And Then I Stepped in Gum . . .

Monday, January 31, 2005

And More Evidence

So I'm sitting at my computer this morning, letting Bob the Builder babysit the child while I check out my daily list of blogs. And in come Ian, naked from the waist down, to climb on the couch in my office.

"Ian, where is your diaper?" I demanded. Ever the obliging child, he rushes into the living room to show me, little boy parts bobbing along the way. "Da!" he says, pointing. Sure enough, there is his diaper, abandoned in the middle of the living room floor (amid a pile of pick-up sticks that he had strewn about the room). Then he proudly shows me the next bit. "Da!" he proclaims, pointing to the Poang chair, which has a big, suspicious puddle on it. "Da!" "Ian, did you pee on the chair?" "Yup." Sigh.

As if the cats weren't bad enough.

Joys of Parenthood, Redux

So y'all read my poop in the bathtub story, right? Well Saturday night was another bath night, but this time Dave was in charge. As the kids get older, bathtime gets easier (except for the part where you have to referee the fights between the two of them). We are not the kind of parents who subscribe to the hypervigilant philosophy that YOU MUST BE IN THE BATHROOM AT ALL TIMES IF YOUR CHILD IS ANYWHERE NEAR AN INCH OF WATER. In other words, we let our kids play in the bath while we're in the next room. They talk constantly; if they stopped, we'd run in to make sure they hadn't drowned.

Anyway, the scenario on Saturday was that Katie had emerged and was snuggled up on the couch with me, reading, and Dave was in the living room at the front of the house. He'd already ventured into the bathroom to catch Ian in the act of getting back into the tub after a foray out into the hall, naked and wet, and warned him that he wasn't to do that. From the bathroom we hear the call: "I-nan, poop!" Dave rushes around the corner, an apprehensive look on his face, and enters the bathroom, saying, "Did you--? Um, do you have to poop? Do you want to get out and poop on the potty?" He was confused, as there was no poop in the bathtub. "NO," insisted Ian, "I-nan, poop!" And he points. To the hallway. Where there is a little pile of poop, all by itself.

I couldn't help it. I started cracking up. Dave was incredulous and indignant. "Is that poop in the hallway?!?" Ian was stoic. "Yup," he replied with his old-time western inflection. "Did you get out of the tub and poop in the hallway?!?" Again, "Yup."

Fortunately, Dave did not go off on him and traumatize him for life with regard to bathroom matters. He actually handled it quite well. Methinks it's time to potty-train the boy.

Friday, January 28, 2005


Driving down the street this afternoon after picking Katie up from school, I realized that today is January 28th. January 28th is a memorable day for me. Exactly one week after my birthday, it's the date that my grandfather died just after I turned 12, in 1985. And one year after that, it's the day that the Challenger space shuttle exploded.

My grandfather's death was the first I experienced in my family, and knock on wood, the deaths have been few and far between in my lifetime. I don't have a huge number of memories of him, as my grandparents lived in Phoenix and we lived everywhere else, but I do have some. They are comforting memories. I remember him sitting in "his" chair and watching the news, something I never understood as a kid who wanted to watch "Wallace and Ladmo" and reruns of "I Dream of Jeannie" all the time. I remember him sitting down on our couch in Nebraska with me during a visit, his arm over my shoulder holding me close while we watched something else. I remember his baldness, which he was able to joke about; his heavy beard which seemed to give him a perpetual 5 o'clock shadow; and the way he smelled like beer -- Schlitz, if I remember correctly. He also liked to drink red wine with dinner and have liqueur over ice cream every night. So mostly what I have of him are impressions, and hand-me-down stories. They're warm, though.

