Thursday, December 30, 2010

A little stroll in Texas found

A grasshopper carcass

Raccoon tracks

Horse poop y more horse poop

A black y red beetle (correction from khubz, a stink bug)

Mesquite trees for climbing

Tall grass for hide y seek

A fossil

Mud for rolling around in

Daddy long legs (Texas sized)

A triangle shaped rock

A hidey hole where a creature had burrowed (mongoose? Badger? Ostrich?)

A surprise bush of Rosemary

An abandoned birds nest

Moss y lichens for observing up close

Cactus plants for observing from afar

A horse that shook mud on us after letting us pet her

Glorious amounts of wonder in my children (and myself)

Monday, December 20, 2010

i am so not into it today.

the kids are eating candy canes at the kitchen table and I just don't feel like being with them. Or anybody. I've been a snarky, shrill, bitchy mom. And (surprise, surprise) the kids have been bonkers and naughty.

Today would have been a great sick day.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

scratch paper

I need to do more writing. The best thing for me is to just write without worry about content, style, whether or not it sucks, whether or not it is actually painful to a reader. So just let it be. And I'll see if this gets me writing.

can fly

Glitter can fall up
but first it must pour down
sparkle, ripple, shimmer
pour out and across
shining waterfall fall
down down
onto the table.

Now we crouch
just below
lips looking upwards
b l o w

glitter can fly

Friday, December 17, 2010


Things that make homeschooling attractive

  • I want Khubz and Thumper to have a natural rhythm to their days. If she is reading (and she is) I don't want her to stop just to pull out a different subject when a bell rings.
  • Meals together. Kids have 20 minutes for lunch in school. 20 minutes. That feels like a child-stuffing factory, not a place where kids refresh, recharge, eat and share.
  • Appropriate choice. Khubz will be 5 when she starts kindergarten. A five year old should not be making choices about white milk or chocolate milk. Nutrition is my responsibility. Not hers.
  • Public schools will put my kids in the wider world. Bratz dolls, "faggot" and "bitch", and romantic mythologies about the pilgrims are all things I'd like to avoid.
  • Learning about the world in context seems practical, interesting and manageable.
  • Public schools have been put in a position of constant crisis, where the survival of their system is at risk if they cannot produce test scores. I believe a system will always protect itself before pursuing loftier goals like "educating" my children.

Things that make public schools attractive

  • I believe in public schools, public parks, public libraries, public ventures. I believe in them and their messy compromises. We will never have truly inclusive public ventures if critics and/or those on the margins stop showing up.
  • My children get to know themselves in a different way when they have some space away from me. I don't like saying that. But I think its true.
  • Public schools will put my kids in the wider world. They will meet people I don't know (maybe new friends), see many ways of living in the world (different kinds of families, a diversity of abilities/disabilities, economics)
  • I have no idea how I would actually do it. Especially with Thumper.

I heard a rumor my school district offers an opt-in half day kindergarten. Inshallah. I think that would be my best answer.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

And today

Thumper learned how to open a closed door.

Monday, December 13, 2010

106 years old

I was listening to iowa public radio and they interviewed this woman who was 106 years old. Her favorite time to remember was in the 1930s. Also known as the great depression. And why? Because "life seemed simpler. My children were young and I didn't have the kind of worries that I have now."

Ok. Point taken.
In honor of embracing the simplicity of small children. Let me present Khubz's gingerbread girl.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

5 things

that I am proud of.

1. She is extremely polite. I know 4 year olds are necessarily "considerate" but I think she generally cares about my feelings. She knows that tone is important. "Please" and "thank you" are regulars with her. She was "snack friend" for preschool and upon picking her up the very first thing she told me was, "Mommy--everybody sure liked the oatmeal cake! Even Vinny!"

2. She is impressed with herself and she enjoys letting people know that she is impressed. Case in point? After visiting the science center where a woman was impressed that Khubz boldly pet a snake, Khubz announced loudly everywhere she went "and I pet a snake and was NOT afraid!"

3. She loves reading. She just loves being in the company of books. We often go in to kiss her goodnight and find that she has snuggled up with a book to fall asleep with. She also mouths the words as you read out loud--even if she doesn't know the book. She will repeat it after you in a whisper. Her teacher suggested she is trying to memorize the book for when she reads it to herself later. I think she's right.

