Monday, June 21, 2010

I am a bad blogger.  I want to be a good blogger, but somehow, I cannot seem to find consistent motivation.  Maybe it's because I lack interesting thoughts to write about.  Maybe it's because blogger is really annoying me lately - I hit enter and the cursor doesn't move.  That will do anyone in.

The girls have discovered silly bandz.  Not a bad "prize," really.  Better than the $100 I dropped on an American Girl doll recently.  (Ava's prize for ceasing thumb-sucking.)

Michaela thinks that I am her personal servant.  Seriously.  The other day she barked out her order for water.  After requiring a more mannerly request, I gave it to her.  She was sitting on the couch.  The coffee table was oh, maybe 6 inches from where she was sitting.  Yeah she's small, but she could have bent over and put the water on the table.  Oh, no.  That would be too much physical exertion for my blond-haired-blue-eyed princess (who has discovered her charms at the young age of 2).  I was sitting in the office trying to get out a few e-mails (work, actually).  She yelled, "MOM!  I'M ALL DONE WITH MY WATER."  I told her to put it on the table - this went back and forth a few times.  Until I got so irritated that I got up, took the water and accidentally dumped it on her. Yeah, maybe I over-reacted, but this "you are my slave" routine is getting a bit old.  Am I a bad mom?  Nope.  I don't think so.  A bad mom would have poured the water on her head.  ha ha.  She got the point. :)   I love my kiki.  Although she's started wiping my kisses off of her face - I find it annoying.  She thinks it's hysterical.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Booking It - June 2010

I've been trying to read more this year - trying being the operative word.  I do pretty well for a few weeks and then get so busy that all I seem to have time for is People or OK Magazines.  I follow fishmama, and I've been meaning to post what I've been reading, but, you guessed it - never got around to it. So, this list may be more of a compilation - the best and the worst - of what I've read this year.

Starting with...current reads:

1. House Rules by Jodi Picoult.  Although Picoult has been around for a while, I just recently started reading her books.  My Sister's Keeper was the first that I read. (BTW - book is way better than the movie in my opinion).  So far I'm having a REALLY hard time getting into this book - it is actually the second time I got it from the library.  It's a short loan because it's new, and I just couldn't get into it the first time around.  I just picked up a few more of her books for a quarter at garage sales, so I'm sure I'll have reviews later this summer.

2. Captivating by John & Stasi Eldridge.  I'm doing a review on this one when I'm done.

Recently read:

1. Ivy & Bean, Ivy & Bean Take Care of the Babysitter, Ivy & Bean:  Bound to be Bad, Ivy & Bean and the Ghost that had to Go; Ivy & Bean:  Doomed to Dance; Ivy & Bean Break the Fossil Record all by Annie Barrows.  My 4 year old is very into I&B these days and is sad that the new book does not come out until the fall.  Fortunately I can usually read through these with her in about a day.  Pretty soon she'll be reading them by herself.  My 2 year old even loves I&B now.  Next we are reading Mr. Popper's Penguins & the Ramona series (found the first 4 books in a set at TJMaxx for $12.00!)  We also have a few Bobbsey Twins books, which I LOVED when I was a kid.  They were right up there with the Little House series.

2. Certain Girls and Best Friends Forever both by Jennifer Weiner.  Both were ok.  I read Weiner years ago and Certain Girls was a sequel, so I liked that one.  The other was ok. 

3. Goodnight Nobody by Jennifer Weiner.  I just finished this one last week.  I actually liked it.  It was an easy read, which is exactly what I need these days.

4. I Will Carry You by Angie Smith.  I have been following her blog for a while.  I actually downloaded her book for free from Amazon, and I'm reading it on my computer. 

5. Churched by Matthew Turner.  I did not like this book at all.  You can read my review here.

6. Look Again by Lisa Scottoline.  Love this. 

7. Saving CeeCee Honeycutt by Beth Hoffman.  Loved this book. 

8. The Blue Cotton Gown:  A Midwife's Memoir by Patricia Harman.  I was excited to read this and thought I would like it since I am an amateur midwife/OB-GYN (my sister is a certified nurse midwife).  I did not like it.  I ended up skimming it.  I know other people that did like it, though.

Coming up:  Finishing House Rules (maybe); Winter Garden by Kristin Hannah; and The Help, which I got for my birthday in January and still have not read it (it keeps getting buried under library books).

