Friday, December 3, 2010

Dogs and Children

My parents, in 1980, soon to discover that babies were nothing like dogs.
People compare dogs to children quite often.
As in, something about dogs being as difficult to take care of as children.

Man, those people have weird dogs, I guess.

Does your dog's sleeping pattern completely rule your life?
Does your dog require you to pat him at 30 beats per minute to keep from crying?
Does your dog completely destroy your ipples?
Does your dog require burping?

Did you gain 30 lbs before your dog lived in your home?

If so, you should totally march right back to the kennel and get yourself a new dog.

The absolutely only comparisons I could make of children to dogs are that A) they don't always understand what you are saying, B) you love them even though their poop gets everywhere, and C) they are alive.

I was pretty surprised about babies being, well, babies when we had Amaya. I think even I expected them to be more like dogs.

I wonder if Moze would sleep better in a dog house than on a bed.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010


046_edited-1047_edited-1051_edited-1I distinctly remember that the first time Amaya reached for something and grabbed it was when I decided she was a real, live, baby.

Up until then she mostly was like something we were playing house with. Maybe even one of those robot babies that cry when you’re not attending to their needs appropriately.

(she cried a lot.)

Moze reached for, grabbed and held on to his toy today.

Moze talks a lot to us. We talk back. We have whole conversations of oohing and ahing. He’s good at communicating and we understand each other most of the time.

But I still thought it was pretty special.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

The Mom from the Black Lagoon

2kids1I have two kids and I’m turning into one of those moms.

You know, the kind that eat the food that their toddler has previously drooled.
I am becoming the kind of mom that thinks cold spittle covered food is acceptable eats.

I’m not there just yet, but already I’ve seen the signs.

I consider yellow slimy baby poop the “good kind of poop”. The idea that there is a good kind of poop is strictly a parent thought. I don’t even feel the extreme rushing need to wash my hands following a diaper change. Maybe, theoretically, I don’t even wash my hands. Theoretically. Because it was the good kind of poop.

While wearing my nice clothes I get barfed on. Chunky milk barf. Do I change? No. I just rub it in so you can’t see the chunks.

In basketball shorts all day? Good enough.

Let the girl backwash in my water? No problem.

Put my hair in a bun instead of brushing it? Always.

Dropped the pacifier on the public bathroom floor? Yes.

I’m turning into the snot-covered, drag-all-my-kids-to-the-grocery-store, didn’t-even-notice-he-was-poopy kind of mom.

You may want to buy yourself a bottle of hand sanitizer before I have #3.2kids2

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Baby Face

Adam just sent me this: photo

Jake asked, “Who is that?”

I guess babies do grow up. giraffe2

So fast.

I feel like I’m trying to pinch this moment with my eyelashes.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Hub Lub

012_edited-1This guy took care of the little guys for 3 days 3 nights while I filled my gut and my brain with all things food and blog.

When I came back the kids barely noticed. Maybe they acted even worse. Jake kept saying, “Are you acting like this because Mom’s back?”


I think Jake makes a better mom than me. 

(He even makes better Halloween costumes.)

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Election Day

There’s been a bit of controversy with everyone over the whole Project Food Blog thing, but I don’t really want to post about it on my food blog, because that’s where I try to stay positive.

And here’s where I stay negative.

HA! I meant, “real.”

I’m real on my food blog too, but I’d like to leave my food untainted by bitter. Sometimes I’m ok with a bit of an umami taste, though. In this case I feel like there’s bitter from some of the food community, which makes me feel guilty. And that isn’t totally fair.

I like project food blog. I’m having fun. I think it’s made me a better food blogger. I’ve gotten some inspiration and I’ve figured out a little better where I’d like to be heading as a writer. And I’ll still like it even when I lose. It has been a faith building experience for me, actually, because I feel way more energized by writing and cooking and parenting and thinking about all that than teaching (I love the students, promise!) and I hope I’ll be able to balance this with my slightly soul sucking job when I go back in January. I think the inspiration I’ve felt has not been coincidence.

Today I put up a video on the Lactaid video contest, and I’m mortified but trying not to be. I am not a video personality. Therefore, all my hopes and dreams of becoming the next Masterchef are down the tubes.

