“I wish I’d never seen monkey bars.”

He was so proud of himself.  Even though he had to jump up to reach them, once his hand held, he swung  across those monkey bars with confidence.  When other children approached, he kindly demonstrated the hang and swing, dutifully encouraging others to try, too.  But then, that’s just our sweet guy.

Finally he complained that his hands were hurting.  He showed Paul his palms, which were beginning to show signs of blisters.  “Maybe you should take a break?” Paul suggested.

“Just one more time,” Will said.

And he jumped and grabbed the first bar with his right hand.  But before he could grab the next with his left, he slipped in mid-swing, coming down on his left arm.  He jumped up in a scream so fast Paul said it was as if Will’s body had bounced on the pavement.

Paul, the parent with experience in broken bones, was extra helpful to Will while we went through the ins and outs of x-ray, exams, and setting the splint.  Among Paul’s finer stories: the pain of x-rays, discomfort while sleeping, itching, and gross things that come out of casts.  Still, that’s probably better than what my face looked like when I cut off the make-shift magazine cast that held his arm from playground to hospital.

Both bones are broken in his left arm, a little above his wrist.  The ER at Children’s was terribly busy, so we didn’t get to see the x-rays.  He’s in a hard splint until the swelling goes down and then back to the orthopedic for more x-rays and setting later this week.

Family Stories
Mi Familia

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Note to Fairy: Get Ready.

The most amazing part, to me, is that it happened without the influence of blunt force trauma.  That darn tooth just came loose.  The natural procession of things. One tooth moving out, making room for that adult tooth coming in behind it.

Which tooth?

The one on the left.

Remember that kid?  Yeah, well, he has a loose tooth.

And while I don’t necessarily feel old over the fact that my baby has his first loose tooth, I do suspect that in the same moment that little tooth started to wiggle, a dozen gray hairs sprouted on my head and my boobs sagged another inch.  The natural procession of things.


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Surprise! Three part-time jobs, two kids, and one dissertation make the world a very busy place. Not that I am doing much on that last one. Thankfully, my one marriage is pulling through for me. Paul is agreeing that I should GO AWAY to write. The jobs are too demanding, the work continues to pile up, and the distractions are too plentiful. If I ever want to finish, I am going to have to fall off the edge of the earth.

Since it’s the New Orleans equivalent to dead of winter around here (in that it’s so stinkin’ hot tourists are frying on the sidewalk), local hotels have some great deals. Doesn’t it sound all romantic and artist-y to escape to the Quarter to write? (The mind boggles with wonder at how I will ruin what otherwise would be a perfect working escape.)

But wait! More surprises! Did you know that Monsters like to eat Poop? Yes, they do, according to Kate, who is the Household Authority on the habits of Monsters. As for me, all I can really say about Monsters is that when not terrorizing children’s dreams, they moonlight as Imaginary Friends. Watch out, because you might find that your chair at the dinner table is now THE MONSTER’S chair. That same Monster may forget to share when playing. He may also make horrible messes in bedrooms after tuck-in. But the biggest issue is that whole poop thing. Due to Monsters, an otherwise potty-trained little girl might just develop a toilet phobia surrounding her pooping.

And this means A LOT of surprises.

(Anyone out there in the interwebs tackled the Monster??)


AND… it’s time for JUST POSTS! Check ’em out and send in your fabulous writing and reading!


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Will’s life as a big brother defined.

Will’s life as a big brother goes something like this:

1. Kids are independently playing in public space.
2. Kate is run over by big kid.
3. Will is tasked with watching over his little sister.
4. Kids proceed to play extra cute.
5. Kate falls.
6. Will helps her up.
… and …

Poor kid. Every darn time.

Mi Familia

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Sans Mullet. Almost

When I poured water over her head last night to wet her hair in the bathtub, I noticed that Kate was really overdue for a trim.  As in, her bangs were actually getting caught in her eyelashes.  What kind of mother would I be to allow my daughter’s eyes to sustain an injury from the uncooperative hair I am guilty of giving her?  I grabbed the scissors.

My caveat here is that I do this often.  Yes, in part it’s that I’m being cheap to save money because Kate’s hair is so very, very straight that she needs her bangs trimmed more than once a month.  And in part it’s because finding the time to get her hair cut is a tremendous challenge.  I’m not great at it, but considering the circumstances of my grade-school issue scissors, the bathtub location, and the moving head of my child, I figure I do okay.

And then last night.

Oof.  The mullet with uneven bangs, choppy ends everywhere and even a strand in the back of her head chopped a completely different length (must’ve gotten mixed up with another part of hair).  It was bad.

This afternoon I took Kate with me to the mega-mart to stock up on beach food (we’re going to the beach this weekend with friends… 3 room condo, 6 adults, 7 kids).  I realized that a lot of pictures would happen this weekend and cringed.  I was desperate.  So I took her into the family haircut station in the mega-mart…

… where I told them her older brother had cut her hair and asked if they could help me fix it.

