Sunday, August 30, 2009


Now SHE had it going on.

At least when I was a kid. My sister and I used to watch this video over and over, then go get our metal skates on that strapped over our tennis shoes and we would Skateaway ourselves.

My sister was a far better skater than I ever was, and she had the curls going on too.

I think about the last time I rollerskated was 25 some years ago. I do have rollerblades and both AB and I have hit the pavement (literally and figuratively) on our rollerblades within the last decade.

When I was a kid we frequented the WagonWheel in Mills, Wyoming. It was a sketchy hang out 25 years ago... I can't imagine it has improved much, but apparently it's still in business. I spent many, many "free skates" at that place. We also went there for my dog obediance classes. And they had these horrible round tables that were misery to get in and out of on skates.

And it had this funky smell to it. Really funky.

A funk that must permeate every single Roller Rink because the scent invaded my brain and transported me back 25 year on Saturday.

Leif was invited to a rollerskating party at the local Roller Rink. I recalled back to the Wagon Wheel days and how no one was allowed on the floor during rollerskating with regular shoes on, so I even tossed in a pair of socks to fit me and we headed off to the party.

I entered a time warp. The skates were updated a bit... though the "retro" skates that I remember wearing served as decor around the perimeter. Some people wore rollerblades. And I was happy when the staff encouraged me to go out on the floor in my shoes to help Leif.

I may as well have been in 1982 when the music started playing. And the disco lights came on. And the UV lights came on. And the giant screen showed "Girls Just Wanna Have Fun" and "Oh Mickey".

It was a nice enough crowd. I didn't know them at all. The girl is in Leif's class and is one of the "offenders" - i.e., one of the girls always trying to hug and kiss Leif. And he was the only boy (except her brother).

Leif and I walked the perimeter the first time. Ok, so I walked and carried him on jelly legs. By the third time around he was scootching himself along on his skates. About the 5th time around I walked beside him as he held onto the edge and scootched himself around. This was of course the time where I could have gone and got skates for myself. Instead I claimed I needed to stay vertical for Leif's sake. (I was one of the only parents not on skates believe it or not.)

Midway through the party a number of girls came by hoping to skate with Leif as they held their hands out to him. I was quite proud of my boy for not falling prey to their evil ways and instead latching onto me. Just like a good boy should!

When the two hours was up we took of the skates and vacated into the bright sunlight.

"That's where I want to have my party next year," Leif told me.

"Really? We'll see," I replied really thinking to myself 'no way in hell'. I am counting on a short memory for this experience.

Friday, August 28, 2009

The monkey bucket

Last weekend Skadi was helping AB clean out the garage. You never know what you are going to find in there. Truly. I hate to admit that seeing Skadi in there reminds me of being a kid in my grandmother's basement and finding so many "treasures". There's motivation to finish cleaning it out!

Skadi found one item that she latched onto.

A small - 6" tall - galvanized aluminum bucket.

I bought a few of these before I had Leif - when I had time for crafty things. My plan was to punch nail holes in them and put candles in them for outside lighting. And I actually did this with one. And apparently the magazine that I got the idea out of used some professional technique and not the one they illustrated in the magazine because it did not work. I punched one hole and it dented the bucket, as did the next hole, and the next one...

If I remember correctly then AB took the other bucket and made a much nicer decoration with minimal dents. And we might have used it once.

I love the notion of crafty things, I am just not good at actually making them or using them.

Anyways, Skadi found the third little aluminum bucket and adopted it.

She came into the house with her bucket and beelined to her monkey collection courtesy of Aunt Tara who sent her about 13 monkeys for her second birthday.

Each monkey has a purpose. There is the bath monkey, the naughty monkey who is ALWAYS in time out, the big monkey that sits on the chair and causes distress if he isn't in the chair. There is the monkey with velcro hands and feet that Skadi hangs around her neck and waist. And the little monkey with incredibly stretchy arms, which has somehow wormed his way into Skadi's heart as the "favorite".

Favorite monkey was placed into the bucket and fits perfectly.

Favorite monkey has lived in the bucket for the last week and goes nearly everywhere Skadi goes.

And I recommend you don't mess with Favorite monkey and his new home lest you incur the wrath of Skadi.

I fear that this is a precursor to one of those rat dogs in a big ugly purse.

No offense of course.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Say what?

Skadi is terribly talkative. I used to always think that Leif was a talker... until Skadi started talking. Now Leif seems pretty shy to me, while Beaner talks and talks and talks. And sings and sings and sings.

