My online journal.

Friday, September 21, 2007

...Tomorrow Comes!! ...My Amazing Colored Coat!! ...You Can't Stop the Beat!! and what-have-you

Yesterday Lucy bit Eddie. She hadn't napped, see, and he had his mitts on her Sad Puppy. But, you might ask, how did you know Lu bit Ed, because you were cooking dinner and not paying attention to your children?

Because Ed told me. He actually said "Bit me!" It may have been "You bit me" or "It bit me" but I couldn't make out the first word. I heard him say it (from the kitchen, where I was preparing dinner and ignoring my children) and thought, oh, that was Lucy, except why was she speaking in Ed's voice? Anyway, I think that was his first full sentence. "___ bit me!"

We went back for Day 2 of ECFE yesterday (I volunteer in the little kids' room on the day we don't actually go to class, so I got to hang out with Ned). It was not good. For one, Lucy was overwhelmed by being away from me 2 mornings in a row. For two, I was in the room with Ed and the other 2 "teachers" (both 60-something women) and I don't really have my daycare-sea-legs yet. So we'll see how this Thursday thing goes.

Also! I just realized an error of omission (when, rereading my last post, I hit the lone comma at the end a paragraph). I forgot to finish the story about Ed at the end of the song, at ECFE class. You know how in most Broadway-style-showstopping-songs, there's a large, long note at the end? I assure you, there is. Well, we listen to a lot of Broadway around this joint, so at the end of the song we all belt out the last note and raise our arms in victory and elation and hope for a better tomorrow. So... Ed now does this at the end of all songs. Which is amusing to strangers.

Lucy started crying mid-nap about 20 minutes ago, so I went in there to hear "My mouf hurts!" So I peeked inside, and Lu has a jumbo canker sore. Ooooh, those smart. So I told her I was sorry about it hurting, and that it would go away in a few days, and then I told her that, yes, she HAD to try to go back to sleep for a while (because it's only 2pm fer chrissakes and I am not yet mentally prepared for The Late-Afternoon Child-Rearing).

So she asked Why, of course, because she's three, and I said You have to sleep so you can grow big and strong and not to mention, don't you remember yesterday when you didn't nap and how sad you were the whole rest of the day?

And she thought for a sec, and said, If I sleep I will grow big, like you?

And I said, Yes, big and strong like Mommy.

And she said, And I can have a beer?

She's in there now, but I can hear her playing her harmonica... like a lonesome cowgirl idling away a lazy afternoon, waiting for the herd to finish its afternoon graze.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

What the devil is falling on my roof -- it sounds like bricks!!

Apparently it's International Talk Like a Pirate Day -- I know this because I got an email from my sister Jean. You wouldn't know it if you checked her blog, though, because she didn't post on it, just like she didn't post on the fact that she ran 21 miles on Saturday, without stopping. Isn't she awesome?!?

Lucy's dance class is apparently going fine -- I was able to peek in and see about three minutes' worth of activity and it sure looked like the Pants was joining in. Of course, after class I asked Lucy how it went and she told me she didn't want to be in the jungle and that Miss Lee yelled at her. Both of which I highly doubt.

Ed is talking like crazy. He invented a game where he pokes someone (usually Lucy) in the bellybutton and says "Bee!" ... and lots more good-natured poking and "Bee!"ing ensues, much to his delight. He likes to "beesh" his own teeth by holding the toothbrush in his head and shaking his entire head back and forth. He is constantly pointing at things and saying "Uttdat?" which, I just read somewhere, is how kids increase their vocabulary. Well, I mean, obviously.