Monday, June 14, 2010

Being Ava

Ava started VBS today.  She's been waiting for a whole year.  She LOVED VBS last year, and couldn't wait to go back.  She also has swimming lessons starting tomorrow, and next Wednesday she starts soccer for a few weeks.  She also started kindergarten Sunday school yesterday.  When I was telling her about all of this she says:  "Wow.  I finally have things to do like a big girl!"  Yeah - I'm pretty much an un-scheduler.  I prefer to take each day as it comes without having too many plans.  Just a few goals that can be passed to the next day if needed.

The other night I was telling Pete about Ava's "schedule," specifically swimming lessons and the fact that I scheduled them from 7:00 p.m. - 7:45 p.m. so (a) the pool would be warm and (b) classes smaller since most 4 year olds are getting ready for bed around that time.  Ava was eavesdropping as usually and says "Won't I be tired?"  I said, "No.  You are always up late."  She said:  "Mom.  I'm not a trolodon!"  Me:  "What's that?"  Ava:  "A dinosaur that likes to stay up late."  (Trolodon = Troodon.  Not sure if it really liked to stay up late, but according to Dinosaur Train, it did.)

Tuesday, May 11, 2010


On Sunday we took the girls to a park to play.  To get to the park you have to park in a gravel lot and walk down a path (a slight hill - not many big hills in these parts) to a lovely large park that not many know about (a/k/a "the secret park").  We were returning to the car and as per the norm Ava ran to the "top" of the path and Michaela dawdled.  She looks at rocks, sings to herself, etc.  She was going REALLY slow this time, and I said to her:  "Michaela.  Pick up the pace or I'll carry you."  She looked at me with her big blue eyes and innocently says, "I don't see the pace, mom." 


Apparently I didn't feed Pete enough for dinner last night (pasta primavera, garlic bread, salad) because around 9:30 or so he made himself a few pancakes with pancake batter left over from that morning's breakfast.  The girls had been upstairs, getting ready for bed - Ava was already downstairs having her last pre-bed snack.  Michaela come downstairs - comes up to me in the office - puts her hand under her nose and says, "What do I smell?"  I said, "what" because I thought she was smelling her hand.  She repeated, "What do I smell?" and then "Whatever it is...I want some."  Too bad, daddy ate all the pancakes so she had to settle for cherrios.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Reinvention of Law

I do realize that I never posted about "law day."  The truth of the matter is that after 10 years of dreaming about being a lawyer, 3 years of law school, and almost 15 years of practice, I had never even HEARD of law day until I read about it on another post.  If it was a huge deal, wouldn't someone have mentioned it somewhere along the way?  I mean, at least Hallmark could have come up with a new greeting card.  Happy Law Day to my favorite lawyer.  Right, as if anyone has a "favorite" lawyer...well, except maybe my adoring husband and children.  The law is good.  It's important to have some law to maintain order.  God gave the first law - don't eat the forbidden fruit followed centuries later by the 10 commandments.  Those are some pretty basic laws.  Now we have laws about everything - when and where you can talk on your phone, how fast to drive, what you can and cannot say about certain topics, etc. Ignorance of the law is no defense, so if you did not know that in Sycamore, Illinois it is illegal to eat green m&m's within 10 feet of the courthouse that is just too bad for you.  Do I think there are too many laws?  Yes, but that's another story for another day.

Anyway, I don't quite know why, but when I was about 13 or so I decided that I wanted to be a lawyer.  I didn't know any lawyers.  I had no lawyers in my family.  None of my friends parents were lawyers.  I hadn't seen any "law" shows on tv.  (Which, by the way, is the WORST reason to go to law school.  Being a lawyer is absolutely nothing like what is portrayed on tv.)  I waivered occasionally,  but always returned to the dream of the law.  Then I went to law school.  I loved the reading and writing...hated the brutal socratic method...loved essay exams...despised multiple choice.  Hated property class since our "teacher" couldn't teach her way out of a hole.  What "they" don't tell you before starting law school is that once you get past the first year, you are pretty much stuck. You are in debt enough that only a career as a lawyer will be able to pay back the monstrous loans that are fastly accruing.  Well, theoretically anyway.  Another delusion of "non-lawyers":  all lawyers are rich.  SO untrue.  The only lawyers that are "rich" are the ones who are stuck in the law library of some big law firm doing menial research any first year student could do...and doing it 100+ hours per week.  I have never been one of those "rich" lawyers.  My friend Colleen's mom used to say, "Colleen, you are the poorest lawyer I know."  That's more of the reality for most lawyers.

