Abby Kitty

The weather here is still unseasonably warm, and we have all the windows flung open each evening to catch a breeze. It’s kind of nice, but I am ready for some fall colors and crispness to the air- but that’s not what this is about.

My husband and I were standing in the bathroom talking (why? it’s the only place in the house we can escape from the wild monkeys…) and through the open window, we noticed a cat in the backyard, howling and yowling and screeting as only a cat lookin’ for love can do.  Then it would pause, and wait for it’s kitty love interest to yowl back- and the song carried on.

The only thing was, it wasn’t yowling and howling to another kitty- it was yowling and howling and calling furtively- to our darling little daughter! Yes, sweet little Abs was in her crib in her room, chatting and cooing and talking to herself, somewhat loudly, and since all the windows were open, her cute little baby noises has floated across the yard, and called this poor tomcat out looking for a lady!

We stared at each other, and waited in silence- the cat would yowl, then be quiet. Abby would coo and screetch, the cat would answer! There was no doubt the cat was answering her- poor frustrated tomcat!

Abby had her first suitor! It’s both hilarious and disturbing all at once!

Waning Summer, Waxing Melancholy

As I was cutting fresh tomatos and zucchini tonight, it dawned on me that summer is really over, and that these would be the very last yummy tomatos to grace our table this year. Suddenly I felt very sad.

Summer has never been my favorite season- I’m a fall gal, through and through. Heat bugs me, winter is just too long, and spring too short- fall is my favorite. But the taste and feeling of summer is always so lovely, at least when it’s not too hot. And summer does make my favorite food- nothing like a sun ripe tomato.

But time seems to be going too fast these days. How on earth is it already almost October? How on earth do I have a Kindergartner? And another son who is out of diapers, doing quite well, and does NOT need my help, thank you very much? And my baby girl, who was oh-so recently torturing me in-utero, is now almost sitting up on her own, finds her feet the most enchanting of toys, and ate rice cereal for the first time today? What in the holy hollyhocks is going on?

My grandmother always said time sped up when you got older. It’s kind of true, and kind of not- at least from my vantage point of somewhat younger years than my Gram… Sometimes the days feel like an eternity. Tick….tick….tick… another diaper, another load of laundry, another meal, another load of dishes, bath, bedtime, story, mess, sippy cup, spill…. ad infinitum. But them when I look up, suddenly years have gone by. How is that possible? How can time be both agonizingly slow, and flying on swift wings?

So tonight for dinner, we had a lovely heirloom tomato sauce over grilled chicken, with fresh zucchini, and it tasted ever so sweet. Fleeting. Maybe that’s why childhood, and life, are so sweet- we know they are fleeting, and like all the best things, must be savored while you can.

On Imaginary Friends

When I was a girl, my younger cousin had two imaginary friends, named Pacoo and Pessey. These friends would appear at different times and places on the whims and needs of my cousin. Once, she was in the seat on the back of my aunt’s bicycle as we rode through the neighborhood, and she told me they were riding with us. They lived in the Aloe Vera plant on Annie’s patio, if I remember correctly.

At the time, being 5 or so years older than her, I thought this was very cute, but I had never had an imaginary friend. I remember overhearing a conversation that “imaginary friends” were unhealthy and due to my cousin being an only child. Hmmmm. Funny what you internalize as a child. A simple overheard telephone call can color your perceptions and be recalled 28 years later…

This memory percolated to the surface when my boys both came up with imaginary friends. My knee-jerk reaction was to dismiss them, but I caught myself, and tried to figure out my feelings, and decided instead to play along. “Monster” and “Little Dude” have turned out to be quite the imaginary outlet for my sons- doing things, going places and having adventures my boys cannot yet accomplish, but have the will and desire for, nonetheless.

Monster and Little Dude can change size, shape and color. They can move at the speed of a super jet, or creep along the floor, as needed. They drive race cars, scale mountains and both of them can fly. The friends will eat foods the boys don’t want to try, are not afraid of the dark (or monsters), and can outrun scary things. In short, they’re acting as emotional buffers for two little boys.

Childhood is so very short. Someday, probably sooner than later for Jeffrey, Monster and Little Dude will fall by the wayside- like so much of childhood. Beliefs and imaginings act as a chrysalis to protect the burgeoning butterfly, and like the chrysalis, are left behind when the butterfly takes to the sky. 

