) exhausting him. This is the man that stayed up till midnight to drive us to the disco, and woke up with an alarm at three to pick us up again. 

Since I've become a parent I've spent some time revising my personal history, realizing that horrible terrible awful things my parents did to me were probably things that saved me from various Pits of Despair and Uncomfortable Spots. I EASILY see myself making the same parenting choices. No way my kids are going to STAY THE NIGHT anywhere except MY OWN HOUSE!!! And that's FINAL! But then I also see the ways they let us out, but safely, and at personal cost. I always assumed they fell straight asleep as soon as I was gone, but when I think about my own kids doing that? I'm sure I'll be sitting up in the rocking chair biting my nails and watching infomercials till they get home.

Poetry Saturday

Siren Song

by Margaret Atwood

This is the one song everyone
would like to learn: the song
that is irresistible:

the song that forces men
to leap overboard in squadrons
even though they see beached skulls

the song nobody knows
because anyone who had heard it
is dead, and the others can’t remember.
Shall I tell you the secret
and if I do, will you get me
out of this bird suit?
I don’t enjoy it here
squatting on this island
looking picturesque and mythical
with these two feathery maniacs,
I don’t enjoy singing
this trio, fatal and valuable.

I will tell the secret to you,
to you, only to you.
Come closer. This song

is a cry for help: Help me!
Only you, only you can,
you are unique

at last. Alas
it is a boring song
but it works every time. 

Friday Reads and Recommends, the I Love You Guys Edition

It "snowed" today (well, it ACTUALLY snowed elsewhere, but we got maybe a scant inch) and preschool was closed. Which was a bummer because Molly and I were invited to the class singalong (whatever that is) and I was so looking forward to seeing Molly get her preschool on. And then Phillip came home early because he wasn't feeling well, and he's now passed out on the couch downstairs. The fact that he hasn't eaten dinner means things are Serious. Oh dear.

1. Have you pre-ordered the Fug Girls' YA novel? What are you waiting for?

2. My sister lent me her stash of Lord Peter Wimsey/Harriet Vane novels, the ones started by Dorothy Sayers but finished (or almost entirely written) by Jill Paton Walsh. LOVED them. I like the Peter Wimsey books, but I LOVE the ones with Harriet. These take place right after Busman's Honeymoon, when Peter and Harriet are back in London. I especially loved Thrones, Dominations because Dorothy/Jill had so much to say about 1) getting used to being married and 2) writing. (Harriet writes detective stories, though after she marries Lord Peter she no longer has to earn a living by writing detective stories.)

"When I needed money it justified itself. It was a job of work, and I did it as well as I could, and that was that. That was enough. But now, you see, it has no necessity except itself. And, of course, it's hard; it's always been hard, and it's getting harder. So when I'm stuck I think, this isn't my livelihood, and it isn't great art, it's only detective stories. You read them and write them for fun."

[Harriet goes on to talk about how what she does is not great literature and Peter keeps admonishing her, saying that what she does IS worth something:]

"You get under their guard," he said. "IF they thought they were being preached at they would stop their ears. If they thought you were bent on improving their minds they would probably never pick up the book. But you offer to divert them, and you show them by stealth the orderly world in which we should all try to be living." 

I like this. 

3. I thought this article (subtitled: Why do Liberals play computer games like Conservatives) was entertaining and beyond silly. Also, one day I should tell you about my Sims addiction. (I'm over it.)

4. So many of you are Actual Cooks that I'm almost embarrassed to say this, but I've become a fan of those PF Chang's frozen meals-for-two. I'll have you know that I almost NEVER buy frozen dinners, but I've been throwing one or two of them in the cart each week since I have no energy to make dinner these days. (I've had turkey burgers on the menu for three weeks running now, and still haven't taken the turkey out of the freezer.) Anyway, I think they're yummy. Phillip deigns to eat them as well which is nice since I'm not so great at homemade Chinese food and he misses eating rice like I miss tortellini alla panna from Angelina's in Polcenigo.

5. That's all I've got this week, folks. Too busy reading real books, I guess. I also just wanted to say thank you SO MUCH, again, for all the kind third baby words. I also wanted to say that I often screw up over at Parenting and make assumptions about my readers (while they are busy making assumptions about me!) I shouldn't assume that you know I'm absolutely positively thrilled about Third Baby, that in no way do I take pregnancy for granted, and my snark and/or tongue-in-cheekness is always an attempt to entertain rather than bore you with endless Facebook-appropriate sunshiney platitudes. I knew I would catch some flack for the way I wrote it, and for other things I've written, but I so appreciate those of you who "get" me... and the ways that you let me know you understand. I certainly don't want to take YOU all for granted either. 