We went to the doctor's the other day and I had a hard time getting a word in edgewise as she told the doctor about boats and life jackets and swimming and swim suits and invited her doctor to come boating with us (despite the fact that we do not have a boat).

Some of the funniest things have come about with her pronunciation.


We eat LOTS of blueberries and always have them fresh in the house. Skadi, not really a blueberry fan, but the rest of us may turn blue like Violet Beauregarde someday. Skadi looks in my Kashi every morning and complains, "oh boobies in your cereal today". (Really, my boobies were not hanging in my cereal. My putting blueberries in my cereal keeps her out of my Kashi.)

The other day a container of blueberries fell out of my much to full fridge.

Skadi exclaims, "oooh! Look at all the little boobies all over the floor!"


Skadi is a touch fixated on the Princesses lately and so I ordered her Sleeping Beauty.

Skadi: "I want to watch Sleeping Booty!"

She requests dresses most every day, princess dresses. I am learning to give her a choice when it comes to getting dressed in the morning.

Me: "Skadi would you like to wear this princess dress or this princess dress?"

Once she selects one she puts it on, checks the "swing" of the dress be twisting her hips back and forth and singing "la la la princess la la la" in the mirror.

Saturday night I was telling V about this and she reminded me to keep in my back pocket, "would you like to wear this dress or THESE princess jeans!" I will need that particularly for those cold days when a dress just won't work.


I mentioned the other day that Skadi prefers her dollies naked. I am not sure I mentioned that Skadi also prefers herself to be nakey. She loves to strip down and run around. Then she stops running next to me and yells:

"Mommy! You say 'you my nakey bum girl'!"

So then I have to squeal, "there's my nakey bum girl".

It has become a touch interesting that Leif has had to join in this because if it generates attention for Skadi then it is certain to be even more cute when he does it. I remember feeling that way... as an older child... of a much much cuter younger sibling! Suffice it to say that then I end up with two nakey kids running around and I have to tell each of them how much I love their nakey bums.

I hadn't thought a lot about the implications of this until the other night Skadi was getting into bath and made an announcement:

"Mommy, I love nakey boys!"

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

September Goals

Since finishing (mostly) with Leif’s room I have been debating the path forward in our new house. There is so much I want to do that my decision has not been easy. Unfortunately none of them seem inexpensive. I am resisting the urge, now that our house has sold, to start buying everything at once. And truly, I can’t do this. I don’t want to do this. I want to take it a month at a time and really bring a room together with elements that I really want.

Instead of immediately jumping on one of the two rooms that *I* want to see done (formal dining room or bonus room) I am going to bend to the will of other people in my house.

I dream of a luxurious formal dining room with a table that seats 8, rich paint, new drapes and a new chandelier.

I also dream of an updated playroom/bonus room that has a wall unit for toy storage, media center to house a new TV and seating.

Both of these room updates require more cash outflow than I can justify right now. Though AB may give me the bitty shove I need in justifying the bonus room updates simply due to his “want” for a new TV. However he tends to look at me sideways whenever I start mentioning the formal dining room.

I have asked AB a few times which room we should tackle next and his answer tends to alternate between “nothing” and “the garage”.

How boring.

How uninspiring.

Then there is one other person who lately has been quite vocal on her needs.


The only person silent on the issue is Leif. Leif loves his mommy.

Skadi is still harping on needing her room painted. And she has BIG plans for her room!

A few common themes have been emerging in her d├ęcor choices. Some combination of purple, pink, yellow, green and blue are preferred and life would be grand if there were rainbows and dolphins.

When I was in 5th grade or so my mom redid my sisters and my bedrooms – we did lavender with rainbow wallpaper and so I am finding it a touch freakish that purple and rainbows are topping my daughters list. She would have been in heaven in my bedroom as a kid.

The September goal is twofold. I can’t put off the need to organize the garage any longer. Once the garage is organized we can bring the rest of our belongings from the storage unit and close out that account, thus saving a little money each month. So blah blah blah… the first goal is the garage.

But since I NEED a fun goal, a decorating goal, I will add in there Skadi’s room. It shouldn’t take more than a weekend to paint her bedroom. And her bedroom has everything it needs – I don’t need to spend money on her room aside from the cost of paint. AND I would like to get paint on her walls before we start bringing in boxes of stuff from storage to fill the kids’ rooms.

So there it is… my dual goals for the month of September – Skadi’s bedroom painted and the garage organized.

