Signs that it's time your kid starting potty training.

#1 He sticks his hand down his pants and then points a poop encrusted fingernail at you, proudly demanding, "See, Momma! See!"


Never alone.

I went for a walk this evening, to get out of the house, unwind, and enjoy the beautiful weather. (Okay, AND for an excuse to use my iPod, who am I really kidding?) I hadn't been gone long when I saw these guys coming at me.

Apparently Eli's response to Eliot's queries of "Mamma? Mamma?" is "I don't know--let's go find her!" Even though similar requests for Daddy when I'M watching Eliot are met with my assurances that Daddy will be home soon and he needs some "Daddy time" right now. But as we all know, there is no such thing as "Mamma time," so here they came down the lane after me.

We walked down to the creek together and Eliot tossed in a rock he had been carrying all the way from the house especially for the purpose of flinging it into the water.

We came across what I thought might be the remains of an opossum, but which Eli correctly identified as a dead skeksis. Exhibit A:

And if you aren't familiar with the skeksis, then you, sir, are no child of the 80's.

We walked back up to the house, where Eliot promptly found a stick with which to dig in the yard:

He's adorable, so I'll forgive him for constantly wanting to be by my side. His dad...well...let's just say the jury's still out.


Important safety information.

Remember: it pays to read the instructions:

"Do not drop, disassemble, open, crush, bend, deform, puncture, shred, microwave, incinerate, paint, or insert foreign objects into iPod touch."

Um...really? Because the first thing I usually do before using a new $300 electronic appliance is toss it into the microwave to see just how much heat it can take. Damn. Good thing I read this first.

And I can't insert foreign objects into it? What? So, like, don't go shoving those Frosted Flakes into it that I brought back from Mexico? Zucaritas?

That kind of takes all the fun out of it, doesn't it? :)


Today I am...

1) Waiting for one of these hot little gadgets to arrive at my doorstep:

Oh yeah, baby. Just ordered an iPod Touch from the Apple website and can't wait for it to get here. This is quite possibly the biggest splurge I've ever made on myself. Thank you, tax money. I have hereby done my part to stimulate the economy.

2) Keeping my fingers crossed that the tentative peace in the Heicher household will last. We have reached a truce, I think.

3) Being entirely pissed off because the FIRST essay I graded today, the FIRST essay, was clearly plagiarized. Will they never learn? And seriously, the first one? Is there anything that could give a harder kick to my resolve to grade these damn things today?

4) Pleased that I managed to get my shelving hung (with a bit of help and advice from Eli).
Yes, now I need drapes. Wait, do we call them "drapes" or "curtains"? Is there a difference? Does anyone know?

I'm keeping Mom's vintage Nancy Drew books here, along with a copy of a volume of Anais Nin's diary that Molly gave to me years ago, inscribed with a poem she wrote to me (Molly, not Anais Nin), and then some other bits of my mom and Grammy. Mom's senior picture, Grammy's piano music box. Little treasures not for small hands that tend to grab things off the lower shelves.

5) Working on the uberlist. From my 2009 planner that I love, love. I got it here. More about that later.

6) Loving this weather.

7) Trying to convince my friend Danay to get on Facebook already. Give in, girl! :)

8) Loving that I've found an unexpected kindred spirit. And rooting so hard for her.

9) Hating these little bastards:

All in a Monday.


It's on my to-do list.

1) Get life in order.
2) Grade papers.
3) Grade papers.
4) Organize and back-up photos.
5) Get glasses fixed/buy new glasses.
6) Get taxes done.
7) See therapist.
8) Grade papers.
9) Eat something. Not brownies.
10) Grade papers.

For random fun.

I thank Kate. :)


Possibly the most versatile word in the English language.

Eliot seems to comprehend so much that these days we are often able to have conversations. We talk while we're building blocks, about which one should go where and whether it's time to knock the tower over. We talk while we're playing cars, about whose car is whose and big crashes. When I ask him to throw something in the trash, he runs and does it. When I say, "It's time to go to Sandy's house," he goes to the hall closet and says, "Coat? Hat?"

Because of these growing layers of communication, I sometimes forget that he is just two years old. Not even two, yet. And so when, in the car on the way home from town, he asks, "Juice?" I hand him his juice box and say, "Okay, but please be very careful not to squeeze it."

That is what I say. What he HEARS is, "Okay, blah, blah, blah, SQUEEZE IT."

And then I hear, "Uh-oh!"

The dreaded "Uh-oh!" Those words are frighteningly familiar to the ears of any mother of a toddler. They make us squirm with anxiety because "Uh-oh!" can mean so many different things.

Sometimes "Uh-oh!" means, "I dropped my baby doll on the floor." No big deal.
Or, "My sock just fell off." Again, not exactly cause for a heart attack.

Then again, sometimes, "Uh-oh!" means, "Huh, will you look at that? Turns out matchbox cars DON'T float when you put them in the toilet."

Or, "Mom, instead of giving the cat one scoop of kibble, like you suggested, I gave him THE ENTIRE BAG and now there's kibble covering the floor of the utility room. From wall to wall."

And then there's the scenario in which "Uh-oh!" actually means, "Somehow juice just exploded out of this box and is running down my coat and carseat straps and puddling under my crotch. Gee, too bad you're busy driving and can't turn around and get the juice box from me before I squeeze it AGAIN. Because I'm just curious whether there's still any juice in the box."

Some days I feel like we spend the entire day just moving from one "Uh-oh!" to the next. Some days it's exhausting. Some days it's fun. Most days I learn something. For instance, only rookie parents hand a kid a juice box in a moving vehicle.


And tomorrow will be Monday again.

So much activity lately! On Thursday Eliot and I met Tai, Kami, and Millie for lunch at the McDonald's playland. This, of course, is strictly forbidden because of the long-going McDonald's ban Eli and I initiated back in...when...2003? Something like that. So I ate McNuggets for the first time in approximately six years. I have to admit, they were divine. In a disgusting, unidentifiable, compressed meat sort of way.

I have a growing collection of photos of Eliot making this face. It's because he says "cheese!" everytime I point the camera at him. And this is what his face does when he says, "cheese!" What a goofball.

Later that evening, Eli and I went to an Illini basketball game. A good time was had by all, even though I still didn't come home with a giant foam finger. Someday...

Friday I got a haircut and had my eyebrows waxed. No pictures, but the cut is not all that stellar anyway. It's okay. The real thrill was getting my hair washed. I LOVE having people wash my hair. There's really little better than getting my hair washed. I think I actually find it more relaxing than massage. Wait...yep...more relaxing than massage. For sure.

Saturday we spent at Ma Ma's, where Eliot was happy to sample some extra filling for the chocolate pie she was making. And yes, my kid is almost two and still has his nuk. Don't judge me.

Zayda was less happy to get her picture taken. It's mean of me to post it here, but, well, it's me we're talking about, so here she is. I'm fairly sure that's her "Rachel" face. Or one of the incarnations of the "Rachel" face, anyway.

Sunday was spent at Pa's house--again, no pictures. I crashed in the easy chair while Eliot played with Zayda and Pam cooked and cleaned (of course) and Elecia knitted. And Pa napped on the couch. And then ran off to work on something. (of course) We're all pretty predictible, it seems.

I cannot believe that today is the first of March. Where is this year rushing off to? Slow down, you! But bring warm weather soon.