Bats in the Bat Cave

This is SO gross, but in the interests of posterity and honesty, I have to record it. Stop reading now if you have a weak stomach.

Tonight, I went to the Releif Society (chuch women’s organization) broadcast with a friend at our stake center (main church building)- I took Abby with me, and left DH with both boys and a request that he do something fun with them.

When I got home, the boys met me at the kitchen door, jumping up and down, excited and happy I was home, but also looking quite like little cats who had eaten a canary or two. They were very excited to show me something. Something very special…

On the kitchen door, I have some magnetic clips for keeping papers I can’t lose- and hanging from one clip was a plastic zipper bag. The boys were clamoring and jumping wildly with excitement, pointing at it and laughing. At first it looked empty- but as I looked closer, it became clear what was in them.

“Are those what I think they are…?”

Hysterical laughter and jumping and giggling. DH looked very proud. In the bag were… boogers. Two. Great. Big. Hard. Boogers. DH had fished them from Beanies nose with tweezers. And they were all so impressed with them, they saved them to show me. This is what my boys do when I leave them alone for a few hours.

Is my house the only deranged house on earth, where boys’ idea of “something fun” while mom is away is this?

Doctor Gerber

Just for the record, taking all three kids to the doctor at the same time, on the same day, at 9:00 in the morning? Bad idea- well, it had good intentions (all three done at once!) but what’s that they say about the road to Hell being paved with “good intentions”? Yeah, they were right. I may have gotten them all done at once, but I also had to get them bathed, dressed, in the car, and to the office all at once, too…

Usually I try and make us all look presentable for annual doctor check-ups, but this morning, I just ran out of time. They did all manage to get their baths, but that’s as far as my mama-skills carried me. Jeff chose his own outfit- jeans, a superman t-shirt, paired with his new snow boots. Eric got himself dressed, too- pants too small, a sweatshirt and Jeff’s outgrown sandals. Niiiiiice. At the last minute, I grabbed Abby from bed and just took her in her Jammies. We must’ve been quite a sight tromping into the doctor’s office, red haystacks of wet hair, mismatched clothes… “What season is it Mrs. M?” “Who cares…”

And. Everyone got shots. Yup. All three of them. It was cacophonous, the wailing and gnashing of teeth… rather like cats yowling and screetching- the whole office could hear my kids, even with the door closed. The nurses were laughing. So was I, but it was the rather brittle laughter that comes from being extremely close to the edge of your mind, but just aware enough to be slightly embarrassed…

All is well- no problems or issues, other than my baby is gigantic! She’ll be five months on Monday, and she is 20 pounds. Seriously! Someone feed the poor girl! She’s so squishy and chubby and she looks like the Gerber baby- at least that’s what the senior citizens at the grocery store say! And I’m good with that.

Besides, is there anything cuter than fat thighs on a pink-cheeked baby? She better enjoy it now, cause it’s a narrow, narrow window for fat thighs being super cute!

Temporal Causality Loop

Cue the Pink Floyd- you should be hearing ticking clocks and the deep heartbeat rhythm followed shattering bells… tick. Tick. Tick…

Time. For some reason, I thought when my kid started school, I would suddenly have all kinds of extra time. Ha! What was I thinking? Novice mom I am not, but novice school-age mom, count me amongst the ranks. Lately I find myself running around like the proverbial headless chicken, to and fro, and getting very little accomplished in the meanwhile. Even carving out a few minutes to write, something very important to me, had been a challenge.

Gone are the whimsical days of doing whatever the mood sent us. Gone are the days of lallygagging about the house in our pj’s until noon. Gone are the days of frittering the afternoon away at the park, until we felt like coming home. Nope. No more. Now,  I have to know what time it is- all the time. While I own a few watches (of the Mickey Mouse variety), I haven’t worn them in probably 20 years- but I’m starting to think I might have to break down and strap on the ol’ timepiece. So far I have managed to get Jeffrey to school on time every day, and have not yet forgotten to pick him up. SO far.