I've been told that my grandfather was pretty strict when my mom and her brothers were growing up, but I don't remember that about him. He always had a smile for us. He'd greet us with an almost-brutal, bone-squeezing bear hug, and during our visits he'd take my brother and sister and I into his backyard to monitor the pool, or pick up citrus fruit, or play. He liked showing off his collection of exotic birds, which ranged from lovebirds to parakeets to parrot to macaws to cockatoos -- he had 38 when he died, I think, though some were being boarded with them. Funny, I remember my grandmother taking care of the birds, but remember him playing with them -- letting them out of the cage and getting them to talk.

His death was a shock to me, especially as a precocious preteen. I have vivid memories of my mom coming to my junior high school to get me -- I was in 8th grade -- and take me out for two weeks. I was in history class at the time, and I was sent to all my teachers to ask for assignments from them before I left. Mr. Davies, my history teacher, exclaimed, "Two weeks! What do you need to be gone two weeks for?" I've never forgiven him for that. Not that the man had been a stellar example of graciousness prior to that, but it showed, in my opinion, an astonishing lack of sensitivity.

I don't remember the trip to Phoenix -- did we fly or drive? -- but I remember arriving at my grandmother's house. She opened the door, and her eyes were red from crying. I was completely shaken -- I'd never seen her cry before. I don't think I ever saw her cry after that, either. The house became a center for all kinds of relatives to gather, as it did for my grandmother's funeral 10 years later. That's the wonderfully ironic thing about funerals -- that they give widespread families a touchstone, an opportunity to say to our relatives, "Yes, we're here, and we love you, no matter how far away you go or how long it's been since we've seen you." I've been heartened by that at both my own family's funerals and at the ones I've attended with Dave.

We stayed for the two weeks, and I didn't flunk the 8th grade, despite Mr. Davies's predictions. I don't remember much beyond that, except the surreal moment-out-of-time feeling of not attending school for that long a period when you're supposed to be. And on the one-year anniversary of his death, maudlin teenager that I was, I dressed in black -- black jeans, a black-and-white buffalo plaid "big shirt," and a black, Shaker-style sweater vest (remember those?) over it. And then during 3rd period geography, we heard about the Challenger. Funnily enough, Mr. Davies plays into this memory too -- his classroom was where our yearbook class met, and I remember him wheeling a TV in so we could watch the coverage. I also remember getting into a fight with Scott Bryk about him being callous and uncaring about the astronauts in the shuttle, because we "didn't know them anyway." I seem to recall throwing out some kind of overdramatic remark about him not knowing my grandfather, either, and bursting into tears and running to the bathroom. Gawd, I don't miss 13 at all.

Anyway, all these thoughts went through my head when I noticed the date. I can't believe it's been 20 years. I'm feeling a little melancholy. I wish my grandparents could have seen my life, seen my children. I hope they'd be proud of me. I miss them.

Mishmash of Stuff

I have numerous short things to say, so I'm just going to throw them all in here.


So I started a Daisy Girl Scout troop a few weeks ago. I've got eight kindergartners so far, and the roster looks like this: Katie, Gabriella, Elise, Alice, Madison, Madison, Sarah, and Sarah. At least it makes it easy to remember all the names, something I'm really bad at. I was regaling my mom with the tale of multiple names, and she said, "Maybe you should assign them all a color."

My mind immediately flashed to a scene from Reservoir Dogs, only acted out by 6-year-old girls. I wish I'd actually seen the movie sometime, so I could flesh this improbably vision out even more thoroughly.

BTW, as Dave remarked, remember when the name "Madison" was so freaky that it was actually a joke in Splash?


Ian has suddenly become obsessed with everyone's favorite little furry red monster, Elmo. Or, in Ian-speak, "Mo-mo." (I don't know why this is, since I know he can say the name of the letter "L" on its own.) Now he has to have his "Mo-mo whoo-whoo book" (a book about Elmo and the fire station) when we go somewhere in the car. Guess it's time to dig out the stuffed Elmo floating around here somewhere. Also, this means that the plan to buy tickets to the Sesame Street Live show coming to Mobile in mid-March is probably a good one.

