November 28, 2005

The Aliens Have Landed

I have uncontroverted proof of alien life.

The small child sleeping upstairs right now is not baby sister. Oh no, it is definately a body snatching alien from the planet Cranky.

I must say that this replicated alien baby is very life-like. To the untrained eye, it looks and sounds just like sister. However, I am not just your ordinary person. I am a Mother. As such, I have super powers. One of which is that I know every square inch of my child. And while the aliens did a very good job replicating Kulia, they made one very small mistake. Now, a normal person would not notice this minor detail but to Mom, well, it's a giant red-flag.

This alien baby has two white swollen spots on the front of her lower jaw.

Now, my real child, Kulia, has no swollen mouth bits and it the sweetest, happiest, creature to bless this planet. The thing sleeping fitfully upstairs is a cranky, screamy little thing with tooth buds. Clearly, not my child.

Having discovered this discrepancy, I am now at a loss. How, exactly, does one contact the ET's and demand return of your child? 'Cause I can tell you I want my sweet baby girl back. This fussy crying baby is definately not fun. No sir.

I've tried aluminum foil antenia and have placed large X's made of masking tape in sister's window in the hopes of contacting whatever Being stole my child. I've heard dosing the alien intruder with Infant Tylenol and/or Motrim has, in some instances, caused the real child to be returned. Something about the alien's metabolism being unable to synthesize the cherry flavoring in the medicine. I've tried both methods and so far, no help. I'm moving on to placing extremely cold objects in the alien baby's mouth in hopes that this will trigger the return of my sweet child but if this fails, I'm out of ideas.

The good news is that, according to my sources, your child will always be returned sometime after a lunar even know as the Two Year Molars. However, this planetary alignment seems depressingly far away so if there are any short-cuts you know of, I'm all ears.

Posted by Chrissie at 02:08 PM | Comments (1)

November 27, 2005

Decking the Halls

The Thanksgiving feast was still warm when Kevin ran into the garage to unearth the Christmas decorations. He loaded up our CD player with Christmas tunes and started unwinding our Christmas lights. All I could think of was, "who is this man?"

Kevin hated Christmas. He used to complain about how early is started. He bemoaned listening to my John Denver and the Muppets CD. He poo-poo'd Christmas trees and was often caught stomping around using the phrase "humbug".

And now? Well, lets just say, just like old Ebenezer, Kevin has come to embrace the Christmas spirit with as much joy and enthusiasum as old Scrooge himself. He gleeful ran to Target to select another moving reindeer for our lawn display and I swear last night he had visions of air blown lawn polar bears dancing through his head. But by far, my favorite part of Christmas is watching Kevin hang the christmas house lights.

The people who lived here before us kindly placed hooks all long our house eaves so hanging the lights is a simple matter of placing the cord into the hooks and plugging the strands in. We only have two strands of lights which outline the eave about our front door and over our garage. Nothing special. I would budget 30 minutes to untangle and test the blubs and 30 minutes to hang the lights. So imagine my surprise when Kevin went outside to hang the lights at 11am and returned defeated at 5pm. Yes, he spent approximately six hours trying to hang lights. The story goes something like this.

Kevin untangled and checked the lights no problem. He then hung them, no problem. At this point, Kevin noticed that our neighbors had outlined not only their garage but their second story roof line as well. Kevin's little brain started thinking and before you could say "we wish you a merry christmas" he had popped the screen on the bonus room window and was walking around the roof. He decided to run the lights up to the roof top just like our neighbor. This he did. He then went to plug them in only to realize that he had strung the two strands plug to plug instead of plug to socket. So he started to take a strand down and they slipped from his hand. Smcrack! The lights hit the driveway and a bunch shattered. Undaunted, Kevin decided to go buy replacement bulbs. Yes, the fool actually went shopping on weekend after Thanksgiving. After driving around fruitlessly and finding the parking lots packed and the shelves empty, Kevin arrived home with the only strand of lights he could find. They were purple, yellow and green transparent bulbs. Realizing how bizarre it would look to have two conflicting strands of lights, Kevin set out to blend the bulbs together. This involved removing the other strand and interspacing the transparent bulbs with the ceramic bulbs. Once this was done, he was back out the window and up on the roof trying to hang the light. Unfortunately, he noticed it was getting a tad hard to see what with the sun having set, and so he had to call it a day. So imagine my surprise upon viewing 6 hours of work. We have two strands of oddly mixing lights snaking half way across our house.

