How To Make a Baby Laugh

Posted on 2/29/2008 01:07:00 AM
Baby laughs are a valuable commodity at our house and the three of us will do almost anything to hear one. This, however, might be going a bit too far in my opinion:



She's got even more of the KingofHearts' genes than I previously thought.



Both of them, actually. The large one for coming up with it and the small one for thinking it's side-splitting-ly hilarious.


To my husband: Thanks, honey for passing on that sense of humor. And please understand, when I say "Thanks", I mean that in the most sarcastic way possible. Oh and by the way? When The Dormouse makes herself puke doing this? You're totally cleaning it up.


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Milestones

Posted on 2/28/2008 09:28:00 AM
The Caterpillar is currently going through what I call the Velcro Stage of Development, where everything her little hands come near becomes quickly entangled in the vice-like death grip of tiny curling fingers. If her hand accidentally brushes my hair, it's a sure bet it will immediately stick there until I pry those mini sausages open -- much like I do when I accidentally wash The Dormouse's Velcro closing coat with one of my nylons. More than once this week, I've had to rescue her from the clutches of the blanket I'd put her down on because there seems to be a magnetic attraction between the corner of the blanket and her fist. Once she gets that in her clutches, she wildly flails her arms back and forth, never letting go, until the blanket is firmly and completely wrapped around her face. (Perhaps a nanny wouldn't be all that bad an idea.) This is generally coupled with or just slightly precedes the Will It Fit? Stage of Development, where the world is assessed into one of two categories: Things That Will Fit In My Mouth and Things That Will Not Fit In My Mouth. For example:

sofa: does not fit in my mouth
momma's knuckle:
does fit in my mouth
momma's face: does not fit in my mouth
daddy's beard:
does not fit in my mouth and bonus information: it's prickly
furball the cat barfed up: does fit in my mouth
own first:
does not fit in my mouth but I'm working on that

Oh, and remember that you must test everything more then once because who knows when it might change? That sofa just might fit one day.

Who needs Piaget? I should write a book!

She also recently discovered her toes.
When God created babies, I'm pretty sure He decided not to have the feet grow in later simply so there would always be an accessible toy that can't be dropped, lost, thrown out of reach or accidentally bonk them in the face.

This is what counts for entertainment in the life of a five-month-old. As you can see, she's extremely serious about her new hobby. Would that we all could find such cheap and accessible pastimes.



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Apologies

Posted on 2/27/2008 07:05:00 AM

"I'm really, really sorry that I hit you Daddy."

"OK, I forgive you."


"You're my best buddy in the whole wide world."


"Well, you're my best buddy in the whole wide world. You're my sweet girl."

"I love you." *hugs*

"I love you too. You know some days I feel like all I do all day is yell at you. I don't want to yell at you all the time. I only do it because you're annoying."


Ah... as long as I have those two in the house, I will never run out of material for this blog.


Submit your apologies here. It's the Post Secret of "I'm Sorry."

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This Is Totally Why We Have a Cat

Posted on 2/26/2008 06:06:00 AM In:
May I present:

Lizzie Longstocking

I swear, I will slit your human throat with my claws while you sleep for this.

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The Difference Between Boys and Girls

Posted on 2/25/2008 12:34:00 AM
I've recently started a new "calling" at church (which is like a "job" with "no pay", for all you folks lucky enough to attend a church that does not have a lay ministry). I now do the music for the children's classes. It's been interesting, if only to be proved wrong about my former assertion that all the annoying little behaviors The Dormouse has picked up and thrown in my face lately she picked up from preschool. Then I spent my first Sunday in church with the kids. Let's just say I owe preschool a big apology.

I bought these flowers in the $1 bin at Target the other day to use for a singing game. There's one for each child and when the flower with their name on it gets picked, they get to do something special... or something... I haven't quite worked out all the details yet. The Dormouse is fascinated with them, particularly because I won't let her play with them and keep saying "no, they're for church" when she asks to have "onejustoneIpromiseI'llputitbackpleeeeeeze?" It's like dangling a piece of cheese in front of a mouse and then slamming a glass cup down over it when he actually tries to reach for it. I'd like to say I think it's building character and teaching her to delay gratification, but really I've just been too lazy to put them away somewhere.