(that’s ok. I don’t even want to be the next Masterchef. It’s a total sell-out.)

Anywho, I am glad I got to practice my acting skillz on the Lactaid video. I figured out that

A) I am the worst actor.

B) does my voice actually SOUND like that?

C) I’m getting used to watching myself on camera. I only watched the video about 10K times. It’s a little less painful every time.

Jake and I laughed and we totally ignored the kids for a couple of hours. Jake has been my #1 supporter with all these contest things lately. He has lots of good ideas and has given me pointers, and I forgive him for not wanting to be in the video that I have to make for Project Food Blog.


Friday, October 29, 2010


Something about boys with English accents and their pep.

I stepped outside for a run last night, feeling sluggish, and hit play on the shuffle.


Get a playlist! Standalone player Get Ringtones

I ran fast and steady for the next 45 minutes.

Jake is a playlist genius. Every song sat up straight in my brain. He somehow finds music that hits every bit of space. Even the sounds of each word beat on the pavement. There’s something magical about wind in the darkness, tennis shoes, and the right music drowning your eardrums.

Maybe he could get paid for doing that. A Professional Playlister.

(It sounds a little naughty, doesn’t it.)

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Mr. Personality.

Moze woke me up early. He likes to get up early, just because, and very insistently yell (not cry, yell. He knows the difference.) for me to get up, talk a little, and then go back to sleep 20 minutes later as to assure that I am wide awake and won’t go back to sleep.

In his defense he has been sleeping pretty well up until 2 nights ago. He would always take 2 long naps (and a couple short ones) during the day and sleep for about 6-7 hour stretch at night (of course, I am awake for most of it, but whatever). Then I made the mistake of telling Damaris that nursing is going well, and then my milk supply dried up overnight. Literally. Now he’s hungry and it hurts and we have to wake up every two hours. Or less. Still investigating the cause of this, since I passed my test already, and the dreaded punctuation mark is not showing up.

He likes it when we watch him sleep.

He is sensitive about his poop. He hates sitting in poop. And he lets me know the second it is invited to his diaper party.

He smiles when you talk to him, and he laughs if you can get him in the right mood. His voice is so cheery and sweet.

He doesn’t freak out when we put him in the ocean. He looks annoyed, but doesn’t hate it.

He’s a lot like his sister. And a lot different. Mostly different. But mostly a lot like her, too.

Especially when you see this:IMGP0284IMGP0048 IMGP0056 IMGP0061 IMGP0330

and then see Moze:

This must be what our offspring look like. I guess I’m okay with it.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

It’s my Birthday and I’ll feel unsettled if I want to.

I’m pretty sure when I was 10 and writing about where I wanted to be in 20 years, I said, “Be married and have 2 kids”, because that’s what everyone says. Maybe there’s a little variation with everything else, but most people, at least when they’re 10 and they’ve never had a real relationship, says they want to be settled down, and this means married with kids. Despite dysfunctional family TV.

I’m married, I have 2 kids and I’m not sure what settled means.

Today I am 30. I have a college degree, I’m an English teacher, I have an island I call home, and a fridge that I can open the door of and eat anything I want out of. I put a 4 year old in time out. I clean my floor with an electronic mop I bought off the internet. I have to choose a new medical plan during open enrollment. I know what “open enrollment” actually means. I’m pretty sure this is what it means to be an adult.

When I woke up I felt crappy. I couldn’t decide if I should just shake the funk of night wakings and sore ipples and move on. I sat down with the baby and yelled to Amaya to bring me stuff while I wrote e-mails one-handed. Then I felt bad about what I haven’t accomplished in 30 years and at least I could accomplish something today. I changed and thought about lunch. I put the rice on and immediately felt like I should have made something else. I sat down and started researching grass fed beef in Hawaii and made an order to pick up at the Farmer’s market on Thursday. I started feeling very guilty about buying chicken nuggets last time I was at Costco. I realized that Amaya was basically running wild and decided to make lunch for us to eat outside. Then I sat in front of the computer because I was worried about going back to work in January. This seemed like a solution of some kind. I flipped through the Momofuku cookbook and made notes for challenge #6 for my food blog. Then I felt guilty for basically spending the whole day thinking about food. So I did what I do best: I started getting out stuff to make molten chocolate cakes.