At ECFE class today, the kids had no problem with the separation (us moms were in a room together the whole time). Ed's teacher said that Ed asked for me a couple times, but was very easily distracted. She also commented that he ate tons of snack (surprise, surprise) and that he REALLY enjoyed the song they sang,

Lucy's new favorite song is still Elton John's Your Song (which Lu calls It's a Little Bit Funny). She also likes Goodnight My Someone from "The Music Man" and makes sure to remind me, before I start singing it to her, that the lyrics during the bridge are "True love can be whispered from heart to heart..." and not " to star..." which is how I had previously (and errantly) been singing it. "Sing heart to heart this time, Mommy." Lucy also reminds me to close my eyes when I sing the last high note, because that's how Kristin Chenoweth does it. Geez Martha. A stickler for accuracy.

So despite what I told everyone, I am indeed teaching some adult social dance lessons this fall, for that same group I taught in the spring. We're doing West Coast Swing and Hustle this time around, and I certainly have my work cut out for me. It's been 5 years since I taught West Coast to anybody, and it's a tricky little dance. But the group is fun.

I hope it's not too early to get excited about this, but I believe I will be choreographing Ashland Productions' version of "High School Musical," which audition in November and go up in March. I am so excited I can hardly stand it -- and I get to work with some of my favorite people on such an incredibly fun and high-energy show. Can't wait!

Lucy has a new imaginary friend: Hoo-Hoo. Hoo-Hoo is a red spider (but sometimes it's Eddie). Lucy found my old theatre scrapbook (I say old because the last show I did was 2.5 years ago) and was astounded that Mommy is there right next to the Pharaoh in pictures from "Joseph." And that Mommy is an Egyptian. And a cowgirl. And Mrs. Potiphar.

And seriously? I know she's no Yo Yo Ma, but that girl can sing every word in the "Joseph" soundtrack, on key, with all the right pauses and inflections, and seriously minimal prompting. And if you don't believe me, give me a call and I'll give her the phone so she can sing it to you. Even if it's not musical genius, it's pretty dang entertaining.

I told Lu she could take the scrapbook into her room with her for Quiet Time (our new euphemism for naptime) and Lucy told me she would let me know when she was ready to be tucked in and have a song and a kiss and a hug. And I thought "right, this is going to be a battle" but no, about 5 minutes later, she opened the door, came out, asked for her tuck-in/song/kiss/hug, and climbed right into bed. Do I have these kids trained, or what?!? :) She'd left the scrapbook on the floor, and as I was about the exit she showed great concern that I was going to "step on it and smash it." So she made me do a giant leap over it, which I did, in exchange for her very tired but very satisfied smile.

Joel's bday is on Friday -- any gift ideas? He is excruciating to buy for. No hobbies to speak of, and he gets all his clothes from his mom. Which sounds bad, but honestly she's just super-generous. I might revert to buying him a large block of cheese, as I've done in the past.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Oh, Mr. Adams, you are driving me to homicide!

Both kids had regular checkups this AM -- now that I don't have to get up for work every morning, I forget that the kids frequently really do sleep until 7:30, and that I do, too, and that getting them to a 7:45 appointment really is kind of pushing it a bit. And yes, it's almost been a year. I'm a slow learner.

The appointment actually went swimmingly. Lucy asked the whole way there if she was getting a shot, and I really had no idea whether or not she was getting one, so I didn't quite know what to tell her. Then, when she found out Ed was getting one, and would get a sticker for his trouble, she decided she wanted a shot. Except she kept saying "take a shot."


"Mommy, am I going to take a shot?"

"Mama, I want to take a shot before Eddie does!"

So we got a couple weird looks from the nurses at the station. Dr. Brown (the new ped at the clinic) was very nice, but you could tell she wasn't quite accustomed to such little ones. She didn't handle Ed's squirming with the aplomb you'd sort of expect from a pediatrician, and then she gave Ed a completely full paper cup of water and proceeded to totally hover/freak about him spilling it, which of course he did, but mostly because she was sort of grabbing at him and/or the cup. Ed actually can drink well from a normal cup, thankyouverymuch, but not when it's full to the brim and certainly not when he's being swatted at.

