Monthly archive for April 2014



When Zach woke up this morning, I was having a terrible nightmare about a drug kingpin who was holding me hostage while I ghostwrote his memoirs. It was both absurd and terrifying. Also apparently my subconscious seriously overestimates my memoir-writing abilities. Dream Lauren is in high demand! I turn down projects so decisively and so often that the only way to get me to work on yours is to kidnap me and force me to type at gunpoint!

Ellie turned three yesterday. Can you even believe it? She was quite pleased to be three (as one ought to be) and was very excited, on her birthday eve, about the prospect of wearing her new birthday shirt to her sitter’s, although the next morning she was extremely distraught over not being able to wear her pink heart shirt instead, and sobbed most of the way through breakfast about it. (Our new mantra lately has been “mornings are hard” — I think we all need a little reminder every now and then that mornings are indeed hard, although I probably shouldn’t need that reminder as often because quite frankly I too am terrible at mornings. Within the last week I have also cried during breakfast.) Anyway, Mike wrestled her into her three shirt, and her sitter reported at the end of the day that she couldn’t get her to keep her hoodie on over top of it because she was so very proud of her shirt and wanted to show it off to everyone. The same shirt she was, just that morning, positively flattened with despair over the prospect of wearing. I think being three is also quite hard, sometimes.

Like most kids her age, she is really taken with the movie Frozen, which features a pair of sisters. She has become newly fixated with Zach, who she still calls “Baby Zach” seven months after his arrival on the scene (we do too, so it is possible he might assume that is his proper name, and we may have to register him for kindergarten under that alias) and who she always refers to as her sister. Where is my sister, is my sister still sleeping, Mommy please put my sister down and do puzzles with me, etc. I’ve been working with her on the difference between sister and brother (“Uncle Darren is Mommy’s …?” “Brother!” “And NeNe is Mommy’s …?” “Sister!” “And Auntie Kristen is Daddy’s …?” “Sister!”) and she seems to grasp the overall concept, but still refers to Zach as her sister. I explained that “brother” is a word we use for boys, and “sister” is a word we use for girls, and she nodded in agreement, and proceeded to call Zach her sister, at which point a lightbulb appeared over my head and I said, “Ellie, is Baby Zach a girl or a boy?” Baby Zach, she responded, was definitely a girl. So I suppose that explains some of her confusion.


Norton tries to blend into the background

It has been sunny and above zero degrees for three days in a row now. And lo, there was great rejoicing in the land. And also in our house. I have actually felt like a functioning human being who is capable of contributing to society this week. It is a nice change of pace to be able to tackle basic tasks of everyday living without wanting to weep and google desperately for images of lovely beaches to fantasize about. This winter was no joke, people, but it is over now. Well, over(ish). There is still a lot of dirty brown snow outside our front door, and there is more snow in the forecast later this week. But now I have hope! It is invigorating.

We currently have an extra dog in our house, because my parents have left for their yearly trip to Hawaii and we are providing a loving temporary home for their pooch Shaka, if you can consider it a loving home where 90% of the time dogs receive treats and headpats and tummy rubs, and the other 10% of the time they receive shrieks about how if they don’t stop barking at nothing they are going to find themselves dropped off at the reception desk of the humane society. The dog-related noise has gone up significantly (I believe I have mentioned before that neither of the dogs are at all barky on their own, but when you put them together they are about 10x as loud as ONE dog) but the good news is that the incessant meowing that Norton started with when Max died has all but disappeared, as Norton is reluctant to draw any attention to himself. So I guess that’s a wash, noise-wise, unless you factor in the cackling that Zach has started doing any time one of us eats something crunchy, but that’s an enjoyable sound, assuming you like the sound of baby laughter, and frankly I don’t want to know if you DON’T like baby laughter, because what kind of monster are you.

Last week on the way home from women’s group at our church, Ellie informed me that Lambie, her stuffed lamb (we are very creative with the names around here — she also has Big Kitty, Little Kitty, Puppy, and Giant Purple Monkey, among others) was very sad, and that maybe a chocolate donut might make him feel better. That is some advanced scheming right there. I almost got her a chocolate donut to reward her creativity but at the last minute I realized it would be a dangerous precedent to set.