Wednesday, February 28, 2007

The Boodge


Hey!  Guess what?  We found Burley a new home.  I took him to interview a really nice couple in Westminster last night, and Burley seemed to like them (and they, of course, think he's great). 

I was really nervous the whole time.  On the ride over to their house, I gave him the please-don't-pee-on-the-floor-just-because-you're-nervous talk, and the be-as-cute-as-you-can-so-we-don't-have-to-take-you-to-a-shelter talk.  He must have listened, because it went really well.  Burley's new mom really likes him, even though he sheds, and his dad goes on walks or hikes every day and seemed to really be a dog person, which Burley will love.  I emailed his new mom this morning, and she said he did great after I left last night (sobbing).  So, phew.

Here's the weird thing.  I was starting to feel despair that we'd ever find Burley J (The Boodge) a home.  But given my new focus on the positive (and yes, I've been brainwashed by The Secret) I decided to put some good mojo out into the universe, and so I made a donation to a local shelter in honor of The Great Gatsby, our dear friends' dog who passed away a few weeks back.

No kidding, within seconds of hitting the "submit" button on the donation form, I got the first email from Burley's adoptive mom.  Weird, huh?

Our house was awfully quiet last night, and I lay awake in the dark for a long time thinking about Burley, my first dog, my first baby.  But I'm just going to visualize him taking walks with his new friends, and getting lots of love and attention, and enjoying being unmolested by small children grabbing at his fur.  And I'm going to try not to be sad.

We love you, boodge.  We hope you have a good life, dear friend.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

The Unbearable Lightness of Peeing


Addie still doesn't care ONE whit about going pee on the potty.  And we've pretty much let that be okay with us.  We make sure she has a step near the potty so she can go when she wants to, and we offer to take her to the potty a few times a day, but she's just not that excited about it.  And so it goes.

What's weird is that I was really panicking about this for a while.  Oh no, I'd say, Addie is going to be three and she'll still be in diapers!   All of her little toddler friends are going to gang up on her, kicking her and pulling her hair and taunting her for being such a baby!  They'll be peeing and pooping like pros, and there she'll be, saggy drawered and stinky.  Other parents will smirk and gloat, her teachers will hold her back, family services will knock on our door!

Obviously, that is not what's happening.  Addie is going potty pretty frequently, if unpredictably.  And so what?  So we buy diapers for a few more months.  I'm really starting to think that we are going to wake up one morning, and we'll walk into the bathroom, and there she'll be, seated on the throne, letting a big old duker splash below.  And that will be that.  She will have just decided she's going to do it, and she'll do it, and we'll wonder what all the big whoop was about.

Isn't Nolie lucky, that we will have learned all these lessons with Addie?  I mean, she is going to be one laid-back kid because we will have just mellowed the fuck out, already.  We'll probably have to peel her off of the floor with a spatula she's going to be so relaxed.  We'll be pulling the bong out of her hands at six.  We'll be having to put the paddles to her chest to get her to go play she'll be so chill.  Peeing on the potty will so not be a big deal. 

It Ain't Rainin' No More

Honestly, I feel like I've just been through some weird, dark storm and have come out the other side, where it is sunny and warm, a world full of goodness and light. 

The unfortunate thing is that I think I caused the storm myself.

Let me see if I can explain.  As you probably noticed if you've been reading this blog, I was really getting into a rut of feeling like, "Oh, look at me, I'm so busy, aren't I great to be pulling all this off, but I'm so stressed, wah."  Not only was it a rut, but I was getting addicted to it.  I wasn't stopping to say hello to people I liked, or to hug my kids in the morning, or to read books--one of my favorite things to do.  I was acting primarily out of a sense of "duty" or "responsibility" (yikes!).  And I was really starting to get convinced that my self-worth lay in all that busy-ness, that I was great because I was pulling off so much, or keeping it together so well, or whatever little stories I was telling myself.

You know how in The Devil Wears Prada that main character--the what's her name main girl--is always saying, "I didn't have a choice!"  Oh, no, I missed your birthday because I had to work, I didn't have a choice, oh, no, I'm taking a crap on all my friends because I had to do such-and-such, I didn't have a choice.  Well, it's sort of lame to learn your life lessons from the movies, but what the heck.  It's a good lesson.  I've been making choices left and right and pretending as if I was a little delicate leaf, being tossed by the wind.

Well, NO MORE, FRIENDS!  I am no longer the delicate leaf!  Take my delicate leaf and shove it up your whatsit! 

Really, what I'm trying to say, is that I am going to make some different choices.  I am going to slow down and say hello to you in the hall at work.  I'm going to stay up a little later to read that book.  I'm not going to finish grading all of my papers every once in a while in favor of hanging out with my husband and my kids.  I'm not going to focus on feeling sick, tired, or pissed.  I am welcoming in abundance and prosperity and happiness.  And my life is full of goodness.  Real, true, honest-to-goodness goodness.  And I am going to choose to notice, experience, appreciate, and grow that goodness.

Like, isn't ghirardelli chocolate just one of the best things ever?  And how about the song "Fireflies" by Bishop Allen?  It makes me cry it's so beautiful.  And the way Nolie screeches and cackles every morning when she wakes up to her dad and me, grabbing big fistfuls of our cheeks and hair?  Or Addie, whispering, "Mama, you'll always be in my heart," when I dropped her off at school today?  Or having faith in the utter persistence and fundamental goodness of my fellow humans?  Of the amazing friends and family the universe has blessed me with?

Well, I could go on and on.  My gratitude over-floweth. 

A student of mine has been emailing me, expressing his despair about global climate change, and his fellow students who refuse to believe it is happening, and his fears for the future of human life.  He is truly, truly afraid.  And I know that fear--I know how scared and out of control and angry he feels. 

But I won't share his fear and rage this week.  Instead, I will extend my energy and belief toward growing solutions, toward faith in him and his generation.  I'm going to tend my own garden some, and spread that love as best I can.  Harmony, harmony, harmony.  That's the mantra.


Oh, weird.  I just went to rip the stormy picture above from Google, and of course, my "affirmation of the day" reads "I have provided a harmonious place for myself and those I love."  Must be on the right path.

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Playdate Blues


Addie and I were on our way to playgroup at the YMCA this morning when some song came on the radio that began, "When I die...."

Addie said, "Mommy, when am I going to die?"

"Oh, Addie.  I don't know.  Not until you're very old, probably."

"But when?"

