Friday, October 31, 2008

Trick or Tr.....BLAH!

So, I probably started out with my expectations set too high. But I was pretty excited about this whole trick-or-treating thing. Lilli was actually old enough to catch on this year.

Elizabeth was excited enough for both girls:

Unfortunately Lilli had other ideas:
Poor baby. Her lunch didn't agree with her. Several times.
So, needless to say, she stayed behind with Grandpa and Grandma while the other three of us gamely went off to the Mall-O-Ween.
Things started off well enough:

But this should have reminded us that the girls had the same lunch:

Still, she perked up enough to enjoy the brand new (opened that day) playground:
She even made a little friend:
Shortly thereafter though, she tossed her cookies all over herself, her daddy (his sandals may never be the same) and the (did I mention it was brand new?) playground. Strangely, both she and I were most concerned about the damage done to her costume, but it cleaned up just fine.
To the poor woman who had to clean it up, sorry about that! To our friends C and N, who witnessed the whole thing, REALLY sorry about that.
I guess that was the trick part. In all it's technicolor glory.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Spin Cycle: Halloween

Ok, Jen (at, for Heaven's sake, someone PLEASE tell me how to link things the pretty way!) said that this week's topic to spin on is the ghoulish, creepy, freaky, scary, hairy (why not? Werewolves are hairy) holiday known as Halloween.

My Halloweens, which have never been too scary to begin with, have gotten even tamer. See?

Admittedly, Lilli's eyes are a nice vampiric shade of crimson, but we have to blame that on my camera ( I have a love/hate relationship with that thing) and on my lack of Photoshop (either the product or the skill), rather than on some sort of clever Halloween contacts for babies.
Last weekend we had a Halloween party to go to, so the girls had a trial run in their costumes.

I must say, they were very pleased to be wearing them. Although I have to point out that Lilli's costume has the cutest little headband hat, and of course she refuses to wear it. So it's kind of hard to see that she's supposed to be a flower fairy. Of some sort.

Anyway, here's my spin on the topic: Halloween used to be about what candy I was going to get and how adorable I would look in my costume. Now it's all about what candy THEY will get and how adorable THEY will look in their costumes. And I don't mind at all. It's reassurance that I'm doing better in the war between selfishness and motherhood than I thought, and I like that.

I'm still going to eat all their Reese's cups though.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Well, I did it.

I voted. For better or worse. And definitely for the worse, I don't feel that great about my choice. But I didn't feel great about the other choice either. I've already gotten comfortable with the probability that the world is going to end no matter which guy ends up as president. So here I sit, on the fence, listing a little bit to one side. And I'm not happy about it.

What I am happy about though, is what's keeping me company while I sit here on my uncomfortable fence. It's my bowl of warm, salty, fresh-roasted pumpkin seeds from yesterday's jack-o-lantern. And oh boy, are they tasty.

They may not last the night.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

It's c-c-c-c-cold!

Maybe not to you Northeners, but let me tell you it was pretty chilly today. THE MID 60's!

Which meant that the girls needed to wear JACKETS when they went out to play today. Well, if you look close Lilli is actually wearing a beach cover up, but Grandpa was in charge, so what can you do?

We enjoyed the crisp fall weather today though. hee hee hee

Oh! And we figured out why Lilli has been cranky lately, so that's helpful for our sanity. Teeth! I should have known there were more teeth in the works. She's got at least one more on her top right, so that makes at least 9, plus at least one molar. I really wish she'd let me in her mouth. She's sure all for exploring my teeth thoroughly, she just doesn't like to return the favor.

We're also getting ready for Halloween around here:

Elizabeth's not really a fan of pumpkin goop, but she's been watching Barney and Max & Ruby fall themed videos lately so she was all for giving it a shot. Pretty soon I got put back in charge of the pumpkin though. She really doesn't like gooey stuff. So we ended up with this:

Yes, I know, it looks completely horrified. And in defense of the poor thing, I did NOT choose this face. I made Elizabeth a page of clip art pictures from Word to pick a face from and this is the one she wanted. So yeah. That's just the way it is. We don't have fancy pumpkins in these parts.

