Friday, November 28, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving

In case you were wondering how we celebrated chez moi, well, I made 2 apple pies and a little apple tart. We were planning to bring them tomorrow when we went to Ryan's aunt's house. A number of people in his family are nurses, so they often have to work on Thanksgiving, so they celebrate it in Friday some years.

Anyway, so for today I made a Muenster cheese wheel, Ryan's favorite. It is a kind of stuffed pizza with muenster cheese, parsley, garlic salt and egg inside and egg, sesame and a small amount of sugar on top. It sounds weird but it's really delicious the way the flavors come together. We had that for dinner, just that, not a billion side dishes like we'll have tomorrow.

So, spent 40 minutes peeling and chopping apples (I know this because it coincided with part of the time the dough was rising for the cheese wheel) and an untold amount of time on the crust. I was trying to cut little hearts out of the top crust and had just had it done perfectly when Lauren came by and grabbed handful of it and said "let me help". Redid it with a patch piece of dough and put everything in the oven. Let her help with her little apple tart, which would be for her to eat alone.

Later, when she woke up, I'd put the apple tart on the table and she didn't want to eat it at first. Went back in the kitchen awhile later and all that was left of it was crumbs. At first I thought Ryan ate it, but when I asked her, she said "I ate it, it was good." And then I saw proof that she did indeed enjoy the taste of apple pie. A Lauren-fist sized hole was missing out of the "not ruined looking" apple pie.

Ah well, perfection is indeed hard to acheive, and this will be another Thanksgiving without a Martha Stewart looking dessert from my house.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Happy Almost Thanksgiving!

I am thankful for my grandma's no-fail pie crust recipe. Here it is:

4 cups flour
1 3/4 cups Crisco
1 tsp. salt

Chop all up with large serving fork.
1 egg
1 Tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup water

Mix together, blend and chill for 15 minutes.

Don't handle pie dough too much, and it will be nice & flakey.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

The Talented Ms. Lori Fusaro

Those photos are two of my favorites from our photo shoot 2 weeks ago with Lori Fusaro. She just came in #4 for Fox LA's Best Portrait Photographer. Anyway, she's awesome. I wanted photos that would look timeless in black and white, and you could look at them 100 years from now and not be sure if it was taken now or 30 years ago or when. And she is so great at accommodating whatever we have in mind whenever we do photos. If Lauren's eye clears up, we may be getting Christmas portraits done soon. If not, Lori is in for a lot of Photoshopping!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Fancy Nancy

Lauren's got a new literary obsession-Fancy Nancy. For those not in the know, Fancy Nancy is a character who likes to dress up in frilly clothes. I'd been getting sick of all those Curious George stories before bed, and Knuffle Bunny and the Clifford books anyway. I think it would be kind of cool if Lauren herself became "fancy" and frilly. I used to love playing dress up. It would be a nice change from her current fashion choices which are that every day she wants to wear one of Karen's old Disney Princess T-shirts and either red pants or one of the matching Princess skirts they came with. She can't dress herself yet but she can dictate in her shrill demanding voice, exactly which clothes she will wear. And if you put something else on her that is not preapproved, you will heard a tantrum all the way to school.

She doesn't know this but Lauren is getting 2 more Fancy Nancy books for Christmas. And a new Curious George book. She was supposed to also get the Knuffle Bunny sequel but she saw it before I could hide it, and was thrilled. We've read it about 20 times so far this week. She has it memorized, and reads it to Pinky sometimes. And we read the Eric Carle books sometimes now, too, but only if it's right before sleep because otherwise they're not as interesting, and she'll replace the book mid-page with a more action-packed Arthur book.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Musing on Real Estate

Today we saw some open houses in downtown Culver City, exactly where we'd love to live. We can walk to them from where we live now, but right now we are technically in Los Angeles, which is LAPD and fire and schools. We would love to live in Culver City proper, in a little house on Madison Avenue or one of the surrounding streets. But they are in the $900,000 range, which is crazy if you think about what you're getting. Teeny tiny 2 bedroom old houses, some have charms but others have been remodeled over the years and have been stuccoed over, linoleumed, or otherwise "upgraded" in some other decorating era. And most of them have very tiny closets.