"I don't know, Addie.  Not until you're really, really old.  Like, ninety-nine years old.  Maybe older."

"Do you think I'll die by my birthday party?"

"Definitely not.  No way.  You'll definitely be around for your birthday party."

"But I want to die!!!!!!!"

"You know, I don't really want to talk about this anymore."


This is not what it sounds like.  Addie's been interested in death for a while now, every since I told her about my Aunt Ruth dying.  She's interested again this week because we watched Lilo and Stitch 2, in which Stitch dies but Lilo brings him back to life with the strength of her love (though she couldn't bring her dead parents back with the strength of her love, apparently.  Got to love Disney.  Wouldn't be a Disney movie if they didn't knock off the mom).  This, of course, is a pain in the ass, because it makes it seem like death isn't permanent, like a kid could prevent it if she really, really wanted to.  How am I supposed to explain that?  I'm going to boycott Disney, now.  I hate Disney.

And, of course, Addie is very interested in her third birthday party, which is approaching.  So I think this conversation was just about combining the two interests.  If you didn't know this, though, it would sound like a very morbid conversation with a very strange two-year-old.  Which it sort of also was.

I'm glad Nolie can't talk yet.  She just smiles and poops and urps and is incredibly adorable.  And that's just fine with me. 

Friday, February 23, 2007

Of Mice and Women

Yesterday was a great day. 

Yesterday was a terrifying day.

I was home with the girls, and it was relatively warm here, so we got to go to the park.  I think I overcame some of my fear around wielding the double-stroller, and now that Nolie's old enough to sit up, we all had a great time. 

Not only that, but when we got back, Addie actually took a nap!  So I got to have some nice quality time with both girls individually while the other napped.

Around 3, Nolie and I were hanging out while Addie slept, and I decided to put in The Devil Wears Prada.  I was totally enjoying it--this sort of movie is like a sweet, sweet drug to me at the moment--just sitting there, half watching Nolie nibble her toes and bat at her toys, half watching the movie.  About half-way through, I tuned into the fact that Nolie was staring really intently at our cat Prudence, who had settled in by my side. 

"Do you want to see the kitty, Nolie?  You love kitties!"  I kept saying, keeping half an eye on the movie.  I propped Nolie up so that she could pet Prudence, and went to pet Prudence myself.  Which is when I noticed she had a baby mouse--still alive--in her mouth.

There is something very strange about being thirty-one years old and discovering that you have a phobia.  I've never had one, really.  I'm not too afraid of heights or small spaces (though I cherish neither); there aren't really any foods or social experiences that freak me out.  I dissected the frog in my high school biology class without any problem, and in college I swallowed several worms from tequila bottles without batting an eye.

But guess what?  I seem to be deathly afraid of mice.

I don't totally remember what happened after I discovered that Prudence had brought me this little present, but I do know that I called Eric several times sobbing hysterically (and also laughing hysterically, though I'm not sure why).  He got me calmed down enough so that I could throw a coat over the mouse (who had escaped from Prudence and was hiding under the guitar).  I remember screaming when I did this.  Eric then got me to call our neighbor Chuck, who came and corralled the mouse into a box and set it free outside.

My skin is crawling even writing about this. 

I have no idea why I'm so afraid.  I mean, mice are cute, right?  It's not like it was a big cockroach, or a rat, or a centipede (which I have pretty strong reactions to as well).  All I know is that I had some sort of reaction that felt entirely out of my control.  Thank God Addie was asleep for the whole thing.  The additional bad news is that we seem to have a small colony of mice hiding somewhere in the house.  We know this because Sadie and Prudence have camped out in the kitchen, listening for scritchy-scratches emanating from behind the stove, the dishwasher.  Oh Christ.

Once the mouse was gone, though, and after Eric got home, we went on to have a nice evening.  I finished watching the movie, we went out for burgers, got the kids to bed, and hung out together for a while.  It was lovely, really.

Which I then spoiled by picking up Cormac McCarthy's novel The Road, a terrifying, heartbreaking, breathtaking portrayal of a journey taken by a son and father across a post-apocalyptic landscape.  I cried reading the entire thing, and didn't get to bed until late because I had to finish it, needed to know that things would be alright (they sort of were and sort of weren't).  All day long I teach students about pending environmental crises, and at night I worry over my children's futures.  So this book hit me in a sensitive area as it was.  Then, you throw in a narrative in which a young kid is at risk?  Recipe for meltdown.  I still feel tender and traumatized, but so glad to have experienced this, to see my deepest fears on the page.  Somehow, although unnerving, it brought me some peace, too. 

But I only got to sleep by really thinking about the present, by spending long minutes with my hand on Addie's chest, feeling it move silently up and down, by squeezing my body uptight against the sleeping body of my husband.  I understand that the only reason these fears of apocalypse are so great is because I have so much to lose.  And for that I am incredibly grateful.

There is no such explanation, however, for why I'm afraid of mice.  Any armchair Freuds out there want to venture a guess?

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Mommy Needs a Time Out

Today was Addie's first day back at school.  Wednesdays are also my long days--I try to get up at 6 so that I can be at work for a 9am weekly meeting, and then I'm at work until 9pm.  So, Wednesday mornings are a little stressful.  Also, like clockwork, one of the kids always chooses Tuesday nights to wake up every two hours (thank you, Nolie, for last night's rousings), which means I wake up tired to begin with.  Note to readers:  don't go anywhere near highway 58 on Wednesday nights.  I'm a menace to society, driving home.

So, I get up this morning and get Nolie fed and dressed and ready to go.  I also get myself fed and dressed, and prepare the thousand and one bags.  Addie wakes up at around 7, and heads downstairs in her jammies while I'm putting on my make-up.

This is where things went wrong.

See, I always try to get Addie out of her jammies and dressed as soon as she wakes up.  Because if she gets to wandering around and playing in her jammies, she doesn't want to get out of them.  Getting her dressed after she has left her bedroom is about as easy as getting Israel to give up the West Bank.

So, she's on the couch, bundled up under her quilt, and she asks if she can watch a movie.  "Nope!" I cry out cheerily.  "Today's a school day!  Let's get dressed and have breakfast!  Yogurt and blueberries!  Your favorite!"

Next thing I know, Addie has trundled herself back up to her bedroom, crawled under the covers, and is "reading" herself books.

"Addie!  Did you hear me?  We have to get ready for school.  Time to eat breakfast and get dressed," I say, a little less cheerily.

"Just a second."

