Monday, January 31, 2011

More Duck Pond Fun

"Hoowy, Hoowy, Grandma!"

Penelope ran around the duck pond today. Seriously. Not only did she walk the whole way--she ran. At least ten times, she fell down (gravel path, you know). Three or four times, she totally ate it. She has scraped up hands, a scraped knee, a cut on her arm, and a huge purple goose egg with a cut on her head, but boy did she have a great time!

In this last picture, I couldn't get Penelope to pose by the geese, so I did. Seconds after this picture was taken, that closest goose totally goosed me! He started chomping up my jeans with great enthusiasm, so I had to shake my leg and scream. They were new jeans, too! First time I'd warn them!


Penelope cracks me up. According to her, we're about to watch "Fantasian." She was so cute in the bath tub just now. Uh oh! We just had a bath, and now she's attempting to eat her "tomato yogurt" with an old chopstick. Surprisingly, I think she's being less messy than she was with the spoon. Now she's conducting with the chopstick. "Fantasian, Mom!" she comments. So glad I gave her a bath...

Some recent Facebook gems...

You can definitely tell Penelope is my child. Today alone, she's suffered "nose pain," endured a "sore fingernail" and wailed that "both knees hurts." Just now when I was wiping off her face, she cautioned, "Careful. Nose hurts." Last night in bed, she tried to convince me that her nose had a "poison wart," but that was The Gruffalo's influence, not mine.
Yesterday at 1:23pm ·

Mom: What's all this dirt on the floor, Nellie? Let's sweep it up.
Penelope: Great idea, Grandma!

She just ran in from the other room with her little leopard spotted broom and red dust pan.
Yesterday at 1:49pm ·

Me: (to Derrick) Kiss my head like you do. Do I have a fever?
Penelope: (swooning in the chair) Fever, too!!!

Update: Neither of us has a fever.
17 hours ago ·

We're packing up to go back to our house after a weekend at Grandma's. Mom just asked, "Where are the ponies?" I went into the bedroom, and Penelope had thrown all the My Little Ponies on the bed. She spent the next two minutes, grunting and struggling, trying to pull herself onto the bed. Then she shouted, "I made it!"
17 hours ago ·

Penelope thinks "tomato yogurt" is "so good!" I keep telling her that she's eating blueberry yogurt, but she doesn't believe me.
2 hours ago

Penelope (handing me a little stuffed bird that used to be on her crib mobile): Leg hurts.
Mommy: Oh no! What happened to his leg?
Penelope: A shark bit him.
Mommy: (incredulously) A shark bit him???!!!
Penelope: (giggling) Yes.
2 hours ago

Penelope: (as injured bird) A shark bit me!
Mommy: How did you meet a shark?
Long silence
Mommy: (as bird) Well I invited him over to my house.
Penelope: (giggling) Yes. To eat pizza.
Mommy: (as bird) But then the pizza didn't come, and the shark bit me.
Penelope: (as bird) Then shark threw up! Eww! Gross!!!
2 hours ago

Penelope: (as duckie in bath tub) Pee in potty!
Mommy: Oh good job duck--oh no! Are you eating out of the potty?
Penelope: (as duck, burying its face in the "potty") Mmm mmmm mmm (suddenly looking up at me and slapping her cheek) It's terrible, Mom!
11 minutes ago ·

Penelope: (diving off the bed after her bath) Hiding Daddy!
Derrick: You're hiding?
Penelope: (face buried under bedclothes) WHERE ARE YOU, DAD??????

Apparently, she hid a little too well and couldn't even find herself!
11 minutes ago

Sunday, January 30, 2011


I'm so excited because Derrick is picking up chicken tikka massala, samosas, and naan from Chola, so my parents can try the food from our favorite restaurant ever. I think we're going to watch The Bourne Supremacy. Last night, we watched The Bourne Identity (which, somehow, I had managed never to see before), then picked up Dad from the airport.

Penelope was very excited to go to the airport and kept seeing exciting things outside the car window. (The airport is in a very exciting part of town.) She'd comment, "Going to the airport. Pampaw's in California." She seemed a little disappointed we didn't go inside the airport.

Oh Derrick's back! Hoooray!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Happy Birthday, Mitzi!

