Saturday, January 31, 2009


For thirteen days Riley has woken up and happily learned that it was one less day until her actual birthday. I suppose this is the way it goes when your older sister’s is thirteen days before yours… she just needed to know that it really was getting closer. And so it came, today my girlie turns FIVE!

Full of spunk and spirit, this rocker with a mean groove has been noted by the adults in her life and quiet and pensive, even stoic. She’s super intuitive and artistic and tactile. She knows the words to every kid song ever written. I am serious about this, without really reading yet, this child knows EVERY word to all Hannah, Miley, HSM, Jonas Brothers, Camp Rock and Kidz Bop songs ever written. To match her lyrical stockpile, she can watch almost any video and copy the dance moves instantly. She’s really good and it’s hilarious.

I’m sure this will change as soon as I type it, but Riley gets the easy award this month. She’s so even keel and low maintenance. I couldn’t appreciate it more. She seems to genuinely want to make things easier for me right now, which is not the case for her siblings. I have to remind myself to give her the stage, because even with her rocker girl personality, she doesn’t demand much and will happily entertain herself.

She has current big plans to first go the Olympics in gymnastics and then become a rock star. I’ve no doubt she will – she’s a spark plug at the gym and she undeniably rocks!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

"Gums" Anderson

Another one bites the dust! That's two in the last week.

How will she eat?

Puppy Amnesia

I have firsthand knowledge of pregnancy and childbirth amnesia, but I had no idea there was something called “puppy amnesia.” You’d think after being a dog owner my entire life, never really going longer than six months without a canine pal, that I’d have some memory of the unimaginable youth of a dog.

What is it about this animal that wakes her up in the wee hours and kicks her into turbo mode, without fail, every single day at 4 am? Why is it that for an hour or two during that sleep-needed time of day, that she wants nothing more than to tear the skin from my hands and shred whatever I’m wearing to pieces? Why, at this hour, does she feel the need to bark for attention in high-pitched squeals and wake every other living being in the house? What causes her to behave as if she has a tapeworm, scratching and pawing and barking incessantly at the Rubbermaid container that holds her food? And then, how is it possible that around 6 am, as she has certainly roused everyone from their cozy beds to start the day much too early, and has ripped a tiny hole in each of the backs of their shirts, this pitifully cute puppy falls asleep, hard?

I can’t answer these questions and can only say again that I have NO memory of these days with Harley, Maggie, Sadie or Ginny. Mike assures me that we’ve experienced this all before, but at that time, there were no children to tend to, no articles to write, no snow to deal with, no emails distracting me, no inauguration to be glued to. In those days, I wasn’t already operating at sleep, energy, healthy food, time and probably water deficits. (Although I assure you my alcohol consumption was much higher!) Yes, things were different twelve years ago when rescuing a puppy from under a used car in Florida made perfect sense. The timing is more complicated now, but if there’s anything we learned from Harley, it’s that the best is yet to come. Jesse will get there, too, that I know for sure.

Sunday, January 18, 2009


S - sweet, sensitive, silly, shy, smart

E - ever-loving, ever-loved

V - very everything, she is a girl of extremes!

E - eyes - oh those baby blues...

N - not a baby anymore

Our Logan is SEVEN. How did that happen?

Friday, January 16, 2009

Finn's Latest Discovery

Finn. He is changing for sure. He’s taken with adding the word “cars” to any noun as an adjective (Cars bed, Cars toilet, Cars chair, Cars pants – anything he has, needs or wants must exist in Disney Pixar’s Cars form.) Mike says he’s like Bubba, Forrest Gump’s buddy from the same-named movie who has perfect knowledge of everything “shrimp”.

While on the potty yesterday he ran through his current Cars assignments and then began what has become an extreme curiosity with a newfound body part, his scrotum. Straining in his position to make this new discovery completely visible and reachable, he mumbled to himself, “What’s this? This is mine?” and finally, “Mommy what is this thing?”

“Well, that’s your scrotum,” I answered matter-of-factly.

“My scrotum?” he confirmed.

“Yes.” I answered, chuckling.

“But what is it?” He probed further.

“It kind of goes with your penis,” I choked. “Boys have them both.”