What is it about that little guy? Why do kids become so obsessed with him? I wish I had some pithy and funny explanation, but I really don't.


Ian and I also started our first Kindermusik class last week. I never got around to doing this with Katie, as we had a few other options that we took advantage of (a regular playgroup and a "Hooray for Play" class). My first reaction to the whole thing is, "8:30 on a Friday morning is way too early to be that peppy." I signed up for the 8:30 class because my friend Tabitha was doing it at that time with her girls (and her nanny), but geez, that was a mistake. Not that we're not up and about by then anyway, but rushing to get somewhere that early is just a huge headache.

The teacher is one of those high-voiced, middle-aged, preschool-teachery types. She seems very nice, if you can tame the nagging urge to look for a lobotomy scar while you're talking to her. She likes to talk about the "mommies" in the class -- which trips her up because class participants also include a daddy, a grandma, and a nanny ("friend Sarah"). And we are chided not to talk to each other in class, which I find really obnoxious. Still, Ian actually participated a bit today, and answered questions when prompted -- the only one to do so. No self-esteem problems with that boy so far. The CD and book that came with the class totally hypnotize him, and I can set him up with that for 20-30 minutes while I'm doing my own thing. Is using music as a babysitter fundamentally better or worse than using the TV for that purpose? Why? Discuss amongst yourselves.

The aforementioned Dad takes time off work to come to the class with his wife and their twins, whom they adopted while they were in utero. In fact, they were with the birth mom when they found out the girls were twins via ultrasound. How strange is that? I'm really dying to know how they worked out the 2-for-1 deal, but I'm being good and keeping my nosiness in check.

Every time I see identical twins, I have flashbacks to seeing Michael J. Fox on Letterman talking about his twin children. He summed them up thusly: "Twins are just weird." And they sort of are, if you think about them too much. But awfully cute. I accused the parents today of cheating because they took pictures of them prior to class when the girls had their name tags on. I imagine it's probably hard to sort out pictures when they come back from the developer.

That's it for today -- just a few things on my mind. Unfortunately, I'm not feeling particularly coherent or witty today. Which is a shame, because for the first time in ages I slept from 11:20 to 6:15 last night. Has Ian finally gotten this sleeping thing down? (He was doing well with the clock for a little while, but then took to getting up at 5:30, as well as waking up once around 4 a.m. each night.) One can only hope.

This weekend, if it warms up and dries out a little bit, we're headed to some Mardi Gras parades. When in Rome, you know . . .

Monday, January 24, 2005

No, Mommy, Don't Eat Me!

Just now, Ian and I were sitting in front of the computer, him on my lap facing me. I nuzzled his neck and said, "I love you so much, I'm going to eat you all up." He pulled back, distressed, and said, "No, no, I-nan no yum." "You're not yummy?" "No, yum bleah!" "You taste yucky?" "Yeah."

Poor thing. Two-year-olds are so literal!

Saturday, January 22, 2005

The Joys of Parenthood

WARNING: The following post is not for the squeamish.

Not infrequently, Dave and I play a little oneupsmanship game of "Who had to do the crappier parenting task?". You had a bad day at work? Well I had to deal with a sick and whiny child at home all day. You had to give them breakfast and clean up a spilled cup of milk? Well I had to take care of the carpet where the boy peed on it after his bath. The ultimate round thus far was when I had to spend two nights in the hospital with Ian when he was 2 weeks old, sleeping on a plastic recliner that didn't actually recline and nursing a sick, IV-attached infant every hour and a half. Dave had to take Katie, then 3.5 years old, home after only about 3 hours of sleep for all of us, and she proceeded to vomit all over her bed -- twice. He won that one. Vomit trumps almost everything.