My delusion with the law is that somehow I could mesh lawyering with mothering.  How did I know that lawyers don't like women with children trying to be lawyers.  Oh it's all well and good if you can go to work and pretend you don't have any kids for 10 hours  a day(this, of course, does not apply to male attorneys who can populate the earth without a thought or concern for their job).  But for me, that's pretty much an impossibility as I discovered after I tried to return to work after baby #1.   I had a somewhat decent gig for a while after that, but that is now just not happening.  I can't commute 3 of the 5 hours I have a babysitter just to get some work that I'm getting sort-of paid for.  Nor can I jump back into a firm because now I'm not a "partner" as anyone out of school for 15 years "should" be.  I don't have $1million of transportable business either, so   scratch that.  I also did that daily grind for a really long time, and it just does not interest me.  I LIKE working in my home office in my comfy clothes listening to my girls playing or reading in another room.  I LIKE getting up at 5 or staying up until midnight to work so that I can spend time with them during the day.  I'm pretty good at it, and I get a lot done.  I'm also pretty good at being a lawyer even though it's not my most favorite thing at the moment.

So, now I find myself in the position of reinventing myself and my career.  I have to work - if I didn't I'd be the happiest woman in West Dundee, Illinois.  I've incorporated myself (Stikovich Legal Counsel, LLC) to allow myself to do a variety of different things - counsel corporations, represent corporations, participate in arbitrations are just a few things I'll be doing.  But, I've got to think of some other "stuff" to pay the bills.  My undergrad degree is in writing (which I love - especially of the technical variety).  So it would be great to freelance somehow....

And going back to "law day" just one final note - not all lawyer are bad, crooks, liars, cheats, etc.  In fact, most lawyers are just the opposite.  Just like there's "bad seed" in banks, hospitals, corporations, there are bad lawyers.  And just because you lose a case does not mean the lawyer is crooked or bribing the judge.  If
you are accused of a crime - the prosecution probably has some evidence because if not the judge would throw it out.  If the judge rules against you, it's not because the prosecution paid him/her off (prosecutors are the poorest of the poor lawyers, so they would not have the money....) And one more thought - if you ever do find yourself embroiled in a lawsuit, it will NOT be resolved in 40 minutes like you see in tv.  It will take years.  Yes, years.  Usually at least 3 - sometimes more.  Just don't be surprised.

Maybe I'll start a "Love your Lawyer on Law Day" line for Hallmark.....

Friday, May 7, 2010

Ava:  "Mom, have I ever had the chicken pox?"

Me:  "No.  You had a shot, so you probably will not get them."

Ava:  "Well, Josh has not had the chicken pox.  Miss Jilly had the chicken pox, so did Miss Jacki.  Cami Koo-Koo has not had the chicken pox.  She must have had vaseline."

{Miss Jacki = the girls sitter; Miss Jilly = Miss Jacki's daughter; Cami Koo-Koo = Miss Jilly's daughter; Josh = Miss Jacki's teenage son.}

Friday, April 30, 2010


I am a lawyer.  I ask questions for a living.  I know that most 3 and 4 year olds can ask more questions in a day than an attorney asks in 5 years. (I am also a walking dictionary, but that is another post for another day.)  I am in the third year of answering questions.  Ava likes to talk.  She starts as soon as she gets up in the morning and does not stop until she falls asleep.  Sometimes she even talks in her sleep.  I guess she has a lot to say.  {My sister says it's payback because I talk a lot...anyone talks a lot compared to my sister.}  So, putting together the questions with the non-stop talking, you can pretty much guess how my day goes. I must also add that Ava begins EVERY question with "Mom..." or ""  or "Mom...can I ask you something?"  She says "Mom" at least 1000 times per day.  If she hasn't met her quota, around 8 p.m. or so she starts saying it a bunch of times in a row..."Mommy, mom, momma..." I also have to say "What?" or she repeats the "mom, etc." Here is a sampling of questions asked over the last few days:
  • When are you going to be 60?
  • When were you 16?
  • Why can we only breath on earth?
  • How many planets are there? Me:  9 Her:  Well, Olivia says there are 8. A discussion of poor planet Pluto ensues.  (She knows how many planets there are.  This was a question to trick me, or just "filler."  "Filler" is repeat questions when she doesn't have a new one or nothing pressing to say.)
  • What's the tallest mountain?
  • What's the smallest hill?
  • Why doesn't Jill-Jill have germs?  (Jill-Jill = Auntie Jill.  Ava made up the name "Jill-Jill" when she was about 1, and now that's what most of the nieces/nephews call her.)
  • Does God have germs?
  • Do Satan and his angels live in a lower part of heaven?
  • Why did angels go with Satan?
  • Is Satan a snake?
  • Why is Satan invisible?
  • Can we take a rocket to Neptune?
  • Is Jeni's baby coming out of "here" [pointing to the v-j-j]?  Me:  Yes, she will push out the baby.  Her:  You mean like this [grunting ensues].  Jeni = Auntie Jen  Side-note - about a year ago, Ava was asking how babies "get out."  I gave her an answer that I thought appropriate for a 3 y.o., but she did not accept it. "No, really.   How?"  So, I had her call Jill-Jill (a certified nurse midwife), who explained it with medical precision.
  • Does God have a body?
  • What does 'yoy' spell?
  • What does 'ajlkemi' spell?
  • Why are my eyes grey?
  • Why do earthworms live in the mud?
  • What would I do if I were an octopus?
  • Do you know what the biggest number is?  30569!
  • Will you be dead when you are 100? 
  • When I grow up and go to court, will you drive me?  I will sit in the back in the middle seat.  Will you drive me to Costco, too?
  • Are there spiders in the Maui Rainforest?
  • Do you think that black spider is still under the couch?
  • Do all spiders bite?  Do the spiders in the Maui Rainforest bite? Do tarantulas bite?
  • and the list goes on....
    Yesterday she took a nap (she doesn't nap anymore, although the 2 hours of peace is enjoyable, the late night is not), so she didn't go to sleep until almost 11.  She woke up at 12:30 to go potty - in our bathroom of course.  After advising me that she was not going to flush the toilet, she says, "Did you know that there are 4 planets with rings?"  And then I spent the next 1 1/2 hrs lying in bed trying to remember which planets actually had rings....on to the next day.
      Coming tomorrow:  my tribute to law day. 