Just thought I'd take a minute to wish happy birthday to a long time reader of this blog!

Happy Birthday, Mitzi! Hope you're having a fabulous day! It might interest you to know that your birthday falls one day after Penelope's pigs' birthday. Eat lots of ice cream and cake!

Biscuit Goes to School

While we've been staying at Grandma's house, we've been sampling all the delightful stories here, including Jamberry, If You Give a Mouse a Cookie, Grandma's copy of Room on the Broom (in much better shape than ours, funny thing), and Biscuit Goes to School.

Penelope made me read that one five times in a row last night. She finds it hysterically funny and laughs out loud every time. It's not that funny, really, but I try to play it up because she enjoys it so much. The little girl gets on the bus and tells Biscuit not to go to school.

Then Biscuit starts walking. Is he going to the pond? Is he going to the park? No...

You guessed it. Biscuit school!!!!

Penelope thinks that is so funny, how Biscuit just strolls right into school, the one place he was not supposed to go. She yells, "Oh no, Biscuit!" and laughs and laughs. That subversive Biscuit!

I'm not sure how much she knows about school, but she seems to like the look of all the children. She really likes children. She loves to play with Jack and always mentions him in her prayers. The other night, she spontaneously God blessed "Bubby's mommy and the puppies" too.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

"Happy Poop Day, Pig!"

Penelope: (handing me her balloons) Happy birthday, Mommy.
Mommy: Oh, thank you, sweetheart, but it's not my birthday.
Penelope: (thinking, smiling) Pig's birthday.
Mommy: Oh! I didn't know it was the pig's birthday.
Penelope: (producing a pig in a car) Happy birthday, Pig!
Mommy: What's the pig going to do for his birthday?
Penelope: (giggling naughtily) Poop! Happy Poop Day, Pig! (More giggling)

Uncle Virgil

I forgot. In my dream last night, I said to my Grandpa, "Wait a minute, you are dead."

He replied leisurely, "Yeah, I just wanted to talk to my brother, Virg."

I looked over on the couch. Some weird young guy was sitting there.

"That's not Uncle Virgil," I said.

"Look again," said Grandpa, and when I looked again, there was Uncle Virgil waving to me--weird since I don't really know him. I probably met him when I was a baby, but I'm not sure. I remembered that just now while I was up looking through pictures with Penelope.

We're staying over at Grandma's. Dad's been in San Gabriel interviewing for that job, so Derrick and I spent the night here for the past couple of nights. He's working today--quarter end. Nellie likes to naughty around upstairs, looking for stuff to find. We just looked through old family photos and read the book Jamberry. Penelope did not seem to find it satisfactory that a duck was driving the train. "Crash," she predicted.

"Oh, do you think the train will crash?" I asked.

She stared at me with wide eyes and said, like I was an idiot, "Duck driving!"

Then she decided that she was hungry for some strawberries. But I don't think we have any strawberries at the moment, just the blue and rasp berries she didn't finish at breakfast. Meanwhile, I suddenly want to go to Knott's Berry Farm.

Strange Dreams

Last night I had two strange dreams. In the first dream, I was with a lot of people. We were involved in some kind of religious/ideological conflict. (Kind of like Catholic v. Protestant in Elizabethan England.) The other side had the upper hand for the moment, but there was definitely something strange about what was happening. We were moving in a line through a dark cave, and we didn't know how we would escape. But the thing was, we'd signed some kind of contract in advance, so they had to let us go at the end of the contracted time. In the meantime, though, they had every right to torture and starve us. People ahead of us in line kept leaving food along the way for us to eat. A guy asked me to go back and hide some peanut butter pie for Merry.

In the next dream sequence, my grandparents were in the house with us. It wasn't any house I recognize. But we lived there. I can't remember exactly what was going on. My parents were out, I think, and we were supposed to stay there. I remember that my right front tooth was really crooked and coming loose. I remember looking at my grandpa at one point and saying, having suddenly thought of it, "I remember how weird it was that time we all thought you died, and then it turned out that..." I paused a long time, trying to remember the miraculous story of how he'd returned when we thought he was dead. And then I remembered, "Wait. You are dead." The funny thing is, my grandma's dead, too, now, but that never occurred to me.

