Archive for May, 2007

It is all fun and games

May 31, 2007





Until someone (in this case an unsuspecting pancake) loses an eye.

So I sprung for a new digital camera a few weeks ago, an entry-level SLR and threw in a high-speed 1 GB memory card.   Please don’t ask me what all these things mean.   Bottom-line is that we can take pics superfast and store 850 images.    We were tired of missing “the shot” with the kid.     Now, I am like an addict with the camera firing off shots just to hear the rapid click of the shutter.   The poor child.  Did I mention the 850 images? 

I have not moved beyond the automatic setting and need some serious lessons from the mamarazzi.   


Wash and Wear

May 24, 2007

Finn loves bathtime.   He loves it so much he can’t even be bothered to take off his clothes.  I was filling the tub and the child literally hurdled the side and splashed down. 


To Kill a Mockingbird (with stage direction)

May 18, 2007

Scene opens at dinner table.   Family eating burgers and tots.   Lad attempting to feed dog that we do not own. 

Daddy (wagging finger at the lad):  No, No, No Finn  

Finn (Deep intense stare,  slowly raises finger and wags it back)

Mommy (supressing giggles):   Finn,  how does Daddy go?

Finn:  No, No, No 

Daddy:  Mommy do not encourage him.

Mommy (in hysterics) :  How does Daddy go?   

Finn:  No, No, No

Daddy:  Mommy go to your room.

“Mom” my ride

May 16, 2007

Long time no post.   I have a good reason that I will write about soon.   In the meantime,  watch and laugh.

It reminds me off my favorite quote from my cousin’s husband upon the realization that he had two kids, two behemoth car seats and loads of kiddie crap (why exactly do they require so many accoutrement?)  to cart around,  “A minivan!!!  You might as well castrate me.”    

Don’t call me ma’am

May 9, 2007

Years ago when we were first dating,  I would fly from New York to Virginia to visit the Captain, then Lieutenant.  I loved the formality of the ARMY post.   Compared to the chaos of Manhattan,  post was neat, orderly and exceedingly polite.  But I was young and tried to thwart the “Yes and No  ma’am”s from his soldiers.   “Please call me, Leah”  “Ok Leah, ma’am” was the typical response.    I didn’t like it.   At 23,  the ma’am made me feel old.    The “ma’am”s continued for a year and a half until he got out of the service.  

We have always loved the track.  We dress up and wear hats.  I always bet the 2 and 8 exacta in the 9th race,  our anniversary.    As we sit in the club peering through binoculars him sipping scotch and me Tom Collins,  we fantasize about owning horses and the names we would bestow.   His would be “Full Head O’Hair”  and mine would be “Don’t call me ma’am”.     

My neighbor and I recently had the conversation about what we wanted to be called by the children.   The kids are talking now (well,  at least her’s is while Finn is content to point and grunt).  Her son at 2.5 calls me “Neah”, which I find hopelessly endearing, and he fully understands that “John” is my better half.  We are a pair, “John and Neah”, like salt and pepper.  But if we are going to change to Mr. and Mrs. Kane or take the southern approach, Mr. John and Miss Leah, we better make it snappy.   

This lead to rather lenghty discussion at the dinner table with the Captain about who we are going to be.  A recap:

1)  We grew up calling all of our parent’s friends Mr. and Mrs.   A good friend’s mother insists I call her by her firstname.   She is a former nun.  I don’t argue with her… but everytime I say her name I feel a slight shiver like I have done something wrong. 

2) It is about respect.  He reminded me of the “neighborhood watch” incident from last summer.   Kids need to know the difference between us and them.    

3)  A good friend is a teacher at the grade school that Finn will attend.   She may or may not be teaching by the time he gets there,  but we can’t very well have him shouting out her firstname in the hallways.   We have to teach him now so it is not confusing later.   

John promptly called our neighbor to tell her he would like the be called “Captain Kane.”   Kids love it and John relishes in the fact that it is a moniker befitting a super-hero.   I decided that her son’s sweet little “Neah” greeting would be grandfathered in but that going forward with other little people I will be Mrs. Kane.   I know.   I have to get used to it myself.   Mrs. Kane is my mother-in-law,  whom I love dearly,  but it still feels like another person.   I realized that I just have to own it and be my own Mrs.    There are plenty of interesting Mrs’ out there.   I could be a sexy Mrs. Robinson or a secretive Scarecrow and Mrs. King or a sassy Mrs.  Heathcliff Huckstable.   

So what do you want to be Mrs. Lastname, Miss Firstname, or just your firstname?   Oh and I guess you can call me ma’am.  

Apolo Creed

May 7, 2007

I don’t watch much TV, but I almost always catch Dancing with the Stars.  Nothing even labor can keep me from the dance.  I got my epidural at 7:45 PM announcing to the anthesologist and my nurse, “Perfect, just in time for Dancing with the Stars”.    I watched Stacey Keibler’s 44 inch gams whirl about as my own turned cold and numb. 

This season I am obsessed with Apolo and Julianne twirling, stomping, leaping and sliding their way across the dance floor.  Her choreography is incredible.  His determination is the stuff of gold medals.  If you watch please, vote for them.   If you don’t, tune in tomorrow night you won’t be disappointed.  Oh and vote for them anyway. 


