We had a wonderful Christmas party with the Mascot family over the weekend, where the kids learned to be spoiled rotten by Nana, Papa and Cousins and Aunties. Today we have the Spencer Christmas party at Gramma's house and then tomorrow... well, let's just say that even if Santa doesn't come, the kids still have it made.

One of the best gifts ever came last week and I'm so looking forward to sharing it tomorrow. Greg and Sheri sent CHICAGO PIZZA! It is a great gift because it's delicious, memorable, delicious, sentimental, and delicious. I'll also make the usual Mascot Christmas Chili, but the pizza is the best part of tomorrow (and Santa).

I hope everyone has a wonderful and safe Christmas!
Last night Tori came and babysat while we went to a Christmas party (where Marc was coerced into wearing an inflatable Santa suit while brandishing a bottle of wine- without even having consumed the wine). Anyway, while Tori was here, Signa made her Santa letter. She wanted it ready for today- Breakfast with Santa Day.

It had been my plan to use the power of suggestion when she asked Santa for gifts. Using my Jedi mind control, she was to say, “Dear Santa, I would love to have Legos for Christmas and not some stupid giant dinosaur.” However, since I was not close enough to use the mind control, here is her list:

Webkinz camel


So Koda is a giant dinosaur that you ride on, much larger than the other giant dinosaur that I thought the kids wanted. Santa, if you bring Koda, I will send hate mail to you all year. Webkinz camel- go for it.

A FREAKING MAGGOT?!?! Seriously, my six-year-old daughter wants a maggot for Christmas. Oh, and not just any maggot, but a crawling toy maggot that was at Target TWO HALLOWEENS AGO. Santa, if you bring this (I can’t find it cheaper that 20 pounds in England with a shipping fee of 80 billion pounds), then I will send you love notes all year. And really not because it would make Signa happy but because then I would get to remind for the rest of her life that Santa came through and got her a maggot for Christmas when she was a child.

Here is the letter, in case you don't believe me. I made her add Legos.

William was cribbed to say, “Indiana Jones figures.” But last week, he changed it up and said he wants a candy cane. Look at your hands. Look at the left hand and say, “Candy cane.” Now look at your right hand and say, “Maggot.” Which one is super cute?

Yeah, it’s pretty even.

Anyway, breakfast with Santa was fine. Especially since Will waited to get home before vomiting profusely from both ends. Thank you, dear William, for not doing that on Santa in front of an auditorium of people. I will personally buy you TWO candy canes for that.

But I’m charging you three for the dry cleaning that my wardrobe from today is going to need.

In other cute stories, William is in love with Christmas cookies (sugar cookies with frosting) and the cutest part of it is how he says it. “Kitmas cookies.” Kitmas is just my favorite.

Today Signa was watching something about this family that hatched baby chicks from eggs. She came running in to where I was getting changed from Vomit Attire and said, “So they put the eggs in an imbitator. What’s an imbitator?” I explained the idea of an incubator keeping them warm and getting the eggs ready to hatch. “Well, that’s dumb. Why didn’t they just bring home a chicken to sit on the eggs?”

Yeah. Why?

Two Ohs

William has been particularly humorous lately. The other night when we were in bed, he was tossing and turning and talking and messing around. I was getting increasingly irritated with him and then he said, “Momma, you very, very pritty.” I said, “Ahhhh,” told him that was nice of him and he said, “And Willyum Macot cool!”

He is very into seeing two “O”s next to each other. “Yook! Two ‘O’s!” everywhere we go.

I Like It

Nothing yet everything has been going on. Nothing much to write about, but enough so that we are too busy to write. Will is getting cuter and cuter by the day, but also more and more stubborn and “independent.” He wants to do everything by himself (“No, help! I do it myself!”) and he wants to do everything his sister does (“No, Wull do it, too!”). Oh, and just about every sentence starts with, “No.”

He has taken to enjoying any and all small injuries and frequently tells us, “I have to go to the doctor.” He hasn’t completely mastered telling us what he wants, but he does tell us what he likes. “I like it beebos.” “I like it milk.” Always the “it” between. He introduces himself to everyone with a handshake and “Name William Mascot” while pointing at himself. He also runs around making sure everyone is happy and knows what time of day it is. “Momma, I happy. You happy? Good aternoon, Momma.” (or “Good morning, Momma” or “Good night, Momma”).

Signa is just getting smarter and smarter by the moment and loves to use her imagination. She has an art class, a science group, a gymnastics class and a few playgroups each week. Last week, she had a three-hour long, three-day “Pre-engineering” class at the community center. “Pre-engineering” is actually Legos, which they used to build many cool things and, more importantly, had fun with in a big group. Signa’s teacher shared with us that she is a fun child and asks a lot of questions. But she asks them before he is done explaining. He said she is also very helpful. She helps all the other students, even when they don’t ask for help. As he said, as problems go, these are very good ones to have.

Thinking back to her dance recital at age 3, some things just haven’t changed at all.

Today we were playing store and Signa was the shopkeeper. I was shopping at her store and mentioned that I really should get the toy elephant for my son, as he really likes elephants. As I added it to my basket, she said, “Your kid probably also likes this dinosaur.”

