Monday, December 31, 2007

OK, Christmas

It was pretty awesome.  First, Aunt Ramona and Uncle Jim came all the way from Illinois WITH canine cousins Pete and Charlie!  What troopers!  The kids loved having their dog cousins stay at their house for the holiday.

Second, according to Trevor, Santa Claus really knew what he wanted for Christmas.  In fact, it was a much better Christmas than his last one!  Santa knew that all Trevor wanted for Christmas was dinosaurs and Superheroes.  That was all he got from Santa, mom and dad, and grandma, grandpa, Ramona and Jim. Sure, there were a few other things thrown in there, but the theme was definitely pre-historic and super. 

Devin is still a little too younng to have much of an opinion on his gifts.  I think he likes everything he got just fine. In fact, he was SO EXCITED to see that he got two more Walter the Farting Dog books.  But, other than that, he was just happy to be awake and playing with new toys once the un-wrapping was all done.  We played happily at home with all our new stuff for a couple of hours and then headed on over to the Grandparent's house for mor unwrapping and more food.  Lunch was a selection of soups.  I brought rice that I had made with my new rice cooker, but it didn't really fit it with the rest of the meal.  I ate it, though.  It was my best rice, ever!  There was also some incredibly yummy home made bread.  Grandma makes this Rosemary Garlic bread that is simply sublime.  Have you ever had garlic in a dish where the garlic was so subtle you didn't know it was garlic, you just knew it was delicious?  That is this bread.  Dinner was a feast of lobster, steak, twice baked potatoes, cole slaw and a nice healthy salad.  I think there was more.  I'm not sure.  There was no room in my tummy for anything else.

I was pretty caught up in unwrapping and filling my stomach with things I didn't have to cook to call everyone in my family, but I did talk to my own Mom and Dad.  Dad was home for Christmas, and isn't that good news!?!  Mom had called me the Wednesday before Christmas to let me know Dad would be getting out of the hospital that day.  He'd been there a week with stomach pains.  This is what I get for moving far away.  They don't worry me until the need for worrying has passed.  I suppose it's a blessing since Lord, do I know how to worry!  (But, now there is guilt.  Guilt, Worry, Guilt, Worry...Ah, forget it!)  When I called him the next day, he told me he'd actually gotten out that day.  It was an ulcer.  Chemo and Radiation is bad news.  I'm going to try to avoid it myself if I can.  Dad is cancer free for Christmas, though, and that's the best Christmas present this year!

Well, there are things to do and I need to get to them before the sun goes down.  Will post pictures later when my picture server is back up and running!

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Sunday, December 30, 2007

The Computer Guy is Blogging

The Automated Life

I don't know what he's talking about, except for my company not paying for my phone and things like that, but go read that over there anyway.

I'm sorta not in the mood to blog for a few more days.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Streppy Christmas

Although it's the day after Christmas and I should be blogging about Christmas, I want to share what I know about Strep Throat.

1. The incubation period is 2 to 5 days.

2. If your sore throat comes on suddenly and you don't have other cold symptoms, like a runny nose, cough, etc, you may have Strep throat.

3. Strep throat is caused by a bacteria, not a virus. That means that Antibiotics will help.

4. If Strep throat is not treated, it could turn into Rheumatic Fever or some other disease that causes inflammation of the kidneys. These are both serious.

5. The symptoms of strep throat will go away on their own without treatment, but you are still at risk for the two serious diseases listed above. So, if you suspect Strep, go to the doctor.

6. My doctor told me he didn't think it was strep because I wasn't sick enough. My throat wasn't red enough, nor was it covered with white spots, and I wasn't throwing up. This is a recurring theme with me where doctors don't think I'm ill because I'm not ill enough. I almost didn't get the strep test because he had me convinced it was just a cold. So, if YOU suspect strep, request the test. I've never had rheumatic fever or an inflamed kidney, but I certainly don't want, either, ever.

Despite the strep throat which came on suddenly Sunday night, it was a merry Christmas. I'll post more on that later...

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

McCago, McCago, a wonderful town, a wonderful town

Isn't that how it goes?

Even though I don't live here anymore, McCago is my kind of town. Okay, maybe not my kind of town because my kind of town isn't so huge and full of so many people and traffic and public transportation. It's just my town. And, by McCago, I mean Chicagoland, at least the Far North and Northwest suburbs. Mine. All mine...

I am just so done with business trips that take me anywhere but Chicagoland. It has that local news and roads that I know and places I like to shop. I heart Chicagoland. But, I was wrong about something. In my memory, it was warmer here in the winter. In reality, Chicagoland is colder than our new place, which is more my kind of town without quite being my town, yet. Make sense? Yes? No? Would you believe it's all about the local news? I'm not sure I understand it either. But, I love Chicago Local News, but only while in Chicago. WGN while in another state won't work. It's not the same.

Devin misses me. The computer guy said that he cried for 15 minutes this morning full of missing me. I had a quiet breakfast. But by this afternoon, here's what he said to his daddy. "Do you remember when mom left for Chicago and I was sad and cried?" The computer guy said, "Yeah, are you still sad?" And, Devin said, "No, but do you remember that?" Their missing me felt a little better yesterday than it does today.

Monday, December 17, 2007


As in, replace the CHI in Chicago with Mc. McCago. Here I am in McCago, and it wasn't a completely unpleasant journey. It took all day because of weather and tower delays, but I made it about 6 hours later than originally planned. I finished 1 novel and started on a second. Nice.

Anyway, I miss my boys and the computer guy and my bed. It's good to see the local news in Chicago, though. That's the other think I'd been missing about Chicago. I'm watching local news right now because I have missed local Chicago news. I hope the Computer Guy remembers to feed Socks in my absence. Cleaning the litter box would be good, too.

Back to McCago....

Yesterday, I was packing my bag for my trip when Devin came in my room to see what I was up to. I had told the boys earlier in the day that I would be gone for a few days, but I don't think it registered. Packing my bag in front of Devin helped it register with him. I miss him, and I'm really going to miss him in about 2 hours which is about the time that he would come and get in bed with me. But, the nice thing about going away is the way he misses me. When he realized I was going away, he stuck out his bottom lip and said in a little voice, "but I'll miss you." Then he packed and repacked a little coin purse he found, and I think he packed a pine cone (Pine-uh cone). Someone unpacked it. Could have been the Computer Guy, though.

When they dropped me at the airport, Trevor told me several times that he didn't want me to go, then cried when I air kissed him good bye.

So, I miss them.

But, I like the way they miss me, and it sorta makes the leaving worth it. But, it's only Monday. It's going to be tougher on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday...

Sunday, December 16, 2007

i am a WUSS

Of course, I didn't go shopping in their bedrooms. It still seems like a good idea, but Trevor is too clever. He would know that the used toys Santa was regifting him were his own, and the jig would be up. I think I convinced him last night that I was given Santa's phone number and email address at the same time I got his birth certificate, so exposing the Santa Myth now would just not work out. Not at all.

So, I went shopping yesterday. I got a lot more books than I normally would. And, some toys, but not so many toys that my head will explode.

I will definitely regift a V-smile we got them last year. I will tell them it is an official regift because it had been forgotten. I may regift a few other things because I love to spend all morning opening presents, and we've only got maybe 30 minutes worth of presents right now. Which is enough. More than enough. I think I can be honest and say they aren't from Santa but Santa wanted me to remind the boys to play with the toys they got. Yeah. It will be a new Santa myth. Of course, there's no time for any of this. I go to Chicago tomorrow and won't be coming home until Friday. Out of the three business trips I've taken in my life, this will be the second that occurs the week before Christmas. Last year, we went to Walt Disney World the week before Christmas. Anyway, I've digressed.

Before I went shopping, I thought that I might just make all the Christmas presents for the boys. So far, I have one sock monkey who needs ears, and another Sock monkey who needs ears, arms, a tail, and eyes. I made sock monkeys (almost)! The computer guy helped! He stuffed one of the Sock Monkeys! Here's what else I've done.

I ADORE the pictures of the boys that were taken moments after they were born. I love the colors and the babies and their beautiful crying faces. I know these little pictures don't give you a chance to explore all that, so here are links to the full size collages to explore at your leisure:

Just Born Trevor
Just Born Devin

Santa Devin
Trevor in Fall and Winter 2003
Devin's First Winter

Trevor's First Summer
Devin's First Summer

Trevor's First Birthday
Devin's First Birthday

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Know what I'm thinking???

I'm thinking that the boys have too many toys and enough clothes and even if they didn't have enough clothes, there's no way I'm getting Trevor any clothes because he has to officially pick them out himself now that he has more fashion sense than anyone I know.

So, I'm thinking of going shopping in their bedrooms and wrapping up toys they haven't played with in awhile. They have plenty of those. PLENTY.

It feels really scrooge-ish. But, buying more toys when we have a toy problem feels wrong-ish.

Well, that's what I'm going to do this afternoon. Work is slow. So, I'm going shopping in their bedrooms as soon as my daily meeting is over.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007



There's no content, and they just point back to this blog, but someday, someday! They will put those domain names on their resumes! Yes, they will! They will have amazing CONTENT! Their content will never contain the word "POO!" NEVER! It will contain their stunning Curriculum vitaes, perhaps witty banter and/or pointed criticism of the current politicians. Maybe, you'll visit Trevor's site to learn more about Sperm Whales and Orca Whales and Cheetahs and Dinosaurs. You'll visit Devin's to read short creative stories about a flatulent cat, mouse, or squirrel! IT'S GOING TO BE FANTASTIC!