So the chant began. “Pin has a penis. Pin has a scrotum. Daddy has a scrotum. Logan does not have a scrotum; Riley does not have a scrotum. Mommy, you do not have a scrotum?”

“No, Finn, Mommy does not have a scrotum.”

He considered this for a moment and then, cocking his head to the side and shaking it as if to affirm his need for the following, he innocently asked, “Mommy, you will let me see that you don’t have a scrotum?”

“Ummm, nope Finn. You’ll just have to take my word for it,” I barely stuttered from my perch on the powder room floor.

As we seemingly leave some of the terrible two’s in the dust, we move into new worlds, with many treasures yet to be uncovered. Yes, there are intriguing items around every corner. Just before this conversation, I realized Finn was missing and feared that he was near a toilet somewhere, alone. As I ran up the stairs, he surfaced from my bathroom, wringing his hands and saying, “Mommy, I was just pixing that for you. Can you pix that now?”

I rounded the corner to find a completely disassembled box of tampons, all over the floor. Wrappers opened, pieces torn apart, some floating in the toilet or decorating the bathtub; no part of this experiment was left to the imagination.

How interesting his world must be!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009


As the New Year finally sinks in, I have really tried to sort through what I’d like to work on around here. This is not the top priority – the month is so busy with pre-birthday prep for the little gals that I try not to really think about all I have to do with school treats, kid parties, family parties and the insanity which drove me to volunteer to organize the Valentines Day party and Logan’s Brownie troop’s cookie sales. Even in the midst of a more chaotic time than Christmas, I’ve got some things figured out. Here’s my “realistic” list:

1. Kiss Mike every single day when he walks in from work. This is difficult because there is no more hated time of day for me. I won’t be looking good with beautiful hair, non-mom clothes or make-up, but dammit, he’ll get a smile and a kiss.

2. Follow the advice I try to give my children: be kind, speak nicely to each other, say “sorry” when you’re wrong, say “no” if you don’t want to and don’t say bad words. I can use some help remembering, too!

3. Attend a writer’s workshop. I am beyond excited about a three-day overnight summer session at Northwestern that I hope to attend.

4. Test the waters when it comes to writing. I have stayed only in the comfort zone long enough. It’s time to try something new.

5. Have date night. For real. Don’t just talk about how we need to do it.

6. Institute weekly family game night.

7. Get to the gym more than my regular “once a week” schedule.

8. Keep the office CLEAN.

I guess I’ll leave it there. I think it’s better to hover in the realm of possibility.

Saturday, January 10, 2009


In hindsight, it’s a miracle we waited a month! Not able to withstand one more dog-less moment, our thrilled family lovingly welcomes…..

Jesse Grace

8 weeks, female black Labrador Retriever

Our home feels ten degrees warmer already.

Thursday, January 8, 2009


It’s amazing to me how things can go from really great to really bad in a matter of moments as a mom. As I waited for the girls at gymnastics last night, I watched Finn play in the play area with a group of older boys. He wasn’t really playing with them as much as near them, but he interacted every few minutes and I could tell he was puffed up by the male companionship. How different this was from a year ago I thought, a time when he would have been trying to break everything in sight, including himself, a time when I couldn’t even dare to watch Logan or Riley for a second or two. Now I’m able to absorb myself in their experience for long hauls with the occasional glance at my two year old in the next room. Time to exhale.

The girls soon exited the gym and it was time to go, but not before registering them for the next session and scheduling Riley’s birthday party there. Suddenly, this sweet easily potty-trained child that has taken to calling all of us “honey” on a regular basis; flipped his lid. He started screaming at the Coke machine for a soda pop with blind determination. (As if I have ever purchased this child a Coke from a soda machine!) As I stood at the desk in a waiting room full of at least fifty parents trying to patiently wait for the receptionist to get off a very long phone call, he went into full swing, refused his coat, laid flat on the floor and screamed. We left.

It was better at home, I called back to register the girls. But the night didn’t end without Finn flushing his new Lightening McQueen underpants right down the toilet and then flooding the bathroom. Mike didn’t get home from the new gig, which is two hours away, until 7:30. It was long night. I’m sure there are many things in there to be grateful for, but well, I just don’t feel like it right now. Thank God that today is a new day!