Tapping of foot.


"Just a second."

"Addie  I'm going to count to three.  One.  Two.  Three."

Time out on the naughty step.  Wailing, gnashing of teeth, crying for daddy (the nice one).  Huge, hiccupy wails, massive streams of drool clinging to the carpeting, her hair, the banister.  I literally pin her down and get her into her clothes, call Eric and have her talk to her about how much fun school will be as I'm cramming yogurt down her throat and putting her ponytail in.  I then get her to the car, still sobbing and thrashing, and buckled into her carseat.

As I'm walking around to the driver's seat, I literally feel myself melting down.  I almost allow myself the luxury of screaming.  Of punching the car door.  Of banging on the car horn and giving Addie the evil eye for making me feel so stressed out.  But then I remind myself that I don't get to do that anymore.  That I'm the parent.  That the only thing making me miserable right now is that things are not happening exactly as I wish and, well, that's life, sistah.

Now that I have some space from the whole maddening intensity of it, I see that I had a few options.  I could have

a) just taken Addie to school in her jammies--they could have changed her into her clothes when she was ready.  My friend Rose pointed out that this is an option, and though it goes against my control-freak nature, it definitely would have put the ball in Addie's court and not made the whole thing about me being inconvenienced. 

b) sat down with Addie in my lap, and talked to her about what a great day she was going to have, and how much fun school would be when she got there, and how proud I was of her for getting up all by herself.  Taking these few minutes out from rushing around like a freakshow would probably have alleviated a lot of stress later, and I bet there would have been more compliance.

c) prepared better by making up a "getting ready for school" chart in which things like eating breakfast, brushing teeth and hair, and getting dressed are represented pictorially, reminding her of her role in getting ready for the day.

Okay, so I'm kidding about the last one.  I'm not that Supernanny, for Christ's sake.  But options a and b don't sound bad.  Definitely preferable to what actually happened, to almost losing it over no big deal.

What's hard about all of this is that I just feel so freaking squeezed all the time that it doesn't occur to me to just slow down for a few minutes and give my kids the attention they need in those moments.  I mean, this whole thing doesn't sound like that big of a deal, right?  But these moments are the ones that make me think I'm not that interested in being a working mom.  That I'm struggling and fighting too much to meet all expectations, and that I'm missing the boat with the kids.  I know I wouldn't be happy just staying home all the time, and I know these have just been tough weeks.  But lots of weeks are tough.  Something's got to give, and maybe my sanity shouldn't be it. 

I'm going to think about this.  There must be some happier middle ground.  Some hard choices may have to be made.


 (Don't worry Nolie.  We're keeping you.  I just may need to cut back at work).

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Let's Make a Deal


"Mom.  You should make a deal with me."

"I should?  What kind of deal?"

"I don't know.  Kiki's mom makes a deal with her."



"Mom.  My seatbelt is rojo and amarillo."

"Uh, yes.  It is.  Uh, do you see something that is also azul?"

"Yes!  My shirt!"

"Wow.  Good job, Addie." 


Baby genius.


Okay, then.  So maybe letting Addie watch movies or television isn't so bad.  I mean, she learned what "making a deal" means from the movie Kiki's Flying Delivery Service, which Aunt Julie and Uncle Steve sent her last week, and she learned the colors in Spanish from Dora the Explorer.  I mean, really.  Does she even need me?  I could just turn on a bunch of videos all day long, and at the end of the day get a recap for a few minutes before bed.  It's the perfect plan!  More free time for me, a varied and distinct education for her. 

And Americans all over the country are doing it. 

I suppose the main drawback (other than, you know, not actually spending any time with my kid) is that she could also model some bad stuff.  We've been letting her watch the new Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, for example, and we had to have a long talk about the bad things the kids in the movie do.  Augustus is greedy; Mike is a know-it-all; Veruca is spoiled (a "bad nut"); and Violet doesn't do what she's told.  This results in them being turned into blueberries and shot down garbage chutes and various other forms of light torture.

Addie's pretty clear on the "good" and the "bad" stuff, but I have found her repeating some of the bad things the kids say.  Last week, we were a little lax with her because she wasn't feeling good, and she developed a very Veruca-esque tendency to stamp her foot and scream that she waaaaanted something, nooooowwwwww.  Not good.  We had a lot of time on the naughty step the last few days to break that habit.

And we were worried she'd be scared by things like the flying monkeys in The Wizard of Oz, though we haven't seen evidence of that.  What seems to worry her more are things like "feeling lonely," or not being included.  And, she claims to hear the "hic boom oh" sound a lot.

Don't ask.  Let's just say it involves a hiccuping blue bull with a stomping problem.  What I'm saying is, you never know what the kid is going to react to, or how she'll react. 

We're back to limiting her t.v. now that she's feeling better--we definitely want her to have time to paint and draw and play and read and be with us.  But I think it's good to remember there are good things and bad things that t.v. can do for us.  Do I want her watching Saturday morning cartoons, with all those ads and stuff?  No.  Do I still think Dora videos and Sesame Street are okay, and maybe even beneficial for all of us?  You bet.

Now leave me alone.  I have to finish The Sopranos.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Pinching Addie

I've really been struggling with the idea of discipline lately.  Addie is extremely strong-willed, and she's pretty smart, too, so some of the usual tricks--bribery, wheedling, force--don't work so well.  Granted, this has been an unusual week.  The kid is not feeling so well.  But her strong sense of independence has definitely been presenting me with some challenges.

Like the fact that she hasn't taken one nap this week, even though she's clearly exhausted and needs the rest.  We can give her some quiet time in her room and all, but I can't force the kid to sleep.  She was banging on her door to be let out today, and I went in and sat her down and explained to her why that wasn't okay, and why she needed quiet time.  "But mama," she said.  "That's not true."

"Why isn't it true, Addie?"

"Because you're so silly."

The weight of my own history plays into this, of course.  My parents were strong believers in having a heavy-hand with discipline.  Like most kids of my generation, I was spanked, and there was a fair amount of I'm-putting-my-foot-down going on.  Eric, on the other hand, was raised with a more liberal hand, maybe too free in retrospect.  My point is not to judge our parents.  Like most parents, they did the best they could, and it was pretty darned good.  I mean, we turned out alright, right?

My point is that the pendulum often swings with this stuff.  So, I haven't wanted to be too aggressive with Addie because I sometimes felt my parents were too aggressive with me, and at the same time I find that my first instinct is to be aggressive, to want to be rough or mean.  Eric, I think, struggles with the opposite.  We're pretty consistent, but where there is tension in our parenting styles, it stems from these two very different backgrounds.