May 6, 2007

Finn contorts in a half-nelson slamming his legs and pounding his fists on the mat.   This is not acting.  It is real.  Mommy wrangles him into the pj bottoms and tags Daddy with the top into the ring.  There is wailing and gnashing of the teeth as Mommy tries to rub his gums with Orajel.   He executes a super-fly snooka off the changing table.  Mommy grapples with him as he arches into almost a complete circle.  The flexibility is astounding.   In an act of desperation,  Tag Team Kane shoves a bottle in his mouth that he sucks down in a fury and promptly passes out.   “I don’t think we should try to clip his nails tonight,” the Captain sagely suggests as Mommy slumps exhausted in the glider.  

Perhaps Finn has been secretly shadowing my cousin, who is working hard to become a pro-wrestler.   My parents and my brother went to his first amateur melee a few months ago and could not get over the electricity in the room.   Developing a persona is huge part of the process.   Our quiet, shy AJ Sabatelle hulked out transforming to “AJ Sabotage” ripping off his wife beater for the cheering crowd.  “Sabotage Him,” they chanted as he man-handled his opponent.


The Constant Gardener

May 4, 2007

Finn got a watering can.  We demonstrated just once now he struts about our tiny back porch wielding his little yellow duck chattering to the flowers as he soaks and tests the soil with his chubby thumb.   Each morning, afternoon and evening he presses his face to the glass door grunting to get to work.   We have some concerns that he inherited his Aunt Colleen’s COWD (Chronic Over-Watering Disease) .


Nevertheless, we are pleased that Finn enjoys porch-scaping.  Little does he know how much watering, raking, and mowing, we have in store for him at The Farm. 


It is not really a farm, but it used to be.  This is the view I hope to have from my kitchen window someday.  It makes me want to bake an apple pie and cool it on the sill.

In the fall of ’05, the Captain, Grandfather and my brother planted 67 trees along both side of the property.   Muddy,  sweaty,  nasty business,  but there is something really cute about my guy in work-boots and jeans.   I was pregnant so I supervised and brought lunch.   Grandfather does not let me participate in projects much anyway since a wood stacking incident many years ago.   I followed his instructions exactly,  nevertheless,  the pile tottered or teetered (take your pick) over landing on a plethora of lawncare equipment in his fully-stocked garage.   What they don’t realize that perhaps it was all part of my grand plan to extricate myself from manual labor on a permanent basis.    

In the summer of ’06, the Captain battled an infestation of caterpillars munching their way down our hill attacking our precious charges.   Then he cleared the field with a brush hog just so I could throw a party.   We pitched a tent and had an old-school kegger just like high-school minus the police raid.   Our friends and family admired the trees which had been lovingly wrapped and staked to protect them from the deer and the wind on the hill. 

Everytime we are in the area,  we drive by and dream a little more.    This fall we pretended to be holding mugs of coffee on the porch swing while taking in the brilliant oranges, reds and yellows.    In the winter,  we scouted the best location for our kids to sled (and not strike any trees) and then warm their red, drippy noses with hot chocolate infront of our massive stone fireplace.       

Sometimes your dreams have set backs.  The Captain was disappointed to find that almost half his trees did not make it this winter.   All that work,  love and care.  It is a shame.  It is not a blight since it affected all different types of trees.  We have a forester coming out to take a look.   This weekend the Captain and Grandfather will pull out some trees to examine the roots.   If they smell bad,  they rotted, which would mean that we have drainage problem… alas COWD strikes again. 

Neigborhood Watch

May 2, 2007

It is spring and the mothers have come out of hiding.  They shed sweats for sherbet hued T-shirts from Target,  grab their strollers and head for Main Street.   As we clog the sidewalk with singles, double-wides and in a few cases triples,  I am reminded of an “incident” from last summer.

I was strolling down Main Street to one of our many pizza joints.  The sidewalk was blocked with a pile bikes forcing me off the sidewalk, around a parked car and into the street with the stroller.    When I got inside,  there was a table of mop-headed kids around 11 or 12 years old sitting near the door.   “Hi guys, Are those your bikes out there?,” I asked “You might want to move them so people can pass on the sidewalk.”    They shuffled their sneakers and pointed at each other mumbling,  but nobody got up.   Two boys still at the counter shoved eachother,  “Move your bike, Dylan. Ha. Ha Ha.”  Clearly they were mocking me and clearly no one was going to move a bike.  A lady at another table rolled her eyes to me, “No respect” she said shaking her head.   

I got my soda, all this aggrivation for a soda, and headed out.  Dylan and his comrade where now sitting at a table outside next to the pile of bikes.   “Move your bike, Dylan, ” he taunted again, but this time in a high pitched voice.    “So you boys think it is funny,”  I smiled but then continued through a clenched jaw, “Move Your Bikes.”   They clamored to get up,  moved the bikes aside and stammered out a meek “Sorry”.  

I strolled away pleased with my ability to conjure up the “Voice of Authority”.    When I related my tale to the Captain,  he said, “Nice work McGruff.  I was a little worried your were about to tell me that you started hurling bikes into on coming traffic.”