And the best part? Kevin had to work yesterday and today so it looks like the lights will remain unhung for another week at least.

I shudder to think how long it will take him to put up our lawn reindeer. Fa la la la la baby!

Posted by Chrissie at 02:02 PM | Comments (0)

November 16, 2005

And To All A Good Night

Big news in McLaughlin land.

First, baby sister has taken her first bite of real food. (So long as you don't count those candy wrappers). She is an eating machine just like her sister. She loves her booby cereal and after each bite she licks her lips with her little tongue. It is so cute. I had forgotten that those first few meal most of the food ends up everywhere but their stomach and Leina got a real kick out of watching Kulia spit up almost every bite. Unfortunately, Leina's amusement quickly turned to desire.

She wanted to feed Kulia.

So here I am, trying to feed Kulia with Leina literally hanging on my arm yelling, "my turn, my turn!" It was chaos so I finally relented and passed Leina the spoon. She carefully scooped up some rice cereal and held it in front of Kulia. Kulia opened wide and Leina jammed that spoon down her throat! Poor baby! She started gagging and I quickly pulled the spoon back out again. Leina, of course, was thrilled by this and immediately wanted to feed her another bite. As a compromise, I let Leina scoop up a bite and then we held the spoon together to feed Kulia. Leina was laughing and clapping and telling her sister, "good job!" after every slurp. I just wish I got it on camera 'cause it was too precious for words.

The fun doesn't stop there. Oh no. Things are hopping here as our new bed has arrived! Yes, after years of sleeping on The Worse Mattress Ever, we have arrived. We had been saving up for a new bed all year but we totally drained our new bed funds to zero paying for our airline tickets to San Diego. We were resigned to waiting another year while we re-saved when my parents announced they were going to buy us our bed as our Christmas present! Kevin actually got a little teary-eyed when he learned our bed was once again a reality. So we loaded up the kids and hit the bed store. We waited until one hour before closing on a Sunday to strike. Kevin took the girls and chased Leina around the store while I bargained away. Our tactics paid off because we walked away with a great bed at a great price and it was delivered yesterday.

So last night, we Slept. Heavenly. No creaking or rolling into eachother. In fact, because we up-sized to a queen, we didn't even touch eachother all night. It was strange. And today, Leina, Kulia and I all lay on it watching Sesame Street and I wasn't afraid of Kulia toppling off the edge because suddenly there was more than enough room for all. Ahh, I can't wait to hit the hay tonight. I just wish I didn't have to wake up at 3am and get out of bed. Sigh. Well, hopefully the solid food will help sister sleep longer. Here's hoping!

Posted by Chrissie at 03:00 PM | Comments (2)

November 10, 2005

Mommy's Full

One of Kevin's Christmas traditions is Satsuma Oranges. I had never really heard of these fruit before I met Kevin but his family tradition was a box of Satsumas under the tree at Christmas time. So every year for the last few Christmases we've gotten a box to keep his tradition alive.

Flash forward to Monday. I'm at Safeway with little one strapped to my chest and the big one in the front basket of the shopping cart. Little one is alternating between chewing the carrier and spitting up all over me. Big one is eating a donut and vibrating in the seat from the rust of sugar. We are almost done with the shopping and are powering through the produce aisle when Leina spots the Satsumas.

"Oh, mommy, can we get some oranges pwease?" she asks, tidbits of sugar glaze falling from her lips.

"Sure honey, daddy loves these oranges." I reply and sling a box into our cart.

"Can I eat one now pwease?" Leina asks and rubs her sticky fingers on my shirt sleeve.

"No honey, we have to pay first, we can have one when we get home." I reply and head toward the cashier.

When we get home and I manage to lug everyone and everything inside. Leina remembers my promise and demands a Satsuma. I pull one out of the box and begin to peel it but Leina snatches it away exclaiming she can do it herself. Happy she is occupied, I turn my back and begin unpacking the groceries.