“No,” I said. “The elephant is enough.”

She whispered at me, “No, for your GIRL kid.”


Edited to add the following Will-ism from today at Gramma's house:

"William, I told you to leave the lights alone! Go to your trouble sofa!"

He sat at the trouble sofa (equivalent of a Pooh Sofa that we have at home) and then I said, "Okay, you can get down. Go say you are sorry."

Will walked by me and went straight to the light switch. "Torry, yite." When I didn't say he could go play (because I was trying to laugh silently), he said, "Torry, yite switch. No more play."

Too funny.
I'm so sorry for this. But I'm going to get political again. I can't help it. This is just too much for me to bear without writing about it. Again, move along if we've agreed not to discuss politics or politic-like by-products. It's just that I have hot-buttons and one has been pressed. The one right next to Sarah Palin.

I've been married for 20 years (and three months). That's a long time (especially in California). So my real question is this: what the heck does someone else's marriage have to do with mine? I'm offended that people imply so. I see people every day who are married and happy, married and miserable, unmarried and happy, and unmarried and miserable. How do any of those have anything at all to do with my own marriage? I do not feel undermined by anyone else's marriage- even if I think their marriage is a bad idea.

And then to say that someone's marriage actually affects my family, not even just my own marriage? How? My children like toads and snails and Daleks from Doctor Who. They do not (I repeat, do NOT) care who, or if, you marry (unless you happen to have a wedding where there is dancing UNTIL NINE THIRTY! in which case, they plead that you marry and invite them to the wedding- see notes about Unkee's wedding if this has confused you). They love to see people happy (see my last diatribe about Will's favorite conversation), if you are a man and want to marry a man, they are all for it (especially if you have dancing UNTIL NINE THIRTY!). And we applaud that because, really, why should we be allowed the easy, "We've been married for 20 years," and they will have to use up all the oxygen in the universe to say, "We've been domestic partners in a legal union for 20 years." Seriously, California? You are going to make them say THAT stupid ass thing? What is the big deal here?

So you don't like gay people- then don't be one. So you don't like gay marriage- then don't have one. Period. But why is it so hard for you to let other people do what you don't even want to do? How does their happiness take away yours? It's a rhetorical question, I know. There is no way I can convince you to change your mind and no way (in hell) you can change mine, so I guess I just leave this here as a way to voice that I personally completely and totally disagree with the passage of Prop. 8 and will be calling today to see what I can do to help overturn it in court.

But at least the eggs I eat will be eggs layed by married chickens. Oh. Wait. I guess I read Prop. 2 wrong. Chickens can't marry, either. They can now just lie down, turn around and stand up in their domestic partnerships.

We've been busy for Halloween! Signa and Marc went to a Halloween party and to escape the wails of, "No! Will Halloween party, too!" we had our own Halloween party. We made mummy pizzas (English muffins with string cheese draped over it to melt like mummy wrappings and olives for eyes), pumpkin cupcakes and spooky popcorn (okay, just popcorn, but I told him they looked like ghost poop). We did crafts, like the hanging Happy Halloween spider that only came with six legs and I knew Signa would have a hissy fit and talk about it for her whole lifetime like the time I made her wear shoes without socks because the outfit was cuter that way and she got blisters and every time we pass the park near Gramma's where it happened she brings it up even though that was three years ago, so I made two extra legs for the damned freaking spider craft.

For Halloween, Will was Darth Vader and Signa was a Dalek from Doctor Who. We went to our downtown Halloween parade on Wednesday and it was a lot of fun. Few people knew who Signa was, but it was a great costume even if you didn't know. And the cool part was that if they knew what she was, they thought it was amazing and really even more cool than cool. On Halloween itself, trick-or-treating, no one knew who she was, but again, it didn't matter because everyone thought it was still amazing.

For the cute/funny stories, Marc is taking a sculpting class and needed a rubber band to wrap around his tool case. He courtesy-asked Signa if he could take one from her jar as he took one from her jar (she's saving up to make a rubber band ball ala PeeWee Herman). Seriously, within 1.2 minutes of returning home from class, Signa had taken that rubber band from around the box and returned it to her jar. Without saying a word. It was just gone when he turned back around and she was calmly returned to the sofa.

We went to a play date at the park and one of the little boys brought his tricycle. To show how bad we are at taking the kids out for bike rides, William sat on it and then said, "Needs batteries."

Speaking of Will, when he gets in trouble lately (which is kind of a lot), he cries a so very sad cry and looks at you with the saddest face you have ever seen in your whole life and says, "But Momma, I'm your friend!" If he weren't so very bad (think, hitting, fighting and general wreaking amazing havoc without any fear of any repercussions), it might actually get to me. Instead I laugh evilly and say, "Not right now you aren't buster!" (Okay, I don't, but sometimes I want to).

William is obsessed with Happy these days. Here is a typical conversation:

“Will’s Happy, Momma. Momma happy?”
“Yep. Momma’s happy.”
“Daddy happy?”
“Yep. Looks pretty happy to me.”
“Dister happy?”“Sister’s happy, too, BuhBuh.”