If we did move, assuming we could ever pull it together financially to do so, I would miss a lot of things about our current place. But the #1 would be my bathrooms and #2 my closets. I am spoiled because I have my own bathroom, that's 2 1/2 bathrooms for 2 1/2 people. I have my own walk-in closet, so does Ryan, and Lauren has one that runs the length of her room. Early 80's architecture leaves a lot to be desired, but at least in that era of decadence, they designed lots of places to keep one's material possessions.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

New Stomping Grounds

Yesterday after I picked Lauren up from school, she'd been so good that I said yes when she politely asked if we could "please fly a kite". I had the dragon kite in the trunk, and she's just gone with me to a boring banking errand where she sadly noted that the credit union didn't have any lollipops or candy for kids the way they did when we'd been there last, around Halloween. It was an absolutely still day, with very little wind in sight, not ideal for kite launching, but she begged so I relented.

We were going to drive over to Kenneth Hahn Park, but after I passed the Credit Union and was looking for a driveway to pull into to turn around, I found that I'd arrived at Aidan's Place, a playground I'd been meaning to locate and take Lauren to. It's an "all abilities" place for disabled children and able-bodied ones. We parked and attempted to fly the kite in the large field at the park. Then I discovered that Lauren thinks that flying a kite is just running, dragging it behind you. She hasn't seen many of them aloft yet. But she was perfectly happy to take turns running and dragging it behind her ("my turn, my turn!").

Anyway, she spent a lot of time on the playground equipment and I was sort of looking forward to having her meet a handicapped child because then I could have a conversation about disabilities with her. I anticipate the first time she notices someone in a wheelchair and makes a loud comment at the grocery store and embarrasses me. But everyone yesterday seemed to be able-bodied and the conversation didn't take place. She had a great time there and we plan to go back to Aidan's Place every time we have to do any banking nearby.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Bump in the Night

Last night right before midnight, I had just turned off the light and closed my eyes, lying in bed next to Lauren, when I heard a NOISE. This doesn't usually happen with Ryan home. I don't notice noises, or if I do, he usually causes them. Or I can tell myself he did. Or if he didn't, I feel safe with him there and I know nothing will come to get me. But last night, I was the big adult in the house. Lauren was sleeping blissfully. You know the saying "my blood froze"? I really felt that way. I was paralyzed with fear. The noise I thought I heard was the sound someone makes when they shut the folding doors in front of the washing machine, which is right outside of our bedroom door. It was loud and rattly, and it was inside my house.

I was frozen in place, absolutely still, for about...well it felt like 10 minutes but was probably 60 seconds. In that time, I did not hear a single other sound, so I slowly exhaled and then turned on the night light. I went back to sleep and slept fitfully until daylight. Then all day, I was thinking about the noise and wondering what it could have been. Our walls are pretty thick, but maybe I heard our neighbors open their door, through the bathroom window. At least, that was my working theory until Lauren was playing with her toys, and then left the room and later, when she wasn't anywhere near it, I heard her play kitchen sink go off. It is supposed to sound like gurgling water, but it suspiciously sounds like rattling doors, like what I heard in the middle of the night. Mystery solved, but I can't say I will be sleeping any better until we get a dog. Or at least until Lauren's "doggy" comes home.

Thursday, November 20, 2008


Today we went to a playdate with one of Lauren's little friends, and when I say little, I mean she is teeny tiny even though she's 3. At the very bottom of the charts for height and weight, and Lauren is at the top. A very cute and sweet little girl. When we went to her house, her mom had warned me first that she needed a nap at 11:30. So we were only there about an hour, I was in the middle of my tea and Lauren was having a ball discovering new toys, when the little girl announced that she wanted milk and her nap and said good-bye to us. Which I thought was hilarious because it's the kind of thing I can see Lauren doing. I love it when other people's kids also do things that are...well, normal for toddlers but would be rude if adults did it...because it's like social cash in the friendship bank account. Next time they come to our place, Lauren can grab a toy and say "mine, mine" around her or maybe even get away with a hair pull or two :)

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Adventures in Pretend Single Parenthood

Ryan is away on a business trip, which I don't necessarily want broadcast on the internet (I'm home alone, come and rob me!) so I will write these now and post them later when he's back. So I'm getting a taste of what single parenthood would be like. And realizing how very much he does around here that I don't normally even notice.