These are my guiltiest secrets, of course, the things about which I feel the most shame.  I've never spanked Addie, and never will.  But honestly?  There have been times I've wanted to.  There have been times I've been grateful to put her in time out because I was the one who needed the break or else....   Or else.  It makes me tear up just thinking about what the or else could be.

Anyway, what I have learned is that she doesn't respond at all to our trying to control her.  It just forces more bad behavior out.  For example, if she asks for pasta with pesto and tomatoes and olives, and I make her pasta with pesto and tomatoes and olives, but she doesn't eat it?  I can yell and shame and give her the evil eye all I want, but she's not going to eat that pasta.  Or, if she's walking around the grocery store not watching where she's going and she's running into other people's carts and knocking down cans and everyone in that store is looking at me like what the hell is your problem do something with your kid, already?  Well, I can certainly get down on Addie's level and talk to her about why what she's doing is a problem, or I can stick her in the cart, but then we get a big screaming fit, and I have to just be okay with that.  But then those people start looking again, and wonder if I pinched my kid.  Grocery stores are just tough.

All I'm saying is that my face gets flushed and I get embarrassed and nervous in those moments, because I don't want to be one with the ill-behaved child.  I don't want to see people shaking their heads at what a spoiled brat my kid is.  All of these judgments come whirling down the canned fruit aisle, a sick little dervish of complaint and shame and judgment.  And I'm hit full force, and sometimes forget who my kid is--a great kid--and who I am--a great mom--and feel like grabbing her arm, and squeezing just a little.

So there it is, my great shame.  In writing it, I have just a little compassion for myself, and maybe will remember this next time I'm at Safeway, and will be able to walk through that storm, not take it so seriously, and remember that my kid is just fine, and so am I.

But I might think about pinching her.  Just a little.

Saturday, February 17, 2007

In the Blink

This is such an intense period right now, with so much begun but unresolved, and a little scary and a lot exciting.  I'm having a lot of nervous energy, which is making it difficult to sit down and grade the jabba-sized mound of freshman papers on my desk.  Really, we're just doing a lot of waiting, and trying to keep all of our balls in the air at the same time. 

You know what I mean.

We're busier than we've ever been in our lives.  Most days I can't even tell you what day it is.  Seriously.

Addie drooled through four shirts today and was a bloody pistol to deal with.  Every four hours she needs to take her medicine, and every four hours we plead, cajole, demand, threaten, and lose our minds through the process.  Then, when the whim strikes her, she'll down the medicine and look up at us, beaming.  "Yum!" she says.  "That tastes good!"  Right! we say.  Maybe you'll remember that in four hours so we don't have to take minutes off our lives going through this again.

I am hoping soon to go in to Addie's room while she's sleeping and to not hear a death rattle, to see her breathing through her nose.  I am ferverently (man is that a weird word.  I had to look it up) hoping for this.  But as of tonight, she is still rattling and snurgling away in there, as if the tonsils and adenoids have magically grown back. 

Nolie has a horrible cold, with a fever and a barking-seal cough that is just short of croupish.  We're sort of pretending it isn't happening, but the words "emergency room" did pass through my lips today, which made us both shudder.  No no Nolie.  Don't get sick.  Wake up tomorrow and be much, much better.  It doesn't help matters that she is doing her best to push that little tooth through.  And still she smiles and laughs at us, and is getting more adorable everyday.

Here she is asleep on Eric.  I can't decide who is more precious.  It's a dead heat.

We also started loading up our storage unit today, and our realtor comes tomorrow to get our price and list date, and to give us the low-down on some houses in Golden.  We've started spackling up nail holes and cleaning floors and hiding stuff behind cupboard doors.  It's starting to feel really real, which also makes me feel a little like I have to barf.  Also knowing that we could have a long wait ahead of us is strange, given that we're pushing so hard to get the house ready to sell.

The bad news continues to be Burley, who bit me today.  He had eaten some of Addie's cheese, sending her into yet another drooly cryfest, and I moved the dining room chair to "invite" him to get out from under the table where she was sitting.  He viewed this as an "invitation" to bite me.  So now we're considering the possibility of turning him over to a shelter, since nobody we know can take him right now.  Which sucks so hugely.  I just want him out of here, and also just want him to be happy in a new home.

But I'm not losing my mind yet, even though it sounds like I may be.  I'm hanging in there, and even enjoying the chaos here and there. 

I just can't believe how fast it's all going.

Friday, February 16, 2007

The Good Life

Don't we feel like the most loved people on the planet.  Cards, phone calls, emails, gifts, and visits have been pouring in for Addie.  It's like Christmas again.  But without tonsils.  You people are amazing.  Addie is still up and down in terms of how she's feeling, but these reminders of your love make us all feel like we're going to get through this just fine. 

You know what else is making me feel good?  Here is my top ten:

10.  My new discovery is that, for $7.99 a month, I can stream yoga videos from  I can stop and start the videos as needed (that is, when I'm needed by some member of the family).  Sweet, sweet workouts for a small, small price.

9.  Listening to new music for free at  All you do is enter in a song or artist you like, and they start playing that artist plus a whole bunch of people you never heard of but that you might like.  And you tell them if you don't like them, and they then use that information to pick new music for you.  It plays like a radio station.  Did I mention it's FREE?  Awesome.

8.  The best thrift store on the planet.  I've let a few people in Denver know where this is now, but I'll say no more (they don't believe me once they find out where it's located, anyway).  This is my best kept secret.  Let's just say I scored some awesome Steve Maddens and Anne Kleins for a few bucks each last week. 

7.  It's supposed to start warming up here in Denver starting tomorrow.  Like, it might be almost 50 degrees here by Monday.  We might actually get to see our front yard, and walk outside without full body armor to protect us from the cold.

6.  Any cookbook from America's Test Kitchen.  But here is my favorite.  You can get it at Amazon for $24, or at Costco for $16.  Money well spent.

5.  My new addiction.  Dreaming, dreaming, dreaming.

4.  This lipstick.  Addie can drool all over me giving me kisses and it still stays on.

3.  The public library.  Seriously.  All those books.  I'm finally almost done with The Milagro Beanfield War, the "Denver Reads" book selection.  God, the first 20 pages were painful, but now that I'm near the end, I'm really appreciating it, and am glad I didn't quit when I was tempted to.  Cormac McCarthy's The Road is up next, for book club.