      Thursday, April 29, 2010

      Beautiful second daughter

      If I wouldn't have seen her come out of me with my own eyes...I would never believe she's mine (from looking at her, at least). :)  She's been saying to me, "I'm not a baby.  I'm a girl."  Sorry, but you'll always be my baby.  (That is, unless her father changes his mind. . . .)

      Sunday, April 18, 2010

      No more ringing in my ears

      God does sometimes like to bless us with "non-essentials."  I am SO excited that we finally have a new tv!  It doesn't even weigh 300 pounds like our former tv.  Nor does it have a high pitched ringing that started a few weeks back.  The only person more excited than me is my boy.  He's spent the last day scanning for basketball so he could watch it in HD.  Yes, we finally have an HD tv - flat screen. 

      The ringing started a few weeks ago - seriously.  It gave me numerous headaches (and, no, our tv is not on all the time).  I was thinking that maybe we'd use a little of our tax refund to get a small tv until we could afford a big one with all the bells and whistles that my boy dream[ed] of having.  Adding to the mix is the fact that our awesome cable/tv/phone package expires in a few weeks, so we either had to convince our current company to give us something equally outstanding or go elsewhere.  I ended up in a "chat" with a customer service rep from a company that provides all three.  He didn't know what hit him.  (This is why I love the on-line "chat."  Take your time - can do it with kids screaming - can go to the bathroom if needed.)  After 2 hours I had obtained new service AND a HUGE Visa reward card!  Enough for a grand tv.  Now, to make this even better, my boy (who had begun researching tvs before "v" even came out of my mouth when I mentioned the possibility that we may be able to get a really little new one) went to Costco to "get gas" during the cousin sleepover (more on that later).  While "getting gas" he happened to see some tvs.  Uh-oh....Costco accidentally put the wrong price on a really big tv. Not just a big tv (according to Michaela it's a "big huge tv," which is what she calls it), it has the really cool stuff he was looking for...the best pixels, the best screen, the best remote. (Well, just kidding on that last part.)  So, our new tv is courtesy of Costco and our new cable/tv/internet provider.  And, I thank God for blessing us with this because...well, He knows why.

      Wednesday, April 14, 2010

      Party at The Cozy House

      Ultimate Blog Party 2010

      I recently stumbled across this blog party - looks like fun and a great way to find new blogs and new readers!

      I am Amy, and I am a stay-at-home-mommy-part-time-lawyer.  I have been married to my awesome husband for almost 6 years years.  We have 2 girls ages 2 and 4.  We like to do a lot of things, but most of all, we like to be COZY.  Hence, the name of my blog.  The girls love jammies, and they typically ask to change into jammies around 10 a.m. each day.  Since I myself am a lover of all things cozy, I happily oblige...within reason.

