Pay it forward

Posted by The Wizzle | Posted on Wednesday, September 30, 2009 at 10:41 PM


This post from my sister-in-law was fresh in my mind today as I experienced a little blooper of my own. (Do a lot of frazzled moms exhibit this particular behavior?)

After I got Devlin off to school, I came home to find the floor guys banging to wake the dead in the upstairs hallway. Downstairs is still a dusty, splintery mess, rife with irresistible mortal danger from a baby's perspective. That leaves...nowhere, so out of the house we went! I stopped at Sprouts to buy drinkable in-the-car breakfast for the girls, who had slept in, to consume on the way to our friend's house. Being a model of carefree efficiency, I thought it prudent to remove my wallet and keys from my bag and bring only them and a reusable grocery sack into the store instead of carrying my entire diaper bag, which admittedly contains more than is strictly necessary to purchase and transport 2 smoothies.

After a lovely productive morning rearranging furniture at Kim's - yes, I help friends rearrange furniture, for fun - I returned home to find the workers still banging away with wild abandon. So I left the girls in the running car and quickly ran inside to throw the grocery sack, still holding bananas, carrots, and the smoothie remains, into the fridge. Then, to get us all out of the house, we drove with David to Phoenix. He went to see a doctor about his sore shoulder, while I took the girls to Paradise Bakery for lunch.

Iris fell asleep 10 minutes before arriving at our destination, and she woke up as soon as the car stopped moving, so I was already flustered when we went in. Eve climbed on chairs, danced on barstools, and ran, slalom-style, between the legs of the other paying customers in line. Iris glared ferociously at nice old ladies who tried to tell her how adorable she was. I ordered, excited to try the new butternut squash bisque, but when I got to the register, I found I did not have my wallet.

Embarrassed, I excused myself and went to the car to retrieve it, thinking my bag must have tipped over, spilling some of the contents under one of the seats as sometimes happens. It was not there. I realized with a sinking feeling that it was in the grocery bag, in my refrigerator, at home. David was in a doctor's office without cell phone reception. If I wanted to eat - and believe me, I did - I was going to have to improvise.

I found Devlin's piggy bank in the back seat, fresh from spending his birthday money earlier in the week, and hoped he had enough coins in tithing and savings to cover our sandwiches. I went back in, saw the total was $14-something, and started stacking quarters, red in the face. The nicer people behind me in line were looking quizzical, and the ruder types looked as if they were contemplating calling the police on me for stealing money from my OWN CHILDREN. The shame!

Through tears that surely made me look even more stupid, if that were possible, I told the very patient cashier that I only had $11 and I would need to cancel my order. She didn't answer. I looked up, and she was gone. I started to gather my girls, my coins, and my lighter-than-it-should-have-been diaper bag, but just before I turned around to leave, the cashier reappeared, smiled, and handed me a receipt. She picked up the tray with our food on it, told me my meal was on the house today, and asked me if a quiet booth in the back of the restaurant would work for us.

I said I figured that would be just fine.

(So, Heidi, my rescue wasn't as dramatic as yours, but my wallet was in a weirder place!) It is people like this woman who save my children from seeing their feeble mother hauled off in a straitjacket, cackling with insane laughter, to a psychiatric unit. Leaving my wallet in the fridge unfortunately wasn't the last stupid thing I did today, but that kind soul planted in my path definitely took the edge off and helped us all limp through until bedtime.

I think I'll bring some cash in my pocket to the mall tomorrow...just in case.

The last first birthday

Posted by The Wizzle | Posted on Sunday, September 27, 2009 at 7:33 PM


See, I already don't like that title. It sounds really depressing, and we had a fabulous time tonight! Iris was giddy all the way until bed time. She must be the luckiest baby in the world, and she knows it.

Yes, those are hedgehogs. On her shoes.

The party was short and sweet, just a little dinner at my parents' with (almost) all my favorite people.

Grandma and Grandpa Dent, this is what Iris bought with your birthday money. Bibs! With hedgehogs! Who knew?

