Friday, November 21, 2008

She's got a new way to walk


Okay, but come on, it doesn't count as bragging if I am telling you that Caroline has finally started walking just shy of 15 months, does it? I mean, maybe if I came on 6 months ago with the same walking news, sure. Well, in any event, yes, it's true. My little diva has taken to her own two feet. I guess she finally decided that she needed a little more control than getting carried around on my hip was giving her. She's been taking a few steps here and there, but took 19 steps the other day, and then 14, 12, 9, and 17, respectively, today (but who's counting?).

Here is my proof:

That's not blurry, that's locomotion, baby!

(Yeah, I know that there is this crazy new technology where you can actually post video to your blog. And someday, I will learn how to use it).

I guess I can go ahead and schedule her 15 month checkup now. I was sort of putting it off because I was hoping to avoid the whole "she's probably fine and just on the late end of the normal range, but if she's not walking by 18 months, blah blah blah" discussion with the pediatrician. (Of course, I knew that she COULD walk, she was just choosing NOT to walk. If I really thought there was something wrong with her, I would not have delayed the appointment. Just wanted to go ahead and clear that up so that you don't think I'm a neglectful parent).

I tell you what, one thing about having a late walker is that you feel like you have your baby longer. Elizabeth had been walking for five months by the time she was Caroline's age (you can't retroactively brag, can you?) and it seemed like her true baby months were over so early. No wonder I got baby fever again so soon! JUST JOKES, DAVID!! But we've gotten to enjoy Caroline as a baby for a whole 15 months! The baldness helps with that, too.

Anyway, clear the way -- Caroline's coming!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

I get by with a little help from my friends

I love my friends -- they are always looking out for me. When I came into the office on Monday morning a week or so ago, this was stuck to my monitor:

Thanks, Amanda! I do like to buy my toppings in bulk -- you know that you'll never come to my house and want for liquid sundae toppings. Thanks for hooking me up, my friend!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Coming soon to a mailbox near you . . .

Like everyone else, we have some cherished Christmas traditions in our family. Wandering around the Boy Scout Christmas tree sale in search of the perfect tree. Baking cookies. Taking the kids to paint their own Christmas ornaments. Leaving some crackers for our magic elves (Bix, Libby and Colleen) so that they'll wake up in the middle of the night and stir up some mischief while we sleep. Visiting Santa Claus at the mall. Zoolight Safari. Hanging the stockings on Christmas Eve. Spending an afternoon scrambling to get the kids scrubbed up, combing their hair, dressing them up in matching clothing, and praying that they'll stay scrubbed, neatly coiffed, dressed, happy, and sitting in the same general vicinity as their siblings while our friend Heather, an uber-talented photographer, tries to capture the magic for the Christmas card picture (having failed miserably for years to take any halfway decent pictures of our children ourselves. I can't even photograph kugelhopf, which just sits there and taunts me. How can I be expected to capture three wild children moving in opposite directions?).

Well, we met Heather last week, and here is our session. I need to mention that (1) I didn't notice that Jacob badly needs a haircut until I saw these proofs, and (2) David, I promise that this will be the last year of the matching dresses. Really. I mean it. Pinkie swear.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Practical, everyday superpowers

Here's a picture of Jacob using his superpowers to open the automatic doors at Target:

Specifically, he is using a "force field" to open the doors. I know, you are thinking "Wait a minute. I thought that force fields are strictly defensive powers?" Well, apparently they can also be used offensively to open the doors at Target. Whenever Jacob comes to Target with me, we have this elaborate ritual (both entering and exiting the store) of waiting for the path to the automatic doors to clear so that Jacob can throw some force fields. Depending on the time of day, we sometimes have to wait a LONG time for the mere mortals to get out of the way so that Jacob can have an open route to the doors.

Now, if only Jacob had the power to get me out of Target without dropping $200 bucks every. single. time.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Boldly fantasizing about the next "Special Cathy Day"

Right now, I feel like the very definition of indulgence would be an hour and a half by myself on a Saturday to get my minivan deep-cleaned. What does that say about me?

Sunday, November 9, 2008

We're not in Kansas anymore.

I've been reading Elizabeth the classic children's book "Eloise," which we checked out of the library. I didn't get two pages into this book when I had to stop and flip back to the front to check the publication date, because it was so very obviously not written any time recently. 1955. Yup, that's about right.

So Eloise is this precocious 6 year old who lives in the Plaza Hotel in New York. She pretty much has rip-roaring run of the place, and torments the guests and staff alike. The book tells of her adventures, such as calling room service and ordering beer for her nanny on Fight Night:

Here's Eloise's nanny, smoking a butt and drinking a brewski while watching TV with Eloise:

In 2008, the TV-watching alone would be enough to send the mommy blogosphere into an uproar.

We never do see Eloise's mother, but we learn a little about her
"gentleman friend:"

Eloise's mommy goes to Virginia with her martini-loving lawyer? No, this was most definitely not written in the aughts.

Of course, all this innuendo flew right over Elizabeth's head, but for me, it sure was a nice change from "Pinkalicious."

