Friday, April 29, 2011

Empty Baskets

Dear children,
Why do you not care about the candy in your Easter baskets? Why do you never wonder if it's still there? Why aren't you checking on it?

The candy is gone.

Sunday, April 24, 2011


Not long ago, Berit and Marta were making up nicknames for themselves. This is common; their typical nicknames are words like Sparkleworks and Purple Unicorn Rainbow. This day, however, was exceptional. They were rhyming, and Berit decided she wanted to start with her nickname of choice, "Jenna." Therefore, Marta got "Henna." On a roll, they went forward with nicknames for everyone: "Kenna," "Lenna," "Senna." They got to Trevor, thought a minute, and said (with no silliness intended), "PENIS."

Now wait a minute. Remember we're rhyming here, at least sort of. It's pronounced "Pennnn-isssss." You know, Pen-is.

We were eating dinner at the time and I actually choked on my pasta. And while I like to think I'm a bit more mature than I was 10, 20 years ago, every time they call Trevor Pennnn-issss my cheeks puff out, my laugh reflex crumbles and I am inconsolable. The funniest thing about this nickname is that it refuses to quit. They love calling themselves Jenna and Henna, and calling me Lenna. Sorry, Trev. They love your nickname, too.

Recently Trevor's brother Jason called to chat and mentioned that he'd heard about the nickname. The girls overheard the conversation and decided to give Uncle Jason a nickname, too. They began rhyming things with what was in front of them, what they could see around them, whatever. They finally decided that they'd found the perfect nickname, HAHAHA, it's SO UNCLE JASON! Perfect!

Balzack. Yes, Balllll-zzzzsack.

You may be reading this, wondering what in the world we do around here to put such thoughts in their heads, so that even subconsciously they come up with these types of nicknames. Sincerely, I don't even think they remember what a male's privates are called. I know Marta has never had it explained to her, and Berit only once or twice, when changing around a buddy when they were small. It's never fascinated them whatsoever, and even now, with these nicknames, they have no idea that they're anything, well, anatomical.

They're just so fitting, that's all.

Friday, April 15, 2011


Today I started a thing. Not exactly a diet, since I stink at those, and not exactly an exercise routine, since I didn't exactly exercise today. Today I got back in the game of Trying To Be Thin Healthy again.

Since the half-marathon I've put on an errant 15 pounds. When I ran the half-marathon I was still about 10 pounds heavier than I wanted to be. And in the past few months, my mother has lost the weight equivalent of my 3-year-old. So you can see where I'm headed with this.

I enlisted a coach, who's actually a high school friend who lost something like 100 pounds last year by running and eating a healthy diet. He coached teams at our hometown gym with great success, and I quietly e-mailed him and asked, as long as he didn't breathe a word of my actual weight to anyone, would he coach me?

He advised me to sign up on a site called so we could track my progress online together. To give you an idea of how ridiculously terrible I am at Trying To Be Thin Healthy, here's a look at my first day as posted on LoseIt, along with what really happened (please post comments on how you're totally the same way below, pleaseplease):

Calorie budget: 1,326
Cheerios, 1 cup
1 egg, hard boiled
2 c. coffee with fat free half and half
I actually don't care that much about breakfast, but there was just a tiny amount of cereal left in the box and I didn't want to put it in the pantry and I didn't want to toss it, so I ate it. Trevor had boiled eggs last night so since they were already done, why not have one so that I could post on LoseIt that I ate pure energy for breakfast? I then felt so guilty about eating the stupid cereal that I went back to the LoseIt site and created a "new" breakfast item, Meijer Organic Honey & Nut Cereal, which is what I actually ate but couldn't find it in the first place so I had just checked "Cheerios." Had to dig through recycling to find out calorie content, which was 10 calories more than Cheerios.

1 apple
3 Newman-Os (wheat-free, organic Oreos made by Paul Newman)
Let's be honest, I only had three because that's all that was left.

And yes, that was lunch.