(All she ate was blueberries for dinner, incidentally. This is becoming sort of a tradition in my family.)

And this, folks, is how you make a watermelon cake.

The company was delightful, and we missed dearly those of you who could not be with us. Iris says thank you...

...from the bottom of her little hedgie heart.

Tomorrow, tomorrow

Posted by The Wizzle | Posted on Saturday, September 26, 2009 at 8:54 PM


You're always a day away.

And that is why is it safe for me to here publicly announce my intentions for tomorrow. It is still as they say, "fresh, with no mistakes in it".

1. Ignore the state of my house. Really. It is a disaster beyond my ability to describe it, but chasing the kids all day with a broom, nagging them to pick up their library books/legos/tiny princesses is not going to fix it. Breathe. Try to enjoy having basically no household responsibilities.

2. Play Devlin's new game with him at least once.

3. Photograph the new solar system mobile we hung today (thanks Angie and family!)

4. Read a pile of library books.

5. Sing to some nice old people.

6. Make a cake out a watermelon. You'll see, it's going to be awesome.

7. Celebrate a first birthday. This doesn't happen very often. Got to make it count.

I'm counting on you all to keep me honest. Come check in tomorrow night and we'll see how I did!

(If you're nice, I'll even post a picture of the watermelon cake.

Red-Letter Day

Posted by The Wizzle | Posted on Tuesday, September 22, 2009 at 7:20 PM


I'm on such a high right now!

1. Notice anything different about this little man right here? (hint: little hole on the bottom right of the smile)

Tooth Fairy, take notice! (I just hope she can find the darn thing on his white polka-dotted sheets).

2. The above-mentioned toothless boy is sleeping in his room...alone. That is because Eve is sleeping with Iris. Yes, I did it. Devlin has been needing more space, more big-boy-ness. He's got experiments to conduct, robots to build, electricity to harness, and none of that works with two little sisters who delight (Eve: intentionally, Iris: innocently) in destroying all his creations.

My plan has always been to put the girls in together, in the yellow room, but I was waiting until Iris was out of a crib, closer to 2 years old (and hoping that Eve's baseline volume level would come down significantly somewhere in the interim as well). But I decided - what the heck, let's just try it. The worst that could happen is the girls miss out on a few hours of sleep and we abandon ship and try again in 6 months. Or a year.

But I am shocked and thrilled to announce, utterly prematurely, the success of this New Deal. As far as I can tell, the girls are both asleep (and if they're not asleep, they are entirely quiet which accomplishes the same thing for my purposes). No crying, no chattering, nothing! If this works, I will be the happiest mom in town. All the dolls, doll clothes, doll strollers, doll houses, doll feeding implements, and doll slings can live in the "girl room", and all the choking hazards can live in the "boy room". There are so many levels on which this would be a Very Good Thing that I can't even explain them all, so you'll just have to trust me. And keep your fingers crossed!

3. I am about to go downstairs and move furniture for the rest of the night. This is FABULOUS because it means that a team of very hardworking gentlemen are coming to my house tomorrow morning to tear out my woebegone, threadbare, bedraggled carpet and no-longer-pristine tile and grout. They are taking it all away, hopefully to a large bonfire somewhere, and they are putting in gorgeous new wood laminate flooring. This is a lifelong dream of mine (well, a practical and economical approximation of that dream) and Rest assured you will all be kept up to date on the process.

4. New shoes. Thank heaven for new shoes! Aren't they insane? So comfortable too. It's ok to be jealous. I would be if I were you.

(They did not, however, come with a pedicure so we'll both just have to imagine that part).

Happy birthday to you, you live in a zoo

Posted by The Wizzle | Posted on Saturday, September 19, 2009 at 4:36 PM


Yesterday, my oldest child turned 6.

He had some modest requests for his birthday: waffles for breakfast and his very own frozen yogurt from Costco that he didn't have to share with anyone. Now I may not be Mother of the Year, but I can handle those!

His "party", such as it is, will be tomorrow at Granny and Grampa's house, with as much of our lovely family as we can manage. There will be pie, Don't Eat Pete, presents, and still more waffles (did I mention he likes them? He'd eat 6 at a time if it were up to him).

