Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Hush, Little Baby

Tonight my heart is with the tiniest, most vulnerable little person I know.

Eve is three months old and tomorrow she will undergo open heart surgery to fix a defect that has wracked her tiny body since birth. She weighs barely eight pounds, she cannot breathe while laying down, and she had to be fed through a tube because she is too weak to eat on her own. If her surgery is successful tomorrow, however, she will grow up to be a perfectly healthy, normal child.

Tonight my heart is with her mother, who at 19 is facing a nightmare that is beyond the reckoning of even the most cynical and battle-hardened parents I know. She has risen to this challenge with uncommon grace, courage and clear-headedness. I am so proud of her I could burst.

Tonight my heart is with her surgeon, a man I have known for years. He has dedicated himself to giving life back to these incredibly tiny, hopelessly weak patients. He daily works miracles we couldn't conceive just a few years ago.

Tonight I'm asking you if you would spare a bit of your heart, your thoughts and prayers, to lend strength to baby Eve and the people who are going to work together to save her life tomorrow morning. They could use all the help they can get.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Random Thoughts

I made my first Angel Food Cake from scratch today. So much fun! But word to the wise -- invest in a real live Angel Food Cake Pan, with the removable bottom. Because the festive cut-out Bundt pan I used was a recipe for Trifle. Yummy, though.

I am so fracking sick of snow I could scream. For hours.

Can someone PLEASE tell me why people waste valuable life force on bitterness???

Tie-dyed Easter eggs rock the shizamm!!

Some day, I'd like to have a dinner party catered by Michael Ruhlman.

Got three more hits on "bifurcated uvula" today! I swear, I'm going to put out a general call for comments from lurkers who hit on that term, just to see if they're all med students or something... ;)

Have a blessed and most happy Easter, my friends.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

...and then there are days like this....

Santa Claus.

The Easter Bunny.

The Tooth Fairy.

I totally bought into the whole "share the mythology and fun with your kid" thing. We had a lot of fun with it. But now she's seven, and the kids on the bus today told her none of these beautiful icons existed. Made her cry. She's mad at them for taking away her gentle heroes and she's mad at me for introducing them to begin with.

I tried the "Santa and the Easter Bunny don't exist for Hannah Larsen because she doesn't believe in them" tack. Nothing doin'. I tried the "Santa and the Easter Bunny are the spirits of all that is good and beautiful about these holidays and they are the spirit of love".

She looked me straight in the eye and said "When I got presents from Santa, did they really come from you?" I answered, "What do you think?"

She paused.

"I think you're dodging".

Maybe I was wrong to take my double Virgo, rules maven Aspy kid and perpetrate a beautiful lie on her...

Well, I guess we'll get to have that talk about how much we love our imaginary friends, even when inside, we know they're imaginary. I was just hoping for another year of magic.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Why I love my seven-year-old

1) This evening, she composed an operetta for Go Dog, Go! and sang it to me before bed. I particularly enjoyed the soaring passage as the dogs ascended the tree at the end to join the dog party.

Will they work there?
Will they play there?
What is up there on top of that tree?
A dog party!
A big dog party!

And finally, the triumphant acceptance of the hat, after so many rejections.

I laughed. I cried. I wanted to engage a string section.

2) Her description, in detail and with appropriate dance moves, of three of her male classmates emerging from the bathroom break wearing their t-shirts cascading of the back of their heads (like hair) singing "I'm just a Barbie a Barbie world..."

3) Today, she insisted on showing me her diary. It's possible that, when she is 17, she will crucify me for betraying a confidence, but the January 19th entry reads:

Dear Diary,

I think I have a crush on Zachary. He knows more about Pokemon than ANYbody I know. He says I'm funny. He told me I have to figure out how to beat the seventh gym leader on my own, but then he came back at recess and told me how. I think that means he likes me.

A word to the wise, Bug: A man who enjoys your sense of humor and will help you achieve your goals is a keeper.

Saturday, March 15, 2008


Conversations between my daughter and her best friend, while playing Nintendo DS -- Super Mario Brothers, I think.

7-year-old: Mary Ann! That was my mushroom! You took my mushroom! That's IT, Mary Ann! You are no longer my brother!

8-year-old: Louise, you are a sad, sad bucket of fries.


8-year-old: I like this level. The music is really peppy.

7-year-old: Yeah, it's too bad you have to die such a horrible way with such nice music.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Back to normal

I have a mountain of laundry on my family room floor and there is an empty pizza box on my kitchen counter.

My hobbling hubby must be home.

On entirely separate note: Do you think coconut is bad for cats? Because my daughter's numbskull tabby is wolfing down the bag of tropical trail mix on the table.

Oh, and my bifurcated uvula was especially happy today. I bought it a milkshake on the way home from work.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008


This is a shameful day, indeed, in American history.

