A few of unbelievable things going on right now.  First of all.  I feel better at 36 weeks than I did at 30.  A few stretches for sciatica plus a magnesium supplement for heartburn equals; I had no idea 36 weeks (and four days)  could exist at this level of comfort…not that I’d call it comfortable.

Unbelievable number 2; It’s only 83 degrees out.  It’s May 9th.  This is the Valley of the Sun.  Yesterday the high was 77.  I don’t know how this is possible but I am grateful. Also, I don’t even feel bad for anyone living in a more northerly climate bemoaning the slow onset of spring.  Not even a little bit bad.  In fact, if you guys got another little bit of snow I’d be cool with it.  (selfish)

This brings us to unbelievable number three.

On Fridays the kids are allowed to watch tv.  limiting it to one day a week is how we keep it from overrunning our lives.  It also gives me an easy answer to stop begging in it’s tracks ie. “Moooom, can we watch somethiiing?” “Is it Friday?”  and that’s the end. Conversation over.

Today happens to be Friday.  We went to a midwife appointment first thing this morning.  On the way home Roxy asked the question, “Can we watch our shows when we get home?” I said “Yep,” but I also remembered the mess in the tv room. The mess that belongs solely to Rox and Duke, the other kids having not even set foot in that room since it was cleaned up last Friday.  So when we got home I told them they could have tv time as soon as they picked up the toys.

Wailing ensued.  Roxy started it “WE NEED HELP!” echoed By Duke “We need help!” “WHAT ABOUT ZIZZA AND ENZO!?” “what about Zizza and Enzo?” Followed by my answers;  “You didn’t have help getting the toys out so I know you’ll be able to put them back on your own,” and “Ziz and Enz haven’t even been in the room so It’s not their job.”  “BUT WE JUST WANNA WATCH SOMETHING,” “we just wanna watch something,” The wailing was followed by whimpering “mama, mama” and clutching at my arm.

I can’t abide arm clutching. It does things to my brain.  Hostile things.

Long story short.  Roxy was unwilling to put books on the shelf or toys in the bin and Duke was in a following mood so he couldn’t do those things either.  Rox also couldn’t content herself with the idea of not watching a show on Friday, which was the alternative to not cleaning, so she moaned and wined and clutched.

Meanwhile all that clutching meant I had to keep a firm hand on those hostile things in my brain.

This whole cleaning up story is really just a lead in.  Here is the unbelievable. Currently both of those children are napping.

I fed them lunch, then I tucked Roxy into bed.  She was indignant about it.  The two of them share a room see, and as the bigger kid she is the one who rests elsewhere during quiet time.  But elsewhere wasn’t going to work today.  Not with me holding the hostile back with a piece of scotch tape and her in full tilt moaning and clutching.  So I tucked her into her bed and then I laid down with Duke on my bed.

She protested by taking Dukes toy dragon ( the noisiest toy in the room ) to bed with her.  The dragon was roaring and doing it’s best to devour her bedding. The only way I knew to keep her from a full scale jailbreak was to be as boring as possible so I lay there, watching Duke practice increasingly dramatic face palms every time he heard her make a noise.

Eventually, the weight of drama in his palm as it met his face forced him back into the pillows. He was done in and failed to sit up to meet the next dragon’s breath.  His eyes closed, and soon in spite of the fact that the dragon roars had ceased and been replaced by the monotone-monosyllabic yelling of my own Roxanne my eyes began to close as well.

It was the silence that woke me.  She stopped!  I felt triumphant and groggy thinking smug thoughts to myself about how she’d yelled herself to sleep.  That’s when I heard her in the hallway. I’d been had.

I ended up hauling the piano bench down the hall and sitting out side her door until she gave up trying to come out.  Even then it was touch and go. Things could easily have gone the other way.  They have done in the past, but I had a steel determination today.  I knew how exhausting the fit throwing, moaning, clutching, and monotone yelling must have been, and I knew how miserable we’d both be if the hostile things beat their way out of my brain so I held fast.

Still it’s unbelievable.

Roxy is napping.


I met with my midwife today.

She told me I need to eat more snacks.

