Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Hallow...zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

Oh, my. Is it really only 8:00 pm? I thought for sure it was midnight. I tried so hard to get a decent picture of the boys in their costumes. Unfortunately, I think the fabric was laced with cocaine because the second they put them on they were screaming, yelling, and clawing at the door to get out. Allow me to present to you Exhibit A of the barely controlled chaos.

Halloween '08

Halloween '08

Halloween '08

When that door proved impossible to breach, they scampered like hungry puppy dogs towards the front door.

Halloween '08

Thank goodness I took those mediocre pictures of Mikey in his Superman costume a couple of weeks ago, because he was faster than a speeding bullet and would not sit still long enough for me to take a face shot. When we stumbled upon a neighbor boy his age, forget it. I spent the rest of the night screaming at the top of my lungs for him to SLOW DOWN! WAIT FOR US! YOU'RE GOING TO TRIP ON YOUR CAPE!

Halloween '08

My saliva must be made of Kryptonite, because it fell on deaf ears.

Nico was no better. All I wanted was 1) a face shot and 2) a full body shot. Instead, I have a million pictures of him turning away from me. I'm going to have dreams of bouncing blue and yellow wings.

Halloween '08

Halloween '08

Halloween '08


Halloween '08

I took one from the paparazzi hand book and hid in the bushes.

So that was our Halloween. Blessedly uneventful, and yet still bone crumbling. I, for one, am ready to loaf on the sofa with the Mister and eat the kid's candy. Oh! And before I forget: If you enjoy reading about holiday legends, you must head on over to Dawn's blog (Wicked Good Dinner) and read the story of Jack O' Lantern. I absolutely love folklore and the history behind common holidays and practices, and this story doesn't disappoint.

Happy Halloween! :)

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Things I Hope to Never Forget | Morning Rituals

Perhaps it's all the pink makes them look twice as sweet. Either way, this moment made a late morning worth remembering.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Dinner for Two and a Family of Four

Dear Miscreant Children,

Somewhere between some time ago and today, you've decided to boycott everything I make for dinner. It doesn't matter what I prepare, it's revolting. And I'm a good cook! I understand I shouldn't complain since you both (especially Mikey) have been fantastic eaters for most of your life. But, frankly, no one has ever smacked my ass and called me "mature." Therefore, I feel somewhat entitled to bitch, whine, and moan. And so I shall. I will also take the time to dispense some advice.

  1. When I make chicken noodle soup from scratch, do not complain that it doesn't taste like "the other one." I know you all like Chicken Tortilla Soup. I didn't make Chicken Tortilla Soup. Consequently, shut your pie hole.
  2. When daddy decides to help me out the next night by making canned Campbell's Tomato Soup and grilled cheese sandwiches, do not proclaim it's the best dinner you have ever tasted. I control the check book, and the check book controls Christmas. If you catch my drift.
  3. Do not change your taste overnight without telling me. This means, if you have liked roasted pork loin, potatoes, and sauteed cabbage until now, do not tell me you now think "it's really boring and awful" after I have spent 3 hours cooking enough pork loin to last us a month. Guess what? Your cute, tiny, fat free butt is going to be eating pork loin for the better part of a week in many, many different incarnations. Sucks to be you.
  5. No, chips and ice cream will not make your stomach ache feel better. Don't ask, and quit pretending like you are on death's door.

You've been warned. Sit down at the table, eat your dinner, then call me the best cook ever. I don't ask for much, do I? Just a little appreciation, is all.

I'm still debating how to coerce you into doing my bidding, so I'll have to get back to you on that one. I'd threaten you with Hamburger Helper, but I think you'd like it, you sick, sick, children.

The Management

Monday, October 27, 2008

7 Random Ways Motherhood Made me a Liar

Hannah over at Strapless Living tagged me to reveal 7 random things about myself. Well, I think this is particularly unfair because my entire blog is random! Just read the last 7 posts. There's your random! So I decided to mix it up just a bit and disclose, instead, 7 random ways in which motherhood made me a liar.

1. I will always work.

As you know, I vowed to never be a stay at home mom.