2.  The custards with mix-ins at Good Times.  I think about these several times a day, everyday.  Yum.

1.  The new floors.  Aren't they gorgeous?

They'll never look that good again, but man we're enjoying them for now.


Both kids are screaming--Addie from exhaustion (she won't take a nap) and Nolie from a vicious head-cold.  Enough of the inventory, anyway, eh?  Life is good.  That's all.  Time to turn this thing off.



Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Piece of Cake (or, Popsicle)

Addie went in for her surgery this morning, and she did great.  I went into the surgery room with her, and the anaesthesiologist had me try the mask on first so that Addie wouldn't be scared.  After seeing how much I liked it, Addie pretty much grabbed it out of my hands and put it on her own face.  The doctor piped in the sweet, sweet happy gas, and Addie was out.  This made me sob, of course, but they ushered me out of there pretty quick, yanked her tonsils and adenoids, and that was that.  She was pretty well upset when she woke up, but the nurses put on some Bob the Builder for her, gave her a popsicle, and she was fine.

We're resting comfortably in bed watching Dora the Explorer.  Addie gobbled down two bowls of jello already and seems pretty okay, though she sounds a little like she swallowed a banana with the peel on.  The pain drugs they give out the first two days rock, so the doctors said her worst days might be the weekend and into next week, when we downgrade her to just plain tylenol.  But for now, we're good.  She's good.  I was worried and scared for her, and she's still just fine.  I know a lot of you were sending good energy, prayers, and thoughts, and we could feel those.  Thank you, thank you, everyone.  The doll and elephant and dancing flower have been excellent medicine.

I'm also taking bets on whether this stops the drooling.  What odds would you give?  Do I have to change the name of this blog if the surgery works?

Luckily, Nolie's got her first tooth poking through, so she's drooling plenty.  I think we're safe for another couple of years.  Then I'll need to go back to the drawing board.  "Prepubescent Pimples:  The Pussiest Blog on the Planet" sounds good to me.  Other ideas?

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Damned Lucky

One of my colleagues, a frisky, dear old man prone to wearing wool sweaters and tweed coats, whipsmart and full of ribaldry, stopped by my office this morning.  No hello, no nothing.

"Do you ever think how damned lucky you are to be sitting there, listening to music, drinking your coffee, with nobody to tell you what to do, in your own cozy little space, there?"

"Everyday," I said.  "Everyday."

Monday, February 12, 2007

Burley Jackson Schneider

I'm feeling sick to my stomach tonight.  I don't know if it was something I ate, or if I've got a little flu-bug, or what.  But I was in class today and thought I was going to vom all over the floor, in front of my students.  That would have been a memory they didn't get from their other classes. 

I'm feeling even worse now because we've made the heart-wrenching decision that it's time to find Burley another home.  Burley, who has been our dog, and friend, and protector, and walking partner ever since 9/11, when I saw Charlie Gibson on Good Morning America playing with puppies and talking about how having pets can help with mild depression.  That afternoon I found Burley's picture on the Dumb Friends League website and Eric and I rushed out to adopt him.  I still remember how flushed and happy I felt when I picked puppy Burley up and he rested his chin on my shoulder.  He was the first dog I ever had, and he was our baby.

But since then, we've had two other babies--human ones--and Burley has had a tough time adjusting.  When Addie was first learning to crawl, she grabbed Burley's fur a few times, and he gave her hand some good nips.  We called in a trainer and did our best to keep Addie a way from him, but still felt worried.  What if he bit her badly?  What if, God forbid, he bit her in the face? 

Then Nolie came into the picture, and our space seemed to get a little smaller.  Burley would want to lay down in between the two girls playing on the floor.  If one grabbed his fur or even brushed up against him, he would growl and snap at them.  Last week, he jumped over Addie and scratched her in the face.  Tonight he lunged after Nolie's hand.

He hasn't hurt either one.  No skin has been broken.  He is sweet and friendly with adults, and is not an aggressive dog.  But Eric and I looked at each other tonight, after Burley tried to bite Nolie, and knew it was probably time to put Burley in a safer environment, one without kids.  He's a great dog.  He loves people and is incredibly personable and loyal.  He's just not a good kid dog. 

So, now we begin the sad process of trying to find Burley a good home, where he will be loved as much as we have loved him.  And we deal with the guilt of saying goodbye to our dog; we promised to take care of him when we adopted him, but he now has to take a backseat to the safety of our kids.  I feel low.  Lower than low.  But also sure that this is what we need to do.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Dorothy and the Scarecrow


Have I mentioned lately how completely adorable my kids are?  Well, they are.

For example, we took Addie to a birthday party today, and although we only stayed a short while, she had a great time.  She cried the entire way there--big puddle tears--because we had awoken her from her nap, and she was tired and feverish and cranky.  But then she got there, and got a balloon and a cookie and got to run around and jump and squeal.  On the way out, she grabbed my hand and said, "Mommy?  I had so much fun!  Can we go back tomorrow?"  Except she said it with her little two-year-old lisp, which makes my heart melt.

Then, when we got home, she dragged her dad around the house by the hand, calling him "Scarecrow," and he had to call her "Dorothy."  They skipped around and around the house (well, Addie skipped--Eric shuffled), singing "We're off to see the wizard, because because because," because they didn't know the rest of the words.  Freaking adorable.

And because it was almost warm-ish today, Eric took the kids to the park, and Nolie swung in the swings for the first time, laughing and laughing, even though she had a poop in her diaper because we forgot to pack the wipies.

I had to work today--and I was loathe to do so, because having the last few days off from work have been amazing, and I didn't want to end.  But it's all bittersweet, you know?  Work is annoying, work is great.  My kids are annoying, my kids are great.  Bitter.  Sweet.  It's just like that.

Saturday, February 10, 2007

This Is Only Going to Pinch a Little


Here's a toughie:  How do we mentally prepare Addie for the surgery?

I mean, do we need to?  Let's imagine a few scenarios:

1)  We explain to her that she's going to the hospital, and that the doctor is going to give her some special medicine to help her sleep.  Then he's going to "fix" her nose and her throat so that she won't get sick so much anymore.  She'll be able to breathe better and smell things and taste her food.

