Wednesday, September 28, 2005

I fear for my sanity

I can't believe it. It can't possibly have happened this soon. I have a teeny baby no longer. Amelia is rolling. She's not even four months old! I should have had at least another month or so of leaving her on the bed when I have to go to the bathroom or get dressed. Now I have to make sure she's carefully corralled in her playpen or strapped into her bouncy seat or something. I even have to do boring stuff like vacuum so she won't roll off her blanket and eat cat hair off the floor.

Everyone who sees her rolling and sitting and trying to stand on my lap says, "Yep, looks like she's going to be an early walker!" Please dear sweet baby Jesus, no. I don't want a brainless baby stumbling around gashing open her head on the coffee table and falling down the stairs. I want my baby to be nice and placid and lay around and coo for as long as possible. Because once the snuggly layaround stage is over, I'm never getting it again. It makes me a little sad that she's my last baby. Not sad enough to actually have another baby, but still a little, tiny bit sad.

Friday, September 23, 2005

Fiona and Mr. Roboto

Am I an evil mother? I've totally convinced Fiona that the minivan is a sentient being. Whenever we're just about to get to the car, I make the alarm beep a bunch of times and say, "Oh look! Mr. Roboto is saying hello to us!" When we get to the door Fiona says, "Domo arigato, open Roboto," and I make the door slide open through the magic of the remote power door. She calls a car trip "riding in Mr. Roboto's belly." When she wants to go out to the garage to visit him I tell her that he's sleeping and she says, "He's resting before our next trip, right?"

We saw another Sienna at preschool the other day, an XLE that had two power doors and Fiona saw it opening the driver's door and said, "That Mr. Roboto knows how to open both its doors! It will have to teach our Mr. Roboto how to do that."

My only concern is that if she catches on that the remote control is the real "magic" in Mr. Roboto she may start to call us out on things like Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny. I'm not ready to lose Santa Claus power yet. Santa Claus keeps her in line when all else fails. All I have to do is say, "I'm going to call Santa Claus right this minute if you don't knock it off, missy!" She's already started to ask me if Mickey Mouse at Disneyland is really just a person with a costume on. This is way too early to lose the magic.

1 more week!

Sing along now:

Take my love. Take my land.
Take me where I cannot stand.
I don't care, I'm still free.
You can't take the sky from me.

Take me out to the black.
Tell 'em I ain't comin' back.
Burn the land And boil the sea.
You can't take the sky from me.

Have no place I can be since I found Serenity.
But you can't take the sky from me.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005


We went back to the doctor today because Amelia's lump is still there. As far as the doctor can tell, it's most likely a hemangioma. That's like a benign tumor made up of little blood vessels. It's basically a strawberry birthmark, but inside her cheek wall. We have to keep watching it and making sure it doesn't suddenly get bigger, in which case they'd do more testing, but it should start getting smaller after around 6 months and eventually go away all together.


Here's a new picture to take your mind off of it:

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Friday, September 16, 2005

2 more weeks!

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

It's Nothing. (Right?)

I'm not the kind of person that runs to the doctor for every little thing. My mom's philosophy on doctor visits was that as long as you weren't bleeding copiously from the head, you were probably going to be OK. Generally, I'm pretty much the same way with the girls. Fiona went to the emergency room once when she had a fever of 105, but other than that I realize that most things just take care of themselves. Colds, viruses, the croup, stomach problems, as long as there's no blood from the head, we'll just tuck you in on the couch and you get to watch more TV than usual.

About a week and a half ago, I noticed a lump in Amelia's cheek. It's not big; you can't see it from the outside really. It's hard to describe how it feels, I'm pretty sure "extra meaty" is not the precise medical term. There's a little discoloration, almost a bruise, but more like some spider veins. I googled myself into a complete mess. Through the magic of the internet, I determined that it was either mumps, a nest of baby spiders, or the C word. I immediately made a doctor's appointment, then decided I couldn't feel it as much and canceled it. Then I definitely could feel it and made another appointment

I brought her in hoping that the doctor would say, "Oh silly woman, that's just X. Lots of babies get X and it just goes away in a day or two." Instead I got, "Hmm. I'm not sure what this could be. Let me go get the chief pediatrician." And the chief pediatrician said, "Hmmm. I'm not sure what this is. It could be a fatty deposit from a trauma or it could be a hemangioma (cluster of small blood vessels) or it could be something else. Wait a week or two and see if it gets any bigger and bring her back in if it does. But don't fret about it."

Don't worry. Brilliant advice. How could I not worry? I mean, we've pretty clearly ruled out the nest of baby spiders, but otherwise I have no answers. I keep telling myself it's probably nothing. But then my brain always adds the "Right?" after that. It's nothing to worry about. (Right?) They would have done more tests right away if they were worried. (Right?) It'll go away on its own. (Right?) It's not getting bigger. (Right?)

No really, it's nothing.


Sunday, September 11, 2005

Fiona funnies

Heard in suburbia:

Fiona: Mama, can I play with my ball tent sometime?
Me: Sure, we'll get it out of the garage.
Fiona: But where is my ball sack?
Me: ...Muffled laughter...

Fiona: My name is Rainbow now, don't call me Fiona.
Me: OK then my name is Mommy Happiness. You have to call me that.
Fiona: What should Daddy's name be?
Me: I don't know, what do you want your name to be?
Andre: Bunco.
Me: And what should we call the baby?
Fiona: I know, how about "Meat!"