Protein rich snacks specifically but more snacks.

You wouldn’t think this would be difficult.  Have a cheese stick,  a handful of almonds.  Would spoonfuls of peanut butter and chocolate chips count do you think?

The problem is I don’t really like to eat.

Is that crazy?

I feel like that’s crazy.

I remember liking to eat.  I remember loving it.  My general state of being includes a love of food…and a love of shoving it in my mouth. In the past pregnancy has heightened that love.

Last time, even when I was mountainous and in a constant state of acute discomfort/pain, I still cooked things just so I could eat them.  I don’t remember ever being more in love with food.

Particularly butter.

I remember working through experiments in my kitchen on a regular basis and thinking to my self “know what would make this even better? Butter. Next thing I’mma do to this deliciousness is add a few tablespoons of the good stuff.”

I usually talked myself out of that.  Not always. Sometimes more butter really was a good idea and in those cases I followed through joyfully but I learned to recognize the butter hunger and curb it when it wasn’t helpful.  There was an instance with curry for example.  The curry didn’t need added butter.  Another time it was hot fudge sauce.

Anyway the point is.  I don’t currently like to eat and it really weirds me out. Who am I? What’s happened to me? Why do I always have to find space inside my body for things like cheese sticks and almonds?

In conclusion; bleh


The rooster cries at dawn

7;15 AM Human Rights Day and I was exercising my right to lie in my cozy bed rather than face the cold floor and bustle children off to school.  What’s better than a warm cocoon of sweet smelling flannel sheets?

That’s when it started.

The rooster next door let out a good long crow.   And then another. The crowing was relentless. I don’t normally mind the rooster. I can easily sleep through his best efforts at ruckus and he does me a service most nights. See, when I wake up to go potty I like to know whether I’m in the uphill or down hill half of the night, but my bedroom does not currently have an actual clock in it. If I go the trouble of checking my phone then I’m that much closer awake than I’d like to be during what is hopefully the middle of the night.

The rooster makes it easy.  If he’s making himself known then daylight must be within a few hours distance of arrival.  If he’s quiet, then maybe I had a big glass of water before bed. Or maybe I’m just pregnant.

This morning he was really enjoying the sound of his own voice.  I started counting crows (heh heh) and gave up around 200. “What is going on out there?” I wondered.  It was much too late in the morning for coyotes.  Besides, by this time any coyote worth his salt should either have A) been home free with his feathery breakfast or B) realized the futility of the attempt and run away.  But on crew (crew?) the rooster.

Honestly how was that bird still alive?  He wasn’t even stopping for breath.  Realistically, he should have dropped dead minutes earlier.

At this point the dog was awake so I faced the cold world to let him out.

The strangest thing though, as I moved to a different part of the room it seemed that the rooster’s cries were actually coming from inside my own house. (have you checked the children?) More specifically, from Zizza’s room.

Girlfriend, it seemed, didn’t want to miss out on a chance to watch a little early morning T.V. so she set her alarm lest she inadvertently choose this morning to sleep in for the first time in her life.  However, a few minutes before it went off my alarm (read; Roxy and Duke) woke her and the three of them were off to exercise the right (granted them by their sleepy mother) to equal opportunity viewing of Ninjago and My Little Ponie.

The moral of the story, I suppose, is that if your child is in possession of a device with a rooster alarm try to be aware of the fact. Either that or “Be sure to acquaint yourself with the timbre of the voices of any and all neighborhood roosters such that impostors will not have the chance to play you for a fool when you’d rather be sleeping.”

I think I’ll needle point that last one on a pillow.

Be the chair

A mother has many roles. We all know this, I won’t bore you with the list.

Currently my most important role in Duke’s mind is that of furniture.

He cannot reasonably be expected to sit on a surface that is not me. He insists this is true.  He wants me, or at least some physical portion of me, available for his sitting needs in every circumstance.

Meal times he considers to be lap times, play time also falls under the lap time category, as do reading time, coloring time…and dancing time.

“The ground is cold and hard mother,” he seems to say,

“Come here and place yourself beneath me that I may have something warm and soft on which to deposit my adorable person.”

