Sunday, December 21, 2008

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

this just might make my head explode

There are many reasons I love winter time. This is definitely up there on that list. At least top 5. There's nothing better than a bundled up baby. Now I know she isn't exactly bundled up in winter gear, it's more like a "fall look", but still. Cute overload people.

Friday, December 12, 2008

mother of the year

The mother of this poor child certainly is not. Not that anyone can live up to that title. I certainly can't, but after reading this, I feel pretty damn good at it. One of my favorite boggers, Heather B. Armstrong, shared this story a while back. I just read it and have been completely beside myself in shock and horror ever since. A mixture of emotions ranging from anger and unbelievable sadness, to hope. I know this isn't exactly a warm, fuzzy holiday tale, but this story does truly unveil the best and worst in people. The adoptive parents of this little girl should win Parents of the Year for sure.
Be sure to look at the video and interviews as well.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Obligatory Post About the Yearly Santa Photo

The Christmas season doesn't officially begin until someone mails us a card or photo with their child screaming and peeing their pants on Santa's lap. There's something slightly sadistic but strangely heartwarming about the whole scene.

Every year since Jake was born, we have marched our festive butts down to the local mall and have gotten that perquisite photo of the big jolly guy and Jake, and every year Jake has the same reaction.

Pure unadulterated terror.

He was absolutely frozen. About the only thing on Jake's body that moves during the whole ordeal is his quivering chin which always quivers when he's nervous. I feel kinda bad. Chloe was just like WTF? Jake was so freaked out that he couldn't even bring himself to take a candy cane when "Santa" offered it. Poor kid.
If you care to take a walk down memory lane here are the previous years, 2007 & 2006.
ho ho ho.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Happy Gobble Day!

Jake's preschool threw a Thanksgiving feast for all the kids and the parents that were lucky enough to also attend. It was funny. Sort of reminded me of a low budget Hogwarts feast complete with Capri Sun & politically incorrect attire. Awesome.

Happy Thanksgiving! gobble gobble

Sunday, November 23, 2008


I can't remember being in such a state of the warm fuzzys for a long, long time. My heart is beating like a rabbit. Chloe uttered her first word. A word that will make any woman melt into a big pile of goo, especially when it is the first word that comes out of  her baby's mouth, "Mama". Jake didn't say "Mama" for at least 12 months. I can't really remember exactly when he finally said it, but I do remember that it was waaaaay down on the list of his first words.  In fact, I think "digger" came before "Mama". It hurt, I'm not going to lie but Chloe's making up for my hurt feeling the first time around by making it her first word. What a smart baby.

just had to share this...


(click on image to make it easier to read)

Monday, November 10, 2008

I should not be this excited about pee

Except for the fact that it was Jake's and it was, SIT DOWN, in his potty!!!! tee hee!
This has been a long time coming and harder than I ever imagined it would be. I've been challenged by raising kids so far, but none can compare to this, the behemoth of all challenges. And to those who say, "What's the big deal? My kid just went at 9 months and has been diaper free EVER SINCE.". I say, bite me. The mere fact that he sat down long enough to relieve himself, intentionally, in the potty, is enough to go dance in the street. In my pajamas. It's a small miracle.

For whatever reason, Jake just hasn't been ready. We had tried EVERYTHING to lure him to the potty. Videos, books, 2 different pottys, stickers and even candy and none of them have done the trick. No amount of bargaining or clever persuasion could get him to have a seat. I'd see him focusing on something happening in his diaper and I'd ask very casually if he'd like to sit on the potty to go ______, and he'd scream, "NO POTTY!", and turn his head away to show that the potty and I no longer existed. I've been very patient and understanding that, hey, diapers are what he's comfortable with and as long as he's out of diapers before I have to start buying him the Depends due to his size, we're all good.

I've even tried convincing myself that I like changing diapers. It helps keep me young and nimble. It's easier on long car rides, plane trips and shopping trips. I'm really good at it too. I can clean a, burn your eyeballs it's so bad, diaper with one hand tied behind my back, blindfolded, using one wipe, all in under 30 seconds my friends. Oh yes, I'm that good.

But then.

For whatever reason, he was ready last night. We exchanged a tinkle for 3 Smarties candy. He was so proud and, I would say, probably a little freaked out by my slightly over the top reaction. Did he expect anything less than a impromptu "my son went pee pee on the potty" dance from mommy? What can I say, I was proud too. I'm considering this a promising step towards one less bottom that I have to clean. It was a good day for the family.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Creamy Lemon Chicken Noodle Soup

I'm sick, and this soup is my only salvation right now. This isn't any ordinary Chicken Noodle Soup - It's sort of a cross between Greek Chicken Lemon Rice soup and your garden variety noodle soup. The comforting and healing properties in this brew is undeniable once you take your first bite. Just had to share since this is the season.

3 tbs butter
4 oz. button mushrooms
2 cloves of garlic - minced
1 cup sliced celery
1 cup shredded carrots
1 medium onion - chopped
3 tbs all purpose flour
6 cups of chicken stock or low sodium broth
3 sprigs of Rosemary
1 cup of mini penne pasta or any other pasta
1 1/2 lbs of chicken tenders cut into 1/2 in. size pieces
1 1/2 cups half & half
2 tbs chopped fresh parsley
the juice of 1 whole "plastic" lemon juice lemon

Melt butter in large pot over medium heat. Add 1st 5 ingredients and cook until tender (5 min). Add flour and stir (3 min.). Gradually mix in stock & bring soup to a simmer. Add rosemary, chicken and pasta and cook until chicken is cooked through and pasta is al dente (don't worry - this won't contaminate your soup). Set heat to low and allow soup to cool slightly. Mix in half & half, parsley, lemon juice and salt and pepper to taste. Lightly simmer away until served, but be careful not to let boil after half and half is added. Remove rosemary sprigs.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008



MORE CANDY!!! please.

