A Day Late and a Dollar Short: The Green Beans Edition

A woman whose blog I read (I’m one of those darn lurkers, sorry, trannyhead) had a little contest yesterday. And the point of the contest was to spread the term “green beans” far and wide across the blog-o-sphere.

And many people came, and saw green beans were good, and wrote their own green beans story.

I used to write a lot about green beans (not online). I used to partake of a lot of green beans. I love, green beans, truth be told. But — and many of you know the story — you have kids, the hormones are crazy, you work full time, and suddenly sleep looks a lot more attractive than green beans.

Well lately, regarding the hormones anyway, green beans became something I loved again. My husband and I have difficulty getting enough green beans because of our schedules — he is often coming home when I’m asleep. Additionally, the room we like best for making green beans does not currently have a door. Which is a problem when your 4-year-old wants the door to her room, which is across the hall from your green bean room, kept open at night. I guess in case she needs a quick get-away from the shadow monsters.

We have resorted to making green beans in other rooms. Desperate times call for desperate measures, after all. We have even had green beans when our younger daughter is napping and our older daughter is resting in front of the television. Once, and I’m slightly ashamed to say this, but we had very, very fast green beans when the girls were downstairs with the babysitter, before we went out for the night.

But quick green beans and green beans when one party is exhausted are not the best green beans in the world.

So I was looking forward to coming to my parents’ house for Thanksgiving, where the room we usually sleep in has a door. And a very nice bed. And my husband and I would be on similar schedules. I was going to get me some green beans.

Unfortunately, it looked as if my craving for green beans (a craving that is even stronger in DearDR) was going to be thwarted.

First of all, my parents’ had a lot of overnight guests. Aunt and Uncle Redhead were sleeping in our usual room. My father said we could have the fold-out couch in the living room or the basement with the blow-up bed. Inflatable mattress notwithstanding, the basement room HAS A DOOR. We picked the basement.

And then, although we thought Bun was going to sleep in with my parents, my father suggested that it would be better if she slept downstairs with us because he had to get up for work at 5:30 in the morning. There was still hope, as the basement is divided, and we could still shield Bun from green beans. Now, DearDR and I just need to go to bed around the same time, and not drink too much wine, but just enough.

And then, more green bean-related tragedy. While I was settling my older daughter in her bed for the night, Bun woke up crying. DearDR lay down with her on our mattress. And they both fell asleep.

As my sister and I changed into our pajamas, I lamented that Bun was asleep with DearDR. “I need some green beans,” I lamented. She clearly had no idea what I was talking about.

Although afraid of waking a sleeping Bun, my choice was clear. Carefully, I moved Bun into her pack ‘n’ play. I closed the folding door, and gently woke the sleeping DearDR.

And we made sweet, sweet green beans. Despite all the obstacles, our goal had been reached.

We hope to reach that goal a couple more times this weekend. I don’t care if we green bean that inflatable mattress flat. Green beans are good!


The holidays are upon us, and I have been seeing and hearing talk about what people will be eating on Thursday.

Obviously, as a vegetarian for almost 20 years, my Thanksgiving meals are a little different. But even looking back, I can see that my family is just a bit untraditional.

The most glaring example of this is the green bean casserole. My mother has never made the green bean casserole. I have never eaten green bean casserole. I think for the past couple of years when my mother has had her Thanksgiving meal catered by her country club (which makes her sound a terrible snob, I realize, and she’s not), I think they have sent something akin to green bean casserole: green beans in a cream of mushroom sauce. It doesn’t come with those crunchy onion thingies, though.

The crunchy onion thingies: aside from green bean casserole, what are they used for?

Another example is sweet potatoes. I dimly remember some goopy sweet potato dish with marshmallows from my youth. I don’t remember eating it. At some point, my mother’s traditional sweet potato dish was simply slices of apples and sweet potatoes baked in their own juices together. Very tasty.

Occasionally, my mother serves raviolis with Thanksgiving dinner; they are traditional fare at Christmas time. She does all meat, all cheese, and/or cheese and spinach ravioli (“ravs” as they are referred to in my household); the past few years she also has been experimenting with meat-substitute fillings, with tasty results.