This morning was my co-op day at Lauren's school. Which meant we had to get out the door by 8:15 to park and walk in the door and clock in my 8:30 (or be fined). I had made her lunch the night before, and this time I even remembered to pack food for myself instead of begging bites of hers. We made it there in time and the co-opping went well. I had to explain to people about Lauren's chalazions (do NOT click that if you're squeamish!), how they are not contagious and don't affect her vision, they just look bad. And I had to explain to her teachers that when she says "I miss my doggy", she is not still mourning Jake, she likes to call her Dad her "Doggy" because they play a game where they pretend to be dogs and bark and play.

Anyway, the co-opping went well but then I had to go in to the office in the afternoon because I was unable to get any work done yesterday due to the lockout. Megan, who lives down the street babysat for her. (How do we know her exactly? She is a friend who is the sister of our friend's wife. And that friend is the college roommate of Ryan's law school roomate. But at this point, we're all just friends, really.) And babysitting is expensive! Not Megan particularly, she actually is probably slightly cheaper than the mid-range. But I remember as a kid getting something like $4 an hour. Now babysitters get $10-$18 an hour around here. And the $10 an hour ones are under the table undocumented people who don't speak English. Of course, I earn more than that at my job, but lately, I am also paying $3 an hour to park (since I gave up my $83 a month parking permit) and plus gas and then taxes, and it all adds up. So I'm glad I don't regularly have to pay a nanny.

Oh and the other funny thing about Megan is that Lauren picked her out for herself. She babysits for Ryder, Lauren's little friend, and one day Ryan and I were discussing going out or something and Lauren overheard and said "maybe Megan could babysit for me!" and then requested her a few times since then.

Anyway, I finished the work project, got home and put Lauren down for her belated nap. Then I tried to undo the hurricane Lauren aftermath and clean up a bit, made some dinner which we took with us to eat in the car on the way to the 6:00 mandatory meeting at her school. One parent from each family had to attend, and they had "limited childcare" for people who could not make other arrangements. That would be me at this point. I dropped Lauren off and she was thrilled to spend 2 hours with her favorite teacher in the big kids' classroom with their spiffy dollhouse. After the meeting, I took Lauren home and we cuddled and stretched out on the big bed, where she missed her "doggy" and put her head on his pillow and went to sleep.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Mmmm, spanakopita

We interupt these Lauren adventures to bring you...spanakopita! Mmmm, yum! I have made a few recipes enough times that now I can finally make them without one by combining ideas from them all. Of course, mine are not authentic because I've never been to Greece (or really, even eaten at the Greek-Byzantine quarter). But here's what I do, more or less to taste. Thaw out 2 Trader Joe's frozen spinach bags. Fry a chopped up onion in olive oil. Add the spinach and some toasted pine nuts (maybe 3/4 cup?), 2 containers of TJ's crumbled feta cheese and some chopped parsley and dill. Squeeze the juice of half a lemon on top. Roll out some phyllo dough from Whole Foods and fold it into thirds, then put filling in, fold into triangles. That part is hard to explain in words but maybe the phyllo dough box has a diagram? Brush melted butter or olive oil on, bake at 375 for about 10 minutes, then flip them over and bake 10-15 more minutes. Delicious!

Monday, November 17, 2008


This morning in a bonehead move, I managed to get myself locked out of the condo. I was borrowing Ryan's "red car" (which is actually his mother's car that he's in turn borrowing) because mine is still in the shop. I was really tired after I dropped Lauren off at school and Ryan off at work and went back home and parked. Got out and as I closed the garage door and as it was closing, I had this sinking feeling that something wasn't right. Sure enough, instead of my big ole ring o'keys, I had just one key, to the red car.