Really cute photo of Jake trick or treating 

(insert here)

I'm still waiting on some photos of Jake trick or treating from my friend Louise... my camera battery died just as we stepped foot on the sidewalk. I'll probably get some posted by Thanksgiving.

Jake and I joined up with some neighborhood friends, Nemo, a fly?, a Monkey, Darth Vader and two witches (including myself), armed with plastic cups and a few bottles of wine, and went trick or treating. Jake took immediately to the task. He didn't quite understand the point of saying "trick or treat" and thought it was much more effective to yell, "MORE CANDY!!!  fank you", house to house. Poor, snotty Chloe stayed behind with poor, cranky daddy and managed the trick or treaters at our end.  Boy, were we unprepared. We had more trick or treaters in 3 hours than we did at our other house during the 5 years we lived there. Trick or treating college students no less... in hindsight, we should've had a separate stash of condoms and Milwaukee's Best for them. 

Three empty king size bags of candy and 2 empty bottles of wine later, it was finally over and we all collapsed. Jake (and I) had made out like a bandit (or pirate). Butterfingers Galore! Even a king size Butterfinger no less. I think I'm going to take my friend Sarah's idea to use the loot as bribery for some loot in Jake's Elmo potty. Even trade don't you think? A Tootsy Roll for a tootsy roll. 

So, even though I complained earlier on the day of Halloween, that night turned out to be a lot of fun.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween!

Happy? Not so sure. Halloween is one of those holidays that never really live up to expectations. I've got my reasons for being cranky... we all do. For a start, Chloe's antenna won't stand up, she's sick, kvetchy and refuses to sleep & I'm on the verge of getting sick too. Jake's costume has been washed more times than a $5 bill and our pumpkins have all fallen victim to the 80+ weather we've been having here in L.A... they're fuzzy. This is exactly when, and why I want to move somewhere that has seasons. I crave chilly weather right now. It's Fall damn it!
Anyway, it is supposed to rain this weekend, so if it does, I promise I'll stop complaining. That is, until the 80 degree weather kicks in again. For those of you tempted to comment by saying, "At least you don't have snow!", save it please.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Pumpkin Patch

So just yesterday, we partook in our 2nd annual Underwood Pumpkin Patch Extravaganza.. and what an extravaganza it was. Good times had by all.

Sadly, this was the best photo that I could get of the two of them all day.

Jake "cutting the rug" to some Bluegrass.

Jake and Clara play a "Slap the Hay" game.

Jake and Grandpa enjoying freshly made doughnuts.
There are more photos of toddlers and pumpkins here.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Class Photo

So how do you get 20 two year old's to stand still, smile and all look at the camera?

You don't.

There's my little angel, front and center, tattooed, holding a plastic ice cream cone under his chin, standing right next to the kid who's taking a dump in his pants... see him?

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

move'n on up

So I've been a little verklempt recently because on Friday, we're moving all our stuff about 8 blocks into a new rental house. It's just not every day that you move out of your first home. A home that has done us proud. We got engaged, got married, had Jake, then Chloe, found Oliver and lost Clarence all under this roof. I've learned lots of new words like “soffit” and “fascia” and “downspouts” and “garage” and even used them in their correct context. However, there are just too many darn cars around here. We live right across from a school and, gosh darnit, I'm ready for me some QUIET. And this new place, oh so quiet. Almost spooky quiet. I'll probably have to leave the t.v. on playing "Plains, Trains and Automobiles" for the first month. It'll be weird. The first night especially. Weird not only in the obvious way, but weird because Chloe will be moving into her own bedroom. It's a desirable move, yet a sad move all at once. I've just gotten so used to having her next to me. The bassinet days are finally over. Oh, and I'm PMSing. Jonathan's going to have his hands full this weekend.

Knowing the control freak personality that I have, I'm kinda worried that since we're not moving very far, I'll end up stalking the new owners in their new house and critiquing any improvements that they make. Ew, did you see that new mailbox they put out? And the neighbors will look at me like, "don't you have a home?". You see, you get very protective of a house you've sunk so much blood, sweat and tears (and money) into over the years. I guess, I really need to let go. However, I probably will wander over from time to time to see if Calico, the stray that sort of adopted us, is still around. These poor people are going to be like, "oh great, here's that nutjob lady that thinks she still lives here... sitting in our driveway... petting that nasty stray cat. Can't we call someone?". I hope they'll at least be halfway decent people and maybe throw out a little bowl of food for her from time to time. We would take her if we could, but she's way too feral. She's the one who owns this place.

So anyway, for those not in the know, we're not making this a permanent move. So yeah, we're nuts. We're going to pack up and move somewhere else in about a year. Did I mention we're nuts? And slightly masochistic? We decided to sell because we just outgrew our house and wanted something quieter. Sell we did, and thankfully, before any of this crazy Wall Street stuff went down. Talk about making it under the wire. So, if our prediction is correct, the housing market should continue to drop for at least another year or two and that will afford us something bigger and better, but most likely, not in California. I'm okay with moving out of L.A... I think. Change is good. At least, that's what I've heard. Stay tuned.

Monday, September 29, 2008


So I just picked up Jake from Preschool and when I got home I found this in between his art projects...