Of course throwing a vegetarian daughter and grandchildren into the mix has provided its own challenges. Hence the ravioli upon occasion. I have brought my own dishes (Chick Pea Tahini Casserole, Lentil Roulade with Chestnut Stuffing — which I am making again this year). We’ve had Tofurky, but we’re not crazy about it. It’s okay. Some of the sides are prepared separately from the turkey, although I do remember about 12 years ago having to make my own potatoes because my mom threw everything in with the bird.

The one dish that my mother absolutely clings to is cranberry relish. She makes it every year, and every year puts it in her relish dish (which is a rooster for some reason), and every year, her children make fun of her. No one in her family eats it: not Dad, not my brother, not my sister, not me. God Bless the outlaws, DearDR and WonderSIL because they eat it, and purport to like it. The first couple years, I figured in DearDR’s case is was kissing butt, but I may have underestimated his true love for cranberry relish. Or for his mother-in-law.

One tradition we definitely hew to is eating all day long. We start at noon with a soup course, in our case Italian wedding soup (with a Thai vegetable and tofu soup for the vegetarians). Around 3 or 4 p.m. we have salad. The main course starts at 5 p.m., and if we’re lucky, we can sit at the table for an hour. (I probably won’t be that lucky, with speed eater Bun in the mix.) And then, dessert around 7 p.m. And plenty of libations, of course: beer, apertifs, wine, coffee with Baileys, and cordials.

It’s exhausting! We work off a few calories cleaning, of course. And there will probably be some running around in the snow in which to engage with the kids. Football is usually background, not something we watch seriously (unless the Steelers are playing).

Whatever you are doing this Thanksgiving, have a happy one. Travel safely. Be thankful. Eat well. Drink moderately. Love one another.

Happy Thanksgiving.

Other Bun Stuff

I was over at Jayesel’s place reading about her daughter, and I realize Bun and Maggie are doing the same stuff. Although Jayesel doesn’t mention if her daughter hits/bites/pushes. Bun is pretty aggressive; I think it comes with younger-child territory.

When Bun counted to 10 with me a couple of days ago, I was so surprised! One of the downsides of being a working-outside-the-home-mom is asking yourself often, “Where did she learn that?” Obviously, Bun picked it up at Day Care Lady’s. And, let’s face it, she probably hears me counting enough at home — to 3 or 5 before Monkey’s action will have a consequence, to 10 to keep my patience. That kind of thing.

The other adorable thing that Bun does is say “You’re welcome.” Whenever she asks for something and is given it, I say, “Say ‘thank you’, Bun.” She promptly responds, “Wel-bum” instead. Sometimes, “A-bum.” When she gets it right, after I tell her thank you for handing me something for example, she is very satisfied. “A-bum,” she’ll say smugly before darting off to her next adventure.

Cracks me up every time.

Finally, she has learned the word ‘monster’ and she knows what it means. I have, actually, been calling her a menace for awhile now — the way Bun cuts a swath of destruction through any room she occupies is quite impressive. After she bolts her dinner, she will happily declaim from her booster chair (we are retiring the high chair!), “I a mosster, mommy. RAHR!”


A Monkey note: Lately, Monkey has been putting letters together, and asking me what word they make. I am trying to explain to her that any bunch of letters together doesn’t necessarily make a word (especially if there are no vowels). And I’ve been trying to show her how the letters she has picked, with the addition of a vowel or two, do spell out words.

For example, Bun picked out a set of bathtub letters at the toy store recently. Monkey lined up ‘F’ ‘S’ ‘U’ ‘T’ and ‘N’ during last night’s bath. “What’s that spell, Mommy?” she asked.

“Well,” I said. “That’s not a word. But we can make words with those letters.”

We spelled FUN and SUN. I spelled STUN, which was kind of dumb — how do you explain ‘stun’ to a 4-year-old? But I’m excited that she is interested in doing this, building words. It’s just so magical to me, the acquiring of language, of deciphering parts of the world around you. I don’t remember doing it myself — it just seemed that one day I was suddenly reading (I haven’t stopped!).

It’s so much fun to experience learning with my children, see the little lights go on when they figure something out. Stepping back and letting them figure it out for themselves can be a little more challenging, especially when Bun insists on putting on her own pants.