But, for now, it's just this blog, so no need to bookmark it. I'll let you know whey they start creating their own content...


Monday, December 10, 2007

Things I miss about Chicago(land)

Einstein's Brother's Bagels.

Snowplows waking me up in the morning (I don't know...the salt trucks just aren't magical the way that snowplows are...maybe it's too early in the snow season).

Ethnic Diversity. I think there is ethnic diversity here and plenty of it, but I miss the way ethnic diversity manifested itself in Chicago.

The office.


Fogo de Chao.

Trevor getting invited to all the birthday parties in his daycare class. This new school, I think they pick 5 or 6 kids to go to parties, but I'm not sure since Trevor hasn't been invited to any, yet.

I think that's about it for now.

Sunday, December 09, 2007

I make a mean lasagna

It's true. It's so mean, I'm posting the recipe before I forget what went into it:

This is a small lasagna, enough to feed maybe 4 adults and 2 little kids, or maybe just four adults.

lasagna noodles, 1/2 box
Boil for 13 minutes in the BIG pot (Don't try using the little one, again, Tricia!)

Minced garlic to taste, I use about 1 tablespoon's worth (I use Grandma's famous minced elephant garlic in olive oil that I get from the boys' grandma and which is quite famous with me. You'll be on your own, though, because Grandma's Famous Minced Elephant Garlic is not available in a store near you.)
1/2 small to medium onion, chopped finely
Splash of olive oil
Saute these ingredients until your kitchen smells good, then deglaze the pan with a splash of red wine.
1 small can of tomato paste (optional, I used it this time, and I liked it, I think it made the sauce a little sweeter.)
Garlic Salt and italian seasonings to taste (Basil, Oregano)
1 large can of crushed tomatoes, preferably already seasoned with basil and garlic and onions. (next time, I may go with one regular sized can of crushed tomatoes and one regular sized can of chopped tomatoes because I like the texture of chopped tomatoes)

Add the tomato paste and crushed tomatoes and then simmer the onions and garlic and wine and tomato paste and crushed tomatoes until the noodles are done boiling.

Cheese Filling
15 oz of part skim ricotta cheese
shredded mozzarella cheese (1/2 to 1 cup to taste)
Parmesan cheese (1/4 to 1/2 cup to taste)
1 egg
Pepper (lots of pepper)

Mix these ingredients together while the noodles are boiling and the sauce is simmering.

Spray the pan of your choice with a pan spray. This is going to be a small lasagna, so use a cake pan or a small-ish casserole pan. I have a nice garlic flavored pan spray that I like to use.

Put some sauce in the bottom of the pan.

Add a layer of noodles.
Add a layer of ricotta cheese mix
Sprinkle some grated mozzarella on top of that
More sauce

ricotta cheese mix
shredded mozzarella cheese
more sauce

ricotta cheese mix
shredded mozzarella cheese

I think that's how I built this last one.

Bake at 350 for 1 hour.

Let the thing sit for about 10 minutes before cutting. It will taste just fine if you don't let it sit, but it will fall apart.

I'm a grrirrrl...

Devin stayed home on Thursday and Friday and amazed me with his quick turn around from puny and pasty to well and energetic. He's staying home on Monday, too, because the school is having an in service day. Oh. My.

Devin had this incredibly cute and delightful moment on Friday.

He came into my bathroom, followed me, you know. And, he picked some chapstick off the bathroom counter. He opened it and started applying to his face. Mostly his lips, but partially his face. He applied it for a couple of minutes and started singing this song:

I'm a grrirrl, I'm a grrirrl, I'm a grrirrl, I'm a grrirrl, I'm a grrirrl, I'm a grrirrl.

He was swaying his hips, and he looked delighted with himself as he swayed his hips and sang his song and did his best impression of a girl.

It was really, really cute.

It almost made up for his 2 sick days. Almost. Not quite.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Opal Gray

Opal Gray by Vikki

Opal Gray and her son Earl pulled up in front of the funeral home. Opal was eager to get out of the car; she had given up driving nearly thirty years ago because cars just moved too fast. She was unfamiliar with her son’s car and was becoming extremely frustrated because she couldn’t find the handle.

“Danged new fangled automobiles, and their hidden handles!” Opal exclaimed as she randomly pushed buttons.

“Mom!” Earl said loudly becoming equally frustrated as his mother readjusted all the settings on the passenger side of the car. “Hold on and I will help you.” Earl slowly pulled himself out of his car and made his way around to the other side. He stopped to get her walker out of the backseat and realized that she was still looking for the door handle. “Mother, be patient. I will help you out of the car as soon as I get your walker,” he said sharply.

“Well for the love of God, hurry yourself up,” she folded her arms and mumbled profanities under her breath. After Earl finally fought the walker open, he was not surprised to find that his mother had locked the door.

“Very funny Mom,” he said with his arms folded and his lips pursed. “I know all your little tricks; I’ve got the keys.” Earl stood with one hand on his hip and the other dangling the keys. Opal turned her head towards her son and slowly lifted her knobby middle finger as she held her other fingers down with her other hand. “Again, very funny Mom.” Earl unlocked the door and opened it quickly. He was hit in the face by a foul odor. “Mother, that is disgusting! Try to control yourself better than that.”

“Oh, shut up,” Opal sneered, “I’m old, I can fart when I want!” Despite the odor, Earl helped Opal out of the car. “Get my purse out of the back,” she said as she gripped the handles of her walker. Earl grabbed the bright red oversized handbag; it felt heavier than it should have.

“I’ll carry it Mom. Whadda’ya got in this thing anyway?”

“Never mind that now,” Opal said rancorously as she started scooting her way to the door. “Now hurry up, we’ve got a funeral to plan.”

The two made their way into the high-end funeral home and was greeted by smiling young woman, “Hello, can I help you?” she said.

“Yes, we’re here to plan Bus Gray’s funeral,” Earl explained.

“Would you like to follow me, please?” The young lady stepped out from behind her desk and led them down a long hall. It was hard not to notice that she had a prosthetic leg; it was clearly visible and it creaked has she walked.

Taking her old lady privilege Opal asked,” What happened to your leg?”

“It was a freak accident actually,” she explained as they were still walking down the hall. “I was walking home from school when a car flung a piece of metal that nearly sheared by leg completely off.” The young lady directed them into the room, “The wound was too severe and they had to take it off.” Opal and Earl took their seats around the large rectangular table. “Would you like some coffee or water?”

“Oh yes please; I’ll have coffee,” Opal smiled showing off the false teeth that she remembered to put in her mouth that morning.

“I’ll have water,” Earl said. He was noticeably embarrassed by his mother’s forward questioning; his face was red and his shoulders were stiff. The young lady stepped out of the room. “Inappropriate, Mom”

“What are you talking about?” Opal shrugged her shoulders.

“You asked that lady about her leg.”

“So, how else was I going to know?”

The young lady returned with their drinks. “Paul is your funeral director, and he will be with you shortly.”

“Well, this place hasn’t changed in twenty years.” Opal took a short pause as she looked around the room, “Same roll-top desk, same hideous wall paper.”

“Why were you here before?” Earl questioned his mother.

“This is the funeral home I used when your aunt Thelma died.”

“Thelma died?” Earl was surprised, not only that his aunt had died and he didn’t know about it, but she died twenty years ago.

“We planted that old bag at Hilltop Cemetery so fast; we just didn’t have time to tell everybody.”

“Oh, that’s right, she dated Dad before you married him.”

“I did not steal your Dad from her,” Opal slammed her hands on the table, “they were broken up when we started dating!” She took a moment to regain her composure, “it is not my fault that she never found somebody else to spend her life with and then died of a broken heart. Not my dadgum fault!”

“Okay Mom, calm down; I think I hear the funeral director coming.” Earl could hear footsteps clomping on the hardwood floor. A corpulent man entered the room.

“Hello, I’m Paul Strang,” he reached his hand out to shake their hands, “you must be Mrs. Opal Gray.”

“That’s me.” She showed him her teeth.

“Well we are in luck; your husband preplanned his funeral about twenty years ago.”

“What?” Opal yelled.

“He…uh planned his funeral all the way down to the cemetery that he will be buried in.” Paul explained calmly to Opal. “However, the casket that he had chosen is no longer being made.” Opal was confused but she thought it best to let the man continue. “All we need to plan is the day and time.”

“Well if it was up to me, I would have it sometime if the afternoon,” Earl threw a wink at the funeral director.

“Well…it is not up to you so I will have it in the morning,” Opal always went against her son and everybody else, for that matter.

With little warning, a low rumbling noise emanated from Opal’s backside. The smell was putrid and absolutely mind-stopping. Paul made a face and held his breath, and Earl turned a deeper and hotter shade of red. Opal sat quietly, a beatific smile resting gently on her lips.

“I have to…uh…crunch some numbers, if you’d like you can look at some caskets.” Paul took the two in the selection room and quickly left.

“Mom, I can’t believe you did that.”

“What?” Opal acted as if she did nothing.

“You polluted the air in that room, Mother! Forget it. Just pick a casket; I like this one.” Earl pointed to a wooden casket with a white crepe interior. He didn’t really care for it, but knowing his mother, she wouldn’t pick a casket that he liked anyway.

“I don’t think your father would care for that one; I like this one.” Opal pointed to a casket that had an off-white interior. “Now were did that funeral director go?”

“Here I am,” Paul popped his head around the corner. “Have you already made your selection?”

“Yes I have; I think my beloved Bus would love this one.”