Behold, THEE WORST SCHOOL PICTURE EVER. It's just so sad... in so many ways.
The school, unbeknownst to me, had picture day last week on some Caribbean Island. Did I put any effort into his stylish look that day? I don't think I even ran a comb through his hair. What can I say, I'm new at this whole school picture thing. You got to at least appreciate all the accessories he's got going like the sling, the band-aide and that damn pink ball that not even the photographer could pry out of his vulcan grip. I chuckled to myself when I saw that there was an order slip for extra prints and a yearbook. So, if anybody wants to get their hands on a copy and hang this up on their wall, let me know!
All I can say is, sorry Jake, I'll try to do better next year.

Friday, September 26, 2008


Holy crap... where to even begin with this one. Are you sitting down? If not, please sit your butt down and hold on to your hat while I tell you what I am about to tell you....




I know, so many questions. Apparently, they never noticed the break in the collar bone up until yesterday when they looked at the new X-rays he just took. Now that it has healed, they we're able to spot the calcium deposits around the fracture. I have nothing else to say about this for the moment. Still digesting.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

A conversation I had with Jonathan last night about the economy

Me: "So, what if the US Dollar tanks and a loaf of bread starts costing like $6000, then what?"

Jon: "We'll just have to learn to live off the land, buy some chickens and maybe a cow."

Me: "How will we buy chickens?"

Jon: "I'm guessing at one of those farm auctions."

Me: "Let me rephrase. How will we AFFORD to buy chickens? What will we trade or sell? the cats?"

Jon: "Sex."

Me: "Are you talking about prostituting for chickens? I bet you'd love that."

Jon: "Oldest profession and soon to be the new form of currency. I think you'd have to be the breadwinner, no pun intended, of the family though. You would definitely get more chickens."

Me: "Thanks honey, I feel better knowing you've got this all figured out."


Monday, September 22, 2008

now wait a minute.... seriously

I'm going to get up on my wobbly soap box and speak my mind about something rather controversial. I'm not putting this out there to change anybodies mind, I only want to raise awareness.

First, let me start off by saying that I am pro choice. However, I do believe there is a line when the procedure becomes barbaric. While I think that there are absolutely some legitimate reasons for getting a abortion (like a mothers life is at risk, molestation, rape, extremely underage, etc.), unfortunately, those reasons are not the only reasons people have them.

Anyway, here's the whole reason for this post. There is this widely unknown practice called Induced Labor Abortion or Live Birth Abortion. Babies under this procedure, who sometimes survived an earlier abortion attempt, are born alive by induction during the 2nd and sometimes 3rd trimester and left to just die. Basically, they either suffocate or starve to death and sometimes, completely alone. The babies are also usually issued both birth and death certificates upon arrival. Honestly, doesn't this sound a little bit like murder? I'm just sick over this and wish there was a "pro choice for medical or psychologically legitimate reasons, under 8-12 weeks" stance. Unfortunately, this issue seems rather black or white. I think a lot of people are just unaware that this practice even exists and think abortion only happens during the first trimester.

I'm not getting all anti Obama, who has 3 times voted to support this practice, because I think there are a lot of issues like the war, the economy & the environment that are incredibly immediate issues. Let's face it, if we don't deal with that and the wrong people get in office, we all might be dead. However, I do think there should be pressure on Obama to have this practice banned. I think he is flat out wrong about this. see below.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

boobs be gone

Chloe, against my best efforts to force my boob in her mouth, has decided to wean herself recently. I'm not going to lie, I'm pretty bent up about this. I actually cried in my Corn Flakes this morning while watching Jonathan give her a bottle. It's hard to accept that your baby has moved on, and now prefers some synthetic cow concoction over you. Breastfeeding for me has been a somewhat magical, deeply moving experience. Not magical in the sense that I have pixie dust shooting out of my bosoms, but magical because I can comfort someone almost instantly and that to me is really powerful. I'll miss that. That, and that curvaceous, breastfeeding body that I barely got to know.

I'm trying to look at the bright side. It's kind of liberating I guess. No more boob shaped maxipads inside my Communist, factory worker inspired bra. I'll no longer suffer the wrath of the hairy eyeball of disapproving, anti-breastfeeding people. I'll never accidentally walk out of the house with my nursing bra straps still unfastened, hours later realizing this and remembering the strange stares from the people in the supermarket checkout line.

And the girls, although smaller, are all mine (Jonathan's) again. I've been bound to this kid for 6 months without any break. Chloe and I still have our nice little morning feed, which I'm assuming she likes more for comfort than nourishment, and I'm fine with that. In fact, I'd be the first to admit that the feed is probably more for me than her. This weekend though, Jonathan & I will get away for our anniversary to Vegas for 2 FULL NIGHTS AND DAYS without kids which will probably wean her off that morning feed too. So, I guess this milk cart is pretty much closed for business. sniff. Maybe now I can go a whole 10 minutes without saying boob. It's been boob this, boob that and what not for the last 6 months and I think we're all a little happy for that to end. OOOOh, and I can drink as much as I want now too! Where's that bottle of Chardonnay? The girls deserve a drink!

6 months

It goes so crazily fast that it's no wonder we're all just a little bit edgy. One day you're six months old and you're learning to crawl backwards, and then all of a sudden you find yourself in line at the DMV.

She's the most gorgeous, alert baby you ever saw in your life. Everyone says so. She's that baby that enters the room and everyone notices. You know the type. Her legs and head are huge. Gigantic. Enormous. I take that as a good sign. She's usually always smiling and is my little ray of sunshine during this crazy time. She still doesn't realize that she might be homeless in a few weeks. The way this rental house hunting is going, we'll be buying a house on wheels and renting our driveway from the new owners. 