It's sort of like "Cinderella," which you probably remember well, even if you don't read it/watch it as much as I do these days. It doesn't take long to realize that Cinderella is not contemporary children's fiction. Much of the focus on the stepsisters in Cinderella is on the fact that they are not only mean, but ugly. And they have big feet. We just don't do that in 2008 -- we leave the "ugly" part out of it. These days, the mean girls are always hot, in a Shannen Doherty (who just can't help but look like a bitch) kind of way, rather than in that cute all-American Rachel Bilson or Katie Holmes (Dawson's Creek days, not post-Tom hookup days) kind of way. In my view, the fact that we no longer make fun of people's appearances in children's literature is a change for the better, but the fact that children's books no longer feature nannies who knock back a few pilsners while watching the big fight with their charges is not.

Friday, November 7, 2008

And I really want a Prius.

We had the following exchange at breakfast this morning:

Elizabeth: Mommy, do you know what I really want?
Me: No, honey, what do you really want?
Elizabeth: A compost pile.

Gotta say, I wasn't expecting that one.

[Edited to add: I wasn't sure at first whether this came from school or TV, but have now confirmed that it was TV.]

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Can I figure out how to schedule a post?

Let's find out.

If this posts at 1:05 a.m. EST*** on 11/6/08, consider "scheduling a post to publish automatically" to be among my new blogging tricks!

***Yes, I have my Blogger time settings on Eastern Standard time, because (1) I still consider EST to be "the real time" - you can take the girl out of Connecticut, but you can't make her embrace Central Standard Time, dammit!!, and (2) if I'm on Eastern Time, I can cheat and publish my Tuesdays with Dorie baking posts on MONDAYS (rebel that I am) any time after 11 p.m. CST, but it will still show up as a Tuesday post. That way, I get my post published, leave a comment or two on other (Eastern Time or fellow cheaters') blogs, and still get to bed at a reasonable hour. Of course, if I can figure out how to schedule posts, this will become largely irrelevant. I'm still keeping EST though. Interestingly (well, interesting to me, not objectively interesting -- but you don't HAVE to read my crap, do you?) -- I actually prefer many things about CST. In general, doing everything an hour earlier is a good thing. I can watch Letterman at 10:30. I can turn in for the night on 11:01 p.m. on New Year's Eve (because would you stay up until midnight to watch some cut-rate Central Standard Time ball-dropping ceremony? No, I didn't think so.) But what can I say? In my heart, it will always be one hour later.

Monday, November 3, 2008

R.I.P. Halloween '08

Well, we've finally bid farewell to Halloween, which is always a huge month six weeks day in kid-dom, right up there behind Christmas and a birthday party at Chuck E. Cheese (sorry for mentioning the "CEC" word, people over the age of 12). We've spent the weekend detoxing from all the sugar, and now we're gearing up to start overhyping the next holiday. But first, some pictures:

We had no idea what Jacob would be until the last minute, when he emerged from his room as Mr. Incredible. I believe that his pecs are the crumpled up sports section. It pained him not to wear his vampire teeth, but he did not tell me that he wanted to be a vampire until 9:00 p.m. on October 30th, which was two days past the bar date for filing a "change of costume" request. I had the authority under section 105 to consider a request made after the deadline, but after careful deliberation, I determined that good cause did not exist for me to make an 8 a.m. Target run on Halloween to hunt down a devoted "vampire cape," when Jacob has two bins full of dress-up clothes, including a Harry Potter cape and a Batman cape, both of which could serve as vampire capes in a pinch. Does that make me a witch? Well, in any event, Jacob got over the vampire thing and seemed very happy as Mr. Incredible.

Elizabeth was a purple fairy, and she could not have been more delighted. Between the magic wand, the tiara, and the wings, she seemed to think that she was sufficiently bedazzled, which was no small feat. As she has probably already told you (or would tell you if given the opportunity), purple is her first favorite color, so between the purpleness and the bling, she was in fancy heaven.

Caroline was a butterfly. I was going to have her wear the bumblebee tutu that Elizabeth wore on her one year old Halloween, but Caroline REFUSES TO WALK, and I didn't think that a tutu would be as crawler-friendly. As a sidenote, even though Caroline won't walk unassisted yet, she is the most funkadelic dancer I know. If she hears so much as a ringing cell phone tune or the jingle of a TV commercial, her ears will perk up, and she'll immediately stand up and start shaking it. We should all be so moved by music. Appropriately enough, David helped Caroline pick out the perfect card for my birthday:

When you open it, it plays the theme to "The Love Boat"

It's signed "From Caroline, your funky little cruiser." By gosh, she is a funky little cruiser!

We do so adore musical greeting cards in my little family. Consider yourselves warned.

Anyway, back to Halloween! Does Caroline look distressed to you in this picture?

It's only because she was distressed. Her tolerance for trick or treating is about like my tolerance for Chuck E. Cheese. Plus, she shared the wagon with Elizabeth, which I am sure had to be stressful in itself. I took her back and put her to bed after three or four houses.

Jacob was excited to get to see his cousin Cantrell for a little while:

When I saw Cantrell, I said, "hey sweetie! You look like a rock star!" She replied: "I'm a POP star. A modestly dressed pop star. I am not showing my belly like a real pop star." Hmmmm, do you think that the pop star's father/manager had a hand in that? You just can't make this stuff up.

The end of the night evaluation of the candy haul. That's our little friend Ben. Elizabeth is looking a bit dazed and disheveled, don't you think?

Hope that everyone else had a great Halloween, too!

[confidential to Cam & Wendy: yup, you know that your neighborhood is going to break heavily for Obama when your kid asks why the monkey has two daddies. I had A BALL on Saturday!!]