“Okay, if you will join me back in the conference room we can finalize the plans.” Paul led them back into the conference room that now smelled like fresh rain and sulfur.

Opal slowly sat down in her chair and grunted as she lifted her oversized purse onto the table. “Before we go any further, I have one request,” she opened her purse and pulled out what appeared to be a rolled up hand towel, and she placed it on the table. “I would like this to be buried with my husband.” As she pushed the hand towel towards Paul it came open; inside was a small dead dog.

“Mother,” Earl gasped, “what happened to Poppy?”

“I feed him the last of your father’s pain pills,” Opal tried to look sad. But the truth was, she never liked the dog, “I thought it was best this way.”

“You are something else Mom, I…I…I…just don’t know what to say.” Earl was tired of dealing with his mother.

“Really, its fine…it’s not the first time I buried someone with their dog.” Paul flipped through the paperwork in front of him. Suddenly, he stopped flipping. “Hmmm…this is a little unusual. I see that Paul wants to be buried at Hilltop Cemetery in the plot next to Thelma Bouffant. Is that his mother or daughter?”

Earl’s spine stiffened while Opal’s mouth formed a thin pink line. The color drained from her face, and more sulfur escaped from her old hiney. Paul realized he had not treaded lightly on this potentially touchy subject. The color drained from his face when the old lady’s stink reached his nose.

“You just give me that dadgum dog right back. I will not bury his little Mr. Precious Poppy with his cheating soul!” She reached across the desk and grabbed the gruesome package. Stuffing the dead dog back into her handbag, she left the room in a huff, scratching the gleaming hardwood floors with her walker. “EARL! Take me to the car right now!”

Earl stood awkwardly, and listened for the slamming of the front door indicating his mother was outside. Reaching across the desk, he shook hands with the fat funeral director. “Um, thanks, for, um, everything here. I’m sure it’s going to be a lovely service since Mom won’t be there.”

“I am sorry for my lack of discretion,” Paul said.

“No, no. I’m sure this was Dad’s way of getting himself a peaceful sendoff. A sulfur-free sendoff. Don’t worry.”

An awkward moment passed.

“Well, uh, thanks. I’ll see you at the service.”

Earl turned and left, and Paul stood alone, confused, and wondering if he smelled like an old lady’s ass.

Copyright Reserved for Vikki.

Because Memaw would want to know...

...the kids are sick. Mostly, it's just Devin. He says his mouth and his ear hurt. His teacher tells me they had strep at the school about 10 days ago, and I'm committed to trying to let it run its course. He just saw the doctor on Monday for his annual check-up, and the doctor only saw a tiny little bit of fluid in his right ear. His left ear is draining, so I think whatever infection there was migrated to the other side of his head. He acts pretty puny when he's in pain, but either Tylenol or ibuprofen does an amazing job on his pain. So, when he's not in pain, he's completely normal and happy and oh, so, talkative. Exhaustingly talkative. I had to let the pain medication completely wear off today so that he would take a nap. Of course, the nap was nice for me. I got to take a break. But, mostly, I believe in the recuperative effect of sleep and HE needed the nap for that.

Trevor has something going on. He threw up two days ago for no reason, and then was fine. He did the same thing at Memaw's and Papa's house over Thanksgiving (well, that wasn't one episode and was a few and it lasted a few hours). And, tonight, he threatened to throw up 3 times. THREE TIMES! Then, he coughed and said, "Oh, I just had to cough." Then, he said, "NO, let me try just one more time." I felt afraid, for a moment, that he's in the early stages of bulimia. But, he mentioned later that he still felt a little bad. So, I think he was really just nauseous, and I don't know why. Come, share my worry. The bird flu has stopped scaring me, so I need something to worry about, right? Offer me advice on Trevor's nausea, but don't tell me anything scary.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Home made raisins

That could be so many things, couldn't it? Home made raisins could be a a cute little name for, well, use your imagination...

But, here, it means precisely what it says. A couple of months ago, I set a grape on the counter and day by day it dried itself out and turned itself into a raisin. I was surprised that it never got moldy or gross. I thought a grape needed the sun or some mechanincal process to dry it out quickly enough to make a raisin. But, the fact is, our grape turned into a raisin.

After it was officially a raisin, we started passing it around the family for closer examination, and it somehow got moved from the safe place on the counter to our kitchen table.

That's where it was last night when Devin started examining it. I was busy and not paying too much attention to him. Then, he said, "See, Mommy, it wasn't yucky! it wasn't yucky at all!"

Devin ate the home made raisin. I guess it wasn't yucky.

The computer guy sat out two more grapes last night. Next time, there will be enough to share.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Sleeps with Books

I think he likes to read the book as he falls asleep. The book is "Walter the Farting Dog," a delightful tail (pun intended) on accepting the limitations of those you love. It's recently become his favorite book, and he's well on his way to memorizing it. I've read it to him every night for the last week or so. My reading of the book and his sleep osmosis means that he knows that Walter farts when he eats, when he sleeps, and we he plays, and that Walter gets the blame for everybody else's farts, too.

Monday, December 03, 2007


We went to brunch on Sunday, and our waitress scared the crap out of Trevor! She was commenting on his beautiful red hair, and she said that she "heard" or "read" somewhere that red heads will no longer exist in 10 years, that they would be extinct because red heads aren't marrying other red heads. Since I'm not a red head and I married not a red head, I'm not sure what the heck she was talking about, and I admit that I question the veracity of her information.

After she went on and on about Trevor's beauty and explained to us the details of her made up information on the extinction of red heads, she went away.

Trevor whispered to John, "I don't want to be gone in 10 years."

We don't want him to be gone, either. We just want him to keep in mind that he's unique because of his pretty red hair.

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Socks, the Cat

Although he loves her and thinks she is soooooooo cute, Trevor is a little scared of Socks, the cat. She's never bitten or scratched him, and she loves to sleep at the foot of his bed when he'll let her. But that doesn't stop him from snatching his hand away from her if she moves her head at all when he gets brave enough to pet her.

Socks loves me more than anyone in our house because I feed her. So, I thought to myself, "How can I give Trevor some responsibility around here and make him less afraid of Socks?" I decided to assign him the chore of feeding the cat her dry cat food.

He seemed distinctly disinterested in feeding her the wet cat food, and that's OK with me. I don't like to clean up cat food messes, so that wasn't part of the bargain.

But, yesterday, feeding her wet cat food was going to be easy because I was just going to have her eat it right out of the can rather than transferring it to the bowl. So, I asked Trevor to do it.

"No!" he tells me.

I explained how easy it would be since all he had to do was set the can on the ground.


He took the can from me and took it to the bathroom where we feed her. He came running out, happy as can be.

"I did it! Even though that cat food really stinks!!"

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Over Breakfast

Trevor told me that he wanted a dragon. Then, he described this dragon...

First, it would breathe fire and ice. When he was hot, it would breathe ice into the clouds and cause snow to fall down. When he was hungry, he would use his fiery breath to cook something for Trevor.

This dragon would be the size for a house, which is about as big as our cat. How big do you think she is? About twelve pounds maybe.

His Dragon would have scales that turned to fur so that it would be nice to pet.

Where did he get all this information about dragons? From his own thoughts, that's where. At least that's what he told me.

Dragons are also good for the world. He told me over Thanksgiving that Dragons from China are good for the environment. And, then we picked up trash at the park we were at because we were both sad to see all the litter. We didn't pick it all up, but we got some of it. There's also dragons from South America. I don't think they are as good for the environment. Those Chinese dragons, though, they control the weather in addition to being good for the environment.

He may have learned about Chinese Dragons at school. I'm not sure. But I can't convince myself that he doesn't have a vivid imagination because he certainly does.

Thursday, November 22, 2007


Here we are in frigid Oklahoma, bellies full of Turkey and noodles and *real* mashed potatoes. Trevor and Devin taught cousins Logan and Jena all about wrestling, and Memaw has said at least once a day, "Just one more?" and then disappeared to her bedroom returning with armfuls of gifts for her four little grandchildren. (The big grandchildren are, in fact, jealous.)

We brought Logan home from my Grandma's house, while Devin rode with his Aunt Vikki. Trevor begged a sleepover. I was non-commital and when they didn't bring it up again, neither did I. Then, they talked about Christmas. It's a little confusing, I think, since Memaw has brought Christmas early and every day that we've been here. But, Trevor told Logan that we won't be coming to Oklahoma for Christmas because we will be getting some vacationers.

He told her that Pete, Charlie, Aunt Ramona and Uncle Jim will be coming to visit.

Logan wanted to know who all these people were.

"Well, Charlie is a Golden Retreiver. Pete is, uh, hmmmm, a chocolate lab. Aunt Ramona is a human. And, Uncle Jim is a human, too."

I guess girl cousins are cool. Teaching them to wrestle is awesome. Big boy cousins are fun to kick about the head and chest. But, dog cousins are very much anticipated, too... (as are the human aunt and uncle.)

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Flu Shots

I got mine a couple of weeks ago. Trevor watched as the needle was pressed into my arm, and he winced.

They got theirs today.

Devin went first. Normally, Trevor would go first because he's got a pretty forceful personality that requires he be the first in line in our family. But, this was for a shot, she he said, "Why do I have to go first?" in a whiny voice. We told him that he didn't and Devin could go first. Devin said, "YAY!"

We followed the signs to the flu shot clinic, and Trevor was tense. Devin was non-chalant, none-the-wiser, happy as a clam.

Devin went first.