Anyway, as I said, she's starting to crawl which is both exciting and scary. It's sort of sad too. I've truly enjoyed these past months of being able to just plop her down on a playmat and not worry that she'll end up in the fireplace. Those days are pretty much over and the days of motility, in other words, never leaving the room to even pee, are here. This seems to be coming around much sooner than it did with Jake. I think he waited until around 7-8 months before he decide to take off. I tried telling her that crawling is over rated. Hard on the knees. She just responds, "SPPPPPPPPPPPPPPBBBB."

She's also, I think, amazingly intuitive. She seems to sense bad people, bad moods, or bad places and signals by completely dissolving into tears. Once the offending situation is gone, she's fine. For example, this happened just yesterday. We went to look at a house that was for rent and as soon as we walked through the front door, Chloe started whimpering. She only got worse as we continued the tour. By the time we got 3 rooms in, she was totally beside herself. I just kept reassuring the landlord that she was just tired and hungry, however, she had just had a solid nap and ate right before we arrived which usually guarantees a great mood. Oddly enough, once we walked out to the back yard, she was fine. The same meltdown played out when we walked back through, but again was cool as a cucumber once we left the house. 

Lucky for Chloe, we're not going to rent that house. There is obviously more to that decision than just Chloe's opinion, like the peeling brown and yellow lead paint in the kitchen, the mold smell & the heater that came from the Titanic. Still, her reaction just didn't sit well with me.  Maybe, she's one of those spooky indigo children who we'll have to send to some special school out in Sedona, where she can practice Reiki and learn about auras. 

So, along with backwards crawling & a well developing sixth sense, she's also a avid solid food eater now. However, while she's been eating great for the last 4 weeks, this last week she's discovered a new trick, sticking her tongue out at every opportunity. Especially while eating.  Spoon goes in, tongue goes out.  It's like she forgot how to eat. For some reason, I find this hilarious and at the same time, worrisome. Since I'm a chronic fretter, I automatically now assume that she's got some sort of oral/motor issue. Any thoughts?

Friday, September 5, 2008

Sad Growth Plate Fracture to Humerus Bone

So yesterday, I worked my magical skills of complaining and begging and was able to get Jake in that afternoon to see the Orthopedic surgeon which was one day sooner than his original appointment. I had changed my mind about him getting in a cast and decided that it would be the only way to keep my VERY active 2 yr. old from doing more damage to his poor little arm. As it turns out, they are not able to cast in that location and the only thing they could do for him was to find him a sling small enough to wear. One decorated with mice no less (picture to soon follow). So for now, we've sort of jury rigged his sling with some velcro to keep Jake from pulling it off (I love that stuff, so many uses). At least it kind of inhibits the use of that arm. I'm just so nervous that it won't be enough and he'll still find a way to hurt it more.

I feel so completely helpless because he obviously just doesn't get it and continues, against my best efforts, to run around like a monkey on crack, tripping and banging his arm into things along the way. I feel like I need to find some heavy duty, industrial strength, could hold down a rabid elephant, velcro and stick him to the wall. That, or some ritalin. I'm kidding, I'd never drug my kid.

We'll go back in 3 weeks to check the progress of his healing and I'm praying with everything in me that it all heals well and he doesn't end up with a growth issue, causing him to have a 2 yr. old arm on an adult body or an adult arm on a 5 yr. old body. I guess, at least, if it did end up accelerating growth and he ended up with some crazy monkey arm, he'd make a damn good goalie or catcher. Sadly though, any dreams of ever stealing Michael Phelps' world record would be dashed because he'd only be able to swim in a circle.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

I like...

I'm now a fan of this blog - Z Recommends 

all this about the Carters tagless clothing is particularly bothersome. Both Chloe and Jake have worn them, but luckily have fared much better than some of these other babies.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Sad Elbow Revisited

Just an update on Monday's incident...

So after all that, the "re-adjustment", the x-rays, and a day of watching, we noticed Jake still isn't using his arm normally. He can pick up a ball but won't throw it. So, while at his Pediatricians follow up appointment today, I heard some shocking news about what the UCLA Radiologist had found. Apparently, they ended up diagnosing him with something completely different after we had left the ER. They now think it is a growth plate fracture or a Salter-Harris type 1 fracture to his humerus, the bone that runs from his shoulder to his elbow. This type of fracture is almost impossible to see on an x-ray so, I'm guessing, this is why it took two radiologist several hours to figure this out. The really nice ER Doctor that treated Jake did call us yesterday and this morning and had mentioned that if he wasn't getting any better, which he should have if it were nursemaid elbow, it might be this type of fracture but never even hinted that it was indeed a fracture.

As any parent can imagine, we are absolutely beside ourselves with questions and hardly a clue as to how this happened. I'm guessing maybe he fell out of bed Sunday night and just hid this really well until we noticed it on Monday. Some kids just mask pain really well. Thankfully, like I said, his arm isn't totally immobile as he can pick things up. I'm REALLY, REALLY hoping that the Orthopedic Surgeon won't decide to cast him, but we'll just have to wait and see. This type of injury can cause stunted growth and/or deformities if it doesn't heal properly. So, for now, just please say a little prayer for Jake. He (we) will need it.

Monday, September 1, 2008

sad elbow

otherwise known as nursemaid elbow. We had a scary moment today involving this dubious injury... When we got home from Toys R Us today to buy a potty, we noticed that Jake was no longer using his right arm and was holding it close to his body. While he wouldn't raise or straighten his arm, he also wasn't crying or acting like he was in pain. The only thing different about him was the fact that he refused to use his arm. It was obvious that something was really wrong.

