Mme. C
Oxbow Lazarus


Steve hit himself in the face with a hammer, creating an apex for violent physical comedy that I doubt this household will reach again any time soon. He has a nice black eye. When asked (innocently) how he managed to suddenly misjudge the distance between his eye (his eye) and the back of the hammer, he replied "Shut up."

On the plus side the breakfast bar is almost done. Yet again I am forced to admit that Steve's eye for these things (ha ha! his black eye for design - I slay me) is better than mine. I thought the mini-addition was silly and now it is my favorite part of the house.

We went out on Saturday night. Dinner first and then we met friends for a birthday at Oktoberfest. After hacking our way through the crowd to locate our party I suggested that Steve go back and forage for beer and sausages. He said that it was too crowded and refused to move from his six square inches. Also, sausages? With his cholesterol issues? Was I trying to kill him? Since standing at Oktoberfest without beer is akin to standing in an overcrowded subway (without beer) I was obligated to hunt and gather for myself - and I don't even like beer. I tried to remember the last time I fought my way through clogs of smoky people in search of a drink and I am pretty sure it was college. The experience has gained no charm in the past fifteen years. I gave up after two bone-crushing, beer-sloshing excursions and we left at a eleven o'clock. This enabled us to be home by eleven-thirty which was pretty early all things considered; but not so early that I wasn't surprised to find Caroline and Edward playing in the living room when we got home.

"Oh! My!" Steve and I said in unison.

The babysitter was apologetic and explained that Caroline had woken up crying and then Edward woke up so... so, ok, we said. No problem. It happens. Actually, to be strictly accurate, it doesn't happen. When the babies wake up in the night I offer them something to eat and then I return them to their beds and I leave. 98% of the time they fall back asleep. 2% of the time they cry and then fall back asleep. 0% of the time do I say, oh, well, since you're up you might as well come downstairs with me and work on those small motor skills. But it really was fine. I think an occasional babysitter's only responsibility is to insure that the children are just as alive when you return as when you left. Anything beyond that is buttercream frosting.

I had a babysitting job the summer I was fourteen. Two afternoons a week I took care of a 7 and a 4 year old. The kids were fine but the mother was completely over-the-top. There were many many Rules for me to enforce: no television, two healthy snacks, 45 minutes of vigorous rain-or-shine outdoor play, one craft project per day that I was instructed to design and implement - in retrospect I wish I had had the aplomb to say, "You know, lady, you expect an awful lot for $4 an hour. Perhaps you should either pony up for an actual camp or just be grateful that you have someone in the house who likes your children and is capable of dialing 9-1-1 as needed. I don't think thirty minutes of Inspector Gadget is going to harm anyone and have you personally tasted this organic nut butter? Your kids won't eat it and I don't blame them. We made cookies instead."

So although it was a little weird to have both Caroline and Edward rootling around the toy basket five hours after bedtime I am happy we were able to go out and the children were all in one piece (or rather, three separate pieces; one per child) when we returned. Todd, of course, always managed to have all three kids fed sleeping and smarter than they were when we left them but 1) Todd walks on water, regularly and 2) the last we saw Todd he was in no shape to take care of anyone, what with all the ziggy-zaggy-ziggy-zaggy hoi-hoi-hoi!ing. It was his thirtieth birthday we had been celebrating.

[Todd is an old friend of Steve's. When Steve sent out an email at the beginning of the summer asking if anyone was interested in helping him and his rotten knee with some outdoor projects (the house has settled since it was built and rain/melting snow channels towards the foundation; Steve wanted to build a wall that would redirect the water away from the basement) Todd offered to come out. He is a special ed teacher in real life and had the summer free. So he was here almost every day and worked on various outdoor stuff but he would also come inside and roll around on the floor with the children - getting Patrick to eat anything he was given and making the babies laugh their heads off. Eventually he offered to babysit so Steve and I could go out at night and.... what can I say? He had me at goodbye. 

Here's his chin (apparently I have a thing about cutting people's faces off when I take pictures; possibly I am so obsessed with Caroline's pretty mug that I don't even notice the adults holding her) with Caroline. It wo100_3855_2uld not be overstating matters to say that I love Todd madly. I was heartbroken when school started again and he went back to the other side of the cities. PS: He's also (mostly) single('ish) and I cannot stand the fact that I have no one to fix him up with - what is it about married women and matchmaking?]

And in answer to a recent question: grey. Caroline's eyes have settled on a slate grey/very dark green with a few brown streaks . I love them. I love them I love them I love them. I could drown in them, just like the Atlantic Ocean.


Edward is a thoughtful baby. He likes to study things. He waits until he is absolutely positive he can do something (like crawl) before he even attempts it. Patrick was this way too. I can remember times when he would deliberately go into our bedroom (which is carpeted unlike the rest of the main floor) before throwing himself on the floor and having a tantrum. Today I watched Edward reach to pull himself up and then hesitate. You could see the doubts roll through that round head of his: do I know how to stand? have I tried this before? what if I fall? Caroline moves before she thinks; Edward always thinks before he moves.

They have started playing together. Or rather, they have started realizing that they want what OtherBaby has and the resulting struggles are epic.

Caroline Loses Her Rattling Cube; a ballet in four acts:


Someone recently asked me if I ever feel overwhelmed by the fact that all that trying finally worked for us. The short answer is yes, every damned day. Every single day I am profoundly grateful in a way that makes my cynical heart shimmy and blush. I am infatuated with my children.

Nine month appointment tomorrow. They will get their final six month vaccination (staggering has worked out so well for us - I'm pleased) and I can talk to the pediatrician about Caroline's apparent weight plateau (Edward has gained at least two pounds this month; he's pushing 20 lbs and elongating daily -  Caroline feels like down and her shrimpiness seems accentuated; I think I need a doctor to tell me it is relative rather than absolute.) Also, Edward's reflux/aspiration was briefly better when we started prevacid but is back to being as crappy as ever. He eats and then yurps at some point during the meal, resulting in an empurplening and hacking mid-dinner cough. Yesterday I worried that he was finally getting pneumonia from all the green beans he's inhaled and wondered if I would be the first parent to show up for two separate well-baby checks with two separate babies and have them admitted for respiratory distress within the same year. It's a pity mommy bloggers don't have the statisticians like MLB.   

Oh and one last thing, per my last REDBOOK post there has been some discussion on synesthesia. Synesthesia is a condition in which people have an extra sense of sorts. They perceive certain things in additional ways. I mentioned at REDBOOK that Patrick has a very (very very) strong opinion about what color every letter is (a-red, b-green, c-light blue, d-purple, um e-orange? I forget but I know y is tan) and I got some interesting mail about it. My mother thinks he most definitely is a... um, a synesthete? They talked on the phone the other day and he confirmed that yes, he does see letters and numbers in colors. And yes, it is always the same color for each one. But I admit I am skeptical. When I asked Patrick about the letters he cheerfully took me through each one, pausing occasionally to say, "Ohhhh, the F is.... gosh, like, a very light dark pink? Can you see that Mommy?" When I asked him about numbers though he ran through them very quickly (zero is white... I forget the rest) but when I asked about eleven he said, "There is no eleven. There is only 0123456789102030405060708090100."

So I'm skeptical. However, I'm always open to everything so let me know if this rings any bells for you.