Thursday, August 31, 2006


Loathe, loathe, loathe his nonchalance when it comes to controlling He just flat out refuses to hold the thing, and instead just stands there with his hands on his hips directing the stream with a little lean here and a little thrust there. Then when the god-awful port-a-potty smell starts to eminate from the bathroom midweek, he denies making any mess, denies not holding it, denies not shooting at the cobwebs in the corner, denies making the puddles around the base, and denies stepping in and then tracking the stuff from his stepstool through the rest of the house!!!

AAAGGGHHHHH!!!!!! BOYS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

So, he's on KP duty now -- and from here to eternity, as far as I'm concerned, you grubby little boy!

If you can't see the video above, please click here.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

DOWN BY THE BAY (sort of)

So, they learned a new song at school yesterday, and as is typical of our family, we all have a slight tendancy to, um, let's just say...overindulge -- okay, some might even say obsess -- over all things shiny and new. So even though they hadn't quite gotten the lyrics down, this is pretty much what I heard for FORTY-FIVE MINUTES STRAIGHT (that's TWO THOUSAND AND SEVEN HUNDRED GRUELING SECONDS!!!!) until we mercifully pulled into the driveway and the children were quickly distracted by the dead snail on the sidewalk.

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These, by the way, are the actual lyrics to Down By The Bay. For more Sounds of Saia & Chago, click the link in the right-hand panel.

Thursday, August 24, 2006


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The kids loved all the gifts you sent -- but especially the fish chimes and wobbly stickers. Of course, I loved the Skyscraper book best. There are currently ongoing negotiations around who's going to take it for Show & Tell first. Will let you know as soon as the resolution comes down.

If you can't see the video above, click here.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006


So, last week the kids' school celebrated International Month (well no, not just last week, but that's when it affected me personally, so that's when it counts). By the way, if anyone would like a construction paper flag of virtually any country you could possibly think of in the ENTIRE WORLD (and in duplicate), please just drop me a line.

But anyway, all parents were asked to do a presentation about where their family comes from. Yes, a presentation! No, no, without the powerpoint and laser pen, but still...the PRESSURE!!!!

Although I was very tempted to just sarcastically point at the map of Texas, a few hours before the big event (a remnant from my college days), I printed out 2 color maps of Mexico, 48 color labels with a picture of a wolf spider (common in Mexico), and zipped off to the school to teach the other 46 monsters in Saia & Chago's respective classes how to say the word "araña" (spider in Spanish) and to sing The Itsy Bitsy Spider in Spanish (audio coming later -- of the kids, of course -- not me). :P

Everything went over really well -- especially the empanadas de calabaza (butternut squash turnovers) I'd made the night before. Money may not be able to buy you love, but just the right recipe can move mountains. Which brings me to my real reason for writing today. My favorite part of this particular recipe (thanks, Mom) calls for an anise extract. I usually boil some anise seed and a couple of cinnamon sticks to get the extract...and the smell always and will forever remind me of my Grandma Queta, who passed away in January of this year.

But it's a nice memory. And I was happy to have it.

Thinking of you often and missing you so very much, Mamo.

Monday, August 21, 2006


Instead of dealing with the incessant yelling and screaming and kicking and crying and whining and pulling hair and tattletaling and hitting and biting and did I already mention the yelling and the screaming?

Thursday, August 17, 2006


On our way home last night the kids were fighting across their carseats over who knows what when I finally couldn't take it anymore and yelled at them to just play by themselves and leave each other alone, and Chago asked, "Mama, what does alone mean?"

Tuesday, August 15, 2006


"Mama, when is Mema coming to see us?" Saia asks on the way to school this morning.

"Well, baby, we're working on October 21st."

"Okay," she says and turns to Chago. "On Oxtover 21st, Mema will be here."

"Okay," he says, fiddling with his ballcap.

"Mama?" she asks again.

"Yes, Saia?"

"What is that thing that I had on my toe that Mommy took out?"

" ingrown toenail?"

"YES!" she says excitedly. "That's right!!" as she turns back to Chago. "Remember Mema has imgrow toenails...just like me?!"

"Mm-hm," says Chago, straightening his cap on his head.

"Mema has funny feet, doesn't she, Chago?" she giggles.

"Yes, Saia," he mutters in his best I-could-not-be-any-less-interested-than-if-I-was-watching-paint-dry voice. "She does."