He finally realized what this was all about, and he was reluctant. Still, he cooperated. He got the shot in his leg, lucky kid. I pulled his pants down, sat him on my lap, the nurse crossed his arms across his chest and instructed me to hold him tight. She said, "this will be quick," and then plunged the needle into his thigh. I was amazed at how far it went in.

I winced.

Trevor watched, and he winced, too.

Devin said, "Ow-wee, Ow-wee!" And, he cried for about 15 seconds. Then, he was all better and ready for the next thing, whatever it may be.

Then, it was Trevor's turn. He had to get his in the arm, and the Computer Guy was in charge of him (poor computer guy). The nurse told him to hold Trevor's legs with his own because those little legs were flailing. He had turned into board boy with the loud cry. Since Devin was cool with his little flu shot hole and sports themed bandage, I stepped in and rolled up Trevor's sleeves. It was a little tougher than normal since he was wearing two layers as is his new custom.

As the Computer Guy held him in his leg vice, the nurse gently closed the door to muffle his cries to the rest of the office and then plunged the needle into his arm. His cries continued, unabated.

For about 2 minutes.

As we left the room where the shots were administered, Trevor was still not happy.

The nice ladies at the nurse's station offered stickers. Devin was all, "YEAH!" And, then he stepped around Trevor to get to the stickers. Very decisively, he picked out a Transformers (More than meets the EYE!) sticker and tried to stick it to his arm. "It won't stick," he told me. I removed the backing, and that fixed the problem.

Trevor was more deliberate in his sticker picking out. He was still picking a sticker and his face was still pouty when the nurses offered suckers. Devin was all
"YEAH!" and stepped around Trevor to get to the lollipops. Diverted from the sticker choosing, Trevor deliberated over a sucker. After successfully choosing a Creme Soda dum-dum, he finessed a Jimmy Neutron sticker out the bucket o' boo-boo stickers.

And, at this point, both boys were happy again. No more tears.

Back at the car, the Computer Guy said to Devin, "You did really great, Devin!"

Trevor said, "What about me, Dad?"

To this, Dad told him that he cried and kicked and that he wasn't so very good, really.

To this, Trevor said, "Oh, that hurt my feelings."

More discussion on the topic revealed that Trevor actually didn't want to talk about it anymore, by the way.

Well, the sports themed bandages made the whole thing all worth it.

Have you gotten your flu shot, yet?

5:38 AM

Devin woke up at 5:38 AM, and he had an interesting list of wants at 5:38 AM:

Here's the list in the order that I remember:
1) I want Homer (we watched the new the Simpsons last night before bed).
2) I want Apple Juice (I bought some for an upcoming car trip, and he can hardly stand having it in the house...he wanted to leave for the car trip last night just so that he could his lips on some of that apple juice!)
3) I want candy.
4) I want my pants on (I changed his diaper because his pants were wet, and I didn't put his wet pants back on.)
5) I want my blanket (I took him to bed with me, and he wanted his blanket from his bed.)
6) I want a pet (a stuffed animal).
7) I want a pet (another stuffed animal).
8) I want a book.
9) I want another book.
10) I want my sock.

He had a lot of wants at 5:38 this morning.

When he woke up for real, I asked him what he wanted for breakfast. He wanted, in this order, 1) Candy 2) Marshebbows...

Monday, November 12, 2007


That Devin!

I thought we were on the track towards a diaper free household what with his telling me he was poopy and then asking to go potty. I thought it would be, like, TODAY! But, today, he denied being poopy for about an hour. Silly me, since he'd been telling me when he was poopy, I thought if I asked him and he said "NO" that I didn't have to check. Sometimes, kids smell from an earlier poop, you know? This wasn't an earlier poop. It was an old poop by the time I finally changed him. Will you potty train my child?

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Quirk Update


He didn't actually go potty, but he asked, I took him the bathroom, and he sat on the toilet without pretending to pee and said he didn't want to go potty. He also took that time to tell me tht he had gone potty at school last week. That may or may not have been a lie or a misrepresentation of the truth. I see this as a milestone, a first step, and hope that he will be potty trained before he goes to kindergarten. HOO-RAY!

Trevor has combined his cleverness with his status as a clothes horse and his desire to be semi-nude in pur 68 Degree home as of yesterday after my original post about his quirks. His dad recently introduced him to the idea of layering, sort of a cool thing to do. Yesterday, we made him get dressed in a long sleeved shirt and some jeans so we could go out. The moment that we got home, he took off his long sleeved shirt revealing a tank top beneath. Then, smiling, he took off his jeans, revealing his favorite red, shiny Nike shorts beneath (which matched his tank top, of course). He took off his socks, and he was OFF! My clever, little clothes horse...

Saturday, November 10, 2007

My Quirky Family

When he comes home from school, no matter the temperature outside or in the house, Trevor may take his shirt off or run up to his room right away to change into shorts and tank top. Because he's hot. I was holding him last night, and he asked twice to take his shirt off and we told him no, it was too cold. So, he asked me to take my sock off so that he could put his hot foot on my cold foot. That helped for a minute, but then his dad suggested he go get a short sleeved shirt on. He ran upstairs and came down in a pair of shorts, no top. "I can't find a shirt I like," he says. He's a clothes horse of the highest order. We suggested a couple of places he could look, and he went back upstairs on his mission. When he came down, he had found a shirt, a tanktop, and was wearing different shorts that matched the tanktop he found. And, he was happy! Happy to be matching. Happy to be wearing a tank top.

This clothes horse... I took him clothes shopping at a store that sells second hand clothes. I can't remember the name of this one, but it's a lot like Once Upon a Child. I love these places. The one I went to is less like a thrift store and more like a boutique. They have clothes, toys, strollers, and some maternity clothes. It's all clean and all pretty good quality. And, I got him and Devin several pieces of clothing. And, the reason I took Trevor was because I recognized his budding clothes horse status. Unfortunately, there was a kid his age in the story and a bunch of toys, so I ended up picking out the clothes and asking him to approve or not. He approved all of it. He wears virtually none of it. I didn't get any tank tops. I think that's why his new stuff hangs unworn in the closet.

His other quirk has to do with wasting electricity. He sleeps with a fan on his face. Mr. Hottie Hot Hot sleeps with 2 to 3 blankets to stay warm enough with that fan in his face, he builds a little barrier of blankets to keep the cool breeze off of him. But, he tells me he likes the breeze and not the noise. And, then there's the light. Not a night light, but a lamp. It must be on. He wakes up at night if we turn off the fan and/or the light. And, then he screams, the terror in his voice obvious. So, we run upstairs to comfort him, usually take him to the bathroom, and then turn on his light and fan. When a calmer Trevor wakes in the morning, he politely asks us to stop turning off his light and fan after he falls asleep. Personally, I've decided I'm not picking this battle. I would prefer he stop picking his nose. The light and fan can stay. Computer Guy wants the fan to go. We're at an impasse, I think. The fan should go. Trevor gets bloody noses at night, and I'm sure the dry wind blowing around his face is a contributing factor.

That's my little man, quirks and all. His little quirks make me happy.

Devin's not quirky. He just does everything his brother does. Our new house has light switches, right? But, no lights. I'm supposed to plug lamps in everywhere, and each room has like one switched outlet. I do really wonder about rooms with light switches and no lights. Well, we finally got a lamp for Devin's room last week. And, of course, he wants it on almost every night so that he can be more like Trevor. Plus, his door should be open. And, he needs me to read at least two books, and then, he needs those books to stay in his bed. The other morning, he came to my bed about 6 in the morning. Both my boys will bring their sleeping friends, normally that just means stuffed animals, with them when they want in bed with us. Devin brought two stuffed animals and two books from his bed the other morning.

Potty training...Well, I didn't even try before he was three. Every now and then, we'd offer him the potty. Nothing consistent. I planned on just getting him potty trained when he was three. I even got him 6 pairs of underwear for his birthday. Forget about it. He has no interest at all in the potty. He resists the potty with words and tears. He ignores bribes of the biggest toy ever and candy for breakfast. When I ask when he will be potty trained, he tells me, "in a few minutes." In a few minutes, indeed.

Our new house has a pretty open floor plan. The kitchen is a lot like an eat-in kitchen, and the dining area faces the living room where the TV hangs over the mantle. Yeah. We watch TV during dinner sometimes. Not always, but yes, sometimes. So, no food in the living room is actually an easy rule for me to enforce and indeed follow myself, for the most part. There's no reason to take snacks into the living room since you can sit at the table and still watch TV. It's the American Way. Devin won't follow this rule. He'll break this rule when the TV isn't on. He will break this rule even as Trevor eats his snack at the kitchen table. I guess it's his expression of individuality.

While on the topics of snacks, Devin calls them 'nacks. "I want a 'nack." Lately, he wants all his 'nacks to include marshebbows. This morning, he wanted marshebbows for breakfast, but the computer guy said "no way" to that request. (Marshebbows? Marshebbows? Marshmallows.)

Despite his total lack of interest in proper toilet habits, he's anti-diaper changing. He had a blow-out at school the other day. His teacher had to undress him because it was so bad. He told her, "Not my shoes! Not my shoes!" Oh, the humanity, the indignity! Another day, his teacher gave him the choice of walking upstairs to get his wet diaper changed or not going to recess. "Well, I'm not going to recess, then!" was his response. He didn't want to walk up the stairs, he wanted to be carried. When all his friends went outside to play, he agreed to walk up the stairs to get changed. "I'll walk! I'll walk!" Even at home, he seems reluctant to get his wet diaper changed, telling us, "I'm not Poopy!" when we try to change his diaper that dragging between his knees because it's so filled with the pee-pee.