2. I will continue to enjoy fine food.

I never imagined I would eat old food simply to avoid throwing it away in the trash. Yet, several times a week, while cleaning up the table from lunch, I wake up and find myself feasting on delectables such as peanut butter and jelly sandwich crusts, banana nubs, 1 chicken nugget, or a 1" square piece of cold quesadilla. Why?! It's not like I don't have my own lunch. The trash can isn't that far away--in fact, I pass it on the way to the sink. What possible harm could come from tossing away old, cold, bits of food? Are people still starving in China? Yes, and it's because I'm eating all the food.

3. I will never buy kid-themed anything.

Something happens when you get pregnant. You walk through life with a particular design aesthetic, and you really do believe it will never change. I remember rolling my eyes and shuddering every time my sister-in-law bought a new mom bracelet, or family sticker, or personalized stick-figure anything. I found it all revolting. That is, until we had Mikey. Six months later I was affixing something very similar to this abomination on my Christmas card envelopes as I whistled to some peppy little tune--no doubt by the Wiggles.

Then, at the beginning of the year I wrote a letter to Mikey's class introducing myself as the room mom for the year. I wrote it on paper I bought especially for the occasion.

4. I will have a modern nursery.

I decided even before I was pregnant with Mikey that I would never, ever buy a glider. They are ugly, serve only limited purpose, are ugly, cost a fortune, and are ugly. Instead, I was super slick and bought this chair from IKEA. Yes, it had a longer life than most chairs out there--Mikey and I can still sit side-by-side and read a book--but it DOESN'T ROCK. See, in my little know-it-all, pea-sized brain I forgot that babies float in amniotic fluid for 10 months and happen to like rocking. So you know what I had to do? If I wasn't in the living room rocking him in our La-Z-Boy (more on that chair another day) I was sitting in my "design savvy" Ektorp rocking back and forth like Rain Man.

I have this in Nico's nursery.


5. I will never write a mommy blog.

Oh, hello Internet. Fancy meeting you here!

6. I will never drive an SUV.

When we got pregnant with Mikey, I was driving this:

Now I drive something like this:

I even lucked out and found one in the same Soccer Mom beige.

7. My children will maintain their own identity.

Right after I had Nico, someone asked me if I would dress they boys in matching clothing. I said no, because that was stupid.

I would upload all the pictures in which they wear matching clothing, but the internet might break.

So there you have it. Seven random ways in which motherhood made me a liar. I feel much better. Feel free to confess your own motherhood induced debauchery. You are not alone.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Favorite Moment | The Mister

I never intended to be a stay at home mom. I went to one of the top ten colleges in the country. I had a master's degree in health care administration and ten years real world experience before I entered law school. My career path, while circuitous, promised to be fulfilling and financially rewarding. I had big fish to fry, so I wasn't going to waste my time baking fish sticks.

And then came Mikey. To say we had a rough beginning would be a heinous understatement, but we survived and bonded. The Mister and I were completely taken with our bald baby, and suddenly, after years of scoffing at "The Oprah Set," we realized perhaps there was more to staying at home than we previously imagined. But, it was too late. I had to finish my final year of law school and study for the bar. We had my student loans to repay. I had to live up to the expectations of my family, my professors, and myself.

And I did. I finished my classes. I studied for the bar and passed on the first attempt. I secured a job, thanks to a close friend, as a part-time research attorney for a small family practice/criminal law firm. My mom took care of Mikey and I made very good money. The Mister was relieved to no longer shoulder the weight of everything while I studied. We moved to our dream home: a mid-century fixer upper. We started a complete kitchen remodel and picked out fancy finishes and appliances. Everything was perfect; I was miserable.

There are a series of events I remember clearly leading me to the decision to stay at home. The first had to do with my mom taking care of Mikey during the day. My mom is wonderful with children. My dad frequently says, unprompted, that she was born to mother. And it's true. She is the consummate mother hen. No need goes unmet on her watch, and Mikey feasted on her tendency to dote. So much so, he often cried when it was time for me to take him home. This happens frequently with lots of babies and their daytime care providers, so I wasn't too worried. Somewhat annoyed and hurt, but not terribly so.