So, we took him into the ER where he was diagnosed with this nursemaid elbow thing, and was subsequently treated with a re-adjustment, a green popsicle, and a Motrin. According to the ER doctor and everything else I've yet read, this is a pretty common injury with toddlers. However, usually it is caused by a child being picked up by his arms or a sudden pull on the arm and we don't recall anything like that happening. I do remember holding his arm to walk him across the parking lot in front of Toys R Us, but he wasn't resisting so I wasn't pulling and, as I recall, he seemed completely fine once I let go. Jonathan and I also never pick him up by his hands except during the occasional game we play where he'll jump or swing between Jonathan & I, but we didn't do that this morning and we'll certainly never play that game again after this. Like I said, the ER doctor reassured us that this is a VERY common injury for toddlers and it can easily happen on its own without any obvious reason. That makes me feel a little bit better, but I still just wish I knew what caused it. For all I know he could have dislocated his elbow by riding in the shopping cart. God knows I'm hell on wheels in a store. Very strange.

Sunday, August 31, 2008

happily buried

We had a fun morning with Clara & fam down at Dockweiler beach. Jake was in a mood, but as it turns out, sand is toddler Prozac. It also turns out that when it's time to go home and you take that Prozac away, you REALLY regret it. I was about to just stay there all day and let him take his nap right there. Too bad the tide was coming in. I really wish I could do this to Jake everyday because I've never seen him so content. Wait. I do have a sand box here at home. Prescription filled.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Wonder Mama


I conquered Disneyland ALL BY MYSELF with Jake and had a great time doing it... and I didn't even try to leave him there once! I must say I'm very proud of myself. I had to try to fill this week with as many distractions as I could since Jake was out of preschool and just came back from the other happiest place on Earth, Grandma's house.

So, being very brave, early Wednesday morning I left Chloe with a sitter and headed off for a Mommy and Jake day o' fun. Being with just one child is so different & I could tell he was really happy that it was just us. He loves his sister and all, but he just doesn't get the mommy time that he used to. I think I should try and do these one on one days more often.

We had a simply amazing time. We bonded, we laughed, we saw pirates, we ate the biggest funnel cake ever. This is what it's all about.

Oh and by the way... we just sold our house like 3 hours ago. aaaaaaaaak! 45 days and we're out! I haven't been this panic stricken in a very long time.

Only $24.99

At Ikea will buy you at least 12 minutes of good times to be had by all.
Worth EVERY penny.

Monday, August 25, 2008

A Mojave Desert McDonalds, a 2 yr. Old, an Infant and about 50 Japanese Tourist

= my own private hell.

Well, maybe not private. Going on a 9 1/2 hr. road trip, one that usually takes around 6 hours, is, well, exhausting. The drive home just about undid any relaxation we got from our vacation.
I don't really have any time to get into details so I'll just sum up. I'll fill in the rest on another day when I'm not, well, you know. It's our first day back and preschool is not in session until next Tuesday... God help me.
Here are some photos and please visit my Flickr page for more.

All in all we had a wonderful time at Grandma's beautiful home in Twin Lakes. Jake was bug eyed and in complete awe the whole entire time. I think he liked it better than Disneyland or the Mohave McDonalds which is really saying something. You can't ask for much more. We miss you/it already... thanks for such a great time!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

baby buddy

Meet Charlotte (on the right), Chloe's new best friend. They met last week at Chloe's first ever playdate and hit it off immediately. They both share the same birthday as well as a penchant for drooling over toys, Oliver the cat, Jane Fonda leg kicks and constant silliness.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

And Now for Something Completely Different

Our cat, Oliver, can be even more entertaining than the kids sometimes... he's special.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Duuuude you're old...

Hey, any excuse to post this photo again...
Happy Birthday dude. We love you. Keep rock'n!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

I know...

I swore up and down that when I had a baby girl, I would never stick her in one of those ridiculous baby bow headbands that people put on their babies heads in case, God Forbid, someone might mistake them for a boy... So I stuck a bow to her head with corn syrup - because that's so much better.

1st haircut

I forgot to post about his first haircut. It's a bit of a post worthy occasion don't you think? Sadly, it's taken me a month to do so... So he just sat there and got his hair cut. There isn't some crazy story of me sedating him or hog tying him to the chair - all it took was a cookie.


The scratch next to his eye looks worse in person. Here in this photo, Jake unfortunately reminds me of a bad mug shot of some guy arrested for getting in a bar brawl. We'll just say that's the photographer's fault. So anyway, Jake had his first run-in with the preschools little lambs class bully. When I went to pick him up yesterday, attached my sign-out sheet there was a booboo report stating that Jake got scratched by another classmate. When I saw him it looked like a angry rodent tried to claw his eyes out. I couldn't believe another little "lamb" did this to my little "lamb". The school yard is a tough place kid.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

gimme gabba

We have a new family favorite past time around here... and no, it's not wearing wigs.
I guess I wouldn't call it a past time, it's more of a favorite distraction.
Yo Gabba Gabba has it all - creative design, novel mid century-ish animation, and catchy/sometimes annoying tunes and then cranks it up a notch. Or three. It’s easily the most pop-saturated, design savvy preschooler show I've ever seen. I'm ridiculously excited about this show. Almost more so than Jake & apparently I'm not alone. It seems the show has also acquired a bit of a cult following with 20 somethings. Most of them, I'm guessing, potheads OR just parents who used to be... Like the Teletubbies, this children's show has become the visual equivalent of the munchies. Honestly, the show is just weird, but a good weird. Not creepy weird except for the fact that i find it disturbing that the characters' mouths don't move. Mostly it's pure, innocent happy weird.
For example...

& on one of My other favorite shows Joel regularly pays homage to all the great dancing happening.

My name is Jeannine - I like to dance!

Monday, July 14, 2008

4 months and 3 days

I look at her sometimes and wonder, "where on earth did you come from?", as if she just landed on our doorstep in a basket. She's so beautiful. I think her eyes might stay blue.

