Friday, September 24, 2010

This Little Problem I Have

I keep buying jackets for Finn, forgetting that I’ve already bought jackets for Finn. I see something on sale, or in great consignment store condition, and I think “What a deal, Finn will fit in to that eventually.” Problem is, he never fits in to it now. So, we have 4 jackets that don’t fit, and one that looks like it is suddenly getting too small for him. Or, maybe it just looks small compared to the other ones that clearly won’t fit this winter.

Whenever I bring the new purchase home and open the closet to hang it up, I see all the other ones hanging there. Then I think, Oops, forgot about those ones. Well, I’ll just keep this one too. Eventually it will fit. Shut door. Lose memory. See deal on coat. Repeat.






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I have the same problem with Niamh and shoes. She has 2 pairs that fit, and about 5 that don’t.

I’m sure Finn will fit these jackets perfectly next Summer, and grow out of them by next Winter.

P.S. I love this kid so much.

Still Going Steady


                Kindergarten                                                                    First Grade

Niamh and Jaya are still the best of friends. I hope I get to take this photo of them together every year until college. And if they became college roommates and Finn and Sasha got married, well, I’d be the happiest person ever. (Actually, I have a few hopes for Finn’s future spouse. Hadley and Simone are also on the list. I’m really thinking of myself and who I want his in-laws to be. And if Cannon turns out to be his type, well, I’m good with that too.)

I remember how I broke up with my best friend, Emily Dean, around grade 5. I don’t know why I did it. I’m pretty sure I was the one who wanted to see other people. I joined up with the likes of Jennifer Lupient, Eleanor Duplissea, Angela Bellino, and Michelle Dianda. All were great friends to have, but I was never as close with them as I was with Emily. Then, Emily moved to Sacramento. I search facebook for her every now and then, but I haven’t been able to locate her. She’d probably decline my friend request anyway.

Niamh and Jaya, however, have a mutual love for one another that continues to be strong. It has been interesting to see their relationship grow to the point of complete comfort with one another and with our families. They fight like sisters at times, and always make up. And, when Jaya is at our house, she speaks to me now. She used to speak to me through Niamh. She’d lean over, whisper something to Niamh, and then Niamh would tell me what Jaya wanted: a glass of water, to watch television, to play outside…


And, I continue to admire Jaya’s sense of style. This kid wears flowered Doc Marten ankle boots! I’m in awe.

Proud Owners of a First Grader

009Here she is, her first day as a First Grader! We got out of the house as if the summer had never happened and we were right back in our old routine of me yelling at everyone to Move It! Move It! Steve get out of bed! Niamh get your shoes on! Finn put the airplane in your room and let’s go! No, you can’t bring the airplane with you. Niamh brush your teeth. Where’s your backpack? Has anyone seen my keys? Tomorrow we are going to start with some new rules. I am tired of being so rushed in the mornings. No television until you are fed, dressed, shoes on. I mean it!

Idol threats. They know it. I would never take away television, its my peace.


               2009. Kindergarten                                                        2010. First Grade

Its hard to pinpoint exactly what has changed about Niamh in these photos, but she definitely looks older. She no longer has that baby look in her face, but she’s still my #2 baby. As she points out, Eddy was my #1.



Niamh sits at a table with 3 other boys, no other girls. She figures it is her job to take care of them.


Can you see Jaya way off in the back left corner of the room? They don’t sit anywhere near each other. In fact, now that the first week of school has passed, they are no longer allowed to stand next to each other in line either. Jaya says its because Niamh won’t stop talking to her.


This is what Niamh looked like AFTER the first day of First Grade. Niamh’s mood/behavior/happiness/will to live are all dependent on her glucose level. She barely eats breakfast and never eats her lunch at school. By the time 3:30 rolls around she gnashes her teeth at anyone who dares approach her. She refused to even look at me when she got in the car.


Following some cheese and crackers and bubble gum, she was ready for what she apparently thought was a shoot for a magazine. I think those shoes kind of pull her in to an outdoors category for a catalog.

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Thursday, September 23, 2010

Lost and Found

It all starts and ends with Steve.