It’s actually really cute how he does it.

This will only be funny to those of you who like Mystery Science 3k. There is an episode where they spoof the Amazing Colossal Man. Joel acts like he’s the amazing colossal man, Glen, and says, “Oh, I’m huge! What kind of a sin does a man have to commit to get to be so huge?!?!” And he throws the backs of his hands down on the table for emphasis. This morning when I came out of the tub, Will was playing in the kitchen with a bee from the Bee Movie. I heard, “Oh, huge! Sin and huge!!!” in the same voice as Joel doing his Glen impersonation.

It also cracks me up how he introduces himself to everyone. He walks up, taps himself on the chest and says, “Name William. Daddy name Marc. Momma name Debbie. Dister name Digna.” And he’ll shake their hand and say, “Hello, (whatever they said their name was).”

He is such a little man.
First conversation with Signa this morning-

Me: "Wow! You are so smiley this morning! That's what I like to see!"
Signa: "That's because I had a good dream."
Me: "Tell me! What was it about? Candy? Webkinz?"
Signa: "No, I had a dream that the Creature from the Black Lagoon came to our house and I got to feed him."

Only in our house would this be a GOOD dream...

I feel that I’m pretty opinionated- I’ve got an opinion on just about everything; I just don’t share it with everyone all the time. Which is why bumper stickers are beyond me. Is it to have people treat you differently (Oh, he’s got an Obama bumper sticker, so I won’t swear at him after he cuts me off)? Or is it to change people’s minds (Oh, that guy has a cool car and drives nicely- huh! A McCain bumpersticker?!?!? I was going to vote democrat this time, but now I’ve changed my mind!)? Some seem like they are good warnings. NRA for instance. Keep far away. Far far away, as they can and WILL kill you. Same with the God-fish sticker people.

To me, it’s almost like the death penalty- what is the purpose? If you give me a good purpose that makes sense and is backed up by facts, I’ll gladly glue those puppies all over my car and delight in the news when San Quentin kills off another convict But really, it just doesn’t make sense.

On a totally different note, while watching the debates, Signa said, "Daddy, how come that white guy sounds like he's just making up stuff?"

Dear Mrs. Magilicutty,

You have now turned six. My six-year-old little girl. It’s amazing that you could be six already when it seems like just yesterday that you were saying, Tickabah and scotching around on your butt as your only mode of movement. This was a very special birthday for you (or maybe me), as this is the year that you can truly understand how much we adore you and appreciate you and love you. So we decided to reward you for not only your birthday, but also the amazingness that is you with a surprise trip to Disneyland.

You woke up on your birthday with such joy at just being you and having a birthday and being in a hotel. Yet you still had no clue that you were at Disneyland, since we arrived so late at night and you were asleep. So we let you revel in birthdayness and then you opened your gifts to find Disneyland tickets. And then you found out that you were going RIGHT NOW and the happiness and joy on you face and in your eyes was worth all the money in the world (which is pretty much what it cost to go to Disneyland for three days).

Anyway, Signa, you are the best daughter, child, friend, and person that I can imagine. I’m proud of you each and every day and cannot believe how lucky I am to have been given a chance to not only know you, but to be in your family. You are so sweet and kind and loving and such a wonderful sister and helper. I love how smart you are and how innocent, too.

You know that the best present I ever got was you on your birthday.

Does anyone remember Creature Features? It was a show on late at night on the weekend that played two monster/scary movies and you were allowed to stay up to watch Creature Features each week as late as you wanted. If you were like me, you “just rested your eyes” at the first commercial and then proceeded to sleep through the whole rest of the movie(s).

Marc was telling Signa about Creature Features a couple of weeks ago and she got very excited and wanted to watch it. Since it isn’t on anymore and DVDs are now invented, they planned a Creature Features Night for the coming Saturday night. All week long, they planned Creature Features Night- what movies they would watch (Frankenstein and Them), what snacks they would have (popcorn and hot chocolate), and Signa even drew at least 46 maps of the house and where they would sit in relation to where the television is in the living room.

Saturday night finally came and Will and I bid them good night at 8:30. We kissed them and hugged them and wished them a ton of fun for Creature Features Night.

At 9:10, Marc carried the sound-asleep Signa to bed.

Last Saturday was the second try for Creature Features Night. This time she made it to 9:40pm.

Guess who takes after Momma?

If you and I have either agreed to disagree about politics or have never talked politics before and you don’t want to start now, there is another post up that you will love.

Nothing to see here. Move along.

You know what would be fun? To have an election where you like all the people and the only thing that makes you vote one way or the other are the issues. I would still vote the same as I’m going to, but it would be nice to say, “The other guy is great, too, though, and I really like him.” Which I actually do. But it’s his VP choice that gives me heebee jeebees. Majorly.

As said by a comedian that I heard on the radio (I can’t remember his name), “Who knew that evil came in a Lenscrafter ad?”