Throughout the other dream, there'd been a group of other people doing something. My sister and I had been watching them. I can't remember the plot. I just remember that after I realized my grandpa was dead (even though he was there), Katharine Hepburn turned out to be one of the other people there.

She said, matter-of-factly, "Being dead is just like being alive, except you're dead." When I told my mom that just now, she noted, "That sounds like something she would say." Not that we actually know Katharine Hepburn, but isn't it easy to imagine her delivering that line?

Thursday, my psychiatrist gave me a low dose of Klonopin to take for a week as a test to see if the pain in my neck is caused by tooth grinding. I only took it once. It gave me horrible digestive problems and may have brought the reflux back. Plus, Thursday night, I kept waking up feeing anxious. Then yesterday, I felt like I'd been drugged, spacey, dizzy, thirsty, altered. And very sick to my stomach. And then I got really anxious and angry.

So....apparently for me (for some reason I can't imagine) what is supposed to be a mild anti-anxiety drug is a relatively strong anxiety inducing drug. I did dream a lot about my teeth last night and eating--so I probably was grinding them. But I woke up in more pain yesterday because the Klonopin forced me to stay asleep when my neck was in a bad position and I kept trying to wake up.

My stomach is world's better today, so hopefully, a little Prilosec (which they gave me instead of Nexium) should make it so the acid does no extreme damage to the valve.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Nellie in the Leaves


Poor Mom! She has a cold sore on her lip, and Penelope keeps pointing at it and wailing, "Evil! Evil!" Then just now, she picked up a wind-up toy that has the Toy Story Mr. and Mrs. Potato Head holding hands. "Grandma and Grandpa!" she decided. We all died laughing.

Duck Flower

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Breaking News

Derrick has pneumonia! At least he didn't break a rib! That would have been much, much worse!


Derrick just went to the E.R. I'm worried about him because he never complains.

Pain and Stuff

Well, Dad's flying to San Gabriel, California, tomorrow to interview for a GM job. Sounds promising. Meanwhile, my trap is still giving me a little trouble. It's okay if Derrick massages it, but he's in so much pain right now. He had a cough from allergies, and now there's pain in his chest. He's not sure if his bronchials are inflamed, or if he pulled a muscle coughing, or cracked a rib. If he's still in that much pain in the morning, he's going to the doctor.

Penelope's in a fine little mood today. Grandma's giving her a bath now, and she's very excited about having ice cream afterwards.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Recent Facebook Updates

My mom got Grayson the movie Three Ninjas for his birthday. We're watching it now. The boys just changed into their ninja costumes, and from her hiding place behind the couch, Penelope poked her head out and whispered, "Ninjas!"
January 21 at 8:34pm

Grayson (stabbing baby dragon): Stab! Stab!
Penelope (as dragon): Ouch.
Me: What's wrong, Baby Dragon?
Penelope (as dragon): Knee hurts! (as herself, stabbing her pony) Stab! Stab! Gotcha!
Penelope (as pony): Going home!
January 21 at 9:40pm

Derrick: Grayson...Grayson...DEAF BOY!
Penelope: (giggling) Deaf boy!
Me: (to Penelope) Who is deaf boy?
Penelope: (smiling) Bubby.
January 21 at 9:48pm

Mommy: Do you want to take a drive?
Penelope: Yes. Cow Creek.
Mommy: Oh, you'd like to go to Cow Creek?
Penelope: Water! See water!
Saturday at 12:35pm

Trying to explain that while it may be funny to stab things with a toy knife with your brother, it is much less hilarious to stab your mommy in the leg with an actual steak knife...
Saturday at 12:36pm

Penelope: (gravely) Mommy.
Mommy: Yes, Penelope?
Penelope: Did poop in pants.
Mommy: You did?
Penelope: I did. Mommy?
Mommy: Yes, Penelope.
Penelope: (Gravely) It's bad.
Saturday at 12:47pm

Penelope's new favorite word is disappeared, only she says it like two words, "Dis peared!" She deliberately loses things as an excuse to exclaim that they've "dis peared!"
Saturday at 1:18pm

