Friday, March 31, 2006


Whoa!!! Did you think you were on my other blog for a second? No, no, you're in the right place, although today's topic was perhaps subliminally influenced by the prank hostage-taking by Al Qaeda of what turned out to be a black G.I. Joe doll back in February of 2005.

AAANNNYYYway...holding their favorite toys hostage, bribing them with an extra 15 minutes of video, and negotiating a trip to their favorite restaurant (The Elephant Bar) this weekend, got us a TIMEOUT-FREE day yesterday.

So there. Blackmailing at its finest.

Thursday, March 30, 2006


Genius, I tell you.

[telling stories on the way to school this morning]

Chago: "...and then the great big orange cat jumps into the water to save her."

Saia [getting all into it]: "Who, Santiago? Who is he going to save?"

Chago: "The white cat. She fell in the river and her fur got wet, but when he pulled her out and she dried off, she was soft and clean again, just like the white, white snow."

Great simile, boy!!! Damn proud Mama today.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006


Bad day at school yesterday.

One time-out for Chago. THREE time-outs for Saia. All T.O.s were for not listening.

So, we talked all the way home about what happened and why. We talked about the consequences and how they would have to give up a babydoll/stuffed animal for every T.O. as soon as we got home. There was a little pouting, a little no, mama, no, and a lot of what I took for genuine understanding and accountability.

And then they traipsed right up the stairs, ran to their rooms, snatched up their favorite toys from their beds, and chucked them into the garbage without a sniffle or a second glance.

"Can we watch The Secret of Nimh now, Mama?"

Ugh. I just can't seem to get this right.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006


"Mama," begins Chago on our way home from school yesterday.

"Yes, son?"

"When I grow big and you grow small, I'm going to take you to school and leave you there."

Monday, March 27, 2006


Click here to go straight to the Disney pics.


It was a GORGEOUS weekend!!! Finally(although we heard rumblings last night of more cold and rain later this week).

So, after Mommy's 3 solid hours of prodding and commenting about our pale skins, we got some good quality outdoor time...

The kids played basketball with Saia's new hoop.

Click here for VIDEO.

Check out that hang time!

And, of course, they spent a good chunk of time drawing on the sidewalk (click to enlarge).

But the most fun by far (because there was water involved, of course) was washing (at least Saia did, anyway) their hot wheels while Mommy washed the truck.

You can check out the rest of the pictures of Uncle Trevor's visit, our trip to Disneyland, and the first sunny weekend this spring by clicking HERE!

Friday, March 24, 2006


Okay, maybe that's a little harsh, but I'm just so fed up with the way these operations function. They've got me held hostage -- they know I need to get my kids in there -- they know I want the first available appointment -- they know I'll pretty much take anything they've got, and they know I'll wait as long as I need to not to have to reschedule and do it all over again in a few months.

The last time, we waited in the lobby for 45 minutes before they even called us back to the office. Forty-five minutes with a sick child!!! Then once we actually got into the office, we waited another 45 minutes for the doctor to even show!! No, really, I'm dead serious. ANOTHER freaking 45 minutes -- with Chago sitting there with his pants off. And when she finally showed up after I'd gone back up to reception twice to find out what was going on, she hardly even acknowledged the delay -- let alone the unbelievable inconvenience to both of us for having to take off literally half a day for what should have been a 15-minute appointment -- and nevermind the fact that my son was...hello...naked!!!

And then today, we go in for our 3-year well visit. Show up on time (a miracle in itself), bring all our goodies to keep them occupied while we wait (fully anticipating another 45-minute episode), almost finished filling out all the Q&As in duplicate in between fielding questions about is that boy sick and why is that baby crying and where is that little girl's mommy? when they suddenly call me up to the counter to tell me...brace for it...that we cannot be seen today because our 3-year visit was supposed to have been scheduled a full year from the date of our 2-year visit, which, evidently wasn't until mid April. And, no, no one bothered to tell me this in advance!!!

That's right, let me make this perfectly clear -- no one thought this was important enough information to share with me when I first scheduled this appointment 2 months ago, or when I rescheduled it 4 weeks ago, or when someone called to confirm today's appointment YESTERDAY, for crissakes!!!???!!!

I pulled the kids out of school in the middle of the day, took time away from work, drove half an hour to get to the damn place, spent the last 15 minutes corraling my children away from the infectious screaming hordes and another 10 figuring out how much milk (in ounces, mind you) the kids drink per day and how often they have successful bowel movements, and now you're telling me we can't even get in to see the doctor today -- for a WELL visit -- a 15-minute they-weigh-this-much-and-are-this-tall visit!?!?