Jake came back and asked me what I wanted to do. I didn’t know.  What do you do when you’re trying to eat healthy and making molten chocolate cakes? What do you do when you’re too tired to go out but find it weird that your birthday has become a day that you still have to live your regular life? What do you do when you’re 30?

I started worrying. Is this what 30 is like? Not knowing and feeling guilty and fighting urges? I’m thinking that if I could go back in time to my 10 year old self, I would say, “You should learn how to organize your stuff, control your impulses, and only shop green. Maybe then you’ll feel settled when you’re married and have 2 kids.”

Then I thought, this is probably not what 30 feels like.

This is probably just what a day after a night of waking up 6 times to feed a baby feels like.

Jake came to the rescue and made us go to the beach, eat out, and wolf down molten chocolate cakes with Haagen dazs. I felt pretty settled.

Especially in my stomach.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010


090_edited-1 I was thinking about that test I needed to take when we were all three in the bathroom stall at the mall, Amaya was crying and saying she did not need to pee (while peeing), and Moze was crying because he felt claustrophobic and because I had stupidly left his pacifier in the car.

I was thinking about that test I needed to take when we were at Costco and several people commented about me having a handful (Believe me, if they could fit in my hand, we would not be having this problem), and I, again, had stupidly left Moze’s pacifier in the car, so he was crying, and Amaya was constantly trying to stand up in the cart and people were trying to make her sit down because she was endangering her life and I was trying to lift a 25 lb bag of flour (while Moze was in the Bjorn) into the cart. I finally decided not to buy the flour. I completely forgot about the milk. Milk is the reason we go to Costco, which is an hour away from our house. The woman manning the taste testing counter for clam chowder locked me in her gaze for five minutes and spoke to me about the wonders of God and how blessed we were to have children. Then I was really REALLY thinking about that test I needed to take.

I was thinking about that test I needed to take when I was standing at the checkout counter holding a crying baby (guess what I forgot? AGAIN?) and a 4 year old who was walking away while I was yelling at her to come back and I was buying that test I needed to take. The guy handed it to me with raised eyebrows.

I was thinking about that test I needed to take when I got out of the car to get gas and realized that Moze was screaming because he was completely covered in yellow poop. Even his pacifier was covered in poop. There were 5 cars waiting in line behind me while I attempted to clean up massive amounts of yellow sticky drool-like poop from him, the car seat, and strangely, little tiny splatters all over the whole back seat of the car. I just threw away his onesie. A woman, blessedly, offered to hold him while I pumped gas. While I was pumping gas I looked at her and him and realized there were still yellow streaks on the backs of his legs.

I said nothing.

I was thinking about that test I needed to take when I got home.

I went into the bathroom to take that test.

I am so happy to report that I passed.

That woman at the clam chowder stand was right, but today was not a day for us to be blessed.

God is good. God is great. God is so much smarter than me. And maybe the woman at the clam chowder stand, too.


Monday, October 11, 2010

Time out can have a time out.

I hate time out. Hate hate hate. Almost as much as Amaya does.

Amaya is Jekyll and Hyde these days. She can be the sweetest, cutest person ever (especially for other people who demand absolutely nothing from her and give her whatever she wants--you would be amazed at the amount of sugar she can get out of the average person), and she can be the most unruly, bossy, lying and impulsive thing ever. She has started screaming the second I say No to anything, screaming when she doesn’t like what we’ve asked her to do, and screaming when I send her to time out for screaming at me.
The second I put her in time out (because I have to pick her up, kicking and screaming, and put her there) she jumps up immediately and runs after me, hitting me all the way. I have to pick her up and put her back. Over and over and over again, all the while explaining that she is going to stay in time out until it’s over.

So today I closed the door on the way out and she had a complete breakdown, screaming (did I tell you she was screaming?) and kicking the door and not listening to a word I said through the door (that I would not let her out until she sat in her time out spot). I just waited. And waited. And waited. It was like torture. In fact, she sounded like I was torturing her.