Happy Fall everybody!


Yesterday evening we hosted our first play date in a very long time. We usually enjoy a certain level of clutter that prevents me from wanting anyone to see the disarray that I generally live in. We recently got tidy though, so we had Lilli's best bud S over to play and it was a total blast.

Lilli seems to think that S is in need of some extra loving or something because she's always trying to hug her and kiss her and, for better or worse, feed her. Last night she was stalking S with her sippy cup (picture altered so S's mommy will let me put her on here. Not everybody likes to splash their babies all over the internet. Or so she tells me):

Not pictured are all the times Lilli helped herself to poor little S's cup. Although with all the kissing that was going on, I guess the spit had already been swapped. So.
I have to say that Elizabeth did a good job being the big girl of the group and S escaped the melee relatively unscathed and appeared to thoroughly enjoy herself also.
Of course my Ham was up to her usual tricks. It's hard to get a decent picture of that girl.

Oh well. We had fun, and that's all that matters!

Sunday, October 26, 2008


She's laughing because she's tickling herself with the meat from her sandwich.

Good thing she's cute.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Spin Cycle: Tricks and Treats

This week's Spin Cycle, as hosted by the Keeper of Sprite over at is about tricks. Either tricks we've played or tricks we've had played on us. Well, I don't play tricks on people because I am way too good at imagining how I would feel if someone was doing whatever it was to me. Hmmm. I suspect that's part of my problem with uncomfortable moments in sitcoms. Anyway, I just can't can't play tricks. And I feel the need to get all preachy for a minute and say: Don't be mean, people! It's just not nice and nothing good comes with it!

So, I don't play tricks, but I'm fully aware that other people do, and the biggest trick that was ever played on me was played by Mother Nature.

Oh- err...due to nature...of this post, if you don't want to know anything about my biological history (this means you dad!) or nobody has told you how babies are made, this might be a good post to skip. Consider yourself warned. I'll give you a moment to decide...



OK! If you're still with me, let me give you some history. I'm married to a delightful guy who happens to not believe in birth control. We'd been married for almost three years with no sign of babies, and while we weren't trying to make one, we certainly weren't preventing it from occurring if you get my drift. I was getting a little antsy to start mothering something but just figured that I couldn't get pregnant for whatever reason, and since I'm adopted and super pro spreading the practice I just figured we'd go that direction. But I wanted to give things an official try first. So we decided to go for it. For months I swore off my favorite beverage- Pepsi- since I'd heard that too much caffeine can prevent pregnancy. We ate healthy, we got ovulation predictor kits, we did some crazy things we'd heard about that I'll spare you the details of. Eventually I started taking a baby aspirin every day because that seemed to be the thing that had worked for one of my friends.

Nothing worked.

If you've ever struggled or thought you were struggling with infertility, you know how upsetting it is to see a negative pregnancy test every month. So I wasn't happy about that, but we had decided to try for a full year before pursuing adoption and we were only 5 or 6 months into it.

So while all this was going on, we figured we were done with apartment living and that it was time to start looking into buying a house. One of my friends told me about the place she worked and how much she liked it and that she wasn't sure they were hiring, but I should put in my resume. Well, I was working as an aesthetician at the time (skin care therapist? facialist? whatever, I worked at a spa), which can bring in the big bucks, but not on any regular schedule. Your income can fluctuate majorly, which is really not so good for home buying. So I put in a resume and then proceeded to hear nothing for a while.

Eventually they called me to come in for an interview and it went very well. So well, that when I left I pretty certain I had the position. I got home and told the hubby how well things went and for the first time we considered things like maternity leave. And how you don't qualify for it until you been someplace for a year. So in the midst of feeling pretty confident I would be working there, we decided to stop trying for a baby until I had been at the new place for 6 months or so and I chucked the ovulation predictor kits.