Both kids seem to be doing just fine, developmentally (tho I wasn't questioning that). Lu weighs 36 lb. and is in the 90th percentile for both height and weight. Ed weighs 26 lbs (but it's a real heavy 26, I tell you what) and I didn't get his percentages because I was sort of focused on the kids, who at the time were dumping out their dry-cereal crumbs all over the rug. I knew (from the pencil marks on our wall at home) that both kids have gained more than 3" in the last 9 months (also because I've had to swap out all of last year's pants for both of them -- yay, new pants!).

Lucy did end up getting a shot (Hep A, they both got), and of course she insisted on going first. And thank goodness for that, because no way would she have "taken her shot" if she'd had to witness Eddie's shot beforehand.

Afterward, I treated myself to the cheapest Caribou ever (house blend with milk -- still tastes heavenly!), thanks to the extra quarters Joel collects in our key tray at home. Then we swung over to Dayton's Bluff Elementary for our first ECFE class!

We were way early, which was actually part of the plan, so we hung out at the playground for a bit. There's a whole section there just for little kids and mine were so happy. It's actually a really nice park, with lots of softball fields and surrounded by some lovely old Victorian homes. So lovely, in fact, that it really got me thinking: I wonder if we could pick up one of these giant old beauties for not too much money? Since we're considering a big kitchen remodel in our current digs, and since we're starting to feel truly committed to living in St Paul (more on that later), why the heck not? I've always wanted to live in a big old home with interesting architechture. Well anyway, while I was daydreaming Eddie dirtied his diaper, so we did a quick change and skipped inside for class.

My initial impression, last week, of the ECFE leaders, was extremely positive. But today, for some reason, I was less delighted about being there. They told us parents that today, the first class, would be "non-separating" (meaning the kids stay with the parents), except that they still sorta-militantly separate the little kids from the bigger kids, so if a parent has kids of different ages (like ME!), I did have to be separated from at least one of my kids during the whole class. And really, Ed is so easy-going that he was fine, except he kept escaping from his class to find me and Lu in the next room. And Lucy was not OK with me leaving (not to mention I'd promised her, based on the info I'd received, that I wouldn't be leaving her), so she had a couple fits.

Which brings me to my next point: I'd spent a bit of brainpower leading myself to believe that Lu is particularly bright for her age, and while she may very well be, as I watch her in dance class and at ECFE today, I see that she really does act her age. Which is only barely-3. So, sure, she can sing all the words to Your Song mostly on-key -- emotionally, however, she really is still a very little girl. It's good for me to see her interacting with the other kids, who are all a *little* older than she.

OK, OK, a couple more Lucy stories.

She got lots of art supplies for her birthday, and she was at Jean's house playing with markers the other day. She brought home one of her works-in-progress and insisted that we hang it up high on the fridge, so Ed couldn't get to it.
Later, we had to bring it down so she could continue to draw on it. By the time she was done, the entire page was nearly covered in dark-blue or black marker. For the next few days, she would often refer to it as "my dark drawing" -- like a moody artiste holding her current masterpiece in the highest reverence. "Momma, where is my dark drawing?"

Story #2. Last week Joel brought the kids to my softball games. There wasn't really any safe place to sit, so the kids were in the dirt. Lu filled Julie's Gatorade bottle with dirt, rocks, and various weeds. And treasured it. She made sure Joel put it in a safe place that night, and the next day she recovered it. It stays outside, but she often asks about her bottle of dirt. Unlike the "dark drawing", the "bottle of dirt" masquerades not as a science-fair project, or a terrarium for beloved bugs. Nope, it's a bottle of dirt. Lu likes to add things to it, like rocks, or more dirt. More power to her, I guess.