When she finally went and lay down on her bed, still screaming at me, I went to google “Time out doesn’t work.” Did you know that there are 88 million results for such a google?

The first site was an article on Dr. Spock’s website. I read it. I felt like I was reading my autobiography.
“The temperamental traits that make the behavior of some children in general more challenging--high levels of activity and intensity, high impulsiveness, persistence (which comes across as stubbornness), and relatively low sensitivity to rewards and punishments--make all forms of discipline less effective. Parents and teachers of these children often turn to harsher forms of punishment in the hope that yelling louder or spanking harder will work to correct the unacceptable behavior. But these tactics almost always backfire, resulting in a child who is angry and resentful, or fearful, and even more badly behaved, at least when adults aren't watching.
So, even though timeout doesn't work as well for some children, it is still far and away the most effective form of punishment. Parents of children who have "difficult" temperamental traits need to be even more skillful in the use of timeout and other nonhurtful discipline, whereas parents who are lucky enough to have easygoing children can get away with only a basic understanding of timeout. (For these children, almost anything works.)”
It is SO difficult for me to keep my cool. I don’t.

I read everything that related to this article and tried to prepare myself with an arsenal of techniques. (Techniques I’ve used before, of course.) It just sucks that time out is not that effective but is the only thing I’ve got.

The funny thing is, she is completely wonderful for the five minutes after she comes out of time out. I always hold my breath and hope that she is going to stay that way. It’s like waking up from a dream and trying your hardest to keep it in your memory.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

And that’s why you’re the child.

IMG_9767 Amaya said to me, while picnicking at the BYUH parking lot,

“Mom, I love you. You should take me to the haunted of the goon again.”

She cried when I said No. No. No.

See, I’m getting better at this.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Why I Will Never Be Mom of the Year

Amaya tells me, when I’m brushing her hair, “You’re the worst!”

I’m not sure where she learned the word “worst”, but she totally understands it.

Yesterday I took Amaya and Mozely to The Haunted Lagoon. It’s a total craze here. People will wait in line for 4 hours to get into this thing. I know. Because I did. Totally worth it.

There’s a kid haunted lagoon and Amaya’s been talking about it for weeks. The second she saw the posters go up she was talking about “the haunted of the goon,” as she calls it. I was told by several people that the kid haunted lagoon was not scary and a lot of fun. Since she was so interested in it I decided to take her. Luckily, for the kid one, we did not have to wait for 4 hours. We didn’t even wait 5 minutes. If we had, I probably would have turned around and saved all of us a lot of trouble.

The second we got into the canoe I knew it was a mistake. For the whole 20 minutes I was thinking, “THIS IS A MISTAKE,” but you can’t get off, so you just have to wallow in your mistake. There’s no going back. It is the worst kind of lesson you can learn.

I took Moze because Jake had a meeting. Even he was scared, despite having zero understanding of what a monster jumping out of the water was. The noises were loud and the flashing lights were awful.

Later, when Amaya had woken up for the 5th time that night crying and I let her sit up to watch “Hello Kitty’s Furry Tale Theater” she said to me: “Mom, you shouldn’t have taken the baby and me to the haunted of the goon! You should have left us at home!”

Yep, yep, and yep.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Pulling my leg

n641910041_2690454_4442 My legs are not so pretty, but they get the job done.

In fact, my legs are amazing. I should write an ode to my legs.

They climb mountains very quickly. They have perfect mental stamina.

It’s just the rest of my body parts they’d like to leave behind. Especially the parts (around) my waist.

Sometimes they tell me, “Just let me please, please, go on ahead. I promise it will be okay.”

So I let them.

And now I have a headache and a sore gut.

My legs are such liars.

Monday, September 27, 2010


I went for a run tonight. The whole time, I was thinking, "Poor big tender-flesh-es women!" Because I'm not even a big tender-fleshes woman, I'm just a medium sized one (usually less than small one), and I was hating it. It's no wonder you don't see them running, that often, unless they have surgically enhanced tender flesh-es. The bouncing and flopping and OH! Forget that. They just walk. Fast.