Mommy: (as Orange Blossom) What's your name?
Penelope: (as Raspberry Torte) Raspberry Toot.
Mommy: Raspberry Toot? That's a funny name. I'm Orange Blossom.
Penelope: Lemon Meringue go? Uh oh! Toot! toot! toot!
Mommy: Raspberry Toot, are you tooting again?
Penelope: (giggling) Raspberry Toot! Toooooot!
Saturday at 11:36pm

Penelope has started saying to Grayson, "Hi, Bub." I think she does it because Derrick calls him "Buddy" and "Bud."
Sunday at 5:05pm

Penelope: Cheese, Daddy? Please, Daddy! More cheese!
(Derrick got out of the recliner and went into the kitchen to get her some cheese. As soon as he put the cheese on the plate, she ran back into the living room and jumped into the chair.)
Penelope: MY SPOT!
Sunday at 8:24pm

Penelope: (running up to Derrick with a black kitty watch and a pink puppy watch from some fast food meal) Two watches, Daddy! (Giving him the black one) One, Dad! (Running off with the pink one) Nelope's!
Daddy: What's my watch?
Penelope: A kitty. (Running back with two plastic knives) Two Knife-uhs, Dad!
Mommy: How do you keep finding knife-uhs??!
Sunday at 8:59pm

Just before dinner, Penelope, in her high chair, asked for an apple on the table. I gave it to her, and she said to Derrick, "Amen, Daddy!" before she put it up to her mouth. When I told Mom, she explained, "I told her we couldn't eat it until we said 'amen.'"
Yesterday at 8:24pm

Penelope (with sheep, to Grandma): Call name, sheep?
Grandma (taking sheep): My name is Harry. Or maybe I should be Baa-b. What's your name?
Penelope (as the other sheep): Baaahnie.
3 hours ago

Mommy: What does that sign say, S-T-O-P?
Penelope: (from the back seat) Stop! (As we drive forward, whispering) Go! We're coming! We're coming! We're coming! (We pull into the driveway) Yea!!!!! (Claps her hands) Penelope's house!!!!!!
5 minutes ago

My Little Disasters

This morning, I hurt my left wrist taking my computer out of the bag with one hand. So then later, when I moved it from one place to another downstairs, I wisely used both arms--and managed to whack myself in the mouth with the computer, hurting my front tooth and cutting my lip. For my next trick, as I was unplugging the computer before Mom and Dad got to our house, I somehow stuck the middle finger of my left hand too close to the plug itself and felt a huge surge of electricity. I've not gotten a shock like that since 1996 when I reached behind my grandparents' bed to unplug Grandma's bedside lamp. Wow was that a shock! This one, too. My finger tingled for thirty minutes, but nothing else feels weird. After the tingling stopped, it briefly hurt, but now it just feels weird. Of all the days to pick to actually wear my wedding ring!

Monday, January 24, 2011

Penelope's Existential Crisis

Last night during story time, Penelope head butted me in the knee cap. Ouch! She didn't do it on purpose. We were in the middle of an encore reading of The Gruffalo when suddenly, she started climbing off the bed and lay draped over my legs with her head looming down toward the floor. My neck had finally just gotten comfortable, so Derrick tried to move her, but she went berserk and head butted my knee in the process. It's still pretty sore--although the place where I bumped my wrist on the counter yesterday while dancing around the kitchen to Hairspray is barely visible. I whacked it really hard, and it started to bruise within five minutes, but then I held an ice cube on it for an hour, and now you can barely see a thin pink line! I don't want to ice my knee, though.

Derrick asked Penelope what was wrong, and she would only reply that she was "sad," but couldn't say why. She wasn't too sad, however, to listen to The Color Kittens.

My neck is much better as long as Derrick massages my back multiple times throughout the day. I think I strained my trapezious, which has probably been compensating for the SCM, through a combination of nighttime clenching or grinding and carrying a book with my tucked chin the other day while I held a bag on the same arm. Best guess. My whole head and face hurt unbearably last night and nothing helped until Derrick gave me a massage. Then I felt almost completely better. So weird.

Sunday, January 23, 2011


Last night while I was trying to read Penelope bedtime stories, she distracted me by picking up a blanket and asking, "Tag say?"