Besides disagreeing with Ms. Palin on virtually every issue (abortion, gay marriage, capital punishment, gun control, censorship, stem cell research, national healthcare, global warming, environmental issues, foreign policy and I’m sure there are more), I really don’t like how she says one thing about her self, but her actions point in the dead opposite direction. I would feel better about her if they were just honest. “We picked her because she’s intelligent, new to politics, might give us a fresh look at the way things are done, and because she will bring some Hilary voters over to ‘our side.’ Oh, and she happens to pretty much agree with everything we want her to agree on. And she’s purty.” That would be okay. I honestly have to believe she’s all those things (especially pretty).

But the John McCain site states, “…she has successfully fought the special interests, the lobbyists, the Big Oil companies…” No she hasn’t. Alaska has requested over $700 million in special federal funding, which is the largest per-capita amount in the nation. She also is infamous for the Bridge to Nowhere fiasco. She asked for money for the bridge, fought for the bridge, got ridiculed for the bridge, and then said, “Thanks but no thanks” but still kept the money.

As for lobbyists, she in fact hired one while mayor and got $27 million for her town. Big oil? She sleeps with it; her husband works for BP (which actually has nothing to do with anything- I just wanted to say that she’s “in bed with big oil” and crack myself up). However, (seriously) she does want to drill the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and the Alaskan coast rather than pursue alternative sources of oil. It’s Oil and Big Business before Science with Ms. Palin, with her wolf helicopter hunting, global warming denial, and lawsuits over endangered species that she says are not.

She did sign a big tax increase for oil companies, which is great and I won’t even add a but.

She also claims to be responsible for a $40 billion natural gas pipeline, and it only exists on paper and may never be built, possibly wasting all the money she got in taxes from big oil. So there is the “but”.

Ms. Palin charged Alaska 312 days of lodging for days that she spent at her own home. How is this “fiscally conservative”? How is it “fiscally conservative” to leave your town in $20 million of debt- taking it from zero before you were mayor? How? I don’t see that. I do see that the debt she left it with was partially due to social programs she put in place that are valid and not special interest (some were, however, special interest), but that is NOT fiscally conservative.

Speaking of social issues, ethics is a major source of talk about Ms. Palin. How she faught for ethical conduct on so many levels. But how is it ethical to use your position in government to get vendettas taken care of against people who ran against you and people who divorce your sister? I just don’t see where ethics come into play on this one. Same with rape victims and their insurance companies being charged for the materials that are used to examine them and take evidence. A lot has gone around on this one where she says that she didn’t even know it was happening and then banned it, etc, but Palin, as mayor, fired the police chief (see above ethics comment) and replaced him with Charlie Fannon. Mr. Fannon is the one who implemented this rape kid program and the city budget documents show that she read and signed off on the new budget. A year later, Alaska banned this practice and he put up a big stink. If she is saying that she didn’t read the budget and just signed it, that’s actually even scarier to me.

So to sum up how I feel, she’s icky and I don’t like her as a vice president. I wish McCain had chosen more wisely so that I could continue respecting him as I did before and continue hoping for an election based on the issues alone, rather than all this Carl Rove-ism. And, just so you know, I’m not thrilled with Obama’s choice, either, but he hasn’t been hailed the next coming of the almighty Mary, mom to Jesus, like Palin has.

And as long as we are talking politics, I’m also struggling with my understanding of republican vs. democrat. I always thought that a republican was for less government and democrats were for more. But now it seems to be the opposite, which confuses me. I’ve always been a democrat and pro major social programs, but I always respected the repulican point of view and understood where they were coming from. So unless the definition of repulican/democrat has changed, I just don’t get it any more.

Is an ideal republican a social, fiscal conservative with the call for government to interact completely in my life everyday by legislating my body (abortion, marriage, stem cell research), my home (warrantless domestic spy programs), my school (censorship, “no child left behind”), and my world (oil drilling, environmental)? And is an ideal democrat a weirdo hippy with conspiracy theories galore and hatred for all things government?

If so, that’s fine, we just need to change the definitions here:

And here:

And maybe find new playground to play in where I don’t have to hem-ha my way through hiding the disgusting factor from my children when I explain how the American politics works. Maybe there is a third party, call it the “Happy Voting Party”, where people are not gross spinners of fact and fiction, but just normal people who disagree about some crap. I can totally play in that playground.
While watching the national conventions, there is much talk about the "young voter". I realized this morning, that this no longer means me.

For two weeks now, I've been identifying with all of them when they talk about "getting me out to vote." Now I realize they aren't actually talking about me.

How the heck did I get from "young voter" to "middle aged professional woman"? How the fuck did that happen without me even noticing? You would think I would have got a graduation hat or a watch or something...
Marc told me that Signa came to him very seriously and matter of factly.

"OKAY. I know this is a bad word, but I gotta show you so that you can put the medicine on it." Then she stuck up her middle finger to show him the papercut she got.

Our girl is so careful about things like sign language swearing.

William is very much the two-year-old. MINE, NO, and NO, MINE are all words said constantly and in capitals. He's also sweet, though, and likes BIG HUG! and KISS, MOMMA!

But then if something happens to piss him off, he mimes the hug or kiss again and then reverses it, pretends to grab it, and then fake throws it. NO, NO HUG/KISS! Nice... he UNhugs and kisses.