Frustration, like learning to read, is part of the growing-up process. I just wish it weren’t accompanied by so much screaming.

The Bella in All of Us

Look, I am going to give my opinion on something. It is only my opinion. It is also clear to me that I am in the minority here. But it’s my blog and my mind and, again, only my opinion. If I like chocolate ice cream, and you like strawberry cheesecake ice cream, that’s cool. Your taste in ice cream doesn’t mean that we can’t be friends. I hope.

Same goes for taste in books (and/or movies). Twilight is probably the reigning movie at the box office this weekend, and I’ve been hearing about the hype for weeks — it was featured on NPR for goodness sake. My library has a coffin in it as part of their Twilight doings. (Maybe it’s left over from Halloween, too. I’m not 100 percent sure.)

I did not like the Twilight book.

There I said it.

As a matter of fact, when I got to the part about the vampires running around during the day, I pretty much almost threw the book across the room. Seeing as it didn’t belong to me, I refrained. I know in order to keep the genre interesting, you might have to change the rules, but COME ON. Jeez Louise, there are two vampire rules in literature and movies (Wesley Snipes’ “Daywalker” not withstanding): They must drink blood, and they are helpless during the day/in sunlight. I don’t give a shite how cloudy it is in the Pacific Northwest.

The friend from whom I borrowed this book loved it. Loved it. She’s my age, holds a Ph.D. in psychology, and generally we have similar tastes in books. She was all set to lend me the second book (Eclipse? I don’t know. I’m blocking the knowledge, just like I am blocking out the knowledge of the names of the Teletubbies even though my daughters just inherited a set of the dolls. I admit to not liking Twilight so very strongly that I do not at all feel compelled to read any other Stephanie Meyer book), and I declined. “I really didn’t like the writing,” I told her. That was the end of the conversation.

Also, my taste in fiction is nothing to brag about. My bookshelf is stocked with Stephen King, Margaret Atwood, Guy Gavriel Kay, J.K. Rowling, Douglas Adams, and Neil Gaiman among others. I check P.J. Tracey and Michael Connelley out of the library. I’m not being a snob (I don’t think).

And I might have some reservations of a feminist nature, too, but really my biggest dread about Twilight and its sequels?

This is the kind of thing that I may have to partake in as the mother of teenage girls. And I have to do it without eyerolling, or ball busting literary criticism. Of course teenage girls and their moms love Edward Cullen. It perfectly possible that as a teenager, I would have loved Edward and identified with Bella.

Because teenage girls are a species onto themselves. And I hope I remember what being that species is like so that, at the very least, I can help my girls survive the teenage years. I don’t need to be their friend, but I do need to be there and be their mom.

All I need to remember those days is read through some of my journals from that time. Oh yes, I still have them — every single Cringe-inducing word of them. My box of journals is one possession I simply cannot part with. Somewhere along the way I heard someone say, “Never throw out anything you have written.” Boy, have I taken that to heart.

My point is not to trash Twilight. If you liked it, and the rest of the books, I have no problem with that. My point is: Please let me remember what being Bella was like. So when I’ve got at least one Bella of my own on my hands, I do not alienate her by being condescending or dismissive. I was an angst-ridden teenager in my day. Not that Monkey or Bun ever need to know that.

Feelings, Oh-oh-oh, Feelings

I decided to try to start doing the Friday Five. I’m in training to start posting every day in the new year, so I figured this is a good place to start.

1. What made you happy this week?
Having good comprehensive car insurance.

2. What made you sad?
Forgetting to send birthday cards to my father and WonderSIL, my brother’s wife. I called my dad on time, and Monkey sang “Happy Birthday” over the phone to him, but I know how nice it is to get birthday cards in the mail.

3. What made you angry?
Shockingly, nothing made me furious this week. I was unhappy that I had to take Bun back to the doctor because not only did last week’s antibiotics not touch her current ear infection, but it spread from one to both ears. And hauling a sick kid around in the cold is not fun, even if you are going to Target.

4. What are you looking forward to in the next week?

Making a lentil/chestnut roulade and mushroom gravy to take to Erie for Thanksgiving. A short work week.