      I blog about a lot of different things - mostly tales of my girls.   My 4 year old is quite verbose and says some pretty hilarious things.  Check out the tale of Chicktable. Since I love to read (and recently discovered that I can get books for FREE to review), I'll be doing book reviews - fiction, non-fiction, kids books, Christian books, cook books, etc.  I also occasionally blog about homeschooling, which will greatly increase since we start Kindergarten curriculum in the fall.  I'm sure it will be an interesting adventure. 

      Prizes I would LOVE:

      Toshiba Laptop (grand prize)
      hand-stamped necklace (US6)
      Goodie Basket for mom (US18)

      I know there are a lot more great prizes, but it's happy-nappy time, so I must go.

      Sunday, March 28, 2010

      Do you know where your fivehead is?

      So there I was, minding my own business.  Peacefully lying on the couch with a flame shooting out of my ear (ear candling - it's amazing).  Ava chose that moment to say what quite possibly is the funniest thing she has EVER said...well this week anyway.  Now, Ava rambles.  She asks me at least 500 questions a day.  I think she says "mom" or "mama" at least 1000 times a day.  Around 8 or so if she hasn't met her quota, she usually starts saying it 5 or 6 times in a row before asking or telling me what is weighing on her little 4 year old mind.  But, I digress.  As I was lying with a candle stuck in my ear...Jill sitting next to me to ensure that my hair did not catch on fire (or the couch for that matter), Ava was in the midst if a litany of questions and observations. Thrown in was, "Mom, where's your fivehead?"  Of course, I was confused.  "Huh?"  She then pats the top of her head and says, "Is this my fivehead?"  Still confused, "Huh??"  She explains, "Well, this is your fourhead...." (pointing, of course, to her forehead.)  Unfortunately, I was unable to laugh very hard at that point because:  (1) I try not to laugh at her because I don't want to embarrass her and make her not want to come to me with her questions and (2) I was afraid that if my head was shaking, my hair would catch on fire.

      Ava is a very logical kid.  If you have a fourhead, why wouldn't you have a fivehead? or a twohead or three head for that matter.  We were recently in Michigan visiting friends who have a daughter the same age as Ava.  Like Ava, she's a little smarty pants.  She does attend preschool, but advised me in no uncertain terms that although she does go to school, she does not NEED to go to school.  She's the smartest one in the class...and the teacher's favorite.  She and Ava were assisting with brownie making and assigned the task of stirring to the count of 10.  Miss Smart says to Ava, "I can count to 1000!"  Not to be outdone, Ava replies, "Well, I can count to 2010!"  (Now, Ava constantly throws numbers at me asking if it is the biggest number ever.  2010 (twenty-ten) is a current favorite.  I thought it was because of the year, but I was wrong.)  Miss Smart says, "There is no 2010."  Ava says, "Yes there is:  24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 2010 (twenty-ten)!"  No response.  Soft laughter from me and Miss Smart's mommy.  Later:  reminder to Ava that 30 comes after 29.  Days later:  we counted to 2010 again.  Another reminder that 30 comes after 29.  "Mom, I know that but I like to shake things up."  Seriously.  She said that.  She's still 4.

      On to more religious things.  Yesterday I was talking with Ava about Palm Sunday (today).  We talked about what happened on Palm Sunday - the donkey, the palm branches, the shouts of Hosanna!  Ava's question:  "Were there fireworks?"

      Not to be outdone by her big sister, Michaela has been exerting her...ummm...twoness.  Her current favorite thing to do is to "throw back" things that Ava has said over the past 2 years of Michaela's life.  For example, Ava gets a little car sick (no vomiting thank goodness) - especially when we go over little bumps or hills (as hilly as the flatland gets around here).  She complains of a headache, I crack her window, she whines a little more, and all is well.  Michaela has picked on this, so when we hit the aforementioned bumps, hills, etc., she says "Wheeeee!"  Until a few days ago.  We went over a little bump and I hear, "Mom.  I have a headache! I sick!"  and then laughter.  Nice Michaela.

      Ava also complains about Michaela talking or singing too loudly.  (Of course, it is perfectly acceptable for Ava to sing at the top of her lungs while galloping around the house.)  Today as I was trying to get them ready for church, Michaela voiced a complaint of her own:  "Mom.  Ava's chewing too loud."

      Tuesday, March 16, 2010

      Cupcake Day

      Well, the BIG DAY has finally arrived.  Tomorrow is cupcake day.  Cupcake day is the day we leave for Michigan.  Named "cupcake day" because we marked the day on the calendar with a cupcake sticker. Yes, I made the mistake of telling Ava we were going to Michigan and have had to live through almost 2 1/2 weeks of "how many more days...."  You would think that I would have learned something for the 4 week countdown to the big sleepover at Auntie Jill's.  But, no, I did not.  I just put a cupcake sticker on the day we leave, and we've been crossing of days ever since.