The problem with this scenario, of course, is that she won't immediately feel better.  My fear is that she'll wake up and look at me and Eric and be like "What in God's name have you people done to me?  This is making me FEEL better?  You people are crazy!"  Then she'll barf up blood all over both of us.  Honestly, if Eric ever did this to me--took me to the hosptial for a surgery and then promised it wouldn't hurt when it really hurt a lot--I'd be pissed.  "Oh no, honey, it's just a hysterectomy.  It won't hurt."  Right.  I'd kill him.

2)  We explain to her that she's going to the hospital, and that the doctor is going to give her some special medicine to help her sleep.  Then he's going to "fix" her nose and her throat so that she won't get sick so much anymore.  She'll be able to breathe better and smell things and taste her food.  But, we also tell her, it's going to hurt some before she gets better.

The problem with this scenario is that if you tell a two-year-old that something is going to hurt, she will freak out.  We've told Addie that the doctor is going to take her tonsils out, and even though she has no clue what this means, she already screams, "NO!  I don't want the doctor to take my tonsils out!  Noooooooooo!"  Plus, does it make sense to prepare her for pain?  Won't that just scare her?  I mean, she doesn't really have the mental schema to understand what's going to happen anyway, and chances are she'll forget all of it in the long run, so what's our responsbility here?

3)  Do nothing, say nothing.  Just get up on Wednesday morning, go to the hospital, and pretend we're playing a big game in which the doctor puts a mask over her face (peek-a-boo!) and, whamo, when she wakes up?  She'll never know what hit her.  We'll just focus on all the ice cream and jello she'll get to eat once she stops horking blood all over the place.

But this doesn't feel right either.  I mean, this kid really trusts us, trusts us more than anybody ever should, probably.  And we're sending her in for an (albeit short-lived) world of hurt.  Don't we have some responsibility to help her understand it?  To communicate what's coming?

I don't know.  I remain unresolved.  We have told her she's going to the hospital Wednesday, and that she'll get to eat lots of ice cream when she wakes up, and that the doctor is going to take her tonsils out, just like Mommy's are out.  We've also just told her how much we love her, and love her, and love her.  But beyond that, I'm not sure what to do.  She handled the CAT scan far better than we ever thought she would, and she's a tough girl.  But she's also just a kid, and she's going to be hurting some.  So. 

I'm guessing we're in for a learning experience.

Friday, February 9, 2007

Zen Kid

Addie has a painfully predictable bedtime routine. Every night is bath, 3 books, a story that we make up together, and then "talking about our day." This is all great, really, because it gives us time to unwind together at the end of the day, and eases her into bed nicely, predictably.


We've been trying some variations on the routine lately, mostly because the monotony is making me want to poke my own eyes out. When I say "variations," I mean that rather than strictly "talking about our day," for example, I might ask her what she wants to talk about. My hope is that this will generate some sort of conversation between the two of us, rather than me just rattling off everything we did over the previous sixteen hours.

But my hopes, unfortunately, are not being realized.  Instead, this is happening:

"Addie, what do you want to talk about?"

"The fan."

"Again? I don't really want to talk about that again."

"I want to talk about the broken thing."

"The broken thing on the fan? No--let's talk about something else. Can you think of something else?"

"The crack."

"The crack? The one in the wall? Again? I think we said everything we needed to say about the crack last week."

"I waaaaant to taaaalk about the craaaaaaaaaack!"

Okay, okay. So we talk about the crack in the wall again. A scintillating bonding experience.  And, clearly, this discussion of all the things that are falling apart around us is not settling her into sleep very well.  Tonight she was wailing and banging on the door to be let out of her room, and when I asked her what was wrong, she said she didn't want her flower blanket on her bed anymore.

"Why, honey?  You love that flower blanket."

"It's, it's, it's TOO FLOWERY!"

Ah, I love the bedtime routine.

Oyster It Up


Nolie had her "well-child" check-up yesterday.  "She's a tank!" said the doctor.  "I know!" I responded, giggling and tickling her fat rolls.  "Isn't it great?" There's nothing better than a chubby baby.  She's not that big, really--50th percentile in weight.  But she's got chub in all the right places, and she was so scrawny for her first few months of life that every ounce of fat is like a victory of progress over the forces of attrition and atrophy. 

Nolie's head circumferences is also 75th percentile (witness picture above, in which she is wearing one of her sister's hats.  Already).  The thing is the size of a watermelon.

I took Addie with me for Nolie's check-up, of course, and sort of mentioned off-handedly that she'd been having a runny nose again and was irritable.  The doctor peeped in her ears and said, oh yeah, infections in both ears. 

That surgery can't come fast enough, IMHO. 


And me?  What about me?

Thanks, everyone, for your comments.  Could you tell I was on the ledge?  Were you talking me down?  I needed it--what a crazy week.  Crazy-making, anyway.

But, I went out last night, for Nancy's birthday, and gorged on oysters and fries and beer (second time in a week for oysters, I'll have you know!  I don't want to see another one for at least a year).  It felt so good to let go and be with friends and laugh my ass off.  It felt so good, in fact, that when I woke up this morning, I decided to take the day off.  It's Eric's Friday off, too, so I got to sleep in and then hang out with him and the kids, then did chores and baking and went for a walk.  Just recalibrated, basically.  I feel human again, grounded and relieved.

One thing is clear:  my job for this weekend will be to figure out how to avoid handling future weeks the way I did this one.  I know I'll have weeks where I work too much, the kids are sick, I've overcommitted, and so on.  But I'd like to work out a "mental health" plan, too, that helps me in these situations.  It could look something like this:

1)  Ask for help.  This is the single hardest thing for me to do, which is dumb, because I have a small army of caring friends, family, and coworkers who are always offering to help.  I just need to get over my hero syndrome, my fear of inconveniencing others.

2)  (Occasionally) break commitments.  There's a long-winded reason for why I'm afraid of being seen as not living up to my word, but that's for another post.  Let's just say that, in the future, when I'm feeling squeezed, I think it will be good practice for me to cancel something, only complete half of something, or ask for an extension.

3)  Take care of my health.  This means eating well, not downing so much caffeine, and exercising.  I did some short yoga routines this week, but needed more of a stress release.  I also drank enough coffee to buzz an elephant.  And let's not even start on my sugar consumption.  Two words:  wiiiiiiidening ass.

4)  Prioritize my family.  No bones about it:  my job is important to me.  It makes me feel good to be productive and involved in the lives of others this way, and yes, there is some ego involved.  But when there is a conflict where a family member needs me, he or she has to come first, and I must practice letting go of regretting my inability to be in two places at once.  I am not Elastigirl.  I need to let go, too, of the fear that I will be fired, spit upon, drawn and quartered, or have my face rubbed in piss and ash if I'm not 110% committed and ambitious to my job.  In short, I need to chill.

