Archive for July, 2006

Jul 31 2006

robots and lobsters

Published by under amy's head,daily

James made dinner, pork chops soaked in a bourbon brine, and we sat at the table eating while the kids were playing. Ethan was building various structures with Lincoln Logs and calling out important tid bits for us to know about his architectural pursuits.

me: this is so good.
me: i think this might be the best food…
me: … ever. in my life.
me: it is so good. mmmmm.
me: my mouth just had an orgasm.
james: (to ethan) Really! (to me:) Did you hear that? It has a window. So it’s good, huh?
me: Just wait til YOU try it. You may never need to have sex again.
(ethan comes around the corner holding something.)

ethan: This is a sign! It goes outside my house! It says, (and he points at the sign carefully, moving his finger to where the imaginary words are as he says them) NO ROBOTS ALLOWED, ONLY LOBSTERS.

james: lobsters?
me, still basking in brined pork chop afterglow: Huh?
ethan: Yes. Lobsters can come in, because we have a grill.
(james and I blink at each other. I am thinking about brining tomorrow morning’s poptarts. brining is good. brining is brilliant.)
james: a grill?
me: Seriously, brining was the best thing invented ever. Let’s brine the children. Then they’ll go off to school even better and cuter than they are and they’ll make good choices and become geniuses.
ethan: Yes, a grill. Then, the lobster pinches our nose with it’s claw, we will just cook them up on the grill. And eat them!
me: (still talking about brining the children) And if that doesn’t work, then if they’re bad we can eat them and they’ll be DELICIOUS.

I think we need a sign outside of our house.


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Jul 31 2006

movie star

Published by under daily,kids,photos

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Jul 27 2006

new mimi

Published by under amy's head,daily,overheard

Do you also bounce up and down when the mimi notify list email drops into your email box letting you know that mimi has once again updated her diary?

Well maybe you should start!

Go read today’s mimi smartypants, and then come back. I’ll wait. (sign up for her notify list while you’re there.)

That Nora. She just kills me.

Normally I don’t order you to leave my website, in fact, I usually prefer people to stay and read a while, but mimi’s mention of child-nipples reminded me of an exchange with Ethan. then Tiny Kingdom, with all the discussion on nuts, also reminded me of it. (btw, if you haven’t read her post about discussing the birds and the bees, then you should go check that out too.)
It all started when I observed a little brown dot on Ethan’s scalp as I was brushing his hair.

me: You are probably going to have a lot of moles, like your daddy.
him: moles?
me: yes, moles. they are little brown or red bumps on your skin. Like this one. (I point out a small mole on his forearm.)
him: that’s a mole?
me: yup. Daddy has lots of moles.
him: I only have ONE. …. wait.. (he lifts up his shirt, and points to his nipples.) Are these moles?
me: No, those are your nipples.
him: Does daddy have nipples?
me: Yes, everyone has nipples.
him: Me too! I have two nipples, and one mole!

Later, we were reading Otto goes to the Beach, where a girl cat is featured wearing a two piece bathing suit.

him: what’s that? (pointing to the top part of the girl cat’s bathing suit)
me: that’s the top of her bathing suit. Girls bathing suits cover up their nipples.
him: But my bathing suit doesn’t.
me: nope, it doesn’t.
him: why?
me: because when girls grow up, they get boobies, but boys don’t. So even though they don’t have breasts when they’re little, they still cover up where they will be someday. They’re private.
him: I won’t have breasts. I just have my boy bits. that’s my penis.
me: that’s right.

Back to Mimi, I also get frustrated with the girl everything found everywhere. While Ethan was ecstatic to receive a few t-shirts with Lightning McQueen and Mater on them, I know Jocelyn would also appreciate clothing sporting the CARS heros, but of course, there are none to be found on girl clothing. A few months ago, she was dead set on wearing Ethan’s monster truck shirt, which he graciously allowed, and I would love to get her some sports shirts, just one with a soccer ball on it would do. But no. None to be found.