Babies, but also online grocery delivery. WHAT.

Thanks you guys. You are all so awesome. Kisses for everyone. Although my favorite Blog Pregnancy Announcement Anecdote comes courtesy of Phillip, who told me he got an email from an old coworker today. Said coworker was talking with someone whose wife blogs, and he remembered someone else's wife who blogs (ME) and then looked me up and then was all, "DUDE! Must send random yet congratulatory email!" And of course all I really wanted to know from this story was who the other blogger is! (No one felt this was important information, alas.)

I put up another "announcement" at Parenting. If you like that sort of thing. 

I should tell you that I've felt SO much better the last two days, which would be worrisome if I weren't firmly against acknowledging worrisome things at this stage. I've had 24/7 nausea and I fall asleep while a kid is shouting at me to pour another drink of water, but the worst part is the anxiety. My happily happy pill-controlled mental instability shot through the roof about a week ago and I'm back in that Experimentation With Fixing It stage. Which sucks, if you must know. It's super super clear to me that it's hormones, but that doesn't make me feel less crazy, just more resolved to do something about it. I don't know how much I talked about this or if you remember or whatever, but I was BAT@*%& CRAZY when I was pregnant with Molly and I promised all and sundry I would not do that to us again. So I'm working on it, I am, but it will take some time and the waiting game sucks. Also well meaning and blameless medical personnel who generalize your eight or nine years of expert investigation into The Crazy into "everyone's a little anxious when they find out they're pregnant!" Gah. I think I need to get over that.

ANYWAY. La la la!

I have a million new blog topics (obvs) but I don't particularly feel like getting into all that right now. I don't want to be INTROSPECTIVE. I don't want THOUGHTFULNESS. I want to talk about Amazon Fresh. 

That's right! I don't do the review thing! I'm bad at writing about Stuff! But I must spread the Groceries Via Internet Gospel!

It now occurs to me that Amazon Fresh is just a local thing. Hmm. WHATEVS. It all started when I really really really needed to go grocery shopping but could not BEAR the idea of actually putting on clothes and getting in the car and going to the store, let alone hauling all the groceries from my car into the house. (This would also be the day I begged my inlaws to come over so I could sleep away the entire afternoon. Oh yes.) 

But! Before I fell asleep I logged onto Amazon and ordered my groceries. I'd tried this before. I compared my shopping list with Amazon Fresh and Safeway online delivery and ended up choosing Safeway - SO much cheaper. (I'm too lazy to find the link.) I haven't done it since because I'm picky and I LIKE shopping and after your first time, Safeway delivery costs $15. 

But this time I just didn't care. I didn't CARE if I could only order fancy, name-brand, organic, cage-free, produce that slept in bassinets food from Amazon: it would show up at my house without me having to LEAVE my house. That itself was worth all the extra money. 

However! I think a few things have changed because I didn't spend any more on my Amazon order than I usually do. AND I ordered meat. AND a lot of fresh produce. AND it only took me ten minutes. THEN I went to sleep. HUZZAH!

Delivery was free (I think it's free over $75, I forget) and I scheduled it to arrive on my doorstep before 6am. It was all there, as promised, packed somewhat inefficiently in six or seven giant plastic bins that I have the pleasure of storing until my next order. They probably could have packed my order in three, maybe four bins, but I have to say, hauling the bins inside and opening them up was possibly the best part. For the kids anyway. CHRISTMAS! With BANANAS! And GROUND BEEF!

The produce was seriously so good. The grapes were crisp and juicy. The bananas were brown spot-free. I AM SO DOING THIS AGAIN. And that from a committed grocery store lover. Phillip happened to run into (another!) old coworker today and found out she's working at Amazon... packing Amazon Fresh orders. Even she said the produce was awesome. 

Anyway. SOLD. I love shopping, but I rarely get to go by myself AND have help carrying it to the house and up the stairs. POOR ME. Now that I'm In A Condition AND ordering from Amazon costs me as much as the grocery store with the free playroom, why not? HMMM?


Now I have to clean up my kitchen and stick my kids in their pajamas. Unfortunately I haven't figured out how to order anything off the internet to do THAT. 