She's is getting a lot of hand control now. She can grasp things and hit herself euphorically in the face with them.
She can also roll over now. She's so advanced. It's scares me how fast she is growing up. It is truly painful. I want her to stay this age forever. However, she's at that really annoying stage where she'll roll over on her belly and be very happy about it, but then realize she's stuck and needs rescuing. Once she's there, she'll sort of lurch around like a little sow bug. I mean that in the nicest possible way. It's the beginning of crawling I guess.

She's such a happy baby. She'll just crack up at practically anything you do making you feel like a very fun person to be around. In other words she very good for the ego. I'll sit in front of her for the longest time making funny faces and playing peek-a-boo and she will go into complete hysterics. I don't remember Jake being that way. He was a more serious, pensive baby. He still kind of is. He's just is more discerning on what amuses him. It's a genius thing.

I need to vent about something. Right now we're struggling to figure out what to do with the sleeping situation. Chloe's still in our room and it's wearing. We're afraid to put her in with Jake because I have visions of him, with the best of intentions, offering her every blanket off his bed and, well, you can imagine. Once she's able to actually crawl out from under them that won't be an issue, but for now it obviously is. Even once she can somewhat defend herself, I still don't think they can co-habitate for very long.

So, for this reason, and many, many others we think we're putting the house on the market. I'm both excited and majorly freaked out about this. This is obviously a huge decision, but it was going to happen at some point in the very near future anyway. Therefore we're making the leap now. Here's the thing that worries me, with the market the way it is right now and with the lenders being very stingy, we might not be able to afford L.A.
So we've started entertaining the idea of leaving the state. I know. The sad thing is we only have a couple choices with Jonathan's work and Kansas City and Dallas are the most likely. I know. Aside from Chloe, I just don't think our hair is big enough for either, but we could afford a really big house (with a pool!) compared to the tiny fixer we could get here in L.A. and that's very seductive. I've never been a fan of L.A. anyway. Born and raised here, I can safely say I've had enough of this place. If we actually took advantage of what this place has to offer like the beach and night life or had family here I'd be more hesitant, but we don't. We can sit on our couch and wear wigs anywhere in the country and do it for a lot less. Hell, it would be a much bigger couch too. That said, it'll be a while before we throw in the towel and leave California. We're going to try to stay here, but there is a very real plan B so stay tuned and rock on.

Friday, June 27, 2008

hello again

So I guess it's been a few weeks since I've felt like adding to the blog. I just haven't had much to report on. All I can say is having a toddler, a baby and a husband is very time consuming. Even pictures have sort of fallen by the way side.

I've also had a strange pain in my side that refers to my shoulder for about a month now that sort of comes and goes. It's been debilitating at times. When I'm not chasing after Jake or doing the baby saunter around the room, I'm curled up on the couch hoping it will go away. The doc thinks it's gallstones. Just the idea that my body can produce shiny little stones baffles me. Ew. I'll hopefully find out more after they do a ct scan if my lousy HMO ever feels like approving it.
Now onto something that my body produced that is actually nice...
Chloe's developing like a champ. She squeals and giggles when I play peak-a-boo with her. She also found her thumb recently. What a talented baby.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

frig'n cool

Things are cooler around here today. The Appliance doctor called yesterday and said they got the refrigerator part. I'm sure it was because of the "two kids" comment. So anyway, as of today we are back in business.

I finally got around to downloading the photos from the last few weeks. here are some.

Grandpa and Grandma pose with the kids.

Chloe got to strike a pose in the family Christening gown once worn by Jonathan's dad. Since Jonathan was two fat to fit in it when he was a baby, Grandma E. brought the gown so we could play dress up with Chloe. We had the perfect doll after all. I just wish we could have actually baptised her in it. Didn't I say she must be what angels look like?

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

frazzle dazzle

it's the pits around here. I'm feeling very sorry for myself.

Our fridge decided to stop fridg'n last Tues. so we've been surviving out of two ice chests with a $50 / every 3 days ice habit. We have no food and Jake is surviving on crackers and peanut butter. He's happy at least. There's apparently a back order until July with the part we need to fix it. I've yelled at several people on the phone about this and reminded each one of them that I have 2 kids and this can't happen to someone with 2 kids. Like then they might produce the part a little faster.

Chloe decided to stop sleeping through the night as of Monday. For the last 2 nights she has woken up at 11:30, 2:30, 4:30, 5:30 etc. etc... She was also colicky all day and I really understand child abuse now. I really do. I never would so please don't call child services on me. I just understand it.

They also both have colds and I feel on the verge of having one myself. This may be the reason for Chloe not sleeping. I feel like thin glass, like I might crack. This reminds me of the early days with Jake when I was so delirious from lack of sleep that I once took a shower in my underpants.
My mom and my aunt also leave today and my mom won't be back until September when she visits for a weekend. We are pretty much orphans here in L.A. so I'm wigging out at the thought of not having an extra pair of arms or eyes to help me out until then. My mom's been staying with us since February so I've gotten quite used to her help. Jonathan's parent's also just left Sunday. I'm about to go into serious grandparent withdrawal. Poor Jake will too I'm afraid. He's been walking on clouds the last few weeks exclaiming," One Grandma, two Grandma, three Grandpa". When my mom's twin, my aunt Joyce arrived last Friday he must have thought my mom multiplied into two. I can't even begin to imagine how much that must have messed with his little head. Nor, can I begin to understand how much this sudden empty house is going to mess with it either. This might be a good time to pick up a drinking habit.
In times like these I always try to remind myself that someone always has it worse. However, they probably have a refrigerator.

Monday, June 9, 2008

He's SO my son

So he's not a fan of preschoolers screaming church hymns at the top of their lungs. I can understand that.