Do you have toddlers, lady? Do you have any freaking idea the amount of work and preparation that goes into a doctor's visit? Days and days of groundwork laid so that they aren't afraid, aren't crying, aren't traumatized by the change in routine, the strangers, the nurses, the doctors, the scary offices. Hours and hours of And where are we going on Friday? And who are we going to see? And who's going to be a big girl and a big boy? I even made them wait a whole week before they could open their new bday doctor's kit from their Mema so that they would have something new to occupy them at the doctor's office, and for what!?!?!?

"Oh, ma'm, could you just finish filling out those forms while we reschedule you for April?"

Screw you, honey! Haven't you wasted enough of my time today!? By the time you actually fit me into the schedule again, the kids'll be in kindergarten!

Now they think that Dr. Johnston doesn't want to see them. They think she's upset with them and want to know why they can't see her today. So, I'm trying to explain that she just has too many children to see today and that we'll get to see her in a couple of weeks while trying not to cuss out the 12-year old behind the reception desk in front of 12 other children and their zoned out parents.

We stomped out of there, grabbed a bite to eat, and made our way back across the bridge just in time for them to catch dessert before nap. (At least there was that.)

But we'll just have to go through this crap all over again in a couple of weeks. And little miss can't-manage-to-find-my-way-out-of-a-paper-bag might just be S.O.L. then if I happen to be PMSing that week!

Thursday, March 23, 2006


But exhausted and still recovering. Pics and tales of the wonderful adventures at Disneyland coming soon to a theatre near you.

Stay tuned...

Friday, March 17, 2006


Happy Birthday to you.
You belong in the zoo
With the lions and tigers
And the monkeys like you!!!

Thursday, March 16, 2006


Santiago shaking his groove thang, all retro'd out with his half tuck, cord/plaid jacket, and Texas star buckle!!!

Sat them down at school this morning to say my good-bye's when I overheard Ms. Jennifer asking Chago what tomorrow was. "My birthday!" he yells. And what was going to happen tomorrow, she continues. "You'll give me cupcakes!!" he reveals.

I look up at her from over my sunglasses and she blushes a little.

"Well..." she begins.

I interrupt with "I'll make sure to bring in their cupcakes tomorrow morning, if that's alright."

"Yes," she says, "I thought you might." And I think she smirked at me.

Damn right, woman!! It's bad enough you guys sneak in pudding and jello snacks without even warning us, let alone asking us if it's alright and then just sending them home for us to try to calm and prep for bed while they're running around on a sugar high because they DON'T EAT SUGAR!!! But CUPCAKES!!! Are you insane?!?!? They'll be bouncing off the walls for 3 days!!!

Stay tuned for MY cupcake recipe coming soon.

UPDATE: CLICK HERE FOR THE CUPCAKES I MADE FOR SCHOOL (minus the nuts, and used dried cherries instead of dates).

Wednesday, March 15, 2006


Last night the kids came home to find a big ol' box of bday stuff from Mema just sittin' on the porch waiting for them to tear into. It took all my powers of negotiation [read "threats"] and reasoning [read "bribery"] to get them to even get into the house, let alone put away their things and go potty.

Here's about two seconds of the 40 minute event:

Video Sharing at

Thanks for everything, Mema!

Last night we loved the stickers most. This morning, we really loved the racing rabbits (see below).

By the weekend we'll be well into the doctor's kit and chef's outfit, just you wait and see!!! And if our mommies would just let us rip into those puzzles, man, we'd be in heaven! Okay, gotta go. Mama just caught us putting our new chappies (aka, chapstick) on Nena and Ryce.

See you later!!!
Love, Saia & Chago

Tuesday, March 14, 2006


So, very shortly after the photos above were taken, the children decided that they were not going to eat anything unless it was topped or covered or dipped or sprinkled with something else. Pretty much anything else would do, in fact.

They already used Ranch dressing on their salads, and, although we used it sparingly, it really did help get the veggies down on those I-don't-wanna days. But, much to my chagrin, Mommy recently introduced them to mustard and ketchup. So, off we go to the store to find low-sodium versions of those damn edible crayolas.

They've also got their cinnamon, a couple of different renditions of Mrs. Dash, and a variety of grated cheese options. But now, with all these choices, they're just completely befuddled during the whole ordering process, which is at least bearable at home, but downright painful at a restaurant.

"Well...well...I want...I want...carrots, but with KETCHUP!!!" yells Saia excitedly. "No, wait, MUSTARD! Yes, mustard."

"No!" says Chago with the more refined taste. "Broccoli with parmesan. On the side."

And yes, they almost always want it on the side. So now, on top of everything else, I feel like Meg Ryan in Harry Met Sally - taking 40 minutes to place an order that, guess what, they're not even gonna finish anyway and now we can't even take it home for later because it's drenched in a rainbow of toppings that just don't taste well reheated!!!