And thanks again. It's really warm-fuzzy amazing having friends in the computer. 

Borrowing Baby B

A few weeks ago I babysat a friend's one-year-old, Baby B, for the morning. Jack and Molly were ENTRANCED. Well, for a while anyway. They realized early on they couldn't exactly play with her, but they wanted to take CARE of her. Petting her, helping her with the stairs, making sure I was wiping her nose. Jack even fed her yogurt at lunchtime, which I wish I'd videotaped. My fastidious, fussy little boy getting his hands sticky and goopy feeding a hungry hippo of a baby. 

The other night I had both kids on my lap for bedtime stories. "This is my JACKSON baby!" I said and smothered him with kisses. 

He squealed and shouted, "I NOT A BABY, MOMMY! I A BIG BOY!"

So I said, "This is my MOLLY baby!" and smothered HER with kisses. 

And the same thing. "I NOT A BABY, MOMMY! I A BIG GIRL!"

I hugged them close and sadly said, "I know, I know, we don't have anymore babies."

Jack piped up and said, "That's okay, Mommy. We can just borrow Baby B!"

It was a good suggestion, but we actually decided to acquire another baby the old fashioned way. Project Third Baby [Someone Bring Phillip His Smelling Salts] is a few weeks underway. It's scandalously early to tell you of course, and I did mean to keep it to ourselves a bit longer. Blog or no blog, I'm not half bad at keeping secrets. I am, however, horrible at keeping my mouth shut when I'm feeling rotten and OH am I feeling rotten lately and I see no reason why I shouldn't whine about this on my personal website. Also I had a MOST delightful interview with the nurse/midwife at my OB's office this morning, in which I a) was asked if this baby was planned b) startled her by reporting I gained 60 pounds with Molly and was duly informed I should keep it to 25-30 this time (HAAAAA!) and c) sweetly reminded that "mothers are always a bit anxious in the first trimester", perhaps some gentle yoga would be helpful? 

I DID manage to leave the office without having kicked her in the teeth. 

Anyway. Octoberish. Ta-da!

Friday Reads and Recommends

1. I've decided not to renew my magazines this year - we'll see how that goes - but the Atlantic had some good stuff this month. I thought this article about the Turing Test was super interesting. Never heard of it? Read this

2. I also liked this piece about the Secret Service. Because I want to know anything about anything that has the word "secret" in it. 

3. A friend of mine posted this link on Facebook. Not typically where I find my reading material, but Evangelicals vs. Liberals in the Pacific Northwest? Yes, I'll read that. It doesn't matter that I barely know the difference between the kinds of churches! It's a mix of Christian culture, politics and local norms, so I'm all in. 

4. You have to log in to see this NYT article about the Seattle housing market. BUMMER! I mean, probably not for you, since you probably can't think of anything more boring, but for this Redfin refresher it was WAY interesting. Anyway, here's Seattle Bubble's take on it. 

5. Have you guys seen Pingu? OMG I love Pingu. I love Pingu as much as I hate Barney and Dora and Diego combined. I watch Pingu WITH the kids. And now we all go around the house shouting "NUK NUK!" at each other. 

6. I really loved what Elizabeth Esther had to say about having lots of kids. She wrote this over at Deeper Story, which is a blog I'm really liking lately.

7. Also, Phillip sent me this link today, about Why You're Not Married. He just thought I would find it interesting. Which I did. But I will post it without comment because GAK.

Yes I am exactly this dull

Before I got out of bed this morning I'd purchased, in the span of about ten minutes, one queen-size down comforter. SHAZAM! Phillip and I have been engaged in a battle of wills with our down comforter - as soon as we shake the stupid thing out, all the feathers sink to the bottom. So our feet are toasty, but all we've got at the top is two layers of sheet. Not acceptable. Phillip keeps snapping, "Let's just buy a NEW ONE" and because he is the Buyer in our family and I've just sort of trained myself to resist him lest we find ourselves wearing burlap and holding cardboard signs on the freeway on ramp, I haven't bought a new one. Usually this is a good thing. Usually the things he thinks we need, immediately, or else we'll positively die, are things like stereo equipment or routers or fancier routers or an Audi or that new Roomba. But to be honest, the down comforter is making me insane too. I finally started saying, "OKAY, once I have TIME to go LOOK for one." 