I brought them to church for the first time yesterday and used the flowers. Then on the way home, The Dormouse detailed in depth a game that she would have played with the kids if they had been her flowers to use. I don't think we got the specifics of the game itself because so often in the car, The Dormouse's voice is like engine noise - it's constant and no one pays any attention to it unless there's really something out of the ordinary and even then not unless it starts to sound like you might not make it to your destination.


This is the part I did hear:


Dormouse: "And I'm gonna play my game with the flowers and when someone gets all the same flowers they win. And the prize for winning will be a mermaid dress."

KingofHearts suddenly tunes in: "What about the boys?"

DM: "Huh?"


KoH: "The boys probably don't want a mermaid dress as a prize, don't you think?"


DM: "But the girls would really, really want a mermaid dress."

KoH: "Well maybe there should be a different prize for the boys. What will be the prize you'll give the boys if they win? What would they really, really want?"


DM: "Money."

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We Now Pause For This Important Announcement

Posted on 2/23/2008 12:03:00 AM
Happy Birthday, Moan!
We've known each other a long time and we've been through a lot together.
So here's a very special birthday message from me to you:



I think that says it all.

Edited to add: Apparently there was more to say. Who is that young, thin thing with Monica in the photo? I think I ate her.

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Something Good

Posted on 2/22/2008 01:40:00 AM
When I had The Dormouse, I had a touch of PPD. Not debilitating - and definitely not as bad as some folks, but it lasted a lot longer than I should have let it without seeking treatment. It was stupid and I regret every minute I wasn't able to appropriately appreciate the blessing The Dormouse is in my life. Being a new Mom isn't easy, and dealing with that on top of everything else just makes every small, little, unimportant thing unbearable. My advice to anyone in the same situation is be ye not so foolish. There are a million ways to get help for yourself even if you don't want to go the medical route. Talk to friends, complain to family, take advantage of church communities, do a Google search for groups to become involved in... there are entirely too many resources out there to think there is not an option that suits you. Life is way too short.

I'm not sure what's different this time. Perhaps it's all the things I came into this pregnancy with that I didn't have before: a few less unreasonable fears, experience, the ability to go to sleep at 7:00 pm, my blog which to forces me to be accountable for what I say and have a sense of humor about it all, my rabbit's foot, my four leaf clover, my horseshoe, my very lucky Zoloft... but this time has been a lot easier on me. Despite my tendency to answer the question "So how is it having two?" with, "I don't know what the hell I was thinking!", I'm having a really great time with these two terrific little girls and this great husband. I don't mean to imply by any stretch of the imagination that life is perfect over here. Being a woman, mom, wife, employee, and a person who doesn't really fit into any of the social circles that belong to those groups is hard, frustrating and demoralizing at times -- but it's worth it, you know? I think what I'm feeling here is called "contentment." It's odd, I know.
Perhaps I had a wicked childhood
Perhaps I had a miserable youth

But somewhere in my wicked, miserable past
There must have been a moment of truth

For here you are, standing there, loving me
Whether or not you should

So somewhere in my youth or childhood
I must have done something good

Nothing comes from nothing
Nothing ever could
So somewhere in my youth or childhood

I must have done something good

- The Sound of Music

The Caterpillar, The Dormouse, and "Ratalina", the newest addition to our family, who must appear in any and all photos.

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Total Eclipse of the Moon

Posted on 2/21/2008 07:44:00 AM
Name the artist of that song, all you music trivia types! No Googling allowed!


A lot of people don't know that The Caterpillar, in addition to being a pretty effective chick magnet (you know... er... if I were into such things...) makes a handy dandy alarm clock. That is, if the alarm clock you are used to is broken and wakes you up at random odd intervals throughout the night, only to tell you to go back to sleep with no real purpose for getting you up.

I love astronomical events and I almost always try to catch a glimpse. I was always the kid who begged her parents to let her sleep outside on the grass so she could watch the meteor shower and then saw one, count them one, falling star because we lived way too close to a large metropolitan area and the light pollution blocked them all out. But the very next time a meteor shower comes around, guess who's sleeping on the lawn again?

There have been two other total lunar eclipses (as well as two partial solar eclipses) this past year and I missed them all. The next time we'll see a lunar eclipse is in December 2010. So how nice of The Caterpillar was it to wake up crying and then go back to sleep just in time for me to catch these photos? She's thoughtful like that.