Yup.  I tossed my first born (who knows better than to even THINK about cutting his sister’s hair, sohelpmegod) under the bus.

I guess I could argue I had to.  I mean, it was BAD.  How bad?

When the hair stylist started, she asked me if I wanted, “to keep the mullet look.”

First, there is only one answer to that question.  So if someone is asking you to clarify your mullet intents on your 3-year old daughter, it sounds more like an assessment of child endangerment than personal preference.

So the kind Mz Connie cleaned up Kate the best that she could.  Her bangs are still uneven (much shorter on Kate’s right side) and very choppy.  (Shown below.) She took a good 2 inches off the back to help stop the mullet.  Now she’s working an almost bowl cut.

As for me?

Well, I guess I totally deserved it when we finished the cut and Kate peed all over the floor in the middle of the sunscreen isle.

Mi Familia

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Poor Kate’s Achy Breaky Heart

This is Kate and her hair, two days ago.

This is Kate and her hair, last night.

My child looks like Billy Ray Cyrus.

It rhymes!

I know.  Kate, I know.  And I am so, so, SO SORRY.  There will be extra in this month’s college savings plan for your pain and suffering.

Mi Familia

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Things I learned in Parent-Teacher Conference

– Kate is a popular topic of conversation outside of school.  Her reputation extends past all of her classmates to their parents and beyond to even friends and family of parents.

– Kate uses the potty all day long at school without incident.  (Note: she is not on board at home.)

– Kate knows and uses French vocabulary daily.  Just not with us.

– It is possible for Kate to lay on a mat during nap time.  And stay there.

– Despite our frequent discussion of holding Will to repeat Kindergarten (and thus be on the American system in terms of his age and grade level), we are struggling to find a true reason to do so; Will’s academic performance remains one of the best in the class, even when compared to students who have had 3 years of French immersion.

– We couldn’t find a reason developmentally, psychologically, or emotionally, either.  We asked.  We looked.

– When Will struggles with something in English, he has the same struggles in French.

– Things Will needs to work on in both English and French: counting with his fingers (he does it in his head just fine, something about using the fingers throws him off) and listening to break down the sounds in words.

– Will can write very nice cursive.  (Relative to other 5 year olds.)

Life in New Orleans

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Online Chat, 15 minutes ago

me: Both kids in bed.

Paul: wow, go you

Kids eating post-dinner pudding.
I do laundry.
Come back.
Kate has used pudding as finger paints.
She has to get cleaned in kitchen sink before being brought to bathroom.

Paul: our little angel?

In bathroom, I’m dealing with pudding clean-up
on me
and her clothes….
…and she removes pants to reveal the evening’s 3rd poop.
Her pull-up removal spreads poop everywhere.
Poop all over legs
Finally, she’s in the tub.
I wash her.
I am getting her out.
Will, who has been eating pudding this whole time, comes in.
He decided the finger painting was a good idea.
He’s painted his entire face with it.
And hands and arms.

Paul: I hope you killed him


Paul: he should know better

I rinse tub and refill.
He gets in.
I dress Kate.
I come back in bathroom to find Will with the soap.
Soap bottle is upside-down.
He’s squeezing the bottle.
The NOW almost EMPTY bottle
Because he’s emptied half of it
in the tub
with him

This is why the kids are in bed early.

Sent at 7:00 PM on Wednesday


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Where my Donna Reed can’t cut it.

I’ve crossed into a new realm of parenting.

It was there, but I didn’t recognize it until now.

I’m in the midst of planning how to celebrate Kate’s 3rd birthday, which is Saturday.  Kate wants a birthday party and that simple request has melted me into a puddle of whine (no question now where Will gets it from).

But now I get it.  Will’s parties are SO DIFFERENT now.  When he goes to parties, it’s just kids.  Sometimes parents aren’t even there.  Just a bunch of kids.  It’s a real party for kids.

Kate’s age is different.  A party for her is a playdate where parents gather to party.  It’s a very different beast.  With a 3-year old birthday, you’re entertaining two age groups — plus, you’re more likely to have mixed ages of children as other siblings attend.  I’m realizing that it is hard to be simple when you’re worried about making everyone feel welcome and have a good time.

This is putting everything in perspective for me.  I think I would just invite one or two families over for cake, but Kate has been to a lot of birthday parties now and she knows the drill.  She has been asking EVERYDAY if her friends can come over, have cake, and “sing me Happy Birthday”.

Hi, this is my blog! It’s where I whine about annoying things.

Donna Reed would have never been this ridiculous.

(Photo by Will)


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Jean Petit

If I completely lose my marbles in the next few days, it’s not because of the three part-time jobs, the conference submissions (one more tomorrow and then today, an invite to apply for this one), the dissertation writing (hah!), the ongoing home renovation, the husband and his penchant for putting t-shirts in the laundry inside-out, or the number of times I have to say “LEAVE YOUR SISTER/BROTHER ALONE” in a day.

It’s because this song will not let me rest:

Family Life in NOLA
Life in New Orleans

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