Then I came home and shaved my legs. They've been past stubble-y for a while now. On Sunday I was more than a little worried that someone would notice since I wore a skirt. I really have no clothes that look good on me right now, and I don't think about it so much in our little rural area, but I feel pretty stupid at church. I know no one cares, and that's not what church is about, but it's weird to feel frumpy and hairy and slippered when there are high heels and combed hair and dresses that sash in the front.

I guess I could comb my leg hair.

I have no make up kit for Amaya to rummage through so she makes do with her chalk. She colors her eyebrows and the tips of her fingers. When she puts chapstick on (from my mom), she rubs it all over her upper lip. I feel a tinge bad that she has no example to guide her primping. I always say no when she asks if she can paint her nails with Minami. I'm mean.

Amaya put a necklace on Kadin, and Scott mentioned something about her getting into my jewelry box. Jake laughed and said, "Nope, because her jewelry box is a plastic case about that big (1"x1") that has her wedding rings and a quarter." I added, "And a loose pearl." The quarter is silver, so doesn't that count?

I checked my weight at Pam's before my run. That's all I'm going to say about that.

I have caught myself staring at girls sometimes. Staring at the things that make them girls. Really, girls. Like the fact that they are wearing a shirt that isn't just a solid color simple cut t-shirt, or the height of their heels, or their cutesy curves, or the way they styled their hair. I'll stare at them and think, "Now why didn't I think of that?"

Sometimes I wonder if I'll ever get the hang of being female. I'm turning 30 next month. Maybe it's too late. I feel a sort of wistfulness about it. Like a memory made from a book once read. Like a lost summer. Something about the fragrance of apples. A breezy sitting room. A color beyond the water's glare. And gone.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Meet Mr. Moze

Eyes: BlueIMG_9195

Weight: Michelin Man armsIMG_9230IMG_9229






Hair: old manIMG_9225

Hobbies: Eating, snorting, sleeping, trying to find just the right sleeping position (currently: face smashed into the crook of Jake’s arm)


Superpower: Dimples

IMG_9217 IMG_9202 IMG_9222 IMG_9197 IMG_9218

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Sometimes you just need one.

We were having a rough day. So this was a good break for us.

Yeah, I know. It's filled with nasty chemically sounding ingredients like Red 7 and hydropneumonichloric acid trip (something like that), but it feels so nice in your belly. I was truthfully thinking about the way Europeans just sit and enjoy and really taste and breathe the whole time we were sharing it. Then I remembered I was drinking an Icee.

I'm trying to get myself to take a breather every day and remember that she's only 4. Even if she is willfully disobedient. And even if she has figured out that time out is such a big sham. And that it takes just long enough for me to put Moze down so I can run after her that she can get a good head start.

When my mom was here Amaya asked her, "You used to spank my mom when she was a little girl, right?" My mom glared at me. "You told her that?" Then she turned to Amaya and said, "Well, I was very young. I made mistakes."
Later she was talking about how stubborn I was. It's funny what you remember. I remember always being so surprised that I was in trouble. Like, "OH yeah. I wasn't supposed to do that." 'Cause I knew, but I had temporarily forgotten because I was sort of involved. In doing that thing I wasn't supposed to be doing.

I worry a lot that I'm going to look back on this and think, Man. Couldn't I just have been a little more patient?

I really hope that I'm not messing this up. This whole parenting thing.

Monday, September 20, 2010

In Between

Currently in between:
12am and 7am, I am trying to be so zen right now. I'll let you know if it works.

time outs. If you have a suggestion for something way more awesome than time outs, let me know.

dress sizes. My maternity clothes are too big. My regular clothes are too small. Guess it's better to be swimming than bulging.

newborn and teenager. That's where I want Amaya to stay. She has the best observations about life. And what she's observed surprises me every day.

travels. Jake and I discussed goals last night and I wanted to have travel goals. Jake cares more about a house than traveling. Isn't he silly? On my list: Brazil, American Samoa, Canada, Tahiti, Bali, Italy, Las Vegas, DC, Utah, California, and Portland. We made some slightly tentative plans about Brazil, American Samoa and Tahiti. I already have tickets to Portland.

desserts. I am loving cooking pretty and NEW things right now. I made stuffed jalapeno peppers on Saturday and I so sadly didn't have any battery left in my camera. I want to know what you think I should make next.

books. I'm reading Gastronomica, the reader, when I have time (which is fascinating, by the way). But I want a story right now. One of my goals is to read more classic literature. To come smaht, yeah? I certainly haven't read enough. But the only book that I haven't read that fits that description on my shelf is Ulysses. Blah blah doublety blah. Suggestions?