Monday, March 13, 2006


"Tell it again, Mama," says Chago.

"Alright, but this is the last time, and then it's your turn, ok?"


"Last night I dreamed that Saia was a little mouse. [giggles from the backseat] She ran through a field of tall tall grass and climbed right into the palm of my hand. I put her on my shoulder [gasps] and we went for a long long walk."

"Yay!" screams Saia. "Now tell mine, Mama!" yells the boy.

"Two nights ago I dreamed that I was walking in the jungle. [ooohs from the backseat] When all of a sudden ["out of the corner of your eye?" interjects Chago], yes, out of the corner of my eye, I see a little monkey high high up in a tree. ["That's Chago!" yells Chago.] Yes, son, and the little monkey was making all sorts of noises like [we all make monkey noises], and then he says, Becareful, Mama, there comes the big mean tiger! [so we all make louder, more frantic monkey sounds] Then the monkey wraps his tail around my arms and swings back and forth, back and forth, higher and higher, and makes sooooo much noise that he scares the mean tiger away!"

"Yay!" screams Chago.

"Again," they demand simultaneously.

"No, now it's your turn," I insist.

And for the next 20 minutes of our commute, I hear at least 4,000 variations of the above dream sequences with varying protagonists and alternating roles. Saia seems to be getting a little frustrated that she always ends up being a little mouse, and Chago, who keeps removing himself from the monkey role and into a tiger role, is beginning to irritate her because he's just a faster storyteller, and apparently there's an unwritten rule that once the story has started, they have to finish it. There's no stopping in the middle to recast. They just keep going, each taking turns adding on a sentence, mounting the suspense, until it reaches a logical conclusion. At which point, Saia tries yet again (unsuccessfully) to get herself out of the mouse role and into a tiger role before Chago does.

Just before we get to school, though, as amazing as it's been to just listen, I'm compelled to cut it short before there's bloodshed when Chago has apparently turned himself into a giant Saia-eating cat, and has Saia on the run for her little life while she's screaming at the top of her lungs NO, NO, NO SANTIAGO, THAT'S NOT THE WAY IT GOES!!!

Oh, sweetheart, I'm afraid that sometimes it just is.

Friday, March 10, 2006


So, we're sitting in bed this morning, and the kids are having their warm milk while we're talking about how everyone slept and if anyone had any dreams.

"Mama," says Santiago in a very solemn tone, "there was a hand in my bed."

[okay, did you just get chills, too?]

"A hand?" I ask. "What kind of a hand?"

"A big hand that touched me," he continues.

[Yes, oh hell yes, am I totally freaked out by now.]

"Did the hand hurt you?" I ask, trying to remain calm.

"No," he says, "it just touched me and then left."

"WHERE did it touch you, bubba?" I ask cautiously.

"Right here on my arm," he says pointing to his forearm, which I proceed to examine for any signs of alien abduction or demonic possession. Not finding anything at all out of the ordinary, I ask, "Do you know who the hand belonged to?"

"The big clown animal," he says as he returns to his milk.

[Holy sh**!!! Breathe...breathe...]

"Is it mean or nice?" I continue to probe unsteadily as my heart begins to race.

"Mean," he says, furrowing his brow. "It scared me and that's why I came to your bed this morning."

"But you said it went away, didn't you?"

"Yes, when Mommy went into my room and went boogada-boogada, shoo-shoo-shoo [our tried and true method for frightening away all things scary], it went back into the hole."

[the HOLE?!?!? pause...breathe...deep breath...count to three...]

"Oh? And what hole is that, son?" I ask, unsuccessfully feigning nonchalance.

"The hole under the rug," they BOTH say in unison. [NOW are you freaked out!?!?!]

Okay then -- so the exorcism is planned for 7pm this evening -- please feel free to join us -- I'll be the one flipping out in the corner watching my son's head spin around in circles!!!

Thursday, March 09, 2006


Image 2-395-46 © David Sanger

"Wow, look how windy it is outside today! The waves on the bay are HUGE!!!" exclaims Mama on the way to school this morning.

"Yes, and the ducks better watch out because they might blow out of the water!" adds Chago.

"And then they will be in the middle of the street," continues Saia.

"And then they will get squashed by a car," concludes Chago.