He still prefers his cozy bed for nap times so that’s something. Though yesterday he did try using my face as a pillow.

This situation will become more difficult as weeks pass and my lap gradually vanishes from existence.

He was suffering from a miserable cold last weekend and spent the bulk of his time cradled by one parent or the other. I could blame it on that but I’m not convinced it started there.  No, I’m pretty sure the previous week’s abundance of snuggle time merely fanned an already burning flame.

I’m writing to report not to complain. This furniture job, though difficult at times is not all bad.  Yesterday as I knelt next to his bed, one cheek resting on his pillow, the other smooshed beneath his, I found myself wondering; “Is this sublime or just sublimely uncomfortable?”

Friend, I didn’t have an answer


Yes, it’s true I’m posting.


Anyone there?

Yeah I thought not.  I’l go ahead with it anyway.

It turns out that being pregnant is like to becoming a zombie only without the appetite.  Though to be fair I’ll bet brains taste about the same coming up as they do going down. So I dunno, maybe it’s worth a try?

Think about it though; Death pallor? Check!

Shuffling steps? Yes.

Indecipherable moaning? We’ve got that too!

See? practically the same.

So what’s new with you?




Birthday wish

I have half an hour before preschool pick up. I spent my morning with paint and dust (not at the same time obvs) as my companions so I decided I’d put this time to use checking in here.

Moo’s birthday came and went during the crazy.  I’ll have to get back to that another time.  Right now I’d like to share with you Zizza’s  birthday wish list.  Here’s what happened; I was trying to make a plan for birthday shopping but every time I thought I had a handle on it she’d come forth with another declaration of what she wanted more than anything in the world (name that show) and back in to birthday shopping limbo I’d go.  Finally I asked her for an itemized wish list. She took the assignment very seriously and soon after proffered forth the following;

1-$20.00 Target gift card (with which to buy clothes) OR a sleep over with her bestie

2-Cookie dough

3-Catty Noir (the newest Monster High doll)

4-Color me Creepy Monster High Set

5-Ulta gift card (no recommended amount this time)

6-Shopping trip to the mall

7-Playdate (she’s been sad about the infrequency of these since the move)

8-Bop it 

9-American Girl haircut chair and polk-a-dot robe

10-Monster High movie “3 in one”

11- A pet Chinchilla

Her list was rather enlightening for me. I knew about all the Monster High stuff.  (We’d been on a browsing trip in Target’s toy department earlier that day) I was surprised though that cookie dough ranked #2 and that she’s desperate enough for a play date that she’s willing to count it as a birthday gift.  Also, the chinchilla was a surprise.

My favorite thing happening with Ziz right now is her newly acquired appreciation for fashion.  Girlfriend actually wants to go clothes shopping! Also, she likes cute stuff! It’s a dream come true


Manual Labor

The other day I was doing some kind of hard manual labor and inflicted this blood blister upon myself.  Lame.

Since then every time I’ve changed a poopy diaper I’ve caught sight of that dark speck and momentarily freaked out that I mis-wiped and have poo on my hand.  Seriously. It happens every time. 

When I was in forth grade, as a getting to know you exercise during the first week of school we traced our bodies on sheets of butcher paper and then colored ourselves (I know it was forth grade because I remember the outfit I was wearing)  There was a boy named Michael in my group.  He had a blood blister on one of his fingers and made a point of representing it on his paper twin. He was very proud of his blood blister and talked of it quite frequently.

Now, after every mini “there’s poo on my hand” panic attack I see Michael’s face in my mind.  In these visions he’s smiling and holding out his blistered paw for all to admire.

“But Eva,” I know you’re asking, “What was the hard manual labor that inflicted this grievous poop splatter mimicking injury?” ( how’s that for a segway?)

I’ll tell you: We bought a new house, and when I say “new” what I mean is old.  Old, and smelly and caked in dog hair/pee. I’m going to tell you something now and I want you to know that this is no exaggeration.  After prizing the baseboards from the walls in the living room area the visual impression left was that rather than simply removing those boards I’d actually replaced them.  Replaced them with boards made of fur.