The one good thing about being in between is that it sort of takes the edge off responsibility.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Can of Chaos

This is how we look and feel today:IMG_9079

The new semester started today. Usually I think of the new semester as a whimsically funny thing, like the fact that every new freshman girl is trying to learn how to longboard down the street. Or suddenly there are so many girls jogging. Or guys walking to the beach with the boogie boards they bought from Foodland.

It’s as predictable as Hawaiian weather.

But today Jake goes back to work. Suddenly it’s a dirge of misery. I’ve been completely spoiled with this two parents at home business. There’s always someone to help. Someone can hold the baby. Someone can wash the dishes. Someone can drag Amaya into time out. Someone can take Amaya hiking. Someone can do Amaya’s reading lesson. Someone can remember to switch the laundry to the dryer.

Are you getting that this someone is always Jake?

Last night I asked Jake if he was excited to teach again. Not really, he replied. I was surprised and thought he would want to get away sometimes.

“But then,” he said, “I have to come home and do more work because I was gone all day and you’re stressed and tired.”

I guess it’s not exactly fair of me. So I’ve got the baby in the bjorn and am trying to think of how I can help out around the house. And when he comes home today I will try not to just launch into my routine of whining.

I will try. I will try.

Saturday, September 11, 2010


I had a dream:

I was nursing some fetus alien mung bean sprout things (they had multiple heads trailing out of each other) as they would become real babies if I did it right.

T-bag from Prison Break was there and he would properly dispose of the ones that I accidentally broke (hey, they were tiny, and had very fragile mung bean sprout heads). We were all very solemn about it.

I also knew that if “the people” that were looking for me came into the room that I would have to run away out the back door and down the stairs. I guess in my dream I was physically fit again.

Within a dream:

The baby slept for 3 and a half hours straight, and I thought that was the most glorious thing in the world. Long enough to actually have a dream and feel somewhat rested. He cooed and gurgled at 2:30 am and I was cooing back.

Within a dream:

Because he slept so long, he felt that he was totally allowed to wake up every 2 hours after that. And he would have to be forgiven for needing to be held every moment of the day, even while taking his mini cat naps.

It’s a wonder that I have such low expectations for sleep that a 3 hour stretch will make me positively giddy.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Future Plans


Amaya told me that she was thinking about marrying Taj when he gets older and she gets older and gets tall like us.

I let her know that Taj was off limits because he was her cousin. I suggested Enzo as a suitable suitor. She giggled like a school girl and said, “But Enzo is my cousin, too!”

I said he wasn’t, even though we pretended sometimes like he was.

She said, “Ok, so I can marry Enzo when I get a little bit older, and I’ll have a baby, and maybe I can borrow your pump, and things like that.”

Pam said, “You probably won’t be needing it by then.”

True, true.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

I Love Sleepers


Don’t let him fool you, he’s vicious.

We have a good day time schedule. He’s finally getting the hang of eating every 3 hours, and every 2 hours in the evenings to “tank up.”


Last night:

11 pm feeding. Sleep.

12 am feeding. Stay awake until 2am (including a half hour burping session). I fell asleep sometime after 2:40 am.

4 am feeding. Stay awake until 5 am.

6 am feeding. Awake. 7:15 am feeding (after FINALLY burping and deciding that there was some room in there.) Then Jake took him.

Now it’s 10:52 am and he hasn’t eaten since 7:15 am. WHAT?!

Jake woke me up at 9am so my longest stretch was 7:30-9 am. Argh Argh Argh. I should have stayed in bed. I should wake him up to keep him on schedule but I’m kind of pissed and he’s only earning forgiveness by staying asleep a little longer.