Then Jack had a bloody nose at five in the morning, and then at six in the morning he insisted on gracing us with his presence in our bed, and oops there went his nose again. So not only was the down comforter not very comforty, but there was blood all over the sheets and soaked into Phillip's pillow (at least it was HIS pillow) and Phillip was just sort of stompy and fumy and I hate it when he starts taking out his frustration on inanimate objects. So I reached under the bed and pulled out my laptop (where do you keep YOURS?) and ordered a new down comforter. Thank you reader reviews and Amazon Prime. I figure if we hate it, it's cheap enough to put on the guest bed that I like to imagine exists in our future new house, and we will get a new one. (Though that guest room will never come to exist, if the State Of Things on Redfin is any indication. WOE.)

THEN. Later today I was pulling off all our sheets to wash everything and GROSS, the mattress pad on Phillip's side is TOTALLY worn out and ripped up. So I hauled out the laptop and bought a new mattress pad. In, like, THREE minutes. Thank you reader reviews and Amazon Prime. 

I'm so the kind of person who is paralyzed by too many choices, who has to read EVERY REVIEW and research EVERY STORE, but gah, who has time for that anymore? Phillip and I have completely different philosophies on buying stuff, which makes it harder. For him, buy the best and priciest item so it will last. I don't know how many times he's given me that I Told You So look when I complain about Old Navy clothes falling apart. But for me, who says I want a shirt to last ten years? I like buying shirts. Perhaps I want to buy them more often. And dear God, the last thing I want is a couch I have to live with for the REST OF MY LIFE.

Also I hate spending gobs of money on something as boring as a MATTRESS PAD.

Anyway, I am enjoying this Amazon Prime thing. I mean, WHY NOT order the down comforter this morning? It will arrive TOMORROW. Possibly as you are READING.

I still have to put the new sheets on my bed and then read a book and maybe watch a TV show, so I'll be going now. Thus ends the blog post about BUYING A MATTRESS PAD OMG WHY DOES ANYONE READ THIS WEBSITE.


Just ONE little taste, Mommy

Sometime in the last few months I stopped wanting ship my firstborn to Siberia. It was a slow, gradual thing. I can't really identify when I started to notice, and I can't even really describe what it was like before. I just remember lots of yelling, lots of corner sitting, lots of talking back and me standing there like, "Did I really just let my three-year-old WIN?" 

But I haven't felt that way in a while. Oh, it's not like there's no more yelling and corner sitting and talking back. HO HO. It's just... well, I think it's just balanced out with delightfulness. This kid is charming, affectionate, cheerful, sweet, and FUNNY. 

I've been feeling so guilty, because Molly is the one I get along with. Well, so far. She's got her ornery and particular side, but she's snuggly and happy and gives 110% in the Adores Her Mommy department. With Molly I finally understood why people nurse their babies for longer than the recommended "at least six months". Jack never wanted to "bond", he wouldn't even look you in the EYE if you were holding him! But Molly, MOLLY latches onto you and won't let go. Not like you want her to anyway. 

So I'm already feeling super bonded to the girl, right, and then I realize that one [huge] reason why I "get along" or "relate" or whatever to her is because she responds to things the same way I do. Namely discipline. You just have to LOOK at Molly and she bursts into tears. She hates to have you upset with her. She's stubborn and willful and refuses to do something, but at least you know she knows you're angry. Which is SOMETHING.

With Jack? He could give a big flying rip. 

So yeah, guilt guilt guilt, and then... I don't know. Someone's sparkling personality began to outshine his antagonistic one. And it's LOVELY. 

Lately my heart is just full of Jack. He is the darlingest boy. He jumps into bed with me in the mornings and cuddles and kisses me and graciously allows me to hold Jerry. He knows so many nursery rhymes that I'm running out, and constantly sings them to whoever will listen (usually himself). He dances, he makes up games, he orders Molly around, he laughs himself silly, he cannot do a single thing by himself without shouting for me to come view his brilliance. He really really misses his dad and says the sweetest things about him out of the blue. He doesn't eat real food, but he knows eating itself is important to us, and proudly announces whenever he's finished ALL his macaroni and ALL his hot dog and ALL his apple juice. He waltzes around shouting, "L is for LUMPY! R is for RHINOCEROS!" 