In a way, staring into a computer screen is like staring into an eclipse. It's brilliant and you don't realize the damage until its too late."

- Bruce Sterling

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3 Days After Bloody Sunday

Posted on 2/20/2008 05:25:00 PM
The KingofHearts comes home from work. He's wearing a black, button down shirt and black slacks.

The Dormouse: "Are you all wearing black today?"

KoH: "I guess so."

DM: "Is today Black Wednesday?"

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Frozen Water

Posted on 2/20/2008 12:31:00 PM In:
You thought it was going to be a photograph of ice, didn't you?


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Pyramid Scheme

Posted on 2/20/2008 12:08:00 PM In:
One of my favorite places on earth is just downtown. Monica and I decided to make the most of the gorgeous morning on Presidents' Day and we took "the girls" to see the Natural History Museum. Big mistake. Not that Natural History isn't cool and stuff, the whole day was just a comedy of errors in judgment which began with deciding it was a good day to take three girls and two strollers down to brave a crowd of fourteen katrillion people in a city of buildings that clearly doesn't think the ADA applies to it. I never have so much empathy for people in wheelchairs as when I decide to take a stroller downtown.

We never did get to our original destination, the Stephen Colbert portrait hanging in all its glory by the bathroom at the Portrait Gallery and someone owes us a meal of cheese, as his restaurant was closed for lunch when we got there (what's up with that?!?). But I did manage to stop by and see my pyramids on the way there.


You didn't know they were mine, did you?

I don't know what it is about pyramids, but they speak to me. One of the places I want to visit most in the world is the Louvre, just so I can see the I. M. Pei pyramid there.

The Dormouse enjoyed them too, but only to check out her latest poses.


It occurs to me that The Dormouse looks like Siamese Twins here.

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Luck

Posted on 2/18/2008 05:54:00 AM
This is the last in my series of Pictures Of Stuff I Had Lying Around My House That I Photographed While Trying To Learn To Use The Macro Setting On My Camera. In Paraguay, these little ceramic elephants are in everyone's homes and there's always a 100 mil bill tied around their trunks for luck. I don't know if this little fellow has really brought me luck, but I figured for the nine cents the exchange rate garnered, it was worth a try.


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Cosmic Bathing

Posted on 2/16/2008 10:37:00 AM
These days, The KingofHearts gives The Dormouse her bath at night because I'm usually nursing The Caterpillar. It's great -- not just because I don't have to do it (which isn't to say that that's not great too) -- but because she doesn't get to spend nearly as much time with him as she'd like and she worships the ground he walks on.

I like to think I'm a cool, laid back, creative parent most of the time (which, when I'm being honest with myself, only serves to cover up the fact that I'm lack the ability to be a traditional bread baking, homeschooling, stay at home full time type mother) but sometimes I look at The KoH and he's got me so beat.

The other night, after I put the baby down, I noticed that The Dormouse was taking a bath in the dark. Absentmindedly, I went in the bathroom and flipped on the light, thinking she had somehow turned it off and couldn't get it back on. My actions were met with shrieks of protest.

"NOOOOOOOoooooo! Turn it back OFF Momma!"

Not understanding why, I did - just to silence the mind numbing yawp that was boring a hole through my skull.

This was why it was so important:




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Tell Me a Story

Posted on 2/15/2008 12:42:00 PM
This little girl is called a storyteller doll. It has all kinds of significance to the Pueblo people of New Mexico. When I'm holding The Caterpillar and The Dormouse decides she, too, needs to sit in my lap and then the both of them begin squirming until they resemble a small cloud with arms and legs occasionally sticking out, I know exactly how she feels.


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A Valentines' Day Tutorial

Posted on 2/14/2008 10:44:00 AM In: ,
I am honestly out of ideas about what to write concerning Valentines' Day today and considered just letting the holiday go by like I didn't notice it at all. But while I was up with The Caterpillar watching Jay Leno last night he did one of those "Kids speak out on adult issues" pieces and it inspired me. I decided I'd turn to The Dormouse for answers. I've suppressed the urge to editorialize on her answers and instead will just let them stand on their own. However, I have many thoughts about what follows and learned quite a bit about my daughter's point of view on the world in this process. Maybe everyone should interview their kids once a month. Enjoy this interview -- I know I did.