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Jul 26 2006

kid road music

I have been trying to steer away from the Little People CD we own of adults putting on cutesy voices to sound like children and singing the ABC song and Twinkle Twinkle, and well, you get the idea. I hate it with ever fiber of my being.

They Might Be Giants‘ kids album, NO! is always a hit, and it is a cd that doesn’t make me want to gouge my eyes out with a shrimp fork, but after a few zillion times, I get sick of even TMBG. (I also highly recommend their DVD, Here Come the ABCs)
Ethan has a few songs that he quite likes, one of them being Proud Mary although he and Jocelyn call it “Rolling on the River, Mommy, play Rolling on the River!” I play them an a capella version from an college compilation CD called, “Acapellagram” that a bunch of folks contributed to during my years at BYU. The Creedence Clearwater Revival version is liked, but not as well.

Early Beatles has been met with rave reviews, Yellow Submarine being a special favorite, as well as Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds, Fixing a Hole, and With a Little Help from my Friends.

Lady, by Lenny Kravitz is an old time favorite – every since we saw Sarah Jessica Parker dancing around in that Gap commercial, which Ethan dubbed, “The YEOW! Song! Play the YEOW song!” because in the chorus Lenny “YEEEEOW”s and it totally cracks him up. Jocelyn was just a baby then, and we used to dance around and sing it to her. My little lady!

Also a hit: The Distance, by Cake – the car theme totally gets Ethan. He will listen intently and then exclaim, “The starting line! Engines, mommy!” and “Empty tank! That’s a fuel tank!” When I play a song he really likes, he will want to hear it again and again, over and over until he knows all the words.

They both like Breakaway, and Since U Been Gone, by Kelly Clarkson, as well as Happy Boys and Girls by Aqua (of the I’m a Barbie Girl otherwise obscure band fame – what can I say, I love cheery techno). You can’t say I’m not about variety!

They also like Perry Como‘s Papa Loves Mambo.

And The Wonder Stuff covering Indigo Girls’ Closer to Fine (it was a b-side to the “Happy Now EP).

I’m saying ‘they’ but mostly the reviews are from Ethan. When asked, Jocelyn always always always asks for, “The Railroad Song, mommy, the Railroad song.” and I sigh and put on those atrocious Little People and their pedantic I’ve been working on the railroad.

And then I sing about Dinah as loud as I can, because the best audience in the world? Toddlers, baby. Toddlers.

There is a sad lack of U2, Indigo Girls, Ben Harper and Toad the Wet Sprocket, which I need to remedy. I also need to refurbish my collection with my missing non-children TMBG albums (holy &*#$ where did they all GO?!? Where are you FLOOD??) and I think it’s past time to own some Sheryl Crow.

any other suggestions?

-amy, whose hands are freakin’ freezing right now.

2 responses so far

Jul 24 2006

Just Two Bites.

Published by under amy's head,daily,kids

I am here to say, there is a light at the end of the tunnel.

Does YOUR child only eat 5 things total?

Mine did too.

I used to dream about those days when he was a baby and just learning to walk. I would sit on the couch and he would hang on and go down to the end, and then back to me and open his mouth up for a bite. Ahhh.. the good old days, when he would eat whatever I was, as long as it was mushy enough.

Well, that rapidly turned to crap. He got ultra picky between 18-24 months, and has only eaten chicken nuggets, scrambled eggs, yogurt, apples, and hot dogs ever since. We have had crying, fights, tantrums over getting Ethan to just TRY A BITE of something that wasn’t on The List, and I’m only talking about ME here. HE’S EVEN WORSE. Once he realizes that something is on the table, first he will say, “I’m not going to eat it. I’m NOT GIVING UP,” very matter-of-factly. (By the way, telling a child that “giving up” is something he shouldn’t do = NOT A GOOD IDEA.) The boy is just as stubborn as his daddy, and .. well. That’s pretty stubborn.