But she doesn't even notice. She's just smiling ear to ear at the thought of comparing her scruffy little toes with her Mema's again.

Monday, August 14, 2006


"Mama," she says as we walk down the stairs towards the driveway this morning.

"Yes, babe?"

"You haven't worn those shoes in a long, long, long time!"

"Hmm?" I wonder as I glance down at my beloved pair of capital F for FABULOUS two-seasons-old-but-I-don't-care pink Italian Aldo's.

"I guess that's true, baby," I acknowledge, clearly beaming at not only her powers of observation, but that she recognizes and appreciates the appropriate timed spacing of shoe wearing in order to keep them fresh and interesting.

I'm such a proud Mama today. :)

Disclaimer: I really do have normal-sized ankles, but apparently perspective shots from your office chair while maneuvering your camera phone and dodging the passers-by actually makes me look like I've got legs like an elephant.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006


So, for almost a year now I've been trying to find that perfect to-go breakfast for the kids. We've got about a half-hour commute, so it makes the most sense for them to eat on the way. (We are nothing in this family if not efficient!)

So, we've tried all the silverdollar pancake variations (cinnamon, blueberry, banana, strawberry, and raspberry). Then we tried french toast (whole squares, cut down to triangles, cut into strips). We also did the bagel thing (cinnamon, blueberry, plain, honey wheat) with and without cream cheese, with and without sugar-free jelly (raspberry, blueberry, blackberry, applebutter, and strawberry), regular size and mini. We've also done the whole wheat tortilla taquitos of potatoes and egg or eggs with beans. Yogurt or cottage cheese with fruit usually seems to appease the terrible two, but not always. Oatmeal with raisins, bananas, applesauce, and cinnamon is pretty popular in winter. And then we started on the faux egg mcmuffins. Bought the english muffins, turned my failed lightly seasoned (Mrs. Dash) scrambled eggs into tiny little crepes instead, and slapped on a slice of pre-packaged American cheese, but wouldn't ya know it...they flopped after the second day.

But I think I've finally found it! The holy grail of breakfasts! The one thing they've tasted and BOTH said yummy and can we have this every day!!!

Apparently, my children believe me to be their own personal gourmet chef, and after months of trial and error (read: "this is yucky, Mom!"), I think we've finally got it nailed down. Evidently, their tender little palates prefer whole wheat toast (but only lightly toasted) with the edges cut off and just a little bit of sugar-free raspberry jelly, a thin slice of block sharp cheddar cheese, and an unseasoned over-medium brown egg. Frozen orange juice from concentrate with just a dash of cranberry juice mixed in seals the deal.

Uh-huh. That's right. They're monsters!!!

[But they ate it all up. :) ]

Friday, August 04, 2006


Gymnastics starts today!!!

I really hope they enjoy themselves. And that Saia doesn't sit on anyone. And that Chago isn't being too lazy.

Thursday, August 03, 2006


On the way to school yesterday, the kids are drawing on their notepads and Saia's talking about all the balls and bats she's made.

"Are you gonna play baseball when you get older, Sweetie?" I ask her.

"Yes, ma'm!" she says enthusiastically.

"And what about you, son? Are you gonna play baseball, too?"

"Uh-uh," he says shaking his head. "I will play cricket."


"Cricket?" I repeat. "Really?"

"Yup. I like cricket," he says without looking up from his pad.

"Do you know how to play cricket?" I ask him. "Uh-huh," he says. "Can you tell me how?" I prompt. "Sure," he replies.

"You hold the little stick and you hit the ball really really hard."

"And then?"

"Then you hit it again. And again. And again!" he says.

"Until?" I ask.

"Until you don't hit it anymore," he says very matter-of-factly with his hands up in the air.

"Oh," I say, "so how do you know who's won?"

"Well..." he begins, "whoever hits the ball the fastest and gets done first is the winner."

"And what happens to everyone else?" I ask, a little unsure about how much he understands the concepts of winning and losing.

"Well, Mama, if they don't hit the ball the fastest...[ugh, here it comes]...then I am still the winner."

[Hmm...I think I like that alright (for now anyway). There are no losers. Just winners. Very glass-is-half-full.]

Tuesday, August 01, 2006


The kids had a blast at my company carnival on Friday. We weren't there a half hour and already they were asking to go on rides for the second and third time. I'm thinking they're just about ready for Six Flags. Hey, in just the right shoes, they're easily 42 inches!!!