4. She sees destruction as a form of construction. For example, pulling all of the pillows off of the couch=creation of a space ship or tunnel or building.

5. She has finally stopped trying to climb the christmas tree. Thank god.

1. He loves to count. He doesn't associate it with a number of objects but he enjoys the pattern of "one, 'oo, 'ree, 'our, 'ivef, SIXXX, 'even, eight, 'ine"

2. He is working very hard of curbing his biting. We have teething toys all over the house and whenever he seems wound up or tired or at a loss he bites down on the "chewy." It is not easy. He really enjoys the sensation of biting down on soft, pillowy flesh. But the teething toys are helping and he is really trying.

3. He asserts himself. Into Khubz's play, into the mommies' laps, into the mix. He declares loudly "bigkidd!" and dismisses the idea that he is a second class citizen. He is ready for the world--didn't you get the memo?

4. He loves reading. At the end of a quiet night, after bath, Khubz and Thumper and I spread books out in a 180 degree arc around us on the floor. Then we steadily make our way through the "reading party." And Thumper loves to pick the next book, point out key turns in the plot, turn the pages and show me which bunny or dog or snowflake on the page is him.

5. He tells us when he poops. Not always. 90% of the time. That's pretty good. He still dashes away after making his announcement. But I still appreciate the heads up.

1. She took three days off for her birthday. Day one was get things done around the house. Day two was take me and the kiddos to the science center and out to lunch for a fantastic family day. And then she and I went out to dinner for some mommy time. It was a perfect day. Day three was alone time for her, dissertation time, down time, quiet time. Everybody had everything they needed without resentment, jealousy over time, frustration or feeling overwhelmed. It is really hard to create balance with precious and rare days off. Scully did this masterfully and we had one of the best weeks of our married lives.

2. My SJP friend is visiting this weekend and Scully has been all over the kids. SJP and I have had loads of grown up alone time. It is really nice.

3. She organizes the kids each weekend to clean the house. And not only do the kids actually get involved but the house actually gets clean.

4. There's been a lot of soul searching and reflection about the last two years since our big move. Introspection = super attractive quality in a mate.

5. She can parallel park that enormous truck of hers into any space imaginable and, strangely, it really works for me.

My own fine self:
1. I have worked very hard the last two years to make some local friends. It is quite intimidating to hand your number to some random woman and "hope" she likes me enough to meet up at a park. It feels a bit like high school in some ways. But I really have met some cool women. We are all still getting to know each other but I am making friends.

2. I am blogging. At least this post right now.

3. Every single day I read to the kids. Every single day we make some sort of art. Every single day we move our bodies at a park or play pals or dancing around to the fabulous tunes of Dan Zanes.

4. I am volunteering at the local domestic violence/sexual assault project. I don't hang out in the volunteer office but go out with crafts, or art or Uno cards or whatever to actually engage with people. When no one is around, I do the dishes or clean. My mantra is "there must be a purpose!" In other words, I am not volunteering to hang out in an office. I must create some sort of change even if that is just clearing away the dirty dishes.

5. I am listening to Democracy Now again. It makes me feel like a thinking person. It makes me think and question and grapple with questions of colonialism, power and voice. And I do believe I need to take more action on these issues but, frankly, I am happy to just be in the company of these questions again. They feel like old friends and I have missed them.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Thumper's big speech

Thumper is talking constantly. Most of his words require a trained ear. Here is a quick cheat sheet.

"mamabs" is for the city busses. These are the ones that Scully rides to work.

"skuuulbss" is a school bus. Like what we see when we are picking up Cousins from elementary school.

"catchdebs" (said with arms shooting out in a grabbing motion) is catch the bus. What mama says she is going to do as she runs out the door.

"Mukkah" is grandma. "Mupkkah" is grandpa. My folks are in Araby land (long story) y we have grandma's mini van. Every morning Thumper rushes to the window, sees her van y cries out "Mukkah! Mukkaaaaaaaaah!!"

Some phrases he really has down.
If I say, night-night time baby. He responds "noooo! Plaaaay!!"

If I ask, what song would you like? He says "idnknow" while shrugging his shoulders with a sly smile.

There's a lot more but I think this blog is set up best for post cards right now. . .

