Tuesday, December 30, 2008


Pete said, it's been a long time since you got a toy for Christmas. It really has. I mean, while I love the food processor, it really isn't a toy. (Although, it really helps in making my favorite meatloaf and this amazing pink lady cake.)

If you followed the link in the last post, you already know what he bought me. If you didn't, have a look:

Saturday, December 27, 2008


I think that if you do it right, life is made up of the little moments - tiny snapshots of time - that you notice the amazing part of every day life. If you're not careful, these slip past you. Every once in a while, be sure you grab on to one and slip it into your pocket for later on.

Here are some of our December moments (I know, I know, I owe you some Christmas photos, but I'll get there. Part of the trouble is I'm still having trouble believing that he actually bought this for me.)

After stepping on a Lego, and getting himself 2 stitches, Harry had the brainy idea to haul his table and chairs downstairs for a building space that Daisy wouldn't dogzilla up.
We got a new fridge, which was supposed to be from Santa, but Harry declared that 'Santa doesn't bring bored presents'. He does have a point.

Club cracker creations continue - latest 'recipede': crackers, sharp cheddar and ketchup. Yum?

'And my baby sister wants Legos, too!'

This year was the first time we cut a fresh tree. I had a Courier and Ives vision of tromping through a snowy field, dragging Harry on a sled, etc. etc. Pete found a lovely tree farm where evergreens are grown like corn fields. I suppose you aren't supposed to go around cutting other people's trees down.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

To Mom, From Suzy

This week marks the arrival of reactive smiles. This also marks the start of attempting to photograph said smiles.

So, for every one of the above, you get several of the below. It's the baby's way of letting us know who is in charge.

Meanwhile, all presents have arrived and just 1 is left to wrap.

The Unitarian Nativity

Our own baby Jesus:

She was nearly angelic for both shows, having only filled her pants right before the first show. Oh well, life with a baby.

Monday, December 22, 2008


It's not quite Christmas Eve yet, but I think we've already received the gift. You know the one. The kid loves it, at first the parents think it's a charming idea. And then:

Harry: 'What is it?'
Cindy: 'A harmonica.'
Pete: 'Here, I'll show you.'

2 minutes elapse.

Cindy: 'Why don't you go up to your room and practice a song to play for us?'
Harry: 'Great idea!' Stomps up the steps.

2 minutes elapse.

Harry performs original composition, loudly, with feeling.
Cindy and Pete: Clap.

Repeat previous 5 lines. Many times.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Key limes

First, it's snowing again. Honestly. Pete spent the day moving snow at the shop, then at his mom's house (both of them!) and then a little clean up at my parent's house. Honestly, why do we live here?

Meanwhile, Harry, Suzy and I had a busy day - off to Target for nappies, then Whole Foods for wild blueberries (I know, but like Birger points out, they have indoor parking, and, it's heated), and then we were off to church. You see, Suzy has her acting debut tomorrow morning at the nativity pageant. So, we had to go to rehearsal. And she was so perfectly lovely during rehearsal that I'm afraid she will be unable to repeat the performance.

But this post really isn't about all that. It's about what Harry said at Whole Foods, while gazing down at Suzy.

"It sure is awfully nice to have a baby, isn't it Mom?"

And I teared up in the Whole Foods while holding on to the bag of key limes.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Snow day

It's pretty bad here. I can't see the scoreboard on the field across the street. I got plenty of provisions at the grocery store yesterday, and Harry got new Legos for Christmas from Jack, so we won't need to leave the house for days.

The question is: if I took cookies out of my Mom's freezer with the intention of taking them to the APL school Christmas program this morning (cancelled), do I have to take them back?

Wednesday, December 17, 2008


Is my last day of work for the year. I will be off for 17 days!! And, our new fridge will be delivered after 2:30. Funny thing, this morning I noticed that we bought the fridge exactly 6 years after we bought our first one.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Now that they are in the mail

The Christmas cards, not the kids:

On Saturday

We had the Urban family Christmas party. This is my mom's side of the family, and usually involves too much food and almost everyone standing in the kitchen. I don't know why we do it, but sooner or later, everyone is standing in the kitchen.

But not my Dad. I have lots of memories of him doing this in lots of places. I don't play by ear, and I'm ok with that. I just can't hear the next chord or the next interval. But, I can sight-read the pants off you. Really. Try me sometime.

You're hearing Santa Claus is Coming to Town, in case you were wondering.


Well, I'm not sure Suzy is smiling here - she might be thinking, 'OMG, get me away from this maniac before he clobbers me! Doesn't he know this is MINE now?'

The foot seems to be healing. He's favoring it just a little bit and I made the MD appointment on Friday for centipede removal. I'm sure that will cost me another $20 in legos.

PS - Centipede: Black thread of stitches hanging out of a wound. Harry dubbed them this after he (and I quote the emergency MD) 'fileted the tenderloin' of his arm on a nail during the great bathroom retiling project.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Because we needed more health insurance fun

I suppose it was bound to happen. I mean, they are pointy hard little things. And I step on them a lot.

Scene: Friday night. Cindy, grumpy, trying to get the Christmas tree in order. Pete, tired from chopping down tree. Suzy, sleeping. Harry, bounding, tearing about the house.

Cindy: Harry, get off the couch. It's not a jungle gym.
Harry: I know. (jumps off couch)
Cindy: Harry, you're done on the couch tonite. Get off. Sit on the floor.
Harry: (jumps off the couch, runs across to tv) Ow! Owie! My toey! My toe!
Cindy: Well, if you weren't tearing about, your foot wouldn't hurt.
Harry: Daddy, my toe hurts!
Pete: We've got blood here.