      Much like the sleepover adventure, Ava packed her suitcase 3 days ago.  This was after asking for several days if she could pack it.  I kept telling her no - she tends to pack all of her underwear - and then she "got smart."  Hmmmm.....let's use this cute little blonde-haired-blue-eyed girl..."Mom!  Michaela wants to pack our suitcase for Michigan.  Is that ok?"  Well, if Michaela wants to, then go ahead.  Earlier today I unpacked it to see exactly what she thought was important enough to take to Michigan:

      • 8 pairs of pajamas, including her halloween bat pajamas and random pajama bottoms with no matching top
      • 10 pairs of underwear ("in case I pee my pants")
      • 1 pair of pants
      • 4 shirts
      • a dinosaur (a tyranosaurus to be exact) + plastic dino eggs
      • a few large checkers
      • 1 necklace
      • a plastic cell phone that has lipgloss inside ("so that I can look beautiful")
      • a dolphin beanie baby
      • a few random Littlest Pet Shop pets and pieces
      Of course, there was absolutely nothing of Michaela's in the suitcase (except for the Littlest Pet Shop pieces).  In addition to packing early, I been flooded with "When we go to Michigan can I bring...[cat cookies, gum, suckers, milk, nightgown that is far to big for her, etc., etc."

      I hope this trip meets her expectations.  And note to self:  don't tell her in advance that we are going ANYWHERE!

      Wednesday, March 10, 2010

      Yep, she said that

      One of my main purposes of blogging is to try to keep track of the minutia I might otherwise forget.   Such as:


      "Is my heart behind my left boob or my right boob?"
      "Dad, your coffee is stupendous."
      Ava completely obsessed with having a sleepover with her cousins.  We had to create a calendar to count down the days.  She planned the events for the evening and packed her suitcase 10 days in advance.  What's even better than sleepovers in Ava-land?  Going to Michigan in 7, make that 6 days.
      asked daddy:  "I know how Jesus gets into my heart, but how do we get into HIS heart?"
      Ava is doing very well learning site words, as well as with her writing.  Hopefully she'll be reading by summer.


      M:  "Woo Hoo!"  Mommy:  "Who taught you to say that?"  M:  "My mouth."
      M can't make the "er" sound - she says "ee" as in "buttee"; "flowee"; "lettee"; etc. so cute

      Bitee = diaper; bagee = garbage; prollaby = probably
      She still teases me about my age...randomly looks at me and says "you 40" and laughs
      loves Backyardigans and yells at me when I sing the theme song incorrectly
      rolls her hands while singing the ABC song
      The best, though, has to be her love of my cell phone.  Last week she picked it up flipped it to the side (which causes the key board to come up) and told me she was "looking at the lettees."  Then she starts tapping away, "I sending a text."  This is now common.  She picks up my phone, looks at me innocently as she taps away and says, "I'm texting."  She actually CRIES when I won't let her have my phone:  "I need to text!"  (Michaela - you are 2.  Who are you texting?)

      What I'm reading this month

      I'm trying to read more now that the kids are only attached to me 22 hours a day instead of 24.  Pete even bought me a clip-on book light so that I don't ruin my eyes...well any more than they are already ruined from a childhood of voracious reading, followed by a lit/writing major in college, and then 3 years of law school. Here's my current reading list, as I know you are MOST interested:

      recently read:

      Saving Cee Cee Honeycutt - I really liked this book a lot - even read during the Olympics
      Best Friends Forever by Jennifer Weiner - an easy read with way too much gratuitous sex (which I define as completely unrelated to the plot and only exposes the writer's....well, I'll stop there).
      The Pioneer Woman Cooks by Ree Drummond - well, don't you read cookbooks?  Loved it.  I'm going to actually buy it.

      currently reading:

      Love is an Orientation by Andrew Marin - he spoke at our church; maybe I need a paradigm shift.
      Look Again by Lisa Scottoline
      Crazy Love by Frances Chan - determined to finish this month

      on my desk:

      The Help by Kathryn Stockett
      A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith
      Juliet, Naked by Nick Hornby - why?  because my friend Flo started a blog & mentioned this title.  it intrigued me.
      Same Kind of Different as Me

      We are headed to our vacation house in Michigan later this month, so I plan to sit and read while other people watch my kids. 

      Tuesday, February 16, 2010

      I'm sorry. Did you say 9?

