28 November 2007


During the Sick Days, the Spozo Maravilloso was emptying the car of groceries or trash or car seats or some such thing, and the Dude and Rosita were both wanting to follow him back and forth. I was curled up on the couch trying to forget that everything hurt.

The Cita was quite distraught that Daddy had left her, and was crying in the stairwell. After a while, I noticed that the screams had stopped and I didn't hear her anymore. I assigned the Dude to go look for Rosita and bring her back. A couple of minutes later, he returns shriekingly sobbing that the Cita had escaped out the gate into the Wide World and that he couldn't get her. I try yelling out the window for the Spozo Maravilloso without much success.

My inner Mother Bear takes over at this point and I find the energy to sprint outside and yell at the SM that Rosita has gone missing. I stumble back inside as the neighborhood is mobilized to search for my wayward girl. After watching a couple of minutes of frantic yelling and running around, I hear a voice in the kids' room. A decidedly girly, singsongy babble.

I rush in and find the Cita playing happily oblivious to all the panic her docility has inspired. I call off the search by yelling (successfully!) out the window that all is well.

I try to feel like not too much of an idiot for starting a Search and Rescue operation for someone that is perfectly happy and safe.

25 November 2007

what's love got to do with it? (a svithe-ish post)

Today our class was in charge of the Primary Sharing Time. Since I've been gone a lot this month and my class is a bit younger, it was pretty much the 'Sposita Show. It was so much fun. I have to say, I love teaching, and I love teaching Primary.

The main attraction was our re-enactment of Nephi getting the Brass Plates. Half the Primary had parts (ah, the advantages of a small Primary!), and everyone else got to whine the Brothers part, "It's too hard!" or sing Nephi's part, "I will GO, I will DO the things the Lord commands!" at various points. The Dude got to be Sam, but he kept running back to the Wilderness instead of sticking with Nephi to get those plates. Lehi also didn't want to stay in the Wilderness and kept popping up in Jerusalem at random times. Laban was very good at being villainous and playing dead.

But really the whole point of this was that if we love Heavenly Father and Jesus, then we will follow their commandments (even the ones that seem impossible). And they give us the commandments because they love us and want us to be happy. It's just one great circle of love, man. Groovy.

23 November 2007

Goodbye, Paranoia!

We've been such diligently paranoid parents when it came to the Dude eating peanuts and beans. He wasn't even allowed to HOLD beans because we feared a reaction. We have conditioned him very carefully to check to make sure if something has peanuts in it or not. He cried on Halloween because he ate a bite of a Snickers bar (he checked with his friend to make sure it didn't have peanuts, first, but......). Not because anything actually hurt, but because he was so scared something might happen.

And then.

We got him tested.

It required much blood and wailing and gnashing of teeth and "Are we done now?"s.

And the results?

Negative. Nada. Nyet.

Not allergic to anything we tested for. Not beans. Not peanuts. Not peas. Not a LOT of things. Just a teeny tiny bit to milk. (And we already knew he couldn't have too much or else we get to play "How to Get the Dude to Stop Screaming in the Middle of the Night.")

So on one hand, we pass a hand over our brows and say, "Whew! Glad to have that off our list!" and the other, we say, "But really! He did have nasty reactions to peanuts and beans when he was younger! Really! Just smear some peanut butter on and see the rash!"

So what have we done to celebrate? Given him peanut butter, of course! Let him finish that Snickers bar! Introduce him to the wonderful world of beans! They have lots of fiber and protein! What I'm most excited about is that I can make chili and burritos and minestrone soup again.

After that minor matter of reversing this psychosis that we've carefully cultivated.

22 November 2007


Today I am most thankful for feeling Really Almost Completely Better after a month of waffling between Please Put Me Out of My Misery and Tolerable Enough to Live.

I look forward to not feeling constantly hungry and enjoying mashed potatoes and stuffing in the near future.

20 November 2007

Blessed are....

...the mother-in-laws who extend their stay to nurse their sick daughter-in-laws back to health and well-being for they shall be exalted.

06 November 2007

It's like riding a bike

My rolling-Playdoh-into-snakes skills are undiminished even after 20 years of neglect.

My rolling-Playdoh-into-poisonous-snakes skills have greatly improved.

Surprisingly, my rolling-Playdoh-into-balls skills need some brushing up on.

I should have been a sculptor.

Or is that sculptress?

05 November 2007

Strong Muscles

A normal morning in our household:

6:00 am: silence.

6:15 am: the first chirp of the day

6:30 am: laughing and chatting leaking out of the children's room

6:45 am: The Dude exits the room to report that the Cita is ready to be rescued from her crib and fed her baba

This morning:

6:00 am: silence.