I think I might have taken a new lead, however. Tonight Dave went out to a private showing of the Dead Sea Scrolls exhibit at Mobile's science museum, the Exploreum. His company, Cassiopeia Foundation, has been involved with the exhibit, producing a video that is both showing in the museum and for sale at the gift shop. So they got to have a "friends and family" night at the museum. Unfortunately, it was adults-only and we couldn't find a sitter, so I sent Dave on alone.

Dave is the bath-giver in our household. It started as something he could do for Katie when she was little to give me a break from the primary caregiver role, and somehow Ian's baths became his responsibility too. I love the fact that I can turn the evenings over to him, and while he's a little bewildered about how it ended up that way, he doesn't complain much. Tonight was a bath night, so Dave drew the bath for the kids before leaving for the event, and I took over with hair washing and body soaping and dinner making (also typically Dave's purview).

And thus the stage was set for my parenting moment of the day. Fortunately, Katie had already gotten out of the bath and was eating her dinner; I was headed to get Ian out momentarily. "Uh-oh!" Ian called. "Uh-oh! UH-oh! UH-OH!" I came into the bathroom. "Poop!" Ian whined, pointing. Sure enough, he'd pooped in the bathtub. Gross!

My primary goals were a) not to freak out and get him upset; b) to get him out of the tub as quickly as possible; c) to get all the toys out of the water and into the sink for a bleach soaking; and d) not to let his sister find out, lest she never venture into the tub again. I think I managed to succeed on all fronts, though I have to say, this is my LEAST FAVORITE PARENTING TASK EVER! Poop in the bath is disgusting on so many levels. But I get pats on the back for not leaving it for someone else (who?) to clean up. I have Soft Scrubbed the tub to within an inch of its life. I have yet to bleach the toys, because I'm notorious for completely ruining my clothing whenever I open a bleach bottle (I may beg Dave to do this for me). Nevertheless, I got through it. Ugh!

But he so owes me.

Friday, January 21, 2005

You Say It's Your Birthday

Da-nah-nah-nah. Yes, it's my birthday today. I figured out last night that I'm now twice as old as I was when I went to college. How's that for making you feel old? Granted, I went to college when I was 16, but still.

And as cliche as it is, I found myself examining wrinkles this morning as I plucked those random hairs that started appearing on my chin when I hit 30. When does this stuff happen? And how awful that once a wrinkle appears, there's nothing you can do to obliterate it, no matter how unfortunate its placement.

And yesterday I found myself drooling over clothes in a catalog, and it was a Travelsmith catalog. Not hot, fashionable clothes, but clothes you wear on your bus tour of Ireland with the group of elderly Americans who complain the whole time they're in another country. OK, yes, the Travelsmith clothes are very nice -- classy and sophisticated, which I like to think I could someday be (although maybe not if I'm driving a purple minivan) -- but still. On the same page I saw a dress I liked, I saw a traveling suit that reminded me an awful lot of my grandmother.

So I'm 32 and I'm still not quite who I wanted to be when I grew up. I wonder if that ever happens. Will I ever look around and say to myself, "This, this is what I want to be doing and who I want to be"? I hope so. I could do with some contentment right now. But maybe it's an inner thing -- something I have to bring to myself, instead of waiting around for it to come to me. I'll have to ponder that a bit.

In the meantime, maybe I'll recapture some of my inner child by hanging out with Ian for a few minutes. That's all the blogging you're going to get from me today.

You Can't Always Get What You Want

I find it extremely hard to believe that one can approach a business with tens of thousands of dollars in hand and still not be able to get exactly what one wants when the business purports to actually sell that item. I mean, I've heard of bait and switch, and I don't think what we're going through quite comes to that, since we haven't been pressured to spend more money on something we don't want, we've just been told that we can't have what we do want.