The next week my in laws came to visit. When they visit we pretty much eat out at every meal. And since I was no longer trying for a baby I re-united with my true love- cola products. I must have drank gallons of the stuff. Many months of abstinence hadn't cured me of my addiction. I treasured every drop of each unlimited refill. I practically cleaned the glasses out with my finger. And I really, and truly must have drank gallons of the stuff.

Later that week I got the call saying I had the job and was able to tell David that we were going to be able to qualify for a mortgage. In the frenzy of celebrating that followed, one well-caffeinated ovum must have come out of hiding...

The day before I was due to start my new job I took a pregnancy test. I'd been miserably crampy the day before and since I was about to start my "time" I figured I'd take the test because that had always seemed to magically start things going all the other times. So I took it (a handy Clear Blue Easy digital test that I'd recommend to anyone for ease of use) and left it on the counter to cook while I got dressed. Eventually I turned around to pick it up and throw it away, expecting it to say "Not Pregnant" like always. And when it didn't, I literally did a double take. And I may have burst into tears out of pure shock.

So. After months of living healthy, avoiding caffeine and spending way to much time peeing on sticks, all it took was some happiness and a whole lot of cola. And I started a brand new job with a brand new pregnancy.

The biggest and best trick that I have ever been a part of was played on me by Mother Nature.

Thank you Mother Nature, she's lovely.

The Good Ones

A couple of weeks ago I listed the various things I've been asked to do posts about. Some of you said nothing (that's ok, I'm good with that...*sniff*), some of you kindly said you would listen to anything I want to go on about, and the rest of you want more pictures. You didn't care if they were of me or of the girls, but you wanted photos of the ladies of the family. So you're getting the girls. These are my favorites of the Sears session we had at the beginning of the month. Yes, I have several favorites, but then I do love my girls and I think they're beeee-yooou-ti-ful!

*sigh* I just love them. LOVE THEM!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

I'm a little afraid. Which is fitting for this time of year...

Yesterday, Lilli wasn't allowed to have a toy she wanted (it was time for bed and we were cleaning up, we weren't being mean for fun) and reacted in a way that makes me very nervous. She started to cry a little bit in frustration, grabbed another toy, glared at David, threw that toy down on the floor, and turned around and literally stormed off. Like she was 15 YEARS old instead of 15 months.

Today (as we left the house really late for our weekly library trip), Elizabeth heard a dog barking out in the dark somewhere. It startled her and so she said, "I'm scary (by which she meant "scared"), Mama. Hmmmm. I'm scary, RACHEL". Isn't she supposed to wait to start calling me by my first name until she's old enough to be sassy?

I think I'm in for some trouble.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Don't Laugh.

Hi. My name is Rachel and I love American Girl dolls.

There. I said it.

The obsession began when I was around 9 years old. My friend C-from-Ohio and I would pore over the catalogue for hours. I have very happy memories of that. Neither of us liked 1940s Molly, but she wanted to someday have pioneer Kirsten and I wanted...*sob*... victorian Samantha.

Why the sobs? Why the POST? Because American Girl has gone from being owned by small, friendly Pleasant Company to belonging to corporate giant Mattel. The quality hasn't gone down much, but the empire has expanded from 3 dolls for bigger little girls, with corresponding child-sized period clothing, and one baby doll for smaller little girls, to an empire covering AG and Bitty Baby dolls in every hair and eye color combination you can think of, plus oodles more period themed dolls, plus contemporary clothes for kids, plus books, plus random other things. And now they are going to retire Samantha. They call it "sending her to the archives" and this is the first time in my 20 year love affair that I am aware of them doing that. I don't own Samantha. Even after lusting for her incessantly, when I was given a chance to have an AG doll, I picked the Colonial era doll, Felicity. She was a great first doll and I don't regret the choice, but I've always had a soft spot for Samantha. And now Samantha is going to be...*sniff*...gonnnnnnne. Which makes me feel like they are stamping on a little piece of my childhood and also kind of makes me feel old.

