Tuesday, January 31, 2012


Hugo has been a stinker about breakfast lately.  He doesn't want to eat cereal anymore.  Let me rephrase that...  Hugo doesn't want to eat non sugared cereal anymore.  He has always eaten Cheerios or Honey Bunches of Oats or something along those lines.  Now he'll only eat Cheerios when forced and he wants nothing to do with raisins anymore.  Or so he says.  I ran out of the classic black raisins last week.  Cesar pulled out a bag of golden raisins I had squirreled away in a cupboard for baking.  When Hugo saw the golden raisins in her cereal instead of the classic black raisins, he freaked.  Went nutso.  Swore up and down that he would not eat the yellow raisins.  "Well," I said, "ya eat yellow grapes, right?!"  He didn't budge. 

During the long winter months, one thing I look forward to is all the yellow and pink grapefruit in the markets.  I looooove grapefruit!  I have memories of GG peeling grapefruit like an orange and eating the sections as she sat in her chair in the sun room.  She'd slice the the fruit in half and around each section for me.  I'd sit at the tiny table in her kitchen, beneath the window, and eat the grapefruit with a special spoon GG set out for me, it had little teeth to aid in scooping out all the tangy flesh and they sometimes hurt my lips.  The spoons also had bamboo handles and I've often wondered what became of those grapefruit spoons.  To get me to eat the crust of my toast, GG would slather the discarded crusts with more jam.  Her trick worked.

Last winter Hugo finally tried a bite of grapefruit with me, he loved it.  The past few days he has been devouring an entire grapefruit all on his own.  Once finished, he waits for me to squeeze out the juice so he can drink it down.  Yum!  My tongue is all salivating thinking of the delicious juice. 

I do sprinkle a wee bit of sugar on the flesh of this winter fruit.  Not much mind you.  This morning I left the sugar bowl out on the counter.  I didn't do it on purpose.  I didn't even remember not putting it straight back into the cupboard as I usually do.  I figured it out as I dressed the girls this morning.  Sabine had something stuck all over her face and in the front wings of her hair.  I was stumped as to what it was.  A memory of Hugo crawling over the counters to lick the sugar bowl on a daily basis popped into my head.  This memory is exactly the reason why I now put the sugar bowl up in the cupboard right away after each use.  Sabine.  Silent, but deadly.  Sure enough, the kitchen counter had scattered sugar bits here and there.  The top and sides of the sugar bowl were crusted over with a thick layer of toddler licked sugar goodness.  Even the stool she climbed down from was covered in sugar snot. 

My father swears that he remained so skinny throughout high school, because my Grandmother Ruby made him eat half a grapefruit each morning. 

Enhanced by Zemanta

Monday, January 30, 2012

Miss Toulouse Nicolau

My sister Millie asked how Toula is adjusting to our family life.  I think the answer is - great!  She is super with the kids.  Plays with them, jumps up on the girls beds looking for Evie the Cat, loves to see Hugo hop off the school bus in the late afternoon.

She is still a puppy and likes to chew, a lot.  This is my problem with her, the chewing.  Our shoes are safe and fine, she prefers the kids toys.  Plastic or wood, she does not discriminate.  So we all keep our eyes peeled trying to catch her before too much damage has been inflicted.  She does like bones.  It took awhile for her teeth and jaws to mature so she could handle them, now she knows better what is okay to chew, her bones! When she takes treats out of your hand she is very gentle.  She still muffles them with her lips like a horse.

Toula adores balls.  Tennis balls, little bouncy balls, soccer balls, or huge bouncy balls that she can only move around with her nose, she adores them all.  She is naturally good at fetching and will drop the item in her mouth for you.  So glad she isn't one of those dogs who want to play keep away or tug and tug and will never, ever let go of their dear ball or drop a super slobbery ball into your waiting hand!  I do still play with "those" dogs, I'm just glad that Toula hasn't yet developed those ball habits.  Toula will do anything for you to play soccer with her. 

She rarely barks.  She does get spooked by odd sounds and will let out a funny sounding yelp/bark.  When the lighting is just right in the new living room, she sometimes catches a glimpse of her own reflection in the glass doors and will goes bananas!  She is excited and timid at the same time.  Funny girl.

Toula is also a surprisingly agile jumper.  When new people come for a visit, especially new kids, imagine an excited Tigger.  She likes to surprise you and jump to bonk your face with her nose.  She surprised my Dad by jumping up on him while he was sitting on the couch watching television, he nicknamed her Devil Dog.  Speaking of nicknames, Toula tinkles a lot, Cesar sometimes calls her Princess Tinkles.

Poor Evie the Cat is still her target.  Every chance Toula gets, she'll chase and bully our Evie.  I tell Evie to just swipe her good one time, but no, our Evie is too nice.  Evie actually slept on our bed last night, first time since Toula's arrival.  So, I suppose that we are all happy with our new puppy dog, except for Evie.  She might boot her on back to the Dakota's if given half a chance.