Then, one day, my mom called and asked if I could come home early. Mikey was clearly sick and running a fever. Of course, I left the office immediately. When I arrived, there was Mikey snuggled in my mom's arms. I walked up to greet him and take him home. I can't describe the hysteria that ensued when I tried to take him from my mom. He cried until he could no longer breathe. He screamed and scratched at me and clung to my mom desperately. He could not be consoled while he was in my arms. In the end, she had to put him in the car seat for me. He was about a year old. My mom laughed it off to break the tension. I didn't find it funny.

A month or two after that, when I got home from work, we went to order and pay for $20,000 worth of new kitchen cabinets. As we stood there waiting for someone to help us, the Mister held Mikey and occasionally tossed him in the air just to hear him giggle. I stood there holding the check book and smiled at them both. When it came time to pay for the cabinets, the Mister handed Mikey over to me. Again, he cried until he could no longer breathe. People started coming from different parts of the store to figure out what was wrong. The Mister asked the salesperson for the balance three times over Mikey's screams, before he finally turned the computer screen around and looked for himself. In the end, I had to write the check and hand Mikey to the Mister. He was scratching my eyes and hurting me and twice I almost dropped him.

When we drove away, I stared out the passenger window and said in the dark to no one in particular, "I think those cabinets cost me more than $20,000." The Mister knew better than to answer.

Although I was technically part-time, I worked constantly. When I was home, on my days off, I would often drop Mikey off with my mom so I could research and call clients. On the weekends, I did more of the same. I slept poorly, thinking about the latest stressful case and everything I had to do the next day. And always, I thought of Mikey and how we just didn't seem to connect.

Not long after the kitchen cabinet debacle, the owner of the law firm where I worked told me I needed to work the weekend and draft an emergency motion for a divorce client who wanted to increase his visitation with his kids. The client was an insufferable commercial photographer who had left his wife for his much younger photographer's assistant. The rub: he didn't actually want to spend more time with his children. He intended to pick them up and drop them off at his mother's house while he and the girlfriend partied in Las Vegas. He just knew it would piss off his ex-wife. He also knew if we had the visitation agreement amended permanently, he wouldn't have to pay as much in child support. In his words: "I piss her off and pay less. It's a win-win."

When I walked into my office and saw that 7 inch file in front of me it hit me: I was sacrificing my time, spending time away from my family, alienating myself even more from my child, so that some jerk could get more time with kids he didn't even want to see. I sat down, wrote the motion, and placed it on top of my boss's desk. On top of it, I placed a letter of resignation.

I came home and told the Mister. We canceled the cabinets and reordered much cheaper ones online. We eliminated many of the fancy finishes we spent so much time researching. To this day, three years later, we still don't have a back splash. Many of the items in our fixer-upper still need fixing. I decided to focus, instead, on repairing my relationship with Mikey.

This is a decision we made for us. This isn't something every family can do, or something every family wants to do. I understand that, and admire the families out there who can make it work. We--I--couldn't. I have never been good at balance, especially when it comes to work or school. The need to succeed and be at the top consumes me and, unfortunately, those around me suffer my tunnel vision. I realized if I was only capable of being good at one thing at a time, that one thing should be mothering.

It hasn't been easy. Although the decision to stay at home was, ultimately, an easy one, the actual practice has been difficult. After being so focused on my career for so long, it took me a while to adapt to the change in my identity. I would be lying if I said I didn't still struggle every now and then.

And, of course, we made a huge financial adjustment to our lifestyle. We had to scale back until we didn't think we could possibly scale back more. And then we scaled back again. There are times, like this week, where I wonder if I made a mistake staying home. If, maybe, I should be working in a firm instead of eating popcorn with boys, beagles, and dinosaurs. Maybe if I was worried about my billable hours, I wouldn't be worried that Mikey's feet grew an entire shoe size since I bought his school shoes last month. I wouldn't be looking in shock at the brand new jeans that barely graze his ankles when two months ago they dragged on the floor when he walked barefoot. I wouldn't, I moaned to the Mister, be putting all new clothes and shoes on a credit card because we have to pay the car and home insurance premiums this month.