I’ve become obsessed with burping because 2 nights ago he was sleeping so well and eating pretty spaced out that I thought I was getting away with murder. He wouldn’t burp after 5-10 minutes of trying after every feeding (I tried everything, even the shaking the pop bottle method) that I gave up and just swaddled him up and let us both sleep. He didn’t burp once the whole night. In the morning he was being so cute and cooing at me. I leaned in and cooed back and suddenly a fountain, nay, a geyser, of spit up came and hit me in the face and the chest and dripped all the way down into my pants. It was so surprising that I actually put my hands over his face as if trying to plug a leak in a dam. You can guess how well that worked.

Never again. Burp we must.

Aren’t you so sick of hearing how tired I am? Me too.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010


You know you’ve had a good dinner when your dish drainer looks like this:

IMG_9019 (ok, so sometimes it looks like this when your name is Mariko and you’ve blatantly avoided your turn for 3 days and even pretended that it had nothing to do with you)

When we have dinner for some people we invited and a bunch more people who just walk in through the back door, I feel good.

I feel good when I just yell “come in” to whoever is knocking at the door and I’m not even checking to see who it is before they walk in. I feel good when they’re coming in the door without knocking because they can hear that we’re all here.

I feel good when some people eat dinner (and everyone eats cookies) and some people hold the babies while others eat and everyone switches seats at least once because they stood up to get the toddler or a drink of water and it’s like we’re playing musical chairs to conversation instead of a boom box.

It’s so much better when friends are more like family than appointments.

Sunday, September 5, 2010


I think this is good evidence that I won’t have to worry about Amaya being an annoying Queen Bee in high school. (yes, I’m still worried about rebellious sass, but probably only because I have it coming.)

I am quite content to raise geeks after being a high school English teacher.

And I am quite content to see that the apple does not fall far from the tree.

IMG_9005 IMG_9011 IMG_9012

(yes, those are her bite marks at the top of her helmet.)

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Do Not Put Them…

Yesterday, our ENTIRE day was taken up by THIS:


Okay, so not the entire day, just from 9:30 am until 5:00 pm. We got a couple of hours to ourselves.

Amaya asked me if she could go outside. Not 5 seconds later, she was screaming bloody murder.

I ran outside and she was dancing around, screaming, and holding her nose. I pulled her hands away, to which she bucked wildly, and I couldn’t see any blood or anything wrong so I just kept talking to her, trying to get the story.

“I put a bead in my nose…” she sobbed.

I dragged her inside and tried to look inside her nostril, but couldn’t see anything. She was fighting me like a mongoose. She kept screaming that it hurt, but I really could not see a thing. I said, “What color was it?”

“ORANGE!” she wailed.

So I figured she was telling the truth. And she knows her colors.

While she screamed in the bedroom and hid from me because she did not want me to touch her nose, I looked up how to remove objects from a child’s nose. None of which worked.

Jake came home and tried closing one nostril and blowing into her mouth, CPR style, but that didn’t work either. (Thanks a lot, google.)

We called the doctor, and Jake took her. He came back 2 hours later totally frustrated and said bead was still in said nose. Apparently she was acting like a crazed demon and fought everyone. Jake had to use all his strength to hold her down and the nurse held her legs. You know Jake’s not a weakling, right?

Meanwhile the doctor stuck things up her nose to try to get the bead out, which they could barely see, but said it was definitely in there. The doctor also made jokes about sending her to Amsterdam where they give drugs to children. He didn’t want to deal with her anymore and sent them away.

Hmmm. This is where I’m glad I did not pick this guy as our regular pediatrician.

His secretary was golden, however, and she called all over the island to get us an appointment with an Ear Nose and Throat Specialist. She got one for the next day, which of course was not acceptable for me, but still kept calling around trying to find someone for the same day. I called everyone I could find on the internet in the area and was surprised when one ENT actually answered his own phone and explained very thoroughly and convincingly why he would never treat a patient for that in his office, mainly that children are usually out of control when this happens and he would rather be in an ER where they could be sedated in case he accidentally slipped and pierced the brain or pushed the piece down where it would be aspirated into the lungs. He prefers to play it safe, he said. He said we should take her to the ER and they would call a specialist in if needed.