Shrimp, sauteed in butter
Broccoli, steamed
Macaroni & cheese
Candy bar
Bonus points for shrimp which are actually only 22 calories each (excluding the butter). Mac & cheese because dinner was already late. Candy bar was not revealed to rest of family, because I was the one doing the dishes and therefore ... well whatever, I ate a candy bar on the first day of my diet healthy lifestyle.

Special K Crisps
These are 100 calories each, and even though I noted that I had three, I actually ate five. Yes, five. That's five hundred calories, in case you hadn't done the math, all in Special K Crisps. 

If you're wondering, I still came in under calorie budget today. This is going to be a snap.


Every night, Marta falls asleep to her music. It's the music box portion of the mobile she had on her crib as a newborn. She's fallen asleep to it pretty much every night of her life, with very few exceptions. Over time, the mobile has gotten chewed, in the way, or otherwise broken, and I finally took the entire thing apart and jimmied the music to work without the mobile - now it fits comfortably next to her pillow or in a backpack or whatever. When we went to Disney World, I packed it in a baggie with a note for airport security about what it was, its significance, and if it were found to be suspicious and confiscated, would they please let me know how I could get it back upon our return.

So every night after I tuck Marta in, and then tuck Berit in, I feel like leaving B's room is just too quiet. Berit, our major-music-lover, goes to sleep in a stone-cold quiet room, just like the rest of the world. Also, she wants a ton of books and never feels tired and calls out questions so maybe music would help me get some work done.

After making it seem like a big privilege to get this through extra chores, we brought down Trevor's old stereo for her room. Since then, our house hasn't been quiet once. She loads her six discs in order of how she wants to feel, when. So, bedtime is a series of lulling music with a little story thrown in at the end, just in case she's still awake. Morning is rousing Wiggles and Dora Fiesta. Afternoon is playful Gemini. When she's downstairs, she turns her music all the way up, so that she can hear it anywhere in the house. Every time she and Marta head upstairs, even when her music is still going from before, she changes the CD - for a new activity, of course.

All of this is to say that she has become her father. I like music as much as the next guy, but with kids and work and basset hound, you know what? I'd like a little peace and quiet, please. Trevor, on the other hand, cannot function without music playing. If there's no music on, he's humming or singing or making weird music-y noises, like beep-beep-whop-werp-bowwwwww! His music is too loud, too harsh, too emo, too nostalgic. And apparently, I'm too old.

I actually love sharing music with Trevor. When we first were dating he was doing a lot of open mics and I'd appropriately swoon at each show. Whenever people come over they say, "And the hits keep comin'," and "Geez, another great song!" Because Trevor has a playlist on (allthetime), and on that playlist is music from the 70s, 80s and 90s - all the stuff we grew up with, from all different genres. I frequently describe my husband (in a conversation about music or pretty much anything else) in this way: You know that feeling you get when you hear a song you LOVED at age 16? That's the feeling Trevor wants to have all the time.

And I think he does. When I'm not bugging him about turning the glory days music off.

Enter Berit. She's the kid who looks at a pile of dirt and tells you what's beautiful about it. As much as I tried to make her my classic firstborn child prodigy, she really just wants to dance and dress up. (Disclaimer for grandparents' sake: She's very smart. But she strives for rainbows covered in sprinkles covered in fairy dust covered in princesses.)

And so now we wait for the first mix. I wonder whether Trevor will be more proud of the first CD she self-compiles, or of her first straight-A report card. If I haven't gone batty by then from all of this noisewillsomebodygivemeamomentofpeace?, I'm sure I'll love either.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

First Day of Spring

We kicked off the first t-shirt friendly day of the year with a scavenger hunt. A bunch of friends, a list of riddles, and downtown Petoskey - such a fun way to enjoy this season in the new house! The very best part of the day was after the hunt, when everyone hung out for a few hours more in the backyard, on the porch, on the widow's walk. Such a treat to spend this time with our friends, in this perfect weather, in this perfect place.