"Pottery barn," I read. She was not satisfied. I turned over the tag. "Made in...Portugal????!!!"

She thought that was very funny. "How did this blanket get to our house," I asked, "if it was made all the way in Portugal?"

"Don't know," she said.

I got out the atlas to show her where Portugal was.

"Pink," she commented.

"Where do you live?" I asked her.

"Nelope's house," she said.

I pointed out Texas, and she said, "Green."

Then I showed her all the water between here and Portugal. "What do you think all that water is?" I asked her.

"Cow Creek," she replied.

"Did you have fun at Cow Creek?" I asked.

"Ye-es," she said.

"What did you like there?" I asked.

"Throw rocks," she answered.

I'm trying to get her to the point where she can write some of the blog entries. We're working on it. Right now, she is putting her shirt over Derrick's head to make him look like a bunny. "Try again, Dad," she keeps saying.

Weird Neck

Penelope thinks Raspberry Toot's name is so funny. (Apparently, she doesn't know the word torte.) She has now renamed Orange Blossom, Orangey Toot. She thinks that's really hilarious.

I wish I knew what was wrong with my neck. It just feels weak, like it doesn't want to hold my head up.

Grayson has picked out great stuff to watch this weekend--Meet the Robinsons, Flushed Away, and Hairspray.

I don't understand what is wrong with my neck. It's okay when I'm standing up, but when I sit down, it feels like it doesn't want to hold my head up, and I feel vaguely nauseas.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Blue Day at Cow Creek

My neck has hurt horribly all day, but other than that, it's been a nice day. We drove out to Cow Creek this afternoon. By the time we got there, we found ourselves in the shadow of the hill behind us, so all the pictures have a bluish cast. It's so interesting. Last time we went everything was yellow, and this time, it was blue. Derrick had fun skipping stones, and Penelope thought she was doing the same. Grayson made a fantastic jump--which unfortunately resulted in him getting the bottoms of his pants wet.

"Stab Knife!"

Last night, Grayson and Penelope were stabbing a little pony with the toy knife from her toy pastry set. This afternoon, Penelope found a real steak knife some place, and stabbed me in the leg yelling, "Stab! Knife!"

"OUCH!" I screamed, which startled her.

I grabbed it. It was just a silver one from table service, not a black handled one, but it still broke the skin. She stabbed through my pajama pants, so I just have a minor cut, but we are still having a talk.

Maybe we need to get locky things for the drawers! She's so tall!


I'm so sick of being in pain. I was reading about neck problems last night, and it is not normal to experience pain for this long when you're only thirty-one. Every day, I try to fill. Every night, I tell myself, well, you'll die soon enough, so just try to make memories you can look back and enjoy because you'll forget the pain. But then things remind me that I'm so young!

I keep thinking of my leg. Nothing was wrong with my leg. I had horrible spasmodic cramps and couldn't move. You could see the cramp. They did scans of my leg. Nothing was wrong with my leg. But my back was broken. My back didn't hurt. I keep wondering. It seems like a sick joke. Take this medication and shut up. What if my back is broken? Why can't this be resolved? I feel so powerless and so angry.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Where's the Horse?

"Soap Monser"

More Birthday Fun

Boys' Birthday

Happy Birthday, Daddy! Amen!

Golden Globes Goodness

I invited my friend Nicole over to watch the Golden Globes with us. It was a very small party, just the three of us, my parents, and Nicole. Penelope, however, was totally excited and kept trying to show off for Nicole all night. (Derrick's parents had come earlier in the day to bring Grayson's birthday presents, and she was showing off like crazy for them, dancing a lot, particularly. "Are you in demo mode?" I joked.)

We ordered pizza, and Mom brought over homemade Chex Mix and dough and M&Ms to make cookies. Penelope helped make the cookies and was really into it! (I took pictures of that, but totally forgot to take any of Nicole.) When the Red Carpet started and the technoish, heavy-beat music came on, Penelope threw back her head and screamed, "PART-Y!"

Little Custard?

