Wormy Little Book Worm

Sterling has a few books that she "reads" to John.

I put reads in parenthesis because I'm pretty certain we have read them to her enough times that she has just memorized them, but she knows them well enough to follow along and read them out loud.

For John.

For me, she is suddenly the ADD poster child. Every time I try to replicate his experience, she is all over the board. She mixes the pages up, everything is "fuzzy feet", and she constantly says "I so sleepy momma, read to me".

Meanwhile, the second daddy gets home, she excitedly scampers up into his lap to read to him. Again.

Now I could take this one of several ways.

1. I could take it as she is SUCH a huge fan of my exemplary reading skills that she looks for any excuse to get me to read to her.

2. That she is struck with random bouts of sudden dyslexia. And a pig foot obsession. But only when she is reading to me.

3. That she likes to screw with me.

I think we know which one it is though...

The first one, of course!

I should feel flattered that she is such a fan of my mad reading skillz, and I mean honestly, what's not to be flattered about reading the same book for the millionth time in a day?

But for the record, I now hate "One Fish , Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish". Pretty certain Dr. Seuss was on psychedelic drugs. And had an obsession with fuzzy feet...

Sucky Snowman

Sterling has a particularly endearing habit after she is finished with a meal.

In her own words, she "makes a Snowman".

Which means she takes her cup, and grinds it as far as possible down into the bowl of whatever it is that she is eating.

Then, depending on how distracted I am, she decorates it to varying degrees by taking the leftovers from the bowl and smearing it all over the cup and anything else she can reach.

It's awesome. Said in the most sarcastic voice you can imagine. And then add a little sarcasm on top.

See, with two little guys, I am ALWAYS distracted. It's just the reality of my existence. In order to keep them both alive, I am always splitting my focus.

And so she patiently waits until my attention is *slightly* more focused on Bennett to begin her work.

Picasso worked in oils.

Sterling works in oatmeal. Or Cheerios. Really, the medium isn't important. What IS important is the fervent passion she throws into her work and trust me, she does.

And because no Sterling story is ever complete without Momma feeling completely beaten and bedraggled by the end, in creating her Snowman masterpieces, she always makes certain to spread the love all over the place.

And by love, I mean food.

And by all over the place, I mean all over her seat, her clothes, and her hair.

Good times :-)

Monkey See, Monkey Climb

Know what's awesome? Having one little monkey that LOVES to climb.

Know what's even more awesome? Having two little monkeys that love to climb, with one of them showing the other all her nifty tricks.


Sterling has always loved climbing. In fact, she climbed before she walked well.

But she is super skinny and wiry. Bennett is not, and I had hoped all that junk in the trunk would help keep him earthbound.

It hasn't.

Instead, all it's done is give him extra power for the pushing. And because he is 20 times more persistent than any creature I've ever met, he has actually been a more determined climber than she ever was.

But without her agility, it also means he falls off a lot more.

And I do mean a LOT more. Like several times a day more.

I wonder if I invested in some concrete baby booties, would it keep him "grounded"?

And more importantly, where would one go to find concrete baby booties?

Because momma has already met her capacity for mayhem...

"See Bennett, you have to distribute your weight evenly on the activity table."

"Now, put your foot here so that you don't flip this bitch over..."

Stairway To Mayhem

So... yeah.

As you may know, I have a bit of a love/hate relationship with stairs that started early with my kids. Like before Sterling could really walk SUPER early.

Namely, I hate that they love to play on them.

Which just makes them love stairs even more.

So when Sterling discovered her most recent trick, it really shouldn't have surprised me. At all.

But somehow, no matter how many times they make my adrenaline race and my heart pound, they still seem able to scare the crap out of me.

Which is why Sterling's most recent trick even registers worth a blog post at all. Because honestly, this isn't even all that exciting when you look at the overall mortality potential of some of the crap she has been up to lately.

But yeah, this one scared me pretty good. See, Bennett has discovered that it is MUCH faster if, rather than climbing down the stairs, he just pushes off from the top step and body surfs the whole way down. Logical conclusion. Not super safe, but I see the validity of his choice.

Plus, he goes down feet first.

Never one to settle for the status quo though, Sterling has decided to give it a try as well, but with her own spin on it. Namely, by going down headfirst. And screaming in glee the entire way down.


If this one doesn't put me in the padded room, I'm not sure what will...

Shitty, Shitty Friday

Holy. Sweet. Hell.

Ever have fun at those days where it just doesn't pay to get out of bed?

Because I am having one of those today.