5. What are you not looking forward to?

Driving on snowy roads.

Letter of the Day: The Car Crash Edition

A few days ago, ClumberKim was kind enough to give me the letter “T” for this simple meme. I had meant to post it yesterday (T is for Tuesday), but I got a little, uh, sidetracked.

T is for…

Toyota Camry, which slid sideways on a patch of ice yesterday as I went around a curve. I clipped a telephone pole, crashed through a fence (a small wooden fence) and broadsided a parked mini van. No one else was involved; my airbags did not deploy; I was wearing my seatbelt. I am okay (lower back is a little sore), but my poor 2002 Toyota Camry, probably the nicest car I have owned, will be visiting the body shop for about two weeks.

Tow truck. Pretty self explanatory.

Telephone pole. Did I mention that? Just clipped it, but I will need a new mirror and a new tire on the passenger side. I think the telephone pole did the most damage to my car, actually. I wasn’t going that fast.

Thousands of dollars, which my insurance company will be shelling out to the owner of the parked car I hit and also to the body shop who will restore my car to its former loveliness.

Three o’clock in the morning, which is when I woke up this morning and had a panic attack about driving down that hill again. I don’t know if something like this has ever happened to you, but the feeling of being Totally and completely helpless in a hunk of metal that is clearly going to only stop when it hits something is rather nightmarish. I avoided the drive-by of the scene of the accident this a.m. because I had to drop Bun off at daycare. But Tomorrow, I am going to have to do it. Or I will never be able to do it again.

Thankful. That I had on my seatbelt. That I didn’t hit another, occupied car head-on (it was a close call). That my children were not with me. That I was only about two minutes from my house, and DearDR could come get me. That everyone I dealt with yesterday, from the officer who showed up on the scene to the insurance company to the rental car company, was awesome. That I pay lots of money for comprehensive car insurance. That I wasn’t driving 70 miles an hour on the interstate when I lost control of my car. That I am up and walking and just fine although very shaken up. That people were concerned about me. That I am fine (did I say that already?).

Toddlers of which I have Two, who are the lights and loves of my life. (Along with DearDR of course.) I gave them a few extra hugs and kisses yesterday.

Some other things I love that begin with T and have nothing to do with the accident:

Thanksgiving! This has always been my favorite holiday. Even after I became a vegetarian. Even after travel became involved. Lots of food, family, and football. A few years ago (NINE!? nine years ago? Holy cats.) DearDR and I had been dating for about six weeks when I asked him if he wanted to come home with me for Thanksgiving. He jumped at the idea (I found out later it was the first holiday he had not spent with his family). Unfortunately, I decided to have a major anxiety attack about the whole situation — “What am I doing? I hardly know him! My mother is going to hate him. Worse, my mother is going to love him! Ack!” We barely spoke all weekend. I was like a skittish horse around him. Not a relaxing time, to say the least. In contrast, a year later, DearDR was asking my parents for their blessing for us to be married. They gave it. About thirty seconds later, my dad said, “So, are you going to start cooking meat?”

Travel. It’s been awhile since I’ve taken a major trip. Girlie Weekend doesn’t really count. I would like my next international trip to be Ireland. I would love to return to Italy. I am hoping DearDR’s cousin gets married in San Francisco and we can travel there again, and tour some wineries in Napa or Sonoma. Heck, I’d go back to Florida with my family for awhile. Between kids and jobs and tight budgets, it’s not going to happen soon. Maybe I’ll plan something, so I can be ready for when we can travel again!

Trilogies. I love me a good science fiction or fantasy trilogy. Some of my top trilogy picks: the Fionavar Tapestry by Guy Gaviel Kay. Lord of the Rings by Tolkien. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (the only five-part trilogy — soon to be six — that I am aware of) by Douglas Adams. His Dark Materials by Philip Pullman.

T is also for Ten, which is how many Things are supposed to be on this list.