Penelope was cracking us up on the way to Grayson and Jackson's birthday party last night. She was just jabbering non-stop in the backseat, talking to her toys, and making them interact with each other. Then she and Derrick took turns counting, and she shocked him by getting all the way to nineteen. We wondered what she would say next. There was an ominously long pause. Then finally, Penelope yelled, "Yea!!!!!" and started clapping her hands. Clever.

She had lots of fun at Grayson's house last night and spent a long time having a light saber battle with Jack. He was so cute, when you tell him, "Happy Birthday," he smiles and replies, "Happy birthday!" It must be very confusing to share a birthday with your brother!

Nellie also loved playing with the two little dogs, Honey Bee and Holly Bear. She always wanted to find them, but then when she did, she would run away from them.

We left kind of abruptly when Penelope turned into the kid from The Exorcist. Aimee let her have an apple, which she managed to eat half of by the time we got to my mom's house. That was kind of amazing since they live ten to fifteen minutes apart. I think she got so excited that she forgot to eat, and then her blood sugar took a nose dive.

We are watching Strawberry Shortcake yet again. Recently, she renamed her gray and white kitty Big Dinah, but now she has decided they are Big Custard and Little Custard.

Here are some little gems I posted on Facebook (with additions my phone wouldn't let me have room to say):

Nellie: Look, Dinah. Lots birdies flying like in dragon movie. Hold on Dinah.
Turtle: Hi, Dinah. Black eyes too.
Dinah: Fly?
Turtle: Toes! Fly airplane!
(She took her little bath turtle and twisted him so his feet looked like airplane wings.)
Toys: Hi, turtle! Hi turtle! Are you bath turtle?
Turtle: Oh yes. Bath turtle.
(Dinah kisses him.)

Daddy: Is the sun in your eyes, Nell Bell?

Mommy: What should we get Grayson for his birthday?
Penelope: Cake, frosting, cupcakes, too!
Daddy: Grayson's mommy already made him a cake.
Penelope: Yummy. Eat it.
Mommy: What toy should we get for him.
Penelope: Hmmm....Legos?

Penelope: Oh no! Finger poisoned!
Mommy: Who poisoned you?
Penelope: Grandma.
Mommy: Why did Grandma poison you?
Penelope: Well, Mommy...Well, Mommy...Well, Mommy....don't know.

Talking to the My Little Pony she got in her Happy Meal--

Pony: Call name?
Penelope: Nelope. Call name?
Pony: Call me Futtershy. Be friends?

That morning when she woke up--

Mommy: Today is bubby's birthday. What are you going to tell him?
Penelope: Mommy's house?
Mommy: Yes, he's at his mommy's house. We're going to see him tonight.
Penelope: Jack, too?
Mommy: Yes, we'll see Jack, too.
Penelope: Oh boy!
Mommy: It's Jack's birthday, too.
Penelope: Happy birthday, Grayson! Happy birthday, Jack! Happy birthday, Daddy, too.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Birthdays Galore

Penelope got a little cut on her finger the other day. The next morning, she came up to me and showed me the cut. "Oh no!" she said. "Poisoned!"

"Your cut was poisoned?" I clarified.

"Ye-es," she replied earnestly. She always sounds like a cartoon cowgirl when she says the word yes.

"Who would have done such a thing?" I asked her.

"Giraffes," she replied immediately.

"Giraffes?!!!!" I exclaimed.

Penelope giggled.

"Why did the giraffes do that?" I asked her.

"Bad guys," she replied tersely.

Those darned evil giraffes!

Today, about twenty minutes before she woke up, she said in her sleep, "Oink! Oink! Oink! Corn!" When she woke up, I told her what she'd said. "Oh, piggies missing!" she cried. "Findit! Grandma's house."

She's a very amusing girl. Last night, she told Derrick, "Happy Birthday, Daddy!" running up to him joyfully the minute he came through the door.

I was glad she actually said it. In practice, sometimes she'd yell, "Hamster!" instead, just to be perverse. While we sang him happy birthday, she could only lean forward and yell about how she wanted some "mac and cheese" aka "roni." "Want some! Want some!" She also wanted some cake. She was very excited about the whole occasion.