So, giant gash between 4th and little toe, big pad of skin missing in same general area.

Off the the emergency room:

Harry: I don't want another shot.
Cindy: I know.
Harry: Who is going to have to stay at the doctor's house?
Cindy: No one will have to stay at the hospital. They are just going to fix your foot.
Harry: I don't want them to touch my foot. I don't want another shot.

After a nice long stay, including the use of a urinal in bed, we left with 2 stitches. And what does the boy who got another shot and a new centipede want? Yes, the hair of the dog.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Important milestones

We're very excited when we realize Harry can do something new on his own. Often, we have to make slight adjustments to enable this independence -- such as, let him keep his toothbrush and special boy toothpaste on the sink so he can brush on his own, or relocate all his cups to the plastic drawer and put milk in a special boy pouring container so he can help himself. It disrupts a little, but is good for him and good for us.

For a while now, he's been helping make his own sandwiches, sometimes cheese and Club cracker but mostly PB&J. Yesterday he made his own sandwich. Now, before you accuse me of not paying attention, he did ask me to open the peanut butter and I assumed that sooner or later he'd ask me to open the jelly. I mean, it only made sense.

Yep. That's a triple decker (club?) peanut butter, M&M (dark chocolate!) club cracker sandwich. And, don't mess with the process -- 3 applications of peanut butter equals:

Don't ask, because there is NO chance that I scrubbed the sink and put those knives back in before taking the photo so you wouldn't know how dirty my sink was (is?). Nope, I would never do that. After all, am I my mother? My aunt? My granny?? How has this happened??? The only thing to do:

There it is. My shame for the whole world to see. Oh well, no one ever died from a dirty sink. At least, not that I've read.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

It's the holiday season

With whoop de do and hickory dock, and don't forget to hang up your sock. Ok, so we've maybe, just a little bit, almost kind of, been known to be a little grumpy this time of year. It's easy to be. But deep down, how can you be grumpy when commercial radio stations are playing 'Sleigh Ride' (without the annoying vocals!) and packages like this arrive at your house?

Special thanks to Kari for fixing the cookie mess!

Things your kids don't forgive

Living in a place that requires this:

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Bath Time

So, no one ever told me that babies mostly smell like rotten milk. But, it's a good thing, because now we have these:

Meanwhile, I'm still trying to figure out just exactly what we're going to be doing about this Christmas cookie crisis. Suggestions?

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

You wait and you wait

And it's so satisfying when it happens.

As you must know by now, either by talking to Harry, visiting the house or reading here, we have a lot of Legos. I mean a lot. True to form, I enjoy sorting and storing the Legos in an organized fashion. I also like the sorting and storing are nearly the same word with just the t and o switched around, neatly implying that they should be done together. Language is fun, especially when it helps you like that -- here, Cindy, do the sorting before storing. They even alphabetize that way. OK, OK, I know, you don't want to read my language dalliances, you want to hear about my kids. Ha.

ANYway... When we were kids (ca. 1970s), Legos came in brick sets and you were required to use your imagination to build things, or you could copy the square looking things on the box. Now Legos come in sets like this and this and even this. Yes, that is a Lego VW bug, and yes, it probably runs a little better than mine. But, it costs more.

So, we bought these sets -- well, I bought these sets. And we hoped that sooner or later Harry would imagine up some things to make. Wait for it:

Cindy: 'Harry, what is that?'

Harry: 'It's a stop light that shoots you if you don't listen.'

And I thought he was a pacifist. Well, at least he knows what pacifist means. (Really, I have to tell myself something.)

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

2 months

Yes, this little girl is really 2 months old. (Of course, she should only be 1 month old, but we're not going to talk about that anymore.)

And, for the record, here's the list of other things we're not going to talk about:

  • Harry weighs 52.5 lbs. And I still carry him.

  • The insurance company that some how cancelled Suzy as a dependent on my policy and sent a statement of benefits with my responsibility to provider at roughly $29,000 (yes, that's US dollars) and another one the next day with my responsibility to provider at roughly $4,700. Apparently I didn't call to get the hospital stay approved, which was my responsibility if the hospital or the doctor didn't do same. It was the first thing on my mind, since I wasn't worried about the girl learning how to breathe or the boy who had been without his mom at home for a week. So, we're not going to talk about the fact that I want socialized medicine and I want it now. Actually, I'd really like it yesterday, thank you very much President-Elect Obama.

  • The out of network doctors who practice at the in network hospital. How in the hell am I supposed to keep that straight? OK, I promise, we're not going to not talk about health care anymore. Not even the $24,000 bill for my stay and the fact that 30% of bills go straight to insurance company profits according to the PBS special that aired last fall.

  • The 22 days left of the Christmas shopping season. The list is made, some have been acquired and there are some funds and ideas missing.

  • The alarming news that my mother is not making cookies this year. I don't begrudge her the break, but I really don't want to have to make the chocolate covered cherry cookies. Then again, maybe my pants will fit after New Year.

  • The 5 shots that the baby stabber a.k.a. nurse delivered to my children today. 2 for the boy, 3 for the girl.

  • The number of cuts in my budget. Or the fact that I'm trying to convince myself that this is an opportunity and I'll learn something from this exercise.

  • This is on my Santa list and am really hoping that someone buys it for me.

How's that for a list?