Monday, November 8, 2010


I know it is only 6:30 but the children barely made it this late into the day. Last night they were both up from 1-4 AM. That combined with daylight savings time = dinner at 4:30, bath at 5:15 y all of us struggling to make it as late as 6:30! And when we finally did, I called it good.

Hamdillah y god save us tomorrow morning!

Sunday, November 7, 2010


So Tia Lila is giving Majpaj a bath. He is talking about survivalist strategies if a sea serpent caught them. "know who I would call? I would call Aunt Scully and she would rescue me! Because, you know what mommy? She knows a lot of things. " I know she does, Tia Lila replies. "No mommy. I mean she knows ALOT of things--she could be a super hero!"

So Tia Lila laughs y agrees y dashes off to call me. And I dash off to post this. :)

Monday, October 25, 2010

You've Earned It

By the way, anyone still reading this after 2 posts in 2 years has earned a pic.

Rituals 2.0

I have so many blog posts bouncing around in my head but very little computer "face time." I have lots to say about Juan Williams and what is/NOT censorship. Plenty of thoughts on a local hater who is running for state house with his "get government out of people's lives (except for the queers)" Many Qs about "gender neutral" clothes for kids and why that only seems to mean "boy" clothes for the girl but no skirts and dresses for my boy???

All of these are platitudes and they bore me even writing them out in a mention.

But since this is my scrapbook of sorts I want to remember a few rituals. We have got quite a good rhythm going, the tribe y I.

Tuesday afternoons we wagon over to the bookmobile. Maj, Khubz and Thumper are all loaded in to a wagon. There's a little bucket that acts as a third seat. It is not far to the bookmobile but everyone wants the wagon so they can pour over their new books on the way home. On the short walk out there the kids are usually having afternoon snack--something not messy. We round the corner and the kids all shout out that they saw the bookmobile first.

Walking in is like walking in to a cathedral. The older kids become hushed. Thumper cries out "Elllmo!" like he has just seen jesus. We all climb in and begin the serious business of picking our special book.

The trip home is nearly silent. All three of the kids flip through their books. Cars slow down as they pass us just so they can smile at the train of budding bibliophiles. I am so proud of them. When we get back to our house the kids pile in and sprawl out. Sometimes they go to far corners for some space with their book. Sometimes they clamor around each other and begin peeking at each others' finds.

And we sit and we read for a loooong time.

Tuesdays rock.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

what i have to deal with

There is a nest of robins about 10 feet from our back door.

Today we found, in a post-garage sale giveaway bin, a box full of kid kitchen toys: plastic cutlery, broccoli and cabbages etc.

I went on a 45 minute bike ride (yes I did!) today.

The children did not nap--either of them.

Scully thinks she is quite clever.

Here's how to put all those pieces together.

I wanted to go on a bike ride. The kids, having not napped, were bonkers. They needed to be outside. Scully can walk around but can't chase them for long periods of time. So the plan was that the kids would go outside in the back with Scully and do some sort of project to help centralize them.

We took all those kitchen toys and filled two washbins with soapy water. They got scrub brushes, towels and did the dishes in the yard. While I was on my (awesome) 45 minute bike ride they also dumped those washbins and made their own mudpile. Which they happily wallowed in until Scully brought them in for their bath.
Fast forward. The kids are now in bed and I ask Scully if the toys ever got picked up. No. Okay, so I'm heading out back to pick them up. Scully says, "look, one of the baby robins is sitting on the yellow washbin."

"Sorry baby robin," I reply, "I'm gonna make you move." I open the door, startle the baby bird who flies off (badly) and perches at Scully's vegetable garden. This must just be day 2 or 3 of flying school because the bird lost its balance on the chicken wire and fell into the garden. The chicken wire goes up about three feet and there was no way that bird was going to scale it.

Send the femme to rescue the bird!

So, armed with a kitchen towel, I go to pick up the bird and restore it to freedom.


Baby bird calls for help. "Uh oh. Here comes mama" Scully chimes in laughing as a puffed up mama bird dive bombs my head.

"What?! Hey!" I throw the towel around. More angry grown birds appear. They are now lining the electrical wire above my house. They are swooping and trilling. I distinctly heard one say something like, "Don't you worry Horace! That bitch may get you but at least we'll peck her eyes out!!"