He never seemed to care who was holding him when he was a baby, and I'm so not joking about the not looking at you thing. HE weaned HIMSELF at six months. He liked people, he just didn't seem to like anyone a LOT (save for my mother, SIGH). And now he shows you that actually he DOES love you, he just really doesn't want to sit in your lap. His kisses and hugs are either part of an annoying goodbye ritual or turn into an annoying out-of-control game, but in the middle of the night when he needs a Kleenex, he wants me to lay down with him "for a little bit" and he'll whisper sweet three-year-old nothings in my ear. He loves me. I'm his favorite Mommy. 

I remember someone saying that in her house, Age Three was more like 2 and a half to three and a half. I'm still not sure what I think about these some-ages-are-tougher-than-others ideas, but if it's true, I think our Age Three was pretty much the same. I remember getting really frustrated around 2 and a half, but three and a half is turning out kind of awesome. 

He's learning SO MUCH and talking SO MUCH and I just think he's the neatest little guy. Even if he did shove his sister earlier, right in front of me, then crossed his arms and informed me "it was just an accident". 

Photo (26)

Weekend mishmash

Operation Only Big Girls Who Use The Potty Get To Go To Disneyland is working all right-ish. As in, there have been no accidents in three days (A FEAT) but two thirds of the time there is major chocolate chip bribery going on, plus she prefers to, ah, "wait" until she's napping, ie: has a diaper on. So. There's no big success to report, but for Future Blog Reference, things are going better than they were LAST time we tried potty training. (And the time before that, and the time before that.) 

Also, Operation Escape To Disneyland And Somehow Lose Phillip's Phone In The Process So He Cannot Take Work Phone Calls is progressing nicely. I have finally decided on a hotel (The Anabella) unless a room at the Howard Johnson opens up, in which case I will spend several weeks weighing the increase in cost vs. the awesome pool/kid room set up. Then I have Phillip all, "It's going to be too COLD to go SWIMMING. Who CARES about the POOL." Except, come on, it's southern California, it is entirely possible it will be warm enough to go swimming. At least for us Pacific Northwesterners who break out the shorts when it hits sixty. (Not ME. But I SEE them.) 

(Note: I HAVE a room at the Howard Johnson. It's just not the RIGHT room. And yes, I am totally the person who makes nine different hotel reservations and waits until the last minute to cancel them.) 

We had a good weekend here at Camp Cheung. I don't know if I told you this, but when I picked Jack up from preschool on Thursday, his teacher mentioned that Jack's been talking about his dad a lot, is his dad out of town? It's like she half expected me to confess we were getting divorced. But I explained the work/school thing, and then I told Phillip at dinner, though there was no good way to tell him without making him feel terrible. Especially when we wouldn't see him at all on Friday and Saturday morning. 

So he skipped school on Saturday! He woke up with Jack, who's sick and getting up annoyingly early, and I listened to them roughhouse in the living room all morning. It was so happy. We spent the rest of the day at my parents' house hanging out with Assorted Family, and when Jack seemed extra sick again this morning, Phillip stayed home with him while I took Molly to church. (Which I could not accomplish without much "we'll go get DOUGHNUTS!" after church bribery. HEY, IT WORKS.)

It's another week of work and school and meetings and phone calls, but it was nice to have some down time. A friend of mine was talking about how she took her daughter to the ballet one afternoon while her husband took their son to a park for running around and kicking a soccer ball. So now we've been talking about doing special "dates" with each kid, on our own, and it sounds fun, but it's also kind of weird. It's hard for me to think about splitting the kids up. Like having just one stay at Grandma and Grandpa's house - WEIRD! I know that's wrong, I mean, they ARE two separate people. We don't have to do EVERYTHING together.

In other news, I have actual Valentine's Day Plans. GASP. I honestly can't remember the last time we did anything for Valentine's Day. I mean, my valentine always knows enough to get me some chocolate, but other than that it's not a big deal. But some friends invited us along on a triple date, complete with Nice Restaurant and Dressing Up and you KNOW I am all over that.  And Valentine's Day just happens to fall on the night Phillip's parents are here anyway, so hello free babysitting! Unfortunately, my friend showed me what she's wearing (HOT BLACK DRESS) and I do not own anything comparable. I mean, since the Peacemaking With The Christmas Cookie Pounds. ALAS. 

Anyway, Jack is now taking flying leaps off the couch and Phillip is playing Starcraft with Molly in his lap and I think this means I need to go be a parent. 

What are YOU doing with your valentine?