I need ideas for Skadi’s bedroom. I am not making the “error” I made with Leif’s bedroom at this age – I need Skadi’s room design to be appropriate not only for a toddler but through age 8 or so. (It wasn’t an error necessarily, and it worked out fine since we moved, but Leif was tiring of his “little kid” room.) I am leaning towards purple and yellow walls (if I can get that past AB – he is still buying into that statement he read 6 years ago that said a yellow bedroom will cause anxiety in babies). If I can’t fly with the yellow we will explore purple and green with maybe a pale blue ceiling. (I just don’t think I can do pink. Sorry Skadi.) I am thinking about maybe some big flowers painted on the wall… but that doesn’t have to be done immediately either.

Also on the list are little things from the prior two months:

-Touch up white paint in the foyer – requires matching the white color of the walls.-Buy a bench for the foyer. (I like this one .)

-Hang the mirror in the foyer. (Something AB has been avoiding like the plague. He even at one point mentioned LEAVING the mirror at the other house.)

-Stars on Leif’s ceiling.

-Paint lightsabers on Leif’s wall.

Sunday, August 16, 2009


When I was a little girl my dollies wore clothes.


I had a few Barbies - they were clothed. My plastic dolls were clothed as well. And when I got my Cabbage Patch doll (at probably a "much too old to have a Cabbage Patch Doll age") - well she had LOTS of clothes. And I still like clothes for myself too.

My daughter? Notsomuch.

Her dollies never have clothes on. If I put an outfit on one of them it is quickly stripped off as though it was most offending. My poor Cabbage Patch doll no longer wears clothes. The doll clothes make their way to a bucket eventually that is put away for some day when my daughter wants to put clothes on her dollies. I hope that will happen someday at least.

Skadi also has my Strawberry Shortcake Dolls. Their clothes, I am quite sure, were never, ever, ever removed. I found little tiny green and white striped tights on the ground the other day and resisted the urge to find the doll and replace the tights that had never before in 30 years been removed. I didn't do it. I instead put them in the bucket.

Then I was stricken by a most painful sight. One that no little girl or mommy should ever have to happen upon. It stuck out painful and made me shudder just a wee bit.

The Purple Pie Man?

His clothes were gone too.

Thankfully he had painted purple tights. But it struck me how nasty an old man doll can really be.


Skadi was putting her dollies to bed last night and she informed me her doll's names.

"This one is Trixie," she said (named after the little girl in Knuffle Bunny).

Then she goes on to the other little doll in her other hand, "and this one is Ron".

Hmmm... wondering who Ron might be.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Leif's bedroom

So there is still a fair amount that I want to do. He needs another light in there because the black ceiling paint soaks up the light something fierce. The glow in the dark stars are missing off the ceiling still. And he needs some new furniture - a goal for the coming year to get him a great little loft bedroom set.

But since those things (except the stars and the light) are likely to take awhile, I will post the pictures of where we stand now.

Wear sunscreen!

I am home today and hoping to get a few things done around the house. However, I seem to have a throbbing headache to go along with the nose that feels like someone socked me good.

I went in yesterday to have minor out patient surgery on my nose. From 1991 to 1996 I worked in skin cancer surgery. One in four people get skin cancers and so I figured that given my fair skin and eyes, the fact that I grew up at altitude and the many, many sunburns I have had over my life TRYING to get a suntan. I would be there someday also.

Most of the surgeries we did were on retired people. We had the oddball ones in there - the young, gorgeous model redhead who was 38. The black man with a horribly invasive and misdiagnosed cancer (because skin cancer in African Americans is extremely rare). One uber-famous marathon runner in his early 40's. May, the 90-some year old with large cancers who was probably a case of elder-neglect/abuse. And then my favorite people too - like the elderly guy named Bob who had so many cancers that we used to see him every other month. Despite the fact that we could rarely "clear" the margins on his cancer because we would just run into another, he still was in great humor and would sit in my lab and chat and tell jokes.

I knew one day I too would be in having surgery for skin cancer, but didn't quite expect it to be in my late 30's and that my first would be a squamous cell carcinoma (in the world of skin cancer, the step up from the most common one and the step below a melanoma).

I wasn't terribly surprised to get the diagnosis of the spot on my nose and they quickly got me in for Mohs surgery, to track the edges of the cancer.

Worried? Not terribly. I knew exactly what they were going to do. I knew exactly what was on my nose. And in the larger scheme of things there are people I am close to dealing with a whole hell of a lot more than a bitty skin cancer caught early (since I knew what I am looking for).

AB went in with my yesterday as I sat on the other end of the knife than I was used to over a decade ago. (And the job that I still to this day dream about.)

Honestly I was less than impressed with this doctor mostly because I was used to my old doc I worked for who had a great bedside manner, was friendly, shook hands like a man (thanks to my dad and now my husband I have a severe aversion to wimpy handshakes).