So I was freaked out by that point and called a few more doctors. Did you know that every doctor on Oahu takes lunch between 12 and 2 pm? Maddening.

The secretary from the first doctor called us back and said she found someone who would see Amaya if we could get there before 4:30. It was about 2:50 at that point so Jake jumped in the car and I planned to follow after I fed Mozely and grabbed stuff. Did I mention that my mom was leaving on the plane that night? We planned to take her down to the ER at Kapiolani if the doctor couldn’t get it.

Jake barely got there in time because of traffic. Literally about 2 minutes before 4:30. I showed up about 10 minutes later and I could hear her screaming from the hallway outside the doctor’s offices. She just kept screaming that she wanted to go home and it didn’t hurt anymore.

Yeah. She was very convincing.

I walked in just as the doc put a nostril widening device and swept out the bead with a pokey device.

It took about 10 seconds. And, boy, is that ENT worth every penny. And I want to buy those devices. Just in case.

I told Amaya about 50 billion times to never do that again. That’s usually how many times it takes to make sure she doesn’t do something again, so hopefully it sticks. I don’t want to plant the idea in her mind but I wish I could tell her not to do that to Mozely.

I did catch her putting a quarter in Mozely’s mouth the other day. Should I be worried?


Amaya was so happy to have that thing out of her nose. She was back to her normal only partly wild self. And we still made our dinner reservation before taking my mom to the airport.

We are such pros at being parents.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

It’s 3:35 am

A lot can happen at 3:36 am. Everything except sleeping.

A baby can be spitting, grunting, crying, hissing, mewling and pissed since 2 am.

He’s been fed (twice), binkied, swaddled, comforted, patted, changed and ignored.

Gas happens. And then that other thing comes 2 hours and other swear words later.

Every. Night.

Only at night.

Ok, so it’s only happened 3 nights in a row now, but can you blame me if it feels like


It’s 3:48.

Thursday, August 26, 2010


Forgive me for pulling a Seinfeld here, but

What’s with bras?

Let’s take 2 very sensitive parts of flesh and encase them in metal and fabric but not in the shape of that flesh, actually, more like how that flesh should look if you’d gotten them surgically enhanced. Let’s also make that fabric very scratchy. And the straps thin and hard.

4 years ago I had enough milk to feed a small country. Or at least an island. Definitely enough to feed a chunky baby who ate every 2 hours and preferred milk over food any day. I definitely fed a few friends’ babies with the extra in my freezer. Plus a lot of overflow that stained our sheets, the carpet, 2 chairs, all my shirts… (Milk, it turns out, is like the worst staining thing ever.) I went through a box of nursing pads every 4 days. When people say nursing is cheaper than formula I wonder about this.

So this time I am determined to keep it in check. I wear my bra all the time. For some reason it helps. I wonder if they have a shower bra, because I do think I need it in there, too. I’m like Tobias. A never nude.

But, OH! My tender flesh-es are angry with me. On top of being sore, they scream to be free. I’d like to let them out, but I know they are not going to stay disciplined. They are like Amaya running out the door at 6 in the morning because she knows she is not supposed to, but she has to because she wants to.

At least, unlike Amaya, they don’t know how to unlock the door yet.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Hair Cut

IMG_8905 I took Amaya to get her hair cut. This is her 2nd official hair cut at a salon.

But this time there was a lot of weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth. I imagined we were in some movie version of our lives as she gripped the arm of the waiting chair for dear life as I attempted to bring her to the stylist’s station.

She bucked wildly and whipped her head around as much as possible while screaming and crying for the entire 10 minutes it took to cut her hair.

We tried sternness, time out, and threats. Then we moved pretty quickly to bribery.

“I’ll get you shave ice!”

“I don’t WANT shave ice!”

If this kid does not want shave ice, this is a seriously traumatic experience. I was totally mortified. The stylist sighed several times and tried to work around my arms as I held her down and tried as much as possible to cut Amaya’s hair straight.

When Jake saw her afterwards, he said, “It doesn’t even look different.”

I tell you, I don’t care. Even if she looks like Cousin Itt from The Munsters, there is no way we’re going back until she’s a lot older.

Like 23.