Figured, no problem, I'll just let myself in with the spare key that I keep somewhere mysterious on premises for the cleaning lady. All of the neighbors do this too, you'll see people groping around under doormats, etc. and moments later, they have a broom in their hand. Only, my spare key was missing (later located on the bookshelf right inside the door.)

Got out my cell phone and called my dad, who was coming in to town later for a meeting. This was around 9:00 and he wasn't coming until 1:30. He told me he could swing by and let me in, if I still needed him by then. I tried to think of Maguyver style ways to break in but, in a way this is comforting for my home security, my place is really hard to break in to. I could have done it with a really tall ladder, but I didn't have one. I knocked on my neighbors' doors to see if they could let me in to the garage, but no one was home. I thought briefly about searching around their doormats, etc. in case they also kept a garage key there, but I thought that would be a little bit weird.

I checked email from my phone, and there were messages from my boss about how urgent it was that I finish a project she'd sent me earlier in the morning. I could *see* the laptop that I would not be using, right there on the table taunting me. I called her to explain. So instead, I spent a few hours gardening on the patio, transplanted two plants to donate to Lauren's classroom (they asked for some) and moved others around. I then walked up the street and caught the bus to her school, picked her up, got back on the bus headed home, and stopped for ice cream, took a nice slow walk home and we played in the back yard until my Dad showed up at 1:30 with his key.

The bus is very frustrating, since it is supposed to run every 15 minutes but sometimes there are 2 in a row and then none for 40 minutes, it's really a "when we feel like it" schedule. But the Big Blue Bus adventures should really be their own post...for another day!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Adventures with Pinky

It's a good thing I just watched "Lars and the Real Girl". Pinky, Lauren's imaginary friend, is staying with us. We were getting ready for bed, and when other stall tactics didn't work ("Mama, I'm HUNGRY and I need FOOD in my hungry tummy!" which gets me every time because what mother wants their child to go to bed hungry?) she made an appearance. We had to go downstairs to open the front door because Pinky was waiting outside and she was getting cold.

According to Lauren, Pinky "looks like me a little bit, she has eyes just like me but she has stwaight haiw". "And she is very tiny, and sometimes she talks, but not a lot, just a little bit. And I can understand her but you can't."

Now when we eat, we have to also set a place for Pinky, and give her imaginary food, or sometimes second helpings of Lauren's favorite foods, which Pinky will then "share". And we have to leave a little room for her on the couch, but not a lot of room because she's not very big.

Sometimes Pinky also has a brother named either Leeky or Geeky and Lauren will ask me to babysit for Pinky's brother while she plays with Pinky. Pinky likes the color pink a lot. When we were at Ikea, Lauren saw a bubble gum pink dresser that "Pinky would like that a lot!" but not Lauren because "that's not my style. This red one is more my style."

I have been trying to think of how best to leverage the Pinky situation to my advantage, and if used sparingly, I can invoke the "Pinky prefers" tact. For example, we should all good to bed right now because Pinky is tired.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Car Separation Anxiety

Not me, it's Lauren! (Well, I miss it a little bit but no tears yet) Today she had a fit that we had to drive in the red car and she wanted "my blooooooo car, right NOW!" So, I drove her over to Venice past the repair shop, so she could see the car parked in Dave's shop's driveway, so she would know the car still existed. Instead, it made the situation much much worse. She started screaming, "my car, my car, MY car, my CAR!" and was inconsolable. The last time we got it back from the shop, for weeks afterward she'd say gratefully, "I'm SO GLAD my car is back."

Friday, November 14, 2008

My wallet was getting too heavy anyway...

Little blue car is in the shop again. One of those "funny but not really" stories. I noticed that the fan wasn't working, so no AC or heat could blow out. I drove it home and asked my dad to take a look at it last night. He went down to look at the first problem, came back up a few minutes later with a second one. He told me that the ignition tumbler broke. In other words, he took out the key and the car kept running anyway. And then further attempts to fix it just caused the key to spin in the lock. So, we drove it over to the mechanic's and then tried to figure out how to get the engine to stop so we could leave it there overnight. I thought just disconnecting the battery would do it, but no. Like an Engergizer bunny, it kept going and going. My brother figured out something on the phone and told my dad and we did it and it worked.