T is not for PittGirl. Or Good-bye. Or We’ll Miss You. But I would feel remiss if I didn’t mention that PittGirl had become probably my favorite Burgh Blogger to date, and I will sorely miss her cleverness, her What They’re Really Thinking analysis of Steelers’ games, her snarkiness (which was utterly free of mean-spiritedness). I am sad that she was put in a position that she had to pull the plug. But I respect her for knowing that it was Time. And when she returns, I hope I am there.

I am PittGirl.

How to Turn a Shopping FAIL into a Shopping WIN

Take your 4-year-old along.

Saturday, although I had many, many errands to run, we elected to spend the first half of the day at home. Bun, newly diagnosed with an ear infection, was crabby and clingy. Plus she had ropes of wet, yellow mucous running out of her nose (sorry). It is amazing to me that such a little head can hold so much of that stuff. Well, obviously it couldn’t hold all of that stuff, hence the endless nose wiping Saturday morning.

I was scheduled for a massage at 4 p.m., the result of a gift card DearDR had bought me last Christmas. Personally, if I am going to a spa, my druthers would be to get a spa pedicure (and manicure) or a facial. Massages are not my favorite spa treatment. But they don’t suck, either.

After the massage, I had every intention of running several errands — notably grocery shopping — and going to church. I know that “running errands” is antithetical to “getting a massage”, but such is a mother’s life.

The massage was very pleasant, and energizing for about the first hour afterwards. Walking into the mall to exchange some pants Monkey had received for her birthday, I walked through a department store where EVERYTHING was on sale. For very reasonable prices. So I decided on my way back out to look around, maybe purchase one or two things, and then go to the grocery store.

This did not happen.

I found two wonderful sweaters, two sweaters that had RPM already written on their tags, two sweaters that were more than 50% off. I tried them on with pants, skirts, turtlenecks, crew necks, you name it. Aside from the sweaters — my sweaters, I’m telling you — nothing else fit right. The skirts made me look downright dumpy. Nevertheless, an hour and a half later, I was standing in line with one of the sweaters, and a couple of things that I thought were “close enough”, when I came to my senses and put everything back.

It wasn’t about the money, it was about the close enough. I hate when my clothes don’t fit right. Because then they don’t look right, and I’m self-conscious and uncomfortable for the rest of the day.

It hurt to put the gray sweater back.

At this time, it was 8:30 on Saturday. DearDR had had to take the children next door at 4 p.m. to sit with Nanny while Bella and Tadone went out to dinner and a movie for Bella’s birthday (Happy Birthday, Bella!) I knew that bringing them home to get them settled in bed and waiting for me to come home so that he could go back next door to Nanny-sit would be stressful for him. Plus, they have cable next door!

So I ditched grocery shopping (I had already missed Mass) and went home. I relieved DearDR so he could go back on Nanny duty, sang Monkey a couple of lullabies (“Where were you, Mommy?” she asks me) and finished my novel. DearDR and Nanny watched Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.

The next day, the morning was a flurry of church-going and grocery shopping (Bun stayed home with DearDR), cleaning, laundry, and a coupon in my mailbox from that department store that still had my sweaters. (Forgot to get the mail on Saturday.) Also, I was making dinner to take over to the in-laws.

But that coupon and the fact that Monkey had not been out the day before (going to Bella’s doesn’t count as out) were… fomenting.

“I could get those sweaters,” I was thinking. “For even less than they were yesterday. And Monkey could play at the kid mall.” DearDR was in a cleaning frenzy, which he is best left to by himself, and Bun was napping.

We went. Although I did not find pants or a turtleneck for the first of my sweaters, I did find pants (they were NOT THERE the night before, and I am willing to bet Monkey’s lip balm on that) for the second sweater. Plus earrings and a belt. And a scarf and gloves that will look great with the coat I have to ransom from the dry cleaners.

Monkey was an angel. She had been close to perfect all day. (Her least perfect behavior had taken place in church, of course, but even there she hadn’t been a nightmare.) She helped me pick out my scarf and gloves; we tried on hats; she picked out cereal-flavored lip balm (think Fruit Loops and Frosted Flakes); and she was patient while I tried on pants. She had fun at the kid mall and did not ask for candy or ice cream.

Then we went home and treated my in-laws and Nanny to dinner (new recipe!), got the kids in bed, and finished cleaning the house and folding laundry. It would have been a perfect weekend if Bun had been feeling better. And if she hadn’t woken up at 5:20 this morning. That hurt.