First, it was my day to co-op at Sterling's preschool. Which means we had to get up extra early and get on the road so that I could help wrangle a class of 2 1/2 year olds.

They are cute, but all that energy is EXHAUSTING.

And the weather happens to be FRIGID and snowing so taking them out to play was an extra treat.

Anyway, I was all set to come home, put the monkeys down for nap, and kick back for a few hours with some hot chocolate while I thawed.

Unfortunately, I hadn't cleared that plan with my two man wrecking crew. What you are looking at below is the death of Momma's relaxing afternoon.

Wanna guess what it is?

That would be Bennett's poop. Which Sterling helpfully smeared all over the carpet.


I was trying to wrangle Bennett into his pajamas for nap time and had changed a poopy diaper, which I left it on the coffee table for all of threefrigginseconds while I made his bottle. 

When I came back with Bennett's bottle, I discovered brown streaks all over the carpet. It's not my first time at this rodeo, so I knew exactly what it was the second I saw it.

For some odd reason she decided to push the diaper to the trash using her foot. Which meant that it periodically oozed crap all over the place. And I do mean all over the place.

My guess is that she was trying to be "helpful". Or drive me insane, either one.

But I am giving her the benefit of the doubt because otherwise I would be packing her little hiney up and dropping her off at the SPCA.

When I started cleaning, it took me over an hour to get all that shit cleaned up.


Momma deserves wine tonight. Or bacon. Or wine and bacon. And chocolate. And a foot rub.

The Apple Doesn't Fall Far

I truly love my husband, but I get accused (by him) of taking artistic liberties when I share some of his finer moments.

And I'm not talking about stuff like this, but more along the lines of this.

He openly concedes that our kids are hellions, but has a hard time believing he could possibly be ornery too.

The truth is though, he has the memory of a goldfish when it comes to what comes out of his mouth. And their ornery little antics had to come from somewhere.

So from now on, I am going to do my best to stick to the stuff that I have irrefutable evidence of.

Gems like this, which leave no doubt as to where his children get their ornery genes from ;-)

Note: And by that last comment, I mean their daddy. Definitely their daddy.

Famous Last Words

In my life, there are a lot of "famous last words".

Like when we sold our house in the city and moved to the burbs because we were certain John would be "staying on the road indefinitely". We were literally still unpacking boxes at our new palace in the burbs... when a job in the city fell into his lap.

Or when we had decided we were "only going to have one kid"... only to have a positive test completely change our world a scant 9 months later.

Or when, after a completely bat shit year, I said something along the lines of "I don't think this year could get much more crazy"... and was struck by a car while walking a little later that exact same morning.

You would think by now I would know better than to make predictions of any kind. Ever.

But nope.

See, Sterling and Bennett have this giraffe that they dearly love. And until now, I've been all confident that it was "too tall to climb".

I say until now because this morning, thanks to the use of tools and a little teamwork, they cracked the obstacle of riding the giraffe wiiiiiiiiiide open.

Yep. Looks like Giraffe the giraffe has lots of riding fun ahead of her.

Yay for teamwork :-)

So Glad You Are Mine, Sweet Valentine

I have to give credit where credit is due.

My husband is awesome. He SOMETIMES wanders afoul of the lines of what I consider acceptable gifting (such as the infamous birthday of the gelato machine, or the birthday of the emailed gift card), but he has survived nearly 14 years of marriage with me because he is usually pretty kick ass.

This Valentine's Day though, he outdid himself.

This morning, I woke up to a new play list on our Sonos player. Essentially, it's the modern version of a mix tape with all of our "special songs" and a few extras thrown in to keep things interesting. Yep, NKOTB AND The Cure in a single mix tape. Pretty freakin awesome.

Super sweet, super cute, super thoughtful. I loved it.

Then, around lunch time, flowers arrived. They were gorgeous, but the card stole the show. It totally will go down as one of his top plays of all time.

When he got home tonight, he asked if I still had the card. I did, so I pulled it out.

He explained that the mix tape was for the music I brought to his life, the flowers were for the light and growth.

He paused and said that for the rhythm, he had gotten us private dance lessons and my parents to babysit. You have to understand that for the 16ish years we have been together, I have been trying to get him to go dancing with me.

And he has just as steadfastly refused.

This definitely was the gift of all gifts.

The thing is though, as incredibly thoughtful and romantic as all of that is (and it is), nothing can top the two priceless treasures he has already given me.

Happy Valentine's Day sweetie :-)

Good Morning?

In our house, the kids get up at 8.

If they wake up earlier, that is fine, but they get up at 8.

That is, unless we have a morning like today...