I guess every kid has his quirk. These are my kids' quirks.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Guess What!?

This isnt' a post about the boys.

It's a post about this Ron Paul guy.

“The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.”
--Irish politician Edmund Burke (1729 – 1797)

When I think of Iraq, Iran, New Orleans, the housing bubble, the price of milk, and the way some people don't understand how the left lane is for passing only, I feel like one of those good men, doing nothing and letting the evil flourish.

I've only just discovered Ron Paul, and he's a Republican! Oh, my! But, I like what he has to say, and he may have just kicked Obama out of that place in my heart reserved for a Presidential candidate I can get behind.

So, look at the video, and consider his views, and let's not let George W. Bush, or anyone like him, happen ever ever again.


Tuesday, November 06, 2007


I was hiding in the bathroom this morning when I overheard this exchange...


Dad: "Oh, is that the Poopy Alarm?"

Trevor: "Yeah. It was just me using my voice to be the poopy alarm, though."


We were at a festival at a Marsh Nature Center over the weekend. I overheard a mom say this to her son who looked about 7:

"Yes, honey, I know it's a Marsh, but there are no marshmallows."

Saturday, November 03, 2007

How Trevor doesn't look like me...

I think it's like the weather. When I meet new people with kids, I want to know which parent the kid looks most like. On the one hand, I know there is nothing I can do to change the weather, and I recognize the cliche of talking about the weather AND where your kid got his nose. On the other hand, I really want to talk about it and understand how your kid can be so tall while mine is not so tall. For some reason, knowing the parent that your child most resembles is compelling to me the way that the drought is affecting milk and corn prices. I can't do anything about where your kid got his ears or the lack of rain in the Southeast, but that doesn't stop me from wanting to talk about it.

Thing is, I never can tell. The only reason I think that Trevor looks like me and not his dad is because he's round and I'm round and the Computer Guy is not round in any way. And, I think Devin looks like his dad because he doesn't look like me because he's less round.

But, here's the real truth. My kid, Trevor, who some folks may be compelled to call a little Tricia doesn't really look like me much at all.

See that chin. It's darn near chiseled. His nose is nothing short of a perfect button nose. If you look close at his hair, it's actually red and blonde. No, golden. And, his eyes are HUGE and strikingly blue.

See this chin...not so chiseled. The nose, though cute, is not a perfect button. The hair color may have been similar, but I doubt it was as MAGICAL as Trevor's is. And, my eyes were not HUGE, though they may have been strikingly blue when I was little.

So there it is. Trevor looks less like me and more like him than previously thought (mostly by me.) I will probably continue to believe that he is a little bit of a mini me because who wouldn't want to resemble Trevor with his red hair and huge blue eyes? But, I'll know that he really just looks like him because I read it here first.

That won't stop me from examining your kid and trying to figure out where he got his lips, though. It also won't stop me from commenting on the weather, either, for that matter.
Side by Side for easier comparison:

Friday, November 02, 2007

Let's call this...Tricia Cooks!

Cooking is like fishing for me. I like it when I'm catching fish. Or, when those who eat my food enjoy it. Or, when I enjoy it. And, it has to be easy, too. See how they're similar.

So, here's a recipe. I just made it, and it was very very very Good.

Spinach Salad
...I prefer the spinach that's triple washed that you can use straight out of the bag. I also prefer e. coli free spinach. Good luck with that that.
Bacon...I prefer the bacon that is already cooked that you can use right out of the package.
Olive Oil...the kind that doesn't cost as much as a nice bottle of wine but which still has some health benefit.
Vinegar...I like a mixture of Balsamic and Red Wine or Apple Cider Vinegar. Avoid white vinegar. If that's all you have in the pantry or under the sink, don't make this salad, please.

Saute a splash or two of oil in a small skillet. As the oil warms up, tear up some of your pre-cooked bacon and crisp it up in the olive oil.

Put some spinach in a bowl, preferably a bowl that won't melt when you pour hot oil into it.

When the oil is hot and the bacon is looking a little crispier than when you first took it out of the package, pour it over the Spinach.

Add a splash or two of the vinegars that please you the most.


Best Served Warm.

Why Two are Better than One

When Devin was little and I resented him because he cried more than Trevor and had to be held all the time and kept me awake at night just at the time that Trevor had started letting me sleep, I looked forward to the day when my two boys would play with each other and let me and the Computer Guy sleep in.

Well, that day is now here, usually.

Sometimes, they come in and try to get me out of bed to pour them each a bowl of cereal, sometimes I whisper for them to go ask Daddy, and sometimes Trevor takes charge and gets out bowls for both of them and pours their cereal. Milk is harder, but sometimes cereal is good without milk.

Anyway, yesterday morning was one of those days. Yesterday morning was also the day after Halloween, an important fact that I neglected to remember as I lay in bed stretching like a cat and luxuriating in the notion that motherhood can be easy and rewarding when you have two little boys 21 months apart who can entertain each other for the hour after they wake up. I laid there all warm and content for at least 45 minutes.

But, then it was time to get up and do all the things I need to do in the morning.

As I was straightening the kitchen, I realized the trick or treat buckets were not where I had left them the night before. The quiet 45 minutes I had spent in bed stretching and feeling secure took on a different light as I realized it was probably the candy and not each other that kept them occupied for the last hour.

I got Trevor to bring me his pumpkin full o' candy. Devin wouldn't do the same. He was a little scattered.

When I finally made it upstairs, I was surprised to see candy wrappers all over the floor. I was sure that our daily mantra, "No Candy for Breakfast," had sunk in and become one with our children. I had convinced myself that they had been searching for more toys in their buckets and sorting their candy during their quiet hour.

I picked up at least 10 to 15 candy wrappers.

Even if they split it, 5 to 7 pieces of candy is alot of sugar in the morning. We got Trevor to have some cereal, but Devin was too wound up for it. Trevor assured me that he didn't have any of that candy. He said it was all Devin. It may have been. I don't think Trevor really *gets* lying. But, it's hard to believe that Trevor didn't partake of at least 1 or 2 of the 10 to 15 pieces of candy that was opened yesterday morning.

So, that's why are two are better than one. It's also why I need to hide the Halloween candy before I go to sleep on Halloween night...

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Halloween Pictures, including the Parade in which WE WON! WE WON!

Can I tell you a little about Halloween in our new neighborhood? First, there are only about 10 houses, and we are one of only two families with trick or treating aged children. This didn't mean that there was no Halloween here. Oh, no. More like, it was the best Halloween ever! It started at about 10:00 this morning when the next door neighbor stopped by with Halloween goodies for the boys. They weren't going to be home during trick or treat so they brought Halloween to us. Several hours later, another neighbor stopped by with the cutest little box of goodies. Same reason; they weren't going to be home during trick or treating hours.

One neighbor offered toys and candy.

Several neighbors offered "handfuls" and Devin took that quite literally, taking handfuls of candy until we stopped chatting and stopped him. 10 houses and 2 very full pumpkins, I tell you. It was a good Halloween.

We took them to see their Grandma and Grandpa after trick or treating in our neighborhood. When Grandpa asked "who is this?" Trevor ripped his hood off so Grandpa could see who it was. Devin followed suit, but it wasn't nearly as dramatic as Trevor had been.

Then, Grandma and Grandpa asked what the boys were. "DINOSAURS!"

"What kind?"

Trevor said, "I'm a spinosaurus!"

Devin said, "I don't know!"

Trevor said, "He's a carnataurus, but he doesn't have the horns."

Devin said, "My brother says I'm a carnataurus!"

(the above was actually a paraphrase of 3 conversations.)

Can I also tell you about Devin's tail? It's an impressive tail, and I pinned some reinforcing fabric to it so that it wasn't destroyed as he dragged it behind him. He can wear his costume again at Christmas. Fun. Anyway, the impressive tail was a bit of an accident. I made both of the costumes from a size 5-6 pattern. I made Devin's jumpsuit small enough to fit him (probably size 2-3), but I didn't change the tail at all. So, the tail was way too big for the costume and dragged along behind him, but it really worked out well. It was my favorite part of the costume, but it was way too big.

Happy Halloween! Do you need some candy? We have plenty. Oh, so plenty.

A moment...

I know that my readers really prefer when I blog about the boys, and I'll try to do mostly that, but I'm taking a moment to talk about chickens. I hope you don't mind.

Yesterday morning, I drove Trevor and a classmate to Harner's Farm (see pics below of same farm) for a school field trip. While we were there, I mentioned to another mom that when I was a kid, we had chickens and that I was afraid of them.

She said, "oh, did you grow up on a farm?"

I've known for awhile that growing up in Wynona wasn't like growing up in Chicago or even Pawhuska, for that matter. It was tiny and rural and we had chickens despite living in the middle of town (and a horse and a goat and a cow and rabbits and even geese and ducks, I think, when I was little). I had 9 people in my graduating class and missed out on a scholarship when I was a junior in college because at #2 out of 9, I wasn't in the top 10% of my class. It was special and unique and different.

But, it was also a really long time ago! This is what the other mom's question made me realize. We may have been kinda unique even in Wynona with our mini-barnyard collection of animals. But, it wasn't unheard of to have a mini-barnyard, was it? I don't know anyone who has chickens now, except people in the Key West with their feral chickens, but that's a whole different thing. If I brought chickens to live in my backyard, I'd get a ticket and kicked out of the neighborhood and people would write letters to the city about me. It would be bad. I'm not sure, but I'm thinking Mom and Dad might even get letters written about them if they re-stocked the old chicken yard in Wynona.