I told her tomorrow is Grayson and Jack's birthday. She's been practicing saying happy birthday to them, too, and is rather transparently hoping for more cake.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Frosting for All

Today is Derrick's birthday. Earlier Penelope was practicing singing Happy Birthday with me. But now she's lost her enthusiasm for that. Just a minute ago, I asked her, "What are we going to say to Daddy when he comes home?"

Penelope threw out her arms and yelled enthusiastically, "FROSTING!!!!!!"

The Baby Formerly Known as Stinky Pants

Penelope has renamed Baby Stinky Pants. She is now Lemon Meringue. We've been watching the Strawberry Shortcake video that came with the car Merry got her for her birthday, and I happened to mention that I think Lemon Meringue is really pretty because of her yellow hair.

Meanwhile, Penelope is very funny to eat Chex Mix with. Mom made some for our Golden Globes mini-party. Penelope loves the "cereal" but by her estimation every other piece is "buhned." I keep telling her they're yummy when they're dark, and she says suspiciously, "Mommy eat it." She must think I'm quite a jerk, trying to trick her into eating the burnt pieces.

Last night, she brought me the playpen from my old Fisher Price doll house. I asked, "Where is the baby? Can you bring me a baby?"

She brought me a red stop sign.

"What?!" I yelped. "That's not a baby!"

"Has P," she said, pointing to the P. Then she giggled wickedly and said, "Peepee Baby."

I thought that was so clever for her age. Then she yelled, "Pee Op Op!" over and over again at the top of her lungs, laughing uproariously, and reminding us all that she was two years old!

Monday, January 17, 2011

Grayson's New Sister

Penelope's brother is having a new baby sister! That's the news today! Addison Lea Chapman, her mother recently announced. She's twenty weeks old today and most definitely a girl.

Saturday, January 15, 2011


Penelope: Oh no! Minnie's poopy! Change it, Mommy!

Mommy: Oh, you change it, Penelope.

Penelope: (lies down on changing pad) Ready!

Mommy: Well, no, Best Friend. You have to sit up if you're going to change it. You have to do what Mommy does.

Penelope: Okay, Mommy! Oh no! Something in my eye! Oh no! Crud. I think so! Oh no, eye!

Mickey Mouse and Baby Stinky Pants

I'm pretty happy because the Steelers just beat the Ravens and will advance to the AFC Championship. (Though, weirdly, had the Steelers lost, I would have rooted for the Ravens.) Penelope is happy, meanwhile, because we are now watching Mickey Mouse. Uh oh. She just said, "Poopy pants again!" We really need to push potty training!

Hmmm...I just changed Penelope's clothes for the millionth time today. After her diaper change, I decided she really needed to wash her hands, so I filled the sink basin with soapy water. She had lots of fun--a little too much--and I took several pictures of her pretending to be Santa Claus.

We watched Alice in Wonderland on Netflix streaming today before the football game. Just now, we were trying to see if there was anything else we wanted to watch this evening. Idly, I murmured, "I still kind of want to see The Great Buck Howard."

"NOOOOO!" wailed Penelope from behind the recliner where she was playing with her Strawberry Shortcake convertible.

"Don't you like that?" I asked. "What do you think we should watch."

She replied, "Oh, let's watch Mickey Mouse and eat nuggets and fries. Oh! And an ice cream cone, too!" She knows what she likes, I guess.

For the past few days, she's been playing with the Strawberry Shortcake car a lot, though she doesn't really get how to use the remote control to steer. She also loves to play with the baby doll I got her who goes in the bath tub. She has named her "Baby Stinky Pants." Baby Stinky Pants spends most of her time crashing into the wall and getting a "head cake," swiftly followed by a "bad feber." Then she generally gets "tiederd" and wants to go good night and hear a story.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Face the Truth, You're Getting Older

Yesterday, Penelope again told me that for Derrick's birthday, we should make him a chocolate cake with blue frosting.

"What should it say on the cake?" I asked her.

"Amen," she replied decisively.

Thursday, January 13, 2011


I should mention that though the roof of my mouth hurts, I am still having a lovely day with my parents and Penelope, and I am getting incredibly excited about the Oscars. I don't know why. It's not like I'm going to be receiving an invitation to join the Academy any time soon. More realistically, I could become a film critic at some point. Still, I enjoy thinking about the Oscars.