I hadn't met him prior to the point of sitting under his knife. I told him that I was well versed in the surgery after having spent five years working in this surgery in the 90's. We compared notes a little, I was shocked to hear that he does 10-12 cases a day (we did 3-4) and the size of his lab. But he is also the only one for miles that does the surgery. Everything now was fitting in as to why I never saw him prior. He doesn't see any other patients, all his nurse practitioners do.

Then he offered me a job.

I laughed and politely declined citing the fact that I have a great job at The Lab and a graduate degree (i.e., nearly as much education as he does).

He proceeded to remove the offending spot off my nose. Then he stopped and talked to AB about doing laser surgery on his port wine stain - to which AB politely declined (a few times). Then he walked it to the lab.

And that was the last I saw of him. I sat for the next 2 hours in the waiting room with retired old men and their wives.

His nurse came out a half hour later to tell me it was clear and then they set me up for a closure, which I was stunned to find out was performed by a nurse practitioner. I asked a lot of questions about this and AB seemed skeptical, but we went ahead.

It needed stitches. And my thought was that I knew in my mind what Dr. S would have done and if her plan deviated much, then I would be raising a stink. She did exactly what my Dr. S would have done with the thousands of spots I had seen similar to mine. Loosened up the tissue underneath (hated that part), pulled it together with 3-4 dissolving sutures underneath and 6-8 fine sutures on top while flattening the edges so that I have a line down the side of my nose.

Yesterday I felt as though I had been socked in the nose. Today it just aches a little. Tomorrow I will work.

North (to Alaska?)

Leif received a baseball and a mit from one of his school friends for his birthday. He has been aching to get out and throw the ball around. The other day I sent him outside to "get started" and then I would be out shortly after.

Within seconds he was back in.

"Apparently," he starts (I love the way he uses this word), "when I threw the ball it disappeared."

"Where did you throw it?" I asked him.

"North," he tells me. (AB and I are stifling laughter - I didn't know he knew directions."

"Did you throw it over the neighbor's fence?" I asked him.

"No," he answers, "I SAID I threw it North!"

(Ball is still missing.)

Saturday, August 08, 2009

She came!

It wasn't really intentional.

I had no plans to take my daughter's binky away.

Nor did I think she would really throw it away on her own.

Or that the binky princess was real and that she really would come!

Yesterday morning Skadi was getting dressed and asked if she could throw her binky away.

"Sure, if you want," I told her in a half daring way.

Plop. There it went into her trashcan falling under a couple dirty diapers.

I knew there was still one left somewhere, so while it was a monumental action, I wasn't terribly worried. Later that morning she found the other binky and was playing with it. I left the other now nasty garbage can laden one where it lay. Then I mentioned to Miss K when I was dropping Skadi off what had happened. She has been pushing for binky elimination for about four months now.

We got home last night and that second binky?

Nowhere to be found.

AB actually asked if he should grab one at the store? Nope, I replied, "let's see what happens". We agreed given that it was the weekend - if we got no sleep, at least we had the days to nap.

I changed Skadi's clothes to pajamas (the SAME clothes she went to school in! Just had to note that.) and she asked for her binky. I reminded her I didn't know where it was.

She asked a few more times while in bed, but seemed fairly accepting that it was gone and suggested that the binky princess HAD come!

She got a little weepy and yelled at the princess a few times, to which I responded, "Skadi you are a big girl now, you dont' need your binky, you wear panties now!"

She responded, "I NOT a big girl, I a little boy".

This morning she asked again where the binky was and I replied honestly, "I don't know".

"We make cupcakes today!" she told me.

So I am off to make cupcakes this morning to celebrate the fact that the binky princess did come! She really, really did!

I am a believer!

Saturday, August 01, 2009

Theories on Go Fish

As Leif gets older the really funny comments have moved to Skadi's domain - while his have more thought to them. So a touch less belly laughs to them, more a wink of clever or pure and purposeful silliness.

We are at my mom's house for her birthday this weekend in Colorado. I was just putting Leif to bed, the light was out and we were still and quiet.

Leif: "Mommy are you older than grandma or is grandma older than you?"

NM: "Grandma is my mommy, and she turns 56 tomorrow. I am 37 and so that makes her about 19 years older than me!"

(Sorry mom, for divulging your age... but I have always been proud of your youthfulness.)

Leif: "Hmm, then she would beat you at Go Fish then right?"

NM: (Giggles) "Yes, I guess so."

Leif: "Yeah, you're not very good at Go Fish."