But my sweaters are ready-to-wear. Now I just have to find brown boots. Wonder what Monkey is up to this weekend?

Note to ClumberKim: T is for Tomorrow!

Random Thoughts: Bun

I am having a difficult time with Bun these days. My husband refers to her as a Tonka truck, which isn’t too far off the mark. As I emailed an old friend the other day: “When Bun is being sweet, she is the sweetest thing around.

“And when she’s having the ‘terrible 2s’ (at 22 months, mind you), she’s a holy terror.”

Here’s what I find most discouraging. I discovered with Monkey that age 2, while challenging, is not nearly as challenging as age 3. Something about the ability to speak in complete sentences made 3 more difficult for me, personally. It was the unending queries and talking and saying things over and over and over.

I can already see that 4 is going to have its pitfalls too. Looks from here like Monkey is going to keep push, push, pushing boundaries.

But back to Bun: I don’t know if I am “mis”remembering Monkey at 2, or if it was a little easier for any variety of reasons: she was the only child at the time; I wasn’t working full-time; their temperaments and personalities are different. I suspect it was just easier at the time.

Bun has one speed: run.

She does not sit still. Not even to eat. She stuffs food into her mouth as fast as she can, and wants OUT OUT OUT. She can use utensils, but finds them too slow a food delivery method. She would take it upon herself to jump out of her highchair if I tried to leave her there so Monkey and I could eat in peace.

She bumps into things. Usually with her head. She gave herself a black eye last night!

She jumps. “I juppin, mama. Jup! Jup! Jup!”

The most difficult behavior of all? She does not leave her big sister alone. Not only does she want to do anything her big sister is doing, if her big sister is not doing anything, then she must pounce on her. Bun leaps on Monkey, sits on her, pulls her hair. If Bun is playing with a toy, and Monkey comes over to see what she is doing, Bun pushes or hits. If Monkey is peacefully watching television, Bun turns it off.

Bun is definitely going for the reaction. The reaction is hysterical to Bun, whether it’s Monkey screaming or Mommy coming over to pry Bun’s fingers out of Monkey’s hair.

Short of keeping them in separate rooms at all times, I am not sure what to do. She’s too young to understand time-outs (although I am trying them). In the evenings, after her speed eating sessions, Bun wants to climb all over me while I’m trying to eat, or grabs at stuff on Monkey’s plate. Monkey is getting to the point that she can occupy herself for stretches of time, whether with play-doh or her new laptop. (Yes, my 4-year-old got a VTech Laptop for her birthday, from Nonna and Pap-pap. I could see DearDR thinking, as she was opening it, “Dude, I don’t even have a laptop.”) I have to occupy Bun, and even when I do, she’s good for about 10 minutes, before she’s all “Fwora? Fwora?”

I am surprised (and grateful) that Monkey hasn’t hauled off and smacked her a good one. But she doesn’t retaliate; she just screams until I come to the rescue.

Although the other day as I was giving Bun her bath, I noticed a bite mark on her shoulder.

“Monkey, did you bite Bun?”
“Monkey, did you bite Bun?”
“Monkey, who bit Bun?”
“Uh, I think it was Niece. Yeah, Niece bit Bun.”
“Monkey, don’t lie to me. Did you bite Bun?”
“Well, yeah.”


As I mentioned, when Bun isn’t terrorizing me or her sister, she is about the sweetest, happiest child you could encounter. And she is funny.

The other day, after I picked her up from DCL and was driving to pick Monkey up, she was babbling away in her seat.

“Mama, toot.”
“Mama, toot.”
“Bun are you tooting?”

Toot is our polite word for breaking wind. Bun often calls her burps toots.

“Mama, toot.”
Then she pretended to burp. “Burrrrrrp!”
I cracked up.

“Bun! Burps come out your mouth; toots come out your bum!”

“No, mama! Toot! Burrrrrp.”

We laughed all way down to pick up Monkey.

When Monkey plays with Play-doh, I give Bun some, too, in her high chair. The other day I gave her green. She squished it all around for awhile, then announced, “Tuttle. Look, tuttle!” She “made” a turtle. That was pretty cute.