Fiona: F is for Fionina
Me: Fionina?
Fiona: That's what Chubby used to call me at school.
Me: Chubby?
Fiona: Yeah, she didn't even know my real name!
Me: Who is Chubby?
Fiona: You know, Chubby! From my old school.
Me: Ohhhhh, Shelby.
Fiona: No Mama, her name was Chubby.

Friday, September 09, 2005


I hate spiders. Yes, yes, I know they're very very good for us. They eat all the bugs and what would we do without them. Blah, blah, blah. Yay spiders. I still hate them.

We moved from Minnesota to Arizona when I was six years old. Having never really been around poisonous spiders before, my dad made sure to educate us about the dangers of black widows, which were plentiful in our new area. Don't touch a black widow, don't look at a black widow, don't even think mean thoughts about a black widow, don't put your hands into dark places if you can't tell if there might possibly be a black widow there, if you think a black widow might ever have potentially been in the area then tiptoe carefully and move cautiously. I became convinced that black widows had built a nest in the bottom of my bed and I slept with my legs crossed for weeks so I wouldn't touch a baby spider by accident.

And then came Kingdom of the Spiders. My parents thought it might be fun to watch since it had been filmed in our town. Yeah, it was really neat for me to see a movie that showed our town completely cocooned in spider webs and everyone killed by hoardes of tarantulas. I started waking up at night, convinced that spiders were crawling in my hair.

Spiders would periodically make their way into the house. Not cute little adorable spiders that you'd be comfortable with seeing in the corner. Not Charlotte, oh no. We'd get Wolf Spiders the size of your average pomeranian. These are spiders that haul their thousands of babies around on their backs. These are spiders that are practically mammals. They look like they know what you're thinking and could create an ambush for any potential escape route you might be planning. You can't just smash those bastards, you'd have a stain the size of a saucer on your wall. Once I was in the shower (without my glasses obviously) and I had my foot up on the side of the tub to shave my legs. I felt something fall on my foot and I looked fuzzily down to see my entire foot covered with a wolf spider. I screamed and flung it with my foot and began to flail wildly in the "spider dance" hoping that I hadn't accidently flung it into my hair or something. The screaming made my family come to the bathroom door and were moments away from busting in to see my adolescent nakedness before I assured them I was OK. That spider didn't want to just scare me, it wanted to humiliate me.

For some reason, I thought Washington would have less spiders. When I think of the desert, I think bugs; when I think of the rainforest, I think of, um, I don't know, but not bugs. Turns out, I was completely deluded. This, my friends, is Spiderland. We have spiders everywhere. When weeding the yard, I usually turn up at least two or three spiders per plant (I tried to look up a picture of them on this site, but the pictures there are the stuff of nightmares, so I gave up). When you look outside you can see the webs in every tree and plant. We have a weeping something tree (I don't know what it is, but the branches hang down) out by our garbage cans and it's a spider tree. There are freaky little spiders all over it and I have to walk by it doing a big chopping scissors motion with my arms or I get a faceful of web. I took the garbage cans out to the curb last week and a branch brushed my head. When I came back in, Andre said, "Uh, hmmm. Why don't you hold still for just a second." I knew. I knew right then I had a spider in my hair. I stood absolutely still because I knew that if I moved, the spider would probably run down my back or something and I would most likely wet myself. Andre captured it and threw it outside and didn't make me look at it. He's a good man.

I don't really know what the moral to this story is. Perhaps it's just a warning to any of you thinking that you might want to move to Washington. Be warned, unless you have a husband who will take care of spiders in your hair, you might want to try Arizona instead.

Thursday, September 08, 2005

OK just one more

And I'll take a break from posts about Katrina. I saw this on and thought it was quite funny:

One more link

Another Katrina link - this is the story of someone who was there and tried multiple times to get out of the city after it flooded, each time being rebuffed by the military and police.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Katrina timeline

This doesn't come from a non-biased website, but I still thought it was worth giving you the link. I really hope that, once all of the survivors are out and the media furor has died down, an independent investigation of the disaster response takes place.

Saturday, September 03, 2005

Mayor of New Orleans interview transcript

If anyone hasn't heard his interview with WWL TV, check out the transcript here.

They must be related

It never failed. If we had something fun planned when we were growing up, Tamara was going to get sick. Every Christmas she'd faithfully get her part in the Nativity play at church and every year she'd have to drop out at the last minute. I remember watching her from the manger scene as she sat miserably in the front row with an enormous box of kleenex and bleary red eyes. The church ladies smartened up and started giving her parts in the play that wouldn't cause too much disruption when she couldn't do it. Nobody minded too much when "little Dutch girl" or "fourth camel" weren't there. It wasn't just Christmas though. All too vividly I remember the time we went to my cousin Bobby's wedding and she puked all over me in the hotel bed the night before the ceremony. And my own wedding, when she came down with a 103 fever and missed all of the rehearsal day activities (she did pull through in time for the wedding though, and she wasn't even the bridesmaid that passed out at the altar). Yes, Tamara was incredibly gifted in the art of poor sickness timing. If she and Louie ever get married, he had better give her a fake date and then make all the plans for the real wedding a week later, then maybe she'll have recovered from the pneumonia or violent puking or whatever it is that she'll inevitably contract in time to actually walk down the aisle.

Fiona is cut from the same cloth. Within the past year: Puking and feverish on parade day after Thanksgiving, croup for Christmas barfing when we had guests invited over, and most disappointing of all, cold and fever on FAIR DAY! She woke up from her nap with a fever of 101 yesterday and has had a steady stream of snot running down her face ever since. All the "fair fun for ewe and mee!" that we promised Tamara isn't going to happen this trip. At least Tamara understands, having been there many, many, MANY times before.