Monday, April 27, 2009

Rabbit of Caerbannog

Behold the Cave of Caerbannog!  We've got our own ferocious beast guarding the cave.  And here she is in all of her glory:

Behind the puppy, you ask?  No!  It IS the puppy!  That's no ordinary yellow lab puppy.  She's the most foul, cruel and bad-tempered canine you ever set eyes on! That puppy's got a viscious streak a mile wide, she's a killer.  She's got big fangs!

Run away!  Run away!  

Does anybody have the Holy Hand Grenade of Antioch handy?

O Lord, bless this Thy hand grenade that, with it, Thou mayest blow Thine enemies to tiny bits in Thy mercy.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Our day at the mall

Elisabeth and I went to the mall together yesterday, as a sort of mommy/daughter outing (really, I needed a new suit and had really great coupons and had to get Elisabeth out of the house to give Doug a moment's peace - but let's call it mommy/daughter outing).  First we had lunch at "Chick-a-lay," where Elisabeth got a telescope for a prize in her kid's meal.    A telescope is just about the most exciting thing she can imagine (short of a magic kit, which I'll have to tell you about under separate cover).  Elisabeth could barely eat for all the excitement.

She's wanted to be a pirate for some time now.  This isn't helped by the portrayal of pirates in Veggie Tales "The Pirates Who Don't Do Anything," or the Backyardigans.  Also, this is not exactly a great time in our history to be going around proclaiming you want to be a pirate - you're liable to get taken out by one of our amazing Navy Seals.    So, Elisabeth sat in a crowded Chick Fil A and proclaimed her unending desire to be a pirate, while looking through her telescope commenting on everything she saw.  "MOMMY!  That lady right next to us has ketchup!"  (Thank goodness she did not comment on her weight...)  "MOMMY!  There's the guy who fills the cokes!"  

Then, Elisabeth began to wax poetic on pirates.   See, we've tried to explain that piracy is not really a viable profession, considering you have to be mean and evil and these are not qualities we accept in a kid.  So realizing that she shouldn't be saying she wants to be a pirate, Elisabeth said "Oh but mommy, I'm going to be a good pirate.  Yes, a good one.  I won't be a bad pirate.  I'll use my telescope and be a good pirate.  I'll go and find the things that other pirates steal from people and give them back.  That's what I'll do!"  (The lady, the one with the ketchup, began to laugh at this point and since she was sitting alone, I have to believe it was Elisabeth's doing...)

After lunch, we set off to find Stride Rite, which was upstairs.  Someone has been teaching Elisabeth about conserving and "being green."  So that kid drug me up stairs instead of letting me use the escalator (which I might add was going to run whether I took it or not!!).  "Its greener, mommy, it is better to take the stairs."  How do you say no to that??  So I got some unintended exercise.

We found Stride Rite - what a racket that place has going.  There were 10 kids on the list in front of us to get fitted or try on shoes and I only counted one person working.  That would be at least 100 minutes of waiting.  Which is about 95 minutes more than I was willing to wait.  So I used their foot measurer and measured the kid - only to find out that I have yet another qualification to add to my mother of the year application.  She is now wearing shoes that are between a half and 2 full sizes too small for her.   I guess you have to buy shoes more than once a year for your kids...  duly noted.  I came home and promptly ordered her some shoes online from  (as an aside, Stride Rite's shoes are overpriced and I think they try to convince you your kid's foot is wide since they're one of a very few retailers that sell wide shoes - so phhhhthththt on you Stride Rite!!!!)

After Stride Rite, we hit the Limited for a new suit for me.  Elisabeth pronounced to everyone in the dressing rooms that I was going to look soooo pretty when I go to work wearing my new suit.  She's very sweet when she's not climbing on your head and harassing you to the point that you want to run your head into the wall...

Then, my environmentally concerned little green girl saw.... a glass elevator.  And, we rode that glass elevator up to the second floor and back down again just because we could.  She's very committed.  Oh, and she'd like that motor boat that was on display in the mall please.

I'm a little bit shocked, and somewhat proud, that Elisabeth had no memory of ever being in a mall before.  I think the last time she was in a mall was probably close to a year ago, and her memory doesn't stretch back that far.  She enjoyed it, though, and it is definitely an interesting place for kids to take in a lot of different sights.

On another note, I can write amazingly long posts about nothing.  It is like a less funny Seinfeld episode... 

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Where meat comes from...

Elisabeth is clearly trying to sort out what types of things she's putting into her mouth.  Here are two funny comments from this weekend:

1.  Mommy - there are two kinds of turkeys.  The kind that are birds and walk around and say gobble gobble gobble, and the kind we eat.  Response was "no, sweetie, they're both the same.  We eat the birds."  To which she said "yuck."

2.  "Grandaddy - ham is just smooshed pig."