This weekend we have lots of great plans. Going to the park in the morning, to dinner at night, Austin's coming, Mom's coming, Sunday is a wine event I'm going to with a friend/client, and Monday we are going to do something Austin wants to do.
After waking this morning, instead of bounding out of bed, Signa stayed in there for awhile. She finally got up, but something was clearly bothering her. When she's hurt or something is wrong, she clams up and won't talk or say anything about it but gets a nervousness about her. She had that.

After a few minutes of prodding, she finally relented. "I'm just getting older and my skin is coming off that's all!" She nearly yelled at me. I said, "What?" And she showed me her arm. It had a greenish whitish powdery substance on it in a streak.

My poor baby girl though that she was growing out of her skin and it was turning that white color like a lizard's. When, in fact, all it really consisted of was dried toothpaste from her wiping her mouth with her arm the night before...
I called home today and Marc held the phone out so that I could listen to Signa playing with her play airplane that you can take apart and put back together with a screwdriver.

"There's another screw. That will come in big handy." Then she screams, "HI, JACK!!!" to the cat.

That will come in big handy. I'm so using that phrase from now on.
Last night I was working on the computer at the kitchen table and the kids were playing school, which is one of the favorite things they play together. It's funny to listen to Signa playing school, since she really has no concept of school. Below is the documentation of what I saw and heard.

William, come here for your glasses. You usually don't have to wear them because you don't have to see much, but at school there is a lot to see.

[She puts fake bright blue play glasses that she got in a doctor kit on William.]

Now let's pack your chicken soup and water for lunch. Time for the bus!

[They run to the sofa and use it as the bus. She sees me watching and yells over-- from the bus---.]

I signed him up yesterday and today is his first day! The bus goes clippity clop clippity clop

[She makes horse galloping sounds].

Okay, Will. We are here. Don't forget to bring Teddy in case there is scary stuff. And Spider Girl. Here. Put all of it in your cubby.

[She tells him to get it and then grabs it away and puts it on a chair, which is apparently the cubby. William throws a tantrum on the floor because his toys got taken away. She gets him calm enough to where she can talk over his yelling.]

Are you ready for school, Will?

[William yells NO at her and cries. She calms him again, but still doesn't give him the stuff back from his "cubby". She leads him to the child sofa. William is pissed off and angry and so I interrupt by asking what happens next.]

I put him in his seat and lock him up.

[I argued that this wasn't right and she couldn't lock up her brother but she elaborated.]

I lock him up with a pillow so that it's like a real school desk. Then we sing the alphabet song.

[She pauses as she's fiddling with a blanket and she looks down at it]

But first I have a cast.

[She wraps the blanket around her arm and holds her arm with gentle hurt]

Now we sing the alphabet song and then it's time to put William to bed. There is no eating in there, either!

[She throws a pillow on Will's lap, grabs his cup from him, and stands in front of him. Then she does what looks like a potty dance and starts singing]

"A" is the letter we learn today.
"Ah" is the short sound that A says.
1 is the day today ay ay and
there is a student that's 2 today
so the letter isn't 1 today it's 2 2 2 today.

[She stops singing and potty dancing and puts her hands on her hips at Will.]

Okay, Will! You can't get out yet. You can do recess now. Get your chicken noodle soup.

[William is irritated and annoyed and runs to me for a kiss and then a tantrum.]

You can eat here right now. Here, Will! Here!!! You need to just call me Signa Teach. Will!!! Come over here!

[Will walks into a chair trying to avoid Signa Teach and says, "Owie!!!" He yells a lot and Signa yells a lot and then she kisses his hand.]

All better, Will. Okay, Will. Bring your teddy and march to the kitchen for a picnic. Will, it's time to eat.

[Will starts yelling, "NO! Have one home! Have one home!" He is clearly done with playing school. He pours himself onto the floor face down and says, "No glasses. No! Have one home!" and takes the glasses off and gives them to Signa.]

No, Will. You have to go back on the bus so that you can go home and go to bed after you read Junie B. Jones and Magic Tree House.

[Will is way past done and is having no part of anything other than he wants those toys out of the cubby. Now. I tell Signa that I think he doesn't really like to play with so many rules.]

Okay, Will! No rules then! Come on! Let's play with no rules and have fun, okay? No rules, Will! Let's have fun!

[She talks to him like he's a small dog. Will puddles in a heap of a mess screaming, "No! No rules!!! No rules!!! Have one home!!!]

End scene.
We went to Target last night and in the toy aisle, William kept saying, "Have that home" and dismissed everything. I thought it was cute until this morning when we were watching television and they were petting an enormous white tiger and Will dismissed it and went back to his race cars with, "Cute, but I have that home."

Signa is officially signed up for a Pre-Engineering class and two performing arts classes. Before you get too excited about how advanced my almost-six-year-old is, it's a Lego class and two magic classes through the park and rec center. Doesn't "pre-engineering" and "performing arts" sound better, though?
Signa drew a picture today of a turtle and a lizard. Then, underneath, she wrote a story:


"The turtle and the lizard
had a race. The lizard took a
nap. The turtle kept going."