Toula is a very happy and curious puppy.  She wants to be where the action is.  She is a lot like the girls.  She naps in the afternoon when they do and she can hardly keep her eyes open once we make for the stairs to begin bed time.  She's a keeper.

Sunday, January 29, 2012


Someone, who will not be named, but is not me, forgot our anniversary. And it was our fourteenth (14) anniversary.

I could feel it coming, the Someone's not remembering I mean.

Cheery Cheerleader whispered sweet nothing's in my ear of how Someone had ignored me at Christmas, but not to fear, Someone was sure to come through on our anniversary. Someone would make a surprise of it! Someone would call a sitter! Someone didn't really mean for me to play Bingo at The Elementary for two whole hours in the evening of our fourteenth anniversary surrounded by K-5th graders who were selling baked goods to earn cash for their end of year field trip. "Or did he?" piped up Nagging Nellie. Cheery Cheerleader quickly said "Your Someone wouldn't forget" "Or blow off! Ha, ha, ha!" "Shhh! Nagging Nellie!", Cheery Cheerleader scolded before she continued, "I just know Someone wouldn't forget your anniversary which actually falls on a Friday night this year and which Someone will actually, actually be home for. Really, he's got it all planned out!  Have no fears and go get yourself all dolled up!", sang Cheery Cheerleader in my ear.

Well she was all wrong.

My Someone only figured it out because I put sparkling cider on the table before dinner. Someone said that when he saw the cider he ran through a list of possible holidays in his head. Nope, not one of those... Then Someone actually admitted to the thought of "We weren't married in January!" popping into his head.

Those words to this romantic girl =
Knife Through My Heart

Someone hurried into the kitchen where I was preparing the last of our meal and asked, "Is it our anniversary?" or was it... "Did I forget our anniversary???" Oh, who cares.

I'm mad. I'm hurt and I'm mad. Mad, mad, mad. Nagging Nellie won.

And today at lunch, I didn't make Someone a sandwich and Someone wondered if I were trying to tell him something. "Yeah! We're out of cold cuts!"

Friday, January 27, 2012

Bingo Night & Sledding

Hugo has a Bingo night at school tonight.  Cesar volunteered to stay home with the girls so that I can spend some alone time with our boy.  Over breakfast this morning I was talking to Hugo about our playing Bingo together tonight.  He didn't sound very excited about it so I began to mention names of his friends who I thought we might see.  The conversation went a little something like this...

Me:  I bet we'll see Emma and her Dad tonight. 
Hugo:  Umm, okay.

Me:  I bet we'll see Rowan and his brother and Mom tonight.
Hugo:  Good.

Me:  I bet John Carlo will be there.
Hugo:  Oh, I like him!
Me:  Really?
Hugo: .... no response ....

Me: I bet we'll see Sarah.
Hugo:  I don't like her!
Me:  That's not nice to say.  Why don't you like her?
Hugo:  Well, she always blames me for things I didn't do.
Me:  Like what? 
Hugo:  Well, when I swing my arms back and forth, like this... , she says that I hit her on purpose.
Me:  I think you should try real hard to not swing your arms around when you are near Sarah.

Hugo:  I like Phaedra.
Me:  Really?  You like her?
Hugo:  It could be love.
Me:  Love, huh?!
Hugo:  But it's not.
Me:  Why not?
Hugo:  Because I'm going to get married!  Remember???!

He didn't mention Nicole's name, just that he was getting married.  It warms my heart to know that his love runs deep and his heart is constant.  I hope he will grow up to be a man who is always kind and tender and loving toward his wife.  Hugo loves his sisters and is a good big brother to them.  For the most part he shares his toys and will watch their princess movies right along with them.  He is anxious to hug and kiss them.  Now, to just promote this family closeness all the way through the teenage years! 

*If you scroll down through the photos, you'll see a series of three where Sabine had been on the tube all by herself.  She wasn't too sure about sledding at all, and then... Hugo pretty much did her in by stepping in front of her flying tube.  The choice of her big brother's action, caused a crash, and tossed her into the snow.  She was not happy.  I'm not sure if she'll sled again this winter, even if we actually do get more snow.  So, in case you were wondering if I was trying to say that Hugo was the perfect big brother... What I really meant is that he is a perfectly normal big brother who happens to have a soft heart!  I love you Hugo!


Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Before & After

Welcome, welcome!  We are far from finished and there is no furniture yet, but you get the idea.  We are all very excited at the progress of our second floor thus far.  For now, the kids and Toula are super happy with the dance floor to run and play in!









Saturday, January 21, 2012

Nap Time

I used to pride myself on my ability to have trained Hugo to be an excellent sleeper and taker of huge and consistent afternoon naps.  Pride was my downfall, or was it having twins, hmmm?  Anyway, the girls are not sleeping through the night.  One, or both of them, will wake and walk into my room and stand there and stare at me till I open my eyes.  Every once in a while I find both of them out for a stroll.  It's not hard to settle them back in their beds.  All they seem to want is their shoosha and to be tucked back in.  But it can happen two, three, four times a night!  Then when I'm ready to duct tape the pair of them to their beds, they'll magically sleep through the night.  I am tired. 