I have sat through many evenings of trying to get him to take a bite. I have read the books and the articles on and heard the theories. I know that you’re SUPPOSED to just offer him a wide variety, and let them eat what they choose. I’ve heard about making it a fun thing and giving lots of positive reinforcement when he DOES have a taste. I’ve seen Supernanny somehow manage to turn demon food throwing children into the best little eaters ever. It’s all well and good, but when you’re sitting there with the meal that you just spent time and energy making only to hear your son make barfing noises and holler, “That’s disgusting! I’m not eating it!” it’s enough to make you snap, and let me tell you, there have been times that I have definitely snapped.

All in all, many a martini has been consumed because of what goes down at the dinner table. Let me tell you my tactics, and give each one a stress rating.

  1. Threats.

    I would send Ethan to time out for not at least tasting what was put in front of him. Unfortunately this only worked about 1 out of 5 times. I stopped doing it because it just did not work. He would cry at first, and then refuse to come back to the table, and then I’d have to send him to his room and it would all boil down to a big ugly mess.

    Stress factor: 4 martinis (high)

  2. Positive Reinforcement

    This had a better success rate, when we could get him to take that first bite. Basically every time Ethan would have a bite, we would praise him, and count it. We would hold up a hand and list a finger with each bite, and keep it up to have a visual tally of bites. He would take a bite, and we’d make a little bing noise as the finger went up to count the bite and say, “ONE BITE! YAY! BIIIIIIING!” Then with the second bite, more of the same: “TWO BITES! AWLRIGHT! BIIIIIING!” and so on. We became cheerleaders for however long the meal lasted. This worked pretty well, but not all the time. If the food was too strange to him (you know, things like deli meat. Lil smokies. MASHED POTATOES. You can see why his pickiness would drive me over the brink of sanity, can’t you? WHO DOESN’T LIKE MASHED POTATOES! There was a time when he WOULDN’T EAT CHEESE THAT WAS WHITE! AAAAARRRRGH!) then he just would NOT try it, try as we might. We can’t give the positive reinforcement if he doesn’t actually HAVE that first bite.

    Stress factor: 2 martinis, however Tiredness factor: 5 pillows – this cheerleading shit wears you out.

  3. More Threats

    We wised up to the fact that Ethan doesn’t actually mind time out that much. This is why for serious behavior infractions, we confiscate his beloved toys instead, and THEY go into timeout, usually until the next day. This isn’t done often, but if he makes bad choices at school, hitting, calling names, etc. and he gets sent to the office, something of his is put into time out – it’s very effective, and he has been doing so well in school lately. We also give him plenty of positive reinforcement, with a sticker every day for making good choices, and a sucker on Fridays if he’s had a good week.

    Just a week ago, he so ADAMANTLY refused to taste something, that finally after 20 minutes, I set the timer for 4 minutes and told him that if he didn’t have his two bites by the time the timer went off, his train was going into time-out. None of the ‘experts’ would probably condone this behavior, but I was tired of waiting. Now, six months ago, this never would have worked, and if he was younger, it definitely would not have worked as it’s kind of a more mature concept.

    True to form, he ate his first bite by the 1:30 mark. I sang his praises long and loud and when he realized that the food he was putting in his mouth did not, in fact, taste like I was secretly trying to poison him, the other bite went down before the 2 minute mark hit. He remarked “That was pretty good, Mommy,” AND ATE ANOTHER BITE, which I followed up with, “Do you want some more?”

    “No,” he said as he ran off to play.

    Oh, and the thing he was refusing to eat? WHITE CHEDDAR MAC AND CHEESE. Aunt Annie’s, no less. You can see why I go crazy. Hello. Yummiest thing ever.

    Stress factor: 3 martinis – I guess you have to find the threat that works. The more effective (without of course, going overboard) the more successful and less stressful.

This running off and refusing to eat even if he likes it, is pretty true to form for Ethan and our food escapades. He is that stubborn, that even though he will admit it’s good, he won’t eat anymore, just because he’s mad that he HAD to eat it in the first place. But gradually I’ve been seeing this mentality slip a bit, and even more in the last month or so. Sometimes I’ll point out, “Just imagine if you’d never tried yogurt (one of his favorite things ever) – you never know if you’ll like something unless you try it.” And if he decides he doesn’t like something, then I’ll just remind him that he doesn’t have to eat it all, just 2 bites.