Last story: I don't know quite how to document this one, but a while ago we were talking to Lucy about going to a party. And then we were talking about going to some other party that we hadn't quite been invited to -- I have no idea what party this might have been -- and we used the term "crash the party."
A few days later, we were at the park with the Dalys, and we invited Josie to come to Lu's little birthday party. Later at the park, Josie fell and scraped her leg. Oops! We said, Josie crashed! Josie was very upset and I think Lucy empathized. Or, wait, sympathized? DANG!
The next day Joel and I were talking about Lu's upcoming party, and we asked Lu who was coming. "Josie's going to crash my party," she told us. It took me a while to sort out the root of that, and I was really impressed how she put all that together.

Injury update!

- Joel probably has a torn meniscus in his knee -- MRI results next week.

- The pain in my thumb actually kept me awake much of Monday night. Today I took a tip from Nicole Watson (cue Joel: And if Nicole Watson jumped off a bridge, would you do it too? Me: If Nicole Watson jumped off a bridge, I bet she had an awfully good reason for doing it, and it's probably something I should seriously consider.) and coated the tip of my thumb (with the dangling flap in place) with Krazy-Glue. It was genius for a few hours -- I could almost use my thumb like a normal person ought to be able to. Then it got wet, though, and the glue-tip popped off, bringing with it most of the dangly flap as well. So I removed the dangly-flap and am back to a band-aid, but the pain is mostly gone and I'm going to try to air the whole thing out tonight in hopes of spurring new-skin-growth as much as possible.

I should add that I only sorta took the tip from Nicole -- she has something called Liquid Skin that she uses on the boys' various wounds in order to avoid trips to the emergency room for stitches, and so far so good. She only said it was "like" Krazy Glue... and since I'd already spent my entire Liquid Skin budget on Caribou this morning, I had to make do.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

All they want is a little blood

Just got off the phone with a lovely woman from the American Red Cross. Actual transcript:

Lovely woman: Is Megan available?

Me: Oh, Lord, a telemarketer. Yes, this is Megan.

LW: I'm Lisa from the American Red Cross and...

Me: Hey, excuse me, I'm sorry, but you guys call me seriously once a week asking me to donate, and last time I donated, back in April, I passed out and bonked my head, and every time you call I ask please not to call me until, like, September, and...

Oh, wait, it's totally September, isn't it.


Oh, dear, I'm sorry.


Well, obviously I jarred something loose back in April -- can you put me on the list for, say, December?

LW: Sure.

Me: Okay, thanks.

Total idiot, yours truly.

Joel went in for an MRI this morning, for his knee. Results next week.

Lucy had her first dance class yesterday, and I was a nervous wreck -- she'd spent the entire morning whining "I don't WANNA go to dance class!!!" so I was gearing up for a big old fight. And then, when we got there, they kicked out the parents right away. I had visions of Lucy refusing to give her name, or telling the teacher she was "Fajhe" (more on that later), or simply dancing on her own in front of the mirror, with her "listening ears" turned firmly off. But apparently she was a champ. I peeked in through the blinds (which wasn't easy, mind you) and it sort of looked like she was doing the moves along with the rest of the class.

Afterward, Lu told me that she didn't sit in her spot, but the teacher told me Lu was "a hoot" (whatever that means) and the teacher wasn't actually shedding tears, nor bleeding, at the end of class, so I'm guessing it went all right. Ed and I got some quality time waiting in the hall, and he made friends with a pudgy little 14-month-old Josephine, so truly it wasn't half bad. And Lucy took a terrific nap yesterday afternoon. Which is the most important thing, after all.

I went to an intermediate-level dance class yesterday evening at Dance Spectrum on Grand Ave. I loved it! It was incredibly challenging, but there were only 4 gals in the class and I didn't feel totally outclassed. We did about a 40-minute warmup, which was a serious workout, and the instructor is adorable and fun -- she reminds me of the second can-can dancer in Moulin Rouge; the one who rats out Satine. But much nicer. And probably not a prostitute. Although she did make a comment about one of the other teachers, who is "like 34 or 35" and, amazingly enough, still dancing. Oooh, that one hurt a little bit. So, maybe part-prostitute.