Two weeks ago we lost our pups. It was awful.

Grab a snack, this could be a long story.

Hug your dog before you sit back down.

Please check and make sure your gate is locked and fence is secured.

The day of the incident, I left for work at 6:30 in the morning. The pups were fed and were out in the yard playing on a mound of dirt. All seemed fine. I had blocked an area of the back fence that Steve told me the puppies might be able to escape from. Steve was doing some work back there the day before and had moved some barriers.

Just before noon, Steve called me at work to tell me my babies were missing. Are your kidding? You can’t be serious? What do you mean they are “missing”? How do we start an Amber Alert? What do you mean you didn’t check on them before leaving to Issaquah? Steve had taken Niamh and Finn to his parents’ house and had not seen the pups before he left. When he got home, he couldn’t find them. Steve was pretty certain they had found a way out of the yard along another area of the fence.

I couldn’t stay at work. My mind was spinning thinking of all the shelters I needed to call and alert that we were missing our pups. I needed to get the word out all around the neighborhood that we were desperately looking for our boys. Luckily, I work with good people, people who were concerned about Steve’s safety if Fred and Gus weren’t home by dinner. I left work and joined the search.

We passed out and taped to poles around the neighborhood about 150 of these flyers.

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We posted on 3 of our neighborhood blogs. The blog managers tweeted about it. Concerned neighbors who had read the posts and tweets facebooked about it. We listed ads in 3 spots on Craigslist. Steve spoke to the nice folks at the homeless camp off the freeway, just in case they were bold enough to sell them for alcohol or other goodies, and gave them our contact info and a promise to reward them if they found the pups. I phoned shelters and vets all over the city, multiple times.

Not a single person called to say they had them, or had seen them, or had any info on them. We had very visible information how to contact us if someone found them and wanted to get them back to their family.

After a few hours, I called my little sister in San Francisco to tell her what we were going through. The first thing she said was Have you called a Pet Psychic? Nope, I had not. So, I did.

My little sister is quite a resource. She knows helpful people. It was her I called when I was being haunted in my bedroom in my Queen Anne apartment. One of her friends gave me some advice about how to live together with this thing that was haunting me. She is also the one who got me in touch with the woman who told me I was Charles Lindbergh’s flying buddy in a past life. That was my 21st birthday gift. I really hope I was good to Charlie when his baby was kidnapped. I’d feel like a total jerk if I didn’t tweet about it for him.

I contacted one of my sister’s former patients who is able to communicate with animals. I don’t know how it is that Mairead knows so many interesting people. This woman no longer does pet communication, now she teaches about eating a Raw Food Diet. She was very nice and gave me instructions for a meditation that might help ME communicate with Fred and Gus. I tried it, but I guess it didn’t work because I make mental grocery lists when I meditate.

Because I am a huge believer in Psychics, people who can communicate with dead people, ghosts, alien abductions, and Fortune Tellers, I was sold on the idea that a Pet Communicator might help me find the boys. I contacted one locally. I used PayPal to pay her.

My Pet Communicator wanted to know a few things before she hung up with me to try and speak to Fred and Gus. What do the puppies look like? What is the color of my house? Which of the puppies should she focus on speaking with to get the most accurate information? That last one was easy. Gus. Gus is way smarter that Fred. I’m sure Fred was the one that led Gus out of the yard, but Gus would be the one to get them home.

An hour later, she called me back. Below are the notes I scribbled through tears of joy. They were close by. They were safe, with a family. They had travelled about 6 blocks away, up a hill. Along the way they passed a loud barking dog. Gus thought the dog was maybe a German Shepherd. They were in a yellow house, next to a red garage. Gus didn’t know if the family planned to keep them or return them to us.

pet communicator notes 001

If this woman was full of crap, I don’t really care. She gave me some hope. I actually brushed my teeth, hurriedly jumped in the car, and drove around until I found the house. Yes, I found it. I found maybe three that fit the description. I was planning a stake out. I didn’t know if I should knock on the door and pretend to sell wrapping paper, or just sit in my car waiting to catch a glimpse of them. I decided to run home and grab some obnoxiously bright posters to place in front of these houses. The Pet Communicator suggested I write “Be A Hero” on them to appeal to the kids’ sense of doing the right thing.