So I'm in mourning and you get to hear about it. I'm not rushing out to spend 90 bucks and snap her up at the last minute (since I have real doll babies to dress up now), mind you. But I'm sad, ok?

Monday, October 20, 2008


I was having a perfectly innocent conversation with my mother-in-law last night while we were paging through a cookbook that she had purchased for the girls (It's Paula Deen's My First Cookbook, and it looks awesome, if you want to Google it). I have no idea which recipe we were looking at, but all of a sudden she said "You know what the best sandwich combination is? Peanut butter and Pickle!" At my look of horror she said "Well, sweet pickle." My face didn't get any better, so she tried to explain that the combination of the smooth peanut butter and the crunchy tangy pickle were to die for. And that sometimes she would add lettuce for "extra crunch". She also tried to compare it to eating peanut butter on celery. So even though I wanted to throw up I started thinking about what I eat. I think that cottage cheese and sliced green pepper are supposed to go together. And that the perfect addition to tuna salad is crushed Doritos. And, of course, you're supposed to dip Fritos in sour cream. And I suppose all of those could be considered "weird".

So my question is, what do YOU eat that's unusual?

Friday, October 17, 2008


I watched my first episode of "Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader?" tonight. Yes, yes, I'm behind on TV. Last Monday night's Heroes and CSI:Miami were the first TV I've watched in months. ANYWAY, as I was saying, I watched it because my in laws are visiting and they were over here and it was on. So, the episode was a rerun, and my mother-in-law had seen it, and she told me the end (the superintendent of Georgia schools wins the million). The weird thing? Even though I knew what was going to happen I was still holding my breath at every question, afraid that the lady on the hot seat would answer wrong.

It's more confirmation that I am just no good with suspense.

Have I Just Given Up?

Here's something to contemplate. We didn't give Elizabeth any sweets or even any juice until she was a year old. We didn't give her cookies or chocolate until she was 2. But yesterday Lilli (at 15 months) demonstrated that she can say "chocolate", has great familiarity with chocolate, and loves it. So the question is:

How did I get so lax?

Monday, October 13, 2008

Spin Cycle: Fears

This is my first time participating in the Spin Cycle.

It’s a weekly voluntary essay opportunity hosted by my blogging buddy Jen over at Sprite’s Keeper. That’s As usual, no pretty link, someday I’ll learn how to do that. I’ve done some false start posts on other topics that nobody will ever see, but I have plenty of material on the subject of fear. I originally tried to write this in a style that would make me sound more clever than I actually am, preferably in the style of the posts of some of the other participants. You know, really poignant with a deeper meaning, or hilariously funny or something. It didn’t work. So if this is your first visit to my blog courtesy of a Spin Cycle link, sorry about that. You’re not getting great literature. But if you’re a regular, you’re used to that! Brace yourself, this is a long one (For the TLDR skip to the end), I had PLENTY to say. So…

My Fears:

Spiders Especially, Most Insects in General: Yes, yes, this is common, but it doesn’t lessen it for me. Spiders turn me into a shrieking, gibbering mess. There was one in my car one time happily crawling back and forth over the windshield and for fun wandering across the ceiling over my head. And it was dark and since I was trying to drive without killing myself I periodically lost track of his whereabouts. Since I hate them and fear them but also can’t kill them I was pretty much a hysterical wreck by the time I got home and could get out of the car. My fear gives me power though. When I was a teenager up in Ohio I once woke up at 3 am and sat bolt upright, dead awake without knowing why, just that something was wrong. I turned on the light, and then of course the screaming began, because there on the wall, not 3 feet above my head, was a massive wolf spider, who was no doubt planning to touch me. I wouldn’t go back in my bedroom until he was dispatched. I’m sure that my parents also remember that incident with fondness.
It’s not that I think they’re going to bite me (although I’ve seen what the bite a Brown Recluse-and we have those here-can do, and its not pretty) or wrap me up in their tiny little webs, I just am deathly afraid that they are going to touch me. And not just spiders, any insect, with the odd exception of flies and mosquitoes, which I hate, but can kill, so it lessens the fear- they aren’t so invincible. In Florida we have hordes of what are frequently and kindly called “Palmetto Bugs”, but are really just large cockroaches with wings. And the depressing thing is that they are everywhere. If you exterminate regularly, you might have less, but all you really have to do is dig a hole in the ground and you’ll find them. So they are EVERYWHERE, and that includes your garage and house. At least up North you knew that if you kept your house clean there was a good chance that you would never see a cockroach. Not so in the South. I don’t see as many as some people might, since I have 3 cats and they think they are a tasty treat, so I more often find a stray wing in my sweeping then an entire and lively CR. Unfortunately that is not always the case and so I’ve developed a healthy fear of these guys too. And I’m still reeling from my last encounter so I don’t think it’s going away any time soon. Back story of the “incident”: We give the girls a bath in our tub since it’s bigger than ours. Usually we pick up all the toys so they can dry out before the next bath, but on this occasion we didn’t for some reason. So, CRs get thirsty like anyone else, and, unbeknownst to me when I stumbled groggily into the bathroom for my morning shower, one was lurking under a bath toy no doubt slaking his or her thirst in a puddle. Well, they may get thirsty, but they sure don’t like water, because I stepped in the shower, turned on the water and it RAN RIGHT UP MY LEG. Oh yes, there was early morning hysteria. I may never recover. So it’s the fear that they may touch me and also their tendency to pop out of nowhere that makes me hate them. I really hate it when things pop out at me. Which is why I also hate:

Scary Movies. If you want to see me achieve a record in the high jump, just walk up behind me when I’m distracted and say something or, heaven forbid, touch me. I startle easily. So I don’t like the kind of movie where Susie is wandering through a darkened basement looking for the serial killer and of course she went down there by herself, and you know that he’s down there too, only you don’t know where, and she’s walking and walking and breathing all loud because she’s freaked out, which just makes me more apprehensive and then WAM! HE JUMPS OUT OF THE SHADOWS AND CUTS HER HEAD OFF. And then I scream really loud and try not to have a heart attack. I hate that kind of movie. I was once forced (no, not at gunpoint, it was just a high peer pressure incident) to see the re-make of Dawn of the Dead in which the zombies are not your traditional shambling-oh-look-my-arm-fell-off kind of zombie, but are positively feral and constantly leap out and eat people with rapid speed and give the viewer (me at least) a stroke. I didn’t sleep well after that one. Of course some people like these sorts of movies while I had major issues with both Ghostbusters (in third grade) and Invasion of the Pod People (in 5th grade), so it may have more to do with the fact that my parents refused to get a TV until I was 10 so I’m not desensitized to trauma like the lucky rest of the population. Which is why I also fear:

Uncomfortable Moments in Sitcoms. Fortunately David fears this one too or he would be hard to live with. Something comes on the TV that we know is going to go badly or be embarrassing for someone and we both scream “CHANGE THE CHANNEL! CHANGE THE CHANNEL!” Except that we’ve both run out of the room so there’s nobody to change it for us. I don’t like these moments in real life either. Someone tells me a story and it’s just the same as the sitcoms, only without the remote. I do a lot of clutching my head in horror.

Unexpected Events: I stated a few posts back that I would someday like to visit the United Kingdom, but only in a tour group, perhaps on a cushy tour bus. I’ve always admired the people who can backpack across Europe and stay in hostels without a second thought, but that’s not my thing. I would be in a panic every second over where I was, where I was going, what I was going to eat and where I was going to sleep. I would be miserable. Give me a map and a planned itinerary, some local currency and a translator and I would live it up. But without? I see myself alone on a park bench at night in a rainstorm, desperately trying to keep dry with someone’s discarded newspaper. Maybe fighting the squirrels for peanuts. It doesn’t sound like fun to me. I also don’t really care for surprises much. A good surprise on a day I don’t have anything else planned is good, and you can feel free to hand me a check at any hour of the day or night. Just make it a large one. But if I have a to-do list 15 miles long on a Saturday and someone tries to rearrange the schedule? To put it mildly, I’d rather they didn’t. And I may express that by freaking out. And also I will never live in California if I have any choice. Because you have no warning with earthquakes, and you at least have some with the tornadoes and hurricanes we have in Florida. Although I would rather not have those either since I fear:

A Direct Hit by a Katrina-Strength Hurricane: On a momentary serious note, when Katrina hit New Orleans I was less than a month away from giving birth to Elizabeth. I was super pregnant and of course super hormonal and since we don’t have cable (a story for another day), I was glued to the Internet footage. There was too much to see for me to handle and the pictures and footage of the little kids and babies suffering just made me sob. So I fear that for my girls. Yes, it’s really unlikely. We are inland to a degree, we are a whole 20 some feet above sea level (maybe more now that I think about it), we could take the cats and evacuate, we have a hurricane plan, we’ve had enough years down here that we know what supplies we need and where to get them if we were here and something hit. I just can’t stand the thought of my babies crying for water and not having any to give them.

Fish/Aquariums/Lakes/the Ocean/Pools: So, something else I really don’t want to touch me are fish. I fear them. They are slimy and slippery and potentially nibbley and have big fishy eyes and they don’t blink, and I do not like them at all. And if they happened to be really big they could eat me. So I don’t want to be anywhere they are and that includes ponds, lakes, oceans and Aquariums (the big ones, not the little ones people have at their houses, I call those “tanks” and those are fine). Especially aquariums where the fish are right at eye level and the glass could easily crack and the water could burst out and some giant grouper could FALL ON ME. I have no problems with dolphins, manatees, killer whales or sea turtles either in the wild (although that will never happen because they live where fish live) or at a park or aquarium. But I fear fish. And I’m not ashamed. When I was younger I used to have to keep up a front and go swimming with people, but now that I’m old I can say NO to water. And nobody can make me go in it against my will. Muhahahahahaha! The only unfortunate thing is that my dislike of fish has become a dislike of water and that has carried over to swimming pools. But that is partially because they frequently have bugs swimming around (or worse, DEAD!). And you know how I feel about those guys.

Being UNDER Water/Tight Spaces: A secondary reason that I don’t like water is because I’m a wee bit claustrophobic. Sheesh. I’m hyperventilating a little just talking about it. When I was younger, and used to have to appear normal, when I went swimming, I never liked wearing a swim mask because it covers both your mouth and nose, and that fact, combined with being under the water was enough to make me feel like I was drowning. So I was a goggle-wearing child. Even if I liked water I would never scuba dive or snorkel because the thought of being dependent on something else for air gives me that panicky feeling. Which, I admit, doesn’t really take much for me to get. The first time I watched Titanic, and the water rushed into the ship and started covering people up, I almost passed out from holding my breath. And it’s the fear of no air that makes me not like tight spaces. At 6th grade camp I was quite happy to be one of the two chickens who didn’t crawl through Fat Man’s Squeeze. Even at that early age I knew I couldn’t handle it. I will never be a spelunker. Oh, and I may have been ridiculed (I can’t remember anyone saying anything, but I’m sure someone must have. It was middle school for heaven’s sake!), but at least I wasn’t covered in bat poo like everybody else. Hah!

Painful Death: Yeah. I don’t mind going someday (or tomorrow if that’s when The Plan has me scheduled, although I’m a little busy tomorrow…), I just don’t want it to hurt. So I would like it either to happen in my sleep or be so quick I don’t even know it. But (see the next fear), I don’t want it to happen at home either. And personally I think that suffocating (under the water or buried when the roof of a cave falls on me) or starving (such as would happen if I was crawling through a narrow passage and got stuck) or being eaten by a shark would be quite painful.