"Scully! You SUCK as a bat man!"
The bird is running away from my towel, still shrieking. We now have 147 adult robins swarming around our garden. I finally get a butterfly net and scoop up the reckless teenage robin.
Scully cannot stop laughing. She is crying, she's laughing so hard.
The baby bird spits at me, remarks that he and his friends will be watching for my car and flaps (badly!) away.
The mamas and mommies and papas and daddies and aunties and ex-lovers of the aunties and all the other bird relations ruffle their feathers, impressed with their own show of strength, and fly away.
"Unbelievable! What I have to deal with. . . " I complain to Scully. "You know when they tell that story they're going to make me out to be the asshole!"
"How many of them were there? Four?"
I give Scully my best glare. "There were at least eight or twelve!"
"Additionally," I tell her while smacking her ass to get back in the house, "I also had to deal with an asshole on the porch!"
"You so need to blog this."
"At last we agree."

Monday, June 14, 2010

Some day my revolution will come

We went to my niece's dance recital. She has been taking Irish dancing lessons all year and she got to put on a white dress with a pink ribbon, a curly-haired wig and some fantastic shoes. She got on the stage and hopped and kicked and danced her buns off.

Awesome. It was amazing.

Khubz was so excited about going to the recital. She put on her tights and leotard and a big fluffy skirt. She sat in her chair in the audience and waved her hands with each hand wave on the stage, rolled her head around, hopped up and down in her chair. At the end of the first song she told me "Mommy--I have to get on the stage so everyone can see my pretty skirt!"

It was all I could do to keep her in the seat.

"Look they're dressed like snow white!"
"Look they're bea-u-tiful!"
"Ooooh! Mom! Pooofy dresses!"

The whole time I am looking at her. She cannot take her eyes off these kids that are prancing on stage. Ballerinas come out--even boy ballerinas in skin tight body stockings. Then a stage full of four year olds in "belle" costumes from beauty and the beast.

Oh, we have *got* to get her in dance class. She is enthralled. She is entranced.
The stage fills up again with little snow white dancers. They begin twirling and prancing. And the music starts.

Some day my prince will come
Some day we'll meet again
And away to his castle we'll go
To be happy forever I know
Some day when spring is here
We'll find our love anew
And the birds will sing
And wedding bells will ring
Some day when my dreams come true

Ummmm. . . .

Okay, let's sign her up for gymnastics.

Monday, May 31, 2010

Language Explosion

Khubz has a new name at our house. "Chachalaca" or Mexican prairie chicken. She is always talking. This is great in the abstract. She has so many questions about the world, so focused and interested in communicating, so articulate in describing the billions of neurons firing in her head. . . As I said, the abstract = great.

One day, though, I just couldn't take any more of it. "Why do we have to wear shoes on our feet?What if we had six toes instead of five? Do puppies have toes? Jake y Annie have a puppy They live in Lawrence. We used to live in Lawrence. Can we go to Lawrence? Why it is so far far far away?" And I am still back at "because there are prickly weeds in the grass. So put your shoes on."
So we were piling into the car and I turned off the radio and said, "Mommy just needs five minutes of quiet. Just five minutes. Mommy has a headache so we have to shhhhh and be quiet for five minutes."
Seconds roll by: one, two, three, four, five
"Why do crackers have edges?"
Not to be outdone, Thumper is hot on her tail with his own language explosion. He is saying pretty clearly: Agua, bye-bye, mama, [b]anana, leche, pan, apple, a fuera, elmo, book, gotcha, mas, gma, no!!, chango, taza, up, thank you, bath and pie (as in foot, not apple or cherry) and then just yesterday he said his first "pease" for please! That is a word mommy is excited about.
Today was not my best day ever but we are really doing pretty well.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Girl Knows

When we pick Scully up on campus we have a little ritual. Scully comes out of the building and I get Khubz out of the car. I plop her on the sidewalk and she runs at full galloping speed towards Scully who, naturally, picks her up and spins her around. Thumper watches it all while still hermetically sealed in his carseat and dreams of the future.

We do this about once a week.

Last week we went to pick Scully up. She had just come out of the building along with a crush of people. Khubz hits the pavement and gears up her run. About three feet from Scully is another woman. This woman is white. With long brown hair. Tall. Wearing bright red glasses.

And Khubz ran right for her calling out "Mama!"


Because this woman is a dyke. Not only did she look like a dyke but Scully knows her and she is, in fact, a dyke.