We should be paying down our credit card, not putting more on it.

The Mister waited until I was done orating and then said, "Every second you spend with our boys has far more value than any dollar we can put towards our credit card."

And for once in my life I had nothing to say except, "Thank you." Thank you for putting such a high value on what I do everyday. Thank you for always putting your family first, even when it meant turning down promotions and jobs I know you really wanted. Thank you for being such a wonderful father that people in restaurants will stop me after you walk by to tell me they have never seen a better dad to his children. Thank you for being nothing but supportive when I said, "I want to be a lawyer!" and then, "Or not!" Thank you for always trying to grope me when I unload the dishwasher, even though I've gained 30 pounds since we got married. Thank you for telling me every morning before you leave to go to work, "Thank you for doing what you do," when it should be me thanking you.

Thank you for being my favorite everything, now and forever.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Things I Hope to Never Forget | My 5 Boys.

Sitting, walking, playing, and lounging under a tree.

Thanks, Saucy Mom, for putting that vertical bar thing-y in your Favorite Moment post. As you can see, I've copied you shamelessly.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008


Have you ever wandered down the aisles of the supermarket, happened upon a yummy snack you haven't had in years, and then gone home and become obsessed with eating said snack night and day? Internet, meet Popcorn. Popcorn, meet Internet.

Popped Corn

Mikey is equally smitten. He is especially taken with the popping process, although he is disappointed with how increasingly renegade I have become with the kernel:pot ratio as the days have gone on.

Popped Corn

What can I say? I am nothing if not a risk taker.

Nico finds popcorn quite revolting, which only encourages me to feed him more because his little gagging face is too cute for words.

As you saw in the pictures, my secret ingredient is Nutritional Yeast. You'll have to trust me on this one. I read it once on a vegetarian website and was immediately intrigued. Nutritional Yeast has a nutty/cheesy taste you can't really describe. The popcorn ends up tasting faintly of cheddar corn. Just a gentle sprinkle of Nutritional Yeast and some salt is all you need after popping the corn in light oil.

Popped Corn

Be prepared for company to show up once the kernels start popping. Everyone likes this popcorn--especially dinosaurs and beagles.

Popped Corn

Given the massive quantities of popcorn I've ingested over the last two days, I suspect my obsessive days are slowly coming to an end. I only hope the next snack that strikes my fancy fits as nicely in the vintage pyrex that once belonged to the Mister's grandma.

Popped Corn

California Fall

Fall has embraced most of the country, provided the many pictures of turning leaves on all my favorite blogs are any indication. You know, it's fall here in on the west coast, too. Really! I imagine most people think the only thing that really changes around here is the time during daylight savings. True, if the leaves on my neighbor's tree drops, it's because the Santa Ana winds are blowing. But we, too, have seasonal colors, and they were in full force yesterday in my garden.

California Fall

Oh, look! I see some leaves on the ground. It is fall!


I've seen countless pictures this week showcasing acres of trees painted red, gold, and orange. I have that.

Hot Pink Rose

Yellow Rose

Orange Rose

And there's more. California likes to add some "jazz hands" to our fall routine. Indeed, I would be terribly remiss if I didn't highlight fall's red, gold, and orange with our sunset's pink, yellow, and purple.

Pink Rose

Yellow & Pink

Purple Rose

And perhaps a little plastic surgeon's white, too.

Palest Pink

Because when things fall in California, we're quick to lift them up.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Cooking with Mikey: Chicken Stock

I am slowly starting to feel better. I would have loved some homemade soup during the week while I was so sick, but unfortunately didn't have the energy to make any. The Mister pulled through with Campbell's Tomato Soup and Grilled Cheese sandwiches during my misery, which was almost as good since I didn't have to cook or clean a thing.

I try to roast chickens regularly. One chicken easily feeds our family of four, and more often than not provides leftovers I then toss in a big salad for the next night's dinner. I save the carcass/bones to make chicken stock, which I store in the freezer for other meals. If you've never made chicken stock, I suggest you give it a whirl. It is very simple to make and takes almost no supervision while it sits on the stove for hours. Plus, it makes the house smell yummy.