Beautiful. Toward the end I gave her the advice to put spaces between her words as it makes it easier to read. But I won't ever correct spelling on these kinds of things. Tonight we'll study the words Turtle and Lizard, though. I love that she isn't afraid to try doing this like she used to be. Instead, she seemed rather proud (as she should be).

While she did this, Will made A, B, C, and D with his wooden shapes from Handwriting without Tears. Didn't do much for Signa, but maybe it will work perfectly for William. We gave him 4 flashcards of his own on Saturday- boy, girl, toys and red. He carried them around all weekend and sometimes got one or two right. Fluke, but still. He understands that the letters stand for words and that is a good first step.


I added a Shelfari feature to this site to let you all know my favorite books. Sadly, I can't get it to appear any where but in the side bar at the very bottom. So scroll down and check it out. Then make your own list and share it with me on Shelfari, so that I can add more books to my Someday list!

The email address to find me at on Shelfari is:
debbie (dot) mascot (at) gmail (dot) com.

(thanks for finding it, Sheri!)

Wipt Creme

The other night Signa and I decided to make quesadillas for dinner and cream pies for dessert. I read off the shopping list to Signa for her to write down. When we got to the store, here was the list:


She may not have the spelling right yet, but I knew exactly what to shop for and she wrote it all quickly and proudly!

The photographer posted some on his site. Amazing. I can't wait to see the rest!


Tonight is our last swim class. What idiot thought that two solid weeks with swimming every night for both children and me (parent/tot class with Will) was a good idea? Oh yeah… me. Idiot.

Anyway, the kids have done great. Signa doesn't seem so afraid anymore and William… well, he's just happy as a clam like he was our first class. But he kicks more and can blow bubbles on command now, so it was worth it I suppose.

Our first class, they handed out a swim pass and I called it Will's prize. He still has it at home- this wadded up crinkled hot pink, piece of paper. "My prize, Momma! My prize, Dad-day!" He loves that thing. Can't wait to scrapbook it to show his friends when he's a teenager.

My friend Lisa is having her baby today via c-section. Everyone think healthy baby, healthy momma, and happy breastfeeding thoughts for her!
* Signa has a stuffed animal named Doma. Marc asked her if she wanted to bring Domo to gymnastics to watch her one day and she looked at him like he was stupid and said, "Domo is nocturnal. He would sleep right through it."

* There was a big cross in the side of a hill nearby and it said, Jesus loves or saves or something. Signa pointed at it and said, "Wow! That sure is a big 'T'!"

* William and Signa play quietly in the living room most mornings. The other day, Marc heard Will yell, "I WIN!!!" and then Signa respond, "I wasn't even playing anything with you!" He just suddenly got up from what he was doing and ran his own personal race. And won.

* William loves to sing the song by Andrea True Connection, "More, More, More." It's funny to hear him singing, "Mo Mo Mo how do you yike it how do you yike it".

* In order to get Will to do anything anymore, you have to make him think that Sister gets to do it first.
Us: "Will, do you want to take your bath now?"
Will: "NO!!!!"
Us: "Okay, then Signa, would you like your bath now?"
Will: "NO!!! Will's turn!!!"
Saturday was my brother's wedding and Friday night was the rehearsal dinner. Both were spectacular. The rehearsal dinner was in downtown Mountain View at a wonderful restaurant that I will definitely eat at again. It was really very nice, with great food and great service. Joanne's family and friends were so nice and it was great to get to see Todd's old friends again, too. I'm sorry if I embarrassed Todd in my speech with props showing off his nice qualities, but he's just going to have to live with knowing that other people can sometimes see that. HA!
The wedding was in Menlo Park at the Stanford Park Hotel- they also did a fantastic job and I will recommend them highly for weddings. It was so pretty and done so well.

Joanne's family is filled with musicians, so during the ceremony, her mom and aunt sang a song and then a friend of theirs did a reading. The "preacher" was a wonderful speaker and did a beautiful job.

After the ceremony, we all moved to the reception area where we milled about visiting and snacking and drinking until Joanne and Todd were finished with pictures with her family. They served dinner later that was delicious and then a to-die-for browning cake thing for dessert. Once the dancing began, I never again saw my children off the dance floor area.

At one point, someone announced that there was "dancing until 9:30". Signa ran back to our table with the most excited look I've ever seen on her face EVER. "MOMMA!!! DADDY!!! There is dancing until NINE THIRTY!!!" (like 9:30 is the latest time she's ever heard of). Then she ran back to the dance floor.

After the wedding and reception, there was an "after party" at this big bar in Palo Alto. We dropped the kids with Mom and went to it and about 10 people there told me that Signa was the dancing police. They'd stop dancing to go back to their table and she'd dance on over and tell them, "YOU DON'T HAVE TO STOP! THERE IS DANCING UNTIL ***NINE THIRTY***!!!"
The after-party was wonderful, too. Joanne's musical family from Ireland played guitars and sang wonderful songs for hours and hours. We closed the place down at 2am, and I'm sure they must have all been completely exhausted, as I sure was and all I did was listen!