Our government has failed to uphold our moral and ethical will by refusing to override President Bush's veto of the intelligence bill. A bill that was intended, in part, to extend to the CIA and other intelligence agencies the same rules we have placed on our military interrogators regarding the use of torture as an intelligence-gathering "tool". To be clear, there are only eight things these military interrogators are not allowed to do. Eight. It's like saying we can't form complete sentences without using George Carlin's "Seven Dirty Words." These eight illegal interrogation techniques are, I understand, also slightly less effective than using Mr. Carlin's seven dirty words, when it comes to gathering good intelligence.

Please, sir, if you will allow me to retain my genitals, I would be happy to give you the names of several Al Qaeda operatives posing as shepherds outside of Baghdad.

I'm not even going to bother feeling outraged that Bush vetoed the bill to being with. I've given up on expecting anything morally right out of the man. He's clearly a megalomaniac who thinks that whatever he conceives is correct by definition.

I love this quote from the flavor-of-the-month White House Assistant Press Secretary:

"The bill would have eliminated the legal alternative procedures in place in the CIA program to question the world's most dangerous and violent terrorists."

Really. Waterboarding is legal? Who knew?

Well, hell -- how about breaking people's thumbs?

"Hey, pal, if you can't pay back the money you owe to Big Vinny, my friend Guido, here, might have to employ some legal alternative procedures to help you remember to do that later."

This was a strict party-line vote. The Republicans were so busy trying to punish the Democrats over the illegal (oops - legal alternative) wiretap legislation that they abandoned basic human rights and upheld the opinion of Herr Dunderhead.

So if I understand this correctly, waterboarding and other forms of torture are illegal if carried out by someone who may: a) Get caught on camera; b) Be stupid enough to develop a moral conscience and talk about it later; or c) Be on the social security roles at some point.

Buy hey! If you like to work in dark alleys and agree not to exist, officially, you can do whatever you want, with the full legal blessing of the US government. Yay for you!

I am sickened.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Yankin' the Google...and my amazing incompetence.

So Blogpatrol says the #1 search term that brings people to this blog is

wait. for. it.

"bifurcated uvula"

That cracks me up to no end. As a result, I shall endeavour to use the words "bifurcated uvula" at least once in every post from now on. I will own this search term forevermore

I have no life, as you can plainly see.

In other news: Oh, don't you wish you'd had a movie camera at my house today???

Why? you may ask. Because today, for an hour, I entertained my neighbors with my hilarious antics trying, for the first time, to drive a tractor and operate a front-end loader. Yep. Nothing thrills the crowds like dropping the bucket down too far, and lifting the drive train clear off the ground.

All this with a seven-year-old kibitzing, with helpful comments like, "Mom! You missed the snow with that run!"

See, my dear hubby decided to cap off Saturday night by trying to clear the 21+ inches of snow from the driveway. As he backed the tractor out into the driveway, and immediately after he pulled behind BOTH cars, the old John Deere stalled. Frozen fuel lines. Joy. He decided to pop the transmission into neutral and push it out of the way. Enter the layer of ice under the snow. His left leg slipped and his MCL decided to liberate itself from its insertion point.

Did I mention the cars were trapped by the tractor in the driveway?

Had to call 911 to take him to the hospital, where they put him in an immobilizer and gave him a set of crutches. He promptly left town for a 10-day internship at the State House.

So here I was, with 52 inches of snow blocking my driveway, courtesy of the county road crew. I swear, they imported snow from the next street over to get the mound that high. Spent two hours shoveling that out yesterday, so I could drive my car through the yard (yep, I'm now glad I bought that SUV!) and get to work today.

This afternoon, however, the temperature warmed up sufficiently to start the recalcitrant tractor.

Did I mention I've never driven a tractor before? In my life? Until today.

OK, it wasn't pretty. In fact, I was the very picture of Lucille-Ball-in-the-candy-factory incompetence. But I have 145 feet of clean driveway out there now.

I am woman. Hear me roar.

Oh, and "bifurcated uvula"

Saturday, March 08, 2008


Great mother of toast, there's a lotta snow here! I just walked outside with the yard stick. 26 inches, but I think there's some drifting there. (Edit: Just checked. The National Weather Services said we had 21 inches)

I just walked the dog. He can't get his little buddy out of the snow. Poor guy.

We had two days of ice on Tuesday and Wednesday, and then it started snowing Friday afternoon and it hasn't stopped yet. We had a lot of plans this weekend. Instead, I washed walls. Yi-pee.

And I cooked. Chicken stew, French Bread, Steamed Asparagus. Meyer Lemon Meringue Pie for dessert. At least we're eating well.

Stay warm and dry wherever you are.