What is Valentines' Day? Valentines day is very special because it’s about love.

How do you know when you love someone? I feel good.

What is love? It’s a heart.

How do you know when you love someone? Cause they go out and date.

What do people do on a date? They go out to dinner. They have have a camp out sometimes. I've seen ‘em on a show in my head sometimes when I’m sleeping at night. They go to the mall sometimes… on a carousel.

Why do people get married? Because if somebody loves someone, they marry them. That's just how it is.

How old should you be when you get married? Thirty-five.

Where do you want to get married? At the temple.

How long should you know someone before you marry them? About twenty years.

Why so long? So you don’t forget their name.

How many people should come to your wedding? Two.

What song should they play at your wedding? Sings Felix Mendelssohn's "Wedding March": Doooo, doooo do do do do do do do do do do do doooooooo.

Where would you like to go on your honeymoon? To the beach. I would go swimming for my honeymoon and I would go ice skating and roller skating.

After the honeymoon, what do you do? Paint your house.

Why do men give women flowers or chocolate? Flowers!! Ew, ew, ew, I don't like flowers. Patoohey. Heh, heh. Just kidding.

What do you think about kissing? Ew Ew Ew Ew. I’m not kidding about that.

When you are thirty five and you get married will you have children? Yes.

How many kids will you have? Three.

What will you wear when you get married? I will wear a little necklace that goes criss cross all the way down and I’m gonna wear little dots on my top and one flower in the middle and some dots and lines and zig zags and I’m gonna draw a garden and that’s it.

What will your husband wear? Black clothes with a flower in his pocket.

How can you tell your parents love each other? Because they got married and they went out for dates before they got married.

When is it okay to kiss someone? I don’t know… I guess when you’re not sick.

What is falling in love like? It feels like loving one another.

What do you want to get for Valentine's Day? Valentine Cookies.

Good thing... because that's what I got her.

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Mission: Impossible

Posted on 2/13/2008 08:21:00 AM
In a desperate effort to entertain The Dormouse when she was home sick last week, I initiated Mission: Valentines' Day Crafts. I have a ton of scrapbook paper in the house and most colors and designs are duplicates of ones that I have used extensively in one place or another and don't care to see again. The overages have just been sitting around for... well, years.

There's usually a party at her preschool for Valentines' Day and the kids do the typical Give a Card to Each One in the Class, so I had this fantastic idea to make these paper heart baskets out of the leftover paper and put a few pieces of candy in them for each friend, thereby getting rid of clutter in my house, saving money on the inevitable box of cards I would have to buy, and getting her to leave me alone while I was trying to work -- a la vez!

Well.

Let me just say that while The Dormouse was excited about it, I learned that weaving is just a tad bit over a four year old's head. She did really well with the first couple but needed some pretty extensive help from me, and that was like the opposite of what I wanted. After two, she started to get frustrated and I gave her the job of cutting them out only, which began to bore her after two more. Then, when she started another rendition of the Ghostbusters Theme, I let her watch TV. (Hey -- you listen to this a few times and see how quickly you want to turn on the television.) I ended up making twenty-five of these myself.


The real question is: should I tell her teachers that she made them or just let them think that I have waaay too much time on my hands and wonder why I'm never available to come in and participate in the classroom activities if that's all I'm doing with my day?

This was more her style:


In other news, I caught myself explaining the scientific method to my four-year-old in the car on the way to preschool this morning. I have officially become one of THOSE mothers.

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Think on These Things

Posted on 2/12/2008 02:20:00 PM
A couple of days ago, I used the phrase "If you think you're getting back to sleep anytime before morning you've got another thing coming" in a post.

My cousin... (OK, not my cousin, my mother's cousin, which makes her to me... ummmm... my mother's cousin. Yeah, that's it.) emailed to say that she thought it was interesting that I, along with her son, got that phrase wrong and used "thing" instead of "think". It should have been "If you think you're getting back to sleep anytime before morning you've got another think coming."

I admit, I have never heard it that way before. I read the email to the KingofHearts and said, "Did you know it was this?"

"Oh, yeah... it's said both ways."

"Really?"

"Uh huh."

"How weird is it that I've never heard it that way before?"

"Pretty."

He so good for my self esteem.