The above picture was taken during nap time.  I crawled into my own bed once they settled for some much needed shut eye.  About an hour into our naps, Hugo and Toula had a wrestling match on the living room floor below us, and with no carpet or furniture in the room, it has become a giant hall of echos.  Naturally the girls came running and crying into my room.  I was so tired that I lifted the covers and they both climbed in and two seconds later... they were both passed out again!  It was a miracle.  A miracle with a problem, I wasn't sleepy any longer and my arm was stuck under two sleepy two year olds.  Masterfully, and slowly, I made my escape.  And it worked!  But I'm still sleepy and they are still waking in the night.  Not good.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Today Is Friday

So my time has disappeared a little something like this...

Last Saturday:  I walked down the steps to the first floor with a tray full of sandwiches for lunch and discovered it was freezing.  "Cesar it feels really cold down here" I complained.  "Come to think of it, I haven't heard the furnace turn on in a while."  He ran down to the basement and sure enough, the furnace was out and could not be lit.  Cesar called our plumber at 12:30 pm, the guy didn't show until 6:30 pm.  We were mad, mad cold people.  The plumber got the furnace going but said he needed to return Sunday at noon to finish cleaning the furnace.

Sunday:  My new dining room floor was threatened by an axe.

Upon returning home from church, there was no plumber in our basement and there was no heat from the furnace.  Another hour or so later I realized that the plumber had left a message on my phone saying that he wasn't coming.  He said he had 5 other calls to get to and we needed to rescheduled for later in the week.  Cesar was hopping mad.  I was hopping cold.  Cesar called our contractor for his plumbers number.  The new plumber arrived and got the furnace back up and running.

Monday:  Cesar went to work on the Good Wife.  Mike the Contractor arrived with Steve and they began to install the floor molding.  Jin, Amy and Hannah came over for a late breakfast due to the kids having Martin Luther King holiday at school.  All was good and fun and happy and relaxed and warm.  The kids went down for bed easy and I slipped into a flannel nightgown and was about to make some cocoa when Cesar called.  He had just crashed the truck on the George Washington bridge.  Crashed the truck.  But he was fine.  What?  I was kinda in shock.   At first we thought I would need to drive down to pick him up so I called around to find someone to watch the kids.  Brother Harris came over and gave me a blessing and a few minutes later... Cesar called and said that our insurance would pay for a tow home.  Yay!!  I had not been looking forward to driving in the storm.  Cesar finally made it home at 2 am.

Tuesday:  Cesar was on the phone and computer all day.  The contractors were back working away at finishing the trim and cleaning up a closet.  I don't know if I remember anything else about our Tuesday.

We opened a contract with a new home heating service.  They sent a guy over to do his own tune up of our poor furnace.

Wednesday:  No contractors.  No word on the truck if it will be totaled or not.  No fruit left in the house, no time to got shopping.  I cleaned and cleaned and washed laundry all day long.  Had to rid the house of all the sawdust so that the girls and I can breathe.  Started to realize I hadn't showered in a while and that I was still wearing my flannel nightgown.

Thursday:  As I prepared Hugo's lunch with the kitchen swarming with children and a hungry puppy, Cesar asked if I knew what day it was.  Now he didn't ask the date, that for sure I didn't know, but I normally can tell you which day of the week it is, but not this day.  I answered, "I think it's Wednesday because I was hoping we could take the girls to playgroup, but it might be Thursday.  But I think it's Wednesday."  Cesar, "Do you think it's Friday?"  Me, "I know it's not Friday, I think it's Wednesday or Thursday.  Don't you have your phone in your pocket??!"  Turned out, it was Thursday.

Cesar and I drove around catching up on errands.  I forgot about my Visiting Teacher coming over at 10:30.  Last on our list was for me to drop Cesar off at Enterprise so he could pick up his rental car.  Check.  Driving home Marlo fell asleep in her car seat.  I had high hopes of a nap myself once the van was unloaded.  I was warm and hopeful that life was ironing itself back out.  Then Sabine barfed down the front of herself and the car seat straps.

Our oil tanks were filled back up by the new heating service company.

Hugo came home from school with a note from his teacher and the school nurse stating that someone in his class had been exposed to pink eye.  Me, "Hugo, this note says that someone in your class might have pink eye."  Hugo, "Yeah, Mrs. Monroe thinks it's me!"  What????

I called my Visiting Teacher mid afternoon to apologize for standing her up.  She called me back at dinner time to remind me that this is my families week to clean the chapel.

Friday:  My phone rang at 6:12 am, it was a recording from Hugo's elementary saying that there was a two hour delay this morning.  I tried my best to sleep in.  Then I made waffels for the family with my new iron that my Mother-In-Law gave me for Christmas.  Things have to get better.  Or at least slow down!  Pretty please....

Enhanced by Zemanta