So the cumulative effects of the past 2 and a half years are finally WORKING.

Yesterday James cooked up some hamburgers and morningstar farm patties on the grill. One was earmarked for me, leaving an extra that I thought we’d give to the kids.

Ethan, true to form, took one look and said, “I’m not eatin’ that.” I calmly and rationally said in as blase a tone I could muster, “You only have to have 2 bites, and then you can be done.”

Usually I give him the thing he doesn’t want first, and won’t let him have anything else until the requisite 2 bites are consumed. Then we have to wait the 5-10 minutes for him to sulk, try to dissuade us or talk us out of it before he finally will eat it. Afterward, he is usually very proud of himself, “DADDY! I ATE 2 BITES!” But this time I went ahead and put his cut up hot dogs in front of him with the 2 bites of fake hamburger along with it. Jocelyn was plowing through her hot dogs and I quickly gave some to her as well, which was received with little feedback, good or bad – she eats just about anything. If it’s in front of her, she’ll try it (KNOCK ON WOOD). We didn’t mention the food, but James and I watched him like a hawk as we chatted and ate dinner, and then I spied him stabbing his hamburger bite with a fork and I quickly kicked James in the shins.

Oh. My. God. Miracles DO happen! We both did the ‘stare’ that you do when you’re trying not to seem as if you’re staring but still don’t want to miss a second of what’s happening. We watched as he PUT THE BITE IN HIS MOUTH AND CHEWED. No arm twisting! No threats of taking toys hostage! I nearly passed out from the shock. And then, he ate his other bite. And THEN, he told me he wanted the REST OF THE PATTY.

HE WANTED MORE, PEOPLE. HE WANTED MORE! Seriously, a year ago today, I never would have thought this day could happen. The day that he would taste something new, and then FINISH the rest of it.

I was so happy I could have cried.

-amy is tentatively.. ecstatic. Now there’s a term you don’t hear every day 🙂

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Jul 21 2006

Post Indigo Girls Concert at Wolf Trap

Published by under amy's head,daily,likes & irks

The Indigo Girls concert was incredible.

Things I would do differently:

Bring someone. I had fun, but I would have had more fun sharing the experience with a friend.

Come earlier. The two sections where you could actually see the stage were filled when I arrived at about 7pm. The side sections were still empty, and I spotted a place underneath an overhang, near the back by some columns that might let me still see the girls so I headed there. If I leaned to the left, I could see Amy, and if I leaned to the right, I could see Emily. My back was against the support, which meant I could use my lawn chair and not block anyone, but it also meant that the sound bounced back and reverberated in a weird way for the opening act. It was ok for the girls though.

There was a cute lovesick hipster couple on my right that only brought themselves and some towels to sit/lay on. They were so cute and tanned and shmoopy, but not in an annoying sleazy way, just in that, “we’ve finally slept together and now we TRY to keep our hands to ourselves, but back here in this little private corner, we fail” way, that I just wanted to put them in my purse and take them home with me like my own personal lifesize dolls.

On the left was a very friendly lesbian couple that offered me so much of their food and booze I began to fear that they were actually trying to slip me a roofey* so they could take me back to their den of lesbian iniquity and have their way with me. Which might not have been so bad. One of them had a bad headache halfway through and they had to leave.

*I have no idea how to spell this. I just revealed my own naivete with the mispelling, didn’t i?

At times, I was surrounded by a crowd of people who were talking loudly/ standing up / trying to get to the loo / trying to smoke their cigarettes/ cigars* w/out getting caught, ignorant of the girls playing their guts out down on the stage. At other times it was easy to blot out everything around me and just swim around in the music until I got all pruney. At times it seemed like everyone present was one big family, united by music (someone gave me a cupcake on the way out, and someone else held my chair while I hopped down from the lawn, damn you heeled sandals!) but at other times, the everyday unconcern for strangers was apparent – most evident in The Driving Away From The Music Venue where everyone adopts the “I’m Out For Me and If I Don’t Make Eye Contact Then That Means I Don’t Have To Let Your Car In Front Of Me” attitude. Kind of a sucky end to the musical high.