Since I never take the KoH's word for it when he gives me grammatical advice -- this is the person who was pronouncing the word "akin" with the accent on the first instead of the second syllable when I met him... as if it belonged in the song (Don't go breakin' my heart... It is just akin to wrong. La la la.) -- and since the English professor I used to have in my bag of tricks for just such a question had the nerve to take a job in Pennsylvania and then up and move there to be close to his job without asking my opinion on the matter(!!), I turned to English Language Expert, Professor Google.*

Much like the current Presidential race, opinions were divided.

Although some of the discussion boards (and yes, there are discussion boards where people post and argue and research and assert such things) had strong, and I mean S.T.R.O.N.G, opinions that the "think" version came first and the bastardized "thing" version came later, it was really difficult to figure out the etymology of that phrase and after, oh, five minutes or so, I gave up. Pass me the Ritalin, please.

I think the reason that my generation uses it with "thing",
as in something you didn't want/expect will be the thing that will happen instead of the thing that you wanted to happen, is because of the Judas Priest song, You've Got Another Thing Coming. Some of the strong opinions on the message boards blamed Judas Priest for messing up the phrase for everyone.

But the other possible turn of the phrase is with the word "think", as in
If that's what you think, you've got another think coming. This one, I find to be much more clever turn of phrase and a bit Seussian in nature.

So I'm curious, Internet. Thing? or Think? Post your opinions below... and although the weight of the world is hanging in the balance, no fighting or I will be forced to enter the comments myself and yell at all you kids to GET OFF MY LAWN!

I'm pretty sure I could create a personality test based on this.

*Perhaps there are people out there with strong opinions about run-on sentences. Those people should clearly not be reading my blog.

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Medicine Singing

Posted on 2/12/2008 06:15:00 AM
When I first began dating the KingofHearts, I had to go home for a week and asked him to do two things while I was gone: water my plants and feed my cat. I bought this while I was there to thank him for the favor. When I returned, my plants were all dead but the cat was still alive. I suppose I should be thankful for that.



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I ♥ The Internet

Posted on 2/11/2008 12:05:00 PM In:
If there is anything more awesome on YouTube than this, I haven't found it yet.


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Sleeping Around

Posted on 2/10/2008 07:49:00 AM In:
When I married the KingofHearts, he brought a myriad of wonderful things to my life: adeptness to repeat verbatim any commercial he'd ever seen on television, the ability to talk on the phone with the length and enthusiasm of a teenage girl, someone to do brake jobs on my car, you know... the important stuff in life. But none, perhaps, quite so wonderful as a California King Sized Water bed.

When I first met the KoH, he was living in the apartment next door to me. He was the guy who moved in last, so he got the small room and his gigantor water bed filled the entire room. Literally. And I'm not using that word incorrectly. When yo
u opened the door, there was the bed. And. Nothing. Else. And the door didn't even open all the way before it banged into the bed. If you wanted to get to the closet, you needed to climb across the bed to do so.

When we got married and moved onto a military base, the bed came with him. It was large, comfy, warm and inviting. You could cover it up with multiple blankets and pillows in the winter or strip off all the blankets and turn down the heater in the summer. No matter what the weather, there was a way to make sleeping inviting. I remember more than one chilly morning, snuggling down by his side under the covers and uttering those three little words that every husband wants to hear:

"Honey?"


"What, Alice?"

"I love the bed."

"Me too, babe. Me too."

Okay, it was four words. But I think he was just as pleased to hear them.

Pregnancy robbed me of one of the great relationships of my life; my love affair with the water bed stalled while expecting The Caterpillar. A little hint to all you out there who are considering getting knocked up: To a pregnant woman with excruciating crotch pain, no matter how warm and inviting the bed might be, sleeping on something that requires abdominal muscles to enter, exit, and move around in is not the way to go. If that doesn't serve as birth control, I don't know what will. So I was banished to the living room couch... by an unborn child who apparently had more to say about my sleeping arrangements than I.

Once the larvae hatched, I expected to immediately return to my long lost love, but here's another hint: Pain will not immediately subside just because you've delivered... and now?... you will be required to use those abdominal muscles to get up every two hours to nurse throughout the night. NOT making things better. So I moved the bassinet into the living room, declared it MY BEDROOM, and took up residence on the couch once again.