It is hard for me to discuss with her because I have my own very strong feelings on the subject, and but for my laziness and inability to cook lots of vegetables I would be a vegetarian.  Thankfully she hasn't really asked how the animals die or anything like that because I'm not sure I can show her that YouTube video of the turkey getting thrown in to the woodchipper-like machine...

Also noteworthy, prior to entering law school I never used the phrase "but for" in a sentence. 

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Certified Insane - April 12, 2009

Before one of you even thinks about uttering the words "how cute" - you should know that behind the yellow fuzzy adorable face is a chewing, pooping, peeing, biting machine.  She will eat anything and everything - if you put her in an empty room I am certain she will just eat the floor.  She is a prolific and frequent pooper, but only between the hours of 11pm and 5am.    Elisabeth has to stay up on chairs, sofas, bar stools, etc at all times because the GinnyGator nips at her.  Heck, the dog is sitting here right now chewing on her own leg.  Oh drat - now we're on to the sofa. 

OK back from scolding the dog only to have my hands chewed off.  Well at least one finger.  Let it be known that in the 20 minutes (!!) it has taken me to write like 4 complete sentences, I've taken the beast out 4 times.  My patience is gone.  Puppies are like newborns wrapped up with the terrible twos all at once.  She is damn lucky she's cute.

She already ate my laptop power cord, it made a terrible crackling sound when she bit through it.  She didn't seem to notice, but now - even though my computer gets power, it whines that it isn't a "Dell Power Adaptor" and refuses to actually charge the battery.  She has also chewed directly on my laptop - and them's fightin' words.  If I had to choose between my laptop and my children, well.... let's not go there - it is like Sophie's Choice (kidding, kidding - no one needs to call the authorities).  

So April 12, Hurricane Ginny blew into our lives.  She is forecasted to gain strength before fully destroying the house.  Then hopefully six years from now we'll be saying "remember when Ginny ate your laptop cable?  Such a nice dog, so sad she had to electrocute herself."  Or, alternatively, "Such a nice dog, so calm and sweet and never chews on anything..." 

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Mexico Meets Dave and Busters

I've been reading Elisabeth the Skippyjon Jones books.  They are absolutely hilarious books about a Siamese kitten, named Skippyjon, who has fantasies about being a Chihuahua.  He goes and visits his amigos, Los Chimichangos - a band of bandito Chihuahuas.  He is a great sword fighter.  One of the common sayings throughout the books is "Holy Guacamole!"  She could never remember the term "Holy Guacamole" when she wanted to use it in everyday speech, so she always said "Holy Camole!"

New story.  A few weeks ago, Doug took the girls to Dave and Busters for lunch sponsored by his company.  Needless to say, the girls had a blast.  Doug, in his infinite wisdom, managed to convince Elisabeth that the true prize was the tickets that come out of the machines - keeping her completely oblivious to the crap kiosk.  She came home treasuring those tickets.  She told me all about her adventures involving the "Hit a mole" game.  We worked on saying "Whack-a-mole" for a few days.  She never got it, and continued to call it "hit a mole."  

Fastforward to today, when she was watching Enchanted in the minivan (everyone say a prayer of thanks to the genius who came up with minivan DVD players).  Out of the back we heard "Holy Whackamole!"  and my day was made.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Charlotte has given me a name.

When Elisabeth started to call me by a repeatable name it was indistinguishable from what she called Maggie - "Mama" where the a sounds like apple.  This was really early on, perhaps when Elisabeth was about a year old.

Charlotte takes her sweet time verbally, and just today at 20 months came up with something to call me.  It sounds remarkably like "bye bye" (which she says very well now).  Isn't that laughably sad??  

Sunday, April 5, 2009

The flip side of lying is brutal honesty.

(Three posts in one weekend??  What??)

This weekend has completely reset my Elisabeth Patience Meter, which was as of Friday completely at zero (and it does not have the sneaky reserve that our cars' fuel meters have - empty == empty).  Elisabeth has been fun and sweet and really just enjoyable to have around.  I don't think we had a single time out all weekend.  We've gotten close, but I think she's managed to pull herself together before the magic "three" each time.

In an effort to reward her good behavior, I'm trying to say "yes" to her more often.  I played computer games with her this morning, against my true desires.  I played games in the car instead of turned on music.  And when she said "Mommy, will you look at my picture book with me?"  I responded in the affirmative.

We began to look through the book - most of the pictures from from the last 1.5 years.  We looked at pictures of her going to the dentist for the first time, pictures of her cleaning the deck.  With each one, she told me very sweetly what it was about.  "Mommy, this is the first time I ever went to the dentist!  Aren't I being a brave girl?  I was three then.  I wasn't scared."  

"And this is when I helped Daddy clean the deck.  I'm wearing the shirt that Laila gave me.  I love yellow, it is my favorite favorite color.  And blue.  And this is before you cut my hair, see how long it is?"