So here's the thing, we had a choice... go to his preschool's church on Sunday to watch him "preform" in what we thought would be a bigger turnout (turns out, we're one of the few suckers who actually showed up) or go to Grandma and Grandpa E's. fancy resort pool for one last day of pretend resort style liv'n. We made the wrong choice. sigh.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

3 Months Old (almost)

She's almost three months old today and I thought I could wait to post this when she's actually 3 months exactly, but I just can't guarantee timely post anymore. So I figured this was good enough.
Anyway, she has been sleeping until 6 am for a good stretch now. She's definitely a keeper. She's so chubby and talented compared to how she used to be. She's even trying really hard to sit up already. She can swat at objects and loves spending time with kitty. She smiles all the time now especially at when she sees me.

We take short naps together in the afternoon. Shorter than I'd like. As she falls asleep I feel like I could die of love as I watch her. I think to myself that she's what angels must look like. But then, just as I'll start to fully doze off, she'll wake up and start making screechy rodent noises and scanning the room wildly. I'll sit up and look blearily back over at her in the bassinet with great hostility and think, oh God, she wakes AGAIN. But then as soon as she sees me she beams, and makes raspberries, and does frantic bicycle kicks like she's doing her baby Jane Fonda workout. Then I feel I can go on.

I'd like her to stay this size forever. As much as I love her big brother, sometimes when I see Jake tearing around I think he's just a loud screamy poopy version of what he once was at her age. Wait no, he was that way then too. Just smaller. Maybe it' a boy thing. Anyway, at 3 months they are definitely a lot more portable. I can take her anywhere. Today, Chloe & I got the car washed and then went purse shopping at Nordstrom Rack while Jake learned stuff at preschool. Unfortunately, we didn't like any of the bags we saw. Even so, we had that kind of bonding time that only a mother and daughter can have.

Monday, June 2, 2008

a convert

Jake didn't really have any interest in talking mice... Buzz Lightyear, yes, but mice no.

That is, until last Wednesday.

While Grandma and Grandpa E. were in town, we made the perquisite trip to the house of mouse and stayed the night in order to have two days of mouserific good times. And were they? Actually yes. He waited in line for the rides reasonably well to our surprise. He road several rides and screamed, "ALL DONE, ALL DONE" and "MORE, MOOOOOORE, AGAIN, AGAIN!" all in the same breath and fell in love with every college student / wannabe actor that pranced around in fur, polka dots & large white gloves. He's even a convert regardless of what a fiasco meeting his lordship mouse ended up being. It was almost like meeting the Queen or something. I said almost. Somehow we got suckered into buying season passes. Either we're gluttons for punishment or maybe we were enchanted to do so by this guys voice on the next video. Oh the magic!

Friday, May 16, 2008

the polite potty mouth

A conversation I had this morning...

Me: "Waffle coming up... here you go."
Jake: "F#$k you"
Me: "Huh? What did you say?"
Jake: "F#$k you F#$k you F#$k you!"
Me: "um"
Me: 10 seconds later: "oooooh, you're saying thank you. Say THANK YOU Jake. Like this, THHHHAAANK you."
Jake: F#$k yoooou."

Apparently Jake has somehow, all of a sudden, decided to exchange his reasonably well pronounced version of "thank you" with a certain expletive. OUT OF NO WHERE. This is especially annoying since Jonathan & I don't use that kind of language. Anymore. We use those words on occasion, but certainly not in that context and NEVER around the kiddos.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

if you give a mom a muffin

I don't know who originally wrote this, but I thought it too relatable not to share.

If you give a mom a muffin,
She'll want a cup of coffee to go with it.
She'll pour herself some.
Her three-year-old will spill the coffee.
She'll wipe it up.
Wiping the floor, she'll find dirty socks.
She'll remember she has to do laundry.
When she puts the laundry in the washer,
She'll trip over boots and bump into the freezer.
Bumping into the freezer will remind her
she has to plan for supper.
She will get out a pound of hamburger.
She'll look for her cookbook
("101 Things TO Do With a Pound of Hamburger").
The cookbook is setting under a pile of mail.
She will see the phone bill, which is due tomorrow.
She will look for her checkbook.
The checkbook is in her purse
that is being dumped out by her two-year-old.
She'll smell something funny.
She'll change the two-year-old's diaper.
While she is changing the diaper, the phone will ring.
Her five-year-old will answer and hang up.
She'll remember she wants to phone a friend for coffee.
Thinking of coffee will remind her
that she was going to have a cup.
And chances are... If she has a cup of coffee,
Her kids will have eaten the muffin that went with it.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

My Mothers Day

was spent doing this...
it's moments like this that make it all worth it.

Friday, May 9, 2008

quite the little performer

okay... so he didn't sing, dance or do much of anything other than shake a maraca and suck on his fingers. STILL, I think this is the best thing EVER. I had no idea we'd be going to these school performance things so soon. I still can't even believe he actually stood there. I thought for sure he'd go into a fit of yelling "WAFFLE" over and over (as he does) and then run out of the church. Who is this child?

How to get a coat on a hopped up toddler

After the performance, Jake discovered the table of cookies and sugar water otherwise known as "punch"... AND so did all his classmates. Chaos ensued.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

no more tears

So Jake didn't cry at all when I dropped him off yesterday. As soon as we got into his classroom, he ran over to the playdough table and proceeded to make "pizza". I told him I loved him and said goodbye. He responded with the same, "I wuv u", and then proceeded to ignore my presence as best as he could. I could swear I saw him rolling his eyes at me. Part of me finds this so reassuring that he is happy at his new preschool, but another part of me is like HEEY! Next thing you know he'll be requesting that I drop him off where no one can see us because I cramp his style.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

bebé gordo part 2

As they say, the proof is in the pudding.
And like her mama, most of it is in her thighs.


just how do you clean dirt out from underneath a newborn's fingernails? And how on earth did the dirt get under there in the first place? It's not like I leave her out in the garden to scratch and claw her way around. I wondered this with Jake and I still have no answers.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Think Green

Since it's Earth Day, I thought I'd climb up on my soapbox and share some useful tidbits on helping our health as well as the earth's.