Now, four months post Caterpillar, the pregnancy pain has finally subsided and the bed and I are back together, if in a somewhat strained relationship. I've learned that absence does, in fact, make the heart grow fonder because after a full day of work, taking care of an infant, picking up after two somewhat larger beings, and listening to The Dormouse exhibit this kind of energy, the only thing I can think about - my one goal - is once more crawling under its beckoning flannel covers. I usually do this about 6:00 pm every night, due to the fact that The Caterpillar currently wakes up each morning at 1:00 am to eat and then again at 3:00 to pitch her idea for the new reality show, Wrestlemania: Baby Edition, which carries the apt subtitle, If you think you're getting back to sleep anytime before morning you've got another thing coming.

I'm not quite sure where I'm going with this. Somehow, just ending with

I ♥ THE BED!!

doesn't quite do it justice (although that might make a nice bumper sticker). I guess with Valentines' Day coming up, I just had to pay tribute to the "other" man in my life.

Sorry KingofHearts, you've got competition.

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Mary, Mary

Posted on 2/08/2008 06:15:00 AM
One of my favorite possessions in the house is this statue of the Virgin Mary that I picked up in South America. I found it in some tiny shop and have never seen anything like it since. It's made from palo santo, which, the locals told me, is the wood that Jesus' cross was made from. How an indigenous tree from the Chaco ended up in Jerusalem, I never got anyone to explain to me. But then I suppose anything is possible.


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There Were Never Such Devoted Sisters

Posted on 2/07/2008 06:33:00 AM



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Captain Obvious Tells a Joke

Posted on 2/06/2008 09:25:00 AM In:
Dormouse: "Why did the chicken cross the road safely?"

Any one of the thirty people to whom she's told the joke: "I don't know, why did the chicken cross the road safely?"

Dormouse: "Because he didn't want to get run over. WHA HA HA HA HA HA HA."



P.S. I totally made up that "Captain Obvious" thing in my own little brain and then got a wild hair to see what would come up under google images if I searched on the phrase. Apparently there really is a Captain Obvious. Who knew? Not me, that's who!

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Sunburst

Posted on 2/06/2008 12:31:00 AM
The KingofHearts and The Dormouse went to the drugstore to pick up 7-Up the other day and came back with these gorgeous colored roses. They make me think of roses that should be growing on the surface of the sun.


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Can You Tell What Channel We Watch Too Often?

Posted on 2/05/2008 07:34:00 PM
The Dormouse, talking to herself and thinking no one is listening to her:

"Now. This final question is worth $100. You guys are up to $500. But wait, we are at your destination! OK here's the deal. I can give you the money now or you can go for double or nothing on a video bonus question. I'm going to play a video for you and ask you a question. If you get it right, you double your money. If you miss it you lose it all and we kick you out of the cab with nothing. What. Are. You. Going. To. Do?"






It's
amazingly accurate. And... yeah, we watch too much TV. On the bright side, maybe she'll pick up enough trivia to end up like this guy one day, then support us in our old age.

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It Laughs

Posted on 2/05/2008 06:52:00 AM
...or at least we think that's what it's doing.





It also rolled over from back to front this morning. I realize these are all cool things, but I was kind of hoping for the sleep through the night milestone first.

(I also like that The Dormouse appears to be participating in some sort of S&M ritual in the background of the second video.)

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Not So Fast, Says the Universe

Posted on 2/04/2008 12:39:00 PM
Never claim that one of your children didn't get the flu everyone else in the house had. Because one week later... just when you think everyone else is over it all... a 104 degree furnace will crawl into bed with you in the middle of the night and then spend the next day doing this:


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Chopped Liver, Here

Posted on 2/04/2008 07:50:00 AM
Dormouse: sweetly "Oh Daddy. You're my best friend."

KoH: "Well thanks, honey. You're my best friend too."

Dormouse: "I love you much more than Mommy."

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Happy Groundhog Day

Posted on 2/02/2008 12:27:00 AM
I love this website.


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Me in 3 Seconds

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Washington, D.C. Metro, United States
Married, 40ish mom of two (or three, or four, depending on how you keep score) who stepped through the lookinglass and now finds herself living in curiouser and curiouser lands of Marriage, Motherhood, and the Washington, D.C. Metro Area.

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