At quarter of 7, I was abruptly woken by Sterling shrilly screaming "help, help Momma hellllllllppppp" at the top of her lungs.

Nothing flips the "superhero" switch in a mom quite like the call for help from her child. With my heart pounding and my adrenaline racing, I leapt out of bed and rushed into her room... to find her sitting happily in the middle of the floor with her toys.

"Hi! Good morning Momma!" She chirped happily at me.

I stood disorientedly in the doorway a few moments, searching for intruders, copious amounts of blood or killer clowns. Nothing.

Finally I asked her "You OK, baby girl?"

She looked at me, a wide smile on her face. "Help Momma, Dolly's arm is hurt."

Which is great and all except for two things:

1. There was no doll in the room.


2. Her theatrics woke Bennett up.

I put her back in bed, went to soothe Bennett, and had just settled back in bed again when she started to screech for help. Again.

I silently contemplated ignoring it for all of .01 seconds, and then I went back to investigate knowing that if I ignored it, it would be a real emergency.

She had climbed up into the window and promptly scampered down as soon as I opened the door.

Again, no emergency. Apparently, it was just so much fun to see me the last time that she decided to give it another try.

This time, Bennett wasn't about to be soothed back to bed.

It was game on.

Looks like the little turkey may have found herself a new favorite game.


Happy Mardi Gras!

Happy Mardi Gras y'all!

If there is anything we appreciate in our house, it's an excuse to eat amazing food and wear a little extra bling ;-)

Face Plant Fiasco

Why is it that in parenthood, SO many of my finer moments occur in public, with a full audience? But when I am actually getting it right, there's no one around to see?

Don't laugh at that second part, it happens. Occasionally.

But I ask because the story I am about to tell happened in front of a full audience. And yes, this was a case of full suckitude. Complete with blood, lots of it.

But first, a disclaimer: no I am not a first time parent. But, as my lovely friend M has helpfully pointed out, my first child is oddly nimble.

So Sterling turns bumbles that might usually result in a bashed face into graceful little dance moves.

It's cool to watch and all, but it also means I am kind of a crappy parent to Bennett because I've never developed that parenting 6th sense that would enable me to see these things coming. And even though Bennett is well coordinated, he is nowhere close to Sterling's level.

At. All.

As incidents like this show.

Preschool drop off the other day gave us an opportunity to showcase this difference.

It was one of those dreary, drippy, nasty mornings. Since you aren't supposed to put kids in their car seat with a coat on, I had to take B out of his seat and wrangle him into his coat in mid air, before getting him out of the car into the rain.

Not easy.

Mental image to help you here. Homeboy is solid. And STRONG. And incredibly agile when he wants to be. Which makes wrangling him into a coat similar to putting a leg warmer on an anaconda.

Good times.

I had just wrestled his second arm in when he went completely still.

I looked down and realized that he was admiring the Mickey on his coat. Thinking nothing of it, I set him down on the parking lot to walk with me to let Sterling out.

And that was my mistake.

He was so absorbed in admiring his own spiffyness that he paid absolutely no attention to important things, like gravity. And thus, he took one brief shuffling step forward into a full face plant.

Top and bottom lips busted. Face covered in gravel. Soaking wet from head to toe. And bellowing to let the world know.

Thankfully there was a parking lot full of other parents to admire my prowess.


Bite Of The Monkey

My kids have been biting the ever loving crap out of anything they can get their mouths on lately. And I do mean anything, nothing is sacred.

Each other? Absolutely.

Themselves? Oddly, yes.

Me? Oh, come on now. Is that even a question???

All I can figure is that they are SUPER excited about The Walking Dead premiere, and are practicing to be extras on the set. Or they are sadistic little monkeys.

Either one.

The good news is that I won't need to pay for dental impressions should they ever need orthodontics. The orthodontist can just take a gander at my arm. Or hand. Or boob (yep, wont make the mistake of snuggling Bennett close any time in the near future). And yes, I know that orthodontics wont be done until they get their adult teeth, but I'm seriously starting to doubt we will be done celebrating this "phase"  yet at that point.

I'm toying with the idea of either bathing in that Bitter Apple chew stop stuff they make for dogs, or investing in miniature Hannibal Lector-style muzzles for them.

Anyway, the other day I put a sarcastic comment on FaceBook along the lines of "I know Bennett is teething and all, but I wish it was socially acceptable for me to bite him back after he bites me..."

The interesting part was the number of people who responded back either "pro bite", "had been bitten by an adult", or "bit their own kids".

Which just reinforced that I have awesome friends ;-)

Exhibit A: Sterling's hand... which she bit herself.

