Thursday, May 31, 2007

Be Careful What You Wish For






The good news? Lucie is finally off the floor and walking about half of the time.

The bad news? Her new upright position gives her easier access to: leftovers (exhibit A), the tub full of bathwater - fully clothed (exhibit B), trees - without the ability to sustain elevation (wounds exhibit C), and mud puddles (exhibit D). All in the first week.

Stay tuned for next week's report.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Bookworms

Grayson has changed much over the past year, in ways both visible and not. His jeans tell me that he has grown another foot taller, keeping him in the 90% height range. Even more exciting, though -- my boy can read! He started kindergarten able to recognize the "G" in Grayson. Now he is well on his way towards that first chapter book. Exciting stuff when you are a book worm parent! You can hear the progress for yourself at the attached link.

If Grayson's reading inspires you to pick up your own good read, I'm recommending "The Namesake" this week.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Clean Up, Aisle Five


I can only advertise this experience thanks to my friend's recent wine incident, in which her 5-year-old crashed the grocery cart into the wine display at Albertson's, sending six bottles to an early demise and the rest rolling to the four corners of the store. And all of this occurring in front of a business colleague, of course. I relate this to make my own shame a little less harmless, although I have to admit that my friend took the noble route and stuck around to help clean-up (she swears it was only because she had a cart full of groceries at the time).

Here's the setting: Lucie's birthday, balloon bouquet and bag of party supplies in hand, one hour until guests arrive for cupcakes. I forced both kids into "one more store" (Grayson's least favorite phrase, right along with "just one more thing") to grab pizza from a high-end grocery store next door with a delicious Wolfgang Puck's Express. My famous last words on the way in were "we don't need a cart; we're just grabbing a pizza and then we're out of here." Wolfgang Puck's helper takes forever to package up the pizza, or at least things seem to take longer with a squirmy birthday girl on one hip and an embarrassingly pink balloon bouquet in the other hand. He finally hands over the pizza and starts to work on the salad. Grayson has to hold the pizza box, which Lucie quickly determines is concealing food, and makes a lunge for. Grayson decides that the best tactic for keeping Lucie away from the pizza is to balance the box on his head ... and you see where this is going ... SPLOT. Upside down, box completely splayed open, sauce and cheese commingled on the polished concrete floors.

I closed my eyes and tried to find my happy place, but all I can hear is Grayson crying, "Am I going to get a spanking?!," Lucie's loud shrieks over the food now revealed, and my earlier push to do "just one more thing." This time, the lesson was mine to be learned. So there was only one thing I could do; tuck and roll. The pizza stayed, the Wagner's took our balloons and ran.

It's too bad, really. I liked that Wolfgang Pucks. But I've got a feeling it will be awhile before the Balloon Bandits are welcomed there again.

Friday, May 18, 2007

Do Fish Lay Eggs?

So Grayson has been adamant over the last week that Harry Beta-Fish has laid an egg. His cries have been met with a lot of eye rolling and "Go to bed, Grayson." We thought it was just a ploy.

Today, though, I finally replaced Harry's broken home from Lucie's earlier fishing expedition, and what did my wondering eyes behold? A blue egg, about the size of a Jelly Belly. In our male fish bowl.

So will someone please tell me: can a single male Beta lay an egg?

Oh, and no one tell Lucie about caviar.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Blueberry Coffee Cake


I gorged on this recipe at a baby shower this morning. It was divine all warm and bubbly straight from the oven. And since Uriah, with a 3-year-old at her knees and 25 pounds worth of twins on EACH hip, promises that it is easy, I'm hopeful that even I can make it turn out right. You will definitely want this little dish of heaven at your next brunch event. After all, it has both oats and blueberries in it, so it's totally great for you. Good thing, because Lucie kept sending me back for more strips of the sugar baked bacon at the shower this morning (Honest, they were all for Lucie. Really!) I hope you enjoy it as much as I, I mean we, I mean she ... ah whatever. Happy eating.

Granite Steps Country Blueberry Coffee Cake
Recipe courtesy Paula Deen
Show: Paula's Home Cooking
Episode: Back Porch Breakfast

1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 (12-ounce) can buttermilk biscuits
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, melted
1 cup quick-cooking rolled oats
1 1/2 cups fresh or frozen blueberries
1/2 cup sugar


Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Generously grease a 9-inch square baking dish. In a small bowl, combine brown sugar and cinnamon and mix well with a fork. Separate biscuit dough into 10 biscuits. Cut each biscuit into quarters, and dip each piece in melted butter and coat with brown sugar mixture. Arrange in a single layer in baking dish. Sprinkle with 1/2 cup of the oats.
Combine blueberries and sugar in a bowl and toss to coat. Spoon over oats and biscuits and sprinkle with remaining 1/2 cup oats. Drizzle remaining melted butter on top. Bake for 20 minutes or until cake is golden brown and center is done. Cool for 20 minutes. Serve warm.

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Mommy Guilt


So after I spent the lunch hour with Grayson at Foothill, I offered that warm afternoon to set-up the sprinklers in the backyard for him. He asked if I would put on my bathing suit and join him. Lucie was asleep, so I put aside the laundry and agreed. He said, "Wow! Today must be my lucky day!" I asked why? He said, "Because you are spending lots of time with just me!"

Gulp.

Friday, May 4, 2007

Babies First Haircut

Although we thought it'd be fun to throw a NASCAR first birthday party, and the foam can cooler parting favors might even have practical applications for the bottle-set, we couldn't find the pink Dale Earnhardt tribute paper products we were looking for and ditched the idea. So the mullet had to go.

The stylist at Tortoise and the Hair was a wiz; Lucie never noticed anything was amiss. Her eye was on the cherry-flavored prize at the door. The end result is a little monk-ish for my tastes. Perhaps we should have gone for a prayer bead and sack cloth garment theme instead?

For Lucie

It's been one-year today since you came into the world so strongly and quickly that I felt I should warn the doctor, "There's something coming out of me!" From a 6-month ear infection, to steak and pizza with only two bottom teeth, to a 5-year-old brother whose specialty is "tough love," nothing has slowed you down. Even sleep had to sneak up on your joyful and curious determination for the first 10-months! I can tell by the twinkle in your eyes and the dimple on your right cheek the exact moment when a new plan for mischief pops into your head. But then you raise your arms toward me and form your lips into an "O," your whole body stretching up and wanting to be held close. I can't resist. Your natural beauty is stunning; you don't need the lace you've torn off dresses and the barrettes ripped out of your hair. You make everyday an adventure in life. I can't wait to see what you have in store this year!

Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Damn Rat

Last week I had the opportunity to lunch at the most exclusive place in town: the Foothill Elementary School cafeteria. The cuisine left much to be desired, but let me tell you, if you ever need a self-esteem boost then this is the place to go. I felt like a giant rock star in a land of very loud and wiggly 3-foot fans. Everyone was clambering to sit next to me, or even be at my table, or touch me with their mustard-covered paws. They were so excited they could barely concentrate to eat in my presence.

The glory didn't last long. My 43 adoring fans squished my pickle and tipped me right off the little tiny bench in the race to see the dead rat under the swing set. I didn't blame them.

As the riot police broke through the mob for rodent clean-up, I slurped the last of my room temperature milk from the waxy cardboard container and snuck out the sidegate, holding fast to the memory of my brush with greatness.

Damn rat.