Movies I have seen likely to get nominations: Black Swan, True Grit, The Fighter, The King's Speech, The Social Network, The Kids Are All Right, Inception, Toy Story 3, The Town, How to Train Your Dragon, Winter's Bone.

Movies I have not seen but kind of want to see and might trouble myself to see: 127 Hours, Blue Valentine, Rabbit Hole (but really, we don't know if we can watch that, based on the premise)

Movie I definitely want to see: Another Year

We've really done pretty well this year, though it's not like before Penelope was born when we used to see all the nominated films/performances (except Foreign Film because that wasn't always possible). I used to keep up with movie gossip and critical feedback and see stuff long before it got late-in-the-year buzz, usually at the Regal Arbor.

Still, we've done much better this year than last. We've seen much more.

I am actually very much behind The Fighter this year. I accidentally told my parents I was in its corner of all things. I also liked I Heart Huckabees (although Christina and Nicole forced me to watch it kicking and screaming--they were right) and think David O. Russell does well seeing the humor in events that others might perceive as only tragic or melodramatic. Derrick and I both liked The Fighter. I particularly liked the energy in the performances. (I liked Doubt a couple of years of ago for that very reason--so much energy in the performances.)

I think I'd rank them like this: Well...I can't rank them because I saw Inception so long ago.

The ones I liked best were The Fighter, Inception, Black Swan, The King's Speech, and Winter's Bone. I'm not sure about the order. Black Swan and Inception affected me the most, but The Fighter provided the most positive and engaging movie experience. I liked Inception and Black Swan and thought about them the longest, but both kept me awake in the middle of the night and both gave me nightmares. (I don't think Inception intended to scare people, but people who didn't find it scary probably have never been psychotic.)

PS I forgot about Shutter Island which we saw recently on DVD because I think that was supposed to be last year's Oscar movie and wasn't deemed strong enough for release. I liked that a lot, too. I thought it was very interesting and it reminded me incredibly of someone with schizophrenia I once dated.

"Read Bad Guy Bunny"

Last night, when I got upstairs for story time, Penelope greeted me by holding up a copy of Bunnicula and saying, "Read bad guy bunny."

"That's Bunnicula," I told her.

"Oh boy!" she said. "Read it." (She actually surprised me by listening to nine pages of it before losing focus. I told her that the story was being told by Harold, the ol' shaggy dog, and that when I read in his voice, it was Harold talking. When I'd ask, "Who am I?" in the voice, or ask her, "Who is the doggie?" she'd answer, "Shaggy.")

Then Derrick asked her, "Tell Mommy how many ears you have?"

Penelope clapped a hand over each year and yelled in delight, "Three!"

"Three!?" Derrick exclaimed, and then she fell over laughing.

Next he asked her, "How many noses does Daddy have?"

"Seven!" shrieked Penelope in glee.

From Derrick's reaction, I take it this was not the way things had gone in rehearsal!

Eye Drops

Okay, so apparently, I am allergic to the preservative in eye drops. I woke up with scratchy, dry eyes, probably from the heater. I drank a bottle of water, and they got a bit better. Earlier, I asked Derrick to buy me some plain saline, so I could flush my eyes when stuff got in them. Walgreens had no plain saline, but he got the closest thing he could find, an eyewash that was 99.05 percent sterile water.

I thought, "But what if I was allergic to the preservative in that steroid, the lotamax last year? What if I'm allergic to the preservative in all eyedrops?" Then I told myself, "You are being paranoid. Your eyes are scratchy from being dry and getting eyelashes in them. You're denying yourself relief for no good reason. No doctor has told you you're allergic to anything."

So I put some in my eyes, both eyes. It just felt like water, so I dropped in a bit more, to thoroughly cleanse my eyes.

Then about two minutes later, my face started to itch. And then it began to burn. I'd been taking pictures of my eyes with my phone to see if they were red. They had both been a little red. After the drops, my eyes didn't look red at all, but my face was burning like it was on fire. I had to keep splashing water on it for half an hour to get it to stop burning. And then I had a stabbing pain in my right eye for like three hours. Now the skin has started to fall off the roof of my mouth. Good times.