6:15 am: the first chirp of the day

6:30 am: laughing and chatting in the children's room - perhaps a bit more than normal

6:45 am: The Dude exits the room with the Cita in tow

Upon questioning, the Dude reveals that he helped the Cita escape from her crib. Upon further questioning, the Dude declares that he used "my strong muscles" to liberate her. The mama decides that she doesn't really want to know more about this and wisely focuses on being grateful that neither child is injured and they seem to be quite happy. Until the mama is two seconds late in getting the Cita her baba, that is.

Primary Program Drama

Our Primary Program included screams. Not on purpose. Not the screams of overtired Sunbeams that have been on their best behavior for too long. Not the screams of nursery children that were aggravated by the extra time in Sacrament Meeting. All screams were courtesy of The Dude.

Not that I blame him. If I had gotten my hand smooshed as the motorized podium lowered to accommodate my friend as he recited his line in the program, I think I would have screamed, too. If my mother kind of just hovered for a bit because she wasn't really sure how bad it was, how to abandon her class on the stand, and how to exit gracefully, I might have been upset, too. If my hand looked swollen and purple and alien (and I were nearly 4 years old), howling would definitely be in order.

But the worst part was avoided entirely. The true tragedy would have been if the Dude had not been able to give his little talk that he had worked on for the past couple weeks. After he had calmed down a bit, he declared his intentions of giving his talk. A sympathetic counselor inserted him as soon as he returned, and he clearly wowed everyone in the congregation with his resilience and vocabulary.

By the time we got home, the purple had faded to pink and was completely forgotten. That's more than can be said for his latest Primary mishap. He has a lovely bruise on his cheek from a run-in with a bench.

Raccoon Wars

They come in the middle of the night.

Outside your window they howl. They hiss. They fight.

Hissing, howling and fighting for an hour. Or more.

And then - silence.

Who won?

Who knows?

Who cares?

04 November 2007

All the (New) Books I Read While Sick

the higher power of lucky by susan patron

yes. it uses the word scrotum on the first page. it's not graphic. it's not even understood by the character until the last page of the book! so get over it people! totally recommendable. sweet, quirky, and a happy ending! plus, the bonus of all that french thrown in. lovable characters, transparent plot.

water street by patricia reilly giff

historical young adult fiction! cool! i liked the Mallon family - a non-dysfunctional family! huzzah! also, i have a weakness for stories about irish immigrants. it is a mostly character-driven book - nothing much "happens" to the family, and although i liked the Mallon family, i didn't feel drawn into their lives as much as i wished.

Penny from Heaven by Jennifer L. Holm

Another Historical young adult fiction book - this time focusing on the prejudice against Italian immigrants trying to make it in America. The mystery surrounding Penny's father's death is what drives the book, and it is sad to hear about the way Italian-Americans were treated during World War II. I love her extended Italian family, and I love the contrast between the grandmothers. (Of course, the Italian one is a great cook!)

Give Me Liberty by L. M. Elliot

Set in Virginia just as the War for Independence is starting, Nathaniel is an indentured servant about to be sold into slavery when an old man rescues him. The old man happens to be a passionate patriot and loves to listen to Patrick Henry and teach his charge music, reading, and 'rithmetic. You get to bump into Thomas Jefferson and George Washington, too. A much more fun read than a history book, but still feels contrived (which the author's afterward cements).

Gossamer by Lois Lowry

Lowry excels at finding a haunting way of telling a seemingly simple story. Ever wondered why you have bad dreams - or good ones for that matter? This story will give you a new perspective. The storyweaving is great, and I only wish the story went on for a bit more. I guess that's part of the appeal - everything is not tied up prettily at the end, but it is not messy, either.

The Outcasts of 19 Schuyler Place by E. L. Konigsburg

Konigsburg still has it after almost 40 years! I love her stories of young people feeling empowered because they decide being different can be a good thing. Told with her wonderfully quirky style, you'll be singing "God Save the Queen" for a couple days after reading this. The eccentric uncles, although outrageous, are completely believable and Margaret is deliciously self-centered until she finds a greater purpose enter her life.

AND just so you know, I DID read grown-up books, too. One.

The Ladies Auxiliary by Tova Mirvis

A delightful glimpse into an Orthodox community that is put on its head by the coming of a recently converted young, Hippie-ish New Yorker widow. I enjoyed seeing the struggle between Tradition and Action because of Faith. Mostly a book about not judging others and seeing the mote in your own eye, I found a sub-theme to be that you can't expect your children to grow up embracing your faith unless you really live it, not just do the surface things. And even then (as we sadly see) not everything turns out perfectly. Definitely worth reading again.