I've thought that where I live now and where I lived when I was a kid were just two different places, two different *types* of places. I thought that in Wynona, you can have chickens and ride around in the bed of a pickup. In Chicagoland, forget about it. Even in our new location, I'm pretty sure a chicken yard would get me classified as the crazy chicken lady and even taking the kids in the car buckled up without a car seat would get me hanged. But now, I'm thinking that I'm just wrong.

It's not that there are two different *types* of places. I mean, Wynona is still special and unique in its tinyness and lack of high speed internet and a strong cell phone signal. My bigger issue here is that it's just two different times. And, my childhood was just a really long time ago, and things have just changed that much.

It's just weird that I grew up in such a vastly different time than now. How can that be?

And, when did things change so much?

I thought it was me because I keep moving all over the country. But, it's not my moving, it's my aging.


Tuesday, October 30, 2007

We Won! We won!

I will post pictures later, but I wanted to get the word out. We won, we won! We won fifth place in group of maybe 10, but we won, and that's exciting, yes, yes, yes.

I made the boys' Halloween costumes this year. I'm not sure what got into me. It cost more than buying something at the store, and it's not like I really had a bunch of extra time laying around, but still, I did it. I made their costumes. Mom, you'll be proud to know that I didn't even shy away from installing the zippers. My first zippers. I'm so proud!

Trevor was a Green Spino-saurus with flames on his Spino spine. Devin was really a red dragon with black spikes, but we're calling him a Carnotaurus.

We walked in a big huge parade of Costumed Children and their proud parents in the downtown area. We paraded for at least 5 blocks, and when we got to the end, the boys paraded past a group of judges. Devin was waving at this point. I think he was waving all on his own, but we pointed out the judges so that Devin could wave in their direction. This seemed all right for Trevor, so he waved in their direction, too.

I don't know if it was the waving that led them to win fifth place, or if it was the waving that prevented them from winning first place. It's hard to tell. But, we won, we won!

I'm in a bit of a pickle now, though.

Tonight was a Halloween parade, but tomorrow is Halloween. And, Devin got his fragile costume with its 2 pound, 3 foot long tail stinky dirty because even though he tells me that he will be potty trained "in a few minutes," he isn't potty trained, yet.

I guess I need to figure out what to do with that...

Sunday, October 28, 2007


Wait, it's not what you think!

We got a deck of cards, and the Computer Guy taught Trevor how to play Go Fish and War and somewhere along the way, Trevor internalized that the Ace is the high card.

As they were playing War last night, Trevor's hand was face up, and for every card the Computer Guy threw down, Trevor threw down his Ace. Every hand. Everything was great until the Computer Guy threw down an Ace. Trevor threw down his Ace, and it was War. Somehow, the Computer Guy won that hand. And, Trevor cried and cried and cried. Then, I said to him "Daddy won't play cards with a crybaby." I said the words kinda gently. I really did. Well, good thing for him, he sucked it up (without me having to say "Suck it up!") and he was able to finish his game. He found another Ace, luckily, and won the game.

(I played the game with him this morning, and after a good night's rest, he actually won the game without cheating at all.)

Oh, and...............

Bring them home.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Corn Maze 2007

Another version:

"A Fund of Knowledge", "A Scientist"

We had our first parent teacher conference yesterday. The good news with my little Devin is that there are "No Red Flags." I've worried a little about his social skills, that maybe he has ADHD, and that he's too attached to Trevor. Apparently, he's less attached to Trevor than he was, and there are no Red Flags. It was a good report.

Trevor's report was also good.

I'm going to tell you all about Trevor's report, but please don't think I'm not just as happy about Devin's report. Trevor is just older and in a more exciting developmental phase.

The teacher listed a couple of things they are working on. She thought he was a little timid about his writing because he's not very good at it, yet. He holds his pencil lightly and doesn't press too hard, and they are currently working on his letters and on how to hold a pencil. He doesn't like to color, but the teacher doesn't care about that at all. Coloring doesn't mean much as far as she's concerned. It's just not for everyone.

Beyond that, we found out that he had read a book. He actually got a note the day he read the book, but the Computer Guy and I decided that he'd heard the book, had memorized it, and recited it back. Not true, the teacher said. It was the first time he had seen it, and she could tell he was "decoding" it. Actually, braced with this knowledge, I asked him to spell cat later. He couldn't get the C because it's tricky, but he got the A-T. In fact, so excited to get to the T he was that he yelled out T! at the top of his lungs. It's very exciting.

It's a magical time, right now, as Trevor learns to read. I can't describe how I feel about it. It's just like a mystery being revealed, and I'm so pleased for Trevor.

The teacher agreed that he has a fantastic memory. He pulls from his fund of knowledge to answer questions, even on topics they aren't currently covering. It's true. Ask him a dinosaur question, and he may know the answer any day of the week. He also asks deeper questions, pushing the teachers to teach him just a little bit more. It was here that she called him a Scientist.

He's a little older, of course, and now he's able to use his words with his friends when things aren't going his way. This used to be an area we needed to work on, and now, it's an area with no red flags. It's a good development.

Things are continuing to go well overall with the new school. I had been worried that I wouldn't be able to send Devin to this school without Trevor next year and was considering having him to go Kindergarten at the Montessori school because of Devin. We may still send him there for Kindergarten, but if we do, it will be because of Trevor and not because of Devin.

So, that's the update.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

What was it he said?

It was something like this...

"Dad, when I woke up this morning, I thought that I just don't like days like this at all." He sounded old and tired of this world. It was foggy, cold and damp outside, so I felt certain that he was referring to the weather and the way it made him feel.

Turns out, I was wrong.

He's going to a different school tomorrow and Friday because his school is closed for parent teacher conferences and an inservice day. He didn't like today because it's not tomorrow or Friday.

But, today was a good day at school. At his school, one of the things they teach is grace (isn't that cool?) To that end, I've been packing a placemat, cloth napkin, spoon and fork in his lunchbox every day. Also, to that end, the school set up a "high table" with a white table cloth, cloth napkins, and a floral centerpiece. Trevor was SO excited yesterday because he received an invitation to sit at the high table at lunchtime. I'm not sure exactly how it went because he shuts down if I ask too many questions or seek clarification on certain points, but he got a flower, and he remained happy about his time at the high table.

His other school may be more fun, but he normally likes his current school. Right now, he's working on putting tiles with numbers 1 to 100 in order on a board in order. He's up to 62. He's been working on it for 2 days, and today he started working on it with a friend.

Some days, he just seems wise.

I really don't worry too much about his future. I'm pretty sure it's going to be bright.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007


I don't like it, but I do it. I count to 3 in an effort to get my kids to do things that they don't do the first time I ask them to.

It doesn't really effect Devin. In one ear and out the other to no effect at all. Trevor will get upset if I count to 3 because he anticipates the time out on the other end of the 3. Trevor gets the whole counting to 3 thing. He has internalized it.

The other day, we were playing outside on the deck. Our deck has no stairs to the ground, and it's on the second level of the home (it's on the first level, but the basement is a walk out, so the deck is on the second level.) Trevor dropped a car, and so he ran out the front door, down the hill beside the house, and retrieved the car. Devin followed because that's what Devin does. Plus, I think Trevor said, "Follow me!"

On the way back to the house, Trevor said, "Come on, Devin, let's take a shortcut!" meaning he wanted to come back through the basement. From the deck, I said, "No, you can't. The door is locked." He tells me to open it. I say No, I don't want to. He wants to know why, and I say it's because I don't want to have to walk down the stairs, and anyway, he should just come around to the front door.

He says, "Open the door, mom!"

I said no.

He says, "1, 2, 3..."

I said HAHAHAHAHAHAHA! Then told him to come around to the front, anyway.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Oh, Lord.

Trevor and I talk about death and God, and I'm always surprised that we are talking about either. We haven't found a church. We haven't really looked, either, and I'm a little concerned that Trevor is learning everything he knows about God from a Hindu kid at his school. I've got an open mind, but I'm not sure I want my kid to learn all about God from a Hindu kid. I do want him to learn about God from a Hindu kid, but I would prefer that he has some of his own ideas, first. So, we talk about death and God, and I'm pretty sure he's not going to grow up and become Hindu because the only God I really know is the Christian God. It would be OK, I suppose, for him to grow up and become Hindu. But, 4 is really too young to choose that path when we're not from Hindu. Or, is it Hindi? I'm not sure. I should have him ask his friend. Who may actually not be Hindu but his parents are from India, so I think he is.

Ok, well.

Tonight we were talking about death and God, then marriage, then parenthood sorta. I'm going to take some liberties, but here's the gist of it:

T: "Why doesn't God take your body, too?" (We've had this conversation before so it really did start this way today.)
Me: "By the time you die, your body is old and worn out and it needs to stay on earth so that you can enjoy your time in Heaven better without your old worn out body."
T: "Does it hurt when you're covered in dirt and the worms eat you?"
Me: "No, it doesn't because God has already taken your soul and that's what feels. So you wouldn't feel the dirt or the worms."
T: "I don't want to die and be covered with dirt and deep under the ground."
Me: "You won't die for a really long time as long as you don't take big risks and take good care of yourself. You could live to be as old as your Grandma in Florida. Maybe older."
T: "How do you take care of myself?"
Me: "You drink milk, regular not chocolate, and eats lots of fruits and vegetables and lean meats, stuff like that."
T: "I like regular milk! It's better than chocolate!! Devin you should drink regular milk, too!"