      This is Ava. Mommy loves her with all of her heart. Mommy does not love Ava's teeth. Ava likes to brush her teeth. A lot. Ava likes to use her "swish" (a/k/a Act kid's mouth rinse.) Ava even flosses every day...well almost every day. Ava visited the dentist not long ago...mommy discovered a broken tooth...or was it just a grossly misshapen tooth? Mommy hoped for the latter. Dentist #1 said Ava has 2 cavities and passed Ava along to a "pediatric" dentist. In December mommy took Ava to the "pediatric" dentist. This "pediatric" dentist would not let mommy go back with Ava. Mommy listened to Ava cry from the waiting room. Last night while reading a Mercer book called Going to the Dentist, Ava told mommy that the "man dentist" said, "If you don't stop crying, I'm going to knock out your tooth." Mommy's heart broke into little pieces. The "man dentist" told mommy that Ava had 4 cavities, and that she would need a gleaming silver crown on the broken tooth. Doesn't every 4 year old girl want a pirate tooth to go with her princess gowns and tiaras? The "man dentist" said that he would fix the cavities and give Ava her pirate tooth in 2 visits after administering "laughing gas." That made mommy laugh. In January mommy took Ava to a different dentist. Dr. Nice Lady said that the "man dentist" did not take the x-rays properly. That is why Ava was crying. The x-rays were blurry. Dr. Nice Lady said she was pretty sure there were 4 cavities. Dr. Nice Lady and mommy decided that the best course of action would be for Ava to take a nice nap while the cavities were filled. Dr. Nice Lady also said that she does not give children pirate teeth. Mommy was happy. Last Tuesday mommy and Auntie Jill took Ava to Dr. Nice Lady to have her cavities filled. Auntie Kelly's friend administered the stinky sock mask that helped Ava take a little nap. Mommy and Auntie Jill waited...and waited...and waited. After an hour, Dr. Nice Lady's helper came out to talk to mommy. She showed mommy the new x-rays that Dr. Nice Lady had taken and began to point to spots. Mommy lost count. There were...let's see...nine cavities. Yes, nine...9...nueve. Mommy could not understand how one could get 9 cavities. Ava's only had these teeth for about 2-3 years. She even brushes her teeth! Mommy brushes Ava's teeth, too! Apparently Ava has icky bacteria in her mouth that makes her more prone to cavities. After two hours Ava was done. Her teeth were fixed. Now Ava brushes and swishes 3 times a day. Mommy and daddy hope the second teeth are much stronger than the baby teeth. This is Ava after she REALLY woke up from anesthesia.

      Olympics 2026

      This is Michaela. "I like ice skating!" She declared last night while watching the pairs long program. She then proceeded to get off of the couch, where she was snuggling so sweetly with mommy, to demonstrate her jumping prowess. She even lifted her leg and jumped on one foot. She's only 2, so she did need to hold on to the table to complete this very difficult trick. Something was missing...what could it be....ahhhh, yes. "I need my skating boots. I be right back." She declared with the confidence only a potential Olympic champion could exude. She returned. "Dese are my skating boots. Jill-Jill gave them to me." She put on her boots and completed her routine.