Right?  Maybe that's my mantra for this week.  "I am chill.  I am chill.  I am chill."

Wednesday, February 7, 2007

Sleeping's Not Just for Wusses Anymore

Lest this blog degenerate into just a litany of my complaints and self-doubts, I do want to share that, for the last two nights, Nolie and Addie both have slept through the night, from 8pm to 7am.  Both mornings Eric and I woke at 6:30 wondering what the hell had happened, and why we felt so, well, human.  Wowzer.

Imperfect Human Being

I left work at 4:15 to dash about and pick up the girls in Denver, and pulled up to the house around 5:45.  Eric had beat us home, and was there waiting to take Nolie out of my arms and make Addie a peanut butter and jelly sandwich (she basically just licks the peanut butter and jelly off of the bread, not daring to take a bit of the wheat-y stuff itself).  As I was unloading the thousand and one bags, he said, "Um, hon?  I know it's crazy for you in the mornings, but I got home and the heat was on and the door was unlocked."

I wanted to scream. 

Let me clarify.  This is not a post about how my husband is thoughtless or mean, because he's neither.  In fact, quite the opposite.  He's thoughtful and quite wonderful, though maybe his timing stinks a little.

No, I wanted to scream because it is crazy for me in the mornings, getting up and getting dressed and getting the kids dressed and getting everybody out the door and to daycare and me to work, all by 9.  In fact, just thinking about it makes me want to cry.  I wanted to scream because, clearly, things are coming apart a little at the seams, and I'm forgetting little things like locking our doors against the vicious thieves of the world who would like to enter our house and steal our stuff, or to pack formula in the diaper bag so that Nolie doesn't starve at Miss Debbie's, or to turn the heat down, which is just like handing a stack of benjamins to the guy at the power company.  I'm making a dozen tiny little mistakes today, which just chafe, reminding me I'm not the supermom or super-whatever that I like to imagine myself to be.  That I am, in fact, quite human and imperfect. 

In fact, my therapist once gave me that mantra:  "I am an imperfect human being.  I am an imperfect human being."  And it was hard for me to say!  Not because I think I am perfect, or at least not all the time.  I live at either extreme, see?  Sometimes I imagine myself to be perfect.  Look at me, look how together I'm keeping things, look how in control I am.  And other times I am wholly, ridiculously self-critical.  Look at me, look at what a mess I make of everything, look at what a toilet bowl my life is. 

Consciously, I am taken by neither extreme.  I know that my life is full of goodness and imperfections, and that the sweetness of it all lies in those in-between places.  No, all of this happens under the dark cover of my internal machinations, my subconscious, where it takes on gargantuan proportions, of course.

Anyway.  I stewed for an hour or so after Eric's comment, the child-me wanting to yell at him, be angry at him for making me feel this way.  Finally I sorted things out, though, and told him I needed to feel a little more appreciated, that I wanted him not just to notice the unlocked door or the steaminess of the house, but also the myriad other tiny little things I do all day to make our lives happen.  He took that in, and didn't respond defensively or meanly (as I might have).  Then, later, when I wanted to make pots de creme for a meeting I'm having today, he ran to the store and got the stuff for the recipe for me.  And that made all the difference in the world.


Tuesday, February 6, 2007

Balance Schmalance


I teach an introductory writing and ethics class at Mines that has a one-hour large lecture component to it.  Once a week, for an hour, 325 first-year students gather in a giant room to listen to a lecture by one of my colleagues, or a guest speaker.  I coordinate the course, so I usually introduce the speakers.

Because Addie was still recovering from croup yesterday and couldn't go to preschool, she came to work with me.  She stood up in front of 325 "big kids," twirling and dancing and generally quite comfortable as the center of attention.  I felt a little like throwing up the whole time, though.  Somehow the intrusion of my home life into my work life makes me terribly nervous.

Why is this?  I count almost everyone I work with as a friend, and all have been extremely supportive with regard to my family choices, covering for me while I was on family leaves, asking after the kids, offering kind support.  And yet, I worry, at some deep, shameful, buried level that I will be judged for bringing my daughter to work.  That I have somehow lost control of the important boundaries that separate work and family, that I will inconvenience someone who doesn't have children, that I will appear unprofessional.  I feel sad and embarrassed even writing that, because I am not ashamed of my daughter, or of being a mother.  And yet these feelings persist.

In other words, there is a huge schism between these feelings and my politics.  I mean, I believe that workplaces need to be family-friendly, that it is good for my students to see a professional woman who is also a mother.  I believe that one can do her job really well and also be a good mother.  And I also believe that these are impossible tasks, and that there is not nearly enough support for them, for most families, in our society.  I want to be visible in this way, to show others what can be done, and also what should be different.

But I was all sweaty palms and queasy stomach yesterday, while Addie twirled in the front of the large lecture hall, as she and I walked hand in hand to my office, while she sat drawing and watching movies at my desk.  Have I simply inflated my own importance, in imagining that others care so much what I do with my time as to be worried about Addie's presence at work?  Or is there really a threat to my reputation, my sense of professionalism?  Will students view me differently?  My colleagues?  My boss?

It's probably all of these things, really.  One of the program assistants here at work calls me "Little Mama" every time I come in the main office, while calling others (mostly men) by their titles and last names.  She means it kindly, but it makes me cringe.  Why don't I say something?  While I was on family leave last semester, I chose to come back to work early, and agreed to take on extra projects during the leave because I worried how others would view my absence.  I now regret the time I didn't spend with Nolie.  Why did I do this?  I stayed late last night to make up for the hours lost when Addie was here yesterday.  When I got home, I wondered what the hell was wrong with me.  My kid was sick, and I should have been home with her.

Yeah, yeah.  Work/parenting balance, yadda, yadda, yadda.  All over the news, isn't it? Elizabeth Vargas and everything.  But I think that's b.s.  There's just no way to balance it.  You just get pushed and pulled so that some days you do your job well and some days you're a good mom and very rarely do you feel like you excelled at both.  The expectations are too freaking high, and no hot bath or pedicure or day at the mall can make that right.