And Khubz surveyed the crowd, saw a dyke and ran towards her.

Three year old with gaydar=priceless.

Friday, March 19, 2010



Rude Awakening

Well, we are all healthy & ready for spring--thank god for wellness and for the coming of spring!

Scully is in Texas with family. Her dad is scheduled for heart surgery tomorrow. She flew down to Dallas this morning. On her way in to town she was rear-ended in the rental car. Police report--the whole works. Hamdillah, no one was hurt, the damage was minor, the car was still driveable & the other driver was clearly at fault. Additionally, if something needs to go wrong on this trip--this was a gift!

Thumper is back to being a fully-powered baby. He is in to everything like he's making up for lost time when he was sick. We had an incredible day today. Thumper & Khubz & I woke up and saw the sun and said, "YES! We WILL!" Okay, so it was actually too cold this morning to go on a long wagon ride to the park. but we said "Yes! We Will!" And when Khubz went down the slide into a puddle of cold, yucky water we not have stayed and continued to play. But we said, "Yes! We Will!" And when the children's cold, pink noses indicated that we need to take the shortest route home (which means cutting through the mall) we said, "yes! We Will!" And when Khubz pointed out that there is an indoor play area at the mall and could we go please? please? please? "Yes! We Will!"

So after all that we finally wagoned home. Quick change of clothes and we headed over to Grandma's for lunch. Thumper fell asleep immediately--he was bushed! Khubz and Maj ate and headed down for nap or "nap" depending on how we look at it.

I ran a quick errand and when I returned 30 minutes later Thumper was awake. That was it. He is no longer a baby that can be coerced back to sleep. He is a kid. A "one-shot-at-a-nap" kid. So he and I took a long walk while Khubz was sleeping.

Then Maj & Thumper & Khubz and I all headed back to our place and dug for worms in the mud and ate dinner outside on the step and played ball and played chase and played chased the ball and basically frolicked in the sun until Tia Lila picked him up.

It was such a great day.

Khubz had taken a long nap and was having problems getting to sleep. I let her curl up on my lap and we talked about what had been fun in the day and how our dear friends had gotten a puppy and how we were going to get to meet that puppy. And I said, "I had such a nice time with you today." And I scrunched my nose up against hers and gave her a kiss. The whole time I'm thinking, how did I get so lucky as to be with you every day?

She looks at me and gets sad and says, "but mom, I'm not a nice kid. I'm a rude kid."

"Who says?"

"My giant."

"Well, my giant says you're a nice kid."

"No I'm not. I'm not nice. I'm a rude kid."

"Let me check. Let's check your label." I lift up her jammie shirt and peer into her belly button. "Ops. Sorry, kiddo. It says you are nice. You are a nice kid."

And we talked a minute about what kind of dream to have and I sent her back to bed.

So an hour later as she has gotten out of bed 6 times and even tried to wake up her brother (thank jesus he is completely exhausted!) I have to remind myself of this conversation I had with her. She is getting that from somewhere and that somewhere is me.

"Only nice kids get to come on the adventure!" "You are being *rude*" "Quit! That is rude!" "Rude kids do not get to eat dinner with the family. You can be polite or you are excused."

I totally go ape-shit on her when I shouldn't. And other times I feel like I let her walk all over me in very unhelpful ways.

I don't think we have a super-nanny situation on our hands, but I do wish I had an unbiased assessment of my discipline and what I could do better.

Khubz hits me when she's angry. She kicks. Yesterday she bit me. And I've tried throwing away toys to make her think about it before she hits (this only worked for 2 days and yes, I know, kids don't get punitive punishment.) Time outs done to the super-nanny T do absolutely nothing for Khubz. Lately I've been scoping her up (as she hits me) putting her gently down on the mommy's bed and telling her she's not in time out, but it is clear she needs to think about how to be gentle. When she has gentle hands she is welcome to rejoin us. I can't tell if that is helpful at all.

So when she bit me I totally lost it on her because it took all the will in my body to not bite her back.

But I didn't. I yelled at her that she does not get to bite me. And I got right in her face (like a dog) and snarled that she was not a dog and she does not bite.

It was pretty hideous. And all her hollering and screaming then woke Thumper up which made me feel furious.

Oh, it was really hideous. In fact, I am ashamed of myself as I write this for how I acted and also ashamed that we had this enormous battle.