You don't have to roast your own chicken, either. You can use one of the pre-roasted chickens you can buy at store near the checkout counter if you come home too late to roast your own bird. Just be careful when selecting the flavor of a bird you will later use for stock. "Chipotle-Orange Roasted Chicken" may taste good off the bone, but it makes an odd flavored stock.

I never have the energy to make chicken stock after cooking dinner, but buy all means go for it if you are so inclined. I prefer to place the carcass is a freezer zip-bag and toss it in the big-chill until I'm ready. I had two waiting for me in the freezer today, so I decided today would be a fine day to teach Mikey how to make chicken stock.

Chicken Stock

You will need:

  • Chicken, whole bird or whole bird carcass
  • Carrots, 3-6 whole
  • Celery, 3-6 with leaves
  • Onions, 1-2 whole
  • Garlic, 1 head
  • Herbs (I use thyme, parsley, and bay leaves)
  • Salt, 1-2 TB
  • Peppercorns, 1-2 tsp.
  • The biggest pot you have
  • Water to cover
Chicken Stock

I recently made soup at my parents house, and must have left my bay leaves there. Chicken stock is flexible, though, so it's not the end of the world. I also didn't have fresh parsley or thyme, so I just used the dry version I had in the pantry.

Start off by tossing all your chicken bones in a big pot. Then roughly, and I do mean roughly, cut up all your vegetables.

Chicken Stock

Chicken Stock

Seriously, in half is fine. Don't go crazy scrubbing them, and don't peel them, either. Since they are root vegetables, they can be unwieldy for small hands to chop. For me, the easiest way to allow Mikey to participate was for him to rest his hands on mine. I did let him try on his own, but it just required too much force to get through the carrot. I felt this was the safest way for both of us to have a good time. Mikey was already removing his hands from mine when the Mister took the picture of us chopping celery. He had them higher up on me (and much farther from the knife blade) when we were actually chopping.

Chicken Stock

The same technique doesn't work for the onions or garlic. Just let your little one watch while you slice through anything round and mobile. Mikey's job was to pick it all up off the counter and dump it into the pot. Don't bother removing the skin from your onions or garlic. They'll get separated out later, and the onion skin contributes to the color of the stock.

Chicken Stock

At this point you can go ahead and add your salt and pepper. Be generous with the salt. Mikey likes to pinch and sprinkle like the chefs do on T.V., but his little fingers can't pinch nearly enough to season the stock. I let him do that for a while, and then toss in a healthy tablespoon or two of salt while he is busy opening the peppercorn jar.

Chicken Stock

I fill his palm with peppercorns, which is about a couple of teaspoons, and let him toss it into the pot.

Chicken Stock

After that, I fill the pot with water to cover. I do this before I add my herbs because, for me, it makes it easier to judge if I have enough. I want the stock to look like stock from a restaurant, which is usually peppered with herbs through out. My stock pot is huge today because I have two chicken carcasses in there. I've been slow to make stock because the weather has been so warm.

At this point you can turn on the stove to medium-low (depending on your burner) and let it simmer for four hours or so. If y ou get what looks like foam, skim it off with a ladle and toss it. Other than that, you're done. Send off any little ones who have helped you to play. The rest is boring, and transferring the hot stock to containers when it's done isn't safe for clumsy hands.

Chicken Stock Hour 1

Chicken Stock Hour 2

Chicken Stock Hour 4

It will reduce quite a bit in the pot, and that's fine. Usually it's about an inch and hour. When it smells and looks good and rich (about 4 hours) take it off the heat and strain the stock into a new container. Because I made so much stock (12 cups!) I had to strain it into another large pot and then transfer it to canning jars. Normally, I would just strain it into a large glass bowl.

Chicken Stock

Allow it to come to room temperature on the counter, then refrigerate it overnight, and the next morning skim off all the fat and impurities on top. See how my stock looks a little murky? That's because it's right out of the pot. Tomorrow, after I skim the top, it will be nice and clear. Store the stock in freezer safe container in whatever unit of measure you prefer. I like 1-2 cups, which is about the amount I use for any recipe. The stock should keep in your freezer for about 3 months.