Think about that.

Now, If you’ll excuse me, there’s a shop vac I need to purchase.


My young Chef

I’m happy to be one of the first stops on the blog tour for the super new book Teaching Young Chefs by the one and only Christina Dymock. Do you cook with your kids?  Do you want to?  Check out the links above.   

Duke loves to cook.

I mean he LOVES it.

Anytime he finds me in the kitchen he rushes to get the step stool asking “My turn? My Turn? Mama, My turn?” He’ll just keep on asking until he gets an answer. He slides the stool from counter to counter as I work and is inevitably heart broken when the time comes for me to turn on the stove.  That’s the time when the stool must be locked in the closet as a two year old on a step stool plus a hot stove do not add up to happy things.

He’s learned to recognize the signs that the oven will be open soon.  When he sees a dough laden cookie sheet or a pair of mitts in my hand he backs slowly away from the oven, watching.  Always watching as I open the door and deposit/remove what ever culinary delight we’ve been working on.  I sing to him as we go “Back it up, back it up, Cuz yo mama taught ya good,” and he asks for reinforcement “Backup?” (it’s only one word for him) and “We-we ‘ott?” he needs to know I know he’s doing the right thing.

Kitchen play is a big deal for Duke.  Show that baby boy a toy kitchen and all you’ll hear from him will be a periodic “Mmm, Dee-ner!” as he cooks. Until his birthday last month the best we had to offer him by way of kitchen toys here at home was an itty bitty doll house set.  He carried the tiny kitchen sink around in his hand using it’s lower cabinet space as an oven for days and days.  He also found a skillet from the same set, and used it to cook endless tiny dee-ners for himself. He’s a very conscientious cook and never forgets to caution onlookers that his dishes are indeed “We-we ‘ott,” Eventually his sisters reclaimed their doll house goods but that didn’t stop him.  A generously sized book as a baking sheet and two slips of paper for hot pads had him outfitted perfectly to bake cookies in a piano bench oven. As I’m sure you can imagine these were also, “We-we ‘ott,”

But what can such a small kitchen assistant really do in the kitchen? You know he’s not just standing there contentedly watching the whole time he’s on that step stool. Any time I measure something in a spoon he gets to dump it.  Measuring cups are still up to my discretion as they constitute a much larger mess should they go astray in little hands, and a full cup is heavy enough for a 2 year old that it will most likely go astray. On days when he’s chill enough to let me guide his hand as he dumps, he gets to work with those higher volume measurements.

All things considered, Duke’s favorite thing to do in the kitchen, hands down, is spread peanut butter on bread.

If The Duke needs a snack he’ll go straight for the pantry, unfold the step stool, climb for the peanut butter, climb back down with the peanut butter, walk it over to the counter, return to the pantry to get the stool, push that to the counter, climb up again and take the lid off the jar.  If by that time I haven’t come along and either provided a piece of bread and a butter knife or put the kibosh on the whole endeavor, he’ll be eating handfuls of peanut butter.  So far I’ve always caught him (knock on wood) but some times only just. Lucky for me it takes his tiny hands a good long time to loosen the lid from the jar so I have a pretty respectable warning time.

He’s really great at transporting a gob of peanut butter from the jar to the bread but some assistance is required to spread the gob over the bread’s surface.  If left to his own devices on this step, the pile of peanut butter gobs would grow and grow.  Indefinitely I imagine.

Exhibit A- while taking pictures for this post I let him scoop and gob as I snapped away. (he was having regular butter that day as opposed to peanut) the following is the last of these photos.  Look at the amount of butter he piled up there during those few minutes, and he wasn’t even close to done. He’d have continued on until every speck of butter was transferred to that slice of bread if I’d left him to it.

One thing Duke knows about cooking; yummy is better if you made it yourself.



Stinky Feet

One of the hard things about coming back to blogging is that after it’s been sooo long is it feels like I need a monumental post to jump in with.

I don’t have a monumental post.

Duke’s birthday could have been monumental but I’ll be honest;  Monumental is a lot of work.  Plus we were kind of low key with the birthday so making the post monumental would have been that much more difficult.