Exhibit B: My fingernail, which made the mistake of getting too close to Bennett's chomp-happy little mouth.

Exhibit C: My hand, after Sterling got hold of me. Proof that she just might be *part* vampire. Or zombie.

See Through Insanity

Have you ever put on a pair of your go-to, "dressy" leggings, only to catch a glimpse of yourself in the mirror and realize they're not quite as opaque as you had imagined?


Oh, uh, me either...

But I HAVE just discovered that I probably should have gotten a full length mirror earlier.

Total. Mom. Fail.

For those of you who are sitting at home wondering how something like this could possibly happen, it's one of two culprits.


A. The leggings are old and have gotten thin from too much wearing.


B. My ass has grown exponentially from having two kids within the last 2.5 years and is stretching that poor fabric within an inch of its life.

Obviously, the answer is A. Obviously.

Quit laughing.

Regardless of the cause, guess who is investing in some new pants?

Or maybe just some longer tunic-type tops. Kidding! Sorta...

The Great White Hunter

Bennett has been letting his inner Ernest Hemingway or Jack London out to play.

The only issue is that there isn't any large game for him to hunt in the playroom.

And so instead, my beautiful, amazing, brilliant baby boy has been coming over, crawling up into my lap, and clubbing me over the head like I'm a baby seal.

And then the little bastard laughs with gusto.

Yep, that's a photo of his laughing below.

Look at that face. Not a trace of remorse. Not even a shred.

Nope, pretty certain that shit eating grin is the baby equivalent of saying "Suck It, Lady".

And no, I didn't get any sympathy from his father. He just mumbles some bullshit about it being a fascinating example of "creative expression" and how "children are our greatest asset".

But from now on, all gifts that enter the house will be screened for their "Momma Bonkability".

Ornery Humor: Deep Thoughts On Parenting

I feel like SO many of my parenting struggles would be resolved if only duct tape and alcohol weren't so frowned upon as parenting tools...

Playing With Fire

Sibling antagonism is an art form in our house, and it goes both ways. They each get in an immense amount of satisfaction out of tormenting each other.

Perhaps you have heard me talk about Bucket, Sterling's beloved blanket.

Right now, Bennett's favorite game is to wait until her back is turned, sneak behind her, and snag Bucket.

He then takes off "running" with Bucket.

Let me explain why I put running in parenthesis.

Bennett has been walking a scant 5 months and is built like a brick shit house. He is surprisingly coordinated, but it still takes quite a bit of momentum to get that much chunk really moving. And that type of momentum doesn't build up right away.

In short, my boy isn't built for sprinting.

It is a thing of hilarity to watch those chunky little thighs begin to pump when he is trying to make his "big getaway".

The pictures below tell the story pretty effectively.

In the first one, Bennett has snagged Bucket and is working on his victory lap. Sterling's head is blurred because like a momma wolf hearing the distress call of her cub, homegirl is suddenly aware that something is awry.

In the second one, Sterling's face says it all. Bennett's ass is soon to be grass.

And he knows it.

Thus he is kicking it into high gear and high-tailing it out of Dodge with his new contraband before she can catch him.

The rest of it played out pretty much as you would expect, thus no pictures. When it's Baby Lucha Libre time, momma has to put down the camera and wade in to stop the beatings :-)

Ornery Humor: Squirrel Savior

I kind of feel like there is a marketing person somewhere who totally missed the boat on this one.

It's not that I don't fully believe that squirrels are hungry this time of year, and they are living, worthy creatures.

I just don't know of many people who would be willing to spend 10 bucks to feed said hungry squirrels to encourage habitation in their back yard.

In fact, squirrel DETERRENT is a pretty big business.

Just sayin...

Frog Fiasco

I just spent 30 minutes arguing with Sterling over whether or not she was a frog while trying to get her into jammies today.

And to be honest, by the end of it, I wasn't certain that she WASN'T a frog.

S: I a frog
Me: No you're not, you're a girl
S: Nope, I a frog. See "ribeet ribeet hop hop hop"
Me: (making a swipe for her, which she deftly out maneuvered by hopping off the bed) Nope, still a girl
S: Wheeeee, I funny mommy!
Me: Nope, DEFINITELY not funny
S: I funny little frog
Me, trying for authoritative now: No lady, you are a little girl that needs to take a nap.
S: I laughing. See, I funny little frog.
Me: You need to put your jammies on.
S: Mommy SO silly, froggies don't wear jammies.

At which point I finally snagged her, and wrangled her into jammies.

But I had to give it to her, for 2 and a half, she is one hell of a debater...