This week I plan on using this stock to make a family favorite around here--Chicken Tortilla Soup.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Why I am not Better.

Dear Male People,

I am not better because I am not resting. I am not resting because I am taking care of more male people. To wit, my 20 month old male has done the following in the last two days when I should have been resting:

1. Written in Sharpie all over our antique dining room table.
2. Fallen off said table onto his back.
3. Played with scissors.
4. Emptied out box of cereal on floor to give to the dogs.
5. Danced in fireplace.
6. Sucked on dog kibble and then fed it to the dogs.
7. Dragged play lawnmower into house and tried to mow the carpet.
8. Will not eat anything except crackers.
9. Refused to take naps.
10. Will not stop climbing into the tub fully dressed.

See what I mean? No resting, male people. If you expect me to get better, please cease and desist all male activity effective immediately.

The Management

Thursday, October 16, 2008

That Cold Everyone Has...

I have it, too. Except I'm pretty sure I'm going to die from it. Not to be melodramatic or anything, but I should be pushing daisies by noon. If I somehow manage to survive, I'll be back to my usual, sporadic-can't-be-depended-upon posting schedule soon.

p.s. Did you see on Tristan's blog that Brooke won the Candace Ang goodie bag? Yay! :)

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Another Great Giveaway!

{Updated at the bottom of the post}

I would love to show you what we did yesterday, but I am waiting on the Mister to forward to me all the pictures he took with his phone/camera. We went to the San Diego Museum of Natural History to see the fossil exhibit and I was a complete ditz and forgot my camera at home. So, you'll just have to sit tight for my riveting recap of prehistoric fossils as seen through the blurry, grainy lens of a year old Blackberry.

In the mean time, I suggest you participate in the following giveaway. I don't know how Miss B does it; she sure does have some friends in very convenient places. If any of my friends were to sponsor a giveaway you'd be getting help with your retirement plan or a legal consultation. Zzzzzzzzz

But not so with Miss B! Her friends work at Smashbox Cosmetics. So she is giving a lucky commenter the Smashbox DVD and makeup kit. All you have to do is go there and comment on her blahg and tell her where you heard about the giveaway. And, because she is trying to show Smashbox that giving away goodies to the public is a very good thing, she is giving a prize to the person who refers the most commenters to the blahg.

After you are done commenting, go on and post on your own blog about Miss B.'s giveaway and send your readers her way. Companies like to see lots and lots of comments before you can wrestle from the men in pin-striped suits a free q-tip, let alone a decent giveaway. Let's give those grumpy old men something to raise their bushy eyebrows over, shall we?

UPDATE: I forgot to mention that I am not qualified to win the giveaway since Miss B. is my friend, and all. I just like to see her get lots of comments. So if any of you win (either by leaving a comment OR by referring the most people) let me know how that makeup works. I am particularly intrigued by that foundation primer.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Feeling Good

Feeling Good

We are jumping for joy around here.

Mikey is doing so much better. I can't believe the difference. I think it was a virus similar to what Kendra had last week (she posted in the comments). Funny enough, I had something similar when I was pregnant with Nico. I even had a spinal tap, which is never enjoyable. I remember my neck feeling so stiff and tender--I can't imagine my little Mikey feeling half that bad without feeling a little sick to my stomach. I would call it a complete recovery except his appetite is still poor. All he wants are crackers!

And, of course, I am jumping because the Mister is finally home. We are so happy he is back! He surprised me by bringing home some of his grandmother's vintage pyrex, some depression glass, photos, and something else he hasn't shown me, yet. I am so pleased to have a little bit of grandma Fern to look at everyday.

All in all, we have much to be happy about in these parts. The Mister isn't working tomorrow, so I'm hoping it will be a day of family fun for the Pancakes and French Fries crew. I hope it's a fun day for you, as well!

Friday, October 10, 2008

Favorite Moment, Delayed.

I have a favorite moment. And it's one of those favorite moments that when it happened, I knew right then and there what I was going to write about this week.

But it will have to wait.