Dave and I have finally reached the regular car-minivan threshold. We went shopping in November for a new minivan, deciding on the Toyota Sienna. You know, the one that went through all the redesign to make it family-friendly, the one that has all the advertising showing the kids designing it. Sounds great, right? And we got the promise of a good deal, going through USAA -- $500 over invoice. Terrific. Where do we sign to get the green one with gray interior? Oh, you want green? Well, they don't make lots of them. One might come in in a couple of weeks, or that one might be promised to someone else. What about dark blue? Again, not a popular color. Can we special order? Sure, but we can't tell you when you'd get it -- you have to wait for a certain number of cars to be ready to be painted the color you want, and there's no telling when that will be. Fine, we said, we'd order a green one with the package we wanted.

That was more than two months ago. Since then, I've seen a green one out and about, and green is actually pretty ugly. Now I'm back to wanting dark blue. Surely there have got to be some of them somewhere. But there aren't, according to my car dealer. He's scanning a five-state area -- 1,536 Toyota Sienna XLEs -- and there are no green or dark blue cars to be had with package #6. What the hell? Why even advertise that you can have whatever you want if you don't actually make that combination??? Might as well go back to the Model T -- any color you want, so long as it's black.

Dark gray? I ask him. Nope. Silver gray, maybe -- he's checking for me. So I'm going to get my fourth choice, if that. Do you know how frustrating it is to spend $32,000+ on something and still not get the thing you want? And I know I'll find it dissatisfying. My current car is dark blue, and I've never bonded with it the way I did with my first car, a tropical island green Geo. I loved that car. I loved being the only one around with a Geo. The color so fit my personality. But apparently I'm the only one who loves brightly colored, non-red cars. In America.

Maybe I'll spring for a professional paint job and get it painted purple. Yeah, that's it. Then I can be unique -- the mom with the purple minivan. But I probably won't go through with it -- my practical side will take over. Sigh.

It's Been a While

Lots of stuff going on that I'm not comfortable blogging about, so I've been preoccupied with that. I'll make up for it today with several short blog entries, all with titled with song lyrics. Does the nifty gimmick make up for the lack of bloggage? Probably not. Especially since at least one is likely to get stuck in your head as an earworm. Hey, don't blame me if you're suggestible!

Screaming at My Radio, Revisited

Got a chance to listen to NPR's comments from their viewers this morning, and apparently I wasn't the only one upset by the story on the Inauguration Parade last week. "Quite a few" viewers wrote in to complain about that particular comment, which caused them to play it again before reading one writer's letter comparing it to putting a comment from a KKK member into a story on inner-city schools. I don't know that I'd go quite that far, but it's nice to know that there are still some rational people out there.

Thursday, January 13, 2005

Screaming at My Radio

This is normally not a political blog. But sometimes . . .

I had to drive Katie in to school this morning (a rare occurrence, as it's usually Dave's job) because I'd left some things there when we had our Daisy meeting yesterday afternoon. So on the way back I got to listen to NPR's Morning Edition (on the way there, I got to listen to the first half chapter of Meet Kaya, Katie's new obsession). That's another rare occurrence. And this story had me screaming at the radio (this, unfortunately, is not such a rare occurrence).

Seems there's a verbal and legal tussle over who gets how much space along Pennsylvania Avenue during the inaugural parade next week. The ANSWER (Act Now to Stop War and End Racism) Coalition is charging that the Presidential Inaugural Committee has a disproportionate amount of prime parade route real estate, and claims that many security restrictions are actually being implemented to prevent protestors. This is not what had me screaming.

What had me screaming was a response from Preston Taylor of the D.C. chapter of a conservative group called Free Republic, who said, "ANSWER and some of the other groups like Code Pink have allied themselves with terrorists and with Saddam Hussein."


No. They have not. You idiot.

Protesting the Inauguration, racism, and a war he or she doesn't believe in does not make a person allied with terrorists and Saddam Hussein. Are you kidding me? You actually believe that? So much so that you said it on national radio?? Such protests make someone an American practicing one's First Amendment rights. Just saying someone is a terrorist doesn't make it so. How many times do we have to tell you people this?

Unbelievable. I think I'll go watch Blue's Clues with Ian until I calm down.