And all 3 year olds do battle, right? Of some sort. And all mommies lose it. And I totally did.
It makes me feel really sad that the take away for her is that she is not a nice kid.

Because she totally is. And she is also extremely cunning, ingenious, crafty, sweet, snuggly, naughty, determined, daring, stubborn, creative and surprising.

So, back to the parenting books.

She is a nice kid. A nice three year old kid. And she needs to know that I know that.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

The Thumper Report

(written a few days ago)
He is still sick. Not puking all over sick. (Hamdillah!) But periodic fever, please don't put me down, can't you see I'm suffering here!! kind of sick.

Good for him, he is also adorable and knows it.

He says "book" if you listen carefully to "bbbK!" He's crazy about waving and saying "buh-bye." He loves to do his part setting the table. Khubz puts the napkins on and he reaches up grabs them off and then shoves them at you.

I read the kids "the going to bed book" and Thumper's favorite, "Pajama Time". They both end with a sleepy scene. I lowered my head to my shoulder, closed my eyes and began to snore. Thumper did not miss a beat. He rested his head against mine and started immitating my snore by loudly blowing out his mouth. I cracked up.

He runs all over everywhere, mostly chasing his sister. He also likes to bring treasures.

Our friend Juan visited us and Thumper took one look at him and toddled out of the room. He returned and presented Juan with a gift: the cow says MOO book. And then he walked away. He came back presenting Juan with various other treasures only to take them back, slobber on them and return them.

Friday, March 12, 2010

There are these days where I feel like I am brimming over with this amazing life. I really, really love my children. We had a blast today even though we spent 2 hours in a doctor's office and the rest of the day locked in our own house. We made cut out paper flowers, played hide & seek (we truly have just two rooms to hide in--the living room & the kiddo room), doubled up on the bath, ran around the house joyously & totally naked screaming "two naked bottoms!!!"

Finally (sometimes even early) the kids are asleep.

And then its like I just feel like there is absolutely nothing more for me to give. And then I look at the kitchen or whatever I feel like I need to do next and just can't make myself care. And I am fixing some yogurt for my sick partner and I drop the whole pint which splatters all over the floor and I JUST CAN'T FUCKING BELIEVE I DROPPED THE GODDAMN MTHRFUCKING YOGURT ALL OVER THE FUCKING KITCHEN FLOOR WHICH IS DISGUSTING ENOUGH ALL READY! FUCK! FUCK! FUCK!

(deep breath)

Okay. Just clean it up. And get a grip.

Sometimes the thread feels a bit tenuous.

So yes, there's more to be said about this (a la womanhood) but not tonight.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Sisyphus Yo

Yesterday I woke up with a mission.

I picked the living room up and had the rugs vacuumed & the floor swept before 8:30 in the morning. Recreational wardrobe change # 1 for Khubz at 8:45. Muffins baked at 9 am. Dishes unloaded from dishwasher & dirty dishes (including those produced by the muffins) loaded by 9:15. Start boiling some chickpeas for dinner. Threw some laundry in the washer. Constructed a giant cardboard train out of three large boxes at 9:45. Created "Warning: Tiger Car!" and "Attention:Flamingo Car!" signs with two preschoolers to hang on the train cars at 10.

Threw some laundry in the dryer and more in the wash. Chatted with my Mom who was cradling my sleeping, sweaty & slightly fevered Thumper. Read 137 library books with the preschoolers at 10:30. Resolved a low-level, preschooler violence situation with a high-intensity, crazy-making-mommy time-out situation at 10:45. Recreational wardrobe change # 2 for Khubz at 10:55. Changed the laundry over and started another load. Got two loads put away.

11:13 Reapplied the time-out technique for a subsequent low-level preschooler violence situation. 11:15 Read two books to the injured party while the aggressor threw a phenomenal fit in the mommies' room. 11:30 Rallied the preschoolers to assist in the kiddo room clean up. Changed the laundry over and started another load. 11:48 started on dinner: cheese quesadillas, black beans, guacamole and blueberries(not all together). 12:20 got preschoolers in diapers for nap, said goodbye to Maj & grandma and began the naptime battle with Khubz.