She also pretends to fall asleep (“Nap, mama!”) complete with pretend snores. And she loves tucking in her animals and dollies, and also kissing them and their boo-boos. She is actually a very empathetic child. She already knows “sad.”

“I ky, mama.” (I was crying, mama.)

“I sat, mama. I ky.” (I was sad, mommy, I cried.)

These are the moments I have to remember when I’m hauling her off her sister for the umpteenth time.

The other positive thing these days: Bun is done at 7:30 p.m. Stick a binky in her mouth, sing her a lullaby, and put her in bed. She’s out. That gives me another half an hour with Monkey, one-on-one.

Of course, about 10 minutes of that half hour are spent fighting with her about going to bed. Oh, well. At least she’s staying in one spot.

Four, In Pictures

Monkey, you were such a little peanut when you were born.

And, oh, how we loved you. Love you.

And you loved blankets.

And you love your Daddy.

You love to smile. Your favorite color is purple.

You love to swim.

You love Halloween.

You love to pose for pictures.

You love to be silly.

Really silly.

You love to read. And you love the Steelers.

You love S’mores.

You love your sister. (Still!)

You love school. (We knew you would.)

You love special time with your Mommy. Which she loves.

You love to take pictures.

You are all legs, just like your Mommy. I look at pictures from a year ago, and I see how the roundness in your face has left. You are a girl. A little girl, still, but not a baby. Not even a toddler. A girl.

You love, a lot. You are loved a lot. The other night, as Daddy was putting you to bed, you said to him, “You love me.” Daddy agreed. He does love you! He asked, “Who else loves you?”

“Mommy,” you said. “And Bun. And Bella and Tadone. And Nonna and Pap-pap.” And after a short pause, you added, “And I love myself, too.” That’s probably something I will have to remind you about when you are older.

That and the time you stood in the toilet.

Happy 4th Birthday, Monkey. I love you.


My Guy Meme

Lifted from the fabulous Jayesel:

1. He’s sitting in front of the TV. What’s on the screen?
Scrubs on DVD. Local news. Football. Lord of the Rings DVDs. Henry the V with Kenneth Branaugh.

2. You’re out to eat; what kind of dressing does he get on his salad?
Balsamic vinagrette.

3. What’s one food he doesn’t like?
I honestly am having trouble thinking of one thing he won’t eat. Is that bad?

4. You go out to the bar. What does he order?
Either a martini or an IPA.

5. Where did he go to high school?
Our Lady of the Sacred Heart, Moon Twp., PA

6. What size shoe does he wear?
12, baby.

7. If he were to collect anything, what would it be?
Books on Existential Phenomenological psychology. Lord of the Rings books, videos, and knick knacks.

8. What is his favorite type of sandwich?
It’s a tie between salami with ketchup and a fried egg sandwich with cheese.

9. What would he eat every day if he could?

10. What is his favorite cereal?
Apple Jacks.

11. What would he never wear?
A banana hammock.

12. What is his favorite sports team?
Pittsburgh Steelers.

13. Who did he vote for?


14. Who is his best friend?
Pete. And me. And Monkey.

15. What is something you do that he wishes you wouldn’t do?
Where do you want me to start? He wishes I didn’t read so much (not kidding). Also, leaving my shoes in the middle of the floor makes him crazy. In the not-good way.

16. How many states has he lived in?

17. What is his heritage?
ITALIAN. With a side helping of Irish-German.

18. You bake him a cake for his birthday; what kind of cake?
HAHAHAHAHA! I bake him a cake for his birthday, and he falls over dead from shock.

How about I pick him up a nice cake from Giant Eagle? Marble cake with butter cream frosting. It’s really all about the frosting.

19. Did he play sports in high school?
He played soccer, and he was on the fencing team. We still have the uniform and fencing sword to prove it.

20. What could he spend hours doing?
Sleeping. Surfing YouTube. Reading or watching LOTR. Hanging with Monkey in front of Looney Toons DVDs. (Bun is not yet at the hanging with Daddy stage. She’s more at the “climb on Daddy” stage. That, he can’t take for hours.)