Wednesday, January 12, 2005

Oh, That's Just Sad

You Are 31 Years Old


Under 12: You are a kid at heart. You still have an optimistic life view - and you look at the world with awe.

13-19: You are a teenager at heart. You question authority and are still trying to find your place in this world.

20-29: You are a twentysomething at heart. You feel excited about what's to come... love, work, and new experiences.

30-39: You are a thirtysomething at heart. You've had a taste of success and true love, but you want more!

40+: You are a mature adult. You've been through most of the ups and downs of life already. Now you get to sit back and relax.

What Age Do You Act?

And you know what? I am 31 -- for 9 more days, anyway. Sigh. Don't you hate it when an Internet quiz nails you?


Note: It's been 6 days -- again -- since I've posted. I admire all the bloggers I read who post every day. I aspire to be like them. Sometimes life has other plans. I just haven't been feeling witty enough lately. I'll try to distill my wit more often in the future.

For now, though, I have to post about this absolutely horrible, terrifying dream I had last night (and it was the one that I woke up this morning remembering). We watched The Village last night, which we enjoyed for the most part. I was looking for the "twist" and thought I'd discovered it -- but then there were two more twists after that! Joaquin Phoenix, of whom I'm not normally a big fan, had the most intense, fantastic scene -- I actually replayed it after the movie was over to cement it in my memory. (Dave thinks he sounded like Mel Gibson during it, but I didn't care -- I'm a sucker for repressed guys who are completely overcome by passion.)

Anyway, you'd think that after watching a movie where a town is terrorized by creatures in the woods I'd have some sort of run-of-the-mill monster dream. Nope, not me. The one I had was even scarier.

I dreamed I was on a business trip and driving down from New York to D.C. I was on the highway, and almost there, when suddenly all the exits were closed, blocked off by police cars with flashing red lights. All traffic was being funneled to two lanes and forced to get off the highway into a big parking lot. The northbound side of the highway was empty.

Once the two lines of cars were stopped, everyone was ordered out of the cars by military personnel in uniform with rifles. We were allowed to take a few personal items, but not everything. It felt very concentration camp-ish. We stood on the tarmac (the parking lot became an airport landing field, and everyone was very frightened, not knowing what was going to happen. All I could think was that I'd left my children, and I didn't think I was going to be able to get back to them.

Finally (in that fuzzy way that events progress in dreams) we came to the understanding that we were going to loaded onto small airplanes, about 100 civilians in each plane, and the planes were going to be used to drop bombs on people below. The government would supposedly not be involved in this. We were lined up in single file and marshalled into the planes. I can still see the haunted look in everyone's eyes. Just in front of the stairs up to the plane, President Bush was standing and congratulating each person as they climbed up -- shaking hands and patting backs and laughing jovially. I was really disturbed by this and tried to avoid his touch.

Once on the plane, I found a seat two rows back and on the left. The guy next to me was reading a book titled How to Fly a DC-10 and muttering to himself. Laura Bush was seated in the very front row on the right, dressed in a hot pink, tailored, boucle jacket. Suddenly, we heard a rifle shot, and we all knew that someone had resisted getting on the plane and had been shot by the military. Laura started saying, "You see, that's what happens when you don't do what you're supposed to." Then she described in detail what was probably happening to the person's body -- the lymph fluid was hardening, the brain was being deprived of oxygen (I know, not real technical -- my brain doesn't know the details of death so I think it was trying to make stuff up) -- and throughout it all had a smile and a cheery voice.

And then I woke up. And the ominous feeling has lasted for quite a while. No, I have no idea what it means or why I dreamt it. I'd be worried that it was some sort of premonition, except for the fact that in my family we tend to be very bad dream psychics -- my mom and I have frequently been known to call people because we dreamed that they were dead, and nothing has ever happened. Still, I feel not a little disturbed. Perhaps typing it out will exorcise the demon.