12:30-2 After an hour of solid screaming, fighting, door slamming, hitting and sobbing Khubz passes out asleep. Thumper who is still sleepy nuzzles into the crook of my neck, coos at me and vomits. For real. All over me. Quick bath for thumper, wipe down for mommy, start a vomit-filled load of laundry.

2-3 Stories and song for Thumper. Clean up the living room again. Toddler play & frivolities in the kiddo room. Clean up the kitchen. Cuddles & stories with Thumper and a newly awake Khubz. Assist Khubz with recreational wardrobe change # 3. Put some laundry away. (where does all this laundry come from I wonder?)

3-4 One half hour of television for Khubz. Arthur--who I love. Get Thumper down for a second nap. Get snack set up for Khubz. Clean up the library books strewn around the living room. Get rice started for dinner. Unstop the toilet and explain to maximum toilet-paper usage to Khubz.

4-5 Cook with a 3 year old: flat bread and hummus and a tomato/basil salsa. Run interference with a 3 year old who is "doing the dishes" with actual water, dishes, soap and brush. Assist with a necessary Khubz wardrobe change. Rescue the newly awakened Thumper, post-nap snuggle time. Clean up the kitchen.

5-6 Welcome home Mama. Take a quick shower because I can't stand the lingering odor of vomit. Get dinner set up. Tag-team with Mama to get the kitchen cleaned up after dinner. Wave goodbye to Mama & Khubz as they head off to the library.

6-7 Sit down to watch some TV with Thumper because I am just tired. Rock Thumper in a chair with a sippie cup of leche. Get vomited on again. Get Thumper into a quick bath and into jammies. Take a super-duper quick shower while a screaming Thumper cries and cries. Get our clothes and towels and a bath mat into the laundry. Sit back down with Thumper and give him some water. Sing some songs to calm us both down. Get vomitted on again. Get Thumper to the bathroom. Hold him as he cries and we both get in the shower. Quick soapy scrub to get the vomit off. Into the next set of jammies and next set of clothes for the mommy. Laundry into the dryer and next round of vomit-filled clothes into the wash. Use a washcloth to clean Thumper's teeth but allow him to ingest nothing.

7-8 Welcome home Khubz and Mama from the library. Pass Thumper to Scully because I just cannot get puked on again. Battle with Khubz over bedtime (Bedtime is not usually a battle. I guess it was just my lucky day.) Pick up my book and go read in the Mommies' room while Scully gets Thumper to sleep. Throw the last load of the day into the dryer.

Who even remembers what happened next?
Then this morning Khubz woke us up to report that Thumper was awake and, in fact, it was wake up time. I go to get him out of the crib and holler "Mama! Red alert!" In the night he has puked all over his crib and slept in it. Mama takes the boy into the shower and I start a new load of vomit-filled laundry.

Hamdillah, he seems to be doing better. The doctor said it was likely rotovirus. We are keeping him hydrated and low-key. Khubz is also having a better day as we have been time-out free so far.

It's not that anything is bad or even that I am feeling crispy, because I'm not. It's just that the kitchen is disaster again, the living room looks like wild horses bed down there at night and I just needed some sort of documentation of the stuff that I do.

Because if I don't write it out, there's no evidence that it has ever happened. Can I also point out that I did not even both to include diaper changes, assistance with toileting or handwashing, retrieving my phone from a toddler's clutches or reminders to not bounce on the couch?

I certainly don't need or want a Mommy TESS or stay-at-home time sheet. But there's not a lot of accomplishment with the stay-at-home gig. Plenty of satisfaction, gratification, battles and snuggles, sure.

But, for real, I did vacuum. I really did.

Monday, March 8, 2010

All Grown Up

Khubz was packing for her very first big-kid overnight. We had packed Thumper's bag to go stay with Tia Teefa. Tia Lila was the lucky lady who was getting Khubz. And Khubz was excited.

We had her toothbrush & toothpaste and Scully asked Khubz to go in the kitchen for a plastic zippie to put them in. She dashed off. We were all in the kiddo room waiting. And waiting. And waiting.

"Khubz?" Scully calls. No answer. This raises my alarm and I go into the kitchen to check on her.

She is bent over the floor wiping something up. "What happened?" I ask.