Well, okay then. Weather lesson turned tragic. Stay tuned for your news at 10.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006


Four movies you would watch over and over:
  1. G.I. Jane (Mama) / Casino (Mommy) / Aristocats (Chago) / Shrek (Saia)
  2. Sound of Music (Mama) / Lord of the Rings Trilogy (Mommy) / Lion King (Chago) / Charlotte's Web (Saia)
  3. Imitation of Life (Mama) / Matrix Trilogy (Mommy) / Baby Einstein (Chago) / Lady and the Tramp (Saia)
  4. Clueless (Mama) / Saturday Night Fever (Mommy) / Pinnochio (Chago) / Little Mermaid (Saia)
Five places you have lived:
  1. San Francisco (well, okay, Castro Valley)
  2. Seattle
  3. New Orleans
  4. Massachusetts (Mama) / Missouri (Mommy)
Four TV shows you love to watch:
  1. American Idol (all 3 freaking nights!)
  2. The Apprentice (only Trump's, never Martha's!)
  3. Survivor & Big Brother
  4. Trading Spouses (Mama) / Law & Order (Mommy)
Four places you have been on vacation:
  1. London
  2. New Orleans
  3. Whistler, BC
  4. Disneyland (in two weeks)
Four sites you visit daily on the computer:
  1. The Huffington Post
  2. AmericaBlog
  3. Amazon (Mama) / (Mommy)
  4. My blogs
Four of my favorite foods:
  1. Mommy's steak and potatoes dinner
  2. Chile Rellenos
  3. Seafood anything
  4. Creme Brulee
Four places I would rather be right now:
  1. Venice
  2. Greece
  3. Austria
  4. Nice
Four friends who I have tagged that I think will respond:

Well, this is pretty much an open tag. Anyone who reads this, we'd love to hear your response in the comment section below!


"Like Mommy? What does that mean?" I ask.

"Well," begins Saia, "she wears them on top of her head all the time."

"And why do you think she does that, baby?"

"To protect her hair from the sun," surmizes Chago.

Ah! But of course!

Tuesday, March 07, 2006


In the water area at the Children's Museum

"Mama, my bug is gone?" asks Chago on the way to school this morning.

"Yes, son, all gone. Don't you feel better?"

"Yes, I threw him up."

"You sure did."

"He went down the toilet and onto his web."

"His web? What kind of bug did you have?" I ask.

"I had a spider," he says very matter o' factly. "But he's gone now. And now he's just waiting for a fly, but not me because I'm not a fly."

"That's right, babe."

"Mama! Mama! My bug was a beetle!" chimes in Saia.

"And where did your beetle go?"

"Down the toilet. Back to his family. He was lonely in my belly, but now he's happy again."

"Great. So all our bugs are gone?"

"YES!" they scream in unison. "But," clarifies Chago, "they might be back for a visit someday."

Oh, please, let's hope not anytime soon.

Monday, March 06, 2006


So, about 5 hours into my day on Thursday I get the dreaded call from daycare. "Santiago's throwing up."

Ugh. I knew it!

So, we stayed home on Friday and nursed his ailing tummy all weekend, and now it (FINALLY) looks like everyone's better. [knocking on wood as I write]

They should be transferring to the 3-year-old classroom pretty soon, so we've started talking to them about that transition -- one that I'm afraid is, at first, going to really throw them off, but which will ultimately be a really great move. The classes are smaller and tend to focus on more academic activities rather than overpaid babysitting services. And it's not that I'm not grateful for the daycare, it's just that it's so obvious the kids are bored to death. We probably did more activities in the past 6 days while they were sick than they've done all year at school. And that's really starting to worry me.

So...we'll just bide our time and hope the move works out best all the way around -- sooner rather than later. Until then, I guess we'll all just have to put up with the current situation, and I'll have to schedule yet another visit with their teachers to find out why the kids keep coming home with projects that "Ms. Jennifer did" or "Ms. Heather did". I mean, I'm sure THEIR mothers are VERY proud of them, but I'd like to see what MY children can do, you know?

Thursday, March 02, 2006

YAY!!! IT'S OVER!!! (for now, at least)

Yesterday afternoon, we all got dressed and...hold on to your horses...actually LEFT the house!!! I felt like an adult again - if only because I got to don my new ghetto fabulous sunglasses.

We were there for about an hour and a half with NOT A SINGLE nasty, pukey, stinky, or yucky incident. It was a HUGE success!!!

Click on any of the links below to view the picture.

The Mighty Saia

Video Sharing at

Just Swingin'

Video Sharing at

Wednesday, March 01, 2006


So, the vomitting and diarrhea continues. After several long discussions with the doctor, we've determined that it probably is just viral, but man, it's taking forever to work through!

However, rather than show you the graphic footage or render you completely ill with my very detailed, very colorful descriptions of our daily routines of feeding, cleaning, washing, feeding, cleaning, washing, I'll just resort to taking us back to a time when things weren't spewing out of every single one of their orifices at random moments throughout the day (and night).

Ah...remember when they were normal healthy children...

Video Sharing at