And with that, I'm off to plan my first Daisy meeting. Wish me luck!

Wednesday, January 05, 2005

Where've Ya Been, Stranger?

Well. Christmas has come and gone, as has New Year's. I missed any opportunity to send good wishes to my readers or make my resolutions known. Now I'd just be a few days late and umpteen dollars short. Basically, I've been busy. December is clearly a slow blogging month -- few of my favorite blogs were updated as regularly as they usually are. So January should be better, right?

I can't promise this is going to be interesting, but I've noticed that whether I post or not, I've got 5 or 6 people who stop by every day to see if there's anything here. Can't let the PUBLIC down, can I?

What have I been busy with? I see you're dying to ask. Mostly with the playhouse. I haven't updated the site yet, but this past weekend we made great headway -- the interior is painted (sunny yellow for the ceiling and top half of the wall; sky blue for the lower half of the wall) and about half of the exterior is painted, though I think it will need another coat. Today I put in a vinyl tile floor that looks like parquet. Next step is windows and carpet for the loft and painting and installing the interior trim. And as soon as we get that ladder painted, we can install it and the kids can play in it. I've also got to do the gingerbread/Victorian painting for the exterior trim, but that can wait a little bit. Still, I'd like to get it all finished so that I can move on to something else fun to do.

The weather's been great -- in the 70s all week. I think I can live with this. It also seems to finally be "fall," as all the pear trees suddenly dropped their leaves the past couple of days. Very, very odd.

I've also been planning a marketing blitz for JM Editorial. My primary client is cutting down what they pay me, and I'm probably going to need to scare up some work shortly. So I've been updating my business site (if anyone wants to comment on my rough draft, feel free -- the new logo is courtesy of famous author Lani Diane Rich [back when she was just my online friend Lani Schwalbe]) and my resume, and tracking down publisher listings in Literary Market Place. I had a fun afternoon with my digital camera and the LMP in the library -- taking high-res photos was cheaper and easier than using the copier. I also ordered new business cards, and as soon as they come in and I have marketing packets to send out, I'll be making -- gulp! -- cold calls. I'm not crazy about the idea, but it might be a chance to break into some new topic areas. I'd love to get into some fiction or textbooks.

And today was the last day with our nanny, Linda, who's leaving to take a full-time job with another family. I'm going to miss her -- she was so great with Ian and really doted on him, which was exactly what I was looking for. And she seemed to like me, too, and didn't seem to be judgmental (I always feel like I'm being judged for whatever reason). Now we'll be breaking in a new sitter. This one is 27 (Linda was a grandmotherly type) and is also named Jennifer, which just seems kind of weird. But I think she'll be good for Ian too -- at least, I'm crossing my fingers that she will. I bet she won't do my laundry and dishes the way Linda did, though. Man, was I spoiled!

Ian had his 2-year-old checkup yesterday, and was 35.5 inches and 28 lbs. The doctor isn't worried about his lack of vocabulary, especially since he's putting together two words. Actually, he's gone beyond that -- he very insistently told her, "I-na [Ian] boo [blue] 'at [hat] home" when we were discussing hats (I can't remember why that came up). He's also recognizing 5 or 6 letters -- O, M, K, I, F, N, and maybe some others -- consistently and is starting to say some of their names. And I found out yesterday that he knows all of his colors, though he can only say "boo" and "yeh-yow." (He's become very proprietary about the color yellow -- insists that only he can like it. He goes on a little incomprehensible tirade at me every time he thinks about me painting the inside of the playhouse yellow. Gotta love being berated by a 2yo!) Just think how much we'd realize he knows if he'd only talk.

All right, I'll wrap up this rambling post. I promise better in the future -- I was just getting depressed by all the people (the hordes and hordes, of course) coming by with nothing new. So now you've all got something to read while you're procrastinating whatever it is that you're procrastinating -- my New Year's gift to you!