So now my baby brother is married and they are off to a trip around the world in just a couple of weeks. I hope there is time to say goodbye before they go.

Toilet Paper

We had a fun weekend with kid things AND adult things. After a day of Gymboree and shopping with Will, (and Marc's day of seeing Hellboy II with Signa) Marc and I went to some friends' house for dinner. It was an odd night- odd in that we had a really great time with people we recently met and did so without any reservation at all about them. We rarely find people that we not only both like, but we like their kids, too. These friends more than fit that bill. Our new friends actually feel more like old friends who we've known forever. Delightful!

Sunday I took Signa for a cousin day at Six Flags/Marine World/Whatever it's called now. She had a great time with the Gould's and their friend and I had a great time connecting with her for some one-on-one Momma/Daughter time. She is certainly adorable, if I do say so myself. She was all smiles all day. If I smiled that much, my cheek muscles would explode, but I guess she exercises hers enough.

I do have to tell about my new nails, though. During our shopping excursion on Saturday, Will fell asleep so I decided to get my nails done. Since I've got swimming all week (oh my God, I have to shave my legs every day this week for swim lessons, since I have to get in the pool with William. What was I thinking when I signed up for this?!??!), I realized my natural nails would look crappy by the Friday/Saturday Todd's Wedding Extravaganza.

So I decided to get gel put over my natural nails and then painted for the wedding. I explained this to the overly hurried man who didn't speak English. "Do you do something like this?" I asked nicely after explaining. "Yes. Yes. Sit. I do." He rushed around and then threw some crap on my nails (acrylic, not gel) and then said, "You done."

He did not make them all one length and he did not paint them. I said, "But I need paint. Polish."

"Yes. I polish. Clear. I polish clear."

"But I wanted something else, not clear."

"Yes, I polish clear. You done." And he moved on.

I stood there for a minute. What do I do? He didn't understand me and so I went to get a bottle of polish I like so that I could show him. Then William woke up and I had to leave. Never ever going there again. For anything. Ever. And I will write them a letter, too. In English.

And my Signa-ism for the day:
Signa was taking a bath while I was using the potty (tell me that I did not just use the word, "potty" outside of the home…). I put a new roll of toilet paper on the holder and Signa shot up in the tub. She stared at me in astonishment and then started to clap and gasp with joy and pride. "You did it, Momma! You did it! You learned how to change the toilet paper! I told Daddy you could learn! I'm so proud of you!"

Note to everyone: When you say things like, "Doesn't Momma even know how to put new roll of toilet paper on the holder?" to a nearly 6-year-old, she may not know you are joking…
Art. Art is definitely one of those things that is in the eye of the beholder. I can look at something and find it amazing and you can look at it and wonder what the hell I am smoking in finding that piece of crap amazing. It is because of this that I think all art is amazing, as SOMEONE SOMEWHERE is going to think it's a piece of brilliance.

This is not true of my own kids' artwork. Their art is truly a piece of amazing brilliance. Everything they do, in fact, is art to me. Give William a crayon and a piece of paper and he makes a circle, announces, "Draw Go Racer, Momma!" (translation: I drew the Speed Racer car, Momma!) and that is brilliance. Give Signa a coloring book and she makes all the hair a perfect pink- art. I love their art more than I love any masterpiece in any museum anywhere.

With this love of their art, comes great responsibility. I want to foster it, yet not discourage it. Encourage the growth of it without pointing out any "flaws" in the current stages of the brilliance.

So we put Signa in art class. It's a one-hour class all week long. Monday was Self Portrait Water Color Day. Tuesday was “paint a turtle” day (or so Signa said- we are pretty sure it was some other instruction, but it apparently came home today as a painting of an underwater turtle).

Anyway, the self portrait had to dry so she didn’t bring it home until yesterday. Marc told me on the phone that it was awesome and he was amazed, but honestly, I'm at a loss for words on its wonderment. Brace yourselves…

She is the most beautiful girl in the world.

P.S. Do they do tax-exempt savings accounts like the 529 plans, but for future psychotherapy, rather than college?
Will had his 2-year doctor appointment yesterday and apparently did fantastic! Marc said that he didn't flinch or get shy or cry at all. He was interested in the doctor and told her his usual, "Go racer boom!" and put her looking-in-the-ear thing back together for her and everything. He also watched the finger prick with interest and didn't even flinch. I personally am concerned that he didn't care that he was poked and bleeding and instead wanted to watch it scientifically, but whatever. He's in the 50th percentile for height and 15th for weight. Which is just right.

Such a cute little guy.


We just got back from a trip to Chicago. WE LOVE CHICAGO!!! Why did no one ever tell me there could be a city that I actually LIKE?!?! The people, the sites, the air. Everything was wonderful. We went there for work for me, but I dragged the family along so that we could visit some friends I'd never met. When I first was pregnant with Signa, I joined an iParenting email list of other moms due the same time. We've since moved on, but I've stayed in touch with a few of them.