David Dies in Our Bed and I Wake Up and Find Him/Corpses in General: In college, where I was a Social Work major, I took a lengthy series of classes on HIV counseling. We watched a documentary (of course I’m blanking on the name, it has “Silver” in the title) about a couple who both had full blown AIDS and were slowly dying. And they were documenting their decline on camera. So, the one gentleman was sicker than the other one and he was near death first. And on camera you see the second gentleman discover that his partner had died, albeit relatively peacefully in bed, and you see/hear his reaction, and you hear him call 911 and they come to take away the body….it horrified me. Partially because of the utterly traumatic sadness, and also because I have a fear of bodies. I have made David promise to not die in our bed, but all he can tell me is that he’ll try not to. I’m ok at funerals, although I get a little short of breath, and actually did really well at my Grandma’s viewing, but I don’t like bodies. They scare me, and that’s probably the only fear on this list that I’m ashamed of. When David and I had to put our first cat Tybalt (Tybbie, we still miss you) to sleep I couldn’t shake the awfulness of the fact that we had killed him (even though he had been suffering) and the worry that we might not have killed him all the way (mostly because we were taking his body to David’s parents' house to bury him and he was in a duffel bag in the trunk of our car). I guess I have a little PTSD from that. Regardless I just just don't like death and corpses, which is the reason I can’t kill bugs. I don't want them around but I can't snuff out their little lives either. And I really can't handle the carcasses.

It all comes back to crawly things with me I think.

So, now you know all the things I’m afraid of. But I’m not a complete scaredy cat:

Things I’m not afraid of:

Reptiles: You would think I would be, but nope, not at all. As long as I don’t see them eat. The death/corpse thing you know. I wouldn’t much care to hang out with the poisonous variety (fear of painful death), but an afternoon in a comfy chair with a book and a ball python would be quite lovely.

Rodents: I maintain that rats (domestic ones anyway, I wouldn’t go hunting in a sewer for one) are the sweetest, nicest, cleanest, small animal pet anyone can have. They don’t bite like hamsters and gerbils, they are quieter than guinea pigs, they smell way better than ferrets and they poop way less than rabbits. Get one and you won’t be sorry. I rescued Cocoa out of a cage of rats intended to be snake food and she is super healthy (even though she’s probably the product of inbreeding and by rights should have a respiratory disease at the very least) and has the shiniest brown/black fur you ever saw. She’s beautiful. And the girls think she’s pretty too. When Elizabeth was little she used to call her “Dodo”, but Lilli can say “Cocoa” perfectly clearly. Ahhhh.

Being Poor Forever: I’ve never known life any other way. How can I be afraid of the status quo?

Global Warming: I kind of figure that if its going to happen I’ll have time to get used to it.

A Meteor Hitting the Moon: I read the book “Life As We Knew It”, in which the doomsday version of this happens and I now feel quite prepared.

The results of the next presidential election: Personally, I think I’m not going to like it either way. So I’m not going to worry about it and I’ll just complain a lot when it happens.

The End!
The aforementioned TLDR (That, of course, stands for Too Long, Didn't Read, in case you didn't know): I fear insects, fish, most kinds of water, being startled, death, impending death, and dead things. Everything else I pretty much like just fine.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Her Mother's Child

When I put Lilli to bed she hangs out on my lap for a while while I sing and we rock. It's our cuddle time and it gets her nice and sleepy. Well, tonight when I put her to bed she started rhythmically rubbing her left foot against the fabric of my pants. It's a strange thing to get excited about maybe, but it's something I've done all my life.
Hmmm. It looks a little weird now that I've seen it written down, but it's not that creepy, it's a contentment thing. Like, I can't purr, but when I'm comfortable and happy I rub a foot on things.
Man, that looks really weird. Well, I have a point, so I'll carry on.
So, as most of you know, I was adopted as a baby. And if you know that, you know that I think it was the best thing that could have happened to me and I'm happy with the way my life has gone and in general have no complaints at all. Oh yeah, and I'd recommend adoption as something to strongly consider to anybody. But until I had my girls, I never had anybody who I looked like or who looked like me. Even though they have a healthy dose of their daddy mixed in, the girls look a LOT like me. And then to have Lilli express her happiness with her cuddle in the exact same way that I would? In a way that is apparently genetic? Can you see that I would be almost beside myself with delight? Ahhhhh.
Yeah, I think you can understand that.