But today, a call from Dave (yes, it is sad that I know my mechanic so well we're on first name basis, I even recognize his voice just from how he says hello) that he needs to order a part from BMW and it will not be here until Thursday. Or, he could replace the ignition with a cheaper after market part, re-key it and give me new keys and it would be ready by Monday. Because I like my life complicated, I opted to wait for the official part on Thursday. (Okay, really it was that I didn't want to deal with another set of keys different from the door keys.) It will be $550 for that, alone, and then another $100 at least for the fan thing that was originally broken. Which he can't examine until he can get the ignition/key thing fixed of course, so he doesn't even know for sure if it is *only* $100.

Well, it was nice having a small amount of money in savings, while it lasted. These dollar bills seem to have other people's names on them as fast as they enter my life.

Thursday, November 13, 2008


I just made these chewy granola bars from a recipe that Catherine Newman's blog linked to. They are very good. TOO good. Someone has to come over right away and help me eat them or else I won't be able to fit into my jeans next time you see me. Just saying.

And, I've made tomato soup from Mona's recipe, which is more or less this:

Recipe: Bake 4 pounds tomatoes, 1 yellow pepper, 1/2 onion, 2 cups water, 2 T. brown sugar, 2 T butter for 1 hour. Add 1 t. thyme. Put all in the blender and eat. Or rather, drink.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Paolo has a home!

I just wanted to update you all, since I'd posted about him before, that there is good news! Paolo the dog has a home! A man adopted him!! How do I know? Google blog search, "Paolo + dog". Surprisingly, there aren't that many dogs with that name and there are a few more West LA Shelter blogs that I didn't know about. Two of them wrote about it here and here.

This is especially good news for us because really, there were days where I considered adopting him myself and spending the money to send him to a trainer and then having him live here, when he really needs a yard to run in, and it wouldn't have been an ideal place for him. Oh, and Lauren kept asking if we could take him home. At least if we rescued him, he wouldn't be euthanized, which rarely happens at that shelter. (At THAT one, it happens way too frequently at other shelters that perfectly healthy, adoptable wonderful dogs get killed every day.) He had been there since April, though, so every day was potentially his last. Anyway, back to the good news, he is OUT of there and that is GREAT!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Facebook, my new addiction

For the past few months, I've been addicted to Facebook. I don't know why it took me so long to sign up. I was an early adaptor of Friendster, Orkut, and LinkedIn a few years back. They lost their shine after a little while. But Friendster is so much fun because it tells you not only what people look like now and what they're up to (like Classmates) but what they are doing minute-by-minute (like twitter, which I never got into) and who they recommend, what books they're reading, or whatever other pieces of info they want to put out there.

And one of the best features is the tagged photos. I might even dust off the scanner, climb up the stepladder to the depths of the back of the closet, and post some old pictures of my friends and then tag them so it shows up on their profiles. Wonder what I have shots of? Be afraid, be very afraid!

Monday, November 10, 2008

A Crush on Lauren's Behalf

Today I co-oped at Lauren's school and there is a little boy there who, if we suddenly had to have arranged marriages for our children, I would arrange right away to marry Lauren. He is adorable, he is very smart and his parents are English professors. He is 2 and is on the verge of reading, can already count and name all of the different kinds of dinosaurs, loves books, eats politely at the table, has never bitten or hit anyone, and is very helpful at cleanup time. Once he's potty trained, he'll be perfect! And, he picks Lauren to be his hand-washing buddy and he throws the ball to her when they do circle time. She told me that she might marry him, but only if she is not allowed to marry Anisa. And presumably, after she marries Ryder, Max and Zachary. (If I did not post already about this, she admits that she wants to marry Zachary solely to gain access to all of his toys! His mom and I are quite amused by this.)