Sheri has been the closest to me- like a real life friend, even though we'd never met. She came from her State with her family and we stayed in the same hotel. Jillian lives in Chicago. So we met up and watched our three October 2002 babies play together. It is a site that will be with me forever.

And the better part is that it seems Sheri wasn't too horrified by me or my family and actually STILL LIKES US!!!

Anyway, more about the trip. It was the first flight for the kids and for us with kids, so I was pretty stressed. We brought too much stuff, thinking they would need to play with toys and eat constantly. Could have left snacks and toys behind, as everything was too much fun. We had pizza at two different Chicago restaurants (Pizzeria Due and then the best- Giordano's). I will never eat pizza here again. We are ordering from Giordano's and stocking our freezer to satisfy my need for pizza. Chicago pizza. REAL pizza.

I went to my meeting at the Merchandise Mart and was there early so wandered the town a bit in that area. Then I got finished early that day and so I tried to find Marc and the kids, but they were out walking. Rather than wait for them, I went out walking and ventured to Magnificent Mile, where I had a nice walk and rather than shop, I looked at architecture and went into some of the old churches. Such a beautiful town!

That night we had dinner at the Rainforest Café, Signa's favorite restaurant. Later that evening, Sheri and her family came into town and we walked for awhile and then sat in the lobby of our hotel talking and watching the kids. I feel like they are all my family now.

Anyway, Friday was a thunderstorm and the Museum of Science and Technology. It was a fantastic museum and Will is still talking about the "Yeyo submarine" (it wasn't yellow, but whatever…). We then had dinner at Ed Debevic's, which if you haven't been to, you need to go. It's a 50s style diner, where the staff is purposefully insulting. They called us names and were all around rude, which was hilarious. We loved it there. Then we had more time in the lobby that night, also featuring a bottle of wine.

Saturday was our day with Jillian and her crew. She was nice enough to host us at her home, where the kids ran rampant and William fell down the stairs onto a balloon that popped, which poor Greg though the sound was a little boy's head. Lovely. Leave it to my kids. Seeing our three kids together was just huge for me. After all this time of imagining them and seeing pictures, to actually see them together and to hold them and touch them was amazing.

After we said our goodbye's with Jillian and her family, we went to the top of the John Hancock building and got a great view of the city and lake (and also a great picture of our two families together). It was amazing. Then we went to pizza and ate very late as the wait was an hour and a half! And so so worth it! We didn't hang out in the lobby that night, as we had to pack for an early Sunday flight, but we missed so much in Chicago, that we will definitely go back for longer. My new favorite place.

Goodbyes were horrible and tearful for both Signa and me. Poor Signa refused to even say the words or hug and just cried most of the morning. She hasn't really had goodbyes before so the feelings were all new to her. I sobbed like a baby, holding Sheri as tight as I could, wishing we lived closer than 2,411 miles away.

So that was our most recent trip. We've several more coming up, but none will be as exciting as Chicago. Cannot wait to go back!
(I wrote this yesterday but didn't have time to post it)

You now talk ALL THE TIME. We mostly understand you, but you just pick something that sounds the way you wants it to and then that is forever the word for that thing. Mine-a-man is one. "Mine-a-man!!!" you'll say. "Superman?" we answer. "NO! NO! MINE-a-man!" you'll correct, sounding EXACTLY the same as the first time. "Spiderman?" we ask. "NO! NO! MINE-a-man!!!" again sounding just the same. "Iron Man?" we try for the third thing it could be as all three are the same word. "Mine-a-man" you say lovingly and smile when we finally get it right

Your new favorite thing is Speed Racer. Anything that you see that is Speed Racer, you yell, "GO RACER!!!!" You also sing songs. You get the words the way you like them and then just sing. Like Dr. Who. "DaDa OO OO. DaDa AYE!" And you are a joker, too. You know when something is funny and so you just keep doing it with a sly look on your face. The new thing is when we smell something. "Will, did you poop?" "No, Dister poop." "Sister did not poop! Did you poop?" "No, Momma poop." "No! Momma did not poop. Will, did you poop?" "No, Da Day poop." And on and on for whoever is around.

You also amaze me with how polite you are. You say, "Tank you" "Peas" and "Dorry". And at the right times and in the right places for the most part. You surprised me at a birthday party when you ran into a boy and you stopped, went back and looked him in the eyes and said, "Dorry!" Then you waited for him to say he was okay. It was so wonderfully odd.

You are a stunningly beautiful little man. My buh buh, boo boo and baby man. I can't believe it's been two full years since you were brought into this world. I remember it like it was yesterday. Looking into those brilliant blue eyes and seeing wonder and amazement reflected back in mine. You are a wonderful addition to our lives, little man.



I'm in Los Angeles now on business and decided I better fix my website. They redesigned it and I couldn't update any longer. I have notes somewhere to post things that I couldnt, but for now, this is just testing anyway, so I'll tell you about William. If you ask if he pooped, he'll shake his head no and say, "No.... DISTER pooped." Then when you smile and correct him, he smiles an evil smile back and says, "No... DA DAY pooped!" Then Momma, Jack, Jones, anyone, really. Anyone except Will...

So now I shall post this and then figure out how to link to it from the main page...