      Thursday, February 4, 2010


       I was looking through old blog posts - searching for a post about the saga of Chicktable to link to my facebook status. Could it really be that I've never blogged about Chicktable? Ava - my new 3 year old exploring the depths to which her strong will could take her, decided that she would go on the potty when SHE wanted to - not a moment sooner. Yes, she held her pee for 6 hours when I would not let her have a diaper or pull-up. She sat on the little potty and did the pee-pee dance because she was absolutely NOT going to pee anywhere but where SHE wanted to go. Eventually, it came out. One day, I decided that perhaps it was better to let her decide when she wanted to go on the potty. After all, I didn't want to be cleaning accidents. I eased up and maybe 2 days later she woke up and declared that she was now ready to pee on the potty. We've been relatively accident free since - nights included. (Excluded: daddy making her laugh uncontrollably resulting in the unfortunate drippage that many women experience.) Now, we still had the poop issue to deal with. Most with little kids know that for some reason pooping on the potty can be viewed as a very tragic event. Is this a party of my body? Where is it going? Etc.,etc. Ava wanted a fish, so I created a sticker chart. If she pooped on the potty 10 times (which for her would be over the course of about 12-15 days), then she would get a fish. She did it rather quickly and off to Petco we went.
      What a lovely fish. Yes, I let her pick it. I wanted the strong male - she picked this female. Being an awesome consultant parent, I let her get it to discover the natural consequences of choosing the "less healthy" of the fish. (I've had a few betas - all male - lived several years.) She was beyond thrilled. I instructed her on all aspects of fish care, including the most important: don't stick your fingers in the bowl. Don't touch the fish. Because we had a little one crawling around and climbing, I thought that the safest place for our new family member would be the upstairs bathroom. I was wrong. Chicktable I was quite dirty after his trip from Petco to our home. So, my dear little Ava decided that it was time for a bath. I was downstairs nursing Michaela (note to moms with a new 2nd baby - this is when most naughtiness occurs), I heard some noise upstairs...assumed she was playing. Never assume. Ava came downstairs and announced that she had given Chicktable a bath. Ava, the fish is in water. It does not need a bath. Indeed, she had taken a small washcloth and swished it around in the water. Or so I thought. Chicktable I survived approximately 3 hours after her bath. Nose first in the lovely lavender rocks on the bottom of the bowl. Confession is good for the soul, and I later learned that Chicktable had actually been removed from the bowl and given a tender scrubbing.
      Back to Petco we went. I have no pictures of Chicktable II as he was not long for this world either. Taken by ick. No more fish from Petco.
      This time, I will go to Petsmart. For some reason this always seemed to me to be the higher quality of the 2 Pet stores. Maybe because it has "smart" in the name. This time I picked the fish. A nice strapping male that had just arrived in the store. Chicktable III sits in my office so I can keep track of him. Ava comes in several times a day to feed her fish, talk to him about the wonders of the world and so forth. Chicktable has had many birthdays. In fact, I was told just a few days ago that it is his birthday in 39 days. Alas, I fear he will not make it. I came downstairs this morning to find this: Now, this fish "plays dead" on a pretty regular basis. It likes to just float or sleep on the bottom of the bowl. Now he's actually floating sideways...hmmm..... I've tapped the bowl and he does swim around. His swimming is sort of crooked - slightly bent. Can't quite figure it out. He was perfectly fine yesterday. He's been fed, talked to, etc., etc. Yep. just checked - floating again. Maybe I'll just leave him alone....Like I said, they just don't make betas the way the used to. Mine lived for years. This one has lasted just over 8 months. Should I flush him before she gets up? To be continued....chicktable 4?
      Update: Chicktable is still with us. He floated on his side for the better part of that gloomy Thursday...the dead fish float. Ava talked to him & hugged the bowl. A short time later, Chicktable was back to swimming and doing whatever else it is that fish do to pass the time.

      Wednesday, January 13, 2010

      ...and I'm 40...

      Yep. I'm 40 now. Nothing different....except I am wearing the delightful Coco Chanel given to me by my husband. So excited about that.

      Monday, January 11, 2010

      And I'm going to be 40....

      "And I'm going to be 40....When? Someday...It's just sitting there like this big dead end. And its not the same for men. Charlie Chaplin had babies when he was 73." That line has been running through my head for weeks. I cannot believe my "someday" is tomorrow. I feel like at midnight my ovaries and uterus will shut down. Hopefully I'll make it through the day with minimal crying.

      Tuesday, January 5, 2010

      Happy New Year

      I posted a video of pictures taken Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, our trip to Michigan, and New Years Day. I've been keeping busy with work, hence my blogging time is limited. The girls are great. Michaela is speaking quite well. She sings constantly - her current favs are the ABC song (sing it like "this" - rolling your hands in front of you); Away in a Manger; and Jesus Loves Me. She loves her big sis and tries to do everything she does. She has taken to calling me Mammia - not quite sure why. She occasionally calls Pete "daddia," as well. Of course she's a total daddy's girl. Last night we were upstairs and she asked me for water. I told her if she wanted water she needed go downstairs to get it. (We had just gone upstairs, and I asked her before we went up if she wanted water. She said no, so I wasn't being mean. :) ) I hear her yell from the top of the steps something to the effect of "daddy, I need water." Now that is not going downstairs to get it. She came back in the room, and I asked her if she went to get her water. She said, "Pete's getting it for me." I said, "what?" She repeated, "Pete's getting it for me." Sure enough, about a minute later daddy came running up the stairs with her water. How can you resist the blonde curls and big blue eyes? The other day she told me that she wanted to be called Alexei (one of her middle names). Not Michaela. Alexei. Fortunately that was short lived, and she's back to Michaela...or Kiki. Ava is Ava. She's very busy. No more naps. :( poor mommy. She loves to pretend and play with Little People, her dollhouse, and the little princesses Grandma Nancy/Grandpa Russ got her for Christmas. We'll try to update more often!

      Christmas 2009