"I spilled." Very matter-of-fact. I see that she has taken a kitchen chair and pushed it over to the counter so she could climb on the counter and get paper towels down by herself. "Wow, honey. I see you've gotten paper towels down so you can clean up the mess. I'm proud of you for being so responsible." Even as the praise comes out of my mouth I am surveying the area. What was it that spilled? Cup of milk? One of Thumper's bottles? Mommy's water bottle? My eyes, they see nothing.

"Um, what spilled sweetie?"

"My pee."

Oh. Okay. Carry on.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Learning Curve

The kiddos are sharing a room now. We switched to take the smaller room and the kids have the larger room. This is awesome because having a kid in the room (even one asleep in the crib) can put a damper on mommy-time. And I love playing with them in their room. It's not huge, obviously, but there is play space. And I don't get all "uptight/anal-retentive mommy" when there's a mess or if all the costumes are out of the costume box or whatever. Whew!

But bedtime is still a bit of a trick. Khubz is usually great at bedtime. We brush teeth, get on jammies, read a story (or two or three), pick a soft toy to sleep with and get our song. If she's having a hard time going to sleep we pick out a dream to have together. Her favorites right now is going to Mama & Mommy's wedding (she has seen pics of the mommies dressed like princesses--though mama is always Jasmine because she wears pants) where she gets to wear a fancy dress. She also likes to dream about being a flamingo and we bury our long pink head into our long pink feathers and tuck our long pink legs up so we can be warm in our nests. And we agree that we'll meet in our dream and do whatever pink flamingos do at lesbian weddings or whatever.

Thumper, on the other hand, would much rather sleep with the mommies. He will wake up and be sure that someone somewhere can hear his cries and if not, he will cry louder to ensure that someone somewhere will hear him and respond appropriately. In his perfect world this would mean being picked up by one of the mommies, brought to the living room and rocked until he falls asleep again. But the mommies have determined that this is unsustainable.

So our theory is that he will wake up, cry, get tired and eventually figure out how to get back to sleep. This is one of many things in life that someone else simply cannot do for you. He is obviously independent enough to climb up on the couch and blast off it like a rocket. He is independent enough to pull on the tablecloth until he has the salt shaker that he covets. He is independent enough to open up the diaper bag, take everything out until he finds the container of yogurt drops, pry it open and then stuff his cheeks like a hamster. He can figure this sleeping-business out.

He has an advocate, however, in his room that knows how to do things he cannot do. Get out of bed, open a closed door, petition one of the mommies directly even in the middle of the night. It goes like this.

Khubz goes to sleep around 7:30. Thumper about 10 minutes later. They sleep peacefully until 11 or 1 or 2 or 3:15. Thumper wakes up and begins his protest. Because he is in a cage he can only wail and hope that his advocate responds to his alarm.

Khubz, his advocate, wakes up and relays his distress to one of the mommies. She gets out of bed. Seeks us out in our room. Refuses to let us sleep through her message. "Thumper is awake. He needs someone to help him."

And this was cute. At first.

"Thumper needs to learn how to get to sleep. You can help him by getting back in bed, rolling over and showing him how to sleep. He needs to watch you sleep so he can learn."

This worked the first week.
No more.

"He's NOT LEARNING!!!!" she now protests, bleary-eyed herself. I think she is distressed by his crying but also a bit desperate to get to sleep herself. Sometimes we will hear her singing ABCD to him to try to soothe him. We have gone in the next morning and found his crib stuffed with soft toys (stuffed animals) that she provided to give him comfort. But most often we just let her get in bed with us so she can get some sleep. Awake, me or Scully will sit up just listening to him cry and agreeing that he is not learning.

It doesn't help that about once a week one of us will crack and just go get him for some rocking chair assistance.

At some point, we will have a kiddo room and a mommy room.
He will eventually learn. And at some point, so will we.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Hello again,

Thumper is walking. He says Mama and [B] "anana", signs for leche (which I just stopped personally supplying yesterday), answers with a hug for "abrazo" and a kiss for "beso." His favorite books are Sandra Boynton and any book that gets in a "Moo" or a "Quack" sound.
Khubz is all about reading books and being contrary. She wants to do everything herself from putting the toothpaste on her toothbrush, to getting her own water, to doing the dishes, to battering eggplant for her own eggplant parmasean.
Scully is busy as hell with work and mommy-ing and dissertation-ing.
And yet the mommies are going to get their very first recreational kid-free overnight since Khubz was born. I cannot wait.
We are good. We really are.