Our Day

Today we went to Manatee Park. Or at least that's what we call it. It's a little offshoot of a river that stays fairly toasty due to power plant run-off, and so in the winter the Manatees come inland to hang out and warm up. There is now a park built around this fact with viewing areas and tour guides and what not.

So even though it's not exactly winter, our friends are visiting, so we thought we'd give it a shot and see if anybody was lurking in the water.

We were hoping to, you know, maybe see a manatee. See?

Well, ok, Lilli couldn't have cared less, but Elizabeth looks intrigued by the idea:

Instead of manatees, we saw this:

If you were a manatee, would you have gone anywhere near the area? I wouldn't.

You can tell that Lilli wouldn't either:

It was still a lovely day though, and we did see other things.

Like Spanish Moss, which never fails to make me feel like I should be wearing a hoop skirt and sitting on a porch with a lemonade and Rhett Butler:

And a lovely view. Did I mention it was a nice day?

And of course some of the members of the group were exceptionally easy to please.

So what's not to like about today? I hope your Friday was half as good!

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Beach Baby

Just in case I'm letting you forget that I have two delightful children, not just the one who gives me lots of material, I thought Lilli should have a post of her own. She is a young lady of 15 months and gets bigger and smarter (she said "star" for the first time today) and possibly cuter every day. So here she is today at the Lighthouse Beach on Sanibel.

With Mama. She's a Mama's girl, I'm proud to say:

Contemplating the stuff she just walked through. Today was the first day she was willing to touch the sand, so that's pretty exciting.

My oh my, the beach is lovely today. Coolish and partly cloudy. That's how we like it.

Trying out a "Faux-hawk":
Personally I think she rocks it.


I was afraid that if I put the word "potty" in the title of another post, I'd scare you all off. But you know, it'll only be my first time potty training someone once so I feel the need to share.

Elizabeth has been doing reeeeally well. Last weekend she even went for several hours while we were out and about without a pull-up. And she used a public restroom (something she had initially resisted) 4 times that day. She is being super consistent, staying dry during naps, using the potty without being reminded, the whole nine yards. What a good girl. *sniff*

So, today we were heading to Sanibel Island where we planned to meet our visiting friends. Elizabeth had used the potty before we left, but asked to wear a pull-up. It's not a short drive, I was all for it. We had gone maaaaybe a quarter mile when suddenly a little voice said "I need to use the potty!" We have learned that doesn't mean in 20 minutes. Or even 10. We don't carry a portable potty, although apparently we are going to have to change that.

David: Just pee in your pull-up, it will be a long time until we can find a potty.
Elizabeth: I can't! I need to pee on the ground!

A pause here. She got this idea based on one of the first times she went out and about wearing undies. It was a Wednesday library night and we always get a bite to eat before we go, and she made it through dinner just fine and then said she had to go. She even went and sat (uncharacteristically at that point), but nothing happened. We got in the car and 30 seconds later in a voice of utter desperation she told us that she had to go and that she thought her car seat was a perfectly fine place to do it. Let me tell you, we have never pulled into a Wal-Mart parking lot so quickly. Since we didn't have a portable potty then either (to be honest, we don't even own one. Yes, yes, we will get one.), I told her to pee on the ground.

So this:
is my fault.

To the car who drove by while the action was happening- Sorry about that.

But look at how pleased she is!

My little potty champion is so dedicated to her training that she refused to pee in a perfectly good pull-up and did the equivalent of her first pee-in-the-woods.

Which is no fun task.

And she didn't even pee on her shoes.