Steve got a call from someone who said he thought he knew who had our pups. The guy’s story changed a bit during their conversation but Steve thought he was telling the truth. When Steve called to tell me about this phone call, I told him to try and call back the number and see if the guy answered. I was sure it was some horrible person calling to falsely raise our hopes, or that it was someone who was going to try and get money out of us. I was sure because the Pet Communicator said they were with a nice family just 6 blocks away. Steve called him back, and he actually answered. The more Steve spoke with him, the more the story came together and Steve was sure he knew where Fred and Gus were being held.

Here’s the story we were told. I am going to assign false names because I don’t know all the names of the crooks involved.

Lucifer was passing through our neighborhood Sunday morning. He happened to see Fred and Gus running around near a gas station. Lucifer grabbed them and sold them to Dumb Ass. Dumb Ass really liked his new puppies. He told his friend Mr. Opportunity about his new puppies and how he got them.  Mr. Opportunity saw our ad on Craigslist and called Steve to tell him that his friend, Dumb Ass, had the puppies.  Mr. Opportunity really wanted to help us, but Dumb Ass really just wanted to keep the dogs because “they are really sweet dogs, Dude.” Steve had a whole conversation with Mr. Opportunity about the Boxer breed, how great they are for families, that I won’t ever own any other breed because they are so wonderful, etc.  Mr. Opportunity wanted us to hook him up with a breeder because he was thinking of getting a Boxer for his daughter. This guy wanted to be our friend!

So, we have Mr. Opportunity on the phone telling us how much he’d like to help us but his friend, Dumb Ass, couldn’t be convinced to return the puppies to the people who actually own them, care for them, take them to regular vet visits, feed them high quality puppy chow, take them to puppy kindergarten, LOVE them, and are simply their rightful owners! However, when we offered Mr. Opportunity a large amount of money to get them back for us, he agreed to meet Steve 40 minutes later. And that’s what happened. Steve met Mr. Opportunity at a gas station far from our house with a wad of cash in his pocket, one friend inside the convenience store of the station, and another friend across from the station. I called the police to have a cruiser nearby just in case gunfire should ensue.

Steve arrived home minutes later with puppies who smelled like cat pee and cigarettes. Neighbors came running from their homes. Orchestra music started playing. Everything started moving in slow motion as I was reunited with my babies. They appeared well, maybe a bit stressed, but no worse for the 2 days that had passed.

Here’s the funny part. Steve said to me, I thought I was going to get a Hero’s welcome. I heard a record scratch and the music stopped. All I could do was stare at him in disbelief. Steve wanted to be considered a hero? It took everything in me not to remind him how the puppies escaped and were gone for so many hours before he realized they were gone. But, I am a very mature person and I didn’t blame him at all (out loud). I just continued to stare and him and mutter things under my breath. I think he got the message.

Here’s the funnier part. One week later, Steve was doing work in the back yard. He removed the SAME barrier from the SAME area the dogs escaped from. As he was working, he saw Gus run behind the fence in escape. Steve picked up Finn, threw him over the fence to block Fred who was in hot pursuit of Gus, and Steve went running for Gus in the front of the house. My neighbor across the street saw both pups loose in the front of the house (because Finn was no match for Fred) and yelled to Steve, You’re going to get divorced, Steve!

The End

**Fred and Gus were microchipped the next day and Steve was assigned to Hero’s poop duty**

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Don’t Leave Your iPhone Unattended

It is very intentional that I don’t have kid friendly games on my iPhone. I don’t want my kids taking my phone, getting greasy snotty smudge marks on the pretty screen, and depleting the battery while fighting over who gets to play the Jelly Car Game. Thing 1 and Thing 2 know that I’m boring and mean and don’t download games for them like Jaya’s mom does. BUT, they do know my phone has a camera. They also know that they can change the view of the camera so that they can take well composed self-portraits.