A few minutes later, Leina approaches with a wedge of orange. Amazingly enough she has managed to peel the Satsuma, place the peel in the garbage and tear apart the wedges. I happily eat the orange offered to me and continue my unloading.

Imagine my surprise when Leina appears again by my knee offering up yet another orange. I eat this one as well. A bit slower mind you. But it's still tasty. Now the third orange, not so tasty. And the fourth? I think that day I ending up eating six Satsumas and poor Kevin got tackled with another four when he came home. It appears our eldest loves to peel the Satsumas. She has no interest in eating more than a nibble or two. Oh no, she saves the eating part for her poor parents. I think the box came with about 30 oranges on Monday.

We have 8 left.

If I have to take another bite of orange I may lose mind. Even Kevin looked a little green this morning after Leina fed him a few more for breakfast. I'm thinking we may have to retire the Satsuma tradition this year 'cause if I see another orange wedge, I may run for my life with Kevin close at my heels.

Posted by Chrissie at 02:43 PM | Comments (1)

November 09, 2005

A Good Read

OK, I have a confession to make. I'm addicted to Romantic Mysteries. Yes, I know, this is sadly pathetic but I can't help myself. I found them from a blind recommendation and I'm horribly horribly addicted. I'm desperately blogging right now to keep myself off of Powell's or Amazon where I'm sure I'd order the whole series in a flash. In the last few days I've read three in a row and I don't have another and I'm going crazy. These darn kids keep falling asleep on me so I can't get to a bookstore to buy more and if I order them online that will take, like, days to get here and that's too long 'cause I need more....more I tell you!

Deep breath.

My house is a mess, Leina's watched like 100 hours of tv in a row and poor Kulia. I have no idea what Kulia has been up to. Every time she fusses up I throw another candy wrapper at her. I think she's injested a dozen or so but it keeps her quiet which mean I can read!

No, won't tell you who the author is 'cause then you might go and read the back cover and email me taunting comments about my taste in literature. But they are such fun! The main characters are flawed women who are divorced or chubby or wear glasses and have frizzy hair. And yet, these ladies manage to land the hottest guys because who they are on the inside makes them irresistable on the outside. Yeah, I know. True fiction. I have yet to met a man who can find a woman beautiful based solely on who she is. Except for my wonderful husband! Err, yeah, of course, Kev isn't lumped in with the rest! No! Never!

Ahem. Anyway, I think I'm ok. I've wasted enough time and Leina is now up so I can't order anything online. However, it is only 3:45 so I could throw both McNuggets into the car and head for the mall and get back before Kevin gets home and then I'd have another book to read tonight. Hmmmm. Possibilites.

Oh, someone, please help me. I've fallen into a new author and can't get up!

Posted by Chrissie at 03:43 PM | Comments (1)

November 07, 2005

Stop the Insanity

I agree with Dan and Suzy. It’s week 2 of Standard Time and while the kids have settled back into a predictable routine the times are all off. Leina is regularly waking up at 6:30am – which is not so bad since that’s about 2 minutes after I get up. But, it also means that my hot shower wake-up doesn’t happen and that makes for a very groggy Daddy cooking breakfast for the family. Did I put salt or sugar into that batter? Oh well, you won’t be able to tell once I char-grill it in the frying pan anyways.
Kulia, on the other hand, is now waking at 3:30am for her first feeding then sleeping until 7am. Every time I hear Chrissie go in at 7am I shudder and think, 2 weeks ago that’d be 8am and she could have had an extra hour of glorious happy-inducing sleep. Instead she comes downstairs with a dower expression and grunts, “coffee…” Of course she’s carrying the cutest baby girl on the planet so I tend not to concentrate on the “coffee-monster.”

Of course none of this would be necessary if the government would just stop changing the time on us every 6 months. Stop the insanity people! My wife needs her sleep. Maybe I should send the coffee-monster after them…

Posted by Kevin at 09:32 AM | Comments (0)

November 01, 2005

Halloween McLaughlin Style

Halloween has come and gone at the McLaughlin household and I still think any holiday where you get to dress your children in crazy clothes and give them candy is the best holiday of all – of course that’s a very typical Saturday morning with Dad but who’s to say every weekend morning shouldn't be a holiday!