And the time he is at school? The hours between 8:45 and 2:45? For the life of me, I can’t figure out where they go… Maybe I run to the market, or throw in an errand or two, but seriously, six hours ought to last longer than…. well, longer than it does. It seems like by the time I get Eric and Abby home, start some laundry, do some necessary stuff around the house, then it’s lunch time. Manage that, put Abby down for her nap, and before I know it, it’s time to go pick Jeff up again, and when I get home, it’s time to start dinner! Holy cow! Where did the day go?  Then I do it again tomorrow.

My work is being sadly neglected. My family is fine. At least my priorities are in line, but good greif, what’s a mama to do? And, I have the sneaking suspicion, it’s only going to get faster and “more” everything…

The sun in the same, in a relative way, but it’s sinking, racing around,to come up behind you again….

Preparedness: Beanie’s Way

Beanie is a “hider”- I’ve written about it before. Remember the butter incident? And the binkies? He’s getting quite a reputation in our family- it’s like having our own personal “Clapper” for everything in our home. If you can’t find it, just ask Eric- he’ll know!

There are some small, uh, problems with this little benefit. Just the other day, while on the phone with Heather O., Beanie made off with a whole loaf of bread, scampered under Abby’s crib, and was hoarding it in the corner. He doesn’t eat things, (unless the things are butter things), just hides them.

So the other day, my husband comes in the kitchen, holding a strange, hard and withered object. “What the heck…?” he trails off, “This was under the bed…”

In his hands is a chicken sandwich from McDonalds. It was perfectly dried out, hard as a rock, and still wrapped in it’s yellow paper wrapper. Several days previous, I had made a desperate segue into the drive-through of our local Mickey-D’s, grabbing lunch for all they Monkeys. When we got home, I unpacked everything on the table, and went to grab ketchup from the fridge.

We sat down to eat, and I was exasperated when I realized they had, once again, screwed up our order, and forgotten Jeffrey’s chicken sandwich, mayo, no “leaves” (his codeword for lettuce). I shared my hamburger with him, and promptly forgot about it.

Evidently, Beanie is not only a hoarder, he is a fast, sneaky hoarder. And, I need to clean under the beds a little more often!


Poppies are quite possibly my favorite flower. Sometimes I think it’s Peonies, but poppies are so much less fussy than peonies…

Newborn babies have always reminded me of poppies- the way they are all folded up, soft and tender, with creases and wrinkles from being inside, safe and protected, and how they gradually unfurl with time, revealing splendid, unimagined beauty.

Besides, my kids, in a perfectly innocent mispronounciation, call peonies “the penis flowers”.  Yes, poppies are my favorite…

And the Wheel Goes ‘Round…

Last year, on this day, we did the exact same thing as we did today! How predictable and boring are we??! Beanie’s birthday just happens to fall on the County Fair here in Washington, and so that’s what we do to celebrate.

This year was substantially more pleasant for Mama, since I wasn’t fighting early morning sickness and running from the Alpaca exhibit to barf. The small things really are what make life enjoyable. We spent a small fortune, per normal for any county fair, and DH and I discussed maybe a new tradition for Beanie’s birthday next year. It was wacky to justify spending $3 per ride for crappy little death-trap carnival rides when we are still shaking the Disneyland dust from our shoes- Besides, isn’t petting cows and eating another blue sno-cone enough of a rush?

By the time we got home, tired, dirty and grumpy (some of us), the idea of baking a cake was just too high a bar to hurdle, so I took Beanie to the bakery and let him pick out whatever cake he wanted. He LOVED that idea. Sitting in the fridge is a double layer chocolate red devil cake, chocolate frosting, chocolate ganache coating, topped with Snickers bars and Hershey’s Kisses. Mmmmm. You think I ought to let them eat it before church tomorrow?

The Birthday Fairy is coming tonite- I just sent the DH to the grocery to get balloons and crepe paper, in a last-ditch effort to do something cool. Since he sleeps like a canary, I can’t decorate his bedroom, but I can do the family room.

Our Anniversary is Monday… Seven years. I’m not feeling particularly itchy. What will we do, what will we do… Well, since we didn’t go out tonight, tomorrow is Beanie’s birthday, and Monday is Family Night and a school night, we’ll probably kiss each other passing in the hallway, and call it a day. Ah, romance with little kids around….!