First, plastics. Not only are they clogging our waterways, but I learned last year just how bad plastics are for our health, especially the health of our little ones. I unfortunately did not really know this when Jake was a baby and used plastic bottles with him, but luckily now I know. So now with Chloe I use glass or bisphenol-A free bottles & with Jake bisphenol-A free containers and sippy cups. Here's the download.

Plastics to Avoid

#3 Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC) commonly contains di-2-ehtylhexyl phthalate (DEHP), an endocrine disruptor and probable human carcinogen, as a softener.

#6 Polystyrene (PS) may leach styrene, a possible endocrine disruptor and human carcinogen, into water and food.

#7 Polycarbonate contains the hormone disruptor bisphenol-A, which can leach out as bottles age, are heated or exposed to acidic solutions. Unfortunately, #7 is used in most baby bottles and five-gallon water jugs and in many reusable sports bottles.

Better Plastics

#1 polyethylene terephthalate (PET or PETE), the most common and easily recycled plastic for bottled water and soft drinks, has also been considered the most safe. However, one 2003 Italian study found that the amount of DEHP in bottled spring water increased after 9 months of storage in a PET bottle.

#2 High Density Polyethylene

#4 Low Density Polyethylene

#5 Polypropylene

Best Reusable Bottles: Sigg canteens (Jake and mama's favorite), Betras USA Sports Bottles, Brita Fill & Go Water Filtration Bottle, Arrow Canteen

Better Baby Bottles: Choose tempered glass or opaque plastic made of polypropylene
(#5) or polyethylene (#1), which do not contain bisphenol-A.

Tips for Use:

*Sniff and Taste: If there's a hint of plastic in your water, don't drink it.

*Keep bottled water away from heat, which promotes leaching of chemicals.

*Use bottled water quickly, as chemicals may migrate from plastic during storage. Ask retailers how long water has been on their shelves, and don't buy if it's been months.

*Do not reuse bottles intended for single use. Reused water bottles also make good breeding grounds for bacteria.

*Choose rigid, reusable containers or, for hot/acidic liquids, thermoses with stainless steel or ceramic interiors.

Another thing to watch out for are the products we use every day to clean our bodies & homes. Better living by chemicals is not always good sense. It's time to realize that as cancer rates are rising, so are the chemicals in our lotions, deodorants, shampoos and floor cleaners. Try getting back to basics. The kind of stuff our grandma's used to clean and beautify. Vinegar, lemon juice and water is one of my all time favorite all purpose cleaners. There are now so many products out there that are organic and free of carcinogens. I like Melalueca and Sun & Earth for that stuff.

Reuse as much as you can. The local economy really doesn't need you to by a new phone because it has ambient lighting. Maybe tonight you can flick off the lights and dine by candle (safe ones) light instead. Bring your bags to the store when you do have to shop. Compost. Eat organic. Buy local. That is all. Stay healthy!

Sunday, April 20, 2008

bebé gordo

Here is a video of Chloe displaying yet another of her amazing talents. Listen carefully...

I hope that made your day a little better.

So we're one month in and the baby and I both have acne. We're like plague victims. I usually keep the shades drawn so as not to scare the neighbors.
Chloe had her 1 month weigh in last Wednesday and she's proudly topping out the charts. 95% for weight and 25-50% for height. She's basically short and fat. I have a hard time believing it's all me. She's got to be sneaking pints of Ben & Jerry's in the middle of the night. Her cheeks are proof of that. She's also 95% for eye lashes. They're ridiculous. She hasn't learned how to bat them yet, but when she does, watch out. She has amazing neck control and is smiling and cooing like Bozo the Clown. She'll sleep from 9:30-5 now with an 11:30 feed in between. After 5 am it's hit and miss. Sometimes she'll konk out again but then there are days like today where she'll be wide awake and ready to chat.
She's also acquired a few nicknames to date and here they are in no particular order.

Chlo Chlo
Miss Thang

my tricycle

Thank you Grandma & Grandpa for my awesome new ride. The chicks really dig it too!

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

The BIG day has finally come...

The big man’s first day of preschool was today. Jonathan, Grandma and I walked him over and reluctantly left him there. We actually hung out for a little bit to just observe & take lots of photos. We were those crazy parents I'm sure. He seemed completely bewildered. It's a lot to take in so I can understand. He had to of been wondering why he was there, if we would stay or not, if he would stay, how long, who all these people were etc. etc. When walking over to the music class they all had to hold onto a shape on this leash. Jake held it for a total of 3 seconds and then jerked his hand away it seems when he realized he might be mistaken as part of the class. When I finally walked away he reached out and cried for me not to go. But I did. Quickly. And sadly. He just seemed so very small next to the other kids even though everyone in his class are only two yrs. old like him.

So I just picked him up and he seemed to do okay I guess. The teacher didn’t tell me anything out of the ordinary happened. Just normal first day stuff. I did okay too. No crying believe it or not. I’ve felt on the verge all morning but none a tear has been shed.
I know this is a really good thing. I'll actually get a bit of a break 3 times a week & have some time to spend with the newbie. He'll hopefully gain some necessary social skills as well as a few bad habits along the way. All par for the course I guess.