T: "Can we move into that house they are building next door?"
Me: "No, I like the house we live in now. It's big enough."
T: "When I grow up, I'm going to find a girl to marry. Is there a church around here?"
Me: "Yeah, I think there are plenty of churches around here."
T: "I'll marry that girl that I find in a church, and then I'll move into that big house with her."

I told him that would be nice. It's all I really want for him is marry a nice girl in a church and move next door to me. I told him I would watch his kids while he went to work if he moved in next door to me. This caught his imagination.

T: "Why are you going to watch my kids when I go to work?"
Me: "It seems like the right thing to do if you live next door."
T: "Are you going to work? How will I pay you?"
Me: "If you have a good job, you can pay me the going rate at the time."
T: "Oh, I know! You can work at Kidsquest and you can watch my kids there, and I will pay you there!"
Me: "Oh, that's a good idea. But, I don't think there's a Kidsquest around here."
T: Pause, Pause, Pause
T: "Oh, I know! Dad can be a builder because he likes to build things, and he can build a Kidsquest!"

He was so pleased with this solution that he rushed to tell his Daddy what he had figured out. Then, he came back outside, and he played like he was the Dad and Devin was his son (we called him Kid and later, Son) and I was the Kidsquest worker. And, he had the best job. He was a Megabeast and sometimes a snake, and sometimes, he went to work with Kid Devin at Kidsquest (that cost extra) and sometimes he took his kid to work, but he wouldn't let him take the Big Risks, and he was really good about picking his kid up every day, and they would go home and play for a minute, and then the workday would start again.

He's a funny kid. Smart, cute, immensely clever. And, I'm really glad he's not a snake because then he wouldn't be my kid. He asked that today, too. "What if I were a snake?" I wouldn't like it, that's what! Bet I wouldn't have to talk about death and God with a snake, though...

Saturday, October 20, 2007

You tell us...

I wanted to try out a poll, so I asked Trevor to give me a question we could ask you guys. Well, here's what he came up with:

The backstory is that he came home from school a couple of days ago and asked if we could turn a grape into a raisin. And, now we have a grape sitting around waiting to become a raisin. I think it's on the table. I'll throw it out as soon as it gets gross and explain how we have to remove the water a little faster next time.

So, vote! I'm closing the poll tomorrow.

Friday, October 19, 2007

And now, he's 3

It was so hard on Trevor not be having a birthday, too. Plus, letting him pick out gifts for Devin completely captivated his imagination since he knew he would get to play with the new toys.

Way Cool Toy that folds up for easy storage.

Yes, we did. We got him a drum! So there! Now you can't sneak attack us with loud and obnoxious gifts because we did it to ourselves! We're immune to future loud gifts now!

This funny kid got more excited about gifts not from Mom, Dad and Trevor. I think that makes him a Playa!


Cool fold up toy, folded out.

See, I'm really a very creative being...

I was just trying to get one good picture.

Grandma tried to help by telling him to look at me, but that just made him look at her, with this look on his face.

When that look turned to this look, I quit trying.

After looking for candles or 10 minutes, I finally found these. They're tealights, not birthday candles. But, it was the best I could do. And, then Trevor blew them out, not Devin. Because Devin was too distracted by cake.

Oh, and I made a Lasagna, too. And, it was my best lasagna, ever. I think I've only made two, but I was really pleased with this second one. Devin enjoyed his birthday lasagna way more than I expected, asking for a second helping, even! (He didn't eat the second helping, but he asked for it!)

And now, he is 3. He's not interested in using the potty this week, either.

Oh, and this is my house in the fall:

I feel like the Queen of Mums because I pinched those mums and they're huge and quite lovely. I just hope they come back next year or I won't be the Queen of Mum any more. I'll the be the queen of a flowerless flowerbed, and that will be sad.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Another Vikki Story

She's a good story teller in addition to being a good poet...

Shan walks quietly down the gravel shoulder along the two lane highway that runs through town. He is tired after running countless suicides in gym class. “Just a few more blocks and you’re home,” he tells himself.

Up by the gas station and local hangout, Shan sees Ruben. Ruben is a black man who came to live in this all white, small town twenty years ago after he was taken away from his mother. He was born with a couple of birth defects and mild retardation, most likely the result of his mother's drug and alcohol abuse during her pregnancy; he drags his left leg behind and his left arm is bent and stiff and resembles a chicken wing. His mother couldn’t see the joy in her son because she was too distracted by his bent limbs and incessant talking, not to mention the junk she pushed into her veins. As a matter of daily routine, she silenced him with words sharp as knives, and when that failed, she used fists, belts and once, a bat. It was after that incident that the state stepped in. He was placed with the mayor and his wife in this tiny town when he was seven years old. Despite what could have been, the little bent black boy was loved by his adoptive parents and indeed the whole town. He looked out for it, and it normally looked out for him.

Shan was always nice to Ruben since he saved his life when he was seven. Shan had gotten stuck under some debris at an abandoned well site on the edge of town. Ruben was well known for walking every street in their small town every day. That day, he walked the street where the abandoned well site sat behind a mostly useless fence, and he was the first to spot Shan stuck and screaming for help. He alerted everyone to Shan’s predicament saving the day and the young boy.

On any other day he would have been glad to see his good friend, but not this day. Not only was he exhausted from running suicides in the stuffy gymnasium, he just found out that his girlfriend of six months was moving to a different state. “Oh God, please no, I’m just too tired to deal with him today,” Shan thinks to himself. He folds his arms and ducks his head hoping that Ruben will pass him by. Of course, he has no such luck. From two blocks away, Ruben starts waving his tube sock in the air. Ruben was never without his tube sock. He would run his chicken wing hand through it and use it to call attention to himself.

“Shan, Shan, I see you boy,” he says as he hobbles towards him.

“Not today Roo, I haven’t had a good day,” Shan says with his arms still folded.

“What’s up? what’s up?”

“Not today now go away!”

“What’s up, what’s up my boy, what’s up?” Ruben steps close beside Shan, his mouth stretched into a goofy grin.

“Ugh, the sky; damn it, now go away,” Shan is getting increasingly annoyed with him, because he know it takes a lot before Ruben catches on.

“That right, you got it right, you’re a smart boy Shan; you did real good.” Ruben gets close to Shan’s face; he smells of slobber and sweat, his normal Ruben odor. “How many babies you got Shan?”

“I don’t have babies,” Shan said shortly, “you stink, get out of my face.”

“Not nice Shan, not nice,” Ruben threw his tube sock over his shoulder and started to walk a little slower. He began to talk to himself just loud enough for Shan to hear, “you made him mad Scooter Gimp, and you did it.” Scooter gimp is what he calls his left leg, and he blamed everything on his Scooter Gimp.

He was still following behind Shan when he suddenly started to laugh out loud; his laugh sounded like someone running their fingers up and down so many piano keys. “Two hundred and fifty-two seven,” he said still laughing, “two hundred and fifty-two seven; that’s how many babies you have Shan.”

“That doesn’t make any sense.” Shan realized that he had been tricked into continuing the conversation with Ruben. He knows of only one way to get rid of him. He knows he could say the two words that would set him off and then get on with his day. Shan had never used the words, but some of the other kids in the town had and they still do on regular basis. Shan knew those kids were bullies, but he was in no mood for Ruben today.

“That doesn’t make sense Scooter Gimp, Scooter Gimp said it not me,” Ruben pounds on his leg, “Scooter Gimp is gonna get beat by mama!” Shan can see his house now and picks up the pace. “Where you goin’ Shan boy?”

“I’m going home; maybe you should be finding your way home too.”

“I talked to your mama today Shan,” Ruben said looking out the corner of his eye, “Do you want to know what your mama told me?”


“She said that you are a moody kid on account that you are gettin’ you puberty.”

“Oh, is that right; is that what she said?” Shan started to turn red and he was breathing hard. His testosterone laced blood rushed to his head as he slowly turned his head and looked Ruben straight into his eyes. “Ruben I only have two words for you…Shut up.” He said the last words quietly and with a lot less malice than he felt at the moment.

Ruben started to shake his head back a forth; he pulled his tube sock off his shoulder and started to hit himself with it. “No Shan don’t say that, Mama is not going to like you Shan, Mama is not going to like you no more.” Ruben started to wave his fist at him like he is going to hit him. He started tugging at his own shirt until he ripped it. At first Shan is a little frightened, but then he turns and starts to walk to his house, ignoring Ruben entirely. Ruben runs up the street dragging his Scooter Gimp behind him. He continues to tear his shirt off, yelling profanities about his mother, Shan, and his dreadful leg.

Shan could hear him ranting all the way up the street, and he cracked a smile as he went through the gate of his yard. Shan almost felt bad about telling him to shut up knowing that it would send him into that rage, but Ruben’s ranting display was too comical not to giggle just a little.

He was just two feet from his front door when he heard screeching tires. “Oh shit,” there was not a question in his mind; those screeching tires were definitely for Ruben.

Back the way he came, he ran faster than he had ever run before despite his exhaustion and teenage angst. But, it felt like he was running through quicksand. He imagined his good buddy sprawled out along the highway that ran down the center of the small town. “Oh God, what have I done?” Shan said out loud as he approached the scene.

He saw a silver Cadillac parked haphazardly on the side of the road. The obese lady driver was still inside with the air conditioner blowing her hair gently around her face.

His worst fears were realized when he saw Ruben laid out on the side of the road. A small group of people had already congregated around him with cell phones in hand. The nearest hospital was 20 minutes away, so it would be awhile before they heard ambulance sirens in the distance. Shan skidded to his knees in front of his friend in a panic, not knowing if he would be saying good-bye or getting swatted in the face with an old tube sock.