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Like a Blonde Joke

I wish I had pictures of this, I really do. It's just that we were too busy DOING the thing to document it. Lauren found an old kite in my parents' garage and decided she wanted to fly it, just like in Mary Poppins. So, picture Ryan running around with the kite trailing after him, not on the ground but not quite in the air either, my parents shouting instructions to him about how to get it to sail. Then me running, attempting the same. Then my dad tying on some rags to the tail. Then the wind stopping completely and us finally giving up.

But Lauren declared, "we did it! We flied the kite!".

Saturday, November 08, 2008

You Can't Go Home Again

Recently I visited UCSD and had lunch with Ross, a professor I used to work for. He is doing great, BTW, for those of you who know him. He is exactly the same happy self and doesn't look a day older. Still traveling a lot and has an office with a fabulous ocean view. Tenured life very much agrees with him (not that untentured didn't)!

Walked around campus and wow, has it changed! When I was a student there ten years ago, it was very sprawling. I have memories of times in the middle of the day when I'd walk from one building to another in the middle of the afternoon, and if it wasn't during that 10 minutes rush between classes, I'd be the only one out. Now, I don't think that solitude and tranquility could exist there anymore. It has become very built up. The field where we used to have SunGod is now some more engineering buildings. Parking structures exist by Price Center, where before we had to park in sprawling lots at the edge of campus. The edge of campus has been pushed further back. Some baseball fields are now buildings.

But most surprising of all, the Price Center got pregnant and had triplets! There are about 10 times as many restaurants and the bookstore expanded as well. We quickly grabbed a T-shirt for Lauren (per Ryan's request) which has Snoopy on a surfboard. Though I remain on the hunt for that elusive T-shirt I've seen people wearing but never see for sale. It says, "UCSD Football. Still undefeated after all these years!"

Friday, November 07, 2008

Little Blue Car

Lauren in Papa's 1969 Karmann Ghia, aka, "The Pipmobile", which allegedly will become hers when she turns 16. Judging by the look on her face, I do not think she will let Papa forget that promise! She asked me if she could drive it "just once, a little bit."

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Princess traffic

My dear friend Jenna uses the phrase "princess hours" to describe places that are only open when most of the world has to be at work. Today I had lunch with a friend and drove around during princess hours, and man was it great! I flew on freeways and for once, had to watch my speedometer because I *could* speed. For a brief second, I even thought of living in certain far away parts of town and working in others. Until I remembered that 20 minutes at 1:45 equals 2 hours at 5:30. Oh well.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Headlines and footnotes

Persuing some international news sites for headlines about the U.S. Election, I liked this one: "Barack Obama élu : cette fois, le monde dit merci à l'Amérique". ("Barack Obama elected: This time, the world says thanks to America"). There were some other very interesting and optimistic headlines in the UK as well, none of which I can find at the moment because I waited too long to write this and it's yesterday's news in the rest of the world. Current headline at Financial Times, based in London: "Obama hits the ground running".

I'm not ever sure if I can access this stuff because I'm special (okay, because I VPN in through UCLA and I am a former FT subscriber so might have a cookie) or everyone can see it. I was shocked recently to learn that not everyone can read "Blood" Journal. I have it through UCLA's JSTOR subscription with seamless access. So the nice article link I provided on a work site won't work to outsiders. Which is hardly anyone, but you never know who was dying to read it and got sorely disappointed. Probably some Transylvanians. Okay, now I am getting silly and it's time for bed.

In case you had not figured it out, I decided to attempt participation in NaBloPoMo and post every day for the month of November. Which will be difficult because I have to send the laptop off for repair AGAIN. A small black plastic piece cracked off in the lower right part of the display, loosening some screws and now the hinge is loose and it is hanging by a thread. Before it disintegrates completely, and while it's still under the 3 year warranty, I'm sending it off to Lenovo. But maybe Ryan will let me use his. And for tomorrow, back to more Lauren stories. I know that is all my readers care about anyway. G'night!

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

I Voted

I voted. Wasn't so bad, I went at 6:45, and the whole round trip from walking out the door, crossing the street and going to the church where the polling place was, giving my name, getting the ballot and voting, took 15 minutes.