We did let him open one of his presents on his actual birthday, though: a kit with which a robot is built out of a soda can. (Hey, it's Devlin in a box!) It will have a motor, arms made of bendy straws, and will do "everything except talk" apparently. It is sure to be the highlight of his entire life.

So, in honor of my first and only boy, who I love to pieces and then some, I give you:

Devlin in 6 words


..."You look like a monkey, and you smell like one too!"

Attention Moms of Boys

Posted by The Wizzle | Posted on at 10:25 AM


Every mom of boys secretly (or not so secretly) wants a girl, at least on some level. Often, the reasoning for this desire is the clothes, hair clips, tights, and sheer frenzied fashion explosion that is dressing a little girl.

In a boy's closet, everything sort of goes together, for better or for worse. Gray goes with navy, which goes with red, and they all look just dandy with olive green. That's about the extent of boys' clothing, unless you go significantly out of your way to beat back the gender stereotypes with your own two bare hands (which is a post for another day, all on its own).

It's really fun, I cannot tell a lie. I love dressing the girls.

But sometimes, they dress themselves. And sometimes they are very opinionated and you can't talk them out of it, even if you had the energy to try. Which you don't.

And on those days, you end up with this. She looks like a geriatric colorblind schizophrenic.

Dressing boys isn't as fun, but it's definitely easier!

If Eve were an inanimate object

Posted by The Wizzle | Posted on Thursday, September 17, 2009 at 3:11 PM


she would be this ring. That is all.

Wallflower no more

Posted by The Wizzle | Posted on Tuesday, September 15, 2009 at 9:19 PM


Behold, she is vertical! So far she just stands there and smirks, but if she hurries I might have my first baby to walk by their first birthday.

Stay tuned. I think walking would actually be an improvement because it will slow her down, at least for awhile!

Holy cow, I have 3 kids, and other delightful observations

Posted by The Wizzle | Posted on Wednesday, September 9, 2009 at 7:39 PM


Such a lovely little week!

Curtains, not only in my front room as documented last blog, but in my bedroom as well! Long, white, flowing, romantic curtains, like I always wanted.

(Never mind the Channel-One-style television mounted in the corner, that's not the romantic part. Focus on the curtains, people.)

Labor Day carne asada at our place, with all my Arizona family. I was so busy having fun, of course, that I forgot to take pictures, but here's a typical action shot of my children. Hurricanes Devlin and Eve, with Iris roughly in lotus position watching it all unfold:

Speaking of that baby, she now has 5 teeth, and can stand on her own for many seconds at a time. She also took her first step toward me tonight! It was wobbly at best, but I am counting it. I am so delighted for her that I almost completely forgot to be sad that my last baby is almost one, almost walking, almost not a baby anymore.

(This is my third consecutive child to absolutely adore that little blue car in the background, by the way. David bought it for Devlin and I confess I thought he was an idiot for spending $80 on a child's toy car, but I admit it, I was WRONG, it's a fabulous item and has served us very well all these years. Plus, every family of leftist elitist snobs needs a BMW for their children).

Devlin has his first "big" tooth coming in already! It's on the bottom, in the middle. Too bad his baby tooth has forgotten to fall out first, so he looks a bit like a shark just at the moment. He is my kid, after all - braces are doubtless in our future.

Also on the home organization front, we got our downstairs coat closet put back together this week, a mere 2 months or so after the builder's grade shelf (singular) formerly located therein decided to come crashing down with great fanfare. We now have 5 lovely shelves, securely attached to the wall, which have allowed a place to store all of Devlin's choking hazards (sorry, TOYS) up out of nosy little babies' reach and behind a door. It has also allowed my pantry to be put to use storing only food, for the first time, if you can imagine such a thing. It's a beautiful, beautiful sight.

So that you might be as happy as I am on this Wednesday evening, I'll leave with you with two pictures of all my kids in the same frame. Truly momentous, and if I do say so myself, truly beautiful.