So sweet, so cute, so chatty.

We turned to the picture of the four of us at Disney World with Mickey Mouse.  I'm holding a three month old Charlotte on one side of Mickey and Doug is standing with Elisabeth on the other side of Mickey.  I'm fully expecting "Oh, Mommy!  This is when we got to go to Disney World!  It was so fun, we got to meet Snow White."  Instead, I got, "Mommy, this is when you were still fat."  And a page turn.

playing restaurant...

Elisabeth told Doug that they were going to play restaurant (Doug, Elisabeth, and her three babies - Ammy, Hi Chou Chou (who recently underwent gender reassignment), and the unnamed one who now has incredibly, remarkably frizzy hair).  

Elisabeth:  Daddy, let's play restaurant.
Doug:  OK.
Elisabeth:  You be the server and I'll be the waiter.
Doug:  What?
Elisabeth:  You serve, and I'll wait right here at the table with my three babies.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

The number one reason to have a second kid.... that when your older one is driving you nuts and thinks that everything you do is wrong, you have someone who laughs and delights in your every move.  Even Charlotte's tantrums are adorable and cute these days... This logic probably does not apply to third and subsequent kids quite as much because the older ones drive you so nuts that any reprieve you could get from a third, etc would not overcome the deleterious effects of the older two.

On the bright side, yesterday was a very good day with Elisabeth.  She was a very good girl and made it all the way through bedtime without issue.  Here's hoping it is a trend??  So far this morning, no outrageous lies.  We've been outside cleaning up the flood plain this morning, maybe the fresh air will be good for her.

Friday, April 3, 2009

April Fools

We're still waiting for someone to jump out and yell "APRIL FOOLS" at us.  See, the big joke is that someone took my Elisabeth and replaced her with a little miniature devil.  My mother has told me for years that four years old was the hardest, and from just this past week I can say she is correct.  I was minutes away from either slapping postage on the kid and mailing her to her grandmother or sending her to be raised by the foxes in the back yard.  

I think that it did actually all start with April Fool's day.  See, to a four year old, April Fool's Day is just a license to lie.  But Elisabeth didn't know when to stop - she picked a position and then argued it until she went down with the ship.  She didn't get that part of April Fool's is to eventually back off and say "April fools!!!"

Here was a particularly funny, and infuriating exchange at dinner last night.  To set the scene, I am sitting at the table with Elisabeth and Charlotte.  Every 15 seconds I have to get up to get someone something else because heaven forbid they either (a) eat the same thing or (b) pick one thing and eat all of it and not ask for a million things.  Anyway, Doug is upstairs on a conference call.  I was concerned about Elisabeth getting constipated - remind me to show this to Elisabeth's prom date.  

Me:  Elisabeth, did you poop today?
E:  Nope (concealing a smile, clearly indicating she is lying).
Me:  Really?
E:  Nope (same wry grin)
Me:  Are you telling me the truth?
E:  Yep.
Me:  So, if I go to the computer and ask Daddy if you pooped, he'll tell me no?
E:  Well, Mommy, you really shouldn't bother Daddy.  He's working.  He doesn't like it when we bother him when he's working.
Me:  Well, I'm going to go send him a message.  Do you promise me that he'll say that you didn't poop?
E:  I didn't poop.  And you shouldn't bother Daddy.
Me (IMs Doug and finds out that she in fact had pooped):  Well, Elisabeth, Daddy has a different story.  He says you did poop.
E:  (totally straight face)  Well, Mommy, Daddy is lying.
Me (infuriated, possibly raising my voice although my parenting pride refuses to actually admit it):  I will give you FIVE seconds to tell me the truth.  If you don't, then you're going to bed right now without any dessert!!!
E:  Um, well, um, yeah, I did poop.  But it was fun to tell you that I didn't.


Now, you might think just the barrage of lies would be enough for any one set of parents.  But, no.  We're also having a renewed temper tantrum phase combined with a cry/whine whenever you can't deal with something.  For example, Elisabeth couldn't reach the salt on the table and melted down to tears.  Yesterday I had to leave the house without Elisabeth, without taking her to preschool as planned, because Elisabeth refused to brush her teeth without someone "paying attention to her."  So once the line is drawn in the sand, you can't give in and go pay attention to her merely because she's throwing a big fit.  Otherwise we'd be rewarding the fit and she'd be getting exactly what she wanted.  30 minutes of tantruming later, I left without her.  Doug ended up driving her later, but I'm just not sure how many more of those tantrums I can take!!!

In between the lying and the tantrums and the crying, there hasn't been much in the way of funny.  We're all too exhausted in the interim to have any sort of a sense of humor.

So, really, when is someone going to holler April Fools and give me my kid back?!?!?