I was going to take Lauren so she could see the political process, but she's still napping upstairs. I remember my mom taking me with her in NY as a kid, and they had play voting machines where we could "practice" pulling the levers. My voting experience tonight had no levers to pull, it was poking little holes in a ballot. Not hanging chads, though, the holes I poked generated an ink circle.

I had worked out in advance how I was going to vote, based mainly on reading the OpEd pages of the LA Times (and not agreeing with every suggestion on every proposition, but using their opinion for local judges, figuring I knew nothing about them so I'd let the Times figure it out for me). I don't like Bernard Parks so I voted against him.

Monday, November 03, 2008

Curly Girly

Today some old ladies at Ralph's were overcome and couldn't help but to pinch Lauren's cheek and boing her curls. After they left, she gave me an exasparated look and said "I don't like that. I don't want attention. I wish they would leave me alone. It's RUDE."

ALTHOUGH...last week I we were going to visit a professor friend of mine and I tried to get her to jokingly ask him about the economy in Iceland (how cute would that be, coming out of a two year old's voice?) and she said "No! I don't want to be known as funny. I want to be known as pretty."

And speaking of funny, or lack thereof, we were watching America's Funniest Home Videos tonight as Ryan paused from flipping channels. Lauren's reaction? "That's not funny. That's just stupid. It's dumb."
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Sunday, November 02, 2008


This morning when we woke up, Lauren looked at me and sleeping Ryan and said, perplexed, "who is in the shower, Mommy?". It was raining. It has only rained two times in her waking life, so far. It has rained overnight, or even while she was napping, but this is the third time she's seen rain, live. Of course, by the time we got dressed and outside, it was sunny as usual.

But, she does have a raincoat, rain boots and rain hat ready, just in case the clouds burst again!

Saturday, November 01, 2008

"I'm Something Else"- a 31 month Lauren update

"I don't like your style, Mommy. Take the black pants off. Wear the white ones instead."

"I'm not cute. I'm not beautiful. I'm something else."

"Pinky is my baby sister. I will help you, Pinky. I show you how to do things. I help you, I'm a good big sister for you." "Where does Pinky live?" "In my tummy." "When will she get born?" "Not for a loooooooooong time...Next week!"

So besides dictating fashion choices for the whole family ("wear the bluebiderry shirt, Daddy"), denying her attractiveness, and inventing imaginy siblings, Lauren's also been busy attempting to run away from home. She packed her Elmo suitcase with her toothbrush, a wooden toy hamburger bun, two juiceboxes and a soccer ball, and attempted to leave. Conversation went more or less as follows:
"Mama, open the door. I'm going to Alpine."
"Oh, how are you going to get there?"
"5 South."

We also have a similar conversation on video, since she repeated the attempt the next day as well.

Halloween was fun around here, even though Lauren would not wear any of her 4 costumes (that would be the princess ensemble she insisted on weeks ago, the ladybug suit my mom got, or the giraffe and beagle costumes from last year). She did condescend to wear an orange shirt in the evening (with red pants, in typical Lauren style). We never get trick or treaters unless we invite them, so the Maucks (minus the ladies) and the Velezes came over and some neighbors darted in and out. We were left with 4 pounds of candy, plus our next-door-neighbors gave us their stash in case anyone came later (they're new, they don't realize no one comes to townhouses in condo-apartmentland where we live, even though we have our own spookily decorated front doors). Today we gave all of it to Angelo next door, who is 13 and too old to go trick or treating with his little brother.

Last year, Lauren was still subsisting mostly on baby food and the confections of the season were lost on her. This year, you could definitely say she is AWARE of candy. And how to move chairs over and climb on them as ladders and reach and grab a handful of M&Ms and then shriek around the house delightedly, leaving little chocolate handprints on the walls and once-white carpet.

We were all sick last week with a cough which was no fun because Lauren had to miss school, which meant I missed work. I am on antibiotics which I am enternally grateful for and so glad I live in the 20th century where strep throat goes poof after a few days on amoxycillin. Lauren somehow did not get step, but we all have bronchitis as well. The family that coughs together, stays together!