The Mister is gone until Sunday and Mikey's been sick. Just with a really odd low grade fever, which always make me nervous. Well, I must have called something into existence because despite being the picture of health this afternoon, at around 4:45 he got warm again...and then started complaining his neck hurt. Mikey's four years old. Neck pain isn't exactly the go-to symptom to fake. I started to get nervous and tried not to think the worst (Meningitis) but as he became increasingly hysterical I started to sweat.

And then he started retching, and I knew he was about to throw up. Well, to everyone who commented on my phobia post (too tired to link to it now) that they, too, were emetophobic: there is hope. When Mikey started to throw up and I realized he was now showing almost all the symptoms of menigitis I sprung into action. I didn't hide, or sweat, or get scared. I took my phobia and kicked its ass right out the door. And then I kicked open the door to the bathroom and hunkered down with Mikey in my arms. I didn't once think of my phobia as I held his head and rubbed his back. I couldn't. He needed me, and no amount of fear would to allow me to leave him there alone.

Then he miraculously got better around the time the doctor called. The pediatrician didn't like the sounds of his symptoms, but with Mikey acting normal there was no point taking him to Urgent Care. Twenty minutes later his neck hurt again and we were off.

We waited all of 10 seconds. The pediatrician on call tonight was a Pediatric Neurologist. {Thank you God!} He did a fabulous, complete work up on Mikey. Diagnosis? Maybe meningitis, maybe not. We are currently on menigitus watch. Some viruses, for whatever reason, evolve into menigitis. It's possible that is what is happening with Mikey, but it is also possible (and more likely) he has a simple virus that is causing him neck pain. We just need to wait and see. If he starts to vomit, I need to take him to the hospital and they will admit him. When I tucked him into bed he was still warm and tender, but for the most part fine. We laid together and made up stories about dinosaurs who play soccer; he was asleep in no time.

I know he will be fine. But that doesn't mean I'm going to sleep tonight.

Free Miss B.

Have you met my friend, Tristan? She is impossibly talented and knows the coolest people ever. Normally Miss B. is trying desperately to free herself from the confines of Satan (i.e., her boss) but lately she's focuses more on bringing "free" to her blahg readers. Every Friday she does a free download, and just last week she gave away the coveted Domino Book of Decorating before it was available in stores.

Right now she using her connections and her class to host the most unbelievable giveaway on her blog. She and the equally lovely and talented Candace Ang will be sending to one lucky commenter a goodie bag of epic proportions. Many people are hoping they include a certain stunning necklace featured in Elle Accessories, Marie Claire,, US Weekly, WWD, and O Magazine. But, those two lovelies won't divulge what you will get; they just promise it will be good. So head on over there and post a comment before Wednesday. Be sure to mention your favorite color, too, because they want your present to be extra special.

p.s. The more comments they get, the better the prize. So, you know, don't be shy.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

A Cannonball and a Meatball

The Mister and his brother left this morning around 4am to make a Cannonball Run to Colorado so they can attend their Grandma's funeral. They made it in a ridiculously short amount of time. So short, in fact, I told the Mister I wasn't going to ask how fast they were driving.

About the time the Mister was leaving, I was going to bed. Mikey decided 2am was the perfect time to spike a fever. He was fine, just burning up. He's been the same way all day. I'm hoping tonight goes well. He usually burns really hot at night so I'm a little scared to be by myself.


To enjoy some adult company and get out of cooking I went over to my parents' for dinner. Everything was going well until I made an amateurish move and asked my Italian mother if the meatballs we were all enjoying were from Trader Joes. Holy crap was she offended.

I was quick on my feet and told her I asked only because I couldn't believe something so delicious could come from a supermarket freezer department. She gave me the evil eye and added it to her long list of Ways My Daughter Never Ceases To Disappoint Me.

When I left two hours later she gave me a tray to take home and suggested I feed them to the boys because they look like they are starving. And cold.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Things I Hope to Never Forget: Dinosaurs

Dinosaurs walk

Dinosaus on Parade

Dinosaurs talk

Dinosaurs flat

Dinosaurs nap.

Dinosaurs Take a Nap