free hit counter Snacks, please!: December 2008

Friday, December 19, 2008

The Cookie Monster

Margaret does NOT like it when you break a pizzelle into two pieces and hand her one.
"Big, big, big, big, big!" she shouts.
Give her a whole cookie and she walks away happy.

Lucy says to Margaret, shaking her head ruefully, "Santa Claus is watching you, Margaret! Won't it be sad when you don't get any presents."

Margaret goes into the family room with two sippy cups. She takes a swig out of one and then offers it to Josephine. Josephine says, "Neh!" and points to the untouched one. "Noooo!" Margaret says, and tries to hide it in her armpit. Josephine reaches out, grabs it, and runs away to the corner, where she perches on a stereo speaker and looks down with a grin. Margaret looks at the one sippie cup in her hand, the one that she's already drank out of, and throws it on the ground in disgust.

Monday, December 15, 2008


Really, I have not felt so busy in a long time.

First, there was my birthday -- which was so long ago, it's almost not worth mentioning, except I did get a gift certificate from my oldest friend on Earth to Restaurant Eve, my favorite restaurant on same planet. And then, as if that wasn't good enough, a certain other somebody delivered a hand-knit pair of socks with appropriately named Three Irish Girls yarn. (All right, truth be told, the girls are mostly Italian. And that's why they stab each other with dagger eyes and then hug each other to the floor.)

Tonight, Margaret got her finger stuck inside her pacifier.
Then the babies got into a fight about something or other.
"Baby!" shouted Margaret.
"Noooo! Baby!" shouted Josephine.

And then, after my birthday, I got a little obsessed with cookies. You know, because of the rat holes on our front yard, I have been convinced that our neighbors think we're... rat people. But we're not!

We're cookie people. The kind of nice, non-rodent-like, jolly neighbors that will invite you over on a Sunday afternoon for 10 varieties of cookies. To wit: pizzelles, chocolate hazelnut crinkles, honey-pecan snowballs, strawberry jam thumbprints, chocolate oat bars, cherry-hazelnut biscotti, coconut macaroons, cornmeal cranberry circles, Italian almond cookies with special candied cherries from King Arthur's Bakery, and cut-out sugar cookies hand-painted and sprinkled by the three little girls.

The chocolate-hazelnut crinkles were best, I think.

Then there's the Christmas shopping, which I can't believe I'm still doing!! What's wrong with me? Lucy and I have been writing -- and re-writing -- her Christmas list for weeks. It says, "Dear Santa, I need some presents. I have been good. Number one, trampoline."

I'm not getting her a trampoline. Years and years ago, I met a fat little boy in Florida who had fallen off a trampoline. He came home complaining of a headache, his parents took him to the hospital for X-rays, where they discovered an enormous brain tumor that eventually killed him. He was a fifth-grader at Bayshore Elementary. And no, the tumor had nothing to do with the trampoline, but I have a bad feeling about the whole thing.

She's getting a "jump-o-lene," which is inflatable, sits on the ground, and has 45-inch high walls.

Speaking of Santa, Lucy continues to get mail from Katie the Elf! She whirls around the kitchen when it arrives, grinning, "Katie the Elf!! She is so, so, so-so nice!" Katie the Elf sent her $5 today.

The other day, I asked Lucy if she wanted to try soccer this spring. She said, "No." I said, "Why not?" She said, "Too much work."

Meanwhile, I ran the Jingle Jog 10K yesterday -- 61 minutes, which is fabulous! (For me.) Mostly, the running has been fine. I found an old pair of tights last week, which I actually remember buying from The Limited in Georgetown Park in 1993. I thought, "Oh! How nice! They still fit!" But it turns out that 15 years exceeds the life span of waistband elastic, and they started falling down after the first block. Imagine running four miles while holding up your pants...

What else? Lucy passed her hearing test. Yay for Lucy! Josephine has reached the 5th percentile in weight. Did I already tell you all that? Yay for Josephine! And Margaret is Margaret. Bossier than ever. She pats the ground next to her and says, "Mommmmmy! DOWN!"

Thursday, December 4, 2008

A Girl and Her Butter

This is not a story about me, although it's true that I really do like butter, especially now that we get it delivered from the farmer. Oh butter! You are so good and creamy and salty!

This crazy book that I've been reading, off and on for a whole year now, called Real Food, encourages people to buy REAL BUTTER. Not crappy yellow-tinted margarine or fuzzy spray stuff. The author swears it won't make you fat. (And this might be true -- because I've been eating it for a year now and I'm not any fatter.) And she also claims it prevents cancer. (Which might also be true, because hey, I don't have cancer either!) (Thank God.)

Anyhoo, this is actually a love story about Margaret. And her butter.

I think it's best told through pictures...*

"You can't take it away from me!"

*Note our horrible kitchen floor. I really do want to replace it ASAP, but I'm glad I haven't yet... since you might also see Josephine's signature in ballpoint pen on the lino.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Are you there God?

The other day I was driving home with Lucy, who says to me at a red light: "You know, you can't just call God on the phone."

"Nope, you certainly can't," I agree.

"He hears you! Whatever you say, he hears you...In fact, he hears us right now, talking about him! Isn't that funny?"

Lucy learned about God's super Verizon plan at her daycare, which is run by a bunch of nuts. Oh no! I meant Baptists. They're actually very nice -- and I do not object at all to their spreading this idea of a super playground spy named God. That could be quite helpful.

But it all sounds a lot like somebody else we've been talking about...Santa Claus! Who has the same super-sensory hearing. "Do you think Santa Claus brings toys to whiny children?" I ask. "I don't think so. And you know he hears you." Last night found Lucy pointing a flashlight into the night sky: "Santa Claus! Are you there? I want a trampoline!" And then, when that didn't work, she spun into the air: "God? Are you listening? Tell Santa Claus to come see me!"

There is a new Holy Trinity in our house: God, Santa Claus and Poppa, who, like I may have said before, went to school with Santa Claus and now, it turns out, is also good friends with God. Or so says Lucy.

I'm not anti-God, by the way, I'm anti-Catholic, which is a completely reasonable thing to be. (They were anti-women first.) Original sin? Please. Purgatory? Limbo? For unbaptized babies?? Who makes this stuff up?! My grandmother, Nan, used to say that she didn't have a problem with the Church, it was just the men in it. And I see her point.*

But I am thinking about becoming a Unitarian. As far as I can tell, it's a religion that mostly has to do with helping the homeless and learning to Morris dance. I do think the first is a very worthy endeavor. And I might be able to do a book club or something instead of the latter.

Anyhoo, back to Santa Claus, Lucy got the most fantastic letter in the mail last week from Santa! (Or maybe one of his two buddies, see above...) He was delighted to get her old nipple! He was thinking about giving it to a new baby, but then Katie the Elf got her hands on it and now she squeaks all the time in the workshop. Everybody knows where she is! Katie tried to sign the letter too, but she doesn't know how to write yet. She just made a squiggle.

*Important addendum: I do think they've got some things right: for example, demon possession, miracles, liberation theology, Flannery O'Connor, Walker Percy, Graham Greene, and grace in everyday life.