Ruben lay motionless on the gravel shoulder of highway, his gimp leg more oddly turned and twisted than normal; Shan leaned in closer studying Ruben’s still face for signs of life. Tears started to roll down his cheeks as he spoke to his dear friend, “I’m sorry Roo, I know that I shouldn’t have said those words to you,” Shan couldn’t control his emotions anymore as he rocked back and forth just like Ruben would asking himself why he was such an idiot for treating this child-like man like his useless mother did so long ago. Shan held his face and said, “I love you Roo, I love you.”

The obese lady driver, dressed like she was going to a garden party, finally got out of her Cadillac and walked over to Ruben and Shan. “Is he alright?” she asked.

“No, of course he’s not, lady,” Shan threw the words in her fleshy face, “you ran over him with your big fat car!” Shan was crying like a little boy now.

“I thought I just barely nipped him,” she said wringing her hands in worry. “I didn’t think I killed him.” Her voice broke and Shan could see that she was trembling with fear.

It was at this time that Ruben slowly opened his eyes and began to speak softly to Shan, “I love you too boy…I love you too.” Shan smiled so big he nearly slit his lip; he wiped the tears from his face.

His breath still hitched in his throat as he recovered from his tears. “I thought you were dead, Roo!”

“No, no, no, not me, not me,” Ruben explained, “She hit me in my Scooter Gimp, that’s all.” Ruben looked at his leg for a long time, and then he turned to Shan with tears rolling from both his eyes, “I think Scooter Gimp is dead though.”

Shan smiled at Ruben and the crowd gathered around the man and the boy started to twitter. The twittering turned the giggles, the giggles turned to outright laughing. Shan and Ruben were laughing, too, when they first heard the sirens in the distance.

“Damned Scooter Gimp was always getting you in trouble. You didn’t need him anyway,” Shan told his buddy as he patted his shoulder.

Monday, October 15, 2007

First a rant and then BEWARE

So, to Devin I say...

Preferring that I be the one to change your poopy diaper and to check on you in the middle of night certainly does not make me feel like your favorite parent. Also, your third birthday was last week, and you still seem overly attached to your diaper. I'm hopeful that we can address the best way to express your preference for me at 2 in the morning and also that you can say bye-bye to your diaper and hello to the potty chair or toilet, if you prefer.

You know, Devin, I can't help but be reminded of the way you NEVER held your own bottle. This was sweet at the time, even though I thought you were resisting letting go of your babyhood. Even if it was resistance, there was no harm done because graduating from your bottle involved drinking from a cup, and I never had to hold that for you. And, there was time. But, you have to graduate from your diaper and into underwear and I don't want to sop pee off the floor with papertowels every time we give potty training a go. So, could you work with me on this? You promised...

So, the other day, I was trying to entice Devin to go potty in the potty chair, and I told him that I would sing and dance and clap if he would go potty in the potty chair or toilet. He said, "No, I'll sing and dance and clap." I asked him if that meant he would sing and dance and clap after he went potty? He said, "No, after you go potty."

You got all wrong, kid! (But, the comedic timing, he's got that, see?!?)


We were all running late this morning because Trevor engaged me in the following paraphrased conversation:

T: "What is a ware?"
Me: "Do you mean like 'wear your clothes' or 'where are your clothes'?
He was quiet.
Me: "Do you mean like werewolf?"
He was still quiet.
T: "What does it mean when you're supposed to BEWARE?"
Me: "Oh, that means to be careful of things that could hurt or frighten you."
T: "Oh, like you should beware of monsters?"
Me: "Yes, or like you should beware of traffic and look both ways before crossing a street."
T: "Should you beware of aliens? Do aliens exist?"
Me: "They might exist. No one knows for sure. Some people say they've seen them, but they don't have proof. I've never seen them, but the universe goes on forever, and they night exist. We just don't know for sure."
T: "If I met an alien, I wouldn't punch him in the face if he was nice, but if he were a bad alien, I would punch him."
Me: "If he were really bad, you should just run away."
He was skeptical.
T: "Do monsters exist?"

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Empathy or Sympathy?

A reader with a keen eye will count two parenting errors, at least, in this story. At the end, though, please let me know if I'm describing empathy or sympathy.

We were eating a healthy dinner of broiled tilapia, steamed broccoli and mashed potatoes AND watching the Simpsons. Specifically, we were watching Million Dollar Abie where Grandpa Simpson does a lot of things, including Bullfighting. Trevor was OK during most of the show. He didn't feel bad for Grandpa Simpson when everyone hated him, and it didn't register that Grandpa was trying to kill himself when he got hooked up to the die-pod, and that didn't make him sad either.

But, then Grandpa got his new lease on life and he took up bull fighting. When the bull fighting started, Trevor got quiet and still. He stopped eating and he rested his cheek on his hand. It didn't occur to me at the time, but in hindsight, I would guess that his entire body was tense.

A couple of minutes into it, I recognized that something was amiss, and then I noticed the content on the screen. Grandpa Simpson was holding a sword over his head as the tired bull looked at him with sadness and tiredness in his eyes. And, I knew why Trevor was sad as the plaintive and mournful wail escaped from his tense little body.

I invited him to keep watching to see what happened next. Grandpa Simpson released the bulls and they ran happily through the streets of Springfield. But, the look in he bull's eyes continued to haunt Trevor. He sniffled and cried and folded himself into my arms. I patted his head and told him that it was OK to feel sad for the bull, but that the bull was OK. He still cried, and then asked to be carried to bed.

We took him to bed where he tried to brush his teeth. But, it's hard to brush your teeth when you're crying about a sad bull. Then I tucked him into bed where he surrounded himself with all of his sleeping friends (a group of stuffed animals that includes a bull). This made him cry. I hugged him and tried to soothe him and told him that I would see him in the morning.

And, when I saw him in the morning, he was fine for a few minutes, but then he cried some more for the bull. I tucked him into my arms and covered him with the blanket and reminded him how happy the bulls were as they ran through the streets of Springfield.

And, then the whole sad episode was over.

So, was it empathy or sympathy that made him cry? I don't really understand the difference between those two emotions... (I added a poll. See top left corner beneath the masthead. That way you can vote without leaving a comment.)

Friday, October 12, 2007

It's that time of year again...

They are having a trike-a-thon for St. Jude's at the boy's new school. I won't go over how I feel about St. Jude's Hospital. Suffice it to say, it's a cause I can get behind.

If you'd like to make a pledge, please send me an email at: (click contact me if that's easier for you).

I'm thinking if you're a friend of Memaw, you can giver her your money and she can send it to me, and if you're a friend of Trevor and Devin and live nearby, you can hand me the money... Something along those lines.

I love this school. They plan things like I do. Which is to say, they don't plan things very far in advance. The trike-a-thon is 10/19, so if you can let me know if you'll be pledging by next Wednesday, I would be a grateful fund-raising momma.


(Oh, and I'm sure there won't be another trike-a-thon until this time next year. The doubling up of Trike-a-thons in 2007 is because they changed schools.)

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Chicken Salad

The other day, I had a craving for tuna salad. But, I didn't have any tuna because no one in my house, except for me every now and then, has any interest in canned tuna. Socks might. Anyway, it was with this craving that I opened the refrigerator door, staring, hoping something might pop up to replace my craving. And something did. I had a chicken breast and some flank steak left over from a few days before. So, I decided to make chicken-steak salad.

This was new to me. When mom and dad made chicken salad when I was a kid, they used some sort of grinder attachment on their big old mixer. I didn't have a grinder attachment or a big old mixer, so I got out my fancy blender.

I cut up the chicken and steak and threw it in the blender. I added a little mayo and mustard, then a little more mayo, and finally, it was a paste whose consistency I was happy with. I cut up a pickle and some onion, threw that in, and voila, I had something that would satisfy my craving for tuna salad.

Does it sound good to you? It wasn't bad, and it was a good way to use up leftovers otherwise destined for the garbage disposal.

Well, it would have been if it was something my family would ever considering eating. But, they won't. Not at all. Not a bit.

Why am I telling you about my chicken-steak salad, you ask? I want you to envision how it might taste so that you can empathize with my children.

Yesterday morning, I wasn't feeling very creative when I made their lunches, so I spread some of my yummy-to-me-only chicken and steak salad on some bread, and it was so nice and easy that I hoped I would be able to do it again soon. But, I had my doubts even at 8 in the morning. When they got home in the afternoon, I asked them if they liked their sandwiches. Trevor answered like this:

"No. I didn't like that sandwich. Not at all. Not a bit."

The sandwich looked completely untouched, too.

Devin also responded that he didn't like the sandwich at all. Not even a little bit. But, he had eaten about half of his, which is normal for him. So, I'm no so sure he isn't being unduly influenced by his brother when it comes to his opinion of the sandwich.

We talked about the sandwiches later, and Trevor continued emphatically dissing my chicken steak salad sandwich. I told him that his sandwich looked completely untouched, and he said, "Oh, I took one bite all right. And, it was the worst sandwich, ever. I did not like it. I did not like it one bit."

He really didn't like that sandwich. Devin seconded Trevor's assessment of the sandwich, again. And, I think I mentioned that he had eaten half of his sandwich, but then he disavowed all knowledge of that.

So, I guess if they don't like my chicken and steak salad, tuna salad isn't in my future, either. I wonder if celery would have made it more palatable?? Probably not.