Do I sound sour?  Disgruntled?  Dissatisfied?  Critical?  Maybe.  There are times I feel all of those things.  And there are just as many times I'm fine with the see-saw, fine with being just good enough at everything, not having to be perfect.  Because the striving for perfection is hard, and it's boring.  I get bored with my own incessant judgments, of that treadmill, and sometimes have to step off and be okay with the less-than-perfect. 

"Where's your computer?" Eric asked last night, when I walked in the door at 7:30.  "I left it at work," I said, throwing my hands up.  "I figured working until 7:30 was enough."

He grinned, and hugged me.  "Great," he said.  "Great."

Monday, February 5, 2007

Huge, Protruding, and Blocked :)

Addie update, for the folks

Eric talked to Addie's ENT doctor today, and he said her adenoids were "huge," her tonsils "protruding," and one of her sinuses blocked.  We'll try to get her into surgery this week, but it will most likely be next week.  We'll keep you posted.


Sunday, February 4, 2007



 Eric and I had just wrapped up an episode from Season 6 of The Sopranos--which I am watching now solely for narrative closure, and not because I'm really enjoying it anymore--and I was doing dishes while Eric turned out lights and locked doors.  All of a sudden, over Addie's monitor, came the clarion call of croup:  hoarse, whooping sobs and asthmatic wheezes.  Eric ran upstairs to get Addie and brought her down.  I took her into the airplane-sized bathroom on our first floor, ran the hot shower full blast, and read her stories from her favorite book until her breathing had regularized, then Eric took her outside for a few minutes.  The hot and cold blasts broke the stridor somewhat, and I was able to put her back to bed, still wheezy and coughing but calm enough to rest.

Addie had croup for the first time a year ago, and because we didn't know what was going on and it was a really bad spell, we took her to the E.R.  This was a huge mistake, not because the croup wasn't serious, but because it's worsened by panic and upset, and Addie did not take kindly to being looked at by all sorts of strange doctors and nurses in the middle of the night.  The x-rays of her chest were also extremely traumatic for her (and the rest of us, actually).  She's had two croup spells since, and both times we decided to just ride it out at home, trusting the steam from the shower and the cold night air to break the stridor, and using light touch massage, reading books, and singing songs to keep her calm.  Both times it has worked.  Having some confidence and experience has helped us not to over-react.

At the same time, after I put her to bed I'm always a little terrified.  What if she stops breathing in her sleep?  What if it worsens quickly, too quickly for us to react, and we couldn't help her in time?  Croup is terrifying in this way--Addie's lips turn blue because she's not getting enough oxygen, and she gets really disoriented.  Addie is a very verbal kid, and last night when I asked her what kind of juice she wanted--orange or apple--she responded "ABC."  This sounds kind of funny, but it's so out of character for her that it just ends up being scary.  So, even though she was in bed, calmly sleeping, her rattly breathing finally a little more even, I wasn't able to sleep for some time, listening through the monitor for her breath, her coughs, her stirrings.

We have no doubt all of this is related--the drool, the snot, the croup, the snoring, the stumbling.  I hope the CAT scan results take us a step closer to understanding how we can help Addie get better, feel better.  I just want her to be a healthy, happy kid.


Ah, Nolie.  Nolie has undergone a complete transformation in the last few weeks, and just in time.  We've been so busy dealing with Addie and her many nose hole issues, that if Nolie had also been up to her old shenanigans, we would have been in big trouble.

As it is, though, she's been a delight on most fronts.  She puts herself to sleep in her crib now, unswaddled, making sweet, sweet yummies with her Gigi blanket.  She stays asleep all night, waking at 5:30 for a bottle, but then going back to sleep, sometimes UNTIL 8:30!  She holds her own bottle, which means we can all sleep lying down, so my lower back isn't in a perpetual state of crankiness.  She jumps like a maniac in her Johnny Jumper, and plays in her "office":


Also, she is wicked cute.  She has the roundest face I've ever seen, and ears that stick out a little, and the most glorious smile.  She is many, many fistfuls of chubby-mc-chub-loveliness.

Oh, there are a few annoying things.  She still urps constantly--so much so that we think we probably need to talk to the pediatrician about it, and maybe switch to a different formula (she's already on the soy kind), or put her back on Zantac for a while.  Honestly, though, I don't feel like I can really deal with this until we know more what's going on with Addie.  I'm having to prioritize a little, and we can deal with a little urp better than we can with a kid who is not breathing.

Nolie is also not stranger-friendly.  If someone other than her dad, me, or Miss Debbie even so much as looks at her, out comes the lower lip, and she begins to wail.  Other people, in essence, freak her out.  But she'll grow out of this, too.

Mostly, I fall in love with her a little more every day, and am watching her personality start to emerge.  She is a happy baby, finally, and starting to explore the world a little on her own.  With the second child, it's easier to see this process happen on its own, without being so invested in guiding and shaping every second of it (or feeling guilt and worry over it).  Nolie is evolving, at her own pace, with us there to accompany her, nudging her now and then, but mostly letting her find her own self. 

Thursday, February 1, 2007

Snow Blows

Holy God. It is snowing again. Will it ever stop? The weather reminds me of this movie they made us watch in elementary school, about a group of kids in the future or on another planet where it rained constantly.  They were never allowed to go outside.  Then, one day, miraculously, the rain stopped for a few minutes, and they all went outside, where flowers had instantly bloomed, and they played in a beautiful green field until it started dumping again.  What the hell did they make us watch that movie for?  I must be forgetting something.  Anyway, my point is this:  we are trapped in some sort of snow-filled purgatory.

The only thing that makes it not so bad is that our floors LOOK AMAZING.  Holy crap, do they look good.  I just keep staring, admiring them.  Addie threw her stuffed bear on them yesterday and I dove for it, trying to catch hit before it hit the new floors.  "Nooooooo...." Slow motion, the whole bit.  I'm crazy.

When I'm wrong, I say I'm wrong.  I was wrong.  Addie was able to sit still for her CAT scan today.  She went through the tube like such a big girl, licking her lips and drooling the whole time, but staying pretty darned still.  My big girl.  So glad we didn't have to get the anesthesia.  We get the results from the test Monday, because doctors don't want to spoil us all by giving us information immediately, even when they have it.  Right there.  In front of them.

We are wondering what will be different after (if) she gets the surgery.  Maybe no more drool spots, like the sweet one you see in the picture above (that's orange playdough she's stirring, by the way).  Maybe she'll be able to taste food better, sleep better, feel better.  Maybe there will be fewer tantrums?  Or not.  Maybe all of that is just who she is.  But we're wondering.