Leina did great at Papa & Manny’s pre-Halloween party on the 30th. She threw her usual temper-tantrum when we went to put her costume on. Then we told her once she puts it on she can feed their dog (Max) as many bagel chips as she wants. This instantly changed her mood – who doesn’t like to feed a dog bagel chips? From then on she was a party animal – literally, she was dressed as a kitty-cat.

The next day (yesterday) was Halloween and again she wasn’t up for putting on the costume until our neighbors stopped by on they’re way out for Trick-or-Treating. You could see the epiphany on Leina’s face as she realized, “you mean if I wear the funky cat costume people will just give me candy?!?! Let’s go!”

At that point you couldn’t hold her back from headin’ out to collect her booty.

That was until she realized you have to actually knock on everyone’s door. Now for most adults your average door is nothing to be afraid of. But, if you’re only two, and not much taller two feet either those giant doors at the top of those steps – and all the houses have steps around here! – can be rather intimidating.

But Leina got into the spirit after getting a few houses under her belt (or into her bucket). Then she hit her stride and was tugging us onwards says, “come on guys let’s go to another house.”

Then we hit the “scary” house. They had two (count them two) 6ft blow up dolls outside their house. A Frankenstein and a spider – very scary. I realized that by not having even one 6ft blow up Halloween doll at our house we are quickly falling into the “decoration gap” and could one day be scorned for our lack of holiday enthusiasm. I’m hoping to make up for this, though, by getting some more reindeer on the lawn at Christmas time.

Anyway, the “scary house” had cobwebs and monsters and screeching sounds – it was spooky and scary. So scary I can actually say it scared the bee-gee-bees out of my daughter. After that getting free candy had lost its appeal so we hit a few more easy houses and called it a night. Even though we only made it a block and a half Leina still had a sizeable pile of candy.

Of course I exercised the “father’s prerogative” and took out all the candy everyone doesn’t like, amazing how many people in this family don’t like Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups?

Still, all in all, we had a very fun Halloween.

Of course this morning Leina quickly realized we had hidden her candy and asked me while flashing her best Bambi-eyes, “can we go trick-or-treating right now Daddy?”

“No little one, we have to eat breakfast first…” I answered. Poor Momma, I bet she’s going to have a rough day….

Posted by Kevin at 02:20 PM | Comments (0)


I knew I never should have blogged about their great sleep habits. I knew it, I knew it, I knew it. In fact, after reading the last entry Kevin burst into our room screaming "what have you done you fool of a Took!" See, even he knew that I was tempting fate. And boy, She wasn't so happy with the taunting. You see, I had forgotten one minor detail.

The time change.

Oh, the evil, evil people who decided to randomly play with Father Time. They have cursed this household. If I hear one more person blather on about how nice it is to have an extra hour of sleep in the morning I will commit a tort upon their morning sleeping body.

There is no sleep in this house now. None.

I had made such progress with Kulia. She was waking regularly once between 3-5am and then sleeping through to 7am. Leina didn't peep up until after 6:30am like a champ. And now?

Well, lets see. Kulia woke up at 2am & 4:30am. Every time I put her in the crib she'd look at me like, "um, mom, rise and shine 'cause I ain't going back down!" She wasn't kidding and her crying woke Leina so we had both kids wide eyed and bushy tailed by 5am. 5am! Ack. This morning was the same. 2am booby call with a rise and shine at 5am. Repeat, 5am. I actually started crying in the Safeway parking lot this morning at 9am when both kids decided they were tired and started wailing together. Thankfully, it was raining buckets and no one could see into the car so I just cut loose. I then proceeded home where I raided Leina's Halloween candy for a sugar rush and keep feeding it until Kevin arrived home for lunch. Thank goodness for Halloween.

Leina and Kulia are sharing very nicely. Leina eats the candy and Kulia eats the wrapper. I think I"m going to have to list Tootsie Roll wrapper as Kulia's first solid food in her baby book 'cause I think she chomped one up this afternoon. Sigh.

My only hope is that the candy will last until I get them adjusted to this new time. Because right now, I"m running on sugar baby. Pure sugar!

Posted by Chrissie at 01:56 PM | Comments (0)