Please enjoy the following shots taken by Thing 1 (Niamh) and Thing 2 (Finn).

photophoto photo photo

That’s 70 photos of Finn’s shoes. All were taken during a meeting with Niamh’s principal. You can see his head and my head in a couple of shots. Jaya’s mom and sister were there too. See their heads?


Niamh took these tonight before bed. I put the phone down to go check on the pups. When I came back, the two were having some fun with the video option.

Niamh can’t remember what sounds ch, sh, and th make but she can upload her own video to you tube. Fab.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Big Ole Lump of Love

Tomorrow I am taking Fred and Gus to The Barking Lounge for a day of doggie bliss. (Be sure to watch for them on the live webcam.) Our basement floor needs to be resurfaced, so Fred and Gus must vacate their area.

Steve was asking me where the pups are going to be. I told him it is the same place that we used to take Eddy. Steve remembered that when Eddy would go there, they would put him in the “Small and Shy Dog” area. Our 84 lb (on a skinny day) lap dog would spend the day with Chihuahuas and Yorkies!

That boy was one in a million. He really really was. (now tears). He was unaware of his size and strength. He would never hurt anything. All he ever wanted was to sit on a human lap and eat dirty diapers. I miss him.


Sunday, September 19, 2010

Coming Soon

In the next week I plan to write about:

The disappearance of Fred and Gus, our pups

Niamh’s first week of school


Our back yard

A little problem I have

and, The Toothfairy.

I think I can do it. I have to set goals. I have to set attainable goals. I have to go to the bathroom.

Peace Out.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010


Highlights of the day for me included:

Niamh using the term “Mother Load” in a sentence. I couldn’t find my lunchbox because we all put them in a big bin that was like THE MOTHER LOAD of lunchboxes.

Arriving at Finn’s preschool just in time to overhear his teacher say Finn, we don’t say “Butt Head” at school.

All the kids in Finn’s class ratting out the boy who actually said Butt Head, thereby restoring Finn’s untarnished reputation among preschoolers.

Getting the right combo of shampoo (Aveda Be Curly), conditioner (Aveda Be Curly), styling base spray (Bumble and Bumble Tonic Prep), and styling cream (Moroccan Oil Curl Cream), wearing my rain coat with the rain hood over my head on the walk to school creating just the right amount of warm humidity for my hair to dry…all resulting in a good hair day.

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Peace to Your Mama.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010


Goodbye, Summer. School starts in 10.5 hours.


Marcia Marcia Marcia

Yesterday, while I moped around the house without direction after the kidnapping of our puppies (story later), Finn spent the entire day, no nap (gasp), in the yard helping Steve.

Finn had a blast hammering a pencil into our pile of dirt with a real hammer. Then, he would flip the hammer around and use the nail remover side to rip the pencil out of the dirt, and then start anew, very focused. When Steve told him he could use a real hammer, Finn came inside and announced the milestone proudly. Daddy said I could nuse a real hammer, Mama. He did. Ask him. He also helped move rocks from point A to Point B with his Tonka truck, and dragged timber pieces around the yard.

Steve equally enjoyed the day with his boy, in the yard, in the rain, playing in dirt, with power tools, and real hammers. At one point in the day, Steve came in to the kitchen beaming about getting to make this memory with Finn.This is why he did the touchdown dance when the ultrasonographer told us we were having a boy 5 years ago.

Niamh was at Cousin Emily’s playing with Emily’s new kitty.

I was in the house, in a bathrobe and slippers (figuratively speaking), walking in circles, staring at empty kennels, talking to pet psychics, very sad that our pups were gone.

Later, when Steve was getting the kids showered before bed, he thanked Finn for all his help during the day and then turned to Niamh and told her that Finn was a really good helper while she was at Emily’s.

Niamh grunted and exclaimed, Finn Finn Finn! Blah Blah Blah! I’m tired of hearing about Finn and how he was good. I need some alone time from Finn! You don’t have to talk about Finn anymore!

I leave you with this.

I want Carol’s dress, and Jan’s red boots.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010