Guess what happened though.  I was sitting here with my computer in my lap.  I got the computer out so I could log in to my library account and reserve a book that was recommended to me but the name of the book is in a text message and my phone is across the room so I was sitting here doing this and that on the computer psyching myself up to cross the room and get my phone when something happened…

I felt like blogging.


It’s been ages since I actually felt like blogging.  I mean really. AGES!

I still get ideas and construct interesting sentences in my brain while I do things like clean pee of the floor (What percentage of a person’s life is spent cleaning pee off of floors? I expect this varies from person to person based on number of children, girl to boy ratios, number of pets and probably a few other things. I’d still like to see some numbers) but following through with those ideas just hasn’t been happening. (obvs)

So, anyway.  I was sitting here being all lazy and not walking across the room and looking up the shoes Enzo is wishing for.

See, Boy-o isn’t into flip flops.  I bought him his summer flip flops a while back but he doesn’t like to wear them.  I’ll say “Hey guys get your flops on it’s time to go,” and five minutes later after everyone else is flopped up and in the car I’m still tapping my foot while he gets his socks just right and ties his shoes. So I thought “fine, he doesn’t have to wear flip flops, there are other quick sock-less options.” and began to explore.

My heart swelled at the thought of how stylin’ he’d be in a little pair of TOMS but I couldn’t bring myself to invest.  Even after giving myself the pep-talk about how this was not only a shoe purchase but also a charitable contribution I still couldn’t do it. I’ll have to leave the charitable contribution shoe purchases for people who will appreciate it.  Like myself.

He and I talked it over and decided to go with a basic canvas shoe that will doubtless get very stinky but hopefully, with a few basic deodorizing tricks will last through the summer.  He chose theseHe loved them so much that he crammed his foot into a size 11 just to prove to me that it would fit.  (The display was rather step sister-ish is we’re being candid.) There was no size 12 at our Target and 12 is as big as they go.  I had him try on a 12 in the Avengers themed shoe and that fit nicely so I thought it would be as simple as going home and ordering online.  Sadly though, they are sold out online as well so finding a pair is going to take some leg work. Drat.

At this juncture I’d like to relate that Enzo does not consider these to be “Star Wars shoes,” if you ask him he’ll say they are “Lego Star Wars shoes,”  To his mind Lego Star Wars on the WII is the ultimate. After observing that it was his favorite game we gave him opportunity to watch “A New Hope,” and he liked it but for him the authentic film was lacking when compared to his favorite game.  What can be said about the tastes of a six year old?

Now I have a decision before me.  How dedicated am I to the Star Wars ,excuse me, Lego Star Wars foot wear dreams of my boy?

These are dilemmas one must face as a mother.


It’s unclear to me how this came to pass

Two years.

Two years of sweet baby perfection. He really can’t possibly be two.  I’m positive there’s been some kind of mix-up.

I sneaked in and took his birthday minute picture at 4:59 I wasn’t expecting anything great out of a picture snapped with my phone in the dark but I was still underwhelmed with the picture I got.  I shifted mid-snap (hence the blur)  Sadly, the flash disturbed him and it was all I could do to sneak out of there without a wide awake baby on my hands at five AM so a second try was out of the question.

When I look back on the day my Duke turned two I’ll see the above blur and remember how he considers his pillow a mattress.  He’s not concerned with having his head on the pillow but he likes the rest of himself to be.

I’ll also remember his second birthday as the day he discovered “Goodnight Moon” He found it on the bookshelf last night at bedtime and asked Mr to read it to him.  This morning after breakfast he picked it up and read it to himself again and again until it was time for us to leave the house.  As I went about my business this morning his little voice rung through the house from the family room where he sat repeating “goo-nite bush,” (page turn) “goo-nite bush,” (page turn) “goo-nite bush,” At length he took notice of the little house and then he left the brush behind and said “goo-nite haws” on each page during subsequent readings.

It’s amazing isn’t it? How entrancing these little people are? I could sit and watch him eat oatmeal every morning and be completely entertained.

The same goes for cookies.  It’s fun to watch him eat those too.

Babies are magic.