Fazje! Right. So Lucy has this imaginary shape-shifting ethnic friend named "Fajhe." I spell it that way because sometimes Lu pronounces it "Faje" and sometimes it's much more like "Fazhe". Anyway, Fajhe has been around for several months; maybe even the better part of a year. Sometimes Eddie is Fajhe; sometimes I'm Fajhe. Sometimes Lu herself is Fajhe. Sometimes Fajhe gets scapegoated for various wrong-doings around the house; sometimes Fajhe is "still using" one of the toys that Ed tries to appropriate. It all seems like pretty-standard imaginary-friend fare, so we go along with it and enjoy it.

There should be a much-funnier story about Fajhe right here, but I simply do not have one. Oops!

I did want to mention that I sliced off the tip of my thumb slicing tomatoes on Sunday. I sort of forgot that I'd had my knives sharpened. At the moment it happened, I had some serious flashbacks to my mom doing the same thing one day in the kitchen. Hers was much worse, if I recall correctly -- I think she may have gone in for stitches, and I vaguely remember it being a larger slice off her thumb than mine. It is really hard going through life with only one thumb, though, I tell you what.

Well, I've got a johnny-glasses pile of dishes waiting for me that I'd better tackle. Ick. When are we acquiring that dishwasher, again??

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Chupacabra, the goat-sucker

Ohhh, boy, I am rapidly getting in too deep.
My fall schedule is just about booked to the hilt, and I am getting scared. I took the kids to register for a Wednesday ECFE class this morning, and ended up committing to volunteer one other morning per week. I also have a few moms (you know who you are!) with whom I like to enjoy weekly playdates... not to mention I just got a notice that there are FREE toddler-oriented open gyms at several within-city-limits St Paul rec centers. Lucy has a Monday AM dance class -- and there go my mornings.

I'm taking a Monday evening dance class, and the adult group I taught Swing to last spring is thinking of engaging me for weekly lessons (woo-hoo!), and I'm playing volleyball on Thursday nights, and I'm supposed to be working more (I hope?) with Ashland this fall -- not to mention my "fall" softball league still has a few weeks left... yikes! Why do I do this to myself?

Well anyway, to be honest I am SUPER excited about all the new things starting up. Most of all, my dance class I get to take. FINally. But I'm also happily anticipating the ECFE class, which I now realize I should have told the kids is like "school" because they do use the words "school" and "teacher" and "class" and I think that would have gotten Lucy, anyway, a little more jazzed about it. I'm also excited because the ECFE people might have me volunteer to watch the kids for the Spanish-speaking class on Tuesday mornings, so I'd get to practice my Spanish and also expose my kids to a once-a-week Spanish-immersion playdate. For free!

Oh, hey, let's play Am I the Only One Who Does This?
Sometimes I spell things wrong on purpose, to entertain myself or because it reminds me of something.

Like, "Best Buoy" instead of "Best Buy."
Or "Congrels" instead of "Congress."
Or "transunconstitutional" instead of "transcontinental."

Okay, so I don't have occasion to write the word "transcontinental" all that often in my line of work. Or, like, I pluralize semi-collective nouns, like "celeries" and "milks." OK, so do you ever do that?

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Graph paper and fresh cilantro

You wouldn't think it would be that hard to find either of these items, would you? I assure you, it is nigh-on impossible. Blimey!

Let's see, Lucy turned 3 on Sunday and fully enjoyed (and is still stringing out) her week as the birthday princess. We had a great weekend up at the lake an now we're gently easing into our fall schedule, as our summer sports start to die down and the fall activities rise to take their places.

Shout out to my mom, who made matching mom-and-daughter aprons for me and Lu. Lucy loves hers (I do too!) and I hope a picture will be forthcoming. In the meanwhile, these will have to suffice:
Some random shots from last week...

Lu-La opening (and wearing) gifts from G&G Books
Ed, this morning (he's a man-bug!).