* You know, I can handle cigarette smoke. Even when you’re SUPPOSED to go off the lawn to smoke, I can deal. But cigars?!! Come on. That shit STANKS.

They opened with Closer to Fine, and they did Galileo as their final encore. There was lots of songs in between. They did four of their new songs (album out in September). I had heard 2 of them on the Amazon Fishbowl show (it’s the one with Kevin Smith) and cried a little during the last new one of Emily’s. All I can remember of the lyrics is an ethereal theme. Something about being a ghost, and how I want to lay my head down on you, because you’re solid. Boy am I mangling that one, it was beautiful and I can’t wait to own the cd and listen to it over and over.

I really enjoyed Wolf Trap. It would be great to get tickets to a show and go with James and make a real evening of it with a packed dinner with plenty of booze under the stars listening to great music. It would have been a lot easier to forget the crowd. But still, it was a wonderful night.

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Jul 19 2006


Published by under daily,overheard

In shocking news, today the world was stunned to learn that President George W. Bush is not a robot. Instead of repeating the party line verbatim, President Dubya speaks frankly and honestly with British Prime Minister Tony Blair and even lets the word “shit” escape his lips.

“I just couldn’t beleive it. This is the happiest day of my life,” stated one local man on hearing the news. Others were not so convinced.

“It’s just a conspiracy, man. It was all staged by the GOVERNMENT.” shouted one man before boarding the metro to L’Enfant Plaza in Washington, DC. “I’m telling you. Bush is nothing but a talking head, spouting what they WANT us to hear, man. Don’t fall for it!”

News organizations around the world are shoving other stories aside to bring us this important news, CNN leading the pack in refering to it as “the shit heard round the world.” On being asked whether this could mean that Condoleeza Rice may also be human, one reporter turned white, and muttered, “Now let’s not go that far.”

Film at 11.


Jul 19 2006

Indigo Girls tonight

Published by under amy's head,daily,likes & irks

I’m heading to the Indigo Girls Concert tonight at Wolf Trap all by myself. I bought my ticket from someone off of craigslist, because lawn seats are sold out. I think this will be the third IG concert I’ve been to by myself. The last one was in Arkansas, I was living in Atlanta and I hopped in my car and drove over to see them on a college campus. I had a blast.

The first time was when they were playing in Park City and I was attending BYU in Provo, UT. I waffled long and hard and didn’t have money, and then the evening of the concert, I decided I was GOING dammit, and hopped in my car and went. Bought someone’s extra ticket at the door, went in, stood on my chair and boogied all night long.

So this will be time #3. I’ve never been to Wolf Trap, and I haven’t been to a concert in ages.. probably around 8 years now. So I’m long due for some live music appreciation.

It’ll just be me and the girls.

And about 10,000 other people.

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Jul 18 2006

cute jocelyn story

Published by under daily,kids

Jocelyn loves her pillow. It may be her favorite “lovey.” When we go in to get her, she will pick it up and carry it with her like a doll, she loves it so much. She has a myriad of stuffed animals and babies as well, some more beloved than others. Last night she slept with a Care Bear that has jingly bells inside it so that it makes a soft tinkling noise when it moves. So, this morning she was in our bed with her pillow and I got her all dressed and then went back into the bathroom to blow dry my hair. The box of wipes were sitting on the bed and of course when I came back out, she had it open and was prying a wipe out. I quickly said, “only one” and moved the box out of reach.

She grinned at me and picked up her bear. “Blow your nose.” she instructed the bear.

Then she put the wipe up to her nose and blew. “I blew my nose, mommy!”

Then she reached up to my nose. “Blow your nose, mommy, BLOW!” I obeyed.

Then she reached over to her pillow. “Blow your nose, pillow. BLOW! I blew my pillow’s nose! I blew my pillow’s nose!”

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Jul 18 2006

ethan talking about the movie ‘cars’

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